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What Happened To The Mouse / Live-Action Films
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Forgotten characters and plot points in live-action movies.

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  • Jackie Chan movies are pretty bad about this.
    • Mr. Hero begins with a plucky reporter mixing Jackie up into a mob plot. She sticks around long after she stops being relevant, only to be grabbed by a mook during the climax. She is not seen again. Maybe she died, but one would think a mob boss being investigated by a reporter would know better. Then again, the mob is never very smart in Chan movies.
    • In The Medallion, Jackie and his two partners are enjoying some downtime at one of his partners' house. A cooking montage ensues, featuring the character who owns the house and his wife prominently. Shortly, a small strike force attacks the house. The wife tells Jackie and his partners to run while she holds them off, and reveals herself to be Crazy-Prepared. The husband is as surprised as anyone at this, but you never see the wife again.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron ended with the Avengers moving into a new headquarters brimming with support personnel, including Dr. Erik Selvig and Dr. Helen Cho. Aside from an offscreen Mission Control heared in Ant-Man, none of them were ever seen again.

  • At the beginning of 7 Zwerge — Der Wald ist nicht genug, two kids report a fire to Speedy. He makes them promise to keep it going until he gets there because he hates it when he responds to a fire only to find that it already went out before he arrived. The kids agree, but before Speedy can get to the fire, he is recruited into the main plot, and the fire is never heard about again. One wonders how long they managed to keep it going.
  • In the film of The 13th Warrior, the King's son is set up to be a secondary antagonist. One of the thirteen warriors even kills one of his henchmen in a duel as a psychological ploy. However after angrily leaving the scene of the duel he's not seen or referenced again. In the original novel he shows up at Buliwyf's funeral and makes an ass of himself, prompting the survivors of the thirteen warriors to kill him.

  • The ABCs of Death: At the end of "Q is for Quack", the fate of the duck that was intended to be shot remains unknown.
  • In the movie of The Addams Family, Tully and Margaret Alford's son, who appears in one scene (and in the credits as "Tully Jr.") but despite the fact that his mother runs off with Cousin Itt and that his father is buried, possibly alive, in the Addams' graveyard, he's never spoken of again, not even in Addams Family Values. The most likely resolution is that he was taken in by relatives of his father.
  • Somewhat famously Played for Laughs in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, when New Jersey spots a random watermelon in a lab at the Banzai Institute while fleeing the Lectroids with Reno.
    New Jersey: Why is there a watermelon here?
    Reno: I'll tell you later.
    [he never does] note 
  • In The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, there are four bad guys. The Big Bad gets set on fire, the guy that just won't die gets shot in the head, and one of the two punk gunslingers gets shot in the mouth. The other punk gunslinger is last seen fighting Jazz and Sam the Sleazebag, with no further mention of him. An earlier draft of the script depicts him gaining the upper hand against Sam and subsequently being shot to death by Jazz.
  • Against All Flags: What happened to the women sold off as wives to the pirates? Does anyone return to rescue them?
  • In Against the Ropes Jackie Kallen's career as a manager starts with her buying for one dollar the contract of a rated fighter ("Devon Green") who has fallen on hard times. The story arc is totally predictable. She will get him off drugs and make him a champ. Wrong! She stumbles on another prospect ("Luther Shaw") and works her magic on him instead. "Devon Green", who we expect to be the co-lead after the opening scenes, is never mentioned again.
  • Alien³: In the theatrical version of the film, Golic is last seen still tied to the cot in the infirmary. His death scene is included in the Assembly Cut.
  • In Hallmark's Alice in Wonderland (1999), Alice saves three playing cards who were about to be beheaded by the Queen of Hearts for planting white roses instead of red ones, by telling them to jump into her pocket. That's the last anyone ever hears from them. In the book she hides them in a flowerpot, leaving them to get out later by themselves once the heat had died down.
  • The disappearance of Birdy midway through All About Eve.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
    • Dr. Connors is looking for a reptilian gene sequence that will allow mammals to regenerate limbs experiments with a pair of three-legged mice. He discovers a viable gene therapy treatment and uses it to treat one of the mice before using it on himself; this triggers a mutation that transforms him into the violent, Mr. Hyde-like Lizard. Nobody remembers that a mouse also got the regen-juice until late in the film, when Peter Parker notices a savage R.O.U.S. that has devoured the rest of the test animals. Spidey just leaves it loose in the lab, and the mutant beastie isn't seen again. Though presumably this potential problem would have been solved by Peter spraying antidote over all of New York
    • In the same film after Uncle Ben's death, Spiderman is seen once going after a car hijacker who he assumed to be his uncle's killer, when he didn't find a tattoo on his arm, he left him to the police and his revenge is never brought up again which leaves the question of what happened to the killer.
  • Another Round: The last we see of Tommy's dog is it pacing around the deck of his abandoned boat. The other characters eventually learn of Tommy's death at sea, but we never learn what happened to the dog.
  • Apocalypse Now: What happened to the dog? This is still the most asked question by all the actors from the film. There is also the matter of the surfboard. Apocalypse Now Redux includes a lot of deleted scenes which answer most of the questions (but still leaves a few hanging).
  • Apocalypto:
    • After the razing of the village by the slavers, the children were simply left behind by Middle Eye and the rest of the hunters. None of them are seen again in the end, leaving many Unfortunate Implications and Fridge Horror behind. It's possible that they simply fled deeper into the jungle to make new homes, just as Jaguar Paw and his family did at the end of the film.
    • Blunted's mother-in-law also disappears from the story. When the slavers reach the city and put their slaves on the auction block, the mother-in-law is dismissed as a "useless old woman," and when the slavers realize they won't be able to profit from her, they simply set her free. The old lady just wanders off and disappears into the crowds on the streets. You never learn what became of her, so it can only be assumed that she stayed in the city until she died.
  • In Arachnophobia, Ross' friend Chris survives the spider infestation and manages to escape from the house with the family; he is last seen trying to pull Ross out of the house on a ladder but is knocked over. He is never seen again after that.
  • The Inuktitut-language Atanarjuat is littered with Vanishing Wives. Early on, Oki's two sidekicks marry sisters. The scene is presented as a one-off joke; the wives are never seen or heard from again. More seriously, when the title character's brother is killed, he leaves a pregnant widow. The film promptly forgets she ever existed.
  • Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Evil's bald cat in the Austin Powers films, is only seen in a flashback (with full hair) in the third movie. What happened to him in present day? Presumably Mini-Me took his place as Dr Evil's (and the writers') pet.
  • The Avengers (1998). After Alice (a senior Ministry agent) delivers Sir August's message to Mother and reveals that Father is a traitor, she disappears from the movie completely.

  • The Libyans in Back to the Future. They shoot Doc Brown, who in the end wears a bulletproof vest and survives, and crash into a photo booth, their fate and future actions unresolved. As they crashed at nearly 100 mph, it could be we are just meant to assume they all died.
  • In Batman Forever, both Two-Face and The Riddler learn Batman's Secret Identity and swing by Wayne Manor to trash the place. The former ends up dead and the latter so mentally broken he's no threat of ever revealing it, so Happy Ending right? What about the entire team of henchmen who went along to help? Even if Riddler and Two-Face never told any of their henchmen the reason they were attacking Wayne Manor (which is already a stretch), it's incredibly unlikely they didn't figure it out once they got there.
  • In Big House, USA a man named Baker is arrested for kidnapping a boy named Danny and holding him for ransom. Danny was not in the fire tower where Baker left him. Even the narrator at the end of the movie admits no one knows what happened to Danny.
  • Bird Box: We never find out what happened to Felix and Lucy after they steal the survivors' car.
  • Blind Horizon: It's never revealed whether Faye Dunaway's character is alone in masterminding the plot, while the motive and anyone else involved remain unknown, though it may be because of the President's views on illegal immigration, changing these possibly being why they tried to call it off by informing the Secret Service.
  • The Blob (1958):
    • In the original version, considerable emphasis is placed on the old man's puppy for much of the film. It precipitates several important scenes, and is shown to be okay after each Blob encounter. Until the supermarket scene (which it clearly survived). After that, it is never seen or mentioned. Even Jane's little brother, who was promised the puppy and was very excited about it, never brings it up.
    • When Steve and Jane go to the movie theater to enlist the help of Steve's friends to warn the town of the blob, the girlfriends of Steve's friends also go along to help. Once they get the attention of many of the townsfolk, Steve's friends stick around, but their girlfriends disappear for the rest of the movie.
  • The Blob (1988): The old man's dog in the remake isn't accounted for either, but it's only in two scenes, so it isn't nearly as odd.
    • A more evident example is Eddie's older brother Anthony, who works as an usher at the movie theatre and helps sneak his little brother and his friend Kevin (Meg's little brother) into a slasher movie. The last time we see him is when he's pleading with one of Dr. Meddow's henchmen into saving his brother, Meg and Kevin; it becomes especially jarring after the Blob follows them into the sewer and while Meg and Kevin survive, Eddie is eaten. Granted the movie is meant to be scary and not a drama, but one may have thought it would get a handwave at least; we never know if Anthony survives and has to tell his parents about the fact his little brother won't be coming home or if he was eaten as well at some point after the Blob went on a rampage and before the Blob was finally frozen.
      • This is fixed in the Novelization where Anthony is the same age as Eddie and Kevin and isn't Eddie's brother.
  • Blood of the Tribades: Some of the plot threads introduced in the film are completely unexplained.
    • What is the blood of Bathor exactly? If it's stored blood from Bathor, it seems like that couldn't last this long.
    • Why does it sicken the priests?
  • What happens to the third Treadstone agent, Manheim, in The Bourne Identity? He shows up throughout the movie, does his job and vanishes. Then in the next movie, Bourne meets a guy named Jarda who says they are the last two agents. Did Manheim get replaced?
  • Breaker! Breaker! ends suddenly right after the climactic showdown between Chuck Norris' JD and The Dragon Strode. Do you get to see what happened to the other townsfolk after the truckers' rampage destroyed Texas City? Nope. Do you see what became of Arlene and her son? Nope. Hell, you don't even get to see if Strode is dead or just unconscious. A brief scene suggested that Big Bad Judge Josh was killed when one of the truckers crashed through his bedroom, but the scene is so badly shot, you can't even tell if the truck even hits Strode, and you don't get so much as a Dead-Hand Shot as confirmation.
  • In Bridge of Spies, Frederic Pryor's East German girlfriend disappears from the movie halfway through and her fate is left completely unknown.
  • In the first act of A Bronx Tale, the main character Calogero is 9, living with his mother and father. There's a Time Skip for the second half of the movie, which takes place about 7 or 8 years later, and his mother is never seen or mentioned. This is a shame because logically she might have been very useful in patching up the strained relationship between Calogero and his father Lorenzo.
  • In Bruce Almighty, the title character eventually makes things right with the people he's wronged, but some are left unresolved. The news crew he got arrested for drug possession will still likely be looking at some long prison sentences, and thousands of people in Japan are still homeless from the tsunami he accidentally caused.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When the team of hunters starts pursuing Butch and Sundance, two other members of the Hole in the Wall gang are ordered by Butch and Sundance to "Split up!" They take off in another direction and drop completely out of the story. Likewise, everyone else in the Hole in the Wall gang who wasn't at the robbery never appear again. Butch and Sundance apparently make no effort to contact them, even to warn them of the threat.

  • In Cannibal! The Musical, Alferd Packer spends much of his time in prison building a dollhouse, which never amounts to anything. Trey Parker says this wasn't really supposed to be a plot point, and was just a reference to the real Alferd Packer's hobby of building dollhouses, but he admits there should have at least been a scene where he finishes the dollhouse.
  • For the first third of Chef!, Molly seems to be the female lead, but when the action switches from California to Miami she vanishes from the movie. No affront to realism, just to our expectations. The cameos by Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr. do advance the plot (such as it is) but we expect Molly to be developed.
  • In Chungking Express, the female lead (or at least the lead in the first half of the movie) is engaged in apparent black market dealings with a group of Indian expats, a plot line that eventually disappears.
  • Clara: How did aliens living far off in another solar system learn of Isaac and Clara's song, or pick it up to send back? With no other explanation, this possibly implies they're closer than the humans think, possibly already on Earth.
  • The Coca-Cola Kid actually introduces a real mouse early on in the story, and shows the main character interacting with it briefly a couple of times, although it seems to be destined to be forgotten since it has no significance in the plot. But, in a wonderful case of last-minute trope aversion, the mouse plays a notable role in the final scene.
  • ''Confessions of a Psycho Cat: What happened to Max and Anderson? They were last seen being locked in the freezer by Virginia. Did someone find them? Or did they die?
  • In Cowboys & Aliens, the heroes encounter a huge overturned riverboat miles away from any body of water. It serves as a temporary shelter, but after they move on, no mention is made of how it got there or why.
  • Several early scenes in Crocodile Dundee imply that Mick is a croc poacher, but this is never mentioned again once they get to New York. It might simply be intended to convey that Mick is an irreverent rural type who plays by his own rules rather than follow the laws of civilized society, which is basically how he stays.
  • In Cuties, Yasmine, the fourth Cutie, is replaced by Amy after she and Angie had a fight for humiliating her (Angie) in front of an older boy she liked at a video call. This caused her to disappear for most of the film and only returns when she reclaims her position after Amy is kicked out for posting a nude online. She is last seen hanging for dear life on a buoy after Amy pushes her into a river. Whether or not she was rescued was not shown, but it's most likely she was.

  • In the movie Daddy's Girl, near the middle Jody murders her mom's friend Rachel and her death goes unmentioned for the rest of the movie.
  • Near the end of Daddy's Home when Brad starts spoiling his step-children among other things he buys the daughter Megan a pony, after its initial scene the pony is never seen or mentioned again, not even in the epilogue; one possibility is Sara returned it but this is never stated.
  • Daredevil (2003): After his first encounter with the titular hero, Axe-Crazy villain Bulleye very determinedly tells the Kingpin "I want a bloody costume!" Yet in the next scene (and the rest of the film) he's wearing... the exact same outfit as before. No explanation for this is ever given, and even his desire for a costume is never brought up ever again.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • After his defeat in The Dark Knight, The Joker just up and vanishes; presumably taken to jail to answer for his crimes, but never once even referred to during the last scenes of The Dark Knight, or the entirety of The Dark Knight Rises. Granted, there's a real life reason behind it, but no real in-universe reason is given.
    • The novelization of The Dark Knight Rises implies that he's the last inmate of Arkham Asylum, after the others were moved to prisons. Selena thinks to herself that if he's not there, then he's escaped.
    • Also, did the Joker just leave that party after Batman dived out the window to save Rachel? Since at this point he assumed that Batman and Harvey Dent were the same person, he probably decided to get out, since his main target was supposedly gone, and unlikely to be surprised again.
  • Dave Made a Maze:
    • It's never shown what happened to the Flemish tourists that went into the maze, or the Hobo that stayed in Dave and Annie's apartment while everyone else was in the maze.
    • It's also never said if the cardboard duplicate of Brynn really was Brynn or not.
  • In The Day After Tomorrow Sam Hall's rival for Laura's affections talks about trying to get to his younger brother early in the film. The last mention of this is just before Sam almost drowns while calling his dad. It's implied that the brother dies in the tragedy.
  • Death Proof: What happened to their actress friend Lee, whom they left alone with a creepy hillbilly Jasper? It seems unlikely that Jasper would try anything too criminal, given that he knows several people will be arriving to collect her in a few minutes. However, Word of God says that Jasper, who also appears in Kill Bill, does in fact rape her.
  • In Death Wish 3, Kersey's friend leaves in the middle of a town-wide gunfight to reload his zip gun. He doesn't appear again. He's probably deader than a doornail.
  • In Demolition Man, you never do find out what the three seashells are for.
  • In Diary of the Dead, during the final act, Jason and Tracy get into an argument which ends with a frustrated Tracy stealing the RV and driving away. What happens to her after this is anybody's guess.
  • Dick Tracy, Detective: Nightclub owner Steve Owens disappears half way through the film and his character's relationship to the story is never adequately explained; his daughter, Judith Owens is also abandoned without any explanation of her involvement in the proceedings.
  • The Divide, what happened to Marilyn's daughter?
  • In La Dolce Vita, the setup for the famous "wading in the fountain" scene was that Sylvia sent Marcello around the corner to an all-night market to buy milk for a kitten she found. He returns with a bottle of milk, but no bowl to put it in, and the viewers never find out if she took the kitten home as planned.
  • Cult film The Doom Generation has a disproportionate number of these. Multiple characters vow revenge on the protagonists after mistaking one of them for a former lover, but only two of them ever show up again. The FBI is shown holding a briefing about the protagonists' involvement in a murder-suicide, but they never show up again. It's a weird movie.
  • In Dracula Untold, despite the signs that it would signal doom for the world, Dracula gives into bloodlust and ends up freeing the Elder Vampire....who then disappears from the film, until the epilogue more than 500 years later, at which point he says that the "games begin".
  • In Dragon Ball: Fight for Victory, Son Goku!, Puar disappears after the first half of the film. While it's possible Yamacha left her behind at his hideout, it's never outright stated.
  • In The Draughtsman's Contract, we never find out for certain who killed Mr. Herbert, though it is implied that his wife and/or daughter was behind it.

  • Escape from New York: "You wanna know what they did to Fresno Bob?" You'll never know. It's actually revealed in the Novelization. He was skinned alive.
  • Extreme Measures: At the end, Luthan is working at NYU's Neurology Department. How he was cleared of the drug charges is not shown, as otherwise they probably wouldn't hire him (and of course he'd still be facing a trial then too). Presumably it came out that he was framed by the dirty cops working for Myrick somehow.

  • Fantastic Voyage features Dr. Michaels, the villain, and the crushed sub, being left behind while the other characters go back to their normal size, despite the fact that Dr. Michaels for some reason doesn't. Isaac Asimov wrote a novelization of the film that corrects this.
  • In Faster, Driver's tattoo is touted as some sort of "Warning: Do Not Screw With" sign. The first time it's seen, the sight of it is enough to chase off a 300lb Samoan bouncer. After the film's thirty-minute mark, you neither hear about the tattoo nor see anyone else react to it. We don't even learn what language it's in (though presumably some sort of Samoan dialect), let alone what it actually says.
  • Final Destination 3 had a "Choose Their Fate" feature on the DVD where you can decide what choices the characters should make at certain points in the film. This changes the outcome of the death scenes to varying degrees (thanks to reshoots), but the only person who you can actually save is Frankie. If you manage to do so, the last we see of him is when he is arrested for being a peeping Tom.
  • In the 1984 version of Footloose, Ren's younger cousins Sarah and Amy were briefly in some scenes, the last they're seen was in their bedroom after a brick with the words "Go to Hell" is thrown through their window.
    • Same goes for Roger Dunbar's family mid-way through, they're in the opening church scene and afterwards at Reverend Shaw's house.
  • In Forrest Gump Jenny had sisters living with her grandmother, anyone else remember them?
  • Friday the 13th
    • Friday the 13th Part 2
      • There is a major character who is last seen at a bar and apparently gets forgotten about entirely by the film. Fans all wanted to know what happened to him. The actor who played him said in an interview that he had always thought the man probably hooked up with a waitress and had a one-night stand.
      • The fate of Paul, one of the two main characters in the film. He and Final Girl Ginny seemingly defeat Jason in his cabin and walk away. Then there is a seen of Jason attacking them which may or may not be a dream (we don't see the outcome of it), and we cut to the next morning with Ginny being taken away in an ambulance and asking where Paul is. Paul's fate has been debated ever since the film came out, with good points being made by both sides.
    • In Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (aka Part IV), Gordon, the dog, is last seen jumping through a window to escape Jason. He's never seen him again following this. Likewise, Trish does not appear in the fifth or sixth films, even though she survives at the end.

  • Ghostbusters (1984):
    • You might remember that librarian ghost who gave just about everyone the willies. It's too bad nothing is said about what happened to her! note 
    • And what became of Venkman's test subjects? The male subject quit and stormed out, but the female agreed to go on a date with him.
  • Ginger Snaps has one of these. While the core of the plot revolves around the two sisters, their mother, and the older sister's boyfriend, the girls' father is an important secondary character. He is last seen briefly just before the climax of the film begins, and is never seen or heard from again.
  • The Godfather: Michael's bodyguard Fabrizio turns traitor and kills Michael's wife Appollonia, then vanishes from the movie and is never seen or mentioned again. In the book he is killed by Cuneo assassins at the end. His death was originally filmed for the film but cut (he was to be shot by Michael). It was also planned to happen in the second film, but was again cut for time.
  • The dog at the beach in Godzilla (2014). Its fate is uncertain, though it does at least escape from the beach when the tsunami hits.
  • The dog in the cabin in The Gold Rush. It accompanies Black Larsen when Charlie and Big Jim send him off for food and supplies. When we next see Larsen, he's in a gunfight with the two lawmen, but the dog is nowhere to be found and is never seen again.

  • Halloweentown High.
    • Sophie. When she and the other two Piper kids left for school, she completely vanished from the movie. You think she would've cared about the main plot where if Marnie fails to make the Halloweentown High student transfer a success, then her family's powers could be taken away. It's pretty blatant that the creators didn't care for Sophie anymore now that she aged.
    • This is evident in Return To Halloweentown where Sophie and Grandma Aggie got Put on a Bus. Even then, Grandma Aggie at least had two appearances; Sophie was only briefly mentioned.
    • Luke never gets any appearances or references past the second film too.
    • Kal gets no mention in the second film, even though he is said to not have been destroyed. Yet he never shows up again.
  • In Halls of Anger, some white teenagers are bused to a predominately black school. The blonde girl gets cornered in the locker room by some black girls who proceed to rip her clothes off. Cut to a race riot outside, the standard Teacher Who Wants to Make a Difference (is this a trope?) makes a rousing speech to calm everyone down, The End. What happened to the blonde?
  • The Harry Potter films are a bit tricky regarding this trope, since the movies could accurately be considered one hugely long film that's simply been chopped into manageable-length chunks. In many cases, what appears to be a What Happened to the Mouse? is resolved in a later movie. But sometimes, the Compressed Adaptation doesn't allow for it.
    • In Goblet of Fire, there's the long interview scene with the infuriating Rita Skeeter but she disappears, never to be mentioned again and never gets the well-deserved comeuppance that scene makes you look forward to.
    • People who have not read the books may wonder as to why Barty Crouch Jr. from Goblet of Fire does not make a reappearance in later films after Azkaban sees a mass breakout, and other significant Death Eaters like Wormtail and Bellatrix are clearly identified. He'd be easy to notice, given his loyalty and insanity matched only by Bellatrix. Obviously, of course, it would create a plot hole for Fudge's denial of Voldemort's return in Order of the Phoenix if Barty did not receive the Dementor's Kiss as he did in the book.
    • What happened to Crouch Sr is never discussed. While Harry finds him lying in the Forbidden Forest, it's never disclosed that he's dead and not just Stunned or in a Body Bind, and even if he was, what happened to his body is never brought up. Further, why he was killed and who killed him is never mentioned in the movie because nearly all of Crouch Jr's Motive Rant is cut. His death is also very sudden and doesn't mean anything in the long run because his entire subplot was likewise cut (and thanks to that, it's not explained why he was even in the woods) and his character was changed so he Took a Level in Kindness. His death overlaps with Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
    • One of the worst examples of this trope comes in the last two movies. Just like in the books, the first Deathly Hallows movie plants unsettling clues about Dumbledore's Back Story and family. The second movie never explains this in the slightest, despite a full history being given in the books.
    • Crabbe. He disappears from the last film entirely. The filmmakers did this because his actor was arrested on drug charges, but no mention is given to him at all in the film, leaving question as to why Goyle is seen without him, which had only previously happened in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
    • The fate of Peter Pettigrew is never revealed in the seventh film, nor is it addressed in the eighth, leaving movie fans to wonder "What happened to that rat?" He is hit by "some spell" when Harry and Ron break out of the cell at the end of the seventh film, but it's entirely unclear whether it killed him or just knocked him out. The same scene in the book gives him a very sad death.
  • In Heat, Chris drops out of the movie after his wife warns him the police are onto him at the safe house. Did he get caught by the police later? Did he manage to leave the country, as his boss Neil planned to? Did he retire and wind up going legit, or did he have to return to crime? Your guess is as good as anyone's.
  • In Hellboy (2019), Nimue only fell to King Arthur because one of her own witches betrayed her. This very witch reappears in the present, gets smacked around a bit by Hellboy, and then just disappears from the plot without a trace.
  • Help!: The gardener from George's room is not seen again after playing the flute in "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away".
  • Ironically enough, High School Musical had this with its titular musical (apparently called Twinkle Towne), in the first film. You'd think with all the importance placed on its callbacks, we'd get some focus on the musical itself, like maybe showing Troy and Gabriella practicing songs or scenes from it, right? Well, you'd be wrong — after the performance of Breaking Free it's never brought up again, not even in the sequels.
  • In House of Flying Daggers, the eponymous society has been discovered and the police have been sent in. There's a shot of a few troops advancing cautiously through the bamboo forest. Then, the fate of the House and the police are dropped in favour of the main characters dying very slowly. This is due to Anita Mui dying before she could film any scenes as the Flying Daggers' leader. Director Zhang Yimou felt that hiring another actress would be disrespectful, so instead the film's second half was heavily reworked.
  • Hugo never got his notebook back and it's never mentioned after a while. Did George burn it after all or what?
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, as in the book, we never find out the fate of Caesar Flickerman, who is last seen broadcasting Katniss' apparent death for the Capitol audiences, or Snow's personal assistant, Egeria, who gets dropped from the plot as soon as the rebels take hold of the Presidential Palace despite being possibly there the entire time.

  • The likely alien survivors in Independence Day, of which there would most possibly be a significant number, since one was able to survive a crash landing of its ship, an Earth-welcoming punch from Will Smith, and a head dissection.
  • There are 10 "Basterds" in Inglourious Basterds, not counting Hicox, but counting Aldo Raine, Hugo Stiglitz, and the "eight. Jewish. American. soldiers." Two are onscreen, alive, in the final shot, two die in the theater, two more die in the tavern. That leaves four Basterds whose fates are unaccounted for. The script says that everyone else is dead by that point.
  • Into the Forest: Nell's boyfriend Eli leaves with a group of his friends to try to reach the East Coast, where he's heard civilization has restarted. Because there is no way to communicate with Nell during the Big Blackout, we never hear what happens to them. Given Eli's apparent lack of preparedness, it probably didn't go well.
  • Into the Woods:
    • Due to their fates in the stage show being too grisly for a Disney film, Rapunzel and the Royal Family disappear with no explanation for what happens to them next. However, Rapunzel was officially Spared by the Adaptation, according to the Word of God.
    • Rapunzel surviving also brings up the question if she ever finds out that the Baker is her brother or that the witch stole her from her real parents. With her dead, it was a moot point.
    • As in the musical, Milky White disappears after the first half of the film. Likewise we don't know what becomes of the cow that the Baker bought with the gold pieces.
  • Iron Man 2: The fate of both of Ivan's birds is left unstated.
  • The Island (1980): What happens to Beth? She is last seen running into the jungle after shooting Windsor. While it seems likely that Maynard and Justin would have signaled the Coast Guard helicopter when it arrives to investigate the Dauntless, or taken Windsor's boat back to civilization, did they find Beth and take her with them, especially as she might be pregnant with Maynard's child? Or did they leave her on a now uninhabited island to fend for herself? And, if they do take her with them, how is she going to adjust to modern civilization?
  • It (2017):
    • Henry Bowers disappears from the film after Mike knocks him down the well into the sewers. The sequel reveals he survived and was washed out among a bunch of corpses by the rain.
    • Victor and Belch also disappear from the film after Henry gets his switchblade back. Henry later drives Belch's car to the house on Neibolt street. A Deleted Scene would have had Henry kill them.
  • In It Came from Outer Space 2 a blob engulfs various terrestrial life forms, starting with a coyote, and sends alien copies of each one out into the world. At the end, the blob turns back into a spaceship and flies off, leaving all the humans it engulfed behind... but what happened to the coyote?

  • In Jack the Giant Slayer Jack's uncle is never seen again after Jack joins the king's men to climb up the beanstalk.
  • James Bond:
    • The "Three Blind Mice" assassins appear only three times in Dr. No: killing Strangways, killing his secretary, and taking the shot at Bond that gets spoiled by the car headlights. Then they simply vanish from the story, never to be seen again. This is a sharp contrast to later Bond films in which each movie's idiosyncratic assassin henchmen usually die on screen in interesting ways. It's actually quite possible they were the passengers in the car that exploded. The scene when Bond remarks "I think they were on their way to a funeral.".
    • Thunderball
      • Whatever happened to that nuclear scientist after Bond pushed him off the yacht?
      • And for that matter, whatever happened to Bond's hat? It disappears during his meeting with the Home Secretary, gets a passing mention of being missing, and is never referred to again.
    • Similarly, what happened to the abducted American astronaut and Soviet cosmonauts in You Only Live Twice?
    • The 'ideal humans' in Moonraker are clearly seen working for Drax and flown up to his space station. What happens to them in the climactic laser fight is not made overtly obvious.
    • In Quantum of Solace, the female servant at the hotel who is tied up by the general and tries to rape her just before the hotel blows up, is not overtly seen escaping or getting caught in the explosion. On closer inspection, she is briefly seen escaping through a side door, and that's about it.
    • Of course, the greatest question regarding this trope and the James Bond movies is what happens to the Bond Girls between films? In most cases, it's likely that they had their fling then moved on with their lives, but there are several who had genuine romantic chemistry with him: Domino, Melina, Octopussy, and Kara stand out the most in that regard. The one justified example is Tracy, for...reasons.
  • Jeepers Creepers 2:
    • Close to the climax, you last see Rhonda being tossed out of a car. Her final fate is left unresolved: she is never seen (or even implied to have been) killed, but is not with the survivors at the end. Same goes for Izzy, who is seen crawling or attempting to crawl out of the flipped truck, but you never see him again nor does the movie say if he survived or not. Word of God has it that he survived but was left paralyzed.
    • A group of unnamed students are last seen as The Creeper bears down on them. What happened next is up to the imagination.
  • Judge Dredd. Where did the Rico clones go after they were hatched during the final battle? Central did say they were only 60% complete and they were caught in the midst of devastating explosions, it's most likely that they died.
  • Julia X: What happened to Sam after he fled the house? And why didn't he call the police? Given Jessica appears to be driving his car in the final scene, it seems Jessica may have caught up with him.
  • Jupiter Ascending:
    • Titus disappears from the story after Caine rescues Jupiter from the forced marriage. Granted, he might have been apprehended or arrested, but we never see it, and it's never mentioned by anyone (Caine begins to explain Titus' likely fate, but Jupiter cuts him off).
    • This seems to be the case for a number of characters: The bounty hunters, Kalique, and Advocate Bob also vanish the moment their role in the plot has been fulfilled. Since most of these people are bit players in the unfolding events, or have lost the ability to influence the outcome, it's justified. Stinger's daughter Kiza is actually gone before her relevance is explained.
  • The Jurassic Park films
    • Jurassic Park
      • In the first film you never know what happened to the stolen embryos: They are last seen being rapidly buried in the mud; the subplot involving InGen's rival company BioSyn and its attempt to seize the dinosaur embryos as well as its sleazy representative, Lewis Dodgson, also disappear in the sequels (although they were the major antagonists in the sequel novel, they were left out of the movie adaptation). Since the embryos only had a few hours of coolant, it's presumed that they rotted. At least their ambiguous fate provided some handy fuel for the tie-in video game (which is confirmed canon, if with some Continuity Snarls).
      • We never hear of the sick Triceratops after her scene, nor do we find out why she got sick in the first place. The novel explained that while the stegosaurus wasn't actively eating the poisonous berries, she was swallowing pebbles (to aid digestion, they're called gastroliths); the berries which fell off their bushes left enough residue to sicken her. This was dropped from the film (possibly due to time constraints). Instead you hear that it was NOT the poisonous plants, which leaves the poor triceratops' fate unknown.
      • The last we see of Arnold is his dismembered arm at the power station. We never learn what happened to him.note 
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park has the mercenary team, who scatter into the undergrowth when the raptors ambush them in the field. Most were probably killed, but some apparently survived according to the script. You wouldn't know it from simply watching the film though.
    • In the same film, Nick Van Owen abruptly disappears from the rest of the film once the film cuts to the final act in San Diego, and he gets no mention from Ian or Sarah.

  • In The Karate Kid (2010) remake, when Dre and his mother move into their apartment in China, Dre meets a blond boy who befriends him. You can see him cheering on Dre alongside Dre's mom and the Love Interest at the final tournament. He still makes no appearances between his initial introduction and appearing at the tournament, making many wonder where he was, as well as causing some mild surprise at seeing him appear again. He may be an Expy of the neighbour in the original film, who makes friends with Daniel based on Daniel's assumed "cool" and knowledge of "karate." When Daniel gets beaten up at the beach, the neighbour loses interest. Likewise, when Dre gets beaten up in the park, the blond kid, who is also friends with the bully, stops talking to him. He may have been at the tournament to cheer on the bully but switched allegiance when Dre started winning.
  • Kick-Ass:
    • You never find out what happens to Mr. Bitey.
    • Katie's friend Erica was with Dave's friend Marty at the end of the first movie. Why is she suddenly not now?
  • The Kids Are All Right.
    • The main character's bad friend drags him down the wrong path for the first half of the film, but around the halfway mark, after a scene where the friend literally kicks a dog, both the friend and the dog disappear from the story. Neither are ever mentioned nor seen again.
    • The movie never says what happens to Paul either.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, we don't find out about what happened to Eggsy's chav friends, who were shown hanging out in London shortly before Valentine activates his weapon. We also don't find out what became of his pug. On a larger scale, the effect of the Hate Plague on the world is also not shown.
  • 1944 version of Kismet:
    • Hafiz has a little dog who accompanies him to the Beggars' Mosque and apparently goes off on his own nightly adventures. At the end of the film, Hafiz is exiled from Baghdad, sent to the real province of Hassir, where he'll be a real prince. But the little dog is not seen. A good-sized caravan of camels and wagons appears behind Hafiz and Jamilla, obviously holding their belongings and furnishings for their new home: you want to think the dog is just safely stowed in a carrier.
    • Likewise, you don't see what happened to faithful Karsha. No doubt she was brought to the royal palace in style, to be Marsinah's servant and friend forever.

  • Land of the Dead:
    • When Cholo DeMora is bitten and infected by a zombie he goes back to Fiddler's Green to settle his score with Kaufman, leaving his buddy Foxy behind. The audience never learns what becomes of Foxy or if he survives.
    • Kaufman's valet, Knipp, is last seen running away when Kaufman is attacked by the zombie big bad "Big Daddy".
  • The Grim Reaper is apparently still running amok in the "real" world at the end of Last Action Hero. Since he declares that he's following a list, and doesn't touch people who aren't on it, he presumably doesn't make any real impact on the world — he only touches people who would have died anyway.
  • The Last Dragon: Eddie Arkadian's fish tank monster is built up as a Forbidden Chekhov's Gun, threatens someone, and is never seen again.
  • The Trope Namer was one very brief scene in 1987's The Last Emperor, when a character flings his pet mouse out of shot while standing in a hallway. The mouse is never mentioned again, leading some audience members to invoke the trope by name. The Extended Cut released on DVD answers the question. The answer: About what you'd expect when a mouse is thrown against a wall, although the mouse used for the shot was not real and no mice were injured in making the film.
  • In the National Geographic's The Last Lions Ma-di-Tau leaves her prideland, choosing to spare her cubs from the males of the marauding pride. When negotiating with the pride later, the infanticidal males are not mentioned, nor how her cubs are spared from them.
  • In L.A. Story, several characters are very impressed with the reputation of agent Harry Zell. Many different conversations mention him, and Steve Martin himself complains about his current agent, saying he wouldn't get such bad gigs if he worked with Harry Zell. After such a build-up, Harry Zell never appears. Deleted scenes show that Harry Zell is played by an over-the-top John Lithgow, who flies around with a Jet Pack, and encourages Steve Martin to skip from place-to-place. (It's the new walking.)
  • In the 1960 cruise ship disaster film The Last Voyage, the plucky 2nd engineer Walsh - a fairly important character in the story - is last scene jumping overboard and swimming away when the ship enters its final death throes.
  • Legend (1985)
    • Nell and her family. Last seen flash-frozen in their house, they're completely forgotten about at the end of the story (even in the script!). Presumably though they were thawed along with the rest of the world after the unicorn's horn was restored and were all right because of Harmless Freezing.
    • Blix and Pox
      • They just disappear about halfway through the movie, after their encounter with Darkness, despite having had an important role until then. Reportedly, they were cut half way through filming due to budget problems following the loss of most of the sets due to a studio fire. More scenes with Nell and her family may have been cut for the same reason.
      • In one version of the script, Blix and Pox are present while Jack and Darkness are fighting, and when Pox wonders if they should help, Blix proposes they stay where it's safe and they slink off into the shadows.
  • Just before the final shootout of Lethal Weapon 4, the Chinese General shoots and kills two of the Four Fathers while Ku and his brother attempt to flee, but whatever happened to the other Four Fathers? Also, what happened to Ng and his partner during the shootout?
  • Life Blood: While being held hostage in the gas station, Dan mentions that Pearsblossom County has been subject to a large number of unexplained deaths, and Brooke's first two murders are taken as being the work of this killer. This is never brought up again, and it is never revealed who or what is behind these other killings.
  • The Little Rascals: In Our Gang Follies of 1936, you never find out what happened to the Flory Dory Girl Sixtet, the missing act of the show that Spanky and the gang had to fill in for.
  • In The Lone Ranger Cole is the only villain who dies on-screen. Cavendish takes a speeding train to the face off-screen, so unless he really was a Wendigo (or at least Robert Carlyle's character from Ravenous) it's pretty safe to assume he's dead too. However, Captain Fuller is last seen jumping from the train into the woods (a feat repeatedly shown to be survivable in the film), and is never seen or mentioned again.

  • Manos: The Hands of Fate: Torgo got away. Word of God says that he was going to return in Manos 2, which was "sadly" never made.
  • In The Marriage Chronicles, Ethel's call to 911 and David's confession that he killed his wife's ex rank high on the list of unresolved items introduced during the movie.
  • The Mask. Peggy Brandt, who seems to disappear from the main action towards the end. In a deleted scene, her death is shown: Dorian Tyrell caught her trying to sneak off with her money, at which point he threw her into a newspaper machine. This being The Mask, her death was cartoonish: an "extra edition" came out of the machine, printed in red ink. Peggy's visibly pained face was on the front page, along with the accompanying headline.
  • The Master: Freddie assaults some police officers coming to arrest Dodd, and gets arrested himself. Dodd gets sentenced and released, but you don't see how Freddie's was resolved; he simply turns up at the house. It could be he was just out on bail, but nothing more is shown, and it's quite unlikely charges of assaulting police were simply dropped, as those tend to get taken very seriously.
  • At the end of The Maze Runner (2014), 9 people escape the maze. At the beginning of the sequel, there's only 8 people left. After the opening scene, only 7. About 30 minutes later, the seventh guy disappears and is never mentioned again. A deleted scene shows The seventh guy dying in an action scene. The guy who never shows up in the sequels couldn't make it due to scheduling conflicts. Whatever happened to the eight guy is still a mystery.
    • Also, what happened to the guys who refused to leave the maze? One of the survivors mentions WCKD still has them but they're forgotten about shortly afterwards.
  • In Men in Black, Orion dissappears without explanation after being seized by Edgar!Bug. He may well have been killed.
    • In Men in Black II, the two Dragons Scrad and Charlie disappear halfway through the film, and are never seen again.
  • In Metropolis, Freder agrees to stand in for an exhausted worker, telling him to go to his servant Josophat's house for the time being. The worker instead steals Freder's money and goes on a spree through the city's pleasure district. A subplot involving him originally followed, but due to missing footage (some of which was only recently discovered), nearly all cuts of the film currently available omit any further mention of him. More deleted footage was found in Argentina in 2010, including scenes that show what happened to the worker after stealing Freder's money.
  • Miami Connection has the heroes battling Jeff and his gang of Mooks, mainly because Jeff objects to one of the heroes dating his sister. After Jeff's death, his gang isn't seen again. In fact, this gang is never arrested either. They practically got away with assaulting the heroes and kidnapping one of them.
  • Miracle Mile, a Romantic Comedy set during a nuclear war, is told entirely from the perspective of the protagonist, Harry, which means the viewers never find out anything that happens outside his presence. Early on, Harry is with a group of people trying to escape the city before it goes kablooie, but once he's separated from them you never find out what happened to them. The most extreme example involves a car thief who helps Harry early in the film then goes off to rescue his sister. The thief reappears later in the movie carrying his dead sister while suffering from a gunshot wound himself. He dies before revealing what happened to him.
  • Mister Lonely: The rest of the Impersonators' fates are unknown, after Marilyn commits suicide and Michael leaves.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, characters come and go as needed due to the members of Monty Python playing several parts each. Patsy was with Arthur from the very start of the movie but disappears after the encounter with Tim.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Nightwolf tells Liu Kang he must pass three tests before he can defeat Shao Kahn. The first test is courage, which apparently involves having a hatchet thrown at your head to induce a "dream-state". Presumably the second had to do with Jade, given the convenient timing of her entrance. As for the third...?
  • In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep resurrects four palace guards. All four charge out of the museum and crush Rick's car. However, only three of them are accounted for in the ensuing fight scene. According to the original script, the fourth was supposed to attack Alex after the bus had come to a stop. However, director Stephen Sommers decided to cut the scene short in order to get on with the story.
  • About 20 minutes before My Fair Lady ends Col. Pickering decides to search for poor little Eliza who went AWOL. He determinedly walks out of the library set — and is never seen or heard from again.
  • In Mystery Men, Dr. Annabel Leek, the Big Bad's lover and henchwoman, simply vanishes without a trace halfway through the film and is never mentioned again. In the comic book adaptation, she gets killed by Casanova Frankenstein. When he started paying too much attention to the kidnapped Monica, she ordered him to get rid of her. She thought that he was her obedient puppet. She was wrong.
  • The Movie of Mystery Science Theater 3000 had an infamous one where Crow picks up a chainsaw in Tom's room and even says "Hey, a chainsaw!" Nothing else happens with this afterward, thanks to Executive Meddling forcing a completely different ending than the original one where Crow uses the chainsaw in yet another escape attempt. It still more or less works as a random throwaway joke.
  • If Jamie follows the Mystery Team around, how'd she survive the climax unscathed?

  • Oblivion: Jack 52 gets to grow old with Julia. What happened to the Victoria 52 that the audience saw, and the other 50+ Jacks and Victorias that presumably must be out there somewhere?
  • In the 2009 movie Obsessed, Lisa the stalker apparently gets flowers complete with handwritten card from the man she's after, Derek (who wants absolutely nothing to do with the woman), while she's in the hospital. The movie never explains how she got them or who wrote the card, and they are never mentioned again in the film.
  • Our Man Flint. Near the end of the film, hundreds of Galaxy personnel are shown desperately trying to flee the impending eruption of the Galaxy Island volcano. At the end of the film the volcano starts to erupt and the island explodes. There is no mention of their being rescued before this occurs, so their fate is unknown.

  • Pan's Labyrinth: When Ofelia escapes from the Pale Man, she breaks her chalk and leaves a piece behind, and this action is filmed in such a way as to make sure the viewer knows that there is a piece of chalk there that the Pale Man could use to escape. Straight into her bedroom, no less. And while that would have undermined the ambiguity of the film, that same ambiguity made it worryingly possible.
  • The Parallax View: Was Frady always known to the Parallax Corporation? Did they set him up specifically, or was whoever they recruited intended for that?
  • In Paranormal Activity 2, the family pooch is dragged off screen and knocked unconscious; she survives, and the family takes her to the vet to recover. You never see her again or hear about her death, even in the scene set three weeks after she's left there.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, there is a scene where Maya and Phoenix sneak into the boat caretaker's hut and find a note detailing how he framed Miles Edgeworth for murder. As they read it, an unseen person tasers them unconscious. When they wake up, they find that the note is gone. Those who played the game would know that the person who attacked them is Manfred von Karma (the game makes no secret of this fact, as the attacker electrocutes the two head-on). Presumably the attacker's identity was hidden to make it a surprising reveal later, but the film just sort of forgets about it. Subverted with the evidence that Redd White murders Mia over. In the game, it disappears and presumably was stolen back by Redd. In the movie, it turns out to have been hidden in the Thinker Statue Larry gave Mia, discovered by Phoenix in the nick of time to stop von Karma.
  • In Piranha 3D Derrick's assistant Andrew vanishes just before Derrick's boat hits a rock and begins to sink. Presumably he is eaten by the piranha but his disappearance is weird since every other named character with lines who dies does so graphically on screen. According to Word of God he was also supposed to get a graphic death (specifically his nose being bitten off) but the scene was cut due to budget limitations. The scene is in the Blu-Ray bonus features (unfortunately only half finished).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Anamaria's actress (Zoe Saldana) could not reprise her role in the second film, but her character's disappearance was never explained to ever-wondering viewers.
    • In the second installment, a shipwrecked sailor pledges his soul to Davy Jones and agrees to serve on his crew, but is never seen again.
    • There's also the Black Pearl's "sweeps", a rank of oars which enable the ship to put on an extra burst of speed. They're used exactly once in the first film and never brought out or mentioned again.
  • In Poltergeist III, teenage couple Donna and Scott are pulled through a Portal Pool and onto the Other Side. Then, at the end of the film, Donna is returned safe and sound to her family. As for Scott? The film crew reluctantly admitted that, when they did a last-minute reshoot of the ending, they simply forgot about him. The question of what happened to Scott took on new life as the internet brought fans together to offer their own theories: presumably, he's still Trapped in Another World.
  • In Prairie Fever, the outlaw brothers James and Earl aren't seen again after Preston and the women use a Molotov Cocktail to spook their horses. Given how badly they wanted Preston's head, it seems odd that would just give up.
  • At the end of Pretty Cool, Howard has his powers removed, but this presumably means that Stacy and Bambi are forever cursed to orgasm whenever they hear the word "now".
  • In Prime Cut, Poppy's friend Violet is not seen again after she is beaten and raped.
  • Prometheus: Three crewmembers (a mercenary named Sheppard and two mechanics) are not seen being killed and are unaccounted for by the end of the film, although if they were still alive by the climax, they probably died when the Prometheus crashed into the alien ship. If so, it's unfortunate for them that they didn't get a say in the matter.
  • Puppet Master I had an oriental puppet in the beginning that was placed in the box by Andre Toulon along with the other puppets, hidden away safely. He was never seen again. This also goes to the maid of the Gallaghers. Despite being revived and guarding an exit, she suddenly just disappears out of shot and is never noted again.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark. One of the Nazi agents in Cairo is an Egyptian man who wears an eyepatch and has a highly intelligent pet monkey. The monkey is eventually killed by eating some poisoned dates that were intended to kill Indiana Jones, but after the man poisons the dates he disappears and is never seen again.
  • In The Ramen Girl, one of Brittany Murphy's last film roles, she befriends a pair American expatriates in Japan: a Camp Gay man and a High-Class Call Girl. They go as far as to set her up with her new love interest, but they both disappear halfway through the movie with no explanation.
  • In The Rats, the heroine's friend Jay is the first person to be bitten by the rats. She survives the attack but is then hospitalized with septicemia and halfway through the movie a scene establishes her as being in a very critical condition. It's never revealed whether she lives or dies and she is never seen or mentioned again after that scene.
  • [REC]:
    • What ever happened to the cute old couple? They're last seen standing in the downstairs lobby area, then fleeing upstairs when the infected start breaking through, with Manu having to yell at the frightened old lady to get upstairs. When all hell breaks loose, they aren't seen even in crazy zombie form, not even in the first sequel.
    • The Asian couple's young son is also seen fleeing upstairs, but he's not seen as an infected, in either of the first two movies.
  • Red Lights left many plot threads dangling. Did Buckley call himself all those times with his powers and not know it? Was he responsible for the strange things going on at Silver's office, and were the apparently possessed people there stooges, or did he unconsciously influence them? Additionally, while Silver's supposed "thought transference" was explained, they never said anything about the "thought photographs" which he produced that Shackleton said had "no scientific explanation." Of course that could have been faked too — you don't see how though.
  • Reign of Fire: Gideon, the last survivor of the Archangel team, disappears from the story in the latter half. There is a brief mention of Jared wanting to learn from him, but this is quickly dropped and we hear nothing more of the character.
  • The Resident Evil film series is very bad with this.
  • Fans of Tyrone Power's last film, an unjustly obscure John Ford triptych called The Rising of the Moon, sometimes ask what happened to the jackass in the final scene — the animal, that is. It wanders out of shot during the police sergeant's final soliloquy. Given that just about everything else in that part of the movie is not what it appears to be, the donkey probably belongs to someone else and is simply headed home. Anyway, the sergeant rises and walks in the same direction seconds later.
  • Robin and Marian: The last we see, the soldiers are chasing Robin's men into the forest, with some killed. What happens with the rest is unknown.
  • Robin Hood:
    • In the theatrical cut at least, Prince John's first wife disappears after the scene which establishes she has been displaced by the French princess, which France can use as a pretext to go to war. John says he will ask the Pope for an annulment, but that's all the film gives on this matter.
    • After King Richard dies, Robin and his group head back to England. The rest of the English army (hundreds or thousands of troops) are left behind in France to continue the war. They are never mentioned again. What makes this incredibly jarring is that near the end of the movie the French invade England with a sizable army. How is this possible if they are still at war at home? It's like the screen play completely forgot about them, and the audience is expected to as well.
  • The Room. Most of the plotlines are left unresolved. Some are discarded the moment they are introduced. What happened with the drugs, or the breast cancer, or the new client at Johnny's bank, or Mark thinking about moving to a new place, or Peter the psychiatrist?

  • Mexican Masked Luchador films are not known for rigorous plot construction, but El Santo Y Blue Demon Contra Dracula Y El Hombre Lobo has a particularly bad example of this trope. At the end of the film, the luchador heroes and Santo's girlfriend discuss what to tell the little girl character about her horrifying ordeal when she wakes up in the morning. They decide to tell her it was just a bad dream. Which, yeah, that'll work... at least until she wonders where her mother is, and they have to tell her that she had been transformed into one of the living dead, and (the film implies but does not directly state) sent to her eternal rest after the destruction of the two titular monsters.
  • In Scarecrow Slayer, the last the viewer hears of Deputy Rachel is that she is still unconscious after giving birth, and that her prognosis is not good. Her final fate is never revealed.
  • The Scavengers: What happened to Marsh's whores? Harris ordered them locked in one of the upstairs rooms, and that is the last that is seen of them. After the massacre, Nelson, Faith, Nancy and the two surviving Confederates leave town, but no mention is made of the whores. Were they still locked upstairs? Did anyone ever go back for them?
  • A Serious Man sets up a bunch of plot threads, almost all of which end up unresolved when the movie ends abruptly.
  • Shaun of the Dead: DVD extras, which explain some plot elements that go unexplained, also answer what happened to Diane, who just disappeared into a crowd of zombies at one point near the end and is never seen again: She managed to climb into a tree where she passed out, woke up when all the zombies were gone and order was restored, but decided to stay up in the tree anyways just to be safe where she survived by eating her boyfriend's leg.
  • The Shawshank Redemption: Elmo Blatch, the man who really killed Andy Dufresne's wife and her lover, is never spoken of again after Tommy's story. According to the story, Blatch was doing time for a lesser crime (robbery), so he's probably out again, and considering his amusement at how Andy took the fall, what's stopping him from doing the same sort of thing to others?
  • In Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009), the very end features Moriarty stealing a wireless-control-mechanism (several years before its time). Holmes alludes to this as important, but it's an Aborted Arc in the franchise. The sequel has Moriarty building technologically advanced weaponry which might incorporate the device, but it is never specifically referenced.
  • The rabbit in Siege of the Dead, apparently they left it in the apartment but do these zombies eat animals and did they leave him out beforehand?
  • In Signs, we don't learn the fate of any of the characters except the Hess family themselves. Ray Reddy probably survived the invasion since he was heading towards the lake and the aliens are later revealed to have an aversion to water, but the fates of Officer Paski, Tracey the pharmacist and others is uncertain.
  • Silent Hill: Revelation 3D:
    • You never learn what happens to Dahlia. At the end of the first movie she is kept alive because she's still Alessa's mother, so she is left to wander the Fog World of Silent Hill (which it turns out the protagonists are also trapped in, though they can at least leave the boundaries of the town). She presumably remains there for the 6-8 years (it's unclear which number is right) between the films and cameos in the sequel, but when the Order and their power over the town is destroyed, it's not shown whether she was released into the real world like the protagonists or not.
    • Something similar could be considered with Rose, the protagonist of the first film. She also presumably remains trapped in the Fog World between the two movies, and a promotional picture even showed her meeting Heather in the Otherworld (though that scene was cut from the final film). It's not entirely forgotten about, since at the end Harry/Chris goes back into the Fog World to look for her... somehow... but you don't know if she's actually still there, or why she would be when Chris, Heather, and Vincent were released.
  • Sink the Bismarck! has entire warships appear and disappear as dictated by their role in the Bismarck chase.
    • The Prinz Eugen, the cruiser accompanying the Bismarck until shortly after the battle with the Hood, is not mentioned once the two ships part ways. Truth in Television, as the Royal Navy was focused on containing the larger threat of the Bismarck, and the cruiser itself played no further part in the battle.note 
    • Similarly, British ships are present in the story only until their part in the battle is finished. One particularly notable example is the Prince of Wales, last seen heavily damaged and withdrawing from battle.note  Other examples include the aircraft carriers Ark Royalnote  and Victorious.note 
  • Sky Bandits: What became of Mitsou and Yvette? The movie ends with Barney and Luke defeating the airship, and then cuts to the pair back in the US, the war presumably over, but no sign of their girlfriends. Did they leave them in war-ravaged Europe?
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
    • A survivor of Totenkopf's experiments asks for one last favor: to be killed. We never find out if Joe obliges, although his rather sad look after they've left Shangri-La implies that he did it.
    • The two treacherous agents of Doctor Totenkopf manage to obtain the two metal vials from Polly and Joe. Totenkopf's female Robot Girl The Dragon is later shown taking off with the vials, so presumably the agents turned them over to her offscreen. However, what happened to the agents afterwards? Were they captured and punished? Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves?
    • Commander Cook's Red Shirt Army, the Amphibious Squadron/Manta Team (planes that can convert from flying to underwater travel and back again). Most of them are killed during the approach to Dr. Totenkopf's Island Base. After the last few survivors fire their cluster torpedoes at a robot, they mysteriously disappear and are never seen again, with no explanation.
  • In Sleeping Dogs, as Smith is brought into the police station, he recognizes the man who earlier paid thugs to commit a False Flag Operation which gave the government an excuse to institute a police state. He calls this man "Jesperson." At first it seems the other man does not know him, but then he comes into his cell and offers him a deal if gives a scripted confession broadcast live on TV. Smith takes it, which allows him to escape while en route and sets the rest of the plot in motion. However, where or how they knew each other before is never revealed.
  • The Snowman (2017): Since a reasonable percentage of the film was never actually filmed, more than a few characters and subplots kind of disappear, such as the fumigator in Harry's apartment or the implied sex trafficking victim Dr Vetlesen may have acquired for Stope.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
    • Agent Stone disappears once Robotnik heads to San Francisco, with his fate unknown. It's implied that the military may have arrested him.
    • The military personnel that Robotnik meets with in Green Hills are nowhere to be seen after Robotnik tracks Sonic to Tom's house.
  • In Splash, Freddie is last seen distracting the cops after helping his brother rescue his mermaid girlfriend. The head scientist orders him arrested, and that's the last time he's seen. Kind of a dark character ending for such a frothy movie.
  • Stargate:
    • Ra's all-child entourage were last seen aboard his pyramid-ship shortly before O'Neil teleports the nuclear bomb aboard to kill Ra. This gives rise to some Fridge Logic, as the movie would have been almost an hour shorter if not for O'Neil's inability to hurt a child.
    • The film's novelization has the children escape the ship just before the bomb is teleported aboard.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, the two security officers that Kirk, Spock and Uhura bring along to arrest Harrison vanish by the time he surrenders, and it is not mentioned whether they survived the fight with the Klingons. According to the novelization, they didn't.
  • Bert the stuntman in The Stunt Man: after fugitive Cameron apparently causes his accidental death, director Eli Cross first laments Bert's death, then covers it up by passing off Cameron as Bert. We never find out if Bert is really dead.
  • In The Stupids, the main antagonist, the colonel, is last seen when Harvey Atkin's character hits him with a door, knocking him out. You never know what becomes of him later.
  • The crew aboard the doomed train in Super 8. It's never mentioned what happened to them after the explosion and derailment. Presumably everyone on board the train died in the wreck.
  • Quite a few important plot threads were left unresolved in Super Mario Bros. which would have been Left Hanging had they not been put on the sidelines by numerous script rewrites and reshoots. Namely, the parallel world is still slowly dying from lack of clean, renewable resources, Toad and innumerable prisoners are still de-evolved, and rival plumbers Mike and Doug never get their comeuppance. The King remaining a citywide fungus would have been this had Lance Henriksen not cameoed in a reshoot where his character returns to human form after Koopa's defeat.
  • The German couple from Super Troopers vanish at around the mid-way point of the movie once the central plot with the drug bust becomes the focus, with the last we see of either of them being the German man translating Johnny Chimpo to English for them. What became of them, or the circumstances surrounding their allegedly stolen vehicle are never explained.

  • Whatever happened to Pugsley the Iguana in The Terminator? Did Sarah ever miss him? It's a safe assumption that either Sarah returned to her apartment to clean up/tie up loose ends, or that Pugsley ran out the door after the Terminator busted the glass. Also, the German Shepherd at the end of the first film—was it Max (11 years on, he'd be pretty old) in T2?
  • Tim, the guy who went with John to the Galleria Mall, falls off the edge of the planet after the T-1000 shoves him out of the plot in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974: The cattle truck driver who stopped to help Sally in the climax of the film is last seen running off down the road when Leatherface shows up in pursuit of Sally.
  • Them!:
    • In the classic giant ant movie, the opening scenes show the Ellinson girl walking in the desert, catatonic after seeing her family devoured. Later, the elder Dr. Medford waves a jar of formic acid under her nose to test his suspicions. She immediately breaks her catatonia, hysterically shrieking, "Them! Them!" The trooper, FBI agent, and two ant experts hastily deposit her in the physician's arms and flee. She still may be in a strait jacket in the Santa Fe loony bin. Or she's with her aunt and will be fine.
    • The pilot who reported the flying ants and was put in an asylum. The doctors wanted to release him but the FBI agent told them to keep him there and "We'll call you when he's sane." Twenty years later: "Hey, what ever happened to... uh oh."
  • The Thing (1982): The fate of Nauls. During the final confrontation, he walks off down a corridor in the Arctic base and vanishes promptly from the film. The original script had him getting attacked by a jack-in-the-box like alien, only they cut the scene as the special effects didn't look real enough, and John Carpenter liked leaving it ambiguous anyway. It's almost certain that he just got killed off-screen, but it's never actually resolved.
  • Thirteen Women was drastically shortened in editing, so several plot threads are left dangling. Possibly the most significant is: do the police ever catch up with Ursula's accomplice/patsy Burns?
  • ¡Three Amigos!:
    • What happened to Goldsmith Pictures and Flugleman after the Amigos were fired? The Three Amigos were apparently their main franchise.
    • Near the end, Dusty Bottoms throws a knife and pins one of The German's two henchman to a pole by the sleeve of his coat. The last seen of him he's still pinned to the pole. It's never shown what happened to him.
  • The Three Stooges:
    • In the short "Cookoo Cavaliers", the Stooges run a beauty salon. When asked to bleach some women's hair, they inadvertently take out some bottles of hair remover. At one point, the hair remover gets sprayed all over a dog, and Curly is shown beginning to wipe off the dog with a towel. But the dog is never seen again, despite this being a very obvious setup for a joke where the dog's fur falls off.
    • The short "Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise" has the Stooges destroy the saws of a farmer. The farmer warns them that they will work for him until they pay for the broken saws. However, in the next scene, the Stooges are walking on a dirt road. We're Left Hanging as to what happened with the farmer — did the Stooges replace the saws or did they run out on him when he wasn't looking?
    • A particularly disturbing and heartbreaking meta example happens in the short "Half-Wits Holiday" During the climatic pie fight, Curly is strangely absent. In real life, Curly (whose health was rapidly fading at this point) had suffered a stroke during filming and could no longer act. Sadly this would be the last short he would appear in, save for a brief cameo in "Hold That Lion".
  • Averted in Titanic (1997). The fate of a surprising number of minor characters and extras can be known by either reading the script or paying very close attention to the background, or by reading a historical book if they're real people. A notable exception are the two Swedish brothers, Bjorn and Olaus Gunderson, who Jack and Fabrizio were rooming with.
  • Noxeema did deliver Clara's letter to Mr Robert Mitchum once they got to Hollywood in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar didn't she? Well, didn't she?
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • A minor antagonist in the first Transformers movie named Barricade stops showing up during build-up to the finale and is never mentioned again for the rest of the film. The disappearance caused speculation about what happened to the character.[1] note 
    • Sam and all the other human characters in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Despite being the main focus in the first three movies, there isn't a mention of them anywhere in the fourth one. Instead there's an entirely new cast of human characters to replace them.
  • Happens twice in Troll 2:
    • The first time, it's not too bad — Drew is knocked unconscious and wakes to the sound of a blender. If you can hear over the bad sound-mixing, Creedence has announced that she's going to feed him a milkshake full of that slime that turns you into a plant, and implicitly, full of Arnold as well. So it can be assumed that Drew gets eaten.
    • However, Brent's disappearance from the film is nothing short of baffling: after the infamous popcorn sex-scene, you get a brief shot of him covered in popcorn muttering, "No more... no more popcorn," and then he's gone from the rest of the movie. Many viewers are confused about what happened to him, but apparently that scene of him engulfed in popcorn was supposed to imply that he turns into popcorn.
  • The feisty old British lady driver in the 1953 film version of Henry Kuttner's SF classic The Twonky. You want her to live, but she's not mentioned in the last scene. Since Dr. West ends up in the hospital with a few broken bones but otherwise okay, maybe that's what happened to the driver. She did, after all, get him to the hospital as promised!

  • In the original Universal Soldier movie, the character Veronica is framed for murder. The movie ends before she is able to clear her name.

  • The last that is seen of Brian in Valentine is when Paige leaves him Chained to a Bed. This means that at the end of the film, he is very likely still tied to bed in a house full of dead people.
  • In the Alicia Silverstone/Krysten Ritter vampire-comedy Vamps, a major plotpoint is that one of the female leads is dating the son of an infamous vampire hunter. While both father and son remain important characters throughout the film, the vampire hunter's wife vanishes entirely a little over a third of the way through. Especially jarring as not only was she implied to be completely in the know about vampires, she was last seen hypnotised by Krysten Ritter.
  • Vertigo's Midge vanishes about half-way through the film. She does appear in the alternate ending where she listens to a radio report describing the pursuit of Gavin Elster across Europe when Scottie enters and they share a drink together.
  • Violet & Daisy: It's never explained how Violet and Daisy became assassins, or what happened to their families. The only thing we learn is Violet hasn't spoken to her father for a long time (although she does call him near the end of the film).

  • War Horse:
    • There is a goose that turns up for the first half hour. It is never explained why the family has a goose or why they can't sell it. After its few scenes it is never seen or heard from again. Made more frustrating due to the goose having no impact on the plot and is simply introduced only to disappear.
    • In the stage show it's simply comic relief—doesn't impact the plot in any significant way, but as the second act of the show (and the latter half of the film) is soul-crushingly sad, you see where they're coming from with the lighthearted moments.
  • In War, Inc., Hauser is shown milking a cobra for its venom. When Yonica enters the room, he throws the cobra into the corner to prevent her from seeing it. A second later, the cobra is gone and not mentioned again.
  • The Warriors: Who was that talking on the phone to Luther at certain points in the film? This person is never named or even ever heard speaking, and all the viewers learn is that whoever it is must be in on the conspiracy against the Warriors somehow ("We set, all right") and is someone Luther knows on a fairly personal basis ("Yeah, you take care of yourself"). Many fans have speculated that it must have been some representative of the New York Mafia — a group that would naturally want to disrupt the alliance of all the street gangs and might have paid off Luther to make sure that didn't happen.
  • Wes Craven's New Nightmare leaves it ambiguous what happens to Robert Englund. The last you see of him he seems to have become possessed by the Freddy Entity. It's unclear if Freddy ultimately took over his body to fight Nancy or not, and if he did, whether that means that Heather killed Robert. The ending implies that it was All Just A Script, to create a new prison for the entity.
  • An early scene in What Lies Beneath shows Norman and Claire seeing off their daughter Caitlin at her college dormitory. Then Caitlin is never seen or heard from again, even though you can imagine she would be profoundly affected by her mother having a nervous breakdown and getting sent to a shrink, the revelation that her father had an affair with a student and murdered her, and finally Daddy trying to kill MOMMY and then drowning in a lake. Was Claire just planning to fill her in over Christmas break?
  • There's a particularly monstrous moment of this in the dire Duel knock-off Wheels Of Terror: the heroine is driving a bus full of schoolchildren when she decides to chase the car that's just abducted her daughter. She lets the schoolchildren out at an abandoned gas station in the middle of nowhere, and they are never mentioned again. There's an explosion, which may have been meant to indicate that they died, but it's not very clear.
  • Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? has Aunt Roo's cat. We last see it fleeing upstairs, shortly before Christopher starts the House Fire that kills Aunt Roo and guts the building. We never learn if it escaped or not.
  • The trope-centric podcast "Film Sack" refers to this as "The Chick in the Bucket" after viewing Wild Wild West, where Jim West leaves the Girl of the Week in a water tower bucket, never to be seen or heard from again.
  • The Wild Women Of Wongo: For the first half of the movie it's established that a tribe of "Ape Men" are about to attack. A grand total of two show up, get killed, and the whole invasion is never mentioned again. So two men are a tribe, then?
  • In The Wizard of Oz
    • The Wicked Witch of the West mentions as she sends out the flying monkeys that she is "sending a little insect to take the fight out of them." This was a reference to the Cut Song "The Jitterbug", which would have followed that scene, which was cut because the producers feared the number (which was a very 30s style high-energy song) would date the movie.
    • Miss Gulch's fate is left unresolved, though the filmmakers intended the death of the Wicked Witch of the West is supposed to be a parallel for Miss Gulch being killed by the tornado. The illustration at the beginning of her on her bike flying through the air was supposed to be real, although her turning into the witch was just Dorothy's imagination. Also, what about Toto? Dorothy ran away because Miss Gulch had an order from the sheriff to have Toto killed. If Miss Gulch is dead, it's likely the order would be ignored. If she's alive...

  • X-Men Film Series
    • In X2: X-Men United, Colossus and Kitty lead a large group of students out of the Mansion when Stryker's forces storm the place, and disappear from the film without a single further reference.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • No indication is made of what happened to the Juggernaut after he got knocked out shortly before Phoenix began killing everybody on the island.
      • Nothing at all is stated as to what happened to Pyro, either having been captured or killed.
    • In X-Men: First Class, the Hellfire Club is never mentioned or seen again after the early sequence where CIA operative Moira MacTaggert (who is investigating it with a colleague) sneaks in and witnesses Emma Frost and Azazel reveal their powers in front of an American general.
    • The Wolverine:
      • We never do find out how the three men from the start end up dying together in the same truck. Not even in a stinger.
      • Noburo isn't seen or mentioned again after his apparently nonfatal nosedive into a swimming pool.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Mystique is shown impersonating William Stryker at the end of the movie, but what she did with the real Stryker is unclear.
      • Magneto doesn't mention Riptide's death alongside the other deceased Brotherhood members, although Mystique does find an autopsy file on him in Trask's office, indicating that he was killed in-between films as well.
      • Angel is the only X-Man killed in the Bad Future not to appear in the new timeline. In fact, he doesn't appear in the movie at all. Even future Beast, who debuted in the same movie as Angel, got to make a cameo! As of X-Men: Apocalypse, this is now a Brick Joke. He's killed in that movie, explaining why he wasn't seen in the future stinger of Days of Future Past.

  • In You Got Served, right after the opening dance battle, two girls by the names of Toya and Kiki offer to join the dance group, and are accepted. You see them with the group on their next two dance battles, but after the second battle, they completely vanish from the movie and are never seen or even mentioned again.
  • At the beginning of Young Adult, Mavis and a man end up in her apartment after a first date. The next morning, she abruptly decides to leave town for a few days — before he even wakes up. The film ends before she returns. Was her TV still there? The audience never finds out. It provides a Book End for a scene later in the movie, but then she's in the guy's house.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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