Shows that had successful character replacements to the main cast


Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2004
As we all know if a show has an established cast from the start and a main character either leaves or is killed off, usually a new character comes in to take their place. As the Simpsons Poochy episode showed, it's not always successful. "Yeah, hi Roy." and "Poochy died on his way to his home planet."

But which shows did it successfully? I can think of a few:

- Batman: TAS replaced the original Robin, Dick Grayson, with Tim Drake. Whereas the comics has 4+ Robin's, cartoons very rarely have multiple Robin's, and keep in mind this was the 90's when people weren't that familiar with the concept unless you read comics.

- Gargoyles bringing in Goliath's daughter and essentially replaced the old cast for awhile in the Avalon arc. While all the other Gargoyles came back for the end of Season 2 and then 3, they were essentially gone for some time.

- Pokemon. Probably the biggest and obvious one, given Misty was permanently replaced in the Pokemon anime over 18 years ago and the show still goes on to this very day. Whereas Brock being replaced by Tracey was short-lived and failed, May replacing Misty turned out to be one of the most successful character replacements in anime history, and it convinced the Japanese writers not to bring Misty back to the main cast and then phased her out over the course of the series. Of course May's success then paved the way for all the female companions who came after, as Dawn, Iris, Serena, etc. were all only brought into the anime after May had proved to the writers they had no reason to revive Misty. Brock was also finally axed a decade ago in 2010, with 4 new male companions as well. At this point the Pokemon anime getting rid of both Misty and Brock is actually one of the biggest success stories in animation history. Especially to the point where most Pokemon anime fandoms tend to prefer many of the later female leads over Misty, and males over Brock.

Any others?


Well-Known Member
May 13, 2016
I'm not sure Gargoyles' third season was a success, given that it ultimately ended up being the show's last.


Aug 8, 2014
Free Country, USA
While Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime is controversial, the rest of the 86 cast that supplanted the 84/85 cast was and is well-liked. They're popular enough to continue getting new iterations in media and toys produced at least, Rodimus included.

Hunter X Hunter is a weird example that should be noted. At the start of the series the five main characters were Gon, Kurapika, Leorio, Killua, and Hisoka. After a time, Kurapika and Leorio were phased out of the series and replaced with a shifting set of characters who appear for a story arc and then leave. Fans have complained about Kurapika and Leorio's departures, but more or less stuck with the story. And now, Killua and Gon have left the story and Leorio, Kurapika, and other characters have come to the fore. Fans are very accepting of this seeing it as their turn in the spotlight.
Last edited:

stephane dumas

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2006
In the close but no cigar category, I could mention Butters in South Park who fill the gap left with Kenny's "permanent death" but due to fans reactions Matt and Try bring back Kenny later. But Butters remained popular enough then he's part of the main cast.
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