In the first season of My Wife and Kids, Claire was played by Jazz Raycole. Allegedly, Jazz left the show because her mother objected a storyline where one of Claire’s friends becomes pregnant. For the rest of the series, Claire was played by Jennifer Freeman.
In Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club, Dawn was played by Xochitl Gomez in Season 1. Xochitl was then cast in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and felt that with COVID, she couldn’t travel back and forth to film both projects. Dawn was played by Kyndra Sanchez in Season 2.
In Season 3 of Good Trouble, Angelica was introduced as a love interest for Malika. She was played by Odelya Halevi. Odelya was cast in NBC’s Law & Order revival so in Season 4 of Good Trouble, Yasmine Aker took over the role of Angelica.
In Season 1 of One Tree Hill Peyton’s dad is played by Thomas Ian Griffith. However, the writers felt that he and Hilary Burton were “too flirty” with each other so when the character returned in the third season, he was played by Kevin Kilner.
In the pilot episode of What I Like About You, Holly and Val’s dad was played by Peter Scolari. When the character returned in Season 4, he was played by Barry Bostick.
Prue, Piper, and Phoebe’s father was played by Anthony Denison in the first season of Charmed. In Season 3, and throughout the rest of the series, he was played by James Read.
In Last Man Standing, Kristin was played by Alexandra Krosney during Season 1 and by Amanda Fuller in Season 2 and on. The role was recast for creative reasons.
Nick Jonas was originally Ryan in Last Man Standing before he was replaced by Jordan Masterson in the second season.
In Gossip Girl, Blair’s mom, Eleanor, was played by Florencia Lozano in the pilot. Reportedly, producers felt Florencia didn’t look old enough to play Blair’s mom. Eleanor was played by Margaret Colin after that.
In Friends, Anita Barone played Carol in the character’s first appearance in Season 1, Episode 9. The character returned in Episode 9, and Jane Sibbett played the role from then until the show ended.
In Arrested Development, Ann was played by Alessandra Torresani in her first appearance in Season 1, and then played by Mae Whitman in Season 2 and on. The original plan was to have Ann played by several actors during the show to emphasize how forgettable the character was, but they stuck with Mae because they liked how she played the role.
Also in Boy Meets World, Topanga’s mom, Rhiannon, was played by Annette O’Toole in Season 6 and then by Marcia Cross in Season 7.
In Family Guy, Lacey Chabert voiced Meg up until the second episode of Season 2. Lacey left the show because she was busy with school and filming Party of Five. Mila Kunis has voiced Meg Griffin from Season 2 to the present.
In Pretty Little Liars, Toby Cavanaugh was played by James Neate in the pilot, and two episodes later he was by Keegan Allen until the end of the series.
In The Office, Pam’s mom, Helene, was first played by Shannon Cochran in Season 2. By the time they wanted to bring the character back, Shannon was a touring theatre actor. In Season 6, she was recast with Linda Purl.
In Boy Meets World, Topanga’s dad, Jedidiah, was first played by Peter Tork in Seasons 2 and 3, then he was played by Michael McKean in Season 6, and he then was played by Mark Harelik in Season 7.
In Pretty Little Liars, Jason DiLaurentis, Alison’s brother, was played by Parker Bagley in Season 1. He was recast with Drew Van Acker for the rest of the series because Drew was a better fit for the darker, more mysterious direction they wanted to take the character in.
In Season 4 of The Big Bang Theory, Amy’s mom, Mrs. Fowler, makes her first appearance and is played by Annie O’Donnell. When she makes her first physical appearance in Season 11, she is replaced by Kathy Bates.
In Boy Meets World, Lily Nicksay starred as Morgan Matthews for the first two seasons. Other cast members said they got the sense Lily wasn’t enjoying being a child actor so they let her move on. She was replaced by Lindsay Ridgeway for the rest of the series.
In The O.C., Shailene Woodley starred as Kaitlin Cooper during Season 1, and when the character returned in Season 3, she was recast with Willa Holland. The character was recast because they wanted Kaitlin to be older than Shailene was able to pass for.
In Pretty Little Liars, Jessica DiLaurentis, Alison’s mom was played by Anne Marie DeLuise in the first episode. When the character returned in Season 2, she was recast with Andrea Parker.
In Friends, Jennifer Grey played Rachel’s former best friend Mindy in Season 1, and then Jana Marie Hupp played her in Season 2.
In Shameless, Mandy Milkovich was played by Jane Levy in Season 1 and then was recast with Emma Greenwell in Season 2.
In the pilot episode of Glee, there’s a picture of Rachel with her dads, but when they make their first physical appearance in Season 3 they are played by Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell, who were not the men in the photo.
And lastly, Chuck Cunningham from Happy Days was played by three different actors. In an episode of Love, American Style, an anthology comedy series, the Cunningham family was introduced on television for the first time and Chuck was played by Ric Carrott. Then during the first season of Happy Days, Chuck was played by Gavan O’Herlihy and he was replaced by Randolph Roberts in Season 2.
Who are other TV characters most people forgot were recast? Let us know in the comments!