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  • Season 2 of Equestria Girls: Better Together has an episode, "Trixie's Street Magic", where it shows that Human Trixie has somehow actual magical powers. This opens a lot of interesting possibilities: with Trixie being reformed in Forgotten Friendship, she can become an ally of the Humane Seven, using her magical powers to help them fight evil (this is especially notable since the new season of Better Together acts as Filler until the new Equestria Girls special arrives, when we see the universe threatened by portals apperaring everywhere). It could at least lead to a human version of "Magic Duel". So, what happened? It was Sci-Twi using HER magic to mess with Trixie. 
  • In the Season 8 episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic "The Mean Six", Queen Chrysalis comes back for revenge. She uses her magic to recreate the "Discorded" versions of the Mane Six, including a version of Twilight Sparkle that is cold, calculating, ruthless, and more competent than anyone else in the episode...unfortunately, the six of them (even Mean Twilight) spend the majority of the episode mildly annoying the Mane Six, with Queen Chrysalis essentially being a glorified babysitter. Then the Mean Six gets melted away by the Elements of Harmony, and the episode ends there. 
  • It was always Walt's dream to see the different characters in the Disney Animated Canon interact. However, that awesome idea is constantly botched, either because the characters are played for laughs and thus take levels in dumbass and/or jerkass (House of Mouse, Descendants, Ralph Breaks the Internet), they go the other way entirely and make it too dark and edgy (Once Upon a Time, Kingdom Keepers), or they focus on original characters while the Disney Animated Canon characters are Demoted to Extra (Kingdom Hearts, Sofia the First, Kilala Princess). So far, the closest we've come to see the concept fully realized is the TV episode that crossed over Aladdin with Hercules.
  • Kappa Mikey had the brilliant idea of mixing a Western Animation American in a Anime and Animesque Japanese setting to create a unique Fish Out of Water story. The only problem? The show barely if any utilized any real Japanese Media Tropes or Western Animation Tropes that would've made it a unique blending of the two mediums. Any Anime related things were mainly for the Gag Series, that eventually turned into a Gross-Out Show, certainly not the Genre Busting concept it could've become.
    • Pretty much true of any anime parody ever. The gags--lips moving wrong, J-Pop, giant mecha--are always the same, often outdated, and represent a small sample of anime. It's not really "plot," but the point is, who is this for? People who don't like anime don't get it, and those who do have made these jokes a billion times over during Dragonball Z.
  • Justice League Unlimited had a full season of shows building to a climactic confrontation between the Justice League and a revitalized Legion of Doom, led by a Lex Luthor who, it appeared would regain Brainiac and ascend to near godhood with a full army equal in power and numbers to the expanded Justice League... then, at the literal last second Darkseid is resurrected by his efforts, and the League and Legion have to team up to beat him back. Gripping stuff to be sure, but wouldn't have the expected DCAU Battle Royale With Cheese been awesome?
    • Likewise, the Cadmus story arc. For most the season, the tension between the Justice League and the United States Government (Cadmus) slowly but surely ramps up, threatening to explode into full scale war and raising serious ethical questions on whether an independent organization staffed by an army of superpowered individuals could be trusted in dictating world security. Turns out, it was all just one massive Xanatos Gambit by Brainiac. He rebuild himself by playing the League and Cadmus against each other. He would have succeeded to some degree no matter who won. The threat he posed prompted the Justice League and Cadmus to team up and defeat him.
    • Arguably, since those ethical questions were raised and addressed (to a degree), it could be said that the plot wasn't so much wasted, as it simply could have gone in another direction.
  • Transformers: Beast Wars hints at an impressive new civilization on Cybertron, a near-golden age marred only by political infighting between the Maximals and Predacons, the renamed Autobots and Decepticons. Then comes the sequel series, Transformers: Beast Machines, which turns Cybertron into an empty wasteland and contradicts most of the Transformer milieu that came before by introducing a Flesh Versus Steel ecological theme: Cybertron secretly has a gooey organic center, and the Maximals have to embrace their inner animals to defeat the wants-to-be-technological-only Megatron.
    • It gets worse when you stop to consider the little snippets of horror behind this "Brand New Cybertron", from the alleged corruption of the Maximal High Council to the secret schemes and origins of Tarantulas and the Tripredacus Council, are only glimpsed at and not elaborated on at any length, leaving a lot of intriguing history undiscovered.
  • One of the more universally reviled episodes of Animaniacs is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock", a full episode featuring Slappy and Skippy. The premise: Slappy goes insane, Skippy is eventually taken away to a foster home, Slappy needs to get back. Again, many figure Slappy was a little out of character here... but some fans felt that it had a lot of potential as a story, maybe more dramatic than most... until it all falls flat at the end, with the foster family (or the government agency that put Skippy there!) never even mentioned. Not even a token grenade tossed. Even if the plot was meant to justify large cartoon bombs... at least feature things getting bombed, OK?
  • Parodied in the Shoo Out the New Guy episode of The Simpsons: Poochie's premiere cartoon begins with Itchy and Scratchy driving to a fireworks factory. They then get stopped by Poochie, who launches into a Totally Radical rap song. Cut to Milhouse sobbing and asking, "When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?"
    • The Simpsons does this a lot (though most of them are either Brick Jokes or What Happened to the Mouse? moments). Examples:
      • The season six episode "Homer vs. Patty and Selma," when you consider that the promos focused more on Bart joining a ballet class and loving it instead of Homer trying to pay off his mortgage after losing the money in a bad investment, then asking Marge's sisters Patty and Selma for the money, only to have The Gruesome Twosome blackmail Homer.
      • Another season six episode "Fear of Flying," shifted from Homer trying to find a new bar to drink in after Moe throws him out of Moe's Tavern to Marge going to therapy for her aviophobia. And that bar subplot was never resolved...
  • For the Grand Finale of Ben 10 (aside from the animated "Secret of the Omnitrix" movie, anyway), the plot initially seamed involved the Forever King gathering 10 of Ben's greatest enemies to destroy him once and for all, with it culminating in a showdown between his force and the Tennysons in the Mount Rushmore base. How could it go wrong? Well, how about the villains consisting of a bunch of Monsters of the Week, an addition of boring Cousin Oliver, a pointless MacGuffin plot tacked on and application of Conservation of Ninjutsu for the climax?
    • In the Ben 10 episode "Super Alien Hero Buddy Adventures", Ben finds that his aliens are being used in a very childish series of the same name, one that replaced his (suddenly favorite) TV show Kangaroo Commando, leading to him going to the studio to complain, only to be tangled up in a plot that doesn't involve the original reason he came! It probably would've made more sense if the whole hero buddy thing was a lure to entice Ben to come and complain so he could be destroyed. The creator of the show seemed awful tired-looking of it, and maybe he was forced. But no...
    • The sequels to Ben 10, Alien Force and Ultimate Alien have become infamous for their many wasted or mishandled plotlines.
  • Drawn Together, somewhere around the second season, stopped being a Dead Baby Comedy spoof of reality TV shows, and just decided to set their sights on making fun of anything and everything.
  • The made-for-video Mickey's House of Villains involved a wide range of Disney villains taking over the House of Mouse and evicting Mickey. Instead of a huge brawl between the heroes and villains of Disney, the villains ran away after Mickey trapped Jafar in the magic lamp.
    • And that it took about 3/4s of the movie for them to actually take over, they just spent the rest of the time sitting in their booth and waiting for "midnight" when Jafar could do the spell. And when they took over all they really did was show two Disney shorts that were scarier than the fiver or so Mickey had shown earlier in the movie. They did have a nice "It's Our House Now" villain song, but even that was short and all they did was lock the heroes behind a door. Our collection of Disney villains, everyone!
    • I refer you to my earlier point about Disney constantly botching the "Disney Animated Canon crossover" concept. And the sad part is that the Animated Canon villains were STILL more effective in House of Villains than in Descendants (where most of them suffered from Took a Level In Dumbass).
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: The S2 finale, plus a few eps of S3, set up Tommy (2's brother) for joining the titular organization. The S3 finale ends with the main operatives being told that regulations prevent Tommy from being made a member of the organization for saving the day, and we see Tommy as a Batman Homage from that point onwards. Whether Tommy fighting adult tyranny alongside his brother is a perfectly good plot is left to the reader.
    • In S2, a few eps were leading up to Cree trying to send the Moonbase flying into the sun. The season finale indeed, does see a plan to send the Moonbase flying into the sun... but it's being done by Chad. Cree only shows up at the end to be told by Chad that her plan's already been tried and backfired. Still, it set up Chad joining the teens, so it's not that big of a deal.
    • Also, the KND "Splinter Cell" arc foreshadowed an internal civil war in the KND between the extremist Splinter Cell that believes all adults must be destroyed vs. the more moderate faction that believes only the evil adults should be stopped. It is also revealed that the Splinter Cell had been kidnapping KND scientists for unknown reasons. However, near the end of the series, it turns out that the Splinter Cell is just an front for the KND scientists, who fake their kidnappings so they have more free time to watch their favorite science fiction shows as well as manage "the Galactic Kids Next Door", the workings of which were left very vague in the end.
  • Hey Arnold!, "Gerald vs. Jamie O": Actual pre-US-broadcast plot description from an unofficial website: "Gerald gets a crush on a new girl. All together now: What about Phoebe?" Sounds like the perfect bait for Phoebe-Gerald shippers, right? Well, you could probably guess this from the ep title, but it turns out that the story isn't about how this new crush affects Phoebe, but rather about how the new girl is actually attracted to Jamie (Gerald's brother) and G thinks he's trying to steal her from him. Phoebe is absent both in presence and mention.
  • The All Grown Up Christmas Episode Missed Out an a Perfectly Good Subplot: Actual exchange from the episode:

 Susie: Angelica's skiing in Aspen, and Phil and Lil are decking the halls. What are you planning to do, Chuckie?

Chuckie: The usual. High expectations met with crushing disappointment.

    • Funny, sounds a whole lot like what Angelica/Chuckie shippers must have felt after having entertained themselves with the thought of the two kissing under the mistletoe when they heard about the special. (To add insult to injury: Episodes with Susie usually also have Angelica, and the main conflict of the Rugrats Christmas specials revolved around her as well.)
    • The episode; "TP + KF". The gang finds a carving of his Tommy's initials and Kimi's initials in a heart. Rather than explore the concept of two members of the group being romantically involved, the episode is based around Tommy and Chuckie falling out with each other because Chuckie thinks Tommy's fooling around with his sister. It's even hinted that the two characters really do like each other, but nothing ever comes out of it. Though to be fair, the series did end soon after.
  • In Code Lyoko, anything involving Project Carthage, the military project that Franz Hopper created XANA to attempt to stop. Mentioned in a season finale and presumed to be extremely important... then disappears without a trace for the rest of the show.
    • Ditto Aelita's mother, crammed into the back of a government SUV pretty much the same episode she became a plot point.
      • XANA HIMSELF. There are several points in the series that hint that there's more to him than just a Token Evil Computer. He has goals, though admittedly cliche, something of an honor code, can enact long-term deceptions, interacts with the heroes, struggles to understand his enemies, continually improved upon his plans, and...is destroyed by a program designed to hunt down and delete every part of him, without ever explaining why he "turned evil." This may or may not have been resolved in the movie, which seems to have sunk into the 9th Circle of Development Hell.
  • The second season of WITCH was considered a beard-growing by many, mainly due to the plot being brought about by the magnificent bitch Nerissa. But then, toward the end of the season, the previous BigBad, Prince Phobos, returns and rather easily defeats Nerissa and takes back his position, despite being previously depicted as a Smug Snake nowhere on Nerissa's level. Thus, you think there has to be a catch. Nerissa has a plan to strike back and....nope, she's really gone. OK then, Phobos it is...again. He's more of a threat now, so maybe we'll get a satisfying resolu...HUH?! Cedric absorbed his powers and is the last enemy of the season?! Cedric, who barely had any character beyond that of a generic evil lackey who gets beaten by the Guardians ALL THE TIME? Greg Weisman, what were you thinking?!
    • Also, the manipulation of Elyon by Phobos in Season 1. For half the season he's changed his palace to look beautiful and is acting nice around Elyon and giving her everything that she wants. But soon, things start to happen that plant some doubt in Elyon's mind. You'd expect things to follow through like they did in the comics: Elyon finds out, on her own, that her brother's no good, and she makes a Heel Face Turn. But no, Elyon remains a naive fool to the exact moment Phobos has her where he wants her and reveals his evil plan to her. Elyon was always naive, but by having her not figure out ANYTHING until it was too late, the show officially made her an idiot.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon has an episode where the kids were adopted by an Arabian Nights-inspired king... and that's before they help save his daughter. At the end of the episode, they naturally decide to continue their quest to find a way home. One always has to wonder what would have happened if they had accompanied King Rahmuhd home for at least a bit of rest, especially given that he was one of the genuinely nicest and most interesting characters in the series.
  • Arguably Raimundo's Face Heel Turn in Xiaolin Showdown. Who stayed "evil" for all of just 3 or 4 eps. They never took the opportunity to explore that plot further.
  • Terra's Betrayal arc in Teen Titans. The story was very good, but the actual betrayal was not. A new member enters the group, has a romance with one of the regulars, then reveals her true colors. They milked the feelings of betrayal for all they could. However, this would have worked so much better if they had actually bothered to show Terra's time as a member. Basically, she joins full-time, next episode she gets a two-second appearance in an episode, and then in the next episode betrays them.
    • The whole character of General Immortus from the same show. Introduced along with the three other main Brotherhood members (all important recurring villains) given a very cool background as a millennia-old strategic genius who is now equipped with modern superscience- ought to be a really powerful and dangerous opponent, right? Wrong- he only has about five lines in his introductory episode and spends the rest of the season hovering silently around behind the Brain, before getting ignominiously taken out by a tidal wave.
      • From the same season, the Doom Patrol appeared in the two-part season premier, which ended with the Doom Patrol leaving to search for the Brotherhood of Evil. The Brotherhood appeared as the season's primary antagonists (and was thoroughly defeated in the penultimate episode), but the Doom Patrol never showed up again. Are they still searching?
    • The introduction of Jericho into the Titans had the potential for a fantastic storyline to tie into Slade's obsession to find the perfect apprentice. Instead, after "Titans Together", nothing comes of this.
      • This probably has more to do with the fact that the series was cancelled, with "Titans Together" being the penultimate episode for the entire show.
  • The Fairly Odd Parents "Big Superhero Wish" episode promises to be a full half-hour of Timmy and his friends kicking butt with their superpowers. One imagines plenty of fighting, leavened of course with humor and suspense. As it turns out, Timmy and his friends spend less than a quarter of the episode before the villains strip the good guys of their abilities. Our protagonists prevail with the help of the ordinary heroes who first let Timmy down at the beginning of the story. Ah, An Aesop. So much more rewarding than fulfilling the promise for a good action story.
    • Another good example: early in the show Trixie Tang had an episode called "The Boy That Would Be Queen" that hinted she was more than an inconsiderate snob. It involved Timmy finding out she had "boy" interests, i.e. comic books, video games, etc. It looked like they were slowly going to give her Character Development and let her evolve into a decent character. Then the mass Flanderization of every character in the show set in, and her secretly being a Tomboy has never been explored again in favor of Character Exaggeration of her as a shallow Alpha Bitch. What could have been a good character went down the tubes.
    • Actually, Trixie had Hidden Depths hinted at in her FIRST appearance, where she told Timmy that, while she can't afford to be seen hanging with him and his friends, she admires him giving up popularity so that he can stay with his own friends, thinking that decision to be "cool". That Trixie became such a bitch in later episodes is a truly staggering fact when one considers how she was early on.
    • The "Wishology" trilogy has plenty. Like the Big Superhero Wish, the commercials promised a lot more action than shown in the actual movie. Most of the action consisted of the main characters being helpless against the bad guys. Timmy teamed up with several of his enemies to defeat the Darkness, but they all quickly became nothing more than cannon fodder before they got to do something interesting outside of a Star Wars Parody. It looked like AJ was finally going to put his smarts to use for a major plot until they decided to make him Captain Obvious. And the Darkness's true form is a cheesy looking generic smiley face.
  • The Family Guy episode "Stew-roids" dealt with Stewie getting beaten by Joe and Bonnie's daughter so he works out so he can get revenge and to further his progress he gets steroid injections so he gets really buff, but the plot beyond him getting really buff goes no further other than showing off to the others. They wasted another opportunity to beat up Brian and at no point does he go back to challenge Susie. Instead his muscles just deteriorate and Brian chases him out the window and he flies away using his skin flaps. Worst part: Promotional material suggested that this would be the main plot.
    • "Back to the Woods" wasted two perfectly good plots in one episode: An Adam Westing James Woods seeking revenge on Peter for the events of an earlier episode, and the Ripped from the Headlines but comedically unexplored topic of identify theft.
    • "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" suffered from this, considering that the promos focused on Stewie spending the day with the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Granted, that plot was still there, but most of the episode focused on the B-story where Meg finds religion after catching the mumps and Brian is chastised for his atheism (which Brian uses to get Meg to stop being religious). No wonder tropers and non-tropers alike have cited this episode as an Old Shame.
  • Much like Family Guy above, Futurama is notoriously known for wasted good plots, but that's sort of the way the series works.
    • The one that takes the cake though was the one at the end of the movie Into The Wild Green Yonder where the entire group of protagonists were on the run from the law even though they were doing good. At the end of the movie, they came across a huge wormhole that could take them millions of light-years away without any way of knowing if they could ever return. Unanimously agreeing, the heroes went into the wormhole as it converted into a similar pattern of lights in the opening sequence of each episode. Originally, this was intended to be the series finale, but due to its popularity increasing due to sales of the four movies, it was granted two more seasons. Unfortunately, instead of continuing the plot of the heroes being on the run and making it an overall Stern Chase plotline or having the heroes have adventures in exotic new lands, a Snap Back is made and the heroes find themselves back at Earth. Even more so, a subtle Hand Wave is made and all the heroes' actions from "Into The Wild Green Yonder" are forgotten, allowing them to resume their normal lives, because of course, Status Quo Is God.
      • It is worth noting that some elements remain, some things that were really long in coming, like oh I don't know, Leela & Fry finally establishing a (rocky) relationship?
  • Invader Zim was never really meant to be more than a dark sci-fi/comedy set in a Crapsack World, but at least some fans wish the show had been at least a little more serious at times, especially with the moral implications of a Villain Protagonist whose species regularly utilizes genocide. In particular the creators seemed to throw in a lot of minor plot elements -- for example the Irkens' PAKs, the society based on height, etc. -- that could have been fascinating if it was expanded on, either because of cancellation or the creators just not being interested.
    • Actually, it WAS supposed to go from the idiosyncratic, self-contained episode system to a mature Myth Arc with much more continuity and less humor. Unfortunately, it got cancelled.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
    • "Foster's Goes to Europe" sounds like a good premise... until it ends up being anything but Exactly What It Says on the Tin (er, title card). Instead, it's a Deconstruction of how hard it is to pack up and plan for a vacation on very short notice. Interesting nonetheless, but try telling that to those who tuned in expecting to see Bloo "blah-blah no stoppah blah" at random French people. And that's not even the biggest issue most people had with the episode...
    • "When There's a Wilt, There's a Way": Wilt missing a televised basketball game because he can't turn down an errand sounds more like a set-up for Wilt simply deciding to stop doing errands, rather than the whole plot of half of a two shorts episode.
    • "Duchess of Wails": We spend the first couple minutes establishing Duchess as a big pain, and we see that they've long been trying to get her adopted. Sounds like a set-up for them trying to give her an attitude adjustment, but instead we get a family suddenly showing up and taking Duchess, rotten behavior and all, to their apartment... which happens to be next to Mac's.
  • A Season Two Episode of Jackie Chan Adventures has Jade turn temporarily evil and in control of the series' mooks, the Shadowkhan. What was once just a normal filler episode got mentioned by the leader of the Shadowkhan in the fourth season. He asks Jade to join his clan of evil and she herself gives a shocked, but hesitated/tempted reaction. It made one wonder if they were going to explore Evil Shadowkhan Jade again. Unfortunately nothing came off it.
    • For that matter, there was another episode where Jade is the reincarnation of the show's equivalent of the Dalai Lama. Nothing more came out of that as well.
  • All of the "revealing" flashbacks from SpongeBob SquarePants's "Truth or Square" were nothing but this. You get to see Sandy and Spongebob married (sorry, you just get a play), Plankton have the perfect chance to steal the Krabby Patty formula (he shows up for less then 5 minutes and doesn't even have a plan) AND learn the secret of the Krabby Patty formula (they cut it off). Everything that is not a wasted plot line is either an answer you wouldn't care about or a waste of time.
    • Also, in Spongebob vs. the Big One, they said in the episode and in the trailers that "one of you will not return." They all ended up returning safely.
      • In Whatever Happened To Spongebob, had a decent plot of Spongebob running away after the people got angry and called him "Idiot Boy". Plus, it had a decent Easy Amnesia plot device in Spongebob but it was rushed and half-assed throughout the whole thing. At least give Squidward a reason why he's happy that Spongebob's gone.
  • In one episode of Batman the Brave And The Bold, Batman gets split into three people, each with a part of his personality. Excellent! We get to see the different parts of Batman's deep psyche; in other words, he's going to be split into representations of his various incarnations, right? This is gonna be awesome! So, you've got the No-Nonsence, cold, logical Batman, a crazy, violence-happy Batman, and the third one is, to use the show's term, "what's left over": a lazy, apathetic Batman. Er, what? First off, which Batman is that supposed to be, exactly? And secondly, especially considering Batman the Brave And The Bold is a revival of the Silver Age Batman, why the hell isn't he the Adam West Batman? Come on! Batman-as-West would be hilarious here! But no, what they basically tell us is that underneath the scientific mind and passionate drive, there's nothing more to Batman. That's it, that's all he is. What a load.
    • I don't really see how introducing the Adam West version of Batman would've made sense in any context.
    • Who cares if it made sense? It would have been awesome.
    • To be fair, that third Batman had the munchies.
    • And it did give us the all powerful meme, "Batman does not eat nachos!"
  • Winx Club season 3 had plenty of this, contributing to its overall Seasonal Rot (though other seasons had some of this trope as well):
    • The season premiere introduces us to Chimera, a badass fairy who belittles Alfea fairies (like Stella) since she's from another school, with only the slightest of hints given to what turns out to be her real plot arc: Stella's father announcing his marriage to Chimera's mother. Well, we never see the two girls she's introduced along with after the premiere, we never see Chimera's school or her fairy transformation at all. One episode has Stella saying, "I hope I don't have to save Chimera", of having to save someone from her own realm to earn her Enchantix. Surely a set-up for Stella having to save Chimera anyway, and a subsequent Heel Face Turn and Enemy Mine, right? But, Stella ends up saving her father instead. When Stella and friends decide to crash the wedding, Chimera and mom go down so easily (admittedly, because of Stella's new powers, but still, COME ON!), one would hardly believe that this was the same girl we saw make chaotic damage back in the premiere just to get a dress.
    • Another S3 mini-arc sees Big Bad Valtor give Sky's ex-fiancee Diaspro a potion, which she then administers to Sky, causing him to announcement his engagement to her instead of Bloom at his party. The next episode is dedicated to the Winx storming the palace trying to get an explanation for this, and finding out it was a result of a spell. Stella fixes him up with fairy dust, but has to leave quickly with Diaspro and her guards are closing in. Guards eventually capture Brandon instead, and Diaspro yells at the fairies, "This isn't over! Sky will be mine!" 4Kids edited that last line out, and with good reason: The next we hear of this plot, everything has been resolved off-screen, and Diaspro has been banished.
    • They Edited Out A Perfectly Wasted Plot: A S1 ep originally ends with Griselda announcing an upcoming parent-teacher meeting, which has Bloom worried (interestingly, they don't address the fact that the only parents she's known are kept out of Alfea by a barrier). All this achieves is to set up the girls having nightmares about their parents in the next ep, as the whole meeting issue is never followed up on otherwise. In the 4Kids dub, Griselda's announcement is edited out altogether, and whereas the next ep originally has a scene of the girls discussing the upcoming meeting, they're returning from a night at the movies in the dub.
    • The Diaspro plot in S3 wasn't the first waste of Diaspro plot: Season 2 has an episode in which Sky offers to save her from a kidnapping. However, instead of the implications of Sky rescuing her ex-fiancee, the story ends up focusing on a parody of Battle of the Planets. They don't even get to share a heart-to-heart together. [1]
    • Season 4 was a bit better than 3, but still managed to ignore at least two potential love triangles: First, we find out that Bloom had a boyfriend on earth, who happens to be a member of a juice bar's band... and instead of exploring what is essentially an inversion of the Diaspro situation in season 1, that aspect kind of faded away in favor of the Winx girls forming their own band. Second, we have a record producer threatening to drive a wedge between Musa and Riven... and then the guy gives her an envelope that is later revealed to be an invite to sing at his wedding.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars has passed up on multiple chances to show Anakin's Dark Side and build up tension in the character seemingly in favor of keeping up his hero appearance for the new, younger fans.
    • So far, there has been little to no mention of Anakin's mechanical arm. It alone would make a good subject for any number of story scenarios. Perhaps something involving teaching Ahsoka a lesson about being reckless. Imagine how scared she would be if she was told that if you aren't more careful, you could lose a limb!
        • Does she even know about his arm?
        • That's probably what the above is alluding to, she may not know.
      • The arm thing has been done.
  • In the Ruby Gloom episode "Tooth or Dare" the characters spend a portion of the first act wondering what the Tooth Fairy does with the teeth she collects, but when a tooth fairy arrives and stays over in their house they never ask her what they do with the teeth. It could have been funny if Misery was right about the tooth necklaces.
  • Street Sharks has a couple. The biggest one would have to be the mutant cure, which was introduced in the episode To Shark or Not to Shark. It turned the Sharks back into humans, but then they discovered that the evil doctor intended for them to find the cure so that they'd turn back and be unable to fight him. Okay, fair enough, except that this cure, which apparently worked perfectly well, never came up again! One of the Sharks and their sidekick were both supposed to be geniuses, they could have saved a sample and replicated it. That could have, in turn, lead to then being able to switch to being humans so they could travel around without being noticed, play more with the idea that they could be normal again, and possibly even weaponize it against the Seaviates (most of them were mutated animals, so unmutating them would make them lobsters and the like). There's also the subplot of their missing father, which was never resolved and pretty much forgotten.
  • Max Steel had writers who often snuck in a lot more complexity, if not outright Getting Crap Past the Radar, than most Saturday morning cartoons (it started as a Greg Weisman show, after all,) but there's a whole pile of this in the later material. Season two ends (and season three begins) without a clear answer as to whether or not John Dread is really dead, but the issue is never brought up again. After the government forces N-Tek to shut down their espionage division, they explicitly threaten the entire cast with prison time should they not comply. They promptly proceed to do their usual secret agent work, except now as completely unsanctioned vigilantes anyway, there is actually lipservice paid to the fact that they are doing things they've been threatened with prison time for, but it never actually catches up with them. It's insinuated in almost every episode that with N-Tek shut down, Josh is living on borrowed time because the portable, smaller generator that powers his life-or-death Phlebotinum is insufficient for long-term use, and it begins catching up with him more than it ever did in earlier seasons, but there is no resolution to this. The season (and series) finale is a clip show with a moderately interesting framing device involving a well-integrated celebrity cameo who learns what Josh, Kat and Berto do as well as how Josh has a super-powered alter-ego. The framing device ends with said character explaining that he knows of other athletes on their competitive circuit who would probably be glad to pitch into their efforts...and this is the last dialog of the series, instead of something done in the first episode which would've given it time to be explored, and it would've fit the season's light Retool extremely well. After this, we have the new made-for-TV movies, which completely retcons Max into a generic superhero where Josh McGrath no longer exists at all; so all of the interesting character development of the show, as well as the problems the characters had to deal with in season three that weren't resolved, as well as the finale's framing device, aren't just left hanging without conclusion but completely ignored.
  • The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "Zombie Pickles" had high expectations, since it was a sequal to the popular season one episode "Rear Pickle". It ended up being quite a mediocre episode that was All Just a Dream.
  • The Lite Sprites animated special, only because of one throw-away bit of dialogue. The main characters mention that Astra has to stay up all night to keep the stars lit, otherwise dark shadows will take over their world. So is the rest of the special about the girls keeping the shadows at bay? No, instead they remember how they got their light wands, which they use to bring color to Lite-Topia. To add insult to injury, the world wasn't even ruled by the shadows before they got their wands, and was already pretty damn colorful, making the special feel like a Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Played deliberately in the fifteenth season two parter ("You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers") of South Park which set itself up for some great potential storylines about divorce and how it's occasionally the best option, along with some major character development through life changes and epiphanies. Just as Stan accepts all the surprises his life awaits, the entire potential arc was wrapped up in a single Reset Button, much to his exasperation.
  • While the dream making concept of The Dreamstone is rather unique, it is actually rarely explored or developed in favor of the Urpneys' Road Runner vs. Coyote antics. The actual process for making dreams is depicted in a rather unclear and mundane manner due to the heroes being kept somewhat underfocused and flat, while the dreams themselves are shown once in a blue moon, largely in favor of making the minions of the equally underused Zordrak act as Villain Protagonists. If it weren't for it's name, The Dreamstone could often be seen as any other generic MacGuffin stealing show (not to say it's a bad one however).
  • One episode of X-Men: Evolution involved a sports drink that could harm mutants who came in contact with it. In the end of the episode, Professor X tells the creator of the drink about it, who then promises to stop selling the product. But once the Professor leaves, the drink maker gets out his phone and calls someone, telling them he has a product they "might be interested in", and it's obvious he does this with malicious intent toward mutants. This is never even brought up again, a shame, it could've been a good storyline.
  • Captain N: The Game Master. Pretty much the whole show. Characters from popular Nintendo games all coming together to save the video game world from a villain? Could've been AWESOME in the right hands. A shame the people working on it knew NOTHING about the characters or the games.
  • Inspector Gadget is a pretty darn awesome superhero in concept, but he spends the entire series gleefully clutching the Idiot Ball and generally being useless (only a handful of episodes showing his potential as a competant hero). Alot of people say that Penny's a lot better a protagonist, and wish that she was the series' primary focus.

Notes

  1. And if that wasn't enough, 4Kids completely changed her speech at the end where she talks about how she feels offended that Sky's new GF rescued her.
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