Milk Carton Characters: Actors Who Mysteriously Disappeared From Our Favorite Shows

June 21, 2013  |  
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Have you ever been watching a TV show and suddenly noticed that one of your favorite characters wasn’t there anymore? You’re not alone. Writers may think we don’t notice when their characters up and disappear, but we do. And sometimes, we miss them. If you need closure for some of your favorite characters, check out our milk carton list for characters who disappeared without a trace. Have you seen them?

Judy Winslow

If you were a faithful Family Matters fan, you noticed that one day the youngest Winslow daughter just disappeared. She didn’t go to college or move away or anything, she was just gone.

Unfortunately, we did hear from Jaimee Foxworth again. First as the Adult Videos star Crave. And then on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.


Lisa Bonet’s character, Denise, was originally the focus of the Cosby Show spinoff A Different World, but when she got pregnant, Bill gave her the boot. The show got a major re-write, new cast members, and Denise was never heard from again.

Maggie Lauten

We bet you forgot that Marisa Tomei was even on A Different World. When Lisa Bonet was written out of the show, so was Marisa’s character Maggie Lauten. Her character’s disappearance was given just as much explanation as Lisa’s: none.

Professor Slater

Remember Jeff’s hot and heavy relationship with Professor Slater on Community? It ended with Britta and Professor Slater asking Jeff to choose between them at the Dance.

It was the biggest season finale of the show. But the next season didn’t begin with Jeff choosing between the two. In fact, Community writers never mentioned Professor Slater again.

Coach Tanaka

Once upon a time, Coach Tanaka was a character on Glee. Then, suddenly, he wasn’t. His tenure ended in the first season: he proposed to Emma, she turned him down and we never heard of him again. We wish our breakups would end as seamlessly as this.

Mandy Hampton

If you’re a fan of West Wing, you remember Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly) from the first season. For the first few episodes, she was the main character.

Then, suddenly, she was gone. The first season wasn’t even over. She went from a major player to a missing person just like that. Later, series creator Aaron Sorkin revealed that he nixed the character because she “just wasn’t working”.

Dr. Grace Miller

Dr. Grace Miller (Bellamy Young) appeared in the third season of Scrubs. She was the snarky counterpart to Dr. Cox. Then after five episodes, she just disappeared. No one mentioned that she’d even been there in the first place.

Tina Pinciotti

Did you know that Donna from That 70’s Show had a little sister? Tina Pinciotti (Amanda Fuller) was a part of the show for the first few episodes. Then, she disappeared. After that, Donna’s character was referred to as an only child.


Friday Night Lights used to be the show. Remember Santiago? He played TV ball for 11 episodes. And then he just wasn’t there anymore.

Turns out, actor Benny Ciaramello was cut from the show due to the famous writer’s strike. What a sad way to go.

Chuck Cunningham

We know. No one watches Happy Days anymore. And most of us don’t remember Chuck Cunningham, eldest son of Howard and Marion Cunningham, and brother to Richie and Joanie.

But Chuck is important for other reasons. When he suddenly disappeared from the first season of Happy Days, he was the first TV character to go missing. Today, whenever a TV character goes MIA, it’s called Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.

Monica Dawson

Lord knows TV can’t stand to lose anymore black actors. But that’s just what happened to Heroes character Monica Dawson. played by Dana Davis. In season two, she played a waitress whose super power was muscle memory. Then in season three, she was suddenly gone.

Tiffany Holloway

Remember Rose’s youngest daughter Tiffany on 227? Apparently the writers didn’t. After the second season, Tiffany was just gone. To this day, we don’t know what happened to the poor girl. And no one ever talked about her again.

Morgan Matthews

Younger siblings didn’t last long on Boy Meets World. Eric and Cory started the first season with a little sister named Morgan. She was so adorable, Eric used to use her as bait to pick up women. But in the second season she was gone, never to be heard from again — until she showed up as an extra in season three.

Topanga also had a little sister on season one. Her name was Nebula. She only appeared in one episode before she disappeared for good.

Wanda and Joey

Big Love was one of the best shows on HBO. Remember Joey and Wanda? Joey was Bill’s little brother and Wanda was his crazy wife. He killed the prophet Roman and she poisoned Bill’s father. They had really big story lines. But then they hid out after their crimes and just disappeared from the show with no resolution of their story lines.


Anyone enough old enough to remember What’s Happening Now!!, remembers little Carolyn. She was Raj and Nadine’s 9-year-old foster child. That is until they just never mentioned her again. She didn’t go live with Mama or go back to the foster home or anything. She was just gone.

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  • Anthony Rupert

    Three things:

    1) Although Denise Huxtable did disappear from A Different World, she returned to The Cosby Show.
    2) Morgan Matthews returned to Boy Meets World several seasons later as a main character (albeit portrayed by a different actress).
    3) Carolyn’s disappearance from What’s Happening Now was explained briefly in the next season’s premiere: she moved in with an aunt.

  • beej

    In the 1st episode of the 2nd season of Different World,it was explain Denise wasn’t coming back to Hillman and she made an appearance in a later episode with her husband and stepdaughter.Lettie’s,Maggie’s,Millie’s disappearances were never explained.

    On Cosby Show,Cockroach was last seen on tv on a dance show and was never seen again.

  • Jessica Insinna

    Danno on the original”Hawaii Five-O”,
    Danno was on the show for 11 seasons,and come the 12th(and final season)he was just gone. I must be the only one who noticed his disappearance.

  • Surfer

    On the show Amen, the character who was Sherman Helmsley’s daughter had a foster daughter or an adopted daughter for a season. Then, the kid was gone without explanation.

  • Wow

    Denise did come back to the Cosby show after she left college (Different World) the storyline was she went to the peace corp or something like that. She came back when the show was almost ending and all of their children had ended up moving back in with them for some reason or another. Denise came back with a new husband who was in the navy and a stepdaughter and then the husband was going to be stationed somewhere and Denise and the husband moved away and left Olivia with the Huxtables until they got settled. I guess that’s how they answered the question of what happened to Denise.

  • Lisa Turtle

    Morgan on Boy Meets World didn’t disappear she was replaced by a different actress.

  • ItsME

    Morgan was a regular on BMW she was in the wedding and everything didnt get as much air time as the first season but she was never just gone

  • Punstressak

    It’s called Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, really? Because didn’t Bobby Martin disappear on AMC five years before that? I always heard they “went into the attic to wax their skis”.

  • JGene

    Don’t forget Carrie’s little sister from King of Queens. Cut after 2 episodes in the first season if I’m not mistaken

  • Gabie Aldrich

    They explained Denise on a Cosby show Different world cross over episode when Dewayne and Whitley went to NY and she introduced him to Olivia and Martin .

  • David Richards

    The girl from Heroes did not just “disappear” she died in a fire.

  • Frank C England

    I looked at all the MIA characters, and they seem to have forgotten about the gay cook in the first (and only the first) episode of Golden Girls.

  • john

    actually they do explain denise leaving a different world and in the next season whitley and dwayne go and visit her at the huxtable residence for an episode!

  • sd0987

    Not another Meg Butler story. When is this racist loser going to get fired?

  • me

    1. Denise did come back to Cosby show with Husband and Step-Daughter; then she left again, but she was mentioned throughout the final season as being in Singapore with Martin. Should not be on the list.
    2. What about “Tiger” the Brady Bunch Dog. The doghouse stayed, but Tiger left and was never mentioned.

  • Doc

    Better check that statement about Chuck being the first to go missing. What about Andy Taylor’s girlfriends like Ellie Mae from the drugstore or the very nice looking nurse who was on a few episodes of the show?

  • Zarui

    On Boy Meets World the character of Morgan was only gone for a little while in between actresses. And Nebula was Topanga’s older sister. Also Shaw had an older sister that was only mentioned in once episode and then she disapeared too

  • Em Chappell-Root

    Actually, Ken Tanaka (GLEE) Was mentioned last season. Coach Bieste was matched up with him by an online dating site, and they said he moved to Hawaii (where he wanted his and Emma’s wedding to be).

  • therealnumber1

    Lisa disappearance was explained on the Cosby show, she decided not to go back to school and instead went to Africa where she met her husband on the show hence the raven symone entrance. Maggie was explained as well, she moved away with her military boyfriend…

  • Michelle

    That’s not true about Lisa Bonet. She did come back as Denise, a married Denise, with a stepdaughter named Olivia…played by the actress Raven Symone. Denise, Martin and Olivia became a big focus of the Cosby Show. Wow. Talk about misinformation!

    • Doc

      Whoever writes these articles need to do more research before putting these stories up. It is apparent we know more about the shows than the writer does.

  • some1234

    WTF do you mean no one watches Happy Days anymore? I think you mean no watches A Different World anymore.

  • ALadyFirst

    The Heroes character with the muscle memory died in a fire if I recall correctly…just thought I would point that out…I was sad to see her go. I liked her. 🙂

    • alex

      NO, that was the mom of the kid who could talk to technology. She has lost her powers and was dying because of it, the indian scientist had a cure, but he was detained by Sylar who stole the cure for himself. The multiple personality mom went in and got her out, but then got trapped in the fire. The girl with the memory powers got out, but she did not. Atleast, that wasn’t certain until her twin sister showed up after her funeral and met the kid. You didn’t even see that memory girl again.
      Also, they forgot to mention the Irish chick who was lost in the future. You think she would show up again a year later, but the time thing on that show was very screwy. Especially, when you have kids who grow up you.

      • CT

        I use to wonder “wow, so they just gonna leave the irish chick in the future?”

  • D.D.

    Coach Tanaka’s disappearance was explained. He has a mental break down after he figure out how Emma felt about will and that she never wanted to marry him and he left the school due to emotional and professional stress lol Somebody did not watch the show before they wrote this lol

    • KimmyD

      Also, they mentioned him in last season during the episode when Coach Beiste had the hots for Schue and they posted a personals ad for her online and Tanaka responded.

  • donny j

    what about casietta from amen?

  • DCgal

    Stephen Finch from Scandal! Though, I have a feeling Shonda didnt write him out for a reason….hes gonna come back.

  • autumnbreeze

    Does anyone remember Carrie having a sister the first season of King of Queens? I wonder what happened to her…

    • Doc

      Doug had a sister too, Ricki Lake!

    • CT

      Yes! she did have a sister in the first season and she was never heard of again

  • DinaLineth

    I was very surprised to see Prof. Slater in this article. What ch’all know about “Community”? that’s one of my favorite shows!!!!!! Cool Cool Cool!

  • pickneychile

    How yall gonna mention Denise and the other girl disappearing from a Different World, and not mention Jalesa Vincent disappearing? That girl had a baby withe Colonel Taylor and was gone!

    • J Mc

      True but it was so close to the end of the series that when she did disappear no one really noticed.

  • lrobinson6

    Forget donna’s sister on that 70’s show what about donna her self she became homeless or something after the show.

  • MsGrownNSexy

    Morgan’s character did not leave Boy Meets World. That particular actress, Lily Nicksay, disappeared from the show in the second season, but the character returned in season 4. This Morgan was played by Lindsay Ridgeway and she remained on the show until the final season.

    • Jessica Murlock

      That, and eventually it was written into the show that Corey, Eric and Morgan’s parents become pregnant with their fourth child (a boy, I don’t remember his name but I think it started with a “J”). I believe they joked about it in one episode post-fourth baby about how they hardly see Morgan around or how she “looked different” (a similar joke used in Roseanne when the original actress that played Becky Connor, Alicia Goranson left the show and was replaced by Sarah Chalke aka Elliot Reid from Scrubs).

      The most interesting thing to me is the whole concept of the upcoming Boy Meets World spin-off Girl Meets World. It’s been stated numerous times that it will center around Corey and Topanga’s daughter with no word of whether she’s single or has siblings (at least nothing I’ve heard about) but I could’ve sworn one of the episodes prior to the show’s ending had Topanga giving birth to a son or being pregnant and finding out it’s a boy. Although I could be remembering it incorrectly.

      • Shawnna Ramsey

        I’ve seen photis from the set on IG. The girl has an older brother on the show.

  • Charlese Keayshun Henderson

    Well in defense of the Cosby Show and A Different World on the subject of Denise: They did write her out of A Different Worl (hastily and with no goodbye mind you) as just deciding not to return to college wich was in step with her being back on the Cosby Show. As you remember she went off the show for a while listed as going off to Africa from which she came back married to Martin and witha step daughter. I think the real mystery is how in the pilot of the Cosby Show Cliff and Claire had only 4 kids and they actually eluded to it when Claire said why do we have 4 children and the Cliff said cause you didn’t want more (or I think he said cause you didn’t want 5) now that’s the suddenly appearing child syndrome….

    • pickneychile

      Lol I noticed that when watching reruns of the Cosby show too. My brother said he read that they added Sandra to show an example of an adult child who came from a stable family, instead of just showing kids and teens.

      • more

        lmaoooo!!??? what i never saw or knew any of this lol

    • Jessica Murlock

      It’s because Bill Cosby decided it would be a good idea for the Huxtables to have a grown child off at college. So when Season 2 came around, Sondra was introduced in an episode coming home to visit her parents and became a staple of the show.

  • Malik Brooks

    Bill Cosby must’ve really had bad feeling’s towards Lisa Bonet cause she don’t even be on the reunion specials

    • Dee

      I think I read somewhere that Bill was “messing” with those girls. The article said he had a long term affair with the one that played the oldest daughter. The article also insinuated that Bill was extremely upset that Lisa had gotten pregnant. He was afraid it was his and then was upset that she was sleeping with someone other than him and he fired her with no chance to come back to the show. Of course I don’t know if it was true, just sharing what I read.

      • DinaLineth

        what the what?!?!?

      • Doc

        That is a bunch of crap!

    • Diane Champion Brocker

      she don’t even be??? Good luck job hunting!

      • Malik Brooks


    • CT

      I think its the other way around, I don’t think LB likes him for some reason. I think i’ve read somewhere she’s the one who doesn’t want to attend the reunions

  • NeaJ

    You’d think that the writers would have thought out a storyline or have use for each character that the show starts out with but I guess not. But I used to hate watching shows back in the day & notice that the same actor played different roles. Like we wouldn’t notice that so & so’s boyfriend last season is now the train station ticket booth guy?! Like nobody else tried out for that role? Smh

    • ThaVoiceoftheVoiceless

      The actor that played Casey Novak on Law and Order SVU played a convicted murderer in Season 3, but they expected us to completely forget that.

      • dee

        I love L&O but you right they recycle they actors/actresses a lot. One episode the actor/actress is a murderer. Then on a different episode that same actor/actress is a judge!

        • Raimi Nicte

          The producers have addressed this actually. They tape on location in NY and so they get actors and actresses from basically the same union pool, hence certain actors showing up in dual roles. The actress who plays Amanda Rollins was also in another episode from Season 8.

      • CT

        I actually like seeing them recycle actors

    • Kenedy

      I stopped watching CSI Miami a while back, but when I used to, I would notice that….the same people that played gang banging, drug trafficking criminals would turn around & play FBI specialists & other types of law enforcement in other episodes

    • yagurlgg

      lol like ray j on moesha he played like 3 different ppl lol

    • J Mc

      The character on A Different World, Spencer who became Kim’s fiance, he was like a couple of different characters before the show ended, Ron’s frat brother, a member of Ron’s band, the fire marshall that shut down Whitley’s party. I know he’s played more characters but I can’t think of them all lol