6 thoughts on “Five TV Characters Who Appeared a Lot Less Than You Thought They Did

  1. You could also have said Rik Mayall in Blackadder – he only appears on three episodes, but he makes such an impact as Lord Flashheart that it feels like he’s in a lot more.

  2. You could choose many examples from cartoons, but based on interactions I’ve had from fans since even childhood, a good one may be Casey Jones during the 1987 “TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES” series. In the comics, he was one of the core supporting cast members, and appeared in 2 out of 3 films during the 1990s. And all of his appearances were memorable, and the character got a toy in the second wave of Playmates’ original run. I remember even as a kid he was fairly popular. Even when the 2012 “TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES” on Nick would “cross over” with their 1980s counterparts, Casey Jones was almost always included, furthering that idea that he was a “regular” on that show.

    Well, he wasn’t. Out of 10 seasons and 193 episodes, he only appeared 5 times. Two of those appearances (his first) were in season 3. For perspective, other “reoccurring allies” of the Turtles like the Neutrinos appeared more (six episodes). Even the ever annoying Zach the Fifth Turtle (a child fan of the Turtles who basically cosplayed as them before cosplaying was a thing and would help out) appeared a whopping 7 times. Reoccurring allies are standard in cartoons intent on selling toys, I just was always fascinated how Casey was so memorable that he seemed to eke out more popularity out of fewer appearances.

    I could also count Usagi Yojimbo. One could argue a key reason why many people even know about Stan Sakai’s longtime creation was due to his guest stint in Ninja Turtles. In the ’87 show he only appeared twice (in season 3, in back to back episodes). Yet that has snowballed to the character appearing in most subsequent adaptations of the canon (2003 and 2012), and getting a spinoff Netflix show (and Sakai’s comic continuing on since the 80s across three publishers). Man, people just loved that samurai rabbit in 1989.

  3. The late great Alan Melvin only appeared on eight episodes of the Brady Bunch as local butcher and Alice’s boyfriend Sam Franklin. He also appeared in zero of the reunion shows.

  4. Melvin was going to be on this list before I expanded it to include people who had been in 10 episodes. He’s definitely a great example.

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