Top 10 TV Characters the Show Forgot About
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
The shows forgot about these TV characters, but we didn't. Our countdown includes "Friends," "Schitt's Creek," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and more!
Top 10 TV Characters the Show Forgot About
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Characters the Show Forgot About.
For this list, we’ll be looking at small screen characters that seemed to completely disappear from existence from their respective shows. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t ever mentioned later or appeared in a few episodes down the line, but just that the writers and/or characters of the series seemingly didn’t remember their existence most of the time.
Did we forget to include anyone on our list? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Mark Brendanawicz
“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15; 2020)
After season one, the political satire sitcom changed direction, and also seemingly left one of the department’s integral employees behind. As despite his being a main character and love interest for both Leslie and Ann, season two sees jaded city planner, Mark Brendanawicz swiftly exit the Parks & Rec department. His epiphany is spurred by his fall in the pit, after which he realizes he needs to change his ways. The biggest decision he makes is to leave his government job in order to join the private sector, earning him the name, “Mark Brendanaquits” in the season finale. Chris and Ben - who appeared in the previous episode - are then set to replace him as permanent cast members while Mark silently disappears and is never heard from again.
#9: Jacqueline "Jackie" Ames
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990-96)
Tyra Banks made her acting debut in season four of “Fresh Prince” as Will’s childhood friend, Jackie. From the moment they first reunite, their deep-rooted friendship is evident. And as the pair become reacquainted, the romantic energy between them intensifies, too. However, Will’s drunken antics at a party bring an abrupt end to their “will they/won’t they”. Infuriated by Will and her new boyfriend’s childish behavior, Jackie asks Carlton to drive her home and leaves the party. Later that night, when Will sobers up, he admits that his stupid behavior cost him a friend - and we never see Jackie again.
#8: Tori Scott
“Saved by the Bell” (1989-93)
When the gang finally made it to graduation, they thought they were saying goodbye to their Bayside days for good. But when the show got picked up for some extra episodes, actresses Tiffany Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley had already moved on. To fill the gap, the show introduced tough-girl, Tori Scott. Although she and Zack initially butt heads, she soon befriends the group and of course, dates Zack and Slater. After 10 episodes though, she disappears and her absence is never acknowledged - neither are we told why Jessie and Kelly are all of a sudden back (though the real-life reason is because the episode was filmed beforehand). Zack does mention Tori in the revival - but Kelly’s response leaves him wondering if she ever really existed at all.
#7: Mutt Schitt
“Schitt’s Creek” (2015-20)
As played by Tim Rozon, “Schitt’s Creek”’s rugged recluse Mutt was a series regular during the show’s first two seasons. As Roland and Jocelyn’s once estranged son and Alexis’ community-service-buddy, love interest, and later boyfriend, it seemed very unlikely that he would suddenly disappear. However, following their break-up, we start seeing less of Mutt around the Creek. And after a brief cameo at the start of season three, he doesn’t reappear again until the season four episode, “The Rollout”. After Alexis rejects his advances, he vanishes again for good. Fans hoped that he might reappear during the show’s final season, but it simply wasn’t meant to be.
#6: Tina Pinciotti
“That ‘70s Show” (1998-2006)
Considering this character had such a short lifespan on the sitcom, you’d be forgiven for forgetting she ever existed. In season one, Donna throws a party while she’s stuck babysitting her little sister when their parents go away. Tina crashes the party to complain about rowdy partygoers in the house before getting her flirt on with Fez. And that’s it. She’s never seen or heard of again and, Donna becomes an only child. Well, actually she’s mentioned once more at the end of the season two episode “Vanstock”. Making a meta, tongue-in-cheek joke, the soap-opera-style voiceover comments on her sudden disappearance.
#5: Ruby Lucas
“Once Upon a Time” (2011-18)
After her growing popularity in season one, not to mention an entire episode devoted to her story in season 2, Red was set as a series regular. However, that would end up only being temporary. Even though the writers had big plans for her story, the introduction of several new characters meant that their plans got put on the backburner and seemingly forgotten about completely. Eventually Ruby decides that Storybrooke no longer feels like home and leaves. We catch up with her again in season five, when the writers decided to bring her story-arc to a close. But after giving her a happily-ever-after, any memory of Ruby vanishes as if by magic from the rest of the series’ run.
#4: Terri McGreggor
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)
Poor Terri was put through a lot during the first three seasons, including a harmful relationship that later left her in a coma. Going into season four, you might hope that the writers would cut her some slack - but instead, she completely disappears. Considering that the last time we see her, she’s recovering in hospital, you can bet that fans were alarmed. A deleted scene from season four explains that she had been transferred to a private school to keep her away from Rick. Well, we’re glad that she’s ok and we hope she has better luck at her new school.
#3: Ben Geller
From the moment Ross learns he’s going to be a father, he seems pretty determined to play an active role in his son’s life. And sure, he certainly has his moments, but we can all agree that he was never going to win father of the year. Over the course of the series, Ben sightings become more sporadic and we last see him about mid-way through season eight. By the end of that season, Rachel gives birth to Emma. Not only does she seem to replace her big brother in their father’s life, but she also never ends up sharing any screen time with her half-bro. To top things off, Jack Geller seems to forget that Emma isn’t actually his first grandchild.
#2: Chuck Cunningham
“Happy Days” (1974-84)
Hardcore “Happy Days” fans might recall that in the first two seasons Richie and Joanie had an older brother called Chuck. While local bad-boy Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli grew in popularity with viewers, Chuck was phased into the background and eventually vanished without a trace. The show continued as if he never existed with the hopes that the fans wouldn’t notice, or would at least play along. However, not only did they notice but they also coined the term, “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome”. This has since caught on as a blanket term for those characters, who, like Chuck, simply evaporated from their shows.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Coco, “The Golden Girls” (1985-92)
The Show Decided It Would Rather Focus on the Female Friendships Instead
Seven, “Married… with Children” (1987-97)
The Son of Peggy's Cousins Disappeared Almost as Fast as He Appeared
Jonathan Turner, “Boy Meets World” (1993-2000)
After Mr. Turner’s Accident, We Never Saw the Teacher Again. But Don’t Worry, He’s Fine
Leslie Winkle, “The Big Bang Theory” (2007-19)
Did She Get a New Job at a Different University?
#1: Judith "Judy" Winslow
“Family Matters” (1989-98)
Originally a spin-off of “Perfect Strangers”, “Family Matters” was meant to center on the Winslow family. However, after introducing the hugely-popular nerdy neighbor, Steve Urkel, the show decided to take a new direction. This was bad news for the Winslow’s youngest daughter, Judy, who started to fade into the background. We last see her in season four’s “Mama’s Wedding,” in which she’s seen as a flower girl during Estelle and Fletcher’s wedding. The sitcom had plans to bring her back for Steve and Laura’s wedding, where they would also explain her absence, but “Family Matters” was canceled before they got a chance.