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

Randy Miller
11.5k votes 2.2k voters 143.4k views 18 items Embed

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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Frank Reynolds


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

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.

Series: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Actor: Danny DeVito

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

Also Ranked

#21 on The Funniest Characters Currently on TV

#23 on The Greatest Jovial Fat Guys in TV History

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740 266

Butters Stotch


Butters Stotch is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: Freebase/Fair use
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.

Series: South Park

Actor: Matt Stone

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

Also Ranked

#25 on The Funniest Characters Currently on TV

#27 on The Greatest Breakout Characters in TV History

#52 on The Funniest Kid Characters in TV History

#27 on The Greatest Only Children in TV History

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549 224

Ben Wyatt


Ben Wyatt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: Freebase
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.

Series: Parks and Recreation

Actor: Adam Scott

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

Also Ranked

#44 on The Best Male Characters on TV Right Now

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

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Woody Boyd


Woody Boyd is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Characters Who Weren't in Season 1
Photo: CBS
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."

Series: Cheers

Actor: Woody Harrelson

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

Also Ranked

#4 on The Greatest Fictional Bartenders

#59 on The Best TV Characters of the '80s

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