10 Dark Subplots That Were Completely Ignored By Their Shows

Depending on how long a TV show runs, they often have to resort to extreme storylines to keep fans interested. Sometimes these go over well, and sometimes they don't. The worst is when a show delves hard into the dark side, only to never address the tonal shift again.

Since Stranger Things Season 4 has seemingly left the Kali storyline behind, it is a good time to look back at other shows that have gone very dark, only to completely ignore the plot line going forward. For better or worse, these dark subplots were completely forgotten by their shows.

Even though it is a children's show, Spongebob Squarepants slips in some dark and dirty jokes now and then. One of its darkest moments comes in the episode Bubble Buddy when Spongebob creates the eponymous friend when none of his other friends will hang out with him.

RELATED: Surprisingly Dark Moments From Lighthearted TV Shows

At one point in the episode, Spongebob buries a fellow fish, Scooter, in the sand, leaving Bubble Buddy to dig him out. Being a bubble, Bubble Buddy obviously cannot help and leaves Scooter to drown in the rising tide. This would be a funny albeit grim joke by itself, but the end of the episode shows that Bubble Buddy is alive, and therefore chose not to save Scooter, which everyone accepts.

Married...With Children was a popular and long-running sitcom centering around the dysfunctional but funny Bundy family. Some of the show's jokes may have been dirtier than other sitcoms at the time, but it rarely ever got truly dark.

Cue season seven, when a new character, a young boy by the name of Seven, was brought on in an attempt to boost ratings. Unfortunately, Seven did not go over well with fans and was soon written off. His absence is mostly ignored, but a few scenes feature his picture on a milk carton as a missing person. The Bundys don't seem to notice, and Seven is missing for the rest of the show.

The football drama Friday Night Lights was not shy about introducing heavy topics to up the stakes of the show, but one subplot especially went a little too far for many fans. At the beginning of season two, Jesse Plemon's Landry Clarke is forced to kill a man trying to assault his crush, Tyra.

The next few episodes centered on Landry and Tyra trying to cover up the murder with the help of Landry's police officer father. Unfortunately, the subplot was very negatively received by both fans and critics, and by season 3 the entire ordeal was all but forgotten.

The Boys revels in dark content, but Starlight is one of the few bright spots among the cast. This is what makes her sudden foray into violence in season 2 so jarring. After Hughie is injured, Starlight and Butcher stop a car on the road to get him to a hospital.

RELATED: The Worst Thing Each Main Character From The Boys Has Done

The driver of the car, Dennis, offers to drive Hughie to the hospital, but Butcher tries to carjack him instead. Dennis pulls a gun in self-defense, and Starlight blasts him with her powers, causing him to crack his head open on the pavement. Even worse, Starlight does not even care, saying she hardly even saw Dennis as a person. Starlight has leaned into darker territory a few times, but her murder is never mentioned again in season 2.

The Simpsons have been incredibly hit or miss since its golden age, and one of the prime examples is the episode The Principal and the Pauper. Often considered one of the worst Simpsons episodes of all time, the episode pulls a massive rug pull that changes the entire series.

In the episode, it is revealed that Principal Skinner is an imposter and that he had stolen the identity of an old war buddy he thought was dead. When the real Seymour Skinner shows up, the entire town, including Skinner's mother, runs him out of town and agrees to never discuss that Principal Skinner they know is a fake ever again. True to their promise, no one on the show ever has again.

Arrow saw many plot threads and characters come and go through its 8 season run, but one of the most egregious came in season 4, when antagonist Damien Darhk triggers a nuclear strike. Felicity Smoak tries to disarm the missile, but is only able to redirect it instead.

RELATED: The 10 Best Arrow Characters Who Appeared In Only One Episode

Felicity makes the difficult decision to change the target from a major city to a small town, which saves lives but still kills tens of thousands. It is an event that should at the very least completely change her character, but after a quick pep talk the entire ordeal is all but forgotten, and the nuclear bombing is never addressed again.

The entire ensemble cast of Community was a perfect fit for the oddball humor of the show, but Donald Glover's Troy Barnes was especially a standout. Troy was hilarious, endlessly likable, and his friendship with Abed was one of the highlights of the show.

When Glover left the show in season 5, Troy was written off by sending him on a sailing trip with actor LeVar Burton. The last anyone hears of Troy is in a news broadcast where he and Burton have been kidnapped by pirates, and he never appears again. Hopefully if the Community movie ever happens Troy can make his escape.

Of all of the powerful monsters and demons the Winchester Brothers faced over the 15 season run of Supernatural, the most powerful of all might be a seemingly innocent young boy. Jesse Turner is introduced in season 5, and is believed by Castiel to be the Antichrist.

With the power to turn angels in to action figures with his mind and a destiny to destroy Heaven, Jesse was quickly established as a massive yet unwilling threat. At the end of the episode, Sam and Dean give Jesse a choice of what do do with his life, and he vanishes, never to be seen again. The Winchesters face progressively bigger threats as the series went on, but never again revisited Jesse.

To be fair to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this was a plot thread that was set in motion long before the show, but is nonetheless tragic. One season 5 story arc follows a group of Jedi younglings as they build their lightsabers, learn the ways of the Jedi, and figure out who they are.

Unfortunately for the younglings, every fan knows what happens to them when the events of Revenge of the Sith come to pass. Anakin famously murders the younglings during Order 66, a moment called back to in the Obi Wan series. While it is never revealed whether these specific younglings survive or not, unfortunately their future is likely grim.

Cosmo is the lovable doofus of Fairly Oddparents, whose wish granting usually causes more harm than good. What the show glosses over though is that his goof ups are not always victimless. In fact, Cosmo is responsible for countless deaths throughout the series.

An early episode reveals that Cosmo is singlehandedly responsible for the destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Atlantis, but the real kicker is the reveal that a wish by one of Cosmo and Wanda's earlier godchildren was also the cause of World War I. These atrocities are only ever addressed as throwaway jokes, but Cosmo's magic is clearly a force of absolute destruction.

NEXT: Movie Sub-Plots That Are Stronger Than The Main Plot



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