19 Times TV Writers Clearly Forgot About A Storyline Then Tried To Pretend Like They Hadn't

·11 min read

TV shows tend to forget things from past seasons, leading to dropped storylines and unanswered questions that can be really frustrating.

Kira on Teen Wolf labeled "disappeared and never came back"
MTV

But every once in a while, they randomly pick back up a storyline from seasons before, or make a nod to a disappeared character that tells us they didn't actually forget. Sometimes, it's just a little reference to the storyline, and sometimes, they fully pick it back up.

Davos says to Gendry: "I wasn't sure I'd find you. thought you might still be rowing"

Like when Gendry came back on GOT!!!

HBO

Here are 19 times TV shows finally seemed to remember old storylines, and either picked them back up, gave them some resolution, or just provided a cute nod to them:

1.Remember how Diego started out The Umbrella Academy as a vigilante? He was a much more serious character, and it seemed like this would be a major plot point, but then it was just sort of...dropped.

Diego
Netflix

But not to worry! Because the show finally remembered the moment in the middle of Season 3, when Diego briefly mentions his past to Allison.

Allison saying, "Yeah. Bargain Batman."
Netflix

2.You probably want to forget, but I'm sure we all remember El's sister Kali from that one Stranger Things episode everyone hates.

Kali
Netflix

The writers smartly chose not to revisit the plot-line, but Kali did get a blink-and-you-miss-it reference two seasons after she appeared, when Henry briefly mentions a time when El and Eight (Kali) were growing up together:

One and El talking
Netflix

3.Another character that essentially vanished into thin air was Seven from Married... with Children. He was introduced in Season 7, but then a few episodes later, it was like he'd never even existed.

Seven
Fox

Until a brief moment in Season 8, when you can see his face on the back of a milk carton. To me, this example is less cute than wildly creepy. It's truly one of the weirdest TV mysteries ever.

Seven on the back of a milk carton
Fox

4.Another character to essentially disappear was Rachel on One Tree Hill. After becoming a series regular in Season 4, it was weird not to have her in Season 5. She did come back for a few episodes, during which Brooke vowed to help her with her drug addiction. But then she stole money from Brooke for drugs and left.

Woman saying, "She's gone. You tried, Brooke. I guess she just wasn't ready."
The CW

And that was all we saw of her for two seasons!!! This was super frustrating because not only was she a main character, but it seemed extremely unlikely Brooke wouldn't try harder to look for her after fighting so hard for her. She literally isn't even mentioned for years. When she does come back, she apologizes to Brooke, but then that's basically all we see of the Brooke/Rachel friendship that was so huge in Season 4.

Brooke and Rachel

Rachel deserved better than this Season 7 storyline.

The CW

5.Sometimes, it's relationships that disappear. Like Cordelia and Wes, who had a thing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But when Wes showed up on Angel, becoming a series regular with Cordy, there was basically no reference to this fact. For seasons.

The WB

Until finally, Cordy and Wes are talking about his feelings for Fred, and Cordy finally brings up the fact that they once almost had a relationship. In Season 3, four years after their relationship first aired.

Cordelia saying, "At ease, soldier. Just like to hear it every now and then."
UPN

6.Another relationship that seemed to disappear was Caroline and Nick's relationship on New Girl. They get back together at the end of Season 1 and plan to move in together.

Caroline and Nick
Fox

Jess doesn't think Nick should go, and tries to stop him, but Nick decides to do it anyways...until he shows up at the end of the episode, making it clear he's changed his mind. Except there's literally no mention of what happened between him and Caroline.

Jess saying, "Welcome back, you clown."
Fox

Until two seasons later, when Caroline randomly shows back up and asks Nick why he left. As the show liked to bring back exes, I suppose this wasn't surprising, but it was weird Caroline went so long before being mentioned.

Caroline saying, "I just wanna know why you walked out."
Fox

7.This one was more of a fun reference to an old storyline, but I always thought it was weird that after Shelby and Winston broke up on New Girl, she was literally never mentioned again — especially since the show did bring back a lot of other exes.

Winston and Shelby
Fox

But in rewatching the show, I noticed she actually did get a quick reference in the same "Exes" episode when Caroline comes back.

Winston saying, "I still send Shelby's dad a Father's Day card, and he still sends me $5 on my birthday."
Fox

8.Remember how Elena started out The Vampire Diaries always writing in her diary? Hence the name of the show? And then that just sort of...stopped?

The CW

Six years later, the writers seemed to remember their show was called The Vampire Diaries. In Season 7, they finally decided to bring diaries back, and have Caroline keep a journal so Elena knew what she'd missed when she woke up.

Elena telling her friends to keep a diary
The CW

And Caroline did! For an episode. Then...it was quickly dropped again.

Caroline writing in a diary
The CW

9.Another TVD storyline that was quickly glossed over was Damon compelling Caroline into a sexual relationship with him/basically being his blood bag. Which is pretty unforgivable.

Damon and Caroline
The CW

But except for Caroline telling Damon he "sucks" when she remembers this upon becoming a vampire in Season 2, and a series-long coldness toward him, it's never mentioned again. For years.

Damon saying, "You're crazy."

Even when Elena dates him, Caroline always frames the reasons why she shouldn't around how she should be with Stefan. She also never tells her mom about what Damon did to her, despite Liz's close friendship with Damon. While you could argue Caroline didn't want to talk about it, it felt more like the show wanted us to forget about it so we'd see Damon as a romantic lead.

The CW

It's finally brought it up in the show's final season, when Caroline enters Damon's mind and forgives him for what he did to her. Even then, it's not mentioned explicitly.

Caroline
The CW

10.That's not the only time a show seemed primed to tackle a serious issue...before forgetting about it completely. In Gossip Girl, Blair's bulimia was featured in one episode. It wasn't even named. And then the show entirely forgot about it.

Blair saying, "I didn't mean for it to happen."
The CW

Until Season 4 — three years later — when Blair brings it up to Serena after Juliet drugs her. Still, she calls it her "problem."

Blair saying, "If it wasn't for you, I'd never have gotten better."
The CW

There's also a Season 5 reference where Dan (and then Beatrice) thinks Blair is bulimic, but it's played for humor.

Blair saying, "No! I was just sick of listening to your inane questions."

Not only is this a pretty irresponsible way of depicting eating disorders, it felt weird to bring up a big part of Blair's past only to mention it only twice more throughout the series. Also, I kind of can't believe the terms "bulimic" and "eating disorder" weren't actually said out loud until four years after it was clear Blair had one.

The CW

11.Gossip Girl actually dropped quite a few storylines. Like that time Serena's dad pretended her mom had cancer.

Serena and her dad
The CW

He literally flees from the police over this. Then he returns a year later, and A) Rufus is the only one who seems to remember what he did to Lily, and B) the fact that he should be on the run from the police is completely ignored.

Rufus saying, "It's not like she's dying, Will. No thanks to you."
The CW

12.One last Gossip Girl one — Poppy, Gabriel, and the Ponzi scheme. The whole plot goes pretty unresolved at the end of Season 2, when it's interrupted by some Serena/Lily drama.

Poppy and Gabriel
The CW

We do have an extremely brief reference to Georgina getting Dan's money back and deporting Poppy, but it's a pretty unsatisfying conclusion to the arc. Until it's mentioned again four years/seasons later, when Poppy has a fashion line, and no one besides Blair seems to care that, like Serena's dad, Poppy should be on the run from the law.

A girl saying, "Blair, that was so four years ago."
The CW

To give credit to the writers, both these storylines were mentioned extremely briefly by Eric in the Season 4 finale, in one of my favorite GG lines ever that clearly pokes fun at these wild storylines that we all forgot about.

erik saying "Just tell me that no one's trying to stop a wedding, run a Ponzi scheme, give anybody fake cancer, or turn into a justifiably vengeful townie"
The CW

13.One character who literally disappeared on a show was Marcie in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I'm less concerned with the fact that we didn't see Marcie again than with the fact that an FBI unit using invisible people to commit assassinations was clearly introduced, then never mentioned again. Like, it's established that this whole invisibility thing is a common occurrence that is exploited by the government. Then it's forgotten...

Book chapter reading, "Assassination and Infiltration"
The WB

...for six whole years. In Season 7, we do finally have it happen again, though it's very brief and unresolved, as Buffy gets distracted with other resurfacing issues from earlier seasons.

Buffy saying, "Uh-oh."
UPN

14.Back to another big character who kind of disappeared on a show — Izzie on Grey's Anatomy. While her character did leave town in her last episode (Season 6, Episode 12), it wasn't expected that she'd never come back on the show. She was still a big part of numerous characters' lives when she left.

Meredith asks Izzie to stay because it's her home, and Izzie says it's just a place she worked and she can do that anywhere
ABC

15.Not only was the character dropped, but so was the storyline where she froze her eggs using Alex's sperm. This was brought up in a Season 12 episode (seven seasons after it was last brought up) when Jo finds out about it.

Alex and Jo
ABC

The storyline is once again dropped...until Season 16, when both Izzie's departure and the fate of her frozen eggs are resolved in a controversial storyline where Alex left to be with Izzie.

Alex and Izzie's kids

This definitely never would've happened if Justin Chambers hadn't left the show.

ABC

16.Sometimes, shows actually reference the fact that they completely forgot about a character. Boy Meets World did this a few times. One involved Morgan, Cory, and Eric's joke-cracking little sister who disappeared after the Season 2 finale.

Morgan Matthews
ABC

However, midway through Season 3, the show remembers her. Cory makes a funny reference to her, and she shows up again — played by a different actress.

Morgan saying, "Yeah, that's the longest time-out I've ever had."
ABC

Joking that she's been in her room this whole time, she then becomes an important character on the show again.

Morgan saying, "No. I was in my room for a real long time."
ABC

17.The whole Mrs. Grunwald storyline on Pretty Little Liars was ridiculous, especially because PLL...wasn't a supernatural show. And Mrs. Grunwald was a creepy psychic.

Mrs. Gunwald
Freeform

Luckily, they mostly dropped it after the supernatural spin-off Ravenswood failed...though they didn't exactly give the storyline much closure. Then, randomly, three seasons later, Mrs. Grunwald shows up again to be creepy and leave town again.

Mrs. Grunwald

The funniest part is the last time Hanna saw Mrs. Grunwald, she was giving Hanna info about Mona's body...and then Mona turned out not to be dead, basically revealing Mrs. Grunwald to be a fake, which Hanna never seemed to realize.

Freeform

Most notably, she gets a bloody nose when looking at Noel, which is pretty explicitly supernatural. Did this mean the show was embracing the supernatural again? Nope! It's once again dropped for the rest of the show's run.

Hanna and Mrs. Grunwald
Freeform

18.A big focus of Ugly Betty Season 2 was Amanda's search for her biological father, and her belief that it was Gene Simmons. However, it turns out he's not her father, and the whole Amanda-looking-for-her-dad storyline kind of disappears.

Gene Simmons and Amanda
ABC

Until the last moments of the second-to-last episode of the entire series two years later, when a quick moment reveals her dad to be Spencer Cannon. The storyline is hurriedly wrapped up in the series finale.

A man saying, "He's your father."

It really just felt like the show was looking for random old loose ends, put them all in a hat, then drew one to resolve in the finale.

ABC

19.And finally, much like the infamous dropped storyline of Gendry sailing away on a boat, Game of Thrones Season 3 featured a prominent storyline that completely disappeared after that season: that of Osha and Rickon Stark.

Rickon and Bran Stark
HBO

After their story diverged from Bran's, the two characters completely disappeared until Season 6. It was like there wasn't even a youngest Stark. Until he's captured by Ramsay and killed. Which is kind of underwhelming, since most of us had forgotten he existed and/or assumed he was already dead.

Ramsay killing Rickon

RIP Rickon. You should've zig-zagged.

HBO

What other random storylines were dropped then picked back up again? Let us know in the comments!