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Old April 15 2009, 09:47 PM   #1
TGTheodore
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The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Most older posters know about the infamous missing eldest son on Happy Days. He appeared for about half a season, I believe and disappeared, never to be mentioned again.

I bring this up because on a very early episode of That 70's Show, either Bob or Midge mention that the Pinciottis have at least two children, but the mention of a second child was never brought up again, and we're led to believe that Donna was an only child.

Also, the same thing happened on The Dick Van Dyke Show. The Helpers (next door neighbors) mentioned three kids: Ellen, Freddie and Patty, and soon there were only two (Patty was never brought up again after the first few episodes).

The reasons for these occurrences are varied, of course (programming, casting, format change, etc.). But I was wondering if you can think of any other shows with "evaporating children"?

--Ted
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Old April 15 2009, 09:48 PM   #2
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Also, in another thread, someone mentioned Hawkeye's "sister" in an early episode of M*A*S*H, but later Hawkeye was suddenly an only child.

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Old April 15 2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

I think it was "Family Matters" (the one with Urkel) where the middle child, a girl whose name I can't recall, disappeared after a couple of season.
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Old April 15 2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

There's Boxey in Battlestar Galactica who Boomer adopted and then he disappeared.

There's a list here. Voyager is on the list - one of the Borg children, the baby, just vanishes.
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Old April 15 2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Most recently, Rescue Me.

During season one when Dean Winters wasn't available to film, they created a second cop brother for Denis Leary named Timo (played by James Badge Dale of 24 and The Departed fame). Then Winters came back. There was a mention or two of having two cop brothers, but by season two even the thought of Timo had vanished into thin air. He didn't show up for any family gatherings, the death of his nephew, the death of his brother (the first cop brother), the wedding of his sister or the death of his father, and no one ever mentioned him again.
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Old April 15 2009, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

TGTheodore wrote: View Post
Also, in another thread, someone mentioned Hawkeye's "sister" in an early episode of M*A*S*H, but later Hawkeye was suddenly an only child.

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Yeah, that was me.

What about the Brady Bunch's dog? Didn't he/it disappear?
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Old April 15 2009, 10:08 PM   #7
auntiehill
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

On Reaper, Sam had a younger brother, but he didn't survive more than one or two episodes before vanishing completely.
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Old April 15 2009, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Judy on Family Matters springs to mind. And, really, having her there in the first place was kind of dumb with the infant cousin and Eddie and Laura.

Oh, what about the little kid on Married With Children?

Seven was it?
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Old April 15 2009, 10:26 PM   #9
chrisspringob
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

The Cosby Show actually did a "reverse Chuck Cunningham", where a sibling who wasn't originally part of the show suddenly popped into existence. In an early episode, Cliff mentions that he has four children. But then, a bit later in the series (like maybe second season?), it's revealed that there's actually a 5th kid, Sandra (the oldest), and she's just been away at college.
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Old April 15 2009, 10:33 PM   #10
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Oh, what about the little kid on Married With Children?

Seven was it?
He was very unpopular, so he just disappeared without explanation.

Though there were in-jokes later, like Seven appearing on a milk carton as a missing child.
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Old April 15 2009, 10:35 PM   #11
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Aragorn wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Oh, what about the little kid on Married With Children?

Seven was it?
He was very unpopular...
Shocking.

Also, wasn't Peg's pregnancy reversed when Metcalf miscaried?
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Old April 15 2009, 10:38 PM   #12
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

In Season 1 of "The Adventures of Black Beauty", Doctor Gordon moves to a new country practice with his two children, Vicky and Kevin. In season 2, Vicky has disappeared, and indeed is not even spoken of. But Dr Gordon now has another daughter, Jenny, who they've never mentioned before, who's said to have "been away at school".
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Old April 15 2009, 10:46 PM   #13
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Also, wasn't Peg's pregnancy reversed when Metcalf miscaried?
Metcalf is Roseanne. You're thinking of Katey Sagal.

I think they made it a "dream season" to undo Peg being pregnant.
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Old April 15 2009, 10:55 PM   #14
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

In away Niles was a reverse Chuck Cunningham on "Fraser." I don't think it was ever mentioned that Fraser had a brother on "Cheers."

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Old April 15 2009, 11:03 PM   #15
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Re: The "Chuck Cunningham" Syndrome

Perfect example, first season King Of Queens Carrie had a sister that disappeared after that.
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