Never Trust a Trailer
'Wait, wait, wait, stop! Is this another Muppet trailer parody? Why don't we just show a real trailer? I mean, what are we hiding? Did we make the movie in Swedish or something?"
—Jason Segel, The Muppets
If Covers Always Lie, trailers can, too. Sometimes Tonight Someone Dies or hyping The Reveal might not be enough. And with the Internet an open window these days for writers and directors to viewers' likes, dislikes, hopes, predictions, and Shipping loyalties, it's easy to know exactly how to bait fans into watching the next episode. Be careful not to believe everything you see, though, because as all Fan Vid makers know, any scene can be mixed-and-matched with another to look completely different from their real context. In the worst examples, it'll actually drive away those who would have otherwise enjoyed it, by completely confusing the relevant demographic.
Indeed, the creation of fake trailers to make a movie look like it's from a completely different genre has become one of the Internet's most beloved recent art forms, such as The Shining as a family-oriented romantic comedy, the one that started it all, or Mary Poppins as a slasher horror flick.
Another way it can backfire is if you can't find enough good footage to make a decent trailer, Genre Savvy audiences can extrapolate just how bad the rest of the material must be.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
See this list for more examples.
- Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer - Where a major actor doesn't show up in the trailer.
- Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Game - The opposite of the above, a character featuring prominently in the promotional materials doesn't really play a significant role.
- Missing Trailer Scene - Where the trailer includes a scene that's been cut from the film.
- Billing Displacement - The big-name actor plays a smaller part than they were 'supposed' to get.
- Ship Tease - When the trailer includes a reel which seems to include two partners who don't actually get together.
- Bait and Switch Lesbians - When those two partners are both women.
- Tonight Someone Kisses - Full-out lying about anyone ending up in a romantic partnership.
- Covers Always Lie
- Contemptible Cover - The illustration on the front of the book is oversexualized, more violent than you'd think, or just downright wrong.
- Super Dickery - For some reason, the hero is acting like an asshole. Open the book to find out why!
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie - Someone—most likely fans—has created a very convincing trailer for a movie which will never be released.
- Advertised Extra: The guy seems to be a major character, but isn't.
Often a form of Misaimed Marketing. Contrast with Trailers Always Spoil, where the trailer is a little too honest. If it's a TV show's Title Sequence that lies, those are Bait and Switch Credits.
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Web Animation
- Web Comics
- Western Animation