Created By: Knight9910 on August 22, 2013 Last Edited By: Knight9910 on August 28, 2013

Adaptation Plot Removal

This is for when a plot point or Mac Guffin is removed from or changed for an adaptation.

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(I was informed by the mods that Adapted Out is for characters only and there is no alternate version of it for other things, so I'm making this. Also, we really need a new title. If anyone has any ideas please say so.)

Often times when a work is being adapted certain liberties must be taken with the source material. Whether it's due to time or length constraints, or even just because the new authors don't like it sometimes things get removed or altered beyond recognition. When the item which is removed is a person, they're considered to be Adapted Out, but when it's a plot point or MacGuffin that gets removed or altered then it's this trope.

Compare Adapted Out. Also compare Adaptation Explanation Extrication, for when the item in question is left in but the explanation behind it is removed. This trope can sometimes lead to Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole.


  • (The one that gave me the idea for this.) Early on in the Mighty Max toyline, Max's cap was a random different color in each playset, with the corresponding mini-comics explaining that the cap changed color based on some unknown factor in the worlds Max visits. This was removed completely in the Mighty Max cartoon, where the cap was red exclusively.
Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • August 23, 2013
    • In the 4Kids version of One Piece anime, they cut the whole Laboon arc, presumably because of the violence to a whale. Hundreds of episodes later, we have Brook, who's revealed to be related to Laboon (said whale), and his stated goal is to meet him. Naturally it creates a Plot Hole.
  • August 23, 2013
    In the film adaptation of Watchmen they changed Ozymandias's big plot from handcrafted fake alien invasion to falsely accusing Dr. Manhattan.
  • August 23, 2013
    Isn't this basically just Pragmatic Adaptation (or in the very least a very closely tied subtrope).
  • August 23, 2013
    The defining point of Pragmatic Adaptation is that something is removed because it has to be, because it wouldn't work in the adaptation. This is not necessarily being removed out of necessity, it might be removed just because the new writer doesn't like it, or couldn't figure out how to make it work with the rest of what he had written.

    In other words, if this trope is just a rewrite of Pragmatic Adaptation, then so is Adapted Out, and it's not.
  • August 23, 2013
  • August 24, 2013
    Several major subplots in the novel (including one involving No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Walt Disney) were eliminated from the film version of LA Confidential.
  • August 24, 2013
    • In Man Of Steel, Superman's famous weakness, kryptonite, is removed from the adaptation completely.
  • August 28, 2013
    Adaptation Distillation?
    Some adaptations take a complex character or situation and greatly simplify it, removing elements the producer believed to be unnecessary. [emphasis mine]
  • August 28, 2013
    ^ And the extreme version of this is covered by In Name Only.