When television shows are in their early seasons, with a few exceptions they’re just trying to find their footing. They go through focus groups and get a ton of network feedback, so obviously some changes are going to be made here and there. But once in a while those changes involve suddenly jettisoning seemingly important characters, and then those characters are absolutely never mentioned again. Here are some of the best vanishing characters in TV history. 9.
Behrooz – 24
The television show 24 had a lot of expendable, redshirt characters. Namely, anyone not named Jack Bauer or, in the later seasons, Chloe O’Brian. But above all other characters, perhaps the most famous expendable character is Behrooz Araz, a character in the fourth season of the show who was turned into an integral part of the plot only to vanish without a trace, never to be mentioned again. Apparently in the DVD extras his fate was mentioned, but that doesn’t really do anything for the fans who only watched the show in, excuse the phrasing, real-time.
Judy Winslow – Family Matters
A lot of things changed on Family Matters over the years. After all, it began as a spinoff of Perfect Strangers, and the intended central character was Harriette Winslow, Carl’s wife and the mother of Eddie, Laura, and little Judy. Only once things started to shift on the show, one of those children was apparently deemed expendable, and one episode simply went up to her bedroom and, apparently, never came back out. Judy was unceremoniously written off the show, but don’t worry, the actress who played Judy probably landed on her feet, right? Er, actually, she landed on her back. She went into a career in porn.
Dr. Goodman – Bones
During season one of the television procedural Bones, one of the primary characters was Dr. Daniel Goodman, who was the head of the Jeffersonian team that included Temperance “Bones” Brennan, which helps the FBI and agent Seeley Booth solve bizarre murders thanks to really gross scientific methods. Goodman is kind of a stick in the mud hurdle for the most part, but he’s a character who was always meant to be intelligent and well meaning. And then, after the first season, it was announced he went on a three month sabbatical and he hasn’t been seen since. He’s probably off partying with Behrooz somewhere for all we know.
Denise – A Different World
The Cosby Show was an insanely popular sitcom, to the point where it had a spinoff called A Different World, which followed eldest daughter Denise as she went off to college. However, things quickly changed for Denise and the actress who played her, Lisa Bonet, when Bonet first appeared in a film in which she had an explicit sex scene and then got pregnant, and she was suddenly written off the series. She made a brief return to The Cosby Show, but was just as quickly fired from that gig, too, and Denise was never seen again despite being one of the main characters of two shows.
Tori – Saved by the Bell
During the inexplicably long run of Saved by the Bell, at one point there was a major shift in the female portion of the cast when the beloved central characters of Kelly and Jessie were suddenly absent and a new tough girl named Tori moved to town to kind of fill the void they left behind. This happened because Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley were in a contract dispute, and the producers were making a power play in the negotiations by attempting to replace them with a character that was even more annoying than most on the already annoying show. Once the two stars signed their contracts, Tori pretty much just disappeared, never to be mentioned again.