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  • Shipping was also taken advantage of in the very first trailer for the second season finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender by exploiting familiarity with the Locked in a Room trope. Later trailers served to help put the wham into the outcome of the finale.
    • They did it again with the trailer for the second half of Season 3. Somewhat disappointingly, fans fell for it.
    • They did something similar with the fifth episode of the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra. 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 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Network Ten (Australia) advertisement for the Simpsons 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.
    • Their 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 also a more recent 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 Simpsons 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 the hour-long SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Truth or Square?" 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.
    • Technically they are married since the priest didn't know it was a play.
    • The previews for another special "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.
      • Well, a jerk anyway.
        • 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.
    • In general, the creators love making the episode sound far more exciting than it actually will be. It's become extremely predictable that whenever they say the Krabby Patty formula will be revealed, they're not telling the truth.
    • The promos for "Mystery With A Twistery" made it seem like somebody other than Plankton stole the Krabby Patty formula. Nope, it was Plankton as usual.
    • All 30-minute so-called "specials" aren't really specials. They're just normal episodes promoted as specials to grab ratings.
  • This trailer for Venture Brothers is intentionally misleading by showing clips from the episodes out of context.
  • Family Guy tend to do this a lot recently, 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 like one or two lines each. Another similar example is Stew-roids. All the promotional images and summary were about Stewie muscling up [1], 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.
  • 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.
  • A case of the actual episode being more "interesting" than the trail, 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.
  • One episode of Drawn Together claimed that two characters would be caught on tape making out, with scenes of Spanky and Clara kissing. This was technically true...in 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 Wooldorf and Tootie were there). On the episode Wooldorf 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.
  • Wakfu suffers from this, presumably because its erratic airing schedule justifies trying to make each next episode look as Crazy Awesome 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.
  • 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.
  • Transformers: The Movie from 1984 had a 4 minute trailer which was 100% footage that was either cut or changed in the actual movie.
  • The Teaser clip of Discord for My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic 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 show yet. 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 Nightmare Fuel. 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.
  • In the Adventure Time 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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:
    • The episode ends with another trailer for an episode they have no intention of making.

Notes

  1. which, by most accounts, would have made a better plot
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