- When the original hand-drawn vision of Bob and George failed to take off, the author decided to make it a Mega Man sprite comic (which, up until that point, had been filler while the author attempted to work on his drawing skills) with characters and ideas integrated from the original plans. One of the planned storylines for the original comic was an Alien Invasion story featuring a purple shapeshifting alien kidnapping and impersonating one of the superheroes of the comic. The author intended to incorporate the aliens into the sprite comic, and there are two pieces of foreshadowing as a result — first, during a storyline in which Mega Man suddenly starts running around in paranoia, one strip had him exclaim, "Gotta keep running! If I stop, the purple floating aliens will steal my brain!" Later on, during the storyline introducing George into the sprite comic, after he tells Mega Man what his life until now was like, he remarks, "I just hope those pesky aliens didn't follow me here." Of course, the alien invasion was never incorporated into the sprite comic in the end.
- X-Entertainment's photo comic Cobra's Chia Plot, in which some Cobra soldiers grow a Chia Pet. The fourth installment ended on a cliffhanger where one of the Joes asks the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for help, but the fifth installment was never posted.
- The 2008 Advent Calendar was put in a similar limbo. The 2009 calendar dedicated much of its time with making up for it.
- The original run of Commander Kitty ended on a cliffhanger before experiencing a Continuity Reboot.
- Curse Quest: "The Kobold's Dungeon" was the original chapter beginning in 2013 with much of the main cast already working together. The comic rebooted in 2015 to allow the story to progress differently.
- Happens at least twice in-universe during Darths & Droids. Granted, a recurring gag is the GM either reworking his campaign ideas based on the players' whims or throwing them out altogether, but these two especially stand out, with the first in particular reflecting the creators' personal feelings of wasted potential in regards to Star Wars.
Ben: Why so grouchy?
- During the Attack of the Clones adaptation, "To Cut a Long Story Short" had the GM in a sour mood over Zam Wessel's death.
Pete: I can see four pages of NPC backstory from here.
- In the Revenge of the Sith storyline, General Grievous (who, in the Darths and Droids universe, is a cyborg version of Chancellor Valorum) dies by the end of "I Have No Moth, Yet Ice Cream".GM: Okay then. Hold on. Let me grieve for a moment here.
Annie: What are you doing?
GM: I'm just making a funeral pyre for Grievous' character sheet.
Pete: That's an awful lot of paper.
GM: ... and his plot development notes.
- Dominic Deegan author Mookie would often write teasers for upcoming arcs. One of them was supposed to introduce Luna's father, but he simply never wrote it and explained that he didn't think it would turn out interesting. There were also a few arcs he teased but never wrote due to deciding to end the comic.
- Furry webcomic Fuzzy Things had an ongoing subplot about spoiled sparrow Shiva trying to find the whereabouts of her old teacher. Eventually, kid genius Rex was able to get her access to a restricted database that contained the answer she was looking for. This subplot is then never brought up again.
- Good Luck Eyepatch-tan! has the Pokémon/Kamen Rider Divurtle arc, which ended abruptly on strip 48 due to technical difficulties. While Nocchifire, the author, initially promised that it would return, he eventually abandoned that idea and decided to scrap that arc altogether.
- El Goonish Shive:
- The comic was going to have Ellen become an alcoholic, but Dan felt that would be too dark. The way Dan gets out of this is beautiful in its Lampshade Hanging. A Foreshadowing sequence has Ellen out all night, Fairy-Doll-Nanase crying, and a six-pack of beer missing from the Dunkels' fridge. One How We Got Here sequence later, all this has been resolved without the beer even being opened, and Eliot puts it back behind the Red Herring in the fridge.
- Sensei Greg, Lord Tedd, and several other characters have disappeared or show up almost never. Sensei Greg has now returned, but whether or not Lord Tedd's arc will actually be concluded is still up for grabs. Dan has admitted that he introduced the Lord Tedd thing a LOT sooner than he really should have, but he still intends to get back to it and wrap it up eventually. Just don't hold your breath on it.
- The Susan school uniform storyline was given a very abrupt, almost asspull-level resolution, thanks to the Ellen and Nanase storyline running way, way too long (though the characters don't think it was any less abrupt than the readers did).
- Flying Sparks stopped abruptly two pages into issue 8, in early September 2014.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: Chapter 2, "Schoolyard Myths", has been confirmed by the author to contain a setup for an arc he decided against. Presumably, given the chapter's content, it would have more heavily involved Classical Mythology.
- This conversation from Homestuck explains the abortion of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff's "nancho party" [sic] arc.DAVE: making a ten part story about nachos was always a bullshit idea
- In order to keep the self-imposed PG rating, Housepets! decided to drop the catnip arc early. Considering the one comic that he put up in the extras section was especially squicky...
- The Japanese Beetle started a storyline where America was meant to be the villain...just before 9/11, at which point author Dave White openly admitted to dropping the idea, saying that it felt inappropriate. This also happens in-story, as the original plot is interrupted by the World Trade Center attack, and both the plot and the new character introduced specifically for it to simply disappear.
- At the beginning of Looking for Group, the main plot revolves around the group searching for a mysterious "Sword of Truth" to settle a group member's debt to a powerful Legaran military commander. Instead, they go to war with Legara, abandoning the Sword to oblique references and eventual recycling.
- As of this writing, the webcomic has abandoned the "conscience" arc, supposedly because Fred Gallagher took offense at some fans calling them "insects" (particularly because the arc's protagonist is based off his own wife). Seraphim, Asmodeus, and Boo only have the occasional appearance nowadays, while Seraphim's sister has more or less disappeared entirely. The last two chapters also did not have a CEA "check-in" at the end, as had been the norm; however, a new aspect was introduced in chapter 8 ("big mode"), so there's hope yet.
- Specifically it was the "Seraphim's sisters" arc that was pulled to a quick close and never revisited. It's likely the original three consciences have fewer appearances these days because there's little time for them given everything else that's going on. It also can be argued that Piro and Largo need their help less and less as the story progresses.
- The complete abandonment very early on of what was essentially the founding premise of the series: trying to get back to America.
- Melonpool abandoned three arcs back to back in favor of continuity reboots.
- Lampshaded, then subverted in Monster of the Week. When Scully notes that season arc seems to have disappeared, it pops up again.
- Nedroid often has story arcs that quickly dissolve and quietly buried.
- The Bandit Ringtail guest comic from Nip and Tuck ended with one of these. Bandit meets Sierra and she calls him out on getting into a fight that he couldn't hope to win, and then she kisses him on the cheek. The guy that Bandit fought mocks him for losing, then gets challenged to a fight by a very large, very muscular female boxer. And then it cuts out. There's no scene of the guy getting his butt kicked, no scene of Bandit leaving Malarky County, nothing.
- The beginning of Noblesse spends a great deal of time getting to know the students in Rai's class, particularly Shinwoo and Ik-han. However, their development as characters ends up getting dropped completely after the KSA tried to recruit them, and have, from then on, just been there in the background to give Rai's group a reason to protect their current lifestyle.
- The love letter arc from Original Life. Maybe. It has the tendency to pop up whenever people least expect it and then get dropped again right away.
- Penny and Aggie:
- In the era when the authors still hoped to make it a print comic, Duane uses the phrase "that's just gay," and Aggie, while she doesn't comment, is startled at his homophobia. Over the coming years, the relationship between the eponymous pair becomes a Slap-Slap-Kiss lesbian romance, and the Coming-Out Story of Sara and, to a lesser degree, Stan, becomes a major subplot... and T (Gisèle having left) would rather write it off, despite his earlier assurances that it would be a plot point.
- The filler story "Min-Jung", which took place in South Korea and featured none of the regular cast, was initially explained to have great impact on the latter stages of the comic. When years passed and "Min-Jung" never got a reference again, T eventually admitted he hadn't found a place for it. The rather hostile reaction to the arc probably aided this. In the strip's epilog, Yun-Sung, the main character, finally puts in a small appearance as Duane's girlfriend at a five-year high school reunion. She was really just used as an exposition device for the a few dangling plot threads related to Duane and Charlotte.
- Platypus Comix:
- A yearly tradition involved the addition of a new chapter to Keiki's Huge Christmas Epic," which detailed the consequences of Santa Claus giving Andrea an infinite number of wishes for December. The comic began in 2002, but Peter Paltridge hasn't added any chapters since 2007. Word of God says there was never a definite plan for a story, and the previous chapters didn't get many hits.
- "Coporatocracy", a Mulberry comic created for BANG! Magazine, ends on a cliffhanger. However, the following BANG! issue has an unrelated Mulberry story, "My Fat Lady". Mulberry and Jack even admit forgetting what exactly happened in "Coporatocracy".
- Oglaf has apparently aborted its plot altogether. Oglaf started as a gag-a-day sex comedy with a handful of recurring characters, then started developing an ongoing plot with hints at a Myth Arc... only to suddenly abandon the story and go back to a gag-a-day comic. The title character was part of the arc, and hasn't been sighted in years.
- Occurs in an arc of PvP, where the characters had travelled back in time, but quickly wrapped up halfway through due to fan complaints. The writer later said he regretted buckling under the pressure.
- Steve, a secondary character in Questionable Content, fell off the map for a while after getting a new girlfriend, Meena, who was living with her ex-boyfriend, Dave, who she broke up with because he was "too perfect" for her. He reappeared, revealing in a series of flashbacks that Meena had married Dave, and then we see a series of almost non-sequitur flashback images that have nothing to do with this point.
- ReBoot: Code of Honor: The subplot about Turbo recruiting Matrix into some new iteration of, or replacement for the Guardian Collective ultimately went nowhere.
- Scary Go Round lampshades the trope rather openly, perhaps mostly for comedy. Two girls use a time travel device to go the 19th century, where they end up getting caught up in a cult and prophesy; things look set to become very tangled. But then, in the present day, the inventor of the device realises what theyve done and uses it to go back and prevent the theft in the first place. He complains that it feels like cheating, but it works, and the Victorian-era plot strand is stopped in its tracks.
- In Sluggy Freelance, the older Dr. Crabtree arc was concluded rather abruptly with her death by an EMP (long story...) with Torg, unaware of this event, saying he sensed a million plot threads crying out at once and suddenly stopping.
- Thanks to creator Christian Weston Chandler's ever-changing fleets of fancy, Sonichu had many of these. One of these involved a plot which Chris-Chan Sonichu, Wes-li Sonichu and Saramah Rosechu were supposed to be instrumental in defeating Ancient Evil Count Graduon, but Chris turned around and Saramah was Put on a Bus for a conga-line of Love Interests. Averted with the Sonichu crystals, as they managed to obtain the crystals and work with them.
- Volume 2 of Sticky Dilly Buns ended with Dillon and Jerzy restarting their relationship despite Jerzys relationship with Angel, and Zii seeing her enemy Angel kissing Richie... It looked like the setup for weeks of soap opera. But then the comic went on hiatus for a couple of years, in which time significant stuff happened to Zii and Angel in the parent comic, Ménage à 3. So when Sticky Dilly Buns returned for a short wrap-up run, all of those plot strands had apparently been resolved in fairly predictable ways off-screen, leaving the comic to focus on its more complex plot issues with Ruby.
- Tweetics spent a considerable amount of time building up to a plot to take over the Vatican before the entire plot (and characters) were dropped entirely with no resolution.
- User Friendly was well into an arc where the company relocates to an abandoned missile silo when the 9/11 attacks happened. The characters themselves lampshade that it's just not funny after that and abruptly return to their usual office.
- What's referred to as the Black and White Era of Voodoo Walrus aborted what looked to be a story arc involving the duo being forced into a making a movie. Word of God suggests that this occurred to artistic burnout which quickly led to a year long hiatus for the comic.
Aborted Arc / Webcomics