Kang: Pathetic humans. They're showing a Halloween episode...in November!
Kodos: Who's still thinking about Halloween? We've already got our Christmas decorations up!
Kodos: Who's still thinking about Halloween? We've already got our Christmas decorations up!
— The Simpsons lampshading this trope in "Treehouse of Horror XIV"
Seasons happen at different times per year in different parts of the world. Add in the various different Time Zones, and chances are episodes of various different shows can come out at different times per year.
This occurs when a work is originally released at a time of year in Real Life that is different from what is depicted in-universe.
A seasonal variant on (but not entirely related to) Out of Order, and occasionally causes/is caused by Short Run in Peru.
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- Advertisements are known for starting early when it comes to major holidays. For example, Christmas-themed advertisements in America usually begin popping up before Thanksgiving (which is in late November) or sometimes even before Halloween (which is in late October).
Anime & Manga
- Toradora!'s OVA, which was released in 2011 (3 years after the anime first aired) is about Ryuuji trying to challenge Kitamura's grandmother in cooking skills without success. This episode is placed between the episodes 12 and 13 (after the summer vacation), but apart of the misplaced season (anime episodes occur in summer and the OVA is in spring), the OVA itself was released on December, being winter in Japan.
- Pretty Cure:
- The sixth episode of Suite Pretty Cure ♪, which dealt with the girls making desserts for White Day (a holiday held a month after Valentine's Day on March 14th), aired on March 20th, 2011 as a result of all Japanese programming being interrupted by non-stop coverage of the Tohoku earthquake on every major Japanese channel except TV Tokyo the day it was supposed to air. The hiatus also gave them time to re-animate a sequence in order for it to be Distanced from Current Events where Hibiki's brother is trapped in cake mix by Siren.
- The 26th episode of Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure is an episode about a Japanese summer festival. However, due to Schedule Slip, it wound up airing in September.
- The 24th and 25th episodes of Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure were about summer vacation and aired in late August, when summer vacation was almost over. This was due to a Schedule Slip caused by an employee of Toei Animation accidentally downloading malware in March 2022, which caused delays to multiple Toei Animation shows, including this one.
- The Halloween and Christmas episodes of Mewkledreamy aired after their respective holidays due to Schedule Slip.
- The Yo-Kai Watch episode "Yo-Kai Illoo", which is about Valentine's Day, aired in the United States in October.
- The Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf season Joys of Seasons premiered in May 2010, meaning that its ninth episode, which has an April Fools' Plot, aired after the holiday had already passed.
Films — Animation
- The Boss Baby: Family Business, which takes place on Christmas, was released on July 2, 2021, five months before the holiday. It was originally scheduled for release on March 26 of the same year, three months after Christmas, and later for September, three months before it.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A major scene is Greg, Rowley, and Manny going trick-or-treating. The movie released on December 3rd, 2021, over a month after Halloween.
- The DVD of The Grinch, a Christmas-themed movie, was released on February 5th, 2019.
- This may be the reason why Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation was re-titled "A Monster Vacation" in some regions, since its release didn't always coincide with Summer vacation.
- Rise of the Guardians was released in November 2012. While Santa Claus and Jack Frost are two of the main characters, and most of the movie features snow-covered locations, it's actually set in the Easter period.
- Poupelle of Chimney Town, which takes place on Halloween, was released in Japan on December 25, 2020. This also happened with the American release, which was on January 7, 2022.
Films — Live-Action
- Batman Returns takes place during the Christmas season, but was released in June of 1992.
- Die Hard and Die Hard 2 were released in July and June respectively. While neither seem to have been designed as Christmas movies, the plots of both take place in the build up to Christmas, and the first film in particular has a fair few festive reminders. Over the years, they have become Christmas movies in the eyes of many.
- Invoked with Gremlins: the movie features a Mogwai Christmas present as the Inciting Incident, the titular monsters wrecking havoc over a snowy town filled with Christmas iconography, opens with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"... but was deliberately released in June 1984, in order to compete against Ghostbusters. Critics at the time thought this was odd.
- Hocus Pocus takes place on Halloween, but was released in July 1993. Disney didn't release it in October because the slot was already taken by The Nightmare Before Christmas, and because they wanted it to come out when kids were off school for summer vacation. Its belated sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, would avert this, premiering on September 30, 2022, just in time for the Halloween season.
- Iron Man 3 is set during Christmas, but it was released in April.
- Despite starring a man who may or may not be Santa Claus, Miracle on 34th Street was originally released in May. This was because the summer was seen as a more profitable time of year, and resulted in the marketing focusing on the romance sub-plot rather than the main off-season festive story.
- Reindeer Games, a heist film starring Ben Affleck, very clearly takes place during the Christmas season. References to Christmas are peppered all throughout the dialogue, and many characters even have Christmas-themed names. It would have originally averted this trope with a Christmas 1999 release, but a poor test-screening and the resulting reshoots pushed it back to February 2000.
- The Ref takes place during Christmas Eve 1993, with decorations, Christmas music galore, and a guy dressed like Santa giving the (unwanted) gift of fruitcake. Despite all that, it was released in March of 1994.
- SHAZAM! (2019) takes place in December and is Christmas-themed, but it was released in April.
- Son in Law, with a scene taking place on Halloween and the remainder of the movie Thanksgiving, was released in August 1993.
- Surviving Christmas, another Ben Affleck movie set during Christmas, was released on October 22, 2004. It originally was slated for a Christmas 2003 release, but it was pushed back to avoid competing with another Ben Affleck film, Paycheck. The film was a Box Office Bomb, so it actually was released on home video just before Christmas 2004.
- While other films about the holidays only air on Christmas on HBO, the film Last Christmas airs even when it isn't Christmas.
- Trading Places was released in June 1983, but takes place over the whole period between Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The books all release in late October or November. The Valentine's Day-themed installment, The Third Wheel, released on November 13th, 2012, while the Easter-themed Hard Luck released on November 5th, 2013.
- Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories, a Defanged Horrors Halloween book, released in March 2021.
- Geronimo Stilton: Cat and Mouse in a Haunted House, which is set on Halloween, made its American debut in February 2004.
- A uniqueness of their mutual seasons means that while Kamen Rider and Super Sentai normally do feature a Christmas Episode, the tone of each episode is completely different. Kamen Rider seasons premiere in mid-October and Super Sentai premieres in mid-February. Given the serial nature of each show, Kamen Rider's Christmas episodes tend to fall right around the time of a much needed breather episode and typically feature some light-hearted plot (in fact, the dark twist at the end of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid's plot was exceptionally notable and had a more than a few complaints). Conversely, while Super Sentai tries to get a breather in if it can be worked, the Christmas Episode falls right around the final 10 episodes of the season, with the results typically being darker as they are now in the build-up phase to the finale.
- The Hallmark Channel starts airing their original Christmas movies nonstop (aside from the four hours reserved for their talk-show Home and Family) from late October until New Year's Day. Due to the network's success with them, Hallmark started airing them throughout July, using "Christmas in July" festivities as an excuse to air them.
- Sometimes, they air these movies outside of their intended events. For instance, on June 11, 2021, The Christmas House aired. It also occurs with movies based on other holidays. One common example of this is Matching Hearts, a Valentine's Day-themed movie.
- Nickelodeon ran a Christmas In July event in July 2020 where Christmas-themed episodes of their programming aired all day, bringing out a few older shows from their library such as Rugrats as well.
- GSN and Buzzr have both been inconsistent with their airings of holiday-themed game show episodes over the years. Sometimes they will air these episodes when the rotation naturally reaches those points, while in other cases they will skip past the holiday episodes and then later air them during the appropriate seasons.
- This is averted for the Deal or No Deal Samsung Plus channel, which includes the holiday episodes in their regular rotation.
- The Bob Newhart Show bicentennial episode, "Caged Fury", aired three months after Independence Day on October 2, 1976.note
- The Book of Pooh: "My Gloomy Valentine" is (unsurprisingly) a Valentine's-themed episode where the gang tries to find Eeyore a gift to celebrate. The episode premiered in April 2002, after the holiday.
- The Carrie Diaries: "Endgame", set on Thanksgiving, aired in February.
- When Community's fourth season was delayed, that year's Thanksgiving ("Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations") and Christmas ("Intro to Knots") episodes aired in March and April respectively.
- Doctor Who:
- The 1996 TV Movie, intended to be a turnkey pilot for a USA-based revival of the series. Here, the Doctor arrives in San Francisco a few days before New Year's Eve 1999, before being immediately shot and regenerating from his seventh incarnation to his eighth one. It premiered in May of 1996.
- "The Unquiet Dead", set on Christmas Eve 1869 and for all intents and purposes a Christmas Episode, aired in spring 2005.
- The special Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh was Adored by the Network for a while by Nickelodeon, airing even when it was no longer Christmas. This was despite the fact that the show had another movie, Really Big Shrimp, that wasn't Christmas-themed.
- Averted with Friends. They don't show any Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween episodes unless it's the actual month of those holidays. This actually cause a bit of a continuity problem because two Thanksgiving episodes were plot important; one dealing with Chandler being able to date Joey's ex-girlfriend and another having Monica and Chandler being able to adopt.
- Full House had an episode where Danny, Joey, and Jesse compete in a race, with the winner getting to pick their Halloween costumes. The episode aired a little after Halloween.
- The Glee episode "Thanksgiving" aired a week after the titular holiday.
- In syndicated reruns, the holiday episodes of The Goldbergs are often rerun regularly.
- A season 3 episode of Halt and Catch Fire takes place during the 4th of July weekend, however, the episode aired three months later in October.
- Invoked in an episode of Haven. A Christmas episode, released around Christmas in Real Life but taking place in July in-universe. Someone's Trouble was creating Christmas in Haven by trapping the town in a snowglobe, and only Audrey, who is immune to the Troubles, knew something was wrong. Everyone else just assumes she's a Grinch for not liking Christmas (and thinks she's crazy when she says Christmas is not in July).
- Freeform airs the How I Met Your Mother episode "How Lily Stole Christmas" as part of the regular rotation of the show.
- Both ICarly and Victorious made an April Fools Day episode for 2012...and both debuted on March 24, 8 days earlier. It would have been closer, but the Kid's Choice Awards that year fell on March 31, pre-empting their normal timeslots.
- The last two episodes of Jeopardy! that were hosted by Alex Trebek were originally supposed to air on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, respectively, but that entire week's shows aired two weeks later. They aired completely unedited, so those two episodes still make plenty of mentions to Christmas.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: John Oliver ridiculed the Democratic Party for promoting their COVID-19 stimulus bill in an ad using the "cue card" scene from Love Actually that aired in March 2021.
John: No. There is simply no thematic or conceptual reason to use that scene. Start with the fact that the video was posted on March 10th, and depending on which direction you’re going, that’s either 290 days before, or 75 days after Christmas. Also, why would either of these people care about the stimulus bill? They live in London! And who are they even meant to represent in regards to it? Are we supposed to be Keira Knightley? Is this guy Nancy Pelosi? And if so, who is the husband in the other room we’re supposed to be hiding this interaction from? I mean, yeah, I’m pretty confident the elected official hounding a staffer is Andrew Cuomo, but other than that, nothing makes sense here.
- Legends of Tomorrow episode "Turncoats" was set on Christmas Eve, even though the episode aired in February.
- The Lost episode "The Constant" could qualify as this. The episode takes place on Christmas Eve 2004. However, because Season 4 began midseason in the 2007-2008 TV season, the episode did not air until February 28th, 2008.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Not a Christmas Story" is this in and out of universe, as it aired in early November and involves the cast attending an in-studio dinner for Sue Ann’s Christmas special (which is being taped well ahead of the holiday) and finding themselves Snowed-In by a freak blizzard.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: Since the show moved to Netflix for season 11, all the episodes of that season went live on April 14, 2017 — including The Christmas That Almost Wasn't. Kinga Forrester even lampshades that Netflix programs are made for binge-watching, so hardly anyone is going to watch this episode near Christmas.
- Same with the Orange Is the New Black episode "Fucksgiving" which also aired in Februarynote .
- Both of the Christmas themed episodes of The Outer Limits (1995), "The Conversion" and "The Revelations of 'Becka Paulson", aired in June, in 1995 and 1997 respectively.
- Pretty Little Liars has Halloween episodes during October, while its seasons air between January-March and June-August.
- The final episode of British drama series Ralph & Katie, "The Motherships have Landed" is set at Christmas, but aired on BBC One on October 19, 2022.
- Series 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race UK featured a Monster Mashup runway with a unique stage and lighting setup, something the show's runway presentations don't typically do. This episode aired in February 2021, but given that the series was originally set to air in late-2020 before COVID delayed things, it is very plausible that this episode was originally meant to be a Halloween Episode.
- The Schitt's Creek episode "Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose" is part of the regular rotation for airings of that show.
- Ted Lasso's Christmas Episode premiered on August 13, 2021, over four months before Christmas.
- A Thanksgiving episode of Webster called "Thanksgiving With The Four Tops" aired in January 1989, two months after Thanksgiving.
- Subverted in an episode of The Weird Al Show called "The Obligatory Holiday Episode", in which Weird Al has a party celebrating EVERY holiday, which allowed for the episode to be rerun as often as any episode without feeling out of place with the time of the year. Of course this episode premiered during the Christmas season.
- Often happens with Wheel of Fortune, which will often theme entire weeks around a certain holiday (Valentine's Day, Christmas, Halloween, etc.) even if said holiday occurs early in the week. As the show also tends to tape six episodes per session and air the sixth episode later on (usually as part of "America's Game"), this may mean that the set decorations will reflect a very out-of-season feel.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? aired a special Valentine's Day episode...on August 7, 2004, about as far from Valentine's Day as you can get.
This is common among most PBS Kids shows, as usually holiday-themed episodes aren't taken out of rotation, save for hour-long Christmas Specials. In many cases, it was because the shows usually aired all their episodes for a specific season from September to November.
- While the Alma's Way episodes "Alma's Nochebuena; Three Kings Day Do-Over" and "Trick or Treatasaurus; The Haunted Hallway" actually premiered respectively in December 2021 and October 2022, they would later be put into the regular rotation of the show's episodes.
- This is usually averted with the holiday-themed or season-focused episodes of Arthur. However, "The Blackout; Mei Lin Takes A Stand", which has the first segment of the episode focus on a heatwave hitting Elwood City during the summer, is placed in regular rotation. It also first aired in April 2009, two months before summer began.
- Because of said topic being part of the show's curriculum, Barney & Friends has a few episodes based around seasons as part of its regular rotation. For example, "Spring Into Fun!" was a spring-themed episode that first aired in October.
- Sprout had a tendency to air Caillou's Holiday Movie even when it wasn't Christmas, simply because it was the only movie that was ever made for Caillou.
- Caillou also has a few seasonal episodes like "Caillou's Winter Wonders", "Fall Is In The Air", "Winter!" and "Caillou's Christmas" that air regularly regardless of if the seasons depicted are actually happening.
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood shows all its holiday episodes outside of the respective holidays. This is probably because the episodes are more about the socioemotional lessons the characters learn while celebrating the holidays rather than the holidays themselves. Oddly enough, prior to April 2020, "Snowflake Day!" was extempt from this treatment, though this might have been due to another Daniel Tiger episode having to become a missing episode so it could be Distanced from Current Events.
- Its parent series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, debuted an episode about Santa Claus in February 1973.
- PBS Kids will often air the Let's Go Luna! movie "Luna's Christmas Around the World" for their Family Night block even when it's not Christmas because it's currently the only hour-long special made for the series.
- Six episodes of The Noddy Shop take place on holidays. Of those six, five of them aired before the holidays they were about:
- "We All Say Boo!", a Halloween Episode, aired on September 23rd, 1998. It's not bad compared to most of these examples, as this aired a month before the holiday in question.
- "Secret Valentines" aired on October 12th, 1998, four months before Valentine's Day.
- "Jack Frost Is Coming To Town" takes place on the first day of winter, but first aired on October 17, 1998, when it was still fall.
- "April Fool", which had an April Fools' Plot, aired on September 16th, 1999.
- "Part Of The Family", a Very Special Episode that took place on Mother's Day, aired on November 8th, 1999.
- The lone aversion for the show is "Anything Can Happen At Christmas", a Christmas special which aired on December 6th, 1998.
- Peg + Cat: The episode "The Christmas Problem" is part of the regular rotation for the show.
- The Puzzle Place episode "Dancing Dragon", centering around the Lunar New Year, was part of the regular episode rotation for that show.
- Rosie's Rules had this happen with several of the episodes aired during its' October 2022 premiere:
- "Rosie's Seashell Museum" is a summer-themed episode.
- "Rosie Maps It Out" is themed around Mother's Day.
- "Mom's Snowy Day" is a winter-themed episode.
- Sesame Street
- From the late 80's up until the early 90's, the show had two Sesame Street News Flash segments involving Santa Claus, airing at different times of the year. The first of them, which also involves the Easter Bunny and a witch, first aired in January, while the second, which has Kermit watching for Santa to come down the chimney, first aired in April 1989 (and was actually taped on December 20, 1988, just five days before Christmas).
- Their YouTube channel posted a skit called "Sharing Things" on Thanksgiving Day of 2017 note despite it taking place on Halloween, which happened a month prior.
- Thomas & Friends: The aptly titled "Halloween" premiered on PBS on November 20, 2004, when Halloween already passed.
- Ready Jet Go!: The series had Christmas, Halloween, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Earth Day, and St. Patrick's Day episodes, and they all aired around their respective holidays. But one episode, "Asteroids, Meteors, and Meteorites", premiered in April 2016; it was a Father's Day episode, and that holiday is in June.
- The Donkey Hodie episode "A Lot Of Hot", which takes place during summer, aired in May of 2021, a month before summer.
- "Everything Explorers", which takes place during fall according to a social media post, aired in August.
- "A Donkey Hodie Halloween" originally averted this trope, but beginning in April 2023, it became part of the regular rotation for the show.
- Unwell Podcast has a Halloween episode and a Thanksgiving episode, both released months before their respective holidays.
- The Disney Hits radio station on Sirius XM includes songs from Olaf's Frozen Adventure, a Christmas special, in their regular rotation. This includes "That Time Of Year", which specifically lists Christmas traditions in its lyrics.
- In addition to this, a Disney version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas are in regular rotation on the channel. This, along with the aformentioned Olaf's Frozen Adventure songs, has been going on ever since the channel first launched in March of 2021.
- On October 8, 2021, they added the Hannah Montana version of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" to their rotation, when it was still Halloween season.
- If you take a look at the creation date of some holiday-related tropes, it's likely that some of these tropes have been launched out of season. Christmas Tropes alone only has around 20% of tropes that were launched in December.
- Bloons Tower Defense 6: A Daily Challenge themed after the 4th of July, titled "Red, White, and Bloon", was featured on August 15th, 2022, over a month after the holiday.
- Final Fantasy XIV: Due to complications brought on by Covid-19, the Halloween event of 2020 was cancelled and was later brought back for 2021 on November. It was delayed again because of complications of Endwalker's release moving the event to January 2022.
- Jonathan Coulton's Christmas song "Chiron Beta Prime" was added to the Rock Band Network on July 26 2010.
- Undertale was going to have an alarm clock companion app, as a vehicle for various humorous monologues from the characters. Development of this app was halted to focus on Deltarune, so in September 2020, Toby Fox took the Christmas Episode portion of the dialogue, polished it up, and published the dialogue by itself. At the end of Asgore's page, Flowey pops in to incredulously wonder how nobody noticed the date.
- Minor example: HourofPoop's YouTube Poop Wallace's Christmas Conundrum came out on January 3rd. Lampshaded:
Merlin You are a bit late you know...
- Shrapnel: A Side of Shrapnel: Valentines Day came out on February 15, the day after the holiday.
- When Cocomelon airs on Cartoon Network, Christmas-themed songs are usually aired in regular rotation, even when it's not Christmas.
- Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff does this as part of its Stylistic Suck, deliberately releasing all holiday-specific comics on the wrong day. For example, the Christmas comic going up on May 1, the Halloween comic on December 26... and even a comic that had as a punchline "It's Tuesday, you fat nasty trash!" came out on Monday.
- The Nostalgia Critic's review of Santa Claus: The Movie was released on January 3rd. This was acknowledged during the beginning of the video:
Critic: Well, as we come to the end of December, we look at our last Christmas movie.
Douchey McNitpick: But Christmas is over!
(The Critic nonchalantly grabs a gun and drives Douchey away with it)
- His Nostalgiaween videos rarely involve the holiday of Halloween; in many cases they are reviews of regular horror movies, something the Critic will sometimes review outside of the Halloween season, and the only signs of Halloween in said videos are the Critic's Nostalgiaween outfit.
- American Dad!:
- Parodied in the episode "Gift Me Liberty", aired on June 13, 2016. It begins much like a Christmas Episode but the rest of the episode takes place after Christmas and ends during Christmas again. Lampshaded by Roger when he breaks the fourth wall at the end:
Roger: Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Wait a minute, is this our Christmas episode? What month is this?
- The Season 14 premiere, "Father's Daze", is treated as a Father's Day episode but the episode aired on November 7, 2016. Within the episode, Stan keeps erasing his family's memories every day until they give him the perfect Father's Day and he's been doing this for six months.
Stan: You know what, guys, this is easily one of my favorite Father's Days. And Christmases. Did you guys know it was Christmas?
- Parodied in the episode "Gift Me Liberty", aired on June 13, 2016. It begins much like a Christmas Episode but the rest of the episode takes place after Christmas and ends during Christmas again. Lampshaded by Roger when he breaks the fourth wall at the end:
- The Amphibia episode "Froggy Little Christmas" premiered on November 27, 2021, four weeks before Christmas. This was the last episode before the show went on a sixteen-week hiatus.
- "My Mother the Squirrel/The Party/Oh! Say Can You See/The Twelve Days of Christmas Song", which contains a segment about Christmas, was aired on January 27, 1996, a month after Christmas ended.
- "Cutie and The Beast/Boo Happens/Noel", which also had a Christmas-themed segment, aired on September 7th, 1996, three months before Christmas.
- "The Christmas Tree/Punchline (Part I)/Prom Night/Punchline (Part II)", whose first segment revolves around Christmas, aired on April 25, 1998.
- The reboot had a Halloween episode in its first season despite premiering on November 20, 2020, a few weeks after said holiday. This was averted when Teletoon ran the show, as the episode was skipped by the network.
- In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force season 1 episode "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future", the titular character breaks into Carl's home claiming he's the Ghost of Christmas Past and comes to show Carl what Christmas was like for him in 1968. Carl reminds the Ghost that it's not Christmas at all, but in fact February. Hilariously enough, the episode actually aired four days after Christmas.
- Batman: The Animated Series:
- The Christmas Episode "Christmas with the Joker" originally aired on November 13, 1992—weeks before the Christmas season even started.
- "Holiday Knights", the first episode of The New Batman Adventures, is a Three Shorts episode that takes place through Christmas-to-New Year's Day that originally aired on September 13, 1997.
- Downplayed in Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 "Trials of the Demon!", the episode starts with a Batman Cold Open that takes place during Halloween, but the episode first aired during March. The main plot doesn't actually take place during Halloween, but it might as well have been considering the dark atmosphere of the episode.
- Big City Greens has 2 examples:
- "The Gifted" is a Father's Day episode, yet it aired on July 11, 2020.
- "Big Resolution" is a New Year's Eve episode, yet aired on January 30, 2021.
- Bob's Burgers: "Romancing the Beef" is a Valentine's Day episode, and was set to premiere on February 14, 2021, but instead aired on February 21 after it was preempted by the Daytona 500.
- This is nearly a tradition for both of Cartoon Network's sister channels. [adult swim] and Boomerang almost never skip the holiday episodes in their rerun rotations of any series on their current line-ups, meaning you can see them even when the holiday is nowhere close to the airing. Even fellow Turner-owned network TBS does this with their rerun rotations of three programs better known for airing on [as]: Rick and Morty, American Dad!, and (until Turner's parent company Warner Media lost the cable syndication rights to it in September 2021) Family Guy.
- Unlike most holiday-themed episodes of Dora the Explorer which air on the respective holidays, "Dora Saves Three Kings Day" airs year-round, even when it's nowhere close to the actual holiday, which is celebrated in January.
- Elena of Avalor normally averts this, but the episode "Dia De Los Madres" plays this straight. The episode would've come out in May, when Mother's Day takes place, but due to the coronavirus pandemic hindering production (in a situation similar to the Suite Pretty Cure example above), it was moved to July.
- The Fairly OddParents!: April Fools' Day episode "Fools Day Out" premiered on October 11, 2002 and it only had a Halloween moment for a few seconds.
- The Family Guy episode "Boy (Dog) Meets Girl (Dog)", set on Valentine's Day, aired on January 7, 2018, due to pre-emption.
- Another episode "Family Goy" aired on October 4, 2009, despite the second half taking place on Passover/Easter.
- The episode "Papa Has A Rollin' Son", which takes place on Father's Day, aired on October 4, 2015. Justified, since Father's Day is in June, and Family Guy follows the usual September-to-May premiere schedule.
- On Fancy Nancy , "Nancy's Ooh La La Spa", a Mother's Day episode, aired on July 20, 2018, while "Nancy's Favorite Grandpa", a Father's Day episode, aired on April 26, 2020. These are the only cases of this happening due to the other holiday episodes airing in their respective months.
- The Father of the Pride episode "The Thanksgiving Episode" aired on December 28, 2004, 3 days after Christmas and almost a month after Thanksgiving.
- The Franklin episode "Franklin's Valentines" frequently aired on Nickelodeon when it wasn't near Valentine's Day. It also premiered in October of 1998, four months before Valentine's Day.
- Inverted in Gravity Falls. The show is set during the course of one summer, so to facilitate a Halloween Episode, they explain that people in Gravity Falls also celebrate "Summerween." The episode aired in October.
- The Justice League Action episode "Trick Or Threat", which takes place on Halloween, aired in the US on March 18, 2017. It's first air date was in the UK on December 24, 2016.
- Kamp Koral: Zig-zagged. "The Ho! Ho! Horror!" and "Are You Afraid of the Dork?", which are Christmas and Halloween episodes, were first released on Paramount+ on July 22, 2021. However, the former first premiered on Nickelodeon on December 3, 2021.
- The Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episodes "Secret Cupet" and "Littlest Pet Shop of Horrors" , which respectively take place on Valentine's Day and Halloween, aired on June 21, 2014 and November 28, 2015.
- Nickelodeon airs The Loud House episode "April Fool's Rules" as part of the regular rotation because the episode it's paired with, "Cereal Offender", isn't holiday-themed. This also happens to "Snow Bored", note "Fool's Paradise", note and the "Snow Way Out/Snow Way Down" two-parter, note with all of these episodes being in regular rotation.
- The Valentine's Day Episodes "Singled Out; Brave The Last Dance" were supposed to premiere on February 8, 2020, but Nickelodeon moved the premiere to February 15, 2020 in order to compete with Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, which premiered that same weekend, causing the episode to air the day after Valentine's Day.
- The episode "A Dark And Stormy Night", which is about a winter storm causing a power outage, first aired in May.
- The Magic Adventures of Mumfie episode "Pinkey's Garden", which was about Mother's Day, aired on September 15th, 1998.
- The Valentine's Day episode "Dark Cupid" from the first season of Miraculous Ladybug first aired on TFOU on October 29, 2015, 2 days before Halloween. This episode has frequently aired outside Valentine's Day and still does to this day.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Averted with the fifth season, as many people believe the reason that there was a mid-season hiatus was to air an Halloween Episode close to Halloween.
- Played straight with the season 2 episode "Hearts and Hooves Day", as despite being a Valentine's Day Episode, it is frequently aired outside Valentine's Day.
- The episode "Hearthbreakers" aired one week before Halloween, despite being a Christmas Episode.
- The third Christmas Episode (which is also Yet Another Christmas Carol), "A Hearth's Warming Tail", aired in May.
- The Season 8 episode, "The Break Up Break Down", which is another Valentine's Day Episodes, aired on May 19, 2018. Likewise, "The Hearth's Warming Club", another Christmas episode, aired on August 4.
- The 2018 Christmas special "Best Gift Ever" premiered on October 27th, 2018.
- Due to Discovery Family's Adored by the Network treatment of the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls franchise, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Spring Breakdown airs even when it's not close to spring break.
- Beginning in 2020, Discovery Family has tended to show "Hearth's Warming Eve" when it's not Christmas.
- Any episode of PAW Patrol that's holiday-themed will air on TV Ontario months before the holiday being celebrated occurs, since Canada usually airs the episodes in production order rather than holding off the holiday-themed episodes until it's close to the actual holiday like Nickelodeon does. Perhaps the most notable example was the first episode, whose second segment takes place during a festival celebrating the end of fall, aired in August as the premiere of the show. The only time TV Ontario averted this was for the Christmas Episode, which aired on Christmas Eve. This also applies to re-runs on the channel, with one example being a Halloween Episode airing in May.
- Not even Nickelodeon is prone to this trope. Frequently, episodes based around other seasons like "Pups' Winter Wonder Show" note and "Pups' Fall Festival" air outside of their respective seasons. And on May 5, 2020, "Pups and the Werepuppy", a segment from one of their Halloween Episodes, aired.
- Holiday episodes are also part of the regular rotation in the United Kingdom too, at least on Channel 5's Milkshake block.
- In Japan, "Pups Save Christmas" aired on September 21, 2019, likely due to the channel airing the episodes in production order like TV Ontario does.
- Nickelodeon held off an episode featuring an expy of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade until the day before Thanksgiving. In Canada, that episode aired on October 27, 2019, a month before the actual parade in question was held. Nickelodeon then put the episode into their regular rotation, airing it well after Thanksgiving was over.
- The episode with "Pups Save Election Day" airs even when it isn't around Election Day, which occurs in November. It's justified as it isn't really a holiday, despite the fact that some school districts have off on that day.
- The Peppa Pig episode "Chinese New Year" airs on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. even when it is nowhere near the holiday in question, which occurs in February.
- Phineas and Ferb: The brothers intentionally had a Christmas episode in mid-summer, and televised it in-universe.
- The Powerpuff Girls (2016) episode "Snow Month" was held back several months in America because it was themed around winter. In the UK, it aired in July.
- The Recess episode "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" aired the day after Christmas. It was supposed to air the previous week, but ABC's entire Saturday morning lineup was preempted for Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.
- The Rick and Morty Thanksgiving episode "Rick and Morty's Thanksploitation Spectacular" premiered in July 2021, four months before said holiday. A subsequent Thanksgiving episode "Bethic Twinstinct", again, came out nowhere near Thanksgiving, airing in mid-September 2022.
- The Halloween and Christmas episodes of The Rocketeer came out in July 2020, months before their respective holiday seasons.
- The short lived 80s cartoon Rubik, the Amazing Cube had both a Halloween and a Christmas episode, both of which each aired a month before the respective holidays.
- The Simpsons:
- Due to Fox's coverage of Major League Baseball's World Series, for a while they would air the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes around the first week of November, which got Lampshaded in later years. (Now the network airs the episodes in mid-October.) Generally averted on syndication, where they are usually only shown on October, although FXX will often include one as part of their themed blocks if it somehow fits the theme. However, "Treehouse of Horror XXXI" aired on November 1, 2020 in the United States due to the episode being pre-empted at the last minute for sports.
- Subverted with "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", an episode that first aired on April 27, 2003. It begins during Christmas, but after about three minutes, all the trappings that indicate that it's Christmas (up to and including the presence of snow) disappear.
- Part of episode "Summer of 4 Ft. 2" took place during the Fourth of July. It first aired on May 19, 1996, which is more than six weeks before the holiday. It's justified, as all Simpsons seasons follow a normal TV premiere schedule by starting in September and ending in May (with the exceptions of "Blood Feud", which aired in July 1991, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes", which aired in August 1992, and "Lard Of The Dance", which aired in August 1998).
- "Diary Queen", a Valentine's Day episode, aired on February 21, 2021 due to its original airdate being pre-empted by the Daytona 500.
- "The Last of The Red Hat Mamas" which begins on Easter, aired on November 27, 2005, three days after Thanksgiving.
- "The Yellow Badge of Cowardge", which takes place on the last day of school and has a sub-plot involving a Fourth of July fireworks celebrating, premiered on May 18, 2014; a month and a half before the Fourth of July.
- The 700th episode, "Manger Things", which takes place on Christmas, premiered on March 21, 2021, nearly three months after the Christmas season.
- "Mothers and Other Strangers", a Mother's Day episode, premiered in November 2021.
- Both the Halloween Episode and the Christmas Episode of Smiling Friends originally aired on the same date as the rest of the first season: January 10, 2022.note
- Sonic Boom had the episode "New Years Retribution", which aired in August 2015, four months before New Years 2016.
- SpongeBob SquarePants strongly averts this trope, as you will rarely see "Valentine's Day", "Scaredy Pants" or their sister episodes "The Paper" and "I Was A Teenage Gary" respectively (unless its filler for a movie that's running short) unless it is around season (Valentines Day and Halloween respectively). However, one in particular, "Fools in April", airs with its sister episode "Neptune's Spatula" throughout the year, even when it's nowhere near April Fools Day.
- "Valentine's Day; The Paper" accidentally aired on April 13, 2020.
- The season 8 special "Frozen Face-Off", which is heavily winter-themed, premiered on July 15, 2011.
- The Star Beam episode "Mother's Day Mayhem" came out on September 8, 2020, which is 4 months after Mother's Day.
- Steven Universe: "Horror Club", clearly treated like a Halloween Episode, aired on February 12, 2015. (It has to be noted that, according to Word of God, some festivities don't exist within the show's Verse, Halloween included.)
- In the United States, the Supernoobs episode "Noob-O-Ween", which centered around Halloween, aired on December 29, 2015.
- An example involving re-runs: From the fall of 2015 until January 2017, the holiday themed episodes of Teen Titans Go! were played on the US feed of Cartoon Network even when it wasn't said holiday because of the show's Adored by the Network status. However, in December 2019, holiday episodes were brought back into rotation to expand the episode variety since the show had close to 300 episodes in the can. The United Kingdom also has holiday episodes are treated as part of the normal rotation.
- During this time period, "Thanksgiving" was frequently played in early 2015 due to being paired with "Serious Business", one of the show's most popular episodes.note
- This also tended to happen when they would premiere a holiday episode and then re-run often it as was the practice with most new episodes of the show. For example, "How 'Bout Some Effort" played even after Valentine's Day passed.
- One episode, "More Of The Same", premiered long before New Year's Eve, which was the episode's subject, even happened, as it aired on July 29th, 2015.
- "Titan Saving Time", about the spring Daylight Savings Time change, has been part of the regular rotation ever since it first aired and airs even when it's nowhere near that occasion. It's justified as it is not really considered a holiday in the first place. In fact, there are some states that don't observe the change.
- "Slapping Butts and Celebrating For No Reason", an episode about the Super Bowl, also gets this treatment, likely for the same reason as "Titan Saving Time".
- Cartoon Network's US feed has a tradition of airing "Caramel Apples" on Valentine's Day when the episode itself takes place on Father's Day.
- The episode "Batman vs. Teen Titans: Dark Injustice" often airs as part of the regular rotation, despite being about April Fools' Day.
- "The Gold Standard", which is about Saint Patrick's Day, is part of the regular rotation in the United States. Oddly enough, this didn't happen to "Beast Boy's Saint Patrick Day Luck And It's Bad", which only tends to air around the holiday.
- On February 1, 2021, the Easter episode "Egg Hunt" aired on the US Cartoon Network feed.
- Tiny Toon Adventures: Night Ghoulery was originally intended to premiere in October of 1994, but ended up premiering on Fox on May 28, 1995.
- Total DramaRama averted this for a while (with the exception of the Mother's Day-themed "Mother of All Cards"), but around late 2020, holiday episodes began showing up in regular rotation.
- Transformers: Animated aired it’s two-parter “Human Error”, set on Christmas Eve and Day, in the midst of April 2009. It doesn’t look like the show creators had too much say in the matter though, since the series had to wrap up quickly before the release of the highly anticipated Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen that summer, which was intended to be Hasbro’s real breadwinner that year.
- Tuca & Bertie:
- The entirety of Season 1 came out on Netflix on May 3, 2019, including the season finale "SweetBeak," which takes place during the bird equivalent of Christmas, Molting Season.
- Season 2 has the bird equivalent of a Halloween Episode in "Corpse Week," which came out on August 1, 2021.
- Jorel's Brother: Season 1 concluded with the episode "Meu Segundo Amor", which takes place during a Festa Junina (lit. "June Party"), a Brazilian festivity celebrated in the month of June or, sometimes, July. However, the episode first aired on November 2015.