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    Total Drama 
  • Due to the nature of Total Drama, this tends to be a common fan reaction toward characters who are voted off too early, way before they could get any real development.
    • Eva is probably the biggest source of a wasted character, as she was introduced with a lot of potential for Character Development in that she had joined the show to work on her Hair-Trigger Temper and learn how to work with others so that she could actually become a leader in her daily life. Worse, even when she's elected to return she completely forgets about this goal in favor of attempting to enact revenge on Bridgette, despite the fact forcing herself to learn to work with someone she hates (even if she failed) would have still been a great step in development towards her goals. And of course there's the fact after Island she's never brought back into the competition again... A good example of how Eva's character was wasted was through the World Tour Aftermaths. After appearing as the angry reporter in the first Aftermath, she quickly became Out of Focus as the show focused on the feud between Bridgette/Geoff and Blaineley.
    • Ezekiel. Initially intended as an early boot who fans wouldn't miss, he gained somewhat of a fanbase that wanted to see him be given a chance for redemption in another season after he became the main character of the Total Drama Comeback Series. After missing out on Action, the writers brought him back for World Tour, where he was shown to be much more determined to make something of himself... only to be eliminated first yet again, at which point he was reduced to a Running Gag and eventually had his entire characterisation thrown out in favour of a one-note movie reference. And despite the fanbase's constant wishing for him to become human again, he's remained a monster for almost three seasons.
    • Tyler. He's set up as Lindsay's Love Interest and seems to almost be a major character in Island, only to be thrown out seven episodes in for something he was no guiltier of than several people more directly responsible for his team's loss. Then, come World Tour, his relationship with Lindsay goes from his most prominent characteristic to just another one of many of an extremely fleshed-out Lovable Jock as he pretty much unwittingly becomes a Bumbling Sidekick to Alejandro, even seeming to gain an Odd Friendship with him... only for him to be thrown out two episodes after Duncan's much-reviled return, with the aforementioned inheriting his and Noah's respective alliance and distrust of the Arch-Villain.
    • Both Justin and Lindsay were set to take a level in badass in Action and step up their game to show they weren't as dumb as they appeared to be... until the writing staff seemed to suddenly have them remember they actually were as dumb as they appeared to be and nixed any possible development in this direction by having them revert back to their pre-Action characterizations (and in Lindsay's case, have her become more dumber with each passing season).
    • Team Victory in World Tour. Despite the entire team consisting of beloved characters with interesting plotlines to explore, the entire team was eliminated less than halfway into the season with nobody making the merge and everyone was derailed in some way: DJ got the infamously-hated animal curse, Harold stupidly sacrificed himself to save DJ in a misguided attempt to impress Leshawna (which ultimately doesn't work), Bridgette cheated on Geoff with Alejandro and suffered a humiliating elimination, Leshawna had her friendship with Heather completely undone and took a level in jerkass and dumbass in the process, Lindsay was once again screwed over in a non-sensical elimination to drag out DJ's curse and Ezekiel was eliminated first again, reduced to a Running Gag and eventually had his entire characterization thrown out in favor of his immensely despised feralization. Even worse, all but two of their eliminations were caused by Alejandro in some way in order to elevate his villainy.
    • Sierra, all the way. When Sierra was introduced to the show, she was billed as being a Super Fan, knowing everything about the contestants and running 16 different websites about the show. Barring the leg up she would have competition-wise with intimate knowledge of how the show works and what curve balls might be thrown her way, it would've been incredibly funny and intriguing to learn new facts about characters as Sierra gushed over each one, as well as use said information to her advantage in challenges, stroking egos or otherwise using emotional manipulation. She could have become an unwitting pawn to Heather or Alejandro, blabbing crucial personal information about each contestant to help them win, only to have Sierra catch on and use dirt on them to defeat them. Instead, the show delivered a ridiculous caricature of a fan girl, already Flanderized before she even started, exclusively obsessed with Cody (and Chris to a lesser degree), who was already set up to receive more in-universe recognition without attention from Sierra. Her interactions with other characters, and lines in general, were about how cute Cody is and her insightful knowledge of how the show works was eventually forgotten halfway through World Tour to fixate solely on her Cody obsession. All-Stars could have been even better with her involvement had they taken this route, as it would show her off her game with new contestants that she's had less time to study, and previous competitors who know not to trust her as easily. Instead we get her being The Load, being separated from Cody reducing her to being out of touch with reality and seeing everyone as Cody. Sierra had potential to make her role a great one, but the writers fumbled and made her arguably one of the more irritating characters.
    • B, Brick, Dawn and Anne Maria from Revenge of the Island also deserve special mention, especially since they only appeared in one season. Brick and Anne Maria were considered for All-Stars, but rejected in favor of Sam and Gwen respectively.
    • Dakota is also from Revenge of the Island but is worthy of her own entry due to not only appearing in one season, but also her much reviled transformation into Dakotazoid ultimately putting the kibosh on any development that she received throughout the season.
    • Sam can be considered for this in All-Stars since some believed he would have a prominent role in the season due to having the least amount of screen time of any of the other contestants. Instead he suffered a cruel, teasing, and Idiot Ball holding elimination on the fourth episode, and he never did anything of any significance in his short time on this season. And this after they threw out Brick to let him in!
    • Fans feel like Zoey's character was a waste of potential due to her traits of I Just Want to Have Friends and Hipster stereotype being forgotten within the first few episodes of her introductory season, in favor of a Love Triangle between her, Mike, and Anne Maria.
    • Speaking of Mike, most of his personalities were arguably more interesting characters than him, namely Mal, Vito, and Manitoba Smith and could have easily been their own characters. However, they are reset button'd away, so even if Mike returns, we're probably not seeing them again without one hell of a Snap Back.
    • Scarlett. It was very obvious by the end of "Scarlett Fever" that there was no way she could ever be used again after she revealed her true colors by attempting to blow up the island after Chris refused to give her the million dollars. This disappointed many fans who considered her to be possibly the show's best villain. Though Word of God has implied there is a possibility they could have her return.
    • There are a fair few who thought Amy could've easily been a meaner, crueler Heather. Yet she was only lasted for 3 episodes before being eliminated, while mostly being a Satellite Character for Samey and only served as a plot device for her Character Development.
    • Some believe that Dave would've worked much better as an actual Only Sane Man instead of having him go through his Sanity Slippage and a rare example of a character being Flanderized and/or derailed within their debut season all for the sake of a weak subversion of the couples trope.
    • Despite being easily one of the most popular characters from Pahkitew Island, some felt that the show focused too much on Jasmine's relationship with Shawn and not enough on her leadership skills, making her feel like a plot device and slightly weakening her appeal.
    • Rare arguments for this extend to Gwen and Courtney, who some feel have been relegated to the same love triangle plot with Duncan for far too long and that in spite of their huge focus across the seasons have both seen their roles become redundant and their characterization stagnating due to reemerging patterns in how they are used; some have been critical of the continued focus on their interactions with each other as friends/enemies/frenemies, while others would say that Gwen has become more out of touch with her more serious but approachable personality from Island while Courtney's over-competitiveness has dramatically played up at the cost of any real development.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race:
    • The Tennis Rivals. While the characters eliminated right before and after them were bland, one-note pairs without much to go on, the Friendly Rivalry of these Cool Old Guy Vitriolic Best Buds was never allowed to develop. Plus, they managed to go from last place to fourth in the first challenge, which showed they might have been good competitors.
    • Tom and Jen, who are an Author Avatar team of the show's creators, were eliminated in favor of the Daters. Some fans believe they had potential for more storylines, and keeping them over the Daters would've broken the cliché 'couple argues and gets back together just in time to be eliminated' plot line. Additionally, Laurie and Miles, two other competitors who were named after some of the show's writers, were just eliminated before them, leading viewers to believe one Author Avatar team would go early while the other team would last a while longer.
    • The Rockers, after half the season was spent developing their Hidden Depths, and them both growing on the fandom (Spud less so and later than Rock, but still), were abruptly thrown out in an completely unprecedented double elimination right as Spud really began to be an active part of the plot.
    • Despite lasting almost the whole season, both Emma & Kitty of the Sisters were never able to truly shine mostly thanks to the former's romance plot with Noah making them feel more like plot devices rather than actual characters. Having Emma being put into a relationship felt like it weakened her appeal as a character the same way Jasmine's relationship with Shawn on Pahkitew Island weakened her appeal as well. Her also being the most inconsistently written character in the whole franchise didn't help either. While Kitty was completely overshadowed by Emma the whole time her relationship plot was going on and didn't get any true focus until after Noah & Owen were eliminated.
    • Despite lasting the entire season, Sanders of the Police Cadets was severely overshadowed by MacArthur for most of her time in the race. This resulted in her feeling more generic by comparison as she only got at least two or three instances to really shine (all of which are within the last five episodes).
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    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 
Between the vast and colorful supporting cast and the sheer size of the fandom, there are plenty of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic characters whose fans consider them underutilized. A few examples out of many:
  • Almost everything about Princess Luna (sister of Princess Celestia, rules the night, became a Mad Goddess because of loneliness and jealousy, sealed in the moon for a thousand years) could be the basis for numerous stories, but after Twilight and company purged her of evil and she reconciled with Celestia, she wasn't even mentioned again for the entire first season. Since then she's had A Day in the Limelight and a few cameos, but they only succeeded in introducing and hinting at more traits that could be explored. It's no mystery that she is the most popular Ensemble Dark Horse of the fandom.
  • Luna's villain persona Nightmare Moon had everything a villain needed: a cool design, a clear motive, and even henchmen. Unfortunately, bringing her back would completely undo the Character Development that Luna has since gone through. Season 4 got around this problem by featuring a return from Nightmare Moon... in the form of a flashback Twilight gets of the night she was banished to the moon. She also receives some screentime in the form of an alternate timeline in the Season 5 finale.
  • King Sombra, out of all the main antagonists — if not out of every single antagonist in the show, or even any character period — is the only one who has had no opportunity to experience any character focus, despite being highly competent and frighteningly dangerous. With little interaction with the mane cast, barely any dialogue, very little screen time, he was written as more of a mindless beast than an actual villain. There was evidence to suggest he was going to be the show's first recurring villain, until the official comic used Queen Chrysalis to fill that position. This was somewhat mitigated with him not only getting the longest Bad Future scenario in the Season 5 Finale, but also being played as one hell of a scary villain as opposed to the Advancing Wall of Doom characterization he got in his first appearance.
  • Celestia, although she appears in numerous episodes, never receives any character focus like Luna and exists mostly to provide exposition. What hints do exist as to her past and personality — especially the ones that might indicate she's The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask — are tantalizing enough to make her a prime target for fanfiction writers, but they're only hints and near nothing is really known about her. Celestia fans are quite irked that she seldom gets to do anything, that when she does she gets soundly stomped to the curb so the Mane Six can save the day instead, and that she had next to no screentime in the Season 5 Premiere and Finale. In Season 7, Celestia finally gets her due, sharing the spotlight with Luna and finally revealing how difficult their respective jobs are, and she finally gets an episode to call her own in Season 8 when she's championed to act in a play in spite of being a god-awful actress.
  • Peewee, a baby phoenix who Spike appeared to adopt at the end of the episode "Dragon Quest". This had a lot of potential: it gave Spike a pet like the rest of the Mane Cast, not to mention a friend who'd live as long as him. The next time he's even mentioned since his introduction? Finding out he's been Put on a Bus offscreen! Makes you wonder why they even bothered introducing the character.
  • Spike the Dragon. He's shown time and time again to have some quite amazing abilities, from swimming in lava to fire breath that can melt locks or stadium-sized pieces of ice, Hidden Depths, and a rather mysterious backstory due to no one knowing exactly how Celestia ended up with his egg to begin with. But in the episodes where he even makes an appearance he's either thrust into the background or serves as a source of Comic Relief. He gets some opportunities to shine in Season 6, notably with "Gauntlet of Fire" and "The Times They Are a Changeling".
  • Babs Seed who was inducted as the fourth Cutie Mark Crusader at the end of "One Bad Apple", opening up a flood of possibilities for her to crusade either in Ponyville or her hometown of Manehattan. Her next appearance later in the season briefly mentions her new life in Manehattan and making friends with two other blank flanked foals. After that, she was Put on a Bus until early on in the fifth season where it was revealed (off-screen, no less) that she got her cutie mark.
  • Shining Armor was introduced as captain of Canterlot's Royal Guard and a Cool Big Bro to Twilight Sparkle. One would expect him to be a capable fighter and to provide strong emotional support to Twilight, but in his appearances he gets beaten easily by the current villain and has little role beyond "Cadance's husband" (and even then, he and Queen Chrysalis get more screentime as a couple than he and Cadance), if he isn't just treated like a background character. He's gotten more appearances as the show's gone on, but very rarely gets to be anything more than the Monster Of The Weeks casualty or just the brother/husband/father of the starring alicorn princess.
  • Silver Spoon has gotten little characterization beyond being Diamond Tiara's Beta Bitch for the bulk of five seasons and dropping her like a sack of rocks once she starts treating her the same way she treated everyone else. Quite a few fans are wondering what she's like when Diamond Tiara isn't around.
  • Similarly, Diamond Tiara has gotten to do exactly nothing beyond appear in a few background shots since her reformation, leaving many fans to wonder why the writers even bothered to have her and Silver Spoon befriend the Cutie Mark Crusaders if it just meant they would be swiftly forgotten as characters.
  • Lightning Dust was originally supposed to become Rainbow Dash's wingpony and to remain friends with her but she was publicly humiliated and expelled instead. They were an amazing team and could learn much from each other but it took until Season 8 for this to be averted: she returns as the leader of a rival team known as The Washouts and, albeit haven taking a level or two in jerkass, managed a surprisingly amicable relationship with Rainbow Dash and firmly established herself as The Rival.
  • Suri Polomare is a rival and old acquaintance to Rarity. It is implied that she has made bad experiences in Manehattan (just like Rarity) which made her the shifty pony she is now. There could be a great story for a redemption that has yet to be told.

    Other Animated Series 
  • Æon Flux: "Ether Drift Theory" has a moment where one of Trevor's unnamed bodyguards with an eye-catching design is set up to be a Worthy Opponent to the heroine, only for her to die suddenly via a swarm of bees stinging her to death and never be mentioned again. Given the show's Deconstruction (of action films) and Mind Screw tendencies, this was absolutely intentional.
  • So, so, so many of the background villains from The Tick. They all had hilariously over-the-top cartoonish appearances, abilities, and quirks, but most of them didn't even get named let alone to do anything else.
  • Darkwing Duck: A few of the villains like Lilliput or Bugmaster with interesting powers only made one or two appearances.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Ty Parsec. For a guy who's been saved more than 50 times by Buzz (a lot of people theorise that this was an exaggeration which is why Ty is so bitter) and was then transformed into the Tragic Villain Wirewolf, and has a hilariously sarcastic and cynical personality, Ty shows up in a mere two episodes. He's 'cured' at the end of the second and is never seen or mentioned again.
  • DuckTales (1987) wasted three perfectly good characters — Launchpad's loving family; Ripcord, Birdie and Loopy McQuack are very well liked and fondly remembered despite only appearing once in the episode "Top Duck" (with Ripcord and Loopy getting a non-speaking cameo in "Til Nephews Do Us Part"). Fans requested they make another appearance but all they got was a cameo in the Darkwing Duck episode "U.F. Foe."
  • Ed Eddn Eddy has Nazz, who has the distinction of being the only girl on the show who isn't depicted as being psychotic in some way and she's The Heart of the cul-de-sac all the boys (except Jimmy and Rolf) have a crush on. Unfortunately, throughout the show's run, very little is done with Nazz, she only has three episodes about her (Plank has more storylines) and until later seasons she was a relatively Flat Character. Later seasons turned her into a bit of a Dumb Blonde and The Cheerleader, but she remained quite unremarkable in a cast of wacky, memorable characters. The Movie seems to address this by giving Nazz a prominent subplot with Kevin, a last name (the only other character besides the Kankers to get one, in fact) and she Took a Level in Badass, but overall a lot more could have been done with her character besides being the Only Sane Man of the cul-de-sac kids.
  • Justice League: In the episode "Eclipsed," we meet a Glenn Beck-esque right-wing pundit by the name of Gordon Godfrey, who goes on ridiculous rants against the League for most of the episode (i.e. "Since they came around, half of all marriages end in divorce, and the other half end in death!"). In the original comics, "Gordon" is the human guise of Glorious Godfrey, Darkseid's Minister of Propaganda, yet Godfrey only appears in this one episode and shows no sings of being an Apokaliptian or indeed anything other than an ordinary, and annoying, human.
    • The Cheetah is Wonder Woman's Archenemy in the comics, so a lot of fans assumed she would get more character development after receiving a lot of focus in her debut episode. However, she got Demoted to Extra... although Word of God is that she was meant to be Killed Offscreen by Solomon Grundy in her debut two-parter, and was only saved by an animation error showing her alive later on, so getting to appear several times more was an unexpected boon for her.
    • Longshadow, a former Cadmus agent and the show's version of Apache Chief, is shown joining the Justice League in the end of his debut...and is never seen or heard from ever again. There isn't even any confirmation as to how long he lived or what he even accomplished during his time as a true hero.
    • Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner only appear as cameos in the entire series, and have very little interaction with the League. One episode even teased at Hal switching out with John, only for it to be shot down as the Guardians call John out on trying to use it as an excuse to get a break from his messy love triangle. Heck, at least Kyle and Hal got cameos in the series, poor Guy Gardner doesn't even exist in the DCAU it seems!
    • Speaking of the Green Lanterns, Star Sapphire appears as a villain several times, but as for who she actually is (if she actually is Carol Ferris) or what her vendetta against the Green Lanterns is never explored.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Adrena Lynn would have been a great villain and a great Foil for Kim, both of them perform stunts but Kim does it for helping people and genuinely does her own stunts while Adrena does it for fame and a fraud who faked her stunts. So she was only a one-shot villain because she wasn't as popular as the other recurring villains.
    • Will Du from "Number One" was meant to be a recurring character in the series. He was set to be both a rival and potential love-interest for Kim, roles he still could have fit in the series proper; a trained operative who works alone versus a freelancer who works with her friends. Never appears again.
  • King of the Hill:
    • One episode had a cross dressing character known as Carolyn/Jamie. In the episode he became close friends with Peggy, and as Jamie even got along well with Hank and the rest of the gang. After he taught Peggy about how it's okay to be different he was never seen again to the dismay of many fans.
    • Bobby's girlfriend Debby, introduced at the end of "I'm With Cupid", after Bobby had finally gotten over Connie he meets her and finds out they share a similar sense of humor and introduces her to his parents who approve. The ending implies we will see more of her in future episodes but she is never seen or mentioned again.
  • Winx Club: Chimera. Her introduction showed quite some promise, but then she got saddled with a Guess Who I'm Marrying? plot, which went in a completely predictable direction... that is, except for a couple things that viewers totally expected to happen: the plot taking a trip to her school, Stella having to make a truce with her, and Stella having a decent final battle with her. Though considering she and her mother turned Stella's own father against her...and nearly murdered him at one point...many fans would also feel that she was too far gone to be redeemed.
    • Mirta. While the show dropped her off the face of the earth after Season 3, and barely used her after Season 1, "Mirta joins the Winx"fanfictions are still popular, normally dropping Aisha for her.
  • Rocket Power introduced a potential love interest for Reggie, in an ep that shows her being afraid to show her real sports skills. Total episode count? Two, with his only other episode centering around Reggie feeling offended that she wasn't invited to play rugby like her fellow friends. At least with Breezy (who was similarly introduced for Reggie's dad and got the same episode count), she had the excuse of being a traveling saleswoman...
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • Bubble Bass could have been a good Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to SpongeBob, but pretty much disappeared after the first season. Eventually, The Bus Came Back, but he's still more of a Recurring Extra than anything.
    • Ditto with Kevin C. Cucumber, who could have been a very good Evil Counterpart for SpongeBob if given the chance. However, he has only appeared in one episode.
  • The Fairly OddParents!
    • Remy Buxaplenty is an example of a character saved from the waste heap. Remy (and his fairy godparent) made such an impression on the fans in one appearance that they clamored for more, and they eventually got another episode. However, Remy then stopped appearing after his fourth episode while his godparent still got to make more appearances without him.
    • Remember that Trixie Tang is actually a tomboy scared of alienating her 'friends' if she behaved anyway that she wasn't expected to? And even before that, in her first appearance, she showed that she was nice deep down, rather than just a spoiled Jerkass? The writers sure don't...
    • Ms. Sunshine AKA Ms. Doombringer, ironic since in her only episode she vowed to Timmy that she will return someday, but as Crocker said "But not someday soon.".
  • Family Guy:
    • Kevin was generally liked by the fandom, mostly as a love interest for Meg. He was hardly ever seen, though—and then suddenly, out of nowhere, his father casually mentions that he died in Iraq. As far the fans knew, he hadn't even been in Iraq. It was retconned that he wasn't really dead after all, and Joe's casual mention of his "death" was actually because the army did a paper work mix-up and Kevin had faked his death to avoid having to be in the army.
    • Meg is an odd example: she's a major character who appears in just about every episode, but Word of God admits they have no idea what to do with a teenage girl character. Their solution is just to show her being hated by everyone for no reason, mocked for being fat and ugly, and slowly slipping into depression/insanity. Jeez.
    • Maybe the ultimate example would be Vinny, the new Replacement Goldfish dog the Griffins adopted after Brian's sudden death. The event bringing him onto the show was erased from history with only one episode between that and his introduction.
    • Joyce Kinney was reduced to a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Diane Simmons after just a few episodes despite showing potential as a possible antagonist.
  • Sanjay and Craig: The series really seems to love using this trope to some of its characters.
    • The best example of this would be Sam Lastnamè. She is so beloved by the show's tiny fandom, that she is prominently featured in a lot of fanworks as one of Sanjay's group of friends, as well as being Megan's best friend. Sadly, in the actual series, she only appears in about 7 episodes throughout Seasons 2 and 3. Only two episodes (Butts Up and G.U.T.S. Busters) have her in a major role, the rest of them only have her in background roles. It's gotten to the point where it is believed that she is the mascot of this trope.
  • South Park:
    • Every minor kid has his own fandom, even though many of them are only meant to be one-off characters. The show has a good number of A Day in the Limelight episodes, but unfortunately, we all just have to accept that Damien isn't coming back anytime soon (outside of background cameos as an animator's joke).
    • Gary Harrison the Mormon kid was fairly popular during his debut and seemed like he would become a recurring character, but alas he never appeared again aside from a brief non-speaking cameo.
    • The new characters from The Movie such as The Mole, Gregory and Dr. Vosknocker never appeared again (outside of a very brief cameo from the Mole).
    • Although hated by certain factions of the fandom, there are also those who regret that Rebecca and Mark Cotswolds didn't become semi-recurring characters, as the fish-out-of-water dynamic appealed to them. While Mark managed to get non-speaking cameos for a few seasons afterward, Rebecca was never seen again. Kenny's one-time girlfriend Kelly (also either loved or hated depending on the fans) is another case of a character that the fans more likely remember than the creators would.
    • Most of the aliens never have a major role (or even appear again) outside of the episode that introduces them. It happened to Najix the shapeshifter (better known as the ice cream-crapping taco) and the Joozians from "Cancelled", the Intergalactic Police from "Pinewood Derby" and the Gelgameks from "Red Hot Catholic Love". The latter especially could have been revived both for some topical satire against the Catholic Church and for the thought-provoking idea of aliens believing in God and Jesus, but it was not meant to be.
    • Season 20 has so many plotlines that in the end none of them gets really resolved, so we have characters that either do nothing (Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bill Cosby, JJ Abrams), are put in prison and more or less forgotten there (all of the trolls/cyberbullies) or start as an Overused Running Gag and suddenly become irrelevant (the Member Berries). On top of that it concludes with a Reset Button of sorts and the creators stated that they won't attempt a continuity-heavy season again, so it's likely that we won't see any of them again outside of some brief cameos.
  • Adventure Time:
    • Martin, Finn's father, an effective Hate Sink and Shadow Archetype to Finn with a mysterious backstory. We first meet him when he was in the Citadel for some kind of "Cosmic Crime," the likes of which include killing a god. Clearly this guy is Big Bad material, right? Not so much; he appears on and off during the sixth season, mostly just as a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk conman, before being Put on a Bus without any real backstory revealed, including what he did to wind up in the Citadel. We find out a bit more about him during the "Islands" miniseries, but even then there's a huge gap and it just opens up more Alternate Character Interpretation.
    • Rattleballs is a badass sword-fighting robot who was made by Princess Bubblegum, and narrowly escaped death at her hands. This connection to PB's colder side would make for great episodes, as would the fact that his introductory episode ends with him deciding to protect the Candy Kingdom from the shadows. But since his introduction, he's only been seen in a small handful of minor cameo appearances.
    • Orgalorg is the true form of Gunther, an Eldritch Abominaton from outer space that has been around since before the Big Bang. The episode of his namesake sets him up as one of the most dangerous and powerful villains in the show, and his Affably Evil personality provides a humorous contrast to said power. He could've been an interesting new Big Bad, but he is quickly dealt with and is back to Gunther by the end of the episode he appears in. There are a few scattered references to Gunther being Orgalorg every now and then, but it's never truly touched upon again.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • Zander, the villain is introduced as a Sheltered Aristocrat with a human side and a genuine, friendship with Terry and Max but in the second half of the two parter, this aspect of the character vanished. While still important he was just a standard villain who ultimately turned into a dinosaur and anticlimactically died, the humanizing aspects of the character gone. Bruce Timm critiqued this on the episode's DVD commentary.
    • Blight is the biggest offender. He was the Big Bad of the first season and set up as the Big Bad of the series period, but he never returned after the first season's finale. He did get to appear in the comics, though.
    • Most of Terry's supporting cast was sorely underused, most prominently his mother Mary, followed by his brother Matt and his girlfriend Dana. For all that they tried to make Terry different from Bruce, they neglected the characters in Terry's life that Bruce could never have had.
    • Melanie, a girl who was once a member of the Royal Flush Gang that Terry had a mutual interest in only appeared in three episodes. She had a character arc in those few appearances, but many fans wanted to see more of her.
  • Lock-Up in Batman: The Animated Series was an awesome, thought-provoking villain who appeared in a whopping single episode. In some ways, it can be understood, as he was a pretty obvious piece of political satire. Still, he was probably one of the scariest characters in the series. He eventually would become a Canon Immigrant to the main DCU.
  • The Batman
    • While the show was great at introducing characters, it struggled with following up. Killer Croc, for example, only appears in team-ups after his debut. Poison Ivy has two episodes and is then relegated to voiceless cameos for the rest of the show (fortunately, the tie-in comics realize most of her potential). Catwoman was one of the characters that nearly everybody agreed was handled better than in B:TAS, but only appeared in three or four episodes. One of the reasons Joker and Penguin were so contentious was because they were perceived as being overused in comparison to the rest of the Rogues Gallery.
    • Bane is a particularly tragic example. He gets used in one episode (which is regarded as being one of the better and more faithful to the source material adaptations of Bane, design aside), and then only gets a couple voiceless cameos where he gets jobbed. The next time Batman goes up against a muscular supervillain who actually poses a threat, it's . . . Joker, using Bane's Venom.
  • Sonic Sat Am:
    • Bunnie Rabbot made interesting use of the show's robotocization concept and had kickass cyborg powers to boot. However she had a supporting role in the majority of the first season and was Demoted to Extra in the second, arguably getting the least amount of development time out of the rest of the Freedom Fighters (keeping in mind Rotor and Tails were also heavily Out of Focus for most of the show's later run). The comics adapted from the show utilize her a bit more, but still play her as one of the more minor leads.
    • Tails. They took Sonic's best friend and sidekick from the games and reduced him to a minor character. He stays home most of the time, resulting in him hardly ever participating in any of the missions. When he does, his contributions are little at best or pretty much nothing at worst. A later season two episode tried to fix this, but by that point the show was almost over. Word of God said he would have been more important in the third season, but that still doesn't explain why it took so long to give a major character from the games a notable role.
  • Its sister show, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was also prone to this. There were numerous entertaining characters throughout the series, most of them lucky to appear more than once or even outside a cameo:
    • Robotnik's earlier henchbots from the pilot episode are perhaps one of the most incredulous examples of the trope. Despite SEGA Of America finding many of their gimmicks and designs worthy to place in Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, the majority did not appear outside a very brief cameo. The show frequently utilised other interesting new robots, or even adapted some from the games, Very few of them made recurring appearances.
    • Princess Sally, in heavy contrast to her Satam counterpart. She was adapted for the Christmas Special, albeit for a non speaking cameo.
    • Other antagonists such as Dr Quark and Dr Warpnik could have served as good alternative foes for Sonic and amusing Sitcom Arch Nemesises for Robotnik. They appeared for one episode each.
  • Teen Titans:
    • General Immortus from the fifth season. He's one of the core members of the Quirky Miniboss Squad and he's a military genius with millennia of experience, but at the end of the day he appears in only a handful of episodes, in only one of which he has lines, and does little but boss the mooks around. In the Final Battle, he gets an ignominious curbstomp where his three companions all go down fighting hard (or at least the Brain has a Dragon fight hard and leaves a booby-trap himself).
    • Jinx and Kid Flash, though less the characters and more the dynamic between the two. They get ONE episode devoted to them, and then vanish until the finale where Jinx arrives with Kid Flash and proceeds to fight alongside the Titans. Bet that was interesting character development...
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Koh the Face-Stealer, a fascinatingly creepy spirit who looks like a giant centipede and can steal the faces of victims to wear as his own. With tantalizing hints that he has dealt with the Avatar in the past and will do so again in the future, he never reappeared in the show again. With Season 2 of The Legend of Korra titled "Spirits", there was some hope that he'd show up for at least a cameo, but no dice, and even when the end of Season 2 had the portals to the spirit world permanently open, allowing spirits to travel freely into the human realm, he doesn't appear.
    • For some, Fire Lord Azulon who only got one flashback scene in one episode. He apparently was a firebending prodigy like Azula and was a feared general before becoming Fire Lord.
    • Also Lo and Li, Azula's ancient instructors. Nothing is revealed about them other that they apparently aren't firebenders despite instructing Azula on her firebending.
    • Badass Normal Suki. Despite proving herself to be strong and a perfect match for Sokka then joining the Team in Book 3, she stays Out of Focus as the second half of the season is more about Zuko trying to gain the trust of his former enemies. It seems like the writers forgot about her since she's never alluded once in The Legend of Korra (beyond the briefest of appearances in a still image that accompanied Tenzin's introductory narration in the first episode).
    • Ty Lee gets this even worse than Suki. We never do learn that much about her and she only really shows up three times in season 3, one of which is more of a brief cameo.
  • Speaking of which, The Legend of Korra is guilty of this due to a combination of Executive Meddling and the same bad habits they had in the original series on a tighter schedule and less quality writers to mitigate those problems:
    • Ghazan and Ming-Hua are prominent members of the Red Lotus, plus Aiwei yet have zero backstory for their motivations when even P'Li got a moment of exposition as a former living weapon rescued by Zaheer.
    • Asami Sato to the extent that every season and Turf Wars underuses her despite having the personal and thematic potential to be Deuteragonist to Korra, let alone how her being in charge of a Mega-Corp is only important when the plot needs it to be:
      • In Book 1, her perspective as a non-bender against the Equalists and the fact that one of its most prominent members is her father, but no, that largely gets overshadowed with her just scowling in the background while Mako fawns over Korra despite still officially being with Asami.
      • In Book 2, she's AWOL for a number of episodes, now in charge of Future Industries except its reputation's been tainted by her father's actions as well as not interacting much with Korra despite her own parental issues to instead be Chickified to not have even one hand-to-hand fight that season and instead rebound to Mako and doesn't even rescue her own company, leaving that up to Bolin to the extent she's spectating the battle for her own company like it's just another Pro-Bending match!
      • While Book 3 fixes most of the above problems, she still inexplicably gets less dialogue (in quality and quantity) than Mako, her company's only mentioned in providing a Cool Airship and that she regained full control after Varrick was captured, otherwise she's somehow free to globetrot with the rest of the team.
      • Book 4 then gives her somehow more to do in using Future Industries to repair Republic City, deal with her estranged father and her romantic feelings for Korra yet less screentime to focus on any of that as Mako babysitting Prince Wu gets more screentime and Varrick's sudden Heel–Face Turn who's not even part of the main cast yet gets more screentime than half the main team despite the fact that Asami's also personally recruited to design a weapon to counter Kuvira's Spirit Energy-powered one. She doesn't even get a new outfit like the rest of the team!
    • And lastly, in Turf Wars, not only is there the same problem with Future Industries, but also the fact that she spends two-thirds of the trilogy holding the Distress Ball with the first being to reveal to her friends that she and Korra are a couple and the second because its the cliffhanger to Three-Act Structure.
  • My Little Pony Tales had Logan Barrington who was the deciding factor in the girls' argument on whether or not to allow boys into their club. Logan could have gone on more adventures with the girls or made other key contributions to the group. However, after he gets inducted by the end of his featured episode, he never makes another appearance in the series.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: While "perfectly good" would be a strange way of stating this, Mac's brother Terrence was Demoted to Extra after the first season and eventually became Out of Focus during the fifth and sixth season. What makes Terrence fits this trope is the fact that he never got to appear enough times to develop as a character to explain his cruel treatment towards Mac and in general, and he was never given any redeeming qualities. The case can also be said for Mac's whole family as well since there is never a deeper point of view for Mac's mother and any explanation or even tiny hints of the whereabouts of his father. Keep in mind that Mac is supposed to be the main character. So him not having a deeper family background is an anomaly.
  • Johnny Test:
    • What people who don't care for the show think of Dukey.
    • Mary and Susan get this treatment as well. Some feel that they should be the lead characters in the show instead of Johnny.
  • Super Noobs
    • Memnock and Zenblock, despite being main characters got this treatment. Some fans thought that they should have been the lead characters of the show instead of the Noobs. They didn't get a proper day in the limelight episode and they often got shoehorned into boring subplots. Not much has been revealed about their past either.
    • Amy Anderson is Tyler Bowmans's love interest but the romance is only half baked and seen in only seen in few episodes. Some people think of her as a scrappy character while others wanted her to be a Sixth Ranger but this never happens.
    • Count Venamus is seen as a flat villain who wants to help spread the virus but it's never revealed why he wants this.
    • Many one off characters got this too such as Princess Parsa, The Incredibly Amazing Man, and Marty Soulpatch to name a few.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! underwent a Retool in its second season to increase focus on the Big Three Avengers, at the expense of Avengers who had yet to receive solo movies at the time. Since The Vision had only recently joined the team before this retool took place, a fan might only need one hand to count the number of episodes in which he does something important.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • Only two episodes ("The Bus Boy" and "Cracked") featured a pair of alpha-bitches who tormented Dexter.
    • Douglas, who only appeared in a handful of episodes. He could have been a cool non-Deedee companion to Dexter, but he sadly never evolved beyond a Satellite Character.
    • Olga/Lalavava, Mandark's little sister. She appeared once and was never seen or mentioned since. Made even more bizarre because the end of her episode pretty much confirmed that we'd be seeing more of her.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • A 12 year old Opposite-Sex Clone of the title character, Danielle "Dani" Phantom. While there are some fans who regard her as The Scrappy, others see her as wasted potential and could have had an arc and a greater role. It is rumored that if the season 3 lasted longer, Danielle was going to be discovered by Danny's family and accept her and she'd become Danny's little sister instead of posing as his cousin living on the streets. Also considering that in the episode she debuted in, Sam and Tucker admit they're tired of being Danny's sidekicks (even confirming in Season 3 they don't call themselves that anymore) and in comes a younger, inexperienced ghost hybrid that could have become Danny's new sidekick. Such a route could have developed Danny as an older brother and a mentor to a younger halfa.
    • The fan-favorite, and Butch Hartman's favorite, two-parter "The Ultimate Enemy" featured Dark Danny, an evil full ghost version of the title character from 10 years into the future. Having less morality than any other character in the series, as well as spent 10 years worth of destruction, his reign came to an end when he is captured in a Fenton Thermos and left in a room to be lost to all time. Rumors are that he was to be the main villain in the series finale. Because of Steve Marmel being let go and Season 3 saw Kevin Sullivan becoming the new co-producer, the return of the ultimate enemy, which the end alluded to, never came.
    • Freakshow, the evil ringmaster of Circus Gothica, could have become a cool re-occurring villain in the series. First of all, he was the only human in the series to be an actual villain (Any other human that opposed Danny was either the half-ghost archenemy Vlad or amoral ghost hunters who viewed all ghosts as Chaotic Evil). Second, he used magical items as opposed to technology. Third, he and Jazz both shared "Ghost Envy", giving them a Not So Different vibe. However, he's only the main villain in the season one finale and the Big Bad in the 3rd TV movie. That was it.
  • Transformers Animated: Team Athenia and Team Chaar were hyped up considerably for the delayed season 3, both were teams brimming with old characters re-imagined. They got magazine profiles, and focus in the trailer. The three part season premiere opens with their battle... and they never appear again outside of cameos.
  • While Batman: The Brave and the Bold was meant to focus on lesser known heroes and villains of the DC Universe, Batman's rogues gallery, with the exceptions of Joker, Catwoman and Ra's Al Ghul, never played a real part outside of just appearing to let us know they exist in this show. One example is Poison Ivy, who only played the role of the villain in the opening of one episode where she takes over Gotham and considers sparing Batman if he agrees to marry her.
  • Young Justice:
    • Several new characters are introduced only to be seemingly forgotten and thrown aside so the more major players could get attention. Rocket was a late addition to season 1, but barely got to be seen with the team before the timeskip, which had she and Zatanna promoted to the Justice League and barely around. The Tim Drake version of Robin was also underused in Invasion, barely getting much characterization despite the potential of his introduction. Wonder Girl had similar lack of development, which led to fans being confused when she decided to date Robin in the series finale.
    • Tula/Aquagirl and Marie Logan each appeared in one episode in Season One before being revealed to have died during the Time Skip prior to Invasion. Even in the tie-in game Young Justice: Legacy that shows the circumstances of Tula's death, she stays the entire game in the cave doing nothing but monitoring the team and giving expositions before getting abducted by Klarion at the end and then she does a Heroic Sacrifice to seal Tiamat.
    • The entire Injustice League. Despite a lineup featuring the original supervillain, a guy with all Captain Marvel's powers, a guy with all Doctor Fate's powers, and The Joker, they appear in all of one episode, lose, and with the exception of Count Vertigo, a later cameo by Wotan, and Ultra-Humanite joining The Light in season 3, complete with a Creator Cameo by Greg Weisman, never show up again. Most of them wouldn't be out of place in the Light's leadership as proven with Ultra-Humanite, but nonetheless, most of them don't even get lines, with most of their dialogue going to the Joker.
  • Ruby Rocket Private Detective. Despite the positive reception and very lush animation style, there only exists the single short.
  • Aladdin: The Series has the Reality Warper Chaos, who has more magic in his whisker than a palace full of genies, where Mirage even fears him, and possibly one of the most powerful characters in the Aladdin universe, if not the entire Disney universe. Appeared only in one episode.
  • Futurama:
    • Scruffy is one of the employees of Planet Express, who are the main characters of the show but he didn't have as much screen time as his coworkers and has an extremely vague backstory. Even his own coworkers forget that he exists frequently. There were plans for him to get an Origins Episode in the final season, but they were scrapped.
    • Lrrr, the ruler of Omicron Persei 8 is also an example as he does have a fan following and his voice actor, Maurice Lamarche won an Emmy award for his voicing of Lrrr but Lrrr only appears in one to two episodes per season and it either focuses on him invading Earth for ridiculous reasons or focuses on him attempting to repair the cracks in his marriage with his wife, Ndnd
    • Jrrr, who is Lrrr's son also got a huge amount of this treatment as well. He appears as a newborn in a season 2 episode and played an important role in it but he was Put on a Bus until the last season episode "T: The Terrestrial" where he reappears as a pre teen who tries to steer away from his father's violent ways but his relationship with his mother Ndnd is shown to be vague and flat.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) introduced a female reptilian mutant named Mona Lisa as a love interest for Raphael. She has her share of fans, but Eastman and Laird aren't among them, so she was never seen again after her debut episode. At least she got her own action figure.
    • The sixth season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) may not be the most well liked season of that show, but one thing that viewers did like was the introduction of the Dark Turtles. Four altered clones of the turtles combined with alien DNA, each bred specifically to fight their counterparts. In their final appearance of that season, it was shown that the four weren't complete evil, as Leonardo's clone showed signs of a conscience during a time he tricked them into letting him stay with them and at the end started to treat his brothers with a bit more respect. Due to that season's abrupt ending, and only one character introduced from that season, who wasn't any of the clones, having remained in the cast, the Dark Turtles and their arc were never seen again.
  • Ever since his introduction, Thomas from Regular Show basically serves no purpose other than to be the Butt-Monkey of the episode. We see sides of him being the Only Sane Man in situations, but is constantly shot down by the others. And then was written out of the show completely with in a rather bizarre manner: he was revealed to be a Soviet spy sent to steal the Park for Russian entertainment. He leaves on good terms with the cast, but is more than likely never going to be seen again.
  • The Dreamstone:
    • Zordrak is an unusual case, in that he is the Big Bad and makes appearances in every episode. However, despite his menacing concept and characterization, nearly every episode had him order his minions, the Urpneys to do the schemes and usually having them with the role as central antagonists. While Zordrak was given odd moments of involvement in Season One (along with a chilling origin flashback), his role was completely diminished to a useless despot afterwards, almost always limited to a superfluous cameo each episode ranting at the Urpneys to think up a new plan to get the stone. He was granted a couple moments concocting plans in the final season, but by that time it was too little too late.
    • There are several alternate antagonists such as Zarag and Urpgor's Auntie. They made appearances only Once a Season, and even in those were secondary antagonists to the Urpneys, leaving little time for development.
    • "The Daydream Bubble" has a flashback sequence featuring the Council of Dream Makers that the heroes' Dreammaker and Zordrak originated from. Despite amusing designs and a load of potential in terms of background development, none of them returned and even in their single appearance had no speaking roles or importance, the Council referred to only in very vague moments of exposition afterwards.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine is profound at this due to it's Merchandise-Driven drive to introduce Loads and Loads of Characters. Almost every season introduces two or three new engines that get a spotlight episode each...and then are forgotten about, usually appearing in a handful of background cameos at best. This tends to be zigzagged in it's treatment of the cast from the original The Railway Series novels (underutilising major characters such as Daisy but giving more roles to minor characters such as Bertie, Harold and Diesel).
    • The international engines from The Great Race film have all been stated to only be sticking around for that one film, which automatically caused some fans to view them this way. This feeling was increased to some following the release of the film in UK cinemas, as with the exceptions of Ashima, Vinnie, and the Flying Scotsman, most of them are relegated to primarily background roles, only having one or two lines each with some not speaking at all. One of the biggest offenders is Yong Bao; he's mentioned as having saved hundreds of people from a horrible accident, and he doesn't even get to speak.
  • Helen's family in Daria were fascinating characters with a lot of potential, and the drama surrounding their sisterly arguments (and Daria & Jake's frightened and frustrated reactions to them) was solid. Each of them only appeared a tiny handful of times.
  • At the end of the Life With Loopy short "Larry's Girl", Larry gets a girlfriend named Stacey after both fall for each other from their mutual interest in the same TV show. While she and Larry made a very cute couple, unfortunately she only had one line in the entire short, only appeared at the very end, and ultimately was never seen or mentioned for the rest of the series.
  • Freakazoid!: Freakazette. A Distaff Counterpart of Freakazoid that appeared for all of 3 seconds in the "Freakazoid and Friends" song in the first episode, yet was never seen or mentioned in the series again after that.
  • Transformers Prime:
    • Raf is an example. Introduced as a computer prodigy able to actually make Soundwave take notice and the ability to understand Bumblebee, he had a few good episodes and characterization in season 1. He was even the catalyst for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge by Optimus Prime. But while fellow human Jack went on to become an honorary Prime and Miko all but joined the Wreckers, Raf faded into the background, relegated to only getting screen time so he could work with the computers.
    • Hardshell the Insecticon is another example. His backstory gave him a personal feud with both Bulkhead and Wheeljack, setting him up as a new archenemy for one of them, while his physical power let him serve the currently empty slot of The Brute. His personality not only set up some interactions among the Decepticons, but also served as the first view into the world view of the Insecticons. His first appearance has him face off with Bulkhead in several awesome confrontations, cumulating in him crippling the Autobot. But despite the many things that would have made him an interesting character to keep around, he gets killed off in his second episode.
  • Ever After High features a very large cast of characters (as it's a Merch-based line), which leads to this a lot. Of particular note with many fans is Cerise Hood- the Daughter of Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf. The fact that her father's identity is a secret is a major plot point for her character, and she has many interesting attributes to the fans (such as her physical skills, her and Daring slowly respecting each other, and her more introverted nature — a contrast to the show's more charismatic cast)... but she's a third-tier character at best, and almost never shows up anymore.
  • Gravity Falls: Pacifica Northwest started off as an antagonistic foil to Mabel, but season two aimed to change that by giving her more Character Development. "The Golf War" and "Northwest Mansion Mystery" focused more on her life and eventual Heel–Face Turn to become one of Dipper and Mabel's friends. Immediately after the latter episode, however, came "Not What He Seems". For the entire rest of the series from that point onward, Pacifica became heavily Out of Focus and the story shifted to the Pines family and the Big Bad. (Understandable, given how the episode ends with the introduction of the author, who is a part of that family and has a history with the main villain.) Her only following role of note was during the second half of the final "Weirdmageddon" storyline, where she had to share screentime with a number of other reoccurring characters. Some viewers were disappointed that her relevancy dropped after such a large episode, particularly shippers, as that episode heavily teased the idea of her and Dipper becoming a couple. Even their Ship Tease moments are not brought up in the show itself after "Northwest Mansion Mystery," instead being regulated to side material such as the games and comics.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • Out of all the main characters, Summer so far has the least amount of episodes with her in the limelight. She only got to go on a couple of adventures with Rick by herself in season one and season two pushed her further away. Some of the episodes only had her utter one speaking line. The third season might give her more limelight episodes as evidenced by the trailer.
    • Scropon appeared as a friend of Rick's in "Ricksy Business" at the house party but he had no speaking lines, only got a few seconds in the spotlight, and was shoved away for the rest of the episode with Rick stating that Scropon was looking sad at the party because his home planet was destroyed. Scropon appeared again in "The Wedding Squanchers" but once again he not only didn't get any speaking lines, but he only filled in the role of one of the background characters and got shot at the wedding, leaving his fate unknown.
    • Krombopulous Michael made his only appearance in "Mortynight Run" as an assassin and a buyer of weapons from Rick but his friendship with Rick, his past, and motivations for being an assassin are very vague. Plus its revealed that Michael had a girlfriend through a locket he carried with him but the girlfriend never appeared in person nor was she named. To add insult to injury, Michael was killed off simply because Morty was sleeping behind the wheel.
    • Rick's other two friends, Birdperson and Squanchy are also considered wasted characters due to their lack of appearances despite their friendship with Rick and importance with the shows story arc and the season two finale drastically changed their fates with the former initially murdered then turned into a cyborg and the latter's fate still ambiguous.
    • Jessica is Morty's primary crush and she got a good amount of appearances in season one. Unfortunately, she goes Out of Focus in season two only having a role in a post credits scene in an episode. She might be going back into focus in season three though.
    • Snuffles is Morty's pet dog but in the second episode when he gets his first and only major role, he gets Put on a Bus by the episode's end and is not seen again aside from family photos in later episodes.
    • The president of the Galactic Federation was in the position to be the Big Bad of the series but he was never seen or mentioned in the first and second season. By the time he finally appears in the third season première, he only gets less than a minute of screen time before committing suicide, causing Tammy to take over as the big bad.
    • The post-credits scene of the Season 3 premier hints that Tammy may become the season's overarching villain. However, she doesn't make any further appearances and doesn't end up fighting Rick.
  • Disney traded away Al Michaels to get the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from Universal Studios. Despite that, they haven't used Oswald much outside of the Epic Mickey games, a few cameos in Disney Parks, online flash games, and at the end of Get a Horse!.
  • Terry Gimple of The Cleveland Show. A swaggering Nice Guy, who also happened to be a rare openly bisexual character on television. But after said reveal of his sexuality, he was all but written off the show. Eventually losing his spot in the Five-Man Band to Flat Character Dr. Fist.
  • Steven Universe.
    • Peedee Fryman. He was first introduced in an episode early in the show's run that gave him a decent amount of focus and characterization, to the point that it'd be easy to think he'd be a supporting character. He had sympathetic motives (feeling trapped in a job he never wanted at a very young age) and his cynical, melancholic personality and feelings of insecurity made him a perfect Foil in contrast to Steven's cheerful optimism. He was also the only friend Steven had that was close to his own age before Connie showed up; the three of them could have easily been a Power Trio, with Peedee taking an active role in Steven's adventures alongside the other main characters, but instead, he's quickly reduced to a background character, while his brother Ronaldo, whose considered The Scrappy by most viewers, gets more appearances and more dialogue.
    • Bismuth could finally give Steven (and the audience) a perspective of Rose Quartz, Homeworld and the Crystal Gems that he couldn't get from Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, who had nothing but idealized memories of Rose and mostly kept Steven in the dark. She was also the first one to tell Steven he didn't have to be like Rose. Her introduction being for a Milestone Celebration special and having a Celebrity Voice Actor pretty much sealed her fate of being treated like a Filler Villain until her return in the middle of Season 5. As of "Reunited" it remains to be seen if she will get a bigger role or will get put back on the bus.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
  • Wander over Yonder:
    • Dr. Screwball Jones. The Evil Counterpart to Wander who is a Well-Intentioned Extremist about spreading happiness throughout the galaxy, and nearly managed to succeed. Come "The Battle Royale," however, he ends up losing to Wander in a Curb-Stomp Battle, then losing off-screen to Lord Dominator before "My Fair Hatey" and doesn't even get to sing again in the latter. Justified as the creators mentioned that they had trouble getting Weird Al in to record more lines for Screwball, as Weird Al was very busy at that time, and the staff underestimated his popularity.
    • Major Threat is a badass ex-villain who turned good after meeting Wander, yet he barely shows up outside of "The Good Bad Guy", and never once interacts directly with Wander, despite the two being reunited in "The End of the Galaxy". Apparently he would've appeared more prominently in Season 3.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Saffi. A Crazy Awesome Cute Monster Girl, the series' biggest Ensemble Dark Horse after Heloise, and an amazing romantic partner for Beezy. She had the potential to become a Breakout Character, but ultimately remained just a recurring character with only a handful of appearances (even her far less interesting fellow Heinous love interest Jez got more appearances). Then in Season 2, Beezy casually broke up with her as a joke, and she vanished without any other major appearances.
  • Atomic Puppet: While Pauline got a decent amount of attention, her time as Sword Sister was a missed opportunity. What we saw of her in that episode was pretty awesome on its own, but it would have been even more awesome if she got to remain Sword Sister for the rest of the series (perhaps Princess War Tickle could have trained her to use the Sword of Enlightenment or given her some other weapon), allowing her to assist Joey and AP as more than just as their sassy Muggle Best Friend.
  • The pair of military guys from Milo Murphy's Law They appear in the opening sequence, but only appeared in four episodes, and it's never revealed exactly who they are or what they do note  The episode "the Note" shows they know about Milo and his problem, so it would have been interesting to see that play out.

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