[[quoteright:193:[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/streetfighterII.jpg]]]][[caption-width-right:193:Challenge: can you separate the "new games" from the re-releases?]]

-> ''"[[LawyerFriendlyCameo Street Masher]]... Street Masher 2... Street Masher 2: Slightly Different Costumes Edition..."''
-->-- '''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner''' reminisces on some of his favorite arcade games, ''VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople: 8-Bit is Enough''

Among some video game publishers, there exists an annoying tendency to release one game, and then release it again several times with minor changes before any wholesale {{sequel}} ever comes along. When one finally does, it's 2:1 odds that it will be a ''prequel'' that doesn't do much of anything to advance the main plotline. Whether this is done to cater to the hardcore fanbase or cynically milk a franchise for all it's worth is purely a matter of conjecture.

There is a third reason why this occurs: competitive multiplayer games. In the old days, patching a non-PC game was impossible. Arcade machines could have their hardware swapped without taxing its players in the slightest, but console game updates had to take the form of a new cartridge or disc, usually priced the same or similar to the first iteration of the game. Companies were able to get away with this due to the popularity of the games in the arcades, thus necessitating that players "keep up with the Joneses" at home. While this trope is averted more often these days, with some game updates either basically being out-and-out sequels, or being taken care of via patches or DownloadableContent, some companies still abuse the idea of releasing an update as a full game. Creator/{{Capcom}} themselves has done both in recent times; contrast the handling of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition]]'' with ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3]]''.

Note also that, while the {{trope namer|s}} Capcom does this enough to get the trope named after them, they are by no means the ''only'' publisher guilty of it.

Related to MissionPackSequel, but ''this includes the storyline as well as the gameplay''. Easily leads to ItsTheSameNowItSucks or {{Sequelitis}}, although many of these games are simply SoOkayItsAverage.

Contrast SequelEscalation. See ObservationOnOriginality for one explanation.

'''WARNING:''' Too much exposure to this trope may cause ColonCancer.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:TropeNamer: {{Capcom}}]]
* The most ostentatious and infamous example is easily ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII''. It began with ''Street Fighter II: The World Warrior'' in 1991, then came ''Street Fighter II': Champion Edition'' and ''Street Fighter II': Hyper Fighting'', both in 1992; ''Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers'' in 1993; and ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo: The Ultimate Championship'' (a.k.a. ''Super Street Fighter II X: The Grand Master Challenge'') in 1994. Four different derivatives of the original ''Street Fighter II'' in a span of three years, and that's just the arcade releases. Do note that Capcom never marketed these releases as full-fledged sequels, but updates and balance changes made largely in response to players discovering broken and unintended gameplay mechanics.
** Hilariously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in a piece of envelope art shown in ''[=GamePro=]'' magazine in an early 1990s issue (years before ''Street Fighter III'' came out), which featured a couple of ''Series/SesameStreet'' parodies. One of them showed Bert and Ernie with a Capcom representative trying to count to three. The Capcom rep counts by rattling off the various versions of Street Fighter released up to that point ("''Street Fighter'', ''Street Fighter II'', ''Street Fighter II': Champion Edition'', ''Street Fighter II Turbo'', ''Street Fighter II': Hyper Fighting'', ''Super Street Fighter II''..."). Ernie's reaction to this is putting a gun to his head, saying "I give up," and Bert's is [[HeadDesk banging his head on a nearby desk]].
** Some of the home versions are titled differently as well. The Super NES received a two-in-one compilation of ''Champion Edition'' and ''Hyper Fighting'' titled ''Street Fighter II Turbo'', taking its title from the Japanese version of ''Hyper Fighting'' (but without the apostrophe-like prime symbol they use to represent the word "Dash" over there), while the Sega Genesis counterpart of that same compilation is titled ''Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition'' (otherwise known as ''Street Fighter II Dash Plus'' in Japan). Then we got ''Street Fighter Collection'' and ''Street Fighter Collection 2'', a compilation of all five games for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, although covered in reversed order (the first one has both ''Super'' games and a bonus disc with ''Alpha 2 Gold'', while the second contains the original three); ''Super Street Fighter II X for Matching Service'', an online-compatible version of ''Super Turbo'' for the Sega Dreamcast released only in Japan via mail order (making it one of the most sought after versions of the series); ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival'', a [[PortingDisaster watered down]] GameBoyAdvance version of ''Super Turbo''; ''Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition'', a modified version of ''Super Turbo'' that allows players to use any character from the five different iterations of ''Street Fighter II''; and finally ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix'', a remake of ''Super Turbo'' that replaces the original graphics and music with artwork by UDON and music remixes by [[Music/OverClockedReMix OverClocked ReMix]].
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' (''Street Fighter Zero'' in Japan and Asia), the prequel game that followed ''II'', also got its own series of upgrades and pseudo-sequels. The original was immediately followed by ''Alpha 2'', which added alternate versions of certain characters for its U.S. release (namely Evil Ryu, EX Zangief, and EX Dhalsim). ''Alpha 2'' was then re-released in Japan and Asia as ''Zero 2 Alpha'', which had all the extra characters from the U.S. release, plus "EX" versions of the rest of the ''Street Fighter II'' cast. ''Zero 2 Alpha'' was then ported to home consoles as ''Alpha 2 Gold'', which added an extra character to the mix: the Shadaloo version of Cammy (who previously appeared in ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter''), although she was initially only playable in the Versus and Training modes. Then ''Alpha 3'' came and the home versions of that game added even more characters (eventually bringing back the entire ''Street Fighter II'' roster). The Dreamcast version of ''Alpha 3'', subtitled ''Sakyo Dojo'', was [[RecursiveAdaptation backported]] to the arcade as ''Zero 3 Upper'' in Japan, a title used for the later GameBoyAdvance port (''Alpha 3 Upper''), which added three characters from ''[[VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium Capcom vs. SNK 2]]'' (Maki, Yun, and Eagle). This all culminated with the PlayStationPortable version, ''Alpha 3 MAX'', which has all the extra characters from the previous versions, plus Ingrid (from ''VideoGame/CapcomFightingEvolution''). This isn't even counting ''Street Fighter Alpha Anthology'', a compilation of the arcade version of the ''Alpha'' games, along with ''Alpha 2 Gold'', ''Alpha 3 Upper'', and a Versus/Training mode-only game titled ''Hyper Street Fighter Alpha'' that pits versions of nearly every character from all the above games (the characters who appear in the portable versions of ''Alpha 3'' weren't included).
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' was a bit more modest in its sequels compared to ''II'' and ''Alpha'', mainly due to its relative unpopularity at the time of its release. The original was titled ''Street Fighter III: New Generation'', which was followed by ''Street Fighter III 2nd Impact: Giant Attack'', and ''Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future''. In terms of home versions, the first two were released exclusively for the Dreamcast in a two-in-one compilation titled ''Street Fighter III: Double Impact'', while ''3rd Strike'' got a stand-alone release for the Dreamcast, followed by PlayStation2 and Xbox ports which helped expose the series a bit.
** The ''VideoGame/StreetFighterEX'' [=3D=] spin-off series consisted of four arcade games (''EX'', ''EX Plus'', ''[=EX2=]'', and ''[=EX2=] Plus''), two PlayStation ports (''EX Plus Alpha'' and ''[=EX2=] Plus''), and a PlayStation2-exclusive final installment (''[=EX3=]'').
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' (an interquel set between ''II'' and ''III'') was originally released for the arcades in Japan and Asia exclusively and then ported to home consoles. The home versions added six more characters to the roster. Then it got an update for the home consoles in the form of ''Super Street Fighter IV'' which added 10 more characters to the roster. ''Super Street Fighter IV'' was then ported to the arcades (and the home consoles as [[DownloadableContent DLC]] as ''Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition''). Four more characters were added to the roster (Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu, and the introduction of Oni, who is an alternate form of Akuma). A [=3DS=] version was also released, titled ''Super Street Fighter IV: [=3D=] Edition''. An update titled ''Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Ver. 2012'' was released as a downloadable patch in December 2011. Another balance update (''Ultra Street Fighter IV'') is planned to be released in 2014, with another 5 additional characters (four of them, Hugo, Poison, Elena, and Rolento, ported over from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken'').
*** And then, in 2013, out comes ''Ultra Street Fighter IV'', initially available over the [=NESiCA X Live=] arcade system. This is followed by a unnumbered patch that adds one more fighter to the roster soon after, and is quickly followed by yet another port to home consoles and [=PC=]s.
*** To wit, Capcom's infamy with this trope from ''Street Fighter'' alone has led to a recurrent trend among fans of creating [[LongTitle ridiculously long]], [[WordSaladTitle absurd-sounding]], [[ColonCancer subtitle-laden titles]] whenever a new title/update is announced because it's ''expected'' that Capcom's going to turn around and release another version of the game they just bought several months down the road. How affectionate the mocking is varies from person to person, especially in more recent years.
* Capcom's ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' series fared even worse. Going out with ''Vampire Savior 2'' and ''Vampire Hunter 2'', which despite being numbered like sequels were just minor rule and roster updates to the original ''Vampire Savior'', which was actually third game in the series, following the original ''Darkstalkers'' (''Vampire'' in Japan) and ''Night Warriors'' (''Vampire Hunter'' in Japan). And then the characters from all three (''Vampire Savior'', ''Vampire Hunter 2'', and ''Vampire Savior 2'') were combined into a home release as ''Darkstalkers 3'' (which retained the ''Vampire Savior'' title in Japan).
** ''Night Warriors'' borders between an updated version of ''Darkstalkers'' and a sequel. The entire roster and stages from the first game, but there are many rule changes from the first game to distinguish it as a separate game.
** That being said, Yoshinori Ono (producer of the ''Street Fighter IV'' series, among other titles) has been recently lobbying for a true sequel to ''Darkstalkers 3''. However, the series is currently in indefinite hiatus.
* There was a time when the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series was heavily fixated around the events of Raccoon City in 1998, with many prequels, interquels and side-stories. Even ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis Resident Evil 3: Nemesis]]'', the third numbered entry, was actually set around the same time period as ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' and added many {{retcon}}s to the previous game's plot. The ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' spinoff series is set during the Raccoon City outbreak as well, but still feature many irreconcilable inconsistencies with both of those games. ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' finally moved away the plot and setting by being set in 2004 (six years after the events of Raccoon City) and all the numbered entries since then have taken place in present or near-future.
** Their minds are still stuck in Raccoon City for the spin-offs. ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheUmbrellaChronicles The Umbrella Chronicles]]'', ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheDarksideChronicles The Darkside Chronicles]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilOperationRaccoonCity Operation Raccoon City]]'' all go over the zombie outbreak in Raccoon City again.
* Originally, ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' was supposed to be the immediate sequel to ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica Code: Veronica]]''. They thought it was too much of a huge break in genres, though, so they ripped out the original story (Dante was a police officer named Tony Redgrave fighting against more Umbrella horrors) to the current one. Turned out to be great. So far the franchise has been pretty good about this trope (even though chronology is all over the place: The chronological order is ''3''-''1''-''4''-''2''), but that can change in a heartbeat as soon as Capcom start pumping out spin-offs (and already ''has'' changed if you count Dante's appearances in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' and ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' as canon).
** ''Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition'', infamous amongst the gaming community as one of the only (or the only) game/s to be re-released because ''it was too freaking hard''.
* Even the semi-obscure ''1942'' {{Shoot Em Up|s}} series isn't invincible to this. ''1943'' got a re-release called ''1943 Kai'', and ''1942: Joint Strike'' is basically the elements of ''1943'', ''19XX'', and ''1944'' rolled up into one game.
** And then there's ''1941: Counter Attack'', the ''third'' game in the series. Possibly justified in that it takes place in Europe, where the war ended sooner than in Japan.
* The ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries'', developed by Capcom, has been zig-zagging the trope:
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Federation Vs. Zeon]]'' was innovative and well-received, the sequel ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam AEUG Vs. Titans]]'' was pretty much the same game with some new machines -- and then came ''Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam'', which was ''[=AvT=]'' with '''more''' new machines, and the popular Campaign Mode replaced with a repetitive alternate history mode.
** Thankfully, the later games in the series avert this; ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Alliance Vs. ZAFT]]'' boasts a drastic overhaul to the game engine, ''Gundam Vs. Gundam'' gains FanService points for covering the franchise's entire 30-year history, and each of those games has a sequel that greatly bolsters the roster and adds in an interesting Mission Mode. And then they announced ''Extreme Versus'', which is an overhaul of ''Gundam Vs. Gundam'' with [=PS3=]-level graphics (every other game in the series was Dreamcast/[=PS2=]-level).
** Unfortunately, shortly after ''Extreme'' got a console port, they announced ''Extreme Vs. Full Boost''. And when ''that'' got a console port, they unveiled ''Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost''. The roster of mobile suits is getting boosted with each installment (''Full Boost'' having nearly 120 Mobile Suits, counting DLC), but the game engine is largely unchanged save for some balance tweaks and slight changes to the SuperMode mechanic. Fans are beginning to get a little leery.
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' seems to be falling victim to this. While each game adds new content, some games are nothing more than expansions. The 3 main games are set in different locations, with new monsters, new weapon types, and in Tri's case some monsters and weapon types were taken out in favor of all new content. However, in the expansions, commonly given the subtitle "G", the biggest changes are to the weapon types to make them more balanced, and there are usually no more than a few new monsters that aren't just ''palette swaps''.
* ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma'' is suffering from something similar to ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' with ''Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen''; a $40 "sequel", that's essentially a re-release of the original game with improved gameplay, and a whole new area of its own content and quests added onto the base game.
* Somewhat averted by the classic ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' formula. Each new game demands a brand new set of eight robot masters to fight, and along with those new bosses come new weapons to play with, new levels with new artwork and tile sets, and a new story. While this [[MissionPackSequel rigid formula]] has kept the series from growing or expanding (''VideoGame/MegaMan7'' and ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan8 8]]'' in particular were way too short, give the consoles they were released on), it also acts as a failsafe, ensuring that each new ''Mega Man'' game will not be terribly derivative of its predecessors. For the most part it works, as ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'' and ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan10 10]]'' can attest, but it's not foolproof. ''VideoGame/MegaMan5'' invokes stagnation by offering the player a poor assortment of weapons and pretending the {{big bad}} isn't Dr. Wily again, while ''VideoGame/MegaManX6'' does it by thoughtlessly plastering instant-death spikes everywhere and [[HijackedByGanon shoehorning Sigma in at the last second]].
** ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends 2'' came out in 2000. No sequels popped up for ten years when ''Legends 3'' was finally announced (and later cancelled) for the 3DS, but between then, all we got were ports of the two main games to the PSP of debatable quality (as the PSP is missing a few buttons from the [=DualShock=] and the original PSX controller itself) and a cell phone game. It's even more sad as fans had been clamoring for years, and Inafune himself said ''Legends 3'' was the game he wanted to work on before he retired (ironically, he resigned from his position at Capcom not long after the announcement of ''Legends 3'').
* In an unprecedented move, Capcom is now applying this trope to the ''[[CapcomVsWhatever Vs.]]'' series. A mere ''five'' months after the release of ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87zx_-0yoP0 we now have]] '''''[[UpdatedRerelease Ultimate]]''' Marvel vs. Capcom 3''. The new content (12 new characters and 8 new stages) [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was originally meant to be released as DLC]], but the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan in 2011 forced the development team to re-route their development cycle and instead package everything (and a few extra bells and whistles) in a manner similar to the above ''Super Street Fighter IV'' (and its ''Arcade Edition'' update). [[BrokenBase More than a few fans are still wondering exactly what the hell they bought, though.]]
** The [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom Marvel fighting games]] are an example as the developers [[LazyArtist re-used the same sprites]] in all "sequels" of ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'' (just compare the [[WolverinePublicity omnipresent]] {{Wolverine}}: he has the exact same animations in ''X-Men: [=CotA=]'', ''Marvel Super Heroes'', ''X-Men vs. Street Fighter'', ''Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter'', ''Marvel vs. Capcom'', and ''Marvel vs. Capcom 2''). The only exception is ''Marvel vs. Capcom 3'', where all characters were animated with 3D models (and even then, some characters were adapted straight from the preceding crossover, ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'', with minimal changes). Gameplay-wise, this is more arguable, although differences between certain titles boil down mainly to the roster choices (compare ''[=XvSF=]'' to ''[=MSHvSF=]'').
* According to an interview with Inafune, Capcom's official policy for quite a while was that 70-80% of new games had to be sequels. Its unofficial but ''de facto'' policy was that ''only'' sequels would be developed.
** Adding to this is that he actually had to resort to a BatmanGambit to actually get ''VideoGame/LostPlanet'' and ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' made by [[CrazyEnoughToWork going so over budget on the "demos" for these games that Capcom would not dare cancel them.]] In fact, this trope is actually the reason why he quit Capcom.
* ''Dead Rising'' slid into this first with the release of ''Dead Rising 2 Case Zero'', ''Dead Rising 2'', ''Dead Rising: Cast West'', and ''Dead Rising 2: Off the Record'' all being released in a little over a year between the first (''Case Zero'') and the most recent (''Off the Record''). ''Off The Record'', which sees the reuse of the Fortune City setting, with an additional area, new weapon combinations and [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent switching the protagonist]] to Frank West in a "what if" scenario.
** Capcom went into [[SelfDeprecation full self-aware parody mode]] for their ''Dead Rising 3'' DLC announced at E3 2014, titled ''Super Ultra Dead Rising 3[[http://youtu.be/N5Plhv_mPT4?t=1m7s ']] Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha''.
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series' first three games are [[IncrediblyLamePun guilty]] of this. The original trilogy was released on the GBA only in Japan. Years later, a DS version was made of all three games, which were now released internationally. Other than remastered music, improved coloring on the sprites and an added case in the first game which made use of the DS's new features, all three games were more or less the same. Later, all three games were made available on WiiWare, with the only notable difference being that the player can point the Wiimote while shouting [[RuleofCool OBJEC]][[AwesomeButImpractical TION!]] But again, no other significant differences. It's now also on the Appstore (using a free-to-play model where the user must pay for each individual episode save for 1 and 2). Aside from improved graphics, again, no difference. Then all three games were released on the 3DS in Japan in one collection as ''Gyakuten Saiban 123: Naruhodou Selection''[[note]]Turnabout Trial 123: Wright Selection.[[/note]]. The graphics were practically identical to the iOS versions, but, once more, no difference.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has had a number of versions for its animated installments. The series itself has been re-released in Japan as the "Renewal of Evangelion" edition, containing the Director's Cut (also called the New Production Cut) versions of episodes 21-24, which contain extra scenes. "Renewal of Evangelion" also got a US release as the "Platinum Edition", albeit sans various extras that came with Renewal. The extra scenes in the cuts above also appeared earlier in ''Death'', the first part of the first ''Eva'' movie, ''Death and Rebirth''. ''Death'' itself (largely a recap of the series focusing on the main trio) was later given a theatrical re-release by itself, labeled ''Death(true)'', with most of the Director's Cut footage removed, and then a second re-release called ''Death(true)2'' aired in theaters alongside ''End of Evangelion'' under the "Revival of Evangelion" project (not to be confused with Renewal). Then ''Rebirth'', mentioned earlier, was recut and expanded upon to form Episode 25': Air, which is the first part of ''End of Evangelion''. Phew.
** Moving onto ''RebuildOfEvangelion'' (again, not to be confused with Renewal or Revival), both movies released thus far have a couple versions. ''Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone'' was re-released in theatres (and to DVD and Blu Ray) as ''Evangelion 1.01'', which contained a large number of improvements here and there. There was then a second DVD/Blu-ray version, ''Evangelion 1.11'', which dealt with darkness issues and added three minutes of new footage. The second film, ''Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance'', in addition to already changing certain scenes that appeared in 1.0's preview, was improved as ''Evangelion 2.22'' for DVD and Blu-ray.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' has been going through a great deal of this in North America. First you had the VHS and DVD releases by Pioneer that took viewers through the Saiyan and Namek arcs up to the battle with Ginyu, the original FUNimation singles took it from there and continued until the end of ''Anime/DragonBallGT''. While most of the FUNimation [=DVD=]s had uncut footage and the original Japanese track available with subtitles, none of the Pioneer [=DVD=]s did. Then in comes FUNimation's Ultimate Uncut Edition, starting the series over, which was cancelled before the battle with Vegeta and was replaced with the Orange Box season sets, which were cropped vertically to mimic 16:9 widescreen (losing something like 20% of the picture in the process) and the colors were terribly saturated among other things. This still meant that there was no way to own the series in a proper format with uncut visuals and the original Japanese audio. Finally FUNimation released the DragonBox sets, using updated masters that were properly remastered for better audio and video quality. Not even a few volumes in to the DragonBox we got "Anime/DragonBallKai" - which was yet another edit of the same footage that was cut and censored for air and available uncut in both Blu-ray and DVD formats.
** The soundtrack scandal with ''DragonBallKai'' made the North American release more difficult. Earlier [=DVD=]s have the original Kai soundtrack while later [=DVD=]s and reprints of the earlier [=DVD=]s now have replacement music from Anime/DragonBallZ.
** The Orange Boxes were later complemented with brown ''GT'' boxes and blue ''Dragon Ball'' boxes.
*** And now Orange Boxes, Brown Boxes and Blue Boxes can be found bundled together in "Volumes" as opposed to "Seasons". The same can be said for the ''Z Kai'' DVD release.
** Please keep in mind that the Orange/Brown/Blue Boxes, the DragonBoxes and the ''Z Kai'' releases were, for a time, available concurrently.
*** Don't forget the short lived Z Blu-ray HD release. This means that, including the various forms and volumes/seasons, there were at least '''eight''' versions of the same material available simultaneously.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* There have been several different editions of each ''{{Franchise/Alien}}'' film, due to various re-releases and alternate versions that have tweaked or supplemented it with deleted material:
** ''{{Film/Alien}}'' had the original theatrical version, the "20th Anniversary Edition" (various scenes trimmed or extended) and the Director's Cut, which was released in 2003 and integrated several deleted scenes - including Ripley discovering the final fate of Brett and Dallas - into the finished film.
** ''{{Film/Aliens}}'' had its theatrical version, an alternate version that aired on {{Creator/CBS}} which integrated deleted footage of the xenomorphs attacking the Operations building (while also cutting out most of the profanity), and the "Special Edition" that integrated most of the remaining deleted scenes, which was made in 1992 made not released until the DVD version in 1999. The Blu-Ray version of the film also notably tweaks several scenes, including Ripley's LockAndLoadMontage while flying to the atmosphere processor and the continuity error of Lance Henriksen's lower body being seen in the hole when he reaches out to hold on to Carrie Henn's character.
** ''{{Film/Alien3}}'' had several different versions, the most of any of the film series to date:
*** The theatrical version, released in 1992.
*** A workprint taken from an early cut, released sometime around 1992-93, which features many alternate scenes, musical cues and dialogue. Several of the scenes in this release have not been released to date.
*** The "Assembly Cut", which reintegrated a large amount of deleted material and was released on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set.
*** The Assembly Cut was further changed after a large portion of its audio track was re-recorded (due to the original ADR making the actors in the original footage very difficult to hear) and released on the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set.
** ''Film/AlienResurrection'' had a theatrical cut and Special Edition version included on the Quadrilogy and Anthology boxsets.
** The first three films were released multiple times over the years, with several different versions including Super-8, Laserdisc (film-only/Special Edition), Videodisc, VHS (Alien Trilogy/Triple Pack/Facehugger Boxset/standalone releases), DVD (Alien 20th Anniversary/Aliens Special Edition/Legacy/Quadrilogy/Triple Pack/standalone) and Blu-Ray (Anthology/standalone). ''Phew''.
* GeorgeLucas has made three different cuts of each of the Star Wars films. Yes, even the prequels!
** Original Trilogy: Original Release, 1997 Special Edition, 2004 DVD Versions, 2011 Blu-ray Versions.
*** The original film also had a slightly altered release in 1981 where it was subtitled ''Episode IV: A New Hope'' and the opening crawl was appropriately modified.
** Prequel Trilogy: Film release, digital cinema release, DVD Release, Blu-ray Release
** And now, they're being converted into 3-D.
*** [[http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/1241310633_UJqzu-L.jpg This]] sums this issue up pretty well.
* Creator/JamesCameron has two different cuts of ''Film/{{Avatar}}'': the original, and Special Edition which hit cinema screens roughly a few months later after the original was proven to be a hit. The "Collector's Extended Cut" was released as part of the three-disc Blu-ray release, adding a few more minutes of footage than the Special Edition.
* ''Film/BladeRunner'' has no fewer than 8 different versions that have been shown at some point in time. From {{Wikipedia}}, they are:
** The Four Hour Rough Cut that was shown to studio executives and people involved with the production.
** Original workprint version (1982, 113 minutes) shown to audience test previews in Denver and Dallas in March 1982. It was also seen in 1990 and 1991 in Los Angeles and San Francisco as a Director's Cut without the approval of director Creator/RidleyScott. Negative responses to the test previews led to the modifications resulting in the U.S. theatrical version, while positive response to the showings in 1990 and 1991 pushed the studio to approve work on an official director's cut. It was re-released as a 5-disc Ultimate Edition in 2007.
** A San Diego Sneak Preview shown only once in May 1982, which was almost identical to the Domestic Cut with three extra scenes.
** The U.S. theatrical version (1982, 116 minutes), known as the original version or Domestic Cut. This version remained unreleased on home video until 2007 when it was released on DVD as part of the five disc Ultimate Edition.
** The International Cut (1982, 117 minutes) also known as the "Criterion Edition" or uncut version, included more violent action scenes than the U.S. theatrical version. Although initially unavailable in the U.S. and distributed in Europe and Asia via theatrical and local Warner Home Video laserdisc releases, it was later released on VHS and Criterion Collection laserdisc in North America, and re-released in 1992 as a "10th Anniversary Edition".
** The U.S. broadcast version (1986, 114 minutes), the U.S. theatrical version edited for violence, profanity and nudity by CBS to meet broadcast restrictions.
** The Creator/RidleyScott-approved (1992, 116 minutes) Director's Cut; prompted by the unauthorized 19901991 workprint theatrical release and made available on VHS and laserdisc in 1993, and on DVD in 1997. Significant changes from the theatrical version include: removal of Deckard's voice-over, insertion of a unicorn sequence and removal of the studio-imposed happy ending. Ridley did provide extensive notes and consultation to Warner Bros. through film preservationist Michael Arick who was put in charge of creating the Director's Cut.
** Creator/RidleyScott's Final Cut (2007, 117 minutes), or the "25th Anniversary Edition", released by Warner Bros. theatrically on October 5, 2007 and subsequently released on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray in December 2007 (U.K. December 3; U.S. December 18). This is the only version over which Creator/RidleyScott had complete artistic control as the Director's Cut was rushed and he was not directly in charge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Insane Ian titled his [[http://insaneian.bandcamp.com/album/the-epic-video-game-medley-collection video game parody medleys]] as follows: "The Epic Video Game Medley", "The Super Epic Video Game Medley II: Championship Edition", "The Ultimate Epic Video Game Medley 3rd Strike: Revenge of the Return of the Rise of the Remake of the New Challengers", and "The Ultra Epic Video Game Medley IV: Guns of the Last Nightmare New Patriot Revelations".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games (except CAPCOM, see above)]]
* Tatsusoft (now [=TwinSky=] Games) once had a game placing ''VideoGame/BubbleBobble'' characters in a FightingGame. It made fun of the many prefixes and suffixes of the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games and was called ''Super Bubble Fighter II Turbo Alpha Championship Edition + 4 Ned''.
* Creator/ArcSystemWorks fell into this with the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' games - ''Guilty Gear XX'', the third game in the series, was followed with ''Guilty Gear XX #Reload'' (one "new" character, rebalanced moves), ''Guilty Gear Isuka'' (a four-player spin-off), ''Guilty Gear XX Slash'' (two new characters, one of which is from ''Isuka'', and more rebalancing), then ''Guilty Gear XX Accent Core'', which despite having no new characters has enough gameplay changes that they probably could have gotten away with calling it ''Guilty Gear X3'' if ''Reload'' and ''Slash'' hadn't existed. And now there's ''Guilty Gear XX Accent Core '''Plus''''', which fixes some glitches and adds a ton of extra features, including a story mode that takes place after the original ''XX''.
** Made worse since most of ''XX'' is built upon its predecessor ''X'' series, which itself had a regular, ''1.5'', and ''Plus'' release.
** On the plus side, the sheer amount of differences between ''AC+'' and vanilla ''XX'' are on the level of a full-on sequel.
*** Additionally, a true sequel (''Guilty Gear 2: Overture'') was released around the same time as ''Accent Core Plus'' (the new story in ''AC+'' leads into ''Overture'' in some aspects where Sol, Ky, and Dizzy are concerned). An actual ''[=GG3=]'' is allegedly in the works, but it seems as if ASW is currently focusing on ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' (see below) before returning to ''Guilty Gear''.
** And ''Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R'' has now been announced for 2013.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'' has given rise to ''VideoGame/BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II'', which despite the name is not a sequel to ''Continuum Shift'', but a simple patch with 3 new playable characters added (though you still had to pay extra if you wanted to play as them on the console version). And again with ''Continuum Shift Extend'' which will come in the form of a new retail release for the [=PlayStation=] Vita, and HD consoles (though with some new features and additional story).
** Combining the above, ASW seems to have gotten out of this stagnation. Aside of ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueChronoPhantasma BlazBlue: Chronophantasma]]'', which is a brand new game, they also announced a step-up of the ''Guilty Gear'' series: ''Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-''.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' games all share the same plot, due to sticking to the same period in Chinese history. Each new numbered sequel brings only minor graphical improvements, and maybe one new game mechanic and one new character per faction.
** Ironically enough, [[BrokenBase going out of their way to make it "fresh" and "new" as far as the characters went created a massive backlash]], this mostly due to the fact they gave fan-favorite characters in the sixth game wildly different weapons and play mechanics, possibly even ruining their design to many. [[InternetBackdraft The end result was...not pretty.]] Also the sixth game was the final end result of their increasingly ludicrous anachronistic costumes, one could compare it to a suspension of disbelief breaking moment in a fantasy drama, or a wrestler intentionally breaking kayfabe. [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks They simply went too far in all ways at once]], and rather than break the mold, broke the base. Also, unmentioned in the bullet above [[CrowningMomentOfFunny but vitally important to understand how little changed between games]], Xiahou Dun's cape. It didn't stop clipping through the horse's ass for SEVEN iterations. (if you include expansions) This is why the drastic changes hurt the broken part of the fanbase so much, it was the 90 foot 90 degree drop at the end of a slow and calm graded incline.
*** All this was however brought back to normal with the 7th game which toned down several of the character designs and managed to actually appease the fanbase by moving the storyline ending point further back in history, resulting in a shed-load of new characters. Fans are still irritated however at two characters still not being present after being removed in the sixth game(Pang De and Zuo Ci). Pang De eventually gets brought back in the 7th game's expansion pack. Zuo Ci would just return in the ''8th'' installment.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' is also starting to feel like this; All of the major plot points for the series (from the beginning to the end) have all been covered except the ultimate battle mentioned in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow Aria of Sorrow]]'', which Konami seems keen on avoiding for more "let's have some random dick revive Dracula for shiggles" storylines to avoid having to close the series.
** On the upswing, at least the gameplay changes, especially when the primary protagonist isn't a Belmont. Really, the series at its heart is an inverted sequel, the basic enemy types and the main villain are always the same, as opposed to the heroes, with the exceptions of Richter and Simon. And for a really bizarre take on the series, see that entry one above this one? Yeah, that's what ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness'' was closer to, except you could use all the fighting styles with one guy.
** There are ''eight'' games featuring [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI Simon Belmont]] fighting Dracula in 1691.
** The above point about the Battle of 1999 not yet receiving a game (despite the ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Sorrow]]'' titles, ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin Portrait of Ruin]]'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness Curse of Darkness]]'', and even ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment Judgment]]'' hinting at it) is most likely the reason ''Castlevania'' [[AlternateContinuity started a second timeline]] with ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow Lords of Shadow]]''. However, that string of installments is set to conclude fairly soon itself, as ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadowMirrorOfFate Mirror of Fate]]'' (the sequel to ''Lords of Shadow'') will then tie into ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2 Lords of Shadow 2]]'', which is set to wrap up the ''Lords of Shadow'' story.
* This happens all too often with Konami's {{rhythm game}}s, due to their vary nature, since the many sequels are essentially a chance to play about 30~60 new songs.
** In the ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' series, the first 5 main arcade titles went from just ''DDR'' to ''DDR 5th Mix''; ''3rd'' and ''4th'' also had updated ''Plus'' versions with a few more songs and features. Then it went to ''DDRMAX'', ''MAX2'', ''Extreme'', ''Supernova'', ''Supernova 2'', and now ''X'', ''X2'', and the almost truly Capcom-like ''X3 vs. 2nd Mix''.
** In the ''{{Beatmania}}'' series, it goes: ''BM'', ''BM 2nd'', ''BM 3rd'', ''BM Complete'', ''BM 4th'', ''BM 5th'', ''BM Complete 2'', ''BM Club'', ''BM feat. DCT'', ''BM Core Remix'', ''BM 6th UK Underground'', ''BM 7th Keepin Evolution'', ''BM The Final'', ''BMIIDX'', ''BMIIDX Club'', ''BMIIDX Substream'', ''BMIIDX 2nd'' through ''10th'', ''BMIIDX 11 Red'', ''BMIIDX 12'' ''Happy Sky, BMIIDX 13 Distorted'', ''BMIIDX 14 Gold'', ''BMIIDX 15 DJ Troopers'', ''BMIIDX 16 Empress'', ''BMIIDX 17 Sirius'', ''BMIIDX 18 Resort Anthem'', ''BMIIDX 19 Lincle''. And again, this only includes the main arcade series; not any of the home console versions, and not any of the arcade variants like ''Beatstage'' nor ''HipHopMania''.
** The strangest thing is that a game intended to change the gameplay up (albeit only slightly) didn't do quite well, that game being ''beatmaniaIII''. On that note, ''BMII'' is intended to be much the same back to ''BM'', albeit much more popular.
* {{BioWare}} has re-released countless compilations of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' packages, one with each new expansion pack or sequel. ''Gold'', ''Platinum'', ''Diamond''.. ''Diamond'' was not the ultimate collection. ''[=NWN2=]'' and its expansions were then included in more collections. The same happened with older Infinity Engine games also.
* The long-running ''Chessmaster'' series gets accused of this. But there's only so much you can do with chess.
* ''{{Furcadia}}'' - Same graphics, game engine, and overall game since 1993, now with more default objects. The staff refuses to program in any new features that would create "significant changes to the gameplay" or that classify as "stuff to do".
* ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'' and its sequel ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'', originally released for the SegaCD, were remade for the SegaSaturn and PlayStation. The first game was remade again for the GameBoyAdvance and then for the PSP. The ''{{Lunar}}'' franchise has produced various side games, but no ''proper'' third installment yet, since ''Lunar: Dragon Song'' was a dull retread of much of the first game.
* The third installment of the ''WanganMidnightMaximumTune'' series is suffering from this. First there was ''Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3''. Then came ''WMMT 3 DX'', which added a few new cars, one new song, a new course, and 20 more stages (as if 80 [[CrackIsCheaper wasn't]] [[ForcedLevelGrinding enough]]!). And ''then'' game ''WMMT 3 DX Plus'', which adds yet another course, more cars and four new songs (two of which are remixes).
* [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI The original]] ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' has been released on the NES, {{MSX}}2, UsefulNotes/WonderSwan Color, [=PlayStation=], Game Boy Advance, Mobile Phones, PSP, Wii Virtual Console, [=PlayStation=] Network, and iPhone and iPod Touch. Each release has seen a handful of gameplay tweaks and a bonus dungeon or two, but the game is the same. With the exception of the Wii release, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' has seen a release on all of those platforms too, often bundled together with the first game. It too, basically the same game with a bonus dungeon added.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' has seen releases on the Super NES, [=PlayStation=], UsefulNotes/WonderSwan Color, GBA, DS, Wii Virtual Console, Mobile Phones, and the PSP. With the exception of the DS version, which was a full 3D remake with a fully revamped battle system instead of just a port, all of these releases are the same basic game with a handful of new features. The PSP version is similar to ''I'' and ''II'' on the same console graphically and includes the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears sequel]] as well as some new features.
* ''VideoGame/TheOregonTrail''. The first game itself had no fewer than three iterations (the teletype version, the Apple II version, and the PC/Mac version). Then there's Deluxe Edition for DOS, and the slightly updated version 1.2. The third and fourth editions are remakes of the first, and ''5th Edition'' is a remake of ''II'', then there was ''OT II 25th Anniversary Edition''.
** There's also a Facebook version now as well.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' series has recently started with this phenomenon with its numbering, although each game is a brand new game as opposed to a rehash; integer numbers since 2 have simply been reserved for traditional {{danmaku}} ShootEmUps. With three consecutive games after 12 being in other genres, they've been numbered 12.3, 12.5, and 12.8.
* The ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' series hasn't seen a significant gameplay change since ''Guitar Hero: World Tour'', which introduced full-band gameplay so that the franchise could compete with ''VideoGame/RockBand'', and has been pushing out constant [[MissionPackSequel song pack sequels]] ever since ''Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s'' and ''Guitar Hero: Aerosmith'', the most JustForFun/{{egregious}} of which is most likely ''Guitar Hero: Smash Hits'', consisting entirely of songs from past ''Guitar Hero'' games, charted for full-band play with their original master tracks. So it's little surprise that Activision has officially [[FranchiseKiller terminated the franchise]].
* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' series does not do this extensively, but it does this consistently. Game Freak's pattern of releasing [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo two virtually identical games at once]], then releasing a [[UpdatedRerelease third nearly-identical-but-with-a-couple-bonuses game]] a little later has been repeated over and over and they have been doing [[VideoGameRemake updated remakes]] of older games as well. In the U.S., we got: ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Red and Blue]]'', then ''[[UpdatedRerelease Yellow]]'' a bit later[[note]]In Japan, the original releases were ''Red'' and ''Green'', followed by ''Blue'' and finally ''Yellow'', making it so Japan got four games and other countries got three.[[/note]]; ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Gold and Silver]]'', then ''[[UpdatedRerelease Crystal]]'' a bit later; ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Ruby and Sapphire]]'', then ''[[UpdatedRerelease Emerald]]'' a bit later; ''[[VideoGameRemake FireRed and LeafGreen]]'' (updated versions of ''Red/Blue/Yellow''); ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Diamond and Pearl]]'', then ''[[UpdatedRerelease Platinum]]'' a bit later; ''[[VideoGameRemake HeartGold and SoulSilver]]'' (updated versions of ''Gold/Silver/Crystal''); and now ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite.'' That is about 5 unique plotlines spread across 18 games!
** The two near-identical games are {{justified|Trope}}, because OneHundredPercentCompletion [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo requires trading with the other version]] - a mechanic that the Japanese love, but became a ScrappyMechanic outside of Japan, making it a case of AmericansHateTingle.
** Game Freak is shaking things up in the handheld main series with ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 Black and White]]'' ''2''. Yes, a NumberedSequel instead of an UpdatedRerelease. Apart from the plot, the games still fill the same role as a hypothetical ''Grey'' version would have[[note]]and even the plot incorporates some of the elements that presumably would have been present in ''Grey'', namely a focus on Kyurem over Reshiram and Zekrom[[/note]].
* Many of Sega's and Namco's arcade games that dispenses and uses game cards works squarely by this trope. None of them contain new storylines, only code and data to recognize new cards, and slight tweaks to the existing storyline and gameplay. Some may add new mechanics to the game with each update, but retains the same overall gameplay. And the games are [[SelfDestructMechanism timebombed]] to "persuade" operators to upgrade once the a certain date has elapsed on the machine.
** VideoGame/MushiKing
** VideoGame/AnimalKaiser
** VideoGame/DinosaurKing
** Anime/{{Naruto}}: Ultimate Ninja
** Series/PowerRangers Card Battle
* ''SanFranciscoRush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition'', an UpdatedRerelease of the arcade game, added four new tracks including the titular Alcatraz, new shortcuts on the original tracks, four new cars, and a few new music pieces. It was followed by the Wave Net edition, which featured online multiplayer.
* ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' pretty much fell into this, hardly changing at all and going up and down in quality by the game in general (up to a total of 12 games in just a few years so far). Even the better ones suffer from one simple issue: They are too similar to each other to justify buying more than one. Oddly enough, no other ''Mario Party'' title was released after game 8, which was back in 2007. With HudsonSoft (who helped develop the series) being merged with Konami and Nintendo releasing ''Wii Party'' in 2010 (which was basically ''Mario Party'' with Miis instead of Mario characters), many people assumed that the ''Mario Party'' franchise was dead.\\
\\
However, it was revealed in E3 2011 that a 9th ''Mario Party'' game was being developed for the Wii, and it has indeed broken the cycle. Released in 2012, there was a 5 year gap from the previous game and it shows. The game is no longer about stars, coins, items, or playing a minigame after every turn. Instead, mini-stars are collected to determine who wins and they are obtained in many ways so games can be tight instead of being constantly random. Luck-based events were reduced greatly and the new board mechanics that have players traveling as one instead of individually creates strategy in turn order and dice use. Minigames are around, but they only occur from landing on certain spaces.
* Occasionally a sports sim will introduce radical new gameplay (''MVP Baseball 2004'' and ''[[VideoGame/MaddenNFL Madden NFL 2013]]'' being good examples of this) but generally ''Sport xxxx + 1'' is just ''Sport xxxx'' with tweaked shirts and updated rosters.
** In fact, frequently the selling point of such games is "The same as Sport xxxx! Only with one new feature!" Cumulatively, these changes make a big difference, so that, for example, ''Madden 2011'' is significantly different from ''Madden 2001'', but the annual changes are less like content improvement and more like patches.
* Atlus knows when they have a good hit: ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' has been released a total of three times: the original, ''Persona 3 FES'' (which admittedly added a new and very hard epilogue chapter), and ''Persona 3 Portable'' (which added a new female protagonist). The success of ''Persona 3'' prompted remakes of the original ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' game, along with ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}: Innocent Sin'', which was never released in the North America, for the PSP. ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'' was re-released with a new 8th day and new ending. To their credit, Atlus never just releases the same game, always adding something new to it, but it's still essentially the same plot.
** Though they seem to have learned their lesson when moving on with ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' (exploring the game via different mediums with [[Anime/{{Persona4}} The Animation]], [[VideoGame/Persona4TheUltimateInMayonakaArena the fighting game]] and ''two'' [[SpinOff Spin-Offs]]), ''Persona 4: Golden'' is by far the worst example of this so far - aside from features involving wireless networking, a new character and some story elements, everything else so far is just for bells and whistles.
* Virtual Villagers hasn't made any significant changes since the first game. (And there's been [[SerialEscalation FIVE]])
* ''{{Eversion}}'' has had two updated rereleases, the first virtually nothing but an AnimationBump and the second adding a third ending.
* ''{{Skullgirls}}'' initially parodied this trope when they would release (free) patches for the game, code-naming the patches things like "Slightly Different Edition", "More Different Edition", etc. as a way to reference fighting games that played this trope straight. But then, [[TroubledProduction due to a bit of legal trouble with Konami and a de-listing of the game on console versions]], the team was forced to actually re-release the game as ''Skullgirls Encore'', which is essentially the original game with the latest balance patch and [[DownloadableContent Squigly]] available. It still counts as a free patch to those who already bought the original game though.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Raiden}} Raiden IV]]'' has gotten several updates now, starting with the {{Xbox360}} port. A patch was also released as downloadable on XboxLiveArcade, followed by the [=NESiCAxLive=] version for the arcades. The newest update, titled ''Raiden IV: Overkill'', is stated for release on PlayStationNetwork.
* ''Franchise/{{Ys}} I & II'' (despite the title, they're essentially the first two games fused into one complete game) has seen many rereleases over the years, starting with the first version on Turbografx-CD, and then later on getting separate new versions for Windows [=PC=]s, PS2, DS and PSP. However, aside from graphical and audio facelifts, later releases would eventually also have updated gameplay to make them play more like modern Ys games.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In-universe example in ''TheSimpsons'', where Malibu Stacy is re-shelved with a new hat.
* ''PhineasAndFerbChristmasVacation'' first aired Christmas 2009. A year later, an extended edition aired, with only one extra song.
** The special would have been aired in 2010 anyway (as is normal for Christmas specials) so this is a more accepted version of the trope than the video game version.
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