Back in 1998 Ep 48, "Arnold's Room", aired September 9, surrounded a Zany Scheme in which Sid takes over the titular room to show off to his rich classmate, Lorenzo. Ep 44, "Rich Kid", had introduced said classmate... but aired December 28. The kicker? Those two episodes were the only episodes in which this classmate had a speaking role.
After the first season, production decided to replace Ms. Slovak with Mr. Simmons as the teacher for Arnold's class. Simmons' first appearance was at the start of Season 2, but several episodes produced during Season 1 still hadn't aired by this time, so Ms. Slovak appeared a couple times after being replaced. One leftover Season 1 episode even made it all the way deep into Season 3.
"The Journal", which aired in November 2002, was the last episode produced and was meant as a lead in to the soon cancelled Jungle Movie (that has since resumed production). It aired before 4 other held back episodes from season 5. The final held back episode, "Phoebe's Little Problem/Grandpa's Packard" aired in 2004.
The most puzzling example, however, is airing the sixth episode of the third season as the "season premiere", especially given that the episode had many references to events that occurred earlier in that season. Fans were understandably quite confused.
Danny defeated the Monster of the Week in that episode with a power he got in the season premiere and advice from a character from that very episode.
The episode "Reality Trip" was aired after episodes that it was supposed to precede, removing any level of shock about Danny's secret being revealed in the episode for those aware of this fact; having seen the episodes that took place after it and noting that the status quo was unchanged, it was obvious ahead of time that a Reset Button would be used.
"The Ultimate Enemy" was aired prior to "The Fenton Menace", despite it being clear by events in the episodes that "The Fenton Menace" had to have occurred first.
During the first season, the producers held back the airing of "Injustice For All" eight months, so that it would coincide with the Video Game with the same name. But since it did air elsewhere during that period, it didn't take long for spoilers and pirated copies to appear online. However, both "Fury" and "Legends" have have elements that didn't appear until "Injustice for All".note "Fury" has its main villain gather the Injustice Gang sans Luthor, Joker, and Cheetah, with Shade and Copperhead commenting that she's a better boss than Luthor and "Legends" opens with Luthor in the Powered Armor designed to save his life controlling a mecha against the League.
Season 2, Everything between "A Better World" and "Starcrossed" has their airing order rearranged from their production order. "The Terror Beyond" and "Eclipsed" had their airing order swapped from their production order, as did "Hereafter" and "Secret Society", and "Comfort and Joy" and "Wild Cards". However, this doesn't really affect anything, even with Green Lantern and Hawkgirl's Relationship Upgrade in "Wild Cards" despite "Comfort and Joy" being the episode before it in production order, but airing after.
Sofia the First is fairly episodic even with episodes referencing and building on each other. However, some of the episodes produced after Elena And The Secret Of Avalor aired beforehand in the summer of 2016. In that special, Sofia's amulet turns pink after she frees Elena from the amulet. Season 4 is said to have a more serialized narrative, where this can hopefully get sorted out.
The heroes meet Chuckles for the first time in the 13th broadcast episode, "The Way of the Dave", but they also face him in at least three of the episodes that came before it. A number of other scenes also betray the fact "The Way of the Dave" was probably supposed to begin the show.
The 20th episode broadcast introduces Quozmir, who Dave already interacted with in the second episode Disney Channel showed.
Season 1 of Rocko's Modern Life is another example. The fact that Heffer's adopted family are literally wolves is supposed to be a big shock, but their formal introduction to the show aired after they had made a couple of appearances. Likewise, Filburt switches back and forth between being an anonymous Obstructive Bureaucrat and Rocko and Heffer's friend, and Rocko is shown to be already working at Kind-of-a-Lot-O-Comics before the episode where he is hired there.
Rugrats usually doesn't do continuity, but they made a few episodes involving kids from Angelica's pre-school coming to her house... which, in the US, ended up airing long before the episode introducing the pre-school was aired.
The Wild Thornberrys aired an ep about Nigel Thornberry getting knighted in March 2004... after they had aired an ep where a character addresses him as Sir Nigel in February.
Justified for As Told by Ginger when Kathleen Freeman died. Freeman played a teacher, and an episode had one of her students trying to convince her to continue teaching after she'd quit in disgust. Originally, she was supposed to come back to work, but her death forced a rewrite... and the last episode she'd worked on (originally the next after this one) to be shuffled to before.
Nick also held back a season 1 episode of All Grown Up!, which sees Angelica celebrate her 13th birthday, until August 2004... which was also 13 years to the month that the predecessor series debuted. It was held back so long, a few episodes of the following season had already debuted a few months before.
Fox changed the mid-season episode "The Father, the Son, & the Holy Guest Star" to the season finale. Probably justified because the episode made fun of some aspects of Catholicism, and the date it was originally scheduled to air was very close to Pope John Paul II's death, and the change didn't mess with any continuity of the season or series.
The first season had its order screwed with enormously, resulting in Santa's Little Helper not appearing in half the episodes despite being introduced in what ended up as the series premiere (with the intended premiere, "Some Enchanted Evening", airing last). The major reason for Season 1 becoming all jumbled around was that the episodes entering production prior to "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire"note 8th episode in production order but first to air, had such terrible animation that Matt Groening and his team kept sending the episodes back to Korea to be redone.note "Some Enchanted Evening" was remade no fewer than three times... and Matt still wasn't happy with the final result. By the time early episodes reached the point they were "airable", the fall schedule had already been locked in sans Simpsons, so Fox slotted the series in the first available place... which was in late-December. As it happened, there was a Christmas Episode ready to go, so it became the premiere.
Disney aired the Halloween episode late to time it near Halloween. This resulted in a character who was imprisoned in a previously-aired (but produced later) episode to apparently suddenly never have been imprisoned yet.
The fifth episode ("Act 4, Scene 15") has Jake confide magical information to Spud and Trixie, who take it completely in stride. They would not learn about the magical world, or Jake's role in it, for two more episodes, in "Professor Rotwood's Thesis". Then, four episodes after they learned ("Shapeshifter"), Jake is being coy about his dragon business, and Spud and Trixie are completely oblivious. Also the events "Shapeshifter" are briefly mentioned in "Dragon Summit", two episodes prior. Though both cases are subtle, these small scenes imply that "Act 4, Scene 15" and "Shapeshifter" were swapped in airing.
Disney aired the episode "Switcheroo" a month before they aired "The Love Cruise", despite "Switcheroo" spoiling the Downer Ending of "The Love Cruise".
Part of the first season of ThunderCats (1985) was initially aired out of order; mostly this does not affect much, as the first season is largely in Anachronic Order, but there is a five-parter that is spread over several weeks as a result. Subsequent syndication airings corrected this problem, but the DVD boxed set uses the original, erroneous airing order. This happened all the time during the 80s. A combination of Animation Age Ghetto and Viewers Are Morons resulted in Five-Episode Pilot's and multipart episodes played out of order or blasted across the entire year.
Clerks: The Animated Series suffered terribly from this. Episode 4 - the courtroom episode - was shown first, instead of the premiere episode that the network mandated be done in the first place. (On the DVD commentaries, the staff admits they weren't too thrilled with Episode 1 and had some say in the decision, though.) The second episode to air was Episode 2, but it was a Clip Show that kept flashing back to Episode 1, which never aired at all.
The second season of W.I.T.C.H. has an insanely frustrating one where they aired the Halloween Episode about four episodes early to be close to Halloween, but the second series was a serial that went almost directly from one episode to the next. There were several characters (re-)introduced, new terms mentioned, and alliances changed (i.e. why were they working with Phobos, why the hell was there a talking cat, what are regents?) and it ruined one of the big surprises near the end of season.
The third season Grand Finale movie was shown before some of the remaining episodes, leaving some to wonder why the Last Minute Hookup was forgotten in the "next" episode.
Early episodes of the series ended up in an outright baffling order. The episode "Tick, Tick, Tick" was meant to be the first episode and clearly shows Team Possible's first run-in with Dr. Drakken and Shego, but was originally broadcast after another Drakken-Shego episode ("Crush") which was originally meant to be episode 13. Several other events, such as Bonnie becoming cheer captain and changing the cheerleading uniforms to ones with a completely different color scheme in "Number One" , make it clear that the episode order was shuffled around quite a bit - the cheerleading uniforms switch back and forth between designs every two or three episodes (and the cheerleading squad changes captains each time, but it's a little more subtle), Ron becomes the mascot in the ninth broadcast episode ("Attack of the Killer Bebes") even though he already was the mascot in the second broadcast episode ("Sink or Swim"), and various other continuity errors occur frequently.
In the first season of Legion of Super-Heroes, several episodes made brief references to previous ones, but this bit everyone in the ass with a Continuity Nod in "Brain Drain" mentioning a run-in with magic—from "Child's Play," which hadn't aired yet. After that, the second season avoided them entirely.
Kids' WB! aired episodes out of order. Since Teen Titans didn't start too tight with continuity this wasn't so bad - until the second season, when they aired "Titans Rising", the episode where Terra joins the team, but then aired "Date with Destiny" and "Transformation" afterwards. So basically Terra joins the team and then the next two episodes she's nowhere to be seen, confusing the kids that didn't get Cartoon Network, which aired these episodes in production order, and correctly showed "Transformation" and "Date With Destiny" before "Titans Rising"
Also, Cartoon Network aired "Final Exam" as the series premiere and "Divide and Conquer" as the third episode, creating weirdness concerning the first mention of Slade, as he didn't get mentioned in "Divide and Conquer".
The first season had several episodes aired out of their intended order, although since the first season didn't have as much continuity as all the later seasons, it wasn't too jarring. Difficulty now is figuring out just what the intended order actually was, since even the production order doesn't make perfect sense.
When the series became more serialized and actually numbered the episodes, it became more noticeable. In Season 2, the "Tablet of Time" and "Ravages of Time" two-parter aired before "Blade, the Vampire Hunter" and "The Immortal Vampire." The latter two-parter resolved the Morbius arc and clarified how Spider-Man's neogenic disease was being treated, while the former two-parter was supposed to lead directly into the season's final two episodes.
In Season 3, "The Spot" was aired before "Venom Returns" and "Carnage" - even though those two episodes set-up the time-dilation technology and Tony Stark's involvement with it. As it aired, viewers wondered why Tony put in a brief appearance in that episode and why he was so concerned about the technology. And like with the Season 2 example, "The Spot" was supposed to set-up the season's concluding two-parter.
Season two of Gargoyles had 52 episodes, making it impossible to tell which would be ready on time. Hence, given the show's very tight continuity, the episodes had to be split into various "blocks" where episodes could be aired in any order within each block. Though they did still run into a problem with Owen's stone arm, as two episodes intended to air before it happened ended up being delayed.
The series aired almost all of its episodes in their correct order during the first run- however when the show went into reruns on both the main network and Nicktoons, Nick screwed up the original episode order. For example, the first episode of the show would be reran as the twelfth, with the fifth episode airing as the first. For the longest time, this also became the episode order listed on sites such as Wikipedia until the original orders from Nick's website resurfaced in 2010.
The Life With Loopy pilot episode, "Goldfish Heaven", aired as the show's seventh episode on TV. While the shorts weren't too continuity-heavy (usually a past episode might get referenced in another episode and that'll be it), it was still clear from Larry introducing the characters and setting as if nobody had seen the series before and the rough look of the animation and characters that it was the first episode. Due to the roughness of the episode compared to the rest of season one, Nick might not have wanted it to air as part of the first KaBlam! episode
South Park had this happen a few times, most notably the episode "Cancelled", which had a joke that was supposed to play off the fact that the series reached 100 episodes ("A show should never go past a hundred episodes, or else it starts to get stale with ridiculously stupid plotlines and settings"). However, it was the 97th episode to air, thus ruining the joke.
If you watch Season 8 in production order, you'd notice something odd. In 801, "Good Times With Weapons", Cartman briefly talks about The Passion of the Christ. In 802, "AWESOM-O", Cartman's mom mentions that he's "still supposed to be grounded for trying to exterminate the Jews two weeks ago", likely confusing production order viewers. In episode 803, "Up the Down Steroid", Kyle and Cartman have a serious discussion about the morality of Cartman's plan, which Cartman counters with what The Passion taught him about Jews and Hell. 804, "The Passion of the Jew", is the culmination of what 801 and 803 are building up towards, and the plot involves Cartman trying to exterminate the Jews. So why does the second episode refer to something that doesn't happen for two episodes? Because it was the fifth episode to air in the eighth season, and the show itself has a unique Animation Lead Time.
The season 4 episode "Old Glory" in King of the Hill had a slight continuity error showing Peggy with an old Kaypro computer when the previous episode "Hillennium" had her new iMac arrived. This is because "Old Glory" was produced before "Hillennium".
This happened a lot with The Disney Afternoon shows but wasn't usually a problem, as they're mostly episodic shows:
Then there was Darkwing Duck. As a superhero show, most of its villains and secondary heroes had origin episodes or at least first appearances. Also, Morgana started out as a villain and then did a Heel–Face Turn, even becoming Darkwing's girlfriend. Needless to say, it was hard to keep up sometimes. The biggest offender is the "Just Us Justice Ducks" two-parter, which aired before a number of the participants in that episode (in particular Stegmutt, Neptunia and The Liquidator) were formally introduced.
Goof Troop was aired out of order on syndicated channels. The series pilot was placed just a little before halfway through the series, which wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't also been a Welcome Episode. On the flipside for making the third episode first, it's a little strange seeing Pete want to apologize to PJ for doing "nasty, horrible" things when the worst thing we've seen him do is threaten to ground him (admittedly in an over-the-top manner) for failing a test. The pilot episodes establish Pete as unambiguously abusive towards PJ, with the latter unambiguously unhappy about it.
The The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "There's No Camp Like Home" features an instrumental version of the song "Nothing's Too Good for a Friend" from "The Piglet Who Would Be King" as background music—two weeks before that episode aired!
Jane and the Dragon was originally planned to have much more apparent continuity between episodes than most animated shows for kids but was rewritten to be more episodic when the writers were confronted with this eventuality.
The episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" is Season 2's 13th episode in production order, but 11th in broadcast order (since it's a Christmas Episode, more or less, and moving it up put it closer to the holiday in question). This bumped the 11th and 12th episodes, "Family Appreciation Day" and "Baby Cakes", to spots 12 and 13, respectively. Fortunately, none of the episodes in question referenced each other (and, considering the nature of the show, could be watched out of BOTH orders without having any negative impact on continuity). Hasbro's website and My Little PonyYouTube channel, The Hub and its website, Google Play, and Netflix all number the episodes in production order; the iTunes Store ordering went back and forth through both styles, but it eventually settled on production(a quick primer) "Hearth's Warming Eve" was initially in slot 13, going with production order - only to be moved to slot 11, airdate order, the very next day. "Family Appreciation Day" was put up also as Episode 11, resulting in two Episode 11s. "Baby Cakes" went up as episode 12 — implying they would later move "Hearth's Warming Eve" back to 13 and go with production order. However, sometime after putting up episode 15, they instead moved "Family Appreciation Day" and "Baby Cakes" to their airdate order slots. Yet it didn't end there; over half a year later, they switched from season-based listings to volume-based listings (seemingly due to the then-recently-added Season 3 consisting of half as many episodes as each of the previous seasons), with the new listings putting the three back in production order. While all this was going on, "The Last Roundup", fourteenth episode in both production and broadcast order, was dropped from the queue completely due to controversy involving a character in the Cold Open, leaving the middle of Season 2 in absolute flux. Confused by all this yet?
The episode "Just for Sidekicks" is Season 3's 8th episode in production order, but 11th in broadcast order (this is because it and the 12th episode, "Games Ponies Play", are Synchronous Episodes). This bumped the 9th, 10th and 11th episodes - "Apple Family Reunion", "Spike at Your Service" and "Keep Calm and Flutter On" - to spots 8, 9 and 10, respectively.
Almost every foreign dub of Season 2 seems to broadcast "A Canterlot Wedding" (the finale) either right after or before "The Return of Harmony" (the premiere), in order to sell Pony Wedding toys which came earlier.
"Scare Master" is Season 5's 15th episode in production order. However, with the episode being a Halloween Episode, it was saved up for that holiday and ended up being the 21st episode in broadcast order. That led to a pair of odd situations. First, one of the end result of holding off the episode for six weeks was the fact that the season's Christmas Episode, "Hearthbreakers" ended up airing a week before the Halloween Episode. Second, production order wise, "Scare Master" was meant to air before the Wham Episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", and had it not been for the episode being set on Equestria's equivalent of Halloween, then the Out of Order airing of the episode would have been more obvious.Explanation "Crusaders of the the Lost Mark" featured the Cutie Mark Crusaders finally getting their Cutie Marks at the end of the episode, and with the trio's Nightmare Night outfits in "Scare Master" covering their flanks, it wasn't an issue whether or not the CMC were depicted with their Cutie Marks in this episode.
The Season 6 Episode "The Fault in our Cutie Marks" was the ninth episode of that season in production order, but was the nineteenth episode aired, pushing ten episodes up the broadcast order from that of their production, from "The Saddle Row Review" to "Buckball Season".
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! episode "Widow's Sting" reportedly takes place after a three-part storyline in which the Avengers stop Kang the Conqueror from taking over 21st century Earth. However, Disney XD aired it before the Avengers even met Kang. Producer Josh Fine says the episode mostly works well in either position, but also that "one minor character point" in the episode "Hail HYDRA!" makes more sense in the chronological order. "Widow's Sting" ends with Nick Fury learning about the Skrulls' invasion, and "Hail HYDRA!" contains a few acknowledgments of his disappearance. Having Kang's invasion come in between those two episodes creates the impression that Fury put off preparing for the arrival of additional Skrulls. Another point that might deserve mentioning involves the part where Kang says that a disaster during the Kree-Skrull war will destroy the entire world. Iron Man then brings up the fact the Avengers already met the Kree, and know of their imminent arrival. If Disney XD aired these episodes in chronological order, this arc would have come right after the Avengers met Captain Mar-Vell.
In the entire run of Futurama, only a quarter of episodes were aired in intended sequence in both the Fox and Comedy Central runs. Just take a look at the broadcast order and compare it to the production order. The main regions of the scrambling are broadcast seasons 3 through 5 (which are a jumble of production seasons 2 through 4), as well as broadcast season 8 (the second half of production season 6).
The production order of Daria places the slightly-existential "Through a Lens Darkly" as the season three premiere. However, MTV decided to kick things off with the Musical Episode instead. Later, the DVD arranged the third season episodes so that the musical would take up the seventh spot, and "Through a Lens Darkly" could designate the start of the season.
On April Fools Day 2007, [adult swim] aired the final episode of Perfect Hair Forever, but then aired the rest of the series IN REVERSE, made it look like old VHS tapes, and added grammatically incorrect subtitles. At one point, the subtitles shown were actually for an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode.
The premieres of each Good Vibes episode from Ep. 2 onwards were all aired in the wrong order instead of chronological order. The most notable example being Red Tuxedo, which was the intended season finale, airing as the eighth episode, while Backstage Babs (the ninth episode chronologically) aired as the season finale (and ended up as the series finale too).
Motorcity suffered from this from the third episode on. While the story was told in an episodic format, focus episodes for each of the Burners were heavily shuffled around, notably prolonging Julie's focus episode (originally episode 6) and a key Chuck episode (episode 8). Someone wrote an explanation about that.
The Jimmy Neutron special "The League of Villains" featured villains Baby Eddie and Grandma Taters. This aired before "Clash of the Cousins" and "One of Us", which were supposed to be the introductory episodes for the two.
Season 3 of King of the Hill experienced this. A plot arc throughout the season was Luanne's hair slowly growing back after it was burnt off; Some of the episodes where it's completely grown back are followed by episodes where it's much shorter than usual. They were much more careful in Season 4, since Debbie doesn't appear in any episodes following her death.
Most of the first season of Moral Orel and some of the second season was aired out of order. The first season's finale was aired first, so that a Christmas episode would air in December, although that initially put new viewers off from the show due to the first season's Downer Ending, making some think it was intentionally humorous, while it was supposed to be out of place with the rest of the season. The last three aired episodes of the first season were ones held back by Standards & Practices, as the final one aired (featuring Black Comedy Rape) was intended to be the second episode. The third season avoids this, partially by featuring a "[Number] out of 13" at the beginning of each episode.
Like some of the above examples, the geniuses that run Cartoon Network have done this with Ben 10: Omniverse, as several episodes have aired showing new things or aliens Ben doesn't have yet. For example "Special Delivery", aired as the season 2 finale, showed Ben with Feedback despite Ben not regaining him until "Showdown Pt.1 & 2", which aired as the third season premiere. That episode also introduced his new Tenn-Speed motorcycle, which Word of God says he doesn't get until "Rules of Engagement", which doesn't air until near the end of the season.
A couple of episodes of Garfield and Friends aired like this during its first season. For example, "Peace and Quiet", "Wanted: Wade", and "Garfield Goes Hawaiian" - the sixth, seventh, and eighth cartoons produced - were aired first, not "Garfield's Moving Experience", "Wade, You're Afraid", and "Good Mousekeeping", the actual first through third cartoons produced. The same goes for Season 7: "Change Of Mind", "Temp Trouble", and "The Perfect Match" and "The Legend Of Johnny Ragweedseed", "Grape Expectations (part 1)", and "Catch As Cats Can't". The latter episode and "A Matter Of Conscience", "Grape Expectations (part 2)", and "Ten Good Reasons" were the first to air that season, to avoid a plot-hole in the U.S. Acres cartoon.
When Nickelodeon aired Danger Mouse, there were two episodes dealing with a time-traveling grandfather clock. The first was "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma" (which had DM and Penfold sent through different periods of time); the second was "The Clock Strikes Back" (a megalomaniacal magician uses it to come to present day London). Nickelodeon aired "The Clock Strikes Back" before "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma."
Also, Nickelodeon ran the serialized stories (series 2 through 4) initially when the series started on the network, and then ten-minute episodes starting with a series 1 episode followed by a series five or six episode. Once the season 1 eps were run, the two episodes comprising a show were from series five and/or six. The serial "Demons Aren't Dull" used scenes from the first series (as part of a subplot in which DM is being humiliated on a testimonial show) and, as noted, was shown before the episodes from where the scenes came.
While Recess didn't have this big of an issue normally, though there are a few episodes that aired out of order. "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff", which aired as episode two (part B), does not have Gus in the episode, making it take place before he moved to town. Gus's first appearance is in episode one part B, "The New Kid". It could be possible that Disney/ABC wanted Gus to be introduced in the first episode, which is why the episodes aired like this.
"Germ Warfare" aired before "Good Ole T.J.", while it should've aired afterwards. At the beginning of the latter episode, Gus mentions that Gretchen is never absent from school, which she was in one part of "Germ Warfare".
Chronologically, the three episodes of the sixth season take place before the events of Recess: School's Out, which served as the Grand Finale, and were also produced before the movie during the fifth season, but hadn't aired as part of it. Though had the movie not have been a success, the episodes wouldn't have aired at all- the show was suppossed to end with the fifth season and movie, but thanks to the movie's success, the show was renewed.
After the first and second seasons had aired, ABC had both season's episodes go out of order for their repeat schedule. Disney Channel only made it worse by re-arranging the individual shorts as well. By 2007, the episodes were back to their original orders.
The Pilot episode, "Smash Up Terby", was aired as the 8th episode in the US.
Likewise most of the episodes in the first half of season one go in a different order than in America, "Smash Up Terby" is still not the first episode, though.
The Magic Adventures Of Mumfie episode "The Album" reveals the order in which the episodes after Mumfie's Quest happened. This reveals that they originally aired out of order. For example, the first page of the book had a jellybean on it, meaning Captian Jellybean's Treasure was the first episode that should have aired. The first aired episode was actually "Mumfie and the Wellwisher", which was ninth in the chronological order, according to Mumfie's album.
Season 4 of The Boondocks had an arc where Granddad tries to get out of debt. Looking at how the episodes were aired, it looks like the arc was never resolved because of the last episode, but looking at the production orders, the arc makes a bit more sense. The arc is actually resolved in the FOURTH episode where Granddad gets a girlfriend who ends up paying off his debt anyway, but the ending ultimately becomes a Status Quo Is God ending.
Almost the entirety of the first season of ChalkZone was aired out of order. This wasn't too big of an issue, though episode 6 ("The Skrawl/Pie Day/Secret Passages"), which was to close up the season, aired as episode 3, which caused a bit of confusion as references to previous episodes were shown in "The Skrawl". Episode 2 ("Snapmobile/Rudy's Date/Future Zone"), which included the Oh Yeah! Cartoons short where Penny fist visits ChalkZone, aired as episode 4. Episode 4 ("French Fry Falls/Gift Adrift"), which aired as episode 2, had Penny already knowing about ChalkZone enough to have had been there a few times (it should be noted that the fourth episode was one of the first produced, hence why it may have aired earlier). Later seasons don't do this, though the second-to-last episode of season three ("Purple Haze/No Place Like Home/Disaster Park") ended up airing as the first episode of the fourth season (made even more obvious when the art style was updated in season four)- most likely due to Nickelodeon wanting to air the season finale "When Santas Collide" first in time for Christmas. The season three episode "Indecent Exposure/My Big Fat Chalk Wedding/Rap-A-Present" was supposed to air as the eighth episode of the season, but ended up switching places with "Mother Tongue/Going Eyeballistic/The Ballad of Toe Fu" (presumably by accident). The last episode of season four ("The Quicksand Man/Vampire Cannibals of New York/Killer Breath"- also the final episode of the series) ended up airing as the sixth episode of the season (the mix-up may have also been caused by the episode being the fist to air in the early morning timeslot in 2008, where all the remaining episodes of season four were burned off after the show was officially canceled in 2005). All the episodes are in order on Amazon Instant Video (though broken up into volumes rather than seasons) and on the complete series DVD (except for "The Quicksand Man/Vampire Cannibals of New York/Killer Breath", which was in the order it was broadcast).
101 Dalmatians: The Series had a very notorious case of this, due to the show having two episode packages- one for syndication on weekday afternoons (which premiered on September 1, 1997) and one for Saturday mornings on ABC (which premiered September 13), thus causing the episode order to get screwed up. While "Home Is Where the Bark Is" is the first episode chronologically (and was the first to premiere on ABC), "You Slipped a Disk/Chow About That?" was aired first in syndication. Other errors with the order include:
"Lucky All-Star" aired before any other episode with Lucky and Tripod's rivalry, which caused continuity errors as the episode had them end their rivalry.
"Love 'Em and Flea 'Em" was to be the episode where Two-Tone leaves Mooch and his gang and loses her crush on him, but a number of episodes (such as "Bad to the Bone" and some implications in "Twelve Angry Pups") show that she's still in the gang, along with episodes that show Mooch with only Whizzer and Dipstick in his gang.
"Purred It Through the Grapevine" aired before "It's a Swamp Thing", which was to introduce the swamp setting and it's characters before they appeared in the former episode.
"Two for the Show" aired before "Best of Show", which caused a major continuity error- in "Best of Show", Cruella gets a dog, Vandella, who competes in a dog show against the main pups and Spot. She re-appears in "Two for the Show", but the episode aired months before "Best of Show" (her final episode "My Fair Moochie" aired after "Best of Show", thus not causing any continuity errors).
The DVD "Superhero Spectacle" contains two episodes in which Timmy's parents get superpowers, but for some reason they're presented in reverse order — First they regain powers they'd had before, and later on the disc is the episode where they get their powers for the first time.
From the seventh season on, most of the episodes were aired out of order. Season seven episodes were still premiering even after the eighth season began. Most of season nine's episodes have all aired out of order in the US.
Technically, MTV aired many episodes of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series out of order, but then again, production order also isn't how they place in continuity, either, with the DVD setting the episodes take place in continuity. However, this is very noticeable with the episode "Head Over Heels", which had a pre-Electro Max Dillon, but aired after "The Party", which featured his transformation into Electro.
Animaniacs apparently had this issue when its very long first season (69 episodes, out of a total of 99 for the entire series) was aired on Fox Kids: The first appearance of Katie Ka-Boom was in a crossover with Chicken Boo, and the Minerva Mink cartoon titled "Meet Minerva" is her third appearance — the first being a cartoon in which she appears as a suspect in a Hercule Poirot spoof and the second being her only other solo cartoon. Worse yet, the DVD releases retain the air date order, which led to "Meet Minerva" being on the third volume out of a total of four.
Thomas & Friends was, in its early seasons, based directly on the Railway Series books, each of which contained four short stories that linked together to form a miniseries. The TV series often these split up so that the parts of a book could end up not just out of order, but in different SEASONS note Such as Troublesome Engines, where the Tenders & Turntables/Trouble In The Sheds/Percy Runs Away trilogy are kept together in Season 1 but Henry & The Elephant ends up in Season 4, resulting in Percy appearing in what was supposed to be the start of the chain of events that introduced him. . You can't really put them back in the correct order either, because the orphaned storylines often had to be substantially re-written to explain how characters got into a situation note especially "The Trouble With Mud" whose entire first half is changed, as well as characters appearing before they should have been introduced, the obviously different narrator and the stylistic changes.
In the later CGI Seasons, there are some episodes which go straight to DVD and never get aired at all. The DVDs also show the episodes that were broadcast in a completely different arrangement.
The yearly specials are also released at different times in different countries, so often the new characters that inevitably debut will appear in the series before viewers actually know who they are.
Mixels ended up getting its shorts shuffled randomly from their production numbers, leading to some characters appearing in episodes before their debut. One of the biggest offenders is the Electroids, who technically debut in the episode "Changing a Light Bulb", which is the second episode in production order, but the tenth episode aired.
The Italian airing of the show shuffles around many episodes in the first half of Season 1. As a result, "Steven the Swordfighter" is aired before "So Many Birthdays", "Lars and the Cool Kids" and "Onion Trade", meaning that for a bunch of episodes Pearl keeps shifting back and forth from her first design to the post-regeneration one.
"Open Book", "Say Uncle" , and "Shirt Club" were all intended to air during Season 1 between "Rose's Scabbard" and "The Message", but the marathon for the season 1 finale pushed them back to Season 2. Ironically, "Say Uncle" itself was produced during Season 2.
Miraculous Ladybug is shown pretty out of order. Like the Code Lyoko example above, this isn't usually an issue, but it can cause a Series Continuity Error here and there. For example: the episode Pixelator is clearly supposed to take place before the episodes Kung Food, Darkblade, Antibug and Guitar Villain, as it introduces the recurring character Jagged Stone. However, this episode was shown after all those. This is made especially glaring because it was aired directly after Guitar Villain, which prominently featured Jagged Stone, and showed off a pair of sunglasses that Marinette made for him at the end of Pixelator. Hopefully they get those sorted out for Season 2, which is supposed to actually contain more serialized Story Arcs.
Ezekiel Rage first appears in the fourth episode of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, and everyone is shocked to see him again. Five episodes later, they meet him for the first time.
The first three episodes in Season 2 of Jackie Chan Adventures is made of episodes that took place during the events of Season 1, creating some strange inconsistencies like Jackie having to find the Snake Talisman againnote though it did explain how the talisman ended up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art during Season 1, Tohru still being part of the Black Hand, and Shendu still imprisoned in his stone form.
The Harvey Beaks two-part special "Steampunks" is part of Season 2, but set during Season 1, resulting in things like Michelle still in her egg despite having hatched in the first episode of Season 2. On the other hand, it also explains some things like why Moff is a Jerkass towards Harvey throughout the episode while showing greater tolerance of him in the rest of the series.
Applies to pretty much every pre-Static Shock DCAU show. Episodes are out of order by both air dates and production order. DVDs aren't any better, offering the option to use either order, but still no chronological order.
Rocket Power: The episode "Banned on the Run", in which the Midtown Skate Park was built, aired after several episodes that showed the park already open.
The pilot was remade as an episode of the actual series, but this episode was aired third instead of first.
In Episode 45, Stumpy is telling the others he just met a girl who had already been established to be his girlfriend in Episode 40.
The Noddy Shop showed episodes of Noddy's Toyland Adventures out of order. For example, the very first episode of the series, "Noddy Looses Some Sixpence", aired with the 27th episode of The Noddy Shop, "Something's Lost, Something's Found".
When CBBC aired the show, they aired the "Anything Can Happen At Christmas" special first. When the show did get a proper slot on CBBC, the very first episode they aired was "A Fish Story", the 22nd episode in chronological order, which was then followed by "The Tooth Fairy", the 6th episode.
In an episode of Rekkit Rabbit midway through Season 2, Sarah presents to Jay her new friend Alejandra... except she already appeared three times before that episode.
The character Regina is referenced in episode 60 of Jem when she doesn't appear until a few episodes later.
A winter-themed episode of The Powerpuff Girls (2016) wasn't aired for several months in America because Cartoon Network wanted to air it in winter. This is despite Blossom's love interest debuting in this episode. Without it, Jake just feels like he pops out of nowhere when Blossom "first" references him.
DuckTales (2017) had its original third episode "The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!" (an episode about Huey and Scrooge) pushed back into December to air during the holiday season since the crew travels in the snowy mountains and the original ninth episode (Terror of the Terra-Firmians!) pushed forward into October to act as a "Halloween" episode due to its theme of fear. While the continuity is left relatively unharmed, Word of God admits that this does take a heavy toll on the pacing, causing the show to stay in Duckburg for an uncomfortably long time, have two episodes in a row where Scrooge doesn't make an appearance, and multiple Webby episodes airing back-to-back.