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Vanilla Edition

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Wow, you couldn't even give us a menu with Harrison Ford?note 

Essentially a way to suck money out of the clueless, the witless, the careless and the impatient, the Vanilla Edition DVD is about as basic as a movie or TV DVD can get, basically comprising the footage, subtitles if you're lucky, and - if you're really lucky - a trailer and some cast biographies.

The Vanilla Edition is usually released a month or so before the Ace Custom or Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition, so that those who are desperate to watch the movie now (or don't pay attention to what they're picking up, or don't have a clue about the industry) will snap it up, only to buy it again shortly afterwards once the better edition is released if they actually care about the special features in the slightest.

Manufacturers say that they do this because some people just want the movie and not the extras and shouldn't have to pay more for something they don't watch, which is sometimes true. But it's also true that there's money to be made in double-releases.


Note that some DVDs are just released without extras because the studio doesn't think that it will sell well enough to warrant spending money on commentaries, making-of movies, etc. These may retroactively become Vanilla Editions if, some months or years later, the studio changes its mind and releases a special edition with more features.

Furthermore, this is becoming a standard marketing strategy to get customers to purchase Blu-ray versions of films by largely creating a Vanilla Edition for the DVD version and having the special features in the Blu-ray instead. A similar method was used when VHS was being phased out.note  Today, digital downloads such as iTunes Extras and the content available on Netflix are inherently the same thing.


It also can be argued that Vanilla Editions make for better rentals, as a frugal troper could blast through all the additional material in an evening. It makes sense for the studio to make it so you must buy the DVD to watch the special features.

And hey, if the work in question has up to that point been trapped in the kind of grey, murky, nebulous legal limbo of copyright law that forces you to Keep Circulating the Tapes, a Vanilla Edition is better than nothing.

If you look at the special features list and it includes "interactive menus" (as though uninteractive menus were ever an option outside of restaurants) then you're holding either a Vanilla Edition or just a really crappy DVD. Unless it's also pitching "scene selection"; then it's just really old (these were common proclamations made on the earliest DVDs from 1997 and 1998). If it's a burn-on-demand disc from a service like Warner Archive that focuses on just bringing much-requested but not-exactly-blockbuster titles to DVD, it's almost always going to be a Vanilla Edition.

Contrast Ace Custom, Unrated Edition and Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Prior to the North American industry's late-2000's collapse, this became standard procedure for several US licensors. They would initially release a series as individual DVDs, often with several bonus features, and then later (how much later proved to be this system's undoing) release the same series as Vanilla Edition boxed sets. ADV Films was most notorious for this. The problem came when certain series had extras that explained some of the more obscure references that would otherwise go over a Western viewer's head…
    • It's even more annoying as anime companies used to release the box sets WITH the extras, until thinpaks started to catch on. Now it feels even more like a ploy to entice the people who like extras to shell out the maximum amount of money possible.
    • In a way, the feature-packed releases can ironically assume the role of Vanilla Edition. People who aren't dying to have all of the special features for a certain anime series may wish they had known about the slim-pack boxed set before spending money on each individual volume. The price difference is often 50% or more, and many people would prefer to save the money. But it's rarely clear that there will be a "slim" release, and so as with the rest of the examples here, it's another case of buyer beware.
    • This became less of an issue after the industry crashed, around 2009, when individual disc releases started to drop off in favor of half-season or full-season boxed sets becoming the norm. These releases have a much lower profit margin than the old singles, and as such have fewer (if any) extras since those cost extra to license. The only company left releasing anime in the old style is Aniplex USA (and they get a lot of flak for it due to their high prices) – their release of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is easily the most prominent example. Bonus features, sadly, are still few and far between outside of Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition releases (like the aforementioned PMMM).
  • Within Japan, nearly every studio issues new anime releases in two separate editions. One is a retail version with fancy cover art, bells and whistles like commentary tracks or DVD-only episodes, and often cool feelies of some sort, ranging from postcards to full-size action figures, T-shirts, or concert tickets; the other will be a Vanilla Edition for the video-rental market, and be a much more bare-bones release, typically containing only the episodes. Given the high cost of anime DVDs and Blu-rays in Japan, where 5000 yen for a disc with two episodes isn't uncommon, this practice is undoubtedly meant to give fans a reason to shell out the money for the retail discs instead of just renting the whole series for 100 yen a pop.
  • After long delays, Viz released Naruto on DVD. Cartoon Network edited version, English language track only. "Naruto Uncut" appeared some time later.
  • Due to a sudden shift of the rights to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from ADV Films to Bandai right before the former was about to start their release, Bandai decided that they would quickly release a version that has only the subbed episodes in three volumes, while the full release (dual-audio, feelies, and really cool box) was finished in 2009.
  • You'd like to assume the Hellsing boxset would contain all of the features listed for the individual discs, namely the commentary. Fortunately it had some special features, but it's still disappointing.
  • For years Dragon Ball only had a DVD release in the US that was English only, heavily censored, and just the first 13 episodes (and the first of three movies). Funimation finally got the rights to air their version in line with the rest of the series.
  • The only releases of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! on DVD (and since it aired only 2-3 times on TV, it desperately needed one) were—like just about every 4Kids release—English-only, had no bonus features, and only contained a few early episodes each, out of order. Unsurprisingly, they are now out of print.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry was so terribly stripped down that Geneon didn't even bother to double check whether the selection arrows on the the main screen lined up with the menu items. The Funimation releases of the latter half of the series had even more problems.
    • Geneon was notorious for this before they went out of business. As a last ditch effort to just save what dwindling money was left, a lot of Geneon title DVD releases such as DearS, Ai Yori Aoshi, and Karin were nothing more than the episodes, and maybe a textless Opening and ending. Older series released back when they were still doing fine at least had some trailers, but still nothing much beyond that in terms of extras.
  • Central Park Media was a frontrunner for providing entertaining extras for their DVD sets. Unfortunately, the titles that they lost to other companies usually dropped them; one example is Slayers. When they initially released the first three seasons of Slayers on DVD, there actually were many bloopers and commentary with the cast, with humorous ad-libbing involved. None of these amusing and entertaining extras made it to Funimation's digitally remastered re-releases.
    • Strangely still, when all three seasons were made into a box set by the aforementioned Funimation, the old, washed-out picture quality from CPM's releases was used, and… you guessed it, still no extras…
  • The UK release of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is an odd example. The DVD contains all of the extras from the US version, but the Blu-ray released alongside it only includes the film. The only way to get the film in HD and all the extras was to buy the now out of print Deluxe Collectors Edition, which included both formats.
  • Manga Entertainment decided to release the first ten One Piece movies in the UK in 2014, even though only two had been dubbed. While the already dubbed One Piece Film: Strong World was released individually as a full priced DVD and Blu-ray (with extras), movies 1-9 would be released as inexpensive 3-pack DVDs. Episode of Alabasta later got an individual DVD/Blu-ray release too, as it had also been dubbed. This is currently the only English-language release of the other eight One Piece movies.
  • Discotek Media has released Lupin III (Green Jacket) on DVD twice, the second release being an example of this. The first release in 2012 contained a good amount of extras, including commentary on some of the episodes, as well as both versions of the Lupin III Pilot Film. The second release in 2014 is cheaper and uses different cover art, but has none of the extras from the previous release.
  • Pokémon:
    • When a limited edition Blu-ray disc set of the first three movies was confirmed for release for February 2016, along with 16:9 widescreen DVDs, it was revealed that the special features from the original DVD releases would be excluded. In addition, the Pikachu shorts in the beginning of each film were left out of the set for rights issues. So what do we get? The movies in widescreen with a 2.0 Stereo presentation of the 4Kids English track, and.....that's about itnote . Some fans have taken solace at this, though, as it was a complete miracle that the movies ever got a Blu-ray release in North America to begin with.
    • After Disney sold off Miramax, the four movies that they distributed were rereleased by budget DVD company Echo Bridge. Like the above Steelbook, these were among the first Region 1 releases of the films in widescreen, but all the bonus features from those films, including three shorts, audio commentary on 4Ever, and Japanese and English trailers, were removed. Nor were they reinstated when Lionsgate and later Paramount got the rights to the movies.
    • As seen on this fan site, some episodes of the Diamond & Pearl series were released on DVD in Japan under a line called "Get Pokémon". What makes this line of DVDs bare-bones is that they lack menus note , the opening theme, ending theme, and the next episode preview. Not to mention that each disc contains only one episode.
    • The DVDs of the show in the USA, also by Viz Media, lack bonus features, instead using the space to cram up to 12 episodes onto a single disc.
  • Studio Ghibli:
    • My Neighbor Totoro first came to American DVD with English audio only, pan-and-scan picture, and no bonus features. Later DVDs fixed the cropping, and added some extras — as well as the original Japanese version of the movie. However, they also updated the English dub, without porting the previous one over.
    • The Blu-ray boxset The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki compiled the first 11 movies that Miyazaki directed, but didn't carry over any extras from their individual Blu-ray releases.

  • Whenever the studios start supporting a new home video format, they tend to give movies' releases on it the most bonus features, with releases on older formats having little to no extras by comparison. Justified in cases when the older mediums don't have enough memory for a ton of bonus features. Inverted for most Ultra HD Blu-ray releases; the UHD disc usually contains fewer extras than the 1080p disc or the 4K digital copy.
  • Warner Archive is an on-demand version of this. The collection consists of a large archive of films and TV shows from Warner Bros., MGM, and RKO, that haven't been published on mass-market DVD but are made available on a made-to-order basis. If you order a DVD of a film from Warner Archive, you will receive a DVD of the film and nothing else — sometimes not even chapter breaks — but most of the titles wouldn't make it out of Keep Circulating the Tapes territory otherwise.
    • Likewise, Fox, Sony, MGM, and Universal all have similar services that operate the exact same way. However, Fox's service in particular sometimes doesn't even format films properly, going with old-fashioned "full frame" releases in The New '10s… which at least makes sense if the films were made in full-frame to begin with, but if they weren't and are pan-&-scan…
  • It's sad to be a fan of animated movies not made by Disney. MGM, Universal, and Fox are all guilty of placing their animated films in the five dollar bin at grocery stores and changing the original cover art to appeal to the Animation Age Ghetto, even if the films weren't financial bombs to begin with. If they have any special features at all they'll be DVD games for very young children.
    • Said DVD games usually are not ported over to the films' Blu-ray releases, meaning that those versions of the films are even more bare.
  • The management of studio libraries under Shout! Entertainment have been suffering from this treatment. It applies mostly to the MGM and Universal libraries.
  • Most of Mill Creek Entertainment's releases are like this.
  • The original Blu-ray release of Total Recall (1990) Blu-ray edition is almost completely bare bones and completely devoid of Arnold Schwarzenegger's infamous commentary track.
  • The Criterion Collection usually has the most packed discs anywhere, but there have been a few barebones releases in the main line, such as the Laserdisc version of Ikiru. The company also runs a separate entity called Eclipse, which releases film-only themed collections of mostly-obscure films that have artistic and/or historic merit but won't attract big sales. And Criterion's Essential Art House budget line consists of movie-only editions of Janus Films titles that have already received a proper Criterion release.
  • When the fan clamoring for a non-special edition of Star Wars reached crisis levels, George Lucas did in fact release the Original Trilogy without the additions of the various special editions… such as bonus features and remastered sound and video (they were simply transferred from the 1993 non-anamorphic LaserDisc release).
  • The extended cuts of The Lord of the Rings films scheduled to be released on DVD later on. If you were smart and patient, you waited for the boxed set that included both cuts of all three films. In fairness, it must be said the theatrical cut releases weren't barren, they came with short, half-hour long making-of documentaries and a few other short pieces.
  • Put the single-disc release of Transformers (2007) in your PC. It's actually NAMED "Transformers_Vanilla".
  • The ADV Films release of the Godzilla film Destroy All Monsters (considered one of the best in the series) does not have menus or scene selections. The movie just starts. And it is just the English dub. Then when they released the film again in 2004 it was an exact copy of the first release with a soundtrack included. Fortunately, Media Blasters released the film on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011, though there now seems to be some sort of problem with Toho regarding the extras.
  • Colossus: The Forbin Project has so far only been released on one DVD. It has no special features. It has no menu; it just loops when it's over. Worst of all, the aspect ratio was cut down from 2.35:1 (47:20) to 1.33:1 (4:3), meaning you can't see half the screen.
  • The page image features the menu from the original release of Blade Runner on DVD. It was so lightweight, Warner touted "scene selection" as a bonus feature (granted, it was the second title ever released on DVD after Twister). The scene select menu only allows you to select only every fifth scene bookmark. The rest you can only get to after starting the movie.
  • The landmark March 25, 1997note  release of Twister also has comparatively paltry extras by today's standards (the back of the box literally touts "language selection" and "interactive menus" as special features), but at least it had the theatrical trailer.
    • Warner Bros. was notorious for treating most of its catalog titles this way for the first few years of the format. While some of them were revisited later with more elaborate editions, others never have been. A good example of this is 1981's Arthur, which never received a widescreen DVD release...even though the poorly-regarded sequel did. While the 2011 Blu-ray disc finally offers up the film in its proper aspect ratio, it's still vanilla otherwise, sharing disc space with said sequel. Likewise, True Stories got a Pan and Scan DVD release in 1999, and eventually got a widescreen Blu-ray Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition (and DVD reissue) via The Criterion Collection nearly twenty years later.
  • One release of Lake Placid on DVD saw it with "scene selection" as the only bonus feature. There were only two scenes listed - the beginning of the film and just before the credits.
  • The first eight Disney Animated Canon movies that Disney released on DVD came in what was called the Limited Issue collection. The most packed entry, Mulan, contained nothing more than a partially-colored trailer and some music videos, while fans of the other movies released in this collection would have probably considered themselves lucky if they got so much as an old trailer. The Limited Issue DVDs featured so few bonus features, Disney tried to pad out the "special features" boxes on the back covers by boasting that the DVDs have labels with "full color character artwork." (This boast would become ironic when Disney started using gray and silver DVD labels for most of their movies.) Disney would gradually give these movies more-loaded 2-Disc DVDs, except for Hercules, which had the same minuscule number of extras on its next DVD.
  • The first DVD release of Who Framed Roger Rabbit from 1999 was basically the widescreen Laserdisc edition ported to DVD, with the audio commentary removed. The packaging also notes that the theatrical trailer is included as a special feature, but it is not on the actual disc! Fortunately for the film's 15th anniversary in 2003, it got a better two-disc release in the "Vista Series", with tons of special features.
  • The "20th Anniversary" Blu-ray of The Rocketeer caused some frustration for containing no bonus features, except for the original trailer, which is presented in pan and scan to boot. It should also be noted that The Rocketeer is but one of a large amount of live-action Disney movies that came to DVD with no bonus features.
  • Cars launched a new era of home entertainment for Pixar. Each of the preceding movies got 2-disc Collector's Edition DVDs with hours of bonus features. By contrast, Cars got a DVD containing nothing more than three shorts, some deleted scenes, and a short interview with the director as bonus features. Nearly every Pixar movie onward received similarly lightweight platters on DVD. Fans would have to buy the Blu-ray discs for more comprehensive extras. Eventually, Cars 2 became Pixar's first movie to come to 3-D Blu-ray. As a result, both the DVD and the Blu-ray received paltry selections of bonus features, with consumers having to buy the 3-D version to get all the extras! Fortunately, Brave and Finding Nemo each have 2-D and 3-D Blu-rays with identical or nearly-identical amounts of extras, giving this trend a quick death.
    • The rental-only release of Pixar's Up takes this to new extremes: even the most bare-bones retail DVD of the movie has interactive menus and subtitles, but the rental disc doesn't even have that because Disney considered them bonus features. (Clearly, deaf people and non-native speakers aren't supposed to rent movies...) Have fun when the used copies start floating around, since the cases are otherwise indistinguishable (and the rental version's case flat-out lies about the disc's features!).
  • Disney has made the bonus discs for a few of their films retailer exclusives in the UK, making the wide releases a case of this and making the two-disc versions difficult to get hold of after their initial release. Monsters University's bonus disc was exclusive to Sainsburys and the bonus disc for Inside Out with be exclusive to Zavvi's 3D steelbook.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two movies almost always have drastically smaller amounts of Blu-ray bonus features compared to Phase One pictures, apparently because Marvel planned to withhold certain extras for a box set of the whole phase—which includes a bonus disc containing 166 minutes of exclusive extras. The Avengers, the first MCU Blu-ray released through Disney instead of Paramount or Universal, also feels lacking in the bonus department, despite capping off Phase One. The DVDs for all phases have even less content, and no box sets.
  • Disney releases Blu-ray Discs of some of their least marketable live-action movies exclusively through the Disney Movie Club, without any bonus features (even those that did have extras on their LaserDisc and DVD releases undergo this treatment). Obscure animated movies, mostly from outside the Animated Canon, also receive barebones DMC exclusive Blu-ray Discs, although ones previously released widely on BD with extras retain those.
  • The first time Toy Story and Toy Story 2 came to DVD, fans could decide between a "2-Pack" containing the movies and three shorts, or the 3-Disc "Ultimate Toy Box" that added audio commentaries and five hours of extras. When the movies became available individually, copies from the 2-Packs were used.
  • In the UK, the Blu-ray release of The Incredibles was only a single disc with only a small fraction of the features the US got.
    • Made worse by a bit of (possibly) unintentional Very False Advertising. The UK's Tangled Blu-ray and DVD features a trailer for the Incredibles Blu-ray, but uses the same trailer the US got, showing the American "2-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy" cover and bragging that it contains a ton of bonus features when actually the UK Blu-ray contains even less features than the original DVD release.
  • For some reason, the UK version of Jurassic World 3D didn't include the 2D disc like the rest of the world did, the problem being that not only is the 3D disc locked to only play with 3D equipment, but it doesn't have any of the extras from the 2D disc. Universal did offer to send those who had complained a free 2D disc though.
  • Most of MGM's DVDs hardly contain bonus features. Their releases of their most well-known films usually avert this.
    • Strangely, some MGM-owned movies (such as The Graduate, The Terminator, and The Princess Bride) have received home video re-releases with less bonus material than previous editions!
      • The Bond 50 DVD contains all the James Bond movies from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, but lost 21 bonus discs included with the Ultimate Collector's Set (which also only goes up to Casino Royale (2006), and arranges the movies out of chronological order to boot). Potentially justified as MGM released the Bond 50 DVD in conjunction with a jam-packed Blu-ray set that bears the same name, and also dominated the marketing materials.
    • The Rocky series falls victim to the MGM curse as well. The first movie has a nice two-disc DVD set and Rocky Balboa at least has a commentary and a few deleted scenes, but Rocky II, III, IV and V have nothing.
    • The 1997 DVDs of The Wizard of Oz and Singin' in the Rain, among others, just have the theatrical trailers and production notes as bonus features, even though they both previously had VHS and especially LaserDisc releases with larger amounts of extras (at least some of which fortunately turned up on Warner's DVD re-releases).
    • Their 2005 The Adventures of the American Rabbit DVD contains only a 2:3 Pan and Scan version and no extras. Luckily, the Amazon Prime Video release is the original widescreen version.
    • Battle of Britain: The 2009 Blu-Ray release has language/subtitle selection and a chapter selector. That's it.
  • The 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street box set, which dumps all the awesome special features the original box set had in exchange for Freddy vs. Jason (which is also almost barebones).
  • The Vanilla Edition of Sin City was never intended to be released. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller intended the Extended version, with about 20 minutes more footage in the film, as well as loads of bonus features (including Rodriguez's famous cooking school video), and even a pocket-sized copy of the first Sin City story (The Hard Goodbye) to be released with the theatrical cut in one package. The initial release did come with one bonus feature: a ten minute 'behind the scenes' that was most likely made to promote the film on movie channels in between programs.
  • James Cameron
    • When Titanic was first released on DVD in 1999, the only special feature was the theatrical trailer. Granted, DVD was just starting out so the idea of special features was a novel concept. It wasn't until 2005 that a comprehensive special edition was released (in fact, that edition had so much special features, the film had to be separated onto two discs like on its VHS release!).
    • Fox released a bare-bones, zero-features DVD/Blu-ray release of Avatar for Earth Day (April 2010), followed by a 'special edition' in 4Q 2010, and then a 3D Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition. Part of their justification for the Vanilla Edition was that with Avatar being so amazing visually, they wanted to use ALL the available space on the Blu-ray (and on DVD) to avoid compromising on quality in the basic edition (the collector's editions were three disks). Cameron once joked that he had an unwritten contract with Fox where "any time one of [his] movies makes more than a billion dollars we leave all the crap trailers off. I can't stand them any more than you can."
    • One common practice by studios is re-releasing a movie on DVD with the second (occasionally 3rd or 4th) disc removed, giving a movie which once had a Super Special Awesome Edition a vanilla release. One example is The Abyss. When first released on DVD, it was a 2-disc set packed with extras. An hour-long documentary, textual commentary, trailers (including hidden trailers for Aliens and True Lies), a promotional featurette, the original story treatment and complete shooting script, clips involving the visual effects, and the highly informative and extensive LaserDisc supplemental pages. Then, a few years later, the DVD was rereleased with no second disc, with the only features being cast bios and the text commentary. The worst part: this is the most widely available version of the DVD.
  • The Man from Earth is of the 'likely won't sell well' variety, as it features little action to speak of and is very cerebral. The DVD is also generally only available online and features four brief featurettes and two commentaries. The Blu-ray release is worse; no extras at all!
  • The Super Mario Bros. movie has only had three releases in the United States: one on VHS and two on DVD. The first DVD was released in 2003 and features nothing other than the movie and a horrible transfer taken from the Laserdisc master. The second DVD release came in 2010 and is the same exact movie, just with the logos re-arranged on the packaging. The UK release at least has the theatrical trailer.
    • When Disney licensed the rights to Second Sight in 2014 for a Blu-ray release, it got a far better transfer from the original camera negative, and actually boasts plenty of extras such as deleted scenes and some behind-the-scenes featurettes. Too bad said release only came out in Region B, and is unplayable outside said region. North American fans still have to deal with Disney's DVD release for the moment.
  • Warner Bros. and Fox, among other companies, are known for releasing alternate "rental" editions of their movies which lack bonus features and come with long previews you can't skip. For one example, the Blockbuster rental copy of Cop Out just has "play movie" and "language selection" The only way you can tell them apart is if the cover says "Rental" or "Rental Exclusive".
  • Fans are especially upset over the DVD releases of the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990); it's been released twice the second time for the 25th anniversary of the franchise, both have no special features except for a maze game in the original release, however the release in Germany features a few deleted scenes and a commentary by the director Steve Barron.
  • Both 1-disc and 2-disc editions of Tous à l'Ouest: Une aventure de Lucky Luke (Lucky Luke: Go West) were released in Canada, but while both editions included an English language option for the main film, the features came in French only with no subtitles.
  • The Australian Blu-ray release of Heathers is the movie and nothing else. No menu, no credits page, nothing.
    • The 2011 DVD release by Image Entertainment only contains the movie, the theatrical trailer, and, strangely, a reel of trailers for other Lakeshore Entertainment titles presumably licensed to Image. Their Blu-ray is similarly barebones. The original DVD and Blu-ray releases, by Anchor Bay, included commentary and two featurettes, as well as the trailer.
  • The DVD release of the film Magicians didn't even have a menu. It was basically a VHS tape burned onto a DVD and then released.
  • With the last two Harry Potter films, Warner Bros. has opted to put all the bonus features on the Blu-ray version while the DVD version only has a few deleted scenes. Apparently, Warner Bros. really wants you to buy a Blu-ray player. There's something ironically "full circle" about this: The first Harry Potter film was released on DVD and VHS at a time when DVD was the new format and VHS was dying; the last Harry Potter film was released on DVD and Blu-ray at a time when Blu-ray is the new format and DVD is (possibly) dying.
    • To confuse matters, single-disc Blu-ray versions of those movies also exist. Like the DVDs, they contain no bonus features other than deleted scenes. You want some interviews and behind-the-scenes footage as well? You'll have to opt for the three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo packs, then wonder what to do with two copies of each movie. Some non-Harry Potter films also have releases like this.
  • The "Superbit" DVDs released by Sony Pictures' Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment division were designed to have above-average picture and sound quality, but at the cost of any bonus features.note  They would later release deluxe editions of Superbit titles (including The Fifth Element and Hollow Man, to name a few), which included a second disc with all the relevant bonus features. Similarly, Sony has their line of "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray releases that feature better video quality, but no bonus features.
  • Taken to an extreme with the DVD release of The Wizard. The only subtitles are in English, and there isn't even a chapter selection screen. One can jump to scenes in the movie, but the jumps are at random.
  • The 2004 Garfield movie was first released on DVD with an absolute lack of bonus features, with only an audio commentary, trailers at the beginning of the DVD and the Inside Look featurette as the bonus features. A two-disc special edition, dubbed The Purr-fect Collectors' Edition, was released on DVD two years later.
  • The Follow-Along DVDs by Fox lack not only bonus features, but animation from the menu. The only bonus feature on the DVD is the kids' captioning.
  • A vanilla version of Coraline exists on Blu-ray, containing the movie and nothing else. It doesn't even have a menu; it just has a static card before the movie saying that the movie is about to start. If one waits until the end of the credits, the disc just starts at the beginning with said screen.
  • A 50/50 example with The Dark Knight Trilogy. To coincide with the home video release of The Dark Knight Rises, a "limited edition giftset" of the entire trilogy was put out in time for Christmas 2012. It contained only the DVD/Blu-ray releases of all three movies (with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises retaining their special features discs on the Blu-ray set, though) and a book excerpt featuring production art and stills. No collectibles or exclusives whatsoever. Warner also went out of their way to announce an "ultimate collector's edition" on Blu-ray for release the following year on the set's digital codes that came with each unit, which seriously pissed off those who did buy it rather than wait as they felt Warner had duped them.
  • The Horton Hears a Who! DVD only has trailers different on each side and a commentary from the directors. The DVD bundled with the digital copy has special features.
  • The DVD releases of the Ernest P. Worrell films have no special features, probably because by the time they were released Jim Varney had passed away.
  • Woody Allen just doesn't do supplements - he never really has. Most of his films that are on Blu-ray will only have an HD trailer for the film because of this.
  • A Brazilian blog on the home video market describes them as "Simplex", and is a Berserk Button of theirs (along with, for instance, changing the aspect ratio, not providing the best sound and image quality, not bringing bonus content seen in foreign releases, and abusive prices - all fairly common practices of Brazilian distributors!), particularly regarding boxes which only put back previously released movies in a nice package, but no new content.
  • Zig-zagged with A Goofy Movie. The US 2000 release was full-screen and some bonus features (including a Goof Troop episode without its opening sequence, a trivia game, a storybook, an episode of Disneyland anthology series from 1955 focusing on Goofy, the fullscreen trailer and the "Disney's Mambo No. 5" music video), while the 1999 European release despite not having any bonus features (like many Disney movies released by Warner Home Video at the time) features the movie in its original widescreen ratio and seven additional language tracks besides the original English (depending on country those were German, Spanish (Spain), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and Portuguese (European) or French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Hebrew).
  • Made all the more annoying with Battleship since the disc menus are the same for the rental and full versions, but selecting any of the Special Features entries brings up a warning box informing you that your copy is a Rental version and to use a Full version to access those features.
  • Iron Man originally came to home video as a one-disc DVD, a two-disc DVD set, and a two-disc Blu-ray set. A few years later, Paramount/Marvel Studios unexpectedly stopped selling the Blu-ray with the second disc. In another surprising move, the two-disc DVD did not go out of print at the same time this happened. The Iron Man Ultra HD Blu-ray, released on the same day that Avengers: Endgame hit physical media, also lacks the original BD's bonus disc, despite the end of the Infinity Saga marking a prime opportunity to go all-out on the first installment's 4K debut. The Iron Man 2 UHD also lacks the bonus disc included with its Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack, although that pack remained in print for longer than the 2-Disc Iron Man BD did.note 
  • Although more a case of the 20th Century Fox executives simply not caring about the film than a quest for more sales, all three releases of Wing Commander (non-anamorphic DVD in 1999, anamorphic DVD in 2011, and Blu-ray in 2013) have nothing more than a fairly barebones menu and the theatrical trailer included.
  • Matilda first came to DVD with Pan and Scan picture and no bonus features. The so-called "Special Edition" added some extras, but still no widescreen option. Fans who didn't get to buy the LaserDisc had to wait until the movie's Blu-ray release to own it in its original aspect ratio. (Happily, the Blu-ray retains all of the Special Edition bonus features except for some set-top games.)
  • If you are lucky enough to own a DVD created by Studio 100 including Bonus Features, expect it to be a music video of the corresponding movie or TV series. An exception is the K3 Loves You DVD, which includes a music video and a complete documentary about the new K3 formation.
  • When the 20th Century Fox-produced Rodgers and Hammerstein movie adaptations first came to DVD, only The Sound of Music received a two-disc set. The other four had to settle for non-anamorphic DVDs with only a few bonus features. Eventually, Fox re-released all five of them with remastered picture and more extras.
  • The Lionsgate DVD of Mumfie's Quest has no bonus features but previews for DVDs of Leap Frog and Lalaloopsy, while the previous release from 2012 contains early storyboards and a deleted scene.
  • Every edition of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie until Shout! Factory's Blu-ray/DVD release (which included a fair amount of bonus features) was a vanilla edition, containing the movie and nothing else, really.
  • The original South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut DVD contained only the film and some trailers, while some other editions had a Music Video for "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" The Blu-ray release is similarly bare-bones, but there's at least a commentary track from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
  • The Iron Giant initially received this kind of release, with the only special features it had being trailers and publicity material (at least the VHS came with a plastic toy). A proper Special Edition happened years later in 2004.
    • After Warner premiered the 2015 Recut Signature Edition, it reached digital and DVD months before it did Blu-ray, because the studio needed extra time to prepare exclusive bonus features (the DVD mostly just cherry-picked extras from the two previous discs).
  • The Disney Movie Club DVD of Doug's 1st Movie had a pretty bad case. Not only did the DVD leave out any bonus features (Including the one of the video release back in 1999) and had picture quality similar to the VHS release, but Disney decided to use the Toon Disney edit with commercial fade-outs and sped-up credits instead of the original master!
  • The earlier Fantastic Planet DVD doesn't even have a menu; it just launches straight into the movie. If you want subtitles, you'll have to use your TV remote.
  • The back cover for the first 10 Things I Hate About You DVD instructs viewers to press the enter button on their remote to access special features. The disc, however, contained nothing of the like, until Touchstone re-released the movie as a 10th Anniversary Edition.
  • Captain America: Civil War marks the first time a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie or TV show has a DVD containing no bonus features at all. The Blu-ray and Digital HD versions make up for it with over an hour of extras.
  • Wes Anderson movies often receive this when they're first released to home video. The studios have an exclusivity window to issue such a release, but Anderson himself prefers to work with The Criterion Collection, and they release a much improved and expanded set once that window expires. Most of his fans tend to skip the initial DVD or Blu-ray release of one of his films, because they know a Criterion will eventually be coming out in a few years.
  • The Miracle on 34th Street double pack containing both the 1947 and 1994 films is the epitome of a Vanilla Edition. Its menu is literally two lines of white text on a black background and the only menu options are one button for each film. That's right, not even a scene selection or subtitles screen!
    • In the early days of the format quite a few catalog titles were shoveled out as double features that slapped two movies on one disc with few if any extras beyond trailers. In 2000, Fox released both the 1958 and 1986 versions of The Fly as double features with their respective sequels. A few years later the two films were given proper standalone packages; as for the sequels, The Fly II warranted a 2-disc set of its own.
  • Most TGG Direct DVDs are this trope. The only option on their double-feature release of Sudden Death and The Quest is to play the movies.
  • Universal's 4-pack releases have to be a record in vanilla-ness. Four flop films in one package (one example: McHale's Navy, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Josie and the Pussycats, and Thunderbirds) — not, as you might expect, two flipper discs with one movie on each side (as Warner Bros. have done; this allowed for reusing of feature-laden releases) — instead, you get two movies stuffed onto one disc each. All you get is a basic menu allowing you to pick which movie you want to watch. There isn't even a chapter selection screen.
  • Ishtar got a Blu-ray release in this fashion in 2013, after years of avoiding a DVD release. You only get the movie (in okay visual and mediocre audio quality to boot) without any sort of special features beyond trailers—something that's rather disappointing given the film's reputation and history.

  • One of the selling points of the Abarat books is that they are chock-full of lavish, full-color paintings done by the author himself. This means the books have to be printed on special paper, which makes them much more costly than regular books. The Vanilla Edition paperbacks of each book replicate the text, but their only illustration is the one on the cover. However, similar to the case with Light Novels, the illustrations are one of the big draws.
  • The Discworld series has done the same, twice. The original formats of Eric and The Last Hero were big large-format lavishly illustrated novels full of Scenery Porn illustrations. However, the big fully-illustrated coffee-table versions are all sold out now and later readers have to make do with text-only vanilla imprints.
  • Robin Jarvis is known for illustrating his own books, usually with full-page ink drawings. When his Deptford Mice trilogy was brought over to the US from the UK, the illustrations were retained and the volumes were well-designed. However, when the prequel trilogy was printed, their illustrations were conspicuously (to those who knew they existed) absent. The covers, while by the same artist who did the US editions of the Deptford Mice (not the author), seem to have had less effort put into them than the previous three books. They are largely monochromatic and have an overall slapdash feel. The colored foil used before for the lettering of the titles is also absent. Basically, if you want the text they're okay, but they're not much to look at.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Like with subscription-based music series that often have budget versions containing far-fewer tracks and few if any rarities, several distributors (such as Warner Bros. and CBS/Paramount) issued special "budget" versions of their series or season box sets of TV shows. These often contain only a few select episodes, either only the most popular episodes or early episodes of a series that establish the tone and characters/character interactions of a series. Sometimes — especially if a full season had not yet been released — these will be test runs that, if a sales success, will lead to a full release of a given season.
    • Additionally, some budget labels will release only "public domain" episodes (episodes that have fallen into the public domain) of a popular series, where other companies have released full box season sets with complete features. Examples include Bonanza and The Beverly Hillbillies, who have complete season box sets issued by CBS/Paramount), but because they have several episodes each that have fallen into the public domain, also have episodes issued on budget-priced compilations and, as such, have generic music replacing the original score (due to copyright laws), variable video quality (often on 16-mm prints) and no "bonus" features. Like Time Life Music's budget-priced box sets, these DVDs are often sold at discount/convenience stores or other impulse-purchase shelves, at prices far lower than a full box set.
  • The DVD releases of Happy Days have no special features. The seasons 3 and 4 DVDs actually pass the clip shows as bonus features, even though those are included in the show's reruns.
  • Doctor Who: New series DVDs are released in two ways - a series of DVDs throughout the year, containing only the episodes and often devoid of special features, and then a special features-packed boxset at the end of the year.
    • Though more recently, the DVDs released throughout the year have included a few special features aimed towards the younger viewer. The idea seems to be that the special boxset is aimed at the 'Christmas present' market (very big in the UK) and the older viewers, while the ones released through the year are aimed at the 'pocket money' market.
    • Some classic series serials were released twice: The Five Doctors was originally released in 1999 as part of the BBC's launch of their DVD ranges. The only special feature was an isolated music track. Many early official releases also contained relatively few special features; since then most DVDs have as much special features as they possibly can - only a few releases nowadays (usually one-disc releases of six-part stories) have very few special features.
    • To play it straight - the 2013 DVD release of the recovered classic story The Enemy of the World has no special features whatsoever, as it was found and released just after recovery.
    • Other recovered Missing Episodes have been released in all sorts of weird editions. For instance, the found third episode of "Galaxy 4" was cleaned up and dumped straight onto iTunes for those who desperately wanted to see it, and it along with some reconstructions eventually saw a DVD release bundled with a rerelease of "The Aztecs" (the original release of which had been a Vanilla Edition). When "The Web of Fear" was rediscovered, it was released with no restoration or cleanup beyond the "VidFIRE" technique (an algorithm that makes the recovered film look like video again) and no restoration or reanimation of the third part - and certainly no special features.
    • A few returning monsters from the Classic series have been released with the New Who story featuring them as cheap bundles, likely aimed at a child market curious about what the references are. "Davros" pairs the Tom Baker serial "Genesis of the Daleks" (Davros's first appearance) with the David Tennant story "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End"; "Sontarans" bundles the Jon Pertwee serial "The Time Warrior" and the Tennant story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky", and "Silurians" bundles Pertwee story "Dr. Who and the Silurians" with the Matt Smith story "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood"...No extras, no commentary, but super cheap.
    • 2015-16 saw similar budget releases in North America. The Daleks set featured "Dalek" (Christopher Eccleston), "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" (Tennant), "Asylum of the Daleks" (Smith), and "Into the Dalek" (Peter Capaldi), plus "Genesis of the Daleks" (Tom Baker) as a "bonus" vintage serial. The Cybermen brought together "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" (Tennant), "Closing Time" and "Nightmare in Silver" (Smith), and "Dark Water/Death in Heaven" (Capaldi), with "Earthshock" (Peter Davison) as the classic series bonus. Both releases also had short, kid-oriented documentaries recounting the in-show histories of the villains and providing a little behind-the-scenes stuff. Later The Weeping Angels was released, which featured "Blink" (Tennant), "The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone" and "The Angels Take Manhattan" (Smith). Since that was all they could (and as of 2018 still can) dredge up for Weeping Angel appearances beyond cameos, and the characters are exclusive to the revival era, the bonus episodes were "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon" from Series 6, which featured the debut of the Silence.
  • Something of a subversion: Red Dwarf was released in both Vanilla Edition and Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition form, but the version with the extras came out first. In fact, Grant Naylor Productions refused to allow Red Dwarf to be released on DVD in the 1990s because they wanted to wait until they could actually make good DVDs with loads of extras instead of vanilla releases with interactive menus and scene selection as the only special features. As a result, Red Dwarf I had its DVD release in 2002, while the then-last series, Red Dwarf VIII, was released in 2006, seven years after it had first aired. The Vanilla Editions came out in boxsets called "Red Dwarf: Just the Shows".
  • Some UK DVD companies like VCI and Studio Canal are notorious for not including any bonus features on their DVDs. Most discs by the aforementioned companies do not even include English HOH subtitling. By contrast, Network DVD discs often include bonus content - but they don't have subtitling either.
    • This may be due to the expensive nature of DVD ratings in the UK. Apparently the censor rating board charges by the minute of footage for the (mandatory by law) rating, so cheap companies don't put more on the disc than they have to.
  • The Highlander TV series boxed sets are unusually sparse. The first season was released on DVD in 2002, making it one of the first major disc collections. Each disc had three 45-minute episodes, which is a full episode less than other compilations of similar size put onto their DVDs. This required nine discs for a 22 episode season, compared to six discs for most other series boxed sets. Also, menu selection was very static with no background music, there were no subtitles or alternate languages, and no remastered video (which definitely shows its age).
  • The series 4 DVD release of Would I Lie to You? is just the episodes and nothing else. They attempt to cover this by passing the Clip Show off as a special feature.
  • The original Young Ones DVDs were vanilla editions, with no bonus features and some footage cut. Later releases have documentaries and the missing footage restored.
  • Only Fools and Horses has been completely released on DVD, but with no bonus features and several scenes and music cues cut.
  • The first Fraggle Rock DVD was "Where It All Began", a single-disc release of the first three episodes sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. The third episode was the only bonus feature. Several months later a wide release special edition was released, with more bonus features including the "Fraggle Songs" video compilation and an episode of the animated series, while the third episode was part of the main program (but still excluded from the VHS release).
  • Early Cirque du Soleil TV specials, be they recordings of actual shows or Milestone Celebration programs, received this treatment from Sony, even as smaller distributor Image gave the barely-seen dramatic film version of Alegría a (now out-of-print) release that included a director's commentary track, making-of material, promos, and a music video. Sony started giving the newer shows special editions with Dralion in 2001, with Varekai and La Nouba even warranting 2-disc sets. Unfortunately, the "Anniversary Collection" roundup of the discs in 2005 dropped the second discs from both of those sets, thus losing almost all of the extras. To add insult to injury, both the DVD and 3-D Blu-ray versions of Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man, a 39-minute IMAX short, are vanilla editions despite tons of disc space and the existence of two trailers and a making-of short, the latter of which appeared on the VHS release!
  • When individual seasons of M*A*S*H were first released, they were all bare-bones, with no special features, other than an option to turn off the Laugh Track (as the producers originally wanted to bypass a laugh track all along). At first, this was justifiable, as the series was from a time period where home video releases were not common, and as such, special features really wouldn't have been available. Then, around the same time the final season was released, 20th Century Fox released a complete series set that not only had special features (a blooper reel, the 20th and 30th anniversary reunion specials, a Biography special, interviews with the cast, behind-the-scenes footage, among other things), but also included the original 1970 movie as well; because of this, many angry fans that had already spent time, effort, and money collecting the individual season sets complained to Fox, and they responded by temporarily removing the complete series set from shelves, and releasing instead a set with the Grand Finale as the main feature, but with all of the bonuses from the complete series set included (except the movie).
  • Sony released a "Fan Favorites" DVD line, which repackaged individual discs of classic TV shows' complete season boxsets. Just a few of the specific discs that received this treatment include the first one of Married... with Children season one, the first disc of Bewitched season two (in which Sam became pregnant with Tabitha, and Cousin Arthur made his first onscreen appearance, among other events), and the second disc of I Dream of Jeannie season five (in which Jeannie and Tony got married, among other events). For potential irony, some of these volumes came from boxsets that didn't have any extras to begin with.
  • CBS/Paramount has re-released the Complete Series DVD sets of some TV shows (including The Brady Bunch and The Andy Griffith Show) with cheaper prices and more compact packaging, but without the bonus discs exclusive to the old boxsets.note 
  • Paramount originally released Star Trek: The Original Series in 2000 as 40 single DVD volumes with 2 episodes per disc and no bonus features (except for both the color and black-and white versions of "The Cage" on volume 40), which was similar to their previous releases of the series on VHS/Betanote  and LaserDiscnote . The volumes were seen by the public as an inefficient and outmoded way to buy TV series, and box sets came four years later.
  • Daredevil's first two seasons and Jessica Jones (2015) season one have been released on DVD/Blu-ray with absolutely zero additional content. And being web exclusive series is not that much of an excuse, as Netflix's own Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards (US) have had some extras on occasion, as did season one of the third Marvel/Netflix show, Luke Cagenote .
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The later seasons DVD releases gradually phased out extras to the point where season eleven didn't have any.
  • BBC's initial DVD lineup also included releases of Tweenies and The Noddy Shop, where the only bonus features on the discs were chapter selection and English and foreign-language subtitles. Some prints of the former DVD opened with trailers for other BBC DVDs, including the aforementioned Noddy Shop one. The Noddy Shop one is also known for freezing at random points during the actual episodes, even if the disc isn't scratched.

  • Since record companies started producing Deluxe Editions, they have often produced a vanilla edition on the side. Understandable with remastered versions of classic albums, it is a little confusing when it's done with new albums and there's little to no difference in price. You wonder who would choose the shorter version.
    • Simple Minds intended Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call as a double LP, but Virgin felt it wasn't cost-effective, so the compromise was reached - the two discs were released as a twinned limited edition in some countries, with Sons And Fascination also being available on its own. "Sons" was released on its own elsewhere. CD and Cassette reissues reunited the two albums.
  • Like the early DVDs, the first wave of CD reissues in The '80s simply duplicated the original album releases without any extra material. One notable exception was Rykodisc, which started as something of a musical version of The Criterion Collection, reissuing critically acclaimed titles with extra tracks and remastered sound, something that's now par for the course for classic albums. For example, David Bowie's 1969-80 back catalog got the Rykodisc treatment at the start of The '90s, and similar special editions of those and both his earlier and latter work have been a constant ever since.
  • Time Life Music and other subscription-based music labels and distributors offered special "budget" versions of their popular music series — e.g., "The Rock 'n' Roll Era," "AM Gold," "Classic Country," etc. — during the late 1990s and through the 2000s decade. These were usually three-disc CD or cassette sets that contained 12 tracks each, and had usually only the most popular or essential tracks of the era (as opposed to albums in the regular subscription series, which often contained rare tracks or tracks that, while popular, weren't (and still aren't) commonly issued on various artists compilations). Priced substantially lower than an entire series — which could cost hundreds of dollars, a costly investment for someone wanting only the very most popular or essential songs — these "budget" sets were often found in discount or convenience stores and intended for impulse purchase.

    Video Games 
  • The Beatles: Rock Band is sold both as a standalone game disc as well as two separate instrument bundles - the 'Value Edition' ships with the stock Rock Band 2 instruments, while the "Limited Edition" bundle includes a guitar controller based on Paul McCartney's Höfner 500/1 bass and a special drumkit with white pads and faux wood, adding an extra $100 to the price tag.
  • The Classic NES Series for Game Boy Advance. Sure, they were the only way to play the oldies without an emulator back then, but at least "Virtual Console" includes save states! These were direct emulations (fixing a "Blind Idiot" Translation or two) of the original games, with a huge drop in resolution due to the GBA's tiny screen and no attempt to rectify it. Hit the hardest were Super Mario Bros. and Metroid, Super Mario Bros. already being available for Game Boy Color as the Updated Re-release Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (which the Game Boy Advance was backwards-compatible with), and Metroid being available in the expanded Video Game Remake Metroid: Zero Mission, which even includes a port of the original game! And the asking price? $30-40 each.
  • Similarly, the 10 Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy Advance games released for free as part of the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program" to compensate the cost for people who bought the 3DS before its first price drop were released without features standard to other Virtual Console games, such as restore points. Ambassadors could update the NES games for free when they became available for purchase on the eShop to include restore points, but while playing the GBA games, the system cannot go into sleep mode or go to the home menu without closing the game, and the game doesn't pick up where you closed it. This is because instead of being emulated via software, the system's smaller CPU is slowed down to GBA speed. For this reason, these were the only GBA games ever released on the 3DS, and later GBA games were made available on the Wii U Virtual Console, with restore points, the ability to suspend play, and even fully mappable controls.
  • Kingdom Hearts is notorious for this. First is the barest Japanese release, then the American release, which has a few more bits, and the European one, usually has a few more changes too. Then the Final Mix goes out in Japan, and only in Japan. This one can be explained by Sony of America's policy on not rereleasing games for the same console unless there's a minimum percentage of new content (one wonders what low, spooky voodoo is used to determine that percentage). When the first two games got HD remasters on PS3, America finally got the final mix versions.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy did the Japan-rest of the world-Japan thing, too. Oh, and now Crisis Core is getting a remastered Japanese release, too… at least the Dissidia version was just the original with the changes from the PAL version incorporated.
  • An odd example, maybe an inversion: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for the DS. The DS game has a long and enjoyable bonus case, adding about an extra third to the length of an otherwise rather short game, and introducing a character who would become relevant later on. The Wii version removes this case, then later charges you money for it.
    • On the other hand, the game itself on WiiWare is 1000 Wii Points ($10 US), and Rise From the Ashes is only 100 points. The real issue with this is we had to wait 4 months for the case to be released as DLC!
  • Capcom is infamous for this trope, thanks in part to Capcom Sequel Stagnation in regards to Street Fighter. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior would see four revisions, ending with Super Street Fighter II Turbo (which had about 3-4 remakes of its own). Street Fighter III: New Generation would later be followed up by Second Impact, although Third Strike subverts this by being an actual sequel. Street Fighter IV was given a Super rerelease, which would in turn be given its own arcade port (Arcade Edition), which then came to consoles. AE then proceeded to get its own update patch. (Arcade Edition Ver. 2012). And then that would be followed by an Ultra rerelease! Thank goodness its sequel averts this trope...
    • This trope, in an unprecedented move, now applies to the Vs. series. Five months after the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (which is what was intended to be DLC for the original game) hit shelves.
  • The first Tekken game was as vanilla a port as you can get, having only an Arcade, Vs and Options mode in addition to the Galaga Minigame that played whilst the game was loading. The makers said that it was basically rushed out to capitalise on the PlayStation's popularity. Tekken 2 was given more time to be ported and as a result features the extra modes like Team Battle, Survival and Time Attack that would become a trademark of the series.

    Western Animation 
  • Unfortunately, many classic cartoon shorts in the Public Domain have the misfortune of being carelessly compiled onto many, many extremely bare-bones, low-budget DVD collections, usually with no extras and the prints used are usually in poor quality, and it's only once in a blue moon if they even try to go to the trouble of at least cleaning up the picture and sound quality.
  • Averted with the two official Woody Woodpecker collections, played incredibly straight with the mail-order Columbia House sets.
  • Nickelodeon is notorious for giving any show that isn't SpongeBob or Avatar-related the most bare-bones home video releases conceivable. To wit:
    • This was the only format that Rocko's Modern Life had been released on until the early 2010s, and it took an outsourcing-production deal with to even make that happen. It was averted with the Shout! Factory release of seasons 2 onward and the complete series box set. Joe Murray was brought in to do new cover art, "How to Draw the Characters" featurettes, and a "select scene commentary", while Shout! also included the original "Trash-O-Madness" pilot and a recording of a 2012 live reading of the "Wacky Delly" script.
    • Another series that shared this fate was Nick's run of Doug, with Amazon at least giving the series an barebones MOD DVD set.note 
    • Butch Hartman's first three shows—Danny Phantom, The Fairly OddParents, and T.U.F.F. Puppy—got this treatment as well. Danny Phantom does have a complete series box set from Shout! Factory, albeit without bonus features and the episodes from the second season Out of Order, to the point that a villain's followup episode is placed immediately before his introduction episode.note 
    • Amazon makes them on DVD-Rs, making the discs even worse than the standard Vanilla Edition due to player compatibility issues.
    • Rugrats got this treatment also (both in Amazon DVD-R from and traditional Paramount printings), which is pretty insulting considering its status as the only Nicktoon to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    • And now it's being done to Catdog and The Wild Thornberrys. KaBlam! was supposed to get one for the 2009 holiday season, but it was scrapped (it was very disappointing for fans of it, since it's never been released on VHS tapes or DVDs).
    • Invader Zim has had two distinct DVD releases. The first one, by Media Blasters – which they picked up on the cheap because Nick had washed their hands of the series – was a lavish thing chock full of extras (including Irken subtitles); they also put out a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition that had a box shaped like Zim's house. It was a massive massive, that Nick yanked the rights back the first chance they could, put Media Blasters' sets out of print (and as a result making used copies insanely expensive)...and immediately set out to give fans a much worse release. "Operation: Doom" is the least appealing of the bunch. No special features at all, no subtitles, and the footage wasn't the entire series. The only redeeming quality was the prospect of the show being revived by the Nickelodeon execs.
    • My Life as a Teenage Robot is yet another series that got the treatment.
    • Making Fiends got considerably got the WORST treatment yet, only featuring the 18 7-minute segments, adding up to around 2 hours of entertainment.
    • Hey Arnold! didn't receive any bonus features until Paramount decided to bundle the show and the movies together, with some archival extras (including the pitch pilot and one of Arnold's Pee-wee's Playhouse claymation shorts) added to the first disc.
  • Suprisingly zig-zagged with DVD releases of "Thomas the Tank Engine" in the UK. After a season's aired, DVDs containing four to eight episodes of the season and special features are released. Then a single-disc release of the entire season is released, devoid of the special features.
    • For some reason, the US releases seem to get more, special-features wise, than the UK. The US's release of The Great Discovery contained behind-the-scenes featurettes, the UK only recieved kid's DVD games and music videos of the songs from the film.
  • The Powerpuff Girls had the first season released with rough animatics and the original Whoopass Girls short. They followed it up two years later by releasing the entire series, including a never-before-seen episode, cast-and-crew commentary, animatics, and nearly every music video and commercial ever made.
    • Zig-zagged with The Powerpuff Girls Movie. The US release was pan and scan, but contained a decent amount of bonus features, while the UK release was widescreen, but contained much less bonus features.
  • [adult swim] DVDs have no bonus features in the UK, with the odd exception of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil.
  • Similar to Nickelodeon, Disney gives this treatment to the television shows owned by the studio that are lucky to even get a DVD release.
    • A lot of the old Disney Afternoon shows (DuckTales (1987), Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin) got released on DVD with zero bonus features whatsoever. The Polish/Czech/Slovakian/Russian/Ukrainian/Romanian/Middle Eastern release of the first DVD volume of DuckTales (1987) is even worse. It doesn't contain the original English language track, only the dub.
    • When the 1960s Spider-Man animated series was released on DVD in the United States (around the time Spider-Man 2 was released to theaters), it only got all 52 episodes and a booklet with an introduction by Stan Lee. No commentaries, no commercials, no behind-the-scenes featurettes, nothing. The '90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series received even worse DVDs, as Disney never released all of its episodes on the format.
    • All of the television series DVDs exclusive to the Disney Movie Club are these, such as Kim Possible and The Weekenders. Still, considering Disney is notorious for never releasing DVDs of much of their animated series, something is better than nothing in this case.
  • Surprisingly, for a show otherwise known for its excellent box-sets, Season 20 of The Simpsons was released in this form. The only special feature was a preview for the 20th Anniversary special, which aired two days before the release of the DVD. It was also never released in the UK. However, it might get a release with more bonus features and in the UK now that all of the first nineteen seasons have been released.
  • Strangely enough Star Wars: The Clone Wars released on two DVDs with either 4 episodes without any special features during the summer before the box release. There are no vanilla editions of any other TCW episodes and the boxes only come in this edition or as Blu-ray version with extra animation libraries that wouldn't fit on regular DVDs.
    • Not quite so outside English speaking countries. In Finland, the seasons are first released in four DVDs, each containing 5-6 episodes. Few months later, a set with all the episodes is published. No bonus material anywhere. Not even commentaries. Aforementioned 4-episode DVDs were also released here.
  • DiC has not been very lucky with this for DVD releases of their shows.
    • The company's first DVD releases were released through Lions Gate Home Entertainment between 2001-2002 and were known "DIC EasyPlay" DVDs, which several shows like Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) and The Super Mario Bros Super Show! had DVD releases for. The only significant special feature on the discs is a trivia game with questions pertaining to the show in question that allows you to see something after completing them (mainly a trailer seen on another DIC DVD at the time, or artwork), and a main menu feature where Inspector Gadget teaches you how to use the DVD where you can MOVE THE GLOW over the BUTTONS. The languages menu gives you English subtitles only, and the Super Show DVD release (a release titled "Mario's Greatest Movie Moments") doesn't even give you the live-action Mario Bros. segments or the "Do the Mario" closing credits!
    • Strangely, the 2001 DVDs contained Spanish voice tracks, but the 2002 ones don't, so this devoids any need for a Language menu.
    • Considering they were a low-key distributor, DVDs released through UAV Entertainment from 2003-2005 are more bare-bones than the Lions Gate ones. They only contain four episodes (one of which being a DVD "Bonus" episode) and nothing else. The 2004 and 2005 releases did include trailers for other DIC releases by them, although they are just the intros for the shows with a screen at the end showcasing the show's DVD release.
    • The NCircle DVDs suffered the same fate. Only 4 episodes and only consists of trailers as bonus material, if at all for some of the UAV reprints.
    • The 2004 DVD release of A Christmas Carol from Fox has almost nothing on it except for the film. Not even a DVD menu.
    • The DVD releases of from Shout! Factory mainly have a good range of special features alongside the main feature, so it averts this.
  • The DVD box sets of Garfield and Friends had nothing but trailers as bonus features.
  • Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers was released on DVD with neither a set-up menu NOR with scene selections! There are only two featurettes and some trailers as bonus features. Really.
  • The Shout! Factory DVDs for Beetlejuice. This is just one of the reasons why people are complaining about how expensive the complete series set is.
  • Back in 2004, Clifford's Really Big Movie came to DVD by Warner Bros. with a handful of special features and scene selections. The re-release by Universal, on the other hand...
    • The user who uploaded this video lampshades it, commenting: "Great DVD menu, huh?"
  • This is so far true with many of the releases of the Cartoon Cartoons. While the first two seasons of Ed, Edd n Eddy, all six seasons of The Powerpuff Girls (as mentioned above), and the first season of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy were released with special features, Warner Bros. released a line as the "Cartoon Network Hall of Fame," which was the first seasons of Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Surprisingly, despite the popularity of these series (especially considering Dexter was Cartoon Network's first big hit), only the Johnny Bravo set got a special feature, and only because of Seth MacFarlane (he was a writer on Johnny Bravo before moving on to Family Guy, and other shows of his). Adding insult to injury, the Dexter set lacks one of the Dial M For Monkey segments.
    • Averted with Madman's Region 4 releases in Australia; the 1st Season and 2nd Season Part 1 of Dexter come with bonus features and retain the "Barbequor" episode, the 2nd Season of Courage comes with the original pilot and the 2nd Season of Johnny comes with an exclusive episode, and the 1st Season might also retain the episode composed of the three original pilots.
  • Visual Entertainment's complete DVD set of the Earthworm Jim animated series only has the episodes in English with no subtitles or bonus features, not even the animation featuretes included in the VHS releases.
  • The releases of the Winx Club movies in America have been this. The only option on the DVD menus are to play the movies!
  • The first DVD release of Æon Flux from 1997 was just a port of the VHS version and so bare bone that it's one of the few DVDs to not have a menu. note 
  • All of Fox's DVD-R releases of their animated shows, such as American Dad!, Bob's Burgers and The Cleveland Show.
  • Every King of the Hill DVD set after season 2.
  • The DVD releases of Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation and Wakko's Wish especially after it took so long for them to be released, it was especially jarring in the case of Wakko's Wish considering DVD's were already around when it was first released.
  • Arthur has for the longest time seen nothing but these types of releases. The Sony Wonder DVDs (many of which were "souped-up" versions of Random House's videotapes) had no sorts of special features, unless you count the "Kid-Friendly Instant Play" (read: the DVD menu appears after the program is over) and the closing promos and funding credits. While Funimation's "Our Time" issues and the later WGBH/PBS self-releases have a little more content (more trailers and "activities") they're still quite barebones. This is especially infuriating because, with the exceptions of seasons 7 (released under the name "Sleepovers, Sports and More"), 10, 11 and 22 (under the name "Arthur Celebrates Community") in the USA and Canada, as well as seasons 1, 2 and 3 in the United Kingdom, Arthur still hasn't received proper season releases, despite having been on the air since 1996.
  • As with Arthur, most PBS Kids DVD releases are quite bare-bones. For example, the Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat DVD "Cat Tales & Celebrations" only has three special features: being an interview with Amy Tan, interactive show trivia, and printable coloring pages.
  • While such DVD releases of animated media have been common in Greece, the DVDs of Mr Magoos Christmas Carol and Frosty the Snowman in 2015 (some of the last ever made there, excluding later Nickelodeon DVD releases) don't even have a DVD menu. In fact, the video in the latter ends midway through the end credits.
  • The U.S. DVD release of Animalympics by Hen's Tooth Video is this. The only featurette is scene selection, while the only menu options are playing the movie and turning subtitles on or off.

    Real Life 
  • Most British Newspapers went through a phase of competing to give Vanilla Editions of DVD films and music CD's away with their Saturday and Sunday editions. The Guardian focused on things like arthouse subtitled foreign movies; the Daily Mail reissued craggy-jawed British war movies like the Dambusters and 633 Squadron the Telegraph did 1930's and 1950's nostalgia about the Good Old Days; the Sun and Daily Star focused on low-brow sex comedies. Some were genuinely worth having, but many were, to be kind, not good. The common identifying factor in all these free issues was that you only got the very basic film-only DVD edition with no extra bangs, whistles or bounces. These free promotions largely ended when the newspapers started to tally up the revenue from increased sales against money paid out in licence fees, DVD production, etc., and concluded it wasn't worth it.
    • The Daily Mail did this with a series of card sleeve reissues of various 70s & 80s CD albums years ago, and Prince seized the opportunity to get two of his new albums pressed up by them too.


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