Created By: Pichu-kun on March 4, 2016 Last Edited By: Pichu-kun on April 10, 2017
Troped

Abled In The Adaptation

A character's disability or illness is removed from adaptations.

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trope
Sometimes in adaptations a characters physical or mental illness is removed or downplayed compared to the source. This could be for pragmatic reasons (such as the disability being difficult to adapt) but often times the disability is simply removed.

This is inverted in many fanworks. "Disabled AUs" are a popular type of fanfic.

Sub-trope of Adaptation Deviation. Compare to Throwing Off the Disability.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

Comicbooks

Fan Works
  • Inverted in the Frozen fanfic Café Liégeois. Elsa was born blind in the fanfic. It's also played straight, as she lacks main!Elsa's depression and anxiety.

Film - Animation
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame Quasimodo is deaf due to working with loud bells. In the Disney adaptation he is able to hear and speak.
  • Shere Khan in The Jungle Book is referred to as a "lame tiger" who was born with a crippled hind leg - he is a man-eater specifically because his disability stops him from being fast enough to catch a deer or a bull. Adaptations (including the Disney cartoon) tend to leave out this trait to make him a more threatening villain.
  • According to religious texts Moses was "slow of tongue", indicating a Speech Impediment or speech disorder. In The Prince of Egypt this is absent.
  • Ronno from Bambi is a buck whose has a lame leg due to surviving a gunshot. In the Disney adaptation Bambi's age was decreased, he became a rival to Bambi, and he lacks any disabilities.

Film - Live Action
  • In the comics Hawkeye is partially deaf, wears a hearing aid, and can use American Sign Language. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe none of this is included.
  • Peeta from The Hunger Games loses his leg in the books but not in the film adaptation.
  • Thor: In the comics, Thor's "Donald Blake" alias on Earth is a crippled medical student whose cane would transform into Thor's hammer, which Odin set up in order to teach him humility. Because of the circumstances of Thor's being sent to Earth being different in the MCU, "Donald Blake" is instead an incredibly buff vaguely Scandinavian guy.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
    • In the comic book on which the film is based on, Magneto is paraplegic by the time of the Bad Future. In the film's depiction of the future, he's up and walking around on two feet.
    • Inverted with Bolivar Trask, who's able-bodied in the comics but played by Peter Dinklage (who has dwarfism) in the film.
  • Played With in To Kill a Mockingbird—Tom Robinson's mangled left hand is still a plot point, but it's an Informed Deformity, since the actor they hired is able-bodied; he simply keeps it still and tells the courtroom that he can't move it.
  • Inverted and played straight in Iron Man 3. Tony suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the events of the Avengers' film, and tries to go for professional help about it... but Bruce Banner isn't that type of doctor. Tony doesn't suffer PTSD in the comics. They allude in the first two films without mentioning it to the disability Tony has in the comics: he's an alcoholic.

Franchises
  • While usually not considered a disability, Sherlock Holmes had a cocaine habit in the original Sherlock Holmes books. Most adaptations do away with any drug references. Exceptions are:
    • The 21st century Setting Update Sherlock has Holmes as being on a nicotine patch as a Mythology Gag to both his drug addiction and his smoking habit.
    • Elementary is set in the 2010s and is outright based around Sherlock's addiction. It starts with Joan being Sherlock's sober companion in order to help him kick his heroin addiction. Sherlock's problems with his addiction are referenced many times and he relapses at one point.
    • Played straight with Sherlock Hound, which is a kid-friendly Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation. It was originally supposed to subvert it though. Early concept art shows that the series was meant to be darker than most adaptations and included Sherlock using drugs.
    • Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes references his cocaine habit without actually saying cocaine, with Watson finding an empty container and saying: "You know what you're taking is intended for eye surgery?"

Live-Action TV

Theatre
  • Wicked:
    • In the original Wicked book Elphaba has an allergy to water. She bathes using oils and avoids water. Her death involves Dorothy splashing water on her. In the theatrical adaptation there are rumors that water can melt her - and in the song "Thank Goodness" Fiyero gets upset at the absurdity of the idea - but it's not true. Elphaba ends up Spared by the Adaptation when she fakes her death.
    • In a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, Elphaba's sisters' disability was changed for the musical. Nessarose was born with no arms in the books however, due to the difficulty of representing that in a play, she was changed to being wheelchair bound.
  • Inverted in a 2015 production of Spring Awakening. Many of the major characters were played by deaf performers while hearing people would translate their sign language.

Web Animation
  • DC Superhero Girls combines pre-52 elements and post-52 elements of Barbara Gordon. She had a background as Oracle before becoming Batgirl. She isn't disabled, and in fact the Joker hasn't been referenced in the series (though he might undergo Adaptational Heroism if he does, just like most other villains).

Western Animation
  • In The Killing Joke the first Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, was shot by The Joker. She became paralyzed due to the incident but later became the Disabled Badass "Oracle" until the New 52 reboot retconned her to having recovered the use of her legs after the shooting. In the DCAU there are no signs of Batgirl ever having been wheelchair bound. In Batman Beyond she is shown as a senior but her legs work perfectly fine.
  • Likewise in Beware the Batman, Barbara Gordon skips becoming Batgirl and goes straight to Oracle without being paralyzed.
  • In-universe in the Avatar: The Last Airbender: a Fire Nation-sponsored play recapping the Gaang's adventures switches Toph's seismic sense Disability Superpower with echolocation, possibly due to having no clue how earthbender powers work.

Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • March 7, 2016
    rmctagg09
    Subtrope of Adaptation Deviation.
  • March 9, 2016
    Snicka
    • Shere Khan in The Jungle Book is referred to as a "lame tiger" who was born with a crippled hind leg - he is a man-eater specifically because his disability stops him from being fast enough to catch a deer or a bull. Adaptations (including the Disney cartoon) tend to leave out this trait to make him a more threatening villain.
  • March 9, 2016
    rmctagg09
  • November 26, 2016
    notShemp
  • November 27, 2016
    Arivne
  • November 27, 2016
    Malady
    If it's inverted so much, the inversion should be a trope as well?
  • February 25, 2017
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • February 25, 2017
    DustSnitch
    Does the Batman Beyond example count? The DC Animated Universe is an adaptation of many comic books, but the story of Barbra's disablement and it's follow-ups aren't among them, so there's no reason to expect Barbra to be disabled. It's like saying Iron Man from the Marvel movies is an example of Adaptational Heroism because the movies aren't adapting the story where Iron Man is revealed to work for Kang the Conqueror.
  • February 26, 2017
    Chabal2
    In-universe in the Avatar The Last Airbender: a Fire Nation-sponsored play recapping the Gaang's adventures switches Toph's seismic sense Disability Superpower with echolocation, possibly due to having no clue how earthbender powers work.
  • February 26, 2017
    PaulA
    Would it be worth renaming this to something like "Adaptational Disability Difference", so that 'disabled in the adaptation', 'not disabled in the adaptation', and 'disabled in a different way in the adaptation' are all covered?
  • March 3, 2017
    Skylite
    Iron Man 3 : Tony suffers from Post Traumatic Stress after the events of the Avengers film, and tries to go for professional help about it ... but Bruce Banner isn't that type of doctor. Tony doesn't suffer PTS in the comics. They allude in the first two films without mentioning it to the disability Tony has in the comics: he's an alcoholic.

  • March 4, 2017
    Prime32
    Would the film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird count here? Tom Robinson's mangled left hand is still said to exist, but never actually shown.
  • March 4, 2017
    Gamermaster
  • March 8, 2017
    ExcuseMyIngles
    Bump
  • March 13, 2017
    Synchronicity
    @Dust Snitch: Good point, but I'd say it counts. Although the DCAU never claimed to straightforwardly adapt main DC canon, Barbara Gordon was in a wheelchair the entire time it was running, and was one of the most prominent disabled characters in comics at the time. It signficantly affected her characterization and the dynamics of the comics for years, so it's a pretty notable absence in the shows.

    • Thor: In the comics, Thor's "Donald Blake" alias on Earth is a crippled medical student whose cane would transform into Thor's hammer, which Odin set up in order to teach him humility. Because of the circumstances of Thor's being sent to Earth being different in the MCU, "Donald Blake" is instead an incredibly buff vaguely Scandinavian guy.
    • X Men Days Of Future Past
      • In the comic book on which the film is based on, Magneto is paraplegic by the time of the Bad Future. In the film's depiction of the future, he's up and walking around on two feet.
      • Inverted with Bolivar Trask, who's able-bodied in the comics but played by Peter Dinklage (who has dwarfism) in the film.
    • Luke Cage 2016: Misty Knight is an amputee in the comics, with a bionic arm acting as a substitute. In the series proper, she comes very close to losing her arm during a shooting incident, but Claire is able to save it.
  • March 14, 2017
    Gamermaster
  • March 15, 2017
    Omeganian
    In Tales From Earthsea, Therru has half of her face red, like a bad sunburn. The original books had her suffer burns which burned that side to the bone, making her lose an eye. Her hand was burned to uselesness as well.
  • March 28, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Added examples from the page. They are temporarily commented out.
  • March 28, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • March 29, 2017
    Koveras
    @Gamermaster: To add to the Nanoha example:

  • March 31, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump for hats!
  • April 4, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Should the examples that were added during the launch be added or removed?
  • April 4, 2017
    Getta
    ^ Add of course
  • April 4, 2017
    Getta
    ^ Add of course
  • April 4, 2017
    Tuckerscreator
    Another Sherlock Holmes subversion:
    • Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes references his cocaine habit without actually saying cocaine, with Watson finding an empty container and saying: "You know what you're taking is intended for eye surgery?"
  • April 5, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Why was this brought back to YKTTW after launch? The page doesn't really give a reason. If there are any issues, they should be fixed before re-launch.
  • April 5, 2017
    WaterBlap
    ^ I'm actually not sure why this was brought up to the crash rescue thread in the first place. It was reported here and then immediately unlaunched for having "no consensus." The description is really short, especially for an adaptation trope, but nobody made a comment about that until I just did in this post?
  • April 9, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    ^To elaborate the "no consensus" reason is that someone launched when it had five hats before someone can say that it was ready to launch.
  • April 9, 2017
    Getta
    ^ Who launched this? If it's Pichu-kun himself then there shouldn't be a need for "someone" saying it's ready to launch.
  • April 9, 2017
    WaterBlap
    ^^ That's not necessary every time, as described here and here

    That said, there are now zero bombs and nineteen hats.
  • April 9, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    ^Perhaps. Might be a mistake on my part. It's just that, to me, this was launched all of a sudden by Bouken Dutch without the draft finalized and without adding the other examples from the comment section. That, and he launched this with another draft named Walpurgisnacht, which I'm now handling after the original was nuked.

    Candi described after this was launched that this needed work.

    By now, this draft would be ready for relaunch.
  • April 10, 2017
    Getta
    ^ Okay, now where's the OP?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=vpdrldw6jn4lf0rgw1ja5koa