Star Wars: The Clone Wars is filled with capes, lots of capes, which flow behind characters and ripple in the wind and get ripped to shreds and take lots of time to animate. Occasionally the capes will completely disappear for a few frames when an animator got lazy.
Also, near the middle of an episode of Season 3, Ventress mysteriously loses her skirt after her ship has been damaged and retrieved by space pirates before hijacking their ship and flying to Dathomir. However, this was intentional, as the person animating Ventress found out that her skirt is just too diffucult to animate, and as a result this episode marked the last time Ventress will ever wear a skirt in her entire life.
Jem had some extremely jarring examples. The best three: Pizazz's mouth moving to the wrong part of her face while she talked; the Misfits having a concert while wearing horizontally striped stockings, with inconsistent, shifting colors that made it appear they were wearing barber poles on their legs; and Eric Raymond appearing on TV as a talking head...with part of his head extending past the borders of the TV screen, Sadako style.
In a similar manner to the Ninin Ga Shinobuden example, one episode of Taz-Mania has Axl & Bull going about their day, casually noting common animating mistakes and Off Model situations.
The Czech-produced Tom and Jerry cartoons directed by Gene Deitch are pretty surreal compared to the originals. One notable example comes from "High Steaks", in which Tom lands in the pool and his body is cut off below the water line, despite the water being colored transparently.
This was parodied in The Simpsons episode "Krusty Gets Kancelled", when Krusty lost the license to show Itchy And Scratchy cartoons, and instead showed Worker & Parasite, a surreal, poorly made Eastern Bloc knockoff.
The Looney Tunes TV specials and feature films produced in the '70s and '80s tended to suffer from this, seeing as how they were essentially clip shows that would string together scenes from a bunch of individual theatrical shorts (many of them produced years apart, by different director/animator units, etc.) and "link" them with newly produced filler animation (which was typically far cheaper and more limited than the original material).
Also, the late '60s Looney Tunes directed by Alex Lovy featured some utterly butchered versions of Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales. Daffy in particular looked as if none of his body parts were properly attached to each other, and while Speedy looked a bit better he seemed to have gained 100 lbs since his heyday.
John K's philosophy on good off-model animation was directly inspired by the animation in the old Looney Tunes, those by Bob Clampett in particular, where the animators would invoke Depending on the Artist to the extreme and intentionally break model in order to convey emotion and play up their own artistic strengths.
Even a veteran director like Chuck Jones could have some misfires. "Bugs Bunny and The Three Bears" is an example of a short he directed with some very sloppy, off model animation all throughout save for Bug's Bunny's King for a Day walk cycle, animated by Ken Harris. The inbetweening for that one was especially poor and akin to how the Woody Woodpecker shorts were prior to Shamus Culhane and Dick Lundy coming on board.
Tiny Toon Adventures' animation quality was very uneven, ranging from abysmal (Encore) to gorgeous (Tokyo Movie Shinsha), depending on the studio working on a particular episode. Since episodes were often composed by 2 or 3 separate and largely unrelated (or very loosely related) shorts, the quality could decline (or increase) within a single installment.
Most notably, Kennedy Cartoons got fired after Season 1 due to their inconsistent quality and abuse of squash-and-stretch (some portions of the debut episode, which they animated, had to be re-drawn). One studio that managed to do even worse than Kennedy was the aforementioned Encore Cartoons; little is known about them (they were allegedly a domestic company) because, after three episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures (one of which credited Alan Smithee as a director) they did nothing else, ever.
The early Golden AgeWoody Woodpecker cartoons prior to Shamus Culhane and Dick Lundy (but mostly Dick Lundy) taking the directorial reign were really prone to going off model, or just suffering from very mushy, sloppy animation in general.
In Danny Phantom, the animation varies wildly. It improves from the blocky look of the first season and a half, getting muscle tone, better lighting, and overall better quality fight scenes, but there's always some odd animation cropping up from time to time. For example, a scene in which Danny falls on the floor, everyone looks down and laughs and Danny stand up again. However, everyone else is still staring at the floor. Or in one girl's case... his crotch.
Don't forget the most frequent error, the 'You forgot to put the Thermos in dummy!' animation error
The German animated film The Magic Voyage has very inconsistent animation quality. At times it looks almost Disney-quality and sometimes it looks like a TV cartoon.
Nearly every animated incarnation of the Transformers franchise has been rife with off moments animation-wise.
The original cartoon was plagued by obvious animation errors, especially in the less continuity-important episodes. "Carnage in C-Minor", from season three, is notorious for this, and amongst those errors is that Broadside was drawn with the wrong model. With an old design being used (or rather traced off of a model sheet) instead.
During the first two seasons, there were many incidents of similar-looking, but differently colored charactersnote Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp were the main victims, as they are identical in appearance, being colored the same.
THEN there's all the instances of dead characters showing up in the background of several third season episodes. Even "Call of the Primitives", lauded as one of the best-animated episodes (presumably done by TMS, no less) of the series, was not exempt from this problem.
This actually led to a semi-serious fandom "movement" that claimed that Brawn (who died in the shuttle massacre in the movie) was not dead, since he was only shot in the shoulder and appeared in several later episodes—on the Decepticon side, oddly enough.
Brawn also showed up inappropriately on one Marvel cover - issue 32, which had the Combaticons and Protectobots facing off, with Brawn inexplicably behind Combaticon leader Onslaught. It's likely the illustrator got Brawn mixed up with Brawl, one of Onslaught's subordinates, and that the animators who included Brawn in Decepticon scenes in season 3 made a similar mistake.
To top things off, inconsistent animation quality can already be found in season 2: You have beautiful artwork and animation (regardless of the occasional cel errors, such as two Optimus Primes in a single frame) for episodes such as "Atlantis, Arise!" or "Auto Berserk", then you have various levels of mediocrity... and then you have three of the biggest stinkers of the entire show in terms of animation quality, "The Core", "City of Steel" and "The Autobot Run", with Hanna-Barbera-esque animation and numerous borderline off-model characters. The fact that one of the show's producers not only credited Japanese studio Toei and Korean studio AKOM, but also an unnamed studio based in the Philippines for season 2 somewhat explains the results.
The ultimate example comes at the end of the season two episode "Child's Play". The whole thing is a mess of mis-layered cells and segregation of script and animation, but that damn cat...
And that episode was already seething with unfinished and poorly drawn animation from the start. With the sewer fight sharing this◊ thing of beauty.
Then you get the rampant scale issues, where no one seems to remember how big the characters are relative to each other. One could easily excuse most of these◊ but then there's the one in the upper middle... (worth noting is that these are probably from the same episode) Also worth noting is that they can't seem to agree on where Devastator's right knee is...
"B.O.T." is a pretty pitiful episode all-around with a whole laundry-list of stupid moments and continuity errors, but its animation probably ranks among the worst in the series. Transformers Wiki's article on the episode begins its list of animation errors with "Argh", which should tell you exactly what to expect.
Rhino's DVD set for season one contained unfinished animation for several of the episodes (as the original masters were in very bad shape). This made episodes like "Heavy Metal War" and "SOS Dinobots" barely watchable and/or understandable because of this. Though yes, the original, finished animation contained errors like the characters missing limbs too.
The single-most nefarious animation error of Transformers- Optimus Prime with no mouthplate!!!◊
Galvatron appearing in a group of cheering Decepticons about to go rescue said robot from a pool of lava is a close second, though. As seen here◊.
It gets much, much worse. TF Wiki gives animation errors as part of its trivia list for each episode. When AKOM is animating, it'll become multiple pages long, even for the important episodes where good animation would be used for. With these episodes, the challenge isn't spotting them. The challenge is instead finding one scene where everyone looks like they're supposed to, and everything matches up when we switch camera angles.
The intros usually showcased a noticeable Animation Bump, but not in Season 3 — the regular S3 intro had Kup sporting Springer's head and Ultra Magnus with a blue face (should be gray).
Magnified with the "season 4" (the miniseries "The Rebirth") opening, which mixes higher-quality animation from the Headmaster and Targetmaster toy commercials with parts of the S3 opening.
Inconsistency did not only occur between different shots, but from frame to frame too. Often the mechanical detailing on the robots would shift around during movements, and at times they ended up looking totally different from how they started. In More Than Meets the Eye, Part 3, when the Autobots help the fallen Optimus Prime up, take a look at his thigh, and how it changes design.
Beast Wars had a few times where they used the wrong 3D model (Rattrap during Dinobot's funeral for example.) Of course that's a different kind of "Off Model"...
Transmetal Cheetor walking in the background when he was already a Transmetal II is another of these examples. Another common mistake was the disappearance of certain body pieces (most notably back kibble), or in some cases, characters being animated with someone else's parts (Rampage has Depth Charge's legs for one shot). But on very rare occasions, the animation models went through bizarre changes during movements. A notable example is when Primal's neck and head suddenly grow really long, and he talks without moving his lips.
In the TF Prime episode Orion Pax, part 2, there's a brief shot where the Autobots are missing numerous bits from their bodies. Ratchet has it worst, because he has no face, only a highly unsettling pair of eyes and two rows of teeth floating in the dark void between his neck and helmet. Also, Arcee is topless and Bumblebee's missing his chest-lights.
For most of the 1st season of Beast Machines, every time Megatron transformed back into his robot mode, the animators used his shiny textures from the previous show for his transformation shots, even though Megatron (and every other character) was redesigned with less reflective, flatter, stylized textures for the series. Whenever some other older animation model showed up, they usually also used the more realistic, shiny texturing from Beast Wars which made them stand out from the show's visual style.
Another prominent error from Beast Machines was that, in the last few episodes of season 1, Tankor's animation model randomly kept switching to that of a normal tank drone (you can tell the difference, as the drones lack Tankor's "ears"). Many crucial and dramatic scenes are made awkward this way. At times, the other Vehicon generals were also replaced with their drone counterparts, or vice versa.
Clerks: The Animated Series references this trope in one episode, announcing that the remainder of the episode was outsourced to a Korean animation studio. Instantly, the tense courtroom drama is replaced by large-eyed, poorly animated caricatures of the characters against abstract backgrounds, throwing a "Big American Party". And that's not telling what happens after.
The last few seasons of Muppet Babies suffered greatly from this. In the first seasons the animation was being handled by the venerable Toei Animation studio, which generally did a good job of keeping the characters on model. When they switched to a lesser Korean studio (AKOM in this case), the drawing was less than adequate. Piggy and Gonzo were hit pretty hard by this.
Gargoyles suffered from this often due to being shipped out to many different foreign animation studios (including AKOM, which is otherwise completely avoided by Disney); some episodes had to be nearly completely redone, and others needed to be but couldn't be. Particularly bad in the episode where Macbeth is introduced, as well as "Upgrade".
This gets even worse in the third season The Goliath Chronicles, with the exception of "Seeing Isn't Believing".
The DCAU suffered from several moments of characters being off-model - especially after the Art Evolution. But the last season of Superman: The Animated Series has one of the most egregious examples: Jimmy Olsen's eyelids left unpainted when he closes his eyes, leaving them black. There's also the still of Metallo being hit by Lois's car - making Metallo look more like Plastic Man, and Lois's car like Speed Racer's Mach 5. The episodes hoisted off to Group TAC (responsible for the 'eyelid' error) are also considered to be quite poor animation-wise.
Both AKOM and Sunrise often went off-model in their episodes for Batman: The Animated Series. Though while Sunrise generally produced decent animation, AKOM tended to give characters wildly different proportions, made characters look like balloons, and even drew Batman with moobs at one point. It was their work on the episode "Cat Scratch Fever" that got them fired.
Sunrise meanwhile, had a reputation for drawing characters with "sausage fingers" (a trait that lasted throughout the 90s) and getting Poison Ivy wrong. They did manage to pull off a difficult sequence in "The Cat and the Claw, Part 1" that made even Bruce Timm shocked. But after eight episodes, and much like AKOM before them, were eventually let go due to bad animation.
Some other notable examples in Batman include:
One studio, Dust, was used for only a single episodenote "Beware The Gray Ghost" because their work was so terribly off-model. It's obvious that the animators couldn't understand English, which is particularly noticeable on the notes left by the Mad Bomber - the first note Gordon receives reads "Pay up or day the consequences", while a flashback mistakenly uses the text from the "real" Mad Bomber instead of the text from the fictional version (i.e. references to the fictional "Piedmont" read "Gotham" instead). And then there's the infamous "rubber Batmobile," which hugs a curve a little too closely and bends like something out of Yellow Submarine! Spectrum Animationis credited for the episode, though an Animato Magazine from closer to the production of the episode discusses Dust instead.
Despite being an excellent episode, Harlequinade has some model inconsistencies that were not ignored by the commentary. Examples include Batman's incredibly pointy fingers, and the legless piano player◊. Animato specifically calls the animation "below average" considering the studio used (Dong Yang) had previously done better, pointing to an Egregious off model moment in the Batmobile scene, "where Harley's smile covers her nose and Batman's chin is about twelve inches tall."
Near the end of "The Mechanic", Batman's mouth suddenly wrenches open and his eyes dilate, going in opposite directions, which lasts a good second or two. Unsurprisingly, this was an AKOM-helmed episode.
Bruce Timm admitted that he gave Commissioner Gordon a crew-cut in the reboot episodes because the "whippy-doo" that formed part of his original hairstyle never consistently looked right.
Similarly, The Joker's (much-maligned) 4th season makeover was a result of his face being drawn off-model multiple times throughout the series, with the DVD Commentary specifically citing "Harley and Ivy" for a major example.
"The Underdwellers" also deserves a mention, with the animation being more Anime-inspired as opposed to the series' usual style. This episode almost got Studio Junio (the episode's animators) booted off, just like AKOM and Sunrise.
"Day of the Samurai" is considered by the crew to be one of the worst animated episodes of the series. Part of that has to do with the fact that the original animation studio, Lapiz Azul, went bankrupt during production. Resulting in the rest of the episode, and its retakes, to be done by Jade Animation instead.
This may have been intentional, since Milton Knight, the character designer, gave instructions (for Robotnik, anyway) to be drawn expressively, not well.◊ He actually refers to this concept by name, and adheres to the assertion of Kent Butterworth (the producer of the cartoon): "If you can recognize the character, it's on model."
The worst episodes, animation-wise, would have to be the first one ("SSSSS Squad") and the second-last one ("Robo-Ninjas"). Their animation was quite grotesque.
And in the episode "Robotnik Jr.", Robotnik himself disappears for a frame or so.
The Sonic Sat AM show had its moments too. Especially in "The Odd Couple". Also, despite the episode "Sonic And Sally" being excellent as a whole, there's one instance were Sonic rescues the robotic Sally and runs away from the guards chasing them, and his mouth area is completely blue, making him look almost like a ninja.
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was farmed out to different animation studios and can look different every episode. In fact, this was true of most series in the 1990s, not only from Disney but from Warner Bros as well.
John Kricfalusi has repeatedly stated that if you don't break model to emphasize the character's actions, you might as well be doing live action.
It was brought Up to Eleven with the release of Adult Party Cartoon, where the characters would completely change appearance scene to scene (most prominent with Ren). As John Kricfalusi put it, "Everybody draws different in Spümcø. And we sort of encourage that. Unless you're going to draw wimpy".
However, the earliest Ren and Stimpy episodes do have some genuinely off-model moments, such as one scene where Stimpy inexplicably has pupil eyes.
Ed, Edd n Eddy increasingly used the Looney Tunes/John K-style of off-model animation as it went on. Seeing as the character designs were mostly pretty ugly, pushing the off-model expressive style did wonders for the show.
Exo Squad suffered greatly from this trope to the point of varying within the same episode. In part, this was due to a change in animation studios. Sunrise was originally supposed to animate it (as seen by the ending credits test-animation), but they had to bail out to make Gundam Wing and the series ultimately ended up in the hands of AKOM.
And speaking of Gundam Wing, that series had plenty of its own moments- this still◊ started a meme: SAUSAGE FINGERS.
There's the one-off Indiana Jones parody who has no face for the entirety of the episode. Given the lack of reactions from the other characters over this fact, it's probably an error too.
There's no "probably" about it; careful viewers can observe one of Indiana Joe's eyes briefly appearing in one shot.
This was more likely because They Just Didn't Care than anything else, considering how many corners they cut on that show as a whole.
One could make a drinking game out of the number of times Mario and/or Luigi were colored as the opposite plumber. One particularly glaring example is a shot of Luigi in Mario's cap and Mario calling Luigi "Mario" in Luigi's voice. It manages to stick out even in an already bonkers scene, as one comment puts it:
In the Super Mario World episode "Born to Ride", when Duke hits Yoshi over the head for attempting to eat a paint can, he actually freezes mid-animation (even the accompanying cartoon effect for him hitting Yoshi is frozen).
In "Princess Toadstool For President", some hills that are supposed to be in the background are mistakenly layered in front of Toadstool in one close-up, making her appear giant.
In that same episode, Kooky has King Koopa's hands at one point.
There were two episodes (two parts apiece) that guest starred Batman and Robin (based from the Adam West incarnation of the characters). During one of the scenes in the second crossover, Batman's legs are colored flesh instead of gray, making it look like Batman isn't wearing pants.
Avatar: The Last Airbender 's animation is, overall, usually moderately good to very good and shows improvement over its three season run. However, it has some moments of this trope. A minor example appears in "The Awakening", when Zuko confronts Azula in her bedroom, her hair length changes in each shot, but most were too distracted by the incestuous vibes to really notice.
In "The Firebending Masters", just before the dragons envelop Zuko and Aang in a cyclone of rainbow fire, Zuko's scar is drawn on the wrong side for just a second.
In episode 15 of the first season most of the main characters look subtly different from how they're usually drawn. Most noticeable with Sokka.
In Season 2 there are quite a few episodes like "The Desert", "Lake Laogai" and "The Guru", where animation details and character designs are very noticeably lower quality. Especially made obvious by the episodes immediately following them, which give the impression of an Animation Bump.
The same thing happens in the first episode (and only the first episode) of Season 3. The animation quality goes up from there on.
The sequel, The Legend of Korra generally has far better animation all around, but even it's not immune to this trope.
The series also has this◊ creepy off-model Mako, whose neck looks about twice as thick as his chin. It's only one frame, but still...
According to the producers, there was a falling out between them and Studio Pierrot (who was set to animate season 2) over the animation. As a result, the first half has a more "Japanese-y" and poorer quality feel than the second half (which looks more like the first season).
While the USA Network's Street Fighter cartoon wasn't known for being a paragon of quality, with character designs changing from episode to episode. Occasionally some more typical goofs were made. One case in particular had Bison's evil grin marred by having his teeth painted the same color as his skin, changing a Slasher Smile into a really big-lipped smirk.
This may have to do with the fact that Madhouse did several season 1 episodes before the producers had Sunrise do the rest of the series.
The first produced (but thirteenth aired) episode of The Simpsons, "Some Enchanted Evening", is infamous for the hysterically poor quality of the animation. Stories range far and wide on why, from tight deadlines, farmed-out animation, to poor communication and lousy (or non-existent) model sheets. The episode was even sent back for revision before airing and was still horrible. AKOM's excellent work at its finest.
In the commentary for the season 11 episode "Pygmoelian" it was actually admitted that people normally didn't care too much if Moe was a little off-model - given that he's mostly a minor character and pretty ugly anyways.
In the episode "Today I Am a Clown", Patty and Selma appear in one scene with off-model noses: pointy instead of their usual button noses.
"Fat Man and Little Boy" parodies it. Homer criticizes the quality of Korean animation. His mouth promptly shifts across the screen for two seconds.
In the episode "Homer's Odyssey", Smithers is black◊. Sherri and Terri were also (briefly) drawn without bodies in the same episode.
Milhouse had black hair in an early episode, due to another inking error. In "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire", Sherri and Terri were depicted with brown hair and yellow skin (as opposed to their lavender hair and eerie paleness).
The old Simpsons arcade game was made by Konami when the show was in its first season, and the sprites for some characters retain the animation mistakes. Black Smithers, brown-haired Sherri and Terri, and blond Barney come to mind.
The Simpsons (at least the episodes that used traditional cel animation [from seasons 1 to 13; 14 to present use digital ink and paint) has so many off-model moments that the trope should be renamed "Epic Animation Fail." Go on snpp.com, click on the transcript of any episode and you'll see a laundry list of animation and continuity mistakes.
Near the end of the episode "Bart's Comet", Apu is yellow for a few seconds.
Many times, Bart's head would face the other way from his jaw: Eyes on one side, mouth on the other.
This becomes less unexpected when you realize different studios (i.e. the aforementioned AKOM, Rough Draft and Anivision, the last of whom which merged with Sunwoo in 1999, hence no longer working on the series, probably to focus on Family Guy) work on the show.
Near the beginning of the episode "Dangers On A Train" Lisa is animated with a huge head and a tiny body.
Happens a lot on Sponge Bob Square Pants, particularly in the first season, though the most noticeable example may be in a Season 2 episode, where at the end, Patrick loses his face for about a second.
Or when Mr. Krabs is drawn as a floating legless body towards the beginning of Dying for Pie.
The Home Sweet Pineapple example is one of the most noticeable examples of Off Model. Squidward was drawn normal and proportionate for most of the episode, but the end when he wakes up and goes 'out to see Spongebob moving away, he becomes HUGE and his legs are giant.
Although it doesn't necessarily result in poorer quality, the animation style for Goof Troop varies considerable from time to time. Most noticeably with Pete, whose appearance can change greatly from episode to episode.
Captain N: The Game Master was replete with animation errors. One especially infamous example is an episode which was sent too early and had backgrounds missing in some scenes.
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers despite being an excellent show definitely had their moments of this. Some such episodes includes "Risky Beesness", "Bearing Up Baby", and especially "An Elephant Never Suspects", which really takes the cake here.
Darkwing Duck had the same problems as Goof Troop and Gargoyles. The characters didn't even stay on model from moment to moment, let alone scene to scene — Darkwing himself sometimes looks like a bunch of colored balloons filled with water and glued together.
Not to mention the instances in which Darkwing was miscolored to look like his Evil Twin Negaduck, like when he is supposed to be the one to escape from the dimensional gateway at the end of "Life, the Negaverse, and Everything".
His hat also likes to change size a lot.
Super Friends was notorious for some low grade animation, as were most cartoons in the 1970s. Often Hawkman's costume would change one episode from another, and even within the episode. Acceptable. There were times where Green Lantern's ring would produce inconsistent objects, sometimes even making yellow ones. Alright. But HOW does one accidentally put three arms on Green Lantern!!??!◊
The worst offender had to be Black Vulcan. His costume was black and yellow, but exactly which parts were black, which were yellow, and which were exposed flesh literally changed from shot-to-shot within and given episode. Sometimes he would be seen from the front with a yellow neck, then the perspective would change to show him from behind and his neck wouldn't be covered at all. Sometimes he wore tights, sometimes shorts with bare legs. The only thing consistent was that his mouth was flesh colored and the lightning bolts on his mask were (almost) always yellow. And since the character was created for the cartoon, there's no pre-existing material to judge what his costume is supposed to look like.
In a few shots, Superman would be drawn with a backwards S-shield, or the colors in Batman's logo would be inverted.
Phineas and Ferb, like Gargoyles and Darkwing Duck, has multiple animation studios with a wide degree of quality spread between them; there are some episodes, such as "Elementary My Dear Stacy", with beautifully fluid animation, but there are plenty of others with a noticeable drop in the number of transitional frames and numerous borderline Off Model moments.
Synergy Animation (one of said studios) must have really gone off model, because the Yodel Odel Obey Me song was animated in Flash (presumably to replace the off model animation).
The rest of "Bubble Boys" is quite off model, too, including a frame in which Dr. Doofenshmirtz's hand disappears.
Some common mistakes include placing Ferb's larger eye closer to the camera, the shape of Phineas' head, and Candace's eyes retaining shape when narrowed or closed.
As well as Isabella being of various heights during the series' run. During Summer Belongs to You, her height would vary from scene to scene (from just above Phineas to almost a head taller than him).
During the episode "Once Burned" of Batman Beyond, Melanie's arm disappears completely for a millisecond as she turns Terry's face towards hers. Either that's QUALITY animation or his sexy gaze was so hot that it evaporated her arm for a moment...
Certain episodes of The Real Ghostbusters. The DVD sets makes them rather easy to spot. Some episodes — notably the earlier ones — came out with moderately good animation (KK C&D Asia), sometimes gorgeous animation (TMS Entertainment). But when it starts getting into the much cheaper looking episodes (from Sei Young, Plus One Animation and Sae Rom in South Korea), the animation quality really goes to the dogs. And the episode "Station Identification" sees Peter Venkman briefly become blonde in one scene for no very good reason.
And the earlier episodes didn't always come out looking too hot either. Watch "When Halloween Was Forever," which looks like the Japanese studio out-outsourced it to a really bad Korean sub-subcontractor.
In "The Revenge of Murray the Mantis," Mr. Stay-Puft's hat briefly reads "STAY PUT" for a few frames!
DiC's designers mostly averted the trope by putting the Ghost Traps on the other side of the Proton Pack, rather than hanging off the characters' waists.
Sometimes the animators would accidentally duplicate a Ghostbuster for a shot (one episode featured two Rays), or mistakenly color Winston as a white man.
One episode featured the Ghostbusters' clothing switching between shots at a concert, from their jumpsuits to another completely different set.
The 1990s X-Men cartoon has some notable errors, especially as time goes on. For instance, in the episode "Nightcrawler", Rogue's clothes change between shots several times. Even after switching to Philippine Animation Studio Inc (then again to Hong Ying for the final episode) from AKOM, mistakes were still abundant.
Also in the last season, Jubilee's eyes are changed from brown into blue.
April's expanding bust was probably more of a way to sneak in some G-Rated Fanservice. After all, the occasional bouncing that occurred with her breasts definitely weren't a mere coincidence.
There were also episodes where there were more than four turtles in one shot like in the very first episode (like the one scene in "Turtle Tracks" that had two Raphaels running on the roof), as well as plenty scenes that had more than one turtle with the same colored headband or scenes where one turtle would be speaking with the wrong voice.
There's also the sequence in the next episode "Enter The Shredder" where there are several consecutive attacks by different turtles in red masks when they fight Bebop and Rocksteady at the zoo.
In another episode, Donatello is supposed to be in a scene, but when they cut away and then cut back, he's drawn as Michelangelo.
Let's not forget about those 2 Episode Title Cards for the first 3 seasons. Someone messed up and switched the colors blue and orange, because one of the cards features what appears to be a happy Leonardo ready to eat some pizza. Doesn't seem so bad, since the turtles love pizza, but then there's the other card with "Michelangelo", ready for battle while holding katanas.
There's also a scene where the turtles are running down a curve in a street. While the art in the scene isn't noticeably off, the perspective of the turtles changes too drastically compared to that of the background, briefly rendering them 20 feet tall.
This occurs quite a lot in Street Sharks, particularly between the few times the heroes are human. In one episode, Streex's human design changes quitea bit.
The Beatles features this — The Beatles themselves look like horribly disfigured caricatures, and they fare better than the background staff...
The Beatles cartoon is quite an early example of farming out animation to other studios. Most of the episodes were done in England, but a few were shipped off to be animated in Canada, Holland, and Australia. While the Canadian and Dutch episodes occasionally slip up, the most egregious offenders were the Australians, and for good reason. At the time the cartoons were produced, the Australian animation industry was in its infancy, and its animators very inexperienced, hence the wobbly drawing-style and frequent off-model nature of the Fab Four in those episodes.
The Family Guy episode "Let's Go to the Hop" infamously features Peter's head shrinking while he dances on a table during the musical number. This is pointed out by the staff during the episode's commentary, with some noticing it for the first time.
In general, episodes from the first three seasons contain a good amount of paused single frames, as the outsourced animators did not animate the pauses between phrases and jokes long enough. Some episodes also included sped-up footage for the same reason.
The first episode was particularly bad; because every so often you'd get very weird frames where characters' eyes would grow to the size of dinner plates. And there is one weird tongue motion where the tongue seems to stick to the roof of their mouth - exactly what sound that's supposed to represent is a mystery.
A straighter (and more subtle) example would be in the DVD movie. When Quagmire is tied to a bed, for some reason his hair is on the wrong model. For whatever reason, the animators used the Quagmire model from a previous episode (more specifically a flashback) where Quagmire is shown in the navy with short, buzzcut hair. This is mentioned in the commentary.
In a similar example, the episode "From Method to Madness" has Olivia dressed in purple for the first half of the episode and the second half has her in a blue dress with lipstick on. When Stewie and Olivia perform their duet in their class for the first time, Olivia is in her purple dress, but she somehow magically switches to her performance blue dress and lipstick model after Stewie slaps the teacher when they got their grade.
One episode had Stewie walk from the background to the foreground, but his eyes stay the same size.
One episode had Meg's glasses disappear for a brief shot during a conversation.
In the episode "The Son Also Draws", the boss of the Native American casino has his neck colored differently from the rest of his skin.
The episode "Back to the Pilot" has Stewie and Brian travel back in time to the pilot episode and make fun at all the animation flaws the show used to have.
Has happened several times in Winx Club, apparently there was once an instance where the animator forgot to draw Flora's mouth.
One episode of the The Legend of Zelda who wears a black and red outfit as opposed to the real Zelda's purple and blue. Naturally, the animators couldn't keep the two straight from scene to scene; for example, there's a scene where Link and (the real) Zelda are traveling in Ganon's underworld. Link bumps into Zelda and knocks her down; when she stands back up, she is suddenly wearing the fake Zelda's clothes.
Then there was the episode where they forgot to add in mechanical claws into a scene.
Parodied and lampshaded in Freakazoid!. There was an episode where a small portion had the title character speaking, but he was given obviously bad lip-syncing. The frame froze, and Freakazoid popped up on the screen.
Because they wanted to be able to have improvised lines, Freakazoid recorded the voices, then did the animation to match. That means this trope actually got invoked. But hey, they also invoked some of the live-action equivalents (such as the boom mike getting into the shot) despite it being animated.
The original closing sequence of The Flintstones shows Wilma asleep in bed...with no mouth!
Jimmy Two-Shoes: In "Carnival Lucius", after Heloise packs up her model of the carnival, she has two mouths. Also done intentionally in "Hair Brained Idea", where Jimmy's nose moves to the side of his face to make him look more like Lucius.
The Cyberchase episode "The Poddleville Case" is similar to the TTGL example above - the animation isn't necessarily bad, just different and more cartoony-looking than usual.
Also, the show itself switched to Flash, leading to a large-scale shift in animation.
A frequent problem with shows produced by Filmation in the 1970s. A specific example: many of the musical scenes from The Brady Kids, on account of the heavy use of rotoscoping to save time and money on animation. Note especially the clip to "I Believe in You," where close-ups of Jan's face make it appear as though her right eye has caved in! Their microscopic budgets should have come as a warning.
It even happened in their later works, as several of them were sent to many different studios (Tom and Jerry Kids, for example, was farmed to Wang Film Productions, Fil-Cartoons, and Mr. Big Cartoons).
The short-lived Gravedale High wasn't immune to this, either. In "The Grave Intruder", one scene had Vinnie and Reggie escaping a mob of angry monsters, with Vinnie talking with Reggie's voice. In "Frankenjockey", Hoover, the horse that escaped in the episode, switches between white (his actual color) and brown. In the first act of "Fear of Flying", Max Schneider is wearing a lab coat, but the animation switches between the lab coat and his usual beige jacket. In one scene of "The Dress-Up Mess-up", the animators forgot to color in Vinnie's jacket.
This frame◊ from The Herculoids episode "Destroyer Ants" pictures Dorno and Tara sitting on Tundro's back. Both are drawn roughly the same size, making them look like brother and sister - trouble is, Tara is Dorno's mother, and according to the model sheet◊ is about a third taller!
The Tick had some rough animation direction. While the drawings looked fine, the composition of the drawings was flimsy at best. The first episode was full of oddly timed scenes, characters interacting badly with the background, and lip syncing problems. At one moment - after The Tick crashes into the ground - he speaks an entire line without moving his mouth.
Star Trek: The Animated Series. In addition to incrediblyLimited Animation, One of the producers was colorblind, so everyone but Sulu and Uhura was absolutely chalk white. Colors of things established in the live action series would be altered so you'd wind up saying "what do you mean that episode had Orions?" The Kzinti - a warlike enemy race who'd supposedly plagued mankind for a hundred years or more - dressed in very Narmfulhot pink uniforms. A lot of notorious animation errors require the pause button, but this ain't that. The animation was farcically bad throughout every episode ever. Yeah, it's good that Star Trek doesn't die after all, but dude. Can we at least leave the color decisions to the guys who can see colors?
Two words : Pink Tribbles.
In the mid to late 70s some selected reproduced cels were offered for sale through Gene Roddenbury's Lincoln Enterprises. One of these was a shot of Spock in front of the Guardian of Forever pointing at another character with a six fingered hand.
In the short "Oily Hare" in one scene where the oil tycoon tells his assistant Maverick to lower him into Bugs' hole his body disappears for a few frames leaving him a talking head.
In "Rabbit Rampage", the trope is intentionally invoked for laughs as the cartoonist ( identified at the end as Elmer Fudd) insists on drawing Bugs incorrectly to torture him. When he turns Bugs into a horse, Bugs angrily informs him, "Look, (eats carrot)' my contract clearly states that I am always to be drawn as a rabbit. So if you don't wanna get yourself in a peck of trouble, just—" He then draws Bugs as a grotesque caricature of himself, prompting Bugs to comment, "Continue to draw me like this, buddy, and we'll both be outta work!" When the cartoonist draws him right, Bugs quips, "So I'm me again, eh? What a novel idea. Eh, sure you wouldn't wanna make me into a grasshopper or sumthin'? (the paintbrush comes back on screen) No, no, no, I take it back!"
Rocky and Bullwinkle was plagued with this throughout its run, as a result of outsourcing to a very cheap Mexican animation studio. Some have argued that it adds to the show's charm.
In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Short Story," this is lampshaded, (coupled with a Creator Cameo) when a cartoon version of Rocko creator Joe Murray (also voiced by him) tells Rocko, "You're off model, kangaroo boy."
In the second episode of Blazing Dragons, there is a moment when Princess Flame is in Evil Knight 3's armor and her tail is clearly visible at first, but then completely vanishes for the remainder of the scene. Which is kinda pathetic given that it was the TELL TALE (ahem) sign to Count Geoffrey that she was not Evil Knight 3.
Terrytoons animator Jim Tyer is well-known among animation fans for this. His scenes are often considered to be the only good thing about the studio's outputs.
In "I See London", there was a scene where Noah's ENTIRE LOWER HALF was missing.
A strange instance in the World Tour episode "Jamaica Me Sweat": After Heather and Courtney crash while doing the bobsled run (in which they are left dazed), they appear briefly in their regular outfits instead of their bikinis, which they had been wearing throughout the entire episode.
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has many background, minor, or unimportant characters often drawn in the wrong color, being out of proportion, or simply looking 'off' from what they usually look like. The worst offender would be a character known as 'The New Guy'. In his first appearance, he is downright huge, dwarfing most of the cast. However, in later appearances, he is much smaller. No explanation is given for the drastic shrinkage.
At the end of Goliath II, the eponymous elephant is made the new leader of his herd after saving them all from an attacking mouse. As a result, he now rides on his father's head, who is fanning him with a small leaf. However, before that, when we see the elephant herd from the front, Goliath II isn't even on his father's head at all, and his father's trunk in still hanging from the front of his face!
Earlier in the short, during one of Rajah the tiger's attempts to capture the titular elephant, when we get to see a closeup of his tail, the stripe arrangement is reversed (the tip of his tail is colored orange, usually its black).
A model example. The narrow gauge engines in Season 5 of Thomas the Tank Engine received larger scale models that looked vastly "off" from the original small scale models. The worst thing is, they used BOTH models every other scene in a few episodes, which makes the differences all too obvious.
The entirety of the Recess episode, "Buried Treasure". The episode was sent to a different overseas animation department, which led to some odd scenes, such as inky-looking outlines, bordering on Thick-Line Animation, as well as more cartoony animation. This was the only episode by this animation company, probably due to what happened to the episode.
"The Legend of the Big Kid" from season one had some off model moments as well. The number of teeth the kindergarteners had (baby teeth that was falling out, if anyone's wondering) varied scene by scene, T.J. was noticably chubbier than he usually was (and had bigger eyes), and constant "derp" faces from Spinelli and Gus.
There was one scene in "Jinxed" where it looked like T.J. had a mullet.
Toon City's episodes, while fluid, were pretty ugly to look at from a design standpoint.
One really glaring error saw TJ's baseball cap inexplicably turn black for a handful of scenes before switching back to red.
My Little Pony had frequent, glaring Off Model moments in both the original series and Tales. The most famous is the common error where pegasi were drawn with horns, thus the fandom called them "Unipeg".
Arguably most of the first two series were Off Model. The pilot was rather on-model, and The Movie (while not to the same extent) was so too.
The Friendship is Magic revival has plenty of animation errors, in fact it has been catalogued in this over hour-long video. A common mistake is the many times Applejack is missing her freckles, especially when running. Since it's made in Flash, layering errors are also very common. Cutie Marks appearing on the inside thigh and bits of the background visible through the characters' mouths are two of the more obvious.
Derpy Hooves started out as this. She accidentally ended up cross-eyed in one scene of the first episode, which wasn't caught until after the episode aired. Fans quickly latched on to her and she is now more or less the mascot of the brony community. The creators, delighted with this response, now draw her cross-eyed intentionally and even script her appearances.
In "The Best Night Ever", during the Cold Open Rarity asks two colts to pull a carriage. During this scene if you pay close attention to a blue colt to the right of the other two, you can see him become a cyclops for half a second.
Since it's animated in flash, layering mistakes are also common. Most noteworthy is the "Virginity Cutie Mark", a cutie mark which appears in the inside of their leg. Stop going to the Google bar, it means exactly what you think it means.
Snoopy appears from nowhere in the scene where the kids start applauding Charlie Brown, and they switch positions instantly in the so doing.
In the original VHS edition, while the kids all sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", two of the girls in the background briefly flicker in front of the other children (though this seems to have been fixed, for modern television airings of this special at least).
One episode of Dragon Tales taking place in the winter had Max and Emmy arriving there in their normal outfits. Ord gives them winter gear, but when we see them putting them on, the bottom half of Emmy's dress can be seen under her jacket. A few seconds later, Emmy is wearing pants, and has actually remained in them for the rest of the episode.
And, C 3 P 0 blinks and his pupils move. (Didn't know he had pupils!!)
Averted (for the most part at least) in Flash and CGI by the nature of the mediums: set character models are used for the animation, and outside of freak polygon/shape disappearances or clothing/hair malfunctions that never get seen outside of DVD outtakes, going off model doesn't normally happen. If CGI/Flash is ever off-model, it's usually done intentionally and often subtle: according to the DVD Commentary, one particular wild take in WALL•E when the title character gets struck by lightning actually required breaking the character model.
Johnny Test suffered a rotten case of quality drop after its animation was demoted from traditional to Flash. For awhile, the show tried its best to make the differences unnoticeable, but inevitably, it became an Art Shift - now, the show struggles with animating depth to avoid a 2-D South Park feel, and the art style o the first season and the Flash seasons are very different. A few times, the difficulty of drawing in Flash has shown; circular objects are lumpy, movement is stiff, expressions are less unique and varied, and a few times, you can even catch the animators performing a copy-paste job with multiple objects, such as animals. One instance had a bunch of perfectly identical bunnies stacked on top of each other like a house of cards. It doesn't help that they're not even animated!
Parodied in the Looney Tunes short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers". Bugs Bunny wakes up one morning to find out that Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy Duck have been replaced with pale stereotypes of their actual selves, all severely off model and badly drawn to boot, complete with poor lip synching - the knock-off Daffy even has a moment of Synchro Vox. Bugs devises a plan to get the real characters back, but then discovers a evil ripoff of him is on his tail. Eventually, he finds out they were sent by Nudnik and casts the phony-baloney fakes into a black hole (er... giant space mouth), causing his old "frenemies" to reappear the next day. Further parodied when an animatronic Porky Pig tries to say "That's all, folks!" at the end of the short - Bugs kicks the fake to the curb and replaces it with the genuine Porky Pig.
The characters in Yogi Bear would often change appearances from cartoon to cartoon, most notably Ranger Smith. This tendency was parodied heavily by John Kricfalusi in his Yogi Bear cartoons, A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith, and Boo-Boo Runs Wild.
The animated adaption of Wyrd Sisters has some significant cases of characters going off model very early on in the first episode, and these issues continue throughout the rest of the 7-episode series.
Captain N's art quality was never actually great, but the show's animation budget took a heavy hit as it entered its third season, and oh lord does it ever show. Suffice to say, if you're animating a cartoon in which an NES controller appears about once per episode and you don't know how to draw an NES controller properly, you shouldn't be working on that cartoon.
Adventure Time once did this deliberately because Real Dreams Are Weirder. In the episode "King Worm", which is mostly a Dream Sequence, the ears of Finn's hat appear slightly taller than normal when he is dreaming. Characters, faces, and locations become subtly (and not-so-subtly) distorted throughout the episode, most notably Lady Rainicorn's second mouth, which is Lampshaded.
The animation studio that did the Peter Pan & the Pirates episodes "The Plucking of Short Tom" and "Evicted" were full of animation errors including Hook having no neck, characters having bulging eyeballs or FishEyes, stretchy limbs and necks, bobbing heads, stiff robotic walk cycles,etc.
South Park sometimes has cases of this, especially in the earlier seasons. Kyle's mouth was placed on his face vertically in one scene in the season 4 episode "Fat Camp", and another episode briefly showed Pip with three arms.
Done intentionally most of the time in Superjail!, as the animation crew is encouraged to not stick to models. Sometimes actual animation or design errors will occur and aren't caught in time, or sometimes they're intentionally put in (or the crew decides to run with them as it'd be funny).
One storyboard artist pointed out that although Jared is intended to have only four fingers on each hand, some crew members will often forget and not every instance can be corrected in time. This can be seen as far back as the pilot episode.
The finger mistake has also happened with his Distaff Counterpart Charise, in "Vacation" and "Stingstress".
Alice's nose vanishes in her final scene in "The Trouble with Triples".
Within the same episode at the start, one Triplet was mistakenly animated with the standard five-fingered hands for a brief sequence (as opposed to having seven on each), while his brothers were drawn with only six fingers on each. Their gloves also vanish for a frame towards the end.
The Twins are missing the entire lower halves of their body during their first conversation in "Superbar".
As it's animated in Flash, layering errors tend to happen every now and then. This can especially be seen in some of the later episodes. Another problem tends to be with clean-up, where an artist doing the final lineart will sometimes make the mistake of not having some objects and characters' line weight match up with others in a scene.