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When it comes to the fickle world of television, characters come and go all of the time. But more often than not, they’re either replaced (here’s looking at you, Charlie Sheen), or written off the show entirely with some sort of a fanfare episode (we miss you dearly, Cristina Yang).

Sometimes though, writers decide there’s no point in actually writing off a character at all. Instead, they opt to ignore their absence all together, or pretend they’re away at college, a retreat, or wherever else makes sense for them to be frolicking at that given time in the storyline.

Here are 10 classic examples.