Professor Slater – Community
Community is that show that all of your comedy friends tell you is the greatest thing on television despite the fact that virtually no one watches it. Anyway, one of the central early plots was whether the main character, Jeff Winger, would wind up with Elizabeth Shue clone Britta, and along the way a hurdle arises in the form of Professor Michelle Slater, who takes a shine to Jeff and creates a romantic triangle between the three. At the end of the first season, Jeff is given the ultimatum to choose between the two, and that’s pretty much the cliffhanger that leads into season two. However, when season two started, Slater was never mentioned again, other than a brief news ticker during an interview with the characters of Abed and Troy saying simply, “Professor Slater still missing.”
Morgan Matthews – Boy Meets World
No one will ever accuse Boy Meets World of being a great show, but it gained enough popularity to earn a long run and now it’s even getting a follow up show called Girl Meets World, which is going to deal with the central characters of Cory and Topanga raising kids of their own. Cory, by the way, was originally one of three kids in the central Matthews family on Boy Meets World, with the youngest kid being Cory’s little sister Morgan. However, after the first couple of season she completely vanished without any sort of explanation. Eventually the character was brought back just as suddenly and mysteriously, but was played by a different actress.
Mr. Turner – Boy Meets World
Okay, this isn’t an attempt to pile on Boy Meets World, because a lot of shows have had characters mysteriously disappear without a trace. However, not many have done a better job of Behroozing their characters than Boy Meets World, and maybe the most horrifying way they ever dispatched a character without further explanation was with longtime character Mr. Turner, the “cool” teacher who rode a motorcycle and had long hair, and also took in Cory’s best friend Shawn Hunter. However, Mr. Turner gets into a horrible motorcycle accident and is seen in traction in a hospital bed with Shawn at his side…and we never see him again. So what the hell happened? Maybe Girl Meets World will finally let us know whether he’s okay, dead, or in still in a coma. Honestly, he was kind of asking for it with that freaking hair.
Chuck Cunningham – Happy Days
Come on, you can’t have a list like this without the original vanishing cast member. Chuck Cunningham was the oldest son in the Cunningham clan, a basketball star at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his disappearance is so famous that this entire trope is named for him. People probably don’t realize Chuck was actually on the show for two seasons, but never really impacted any of the stories. He was always just kind of there, hanging around in the back. Eventually the Happy Days writers just decided to ditch the character, and couldn’t even be bothered to give any explanation as to where he went, so we’ll just assume Mork abducted him, like he later tried with Richie.
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