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It's somewhat common for the final episode of an anime to not include the opening theme:
- Our Miss Brooks, the cinematic series finale to the long-running radio and television series of the same name, dispenses with the usual series theme, opening with a fanfare and a cheery new tune.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge is the only Elm Street film not to feature Charles Bernstein's theme.
- Batman Forever and Batman & Robin replaced Danny Elfman with Elliot Goldenthal, who provided a lighter and more traditionally heroic theme as part of the shift to a Lighter and Softer tone.
- Never Say Never Again, as a third-party remake of Thunderball, was forced by law to not include the James Bond theme, and thusly the original title track  could not be used for this reason.
- Basil Poledouris' RoboCop theme is absent in RoboCop 2, but returns in RoboCop 3.
- Django Strikes Again, the only "official" sequel to the original Film/Django, never features Luis Bacalov and Franco Migliacci's theme at any point, it would turn up as a cover in the Japanese remake/homage Sukiyaki Western Django, and the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch: Was an attempt at a different storyline and is the only entry in the series not to use the theme, though parts of the new soundtrack do echo the original, iconic piano motif.
- The two Peter Cushing Doctor Who films.
- All of the X-Men films have completely different themes, which is unusual for superhero films, but somewhat inevitable given that every film up until 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past has a different composer. This is finally averted in that film, when John Ottman returned to the franchise for the first time in over a decade, remixing his much-liked title music from X2: X-Men United; he does a more classical version for X-Men: Apocalypse, to spectacular effect.
- DC Extended Universe:
- Man of Steel, as a reboot of the Superman films, has a new theme by Hans Zimmer, retiring the well-known John Williams theme that had been used on every Superman film for over thirty years.
- Similarly, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice does not include the Batman theme from The Dark Knight Trilogy, despite them sharing a composer. Zimmer expressly avoided reusing his iconic motifs in order to better distinguish the film from the Nolan-directed series and help it develop its own identity.
- Averted (and perhaps subverted) in Justice League, with Danny Elfman confirming that he is not only retaining Wonder Woman's theme from her previous appearances, but also bringing back his own iconic Batman theme, not to mention the classic Superman theme (with a dark twist).
- Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers, although they were produced simultaneously and are two halves of the same story, have completely different scores written by two different composers (Michel Legrand and Lalo Schifrin respectively). The sequel thus lacks the first movie's very distinctive main themes.
- Both Mac Gyver Lost Treasure Of Atlantis and Mac Gyver Trail To Doomsday TV-movies are missing the classic MacGyver theme.
Live Action TV
- Law & Order: UK
- Starting with season three, Happy Days dispensed with Bill Haley and His Comets' "Rock around the Clock" in favor of an original song called "Happy Days" by Pratt & Mc Clain which had previously been played over the closing credits and which had become a hit in its own right. (Haley likely had no cause to complain, as the use of his song on "Happy Days" had helped return it to the Billboard charts in 1974, 20 years after it was first recorded.)
- Due to copyright and licensing issues, this trope occasionally occurs with DVD releases of TV series when a theme song has to be removed and replaced with generic music (most notably the original DVD releases of Married... with Children, for which the studio were unable to obtain the rights for "Love and Marriage" past the first two seasons, and had to substitute a lame generic piece of music). Public domain releases of shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction have also run into this.
- John Sullivan wrote the theme music for Only Fools and Horses when he wrote the first series, but the BBC decided to go with a different theme composed by Ronnie Hazelhurst. Sullivan disliked the new theme, and before the second series aired he persuaded the producers to use his own compostions instead.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer uses an alternate theme tune for the musical episode Once More, With Feeling.
- Community occasionally replaces or abandons its theme music for specific episodes (e.g. the Western version of the theme in A Fistful of Paintballs or the dropping of the theme entirely for Geothermal Escapism)
- Metal Gear Solid 4 dropped the classic Metal Gear Solid theme tune due to legal pressure by Russian composer Georgy Sviridov, whose song "The Winter Road" sounded very similar to the theme.
- Final Fantasy XIII switched out the series' iconic victory fanfare for an original piece, and also completely dropped the Prelude and the Prologue, featured in the series since the first game.
- New Super Mario Bros. U uses the classic Super Mario Bros. music often enough, but completely abandons the NSMB theme song used in the previous three games.
- Happens in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, where remixes of well known and popular themes from the animes appear in the original Japanese releases of the games, but not the Western localizations. This is due to the licensing fees for using those songs in the West, which would be astronomical for a game appealing to a niche market. Fans have not been happy about this, especially since many of the removed songs are considered iconic of their respective series, such as Rhythm Emotion and Burning Finger.
- Only a brief fragment of The Legend of Zelda's iconic theme was used in its most famous entry, Ocarina of Timenote . The 3DS remake included the full theme in a new portion of the end credits.
- Kirby Mass Attack is the only game in the Kirby series where the classic victory dance music is never played at any point, even in the sound test.
- The Powerpuff Girls episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey'' (the season 5 Rock Opera episode) eschews the opening theme and goes right to the title card, episode title and writers/director bylines. This is most likely due to it being considered as the show's Grand Finale.
- The Wander over Yonder episode "My Fairy Hatey" lacks the theme song, likely due to it already being a Musical Episode with a large focus on the Story Arc.