Covers Always Lie: Western Animation

  • The title card that opens most Tom and Jerry shorts shows the duo smiling at each other as if they like each other, when really, the two of them are enemies.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • The back cover of the five-episode VHS tape "Dream Scheme" shows Buttercup beating up Him who does not appear in any of the episodes on the tape, and the episode list says, "PLUS a Courage the Cowardly Dog bonus toon!" while the bonus non-Powerpuff toon is actually the pilot to Sheep in the Big City.
    • The back cover of another tape, called "Birthday Bash", states that it has a Sheep in the Big City bonus toon. It's actually the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Journey to the Center of Nowhere". Maybe the two covers were switched around?
  • Subverted in Phineas and Ferb where Candace immediately dismisses books based on their covers; when her mom says not to judge a book by its cover, Candace argues that books have covers to capture people's interest, and then asks her mom why she picked these books. Linda begrudgingly admits that it was because they looked interesting, and leaves.
  • Likewise, Ed, Edd n Eddy title cards barely have anything to do with the episodes or characters, though occasionally you might get an insight onto the characters' designs.
  • Re-releases of Scooby-Doo television films and collections that contain Scrappy-Doo no longer depict him on the box cover nor mention his presence anywhere in the blurbs, despite Scrappy being a major character in those productions. This is likely due to the massive anti-Scrappy backlash of the post-1980s era.
  • The Complete First Season to My Little Pony has the incorrect box art. The artwork is of the 1990s My Little Pony toys, G2 as called by fans, which didn't even have a cartoon.
    • This also extends to the My Little Pony Tales DVD releases in Australia. Understandably, it only reinforced the confusion of "which generation does Tales belong to?" that was already widespread among collectors and fans of the show at that time.
    • There are some infamous European covers to the My Little Pony TV Specials that are even stronger examples of this trope. The Escape from Katrina specials cover has literally nothing to do with the actual product. Danny isn't even in the special, and that's a prototypical design. Both covers show incorrect ponies and Spike inexplicably is much bigger, has wings, and is ridden by Megan.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 1 DVD box set prominently features Princess Cadance on the disc 3 label art. Cadance wasn't introduced until the finale of Season 2.
    • The cover art for the DVD My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Adventures in the Crystal Kingdom" shows the Mane Six all in new crystal forms. Forms that the cast only take at the end of the two parter, and which only get a minute or two of screen time. Furthermore, the bright colors and smiles on everyone's faces give no indication that "The Crystal Empire" is one of the series' darker adventure episodes.
    • The back of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls shows the Mane 6 as humans with their ears and tails intact. This appearance only happens at the very end of the movie, and furthermore, it was a power-up.
      • A minor one. The look of humanized Twilight Sparkle on the cover for the home video is ripped straight from the official art on Equestria Girls doll boxes. The character designs used in the movie itself look very different.
    • The box art for My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks (also used for the soundtrack) features Twilight Sparkle front and center, engaged in a sing-off with Adagio Dazzle, the leader of the villain trio. While this does indeed happen, Twilight herself does not even appear until over a third of the way into the movie, and her ultimate contribution to the band's success is minimal at best. Sunset Shimmer, the villain from the first movie, is the actual main character in this movie, yet she is completely absent from all promotional art.
  • The box art and title screens for Dingo Pictures's productions often depict characters that don't appear in the cartoon... or characters with a different role than they actually have. And the artwork is usually much better.
  • The animated TV series of 101 Dalmatians has yet to make a DVD release, and the only episode that ever got a video release was the Christmas Episode. The title of the video reads "A 101 Dalmatians Christmas", when it's actually called "A Christmas Cruella". Not only that, but the cover shows Pongo, Lucky, Rolly, Cadpig, Tripod, Wizzer, Dipstick, Patch and Two-Tone playing around with presents and Christmas decorations giving the impression that that is what the special is all about, when really, a majority of it is focused on Cruella.
  • The Pound Puppies (2010) DVD, "Homeward Pound", shows the Super Secret Pup Club on the front and back covers, but Cupcake and Patches do not appear in any of the episodes featured on the DVD. In fact, all the episodes included on the DVD are from Season 1 and came out before either of those pups made their debut in the series.
  • The DVD cover of Yogi's First Christmas is actually a promotional image for Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper.
  • Various Transformers-related DVD covers. The Hungarian boxart for the 1986 animated movie and the disk itself showcases screencaps and promo art for G.I. Joe. Meanwhile, a German cover has Optimus Prime from the Transformers Armada cartoon on it, with the background being a promo shot from the Michael Bay films, and the back cover showing stills from the Armada video game (!). Another German release just uses stills from the Transformers Generation 1 animated series and a sticker album cover.
  • The DVD cover for Arthur's Big Hit depicts a boxing match between Arthur and D.W. with Francine as the official. This only happens in The Teaser at the beginning of the episode.
  • The front covers of the DVDs comprising season 1 of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes never feature all eight members. Most of them only focus on Avengers who became the title characters of movies forming the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • A very mild case, however the titular mask on the BIONICLE: Mask of Light movie's poster doesn't actually look like as it does in the film, having been modeled after the real LEGO piece, whereas the film uses a stylistic, simplified design.
  • The cover art for the DVD release of Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation depicts Buster, Babs, Plucky, Hamton, Elmyra and Dizzy on a ride at Happy World Land. In the actual movie, Hamton's family and Plucky are the only ones who actually go to Happy World Land, and they don't even go on any of the rides, much to Plucky's dismay. One minor exception to this might be toward the end of the film when Buster and Babs are involved in the mine cart chase with the killer, at one point in the chase, it turned out that the mine cart ride was an attraction at Happy World Land.
  • The makers of the Justice League Unlimited DVD box sets (at least the ones released in the United States) seem to have been confused. The “Season One” set actually contains all the episodes from the first two seasons. The “Season Two” set contains the episodes from the third (and final) season—but the screenshots on the packaging are all from second-season episodes. Furthermore, all the artwork of Hawkgirl for both seasons is of her in her classic costume, one she ditched at the end of the original series and doesn't wear at all in Unlimited.
  • The Hi-Tops Video release of It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown depicts the cast at the beach on the front and back cover, but the special itself involves the characters going to summer camp.
  • The animated adaptation of Tintin in America in Nelvana's acclaimed adaptation of Hergé's comic book series Tintin also lies. The cover of the video cassette is the same as the comic book album and depicts Tintin being held captive by Native Americans. In the album itself, this indeed happens. In the animated adaptation, Tintin is never seen in the presence of any Native American at all, nor being captured by them. Probably in order to avoid some of the racism of the original.
  • The cover artwork of Kaboom! Presents Christmas Carols, a compilation volume featuring Franklin and other shows, such as the PBS version of The Berenstain Bears, depicts Franklin holding his little sister Harriet, who is placing a hat on top of a snowman. It's a cute picture, but of the four Franklin stories featured on the release, only one of them is post Franklin and the Green Knight (the film in which Harriet was born), "Franklin's First Star." It's a story focused on Franklin and his friends and Harriet barely appears in it, if at all.
  • The cover artwork of the Franklin and Friends release "Sharing is Caring" shows Franklin presenting a drawing of a heart to Harriet. Again, it's a deliberately cute picture, but there's no scene like this in any of the stories on the DVD and Harriet only appears in one of them. Seems whoever's doing the DVD covers for Kaboom likes the little tike or at least thinks she's quite marketable.
  • The cover artwork of the second season DVD box of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated shows the Entity, the main villain of the series in a bright green colour and generally much cartoonier design than the depiction in the show, and also places him in the background among other monsters, suggesting he is just another Monster of the Week. In reality, he is the darkest villain of the series, outright killing characters in his appearance. The covers for both seasons also don't depict anything related to the series' story arc, making it look like juast another Scooby Doo series with minimal continuity.
  • On the cover of the Rugrats VHS A Baby's Gotta Do What A Baby's Gotta Do, a scene from "Tommy's First Birthday" is used. The episode does not appear on the VHS (or any of the Rugrats VHS releases).