Created By: jmac9345 on February 29, 2016 Last Edited By: AHI-3000 on November 10, 2017

Out Of Season Episode

Holiday episode airs when it's nowhere near the season in-universe in real life.

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Page Type:
trope
Seasons happen at different times per year in different parts of the world. Add in the various different Time Zones, and chances are episodes of various different shows can come out at different times per year.

This occurs when the episode that airs at a time that is different than the time of year in Real Life.

A seasonal variant on (but not entirely related to) Out of Order, and occasionally is caused/causes Short Run in Peru.


Examples:

Live-Action TV
  • When Community's fourth Season was delayed, that year's Thanksgiving (Cooperative Escapism In Familial Relations) and Christmas (Intro To Knots) episodes aired in March and April respectively.
  • The special Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh was Adored by the Network for a while by Nickelodeon, airing even when it was no longer Christmas.
  • In Doctor Who, there's the 1996 TV Movie, intended to be a pilot for the revival of the series. Here, the Doctor went into 1999 New Year's Eve being dead and regenerated from his seventh incarnation to his eighth one. Apart of being exhibed in May, the year wasn't 1999 and even the place isn't Great Britain In-Universe (New York, USA) nor the filmation place (Vancouver, Canada).
  • Invoked in an episode of Haven. A Christmas episode, released around Christmas in Real Life but taking place in July in-universe. Someone's trouble was creating Christmas in Haven by trapping the town in a snowglobe, and only Audrey, who is immune to the Troubles, knew something was wrong. Everyone else just assumes she's a Grinch for not liking Christmas (and thinks she's crazy when she says Christmas is not in July).
  • Averted with Friends. They don't show any Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween episodes unless it's the actual month of those holidays. This actually cause a bit of a continuity problem because two Thanksgiving episodes were plot important; one dealing with Chandler being able to date Joey's ex girlfriend and another having Monica and Chandler being able to adopt.

Film — Live Action
  • Die Hard & Die Hard 2 were released in July and June respectively. While neither seem to have been designed as Christmas movies, the plots of both take place in the build up to Christmas, and the first film in particular has a fair few festive reminders. Over the years, they have become Christmas movies in the eyes of many.
  • Gremlins features a Mogwai Christmas present as the Inciting Incident, the titular monsters wrecking havoc over a snowy town filled with Christmas iconography, opens with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"... and was released in June. Critics at the time thought this was odd.
  • Despite starring a man who may or may not be Santa Claus, Miracle on 34th Street was originally released in June. This was because the summer was seen as a more profitable time of year, and resulted in the marketing focusing on the romance sub-plot rather than the main off-season festive story.
  • Surviving Christmas, starring Ben Affleck, a movie that takes place during Christmas, was released on October 22, 2004. It originally was slated for a Christmas 2003 release, but it was pushed back to avoid competing with another Ben Affleck film, Paycheck.

Webcomic
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff does this as part of its Stylistic Suck, deliberately releasing all holiday-specific comics on the wrong day. For example, the Christmas comic going up on May 1, the Halloween comic on December 26... and even a comic that had as punchline "It's Tuesday, you fat nasty trash!" came out on Monday.

Western Animation
  • American Dad!:
    • Parodied in the episode "Gifted me Liberty", aired on June 13, 2016. It begins much like a Christmas Episode but the rest of the episode takes place after Christmas, and ends during Christmas again. Lampshaded by Roger when he breaks the fourth wall at the end:
    Roger: Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Wait a minute, is this our Christmas episode? What month is this?
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Night Ghoulery was originally intended to premiere in October of 1994, but ended up premiering on Fox on May 28, 1995.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force season 1 episode "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future", the titular character breaks into Carl's home claiming he's the Ghost of Christmas Past and comes to show Carl what Christmas was like for him in 1968. Carl reminds the Ghost that it's not Christmas at all, but in fact February. Hilariously enough, the episode actually aired four days after Christmas.
  • Inverted in Gravity Falls. The episode Summerween aired in October where Halloween is, but In-Universe it's in the middle of the summer. Justified since the people of Gravity Falls like Halloween so much that they celebrate it twice a year.
  • For a while The Simpsons would air their "Treehouse of Horror" episodes around the first week of November, which got Lampshaded in later years. Generally averted on syndication, where they are usually only shown on October, although FXX will often include one as part of their themed blocks if it somehow fits the theme.
  • Sonic Boom had the episode "New Years Retribution", which aired in August, 2015, four months before New Years 2016.
  • While most holiday episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants avert this, one in particular, "Fools in April", airs with its sister episode "Neptune's Spatula" throughout the year, even when it's nowhere near April Fools Day.
  • Steven Universe aired the episode "Horror Club", clearly treated like a Halloween Episode, on February 12, 2015. (It has to be noted that, according to Word of God, some festivities don't exist within the show's 'verse, Halloween included).
  • As the Adored By The Network page states, the holiday themed episodes of Teen Titans Go! are played even when it's not said holiday. For example, "Thanksgiving" was frequently played in early 2015 due to being paired with "Serious Business", one of the show's most popular episodes, "How 'Bout Some Effort" played even after Valentine's Day passed, and "The True Meaning of Christmas" will often play every two weeks.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
  • Phineas and Ferb: The brothers intentionally had a Christmas episode in mid summer, and televised it in-universe.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, the April Fools' Day episode, "Fools Day Out", premiered on October 11, 2002 and it only had a Halloween moment for a few seconds.
  • The Batman: The Animated Series Christmas Episode "Christmas with the Joker" originally aired on November 13, 1992—weeks before the Christmas season even started.

Index: Episodes (Significant Date folder)
Community Feedback Replies: 49
  • February 29, 2016
    triassicranger
    Western Animation
    • The My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode where the Cutie Mark Crusaders hook their teacher up with Big Mac is a Valentine's Day themed episode, but is aired at other times of the year when it isn't Valentines Day.

    Are we only accepting airings on the original channel, or are we also including overseas broadcasts?

    • Pop, a channel that airs My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic in England plays this straight by showing the Christmas episodes and Halloween episode of said show in normal rotation regardless of the fact it's not Christmas/Halloween.
  • February 29, 2016
    jmac9345
    It can be any channel the show(s) air(s) on, international or not.
  • March 9, 2016
    MetaFour
    • Sweet Bro And Hella Jeff: As part of the Stylistic Suck, all the holiday-specific comics get released on the wrong day, deliberately. The Christmas comic went up on May 1, the Halloween comic went up on December 26, and so on. Even this comic where the punchline is "It's Tuesday, you fat nasty trash!", came out on a Monday.
  • March 9, 2016
    Laevatein
    The TV season in Australia officially starts in February, meaning we get the Christmas episodes of most US shows around May.
  • April 5, 2016
    Arivne
    Note that this falls under Trivia and is Not A Trope.

    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
      • Changed media section titles to All Caps and performed a colonectomy.
      • Corrected illegal Example Indentation in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic examples.
      • Deleted an unnecessary (and apparently invisible) backwards slash.
  • April 5, 2016
    jmac9345
    Ironically, Out Of Order IS a trope...
  • May 14, 2016
    Pichu-kun
  • May 14, 2016
    belahorizon
    Pretty Little Liars has Halloween episodes during October, while its seasons air between January-March and June-August.
  • May 15, 2016
    WhirlRX
    • The Steven Universe episode, "The Horror Club", aired in Febuary 12, 2015. While Word Of God mention certain holidays don't exist in the show, the episode itself is treated like a Hallowen Episode.
    • Averted with Friends. They don't show any Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween episodes unless it's the actual month of those holidays. This actually cause a bit of a continuity problem because two Thanksgiving episodes were plot important; one dealing with Chandler being able to date Joey's ex girlfriend and another having Monica and Chandler being able to adopt.
  • May 16, 2016
    ErikModi
    Invoked in an episode of Haven. A Christmas episode, released around Christmas in Real Life but taking place in July in-universe. Someone's trouble was creating Christmas in Haven by trapping the town in a snowglobe, and only Audrey, who is immune to the Troubles, knew something was wrong. Everyone else just assumes she's a Grinch for not liking Christmas (and thinks she's crazy when she says Christmas is not in July).
  • September 3, 2016
    notShemp
    • Parodied at the end In American Dad, Season 13 "Gifted Me Liberty", the episode starts off like a Christmas Episode but then the rest of the episode takes place after Christmas and it ends during Christmas. Roger breaks the fourth wall at the end by lampshading this as this was aired on June 13, 2016.
      Roger: Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Wait a minute, is this our Christmas episode? What month is this?
  • September 2, 2016
    Owlivia
    You could probably note that this often happens when there is a marathon of all episodes of a show.
  • September 3, 2016
    Koveras
  • September 3, 2016
    Someoneman
    More My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic examples:

  • September 3, 2016
    TonyG
    For a while The Simpsons would air their "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes around the first week of November, which got Lampshaded in later years. Generally averted on syndication, where they are usually only shown on October, although FXX will often include one as part of their themed blocks if it somehow fits the theme.
  • September 3, 2016
    lakingsif
    What about times when the show decides to have its Christmas episode around the time of Christmas, regardless of the timeline of the series (i.e. It's May In Universe, so we'll find whatever crazy excuse to show the holidays we can)
  • September 3, 2016
    MetaFour
    @lakingsgif: That would be Meaningful Release Date mixed with either Out Of Order or Anachronic Order, depending on whether it's the showrunners or the network who decided to skip around like that.
  • September 6, 2016
    notShemp
    • Downplayed in Batman The Brave And The Bold Season 1 "Trials of the Demon!", the episode starts with a Batman Cold Open that takes place during Halloween, but the episode first aired during March. The main plot doesn't actually take place during Halloween, but it might as well have been considering the dark atmosphere of the episode.
  • September 8, 2016
    TimG5
    Could I propose changing the trope name to "Out of Season Holiday"? Out of Season makes the trope sound much broader than it is. As for examples:

    • Gravity Falls actually has an inversion. The episode Summerween aired in October where Halloween is but, but In Universe it's in the middle of the summer. This is because the people of Gravity Falls like Halloween so much that they celebrate it twice a year.
  • September 12, 2016
    notShemp
    • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Season 1 "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future", the titular character breaks into Carl's home claiming he's the Ghost of Christmas Past and comes to show Carl what Christmas was like for him in 1968. Carl reminds the Ghost that it's not Christmas at all, but in fact February. Hilarious enough, the episode actually aired four days after Christmas.
  • September 21, 2016
    notShemp
    Bump
  • September 22, 2016
    TimG5
    I still think this should be called Out Of Season Holiday.
  • September 27, 2016
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Western Animation
  • October 6, 2016
    notShemp
  • October 28, 2016
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Western Animation
  • November 8, 2016
    notShemp
    Another example for American Dad.
  • November 8, 2016
    sailing101
    Be sure to mark this as Trivia, as it's not really a part of the story.
  • December 11, 2016
    notShemp
    Film - Live Action
    • Surviving Christmas, starring Ben Affleck, a movie that takes place during Christmas, was released on October 22, 2004. It originally was slated for a Christmas 2003 release, but it was pushed back to avoid competing with another Ben Affleck film, Paycheck.
  • December 12, 2016
    Basara-kun
    In Doctor Who, there's the 1996 TV Movie, intended to be a pilot for the revival of the series. Here, the Doctor went into 1999 New Year's Eve being dead and regenerated from his seventh incarnation to his eighth one. Apart of being exhibed in May, the year wasn't 1999 and even the place isn't Great Britain In Universe (New York, USA) nor the filmation place (Vancouver, Canada).
  • February 18, 2017
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • February 20, 2017
    Skylite
    Phineas And Ferb: the brothers intentionally had a Christmas episode in mid summer, and televised it in universe.
  • February 20, 2017
    ANTMuddle
    Call it Out Of Season Episode and you've got a deal!
  • April 21, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Bump.
  • July 29, 2017
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • July 29, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • The Recess episode "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" aired the day after Christmas. It was supposed to air the previous week, but ABC's entire Saturday morning lineup was preempted for Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.
  • July 30, 2017
    MetaFour
  • July 30, 2017
    NESBoy
    • Subverted with "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", an episode of The Simpsons that first aired on April 27, 2003. It begins during Christmas, but after about three minutes, all the trappings that indicate that it's Christmas (up to and including the presence of snow) disappear.
  • July 31, 2017
    hszmv1
    • A uniqueness of their mutual seasons means that while Kamen Rider and Super Sentai normally do feature a Christmas Episode, the tone of each episode is completely different. Kamen Rider seaons premiere in mid-October and Super Sentai premir in Mid-Feburary. Given the serial nature of each show, Kamen Rider's Christmas episodes tend to fall right around the time of a much needed breather episode and typically feature some light hearted plot (in fact, the dark twist at the end of Kamen Rider Ex Aid's plot was exceptionally notable and had a more than a few complaints). Conversely, while Super Sentai tries to get a breather in if it can be worked, the Christmas Episode falls right around the final 10 episodes of the season, whit the results typically being darker as they are now in the build up phase to the finale.
  • July 31, 2017
    Merseyuser1
    Would this fit under Webcomic Time as a subtrope?
  • July 31, 2017
    lakingsif
    ^not at all.
  • October 24, 2017
    Pichu-kun
  • October 20, 2017
    notShemp
    Bump
  • October 21, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    TV Tropes
    • If you take a look at the date of some holiday-related tropes, it's likely that some of these tropes have been launched out of season. Christmas Tropes alone has 15 out of 71 tropes that had been launched in December.
  • October 24, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Bump.
  • October 30, 2017
    eroock
    Live-action TV:
  • November 8, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Western Animation

    Advertising
    • Advertisements are known for starting early when it comes to major holidays. For example, Christmas themed advertisements in America usually begin popping up before Thanksigiving (which is in late November) or sometimes even before Halloween (which is in late October).
  • November 9, 2017
    notShemp
    ^ That Sonic Boom example was already mentioned.
  • November 10, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Anime and Manga:
    • Toradora's OVA released in 2011 (3 years after the anime was emitted) is about Ryuuji trying to challenge Kitamura's grandmother in cooking skills without success. This episode is placed between the episodes 12 and 13 (after the summer vacation), but apart of the misplaced season (anime episodes occur in summer and the OVA is in spring), the OVA itself was released on December, being winter in Japan.
  • November 10, 2017
    DustSnitch
    The laconic is contradictory. What in the world does "in-universe in real life" mean?
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