Put on a Bus

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Bye, bye! See you again someday ... maybe. We hope.


A character is written out of a series in such a way that they can easily be returned later, if the producers so choose. They are Put On A Bus.

A staple of the Prime Time Soap and particularly Soap Opera where casts are large and actor turnover is frequent. Conveniently, when such a character is brought back, it can be with a case of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome or The Other Darrin.

If the character doesn't return, this becomes a Long Bus Trip; if they return exactly once, it's The Bus Came Back. If they just abruptly vanish from the series and aren't even mentioned again, it's Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. If there's obvious malice involved in the character's departure, then they've been Put on a Bus to Hell. If it's because the actor has died, it's The Character Died with Him. Of course, there's always the chance of a Bus Crash or dying on the bus.

The polar opposite of Dropped a Bridge on Him. Compare with Long Bus Trip, Commuting on a Bus. The bus in question may be a Convenient Coma. See also Absentee Actor and Written-In Absence, for when a character disappears for only an episode or two.

See The Exile and Reassigned to Antarctica for when this is more directly a sentence of banishment.

Examples of Put on a Bus include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Mazinger Z: The Hero Kouji Kabuto himself and his Battle Couple, Sayaka, were Put on a Bus at the end of the series (to be exact, they were put on a plane and sent to America), and they were replaced by The Hero and the Action Girl from the next series, Great Mazinger (Tetsuya and Jun). In fact, all Mazinger Z characters but Shiro, Boss and his gang were Put on a Bus when Great Mazinger started, although a few of them returned in the last season for the Grand Finale (Kouji, Sayaka, Prof. Yumi and Dr. Hell). In UFO Robo Grendizer, Kouji was the only character from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger was not Put on a Bus (although Boss made a cameo appearance). Go Nagai intended Sayaka returned, too, but Executive Meddling prevented this from happening. In the manga versions, though, more characters and settings from the original series show up.
  • Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho mysteriously disappears after the first few episodes in the Sensui arc, using the excuse that he doesn't care whether or not the human world is destroyed. He turns up several episodes to test Yusuke's strength. He goes on a temporary bus again when the team enters Sensui's hideout and battle Gamemaster. Hiei notes, "I know as much of games as I do hugs or puppies and care for them even less" and falls asleep. He remains like this for several episodes.
    • A much more straight example would be Kuwabara in the final arc. While the other main characters travel to the demon realm he stays behind to focus on his studies and is only seen at the beginning and the end of the arc.
  • Misty in Pokémon left the show five years in and has been stuck preventing her sisters from messing up the Cerulean Gym ever since. She was followed by May, who in turn was followed by Dawn, with both getting four years before joining Misty on the bus. If an interview with the anime director is anything to go by, this will be the fate for every female main character who travels with Ash in the series every time a new generation of Pokémon comes out. Misty's departure has not been welcomed by fans, who claim that Pokémon has been Ruined Forever.
    • Brock was also briefly put on a bus earlier in the show's run. Unfortunately, Tracey was generally poorly received so he was quickly put on a bus himself (though remaining a minor character in Ash's hometown) and Brock remained as a main character in the show for 11 years before he was put back on the bus.
    • Brock was temporarily put on a bus so many times that his abrupt return was a running gag at every opportunity. His reappearances even go from awesome to laughable: During Hoenn he makes a Big Damn Heroes moment when the cast is attacked by wild Pokémon (which would be completely unexpected if not for his presence in the opening). The next time, when Ash and his group leave for the Battle Frontier, the narrator is about to close up the episode, but is promptly interrupted by Brock showing up to tag along.. Then in Diamond & Pearl, Brock just gets off a truck on the side of the road where Ash happens to be.
    • This trope also applies to most of Ash's Pokémon. Some, like Squirtle and Charizard, are left with other trainers but will occasionally reappear, while others, like Pidgeot, Butterfree, Primeape, and Lapras, disappear entirely, although Lapras made one reappearance in late Johto. In fact, Ash has made it a habit to leave behind all of his Pokémon except Pikachu in Professor Oak's lab when he travels to each new region.
    • One of the most egregious examples of this was when Heracross was Put on a Bus; in order to participate in a tournament, he sends Heracross back to get his Tauros. At the end of the episode, he sends Tauros back... but does not get Heracross. Heracross eventually returns for the Johto leauge
    • Also applies to many of Team Rocket's Pokémon, such as Weezing, Arbok, and Dustox.
    • Notable is James's Victreebel, who was put on a bus, and replaced with a new one in the same episode....who was also put on a bus by the end of the episode.
    • And in Best Wishes, they do this to all of their Pokemon.
    • In a recent season of Pokémon, Ambipom is put on a bus.
    • Though given the nature of the series, it's less being put on the bus as much as being let off.
    • And all of the first 493 Pokemon except Pikachu and Meowth in Best Wishes.
  • Sailor Moon did this to Chibiusa whenever they sent her back to the future, though after the first time the reasoning was dubious. Mamoru was put on a plane for a season, and whose fate remained unknown until the final showdown with the Big Bad. The Outer Senshi themselves have a habit of showing up for arbitrarily specific dangers, mostly so the writers can prune down the cast manageably. Sailor Senshi Placeholder Naru was continuously put on a bus after the introduction of all the actual senshi, being brought back several times until she was just written out completely in the last season.
  • In Slayers, Zelgadis was put on a bus after the first arc wrapped up. He reappeared 8 episodes later, and stayed a main character for the rest of the franchise. Sylphiel was also put on a bus in Slayers TRY (season 3), being replaced by the Golden Dragon Filia, and doesn't return until the end of season 4 (Slayers Revolution). Filia herself was also bussed off immediately after TRY ended, along with all of the other characters exclusive to that season.
    • Amelia is randomly put on a bus at various points in the first arc of the novels (seasons 1 and 2 of the anime are based off of them), and she, Zelgadis, and Xellos are put on a bus after the first arc ended. They are replaced with Luke and Milina; unfortunately, the latter two weren't popular enough to appear in other media (other than the Hourglass of Falces manga).
    • Finally, Zelgadis was absent without explanation in the Knight of the Aqualord manga; Lina, Gourry, and Amelia all have major roles in that story.
  • Tenma went overseas and essentially out of the mainstream storyline of School Rumble.
  • In Mai-HiME, Akane Higurashi gets Put on a Bus after her boyfriend and MIP Kazuya is killed as a side-effect of Miyu destroying Akane's CHILD. She's shown twice afterwards in a particularly heartbreaking Heroic BSOD state, which she doesn't recover from until the end of the series... when Mashiro revives Kazuya and restores her powers just in time for her and the defeated HiMEs to join Mai and Mikoto in the last battle.
    • It happened to her Mai-Otome counterpart, as well. She disappears after the midway point of the series to run off with her newfound lover, only to return for the final showdown.
    • Mai's friends Chie and Aoi leave the school after it shuts down, and are thus absent for the climax.
  • The military structure of the Space-Time Administration Bureau in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha makes this easy. Don't need someone for now? Just ship them off to a post that the current arc isn't focusing on. Need them back? Either reassign them to the main characters' branch or have their department help out on the current crisis.
  • Happens quite a few times in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
    • The most blatant example would be Fugo leaving Giorno's group in the middle of Part 5 (because he thought their mission was suicide) and never gets mentioned again. (The real life reason being that Araki made his Stand too cheap to write good fights for.)
    • Joseph after leaving Morioh at the end of Part 4 is never so much as mentioned again. Now, seeing as he was about 80, it's safe to assume he's dead, but it's still pretty odd that it's never been brought up for a main character.
    • Giorno is last shown at the end of Part 5 and was later stated by Word of God to be in Florida during Part 6 after Pucci gained the Joestar birthmark. He should have been drawn to Pucci by the bloodline connection, but still doesn't appear.
      • If this editor remembers correctly, he wasn't necessarily stated to be there, just implied: "Maybe he is already in Flordia??!!" or something similar. As for why the birthmark didn't bring them together, this editor also remembers some nonsense about how since Giorno had already "fulfilled his destiny," Pucci didn't draw Giorno to him. Or something to that effect.
  • In Hitohira, Mugi's best friend Kayo announces out of the blue that she will be studying photography abroad—which is a bit strange, since she didn't even finish her high school education yet. No further details are given, not even where she will be going, and her disappearance is obviously used as a device to cause Mugi large amounts of angst.
  • In the Cardcaptor Sakura anime, Meiling returns to Hong Kong just before the climax of the first arc. She makes guest appearances near the end of the second arc and in the movie epilogue.
  • A great deal of minor characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! are frequently brought back after being sent off, including Duke Devlin, Mai Valentine, Serenity Wheeler, and countless others. But then, almost every season a new duel tournament begins, so they have a semi-genuine reason to bring back the old characters all at once.
    • In Season 3, the Ishtars board a plane home to Egypt and return in the final season.
  • Daichi/Bastion Misawa of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX got put on a bus partway through season 2, after freeing himself from the recruiting cult's brainwashing, done through a Shout-Out to the original Eureka Moment. At least the dub edited in a pair of underwear...
    • He returned next season to give some Expospeak and a little Techno Babble... and got Put on a Bus all over again. And he started out as a major character, too, before being Demoted to Extra. Poor guy practically had a bus pass.
  • Chocotto Sister has Ayano written out so seamlessly that Haruma's heartbreak over her seems rather pointless in the end.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, when Pen-Pen gets put on a bus, you know that the show won't have any more comic relief.
  • Yasuko from Aoi Hana conveniently starts studying in England, after she fulfilled her role of causing Fumi lots of heartbreak and teenage angst.
  • Koromo from Saki simply doesn't attend the individual tournament, limiting her displays of Mahjong prowess to a few scenes in the team tournament arc.
  • Noel and Chisato in the manga and anime versions of Star Ocean the Second Story suffered this fate, as both the manga and the anime got interrupted before the Energy Nede arc. And as a result, the manga adaptation of Star Ocean: Blue Sphere, the direct sequel of Second Story does as if they never existed.
    • And speaking of the Blue Sphere manga, Bowman was hit with this trope too, as by the beginning of it he's a father, and the team wanted him to stay with his family. After the first few chapters, he's never brought up again in the storyline. Oh, did we mention that Bowman joins the team no matter what in the original game?
      • Unless you have Precis.
  • Inverted in Mahou Sensei Negima. About half of Negi's class gets put on a bus when the magic world arc starts. Or rather, they're left behind when the main cast gets on the bus.
    • Played straight with Magnificent Bastard Chao, when she returns to the future. Unlike many examples of this trope, she is still referenced often, and the likelihood of an eventual The Bus Came Back is especially good considering her...unique insight into who the main protagonist will eventually end up with.
    • To Jack Rakan, being erased from existence is being Put on a Bus, and his bus came back.
  • The entire cast of One Piece not so much gets put on a bus but earn frequent flyer miles as they are knocked to various locations. Though, everyone's location is given to you and it's assumed they will all return.
  • In Bakuman。 Nakai, after in the course of a few days, alienating Aoki by asking her to be his girlfriend in order for him to draw for her, losing his job as assistant when the manga he's working on gets canceled, alienating his fellow assistant when his proposal for Aoki comes to light, and upsetting quite a few of his friends as a result, decides that he used his art skills for the wrong reasons, and leaves for home. Takagi considers having him come back and work for them as an assistant, but Mashiro suggests that if he comes back, it should be as a Mangaka, before the scene cuts to Nakai discontent with his life and looking a some manga volumes. It's also worth noting that Fukuda asked him if he was willing to let things end the way they did as he left, which is some indication that he may not.
  • Student council president and local Casanova Touga Kiryuu of Revolutionary Girl Utena, after he loses his rematch with Utena, is absent until the penultimate episode of the Black Rose Arc. From what's shown after the match, he spent over ten episodes sitting in a chair in his home and not moving. This happens with many of the series' characters (especially the classmates that become Black Rose duelists), but Touga is the most notable example.
  • The number of characters currently on a bus in Bleach is staggering. At this point we're looking at Kon, Nel, Pesche and Dondochakka, and everyone else last seen in Hueco Mundo. There are also fan theories that some of the defeated characters (e.g., Ulquiorra or Nnoitra) actually survived somehow, which would increase the total even further if those theories prove to be true.
    • As of the new story arc, nearly the entire cast of the series up to this point. Here's a list of characters who have appeared before and are accounted for in the most recent chapters: Ichigo, his sisters, Isshin, Orihime, Chad, Ishida and Urahara. This out of a (formerly) main and supporting cast almost numbering on one hundred. Considering how Fullbring powers's connection to Soul Reaper and Hollow powers is tenous-at-best and the old-school Japan motiff has been absent since Aizen's defeat, it's as if Kubo wanted to write a brand new series altogether after finishing the Hueco Mundo arc.
      • Almost rectified in recent chapters, with the return of a handful Shinigami, bringing with them confirmation of a whole bunch of others that end up still being relevant - at least when it comes to making Ichigo insanely powerful with the least amount of work possible.
  • Clannad has a curious variety, in that Fuko gets written out of the story by having people completely forget about her.
    • Additionally, due to the Visual Novel Origin of the series, characters will often be put on short bus trips for the story arcs that don't concern them. Examples include Sunohara's whereabouts in the Kotomi arc, Nagisa at several points in the story, Kotomi, Ryou, and Kyou in the Miyazawa arc, and Miyazawa in almost every arc besides her own and the "Absent Nagisa" storylines.
  • A lot of characters in Bakugan have been loaded onto buses.
  • Star Driver has done this twice so far, both with characters that happen to be Maidens. After the seals of both Sakana and Mizuno are broken and their respective arcs end, they leave Southern Cross Isle and go to the mainland.
  • THE iDOLM@STER - The Producer on the Live For You OVA
  • Robotech: In the comic Prelude to Shadow Chronicles, Max Sterling (Max Jenius of Macross) is referred to but never seen. He was apparently operating in another sector. He is ordered to return to SDF-3 after supervising weapon tests in the Omicron sector. We don't see him return and if he did, he's presumably missing with the SDF-3, Rick Hunter (Hikaru Ichijo) and all the other Macross era characters that need to be phased out due to licensing restrictions.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Between the late 1960s and his return in the early '80s, J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter of the Justice League, went off to find "New Mars" with the rest of the Martian people. This has since been retconned—along with the existence of other Martians in general.
  • Most of the Justice League members added to the team under Dwayne McDuffie's tenure ended up being written out in this manner once James Robinson took over and decided he wanted to write his own characters. Zatanna seemingly had an emotional breakdown and quit offscreen, Vixen took a "leave of absence" to heal from some recent injuries and then was never seen or mentioned again in that series, Green Lantern left without an explanation, and Firestorm also quit offscreen after the death of his girlfriend. Each of those characters save for Green Lantern would later return in subsequent volumes of the franchise.
    • Ironically enough, this happened to the majority of Robinson's new characters, who quit offscreen after his first three issues.
  • Two female human pilots left Rogue Squadron. Elscol, a guerrilla leader before Wedge recruited her, left because of command issues and because she believed she could do better working on the ground. Plourr, a Boisterous Bruiser who turned out to be a princess, left because revolutions had torn up her homeworld and she needed to rule and bring it back under control. Oddly, it's Plourr who was written back in, and very quickly. A drop-in commando character recurred, but Elscol did not. Well, not in the comics. She did have a role in one of the novels.
  • Karolina was put on a spaceship right after the "True Believers" arc of Runaways. To make a very long story short, she had to go back to her home planet with Xavin in order to help end a war. However, they returned before the end of that volume.
  • A Scooby Doo comic features a subplot where Scrappy goes to a gambling table and begins winning hotels. At the end, he declares that he has won hotels and vanishes from the Mystery Machine, where the gang discovers he was using the solid hologram device from that story. The last panel has Scooby leave the van to go back to Las Vegas to get him, but by the next comic, Scrappy isn't anywhere to be seen, so presumably the gang left him there to run his hotels.
  • Calvin and Hobbes has this in the form of Uncle Max. Watterson introduced him into the strip but quickly realized he hadn't put enough thought into the character, and wasn't quite sure what to do with him. After visiting once, Max goes back home and is never seen or mentioned again.
    • Word of God says that another problem with Max was that his dialog was really hard to write: Watterson had a policy that Calvin's parents never be given names beyond "mom" and "dad," but this made their conversations with Max incredibly awkward. Thanks to Max, Watterson developed a personal rule that none of the supporting characters should be given outside friends or interests.
  • In the Denny O'Neil / Neal Adams run of Green Lantern, Guy Gardner was hit by a bus to make way for John Stewart. After enduring several circumstances (having Hal's Power Battery explode, trapping him in the Phantom Zone, rescued from it, and rendered catatonic), he would then play a greater role in the Green Lantern comics following the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Did you know that Catwoman had a daughter in the One Year Later storyline of Infinite Crisis? No? Good, because DC would prefer you forget that ever happened.
  • The Justice Society of America was Put on a Bus following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, when they decided to disband after the merging of the Earths but were called to alter the outcome of the Norse gods' Ragnarok in order to prevent Adolf Hitler from retroactively destroying the universe in 1945, which caused the team to remain trapped in a never-ending fight cycle until several years later in Armageddon: Inferno.
  • Zap Zodiac a comic strip in The Beano ended in a way so that the strip was left open to return in the future. But as of 2011 bus has not yet returned to Beanotown.
  • Practically every character gets put on a bus at some point in Scott Pilgrim. Kim even gets put on a literal bus at the end of volume five and doesn't return till halfway through six.
  • In the X Wing Series comics, Plourr Illo had an arc which showed her to be a Badass Expy of Anastasia, the last princess of a line that had died in revolution. She returned to her homeworld and waded into the teeth of a new revolution that was even more violent than the last. At the end of it, she chose to stay and rule her planet while the Rogues left. They left her her X-Wing and Wedge told her "You've saved your world. When you're ready, come back and save the rest of us." And she and a squadron of fighters from her homeworld did have a Big Damn Heroes moment at the end of the very next arc, and she complained about how boring politics was. But the very next issue after that had her serving full-time with the Rogues again, flying into combat and getting into fistfights. Weird.

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • Too many characters to list in The Tainted Grimoire. This is because Clan Gully and many of the people they meet do a lot of traveling.
    • The Bus Came Back: Some characters are rather important to the story so they get a Day in The Limelight to show us what they have been up to. Either that or meet up with Clan Gully again.
    • Commuting on a Bus: Micaiah and Francesca both have long periods of absence between their multiple re-apperances.


Film[edit | hide]

  • The exit of Scarecrow in Batman Begins was putting him on a bus until the director could find out if he was reusable for the next installment.
  • Major subversion: the end of the first The Godfather movie has Michael pretending to put his brother in law Carlo on a bus, but he's actually just getting him into a car with his assassin.
  • An offhand line in Hellboy II mentions that Myers, The Watson in the first film, has been reassigned to Antarctica.
  • In the movie The Truman Show, about a man whose entire life is run by TV executives, Truman's father supposedly dies. However, he eventually shows up again as an extra, and just as Truman recognizes him a pair of generic men in suits grab the old man and actually put him on a bus. Since Truman saw him, though, the producer decides to reveal that, the whole time, He's Just Hiding.
  • The ending of Ghost World.
    • With a literal bus, no less
  • In the film Coal Miners Daughter Lorretta and Doolittle leave their four kids with a relative to pursue her musical career. They were not seen for the rest of the film and were only mentioned once in a Hand Wave.
  • In the Back to The Future sequels, Marty's girlfriend Jennifer is passed out asleep quickly and (except for an incident where she discovers something important about Marty's future and promptly passes out again from encountering her future self) stays there until the end of the third movie. In the DVD commentary, the writers admit that if they'd known they were actually going to do a sequel, they wouldn't have had Jennifer get in the DeLorean at the end of the original movie, because they didn't know what to do with her.
  • Right before the climax in Fight Club the Narrator forces Marla Singer onto a bus.
  • Happens, quite possibly in direct reference to this trope, at the end of Pleasantville, where David/Bud's sister decides to stay in the Pleasantville universe, living as Mary Sue, and is last seen boarding a bus for college.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • This happens to many different characters in War and Peace, as there are so many of them, but the one who stands out most is Dolokhov, who is Put on a Bus after crushing Nikolai Rostov and stripping him of nearly forty thousand roubles, only to return later after having taken a level in Badass.
  • Bean at the end of Shadow of the Giant is put on a relativistic spaceship with his genetically modified children so that they can live until the development of a cure.
  • Father Callahan from the Stephen King novel 'Salem's Lot went off on a literal bus near the end of the book, and rather unexpectedly reappeared years later in the loosely related The Dark Tower series as a church pastor in another dimension. It is explained he spent a lot of the intervening time killing vampires.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the character Rickon gets put on a bus -- or sent off with a wildling woman of dubious allegiance -- at the end of Book 2 and hasn't been heard from since, mainly because the author found writing for a four-year-old difficult. It is anticipated he will return, possibly badassed up, with his psychotic direwolf, in later installments.
  • In The Wheel of Time the character Hurin, having played a major role in events in Book 2, disappears at the start of Book 3, cheerfully announcing he's heading home to the Borderlands to let people know what's been going on. The trope appeared subverted because the Borderland rules are later revealed to have learned all about Rand al'Thor's adventures from Hurin, prompting them to raise a massive army and march south. The ensuing political and military chaos in the lands they pass through serves a critical plot arc in books 10 through 12. However, the trope was ultimately not subverted because Rand and Hurin are reunited briefly in book 12, as the Borderland generals send Hurin as their emissary to the Dragon Reborn near Far Madding.
  • The Sword of Truth series does this with alarming regularity, with Chase, Rachel, Scarlet, Chandalen, Gratch, Jennsen, and several others abruptly vanishing for several books at a time. The final book, however, brought back or mentioned all of them.
  • Hard-drinking amateur detective Gideon Fell is married to a rabid teetotaler. Once the first novel was finished, John Dickson Carr didn't so much put Mrs Fell on a bus as he renovated the bus into a nice RV for her and sent her off for most of the series.
  • The cast from the series Percy Jackson and The Olympians got put on a bus in the sequel, The Heroes of Olympus.
  • In Star Trek: The Battle of Betazed, Lwaxana Troi features heavily. However, Mr. Homn (her valet), is strangely absent, and indeed isn't even mentioned. This despite usually appearing whenever and wherever she does (or being specifically mentioned as travelling elsewhere if not). A later novel went and transformed this into a Bus Crash; Star Trek: A Time to... revealed that he died during the initial invasion, so explaining his absence. The death is eventually shown in a short story, part of the Tales of the Dominion War anthology.
  • Happens in the sixth Septimus Heap book, where Snorri's mother comes to take her home.
    • Even the second book put Simon and Merrin on a bus, for them to return in the fourth.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Charles Martin was essentially put on this in the book Under The Radar. He comes back to stay by the book Vanishing Act.
  • The Riftwar Cycle character Owyn Beleforte was key to the plot of Betrayal at Krondor and its novelization, Krondor: The Betrayal. Then he was put on a bus and never heard from again (Save for a one page reference in the next book stating where the bus is going). Strangely, the bus heads in different directions in each media: In the game, he gets a crown-paid scholarship to Stardock and potentially becomes a great wizard. In the books, he goes home and spends the rest of his life in a part of the Kingdom that is generally irrelevant to the plot of the series.
  • Before the end of the first book, the Starling triplets in The 39 Clues are caught in an explosion rigged by the Holts and end up in the hospital with serious injuries. They barely garner a mention in any of the next nine books, but return in the tenth book in time for the series' conclusion.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Bold And The Beautiful: Taylor Hayes was a particularly egregious example. After being shot in 2002, and being discovered as Not Quite Dead in 2005, the character appeared in cameos as a silent ghost several times during the intervening three years.
  • In "How I Met Your Mother" Victoria was put on a bus at the end of The Ducky Tie. She had been figuratively put on a bus in season 1 when she went off to Germany and became close to Klaus in her class.
  • In Home Improvement, Randy Taylor is Put on a Bus to Costa Rica for a school trip, and only makes one appearance later on in the show, a Christmas Special, where he notes how no one even missed him (except the viewers).
  • In Monk, Mr. Monk's original assistant, Sharona Fleming, left Monk to re-marry her husband. She makes a guest appearance in an episode in the final season, and is mentioned once more during the series finale.
  • This is the standard way for Law and Order franchises to write out characters, especially over the last several years. Dick Wolf is said to regret that Jill Hennessy's Claire Kincaid was Killed Off for Real, and thus could not be brought back.
    • More examples from the Law and Order realm: Jamie goes back to criminal defense, Alex goes into Witness Protection, Abbie goes to work for the feds, Serena is fired, etc.
      • Alex was then brought back in season ten of SVU, and after a short stint in the Court of Appeals, Stephanie March had her name added to the opening credits once again in episode five of the eleventh season.
      • Before returning to SVU, Alex had her own show, Conviction, where she was a Bureau Chief in charge of several other ADAs. It only lasted 13 episodes.
      • In a double whammy of SVU's season 9 finale, both Chester Lake and Casey Novak were put on a bus. Chester for shooting a cop accused of raping two women. Casey Novak was suspended for her actions during Chester's trial. Immediately in the next season we learn Novak was fully disbarred for every rule she broke that season. This was later retconned into her merely be censured, and she has since then come back and worked with the unit again.
    • In the same vein as above, Max Cavanaugh, the father of Jill Hennesey's Jordan Cavanaugh in Crossing Jordan, "went underground" after being suspected of killing a police officer. That he was quickly cleared didn't apparently give him enough reason to return, giving the show an opportunity to cut a large set out of the expected places to put scenes.
  • Three's Company had this happen with a bunch of characters. The Ropers were screwed when they were written out of the show and their spinoff was canceled. They only returned once as guest stars for an episode a couple years later. Suzanne Somers's character, Chrissy Snow was also sent away when her contract wasn't renewed because of her protesting for a pay raise. Her character was sent off to tend to her sick aunt. She spent the rest of her run on the show in brief on-the-phone segments until her contract ran out.
  • iCarly: Ms. Briggs, Sadist Teacher, after playing a prominent role for the first half-season, disappeared until mid-season two. It would've been more of a case of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome if Sam's Character Blog hadn't mentioned that she accessed the school computers and manually removed any trace of Ms. Briggs from the schools' files. Apparently, it's been cleared up.
  • Boner on Growing Pains went off and joined the Marines. He never did return, and was never even mentioned again.
  • Doctor Who
    • In The War Machines Dodo is sent off to the country to recuperate after being brainwashed in London, and is never seen again.
    • After being trapped on a parallel Earth with no chance of return twice, Mickey returns to the Doctor's universe in "Journey's End" for more (so far unseen) adventures.
    • This is also the standard way that companions have exited the series throughout its existence. Exceptions include Katarina and Adric, who were Killed Off for Real.
      • In the case of Leela, Louise Jameson found her character Put on a Bus against her will—Jameson wanted to leave, and at the time had no real interest in returning sometime down the line, and so asked that her character die at the end of her last serial. The producers decided the event might be too traumatic for children (more likely, they were concerned about the increasing violence in the show—the series was already being targeted by Media Watchdogs), and so instead had a last-minute Deus Ex Machina romance occur between her and a capitol guard, prompting her to stay on Gallifrey.
    • Having reintroduced K-9 in Sarah Jane's guest reappearance of Doctor Who, the entire first series of Sarah Jane's subsequent spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures was then obliged to trap him in a black hole, since the Robot Buddy's creator had sold a K-9 series elsewhere. (He gives a token appearance in the season finale and Comic Relief special though). Also, K-9 returned as a regular in The Mad Woman In the Attic, only to be put on a bus again from The Nightmare Man
      • Also in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Maria Jackson and her dad left for America as the former's actress was in her GCSE year and wanted to concentrate on her studies, making a guest role in The Mark of the Berserker.
    • Then there's Sarah Jane herself, who left Doctor Who for a total of 30 years (The Five Doctors doesn't quite count, as the Doctor she principally interacted with was still travelling with her, even though she left. Time travel's confusing that way.). Longest. Bus. Ride. Ever.
  • In Lost, the character of Walt had to be written out of the show because the actor who played him, 12-year-old Malcolm David Kelley, would have aged several years while his character would have only aged three months. Walt and his father Michael were written out of the show after Michael sold out his friends to get off the island at the end of season 2. However, Michael returned for Season 4, and Walt has made guest appearances in every season since.
    • Claire would also find herself riding the bus for season 5, but was back in season 6.
  • The OC actually cleverly subverted this (believe it or not). Everyone knew Mischa Barton was leaving the show at the end of the third season, and the episode had the plotline that she was going away to live with her dad, seemingly being Put on a Bus. However, on her way to the airport, she was in a car accident and died.
    • This was quite a surprising twist when it originally aired in the US. For some reason, the Australian station on which the OC was playing felt that instead of allowing the viewers to experience this shock twist, it should start having ads three weeks before the finale saying "MARISSA... WILL... DIE". Thanks, channel 10.
    • Cleverly subverted for a given value of clever. Many fans (even those who didn't especially care for Mischa) found it needlessly vindictive.
    • In Season 2, Zach was Put On A Plane (to Italy). He returned a handful of episodes later, and Seth Lampshaded the subversion:

Seth: Hey, man, you came back! People never leave and come back.

    • Trey (Ryan's brother) goes on a bus after the events of the end of season 2 and is never seen or heard from again.
  • Smallville
    • Pete Ross was sent off this way. Interesting because he was the show's sole prominent black character, and because, despite being a main character, he hasn't been missed by the viewers. This may be because Television Without Pity calls him "Product Placement Pete" for his annoying tendency to shill stuff. The episode in which he visits is an hour-long commercial for Stride gum. While still noticeable, not nearly as glaring on the DVDs when you don't have real commercials highlighting the in show placement
    • Whitney Fordman is Put on a Bus at the end of Season 1. They then Dropped a Bridge on Him in Season Two...
    • Perry White made his exit on an actual bus at the end of the one episode in which he appeared.
    • Lana Lang was Put on a Bus at the end of season seven. And the Fandom Rejoiced.
  • Rimmer went off to become the next "Ace Rimmer"(What A Guy!)in series seven of Red Dwarf. The Rimmer seen in series eight is a clone created via nanotechnology, and the original Rimmer was never heard from again.
    • The ship's AI, Holly, was put out of service by a flood before Back to Earth.
      • This is Holly's second bus trip; during Seasons 6 and 7 the main cast had lost the ship, and therefore contact with its computer.
  • Andie of Dawson's Creek was written off the show by sending her to Italy. She returned only once, for the gang's high school graduation. She also came back to say goodbye to Jen in the uncut DVD version of the series finale
    • Similarly, Janice on Head of the Class, who between seasons 3 and 4 got a scholarship to MIT, but showed up in the series finale because she forgot to pick up her high school diploma.
  • 7th Heaven was famous for this, writing characters off by putting them on buses to New York (Mary, Matt), college (Simon), etc., only to continue the characters' plotlines offscreen.
  • Kate in Slings and Arrows is put on a limo to Hawaii at the beginning of the second season.
  • Shawn's girlfriend Abigail in Psych abruptly informed him she was taking a teaching job in Uganda.
  • Jack O'Neill from Stargate SG-1 gets put on a bus by being promoted out of the SGC (this was so actor Richard Dean Anderson could spend more time with his family). He still made a few appearances later in the series and in its spinoff Stargate Atlantis. General Hammond also gets put on a bus the same way.
    • Jonas Quinn was put on a bus after season 6 (he returned to his home planet) and was never mentioned again at all after season 7.
      • Not strictly speaking so in the case of Jonas. In a later season, he and his people were mentioned obliquely as having been one of the planets which had fallen to the Ori. Although it was never specifically stated, the heavy implication was that the planet's entire population had been wiped out, Jonas included.
      • Word of God says that he and the other Kelownans lived during the Ori reign, and he was the leader of his planet's resistance. So, yay?
    • In the 200th episode ('200'), the characters themselves point out the methods used to get around O'Neill being put on the bus, such as one-sided phone conversations.
  • When Peter MacNicol did a stint on 24, his Numb3rs character was Put On A Space Station.
  • Sara Sidle of CSI was recently Put on a Bus, leaving with the possibility that she'll return if actress Jorja Fox and CBS change their minds.
    • Jorja Fox and show execs virtually guaranteed in interviews that she would be popping in for a guest spot sometime in the near future - and did just that in season 9.
      • And Grissom followed her off of CSI, too. Since both roles have been replaced by new rookie CSIs it's probably safe to assume that the bus will not be returning anytime soon.
    • And now, Catherine.
  • CSI: NY did it twice. First, Aiden left, quitting before Mac could fire her for considering planting evidence, then she was Stuffed in The Fridge. More recently, Stella left for the New Orleans crime lab.
  • Roswell did it with Alex Whitman. At least until it was revealed that he'd been used and abused by Tess, then killed.
  • Highlander did it with Charlie Desalvo. The Bus Came Back, but he was Killed Off for Real in the ep.
  • In the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tommy was depowered and sent off, as per the arc of his Japanese counterpart, Dragon Ranger, who actually died in the storyline of Zyuranger and thus Saban exhausted their supply of Dragon Ranger footage to use for the Green Ranger. When FOX ordered an extra half-season of footage, Tommy came back, a change probably also required by the ratings - hence why he was suddenly a completely different ranger (they pulled the White Ranger footage from Dairanger.
    • Similarly the original Red, Yellow, and Black Rangers, Jason, Trini, and Zack, were sent to a peace conference and never appeared in the show again. The joke among the cast and crew of the show was that if you ever saw in a script that your character was going to a peace conference, you were never coming back. Jason did, however, becoming the Sixth Ranger of Power Rangers Zeo and making a couple more guest appearances.
    • Kimberly, the original Pink Ranger, left to pursue a career as a gymnast. In Power Rangers Zeo, she sent Tommy a "Dear John" Letter that some fans would rather believe to be a hoax. She and Jason appeared in Turbo a Power Rangers Movie, when Divatox would sacrifice the both of them to Maligore. (They got better, and Jason would return once more for the tenth anniversary Reunion Show.)
    • Rita Repulsa was imprisoned by Lord Zedd back into the space dumpster at his debut episode. She crashlanded on Earth in the two-part episode "The White Light" but got sent back into space by the Rangers in the end. The three-part episode "The Wedding" marked her definitive return for the remainder of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.
    • Rita's fater, Master Vile, appeared in the series and stayed for a handful of episodes and, after getting tired of being defeated, returned to the Galaxy MI 5, where "evil always wins".
  • In Power Rangers Zeo, Rita, Zedd, Baboo, Squat, Finster and the Tenga Warriors sought refuge at Master Vile's place to escape Mondo's forces. They, except for Baboo and Squat, eventually came back to rescue Rito and Goldar and fight back.
    • The Rangers seemingly destroyed Mondo in "Mondo's Last Stand", but Queen Machina told her son Sprocket that Mondo had survived a similar defeat before, thus Foreshadowing his return. Near the end of the Zeo series, he did return. Fearing Mondo's wrath, Prince Gasket and Princess Archerina fled and were never seen again. It's unknown if Zordon's sacrifice at the end of Power Rangers in Space destroyed or purified them and, ever since an episode of Power Rangers Wild Force established the Machine Empire left survivors, if it even affected them at all.
    • The last episode, the Royal House of Gadgetry was tricked into accepting an exploding gift from Lord Zedd and ended up and (barely alive) pieces. They returned in Power Rangers in Space.
    • Also in that episode, Bulk and Skull left the country to work in a mystery but they were back as cops in the Turbo movie without any explanation to what became of the case.
  • In Power Rangers Turbo, Rocky made his last appearance in the first episode for the graduation ceremony.
    • Zordon and Alpha5 returned to Eltari and were replaced by Dimitria and Alpha 6.
    • Ernie was given a write-off in the episode "Shadow Rangers".
    • Tommy, Kat, Tanya and Adam left the team to live their adult lives.
    • When Cassie, Ashley, T.J. and Carlos went into space, Justin stayed behind. He returned for one episode of Power Rangers in Space.
  • At the end of Power Rangers in Space, the purified Rita, Zedd, Divatox and Astronema/Karone left. Karone became the second Pink Ranger of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and Rita became the Mystic Mother of Power Rangers Mystic Force but the others never returned.
  • Oz of Buffy the Vampire Slayer put himself on a bus... twice in one season.
    • Buffy puts herself on a bus at the end of season 2, setting up her self-exile at the beginning of season 3.
    • Also in Buffy, Faith gets put in a coma, then later rides the back of a truck (which is almost a bus).
    • Cordy and Angel shared a bus to L.A.
    • After Tony Head expressed a desire to spend more time with his family in England, Giles was put on a plane in Season 6. The character's flimsy reasoning for this departure was Buffy's need to grow into a stronger, more stable person and Slayer, and he cited his presence, the fact that she often relied on him, as a hindrance to her self-reliance. Given it was his job as her Watcher to let her rely on him and the mountain of trauma she had recently suffered, many fans let out a collective "Huh?!" at his decision to abandon her "for her own good". This departure did allow him to be a Big Damn Hero at the end of the season, but Buffy and the team would suffer for his absence for the rest of the series. The character played a somewhat larger part in Season 7, but he was still constantly on and off the bus in the form of searching the world for Potential Slayers, leaving the rest of the team to try (and fail) to carry on effectively in his absence.
  • This is the fate of the Number Three Cylons in the Battlestar Galactica remake. After a Number Three Cylon disobeys the consensus of the other Cylon models, it's decided that the Number Three models are inherently flawed. The Number Threes are then "boxed up" and their memories and consciousnesses downloaded into cold storage indefinitely. At least one number three is "unboxed" later on in season 4.
  • In Eastenders characters are regularly Put On A Train and go to live in Manchester or Spain so that the writers can bring them back. That's not to say that dead characters can't be brought back anyway, such as Den, who was shot and drowned 14 years previously. Sometimes they're Put On A London Black Cab, or (in the case of Official Couple Kat and Alfie in 2005) Put On A Ford Capri.
  • In Neighbours this happens all the time... characters leave very suddenly on a long holiday (eg Rosie and Frazer), to visit family (Sienna), to take a job elsewhere (Riley) or to have long-term medical care (Nicola, Kirsten). The worst example of this has got to be Lou Carpenter's mother-in-law Marlene, who 'went on a cruise' in 1997 and hasn't been seen since.
    • In the early years of Neighbours they used a very particular sequence where the departing actor would announce they were going somewhere (often, supposedly, temporarily) in one episode. During the next episode said actor would appear once, sitting on a hotel bed, making a telephone call to another cast member and would perform some exposition. The actor would never be seen (and rarely, if ever, spoken of), again.
  • In Babylon 5, commander Ivanova was put on a bus (given her own ship to command) when the actress left the show. She appeared a year later in the last episode, which was however filmed as the last episode of the season when the actress was still part of the cast.
    • Well before this, the station's original commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, is put on a bus at the beginning of the second season by being reassigned to a diplomatic post on the Minbari homeworld, and is replaced by Captain Sheridan. Sinclair reappears to make guest appearances in seasons two and three.
    • Given the complex nature of trying to deal with potential actor change-ups that might interfere with a tightly-plotted 5 year arc it turns out that every character had a bus ticket waiting at the will-call desk (referred to as "trapdoors") in case they needed to be changed out. With the number of major and minor characters that ended up getting on that bus it seems like Babylon was as much a bus station as a space station. Though, given the number of bus crashes they encountered it might be best just to stay.
  • Chano Amengual was put on a bus on Barney Miller, but viewers weren't told for several seasons. Following his disappearance, no one mentioned him until a few years later when a new detective was transferred to the precinct to replace him, causing Barney to marvel at how long it took the department to send anyone.
    • Also Barney's wife Liz, who had been unseen on the show for several seasons after being played by Barbara Barrie in Seasons 1-2. (The producers actually came up with the separation storyline as a way of bringing Barrie, whose character had been deemed as not "working" in the context of the show, back before the viewers.)
  • On Grey's Anatomy, Addison Montgomery was put in a convertible to LA so that she could rediscover herself in her spin-off, Private Practice. Theoretically she was going to involve herself in more mature things than hospital Love Dodecahedrons, but whether that actually happened is doubtful.
    • Though since then Isaiah Washington ran off rather than marry Cristina Yang, Brooke Smith's newly lesbian character vanished the day after getting her first girl/girl orgasm from Callie O'Malley, then at the end of season five TR Knight is hit by a bus because he complained too much about not getting enough screen time.
  • The first time Katey Sagal (the actress who played Peggy Bundy) became pregnant during her time on Married... with Children, the producers worked it into the storyline, only to have to backtrack when Segal tragically suffered a miscarriage by making the entire season six storyline of Peg and Marcy being pregnant a dream. And on a dream episode, no less, where Al is a private eye out to clear his name when he's accused of murder. When Segal became pregnant again later in the show's run, the writers didn't go back to the "Peg is pregnant" well again, and, instead, wrote off Segal's frequent absences from the show as a storyline where Peg is traveling the world to get her parents back together after her father walks out on her.
    • David Garrison, who played Marcy's first husband, Steve, left the show in the fourth season to return to stage acting. On the show, Steve was written off as having left Marcy so he could work as a forest ranger in Yosemite National Park (though, as a favor to the writers, Steve has returned on a few occasions: on the season six episode where Steve is on the run from the FBI for stealing a rare bird's egg, on a later episode where Al can't find his car after it's been through the car wash, and a Poorly-Disguised Pilot where Steve is the dean of Trumaine University [the college Bud was enrolled in from seasons seven to ten] and Marcy protests against two DumbassDJs)
      • When Peggy read a pirate story, she incorporated several characters from the series into the tale. David Garrison played Rubio the Cruel and was credited as Steve Rhodes.
  • This happens to Foreman, Cameron and Chase in the 3rd season finale of House. Foreman later returns in season 4, while Cameron and Chase make cameo appearances. Interestingly enough, Amber is put on a bus in the 4th season finale, although this probably doesn't qualify for tolerably obvious reasons...
    • Season 6 has a lot of bus jumps. Cameron moves from the commute to a more permanent bus, Chase jumps off the commuting bus and into the cast, while Taub was temporarily bussed until House got his licence back. (Probably to give his actor a break). 13 appeared to be on the bus, but it was too temporary to count.
    • And in Season 7, 13 vanishes for the majority of the season.
  • In Blue's Clues, to help its impressionable young viewers cope more easily with the resignation of host Steve Burns, he supposedly leaves to go to college and is quickly replaced by a brother, Joe.
  • In the last season of The Avengers, writers dealt with Tara King's uselessness by putting her in drugged sleep for an episode and sending her on vacation for another (in which she was replaced by a other character).
  • After her actress' departure from the show at the end of the third series, Allo Allo! opted to explain why Maria had suddenly vanished when she was trapped in the prison camp for British soldiers with the majority of rest of the primary cast by explaining that she had attempted to escape by disguising herself as a package and getting mailed out. Unfortunately, she didn't have enough stamps and was as such "returned to Switzerland."
  • First-Season character of the series Big Wolf on Campus Stacy Hansen is a prime example of this trope. It's revealed at the start of the Second Season that she had left for college. Though, she never did return and was never mentioned again. This is somewhat based on real life in that the actress who played Stacy really DID go to college.
  • Stan in On the Buses departs the series to drive buses Oop North. So he was Put on a Bus.
  • Alexis Meade of Ugly Betty was recently put on a bus. Reportedly, Rebecca Romijn didn't like the way the character was being written.
    • Also the fate of Ashley Jensen's character Christina.
  • Heroes does this a lot. Season 2 did it to the spouses and children of every married character, plus Matt's FBI partner. DL had a bridge dropped on him instead. Season 3 alone has:
    • Sent Molly off to India with a passing throwaway line
    • Removed Maya's power and had her depart for... somewhere, although she is later shown to be living in an apartment (likely in America, given how Mohinder tried to visit her).
    • Micah was after one episode, apparently not in the least curious after a woman identical to his dead mother appears and asks for his help. He returns in Volume 4, though....
    • Caitlin, Peter's Irish girlfriend from Volume 2 is left stranded in an alternate future that the season finale prevents from coming to pass, and never mentioned again. Good luck getting back from that one.
    • The one with the best execution was Claude's departure in Season 1: it's built into his character since he's Invisible. After HRG and the Haitian attack him and Peter, he turns invisible and runs out of Peter's apartment and he hasn't been seen on screen since. But he did play a major role in one of the recent online graphic novels and they've subtly alluded to him a few times onscreen, so his fans are pretty sure that the writers are bringing him back.
  • One of the most notorious and self-influential incidents in Beverly Hills, 90210's narrative history was putting Brenda Walsh, the show's powerhouse, on a plane to London after actress Shannen Doherty was fired for repeated unprofessional behaviour. Brenda was only supposed to stay in London for a year, but never reappeared in the original show. Charmed, the next Aaron Spelling product that Doherty starred in, went one further when the actress was dismissed (again) and killed off her character.
    • Leo from Charmed was put on a bus in season 8 temporarily (the network slashed the budget in half and the actor had to be written out of the show for about ten episodes) when he had to be frozen in time to prevent him being killed in the crossfire of the battle between the Charmed Ones and the Ultimate Power.
  • In Hustle season 5, Danny and Stacie are revealed to have gone to America after season 4, hence their absence from the gang. Though, given that the gang was in the US at the end of season 4 (more or less) this might be more a matter of "didn't catch the bus home".
  • News Radio sent Catherine on a bus plane to London in Season 4. She returned for the tribute episode following Phil Hartman's death.
  • In MacGyver, Pete Thornton casually comments at the start of one episode that Nikki Carpenter is on assignment in South America. She is never heard from or mentioned again in the show.
  • An NCIS example is Gerald, Ducky's first assistant who is shot in the shoulder, requiring several months of rehab. And just as he is about to come back, he is kidnapped by the same man who shot him. He never returns and we don't find out what happened to him.
    • The kidnapping is resolved by Ducky trading himself in for Gerard. If I recall correctly, it is later mentioned that Gerald left NCIS due to his shoulder injury and he is replaced by Jimmy Palmer. Even if the later is not 100% accurate though, the other situation was definitely resolved within the episode.
    • More recently, the writers unfortunately did this with the very annoying Agent Barrett.
  • In The Wire's fourth and fifth season, several characters who were assumed to have been put on a bus reappear. Nick Sobotka (who was last seen in season two peering out at the Baltimore docks before going into witness protection) reappears as a belligerent protestor at a news conference at the docks in the fifth season, and is subsequently arrested. The Greek (who left the country in season two) reappears at the end of season four, and makes a couple sporadic appearances afterwards. Judge Phelan returns for the final episode after being gone for two seasons, and Steve Earle takes two seasons off before returning in season four as Bubbles' AA sponsor, Weyland. In a much straighter version of this trope, Brother Mouzone disappears after helping Omar successfully assassinate Stringer Bell.
    • Played straight when Omar *is* put on a bus to New York at the end of the first season while he waits for Bawlmer to cool off a bit.
  • In Blakes Seven the entire cast is scattered after having to bail out of their ship in the opening episode of Season 3 after a massive space battle involving thousands of ships. Most of the regular cast reunite, apart from Blake and Jenna. The characters spend much of the next two years trying to find Blake, but Jenna gets forgotten about. When Blake does return in the series finale, he says Jenna is dead. However, in the closing moments of the show he reveals that all of his actions in the finale were a morass of deception and lies to see if his old crewmembers were still loyal to his ideals and test their reactions, so the fate of Jenna is very much left up in the air. If she was still alive, that makes her the sole regular castmember of the show not to be killed off (with the possible exception of ORAC, who vanishes before the final scene).
    • There was some ambiguity about all the deaths except that of Blake himself (the actor requested that it be clear that Blake be decisively killed), making it something of a Bolivian Army Ending
      • Specifically, fanon has it that Vila avoided getting killed by faking it, as his actor falls the wrong way.
  • Annyong from Arrested Development left the scene early in season 2 when Lucille ships him off to the Milford Academy, only to reappear late in season 3 to plot his revenge against the Bluths.
  • On Breaking Bad, Mike was left injured in Mexico towards the end of season 4, most likely so that his character wouldn't be around during Gus's final face-off with Walt.
  • Requisite The X-Files example: David Duchovny decided to leave after its seventh season. Like Gillian Anderson's pregnancy six years before, this decision changed the entire future of the show: Mulder went on the run, Agents Doggett and Reyes joined the cast, and Mulder and Scully finally get their happy ending (until the movie six years later, when they're both dragged out of hiding to help the FBI, which Scully really doesn't want to do...)
  • Sam Seaborne from The West Wing disappears entirely after losing his election and doesn't get brought back until the last few episodes of the final season. In that case, it's because Rob Lowe was leaving to star in his own show.
  • In That '70s Show, main characters Eric Forman and Kelso are both written out due to their respective actors working on other projects. Eric leaves in the seventh season finale to teach in Africa; Kelso remains among the cast for the first few episodes of Season 8 before leaving for Chicago. Both make guest appearances in the finale episode.
  • Played straight in McLeod's Daughters, many times. Becky's one true love, Brett, is sent off an a bus to go find a job—then comes back to propose to her, but falls off a bridge and dies before ever seeing her. Becky later gets on a bus to go to college, and never comes back. Meg gets on a bus and goes off to the woods to write a book. Jodi's first love, Roberto, gets on a bus to get his visa straightened out in his home country, then comes back on the same bus to marry her, until she gets cold feet. (And this is just what I've picked up from watching a few episodes here and there in the first couple of seasons when my mom has it on.)
    • You'd think getting Put On A Bus was the only way to get out of Nowhereville, Australia. That or getting killed in a freak accident, which a lot of characters have also opted for.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: When stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat held out in a salary dispute prior to season 5, their characters of Bo and Luke were sent off to "join the NASCAR circuit" and given a pair of Suspiciously Similar Substitutes in cousins Coy and Vance. Once Schneider and Wopat resolved their contracts, Bo and Luke were brought back to the show while Coy and Vance were quickly and unceremoniously shown the door.
    • Sheriff Roscoe was also Put on a Bus (back to the Police Academy) for a few episodes in season 2 due to James Best having his own dispute with producers. Ironically, one of the two men who replaced him at the time was the actual Other Darrin, Dick Sargeant.
  • All in The Family: Henry Jefferson was devised as a sort of "placeholder" character to stand in for George Jefferson until actor Sherman Helmsley (who had been offered the role of George but wasn't available due to his commitment to the Broadway show Purlie) finally became available in season 4. Once that happened, Henry "moved upstate" and was never heard from again, either on All in the Family or the spinoff The Jeffersons.
  • On Mash, Henry, Trapper, Frank, and Radar were all discharged and Put On A Plane back to the states. In Henry's case, the plane crashed.
  • Junito from Noah's Arc, who was put on a bus at the end of season 1, but returned later.
  • On Spooks, Zoe Reynolds is exiled to Chile. At the beginning of the next serious, a brief mention is made of Sam Buxton "being sedated" after the death of her love interest, Danny, and never reappears in the series. In the fifth season, Ruth is Put On A Boat when she's implicated in a murder.
  • When actress Lynda Day George was pregnant during Season 7 of Mission Impossible, her character was said to be working "deep cover" in Europe. A character played by Barbara Anderson filled in for several episodes.
  • Doogie Howser, M.D.: Dr. Jack McGuire, the hunky (yet not too suave) doc played by Mitchell Anderson. Although an integral part of the show, Anderson quit the series at the end of season 2, and was subsequently written off. McGuire, after returning from a life-changing mission trip to Mexico, decided to move across the border to continue pursuing his medical aspirations.
  • Oscar Martinez from the American The Office was put on a bus for half of season 3, given a free vacation due to Michael's handling of Oscar's homosexuality. In his reappearance later in the season, he shows up to a Christmas party, but leaves before being noticed, claiming its "too soon". He returns for good three episodes later.
    • Roy and Karen also receive this treatment eventually. Roy is fired near the end of Season 3 after reaching his emotional climax, while Karen is gone by the beginning of Season 4 (both due to Jim and Pam's increased closeness). Since then Karen has made a few guest appearances while Roy was only seen again once in Season 5.
  • American soap Days of Our Lives, which has a habit of making departing characters get Killed Off for Real (or do they?), allowed fan favorite Calliope Jones Bradford to move to New York City (and come back to visit occasionally).
  • Guiding Light did this with Samantha Marler in the early 1990's. She had been living with her uncle Ross for a few years. One day, she "went upstairs," and was never seen again. Various explanations were later given for where she went.
  • In Degrassi, Darcy supposedly goes to Africa as some sort of missionary, when in reality Shenae Grimes was really working on 90210.
    • Craig and Ashley were put on buses as well; in fact Ashley was put on a bus twice.
      • Alberta seems to be the favored destination for the in-series bus away from Degrassi.
        • Happened to Mia as well when she went off to Paris to model. In reality she ran off to The Vampire Diaries.
    • Also happened in season 10 with Alli while Melinda Shankar was filming How to Be Indie and again in season 11 with Connor.
  • Spin City had this happen to both Michael J. Fox (when his Parkinson's Disease grew unmanageable in light of filming a weekly sitcom) and his girlfriend for the first season.
  • Gossip Girl has done this a few times. Background character Kati Farkas was said to have moved to Israel halfway through the first season. This was also used twice to explain Georgina Spark's absence; when she first appears on the show, she is said to have been in boarding school in Switzerland all this time. Then, in the season one finale, she is hauled off to reform school in some undisclosed location, where she remains until the last half of season two. Used again earlier in season two when Marcus and Lady Catherine returned to England and haven't been seen since.
    • Jenny Humphrey was sent to a boarding school in Hudson in the last episode of season 3.
  • Dr. Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation pulls an offscreen stint at Starfleet Academy for Season 2, Dr. Pullaski filled her position during that time.
  • Speaking of Season Two Replacements, in Knight Rider, Bonnie was replaced by April. Bonnie came back in Season 3.
  • Several episodes in the final season of Lizzie McGuire had Miranda "visiting family in Mexico". The same excuse was used to justify her absence in The Movie.
  • On Weeds Celia Hodes' older daughter Quinn was Put On A Bus to Mexico for most of the first four seasons.
  • The entire Tanner family (i.e. every regular human cast member) was painfully put on the bus for the TV movie Project ALF, dismissed by a line of dialogue as having been relocated to Iceland. Since the movie was made in order to wrap up the series storyline, the bus never came back.
  • Charlie in Privileged who left in the penultimate episode of Season 1. There was talk of him returning in Season 2, but since the show was cancelled that never got to happen.
  • Catalina in Space Cases is put on a space ship, where she avoids certain doom by being put in a parallel dimension. This was so the actress that played her could work on another show. However, it was implied that she might come back, if the show hadn't been cancelled soon thereafter.
  • Subverted in Thirty Rock when Kenneth broke his promise to his mother that New York would not change him and decided to move back home to Georgia, but returned a few minutes later because he missed the train.
    • Also subverted with the writing out of Josh's character: he claims to have gotten on a bus.
    • Jack's wife Avery gets taken hostage by Kim Jong-Il (and later Kim Jong-Un) in North Korea, which excused Elizabeth Banks for other projects. For a while, she's not even mentioned, but then Jack spends a lot of time the next season trying to get her back. She returns in the final episodes of the season, only for them to divorce in the finale.
  • On Bonanza, Adam Cartwright moved to Australia when Pernell Roberts left the show.
  • On Veronica Mars, Logan's girlfriend Hannah is sent to a Vermont boarding school when caught canoodling with him. This served to hit the reset button on his romance with Veronica.
  • Toby in Danis House left after the first season, where in the season 2 opener it is stated he has left for medical school (after he managed to pass the test after answering every question with the word "bum"). He does show up again in the Christmas Episode, though.
  • In Knots Landing Val's second (third if you count marrying the same guy twice as two marriages) husband Ben follows a woman named Jean Hackney to Central America to make her pay for threatening his family... or something... and is never heard from again. (In the next season Jill Bennett cruelly pretends to be Ben and tells Val that he's coming home.)
    • Also, Karen and Mack become foster parents to a teenager named Jason in season 12. He leaves for a year studying abroad in Sweden the following season and is never seen (or even mentioned) again.
  • Because of the lengthy time gaps between "days" and the high turnover at CTU and other government agencies, characters' disappearances on 24 are usually justified. However, one notable exception is Milo Pressman, who vanished without any explanation—though he was referred to at least once later on—in the middle of Day 1 when actor Eric Balfour unexpectedly left the show. He would then reappear as a full-time CTU employee in Season 6 only to be killed in the day's final hours. Tony Almeida was effectively "put on a bus" in the middle of Season 5 for his return into Season 7, while Charles Logan was "put on a bus" during the middle of Season 6 for his return to Season 8.
    • Kim Bauer leaves after season 3. She only makes guest appearances in 9 episodes for the rest of the series. Not that most people really cared though.
  • Seems to have happened to Anna Wu in Chuck, when she inexplicably vanishes from the entire show, with little more than a Hand Wave to acknowledge it.
    • Actually, it was explained. Anna moved with her family to Hawaii. Morgan went with her and became a chef at a Benihanna restaurant but couldn't hack it. He came back after a show or two as planned, but Anna stayed behind having found a new boyfriend. She has since made one cameo comeback trying to get Morgan back, but he got to gain closure by telling her he wasn't interested in her anymore.
    • Although a recurring guest star rather than a regular character, Chuck's Fulcrum agent ex Jill was put on a bus at the end of the second season when Chuck let her escape rather than return her to government custody. With quite a pricey engagement ring to let her "start over." Jill's ultimate fate after Fulcrum was defeated was never revealed.
  • Yes Minister: In the last episode of the first season, Jim Hacker's political advisor Frank Weisel is appointed to a QUANGO, never to be seen again (although he could have, technically).
  • In Bones, Goodman goes on sabbatical at the beginning of season 2 so Brennan won't be mad at him for hiring Cam over her head, and never gets mentioned again.
    • Zack was also put Put on a Bus twice in Season Three- briefly (for half an episode) at the very beginning, and then again at the end, permanently.
  • In Gilmore Girls The character Jess leaves on a bus, has a couple character centric episodes, and is for the most part written out of the show from that point on, with a few exceptions such as his mother's wedding.
  • On One Tree Hill, main characters Peyton and Lucas drive off in a car at the end of one season, never to be seen again. This was both unsatisfying and confusing, as they gave no indication that they would be leaving Tree Hill.
  • Criminal Minds: AJ Cook was fired, so JJ was forced to leave the team to work at the Pentagon. The episode, appropriately titled "JJ," was a solid hour of the writers of the show bitterly saying "eff you" to the people who fired Cook. She comes back
  • Ashley Seaver was transferred to another unit at the beginning of season 7, and written off the show.
  • Glee: Matt and Ken, with one line of explanation. Matt transferred and Ken had a nervous breakdown.
    • Dave Karofsky was put on a bus immediately after Prom Queen. He waved to us in The First Time, and made few appearances in Heart and On My Way. He promptly boarded the bus again.
  • Sea Patrol has a couple examples due to Real Life Writes the Plot including Chefo between seasons 1 and 2, and Nav, Spider and Buffer between season 3 and 4, and Bomber between seasons 4 and 5, tough at least Bomber going away was referenced in the season 4 finale.
  • In Andromeda, Rev Bem was a main character until the 12th episode of the second season, which opens with Rev's recorded message that he isn't coming back from the long spiritual journey that hadn't even started yet in the previous episode. The Bus Came Back in the third season only to give him a Metamorphosis before putting him back on the bus.
  • Are You Being Served?'s Young Mr. Grace was said to have gone on a sabbatical to write a book when actor Harold Bennett became too infirm to continue in the role. However, he appeared once to say good-bye and made one cameo before Bennett died.
  • Vampire Diaries: Apparently happened to Tyler Lockwood mid-season 2.
  • In the 2009 version of The Electric Company this happened to Lisa who was shown in the first episode of season 3 on a flying TV as being on "a scientific expedition." Since she's already been replaced in the titular Company by newcomer Marcus, it's unlikely they'll be back anytime soon.
  • Eugene, the forgotten Barkley brother, in The Big Valley ... he was never a huge part of the show, but he would pop up periodically while visiting from college. Then actor Charles Briles got drafted, and Eugene was never mentioned again. Though considering the show was set in the 1870's, he was more likely Put On a Train.
  • At the end of the fourth season of Good Times, Florida Evans was shipped out to Arizona to be with her new second husband, Carl Dixon. This was due to a dispute between Esther Rolle and the show's producers over the show's direction (particularly, the ramping up of JJ's Uncle Tomfoolery in the wake of James Evans' death). She spent the entire fifth season "in Arizona," before returning for the final season. A condition of Rolle's return was that no mention could be made of Carl, (A Hollywood Atheist Rolle thought Florida - a devout Christian - would've never married.)
  • Primeval: Jenny Lewis resigns from service partway through series three (being so far the only A.R.C. member not to leave the team in a body bag). Emily Merchant returns to the 1800s at the end of series four, but returns permanently only two episodes later, in 5x03.
  • Community: At the end of the first season Vaughn, a one time love interest of both Britta and Annie, transfers to a Delaware school.
  • On Boy Meets World Harley is sent away to military school near the end of season two (but returns for one more episode in season three).
  • In ER, Sherry Stringfield's character is put on a train to take care of her sister and her newborn daughter, due to the actress wanting to take a temporary vacation from showbiz and spend more time with her family.
  • Rentaghost: Davenport and Mumford were written out by having them acquiring permanent jobs haunting a stately home. Davenport was never going to come back because his actor (Michael Darbyshire) had died. Mumford left the show because Anthony Jackson did not want to continue without his co-star.
  • When Caroline Quentin elected not to return for series four of Jonathan Creek, the writers sent her character to America, where she maintains contact with Jonathan via e-mail and postcards.
  • In season 3 of The Middle, Sue Heck's boyfriend Matt moves to another town in "The Paper Route."
  • On The Mentalist, Detective Cho put his ex-hooker informant/girlfriend on a literal bus. Ostensibly because she was still too much of a bad girl and could pull him to the dark side, but more likely because as a character she served little purpose other than creating an excuse to show Cho in bed without a shirt.


Podcasts[edit | hide]

Radio[edit | hide]

  • The character of Trillian got a one-sentence send-off at the start of the second series of The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. Thanks to a Reset Button, she was brought back for the three much-belated series made after Douglas Adams' death.
  • One regular team member of BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills Show, Mark Chapman, went to the toilet on Christmas Eve 2009 and hasn't been heard from since.
    • He got given his own show on Radio 5.
  • The ending of Have Gun Will Travel has Paladin inheriting a small fortune and heading back East to handle the estate, though he does promise to be back for Hey Boy's wedding.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Squats in Warhammer 40000 were an unpopular Dwarf knockoff from older editions of 40k. They have disappeared from the game and the fluff, without much explanation. When pressed, GW will say they were eaten by a Tyranid Hive Fleet.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy, the Dogs of War and Chaos Dwarves are former armies, with people even having the option of hiring Dogs of War units as rare choices. GW presumably realized what a Game Breaker that could be (essentially allowing you to hire units to get around your armies designated balancing weaknesses) and completely cut them from the fluff and army books. Chaos Dwarves are a little more complicated as the army is remembered fondly by veteran players and often sought after by new players, and they remain in the fluff (primarily due to the proximity of the newer Ogre Kingdoms army). Lately models and rules have begun popping up on Forge World, leading people to hope that the army might be due for a revival.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In the end of Half-Life: Opposing Force, G-Man stores the main character, Adrian Sheppard away for an undisclosed period of time. This allows for reinstating the character in any future story, even if it is in a completely different era.
    • Similarly, Gordon Freeman, the hero of the original Half-Life, is put away in the end of Half-Life, and in the end of Half-Life 2.
      • Although he swiftly returns for another couple of episodes, with a third on the way...
      • One could almost say the player is put on a bus at the end of the first game, as a great many significant events occur in the game's narrative between the first and second game, but events in the Half-Life universe are only ever viewed through Gordon's eyes(well, mostly.)
    • At the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Gordon's security guard-buddy Barney Calhoun is put on a train at the end of the game. He does not appear in Episode 2, nor is he mentioned.
  • Reversed in Mega Man Zero 4. The ones who are written off the script are the majority of the Redshirt Army La Résistance, while the main characters now travel around by a truck convoy, which acts as the new Player Headquarters for the game.
  • In the Crash Bandicoot series, Crash's girlfriend Tawna never appeared in any of the main games after the first one, her only reappearance being in a side-game titled Crash! Boom! Bang!. Her disappearance was never explained in-game, but in the now-defunct official website of Crash 2, as well as in the manual for the Japanese version of the same, Tawna left Crash to be with Pinstripe Potoroo.
  • Riku in Kingdom Hearts, who is constantly appearing and re-appearing throughout the series, and changes his outfit and role almost every time.
    • Aqua in regards to the rest of the series after prequel Birth by Sleep. Eraqus and Vanitas are killed, and Braig is still around as Xigbar. Terra and Master Xehanort are still around as Xehanort/Xemnas (sort of, it's Terra's body and both their hearts, but amnesiac) and Ven is still sort of around as Roxas. However Aqua was trapped in the Dark Realm and has no alternate form so she's completely cut out of the story. Everything hints that she'll be making a return though once the series get back on track.
    • This also happened to Sora in 358/2 Days. It's justified due to the story, though.
  • Tennenbaum in BioShock (series) 2
    • However in the DLC "Minerva's Den, she makes a return, explaining her absents in the second game as her working to get the Thinker out of Rapture.
  • In Mitsumete Knight R : Daibouken Hen, all characters of the original Mitsumete Knight game save for Sophia, Raizze, Leslie, Hanna, Linda, and Carneau are reduced to mere cameos. Which is really baffling in Priscilla and Anne's cases, as both were poster girls in the original game and vital characters for its plot, as well as being well-liked by the fandom.
  • Angela Cross from the Ratchet and Clank series. She only appears in Going Commando and is briefly mentioned on a radio broadcast in A Crack In Time. As the only female Lombax in the series, some fans (particularly this one) have wondered why she was written out, especially considering the series' recent focus on Ratchet trying to find out what happened to the rest of his race.
  • Drachma, Gilder, and Enrique in Skies of Arcadia. The Valuan Generals also get Put on a Bus.
  • It has been confirmed that Bosco will not appear in Sam and Max season 3. The ingame explanation is that Bosco has gone on a road trip to Las Vegas. It is later revealed he has a large gambling debt, and is forced to be a male stripper.
  • Dr. Madison Li in Fallout 3 gets this treatment in the Broken Steel expansion. Once you turn on the purifier, Dr. Li leaves the Capital Wasteland for the Commonwealth, even though she just witnessed a major breakthrough in her work.
  • During the Time Skip between the first two Golden Sun games and the third, six of the original eight heroes mysteriously vanish from the plot. Ivan, Mia and Jenna are seemingly just offscreen, given that their children are the new protagonists, but Piers and Felix have gone travelling and Sheba's whereabouts are not even mentioned. Since the game ends with yet another Sequel Hook, we hopefully haven't heard the last of them.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. series Bowser's children The Koopalings were gone for nearly 20 years before they finally reappeared in New Super Mario Bros Wii.
    • Not true. Their last appearance before that was in the first Mario & Luigi game.
    • Diddy Kong, Toadette, Dry Bones, King Boo, Baby Mario and Baby Luigi share the trope in the Mario Kart series (so far).
  • Fahrenheit (2005 video game) has Tyler leaving to Florida with his fiancee, Sam. Even if you choose to let him stay in New York, he wouldn't appear in the next chapter.
  • Elora was an important character in the second Spyro the Dragon. She's missing for most of the third game, despite other characters from her game getting larger roles then before, and only appears in an ending cutscene. She hasn't appeared in any other games since the original trilogy, especially odd since she was Spyro's love interest. Though, it's probably a good thing since the new guys aren't so swell when it comes to keeping the original personalities.
  • Several Animal Crossing characters have disappeared over time, never making it past their first game. It's most apparent in the first installment of the series, both the Nintendo64 and Nintendo GameCube one.
  • In the first .Hack:// games for PlayStation 2, in volume 2 Mistral admits she is nearing the end of her pregnancy and can't do anything stressful so she has to log off for a while. She is not seen or heard from again until she magically reappears in the 4th volume. Aura pulls this as well, appearing frequently in volumes 1 and several times in 2, but seems to have forgotten to aid you in your quest in 3 and only appears a couple times in 4.
    • .Hack://GU does this with the majority of the characters in the game who are not Morganna factors or turned into Lost Ones. Although all of the characters are still selectable and can be adventured with at any time, none of the majority of them, for example Matsu, will ever have importance in the story again until the end of the 3rd game, and then it's optional.
  • Grant DaNasty from Castlevania III Draculas Curse and the DaNasty family line beside brief mentions and a doppelganger boss of him through out the series no one ever talks of him or his family before or after Dracula's Curse. No character has tried to take his place and in other games where Alucard and family members of the other two meet. In this tropers opinion one of the saddest video game examples as this is now over 20 years since the release of Dracula's Curse.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion does this with most of the prominent figures from Morrowind, despite only taking place 6 years later. Although you couldn't possibly expect to see so many major characters when they were in a whole different province, you only hear of vague rumors that Vivec "disappeared" and the Nerevarine left on an expedition to Akavir. A former living god and a previous hero sound like exactly the kind of people you'd want to have around to help repel a demonic invasion.
    • Furthermore, halfway through Morrowind, your first quest giver Caius Cosades gets reassigned... to Cyrodiil (for those who haven't played an Elder Scrolls game, the latter is where Oblivion takes place). You would think he would be in the game, considering he was a Blade that was known to be around the Emporer. Even a cameo as the Red Shirt Blade that gets cut down in your first battle would have been nice.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Spoofed on Homestar Runner with the Show Within a Show Cheat Commandos. In the short "The Next Epi-snowed", voice actor Crack Stuntman gets bossy and uncooperative while recording an episode of Cheat Commandos, and director A. Chimendez eventually gives up and has Gunhaver sent "on a secret mission to the moon for an undisclosed period of time", replacing him with Author Avatar Agent Chimendez. It's also mentioned that "when [Gunhaver] gets back, his voice might have changed."
  • Red vs. Blue has done this several times in their later seasons, most notably after the time skip between Blood Gulch Chronicles and Reconstruction, where Tucker and Donut are put on a bus for the entirety of Reconstruction, coming back for Recreation. Tex also tends to come and go throughout the story.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Nearly happens to the main character of Furmentation. More accurately, everybody else took a bus to Disneyland and left him all alone... in the enemy camp. Poor guy. Yes, that IS the main character.
  • Happens a lot in Sluggy Freelance due to the sheer number of characters it's introduced over its long run. Characters very rarely stay on the bus, however. Even if it takes over a decade, it seems like every character who isn't explicitly killed off is bound to make a second appearance.
    • Recently, Sasha, who had moved away seven years ago, made a return to the comic.
  • Kevin and Kell has done this with several of its supporting characters over time. Candice and her family were once nearly as important to the strip as Kevin and Kell themselves, but eventually she was outsourced to New Zealand and hasn't been heard from since. The Ursuls, of whom Marjorie was Kell's best friend for the early years of the strip, moved to Florida and new best friend Aby moved into their house—they've also not been seen since. Lindesfarne's best friend Tammy Tussock and her husband Ray moved to a lighthouse, and while they were important to one more storyline after the move, they have been MIA since. Then again, longtime readers of Bill Holbrook's two syndicated strips should be well aware of his tendency to rotate the cast - both of those strips have managed almost a complete cast turnover, including their main characters.
  • Done to every character at the end of Boy Meets Boy, to make room for two side characters who got their own spinoff in Friendly Hostility.
  • In Eight Bit Theater, Dragoon was teleported to the Moon and has not been seen since.
    • He comes back in The Epilogue.
  • In Questionable Content, it looked like this was going to happen to Steve. Turns out, he's back. However, the side characters Dave and Meena caught that bus. Also, Sarah, Ellen, Amir, and Natasha. Looks like Raven is on that bus too.
    • Actually, it seems like the bus dropped Raven off just in time for her college physics class. Amir got off the bus for a cameo as well, but has probably caught another one at this point. Also, since Sarah was apparently "eaten by an Allosaurus," this may be more of a Bus Crash scenario.
  • Lampshaded here in Books Don't Work Here when the Main character and her room mate head to the mall at the same time as the author has to move and get a new job. The author's avatar also makes an appearance getting on the bus as they get off. Which gives Robin an opportunity to punch him in the face.
  • In Darths and Droids, one of the players, Sally, wants her character Jar Jar to be hit by a bus. In the next strip she is playing Guitar Hero, and has mostly been playing bit part NPCs.
    • In episode 4, Ben disappears for an unspecified reason.
  • Done in Girly when Officer Policeguy gets fed up with Detective Clampjaw.
    • More like strapped to the bus!
  • In General Protection Fault, Trish goes into a coma after being attacked by her impostor, who proceeds to impersonate her until she is unmasked.
  • Half the cast of Concession is on a bus and will potentially return some day. But they're Out of Focus.
  • Happened to a lot of the cast in N Fans The Series. At some point, characters were either put in confinement, captured, in a coma (in the case of Ran Cossack), or simply Out of Focus. Van for example was put in jail for a majority of the comic's arc, only appearing to mention his beloved "Goth girl", while the rest of the mettaurs and a giant robot went through a portal. Christopher Blair was also fighting Ganondorf for a very long while. Team Lalala was once stranded on the exact same screen for about a year of real-time. Eventually though, some characters were written out of the comic. (Van went home, Piney had simply chosen to return home due to having a fallout with the author at the time)
  • In El Goonish Shive, the Demonic Duck is put on a bus after his appearance at the birthday party - he travels to Australia to learn about his roots, presumably the Demon Duck of Doom. He returned in 2010, although it's unknown if he'll be sticking around.
  • In Sam and Fuzzy the titular character Sam vanishes for like 10 months. Even though he is in plain sight.
    • Done again later when almost the entire cast of Noosehead has not been mentioned that much. But it is very likely that they will come back.
  • In A Modest Destiny two of the main characters go bye-bye for essentially a whole arc.
  • Conversed in Shortpacked, when Robin mentions that Jacob had been put on a bus.
  • Tepoz from Wapsi Square is put on a bus to Utah shortly after his introduction. He returned later and played an important role in the plot.
  • The now decidedly unnecessary "human characters" in Comic Shorts: Spriteoverse are removed in episode 26 possibly the least subtle way imaginable: by interrupting the comic's dialog to announce that they're going to blink out of existence. They may or may not come back if it's convenient enough to the plot.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, this happens most notably to Der Thris, who resigns to help out the police on Mahuitalotu.
  • Sonichu has a number of characters be tossed on the bus, due to the author's ever-shifting focus. Saramah Rosechu, who was supposed to be part of a big prophecy, is married off not even two issues after her appearance and the prophecy ignored; Meg-chan (aka Sailor Megtune) disappeared without a trace another two issues later; Metal Sonichu makes an appearance and is launched to the Moon, never to be seen again (he was supposed to return, but so far, no show).


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Stanley Brown's mother in Assignment 2. She is committed to a mental asylum and then never even mentioned again.
  • Emo 5 in Mighty Moshin' Emo Rangers Season Two. Captain Emohead brings up that he had to sell him on eBay to pay the phone bill, which Ross had exhausted with phone sex.
    • It's not like he did anything anyway.
  • In Darwin's Soldiers: Disruptive Selection, Hans, Werner and Cpl. Stern encounter an old friend of Cpl. Stern in a bar in New Mexico. The friend then offers to bring them back to Nevada where the terrorists from first RP are trying to put their lives back together. The three then accept the offer.
    • A temporary example in the second RP. Shelton is deported to Austria after the events of the first RP.
  • For episode 100 of the video game music podcast Nitro Game Injection, Audun "Akumu Hau" Sorlie joined the show as a new co-host. The show went on a lengthy hiatus after episode 112, and when it came back, nary a mention of Akumu was made and he was replaced by Larry Oji of OverClocked Remix. Akumu has returned as a guest a few times, however.
  • In the fourth year of The Questport Chronicles, the elf Gawain—one of the eight main characters—has been called away on "mysterious business" and is absent for the entire quest. None of the other characters comment on it.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Happens regularly in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Minor characters such as Haru, Jet and his Freedom Fighters, Suki, the Mechanist and others are introduced in one episode, never mentioned or seen again until half a season or more later, pop up for one more episode, and disappear again. The series finale managed to bring back everyone (who hadn't died) in a group shot, except for the handful that were put on a Long Bus Trip.
  • Justice League features a perfect example of this trope in its second season finale when Hawkgirl resigns from the Justice League and flies off to go soul searching. Sure enough, she returns at the end of season three when she discovers Solomon Grundy may have come back from the dead.
    • More permanently done with A.M.A.Z.O, who's still out on the edge of the universe trying to figure out how to beat Solomon Grundy.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law takes this to the extreme by having the character, Phil Sebben, not only be Put on a Bus, but be hit by it as well.
    • Only to return driving the bus himself BACKWARDS, across North America and under water no less, then runs over Harvey with it thus putting the entire show on the bus. "HA HA HAAAA! Final episode stunt casting!"
  • William Dunbar of Code Lyoko gets put on a very interesting (and painful) sort of bus. After being attacked and possessed by XANA on his first mission as a Lyoko Warrior, he's effectively put out of commission for the entire season. He does return, but only just in time for the series to end two episodes later. There's no real explanation as to why this happened, though he was disliked a bit.
    • Word of God is that he'll return for the fifth season.
  • Transformers Animated has a rather weird use of the bus. At the end of the third season opener "Transwarped" Sari is shut down by Ratchet in a desperate attempt to keep her over-upgraded body from destroying both herself and the city. Not only did she not appear for the next four episodes, no one even seemed to think about her—including her own father.
    • As of "Human Error" she's back off the bus, now taller, more mature, and able to make blue balls of floating electric... stuff. The coma hasn't been mentioned again.
    • Ultra Magnus was also put on the bus in season 3. If by 'bus' we mean the ICU.
  • In the original The Transformers, dozens of characters were put on the bus, a result of the writers and animators not having knowledge of the 1986 Movie (which hadn't yet aired in Japan).
    • Jazz was technically put on a bus, because although the character survives the movie and makes 2 cameos, his voice actor, Scatman Crothers fell ill and later died.
    • Many of Casey Kasem's characters were put on buses. (the supercomputer Teletran-I was Put on a Bus to Hell.) Autobot headquarters (the Autobots' stranded-on-Earth spacecraft and Teletran-I inside of it) were buried when Trypticon smashed the mountain it was lodged in. Cliffjumper, like Jazz, survived Unicron, but fell off the vocal map after 1 cameo by the character. Bluestreak was never seen after the 1986 movie's Battle of Autobot City. All of this stems from Kasem's displeasure with stories featuring a stereotypical Middle Eastern dictator and his country, "Carbombya".
    • Many of the Season 1 and 2 characters were either killed off in storyboards (but not in the finished product) or never mentioned again, only to turn up as cameos late in Season 3, or in Japanese audience only spin-offs. Hound turns up in Transformers: Headmasters
  • The Simpsons' original other neighbours, The Winfields, relocated themselves to Florida in Season Four, to be replaced by the seldom-seen Powers (though Mrs. Winfield does show up again in a crowd scene in "Lisa The Iconclast").
    • Homer's brother Herb hasn't been seen since season three, after he regained his fortune with a baby translator. Homer even lampshades to Herb as "his seldomly seen half brother".
  • Tigatron and Airazor went off to scout the extent of the Vok's damage to the planet at the start of the second series of Beast Wars to make room for the Fuzors. When they returned, they ended up being abducted by the Vok, and would not return until partway through series 3.
  • Buster Baxter on Arthur went on a year long trip around the world with his dad whom he doesn't spend much time with since he and his mom are divorced, he returns in the season opener.
  • The villain of An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Cat R. Waul, is defeated by being put on a train. He comes back for the television series.
  • Chef in South Park had a bridge dropped on him after his voice actor left, but the ending allowed for the possibility of a return (now impossible due to his real life death) by making him "Darth Chef."
  • Triana Orpheus from The Venture Brothers left the Venture Compound in order to study magic with her mother.
    • Triana has been seen again - she was Dean's date to their home-school prom.
  • Total Drama Island does this about every new season, leaving old characters behind and bringing back more popular ones or ones that were eliminated early on to give them a fresh start. But when Chris says that once a contestant is gone from a season, and they "can't come back, ever," he doesn't always mean it.
  • Happened to Rose in American Dragon: Jake Long as a result of Executive Meddling after she lost her memory as a result of being rescued from an attempted Heroic Sacrifice. She was brought back in the series finale.
  • Little Miss Calamity disappeared offscreen in Season 2 of The Mr. Men Show.
  • Happened to Zhalia in the end of episode 17 of Huntik Secrets and Seekers. She comes back in the next two episodes.
  • Tak was a victim of a bus ride in Invader Zim. She was lost in space after the fight between her and Zim. However, in an unfinished episode, she would have returned and become Zim's secondary rival. Unfortunately, the series ended before that could happen.
  • In X-Men Evolution Spyke went to live with the Morlocks and was Rescued From the Scrappy Heap when he came back.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man did this with Harry for eight episodes. However, it wasn't so much a convenient way to get him out of the way as part of his personal Story Arc, as his father took him to Europe to get over his addiction to Globulin Green.
  • Pearlie antagonist: Moe the daisy-cutting pixie.
  • Choose Goose and Duke of Nuts from Adventure Time.
  • Steve, the popular host of the children's show Blue's Clues, took a bus to "college", and never came back. He was replaced by the way less-popular Joe.
  • The zombies in Tina's dream from Bob's Burgers return in the cab episode.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • In a rare literal example of this trope, this was how Metallica disposed of Dave Mustaine before they started the recording of the debut album Kill 'Em All, in 1983. He went on to form the highly successful (and former rival band to Metallica) Megadeth. Dave's original plan with Megadeth was, incidentally, the musical equivalent of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for being put on said bus.
  • Metaphorically played straight but inverted whenever Sun Ra wanted to get rid of a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra member: Sun Ra and everyone else in his band would get on the bus, the dumped member would then discover he was stranded. The U.S. State Department subverted this when they ordered him to bring fired musicians back to the United States. Yes, he took this habit to the point of leaving musicians stranded in FOREIGN COUNTRIES, making for many diplomatic snafus.