Thanks to the advent of streaming services, pretty much every episode of a TV show you want to see is out there – almost. There are some TV show episodes that were lost or banned outright, and a few may not even exist at all. Urban legend TV episodes like SpongeBob SquarePants's "Squidward's Suicide," and lost episodes of popular TV shows like Doctor Who's "The Power of the Daleks," are some of the most sought-after shows of all time. Who knows – episodes of your favorite television series may have been lost to history.
Some famous “lost episodes” of a television series aren’t actually lost; they were simply shelved by studios for one reason or another. Either the people in charge hated the episode, or circumstances led to the program being shuffled around until it disappeared. Often these lost episodes are considered to be the best episodes of a television show, whether that’s just because people want to see them so badly, or because they’re genuinely good. That's up to you to decide – if you ever get a chance to see these lost episodes.
SpongeBob SquarePants – "Squidward’s Suicide"
SpongeBob SquarePants has a devoted following, and for good reason. If you're a fan, you've probably seen every episode of this super-colorful, hyper-cheerful underseas romp – except one.
An Internet rumor alleges there's a lost episode of SpongeBob called “Squidward’s Suicide.” Supposedly, this installment never made it past the final edit, due to its inclusion of scenes of brutal child murder and suicide. The source, who claims to have seen the episode while interning at Nickelodeon, says there was an investigation into the footage, but that nothing came of it.
The Simpsons – "Dead Bart"
A rumored lost episode of The Simpsons, "Dead Bart," is supposedly based around the idea that Matt Groening has the power to accurately predict the deaths of every guest star from the show. Not only that, but he put that power on full display by animating an episode showing each stars' presumed date of death.
According to this Internet theory, the episode features Bart being sucked out of the window of a plane and the rest of his family mourning for a full year until they’re nothing more than skeletal versions of themselves. When the family visits Bart’s grave, the cemetery where he’s entombed is filled with headstones featuring the death dates of every Simpsons guest that ever was and ever will be.
Star Wars – "The Star Wars Holiday Special"
This episode probably should have stayed lost. The notorious "Star Wars Holiday Special" is a musical revue in which Chewbacca and Han Solo visit the wookie's home planet to celebrate Life Day. If that's too normal for you, consider this: there’s a Jefferson Starship video, Bea Arthur shows up, and Carrie Fisher even sings a song.
It’s an understatement to say George Lucas is embarrassed of the debacle. Somehow this mess didn’t end the entire Star Wars franchise, probably because Lucas did his best to bury the special after it initially aired. However, if you really want to watch it, you can, either via bootleg VHS tapes or online.
Ren & Stimpy – "Man’s Best Friend"
The Ren & Stimpy episode "Man's Best Friend" was produced for the Nickelodeon cartoon's second season, but it never aired during the original run. It was deemed to be too controversial for featuring a super violent scene where Ren beats a man within an inch of his life with an oar. The main characters were also shown smoking cigars.
Nickelodeon fired the show's creator, John Kricfalusi, over the episode. The show didn’t air for 11 years, until Kricfalusi was able to air the episode on Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, a revival of the original series on Spike.