TV Character The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1

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List Rules Series regulars who did not appear in the first season of the show only. Vote up the ones you now can't imagine the series without.

Some of the best TV shows - the ones that eventually soar to critical acclaim and garner millions of die-hard fans - don't always hit the ground running. It can be pretty hard to find your footing that first year. In fact, there are a lot of TV characters added after Season 1 that went on to become integral to their shows.

One of the most tried and true methods that showrunners use to stabilize a shaky first season is introducing new characters. A new character can energize a lagging plot line, or even lead to a new plot line entirely, taking the show in directions that may not have been originally intended.

Not all new characters work. Many are summarily dismissed. But some of these new characters feel so enmeshed in the fabric of the show, it's hard to believe that there was a time when they weren't a part of it at all.

This is a list of the greatest television characters who weren't in the first season. Vote up the series regulars who became most integral to their series. And if you don't like the order this list is in, feel free to rerank it. In fact, it's highly encouraged. Make your voice heard for the best TV characters who weren't in Season 1.
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Brienne of Tarth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: HBO
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Brienne of Tarth


Has there ever been a more loyal and fully realized female character than Brienne of Tarth? Gwendolyn Christie brings a touching humanity and a sly sense of humor to this powerful warrior, though we don't get to meet her until the third episode of Season 2, "What Is Dead May Never Die." Game of Thrones is not short on powerful women, to be sure. But Brienne has a true heart (and a great sword) that elevates her above all around her.  

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Series: Game of Thrones

Actor: Gwendoline Christie

Episode: Season 2, Episode 3 "What is Dead May Never Die"

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#5 on The Best Female Characters on TV Right Now

#373 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

#33 on Game of Thrones Death Pool

#64 on The Greatest Female TV Role Models

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Butters Stotch is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
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19 people just voted on Butters Stotch


Aw, Butters. Sweet, happy, wholesome Butters Stotch had been a friend of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman on South Park for years, but he was never actually introduced (or allowed to speak) until midway through Season 3 in an episode called "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub." Even when he's (poorly) planning destruction as his alter ego "Professor Chaos," you just can't help but root for the lovable little guy.

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Series: South Park

Actor: Matt Stone

Episode: Season 3, Episode 8 "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub"

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#554 on The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

#187 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

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Maggie Greene is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: AMC
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Maggie Greene


It's hard to imagine the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead without Maggie Greene. But long-time fans will remember we didn't get to meet her until early the second episode of Season 2, "Bloodletting," when the survivors end up on Herschel's farm. Lauren Cohan's Maggie and her relationship with Glen provide a glimpse of a promising future in an otherwise desolate world.

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Series: The Walking Dead

Actor: Lauren Cohan

Episode: Season 2, Episode 2 "Bloodletting"

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#685 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

#6 on The Best Walking Dead Characters, Ranked

#6 on Walking Dead Characters Most Likely to Survive Until the End

#26 on The Most Irritating Characters on The Walking Dead

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Frank Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: FX
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Frank Reynolds


Wait, you mean Frank Reynolds wasn't always there? It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia existed without him?

It's true. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had a seven-episode first season where there was no Danny DeVito to be found. He joined the gang at the start of Season 2 in "Charlie Gets Crippled" and has been deplorable and hilarious ever since.

More About

Series: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Actor: Danny DeVito

Episode: Season 2, Episode 1 "Charlie Gets Crippled"

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#555 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

#30 on The Funniest Characters Currently on TV

#234 on The Funniest TV Characters of All Time

#22 on The Greatest Jovial Fat Guys in TV History

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Woody Boyd is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: CBS
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Woody Boyd


Cheers had a good thing going with Nicholas Colasanto as "Coach" Ernie Pantusso, the sweet old bartender of the Boston bar. But in 1984, Colasanto left the show. Cheers needed to find someone equally lovable and dim-witted to fill Coach's shoes. Luckily, they found Woody Harrelson. Relatively unknown at the time, Harrelson played Woody Boyd as a naive hayseed from Indiana and instantly fit in with the cast from his first appearance in the Season 4 opener, "Birth, Death, Love, and Rice."

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Series: Cheers

Actor: Woody Harrelson

Episode: Season 4, Episode 1 "Birth, Death, Love and Rice"

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#206 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

#117 on The Funniest TV Characters of All Time

#4 on The Greatest Fictional Bartenders

#5 on The Best Cheers Characters of All Time

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Saul Goodman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: AMC
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35 people just voted on Saul Goodman


Saul Goodman puts the "criminal" in "criminal lawyer." Bob Odenkirk's pitch-perfect portrayal of the sleazy attorney didn't actually appear in Season 1 of Breaking Bad. He swooped in halfway through Season 2 in the episode "Better Call Saul" to help get one of Jesse's buddies out of a tight spot and remained a fixture from that point on.

More About

Series: Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul!

Actor: Bob Odenkirk

Episode: Season 2, Episode 8 "Better Call Saul"

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#276 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

#66 on The Most Likeable TV Anti-Heroes

#24 on The Greatest Breakout Characters in TV History

#1 on The Best Breaking Bad Characters of All Time

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Mike Ehrmantraut is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: AMC
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Mike Ehrmantraut


Just like Saul Goodman, Mike Ehrmantraut is an indispensable Breaking Bad character who did not appear in season one. Mike first appears as a "fixer" in the Season 2 finale, "ABQ." 

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Series: Breaking Bad

Actor: Jonathan Banks

Episode: Season 2, Episode 13 "ABQ"

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#498 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

#92 on The Best TV Villains of All Time

#138 on The Saddest Television Deaths Ever

#49 on The Greatest Breakout Characters in TV History

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Ben Wyatt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
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Ben Wyatt


What is Leslie Knope without Ben Wyatt? Parks & Recreation had a shaky start and a lot of early characters (like Paul Schneider's Mark Brendanawicz) didn't make it out alive. But the show found its footing when Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) came to Pawnee late in Season 2 in "The Master Plan." The relationship that followed between Leslie and Ben truly gave Parks & Rec the heart that balanced out the comedy which made the show so special.

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Series: Parks and Recreation

Actor: Adam Scott

Episode: Season 2, Episode 23 "The Master Plan"

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#39 on The Best Fictional Characters You'd Leave Your Man For

#42 on The Best Male Characters on TV Right Now

#517 on The Funniest TV Characters of All Time

#5 on Fictional Characters Named Ben

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