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Covers Always Lie / Western Animation

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  • The title card that opens most Tom and Jerry shorts shows the duo smiling at each other as if they like each other, when really, the two of them are enemies.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • The back cover of the five-episode VHS tape "Dream Scheme" shows Buttercup beating up Him who does not appear in any of the episodes on the tape, and the episode list says, "PLUS a Courage the Cowardly Dog bonus toon!" while the bonus non-Powerpuff toon is actually the pilot to Sheep in the Big City.
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    • The back cover of another tape, called "Birthday Bash", states that it has a Sheep in the Big City bonus toon. It's actually the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Journey to the Center of Nowhere". Maybe the two covers were switched around?
  • Likewise, Ed, Edd n Eddy title cards barely have anything to do with the episodes or characters, though occasionally you might get an insight onto the characters' designs.
  • Re-releases of Scooby-Doo television films and collections that contain Scrappy-Doo no longer depict him on the cover, nor mention his presence anywhere in the blurbs, despite Scrappy being a major character in those productions. This is likely due to the massive anti-Scrappy backlash of the post-1980s era. Only ''The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show" keeps Scrappy, likely because his name being in the title would make it impossible to try and pretend he doesn't exist on the cover.
  • The Complete First Season to My Little Pony 'n Friends has the incorrect box art. The artwork is of the 1990s My Little Pony toys, G2 as called by fans, which didn't even have a cartoon.
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    • This also extends to the My Little Pony Tales DVD releases in Australia. Understandably, it only reinforced the confusion of "which generation does Tales belong to?" that was already widespread among collectors and fans of the show at that time.
    • There are some infamous European covers to the My Little Pony TV Specials that are even stronger examples of this trope. The Escape from Katrina specials cover has literally nothing to do with the actual product. Danny isn't even in the special, and that's a prototypical design of him. Both covers show incorrect ponies and Spike inexplicably is much bigger thsn he actually is, has wings, and is ridden by Megan.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 1 DVD box set prominently features Princess Cadance on the disc 3 label art. Cadence wasn't introduced until the finale of ''Season 2''.
    • The cover art for the DVD My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Adventures in the Crystal Kingdom" shows the Mane Six all in new crystal forms. Forms that the cast only take at the end of the two parter, and which only get a minute or two of screen time. Furthermore, the bright colors and smiles on everyone's faces give no indication that "The Crystal Empire" is one of the series' darker adventure episodes.
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    • The back cover of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls shows the Mane 6 as humans with their ears and tails intact. This appearance only happens at the very end of the movie, and furthermore, it was a power-up.
      • A minor one. The look of humanized Twilight Sparkle on the cover for the DVD is ripped straight from the official art on Equestria Girls doll boxes. The character designs used in the movie itself look very different.
    • The cover art for My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks (also used for the soundtrack) features Twilight Sparkle front and center, engaged in a sing-off with Adagio Dazzle, the leader of the villain trio. While this does indeed happen, Twilight herself does not even appear until over a third of the way into the movie, and her ultimate contribution to the band's success is minimal at best. Sunset Shimmer, the villain from the first movie, is the actual main character in this movie, yet she is completely absent from all of the promotional art.
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series has yet to make a DVD release, and the only episode that ever got a video release was the Christmas Episode. The title of the video reads "A 101 Dalmatians Christmas", when it's actually called "A Christmas Cruella". Not only that, but the cover shows Pongo, Lucky, Rolly, Cadpig, Tripod, Wizzer, Dipstick, Patch and Two-Tone playing around with presents and Christmas decorations giving the impression that that is what the special is all about, when really, a majority of it is focused on Cruella.
  • The cover artwork and title screens for Dingo Pictures's productions often depict characters that don't appear in the cartoon... or characters with a different role than they actually have. And the artwork is usually much better.
  • The Pound Puppies (2010) DVD, "Homeward Pound", shows the Super Secret Pup Club on the front and back covers, but Cupcake and Patches do not appear in any of the episodes featured on the DVD. In fact, all the episodes included on the DVD are from Season 1 and came out before either of those pups made their debut in the series.
  • The DVD cover of Yogi's First Christmas is actually a promotional image for Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper.
  • Various Transformers-related DVD covers. The Hungarian boxart for the 1986 animated movie and the disk itself showcases screencaps and promo art for G.I. Joe. Meanwhile, a German cover has Optimus Prime from the Transformers Armada cartoon on it, with the background being a promo shot from the Michael Bay films, and the back cover showing stills from the Armada video game (!). Another German release just uses stills from the Transformers: Generation 1 animated series and a sticker album cover. The Family Home Video release of the "Five Faces of Darkness" five-parter is particularly odd in that, aside from an Evil Overlooker Quintesson face, it has almost nothing to do with the episode in question, throwing together a bunch of characters from 1990-contemporary toy lines seemingly without regard for who actually appears in the show (considering the episode was first aired in 1986, almost none do). Most notably, Powermaster Optimus Prime is front and center on the cover even though he's supposed to be dead when the episode takes place.
  • The DVD cover artwork for Arthur's Big Hit depicts a boxing match between Arthur and D.W. with Francine as the official. This only happens in The Teaser at the beginning of the episode.
  • The front covers of the DVDs comprising season 1 of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! never feature all eight members. Most of them only focus on Avengers who became the title characters of movies forming the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • The cover artwork for the DVD release of Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation depicts Buster, Babs, Plucky, Hamton, Elmyra and Dizzy on a ride at Happy World Land. In the actual movie, Hamton's family and Plucky are the only ones who actually go to Happy World Land, and they don't even go on any of the rides, much to Plucky's dismay. One minor exception to this might be toward the end of the film when Buster and Babs are involved in the mine cart chase with the killer, at one point in the chase, it turned out that the mine cart ride was an attraction at Happy World Land.
  • The makers of the Justice League Unlimited DVD box sets (at least the ones released in the United States) seem to have been confused. The “Season One” set actually contains all the episodes from the first two seasons. The “Season Two” set contains the episodes from the third (and final) season—but the screenshots on the packaging are all from second-season episodes. Furthermore, all the artwork of Hawkgirl for both seasons is of her in her classic costume, one she ditched at the end of the original series and doesn't wear at all in Unlimited.
  • The Hi-Tops Video release of It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown depicts Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang at the beach on the front and back covers, but the special itself involves the characters going to summer camp.
  • The animated adaptation of Tintin in America in Nelvana's acclaimed adaptation of Hergé's comic book series Tintin also lies. The cover of the video is the same as the comic book and depicts Tintin being held captive by Native Americans. In the comic book itself, this indeed happens. In the animated adaptation though, Tintin is never seen in the presence of any Native American at all, nor being captured by them, probably in order to avoid some of the racism of the original.
  • The cover artwork of Kaboom! Presents Christmas Carols, a compilation release featuring Franklin and other shows, such as the PBS Kids version of The Berenstain Bears, depicts Franklin holding his little sister Harriet, who is placing a hat on top of a snowman. It's a cute picture, but of the four Franklin stories featured on the DVD, only one of them is post Franklin and the Green Knight (the film in which Harriet was born), "Franklin's First Star." It's a story focused on Franklin and his friends and Harriet barely appears in it, if at all.
  • The cover artwork of the Franklin and Friends release "Sharing is Caring" shows Franklin presenting a drawing of a heart to Harriet. Again, it's a deliberately cute picture, but there's no scene like this in any of the stories on the DVD and Harriet only appears in one of them.
  • "Family Day," another of the compilation releases with Franklin stories on it, is made even worse by having Harriet prominently featured on both the front and back covers, despite all of the Franklin stories on the DVD being from before Franklin and the Green Knight. Seems whoever's doing the DVD covers for Kaboom likes the little tike or at least thinks she's quite marketable.
  • The cover artwork of the second season DVD box set of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated shows the Entity, the main villain of the series in a bright green color and generally much cartoonier design than his depiction in the show, and also places him in the background among other monsters, suggesting he is just another Monster of the Week. In reality, he is the darkest villain of the series, outright killing characters in his appearance. The covers for both seasons also don't depict anything related to the series' story arc, making it look like just another Scooby Doo series with minimal continuity.
  • On the cover of the Rugrats VHS A Baby's Gotta Do What A Baby's Gotta Do, a scene from "Tommy's First Birthday" is used. The episode does not appear on the VHS (or any of the Rugrats VHS releases).
  • The Australian DVD releases of the 2016 Bionicle: The Journey to One cartoon by Universal Pictures are full of artwork related to the 2009 Bionicle movie The Legend Reborn, including the back cover, the preview screencaps, the menus, and the spine on volume 1. Not only are these two works completely unrelated (belonging to two separate Bionicle generations), they don't even share the same art style. More baffling, the menus also reuse artwork from the 2008 Bionicle toy promos, which again have nothing to do with the cartoon. Universal had the rights to release The Journey To One in the region, and since they produced The Legend Reborn and probably still owned some random old Bionicle pictures from back in the day, they just slapped those on the DVD without any thought.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987): The VHS back cover description for the episode "Cowabunga Shredhead" makes it seem like the plot is about Shredder creating an evil holographic duplicate of Michelangelo and the duplicate tricking the Turtles. While this was Shredder's plan, he never gets the chance to use it like the description states, as he spends most of the episode thinking he is the real Michelangelo thanks to Bebop and Rocksteady screwing things up. The Turtles attempt to exploit Shredder's condition in order to discover his endgame through the entire episode, never once getting tricked by a phony version of Mikey.
  • One of the thumbnails for Troll Hunters shows Jim with his Daylight armor on one half and his Eclipse armor on the other. The good trolls are behind the blue and silver Daylight armor and the evil trolls are behind the red and black Eclipse armor, implying that Jim would pick up some form of evil side, which never happens.
  • In the late 90's, there was a VHS tape of the first 5 episodes of The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin that was called Teddy Ruxpin: The Movie. The case and opening titles to the tape said it was a feature film based on the series, when it actually was the TV series itself.
  • The covers to the DVD release of The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol only features images from the CGI parts, going as far to the description and the bottom shot on the cover being a CGI version of a shot from the traditionally animated half.
  • Looney Tunes
    • The cover artwork of the 1st volume for the Golden Collection features Taz on the front cover, inside back cover and the third disc. However, he only appears in one cartoon featured on the fourth disc. Similarly, Porky Pig, despite being the focus of the second disc alongside Daffy, appears ''nowhere'' in the DVD artwork, apart from a screencap from the "Duck Dodgers" cartoon on the back.
  • The posters used to advertise the Sofia the First and Elena of Avalor movies show off bright colors and an optimistic vibe, not even hinting at the dark plots they have.
    • In a more traditional sense, the poster for the crossover movie shows Elena front and center while Sofia is behind her, when in actuality, Sofia is the protagonist while Elena is the deutaragonist.
  • The VHS cover to Volume 3 of Disney’s Halloween Adventures (entitled Witcheroo) shows Darkwing Duck, swinging on a rope, with Gosalyn holding on to him, while Winifred (from the Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers episode, Good Times, Bat Times) brews something in her cauldron. Sure, it’s cool looking, but when you find out that Gosalyn isn’t in the Darkwing Duck episode that’s featured on the VHS, you might be wondering “Why is she on the cover in the first place?”
  • The thumbnail for the French cartoon The Crumpets on the myCANAL website features a girl named Petite Pousse who appears in one of the books the show is based on, but not in the show itself.
  • The Disney+ page for DuckTales (1987) features a key art of Donald Duck in his Navy uniform with Huey, Dewey and Louie under the backdrop an aircraft carrier. While it is accurate to the plot of the show, Donald only appears in a few of the show's episodes.

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