Top 10 Unseen TV Characters



Top 10 Unseen TV Characters

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Akil Goin.

You've never seen them but you know them well. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 unseen TV characters. For this list, we're focusing on those individuals from our favorite shows who we never entirely see, but who are discussed or heard enough that they're a character in their own right. That means we're even including characters that are partially shown and whose voices may've been heard, but one thing holds true: you've never seen their face in its entirety.

Special thanks to our users zendaddy621, BDenum100, sarahjessicaparkerth, jf1999, Frenchy 17, Kirk Arthur, MikeyP, Masterman3008, and Rob Welch for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Akil Goin.

Top 10 Unseen TV Characters

You’ve never seen them but you know them well. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 unseen TV characters.

For this list, we’re focusing on those individuals from our favorite shows who we never entirely see, but who are discussed or heard enough that they’re a character in their own right. That means we’re even including characters that are partially shown and whose voices may’ve been heard, but one thing holds true: you’ve never seen their face in its entirety.

#10: Doctor Claw
“Inspector Gadget” (1983-86)

We’ve never seen more than his arm and his ornately gloved hand stroking his pet cat, but we can always recognize his gravelly voice. Inspector Gadget’s nemesis, the criminal mastermind Dr. Claw of the notorious M.A.D. organization, is one villainous foe. Sitting in his signature chair, observing his evil plans take shape on a series of screens, Dr. Claw is so nefarious; we just might be better off without seeing the face of such animated evil.

#9: Diane
“Twin Peaks” (1990-91)

FBI agent Dale Cooper is very thorough. Not only does he record case notes on a microcassette recorder, but he addresses them to someone specific, named Diane. An assistant? Secretary? His sister? Who knows? She’s referenced in almost every episode, but not only has she not been seen, she hasn’t even been described or identified. Some theorize that the mysterious Diane is a figment of his imagination; a coping mechanism he developed to deal with his girlfriend’s murder. Whoever Diane is, she bears Dale’s burdens.

#8: George Steinbrenner
“Seinfeld” (1989-98)

We could have gone with Kramer’s unseen friend Bob Sacamano or Jerry’s cousin Jeffrey, but we can’t help but place George Costanza’s onetime boss, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in this spot. The late, real-life owner of the New York Yankees was parodied and voiced by series co-creator Larry David after the actual man refused a cameo appearance on the show. As a chatty, animated, fiery and feared sports franchise owner, he doesn’t need more than the back of his head to show us the strength of his character.

#7: All Adults
“Peanuts” franchise (1965-)

Charlie Brown and friends seemed to live in a world without supervision, because the adults in the Peanuts universe were seen in neither the TV specials nor the comic strips on which they were based. Technically, they weren’t heard either, as their voices were nothing more than the sounds of a muted trombone. Turns out series creator Charles Schulz just had no interest in grownups. Their borderline absence meant the series stayed focused on the kids’ outlook, much like the “Muppet Babies”’ legs-only nanny did for that show years later.

#6: Wilson W. Wilson, Jr.
“Home Improvement” (1991-99)

As a running gag on this sitcom, Wilson – the Taylor family’s sage advice-dispensing neighbor who seems to know just about everything – would always have his face obscured by props. More often than not however, he’d be hidden below the nose by their dividing wooden yard-fence. Believe it or not, this was actually a tough role to cast: the first actor who took the part turned it down when he found out his face would never be shown. But he missed out on the chance to be one of TV’s favorite neighbors.

#5: Ugly Naked Guy
“Friends” (1994-2004)

What we know about Ugly Naked Guy: He lives across from Monica and Rachel’s apartment, he plays the cello, sleeps in a hammock, and once killed his cat by sitting on it, because he’s morbidly obese – which is exactly the kinda guy you want strutting around his apartment naked in full view. The “Friends” gang even tried to poke him from across the street once when his nap looked a little too deep. But Ugly Naked Guy represents that big-city exhibitionist we’ve all encountered, and he’s just another relatable part of this show.

#4: Charlie Townsend
“Charlie’s Angels” (1976-81)

There’s not much to say about this unseen character, besides the fact that he’s a lady-loving millionaire who provides his crime-fighting Angels with assistance and instructions through a speakerphone – but the mystery is somewhat warranted. After all, the Angels work for a top-secret private investigation agency, so the boss man is probably a target for international criminals or something. Voiced by John Forsythe, if ever Charlie was seen he’d have a girl or two on his arm.

#3: Mrs. Debbie Wolowitz
“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)

Though she’s often heard, and her personality is larger-than-life, Howard’s mother remains hidden from audiences. Characterized as an overweight, mustachioed, Jewish stereotype, her voice is that of a character too loud and obnoxious to bear screen time. Mrs. Wolowitz’s physical identity is such a mysterious part of the series that the studio audience actually gasped aloud when they caught a glimpse of her figure from the neck down in a Season 6 episode.

#2: Vera Peterson
“Cheers” (1982-93)

Norm Peterson is a man who knows everyone, and everyone knows him. So it’s ironic that his wife is a woman whose face we never see. But, just because she’s unseen doesn’t mean she’s unmentioned: we endured over a deacde of jokes at Vera’s expense, and Norm often characterized her as an annoying battle-axe of a woman. However, even though he was fairly mean to her behind her back, Norm was devoted to Vera – who, when she was portrayed on the show, was depicted by Norm actor George Wendt’s own real-life wife.

Before we reveal the identity of our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
- Enid Kelso
“Scrubs” (2001-10)
- Bill Brasky
“Saturday Night Live” (1975-)
- The Gooch
“Diff'rent Strokes” (1978-86)
- Mrs. Columbo
“Columbo” (1968-78; 1989-2003)
- Herb & Diane Urkel [Steve Urkel’s parents]
“Family Matters” (1989-98)

#1: Maris Crane
“Frasier” (1993-2004)

For an unvoiced, uncast, unseen character, Niles Crane’s wife sure gets a lotta airtime and plot lines. As described by the characters we DO see, she’s spoiled, rich, neurotic, anorexic, and cold-hearted. Her rocky relationship with Niles suffers cheating, a 2-year separation, and a divorce. She’s even tried for the murder of her new boyfriend, which she escapes to a private island retreat. But what secures her #1 spot on this list is how well her character is fleshed out by the descriptions and reactions of the “Frasier” cast.

Do you agree with our list? Which unseen TV characters did we miss? For more Top 10s every day, be sure to subscribe to
Mary Tyler Moore as Sam in Richard Diamond.
Where's Carlton the Doorman from Rhoda? By the way the Gooch was shown on Facts of Life. The Gooch was a girl
What? No Carlton the Doorman from "Rhoda"?