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aka: Short Runner

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The polar opposite to Long-Runners are, as you may expect, shows that were canned so quickly that few people remember them. They may have lasted one season, two at most, but no matter how much they were advertised are eventually forgotten. Some of the more unfortunate ones don't even last one episode.

One possible Trope Codifier is the 1969 ABC sketch show Turn-On, which was considered awful and controversial — for its time, anywaynote . A number of ABC's affiliates dropped it at the first commercial break, and it was effectively canned before the premiere finished airing. Other affiliates either aired the entire show and then pulled it or didn't air it at all and replaced it with better programming, like a documentary on gun safety.

They may have not even gotten a TV Tropes page until someone suddenly remembered it existed. Some of them may have been mediocre or downright terrible. Or they could have suffered Seasonal Rot during the second season after having a great first season. Or they might have cost too much for their network. It gets worse if the short-lived show never got reruns, sharply decreasing the likelihood that there are tapes to circulate.

The Other Wiki has an article on single-episode runs.

When the show has this many episodes but is successful, that's British Brevity. When the show ends naturally with this many episodes, that's a Mini Series or 12-Episode Anime.

Supertrope of Second Season Downfall and One-Episode Wonder. Compare Short-Lived, Big Impact, which is where a show has a short run, but well-remembered. See Failed Pilot Episode for an index on pilots that never went anywhere.

The podcast Canceled Too Soon specializes in covering these shows as well as other TV curiosities. Compare Too Good to Last.

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    Web Animation Short-Runners 

    Western Animation Short-Runners 

    Short-Runners in Other Media 
Anime & Manga

Asian Animation


Comic Books

Game Shows

  • You Don't Know Jack while a long runner when counting the games, the gameshow version only got six episodes.

Newspaper Comics



Theme Parks


  • Flick-to-Stick Bungees - The European version lasted for two series between 2012 to 2013. The American version fared even worse at only one series.

Video Games

  • The Virtual Boy; which lasted less than a year and received only about a dozen games in the US (if you include Japanese games, it almost reaches two dozen).
  • The Learning Voyage series of PC/Mac edutainment games by Davidson & Associates/Learningways, Inc. There were only two games in the series, released in 1998. Trademarks were filed in 1997 and abandoned in 1999. While it is still used in Classworks, it's not known by that name to those who play it; it's just "That game where you play as a shark and eat fish with words on them" or "That game where you dunk a clown by choosing fact or opinion".
  • BEMANI games each usually get sequels that include interface, songlist, and gameplay updates, with pop'n music having the most arcade versions of any game at 27, but two infamously only lasted one version each before being retired: Mambo A Go Go and pop'n stage; both games were released before the advent of the eAMUSEMENT network and online updates that keep versions fresh even as they age.note  To be fair, pop'n stage is a spinoff of pop'n music, but that it got a unique cabinet yet only used that cabinet for a single release cements it firmly into this trope.


  • Omoriboy: The comic began at the end of 2011 and continued into March of 2012.
  • Vampire Girl: The first season ran from 2011 to 2012 with only a total of seventeen strips... then the second season ran from 2022 to 2023 with an additional thirty-five strips.
  • Wishful Thinking: The Object Show curse prevails when the creator completely ghosted the comic after two chapters and an interlude.

Web Videos

    Short-Runners Without a TV Tropes Page 

Alternative Title(s): Short Runner