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Too Soon / September 11th

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The day the eagle cried.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 changed everything on a domestic and international scale. Sadly, this also applies to what we watch, play, listen to, and read for entertainment.

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  • Ford recalled the 2002 U.S.-market showroom brochure for the Focus just as the model year was getting underway, because the towers were reflected in one of the cover car's windows. A second edition was released, identical except that the towers were photoshopped out.
  • Starbucks recalled a promotional poster for their Tazo Citrus drink in 2002 because it portrayed a dragonfly flying (or divebombing) two of the drinks set side by side, in an eerie parallel to September 11th's events.
    • Making matters worse, it has the word "collapse" in the caption.
  • A teaser poster release for the 2002 Spider-Man film (much like the trailer example below) was recalled a few days after its initial pressing due to the image showing the reflection of the Twin Towers in Spidey's eyes. The remaining posters that weren't scooped up have since become very valuable collector's items.
  • In the UK, a television advert was released for the Renault Scenic featuring cover versions of songs popular at that time. This version of the advert includes a section where air crew cover the song "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus. Versions of the advert airing after 9/11 had the air crew edited out.
  • Budweiser's "Real American Heroes" radio ads for Bud Light, begun in 1998, were pulled in 2001, as the title was considered insensitive.note  They returned a few months later as "Real Men of Genius".
  • This 2001 ad for Flexon bendable eyeglasses features the visual of a building lunging out of the way of an oncoming plane. Thanks to unfortunate timing (it premiered on August 23) it actually managed to air a few days after 9/11!

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the United States, Cowboy Bebop had delayed reruns of episodes featuring a building bomber because of 9/11, and an episode featuring the space shuttle Columbia after the real one was destroyed in an accident in 2003.
    • A year after 9/11, "Cowboy Funk" (the episode featuring a terrorist who plants teddy bear bombs on tall buildings) returned to [adult swim] rotation. "Wild Horses" (featuring a doomed space shuttle) returned to rotation even faster.
    • "Waltz for Venus" was similarly cut from the original run on Adult Swim because it depicted a plane hijacking in the first few minutes. "Sympathy for the Devil" was removed from the line up as well primarily because of violence against a child antagonist (who is actually older than he looks and sounds), which has nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks but would understandably freak vulnerable audience members out all the same, since this was the early days of Adult Swim and the censors didn't want to push the envelope at that time. However, "Sympathy for the Devil" has two scenes that could be construed as evocative of the 9/11 attacks: a man falling out the window of a skyscraper and the child antagonist rising from a burning pile of rubble.
    • Although the American release wasn't hindered by 9/11, the Cowboy Bebop movie was initially released on September 1st, 2001. Since the film involved a terrorist bomber and it was released just 10 days prior to the attacks on the Twin Towers it seemed like the US theatrical release might be held back. In the end, though, the drawn-out process of translating and doing a high-quality theatrical dub was long enough that enough time had passed for the movie to not be taboo.
  • Similarly, the North American airings of Mobile Suit Gundam was brought to a grinding halt four episodes from the end by 9/11. At least, this was Cartoon Network's "official" reason - considering all the actual destruction of cityscapes in the series that could have upset post-9/11 viewers had already aired at that point, and that they had no problem airing the final episode of the series for a New Year's event on Toonami only three months later, it's far more likely they simply used 9/11 as an excuse to pull the series due to its low ratings.
    • This is also believed to be why the Gundam The Origin manga shifts the events of the North America arc south, which had the interesting side-effect of changing Amuro's ethnicity from half-Canadian to half-Mexican.
    • This was the reason that Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn significantly toned down the Islamic extremist views of Loni Garvey and her family from the original novel, since it was to air close to the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
  • The first anime adaptation of the Full Metal Panic! light novel was scheduled to premiere in 2001, but was delayed due to its Too Soon themes (the first major arc even kicks off with the hijacking of a commercial airliner). When it was released, Sousuke's homeland was bowdlerised from Afghanistan to a semi-pronounceable Qurac. This was carried over into the English translation of the light novels.
  • An episode of Pokémon was pulled from rotation after 9/11 because a giant Tentacruel destroyed a large building that didn't even remotely resemble one of the Twin Towers (it was longer than it was tall). Particularly bizarre because the scene it was banned for was, and continued to be, part of the opening montage of every Kanto episode. Another episode, Tower Of Terror, was pulled simply because of its name (the eponymous tower is a haunted tower that's an important location in the games). Another episode, "A Scare In The Air", about the main characters winning a blimp trip to the Orange Islands, had to be renamed because of 9/11. These bans lasted until the show Channel Hopped to Cartoon Network many years later, though in the case of "Tower of Terror" the ban was still in place until more than a year after the hop for some reason.
  • The third arc of Digimon Adventure is about the Digidestined trying to find their eighth member before Vamdemon/Myotismon does. They follow him to what just-so-happens to be the district where they all used to live, and start wondering why all of their families moved away. In the first runs of the dub, Joe, the oldest in the group, tells everyone that a terrorist bombing happened around that time and that nobody knew who was behind it, so their families probably all moved away out of fear. Later in the episode, the kids discover they've repressed their memories of the night of the bombing, and that it was really a battle between two huge Digimon. They conclude that witnessing this battle was probably the common factor that led to them being chosen and that the Eighth Child saw it, too — obviously, this is very plot-relevant, so the episode couldn't just be cut. When the episode re-aired on Jetix in America, they just cut every bit of dialogue relating to "terrorists" or "bombs."
    • The episode where the Fuji TV building is destroyed and the episode where Machinedramon destroys his own city were pulled on Disney's watch, and the accompanying Previously On… segments were edited to be less graphic. Nickelodeon allowed it all to air wholesale, and the video releases are intact.
    • Digimon Tamers also had minor edits in several episodes. Images of exploding buildings were cut, due to being aired very soon after 9/11.
    • Digimon Adventure 02 suffered arguably more - there was an entire arc devoted to see the children taking down the Control Spires ("Dark Towers" in the original). Therefore, some very inconsistent censoring of those ones took place, with the most common method being cutting out the scenes completely (in some of those cases, the scenes were rendered utterly nonsensical as characters were celebrating... seeing their Digimon using their attacks, apparently).
  • Dragon Ball Z's American airing had the misfortune of reaching an episode about Gohan and Videl saving people trapped in a burning skyscraper just a few weeks after 9/11. The episode was skipped over during its first run, although subsequent rotations on Cartoon Network have restored it.
  • The law of "Too Soon" pretty much devastated Transformers: Robots in Disguise. Only three episodes into its American broadcast run when 9/11 occurred, multiple episodes of the series had to be held back so their dub scripts could be reworked, three episodes didn't air in the United States at all, and one for which the dubbing had already been completed had to be held back for weeks until its entire opening sequence could be disassembled and rebuilt using footage from another episode. In every single case, it was because some buildings were destroyed during the course of the action, and it resulted in a series that was aired thoroughly out of order up until the very end of its run.
  • The original Japanese version of Future Diary contained a building called the Twin Towers, which was assaulted by several characters, including Yukiteru Amano, the series' protagonist, and Minene Uryuu, an established terrorist bomber. In the English translation, the building was named "The Double Tower Building."

    Comic Books 
  • Explicitly averted in Universal War One. In the preface of part 4, released a few weeks after 9/11, the author explained his decision to refrain from modifying scenes displaying the destruction of New York City in the context of the intentional implosion of Earth by a power-hungry conglomerate.
    I saw the live images of the two towers bursting into flames. I saw the live broadcast as each tower crumbled to dust one after the other. I could feel the absurdity of what was happening. Indeed, only a year before, I was on honeymoon with my wife in Manhattan, staying the base of those very same buildings. And like all the other tourists, we had been on top of the towers themselves. And now, in only one hour of an unbelievable live TV broadcast, they were gone, disfiguring New York and leaving thousands of people dead.
    On my drawing table, during this entire morbid show, rested the draft of the last pages of [Part 4]. An album I was working on. Pages where we see New York, in a future where the Twin Towers are still standing. A New York in mortal danger, as you will see. Buildings collapsing on themselves. A terrible cataclysm. Images indubitably similar to those I was currently seeing on television. Atrociously similar.
    Then of course I wondered whether I could publish any of this, if I should keep the cover with the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building shattered and drifting in space, those pages of a destroyed Manhattan, and if I shouldn't simply edit out all the New York scenes contained in my album.
    Unlike the Hollywood studios, I decided not to be afraid of the public's reaction. I did not remove the Twin Towers from my drawings. Erasing all traces of their existence, all the way into the world of fiction, would be to grant total victory to those who had brought them down. Furthermore, who knows if given American excess, those same towers could not be rebuilt in a taller, stronger form?
    And unlike the Hollywood studios, I also decided not to remove the violence and destruction which fill this part 4 of Universal War One. With the four years of work I've done on this project, I know where the path leads: I speak of the violent and self destructive impulses of humanity itself. I speak of what we will inflict on ourselves if we don't evolve. I speak of humanity's death. Not from the hand of an external or different enemy, but from its own. And the excessiveness of certain people's acts is only at the scale of our arrogance.
    This September 11th 2001, I knew I had to continue writing this nightmare called UW1. Nothing is more important than being at the heart of the subject.
  • A panel of Adventures of Superman #596 depicting the aftermath of an alien assault on Metropolis, including a partially-collapsed LexCorp towers (the Superman analogue to the WTC). Its cover is a typical chest-barring shot of the S-shield with an atypical black background (Supes in mourning for said alien attack) and the line "This is NOT a job for Superman" on it. The issue was due to hit newsstands on September 12, 2001 and came a day late with a coincidence in timing positively eerie in an industry where the product is made months in advance. DC made the issue returnable without penalty by purchasing comic shops.
  • A Spider-Man/X-Force comic crossover in the early '90s had part of the WTC destroyed by supervillains. Try finding it now. Notably, it was the last of Todd McFarlane's run before he jumped ship to Image Comics.
    • Even more, a Spider-Man special from Wizard calls the crossover pointless and (in the wake of 9/11) distasteful.
    • Similarly, the Marvel graphic novel Revenge Of The Living Monolith, which shows the Monolith punching through the WTC on the cover, will likely never be reprinted. Nor the first Damage Control miniseries, in which the WTC is being rebuilt after a superbattle. The WTC got kicked around a lot in Marvel comics of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
  • Comic books depicting the attacks respectfully started in November 2001 with Amazing Spider-Man volume 2 #36, by J. Michael Straczynski. Artist John Romita Jr. expressed sentiments very similar to the ones above by Denis Bajram. Tributes began to appear in earnest with the 9-11 - Artists Respond collections beginning in January 2002.

  • Glitter, the notorious Mariah Carey flop, had no real budget to speak of, so the film was released as scheduled and the World Trade Center shots were left in; keep in mind, the film was shot around the time of 9/11, so technically, they're the last film images of the Towers. Contrary to what film executives thought would be the reaction (which led to the pulling of the image in, say, the Spider-Man trailers mentioned below), crowds reportedly applauded the shots. When crowds did the same for the trailers of Sidewalks of New York, the filmmakers left the film unedited. It goes to show the complete misjudging of audiences by the film industry yet again.
    • Similarly, Lloyd Kaufman's refusal to remove the Twin Towers from the opening shot of Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. His choice to keep them was met with thunderous applause by the audience at its New York premiere.
    • Gangs of New York. The final shot is of the Manhattan skyline, with the World Trade Center prominently featured. Its release was delayed; but Scorsese insisted on the shot remaining in the movie, saying the movie was about those who built New York, not those who tried to destroy it.
  • Spider-Man:
    • At least one trailer for the first movie was pulled from distribution because it showed a helicopter filled with bank robbers getting caught in a web stretched between the towers of the World Trade Centernote .
    • In a more positive note, the movie was edited to feature New Yorkers throwing things at Green Goblin and shouting Narmic yet uplifting things like "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!"
    • The WTC can also be glimpsed in the reflection of Spidey's eyes during one of his initial webslinging tests.
    • In the part where various New Yorkers are talking about Spider-Man not long after he started showing up in the news, one of the "testimonials" is from two workers in Ground Zero.
    • A shot in the ending where Spider-Man sticks on a pole with the American flag flying was added in post-production.
  • Airings of Ghostbusters II were cancelled for some time because of the closing shot of the film.
  • The original ending of Men in Black II was scrapped after 9/11 because it featured the World Trade Center being used as a garage for flying saucers. This one of the more severe examples, as the film as a result lost 20 minutes of its run time due to the climax being completely chopped out. Due to its abnormally short run time for a tentpole studio film, Sony attached a large number of trailers to the start of the film as well as an animated short, The ChubbChubbs!, that was merely meant to be a test film for Sony Imageworks.
  • In September 2001, Jackie Chan was supposed to start filming Nosebleed, about a World Trade Center window-washer who foils a terrorist plot. It was scrapped entirely. The attacks also forced the start of his cartoon's "Demon Portal" arc with Big Bad Shendu's family back by two weeks, as detailed in the Western Animation folder.
    • There is an urban legend that Chan was supposed to film a scene in the World Trade Center on the morning of 11 September 2001, but that he overslept and missed the scheduled shooting, which saved his life. The veracity of this is unconfirmed.
  • On the night of 9/11, The BBC pulled Daylight, which revolves around a tunnel explosion in New York.
  • Later that week, an Australian channel pulled The Towering Inferno.
  • Big Trouble, a film based on a popular comedic novel by Dave Barry in which some Stupid Crooks bring a Suitcase Nuke onto an airplane, was due to be released the Friday after 9/11, and had all 2,000+ of its prints ready to ship out, but was delayed.
  • View From The Top was shelved for 2 years by Miramax after it wrapped up filming in 2001, because the execs felt it would be in poor taste to release a comedy that made light of flight-attendants so soon after 9/11.
  • A particularly infamous post-9/11 edit of Back to the Future removed all references to terrorism. As Marty goes back in time while escaping Libyan terrorists, that scene made no sense, understandably overshadowing the also egregious blurring of a great deal of Product Placement.
  • The 2002 film Bad Company was held back from its original release for several months because of the terrorism related plot revolving around planting a bomb to blow up New York's Grand Central Station.
  • Pretty much any film adaptation which originally had Islamic terrorists as the antagonist in the source material. Jumper, it was changed to a bunch of crazed Christians, etc. Not applicable to The Sum of All Fears, where the villains became neo-Nazis, as that was filmed in 2000.
  • Collateral Damage, about a man chasing down the terrorist who killed his family in a bombing, had its release delayed from October 5, 2001 to February 8, 2002. It also originally contained a scene involving an airplane hijacking that was later cut from the movie.
  • The Postal film, intended to be shown in 1500 American theaters, ended up only being shown in four of them, 7 1/2 months after it was intended to, apparently because the opening scene portrayed the 9/11 attacks as an accident on the part of hijackers who merely wished to head to the Bahamas. A bit extreme, considering the film was released in 2007. It ALSO has an ending with George W. Bush and Al-Queda leader Osama Bin Laden skipping off together, which did not help the situation much. This film is based off an equally controversial video game that had two installments prior (the second was called a "Celebration of the M rating" by Tommy Tallarico and Victor Lucas on G4), and the film was directed by Uwe Boll, who also took shots at Indiana Jones; the film, which is one of the most critically reviled films in the second half of the 2000's, helped convince the gaming industry to keep away from him after a string of infamous flops.
  • The film of BS Johnson's Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, about a bookkeeper who turns to terrorism, was due for its British release in the autumn of 2001. However due to events that September, which made terrorism seem less like a fun response to life's iniquities, the film's release was postponed and it barely made it into cinemas at all.
  • Margaret Cho's Notorious C.H.O., released as a film in 2002, opens with a joke about her giving blowjobs to rescue workers at Ground Zero.
  • Certain television stations when airing The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! show the film without the full beginning having the assembled terrorists talking about concocting a terrorist act to show the weakness of the United States.
  • The original script for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had an insanely destructive finale, showing several major American cities and landmarks being obliterated by nuclear blasts. By some accounts this was chopped down to a much-abbreviated sequence because the studio felt that showing such detailed death and destruction wouldn't sit well with audiences that soon after 9/11. However, it has also been suggested that the original ending got changed because it would have been way too expensive to produce, leaving this one up in the air somewhat.
  • Buffalo Soldiers shows the bored US soldiers stationed in West Germany (in 1989) selling stolen weapons to terrorists, who are portrayed somewhat sympathetically. Miramax bought the film on September 10th, 2001 and had to delay it for a year or two.
  • In the Netherlands, Con Air was programmed to air just a few days after 9/11. Being a film about criminals hijacking a plane and eventually crashing it into a building, the network programmers thought this would invoke this trope, and replaced it with Batman & Robin.
  • The ending of Remember Me reveals that the film was set in 2001, and that Robert Pattinson's character is about to die in the 9/11 attacks. Word of God says he was inspired to write the story after reading obituaries from the event. This angry review says it all.
    Why was it titled Remember Me? Because Never Forget would have been too obvious.
  • The 2002 version of the film The Time Machine suffered from a three month delay because of the original script that was abandoned shown sections of the shattered moon crashing into the skyscrapers of 2037 New York City.
  • When ET was re-released, a throwaway line was changed. The original line was, "You are NOT going as a terrorist for Halloween!" The edit replaces "terrorist" with "hippie."
  • Early versions of The Incredibles featured a scene where a frustrated Mr. Incredible vents his emotions on an abandoned building, but ends up accidentally damaging a neighboring building as well. This was considered too reminiscent of the World Trade Center collapse, and was replaced with a scene where Mr. Incredible and Frozone rescue trapped civilians from a burning building.
  • Scenes of the WTC were removed from People I Know.
  • A planned sequel to True Lies was cancelled. When asked why, some people behind the scenes elaborated that because the film was a comedy that dealt with domestic terrorism, and has a scene of a skyscraper being nuked, it might have been difficult or seen as insensitive so soon after 9/11 for them to discuss how fun it was to film.
    • It also resulted in a special edition DVD release for the original film being canceled. To this day, the only kind of home video release the film has seen are the original 90s VHS, LaserDisc, D-Theater, and DVD editions (the later of which being non-anamorphic and looks terrible when played on modern equipment). There are rumors of a special Blu-ray edition happening in the near future, but nothing official has been announced. Only muddling the issue further is the fact that as of 2019, another film directed by James Cameron, The Abyss, hasn't yet made it to Blu-ray, either.
  • Averted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. The World Trade Center towers are seen in the New York scenes of the film, set many years into the future after 2001. Less than three months after the film's release, they were destroyed. Though risking controversy and criticism, Steven Spielberg left the twin towers in the DVD release.
  • Donnie Darko was given a short theatrical run due to being released near 9/11. Also because, y'know, the main problem Donnie has to resolve is that he's destined to die from a plane crash.
  • Two Weeks Notice: This was one of the first films released after 9/11 and the film focuses quite a bit on Manhattan architecture (although in a positive way). However, the film's posters all contained iconic shots of the New York skyline. It was too late for them to redo the posters from scratch, so they inserted a shot of Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock standing back to back to block out any view of the Twin Towers. Criticism was issued that the posters were copying the Pretty Woman posters, which is why the producers explained the layout of the posters: it wasn't conscious copying, it was a last minute panic and the end result turned out to be coincidentally similar.
  • The since-scrapped Australian poster for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), features the Turtles falling out of an exploding tower. The Australian release date? September 11th.
  • Watchmen: According to screenwriter David Hayter, the film's different ending from the graphic novel where Ozymandias frames Dr. Manhattan by blowing up New York with their machine's energy, instead of building a "squid" monster that destroys the city and appears to be an attack by aliens came about because 9/11 happened the day after Hayter signed his contract with Universal. Fearing that mirroring the recent massacre in film would be too painful, he rewrote the ending to instead mirror the more distant bombing of Hiroshima. (The film itself premiered in 2009, eight years after 9/11.)
  • 9/11's immediate changing of the views on terrorism as something that HAD to be taken as seriously as a nuclear threat was one of the reasons for EON Productions rebooting the James Bond series in 2006; Pierce Brosnan's final Bond film, Die Another Day, getting hammered for unrealism and the influence of the Austin Powers spoof trilogy are some of the other factors.
  • The first Final Destination film, which opens with a plane exploding over New York, was pulled from its (already slightly sadistic) viewing availability on the airlines showing it. The third film was released five years later and received lots of criticism for one shot where the protagonist shows a photo of the World Trade Centre right before the first plane hit.
  • In Ocean's Eleven the scene where the characters watch a casino get demolished was altered, originally it was the real-life "New York, New York Hotel" that was being demolished, but after 9/11 it was changed to the fictional Xanadu casino as it bothered the filmmakers to watch a facade of the New York skyline going down in flames so soon after the attacks.

    Game Shows 
  • An episode of Jeopardy! which aired in November 2001 featured footage of The Pentagon; at the next regularly scheduled break, host Alex Trebek explained to viewers the episode had been filmed prior to September 11. Jeopardy! champion Kevin Laude's one win, slated to air September 11, never aired in its run in most of the country, until it reran on GSN for the first time in June 2005. Ramsay Campbell's fifth and final game also didn't make it to air (it didn't affect much, since he lost and despite Alex's reassurances that he could make the Tournament of Champions that Brad Rutter won, it was impossible for him to qualify due to the long split between that tourney and the 2000 tournament in Atlanta seeing MORE than 15 retired champions note , leaving no room for 4-time champions; Campbell has not reappeared on Jeopardy.)

  • Apologized for by Tad Williams in the introduction to The War of the Flowers, which includes a scene in which the villains crash a dragon into a skyscraper; it was too late for him to change it when 9/11 happened.
  • An in-universe example from the short story "Cocaine and Painkillers" (from the Machine of Death anthology): One of the products manufactured by the protagonist's employer is the "TradeCenter, a kids' bank that had unfortunately hit the market in September 2001".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Another exception: Battlestar Galactica has prominently featured three different storylines involving suicide bombing and four involving torture of prisoners.
    • Not a complete aversion in the first such story, as Executive Meddling prevented the show's producers from showing or explicitly stating there were passengers aboard the suicide ship when it was shot down. However, it was more or less stated later on that there were civilians aboard.
    • The pilot is an aversion as it is deliberately designed to evoke the same sense of initial confusion and mounting horror of 9/11 with confused and garbled news reports and military bulletins painting an ever more grim picture of the genocide in progress before they all go silent.
  • The third episode of Scrubs (premiering in the Fall of 2001) featured a frustrated outburst "I swear to Aisha" which didn't quite seem to match the actor's lip movements. "Allah" would have matched far better, however.
  • Also in 2001, the producers of the Law & Order franchise planned a huge multi-part crossover between all three series, which would have revolved around a terrorist plot. After 9/11, the plan was scrapped, and no major crossover has ever been attempted.
  • However in a rare and nearly total aversion, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which premiered in fall '01, did have a story about a suicide bomb plot by a group of Islamic extremists during their first season. While 9/11 isn't really directly invoked, it really didn't have to be.
  • Each Law & Order series was delayed in its opening, in part because the last shot of the opening credits was of the Manhattan skyline, including the Twin Towers. The towers were edited out, each season premiere also began with a dedication to the victims of 9/11.
  • Power Rangers Time Force experienced an exceptional number of episodes edited before being re-broadcast in order to modify or remove the series staple of exploding buildings during mecha battles. The franchise has never entirely gotten over it since; sparkle effects are added to most instances of fire, and what few exploding buildings that remain from source footage are always empty beforehand. Usual explanations for this consist of Abandoned Warehouse districts or building occupants all successfully evacuating off-screen.
    • Also, footage of the Time Shadow Megazord standing on twin skyscrapers was edited from the series, and the shot of it in the opening credits was replaced by the Q-Rex posing.
    • In the episode "Ransik Lives", Ransik gets on TV and demands the city to surrender to him, or he'll level it. After 9/11, his speech was edited over with the Time Force theme song, making the moment very jarring.
  • This was parodied by a Saturday Night Live sketch where the Turner Classic Movies channel tries to edit the World Trade Center out of King Kong (1976). The final ten minutes of the movie (where Kong climbs the World Trade Center) are replaced by new footage (starring TCM employees) of people looking out a window, describing Kong climbing the Chrysler Building.
    • The first SNL episode following 9/11 had then-NYC mayor Rudolph Guliani as the guest star. He opened the show by introducing various rescue workers as heroes, then states that SNL should continue on as a testament to the human spirit. Lorne Michaels asked if it's okay to be funny again. Guiliani's response: "Why start now?"
    • Possibly because the writers and actors of SNL actually live in New York, some of the best close-to-the moment jokes came from SNL. There was a skit about people whose personal lives were in tatters after 9/11 because of their first names. Two of them were Al Kyda, and Tallulah (Tally) Bands. They had businesses using their names, and had been forced to close, and their friends were even afraid to say "Hi" to them in public.
  • The pilot episode of The Agency featured a terrorist plot by Osama bin Laden/Al Qaeda; that episode was delayed after 9/11. Another episode featuring an anthrax scare was delayed after several real-life anthrax attacks.
  • The weekend after 9/11, the scheduled rerun of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda was to be an episode opening with an eco-terrorist group ramming a small fighter into a commercial space liner, killing everyone aboard. It was replaced with a rerun of a different episode which was more of a sweet love story transcending time. Ironically, some stations owned by the company which made the show, which run episodes a week later than independent stations that syndicate the series so as to not cut into their ratings with possibly earlier-scheduled airings available over cable or satellite TV, ran that week the previous episode in the rerun schedule...which featured a would-be suicide bomber.
  • Shortly before Touched by an Angel started its eighth season in September 2001, CBS was scheduled to repeat the Season 7 story "Netherlands" from the previous May. The plot has heroine Monica witnessing a building being destroyed by a bomb; many are killed, and though she's an angel she has a crisis of faith that culminates in her being tempted to forsake God by Satan himself. Plus, the B-plot has new angel Gloria interacting with one of the victims — a little girl who ultimately succumbs to her injuries. The repeat was pulled, but Seasons 8 and 9 each had a Christmas Episode ("A Winter Carol" and "The Christmas Watch") in which the angels had to help people who were affected by 9/11.
  • Fringe inverted and possibly ended the application of this trope when, at the end of the first season, Olivia switches to a parallel universe where William Bell has offices in the World Trade Center, revealed by a dramatic pullback crane shot.
    • Although we do see a newspaper headline with "Obamas prepare to move into new White House", meaning that, well...
    • 9/11 clearly happened in the alternate universe as it can be seen from Walter's questioning of a survivor from the other side. Said survivor was working on designs for the "New Pentagon" and mentions that during 9/11 Pentagon was destroyed but not the Twin Towers.
    • A few months before this, the American Life on Mars provided a harbinger: a stunning reveal of World Trade lets Sam Tyler know he's no longer in 2007.
  • Australian kids' show Play School, which runs in a 9AM timeslot, had as its theme for the day of September 12, 2001, building up towers made of wooden blocks and knocking them down, all to a tune. Playschool records its episodes more than six months prior to having them on the screen, it was completely unintentional, and it still marked the first time the producers received hate mail.
  • In the DVD releases of Friends, one particular season had an episode where Monica and Chandler are married and on their honeymoon about to board an airplane while leaving Joey and Phoebe in charge of Monica's apartment. The original version was revised at the last minute because its plot involved Chandler seeing a sign saying 'no jokes about bombs', making a joke about it, and guards swarming them and asking for a luggage search because they take those jokes seriously. Later, as they're searching, Joey and Phoebe call saying that there's an apparent gas leak in Monica's apartment. Monica replies into the phone: "Do you think I want that place to blow up!?" The guards come in hearing everything except the first three words, and rekindle their search for the 'bomb'.
    • "The One After 'I Do'", which was the first new episode shown after 9/11 (first aired on September 27, 2001), had a Vanity Plate saying that it was dedicated to "the people of New York". The show also began using new establishing shots without the Twin Towers in them and several scenes during the season had Joey wearing NYPD and FDNY apparel.
  • 24 was delayed in its release, as it focused on (preventing) terrorist attacks, and the first episode ended with a plane blowing up. The scenes were included on the Season 1 Special Edition DVD, which was released many years later.
  • Inverted like you wouldn't believe by The West Wing. Given the nature of the show, it was natural that they should take it on in a Very Special Episode. All things considered, it tackled its subject matter quite well.
  • The opening credits of the long-running 1990s sitcom Mad About You showed the original Manhattan skyline, pre-September 11. The show ended in 1999. In syndication airings, the Twin Towers were removed.
  • Another exception - Noggin (back before it was renamed as Nick Jr.) aired unedited reruns of Square One TV not long after the events of September 11 and it was more than a little disturbing to hear George Frankly yammering casually about having dinner at Windows of the World in the World Trade Center.
  • The Sopranos was yet another series set in the New York area to have brief shots of the World Trade Center removed from its credit sequence.
  • Inverted with the 2003 HBO miniseries adaptation of the play Angels in America. Because it takes place in 1985, the Twin Towers were digitally inserted into the backdrops for historical accuracy.
  • Averted by MTV's The Real World. Season 10 was shot in New York in early 2001, and featured shots of the Twin Towers in several scenes. Rather than edit it, MTV ran a message before one of the episodes noting that "we have chosen to show the remaining episodes unaltered as a testament to the longstanding history and spirit of this great city."
  • Pre-September 11 episodes of The Late Show with David Letterman included a joke about New York in the opening. Post-September 11 episodes simply described the show as being broadcast from "the greatest city in the world. "
  • The Katherine Heigl Made-for-TV movie "Critical Assembly"(about two high-school students who build a nuclear device that gets stolen by terrorists) based on the best-selling James Mills novel "The Seventh Power" was originally titled "Ground Zero" and was scheduled to air in Fall of 2001, after 9/11, it was temporarily shelved, finally getting released in 2003 after being re-titled in order to avoid being associated with the site of the towers.
  • The Roseanne Season 9 episode "Roseambo" (premiered almost five years before the attacks) was withdrawn from syndication after 9/11 due to its' terrorism plot (women-hating terrorists hijack an Amtrak train bound for Washington DC and deliberately render it a runaway headed for a downed bridge off a cliff), though it was eventually released on DVD.

  • The Dream Theater live album Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York was scheduled to hit store shelves on 9/11. The original album artwork had a burning apple wrapped in barbed wire with a silhouette of New York City in the flames (with the World Trade Center towers clearly visible), in what is a very scary coincidence. The album was pulled, given new artwork, and put back on shelves in a few weeks.
  • The Jimmy Eat World album Bleed American was released on July 18th, 2001, became self-titled following 9/11, and has since switched back to the original title for the 2008 reissue. The title track was also renamed "Salt Sweat Sugar" - at least none of the song's lyrics had to be altered, since "Bleed American" was a Non-Appearing Title anyway.
  • "A Dream" by Jay-Z, a tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., includes a sampled verse from Biggie's classic "Juicy," but the line "Blow up like the World Trade" (referencing the 1993 attack) is edited out. However, this doesn't stop people who know and love the original from keeping the line in when singing along.
    • Some radio stations play an edit of "Juicy" itself that also removes the same lyric.
  • A rap/hip-hop duo actually called The World Trade Center made an album that featured an exploding building that oddly enough wasn't the WTC.
    • Not to be confused with The Coup, a hip-hop duo whose scheduled November 2001 release was to have an exploding WTC on the cover. See here.
  • The band I Am The World Trade Center released their debut album in July of 2001, and had chosen their name as early as 1999. The album in question, Out Of The Loop, even had the unfortunate coincidence of featuring a song called "September" as the 11th track. The band, who are a Creator Couple duo, have said that their name was meant to invoke the landmark as a symbol of an "equal and independent" relationship. They briefly started booking performances as I Am The World... as a result, but ultimately kept their original name.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Christmas at Ground Zero" stopped being aired during the winter holiday season after 9/11, due to the site of the attacks being commonly known as Ground Zero. The actual song refers to celebrating Christmas in the middle of a nuclear war.
  • After the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, Anthrax put out a press release joking that they were going to change their name to Basket Of Puppies, but ultimately kept the name. They did, however, temporarily put up information about the disease on their official website, since concerned people were typing into their browsers.
    • Anthrax kept a very good sense of humour about their unfortunate coincidence at the time. During a talk show appearance, when jokingly asked if they still received fan mail (referencing the infamous delivery method at the time) a band member responded along the lines of "Yeah, but we don't open it." while another quickly added "Yeah, no ironic death for us".
  • The early Cure single "Killing An Arab" was somewhat controversial to begin with due to the Unfortunate Implications of the title (though it's actually about the shooting scene in The Stranger), but gained further controversy during the Persian Gulf War and again after September 11th. The 1986 compilation Staring At The Sea included the song, but had a sticker on the front cover explaining its meaning, and it was conspicuously the only non-album single of the period not included in the 2004 reissue of Three Imaginary Boys. It has been played live post-September 11th, but with the chorus changed to "Killing Another", or more humorously "Kissing An Arab".
  • The song "No Hard Feelings" by the Bloodhound Gang includes the line "I'm missing you like a hijacked flight on September eleventh/I don't know who got on you but I'm not wrong in thanking them since it/ain't my job to fuck you on your birthday anymore." The album came out four years (almost to the day) after the attacks.
  • German musician Farin Urlaub of Die Ärzte fame was due to release his first solo album "Endlich Urlaub" (translation: "At last: Vacation") in October 2001, with promotional material already published before September 11th, including the originally planned cover, depicting Farin in front of a burning resort hotel with a jerry can in hand. The cover was pulled and replaced in time, showing burning palm trees in the background instead.
  • The Strokes' Is This It was first released in the UK in July of 2001, but came out in the US a little after 9/11: the band voluntarily demoted the song "New York City Cops" to a b-side for the US release, due to its unfortunate refrain of "New York City cops/ they ain't too smart" (though in context it was just a Non Sequitur comment made by a character in the song). What made this worse is that there were several reviews by American critics already published before the song was removed that called the song one of the album's best tracks.
  • Sugarcult's "Stuck In America" was released as a single just a little before 9/11 - it prominently featured the line "Everybody's talking 'bout blowing up the neighborhood", so a single version was recorded with the lyric altered to "Everybody's talking 'bout moving out the neighborhood".
  • Inverted by Rush on their album ''Vapor Trails": the song "Peaceable Kingdom" was originally an instrumental but was changed to have lyrics in honor of the 9/11 attacks.
  • AC/DC's video for "Safe In New York City", released in 2000 as a Take That! at Rudy Giuliani, was still getting airplay in August 2001. Don't know if it was ever broadcast in the U.S. again.
  • Insane Clown Posse's 2001 rarities collection "Forgotten Freshness Vol. 3" included a new track called "Cartoon Nightmares." One of Shaggy's lines - "I hijack planes and head for record label towers" - was deemed too tasteless (even by ICP's standards), and the line was scrambled beyond comprehension.
  • Funker Vogt's "Body Count", released about a year before 9/11, describes a terrorist attack "much worse than Oklahoma". Not surprisingly, the song was omitted from their subsequent US tour.
  • Averted by the band Burning Airlines, who formed in 1998 and were named after the Brian Eno song "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More": Although they had understandable difficulty booking concerts after 9/11 note , they refused to change their name. They did ultimately break up in 2002 anyway though.
  • In 2000, James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy, and Jonathan Galkin formed a production company (and soon after, a record label) named Death From Above, after Murphy's nickname for a soundsystem he helped build. Once September 11 happened, both the label and production company started going exclusively by "DFA" - it should be noted that DFA is based in New York, so Death From Above would have been seen as being in particularly poor taste there.
  • Bush's album Golden State, released in October of 2001, was affected by 9/11 in two ways: Firstly, lead-off single "Speed Kills" was retitled "The People That We Love" - the original title appeared on pre-9/11 promo singles, but was changed for the official release of the single, as well as for the album proper. Secondly, the album artwork was originally intended to feature the outline of a commercial airliner, but was changed to Minimalistic Cover Art consisting of nothing but the band name and album title over a brown background.
  • CAKE's song Comfort Eagle, from the album of the same name,was originally meant to be released as a single. Due to the 9/11 attacks, though, its release was cancelled (due to lyrics mentioning airplanes, stepping from ledges, and a cult). Love You Madly was released as a single instead.
  • Kenny Chesney was supposed to film a video for his song "The Tin Man" (a 2001 re-release of a song he had previously released in 1994) at the World Trade Center on September 11. However, a delay in shipping the equipment caused the shoot to be postponed. The rereleased version ended up not having a music video, although the original 1994 version did.
  • Primal Scream regularly performed a new song called "Bomb the Pentagon" on their 2001 tour. After 9/11, it was released on the album Evil Heat under the title "Rise", with a different chorus.

    Music Videos 
  • Disturbed's video for "Prayer" was banned for its focus on devastation, specifically the earthquake scene with rubble falling from the buildings which several deemed too similar to 9/11. The video is meant to be a reference to the book of Job, with its themes of adversity, calamity and recovery.
  • Similarly, Machine Head pulled the video for "Crashing Around You" due to its theme of planes smashing into buildings. It was released shortly before 9/11 and was in rotation on several music TV stations at the time.
  • The music video for the blink-182 song "Stay Together for the Kids" was originally supposed to have the band performing inside an abandoned house that was destroyed by a wrecking ball (a metaphor for the song's themes of divorce). It was filmed just days before 9/11, and when it happened, the wrecking ball footage was deemed too similar to how the World Trade Center was destroyed. As such, the video had to be reshot simply showing the band perform in a empty mansion with other teens.
  • Though not really circulated that often, the Red House Painters music video for their cover of "All Mixed Up" (from Songs for a Blue Guitar) was completely removed from circulation after 9/11 and not seen again until Vevo re-uploaded it to YouTube in 2009. A good portion of the video was shot in the courtyard of the World Trade Center and there's a shot of a fairy creature crying with the towers looming in the distance.note 
  • Averted by Ryan Adams' video for "New York, New York". In an eerie coincidence, the video was shot four days prior to the attacks, and predominately featured Adams performing at sunset while the Towers are framed in full behind him. Instead of being pulled, the video was released two weeks later as a tribute to victims of the attacks, and "those who worked to save them".
  • The music video for Limp Bizkit's "Rollin"' mostly takes place atop the iconic towers. On September 6, 2001, it won "Best Rock Video" in the MTV Music Awards. Eerily, just a day before the attacks, the World Trade Center wrote the group a letter thanking them for showing the towers in the video.
  • In the summer of 2001 Lauryn Hill taped a performance for MTV Unplugged 2.0. The show and the accompanying album were shelved for 10 months after 9/11 due to concerns over one new song about religion called called "Rebel". Lauryn said she delayed the album because she didn't want to cause riots.

    Puppet Shows 
  • New material was quickly added to Sesame Street following the attacks addressing issues centered around the event. The first episode of the season involved a grease fire at Hooper's Store which traumatized Elmo until he meets some real-life firefighters.
  • The Funday Pawpet Show had an emergency episode on the day of the event in order to try and tell people what is going on. Unfortunately, no footage of the episode exists.

  • The BBC were at pains to point out that the episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series featuring the destruction of an office building (or to be precise, one of two large towers, albeit connected by a bridge) was originally aired in the early Eighties and wasn't a reference to 9/11. It's best not to speculate about the people that disclaimer was aimed at.
  • An aversion: Miami sportscaster Hank Goldberg had long ridiculed Miami Herald columnist Linda Robertson, who had advocated that the University of Miami Hurricanes "change their offensive nickname" in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. An out-of-town reporter being interviewed by Hank only a few weeks after the September 11 attacks asked whether Robertson had written an article calling for the New York Jets to change their name.
  • In 2001, one of the biggest German radio stations had just switched to an automated system choosing the music instead of a person, however, the moderator could still change the song that would come up. On 9/11, just after the news had come in that the first plane had hit the building, the program played a song called "Burning Down the House". Following his, as he himself called it, failure to change the song in time, the moderator present quit his job two days later.
  • A list of songs that radio stations owned by Clear Channel Radio were advised to avoid playing in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 did the rounds on the internet. Some of the entries were obvious, others much less so. As the Snopes link above shows, some people misread the list as being songs that were outright banned from playing on the air, instead of suggestions about what might not be well-received by the audience.
    • This was controversial among broadcasters and listeners, with Steven Wishnia (senior editor at High Times) pointing out in this article in LiP magazine that:
    It didn't have to be [a direct order]. Who in a job as highly coveted and easily replaceable as radio DJ is going to defy a "suggestion" from on high about what is "inappropriate"? They don't have to spell out Y-O-U W-I-L-L B-E F-I-R-E-D. The kind of people whose immediate response to such a list would be to blast Body Count's "Cop Killer" four times in a row generally don't get such jobs or keep them very long... Clear Channel is big enough to make sure that only certain kinds of voices get heard on the car radios and boom boxes of America.

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • When the attacks actually happened, Disney and then-CEO Michael Eisner ordered all the parks closed and evacuated immediately out of concern of THEM being targets. The operation was handled with great care, and the hotels remained opened, but a handful of people were calmly told to leave, but given return passes to the parks and major deals for guests who were stranded when the air grid was shut down. Security booths were installed before the parks reopened, and 9/11 did hit Disney's stock and vacation numbers enough to convince Sid Bass, who had put Eisner up for the job in 1984, to cash in his shares and end his involvement with the company; this whole experience was one of the factors in Eisner's downfall a few years later.
    • At Florida's version of the Jungle Cruise, the jokes the skippers would make about a crashed plane prop were dropped, with the skippers instead being told to find ways to divert guests' attention away from the prop. It wouldn't be for several years until the jokes surrounding the crashed plane were brought back.
    • The Timekeeper at Magic Kingdom featured a view of the NYC skyline, which included the World Trade Center. While the film itself was not changed, the "present-day" year shown on the Timekeeper's machine was permanently set to 2000, whereas before it would always change in correspondence to what the current year was. The attraction would later be quietly closed in 2006 and replaced with the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor show; with the NYC scene possibly being one of the factors in that decision.
  • The tagline of Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream event in 2001 was originally, "This time, terror takes control!", but following the attacks it was changed to, "You wanted scary? Be careful what you ask for!"
  • At Universal Studios:
    • In The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, almost all of the video clips in the queue line that showed the Sinister Syndicate attacking New York City were removed in response to 9/11. It wasn't until sometime around 2009 that these clips were finally restored.
    • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in 2001 was drastically altered in response to the attack. The event that year was originally going to be played up as "more gorier than every before", and its icon, Eddie, was going to be a chainsaw-wielding maniac. After the attacks, virtually every single hint of violence, gore, and blood was removed from that year's event and became a more traditional fantasyish kind of scary. Eddie was scrapped as the icon and replaced with the return of Jack the Clown, who fits the "fantasy villain" bill. Even the names of almost every house, scarezone, and show were changed. "Bloodbath Underground" became "Ooze Zone Fright Club", "Terrorland" became "Scary Tales", "Festival of the Dead Parade" became "Nightmares on Parade", "Deadly D'illusions" became "Dangerous D'illusions", "Slasher Alley" became "Nightmare Alley", and so on and so forth.
    • Kongfrontation in Universal Studios Florida had to alter their script immediately after the attacks, as the attraction involved King Kong running amok in NYC. References to disaster areas, crashed helicopters and other sensitive lines were removed or edited.
    • In the queue line for the former Twister...Ride it Out attraction, the address number on the firehouse facade was changed from "911" to "291" in response to attacks.

    Video Games 
  • A last minute cut to the ending of Metal Gear Solid 2, which originally involved a huge mobile fortress destroying a large portion of Manhattan, compounded the game's Gainax Ending with illogical scene-switches. Most of these were restored in the Novelization.
    • A line in which Raiden states that the "U.S. President is a terrorist" (after finding out that the President was willingly cooperating with the Sons of Liberty) was re-recorded as well.
    • Some lines were also deleted outright: For example, in the scene that Vamp reveals that Arsenal Gear contained a purified hydrogen bomb, there was originally supposed to be an exchange between Raiden and Vamp that revealed that Dead Cell and Solidus actually had different plans on exactly how they were going to launch that bomb: while Solidus intended to launch it into the sky to cause an EMP wave to short out the Patriots' main computer in Wall Street, Dead Cell intended to simply use it to nuke Manhattan outright.
    • Also, Ocelot (after becoming Liquid Ocelot) was originally supposed to state that he set Arsenal Gear's navigation systems on a direct course to Manhattan, and there would have been a scene of Arsenal Gear plowing through various landmarks before stopping just short of Federal Hall. Ocelot's statement, and everything between Arsenal Gear approaching the coast of Manhattan and Raiden and Solidus falling off of it onto the roof of Federal Hall, was left out in the final version.
    • The Statue of Liberty was going to be moved to a different location in New York, and in the middle of the credits, it was going to show a news report on the Statue of Liberty's relocation. This idea was removed, and the middle of the credits shows live-action footage of NYC instead.
    • After killing Solidus, Raiden was going to cut the rope from an American flag and drop it on Solidus. This particular scene is still in the game but the flag itself was removed. In the scene you can see Raiden moving his sword up and then swinging it in a cutting motion as the sound of a flag extending is heard. The whole thing looks a bit odd, but giving all the stuff you had already gone through until then, it almost passes completely unnoticed.
  • The first mission of the Soviet campaign in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 tasks the player with invading Washington and destroying the Pentagon. In a later Soviet mission where the player must set up a Psychic Beacon near the World Trade Towers, if the towers are damaged, they look eerily like they looked after the September 11th attacks. The game was released in October 2000, nearly a year before the attacks. After the attacks, Westwood pulled all remaining covers that showed a plane flying towards the Twin towers, and re-named the famous landmarks. The Trade Towers are now just Towers, and the Eiffel Tower is "Paris Tower", the Arc of Triumph is the "Paris Arch of Winning" and The Louvre is "Generic World Famous Art Museum" (though Game Mods can restore the names if you want).
    • A bit further down the line, the German version of Command & Conquer: Generals, named Generäle, attempted to preclude this. The entire game was essentially changed. Why? The German authorities were fearful the original version would allow children to play out the (then-on-paper) war in Iraq. Factions had their names changed (Generals proper used the United States, China, and a knockoff of Al-Qaeda), and like they infamously did in every other German C&C release before the above Red Alert 2, all infantry units became cyborgs - save for the Terrorist, who became a rolling bomb. This continued into the German version of Zero Hour, Stunde Null.
  • Grand Theft Auto III (release date: October 2 2001) went under a few changes following 9/11. They changed the color scheme of the Liberty City police from the NYPD's distinctive blue and white scheme to a Los Angeles inspired black and white color scheme. One mission that involved mentions of terrorism was removed, as was a mission-giver named Darkel who would have given the player missions involving acts of terrorism to bring down the city government.note 
    • However, contrary to popular belief, the Dodo plane didn't have its wings clipped due to 9/11 – rather, it was originally designed that way. Additionally, no other flyable planes were ever intended to appear in the game.
  • Averted in KOF'98: Ultimate Match. The original '98 featured a background of what was ostensibly New York, with the WTC off in the distance. UM's new background (as well as the usable original background) still features the towers. Justified in that this takes place in 1998 (non-canonicity aside)... and in that SNK Playmore probably didn't care either way.
  • The final boss battle of Spider-Man 2 – Enter: Electro originally took place on the World Trade Center. The game's North American release was shortly before 9/11, and at least one UK magazine had published a walkthrough based on that version. The re-release of the US version and the PAL version changed the building to a nameless skyscraper, removed any dialogue referencing the WTC and renamed the level from Top of the World to Best Laid Plans. They also renamed a few other levels: Aces High became The Gauntlet, Downward Spiral became The Corkscrew and Crash Flight! (in which Spidey has to prevent a plane from crashing) became Wind Tunnel.
    • Averted with the game's Game Boy Color equivalent, Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six. Its third level takes place in the North Tower, with the level's ending boss battle with the Vulture taking place on the roof. The game was released less than four months before 9/11, and no known alterations were made after the attacks.
  • Advance Wars shipped on September 10, 2001 in North America (and arrived in most stores on 9/11, being a Tuesday), and the Japanese version Game Boy Wars Advance, was slated for an October 2001 release in Japan. It was delayed indefinitely and wasn't properly released until 2004, when it was included in a 2-in-1 bundle with its sequel. Because the delay, the sales were poor and this is often pointed as one of the main reasons of the death of the franchise after 2008, since the delay had impact in the sales of the subsequent games (Dual Strike and Days of Ruin).
  • On the gaming front, it's never too soon for the internet! At least as far as flash goes. Anyone who frequented Newgrounds in the following days was privy to many Trade Center parodies already, those which survived landing squarely in the Bastard category of flash games/movies. Among these was the infamous WTC / NYC Defender, later deleted to make room for the finished product a couple months down the line. However, the game's main site took it down for the usual reasons, as pointed out in this Sep1401 article. Yes, it really was made that soon. Eventually requested NG removal when they began trying a more serious angle. Of similar note is a flash game revolving around that one Marine who lobbed a puppy. For anyone that missed WTC Defender, you had to shoot down hundreds of planes flung at the trade centers as if launched by catapult. Due to the oddly random scoring system, many surmised it represented the amount of people per plane. Ironically, the far more offensive fly a plane into the trade center remains, as the author never asked for it removed.
  • Similarly (though much later), when Steam rolled out their "Greenlight" program in 2012, it was initially overrun with intentionally bad, illegal, and/or offensive game concepts — including, yes, a game in which you attempt to fly planes into the World Trade Center. This led to the game pages being taken down and Valve instituting a $100 fee to put games up for voting, with all of the money going to the Child's Play charity.
  • The Modern Warfare 2 "Infamy" trailer has a part where Washington, D.C., gets pretty beat-up into a war zone, including partial destruction of the Washington Monument. And guess what happened next.
  • The Virtual Console release of The Combatribes, a Technos beat-em-up set in Manhattan, renamed the main bad guys from "Ground Zero" to "Guilty Zero".
  • In an extreme case of bad timing, the PS2 port of Silent Scope 2, featuring a mission with a plane being hijacked, was released on 9/11, although with a disclaimer sticker.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002, set to be released in September 2001, was delayed so that the Twin Towers could be removed from the game. And addons put them straight back in. The sort-of realistic online flying network VATSIM was forced to introduce a rule, whereby any user who mimicked any of the hijacked airplanes' actions would be permanently banned from the network.
  • In the first level of Twisted Metal: Black, released three months before 9/11, you can shoot down a jetliner to reveal a secret passage. In the PAL version, which came out in December of that year, and possibly the Greatest Hits rerelease, the plane is already crashed. Later, the Rooftops level has the wreckage of a plane embedded in one of the buildings, which may have also been removed.
  • [PROTOTYPE] and inFAMOUS pretty much shattered this particular brand of Too Soon for games, both having been set in Manhattan note , which is cordoned off as a superpowered maniac runs around murdering random people.
  • In 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game, there is an establishing shot of Manhattan with the World Trade Center conspicuously absent. For those who don't know, the game takes place in 1991. Sadly, this was still not corrected in the 2019 remaster.
  • Post-9/11 SimCity games removed the plane crash disaster.
  • Propeller Arena was a plane-based shooter planned for the Sega Dreamcast, with heavy emphasis on online play. Development for the game was completed, but its release was cancelled due to battle taking place in city environments (one level was even called "Tower City"), and because the cover art shows a plane flying above a city, which Sega feared would make people associate it for a terrorist simulator. It was also cancelled because the Dreamcast was nearing its end in America during this time.
  • The sixth mission of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies originally featured a pair of towers close to one of the harbors the player is expected to attack, which would have become covered in the smoke from one of the enemy's battleships after it was sunk. The 9/11 attacks resulted in the dev team removing the towers from the level due to a similarity to the damaged Twin Towers.
  • When Nintendo of America announced the American release date for the 3DS remake of Star Fox 64, they chose September 11th, 2011. At the last moment they decided to change the date to September 9th because they realized it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Didn't stop them from releasing Super Mario Maker that same day four years later, but then again Mario is a bit less violent (thus less likely to have even the possibility of reminding someone of 9/11) than Star Fox.
  • Max Payne was released in June 2001 on PC. It features the WTC towers in several billboards for Aesir, and during the graphic novel cutscenes. They are also visible in the background in the beginning of the level "The American Dream". The towers were removed from the PlayStation 2 and Xbox ports of the game, which were released in December 2001.

    Western Animation 
  • The Futurama episode "A Taste of Freedom," in which the Decopodians take over Earth after Zoidberg is found guilty of eating the Earthican Flag, was in production during 9/11. As a result, several shots during the invasion scene had to be removed or reanimated, as most of them showed buildings being destroyed. There is some good out of this: one of the replacement scenes is the infamous Visual Innuendo shot of the Decopodians cutting off the tip of the Bill Clinton Monument.
    • Also, despite rumors, the opening credits showing the Planet Express ship crashing into the screen that shows the executive producer credits wasn't edited.
  • A pre-9/11 episode of Family Guy showed Osama bin Laden getting past airport security by singing "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line after Stewie sings On the Good Ship Lollipop to distract security. The scene was cut for subsequent broadcasts (except for some overseas airings, as seen in the UK and Germany, and is on the Family Guy "Freakin' Sweet" DVD set) and has not been seen on TV since it premiered.
  • The Simpsons had one episode that took place in and around the World Trade Center (the season nine premiere "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", aired September 21st, 1997). While no official move was made by Matt Groening or FOX themselves, several stations acted individually and pulled the episode from their syndication schedules. The ban lasted several years in some cases, but most have re-inserted the episode by now. A 2009 British repeat hacked some bits out at random — the towers, being pretty central to the tone of the plot threads, were still present, but the scene with the fighting office workers (one of whom says, "They stick all the jerks in Tower 1") was cut. Even the writers on the DVD commentary feel sorry for doing the episode because of how much of an Unintentional Period Piece it's become due to 9/11 (and they really felt bad when they saw the scene of the man telling Homer that "They stick all the jerks in Tower 1.")
    • "She of Little Faith" (the episode where Lisa becomes a Buddhist after the church sells out to pay for damages done from Homer's model rocket) was in post-production and about to air at the time of 9/11. A joke about a Middle Eastern man called Hassan Jay Salam being accused of destroying the church because the model rocket has the letters H, J, and S on the side (which is also the initials for Homer J. Simpson) was edited due to fear of complaints. It can be seen on the deleted scene reel on the season 13 DVD set.
  • Following the attacks, Disney and ABC Networks began removing a number of pre-9/11 cartoon episodes from circulation on their networks due to their content being deemed too similar to the attacks. Examples include:
    • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episodes "Inside Job" and "Conspiracy";
    • The 101 Dalmatians: The Series episodes "Alive 'n Chicken" and "Prima Doggy";note 
    • The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Mass Transit Trouble";note 
    • The TaleSpin episode "Flying Dupes"; and,
    • The Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "A Lean on the Property."note 
    • While not a ban per se, subsequent broadcasts of An Extremely Goofy Movie had the scene where Goofy and Max save Tank from the collapsing and burning X structure trimmed down. While no reason was ever provided by Disney, it's generally accepted that the scene can be compared to victims of the World Trade Center collapse being trapped in debris begging for help before the structural failure took place.
  • Fox Family (which was to be taken over by Disney in a month after the attacks) followed Disney's suit with the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episodes "Shriek of the Vulture" and "The Final Vulture," both of which contained images of burning skyscrapers.note  In addition to that, episodes that Fox Family yanked include The Tick's "The Tick vs. the Proto-Clown"note , and, for its former parent network, the aforementioned Simpsons episode "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson." (though when that episode came back, some versions either wholesale butchered the episode to remove any scene or mention of The World Trade Center or just edited the part where a man talking to Homer says, "They stick all the jerks in Tower 1").
  • The Invader Zim episode "Door to Door" was delayed so that a scene depicting hypothetical destruction of a citynote  could be changed... into something which was even more nightmare inducing, but which didn't show quite as many destroyed buildings and didn't include the Statue of Liberty in the background. And the original still got shown on the premiere, because someone at Nickelodeon accidentally put in the master tape instead of the remade version.
  • Lilo & Stitch had to reanimate much of its climax as a response to 9/11; originally Stitch commandeered a 747 to rescue Lilo, flying around the skyscrapers of Honolulu. The plane was changed to a spaceship, although you can still tell it was once an airplane by looking at its doors. This scene, however, was included on the special edition version of the DVD, and is available as an extra on Disney+.
  • South Park also spoofed The War on Terror in Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants with a Looney Tunes routine in the style of war time cartoons of World War Two, with Cartman as Bugs Bunny and Osama bin Laden in the role of the antagonist.
    "What about the families of the victims of 9/11? Their feelings matter for another ten months, dammit!"
  • An episode of Justice League was originally to feature a plane crash but was rewritten into a train wreck.
  • An episode of the '90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series involving an incident with the World Trade Center was edited post 9/11 in such a manner the episode's opening is confusing.
  • Time Warner intended to premiere their fall 2001 Kids WB block slate (which included the U.S. debut of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the start of the second season of Jackie Chan Adventures and it's demon portal arc) on the 15th, but the terrorist attacks led to the WB pushing the entire season down to the end of the month. Two filler episodes from JCA that take place during the first season and then a third Monday afternoon episode that is not connected to the Shendu's siblings arc aired over the next few weeks, but no other new programming debuted during that time (one of the reasons for the delay could be Sony/Columbia/Tristar/Jackie Chan needing to have any potential images of the World Trade Center in the second episode of the demon arc of JCA airbrushed out; that episode, "The J-Team", includes a brief shot of the New York skyline, and it was supposed to be broadcast the following weekend.) Tragically, the postponement played a role in the screwing over of Rescue Heroes, which was relegated to Wednesdays at 3:00 PM for a year to make up for the delays (it was canceled soon after).
  • The Rescue Heroes episode "Terror in the Tower" was banned for about a year after 9/11 by Kids' WB before returning it to circulation with the revised title "High Anxiety", which has been used in all subsequent broadcasts since then.
  • A Season 4 episode of Robot Chicken featured Cloverfield, with people in the movie yelling out "Too soon!" at the monster as it rampaged through NYC.
  • The Jay Jay the Jet Plane episode "Brenda's Mother's Day" was briefly pulled from reruns because it had a scene where Oscar crashes into a bale of hay on the runway.
  • Spongebob Squarepants edited a scene from the episode "Just One Bite" because it features a lit match and a bucket of gas being in contact, causing The Krusty Krab to explode and burn. Jay Lender eventually confirmed the 9/11 theory in an email posted on the Spongebob fansite Spongebuddy Mania. However, the episode premiered one month after the attacks. The only logical explanation for this edit would be that the Nickelodeon censors didn't want kids to think that playing with matches and gasoline was a good thing, and that some countries have laws against showing scenes that are dangerous for kids to imitate, like the United Kingdom.
  • The Kablam 2nd season episode, "I Just Don't Get It" was banned from rerunning on Nicktoons after the 9/11 attack due to the matters of the Action League NOW! episode "Caged Thunder", where the mayor wanted to destroy the capital building of Washington DC. This episode no longer reruns on Nicktoons since 2001.
  • Prior to the attack, the "decontamination" gag in Monsters, Inc. ended with the CDA blowing up the restaurant where Boo gets loose, resulting in a big mushroom cloud. Naturally, it was deemed too similar to the imagery of the attack and the gag was changed to the restaurant being engulfed by a gigantic plasma orb.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman" from 1994 featured a scene where Waffle Woman destroys New York City with her "Radioactive Polythermal Syrup Launcher", blatantly showing the Twin Towers blowing up. After 9/11 (almost seven years since the episode first aired), the episode was withdrawn from further reruns on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons TV and Spike TV, though it eventually resurfaced on DVD and would occasionally be rerun on the Teennick cable channel (as part of their Nick Rewind retro block.)

  • The Other Wiki has a comprehensive list of entertainment that was affected by the attacks.
  • The Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner took place barely a couple of weeks after 9/11, with the result that none of the comedians involved really knew how far they could go with the jokes. Rob Schneider delivered a very tame set, which wasn't well received, but then up stepped Gilbert Gottfried. His first line was that he had been delayed because "he had a connecting flight at the Empire State Building", which was met with booing and calls of "too soon". His response was to launch into The Aristocrats, probably the most "too far" joke in existence — and brought the house down, largely because his fellow comedians appreciated the catharsis of what he was doing (and largely because Gilbert Gottfried's voice can make pretty much anything funny). The footage wasn't aired when Comedy Central showed the roast, but it did turn up as part of The Aristocrats film.
  • George Carlin's 2001 HBO Special changed its title from I Like It When a Lot of People Die to Complaints and Grievances because of the attacks, and he added a 5-minute set about 9/11 in front of it. He would similarly have to change his 2005 HBO special from the same original title to Life is Worth Losing after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Ever since the attacks, New York Primary elections that would otherwise fall on Tuesday, September 11th are postponed until that Thursday, September 13, as the attacks happened on Primary day.
  • In order to trap the hard-of-thinking into a knee-jerk "Too soon!" reaction as a way of satirizing what he saw as a morbid obsession with 9/11, Kevin Klerck set up a petition at that claimed the second film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy had been named The Two Towers in order to exploit the disaster, and demanded it be renamed. A corresponding protest site was also established at (now unclaimed). The fact that the book had used this title in 1954 apparently didn't register to most of the initial signers of the petition.
  • The furor surrounding protests of the so-called "Ground-Zero Mosque" is rooted in the claim that after thirteen years it is still too soon. Ironically enough, this was whipped up several months after several conservative commentators (who would either go on to bash the mosque themselves or would sit back and watch their colleagues do it) praised the people behind setting up the Islamic Community Center for their work in using said center for promoting inter-faith dialogue.
  • On the 12/09/2011 edition of Countdown, Keith Olbermann used the phrase in his denunciation of an architectural project from the Rotterdam firm MVRDV that featured paired skyscrapers connected by a "pixelated cloud". The firm's statement said in part: "It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks, nor did we see the resemblance during the design process."
    • Olbermann would later devote a September 11 segment of his ESPN2 show to misguided merchandising attempts trying to use 9/11 to sell you their products...and bashing Major League Baseball for not letting the Mets wear NYPD and FDNY caps over MLB's own "commemorative" caps.
    • He also went on a huge, righteous tirade in response to the 2008 Republican National Convention's use of Sept. 11 footage in a promo blaming the Clinton Admin. for the attacks and warning viewers that voting for Barack Obama could make us vulnerable to more such attacks.
  • The Dilbert desk-diary for 2001, taking the form of a one-cartoon-per-date block where one leaf is pulled off per day, contained at least 365 strips. These must have been chosen well in advance of Jan 1st 2001. Yet by incredible coincidence, the cartoon featured for September 11th 2001 showed a plane crashing in the direction of an office block, brought about by the Pointy Haired Boss's delusion that he could pilot it...
  • Issue #411 (November 2001) of MAD was originally supposed to have a cover featuring Alfred mistaking crime scene tape for the finish line of a race. The cover was deemed insensitive after 9/11, so it was hastily pulled and replaced with a stock Alfred image photoshopped to have an American flag in place of his missing tooth. A few copies of the original cover supposedly got out, though.
  • Asian-British comedienne Shazia Mirfa was one of the first to break silence in Britain, possibly capitalising on the fact that the primary British response to death, disaster and destruction is to make a sick black joke about it. Normally one who riffs on being a Pakistani Muslim woman in Britain, she opened her act with:
    "Good evening, I'm Shazia Mirfa. beat Or at least that's what it says in my pilot's licence."
    • There were a few gasps and tuts, but Refuge in Audacity and the aforementioned British sense of black humor made it a success.
  • SNL cast member and stand up comedian Pete Davidson has made several 9/11 jokes in his career, most notably during Comedy Central's The Roast of Justin Bieber. However, since his father was an NYC firefighter who died in service during the attacks, the critics and general public give him a pass.
  • There's a bar called 9eleven in Fort Worth. Established 2001.


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