- An inversion in one of the Ace Ventura films: the monastery Ace is staying at learns he's leaving and throws a massive party to celebrate getting rid of him. Of course, he thinks it's a going-away party.
- One 5 Second Films has a group of friends react so excitedly to the news a friend is coming, he looks through the window and turns around, sadly remarking "it looks like they don't need me anymore".
- Inverted in Scrooge: The "Thank You Very Much" scene:
All these people owe me money. They all loved me and I never knew!...What did I do? What did I do? Whatever it was, it has made me truly happy that I am the cause. My friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I shall remember this moment until my dying day. Unseen by Scrooge, his casket is taken out of the building.
- Inverted in Frasier. The Cheers gang holds a going-away party for Cliff, who's set to retire to a tropical locale. But Cliff, so touched by the things said about him during the party, instead decides to stay in Boston, much to Carla's chagrin.
- When Eleanor visits in Three's Company, Jack thinks the party Janet and Chrissy are throwing is to celebrate her return (and thus, his departure.) He doesn't know it's really a party congratulating him for passing his cooking exam.
- A particularly paranoid soldier on Dromund Kaas in Star Wars: The Old Republic mistook a birthday party for an attempt on his life... and responded accordingly.
- In Futurama, the cast decides to hold a birthday party for Prof Farnsworth. Farnworth initially thinks it's a disciplinary hearing.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. In "Party of One", Pinkie misapprehends the other ponies blowing off her after-birthday party for Gummy and after seeing them sneak around, avoid her, and give her obvious, feeble lies to explain why they can't come to Gummy's afterparty, jumps to the conclusion that they no longer want to be her friends. This upsets her greatly, and she's surprised when her friends explain that the truth is they were throwing her a surprise birthday party.
- The Powerpuff Girls. "Little Miss Interpret". Bubbles and her sisters overhear the professor's plans for a party for the three of them, but misinterpret what they hear. They end up thinking he plans to destroy them and create a new set of girls.
- Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures. The going away party for Raspberry Torte. Raspberry's big city diva fashion designer worked out to separate Raspberry from her bumpkin friends, so Raspberry blows off the party altogether never knowing it was a celebration of her success.