Strong Sad: So wait. Was there ever a "Jibblies 1"?An ongoing series skips an installment number (usually deliberately). Events from the missing installment may be referred to as if they had actually happened; there may even be an assurance that it was the highlight of the series. Reasons for doing this include:
Strong Bad: Nah, horror movies don't even need first movies anymore.
Strong Bad: Nah, horror movies don't even need first movies anymore.
— Homestar Runner, "Jibblies 2"
- Some form of numerological significance, such as avoiding the number 13 or the number 4
- To acknowledge a long hiatus between installments
- To get out of having written oneself into a corner, by pretending that it's already been solved, somehow, when nobody was looking
- Because it would be impossible to do the events of the phantom installment justice
- To set up a mystery about the events of the missing installment
- Because the creators are trying to be funny
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Anime and Manga
- The original Kujibiki Unbalance probably has the highest ratio of Un-Installment episodes to real episodes: out of the 26-episode series, only three episodes (1, 21, and 25) were actually made, though episode 21 happens to be a Recap Episode. The episodes were released as bonus material on the DVDs of Genshiken, to which it is a Show Within a Show.
- Devil Hunter Yohko has no episode 4, because Four Is Death. (In the US, ADV Films filled the gap with a collection of music videos it called "Devil Hunter Yohko 4 Ever".)
- Episode 12 of Excel Saga is called "Big City, Part II". There is no Big City, Part I, as Excel explains in the preview for episode 12.
- This is standard operating procedure for mobile suit model numbers in Gundam works. In the original Mobile Suit Gundam the Zeon mobile suits we see start at MS-05 and end at MS-14, with several gaps along the way (and that's just the standard mobile suit line. Underwater, combat engineering and telepathically controlled models get their own numbering seriesnote , as do the non-humanoid mobile armorsnote and aforementioned variants of same) and most subsequent sequels and spinoffs have followed suit. This is mainly to leave room for new models to hawk in the voluminous collection of spinoff manga, OAV series, videogames, model kits, etc. At this point said spinoffs have completely filled in the original Zeon MS series and even added new ones up to MS-18 (and various video games and manga of dodgy cononicity have started into the early 20s). The main trio from the original series (RX-75-4 Guntank, RX-77-2 Guncannon and RX-78-2 Gundam) also present an interesting example. The main numbers are actually a model year and the Earth Federation canonically didn't develop any mobile suits in UC 0076, but those secondary numbers indicate there are previous versions of the design (which, again have since been filled out and even expanded upon in spinoffs).
- Bokurano has something of an example, appropriately enough. Most of the Dimensional Robots get Reporting Names in alphabetical order (first is Arachnid, second is Bayonet, etc.) but the 15th and final one skips straight to Z for Zearth II.
- Nobuhiko Horie, who was the editor-in-chief of Fist of the North Star, views the saga in four installments, with the original Fist of the North Star itself being Episode 4. Its prequel, Fist of the Blue Sky, serves as Episode 3, while two yet to be made prequels serve as Episodes 1 and 2. If these prequels ever get made, Episode 1 will be the story of Shuken (the Hokuto Shinken founder), while Episode 2 would deal with how the school immigrated to Japan during the feudal period.
- Gaston Lagaffe notoriously has no volume 5, because the comic switched to the A4 format from volume 6 onwards and the first four A4 volumes are compilations from small-format books.
- A fifth volume was eventually made in 1986, that being four years after the fourteenth volume, containing previously unpublished strips.
- DC Comics' Ambush Bug: Year None ended with "issue number 7 of a 6-issue limited series." There is no issue number 6, or at least none that was ever published. Apparently number 6 was completed (or nearly so), then shelved for reasons that still have not been made entirely clear. Number 7 came out many months later, wrapping up the series.
- Back when they were at Image Comics, WildStorm and Rob Liefeld's Extreme Studios reversed this with a quasi-cross over event where they published their 25th issues months ahead of time to give a glimpse of the future and continued their series the next month. Several of the involved series never made it as far as #25, leaving the missing issues as uninstallments.
- Captain Marvel first appeared in two Ashcan Copy comics titled Flash Comics #1 and Thunder Comics #1. Then his regular title, Whiz Comics, began with issue #2, and reprinted the whole of both ashcans. There is no Whiz Comics #1.
- Spawn skipped issue 19 and 20 after long delays from writers Andrew Grossenberg and Tom Orzechowski, eventually soldiering ahead with issue 21 by Todd McFarlane. The "missing" issues were published approximately six months later. Interestingly, Spawn had shown up with a stitched up face in issue 21 said to have been caused by "That Bozo In Black", an obvious reference to the Batarang that landed there in the Spawn-Batman Crossover that had happened just prior to the issue's release. However, the Crossover was considered so generally terrible, that 19 and 20 featured a completely different "Bozo In Black", Harry Houdini, and a completely different reason for a vertical scar down Spawn's face, protecting his friend Terry from a bullet... which made a scar completely different than the one in 21... But if you're looking for sensical continuity, why the hell are you reading 90s Image Comics?.
- Issues 6 and 7 of Too Much Coffee Man do not exist. Shannon Wheeler wanted to skip ahead in the story, saw no reason why he shouldn't, and took it as an opportunity to create "the rarest comics ever". #8 includes footnotes referring the reader to the missing issues.
Films — Live-Action
- The third movie in Robert Rodriguez's Mariachi Tetralogy. Basically, a fair number of people who saw Desperado didn't immediately realize that it was a sequel, until they realized they were missing backstory that the film kept referring and flashing back to. As a nod to this, Robert Rodriguez came up with an entire third installment that follows up Desperado, introduces new characters, has very major plot developments, and was promptly never produced. Once Upon a Time in Mexico is the sequel to that film, and throws in a lot of references to the plot and events of that film, which are central to El Mariachi's own character arc in the final film.
- Than there's the German students-movie "Der Goldene Nazivampir von Absam 2 – Das Geheimnis von Schloß Kottlitz" (The Golden Nazi-Vampire of Absam 2 - The Secret of Castle Kottlitz). There never was a first part. As the whole movie wants is kind of a parodie on trash horror movies, it is a joke on long and absurd trash horror titles.
- Surf II, a comedy/horror about surfers turned into mutant zombie punks by a May Contain Evil chemical. Despite its name, there was not a Surf (OR Surf I).
- Perhaps not exactly this, but definitely related, the "missing" reels in Grindhouse.
- The Opening Scroll identifies the events of the movie as "Chapter Eleven" of a saga (another riff on Star Wars, which started with Episode IV).
- In addition, one of the film's main characters, Yogurt, says "God willing, we'll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money," fooling people into believing that a sequel is in production.
- Brooks has stated he would never make Spaceball 2, but might make Spaceballs 3: The Search for Spaceballs 2
- Zombi 2: Lucio Fulci's film based on a zombie epidemic on a tropical island. Despite its title implying that it is a sequel to another film, it's actually a standalone movie with no relation to any previous zombie films. The confusion comes from the fact that George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) was renamed Zombi in Italy. Fulci's film was only named Zombi 2 to cash in on the success of Romero's film, even though there's no connection between the two.
- Inverted with History of the World Part I, deceptively titled to create the illusion of an eventual sequel. It even ends with a trailer for Part II.
- Nueba Yol (Misspelled Spanish for New York) was followed by Nueba Yol 3, due to a Dominician superstition about a first sequel.
- War Comes to America, part of the Why We Fight series, has a "Part One" but no "Part Two"—due to the untimely end of World War II, none was ever made.
- Played with zero-budget post-apocalyptic direct-to-video movie Empire of Ash. It was released as Empire of Ash in 1988 and re-released unchanged in 1989 as Empire of Ash II. It spawned one sequel called Empire of Ash III.
- The Indian superhero movie Krrish was followed by a sequel called... Krrish 3 (with Krrish 4 coming after that). The titling is actually kind of a First Blood/Rambo deal: Krrish (working title Koi... Tumsa Nahin) was itself the direct sequel to the landmark sci-fi musical Koi... Mil Gaya, which was about Krrish's father, Rohit (Krrish and Rohit are played by the same actor), and the plots are closely related ( both films have the same villain, for example). So Krrish 3 is the second film about Krrish, but the third film in a series about Rohit's experiences and their aftermath.
- The sequel to Thanks Killing is titled ThanksKilling 3, with the absence of a ThanksKilling 2 justified in-universe because the movie was deemed so horrible that it was pulled from distribution and all known copies have been destroyed. The main plot of ThanksKilling 3 had Turkie try to find a copy of ThanksKilling 2 so he can use it to curse everyone.
- The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco is a missing book in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. Because it's all about the world where fiction is created, there's a very good in-story explanation for why it's missing.
- Sideways Stories from Wayside School has no nineteenth chapter, because the builders forgot to build a nineteenth story.
- Volume 4 of Tristram Shandy has no chapter 24. Chapter 25 helpfully starts by describing what would have been in chapter 24, if it had existed.
- Theodor Mommsen's Roman History, which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, consists of volumes 1, 2, 3 and 5. The first three describe the history of the Roman Republic and were published during Mommsen's lifetime. Volume 4, the history of Imperial Rome, was never finished (it was sort of replaced - in 1992! - by Mommsen's lectures on the subject, not from manuscripts of his own, but as they were written down by students). Volume 5 contains the history of the Roman provinces during the Imperial era.
- Eugene Onegin consists of numbered stanzas within each of its eight chapters, but some of these stanzas are left blank, e. g. Nos. 9, 13, 14, 39, 40 and 41 in the first chapter.
- Chapter 11 of Heinrich Heine's book Ideen - Das Buch Le Grand ("Ideas - The Book Le Grand") reads thusly:
German censors - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - idiots - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- The Kurt Vonnegut novel Timequake probably qualifies. In-story, time ran backwards for several years, then played back out again. Vonnegut makes frequent references to a previous version of Timequake he wrote during this temporal slip, which he refers to as Timequake One, and that doesn't exist.
- Some bowdlerized editions of Giacomo Casanova's autobiography start with chapter 5.
- The preface to Moscow to the End of the LineAKA says that in the first draft one chapter contained too many cuss words (appropriate for a philosophical drunk on a long boring train journey that has just started). The author had to add a warning for sensitive girls, but it had the opposite effect, thus he ended up removing all obscenities, leaving only "And he drank immediately."
- Said first draft chapter may very well be an Urban Legend of Zelda.
- The Conan novel The Hour of the Dragon has no chapter 20. It has been speculated that when publishing arrangements in Britain fell through and the manuscript was returned to Robert E. Howard, the missing chapter was omitted. This theory is based on the word count of the published work and Howard's correspondence with Dennis Archer concerning the original. Whether this is so, or Howard deleted the chapter himself, both he and Weird Tales neglected to renumber the remaining chapters. It has also been suggested that Weird Tales simply made a mistake and skipped the number. The story does not suffer from the omission, and most reprintings renumber chapters 21-23 as 20-22.
- Power Rangers has "Scorpion Rain", which straddles the line between this, Urban Legend of Zelda, and Ascended Fanon. A supposed 8 minute short that bridged Power Rangers Zeo and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, released only in Australia, the thing was supposed to be incredibly poorly done, but would fill in enough plot holes that the fandom went along with it. Eventually though, it was revealed as an elaborate prank. Later, in the Crossover "Forever Red", events of the battle "Scorpion Rain" supposedly depicted were referenced. Writer Amit Bhaumik, also one of the pranksters, admitted that he set out to make the darn thing canon.
- Red Dwarf: Series VIII was followed by a ten-year hiatus and then by a three-part special, Back to Earth, which claimed to be set "after Series X" and referred to several significant events from the skipped-over Series IX. Done partly to acknowledge the hiatus and partly to avoid needing to resolve Series VIII's cliffhanger ending immediately. Its absence is lampshaded in Back to Earth by the character Noddy: "Best season ever if you ask me. Awesome season! Best by miles!"
- However, the success of Back to Earth led to the production of a new full series. Back to Earth came to be regarded as Series IX, as "Red Dwarf X" was felt to be a better title for marketing the next series, even though the 'true' Series X takes place after Back to Earth.
- Doctor Who:
- "Season 6B", a bunch of postulated Second Doctor-Jamie-Zoe stories set after Season 6 but before the Time Lords forced his regeneration into the Third Doctor, based on the idea that what we see at the end of Season 6 is not actually the Doctor's regeneration. It's strongly alluded to in "The Two Doctors" and contemporary comic strips, and more recent Expanded Universe material delve into this period in detail.
- "Shada", the Season 17 season finale, was abandoned when about two thirds done thanks to industrial action. Some footage of it was eventually incorporated into the show, edited in order to bring the Fourth Doctor into "The Five Doctors" as a Fake Shemp. This has caused its canonical status to be ambiguous, which the Expanded Universe has happily exploited, especially in the audio drama version of the story — in which the Eighth Doctor has to go through the events, because the events of "The Five Doctors" erased it from the timeline. A novelisation that presented the story with the Fourth Doctor but with lots of new-series-compatible details added came out in 2012, and in the 90s a VHS reconstruction of the story was released, and even that might be a bit canonical as Tom Baker's narrator character ends up becoming a Canon Immigrant in "The Day of the Doctor" (of all things). No-one knows which version of "Shada" actually happened - maybe they all did, maybe none at all - and everyone is comfortable keeping it that way.
- The new series concept of the Time War, and The War Doctor in "The Day of the Doctor", are both Watsonian metaphors for the "Wilderness Years" during which the show was cancelled. The Time War is an apocalyptic Great Offscreen War that threw reality itself into confusion and permanently darkened the Doctor as a person, much like the branching arms and Darker and Edgier excursions of the Expanded Universe did. The War Doctor is supposed to represent the Doctor we could have had during the Wilderness Years, and Steven Moffat has said his intention was to cause annoyance and frustration - viewers are supposed to feel that they could have had decades of adventures of John Hurt, but instead we got nothing.
- The producers of the classic series gave each story an alphabetical production code, starting with story A. (If you were wondering, story Z was followed by story AA, but story ZZZ was followed by story 4A. In a weird coincidence, both ZZ and ZZZ were the final stories for the incumbent doctor at the time—Two and Three, respectively.) To avoid any confusion between I, J, and 1 and between O, Q, and 0, story codes I and O were skipped. Not surprisingly, given the number of times the series changed producers and the overall passivity regarding long-term continuity, the pattern of which letters were skipped varied over the years: I was always skipped, but O was sometimes retained (there's a story OO, but no story OOO), and variations were introduced. For example, VVV was skipped, perhaps to avoid confusing U and V, or perhaps to ensure ZZZ lined up with the end of the Third Doctor's run; the next time around, 4U was skipped instead and 4V retained, the pattern persisting thereafter with 5U and 6U skipped and 5V and 6V retained (the last code to be used was 7Q).
- Heroes Reborn (2015) happens 5 years after Heroes was Left Hanging following its fourth season. Creator Tim Kring admitted that this trope is employed to explain the Time Skip: “We’re treating this as if this is not the fifth season. We’re actually treating it as like the tenth season, as though there were actually seasons in between. "
- The Traveling Wilburys' first album was titled The Traveling Wilburys Volume One as a joke, because they were never going to do a Volume Two. When they did release a follow-up, it was titled The Traveling Wilburys Volume Three.
- Although it was just a joke, it led to various rumors about why there was no Volume Two. Two outtakes from Volume Three were bootlegged extensively before being officially released in 2007, and it was sometimes claimed that they were from the "missing" Volume Two.
- Chickenfoot pulled a similar joke when they called their second album Chickenfoot III.
- Calexico's The Black Light has a song called "The Ride, Pt II". There is no Part I. Similarly, Hot Rail has "Untitled III" and "Untitled II" (in that order), but no "Untitled I".
- Beastie Boys: There was no Hot Sauce Committee Part One before the release of Part Two, but apparently one is now in the works and will be based on unused material from Part Two. If/when it ever comes out, it will also be the final album featuring the three members (due to Adam Yauch's passing).
- Alien Ant Farm's debut album was titled "Greatest Hits," implying it was a compilation of earlier albums that don't exist.
- After an eight-year gap, the band Boston finally released their third album in 1986. They joked in interviews that to speed things along, they were going to skip their fourth album and go straight to the fifth. (It didn't work; their next album took another eight years.)
- Throbbing Gristle named their first album Second Annual Report, although it was the sequel to an album that didn't get released at the time.
- The subtitle for the Rush instrumental from Roll the Bones, "Where's My Thing" is "(Part IV, 'Gangster of Boats' Trilogy)". There is no Gangster of Boats part I, II, or III.
- Ian Dury and The Blockheads bring us "Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3". The song is not part of a series in any way.
- Akphaezya have released two albums so far: Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity and Anthology IV: The Tragedy Of Nerak.
- Both of Fantomas's first two albums skip the 13th track.
- Not quite this, but clearly operating on the same priciple: The Aquabats! entitled their first album The Return of the Aquabats!.
- New wave revivalists The Rentals also called their debut album Return of the Rentals.
- Charles Ives composed two pieces titled Tone Roads No. 1 and Tone Roads No. 3. There is no Tone Roads No. 2.
- HIM's first album is called Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666. The number was only used for its occult connotations; it goes without saying that these guys aren't following up a series of albums 665 entries in the making, let alone albums of love songs, albums by HIM, or HIM albums of love songs.
- ABC's first album 'The Lexicon Of Love' contained "The Look Of Love [Part 1]" and "The Look Of Love [Part 4]". The song DOES have Parts 2 and 3, but they were only included on its 12" single.
- Bob Marley And The Wailers' early album "Soul Revolution Part II" was titled as such as it was the follow up to "Soul Rebels" (which was the first album recorded for Lee Scratch Perry [who compiled both of them] and thus 'Part I'). It is often mistaken for the title of the album's dub version, which was actually called "Upsetter Revolution Rhythm". The confusion was not helped by the fact, due to his debts at the time, Perry packaged some copies of the dub album in the vocal album's sleeve. When Trojan reissued both the vocal and dub albums together in 1988, they called the set "Soul Revolution 1 & 2", though later reissues restored the original cover and title.
- Karma To Burn, with very few exceptions, name their songs with numbers representing the order in which they were composed. Not only are their albums' tracklistings not arranged with any rhyme or reason with respect to these numbers, but especially very early on in their history they tend to never release certain numbers. What happens with the missing numbers is anyone's guess - while they did release "1" on one of their own albums, "2" has yet to be released this way since they actually gave it to their side project Year Long Disaster. It can result in songs being resurrected at odd times, like "23" being released when the band were well into the 50s in their song catalog. It's also known that "9" and "15" have survived in their concert setlists for many years; why they are live staples but have never been released in studio form is anyone's guess.
- On Round the Horne, one of the show's spoof dramas jumped from part one to part three, with the explanation that "you wouldn't have liked part two - it was all plot." On another occasion, a Three Musketeers spoof stretched over two shows; in the show after that, it was announced "At this point we were going to do The Three Musketeers part three... But we got fed up with that."
- Microsoft's first version of Windows NT (which currently forms the basis of all desktop, workstation, and server versions of Windows as of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, with the NT branding dropped with the earlier Windows 2000) was given the version 3.1 to match the version number of the then-current DOS-based version of Windows, which was also numbered 3.1. Unlike the DOS-based versions, there were no 1.x, 2.x, or 3.0 versions of it.
- Partially justified in that Windows NT was a sequel to Microsoft/IBM OS/2, which had 1.x and 2.x versions. A lot of early marketing and technical information about Windows NT 3.1 indicated this, although as Microsoft moved away from the OS/2 name (IBM having continued development on its own branch) the ties became less visible as time went on.
- In a related Microsoft Windows example, despite its colloquial name, Windows 7, internally at least, is not version 7.0 of the Windows software. Instead, it runs on the Windows NT kernel internally known as edition 6.1, being a mere update of Windows Vista instead of a more drastically changed operating system like Vista was to XP. note
- The following version of Windows, Windows 8, is also internally known as Windows version 6.2. Windows 8.1 is internally version 6.3.
- Windows 8 was itself followed by Windows 10, skipping the number 9, and leading to the occasional joke about them skipping the good one. Windows 95 and 98 are sometimes collectively referred to as "Windows 9x", so 9 was skipped partly to prevent any confusion with thatnote . Also, the internal version jumped ahead to 10.0 to match the marketed number, which means that, internally, versions 7 through 9 are all Uninstallments.
- Internally, Microsoft's Office 2007 is known as version 12, while the 2010 version is known as version 14, due to that number.
- Similarly, Visual Studio 2013 is internally version 12. The next version, Visual Studio 2015, is version 14.
- Winamp 3 was criticized by users for being buggier and more resource hungry than the 2.x series, and for missing features such as backwards compatibility with Winamp 2 skins. The next version, Winamp 5, was named to signify the fact that it was based off the 2.0 version and incorporated features from the 3.0 version (such as the new skinning system), and because they did not want people making Winamp 4 skins.
- When Netscape released the codebase of Navigator 4, the intent was that community-made improvements would be rolled into version 5. However, the code turned out to be too difficult to work with, leading to a complete rewrite and using the new Mozilla codebase as the underpinnings of Netscape 6.
- To synchronize the version numbers of Firefox and Thunderbird (which previously had the latter being given lower version numbers), Mozilla completely skipped version 4.0 of the latter and released version 5.0 of it around the same time as version 5.0 of the former (which did have a version 4.0 when Thunderbird was still at version 3). Currently, both programs still follow a similar numbering system.
- The first version of dBase was dBase II. The creators wanted to give the impression that it wasn't a buggy first release, but a settled product.
- DRDOS went straight from version 3 to version 5, because of the poor reputation of MSDOS 4.
- Microsoft's Visual C++ compiler skipped version 3, so that its version number would match the version of the MFC library it was supplied with.
- CyanogenMod, a custom version of the Android mobile platform. There was never a CyanogenMod 1 or 2, and CyanogenMod 8, which was to be based on Android 3.xnote was skipped because Google only published the source code for 3.x when they released Android 4.0 and the devs decided to just jump straight to CM9.
- Since the official title of the Olympic Games is "the Games of the nth Olympiad" and the word "olympiad" refers to the four year time period instead of the games themself, the number increases by one every four years even when the Games didn't take place (in 1916, 1940 and 1944).
- The first time the German football (soccer to Americans) championship was held in 1903, one of the semi-finals was DSC Prague vs. Karlsruhe FV. The Karlsruhe club received a fake telegram that the match had been postponed and did not show up, and Prague went on to the final (where it lost to VfB Leipzig) by default. The following year, the final was going to be held in Berlin, but because it involved Britannia Berlin, Karlsruhe FV protested that this was not on neutral ground. The protest was successful, but resulted not in the final being adjourned to another city, but being canceled. Therefore 1904 there was no German football champion.
- Due to the 2004 lockout of the National Hockey League, The Stanley Cup has a "Season not played" under 2004-05.
- Paranoia has had (in order) 1st edition, 2nd edition, 5th edition (later declared an "unproduct"), and 3rd edition (unpublished). Starting with the revival, they Stopped Numbering Sequels, instead releasing XP (formally dropped after Microsoft complained, so this version was just called "Paranoia") and 25th Anniversary Edition (a reprint of XP with some additional material).
- The one-off Magic: The Gathering set Coldsnap is an example of the aforementioned trick where a new work is presented as a forgotten older one. Originally, the Ice Age block (released in 1995-96) consisted of Ice Age, Alliances, and the unrelated and universally reviled set Homelands, which was shoehorned into the block (mainly because this was before Wizards started doing blocks like we would know them today). When Coldsnap, which was designed to fit retroactively into Ice Age block as the "real" third set, was announced in 2006, Wizards claimed that it was based on a lost design file from 1995, uncovered when they moved their offices across the street. (The claim was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but this didn't really come across and many players became annoyed, forcing them to come clean.) The idea of Coldsnap as the "real" third set, however, is Canon; it is legal for play in Ice Age Block Constructed, and Homelands is no longer acknowledged as part of the block.
- Al Lowe envisioned Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals as the definitive end to the Larry trilogy, and the game ended with Larry and Patti stuck in the real world, living happily together and coding adventure games based on Larry's adventures. Whenever anyone would ask if his next project would be Larry 4, he would respond that there would never be a Larry 4. Instead, he and the rest of Sierra focused their efforts on creating a new online platform, which eventually fell through. However, when the time came for Al Lowe to make a real sequel to Larry 3, he found he'd written himself into a creative corner with Larry 3's airtight ending, so he decided to stay true to his promise and skipped right to Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work, where Larry and Patti are separated again, and suffering from amnesia. The missing game eventually becomes a major plot point in Larry 5, where it's revealed that the Big Bad, Julius Bigg, stole the master floppies to Larry 4, causing Larry and Patti to lose their memories. The game's non-existence is a running joke in the series, and the game (under the title Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies) appears in Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.
- Tales of Monkey Island doesn't follow on directly from Escape from Monkey Island, but instead from a non-existent (and reportedly "epic") fifth Monkey Island game, presumably as a nod to the previous game where some characters refer to their "five-game contract" with LucasArts.
- Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen serves as Episode V of what is officially known as the "Ogre Battle Saga", while Tactics Ogre (the second game) is Episode VII and OgreBattle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber (the third game) is Episode VI. Ogre Battle: Legend of the Zenobia Prince for the Neo Geo Pocket and Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodus for the Game Boy Advance are considered side-stories, despite both being just as long and complex as any of the main games. Episodes I-IV and VIII only exists in the imagination of series' creator Yasumi Matsuno.
- Exploited in Final Fantasy X, where Tidus's father Jecht has a blitzball skill, the Sublimely Magnificent Jecht Shot Mark III. Tidus notes how there was never a Mark I or Mark II, and that it would entice fans to watch him play blitzball waiting for the earlier installments. And they did come back to watch.
- Fur Fighters (subtitled Viggo's Revenge at least in the PS2 version) starts with all the major characters retired after already defeating Viggo the first time. Throughout the game there are hints to their exploits but there never was another game, and sadly probably never will be.
- Subverted with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which had the Working Title of "Metal Gear Solid III", despite it being the second Solid game and fourth in the overall series. The skip in numbering was intended to be an important plot point.
- Data Design Interactive's Rig Racer 2: There was never a Rig Racer 1, although the name echoes an equally horrible rig "racing" game.
- Power Punch II was originally going to be a direct sequel to Punch-Out!! titled Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch, but the combination of Nintendo's distaste at the game's quality and Tyson himself being convicted of rape forced Beam Software to change the title and give it to a different publisher. Why they decided to give a numeral "II" is anyone's guess.
- The story of Shenmue was planned out in roughly 16 chapters. The original game was just Chapter 1 (Yokozuka), while Shenmue II consists of Chapters 3 through 5 (Hong Kong, Kowloon and Guilin). Chapter 2 occurs off-screen between the events of the two games (during Ryo's cruise trip from Yokozuka to Hong Kong). The upcoming Kickstarter-funded Shenmue III plans to cover the subsequent chapters.
- The TurboGrafx-16 pinball game, Time Cruise, was actually Time Cruise II in Japan. However, the original Time Cruise was a real game that never actually released. The game's publisher, Face, decided to skip the original and release only the sequel.
- The main NCR quest in Fallout: New Vegas is titled "For the Republic, Part 2", but there isn't a "Part 1", although the quest begins immediately after the quest "King's Gambit".
- The 1982 arcade game Pepper II was so named because videogames were a new fad at the time and it was possible to have a game not in your area. Exidy, the makers of Pepper II, banked on the concept that if a "sequel" was made to the original (but non-existent) Pepper, then prospective audiences might figure it to be even better than the original and thus want to play.
- The DOS versions of the Mega Man consists of only Mega Man and its sequel, Mega Man 3. The second game was named like that to capitalize on the the latest NES game in the series, Mega Man 3, even though the DOS games aren't ports of the NES versions.
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. There is no "Puzzle Fighter", "Puzzle Fighter II", or "Super Puzzle Fighter II". The title is meant to be a play on Super Street Fighter II Turbo, the fifth iteration of the Street Fighter II sub-series.
- The Dangan Ronpa franchise plays with this with the reveal that New Dangan Ronpa V3 is actually Dangan Ronpa 53, making Next Dangan Ronpa 4: Despair Beyond Hope to Dangan Ronpa 52 Un-Installments. (The actual Dangan Ronpa 3 takes the form of an anime series instead of a game.)
- xkcd skips directly from #403 to #405. Attempts to view the URL where #404 would be if it existed result in HTTP error message 404 ("Page not found").
- A strip did appear on the xkcd site between 403 and 405—but not an xkcd strip. 403 was posted on March 31, 2008, and 405 was posted on April 2. On April 1, the site displayed a (science-themed) Questionable Content strip, as part of a three-way switcheroo also involving Dinosaur Comics (which displayed an xkcd strip).
- The "Dinosaur" series of shorts by Waverly Films has no part three, but does helpfully recap the events of three at the beginning of part four.
- Arfenhouse Teh Movie 3 and 4 were both released as April Fools' Day pranks in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Finally, a proper sequel, Arfenhouse Teh Movie 6, was released later in 2006, with no 5th installment.
- Sad Panda Q&A skips episode 8. Apparently, it had cameos by a number of That Guy with the Glasses contributors, as well as The Angry Video Game Nerd and Yahtzee. Episode 9 starts with Panda and Welshy unsure on how to follow it.
- One of the Homestar Runner Halloween specials has the title "Jibblies 2", despite the fact the creators never released a toon titled "Jibblies". Strong Sad lampshaded this in an Easter Egg.
- Then there are the hremails, which is supposedly an email show that Homestar does in parallel to Strong Bad. The first one we see is around number 1000 (compare to the 205 sbemails), and later ones mentioned seem to have a random installment number.
- ClickHole has two variants:
- It often references articles that don't exist. Typically this is its weekly "Next Week on Clickhole" (where the articles in question never appear), but also things like this list of corrections for the fictional "13 Hedgehogs Who Need A Vacation".
- Articles that skewer the most absurd members of the social justice internet, such as "The Ability To Play As Bowser Has Made Our Society More Evil", frequently invite the reader to "join the discussion" in the site's comment section. Thankfully, the site has no comments section.
- The episode There Is No Part 1: Part 2 from Welcome to Night Vale.
- Mark Prindle's music reviews usually put "reader comments" under the review, but for Napalm Death's The Code Is Dead, Long Live The Code, the text of the review is completely blank, and the first comment is a fictional reader writing at length about how offended they were by the supposed review. It's meant to skewer both commenters who are overly protective of their favorite artists and Prindle's own stream-of-consciousness writing style and tendencies towards off-topic digressions and toilet humor.
- American Dad!: "Merlot Down Dirty Shame" begins with a recap that shows Stan and Roger becoming best friends after being trapped in an elevator, complete with getting complimentary "best buddies" necklaces. It ends with a preview of the next episode, where Stan beats Roger into a bloody pulp and takes away his necklace, turning both into a pair of earrings for Francine.
- Clerks: The Animated Series: The first episode begins with Randall announcing "Last week on Clerks..." and cuts to a test pattern. It never actually aired, so it only makes sense on DVD.
- Samurai Jack numbers its episodes by Roman numeral, which are used as alternate titles, and the original run goes up to "LII" (52). For the fifth season, the numbers skipped up to "XCII" (92) at the start to reflect the long time since it was uncancelled and the Time Skip since season four.
- South Park:
- The episode "Awesom-o" mentioned a lost Lemmywinks sequel that never actually existed; the disclaimer claims it was lost because of the "disaster in Hawaii".
- The Season 10 premire, "The Return of Chef", opens with a Previously On depicting Chef leaving South Park to join the Super Adventure Club and his friends being upset over him doing this.
- The episode "Go God, Go" ended with Cartman recently arriving in the far future. The next episode is "Go God, Go XII", which began with a Buck Rogers opening parody leading to Cartman seemingly months later, as if there were ten episodes about Cartman in the future that were just skipped.
- Thomas the Tank Engine: The adaptation of "The Missing Coach" was scrapped during production because its plot was deemed too much of a Mind Screw for young children. The events are referenced in a later episode, so they did happen, we just never saw them.
- The Venture Bros.: "Escape to the House of Mummies, Part Two" begins with a Previously On that shows the best parts of Part One and ends with a On the Next for Part Three; neither actually exists. The creator commentary on the DVD edition of the episode features the creators claiming that the episodes exist as Easter eggs as a prank on the audience.
- The Simpsons had at least two gags referencing fake episodes:
- In "Behind the Laughter" (where the characters are portrayed as Animated Actors), due to behind-the-scenes issues, Bart had to go to rehab, and Richie Rich had to fill in for him. We are then shown a clip of a fake Simpsons episode called "Disorder in the Court", where Marge asks, "Bart, what do you mean you have jury duty?" "Bart" responds, "Don't have a cow, mother."
- "Weekend at Burnsies" had Marge make a scarecrow out of objects from earlier episodes, complete with on-screen captions identifying their origins a la Pop Up Video. When she gets to Grampa's hat (as seen in this infamous scene from "Bart After Dark"), it is identified as coming from "Who Shot Grampa's Hat?"
- An accidental example exists in papal history: Owing to various misconceptions and transcription errors, there has never been a Pope John XX. The Pope who would have borne that number skipped straight to John XXI when choosing his papal name.
- Chrysler's 300 "letter series" ran from 1955-1965. But the list of models skips from 300-H to 300-J. This is because the letter "I" too closely resembles the number "1".
- A similar situation caused the lettered streets in Washington DC to skip "J". At the time Pierre L'Enfant designed the city grid, "I" and "J" were often treated as interchangeable, and "J" was often written/printed with only a slight bit of curvature to distinguish it from "I".
- In many military units with lettered sub-units "J" is similarly skipped to avoid confusion with "I". Most cavalry regiments lack a "J" troop, for example.
- Similarly still, military aircraft and other vehicles which serve long enough to have multiple design variants will skip the "I" model, hence the B-25 Mitchell going directly from the B-25H to the B-25J, due to the letter I resembling both the letter "J" and the number "1".
- There was no 1983 Corvette. This is especially odd, as it was the model's 30th anniversary year. (Technically there were forty-four '83 prototypes, of which 43 were destroyed. The last is in the Corvette Museum.)
- Whatever happened to the Aston Martin DB8?
- The Samsung Note smartphone brand skipped from the Note 5 to the Note 7 to bring it in line with the Galaxy S7 product line, so that it didn't look like the Galaxy outstaged the Note. This massively backfired when the Note 7 had a complete recall due to multiple occasions of exploding and people got confused as to if the Galaxy S7 or the Note 7 had the problem.
- Many tall buildings are known to have Missing Floors. Examples include Las Vegas hotels which skip the 13th floor entirely, and many government and supposedly privately owned buildings which allegedly have unnumbered floors with no elevator access. (Yet people who ride the elevators every day suspect something is up when it takes twice as long to go from, say, the 18th floor to the 19th as it does to go from the 17th to the 18th.)
- After finishing Line 12, the Madrid Metro went on to build a Line 14.
- Happens in many, many other transport systems as well. The Munich S-Bahn lines are numbered from S1 to S8, yet there are only seven lines. As of 2014, there is no S5. Until a couple of years ago, the missing line was the S3. There's no obvious explanation for either version.
- The Buenos Aires underground lines, as of 2014, are each assigned a letter: A, B, C, D, E… and H.
- The U-Bahn (subway) in Vienna, Austria, has lines U1, U2, U3, U4 and U6. U5 was supposed to be have been built, but the project never happened. U6 by this point had been completed, and nobody bothered to change the name.
- Seal Team Six was given its numerical name in order to mislead Soviet intelligence into assuming that there were at least five more similar units.
- The United States Navy has quite a few of these, where ship numbers for a given type will skip because a number was assigned but the ship was never built. In one case, CV-49 was the last carrier to see service until CV-59 was built nearly 10 years later(with the end of WW2 causing the cancellation of the intervening carriers).
- On a similar note, certain articles that include listed amendments, like rule books, may remove certain articles entirely (without even leaving a notation of such) but leave their number places unused so references to other articles made later don't have to be changed by the numbers shifting around.
- A practical joke: Get three pigs. Paint them each with a number; 1, 2 and 4. Release them somewhere public and watch the fun as people try desperately to find #3.
- This is sufficiently well-known to the point where people familiar with the prank can be caught by surprise when there are four pigs.
Examples where the unmade installment was later made
- Star Wars episodes I-III were made and released many years after episodes IV-VI.
- SpyBoy originally had no issue 13. After the original run ended, a three-issue miniseries named Spyboy: The MANGA Affair was given the numbering #13.1, #13.2, #13.3.
- Homestar Runner was originally missing Strong Bad Email #22 in the original order, going straight from 21 to 23. Many episodes later, an e-mail was put into the slot, referred to as "The Lost E-mail", and explained that it had been "banned in the UK" for making fun of the English.
- Strong Bad showed the viewers the gang's homemade action movie, Dangeresque 2: This Time It's Not Dangeresque 1, almost a year before showing them Dangeresque 1: Dangeresque, Too?
- Nerd to the 3rd, a podcast for That Guy with the Glasses hosted by Dr. Gonzo, the Cat, and Travis, skipped over its 18th episode. Its 18th episode was later released as 'The Lost Episode', in which they discussed the series finale of Lost with their guest Rollo T.
- Starflyer 59 had a song called "Second Space Song" on their debut album. They wrote "Wherever You Go (First Space Song)" for the followup album, but it got cut and was only released on their Greatest Hits Album.
- Bonus Stage episode 4 was originally a preview of projects the creator was working on, and didn't have an actual Bonus Stage cartoon, but between the season 5 finale "Fickle Nickel" and the season 6 premiere "Last Exit To Charismaville" it was replaced with a cartoon making several references to things happening after the original episode 4.
- In Season 2 of Thomas the Tank Engine, Percy talks about an incident in which he braved a flood. The story he refers to, "Percy's Promise", wouldn't be adapted until Season 3.
- Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life originally skipped comic #69. Not because of the infamy of the number, but because what the artist had planned was too large and detailed (and unimportant to the plot) to be worth bothering with. After a long hiatus (during which time Pluto was demoted), he went back and made comic #69 an argument between the two protagonists over whether the solar system has nine planets or eight.
- The sequel to Lakeview Cabin, Lakeview Cabin Collection, have parts III through VI, but there is noticeably no second installment for the Show Within a Show. Turns out to be a subversion, as a later update includes II as an epilogue for completing the other parts.
- Back in 2000, the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game released a card called The Legendary Fisherman (originally used by Mako Tsunami in the original series. 15 years later, they came out with The Legendary Fisherman III, which was used by Trout in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. After that, The Legendary Fisherman II was released as a game-original card.