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Missing the Good Stuff

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So someone's sitting down to watch something, say a basketball game or a movie. Mostly likely, he'll end up missing it entirely, especially after saying he's hoping not to miss a minute of it (see Tempting Fate). Or maybe he misses just the most important part (like The Summation of a mystery, or a major reveal in a Soap Opera) because of a special report.

An alternate variation is for a character to have thought ahead and recorded a program in anticipation of missing it... only to have a friend or coworker spoil it for them before they get a chance to watch it. Or tape over it by mistake.

May be done to the audience through Fight Unscene or Relax-o-Vision. Related to Finagle's Law.


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  • Parodied during an ad for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert aired during the Super Bowl in 2019: Colbert hypes a Broadway-style number to promote his special episode airing later that night, only to get interrupted by a special report from James Brown informing viewers that the Super Bowl is, in fact, today. When it cuts back, the number had already ended, with Colbert hoping the alligator didn't eat anyone.
  • This Heineken ad for the UEFA Champions League shows characters in pain after missing the moment when a goal is scored.

  • An unusual example occurs in a filler episode of Fairy Tail. Juvia somehow gets the feeling that she missed out something good, but she doesn't know what she missed out: namely, a full dance tribute to Michael Jackson performed by Gray.

    Comic Books 
  • Wolverine tries to watch a hockey game in an issue of Wolverine: First Class. When robots from the Danger Room go rogue, he alters his catchphrase to suit the occasion: "I'm the best there is at what I do. And what I watch hockey! When I want to! For as long as I want to! It's my moral right as a Canadian." Just as he gets back to the game after taking care of the robots, the TV is destroyed. Needless to say, he is very upset.
  • Variation in Ultimate Spider-Man. Spider-Man spends the whole issue trying to get out of school to fight Rhino, running into everybody he can along the way. When he finally gets there, Iron Man already came and took care of it.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • An old strip has Linus getting all set to watch a certain program, but then Lucy comes in and insists on watching something else. Linus then goes to Charlie Brown's house to watch his show, but finds it's already over by the time he gets there. Disappointed, he goes back home...where he finds out that Lucy had ended up switching to his show after all.
    • An early-'60s storyline has Linus preparing for a rare solar eclipse. He lectures to the other characters about viewing safety, puts together a pinhole projector with two sheets of cardboard... and, when the day of the eclipse finally comes, it's raining outside.

    Film - Animation 
  • Rio: While Blu and Jewel are being chased by Nigel the cockatoo through the city of Rio de Janeiro, everyone is watching a soccer game where the Brazilian team is about to win. At the last moment, Blu and Jewel evade Nigel and cause him to crash into an electrical transformer, blacking out all of Rio just when the final point was about to be scored, much to dismay of everyone in the city.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Amélie: A young Amelie gets her revenge on an unpleasant neighbor by sneaking onto his roof with a portable radio during an important soccer match and pulling the plug on his TV antenna whenever a goal is about to be scored. It drives him crazy.
  • Air Force One: The President has taped a football game because he is just too busy to see it. Naturally, someone has to spoil the ending.
  • In the finale of another Jim Carrey movie, The Cable Guy, the borderline Ax-Crazy, television-obsessed title character tries to make a Heroic Sacrifice by diving onto to the antenna of the local cable companies' satellite dish from a great height in order to "kill the babysitter". (It makes slightly more sense in context.) The interruption of service this causes just happens to correspond to the exact moment when the verdict in a media circus trial is announced on live television.
  • Subverted in Spike Lee's Crooklyn: when given the choice between seeing his father's piano recital or going to see the Knicks play in the NBA Finals, Clinton decides to go to the game. However, when he arrives home to meet his family, he's clearly dejected and guilty that he didn't get to see his father's show, even though the Knicks won the Finals that night.
  • Dennis the Menace: Mr. Wilson has been growing a plant for the past four decades that only blooms for a few seconds. He invites a number of people to the event, there are 'Oohs and 'Aahs' as the flower begins to unfold... which, of course, is the moment Dennis comes out yelling "MR. WILSON!" to tell him that his house had been robbed. Everyone (including Mr. Wilson) turns to look, during which the flower blooms and dies just before they turn back.
  • Dog Soldiers establishes early on that all The Squad want to do is get this supposedly routine training exercise over with so they can go back to base and watch England play Germany in the World Cup semi-final. They don't make it.
  • Played with in Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams' character missed Game 6 of the 1975 World Series because he gave up a ticket to try to pick up a girl at a bar. The game turned out to be one of the greatest in baseball history, but the girl eventually married him, so he didn't regret a thing.
  • The Odd Couple: Oscar is watching a Mets/Pirates game from the press box when Felix phones to tell him not to have any hot dogs at the game because he's making franks and beans for dinner. Oscar misses seeing Bill Mazeroski hit into a triple play as a result of this. Another example from the TV adaption appears below.
  • The Truman Show pulls this on the viewer. The movie ends when the fictional reality show does, as Truman goes into a door that leads beyond the range of The Director's cameras - just before he's reunited with a girl who played a large role in inspiring him to leave.

  • Part of the chronic bad luck that dogs the title character in the Adrian Mole books involves him missing critical moments in live TV broadcasts. For example, during the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Grandma Mole starts to tear up, so Adrian leaves the room to find a box of tissues; by the time he returns, the royal couple have already been declared man and wife. In The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, he is eagerly anticipating the first ever broadcast of The BBC's Breakfast Time, only to be called out of the room by his parents for just long enough to miss the first few minutes.
  • Harry Potter has Ron's Quidditch match (which Harry can't play in). He and Hermione get ready to suffer through Ron's utter humiliation when Hagrid shows up to ask them to follow him. They do, discovering that he has a (literal) giant half-brother. When they get back, they hear the crowd chanting a mocking song the Slytherins came up with, and realize the lyrics are now celebrating Ron, and sung by Gryffindors. It turns out Ron started blocking goals like a champ after they left, and while initially put off that they missed the whole thing, Hagrid's problem is enough to make him forgive them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Infestation Hypothesis", Leonard is trying to perform cybersex with his long-distance girlfriend Priya via webcams. Just as Priya is about to take her shirt off, the video freezes. Cue Sheldon providing some tech support.
    Sheldon: Please let me know when you and your girlfriend are done hogging the bandwidth for your self-abuse. I'm trying to stream a movie on Netflix in here.
  • The Bill Cosby Show has an episode where Chet has a special antenna installed so he can watch a blacked-out football game, only to have his TV set go on the blink with a house full of people just before kickoff.
  • In El Chavo del ocho, there's the episode where the kids are at Quico's house to watch a football match, and they're all pumped up. Quico begins arguing with Chilindrina, and suddenly, Chavo yells "GOAAAAAAAL!" in excitement. Quico is not happy that he missed it, let alone when Chavo tells him it was an overhead kick goal, to top it off.
  • Cheers: The finale has Paul the barfly lament he's always missing the wacky antics at the bar. Then, after he says this, Cliff comes in to announce he's managed to get a promotion, causing Paul to dryly remark "this I'm here for."
  • An episode of Corner Gas has everyone attempting to go to the Grey Cup, getting stuck in random sitcom situations, and never going. Every single one of them bluffs to the others that they saw the game and it was great.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show:
    • In one episode, Rob was watching a boxing match on TV when Laura interrupted him, finally turning the TV off. Rob turned it back on only to find out that he missed "the punch of the century." Laura apologized, and a miffed Rob said, "That's OK, the century's young yet, there'll be another punch." Then Rob realized that he might be able to catch the instant replay, which he did - he caught the replay of the announcer saying it was the punch of the century.
    • "Bad Reception in Albany" featured Rob at a hotel at a friend's wedding reception, desperately trying to find a working TV to watch a fashion show to see a model his boss wants as a guest on his show.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Runaway Bride", Donna reveals that she missed two previous alien invasions (the Sycorax in "The Christmas Invasion" and the Cybermen in "Army of Ghosts") because she was respectively hungover and scuba diving in Spain. Of course, she eventually gets to see more aliens than most people ever will, due to travelling with the Doctor. Not that she knows it, as the Doctor had to wipe her memory so she wouldn't die. As such, she still thinks she's missed everything. She even complains to this effect in "The End of Time".
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • One episode features the gang unable to watch the Super Bowl live and everyone making a pact to watch it together later. You can guess how that goes.
      • In that same episode, it shows the gang not paying attention to the half-time show from a past Super Bowl, since it's never exciting; besides, then it was only JustinTimberlake/JanetJackson headlining.
    • Another one features Marshall's bachelor party, with plans to watch a boxing match. Thanks to Barney, they are late, but think they can still make it for most of the fight. Cue them turning on the radio and hearing that the fight just ended with a moment that will be talked about for decades to come.
    • Ted and Marshall's college friend, Steve, is known as "the Blitz" who is prone to miss all the cool things that had happened. It's said to be a "curse" in Wesleyan which is passed down to each generation. In "Blitzgiving", Steve is free from the "the Blitz" curse after it was passed down to Ted, who went to sleep early but missed out what his friends had been up to after he left the bar. Then, it was passed down to Barney who took the wrong cab going to Zoey's house. By the end of the episode, Steve becomes "the Blitz" again.
  • In one episode of Married... with Children, thanks to the antics of Peg's visiting family, Al wasn't able to see Hondo. It was also mentioned that when they visited a year ago, Al didn't get to see Shane because Uncle Otto bet Uncle Irwin he couldn't stick his head through the television. He didn't even get to see the credits on the hospital television because Peg's mother lumbered in front of the set.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode with the movie Soultaker, Crow gets something in his eye and has to leave the theater just as a woman's bare back appears in the movie. No actual nudity occurs while he's looking around for Visene offscreen, but by the time he comes back the woman is wearing a robe and Tom delights in telling him that he saw everything.
  • Newhart: Dick and Joanna are both sick in bed, arguing over whether to watch her soap opera or his basketball game. Their fight over the remote causes him to miss a key play and her to miss a character's long-secret identity. A character in the soap even says, "Now that you've told me, we'll never speak of it again."
  • In the episode of The Odd Couple featuring Jack Soo as a wrestler, Felix tries to take an reaction shot of Oscar as he watches a ballgame and snaps the flash during an important moment. Oscar tries to watch the replay - and Felix accidentally sets off the flash in his eyes again. Lampshaded later when Felix offers to take photos of Jack Soo wrestling for Oscar's paper, and then proceeds to take pictures of everything but that.
  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Cox, stuck on a late shift due to hospital politics (he screwed with Kelso's treadmill), wants no one to tell him the score of the basketball game. The Janitor tries to do it by arranging everyone outside his window into the shape of the score, and when Ted the lawyer tries to tell him, it cuts to a shot of Ted's tie shoved in his mouth. Of course, it's ruined by Dr. Kelso, who tapes over the game with a message telling Cox the score and reminding him not to mess around with his treadmill.
    • The scene where JD visualises a pillow fight between a bed full of scantily dressed sorority girls - who, naturally, begin kissing. Then he's distracted by reality, and returns to the daydream to see only the aftermath, with the girls expressing a delight in experimenting with each other, but that it'll never happen again.
  • An episode of Sports Night involved the fact that Isaac was at the infamous 1951 National League tie-breaker game, but was in the bathroom during Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World".
  • In an episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Bob and Terry try to avoid hearing the result of an England football match so that they can watch the highlights in the evening. They almost fail when they notice half a newspaper headline reading "England F". They speculate that this probably means "England Fail" or "England Flourish" before finally realising that it was "England Flooded Out".
  • In a Wings episode, several of the guys get together to watch a boxing match in the hangar on a big screen TV that Brian has purchased (with the intention of returning it after the fight). The TV gets unplugged right when the fight is about to begin, and by the time they replug it, the fight is already over. And then they can't watch the instant replay because the TV gets smashed.

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" begins with the singer complaining about having his viewing of The Simpsons interrupted by "a special report about some devastating earthquake in Peru". Naturally, this being Weird Al...

    Video Games 


    Western Animation 
  • Subverted when Beavis and Butt-Head are watching Toni Basil's video "Mickey". Beavis demands that Butt-Head change the channel but he doesn't until the scene where Toni is hanging upside down in a cheerleader skirt passes.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Mom, Lies, and Videotape", Linda misses the Mother's Day pageant at Wagstaff Elementary due to illness, and Bob tries to record it for her. Unfortunately, his cheap old camcorder keeps malfunctioning as the performance starts, and the Belcher kids end up telling their own versions of their acts in the pageant. Bob confesses that the show wasn't nearly as impressive as the kids made it sound, but Linda says she liked the kids' version better anyway.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch: One ep interrupts a fight with a totally pointless report that *NSYNC isn't breaking up. We miss some woman getting kicked in the teeth.
  • In the Central Park episode "Celeste We Forget", Owen intended to take his kids to the New York botanical garden and see the blooming of the rare corpse flower. Unfortunately, his mother Celeste ended up tagging along, with her care-free attitude causing the group to deviate from Owen's plan at every turn. When they were right about to see the flower, Celeste ended up getting into a Double Dutch game, with Owen jumping in to get her out. By the time they were done, the flower had already bloomed. Unlike most cases, Celeste felt genuinely bad for costing her son a moment he wanted to see.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • In Casey Bats Again, Casey gets locked out of his daughters' inaugural game and frantically tries to get inside—but by the time he finally manages to make it inside, the game's practically over.
    • The Donald Duck short "Good Time for a Dime" has Donald watching a peep-show in a penny arcade of the Dance of the Seven Veils, and missing the good parts when the machine goes screwy.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "911", Dexter's favorite show Action Hank was cut by a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Dexter began solving every emergency he could find hoping this would allow him to resume watching. When the test finally stops, it shows the final minute of the Action Hank episode, where Hank remarks he just had the greatest fight of his life, and Dexter cries in frustration.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • In "Sleepover and Over", Timmy was going to have a sleepover with his friends to see the "Crash Nebula Meets the Crimson Chin" special. Unfortunately, Chester and A.J have a fight and decide to have separate sleepovers, though Timmy was able to attend both thanks to Cosmo and Wanda. Unfortunately, the reception at Chester's trailer was terrible and A.J's dad blocked every station except the nature channelnote , preventing the special from being seen at either party.
    • In "Beddy Bye", a meteor shower was going to pass over Dimmsdale, with Chet Ubetcha saying that anyone who missed it would be a geek. Timmy was pleased he'd get to see it since it was an hour before his bedtime. But then his father remembered it was Daylight Savings Time and pushed the clock up an hour, causing Timmy to instantly fall asleep. Not only does Timmy miss the meteor shower, but to add insult to injury, his father hangs a "geek" sign on him. This, combined with missing several other things at night, is what makes Timmy wish that nobody needed sleep.
    • In "Ruled Out", Timmy is extremely excited to watch an educational (but mostly violent) documentary about a giant Sewer Gator. Just as it's about to start, it suddenly cuts to a Sickeningly Sweet preschool show, Timmy's dad having remembered to set a child block on the TV to prevent Timmy from watching any violent programming. Timmy isn't happy, especially when his friends mock him the next day for not having watched it. However, he does get to watch the documentary later on after wishing his parents would care less.
    • In the episode that was the Poorly-Disguised Pilot for "Crash Nebula", the FOP portion consisted of Timmy excitedly telling Cosmo and Wanda that it was a special episode. Unfortunately, Cosmo and Wanda distract Timmy with endless guesses about what the episode was about and he ends up missing it. An angry Timmy then makes a point to create another whirlpool inside Cosmo and Wanda's fishbowl.
    Cosmo: (As he and Wanda spin around the bowl) Centrifugal force! How do I know that?!
  • On Family Guy Brian watches Nova where a scientist was about to reveal the secret for longer lives in canines. However, it's interrupted by several episodes of One Day at a Time.
  • Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes hangs a lampshade on this. Ben Grimm has been waiting to see a World Cup Final match, but Johnny tells him that Ben's own bad luck will prevent this. Sure enough, a giant alien invades moments afterwards. And just to cap it all, Ben forgets to tape the game, preventing him from watching it later.
  • In The Flintstones episode "The Hypnotist", Fred and Barney are watching a baseball game at Barney's house when the signal goes out due to a bird sitting on it. When Fred's efforts to scare it off result in the antenna breaking, they decide to go over to Fred's house to finish watching the game. Unfortunately, Wilma and Betty are watching a hypnotism show, forcing Fred and Barney to wait until it's over before they can watch the game. By the time it's over, however, they find the game has ended with the announcer saying it was the most exciting game of the season. Needless to say, Fred is not happy with Wilma.
  • Done across the Fourth Wall in an episode of Freakazoid!, where a fight that Freakazoid claims took up the season's entire animation budget occurs during the Relax-o-Vision episode.
  • Futurama:
    • In "I, Roomate", this cliche's so nice, they did it twice... Interference from Bender's antenna causes TV reception to go out just as Calculon launches into a major revelation on "All My Circuits". When he leaves, reception is restored in time for Calculon to announce that he's about to repeat his revelation, and, predictably, the reception goes out again right before he does.
    • And yet again, in "When Aliens Attack:, when Fry (in present day) accidentally knocks out the Fox network with spilled beer. As a result, the aliens of Omicron Persei 8, who receive the television broadcast a thousand years later (in "present" day), miss the end of an episode of their favorite series. They're so upset they declare war on Earth. It's okay, though: at the end of the episode, everything's right back to normal.
      • Eerily reminiscent of a real life power outage at the Toledo Fox affiliate. We pray that the people of 3007 don't feel the wrath of the American Idol-loving aliens that pick up Toledo, Ohio's television signal.
  • The Animated Adaptation of Mother Goose and Grimm played with this trope in one episode, where Mother Goose tries to not miss her favorite soap opera, which was about to reveal who "dropped the water-balloon on JR". However, Grimmy's antics keeps destroying the TV they encounter. Eventually Mother Goose lands in a TV store and tells Grimmy to get out so he won't interfere. Grimmy ended up causing her to miss the big reveal anyway when he caused a truck accident, which lead to the station interrupting the show during the crucial moment with a breaking news.
  • In Muppet Babies (1984) episode "The Muppet Broadcasting Company", the kids set up a domino set, but get into an argument about who starts it going. During the debate, one of them brushes against the starting domino and starts the chain with Animal the only one seeing it while the others argue, and don't realize it until they hear the record player set up to turn on by the final domino.
    Animal: (Clapping his hands) Good show!
  • In The Proud Family episode "Hooray For Iesha", Oscar has a commercial for his Proud Snacks that would be showing during the season premiere of Penny's favorite show, "Iesha". Unfortunately, Penny and her friends discover that "Iesha" had been cancelled, much to their disappointment, but Oscar looks on the bright side that his commercial will still be playing. Unfortunately, a second after the commercial starts, it's interrupted by a brief news report...announcing that "Iesha" had been cancelled. It then cuts back to the commercial just as it ended with a shot of Oscar and his monkeys, much to Oscar's chagrin.
  • In the Ruby Gloom episode "Doom with a View" Ruby misses the revelation, as well as the repeat of the revelation, on a mystery show because an invisible ghost keeps turning the radio off.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Homer Goes To College," Bart and Lisa excitedly watch an episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show where Scratchy finally gets Itchy. Just before Itchy dies, however, one of Homer's friends unplugs the TV. By the time Bart and Lisa convince him to plug it back in, the cartoon is over, much to their disappointment. Even worse, Krusty announces that they'll never be able to show it again.
    • Interactive media example: in the episode "Moaning Lisa", the B-story is that Bart constantly beats Homer at a boxing video game. After Homer trains at the arcade and is just about to beat Bart, Marge unplugs the TV, and Bart announces his retirement from the ring with his undefeated win record.
    • In "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson", the Springfield Mafia and a group of hired Yakuza end up fighting outside of the Simpson home as Homer and Marge watch. Marge wants to go inside, but Homer insists they stay and watch what one particular Yakuza does, but Marge drags him inside before he or the audience can see him take out multiple Mafia members at once.
      Marge: Homie, maybe we should go inside.
      Homer: But Marge, that little guy hasn't done anything yet. Look at him! He's gonna do something, and you know it's gonna be good!
      (Marge drags Homer inside and closes the door)
      Yakuza: Heeeee-yaaaaaaaaaaah! (SMACK, followed by several thuds from fallen Mafia members)
      Homer: Awww!
  • Subverted in South Park, "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer": The kids spend the entire episode running around town, trying to find a workable TV on which to see an ad for the new Terrance and Phillip movie. Strangely enough, they ended up succeeding. The fact that the commercial itself is incredibly brief and gives absolutely no information furthers the joke as the boys are INCREDIBLY excited about it.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Appointment TV" has SpongeBob trying to make it home to watch the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy lost episode, but keeps getting stopped by his friends to do favors for them. When he finally does make it home, it turns out that his VCR overloaded and destroyed the tape he recorded the episode on. When SpongeBob is depressed about it, his friends decide to reenact the episode for him, which he enjoys.
  • Steven Universe: In "Rose's Room", Steven unlocks the secret ending of a video game when the Gems arrive and try to show him an artifact they retrieved from the mission. At this moment Steven just wants to see the ending and wants the Gems to step out of the way until it's over, but then Amethyst activates the artifact, causing a loud noise that breaks the TV.
  • The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has an ep which opens with The Summation of a mystery show being interrupted by a news report from their friend April O'Neil.
  • Teen Titans, "Episode 257-494": Some famous person on a talk show is about to reveal the secret to world peace when the Titans interrupt saying that the viewers must stop watching this program, since the TV signal is literally rotting their brains.
  • In the short, "My Brilliant Revenge!" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Fox Trot", Hamton tries to watch a Star Search-type show with pigs, only to keep getting interrupted by the sound of Plucky playing the bagpipes. When he comes back to the TV after telling Plucky to stop, he discovers that he missed the whole thing. At the end of the short, it is revealed that Hamton taped the show.
  • WordGirl: Becky's attempts to watch her Pretty Princess documentary is constantly interrupted by Dr. Two-Brains attempting to make a live-televised ultimatum and WordGirl tying him up before he gets a chance to do some Evil Gloating. For several attempts. She only manages to stop Dr. Two-Brains for good right as the credits roll, but thankfully, it plays again afterwards. It gets one last interruption - WordGirl telling the villains of the city to lay off on the crimes for a couple hours or else.

    Real Life 
  • NBC has historically had many issues with this during sports telecasts.
    • The Heidi Game. The New York Jets and Oakland Raiders were playing, and the final quarter was running longer than usual. NBC was contractually obligated by a sponsor, Timex, to air a made-for-TV movie of Heidi at 7:00 p.m. ET sharp. After noticing how intense the game had become, NBC Sports' executives decided to air the rest of the game and start Heidi after the conclusion of the telecast. However, there was just one problem: they couldn't phone network control to tell them the new plans, because NBC's switchboards were flooded with callers asking about whether NBC would be showing Heidi or the end of the game. As scheduled, NBC's east coast feed broke away from the game and never came back. Meanwhile, back in Oakland, the Raiders pulled off a Miracle Rally with two game-winning touchdowns out of nowhere. NBC only attracted further criticism for putting a news ticker with the final score up during the scene where Clara takes her first steps. After the bad publicity NBC received from football fans for the incident, it soon became standard practice for sports telecasts to always air a game in its entirety (with the current National Football League enshrining this in its television contracts), although as you'll see, there have still been exceptions.
    • In 1960, Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Bob Prince was calling the World Series for NBC. With Game 7 tied in the ninth inning, the network sent him down to the team's clubhouse for postgame interviews. Prince was walking through the stadium when he heard the crowd explode with a roar, but he didn't get a chance to hear what had happened. When Prince reached the clubhouse, he started randomly interviewing players, and when he came to Bill Mazeroski, all he asked him was how it felt to be a member of the world champions before moving on to the next player. It wasn't until hours later, when Prince asked his wife how the game had ended anyway, that he learned Mazeroski had won the Series with a walk-off home run.
    • During Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, viewers on Austin's NBC affiliate missed the game-winning overtime goal because of an automation snafu that accidentally caused local ads to play.
    • At the end of a Thursday Night Football game between the Bengals and Texans, Houston's NBC station was eager to get to their post-game newscast, so they cut away right when the clock hit zero, clearly uninterested in post-game sign-offs and formalities. However, one second was put back on the clock for Cincinnati, which resulted in a ridiculous play with several laterals, and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt absolutely pummeling Bengals center Russell Bodine to seal their 13-9 win. While it was only week 2, and in one of the NFL's most-ridiculed primetime packages (the NFL Network-exclusive games in the package tend to be weak and/or messy — this game being no exception with 16 punts and only one touchdown), said station led their newscast by declaring that the Texans had won — without realizing that it could have potentially gone the other way.
    • In November 2017, The Weather Channel (which, at the time, was owned by NBC) set up a camera to record the implosion of the old Georgia Dome stadium. Unfortunately, after nearly an hour of waiting, at the moment the detonation began, the camera's view was blocked by a MARTA bus.
    • At the 2018 Winter Olympics, NBC was insistent that the favorite, Anna Veith, had won the women's Super-G competition, even with 25 skiers left. The commentators Dan Hicks and Bode Miller repeatedly referred to Veith as being the gold medalist, referred to another skier as the last one with any chance at a medal, interviewed Lindsey Vonn about her "5th place" finish after a commercial, and then cut away to go back to figure skating. But then Ester Ledecká — a Czech snowboarder who also competed in alpine — beat Veith by one hundredth of a second, in one of the biggest upsets in Winter Olympic history (and making her the first woman to win gold medals in two different disciplines during the same Winter Olympics). Needless to say, NBC eventually returned to inform the audience of what had actually happened.
      Dan Hicks: Well, these are the Olympics, and anything can happen.
    • NBC (once again) cut away from an NHL game on March 3, 2018 (specifically, an outdoor game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium between Washington and Toronto) and put the rest on NBC Sports Network at 11:00 p.m. sharp in order to prevent local news and Saturday Night Live from being delayed (a curfew policy dating back to the infamous XFL). The game had suffered a major delay in the third period due to a stadium power failure, and Washington was winning 5-2 (so, barring the possibility of a Maple Leafs Miracle Rally in the last four minutes, it was pretty much over), but NBC was still criticized for cutting away.
  • During The BBC's broadcast of the Live Aid concerts in 1985, they cut away from Santana's set to broadcast a live interview with Phil Collins, who was flying from the Wembley gig to the Philadelphia gig on Concorde. And then the BBC decided to cut the interview short just when it was getting interesting, because they didn't think the sound quality was good enough.
  • There's the infamous MTV/VH1 Live 8 debacle. The networks would keep cutting away to bubble-headed VJs and awkward commercials for zit cream right in the middle of acts like Pink Floyd (whose performance was their first together in 24 years) as well as The Who! VH-1, at least, made an effort to correct it by airing ten almost-entirely commercial-free hours of performances from the concert the following Saturday.
  • CBC had an incident suspiciously similar to the aforementioned Heidi Bowl in 2007: the Edmonton Eskimos were leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders 32-27 when the game was paused due to thunderstorms. During the delay, most of the CBC network aired The Good Thief, but not the rest of the game. CBC Sports' senior managers had turned off their phones and became unreachable, while someone at network control decided to only air the rest of the game in Saskatchewan. The Roughriders pulled off a comeback and won the game 39-32. The nail was already in the coffin for CBC's coverage, given that TSN would take over exclusive rights to all games the following season.
  • The network didn't cut away from it, but another famous example was Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" to win the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff game for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Oakland Raiders. The owner of the Steelers, Art Rooney, missed the play because he left the owners box early to be waiting for his (at the time, losing) team in the locker room after the game, and was riding the elevator down with no idea what happened when he heard the stadium explode in cheers. So Rooney himself is an example of cutting away early and missing one of the best plays ever in professional football.
  • In early 2009, ITV cut away from a thus far rather dull Everton vs Liverpool football match to an advert for mints. A goal ensued. Said sports reporter Kevin Gearey, "It will be forever remembered as the game dominated not by clever tactics, but by unexpected Tic Tacs."
  • ITV pulled off the same trick again as England were about to score in a World Cup match against the USA.
  • During a visit to Australia by Prince Charles in the late 80s/early 90s, a journalist got bored halfway through one of his speeches and wandered off to find a phonebooth to phone in a report to his TV station. Minutes after he left, an armed man stormed onto the stage and tried to take a shot at the Prince live on tv. This led to a rather bizarre situation where the two newsanchors 3000 miles away had seen the pictures and were asking excitedly for updates on what was going on and the poor none-the-wiser reporter was shrugging and trying to think of euphemisms for 'Sweet FA'.
  • The original airing of one episode of The Flash (1990) was interrupted by a news report.
  • The real first playing of the "Cover Up" game on The Price Is Right was interrupted by a CBS News special report. Only a few east coast markets where Price is shown an hour earlier actually got to see it. For that matter the first playing of "Vend-O-Price" was missed by everybody for two different special reports: one for the Pope's visit to the US on the East Coast, and one for the resignation of John Boehner on the West Coast.
  • Horribly averted by an Israeli TV broadcaster in 2002, when a reports from a suicide attack in Jerusalem were broadcast side-by-side with a soccer match, to avoid having to cut off the match. The decision is infamously known in Israel as the The Split Broadcast.
  • The Canadian channel YTV had the world premiere of the Justice League season finale "Epilogue"; unfortunately, viewers did not get to see the first three minutes due to a glitch that caused an episode of The Shopping Bags (a consumer show broadcast by one of YTV's sister networks) to air instead at first. The rest of the episode did air as scheduled, and an encore aired the following week.
  • One time, the final two overs on a tape-delayed broadcast of an Indian Premier League cricket match by Sportsnet One got cut off ... by the beginning of live coverage for a different match.
  • And again, proving the Stanley Cup is not allergic to technical snafus, CBC's feed of Game 5 of the 2014 Finals on Hockey Night in Canada (which saw the Los Angeles Kings clinch the championship in double overtime) promptly exploded at exactly 12:30 a.m. ET. Right in the middle of the post-game ceremony. The network quickly started to simulcast NBC's feed, but it too was messed up for a few minutes (the top of the screen was at the bottom and pushed the rest up).
    • Adding insult to injury, this was the last game of CBC's national broadcast rights deal for the NHL, leading to jokes on Twitter from people who thought the new rightsholder Rogers had sabotaged them. Making things even worse, Ron MacLean's last ever remarks as HNIC host (well, for the next two seasons, anyway) also got cut off by a glitch.
    Ron: And there's an old french proverb that says... [black screen]
  • And yet again involving the Stanley Cup, during a Western Conference round 2 game between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, some customers of the aforementioned Rogers missed the game 4-winning goal in triple overtime because their NextBox DVR set-top boxes automatically rebooted at 2:00 a.m., presumably to check for software updates. A Rogers spokesperson stated that these DVR's were not supposed to reboot during live programming, implying it may have been a glitch.
  • On March 26, 2017, the dramatic ending of the South regional final between Kentucky and North Carolina in the 2017 NCAA men's basketball tournament got cut off on Columbus's CBS affiliate WBNS by a special weather report on a tornado warning. The report itself was also botched; all you could see was a black screen with a ticker on the top, whilst the voice of the station's invisible meteorologist explained equally invisible maps and graphics, with no video of either the weather report or the game. When the video of the game came back, the game was over.
  • On a related note, Augusta's CBS affiliate skipped the post-game show of the championship game so they could go right to local news. While it sounds benign on paper, that also meant that viewers didn't get to see the traditional "One Shining Moment" closing montage, which is a tournament tradition (besides the reminders that The Masters are just a few days away, of course).
  • Amarillo, Texas radio station Wild 104.3 switched back to a Spanish music format on July 31, 2018. However, they proceeded to do so in the middle of a live segment by its morning hosts to promote a Salvation Army charity drive.
  • Bellator 206's British broadcast on Channel 5 got cut off at 6:00 a.m. in favour of the channel's preschool block and Peppa Pig. It was said that broadcasting regulations required the cut-off, as the watershed hours for free-to-air television end at 5:30 a.m.
  • Averted by CBS on February 15, 2019: when president Donald Trump held a press conference to announce a "national emergency" declaration to expedite construction of a proposed border wall, CBS cut away near the top of the hour so it could get to The Price Is Right on schedule. The event was supposedly only going to take about 8 minutes, but it ended up going on for much longer, with CBS cutting away after about 20 minutes. Cue CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter live-tweeting the ensuing episode on Twitter. Price host Drew Carey even chimed in to "fact check" him for mixing up the Showcase and the Showcase Showdown (remember, the Showcase Showdown is the part with the big wheel).
  • Tornadoes were forming in the Miami Valley of Ohio on May 27, 2019, prompting Jamie Simpson, meteorologist of Dayton's WRGT/WKEF duopoly, to interrupt ABC's The Bachelorette for coverage and to alert viewers to take cover. Angry Bachelorette fans took to social media to demand the ABC show go back on. Simpson dressed the fans down on-air in epic fashion.
  • Similarly on August 26, 2020 as Hurricane Laura was spawning tornadoes near New Orleans as it was about to strike the southwest Louisiana coast, angry fans of CBS's Big Brother inundated affiliate WWL with calls when the station broke away to alert viewers to take cover.
  • Due to a timing snafu with its simulcast of the U.S. broadcast, several Sportsnet channels accidentally aired ads over the bottom of the 11th inning in a 2019 ALCS game — causing viewers to miss a walk-off win by the Houston Astros on Carlos Correa's first pitch.
  • A Canadian broadcast regulation known as "simsubs" require television providers to substitute U.S. broadcast channels with feeds from Canadian ones if a Canadian over-the-air channel within the viewer's market is carrying the exact same program. Often times these are automated, so occasionally bits and pieces of a program may get cut off if the two channels are not in perfect sync with each other (such as the U.S. channel intentionally allowing a program to overhang into the next hour). In some cases, a U.S. station might change its schedule on short notice, but the Canadian television provider doesn't change their simsubs to account for it — leading to regularly scheduled programming (as carried by a Canadian station) overwriting completely different programming on the U.S. station. An egregious example occurred on October 19, 2020, when a Thursday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills (moved to Monday afternoon due to a COVID-19-related postponement) on Buffalo's Fox station was cut off for some viewers in southern Ontario because of another channel's simsub for Judge Judy, understandably ticking off a number of local fans of the Bills.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant in South Australia had to be moved to Adelaide Oval with tickets drawn from a raffle. As for the television broadcast? In previous years, the pageant had ad-free coverage and strong focus on the floats. In 2020 and 2021, most of the coverage was aimed at the dancers in the middle of the oval, and the floats were barely shown, with ads being very frequent. An ad even interrupted the 2021 pageant's fireworks show. Needless to say, the television broadcasts were wildly panned, especially among long-time attendees and disappointed kids who lost the raffle, and fans are dreading another Oval Pageant for 2022 and possibly beyond.
  • On August 27, 2022, Fox was airing Saturday-night MLB games. One of their games — between the Minnesota Twins and the San Francisco Giants — went into a rain delay after the seventh inning, but Fox did have another game they could switch to (Atlanta vs. St. Louis). But when that game ended, Fox signed off as normal, and went to a preview special for their country music drama Monarch. However, the game eventually resumed — but the Fox network did not immediately rejoin it. Unlike the Heidi incident, Fox was streaming the game on its app when it resumed, and did eventually rejoin it on TV, but the situation (and that the game's presence on the app wasn't promoted very well) did result in a number of ticked off fans.
  • Speaking of baseball, college football viewers were ticked off immensely when ESPN and ABC frequently cut into their broadcasts with split-screens of New York Yankees games when Aaron Judge was on, as he was attempting to set a new record for the most home runs in a single season in the American League.


Video Example(s):


"The Rock Tumbler or the TV?"

Bart and Lisa try to watch the "Itchy and Scratchy" episode where Scratchy finally gets Itchy, only for one of Homer's nerd friends to ruin it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / MissingTheGoodStuff

Media sources: