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Sequel Gap

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"Welcome to Team Fortress 2. After 9 years in development, hopefully it will have been worth the wait."
Gabe Newell

A film or other literary work where a sequel is released long, long after the original work. May sometimes be a Trilogy Creep, very often related to Development Hell.

More common in games, particularly online games, as they can have a much longer life than other forms of non-interactive media, which are "finished" as soon as you reach the end of them. StarCraft II, for example, came out 12 years after the original StarCraft because the original remained massively popular for a long, long time after its release.

Doesn't apply to sequels In Name Only, Sequel Series or Franchise Reboots. This trope is for honest-to-goodness sequels, prequels, and midquels. See also Capcom Sequel Stagnation, and a related Webcomic trope, Schedule Slip. Can overlap with Cliffhanger Wall if the last entry ended on a cliffhanger, but audiences only get a prequel or interquel after a long release gap. If the time passed in real life is reflected in the story, see Real-Time Timeskip.

Not to be confused with Distant Sequel, which is when a significant gap in time exists between a work and its sequel in-universe.

Note: In order to qualify as this trope, the sequel in question must have been released no less than five years after the previous installment.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • Honda's NSX sports car was produced from 1990 to 2005, and entered the nameplate hiatus of 12 years before receiving second-generation model. There was a planned Spiritual Successor in form of HSV-010, but the road car model was ultimately cancelled due to financial recession, making it a racecar-only model.

    Comic Books 
  • The Quest For The Time Bird: L'ami Javin came out in 1998, 11 years after L'Œuf des ténèbres. Then Le Grimoire des dieux came out nine years later in 2007.
  • Matt Wagner's Mage trilogy, consisting of three fifteen-issue miniseries, Mage: The Hero Discovered, Mage: The Hero Defined, and Mage: The Hero Denied. The first miniseries was published in 1984-6, the second in 1997-9, and the third began in 2017. The gap between the first two was partly due to rights disputes between Wagner and the original publisher, but the second gap was purely due to artistic reasons.
  • Sasmira: The first tome was published in 1997, and it took the author until 2011 to finish the second one. The third tome came out "just" five years later in 2016, with the fourth and final tome out in 2018.
  • Shazam! was another one Screwed by the Lawyers. After a copyright lawsuit led to his original publisher folding their comics division at the end of 1953, he didn't appear in print again until 1973 at which point the Captain Marvel trademark had been lost.
  • As part of Marvel Comics' 80th anniversary in 2019, a 108th issue of Star Wars (Marvel 1977), which had originally run from 1977 to 1986 and is part of the Star Wars Legends continuity, was released. Read about it here and here.
  • The Transformers (1984-1991) and The Transformers: Regeneration One (2012-2014) and Transformers '84 (2019-2020) — 21 years and 5 years respectively.
  • Le Rayon U (The U Ray) by Edgar P. Jacobs was prepublished in 1943. The sequel La Flèche ardente (The Burning Arrow) by Jean Van Hamme came out in 2023, 80 years later.

  • The Book of the Dun Cow:
    • The Book of the Dun Cow came out in 1978. Its sequel, The Book of Sorrows, came out in 1985, a gap of 7 years.
    • A final sequel, Peace at the Last, came out in 2013, a 23-year gap, alongside a rewrite of Sorrows.
  • Dune:
  • Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) was followed by five sequels within nine years. Two later Interquels, Frontier Wolf (1980) and Sword Song (1997), were each preceded by a 17-year gap.
  • Earth's Children:
    • A 12-year gap between The Plains of Passage (1990) and The Shelters of Stone (2002).
    • The Land of the Painted Caves came out in 2011, making another 9-year gap.
  • Foundation:
  • Fudge: The gaps between all four books in the series qualify:
    • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972) and Superfudge (1980): 8 years.
    • Superfudge (1980) and Fudge-a-Mania (1990): 10 years.
    • Fudge-a-Mania (1990) and Double Fudge (2002): 12 years.
  • Area 51: Legend (2004) was followed by Redemption (2018) fourteen years later.
  • The Godfather
    • The Godfather (1969) and The Sicilian (1984) — 15 years
    • The Sicilian and The Godfather Returns (2004) — 20 years
    • The Godfather's Revenge (2006) and The Family Corleone' (2012) — 6 years
  • Gone with the Wind (1936) and its authorised sequel Scarlett (1991) have a gap of 55 years (coincidentally, so do the films based on both of them (1939/1994)) and then an officially authorized P.O.V. Sequel Rhett Butler's People (2007) 16 years later.
  • Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials:
    • Once Upon a Time in the North (2008), a prequel short story focusing on Iorek Byrnison and Lee Scoresby, was published five years after Lyra's Oxford, a sequel short story to the original trilogy.
    • A full-on sequel novel was later announced, initially titled The Book of Dust before it was turned into a Sequel Series bearing that name, while its installments were titled separately. The first entry, La Belle Sauvage was released in 2017, nine years after Once Upon a Time in the North and seventeen years after The Amber Spyglass.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
  • The third Legacy of Orïsha book, Children of Anguish and Anarchy, took a long time to come out compared to the previous novels; Children of Blood and Bone came out in March 2018, Children of Virtue and Vengeance (which ended on a Cliffhanger) came out over year later in December 2019, while after years of no news it was eventually announced in 2023 that Anguish and Anarchy would be released in June 2024, nearly a full five years after the second book.
  • My Side of the Mountain (1959) by Jean Craighead George had its sequel On the Far Side of the Mountain published in 1990, leaving a gap of 31 years. The third book, Frightful's Mountain, came nine years after that.
  • Falling Out of Time, a sequel to the 1995 novel Running Out of Time, came out in 2023.
  • The Slayers light novels stopped at the 15th volume released in May 2000. While there have been novels released for the spinoff Slayers Special, a new mainline novel was released in October 2018 — 18 years after the fifteenth novel.
  • Solar Queen series by Andre Norton. 3rd novel Voodoo Planet appeared in 1959, then Postmarked the Stars in 1969, then Redline the Stars in 1993. That's 10 and 24 years. Granted, some of her other novels seem to be set in the same universe, but there are no direct connections.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • A five-year gap between A Storm of Swords (2000) and A Feast for Crows (2005). Oddly, originally the fourth book was going to be a five-year Time Skip in-universe before it was delayed, then after not coming out for five actual years, the action picks up immediately where it left off.
    • A six-year gap between A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons (2011).
    • Twelve years and counting between A Dance With Dragons and it's as of yet (mid-2023) still unfinished and unpublished sequel.
  • The Twilight Saga:
    • Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (2015), a Gender Flipped version of the series, was the first full-length novel after Breaking Dawn (2008). It's also five years since the release of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, the first new narrative in the series since the tetralogy ended.
    • Life and Death was in turn followed by Midnight Sun, a P.O.V. Sequel told from Edward Cullen's perspective, which was published five years later (2020). Stephenie Meyer originally wanted to release it shortly after Breaking Dawn, but had a Creator Breakdown when its draft was leaked online and decided to put it on hold for over a decade.
  • DH Press's 2006-2007 series on Universal Horror, each by a different author and set in independent continuities, have some long gaps from the films being continued on from:
  • The Vampire Chronicles:
    • The Vampire Lestat in 1985, 9 years after Interview With the Vampire (1976).
    • Prince Lestat in 2014, 11 years after Blood Canticle (2003).
  • The Wayside School series has never had short gaps between books.
    • The gap between Sideways Stories (1978) and Falling Down (1989) was eleven years.
    • The gap between Falling Down and Little Stranger (1995) was six more.
    • The gap between Little Stranger and Cloud of Doom (2020) was a whopping 25 years.
  • Legend Series: Rebel (2019) was published six years after Champion (2013).
  • Within the Star Trek Expanded Universe, Peter David's novels Imzadi (1992) and Imzadi II (1998) have a 6 year gap.
  • Fletch, Too (1986) to Son of Fletch (1993) — 7 years.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: The first book was released in 2013, but the sequel only hit the public in 2021, 8 years later.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972) — 8 years.
  • Holes (1998) and Small Steps (2006) — 8 years.
  • The Dragon Business came out in 2014 and may have originally been meant as a standalone book, as Skeleton in the Closet wasn't released until 2023, nine years later.
  • Harry Potter: After Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, the next installments in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them did not come out until 2016, a gap of nine years.
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya light novel volume The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya was released in May 2011. The long awaited followup, The Intuition of Haruhi Suzumiya, came out in November 2020 — a 9-year gap.
  • Make the Yuletide Gay (2009) received a sequel in novel form in 2018, a gap of 9 years.
  • Erle Stanley Gardner's mystery novel Murder Up My Sleeve (1937) was followed nine years later by a sequel, The Case of the Backward Mule (1946). The fact that most of the intervening years had been occupied with World War 2 went some way to explaining why the characters had taken so long to get involved in another murder.
  • The Unicorn Chronicles had 9 years (1999 to 2008) between the 2nd book and the 3rd book being published.
  • The Hunger Games: A ten-year gap between Mockingjay (2010) and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020).
  • Fans of Isobelle Carmody's The Obernewtyn Chronicles waited 10 years for the fifth book in the sequence; the fourth book, The Keeping Place was originally published in 1998, The Stone Key in 2008.
  • David Weber's Out of the Dark came out in 2010. The sequel Into the Light was only released in 2021. — 11 years
  • The eighth Franny K. Stein book, Bad Hair Day, was released in 2019, 11 years after the seventh book The Frandidate was released in 2008.
  • There was a 12-year gap between the third and fourth book in The Demon Princes series. The series was always planned to have 5 books.
  • The Exorcist (1971) and Legion (1983)''' — 12 years.
  • Magicians of Gor (book 25 in the series): 1988 — Witness of Gor (book 26): 2001 — 13 years.
  • Thieves' World. The last original series anthology Stealers' Sky came out in 1989. The next one, Turning Points, was published in 2002, 13 years later.
  • In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, there was a fourteen year gap between the fifth book, Witches' Brew, and the sixth, A Princess of Landover (for reference, there were nine years between the release of the first book and the fifth).
  • The first Alex Benedict book, A Talent for War, came out in 1989. The second, Polaris, came out in 2004, 15 years later (after that, there has been no gap larger than three years).
  • The Ice Limit (2000) and its sequel Beyond the Ice Limit (2016) — 16 years. The protagonist Eli Glinn has appeared in writer duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs' other books however.
  • Peter David's Knight Life (1987) and One Knight Only (2003) — 16 years (the original did get an Updated Re-release in 2002.)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937), followed by The Lord of the Rings (three volumes, 1954-1955) — 17 years.
  • In Clare Bell's The Named series, the release of the first four books was spread between 1983 and 1991. Seventeen years later, the series started its re-issue because of its new fifth book, Ratha's Courage (2008). The next year also saw a novelette written on Twitter and a short story in an anthology of speculative fiction.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin published the 3rd and 4th books of the Earthsea series, The Farthest Shore and Tehanu, in 1972 and 1990 — 18 years.
  • The Zones of Thought novel A Fire Upon the Deep came out in 1992; the sequel, The Children of the Sky, was released in 2011 (19 years). A Deepness in the Sky — set in the same universe but not a direct sequel — came out in the interim.
  • Isaac Asimov invoked this deliberately with his first published short story Marooned off Vesta. The sequel was written 20 years later, was called Anniversary, and dealt with events 20 years after the original story.
  • The Blackcollar (1983), The Backlash Mission (1986) and The Judas Solution (2006) — 20 years.
  • The Cobra Trilogy: original trilogy released 1985-1988, two new trilogies released from 2009 onwards, after a gap of 21 years.
  • C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen and Regenesis (1988/2009) — 21 years. Similar to the Vinge example above, Cherryh had other Alliance/Union books come out between the two.
  • Jumanji (1981) and Zathura (2002) — 21 years.
  • The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen was originally a trilogy that was published 1982-1987. The fourth book came out in 2009 — 22 years.
  • Julie of the Wolves (1972) by Jean Craighead George got a sequel, Julie, 22 years later in 1994 (followed by another sequel, Julie's Wolf Pack, only three more years later in 1997).
  • Psycho, the original Robert Bloch novel (1959), and Psycho II also by Bloch (1982), which was totally unrelated to the film sequel — 23 years.
  • Wrong Time for Dragons (1997) to Wrong Place For People (2020) — 23 years. This is also exactly how many years elapse in-universe between the two books.
  • Dread Empire - An Ill Fate Marshalling, book seven of the overall saga — 1988. A Path to Coldness of Heart, book eight — 2012. 24 years. Justified, in this case - the manuscript for the book was apparently stolen, throwing the author off and causing him to focus on other projects instead.
  • Part I of Goethe's Faust was first published in 1808. Part II (a sequel in all but name) was released in 1832 (24 years).
  • The Seventh Sword was written by Dave Duncan in 1984 and published as a trilogy in 1988. The 4th novel The Death of Nnanji appeared in 2012 after a 24 year gap.
  • The third book in Isaac Asimov's "Robot Trilogy", The Robots of Dawn, was published in 1983, 26 years after the second.
  • Magic by the Numbers: Riddle of the Seven Realms (1988) and The Archimage's Daughter (2017) — 29 years.
  • The Egypt Game (1967) and The Gypsy Game (1997) — 30 years. Both are set in The Present Day through the use of Comic-Book Time.
  • Rosemary's Baby (1967) and Son of Rosemary (1997) — 30 years.
  • Closing Time, the sequel to Catch-22, was published in 1994; 33 years after the original novel.
  • The Handmaid's Tale (1985) and The Testaments (2019) — 34 years. Margaret Atwood began writing The Testaments in 2017 in conjunction with the television adaptation of the first book, stating she felt the themes of The Handmaid's Tale were just as relevant now as they were in the 1980s.
  • Professor Moriarty Series: The first two books were published in 1974 and 1975, a year apart, but Moriarty came out in 2008, thirty-three years after the previous books. It was posthumously published a year after John Gardner's death.
  • Stephen King got The Shining released in 1977. Its sequel, Doctor Sleep, was released in 2013... 36 years later.
  • P. G. Wodehouse wrote The Luck of the Bodkins in 1935 and its sequel, Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin in 1972 — 37 years.
  • Ray Bradbury published Dandelion Wine in 1957. The sequel, Farewell Summer, came out 49 years later in 2006.
  • Return of the Wolf Man (1998), which is set in the same universe as the Universal Horror films, was released 50 years after Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).
  • Alan Garner's 2013 novel Boneland is the continuation of his 1960 and 1963 novels The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath - some fifty years after the original books.
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015), 55 years apart, though the latter was originally a draft of the former.
  • Peter and Wendy (1911) and its authorised sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006) — 95 years.
  • Riley McDaniels: Fear's Return came out in 2011, ten years after Moonshiner's Gold and seven years after Discovery at Flint Springs.
  • Spice and Wolf: The light novels originally ended with Volume 17 in 2011, before the sequel volumes labeled Spring Log began with Volume 18 in 2016 — a 5-year gap.
  • The Time Ships, an official sequel to The Time Machine, was published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first book (1895/1995).
  • Armistead Maupin retired his series Tales of the City after the sixth book, Sure of You (1989). The main character had contracted AIDS, which at the time would have led to almost certain death, and Maupin didn't want to write his death. After effective treatments became available, Maupin resumed the series in 2007 (18 years later) with the aptly titled Michael Tolliver Lives.
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey were likely composed some time around 850 BC. The Aeneid, a Continuation Fic, was finished in 19 BC. If both are taken as part of Classical Mythology, that's a gap of over 800 years.
  • Xavier Herbert's first two novels are Capricornia (1938) and Seven Emus (1959). His last (and only other) two are Soldiers' Women (1961) and Poor Fellow My Country (1975). The last is considered a Spiritual Successor to the first.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Boston was notorious for this, to the point where Boston's record label actually sued the band because they were taking too long to record Third Stage.
  • It took 33 years for Blue Öyster Cult's Imaginos saga to receive its second act, Imaginos II: Bombs Over Germany.
  • Kraftwerk have fallen into this ever since they released Computer World in 1981. Their next album, Electric Café, followed 5 years later, which at the time was the longest gap between their albums. Then things begin to get a bit crazy; the follow-up to that album, Tour de France Soundtracks (if you don't count The Mix or Expo 2000), came out 17 years later in 2003. And that album has been their most recent album for nearly 20 years now. Even if you do count The Mix, it still doesn't really help matters, because that's still another 5 years after Electric Café and 12 years before Tour de France Soundtracks. Expo 2000 meanwhile isn't as bad, as it was only 3 years before Tour de France Soundtracks despite plugging a 9 year gap of very little activity at all in terms of musical releases.
  • Metallica has fallen into this for their most recent albums. It first happened with the five year gap between Metallica and Load and ReLoad. Then there was a six year gap between ReLoad and St. Anger. Their next album Death Magnetic (2008) took five years to come out. If one discounts their Lou Reed collaboration Lulu (2012) (most fans definitely prefer to), their next album Hardwired... to Self-Destruct came out 8 years later in 2016. The follow-up to that, 72 Seasons, similarly took seven years to come out, releasing in 2023.
  • Dr. Dre's three albums have this. His debut album The Chronic came out in 1992, while its sequel 2001 took seven years until it was finally released in 1999. Then, his third and final album Compton took sixteen years when it was finally released in 2015, after the cancellation of the originally-envisioned third album, Detox.
  • Pink Floyd's album The Division Bell (1994) was their first since A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) — a 7 year gap. At the time, it was seen as their final album. They released a definitive final chapter with The Endless River (2014) — that's a 20 year gap. Their next release of new material, the one-off charity single "Hey, Hey, Rise Up!", came out in 2022, eight years after The Endless River.
  • David Bowie:
    • There was a six-year gap between the releases of Never Let Me Down (1987) and Black Tie White Noise (1993), owed to Bowie eschewing solo material during the turn of the '90s in favor of working with Tin Machine as a means of artistically reinvigorating himselfnote .
    • Bowie ended up going a full 10 years between Reality (2003) and The Next Day (2013), owing in part due to a heart attack while on-tour in 2004 that motivated him to step out of the public eye.
    • “Space Oddity” and its sequel “Ashes to Ashes” both follow Major Tom and had an 11 year gap.
  • Daughters as a rule tended to take a very long time to record new albums. Their first two albums, Canada Songs and Hell Songs, were released in 2003 and 2006 respectively, a gap of three years. After this, their Self-Titled Album dropped in 2010, a further gap of four years. After this the band split up for most of the subsequent decade, and they returned in 2018 with You Won't Get What You Want, a considerable eight year gap.
  • King Crimson:
    • An example about songs: "Larks Tongues in Aspic" had Parts 1 and 2 included on the titular album (1973). After that, you have "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 3" from Three of a Perfect Pair (1984) — an 11-year gap. After that is Part 4 from The ConstruKction of Light (2000) for a 16-year gap. Curiously, "Level Five" from 2003's The Power to Believe makes for the shortest gap in the series, at just three years. note 
    • In terms of their proper albums, Discipline (1981) came out roughly seven years after Red (1974), THRAK (1995) 11 years after Three of a Perfect Pair (1984), and The ConstruKction of Light (2000) five years after THRAK. Their most recent album, The Power to Believe (2003), still has yet to see a follow-up.
  • Bob Seger:
    • There was a 5-year gap between Like a Rock (1986) and his next album The Fire Inside (1991)
    • Face the Promise (2006) was Seger's first non-compilation album since It's a Mystery (1995), an 11 year gap. His next album, Ride Out was released eight years later in 2014.
  • Peter Gabriel: Us (1992) released six years after So (1986)note , and Up (2002) came out a full decade after Us. His next record, the Cover Album Scratch My Back (2010), released eight years after Up, and while the re-recordings album New Blood (2011) took only a year to come out, the follow up i/o was stuck in Development Hell until its release in 2023 (it was originally slated for 2004 and started production all the way back in 1995, concurrently with Up).
  • There was a 11-year gap from Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen's solo debut, The Nightfly, to 1993's followup Kamikiriad, partly a result of Fagen's Writer's Block. He would follow that up with the first Steely Dan album since 1980's Gaucho, Two Against Nature, in 2000, bridging a 20-year gap. Fagen's third solo album, Morph the Cat, would be released in 2006, bridging a 13-year gap between solo albums.
  • Kate Bush went twelve years between The Red Shoes (1993) and Aerial (2005), long enough that many people surmised she'd given up music entirely. She went on to issue two separate albums — Director's Cut and 50 Words for Snow — in 2011 (six years after Aerial), but hasn't released any new studio material since, only a Live Album in 2016.
  • Aphex Twin released the album drukQs in 2001. It would be 13 years until he released the next album under that name, Syro (2014). The most recent non-compilation album even as AFX at that time was Analord (2005). That still ended at least a 9 year wait.
    • The gap wasn't completely blank though, fortunately; he released a few new songs in that time under different names such as 'The Tuss'.
  • Pendulum released the single "Ransom" in 2011, and wouldn't release another single for nine years, until 2020's "Driver / Nothing For Free" as Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen were more interested in focusing on Knife Party for much of the time in between.
  • Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP was released in 2000. While he had a fair amount of studio albums after it, the direct sequel, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, wasn't released until 2013.
  • Blur released their first album without guitarist Graham Coxon, Think Tank, in 2003. It would be another twelve years before Coxon rejoined and the band released The Magic Whip in 2015. The follow-up to that album, The Ballad of Darren, wouldn't come out until 2023, eight years later.
  • tool took 13 years between 10,000 Days (2006) and Fear Inoculum (2019), owing mostly to legal issues.
  • The Bat Out Of Hell trilogy by Meat Loaf. Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977; Bat Out of Hell 2: Back Into Hell came out 16 years later in 1993, and Bat Out of Hell 3: The Monster Is Loose rounded it off 13 years after that, in 2006.
  • American Football's debut Self-Titled Album was released in 1999. Their next album, also called American Football, was released in 2016.
  • Gas released four albums in pretty quick succession. The fifth, Narkopop (2017) followed Pop (2000). That's 17 years.
    • Even if you count the compilation album Nah und Fern (2008), you've still got an 8-year previous and 9-year wait.
  • The Braxtons went 19 years between So Many Ways (1996) and Braxton Family Christmas (2015).
  • Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder had a 23 year gap between Forever Dancing (1992) and Déjà Vu'' (2015).
  • Elton John released a Concept Album in 1975 called Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, chronicling his and lyricist Bernie Taupin's rise to fame, at the height of Elton's success. In 2006, 31 years later, Elton released a sequel album, The Captain and the Kid, chronicling the duo's success and personal issues.
  • Possessed took a whopping 33 years to release their third album Revelations of Oblivion in 2019; their previous album Beyond the Gates came out back in 1986.
  • Vashti Bunyan released Just Another Diamond Day in 1970. The album failed to find an audience and she retired from music and started a family. The album's popularity snowballed over the next few decades and is now cited as one of the earliest examples of the "freak folk" genre. Inspired by recognition from mid 2000s artists such as Joanna Newsom and Animal Collective, Bunyan made Lookaftering, which came out 35 years after her debut, making the 9 year gap between that and Heartleap seem like nothing.
  • Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson released a followup to Tull's 1972 Concept Album, Thick as a Brick 2, during the 40th anniversary of Thick as a Brick's release (2012).
  • The Sonics recorded three albums in the mid-60s, before splitting up after Introducing The Sonics in 1967. They reformed in The New '10s and released This Is The Sonics in 2015 - a gap of forty-eight years.
  • Nine Inch Nails had this happen a few times with their albums, especially during the 1990s, partly due to Trent Reznor's perfectionism and legal wranglings with his labels.
    • Pretty Hate Machine (1989), The Downward Spiral (1994), and The Fragile (1999) were all released five years apart. After The Fragile there was With Teeth (2005), released six years later.
    • Reznor would spend the later half of the 2000s with more frequent releases, with Year Zero (2007) coming out two years after With Teeth, and Ghosts I-IV and The Slip both coming out in 2008. Reznor however put NIN on hiatus in 2009, before returning in 2013 with Hesitation Marks — five years after The Slip.
    • The all-instrumental Ghosts albums: Ghosts I-IV (2008), and Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts (both 2020) — twelve years.
  • Sade had a long eight year gap between the band's album Love Deluxe (1992) and Lovers Rock (2000). Another long gap of ten years followed that before they released Soldier of Love (2010).
  • System of a Down released two singles in November 2020 — a fifteen-year wait after Mezmerize/Hypnotize (2005).
  • Aly & A.J. self-released a touch of the beat gets you up off your feet gets you out and then into the sun in May 2021 — fourteen years after their previous studio album Insomniatic.
  • ABBA originally broke up two years after the release of The Visitors (1981). After reuniting in 2016, they released a new studio album, Voyage (2021), forty years after its predecessor.
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra's Technodon (1993) released a full decade after Service (1983), owed to the band splitting up (or "spreading out" as they put it) and reforming within that time.
  • New Order's Get Ready (2001) released eight years after Republic (1993), owed to Creative Differences and burnout putting the band on hiatus. Lost Sirens (2013) released eight years after Waiting for the Sirens' Call (2005) for identical reasons. If one discounts Lost Sirens on the basis of it being an archival release, that makes for a ten-year gap between Waiting for the Sirens' Call and Music Complete (2015), with their next release after that being the non-album single "Be a Rebel" (2020) five years later.
  • Radiohead saw a five-year gap between the releases of The King of Limbs (2011) and A Moon Shaped Pool (2016). They have yet to put out another album, focusing instead on side-projects and curating archival reissues.
  • Tears for Fears saw a nine-year gap between Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995) and Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004). Their next album, The Tipping Point (2022), came out eighteen years after its predecessor.
  • Mission of Burma saw a whopping 22-year gap between Vs. (1982) and ONoffON (2004), owed to their loud performances giving guitarist Roger Miller severe tinnitus.
  • While Jean-Michel Jarre puts out music on a fairly consistent basis, albums made as direct sequels to previous ones tend to have fairly sizable gaps between them:
    • Oxygène (1976) was followed up by Oxygène 7-13 in 1997 (21 years), and that got followed up with Oxygène 3 in 2016 (19 years) to commemorate the original's 40th anniversary.
    • Équinoxe (1978) didn't receive a sequel until 2018, 40 years later, with the release of Équinoxe Infinity.
  • Similarly to Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield tends to release albums fairly frequently, but his true sequel albums see long gaps between one another:
    • Tubular Bells (1973) was followed up by Tubular Bells II (1992) 19 years later, and that was followed up with Tubular Bells III (1998) six years later.
    • Ommadawn (1975) saw its first loose sequel in the form of Amarok (1990) 15 years later, and Return to Ommadawn (2017) came out 27 years after that.
  • My Bloody Valentine's third album mbv came out in 2013, over 21 years after their previous album Loveless.
  • Rap duo Black Star (consisting of Mos Def and Talib Kweli) released their second album No Fear of Time in 2022, some 24 years after their 1998 debut Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.
  • David Byrne:
  • George Harrison saw a whopping 15-year gap between the releases of Cloud Nine (1987) and Brainwashed (2002). By the time the latter came out, he had been dead for a year.
  • Arcade Fire had a five-year gap between Everything Now (2017) and WE (2022), marking their longest break between studio albums.
  • Roger Waters saw a five-year gap between Radio K.A.O.S. (1987) and Amused to Death (1992). Barring side projects, that was then followed up twenty-five years later with Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017), owed to Waters focusing more on his live act. In turn, The Dark Side of the Moon Redux (2023) came out six years after that album.
  • Porcupine Tree saw a 13-year gap between The Incident (2009) and Closure/Continuation (2022).
  • Beyoncé saw a six-year gap between Lemonade (2016) and Renaissance (2022).
  • Michael Jackson:
    • There was a six year gap between HIStory: Past, Present, and Future -- Book I (1995) and Invincible (2001), though a remix album featuring new songs, Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997), came out in the interim.
    • If one is willing to count posthumous albums, then his first posthumous album Michael (2010) came out nine years after Invincible.
  • The Avalanches saw a nearly sixteen-year gap between Since I Left You (2000) and Wildflower (2016).
  • Depeche Mode saw a six-year gap between Spirit (2017) and Memento Mori (2023).
  • Janelle Monáe saw a five-year gap between Dirty Computer (2018) and The Age of Pleasure (2023).
  • Culture Club's Don't Mind If I Do (1999) came out 13 years after From Luxury to Heartache (1986); in turn, Life (2018) came out 19 years after that.
  • David Sylvian:
    • Discounting collaborations and other side projects, Dead Bees on a Cake (1999) was his first studio album since Secrets of the Beehive (1987) 12 years prior.
    • There's a Light That Enters Houses with No Other House in Sight (2014) released five years after its predecessor, Manafon (2009), owed to Sylvian retreating further and further from the public eye as he grew older. Tellingly, Sylvian hasn't put out another album since this one came out.
  • Be Your Own Pet had no releases between 2008's Get Damaged and 2023's Mommy, leaving a 15 year gap. "Goodtime!" on the latter album actually acknowledges the time it took between the band breaking up and reuniting, with Jemina Pearl reflecting that she now has more adult responsibilities and feels like she's the only person around her who's grown up since then.
  • The Beatles:
    • 25 years passed between the release of their final studio album Let It Be (1970) and the release of their first "new" song from the Anthology project, "Free As A Bird" (1995). This is because of John Lennon's death in 1980, with the song being a Lennon demo that received additional work from the then three surviving Beatles.
    • 27 years passed between "Real Love" (1996) and "Now and Then" (2023). Like "Free as a Bird", both were Lennon demos that the rest of the band worked on for the Anthology project, yet "Now and Then" remained shelved for decades, with George Harrison having passed on in the interim in 2001. It then fell to the two remaining Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, to finish up the song with some assistance from 2020s recording technology to enhance Lennon's vocal.

  • Black Knight 2000 (1989) and Black Knight: Sword of Rage (2019) — 30 years.
    • With the gap between the original (1980) and 2000 being quite sizable itself at 9 years.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Finnish board game Star of Africa (1951) received the Mission-Pack Sequel Inkan aarre in 2005 (54 years later) and the expansion Retkikunnat in 2014 (63 years later).
  • Cyberpunk 2020 (1990) and Cyberpunk V3.0 (2005) - 15 years. When removing V3.0 from the canon, then it's 29 years between Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk RED (2019).
  • Uno (1971) and Dos (2018) - 47 years.
  • Chess (modern variant came to be around 1475) and Chess 2: The Sequel (2014) - 500+ years.
  • Game of Life (1860) and The Game of Life 2 (2020) - 160 years. If only counting the 1960 Retool of Life, which the sequel is based on, then it is 60 years.


    Web Animation 
  • Ghost Tale: Released on Halloween 2023, this animation is a follow-up and spiritual sequel to the Halloween-focused Sonic Unleashed promotional short released in 2008, Sonic: Night of the Werehog, a gap of 15 years.
  • Homestar Runner: The first Dangeresque Roomisode was released in 2008. A second game was in the works and seemed to have been cancelled when developer Telltale Games folded in 2018. The game, along with a third installment, finally made it to Steam in August 2023, nearly 15 years after the first.
  • Sonic for Hire originally ended in 2013. However, after getting picked up by Rooster Teeth following the shut down of Machinima in 2019, the show was renewed for a Post-Script Season. That's a roughly six year gap in between seasons.
  • Strong Bad Email: The longest gap between installments is the one between "videography" and "sbemail 206", at just under 5½ years.

  • The 3 Little Princesses was originally made in 2008. 10 years later, the creator began his work on parts 2 and 3 to celebrate the comic's 10th anniversary.

    Web Videos 
  • The Cinema Snob Movie was released in 2012. The sequel, Another Cinema Snob Movie, wouldn't be released until 2019, seven years later, though Craig and other characters from the first film would occasionally appear in the series during the intervening years.note 
  • The original first "season" of the Garfield parodying series, Lasagna Cat, came out in January 2008. It would take a little over 9 years for a second "season" to manifest in February 2017.
  • Vinesauce: The seventh installment of The Adventures of Mario and Luigi premiered five years after episode six.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


AVGN's Superman 64 Follow-Up

The Nerd originally reviewed Superman 64 back in 2008, where he found the game so bad he threw it into the sun. 11 years later, it comes back, and he has to examine the game even further in a follow-up review

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / SequelGap

Media sources: