Some of television’s most memorable characters are the ones we didn’t see.
Many a TV show — and many a sitcom, in particular — has introduced a character who was mentioned often, heard off-screen or even glimpsed from the back, without ever showing us his or her face. Cheers’ Vera Peterson and Frasier‘s Maris Crane come to mind first, but comedies like The Big Bang Theory, Family Matters, The Office and Veep also included characters whose faces remained a mystery during their runs.
In the list below, we’re looking back at 20 small-screen personalities we never truly saw, hailing from both sitcoms and dramas like Columbo, Felicity and My So-Called Life. We even singled out a few animated characters, like Muppet Babies‘ Nanny and The Powerpuff Girls‘ Ms. Sara Bellum (who, of all the characters on our list, came the closest to actually showing us her full face — but that one-eyed reveal doesn’t really count).
Note: In order to qualify for our list, these unseen characters either never appeared on-screen at all, or we saw other parts of their body very rarely. Someone like Home Improvement‘s Wilson — who showed half of his face in nearly every episode — wouldn’t apply here.
Scroll through our list of TV’s unseen characters below, then drop a comment with any standouts we might have missed!