->"''Sure as day follows night, sure as eggs is eggs, sure as every odd-numbered ''Franchise/StarTrek'' movie is shit.''"
-->-- '''[[Series/{{Spaced}} Tim Bisley]]''', played by '''Creator/SimonPegg''', [[HilariousInHindsight who starred in]] [[Film/StarTrek the eleventh Star Trek movie]], wrote [[Film/StarTrekBeyond the thirteenth]], and noted the irony.

As a series or franchise goes on and the number of sequels and side works/{{Spinoff}}s/etc. increases, it's all but certain that the audience will not find them to all be of uniform quality. However, there are a number of works that show this in one particular way: audiences will generally find that the quality bounces back and forth in a numerically ordered fashion. Typically, this will show up as either the even- or odd-numbered sequels being better than the opposite, although other variants exist.

The TropeCodifier is the ''Film/StarTrek'' movies, which have had a long-standing reputation of "the even-numbered movies are a lot better than the odd-numbered ones".

See also: SophomoreSlump, for when the first in a series is good, the second is trash, but the third is good again.

Not to be confused with TheProductionCurse, where the problems go ''much, much'', deeper.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* For ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', it's the "sequel series curse", where sequels to a series other than the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' tend to be poorly received in comparison: ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'', ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', and to an extent the second seasons of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans''. Averted with ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz Endless Waltz]]''. For the moment appears to be downplayed with ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters'' and ''Anime/GundamBuildFightersTry'', with BF being a ToughActToFollow but reactions to ''Try'' still being generally positive, if not to the degree of its predecessor.
* Fan consensus on the ''Manga/OnePiece'' movies tends to favor the even-numbered movies over the odd-numbered ones, with the exception of the eighth movie "Episode of Alabasta" and the ninth movie "Episode of Chopper" which are reversed.
* When it comes to ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'', fans often tend to like the odd-numbered seasons over the even-numbered seasons. ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' and ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' are near universally liked among fans, and ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' has gained some praise but not as much as Adventure and Tamers, while ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' is divisive with fans of the first Adventure series (especially with some of the final episodes), and ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' tends to gain a lot of flack for changing the formula of the previous series. ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' has a number of fans even for an even-numbered season, with the exception of it's final arc, the near universally hated "Young Hunters" arc. Only time will tell if ''Digimon Adventure Tri'' is any good or not, though reviews of the first two installments in ''Tri'' have been mostly positive.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** In the 20th century, the page-naming curse was fairly consistent (to the point where ''Insurrection's'' crew made a point of calling the film "Nine of Ten" on set to stave off the odd number's influence, not that it helped). But this century the Curse seems to have gone off the rails -- 2002's ''Film/StarTrekNemesis'' flopped while 2009's ''Film/StarTrek'' was a hit, contrary to their positions in the series. It is unknown whether this anomaly means the curse has actually been broken, or merely inverted.
** Among those who do consider ''10'' bad and ''11'' good, there are several commonly proposed methods to realign the curse with "reality". One is using the sum of the digits as an indicator (10; '''1'''+'''0'''=1, an odd number and 11; '''1'''+'''1'''=2, an even number), or alternatively including the AffectionateParody ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' as a "''Star Trek'' movie", inserting it between 9 (''[[Film/StarTrekInsurrection Insurrection]]'') and 10 (''Nemesis'') as [[http://qntm.org/odd put by]] [[Website/ThingsOfInterest Sam Hughes]]. Another theory states that ''Nemesis'' wasn't good because it was a multiple of five, and thus, like ''Film/{{Star Trek V|The Final Frontier}}'', was bad; in other words, the curse has a previously-undiscovered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fizzbuzz FizzBuzz property]]. This is followed by the explanation that ''Film/StarTrek'' doesn't follow the pattern because of the interference of time-traveling Romulans -- besides, it wasn't made by the same crew as the rest. Some have also taken to referring the [[ContinuityReboot reboot]] film as "''Star Trek 0''," thus placing it in an even spot.
** The following film, ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', muddies the waters even further; it was successful critically and financially, but created a BrokenBase among fans. Some still maintain the curse is now inverted as they felt ''Into Darkness'' wasn't as fresh as the 2009 reboot.
** The film following ''Into Darkness'', ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'', also critically and commercially successful, was better received by fans then the previous two films, even further highlighting the likelihood of the theory that the curse had simply inverted.
** Michael Demtschyna, along with Chuck Sonnenburg of Website/SFDebris, have suggested the alternate theory that the movie is bad when any of the main characters sing. These are ''The Final Frontier'', ''Generations'', ''Insurrection'', and ''Nemesis'' (with Chuck snarking that ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'' doesn't contain singing only because [[LeaveTheCameraRunning it would distract from the boredom]]).
** Some argue that the curse didn't start until Series/SiskelAndEbert listed ''Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier'' among the ten worst movies of 1989. ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'' was financially successful allowing for a sequel, and ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'' accomplished its two primary purposes: [[spoiler: resurrect Spock, so they could make more movies]], and establish LeonardNimoy's credentials as a competent film director.
** The pattern of the ''Star Trek'' films is [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=357 referenced]] in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', where Susan has shelved the odd and even numbered films separately in the rental store she works in.
** In a sub-example that's also a positive case for the franchise, and an inversion of the ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' example below, the films released during anniversaries have ended up getting good reception. These have included ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' (20th), ''Film/StarTrekViTheUndiscoveredCountry'' (25th), ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' (30th), and now ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'' (50th).
** There is also a school of thought which holds that this 'rule' never really existed, since many consider ''StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'' pretty good if not great. (As well as the ''many'' who think that ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'' wasn't all that bad.)
* The ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' franchise seems to be the opposite; odd-numbered movies (''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'') do well, while even-numbered movies (''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'', ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'') are nowhere near as good.
* Many fans consider the ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' series to follow the reverse of this, with the even number movies being inferior to the odds. Hilariously, it is still inverted to ''Star Trek'' with regard to reboot status, as the ''Nightmare'' reboot is considered poor by most fans, unlike the mostly acclaimed ''Star Trek'' 2009 reboot.
* The ''Film/MadMax'' series, despite being one of the more consistent film franchises has this kind of pattern: While ''[[Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior The Road Warrior]]'' and ''[[Film/MadMaxFuryRoad Fury Road]]'' are widely considered to be classics and essential viewing for action movie fans, the odd-numbered entries tend to be [[BrokenBase more divisive]], for different reasons: ''Film/MadMax'' because [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness it is an entirely different genre altogether]], and ''[[Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome Beyond Thunderdome]]'' for its LighterAndSofter tone and its relative lack of car chases.
* This has wound up being the case for the Creator/DanielCraig-era Franchise/JamesBond films. The [[Film/CasinoRoyale2006 odd]]-[[Film/{{Skyfall}} numbered]] films have wound up receiving critical praise, while the [[Film/QuantumOfSolace even]]-[[Film/{{Spectre}} numbered]] films have received mixed reception.
* ''Film/TransformersFilmSeries''. The first film is considered the best, the second one the worst, the third one to be better than the second and the fourth film got reviews as bad as the second film. It seems that Bay and co. are trying to make the fifth film good, but we'll see.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* While fans of the ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' series of books don't necessarily find the even-numbered books to be bad, there is definitely a pattern of odd being "war and lots of cool dragon battles" and even being "travel and lots of talking". However, both the sixth and seventh books are travel and diplomacy, and the eighth is Napoleon's Russian campaign.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* So far this seems to be the case with ''Series/AmericanHorrorStory''. ''Asylum'' and ''Freak Show'' (even-numbered) have been better-received than ''Murder House'' and ''Coven'' (odd-numbered). Something to note is that ''Asylum'' and ''Freak Show'' take place in the past (1964 and 1952 respectively, although ''Asylum'' did flash to the present occasionally), while the others are set in the present-day. ''Hotel'', before it even premiered, became "the season without Jessica Lange." Notably it was the first season with lower premiere ratings than its predecessor.
* Although ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has had its bases regularly broken as early as the ''third'' season, the even-numbered seasons tend to fare better than the odd ones. Season 1 is regarded as a good start but suffers from a large amount of MonsterOfTheWeek episodes as the show was still finding its footing, while Season 2 is noted as the show's real moment of GrowingTheBeard. Season 3 wound up being hit by production troubles thanks to the '07 Writers Strike and also introduced two new characters [[SpotlightStealingSquad that took time away from Sam and Dean]] and were Base Breakers ''at best''. Season 4 wound up introducing [[BreakoutCharacter fan favorite Castiel]], and heavily increasing the mythology marked a notable increase in the show's ratings. Averted by Season 5, which further develops the story arc from S4 and is also well-liked. Also averted by Season 6; although it introduces some fresh new ideas and has several fan-favorite episodes, it's also seen to suffer from the [[PostScriptSeason main story having already been wrapped up at that point]], with the show spinning its wheels in some places trying to find a new direction. The trope comes back into play with Season 7, which only accentuated the problems of S6 rather than fix them, and [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot abruptly dropped the exciting storyline teased by the S6 finale]]. Season 8 attempted to undo the damage, and after a rough start managed to introduce a well-received plotline of the brothers trying to close the gates of Hell. But then Season 9 came and fell back into the same issues as before of the show struggling to find a cohesive tale to tell, which wound up turning as many people back off, with Sam and Dean's constant fighting doing little to help as it began to come off more as {{Wangst}} to many longtime viewers. Although 10 at least cut down on their bickering and let them get along again, it's also an aversion as it still suffers from the aimlessness that plagued 9. Time will tell how Season 11 fares.
* Fans of ''Series/TwentyFour'' have noted that odd-numbered seasons are generally the show's better ones, featuring a variety of different terrorist scenarios, while the even-numbered ones always revolve around nuclear Islamic terrorism and are generally greatly inferior (except for possibly season 2, which is considered to have a solid core storyline, but let down by the subplot involving [[TrappedByMountainLions Kim constantly being taken prisoner]]).
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' fans have an unique version with anniversary seasons ''[[Series/PowerRangersTurbo Turbo]]'' (Season 5), ''[[Series/PowerRangersWildForce Wild Force]]'' (Season 10), ''[[Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive Operation Overdrive]]'' (Season 15) and ''[[Series/PowerRangersMegaforce Super Megaforce]]'' (the 20th anniversary celebration but [[SequelNumberSnarl don't ask the exact season number]]) considered among the worst or most divisive.
** Another curse ''Power Rangers'' has relates to how well the source material is received - in general, ''Power Rangers'' adaptations of Sentai series that were well-liked (i.e., ''Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger'', ''MahouSentaiMagiranger'', ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'', ''Series/GoGoSentaiBoukenger'') are either considered OK (''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury''[[note]]although this one has been VindicatedByHistory as of late[[/note]], ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'') or are despised by the fandom (''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'', ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive''); on the other hand, sentai series that were seen as OK or disliked by the fandom (''Series/ChourikiSentaiOhRanger'', ''Series/SeijuuSentaiGingaman'', ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'', and ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'') tend to produce well-liked adaptations (''Series/PowerRangersZeo'', ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'', ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'', and ''Series/PowerRangersDinoCharge''). There are a few exceptions to this rule - ''Series/DenjiSentaiMegaranger'' and ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'' are both well liked, yet their ''Power Ranger'' counterparts (''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' and ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'') are fan favorites; inversely, ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger'' is considered a '''very''' dull Sentai by western fans, and fan opinion of ''Megaforce'' is already mentioned above.
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'', while still being a very well received show, suffers this to some extent: Seasons 2, 4 and 6 are considered all time great seasons of television. Season 1 has all the signs of a series [[GrowingTheBeard in the process of finding its voice]], season 3, although widely beloved, was seen as a step down from the superlative second, and season 5 is almost universally considered the worst the show ever had.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Though not applicable to his entire output, the operas of Music/GioachinoRossini between ''L'italiana in Algeri'' (his eleventh) and ''Otello'' (nineteenth) fall into this territory, with the odd numbered operas (''L'italiana'', ''Il turco in Italia'' [13], ''Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra'' [15], ''Theatre/TheBarberOfSeville'' [17] and ''Otello'') being better respected than the evens (''Aureliano in Palmira'' [12], ''Sigismondo'' [14], ''Torvaldo e Dorliska'' [16] and ''La gazzetta'' [18]).


[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* The best remembered seasons of the original version of Wrestling/{{WWENXT}} are the odd-numbered seasons. The first was universally considered the best, back when the NXT concept was being taken seriously. It directly led to Wrestling/TheNexus, one of the most iconic angles in WWE history, and also launched the short-lived but hugely memorable WWE career of [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]]. The third season is remembered for being the only all-female season and for its SoBadItsGood nature, to the point that [[Wrestling/NXT3 the season got a TV Tropes page all to itself]]. The fifth was the year-long season with a noticeable retool that, for better or worse, gave the product a different image. The second and fourth seasons, however? They were forgotten almost instantly.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Most Franchise/SpiderMan games have the distinction where direct sequels to a game are thought of as weaker than their predecessors. This includes ''[[VideoGame/SpiderMan2EnterElectro Enter Electro]]'' to [[VideoGame/SpiderMan the first Playstation title]], ''Separation Anxiety'' to ''VideoGame/MaximumCarnage'', ''[[VideoGame/SpiderManEdgeOfTime Edge of Time]]'' to ''[[VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions Shattered Dimensions]]'', and ''VideoGame/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'' to the [[VideoGame/TheAmazingSpiderMan first]]. The games based off the [[VideoGame/SpiderManTrilogy Sam Raimi trilogy]] zig-zag this: ''VideoGame/SpiderMan2'' is considered an EvenBetterSequel to the first due to its GenreShift, but ''Spider-Man 3'' more directly follows up on the second by also adopting the Sandbox gameplay style, and is similarly thought of as a disappointment.
* Early ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' titles followed a pattern where odd numbered games were more gameplay focused than the even ones, which were more story driven. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' broke this pattern, and all games afterwards tended to be very story heavy.
* ''{{Franchise/Assassins Creed}}'' has seemingly fallen into this with the even numbered games being better received than the odd numbered ones. Even after they StoppedNumberingSequels with ''Unity'' and ''Syndicate'' it's held the pattern.
* In the ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' series, the odd numbered games are better received than the even numbered ones. The original is a well liked Hack and slash. The second game is widely seen as [[SophomoreSlump the worst]] to the point that even Capcom rarely acknowledges the existence of the game. The third game is a SurprisinglyImprovedSequel and possibly the best in the series. The fourth game is good but it's considered as a step down from the predecessor because of [[ReplacementScrappy Nero replacing Dante]] and its annoying backtracking. [[VideoGame/DmCDevilMayCry The reboot]] broke the trend being by far the most contentious installment.
* The canonical ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games: The [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII second]] and [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV fourth]] games in the series are remembered as the games that respectively launched and reinvigorated the fighting game genres. The [[VideoGame/StreetFighter first game]], which played very differently, [[SequelDisplacement has been largely forgotten in the shadow of its successors]], the [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII third is seen as great]] but not ''quite'' on the level of the second, and the [[VideoGame/StreetFighterV fifth]] is highly divisive due to the limited features and it being seen as too unfriendly for casual gamers.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'': The even ones win out here: the first installment was seen as an upstart fighting game that had yet to find its voice. ''Melee'' is considered a substantial improvement and widely considered to be the best four-player party fighter of all time. ''Brawl'' was still tons of fun for most gamers, but many people thought the gameplay wasn't nearly as competitive-friendly as ''Melee'' was. The fourth game was widely seen as a return to ''Melee''s form, keeping some of ''Brawl'''s more liked changes while reverting the less popular ones back to how they were in ''Melee''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'': Also seems to have this curse with (Not counting the spin-offs or upgrades) 1, 3 and 5 being considered great while 2, 4 and 6 was decent at best. For the Tag Tournament games, the first was seen as great and the second was OK.


[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* The ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series has two different variants of this trope:
** Firstly, the odd-numbered entries (''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'', ''Trials & Tribulations'' and ''Dual Destinies'') are generally considered to be the stronger ones, while the even-numbered ones (''Justice for All'' and ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'') are considered to be weaker. The two ''Ace Attorney Investigations'' games generally aren't counted towards this, as the second one has yet to be released outside Japan (and, in all likelihood, [[NoExportForYou never will be]]). Though for those who do the first is usually considered to be on the "weaker" side and the second on the "stronger" side, which makes the order problematic.
** Secondly, fans have noted that the third case in any given game usually tends to be the worst, mostly due to the overwhelmingly hated third case in (ironically enough) the second game. ''Dual Destinies'' is the major exception, as most seem to regard the second case as the weakest; some fans also feel that the first game's first case is weaker than the third, for essentially being a glorified tutorial which doesn't even fully explain the game mechanics.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/SurvivorFanCharacters'', especially later on, follows a trend opposite that of Star Trek: The odd-numbered seasons are quite popular while the even-numbered seasons get lukewarm receptions at best. The author himself has noticed, and hopes season 14 will break the pattern.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is an interesting case. While season 1 is by no means considered ''bad'', it suffered from EarlyInstallmentWeirdness and a much more restrictive [[AnAesop Aesop]] format. Season 2 is generally considered to be where the show [[GrowingTheBeard grew the beard]] (although it had far more controversial episodes than season 1 did), but was followed by season 3, which is the most controversial and poorly received so far (especially the finale). Then season 4 was mostly well-received ([[HolyShitQuotient especially the finale]]). Season 5 (seemingly) broke this trend by being generally well-received. However, Season 6 led to a bit of a BrokenBase, meaning it could be that the curse has either been fully lifted, or that it simply operates on multiples of three, depending on who you ask.
** The spinoff [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls Equestria Girls]] also follows this, with the second movie being much better received than the first or third.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows has had the curse since Windows 3.1, at least when it comes to their major public releases. Windows 98, Windows XP, and Windows 7 were all popular and well-received, while Windows 95, Windows ME, Windows Vista, and Windows 8 made rather controversial changes, were unstable, or had other problems which made it difficult to recommend upgrading. (Even the UnFavorite releases have their fans, of course.) Windows releases tend to follow a pattern of "revolutionary" - in which many changes are made at once - followed by "evolutionary", or mostly polishing what was in the last one. Thus, every other version has a lot of new bugs ''and'' new features, and takes some getting used to; by the time the next version comes out, these issues have mostly been resolved (by patches and service packs for the software, and by users getting used how it looks and works). Another way of looking at it is that Microsoft puts out a "public beta", followed a couple of years later by the final, mostly-working-as-advertised version, charging their customers for both (and for the privilege of testing their software for them). Microsoft followed Windows 8 with Windows 10 (skipping Windows 9), which was better received than its predecessor by major reviewers and generally continuing the pattern, though with [[BigBrotherIsWatching concerns over privacy]] with the new telemetry system, Microsoft's [[UnwantedAssistance rather pushy efforts]] to get Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade, and the even more pushier automatic update systems within Windows 10 itself (basically barring hacking, you can't set Windows 10 updates to manual control)
** It's not unheard of to hear people joke that Microsoft skipped "Windows 9" because that one would have been a ''good'' OS.
* The [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams San Francisco Giants]] and "Even Year Magic" (or "Even Year Bullshit" to the rest of the league). They won a World Series in 2010, finished 4 games back of a playoff spot in 2011, won a World Series in 2012, finished fourth in their division in 2013, and won a World Series in 2014. After a 3-1 loss to the Cubs in the 2016 National League Division Series, the Giants no longer benefit from this effect.