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What Could Have Been
aka: What Might Have Been

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Top: The movie we got.
Bottom: The movie George Lucas originally conceived.

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"
John Greenleaf Whittier

This is when directors or writers release details about plots, characters, backstories, or other elements they thought about adding to the story at one point but ultimately never did. Unlike All There in the Manual, however, this new information is not released as Word of God with the intention of being added to the Canon. These elements are only What Could Have Been but never were and never will be part of the story proper.

Some may quickly find a home in Fan Work. Many fans love hearing the possible paths their favorite story could have taken... even while breathing a sigh of relief (or feeling disappointed) that they ultimately didn't come to be.

This can also refer to a Sequel Hook that never got a payoff, alternate casts or directors, or even tantalizing news that the entire story was completely different from the one we all know, when it was first conceived.

Why a story may get altered falls into three broad categories:

  • The executives wanted to change it: Unless one is making something wholly independently, chances are that some person or company is funding the creation of a work. Meaning there's a good chance that they also want a say in what the final product is. Remember that not all executive interference is bad, and that the most beloved characters or aspects of a work can and have come at the suggestions or demands of a higher-up. But be it good or bad, a creator can expect to hear their fair share of "No" or "Yes, but only if you change this or that" during the production process.
  • The creator wanted to change it: The writer sat down to review a draft of their work and came to the realization that there is more to be done beyond fixing a few typos. No, this thing needs a serious rewrite. Or ten. Maybe they planned to kill off a sympathetic or popular character, but realized the character had more story potential walking the mortal plane instead of touring with the choir invisible. Maybe those scenes were good, but didn't fit with the tone or themes of the story they wanted to tell; no matter how well-written that Training from Hell scene is, it probably doesn't belong in this episode of Blue's Clues. Or maybe they just changed their mind and happily threw an old idea into a fire after coming up with a new one.
  • The changes were the result of circumstance: And sometimes things were just out of everyone's control, and both creatives and suits had to work together to figure out what the heck to do. It turns out they couldn't get the rights to that song or character after all. The special effects just aren't working. They're running out of time and money to finish. A global health crisis has thrown the entire production schedule off. The actor that was planned to play the lead never showed up on set, or died during production. Or maybe the script is just five minutes too long. The bottom line is that no one wanted to change it, but changes must happen regardless.

A good place to find What Could Have Been is in DVD Commentary and out-of-continuity pilots used to pitch a show.

Keep in mind that Tropes Are Tools and that the ideas and concepts implemented into the final product are sometimes better than What Could Have Been.

See also The Other Marty (where a character is recast mid-production, often at a point where the new actor will have to reshoot/re-record their predecessor's scenes/lines), Vaporware (which is about video games that never get released), Development Hell (where a production has obstacles delaying or outright preventing its development from being finished), Dummied Out (content in a video game removed from the final release), Mid-Development Genre Shift and Divorced Installment (where a work is initially intended as part of a specific franchise before being retooled into being its own thing). Contrast with Offscreen Moment of Awesome where a particularly grand moment is seemingly perfectly set up to happen but then isn't seen, and They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot for when they used an awesome idea in a less than ideal way. Occasionally something that was removed survives in another part of the series, then it is Refitted for Sequel. If fans prefer the original idea or concept over the final product, then it's Fan-Preferred Cut Content.

Have in mind that, although the name may suggest otherwise, this trope is for divergent aspects of the work which were actually considered by the creators in the real world. A story (usually not canon) that takes the plot of an older story, alters a detail and shows how such change would have made things play out differently is a What If? — if changes concern history in fiction, it's Alternate History. If you want to discuss how the work could have been better if some detail was different (with that detail being just your own idea), start a Wild Mass Guessing.

This subject has also been covered by The Onion A.V. Club here, and here, and here.


Example subpages:


Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • According to this video, the K-fee ads originally had puppets of the monsters providing the Jump Scares, but they weren't scary enough, so human actors were used instead.
  • There have been several storyboard sketches by Rich Seidelman for unproduced McDonaldland ads that have circulated online, including an ad where Ronald McDonald's parents appear stating how proud they are of their son after watching one of his commercials, one where Ronald, Grimace, and Birdie the Early Bird compare baby pictures and a sketch suggesting that it was considered to make Ronald's dog Sundae from The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald a Canon Immigrant by using him in the official ads.
  • Aside of Warner Bros., Classic Media and Peanuts characters, Deputy Dawg was going to be featured in the MetLife commercial for the Super Bowl XLVI.
  • Some Wal-Mart commercials following the adult lives of Mean Girls students conspicuously lacked any appearance from Regina George, due to Rachel McAdams turning down offers to perform in commercials. However, she later claimed that she would've made an exception for Wal-Mart had she known that Lindsay Lohan, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried all agreed to the campaign.

    Arts 
  • The Fallen Angel by Alexandre Cabanel: An earlier version of the painting tells a slightly different story than the final work. While Lucifer is still in his Corner of Woe and the overall pose is the same, he looks more despondent and his hand is cradling his head. His eyes are not the main element but are scrunched close like his face, which focuses solely on mourning and suffering instead of adding anger and betrayal into the mix. This is reflected by the statuesque look of the non-fallen angels and the greater prominence of the storm clouds in the sky. There's also a lack of Dramatic Wind. Additionally, Lucifer is not depicted as hot, what with him being less muscular and his face contorted in an ugly expression. Oh, and his hair is black instead of red. The color palette has grey, yellow, and blue as its primary hues — the final version features an Orange/Blue Contrast. Finally, Lucifer's wings are still blackening from his fall but they are also turning bat-like instead of remaining feathery.
  • Statue of Liberty: In the late 1860s, Bartholdi proposed a similar idea for a statue at the entryway of the Suez Canal, depicting an Egyptian woman bearing a torch much like how Lady Liberty does.

    Asian Animation 
  • The 2009 reveal trailer for BoBoiBoy and materials associated with it show a number of differences from the final product:
    • BoBoiBoy was named "BoBoi" and his dinosaur hat had three eyes. In addition, he shot lightning out of his hands rather than throwing it as in the final show.
    • Yaya's hijab likewise had a pair of eyes.
    • Adu Du was originally supposed to be a hero alongside BoBoiBoy and Yaya, and he had a dark blue vest on top of his usual getup.
    • A character named BoBot who didn't make it into the final product is shown. He's a red-colored robot with a screen for a head, likely meant to be some kind of robot sidekick to BoBoiBoy similar to Ochobot.
    • Tok Aba's hot cocoa shop was a proper building, rather than a stand.
  • Lamput was created with the aim to pitch it to Nickelodeon India, thus Lamput's blobby orange nature. At the time, Cartoon Network India was looking for new pitches, thus going to that channel instead.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • There's speculation that there was going to be an I Love Wolffy 3, but it was cancelled due to the first two doing poorly at the box office.
    • In 2017, they registered a trademark in the United States that would've allowed them to release lots of merchandise, but they never used the trademark and they let it expire.
    • While it was still in its developmental stages, the show was titled Lazy Goat and Big Big Wolf and Paddi (known as Lazy Goat in Chinese) was to be the main character. The role of the main character went to Weslie instead when it was decided that Paddi's lazy personality was too negative for a protagonist.

    Automobiles 
The following examples are only the tip of the iceberg, as a typical car has about 10 different designs considered before the production car one gets chosen, and most of the aborted ones never see daylight.
  • BMW:
    • The 2000s Mini reboot was originally meant to be a kei car-style microvan, before turning into a premium hatchback.
    • In the late 1980s, the company was working on the idea of a V16-powered car. There even were a few prototypes of a 6.6 V16 7-Series built, based on the 750i and nicknamed "766i" or "Goldfish", but such an engine ended up being too complicated for a production car.
    • The first generation 8-Series had a 550 HP version called "M8" considered, so that BMW would have a rival for the Ferrari 456GT. However, the car never ended up hitting production.
    • In the mid-2000s the company wanted to release a range of 3 crossovers being the middle ground between their wagons and the X SUVs. These vehicles were meant to be based on the 3-Series, 5-Series and 7-Series, respectively named V3, V5, and V7. The 7-Series-based vehicle never saw production, while the 3-series and 5-series-based ones morphed into the GT versions of these cars.
  • In 2008, a start-up called Carbon Motors showed the E7, a prototypical purpose-built police car, powered by a more durable BMW straight-6 diesel and with special safety capabilities. The original production date target was 2012, but the car was first delayed, and then the company went bankrupt in 2013.
  • Caterham:
    • The company tried to release a car based on the 2017 Renault Alpine, being in an alliance with the latter. Unfortunately, the British company did not have the money it took to design the new model and the car ended up existing only in the digital form and as clay models.
    • The alliance wanted to make a Caterham-branded subcompact and small crossover in order to get more appeal in the Asian markets. These vehicles never went further than the general idea.
  • Chrysler:
    • 1962 Dodge midsizers were originally meant to be fullsize cars, but instead got downsized to compete with new GM A-body vehicles.
    • At one point near the end of the existence of the Plymouth brand, Chrysler Corporation was considering having the PT Cruiser sold as a Plymouth (this also fed speculation, with the already in-production Prowler, that Chrysler was planning on a retro-styling theme for their entry-level brand, only for Chrysler's eventual merger with Daimler Benz AG to set the stage for Plymouth's ultimate demise in 2001.
    • Chrysler's AMC buyout killed several plans for that company's, ahem, Alliance with Renault, most notably the French automaker's plans to export the Espace minivan to the United States. Considering Chrysler's staunch placement in the American minivan market, the prospect of another contender was probably too much for Chrysler to bear, and another factor in their buyout of AMC.
  • The Daewoo Matiz's design was drawn for the Fiat Seicento. However, Fiat turned the offer back, and instead, the design was bought by Daewoo, with a pair of rear doors added.
  • DeLorean Motor Company wanted to release a 4-door counterpart of the DMC-12, but the vehicle never made it into production, due to a lack of funds for engineering it.
  • Fiat:
    • The 1980-2003 Fiat Panda was originally meant to be built on a stretched platform of the 126. Also, its name was originally planned to be "Rustica", but someone pointed out that given Fiat's reputation for corrosion, a name containing the word "rust" shouldn't really be considered for any of the brand's products.
    • The 2003-2012 Fiat Panda was planned to be an experimental lightweight low fuel consumption 5-seat small car, but ended up as a more traditional city car. Also, the vehicle's name was originally meant to be "Gingo", but the protests of Renault, makers of the Twingo, blocked the change.
    • The 2007 Fiat 500's original designs depicted a 5-door car with styling similar to the VW New Beetle, but with a more toy-like appearance. A 5-door version of the car would eventually happen in form of the 500L mini MPV in 2012.
  • Ford:
    • The 1964 Ford Mustang was originally meant to be a 2-seat roadster with a rear-mounted V4 engine.
    • In the '80s, the company decided that the 4th generation Mustang would be a Mazda 626-based FWD coupe. Instead, due to public outcry, the 4th generation Mustang was an RWD car, and the FWD coupe was released as the Ford Probe, slotting below the Mustang.
    • Early prototypes of the Ford Pinto envisioned it as a highly safe car. However, the production version had many of the safety features removed.
    • The Mercury Comet was designed as an addition to the Edsel lineup, but the cancellation of the latter brand got it put in the Mercury lineup in the last second.
    • The 3rd generation Ford Focus had a Mercury counterpart, called "Tracer", originally being developed alongside, but the 2010 discontinuation of the Mercury brand led to the cancellation of the Tracer.
  • General Motors:
    • Cadillac originally planned their 1967 models to have an OHC V12 engine.
    • The Chevrolet Vega, notorious for its shoddy materials, was originally envisioned as being built out of higher-quality stuff.
    • The General Motors EV1 could've given General Motors an environmental edge. Its dismantlement crippled the company's image, and allowed Toyota to get ahead of it.
  • The Honda Fit/Jazz's name was meant to be "Fitta". There even were commercials and press photos showing the car with such badging, but the mockery by Scandinavian press (as "fitta" sounds similar to a few Scandinavian vulgar terms for female genitals) led to a name change.
  • Jaguar:
    • Back in The '60s, Jaguar created a Le Mans car called the XJ13, which would have been their return to the legendary race in over a decade. However, the project was cancelled because the management team didn't want to see it in a race.
    • During the pre-order stage, the Jaguar XJ220 was advertised as having a naturally aspirated 542 HP V12 engine, based on the one used in the XJS and XJ12. However, due to yet unknown reasons, the final version delivered to customers ended up getting a 510 HP version of the 3.5 twin turbo V6 from the MG Metro 6R4 rally car.
    • In 2010, they showed the C-X75 concept, a turbine-engined hypercar. A year later, the turbine engine concept was shelved, due to too high CO2 emissions, and replaced with a hybrid 1.6 powertrain, making 888 HP. Unfortunately, that was also cancelled, because of a lack of a big enough target market.
    • The XJS was originally meant to be mid-engined. A styling cue left over from the original design is the C-pillar shape, made to accommodate vents for an engine behind the seats.
    • The XJS also had a Daimler version considered in the 1980s, colloquially called the Daimler-S and having normal-styled C-pillars, but it did not reach production.
  • Lamborghini:
    • The LM001 was a civilian adaptation of the Cheetah, a military prototype that had too high fuel consumption to be accepted, and might have not existed if the Cheetah got greenlit for army service. Even though it never put into production, Lamborghini created LM002 as a production replacement of the said vehicle.
    • The company wanted to revive the "Espada" nameplate in 2008 in the form of a mid-engined 4-seater coupe, much like the original Espada. The car was planned to be built using a stretched Gallardo spaceframe and mechanics, but never saw a release.
    • Later, the company was tooling with the idea of building a front-engined 4-door sedan, like the prototypical Estoque, but instead settled on developing an SUV, the Urus, which was a Spiritual Successor to their aforementioned LM002.
  • Lancia planned on returning to the British market with new cars for a August 2008 relaunch, after a thirteen-year absence but it was postponed and cancelled by parent company Fiat in December of that year due to the Great Recession at the time. That said, those plans were later retooled in 2010 when it was announced that the Ypsilon and Delta models would be sold in the country under Chrysler, which Fiat had bought the year prior, though they didn't sell as well as Fiat expected, resulting in Chrysler's second departure from the country in 2017 with Fiat focusing more on their other American brand Jeep, which also caused a domino effect in Lancia as Fiat decided to cull the brand from every European country except Italy the same year.
  • The Land Rover Series I's prototypes had a single seat and the steering wheel in the middle, due to the buyer demographics being perceived as having familiarity with that layout, driving tractors as part of their work. The final production version ended up being equipped with 3 front seats and a normal left- or right-mounted steering wheel.
  • In 2010, Lotus released 5 sports car concepts, intending to put them into production. Unfortunately, financial troubles made only one of the cars, the Elan, have any chance of getting a release, and this is because it would be a replacement to an existing model.
  • Maybach cars were originally meant to have a biturbo V24 engine, displacing 15 litres and making about 1000 HP. Due to packaging issues and problems with designing a durable enough gearbox, the biturbo V12 engine and the beefiest version of Mercedes-Benz's 5G-Tronic 5-speed auto, both of which were taken from theCL and SL 600 / 65 AMG, was used instead.
  • The McLaren-Mercedes partnership had 3 cars planned after the SLR: a mid-engined supercar, codenamed "P8", competing with the Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Gallardo, a more powerful version of the P8, codenamed "P9" competing with the Ferrari 599 or Lamborghini Murcielago, and a completely different car, codenamed "P10" and replacing the SLR. However, the partnership ended up splitting, due to different visions on it, and only the P8 ended up hitting the market as the McLaren MP4-12C, and with McLaren's own 3.8 twin-turbo engine, not the AMG 6.3, as originally planned.
  • Mercedes-Benz:
  • Packard's 1957 line was originally planned to have its own styling, but ended up being rebadged Studebakers, due to budget constraints.
  • Peugeot:
    • For some time, the company was thinking about building a replacement of the 607, the 608. At some point, the car was even meant to share many mechanical components with the Ford RWD cars (e.g. Lincoln LS) - and the Ford 5.0 V8 would be the top of the line engine! However, in the late 2000s, Peugeot decided to cancel the idea of a 607 replacement.
    • The Peugeot 309 was originally going to be sold as the Talbot Arizona, but the cancellation of the Talbot brand led to the change.
  • Porsche:
    • The 928 was planned as a 911 replacement, but ended up being a more luxurious alternative to it.
    • The 959 was initially meant to be a Group B rally car, but after Group B folded, they decided to bring them to Dakar Rally as a saving throw.
    • After a year sabbatical, Porsche were going to return to the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2000 with a new prototype car, the LMP-2000, but the project was shelved after one car was built and being tested. The engine design was reused as part of the 2004 Carrera GT road car.
    • Between 2010 and 2014, the company worked on a roadster slotting below the Boxster, but the idea ended up getting abandoned.
  • Rolls-Royce:
    • The Silver Shadow's original nameplate was "Silver Mist". Fortunately, someone noticed that "mist" means "manure" in German, and the car was quickly renamed, with new badges fitted just before the debut.
    • In order to turn the Rolls-Royce Phantom into "the ultimate luxury car", BMW was considering fitting it with a 9.0 V16 engine. However, such a car would be too expensive and complicated for production. The only prototypes known to the public were the ones starring in Johnny English Reborn.
  • Rover Group/British Leyland:
    • In the 60s and 70s, British Leyland worked on a hatchback that would replace the original Mini. However, such a design had never reached production. Instead, a bigger hatchback was designed and released in 1980 as the Austin/MG Metro.
    • The company originally planned to introduce a model called "55" in 2003. The car would have been an RWD compact/midsize sedan, competing against the BMW 3-Series. However, it had to be shelved, due to financial problems.
    • In the mid-80s, MG Rover worked on an aluminium-bodied 3-cylinder small car that would replace the Metro, but it was deemed too ambitious, and the more conventional Metro stayed on sale.
    • The 2nd generation Rover 400 was being designed as an all-new car. Instead, financial troubles led to the final version being just a Honda Concerto with different badging.
    • Rover was thinking of introducing a mid-engined sports car with their V8 for 1973. Unfortunately, that idea was cancelled to avoid competition with Jaguar, which was planning to make the XJS such a car.
    • Triumph planned to introduce a redesign of the TR7 in 1983. However, British Leyland decided to discontinue the Triumph brand altogether in 1983.
    • An alternative design for the Austin Allegro was a large redesign of its predecessor, the 1100/1300. However, such a design never got into a production.
    • The Allegro itself looked far better in the original concept drawings from designer Harris Mann. Unfortunately its Italian looking lines and modernist nose style became much more rotund and frumpy in production.
  • In 1949, 6 working prototypes of the Taylor Aerocar, a flying car, were built. However, due to financial problems and a lack of a big enough target market, the car wasn't ultimately produced.
  • Volkswagen:
    • The company could have not existed at all, if not for the British major Ivan Hirst reopening the KDF-Wagen factory after World War II and renaming the product to "Volkswagen Type 1", colloquially known as the Beetle.
    • The VW Beetle's original replacement was a project codenamed "EA271", a mid-engined hatchback with the motor below the front seats, However, technical difficulties and the high projected cost of producing such a vehicle made the EA271 not enter production. Instead, the VW Golf/Rabbit debuted in 1975 as a Beetle replacement.
  • In 2015, Volvo showed a shooting brake concept, intending to put a similar design into production if the public reception is good enough. However, the estimated demand ended up being too low to justify production, and the design isn't going to be mass-produced.

    Card Games 
  • Originally, each new expansion of Magic: The Gathering was going to have a new color scheme on the card backs instead of the usual brown and tan — for instance, Arabian Nights would have been orange and magenta, Ice Age would have been two shades of blue. This was nixed when the designers realized this would make it too easy for your opponents to identify the cards you have in your hand by their backs, giving them an unfair advantage, so the card backs have remained unchanged since day one. (Nowadays of course, most people have card sleeves...).
    • Expansion sets were planned to be temporary installments played along with the main set, then forgotten as newer sets replaced them. The "Standard" format preserves this idea.
    • The set "Planar Chaos" focused on the theme of alternate realities. One of the original ideas to express the concept was to present the set as coming from an alternate timeline where Magic has six colors instead of five. The sixth color (purple, by the way) made it quite far in the development process (at least, by the standards of rejected ideas) but was ultimately scrapped. The set was going to feature packaging showcasing an alternate logo style and other changes, though the cardback would have stayed the same.
    • Wizards of the Coast kept the final set of the Scars of Mirrodin block a mystery for a time, saying it would be either New Phyrexia or Mirrodin Pure, depending on which side won the war. Eventually it was revealed to be New Phyrexia. This surprised precisely no one, but for the portion of the player base who liked Mirrodin and disliked Phyrexia, we can only wonder what the set could have been like.
      • Unfortunately for them, recent articles about the development process reveal that the last set never could have been Mirrodin Pure to begin with—the block was originally going to start with New Phyrexia and go from there! That only changed when they decided it would be more interesting to show the process of Mirrodin gradually being corrupted into New Phyrexia.
    • During the development of the Shards of Alara block (and several times before) there were an idea to introduce a 6th basic land: the Cave. It was nicknamed "Barry's Land" and would be strictly worse than any other basic land, as it only tapped for colorless mana. Sounds pretty harmless right? The idea was that it would increase the number of basic land types to 6, giving abilities such as "Domain" a bigger boost. However, this came with a slew of other problems. Due to the wording on older cards, this rendered a lot of older cards much harder to use (as they say "control all basic lands" rather than "control 5") as well as broke other cards, which mentions the other 5 basic lands by name (because they search for those lands) but not Cave.
      • Eventally a true 6th colorless Basic Land came to be in Oath of the Gatewatch in the form of Wastes. It also solved the problem with Domain by not including a sub-type.
    • WotC hyped up the "mystery" of the Shadows over Innistrad set, teasing us as who could be behind the strange events going on. Turns out it was the Eldrazi. This would have been an incredible surprise... if the last block hadn't been all about fighting the Eldrazi. There had originally been intended to be some time between Battle for Zendikar and SoI, but things were re-ordered behind the scenes. As it was, it was so obvious that it was the Eldrazi that some were actually surprised that it wasn't a trick.
    • War of the Spark was the culmination of centuries of Bolas' scheming and about 6 years of ongoing story. In order to hype up the set, WotC hired writers to write 3 stories, a prologue novella, a novel of the events of the set and an epilogue. Unfortunately, the prologue got delayed until well after the set was released, so a lot of stuff happened without proper set up. Niv-Mizzet was killed during the prologue, so him coming Back from the Deadnote  had way less impact as just one example.
    • The original Kamigawa block, released in 2004, was a financial letdown due to having weak cards (an overzealous attempt at rebalancing the game after the overpowered Mirrodin block), a confusing and underwhelming Legendary Creatures theme, and a setting based on Feudal Japan at a time when Western players weren't as receptive to Japanese media and tropes as they would become in later decades. So when the time came to revisit the plane, there was a fear that the revisit would fare similarly poorly, creating the possibility of simply making a new Japan-based setting to replace it, which had been done twice before: Innistrad as a replacement for Ulgrotha, and Eldraine for Lorwyn. Instead, the team decided to completely overhaul Kamigawa's concept, using the 1200-year Time Skip between the original block and the game's current timeframe to reinvent it as a highly technologically advanced plane whose central conflict was technology vs. tradition, milking a bunch of modern Japanese media tropes while also harking back to the original block's story events as saga enchantments, and throwing a Phyrexian incursion in as the cherry on top. The new pitch was so good that Wizards decided it was worth the risk, and so when Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty was released in 2022 it quickly became one of the game's best-selling and beloved expansions ever, with fans liking the fun, balanced cards and the set's story. So successful was it that it provided a template for salvaging other "bad" planes.
  • Did you know that there was an attempt to make Yu-Gi-Oh! into a card game, before the popular CCG we know and love today? Bandai's version of Duel Monsters was simplistic, if crammed with rather bizarre rules and effects, and was much farther detached from the card game we saw in the manga and anime than Konami's version was. However, it was reportedly rather popular, so imagine if this was the version of the game we got, instead of Konami's version...

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes came about when Bill Watterson tried to submit a comic called The Doghouse to United Feature Syndicate. The strip's teenage protagonist had a younger brother (then named Marvin) who carried around a stuffed tiger. Watterson was told that these two were the strongest characters, so he reworked the concept, got rejected by UFS and took it to Universal Press Syndicate instead.
    • Calvin was originally conceptualized with bangs and Hobbes' magical nature was just a very slight bit more explicit (as he was shown being sentient outside of Calvin's presence). He was also portrayed as a Cub Scout, a character trait which was present in the very earliest strips but quickly phased out. Calvin's hairdo changed after Watterson was told by the publisher that having Calvin's eyes covered made it more difficult for the audience to discern his expressions, which would've been a serious problem as the strip's main character.
    • Even before that, one of Calvin's alternate personas, Spaceman Spiff, came to be as one of Watterson's earlier comic strip ideas, where he would go on galactic adventures in a space zeppelin with a dimwitted alien assistant named Fargle. The idea was rejected by the syndicates but he figured out he could reuse the idea through Calvin's imagination.
    • In his interview for Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson recollects a storyline that he scrapped involving Calvin meeting a kid on the playground who was supposed to be even weirder than him. The story never clicked with either himself or his wife, and he ended up tossing it (a rare occurrence, given the lost time rewriting material to keep ahead of deadlines). Later, he realized that the character essentially changed Calvin's role in the strip, making him seem more normal and less of an outsider.
    • The story arc where Calvin grows bigger than the entire galaxy was supposed to go on much longer, but Watterson decided an entire month of wordless, joke-less strips just showing Calvin getting bigger and bigger would really grate on the readers' patience and cut it short. He stated that, in hindsight, this was the correct decision because he doesn't consider the story line very good in retrospect.
    • The character of Uncle Max was originally intended to be reoccurring, but after his introductory story arc was finished, Watterson realized he didn't bring out any new character traits in Calvin and that it was incredibly awkward to write Max's dialogue so that he would never say the names of Calvin's parents, so he got permanently Put on a Bus. Inversely, Rosalyn was intended to be a one-off character, but Watterson found the idea of a person Calvin actually feared to be interesting, so she got made into a major secondary character.
    • For years, Watterson wrestled with the idea of adapting the comic into an animated series. Although he hated the idea of licensing his work, he had a fondness for the medium and how it could convey far more story possibilities than a comic strip. He ultimately refused however, in part because he didn't like the idea of giving the characters definitive voices, he stood by his principle of refusing to let anyone else have a hand in his work's creation, and that the world of Calvin and Hobbes was ultimately fit to exist only in the scope of a comic strip. He didn't want his writing to, in his own words, "get bludgeoned" to serve the need of a cartoon adaptation.

    Military 
  • The famous WWII Japanese battleships of the Yamato class could have been quite different beasts, had any other of the many proposed designs been approved instead which varied among other things in weaponry (either 16" or 18" guns) and propulsion (Diesel engines and/or turbines). Likewise, the IJN had plans for an even more powerful battleship class that were scrapped after their defeat at Midway.

    Music Videos 
  • ABBA originally planned to film the circus-themed video for "Super Trouper" in London's Piccadilly Circus, but the local police vetoed the idea as the use of animals in Central London is restricted on safety grounds, specifically the risk of an Escaped Animal Rampage. Also, if word had spread that a world famous pop group were filming in the middle of the West End, it would have caused major traffic disruption as people came to see for themselves. The video was instead shot in a film studio in Stockholm, but kept the circus theme.
  • Miserable: Lit originally wanted the video to be them performing the song in an arena in a manner similar to concert footage (they wanted something "sexy" and "huge"). But then they received the treatment for the video, which had them performing the song on a giant woman in a bikini. At first the band thought it sounded kind of cheesy but they agreed to do it if they got Pamela Anderson to play the giantess. At the time they were shooting the episode of her show V.I.P. where they were guest stars and had enjoyed working with her. Pamela Anderson was also a major sex symbol at the time, so they figured having her star as the giant woman would give the video more clout and make it come off as less cheesy. The next time they saw Pam the first thing she said was "Hey boys, I'm gonna be in your video" and the rest was history. Considering how well received the video was, it's safe to say that not going the concert footage route was the right choice.
  • Pavement's "Painted Soldiers" video has a storyline where the members are fired one by one - the punchline is that member Scott Kannberg has promoted himself to manager, fired the rest of the band and replaced them with Veruca Salt, who mime the end of the song. The original pitch had them replaced with Weezer - this would have had different subtext, as at the time some considered Weezer a more radio friendly Pavement copycat band.
  • Michel Gondry had a typically surreal pitch for Weezer's "Dope Nose" video, as revealed in a booklet included with the DVD Director's Label Volume 3: The Work of Michel Gondry: Gondry's video would have involved the band playing a game of soccer while simultaneously miming their instruments, possibly playing against a "Mexican heavy metal band" who were doing the same. In the pitch, Gondry said the concept was inspired by an analogy he'd made between rock bands and soccer teams, particularly the idea of the drummer being the goalie of a band: they play an essential but sometimes overlooked role, are always positioned furthest to the back, and don't have as much range of movement around the stage/field. Instead the video was directed by Marcos Siega, who went with a Japanese motorcycle gang theme.

    Networks 
  • Prior to the end of the Cookie Jar TV block, CBS planned to re-brand the block "Team Toon" (likely because of the DHX Media takeover of Cookie Jar) and even ran promos announcing the change. In the end, this didn't happen and they simply went with sourcing children's programming from Litton Entertainment when the rights agreement with DHX Media expired.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets:
    • Guest-stars who were planned for The Muppet Show but never made it:
      • Robin Williams and Cher were both announced in The Muppet Show Fan Club Newsletter, but neither appeared.
      • Gina Lollobrigida was planned for Season One, but when she couldn't make it, Jim Henson suggested Mummenschanz.
      • The reason Chris Langham, who at the time was a Muppet Show staff writer, was the special guest in one Season 5 episode (with the central joke of the episode being that he wasn't a celebrity in any way) was, according to Langham, that Richard Pryor had been booked, but then the freebasing incident happened.
    • Shortly before Jim Henson's death he was in discussion with Douglas Adams to make a show about computer literacy called Muppet Institute of Technology. Yes, Douglas Adams nearly wrote for the Muppets.
    • Other Muppet shows that never got off the ground included Uncle Deadly's House of Badness, described as "a silly Goosebumps type show", and which presumably would have featured the titular dragon-creature as a Horror Host.
    • Shortly before Henson's death, the Henson Company began a major publicity campaign called "The Pig of the Nineties", beginning with an article in People magazine about Piggy and Kermit splitting up. Jim died two days after the article was published, and the campaign was shelved.
    • America's Next Muppet, a parody of America's Next Top Model that possibly would also have functioned as a genuine talent-reality show for puppeteers.
    • Muppet Treasure Island went through two ideas for Pirate Parrots before settling on Polly Lobster: Amazonia, a female parrot with a flirty relationship with Silver, before that got too weird even for the Muppets, and Stevenson, a male parrot named after Robert Louis Stevenson who would spend the whole film complaining about deviations from the book, and who eventually appeared as the guide in the video game adaptation.
    • A podcast interviewing Julianne Buescher, who puppeteered Denise, Kermit's new girlfriend in the ABC series The Muppets (2015), revealed that originally the character was intended as a demanding, highly sexualized Gold Digger. Already uncomfortable about the "mean-spiritedness" of the show, she pushed to make the character the sweet, slightly goofy version who actually appears.
    • Muppet High was going to be a television series set in The '50s featuring the Muppets. Kermit was going to be a leather jacket clad motorcycle rider, Piggy in a poodle skirt and Fozzie Bear as a soda jerk. It was in planning around 1990 but was most likely cancelled due to the death of Jim Henson. The series was far enough in development that a toy company actually put out Muppet High merchandise such as PVC figures.
  • There were plans for a Fraggle Rock spin-off featuring Travelling Matt and two new characters travelling the world in a hot-air balloon.
  • An idea Henson had for The Jim Henson Hour — which, at that point, was supposed to rotate through four different styles of shows from week to week (effectively: traditional Muppet comedy poking fun at TV, Creature Shop fare like The Storyteller, children's picture book adaptations, and miscellaneous one-offs) — was the special The Saga of Fraggle Rock, about how the Fraggles first arrived there.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House:
    • According to this, the song "What If?" from A Berry Bear Christmas was written to end with Bear himself singing about wondering what would happen if there was no Big Blue House. This was vetoed by show creator Mitchell Kriegman as a bit too much, as Bear was the rock that viewers were to rely on. So having Tutter worry about this was as far as they could go.
    • Pip and Pop were originally Pummel and Pop, however Disney thought "Pummel" was too violent sounding. The original pilot (which has never been leaked or shown to the public) used the original names. Also, they were originally brown, looking quite similar to another ferret-like puppet character from a 90's preschool show, Warloworth "Quite Handsome" Weasel, and were performed by Joey Mazzarinonote  and David Rudmannote .
    • Another interview with the cast reveals that Tutter was supposed to be female and given the name Mouse, and that Ojo was going to be a bear named Jojo, whose design and name were different. This is why the latter doesn't appear in the first few episodes, as her name and design were changed at the last minute.
    • Yet another interview reveals that "And To All A Good Night" was supposed to be the Grand Finale for the series as they did not think it was going to be renewed, which is why everyone sings the Goodbye Song at the end, which would've made the show end at the standard 65-episode mark that most kids' shows had back then. However, the show wound up getting renewed because it was starting to become more popular among kids, resulting in a third season being produced.
    • According to this interview with Noel MacNeal , the show was originally called "The Big House" and the titular house talked.
    • Leslie Carrera Rudolph was almost a cast member for the series, but she had commitments with The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss .
  • The Sprout Sharing Show: Patty was originally going to have a sister named Peggy also performed by Kelly Vrooman.
  • Lomax, the Hound of Music:

    Radio 
  • British radio station Virgin Radio (the original version that is now Absolute Radio, not the current version that debuted in 2016) was originally going to be sold to Capital Radio in 1997 but then-new breakfast host Chris Evans opposed said deal and instead bought the station, owning it until 2000 when he sold it to Scottish Media Group.
  • Adventures in Odyssey has its own page.

    Roleplays 
  • There are several ideas in the discussion thread of We Are Our Avatars, some of them did eventually come to fruition, others didn't, at some point, it was decided Andros and Enker would be in the Revenge of the Spark arc, ultimately, they didn't end up becoming part of Lucrezia's army.
    • Silver was planned to appear during the Incarnates Arc as a personification of Lust, possibly going to levels of Complete Monster that would almost rival Apos. Daionus decided he did not want to play as that sort of character, and declined.
      • Also, in the same arc, Catherine was planned to appear as a personification of Gluttony, and the present Catherine had to be killed in order to defeat her. It didn't happen, but it ultimately proved to be an example of Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • Etheru states that he planned on Joey and Catherine acting as foils for one another, but arcadiarika's decision to refuse developing the character any longer shoots this possibility down.
    • At one point, in revulsion of the fact that nothing was happening, Lemurian at one point thought up the "Ghost Town arc", where the characters would be dropped in a desolate town without food, water, or their powers for a week, the arc was discarded when a player pointed out that the arc wasn't proving anything, because it was pointed out to be almost exactly like the complaint: Nothing happens.
  • Magic Academy
    • Leonard, who is basically The Hero by now, had initially been planned as an Expy of Lezard Valeth. The only vestige of this still remaining is his Dark Magic type and last name, Valenth.
    • It was initially planned to have Khaos and Vicelogia as the main villains. Then Khaos was retooled into a more benevolent being, and Vicelogia was written out entirely.
    • There had been a plan to have Reitt turn evil and become an expy of the Obsidian Lord.
    • Riorde Blenforte was initially to be the Evil Genius in Qord's group.
    • Matthew Streika was initially intended to be a student. He became a well known hero instead, given the time frame the RP was set in.
    • And who knows how the story would've gone had the GM not changed...

    Space Exploration 
Very prevalent here due to budget constraints and/or later redesigns, which may considerably change an original spacecraft design:
  • The original lunar exploration module of the Apollo program went through different iterations, with one being informally known as "The Bug", before setting in the design that finally went to the Moon.
  • The Voyager program was to consist originally of four spacecrafts, that would explore the four outer planets of the Solar System, plus Pluto (at the time considered a planet). Budget constraints left just two probes: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, and Pluto unexplored until New Horizons passed by in 2015.
  • The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn began as a very different probe, paired with another spacecraft of similar design that would explore an asteroid and a comet, with instruments mounted on rotable platforms as the Voyager probes, before budget cuts transformed it into the much blockier design that went to Saturn with the other mission being cancelled.
  • In a 1963 speech to the United Nations, John F. Kennedy suggested that the race to the moon need not a competition, but a joint effort between the US and the Soviet Union. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was supposedly open to the idea, but any negotiations past the idea stage were scrapped after JFK's assassination. Sources are divided over whether the deciding factor was Khrushchev's distrust of JFK's successor, Lyndon Johnson or Johnson's distrust of the Soviets (or a combination of both).

    Webcomics 
  • 8-Bit Theater was originally meant to parody multiple 8-bit games, such as Metroid, or River City Ransom. But the comic didn't go that route, and stuck to parodying Final Fantasy.
  • When And Shine Heaven Now ended, Erin Ptah did a segment on 'Storylines That Weren't', ideas she had considered for the comic that never made it in:
    • A storyline about the time Reseda and Helena met during the time of the French Monarchy. Dropped cause it didn't get anywhere past the initial concept and the idea of constantly drawing French court dresses intimidated Erin.
    • A storyline involving Madeline's early days in the Holy League alongside Pepito (now her husband) and a Muslim confidant codenamed Mitraille. Didn't get anywhere past the character cast.
    • Enrico teaming up with an I-Jin of Gregor Mandel to try to create a Catholic version of Integra, and implied in the future a successor would be successful at it, creating Caterina Sforza of Trinity Blood.
    • A Bizarro Episode version of the 'fangirl' story arcs where 'flamers' would come instead and antagonize Millennium.
    • A storyline where Pip experiments with his gender presentation after becoming Seras's familiar. Likely dropped because Erin wished to move on to working full time on But I'm a Cat Person after the spoilered event happened.
    • A crossover between Hellsing and Lupin III where Hellsing teams up with Zenigata to try to thwart a heist of Lupin's. (Lupin and co would make cameo appearances during the Millennium attacks, fighting Rip van Winkle).
    • Integra searching for someone to adopt as her heir. Dropped when canon revealed her position would be government appointed in the future.
    • A storyline hinted in Shine (by the existence of an In-Universe book) about the time Sherlock Holmes'' and Watson met Count D, which Watson shelved as he knew no one would believe the more supernatural elements.
    • Integra does The Divine Comedy. Dropped because Erin couldn't decide what Integra was searching for.
    • Cameos during the Millennium attacks that never came to fruition include:
      • Pippi Longstocking, who ends up going on the run after she's suspected of being not human
      • Kaitou Saint Tail, who comes out of retirement to steal a Nazi death ray.
      • Mystery Inc., who after their initial encounter with Hellsing became a very efficient monster fighting squad. One of them makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save the others.
      • Ms. Frizzle's class, now college aged and reunited with Ms. Frizzle to use the Bus as a mecha to fight Millennium.
  • Part of the final storyline in Bob and George summarizes what would have happened if the original hand drawn comic had run its course: a fairly unoriginal superhero comic.
    • An early storyline had George mention some "pesky aliens" that might have followed him to the Mega Man Universe. This was a plotline from the hand drawn comic that Dave intended to intergrate into the sprite comics about alien body snatchers replacing people, but it was simply never gotten to. The original idea in the hand drawn comic involved one character getting replaced, then the alien slowly Becoming the Mask. The other characters find out, but the one who was replaced was such a jerkass that no one cared.
    • Instead of immediately segueing into the "Attack of Mynd" storyline after the Halloween strip, Mynd would spend a whole week reading the entire webcomic, while the other characters continued to harass him. This would have culminated with his discovery of the Evil Overlord List. The author realised that he's drawn things out long enough, so he dropped this arc. You can read these original strips here.
  • The Continuity Reboot of Commander Kitty originally had a much different introduction for Nin Wah and her crew. While the final version cuts to them meeting a contact at a hotel, an unfinished, more action-oriented sequence with Grootly and company stealing a box from a Space Trucker was posted on the Facebook page.
  • In Crossed Claws, Pages 11 and 12 of Chapter 5 were originally going to be much different. They were ultimately changed both for making things too easy for the villains and too hard for the heroes to later deal with believably.
  • In Cucumber Quest, Almond originally had blue hair. Gigi also considered making a comic with Tartelette and Baguette and their bakery as the focus.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures: The original plan was for the San siblings to be revealed to be Weres and Jyrras to die and rise Undead around the same time Dan's lineage is uncovered; this was dropped due to Amber deciding it wouldn't leave enough Beings on the cast. This leaves a number of hints at the first orphaned, up to and including a human Biggs in shadow that a similar-looking Were had to be introduced to explain away, to the point that it remains a perennial Epileptic Tree despite being thoroughly Jossed. The "undead Jyrras" thing is mentioned (and rejected by Mab) in Comic #1029.
  • Dinosaur Comics originally had a different template, where a Maiasaurus was a fourth character — she appears in the first two panels instead of the T. rex. Additionally, the pixel art on the characters in the remaining four panels were slightly different, resulting in small yet undesirable details. You can see this early version here.
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • Mookie himself stated that he intended for Luna to die at the end of the Maltak arc. He realized that Luna's death would psychologically destroy Dominic, so he altered the story so that Luna is saved at the last moment by Jacob.
    • He also said he originally didn't want to, but thought it might make his story stand out more and be more "dramatic". He then decided that a good writer doesn't need to kill important characters to be a good writer, and went back to his original plan. A rare case of What Could Have Been turning around and becoming What Was instead.
  • In another world, Doug Walker and Dan Shive might have collaborated on a webcomic.
  • Freefall: Mark Stanley, on the forums, has said that Winston was originally to be a one-shot character, with Niomi to be Florence's primary human contact with the local colonists. The readership made comments to the effect that the relationship between him and Florence was too good to leave by the wayside, so that particular plot course was amended.
  • For Girl Genius, trial sketches of character designs are available on the site, with many characters undergoing fairly radical makeovers. Personalities have shifted too - originally, the main antagonists were going to be Klaus Ujebeck and his son Gilgamesh, who were not going to be sympathetic at all. Instead, Klaus is the Emperor Scientist and a very clear demonstration of the fact that The Extremist Was Right (although still pretty much an antagonist, especially after his override of Gil's personality), and Gil is one half of the Love Triangle involving Agatha and an occasionally misguided and occasionally mind-controlled protagonist.
  • Tom Siddell mentioned in an interview that Gunnerkrigg Court is actually a Lighter and Softer take on his original idea. If you read much of the comic you'll realize this is saying something.
    "Gunnerkrigg Court was originally going to be more adult when I started working on it, but by the time I finished the first chapter I realized it would work better if I made it more accessible to a wider audience".
  • In Get Medieval, Ironychan stated that she originally intended for Neithe to be the main character and Asher to be her foil/sidekick. Asher turned out to be more fun and interesting to write for, so she went in that direction.
  • Quite a few things in MS Paint Adventures, though in fairness the series has a quite a bit of Writing by the Seat of Your Pants. Word of God and the commentary for the Comic Book Adaptations of Problem Sleuth and Homestuck explain there were a number of Aborted Arcs - many of which were missed by the readers. Some examples from Homestuck:
    • Originally, the comic after Problem Sleuth would have been a Midnight Crew comic. In the universe of Homestuck (the actual comic after Problem Sleuth), MS Paint Adventures actually is doing a Midnight Crew comic. Alternate Universe versions of the Midnight Crew appear in Homestuck, and eventually the actual Midnight Crew is revealed to be in an Alternate Dimension themselves.
    • Homestuck was originally supposed to be drawn entirely in Flash. This was cut due to Flash being difficult to use. The original all-Flash Beta edition of Homestuck can still be seen on the website.
    • Dave's Inventory Management Puzzle with the hash modus was originally supposed to lead up to a hash-rap battle with his Bro. This was changed to a sword fight and Dave later lampshades this afterwards. But much later we get an actual hash rap battle.
    • Rose's battle with Bec Noir was supposed to be a full blown Flash, but the author decided that it would be a waste of time in an already long-running arc. So in-story, the disk of Homestuck gets scratched, reducing the events of the battle to a few panels.
    • When Hussie opened up reader suggestions for the third character's name, he intended to choose the third suggested name (out of those fitting the four-letter requirement). He accidentally used the second name (Dave Strider) instead. If he had counted correctly, this character's name would have been... Chad Buskin.
  • David Morgan-Mar wanted to feature Quercus, the assistant engineer of the starship Legacy, in cyberspace in the Space theme of Irregular Webcomic!. He even had a specific cyberspace avatar in mind for him — a simple LEGO tree. However, DMM had none in possession, and he had trouble finding LEGO sets with trees. It took him until No. 3877, 2652 strips since his first appearance, to have Quercus finally appear in cyberspacenote , since by that time DMM had finally resorted to getting some trees from BrickLink.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The sequence where Roy wears the Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity was originally envisioned as Roy putting it on to engage in "girl talk" with Miko before discovering he couldn't remove it. However, as Rich Burlew wrote Miko, he discovered that her character didn't really mesh with "light romantic comedy", so the sequence became much more dramatic.
    • Roy was also originally intended to be the party wizard, with Belkar being the warrior of the five-man group. Vaarsuvius only came into being because Rich needed someone to serve as the know-it-all character, and it would limit the jokes if Roy did that because he could hardly be his own straight man.
  • Oglaf describes itself thus: "This comic started as an attempt to make pornography. It degenerated into sex comedy pretty much immediately". It could have made some good porn.
  • Questionable Content: Jeph Jacques stated that he created Cubetown with the intent of putting Marten and Claire on a bus. He was running out of ideas for Marten and considered him in a good enough place to bring his story to a close. But as Cubetown developed, he kept coming up with story ideas and eventually he decided Cubetown would be another part of the ongoing narrative.
  • Rain (2010): The story was originally planned as a first-person fantasy story instead of slice-of-life. Differences include Fara not being blood related, Maria being a Love Interest, Ky being a cis-gendered minor character (though still bi), and Emily being the Big Bad, older, and the Love Interest of Aiken. The story was reworked as what it is now due to being unintentionally offensive towards other trans people due to the author's lack of knowledge about trans people at the time.
  • Sleepless Domain:
    • The comic had originally been called Umbra Rising.
    • Alchemical Aether and Alchemical Earth both had different costumes. Aether's incorporated the colors of her fellow teammates and Tessa's hair was a much paler shade of pink, possible meant to be white hair, with sections colored the other girls' colors, and Earth wore poofy shorts instead of a skirt to reflect Gwen's more tomboyish nature, but Mary Cagle decided it set a bad precedent for the more heavyset Gwen to be the only one not in a skirt.
    • The comic itself was originally pitched as 'Survivor but for magical girls' and the leads would have been a four team ensemble, with early versions of Kokoro, Undine, a girl in yellow, and a girl in purple as the main cast.
    • Cagle briefly considered making the alchemical symbol for salt the sigil of the fusion of Tessa and the Purple One, but decided to go with the one for platinum instead.
  • Something*Positive:
    • In an early strip, Davan takes Monette to a lesbian bar and winds up annoying one of its patrons. Originally that lesbian was going to be a recurring character named Rochelle whom Davan would develop feelings for; the author wound up scrapping the idea and gave the Incompatible Orientation gag to PeeJee==>Jhim instead.
    • Davan was almost made Rory's biological father, after a bunch of fans straight up told Randy Milholland that he "couldn't" do it. Randy realized that he'd be acting just as stupid as the readers who pissed him off, so stuck with his original "not Davan" plan.
    • Conversely, everybody was going to survive the storyline with the army of murderous preteen catgirls, until one fan wrote that Milholland wasn't "allowed" to kill anybody—"not even Pepito". He's already drawn it at that point, but this gave the push he needed to post it.
    • Originally Pepito could only speak Spanish; Randy Milholland did his best to translate the dialogue correctly, but when one irate fan wrote to harangue him about a relatively minor mistake, he struck back by just running Pepito's dialogue through a translator and writing whatever came out. Sometimes he would even translate it back into English and then back into Spanish just to make it extra garbled.
    • Monette was only supposed to stay with Fred and Faye for a few months before they got sick of her and kicked her out; instead she wound up Happily Adopted.
    • Davan's whole relationship with Branwen wasn't originally planned; she was just supposed to be a nameless Goth who Davan hit on and then drove away with his typical attitude. A friend suggested that Randy Milholland Throw the Dog a Bone this time, and she became his girlfriend and then Amicable Ex. This also delayed Vanessa's entry into the comic, because Randy knew that she would get hate if she appeared too soon after.
    • He posted a few more of these for the strip's twentieth anniversary. They're all depressing and cruel, unsurprisingly.
  • Sonichu:
    • Silvana Rosechu's entire backstory was meant to be different. Silvana was to be a space-traveling Pikachu who crash landed on the moon, and was hit by the Rainbow created from the collision of Super Sonic and Pikachu, transforming her into a Rosechu with a Pikachu's tail. She would have created a spaceship out of the spare parts of her destroyed ship, and traveled to Earth to abduct all the Sonichus on the planet, to fill the gap of loneliness she holds while being on the moon for so long. Because of outside influences however, the author has scrapped this backstory and created the shapeshifting Silvana Rosechu we know today.
    • Chris' original plan for Issue 9 involved Punchy and Layla Flaaffy having sex in the handicapped stall of the women's bathroom at the McDonald's substitute CWCee Dees, and Reginald Sneasel walking in on them and slashing Punchy's tires.
    • The 13th issue was going to have a crossover with Planet Dolan, but outward drama involving some of the castmates changes it to involve a crossover with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic instead.

    Web Games 
  • BIONICLE's Mata Nui Online Game (aka Mata Nui Adventure Game) by Templar Studios was originally envisioned as an interactive web layout to the 2001 bionicle.com site, before being re-imagined as one of the site's many games. Templar was given mere table scraps to work with, as the main story was set to be told via the high profile The Legend of Mata Nui PC game, featuring the franchise's primary heroes, the Toa. MNOG had to make do with the "nobodies", fleshing out the unexplored side characters and an unknown Player Character who would only catch occasional glimpses of the Toa. Even the game assets were of low quality because LEGO refused to help out the Templar team. This also lead to early or contradictory concepts appearing in the game, hence LEGO at the time deemed it non-canon. As MNOG neared its final chapter with no set end goal, The Legend of Mata Nui was abruptly cancelled, and without another storytelling alternative, LEGO tasked Templar with concluding both their own side story and the main plot intended for the Toa and their fight against the Makuta. MNOG pulled it off so well, it became the most celebrated piece of BIONICLE media and was cited as an inspiration for the Mask of Light animated film, and most of the game was later given canon status due to fan demand. The player character, christened Takua, became one of the franchise's main heroes. When the unfinished TLOMN leaked to the net in 2018, fans still agreed MNOG was better.

 
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Alternative Title(s): What Might Have Been, Uplifted Side Story

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Yo Leela Leela Original Ending

The episode was supposed to end with Abner Doubledeal opening an amusement park on Rumbledy-Hump, and takes a majority share of income due to the Humplings having a terrible lawyer. Leela then complains about the park, but the Humplings announce their joy at being famous. Warden Vogel thanks Leela for providing the orphans with a field trip. Leela begs for everyone to blame her, but is given a bat by the orphans, which she uses to beat up the lawyer. Because the crew felt that ending was a bit too cruel, it was changed in the final product.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (7 votes)

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