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    24 
  • 24 did this constantly, due at least in part to the fact that it was tough to resolve every problem over the course of a single day. Then again, it's partly just that the writers don't really seem to care about their secondary characters (and most fans reasoned that they would reappear later in the series, given that the producers had a tendency for doing this with other characters). Major examples include:
    • Martin Belkin, the assassin hired to kill David Palmer at an early-morning rally in the first season. Belkin is apparently so hardcore that he had plastic surgery to make himself look like a recently-deceased amateur photographer. Belkin is stopped by Jack Bauer, who uses a diversion to get Palmer out of the building. Belkin, who is later seen identified by CTU, is never found again. There was nothing stopping him from getting plastic surgery and going after Palmer again anytime thereafter, in any of the seasons that followed.
    • Lynne Kresge, Presidential aide, falls several stories down a stairwell when she tries to get incriminating evidence on Mike Novick to David Palmer in the second season. After she's wheeled into an ambulance, she's never seen again, and no one comments on her disappearance.
    • Alexander Trepkos and his boss, Max, are introduced (bizarrely) at the end of the second season as the masterminds behind the second day's operation. Jack Bauer kills Max in the official video game, but Trepkos is never mentioned again.
    • Jack battles heroin withdrawal for the first half of Season 3. Then Ramon Salazar gives him some aspirin and he's fine for the rest of the day.
    • In the original television airings of the fourth season, Behrooz Araz disappears after being taken hostage by Habib Marwan's thugs. It's resolved, but only in the DVD boxset: Behrooz is saved by Curtis Manning. This has given rise to the term "Behroozed", which is applied to several of the characters mentioned here who were last seen in mortal danger and were never mentioned again.
    • After Air Force One was shot down by terrorists in Season 4, we see the recovery team scourging the wreckage and finding President John Keeler. It is remarked that he is alive but in a coma and is taken to an Army Hospital. The 25th Amendment is then quickly enacted and his VP, Charles Logan becomes President. Did Keeler live? Die? Part of this has to do with Executive Meddling as what the writers wanted to do and what Fox executives insisted on were very different. Most fans assume he died.
    • In season 5, Wayne Palmer and Jack discover that a key piece of evidence is kept in a bank's safety deposit box. Since there is a curfew, the banks are closed and time is of the essence, they decide to pretend to be bank robbers and kidnap the manager. They get to his house, take him hostage and tie up and gag his wife. Later, the manager recognizes Wayne, prompting them to reveal the actual plan, and then get his support. Once they get the evidence, a bunch of Mooks working for The Dragon storm the bank and the manager is killed in the crossfire. The question is: what the hell happened to his wife?
    • Another notable unanswered season 5 question involves Evelyn Martin, Martha Logan's aide. Jack and Wayne manage to rescue her daughter, but she is shot in the process. In the same episode as the one with the bank manager, Evelyn's daughter calls 911 to get help for her mother, but Christopher Henderson intercepts the call and coerces her into revealing what Jack and Wayne are doing. After a commercial break, Henderson can be seen calling Charles Logan and telling him everything Evelyn has revealed, but it's never stated if Henderson killed the two of them or not. Not only that, but prior to kidnapping the manager, Jack and Wayne promised they'd returned to get Evelyn help, and Jack never brings this up again while Wayne is Put on a Bus for the remainder of the season.
    • Wayne Palmer is hurt by a semi-successful assassination attempt in Season 6 and eventually falls into a coma. He is wheeled to the hospital and never heard from again. The TV movie Redemption does make reference to his death in a newspaper (which was bought by a fan after the film finished shooting), but it's not visible on-screen, and thus isn't confirmed canon.
    • On Live Another Day, Simone Al-Harazi works alongside her mother Margot as the villains of the first half of the season. She gets injured and falls in a coma, but since she's the only lead about Margot's whereabouts she's taken out of the coma for interrogation despite the doctor's warnings. Whether she survived or died is unknown, she's not mentioned again afterwards.

    Doctor Who 
Doctor Who, partly as a result of its Long Runner status, has quite a few characters and plot points that were dropped with no resolution.
  • The fate of the Doctor's granddaughter Susan, his very first companion and only depicted blood relative, whom he never does return to despite his promise to do so one day at the end of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". While she came back and met the Eighth Doctor in Big Finish Doctor Who, she hasn't reappeared later in his life, so what became of her after that, whether she was affected by the Last Great Time War, etc. may forever be a mystery — along with why audiences still haven't met other members of his family, in particular his first wife.
    • The novelization of "Twice Upon a Time" finally provided some closure by revealing that the First Doctor did go back and see Susan and her family on one occasion between "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and his regeneration.
  • "The Space Museum" has a scene where the Doctor obsesses about Ian losing a button from his cardigan, prompting Ian to ask the Doctor why he's always so interested in such trivial things. The Doctor tells him in a significant way that trivial things often lead to great discoveries. The button never comes up again. This was observed by Robert Shearman on a DVD special feature, where he called it "brilliant".
  • "The Time Warrior": We're introduced to the scullions who work in Irongron's castle, who get a significant scene discussing feminism with Sarah Jane. We see the Doctor go out of his way to evacuate Irongron's men, but we never see him go back for the women and they don't appear in later scenes. Sarah doesn't even express any concern about them. Did they get blown up?
  • In one late Fourth Doctor story, the Doctor puts a half-full cup of tea in his pocket for a Hammerspace gag. Fans at the time were perturbed by the fact that the cup of tea never showed up again. It was eventually turned into a Brick Joke when, in the final Doctor Who Missing Adventures book, the Doctor fished the cup of tea out of his pocket and drank it to reduce his stress!
    • This is also referenced in "The Witch's Familiar", where the Twelfth Doctor has mysteriously acquired a cup of tea despite being on Skaro at the time, and explains it only with "I'm the Doctor. Accept it."
  • At the end of Season 26 Ace leaves with the Doctor, to have many more adventures ... but isn't there when he appears for the TV movie. When or how she left, or what she is doing now, is mostly unknown, though she's briefly mentioned in an episode of the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures. But that same scene also leaves unanswered the questions of what became of Dodo post-"The War Machines" and Victoria post-"Fury from the Deep"!
  • Captain Jack's missing memories ... remember those? The two years of his life that the Time Agency stole? They were mentioned once and never again — on Doctor Who, anyway. They are actually mentioned a few times on Torchwood; most notably, Adam held the memories hostage.
  • "Boom Town": The trope is brought up by Blon while she's talking about the Doctor's habit of saving the day and swiftly departing, suggesting that he's afraid to see the potential consequences of his actions. The next episode would use this theme in a big way.
  • "The Girl in the Fireplace": Arthur the horse is never seen again after the Doctor leaves him in a Versailles ballroom.
  • "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood": The entire story falls into this trope. Although "The End of Time" reveals that a descendant of Joan Redfern wrote a book about John Smith and his Journal of Impossible Things, the Family's attack on the village, from the disappearances to an aerial bombardment, seems to have been missed by history. Was it covered up by the Torchwood Institute or the government? Eaten by the cracks in time? We don't know.
  • Jenny steals a ship and heads off to see the universe. We never see these adventures, and the Doctor doesn't know she's alive.
    • Jenny is seemingly obliquely referenced in the 2014 episode "Death in Heaven", where Clara, attempting to trick several Cybermen into thinking she is the Doctor, mentions a "non-Gallifreyan genetic daughter", suggesting that the Doctor eventually learned Jenny was alive. Several years later, she would receive her own Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays and meet the Twelfth Doctor in the Titan comic miniseries The Lost Dimension.
  • "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End":
    • Of the Doctor's former companions, Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith, Martha Jones, Donna Noble and Captain Jack Harkness are the only ones involved. The various others known to be alive and active at that time (per The Sarah Jane Adventures) are not mentioned, with it unknown what they were doing during the Dalek invasion.
    • It's not made clear what was happening on the dozens of other planets stolen by the Daleks. One comic published later in 2008, The Forgotten, provided some detail as to what happened on one of the other worlds.
  • The US airing of "The Eleventh Hour" has this with regards to BBC America cutting the change room scene out — the audience is left wondering where the Doctor got his outfit from.
  • "The Vampires of Venice": At the end, all the female "vampires" are gone, but there are still 10,000 male ones left on Earth, and neither the Doctor nor anyone else seems to care.
  • "The Lodger": The Doctor uses a cat in an attempt to safely find out what's going on in an upstairs flat. Many fans wondered about the fate of that cat after the first floor imploded. However, in the scene where the Doctor's seen talking to the cat, it's after the scouting mission upstairs, and the cat's telling the Doctor what it saw. Meaning the cat wasn't upstairs when the faux second floor vanished.
  • "Let's Kill Hitler": The TARDIS team accidentally saves Hitler's life, and when he proves too annoying, is shoved into a cupboard and promptly forgotten. The rest of the episode is about River Song being badass. It's possible this is an intentional invocation of this trope, subverting expectations that the story would be yet another Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act affair.
    Rory: [completely stunned] Does anybody else find this day just a bit difficult? I'm getting a sort of banging in my head.
    Amy: Yeah, I think that's Hitler in the cupboard.
  • 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" has two plots; the Time War and a Zygon invasion that ends with a peace treaty being negotiated. The latter is dropped partway through and not resolved until two years later.
  • "The Time of the Doctor": At the climax, Clara runs out on her family in the middle of Christmas dinner because the TARDIS has materialized in the field outside her apartment building. At the end of "Deep Breath", the following episode, the Doctor drops her back on Earth — in Glasgow, almost the other end of Great Britain (Clara lives in London), on what is certainly not Christmas Day 2013-ish. Her family's reaction to this is never mentioned.
  • "The Woman Who Lived": In the climax, Sam Swift the good-natured highwayman is given the second Mire medkit to both save his life and defeat the Monster of the Week with life energy. Afterward, Ashildr/Lady Me and the Doctor discuss what might happen to him — he may or may not have been immortalized the way she was with the first medkit, given the different circumstances of his revival. Later in the season the Doctor and Ashildr cross paths again centuries and then eons later, but Sam Swift is never mentioned once, much less his ultimate fate.
  • "Hell Bent": At the end, the Only Mostly Dead Clara Oswald and Ashildr/Me, who for bonus points are both functional immortals, head off to explore the universe in their own TARDIS. Although Clara appears again in "Twice Upon a Time" in a context implying that she eventually went to the trap street to meet her death, we never hear about what happened to Ashildr and that TARDIS.
  • In Series 10, the Doctor is moonlighting as a professor at St. Luke's University in Bristol because he swore an oath to guard the Vault (containing Missy) for 1,000 years and has to stay in one place. At the beginning of "World Enough and Time", he takes Bill, Nardole and Missy on a trip as a test for the latter. The episode kickstarts a series of events that leads to the Doctor regenerating and seriously unlikely to return to the university. Since the Doctor had been there for decades by then, one wonders what the staff and students thought of the disappearance of that particularly long-tenured professor.
  • "Arachnids in the UK" ends with multiple threads hanging:
    • The spiders in Anna's apartment are never dealt with onscreen.
    • It is never explained how a giant spider ended up in Graham's house, when neither he, Ryan or Grace have any connection to the university lab. How many other mutated spiders were outside hunting when the Doctor trapped the main nest, and how many are still roaming around Sheffield? Given that part of what drove their actions was the mutated pheromones of the mother spider, they may simply die out naturally.
    • Graham and Ryan go to some trouble to catch a spider for Jade to study. She promptly sends them off to see if there are more spiders of the same size, and the spider they caught plays no further role in the storyline.
    • There's no indication that Robertson, or anyone else, will do anything about the pile of mutagenic goo beneath his hotel.
    • We never learn if the Doctor found the Khans' missing package in Anna's flat.
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    Game of Thrones 
Game of Thrones
  • Arya Stark is an in-universe example. While the audience knows where she is, aside from Tyrion's brief mention that they need to keep the Starks thinking she's in their custody, how the Lannisters managed to cover up her escape isn't particularly elaborated on. However they did it, it seems to be working, since despite the overactive rumour mill present in King's Landing, no-one seems to have noticed that Arya has not been seen for about a year and a half now! By Season 4, the secret seems to be formally "out" (there's no way they could keep it from the Tyrells), but nobody cares anymore since the world at large assumes that the Starks have been completely annihilated. Even Arya is said to be "presumed dead".
  • Rickon Stark, in-universe, after Bran sends Rickon and Osha to the Umbers. Roose on learning of the survival of the youngest Stark children assumes that they must have died since none of the other Northern lords has seen or heard of them. His fate is confirmed both in-universe and out when Smalljon Umber hands him over to Ramsay Bolton.
  • Ghost disappears and is nowhere to be seen for much in Season 6 after Jon returns to the North. This is revealed to be because of a budgeting issue: they only had enough money for either Wun Wun the giant or Ghost, not both. They chose Wun Wun, so Ghost isn't there for a while. Presumably, now that Wun Wun is dead, Ghost can come back.
  • Steelshanks appeared in only one series and hasn't been seen since. With the destruction of House Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards, he may be the Sole Survivor of the Bolton leadership.
  • In Season 2, we at least know the Greatjon is waging war in the Riverlands, but there's been no word on his fate following the Red Wedding. By Season 6, it appears he died somehow. Clive Mantle apparently had serious difficulties meeting the show's schedule, until they finally just killed him offscreen.
  • Margaery Tyrell mentions a cousin named Allana. In Season 6, Marge and Loras are Mace Tyrell's only heirs.
  • In Season 6, Sansa and Theon are running from Bolton soldiers and they end up captured by men with tracking dogs. Suddenly Brienne and Podrick arrive and slay 4 soldiers, one is killed by Theon. But... what happened to the dogs? It's like they just vanished the moment the fight started.
  • Later in Season 6, Jon and Sansa try to convince the Northern lords to fight at their side against the Boltons and their allies. For some reason, Howland Reed, who was Eddard's friend and his loyal bannerman, doesn't send any men and we don't even know if the Starks even bothered to contact him. The Boltons don't mention him either. After the battle, Sansa summons all the lords of the North to Winterfell - Lord Reed doesn't show up, but nobody seems to care.
  • Euron tells Yara in Season 8 that they are the only Greyjoys left alive, save for Theon. What happened to Aeron is not explained.

    Merlin 
There are plenty of these throughout Merlin. The most egregious examples:
  • Hunith - when Agravaine's men attack Ealdor, the heroes rush off and she abruptly disappears from the story.
  • Lady Vivian - is she still under that Love Potion spell?
  • Alvarr and Enmyria - the former escapes Camelot and the latter evades the knights in the forest, but neither are ever seen again.
  • Tristan - disappears completely after Isolde dies.
  • Sefa - where'd she go after escaping into the forest?
  • Aithusa, the white dragon. It would appear that the writers introduced this character without having the slightest idea of what they planned to do with it. It disappeared for long stretches of time without explanation, we never get any clear answer on why it allied itself with Morgana, it never does anything particularly important or interesting, and in the Grand Finale, Merlin banishes it within the first minute of the episode to never be seen or mentioned again. It is, however, useful in that it helped Morgana create the sword used to kill Arthur.
  • There's a literal example in "Valiant". Merlin watches as Valiant gleefully feeds a live mouse to the snakes that inhabit his shield. Valiant realises he's being watched, draws his sword and leaves the room. The mouse just disappears. This is pointed out on the audio commentary, where it's suggested that Valiant ate it himself.
  • In "The Once And Future Queen", King Odin sends an assassin to Camelot in order to kill Prince Arthur. The assassin is helped in his search for Arthur by an informant who lives in the castle (or at least has easy access to its interior) and feeds him information. Who he was and where he went afterwards is never elaborated upon.
  • The secret room that Merlin discovers in "Goblin's Gold", which is filled with magical books and paraphenalia, but is never revisited or explained.
  • In "The Coming of Arthur, Part I", Arthur is hit in the leg with a poisoned dart. Throughout the rest of the episode he struggles with it until finally he gets Gaius the physician to give him a tonic to numb the pain. Gaius warns him that it'll only last for a short while. However, the episode ends before the tonic wears out and the second part of the episode opens a week later. The injury is never addressed again. Presumably Gaius healed it in the interim, but it was still odd that such a big deal was made of it only for nothing to ever come of it.
  • In "The Hunter's Heart" Agravaine plants a fake letter on the dead body of a scribe he's just killed. It's given to Gaius, who openly states that there's something "very wrong" with it, but this is never addressed.
  • In "Arthur's Bane, Part I" the tower of Ismere is guarded by several wolves that are apparently controlled by Morgana. One of them somehow manages to render Gwaine unconscious (off-screen), but their presence and abilities are never explained and they disappear halfway through the episode.
  • In "The Death Song of Uther Pendragon", Arthur prevents an accused witch from being burnt at the stake. She dies soon after, but her status as a witch and the issues raised by Arthur's actions are never questioned.

    Power Rangers 
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
  • Happens in Multiple episodes. A random but supposedly powerful McGuffin is introduced, and told to possess magnificent power. But after the plot of the episode is resolved, the McGuffin is never seen of mentioned again. Examples include the Power Eggs and the Sword of Power.
  • Scorpina after the first season. She seemed to have just left Rita's employ without any explanation, and although she did work once for Lord Zedd after he took over, she was never seen after that. (There was a logical explanation, just not an in-universe one: Saban had intended to keep her as a recurring character for Season 2, potrayed by actress Sabrina Lu - having run out of the original footage of the character - but were unable to retain Lu for more than one episode and was unable to find a replacement in time to film the character's further appearances, so the character was just dropped.)
  • Whatever happened to Alpha 5's teddy bear?

Power Rangers Turbo

  • After leaving for Eltar with Zordon in Power Rangers, Alpha 5 is never so much as alluded to ever again, even when Eltar is taken over and Zordon captured. Fanon holds he died during the attack, and granted the second gen Turbo Rangers never met him, but still ... you'd figure a character like him would get some sort of closure.
  • Also happens with Dimitria (from Power Rangers Turbo) and Auric the Conqueror (from Power Rangers Zeo). Auric is driven off by Rita's Impursonator monster and then is never seen or mentioned again. Dimitria leaves Earth along with the Blue Senturion to go save Zordon (whose planet is under attack), but while the Blue Senturion is later shown fighting the Machine Empire during Power Rangers in Space, Dimitria is never seen again. Which is weird, considering that the last episode of In Space heavily implies that she and Divatox are in fact sisters.
  • One other example is the Phantom Ranger - he's present throughout a good amount of Turbo, and a few episodes of In Space, yet after Countdown to Destruction, he seemingly vanishes, despite the fact that Lost Galaxy, which resolves a few remaining plot threads, would've been an ideal time to address his fate. It's worth noting that had Fox Kids not cut the finale of In Space to 2 episodes (it was planned as a 3-parter), his identity would've been revealed.

Power Rangers in Space

  • The ultimate fates of Goldar, Scorpina, Rito Revolto, Finster, Squatt, and Baboo are unknown. Were they among those destroyed, or among those purified? If they were purified, where are they now? For that matter, while we eventually see that Rita became the Mystic Mother, we have yet to see what happened to Zedd post-purification. (Naturally, some speculate that he became a rabbi)
    • Like the MMPR example above, a logical explanation exists: some of the monster suits became unusable over time. But an in-universe explanation was never given.
    • The video game Power Rangers Super Legends covered Zedd in detail, showing that he was re-corrupted by his past self thanks to a Time Crystal and ended up getting trapped in a Place Beyond Time, where it will take him eons to escape.

    Stargate 
Stargate is generally known for averthing this with Call Backs and reappearances, but with 3 movies and 17 seasons across 3 shows, there are still a number of examples. Characters and entire races/factions/planets have appeared, made an impact with potential for more, then vanished:
  • The Goa'uld named Lord Zippacna, a minor noble working for the System Lords, shows up in two episodes. In his first appearance (remembered for the atrocious costume he was wearing consisting of a hawaiian shirt and straw hat), he works for Apophis and his son Klorel. He tries to destroy the Tollan and fails. He's seen a few seasons later, working for Anubis, where he recruits Osiris to be Anubis' Dragon and kills 90% of the Tok'ra, and after that, he's never seen again. A poison is unleashed on his troops on the planet, but as Zippacna was aboard his ship in orbit, even inferring his death seems to be unwarranted. The only major long-term effect was to introduce the fan community to Kevin Durand.
  • The Nox, who are shown to have been at one point one of the 4 most advanced races in the universe, appear in few episodes (their introductory one, and two others where, incidentally, the Tollan and Zippacna are respectively introduced) and are never seen or heard from again. Evidently, the Nox are so pacifistic they would not lift a finger to fight against their own extinction if they had to, and they are really good at hiding.
  • Charlie, a little boy created by a race of aliens (the Re'tu, themselves an example of this trope) to act as envoy to the humans. He's sent to the Tok'ra to become a host as he's very sick and would not have survived otherwise. It's never shown if he survived the many massacres the Tokra endured.
    • Strangely, though the Re'tu are never seen again, they are mentioned practically every instance when someone is attacked by something invisible or when there is a threat of unknown origin.
  • Nem and the Oannes. A race of creature that look like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Very advanced, and enemies of the Goa'uld, who agree they could help Earthlings fight the Goa'uld. They are never seen again, apparently written off as Early Installment Weirdness.
    • The RPG states the System Lords had already basically wiped out or enslaved the rest of his race.
    • Given that the rest of his race are presumed long-dead and that Daniel regretfully informed him that his mate was dead, which seems to have been the only thing that had kept him going for thousands of years... it's entirely possible Nem might have been Driven to Suicide after the team left.
  • The Hebridan, a race so advanced they defeated the Goa'uld in their sector of space. Being capitalist, they agree to trade some technology with Earth and show once moren for a Race IN SPACE!. They are never seen again, except for a brief mention that their planet was conquered by the Ori in season 10. Nothing is seen of their technology either.
  • Athar a.k.a. Chaya Sar, an Ascended Ancient whom the Atlantis expedition meet. She was forced by the other ancients to forever protect a planet. She and Sheppard had the ascended equivalent of sex, and she's never heard from again.
  • The Foothold Aliens from the episode of the same name in SG-1. Their tech shows up again a couple times, but they themselves don't.
    • Implied during the episode that the aliens were looking for a new home, inviting the possibility that their homeworld might have been dying or wiped out.
  • There are a few random spaceships clearly controlled by powerful and unfamiliar alien races that help structure the plot of an episode and then disappear, never mentioned again. "Grace" and "Enemies Part Two" are notable examples.
  • The episode "New Ground" results in Nyan returning with SG-1 to Earth in the episode's climax and becoming Daniel's new research assistant at the SGC. He is never seen or mentioned even once after this.
  • Furlings.
    • Though the Furlings were never shown at all, which is Lampshaded a couple times by O'Neill, and culminating with an implied explanation/self parody in "200" where they are basically shown to be Ewoks. The point it seemed to make was that the name Furlings was so ridiculous, nothing the show could come up with would work.
    • While the Furlings themselves never appear, several technologies the team encounters are attributed to them. Most notably the Touchstone from the episode of the same name, and the portal arch in Paradise Lost.
  • The Oranians, of whom we only see two specific bounty hunters.
  • The mysterious aliens from the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Daedalus Variations", who appear in an alternate reality as being at war with Atlantis. Presumably they would have been an enemy in the 6th season, but the show was canceled before they could be explored any further.
  • Jonas Quinn and his planet Langara are hardly ever brought up after he leaves. It's namechecked as falling to the Ori in season 10, and eventually shows up in a late episode of Stargate Universe, but Jonas himself is conspicuously absent in an episode that features two prior main characters. Given what they did to his planet in that episode, it's probably a good thing.
  • Sarah Gardner, an old love interest of Daniel who became the unwilling host to Osiris. She shows up in a handful of episodes, and they catch her and get the symbiote removed. The last seen is of her waking up traumatized and Daniel hugging her. She isn't even mentioned after that.

    Star Trek 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • The episode "Miri" begins with the Enterprise crew making the astonishing discovery of a planet identical to Earth. They beam down to investigate, and get caught up in a plot about a plague that kills adults and leaves children alive. This presents a mystery and danger that is duly solved. The episode ends without any further mention of the fact that the planet is identical to Earth.
    • "Identical to Earth" seems to apply to a lot of planets in TOS, down to flyby scenes where the planet model is very similar to earth. The only two that were ever really made a big deal of was a planet that had fought World War 3 in the 1960s rather than the 90s (post-retcon 21st century,) and in another episode there's even a human on an "identical to earth" planet, and it's revealed "his" earth (he even calls it HIS) exists mostly in another dimension. It's enough to make one wonder if this was just a plot point the writers liked to throw around or if it was actually just a term for "earth-like."
    • In "And The Children Shall Lead", a couple of security men are beamed down to relieve the ones left on the planet earlier. When an attempt to beam up the earlier team fails, it turns out that that the ship is no longer in orbit (and we just saw two Red Shirts beamed into empty space). There's no mention of going back to retrieve the men who are still on the planet, and we never do find out what happened to them.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The episode "The Big Goodbye", a minor character is shot while trapped on the holodeck with the main cast, and Dr. Crusher says that they have to get him to sick bay by a certain time or he'll die. We never learn what happens to the wounded man. An especially frustrating incidence of this trope, because one sentence of dialogue could have resolved everything. The character may show up alive and well in one of the novels.
    • TNG also has Silva LaForge, Geordi's mom. Her ship mysteriously vanished, and Geordi nearly loses his mind to the mysterious gadget of the week in his attempts to find out what happened to her. After the incident, he accepts her loss, in a manner that makes the episode seem like a Know When to Fold 'Em plot. The actual fate of the Hera is not touched upon in any way - no clues, no evidence for them being dead or alive, and it's never addressed again.note 
    • In a sense, this trope is deconstructed in the season 6 episode "Ship in a Bottle". The holographic Professor Moriarty from season 2's "Elementary, Dear Data" gets accidentally revived, having been fully conscious of waiting in the nothingness of the holodeck's systems and disappointed with Picard not making good upon his promise to extend his life beyond the holodeck, prompting him to seize control of the Enterprise unless Picard conceives of a way to do so for himself and his holographic Love Interest, Countess Regina.
      • And what happened after the destruction of the Enterprise-D in Star Trek: Generations? Was Moriarty destroyed in the Stardrive Section, or was he in the Saucer Section and later recovered? Or was he simply left behind and doomed to oblivion, as Voyager revealed that without regular maintenance, holodeck programs left continuously running will eventually develop fatal system errors?
    • What became of Wesley after he took off with the Traveler?
      • Star Trek: Nemesis he is at Riker and Troi's wedding in full dress uniform. Meaning that he either relinquished his powers and was forgiven by Starfleet or he was pulling a Q and was simply dressed as an officer to blend in. Which is the most likely? that depends how likely you think it is that an explorer would willingly give up the ability to travel near instantaneously to any point in the universe.
      • In a deleted scene, Wesley tells Picard that he'll be serving on the Titan as member of the night shift in Engineering, so he really is a Starfleet officer now, despite having resigned from the Academy before graduating. Fridge Logic: During the Dominion War, Starfleet suffered from a manpower shortage and resorted to promoting Academy cadets directly to active duty without requiring them to graduate. Given Wesley's extensive experience on board Enterprise, Starfleet would not have turned him away if he had reappeared and offered to enlist.
    • The episodes "Conspiracy" and "Schisms" ended with suggestions that the aliens defeated in those episodes could return. They never did.note 
      • The Conspiracy aliens became a case of an Aborted Arc. The episodes that were originally planned to bring them back instead replaced them with the Borg.
    • A minor one in season 2's "The Royale": The away team is trapped in the artificial reality of a 20th Century hotel from a pulp novel about a mobster, a copy of which they find in one of the rooms. Riker mentions that mobster Mickey D shows up towards the end and murders a bellboy, and sure enough, they actually witness that happen later on. He also mentions a subplot about a woman and her lover plotting to kill her husband, but that one never comes up again. Since the novel is supposed to be horrible (so horrible that the dead astronaut whose belongings it was found among felt that his survival in the novel's simulation was A Fate Worse Than Death), this is likely an example of Stylistic Suck.
    • The lonely insectoid child Barash, in “Future Imperfect”, who is responsible for Riker’s abduction and subsequent imprisonment in various holographic scenarios, is brought back aboard the Enterprise as a guest at the end of the episode, never to be seen or heard from again.
  • This happened many times on Star Trek: Voyager, likely due to the production team simply forgetting about prior plot threads that were set up in earlier episodes:
    • The Caretaker's "mate" was a plotline that was screaming for a follow-up - at the end of the episode, the mate, Suspiria, vows revenge on Voyager and disappears. She never appears again in the rest of the series.
    • Neelix's sensor data from "The Voyager Conspiracy" is never elaborated or followed-up on (which concerns a fully-armed Cardassian warship gallivanting around in the Delta Quadrant, and the tractor beam which pulled the reactor room out of the Caretaker's array before it exploded). That information was chalked up to Seven simply going crazy from trying to continuously process data.
    • The Borg Baby, picked up (along with several other Borgified children) midway through the series, and promptly forgotten about after a scene where the Doctor runs a diagnostic scan on it. According to DVD commentary, the show's writers apparently thought they had delivered the baby back to its parents right afterwards, even though this was never stated in the episode (or the later-season episode where Icheb stays and the two other children are reunited with their parents).
    • Ensign Samantha Wildman played a major supporting role in the early seasons, as she gave birth to a daughter named Naomi (who gained prominence in the later seasons as Seven of Nine's protege). Samantha, however, up and disappeared after an episode where she was afflicted with a sickness (but recovered). Like the Borg Baby example above, the writers thought she had died in the episode, leading to her never appearing in the series again.
    • An interesting subversion occurred with Joe Carey, the former chief engineer who was replaced by B'Elanna Torres in the third episode of the series. Carey disappeared soon after Torres is put in charge, and (with the exception of appearances in time-travel episodes focusing on Voyager's past) many fans assumed he had just died or disappeared without explanation... that is, until season seven's "Friendship One", where he is revealed to have been onboard the ship the whole time just before he's killed to establish the threat of the week.
      • As noted by SF Debris, it's entirely possible the writers put him into episodes set in the past thinking they'd already killed him, only to realise in Season 7 that he was still alive. Thus they brought him back, since they reasoned "Well, now we have to kill him!"
      • The last episode in which Carey appeared was "State of Flux," where he was being investigated for leaking technology to the Kazon. He was last seen being confined to his quarters for the duration of the investigation, inadvertently creating the impression that he was locked in his quarters for the last six years.
    • Fairhaven, a holodeck program that Voyager ran without stop for one episode. After the characters in the program became aware of their true nature and of Voyager's crew, it was promised that the program would be kept running and that they would still all be friends. It is never seen or heard from again. Possibly forgotten on purpose in order to avoid turning into a clone of the infamous Vic Fontain from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    • One could infer that in-universe, Neelix was left wondering this after Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant and Seven never contacted him for their game of Kadis-kot.
    • In Equinox, a two-part episode, Voyager encounters the Starfleet ship Equinox, the crew of which ends up screwing Voyager over, using a sentient alien race as a power source to get home faster, and in general acts disgracefully. At the end, Janeway strips the surviving crew members of all rank, tells them their privileges will be restricted, they'll be closely supervised, and they'll have to earn trust from then on. They apparently disappear forever, and no mention is made of them or whether they eventually redeem themselves or get pushed out an airlock or what, although given how quickly the Maquis were integrated into the crew it's likely the same happened with them, only into much more junior unseen positions.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Damage", Archer is forced by circumstances to steal a warp coil from an Illyrian ship, leaving them stranded 3 years from home. That the Illyrians' fate is unresolved in that episode is dramatically necessary. Oddly however, once diplomatic relations with the Xindi improve in future episodes, Archer apparently doesn't bother to ask them to assist the Illyrians.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Homefront" we learn that changeling infiltrators have managed to reach Earth when they bomb a diplomatic conference in Antwerp. The plot quickly shifts focus to Captain Sisko trying to prevent a Starfleet coup against the Federation president and the changeling infiltrators pretty much disappear from the story. It's never revealed whether they were eventually caught or not. It's never entirely clear if they were even responsible (although they're definitely present); the episode's human antagonist was launching a series of false flag attacks.
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    Other Shows 
  • In the final episode of The 10th Kingdom, the trolls are knocked out, and just disappear from the story.
  • The 4400: Throughout the first season, Diana drops hints about her bad relationship with her father. She even calls him in the pilot episode when she thinks the world is ending. You never find out what happened between them, and he is never mentioned again.
  • The Addams Family has the Amnesia Episode "Amnesia in the Addams Family", in which Gomez acquires amnesia from accidentally hitting himself on the head with a club. He is cured by being chased by Fester, who ends up accidentally being hit on the head, being knocked out and in the process, knocking out Gomez and curing him. At the end, Uncle Fester can be heard saying, "Who's Fester?". He identifies as Fester in the next episode, so it's unknown how he got better, or if he was joking.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • The show a strange habit of critically wounding recurring characters and then dropping them off in a hospital somewhere with no word on whether they eventually recovered or not. Tomas Calderon have received this fate thus far.
    • There's also the matter of Season 1 supporting villain Ian Quinn, last seen fleeing in the season finale as his benefactor the Clairvoyant faces his downfall. And furthermore, he escapes with the gravitonium generator that was shown in its first appearance to be acting as a can for Franklin Hall/Graviton; this is finally followed up on in Season 5, where Gravitonium and its fate become a major plot point.
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, Pepper vanishes partway through "Nor'easter". No one comments on this, or really seems to notice. She shows up again in "The Coat Hanger." It turns out she was abducted by the same aliens who abducted Kit, Alma, and Grace.
  • On Angel, a minor character working in Wolfram & Hart's mail room is revealed to be a follower of a powerful rival demon who, unlike the higher people in the corporate hierarchy, knew ahead of time that the baby Connor was the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy. After the scene in which he makes this phone call, we never see him again, nor is the demon ("Master Tarfall, Underlord of Pain") ever mentioned outside this one incident.
  • In As Time Goes By, Lionel's father, Rocky, is diagnosed as terminally ill during the third series; Lionel says "he'll be lucky to last a year". However, the writers apparently decided they'd rather not kill him off. The program lasted several more years, but the possibility of Rocky's death was quietly dropped.
  • In The Avengers episode "Too Many Christmas Trees", the individuals involved in the elaborate psychic espionage scheme are Martin Trasker, Jeremy Wade, Jenkins the butler, visiting psychic Janis Crane, and "Father Christmas" (who turns out to be publisher Brandon Storey). Wade is killed off when he gets cold feet about the scheme and plans to spill the beans to Mrs. Peel. In the final showdown with Steed and Mrs. Peel, Trasker is knocked out, while Jenkins and "Father Christmas" are shot. We never find out what happens to Janis Crane.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Lennier abruptly departed from the show in the penultimate episode. He is the only major character whose fate at the end of the series remains unknown. The fact that he in "Sleeping in Light," Sheridan lists him as an "absent friend" including Londo, G'Kar and Marcus, he's apparently dead. The plot outline for the Telepath War bluntly states that Lyta and Lennier die during it.
    • Lt. Commander Laurel Takashima, the station's first executive officer in the pilot episode, just vanished without a trace and was never referred to again (except once, not by name and obliquely).
    • Possibly the ultimate example is Justin, a apparently major and important character, an old human man who is Sheridan's opposite number amongst the Shadows and revealed to be the more familiar recurring villain Morden's boss, as well as the originator of the plan to use Sheridan's wife against him. Justin not only vanished without explanation (presumed killed in the nuclear blast, but since Morden survived Justin may have as well) but showed up with absolutely no explanation either except the foreshadowing dream that mentioned "the man inbetween". He is one of the show's biggest outstanding mysteries. According to Word of God, it was planned that Justin would make more appearances, but Real Life intervened. Legendary character actor Jeff Corey, who played Justin, was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer, which rendered him too weak to work. By the time Corey was back in (relatively) good health, the show was off the air. Corey succumbed to the cancer five years later, in 2002.
    • Sinclair's fiancée (who he proposed to at the end of season 1!), is never seen or mentioned on the show again. The supplemental material provides a fate for her.
  • In the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica:
    • Leoben, the first humanoid cylon ever revealed to the colonial fleet. Leoben initially had a pivotal role in Starbuck's character developement. Its Leoben that first claims Kara is "special" and that she has great importance to the future of human and machine kind. Kara and Leoben's relationship goes through many phases as Leoben tries to convert her to his personal religious theories. Starbuck even has a vision of Leoben that results in her finding the way to Earth. Then halfway through season four, Leoben gets kicked to the curb. Starbuck remains important, but Leoben is not seen again except for a brief line in the final episode, and at that point there's no telling if that was even the same Leoben. Leoben and Starbuck are never seen together after the discovery of "Earth." Although the scene was deleted, there was an occasion where the rebel Cylons are discussing things and Leoben says "The Sixes and I are in agreement," leaving the viewer with the implication that the other Leobens have all been killed by Cavil's forces and that Leoben is the last of the model, which is why there are no Leobens seen elsewhere in the fleet until the finale.
    • Bulldog, a recon pilot that was involved in an incident which may or may not have triggered the second Cylon war is released and allowed to escape to galactica. It is implied that the cylons let him escape so he'd find out the truth and kill Commander Adama. After his debute episode Bulldog is never seen again.
    • Boxey, a boy Boomer rescues from Caprica. He managed to last all the way into the first episode, with deleted scenes in the next. Plots for him attached to Sharon/Tyrol were derailed when Sharon's Cylon plot was jumped forward as soon as episode two, and the writers just seemed to not care about a possible artful dodger/black marketer idea. He very quickly disappeared never to be seen again.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Whatever happened to Stephanie? Her relationship with Leonard got a whole arc of episodes devoted to it, and just when their relationship troubles had been resolved... she disappeared and was never seen again.
  • One of the problems Birds of Prey had is it didn't explain what happened to a lot of the traditional Batman trappings like Commissioner Gordon or Wayne Enterprises after Batman left Gotham City and retired. The only answers are the Joker being held in a prison far from Gotham and Bruce calling Alfred in the finale.
  • Boston Legal is a terrible offender: characters are constantly thrown away without any resolution at all. One of the worst examples is when the new guy had been thrown away from his own office by an old lady, both of the characters were regulars and had been central to several plots, one episode ends with the new guy making a resolution to get his office back from the woman, we never heard of them again (and this was midway through a season).
  • Breaking Bad:
    • What happened to Jane's dad after he caused the plane crash? The last the audience heard from him was when a newsradio station announced his attempted suicide.
    • Did Huell ever leave the basement?
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The show often did this at the end of early "Monster of the Week" episodes:
      • The monstrous praying mantis is shown to have laid eggs in a school storeroom at the end of "Teacher's Pet", but the consequences of this are never explored.
      • Marcie Ross, the invisible girl from "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", never appears again despite being taken by the government to be trained in assassination and espionage at the end. Fan outcry about her was so great that the writers of the comics suggested they might include her in a future plotline, but this did not end up happening.
    • Willow and Tara's cat Miss Kitty Fantastico appears a couple of times in season four, before disappearing for the rest of the series. A throwaway line in season seven suggests Dawn accidentally killed her with a crossbow.
    • After Oz leaves the show, the fate of his band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, and its members (including its lead singer, minor recurring character Devon) is never revealed.
    • Although Tara is healed prior to Glory's defeat, no mention is made of her other victims.
    • Drusilla, in the TV show. Finally appears in the Angel and Faith comics.
    • Unless it's an art error, Buffy stabbed Kumiko with a knife, not a stake, which would not kill a vampire. Nonetheless, this is the last we see of Kumiko.
    • Nearly literally true in the case of Amy Madison. Amy turns herself into a rat near the middle of Season Three ("Gingerbread"), there is one attempt to turn her human again shown soon after, then she is forgotten in shown continuity until the middle of Season Four, then again until near the end of Season Six.
  • Californication
    • The second season finale saw Becca and her boyfriend Damien proclaim their love for each other; Damien is, in fact, the reason Hank and Becca stay behind while Karen goes off to New York. Damien is never seen in the third season, however, is never mentioned and has no bearing on the plot whatsoever anymore. This is never explained.
    • What happened to the dog Hank steals as a minor plot point in the first season? He's in two episodes, and no further mention is made.
  • Charmed (1998): In Season 3, it was hinted that Cole was working for the Triad for something in return. At the end of the season, it was revealed to be his father's soul, which they had somehow acquired years earlier. However, after obtaining his father's soul, it is never stated what Cole did with it and is never mentioned again.
  • Community usually avoid these, but in the episode Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy, Troy and Abed have a new friend, Lukka, who they eventually find out did some pretty nasty things during the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. By the end of the episode, they've stopped being friends with him and he's never mentioned again. It's of course good that they stopped hanging out with him, but there's still a Balkan war criminal on the loose in Greendale.
  • This happens frequently on CSI. Mia Dickerson and Riley Adams get a passing mention in the season following their respective disappearances, but two others simply vanish. Ronnie Lake was a CSI on swing shift who worked closely with Sara Sidle. When Sara quit, Ronnie was never seen again. The biggest one was Sofia Curtis. She had a substantial character arc from seasons 5 through 7. She appeared in the first episode of season 8, then poof. Gone. Not even mentioned by those who were apparently close friends and co-workers. That is, until season 11, where she did finally re-appear in an episode. She's Brass's boss now.
  • CSI NY is no stranger to it either. In the season 2 episode 'Run Silent, Run Deep', Danny Messer's brother, Louie, is badly beaten and left in a coma by Tanglewood boy Sonny Sassone, who discovered him wearing a wire to try and get information about an old murder case recently discovered by the CSIs. Louie was mentioned once in passing, in a season 3 episode, but nothing's been said on his condition, and he hasn't been brought up since then.
  • In Dead Like Me, at George's funeral she, as a ghost, watches her father hug one of his male students long and hard. She even asks Rube if it's normal for two men to hug that long. There were obvious implication of a homosexual affair, but it's never brought up again and towards the end of the series' run, it's revealed that he had an affair with a female student, not a male. Word of God is they were planning to have his affair be with a male student, but it was dropped due to Executive Meddling.
  • Degrassi's first half of season 12 had episodes revolving around Clare taking an internship at the Toronto Interpreter and trying to impress her boss Asher Shostak with her great journalism skills. She is then sexually assaulted by him in his car and keeps the incident a secret. Clare all of a sudden gets fired from her job because Asher accuses her of making false accusations about him and making her the bad guy in all of this. In the last episode of the first half, Asher's former intern tells Clare that she too was sexually assaulted by him and agreed that they both should go to the police together about the matter. We never find out if they did go to the police and Clare's former job at the Toronto Interpreter, even Asher's sexual assault on her, is never mentioned again throughout season twelve, nor in thirteen.
  • On Desperate Housewives we learn that Susan's ex-husband Karl re-married. In a later episode the audience finds out Karl's second wife abandoned him and their young son Evan because she couldn't handle being a mother, thus making Karl a single parent. After a couple of episodes Evan vanishes and is never mentioned again. Not by Karl, not by Evan's half-sister Julie, not by Bree the woman Karl wants to marry and then Karl dies and Evan still isn't mentioned.
  • Dexter:
    • The first half of season 5 has several episodes dedicated to Miami Metro investigating the Santos Muertos murders, which leads to Deb shooting one of the Fuentes brothers dead. The fact that there is still one running around somewhere is never followed up on.
    • From the same arc, Officer Cira Manzon is never seen nor heard from, despite being promoted to detective at the end of it.
  • In the third episode of Dirk Gently, Gently injects a microchip into McDuff's hand that allows him to control a university campus' computers and other electrical equipment, but carries side effects including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. McDuff has one attack of diarrhea almost immediately, after which the side effects neither recur nor are mentioned again.
  • Dollhouse has a couple, mainly:
    • Lawrence Dominic. Partway through Season 1, he gets Put on a Bus (well, in the attic, actually). Echo meets him again a whole season later, when she gets sent to the attic—but when she escapes, he decides to stay in the attic and help the people there. He manages to escape in the next episode, but Adele sends him back, reasoning that it will be useful to have someone on the inside. And then the season ends without ever mentioning him again. He does show up once in "Epitaph One" to confront Adele, but he is never shown with the group again, and we neither find out what happened to him nor what happened to Clyde or any of the other human computers in the attic.
    • There's a brief mention that Whiskey/Dr. Saunders gets taken out of the building before it explodes, but we don't know in what state, how she gets to her totally different "Epitaph One" state (and how her scars get removed), or what happens to her afterward, since she isn't in "Epitaph Two".
    • Both of these can be attributed to the cancellation making it impossible to wrap up every plot point. If the cancellation confirmation hadn't come before the last few episodes were made, it could have been much worse.
  • In The Facts of Life, there are a few:
    • In "Starstruck", the episode begins with Jo putting on a fund-raiser for a scholarship student. By the end of the episode, the girl is never mentioned again.
    • In "The Four Musketeers", the girls have worked off their debt to the school and are told they have to move out of their room to make room for four more girls who are being punished. By the end of the episode, Blair, Jo, Natalie, and Tootie are in trouble again and must stay in the room as punishment again, but no mention is made of the other girls who were to be punished.
  • Father Ted: If Jack ended up wiping his nose with that puppy after his once-in-a-leap-year good mood, we can only shudder to think what happened to that little girl.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In the Season 1 episode "Power Outage", Barry Allen temporarily loses his powers due to the metahuman Blackout. At the end of the episode, Harrison Wells (actually Eobard Thawne/the Reverse Flash) makes plans to find out exactly how Blackout was able to drain Barry's powers. It is set up as a potential Chekhov's Gun, but ultimately nothing ever comes from it, in this season or the seasons afterwards, and the whole thing is simply forgotten.
    • The season 2 episode "The Darkness and the Light" introduces the villain Dr. Light, a metahuman from Earth 2. She is captured by the end, but escapes in the next episode, "Enter Zoom". Team Flash only makes a token effort at finding her before they start focusing on using a fake Dr. Light to draw Zoom out. She isn't seen again in any subsequent episodes either, so her final fate remains unknown to this day.
  • Frasier:
    • In one episode, Roz says she accidentally ran her car into a limousine that happened to have four high-powered lawyers in it, and that she'll be paying for the damages for a very long time. It never gets brought up again after that.
    • In another episode, it's revealed that Martin regularly goes to the parole hearings of the man who shot him. The episode ends on an unusually somber note, when Martin is asked if he wants to make a statement, he stands up and says, "I've got nothing to say," then leaves. He does this even though both the man and his mother had told Martin he's changed his ways and now repents his criminal actions. This subplot is never followed in later episodes, and Martin is never shown going to the parole hearing again. Then again, how often are parole hearings for someone convicted of shooting a police officer anyway?
  • Flashpoint has quite a few of these, especially early in the series, since their job is pretty much done as soon as the dangerous situation is resolved, meaning that longer-term questions, if they exist, can go unanswered. Later episodes had a tendency to avert this by providing large amounts of context and backstory in the beginning and/or writing the final scenes in such a way that loose ends were tied up.
    • The most blatant example is in "The Fortress", in which a young nanny is critically injured and it's never even revealed if she survives.
    • In "Never Kissed a Girl", we never find out whether the subject in the episode was exonerated of murdering his friend.
    • Both averted and played straight with the case of Goran Tomasic, the subject from the series premiere. Tomasic's son continues to cause problems throughout Season One, becoming a subject (and, consequentially, a casualty) himself in "Between Heartbeats", but the context for the original incident remains completely unexplained.
  • Freaks and Geeks: Did Nick win the dance competition in the final episode?
  • Friends: Poor Ben....
    • In the two-parter at the beach house, it's revealed that Phoebe's biological mother is very much alive. After this two-parter and one Season 4 guest appearance, she never appears again and arguably came down with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • Phoebe's father Frank (played by Bob Balaban) who made one appearance and was never seen or heard from again.
    • The fact that Rachel is a single mother is something that should, in theory, weigh in hugely on her decision to move to Paris or not. Emma should probably be on the plane with Rachel when she makes her dramatic exit to come back to Ross at the end. Yet, she's never even mentioned or seen in the finale. Rachel has a throwaway line stating that her mother will be bringing Emma along to Paris a few days after she herself arrives, but it's still pretty weird that she's nowhere to be seen for the entire episode, particularly in the very last scene with everyone together.
    • Sometimes the writers would introduce a random relative into an episode but then never mention him/her again afterwards. Two examples are Monica (and Ross's) Aunt Iris from "The One With All The Poker" and their cousin Cassie from "The One With Ross And Monica's Cousin."
  • Full House has a number of these, one of which featured Uncle Joey getting a job as a cartoon voice actor with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, but unlike his other television jobs, this one is never discussed or referenced again in the entire series.
  • A rather literal meta-example from The Goldbergs: In the episode "Mini-Murray," after Adam's mother refuses to allow him to go see Poltergeist on his own, Adam tricks his grandfather into taking him, telling him that they are going to see The Great Mouse Detective. After a few short clips of the two watching the movie and being visibly terrified by it, finally they cut to the movie having just ended, and Adam's grandfather exclaims, "Where the f__k was the mouse?!?"
  • Happy Days: During one episode, Howard Cunningham sneezes several times and states that he "feels a cold coming on". It is never revealed if he actually did catch a cold.
  • Heroes:
    • In season 2, Peter accidentally leaves his girlfriend Caitlyn in a plague ridden future. This is a major motivation for him to try and stop the virus from getting released. Then in the season finale, he prevents the virus from getting released, and afterward doesn't seem the slightest bit interested in what happened to Caitlyn. The real reason for this is that before the writer's strike, the virus was going to be released, and when they reshot the ending, they didn't have enough time to shoot a resolution to Caitlyn's story. Word of God makes it clear she'll never be seen or heard of again either. The series finale of the reboot Heroes Reborn finally answered this question by explaining what happens to those who are in the future timeline when the present is changed to rewrite it: They blink out of existence.
    • Also, the writers have apparently forgotten about Nathan's ex-wife and children.
    • What happened to Audrey Hanson? She walked away from the scene of Ted Sprague's death and off the face of the earth without further mention.
    • Who healed Nathan in Season 3!? They revealed it to be Linderman, but then, a few episodes later, we learn that Linderman was just an illusion. BUT THEN WHO HEALED HIM!?
    • What happened to Angella Petrelli's sister after she left Coyote Sands?
    • Whatever became of the police officers who wanted to question Sandra Bennett after Claire's immune system suddenly fails in hospital when her healing powers disappear, prompting suspicion on the part of the doctors? Claire recovers and they leave the hospital, but the question of her powers being revealed to the police isn't addressed afterwards.
    • Hana Gitelman, Claude Rains, Monica Dawson, Maya Herrera, Molly Walker, Flint Gordon, Claire's friend Zach and many others simply disappeared from the series. If they were lucky they got a fate in the comics.
  • In the Hogan's Heroes episode "Everyone Loves a Snowman", the latest scheme involves pretending to work on a snowman to hide the fact that the group is digging a tunnel underneath/inside the hollow snowman in order to smuggle a group of airmen back into the regular tunnels. When Schultz sees someone going inside the snowman and reports it, they quickly move the snowman so that Hochstetter will investigate it and find no tunnel. So...what did they do with the now-undisguised tunnel opening in the middle of the prison yard?
  • A literal example takes place on House, with Dr. House's pet rat, "Steve McQueen". After an episode devoted to his capture and some time as a proverbial coal mine canary, he made background appearances until he and his cage suddenly disappeared from the apartment. Following fan speculation, Word of God finally admitted that he'd died.
  • House of Anubis has a ton of examples.
    • The cat in season 1. Caused a bunch of drama for the characters for about three episodes, then was never seen or mentioned again.
    • The tear of gold from the season 2 finale. It was even the cliffhanger, and ... was never even mentioned in season 3.
    • A lot of characters have disappeared between seasons with no given explanation. The most notable will have to be Jason Winkler, who was a pretty major character and actually had a suggested romance with one of the main characters despite being a teacher. Then season 2 came, and ... gone. Granted, with him he WAS dying of a degenerative illness but they never specified a death so much of the fandom refuses to believe he really died.
  • iCarly, in the episode iWon't Cancel The Show has Sam get arrested and put in juvie for assaulting an ambassador with a hot dog or shoving it down his pants or something. Whilst she'll get out of juvie in a day or two, the case wouldn't just be dropped. It's never mentioned again.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • About two thirds into Kamen Rider Kabuto, the Red Shoes system is introduced, which is built into the Kabuto and Gatack Rider suits. This system will cause said Rider suits to take over the mind of the user, making them attempt to kill every Worm in sight. Even the peaceful ones. After the episode which introduced it, the Red Shoes system is never referenced again, despite it being a potential danger to one of the friendly Worm side characters.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze plays a rather horrific version of this trope. In the show, the Horoscopes don't really die, and the people that turn into them can still fight. How do they get taken out for good? Well, one of them sends the failures to the Dark Nebula, a dark place that horrifies some of the most loyal of Horoscopes. There were only three people trapped in there in the series' run: Sonada, due to her failing Gamou for the last time, Kijima, due to Libra tricking Virgo into thinking he was a nosy police officer, and Sugiura, who went against the Horoscopes. It's eventually revealed that Virgo, the Horoscope that summons the Dark Nebula, was just putting them into suspended animation on the M-BUS satellite. When he is killed by the Big Bad, the three that were sent to the 'Dark Nebula' were never seen again after that revelation, nor was there any telling that the heroes ever got around to saving them, even in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue movie which has a five-year timeskip. Rather unnerving for a fun show about friendship.
    • The official sequel novel Kamen Rider Fourze: Ama High Graduation reveals that Fourze used Cosmic States and its ability to open wormholes to rescue those characters shortly after the events of the TV series.
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the initial plot is set up based on a serial rapist known for carjacking his victims - it's quickly discovered the case they're investigating isn't actually his work, though, and the subject turns entirely to that. The fact that they're focusing countless man hours on a solitary case while there's a serial rapist on the loose isn't brought up, and no closure is made on that plot.
  • The League of Gentlemen: In the first episode of series 3, one of the plotlines featuring a woman who had to play party games with a Doctor in order to get her medication had the final scene of her plotline cut from the final draft, so we never saw if she actually won the game or not and got her medication. The woman mystery is explained in the commentary as a scene that was cut for time (The 4 creators/main actors actually express disbelief that the scene was never included as they hadn't been informed/realised it was cut). In the last episode of series 3, there's a variation on this with a mouse that reappears without explaining what it did in the meantime, where Dean Tavalouris has his camera stolem from him by some two-bit louts and then used to make a seedy striptease video. The next time we see him, Dean has his camera back without showing how he managed to steal it back.
  • A fairly minor one occurs in the Leverage episode The Carnival Job: the original mark is discussed as mourning for his dead wife by neglecting his daughter and spending lots of money on their house - he's $3 million in debt. By the end of the episode, he has come to his senses, reunited with his daughter, and returned the MacGuffin he stole, so everyone acts like this is a happy ending. There's no mention of the fact that he's still deeply in debt and probably won't be able to pay it off.
  • In the second season of Life On Mars, we never find out what happened to DCI Frank Morgan and the rest of Hyde's C Division.
  • Lois & Clark contained a literal mouse example. A villain tests a device for transferring Superman's powers to others on a mouse. The 'supermouse' dashes straight out of its metal cage at superspeed into the outside world and is never seen again. An ultrafast, invincible, nigh-immortal predator is basically free to pounce on or through anything in the world.
    • Isn't it obvious what happens to the mouse?
    • Didn't this episode show a newspaper article about the mouse being the bane of cats all over the world?
    • At least a later episode showed the power transfer isn't permanent.
  • Lost
    • "Tailies" Cindy, Zack and Emma. They joined the Others and appeared occasionally during seasons 2 and 3 before becoming regular recurring characters in the sixth season. They join MIB's group, which gets bombed, but some survivors scatter into the jungle. It's never resolved what happened to these three. You never see clearly if they were in the group that got bombed, and the ones that scattered are never seen. Especially bad since Cindy was one of the few guest characters left over from the pilot.
    • On the night of the crash, the Others abducted 3 Tailies. A week later, they abducted 9 more, including Zack and Emma. Finally, on the 48th day, they abduct Cindy. So that's actually 13 characters unaccounted for. When Cindy, Zack, and Emma first appear with the Others, they're part of a small group that one might assume are the other abducted Tailies, but it's never spelled out. So that's 10 characters that get even less resolution than Cindy, Zack, and Emma.
    • Benjamin Linus has a childhood friend named Annie that appeared in one episode's flashback to his youth. The creators claimed she was going to be very important to him, but she was never brought up again on the series, and it is never explained why she is no longer on the island when Ben grows up.
    • Sun conceives Jin's baby while they're on the island together. She's rescued, thinking Jin's dead, and gives birth to their child in their native Korea. Three years later she learns Jin's still alive and goes back to the island, leaving the baby in the care of Sun's mother. Jin and Sun are finally reunited and die together. Which led millions of viewers to ask (including people who'd accost Daniel Dae Kim on the street), "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BABY???!!!??"
    • Many viewers complained about the final episode never telling us what happened to Walt. There actually is a short film on the Lost DVD that covers this up. He went back to the island with Ben and Hurley.
    • The background extras from the core group themselves. There were about 20 still alive when the flaming arrow attack occurred. Only three are actually seen being struck by arrows, and the wide shot of the beach at the end of the scene shows only a few bodies. In fact, most can be seen running ahead of Sawyer and Juliet and clearly reached the safety of the tree line. Eloise later confirms that only a handful of people were killed in the attack. But whatever happened to the rest of the minor survivors (Steve/Scott, Craig, Tracy, etc.), they failed to show up at the beach camp when the main characters reunited there.
  • In the revived Magnum, P.I. episode "The Cat Who Cried Wolf" the titular cat Max is last seen in a car with Rick and TC. What happened to the cat?
  • The After School Special from The '80s Maricela, about a young El Salvadorian refugee whose mother works for a middle class WASP family with a teenage girl of its own, it is established that the title character's mother is possibly an illegal immigrant who could face deportation, and that Maricela's father is trapped in the middle of a Salvadoran civil war. However, both of these potentially interesting plot points are forgotten at the climax of the special, when the WASP-y girl learns an important lesson about tolerance and rescues Maricela.
  • In M*A*S*H, both Spearchucker and Ugly John disappear without any notice or mention again. Likewise, Lt. Dish, who was in the theatrical feature and in the TV series' pilot, plus one other episode a while later. After that, she was gone. Justified, in that it's the Army where people come and go a lot as they get rotated between various posts. The unstated reason for the removal of Spearchucker was that the show's creators learned that there were no black surgeons (working as such in MASH units) in the Korean War. Except there totally were.
  • The Mathnet episode "The Case Of The Calpurnian Kugel Caper": In the beginning, we find out the old king of Calpurnia was killed in an car crash that the CIA believes was sabotaged. Then nothing else. It's not even brought up in the mugshot sequence at the end. Our best guess is that Kaboom Pickens or his accomplice Carl Eiken-Meister (or possibly both) did it.
  • An infuriating one in Miami Vice: At the end of the second season, Tubbs rekindles his relationship with Angelina Medera, daughter of murdered crime lord Esteban Calderone, and discovers that they have a son together. However, Calderone's son Orlando captures and kills Angelina and manages to convince Tubbs that his son was killed as well, when in fact he is secretly being kept alive. In season 3, Tubbs managed to get revenge on Orlando, but never discovered that his infant son's death was in fact faked, and this was never brought up for the remainder of the series.
  • The Monkees: At the beginning of "Monkee See, Monkee Die", before the plot gets underway, the boys' landlord tells them that he is kicking them out. Once the actual story begins, this plot thread is completely forgotten about and never addressed further.
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Double Life", we never learn why Miss Moss needed $400 or who killed the private eye. According to the Murdoch Mysteries wiki, Word of God is that Miss Moss's killer also killed the detective, but as the episode is presented, it actually seems more likely that she did it herself, possibly because he was blackmailing her, which is why she needed the money. We also don't learn how the Port Credit constable was involved the cover up of Gladys killing her husband - he obviously knows about it, and is keeping the secret even though he was her husband's friend, but in her Motive Rant Gladys specifically says they couldn't tell the police what happened.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • In "Space Mutiny," Brain Guy brings CPA Mike Down to Roman Times. He's not killed or even seriously hurt, but he's never seen again after the host segment he appears in. Presumably he's trapped in Ancient Grome with no way back to the modern era, since Pearl isn't exactly known for her helpfulness.
    • Also, in the last episode, the SOL crashed to earth. Mike, Crow, and Servo rented a one room apartment, and Gypsy is mentioned as starting her own company, but neither Cambot, Magic Voice or the Nanites are shown. Cambot might still be the camera, still recording Mike and the bots for no reason.
  • The first few episodes of MythQuest set up David as a romantic interest for main character Cleo. After the fifth episode, he's never seen again.
  • NUMB3RS:
    • At the beginning of Season 2, a prosecutor named Nadine was set up as a potential love interest for Don. She shows up twice more and then disappears and is never so much as talked about for the rest of the series.
    • The season 5 episode "Animal Rites" teases a possible budding relationship between Larry and another professor named Lorna. Lorna is never seen or mentioned again.
  • The Office (US):
    • One resolution was deleted: In the episode "Drug Test", you don't find out where the joint came from. The deleted scene shows that it was from two of Vance's deliverymen who commonly deliver things to the office.
    • In an episode in a later season, Jim is being interrogated by Dwight via a drug store blood pressure machine, when it is revealed that Jim has high blood pressure. Pam finally drops her obsession with getting Jim to admit that he's attracted to the temp and worries about his health. Jim's blood pressure is never mentioned again. Did he treat it? Did it ever go down?
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • The series is chock full of these, sewing plot seeds that are rarely returned to (presumably so they can find a new arc quickly). Among them being the Dragon (implied to be from a realm other than the Enchanted Forest,) Victor Frankenstein, (and an entire steampunk black-and-white world,) Oscar/Walsh (how the heck did he get to Oz?), and the Genie/Mirror (Agrabah implies and Aladdin storyline).
    • The last we see of Lily was in the Season 4 finale, when she said she was sticking around Storybrooke to try and figure out who her father is. Two seasons later, this has yet to be followed up on. In the series finale, Regina mentioned in passing to Zelena that Lillith found her father, who turned out to be Zorro.
    • Season 5's Camelot storyline was quickly wrapped up with Arthur being arrested and locked up then being killed by Hades and finding redemption in the Underworld. The rest of the Camelot cast isn't shown reacting to this, let alone do we get resolutions on Guinevere being brainwashed or Lancelot being thrown in Arthur's dungeons.
  • The Path: Where is Alison Kemp??? She left the Meyerist Community because she believed her husband was murdered by them, but his Secret Diary proves that his death was accidental. Once she is re-welcomed into the community at the end of Season 1, she is never seen again. Fan reviews often bring this up and point out that her character could be extremely useful as Eddie Lane struggles with whether or not he's The Chosen One.
  • Planet of the Apes: The computer disc played a major role in the first two episodes, "Escape from Tomorrow" and "The Gladiators", but was never seen nor mentioned again after that.
  • In Primeval there are a couple of these, especially after its return for series 4 and 5:
    • What happened to the Diictodons, Sid and Nancy?
    • While it could be case of "Nobody likes her anyway and she abused Connor, tried to get in the middle of some serious shiptease, and helped Leek and Helen with their evil plot before having a case of Heel–Face Turn" Caroline plays a major part in series 2's arc, appears at Stephen's funeral, and then disappears off the face of the Fandom.
    • What happened to Connor's front door key after it disappeared into the anomaly?
    • What ever happened to Abby's little brother Jack? How did the ARC explain his older sister getting trapped in the Cretaceous for a year? Pretty sure Abby would want to tell him she's still... you know, alive.
  • Robin Hood:
    • Will Scarlett and his brother Luke are saved by Robin from the gallows. Will escapes with Robin, but what happens to Luke? This is answered in a later episode in which Will tells a fellow outlaw that Luke went to Scarborough. But in the second series Luke and his father Dan Scarlett return to Sherwood to visit Will, and during the course of the episode Dan dies. The episode closes with Will and his brother standing beside one another...but in the next episode, Luke has completely disappeared again.
    • Like Luke Scarlett, Benedict and the man who claims to be a clergyman also disappear without a trace, as do all of Little John's gang except Roy
    • A similar fate happens with another guest-star: the Fool. He was one of the more interesting and useful allies to the outlaws, but after the episode is finished (during which the Fool has actually been brought into the outlaw camp), he's never seen or mentioned again.
    • In the third season a lion (don't ask) is set loose on Sherwood Forest in order to kill the outlaws. After the outlaws throw mustard powder at it (please don't ask) it disappears entirely. It's real shame that it never reappeared when least expected in order to eat someone.
  • Rome:
    • In the first season, Vorenus is made a senator by Julius Caesar. In the second season, this is seemingly forgotten about, even though people were made senators for life.
    • Before his assassination Caesar is shown to have appointed several long-haired Gauls to the Senate, much to the consternation of his rivals. No mention is made of what happened to them after, so one is left to assume that they left Rome and returned to their homelands.
  • Roseanne:
    • Many of her close friends like Crystal (a recurring character who appeared in the opening credits and later married Dan's father) and Anne-Marie stopped appearing with no further mention.
    • Crystal and Anne-Marie both appeared in the opening episode of Season 8 where Roseanne had a baby shower. It was explained when she was making a video for her unborn child that Dan and his father just can't get along, and that's why Crystal isn't seen around as much.
    • In Season 3, when Roseanne starts working at Rodbell's diner, she works her first shift with a newlywed. She's a young African-American woman. Bonnie appears soon after, and the first waitress is never seen nor mentioned again.
  • In the second season of The Shield there is a subplot where Danny accidentally kills an Arab man feuding with a neighbor under the belief that he was going to shoot a gun at her. The dead man's wife promises that she will pay for what happened. For several episodes after this Danny is repeatedly harassed by an unknown party, and while she suspects the widow is behind it she can't come up with any concrete proof. About two thirds through the season this is abandoned, as Danny winds up having her job in jeopardy when the murder of criminal Armadillo Quintero occurs under her watch while he's in custody, and it completely takes over as her character arc for the remainder of the second season while the question of who was harassing her is never mentioned again. There is a deleted scene on the Season 2 DVD set that somewhat resolves the subplot, but even that doesn't 100% confirm if the widow was truly the one harassing Danny or not.
  • Sliders:
    • The final scene of "Double Cross" implied that Quinn's evil female double Logan St. Clair would be a recurring villain as she swore that she would have her revenge. However, she is never seen or mentioned again due to Executive Meddling. Fox did not think that Zoe McLellan was attractive enough.
    • Quinn's double from the pilot who helped him solve the equation to sliding is another example. Quinn later reunited with him in "The Other Slide of Darkness", and it was revealed he had taught the Kromaggs about sliding. The two of them got into a brawl, which our Quinn won, but he could not be persuaded by his ashamed double to finish him off, and he was left in the dust, never to be seen again.
    • Quinn is also technically gone, having been merged by the Mad Scientist Dr. Oberon Geiger with another Quinn Mallory (henceforth known as Mallory). A few episodes deal with the fact that he's still partly inside Mallory, but the attempt to separate the two in the penultimate episode reveals that it's too late.
    • Ryan Simms, who joined the group in the Season 1 finale "The Luck of the Draw," along with a dog named Henry who Wade had adopted. Word of God has it that Ryan was supposed to join the main cast, but the producers feared the audience would forget who he was during the hiatus, so they had him casually written out in the Season 2 premiere "Into the Mystic" with only a vague explanation. No mention was given to Henry.
    • An actual one to question is the "Real" Arturo. Near the end of "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome", we get a Shell Game where the two Arturos, the Slider and the native to that dimension, are fighting one another... after one Slides with the others, the Arturo that was left behind in the dimension reacts as if he is worried for his friends, implying he was the Slider Arturo. Eventually the Arturo that slid with the others goes through an arc where he has cancer, has a limited time to live, and sacrifices himself to save Quinn, but that still leaves the What Happened to the Mouse? of what happened to the other, potentially 'real', Arturo. He had the resources available to him, he knew how the Sliding device worked, he had many reasons to try to chase after the others... so what ever happened to him?
    • In the episode "El Sid", the sliders are joined by a new member, a young woman named Michelle, who seemed to show an interest in joining the adventures of the group. However, she disappears by the next episode with absolutely no explanation or even a mention.
    • In the episode "Love Gods", a married couple named David and Dianne slid off their world with our group at the end. Likewise, we never find out what became of them.
    • In the episode "The Fire Within", the group is followed to the next world by a sentient ball of flame of all things. They take it with them at the end of the episode, apparently intent on helping it get home, but nothing ever came of this.
    • There are actually a few other endings that left potential What Happened to the Mouse? moments, like the dimension where Arturo helped Conrad Bennish of that world fix the A-Bomb to save it from the Asteroid, at the end Arturo tried to take key schematic pages with him to protect the dimension from Bennish's meglomania, but we see Bennish stole them back, leaving us to wonder about that world.
    • Conrad Bennish in many worlds brings up this question, as several incarnations of him are shown, given more then a little detailing, and then we never are sure what happened, especially the A-Bomb Bennish and the Blind Kromag Captive Bennish...
  • Smallville:
    • Lucas Luthor, Lionel's illegitimate son. He appeared in exactly one episode (though he had been mentioned before) at the end of which he was hidden away somewhere by Lex. After that he was never mentioned again, the characters even referred to Lex as Lionel's only son in later seasons.
    • In Season 9, Mia Dearden (the second Speedy in the comics) appears in two episodes, over the course of which Green Arrow accepts her as his sidekick. She is then never mentioned ever again.
    • In "Prophecy", Toyman assembles a Legion of Doom out of Metallo, Roulette, Dark Archer, Black Manta, Captain Cold, and Solomon Grundy, a team he calls Marionette Ventures. He shows them a list of the heroes and commands them to each target and kill one of them. They never appear nor are mentioned again, not even in the Season 11 comics.
  • In season three of Supergirl, Corrupt Corporate Executive Morgan Edge is the primary antagonist for the first few episodes, but he disappears and neither he nor his feud with Lena Luthor are mentioned once the season's real Big Bad, Reign, shows up. Given that Reign tried to kill him the first episode she appeared in, he most likely found it prudent to leave National City.
  • Supernatural:
    • Yellow Eyed Demon mentioned other generations of children he'd given his blood to; they're never brought up and none of them ever appear, which is very strange for a show with such a complex myth arc.
    • Castiel's wife Daphne from "The Born-Again Identity" not only never appears again, but no indication is given that anyone bothered to call her to let her know the fate of her husband — it seems as far as she knows, he drove off with a complete stranger and was never seen again. Partially justified however, in that the Winchesters probably didn't know how to explain the situation (or didn't want to) and Castiel was a little busy going insane. In fact, by the time Castiel would have been in a position to return to Daphne and explain anything to her, around two years had passed and he may have decided not to bother.
    • A couple of episodes had them let the child of a human-eating monster survive.
    • After giving the Winchesters his blood to help them defeat the Leviathan in season 7, the Alpha Vampire says "See you next season." As of season 11, he has yet to be seen again.
      • As of Season 12, he has returned and his storyline has been officially wrapped.
  • The Thick of It: Malcolm's Ax-Crazy second in command Jamie, after playing a fairly prominent role in the post season 2 specials, vanishes without explanation for seasons 3 and 4. Given the he was last seen siding against Malcolm in the leadership contest, though, it seems safe to assume that he probably doesn't have a job any more.
  • Too Old To Die Young: While performing a vigilante execution, Martin rescues a woman who'd been left for dead by psychopaths in the desert. Traumatized and paranoid, she stabs him and flees. We never find out what happened to her. The only clue is that Martin's girlfriend Janey believes the whole stabbing incident was "some gang thing."
  • Ultraseven Episode 17 features a literal example of this trope. In the beginning a miner named Jiro, who is identical to lead character Dan Moroboshi because Ultra Seven saved Jiro's life and based his human appearance on him after the latter nearly died performing a similarly selfless act, runs back to save a miner's pet mouse from death during a mysterious cave-in. Both are trapped in the mine, and the plot of the episode centers on the Ultra Garrison attempting to free him. Throughout the episode Jiro talks to the mouse (named Lucky) for comfort and yet when Ultra Seven rescues Jiro towards the end of the episode ... we never see what happens to the mouse. Ultra Seven didn't even know it existed, so in all likelihood it was just left to die in the mine or killed in the explosion that follows. Which means that not only does the audience (many of whom would have been children) never receive any resolution to that character arc, but for all we know the entire point of Jiro becoming trapped in the mine, and thus the entire point of the episode's plot, has been negated.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In an episode of season two, a witch named Lucy appears working for Katherine, but commits a Heel–Face Turn upon realizing she is related to Bonnie. As she leaves, she mentions that Bonnie will see her again. She doesn't, and Lucy suffers a Bus Crash a few seasons later.
    • Season three introduces Jamie, a young man who'd been taken in by Bonnie's mother. He and Bonnie clearly have feelings for one another, going back to her home after a dance and falling asleep together. In the next episode he's gone without any explanation, leaving his relationship with Bonnie unresolved.
  • Done at least twice by Veronica Mars. In Season 1, Weevil breaks into the Kane house to steal a note he wrote to Lilly before she died. At the end of the episode, Veronica confronts him and asks what the note said. Weevil refuses to tell her, and the show never explains, or even mentions, the note again. And in Season 2, when Grace Manning's abuse is discovered by Sheriff Lamb, we never find out what happens to her or her parents.
  • An episode of Victorious ends with Cat being locked up in a padded room in a strait-jacket. No-one from the rest of the cast notices.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger:
    • One episode where Cordell Walker was supposed to rescue a girl who was trapped in a Christian cult camp ended up having the last several minutes of it focused on Walker rescuing Alex Cahill from the cult camp, leaving the intended rescue target's status in question.
    • Many of the team partners that joined Walker seem to simply disappear with no explanation.
    • One episode "Deadly Vision" involves a man attempting to abduct children by luring them over to him with puppies, the puppies are never seen again after he successfully captures a girl and brings her to his home.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Humorously averted in the episode "Guts". Glenn and Morales are going down a storm drain, following after a rat while looking for a way out of the city only to discover large and impenetrable bars in their way. It's explicitly shown that a walker made a meal of the rat after it passed through the bars. Rather than what happened to the mouse we find our what happens to the rat.
    • The Mexican family who Merle and Daryl rescued on the bridge in Season 3 are never seen again.
    • Neither are the young couple who Morgan saved in the forest in Season 6.
    • One of Randall's buddies escaped in the pickup truck and presumably returned to their group, but nothing more came of this.
    • In the episode "Vatos", Rick, Glenn, Daryl and T-Dog find a group of survivors living at a fortified nursing home in Atlanta. This group is never seen again within the show itself, although a deleted scene has Rick and the group return, only to find they've since been massacred.
    • The Governor recruited his second army for the final attack on the prison from a group of survivors living at a remote trailer park. However, some stayed behind rather then take part in the attack and it was never shown what became of them.
    • Two kids from the prison, Luke and Molly, are last seen running away when the prison comes under attack from the Governor. Beth later finds Luke's shoe, implying their deaths, but it is never clarified.
    • A few survivors from Woodbury, such as Dr. Stevens and the Governor's mistress Rowan, are neither shown being killed or moving to the prison.
    • The group from Grady Memorial Hospital haven't been heard of since Rick's group left Georgia.
  • Warehouse 13: MacPherson's wife plays a role in the last episode of season 1, and then ... is never heard from or mentioned again. Including when Mac is, well, getting his mack on in the first episode of season 2.
  • The West Wing is somewhat infamous for this. For example, Mandy disappears with not a single reference afterwards after the first season. She was even retroactively erased, failing to appear in flashbacks where the character should have been present.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place:
    • The Alpha Bitch, Gigi, supposedly set to be Alex's arch enemy appeared twice in the first Season, then once in the second and hasn't been heard from since.
    • Alex and Justin acquired an enchanted dragon disguised as a beagle named Dragon in "Curb Your Dragon". After that episode, Dragon never appeared again. It was lampshaded at least twice, once by Max and once by Zeke, who coincidentally debuted in the following episode.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): The show had a habit of backdoor pilots and retcons that left all sorts of threads hanging:
    • What happened to Wonder Girl? After season 1, she's never heard from again. Presumably she's back on Paradise Island, but...
    • What happened to Paradise Island? In "The Man Who Could Not Die", Diana tells Bryce Candle, the aforementioned deathless man, "In a lot of ways ways Wonder Woman is more alone than you are." Huh? Except for her immortal mother, sister, the other women who inhabit her homeland that is literally named Paradise Island. None of whom we've seen for almost two seasons.
    • What happened to Tina? In "The Girl From Islandia", the Islandian girl, Tina, is trapped and cut off from returning to her homeland. Wonder Woman can ignore Bryce, but an adolescent girl trapped away from her family?
  • The Young Ones, "Bomb". This example goes hand-in-hand with Nobody Poops. The students have a TV detector man on the doorstep and no TV licence. Low on ideas they come up with a desperate idea... "Vyv -- eat the telly!" However, once the man from TV licencing barges into the living room and sees a electrical flex protruding from Vyvyan, he decides to go and wait for the unknown contents to work their way through. Once he heads upstairs, falls through the hole in the floor and walk back up, we never hear from him again.
    • The man can be seen in the background while Dexys Midnight Runners performed their cover of Van Morrison's "Jackie Wilson Said", as Mike had told the band to set up in the lavatory.


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