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Missing Trailer Scene

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Sauron: Wait, will any of this actually be in the movie?
Wayne: No, it'll all be lost during post-production.
The One Ring to Rule Them All 3 teaser trailer

Never Trust a Trailer taken to the logical extreme: trailers that are so untrustworthy they include scenes that have been cut from the film itself. Or even worse, filmed just for the trailer. This happens more often than not: almost every movie with a sufficient amount of promotional material will feature at least some shots not in the final movie. Sometimes they end up released later as the Deleted Scene on the Home Release or included as part of a Re-Cut for the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition.

The reasons for this vary. Usually the trailers are released while the film itself is still being edited, so the Trailer footage may end becoming a Deleted Scene or replaced by an alternate take in the final cut. Also, most trailers are put together by third-party companies that often have no idea what is or is not going to end up in the film, working only with the footage available to them. Sometimes, deleted dialogue might provide a more succinct way of explaining a character or plot point for the trailer than what's actually in the film would. Finally, in the era of digital filmmaking, the VFX get continuously tweaked up until release, so almost all big-budget blockbusters will have unfinished effects in the trailers. This also makes it easier for the studios to make deliberate changes to the trailer footage to obscure the true plot of the movie, if the element of surprise and/or avoiding spoilers is a concern.

This trope is especially common with short "teaser" trailers, which are released long before a film's premiere; so long, in fact, the work itself may still be in production. Teasers commonly feature footage or scenes that were never intended to be used in the film, such as clips made specifically for promotional purposes or re-purposed early production tests.

Contrast Trailers Always Spoil, where the audience has already seen the choicest bits of the story before they ever watch the film.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The fourth Bleach movie has two short scenes. The first shows Shuren's Togabito group arriving as a group before the battles start. But the five are never seen together in one scene. The second scene shows Yuzu's kidnapping in the family's house. The movie shows the two sisters being already captured by the villains.
  • At least a few reaction shots from Dragon Ball Super: Broly, such as Goku reacting to Broly's power, did not make the final cut.
  • The next Dragon Ball movie, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, curiously also has a missing trailer scene involving Broly. A shot that lasted just a few frames depicting Broly attacking Goku in a sparring match was how fans first confirmed his presence in the film, but in the finished cut, this part of their sparring is nowhere to be seen, Broly's role being reduced to powering up before Goku tells him to calm down so he doesn't lose control.
  • One Piece had a dub-only example of this. Back when 4Kids Entertainment had the license to the series, they released a promotional DVD which included music videos featuring clips from the series. Many of these clips were from the Buggy side-story, Apis, and Little Garden story arcs, which were completely skipped from the 4Kids dub of the series. To make things weirder, the dub had already passed the point where these story arcs should have been.
  • Almost all Pokémon movie trailers have scenes not in the finished movie. In fact, most of the original trailers were composed of nothing but early production footage:
    • The original Japanese teaser trailer for Pokémon: The First Movie. It not only has scenes that don't appear in the film itself, but the trailer heavily implies that it's a Distant Finale for the entire franchise.note  It shows what appears to be an older version of Misty telling a story to a young girl in a park. In addition, the ending theme it uses, "Fantasy in a Pocket", was never used in any version of the film.
    • For Pokémon 2000 an early trailer showed a scene where Ash leaps to rescue Pikachu off a cliff. A tearful Misty (who isn't wearing her jacket like in the final product) tries to run and save Ash but is stopped by Tracey. There's also a scene with Ash and Pikachu on the boat that isn't present in the final product.
    • A trailer for Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys depicted a space battle between Deoxys and Ash riding on the back of Rayquaza, which was nowhere to be seen in the final cut. This may have caused the Urban Legend of Zelda of being able to ride Rayquaza into space in Pokémon Emerald.
    • Some of the trailers for Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew show Kid's van being caught in the middle of a geyser field, Lucario dodging falling rocks, Lucario apparently dead, and various other scenes cut from the final film.
    • A teaser for what eventually became Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions originally depicted Ho-Oh and Lugia locked in aerial combat, presumably for a HeartGold/SoulSilver tie-in at the time. Other early trainers showed a shadowy Evil Twin of Ash, which also never made it to the movie.
    • Just about every movie has a trailer scene of Ash screaming as Pikachu falls from a great height. No such scene has actually been in any of the movies yet.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion:
    • The teaser for the second movie shows Misato slapping Ritsuko across the face during a heated argument. Nothing remotely close to this happens in the movie.
    • The same teaser shows Mari watching a flock of birds fly away as Zeruel attacks. In the actual movie, she's busy hijacking Unit-02 when Zeruel first arrives and begins attacking the city.
    • Almost nothing from the teaser for the third movie was included in the final film, as the script was heavily rewritten during production.
  • Most of the clips in the trailer for the first episode of Idol Time PriPara were not seen in the final version of the episode or were altered, like the glances we see of Michiru and Nino in their civilian identities.
  • None of the scenes from the announcement trailer of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection were in the actual movie because the story was rewritten several times.

    Fan Fiction 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • A trailer for the second half of Season 3 had Dee saying, "I'm going to bring Starbuck back to Apollo" in a cheery way. In the actual episode, "Rapture", she said it with resignation.
    • A trailer for the first half of Season 3 finishes with Baltar begging desperately for Gaeta to shoot him. In "Exodus Part 2," he is way calmer about the request.
  • Parodied in Season 2 of Danger 5, where each Previously on… montage includes a scene that wasn't shown in the previous episode.
  • The first teaser for The Defenders (2017), which announced the show's release date of August 18, 2017, was elevator security camera footage of the heroes' escape from Midland Circle after a fight with the Hand, ending with Jessica smashing the camera. In the actual show, this scene is skipped, as episode 3 ends at the moment that the teaser footage starts, and the next episode opens with them arriving at the Royal Dragon.
  • Doctor Who: The trailer for 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time" includes a scene where the First and Twelfth Doctors exit their TARDISes, which are parked side-by-side, at the same time. Naturally, this is nowhere to be found in the episode itself.
  • One trailer for iCarly has a Ship Tease moment where Freddie asks Carly if she was jealous. It's not in the final episode.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • The Season 1 SDCC trailer has dialogue whispered by Lestat de Lioncourt which wasn't included in the show: "You don't fear me, Louis. You fear yourself." It may have originally been part of his Love Confession in the pilot, so if that's the case, it was either left on the cutting room floor, or we can't hear it in the final version because Louis de Pointe du Lac's narration drowns out Lestat's voice.
    • A brief clip that was part of a promo that was released in June 2022 of Lestat standing on his balcony and suddenly turning his head to face the camera with a concerned expression was never used in the first season.
  • The trailer for Kamen Rider Decade's Grand Finale movie shown after the final episode contains exactly 0% of the footage from the final product. Going beyond that, the plotlines alluded to in the trailer were almost entirely thrown out, though two (Natsumi opposing Decade and Kivala becoming a Kamen Rider) were merged together. This may be an Enforced example; reportedly Toei had to throw out all their plans for the movie and start over after Japanese PTA groups complained that the series was nothing but a giant advertisement for the movie.
  • Cloud 9's industry trailer for The Legend of William Tell includes several scenes and lines of dialogue that did not appear in the show. One showed up as a flashback despite not being shown the first time around.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Gil-galad has a line in the promos for Season 1 that is never heard in the show: "There is good in this world, we have the strength to protect it".
  • An early promo for Mimpi Metropolitan has scenes showing Prima falling while working as motorcycle taxi driver because of a heavy passenger and Bambang's foot getting hurt when parking a motorcycle. Neither scenes appear in the series (although they do those jobs at some points).
  • Some early promos for Parks and Recreation included footage filmed specifically for TV spots, such as the one in which Leslie and Tom are standing on a railed boardwalk ("It's a wooden walkway.", "It's over a drain, so it's a bridge.") In a subversion, a short scene originally filmed for a TV spot (Leslie encountering a raccoon inside) was later incorporated into the show itself as a Flashback Cut. Also note that the page quote heading our own article on Parks And Recreation ("I hate the public. The public is stupid.") is from a deleted scene in the pilot which was nevertheless heavily featured in early TV spots.
    • Similarly a tv spot for the episode in season two where Ron has a Bunion has a scene where Ron says that he named his bunion with the quote "Yes, I named it Paul. Paul Bunion." The scene is not even the cut scenes on the DVD.
  • Person of Interest: One of Sameen Shaw's most famous lines is "When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail." It's from the trailer of "Liberty", and was cut from the episode proper.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. To the annoyance of J/C fans, a UPN Promo trailer showed a Ship Tease moment between Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay that had been cut from "Hunters".
  • The first trailer for Season 2 of The Walking Dead (using footage from the season premiere) showed a haggard Shane running down a street with a bag as a horde of walkers chase him, then turning around and firing several shotgun rounds at them in a rage. A later scene in the trailer showed walkers consuming bodies, standing up with flesh in their mouths and Rick saying "to hell with the noise" before Shane yells at him and the group fires on the walkers. This is due to the fact that said episode, "What Lies Ahead", had two-thirds of its footage scrapped in production. It was originally meant to go from Shane's car running out of gas and him fleeing the horde to the group discovering that the Vatos (from the first season) were all executed offscreen and had their supplies stolen. Even more notable is that there are deleted scenes from the episode on the boxset, but they begin from when Dale, Rick and Glenn rescue Shane in the RV, and don't have the shotgun sequence or take of Rick saying the line before shooting the walkers at the retirement home.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Early "modules" for Dungeons & Dragons used cover illustrations that evoked their contents' more exciting scenes, yet left out or obscured details that would reveal the exact circumstances and/or the nature of the adventure's Big Bad. This is because many Dungeon Masters liked to use unfolded module-covers as impromptu DM screens, the better to conceal their own notes while viewing the maps printed on the covers' interior, and accurate artwork on the obverse would be a spoiler to players.

    Web Original 
  • Nobody Here: At 9:06 in "Nobody reacts to - an internet enigma" there is a scene of moths emerging out of their pupae, which were arranged into a heart shape. This animation is nowhere to be found on the site.
  • The Nostalgia Critic did a trailer for a The Force Awakens review that had almost completely different footage to said review. Those trailer-exclusive scenes include Malcolm-as-Finn unmasking and saying "wow, a black guy", Kylo's three-bladed lightsaber with many messages against complaining fans and BB-8 with many messages describing it as a cutesy Merchandise-Driven character.
  • Played for laughs in A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever. The Insightful Best Friend is sipping wine in the bathtub and says "This scene doesn't make it to the final cut of the movie."
  • Ultra Fast Pony had a trailer for Season Two, which mainly consisted of voiceover narration over short scenes or still images, but did contain one scene that could have been from an upcoming episode: Twilight Sparkle, in the midst of her mental breakdown from "Lesson Zero", shouting "I'm just so full of all the emotions!" Then when UFP parodied "Lesson Zero" not long afterwards, that line was absent. When a fan wondered what happened to that line, series creator Wacarb clarified "the trailer is its own thing really."
    • Receives a Call-Back in “The Longest Recap” when Twilight actually says the line once the episode gets to “Lesson Zero”, complete with Lampshade Hanging.
  • Mandela Catalogue:
    • A magazine cover headlining the MCPD's coverup of Mandela's Alternate invasion is shown.
    • A screenshot of a fake edutainment game named "My Interactive Bible" is briefly seen.
    • Jonah is heard talking to Adam, with the former believing the latter to be an Alternate. Neither of them appear in "Vol. 333", with the majority of the screentime instead revolving around Lt. Thatcher Davis.

    Western Animation 
  • The first trailer for The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has a completely different animation style and voice cast compared to the final show. However, re-done versions of some of the scenes made their way into the episodes "Come the Conqueror" and "The Kang Dynasty", among others.
  • During the SDCC 2015 mid-season trailer for Gravity Falls, Ford and Stan are seen simultaneously correcting their glasses. However, as this scene was not included in the episode "A Tale Of Two Stans", and during the trailer they are seen before a backdrop featuring the portal, this scene could no longer be possible as Ford destroyed the portal in the following episode.
  • Literally none of the animation used in Miraculous Ladybug trailer from 2012 was used in the final product (and only a small amount of it vaguely resembles scenes from the cartoon). The series was stuck in Development Hell for a while. In the process the art-style was changed dramatically from animesque to All CGI, the action was toned down, and Felix was cut out completely and replaced by (the highly similar but not identical) Adrien.
  • The Simpsons
    • The Season Three DVD includes a promo for "Colonel Homer" with a deleted scene. The inclusion on the deleted scene is specifically noted, and is evidently the only reason why it was included on the DVD.
    • The promo for "Large Marge" included scenes of Marge's breasts giving Bart confused feelings.
    • The promo for "Brake My Wife Please" features a line not heard in the final episode.
      Homer: It's like you hate me, your own husband, whom you're contractually obligated to like!
    • On the deleted scenes audio commentaries, the show's creators have mentioned several times when a "weaker" joke will be cut for time, only for Fox to unknowingly use it prominently in the episode's promos.
    • A promo for "22 Short Films About Springfield" used a deleted scene where Krusty sits next to Ralph on an airplane.
      Ralph: You're the clown from TV! Sometimes, when I see you, I laugh so much I throw up!
      Krusty: [repeatedly pushing call button] Stewardess, I'm dying over here...
  • South Park:
    • The original promo for the post-Election 2016 episode featured an unused scene from the original plot. The episode was called "The Very First Gentleman" and had Bill Clinton visiting South Park Elementary after his wife Hillary was elected president. When it turned out that Donald Trump was elected president, the episode was quickly reworked into "Oh Jeez".
    • A promo clip for "World War Zimmerman" featured Cartman wearing his normal clothes, whereas the episode itself had him wearing a rapper outfit (which he wore in the scene before it).
    • The trailers for the Vaccination Special included several scenes that didn't make it to the final episode: Stephen ordering the boys to stand six feet apart while walking by the Stotch residence, and when Cartman challenges him to come say it to his face, Stephen panics, a scene in which Butters and his parents showing up at Walgreens for a vaccine but being turned away, a scene in which Wendy, Bebe and Red angrily walk away from the boys with the latter yelling "Better watch your back at school tomorrow!", and finally scene in the school bathroom where Cartman tells several other students that they need to bring life back into the school. The latter scene presumably became the scene in the school bathroom where Cartman tells Stan and Kyle about his and Kenny's idea to prank their teacher.
    • In the promo for "Cupid Ye", Kyle says a different line to Scott and Clyde than he does in the actual episode.
      Kyle: I'm not even going to justify that with a response. Because even responding to that could make some stupid person take and run with it!
      Kyle: I'm not even going to justify that with a response. Because repeating a derogatory slur, even for the purpose of refuting it, can make stupid people think it's valid!
    • "The Worldwide Privacy Tour" was promoted with a still of Kyle, with his hat off, angrily staring at the fireworks out the window. While this does happen in the episode, he keeps his hat on in the final.
  • Parodied in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Meapless in Seattle". The fake trailer at the end of the earlier episode "The Chronicles of Meap" features a fight scene between Meap and Little Suzy Johnson at the Bango-Ru convention. No such scene happens in "Meapless in Seattle", and the fake trailer for "Meap Me in St. Louis" features the exact same fight scene.
  • The original trailer for Close Enough shown at SDCC 2017 is your standard rapidfire montage of scenes from the upcoming season... except it isn't. The trailer was actually a case of TBS showing off the pitch reel that the creators made to sell the show to begin with, long predating any finished episodes to take clips from. Thus, the few cases in which the final series does have a scene that matches the trailer is a case of them recycling that animation.
  • Total Drama:
    • In the trailer for Total Drama World Tour, there was a scene where Owen's bare butt was shown which ended up getting cut from the final version. However, the scene most likely would've been in "Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan" judging by how Owen's butt got stuck in the side of the plane in said episode.
    • There are some deleted scenes for the Italian trailers for two Total Drama Pahkitew Island episodes:
      • For "I Love You, I Love You Knots", it showed a bear looking angrily into a mirror instead of liking the makeup it got from Scarlett.
      • For "A Blast From The Past", it showed Shawn cowering in fear from the monster he saw in a tree, and Team Kinosewak cheering on Samey during the round against Sugar. Also, the fight between Sky and Scarlett was not in slow motion.
    • In the Cartoon Network New in 2018 video, it featured two clips for Total DramaRama that are nowhere to be found in the actual show. Said scenes consist of Owen saying that daycare is awesome and Chef seeing Jude walking in naked with a skateboard.


Video Example(s):


Rio 2 Turtles

One of the trailers and most of the TV spots for Rio 2 has a scene with pair of turtles, one of them holding the other by the hands and spinning them around in the air. The speed becomes so much that the turtle being spun is sucked out of its shell and sent flying, to the shock of the birds. Whilst the turtles do appear in the film, this scene is absent because of the Fruit Fly Incident.

How well does it match the trope?

4.43 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / MissingTrailerScene

Media sources: