Some of these low-key gaslit us.
There are certain TV and movie storylines that are basically universally disliked. Sometimes, the show or movie sticks to their guns, and other times…they pretend the offending storyline, TV episode/season, or film never happened.
Here are 19 TV and movie storylines so bad that the show literally acted like they never happened.
Dallas shocked and even alienated some viewers in its eighth season when it killed off beloved character Bobby.
So they decided to undo it — along with everything else that had happened since! In the Season 10 premiere, Bobby’s ex-wife Pam finds him alive and well in the shower, and reveals that everything since his “death” was a dream.
Dallas isn’t the only show that ret-conned an entire season. Roseanne did the same thing after a controversial final season in which the working-class Conners won the lottery.
The season ruined the premise and tone of the show, so in the final episode of the series, Roseanne revealed that the entire last season of the show had just been a fictional story she was writing in a book.
In fact, Roseanne had been writing the book to cope with the death of her husband, Dan, which viewers were extremely unhappy about. When the series rebooted years later, Dan was revised to be alive.
Angel also basically ret-conned an entire season: Season 4. The season had largely focused on Angel’s son Connor, who was an extremely unpopular character put in a very strange romance with the much-older Cordelia, who had just come from a season long will-they-won’t-they arc with Angel.
At the very end of Season 4, Angel made a deal where his friends would forget Connor had ever existed — and it was unclear how much of the season’s events (or even how many of Season 3’s events) the characters (besides Angel) remembered. Few were referenced again.
It’s not just TV shows that ignore large entries in their continuity — sometimes full movies in a series get ret-conned. For example, 2006’s Superman Returns just straight-up pretended that Superman III, Supergirl, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace never happened after the three films were critically panned and failed to gain the popularity of Superman I and II.
Similarly, Jaws: The Revenge made no reference to Jaws 3D, the critically panned Jaws sequel that had told the story of two sharks loose at SeaWorld.
The Halloween series did this twice. First, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later ignored Halloween III–VI, and the existence of Laurie’s daughter, Jamie Lloyd. As the Jamie-focused films had been a critical and monetary failure, this made sense.
What made less sense was 2018’s Halloween, which in turn pretended that H20: 20 Years Later and its sequel, Halloween: Resurrection, in which Laurie died, never happened. It also pretended the events of Halloween II — which had been canon in all prior sequels, including 20 Years Later — had not happened, meaning that Michael Myers was not Laurie’s brother.
The Terminator series also did this twice — first with Terminator Genisys, which ignored the previous sequels (which, with the exception of Judgement Day, were unpopular) and was meant to be a reboot of the original.
The next film, Terminator: Dark Fate, in turn ignored Terminator Genisys after Genisys failed to revitalize the series. Dark Fate also ignored the events of the third and fourth films, serving as a sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Sometimes, sequels don’t entirely ignore the movies before them, but very clearly ignore a certain major plot point or storyline — like Bruce and Natasha’s very random romance in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Fans found the pairing random and strange, and besides a very slight hint of Bruce’s feelings for Natasha in Thor: Ragnarok, it was never mentioned again. It was most noticeable in Avengers: Infinity War, when Bruce and Natasha reunited but barely shared two words, despite having been in a relationship the last time they saw each other.
The same thing happened to Steve’s romance with Sharon Carter in Civil War, which many found uncomfortable, as Steve had also had a romance with Sharon’s aunt Peggy. We did see Sharon again in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but the kiss/romance wasn’t mentioned.
The entire Ravenswood plot in Pretty Little Liars was similarly dropped. Gearing up for the Ravenswood spinoff starring Caleb, there were a number of strange occurrences on PLL, mostly including the psychic Mrs. Grunwald.
Ravenswood was canceled after a failed 10 episodes, and Caleb returned to PLL — and while a few episodes did address the fact that he had gone through something dark in Ravenswood, it was quickly forgotten, and none of the supernatural elements of the PLL universe (nor the town of Ravenswood) were ever mentioned post-Season 4.
On Good Times, Carl and Florida’s relationship was a decent chunk of Season 4, culminating in them getting engaged and moving away.
However…when Florida returned in Season 6, there was no mention of Carl. It was like he’d never existed. This was actually because Esther Rolle didn’t approve of the relationship for her character, and many viewers likely felt the same, as it came on the heels of the death of Florida’s beloved husband James.
Another unpopular character that a show buried deep, deep in their past? Venus de Milo, aka the female mutant ninja turtle, in the TV series Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.
In fact, the entire series — in which the turtles were also not brothers — was pretty much buried after its large-scale failure. I’m guessing you don’t remember the series or Venus — series creator Peter Laird has apparently forbid her inclusion in any other adaptations.
Oh, and remember the super unpopular Eve on Dawson’s Creek, and how it turned out she was Jennifer’s sister? Nothing ever came of that, did it? And Eve completely just disappeared.
One of the most hated TV storylines of all time has got to be Nikki and Paulo’s brief storyline on Lost. The characters were invented in Season 3, and the show tried to claim they’d been on the island the whole time. After backlash, the couple was killed off, and never mentioned again.
Another universally hated storyline was when The Simpsons revealed Principal Skinner was actually an imposter.
In a rare instance of writers seeming to understand an episode was a mistake while actually creating the episode, it thankfully ends with a promise that the plotline will never be mentioned again.
Another infamously bad TV episode that was never mentioned again is the episode where El travels to New York in Stranger Things. The events somewhat impact the next episode, but otherwise, El’s sister and her trip to see her are never mentioned again.
And finally, let’s end with a small one that just personally tickles me. Remember how Damon could, like…control crows in the beginning of The Vampire Diaries, and it was really stupid? Thank god they gave up on that particular storyline pretty quickly.
Now it’s your turn! Were these really so bad? What other TV and movie plotlines, episodes, seasons, and even films were so stupid or unpopular that they got buried? Let us know in the comments below!