Once Upon a Time had a large cast of supporting characters over its seven seasons. There were plenty of adventures and stories to tell with each and every one of them. However, some didn't always get the focus they deserved, while others stayed long past their welcome.
There was a small group of characters who the series focused on for most of its seven seasons. Those not part of that group (or on the main family tree) suffered, whether it was due to lack of story or screen time. This changed after the last curse for season 7, of course. However, it also created the opportunity to completely ignore most of the supporting characters who existed in Storybrooke. Characters like Emma, Snow White, and Prince Charming were never forgotten (even if they weren't mentioned), while others, like those who only appeared a handful of times, might as well have never existed.
Some characters clearly were around only to serve others' stories. Once they played their roles in those histories or present adventures, they once again faded to the background. Then, when they were needed again, they'd pop up, help, and disappear again. It was a vicious cycle. Then, there were characters who never should have returned after their first appearance or a few episodes. They helped to create repetitive storylines or new stories that never should have happened. Some even served as reminders of plots (or even a show) best left forgotten.
Here are the 10 Once Upon A Time Characters That Were Completely Forgotten (And 10 That Should’ve Been).
20 Forgotten: Tinker Bell
Tinker Bell wasn't just a forgotten character - she was also one that deserved much more than she got when she first appeared in the plot. Tinker Bell was mainly a character whose purpose was to aid Regina — to help her be happy and find her true love.
Every time she appeared, she ended up being connected to Regina in some way.
By her last appearances, she was only seen flying around, and she never really had a storyline of her own. She was a forgotten character even when she was present, so we can only imagine what it was like for her when she wasn't. Despite how she helped others (namely Regina), it felt at times like she never existed.
19 Should've Been: Violet Morgan
Violet was really nothing more than a pawn in Emma's story and then a supporting character in Henry's. Emma made her break Henry's heart to get a tear from her son. Though the two got back together, she was pretty much forgotten after season 6. Despite the previous role she played in Henry's life, their relationship happened too easily. She never should have been anything more than a friend. She also could've just faded into the background after Emma broke them up.
Violet didn't have to be by Henry's side as he saved his family and went to New York. Any other character could have taken her place. It felt like Once Upon a Time wanted to give Henry a love interest and this was the only reason why she was around.
18 Forgotten: Mulan
Mulan became a part of the series in season 2. Throughout the show, she helped many characters. She excelled as a warrior and helped others find their loved ones. However, she didn't have much luck in her personal life. She even helped Ruby find her own happily ever after and her true love in Dorothy.
However, this was her last appearance. Despite helping Emma and Mary Margaret at one time, she wasn't really involved in the main characters' lives. She was very much just a supporting character. She didn't even warrant a mention or two about her life after helping Ruby. Fans never got to see or hear if she ever found her own happily ever after.
17 Should've Been: Will Scarlet
Sadly, it's hard to think about Will Scarlet without thinking about Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The spin-off should, and likely has been, forgotten entirely. It felt like bringing Will Scarlet over to Once Upon a Time was just a reminder of the spinoff.
He and Belle were never going to last as a couple, not with Rumplestiltskin still around.
It never really mattered if Rumple was evil or not at the time. Will Scarlet was always just a placeholder in her life. Will Scarlet was one of the bright spots in the Wonderland series. However, it was detrimental to his character and to the original series to include him in it. After he was gone, that was it.
16 Forgotten: Dr. Archibald Hopper/Jiminy Cricket
When did Archie last have a storyline that was actually his? It's hard to think of any time after season 2 when he wasn't just seen as the town's therapist. He was left out of all of the big adventures and there was even a brief period of time during which everyone thought he'd lost his life. However, then he showed up alive and that was that.
It was too easy to just say that his schedule was full and he was seeing patients. However, at times, it felt like not only did Once Upon a Time forget about him, but so did the rest of the characters - if no one needed a therapist (or an officiant for a wedding), no one would have ever remembered him.
15 Should've Been: King George/Albert Spencer
The problem here wasn't with King George. Instead, the problem was with his Storybrooke persona, Albert Spencer. He wanted to ruin David's life as revenge once Emma broke the curse in Storybrooke. His quest led to him to attempt to destroy others' lives, including Red's. He framed her as the one responsible for taking Billy's life.
Each time he reappeared as Albert Spencer, it put David in a position where he could have taken his life. Someone else had to intervene. While it was good to see David struggling with a darker side brought out by Spencer, it became repetitive quickly. It was also unnecessary. After all, they just left Spencer in a cell in the hospital ward and then promptly forgot about him. He was both a forgotten character and one that never should have shown up again.
14 Forgotten: Pinocchio/August
August played such a big role in Emma's life without even being part of it when she was young. He was supposed to take care of her after they went through the wardrobe before the curse. However, he only kept an eye on her from a distance.
He was not a part of Emma's life then, and for the most part, he was not a part of Storybrooke.
When someone needed him or he had pertinent information, the others sought him out. When they didn't or he didn't, no one really thought about him. Considering how important he was to Emma's life and everything that he went through, he definitely deserved more screen time.
13 Should've Been: Princess Abigail
Princess Abigail/Kathryn was only an obstacle in Snow White/Mary Margaret and Prince Charming/David's happily ever after during the curse. She should have been forgotten because she did fade away after Emma broke the curse. Did she matter as a character outside of the happy couple? No, she didn't matter to either the characters or the show.
Was there any point to her being at Granny's as everyone celebrated the birth of David and Mary Margaret's son? Not really. She only really appeared so that they could bring up her and David's past and Hook could react. This is a relationship and a time that is best left in the past, just like Princess Abigail/Kathryn's.
12 Forgotten: Granny
Granny was very much a supporting character on the show, in Storybrooke, and in Red's life. Granny's was the main hangout of Storybrooke. However, for the most part, this was the extent of Granny's story.
She played a role in Red's backstory in the Enchanted Forest and continued to be part of her life in Storybrooke. She was always there and you knew that she'd defend the town and its residents. However, that was it for the most part. Once Upon a Time never really gave Granny her own storyline, so it was easy for her to fade into the background. She'd only appear when someone needed her or the main characters stopped by the diner.
11 Should've Been: Cora Mills/Queen of Hearts
Cora was one of those characters who didn't deserve to move on to Mount Olympus, yet she did. This was why she never should've returned once the group went to the Underworld. Cora was fine as a villain and she was fine as a woman, but she wasn't the best mother and, because of this, she ruined her daughters' lives. It was good for both Regina and Zelena to spend time with her in the Underworld. However, it shouldn't have happened because of what it meant for Cora's character.
It didn't make up for what she did before the Underworld.
The last time she should've appeared was during the séance as the group sought answers about Zelena's abandonment.
10 Forgotten: Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Considering the crazy adventures that the main characters got into every week, there should have always been a doctor around. Instead, the main doctor, Victor Frankenstein, only appeared on a recurring basis and for major events. For the most part, he was only around when the other characters were at the hospital for an extended period of time, which most notably happened during births.
He was really just one of the obstacles in Snow White and Prince Charming's way in season 1. His Frankenstein side could have been especially intriguing to watch once the curse was broken, but instead, this was only briefly touched upon in the series and his character was mostly ignored.
9 Should've Been: Greg
The problem with Greg's character is simple. While backstory was interesting and his motivations for returning to Storybrooke as an adult were intriguing, there wasn't anything else interesting about his character.
They clearly needed someone to abduct Henry and to get everyone to Neverland. In order for this to happen, there needed to be some elaborate plan in place with Greg, which included the supposed "Home Office." This was where his story fell apart. What started as a problem for all of Storybrooke — an outsider — became a convoluted mess. It was clear that the show wanted to move on from his character as soon as he reached Neverland. The Shadow ended his life and that was that. It's just too bad that OUAT didn't want to forget about him sooner.
8 Forgotten: Geppetto
Like father, like son - Geppetto and Pinocchio were two characters who were all but completely forgotten about in Storybrooke. The reason was simple: they were on the fringe of the group of main characters. In fact, Geppetto was only a supporting character.
He was completely pushed to the side in later seasons, even when he was supposedly still a member of the Storybrooke community.
He might have preferred it that way, as he might have enjoyed just living with his son. However, this was simply a way for the writers to explain his absence and not have to write his character. On the other hand, they could have easily written him out and ended his life. Instead, it hurt the show to completely forget about him.
7 Should've Been: Tamara
Was there a point to Tamara's character besides being a love interest? First, there was her relationship with Greg. The point of this was to show that she wasn't really into Neal. However, they could have worked for the Home Office without the added romantic component. Then, there was her relationship with Neal, which never should have happened.
She was just a pawn in the quest to get Henry to Neverland, and really, anyone could have done that. She was at least a bit interesting in Storybrooke, but that should have been it. She didn't last long in Neverland, nor did anyone ever mention her after that, showing that she was easily forgotten. However, this should have happened a lot sooner.
6 Forgotten: Red/Ruby
While it's obvious that Meghan Ory's lack of availability was the reason for Red's disappearance, it's too bad that she didn't have a bigger role in OUAT. She was a much more important character in the first and second seasons than in the rest of the series. She wasn't a main character, but she had an important role in Storybrooke and was close friends with Snow White.
However, she soon began to fade into the background, especially in season 3 and on. She might have found her own happily ever after and true love in Dorothy, but what happened after this? Their relationship deserved much more screen time than it received. Even if Ory wasn't available, the show could have still remembered Red and her relationships with the characters, and a few mentions would've fixed this.
5 Should've Been: Marian
This is a tricky one. The main reason why Marian should have never returned has to do with Zelena's turn pretending to be her. However, if not for her relationship with Robin, none of those events would have happened. If Robin had been able to forget her — much like the show should have — there never would have been that added unwilling element to (baby) Robin's existence.
Robin thought he was with Marian when he was really with Zelena, and eventually, Zelena gave birth to a daughter.
Once Regina and Robin got together, it was like Marian never existed. Robin was Regina's true love, and the story soon focused on only them. Still, Marian remained a problem because of Zelena's desire to ruin her sister's life.
4 Forgotten: Ariel
Ariel was a character who should've been around a lot longer than she was. However, once she found her happily ever after with Eric, her story ended. She might have returned several times after her happily ever after, but this was never about her. Instead, it was about how she could help others, which felt like a way to easily have a returning character appear.
This is not to say that that it wasn't a good use of the character. Instead, it felt like a surprise when she'd appear. She'd also conveniently happen to be in the area whenever someone needed her help. Once her job was done and she was gone, so was all memory of her.
3 Should've Been: Cruella De Vil
Cruella De Vil was a character who some fans wanted to see on Once Upon a Time. If you're going to bring in female villains, why not let her show up? She's an iconic character, after all. However, she outstayed her welcome on the series.
Her time in Storybrooke was fine. Her time in the Underworld, however, was not. She wasn't really necessary. She was simply someone who had the information that the heroes needed. This role could have been filled by any other villain in OUAT. Then, there was her return in the series finale, which was entirely unnecessary, as any other villain could have again taken her place. This made her character completely forgettable.
2 Forgotten: Maleficent
Maleficent might have fared better than most supporting characters, but this was likely due to the fact that she was a dragon, and it's hard to ignore a dragon. Still, Once Upon a Time forgot about her character far too often. Once Maleficent reunited with her daughter, that was it.
You would think that the others would remember the woman who turned into a dragon, considering what she did to them.
However, while a dragon would be good to have on their side, no one even mentioned it as a possibility. The fact that she was a dragon might have been detrimental to Maleficent as well, as she could be too powerful. Actor availability likely played a role in Maleficent's disapprance, as Kristin Bauer van Straten was working on True Blood at the same time.
1 Should've Been: Hades
If you're going to have heroes in the Underworld, you have to introduce Hades. This was something Once Upon a Time did well. However, he should have stayed in the Underworld. Hades' story should have ended before he could even step foot in the land of the living in Storybrooke. Zelena never should have trusted him, with her daughter or otherwise.
Sure, his ultimate demise put Regina and Zelena on the same side. Though his presence in Storybrooke led to the end of Robin's life, this was simply fixed by introducing another version of the character. Hades would have been a better villain if his story didn't include that business with Zelena. No one really cared about their romance.
Are there any other Once Upon A Time characters who were forgotten or should have been? Let us know in the comments!