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I wonder what sort of crazy adventures I'll get up to now...

Woody: Come on, let's see the next episode!
Stinky Pete: That's it.
Woody: What?
Stinky Pete: The show was cancelled after that.

The polar opposite of a Grand Finale: a series ends abruptly, without resolution of its basic premise, due to some unplanned event such as cancellation, the 65/40-episode limit or Author Existence Failure. The story does not end, it simply stops in medias res, possibly with a Cliffhanger. In a few lucky cases, The Resolution Will Not Be Televised, but goes directly to DVD and Blu-ray. In even luckier cases the series will be able to Wrap It Up with a miniseries, a movie, or a new season. More often than not, however, there is no final resolution.

Even more frustratingly, often shows create Myth Arcs haphazardly, stringing viewers along and never really intending to offer any conclusion to the story arcs they tell the first 2/3s of, or answering the questions they raise. This is called The Chris Carter Effect. Those that do care utilize the Front 13, Back 9 episode plan in an attempt to avert this Trope, though that's no guarantee when Real Life Writes the Plotnote .


If the work has a sufficiently dedicated fanbase, this can become Fanfic Fuel for a Continuation fic. Compare No Ending, in which there is a deliberate decision to end a work abruptly, and Left Hanging, where while the series ends, many questions are left unanswered. If it doesn't deal with the major plot issues, a Gecko Ending will include this. See also Orphaned Series and The Resolution Will Not Be Televised (when a work is wrapped up in a different medium).



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Act-age was cancelled overnight at 123 chapters in the middle of a non-concluded arc (and with a stage play adaptation underway) when its writer Tatsuya Matsuki was arrested for sexual misconduct. The manga was pulled from physical and digital distribution, the stage play was cancelled, and the artist Shiro Usazaki promptly removed any mention of the series—which was the first commercial work to bring her success—from her Twitter account.
  • Ah! My Goddess: As with adaptations of Rumiko Takahashi's manga, the length of the manga made it all but impossible to fully adapt into an anime. This may change with the manga's conclusion in 2014.
  • The anime version of Ai Yori Aoshi ended at volume 12 or so of the manga, leaving the "Kaoru and Aoi" plot thread unresolved. (The manga ran for 17 volumes and did have a proper ending.)
  • Baccano!, its anime first episode is a huge indication of that, apparently the unknown blond girl sliced Isaac's ear off for no reason; her name is Adele by the way and she is a major character further where the anime left off. It seems Brain Base didn't expect this much of a flop; the series had to be cut short.
  • Barrage ended with only 16 chapters as it was going through its first story arc. The finale sees Astro beating Mr. Black the man who had inspired him to look out for others and continuing his training to be a proper prince. Luckily, the author's next product was a bit more successful.
  • This actually happened to Beelzebub in both the manga and its anime adaptation.
    • For the manga, it was suddenly cancelled due to poor ratings the last several months it was being released. The final chapters was forced to rush the section of the Ishiyama Upstart arc it was on to end the fight against Fuji, and then capped the manga off with a 2-year-jump epilogue in the final chapter.
    • As for the anime, it rushed through the climax of the Akuma Academy arc to create a Gecko Ending.
  • The Berserk anime notoriously ends at the conclusion of "Band of the Hawks", a very long flashback that explains How We Got Here for the first few episodes. Not only does this leave the series with a massive Downer Ending, it isn't clear how they'd get out (even though you know they do because of the opening episodes), because the Skull Knight - who rescues Guts and Casca in the manga - isn't in the anime. It's interesting to note that the anime series did not end abruptly because of cancellation or Author Existence Failure - it just... ended.
    • After 18 years of retreading the same material that the 90s anime covered, a sequel series that finally continues the story beyond the "Band of the Hawk" arc finally premiered in summer 2016.
  • Atsuhi Ohkubo's first manga B.Ichi has an intense build-up to the final confrontation, Big Bad Friend Emine starts the Gathering of the Masks, the protagonist Showtaro has taken a level in badass and is ready to jump in, determined to save his friend… and a big END is splashed at the bottom of the page. The series ends abruptly just before the final arc, with several questions unresolved and others only vaguely answered. It's safe to assume that it wasn't meant to end this way.
  • Depending on who you ask, The Big O qualifies. Some will argue that they tried to wrap it up when they discovered they wouldn't get a third season, others believe they left the end of season two as is in the hopes of getting a season three.
  • Bleach:
    • The anime regularly Overtook the Manga prompting filler arcs lasting up to a full year. When the anime caught up to the manga again at the end of the Lost Agent arc, it was unceremoniously cancelled rather than going into filler while the final Thousand-Year Blood War arc was still in publication. An animated adaptation of the final arc was finally announced in March 2020.
    • In interviews, Kubo Tite stated the final arc would run at least as long as the 26-volume Arrancar Arc to tie up all loose ends in the story. However, 19 volumes into the final arc, Bleach announced it would be ending, and the finale coincided with its fifteenth anniversary. Kubo had been suffering increasingly ill health since 2010, that made continuing the manga a struggle for him. Although he had known what the final chapter would be back when he began the manga, he wrapped up the story much faster than he had originally planned. The extremely rushed conclusion left many questions, and didn't even resolve the fates of many key characters.
  • The anime version of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo ended so abruptly, even the characters were shell-shocked, the show was pretty popular despite the Moral Guardians in Japan finding it controversial, but the reason the show ended early was due to one of its sponsors being in a financial crisis at the time.
  • The original Bubblegum Crisis OVA is rather infamous for this. It got to episode 8, which was a big Character Development moment for Nene Romanova and the Midseason Upgrade for everyone, and then... a combination of internal politics and budget issues caused a schism between the two companies that produced the show, ending production abruptly before the remaining planned 5 episodes could be completed. Bubblegum Crash! tried sometime later to tie things up, but didn't have everyone on board, and the result was... not well-received by fans.
  • Poor Cutey Honey has had this happen to her plenty of times over the years.
    • The original 1973 anime series got cancelled after 25 episodes due to its, at the time, racy content.
    • New Cutey Honey, started out as a 4 episode OVA that ended up being so popular, that eight more episodes were ordered. Unfortunately, it ended up being cancelled after airing four of the eight promised episodes.
    • Cutie Honey a Go Go! was cancelled right in the middle of the story after 10 chapters due to the series reaching the limit of an average serial manga series. Another reason was that the manga was meant to be an adaptation of the 2004 live-action movie, but the author decided halfway through to change it up and do his own thing, taking multiple elements from the original manga.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys abruptly ended in September 2012, with a final chapter that doesn't remotely look like a finale. No reason was given for this.
  • The manga adaptation of Date A Live gets cut short just before Shidou's first date with Tohka, which is in the middle of the first volume of the light novel. However, the reason why it ends there isn't because of Executive Meddling or for unknown reasons, but because of the artist's health issue.
  • Dangaioh was supposed to be longer than 3 episodes and was supposed to have a sequel, but that never happened, resulting in the OVA's ending on a cliffhanger. It later got a sequel named Great Dangaioh was supposed to be 26 episodes, but it was so poorly-received by both fans and critics that the series was cut to 12 episodes and once again ended on a cliffhanger, effectively ensuring that the Dangaioh series as a whole would never get a proper ending, let alone resolve the OVA's events.
  • D.Gray-Man: The anime stops after Lenalee and Allen defeat the Level 4 Akuma, with Lenalee discovering the new Crystal Type Anti-Akuma Weapon. Afterwards, there's a shot of the main cast, who have survived the attack, and the Noah Clan with different appearances, indicating a time skip. The show ends with Allen and the Millennium Earl preparing for the inevitable fights ahead. The last thing we get is a cut to black with the word "FIN" covering the screen. The show was cancelled due to a combination of low ratings and the anime getting close to overtaking the manga.
  • Domina no Do!, where the manga just suddenly ends with no Character Development and nothing resolved.
  • Double Arts, a Shōnen manga, had just finished setting up its premise, characters, the Big Bad, even debuted the titular fighting style, and it was really starting to distinguish itself from its generic beginnings... when the person writing the tale closed the book saying, "I may continue it... some other time."
  • The Durarara!! anime was this for a long time. By the time the initial series ended, Celty still hadn't found her head, two major characters from the light novels were introduced in the very last episode, and it still hadn't been revealed what Izaya's ultimate plans are. It finally got another season after 5 years which finished off the story, making this a very rare example of a light novel series that received a complete anime adaptation.
  • The Elfen Lied anime ended early due to marketing and broadcasting issues (which is for good reason and for the anime's notoriety; how can you market something like that to a ten to fifteen-year-old?!). Instead, the anime propels itself to a Gecko Ending, while the manga goes for a complex Grand Finale. However, due to the surprising fanbase for a manga that had literally one ad for its anime, there's a slight possibility of there being a second season, but a greater possibility for an OVA or movie-based remake.
  • Faeries Landing started off slow and then built up to ramming speed with the plot, finally hitting important and very well put together plots and scripts, introduced a new love interest, finally had the main heroine meet her parents completely and both the main villain of the heroine and the main villain of the hero attack their respective targets and just as the hero and heroine go towards their targets for battle...... the volume ends. What makes this a problem? The author dropped the series to start on another promising to come back for it and never doing so. Effectively the series ENDS on a cliffhanger just before the resolution!
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited was cut short from the original 52 episodes to 24, resolving the latter parts with voiced dramas, books and a web novel that never see the light outside Japan.
  • Fire Candy ended with a particularly violent Cliffhanger after only nineteen chapters, leaving the biggest part of the plot entirely untouched.
  • Food Wars!: After the manga reception became increasingly cold, with sales dropping after each volume and a very poor reception to the last two major story arcs of the manga, the manga was rushed to the ending, with a 3-parter epilogue special being published later that year to try to tie loose ends.
  • The Galaxy Angel anime parodies this. At the end of every single season, a huge cliffhanger is set up, and the next season makes absolutely no mention of it whatsoever.
  • Gantz, or rather the anime version: due to the very slow updating of the source manga, only the first three arcs were adapted before a confusing filler ending concluded the series.
  • The second series of Genshiken stops at a point in the storyline just before the eighth manga volume begins. It had previously added to and extended the manga's material in order to have enough for a third series. The final nail in the coffin is that the Second Generation manga (volume 10 onward) has now been adapted to anime, leaving the ending of the original series likely never to be covered, outside of a the odd flashback in the new series.
  • Gun Blaze West ended with the heroes managing to pass a test and allowed to be shown a secret way to the fabled location but never actually showing them reaching there. The final bits showing an earlier character thought killed coming upon the gun he gave to the main character who left it as sort of a bread crumb to follow him.
  • This has happened to at least two separate shows in the Gundam franchise:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam was meant for 50 episodes, but due to poor ratings the network cut them down to 39. However, the staff asked for an extension in order to wrap everything up properly, resulting in an unorthodox 42 episode run. They arguably succeeded, since the show resolved most of its plotlines well enough and didn't leave any major threads hanging.
    • After War Gundam X was originally meant for 50 episodes, but was cut down to 39, resulting in the last arc being only 3 episodes long, and extremely rushed.
  • The anime of His and Her Circumstances got cut off after one season for several reasons, among them Studio Gainax having the usual Studio Gainax problems and, rather more importantly, the manga's author reacting very badly to the direction the anime took and pulling the rights.
  • Happened twice with the 1999 Hunter × Hunter anime, at first immediately after a big reveal right in the middle of an intense story arc due to overtaking the manga. Needless to say, fans weren't pleased and as a result the animation studio released a series of OVAs that covered the rest of the arc and the one after that. Unfortunately those ended in the middle of a chapter. This had an even worse effect on the English dub since, due to low DVD sales, Viz Media didn't bother dubbing the OVAs.note 
  • Ero-manga story Junk Story, featured in Eros Comix's Silky Whip Extreme ends with the heroine ?_, waiting for a rescue by a character who appears to have been Killed Off for Real. This would just be a Downer Ending combined with No Ending, except for the fact that it leaves every single plot thread unresolved, and even introduces new plot threads that will never be resolved.
  • The Kill la Kill manga not only doesn't adapt the second half of the story, but is noticeably more and more rushed as it goes on. The first volume is pretty much an 1:1 adaptation, but then two whole episodes are skipped and the rest is abridged.
  • The Last Saiyuki manga was cancelled leaving the remaining chapters to wrap things up.
  • The Love Hina anime finished its first season, began setting up a second...before getting canceled a few episodes in and with zero resolution. Eventually, a few OVAs came out that tried to rush through the missing plot arcs.
  • The Left Hanging nature of Martian Successor Nadesico was intentional. The non-ending of its movie continuation was not, since it was a planned trilogy that had its second and third installments canceled.
  • Ditto Mx0. How the guy was able to continue illustrating after those is an incredible feat altogether.
  • The official fourth season of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise seems to have gone this way, while no Word of God has confirmed the series cancelation, considering the fact that there has been a prolonged hiatus since September 2013 the future isn't looking so bright.
  • Mew Mew Power, the 4Kids English dub of Tokyo Mew Mew was cancelled after Episode 26, never adapting episodes 27-52. What's worse, is that the dub ended with a "To Be Continued..." title card. In addition, many, many foreign dubs used this version as a reference, and many of them (such as Spanish, Greek, and Brazilian Portuguese) ended up canceled as well. Apparently it was canceled because 4Kids could not find a merchandising deal for the show.
  • The Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan manga wasn't doing too hot in the ratings and ended up getting canceled shortly after chapter 207 was released. However, the mangeka was given the ability to write three final monthly chapters, 208, 209 and 210, to at least give the final battle against Seimei, and the rest of the Gokadoin household, some form of a conclusion. The anime also never went further than the Kyoto Arc.
  • Panzer World Galient: After twenty-six episodes, the anime sort of just... ends abruptly, without final confrontation among the hero and the Big Bad or his Dragon.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors only had FOUR episodes made, there's no introduction of the plot from the manga or any explanation of why Count D does what he does, for a ten-volume Manga (which is complete and with a sequel in progress) it is very disappointing that the anime didn't get into any of it.
  • PhantomSeer: The manga was canceled in its 30th chapter. This leaves the story with only one out of the Big Bad's five Co-Dragons defeated, and the main villain still at large and her plan not explained.
  • Pokémon:
    • While not the whole anime obviously, a storyline that happened during the Unova saga of Pokémon was cut short by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Said storyline involved Team Rocket searching for the Meteonite and was going to conclude with them clashing with Team Plasma (the episodes were even made) before the tsunami occurred. Because of that, the arc was never resolved and Team Plasma didn't show up in the anime until after the Unova League, and when they finally did in the Episode N arc, the two unaired episodes were Retconned into having never happened for the English dub. TV Tokyo still holds the two-part arc conclusion and has maintained that they will be broadcast in Japan someday, but when that someday is no-one can say. Various trailers and a synopsis based on leaked information show that it went pretty much how one would expect it to go - with Team Plasma stealing the Meteonite from Team Rocket, the two teams fighting over it, and Ash intervening and having Pikachu destroy it to end the conflict.
    • A Pokémon Gold and Silver manga, Pokémon Golden Boys, ended abruptly after three volumes. It didn't finish the Johto arc. Despite numerous references to Red, we never see him.
    • On a more obscure note, the second installment in Takeshi Shudō's novelizations of the anime included a "to be continued" note in the afterword, but the third volume was never released, plus Shudo died in 2010.
  • Presents ends without main plot thread resolved — after we finally get a hint how it might be a few chapters before the end — and the final collection ends with a piece that doesn't even match the theme of the rest of the series.
  • The Pretty Face manga was also cut short. While the ending was clearly intentional, only one of the major plot points was resolved on screen, and a whole additional year passed with the basic premise, with no clear reason why that didn't deserve to be shown, whilst the year we did see did.
  • Princess Rouge was supposed to be six episodes long, but funding ran dry, and it got cut off at two episodes, with the second episode even going so far as to hint at a new villain for the third episode... which does not exist.
  • Prism was put on an indefinite hiatus and eventually cancelled due to scandals involving the mangaka and plagiarism.
  • The anime of Psychic Academy ends after the Beach Episode, barely a third of the way through the manga storyline. Not only does it not resolve the love triangle, it barely managed to finish defining it!
  • The Rave Master anime just ends right after the introduction of Lucia, the true Big Bad of the series, is shown. The show had promptly been canceled due to low ratings and it's assumed this was a gambit to get readers to check out the manga to see what happens next.
  • The Reborn! (2004) anime ended this way, right after the Future Arc when they come home, all they do is say that Tsuna needs more training before coming a boss and just stare at the sky right when the credits roll.
  • Rozen Maiden, whose anime Overtook the Manga and whose manga tragically ended with a Deus ex Machina (and an apology) following a dispute between the producers and the publishers. The manga did get a sequel that picks up almost right where the original left off.
  • The Shadow Star anime ended at about halfway through the manga's story, giving next to no closure. But that may be a merciful choice.
  • Anime based upon Rumiko Takahashi's manga seem usually subject to this. The anime versions of Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½, Inuyasha, and RIN-NE are all Cut Short. Possibly because Takahashi manga are so long. However, Urusei Yatsura did get a theatrical wrap-up and Inuyasha was eventually finished with a second anime series called Inuyasha: The Final Act, which covered the manga from the point where the first series left off to its conclusion, albeit in abridged form.
  • School Zone ends with the lead characters discovering what they have to do to put an end to the thirteen ghost stories... and ending the current crisis at the school as they start on it. It ends without their actually finishing their new task... and without fully resolving the subplot regarding the mystery of twins Mako and Miko.
  • Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro's original Weekly Jump manga Seikimatsu Leader den Takeshi! was cut after five years due to his conviction of soliciting an underage prostitute.
  • Silent Möbius ends like this. The manga, however, completes the story... and was released before the series, so its a rare case of the trope working in reverse.
  • Tatsunoko Productions' '90s remake of Speed Racer was planned to be 52 episodes, but a change in directors and a significant drop in ratings caused the series to wind up overhauled midway through production. It wound up being pulled after 34 episodes were produced. A dub of this version titled Speed Racer X would air on Nickelodeon in 2003, but only got through 13 episodes before it was abruptly cancelled due to Speed Racer Enterprises filing a lawsuit against DiC over ownership rights to the dub.
  • Seems to be a curse with Spider Riders. The manga ended after 10 chapters, when the magazine which serialized it was discontinued. It was never picked-up elsewhere. As for the anime itself, original plans for the show revealed that it would have an actual conclusive ending. However, to make room for a second season, the ending was made open instead. That second season never came, and viewers are still left wondering about Aqune's past/whether her memories will return, whether Hunter ever intends to go back to his own world, and any romantic resolution, among other things. And as for the novels, there were supposed to be five. Fans get... three and a half?
  • Anime original Stars Align was planned for 24 episodes, but less than six months before broadcast, it was trimmed to 12note , leaving the staff no time to adjust it to 12 episodes. Instead the show cuts off with a double-whammy cliffhanger at the end of episode 12.
  • The Sweet Blue Flowers anime cuts off right at the crucial moment at which Fumi realizes Akira was her first love. Originally more seasons were planned, but due to disappointing DVD sales it's highly unlikely any more will be produced.
  • The SWOT manga ended rather abruptly at chapter 20, right after the conclusion of a fight that would've been building up to a Tournament Arc.
  • The Tokkô anime ends on a cliffhanger with no resolution to the story. The manga also ends with no real conclusion, only a brief monologue by Ranmaru saying that the world ended two years later, with no further explanation.
  • The manga Tokyo Shinobi Squad got hit with the axe at 27 chapters.
  • To Love-Ru, which had a very very unsatisfying ending due to the Creator Breakdown the artist Kentaro Yabuki went through — his wife sleeping around on him, kidnapping their daughter, selling the daughter back to him, stealing his computers and life savings. The ending was extremely, extremely abrupt, solved no plot threads, and generally pissed off the fanbase — until Nico Nico Douga and 2Channel put together the news articles about the divorce and figured out what happened.
    • Even though the story has taken a rather drastic change in tone and major characters, it has seemed to successfully subvert this trope and is now continuing with the sequel, "To-Love-Ru Darkness".
    • Kentaro Yabuki's other series, Mayoi Neko Overrun, was Cut Short as well, and far, far worse than To-Love-Ru was - at least that had an ending of sorts. The last chapter of Overrun is the beginning of an arc and it even tells the reader to check the next month for the continuation. Which doesn't exist.
  • While Wild Knights Gulkeeva does end with the heroes having a showdown with the Big Bad, it's made clear that the main crisis befalling earth hasn't been averted yet and that the Big Bad's spirit still lingers in the parallel world the heroes hail from and needs to be defeated before earth is totally safe. In addition, The Dragon becomes The Unfought because he doesn't see The Hero as worthy of a battle yet (The Big Bad's physical form was defeated by a Deus ex Machina partially powered by a Heroic Sacrifice), and on top of all that, a minor supporting character reveals his Face–Heel Turn and there's a conversation with The Dragon vaguely talking about an Artifact of Doom MacGuffin. It's clear the show was setting up for another story arc, but was cut due to poor ratings.
  • Zombie Powder ends without a conclusion or resolution to the story. Rumor has it that Tite Kubo had a Creator Breakdown that led to its cancellation.
  • The 90s hentai manga series Dragon Pink by ITOYOKO had nothing after its fourth volume; it stopped on a cliffhanger of Pink, its main female protagonist, being impaled by a sword, the sort of cliffhanger you'd expect a series to follow up on. ITOYOKO himself is still active in the H manga drawing scene, making it strange how he hasn't yet finished the story.
  • The manga adaptation of Record of Grancrest War ends on a cancellation-induced cliffhanger at the end of volume 7, in the middle of the Forest of Eternal Darkness arc, only about a third of the way through the full story.

    Comic Books 
  • Agent Venom's ongoing got cancelled right as it was beginning to resolve its overarching plot. However, some unresolved plots, such as Mania and the hellmarks, have been included in Mike Costa's Venom and Donny Cates' Venom series; and Rick Remender revealed what the Spawning arc would have entailed in 2020.
  • All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder simply stopped being published after issue #10. There was an announcement about a follow-up series to wrap up the story, but more than 5 years have passed since then with no further news.
  • The second volume of Batman Adventures, which had taken comic book tie-ins to cartoons to a new level; it was set in the DCAU after Batman: The Animated Series and during(ish) Justice League, acting almost like a sequel series with well-written stories that averted the original status quo while also bringing closure to various characters and foreshadowing new ones. It was canceled after only 17 issues to make way for The Batman's tie-in comic. Before going out, they were able to resolve some plot threads: revealing the truth behind the Penguin's mayoral election, having Penguin quit as mayor, making a major revelation about Poison Ivy which acted as her exit from the series, providing closure for the stories of Clayface and Mr. Freeze, and having Batman confront Joe Chill without even knowing it. But that also left various plot threads unresolved... The identity of the DCAU's new Red Hood who was only able to make one full panel appearance, the Phantasm's motivations for allying with him, the Riddler being left in a coma, Talia's reactions to being abandoned by Batman after taking a bullet for him, Eel O'Brien was introduced but never got around to becoming Plastic Man, and so on... On message boards creators Dan Slott and Ty Templeton have spoken of much more awesome sounding ideas for future issues which would tie DC Animated Continuity together in new and awesome ways... they had planned for up to their 40th or so issue!
  • Big Numbers was a 12-issue series by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz, but only the first two issues were released.
  • There's an interesting case with the Argentine comic book El Eternauta. The writer Héctor Germán Oesterheld joined the Montoneros, a terrorist organization, and became a fugitive of the military government (all this is real world stuff, not comic book plot). And yet, he managed to continue writing the comic book (with an Anvilicious tone in support of the Montoneros) while being on the run, sending the scripts by mail to the artist Francisco Solano López, who made the weekly comic book and sent it to the publisher. The comic book is a finished work, but Oesterheld was captured and killed at some unknown point. To this day, it is not known if he has really managed to finish the comic book before his capture, or if some other Montonero sent scripts in his name afterwards.
  • Hard Time's second volume was canceled fairly abruptly after one story arc, leading to a Distant Finale / "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue in the final issue that attempts (and doesn't quite manage) to tie up all the plot threads.
  • The Inhumanoids Comic-Book Adaptation, which began publication a month after the animated series ended, was cancelled at issue four and ended on an unresolved cliffhanger with Sandra Shore turned into a zombie by D'Compose. This is a strong contrast with the Transformers and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) comic books, which both predated and outlasted their respective cartoons in addition to ending in ways that resolved the ongoing story, subsequent sequel series notwithstanding.
  • The Maggie the Cat mini-series, a spin-off from Jon Sable, Freelance, was cancelled after two issues with no resolution.
  • Malibu Comics' Street Fighter was halted after only three issues were published. Many pin the blame on the controversial decision to apparently kill off Ken, which stings more considering that Word of God confirmed that he would have survived.
  • Archie Comics' Mega Man was put on indefinite hiatus following the release of the fifty-fifth issue, with the plot having begun to set up an adaptation of Mega Man 4 (and said final issue foreshadowing the events of later games). As of October 2016, no-one (not even the creative team) knows when or if the series will return. It just seems even more unlikely now that the creative team has jumped ship to IDW.
  • In 2018, MAD started a section of serialized strips called Potzrebie Comics. They quickly became popular, but none of them reached five installments before all the artists were fired and the mag switched to reprints. Most frustratingly, Lukey And Mukey ends with the protagonists being led to Mukey's lair, and setting up a Hyperlink Story. However, the authors have said they hope come back to the ideas someday.
  • The short-lived Devil's Due continuation of Micronauts (Image) ended at three issues in spite of soliciting a fourth issue, the comic ending before we'd see how the team would fare with Azura Nova as their newest member and what Baron Karza intended to do with the human-sized constructs he had a human scientist build for him.
  • Omaha the Cat Dancer ground to a halt with none of its plots resolved when creators Reed Waller and Kate Worley split up. With Worley's death in 2004, it looked like there was no chance it would ever be finished. However, Worley's husband James Vance began writing new scripts from her notes, and the story was finally finished in 2013.
  • The Action Lab Puppet Master series was canceled in the middle of a story arc involving a rejuvenated Toulon infiltrating a cult with his old puppets. It's believed the license on the IP was running out or something like that, and the last two issue were canned so the creative team could focus their efforts on the Post-Script Season Grand Finale.
  • Quantum and Woody was canceled suspended after issue #17, then resumed eleven months later with issue #34 as a meta Time Skip. The comic then resumed at #18, building towards the events in #34, but was canceled for good before that could be shown.
  • While plans were made for multiple story arcs, the Rainbow Brite comic was ultimately canceled after only 5 issues.
  • Scream: Curse of Carnage was unceremoniously cancelled due to low sales as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic stalling the book's physical release for several months, and just as the series was entering into its second arc and introducing new plot-threads and characters.
  • DC's 12-issue Sonic Disruptors series from the 1980s was cancelled after issue #7.
  • Sonic the Comic: Due to cost-cutting policies, it was decided that the comic would stop printing new stories and become reprints only. The writers weren't notified of this until the last second. A Story Arc was midway, so they requested an extension so as to be able to finish it at least, and they were given a few more issues. But even then, the arc was never intended to be a finale, so many plot points were left hanging.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Several storylines were hit with this bad due to former writer Ken Penders suing Archie and Sega to regain custody of the characters he created and won. However, he was willing to let them use them again under two stipulations that both companies balked at - that the storyline "Mobius: 25 Years Later" became the comic's future canonnote  and that everything involving his characters had to be vetted by himnote . During the height of the mess, Archie opted to reboot the universe during Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, thus not only making the comic universe video game-friendly, but also forcing a lot of stories to be stopped abruptly - the King Naugus storyline ends with Naugus having a major freakout and running away when he's hit with visions of the old universe, Antoine no longer comatose, Bunnie back to being a cyborg and Sally no longer roboticized.
    • And in 2017 the comic was abruptly put on indefinite hiatus, subscribers refunded, and the Mega Drive miniseries and a few plot threads from the main series left hanging. In July 2017, it was confirmed to be cancelled, meaning there will likely never be any resolution to the aforementioned miniseries and plot threads.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil tie in comic, Deep Trouble mini-series was meant to be eight issues. But didn't sell well and ended at issue four, leaving on a cliff hanger of Star and Marco managing to find Pony Head's compact needed for proof of her innocence of stealing a crown in an underwater kingdom. Only to find out she gotten an upgrade and transferred her data onto it (meaning the whole escapade to retrieve it was a "Shaggy Dog" Story) and the photos on it not helping her case. It even ends with a "Next Time..." blur on the side but wasn't meant to be.
  • Swordquest was a series of pack-in comic books created by DC Comics for Atari's Swordquest adventure game series. The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 prevented the last game from being released, and only the first three issues exist.
  • The collapse of Dreamwave Comics cut several Transformers comics short; none of the titles were picked up by IDW, due to Pat Lee not paying his employees. This is a particularly bad example, since when Dreamwave collapsed, the comics were right square in the middle of resolving the epic Myth Arc that had been set up. Dreamwave's bankruptcy left numerous plotlines hanging, ended the series on a cliffhanger, and made several scenes that were important foreshadowing look like a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
    • The bankruptcy of Dreamwave also had a bad effect on Transformers/G.I. Joe: Divided Front, which was intended to be a Sequel Series to Transformers/G.I. Joe and last six issues like its predecessor, but only released one issue before Dreamwave went out of business.
  • The Valiant Comics Unity 2000 mini-series was going to cross over and merge the VH1 and VH2 universes, and a third universe would be introduced and destroyed, showing potential ideas from before the VH2 era. The mini-series was cancelled before its resolution.
  • Similar to the aforementioned Inhumanoids comic, the Visionaries comic book tie-in began publication after the cartoon it was based on had started airing, but ended abruptly due to cancellation. The comic came to a halt in the sixth issue with an arc involving Merklynn tasking the Spectral Knights and Darkling Lords with finding four enchanted jewels themed after the four elements of nature (while withholding from both groups that he needs the jewels to prevent his own death) only halfway finished. The end of the issue even addressed that the arc would never get a proper conclusion because of the comic being cancelled.
  • In 1998 Werewolf by Night volume 2 was published, intended to be a continuing series, but was canceled after 6 issues due to poor sales. It was decided to move the storyline to the Strange Tales anthology, of which four issues were solicited with the specific intention of wrapping up plot lines that the first cancellation left hanging. Ironically, Strange Tales was canceled as well after two issues, killing the chances of seeing those nagging questions answered.
  • X-Men Forever was intended to be an ongoing series that was cut short due to lackluster sales. it was an attempt for Chris Claremont to wrap up long simmering plot points from his original legendary run with X-Men from '74-'91. While some of the plot points were wrapped up, the comic was cancelled just as a whole new set of plot points had been introduced. However, while for most comic writers, this is a severe annoyance, for Chris, it was just Tuesday.
  • The 1980s UK Zoids comic (written by Grant Morrison) was canceled just as the story started to become really interesting.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Ralph Bakshi's animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings was originally intended to be three films but was later forced to shortened to two. The first part was originally titled The Lord of the Rings Part I, but executive meddling forced a title changed to just The Lord of the Rings, which confused many viewers when the film ended without concluding the story. While the original film made back its money at the box office, it was not the runaway success hoped for and the originally intended second part was canceled, leaving the story unfinished (at least by Bakshi, though Rankin/Bass Productions did produce an unconnected animated adaption of The Return of the King, the third book in the series).
  • In-Universe. The former Trope Namer and current Trope Quote is Toy Story 2, where Woody watches an episode of the TV show he was based on, Woody's Roundup, that ends in a cliffhanger, only to discover the show was cancelled after that, due to the rising popularity of space toys. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it subversion happens later on when the cliffhanger is resolved in the background. Unsurprisingly, this is the very same scene where Stinky Pete's true colors are revealed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell victim to this. The ending very unsubtly set up a plot thread involving the Sinister Six and the mysterious Gustav Fiers, which will now never be resolved thanks to the series being cancelled and rebooted with Spider-Man: Homecoming.
  • The adaptation of the Divergent trilogy. Following the then-current trend of a Movie Multipack, it was decided to split the last novel Allegiant into two films, first titled Allegiant - Part 1 and Allegiant - Part 2, and then changed to Allegiant and Ascendant. However, Allegiant bombed at box office, leaving the studio scrambling to conclude the series either as a Made-for-TV Movie or a TV series. But none of the original cast were contracted for that, and as negotiations dragged on, Lionsgate's rights to the franchise expired, leaving the series without an ending.
  • The Wedding March was not supposed to be this. It ends with Nicki going through with his Arranged Marriage to Cecilia, on a day full of ominous foreboding, while his lover Mitzi promises to marry the jealous Schani. It was followed up with an immediate sequel, The Honeymoon, in which the messy Love Dodecahedron was pursued to a full Downer Ending—but the only known print of The Honeymoon was lost to a fire in 1959. Consequently The Wedding March is left hanging.

  • .Hack//Zero: a series of novels set in the main .hack canon that tells the story of a (female) Heavy Axmen named Carl and her encounters with Aura and Skeith/Sora. The series abruptly ended with no real resolution after its first volume relegating Carl's story to side materials (She ends up Data Drained by Skeith apparently) and since the .hack series as a whole has moved on a good number of years in the timeline (being on the 3rd version of The World now) it shows no signs of ever being finished. It's also a case of No Export for You, likely due to its unfinished nature.
  • The Edgar & Ellen book series ends partway through its second arc.
  • This appears to be the fate of the Erast Fandorin series of Russian mystery novels, at least for English-speaking readers. Thirteen books have been published in Russia but book #10, The Diamond Chariot, is the last to be translated into English.
  • The famed So Bad, It's Good fantasy novella The Eye of Argon suffered this problem for a long time: the most-distributed copy was a xerox that had accidentally misplaced the final pages. Copies of the original fanzine in which it was published, including the ending, were eventually found; but given the nature of the work, most didn't mind the presence of this trope, and indeed some prefer it.
  • In-universe in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. The main characters love a book called An Imperial Affliction; "the books ends right in the middle of a"
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens's last novel, was ended abruptly when Dickens died halfway through writing. What made it even worse was that Drood was published serially, like all of Dickens' novels, thus frustrating his readers.
  • Redwall ended due to Brian Jacques' death, with the final novel "The Rogue Crew" being posthumously released. Since Jacques never intended to stop writing, one wonders what he was planning next. In addition, a fan-created character named Reisa Kartwell was to be added into the series, thus implying she was going to be in the book after "The Rogue Crew".
  • The Resident Evil novelizations by S.D. Perry end with Code Veronica. All the gaping plot holes between games have been tied up nicely thanks to Trent and a couple of original novels, and the entire plot as a whole has built up to a final stand against the Nebulous Evil Organisation Umbrella that we'll never get to read.
  • Also in-universe: This is the premise of Rodrigo y el libro sin final (Rodrigo and the unfinished book), where the child protagonist borrows a book from the library and reads it only to find that it lacks an ending, which sets up the whole plot.
  • The Salmon of Doubt was the novel Douglas Adams was working on at the time of his death and remains, as yet, unfinished with no indication of plans to create a completion.
  • Spartan ends with Talos disappearing and leaving his weapons behind. It was not received very well from the readers.
  • The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones contains an in-universe example. The narrator tells the story as she goes along by weaving it into the eponymous coats in a form of textile writing. Over the course of the story, the coats themselves become plot-significant items, such that the plot cannot be resolved until the coats are complete. This means the narrator cannot weave the ending. We are left to deduce what happened from a museum curator's note written hundreds of years later.
  • The Star Darlings books were canceled in January 2017 with three planned books being shelved, the webseries last aired in late 2016, and Jakks Pacific has ceased producing the toys. The books that were canceled would have continued dangling plot threads from Stealing Starlight, which ends on a cliffhanger.
  • The Time Traders ends its book run just as it's portraying a long time series of enemies as good guys. Author Existence Failure, though Andre Norton had lived a long life and the new books were made fairly late in it.
  • Averted with The Wheel of Time—many fans feared this would happen due to author Robert Jordan dying, but enough notes were left behind that the series could come to a conclusion, with the final volumes put together by fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter was cancelled after its second season, and while the seasonal Story Arc was resolved in satisfying manner, several plot threads introduced earlier were left hanging. Not to mention that the final episode ended with one of the main characters getting shot by an unseen person, so with the cancellation both the fate of the shot character and the identity of the shooter remain a mystery.
  • Alcatraz ended its first (and only) season with the female protagonist dying on an operating table after getting shot. Clearly meant to be a Cliffhanger, unfortunately the show was cancelled after the season ended.
  • ALF: The series' cancellation in the spring of 1990, after its fourth season, left the fate of the title character unresolved, as government agents surround the alien and he faces certain vivisection. This was all resolved in a made-for-TV movie aired several years later (he is rescued).
  • Alphas: Ended on a huge cliffhanger just after Stanton Parrish's attack on Grand Central Station, with Dr. Rosen (potentially) dead, and a possible new batch of enhanced Alphas. Parrish's group of terrorist Alphas were also still on the loose.
  • Being a Sketch Comedy, The Amanda Show itself didn't suffer from this after its abrupt cancellation, but Show Within a Show Moody's Point had ended the final season on a huge cliffhanger in which the main character learned that she'd been Switched at Birth and that she wasn't who she thought she was. Even creator Dan Schneider doesn't know what would have happened next, because he never got a chance to write it.
  • American Dreams was cancelled after three seasons, ending on a cliffhanger. Meg ran away from home to be with her boyfriend Chris.
  • American Gothic (1995): Although, in the words of series creator Shaun Cassidy, "we saw the ending coming soon enough to wrap the story up," the last episode left a lot of unanswered questions: what did Merlyn's disappearance mean? Was her Heroic Sacrifice a failure, or not? Was she absorbed into Caleb? Does he now possess her powers and innate goodness with which to fight Buck's sinister influence? Will Gail still be under Buck's thrall, or will she snap out of her Chickification and bite him in the balls again? Will Selena ever stop going through that Heel–Face Revolving Door? Is Buck going to succeed in corrupting Caleb or not? Even for a mystery show, and one which by its very nature is cyclical, not much makes sense here.
  • Angel is an odd example — it cuts short the resolution, as a result of cancellation, but it actually worked as the grand finale for the show — "You never stop fighting..."
  • Anna Liza, a 1980s teleseryenote  which ran for five years from 1980 up to 1985, concluded the series with an unfinished storyline due to the death of its lead actress, Julie Vega, who was sixteen at the time. It was later remade in 2013, but unlike its long running original, it only ran for ten months from May 2013 up to March 2014; it did, however, give its own story a proper conclusion.
  • Atlantis was axed after two series, although there had been plans for up to five. The final episode ends with the villainous Pasiphae returned from the dead and regaining control of Atlantis, and the heroes about to go in search of the Golden Fleece (setting up a third series that would explore the legend of Jason and the Argonauts). The whole thing was left unresolved, as were other major questions (the consequences of Jason's heart being "blackened" by evil, and whether he would end up with Ariadne or Medea) as well as the Foregone Conclusion of Atlantis eventually sinking into the sea, and the entire issue of Jason having come from the future.
  • The original series of Battlestar Galactica got cut short after the final episode "The Hand of God", although it did get a follow up of sorts with Galactica 1980, which original series fans prefer not to talk about. Then it got re-imagined into the Retooled 2003-2009 Battlestar Galactica.
  • The Black Donnellys ends on a major cliffhanger with many dangling plot threads and the central question (exactly what the cops want to know from Joey "Ice Cream") completely unanswered, or in this case, as it's a question, unasked!
  • Blade: The Series only ran for one season because of Spike TV deciding that the show was too costly to continue production. As a result, the series ended on a cliffhanger where Marcus Van Sciver started attacking Krista due to becoming wise to the fact that she was infiltrating the House of Chthon to enable Blade to track Marcus down and kill him.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was canceled before it could resolve its Season Finale Cliffhanger.
  • The last episode of Carnivàle left multiple plot threads unexplained, as well as introducing a Face–Heel Turn and a resurrection in the last few minutes.
  • Class (2016), spin-off of Doctor Who, was cancelled after one season due to low ratings, mixed reception and creator Patrick Ness leaving the show. This effectively ended the show on two cliffhangers: the Governors staging the invasion of the Weeping Angels and April coming back to life in the body of Corakinus.
  • Cliffhangers, from 1979, a game attempt by NBC to popularize the concept of old-time movie serials in a weekly television series format. Each week had three installments:
    • "Stop Susan Williams", inspired by the old The Perils of Pauline serio-dramas of the 1930s. Here, the "Pauline" character is filled by model Susan Anton as the title character, a journalist who, while investigating her brother's murder, discovers that the killing was part of an international conspiracy.
    • "The Secret Empire", a U.S. marshal who discovers a futuristic underground city. This installment was based on "The Phantom Empire" movie serial starring Gene Autry.
    • "The Curse of Dracula", about the famous Bram Stoker character taking the guise of a college professor, in an attempt to achieve mortality.
      Only one of these — "The Curse of Dracula" — reached its conclusion within the 10-week run. Low ratings and the absurdity of the storylines, plus ABC's one-two punch of Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, turned "Cliffhangers" into a show that truly left the viewer hanging after cancellation. As a postscript, the "Stop Susan Williams" and "The Secret Empire" installments were re-edited into two-hour "made-for-TV" movies for later re-airing by NBC, and included their intended conclusions.
      • In a rare double-tap of the trope, "The Curse of Dracula" episodes were re-edited into two two-hour movies for syndication. Only the first ever aired.
  • Constantine originally planned to have multiple seasons adapting various characters and storylines from the comics, but was cut down to only 13 episodes and ended without any resolution to the story arc.
  • Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior ends on a particularly cruel Cliffhanger—barring a miracle, either one main character is dead or another killed a man in cold blood, and we'll never find out which it was.
  • Dallas:
    • The 14th season finale, "Conundrum", also was billed as the series' finale of the original CBS version. However, the episode itself was not unlike the other season finales (a massive plot development to entice the audience into tuning in that fall). Here, J.R. fears he has lost his empire and everyone that means everything to him, and contemplating suicide, is visited by an angel(?), who, in an It's a Wonderful Plot-type dream, shows him how others would have fared without him. In the end, J.R. trains the gun at his own head; Bobby, concerned for J.R.'s welfare, arrives at Southfork just in time to hear gunfire coming from J.R.'s bedroom, rushes to the door and says, "Oh my God!" Viewers are left to wonder whether J.R. killed himself ... a question that wouldn't be answered for another five years and the first of the reunion movies.
    • The 2012 reboot was cancelled abruptly at the end of the third season, leaving numerous unresolved plot lines, although given how many Aborted Arcs there were from the first two seasons, there's no guarantee they would have been resolved anyway.
  • Dark Matter (2015) was planned to run for five seasons, but Syfy cancelled it after three, leaving the show with a cliffhanger ending in which one main character is possessed by aliens, another main character is seemingly killed, and aliens from another universe invade the main universe.
  • Dead Like Me: a rare inversion of this trope. Although the series was cancelled abruptly after only two seasons, the show's somewhat unique storytelling format, which resulted in most episodes ending in such a way that they could almost all stand as finales, allowed it to end in a satisfying manner (so much so, a later revival TV movie was seen as superfluous).
  • In the UK original version of the series Dear John, its star Ralph Bates died in 1991, so plans to continue the series were scrapped.
  • Defying Gravity, after being Screwed by the Network, ends just as everything appears to be reaching a climax of sorts. The sets were destroyed by the time the episodes were shown, dashing all hopes of a revival. While by that point, the identity of Beta was revealed, this raised more questions than it answered. Word of God helped fill in some of the blanks but not enough to get an idea of where the show was going.
  • Drive only lasted 6 episodes with the final episode showing the main characters robbing a bank and one of them getting shot and bleeding badly.
  • Enemy at the Door was set in the German-occupied Channel Islands during World War II. It was cancelled after two seasons without any kind of wrap-up, stopping halfway through the war with the Germans still in occupation and the ultimate fates of the individual characters unresolved.
  • Farscape; canceled on a cliffhanger (due to being cancelled after the producers were assured of renewal), which was later resolved in the miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.
  • Firefly was cancelled with no clear conclusion, but was later able to wrap up several important plot points in Serenity.
  • FlashForward (2009) - with only one season, it was never really given a chance to prove itself, so the viewers were left to wonder what might have been, what D. Gibbons' wall of crazy said, and why 2016 meant "The End".
  • Friends from College: The show was canceled after its second season due to poor reception, leaving the show with a number of unended plotlines and a cliffhanger ending. The show ends with Lisa and Ethan seeing their child that Lisa is bearing, which Ethan went to see instead of going with Sam to France, in order for them to make their relationship work, leaving all relationships stranded.
  • Gilligan's Island never got a finale in the show itself. You can blame that on Gunsmoke's fanbase; the series was very popular and wouldn't have been cancelled if the Gunsmoke fandom wasn't so invested in keeping that series on the air. If Gilligan had been solidly renewed for a fourth season instead of falling victim to the Gunsmoke fanbase, the castaways probably would've succeeded in getting off the island during the fourth season. There were, however, a few TV movies that tried to wrap up the series.
    • Lampshaded in numerous later references to the castaways forever being stuck on that island. "Those poor people..."
  • Heroes ended with a cliffhanger that had clearly been intended to set up another season.
  • Hotel Babylon: While not having many, if any, continuing stories over the show's run, the final episode was something of a Wham Episode, leaving one main character forced to make a choice between two potential love interests and a decision affecting the entire future of the hotel. No ending was ever produced because the series was cancelled due to low ratings.
  • The Hour ended its second season on a massive cliffhanger (Freddie was left beaten senseless outside Lime Grove Studios) and was canceled soon after.
  • How To Rock: Only got a season, the show ends on the Christmas episode, nothing more. Not because of ratings, but because the channel it airs on was on transition.
  • Intelligence was cancelled abruptly after two seasons. The last image of the series, therefore, was the main character lying in a pool of his own blood after being shot repeatedly, with no resolution.
  • JAG: The last episode of the first season, ”Skeleton Crew”, ended on a cliffhanger with Rabb arrested as a murder suspect. At the same time JAG was cancelled on NBC but soon got uncancelled on CBS. The story was eventually resolved in third season episode ”Death Watch”.
  • Jekyll and Hyde (2015) suffered from this; while plans for season 2 were made, the series stopped at season 1 on a cliffhanger, ending with everyone apparently dead.
  • Joan of Arcadia ended with her meeting the mysterious Ryan Hunter, who apparently either also spoke to God in the past or spoke to the Devil or was the Devil.
  • John Doe. The last episode before the cancellation reveals that one of the leaders of the Phoenix Organization appears to be John's best friend. Word of God claims that this is false, though, and the man was supposed to have been revealed an impostor who underwent plastic surgery.
  • Keen Eddie only got thirteen episodes, and only a handful were aired before it was canceled. Watching the rest of the episodes, especially the last, shows they were building up to something, and while there thankfully wasn't a cliffhanger, none of the character arcs were even kinda resolved.
  • Season 2 of Krypton ended with Brainiac at large having kidnapped baby Jor-El and Nyssa-Vex discovering an Omega symbol on a planet just as winged humanoids fly by.
  • Kyle XY ended with Kyle uncovering a nefarious plot and discovering the identity of his mother. It's left on a cliffhanger with Kyle only partially stopping the plot. It's left unresolved who his true love interest is. Word of God described the rest of the series in broad strokes. Very annoying as the series was cancelled halfway through the season and no moves were made to provide even the slightest hint of a better resolution.
  • Las Vegas. The Writer's Strike resulted in its season finale being very abrupt, ending with To Be Continued.... Unfortunately, the show was not brought back for another season, ending the story on a total cliffhanger.
  • After the third season, Lie to Me wasn't renewed. So the series basically concluded on the season ender, which included Lightman admitting to his daughter that he loves Foster.
  • Lois & Clark ends with them finding a baby that does not belong to them. There would have been more explanation of the baby's origins had the show continued. This was the same episode where they were told that Kryptonians are genetically incompatible with humans (or, at least, Clark and Lois aren't), destroying their hopes of starting a biological family.
  • My Name Is Earl. While it was a comedy and therefore didn't have a huge Myth Arc or anything, it did have Earl's karma list. Also, for four seasons, viewers had never known who Dodge's father was (though Earl was not a likely candidate for several reasons) and had assumed that Darnell was the father of "Earl Junior" (given that they're both black, while Joy and Earl are white). The last episode reveals that Earl is Dodge's dad (which makes some jokes in the episode "Guess Who's Coming Out Of Joy" Harsher in Hindsight), and proves that Darnell isn't Earl Junior's dad. The episode ended just as Joy was about to begin explaining, and then the series got canceled. We don't even know how far along on his list Earl was, or what he had left to do.
    • A Shout-Out in Raising Hope, Greg Garcia's next show, has a news anchor saying that Earl has finished his list "and you'll never guess how it ended!"
    • According to Word of God, they originally planned for the series to end with Earl encountering someone with a list of their own with him on it, and when he asks them where they got the idea, they reply that they got it from someone else with a list. Earl then realizes that his list started a chain reaction of other people with lists trying to right their own wrongs, and he tears up his own list and walks into the sunset a free man, after realizing that he's finally put more good into the world than bad. Also Earl Junior's father was planned to be someone famous that came to town on tour, like Dave Chappelle or Lil Jon.
  • My Own Worst Enemy was cancelled after half a season on an epiosde which introduced several new plot threads and ended on a Cliffhanger.
  • My So-Called Life ended on a cliffhanger that would have been answered in Season Two.
  • Canadian series MythQuest ended after 13 episodes. The final episode, despite introducing a new, potentially important recurring character, has elements of And the Adventure Continues. It's not clear whether it was a half-season that wasn't renewed, or an outright cancellation.
  • Night Court ended with an episode that seemed part cliffhanger and part Wrap It Up, with roughly one third of the cast electing to stay in their current jobs and half the cast moving on to some new life outside the courthouse. While some of these career changes seemed poised to start a spin-off series (Christine is elected to Congress) most of them seemed poised to continue the series. Perhaps the strangest of these was bailiff Bull Shannon being persuaded to leave Earth by humanoid aliens who needed a tall guy to reach the things on their high shelves...
  • Now and Again was cut short after one season. The show ended on an extremely major Cliffhanger. In the making-of documentary on the DVD set released in 2014, show creator / executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron revealed that this was a deliberate ploy aimed at CBS to keep the show on the air and he never would have done it if he didn't think it had a good chance of working.
  • Nowhere Man ended on a huge cliffhanger. Gets extra points since it was one of UPN's most-watched and most critically acclaimed shows. It was replaced by a show that was so horrible that it didn't even last 10 episodes.
  • The 2002 sci-fi series Odyssey 5 ends with astronaut Angela Perry abducted by the AIs and scientist Kurt Mendel being arrested on suspicion of killing her. Plus the mysterious Cabal, which the team assume has something to do with the AI's and the impending destruction of the Earth, turn out to be a government force trying to stop the AI's and who believe that the Odyssey 5 team are the traitors.
  • Oh, Doctor Beeching! ended without resolving the question of whether or not the railway station at Hatley, and with it the jobs of the central characters, would fall victim to the Beeching Axe, as The BBC decided not to renew it for the third series that would have answered this question.
  • When 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd was canceled, Eddie had only done 40 of his 100 good deeds, so he will remain a dog for eternity.
  • The Others, a midseason show on NBC in 2000, ran for thirteen episodes and ended in truly brutal fashion: almost every main character apparently dies in a cliffhanger that was never resolved, since the show was not renewed for a second season.
  • The Pretender was canceled at the end of season four on a cliffhanger. There were two made-for-TV movies that continued the story, but didn't finish it. (There were supposed to be 4 movies made, but the last two were also canceled.)
  • While Primeval managed to wrap up most of its story arcs, its spin-off show, Primeval: New World, didn't. Its first and only season ends with Evan killing the Albertosaurus, only for the anomalies to start disappearing because something changed. The show ends with Evan and Dylan running towards an anomaly, and we have no idea why the anomalies began to disappear—or even if they made it back to the present in time.
  • The '90s AMC series Remember WENN ended with an unresolved cliffhanger after the network's new management abruptly canceled the show.
  • Reunion ended before its murderer could be revealed. A small but dedicated group of fans asked the producers to reveal the murderer, causing the producers to admit that they hadn't ''decided'' yet.
  • Riget ended after two seasons with many loose ends due to a rare TV case of Key Person Existence Failure: two leading actors died, the risk of this having been heightened due to the lengthy gaps between seasons and the advanced ages of several characters.
  • The BBC's Robin Hood introduced several elements in its final episodes that were supposed to set up a planned fourth series: Archer taking over the mantle of Robin Hood, and King Richard being captured. But the show was cancelled and so none of these were ever resolved. However, as with the Sliders example, most of the original cast had already moved on and the fanbase subsequently felt it had long since Jumped the Shark.
  • Roseanne was renewed for a full 11th season (after the 2018 revival made the show the highest rated comedy and 3rd highest rated show for the season) with scripts being written and pre-production in full swing. Then Roseanne tweeted some racist and anti-Semitic remarks about Valerie Jarrett and Chelsea Clinton and the show was cancelled. The cancellation came only two weeks after Roseanne was personally introduced an ABC executive at the Upfronts with a joke about her tweets. The series was subsequently Uncancelled as The Conners, the first episode of which revealed Roseanne Connor died in the interim.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures ends before resolving the identity of the suspiciously Time Lord-like Shopkeeper or resolving the UST between Clyde and Rani because of the untimely death of Sarah Jane's actress Elisabeth Sladen. The last episode was edited to include a tribute montage of Ms. Sladen in the role, ending with the line "and the story goes on... forever", however.
  • Sense8 was canceled a month after Netflix released season 2. The series was clearly planned to have a third season as many plotlines remain unresolved to be a hook. Such as the fate of Wolfgang, Whispers, and Jonas (or every character really, it just kinda cuts to credits in the middle of the climax of the arc). Fortunately MASSIVE fan backlash worldwide, (and accusations of Netflix cancelling it for phobic reasons rather than financial ones), convinced Netflix to announce a 3-hour series wrap-up movie, which went live on Netflix in June 2018 and wrapped everything up pretty nicely, with only a few nitpicky details not answered.
  • Sinbad was cancelled after only one season, which more or less gave all the characters and storylines some closure, though a mild cliff-hanging finish (a young woman they had just rescued from the Land of Dead appeared to have carried an evil parasite back with her) demonstrates there was certainly the expectation of more episodes to come.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: The final episode, "Heart of the Storm", ended on a cliffhanger where everyone was stranded in different timelines and in danger while Veronica attempts to fix everything with a magic talisman, only to discover she has no idea how it works. The show was canceled due to a lack of budget. However, the producers eventually released their plans for the show's proper ending.
  • Sliders was canceled at the end of its fifth season on a Cliffhanger. A Psychic tells the heroes Everybody Is Going To Die, requiring one to go on one last slide to save everything. Not every fan was broken up about the finale; for many, the show hadn't been worth watching for years. The producers did a cliff hanger because they were hoping the fans would convince the network for another season. In-universe, the last episode is set on an Earth where Sliders is a hugely popular TV show.
  • Soap. Creator Susan Harris had written out a five-season arc for the show, but it was yanked by the network after season four, leaving several unresolved cliffhangers.
  • The second season of Sonny with a Chance ended with Sonny taking a job as a musician at a restaurant, and something of a reconciliation between Chad and Sonny, but no real ending for the series, nor if Sonny and Chad dated again after that, as the show was retooled in 2011 as the defictionalized Show Within a Show So Random! after star Demi Lovato decided not to return following her stint in rehab for bulimia and cutting.
    • So Random! itself was Cut Short, only lasting for one season and 26 episodes before being cancelled in 2012.
  • The final episode of the sci-fi war series Space: Above and Beyond sets up a great cliffhanger, with two of the main characters trapped behind enemy lines, another main maimed and possibly near death, the battle plan Earth Forces had pinned all of their hopes on compromised...and then it's over. We never even find out if Earth wins the war or not. Thanks, FOX!
  • Space Cases ends before any of the various mysteries could be solved or before the characters made it home.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate Atlantis ends with the Wraith still being a major threat to the Pegasus (and possibly the Milky Way) Galaxy. The war with the Wraith was supposed to have been wrapped up in TV movies similar to how SG-1 was finished, but the failure of Stargate Universe and MGM's financial troubles basically torpedoed any chance of new Stargate-related content for the forseeable future.
    • The spinoff Stargate Universe was unceremoniously cancelled midway through its second season. The series ends on something of a Cliffhanger, with no resolution whatsoever to any major plot arc. Almost the entire main cast goes into stasis pods for a projected three-year bypass of the galaxy that the Destiny is in. However, the crew is short by one (1) stasis pod, and whoever remains outside it would have only two weeks to live and attempt to repair it; if he or she leaves the life support on for any longer than that, Destiny will not have enough power to make it to the next galaxy for 1,000 years or more. Eli Wallace, of all people, elects to show that he has indeed undergone Character Development, and remains outside the stasis pod. Whether he repairs it successfully or not, and the ultimate fate of the crew of the Destiny, are left completely indeterminate.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: An example of an unresolved story arc. The first two seasons centered around a Temporal Cold War. The storyline didn't impress fans, so it was dropped in favor of the year-long Expanse arc, and then the fourth season consisted of a number of mini-arcs. Had the series not been cancelled, it likely would have returned to the Temporal Cold War arc and wrapped it up (given past precedent of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager all more or less going full-circle in their finales). Despite the fact the Trek franchise has a healthy literary and comic book component, so far The Resolution Will Not Be Televised has not applied.
  • Supernatural has an In-Universe example. Turns out that the adventures of the Winchester brothers were unknowingly recorded by a Prophet of the Lord, who had been publishing his writings as a series of urban fantasy novels. Unfortunately, the publisher goes bankrupt and the last book ends with one of the main characters dragged off to Hell.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ended its second season with a cliffhanger where John is sent into the future with a T-1001, a future where Kyle is the leader of the resistance and nobody has heard of John Connor. Sarah also remains in the past, Cameron's human double is alive, and John Henry the computer program - which was apparently built to help the resistance - has gone missing.
  • Terra Nova's first season wrapped up the major plot arc and seemed set to start a new direction, but ended on a pretty epic cliffhanger about an old boat. Alas, the show was mercilessly (or thankfully, was mercifully) cancelled, but a make-your-own-comic internet game was created to fill up some of the sadness over the abrupt ending.
  • The Upstairs Downstairs spinoff Thomas & Sarah was supposed to have a second series, but this was wiped out by a technicians' strike at ITV. The first series ended on an unresolved cliffhanger.
  • The Time Tunnel: Executive Meddling canned the show, in spite of its success (the show aired in the Friday Night Death Slot, but had excellent ratings), in favor of the far less successful The Legend of Custer.
  • The 1970s UK sci-fi show The Tomorrow People was cut short due to a strike at ITV. It was meant to end properly with an epic two-parter, but plans had to be scrapped.
  • Tru Calling, sadly for its unluckily small cult fanbase, not only was the final episode never actually aired, but even the network's initial episode order for the second season turned out to be only 6 episodes... when the writers had not only obviously been settling in for the long haul by setting up an epic-level Myth Arc, but, according to the writing staff, they had already planned through episode eight of that season.
    • Not to mention, the series was cut directly after the episode with extremely important plot lines - namely that Tru had just learned that others have the same powers as her, including her own father and Jason Priestley's character, although they both try to do the opposite of what Tru does i.e. make sure people stay dead.
  • Twin Peaks: The series does resolves its initial premise ("Who killed Laura Palmer?"), but then goes on with the related plot of dealing with the one behind it (Killer BOB) and a new antagonist (Wyndom Earle), which reaches what can potentially be seen as a conclusion (Cooper saves Annie from Earle and gets possessed by BOB) but is really more of a Cliffhanger. A theatrical film follow-up, Fire Walk with Me, ended up being a prequel rather than resolving any remaining story points from the TV series. The Return finally picked up the main plot 25 years in-show and 26 real life years later.
  • V (1983): Both the 1984 version and the 2009 version were canceled, ending on massive cliffhangers.
  • Victorious: For some reason, Nick decided to cancel the show despite it getting ratings, thus it has no proper series finale. It also led to the Fandom Rivalry of Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande (which destroyed their friendship) to boot.
    • The renewed friendship between Victoria and Ariana (along with some likely joking comments from Matt Bennett) have given some fans a glimmer of hope, but there are no known plans to continue the show in any form.
  • Voyagers!: Due to the show's cancellation, the plot ended with Bogg and Jeff wrapping up another case successfully (of course, there will always be another one) but failing to capture Drake.
  • Zoey 101: The popular show was cancelled supposedly because of Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy and the resulting controversy around it, though Nickelodeon later claimed the ending of the show was planned from the beginning and her pregnancy occured after the final filming.

  • Daniel Johnston: He recorded most of his early songs on home made cassette recordings. As a result a lot of songs end quite abruptly or with audible cuts. Especially the final track of each album also has its ending cut off without warning.
  • Elvis Presley: Arguably the most notorious and atrocious concert album in his career is Having Fun with Elvis on Stage, a 35-minute collection of nothing but Elvis cracking jokes with the audience, without any music or context explaining what is going on. All of it is quickly edited together as one long painfully unfunny collection of incomprehensible bits from various concerts. And it's not even done subtly. Often the conversations are just cut short half way through with another one starting out of nowhere.
  • Phase 3 of the Gorillaz storyline had been building up to a supernatural confrontation involving a 50-foot drummer and a demon-man living on an island made of plastic with a hostage. There was also a subplot involving a young female super soldier and her robotic doppelganger. Sadly, it was never completed, and a lot of fans are upset about it.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Norse Mythology tale "Rigsthula" abruptly breaks off after introducing two named characters who may be Rig's adversaries, because its only source is a manuscript whose final pages have been lost.

  • The five-year plan of '80s All Over was to cover the entire decade in U.S.-released cinema month by month. However, creators/presenters Drew McWeeney and Scott Weinberg could not keep up the pace of weekly episode releases (regular episodes alternating with Patreon supporter bonus shows) and the April 1985 episode ended up being the last one. Because this decision was made after the episode aired, it ends with an On the Next for May 1985. This meant a lot of marquee movies of the decade (Back to the Future, The Goonies, The Fly (1986), etc.) were never covered in full, even though previous episodes teased that they would be major discussions when their release months rolled along.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Given the open-ended nature of professional wrestling, it wouldn't be a surprise if numerous storylines from defunct promotions would be halted when those companies went out of business.
  • Eric Bischoff knew from looking at the Universal Wrestling Federation and New Japan Pro-Wrestling that an invasion of WCW could ultimately be best for business, but killed an invasion angle already in progress dead because he didn't want that company to be Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
  • Internacional Wrestling Revolucion Group simply stopped recognizing its Intercontinental Super Welterweight and Intercontinental Women's divisions in 2007, as the title belts were being held by Místico and La Amapola, who were contracted by CMLL, whom IWRG was no longer working with.
  • A 2001 WCW storyline involving Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett being forced to kiss Dustin Rhodes' ass continued up to the second-to-last Nitro (where they ended up kissing a donkey supposedly owned by Dusty) and was abandoned when the WWF buyout was announced, with Stamford booking the final Nitro (which dealt with the in-universe repercussions of the buyout).
  • Lucha Underground was once seen as the hottest thing in wrestling, with its telenovela/mystical approach to a wrestling show earning acclaim from many. However, the drop in viewership and reception of Season 4 compared to the previous seasons, in large part due to the X-Pac Heat surrounding Jake Strong's push and subsequent championship win, put the chances of it continuing in jeopardy. Despite setting up Season 5 with a possible conspiracy revolving around Strong and a debuting Stu Bennett (aka Wade "Bad News" Barrett") as well as Dario Cueto being Back from the Dead, small viewership that only got lower, various lawsuits from wrestlers, along with majority of talent finding work elsewhere, have all but ensured that Sequel Hook would end up unresolved.
  • WWE Magazine held a contest for what the fans believed the best US city to host an event was. Sadly, the contest came to a quick and abrupt stop when the magazine was cancelled a few issues later, which also prevented the final mystery slot for a personally picked city from being revealed.

    Puppet Shows 


  • The World Series, the championship of Major League Baseball, has been canceled on two occasions in history, leaving that year's MLB season cut short without any champion.
    • The first time, in 1904, it was because John McGraw, the owner of the National League championship team, the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants), refused to have his team face the American League champions, the Boston Americans (now the Boston Red Sox). His reasons were petty: he felt that the American League was inferior to the National League, and that his Giants, having won the National League championship, had already proven themselves to be the best. Therefore, in his eyes, the World Series was little more than an exhibition series.
    • The second time, in 1994, the entire MLB postseason was canceled due to a players' strike. Perhaps the hardest-hit team was the Montreal Expos, who had been racking up a "dream season" that year; they had won more games than any other team that year, and were among the favorites to win the World Series (which would've been their first). The Expos never recovered from the strike-shortened season; they fell into a Dork Age in the second half of the '90s, and they eventually moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals in 2004.
  • A Number of televised football leagues have suspended operations during a season.
    • The first was the World Football League, which ended in the middle of her 2nd season in 1975.
    • The United Football League suspended 2 seasons early. The first was in 2011 after 4 weeks, though a Championship and Consolation Games were played. The second time was in 2012 again after 4 weeks, but no games were held.
    • The Alliance of American Football ended during its first and only season after week 8 with no resolution. While the league was losing money, this was not the primary reason for the cancellation and was instead based on a dispute of the owner and the league founders with the NFL Player Association.
  • Due to a flu epidemic that lead to the death of Montreal Canadians defenseman Joe Hall, the 1919 Stanley Cup Final was cancelled with 1 game to go in the series.
  • The attacks of September 11th, 2001 caused the cancellation of a number of sports events and seasons.
    • The 2001 Women's US Cup Soccer was cancelled half-way through the event.
    • All Minor League Games were cancelled for the remainder of the Regular and Post-Seasons with each league declaring a champion with the team with the best regular season record to that point (or co-champions if there would be a playoff).
    • Major League Soccer cancelled the remaining two weeks of the regular season. While the playoffs did take place, the Tampa Bay Mutiny, who failed to make the playoffs, were contracted at the end without having an official final game.
    • The 2001 Ryder Cup, a biennial US vs Europe Golf Event, was cancelled. The tournament restarted in 2002 and was held on even numbered years until the COVID-19 Pandemic caused it to be shifted back to odd numbered years. The Presidents Cup and the Solheim Cup were also rescheduled to take place in odd numbered years starting in 2003.
  • While withdrawals are always a possibility in any heads-up individual events, it is fairly common in Doubles Tennis (especially Mixed Doubles) during a Major Event. One of the 4 contestants withdraws "due to injury" in the Semi or Final Round to concentrate on an individual major, resulting in the winning team never taking the court.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of seasons in numerous sports - too many to list here - were finished earlier than planned; some leagues decided to declare the standings at the time final, others decided to use a points-per-game system for the standings, still others declared the season null and void.

  • Many LEGO lines ended without concluding their stories — Slizer just as the forces of good and evil were about to clash, RoboRiders before they revealed who the Big Bad was, but nothing got hit harder than BIONICLE. Beginning from the 2009 line, the creative team attempted a drastic Retool, taking the story away from the Matoran Universe onto other planets. They eagerly planned the story ahead for at least 3 years, there is evidence to believe that some sets were also partially designed, they contracted voice actors and made a trilogy-starter movie, wrote a draft for the sequel, the story writer was covered up to his glasses in all the potential plot threads he set up, and fan interaction hiked... then, Mr. LEGO called that they're canceling the line. Although in 2010, 6 meager little figures were released (though reluctantly, and under the guise of a 10th year Milestone Celebration commemorative line, in place of the sets they originally wanted to make), and the writer was allowed to continue the stories, Real Life soon forced him to just abandon the whole thing, leaving a tremendous amount of plotlines unresolved. Despite how tragic this may sound, the line still lasted for an impressive decade, while most other LEGO themes only go for just a couple years.
  • BIONICLE (2015) was launched with an intended 3 year lifespan, with the possibility to extend its run if the toys sold well. It got abruptly canceled in less than two years, with the last wave of toys not reaching Asian and Pacific markets. At least its story got a haphazard conclusion, though many secrets were left unanswered.
  • Ever After High was a Cash Cow Franchise for several years, but a change in the market towards smaller toys (amongst other issues) led to decreased toy sales by the mid-2010s. As a result the series was quietly put on "hiatus" circa 2017. The problem is that Ever After High was a story-centric toyline and yet the story wasn't even close to ending. The whole "Royals vs Rebels" issue was never resolved. Blatantly, 2016's Dragon Games special had a potential game-changer with Daring failing to wake up Apple with True Love's Kiss, only for his sister Darling to give Apple CPR. What this could mean for Apple and Darling is never discussed, though the subsequent special does reveal Daring is Beauty's Beast, not Apple's Prince Charming.

    Video Games 
  • Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma had three episodes planned only to be cancelled after the first one received negative reviews.
  • Angry Birds Stella ends with Big Bad Gale going into a mine and Stella and her friends following her. Unfortunately, due the failure of the Angry Birds Stella brand, the story ended there, with Gale never being fightable, and the app getting removed from Play Store.
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts ends with Rorke surviving the heroes' final attempt to kill him and abducting Logan with the intention of torturing him until he joins his cause. Due to poor sales, the next game in the series abandoned this universe, meaning Rorke will never truly die and Logan will never be saved.
  • Conduit 2 ended with the protagonist accidentally drawing the attention of an alien ship out in deep space, causing it to travel towards Earth, followed by several former Presidents of the USA (decked out in power armour) showing up to help him save the world. The chances of the series getting a third and final game to round out the trilogy, however, were dashed following the game's mediocre critical reception and awful sales (coming in at just over a fifth of the sales of the original Conduit). Aside from a mobile port of the original game in 2013, the series fell off the face of the earth following the second game's release in 2011, with not even a hint of it being in development for the entirety of the following console generation.
  • The episodic D4 remains incomplete at one season due to director Swery starting his own company — and his previous company won't sell him the rights to his games.
  • Dead Space 3: Awakened ends with large cliffhanger Bolivian Army Ending. Brethren Moons have reached the Earth and are likely to destroy it and Isaac. Since the developer company is defunct now, this could never be resolved.
  • The post-release updates to Evolve that would have expanded on the storyline, including the addition of at least one new playable monster, and explained more about the characters and world were abruptly cut off when the developers, Turtle Rock Studios, lost their contract with their publisher 2K, who declined to continue supporting the game (likely due to its underwhelming sales and dwindling player base). The developers just barely had enough time to go over the lengthy amounts of content which were cut or planned from the game before their license for developing Evolve was taken.
  • Freedom Force 2 ends with the Jean Grey Expy, Alchemiss encountering an entity calling itself Energy X. Unfortunately, there has been no confirmation one way or the other if we'll ever see a third game...
  • Episode 1 of the Half-Life 2 Game Mod Human Error, in which the player takes control of a Civil Protection officer, ends after the player and his companions enter a portal to Xen, and the developer has said another episode is very unlikely, with them instead working on a new mod called From Earth.
  • As video games go, there isn't a more notorious example than Half-Life 2. The ending of Episode Two establishes that Gordon will most likely next be visiting an Aperture ship called the Borealis, which was just established the Combine are also interested in; and also, Dog is somehow immune to the Combine Advisors' psychic abilities, which given that the Advisors are now concerned about Freeman enough to intervene personally, is likely to play a major role. It was also revealed that Alyx is also one of the G-Man's hirelings, and Eli has some kind of contract with the G-Man. All in all, one hell of a setup for the next chapter. But, Episode 3 never materialized, and Valve has by all appearances abandoned the Half-Life franchise entirely. Valve eventually did announce their return to the franchise in late 2019, but with a Virtual Reality interquel set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, rather than a sequel.
  • The Legacy of Kain series. The last game does give a glorious send off (of a sort) to one of its two main protagonists and does end on a hopeful note but the Big Bad is still at large and there's plenty of dangling story strings to be resolved. A final game to wrap the series up will almost certainly not be made due to the main writer departing and the death of Tony Jay.
  • The Mega Man Legends series falls under this trope, in light of the Legends 3 cancellation by Capcom.
    • Two series of remakes were also Cut Short by Capcom. The Powered Up series and the Maverick Hunter X series would have continued on from being remakes of their respective source series if not for the fact that both remakes were commercially unsuccessful.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain suffers from this; even though the game has a complete storyline and a fair amount of content, the game's plot was implied to be only a third or even a fifth of what Hideo Kojima had planned for the Grand Finale to the Metal Gear series. Unfortunately, after Kojima left Konami following an incredible amount of mismanagement on Konami's part, the game's final arc was left unfinished, leaving fans with nothing but a rough storyboard in the game's special edition to wrap everything up.
  • It would be easier to list multi-part modules for Neverwinter Nights/Neverwinter Nights 2 that managed to finish their plot than ones that don't.
  • The 1999 PC Survival Horror game Nocturne ended on a positively agonizing cliffhanger, which over a decade later has yet to be revisited thanks to the game's storyline morphing into Bloodrayne. All is not lost, though: an interview with the developers stated that Nocturne is not Canon Discontinuity, and that they created Bloodrayne specifically to have an intellectual property they could relinquish to Majesco if and when they severed ties with the company. They still hope to release a true sequel to Nocturne someday.
  • ObsCure II ends with the surviving protagonists facing down a giant monster, after learning about the Greater-Scope Villain that was secretly behind the events of the two games. However, the sequel fell into Development Hell, and by the time it finally came out, it was a Divorced Installment known as Final Exam. As a result, the cliffhanger at the end of ObsCure II becomes a Bolivian Army Ending, even with the hopeful note it goes out on.
  • When the first Oddworld game, Abe's Oddysee, was released in 1997 it was said to be the first title in a "Quintology." A second game came out in 2001, but the series effectively ended after that — though some reboots have been released lately.
  • Prince of Persia (2008) The game ends after the prince removes the seal from the Temple releasing Ahriman to bring Elika back to life, where he carries her in his arms as Ahriman flies over them. This ending made people pitch for a resolution, and a few months later Ubisoft released the DLC "Epilogue" that adds few more hours after the first ending, They go in a ruined temple overrun by the recent corruption to seek refuge, Elika is extremely angry (slapping him) at the Prince for releasing the god of darkness but they work together to get out of the temple while fighting Elika's father, now one of Ahriman's corrupted. For the whole DLC Elika keeps a grudge to the prince, despite him explaining that he did that because Ahriman when he would have been freed nothing could have stopped him with Elika dead, while saying that she is capable of stopping him and that Ahriman fears her, Elika instead scolds the prince for having put the world to its doom for her, saying that she's incapable of stopping him. At the end, when the two manage to get to the end, Elika simply abandons the prince to his fate while saying that she needs to find her people and leaves, without a single goodbye, with the prince calling out at her, ending with Ahriman saying that the prince was now alone, a clear "to be continued" message.
  • Prince of Persia: The Fallen King The DS game follows the ending of the first game, the prince having found a way to get out of the temple after being abandoned by Elika, tries to seek aid to fight Ahriman in the city of New Dawn, now under siege by Ahriman, where he finds a new ally, the Magus King Zal that helps him drive off Ahriman from the city, but dies in the process due to the corruption. The prince then after cleansing the city from the corruption is left to seek aid from the God of light and that a new ally would have showed up, effectively ending the game with a new cliffhanger.
  • Shenmue. The second installment ended with Ryo finally meeting Shenhua and discovering that the mirror he's been carrying does indeed have some sort of supernatural power. Then Yu Suzuki got the plug pulled on his series due to poor sales, so we'll never know the significance of this, nor Lan Di's ultimate role in the story. Then Suzuki quit at Sega, guaranteeing that we'll really never know how it all would have turned out. Well, until Shenmue III... is what we would say, if that game didn't also end on a Sequel Hook that has fans continuing to wait for what once again seems like a very unlikely proper conclusion.
  • Showdown Bandit was meant to be an episodic series with more chapters. Due to poor marketing and sales, the game only had one chapter with no conclusion before it was pulled from Steam.
  • Soul Calibur V's Story Mode, as production time was running out.
  • Atari announced a series of four games for its Atari 2600 system collectively called Swordquest, which offered real world prizes to the first players to solve the puzzles in the games/comic books that came with them (the books contained the clues to the puzzle, but you needed to beat the game to know which pages had real clues and which were just red herrings). Due to The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 only the first two games in the series received wide release; the third had a limited release and the fourth was never completed.
  • Transformers Universe lasted only six months in open beta-testing before the plug was pulled. It's estimated that only 10% of the planned story content made it online during its short lifespan.
  • Namco's Xenosaga franchise was also Cut Short after Episodes I and II fell short of sales expectations. Originally intended to be six games produced over a decade and spread out across the PlayStation 2 and what was to become the PlayStation 3, it was wrapped up after only three games, with the final one ending on a non-commital Sequel Hook just in case it somehow sold well enough to warrant an actual Episode IV. It didn't. Episode II is derided as a Franchise Killer, and for good measure (it was not a very good game), but it wasn't the only factor fans like to single out.
  • After Telltale Games declared bankruptcy in September of 2018, all of their upcoming games such as The Wolf Among Us Season 2 were cancelled and the majority of their staff was laid off. Although at the 2019 Game Awards, a trailer for The Wolf Among Us Season 2 unexpectedly made an appearance, with many of the original staff and voice actors returning.

    Web Animation 
  • Justin Roiland's short-lived series House of Cosbys was cancelled because of a cease and desist from one of Bill Cosby's attorneys. As a result, a lot of plot threads were left unresolved, such as Cosby 10 and Mitchell finding out why aliens attacked the compound, Evil Cosby's intentions, and Cosbyette giving birth to Mitchell's child.
  • The Sock Series was planned to be a quadrilogy, but development on Rictus of Sock was unfotunately halted when the creator chose to pursue another project.
  • The Dragon Age machinima series Warden's Fall ends just after Kristoff tracks down Cyril, who had been bringing human sacrifices to the Mother's servants to feed her hunger. Cyril kills himself by jumping off a building and Kristoff stalks off having reached a dead end in his investigation. Apparently a sixth episode was planned but was never made.

  • Abstract Gender died before most of the ongoing storylines (including the Myth Arc) could be ultimately resolved.
  • Anti-Heroes, already infamous for its sporadic release schedule, stopped receiving updates entirely after May 8th, 2015, with no warning from its creators. While the comic is still being hosted, it's safe to assume that it will never receive a proper conclusion.
  • Critical Miss, as well as its spinoff/reboot series Erin Dies Alone and Critical Mix all met this fate in the span of a few years. Miss ended near the beginning of an arc where the protagonist was deported from the United States back to Canada (due to the creators being laid off by The Escapist, who held onto the IP rights), Erin Dies Alone abruptly stopped during the fight against the Final Boss of their Final Fantasy VII parody arc, and Mixnote  ended near the beginning of an arc about one of the protagonists trying to find healthcare after having his legs broken by Tom Nook's hired muscle for being behind on his rent (due to the creators being laid off again).
  • Cucumber Quest is still supposed to conclude, but in illustrated script format rather than as a fully illustrated comic. However, this means that the physical release was cut short, and there are no plans so far to release a physical copy of Chapter 5, which has been completed.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name last updated in 2011 when every major character was in mortal peril. Zombie, Hanna, and Toni are locked with a questionably sane Ples (who just whipped out a gun and fired it), and Conrad's trapped with Lamont, Worth, and Adelaide trying to get to Hanna and escape Abner. Oh, and Veser ran out a while ago, and we never found out where he went. Now the comic site's domain has expired, and creator Tess Stone has moved on to a new webcomic called Not Drunk Enough.
  • Life Of Wily's author promised he would only stop updating once the comic stopped being enjoyable, and in May 2003, that moment came - the final strip showed Wily's Grand Theft Me plan soundly succeeding, leading to the murder of Doctor Light and Wily being in a position to wreak havoc against our heroes, who believe him to BE Doctor Light. A pretty dire place to end the story in.
  • Oddball Fancomics: The last strip has Rick using a dimensional transporter to try and reach his home dimension, now having been taken over by Rick X, who has been murdering everyone he finds. Since he has no idea what his dimension's coordinates are, the reader is left with the implication that he'll never succeed. The blow was lessened a bit when Rick appeared in the main comic, and he explained that the reason he hasn't updated the comic is he found a dimension of nothing but beer and no longer wants to leave.
  • pictures for sad children is an odd example of a webcomic doing this deliberately. The story of Paul and Gary just ended without any resolution; since this, John Campbell has continued writing comics in the same style, just with no overarching plot or recurring characters.
  • QUILTBAG ended after just two of the planned eight chapters (one for every letter in the title acronym) because writer T Campbell felt unsatisified with the project's direction.
  • ReBoot: Code of Honor: Ironically, like its parent series, Code of Honor was also cut short and had to drop at least one subplot. Unlike the original series, however, Code of Honor did have a resolution.
  • RPG World was infamously cancelled in 2007 due to a severe case of Artist Disillusionment just as the heroes invade Galgarion's headquarters and make it to him for a final battle. What's more there was a subplot going on that Rika's robots had stumbled upon a time machine meaning there could possibly be a way to prevent her from being killed by Galgarion. With the author moving onto a professional animation career, it seemed unlikely that it'd ever get a formal conclusion from the original creator, Ian Jones-Quartey. A fan-based attempt to pick up where the original series left off (with the author's blessing) launched in 2016, but went on a hiatus of more than year and a half after just a few months. After over a decade, however, and before the fan project returned from hiatus, the series was given an official, if informal (most of the comic's dangling plot threads were Left Hanging), conclusion via a crossover with one of Ian's more recent works, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, with Ian himself inking a final page as a proper ending.
  • In 2015, the heroes of Sonichu had just reached big final showdown with Mary Lee Walsh; after her defeat they release the most powerful evil being in the comic, Count Graduon, at which point... the creator angrily announced she hated her greedy fanbase, swore off the internet, and abandoned her website. Chris wouldn't release comics regularly again until June 2017.
  • All of the series available on ShiftyLook were abruptly cancelled when Bandai Namco announced its closure in March of 2014. Some handled the transition better than others. The animated series based on Bravoman, and Mappy received proper endings due to theirs being planned out from the start; Legend of the Valkyrie and the Wonder Momo webcomic cut off ongoing arcs to scramble for a decent ending, while Klonoa: Dream Traveler of Noctis Sol infamously was Left Hanging right before its climactic battle.
  • The Trenches abruptly stopped receiving updates after January 5, 2016 in the middle of its fifth "season", while its supplementary "Tales From the Trenches" (real life horror stories of the working conditions in the game development industry provided from anonymous developers) stopped posting updates on September 10, 2015. No official reason for either closure was ever provided.
  • The webcomic for Team Fortress 2 has never been officially cancelled, but there have been no updates since Issue #6 came out in January of 2017, leading to an infamous cliffhanger that might never be resolved.

    Western Animation 
  • The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo got Screwed by the Network and producer Tom Ruegger felt there was no further life to it; it was cancelled after 13 episodes, leaving the series to end on the sad note of just ONE more ghost that needed to be captured... Fortunately, the story would finally be wrapped up years later with Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost.
  • The Angry Beavers was originally set to have a Grand Finale (for which dialogue was recorded) with the characters learing they were on a TV show that was ending. Nickelodeon, however, gave it the axe because it went against their "no ending" policy at the timenote , as well as the ending of the episode itself, which involved the Beavers going to Cartoon Heaven, being seen as too sad for the target audience to be worth breaking the rule for.
  • Bailey's Comets, an obscure DePatie-Freleng show from 1973 about eleven teams of roller derby skaters going cross country to find clues to a treasure, ended with the treasure unfound.
  • Obscure 1980s cartoon The Bluffers centered around a Gang of Critters trying to find out the secret of a villain named Clandestino. It got canceled before they could say what his secret was.
  • Because of the series' rather dismal reception, The Brothers Grunt ended its run without Sammy, Dean, Bing, Frank, and Tony reuniting with their brother Perry and taking him back to their monastery.
  • Butt-Ugly Martians only ran for one season and ended on a cliffhanger where Emperor Bog threatened to come to Earth and kill 2T, B-Bop, and Do-Wah for abandoning their mission to invade Earth, the Butt-Uglies and Stoat Muldoon replying that they weren't scared and were willing to give it their all in the inevitable battle.
  • Around the World in 79 Days, a revisionist take on Jules Verne's story which was a segment of 1969's The Cattanooga Cats, ended after 17 episodes with the round-the-world trip for Phineas Fogg Jr., Jenny and Happy unfinished.
  • The original Animated Adaptation of Clifford the Big Red Dog was scheduled to have a third and final season, with an episode in which the titular character gets married and has babies. Unfortunately, the death of John Ritter, the person who voiced Clifford, on the set of 8 Simple Rules, lead to the final season's cancellation and a new series, Clifford's Puppy Days, being produced in its place.
  • Clone High. The show's first season finale ends in a dramatic Cliffhanger that involves all of the major plot points — the Abe-Cleo-Joan love triangle, the Secret Board of Shadowy Figures' tensions with Scudworth, the prom — which is never resolved, because there never was a season two. That said, the creators have suggested that they might not have resolved any of this even if the show had a second season, as aggressively ignoring in-universe continuity would be very on-brand for Clone High's style of humor.
  • Duckman, which went three seasons without a single cliffhanger, ended its run with an episode where the title character (a talking duck, private detective and widower) remarries only to have the wedding disrupted by the return of his dead wife, Beatrice. She asks why he didn't wait for her. He says he thought she was dead. She asks why Cornfed (Duckman's partner) didn't tell him the truth. Cornfed says he can explain everything. And To Be Continued pops up on the screen. Naturally, the one time they ended the season with a Cliffhanger expecting renewal, the show was canceled.
  • In-Universe example with the show-within-a-show version of Darkwing Duck in DuckTales (2017). In "Friendship Hates Magic!" when Mrs Beakley gets into the series, she's aghast to learn it was cancelled on a cliffhanger. This is shown in more detail in "The Duck Knight Returns!": DW confronted a villain who turned out to be ... ''himself'.
  • Dungeons & Dragons was cancelled prior to a final episode (which was scripted but never animated) that resolved plot threads including whether the characters got home and the relationship between Dungeon Master and Venger.
    • Good news is the script for the final episode was not only released, but received an excellent fan comic adaption. This comic adaption has since also received an audiovisual adaption that is now on YouTube.
  • Similarly, The Emperor's New School had plans for a third season that would have made it a 65-Episode Cartoon, but production stopped when Eartha Kitt, Yzma's voice actress, lost her battle with colon cancer. Fortunately they were able to cobble together a series finale that wrapped things up fairly well.
  • The two American-made Humongous Mecha Animated Series from The '90s, Exo Squad and Battletech, both end with unresolved Cliff Hangers.
  • Averted with Gravity Falls, which nearly ended with the season one finale "Gideon Rises". Alex Hirsch stated in interviews following the show's conclusion that creating the first season was so stressful and challenging for him, that it was show's quickly growing fanbase pushing him to continue on from that episode's cliffhanger that made him willing to create one last season.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series ended on a cliffhanger after only one season due to poor toy sales. Said cliffhanger revolves around whether Razer can bring Aya back to life. As a result of the cancellation, various plot threads weren't resolved.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) only lasted 39 episodes before being abruptly cancelled, leaving many loose ends unresolved..
  • Hey Arnold! was planned to end with a theatrically released Grand Finale, "The Jungle Movie", which would have resolved practically every plot thread - Arnold goes with his class to San Lorenzo to find his parents, and he finally hooks up with Helga. The show's final episodes, "The Journal", were the movie's prologue and ended on a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, thanks to the box office failure of Hey Arnold! The Movie, and because creator Craig Bartlett couldn't agree with Nickelodeon over a contract extension, the movie was cancelled and the show ended without explaining what happened to Arnold's parents on their final mission. Over the years, many a fan have petitioned to have it made and even Bartlett expressed his wish to come back and make it.
    • Thankfully, in 2015, Nickelodeon — on a nostalgia kick with the success of TeenNick's The 90's Are All That/The Splat block — announced that they were finally giving The Jungle Movie the green light as a two-part TV movie in 2017. Bartlett and most of the original crew, including several of the voice actors, returned as well, much to the delight of fans.
  • Infinity Train ended with four seasons out of a planned eight due to higher-ups thinking the show was "too mature" for its target audience. Despite being an anthology with self-contained season-long arcs, the cancellation left the outcomes of two overarching storylines unresolved; those being whether Amelia will ever manage to get off the train and whereabouts and status of Hazel after being quarantined.
  • Invader Zim: Due to those pesky Nickelodeon execs, the show was cancelled in the middle of producing its second season, though the show would return as a comic over a decade later, with a television movie following shortly after.
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice was unexpectedly cancelled after two seasons and 26 episodes, with its premise (collecting all the MacGuffins and freeing the original King and Knights) far from resolution.
  • Little Bill was another show that wound up being cancelled when a voice actor who worked on it passed away, with the person in question being Gregory Hines, the voice of Big Bill.
  • The Magic Trolls and the Troll Warriors ends with clear plans for a TV series as several plotlines are unresolved, but one wasn't made.
  • Metalocalypse was originally planned to have four seasons and a movie, then ended up in a cliffhanger to make a final one. Unfortunately, Adult Swim and Brendon Smalls had a disagreement about the terms for the series, which led to its final season canceled. Many fans even signed a petition for it, but it fell on deaf ears and Adult Swim kept the rights to the Dethklok name. So instead, Brendon made a Spiritual Successor in the form of Brendon Small's Galaktikon, which served as an audio finale to the series.
  • Megas XLR, while having something akin to a finale, still had the Glorft on the loose and Coop with a replacement for his Megas but with much better firepower.
  • Motorcity, from the same people behind Megas XLR, was cut down before its first season had even finished airing. Fortunately, due to having dealt with this trope two time prior (the first being Downtown), they had already written the season finale to double as a glorious grand finale in case it happened a third time.
  • Season 3 of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures concludes with new character Elliptica whispering to Pac the biggest hint to where his parents might be. The franchise was then rebooted back to the Classic designs and universe due to dwindling reception of the reboot, leaving Pac’s quest to find his parents a mystery.
  • While Phantom Investigators didn't end on a major cliffhanger, the final episode of its first and only season did imply that more was to come. Due to dissatisfaction with not having enough male viewers and too many female viewers, Kids' WB canned the show as fast as it could. Taken even further in America as Kids' WB was so upset at not getting the exact demographic that they wanted that they removed the show from the schedule after only six episodes had aired.
  • The Pirates of Dark Water is one of the first truly infamous examples of this for cartoons. It was ended before they could gather all 13 McGuffins, or defeat the Big Bad.
  • The Redwall cartoon was canned after three seasons before it could adapt any more of the books.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat ended after one season for unknown reasons. Sure, there was no story arcs due to being a preschool show, however the last episode did imply that more was to come. Like with The Wacky Adventures Of Ronald Mc Donald mentioned below, it makes you wonder what the creators were planning next.
  • Samurai Jack: Ran for four seasons before Genndy ended it to focus on other ventures, leaving no real ending. He personally viewed it as an extended hiatus, however, as he planned to make a theatrical film to wrap up the series. However, it would end up repeatedly stuck in Development Hell. There would be a comic book continuation a decade later that took place after season four, complete with its own grand finale, but Taratvosky considered its events non-canon. For his part, he would finally ditch the movie idea in the wake of the comic's success to produce an official fifth and final season for [adult swim] that aired in 2017, wrapping up Jack's adventure after a 13-year hiatus.
  • Western Animation/Shazzan: Chuck and Nancy never found the rings owner and never returned home.
  • SheZow just stops after the initial 26-episode run, giving the impression that the series was intended to continue past the first season. Indeed, Word of God says the show was initially greenlit by The Hub Network for a second season, only for the network to change their minds a month later.
  • Silverwing ended after just 13 episodes before the rest of the novels could be adapted for television. Thankfully it did conclude the second book’s story, so it was at least able to finish Shade’s main arc.
  • Two animated shows starring Sonic the Hedgehog weren't fast enough to get their stories finished before cancellation.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) ended on a cliffhanger in which Dr. Robotnik appeared to have died but his increasingly dissatisfied henchman Snively has plans to usurp his place as the series' primary antagonist and revealing a threatening new foe, shown out of the darkness with menacing red eyes. Whoever this new character was, viewers never found out, as the series was abruptly cancelled. Writer Ben Hurst revealed his plans for a third season where the mysterious red eyes belonged to Naugus, an Evil Sorcerer who Robotnik betrayed years prior.
    • Sonic Underground ended after only one season due to poor reviews, way before Sonic and his siblings could even come close to dethroning Robotnik and finding their mother. Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) intended to rectify this, but the project ended up cancelled.
  • SpacePOP was written off at a loss in August 2018, leaving the series to end on a cliffhanger where the princesses revealed their identities to Geela and Athena put on the Ring of Grock to try to defeat her.
  • Another Spidey example is The Spectacular Spider-Man which left many a plot thread hanging. You can thank Sony and Disney's purchase of Marvel for this. Sony had to relinquish the television rights to keep the film rights.
  • Spider-Man Unlimited ended on a cliffhanger after one season due to low ratings.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars was canceled very suddenly despite being successful. The creators were working on a sixth season and had story plans for a seventh and eighth season when Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise and ordered to finish the series, not wanting to Channel Hop the show to any of their networks as part of the acquisition. At this point, multiple episodes were still in different stages of production. 13 episodes were finished and composed Season 6 which aired on Netflix, 8 more were later released on with rough incomplete animation, some finished scripts were also adapted into the Dark Disciple novel and a Son of Dathomir comic mini-series. Despite all this, both the last broadcast and the last released episodes serve as a fit ending for the series: one ties up Ahsoka's arc and the other ends with a philosophical conclusion about the greater role of the Jedi in the Clone Wars.
    • Also helping is that Disney later made the sequel series Star Wars Rebels, with Rex and Ahsoka making appearances.
    • In July 2018, a seventh season airing on Disney's new streaming service was announced, with thunderous applause from the fans.
  • The Stellaluna Direct to Video movie finishes with a seemingly clear plan for a TV series adaptation of the original book, but one never got made.
  • When Stōked aired on Cartoon Network in the United States, the show ended at "Endless Bummer", which was the 22nd episode of the first season. The show had four more episodes of said season, and none of the episodes from the second season aired in the United States.
  • The season 1 finale of Stroker and Hoop was as close to a literal cliffhanger as they come. The episode ends with Stroker, Hoop, Double Wide plunging to a chasm when their captor intentionally lands on the release switch, after being held at gunpoint. Sadly, the show was axed afterwards due to financial reasons, though the creators were able to reveal what would have happened in the end, had the show had been renewed for a second season.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go ended right when the Big Bad had been resurrected and the Hyperforce and all of their previous allies where about to go at him.
  • SWAT Kats didn't end on a Cliffhanger, but it came to an end when the writers still had several episode ideas to put on the table. Consider it Too Good to Last.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan, which was cancelled because they could not interest toy companies and a splintering of the production team that made it hard to keep it going, despite it being a widely loved show.
  • ThunderCats (2011) was cancelled after its first season, leaving it to end on a cliffhanger. At the time of its cancellation, the creators Shannon Eric Denton and Dan Norton were working on story ideas for a second season, which would've lasted for 39 episodes.
  • Timothy Goes to School ended after two seasons (for a long time, it was assumed both seasons were one single season), with the last episode introducing Mexican student Juanita and her family, while also hinting more was to come.
  • Transformers Animated. Due to its abrupt cancellation, it ended with many unresolved plotlines and unexplored characters. The creators were able to weave a mostly satisfying ending, but still the final episode itself only resolved a fraction of the many plot points introduced earlier in the season.
  • Trollz was canned after one season with its second season already in planning, and with the last episode hinting that more was to come. Several second season episodes had their titles prepared, but until Word of God reveals what those episodes' plots were, the fandom will be left without several answers.
  • Every single one of the videos in the series The Wacky Adventures Of Ronald Mc Donald ends with an announcer telling the audience to look for Ronald's next adventure. This includes "The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch" even though it was the last video ever made. There wasn't an overarching story to the episodes so this wasn’t really painful, but it does make one wonder what the creators were planning next.
  • Wander over Yonder met its fate because Disney thought that 80 episodes was long enough for a series, and were going to make more money by showing re-runs on Disney XD rather than giving it a third season. Similar to Clone High, the show's main conflict was resolved, but some plot threads were still left dangling.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men: The last episode ended with a scene in which Apocalypse rules in the future leaving no clue as to what's going to happen next. The show only lasted one season.

Examples of translated works:

    Into English 
  • Detective Conan is a notorious example, with its English dub covering 130 episodes and 6 movies before Funimation decided not to license future episodes, leaving the series off on a cliffhanger with no resolution.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew's English dub "Mew Mew Power" only covered the first 26 out of 52 episodes due to 4Kids Entertainment not reaching a merchandise deal for the show. Only 23 episodes aired in the US, finishing with a pretty standard episode and nothing resembling a conclusion. All 26 English dub episodes aired in Canada, the UK, and Australia, ending the series on a really sharp cliffhanger complete with a "To be Continued..." message. To make matters worse, the English dub was the source of many foreign dubs like the Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Danish, and Greek dubs, which all ended on the same cliffhanger, while the French, Hebrew, Serbian, and Portuguese dubs were Uncanceled and got their own local dubs of the second half of Tokyo Mew Mew.
  • F-Zero GP Legend's English dub from 4Kids Entertainment (which was surprisingly pretty accurate) only covered the first 15 episodes out of 51. That means viewers of that dub will never get to hear how that memetic final episode would sound like.
  • Was originally the case with D.Gray-Man (until 2016). The English Dub initially ended when Allen Walker and co. were leaving on a ship still on the search for General Cross with the Millennium Earl and Road Kamelot looking at a large amount of Akuma (that are clearly meant for the exorcists). Then...nothing. The English Dub endded at that point halfway through the series with no plans at the time to dub the other half due to the Japanese licensors asking for more money than Funimation is willing to pay. However, this changed, due to the fact that Funimation has in fact licensed the 2016 series, Hallow, as part of the 2016 Summer Simulcast season, along with licensing the second half of the series a week later on June 30th, 2016.
  • Full Moon only had 28 episodes released to DVD in the US, though apparently all 52 episodes were dubbed, the last batch have never been released.
  • Hikaru no Go also got an English dub that covered the whole series, but only the first 50 episodes out of 75 were released to DVD, while the first 72 eps were streamed on Toonami Jetstream. The remaining 3 episodes were never released in the US until several years later when the series was made available for download through iTunes. However, the New Years Eve special (which itself didn't have an ending) has never been dubbed.
  • Kaitou Saint Tail's English dub covered the first 15 episodes before it was canceled due to low sales. The remaining 28 episodes were released to DVD subtitled-only.
  • Funimation's English dub of Kodocha only reached half the series (episode 51 out of 102) before it was canceled due to low sales.
  • Sailor Moon's DiC English dub was originally cut short in the middle of R (the second season) with only 65 episodes dubbed (covering the first 72 Japanese episodes) before it was Uncanceled after YTV and Irwin Toy in Canada offered to fund more episodes to wrap up the storyline, which resulted in the last 17 episodes of R being dubbed and labeled "The Lost Episodes." It was another three years before YTV and Cartoon Network funded episodes of the S and SuperS seasons (with Pioneer funding dubs of the movies) without DiC and instead with Toei's US branch "Cloverway." Unfortunately, they were never able to dub the final season Sailor Stars (the first arc of which directly continued on from the end of SuperS). It wasn't until Viz Media picked up the series and commissioned an entire redub that an English dub of that season was finally announced, or indeed for there to be an official English release of Sailor Stars (a subtitled version of which was posted on Hulu once subs of the rest of the series' run had been re-released there, beginning immediately after Viz had announced the license). They also plan to dub the special shorts that were attached to the movies, as well as the mini specials that were part of the SuperS season.
  • Dragon Ball's English dub from Funimation and BLT Productions was cut short after the first 13 episodes and first movie. It wasn't until Dragon Ball Z found success in the US was Funimation able to give the show a second try and produce an all-new English dub from scratch.
    • The late-1980s Harmony Gold dub of Dragon Ball was also abandoned after one movie and a couple of episodes.
    • The original FUNimation produced, Saban distributed, Ocean voiced version of Dragon Ball Z ended after 53 episodes (or 56 episodes if the butchered The Tree of Might three-parter is counted). This led to these 53 episodes being rerun countless times on Cartoon Network until FUNimation finally dubbed new episodes. There is a common misconception that the "Ocean dub" continued in Canada only, however this dub (which covered the Cell-Buu arcs) was a completely separate production with drastically different music and many recasts.
    • The infamous "Big Green" dub of the Dragon Ball Z movies ended at the ninth one (Bojack Unbound) for some unknown reason.
  • Fist of the North Star's English dub from Manga Entertainment and Showtime Beyond covered only 36 out of 152 episodes (not including Streamline Pictures' dub of the movie). However Discotek Media picked up the series and released it in its entirety subtitled-only (with only the first 36 eps bilingual).
  • Media Blaster's dub of GaoGaiGar only lasted for 25 episodes due to low sales. The remaining 24 episodes were released in a box set sub-only.
  • The Ocean Group's English dub of the 1999 Hunter × Hunter anime only covered its TV episodes, stopping at the point in the Yorknew arc where Hisoka texts Kurapika, telling him that the corpses of the Phantom Troupe aren't real. Low DVD sales kept the OVAs covering the rest of the arc as well as the Greed Island Arc from ever reaching the Anglosphere.
  • Lupin III (Red Jacket)'s English dub from Pioneer and Phuuz was cut short after 80 episodes. This discounts an unrelated English dub of eps. 145 and 155 from Streamline Pictures. Only 25 of those episodes (skipping episode 3) aired on [adult swim] due to low ratings with more episodes released to DVD and broadcast on G4. The DVD releases were canceled due to low sales. There was a rumor that more episodes or even all the episodes were dubbed by Phuuz, but this has never been proven true. All 82 English dub episodes (including 145 and 155) were uploaded to Hulu, but nothing else seemed to come until December 2015 when Crunchyroll posted episodes 81-155 subbed in North America, to be followed with Discotek Media announcing that they were going to release the entire series on DVD starting in 2016.
  • Maison Ikkoku's English dub was initially canceled after episode 36 due to low VHS sales, but was Un-Canceled, and the remaining 60 episodes were dubbed and released years later with a mostly different cast.
  • Saint Seiya's edited English dub from DiC entitled Knights of the Zodiac was canceled after 40 episodes, though only 32 aired on Cartoon Network. Then ADV Films (who was releasing the DVDs) was allowed to produce their own uncut English dub, which ended at episode 60 because DiC refused to license anymore episodes. After DiC's license expired, the series remained in limbo for many years before it was rescued by Flatiron Films/Cinedigm, who released a sub-only boxset of the first 73 episodes.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman's second English dub entitled G-Force: Guardians of Space was cut short at episode 80 (covering the first 82 episodes) before a straight uncut English dub of the whole series was done in 2003.
    • Also, the two sequel series Gatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter weren't included in ADV's dub and were later released by their successor company, Sentai Filmworks, subtitled-only.
  • Sgt. Frog's English dub originally only covered the initial 51 episodes before it was Un-Canceled and reached episode 78. Funimation has the license to the first 104 episodes, but has put their dub on hold. As more years go by, it's looking more and more likely that the dub isn't continuing, and it's extremely unlikely that all 360+ episodes will be localized.
  • The Familiar of Zero's English dub only covered the first season before Geneon went under. The series was later rescued by Sentai Filmworks, who chose not to dub the remaining three seasons.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry's English dub also only covered the first season before Geneon went under. The sequel series, which explains the plot of the first season, has never been licensed or dubbed (though it got a sub-only release in Australia). Both seasons have been rescued by Sentai Filmworks, but unfortunately, like FoZ, these seasons will not dubbed.
  • The English dub of the 1999 adaptation of Hunter × Hunter only covers the original 62 episode run of the television series. Viz Media never bothered dubbing the OVAs, which continue the story.
  • MÄR dub due to Cartoon Network making it an online exclusive and their attempts to broadcast it stifled when they did it out of order and attempts to do it properly pretty much wrecked any chances of it. Due to this, Viz decided to cut their losses and discontinued the dub, which ended at the Zonnen filler arc.
  • The dubs of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's ended in medias res. GX got up to the third season but 4Kids never dubbed the fourth, making the show end on a Downer Ending. 5Ds' dub stopped right in the middle of the last season just as the villains were putting their endgame into motion.
  • The 4Kids Entertainment dub of Ojamajo Doremi (Magical DoReMi) only covered (most of, barring episode 30) the first season of the show. Even then, only twenty-six episodes aired on television, with the remaining episodes all premiering online a year later.
  • The English release of Life was cut short only a few volumes in due to legal issues.
  • The Philippine English dub of Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh ends up until the episode of the 2nd appearance of God Raijin-Oh. They never got to the ending.
  • This was the case for the original Philippine English dub of Voltes V, due to the Marcos regime banning the show near the series' end. They wouldn't get the last few episodes until a Compilation Movie of the said episodes came out in theaters in 1999.
  • None of the English dubs of Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan cover the whole series.
  • The British re-versioning of The Noddy Shop that aired outside of North America, Noddy In Toyland, where Noddy's Toyland Adventures segments were changed into their original British versions, never aired the second season of the show. This is despite the fact that this is the season that contains Truman gaining the ability to talk to the toys and Johnny, as well as Noddy finally interacting with other characters rather than just being a prop used for stories, and the Grand Finale, likely because the segments where Noddy talked would all have to be redubbed by Susan Sheridan, his British voice actor. This season did air dubbed in non-English speaking countries.
  • VIZ Media only translated the first 5 out of 11 volumes of ChocoMimi into English.
  • Tokyopop had released three volumes of a Mobile Suit Gundam SEED novelization out of five, but never got around to releasing the last two.
    • In the same vein, Tokyopop released the initial Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray, its sequel series X Astray and only one of the initial side-stories Astray R, but they never released Astray B.
  • The official translation of the Tsukihime manga, Lunar Legend Tsukihime, only made it through 6 volumes out of 10, although fan translations managed to complete it.

    Into Greek 
  • Psichogios Editions' Greek translation of the Redwall novels stopped after two books.
  • The Greek dub of Tokyo Mew Mew was based off the 4Kids dub, and thus stopped after Episode 26.

    Into Tagalog 
  • Kamen Rider BLACK only got up to the penultimate episode, and the finale never aired or got dubbed, leaving Pinoy viewers to wait years until an English fansub of the last episode to see the end of the series.
  • Kousoku Sentai Turboranger only got until the first appearance of Super Turbo Robo. After that it started airing again on episode 2 (As episode 1 (The episode looking back from Battle Fever J to Liveman) didn't get dubbed and aired).

Alternative Title(s): Woodys Finest Hour


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: