This week's episode of "The Office" featured Stephen Colbert guest starring as Andy's friend "Broccoli Rob." Colbert's character knew Andy from college, where the two were in an a capella group together. The character had been referenced in dialogue since at least Season 5, but finally appeared on screen for the first time in the Season 9 episode "Here Comes Treble."
"Broccoli Rob" is far from the first TV character to be mentioned for years and years before showing up in the flesh. Here are some great examples of TV characters fans thought they'd never get a chance to see, but finally did.
Mrs. Columbo, "Columbo"
For the show's entire run, Columbo's wife was nowhere to be seen. But even though "Columbo" ended, TV fans still got a chance to see Mrs. Columbo in a spin-off series dedicated solely to this mysterious woman. Funny enough, Columbo never appeared in the "Mrs. Columbo" spin-off series.
Goober, "The Andy Griffith Show"For a long time, one of Gomer's repeated phrases was "My cousin Goober says 'hey.'" It wasn't until Season 4 that the previously unseen Goober was seen in the flesh by audiences. After Gomer got his own show, Goober showed up with increasing frequency.
Jenny Piccolo, "Happy Days"
Jenny Piccolo was Joanie's boy-crazy best friend. Though Jenny was mentioned frequently in the early run of the series, she didn't show up until the 1980 season. Played by Cathy Silvers, the character remained on the show until 1983.
Snake, "The Facts of Life"
Natalie's boyfriend Snake was often mentioned but never seen. That is, until the show's final season. Snake appears in the episode "The More the Marrier," and Natalie sleeps with him in the episode "The First Time." Snake was played by Robert Romanus.
Starbuck's Family, "Battlestar Galactica"
Despite the fact that nearly the entire human race was killed off in the miniseries, Starbuck's mother and father actually managed to show up in the series after being mentioned numerous times. Starbuck's mom showed up in Season 3 with her dad sort of showing up in Season 4.
Rachel's Gay Dads, "Glee"
Though they are seen in a photograph in Season 1, Rachel's gay parents don't make their first official appearance until the Season 3 episode "Heart." They were played by Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell.
The Mother, "How I Met Your Mother"
Okay, to be fair, this one hasn't happened yet. But by the time the series is done, fans will finally know who the mother is and what she looks like. The story will have been told over the course of at least eight seasons, if not nine, making the reveal of this character one of the most anticipated reveals on this list.
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