TV TV Characters Who Appeared From Nowhere


Club Legend
Dec 17, 2006
The Southern Hemisphere
AFL Club
Other Teams
South Fremantle, Sturt
I was watching the sitcom 'Everybody Loves Raymond' the other day (the Superbowl episode) and noticed something interesting about one of the recurring characters Gianni, one of Ray's friends. From 1999 to the end of the show in 2005 Gianni showed up quite frequently, took a fairly prominent role in the episodes in which he appeared and would appear in the flashback episodes showing he and Ray had been friends for years past so he is not a new friend. Yet in the first three seasons of ELR there is no mention of Gianni in any episodes, those featuring Ray's friends or otherwise, and he is nowhere to be seen in the flashback episodes. The actor who plays the character does appear in one early ELR episode playing a cable repairman, but this is not Gianni.

Another similar case I remember is Doctor Who during the Third Doctor (John Pertwee) era. At the start of Pertwee's second season in 1971, we are introduced to two new UNIT characters - Jo Grant and Captain Yates. While Jo is a new character who replaced 1970 character Liz Shaw and is given a writing-in scene, Captain Yates is not given an introduction scene and technically he is not 'new' - he is said to have been with UNIT during all of the 1970 stories.

In a way this is a reverse of the 'Chuck Cunningham Syndrome' where a character is dropped without explanation and ret-conned out of existence like Chuck Cunningham from Happy Days, Sara Spooner from The King of Queens and Judy Winslow from Family Matters.

Can anyone name other examples of new characters appearing in TV shows but who just suddenly appear and are said to have been there all along?

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Club Legend
Feb 11, 2012
AFL Club
The opposite of this, but when Dallas brought back Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) the character of Mark Graison had to disappear and pretend that he never existed.
And in another Patrick Duffy show Step-By-Step, his youngest son just disappears late in the show.

Richie Cunningham's older brother in Happy Days. I like to think he did some horrific crime and the family disowned him.


Brownlow Medallist
Sep 27, 2014
Live from Here
AFL Club
Other Teams
NRL Premiers Roosters, West Ham NYG
Why do people still mention How I Met Your Mother five ******* years after it ended? It wasn't worth noticing when it was new.

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