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Holdover Episode

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Episode made for a particular season, but airs as part of another season in the series.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Merseyuser1 on Jun 13th 2018 at 3:57:41 PM
Last Edited By:
Merseyuser1 on Jun 26th 2018 at 4:26:51 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Sometimes, a show can air episodes Out of Order. For a show where continuity doesn't matter much, it's not really a major issue about broadcast order.

But on a show with a Story Arc, it can be an issue having episodes held over between seasons.

It's sometimes easy to spot a holdover episode due to filming differences or animation differences between seasons; that's often the most obvious visual clue. Sometimes even characterization changes between the seasons.

Live Action TV

  • Lucifer had episodes that were made for Season 2, but Season 2 was Cut Short, meaning that the episodes aired as part of Season 3.
  • Police, Camera, Action! had the episodes "On The Buses", a holdover from Season 6 in 1998 (eventually airing on 6 January 1999, and not December 1998 as planned), and the Extra Long Episode which was a partial Clip Show, "Learning the Hard Way", which aired on 19 January 1999 (meant for Christmas Day 1998 as a pseudo-Christmas Episode, but didn't air then).

Western Animation

Feedback: 6 replies

Jun 13th 2018 at 4:09:58 PM

Jun 14th 2018 at 9:43:43 AM

Western Animation

  • Season 6 of Family Guy was shortened to just 12 episodes due to the 2007-8 Writers' Strike, and Season 7 was composed entirely of holdovers from the 6th production season.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The episode "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" was intended to be the Season 16 finale, but it was moved to the next season due to its spot being taken by "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star" (which was delayed by a month due to the death of Pope John Paul II).
    • The episodes "Simpson Tide" and "The Man Who Came to Be Dinner" have both been delayed by two seasons.

Jun 14th 2018 at 11:12:53 AM

Add this to the Lucifer entry.

  • Subverted in Season 3. Two holdover episodes were supposed to air in the next season if it was renewed, but after Fox canceled the show, they were burned off two weeks after the series finale.

Jun 15th 2018 at 6:21:09 AM

The fifth and final season of Babylon Five was confirmed so late in the day that the series finale, "Sleeping in Light", was made as part of the fourth season and not broadcast until the end of the fifth (it helped that it was a Distant Finale).

Jun 15th 2018 at 2:37:05 AM

Hannah Montana: The episode “No Sugar, Sugar” was supposed to air as the Season 2 finale, but it never aired because of a joke about diabetes was made. It later aired in the third season, but it was renamed “Uptight (Oliver’s Alright)” and the episode was edited as well.

Jun 26th 2018 at 4:26:51 AM

  • The final produced episode of Exo Squad, "Beyond Chaos", was intended as the season 3 pilot, but the show was canceled soon thereafter, and the episode has been lumped with season 2 in subsequent releases.