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Never Trust A Trailer / Western Animation

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  • Adventure Time:
    • In the Christmas Episode, the trailers portrayed it as some sort of Clip Show with cool sweaters. Most of the actual episode is focused on Finn and Jake trying to interpret the actual tapes. The sweater scene doesn't occur until the end, after Finn and Jake discover the Ice King was a former human.
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    • The trailer for "Princess Monster Wife" presented it as some sort of mystery episode in which Finn and Jake are on a quest to find the princesses' missing parts, and made it seem like it would focus more on Finn, Jake and the Princesses than on the Ice King and Princess Monster Wife. "Blatant Lies" could have never been more of an understatement.
    • The trailer for "Burning Low" plays out like a soap opera Love Triangle where Princess Bubblegum is getting concerned about Finn and Flame Princess getting together, especially the part when Princess Bubblegum gasps "No!" as Finn and Flame Princess are about to kiss. Turns out the reason she was concerned about them was actually because Flame Princess could potentially destroy the world if Finn kisses her.
    • The promos for the finale shows a huge all-out war between Princess Bubblegum and the Candy Kingdom against her evil uncle Gumbald and his new kingdom, Gumbaldia as the major focus of the plot. Not only Finn stops the war from happening, but the focus quickly shifts to GOLB and his abominations once he appears.
      • Speaking of the finale, the trailers, promos and even the official posters has a major focus on Finn, as if he's the only hope in the fight to protect Ooo from GOLB. He's reduced to a secondary role after GOLB shows up until the very end of the episode, to the point where he doesn't take part of the final battle and gets stuck inside GOLB's stomach alongside Simon and Betty. It's one of the reason why the finale is so divisive within the fandom.
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  • The commercials for upcoming episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force always use actual clips from the episode, but often show them out of context, out of order and with misleading narration.
  • Archer did an interesting variation with its Archer Vice montage in the last few minutes of Season 5's first episode by meshing events that do end up happening (the ISIS team getting in trouble with the yakuza, Ron Cadillac getting shot at by said yakuza, Cheryl/Carol becoming a country singer named Cherlene, Pam having a cocaine addiction that gets them in trouble with a biker gang, Archer, Ray, and Cyril bringing cocaine into Columbia and getting stuck there, the ISIS team going to San Marcos) with events that don't happen (Archer and Lana getting in trouble with a gang, Archer getting a tiger to the chagrin of Lana, Cheryl/Carol/Cherlene getting kidnapped by a different gang, her tour bus exploding, Agent Holly cornering Archer a la The Fugitive, Archer, Lana, Mallory, Pam, and Cyril getting stranded on a raft with a tiger, Pam and Cheryl/Carol/Cherlene starting a "freakin' coup", Lana's water breaking the same way Mallory's did, and Archer invading Laos with his manicurist...and a tiger) and some that between (a tiger does get involved in the season, but not how the montage would make you think it does).
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • They did something similar with the fifth episode. The trailer made it seem like it would be about the pro-bending tournament. The episode focused on the series Love Dodecahedron. The internet promptly exploded.
      • The trailer for the book 1 finale of The Legend of Korra had a blatant lie. The trailer showed a clip with Amon saying that he would rid the world of bending forever that night. The actual clip revealed that the trailer left out the word "air", changing the whole meaning of the line. In addition, the trailer excited the fandom with the close-up shot of Korra towards the end, making it appear that she would enter the Avatar State a lot earlier than she did.
  • A promo for Beavis and Butt-Head's original final episode, "Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead" utilized a combination of Stock Footage and gunshot sounds to make it seem like it's about the duo getting shot and killed. The actual episode was a Clip Show in which the Framing Device revolves around Beavis and Butt-Head Faking the Dead to stay out of school.
  • The trailer for season 4 of Bojack Horseman focuses on the side characters and heavily implies that Bojack will be missing for a large part of the season. He's only gone for two episodes.
    • For that matter, the original trailer for the show only consisted of jokes, leading some to assume it would just be another run-of-the-mill raunchy adult comedy only to get slapped by intense emotional drama less than halfway through the season.
  • Similarly, Chaotic had a promo for part 1 of another two-parter, "Castle Bohdran or Bust". The trailer also said that one of the characters would never be seen again. Of course, said trailer ended up being wrong on all accounts.
  • A promo in December 2010 for The Cleveland Show pulled this. Not only was it promoted as a special hour-long episode (it wasn't, it was just two back-to-back new episodes) but the trailer promoted the appearances of Peter, Quagmire & Joe, who only appeared in the second of the two episodes, and for maybe five minutes, having no bearing on the real plot.
  • A VHS video entitled Donkey Kong Country: Legend of the Crystal Coconut claimed to be the full-length movie based on the video game. However, compare the film with the episodes featured, and you will discover that it is not a film at all; it's actually episodes from the cartoon done out of order.
  • Drawn Together:
    • One episode claimed that two characters would be caught on tape making out, with scenes of Spanky and Clara kissing. This was technically the sense that everything that happens on the show is "caught on tape." The same trailer claimed that "Somebody dies," which is accomplished in the last thirty seconds when a bunch of aliens randomly bursts in and vaporizes everybody, only for them to turn up alive the next episode, as usually happens on this show.
    • The season two opener also claimed a major character would be Killed Off for Real, with images of the rest of the cast at their grave (which also turned into a case of Trailers Dropping Major Hints, since everybody but Wooldor and Toot were there). On the episode Wooldor seems to die, but halfway through the episode turns out to be Not Quite Dead. Then another character dies, but she had been introduced that episode.
  • Family Guy:
    • The show is a serial offender, especially with episodes featuring an A-Plot with Meg or Chris and a B-Plot with Brian and Stewie. The promotional image for "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" was Stewie with the ST:TNG cast, as well as the summary. six minutes onto the episode, Peter announces that it's going to be a Meg Episode (although in the end it was more about Brian). The Star Trek cast got at least one or two lines each. Another similar example is Stew-roids. All the promotional images and summary were about Stewie muscling up note , and implied that the story involving Chris, Meg and Connie was a minor subplot.
    • Another episode "April In Quahog" had been advertised as a cross over episode dealing with the end of the world and the Griffins interacting and teaming up with the cast of The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and American Dad!, this does not happen. Instead, the end of the world plot turns out to be a hoax set up by Tom and Diane and the rest of the episode deals with Peter attempting to be a better father when he admits that he doesn't like his kids.
    • A similar situation where a bunch of FOX promos talked about a hurricane that ends up involving the cast of Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and American Dad!. While the plot of all three shows does involve the same hurricane, the only crossover moment is the last minute or so of American Dad.
    • The trailer shows Meg riding a horse wearing a pink bra and panties and another scene with Stewie on the couch in a pink bikini. In the episode, both are naked in these scenes.
    • The previews for 12 and a Half Angry Men claimed that Brian and Stewie would try to clear Mayor West's name after he's framed for murder. While Brian does do that, the episode was not a Brian & Stewie episode. Instead of Brian doing detective work like previews showed, the episode was a Whole Plot Reference to 12 Angry Men.
    • The previews for Screams of Silence: The Brenda Q story only showed one of the few comedic moments of the episode (The "Iraq Lobster" cutaway.) The episode itself however, is one of the most darkest and serious eps of the series, more of a drama than anything (though admittedly, that would be hard to put in a promo)
  • The promos for the DVD box sets of The Flintstones often have misleading and/or incorrect information about the bonus features. For example, the Season One DVD promo refers to a few things (such as "a tribute to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera" and "the faces behind the voices") as if they are separate featurettes, but they are actually all part of the featurette "All About the Flintstones". Also, the Season Three DVD promo includes a mention of "episode introductions from the creators", but there are no such intros on any of the DVD's (this must be a distorted reference to the Cold Opening teasers that open every episode).
  • The trailer for Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder features a clip of Professor Farnsworth lamenting that Planet Express is closing down, making it seem as if this is a major plot-point. However this scene mostly just exists to lampshade the fact that Fry, Bender, and Leela haven't worked for the entire movie and is directly before the company is hired for a huge job that Farnsworth just has Hermes, Zoidberg, and himself do it instead.
    • There's also a part in the trailer where Zoidberg declares Fry is dead, and it's played for dramatic value. In the actual movie, this happens in the first ten minutes, and a couple seconds after Zoidberg says it, it's revealed he was only knocked down, albeit in pain.
      • Granted, the mere fact that the "death" scene is shown in the trailer is a strong hint that it's a bait-and-switch, since, if it were real, it would be far too important a plot point to be spoiled in the trailer.
  • Commercials and promos for Garfield and Friends rarely show footage of the B show, U.S. Acres, and focus instead on the Garfield parts. Out of all of these promos on the internet, four actually showed US Acres clips in them: this promo for Nickelodeon's broadcasts (Booker writing on the title screen from the opening), this commercial for the DVDs (Orson, Roy, Wade, Booker and Shelldon landing on the ground from the opening), this promo for CITV's broadcasts (self-explanatory) and this promo for The Children's Channel's broadcasts (same thing as the Nick promo).
  • Gravity Falls: The trailers for the episode "Society of the Blind Eye" told the audience that the episode would answer the question, "Who wrote the journals?" At the end of one of them, Dipper says the line "Old Man McGucket wrote the journals?!?" Only the person's name was bleeped out. Only the name wasn't ENTIRELY bleeped out; there was enough that audiences could easily tell who he was talking about. Some in the audience thought that this was just Disney trolling us, and crossed that person off our list of potential authors. The author's identity was not actually revealed in the episode; instead, it revealed that McGucket had worked as the author's assistant. The true author was revealed 4 episodes later. This is especially significant because Alex Hirsch had leaked an image of McGucket writing the journals... and fooled most of the fans for a year and a half prior.
  • The standard preview snippet for Growing Up Creepie shows a misleading scene of Creepie discovering her friends in giant cocoons, horror movie-style. This attention-grabbing moment comes from a campfire story.
  • Some commercials for the Happy Tree Friends DVDs make it look like a harmless happy-go-lucky kids show. Anyone who watches the show or internet shorts will tell you otherwise, the footage usually consisted of the first few minutes/seconds of the cartoons.
  • One promo for Littlest Pet Shop had a shot of the Biskit twins in the series dressed as cats. After one of them says "We're undercover, remember?", Blythe stares at them. Blythe wasn't in the shot in the actual episode the scene was taken from.
  • The trailer for Netflix's Llama Llama series took many clips out of context and spliced them together in misleading ways. For instance, in the trailer, the titular character's Big "NO!" is a response to his Mama saying they're going shopping, whereas in the actual episode where the clip originates, he's actually upset that his toast burned.
  • An very odd example involving a bumper for a show: during Make Way For Noddy's run on PBS Kids. PBS did not bother to make new bumpers for the show since they already had some, as they had last aired a Noddy series four years before. While the promo that played before the show could be used with the show already since it only featured Noddy, the coming up next promo was a different story. The promo is for The Noddy Shop, a show that mostly focused on puppet characters and not Noddy himself, only showing him for two seconds, and even that clip was from the song "On The Day Of The Parade" and not an actual Toyland Adventures episode.
    • History repeated itself again in 2015 when PBS Kids showed the reboot of Bob the Builder, with the block showing an up next bumper using footage from the previous installment that they had aired. The problem with this was that the character designs in the reboot in question are different than the ones shown in the promo.
  • The Owl House: The scene of Luz presumably passing through a portal to the Boiling Isles in the premiere promos is actually a scene of her passing through a magic-proof forcefield to find King's crown in the first episode.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man:
    • To promote the show, Marvel put out a series of posters, one of which features more traditional versions of Doctor Octopus and the Rhino and a more Spider-Man: Homecoming-esque design for the Vulture. In the series proper, Ock and Rhino are Younger and Hipper (and much like the last time he was animated, Rhino was mutated into a more rhino-esque appearance rather than be a man in a costume) and the Vulture looks more inspired by Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. The promo materials also features Anya Corazón in a version of her Spider-Girl costume with the coloring of the torso inverted. In the show proper, it's colored normally and she doesn't even don the identity until season 2.
    • Likewise, the trailer for the season 1 finale showed the Hobgoblin attacking Spider-Man. While Harry did take up the Hobgoblin identity in this series, he did so as a hero. When he attacks Spider-Man in part 1, it's due to not knowing he's brainwashed, and tries to snap him out of it. The Hobgoblin that does attack Spider-Man in part 2 is his father Norman Osborn, who's evil.
  • The 2012 trailer for Miraculous Ladybug ended up being nothing like the final product. The main male Felix was replaced with Adrien, the animesque style was changed to an All-CGI Cartoon one, and the final product became Lighter and Softer. Only a few scenes resemble the final product.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The teaser clip of Discord for the Season Two premiere. Many people were expecting a dark villain, but the clip portrayed Discord as a lighthearted, kind, silly character, disappointing those who were hoping for a Darker and Edgier villain. In the actual episode, while he's very funny and isn't aggressive to the mane cast at first, after the maze starts he shows himself to be the darkest thing in the entire show. He's faking nonaggressiveness, and is actually a very dark, very intimidating, very competent villain who Mind Rapes and emotionally breaks the whole mane six except for Twilight all for fun. Yeah, pretty much everyone was taken off guard.
    • The Season 2 finale did this entirely intentionally. The "Royal Wedding" episodes were very heavily hyped in much the same way that a celebrity wedding might be hyped up, with lots of clips of wedding preparations, reception photos, and that sort of thing. Hardly any of the preview material even hinted that the bride has been kidnapped and replaced by an imposter whose army descends on Canterlot during the ceremony, complete with copious amounts of action and horror. Most of the preview clips were taken from the last five minutes of the episode, after the actual plot had been resolved. One preview screenshot even turned out to be different from the actual episode, with the groom looking happy and not having Mind-Control Eyes.
    • The Series 3 promo video had a big one. It showed a clip of a clone Pinkie saying "Becha can't make a face crazier than THIS!" and making a face like a G3 pony, with Rarity and Fluttershy gasping in horror. In the actual episode the Pinkie makes the face to another Pinkie clone, before they both get blasted out of existence by Twilight's magic.
    • Promos for the season 4 premiere featured a clip of Twilight Sparkle looking on in horror as Luna shouts "There can only be one princess of Equestria!", implying that Luna was angry at Twilight for having ascended to princesshood. In the context of the episode, Luna was speaking to Celestia; as the scene was a flashback to Celestia using the Elements of Harmony to imprison her sister, Twilight was actually reacting to Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon, though she does not realize it's a flashback until the second part.
    • The Season 4 episode Bats! was built up to be about a vampire fruit-bat infestation which caused tension between Applejack and Fluttershy over how to get rid of them. This lasts for not even half the episode, and then Fluttershy is turned into a a vampire fruit pony.
    • The Equestria Games were expected since the end of season 3. During Season 4, two episodes were dedicated to build up the Games. The final episode of the arc, "Equestria Games", was hyped up by The Hub, releasing teaser pictures of the CMC and the athletes at the stadium in the Crystal Empire. The entire brony community had been expecting to the see the games. When the episode finally aired, over a year after the arc started, it turned out to be a Spike episode (which are often seen as mediocre/bad episodes) with the Games only being used as a backdrop. Some approved of this, others... did not. (It should be noted that after the dust settled down, most people agreed the episode was good after all, just not what they were expecting.)
    • Season 5 promos once again misrepresented episode events; Sweetie Belle was shown stepping up to a microphone with a panel of judges as if she was in a singing competition of some sort, which would logically follow to be her finally gaining the confidence to sing in front of an audience for her cutie mark, but in Bloom & Gloom it's revealed that this is All Just a Dream based on the Cutie Mark Crusaders' fears about getting cutie marks in things that don't fit them.
  • A promo for Peanuts VHS's and DVD's shows clips from Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown when A Charlie Brown Valentine is mentioned and vice versa.
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero: The promo for "The Princess Most Fair" and "Hail Larry" convinced viewers that both episodes would be musicals, forming a "musical event". However, the latter did not have any singing.
  • Parodied in Phineas and Ferb. One episode ends with an action-packed trailer for an episode called "Meapless in Seattle". Once the episode finally aired, it began with the narrator telling the audience that the trailer was actually just a joke, but the fanbase took it seriously, so they were forced to make an episode incorporating all those seemingly unrelated moments from the trailer. The episode satirizes the trope big time by featuring contrived moments. As a result, when scenes from the trailer appear, they're almost always taken out of context or immediately followed with a joke that deflates the whole thing. For example:
    Major Monogram: I want your hat on my desk! (beat) Because it rains a lot in Seattle, and we want to spray it with this cool new waterproofing treatment.
    • The episode ends with another trailer for an episode they have no intention of making, which hadn't stopped some fans from hoping to see "Meap Me in St. Louis" before the series ended with no such episode being made.
  • Planes: Trailers suggested a plane dropping outhouses made a commentator describe it as disgusting. The commentator was describing a previous scene where a plane spits on the floor.
  • A promo image for the Regular Show episode "Real Date" made it look like Margaret would be coming back and Mordecai would have to choose between her and CJ. Margaret wasn't even mentioned. She did come back in "Eileen's Flat Screen" however, much to the delight of Mordecai x Margret fans, and the twists with Mordecai and CJ.
  • Rugrats:
    • The promos Nickelodeon ran during the early 90's made the babies seem like juvenile delinquents who defied authority at every turn. In the actual show, however, they were fundamentally good (if a bit mischievous) kids who genuinely cared about their families and each other.
    • Some promos claimed the babies could talk but chose not to around the grown-ups. Only the pilot hints that this is the case, with the babies purposely waiting for the grown-ups to leave the room before they start talking, but for the rest of the series they speak in baby talk and are subject to Translation Convention.
  • The trailer for the series Sheep in the Big City lampooned this trope by presenting the series as a live-action drama with an animated Sheep inserted in. The end of the trailer even admits that this is not what the actual show is like.
    Announcer: Sheep in the Big City—A new cartoon series nothing like this trailer..
  • The Simpsons:
    • A Network Ten (Australia) advertisement for the episode "Mommy Beerest" (where Marge takes control of Moe's bar) made it look like a Lost parody, cleverly putting scenes together and putting in an image of the Lost logo with Simpsons characters.
      • Ten/Eleven has done this a lot when promoting re-runs as well. One ad for a re-run of "Simpson and Delilah", where Homer re-grows his hair with Dimoxinil, used Marge's line "He hasn't been this frisky in years!" while showing a shot of Homer drinking from a bottle, suggesting the plot was about Homer using a sex drug or aphrodisiac.
    • The promo back in the early 90s for the episode Brother from the Same Planet had Bart's line "Tom's a better father than you ever were" over Homer bawling his eyes out, implying a somewhat emotional episode, but anybody who's actually seen it will know Homer in that scene was actually crying about record clubs jacking up prices.
    • There was an episode that was hyped as having Metallica as its guest stars. They were only on screen for about thirty seconds.
    • The previews and TV Guide ad for the episode "Fear of Flying" all focused on the Cheers "reunion" (Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Woody Harrelson, George Wendt and John Ratzenberger appeared reprising their roles from Cheers). In actuality, that was an extremely minor throwaway joke that had no bearing on the plot.
    • The previews for an episode hyped up the guest appearance from Glee cast members. They were shown singing and the episode was even called "Elementary School Musical", implying a musical-themed episode. Turned out, the Glee cast members were only around for about a minute or two and just had a few lines. There were only one or two musical numbers.
    • The TV ad for the episode "Helter Shelter" referred to the Simpson family getting a reality show, then a scene that showed Homer on a toilet that fell through the ceiling and saying "Hey, I'm in here!" while a "RECORDING" icon flashed in the corner as if that was part of the reality show. Instead, the toilet falling through the floor was home damage that the Simpsons joined a reality show to pay for - and rather than a manic dysfunctional-family based show a la The Osbournes (or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for modern viewers), it was a parody of PBS's 1900 House called 1890 House, in which The Simpsons had to live as if it were 1890.
    • This promo of "Lisa's First Word" that hypes up the "Maggie Speaks!" aspect of the episode starts by showing a clip of Maggie burping and Homer exclaiming that she said "burlap", and ends by showing a clip of Maggie taking out her pacifier opening her mouth while her family looks on in anticipation. Both of these clips are actually parts of a Bait-and-Switch scene — in fact, the Switch was actually shown before the Bait!
    • Australian promos for "The Fight Before Christmas" heavily relied on Maggie's dream from said episode due to Katy Perry guest-starring in a Muppet Show parody, complete with puppet versions of the main cast.
  • South Park:
    • The preview for the episode "200" was shown to be a simple class-action lawsuit by most of the celebrities who appeared on South Park. It turned out to be much more epic than that.
    • Half of the preview clip for "Put It Down" consists of a clip showing Tweek with a fidget spinner, with the official episode description being "When Tweek is caught in the middle of a petty conflict, it drives his relationship with Craig to the brink." This caused fans to assume that fidget spinners would play a large part in the plot, possibly being what the title referred to and the cause of this conflict. They're actually limited to just a few brief moments and have no bearing on the overall plot. The title refers to people's phones, as one of the plot threads of the episode is people running children over while being distracted by tweets, and the conflict is President Garrison posting offensive tweets about North Korea and pulling Tweek into it, causing a conflict between Tweek and Craig's emotional and logical ways of thinking when Tweek fears retaliation.
    • The preview image for the Season 23 finale "Christmas Snow" depicts the main four boys with Santa Claus. The boys are barely in the episode, Santa only appears at the beginning and near the end, and Randy Marsh takes up most of the screentime (as is the norm on later South Park episodes).
  • Probably due to the oddity of the premise, Spanish TV promos for Spider-Man Unlimited presented the Green Goblin as a terrifying villain, although he was a solid good guy in the show.
  • Sponge Bob Squarepants:
    • The previews for the hour-long episode "Truth or Square?" were all about this. It first and foremost featured Spongebob saying "Remember the day Sandy and I got married?" and shows the other characters reacting with shock, making it look like the episode is about Spongebob and Sandy getting married secretly. In reality, the episode is just about the characters getting lost in the Krusty Krab and having random flashbacks about different things. Spongebob and Sandy getting married is just one of those flashbacks, it is only shown for about a minute, and it turns out that Spongebob and Sandy are just getting married in a play. The commercials also said that Mr. Krabs would finally reveal the Krabby Patty secret formula. He didn't. Another commercial said something about Patrick's "secret side" while showing him assaulting Squidward, though that was really just one runaway gag.
    • The previews for "The Clash of Triton" led us to believe that Neptune locked his son in a magical cage thousands of years ago because he was out of control and caused destruction and chaos throughout the sea. Turns out he was locked in the cage because he was the opposite of that and actually liked mortals. Instead of being Sealed Evil in a Can, Triton became evil because he was sealed away. It also led us to believe that the episode was about SpongeBob doing battle with Triton to save the sea but it wasn't until half the episode was over until Triton started terrorizing the town. Furthermore, the only heroic thing SpongeBob did was free Neptune so he could stop Triton, and that only took a few minutes.
    • The promos for "The Great Patty Caper" titled the episode "Mystery with a Twistery", and they made it seem like somebody other than Plankton stole the Krabby Patty formula. Nope, it was Plankton as usual. The special even dropped the "Mystery" gimmick for the second half of the episode.
    • "Best Day Ever" was hyped up to the point where viewers were expecting something spectacular and even had a 100 EPISODE MARATHON leading up to it. When we finally saw it, it was just a standard-length 11-minute episode with a story that's not even special-worthy. The big draw was that they were going to premiere the original feature film that night.
    • Promos for "Atlantis Squarepantis" totally left out the fact that the episode is a musical. In fact, some promos for it featured the characters riding on the bus to Atlantis performing some comedic sketches (such as Sandy trying to film everyone, only for them to all be asleep) with no singing at all. In the movie proper, the bus is fueled by singing.
    • Promos for "SpongeBob vs. the Big One" had a scene in which JKL says "One of you will not return." Everybody returned all fine and well.
    • Trailers and commercials for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, totally hyped up when the main characters are on land, in CGI form. It was only for the last third of the movie, while most of the film was in 2D animation.
      • In one trailer, when Mr. Krabs was on land, he landed into Slash's guitar case, making audiences think Slash was going to be a real-life celebrity just like David Hasselhoff from the first movie. However, Slash doesn't appear at all in Sponge Out of Water.
    • The episode promoted as "SpaceBob MerryPants" is actually titled "Goons on the Moon". The episode was promoted as a Christmas special, yet Santa doesn't appear until the tail end. He isn't even relevant to the plot.
  • In a promo for Star vs. the Forces of Evil's second season, there's a part where Marco says "Star and I are smooch buddies. on the lips." causing much squee for shippers. In the episode proper, he's clearly just trolling Star's demonic ex-boyfriend, who's crazy paranoid that "Starco" (Yes, the show uses that term) is a thing.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: A trailer for Season 5 finale "The Wrong Jedi" shows Anakin wielding two lightsabers, his blue one and a green one. In the actual episode, the other lightsaber is blue, as it's the fallen Barriss Offee's weapon. Anakin is fighting her, and she's wielding a pair of sabers she stole from Asajj Ventress. The blade colour was likely changed so no one would suspect the identity of Anakin's opponent.
  • Star Wars Resistance:
    • The first released trailer made the show out to be a Denser and Wackier installment with a heavy emphasis on slapstick. The show itself, upon airing, turned out (in the first season, anyway), although not dealing with as heavy subjects as its predecessors, to be similar in tone to early episodes of The Clone Wars and Rebels.
    • The synopsis for "Fuel for the Fire" says that Kaz befriends a racer named Rucklin who pressures him into stealing valuable hyperfuel from his boss Yeager's office. In the actual episode, Rucklin pretends to befriend Kaz and manipulates him into sneaking him into Yeager's office, supposedly to look at Yeager's racing ship, and then steals the hyperfuel himself while Kaz isn't looking.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Commercials for the series tend to make it look more comedic than it really is. It has a lot of humor, but it isn't on par with Adventure Time. Several episodes have humorous promos, while the actual episodes have serious plots. The promo for the season 3 premiere event "In Too Deep" may be the first to actively portray the shift in tone the series as a whole has undertaken starting about mid season 1.
    • StevenBomb 4 was advertised as "Steven's Birthday Week". Of the five episodes that aired that week, only two took place on Steven's birthday, one of which was primarily a flashback to thousands of years in the past with only about a minute of time actually being on Steven's birthday, and the episode that did take place on Steven's birthday was by far the least plot-relevant of the five. The much more notable event of StevenBomb 4 (Peridot becoming a Crystal Gem), which dominated three of the five, was only implied by some of the footage.
    • Cartoon Network's social media posted a picture of a bloodstone gem before the premiere of "Rocknaldo", implying the audience would meet a new Gem tomorrow. Bloodstone turned out to just be Ronaldo's gemsona.
    • Promotional pictures by the show's crew on Tumblr rarely directly relate to the episode, often featuring gems in a High School A.U., many of whom don't appear in the episode (for example, Yellow Pearl and Peridot in the "Rocknaldo" promo pic).
    • This promotional pic for Steven Sundays (a block of SU reruns on Sundays) depicts Rose holding a baby Steven. This is physically impossible, and never even happened in a dream sequence. It's an edit of Rose from "We Need To Talk" with her microphone replaced by a baby Stveen asset.
    • StevenBomb 6 has two promotional trailers. The second trailer implies that SB 6 is fun Slice of Life stuff. It has an upbeat tune in the background, features scenes of the Gems building a sandcastle, Steven baking something with Lars and Sadie, them hanging out with the Cool Kids and ends with Steven eating frybits with Connie, lamenting on how it's nice he can still have peaceful days like these without any trouble. However, fans had already seen the first trailer at that point, which quickly turns In Too Deep-levels of dark.
    • As the show becomes more continuity-driven and less episodic, the official summaries shifted from straight-forward synopses to short, single sentences that at best vaguely describe what the episode is about, and at worst being totally unhelpful at giving the viewer an idea of what's really going on. For example, "Raising the Barn" revolves around Lapis learning that Steven escaped from the Gem Homeworld, concluding that the Diamonds will inevitably invade the Earth, and ultimately going on a self-imposed exile. The episode's official description? "Pumpkin goes missing!"
      • One of the best examples of this would have to be the synopsis for major Wham Episode "A Single Pale Rose": "Steven helps Pearl find her phone." That does happen... but leaves out what he has to learn and witness on the way to locating the phone in question.
    • Since the show has hit Cerebus Syndrome, advertisers have noticed that fans really care about the continuity-driven episodes. Many promos ignore the more slice of life elements of the show, even when the Steven Bombs mainly focus on these episodes, and they often play up the plot-elements of the episodes.
  • Advertisements for Tangled: The Series makes it look like an episodic, slice of life comedy similar to Disney's previous Recycled: The Series cartoons. It's actually continuity-driven and oftentimes dark.
    • The Season 1 special "Queen For A Day" was advertised as an epic special for families, but it's the point where the season undergoes Cerebus Syndrome, notably the part where Varian accidentally causes his father Quirin to be encased in amber and vows revenge on those who refused his help, turning him into the Arc Villain for the remainder of the season.
  • Somewhat inverted with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). The show had an advertisement for the last part of the two-parter "Exodus" which said that one of the characters wouldn't be seen again after said episode. And they were both right and wrong about that: Ch'rell, the Utrom Shredder, wasn't seen again after said episode until Turtles Forever came along.
    • Additionally, the trailers for "Exodus" claimed that the 2-parter would be a huge 3-way battle between the Turtles, Shredder, and Bishop. Although his part is vital, Bishop overall only briefly appears in the entirety of the episode.
  • Toad Patrol had some sub-par commercials in its day, most notoriously a Toon Disney ad that had the narrator refer to Beauty Stem as “Beauty Star”. While playing over a clip of Fur Foot, of all characters.
  • Transformers:
  • This trailer for The Venture Bros. is intentionally misleading by showing clips from the episodes out of context.
  • Wakfu suffers from this, presumably because its erratic airing schedule justifies trying to make each next episode look as cool as possible. A specific example is the trailer for episode 16, which included frames of a character surrounded by flames, wielding his demonic sword and screaming with black tendrils growing up his arms, which led fans to believe that he would finally lose control of his demon in a much more dramatic way than previously shown. In the actual episode that scene only served to make him look cool. The one one time the trailer was trustworthy was the trailer for the season one finale, which made is so obvious that Sadlygrove would die most people didn't believe it.
  • A case where the trailer was more misinterpreted than outright lying, from Winx Club Season 4: The trailer for ep 24 showed Sky slumped on the ground in disappointment. Many viewers interpreted it as that Bloom would be mortally injured by the Black Circle wizards, but would then be saved by the Black Gift (the Chekhov's Gift that they had gotten in ep 23), and/or there would be some sort of dilemma between using it on her or Duman. Wrong on all counts: It was Nabu who got injured, Duman was destroyed long before the Black Gift came into play, and the remaining wizards took it away.
  • In Asia, there was a Cartoon Network trailer for The Woody Woodpecker Show which consisted entirely of classic Woody clips, as though CN was going to put more classic toons on, a reverse of the trend which has seen classics dwindle to just Tom and Jerry. It turned out to be the 1999 cartoon. (A change in station graphics package resulted in a more accurate promo using clip from the newer Woody. Incidentally, CN Asia did add another classic a few months later: various incarnations of The Pink Panther Show.)


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