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Fan-Preferred Cut Content

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Ever hear of a phrase called "The Cutting Room Floor"? It's a term in the film industry referring to a scene that was removed from the final product during the editing process, with the editor's room also being called the "cutting room" (going back to when editing literally involved cutting and gluing film strips together). TV Tropes has a broader term in What Could Have Been, referring to any idea or concept that never got to happen in a creative work, whether it was fleeting or got removed in the final hour. In any case, the reactions to learning what could have been often range from "that could have been neat" to "glad we dodged that bullet"... but there is also a surprising number of times when the reaction is "why didn't they do this!?"

You heard right. Occasionally there's a piece of cut content where a significant amount of fans (and sometimes even haters) actually love what was cut out, whether it be due to how interesting the discarded material was or believing said material would have made for a much better final product. Maybe The Scrappy was originally going to be a very different character, and fans find their originally proposed version to be more likable. Maybe the original direction of the story would have taken a unique approach and a lot of risks, but Executive Meddling forced the writers to severely tone it down and "play it safe" to the detriment of the final product. Maybe the official ending was an Audience-Alienating Ending that was changed from something else, and the original ending is considered by fans to have been more satisfying. Or maybe a really cool concept just got cut because of budget and/or time constraints so a rushed, inferior replacement had to be used instead. Whatever the case, below are the many instances where some people believe that What Could Have Been should have been.

Compare to They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, which is about any potentially interesting plot point that is underdeveloped or not touched upon. Can overlap with Fandom-Specific Plot and Recurring Fanon Character if the scrapped ideas end up seeing a lot of use within fan works. Do not confuse the title for Fan-Preferred Couple (though it could also overlap if the popular scrapped idea was a certain pairing that was replaced with another).


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Little Witch Academia:
    • Yoh Yoshinari originally planned to have episodes in the TV series that would have delved into Sucy, Amanda, Constanze and Jasminka's backstories, which were scrapped due to time constraints and to keep the story focused on Akko. Many fans however, wished these episodes became a reality, as one of the biggest criticisms of the series was how underdeveloped the main supporting cast are. Some of the ideas from those episodes would become realized in Keisuke Satō's manga adaptation.
    • A good number of fans prefer the unused design for Sucy's mother shown in concept art for the first film, over the final design of her in Teri Terio's manga adaptation.
  • My Hero Academia: Momo's quirk turns her bodyfat into solid objects, such as blankets, radios, and cannons. As a result, her hero outfit needs to be skimpy. In the finished product, the costume is a sleeveless Leotard of Power with a Navel-Deep Neckline. This design has proven controversial, as she's a teenager and the outfit comes off to many as being too sexualized. Many fans find her original sports-bra-and-shorts-like design to be a lot cooler and more appropriate, making people wish it hadn't been changed.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion: While not a universal opinion, the faction of fans who hated the ending (where Homura betrays Madoka and traps everyone in a Lotus-Eater Machine) have expressed a preference for Gen Urobuchi's originally planned ending (where Homura would have simply gone with Madoka to heaven), finding it to be more in-line with the original show's sense of optimism in the face of despair and a satisfying conclusion to the story as opposed to the Cliffhanger official ending.
  • Some fans of Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure online vastly prefer Manatsu and Asuka's earlier prototype designs where they had darker skin associated with tropical environments, feeling it to be much more befitting compared to the blatantly white skin they have in the final show. This extends to the prototypes for Cure Summer and Flamingo, with Summer having a design that's noticeably more focused and less of a visual headache when put next to the design Toei would settle on.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man: Sins Past was originally gonna have Peter Parker be the father of Gwen Stacy's kids, Sarah and Gabriel, which was cut out thanks to Executive Meddling from the EIC of Marvel, Joe Quesada, who felt it would age Peter too much. While the idea itself and whatever it was a good idea or not is debatable, it is still widely preferable by fans over the final story's infamous decision to have Norman Osborn be their biological father.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Dick and Kory were planned to be married with a miniseries planning to focus their adventures before getting married before Jonathan Peterson's departure as well as a change of management at DC nixed those changes. Many fans of the pairing feel like it would've been better than the infamous 100th issue of New Titans, which instead ended their chances for a long-term relationship more-or-less for good — especially as Dick was shifted back to primarily being associated with Batman rather than the Titans soon afterwards, and so modern writers tend to see Barbara Gordon as Dick's one true love instead.
    • There were plans to have Epsilon turning out to be a resurrected Danny Chase, which would be a Rescued from the Scrappy Heap moment for him before Executive Meddling scrapped said plans.
  • X-Men:
    • Nightcrawler's mother Mystique was originally planned to be his father (due to her shape-shifting abilities, with her partner Destiny as his birth mother) before Executive Meddling kicked in. Many fans felt this would have been a great twist, disliked who his actual father turned out to be, and were holding out hope for a Retcon. Sure enough, the one-shot X-Men Blue: Origins made the original concept canon, with the previous origin retconned to be the memories of those involved rewritten by Professor X after Nightcrawler ended up being adopted by Margali Szardos while Mystique temporarily went away to save Destiny. That said, the precise description of how Nightcrawler was conceived involves Mystique splicing the DNA of her official husband and male lover's sperm into her own, thus making the original origins for Nightcrawler both be still technically true.
    • One of Chris Claremont's proposed alternatives to resurrecting Jean Grey was to have her sister Sara, a well-liked Recurring Character, develop mutant powers and join X-Factor instead. This didn't happen, and Sara ended up suffering a widely-disliked Dropped a Bridge on Him fate with little real emotional impact.

    Films — Animation 
  • There's a universal consensus that Brave's working title, The Bear and the Bow, is much less generic-sounding and fits the themes of the film better.
  • Brother Bear: The scene where Kenai confesses to Koda that he was the one who killed his mother was originally going to get rid of the song that plays in the background, so we hear Kenai's whole story. In the movie proper, however, we don't get to hear him and "No Way Out" plays in the background. People tend to consider the original version superior to the finished product because the music doesn't exactly do the emotional impact any favors.
  • Chicken Little: There's a fully-animated Deleted Scene where Mayor Turkey Lurkey gives Buck a pep-talk. A lot of fans found it more emotionally impactful and wished it stayed in the movie. It can be seen here.
  • Cinderella: Early drafts include more screentime for Prince Charming, who in the final film does nothing more than dance with and quickly marry Cinderella. Some of the deleted scenes include an Establishing Character Moment introducing him as an Animal Lover, and a song in which he yearns to reunite with Cinderella after the ball. Viewers who think he seems too much like a Satellite Love Interest in the completed film have admitted that they would've preferred these over excessive Chase Scenes between Lucifer and the mice.
  • There was an unused song from the production of Dumbo called "Are You A Man Or A Mouse", which features Timothy encouraging Dumbo to try not to break down while showing some of his own characterization. Many fans of the movie feel that this should have been included in the final product because it gives the most memorable voiced character in the movie a show that isn't half bad. Also, less-screentime characters such as the crows got a song in the final product, while Timothy somehow didn't.
  • For any fan of The Emperor's New Groove, you might know that it was originally going to be a radically different movie called Kingdom of the Sun, which was inspired by the story The Prince and the Pauper where Kuzco (then named Manco) switched places with Pacha (who was Kuzco's age during the development and was voiced by Owen Wilson), Yzma was going to prevent daylight from happening again to keep her from aging anymore, the movie was going to be a musical, etc. This idea was scrapped due to executives not liking the story. When people were made aware of this, they actually took a lot more interest in this idea than the final cut. The closest they got for this idea to be made into a movie was a documentary called The Sweatbox which showed the production of Kingdom of the Sun before it was cut, and Yzma's cut Villain Song — "Snuff Out the Light" — being released. That said, there are still plenty of fans of the final cut who like the movie as it is, but even they will admit that they would've liked to see how Kingdom of the Sun would've turned out, some even wishing we could've somehow gotten both.
  • Encanto: In "Surface Pressure", Luisa sings, "Under the surface, was Hercules ever like, 'Yo, I don't wanna fight Cerberus'?", during which Hercules and Cerberus briefly appear. The animators were planning to go the extra mile and make Hercules's model during that sequence a CGI version of his appearance from Disney's Hercules, but they lacked the funds to create a new model for such a short visual gag and would have had to remove one of the featured animals to accomplish this. Needless to say, many fans lament the missed opportunity.
  • Foodfight!: The film is infamous for being the victim of some "industrial espionage" that resulted in the hard drives being stolen. As a result, what would've originally been a computer-animated movie was soon redone in motion capture, along with other changes to the character designs and setting. For example, the animation would've originally been Looney Tunes-like "squash and stretch", and the supermarket battle originally had the flying soda bottle hanging from a string to justify the action. Those who have watched the movie seem to prefer the original concepts over the finished product, which is considered So Bad, It's Good at best; while nobody could be certain of how things would've gone, it's generally agreed that the animation would've been less creepy and some aspects of the plot would've made more sense.
  • The Fox and the Hound: Originally, Chief was going to die when he was struck by a train while chasing Tod, but this was changed to him just injuring his leg in the final film. Many fans feel that Chief dying would've given Copper better motivation for him to turn against Tod in the third act and made their final confrontation more emotionally impactful.
  • Frozen: While Queen Elsa is far from unpopular, there's a significant population of fans who'd prefer to see her original concept based more directly on The Snow Queen, where she was the film's flamboyant villain deliberately freezing Arendelle rather than suffering from Power Incontinence. This is largely due to her original concept designs, which are seen as more dynamic and striking than her final outfit.
  • Happy Feet: Many wish that this scene where Mumble runs into a blue whale and has a conversation with an albatross voiced by Steve Irwin should have been kept in the final movie, mainly because it's the last time when we hear Steve's voice on the screen.
  • Heavy Metal: Many, fans or otherwise, find the unfinished musical segment "Neverwhere Land", showing Loc-Nar corrupting humanity thorough history, much better than the segments that made their way in the final product.
  • Home on the Range: The original motive of the villain was that he was going to use the cows as an army in a hostile takeover plan to become the next president of the United States. This was changed because Disney higher-ups believed that it was too silly. However, most people who enjoy the film, and even some who don't, feel that the final product ended up having a such a ridiculous tone regardless that this original motivation would have been a far more interesting fit.
  • Some fans prefer the deleted scenes from The Land Before Time, which were fully animated and included a slightly different ending.
  • Lilo & Stitch: One of the deleted scenes depicts Lilo getting revenge on obnoxious tourists, using a scheduled tsunami siren test as a way to drive them off the beach. While it's not clear as to why it was cut, posssibly due to affecting tourism as well as Disney opening a resort in Hawaii, many wish the scene had been kept in, as it was an effective Take That! towards ignorant tourists who treat locals as exotic curiosities, which is very much Truth in Television, especially in places like Hawaii.
  • The Lion King: In an earlier version of the film, Scar developed a Villainous Crush on Nala and propositioned her to be his queen; when she refused and clawed his face, he exiled her from the Pridelands in retaliation (which would have led to the reprise of "Be Prepared", where he formally introduces the hyenas to the pride). This was reportedly cut from the final version for being too creepy, as well as the story changing to have the hyenas immediately move into the Pride Lands upon Mufasa’s death, but several fans have wished it had been left in because it gives Nala more screentime and justifies her finding Simba better than the final version, and reprises the beloved Villain Song. Notably, the producers of the Broadway adaptation seem to have felt similarly and included the scene, albeit with a different musical number. Jon Favreau would also retool the cut storyline for his remake, albeit changed to where Scar instead lusts after Sarabi, as he also felt it was too creepy for Scar to want Nala, and it would add another layer of context for his envy of Mufasa; on Nala’s front, Favreau also added some extra characterization of Nala having revolutionary ideas and an extra scene escaping Pride Rock.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Near the end of the film, Zira meets her end by falling down a cliff after refusing Kiara's offer to help her up. In the original version, rather than losing her grip, Zira crazily whispers "Never..." and lets herself go down, showing that she'd rather die than accept help from a Pridelander. This ending was rejected for being too dark, but some fans have shown a fondness for it, because it's totally something Zira would do and there are plenty of dark moments in this movie.
  • The Lion King (2019): The concept art for the remake depicts Scar with a design more faithful to his animated incarnation - namely, a black mane and more stylized features, as well as an Elephant Graveyard more in-line with the original. As the remake's take on Scar, the Elephant Graveyard, and especially "Be Prepared" ended up being some of the most divisive changes in the film, many fans have wished they had kept these cut concepts and designs.
  • The Lorax (2012): It's more-or-less unanimously agreed that the cut Villain Song "Biggering" is far better than "How Bad Can I Be?", due to the song being darker and less goofy, on top of showing that greed and pride were the real reasons why the Once-ler went as far as he did, which is more in line with his character in the original book.
  • Lightyear: Many people wish that they kept the twist that Zurg was Buzz's father.
  • Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas has a few cut segments and/or elements that, for many, would’ve made the film better:
    • There was supposed to be a story about Donald conducting a Christmas symphony featuring other Disney characters, sort of like Fantasia.
    • Another story called, "Christmas Wrapping" would tell the story of how Mickey and Minnie first met each other, which has never been seen in other media prior to this movie. Peggy Holmes does hope that Disney will revive the project someday, however.
    • Roxanne was supposed to appear in this movie, but due to the limitations in CG at the time with her hair, and the animators not bothering to create a new model for her, she was cut from the final film, replaced with Mona. Needless to say, considering the fact that she was replaced with Mona, a lot of fans wished she could’ve stayed in the final film, even with an altered form.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games:
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): Some fans appreciated the original concept of the Storm King as an elemental wolf better than the final version of him as a bipedal yeti.
    • There was an idea for the Mane Six to take on Super Modes in the final battle against the Storm King. While it was cut due to similarities with the climax of "Twilight's Kingdom", some fans thought it would've made the battle more exciting.
  • Onward: Some fans actually wanted to see the deleted characters Jenny and the villainous Sirens.
  • Some fans of Pinocchio wished that the Deleted Scene where Pinocchio has Honest John and Gideon arrested by the police, after realizing how vile they really are, just right before the final battle against Monstro the whale should've been kept in the movie.
  • Pocahontas originally featured a duet between Pocahontas and John Smith titled "If I Never Knew You", sung the night before his execution. It was cut because the execs felt that the song "Savages" coming so soon after this scene meant there were too many songs. However, the song functions as a way to cap off John Smith's Character Development and adds far more emotion and hopelessness to the third act. It also allows Pocahontas to be vulnerable for a change, giving her decision to stop the execution much more power. The execs apparently came around later, as it was eventually animated and restored to the film for its tenth anniversary DVD.
  • Rio 2: Many detractors of the film wished that the deleted alternate version of Blu and Jewel's conversation after the football match, as unlike in the final version, Blu calls out Jewel's selfishness over her decision to force everyone to permanently move to the jungle and leaving her when she lashes at him, but not before stating that he thinks that their relationship only lasted because he was supposedly the last male of their kind, thus her only option.
  • The original unused ending for Robin Hood (1973) features Robin Hood getting wounded during the climactic escape from Nottingham Castle and dragged to a church by Little John to recover by Maid Marian. After which, Little John leaves to get help, and Prince John arrives while Robin Hood is still knocked out, and is prepared to stab Maid Marian to get to Robin Hood, while she is prepared to stand in front of Robin to defend him. Of course, both are saved by the timely arrival of good King Richard. Needless to say, many fans of the movie prefer this ending over the one that was used since it shows Robin Hood as a more vulnerable hero, gives Maid Marian more to do than just having her be a Neutral Female, and shows Prince John as a more threatening villain.
  • Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken:
    • A storyboard draft done by Jon Magram for the movie showcased Chelsea and Ruby's relationship as a lot more nuanced than presented in the film (where it's shown as a clear-cut black and white deal with Chelsea using Ruby to get what she wants, and then being revealed to be Queen Nerissa all along), with Chelsea being a real person instead of a disguise for Queen Nerissa and is truly her daughter seeking revenge for her mother's death. Even without considering how popular Ruby/Chelsea as a ship is, some fans still prefer this idea over the final product, liking the thought of the main duo's relationship holding a degree of nuance in a movie that's fairly clear in what's good and evil and what many considered a pretty done-and-tired execution of the "twist villain" trope.
    • Another draft by Darren Webb showcased a different version of the climax where Agatha confronts Chelsea and is shown to regret killing her mother when Chelsea calls her a "siren slayer" and tries to plead with her to stop. Some fans think this scene would have added some much-needed nuance to the "Mermaid vs. Kraken" conflict by giving it shades of gray in contrast to the final film's Black-and-White Morality, as well as add more depth to Agatha's character.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie has multiple studio songs in its soundtrack, which were meant as placeholders but were liked by the Nintendo and Illumination executives enough that they were kept in the film. They ended up being used in place of songs performed by Brian Tyler with more obvious Mario ties; fans often prefer these songs, particularly the Donkey Kong-inspired "Drivin' Me Bananas" which was supposed to be used in a scene with a Kong driving Mario, Peach, and Toad, but was placed by the wayside in favor of "Take on Me".
  • Some fans would have liked to see Glen Keane's original version of Tangled that was in development when he was still the director (and when it was still called Rapunzel), which featured a slower paced plot and had a more mature-looking version of Rapunzel, who wielded a crossbow instead of a frying pan as her weapon of choice, as well as a different design for Flynn when he was originally named "Bastien" (said design ended up being reused for Kristoff in Frozen).
  • Many Thomas & Friends fans feel Thomas and the Magic Railroad would have probably been better, or at the very least, more cohesive, if the film hadn't been subject to having large portions of it changed and outright scrapped (such as the case with P.T. Boomer, the film's original human antagonist) last minute due to complaints from test audiences and Executive Meddling.
  • TMNT: The deleted birthday party scene is viewed as being pretty warm and hilarious, and most fans can't figure out why it got cut. Except maybe to emphasize how miserable the Turtles are without Leonardo.
  • Wish (2023):
    • Fans would've liked it if the film were traditionally animated like it was originally planned to be instead of the Painted CGI compromise seen in the final film, since it would've made the film stand out more from its contemporaries and been fitting for the company's 100th anniversary film.
    • It is universally agreed by Disney fans that the original Peter Pan/Genie inspired humanoid concept for Star seen in the film's artbook is far superior to and more interesting than the anthropomorphic star in the final film. To a slightly lesser extent, the concept of the above-mentioned humanoid version of Star being Asha's love interest is another concept that many fans wish had been kept, both due to romance plots involving the main character being a staple element of the classic Disney movies that Wish was trying to evoke the feel of and due to romance in general having become far less common in the more recent Disney movies.
    • In the film's art book, it is revealed that Queen Amaya was originally planned to be a villain in an Unholy Matrimony with King Magnifico. Many fans wish this had been kept in for the final film, especially since a villain couple is a rarity in Disney films.
    • When the storyboarded original version of the climax — in which Valentino led a stampede of talking animals against Magnifico, who ate the wishes and took on a One-Winged Angel form in response — was revealed, some fans commented that they preferred it to the actual climax and, contrary to what the filmmakers believed, saw Magnifico as more threatening than in the finished film.
  • Early versions of Zootopia had a Darker and Edgier tone and setting wherein predators were explicitly second-class citizens forced to wear shock collars that prevented them from expressing any strong emotions. Much of this plot was scrapped entirely because test audiences hated how bleak it was, but there is still a good portion of fans who are incredibly intrigued by this dystopian version of the film and wish it had been made manifest.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2012:
    • The deleted scene where Helmsley punches Annheuser during an argument about whether or not they should be saving more people has no shortage of fans who think it deserved to stay in.
    • Many people prefer the alternate ending to the final one, given how it keeps Gordon from being a Forgotten Fallen Friend and has Harry and Tony survive, which also indirectly implies that more ships at sea may have survived the disaster.
  • After Earth: The original idea for the movie was a normal father and son on normal Earth. The father was injured while they were on a camping trip, so the son had to travel through the woods to get help while communicating with him via walkie-talkie. And furthermore, the role of the Ursa alien was filled by a normal bear. After the failure of the final product, a fair number of people have commented that they would have preferred this version.
  • Alien:
    • Earlier drafts of Alien contained ideas that didn't make it into the final film. For example, the crew were going to be revealed to largely have open sex with one-another regardless of gender, which some fans bemoan the loss of, because it would have been LGBTQIA representation well ahead of its time. Also, the Alien would have revealed to have several more abilities and bizarre features right up to the end of the film, including a Downer Ending where it bit off Ripley's head and then we later learn that the final narration is the Alien mimicking her voice (this, admittedly, is a lot more contentious with fans). But the biggest example is Eggmorphing, a method by which Xenomorphs transform living or dead victims into new eggs. Revealed shortly after the film's release, fans have debated for decades whether or not eggmorphing would have been a far scarier explanation for Xenomorph reproduction than Queens. Some works (such as the novelization for Alien³) even try to work in the idea that the two methods coexist.
    • Aliens: The special edition's subplot of Ripley discovering her daughter died while she was in hypersleep was vastly preferred by Sigourney Weaver herself, as it added more motivation to Ripley's determination to protect Newt. It also helped explain why Ripley can reach Newt and get information out of her better than the others.
    • Alien³: The original draft by William Gibson is widely considered to be superior to the final film. In 2019, it was adapted into a comic book by Dark Horse Comics. Fans may also prefer any drafts where Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop survive.
  • The American President: The original script has a cut scene where the president has a conversation with his daughter that greatly fleshes out her character and explains some of her behavior from earlier scenes. Many fans feel that deleting that scene was a bad call.
  • Annabelle: Creation: Many deleted scenes are viewed as canon by most fans. They turn Alpha Bitch Carol into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, give Sister Charlotte a better backstory and her own haunting subplot, and show more people acknowledging the death of Mr. Mullins.
  • Arachnophobia: A number of fans wish the unmade scene where Sheriff Parsons dies had stayed in, as the description of it sounds pretty suspenseful and a lot of them also feel that he was too obnoxious to deserve being Spared by the Cut.
  • Back to the Future: It's a small moment overall, but most fans find the extended version of the scene where a cop inquires if Doc has a permit for his "weather experiment" to be hysterical and wish it hadn't been trimmed down.
  • Batman Forever: A lot of viewers have lavished praise on some of the deleted scenes, especially the scene where Bruce encounters a giant bat in a cave and confronts some of his inner demons just before the climax. Most of these cut scenes give the film a darker, more dramatic tone similar to the Tim Burton films and gave the characters more depth, which was more in line with Joel Schumacher's original vision until Executive Meddling resulted in the film becoming more comedic and light-hearted. For years now, fans have been crying out for the so-called "Schumacher Cut" to be released so they can see a version of the film closer to what Schumacher intended (such a version is possible to put together, with screenwriter Akiva Goldman stating he'd seen an extended cut of the film that restores many of the scenes).
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes had a Troubled Production which produced multiple scripted endings which some people feel would have been better than the filmed version, if only because of how they're all less dark than the nihilistically hollow filmed ending.
  • Black Christmas (2006):
    • The original filmed ending has the well-liked Leigh surviving, has some good Family of Choice moments, and only didn't get used because of Executive Meddling. Many fans wish it had been kept.
    • In the original script, Billy has been Dead All Along and Agnes is the killer. This would have been a clever Not His Sled moment, avoided the Ass Pull nature of the siblings working together, and likely made more sense. Additionally, Ensemble Dark Horse Melissa survives.
  • Blade II: In the script, Bloodpack member Verlaine is the vengeful twin sister of Raquel, who Blade kills at the beginning of the first movie. This was scrapped when the actress couldn't reprise the role, but some fans wish that they'd still been sisters (just not twins), and the original Teeth-Clenched Teamwork dynamics preserved there.
  • The Brothers Grimm:
    • The exciting fight with a living tree, which was cut because Terry Gilliam thought it was too good and would make the climax seem more lackluster. People who've only been able to see the theatrical cut of the film are not happy with this.
    • The scene where Angelika escapes from the French soldiers by being a Heroic Seductress, as her Big Damn Heroes moment is a Plot Hole without that.
    • The scene where Sasha wakes up during her funeral and hugs her father after the sleeping curse is lifted. It's decently cute, and some fans are confused about her fate without the scene due to how she only has an easy to miss cameo in the theatrical finale scene.
  • Joss Whedon's original script for Buffy the Vampire Slayer is widely thought to be superior to the final film and served as the actual prequel to the series. It was later adapted into the comic book The Origin, which Whedon approved of.
  • Many fans of The 'Burbs dislike the Subverted Suspicion Aesop ending and wish the original ending where the main characters are wrong about their neighbors being killers had been used.
  • Burnt has a deleted scene where Adam learns that one of the waitresses at his restaurant has been harassed by a customer after he notices her crying. He gets angry and goes to the customer to demand an apology, and when the customer refuses, he calmly cleans up the table, thanks them for dining at the restaurant, and leaves with the table's dishes as everyone else in the dining room applauds. This became the movie's most popular scene and many viewers wished it could've been kept in because it gives some much-needed humanity to Adam, as a common criticism was that he was incredibly hard to root for due to how much of a colossal Jerkass he is.
  • Carrie (2013) was intended to be much more faithful to the book, while also updating things for the 2010s. It would have followed the Scrapbook Story format - now updating Sue's autobiography to a series of video diaries. It also gave more characterization to the popular girls, who in the final film are Flat Characters and yet receive more karmic deaths than the previous adaptations (the Watson twins in particular are singled out for a gruesome death, despite their lack of characterization). The town's destruction was filmed as well, including a scene of Carrie setting a church on fire after she finishes praying inside it; whereas it's just an Anti-Climax in the film after Billy and Chris's deaths. Executive Meddling forced Kimberley Peirce to cut over forty minutes of footage and reshoot some scenes to turn it into a Shot-for-Shot Remake of the 1976 version.
  • The TV edit of Child's Play 2 restores a lot of deleted scenes to pad the length. Many of these scenes, particularly the added Character Development given to Andy's foster parents, are quite popular, such that many fans of Chucky prefer it over the theatrical version (especially given that there wasn't really a lot of gore that had to be cut).
  • Clue: One of the film's Multiple Endings was filmed but has never been shown in theaters or on DVD. While the scripted version of it does sound less funny than the three that were kept, many people still mourn its deletion. This is due to the script describing some interesting twists and it being the only ending where the interesting backstory Wadsworth recounts to the guests is entirely true.
  • Cold Mountain: The deleted scene (adapting a moment from the book) where Inman goes to the farm to meet Ada and finds Georgia there is quite well-liked. Many feel that its presence would have helped better explain how Inman finds Ada and Ruby, as well as giving Georgia a brief moment to shine.
  • Ralph Bakshi originally saw Cool World as an erotic horror film about a cartoonist who has sex with his creation resulting in a half-human hybrid. Sadly, the film was infamously screwed over by the studio, resulting in the film we got and fans enjoyed the Bakshi's original vision better.
  • Constantine (2005) removed the scenes involving John's Friends with Benefits succubus Ellie played by Michelle Monaghan in order to make John more of a loner. Hellblazer fans who were disappointed with how little the movie has in common with the comics think they should have kept the character who's from the source material.
  • The Craft has a deleted scene that helped bridge Nancy's Face–Heel Turn; Sarah first asks Bonnie and Rochelle about doing a binding spell, but Nancy ambushes them and gives a "Reason You Suck" Speech. She reminds Bonnie and Rochelle of all she's done for them, also clarifying that they were outright shunned by the school before her. The director cut this, feeling it took power away from the scene in the bathroom where the girls officially turn on Sarah, and thinking it wouldn't make sense for them to remain friends with Nancy after that. The fans have a different attitude however; it explains Rochelle and Bonnie's abrupt Face–Heel Turn (which seems especially surprising for Rochelle, who's an otherwise Nice Girl) by showing they only go along with Nancy out of fear. It also gives a better reason for why Sarah would go on a date with Chris afterwards — in the finished film, she just appears to call him over simple disagreements with the girls. But the deleted scene happens right before this, meaning Sarah was feeling particularly vulnerable. Superficially, the scene shows off some killer acting by Fairuza Balk.
  • Cry-Baby: Two deleted songs Baldwin and his friends sing ("The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" and “Chicken") have fans who think they are catchy and wouldn't have hurt the plot or pacing.
  • Cursed (2005), a werewolf movie made by Wes Craven, was rewritten due to Executive Meddling after most if not all of the original script was filmed, with radically different characters and plot twists. The studio has refused to release the cut content, despite a fan consensus that it could give the movie a chance at real greatness when the theatrical version is generally felt to be So Okay, It's Average or worse.
  • Dances with Wolves: Out of the many scenes only found in the extended edition, the one featuring Fort Sedgwick's abandonment before Dunbar's arrival is constantly cited as a sequence that should have stayed in the theatrical cut. It has some nice acting and dialogue, and the Fort's emptiness comes across as a Plot Hole in the theatrical cut.
  • The original script of Day of the Dead (1985) (which many fans hold out hope may one day be used for a non-In Name Only remake) has an Epic Movie feel and more scientists, soldiers, civilians, and trained zombies (and more morally grey characters in the first three groups) and a prison break plot reads that like it could have been significantly better than the final version, even to people who actually liked the finished film. However, studio executives felt it would have cost too much to make and told Romero to either cut down on the budget by eliminating scenes, characters, and set pieces, or cut down on the gore from unrated to R-rated levels so they could release the film for more moviegoers and recoup a bigger budget, leading to the version that got filmed when Romero chose the former.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Half an hour was cut for the theatrical version, and many feel it was detrimental to the film as some crucial details went missing (such as more onscreen proofs of Lex Luthor's conspiracy). The most notable were scenes that show Clark in Gotham and learning of Batman from some residents, better fleshing out his side of the plot.
    • Suicide Squad (2016) was massively re-edited in post-production, in David Ayer's own words he had "traditionally structured scenes" compared to the music video like approach in the final edit. The extended cut fixed a couple of problems by expanding on the rest of the cast and motivations a bit more, while also making it clearer that Harley chose her criminal path and was not just a pawn of The Joker. Ayer also showed some additional content that was part of his original edit, namely a full action sequence where Joker leads a riot to take over Arkham Asylum.
    • Justice League (2017) went through many extensive reshoots, modifications and cuts as a result of original director Zack Snyder departing from the project after his adopted daughter Autumn's suicide and the studio bringing in Joss Whedon as a replacement director, namely the reduction of Cyborg's character arc, removal of characters like Darkseid and Ryan Choi, and several scenes which gave more depth to the villain Steppenwolf. The finished product was not well received by fans or critics. This and fans showing interest in the cut content revealed by Snyder would cause Warner Bros. to let Snyder re-edit the film with much of the cut content to be closer to his original vision, resulting in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which most consider to be a far better film than the theatrical version, with the Cyborg scenes, in particular, being something a lot of fans feel should have been kept in the theatrical cut. And then fans weren't happy to learn that an Executive Veto axed a John Stewart cameo from this version of the film.
    • While Zack Snyder's Justice League is considered superior to the theatrical version, there was a couple of additions made for the theatrical version that were considered pretty good and could have benefitted from inclusion in this film but Snyder refused to use anything he didn't film personally. Among them include an exchange where Flash is nervous about engaging in a real fight and Batman gives him a pep talk, Wonder Woman and Batman talk about his accumulating injuries and Bruce talks to Alfred about Superman's humanity. Some fan edits attempt to blend these scenes in.
    • SHAZAM! (2019): Most of the scenes which got deleted for pacing are pretty well-liked, but one that almost everyone agrees should have stayed is the scene where Mary and Billy have a conversation about their respective places in the family after she catches him sneaking out. Keeping it could have probably kept Mary's underutilized character arc out of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot territory.
    • The Flash (2023): Several scenes used in test screenings are considered superior to the theatrical cut, with the endings featuring Supergirl and Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and featuring Wonder Woman alongside Henry Cavill meeting Barry outside the courthouse preferred over the ending with George Clooney as Bruce. A scene with a joyride in the Burton Batmobile was filmed; but ultimately cut, much to fans' disappointment.
  • Dead Poets Society: People generally agree that the deleted scenes of Chris and her friend Ginny should have been kept to keep Chris from being more than a Satellite Love Interest.
  • The Deep (1977): Most of the deleted scenes aren't very good in the opinion of most fans, but the omission of the scene that reveals Cloche killed Treece's wife would have done a lot to explain the character's mysterious motives.
  • Deep Blue Sea provides a less universal example than most but still has some passionate advocates. Most fans still enjoy the theatrical ending, where Susan, the scientist who creates the sharks for Alzheimer's research, is dramatically killed while using herself as bait. However, there is a steadily growing minority that feels that an alternate ending where she survives should have been used instead of or along with the theatrical one. One factor bending this is the lack of real-world progress in treating Alzheimer's since the film's release, loaning more sympathy to both Susan's motives and fans' desires to see a character who could potentially cure the disease survive.
    • Several deleted scenes further develop Jim and Janice's relationship and have Susan show a warmer side during her birthday party. Many fans wish they'd remained in the movie for the sake of better Character Development.
  • The Devil Wears Prada: The film has several deleted scenes between Andy and Miranda, some of which fans feel should have been left in. One particular moment is Miranda mouthing "thank you" to Andy for stopping her husband from embarrassing her at the party, which some fans feel added more depth to Miranda that was lacking from the finished product. Another is the small scene of Miranda and Andy awkwardly riding in an elevator to James Holt's office, which many feel was one of the funnier jokes that the writing team came up with.
  • The theatrical cut of Disturbing Behavior removed so many scenes, including most of the plot and Character Development and a different, more Bittersweet Ending, that director David Nutter considered giving it the Alan Smithee treatment. Needless to say, the TV edit that restores most of it to pad the length is the only version of the film that most fans will accept. Home video releases contain not just all of the deleted scenes, but also commentary tracks for them.
  • Don't Worry Darling: Lots of people who read the original versions of the script have stated that while they're still flawed in places, they would've preferred the movie stuck closer to them, feeling these iterations explained the plot in a more straight-forward and effective way than the final version, which was criticized for being overly-vague at times. Many people also felt the original portrayal of Jack and his relationship with Alice was more consistent and fitted the themes better; in the original scripts Jack is a more sinister, controlling character and his relationship with Alice is more obviously troubled (e.g. Alice is depicted as unsatisfied with life in Victory and Jack is pressuring her to have kids; in one version it's also revealed Alice had filed for divorce in the real world, while in another they were never even in a relationship and Jack was just obsessed with her), while a complaint of the finished film is that the narrative seems confused about how sympathetic Jack is meant to be.
  • According to Ben Ramsey, his script for Dragonball Evolution is more faithful to the source material than the final film. Needless to say, many wished the film would've been made with that in mind, given how much of a train wreck the final film was.
  • Fans agree that EDtv would have been too long if it had kept all, or even most, of the 45 minutes of deleted scenes. Still, they tend to mourn the deleted subplots that flesh out Ed's family and introduce a rival TV personality.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: While many of the deleted scenes have their defenders, almost everyone thinks that the scene where Mary listens to the recordings of her erased memories and finds out that Howard pressured her to have an abortion should have stayed. It has some of the character's best acting and makes her actions at the end of the movie a lot more understandable.
  • Final Destination:
    • Final Destination: The Bittersweet Ending that was originally scripted and filmed before a negative test audience reaction has been Vindicated by History following the Too Bleak, Stopped Caring nature of the series as a whole. Many fans prefer that alternate ending where the survivors are Carter, Clear, and Alex's unborn baby and they're safe from future attacks.
    • Final Destination 2:
      • In the original script, Alex is still alive and accompanying Clear. Several fans wish that there'd been a scene of the two visionaries interacting, given how nothing like that ever happens later in the series.
      • In earlier versions of the script, Clear lives and is set up to be a guide for future inexperienced visionaries and survivors in later films, something that could have tied the stories together more and reduced the amount of Too Bleak, Stopped Caring sentiment brought on by how the franchise adapts an Anyone Can Die path.
    • Final Destination 3: The alternate ending has a nice air of The End... Or Is It? instead of a grim Bolivian Army Ending. Quite a few people like that ending, and many people who don't still feel that the theatrical ending is less enjoyable.
    • Final Destination 4: People aware of the deleted scene where Janet challenges Death by walking across a road with her eyes closed are almost unanimous in agreeing that it should have been kept in. This is due to the movie's short run-time and the emotional nature of the scene in a movie that's criticized for being Denser and Wackier.
  • Finch (2021): Several scenes showing Jeff and Goodyear bonding together more and then meeting other humans were filmed but cut from the final act. Since many fans feel that the film ends too soon after Finch dies and Jeff takes over raising Goodyear, this deletion can feel problematic.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral: The deleted scene where Charles tells Carrie how he met most of his friends is praised for being short, clever enough, and strengthening the characters' bonds.
  • Friday the 13th (2009): The original script has a few scenes fans wish had been filmed.
    • Jenna and Clay's Ship Tease reaches the point where she asks him on a date as a bit of Casual Danger Dialogue.
    • Rather than being killed by Jason's machete, Chelsea drowns after she's unable to find a place to get to shore where he isn't waiting for her. Many people feel this could have been a particularly unique and intense death scene for the series.
  • Fury (2014): The deleted scenes. Some critics believe they should have remained as they added more depth to the film.
  • Gattaca: The deleted scenes which make the doctor at the beginning creepier and give Vincent more Secret Keepers have a Broken Base reaction. Some fans think they affect the pacing and undermine the only theatrical Secret-Keeper reveal, but others find them powerful and wish they had stayed.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife: Has a cut scene where Janine and Callie discuss Egon's passing. It can be seen here.
  • Godzilla:
    • The original American theatrical cut of The Return of Godzilla included an effect produced but omitted from the Japanese version: Godzilla's fearful screaming as he's plunged into the volcano. Toho apparently considers this an Old Shame for the character, as it's omitted from most home video releases, but fans tend to love it due to giving Godzilla more emotional depth beyond just being a rage-filled monster.
    • There's a deleted scene from Godzilla vs. Biollante, after Godzilla's initial encounter with Biollante where she causes a field of giant roses to bloom across the hills, which seems to mesmerize even Godzilla for a moment and actually pacifies him. Many fans wish the scene had the been kept due to its hauntingly beautiful imagery and the shots of a peaceful Godzilla in a film where he's otherwise violent and angry, as it would've given him and his relationship with Biollante more depth.
    • It's almost universally agreed upon by fans that the initial script for the first American adaptation was vastly superior to what became the final product, largely because Godzilla (1998) is heavily criticized for being an In Name Only remake by a director who fully admitted to having no love of the character, while the 1994 script was far more faithful to the source material.note 
    • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!: A significant number of fans wished that the original script with Anguirus and Varan instead of Mothra and King Ghidorah was used, since Mothra and King Ghidorah already get enough attention, while Anguirus didn't have a single appearance in the entire Heisei Era and Varan hasn't had a significant appearance in any media since his debut film in 1958, so this could've easily been his breakout role. The fact they had to flip Ghidorah's morality from evil to good, make him much smaller than Godzilla, and completely change his backstory for a third time to fit Varan's role in the movie adds to the argument it would've made much more sense if he was kept as Varan.
    • Shin Godzilla: It's very widely thought that the deleted scene of Godzilla's third form vomiting up a huge waterfall of boiling-hot blood should've stayed in the final film, not just for being a really cool visual, but because it would've helped bridge the gap between Godzilla's second form bleeding from its gills and the atomic breath attack of Godzilla's fourth form, and given the third form more to distinguish itself beyond just being the in-between stage of the two, much more distinct, forms.
    • A lot of Godzilla vs. Kong viewers have expressed laments that so much footage and story material (at least an hour's worth) was cut from the finished film in order to make the story more succinct; giving the titular pair of monsters more focus at the cost of leaving many of the human characters and their storylines feeling under-developed and insufficiently fleshed out. Especially as details about the cut footage have emerged, revealing that Ren Serizawa, Zhang Ziyi's character(s), Maia Simmons, Director Guillerman and Mark Russell — any one of whom various audiences felt was HIGHLY under-exposed and had MUCH more potential than they were milked for in the theatrical cut — each had more prominent and important roles in some of the cut footage.
  • The earliest known version known of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween was intended to be set in Horrorland, with many viewers wishing that it was the final version of the script since the one that was actually used, which among other things, shunted many classic Goosebumps monsters in favor of generic monsters while also being something of a retread of the first film.
  • The Grudge: Many fans of the second movie think that the alternate version of the final attack on Allison and Jake should have been kept in the final cut. The alternate ending's popularity comes from how it provides some hope for Allison to survive rather than having her fall victim to the ghosts onscreen, while at the same time being even scarier than the theatrical version of the scene.
  • Halloween:
    • Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: Many fans are captivated by a scripted scene where Laurie hears about Jamie's death in a shocking way from an Innocently Insensitive student, causing her to vomit and cry. Not only does the scene sound particularly intense and moving, but it would have avoided putting the last three films in Canon Discontinuity territory, which not everyone approves of.
    • Halloween (2007): Quite a few people prefer the alternate ending, as it makes Michael and Loomis more sympathetic and implies that Michael dies (which would avert the events of the base-breaking immediate sequel).
  • Hancock: Many people consider the original script, which is consistently gritty and has Hancock experiencing suicidal tendencies, as superior to the finished film.
  • The subplot in Happy Gilmore of Grandma suffering in an abusive retirement home/labor farm was supposed to conclude with Happy learning of what happened and repaying Ben Stiller's scumbag orderly character by tossing him out a window. For reasons beyond the understanding of Man, this was left on the cutting room floor, and in the theatrical cut the orderly is a Karma Houdini. Fans remain utterly baffled as to why the scene was deleted, as it barely adds 90 seconds to the movie's runtime and has proven be be highly cathartic to viewers who wanted such a blatant Hate Sink to get his just deserts for mistreating and exploiting the elderly.
  • Harry Potter:
  • Viewers of Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House who view Natalie as Unintentionally Sympathetic and a Designated Victim often wish the scripted ending had been used, where Natalie and Peter stay together while Kate starts dating a cop who turns out to be Marv's White Sheep brother.
  • Hot Fuzz: The various deleted scenes following the "hoodies" are well-liked, and most fans agree that there are multiple good reasons they should have been kept. Those scenes set up how they help Nicholas in the climax, provide more Foreshadowing about how there can be a group of identically-dressed miscreants working together and make the NWA seem even more creepy with their willingness to target a member's grandson.
  • The Hunter: Some fans wish the deleted scenes showing Jack Mindy struggling to express his feelings toward Lucy and being bullied into helping the loggers had stayed in, given how mysterious his character feels in the final cut.
  • I Am Legend: The film's original ending has Neville realize that the monsters are sentient and to them he is the monster, followed by him having a My God, What Have I Done? moment as he ponders the implications of the research he has been conducting. This was changed to the more action-packed theatrical ending due to focus group feedback, but fans of the film greatly prefer it, especially since the scrapped ending is more true to the themes and the ending of the source material.
  • Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor's original script for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry was originally a more serious and tasteful black comedy about homophobia with soci-political commentary.
  • In Bruges: The deleted scene where the hitmen discuss why Harry wanted the priest murdered is interesting enough that some fans wish it had stayed in.
  • It's unanimously agreed that Richard Stanley's version of The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) would have been better than the disaster that was actually made.
  • James Bond:
    • Diamonds Are Forever: It's widely agreed that the deleted material with Plenty O'Toole should have been left in the film, as it not only gives her more screentime, but fills in a Plot Hole regarding how she knew where Tiffany Case lives. Also, the intended climax involving a full on assault on the oil rig culminating in Bond chasing Blofeld to a salt mine where the villain finally meets his end sounds like it would have been way more satisfying than the final film, not to mention Blofeld getting a proper comeuppance.
    • Tomorrow Never Dies: A lot of people wish that k.d. lang's "Surrender", which plays over the closing credits, hadn't been replaced late in production by Sheryl Crow's "Tomorrow Never Dies" as the main title song.
    • The World Is Not Enough: A scripted but unfilmed ending where Elektra survives being shot and ends the movie in a mental hospital, being treated for Stockholm Syndrome, has defenders who think it could have made the movie more interesting.
    • Quantum of Solace: "No Good About Goodbye" by Shirley Bassey is widely considered to be a much superior song to the much-maligned "Another Way to Die".
    • Spectre: Radiohead were originally approached to provide the film's theme before both of their suggestions were rejected — "Man of War" for being an OK Computer outtake, which would disqualify it from an Oscar nomination, and "Spectre" for being too unfitting. Instead, the filmmakers tapped Sam Smith, whose song "Writing on the Wall" made it into the film. While Smith's song won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar, a large chunk of fans believe that "Spectre" would've been a better fit, to the point where one Fan Edit splices it into the opening credits.
  • Jaws:
    • Jaws 2: Interestingly, two different, radically divergent, alternate versions of the well-known helicopter scene in the final act are both seen as being even better than the final versions by some fans.
      • An extended version of the scene shows the helicopter pilot makes it out of the submerged craft, only for the next shot to be a close-up of the shark’s mouth right before it engulfs him offscreen. Many people feel this was impressively scary and makes the final version lackluster by comparison.
      • In the second draft of the script, the pilot survives due to an air bubble inside the cockpit and briefly ventures out of it to pull Marge to safety when the shark is attacking her. Given how the script makes that scene sound tense and fast-paced and Marge is such a popular character and has such a sad death, there are fans who wish that scene had stayed in and saved the two characters.
    • Jaws 3-D: Some people who have read the first draft of the script feel it is better than the final film in every way, with the possible exception of Kelly dying, and could have been the best of the sequels. Phillip and Bouchard get more interesting dialogue and characterization, the bond between the Brody brothers and their trauma over the events in Amity are explored more, Mike and Kathryn have scenes planning their wedding, and the death scenes are more suspenseful and gritty. Since the final film is criticized for not having enough Character Development or scares, these changes can feel unwise.
  • Kangaroo Jack: Some fans like the original film before the retool for having a clear audience. It also had a scene where Jessie gives Charlie his Captain Amazing pin back.
  • The Last Airbender has a very trim runtime, leaving very little that doesn't further the plot and major character arcs, despite otherwise following the rough story of the first season of the show. Many of the deleted scenes are thus small bits of Worldbuilding and more natural characterization that was missing entirely from the movie. One was the group celebrating with a local village and Aang comes across a fortune teller who is obviously a Con Man, but Aang's naivete is put on display. Another was an entire subplot where Suki would be introduced as a Mysterious Protector with her Kyoshi warriors.
  • Liar Liar: A majority of the fandom thinks that the Deleted Scene where Fletcher defends a mugger in court should have been kept, due to it establishing Fletcher's methods and skills as an Amoral Attorney in a hilarious Crosses the Line Twice way.
  • Lights Out (2016): Some consider the original ending (which takes place after the theatrical ending scene) where the villain makes one final attack on the siblings to be canon, given that it avoids the Unfortunate Implications about suicide being a solution to problems.
  • Major Dundee: The deleted opening featuring an Apache massacre which Ryan narrowly escapes is somewhat legendary among Western fans, who praise the scene's execution in the original script and mourn how the filmed footage has yet to see a home video release.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers (2012): Several deleted scenes from the Battle of New York focus on a waitress Cap befriended in an earlier deleted scene, a Badass Normal cop whom Cap gives an alien weapon, and the arrival of military reinforcements. Many fans wish that some or all of those scenes had been included, as they have a powerful The Real Heroes feel and showcase the wider effects of the battle.
    • Thor: The Dark World: The initial pitch by original director Patty Jenkins was going to focus more on Thor and Jane Foster's relationship, akin to Romeo and Juliet. Odin would forbid them from being together and his disinterest in Earth would be exploited by Malekith to hide all of the dark energy of the Aether inside the planet, only for Thor and Jane to discover it. Most fans prefer Jenkins' proposal over the final product, which is considered to be mediocre, if not one of the least liked installments of the Infinity Saga.
    • Ant-Man: While the film was mostly well-received, there are many people who would have much rather seen Edgar Wright's version.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: During the climactic battle in Wakanda, Bruce was originally going to work out his issues with the Hulk and the two would become one being in order to defeat Cull Obsidian. Although the scene was cut due to concerns it would conflict with the film's Downer Ending, many fans wished it stayed in, citing how it gave proper resolution to Bruce's story arc and was ultimately more satisfying than having the two merge off-screen during the five year Time Skip in Avengers: Endgame.
    • Avengers: Endgame: During the quest for the Infinity Stones, Clint was originally going to sacrifice his life to obtain the Soul Stone. Many fans prefer this over the final product, which was met with anger from said fans, who felt it was a Stuffed into the Fridge moment for Natasha.
    • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: While Sam Raimi’s direction for the film has been largely praised, even by detractors, quite a sizable amount of viewers would have much rather seen what Scott Derrickson’s version of the movie would have been.
  • Fans tend to prefer the Wachowskis' original intention for The Matrix, in which the machines used the humans as a vast neural network to power their intelligence, to the Executive Meddling-induced explanation in the final film, in which the humans are simply an energy source.
  • Mean Girls originally had a scene at the spring fling where Cady encounters Regina in the girls' restroom. Regina makes a roundabout explanation for her actions by telling her a story about how she destroyed an expensive dollhouse she had as a kid just to prevent another girl from playing with it, even though she didn't want it anymore (an analogy for how she took Aaron back solely to spite Cady). It's never been officially stated as to why it was deleted, but a fair amount of fans would've liked to see it left in because it humanizes Regina well and gives Cady some closure with her after their fighting.
  • My Soul to Take:
    • The deleted scenes of Fang telling Bug the truth about him in a calmer manner, Jay’s mother exploring his room, and more puppets being shown during the party at the river are all fairly unimportant, but have fans who think they added some useful and interesting atmosphere to the film.
    • Some people like the alternate ending, feeling that even though The Hero Dies, there is something moving about the way the kids end up Together in Death.
  • News of the World (2020): The deleted scene where Kidd and Johanna encounter a group of freedmen on a raft as the later group flees Texas has people who wish it had remained. It wouldn't have added much to the movie's runtime, has some good visuals and provides a better look at the suffering and discrimination endured by those people when the movie only refers to it secondhand.
  • Nim's Island: The deleted scenes with Nim's imaginary friends provide the film with more emotional depth and cute moments, and many fans wish they'd been left in.
  • Nobody: The trio of deleted scenes where Hutch's father-in-law looks into his past and the Barber helps keep that past private have fans who wish they'd stayed in, as they’re decently entertaining and give some characters who don't do much in the final cut some good moments.
  • Out Cold: Many wish the extended version of Papa Muntz's death scene had been used due to the mixture of genuine sadness and Crosses the Line Twice humor, and Eric getting a better Establishing Character Moment.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End:
    • A sequence where Governor Swann tries to stab Davy Jones' heart after believing Elizabeth is dead. This scene appeared in the novelization, and most of it was completed bar most of the effects on Jones, suggesting it was cut rather late in development. This would have given Governor Swann more of a sendoff compared to how Demoted to Extra he was in the final film.
    • An extended conversation between Jack and Beckett, where it would be revealed that Beckett had contracted Jack to ferry some cargo—which turned out to be slaves. When Jack freed them, Beckett responded by branding him and sinking the Black Pearl.
  • There are some who would have preferred to have seen the original script to Pretty Woman, which was a darker and more realistic look at prostitution with no happy ending.
  • Prometheus was initially titled Alien: Engineers, since the original script was released online, there has been no shortage of fans furiously declaring that it has far better mythology gags, action scenes, and plot developments than anything that made it to screen.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: A Deleted Scene where a young Mook is tasked with executing Sallah but can't bring himself to do it has a lot of defenders, even among the cast and crew, who think it should have stayed in.
  • Rat Race: Many fans wish the deleted scenes where the Lucille Ball fans meet their Distaff Counterparts and the high rollers play Monopoly had stayed in. Both have some good humor and would have helped the plot in minor ways. The first scene explains how Owen got away from the angry fans and whether those women make it to their convention, while the second scene makes it harder to guess that Vicki the call girl will be a Chekhov's Gunman.
  • Rocky V: The alternate ending is viewed as widely superior to the final cut due to paying some respect to the generally ignored Clubber Lang and giving Tommy a Heel Realization.
  • James Gunn's original script for Scooby-Doo was much more faithful to the original cartoon...relatively speaking. There are also deleted scenes showing Daphne encountering a possessed Velma, and Shaggy witnessing Daphne's soul getting extracted too that explain oddities in the finished film - after the former, Daphne just leaves a locker room looking panicked, and the latter has Shaggy inexplicably knowing to find Daphne's soul in the vat too.
  • Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed: Most fans think that cutting the scene showing the second museum robbery was a mistake, given the delicious creepiness of the setting and how it provides a proper introduction to the Ensemble Dark Horse 10,000 Volt Ghost.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was originally written with the intention of the ending with Scott getting back together with Knives rather than Ramona, but switched late in production and released with Scott and Ramona staying together. Knives has a very significant role in the movie because of the original ending, and her and Scott end up developing into a fighting partnership in the climax while Ramona is brainwashed by the main bad guy. This alternate ending was filmed and included with the home release and isn't hard to find online. It is widely considered to be a much better ending for the film, as opposed to the comic where Knives was only an introductory, short term love interest.
  • Scream:
    • Scream 4: The original script has a scene where Sidney cuts her foot during an earlier attack, and is treated by a doctor who turns out to be Steve's older brother (the same guy who later operates on her in the climax) while their conversation sets up a trick question Ghostface uses later on. Many fans feel the scene would have been emotionally powerful and a good Call-Back and wish it had been filmed.
    • Scream (2022): One of the earlier drafts of the script had Tara and Amber as girlfriends rather than just best friends. A lot of fans would have preferred to have had this kept in as a better way to explain why Amber hates Tara's sister Sam and because it adds more tragedy to the reveal that Amber is one of the killers.
  • The Shallows: Many fans wish the deleted scenes where Chloe sees a shark fin in the background of a picture her sister sent her and Nancy tries to imitate seagull cooing to pass time had stayed in.
  • Snatch.: Some people who've seen the deleted scenes think that a couple of them let several characters be particularly impressive and deserved to stay in.
    • Brick Top getting a fake diamond from Sol and Vinny and trying to sell it to Avi. Whether they think the scene should have stayed in or not, fans love seeing Brick Top's dragon and Tony face off and Brick Top meeting someone who scares him as much as he scares everyone else. Also, they feel that it gives additional context to why Brick Top let Sol and Vinny go in the first place.
    • Frankie trying to escape from Sol, Vinny, and Tyrone is pretty cool and adds to their hilarious incompetence.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy: A good number of fans prefer the original, more comic-accurate design for Green Goblin shown in screen tests, over his final design in Spider-Man.
  • Star Trek
    • Michael Piller's original version of Star Trek: Insurrection is was very different from the final film. Inspired by Heart of Darkness, it would have seen Picard tracking down an old academy friend who has allied with the B'aku against the Romulans. His first draft can be found in the unpublished book Fade In and is widely thought to be better than the actual film.
    • Star Trek: Nemesis left a number of cameos and character moments out of the final film, which focuses more exclusively on Picard and Data as a result. For one Wil Wheaton returned as Wesley who had returned to Starfleet and was set to be the Chief Engineer on the Titan with Riker (Wheaton himself didn't mind being cut, he did the role as personal penance for how he treated the show upon his departure).
    • A number of fans were hoping a director's cut of Star Trek (2009) would be released since not only did they feel many of the deleted scenes contributed to some characterizations and the film overall, but leaving one or two of them out actually created Plot Holes. Most notably, there's the deleted scene that revealed Nero and his crew were being detained by Klingons on Rura Penthe during the 25-year Time Skip after attacking the Kelvin. Their subsequent jailbreak is what led to the "Klingon Prison Planet attack" in the finished film. Plus, an extended cut of Kirk's minor kidroduction revealed his friend "Johnny" was actually the Kelvin timeline version of his brother George and explained what drove him to steal the corvette.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Phantom Menace: The rough draft of the film is considered by many to be superior to the final product: Obi-Wan is the main character rather than Qui-Gon (whose role is much smaller), Anakin has a less irritating and more mystical personality, Padmé and her plight are more interesting, Darth Maul has more dialogue, and Jar Jar Binks is actually tolerable, as he and the other Gungans speak in plain English and actually receives Character Development (becoming a wiser person through his experiences and even being a Badass Normal hero in the end battle rather than bumbling his way into victory).
    • Attack of the Clones
      • A lot of content surrounding Padmé's work, and her growing relationship with Anakin, ended up not making the final cut, which was disappointing for a lot of people as the scenes that were deleted helped flesh out her character, especially the scenes with Padmé's family, none of which made it in. These scenes also had more naturally acted and genuine moments of chemistry between Padmé and Anakin that made their relationship feel more real.
      • One moment that fans believed would have helped immensely was the deleted scene in the Jedi Temple library where the librarian, Jocasta Nu, speaks to Obi-Wan about Count Dooku, which provides a lot of necessary backstory and build-up for the movie's main villain.
    • Revenge of the Sith:
      • There were two scenes that many felt should have been retained. The two being "A Stirring in the Senate" and "Exiled to Dagobah". Largely due to both scenes being important scenes that tied into the original trilogy, with the former scene planting the first seeds for what would grow into the Rebel Alliance (on top of fleshing out Padmé and Bail's characters) and the latter scene showing Yoda's exile to Dagobah. Genevieve O'Reilly, who portrayed Mon Mothma in those scenes, was still considered such perfect casting she reprised over a decade later in Rogue One, and again in the series Andor.
      • The film was already big in scope, but a couple of action set pieces were filmed but eventually cut due to editing needs and pacing issues. The most notable one was a more protracted fight between the other Jedi Masters Mace Windu brought with him to confront Palpatine. Those three went down in only a handful of seconds, while it was intended to be a more proper 4v1 fight where it slowly becomes whittled down to just Mace vs Palpatine.note 
      • An early draft of the script included a scene where Palpatine reveals that his experiments with midi-chlorians led to Anakin's birth, effectively making him Anakin's father. Lucas ultimately cut this scene, preferring to keep Anakin's origins ambiguous—but many fans elected to treat it as canon anyway, since they liked that it brought the trilogy's story full circle (as well as characterizing Anakin as an Unwitting Pawn of the Sith from birth, adding another layer to his tragic downfall). Even though the canon status of this revelation is still pretty ambiguousnote , many fans still accept it as Anakin's backstory.
    • Return of the Jedi:
      • Early plans for the film originally featured the heroes arriving on the planet Kashyyyk and teaming up with a tribe of Wookiees to help overthrow the Empire. However, George Lucas created the Ewoks to take their place, wanting a more primitive race to contrast the technologically-advanced Imperial forces. Many fans prefer the original idea with the Wookiees, as they found the teddy bear-like Ewoks to be too childish by comparison. The concept of the Wookiees fighting a battle on Kashyyyk was later used in Revenge of the Sith.
      • The Battle of Endor originally contained a subplot where the Emperor orders Moff Jerjerrod to fire the Death Star on Endor, but he hesitates giving the order. Many fans think that this should have been included in the film, as it expands his role and makes him more sympathetic.
    • The Last Jedi:
      • The deleted scene of Luke mourning over the death of Han Solo is agreed by many (including Mark Hamill) that it should have stayed in the film, especially since it would have mitigated the complaint about how little of an impact and focus Han's death had, in spite of him being one of the most important characters in the original trilogy.
      • During the scene where Finn fights Captain Phasma, an extended sequence was shot where he publicly calls her out for betraying the First Order in The Force Awakens just to save her own hide. This leads to Phasma murdering her own men as they are about to turn on her before continuing her fight with Finn. Many fans felt the scene added a lot more to Phasma's character, and made for a more satisfying final showdown between Finn and his former commander.
    • The Rise of Skywalker:
      • The leaked first draft of the original Episode IX script, Duel of the Fates by Colin Trevorrow, has fans that prefer it over the finished film. Notable changes that have been praised include the fact that Palpatine doesn't come Back from the Dead, Rose gets a substantially larger role, Finn leads a team of defected Stormtroopers against the First Order in the climax, and the final battle would have been set in Coruscant, among other reasons.
      • As more and more details of the first draft of Rise of Skywalker have been released via concept art, many fans prefer that version over the final one. Jannah and her co have a more meaningful role, Palpatine's return is properly built up, the final battle against the Star Destroyers makes far more sense and probably most notable of all, Finn wields a lightsaber in the climax.
      • Fans like the concept art shown in The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for a new flagship for Kylo Ren as the Supreme Leader of the First Order. Designs proposed include a massive kite-shaped Super Star Destroyer and a double-decker Star Destroyer, but the flagship in the final film is identical to Kylo's Star Destroyer from The Force Awakens.
  • Step UP: Some fans think the deleted scenes in the second movie where Sophie rats out Andie’s (tenuous) connection to the school vandals and then feels bad about it and tries to make amends flesh her out in a way that the final cut doesn’t.
  • Super Mario Bros. (1993): Many Mario fans tend to prefer the original 1991 draft and the more straightforward fantasy approach it had over the infamous final film, largely due to the script being more faithful to the games.
  • Suicide Kings: While the theatrical ending was a Focus Group Ending that still has its defenders, a sizable part of the fan base prefer one or both of the alternate endings where Charlie spares Elise and Max, as the camera work is better, the grim final version clashes with the comedic tone of the film, and a lot of people feel it is disproportionate of Charlie to be so ruthless to Max and Elise while giving Avery and the others a pass.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Fans tend to like most (although not all) of the deleted scenes that introduce Erin (a character who plays a notable role in the ending montage) and show Melanie interacting with Jake's mother and expressing more regret for her Alcohol-Induced Idiocy. The consensus is that they aren't quite great, but could have added a little to the movie.
  • Terminator: After years of Sequelitis, fans began looking far more favorably on the cut alternate ending of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which showed a grown up and middle-aged John Connor working happily as a U.S. Senator to prevent futures like the Robot War from coming about, while he and an elderly Sarah enjoy time with her grandchildren. Come the release of Terminator: Dark Fate in 2019 (very close to the same date of the alternate ending), where John Connor is unceremoniously killed as a child, only for a new evil AI and new Resistance to replace him and Skynet, and many fans argue that even following the timeline of the alternate ending would have been more interesting than what they got in Dark Fate.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning: Many fans feel that the first (out of three) alternate endings is better than the final version, due to giving Chrisse a more ambiguous, Nothing Is Scarier fate compared to the Ass Pull one in the finished film and having a powerful and terrifying montage showcasing the scope and heartbreak of the Hewitts' future crimes.
  • Thunderbirds: Some fans feel that the second draft of the script (where the villain is flooding cities and the Tracys have a strained relationship) would have been better than the infamous final draft that ended up being filmed.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    • The twins from Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Skids and Mudflap, were viewed as The Scrappy but still intended to reappear in this film before being removed entirely in the final cut. They both would have gotten a Heroic Sacrifice when Sentinel Prime reveals himself the villain, where one would protect Bumblebee and the other would attack the villain in revenge and buying time for others to escape. The scene was shocking enough as it was, but fans consider the idea to have a lot of merit and evoke Alas, Poor Scrappy.
    • Megatron was built up as having lost control of the Decepticons from Sentinel Prime, which eventually convinces him to turned against him and actually save Optimus in mid fight. Optimus turned around and killed both Megatron and Sentinel Prime when he got the opportunity, but the original script was to have Prime and Megatron separate amicably and end the war after seeing how much was lost in the conflict. Many fans consider that to be a bigger sign of character growth than the more blunt ending that was given.
  • TRON famously has a Deleted Scene between Tron and Yori in the original where she takes him back to her home for a private moment, that was initially cut for pacing, but the director ended up regretting it. It's still in the Novelization and the DVD releases. Fan preferred as it adds a lot of detail about Tron and Yori's relationship, Yori's talents, and the Program society after Master Control's takeover.
  • Many people would have rather seen the Richard Donner/Shane Black version of Wild Wild West rather than the disaster that was actually made.
  • Willow: The original script has a lot of information about Sorsha's father (one of the frozen people in Tir Asleen) that makes her Heel–Face Turn feel more layered and interesting.
  • The original script for X-Men: The Last Stand that Bryan Singer was going to direct would have been a more faithful adaptation of "The Dark Phoenix Saga" focusing on Cyclops and Jean Grey, with a three-way struggle between the X-Men, the Brotherhood of Mutants and the Hellfire Club over Jean's Phoenix powers. It would have even kept the original story's ending where Cyclops is forced to kill Jean. It also would have introduced Gambit, Emma Frost and Dazzler.
  • Yesterday (2019): Many of the deleted scenes (Jack appearing on The Late Show, a humorous race to get to an interview on time, one of the songs being used in an ice cream commercial etc.) have their fans. The one that probably has the most defenders is the original twist of Ellie and not Jack being the one to remember Harry Potter in the ending while no one else does, which would mean the timeline change affected different people in different ways.
  • Young Frankenstein: The deleted scene where the old baron's will is read has plenty of defenders who wish it had been kept. It has some good jokes and makes the plot slightly clearer.

    Literature 
  • The Harry Potter series has some cut content the author has discussed and that fans would have enjoyed seeing kept.
    • Draco Malfoy having a conversation with another Death Eater's kid whom he considers an equal, while also describing how Harry is Shrouded in Myth from the perspective of Voldemort's Death Eaters.
    • The first draft of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire featured a muggleborn distant Weasley cousin named Mafalda who is sorted into Slytherin based on her intelligence and ambition, in spite of her blood status, and serves as a source of gossip about Slytherin goings-on and would have also acted as a rival figure to Hermione. Rowling abandoned the character due to considering her subplot implausible due to her young age, and she was replaced by Rita Skeeter (and the name "Mafalda" being repurposed for a Ministry employee that Hermione impersonates in Deathly Hallows), but many fans wish she'd been preserved in some capacity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Early plans for season four had the comatose Cordelia wake up to kill off Big Bad Jasmine, instead of being subject to Dropped a Bridge on Her later on. To say that the entirety of the fanbase would have preferred that storyline to what they ended up getting is an understatement. Later accusations that Joss Whedon made the change to punish Charisma Carpenter for getting pregnant during filming have only added to that sentiment.
  • Breaking Bad: Vince Gilligan has described an unfilmed scene from the finale where Walt has an encounter with a former student. Many people wish the scene had remained and think it could have been one of the better Heartwarming Moments in a fairly grim episode.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Professor Maggie Walsh was supposed to have been the Big Bad of season four. This could have created an interesting dynamic — someone who serves as a rival for Giles as Buffy's new teacher and Riley's surrogate mother figure, a contrasting sequel antagonist to the Mayor (affable and cheery public figure replaced with a calculating and cold figre who operates in the dark) and with military technology and resources on her side, thus giving Buffy a more human foe. Given that even Joss Whedon felt that Adam was the show's least compelling Big Bad, many feel that this would have made the season better.
    • "Conversations with Dead People" had a scene planned where the First Evil would impersonate Jesse from the first two episodes of Season 1 to torment Xander. It would have solved many complaints about Jesse being a Forgotten Fallen Friend, and also served as a nice Call-Back to the first season. Sadly, Eric Balfour wasn't available. Consequently, it's the only episode of the series where Xander doesn't appear.
    • A planned episode for Season 7 would have had Buffy bringing Tara back to life after being allowed one wish. Needless to say, a lot of fans would have liked that over Willow's relationship with Kennedy.
  • A lot of Charmed (1998) fans would have preferred the original storyline for Season 5 — Cole falling in love with Paige instead — rather than the odd arc of him going through the Face–Heel Revolving Door.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The entire 23rd season of the show was rewritten from the ground up following Executive Meddling that led to an 18-month hiatus. The new version, The Trial of a Time Lord, was ambitious in its overarching story arc where the Doctor is put on trial as an allegory for the show's situation, but the results are widely seen by fans and critics as hamfisted, gimmicky, and rehashed from several better-regarded earlier stories. When word about the original plans for Season 23 got out, fans quickly gravitated towards it for consisting of more original ideas and following up on the cliffhanger ending of "Revelation of the Daleks". This eventually reached the point where Big Finish Doctor Who adapted most of the scrapped season as the inaugural collection in its Lost Stories range.
    • Some fans prefer Robert Holmes and Eric Saward's more ambitious script for part two of "The Ultimate Foe" (the final story in the season-wide The Trial of a Time Lord story arc) where the Valeyard is revealed to be the Doctor's final incarnation and really a frail old man who wants to steal the Doctor's remaining regenerations to stave off death. It would have ended with the two of them struggling and falling down an abyss reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty in "The Final Problem".
  • Firefly: The deleted scene from "Serenity" where Zoe tells Mal about the Battle of Serenity Valley is considered to be a good character moment that fleshes out some aspects of the characters which are never said out loud. While it was deleted due to its tie-in with the original (also deleted) opening, many feel it would have still worked fine as a follow-up to the revised opening.
  • Harper's Island:
    • Everyone agrees that the deleted scenes where Malcom and Beth interact in "Crackle" are pretty good and should have been kept. They give Ensemble Dark Horse Beth perhaps her only real moment in the spotlight and are decently cute and funny.
    • Katherine and Thomas's Deleted Scene in "Ka-Blam" also has many fans who mourn its deletion. It resolves the Plot Hole about Thomas's change in attitude toward Hunter and develops Thomas and Katherine's relationship when they barely converse outside of that scene.
  • Heroes:
    • Before the Writer's Strike messed things up, season two was supposed to be longer and darker - the heroes fail to stop the Shanti Virus from being spread and the resulting arc would have seen everyone deal with the aftermath, plus Maya would have served a purpose by sacrificing herself to absorb the virus.
    • Before Kristen Bell's filming schedule got too busy, Elle was originally intended to survive the events of season three and be the mother of Sylar's son in the Bad Future. Most fans would have been happier with that than with the final version of season three.
  • Lost: Ilana's originally-planned role as Jacob's daughter and a more prominent figure in the plot of Season 6 is something that fans feel was unwisely cut.
  • The Mandalorian: Concept art for the second episode of Season 3, "The Mines of Mandalore," shows Din Djarin lacking his helmet when submerged in the Living Waters. Season 3 marked the first one never to show his face onscreen, so fans who saw it in the drawing proceeded to lament that Lucasfilm robbed them.
  • A Nero Wolfe Mystery: The Canadian extended version of Before I Die is well-liked for including the deleted scenes where Fritz cooks for the mob bodyguard and then goes to acquire black market meat.
  • Northern Exposure: Most episodes have at least one or two deleted scenes that generally improve the plot or make jokes seem funnier, but that were cut to keep the episodes short enough for their timeslot.
  • Ozark: Ruth survives in the original outline of season 4, something that was changed after season 4 was split in half, and the writers needed a new ending. Many fans feel the character deserved better in general and that sacrificing her just to make the show a bit longer, darker, and more controversial wasn't worth it.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: Some fans would like to see the filmed but unreleased episode (described as "Air Force One on the Megaship") where Cassie from Turbo and In Space joins the team instead of Karone.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force: Though "Forever Red" was well received, many fans prefer the longer draft of the episode, for better fleshing out the story and even giving all of the Red Ranger's zords a battle with Serpentera.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm: One rejected pitch from Amit Bhaumik was intended to be much bigger in scope than the finished product, with Tommy leading a Ranger organization called "Hexagon" with new recruits using the Wind Ninja suits, and Jason leading the Thunder Ninjas in opposition to him, with plans to tie up some of the loose threads left over from the previous seasons. Though not without its criticisms, there's still a significant portion of fans who would have loved to see it.
    • Power Rangers Samurai: Many fans prefer Bhaumik's rough pitch for the show over the finished product. This is largely because Samurai ended up being a largely faithful remake of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, but was completely divorced from the original's cultural context, where the Bhaumik pitch featured a more original storyline with unique takes on several of Shinkenger's ideas.
  • Powerless: Many people who've seen the original unaired pilot—where there's still some decent comedy, but the characters work at an insurance company and have a The Real Heroes vibe—feel that scrapping that format badly hurt the show's quality.
  • Red Dwarf: "Only the Good..." had multiple endings considered, including one where Ace Rimmer (i.e the original Rimmer from Series I-VII) saves the day and another where the Dwarfers survive and take over the ship. These endings are much preferred by fans over the final ending (where Rimmer, trapped on board Red Dwarf, comes face to face with the Grim Reaper and knees him in the balls), since it ends on a Cliffhanger which has never been properly resolved, even during the Revival.
  • Tremors: The short-lived Syfy series might have been better if it had adapted more than one of the scripts from an un-produced earlier series (a vampire mountain man, an octopus creature in the trees, a winged monster the heroes pursue with sky-fishing methods, etc.).
  • Wayward Pines: The originally planned season 1 ending has Hassler returning to town with news of the outside world rather than Jason taking over the town. Given how the final ending set up the far less popular season 2, many fans would have preferred the original ending.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: "Another Merry Mix-Up" and "Jennifer's Wedding", the two episodes that were never filmed due to Executive Meddling, have defenders who think that the early script drafts had some good jokes and that the episodes would have made plot twists in subsequent episodes come across more believably.

    Music 
  • Bob Dylan left a number of songs off albums that many fans think would have been among the best songs on that album.
    • for Blood on the Tracks, "Up to Me". Also, although not actually cut, many prefer the original New York versions of songs that were re-recorded in Minnesota, such as "Idiot Wind" and "If You See Her, Say Hello"
    • for Shot of Love, "Angelina"
    • for Infidels, "Blind Willie Mctell", "Foot of Pride"
    • for Oh Mercy, "Dignity" and "Series of Dreams"
  • While Weezer album Pinkerton is beloved by many, there are fans who think the album that it replaced, Songs from the Black Hole, should've been released. An album's worth of new songs were tried out in set-lists during a tour in the summer of 2000 - fans bootlegged them to distribute online, calling them the "summer songs of 2000" or "SS2K", and assumed all or most of the material would appear on the next Weezer release... But only one of them, "Hash Pipe", appeared on The Green Album, with the rest of the songs considered "scrapped". Due to popular demand, two more of these songs, "Dope Nose" and "Slob", were included on Maladroit, and later the band would compile a selection of remixed and edited demos and live versions of ten additional "SS2K" songs for a fan site to distribute for free, this being the closest thing the material would get to an "official" release.
  • Eminem:
    • Eminem intended to release a direct sequel to his Slasher Movie Concept Album Relapse called Relapse 2. Various factors note  led to him to revamp the project into Recovery, a Pop Rap album full of emotional, Self-Empowerment Anthem content. While Recovery revived his career and was acclaimed by critics and general audiences, much of Eminem's fanbase and Horrorcore nerds would have preferred Relapse 2 and still obsess over it today. Tyler, the Creator, who cites Relapse as a major inspiration, went so far as to (jokingly) attempt to recruit Twitter users to steal Relapse 2 from Marshall's house. Eminem did release some of his favourite Relapse 2 tracks in a bonus EP called Relapse: Refill as a compromise, and many unreleased songs from this era leaked, but most are unremarkable grossout accent bloodbaths not very different to what he had already done on Relapse. Numerous fanmade Relapse 2 albums combining Refill and Recovery tracks with Relapse leaks and Relapse-era guest appearances do exist on YouTube.
    • "Stimulate", a euphoric psych-rock song intended for The Eminem Show, was on the album late enough in development that some copies were printed showing it on the track list, but was replaced at the last minute with "Say Goodbye Hollywood". "Stimulate", which opens with Eminem giggling, "I love my job!" and promising to take the audience flying with him, became a cult favourite due to its more optimistic and loving atmosphere than "Say Goodbye Hollywood" ("If I could swallow a bottle of Tylenol, I would, and end it for good... I'm trapped, if I could go back, I never would've rapped! I sold my soul to the devil, I'll never get it back."), but was only distributed on a UK bonus disc with the 8 Mile soundtrack and as a B-side to the "Cleanin' Out My Closet" CD single. "Stimulate" eventually got wider release in The Eminem Show: Expanded Edition in 2022.
  • Miracle Musical:
    • "Time Machine (Demo 3)" is often considered better then the final track, sounding like an original Tally Hall song. It's a lot more active and involved than the distant and cold final version. The demo featuring Rob Cantor's voice rather than a robotic synth singing the entire thing also helps, with lines like "I await for all eternity" and "live the dream in a time machine" sounding much more emotional and human.
    • "Stranded Lullaby (Demo)" is also sometimes preferred to the album version due to its way sappier lyrics - so sappy, in fact, that Joe felt embarrassed by them and completely rewrote the song.
  • Tally Hall: Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum was remixed in 2008, with this version being more common than the original 2005 edition. The differences are negligible for the most part, besides the 2005 version sounding rougher and less polished. However, "The Bidding" changes dramatically between the two versions. The 2005 version is much faster and more aggressive, while the 2008 version is slower and less energetic. While both versions are well-liked, those who find out about the 2005 version often consider it better than the remix.

    Theater 
  • A near-universal fandom opinion for Hadestown is that Persephone's verse in "Chant (Reprise)" should have stayed in some form, as it concretely shows her love for Hades and deepens their relationship, gives her a singing part in an otherwise Hades-dominating song, and was mainly cut for time. (Which version should have stayed is a matter of debate.)

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • Although Epcot is well loved by many, there is a portion of fans who wish Epcot had become the "City of Tomorrow" that Walt Disney envisioned back when he was alive.
    • Many fans adore the idea of Beastly Kingdom (a fantasy themed land planned for Animal Kingdom that was scrapped due to time constraints) and wish Disney realized the idea instead of using its space for Pandora - The World of Avatar.
    • The original scrapped idea for Disneyland's second park, WestCOT (which would have been Disneyland's version of Epcot), is widely preferred by fans over the second park that did get built, Disney California Adventure.

    Video Games 
  • One of the deleted scenes from Borderlands 3 that the Director’s Cut revealed showed an extended version of what happened after Maya’s death and the reaction of the cast after that fact. Fans have generally agreed that this scene is vastly superior to the one that was given and many have been left baffled as to why it was cut in the first place. This is primarily due to it being a send off more fitting for such a fan favorite character and especially because it actually makes Ava more relatable (contrast to the scene in the main game, which is easily one of the reasons she became such a intensely divisive character in the first place).
  • There's footage of Capcom Fighting All-Stars, a Crisis Crossover between Capcom properties such as Street Fighter, Final Fight and Rival Schools with a few Original Generation characters thrown in that was scrapped. Instead of that game, Capcom released Capcom Fighting Evolution, whose reception was quite negative, to say the least. Needless to say, despite the cancellation, there were quite a lot of people who wished to play CFAS more than the game they eventually got in its place. This sentiment only magnified in The New '10s thanks to more extensive looks at the game via the official Street Fighter V website as well as a 2017 interview which revealed that the 3D assets used in All-Stars might have been meant for a Capcom vs. SNK 3, complete with a guest appearance from K' of The King of Fighters fame.
  • Crash Twinsanity has an absurd amount of cut content due to the tight deadline put on the developers by Vivendi, to the point where it is lampshaded by the game itself. Over the years, more and more of this content has been uncovered, with two of the developers, Keith Webb and Paul Gardner, releasing a great deal of information on these removed items, with many fans of the game wishing it would get a remake to add all of it back in.
  • Deltarune:
    • The Superboss of Chapter 2, Spamton NEO, has more unused attacks than used ones. While the fight that made it in-game is already well-regarded, a lot of fans wish that these additional attacks would've been kept in and polished, for still being fun to play against and adding more variety to the fight. In particular, one acts as a Continuity Nod to the Mettaton EX fight in Undertale by playing the attack backwards after it's completed, while also resembling the Galactic Nova fight from Kirby Super Star.
    • There's an early version of the Tasque Manager battle left over in the game's files in which the ACTs used to spare her had the party pretend to be dogs for her to tame, complete with sprites of them with puppy ears and tails. Many fans familiar with this version were disappointed these ACTs were cut, as they featured unique dialogue that gave the fight some extra flavour and personality, and made much better use of the aforementioned "puppy" sprites, which were limited to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it animation in the final version.
  • Dinosaur Planet has TONS of interesting content that never made it into the final game of Star Fox Adventures, along with Krystal having a much more prominent role in the game as a Deuteragonist, a darker atmosphere and tone, a much more complex and in-depth story with plenty of lore and worldbuilding, and a more interesting main villain who is actually foreshadowed. Many people wish that the game would have been finished in the original scope and vision of Dinosaur Planet, instead of being heavily cut and dumbed down like the final game was.
  • Epic Mickey has become notorious for this, as many found the game's dark and twisted concept art and the scrapped ideas contained within them to be far cooler and more well, "epic", compared to the game proper, which many have found to be a disappointment due to the final game not living up to what was initially promised by its concept art.
  • The original outcomes for Junktown in Fallout were reversed from how they turned out in the final game: If you sided with the seemingly heroic Sheriff Killian Darkwater, he would've turned out to be a Knight Templar who would use his authority to punish perceived criminals severely and gradually run Junktown into ruin because people wanted to avoid it; however, if you sided with the seemingly cartoonishly evil criminal Gizmo, he would have turned out to be a surprisingly reasonable businessman able to bring prosperity and safety to Junktown. There have been varying answers over the years from the developers as to exactly why the endings were changed, with either marketing thinking it was too morally complex or people within the development team themselves realizing that there wasn't any foreshadowing for the player to suggest Darkwater's true nature or that Gizmo could run the town better than him, and that players would have felt like the rug was pulled out from under them. However, an increasing number of fans wish the original endings could have been used, feeling that the final conflict is too cut and dry for a game that generally has a grayer morality overall, though these fans do admit that there would have to be proper foreshadowing implemented beforehand so players would have a better idea of what choice to make.
  • Final Fantasy XV was originally titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII and was meant to be a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy subseries that shares the same mythology and themes with the main Final Fantasy XIII series. When it was rebranded into XV by Executive Meddling, so much of the story, mythos, and even characters were changed to the point that the original director said that it's not the same game anymore. Unsurprisingly, many fans who had been interested in the initial concept were unhappy with these changes. In particular, people had expressed disappointment at the removal of Stella and her subsequent replacement by Lunafreya, since Stella was presented as an Anti-Villain in the trailers, and her character's concept was seen as more interesting than Lunafreya's role as a more standard Love Interest for Noctis.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: The prototype version has several differences that are popular with fans. In its version of Chapter 6, instead of leaving the civilians in the lair of a giant spider (where the player can optionally rescue them), the chapter's boss would've murdered them in front of Eirika after she handed over her bracelet, which many consider more dramatic. Amelia was going to be the princess of Freila and a flying trainee, which would've given her more significance and fit her Fragile Speedster build better than her being in the Cavalier/Knight line.
  • Gran Turismo 5's Special Stage Route X had a Dummied Out infield ribbon commonly nicknamed "The Unicorn" that many fans hoped would be implemented as DLC or in a sequel, but to date, it has not surfaced in playable form. Likewise, quite a few fans have clamored for the return of Special Stage Route 11, which hasn't been seen since GT3.
  • Half-Life 2 was envisioned as being far more dystopian during its early production, with the Combine's oppressive reign and ravaging of the Earth being far more apparent. There was also a larger roster of enemies, including a few familiar creatures from the first game, as well as a bigger arsenal of weapons. The original approach to the atmosphere was scrapped in favor of something more toned down and believably oppressive, while many enemies and weapons were cut due to redundancy, technical issues, or simply not being conductive to good gameplay. However, a sizeable part of the Half-Life fan base actually prefers the original vision presented in what's come to be known as the "Half-Life 2 Beta", so much so that there are entire communities dedicated to documenting Beta content and creating total-conversion game mods to restore the original storyline and atmosphere, such as Missing Information, Dark Interval, and Raising The Bar: Redux.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The first game had a few cut concepts that ultimately got added to later titles, namely the presence of a Lion King world, a Toy Story world, and Kairi as a playable character. The Lion King was cut due to the production not having the right technology to rig fully playable quadrupedal characters, and Toy Story was cut due to the strained relationship between Disney and Pixar at the time. Fans also have missed the chopping of a Bahamut summon and an extra fight with Riku at the “Crumbling Island” map, both of which can be seen via hacking.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] originally featured more distinct versions of the worlds Sora and Riku visited; for example, Symphony of Sorcery would’ve had Sora’s visit primarily based on Fantasia, while Riku’s visit focused on Fantasia 2000. Many fans have wished that the latter film could’ve been included if just for the chance of a boss fight with the Firebird. Content exists of a pirate ship with a design reminiscent of Treasure Planet, a long-standing fan requested world.
    • Kingdom Hearts III notably lacks any Final Fantasy characters due to Nomura believing they are no longer needed for the franchise due to the original characters now being popular enough to stand on their own, and thus they are now extraneous to the main plot. This did not stop fans and Nomura’s own staff from demanding the characters return, and after Leon was cut from the base game, he and other franchise veterans would return for Kingdom Hearts III: Re𝄌Mind in a minor role.
  • Kirby: There is a number of fans who wish the three cancelled mainline Nintendo GameCube games became a reality, with some preferring how they look over the game that did eventually get made, Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: A third, female only ending was part of the game. If you played female with the Carth romance arc, but still chose the Dark Sided ending, he comes to the Star Forge to plead with your character not to go down that route. In a vanilla game, he fails to persuade you and you get the regular Dark Side ending. The third ending allowed the Last-Second Chance plea to succeed and your character and he die together on the Star Forge as a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Due to being Christmas Rushed, the game ended up with mountains of cut content. The vanilla game is loaded with bugs, dead end quests, and a confusing ending despite its other merits. Game Mod enthusiasts uncovered and diligently worked to restore as much of the cut content as they could, leading to what is arguably a far more thought provoking and interesting story.
  • Link's Crossbow Training: When it was discovered that the game began life as a Gaiden Game to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, fans were less than happy, as the final version is little more than a tech demo for the Wii Zapper accessory with no story whatsoever. Shigeru Miyamoto forced the team to scrap this in favor of making a rail shooter after deeming that their current direction would have resulted in another full-sized Zelda adventure, rather than the smaller-scale game with a quick turnaround time that was originally proposed.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gollum: Shortly after the game launched, fans dug up a pre-alpha screenshot showing an earlier version of Gollum's model and the game's UI. Many people voiced a strong preference for this earlier rendition, with Gollum bearing a closer resemblance to his film counterpart and the UI making use of actual Lord of the Rings imagery rather than using a default font.
  • Mass Effect 2: Both Tali and Legion were planned to be recruitable earlier than they were, but it was decided against later into development. It was far enough in that both have voiced lines for all the recruitment missions for other characters. Many love these interactions, though, and wish it was possible to do this, as they not only give the two a lot of fun exchanges with other characters, but it gives Legion, a character introduced very late into the game, more screentime without impacting the Suicide Mission.
  • Mass Effect 3:
    • A considered ending for the trilogy was revealing the dark energy caused by mass effect technology was hastening the end of the universe and the Reapers harvesting civilizations was to delay this until a solution could be found. This was presumably meant to be foreshadowinged by the Haestrom subplot in 2, where the planet's star was prematurely aging due to dark energy, which was ultimately ignored. While the author cautions there's no way to know if the idea would have worked out well, groups of fans prefer this but fleshed out given how unpopular the Reapers' in-game motives were and the resulting infamous ending.
    • A deleted scene between Ashley and Shepard where the former ask the later about their experience of being dead, with Shepard answering that they don't remember anything at all. It got far enough to be in the game's script, but was never actually implemented, which many players consider a waste as it would have been a great insight into both Ashley's character (considered to be poorly written in the rest of the game) as well as Shepard's (since the subject of them being actually dead and their feelings about it are never really brought up until the game's second-to-last mission).
  • With it being one of Michael Jackson's Signature Songs and the level being designed around its music video, most players of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker prefer the April 1990 prototype build of the game with "Thriller" as the theme of the Woods level instead of the final game's "Another Part of Me".
  • NiGHTS into Dreams… has a deleted boss called "Selph" who we have very little information about, besides their apparent battle theme (Know Thyself), them being based on the Self archetype of Carl Jung, and them being cut out either due to time or because the game was already perfect. It didn't stop fans from creating their takes on the character, usually keeping an motif of mirrors.
  • Overwatch's Robot Girl hero Echo, upon her unveiling, became widely mocked for the design of her face, which depicted her as having a holographic human face that read as unsettlingly realistic to a lot of fans, as well as an attempt to make her more conventionally attractive ("Overwatch face" being a very common meme for the generic conventionally-attractive face shared by a lot of female characters) that didn't quite work out due to the lack of bangs giving her a Forehead of Doom. Part of the backlash came from the fact that Echo had a number of early designs, including a Cyber Cyclops look or a face-concealing visor, which found themselves circulating the internet due to her making brief appearances in other artwork, and many fans found those designs preferable, due to matching better with other Omnics, looking more distinctive, and providing a fun contrast with her personality. Notably, a version of the one-eyed design was recycled into two of her legendary skins.
  • Persona 4: Yosuke Hanamura was going to be a Gay Option, a decision that was reversed far enough into development that dialogue for it, dubbed in English, remains in the game's data. Fans aware of this believe this would heavily have elevated much of the subtext of the bond between him and the player character, as well as heavily recontextualized his downright terrified homophobic outbursts into someone terrified to embrace this part of himself and projecting that onto others, tying into the game's primary themes of finding the truths in one's life. For that matter, it's something that the series' second installment had already had precedent for allowing!
  • Since Persona 5, has a lot of Dummied Out content, some of it naturally ends up getting this reaction.
    • Some unused events showed the Phantom Thieves having more hangout events in the late fall or winter. Some fans appreciate how the Slice of Life scenes help show the Phantom Thieves as True Companions, and like how they give more screentime to characters like Haru and Kasumi.
    • Originally, Royal would have had flashbacks in the Will Seed chambers showing a part of the Palace ruler's Start of Darkness, such as a scandal Kamoshida was involved in as an Olympian, or when Madarame let Yusuke's mother die. Some fans like these cut scenes for showing the Palace rulers' backstories in more depth, as opposed to the one-note villains they already were.
  • Pokémon: There is good reason why "We've been robbed!" became a meme. Some of the below names are fan names.
    • By far, the most popular one is Kotora, a round tiger child cut from the first two generations. Its other evolutions, Raitora and another evolution with an unknown name, are also very popular.
    • Crocky, a bug-eyed crocodile, just looked awesome. There is also a split between its earlier design with Non-Mammalian Hair and later design with barely more natural-looking spikes.
    • Jagg is a shark with the head of a harpoon. Ikari is similar to Jagg, but instead has the tail of an anchor.
    • Kōnya is a very popular baby pre-evolution of Meowth, a Cute Kitten with a 5-yen coin on its forehead.
    • Gorochu, a Raijin-based evolution of Raichu, was popular even way before the backsprite was discovered. Gamespot even outright asked Junichi Masuda on whether Gorochu would return, but he said that is unlikely due to Gorochu's inclusion still being unjustifiable.
    • An earlier version of Girafarig had its back tail be a full head instead. There is talk about how the earlier design makes the palindrome naming make more sense than the final design.
    • Turban has the appearance of the form Shellder takes when attaching to Slowpoke before evolving. Again, this makes the aforementioned transformation Shellder undergoes make more sense.
    • Cloyster's original design had its halves open horizontally, instead of vertically, which had a much more logical aesthetic to Shellder.
    • Many took a liking to Pudi, a baby pre-evolution of Growlithe.
    • Madame is a scrapped evolution of Farfetch'd with an empress motif. Fans of Farfetch'd wished that she was kept because Farfetch'd on its own was deliberately unremarkable. They at least got vindicated when Pokémon Sword and Shield gave players Sirfetch'd, a similar evolution (albeit with a knight/fencer theme).
    • Norowara and Kyonpan are a Hollywood Voodoo doll and a Chinese Vampire with elements of pandas.
    • Wolfman and Warwolf are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, being shadow orbs that are covered in wolf pelts.
    • En, Rai, and Sui are a Double Subversion. Fan consensus, while preferring their final designs Entei, Raikou, and Suicune, likes to think that En, Rai, and Sui are the original Pokémon that died during the burning of the Brass Tower.
    • The prototype design of Wooper (which can be called "quadrupedal Wooper") quickly became the new fan favorite. This also got vindicated, in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, when a regional form Clodsire took a similar appearance and became popular.
    • The beta designs of Remoraid and Octillery have their fans for making it more obvious the point of the line is to have a gun evolve into a tank, while the final designs keep most of Remoraid's gun-like traits but make Octillery look more like a generic octopus.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones was announced as Prince of Persia 3: Kindred Blades. It was intended to be darker and more dramatic with Kaileena sacrificing herself to save the Prince who was about to be executed, instead of being killed by the Vizier. It was heavily reworked to be Lighter and Softer possibly because of the mixed reception toward the Darker and Edgier direction of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. While The Two Thrones was well received, still as you can see in the comments in the trailer, many fans wished Kindred Blades was made especially since Warrior Within has been mostly Vindicated by History.
  • Rayman:
    • Rayman Raving Rabbids, as shown in early trailers, was meant to be an action platformer like the previous games before it was reworked as a party game. To say that fans were disappointed would be an understatement.
    • Although Rayman Origins is widely regarded to be a fantastic game, there are aspects of the game that many fans wished the game kept.
      • Many fans wish the game kept the initial Origins Episode premise the game showcased in the early trailers, as many found the idea to be more interesting and fitting of the Origins namesake (which ended up becoming an Artifact Title as a result of it getting scrapped) than the final game's plot, which is largely an Excuse Plot.
      • According to a script and cut dialogue in the files of the demo, the Magician was intended to be a fan of the villain Mr. Dark and the one that engineered the conflict between Rayman and the Land of the Livid Dead, much of which was ultimately scrapped from the game. It is unanimously agreed by fans that this should have been kept in the game to some extent, as it gave him more characterization and would have added further context to the Magician's betrayal, which ends up coming out of nowhere as a result of his original motivation and role in the plot getting scrapped.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • There were originally two zones planned for the 2011 remaster of CD. Those two being Desert Dazzle (which would have been a desert Zone in between Palmtree Panic and Collision Chaos) and Final Fever (a new True Final Boss only unlocked upon collecting all the Time Stones). Both were scrapped due to Sonic Team not wanting to deviate too heavily from the original game. Many fans however, wished the two Zones made it in. Especially Final Fever, since many felt it would have given Sonic CD a "proper" final boss fight, as the pre-existing Final Boss in Metallic Madness has been criticized for being an easy Anti-Climax Boss. Fortunately for Desert Dazzle, it would later be realized as Mirage Saloon in Sonic Mania.
    • Many fans became surprised in November 2019 when a leaked prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 revealed that the alternate tracks once thought to be replacements exclusive to Sonic & Knuckles Collection (a PC port of the game) are actually the original tracks, with the final Genesis tracks being last-minute replacements. Not only do many fans find them to be vastly superior to the midi-based rearrangements in the PC port, but some have gone on to prefer them over the tracks in the final Genesis release. They're also widely preferred by fans over their rearrangements in Sonic Origins, with many asking the question as to why Sega didn't just polish up the tracks in the prototype over making new arrangements.
    • Though how good Sonic X-treme would have been, especially compared to released 3D games, is a matter of debate, there are still several fans who would have been interested in seeing it released in some form.
    • While Windy Valley from Sonic Adventure is by no means hated, many fans tend to prefer the zone's first incarnation (which was discovered via a leaked demo in 2013 after years of speculation and was then promptly restored by the modding community not too long after) over its final incarnation, due to it being far larger and more open-ended in the vein of the 16-bit Genesis games compared to the more linear final Zone. Some have even called it the ideal 3D Sonic stage for that reason alone.
    • During the promotion of Sonic Forces, Sonic Channel (the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog website) shared this concept art of Green Hill, which depicts the iconic Zone as an abandoned, dark and stormy prison, as opposed to the deserted wasteland seen in the final game. Most fans agree that the unused concept art is a far more interesting and creative take on Green Hill compared to how the Zone is depicted in the final game, on top of being more appropriate for the game's darker, more dystopian setting.
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric originally started out as Sonic Synergy and had tons of interesting ideas early on that were ultimately thrown aside due to Executive Meddling from Sega and attempts to tie it in with the cartoon. Many fans have gone on to vastly prefer the original Sonic Synergy concept over the game it would become later on.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: The prototype version of the game features a remix of the classic Underground theme from the original Super Mario Bros. that was later replaced with a revised version of the Underground theme from Doki Doki Panic for the final version. Many people who listened to the prototype's version wish it had appeared in the game proper, though it already appears in a modified form in Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: Concept art shown in The Art of Super Mario Odyssey book features a very different concept of what would become New Donk City called Marihattan, which was much more stylized and would have featured more cartoony humans in the style of Mario, Peach and Pauline compared to New Donk City's more realistic setting. Unsurprisingly, those who are against the idea of New Donk City tend to prefer Marihattan instead for being more in line with the franchise's usually stylistic and cartoony aesthetic compared to New Donk City.
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: The Starbeans Café was intended to house a number of cameos from other Nintendo characters that ended up being replaced for unknown reasons. Unused dialogue and sprites exist depicting Samus, Link, Fox McCloud, Olimar, an Excitebike racer, and even Wario arriving to sample the drinks you made and give you exclusive gear in return. Ultimately, these were all removed in favor of just using Professor E. Gadd for each scene instead, which many consider a letdown compared to the crossovers and especially Wario, who fans have wanted to see in a Mario RPG for some time. The gear each character would've given is still handed out by E. Gadd, but most of it has been renamed to make the references to other franchises less obvious.
    • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: The game's staff have discussed a few original ideas for the story, such as the Bros. traveling between both the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario universes, or the M&L universe slowly transforming into paper. While none of these made it that far in development, fans agree that it would have been way better than the final game. It's a Random Events Plot bogged down by lackluster meta humor and features no original characters from either series (besides Starlow), with bland locations and loads of required boring minigames. Paper Jam seemed to lead to the series' eventual cancelation, receiving lackluster reviews and not selling well. These earlier story drafts could've given the game a better identity, brought back some fan-favorite characters, and saved it from ending — or if not that, be a fitting Grand Finale to go out on.
    • In an "Iwata Asks" column about Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Naohiko Aoyama mentions that Shigeru Miyamoto disparaged a prototype of the game for being "just a port of the GC version". This quote appears to be in line with E3 2010 footage and pictures of the game, which depict it having some elements resembling the final Sticker Star (the battle UI looks to be using stickers as well) and some elements resembling TTYD (the Chain Chomp partner - the final game only has Kersti - and a curtain on the sides during battles akin to that game's stage show battles). Given that The Thousand-Year Door was already a beloved game at the time and would retain its popularity among RPG fans after the Paper Mario franchise majorly shifted styles, while the final Sticker Star caught a bad case of Sequelitis for various reasons and became regarded as the weakest title in the series, a good number of people are interested in learning more about what Sticker Star's prototype looked like, and believe that this could've been a better and more interesting version of the game than the version that released.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash: The concept art gallery contains multiple early designs that are regarded as better than what made it into the game.
      • One of the most notable is the earlier Rock Paper Wizard, being a Bedsheet Ghost-like creature similar to a Duplighost from the first two games. The final version makes it yet another generic Toad, barely disguised with a mask, sunglasses, and cape, with the joke being that nobody can tell it's a Toad.
      • Many of Huey's early designs, such as an inkwell that would hop behind Mario, or a colorful bowtie-wearing ghost, are popular among fans. The final Huey design, a floating paint can with a label that corresponds to his emotions, seems bland by comparison. There's also a section of fans who think Huey's design works, but wish the other designs would've been repurposed as potential residents of Prism Island, rather than just generic Toads.
      • One piece that caught on was a drawing of the black paint as a sentient being, suggesting that Bowser was possessed by it. Bowser going Brainwashed and Crazy is vaguely hinted in the actual game and barely comes up. If the black paint being had been an actual character, it could have added to the game's story and even been a Greater-Scope Villain, making for a more interesting plot than what ended up happening.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King:
      • While most concept art matches up with the final game, there's an entire cut area: a Paper Macho factory apparently intended for Sweetpaper Valley. In the final game, Sweetpaper Valley is an Absurdly Short Level that you can pass through in just a few minutes, so this would've lengthened it. The area looks cool and could've led to some fun infiltration sequences, and give more backstory on where the Paper Machos come from.
      • The origami character concept art features characters that fans often wish would've been added into the game. These include Monty Moles, Sombrero Guys, Dino Rhinos, Bony Beetles, Bob-ombs, and most surprisingly, the Amazing Flyin' Hammer Bro, an obscure enemy from Super Mario World and Super Princess Peach that had been absent for about 15 years.
  • The revelation of Ultima IX that The Guardian originated from the evil purged from the Avatar in Ultima IV was disliked by fans for giving the idea it would have been better for one not to become the Avatar. In contrast, the original idea that The Guardian came from the fusion of the Shadowlords is more warmly received as not only gets rid of the issue linked to the canon reveal but also ties with Mondain, who had served the role as Greater-Scope Villain in previous Ultima games.
  • The Walking Dead: Season Three: Early concept art, promotional images and animations left in the code of the game tell the story of a completely different start of the game that would in turn almost completely change the whole story of the season: Javier would get captured by The New Frontier, split from his family, branded on the neck against his will and thrown into a cell in an abandoned slaughterhouse that the group has repurposed into a prison (which also kept zombies). Javier's cellmate was Clementine, with The New Frontier taking away the boy she was looking after, AJ. Clementine and Javier decide to work together to escape the slaughterhouse and find their kidnapped loved ones. During the escape, they would be chased by Badger, one of The New Frontier members, who would get stuck in a turnstile with zombies getting closer and closer, with Javier having an option to Mercy Kill him or leave him to be devoured alive. After Clem and Javi manage to escape, they would stay together to find a way to get their families out of The New Frontier camp. This intro and storyline were cut, with Word of God stating that it "Didn't feel like an authentic The Walking Dead story", but some fans think that the high-adrenaline slaughterhouse escape was a much better setup for the plot than the much more generic "group goes out to scavenge gas in the junkyard and gets ambushed by bandits" scene present in the final game. This story draft also implied that the fan-favorite Clementine will be a proper Deuteragonist who will spend a majority of the game with Javier, unlike in the final product, where she is still an important character, but is frequently absent or has to take the back seat for the new characters (which majority of the fans found boring at best or annoying and downright detrimental to the group at worst, not really helping the case).
  • Among the myriad of cut content in YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG is the mostly complete remains of the original ending, changed during the game's Troubled Production despite being fully voiced. Some players greatly prefer this ending to the two from the final game for a variety of reasons:
    • The Essentia's motivations are confusing and unreliable in the original story, but the cut ending directly explains that she's been tricking Alexes from other dimensions into going on suicide missions to defeat Proto-Alex, or abandoning them if they chicken out. Alex's decision to fight Proto-Alex of his own free will after learning this expresses Character Development that many felt the final game rushed out.
    • This version's incarnation of the Big Bad, Proto-Alex, is much more imposing, looking like a gigantic armored demon instead of the shirtless creep from the final game. It was also planned to be a proper final boss rather than a Hopeless Boss Fight, complete with exclusive dodging minigames that were underutilized in the release version.
    • The ending is more optimistic, with Essentia and Alex parting ways, the latter leaving to find a new reality where he can become a better person, along with a final moment of Addressing the Player to cap things off.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Many fans in hindsight have argued that it would've been better if Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was the full Soft Reboot that Shu Takumi had planned earlier on and that it focused on an entirely new cast of characters instead of having Phoenix Wright be added in due to Executive Meddling.
    • Many fans tend to prefer the unused designs for post-Time Skip Pearl featured in the artbook for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies over her final design, as many felt they looked more unique and suitable for an older Pearl than her final design, which is largely unchanged from her kid design from the trilogy (aside from being taller).
    • One of the proposed ideas for what would eventually become Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice was for Phoenix to be roped into an "underground court" run by society's criminal underbelly, with trials judged based on their own code of honour rather than the law. Some fans, especially those who found the Kingdom of Khura'in's séance-based trials and systemic oppression of defence attorneys too ridiculous to take seriously, felt that this would have been an interesting concept for an Ace Attorney game and wish they'd gotten that instead.
    • Although the Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth games are undeniably well regarded amongst fans, many fans (including fans of Edgeworth) wish that Ema Skye was the protagonist as originally planned as opposed to Edgeworth. Largely due to her popularity amongst fans in general, on top of finding her to be better suited to the game’s format than Edgeworth, given that she is a forensics scientist and in Apollo Justice, a detective.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Some people wish that the original prototype, DISTRUST, got made, due to its darker atmosphere and more appealing character designs. However, the thing fans truly wish stayed intact was the scrapped Trust mechanic, which would have affected who lived and who died, adding a ton of replay value.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair:
      • Hiyoko was originally going to live. Because Hiyoko was The Scrappy in the final product, some think her surviving would have potentially provided her with some Character Development that would have helped her get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
      • In her earliest incarnation, Akane was intended to be the game's rival character; an ill-tempered 'Ultimate Criminal' who would frequently butt heads with the protagonist during Class Trials. Though Nagito, who took her place as rival in the final game, proved popular enough to become the series' Breakout Character, there are fans who wish that this early Akane could had appeared alongside him, feeling it could have added some much-needed depth to one of the game's flatter characters.
  • Katawa Shoujo: Shizune's alpha route is often considered superior to the final product, though it has been criticized for trying too hard to be a Tear Jerker (this is due to the same alpha containing the infamous Hanako arc full of nothing but Bad Ends).

    Web Original 
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: Some fans would have preferred to see the original version of Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton over the final product due to it being significantly less one-sided in Hillary’s favor and the additions of Ronald Reagan and Bernie Sanders bringing a lot more into the battle.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The four-part Grand Finale "Sozin's Comet" had a deleted scene in storyboard form that depicted Zuko reuniting with his mother Ursa, which was cut for pacing reasons as not to overrun the episode. Given the Broken Base for the comic book continuation of the series, most notably The Search, there are fans who wished the scene was kept in as it was a major loose end involving Zuko and Azula that should've been resolved in the series.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker had a deleted scene in which Bruce and Terry go into the abandoned old Arkham Asylum, only to find the hanging corpse of Joker's old body, smiling down, with the words "I KNOW" painted onto the corpse. The scene was deleted because it was seen as being too dark and disturbing for the film. However, many fans wished the scene was kept in, precisely because of how dark and disturbing it is.
  • Beast Wars: "Dark Glass" was a cut episode with quite the potential for the overall plot, explaining how Dinobot II ended up gaining Dinobot's sense of honor at the end of "Nemesis, Part 2". It was cut for, supposedly, being "too dark", and replaced instead with "Go With The Flow", a filler episode centered around protohumans Chak and Una with few relevances to the overall plot. Needless to say, fans were more intrigued about the cut episode than the final one they got as the Plot Hole "Dark Glass" left after being cut was pretty big.
  • Bob's Burgers: Though it's unknown if it would have saved the episode's reputation outright and no footage of said ending exists, many fans prefer the original conceptualized ending for the hated "Family Fracas" (which would have involved the Belchers dumping silly foam on Jimmy Pesto's ill-won minivan) for at least granting Jimmy Pesto some form of karma compared to the final ending where he gets away scot-free with cheating and the Belchers force Bob to fix a puncture in Jimmy's minivan.
  • Futurama: The episode "Law and Oracle" is a Minority Report spoof that isn't particularly hated or loved by the fandom, but the original concept for the episode is more interesting to several fans, as it would have focused on Fry and Leela's Kid from the Future. This was scrapped both to avoid giving a definitive answer to Fry and Leela's relationship, and because they couldn't write a script using the concept all that funny. However, Fry and Leela having kids is a common enough Fandom-Specific Plot for fans to wish it happened in canon.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • One of the final episodes had a scene where Dippy Fresh died from Dipper snapping his neck all the way around. For obvious reasons, the scene was rejected, but a lot of fans who know about it wish that burst of dark comedy was left in.
    • The show's head writer revealed that a scrapped idea for Season 2’s Myth Arc was an older Dipper coming from the future to warn the present Dipper about Mabel’s death during their time in Gravity Falls. While he and creator Alex Hirsch loved the idea, it was quickly abandoned because they couldn't figure out what the plot beats for such a story arc would be (and presumably how to make it mesh with "The Author" storyline they were also planning), but many fans like it for the higher personal stakes it would have given the second half of the series.
    • An alternative ending to "Blendin’s Game" was Dipper and Mabel using their time wish to show Soos visions from the future where he’s a Good Parent to his future son. While the final ending is still heartwarming, some fans liked the original idea.
    • A scrapped episode that was replaced with The Last Mabelcorn was going to be A Day in the Limelight episode for Wendy where she gets weather controlling powers, and it would have delved deeper into her personal life. Some fans wished that episode got made since it would have given Wendy some much-needed Character Development, while The Last Mabelcorn was one of the less warmly received episodes due to feeling like a massive Take That! towards Mabel's detractors.
    • A scrapped B Plot was Wendy bonding with Stan after he catches her shoplifting from the Mystery Shack. He teaches her how to be a thief, climaxing in her planning a heist in the Gravity Falls Museum of History. It ends with them getting caught, Stan taking the fall for Wendy and him telling her to use her skills for something better and to not waste her life as a criminal. While it was tossed because the crew couldn’t find a good A plot to mix it with, some fans wish they’d kept it due to averting Stan and Wendy’s The Friends Who Never Hang status in the show and giving them both Character Development.
  • When Miraculous Ladybug was first pitched, it was to be a 2D animesque/superhero comic book cartoon aimed at older kids and teens. Broadcasters didn't care for this pitch and as a result the show became a Merchandise-Driven All-CGI Cartoon aimed at a younger audience. Fans who were originally interested in the show when only the anime preview had been released bemoan that the show did not follow the original pitch due to preferring the darker tone, fluid 2D animation, Marinette's precursor "Bridgette" having a cuter look and more outgoing Genki Girl character, Hawk Moth's more intimidating design, and Adrien's precursor Félix showing a greater personality contrast between his two identities, being reserved and aloof as a civilian while being an energetic Jerk with a Heart of Gold as Cat Noir.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The original ending of "Wonderbolt Academy" where Lightning Dust pulls a Heel–Face Turn is more popular than the ending where she is thrown out of the academy due to giving her more potential screentime and how many villains and heroes got off easier than Lightning despite doing worse.
    • A couple of fans have said that they wish that "Spike at Your Service" kept the original idea of Rarity being the one who saved Spike's life, because it would've made Spike's uncharacteristic ineptitude during the episode more justified due to his Precocious Crush on her.
    • The rough animatic for "To Where and Back Again – Part 2" was seen as superior to the final product. Highlight included Discord's drawing off the changelings coming of as a Heroic Sacrifice, Trixie being more badass fixing the Plot Hole of why the changelings didn't pursue the others, and mitigating the complaints of changelings Heel–Race Turn by Thorax's transformation into a generic reformed changeling design rather than the "Moose Beetle" design and that a completely ordinary changeling was capable of this being more impactful.
  • Planet Sheen, the Spin-Off of the Jimmy Neutron franchise centering on the Plucky Comic Relief character, Sheen Estevez, was met with lackluster reception and lasted only 26 episodes. Many believe that had the show gone with its darker original plot in which Sheen was a double agent working for both sides of a planetary war (this was changed because it was too close to the James Cameron film Avatar), the show would have stood a better chance.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Many fans were upset that season 3 never happened, not only because of how the season ended on a clear Sequel Hook, but because the staff had several interesting ideas for the season.
    • One of the most well known ideas was the planned character arc for Nicole, Princess Sally's handheld computer. It would have been revealed that Nicole was actually a Mobian girl and Sally's friend note , who had had her mind uploaded into a satellite by Robotnik. Fearful of the power she now possessed, she would alter herself into the robotic computer seen in the series proper, before Sonic's bugging essentially jolts her personality awake. Many fans were fascinated by this concept, especially since the related Archie comics ended up doing something similar with their version of Nicole. In fact, the Spark of Life arc from Sonic Universe ended up alluding to this idea.
    • Another idea the writers had was the true nature of planet Mobius, that it was Earth All Along. Robotnik and Snively had been sent on a space expedition and had tried to take over the colony, only to destroy it and flee back to Earth. Thanks to time dilation, they return thousands of years into the future, where a nuclear holocaust had destroyed civilization and mutated the animal survivors into Mobians. The comic did a similar twist, but this was widely derided as out of place, while the planned twist was seen as much more in line with the franchise's environmentalist themes.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): While the sixth season, Fast Forward, is rather divisive due to it being a lighter and softer Retool, many fans were dismayed to learn that if the writers were allowed to continue with the setting for a additional season instead of retooling the show again, the main storyline would have featured a Triceraton Shredder in the form of Ch'rell taking over the body of a dead Triceraton soldier.

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