Recurring Extra

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Have you ever met someone you don't know, again? Like, you don't actually know them, but they keep popping up, like God is running out of extras for the movie of your life."

Character(s) with no relation to the main story who keep popping up when the important cast is doing something in the vicinity, usually to their inconvenience or discomfort. They usually have nothing to do with the plot whatsoever, and the cast does not even notice them. For obvious reasons this can become a running joke, although their appearances often culminate in a formal introduction into the cast.

A level or two below Those Two Guys and the Recurring Traveller. Also see Memetic Bystander for when the fans take a shine to these characters. May overlap with Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?.

Examples of Recurring Extra include:

Anime and Manga

  • Menko ("Miss Noodle") and Shiruo ("Mr. Soup") in Urusei Yatsura, a terminally shy couple who are always just about to declare their love for one another at the moment another Thundering Herd runs over them.
  • Similarly, Ushiko ("Miss Cow") and Umao ("Mr. Horse") in Kimagure Orange Road.
    • A similarly named couple showed up in Akane's soaps in Ranma ½. Usually they inadvertently fanned Akane's fears that someone was going to get raped.
  • Cowboy Bebop had a trio of senior citizens who kept popping up all over the solar system, and even appeared in The Movie. The old men do have names, and Theme Naming pops up yet again—their names are Antonio, Carlos and Jobim.
  • Sister Princess has several people about the island—including a salesgirl, a fellow dressed like a stereotypical Frenchman and a short dumpy guy in coveralls — who are constantly seen in the background (and once in a while in the foreground). In a twist, they gather together during the climax of the series to see if there's anything they can do to help the hero or his sisters.
  • Trigun has Kuroneko-sama ("Lady Black Cat"), a small black cat with giant green eyes. She appears in every episode; even in the one Whole-Episode Flashback over 100 years earlier (albeit cryogenically frozen). Her entrances tend to come out of left field (example: as Wolfwood digs through his bag looking for a book, he pulls Kuroneko-sama out of it). There are rumors that suggested the black cat is put in as a game between one of the animators and his children to see if they can find the cat in every episode.
  • Canaan has a taxi driver who always ends up driving the cast around, he is a big fan of Nene-chan's songs.
  • Throughout Satoshi Kon's Millennium Actress, there are three schoolgirls who appear in her flashbacks, which tend to take place within many different time periods (Edo Japan, for example) and locations, while either sneering at her dreams or trying to pry her secrets. They make a cameo in Tokyo Godfathers. To some degree, every single character forms a Recurring Extra to Chiyoko's movies/lives/events.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima:
    • The Mahora Festival Story Arc has Haruki and Yuki, the adorable kid couple who randomly popped up in all three days of the festival. They served as one of the background characters Negi saved from Mana's gun, one of Negi and Ako's opponents in the Best Couple in Mahora contest (they won), and some of the cannon fodder in the Mages vs. Martians war game.
    • A high school couple also appeared in all three scenes. Don't believe their names were given, though.
  • The '90s anime YAT: Anshin Uchuu Ryokou is about an intergalactic travel agency, where this old couple would be present in the space-tourbus on every single trip no matter where in what galaxy they were going.
  • The old men in the Love Hina anime.
  • The Fullmetal Alchemist manga has its own couple of Recurring Extras who frequently appear in order to have their car 'requisitioned' by various military characters.
  • Street Fighter II V—Gouki/Akuma appears in the background of several scenes but has absolutely no place in the plot. This stretches belief that somehow, in an anime all about the main characters trying to find the best and greatest street brawlers, Ryu and Ken both overlook a huge muscular man in a karate gi with burning red hair who seems to show up wherever they go...
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, a hippie couple pops up from time to time, especially when something dealing with the Earthbound Gods is going on.
  • Infinite Ryvius features two background characters, a girl wearing a blue mascot costume and a boy wearing only a towel, who appear at least once in every episode.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • There is a little girl with pigtails that shows up quite a lot, though several "sightings" are pretty big stretches. Scroll down about halfway on this page to see an article on her.
    • There is a one other character that serves as this, with a twist. There is a fat, unnamed woman in burgundy that appears only once in any media, but has an appearance in the manga, the anime (first episode) and the RPG as a NPC who tries to set the girls up with her son. Considering she's a one-off character in the manga, it's odd that the creators of both the anime and the game thought to include her.
  • One Piece:
    • Pandaman.
    • Oda seems to like this trope.
    • A door repairman is commonly seen, along with a drunk who tends to get involved with mobs very easily. It doesn't help that his fans tend to egg him on about adding these characters.
    • Past THAT, in almost every arc, there are always a handful of nameless characters that will continually keep showing up; for example, the egg-shaped Franky Family guy with tiny glasses. No name, hardly spoke, WAS ALWAYS THERE.
    • One of Iva's okama squad, whose bunny ears and flowing mustache earned him the Fan Nickname of "Bunnystache."
  • The Pokémon anime has a number of recurring character designs used in the background of various shots, which are occasionally given a Palette Swap.
  • Drama Con has a raccoon that first appears plastered to the bumper of the car Brett is driving to the convention. The little guy pops up in the background every so often throughout the series, usually scavenging snacks. He even makes a cameo appearance in Nightschool, another one of the author's works.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats has the mother bear and her son that watch the pizza cats be launched from the shop every episode.
  • Desert Punk features a tragic comedy example: a recurring set of parents and young girl who always suffer a misfortune such as being robbed, having no food/water or having their livelihood destroyed, the parents will usually break down in tears or cower in terror of their mortal peril while the punchline is the young girl pull a parents sleave and exclaim 'I'm hungry'.
  • Tiger and Bunny features a young redheaded woman with a scarf involved in the events of just about every episode.
  • Hajime no Ippo has exactly one referee and two commentators. They're the same in absolutely every official match; the only ones that don't show them are unofficial or the ones done in the past.
  • For some reason, a group of monks passes by the house in Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo awfully often.

Comic Books

  • The French comic Asterix features a band of pirates (who themselves are caricatures of characters from the Belgian comic Redbeard) who kept getting their ship wrecked whenever they ran into Asterix.
  • The Belgian comic De Kiekeboes has a fat woman in a red sweater who is always being run over by the main character. To be more exact; she has appeared in EVERY De Kiekeboes comic that was written. With her appearance in every of the 127 comic books, equalling the four main characters and doing better than every other character.
  • The various helicopter pilots, particularly the French one and his extended family, who encounter main character Shautieh Ley's Rushmore Refacement everywhere they go in Bowling King.
  • The woodcutter couple in Usagi Yojimbo. They appear in the background of every other issue or so, sometimes interacting with the main cast (unwittingly helping Usagi foil the Neko Ninja's plans, even more unwittingly helping him feed and clothe Princess Kinuko, and very nearly getting killed by Inazuma...) and often telling one another that samurai are crazy.
  • In Watchmen, the Bernards appear repeatedly yet have nothing to do with the plot, save to sell other characters newspapers and be a Framing Device for the Black Freighter story arc. The lesbian couple who get into a fight just before the squid-alien appears have even less connection to the main characters. Subverted with the "End Is Nigh" sign-carrier, who looks innocuous until it turns out he's Rorschach.

Fan Works


  • In Manos: The Hands of Fate, the action keeps on cutting to two teenagers making out in a convertible. This is for no apparent reason, other than to tell a policeman that nobody ever goes the way the main characters did. Supposedly they were going to have a bigger part in the overall plot until the female teenager broke her leg (she was supposed to play one of the 'wives'), thus having to be confined to the car at all times to hide her cast.
  • In Time Bandits, a couple named Vincent and Pansy show up in different time periods throughout history, presumably reincarnated, as they are slightly different each time. Vincent always has an embarrassing personal problem they're trying not to talk about, and they're swamped by the wake of the main characters each time.
  • In the Widget Series (well, movie), Battlefield Baseball, a group of people, including a girl in old-fashioned school uniform, a guy wearing just a fig leaf, and someone with a broken arm, appear out of nowhere to create a crowd several times during the movie. There's also a drunk and his dog who are seen multiple times, including the end, where it's implied that the dog is the narrator of the movie. Yeah.
  • In Young Frankenstein, there is a couple at the train station when Dr Frankenstein boards the train who are having a strange conversation about some guy named Harry. When he arrives at his destination, the same couple is there, having the exact same conversation, but in German, and the guy is now named Hans.
  • In Trick 'r Treat, Sam starts out as one of these, but from how much attention the camera pays to him, you can tell he'll be pretty important later on. A more conventional example would be the three kids dressed as clowns, who can be very helpful in putting together the film's complicated time line.
  • Eric Idle's character in National Lampoon's European Vacation just happens to turn up at the same spots all over Europe at the same time as the main characters, suffering increasingly grievous injuries due to their actions. He returns for more of the same 18 years later in the Made for TV Movie Christmas Vacation 2.
  • A woman with a large hat shows up multiple times in the background of The Double Life of Veronique (La double vie de Véronique). As this occurs in scenes taking place in different countries, and the film itself is concerned with the idea of doppelgängers, it seems intended by the filmmaker.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, all of the extras seen over the course of the beginning of the first half of the film appear as zombies in the second half.
  • Gregorys Girl has a character dressed as a penguin who wanders through several of the scenes at the high school. There's never an explanation.
  • In the Roger Moore James Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only, the man who keeps seeing Bond do crazy stuff in Italy, probably without ever realising it is the same man (emerging from the sea in his car-sub; driving around the streets of Venice in his land-gondola; and escaping from armed assassins on skis in the Italian alps, respectively). In each case he is drinking and in the first two, finds what he's seeing so bizarre that he seems to wonder if he's been drinking too much (though not enough to stop, evidently). Played by Victor Tourjansky, who was the assistant director for these Italy-set scenes in all three films.
  • Done literally for a scene of Space Mutiny, with a scene in a corridor with Ryder and Lea having a conversation whilst extras pass them back and forth in the background. Quite plainly, the same two extras again and again.


  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Agrajag is an unfortunate soul that happens to reincarnate into incidental creatures that Arthur Dent accidentally kills (a pot of flowers, a fly, etc...). Agrajag eventually becomes aware of his past lives and becomes more and more spiteful toward Arthur until his dislike actually materializes into the "Cathedral of Hate", to which he eventually abducts Arthur; Arthur Dent proceeds to accidentally kill him while escaping. Thanks to the vagaries of time travel, Arthur manages to accidentally cause his death again two books later.
  • In Airborn, the Lumiere triplets are mentioned in all three books and Matt sees them at a restaurant in Skybreaker.
  • In the Discworld Watch novels, the dwarf watchman Stronginthearm is mentioned in passing a few times between Men At Arms, when nonhumans first join the police force, and Night Watch, when he is suddenly and shockingly murdered by a fugitive.

Live Action TV

  • Scrubs has a few, including Snoop Dogg Intern / Resident / Attending (that's right, baby) Dr. Beardface (pronounced Beard-fa-say, dammit!), Colonel Doctor, and Dr. Mickhead.
  • How I Met Your Mother has Ranjit, the... various vehicles driver.
  • Leverage has a burgeoning pair in the form of two FBI agents tangentially involved in their projects, who tend to benefit significantly by the association.
  • My Family uses the same actor as receptionist in any hotel the family visit. They never comment on it, but he always has the same personality.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a number of these. The most famous was their go-to victim, played by Danny Strong, who eventually became a minor named recurring character and then a villain in season six, Jonathan.
  • Jacob Collins in Trailer Park Boys is this until the later seasons of the show when he's promoted to a full character. Initially he is the cashier at whatever store Ricky is currently robbing.
  • The live-action version of Moyashimon has the Four-Eyed Explorer, a bespectacled member of the university's Explorer Club who keeps showing up in the background. When he appears outside of Kawahama and Misato's room in episode 4, Sawaki even asks him who is he and what he's doing here.
  • SG1 and Atlantis directors Martin Wood and Peter Deluise were rather fond of putting themselves (and occasionally each other) in their episodes. If you look closely, you will often see them discussing something technical in the background or pointing guns at the gate during an unscheduled activation.
  • The actor Frank Nelson literally made a career of this, playing essentially the same character (an antagonistic and smarmy shop-clerk) on numerous television and radio shows in the 1950's and 60's.


  • In the early going of Sliders, whenever the group arrived on a new parallel world and ended up taking a taxi anywhere, the same bearded Russian guy was always the driver.

Rembrandt: So.. you enjoy driving a taxi?
Driver: What is to enjoy? It is my destiny.
Rembrant: You don't know the half of it.

  • Used to unsettling effect in the first episode of The Prisoner: a mechanic appears and repairs McGoohan's radio; while he does that, McGoohan leaves, and moments later runs into the same, instantly-recognizable guy coming from the opposite direction, except that guy is apparently now a gardener. Although he is an extra only twice, he is very memorable for having a distinct bald, lumpy appearance and visibly unnerving McGoohan.
  • In the first two seasons of Wizards of Waverly Place, Amanda Tepe portrayed various oneshot characters, earning her the Fan Nickname "The Monotone Lady".
  • Parks and Recreation has a few. For example, the titular events in the episodes "The Banquet", "Beauty Pageant", and "Telethon" all feature the same guy as the MC.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, there is a cadre of about half a dozen recurring redshirts, some of whom appear more frequently than some of the regulars, and all of whom are played by extras. The most famous of these is Lt. Leslie, "King of the Redshirts", who died and then came back to life, with nary a mention from anyone. Another is Hadley, who appeared in 62 episodes, but never had a single line. There's also Brent, Lemli, and Galloway, among others - though many of these characters had inconsistent names anyway, so it's a wonder they were given ones that stuck.
  • Due to its fixed location, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had a high number of recurring extras. Fan-favorite and bar fixture Morn is the most notable, although there were many recurring station residents- Ferengi waiters and Dabo girls at Quark's, Starfleet personnel like Ensign Tannenbaum and Nurse Bandee, and Bajoran officers like engineer Neela.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise had a small pool of MACO extras, most of whom became very quickly recognizable. This made it awkward whenever they needed a MACO to have a large speaking role, because they were the only one we had never seen before.
  • Lost went to a great deal of trouble to keep its extra pool consistent over years: Main Camp, Tailies Camp, Ajira Survivors, The Others (both post-crash and during the 70s), Kahana crew etc. all spotted mostly the same share of background faces who contributed absolutely nothing to the plot except when being suddenly killed as a Red Shirt deserves. In some cases extras were even asked to reprise their roles years after their original appearance, simply because events of a scene would happen at the same time and place.
  • The late actor Ed Peck played five different characters in all five seasons of That Girl and three different characters in three different seasons of The Odd Couple.
  • The Law & Order franchise frequently reuses actors who play characters outside the main cast, leading to the nickname "repeat offenders", some of whom have made their way into the main cast with a lampshade hanging. Special mention to retired ESU officer Ed Bogdanowicz who was regularly cast in the original and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit when the plot required an ESU officer speak. Unlike most recurring background actors, Bogdanowicz always played a single position and remained nameless, leaving open the possibility he was playing the same character.

Newspaper Comics

  • The alien inhabiting the Negative Zone in Twisted ToyFare Theatre, whose life is constantly screwed up by the antics of a rowdy Thing.

Tabletop Games

  • Pathfinder's unnamed horned helmet wearing Antipaladin with solid red eyes frequently appears in art. Despite this he has no name and is not the "iconic" (example character used as main characters) Antipaladin, having no character sheet. The official iconic antipaladin postdates him and the class by years and barely appears.


Video Games

  • Tony Hawk: Ollie the magic bum in the games. He appears in some capacity or another in almost every game (mysteriously; as noted, he's homeless, but appears in diverse locations the world over) and never plays an important role, but Ollie was playable in the third game. He hasn't appeared in a game since the Underground games, which were the triumphant finale of the original soulful series.
  • Stachenscarfen and Pavel in the Professor Layton games.
  • The Up'n'down from Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity and it shows up in most of the Robot Master stages with different forms and patterns of attack.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a trio of Toads who travel to the various locations Mario visits.
    • Likewise that Disco Stu who seems to be either a step behind or a step ahead of where you visit.

Web Comics

  • In 8-Bit Theater, the Onion Kid character suffers repeatedly as a side effect of Black Mage's actions, even as they travel to different cities and continents. His family and two foster families are killed by Black Mage, he is put on trial for one of those murders, and he is kicked out of an orphanage for being bad luck when a delivery is destroyed. Eventually this was subverted by the revelation that the Onion Kid is actually Sarda's past self.
    • Another example are the Real Light Warriors, which Missed the Call that hired Black Mage & Co., and now always one step behind the Light Warriors (or being screwed by them).
  • The Order of the Stick has a pair of Flumphs, floating, white, tentacled creatures, who wander around and get landed on by (and save the lives of) falling main characters in almost every appearance.
    • Lampshaded with a towering side of spoilers here.
  • Keychain of Creation has a young man with yellow eyes and brown hair who reappears numerous times in various roles. He turns out to be a Sidereal Exalted who knows Ten Winds. Probably a Chosen of Journeys, given his yellow color scheme.
  • Real Life has Alan Extra whenever a background character is called for.
  • Sakana has a guy with a cap with the phrase "THIS GUY" on it showing up frequently in the background. He seems to be a Chekhov's Gunman, because the artist revealed that he will have a bigger role in the future.
  • El Goonish Shive has the Shy Girl who, despite only appearing in the background a few times, garnered quite a few fans. Eventually Dan merged her with a supporting character.
    • There are also several students that appear many times whenever random bystanders are needed, as well as the boys that hang out at the comic shop.
  • The FAN has the character Mustache Bob appear every now and then, usually in a panel's lower left corner.
  • This little guy from Zap appears at the site of every major disaster.
  • There's a kid in Zebra Girl who used to appear in front of Sandra's house.
  • Princess Pi has the man in the third panel of this scene constantly appear during disasters and assure onlookers that the victims will survive.

Web Original

  • Homestar Runner has the old lady who often makes remarks on Strong Bad while off screen, prompting Strong Bad to yell "Shut up lady!"

Western Animation

  • SpongeBob SquarePants has a ton, to the point that Bikini Bottom only has about twenty or so unique residents. Of particular note is the dark-green adult male fish who yelled "my leg!!" during large scenes of commotion, and an unseen person who often yelled "boo, you stink!" (later revealed to be Squidward's mother!)
  • Gargoyles:
    • The "Yuppie Couple" from have moved out of the background and have become involved in the greater story, making them no longer an example of the trope named for them. In the four-part episode "City of Stone" a pair of statues that looked like them were smashed by Demona, prompting fan outcry from about killing them. Word of God says that the statues were two other identical people who were not this couple, and the couple has gained larger roles in the comics—the woman being the DA representative on the Gargoyles Task Force, and the man bringing a doctor to help save the life of the mortally wounded Goliath.
    • The couple in question even appeared in another series, W.I.T.C.H., but only as a one time, not recurring.
    • There's even another recurrer in Gargoyles, a jogger who wears an "I Love NY" sweatshirt who appears in a few episodes, and gets the occasional Spear Carrier line of dialogue.
    • Gargoyles has another example in the form of Vinnie Grigori (whose voice mimics Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) from Welcome Back, Kotter). This guy loses at least two jobs and a motorcycle to the Gargoyles' actions. In the Lower Deck Episode Clip Show centered on him, he spends most of the show narrating his past troubles to a custom-built weapon called "Mr. Carter," which his accent renders indistinguishable from "Mr. Kotter", before finally shooting Goliath in the face just after the climax of a big battle that had Goliath's attention all night. Fortunately, "Mr. Carter" only shoots cream pies, and Vinnie walked away very satisfied with himself, leaving a confused Goliath to wonder at his identity. In the first episode of The Goliath Chronicles he actually has a major role, and saves Goliath and Elisa's lives before putting himself on a bus to take a job in Japan. Too bad for him there are Gargoyles there too... He is next seen being tormented by Yama, one of the Japanese Gargoyles in the Bad Guys mini series.
  • Rocko's Modern Life had this in Filbert for a while, until he became an Ascended Extra.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series had a few characters like this, including their own yuppie couple and that large, bald, sunburnt tourist who keeps dropping his ice cream cone.
  • Galaxy High had another couple. The wife's name was Myrtle. They were actually an important part of at least one story, giving the main character a lift when his spaceship broke down. They may have been a pair of the Roepers from Three'sCompany.
  • Family Guy does this, but none of the recurring extras are seen in the same role twice.
  • The Squeaky-Voiced Teen on The Simpsons.
    • Or Sarcastic Man, who is a taxi driver, store clerck, plumber, etc depending of what the plot needs.
    • This applies greatly to the children seen in Bart and Lisa's classes.
      • One-time character of the day students like Allison, Alex, and Francine, who are voiced by celebrities are reduced to this.
      • In fact, due to the severe lack of female students at Springfield Elementary and Lisa's lack of friends, the only girls she is ever seen with are Janey (her fair-weathered "friend") and Sherri & Terri (two bratty twins who aren't even in her class).
  • Silkie, from the second season of Teen Titans onward, was basically Kuroneko as played by an oversized grub.
  • Kappa Mikey has at least a half-dozen of these, inclusding a pirate, a little old lady, a delivery guy, a biker named Beef, and a janitor. Whether or not Yoshi the cameraman counts is debatable.
  • A cabbage merchant in Avatar: The Last Airbender who always seems to find himself in the exact same city as Aang and the gang as they're Walking the Earth and always finds his cart destroyed when they cross paths. His last appearance was about halfway through the second season, but was -mentioned- lampshaded in the last episode before the Grand Finale when Sokka is reading the poster for the play they are about to see. ("Sources include singing nomads, pirates, prisoners of war, and a surprisingly knowledgeable merchant of cabbage") Additional, both times we see Kyoshi Island a particular person gets over excited at the Avatar visiting and starts foaming at the mouth and passes out. (In the second instance, Aang wasn't really there so he suddenly got up, pulled his hood over his head, and slinked away in embarassment.)
  • Rugrats: Larry and Steve, two of Didi's students who have worked at several different disastrous jobs (thanks to the babies), including house painting, the supermarket, and the movie theater.
  • Edgar and Chauncey, in the various incarnations of Rocky and Bullwinkle:

Edgar: There's something you don't see every day, Chauncey.
Chauncey: What's that, Edgar?

  • Kelly, the hapless and perpetually unlucky woman who inadvertently runs afoul of alien robots who turn into cars in Transformers: Robots in Disguise. Her insurance probably didn't cover most of the problems they caused. Her name was never spoken in-series, and comes from a sheet listing the cast.
  • In Megas XLR, frequently when mass devastation is being caused (frequently causing everyone else to scream and run for their lives), we see a particular kid watching it who just watches and says "Cool."
  • Ice Age and its sequels have Scrat, a disaster-prone prehistoric rodent who wants nothing more than to harvest and bury acorns and who occasionally crosses paths with the main characters.
  • Transformers Animated has its various appearances of the Witwicky Family.
  • Danny Phantom consistently has a number of these. Though it makes sense as the main character is going to the same high school for the whole show, they do seem to show up everywhere.
    • The boy with the spiky blond hair. (Who only ever got one line: "It's a ridiculously large hornet! Run!")
    • The chick with red hair and glasses... and possibly braces. (She does actually get a role as one of the transformed geeks when the trio goes to the San Diego Comic Con. At least, it's the same character design.)
    • The black chick with the tall black hair and green sweater.
  • Batman Beyond features a nondescript bald man in black that has constantly appeared in the background or in random moments throughout the series. The fans have noticed him so much that he's gained his own bio page on World's Finest. He has been alternately referred to as "Mr. Lucky" or the intentionally-mispelled "The Blad Man". It is possible, but as of yet unconfirmed, as to whether the character was designed after longtime DCAU director Dan Riba.
  • Futurama:
    • Number 9 Man appeared in the background throughout the cartoon series before getting an important role in the fourth film Into the Wild Green Yonder.
    • Scruffy the Janitor is often present and makes comments on situations that have nothing to do with him.
    • There's also a fat, balding man with an exaggerated Bronx accent, apparently named "Sal", occasionally seen in some sort of blue-collar job. The writers can not decide whether they're all clones or just one guy who can't hold down a job.
  • Daria's background classmates are kept consistent throughout the series, most notably Andrea, the goth girl who drops the occasional snark and writes Wangsty poetry. She's given some development though, such when Daria and Jane ease her embarrassment towards working at a wholesale club (we actually see her smile), and at the very end of the series when she hooks up with Upchuck.
  • Invader Zim had many very distinct extras, so many were recognizable as they changed from one small role to another—such as a Ron Jeremy caricature who appears as both a taxi driver and a hot dog vendor. Some, such as classmates, stayed consistent though.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a pair of cops—based on Turtles creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird—who would appear whenever the scene required policemen.
  • Bibbo Bibbowski of Superman the Animated Series, an absent-minded longshoreman, who appears in the pilot (with minor plot-relevence; he's established as an informant for Lois who helped her on an arms smuggling expose, and whom she asks to inform the Planet of her whereabouts if she doesn't return from the ship she is investigating, a task he is quickly distracted from). He appears several times thereafter, often just to provide a comment on something strange that has occured, though occasionally Lois or Clark seek information from him, and he often makes shows of support for Superman.
  • Season 1 of Frisky Dingo had the ubiquitous Mr. Ford, a character who seemed to work at every menial job in the city from retail clerk to security guard to hospital employee, depending on the plot. Lampshaded in episode 12 when the main cast finally notices, to which his resigned response is "Yeah, my ass is everywhere." He was elevated to a main character actually affecting the plot in season 2 and the spinoff The Xtacles.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: The bear.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has Mrs. Cheesebreath, an old lady constantly seen in the background. Apparently she used to teach Lucius' third grade class.
  • Several of the interns from Total Drama Action, as well as many of the characters' old designs as a Development Gag. During the special, Chris even brought back some others (such as the intern with the hat, the serial killer, and the Eskimo dropped on Courtney) to be the "stars" of a fake reality show called "Total Drama Dirtbags".
  • Reflector in Transformers Generation 1 tended to just be an "extra" Decepticon, since clones of him were often used to pad out the Decepticon ranks. He never affected the plot and after the first few episodes, didn't get to speak despite a number of generic appearances. He had a minor role in the first part of More than Meets the Eye, but that was about it.
  • Several of the unnamed citizens of Marzipan City in Chowder pop up more than once, and considering their individual bizarre attributes, it's not hard to notice them.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog:
    • Di Lung, who would often pop up very briefly to utter his catchphrase, "Watch where you're going, you foo'!" He was essentially an extra until about halfway through the series, when he became more active in the plot.
    • Jean Bonne also filled this role after his demotion
  • Phineas and Ferb has several kids who often make cameo appearances, often in crowd shots.
    • There's also the farmer couple from "Leave The Busting To Us!" et al., who never interact with the main characters, but often have something convenient fall out of the sky on them as a result of Phineas and Ferb's projects or Doofenshmirtz's schemes.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has an entire stable of recurring background ponies, many of whom have fan followings almost as unlikely as that of the show itself. A couple of the most notable ones are a wall-eyed, grey female pegasus the fandom affectionately refers to as "Derpy Hooves" and a brown-coated male with an hourglass cutie mark who has appeared with or without wings and at different apparent ages throughout the series. The fandom has dubbed him "Doctor Whooves". Another is Lyra, a green female unicorn known for multiple Funny Background Events and notably has appeared in every town that main Twilight Sparkle has with the exception of one. She even shows up in Cloudsdale in the episode "Sonic Rainboom", making her one of the only non-Pegasi outside of the main cast to appear there.
  • In The Adventures of Tintin, Tintin's creator Hergé appears at least once in every story.

Real Life

  • As Julian Smith once put it about Facebook: "You know how on 'People You May Know', there's always that ONE DUDE that you know for a fact you don't know and never met him a day in your life, but he just NEVER GOES AWAY? I feel we should all just go add that guy."
    • To elaborate on that, there are some people who you never talk to (and vice versa), and may not know your name (again, and vice versa), but is always seen all the time. Of course, to them you might be a Recurring Extra as well. This is evident especially in schools.