TV Characters That Vanished
Every year thousands of people vanish without a trace, and some of them do it on television. Over the years TV writers write characters off, and rather than giving them a fitting end they simply stop writing them effectively causing the character to disappear. Because we as television fans do not forget here is a list of TV characters that vanished without a trace.
“Spearchucker” Jones (MASH): When he was introduced in the first season of the legendary show, he was to be utilized by the socially conscious writers to explore race relations. But history worked against them in this instance as they learned that no African American had served in a MASH unit during the Korean War. Stuck between a rock and a hard place the production crew of MASH were forced into making Spearchucker go AWOL so to speak.
Mr. Turner (Boy Meets World): The young and hip teacher who often served as a counterbalance to the stoic wisdom of Mr. Feeny, Mr. Turner was a prominent character in Boy Meets World. Forming a strong bond with Shawn, the two were a prominent aspect of the series during its prime years. In the emotionally charged episode “Cult Fiction” viewers were shocked as he lay dying after a horrific motorcycle accident landed him in the hospital. As the tear-filled characters of the show tried to make sense of it all….the episode ended. When the series returned the following season, Mr. Turner no longer roamed the halls of the school, neither was there mention of his passing. Mr. Turner was only referenced one more time in a joke concerning his sudden disappearance.
The Woodocks (‘Til Death): Most of the characters on this list held supporting roles on their various shows; but the Woodcocks were in fact two of the four main characters on the short lived and seldom watched ‘Til Death. For the first two seasons of the sitcom, the plot revolved around them as a happy newlywed couple clashing with the older Stark couple next door. Come season three, the couple was no where to be found, their costars had now taken over as the sole stars of the show and the Woodcocks were never seen or heard from again.
Chuck Cunningham (Happy Days): The patron saint of TV characters who vanished without a trace, Richie and Joannie’s older brother Chuck. He was the dispenser of wisdom to his younger siblings for the first two seasons of the show. Unfortunately for him, Fonzie was completely overshadowing him in popularity and the team behind Happy Days saw fit to give the Fonz the role of Richie’s mentor of sorts. In a now infamous episode, Chuck ventured up the stairs to get his basketball and was never heard from again (just like an athletic Louis Le Prince). In future episodes Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham would even go so far as to say that Richie and Joannie were their only children, rendering Chuck nonexistent.
Judy Winslow (Family Matters): Family Matters began life as a warm-hearted family show which completely transformed into the Steve Urkel Show. During this drastic change casualties occurred, one such casualty was the youngest daughter of Carl and Harriet Winslow, Judy Winslow. After four seasons Judy was deemed expendable as the budget shrank (but not shrink enough to cut out Urkel Bot). Just like Chuck Cunningham before her, she ventured upstairs to her room and was never mentioned again. Perhaps some upstairs rooms simply contain cracks in time.
Laurie Forman (That 70s Show): A sitcom which drew its strength from a great ensemble cast, That 70’s Show had a strong run for a good number of seasons. One of the most prominent characters in this cast was the promiscuous and malicious Laurie Forman, sister to main character Eric Forman. For the first several seasons she was portrayed by Lisa Robin Kelly during the show’s prime, but backstage drama led to Kelly leaving and the character going away to beauty school. But since she wanted to be included on the list, the character returned a few seasons later, this time played by Christina Moore. Moore did not last very long in the role as the writers had adapted to a show without Laurie and wrote her out of the series without notice.