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Princess Clara: Have you noticed we haven't been getting any screen time this week?

Toot: Well, uh, duh! That's because we've been in the basement all week making this awesome potato gun!
Drawn Together, "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact"
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So you're watching your favorite show, and it has Loads and Loads of Characters. This particular week's focus is on the Beta Couple, lower decks, an icosahedron, or even the West Coast Avengers. In any event, some people we haven't seen much of or in a while are taking center stage... but what's this? Why are some of the main characters completely absent? Did their actor get sick? Pregnant? Sacked?

For some reason, we have an Absentee Actor for a character (main or bit) whose presence would be either plot-relevant or at least plausible in the episode, and is completely absent for the episode. They don't even get a non-speaking cameo even though they should be involved with the plot at hand, or at least present in the location. It stretches belief for Bob and Alice to have a long chat in Mary's Bar and there be no Mary in sight (especially since it turns out she and Alice were just revealed to be fraternal twins separated at birth last episode).

The reason usually has something to do with Real Life. Maybe the actor is sick or otherwise unavailable—but not so unavailable that the writers have to drop a bridge on them or put them on a round trip bus. Maybe the producers need to save money and can't afford to pay them for the episode (hey, every penny saved goes to pay for that big CGI-laden Season Finale!) - in fact, some actors' contracts restrict them to appearing in only a certainly number of episodes each season. Maybe there was just nothing for the character to do that episode. If explanations for the absence are given in show, it's usually way too flimsy to explain a total absence—just how unavailable can Captain Picard be if he's at the hair salon for this week's crisis?

See also Fake Shemp. Compare Written in Absence, where they at least write in a (flimsy) reason for the character not to be there.

Examples of Absentee Actor include:


Anime

  • Digimon Xros Wars can be pretty bad at this at times. Especially with Beelzebumon, who despite stating that he'll always be somewhere near Taiki to help out if he ever needs him, still has a tendency to be completely absent for several episodes straight with no explaination given. Gets even weirder when one considers that his voice actor Daisuke Kishio voiced at least two other recurring characters in the show, and even in episodes where Beelzebumon didn't appear, one of his other roles would often be there anyway.
  • The Garlic Jr saga of Dragon Ball Z is the only saga of the entire series were Goku is absent and he doesn't even save the day in some way. This was because he got stranded in space at the time after one of his battles with Frezia. He does cameo in a form of a cloud though.


Fan Fic


Film

    • Winnie the Pooh. Kanga and Roo were the only two characters don't seen from The Search for Christopher Robin.
      • Owl never seen from A Very Merry Pooh Year
      • Neither of them no Christopher Robin seen from Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie.
    • In Recess Movies, Cornchip Girl and Menlo do not seen from School's Out.
    • Justice League: Shazam and Aquaman did not seen from Justice League and Teen Titans Crossover.
    • In Lilo & Stitch, Gantu and Cobra do not appear in Stitch Has a Glitch.
  • Throughout the Harry Potter films, the teachers present at the staff table in the Great Hall correspond curiously with the teachers who have scenes elsewhere in that particular installment. So you'll only see Professor Trelawney at the staff table in the third and fifth films because they aren't going to hire Emma Thompson unless they have a real scene, however brief, for her to do. In that case, however, it was stated in the third book that Trelawney joining the other Professors at the staff table is a rare thing to happen anyway. The remaining seats are filled by random extras who don't talk and even they change with each movie. The same goes for any scene which supposedly or should logically include "all" the teachers in the school.
    • Also, the actor who portrayed Vincent Crabbe in the movies wasn't available for the last movie, so Gregory Goyle replaced Crabbe as the one to die from his own Fiendfyre and Blaise Zabini replaced Goyle as the Slytherin student other than Draco Malfoy who almost died from that.
      • A similar thing happened in the third movie, as a Slytherin boy theorized to be Theodore Nott replaces Goyle in two action scenes that Goyle's actor wouldn't be able to perform due to injuring his arm.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where neither one of the original six Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, and Captain America) appear.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp are the only films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where a character who is not Stan Lee who debuted in Phase One does not appear.
    • Natalie Portman is absent from Thor Ragnarok.
  • Shrek the Third is the only film in the series were the Magic Mirror doesn't appear.
  • Mia and Tia are both absent in Cars 3.
  • Star Trek: First Contact became the first Star Trek movie were no characters from the original series appear.

Live Action TV

  • The IT Crowd gave the minor character Richmond scurvy when Noel Fielding was unavailable for filming due to the tour schedule with The Mighty Boosh.
  • Prison Break did this to John Abuzzi who got his throat cut and disappeared for a while; the actor who portrays him, Peter Stormare, was contractually obliged to go and film some bizarre Volkswagen commercials. He came back 6 episodes later with a haircut.
  • The new Battlestar Galactica has the Cylons, robots who after rebelling designed twelve "models" of mass produced Artificial Human bodies to infiltrate colonial society. A big part of the series' appeal was the the notion that anyone can be a Cylon, even main characters thanks to Fake Memories and sleeper personalities. However, the writers hadn't decided who all was going to be a Cylon from the get go,[1] so in scenes where the Cylons are away from humans and planning the downfall of humanity, or on Cylon occupied Caprica, several of the twelve models would be completely absent. For a long time in the first and second season, the only models shown in pow-wows would be those previously revealed,[2] usually a 6 and 8 with maybe a 2, 4 or 5 brought in for variety. There was also a monetary factor, several of the cylons were expensive-ish Special Guest Stars[3] in addition to being extras, so showing them all would run up costs. This is why the 1s and 3s are almost completely absent except for a handful of episodes or as out of focus extras.
    • Another BSG example: the "webisodes" that were produced during several of the hiatuses primarily focused on supporting/minor characters.
  • Jericho had this happen on occasion, presumably to save on cost. This got strange when Mary, owner of the local bar who did not appear to have a hired maid or waiter, would not show up in her own bar when the episode's focus characters showed up.
  • Star Trek (particularly the Next Generation era) did this on occasion, and those shows had only seven or eight characters. Most episodes could easily work in all of them, but sometimes one would go missing; we can only assume they were in the toilet.
    • The worst offender was the final season of DS9, where Jake Sisko appeared in fewer than half of the episodes. Even in earlier seasons, Jake Sisko would often go missing for 4 or 5 episodes at a time. In the end, the ascended extra Morn appeared in more episodes than Jake.
      • Memory Alpha mentions in the notes for several episodes that the original, Jake-centric plot of the episode was scrapped because the actor was unavailable due to his education commitments.
    • Colm Meaney did not want to give up his film work during the filming of DS 9, so the writers allowed him to be absent for a few episodes return for a heavily character-centric "O'brian must suffer" episode each season.
    • For Star Trek Generations, they couldn't get Leonard Nimoy or DeForest Kelley (Kelley was in too poor health and he and Nimoy felt their characters had been given enough send off in the previous movie and the lines could be given to anyone else) so they got James Doohan and Walter Koenig instead. You can tell essentially no rewriting was done what with Chekov going off to Sickbay when the refugees are beamed aboard and administering a sedative to Dr. Soran. Scotty also delivered one of McCoy's lines from a previous movie: "Would you like a tranquilizer?", likely written as a Continuity Nod for DeForest Kelley.
      • Scotty also calls Kirk "Jim", something only Spock and McCoy called him.
    • On the original series, George Takei was also missing from a string of second-season episodes because he went off to film The Green Berets.
      • Though the plan coming in that season was for Takei and Koenig to alternate due to budgetary reasons; Sulu and Chekov rarely appear together until the third season.
  • Greek had an episode where the entire ZBZ sorority had to welcome back a former member to re-instate her. ZBZ member (and main character) Rebecca Logan did not appear in the episode. Nor did a few other extra ZBZ members that would've been seen in such a ceremony.
    • Also, not surprisingly in a show about fraternities and sororities, there are many episodes without Rusty's non- and anti-Greek roommate Dale.
  • Sam Puckett in ICarly during the episode iWon't Cancel The Show. It was created due to Jennette McCurdy being in the hospital for an operation.
  • In the early years of the original Doctor Who, filming went nearly year-round so characters - including the Doctor - were often written out of episodes to give the actors a vacation.
    • K9 would frequently be left out of stories in the Baker era due to lack of anything for him to do (and the cast and crew disliking the character). K9's absence in particular one story was because the writer of the script, Terry Nation (who was also the creator of the Daleks), didn't want the robot dog to go up against his most famous creations. So K9 was given "laryngitis" for an episode, and was forced to stay behind in the TARDIS. K9 was also left out sometimes because they were filming in a location the K9 prop would have great difficulty rolling over—e.g. a swamp, a rock quarry etc.
    • Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) was left out of Kinda because she was wasn't written in it and the writer did not want to change the plot to include her.
    • In one episode story "Mission to the Unknown", the Doctor and his companions are completely missing. William Hartnell is still credited, because of the terms of his contract. The actors playing Steven and Vicki, however, weren't so lucky.
  • Stargate SG-1 tended to do this a lot in its later seasons. Hell, Jack O'Neill did this for almost the entirety of the eighth season.
    • And then there was one episode 'Nemesis', where Daniel Jackson has only a minor part in the beginning, when he was out of action due to appendicitis. The real Michael Shanks had been unable to feature in this episode for the same reason, so they added that first scene in later while he was still recovering.
      • Notably, as of season six, only one main cast member didn't miss an episode: Christopher Judge. He missed his first one that season, but he's still the SG-1 member with the most episodes under his belt.
    • Aside from a brief video appearance, Amanda Tapping was absent for the opening five episodes of Season 9 due to being in the final stages of pregnancy at the time. In order to avoid carrying an all-male cast for that stretch, they reintroduced Claudia Black's guest character, Vala Mal Doran, from Season 8 for those episodes, who eventually also then became a series regular for Season 10.
  • Dana Scully's actor got pregnant in The X Files, inspiring the famous UFO abduction plot.
    • Quite a few episodes in Seasons 4-7 were light on one or both characters. The ones in Season 5 are explained because of the filming of the first movie. Reasons varied on the other the other three, but included commitments to unrelated projects, contractual disagreements (mainly Duchovny,) and that when one of the lead actors directed and/or wrote an episode they almost invariably focused entirely on their own character, leaving the partner character either barely there or literally absent.
      • Not to mention that Mulder disappears for an ENTIRE season.
  • So frequent on Babylon 5, that wikis note which regulars appear in each episode, instead of which ones are missing as usual. It wasn't until a couple of seasons in that a normal episode featured every regular.
  • The final seasons of The West Wing rotated the cast on a frequent basis to save on costs, to the point where all the main cast appearing in the credits of an episode (for Leo McGarry's funeral episode) was something of a noteworthy event.
  • Only the first season of Lost featured any actors that were in every episode. From season 2 on, each actor misses at least one episode, if not more. Sometimes it's explained...but usually not. Worse than Miles's fate being left in the air after getting a grenade stuck in his mouth for half the season, Jin holds the record for missing episodes-he's gone in six episodes in a row in season 3, not appearing even after his wife Sun begins to again.
    • Even worse with fan favorite Richard Alpert, who appears greatly in season 3 and then drops off the face of the Earth (or the island) in season 4. The reason? Nestor Carbonell became a regular on a competing TV series, Cane. Luckily, the writer's guild strike cancelled Cane and Richard was able to return.
    • Claire Littleton was the first main character to miss an episode and appeared much less often than the other original characters and rarely had much to do when she did. She missed season 5 entirely before returning in season six.
    • Desmond in season 5 beats Jin's; he's prominent in the first half of the season, then only appears in two more episodes...both brief, and both with almost no lines. Irritating, since while the series juggled the 1977 and 2007 Island plotlines rather well, he's just left there. In fact, he's in less episodes than guest stars Richard & Phil and ties with Ilana and Radzinsky (...all four of which received more screen time than him).
      • Henry Ian Cusick is listed in the credits on every episode of season six. He appeared in about 30 seconds of the premiere, reappears in episode ten, and appears in a grand six more episodes, some of them only as his flash-sideways counterpart.
    • Ilana was made a regular, but only appears roughly every other episode until she's unceremoniously blown up. One cameo after that, and she vanishes; not even in the finale. This is due to her entire storyline becoming an Aborted Arc due to a lack of time.
  • Anna in Chuck is increasingly absent from episodes she has no large role in.
    • In Season 3 Julia Ling, who plays Anna, has left the cast, turning this into a very drawn out version of Put on a Bus
    • Due to budget cuts for season 3, the only characters that will appear in all episodes are Chuck, Sarah and Casey. So there are episodes where Awesome, Ellie, Morgan, Buymorians and even the special guest star played by Brandon Routh are conspicuously absent. The one that disappeared the most seems to be Big Mike, who would sometimes vanish even when lots of action took place in the Buy More or all the other Buy More people appeared.
  • On Get Smart Don Adams was unavailable for the episode "Ice Station Sigfried" so Maxwell Smart's place was taken by a CIA agent named Quigly, played by Adams' friend Bill Dana. You can tell that very little rewriting was done to the script, and the writers simply gave Maxwell Smart's lines to Quigly.
  • On The Young And The Restless, there was a big storyline involving Drucilla learning that her daughter Lily was not fathered by her husband Neil, but her brother-in-law Malcolm whom she mistook for Neil due to being doped up on cough medicine. However, by the time this storyline kicked into high gear, the actor playing Malcolm left the show and they never recast the character.
    • Absenteeism is a fact of life on soaps, especially when you have octogenarian actors who have been on the show for decades. All My Children, As the World Turns, and Days of Our Lives all have actors in their late eighties who are kept on minimal contracts as a courtesy, even though they may go years—literally—between appearances.
    • This often happens on the soaps, for a variety of reasons. It is most often due to an actress' maternity leave (particularly if her pregnancy was not written into the show. It can also happen because of contract negotiations (the reason that the aforementioned Drucilla disappeared for a time), or if a late-teens actor is heading off to college, the character is sent off as well.
  • The eighth season of Scrubs did this as a cost-cutting measure, in addition to a smaller-than-usual writing team. Certain main characters such as Carla have been missing, in one instance because she was 'out of town' but in another she was mentioned several times as being there but just didn't appear on screen.
    • Every character is absent for at least one episode in the eighth season. It gets really noticeable when there are whole episodes without JD, the star of the show.
  • The 7th Season of CSI had Gil Grissom go on a four-week sabbatical because William Petersen took some time off to do theater. He was "replaced" by Michael Keppler (Liev Schreiber) during his absence.
    • There was also Gum Drops a bit earlier, which had Grissom absent due to William Petersen attending a funeral, but I don't recall his absence being explained. That said, many eps have had missing characters without much explanation.
    • More recently, Jorja Fox is the Absentee Actor quite a bit, counted as a regular but not appearing in every single ep.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer was usually very good about NOT doing this, with every regular showing up in each episode, even if it was just for a Mandatory Line. But the final season starts doing this quite a bit, with Anya being absent from several episodes, and Xander not appearing in a pivotal ep as well (after having been in every prior episode to date.) None of these absences are explained on-screen.
    • On Angel, Wesley was absent for one episode in Season Five, as Alexis Denisof was on his honeymoon. This actually played a role in the plot, as the character who replaced Wesley's skills for the episode turned out to be evil.
  • Due to the terms of his contract, Andy Kaufman (Latka) didn't appear in every episode of Taxi.
    • Judd Hirsch was also absent from an episode or two while he was filming Ordinary People.
  • There was an episode of Third Watch where a paramedic appears. Not any of the regular paramedic cast though, none of whom appear in the episode at all.
  • Pushed to extremes in season 8 of Diagnosis Murder when either Jesse, Amanda or both were absent from nearly every episode. There are only 6 episodes of the entire season where all 4 main characters appear, and Jesse isn't even in the series finale.
  • Lily was written out of four episodes of the fourth season of How I Met Your Mother to accomodate for Alyson Hannigan's maternity leave. The excuse was very clever; she got so upset at a dirty joke that Barney told that she didn't hang out with him.
    • Lampshaded as well since Future!Ted specifically states that she didn't talk to Barney for exactly four weeks when it happened.
  • On All in The Family, Norman Lear wrote the character of George Jefferson with Sherman Helmsley in mind, but when the show began in 1971 Helmsley was unavailable due to his commitment to the Broadway show Purlie. Lear promised to hold the role open for Helmsley, and got around this by a.) making George an offscreen character for the first couple of seasons and b.) creating a different character, George's brother Henry, to serve as a kind of pre-emptive Suspiciously Similar Substitute until Helmsley finally became available in season 4. (Once that happened, of course, Henry Jefferson was promptly Put on a Bus and never heard from again.)
  • Mash: Around the fifth or sixth season, Gary Burghoff had his contract changed to limit his appearances as Radar to 13 episodes of each 24-episode season. During these episodes, Radar was frequently said to be "away on R&R".
    • Pretty much everyone in the cast other than Alan Alda was missing for at least a couple of episodes.
    • After Larry Linville (Frank Burns) left the show, the episode following his departure had him going AWOL. To resolve the plot of "what happened to Frank?" Hawkeye receives a call from him and finds out that he was arrested, put in a hospital, and promoted, all without the presence of the actor.
  • Three's Company: In season 5, Suzanne Somers was involved in bitter contract negotiations with the show's producers, and was absent for the taping of numerous episodes (citing suspiciously vague health issues). Her role on the show was greatly reduced as a consequence, with her character Chrissy "moving to Fresno" and essentially reduced to a cameo appearance at the end of each episode (with Chrissy shown talking on the telephone with Jack and/or Janet). A new character, Chrissy's cousin Cindy, was brought in to serve as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of sorts, and Somers was dropped at the end of the season.
  • Patrick McGoohan was away filming Ice Station Zebra for much of The Prisoner episode "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling". This was justified by having the mind of Number 6 being put into a new body.
    • The replacement also allowed them to have Number Six kiss a woman; McGoohan's contract stipulated that he would not appear in a love scene.
  • Bill Owen, one of the stars of Last of the Summer Wine, died after only partially completing three episodes for the 2000 series. In order to use what footage they had of Owen, the producers devised an excuse for his character, Compo, to leave for a while in each of the three episodes- in one, he goes to the betting shop to watch the races, and in another he goes to see his Thursday lady-friend, which becomes plot-relevant in his funeral episodes. Scenes which Owen couldn't complete were then rewritten without him. Once all Owen's footage had been used, the character of Compo died.
  • The later seasons of The Cosby Show frequently had multiple cast members absent. Technically this started as early in the second season, when Sabrina LeBeauf was added to the opening credits, but it really became noticeable later on. In fact, some recurring characters (not in the opening credits) made more appearances in certain seasons than some regulars did.
  • Desperate Housewives had Bree and Orson abruptly leave for a honeymoon in Switzerland in the middle of Season 3 - apparently months after the two were married - in order to explain away Marcia Cross's maternity leave.
  • Zoey 101: Dustin Brooks, portrayed by Paul Butcher, appears in less than half the episodes throughout the entire series' run (24 out of 65, if memory serves). The reason for this is unknown, but for whatever reason he's not always there.
  • In Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Jason Frank's limited availability led them to go to great lengths when it came to keeping his face offscreen: He's one of four rangers, The Mentor, the Big Good, and yet for entire arcs he's not actually there. First, he was trapped in amber, while suited. When it was dissolved, found that he could no longer demorph, and remained this way for a very long time. Then he finally demorphed... but was now invisible (his civilian-mode power for that season.)
    • And it happened to him again when his character appeared in Power Rangers SPD. To cover his absence, the character only appeared morphed and was voiced by Jeffrey Parazzo.
  • Averted in Alias with Jennifer Garner's pregnancy. Sydney simply had a baby with her in-series boyfriend and worked it into the plot, even. Nice going, writers.
  • This also happened with Meredith Baxter-Birney on Family Ties, but not with Phylicia Rashad on The Cosby Show. Because an obstetrician/gynecologist and a lawyer who live in a two-story Manhattan brownstone and already have several children can't possibly afford another kid.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys had this occur more than once. Some episodes had Kevin Sorbo not appear in order to give Iolaus A Day in the Limelight. During the fourth season, though, health issues sidelined Sorbo for many episodes. He still appeared often with the focus was on other characters, but he doesn't appear at all in "Men in Pink," a Autolycus/Salmoneus comedic episode. (Iolaus does not appear in this episode either, but Michael Hirst still turns up in a major role. Playing a woman...)
  • Police Camera Action: Gethin Jones, former Strictly Come Dancing contestant hosted a Very Special Episode entitled Drink Driving Special, which aired on 17 December 2008. Alastair Stewart and Adrian Simpson did not appear.
  • On The Nanny, Lauren Lane had to miss several episodes in the fifth season since she was giving birth. To cover this up, her character C.C. suffered a breakdown and spent those episodes in an asylum.
  • Notably averted with Friends. All six main characters appear in every single episode.
  • In Are You Being Served, after Young Mr. Grace had died and the replacement Old Mr. Grace had proved unacceptable, the writers decided to move the character permanently off-screen. The character was still around and at Grace Brothers, issuing orders via telephone or memo, but he was never seen nor heard. There was never any indication whether this "Mr. Grace" was the "Young" or the "Old" one.
  • Throughout the run of Heroes, all the main cast members skipped at least one episode; even Hayden Panettiere was absent from a couple, but not many what with her having more episodes under her belt than anyone else - Panettiere is both the only cast member to appear in every season one episode and the only original cast member[4] to appear in every season four show. Sendhil Ramamurthy is the only other cast member to be present and correct for all episodes of one season (he turns up in all 11 episodes of season two).
    • In the fall of 2007, it was announced that Zachary Quinto would be taking a break from the show in order to film Star Trek, which would have meant several episodes without Sylar. However, the writer's strike shut down production on Heroes, so there were no episodes for Quinto to be absent from. Volume three averted this by tossing in everyone into every episode, even when they had nothing to do. Played straight by the rest of the show, however.
    • Sylar gaining shapeshifting powers may also have been an attempt to avert this, allowing the character to be present even when Quinto was unavailable.
  • Ed Westwick (Chuck) doesn't show up in a number of episodes of the first season of Gossip Girl. Chace Crawford (Nate) is missing from an episode in season two.
    • As of "The Lady Vanished," Jessica Szohr (Vanessa), who was promoted to a series regular in season two, does not appear in season three episodes "How to Succeed in Bassness" and "The Hurt Locket."
    • At this point Vanessa is missing for several episodes each season (including the season three finale). And at the end of the fourth season she was Put on a Bus...
    • Kelly Rutherford (Lily) was on maternity leave during the start of season three.
    • Basically, the only cast members to have a perfect attendance record so far are Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley and the uncredited voice of Kristen Bell.
  • Dawsons Creek is named after the title character played by James Van Der Beek. He does not however appear in all 128 episodes. He is missing from the Season Five episode 'Downtown Crossing', and a few Season Six episodes. In fact the only credited regular who does appear in every episode is Katie Holmes, who plays Joey Potter.
  • Not every episode of Mission Impossible contains the full complement of IMF regulars. In the Season One episode "Elena", the only IMF member involved in the mission is Rollin (although Briggs appears in the first few scenes, he does not directly participate in the mission itself).
  • The original version of Survivors had this throughout Season Two, with various characters "off gathering salt".
  • NCIS usually includes everyone in the main cast (minus whoever's playing the NCIS director) in every episode, which makes Ducky's absence in "Legend (2)" (the second part of the NCIS: LA pilot episodes) all the more noticeable. Bonus points for the fact that this was first time a main character introduced in the JAG pilot episodes missed an NCIS episode (Thomas Morrow was never a main character and Vivian Blackadder never appeared in NCIS).
  • In the first seasons of Bewitched, Dick York had gotten injured and could not stand during the filming of the show. So, the writers constantly had to either transform him into different items like a monkey or have him out of town on business.
  • The Monkees: Davy Jones was written out of one episode (“Alias Micky Dolenz”) in order to attend his sister’s wedding in England.
    • Michael Nesmith was also notably written out of a few episodes in the second season: He was absent due to both a tonsillectomy and the birth of his son, Jonathan.
  • Charmed had this occur during the tumultuous Season Eight due to budgetary constraints. Brian Krause's episode count was drastically slashed, leading to Leo Wyatt appearing in only the first ten episodes and a return for the final two episodes became examples of this trope. The void in-between was explained by a convoluted plot where Leo was supposed to die, but (via a deal the sisters make with an Angel of Destiny) is instead simply frozen in a block of ice. Bad as that might've been, Dorian Gregory fared worse - being cut altogether and it being stated that Darryl Morris moved back east with his family. Curiously, this trope is not invoked in the first few episodes of the season where the sisters cast a spell to make themselves and Leo look like different people. (Other characters see them that way, but viewers see their true selves.)
    • This happened during the previous seven seasons, though not for the exact same budgetary constraints. During their respective tenures, Cole Andy, Chris and Dan missed a handful of episodes. Even after being promoted to main cast half-way through Season 2, Leo missed a few episodes over the next five years. Darryl had it even worse, though. He doesn't appear in even half of Season 5, for example.
  • In Highlander the Series, Duncan MacLeod appears in only half the Season 6 episodes. Actor Adrian Paul may have been losing interest, but Duncan also steps aside so a series of Immortal females "auditioning" for a spin-off could be introduced. Sometimes Duncan only appears in an episode to bed one of the women, an "old friend."
  • For most of Season 3 of Farscape, the cast was split into two groups with alternating episodes focusing on each group with Crichton being the only character that was in both sets of episodes.
    • Season 4 experimented a little with this. For example, after the characters are largely separated at the end of Season 3, the first five episodes focus on the crew coming back together.
  • The first season of MST3k suffered from this. Before the creative team behind the show got a budget and were moved to cable, they were just a local cable access show and they shot the movie segments live. Thus, if one of the crew had to be out of town for any reason, they'd do something in the host segments to explain it. For example, when Joel had to be in Hollywood for a meeting, his character was explained by the bots to have gone outside the ship to do routine maintenance, which they then quickly forget about. Later, they notice that he's not back yet and look out the window to see a Ken doll in a jumpsuit and space helmet floating outside, suggesting that Joel had lost his grip and was floating away. Similarly, there's an episode where both puppeteers were unavailable and Joel spent the entire episode alone in the theatre.
  • A strange example in Wizards of Waverly Place. In season 4, Max (Jake T. Austin) has been turned into a girl through magic (and thus played by a female actress) for most of it due to Jake T. Austin taking a break for school.
  • Kaley Cuoco's fondness for horseriding led her to unintentionally give new meaning to the saying "Break a leg" on both 8 Simple Rules and The Big Bang Theory. The former wrote her injury into the show; the latter led to one or two "Penniless" episodes (as an E4 continuity announcer put it).
  • In one episode of The Bill, actor Andrew Macintosh (DS Alistair Grieg) was sick; whenever it was reasonable to expect that he'd be called on to take part in the investigation, DI Burnside would ask where he was and be told he was in the loo. Cue many sarcastic remarks from Burnside...
  • On Sonny With a Chance, the Show Within a Show So Random was defictionalized due to the lead actress leaving the show for rehab.
  • The western Bonanza theoretically centered on a father and his three sons. However, Pernell Roberts, who played the oldest son Adam, left the show in 1965 and Dan Blocker - the middle son Hoss - died in 1972 (his passing is widely considered a factor in the series' cancellation the following year). Therefore, there are entire seasons in which Adam is "away;" in his absence, various ranch hands, long-lost nephews, and adoptive sons join the family. Hoss is implied to have died offscreen: the father looks at a picture of him while trying to console another grieving character. However, the family does not visibly mourn for Hoss or refer to any of his past adventures, nor do they write to, visit, or talk about Adam.
  • In Season VIII of Red Dwarf, the crew were suddenly returned to life. This meant Captain Hollister returned (as a regular), as did Lister's friends Selby and Chen (as guest stars). However Olaf Petersen, Lister's best friend and the character most often seen in flashbacks to before the accident, was mentioned twice but never appeared.
  • So far, every member of the study group has appeared in every episode of Community. However, non-study-group series regulars Ken Jeong and (as of season three) Jim Rash are frequently absent.
  • Lois and Clark episode "Soul Mates" had the case lampshaded by Lois Lane stating she expected Lex Luthor to be the villain of the problem she and Clark had to solve. It would have been Luthor but John Shea, the actor who portrayed him in that series, wasn't available when the episode was filmed.
  • Supporting characters in {{Andromeda would often be absent in first season episodes, given the relatively small cast they frequently had in-character explanations (Harper in a surfing competition, Rev Bem at a spiritual retreat...) in episode 12 their frequent absences was even lampshaded by Captain Hunt.
  • Seinfeld has one episode without George and Kramer, when Jerry and Elaine visits Jerrys parents in Florida. Afterwards, Jason Alexander, who played George, let them know that he would like to be in every episode, to make sure it was kept ensemble, a wish the producers respected. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss almost missed a few episodes, due to her pregnancy late in the series.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody:
    • Brenda Song is absent from 2 episodes: ("Have a Nice Trip" and "Birdman of Boston") in the second season.
    • Ashley Tisdale is absent from one episode in the second season ("Loosely Ballroom") and 11 episodes in the third season ("The Summer of Our Discontent", "Baggage", "Sleepover Suite", "The Arwin That Came to Dinner", "First Day of High School", "Of Clocks and Contracts", "Arwinstein", "Orchestra", "A Tale of Two Houses", "Tiptonline" and "Benchwarmers"). Her absence in the third season became prevalent to the point that her character was written-out as studying in Antarctica, and ended up getting two semi-replacement characters.
  • The Suite Life on Deck: Dylan and Cole Sprouse and Brenda Song were the only 3 characters to appear in every episode of the series. Debby Ryan was absent from 9 episodes: "The Mommy and the Swami", "Mom and Dad on Deck", "The Wrong Stuff", "Splash & Trash", "Cruisin' for a Bruisin'", "Any Given Fantasy", "My Oh Maya", "Das Boots" and "Computer Date". Doc Shaw was absent from 4 episodes: "Seven Seas News", "The Silent Treatment", "Rat Tale" and "So You Think You Can Date?". Phill Lewis was absent from 16 episodes: "International Dateline", "Flowers and Chocolate", "Boo You", "Shipnotized", "The Wrong Stuff", "Kitchen Casanova", "Family Thais", "Goin' Bananas", "Can You Dig It?", "Marriage 101", "Seven Seas News", "The Silent Treatment", "Rat Tale", "Senior Ditch Day", "My Sister's Keeper" and "Frozen".
  • Hannah Montana: Miley Cyrus was the only main character to appear in all episodes. Emily Osment and Jason Earles were absent from 1 episode of Season 4. Billy Ray Cyrus was absent from 4 episodes. Mitchel Musso was absent from 12 episodes and Moises Arias was absent from 19 episodes.
  • As well as starring in Shake It Up!, Bella Thorne and Zendaya are the only cast members to appear in every episode.
  • On Sonny with a Chance, the Show Within a Show So Random!, Demi Lovato was defictionalized due to the lead actress leaving the show for rehab.
  • A.N.T. Farm: Carlon Jeffery missed many episodes of Season 1 and 2 before leaving the show. Stefanie Scott missed a few episodes as well.
  • Austin & Ally: Averted: all four main cast members have appeared in every episode of the show.
  • Cory in the House: Only Kyle Massey and Rondell Sheridan appeared in every episode. Madison Pettis and John D'Aquino missed eight episodes each. Maiara Walsh missed one and Jason Dolley missed four.
  • Pair of Kings: Geno Segers missed many episodes. Kelsey Chow missed a few back in the day.
  • Zeke and Luther: Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks appeared in every episode. Daniel Curtis Lee missed several, as did Ryan Newman before she left the cast after season 2.
  • Kickin' It: Olivia Holt was the one most likely to be absent, due to her other projects at the time. Alex Jones only missed one episode before he left the show, and Jason Earles was absent just one time as well. And if you count two episodes that Mateo Arias and Leo Howard (despite being the lead role) appeared very briefly in, then Dylan Riley Snyder is the only cast member with fully perfect attendance!
  • Lab Rats: Hal Sparks is the only main cast member who wasn't in every episode. He only had perfect attendance in Season 3.
  • Mighty Med: Bradley Steven Perry, Jake Short, and Paris Berelc appeared in every episode, but Devan Leos and Augie Isaac were absent frequently — each of them had an episode where they played another character but not their regular role.
  • K.C. Undercover: Impressively, the first season has all the regulars with the exception of Zendaya miss multiple episodes. There was one episode that did not feature Marisa, but had Veronica Dunne do a PSA announcement at the end of the series.
  • Kirby Buckets had several episodes that did not feature Belinda.
  • Best Friends Whenever: The Royer twins were often missing.
  • Crash & Bernstein: Only the title characters have had perfect attendance, although Landry Bender at least made it through all of season 1.
  • That's So Raven: Raven-Symoné and Kyle Massey are the only cast members to appear in every episode. Anneliese van der Pol was missing from three episodes in season one, and Orlando Brown was absent from one episode of season four. T'Keyah Crystal Keymah and Rondell Sheridan were absent from five episodes of season 1. Keymah was again absent from five episodes in season 2. In season 3, she only appeared in the first 29 episodes before her character was Put on a Bus, and was absent from twelve of those episodes.
  • Lizzie McGuire: Lalaine was absent from last few episodes of the series and the movie due to her music career and went on to star in You Wish!.


Video Games

  • In video games based on anime with Loads and Loads of Characters, a lot of major characters are missing for no good reason. The Naruto video game developers apparently have forgotten that Squad 8 exists (but then again, they aren't usually given the best developers).
    • Thankfully averted in the Xbox 360 games, though generally not anywhere else.
  • Bill doesn't get any new lines in the Crash Course DLC for Left 4 Dead. The reason was because the voice actor Jim French couldn't be contacted.
  • Mario Kart 7 is the first game of the series were Waluigi doesn't appear since his creation.


Web Animation

  • In Homestar Runner email "anything", Strong Bad doesn't appear in email despite them being his email. Instead, it's answered by Homestar.


Web Original


Western Animation

    • In Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Oblina and Krumm were absent in "The Great Escape" and "Showdown", which makes Ickis the only character of the series to appear in every episode.
    • The The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Life's Ruff" is notable as the only episode of the Mario cartoon trilogy where Mario himself doesn't appear, leaving Luigi as the only character to appear in every episode of all three shows. Even then, he is completely silent in the Super Mario World episode "A Little Learning", the second-to-last episode of the series. Even again, Hip and Hop both have speaking roles in those episodes.
    • Most episodes of Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers have at least one Ranger absent, and a mid-season run of episodes focusing on Doc and Niko. Some of this was likely due to Jerry Orbach (Zachary) filming Dirty Dancing at the time, as well as giving Doug Preis (Goose) room to voice roles on ThunderCats and Silverhawks but most of this was deliberate on the part of the writers, who placed much more emphasis on character development than most animated series from The '80s.
    • Adventure Time seemed to be trying to avoid this in regards to Finn and Jake for whatever reason, as they have appeared in every episode for the first four seasons regardless of how important they are to its plot. Even if they're not the central characters, they have been given some sort of in-person appearance, even if it's very brief.
      • Finn and Jake don't appear at all in "Bad Little Boy", which was a Fionna and Cake episode, and the only central characters to appear were Ice King and Marceline.
      • They don't appear in "The Prince Who Wanted Everything" (another Fionna and Cake episode), "Princess Day", "Evergreen", "Friends Forever", "Be Sweet", "Orgalorg" and "Varmints".
      • Jake has been absent in season 5 episodes "Rattleballs", "The Red Throne" and the Lemonhope two parters episode.
      • Finn is absent in "The Diary".
      • A very strange example is the episode "Food Chain", the only one where the Snail doesn't appear. It was made by a guest animator who was apparently unaware of the joke!
    • In All Hail King Julien, Clover appears in all of the episodes except for the Exiled episode, "For Whom The Bell Gods Toll".
      • "Out of the Foosa Pen and Into the Fire" is the only episode in which Maurice does not appear, leaving King Julien and Mort to appear in every episode.
    • "The Apprentice" and "The Awkwardness" are the only episodes of The Amazing World of Gumball in which Darwin doesn't appear, and Gumball doesn't appear in "The Sucker". Neither of them appear in "The Singing", "The Spinoffs", or "The Buddy" either, despite being mentioned.
    • American Dad!:
      • Hayley and Klaus are absent in a number of episodes, to the point where it was lampshaded in "Ricky Spanish". Klaus: "Ha ha ha, I made it into the episode. Pay me, bitches!" Hayley: "Ha ha, me too!"
      • Steve is absent in "Stan's Night Out" and "Lost in Space," the latter of which has Francine and Stan appear in the recap for but are otherwise completely absent. Roger appears in every episode, but in "Escape from Pearl Bailey" he is only present for one short scene and has no dialogue.
      • And speaking of "Escape from Pearl Bailey", that episode almost explicitly references this, with all main characters besides Steve not appearing in any part of the episode except a brief segmentnote . Steve briefly greets the Smith family, to which Stan responds, "It was nice of Steve to acknowledge us this week, even if it was only this once."
    • In American Dragon: Jake Long:
      • Spud and Trixie were absent in "Adventures in Troll-Sitting", "Fu Dog Takes a Walk", “Dragon Summit”, "Eye of the Beholder", "Fu and Tell", "Hero of the Hourglass", and "Feeding Frenzy" (although they make a cameo in The Stinger).
      • Lao Shi does not appear in "Ski Trip", "Fu and Tell", "Flight of the Unicorn", and "A Ghost Story" at all.
      • Fu Dog doesn't show up in "Ski Trip", “Flight of the Unicorn”, and "A Ghost Story", thus leaving Jake the only character to appear in every episode.
      • Jake did make a cameo appearance in the beginning of "Fu and Tell", but that is all.
    • Animaniacs:
      • Wakko is the only Warner sibling appearing the shorts "Ups and Downs" and "10 Short Films About Wakko Warner".
      • Skippy doesn't appear in "Guardin' the Garden", though Nate Ruegger does have a role in the episode as a cameo appearance by Baby Plucky.
      • The 63rd episode is the only one of the entire series in which the Warner siblings do not appear at all (outside of the opening sequence).
    • Lana does not appear in the Archer episode "Ladyfingers", the first episode of the entire show in which that is the case.
    • Arthur:
      • Arthur does not appear in the episodes "Poor Muffy" note "Prunella Sees the Light", "Fern Fern and the Secret of Moose Mountain", "Thanks a Lot, Binky!", "Big Horns George", "My Fair Tommy", and "World Girls".
      • In the episodes "Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked" and "Best of the Nest", Jane and David Read do not appear.
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • The Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Zuko Alone" is the only episode that doesn't feature any member of the Gaang at all.
      • In the sequel series The Legend of Korra Asami Sato tends to disappear for a while and then reappear with no explanation, especially bad in the second season, though in the last two seasons, the number of episodes she was absent decreased.
    • Babar had his family absent from Object D'Arthur and What's Mine is Mine.
    • Each of Tasha and Austin from The Backyardigans is absent from at least 40% of all episodes. Tyrone was even absent from an episode or two.
    • The Beatles: John is the only Beatle appearing in "If I Fell," while only George and Ringo appear in "Devil In Her Heart."
    • Big City Greens:
      • Gramma didn't appear in "Bear Trapped", "DIY Guys", "Supermarket Scandal", or "Paint Misbehavin'".
      • Neither her nor Bill appear in "Gargoyle Gals" or "Cyberbullies".
    • Bob the Builder tends to do this. As there are a bunch of episodes where Pilchard, Bird, Travis and Spud all don't appear, There are also some where Some of the Machines are absent and One where Wendy is not present. This also happens in the reboot.
    • Bojack Horseman:
      • Every main character other than BoJack and Todd in the Christmas special.
      • "Say Anything" features Diane at the very end, but she doesn't have any lines. Mr. Peanutbutter doesn't appear at all.
      • "Escape From LA" only features BoJack and Diane in the very last scene.
      • An in-universe example occurs in "Out to Sea"; BoJack discovers that during his two-month stay in Tesuque, New Mexico, Turteltaub had the Secretariat film finished by replacing BoJack with the 'Computer BoJack' created in the first episode of Season 2.
      • "See Mr. Peanutbutter Run" (the fourth season premiere) is notable because it doesn't feature BoJack at all (similarly, the season 4 trailer only features him at the end). Conversely, "Free Churro" from the following season features only BoJack.
      • "The Old Sugarman Place" only has BoJack and Diane, the latter of whom doesn't have much of a role during the episode.
      • "Time's Arrow" is a Day in the Limelight episode for Beatrice Horseman, and as such BoJack is the only main character present in the episode.
      • "A Quick One, While He's Away" one-ups all the other examples by featuring none of the main characters (aside from a brief mention of BoJack) and focusing on several female side characters and a new character.
    • The Boondocks:
      • Huey makes a very brief appearance at the end of "Bitches To Rags", and even then he has no lines at all.
      • Neither Huey or Riley appear in "Freedom Ride or Die".
    • Amanda is in no way involved in the Bunsen Is a Beast episode "Split Decision".
    • The titular character of Camp Lazlo note  is completely absent in some episodes (or at least Demoted to Extra). These include "Spacemates" (which was about Squirrel Scout Nina and the Dung Beetles) and Miss Fru Fru (a Squirrel Scouts episode).
    • "Uptown Funk" is the first episode of The Casagrandes where Ronnie Anne doesn't appear.
      • A number of episodes that don't feature the whole family will focus on a specific set of characters, meaning there's no one character to appear in every episode. For example, the aforementioned "Uptown Funk" doesn't have an appearance from Adelaide's older sister Sid.
    • In Centurions, Max Ray is the only member of the original Power Trio to miss an episode; he doesn't appear in "Ghost Warrior", although his teammates mention him a few times.
    • ChalkZone:
      • Penny is absent from several episodes note , the episodes being "Chalk Rain"note , "Rudus Tabootus"note , "Madcap Snap", "Battle Of The Hands", "Asleep at the Chalk"note , "Legend of the Golden Worms", "My Big Fat Chalk Wedding", "Skrawl's Brain" note , and "Vampire Cannibals Of New York". And in "That Thing You Drew", "Attack of the Rudosaurus", "Teacher's Lounge", and "Calling Dr. Memory", she only has nonspeaking cameos.
      • Snap doesn't appear in "Water, Water Everywhere". Other than that, he appears in every episode of the series.
    • Chowder:
      • Mung Daal doesn't appear at all in the episode "The Apprentice Scouts".
      • Mung's absence is lampshaded in "A Faire to Remember", then subverted as he appears with a couple of lines just before the episode ends.
      • Parodied in one episode when Truffles pops up out of nowhere asking if she can help solve a problem, Chowder's response below causes her disappear into a poof: Chowder: No. You're not in this episode.
    • The titular duo of Corn & Peg are the only characters to appear in each and every episode.
    • Courage the Cowardly Dog: "Cajun Granny Stew" is the only episode not to feature Eustace Bagge.
    • Craig of the Creek, Kelsey doesn't appear in King of Camping, Breaking the Ice, The Refund, Pets Games, The Copy, Big Day of Talent Show, Dog Videos, The Song, Playdate at Clarissa's, Peter the Babysitter, The Bob, Kylie, An Kitten on Board, Los Mundo, Lost and Pound, The Hotel, Craig-ness Guard, Craig's Smile Song, When Peanut Baby Over and Under, Spring Love, and Be Kind Funny.
    • On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, the Tiger Family Trip special is truly that. None of Daniel's friends are seen or heard, in fact, he doesn't even really mention them during the trip. The only characters are Daniel, Margaret, their parents and Grandpere Tiger.
    • Danny Phantom:
      • Valerie, a ghost hunter Fallen Princess who, in the previous episode, revealed that she worked a job to save money for college, doesn't appear in the episode where a million dollar bounty is placed on Danny's head.
      • Also, Tucker and Sam do not appear in "Bitter Reunions", leaving Danny as the only character to appear in every episode.
    • There are several episodes of Darkwing Duck in which Gosalyn doesn't appear.
    • Defenders of the Earth has several episodes where one or more of the regular characters are absent. Only Rick appears in all sixty-five episodes, though he is relegated to a cameo role on a couple of occasions.
    • In Dexter's Laboratory Dexter doesn't appear in "Paper Route Bout" and "Surf, Sun and Science", which instead focus on Dee Dee and Mandark, respectively.
    • The final Dogfather cartoon doesn't feature Pug at all.
    • In Dragon Tales,
      • Ord does not appear in 2 episodes: "Zak and the Beanstalk" and "Out With the Garbage".
      • Cassie does not appear in 7 episodes: "Snow Dragons", "Zak and the Beanstalk", "A Tall Tale", "Wheezie's Last Laugh", "My Emmy or Bust", "Ord Sees the Light" and "Out With the Garbage".
      • Zak and Weezie do not appear in 9 episodes: "Snow Dragons", "A Liking to Biking", "Blowin' In the Wind", "Get Offa My Cloud", "Frog Prints", "Max and the Magic Carpet", "Ord Sees the Light", "Dragon Scouts" and "Room For Change".
    • In Doc McStuffins, Hallie was absent in 6 episodes, and Chilly was absent in 13 episodes.
    • DuckTales (2017): No character has appeared in every episode.
      • During the first season only Dewey appeared in every episode, and one episode featured him in a silent cameo. Huey, Louie and Scrooge each missed 2 episodes, Webby missed 3, Launchpad missed 6, Donald missed 12 and Mrs. Beakley missed 13. The episode "The Great Dime Chase!" features Dewey and Louie, but not Huey, making it the first time that not all of the triplets have appeared in the same episode.
      • During the second season episode "What Ever Happened to Della Duck?!", none of the main cast appeared with the exception of a small cameo by Scrooge at the beginning. "Friendship Hates Magic!" in the same season is notable for (apart from a small cameo by Mrs Quackfaster) featuring no characters from the original cartoons or comics, featuring just Webby, Launchpad and Mrs Beakley who were all created for the original DuckTales. Louie also missed five episodes in a row, and Donald was absent for most of the second half of the season due to being stranded on first the Moon and then a desert island.
      • Huey and Launchpad (the latter in only a small cameo) are the only main characters to appear in the third season episode "Astro BOYD!".
    • Although all the housemates of Drawn Together appeared in every episode, there were several where Ling-Ling had no dialogue, including one where he dies twice.
    • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
      • Although they don't appear in every episode, Nazz, Rolf, Jonny, Kevin, Sarah and Jimmy were not seen or mentioned in "O-Ed Eleven" and "Nagged to Ed", which were the only episodes where all of the kids don't appear.
      • In an inversion, the Eds themselves didn't appear in "See No Ed" until the end of the episode.
      • Parodied in one episode where Double D remarks that "Kevin wasn't in this episode" when he's mentioned.
    • Yzma is absent in several episodes of The Emperor's New School, mostly Malina-centered episodes such as "Working Girl” and “Auction Action". Conversely, Malina was absent from “Cool Summer”, “Father O’Mine”, “Yzbot”, and “Kronk the Magnificent”.
    • Poof didn't appear in most The Fairly OddParents episodes from Season 9 and Season 10 in favor of Sparky and Chloe, and the writers have a difficulty of writing plots with too many main characters. Heck, most of the supporting cast such as Chester, AJ, Tootie, and even Vicky stopped appearing since Season 9. In regards to the movies, Channel Chasers is the only one where Jorgen doesn't appear, and Fairly Odd Baby is the only one where Mr. Crocker doesn't appear.
    • Family Guy:
      • As of 2016, every character has been absent for at least one episode: Chris in "I Take Thee Quagmire"note , "Three Kings", "The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair", "Brian's a Bad Father", and "Scammed Yankees" note , Meg in "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air", "Stewie is Enceinte", and "Brokeback Swanson", Peter and Lois in "Brian and Stewie", Brian in "Into Harmony's Way" note , " Dr. C & The Women" and "Candy Quahog Marshmallow!", and Stewie in "Welcome Back, Carter" and the aforementioned "Candy Quahog Marshmallow!".
      • Peter, Lois, Meg, and Chris are all absent from "Send in Stewie, Please".
    • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "Pranks for Nothing", Mac doesn't appear at all. Either the events at the beginning occurred after he left for the day, or he got sick and couldn't visit Bloo. It also could have been before he visited.
    • In Fireman Sam, Steele was absent in Lost Ringnote  and Lost in The Fog. So were Sarah and James in All in A Good Cause.
    • Futurama
      • Professor Farnsworth is only absent from two episodes - "The Why of Fry" and "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (the latter being right after the former in production order).
      • Dr. Zoidberg is not seen in three episodes - "Space Pilot 3000" (as he wasn't introduced yet), "Mars University", and "Brannigan Begin Again".
      • Amy does not appear in "Fear of a Bot Planet", "Brannigan Begin Again", "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", and "Roswell That Ends Well", while Hermes is not in "Mars University", "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", "Roswell That Ends Well", "The Why of Fry", and "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". Both are also absent from "Space Pilot 3000" for the same reason as Zoidberg.
      • The only characters who appear in every single episode and comic are Fry, Leela, and Bender so all other characters have these moments.
      • Maurice LaMarche is listed in the credits for "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles" even though none of his characters appear in the episode. When he points this out on the DVD Commentary, John DiMaggio asks if it means he still got paid for the episode (a producer quickly confirms he did not).
    • During the need-to-be-plotline of Gargoyles (the journeys after Avalon), there are several episodes without the main crew.
      • In the last season (The Goliath Chronicles), Demona was rarely seen. This gets pretty annoying when the final episode states several times that Angela is the last of her kind. With Demona being Angela's biological mother and not being in the explosion that not killed the main cast, this just screams for her appearing. Of course, this is just a minor detail being wrong about the final episode or the final season.
      • In multiple episodes of the Goliath Chronicles, Angela is missing (including the intro).
    • Gravity Falls:
      • The episode "Irrational Treasure" is notable for being the first episode without Soos. Stan mentions him early on though. Wendy is also frequently absent in earlier episodes.
      • Soos, Stan and Wendy don't appear in "Northwest Mansion Mystery".
      • Soos does not appear physically in "The Last Mabelcorn".
    • In Grojband, Mina doesn't appear in the episodes "Myme Disease" and "The Pirate Lounge for Me". The show also parodied the trope with her in the episode "Cloudy with a Chance of Malt Balls". Trina: That extra pass is staying with me. Mina: Can I have it? Trina: You're not in this episode. (Mina sadly walks away) (later, near the end of the episode) Trina: Mina! Here! Now! Mina: Bu-but, I'm not in this episode.
    • In Harvey Beaks, Harvey doesn't appear in "Buds Before Studs" and "Repo Fee".
    • In Hey Arnold!, Helga was absent in "Ransom", "Big Gino" and "Jamie O in Love". Arnold himself appeared without any lines in "Ms. Perfect"
    • In Hilda, the Great Raven is absent for the whole second season, barring a cameo as a portrait in Alfur's room. There was originally a scene explaining his disappearance (he left town, promising to be back for the next Bird Parade), but it was cut for time.
    • In Home Movies, Coach McGuirk is absent from the episode "Brendon Gets Rabies" from the original UPN run, even though his voice actor is still in the episode voicing Jason and the veterinarian. McGuirk will appear in every single episode afterwards.
    • Excluding the MouseWorks shorts, Pete didn't appear in the entire second season of House of Mouse.
    • In Invader Zim, Zim doesn't appear in "Battle-Dib" note , "Game Slave 2", and "The Sad, Sad Tale of Chickenfoot".
    • Goddard and Jorgen don't appear in the third installment of The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour.
    • "Meet the Gnomans" is the only episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes where Heloise doesn't appear. Lucius, on the other hand, is absent from a number of episodes, the most prominent being Episode 21 of Season 1 ("Fused Together" and "Bus Driving B.F.F.").
    • "Quantum of Johnny" and "Future Johnny" are the only episodes of Johnny Test where Susan and Mary do not appear at all.
    • In Justice League, having all of the Big 7 appear in one episode meant a comparable threat. Smaller scale threats meant small combinations of different characters - with the ones left out rarely accounted for, but always at least implied to be busy elsewhere. Powerhouses like Superman and/or Wonder Woman, for example, would be conveniently absent when their Super Strength would easily solve the problem. Meanwhile, The Flash never appeared in an Aquaman episode as his speed would be of little use in those plots. When the League later expanded to Heroes Unlimited, whenever anyone in the Big 7 didn't appear became even more noticeable - with some episodes focusing more on guest characters like the Question or Green Arrow. Often justified in Unlimited by having various heroes visible on the view screens in the watch tower, or a character casually mentioning they are helping with X crisis, Y bank robbery, or having their day off. Only three times in Unlimited do we see all of the League fighting in the same place, mass alien invasions, and one were the fighting the threat was the main focus of the plot.
    • Dennis from Kid vs. Kat is not seen or mentioned Let The Games Begin, Me-Oh Me-Oh Meow, Flu the Coop, One Big Happy Family, Fishy Frisky Business, Fat Kat, Kat Whisperer, Under Destruction, Hit The Road, You Kat See Me, Mind Games, and Strange Kat On A Train.
    • On Littlest Pet Shop (2012) , Blythe is the only character to appear in every episode, making it common for some episodes to focus on a specific combination of pets. For example, "Terriers And Tiaras" has only Russell and Zoe both appear and have dialogue, while Sunil, Pepper, and Minka only make silent cameos at the beginning.
    • Understandably, no single Looney Tunes character appears in every short, due to its format and their Loads and Loads of Characters nature. However, Bugs Bunny notably doesn't appear in any shorts released from 1965 to 1969. In fact, after 1965, the shorts almost exclusively featured only Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner, and nobody else.
    • The Loud House:
      • None of Lincoln's sisters appear in "The Old and the Restless", "Back Out There", the crossover with Legends of the Hidden Temple, "Snow Way Down", "Pasture Bedtime", and "What Wood Lincoln Do?".
      • As for Lincoln, he was absent from "Net Gains", "Fandom Pains", and "Missed Connection" despite appearing on the title cards and being mentioned in the first.
      • Neither him nor any of sisters were shown in most of the Casagrandes episodes at the start of season. 4.
    • The 2013 Mickey Mouse cartoon made a notable first with the episode "Clogged", which has Minnie Mouse as the main character, but is the first short to completely omit Mickey, who doesn't even have a cameo appearance as he did in "Eau de Minnie". The second Mickey-free short is "No Reservations".
    • Mike, Lu & Og: Lu and Og don't appear in "Queeks, Queeks, Who's Got the Queeks?"; and Og is also absent from "To Serve Lu".
    • Miraculous Ladybug:
      • Alya: She has appeared in every episode of the first season. Beginning in season 2, she would start gaining several absences. Those inculde "Riposte", "Reverser", and "Sandboy". In season 3, she is absent in "Weredad", "Silencer", and "Heart Hunter".
      • Chloé: In season 1, she is completly absent in 5 episodes, "Stormy Weather", "The Pharaoh", "The Mime", "Animan", and "Simon Says". In season 2, she does not appear in "Riposte", "Befana", "Gorizilla", "Sapotis", "Syren", "Captain Hardrock", "Frozer", "Anasi", and "Sandboy". In season 3, she does not appear in "Backwarder", "Reflekdoll", "Weredad", "Silencer", "Onichan", "Desparada", "Christmaster", "Feast", "Ikari Gozen", and "Timetagger".
      • Nino: In season 1, he does not appear in the episodes, "Stormy Weather", "The Pharaoh", "The Mime", "Guitar Villain", "Kung Food", and "The Puppeteer". In season 2, he does not appear in "Prime Queen", "Gigantitan", "Riposte", "Gorizilla", "Sapotis", "Reverser", and "Sandboy". In season 3, he does not appear in "Animaestro", "Backwarder", "Weredad", "Silencer", "Desparada", "Feast", "Ikari Gozen", and "Heart Hunter".
      • Plagg: Like Alya, he appears in every episode of season 1. He does not appear in 3 episodes of season 2, "Prime Queen", "Despair Bear", and "Malediktator". He is only absent in 2 episodes of season 3 which are "Animaestro" and "Christmaster".
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • In episodes focused on the Apples, such as "Family Appreciation Day", it's not uncommon for some or all of the main characters except for Applejack to be absent or make only a token appearance. However, this is inverted with the Lower-Deck Episode "Hearts and Hooves Day." Twilight is the only Mane Six member to appear, and only for a few lines. Applejack never appears, despite the episode prominently featuring two other members of the Apple family (Apple Bloom and Big McIntosh).
      • Zig Zagged with Starlight Glimmer. She got her first big episode in No Second Prances, in the very next episode she mysteriously disappears from the scene without a trace. She then reappears again in A Hearth's Warming Tail.
      • None of the Mane 6 appear in the following episodes: "On Your Marks", "Hard To Say Anything", "To Change a Changeling", "Marks and Recreation", "The Break Up Breakdown", "Frenemies"note  and "Student Counsel".
    • Oggy and the Cockroaches: Marky and Joey don't appear in "Happy Campers" and "Safari, So Good", Joey and Dee Dee don't appear in "Hip Hip Hip Hypnoses", Dee Dee and Marky don't appear in "Perpetual Motion" and no cockroaches appear in "The Pumpkin that Pretended to be a Ferrari".
    • In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes:
      • Radicles doesn't appear in "The So-Bad-Ical" and episodes where Red Action is the main focusnote .
      • Neither Radicles nor Enid appear in "One Last Score", "Glory Days", "Lad & Logic", "The Perfect Meal", "Crossover Nexus", and most episodes where Dendy is the main focusnote .
    • Phineas and Ferb: "Isabella and the Temple of Sap" is the only episode of the entire show where Dr. Doofenshmirtz makes absolutely no appearances. Likewise, Candace did not appear at all in "Bully Bromance Breakup" and "Bee Story". Interestingly, "Isabella and the Temple of Sap" and "Bee Story" are both episodes centered on Pinky the Chihuahua and Professor Poofenplotz.
    • Very prominent in Pingu. In many occasions, most notably "Pingu Runs Away" and "Pingu and Pinga Stay Up", only one of Pingu's family members do not appear. Also not appearing in the birthday episode is Pingg, one of Pingu's closest friends (identified with the sharp, pointed beak).
    • The Brain never appeared in Pinky and the Brain's "Cheese Roll Call" musical number.
    • Postman Pat had an episode where he was in a muddle and despite being mentioned in the opening credits of said episode, Jess was absent.
    • The Powerpuff Girls: The girls are completely absent in 'Custody Battle' which is A Day in the Limelight for the Rowdyruff Boys.
    • Puppy Dog Pals:
      • Bingo and Rolly were the only main characters to appear in every episode.
      • Bob was absent for 2 episodes in Season 2.
      • Keia doesn't appear in some episodes of Season 2.
      • Hissy doesn't appear in most episodes taking place outside of Bingo and Rolly's house.
    • Ready Jet Go!:
      • Mindy was absent in "Beep has the Blues", " A Visit to the Planetarium", "Asteroids, Meteors, and Meteorites", "Tiny Blue Dot", "Earth Camping", "What's a Satellite?", "Space Junk", "Beep and Boop's Game", "Sunday Drive", "Whole Lotta Shakin'", "My Fair Jet", "Space Race", "Sean's Neptune Tune", "Castaway Carrot", and "Not a Sound"
      • Sean and Sydney were both absent in "Earth Camping", "Sunday Drive", and "Castaway Carrot"
      • Celery was absent in "Backyard Moon Base", "Mindy's Moon Bounce House", "Visit to Mom's Office", "A Visit to the Planetarium", "What Goes Up...", "Asteroid Patrol", "Treehouse Space Station", "Earth Camping", "Satellite Selfie", "Scientific Sean", "Beep and Boop's Game", "Constellation Prize", "Total Eclipse of the Sunspot", "Sean's Year in Space", "Lone Star", and "Jet's Time Machine"
      • Carrot was absent in "Mindy's Moon Bounce House", "Beep Has the Blues", "Visit to Mom's Office", "Mission to Mars", "A Visit to the Planetarium", "Ice Moon Enceladus", "What Goes Up...", "Asteroid Patrol", "Face on the Fritz", "Sunspot and the Great Red Spot", "Detective Mindy", "Satellite Selfie", "Beep and Boop's Game", "Total Eclipse of the Sunspot", "Sean's Year in Space", "Whole Lotta Shakin'", "The Mindysphere", "Lone Star", "Space Race", "Sean's Neptune Tune", and "Not a Sound".
    • Gus is completely absent from the Recess episode "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff". It's possible that the episode could've taken place before he moved to town, or due to the Early Installment Weirdness, it's speculated that the episode was produced extremely early in the show's run, before he was added to the gang. He was written into the story when the picture book adaptation was released two years later.
    • The Ren & Stimpy Show: the two titular characters don't appear in "A Hard Day's Luck", "Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman", and "Feud for Sale".
    • Rick and Morty:
      • Summer never appeared in "Mortynight Run".
      • Jerry didn't appear in almost half of the third season following his divorcenote  as well as "One Crew over the Crewcoo's Morty". Neither him nor Beth appeared in "The Ricks Must Be Crazy".
      • None of them appeared in "The Ricklantis Mix-Up".
    • In Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko doesn't appear at all in "Frog's Best Friend" and "Magic Meatball". In addition he only makes non-speaking cameos in "She's the Toad" and "Teed Off" (Rocko screams in the latter, but that's it).
    • Roland and Rattfink: Roland doesn't appear in "A Taste of Money".
    • Ruby Gloom:
      • There are several episodes where one of the main characters is absent without explanation. A particular example is when Scaredy Bat is mysteriously absent in the episode where Boo-Boo needs to scare someone to become a full-fledged ghost, because of course if he was there the story would be over in a few minutes.
      • Often a character who missed the main story of an episode will appear in one of the sketches before and after that episode. For example, Skull Boy and Scaredy Bat miss the main story in "Bad Hare Day", but star in the sketch right before it.
    • Rolie Polie Olie did not have the titular protagonist in "Little Bot Zoo".
    • Rugrats revolves its babies depending on which Rugrat the episode focuses on.
      • Tommy doesn't appear in "Cuffed", "The Unfair Pair", "Pickles vs. Pickles" and "Tell-Tale Cell Phone".
      • Chuckie is completely absent from episodes such as "Baby Commercial". Phil, Lil, and Angelica stand out the most, though.
      • Many Season 1 episodes feature Tommy as the only Rugrat to appear in them. By Season 2, the solo-Tommy episodes were greatly reduced, and by Season 3, they were abandoned altogether.
      • For some reason in “The Gold Rush”, in which Chuckie finds a nickel that the other Rugrats fight over, none of the adults are present throughout the episode, not even Grandpa Lou.
      • In one pair of episodes, Phil and Lil were absent from the A-story and Chuckie and Kimi were absent from the B-story.
      • Dil was absent for 2 episodes in Season 6, 13 episodes in Season 7, and 6 episodes in Seasons 8 and 9.
      • This also applies to spinoff series All Grown Up!.
    • The Simpsons:
      • Marge appears but doesn't get a single line in season 4 finale "Krusty Gets Kancelled", although Julie Kavner still gets a credit. Both she and Harry Shearer objected to what they saw as an episode heavily built around guest stars, thus explaining their [characters'] absence.
      • "Four Great Women And A Manicure" has the distinction of being the first (and so far only) Bart-free episode, but it's not the only episode where Bart doesn't speak, as he appears in "My Fare Lady" but doesn't have any lines.
      • Also, "Chief of Hearts" is the first episode in which Lisa has no dialogue (although as with "Krusty Gets Kancelled" above, Yeardley Smith is still credited), leaving Homer the only talking character who appears in all episodes of this show. "Moho House" is the second episode where Lisa has no lines, and just like before, Yeardley Smith is still credited.
      • Maggie also appears in nearly every episode, but with exceptions including "Lisa's First Word," "Bart vs. Thanksgiving", "Friends and Family", "Coming to Homerica", a dream sequence in "Every Man's Dream", several "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes and the aforementioned "Four Great Women And A Manicure" (speaking with a different voice on almost each occasion), she has no dialogue. However in later seasons, Maggie has been absent from episodes such as "The Mook, The Chef, The Wife And Her Homer", "Stealing First Base", "American History X-cellent", "Flaming Moe", "A Midsummer's Nice Dream", and "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts", due to being a baby and having little free-range in episodes that focus in secondary characters, locations that are usually exclusive to Homer, Bart, and Lisa, or when no subplots revolving around Marge or the Simpson house are present.
    • Sofia the First:
      • In "The Little Witch," none of the regulars except for the titular character appear; Minimus is the other regular to appear in "The Secret Library: Olaf And The Tale Of Miss Nettle," which outside the first scene, doesn't take place in Enchancia at all.
      • Besides Sofia herself, Amber is the only character to appear in all of the show's movies. They usually show the whole family, but only she and Sofia appear in "The Mystic Isles".
    • South Park:
      • None of the main boys appear at all in "Not Without My Anus", "Pip", "A Million Little Fibers", and "Handicar". There have also been a few episodes were one or some of the boys are absent throughout.
      • Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman don't appear in "More Crap".
      • Kenny didn't appear in "#HappyHolograms". He didn't appear at all in most of the sixth season either, as he "permanently" died in the second-to-last episode of season 5. Being that he's Kenny McCormick, he eventually came back for the very end of the sixth season's final episode.
      • "You're Not Yelping" is the only season 19 episode where PC Principal doesn't appear.
      • Kenny also doesn't appear in "Splattey Tomato".
    • Space Racers: Eagle, Hawk and Robyn were completely absent in at least one episodenote . Eagle and Robyn don't appear in "Return to Sender", Robyn and Hawk don't appear in "Double-O Dodo"note , Robyn doesn't appear in "Ships in a Bottle"note , and Eagle and Hawk don't appear in "Space Girl Explorers".
    • SpongeBob SquarePants tends to revolve its main cast depending on the setting and situation. For example, Squidward doesn't appear in "The Secret Box", but his Easter Island Head house does, and "Just One Bite" and "Grandma's kisses" both have scenes set at the Krusty Krab, yet Mr. Krabs doesn't appear in either of them. Patrick and Sandy don't appear in most episodes taking place at the Krusty Krab. "The Algae's Always Greener" features alternate-universe SpongeBob, but not the main-universe one. In addition, SpongeBob only gets a non-speaking cameo in "Whale Watching", in which he just laughs without any dialogue.
    • Star Trek: The Animated Series.
      • Interestingly, the episode "The Slaver Weapon" features the only example in any 'canonical' The Original Series work (aside from the original pilot episode) where Captain James T. Kirk does not appear at all. The episode instead focuses entirely on the landing party of Spock, Uhura and Sulu, something which was actually impossible on the live-action Star Trek. After all, William Shatner was the star, and had a contractual guarantee that his character would always be front and center in every episode.
      • Walter Koenig (Chekov) was missing from the entire series because they couldn't afford to pay him. Instead, he worked as a writer on the show.
      • An aversion also occurred: originally, only William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Majel Barrett were going to be hired as voice actors. But Nimoy balked and said he wouldn't work on the show unless George Takei and Nichelle Nichols were also hired, keenly aware of the ramifications of jettisoning two groundbreaking minority characters. Luckily, Doohan and Barrett were both able to voice far more characters than just Scotty and Nurse Chapel.
    • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
      • The series has neither Star Butterfly or Marco Diaz in the episodes "Is Mystery", "The Hard Way", "Moon the Undaunted", "Book Be Gone", "Ludo, Where Art Thou", "Skooled", "Tough Love", "Down by the River", "Princess Quasar Caterpillar and the Magic Bell", "Ghost of Butterly Castle", "Meteora's Lesson", and "A Spell With No Name". These episodes follow important supporting characters or villains like Queen Moon or Ludo.
      • Marco doesn't appear in "Puddle Defender", "Club Snubbed", "Stranger Danger", "Demoncism", "Starfari", "Ponymonium", "The Bogbeast of Boggabah", "Total Eclipsa The Moon", "Butterfly Trap", "Bam Ui Pati", "Lake House Fever", "Junkin' Janna", and "The Monster and the Queen".
      • Star doesn't appear in "Marco and the King", "King Ludo", Sophomore Slump", "Holiday Spellcial" (Marco has a speaking cameo), "Kelly's World", and "A Boy and His DC-700XE".
    • Star Wars Rebels:
      • Ezra and Chopper were the only main characters to appear and be credited in every episode.
      • "Blood Sisters": Kanan and Zeb are nowhere to be seen.
      • "The Future of the Force": It's Hera and Sabine's turn to be absent.
      • "Legacy of Mandalore": Hera and Zeb are completely absent.
      • "Secret Cargo": Sabine's still gone. Agent Kallus is also nowhere to be seen, notable considering he had a major role last episode.
      • "Double Agent Droid": Kanan is absent for the second episode in a row, and Sabine's still gone.
    • Steven Universe:
      • The only piece of official media that excludes the titular character himself is the storybook adaptation of "The Answer", since the show is meant to be from his point of view. He also technically doesn't appear in "Jungle Moon", or at least his voice actor isn't present, as Stevonnie stays fused throughout the whole episode.
      • The Crystal Gems make no appearances in "Horror Club", "Open Book", "Nightmare Hospital", "Sadie's Song", "Drop Beat Dad", "The New Lars", "Beach City Drift", "Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service", "Alone at Sea", "Onion Gang", "The Zoo", "Lion 4: Alternate Ending", "Doug Out", "The Good Lars", "Stuck Together", "The Trial", "Off-Colors", "Raising the Barn", "Sadie Killer", "Kevin Party", "Lars of the Stars", "Jungle Moon", "The Big Show", and "Escapism".
      • Amethyst and Garnet are absent in "Frybo", "Historical Friction", "Mr. Greg", and "Gem Hunt".
      • Garnet and Pearl aren't in "Joking Victim", "Onion Friend", "Too Short to Ride", "Beta", "Tiger Philanthropist", and "Back to the Kindergarten".
      • Pearl and Amethyst don't appear in "Garnet's Universe", "Love Letters", "Future Boy Zoltron", "Room for Ruby", and "Pool Hopping".
      • Amethyst is completely absent in "The Answer", "Mindful Education", and "Your Mother and Mine".
      • Garnet is completely absent in "Last One Out of Beach City". She also doesn't appear in "What's Your Problem?", "The Question", and "Made of Honor" because she's unfused.
      • Some episodes will lack the characters, but still have their respective voice actresses perform a role. "Garnet's Universe" has Amethyst and Pearl's voice actresses play Hoppy the bunny and Hopper the frog, respectively. "The Zoo" has Amethyst's voice actress voicing multiple Amethysts, while "The Trial" has Pearl's voice actress voice Yellow and Blue Diamond's Pearls.
      • This is continued in Steven Universe: Future. Garnet and Pearl are absent in "Guidance", Amethyst and Garnet are absent in "Volleyball" and "Bismuth Casual", Amethyst and Pearl are absent in "Together Forever", and all three are absent in "Why So Blue?", "Growing Pains", and "Mr Universe". They also have non-speaking cameos in some episodes. Peridot is now part of the main cast in the closing credits, but this is likely because of her line at the end of the show's opening credits.
    • Superjail!:
      • The Twins do not appear at all in the "Mr. Grumpy-Pants" episode, as they could not be fit into the plot. Season 2 was a bit more egregious of an example, as they vanished for three episodes in a row. The third season had them missing from the first two episodes and relegated to silent cameos for other early ones, until the crew managed to fit them more into the later part of the season.
      • Lord Stingray, who was hyped as a new main cast member for season 2, vanishes for a while in season 3 (after his role in "Stingstress") up until the last two episodes.
      • The episode "Superfail" features all of the recurring inmates (named and unnamed), with the notable exceptions of Jean and Paul.
      • Jacknife is absent from "The Budding of the Warbuxx", "Stingstress" (that features his female counterpart) and "Last Pack".
    • In Tiny Toon Adventures, Babs Bunny doesn't appear in "Test Stress", "Here's Hamton", "Kon Ducki", "Flea For Your Life", or "Toons from the Crypt". Neither her nor Buster appear in "Sepulveda Boulevard" note  or "Grandma's Dead".
    • There are a lot of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes where Thomas does not appear. There are also some episodes where none of the Steam Team appear.
    • In The Transformers, actors would generally get paid for every three characters, so if they wanted to play six characters, they'd need to be paid an additional amount, so on, so forth. Unfortunately, Transformers has Loads and Loads of Characters. For actors with only one or two regular characters (such as Peter Cullen, Dan Gilvezan, etc.), this wasn't a problem. But for actors with a large number of roles (such as Michael Bell, Corey Burton, and especially Frank Welker), it meant that many of their characters would either be absent or have no lines. This is somewhat conspicuous in the movie; Michael Bell provides the voices for Scrapper, Swoop, and Junkion, but Bombshell and Prowl have no lines. In addition, another one of his characters (Sideswipe) is absent. Frank Welker has 9 roles (Megatron, Soundwave, Wheelie, Junkion, and Soundwave's five cassettes), and three of his other characters appear without a single word (Skywarp, Sludge, and Mixmaster), two (Mirage and Trailbreaker) are nowhere to be seen. Another one, which is not related to his voice actor being unavailable (since he also voices Shrapnel, who speaks in the movie), is Snarl, who does not appear for most of the movie, only showing up for a few short scenes.
    • The 2 Stupid Dogs episode "Substitute Teacher" had Big Dog and Little Dog be absent until the very end of the episode, and even then only Little Dog had one line of dialogue.
    • Unikitty!: Puppycorn, Dr. Fox, Hawkodile, and Richard are entirely absent from the episode "Stuck Together".
    • Victor & Hugo:
      • Count Duckula, Igor and Nanny guest star in the episode 'Treasure Haunt', but Igor is not given any lines due to Jack May not being cast in this series. It's explained away as the butler sulking with his master and 'he's not speaking to you until (we're home)!'. The bunglers pet parrot Interpoll is also silent in his brief appearance in this episode despite David Jason still being present to voice his other characters.
      • Hawkeye Soammes, a character also voiced by Jack May in his appearence in Count Duckula, guests in several episodes in this series, voiced now by Brian Trueman. As a supporting character though, it's far less noticeable than if one of the other actors had filled in for Igor.
    • Visionaries has the following examples:
      • Merklynn is absent from "The Dark Hand of Treachery", "The Price of Freedom" and "Feryl Steps Out".
      • Cryotek, Ectar and Witterquick are absent from "Feryl Steps Out".
      • Though all fifteen members of the regular cast are seen in "The Overthrow of Merklynn", Galadria, Arzon and Feryl only appear in non-speaking roles.
      • Cravex, Darkstorm, Mortdredd, Reekon and Virulina are absent from "Horn of Unicorn, Claw of Dragon", the implication being that they were all affected by the Magical Plague which sweeps Prysmos in the episode, though this is only confirmed with Darkstorm and Mortdredd.
    • Wander over Yonder has a large number of episodes where either Wander and Sylvia or Hater and Peepers do not appear. These episodes are usually either about Hater and Peepers doing something on their ship or Wander and Sylvia on an adventure irrelevant to Hater.
    • We Bare Bears: Ice Bear and Panda don't appear in "Anger Management", "Poppy Rangers", "Ranger Games", "Vacation", and "Lord of the Poppies".
      • Panda and Grizz are absent in "The Demon".
      • Grizz and Ice Bear don't appear in "Summer Love".
      • "Yuri and the Bear", "Panda 2", and "Family Troubles" all take place before the bears met each other, and so they only feature Ice Bear, Panda, and Grizzly respectively. "Band of Outsiders" takes place right after "Yuri and the Bear," so Grizz and Panda are absent there too.
      • All three of the main bears don't appear in "Kyle" and "El Oso", which focus on Nom Nom and Charlie respectively.
    • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: While Wubbzy has been appearing in all episode since season one, Widget and Walden do not appear in three main segments, all of which are from season two: "Who's That Girl?," "New Kid on the Block," and "What a Card". Some of the minor segments throughout both seasons only contained one of the two while they were both others in a couple of others. Daizy, the character introduced at the start of the second season, appears in every main segment of season two, but is only absent in a few shorts.
    • Jack Spicer appears in all of Xiaolin Showdown episodes except The Return of Master Monk Guan where only Hannibal Roy Bean appears instead.
    • Very noticeable in Young Justice, which according the creators, was usually intentional. The show was insanely expensive to produce, so oftentimes episodes would omit certain members of the team in order to minimize the number of speaking parts. This became even more apparent when the team expanded into more of a Heroes Unlimited roster in the second season.
  1. (They instead chose to use Schrodinger's Gun by telling actors to keep in mind they could be playing a Cylon)
  2. (though in 3's case, her appearance in one such pow-wow was the episode's shocker ending)
  3. (Dean Stockwell of Quantum Leap as #1, and Lucy Lawless of Xena as #3)
  4. Robert Knepper, who was a regular in the final season, also appears in every instalment
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