Due to the studio making more episodes than the network had ordered, four King of the Hill episodes past the Grand Finale (the episode where Hank discover's Bobby's talent for identifying meat cuts and pointing out their flaws) were not in the network run and were only seen in syndication (including [adult swim]). The four episodes are:
"The Honeymooners": Hank's mom breaks up with her Jewish boyfriend — from the Christmas Episode where Hank goes blind after seeing his mom and her first boyfriend have sex — and plans to marry a man she just met and live in an RV.
"Bill Gathers Moss": Bill takes in Principal Moss, who has been living in the school following his divorce, and an ex-Playboy centerfold as a roommate, after watching a sitcom about two roommates who get into wacky adventures. Unfortunately for Bill, Moss hooks up with the Playmate and they effectively strip Bill of any say of what is allowed and not allowed in the house and allow the Playmate's Russian counterfeiter boyfriend set up shop inside their home..
"When Joseph Met Lori, and Made Out with Her in the Janitor's Closet": Joseph starts dating a girl named Lori and the relationship quickly turns physical, and Dale, who refuses to talk to his son about sex, checks into a mental hospital for dementia. The episode's B-Story has Nancy and a coworker at her news station waging war with each other to find a human interest angle they can exploit for more airtime.
"Just Another Manic Kahn-Day" Hank convinces Kahn to stop picking up his medicine at the pharmacy — only to learn when they hire Kahn to build a barbecue that Kahn is a manic-depressive and needs his medication to level him out, but Hank doesn't want Kahn to lose his manic energy to make the barbecue. Meanwhile Bobby tries to find the humor in a "Ray J. Johnson" comedy record that Peggy, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer claim is funny.
The Simpsons actually did have a lost episode that was aired only once in September 1995 called "Springfield’s Most Wanted". It aired between a rerun of the season six finale "Who Shot Mr. Burns Part One" and the debut of the season seven premiere, "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part Two". This episode was mainly a Clip Show with live action segments hosted by John Walsh, and had guest apperences by Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates, Dennis Franz, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kevin Nealon, Chris Elliott and Andrew Shue. Since this episode was connected to the "Who Shot Mr. Burns" contest, this episode only aired once. It can now be seen on the Simpsons season six DVD set.
Dialogue was recorded for The Angry Beavers series finale titled "Bye Bye Beavers", but it was never finished or aired, as per a rule stating that Nickelodeon series finales should not have self-referential humor about the series' end. (Supposedly, Nick considered breaking the rules for it, but ultimately left it unfinished due to the fact that the episode ended with the Beavers going to Cartoon Heaven, which was thought to be too sad for kids.) It was supposed to be paired with an episode called "A Tale of Two Rangers", of which no trace exists.
Supposedly there are a number of Minerva Mink shorts from Animaniacs that never got released due to excessively risqué content, though given the content of the only two Minerva Mink shorts that did air, one has to wonder exactly why the network let those through.
A lesser example of a missing segment: Episode #55 has a wraparound that, for some reason, isn't on the DVD or on contemporary TV airings.
Ed, Edd n Eddy has three of these. According to an interview with the show's creator, an episode titled "Special Ed" was produced but never completed, due to content he deemed "too real." Not much else is known about it other than the fact that it might have been an episode that focused on Ed. What became of two season five episodes, "Luck Be an Ed Tonight" and "A Room and an Ed", however, is unknown. The episodes may have been left unaired, or possibly never made. More information can be found here.
For a long time The Other Wiki couldn't acknowledge the finale film Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show as actually being real as no publicity had been put out for it until it finally aired in November 2009 on the American network.
After Time Squad was canceled soon after being renewed for its second season in early 2002, a few episodes were held back/misplaced from the Cartoon Network line up for a while for unknown reasons, including "Whitehouse Weirdness", an episode that parodied a Scooby Doo mystery, complete with the very same music and sounds from the original 1969 series note (some blame the stringent censorship after September 11th at the time which toned down a lot of mockery of the President and U.S. officials, though the real reason could have been legal issues with using Scooby-Doo as a parody or show creator Dave Wasson having a falling out with his production crew and Cartoon Network subsequently firing him). The finale was presumably "Nobel Peace Surprise", in the summer of 2002, with five more episodes seemingly stuck in limbo until the spring of 2003. Four of the said episodes eventually aired within the course of two months, with one episode held back all the way into November of that year. Incidentally, two of the episodes that aired in spring of 2003 were "Day of the Larrys" and "Ex Marks the Spot," which put the show's already-high Ho Yay count over the top. The real finale "Orphan Substitute" (and the preceding cartoon, "Floral Patton") didn't air until November 2003, due to unfounded fear that viewers would complain about the show mocking then-U.S. President George W. Bush. These extra episodes were most likely aired due to Cartoon Network wanting to get rid of the series as quickly as possible.
Several episodes of Davey and Goliath were presumed destroyed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the successor to the church that commissioned the series, due to material that today's mainline denominations would consider unfit for airing on a children's program (such as racial stereotypes and sexism). They were later found, re-edited and released on DVD.
Early silent cartoon series like Felix the Cat and Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit have many missing episodes, as the rights holders weren't careful about keeping track of the source materials. Of 150+ silent Felix cartoons, only about two-thirds have apparently survived the ravages of time. Of Disney's 26 Oswald shorts, they've released only 13 on DVD - a couple more exist, including "Poor Papa" and "Hungry Hoboes", but they have yet to see any kind of release.
Two highly anticipated second season episodes of The Boondocks never aired on TV in the US, due to legal threats from various people associated with the BET Network (which was a major target of the two episodes). They were released on DVD and iTtunes, but there's still no word on if they will ever see the light of day on [adult swim].
The original pilot for the sadly short-lived Father of the Pride never aired on the NBC run, and even failed to appear on the DVD release. It eventually popped up on Sky One in the UK. In addition to the pilot, three other episodes were produced but left unaired due to NBC's decision to cancel the series. One of them, like the pilot, ended up on Sky One in the UK.
The Ren & Stimpy Show rolled out its own "Missing Episode" just after the end of the show's first run, though this may have been nothing more than a publicity stunt. The countless episodes yanked after one showing would be more serious. (Remember Mr. Horse's presidential bid? Yeah, neither do we.)
A legitimate lost episode, entitled "Man's Best Friend", would have aired in 1992, but did not, due to an incredibly violent scene in which Ren beats his and Stimpy's new owner, George Liquor, within an inch of his life with an oar. It did not air in the United States until Spike TV aired it as part of the Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon series in 2003.
Adult Party Cartoon itself suffered an early cancellation as a result of this, at least nine episodes were planned, but due to unmet deadlines, the show was pulled and only six episodes were made, three of which weren't shown at all outside DVD releases. Out of the three unfinished episodes, at least one, "Life Sucks", was storyboarded and voice recorded.
One of the episodes, "Nude Beach Party", would have ended up a lost episode anyway, due to the vast amount of nudity in the episode.
Here's a missing segment of an episode: the Schoolhouse Rock episode "Science Rock" reaired in 1979 and was supposed to air a segment titled "The Greatest Show on Earth", which weather was its main subject. Before the episode aired, the Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus Company objected to using the trademarked name as its title. As a result, ABC left this segment off the episode and also did not include it in the 1995 Science Rock VHS, either. It finally made its first appearance in the 30th Anniversary DVD under the name "Weather Show", but the references to the title were awkwardly and obviously edited.
The Very Special Episode of Gargoyles, "Deadly Force" (an episode about how dangerous guns can be if you treat them like toys instead of weapons), was removed from rotation, then returned with cuts made to the part where Broadway plays around with Elisa's gun and accidentally shoots her.
The animated adaptation of The Mask only aired seasons one and three on CBS. An entire season of episodes (one of which is the infamous "Flight as a Feather" episode) didn't air on CBS, but did find a home in syndication and on overseas Cartoon Network channels.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes had "Powerless", episode 41, which, for whatever reason, was consistently skipped in North American runs of the show. Disney XD didn't air it until about six months after they aired the Grand Finale. Aside from that, fans could only watch it on DVD, Netflix, or Blu-Ray (the last available in Canada and Australia). It's theorized that it was skipped in the original run as it focused on a subplot concerning Thor antagonist Surtur, which would not be continued due to Marvel's refusal to produce another season.
Episodes of of the series were heavily edited after the original run, partially to get rid of some crap that had been caught by the radar, and partially to fit into a standard half-hour run-time — neither of which had been concerns when the series started, seeing as Nickelodeon was still fairly obscure and unknown. Shout! Factory planned to use the unedited versions on its DVD releases of the series, but Nick apparently lost track of the masters.
The episode "Mass Transit Trouble", much of which revolves around a terrorist plot by Dr. Robotnik to destroy the Mobius transportation system with bombs, was withdrawn from syndication following the Oklahoma City bombing and was never released on VHS, due to the similarities between the plot and the bombing itself. Eventually, Toon Disney picked up the episode and reran it for quite a while, then was pulled again (and yanked off any future DVD releases until 2008) after 9/11 for the same reasons. It was not available anywhere until Shout! Factory released the episode on the "Volume 2" DVD and has now been allowed to rerun again.
Rumor has it that the episode was close to not being produced at all, thanks to verysimilarevents during production of the episode. Somehow they finished the episode and aired it anyway, and surprisingly to no controversy.
The original pilot episode was never finished. Dialogue was recorded for the episode and a majority of animation was finished before the episode was vetoed and scrapped before it could reach the editing room. It was left unheard of for years until Milton Knight, one of the lead animators of the show, leaked footage of the unproduced episode, albeit with no music and sound effects, online and was uploaded on YouTube. As it turns out, parts of the episode where Dr. Robotnik tries to crush Sonic with a giant weight was used as the series closing credits.
Tiny Toon Adventures had two: "Elephant Issues" was eventually banned due to the final short of Buster, Plucky, and Hamton getting drunk off one beer, stealing a car while intoxicated, and ultimately killing themselves. However, it has been released on DVD. "Toons From the Crypt" was initially banned from airing due again due to the final short, which ended with Elmyra digging up the corpses of her dead pets. This short was eventually released on home video and the full episode was eventually allowed to air during reruns on Nickelodeon, while "Elephant Issues" appeared on the third volume DVD.
Dexters Laboratory had the episode "Rude Removal" where Deedee and Dexter go into a machine that removes all of their rudeness and concentrates it into another version of themselves. This episode was removed for gratuitous swearing and rude gestures such as mooning and middle fingers. However, the video was aired on [adult swim] in 2013.
It was long rumoured that "Rude Removal" was made as a joke of sorts from the team and was usually paraded in conventions where it was more safer to see by the older viewers. Hoever, it was meant to be a released cartoon, with all the swearing bleeped out, but Cartoon Network wouldn't allow it; many European fans have said they recall seeing it in their countries though. This was years before the Powerpuff Girls, Arthur, and Spongebob Squarepants episodes with the same "Innocent Cursing" themes would come out plus it has the added issue of having no moral. The behavior is played completely for laughs.
Thomas the Tank Engine has had a couple of sort-of instances of this. Based on a single photo, a rumour had been going around that a story called 'The Missing Coach' was filmed but never aired. This was dismissed as speculation until Word Of God from the technical crew confirmed that it had been half-filmed. The other was a number of episodes of a proposed spin-off called Jack and the Pack that didn't get picked up and which were eventually released three years later on DVD as part of the regular series.
The Italian dub of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is missing the episode The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 for unknown reasons. There is proof that the episode has been dubbed (Flim and Flam's VA is listed in the Italian Season 2 credits), but the episode itself never aired. Many people think that it was because of references to alcoholism, but other references to cider in the series (like when Rarity dreams about cider in Sisterhooves Social) are actually kept. Most people think that it will be aired in Season 3, or included in the DVD boxsets as a "Lost Episode".
And now in the Latin American dub, the 11th episode of the second season "Family Appreciation Day" is missing too, for no apparent reason.
A weird case of this trope is that the episodes "Luna Eclipsed" and "Hearth's Warming Eve" are skipped when The Hub reruns the series, despite important world-building happening in both of them. This is because they are holiday episodes, so The Hub will only show them once at those times of the year (if they are shown at all). Considering how much of the schedule this show takes up, those two episodes will only air about one-twentieth as often as any other episode. It also means these episodes have only aired twice each since they premiered. (Oddly, "Hearts and Hooves Day" is not taken out of the rerun schedules despite it being a Valentine's Day episode and bearing far less importance to the series overall than either of the former two.)
South Park: Happened to the two-parter episode "200" and "201". The episode "200" aired in rotation for a week before being pulled due to Parker and Stone violating a ban on usage of Mohammed/episodes based around a series of racist cartoons featuring Mohammed and "201" only aired once, with no reruns or repeats due to the two continuing the plot thread over Comedy Central's direct orders. While both episodes were released on DVD in the US (other countries did not get them or even see them), "201" is the heavily edited TV version which Comedy Central edited over Parker and Stone's objection.
Furthermore, while the episodes are available on DVD, they are not available for legal stream. Parker and Stone refused to allow the censored version of "201" to be streamed (having basically disowned the episode and including a disclaimer at the start of the episode, where they basically state that the episode was censored by Comedy Central and not a running joke the two came up with to mock the controversy over "200", like many had assumed it was at first) and as such, both episodes are not available on the South Park Studio website or on any other legal streaming website.
This is not the first time episodes have been banned: "Not Without My Anus" and "Pip" were removed from rotation by Comedy Central for being filler episodes while "Jared Has Aides" and "Death" were both banned by the network for several years due to content ("Jared Has Aides" for child abuse humor that offended Comedy Central, "Death" for the episode's final scene where the kids decide to become drug addicts when they find their favorite TV show banned). However unlike 200 and 201, the bans were ultimately lifted and were in regular rotation when the show was officially went into syndication.
The creation of a syndication package also led to more bannings due to certain episodes being too dirty for syndication or Parker and Stone refusing to allow them to be edited on the grounds of damaging the themes of the episode. "It Hits The Fan" (which is the one where they all say shit) and "Major Boobage" in particular will not show up on local channels that show South Park anytime soon.
Regular Show's first season episode "The Unicorns Have Got to Go" has never been shown in several Eastern and Central European countries, such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The reason for its exclusion is unknown.
It has also been rarely aired in the U.S. as well, though the reasoning behind it could be because of the crude humor that was a little too [adult swim] for Cartoon Network (Mordecai drinking "unicorn slop," the unicorns pissing on the lawn, and the unicorns farting in Rigby's face). It was later included on The Complete First and Second Seasons DVD.
Likewise, none of the Halloween specials have ever been shown in some of those regions.
The original versions of "The Power", "Meat Your Maker" and "Free Cake" were infamous for use of the phrase "pissed off". It took Cartoon Network three years to find out about this, and they subsequently re-dubbed each usage of the phrase to "ticked off". The original versions can only be found on the Slack Pack DVD, and only time will tell when Cartoon Network re-rele.....actually, let's stop there because chances are they could be reading this and we'd be giving them ideas.
Although the thirteen episodes of the 1975 BBC animated series Bod are still readily available, its companion series, Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band, was not so fortunate. A victim of the 1993 children's television purge (see Live-Action TV for details), only five episodes of the original thirteen are known to survive; they were released on the Bod DVD collection in 2004.
The Family Guy episode "Turban Cowboy" has been pulled because of the Boston marathon bombings, because of two reasons near the beginning Peter has a flashback about how he supposedly won a Boston marathon race which involved him running down the other participants with his car and the main plot involving Peter befriending a terrorist.
The Clangers produced an unusual election special for the UK election in October1974, which was the second of the year and followed great industrial strife. This was called "Vote for Froglet". The narrator spoke to the Clangers, asked them who was in charge of the Clangers' planet and, on hearing that no one is, encouraged them to hold an election. The Clangers and their friends (Soup Dragon, Froglet) cannot embrace the competitiveness of party politics and eventually retreat to their home to ignore the narrator. Oliver Postgate said in a 2005 interview that the episode was shown three or four times before the election but has never been shown since, and he was not sure if it even existed any more. However, a clip of the episode was featured on a BBC episode of Time Shift about Postgate in 2009.