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Unfinished Episode

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This is when an episode for a TV series has made it past the idea stage to enter production, but ultimately ends up not making it all the way through due to various complications. The most common is "the show was cancelled before it could be completed", but other roadblocks that can lead to unfinished episodes include, but aren't limited to: writers'/actors'/directors' strikes, a tragedy that makes the news and turns the episode into a Harsher in Hindsight moment, budget restraints, and issues with cast and key crew members). In some ways, this can be considered a Missing Episode; the difference being that a Missing Episode has at least been fully completed before being shelved or lost. Meanwhile, this trope has an episode that may have been in any stage of production prior to its final state. Depending on the medium, this can range from just having a draft of the script, to having storyboards, to having dialogue recorded/footage filmed, or even "only" requiring music and sound effects.

A Sub-Trope of What Could Have Been. Compare Missing Episode and Banned Episode for similar cases of episodes that either didn't air or had limited airing due to production-related reasons. Also compare Development Hell and Vaporware, for when an episode, film, project, or any other product is not officially cancelled, but doesn't seem likely to ever be finished.

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Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Peter David's final issue of The Incredible Hulk is a Distant Finale with a Daily Bugle reporter talking to Hulk's sidekick Rick Jones about various stories that had happened. These plots would have been written had David not quit the series over creative differences with executives.
  • The last issue of Boris The Bear includes teasers and cover art for upcoming issues, but no more were produced.
  • An unpublished Howard the Duck story by Steve Gerber would have established the non-Gerber written Howard the Duck stories as creations by the Krylorian Chireep, much like the Rampaging Hulk stories were retconned to being the work of the Krylorian Bereet.
  • A Justice League/Avengers crossover was created 20 years before JLA/Avengers came out. The script was completed and George Pérez started illustrating it but then Marvel and DC had a falling out. By the time they reconciled enough to try again the cast lineups and universe history changes necessitated scrapping the original script and starting from scratch.
  • Rumor has it that had Mark Millar not defected to Marvel Comics, there would have been one more arc of The Authority in which the team battles against Jesus Christ.
  • There were plans for The Little Mermaid comics to expand on Ariel's mother. It was scrapped for being too dark. The character was later expanded on in Ariel's Beginning, the third movie, but vastly different. In the comic, dubbed Portrait of Life, her name was Atlanta and she befriended a human named Duncan. She dies saving Duncan from an avalanche Triton made. In the movie her name is Athena and she dies by being crushed by a ship, saving her oldest daughter.
  • The Tintin album The Alph-Art was never finished due to Hergé's death. At least three major attempts were made by fan artists to finish the story, including one by Yves Rodier, though none has ever been considered canon.
  • Dreamwave's bankruptcy and closure put a halt to the Transformers: Generation One and Energon ongoing series, as well as leaving the miniseries The War Within: Age of Wrath (3 out of 6) and Transformers/G.I. Joe: Divided Front (only 1 out of 6) unfinished. Beast Wars: Shell Game didn't even get a single issue finished, although Simon Furman would recycle elements of the planned story into Beast Wars: The Gathering for IDW. A complete list of books that had been solicited and/or planned can be found on here.
    • "Comic 12.5" of the Ignition series never got finished, though the script was made available online. It was just a short filler story anyway.
    • Graphic Novel #10: Power of the Great Beings was to be the second graphic novel with fully original content, but it never got beyond having its cover designed. It got cancelled when the two previous graphic novels produced poor sales, concurrently with the toy-line ending.
  • The Valiant Comics Unity 2000 mini-series was going to cross over and merge the VH1 and VH2 universes, and a third universe would be introduced and destroyed, showing potential ideas from before the VH2 era. The mini-series was cancelled before its resolution, ending at issue #3 of 6.
  • The original version of Nightwing #30 from the New 52 series, written by James Tynion IV, depicting Nightwing's fake funeral in the aftermath of his "death" in Forever Evil (2013). This version got as far as being pencilled and inked before it was scrapped entirely; scans of the pages without colouring or lettering can be found online. It would have been the prelude to a relaunch of the Nightwing title, also written by Tynion – when DC abandoned the relaunch and greenlit Grayson instead, the issue was replaced by a new Nightwing #30 by Grayson writers Tim Seeley and Tom King.

    Fan Works 
  • The Pokémon Squad has had countless episodes that had been scrapped for one reason or another. Common reasons included either a simple lack of plans, potentially offensive/controversial content, requiring Out of Character Moments in order to work, or for being a rehash of an existing episode.
    • In particular, there were three episodes created for Season 7 called "Sailor Pikachu Gets Put on a Bus", "The Exiting", and "The End", which were meant to bring the series to an end because RM and Sailor Pikachu couldn't come up with any new ideas. However, they soon managed to come up with more ideas, cancelled the ending episodes, and created "We Lied!" and "Sailor 'Chu R" in response. However, those were cancelled as well because since the ending was scrapped, those two episodes had no reason to exist either.

    Film — Animated 
  • The fifth BIONICLE Direct to Video movie was scrapped along with the toy series (and the planned sixth film). The story writer shared a potential early plot synopsis online, though it's not considered canon.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Ivan the Terrible Part III has a complete script, but its production was stopped by the political troubles that held up the release of Part II, and Died During Production put an end to plans to resume it.
  • There were several planned films in the Carry On... Series that were due to be created but many never saw past the scriptwriting.
    • What a Carry On, planned for 1961, no details known.
    • Carry On Smoking was planned to be released in 1961 that was set in a fire station, which had a plot similar to Carry On Constable, but there has been no reason given to why it was scrapped.
    • Carry On Again Nurse was attempted to be brought back a couple of times — the first attempt became Carry On Doctor. The second attempt came in 1979, after the series left Rank Films and moved to Hemdale. A completed script had been written by George Layton and Jonathan Lynn in 1977. It was cancelled due to the financial loss of Carry On Emmannuelle. The third and final attempt came in 1988, with a script written by Norman Hudis. It was to revolve around a hospital set for closure, and set to star original actors Barbara Windsor, Jack Douglas, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Connor, and Joan Sims, with Sims filling in the role of matron that was previously held by Hattie Jacques. The end of the film was going to be a tribute to Jacques, with Sims turning around a photograph of the actress and asking "Well, did I do alright?" Production was scheduled to begin in June 1988, but the deaths of Williams and Hawtrey, combined with a budget of £1.5 million which was deemed too expensive, proved to be the end of the film and it was cancelled.
    • Carry On Flying was abandoned in 1962, which was about RAF recruits — presumably a bit like Carry On Constable.
    • Carry On, Spaceman was to be released shortly after Carry On Regardless, in 1961. It was scripted by Norman Hudis, and was to satirise interests in the Space Race from the Western world's point of view. The cast was to consist of three would-be astronauts who constantly bungled on their training and their mission into outer space – most likely the trio would have been played by the trinity of Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, and Leslie Phillips that had been established in Carry On Constable. Attempts to revive it in 1962 under Denis Gifford, again by Hudis, failed, and the project was subsequently abandoned.
    • Carry On Robin, a planned spoof of Robin Hood was outlined by Gerald Rogers and registered with the British Film Producers Association in 1965, but never pursued.
    • Carry On Escaping. Scripted by Talbot Rothwell in 1973, a spoof of World War II escape films.
    • Carry On Dallas was written in 1980 and casting offers made to Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Jack Douglas, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtrey and Jim Dale. The production was abandoned when Lorimar Productions demanded a royalty fee of 20 times the total production budget.
    • Carry On Down Under. In 1981, Gerald Thomas did some location scouting while on holiday in Australia and spoke to the Australian Film Commission. The production was abandoned when finance fell through.
  • James Bond:
    • When it was clear that Roger Moore was serious about retiring from the role, the original plan for the 15th film in the series (and the 25th anniversary) was to be a prequel. In the original version, a twenty-something James Bond teams up with a senior agent named Burton Trevor on a mission to infiltrate the jungle compound of a Chinese warlord named Kwang. Trevor would die helping Bond escape, Bond would hunt down and kill Kwang and subsequently be promoted to the Double-0 section, taking Trevor's old number "007". The story would end with Bond getting the mission for Dr. No. Albert R. Broccoli rejected this, claiming that no-one wanted to see James Bond as a rookie. Despite Broccoli's wishes to the contrary, Casino Royale (2006) would depict Bond as a newly-promoted 00 agent.
    • Had Licence to Kill not underperformed at the American box office, Timothy Dalton would have done a third film. It would have been called The Property of a Lady and would be about an attack on a Scottish nuclear facility that threatens to set off World War III and Bond’s efforts to stop it taking him to Tokyo and Hong Kong. It would also feature Bond’s battles with another 00-Section spy, Denholm Crisp (played by Anthony Hopkins), who had been his mentor but had become a traitor. Legal disputes prevented it from being made and during the long hiatus, Dalton moved on.
    • A treatment was written for a fourth film with Dalton, Reunion with Death, which would have been set in Japan and featured Leila Ponsonby, Bond's secretary from the novels.
  • Peter Sellers planned to star in a sixth official The Pink Panther film - The Romance of the Pink Panther as a Grand Finale to the series. It would have seen Clouseau fall in love with a jewel thief named "The Frog" played by Pamela Stephenson and turn evil. Due to hostility between Sellers and Blake Edwards, Sidney Poitier would have directed the film. Two drafts were written before Sellers' death, each with different endings. Edwards attempted to replace Sellers first with Dudley Moore (who turned it down due to not wanting to fill Sellers' shoes) and then with Rowan Atkinson (who was rejected for not being well-known enough) before deciding to take a different route with Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther.
  • Confessions of a... Series: A fifth and a sixth film, Confessions of a Plumber's Mate and Confessions of a Private Soldier, had been planned in 1977. Filming was set to begin on Plumber's Mate at the end of February 1978. Robin Askwith even expressed a desire to direct Private Soldier, but neither film materialised (the former became Adventures of a Plumber's Mate). In November 1977 the studio cancelled plans for future films. Columbia Pictures president David Begelman, who had been very supportive of the British film industry and who had green-lit the first film, had been implicated in a cheque-forging scandal and either quit or was fired. His successor had no interest in financing low-budget, profitable British films.
    • Producer Michael Klinger rejected a script based on Confessions from a Haunted House. Plans to shoot a Direct to Video film in the 1980s also came to nothing, as did a proposed 1992 film, Confessions of a Squaddie, which was proposed with action due to take place in post-Gulf War Kuwait.
  • A film based on Saturday Night Live's "Bill Swerski's Superfans" sketch was planned for the early 90's and even had a full script finished. The plot involved the Superfans dealing with a businessman who doesn’t understand football (to be played by Martin Short) buying the Chicago Bears and turning Soldier Field into a luxury stadium for the rich, a satire of the rapid corporatization of professional sports happening during this time. The movie was put on hold after the box office failures of It's Pat and Stuart Saves His Family and Chris Farley's death in 1997 cancelled it for good. The remaining cast members eventually held a live reading of the screenplay in 2010 as a charity event (with Horatio Sanz reading for Farley's character).

  • Seeker Bears: A tie-in manga called Lusa's Tale was meant to be released; it got far enough that it had cover art released. However, it was cancelled when Tokyopop closed its North American operations.
  • Warrior Cats: There was to be a guidebook called Allegiances of the Clans, about the political, friendly, and romantic relationships in the Clans; however, this was cancelled by the publisher for unknown reasons. Secrets of the Clans was also to contain a short story about Fernpaw and Ashpaw leading the dogs to the gorge, but this didn't make it into the actual book.
  • BIONICLE Legends 7: Invasion was only partially written before being cancelled due to poor sales. Then, the writer's computer crashed, deleting it for good.

  • Hancock's Half Hour: The eleventh episode of series 3 was originally supposed to be a new episode, "The Counterfeiter", about Bill Kerr getting a job. The script was completed but not used, and was replaced with a now-lost remake of a first-series episode "Cinderella Hancock". Along with new versions of the missing episodes, the unused script was recorded in 2019 as part of The Missing Hancocks.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • A series of post-launch DLCs were planned for Final Fantasy XV in 2019 (two years after the game's launch), comprised of four episodes, that would've depicted a happier alternate ending to the main game. However, due to the departure of game director Hajime Tabata from Square Enix, only the first of these four stories, titled "Episode Ardyn" got made into an actual DLC for the game while the rest (Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafleya, and Episode Noctis) were told through a novel titled Dawn of the Future.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was planned to feature an additional mission titled "Kingdom of the Flies" that would've resolved a loose plot thread from the main story namely the whereabouts of Eli and his child mercenaries after they escape from Mother Base by hijacking Sahelanthropus. This mission was not included in the base game, but was planned to be added as post-launch DLC, but Hideo Kojima's departure from Konami resulted in such plans never coming to fruition and instead a bonus Blu-ray disc packaged with the limited edition of the game depict the events of said mission through a video comprised of unfinished cutscenes and concept art.

    Web Animation 
  • Battle For Dream Island Again Epidode 6 was presumably incomplete at the time of cancellation because only 1 scene is animated while the rest of the deleted scenes are pure audio.
  • The Bedfellows web series had some episode proposals posted on the FurAffinity account "shenanigans" (where the original webcomic originated), where certain posts consisted of a storyboard draft (many of which have the later panels covered up with black boxes) and the description for each requested users to vote on whether the episode would be animated. Episodes that didn't get enough votes to finish production include "Pregnancy" (where Fatigue is pregnant), "Police" (where Sheen gets charged for Domestic Abuse and Fatigue defends him by assuring the cop that Sheen will eventually tire himself out), "Bus" (where Sheen complains about a couple publicly displaying their affections while he's riding the bus), "Hygene" (where Fatigue annoys Sheen by reminding him to apply a creme to his itchy butt), "Gay" (where Fatigue comes crying to Sheen after being mocked by a pair of homophobes) and "Beauty" (where Fatigue gets a pearl necklace from their mother and demands Sheen compliment how pretty they are).

  • Nebula: The Mercury comic, which never ended up formally published due to a Troubled Production and is not official canon. It was quietly released on a side-blog, and remains an interesting look at the comic in varying stages of development (ranging from "completely done but not colored in yet" to "a bunch of red scribbles").

    Web Original 
  • Steve D'Monster has a few of these, and most were the result of a number of artistic and/or technical difficulties.
    • "Steveazoid," which was being written for the third season, was a Formula-Breaking Episode, in that it was going to be an animated episode that was both a tribute to and a parody of Freakazoid!, however, all of the original source material was somehow wiped out from the external drive they were stored on.
    • One episode intended for Season Six was to parody pine beetle PSAs that say to burn firewood where you buy, by having Steve accidentally set fire to a grocery store because that's where he bought his firewood and that's where he had to burn it. It was ultimately never produced because of then-unsuitable editing programs that weren't able to properly chromakey blue or green screen.
    • Both the six-part "Steve Inefficient Christmas" (from Season Six) and "A Day at the Gym" (Season Seven) were ultimately shelved in the end; the former because the computer used for post-production edited had its sound destroyed by a virus, the latter because it required extensive on-location filming and property owners were not generous with time. While "Steve's Inefficient Christmas" never made it beyond pre-production, some of "A Day at the Gym" had been filmed and is available for viewing.
    • One unproduced episode that was intended to be one of the final episodes had Steve find what he believes to be a $50 bill, and trying to haggle with a diner into letting him have $50 worth of desserts, only to find out that the $50 bill was actually a brochure for an insurance company.
    • Towards the end of Season Six, an Easter Episode was written where Steve goes on an easter egg hunt, by going to the library and hunting down Easter Egg; creator Joseph Scarbrough scrapped the idea on the grounds that it somewhat defeated the purpose of Easter Egg as a character, and figuring that any local library would probably not give him permission to film the entry.
  • Part 2 of Naruto: The Abridged Movie has been scripted and at least some of the voices have been recorded for years, but given the reception to Part 1, is unlikely to ever be finished.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd had this with Secret Scout on the NES.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time has a number of scrapped episodes known from the series pitch (which seemingly didn't go any farther than synopses) and for the first season (which had concept art, but not storyboards or recording). Many of the ideas from the latter were eventually incorporated into different episodes.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has some episodes from season one that were scrapped for unknown reasons (leaving the season with 36 episodes instead of the planned 40; the final season had four extra episodes to compensate for that) and one from the second season was abandoned partway because they realized it would go over budget (the season still ultimately had 40 episodes as planned). Two from the first season that were scrapped were named "The Mom" and "The Pizza", while the second season episode was called "The Rex." The latter is the only one with anything known about the actual episodenote . It's not known whether or not season three's "The Mothers"note  and "The Pizza"note  are the same as the scrapped episodes—even the show's creator has forgotten.
  • Dialogue was recorded for The Angry Beavers series finale titled "Bye Bye Beavers", but it was never finished or aired, as per a rule stating that Nickelodeon series finales should not have self-referential humor about the series' end. One of the network executives did think it was funny enough to break that rule, but the episode still got the axe because it ended with the Beavers going to Cartoon Heaven, which was thought to be too sad for kids, despite the fact that the Beaver shout "April Fools!" at the end. It was supposed to be paired with an episode called "A Tale of Two Rangers", of which no trace exists.
  • The banned Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Boston" which was intended to open the 5th season, but was rejected by [adult swim] from being able to air before the creators could finish it to avoid controversies surrounding the 2007 Boston Bomb Scare caused by a promotion surrounding the show's Big Damn Movie using LED lights, leaving portions of the episode not fully animated (which is quite baffling for a show well-known for its intentionally cheesy animation).
  • Batman: The Animated Series: A few unmade episodes are known:
    • "Midnight", in which Batman is captured by a drug lord who will auction him off at midnight, leaving Robin to play detective and find where Batman is and save him. (It's unknown why this was unmade, seeing as how it gave Robin a starring role, something the network had been constantly asking for.)
    • "Mind Games", in which Hugo Strange wipes Batman, Robin, and Alfred's memories of their crime fighting ways, allowing for the villains to go on a crime spree. They soon rediscover their identities with the help of Leslie Thompkins and Batman and Robin go out to stop Strange and get their memories back. The ending would've had Hugo Strange lobotomized, somewhat similar to his fate in The Batman.
    • Another unmade episode that has yet to be named was about Batman infiltrating Blackgate Prison to stop a crime boss called Mr. Big from raising an army from inside the prison; in the end, Riddler would have saved Batman, saying that "as long as he can help it, a few lowly jailbirds won't defeat the Dark Knight."
    • Another one included Robin being forced to become more responsible and save Batman's life as Poison Ivy's toxin slowly kills him.
    • Another episode involved Bruce Wayne and a bunch of rich people being hypnotized by a magician called The Mad Maestro.
    • And yet another unmade episode concerned a friend of Bruce Wayne's turning out to be a sadistic hunter who captures Catwoman and attempts to hunt her down.
    • An adaptation of the classic story "Night of the Stalker" (where Batman mercilessly stalks a gang of robbers through the woods for killing a couple in front of their son) was planned but never filmed. Show artist Darwyn Cooke later used the idea for a short story called "Deja Vu" in his issue of the Solo anthology. Cooke noted the line "Heh. That Starks. What the character." after Starks throws both him and Batman off a cliff seemingly to their deaths was actually written by Bruce Timm during the brainstorming sessions for the idea.
  • At least three such episodes are known from Beast Wars. The most famous is Dark Glass, a planned Season 3 episode which would have detailed Rattrap's attempts to upload the memories of the original Dinobot into Dinobot II, thus partially filling in a major Plot Hole in the Series Finale. It is believed to have been scrapped because the story was too dark and not action-packed enough, although the writers have, likely due to misremembering, at times suggested other reasons. Two other unproduced episodes were given the working titles A Greater Ape and "Bitch Wars" — the former was about Optimus believing himself to be a real gorilla, even joining a group of them, and was cancelled because of CGI limitations; the latter was to be Girl's Night Out Episode but the concept didn't make much sense.
  • Classic Disney Shorts
    • After the 1934 short Orphans' Benefit received a Technicolor remake in 1941, the studio made plans to remake more of their earlier shorts before the decision was reversed following the widespread outbreak of World War 2. At that time, a remake of Mickey's Man Friday was well into production.
    • In 1951, Disney shelved an in-production short titled Plight of the Bumble Bee, in which Mickey Mouse becomes the manager of an opera-singing bee. A complete workprint, with rough animation and dialogue track, still exists and was screened at the 2009 D23 Expo.
    • Another nearly-completed Mickey short that got shelved was The Talking Dog, in which Mickey tries to save Pluto when he is picked up by Pete for a "talking dog" ventriloquist act.
  • The Father of the Pride episode "The Lost Tale" was not finished when the show got cancelled, and thus is included on the DVD in animatic form.
  • Fraidy Cat had 12 finished episodes that were released from September 1975 to November 1975. 6 more episodes were planned but were scrapped, which include:
    • Double Trouble would have involved Fraidy taking care of two twin kittens after the box they were in fell out of a truck.
    • Fraidy Gone Fishin' was planned to have Fraidy going fishing at a lake, but after multiple attempts, he falls into a fish truck.
    • Culture Schlock, Unlucky Fraidy, This Cat for Hire, and Fraidy Come Home have no official synopsis.
  • Twenty-one planned episodes of the second season of Invader Zim were unfinished at the time of its cancellation. Of these, seven were far enough along in production to have audio and storyboards included in the Zim's House Box Set DVD release (but not, ironically, in the so-called "Complete Invasion" Box Set).
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Bob Clampett was in production on a short titled For He's a Jolly Good Fala, which would have been about President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his dog Fala, before FDR's death caused the project to be scrapped. It is rumored that some of the completed footage was used in Chuck Jones' short Fresh Airedale.
    • Three other cartoons that were never finished were discovered in November 2013 in a list of MPAA certificates: A Bugs Bunny short called "Lay On, MacBugs", a Daffy Duck short called "Daffy's Aunt Sam", and a Snow White parody called "Snow-White Dwarfs". Nothing is known about these shorts aside from the fact that the Daffy short was going to be made during the De Patie Freleng Enterprises era. However, it can be inferred from their MPAA numbers that the other two were planned during the mid-to-late-1950s, as that's when their closest neighbours in numerical order were released.
    • Warner Bros. planned to create a series of new theatrical Looney Tunes shorts produced by Larry Doyle, but the project ended up being cancelled. Why? Well, six shorts were completed, and then the higher-ups at Warner Bros. sat down to watch them and hated them, so they cancelled the project and fired Larry Doyle. They still planned on releasing the six shorts in theaters, but decided against it after Looney Tunes: Back in Action bombed at the box-office. Shorts that DIDN'T get made include "Dancing Pepe" (a chipmunk with a head cold falls in love with Pepe Le Pew in a nightclub), "A Very Daffy Christmas" (Daffy finds himself at the North Pole while flying south for the winter), "What's Hip, Doc?" (Bugs is saved from Elmer by a fashion model who then attempts to cut off his tail), "Duck Suped" (Daffy gets super powers), "The Pig Stays in the Picture" (Porky tries to find a movie that his whole family can enjoy), "Badda Bugs" (Bugs faces off against mobsters), "Presidental Tweet" (Sylvester sneaks into the White House to eat the President's pet bird), and "Guess Who's Coming to Meet the Parents" (Bugs brings a squirrel home to meet his mother).
    • Before the original studio shut down in 1969 during the Seven Arts-era, several new characters were created, meaning there were still shorts in the planning phase; notably, Rabbit Stew and Rabbits, Too! was meant to be the first in a series. However, the studio was shuttered shortly after Injun Trouble was released, meaning none of these planned shorts were ever finished.
  • When Mission Hill was cancelled, there were five episodes in varying stages of production. One, "Pretty in Pink (or Crap Gets in Your Eye)", has a full animatic, at least one, "To Grandmother's House We Go (or Freaky Weekend in the Crappy Crudwagon)", has a partial animation and the rest exist only as scripts.
  • Season three of Moral Orel was originally supposed to have 20 episodes; however, due to [adult swim] cancelling the show partway through the season's production due to its overwhelmingly dark content, only 13 of the planned episodes were aired. However, some of the episodes that didn't make it to air had already been written, leaving them unfinished. Two of these episodes include "Abstinence", which was eventually animated with crude models and released online, and "Raped", the script for which was released on Dino Stamatopoulos' Myspace blog.
  • According to Lauren Faust, there was going to be an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic where Applejack and Rainbow Dash stumble upon a pony who belonged to a deer family, hence thinking he was a deer; the focus of the episode was whether or not the girls should tell him about his true self or just let him be who he wants.
  • Prior to John Kricfalusi's firing, several more episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show had been scripted for Season Three by Spumco's staff. Some were produced into episodes of the Games Animation seasons and the "Adult Party Cartoon" revival, though often retooled to some degree. In addition, at least nine episodes were scheduled for Adult Party, however Kricfalusi's second firing led to its cancellation after only six episodes. Among the three planned episodes, "Life Sucks" had already been storyboarded and its dialogue recorded.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Stark Raving Dad", where Homer meets a big, bald mental patient who looks, acts, and is voiced by Michael Jackson (under a pseudonym due to contractual stipulations) was supposed to have a Sequel Episode where that same big, bald mental patient now thinks he's Prince and encourages everyone in town to be free and open with their sexualities. Because Prince refused to do it (after penning the script, which was considered too out-there for network TV), that script is now the only Simpsons episode that has been written, but never produced.
    • An episode called "Thirtysimpsons" was written for season 3, but never produced. It would have been a crossover with thirtysomething. Bill Oakley also revealed that there was an season 8 episode that would have parodied Scientology with Lisa joining the religion. The script was written by George Meyer, but the episode was never produced due to fear of the Church of Scientology suing, as well as potentially offending cast members such as Nancy Cartwright (though that didn't stop Trey Parker and Matt Stone from doing the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet", which not only got them in trouble with Scientologynote , but also led to Isaac Hayes leaving the show).
    • "Homer's Phobia" was also going to be called "Lisa Goes to Camp," where Lisa gets into kitsch culture, and Bart does the same thing, only for Homer to worry that Bart will end up gay.
    • There was supposed to be a season seven episode that dealt with racism called "Homer vs. Dr. Hibbert," but the writers ditched it after realizing how heavy-handed and preachy it was.
    • There are unused scripts titled "Homer's Sexual Fantasy", "Homer Privately Tells Bart That He Loves Him Best", "Homer the Narcoleptic", "Amusement Park" and "Homer's $1000 Suit". Nothing is known about their plots, although the concept of Homer being a narcoleptic would be revisited in "Every Man's Dream".
  • Story plans had already been made for a third season of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), in which Naugus and Snively would take turns as Big Bad and Tails would develop into a main character. ABC ensured the series would never last past two seasons.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants had two episodes from Season 9 that never made it past the storyboard phase: "SpaceBob InvaderPants" and "Krabs' Army". While the latter's plot is unknown, the former had a similar plot to Season 8's "Planet of the Jellyfish". According to Vincent Waller, they were scrapped because the crew felt they weren't worth viewers' time.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The series' original cancellation in 2013 led to many episodes left unfinished. Two story arcs, "The Bad Batch" and "Crystal Crisis on Utapau", were shown at conventions and posted on the official Star Wars website in their unfinished form. One arc was adapted into the comic Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, and another was adapted into the novel Dark Disciple. Dave Filoni also shared details and brief animatic clips of various other works in progress at conventions. Eventually, after the show was uncancelled, its seventh and final season was made up of two unmade arcs (Ahsoka in the Underworld and the Siege of Mandalore) and a completed version of the Bad Batch arc.
  • When Sunday Pants (an obscure anthology series from Cartoon Network) was cancelled, there were two episodes still in production that never got finished. While the six other unaired episodes managed to be located, these two are lost and their contents are unknown.
  • SWAT Kats was canceled so abruptly that three episodes were left unfinished; they were storyboarded and the voice tracks were recorded, but they were never animated. More information (but not much) is available here.
  • Several other adaptations of The Railway Series stories were planned during the early seasons of Thomas & Friends:
    • The second season was supposed to feature an adaptation of "The Missing Coach". Half the episode's footage was filmed, however mid way through production the story was considered too complicated for young audiences so canned (leaving missing plot points in Donald and Douglas' introductory story as a result).
    • An adaptation of "Gordon Goes Foreign" was planned during Season Three, though low budgets prevented them being able to produce the story's original scenery and characters.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: The episode "The Return to the Acme Acres Zone" was to have featured a short titled Hi, Spirits that would have been written and animated by John Kricfalusi and his team at Spumco, while they were waiting for Nickelodeon to greenlight The Ren & Stimpy Show. Storyboards were drawn and the voices were recorded before the story was scrapped and rewritten as Boo-Ha-Ha; the Spumco story was later adapted into the Ren & Stimpy episode "Haunted House".
  • Around 90 episodes worth of scripts had been made for TUGS. It was dropped after one thirteen episode season.
  • When the Walter Lantz studio closed for a brief period in 1948, two Woody Woodpecker shorts, Puny Express and Sleep Happy, had already been written. After the studio reopened in 1950, they were the first new shorts to be put into production.
  • Steven Universe has a few examples:
    • The first episode storyboarded was shelved before going any further, or even getting a formal title — the crew simply called it "the shield episode". It was about Steven trying to summon his Gem weapon, eventually doing so to save himself and his father from being hit by a car. The Gems disguised themselves as humans to go out in public and Rose appeared in Steven's dream, both concepts rejected for the series proper. There was a song called "The Meatball Sub Song" and Pearl drove an old car. "Gem Glow", the actual series premiere, reused the basic plot of Steven trying to use his Gem weapon, while Pearl driving around town in an old car was used for "Last One Out of Beach City", three whole seasons later.
    • Some known episodes ideas that didn't make it past the outline stage include one about Steven, Ronaldo, and either Lars or Sadie getting stuck in a fallout shelter and a very literal take on a Bottle Episode where Steven transformed himself into a bottle that gets passed around Beach City.
  • The animated Fatman segments of The Weird Al Show had an unproduced episode titled ''Hello, My Name is...Evil", which involved Fatman's Uncle Frank teaming up with all of Fatman's enemies to kill Fatman. The storyboards for the unfinished episode can be seen on the show's DVD.
  • Two Terrytoons shorts were storyboarded in 1964 but never made: "Instant Fat" with Mighty Mouse and "Mechanical Trouble" with Heckle and Jeckle.