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"Of all sad words of mouth or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been."
John Greenleaf Whittier

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

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

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

Just a few typical reasons for why stories get altered along the way:

  • The Media Watchdogs or executives said, "No," or at the very least, "Yes, but only if you change this."
  • Technical reasons: The people who were originally hired to do it backed out, the special effects plans didn't play out in their favor, there was not enough money in the budget to include it.
  • Writing Around Trademarks—They couldn't get rights to it.
  • Story quality—The writers simply decided on something different instead because some ideas, no matter how cool they sound when they first come to you, just have to go (or, in the case of comedies, the joke wasn't as funny as it should have been). Maybe the author realizes the fans wouldn't be too happy about seeing the death of a sympathetic or popular character you originally planned to kill off (not that it stops a few people). Or maybe you realize what sounds oh so cool in your head pushes Willing Suspension of Disbelief too far on film or paper. Or maybe it was a bad idea to begin with. In any case, someone eventually had a better idea.
  • A side effect of Throw It In—Something had to be thrown out in its place. (This apparently happens a lot when you're working with Harrison Ford.)
  • The creator/actor/voice actor/author/director dies. Or suffers loss of reputation. Or goes bankrupt.
  • Time constraints: Sometimes the creators simply run out of time and are unable to implement it.

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

See also The Other Marty, Vaporware, Development Hell, Dummied Out and Mid-Development Genre Shift. Contrast with Offscreen Moment of Awesome where a particularly grand moment is seemingly perfectly set up to happen but then isn't seen, and They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot for when they used an awesome idea in a horrible, horrible way. Occasionally something that was removed survives in another part of the series, then it is Refitted for Sequel.

For further reading, see the TV Moments That Never Happened thread at Television Without Pity, the Original Vid Junkie's "Never Got Made" files, and the "Movies that Never Were" series at, the links for all of which are included in this lost movies entry. This subject has also been covered by The Onion A.V. Club here and here, and at here.

Examples of What Could Have Been include:

Other Examples

Card Games

  • A bit more subtle than the other examples on this page. Originally, each new expansion of Magic: The Gathering was going to have a new color scheme on the card backs instead of the usual brown and tan—for instance, Arabian Nights would have been orange and magenta, Ice Age would have been two shades of blue. This was nixed when the designers realized this would make it too easy for your opponents to identify the cards you have in your hand by their backs, giving them an unfair advantage, so the card backs have remained unchanged since day one. (Nowadays of course, most people have card sleeves...)
    • The set "Planar Chaos" focused on the theme of alternate realities. One of the original ideas to express the concept was to present the set as coming from an alternate timeline where Magic has six colors instead of five. The sixth color (purple, by the way) made it quite far in the development process (at least, by the standards of rejected ideas) but was ultimately scrapped. The set was going to feature packaging showcasing an alternate logo style and other changes, though the cardback would have stayed the same.
    • Another such "what if?" idea went a bit farther back—what if, rather than the theme for the game being magic, it was space? This article is a primer for newcomers to Richard Garfield's 15-year-old trading card game, Magic: The Gathering Space: The Convergence.
    • Wizards of the Coast kept the final set of the Scars of Mirrodin block a mystery for a time, saying it would be either New Phyrexia or Mirrodin Pure, depending on which side won the war. Eventually it was revealed to be New Phyrexia. This surprised precisely no one, but for the portion player base who liked Mirrodin and disliked Phyrexia, we can only wonder what the set could have been like.
      • Unfortunately for them, recent articles about the development process reveal that the last set never could have been Mirrodin Pure to begin with—the block was originally going to start with New Phyrexia and go from there! That only changed when they decided it would be more interesting to show the process of Mirrodin gradually being corrupted into New Phyrexia.
  • Did you know that there was an attempt to make Yu-Gi-Oh! into a card game, before the popular CCG we know and love, today? Bandai's version of Duel Monsters was simplistic, if crammed with rather bizarre rules and effects, and was much farther detached from the card game we saw in the anime and manga than Konami's version was. However, it was reportedly rather popular, so imagine if this was the version of the game we got, instead of Konami's version...

Fan Works

  • The starting authors of An Entry With a Bang! had to decide whether to go with the Earth of Tom Clancy's 'Verse or the Real Life Earth, settling for the former. Fortunately, the existence of a Non-canon Stories thread allows for a glimpse at the latter. While some of the posts within will indeed come to pass after enough in-universe time has gone by, others will indeed never make the story's canon. The discussion threads, if you dare brave them, also have older versions of posts that made it to the Story Only thread. One of these had The Dukes of Hazzard explicitly show up, but it was rejected in favour of a less blatant Shout-Out.
  • The author originally planned for Veis instead of Vili to join Clan Gully in The Tainted Grimoire. Also, Vili didn't exist in the original plan. The original plan was scrapped and Vili was created because cuttingmoon57 didn't like the idea of altering important canon clans.


  • There are several ideas in the discussion thread of We Are Our Avatars, some of them did eventually come to fruition, others didn't, at some point, it was decided Andros and Enker would be in the Revenge of the Spark arc, ultimately, they didn't end up becoming part of Lucrezia's army.
    • Silver was planned to appear during the Incarnates Arc as a personification of Lust, possibly going to levels of Complete Monster that would almost rival Apos. Daionus decided he did not want to play as that sort of character, and declined.
      • Also, in the same arc, Catherine was planned to appear as a personification of Gluttony, and the present Catherine had to be killed in order to defeat her. It didn't happen, but it ultimately proved to be an example of Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • Etheru states that he planned on Joey and Catherine acting as foils for one another, but arcadiarika's decision to refuse developing the character any longer shoots this possibility down.
    • At one point, in revulsion of the fact that nothing was happening, Lemurian at one point thought up the "Ghost Town arc", where the characters would be dropped in a desolate town without food, water, or their powers for a week, the arc was discarded when a player pointed out that the arc wasn't proving anything, because it was pointed out to be almost exactly like the complaint: Nothing happens.
    • Midna, at one point, took a break, to try and get his mind off the game for a while, but was banned during the break, due to this, it makes one wonder if he really would have improved, or just kept up his bad habits.

Tabletop Games

  • When designing 4th edition D&D, the designers decided they wanted to do a Shout-Out to Narnia and the intelligent animal fantasy concept. So originally, the Dragonborn race from 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons was originally supposed to be a race of non-anthropomorphic talking lions based on Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia. The idea was dropped because of questions of how they would handle equipment and they were at first altered into dragons (since they believed Dungeons & Dragons should actually have dragons as a playable race) and then later into humanoid dragons called Dragonborn. (Of course, they weren't called the Dragonborn in the original concept.)
    • Of course, if they ever want to revisit the idea, they could always make the Mascot Mook Displacer Beasts / Coeurl a PC race since they're anthropomorphic (occasionally) sentient big cats but with tentacles that could double as hands.
      • Or, they could just use one of the many different talking animal motifs they already had, including possibly converting one of the talking wolf species (Worgs and Winter Wolves) into a good race rather than an evil one.
  • Before sales declined and their license to print Ravenloft 3E products reverted to Wizards Of The Coast, Arthaus had planned a thirteen-sourcebook run for their Gazetteer series. The narrator S would have traveled to Clusters and Islands, some of them from on board a hired ship crewed by supporting characters. Each book would've included a different half-fiend scion of the Gentleman Caller. Eventually, Azalin's intentions for them and for S would have been revealed, as would the Caller's plot to father a new and unstoppable Dukker on a youthified Madame Eva.
    • There was actually going to be a 4th Edition version of Ravenloft released in 2011, but it was canceleld due to the fact that they couldn't get it quite right.
  • Games Workshop once found itself having to get rid of one of two unpopular armies: The Squats or the Tyranids. By the time Third Edition rolled around, the Tyranids were redesigned and the Squats were eaten by the Tyranids. One can only wonder what the grim darkness of the far future would be like today with a civilization of dwarves in the mix...
  • While reception for the Starship Troopers miniatures game wasn't perfect, it was a pretty solid game and had some great miniatures. However, before it was discontinued, Mongoose Publishing had made some pretty big plans such as the introduction of two new races that were also going to appear in the second edition of the RPG, which was also intended to include more rules for playing Skinnies (The original edition only had one short section and a single Skinny class, with the promise of more later on). Since they lost the licence, none of this is likely to happen.
    • Speaking of Mongoose Publishing, the creator of Infernum, Gareth Hanrahan, actually said on his twitter that there were formerly plans for a second edition using the D&D 4th edition system, but now says it isn't going to happen.

Theme Parks — Disney

  • The Haunted Mansion went through several different ideas. Early concepts included a hangout for horror-themed Disney villains, like the Lonesome Ghosts and the Headless Horseman, having a Raven narrate the ride (abandoned when it was decided the Ghost Host would work better), and a Hatbox Ghost which carried around a severed head as a character (ditched due to the Imagineers deciding it didn't look good enough). Other concepts from the 1950s included several much darker walkthrough attractions, a version where Walt himself narrated, and several very long illusions including a ghost flooding a room.
  • There were many locations Disney was going to originally build Disneyland before he decided to locate in California. One of the places he really had his heart set on was none other than... Flagstaff, Arizona (no, really). He loved the weather the place got during the summer, but then he came and visited during the winter, felt the harsh snowy weather, and subsequently changed his mind.
  • At Walt Disney World in Florida, the Western River Expedition was intended as the Wild West version of Pirates of the Caribbean and was to be exclusive to the park, thus making the California park the only one with the pirates. But early visitors to the Magic Kingdom were upset that Pirates of the Caribbean wasn't included in the lineup, so getting a Florida version of Pirates up and running became top priority, and the new ride never came to pass.
  • Several more countries were considered for Epcot's World Showcase, including a country from Africa. This one was scrapped because the only country willing to back it was South Africa, which was under apartheid in the 1980s. Two years after the park opened, Morocco was added to the lineup.
    • Scrapped attractions for World Showcase included boat-based rides for Germany and Italy. Meet the World, an Audio-Animatronic show retelling the history of Japan, made it as far as its show building going up—but since it glossed over World War II Disney executives feared it would offend Americans (especially veterans). The show did successfully make it into the original Tokyo Disneyland lineup.
    • Japan was also originally going to have a ride of some sort. Possibilities include a Mt. Fuji roller coaster (supposedly scrapped because of Fuji Film, and Kodak sponsoring other rides...seriously), and a Circlevision (similar to what Canada and China has) train ride which would've possibly been attacked by Godzilla.
  • Plans for Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios) included some Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-themed attractions (cancelled due to legal issues), a Muppet version of The Great Movie Ride (cancelled due to Jim Henson's death) and a Dick Tracy ride (cancelled due to King Features Syndicate taking Warren Beatty to court).
    • Originally, much more of The Great Movie Ride would have been based around The Wizard of Oz—riders would be "swept away" by the tornado to Munchkinland, and the final room would be the Wizard's chamber, in which he introduced the closing Montage of great film moments. Because Ted Turner (the movie's rights-holder) stipulated that only so much time could be given over to Oz scenes, the tornado was replaced by a Fantasia segment, and the final room became nondescript.
    • There would have essentially been a Muppet-themed land had Henson not died in the early years of the park's creation. It would have been centered around the courtyard where the Muppetvision 4D theatre currently is.
  • Animal Kingdom was originally going to have a land called "Beastly Kingdom" (or perhaps "Kingdomme") based around mythical animals, but budget cuts forced that to the back burner; the space Camp Minnie-Mickey now occupies was intended for this.
    • Rumor has it that the designers of the Beastly Kingdom land jumped ship to Universal and took some of their ideas with them. Specifically, Dueling Dragons (now the Harry Potter dragon coaster) would have been a major thrill ride for Animal Kingdom.
  • What Could Have Been for Walt Disney World Hotels:
    • The Boardwalk Inn & Villas and their adjoining actual boardwalk were salvaged from plans for a mini-park that would have recreated seaside amusement parks of the early 20th century.
    • Disney's Pop Century Resort was originally going to cover 1900-1949 with a second set of buildings on the other side of Hourglass Lake, but the September 11th attacks happened shortly before the completed first set (1950–99) was to open, causing a tourism slowdown that delayed it to 2004. The second set had the building "shells" put up, but there was never enough demand for rooms to complete them; the current plan is to revamp them into Disney's Art of Animation resort.
  • WestCOT would have been Disneyland Anaheim's answer to Epcot in Florida. It would have had its own version of Spaceship Earth, a World Showcase based on the individual continents, and a Spiritual Successor to Adventure Thru Inner Space. Alas, the whole thing was scrapped in 1995, and Disney built the California Adventure park instead. (And it's too bad, because the concept art for WestCOT looked really cool.)
  • Myst almost had a Disney World attraction.
  • The Other Wiki has a whole list of attractions that Disney cancelled for whatever reason.
  • Disney announced in 2009 that they would try to compete with/catch up to Universal Studios' Wizarding World of Harry Potter by expanding Walt Disney World's Fantasyland with immersive meet-and-greets for Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, and Tinker Bell. However, they later realized this expansion might not have an audience beyond little girls. They later decided to keep the most gender-neutral parts of the expansion, move the meet-and-greets into one of the pre-existing Fantasyland buildings, and use the newly opened space to construct a (hopefully universally-appealing) roller coaster through the Seven Dwarfs' mine.

Theme Parks — Other

  • Graphic artist and designer Roger Dean, best known for his work on album covers and stage designs for the progressive rock band Yes, designed several theme park attractions with his brother Martyn which were never used. The sketches appear in his book Magnetic Storm.
  • Peter Pan's Neverland, a park Michael Jackson came up with the initial concept for in the late 1990s. (Scroll down the page to see the article.)


  • Mel Birnkrant has done a ton of toyline pitches that could be listed in this category on his YouTube page, most notably the second wave of Outer Space Men, a line called Invasion that is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a neat take on the Rock Em Sock Em Robots concept called Gladiators, cool little bobbing toys called Its Alive, the aborted Maxx FX figures, a toy called My Pretty Pony that was beat to the punch by My Little Pony; but actually is far better designed, and most notably his Creatures line, which sorta got produced but has a lot of cool figures that never got made. All so damned cool, a shame that none of them were ever made.
    • My Pretty Pony did come out. My Little Pony was actually a brand extension that proved much more popular.
  • While most Transformers fans know about the unproduced Unicron prototypes from the G1 and Beast Wars Neo lines, you probably don't know about this weird guy over here, apparently a prototype for some sort of spinnoff for transformers, that I can literally find nothing other than that link about. I really want to hear more abotu this strange, aborted branch of the Transformers line, so can anybody help me out?
  • Everything on this list and this list counts for this.
    • Speaking of unreleased Alien figures, a ToyFair article on Stan Winston Creations' then-upcoming Aliens figures mentioned a figure that was scrapped (for obvious reasons) that would've had an actual Biggus Dickus. I wish I was joking, here; a 6" Alien figure with a phallus reaching to its chest. Imagine if that had managed to get through...
  • The traitorous Matoran and servant of Teridax Ahkmou from Bionicle was originally meant to have a new set coming out in '08, as a Shadow Toa. Plans were quickly scrapped, thus his only set remains his Matoran form from '04. He never became a Toa in the story either. Nuparu Mahri's set was also supposed to come with a so called Aqua Blaster Blade, and it was even written into the books, yet the final model didn't include it.
    • And as revealed by German and Russian documentaries on LEGO, the Toa from the Mistika line had gone through a couple changes as well before finalization, mostly in the color scheme department. Official people have also mentioned that their prototypes resembled their original '02 sets closer than the final models. There was much complaining.
    • The sets and story originally planned for '10 and '11 (which is four waves, containing about 40-50 sets altogether). They scrapped all of this in preparation for the line's abrupt Cancellation, and released a wholly new line of merely 6, small-sized sets instead. That means no Element Lords, no shapeshifting assassin robots, no cyborg dinosaurs (although the basic setting has been recycled in Hero Factory), and no not-so-crappy sequel to that crappy movie that ends on a Cliff Hanger.
    • They had vastly different plans for the '06-'11 storyline originally too. '08 would have seen the continuation of the "Jaller and his team try to save Mata Nui's life arc (wrapped up in '07), followed by a multi-year story of the Toa Nuva trying to awaken him. The latter arc got compressed into '08, and instead of the originally planned happy ending, had a shocking Downer/GainaxEnding.
  • Back in the late 80's/early 90's there was Europa, an ultimately cancelled Lego theme based on Europe in the 18th century, canned due to being too similar to Castle and Pirates.
  • This website features a bunch of prototypes of Star Wars toys that never made it to stores]. This one is particularly painful to see.
    • But you're forgetting about a bigger What Could Have Been, in which Kenner in 1986-87 put together a massive pitch to, in essence, create the Expanded Universe five years before there WAS an Expanded Universe so they could make more toys.
  • What do you mean there are tons of Valkyries and other merchandise we never got in the States because of Harmony Gold? This has been going for how long?
  • Monster in My Pocket had a slew of products that were due to come out included unreleased monster figures, a Haunted House play-set, and a collector fan club that would issue 1 free figure each month, all of these were unrealized dreams.
  • Palisades, the company behind those awesome Muppets toys, got the license to do Sesame Street toys in the same style. The figures (barely) got into production, but then Palisades had a major shake-up and folded. No one from the company was even 100% sure what stage the toys were in: if the toys had made it onto the boat from China, they'd be able to sell them; if not, they were dead forever. That means that at some point in late 2005/early 2006, there were entire shipping containers full of the most amazing Sesame Street collector toys imaginable, but they legally couldn't be shipped or sold, and were most likely destroyed.
  • Revell-Monogram's Masters of the Universe toy line took up enough of the product development budget that another project had to be cancelled. A planned 1/25 scale Dodge Diplomat sedan was thus cancelled - a Head Desk moment for '80s cop show fans.

Web Comics

  • 8BitTheater was originally meant to parody multiple 8 bit games, such as Metroid, or River City Ransom. But the comic didn't go that route, and stuck to parodying Final Fantasy I.
  • Tom Siddell mentioned in an interview that Gunnerkrigg Court is actually a Lighter and Softer take on his original idea. If you read much of the comic you'll realize this is saying something.

 "Gunnerkrigg Court was originally going to be more adult when I started working on it, but by the time I finished the first chapter I realized it would work better if I made it more accessible to a wider audience."

  • Part of the final storyline in Bob and George summarizes what would have happened if the original hand drawn comic had run its course: a fairly unoriginal superhero comic.
    • An early storyline had George mention some "pesky aliens" that might have followed him to the Mega Man Universe. This was a plotline from the hand drawn comic that Dave intended to intergrate into the sprite comics about alien body snatchers replacing people, but it was simply never gotten to. The original idea in the hand drawn comic involved one character getting replaced, then the alien slowly Becoming the Mask. The other characters find out, but the one who was replaced was such a Jerkass that no one cared.
  • The sequence in Order of the Stick where Roy wears the Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity was originally envisioned as Roy putting it on to engage in "girl talk" with Miko before discovering he couldn't remove it. However, as Rich Burlew wrote Miko, he discovered that her character didn't really mesh with "light romantic comedy", so the sequence became much more dramatic.
  • Another from Order of the Stick, Tsukiko almost reanimated Miko after the Azure City battle. This seemed more like lampshading than an actual plot possibility though. There are only so many recurring antagonists you can have.
  • Dinosaur Comics originally had a different template, where a Maiasaurus was a fourth character—she appears in the first two panels instead of the T. rex. Additionally, the pixel art on the characters in the remaining four panels were slightly different, resulting in small yet undesirable details. You can see this early version here.
  • In another world, Doug Walker and Dan Shive might have collaborated on a webcomic.
  • Oglaf describes itself thus: "This comic started as an attempt to make pornography. It degenerated into sex comedy pretty much immediately." It could have made some good porn.
    • Still is, really.
  • In an early strip of Something Positive Davan takes Monette to a lesbian bar and winds up annoying one of its patrons. Originally that lesbian was going to be a recurring character named Rochelle whom Davan would develop feelings for; the author wound up scrapping the idea and gave the Incompatible Orientation gag to PeeJee==>Jhim instead.
  • In Get Medieval, Ironychan stated that she originally intended for Neithe to be the main character and Asher to be her foil/sidekick. Asher turned out to be more fun and interesting to write for, so she went in that direction.
  • In Dominic Deegan, Mookie himself stated that he intended for Luna to die at the end of the Maltak arc, but realized that Luna's death would pretty much destroy Dominic, so altered things so that Luna is saved at the last moment by Jacob.
  • In Cucumber Quest, Almond originally had blue hair. Gigi also considered making a comic with Tartelette and Baguette and their bakery as the focus.
  • Quite a few things in MS Paint Adventures, though in fairness the series is in part Writing by the Seat of Your Pants. Word of God and the commentary for the Comic Book Adaptations of Problem Sleuth and Homestuck explain there were a number of Aborted Arcs - though for most of them none of the readers ever realized it. Some examples from Homestuck:
    • Originally, the comic after Problem Sleuth would have been a Midnight Crew comic. In the universe of Homestuck (the actual comic after Problem Sleuth), MS Paint Adventures actually is doing a Midnight Crew comic. Alternate Universe of the characters appear in Homestuck, and eventually the actual Midnight Crew is revealed to be in an Alternate Dimension themselves.
    • Homestuck was originally supposed to be drawn entirely in Flash. This was cut due to the difficulty of making things in flash. The original all-Flash Beta edition of Homestuck can still be seen on the website.
    • Dave's Inventory Management Puzzle with the hash modus was originally supposed to lead up to a hash-rap battle with his Bro. This was changed to sword fight. Dave later Lampshades this afterwards.
    • Rose's battle with Bec Noir was supposed to be a full blown Flash, but the author decided that it would be a waste of time in an already long-running arc. So in-story, the disk of Homestuck gets scratched, reducing the events of the battle to a few panels.
  • Thanks Christian Weston Chandler's ever-changing fleets of fancy, one could say the entirety of Sonichu is full of What Could Have Beens. The most telling is that he left issue 11 unfinished after finishing issue 10 and he told his fans to back off and let him make his work whenever he wants to.

Web Original

  • Glenn Rubenstein has told people various plots that he intended to incorporate into Lonelygirl15 (such as Elizabeth Avery being the woman behind OpAphid), but he left the show due to "Creative Differences," taking the rights to the OpAphid characters with him.
  • The first RP of Darwins Soldiers was planned to feature an interdimensional battle but it was scrapped after the creator, Serris, decided that the potential for narm outweighed the potential for coolness.
  • Several examples abound for the various That Guy With The Glasses shows and specials:
    • Spoony's commentary for Kickassia reveals that during the fight over who would rule Kickassia, Spoony, who had turned into Doctor Insano and "got better", originally grabbed the hat, gave a That Guy-style speech about how pointless the fighting was - and then put the hat on and ran off, because he was still Insano. It got cut because they ran out of time to shoot it. In a related note, LordKat's role was scaled back after Jason twisted his ankle during filming of the invasion of Molossia.
      • Spoony also proposed a scene in which Santa Christ after being resurrected would give Jew Wario a look, as if to show that he knew Jew Wario didn't believe in him. This was nixed pretty quickly.
      • Rollo T has also mentioned that as a tie-in to the Second Anniversary, he and LordKat wrote a skit paying Homage to The Usual Suspects, with the pair of them attempting to interrogate several of the site's personalities (including Paw, who would have had the line, "What, are you guys like fat cop, fatter cop?"). Chris says he still regrets that they never got the chance to do it, as the material was rather funny.
    • Doug Walker was originally going to do a Critic episode where he compared the old and new versions of "War of the Worlds". He nixed the idea as he decided that neither of them were all that good.
    • The Nostalgia Critic had also announced plans to review movies such as Drop Zone and Newsies, but he later replaced them, with one reason being that other TGWTG reviewers were going to review them. And shortly afterwards, The Nostalgia Chick indeed reviewed Newsies as part of the Dark Nella Saga.
    • Linkara was also guilty of planning reviews and then replacing them (In his case "The Wanderers" #5, "Syphons" #1, and "Q-Unit" #1).
      • He also scheduled the Howard the Duck Christmas Special as part of his 2010 X Mas series.
      • Likewise, he originally was going to do a review of Arcomics Premiere #1, but was replaced with one for The Backstreet Project #1.
      • Now he swapped the reviews of New Guardians #1 or #3 and Brute Force #3!
    • Doug Walker was originally going to do a Nostalgia Critic review of Matilda but when he first announced he would, he got so much flak he just couldn't do it. Matilda would resurface later as part of Doug's List of Movies He Hates But Everyone Else Loves in 2011.
    • The Cinema Snob planned to do a Kung Tai Ted episode about The Room until he heard Tommy Wiseau was taking down videos for copyright infringement (including The Nostalgia Critic's review) so he made a Brad & Jerrid sketch where they reenact scenes from the movie.
    • Benzaie's short movie, "Students," was originally supposed to a feature length cross between Clerks and Takeshi Kitano's Kids Return. He was only able to make the first ten minutes and an English dub.
    • In Linkara and Iron Liz's commentary, Liz mentions that the original script for Suburban Knights was much longer. One thing she mentions specifically was a female zombie named Mildred who would bite Phelous. This would lead to Phelous becoming progressively more zombie-like, only for the same end reveal (he was perfectly fine and was just being in character). According to Linkara, most of Mildred's role was replaced by the Good Witch of the Wood.
      • There were actually two ideas for the third anniversary special: One that would eventually become Suburban Knights and another idea called Ninjas vs. Pirates that was not used. In this video, Doug Walker explains what the special not chosen would have been like.
      • A few dropped ideas where mentioned in the cast commentary. Among them:
        • Apparently there were original several working titles for Suburban Knights, including "Flights of Fantasy" and "Dungeons and Critics".
        • Angry Joe had a line where he lampshaded how the Critic continually tricks them into showing up for his mad schemes. It was cut for time.
        • Bennett had a much more prominent running gag where he would try to say something epic and bungle it.
        • Luke and Film Brain had a more extensive scene, where Luke's "inners" from his Film Conscience reviews came into play.
        • When the Critic refused to go along with Linkara's plan to write a musical number for their adventure, there was a cut scene where Linkara would call someone (possibly Andrew Lloyd Weber) and say that the Critic didn't go for it. Linkara would they say "What do you mean 'who is this'?"
    • Way back when Channel Awesome was in its infancy and the Nostalgia Critic was their only feature, site execs Mike Michaud and Bhargav Dronamraju planned a Paranormal Investigation series in the vein of Ghost Hunters.
  • The first season of Red vs. Blue, and by extension the entire series, was originally supposed to unfold in a dramatically different fashion than the finished product. DVD Audio Comentary for the first season reveals that, as originally envisioned, the entire project would only have been six to nine episodes in length, which had all been very loosely planned in advance. Additionally, the format of the first two episodes (The Reds talking at their base while the Blues observe them through the sniper rifle and make snarky comments) was supposed to be maintained until the end. However, by the third episode the expanding script had already pulled the Blues to their own base, and when they reached the tenth episode the writers realized they had not gotten to almost any of the jokes they had planned for the "final" ninth episode (Specifically, putting Donut in the pink armor). The episodes continued to be written until the immediate story was completed, with a total of nineteen episodes which were subsequently billed as "Season One." Continuing the leftover plots points from those episodes lead into four more seasons, as well as several sequel series, and are still ongoing.

The characters themselves were also supposed to evolve differently, and their portrayals in their first appearances (Even throughout the entire first season) contrast heavily with their final forms. Caboose, the Breakout Character legendary for his severely warped mind and personality, was originally a rather bland character who was introduced to the series simply to serve as a catalyst to get Church angry. Donut, who became almost as widely known for his armor-induced personality, was one of the "normal" characters of the series, and as a whole the entire cast was saner and more likely to at least notice the Idiot Ball, even if they could not quite let go of it. Fan reaction to individual points of personality that each character showed lead the writers to magnify and focus on those points, which eventually resulted in the insanity of the series itself.

  • Pops up from time to time in Survival of the Fittest as a result of either an Aborted Arc, handlers scrapping the idea, characters' deaths before the idea could be executed, mods disapproving, and other causes. Examples noted on the wiki include Blood Boy getting a facial reconstruction in pre-game, a lot of things about Cillian Crowe that were planned but never carried out, Adam Dodd Taking the Bullet for Amanda Jones, Walter Smith being an Evil Counterpart to a character that never made it into the game, and others.
  • YouTube was originally conceived of as a dating site. Indeed, the site was originally called "Tune In Hook Up", and would have essentially been a video version of (the original site layout was also designed with this in mind). The site creators redeveloped the site, however, and launched it in 2005...and history was made.
  • Chaos Fighters: Cyber Assault-The Secret Programs is supposed to be span eight sub-arcs, but cancelled as it was too ambitious to begin with. It's summary can be read here.
  • What if Google Street View didn't get in trouble for accidentally collecting security and information from unsecured Wi-Fi Networks? According to the Wikipedia article before the incident, Google Street View might have been in over half of those countries (mainly European, where the Obstructive Bureaucracy are preventing them from releasing the photos) by now. Since that occured, a massive slowdown of updates, only releasing South Africa, Brazil, Ireland, Germany and Romania towards the second half of the year, followed by moving away from the roadside format, and moving more towards parks, museums and now, indoor businesses.