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.
Tom And Jerry – "Tom's Basement"
Tom and Jerry had a simple comedic dynamic in their cartoon shorts: Tom was the vicious cat, Jerry the clever mouse. But according to some Internet users, that dynamic turned deadly in the short "Tom's Basement."
In the cartoon, Tom's abusive owner warns the cat to stay away from the basement. In fact, he violently hurts Tom whenever he so much as sleeps next to the door. Jerry begins using this situation to his advantage, fooling the cat into chasing him to the basement and hiding when the owner loses it. The situation reaches a boiling point, and Jerry ends up murdering the owner. Tom and Jerry hide his body in the basement, but Jerry ends up killing the cat, too.
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.