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The Resolution Will Not Be Identified

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Some TV stations and programs (particularly those catering to children) will not hint at the finale of a series on the network at all. In some cases, they air the finale without referring to it as such. Other times, the last episode of a show will end with something like, "See you next time!" despite the end of the show having been established in other media, such as newspapers.

This usually happens with TV shows that will be regularly rerun by the channels that first aired them, and the most common offenders are children's networks. The line of thinking, as explained by network executives, boils down to the idea that young audiences might be turned off by the idea of their favourite getting a definitive ending: either being confused that the show is continuing to rerun despite being over or more importantly, if that show was the only reason they watched the channel, stop watching under the assumption that it would no longer be rerun. Hence the solution to this perceived dilemma being to obfuscate the fact that no more episodes are being made.

Alternatively, a show that's been Screwed by the Network may not have been planned to have been cancelled, giving no time to plan a proper finale.

This was standard operating practice in the early years of television across all programming, when the concept of the Grand Finale hadn't yet been developed.

Compare Series Fauxnale, an installment of a work which is produced as a finale in anticipation of a series coming to an end, but turns out not to be after the release of further installments.

Most shows that get Quietly Cancelled go through this trope.

The trope name is a pun on The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron.


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    PBS Kids 
Being a network that produces shows for young children, PBS Kids tends to overuse this trope, but averted it with Arthur due to the show's iconic status.
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, although in this case, homage is paid internally. The last episode features portraits of characters from both The Land of Make-Believe and the titular neighborhood itself. Also, Mr. Rogers and Mr. McFeely shake hands, something which actor David Newell saw as an opportunity to thank Rogers for having been a great colleague and friend throughout the show's run.
  • Apart from An Aesop on teamwork, The Magic School Bus "Takes a Dive" plays out like any other episode of the series, with the only clue being Miss Frizzle deciding it was time to retire at the episode's conclusion. This example graduates to being a subversion upon the sequel series The Magic School Bus Rides Again, where it's acknowledged that Miss Frizzle did indeed retire from teaching primary school, with her sister now teaching her old class.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat's Grand Finale "Mutt That Would Be King" plays out like any other episode does, though the ending implies that more was to come (the show was Cut Short as many people know).
  • Aside from the Title Drop to the show's name at the end and in spite of what the episode is called, Dragon Tales' "A Storybook Ending" plays out exactly like any other episode in the series.
  • "Red Parka Mary; Not Afraid of Dogs", the last episode of Between the Lions, does not have any End-of-Series Awareness at all.
  • Timothy Goes to School's last episode introduces Mexican student Juanita like a regular episode and hints that more is to come.
  • Shining Time Station has "How The Station Got Its Name". Aside from being about time travel, it seems to play out like a normal episode.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog ended with an episode about how Clifford met T-Bone called "Getting To Know You". Although it can be disputed that Clifford's Really Big Movie was the actual Grand Finale.
  • Not counting Season 14, which recycled older episodes, Barney & Friends ended with "Home Sweet Earth: The Rainforest", an episode about Earth Day that played out like an ordinary episode.
  • Zoboomafoo's final episode, "Brain Power", played out like a normal episode of the show.
  • Maya & Miguel ended with "I Love Maya", in which the titular character participates in a school play.
  • The final episode of Angelina Ballerina (not counting the three special episodes), "Show And Tell", plays out like a normal episode. The same goes for the finale of the sequel series Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, "Angelina and the Dragon Dance / Angelina's Opera", which also plays out like an ordinary episode.
  • The "Classic" era of Bob the Builder concluded with the episode "Bob's Big Bounce", an episode where Bob and his crew builds a trampoline for a playground. It plays out like an ordinary episode.
  • The final episode of the Redwall cartoon, "Rose of Noonvale", plays out like a regular season finale for the show (as with the season finales for Season 1 and 2) as opposed to a series finale. The odd thing is that instead of ending with tapestry shots as usual, Tim Churchmouse asks the viewer to come back soon, which implies that more was to come, but the show was cancelled afterwards.
  • The Big Comfy Couch ended with "Just Purrfect", which plays out like an ordinary episode and has a plot about Loonette and friends pretending they're cats.
  • The last episode of Caillou plays out like an ordinary episode. Not that many people actually remember how or even when it ended.
  • The last installment of the Ready Jet Go! series, the special One Small Step, set the stage for future plots, mainly concerning Mitchell finding out that the Propulsions are aliens and joining the main cast, and the Super Saucer. Months after the special aired, it was revealed that the show was canned.
  • Peg + Cat ended with "The Compost Problem / Raiders of the Lost Arch", which has no End-of-Series Awareness whatsoever.
    • Notably, the last episode in production order was "The Big Dig Problem / The Crayon Problem", the latter of which featured Peg and Cat having a Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure and walking through all the places they'd been before. Whether this was meant to be the Grand Finale (meaning this episode aired out of order) or not is unknown.
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! ended with "The Hard Weigh / The Song Flower Solution", which played out like an ordinary episode.
  • Splash and Bubbles ended with the special Pole to Pole. John Tartaglia, the creator of the series, once stated that there would be a season 2, but in 2019, revealed that the show was canned after its first and only season.
  • Even though the last episode of Lomax, the Hound of Music, "Long Legged Sailor", played out like any other episode did, the ending did imply that more was to come. Though sadly, the show was Cut Short after that and it had left one to wonder what the creators were planning to do next.
  • It's a Big Big World's final episode, "Big Book of Babies; Club Craze", played out like any other episode.
  • The series finale of Let's Go Luna! (aired first in Canada in March 2022), "Love and Harmony", plays out like an ordinary episode. Luna even says "there's always tomorrow" at the end like she always does, even though there won't be anymore "tomorrows".
  • The final episode of The Noddy Shop, "Closing Up Shop" zig-zags this. While it is about the shop closing until Noah realizes his mistake, it ends with a Sequel Hook with Truman switching the "closed" sign to open and winking at the viewer, but no further episodes were made.
  • The final episode of ZOOM played out like any other episode, though a clip from the 70s show was seen after the credits.
  • The three-part series finale of Odd Squad was, like all of their finales, heavily advertised as a two-part season finale (the two-parter in question being "Odd Together Now", the final episode of the series), and the rest of the episodes in the second half of Season 3 were dumped onto PBS Kids's video app on one day instead of being uploaded on a same-day basis, the latter of which is normally the case for new episodes of their shows. Despite this, the three episodes in question have all the traits of a Grand Finale, and no more new episodes are being made.
  • The final episode of Martha Speaks, "Martha's Holiday Surprise/"We're Powerless!" is about Martha and Skits rescuing kittens from a blizzard and the second segment is about Helen and her friends pretending to be characters from their favorite video game when a blackout hits Wagstaff City. It plays out like an ordinary episode.

    Comic Books 
  • Since 2015, Marvel Comics end its series one way or another (some even with End-of-Series Awareness), but the company will not admit it at all (up to still having titles marked ongoing on their website that didn't survive Secret Wars (2015)). So the readers' only way to foresee cancellations is advanced divination from solicit (if it's missing for one month, it might be just delayed. Missing for two? Welp, that comic is probably over). This is exactly as annoying as it sounds. To name an example, the fact that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was ending at issue #50 in November 2019 was publicized, and the four-issue finale arc it is a part of is suitably appropriate. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, meanwhile, almost — but didn't — make it that far, ending quietly at #47 in September 2019.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The season five finale was advertised as the series finale on The WB, before the final two seasons were shown on UPN.
  • Side Hustle's second season aired Out of Order, its final episode produced was the When Worlds Collide crossover and the last to air was "Yesley Day". They both play out like normal episodes, despite the former being an extra 10 minutes longer than normal. It would be quietly cancelled a few weeks after the latter airing, leaving the overarching plot unresolved.
  • The last episode of That's So Raven, despite being a Very Special Episode that discusses smoking, plays out like a fairly normal episode.
  • It is unknown what the final episode of The Good Night Show was. It most likely played out like any other episode.
  • The final episode of Llan-ar-goll-en, "Y Bowlen Grisial" plays out like an average episode of the show. It revolves around Madam Mayor unveiling a very special crystal bowl in the Village Hall when she notices it has disappeared, and Prys and Ceri are on the case. It only features a few characters as wellnote , and didn't feel like a conclusion to the 51-episode show at all, evidenced by how it was not advertised as a series finale. The show would end this way with two seasons in just two years, and it lives on in reruns.

    Puppet Shows 
  • When Bear in the Big Blue House ended, Bear and Luna still sang that the moon, the Bear and the Big Blue House would be waiting for you to come and play, and Bear still invited viewers to come back. Though there was internal homage on this one, with the episode being titled "This Is Your Life, Bear" and featuring Bear winning a special vacation.
  • The final episode of The Muppet Show, with Gene Kelly as guest star, had no indication of it being the last episode except for a Running Gag where characters mentioned the end of the world. It also ended with Kermit saying "We'll see you next time on The Muppet Show!" as usual.
  • Tweenies concluded with "What Makes Summer?", wherein Max and the Tweenies make a summer collage. It plays out like an ordinary episode.
  • LazyTown ended with "Mystery of the Pyramid", wherein Stephanie and the kids explore a pyramid that appears in LazyTown. It had no indication of it being the series finale, and also ended with Stephanie singing "Bing Bang" and a post-"Bing Bang" skit with Robbie Rotten as usual.
  • The final episode of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, "Cat's Play", ended with the Cat in the Hat singing "Just Shout Hooray" as usual for the season 2 episodes. The song includes the Cat telling the viewers that he'll "have some new surprises in my hat for you", implying this time that more was to come, but the show was cancelled soon afterwards.

    Western Animation 
  • This was formerly company policy of Nickelodeon. Finales were proposed before, the most infamous being the never-completed finale of The Angry Beavers, but they were shot down. This was officially broken in 2007, with the Finale Movie of Danny Phantom, Phantom Planet.
  • Mighty Max: When told that they could not make a real resolution for the purposes of reruns, the writers got around this through loophole abuse. They wrote a Grand Finale, but to comply with this executive mandate, this final showdown against the Big Bad ends with Max getting sent back in time to relive the series over again, albeit now with the knowledge needed to successfully defeat the villain.
  • The final episode of Blazing Dragons, "Quest to Success / Slay the Dragon", plays out like an ordinary episode.
  • Not counting the 1992 Christmas special Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas, Inspector Gadget concluded with a three parter where Gadget's accomplishments are celebrated by the city. After thwarting M.A.D's anniversary capers, Doctor Claw decides to recruit former master criminals from a retirement home to take out Gadget. Two of those agents are elderly ladies who lure Gadget into a trap pretending to be his fan club, and even after they're arrested Gadget still believes they're his biggest fans. The episode ends with Gadget proudly saying he owes everything to his fans, and holding an autographed picture up to the viewer, which winks. The series then concludes with "Gadget and the Red Rose", which involves one of the first criminals Gadget ever thwarted (as an infant no less), who tries to locate and utilise an old weapon against him. It plays out like an ordinary episode, and even though the retirement home for the criminals is raided by police at the end of the story arc, Doctor Claw escapes to fight another day. The Inspector Gadget franchise would go on to have several sequel series over several decades depicting the next stages in Gadget's fight against Claw.
  • The Get Along Gang ended with "That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles / Snowbound Showdown", the first short involves the Gang trying to sell cookies and the second short involves the Gang partaking in the winter fun in Green Meadow's park. It plays out like an ordinary episode.
  • At the end of every episode of Guess with Jess, Jess tells the viewers to help him answer another question soon. This was even said in the final episode, even though the show was cancelled afterwards.
  • The final episodes of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, written as a series finale, were simply advertised as a multi-part special by Cartoon Network. Series creator Ian Jones-Quartey, as well as others working on the show, had already revealed to fans that the series was ending months prior.
  • When The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack was suddenly cancelled, a Grand Finale was hastily-written, featuring a live-action segment with creator Thurop Van Orman (as K'nuckles) and his son (as Flapjack) riding on Bubbie, with the trio leaving the show's setting of Stormalong Harbor for good to find a new place to live. This final episode would end up airing completely unadvertised, with the only people who were even aware that a new episode would be airing that night (much less the final one) being those who were subscribed to Van Orman's DeviantArt page and saw a post about it earlier that day.
  • Invoked by [adult swim] in Aqua Teen Hunger Force's last season, combining this trope with Conclusion in Another Medium: The Last One Forever and Ever (For Real This Time) (We Fucking Mean It) was the normally-advertised Grand Finale and aired on August 23rd. Then, [adult swim] discreetly released the true final episode, The Greatest Story Ever Told, online just three days later, retroactively turning the other one into a Series Fauxnale. Then, they aired The Greatest Story on television in the show's normal timeslot a few days later, hiding it by identifying it in TV listings as a rerun of Mouth Quest, the first episode of the season.
  • We Bare Bears: There was no indication given that the fourth season of the show would be its last, with We Bare Bears: The Movie serving as the show's Grand Finale. Oddly enough, despite getting a proper finale, fans were still Left Hanging in regards to the "Icy Nights" storyline and how the supposedly dead daughter of Ice Bear's Parental Substitute turned out to be alive.
  • Rainbow Brite concluded with "The Queen of the Sprites", an episode where the Dark Princess from the Star Stealer film returns for another showdown with Rainbow Brite in a bid to become Queen of the Sprites and take over Rainbow Land. Despite how the plot sounds, it plays out like an ordinary episode.
  • Apart from the ending having the titular character wave goodbye to the audience, the final episode of The Buzz on Maggie played out like an ordinary episode.
  • The final episode of T.O.T.S. plays out like a normal episode, with the final segment focusing on one of Mr. Woodbird's inventions making almost all of the staff of the titular organization break out in song.
  • The Fairly OddParents!' final season was aired wildly Out of Order, but its final episode in production order was "Fancy Schmancy" and its final episode to air was "The Kale Patch Caper". Both of them play out like regular episodes.
  • Zigzagged by Rocko's Modern Life. While the final segment produced was "Future Schlock" (which the special Static Cling, which wasn't made until 20 years after the show ended, picked up from), the last one to air was "Floundering Fathers", which played out like a regular episode. That episode aired last because it was paired with a Thanksgiving episode that Nickelodeon wanted to delay until the actual holiday.
  • The final episode of Growing Up Creepie, "Wanna Bee / The Haunting of Tiki Lagoon", played out like an ordinary episode.
  • As pointed out by Platypus Comix, the final episode of Club Mario ended like this, with Tommy Treehugger saying "We'll see you next Monday on Club Mario!", even during the final broadcast of the show, when most networks that aired the show dropped it.
  • The final episode of My Goldfish is Evil, "Jetstream Adventures" is about Beanie having a dream about himself as the hero of his favorite movie series while falling asleep watching a marathon of it during a sleepover with Elwood. No implication was made it would be the last episode and the series never ended with Beanie stopping Bubbles once and for all and exposing the fact that he is an evil genius to the town.
  • The final episode of Dan Vs. "Dan Vs. Summer Camp" is a Whole Episode Flashback about how Dan and Chris met as kids at summer camp. It plays out like an ordinary episode. (it should be noted that the show was going to get another season, but it ended up cancelled for reasons unknown)