Canon One-Shot Characters
|Tropes and genres|
|Synonym(s)||Minor Character, One Off|
|Related tropes/genres||Supporting Character|
|See also||Mary Sue, fanon|
|Related articles on Fanlore.|
Canon is filled with one-shot characters who make an appearance and then disappear, often for fairly minor and forgettable reasons. The nature of the original source text, specifically those in a regular series, seems to require that a character have a life-changing moment, only to appear the next week with no mention of the previous incident.
But every fandom has a paddock of characters that, for some reason, strike a fannish chord and go on to make a reappearance in many, many fanworks giving a fan the opportunity to explore the what if and possible motivations.
What Do These Characters Provide?
- missing pieces from a main character's past
- bringing back a bad guy/gal to inflict more stress and mayhem
- characters that make a main character reveal parts of him/herself, either not previously seen or given more exposure
- exploring other parts or timeframes of the canon universe
Why Do Some Canon Characters, and Not Others, Beget Fanworks?
- Carnell, Deva and Anna Grant from Blake's 7
- Fleur de Brabant, Aristotle, Sydney, Divia (two episodes), and Alma from Forever Knight
- Lee Brackett, Incacha, and Eli Stoddard from The Sentinel
- Miko and Parrish  from Stargate Atlantis
- Gary Mitchell and Edith Keeler from Star Trek: The Original Series
- Terry Roberts, Vanessa Hutchinson, and Gillian Ingram from Starsky and Hutch
- Carter in Robin Hood (BBC 2006)
- Terry Roberts, Vanessa Hutchinson, and Diana Harmon from Starsky & Hutch
- Imrahil, Finduilas, Elrohir, Elladan, Haldir and many others in The Lord of the Rings
- Anne de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice
- Irene Adler and arguably James Moriarty (appeared in only one canon story, but was mentioned in several others) from the Sherlock Holmes canon.