Any fan of television has experienced the frustration of a major character on a TV series disappearing without rhyme or reason. Here are 12 TV characters that completely vanished from their shows.
Denise Huxtable in The Cosby Show
It seems ironic now, but Bill Cosby was adamant that The Cosby Show should be all about family and family values. Cosby even made all of the actors who played the Huxtable kids sign morality clauses. Shortly after the Huxtable's second eldest daughter Denise, left the show for her own-spin-off series A Different World she was written off both series completely. Lisa Bonet who played Denise got married and got pregnant, which promoted Cosby and the shows producers to feel it was not a good look for the series. After taking some time off to raise her daughter (Zoe Kravitz), Denise came back for a few seasons later on in the series, only to vanish again with her husband and step-daughter and never returned. Bonet is now married to Aquaman aka Jason Momoa, so we can safely say that she had the last laugh here.
Minkus in Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World was notorious for simply getting rid of characters without any explanation. We bet you don't remember that Topanga actually had siblings. Still, one of the hardest goodbyes was the nerdy but lovable Stuart Minkus, who was played by Lee Norris. Minkus was the polar opposite of both Shawn and Cory when it came to smarts and socializing. Unfortunately, Minkus became too dull to keep up with the gang, and he was never to be seen from again until the crew graduated from high school. During that episode, he randomly popped in to tell everyone that he got moved to a room on the other side of the hallway. Luckily, his role as Minkus was not the last we saw of Lee Norris. One Tree Hill fans will recognize him as the iconic Mouth McFadden.
Dr. Erica Hahn in Grey's Anatomy
Dr. Erica Hahn's introduction to Seattle Grace brought in a ton of changes on Grey's Anatomy. Her relationship with Dr. Callie Torres effectivly squeezed out George and McSteamy, and it introduced a lesbian relationship on the show in a real and thoughtful way. Therefore, after Dr. Hahn won millions of dollars in the lawsuit settlement making her partial owner of Seattle Grace, we couldn't understand why she was never to be seen or heard from again. Seriously, she just walks to her car one day and that's it. The rumor is that ABC was getting nervous about Grey's being "too gay" (SMH it was like 2008), and they pressured Shonda Rhimes to get rid of Brooke Smith's character. No matter what happened behind the scenes, Erica Hahn deserved a much more respectful send off then just being faded to black.
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Laurie Foreman in That '70s Show
Originally, Eric's older sister Laurie was supposed to be a main cast member in That '70s Show. She was a bad girl and a sex bomb who often led Kelso astray from Jackie. Laurie was the typical terrible older sister who terrorized Eric and his friends, while pretending to be a innocent princess in front of her parents. However, as the show progressed, Laurie appeared in fewer and fewer episodes until she vanished completely. The last time she was referenced was in the series finale of the show when someone asks, "Has anybody seen Laurie?" We'd love to say that we don't understand why this happened but, actress Lisa Robin Kelly, who played the character, was battling addiction. Sadly, she passed away from a drug overdose in 2013.
Judy Winslow in Family Matters
In the first five seasons of Family Matters, Jaimee Foxworth played Judy Winslow, the youngest Winslow kid. Then suddenly, she completely disappeared from the show without any explanation. The Winslows acted as though Judy never existed, acknowledging they only had two children, Laura and Eddie. The last time Judy was ever seen on the show was when she went up to her room, but she never came back down. By the fifth season, Judy really wasn't adding too much to the show, especially since Family Matters had basically become the Steve Urkel Show. According to Foxworth, she’s "still up in her room putting clothes away". This is extremely strange considering the fact that Judy's existence was never acknowledged even though Foxworth was main cast member in the show for so long. However, in reality, Foxworth got heavily involved in drugs and porn which was a no go for ABC’s family friendly line-up. The other rumor is that Foxworth tried to negotiate a higher salary… we’ll let you decide which theory you believe. No matter what actually went down behind the scenes, the writers could have at least pretended Judy went off to boarding school or something.
Agent Amy Jessup in Fringe
Fringe was a show full of mysteries, but perhaps one of the most mysterious story-lines was that of Agent Amy Jessup. Amy came on during the second season to provide another set of eyes for the lead agents, and she quickly became a fan favorite. Therefore, when she didn't return for season three of the series, many people were left baffled. Even after the show wrapped, Amy's disappearance was never explained. Mostly, we just think that the stunning Meghan Markle snagged her major role USA's Suits so she couldn't return to Fringe.
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Professor Michelle Slater in Community
Community lovers will remember the anticipation from the first season finale when Jeff had to decide between Britta or Michelle. But then, when season two finally rolled around Professor Michelle vanished. Seriously guys, what the heck?!! Perhaps, she finally decided she was going to stick with her policy against dating students. Either way, what was the point of all of the hype?!
Chuck Cunningham in Happy Days
Before Fonzie became the star of Happy Days, the series' star was Richie Cunningham. Richie had an older brother named Chuck. Though Chuck was away at college most of the time, he still appeared in eleven episodes of the first season. He also always had a basketball whenever he was around. However, by the time season two debuted, Chuck was nowhere to be found. It was like he never existed at all, and Richie and Joanie just acted like they were the only Cunningham kids. Chuck's disappearance was so obvious to Happy Days fans, that the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome was named after him. It refers to the loss of a minor (or major) character that is never to be seen or heard from again. Seriously, the Happy Days writers could have at last let poor Chuck go off to the NBA or something.
Mandy Hampton in The West Wing
NBC's hit political drama, The West Wing boasted numerous memorable characters, but one super memorable one was Dr. Madeline "Mandy" Hampton who appeared throughout the first season of the series. Mandy was a White House Media Consultant and ex-flame to the Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman. After Mandy publicly embarrassed the presidential administration by criticizing the President, her character was less and less seen on the show. Eventually, she was just gone altogether. Though her absence was never explained, apparently actress Moira Kelly's departure from the series was amicable. The feeling was that Mandy's story-line was just not going anywhere. Luckily, we got to love and know Moira Kelly as Lucas' mom Karen on The WB/CW hit One Tree Hill.
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Max in Saved By the Bell
We're not quite sure why Max even existed to begin with. After all, we already had Screech to provide all of the nerdy antics we could have hoped for on Saved By the Bell. However, the gang often hung out at Max's burger joint, The Max. Initially, he would pop up when the gang was sitting at their favorite booth in his restaurant and Saved By the Bell fans looked forward to seeing his face. Therefore they took notice when he abruptly stopped showing up. Perhaps he simply got tired of California and the food business, so took his magical talents out east.
Mr. Turner in Boy Meets World
Everyone remembers one of the coolest TV teachers ever, Mr. Turner on Boy Meets World. He was ridiculously cool, taught the best life lessons, and he even took Shawn in and raised him for a while. In season 4 of the show, Mr. Turner got into an horrific motorcycle accident, and the last time we saw him, Shawn was holding vigil by his hospital bed. After that, there was no more Mr. Turner and many fans feared the worst. However, after all these years we've discovered that Mr. Turner did pull through. Anthony Tyler Quinn reprised his role on Disney's Boy Meets World spin-off, Girl Meets World. After surviving his accident, Mr. Turner apparently became the superintendent of NYC schools. We also discovered that he's still super tight with the Matthews, and in case you were wondering, he married the woman who helped nurse him back to health. Seriously though, Boy Meets World could have told us all of this years ago and saved us a lot of heartache.
Detective Kate Lockley in Angel
After Angel and Buffy decided they could not be together without fear of Angel losing his soul, the broody vamp headed to LA to start his own private instigation business. He teamed up with Detective Kate Lockley to bring hard facts to his supernatural sleuthing. However, when the show's executive producers decided to change the format of the show from detective serial episodes to a more linear narrative, poor Detective Lockley was on the chopping block. After having her attempt suicide, the writers were too lazy to wrap up Kate's story, instead she just faded into oblivion.