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[[quoteright:345:[[ComicBook/{{Hawkman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hawkmancontinuity.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:345:Behold, the [[ContinuitySnarl/{{Hawkman}} Hawk-Snarl]]!]]

->''"Thanagar's champion, ComicBook/{{Hawkman}} can talk to birds. He also can't talk to birds. Sometimes, he can't even speak normally at all! Even if he could talk normally, or to birds, there are no birds on Thanagar, because it does not exist. Hawkman was sent here to study Earthly police methods, because Thanagar's own methods suck! That's OK though, because Thanagar still does not exist! Yet it is populated by peaceful barbarians! Who are stupid, and also warlike!"''
-->-- '''[[http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/19/ Kirk Kimball,]]''' of [[http://www.dialbforblog.com/ Dial B for Blog]]

A SharedUniverse can become a very confusing place, and the longer they exist, the more confusing they can become. As new creators come on board and take over, continuity eventually gets tangled, convoluted, and increasingly difficult to pick through. Sometimes, it gets to the point that not even the fans who write Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} articles understand what is and isn't in Laconic/{{canon}}.

It goes something like this: in the beginning, [[TheVerse The Universe]] is created, and it's a blank slate. Everything's new; as such, the creators can do whatever they want to do, create whatever they want to create, throw everything in and have fun doing so. Whatever works, works and whatever doesn't, doesn't. So far, so good.

However, the whole idea of a SharedUniverse is that different creative teams will eventually take over. Sometimes Writer A of Title A will leave and Writer B will take over, while at other times Writer A's character will guest star or make a [[TheCameo Cameo]] appearance in Writers B's title. People being people, those different creators will have their own ideas. They'll have different ideas about what the [[TheVerse 'verse]] should be, about what has worked and what hasn't, what might work and what doesn't.

The new creative team will also want to make their distinct mark on the 'verse and their readership; as such, they'll have their own things that they want to add, [[ArmedWithCanon things they disapprove of and want to remove or ignore.]]

Things that were previously essential may become irrelevant to the new team, and different character traits and events may be emphasized or ignored. They ''change'' things.

When ''another'' creative team comes along, they'll change things even more; they may even completely override the changes made by the previous team to include things that they want to see or to reassert a previous status quo. Unfortunately, sometimes [[UnbuiltTrope what they regard as being fundamental to the original continuity was never even there to begin with]]!

The longer that this goes on and as more teams take over, the more chance there is of a Continuity Snarl. The more {{retcon}}s are made, {{reset button}}s pressed, and the more the 'verse enters into a DorkAge.

There is also a bigger chance of certain things simply being forgotten and overlooked (and then possibly rediscovered and revived). As the process continues, more things become confused, convoluted and [[ContinuityLockOut impenetrable]]. Weird inconsistencies and gratuitous {{retcon}}s proliferate. Drastic changes opening up dozens of potentially fascinating story-lines are introduced and then promptly forgotten about and left hanging (or immediately reverted) by another new team, which goes on to do something completely different.

And add to this the problems caused by ComicBookTime, it gets to the point that trying to keep things straight becomes a nightmare.

And that's just if there's only one main work in the Shared Universe to begin with -- if you [[CanonWelding bring together many different characters and storylines]] set in the same universe and [[CrossOver cross them over]] with each other, you have ''many different continuities going on at once''. Trying to keep everything straight between them can be an exercise in complete madness, as the continuity between them is completely tangled up and near-impossible for anyone to unpick.

Unfortunate, if you have a fan-base which likes everything arranged in a neat, tidy little pattern and isn't shy about voicing their opinion when this isn't the case.

This is particularly a problem for comic books, especially in Franchise/TheDCU and the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, which have the long-running and tangled continuities of many a character to keep straight. Long-running TV franchises can also suffer from Continuity Snarls -- the ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universes have gotten especially snarled over time (although the former can easily HandWave this away because it's about [[CosmicRetcon time travel]]).

A Continuity Snarl can result in ContinuityLockOut for readers, especially newcomers, as it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of what's happening in the 'verse without a Masters Degree in Continuity Studies. Creators often resort to the CrisisCrossover to try untangling the snarl they've made for themselves -- unfortunately, this can just as easily become ContinuityPorn, which more often than not just makes things ''worse''. Can lead to a plain ol' PlotHole.

When {{canon}} becomes too involved and self-contradictory, it starts denying new writers "room to move." When writers disagree strongly with what previous writers before them have added to the mix and are overly keen on using continuity to get rid of them (or attack the other writer), then the snarl may come from the writers being ArmedWithCanon. If worse comes to worst, the writers may simply perform a ContinuityReboot, discarding the old continuity completely and starting over from scratch. (Everything you read or watched before? It ''never'' happened! You ''imagined'' it! Either that, or it was AllJustADream.)

Every once in a while, the writer may just give up trying to fix everything and say, [[BroadStrokes "Okay, it happened but not in every detail."]] ContinuityDrift is when a {{Retcon}} sloooowly happens over a period of time. Do not confuse with a SeriesContinuityError. A ContinuitySnarl is when a situation involves layers upon layers of contradictions. A SeriesContinuityError is a singular mistake.

Eric Burns of Websnark did a rant about it [[http://www.websnark.com/archives/2008/01/retconning_just_1.html here.]]

See ArmedWithCanon, ComicBookTime, and AuthorsSavingThrow for common causes, may result in ContinuityLockOut, ContinuityPorn, TangledFamilyTree, and TimeyWimeyBall. MultipleChoicePast is this trope applied to a single character.

----
!!Examples:

[[index]]
* ContinuitySnarl/ComicBooks
** ContinuitySnarl/DonnaTroy
** ContinuitySnarl/{{Hawkman}}
* ContinuitySnarl/XMen (Movies)
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/EurekaSevenAO'''s entire backstory. ''(deep breath)'' Eureka is clearly from the original, yet the spec2 she pilots is the movie iteration (the original never had shoulder-mounted lasers). She's also piloting the spec2 well after it should have evolved and subsequently vanished, alongside Renton in the evolved version, and there's no explanation as to where she got this one. TheEnd is in Generation Bleu's basement, intact and in its white color scheme,[[spoiler: although shortly after being freed from said basement it gets vaporized by an IFO [[AssPull that comes out of nowhere]]]]. Oh and at the end of the anime [[spoiler: Renton is piloting the Nirvash's final form from the movie adaptation.]] None of this is ever sufficiently explained. Although since the continuity with the original show and/or movie makes no sense, it can't be in the continuity of the original show. You're welcome.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'', notably to the filler episodes that are contradicted later and the [[NonSerialMovie Non-Serial Movies]] that are still referenced later, but can't possibly fit into the show's timeline.
** After Frieza's defeat on Namek, in a filler episode, Vegeta implies that now that Goku and Frieza are out of the way, there's nothing to stop him becoming the ruler of the universe. He fights Gohan, then leaves. The next episode, he is back with the main group, has no intention of ruling the universe in Goku's absence, and even comes up with the idea on how to use the Dragon Balls to bring him back so that he can learn the secret of becoming a Super Saiyan.
** Gohan meets the dragon he rescues in Movie 3, but how could the Goku stop Anime/TheTreeOfMight from destroying Earth when Goku's either dead, fighting Nappa and Vegeta, in a hospital recovering, or en route to Namek?
** If this is Garlic Jr. from Movie 1 who's pouring the Black Water Mist, then why did no-one recognise Gohan near the beginning of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''?)
** Goku's pod being destroyed by Piccolo, only to be used later by Capsule Corp.
* Despite mostly having only one writer, the classic ''Manga/AstroBoy'' series turned into a first class continuity snarl towards the end. What happened was that in the final episode of the original anime, Astro died performing a HeroicSacrifice to deliver a device into the center of the sun to stop it from dying. Shortly after the anime ended, Creator/OsamuTezuka began a new Astro Boy story as a newspaper strip in the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, which featured Astro's melted carcass being recovered by time-traveling aliens and brought back to life before winding up trapped in the distant past (the readers' present). Because Astro had never died in the manga, however, when the collected edition came out Tezuka redid the first chapter that involved Astro, alive and well getting thrown back in time when the alien timeship crashes on Earth instead. Tezuka then produced three more different, contradictory stories of Astro's future in various publications: a pilot for a second Astro Boy series that never got off the ground which also takes place after the end of the anime where Astro is found by a completely different race of time traveling aliens, upgraded into a new body with time travel capabilities and sent back to Earth to find the era he came from; A one-shot nostalgia piece in a men's magazine, yet another followup to the anime where Astro is resurrected by {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s and taken to a planet millions of light years from Earth from which he may never return, so Ochanomizu and the rest of the Ministry Of Science staff create a replacement, who turns out to be a lazy sex maniac because he was designed to be more "Human"; and finally, "The End Of Astroboy", which doesn't mention his death and simply has him in a display case in a robot museum due to being supplanted by more advanced robots and then freed by some human rebels to help them fight against said robots who have taken over the world.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' has some of these, particularly concerning Jessie, James, and Meowth. This can overlap with MultipleChoicePast.
** Also Brock's mother. The Japanese original said both parents had abandoned Brock to raise his younger siblings, but the English dub gave him an absentee father and a dead mother - awkward when his Mom shows up in a later season.
* Like ''Digimon'' below, ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' has clearly stated AlternateContinuity, and it's actually a bit milder here--the different continuities begin to form after the stories that compromise the first eight [[LightNovel books]], or the first two seasons of the anime, both of which are similar enough to avoid too much confusion. It's still complicated, however:
** In the novels, Lina actually meets Amelia's father, Prince Phil, and gets involved with his family feud ''before'' the series proper--the story of the first ''Slayers Special'' novel was transferred into the middle of the anime's first season: the same plot occurs, but Lina actually meets Amelia, and it goes from there. Also, the Atlas City story occurred right after the very first fight with [[BigBad Shabranigdo]], but the anime cuts to the aforementioned family feud, and the Atlas City story occurs during the second season. This makes little sense in context because in both the first book and the first episode, Lina is on her way to the city. Finally, Amelia appears after the battle with [[BetaBaddie Copy Rezo]] in the novels, appearing in another Saillune royal family plot that was ''also'' implemented in the second anime season. Because she joins Lina earlier in the anime, she is with them during the Copy Rezo fight, and also meets Zelgadis earlier on.
** For the anime, there's three more seasons of original stories (and apparently, the third season [[CreatorBacklash was disliked by the creator of the novel series]]). It gets more troublesome when one realizes that [[UnCanceled the fourth and fifth seasons came eleven years after the third]], and the third season overall may be up for an official CanonDiscontinuity by Hajime Kanzaka because of the aforementioned backlash.
** The remaining seven novels remove Zelgadis and Amelia and replace them with Luke and Millina, and from there comes its own story.
** Before he appears again in the fifth book, Zelgadis actually meets Xellos before the others do, hence why he knows of him when he appears. This is accounted in a side story.
** There are a bunch of manga series that are ''their own'' sets of continuity. The most notable is the HotterAndSexier universe of ''The Hourglass of Falces'', in which all six protagonists (Lina, [[IdiotHero Gourry]], [[GenkiGirl Amelia]], [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Zelgadiss]], [[HotBlooded Luke,]] and [[TheStoic Millina]]) are together. Naturally, the latter four never met one another at any time, and it would probably be impossible, given that [[spoiler:both Luke and Millina are dead by the end of the series]]. Fans outside of Japan who are unaware of the second set of novels ([[NoExportForYou as only the first eight were translated]]) probably don't know who Luke and Millina are.
** The radio dramas are also rather bad at this. The worst case is the ''Slayers Premium'' radio drama based on the short NonSerialMovie: because of the presence of Gourry's [[LaserBlade Sword of Light]], it's likely that it takes place after the second season of the anime. However, in the prologue of the drama, Amelia states that it had been ''five years'' since they last met-problematic, since the anime seasons each occur within one year of the other. ''Premium'' also, of course, has its own manga adaptation.
** Finally, there are cases of the dreaded MultipleChoicePast, especially in regards to Zelgadis. It's never mentioned in the anime, but in the novels it's stated that he was a criminal during his time with Rezo after he was initially turned into a chimera, and it gave him a bad reputation. Also, the applications of magic vary heavily to the point of convolution.
* The various works of Creator/LeijiMatsumoto, which often share characters and have a tendency to re-tell stories from different points of view, could be the trope namer for this. Examples include:
** ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'''s ship, ''Arcadia'', has two vastly different appearances throughout the shows in which it appears. Although this change was supposedly made due to a copyright conflict, no explanation is ever mentioned within the show. "Endless Odyssey" takes this to an extreme by showing one version in present times, and the other version in flashbacks.
** Tochiro, the man who build the ''Arcadia'', dies three different times in three different ways.
** The film "My Youth in Arcadia explains how Harlock lost his eye and gives him a military career before he turned to piracy. However, some shows such as "Cosmo Warrior Zero" neglect to include his lost eye at all.
** In "Space Pirate Captain Harlock" And "Endless Odyssey," Anime/QueenEmeraldas and Tochiro have a child named Mayu, who is never mentioned in any other series.
** Some shows hint that Emeraldas and Maetal of Galaxy Express 999 may be sisters, even twins, despite the fact that in some of the shows the two are introduced for the first time.
** Even more oddly, some speculation links Captain Harlock and Mamoru Kodai/Alex Wildstar as the same person. According to who you ask, they are either literally the same person, or Kodai pretended to be Harlock for his conveniences. Or something.
** Similarly, most series have Torchiro and Harlock's friendship stretching back to their childhood, but "My Youth in Arcadia" shows them meeting for the first time while in the military.
** Mimay has a radically different appearance from series to series: In most she has blue skin, blue hair, yellow eyes, and no mouth, but in a few instances, she is a rather normal-looking woman with blond hair and pale skin.
** The series ''Captain Herlock: Endless Odyssey'' makes a valiant attempt to maintain continuity, and picks up with most of the main cast, including Harlock, Mimay, Kei, and most of the back-characters. Despite this, Tadashi Daiba's role manages to play out almost exactly as it did in previous series.
** There is a glaring canonical gap of about 800 years between these overlapping stories. The character's apparent immortality is never mentioned.
** It can be generally treated as a blend of a recycled cast of characters, implicit different continuities being treated as obviously different, and it can be a pretty good idea to [[DeathIsCheap consider nobody dead in any of the series if the body has not been incinerated]].
* For the most part, ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' takes place in different continuities. However, there are still some pretty big snarls, mostly in the videogames. Digivolution lines get mixed and matched, changed, et cetera. [[CanonImmigrant Ryou Akiyama]] is somehow from ''[[Anime/DigimonAdventure Adventure]]'', has encounters with the Digi-Destined, and gets sent to the ''[[Anime/DigimonTamers Tamers]]'' universe by Milleniummon. None of this is addressed in either show, and for that matter, where is the other Ryou? Or his family? What happened to all of that data that Monodramon absorbed from Milleniummon? This thing was supposed to have surpassed the Sovereign. Speaking of, how many ultimate evil Digimon or ultimate godlike Digimon are there by now? So who's top dog? And how can there be a Black/Shadow Seraphimon if corrupting a Seraphimon causes a Daemon to be born? How did [=WarGreymon=] and [=MetalGarurumon=] DNA Digivolve if Gatomon still had her tail ring? Americanization also adds problems. Was Kokomon reborn? How did Diaboromon survive if the virus behind it was destroyed?
** The [=WarGreymon=] and [=MetalGarurumon=] "DNA Digivolving" thing can be explained because in the original Japanese version they were merely fusing to become a more powerful Digimon of the same level. Where Jogress evolution (the evolving method of choice in season 2) was when two Digimon combined together to advance to the next level. The dub made a mistake in referring to [=WarGreymon=] and [=MetalGarurumon=] becoming Omnimon as digivolving.
*** This is part of an even bigger snarl that happens when you work the merchandise in, as some fans consider it canon and some don't. In the show proper, Ex Veemon and Stingmon become Paildramon for the first time (the process known to the US as DNA Digivolving) and a flashback to Omnimon is shown as TheSmartGuy tells the newer characters that this has in fact happened before. However, the Japanese card game refers to the [=DNAs=] as "jogress" (join and progress) and Omnimon as "fusion" when giving the requirements for bringing Omnimon or Paildramon (and the like) into play. Really, it's as simple as "sometimes two Franchise/{{Digimon}} [[FusionDance turn into one badder]] 'mon. In Japan there's this card game with two names for this. They either ''do'' or ''don't'' mean the same thing."
*** Then some V-pets do say Omnimon is at a higher level. The easiest thing to say is that Digimon can keep getting stronger after Ultimate/Mega and just ignore whatever the level is called at that point.
*** This is only a problem, if at all, in the ''Adventure'' continuity. In the broader Digimon canon as a whole, it is accepted that '''a)''' Omegamon is the product of a Jogress evolution/DNA Digivolution, '''b)''' "fusion" is [[IHaveManyNames just another term for "jogress"]] and the English version's uniting the two under the same term is a rare case of [[{{Woolseyism}} it simplifying things]], '''c)''' Ultimate/Mega level Digimon can evolve to other Ultimate/Mega Digimon, whether it's through Jogress evolution or otherwise, and '''d)''' Holy Rings like Tailmon's tail ring have absolutely no relevance to the process of Jogress evolution whatsoever and that point in ''Adventure 02'' was the writers not listening. Indeed, Omegamon himself is the subject of such an evolution from one Ultimate to another in the Digimon Mini virtual pet line, evolving from [=WarGreymon=] alone. Also, pretty much every [[SuperMode Mode Change]] ever is an example of this, being little more than ''evolving'' to another Ultimate that happens to be a variation on the prior form.
** Shadow Seraphimon wasn't a corrupted Seraphimon, Mercurymon just absorbed his data, the name is really misleading. Not only that, but he (Seraphimon) gave the digidestined fighting Mercurymon a much needed powerup. Granted he had been reincarnated and was still an egg.
*** A "dark Seraphimon" that is a virus version of Seraphimon does exist, [=BlackSeraphimon=]. The difference here is somewhat distinct: there is a difference between a "[[FallenAngel fallen Seraphimon]]" and a "[[PaletteSwap Seraphimon that happens to be a virus-attribute variant]]". Not all virus-attribute Digimon are evil (see: [[Anime/DigimonTamers Guilmon]] and [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Wormmon]]).
** However, as you can see, a lot of this comes from FanWank regarding merchandise. It is not always possible to fit everything you see on a trading card or virtual pet into the show, but the show does not contradict itself on many things. However, ''Ryo'' has it as bad as any comic book character. The Ryo-related aspects of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' that seem nonsensical are explained in the games, but once you take them into account some of the events of ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' are thrown off.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' is starting to run into this with two series of manga, ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid'' and ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'', running at the same time. They mostly manage to stay separate, but occasionally they contradict one another.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' started off with a prologue involving Simon/Kamina/[[FanNickname Caption Garlocks]] ([[FanDumb fans argue this fact constantly]]) waging war against "All the lights in the sky." This is ''similar'' to battles late in the series, but never really fits any of them. The producers admitted that this was a fluke on their part, that it was meant to be ShoutOut to Arcadia, and that they never got around to building up to that scene in the main series. This had led fans to suggest that this scene is an [[WildMassGuessing alternate universe, a fantasy of]] [[TeamPet Boota]], [[WildMassGuessing an alternate timeline in which Kamina leads Dai-Gurren into space/Simon is sent back in time to battle the Anti-Spirals as well as become Kamina's father]].
* ''Manga/{{Kinnikuman}}'' has a rather bad example: when Geronimo attacks [[BigBad Akuma Shogun]], we see a group of choujin watching Geronimo's [[CurbStompBattle beat-down]], with ''Geronimo being in the group.'' In other words, Geronimo's watching himself get beaten.
* In the three Japanese-exclusive ''[[Franchise/TheTransformers Transformers]]'' anime series (''Anime/TransformersHeadmasters'', ''Anime/TransformersSuperGodMasterforce'', and ''Anime/TransformersVictory''), characters who died in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'' show up alive and well, as if nothing happened. This is because the movie wouldn't hit Japan until 1989, leaving much of its events unknown to the Japanese audience/creators. These characters are Prowl, who appears in ''Headmasters'', and Wheeljack, who appears in ''Victory''. Prowl is especially bad, since he was explicitly name-checked as being deceased in the Japanese dub of "Dark Awakening". Later fiction would handwave these appearances by explaining them as being versions of themselves from the ''Binaltech'' universe, taking the place of the originals who really did die during the movie.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The Franchise/{{Godzilla}} series has built up some impressively messy continuity over the decades.
** In ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'', Godzilla emerges from the iceberg he was trapped in during ''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain.'' However, ''Raids Again'' was localized in America as a standalone monster flick called ''Gigantis The Fire Monster,'' so the dub for ''King Kong vs. Godzilla'' had to pretend that Godzilla had been trapped in the ice for millions of years and was just now getting out. However, everyone still knows about Godzilla and references him as though he's attacked before, due to the rest of the dialogue not being changed. As a result it's unclear as to whether the [[Film/{{Gojira}} original film]] happened or not in this continuity (and it's worth mentioning that the [[Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters American version]] of the original already established a different continuity than its Japanese counterpart, introducing a new character)
** Throughout the 1960s, several of Toho's other giant monster films were retroactively included in the Godzilla universe, regardless of continuity issues. For example, Godzilla coexists with a monster named Gorosaurus, who originated in ''Film/KingKongEscapes,'' which depicts King Kong's discovery and abilities in a way that's absolutely irreconcilable with what was shown in ''King Kong vs. Godzilla''. Baragon, from ''Film/FrankensteinConquersTheWorld'' also made his way into the series, so we have the Frankenstein monster out there in this universe as well. There are indications that this is meant to be the same monster seen in the Franchise/UniversalHorror films of the 30s and 40s, so do Dracula and the Wolf Man also exist in this world? Maybe.
** ''Film/AllMonstersAttack'' has a questionable place in the series' continuity due to Godzilla and the other monsters only appearing in the day dreams of a young boy named Ichiro. Is this supposed to be in the same universe as the other movies, or is it in the "real world" and Ichiro just likes Godzilla movies? None of the other films directly reference this one, but it did introduce Monster Island, which became important later on, so the mystery is unsolved.
** The series was rebooted in 1984 with ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla,'' which accepts the original film but ignores all of its sequels. Amusingly, this film's American release is actually a sequel to the American release of the original, featuring the same Western-exclusive character returning. He doesn't show up again in the American cuts of any of the other movies from the 1984-95 series, making it unclear which version of the original and ''Return'' they're meant to follow.
** ''Film/{{Godzilla 1998}}'' was a remake of the original, unconnected to all the others.
** ''Film/{{Godzilla 2000}}'' kicked off the "Millennium Series" of films. It takes place in its own universe. Its follow-up, ''Film/GodzillaVsMegaguirus,'' features the same Godzilla suit but takes place in ''another'' continuity where only the original film happened, but with a completely different ending than the "canon" one.
** The next film, ''Film/GodzillaMothraKingGhidorahGiantMonstersAllOutAttack'' is in yet another continuity in which the original film and, somehow, ''the 1998 film'' both took place, but none of the others.
** After that, ''Film/GodzillaAgainstMechagodzilla'' started ''another'' continuity where the original film happened but again with a different ending (and ''not'' the same ending ''Megaguirus'' featured) as well as several other Toho Monster films, but only ones not featuring Godzilla. Things get messy because one of those films, ''Gorath,'' featured the destruction of Earth's moon, which is clearly still visible.
** ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' and ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'' are each set in their own brand-new continuity with no connection to anything else. The ''Final Wars'' continuity, though, seems to have had BroadStrokes versions of the original 60s-70s movies occur in its backstory.
* ''Film/SilentHillRevelation3D'' is absolutely full of this with regards to the first film, despite being an integrally-linked sequel. This was the result of the writer's attempt to make the sequel more faithful to the video game's storyline.
** In the first movie, Sharon is 9 years old. ''Revelation'' is explicitly set 6 years later, yet in that film she's just about to turn 18.
** In the first film, it's clearly stated (and made obvious by some plot events) that "Only the Dark One [[spoiler:(Dark Alessa)]] opens and closes the door to Silent Hill." Yet in the sequel, a minor character says she became trapped in Silent Hill's otherworld simply by taking a wrong turn and getting lost in a fog bank, when there was no reason for "the Dark One" to bring her there.
** The biggest is probably that the first movie's climax includes [[spoiler:Dark Alessa and Sharon, the two halves of Alessa's soul, merging back into a full reincarnation of Alessa]]. Yet in the sequel, [[spoiler:Sharon is still only one half of Alessa, Dark Alessa is still back in Silent Hill, and there's another big scene right before the climax where they merge... again]].
** In the first movie, it's revealed that Alessa [[spoiler:was burned by the town's pseudo-Christian cult on suspicion of being a witch, and that the cult members believed burning her would stop the apocalypse]]. In ''Revelation'', it's explained [[spoiler:the town's clearly pagan cult, the Order of Valtiel - which is oddly described as the same cult from the first film - burned Alessa because she was a chosen one who had to be ritually burned in order to CAUSE the apocalypse of this world and bring about the rebirth of their god and the creation of a new paradise]]. Paradoxically, [[spoiler:''Revelation'' still contains flashback scenes of schoolchildren tormenting Alessa for being a witch]].
** In the first movie, the motive of [[spoiler:Alessa, in her creation of Sharon,]] was to [[spoiler:send Sharon out as an orphan, get her a loving, protective mother, and then call her back to Silent Hill to lure in the mother so that she could be persuaded to assist in Alessa's revenge against the cult for the sake of her adopted daughter]]. In the sequel, it's instead stated by [[spoiler:Dark Alessa that Sharon was created just to live outside of Silent Hill and have a happy, normal life, and that Alessa never wanted Sharon to ever return because it would help the cult]]. Since this is the exact opposite of her plan in the first film, it seems she [[spoiler:never called Sharon to Silent Hill during the time of the first movie]], yet no other explanation is ever given as to why [[spoiler:Rose and Sharon went to Silent Hill six years before ''Revelation''.]] Since that needs to happen to set the sequel's plot in motion, ''Revelation'' essentially writes itself out of existence without realizing it.
* Minor by comparison to most of the other examples, but Tim Burton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'' featured a black Harvey Dent, whereas when he was used as a character in the Joel Schumacher-directed sequels, he was depicted as white. Or at least, [[TwoFaced half of him is white]].
* ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' is one of the kings of this trope. Each of the original films screwed up the continuity more and more (and two of them are CanonDiscontinuity in any case), and then the series was added in and then there are things like Search For Vengeance, and the Animated Series. This is another universe that will give you a headache if you try to figure it out.
** It's general accepted the original movies with Connor (save for [=HL2=]) are a seperate timeline from The Series.
* ''Film/MenInBlack'' has Agent K erasing the data on James Darrell Edwards, the future Agent J, including a birth certificate dated 1975. [[spoiler:The third movie takes place in 1969, and a young J is featured. The confusion is made worse by Creator/WillSmith [[AgeLift being born in 1968]].]]
* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' saga caused several snarls, with some caused due to conflicting Expanded Universe material, and some due to the series' jump from the original trilogy to the prequels:
** When {{Creator/Disney}} acquired the franchise, the previously existing EU material was relegated to a separate "Franchise/StarWarsLegends" continuity in order to avoid some of this with the sequel trilogy.
** Obi-Wan has several statements in the OT that turn out to be [[MetaphoricallyTrue Half-Truth]] at best (which does fit in with his character; he is one of the most prominent examples of Half-Truth). He claimed he didn't own a droid in ''Film/ANewHope'', but did during the prequels (though apparently it was the Jedi Order's droid, not his personal droid). He apparently didn't know that Leia was Luke's sister at first, despite being present when they were both born and named. He never specifically stated that Yoda was his mentor, but it was certainly the implication in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' (before it's revealed that it was Qui-Gon Jinn, then subsequently patched up by showing Yoda trained young Jedi before they grow up and get another mentor as a Padawan). It is lampshaded in the Episode VI, when Luke asks to Obi-wan why he didn't tell the truth about his father having become Darth Vader instead of the story he was killed by him. The old Jedi explains that the one that Anakin used to be died metaphorically once he joined the dark side, so what he said was true, [[MetaphoricallyTrue from a certain point of view]].
** Leia claimed to have remembered her mother in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', but Padme died in childbirth in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''. Possibly explainable if she was thinking about her adopted mother Breha Organa, although Luke does specify "your real mother" when he asks, what implies Leia had a first adoptive mother or a nanny before Breha that she mistook for her true late mother. The novelization of ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' lampshades/handwaves this. When the twins are born Luke is described as having his eyes shut tightly while Leia's are open as if trying to take in everything. But it is not plausible since the brain can't keep memories from events before the age of 4.
** In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', Darth Vader does not seem to recognize C-3PO, despite creating him in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' (and remarking in said film that he's incredibly unique). The Expanded Universe attempted to rectify this in a (non-canon) story called "[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Thank_the_Maker Thank The Maker]]", where Vader reminisces about his mother and 3PO when he's at Cloud City.
** ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' reveals that it took roughly 20 years to build the Death Star (from the time Luke and Leia are born, a rough frame of the structure is being built) without anyone realizing it. In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', the Death Star II only takes 3-4 years to be fully functional and mostly-built. The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin apty-named]] novel "Death Star" tries to address this, going over numerous problems that came up over the course of its construction (including at least one instance of the superlaser having to be stripped out and redesigned). Death Star II, despite being somewhere between 2 and 20 times larger than Death Star I (depending on the source), could be built much more quickly because by that point the Empire actually ''knew how to build a Death Star''. Gets a possibly unintended lampshade when an Imperial officer complains about the speed at which he's expected to finish the project. Making it worse is that in the original Expanded Universe (written before the prequels) there was a prototype built in the secret Maw Installation (having nothing to do with the Geneocians) before work on Death Star 1 ever started.
** Obi-Wan and Yoda supposedly left Luke on Tatooine with the purpose of training him later. When that day came, Yoda acted surprised and even argued with Obi-Wan as to whether or not Luke should be trained. While in the prequels, Yoda is explicitly shown teaching young children (and therefore may simply have assumed the plan had changed since Luke wasn't brought to him, say, ten years ago and feel that Luke is now too old to begin training), which suggests that he's upset because Obi-Wan (who was literally watching over Luke his entire life) didn't train him as he was expected to.
** Within the original trilogy, Luke and Leia are set up as possible love interests (to the point that a deleted scene shows them about to kiss), only to be revealed as siblings later on. Neither of them ''has the slightest idea'' that they are, even though Luke's Force perception should have tipped him off at some point. The problem was that Han Solo clearly has a romantic interest in Leia in ''Empire Strikes Back'', and the last thing old-school George Lucas wanted was to end the trilogy with a messy love triangle.
** Obi-Wan, and Anakin after he removes the Vader mask in ''ROTJ'', are played by actors in their 60s and 70s, respectively, suggesting they would have been in their 40s and 50s when Luke and Leia were born. Instead, they were shown to be in their 20s and 30s.
** Anyone who listens to the Radio/StarWarsRadioDramas can't help but notice that Han shoots first and Han does not meet Jabba on Tatooine. These were two of the more infamous changes made by Lucas when he ReCut the 1977 film for re-release.
** ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' caused a few continuity snarls, but the biggest was probably Wulff Yularen, a character who briefly appeared in the first movie as an [[StateSec Imperial Security Bureau]] colonel. The animators mistook him for a high-ranking Navy officer and made him an admiral during the Clone Wars. This led to an escalating series of {{retcon}}s, as each attempt to reconcile his background [[VoodooShark created a new plothole somewhere else]].
* The original ''Franchise/RoboCop'' trilogy has a bit of a minor problem with the name of the titular cyborg's superior officer, Sgt. Reed: in [[Film/RoboCop1987 in the first movie]], his first name is given in one scene as "John", but in [[Film/RoboCop2 the second]], he's referred to by Murphy (following his reprogramming by Dr. Faxx) as "Warren".
* The ''Film/SinCity'' films feature a series of stories in the same setting. The first film establishes that Marvin dies at the behest of Senator Roarke, but a story in the second film has Marvin still alive when Roarke is killed.
* Thanks to its continuous abuse of RuleOfCool, as well as its blatant assumption that every viewer is familiar with the books, it can be a right mess trying to determine just how magic functions in ''Film/HarryPotter''. Even before non-verbal magic is introduced sometimes Harry and friends need to say the spells out loud and sometimes they don't, sometimes Expelliarmus disarms and sometimes it hurls the target across the room with the force of a cannon, sometimes apparition leaves a smoke trail and sometimes it doesn't, sometimes wizards need a wand to cast spells and sometimes they don't, spells that have inconstant effects so that the exact same incantation can produce a beam/flash/bolt/crackle without explanation... there really are far too many examples to reasonably list here. The set changes are also a problem. Whilst we can possibly excuse Hogwarts looking different with every film as the special effects and budget improves, things like Hagrid's hut shifting position, size, shape and materials go unexplained.
* In ''Film/HaloNightfall'', one of the given reasons for going to the Alpha Shard is to find proof that "the Covenant's broken the treaty". The issue is not only that the Covenant has long been split into multiple opposing factions by this point, but that a number of these factions are openly vocal about their hostility to humanity: the entire plot of ''Halo: Spartan Assault'' was about a Covenant remnant attack on a UNSC colony that happened about ''two years'' before ''Nightfall''.
* Most of the films which Creator/QuentinTarantino had a hand in creating are part of one of two sprawling cinematic universes, the "Realer than Real Universe," and the "Movie Movie Universe," which consists of films that are meant to exist within the Realer than Real Universe. Sounds simple on paper, but the exact continuity is very messy when you look at the details. Officer Earl [=McGraw=] and his son Edgar show up in ''Film/DeathProof,'' which is part of the Realer than Real Universe, but Earl also shows up (and ''dies'') in ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn,'' and both [=McGraws=] show up in ''Film/KillBill,'' both of which are in the Movie Movie Universe. So, it's possible that the characters in the Movie Movies are meant to be based on the real [=McGraws=] in the Realer than Reals, but the real problem comes from ''Film/PlanetTerror'', which seems to takes place in the same universe as ''Death Proof'' (the two share several locations and characters) and yet those two movies don't mesh since ''Planet Terror'' depicts a zombie apocalypse and the second half of ''Death Proof'' would take place after this, yet there's no sign of zombies anywhere. So, does ''Planet Terror'' fit into the Movie Movie Universe and the whole cast of ''Death Proof'' exist in both universes the way the [=McGraws=] do, or does ''Planet Terror'' somehow exist in the Realer than Real universe and nobody happens to ever mention that one time zombies nearly took over the world? No matter how you try to piece it together, it doesn't make sense...though that's likely the joke, given that ''Planet Terror'' and ''Death Proof'' are both parodies of terrible old grindhouse movies which didn't care about continuity either.
** The ''Film/{{Machete}}'' trilogy is also possibly a part of the Movie Movie Universe, which complicates matters further because the title character of those films is officially the same person as Uncle Machete from the ''Film/SpyKids'' series. Are ''those'' part of the Movie Movie Universe too? We'll likely never get a straight answer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Folk Lore]]
* Who is Myth/KingArthur's greatest knight: Sir Gawain, Sir Lancelot, Sir Percival, Sir Galahad, or King Pellinore? Did you even know that in many of the earliest tales, it is Sir Gawain, without question? And before that, it was ''Mordred as a good guy''.
** And what about Sir Griflet? Originally one of Arthur's most loyal knights, he was pretty much supplanted by Sir Bedivere.
** And Lancelot, the one knight that everyone knows, isn't even part of the "original cast". He was originally the star of his own set of adventures and only got mixed in with the other knights along the way.
*** According to Creator/PeterDavid, Lancelot was "the first Mary Sue." This certainly explains his (or rather his reincarnation's) treatment in Knight Life.
** And Morgan Le Fey -- once she made the CrossOver and stuck, having originally been from the Matter of France -- went from being a benevolent sorceress who had saved Arthur's life on multiple occasions to a vindictive {{yandere}} bent on breaking up Arthur/Guinevere to the mother of the BigBad to the BigBad herself. And even after Mordred was {{retcon}}ned into being her son, he originally wasn't fathered by Arthur. And then the whole BrotherSisterIncest thing got added in.
** In the very earliest stratum [[OneManArmy Cai]] was ''easily'' the foremost of Arthur's war band.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''The Briar Creek Vampires'': In one book, it is a major plot point that vampires do not simply burn up or turn to dust, but leave behind normal bodies that must be disposed of. In later books, they turn to dust every time.
* Because he was constantly revising his unpublished works, Creator/JRRTolkien managed to create a Continuity Snarl ''all by himself'' (which is probably why they were unpublished). His son Christopher edited many of them together into ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', trying his best to come up with a version that didn't contradict itself and presenting it as in-universe folklore to cover remaining holes.
* The Literature/LandOfOz suffered from continuity problems from Creator/LFrankBaum's hands. This included whether they used money, whether they could die, and where Ozma came from.
** He managed to get a Continuity Snarl with two books. In the first book, the Scarecrow is OfferedTheCrown of the Emerald City--Glinda has the flying monkeys carry him back there so he can claim it. In the second book, when the Scarecrow goes back to Glinda for help regaining his crown, she tells him that he's not entitled to it, it's Ozma's.
** The fate of the Winged Monkeys themselves is a smaller case of this. In the first book, the Golden Cap can only be used to command the Monkeys three times per person, and when Glinda gets a hold of it, she explains exactly what she'll use it for (specifically, to send Dorothy's three companions to their new homes), and then says she'll give the cap to the leader of the Monkeys, freeing them. In the second book, The Scarecrow says that Glinda still has the Golden Cap, and the Winged Monkeys are now her permanent slaves.
** Heck, as Oz went on, the number of adaptations, prequels, sequels, spinoffs, side-stories, etc have made it even worse. In fact, take [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oz_books one look]] at the number of books ''alone'' that take place in an alternate continuity, and which ones are considered "Canon".
* Creator/HPLovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Lovecraft himself was not always very consistent with various details between his stories, and several of the other authors who continued his work had various contradicting views of the mythos, leading to much confusion for anybody trying to fit all the stories into a single continuity.\\
\\
Part of the reason behind that is that, at the time, Lovecraft had a very "pulp fiction" attitude towards his stories - not only did he have very little intent to create a cohesive continuity framework into which all of his stories could be inserted, but he tended to see each story as somewhat self-sufficient and exclusive. Mentioning the same occult book in multiple stories or inserting a reference to a character from another story was more a method to create the feeling of [[CrypticBackgroundReference artificial depth]] to the story at hand rather than trying to imply they all took place in a consistent universe. Lovecraft never really bothered to maintain continuity in his OWN stories, let alone all the stories written by his friends and associates that used shared references. \\
\\
Furthermore, Lovecraft aimed to create the feel of ancient myths by adding in deliberate inconsistencies, depending on what source the characters of a particular story gain their information. There's at least three different species as candidates for the title of the Great Old Ones, for example, as well as the more famous interpretation which Derleth embraced that the name refers to unique creatures of immense power.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse is so large almost no fans have read even most of it. The lack of clarity on what is and isn't canon (and [[DeathOfTheAuthor the constant refusal to listen to]] WordOfGod) doesn't help either.
** One of the simpler examples of this snarling; if you take the Original Trilogy and the EU as a whole, then it seems like Boba Fett manages to fall into the Sarlacc no less than ''three times'': both the novel ''Literature/TalesOfTheBountyHunters'' and the comic "Boba Fett and the Jawas of Doom" start with Boba escaping from the Sarlacc's guts, but with completely different results. In the former, Boba is found and nursed back to help by Dengarr[[note]]the slovenly-looking human bounty hunter with a headwrap in the lineup from ''The Empire Strikes Back''[[/note]], while in the latter, he is found and temporarily enslaved by Jawas, only to end up plunging back into the Sarlacc's mouth again at the comic's end.
* Literature/{{Discworld}} suffers somewhat from this, but it is [[JustifiedTrope explained in-universe]] as the results of [[TimeCrash Time shattering]] and having to be stitched back together by the [[Discworld/ThiefOfTime History Monks]]. '' Twice''. They only get away with it because of the extraordinary power of the human mind to deceive itself.
** An in-universe example happens in ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', where it's mentioned that Djellibeybi's mythology has been changing so thoroughly over the years, several concepts and objects have multiple gods and stories that explain it, each of them contradicting each other. The sun ''alone'' has several gods that are supposed to move it around. The High Priest is the only one that can keep them straight, mostly through prodigious Doublethink that lets him believe each mythological continuity simultaneously while being aware they can't exactly mesh. [[spoiler:And when all of these mythologies come to life when [[RealityIsOutToLunch reality goes on a Pyramid-assisted lunch break]], they cannot keep the stories straight either, and agree to decide who's real through an all-out brawl, complete with announcer]]
* In his later years, Kir Bulychyov admitted that he never reread any books in his ''[[Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture Adventures of Alisa]]'' cycle, which would explain the many, many continuity problems that emerged over time. Krys, a recurring villain, had about three different (contradictory) origins and six different explanations of how his powers worked. His companion, Veselchak U, gained and lost powers. The chronology has been anything but consistent and don't even get started on when half of the novels were supposed to take place relative to each other. The fact that Kir Bulychyov died a few years ago doesn't help at all.
* Chris Roberson aims for this by intention--as a kid, he loved reading comic books and seeing all the ways they interconnected. Pretty much everything he writes that isn't a tie-in to ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is in a single setting, but he explicitly uses the "many worlds" model of quantum mechanics, and [[ForWantOfANail slight deviations lead to massive differences over a relatively short period of time]]. Attempting to fit his works into a single continuity would be arguably meaningless, and it's uncertain whether even he knows what he's doing half the time.
* An entire cottage industry has sprung up around trying to wrestle the Sherlock Holmes stories into continuity -- not only with each other, but with actual history.
** They [[FanNickname call themselves]] the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_Street_Irregulars Baker Street Irregulars]] after the street urchins Holmes often calls upon for help. Basically, their version of [[Franchise/StarTrek Trekkies]].
* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' mini-novels made by Michael Teitelbaum and Ron Zalme; the novels clearly take place in the [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM SatAM]] universe, yet the Robotnik used in it is the one from ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''. How ''that'' fits into continuity is anyone's guess.
* About halfway through the first ''ComicBook/{{Bionicle}}'' book, ''Tale of the Toa'', the writer starts mentioning the tools of the Toa Nuva, and how the Toa use them. Yet they only turn into Toa Nuva at the end of the second novel. The confusion came about because the author, who wasn't well versed in the story and its characters to begin with, had to churn out the books real fast, all in 2003, which meant that besides that year's story, those of '01 and '02 also had to be written down. She thus accidentally mixed up the original Toa and their tools from the first year with their advanced Nuva forms from the second.
** A lot of scenes also differ in their presentation from the source material, like how the Toa received their Golden Masks, and the entire final battle with the Manas and Makuta, the latter of which ''didn't even occur'' in the book, despite being the GrandFinale of that year. Tons of scenes are written in a way that makes the book unwarrantable for a CompressedAdaptation title (as in, the left-out events simply cannot be spliced in between the chapters). These could be forgiven, were the book meant to be a simple adaptation, or a "new take" on the story, but it was supposedly intended to be part of the official timeline.
* In ''Literature/TheBookOfNightWithMoon'' Tom and Carl are stated as Advisories, which would put it before the second book in the other series. Then Nita shows up... and says that Dairine has passed Ordeal, which is the plot of the ''third'' book!
* ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' has problems with its continuity, possibly because WritersCannotDoMath. Every major event in Halt's life -- leaving home, coming to Araluen, becoming a ranger -- happened "twenty years ago"; in the first book this isn't a problem, because it would've been about twenty years exactly from when it started to then, but all this still happened "twenty years ago" after ''five or six in-universe years''. Possibly justified with Halt just rounding it off, because "twenty years ago" is easier to say than "twenty-five years ago".
* A couple of them in ''Literature/TwilightSparkleAndTheCrystalHeartSpell'':
** The book either ignores or undoes Trixie's redemption in ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E5MagicDuel Magic Duel]]''.
** The lines "The last time they'd all visited was during the [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E1TheCrystalEmpirePart1 Crystal]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E2TheCrystalEmpirePart2 Faire.]]" ignores the SynchronousEpisodes ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E8JustForSidekicks Just for Sidekicks]]'' and ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E12GamesPoniesPlay Games Ponies Play]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'' was infamous for this. Notably, in the first series, it was explained that Jeannie had been a mortal girl who was turned into a genie (and trapped in a bottle) by an evil djinn who fell in love with her. Starting in the second series, Jeannie was born a genie, and all of her relatives were genies as well, notably her evil sister.
** A series one episode featured Jeannie losing a potential career as an actress when it was revealed that she could not be filmed. Many later episodes forgot about this, with one episode featuring Jeannie getting targeted by thieves after appearing with an ancient jewel in a photo, and another episode featuring a scandal when Jeannie and Tony are photographed together. The Wedding episode bizarrely brought back the idea, where complications arose when Jeannie got not be photographed for her wedding.
** Finally, what would happen if Jeannie and Tony got married. In an early episode, it is said that Jeannie would lose her powers if she married a human, but her children could still be genies. When they actually married in the show, Jeannie still kept her powers.
*** On the issue of the children, in the TV movies, it was originally shown that Jeannie's son did inherit his powers, but the second movie portrayed him as a mortal.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}''
** Moira Sullivan, mother of Chloe Sullivan, is nothing more than a walking Continuity Snarl. Her past varies slightly every time in her few appearances, the difference usually including the time when she left Chloe.
** When Creator/ChristopherReeve died, it was decided the RecurringCharacter [[RemakeCameo he played]], Dr. Virgil Swann, [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim had died with him]] and Swann's death was revealed in a mid-Season Four episode. Three years later. Swann's daughter showed up and claimed [[RetCon her father had actually been poisoned by Lionel Luthor.]] The problem is that early in Season Four, Lionel had gone through a [[HeelFaceTurn conversion period into a sincere good guy.]] He was even a bit of a goody-two-shoes. While this "goody-two-shoes" phase didn't last, it started long before the episode that revealed Swann's death, and didn't end till shortly afterwards (and the same episode that revealed Swann's death also established he'd been alive a week earlier). It doesn't seem likely Lionel would've had Swann killed during this period.
* While ''Series/TheThickOfIt'' maintains unusually high amounts of continuity for a BritCom, details of Malcolm Tucker's homelife are somewhat inconsistent. ''Spinners and Losers'' reveals he has a niece, but Series 3 shows him spending his birthday alone in his office. The SeriesFinale, in addition, has him state he has no children, which is potentially contradicted that ''same episode'', when a young boy is seen looking out of the window of his home.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The most notorious example of this is the "UNIT dating controversy" (yes, we've heard all the slash fiction jokes). At the time that the early-1970s main run of UNIT stories featuring the Third and Fourth Doctors was made, the intention on the part of most of the creators was that they were set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, with a more active space programme and slightly higher tech generally, although no attempt was made to alter fashion and vehicles. There were few actual in-canon references - the most explicit one is Sarah's claim in "Pyramids of Mars" to come from 1980. However, the later story "Mawdryn Undead" explicitly states that the Brigadier retired before 1977, suggesting that the earlier stories were set at broadcast date. Fans learnt to shudder when the topic of what exact decade(s) the UNIT stories were set in is raised, before the new series demonstrated how much worse it could get. Precisely when the UNIT stories were set may be unclear, but at least we know which order they took place in.
** With the new series and {{spin off}}s, we don't even know that. Most of this confusion is due to Rose "losing" a year in "Aliens of London", putting most of the first season's contemporary stories in 2006, a year after broadcast. However, despite being consistent with this for the first couple of years, by Series 4, ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' and ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'', they began using the same year as production, even though they were mentioning past events that should have happened ''next'' year.
*** When Creator/RussellTDavies stepped down as showrunner for ''Doctor Who'' one of the last things he did was to undo this "year ahead" scenario by setting the Tenth Doctor's final story in the same year as its broadcast. Later, however, the 2014 episode "In the Forest of the Night" established a two-years-ahead timeframe for modern-day episodes, which was almost immediately ignored by succeeding episodes and spin-off media.
** There are sound arguments that ''[[Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures Revenge of the Slitheen]]'' happened after "Smith and Jones", and equally sound arguments it happened first. Evidence that "Revenge of the Slitheen" comes first include a mention in the previous episode (chronologically a week earlier) that it takes place eighteen months after the events of "School Reunion" and the plot of "Revenge" seeming to take place at the beginning of the school year. However, "Turn Left" has the cast of Series 1 of ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' enter the plot of "Smith and Jones" which seems to take place -at the latest- in May due to ''Series/DoctorWho'' series 3 having a plot point revolving around an election (British elections take place in May).
** The Eighth Doctor's continuity doesn't even try to make sense simultaneously. His only definitively canon stories are his birth in [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie the telemovie]] and his death in "[[Recap/DoctorWho50thPrequelTheNightOfTheDoctor The Night of the Doctor]]"; [[Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures the novels]], [[AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho audio plays]] and [[Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine comics]] made it clear early on that they're not concerned with outright contradicting each other for the sake of telling their own stories. The 40th anniversary audio drama "Zagreus" has the Eighth Doctor see alternate Universes and mention his adventures in other continuities.
*** Though in "The Night of the Doctor" he does mention his Big Finish companions and Big Finish tries to fit in with New Who.
** There's the Cybersnarl created by the incompetent attempts to tie "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E1AttackOfTheCybermen Attack of the Cybermen]]" in with "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E2TheTenthPlanet The Tenth Planet]]", "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E1TheTombOfTheCybermen The Tomb of the Cybermen]]" '''and''' "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E3TheInvasion The Invasion]]".
** These are by no means the only fraught areas of ''Doctor Who'' continuity. In what order did the original series' Dalek stories happen? (In particular, when does "The Daleks" take place and why are the Daleks in that story so different from all others seen later?) How many Doctors have there been (watch "The Brain of Morbius", although the novelisation clears it up a bit)? What was Atlantis like, and how did it sink? And how many ''times'' did it sink (And yes, this question ''is'' more complicated than it first appears)? How do Time Lord family relationships - in particular, the Doctor's - work? What are the Laws of Time and for that matter, are they laws in the scientific or legal sense? And most of that list arises just from the TV series.
** And then, add in the novels and the comics. Normally, as with ''Star Trek'', these are dismissed as non-canon, but is it really non-canon when Sylvester [=McCoy=] and Sophie Aldred (7 and Ace, respectively) reprise their roles for the audio dramas? The BBC has no canon policy at all; the only requirement laid down by the Beeb is "No television story has to depend on the off-screen material to make sense."
** In the immortal words of current producer Creator/StevenMoffat: "It is impossible for a show about a dimension-hopping time traveller to have a canon." - there's a reason why one of the best episode guides for the show is titled "The Discontinuity Guide".
** The UNIT dating controversy is lampshaded by the Doctor in the new series, who mentions not being entirely sure when precisely he worked for them, narrowing it down to roughly some time in the 70's or 80's. In "The Day of the Doctor" has Kate Stewart (the Brig's daughter) mention that UNIT used a few differing dating methods back then, so even ''they'' are a little muddled on the issue as well.
** It was assumed through most of the Moffat era that the aborted "metacrisis" regeneration from the RTD era did not count as a full regeneration towards the thirteen-regeneration limit. In "Time Of The Doctor" it was revealed that it ''did'', which retroactively screwed up a lot of Moffat stories. For example, when the Doctor is poisoned in "Let's Kill Hitler", he says to himself that he'll just regenerate and the TARDIS informs him that the venom blocks regeneration...but he was already out of regenerations anyway, so regeneration would never have been an option and he has no reason to lie when he's the only one listening. Some inconsistencies can be handwaved as lack of character knowledge, but it makes no sense that, say, the Silence (a religious order dedicated solely to studying and killing the Doctor) didn't know about his regeneration but the Daleks (who previously had all knowledge of the Doctor erased) do.
** Also, in "Nightmare in Silver, the Doctor said that he could force a regeneration to get the Cyber Planner out of his head - this is the season that ends with the The Name/Day/Time Of The Doctor trilogy, so there's no way Moffat ''hadn't'' decided that the "metacrisis" Doctor counted and the War Doctor existed when that was written. It's assumed that the Doctor was just bluffing.
*** It's possible he wasn't bluffing. In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E7TheTwinDilemma The Twin Dilemma]], the Doctor meets another Time Lord called Azmael who is out of regenerations. At the end of the story Azmael kills himself by triggering the regeneration process and is killed by the regeneration energy. Even though he was out of regenartions, The Doctor may have been threatening to genuinely kill himself in Nightmare in Silver to prevent the Cyber Planner taking over his body.
** Doctor Who avoids it more than most decades-long franchises because the show embraces its NarmCharm so much and features TimeTravel. It's got no "why do the Klingons look different" situations because Zygons are still red, rubbery, and suction cup-y, and Daleks are still evil pepper shakers of doom - prop quality has advanced but the look hasn't - and no "why did the year 2000 look super futuristic then but now look like the actual year 2000 did" questions because cracks in time ''ate'' that Dalek invasion you don't remember - the malleability of reality in this show means ''it's part of continuity that continuity is flexible.'' The TARDIS interior goes from [[{{Zeerust}} the 60s and 70s idea of futuristic]] in the 60s and 70s to looking organic because it's a LivingShip in the Russell T Davies seasons to TheAllegedCar, Spaceship Edition in the Amy and Rory years to TheNewTens' idea of futuristic in the Clara years because it's a LivingShip, GeniusLoci, and EldritchLocation that can change anything about its inner dimension on a whim. Some things seem more advanced [[CosmeticallyAdvancedPrequel at an earlier point in their own history]] for simpler reasons - aesthetics change and in the year 5000 when he'll be made, K9 will look modern again.
* As mentioned above, ''Franchise/StarTrek'' also suffers from this, despite efforts from the writers to avoid this.
** A particularly embarrassing debate is the question of why Klingons look completely different in [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the original series]] to the rest. It was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in one ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode, but deliberately wasn't explained (the ''[=DS9=]'' writers [[WordOfGod stated]] they realised any explanation, especially a virus-based one (which they had considered but abandoned) would be underwhelming, forced and ridiculous so decided to acknowledge it in a humorous way but not insult the fanbase with a horrible technobabble solution). ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' made it worse, with their ridged Klingons (so they had them, then lost them, then got them back?) and decided to create an explanation in the fourth season, which is when it ''truly'' remembers "we're a prequel series" and starts to tell the story of how the TOS-era TrekVerse came to be. [[spoiler: The TOS Klingons are the descendants of several Klingon colonies that got infected by a virus that caused a genetic mutation that made them look more human. Said virus was created by a Klingon scientist hoping to enhance Klingon soldiers using DNA from genetically engineered humans, after said genetically engineered humans 1) kicked their asses, 2) stole one of their ships, and 3) flew circles around the Earth Starfleet's flagship.]] Apparently, reconstructive surgery in the ''Enterprise'' episode suggests that individual gene therapy became possible between ENT and ''Deep Space Nine'', thus explaining Kang, Kor, and Koloth's sudden appearances of ridges in the latter, and also the appearance of ridged Klingons in ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness''. The video game ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' tries to fix this by explaining that B'Vat, a war-hungry Klingon from the 25th Century kidnapped Miral Paris, daughter of [[Series/StarTrekVoyager B'Elanna and Tom Paris]] and MessianicArchetype the Kuvah'magh, brought her to the 23rd Century and used her DNA to fix them.
** The change in their MO from "The Russians [-IN SPACE!-]" to {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}}s is hinted at in one recently-affected Klingon mentioning having felt fear for the first time since childhood. Apparently they got more underhanded because their personalities were also altered to be more human.
** The Romulans have actually been snarled for longer than the Klingons. Originally, Romulans were indistinguishable from Vulcans, until TNG re-introduced them and added v-shaped brow ridges, then flip-flopped by having Spock able to pass as a Romulan despite having no ridges. Then there are Romulan spies masquerading as Vulcans and vice versa, with brow ridges apparently having no bearing on easy identification. ''Enterprise didn't'' explain how they went from ridged in TFE to not in TOS to ridged again (sorta) in TNG. Then the new movie makes it worse still: Nero and company are not ridged! And no, AlternateUniverse doesn't explain things, because it's post-TNG Romulans from the prime universe who changed history. They are ''very much'' the same Romulans that existed alongside Picard et al.
** In the prequel comic to ''Film/StarTrek'' (2009), ''Star Trek: Countdown'', it's stated that Nero's crew ritualistically disfigured themselves as a demonstration of mourning for their lost homeworld. You can see in the very first scene with Nero that he has both pointed ears intact, while later in the movie one ear has had the point cut off. The same scene also has much more prominent brow ridges on Nero's face than later in the movie, so it's likely that distorting their ridges was another part of the mourning, along with the tattoos.
*** The loss of the ear came in a DeletedScene, where Kirk Sr.'s ramming of the Narada disabled the craft and allowed Klingons to capture the Romulan crew. The disfigured ear was the result of some, uhh, EnhancedInterrogationTechniques on the part of the Klingon captors. (This scene also explains why Nero laid low for 20+ years.)
** Furthermore, the tattoos sported by Nero's crew are given an explanation: Romulan tradition states that when a family member passes away, they apply dyes to their skins, and mourn. When the patterns fade, they move on with their lives. Nero's crew tattooed the symbols onto their bodies, so that they would never move on from the loss of Romulus.
** And then there's the Eugenics Wars. In the 1967 episode "Space Seed", it's established that the Earth was devastated in [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture the 1990s]] by a great war fought against (or possibly between) [[BewareTheSuperman genetically-engineered supermen]]. Trouble is, ''Star Trek'' was still going strong by the time the actual '90s rolled around. And some episodes made in that time and afterwards seem to suggest that the '90s happened like they did in RealLife. But the Eugenics Wars are still {{canon}} and an important part of ''Star Trek''[='s=] BackStory as they are the origin of iconic villain [[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan Khan]], as well as being the cause of a centuries-long taboo on genetic augmentation of humans that is a major plot point on ''Deep Space 9''. This has never really been officially resolved, although author Greg Cox wrote a series of ''Star Trek'' novels covering the Eugenics Wars, depicting them as happening [[SecretWar in secret]] and trying to match it all up with real history.
*** This is thrown out the window by a comic series that has the Reboot!Khan explaining his origins. In his version of history, the Augments did indeed stage a takeover in the 90s, which took all of two weeks. They then started fighting with one another, allowing humans to band together and throw them off. Khan's people are the only ones that made it out thanks to him devoting most of his time to research (he had the SS ''Botany Bay'' built to explore the Solar System). Marcus then found the ship, had Khan thawed out, reshuffled his face, and gave him LaserGuidedAmnesia to make him think he really was a Section 31 agent named John Harrison. "Harrison" proceeds to upgrade the ''Vengeance'' and re-invents Scotty's long-range transporter, before heading over to blow up Praxis.
** Another such snarl was created by a throwaway line from The Next Generation where Data points out that Andorian marriages have four individuals in them. One series of tie-in books took this to mean that Andorians have four sexes, with other books taking it to mean that the Andorians practiced complex marriage with two males and two females. Canon had been ambiguous on the issue for years, but eventually went with the complex marriage interpretation by the time of Enterprise.
** The first appearance of the Borg in "Q Who" established them as something completely alien to the Federation, and it's even stated that they wouldn't have discovered humanity for a while longer if Q hadn't introduced Picard to them. Fast forward to the introduction of Seven of Nine on ''Voyager'', whose backstory is that she was captured by the Borg as a child when her parents were on a trip looking for them, long before "Q Who." If you really want, you can say the Borg's time travel in the ''First Contact'' film created some timey-wimeyness that changed all this, but it's probably more trouble than it's worth.
*** Also on ''Voyager'', a couple of formerly-human Borg are said to have been assimilated at Wolf 359. How this could have happened is unclear, since there was one Borg cube there that was completely destroyed in Earth orbit, and if anyone from the fleet at Wolf 359 had been assimilated they would presumably have been killed then.
*** Perhaps they sent their memories to the rest of the Collective.
*** Then there's the ''Enterprise'' episode that has two drones from the Queen's Sphere survive the crash, assimilate a bunch of scientists, hijack a transport ship and start heading towards the Delta Quadrant. After the ''Enterprise'' destroys it, Phlox reveals that they managed to send a message. Archer figures the subspace message would take about 200 years to reach the Delta Quadrant, putting it in TNG timeframe.
** Ron Moore discusses the issue in the commentary for ''First Contact'', talking about what a pain it was to retcon the Borg Queen into "The Best of Both Worlds," and suggesting that whoever takes over ''Trek'' next should probably just jettison the decades of continuity and start over. This was before the 2009 film more or less did just that.
*** Of course that still leaves much snarl intact, because everything in ''Enterprise'' (and a couple of decades on) still happened - which should including Klingons losing their ridges, unless Nero's ship conveniently happened to destroy the only ship of the virus carrying Klingons when it jumped back in time.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': The season 1 episode "The Hamburger Prostulate" mentions that Sheldon is allergic to cats, but later episodes mention that he had a cat when he was a kid. "The Plimpton Stimulation" even states that getting a pet was against the "Roommate Agreement" unless it was necessary, like a Seeing Eye Dog.
** Possibly lampshaded in "The Zazzy Substitution" (Season 4, Ep 3) where Sheldon reacts to his breakup with Amy by getting a cat ... then several more. 25 in all.
** Though people can develop (and lose) allergies as they get older, or pass through different developmental stages, so it is possible that Sheldon had a temporary cat allergy.
* Don't try to figure out ''Series/{{MASH}}''[='s=] [[FrozenInTime timeline]][[note]]not at all helped by the fact that the series was on for more than ten years while the actual Korean War finished in just over three[[/note]]. Many have tried and it just gave them a headache:
** To get into the show's worst offenses, when Colonel Potter takes over the camp, it's explicitly stated to be September 19, 1952, but a later episode opened on New Year's Eve, 1950 with Potter and Winchester there. And UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar started in late June of 1950, so apparently the show's first ''five seasons'' with Colonel Blake and Frank took place over the course of ''barely more than five months''. And early episodes with Blake and Frank tended to give the year as 1951 or 1952. And the September 19, 1952 date doesn't work very well even on its own since it requires that ''eight seasons'' take place over the course of ''ten months''.
** Not only that, but they had a Christmas episode in each of the seasons and a few episodes that would take up several months to a whole year.
*** There were only three Christmas episodes of M*A*S*H and one day-after-Christmas episode which could have occurred the day after a previous Christmas episode in the same "war" year. There was only one episode which took place over several months.
*** The Boxing Day episode begins on Christmas Day, with some British officers visiting the unit talking about wanting to get back to their own unit for Boxing Day, which doesn't correspond well with events of any of the other Christmas episodes.
** One episode starts with the new year and ends with the next year.
*** But since we only see bits and pieces of that year MANY other episodes could have still taken place during its span. This is however the New Years Eve episode mentioned above that really messes with Potter's arrival time.
** In a Season 3 episode, Hawkeye talks about the death of Doctor Charles Drew and says it was "last April." Drew Died in April of 1950. That would put this episode some time in 1951.
** A few episodes later in Season 3, Hawkeye says he's been in Korea for two years. If he got there when the war broke out in June of 1950, which doesn't seem likely since he was drafted, that would make it some time in 1952 at the earliest.
** In the episode where BJ arrives, Hawkeye states that he had Trapper as his roommate for over a year, and in another he states that Trapper was already at the 4077th when he arrived. That doesn't work with the above statement he's been in Korea for two years when Trapper was still there.
*** Shortly thereafter, Hawkeye mentions that Nixon is Vice-President. Nixon was elected Vice-President in November 1952 along with President Eisenhower, but wouldn't have been inaugurated until January 1953. Even if you make the argument that Nixon is still Vice President-Elect, this puts this season 4 episode in late 1952. Seeing how many later episodes reference Truman as president and the afore mentioned year long episode, there's no way to reconcile this episode's status as early in BJ's tenure since it's devoted to his writing a letter to his wife telling her about his relatively new situation.
** It gets worse if you try to reconcile the series with the actual course of the Korean War. Every episode seems to take place at a point in the war when Korea is divided about evenly between communist and allied forces. Seoul is consistently under allied control and the 4077th is regularly said to be located near Uijeongbu. This makes it unlikely that many episodes take during the first year of the war, when the front lines were moving rapidly. Instead, the whole series appears to take place during the final two years of the war, in which there was a WWI-style stalemate in the center in the Korea.
* In ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', Maddie asks London's help to pass gym when she realizes that, despite her [[RichBitch pampered lifestyle]], the rich girl is in great shape. In the sequel show, Suite Life On Deck, London suddenly needs Zack's help to pass gym.
* ''Series/ICarly'', ''Series/{{Zoey 101}}'', and Series/{{Victorious}} share [[TheVerse a universe]]. ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' is a piece of RecursiveCanon in that universe, and has Drake Bell the actor (not Drake Parker the character), show up in ''Zoey 101''. Then in "iStart A Fan War", an episode of ''Series/ICarly'', they include a cameo by a pair of ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' characters. One episode even has Carly and Spencer watching an episode of ''Series/DrakeAndJosh''.
** There is a solution.. possibly. See DanSchneider for info. In short, there is a ShowWithinAShow that could be what the characters are referring to and ''not'' Drake and Josh''.
*** That solution is then torn apart by the ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' episode ''Who Did It To Trina'', where they explicitly state that ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' is a TV show. Even though the episode before it had Helen, one of the main characters ''from'' ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' appear and reference characters from ''Series/DrakeAndJosh''.
* In ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'', toward the end of the fifth season, in a rare instance where two people are talking to the camera, Pam and Jim are talking about how Andy and Angela had been engaged for a couple of years, but then said that the timeline was complicated.
* ''Series/KamenRiderOOO''[==]'s [[EarlyBirdCameo appearance]] in ''Series/KamenRiderDouble''[==]'s movie and their crossover movie ''Movie War Core'' has... issues with ''OOO''[='=]s TV series continuity. Whilst this would not be a problem for ''Franchise/KamenRider'' traditionally (what with each Heisei Rider series until ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' being self-contained) the fact that ''Double''[='=]s canon across all medias is very tight creates ''OOO''[='=]s problems. Examples include Gotou becoming Birth (his ''not'' getting to be Birth is a major part of his character arc) and OOO's medal count (he switches between forms he never had all the medals for at the same time at any point in the series.)
** And Giru ''existing.'' In the series, Giru is [[spoiler: never active. A complete set of ten Core Medals for a dinosaur Greeed exists, and five wind up in Eiji and five wind up in Maki]]. Also, there were {{Out Of Character Moment}}s with the OOO crew, as all the details of the series hadn't been finalized when the movie was produced. This results in a movie that is clearly a direct continuation of ''Double'' but just as clearly ''can't'' be in continuity for ''OOO''.
*** Making it more confusing, every crossover from that point on has references to the previous one. In ''Movie Wars Core'', Eiji (OOO) helps save one of Shotaro (Double)'s friends, prompting Shotaro to say "That's another one I owe you", referring to Eiji's BigDamnHeroes moment from the ''Double'' movie. In ''Movie Wars Megamax'', Shotaro mentions repaying this debt, as well as quoting what Eiji said when they first met[[note]]"Riders should help each other out."[[/note]]; on top of that, Eiji recognizes Gentaro (Series/KamenRiderFourze) thanks to '''his''' BigDamnHeroes moment in the stand-alone ''OOO'' movie.
* There have been three seasons of ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' that have shown variations on the future: ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' (2025), ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' (3000), and ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' (undefined; somewhere between NextSundayAD and TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture). Trying to fit them together can be problematic, especially since the various showrunners are unclear on whether or not ''RPM'' is an AlternateContinuity. (Of course, it's not too hard to weld together the three seasons, since ''Time Force'' shows wastelands that could have been created in ''RPM''. The biggest bone of contention about ''SPD'' revolves around the amount of aliens living on Earth which had disappeared before the chronologically later seasons. It's not a huge stretch to assume that by the time of ''RPM'' and ''Time Force,'' the aliens have become HumanAliens by either adapting to Earth's atmosphere or integrating with humans.)
** The ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' team-up "Clash of the Red Rangers" officially shoved ''RPM'' into an AlternateContinuity by saying ''RPM'' took place in another dimension.
** In "Alpha's Magical Christmas", a direct-to-video musical released during the second season of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' has many continuity errors such as the team already being acquainted with Rocky, Adam and Aisha, even though Tommy is still wearing his Green Ranger costume and not the White Ranger one, while Jason, Zack and Trini are "[[PutOnABus at the Peace Conference]]", even though they're still Rangers.
** Here's another one for you: When did Power Rangers first start showing up on earth? In ''[[Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder Dino Thunder]]'', Tommy claims that the Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers were the first, but then you have seasons like ''[[Series/PowerRangersWildForce Wild Force]]'' and ''[[Series/PowerRangersMysticForce Mystic Force]]'' where the organizations the Rangers belong to have existed for decades or even millenia. And even if you argue that those organizations may not have had actual Rangers until their respective seasons began, ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' outright states that the Samurai Ranger powers have been in use and passed down throughout family lines for ''centuries''. We see flashbacks to the earliest Samurai Rangers in ''ancient Japan'' with the ''exact'' same {{Magitek}} as they present ones use; the only difference is previous teams seem to use the ''Shinkenger'' version of the morphers.
** Dino Thunder does its best to try and tie together all the previous series by being the first since ''[[Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy Lost Galaxy]]'' to acknowledge that they all exist in the same universe, but creates more inconsistencies, in addition to the above mentioned, Tommy himself is one. First off he is shown working for Doctor Anton Mercer a few years prior. However this contrasts with his previous appearance in Forever Red where he owns the local hangout and is implied to have a bit of money which seems quite different then assisting a dinosaur professor.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' is no stranger to this. At first its different series didn't try to be in continuity, but teamup episodes do. As they get bigger and bigger, there's now one continuity that seems to contain every franchise ever owned by Creator/ToeiCompany and every franchise Creator/ShotaroIshinomori ever had a hand in. Even so, they don't even try to make them fit now that such crossovers are a thing! For example:
** ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'' comes ''after Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' met members of every team ever at least once. It ''still'' comes up with a new take on how PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs that's totally incompatible with all others.
** When ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' meets ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger,'' it's as the next AlternateUniverse in line as Decade continues his journey through the worlds. It's said more than once that this world has never had Kamen Riders. When ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' meets ''Series/ResshaSentaiToQger,'' the city ''Gaim'' takes place in is just the next stop on the TOQ trains' path. When ''Series/KamenRiderDrive'' meets ''Series/ShurikenSentaiNinninger,'' they're separate dimensions again, and not only that, the Ninningers stuck in the world of Drive can only remain for a short time before ceasing to exist - a problem that never appeared in any other crossover.
** Any movie with "War" in the name will have the different Riders and Sentai able to just happen across each other as if they were just in the neighborhood. Even if due to the existence of Decade, Den-O, and Timeranger, time travel and dimension travel are ''acknowledged,'' it's never used to say that these are characters with their own self-contained timelines who normally cannot meet. Worldwide invasions will the same {{Mooks}} landing outside the school in Fourze and the base in Go-Busters at the same time before anyone knew what was going on to ''try'' crossing dimensions or any such thing.
** Speaking of time travel, some alternate timelines do ''not'' get fixed, even as the individual series involved air just as normal next week. Most notably, if the "Let's Go Kamen Riders" movie counts, the world was ruled by a coalition of villains from TheSeventies to the present day, when all the Kamen Riders who should never have come to be in that timeline were pulled from throughout TheMultiverse to clean up. Naturally, OOO continues to tell its story without any sign of having transformed into a former VillainWorld that was only just brought BackFromTheBrink ''yesterday.'' (You really have to wonder what this means for Mitsuru and Naoki, two kids from the original Kamen Rider who were very important to the film. If the movie doesn't happen, they technically shouldn't have been there... it's best not to think about these things.)
* Frasier Crane famously told his friends at ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' that his father was a research scientist and had died years before. This was {{handwave}}d in his SpinOff series ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' as having been something he said because he was angry at his dad that day, but it was in fact not something that was said once; his characterizations of his father and his identifying himself as an orphan took place consistently over quite some time during his years in Boston.
** Frasier's mother visits him during his engagement to Diane, and is almost psychotic at the thought of her son marrying a mere barmaid. This doesn't fit in well with Frasier's claims to be an orphan, or her posthumous characterization in ''Frasier,'' and raises the question of when, exactly, she died.
** This one's pretty easily ''handwaved'' though. Frasier is, first and foremost, a snob, and not likely to admit to having a blue collar dad. Furthermore, it's clearly established in the latter show that, even with the 'argument' handwave mentioned above, Frasier and his father for the most part have an extremely difficult relationship that really only begins to seriously improve when they've been living together for an extended period of time in ''Frasier''. The lie is a bit callous, but not outside the realm of Frasier's thinking.
* ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' fixed a year issue caused by Seasons 6-9 each being half a school year long. Causing time in series to lag behind the real world. So start of Season 10 it is suddenly current year, 2008 to 2010 over the summer break... But given Emma's birthdate is a fixed point, and her first day at Degrassi is also fixed by the Class reunion of the DJH characters, makes a lot of interactions between Seasons 7-9 problematic. Specifically between characters like Sav and Holly J with characters like Paige and Spinner.
* ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' is starting to run into this especially where Jenna and Toby are concerned. This is probably the result of initially following their book characterizations then pulling a WhamEpisode regarding them and developing them into their own characters but''keeping their new characters for flashbacks where they should be their old selves.'' Jenna isn't too bad since she's made out to be a BitchInSheepsClothing in the early books but Toby goes from a creepy loner EmoTeen pre-character development to having always been a IronWoobie with no hints of creepiness.
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' and its spinoffs ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' and ''Series/YoungHercules'' were notorious for this. Some specific examples:
** "Hercules and the Amazon Women" established Hercules, Iolaus, and their peers as having been conditioned since birth to believe women are inferior and should StayInTheKitchen. After meeting the Amazons for the first time, Hercules slowly realizes that this line of thinking is wrong and becomes respectful to women for the rest of the series. However, Hercules and his friends met the Amazons and several other {{Action Girl}}s as teenagers in ''Young Hercules'', and had plenty of respect for women at this time.
** The god Strife gets killed by a god-slaying weapon in "Armageddon Now: Part 1", and Zeus gets killed in "God Fearing Child", yet Strife appears in "Yes Virgina, There Is a Hercules" (which is set in the modern day), while Zeus is mentioned as being active. Some fans have {{Handwave}}d this by suggesting the two may have been resurrected somewhere down the line.
** In ''Young Hercules'', Jason was a teenager just like Hercules and Iolaus. In the main series, Jason is an old man who eventually dates and marries Hercules' mother Alcmeme and had been an active soldier when Hercules had been conceived.
** "Ten Little Warlords" claims Ares' sword is the source of his powers. When it is lost, he will lose his powers and whoever claims it will become the new god of war. In the meantime, everyone becomes overly aggressive because there is no god of war to control anger and hate. In other episodes, Ares' powers are internal just like every other god. Also, when he is depowered at other times, people's personalities stay the same.
** In one episode of ''Xena'', the heroes meet Ulysses and help him return home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Later, they come across and participate in the Trojan War.
** "Hercules in the Underworld" has Hercules venture into the Underworld and meeting Hades for the first time. Hercules did it as a teenager in an episode of ''Young Hercules''.
** Zeus' twin sons Castor and Pollux appear in ''Young Hercules'' and Castor eventually gets murdered. Castor and Pollux later appear in the ''Xena'' episode "Little Problems"... and are portrayed as conjoined twins.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** As a long running show there's bound to be one or two things that don't add up, but a pretty bad one occurs in Season 1 that there's little excuse for because it comes about in the space of two episodes right at the start of the show. There's barely any continuity to screw up. One episode centres on Ross moping because it's the anniversary of his first having sex with Carol (and also losing his virginity). Monica is the one who first remembers, which is {{Squick}}y but Ross says there were few people he didn't tell. In the very next episode, Monica says the line "Wow, my brother didn't even tell me when he lost his virginity."
** Chandler and Rachel are shown interacting in Thanksgiving flashbacks to their teen years, and in a flashback to a few months before the series began, and yet in the pilot they're introduced as total strangers. Ross gets a "You remember..." before his name, as Chandler ought to as well.
** In one of the early episodes, Phoebe is talking to a professional guitar player, Stephanie, and knows the real names of the chords. Several seasons later, when she was teaching Joey how to play a guitar, she appeared not to know the real names, and instead used her own made-up names (like Bear Claw).
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', a show normally [[ContinuityPorn outstanding in its continuity]], has a couple of small errors. For example, at Lily and Marshall's wedding, Scooter states that his real name is Bill. But in season 8, it's revealed that his original name is Jeffrey.
** In the first season, Marshall comments that he's never been in a fight before. However, later seasons reveal that years of brutal fights with his brothers have made him an excellent fighter, and he is able to knock out a large man with one punch.
** The season 1 HalloweenEpisode has Robin give a big speech about how she could never play team sports - and would only play tennis - establishing that she has trouble mixing with others. A handful of episodes later has her state that she missed her prom for field hockey nationals. Subsequent episodes referenced her hockey background.
** In the season 4 episode "Little Minnesota," Robin and Marshall bond over their similar backgrounds (she misses Canada; he misses Minnesota). They spend the whole episode hanging out with each other and going to Canada/Minnesota-themed bars. Despite this, the season 6 episode "The Mermaid Theory" revolves around the fact that Robin and Marshall have never spent any time with just the two of them.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' took the odd step of dating its final episode as taking place exactly a year after its first. This removed the implausibility of people keeping their crazy powers a secret for years at a time, but made it pretty much impossible for the show's 37 episodes to fit into that time period. Most episodes take place over a few days or weeks and most of the season premiers imply that months have passed whilst the show has been off air.
* ''{{Series/Charmed}}'' was notorious for its numerous continuity errors, especially in the sixth season. Chris Perry - a KidFromTheFuture - appeared to stop the Titans from conquering the world. When he gets his origin episode in season 6, there is no mention about the Titans [[spoiler: and his brother Wyatt is the BigBad in the future]]. He also orbs into the attic in his debut episode but this shows him going back in time via a portal in the attic wall. Additionally his hair was short when he arrived on the show but the actor grew it long for season 6 - and it's the same in his origin episode.
** Chris says that Paige died in his debut episode, claiming to have prevented her death. In a season 6 episode, he tells her he goes to her for money in the future.
** In a season 4 episode Phoebe says that her grandmother was married six times. Later episodes RetCon this to Penny only being married four times and engaged six altogether.
** Patty and Victor's relationship in the past becomes more convoluted as the show goes on. It's implied in season 1 that Victor left Patty when he found out she was a witch. Numerous time travel and flashback episodes complicate matters even further as Victor and Patty appear to have broken up and reconciled quite a few times. The series finale in particular flashes back to when Phoebe was conceived and Patty and Victor seem to be fine. This contradicts season 1's "That 70s Episode" where Patty and Victor have been separated for a while and Patty doesn't know she's pregnant with Phoebe yet. The story is also initially that Victor left the girls to be raised by Penny. Season 3's "We All Scream for Ice Cream" says that he stuck around for a while after Patty died but then left again.
* ''Series/AmericaUnearthed'': It happens a lot that the theory of a particular episode, if proven true, would invalidate one or more previous theories. The easiest to explain case would be in the first season when the Holy Grail would go back and forth between being a cup/chalice to the holy bloodline of Christ (like the Davinci Code).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* All over the place in Myth/ClassicalMythology, the only long-running franchise to have three millennia of retcons:
** Case in point, Venus/Aphrodite's origin story. Was she the daughter of Jupiter/Zeus? Or was she born from the sea foam from when Ouranos/Uranus's testicle fell into the sea, long before Zeus was conceived?
*** Or take Eros. Was he the son of Aphrodite and Ares, as he is usually depicted in Western art from the Renaissance onward? Or was he one of the eldest deities of all, born out of the original Chaos alongside his siblings Gaia (mother of Ouranos) and Tartaros, as described by Hesiodus in his ''Theogony''?
** Hephaestus's origin is a crazy example. Okay, so he was born when Hera gets annoyed that Zeus apparently gave birth to Athena on his own. She tries it, and she gets a very ugly baby. So she [[ValuesDissonance tosses it off Olympus.]] That baby is raised to become the greatest smith ever. He is then welcomed into the pantheon. At some time afterwards, he hits Zeus over the head with an ax while Zeus has a headache, and Zeus gives birth... to Athena. It's like that old "born in a log cabin he helped build" thing.[[note]]The most common explanation is one or both of: Hephaestus is a legitimate son of Zeus and Hera (which works well for establishing that those two make a very bad couple, seeing as how their other son is Ares) or it was Prometheus who split Zeus' head open to let Athena out (which is consistent with the fact that Metis, a titaness, was the mother of Athena; meaning that Athena was probably born not long after the Titanomachy, when Prometheus was still on Zeus' side).[[/note]] Causality is just for mortals!
** When Perseus was returning from his trip to decapitate Medusa, he met the Titan Atlas and asked to share his hospitality. Atlas was a jerk and refused, so Perseus [[TakenForGranite turned him into a mountain]] with Medusa's head. Perseus' distant descendant, Heracles, later stopped by the same region, where he got the help of a completely healthy and not-at-all-stone Atlas in stealing some Golden Apples. (Keep in mind, Medusa's effect on people is incurable.)
** When Theseus first arrived in Athens at the beginning of his adventures, Medea tried to poison him so that the child she bore from Aegeus will inherit the throne. Years later, Theseus would participate in the Argonaut expedition, which brought Medea to Greece. She got married to Jason, was abandoned by him, then went to Athens and married Aegeus.
** Dionysus was born as a result of his own actions. To elaborate, he was the son of Zeus and Semele, who was descended from Harmonia, a daughter of Ares and Aphrodite who was born after the latter was already married to Hephaestus. However, Aphrodite and Hephaestus only got married because Dionysus got Hephaestus drunk and brought him back to Olympus this way. The reward for bringing Hephaestus back to Olympus was marrying Aphrodite but Dionysus, probably afraid of the already timeline-ripping continuity snarl, refused the reward and said Hephaestus got to Olympus on his own - and he should be the one marrying Aphrodite. Then Aphrodite proceeds to cheat on Hephaestus with Ares and give birth to Harmonia, the ancestor of Dionysus...
* Was Amaterasu conceived by Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto while the latter was still alive? Or was Amaterasu the by-product of Izanagi washing himself of the filth from Yomi? The Kojiki and Nihon Shoki both say different things. And say nothing of the myth where she sends her grandson to rule over the world...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* One of the duties governing bodies like the Wrestling/NationalWrestlingAlliance have is to prevent or remove these, at least when they are in danger of becoming painfully noticeable to large amounts of people. Unfortunately the NWA itself started in an age before VHS or cable and neglected to keep track as those things became steadily less expensive until it was too late. Suddenly the large majority of fans who could only watch television of their own territory could see everything at once. For example, there were a dozen different territories with an equally amount of incompatible NWA World TagTeam Champions.
* The Wrestling/{{WWE}}'s "Wrestling/{{Kane}}" character, whose official life story has him having been a hopelessly-insane burn victim in an asylum at the same time he was supposed to have been hanging out in college and going to parties with his sweetheart Katie. Further complicated by the storyline of his "[[Wrestling/TheUndertaker brother]]", who had a whole angle where he [[BreakingTheFourthWall Broke the Fourth Wall]] and "went out of character". The whole thing got so complicated that they had to have somebody write a book (titled ''Journey Into Darkness'' if one should want to look it up) in an attempt to explain it.
** Wrestling/TheUndertaker himself tends to be mildly rebooted when he gets a gimmick change. Different personas don't often directly reference older ones, but this is a double-edged sword; most glaring is when the American Badass started out with the Undertaker doing a worked shoot to sell the idea that he wasn't supernatural ''in'' character as well as out, so he could come back as a leather-clad biker, only for Kane to ''kill him'' so he could be ''resurrected as undead.''
** Occasionally a reference is made to their childhood home burning down, but which brother is responsible depends on who's Heel and who's Face at the time. If they're both Face, it was [[strike:an accident]] Wrestling/PaulBearer's fault.
* A good one was in Wrestling/{{WCW}}, where a masked wrestler would run out and attack people during their matches. He was eventually revealed to be Wrestling/RickSteiner. The problem was that the week before said masked wrestler attacked...Rick Steiner.
* Wrestling/{{WCW}}s Black Scorpion was allegedly someone out of Wrestling/{{Sting}}'s past. It was going to be the Ultimate Warrior, but there was a small problem-Warrior didn't work for WCW at the time. After months of waiting, and literally dozens of people showing up under the mask, they finally made Wrestling/RicFlair the "real" Black Scorpion. The kicker? The Black Scorpion was created to give Sting an opponent ''other than Ric Flair.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. The setting is ''deliberately'' designed to take into account the possibility of Continuity Snarl by making the tech [[SchizoTech naturally variable]] and everything told is either [[UnreliableNarrator from skewed viewpoints, propaganda, or possibly inaccurate documents, reports, or histories.]] Its creators' pronouncement is "Everything written about 40k is ''canon,'' but it isn't necessarily ''true.''"
** The ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' series is an exception to this; the idea is that this is what ''really'' happened, without 10,000 years of distortion.
* Two ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' books came out close together, both revealing that [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Rasputin was a member of two distinct Vampire clans]]. Instead of making one CanonDiscontinuity, it became a RunningGag that Rasputin was everywhere before revealing he was a wraith who possessed several supernatural figures since his death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In ''Ride/BackToTheFutureTheRide'':
** The original [=DeLorean=] Time Machine makes an appearance sitting in Doc's garage and seems to be in mint condition notwithstanding being destroyed by a freight train at the end of Part III, though it might be possible he simply rebuilt one.
** The Clock Tower seems to be working, even though it was still broken as of October 21st, 2015 in Part II. The ride, however, takes guests 4 days later to October 25th, 2015. Whether or not it may have been "repaired in four days" is up to you.
* During the Dementor attack in ''Ride/HarryPotterAndTheForbiddenJourney'', the Chamber of Secrets is seen in ruins, yet in the second part of ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'' it is seen in an almost perfectly intact state.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* The story detailed in the promo-material for Franchise/{{LEGO}}'s short-lived ''{{Toys/Slizers}}'' line could never agree on what the characters were (Are they single entities? Or entire species?), in what order the {{Elemental Nation}}s on their [[PatchWorkMap planet]] followed each other, or just ''how many'' regions there were at all. This hit the US market harder (where the series was known as "''Throwbots''"), since in their story, there were multiple planets, but in the line's second year, they got replaced by the European single-planet setting.
* Thanks to ''WesternAnimation/{{Mixels}}'' being a toyline by LEGO and a show by Cartoon Network working in tandem with each other, it is bound to get things wrong. This includes personalities of Mixels, and, most divisively, whether Jawg or Gobba is the leader of the Fang Gang (toys say Jawg, series says Gobba).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* There's a rather telling one between ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' and ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2''; in the first game, the Red Marker is basically portrayed as benign and the key to stopping the Necromorphs, but in the second one, it's the active ''source'' of the Necromorph outbreak. Actually unsnarled (though partially through clue-fuelled deductions) in ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'': [[spoiler: the Markers broadcast a signal that ''creates'' Necromorphs and, when their numbers reach a critical mass, causes them to amalgamate into a gargantuan alien lifeform called a "Brethren Moon". The constant rephrase of "Make Us Whole" from both of the Markers is them trying to compel enough people to die and become Necromorphs to create a new Brethren Moon. Isaac misinterpreted the Red Marker's pleas in the first game and inadvertently placed it upon a signal dampening device that had been constructed when it was placed there two centuries earlier]].
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' suffers immensely from this. In the very first game, Riku tells Sora that there can't be two Keyblademasters and takes the Keyblade from him. The letter that King Mickey sends to Donald and Goofy also implies that Sora is THE Keyblademaster by telling them to find the one person with the key, but what happens at the end? We see [[spoiler:King Mickey]] with a keyblade of his own Just like Sora's. It doesn't help that while possessed, Riku wields another type of Keyblade and that now virtually everyone in the series has one. One could easily say that he just made a mistake, but that isn't even hinted at. Yet another example lies in the Pureblood Heartless. In the first game an entire scene is dedicated to watching this type of heartless be born when a frightened passerby loses his heart , but in later games this is retconned and these types of heartless don't give up any hearts when slain with the Keyblade. When it is explained that Nobodies are born when the original holds on to their feelings and memories as a heartless, One is left to wonder how Namine ever factored into that because Kairi never became a heartless and yet Namine is her nobody.
** Namine is simultaneously both an example and not an example. She was somehow born from Sora's body and Kairi's Heart when Sora became a Heartless in the first game giving her power over his memories. Roxas is kinda like her twin, born from Sora's Body and Heart (And taking on the form of Ventus because his heart was hiding in Sora and it's hinted part (or all) of it stayed in Roxas). The series explains this quite clearly and points out Namine is a special type of non-standard nobody. This is minor issue until you realize Sora also gets his body BACK within minutes of losing it due to the now restored Kairi's powers as a Princes of Heart resulting in Roxas getting NONE of Sora's memories, and it's unclear if Namine got any of either of her "parent's" memories. And let's not get into Xion and the fact the fact that she's sora's Memories made manifest.... Yes the series explains how all this happened quite clearly! But it doesn't explain how any of that CAN happen.
* While the individual ''VideoGame/{{Klonoa}}'' games have decent plotlines, the inter-game continuity gets rather ridiculous. In ''Door to Phantomile'', [[PlatformingPocketPal Huepow]] [[spoiler:is revealed to be the prince of the Moon Kingdom using the Ring Spirit form as a disguise]], ''and'' [[spoiler:is tragically separated from Klonoa at the end of the game]], both of which are ignored when he reappears in later games. Not only does Joka have a different personality in every game he appears in, but he already knows Klonoa in half of them, and is killed in the other half. And Chipple, a random villager from ''Empire of Dreams'', showed up in ''Dream Champ Tournament'', where he had become Klonoa's close friend... and ''a kangaroo''.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' continuity is very confusing for the simple reason that until ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'', we didn't have the whole picture, and, of the bits and pieces gotten, weren't told how they fit together[[note]]Before the official timeline was revealed, it was generally accepted that certain games could be grouped together (''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]'' leading into the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures Swords]] games, or ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'' leading into ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]'', for example); the problem for fanswas ordering these groups[[/note]], [[http://zeldawiki.org/Timeline_Theories leading to two decades of debate as to how to organize anything]]. WordOfGod itself was contradictory. Franchise creator Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto, not all that concerned about the timeline due to feeling that stories in video games should be peripheral to the experience, [[ExcusePlot if existent at all]], seemed to endorse that the various games may be corrupted retellings of each other. Eiji Aonuma, who joined the Zelda team starting with [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime ''Ocarina of Time'']] and became series director shortly after, preferred there be a concrete timeline. Things were finally sorted out in late 2011 when the two revealed the official ''[[UniverseCompendium Hyrule Historia]]''[[note]]which, among other things, showed that things split into THREE timelines, not two as was previously thought, explaining why it was so darn difficult to figure out what went where[[/note]], but the confusion ''will'' [[AsLongAsThereIsEvil return anew each and every time a new game is nearing release]].
** It should be noted that the official timeline only had slightly fewer problems than the average fan timeline at the time of its reveal. The reason for this ultimately stems from the games always focusing on refining gameplay long before crafting a story to match, games prior to Ocarina not being made with any overarching timeline in mind, and (arguably) confusion about where to place Capcom-developed installments (the Orcale games, The Minish Cap, and the Four Swords games).
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat''. Each character gets his/her own ending, they often intersect, with other character's endings, and are often in direct conflict with other character's endings, showing one character winning a battle in his own ending, but being killed in the same battle by his opponent in his opponent's endings. Background information in the next game says which endings are canon, and which aren't. The official word on the ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception'' endings are [[AllThereInTheManual only on Armageddon's website]]: Basically, [[UnwittingPawn Shujinko]] and [[MagicalNativeAmerican Nightwolf's]] endings worked together to end [[BigBad Onaga]]. For the ''VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon'' endings, replace "Background information in the next game" with "Opening cutscene in [[VideoGame/MortalKombat9 the next game]]": Basically, either the backfiring of Taven's plan to KillEmAll empowering everyone instead allowed Shao Kahn to win, or Kahn just flat out won on his own through his sheer power.
** There are more straight examples of snarls in the actual story, mostly the result of the lead writer shift after ''[=MK4=]'' . The two which stand out the most are Scorpion's oath to protect Sub-Zero (started in his ''[=MK2=]'' ending, supported in the official comic and ''[=UMK3=]'' ending, then ignored completely in ''[=MK4=]'', with following games being ambiguous about the whole ordeal, or portraying him as an AxCrazy [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge revenge-seeker]]), and Kintaro's fate after ''[=MK2=]'' (with 3 different sources, all of debatable canonicity, stating different and contradicting fates for the Shokan).
** Another big snarl is that at the end of ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombat2 MKII]]'', Shao Kahn is KilledOffForReal, but in ''3'' he returns alive and well to take over the world.
** Yet another headscratcher concerning Scorpion occurs ''because of'' the above WordOfGod statement about Onaga's defeat in ''Deception''. After being thrown into Shang Tsung's Soulnado at the end of ''Deadly Alliance'' and whisked away to heaven, Scorpion made a deal with the Elder Gods: if he became their Champion and vanquished Onaga, they'd revive his dead Shirai Ryu clansmen. In ''Armageddon''[='s=] Konquest Mode, Taven runs into Scorpion, who is furious because the Elder Gods revived the Shirai Ryu as undead abominations. This would suggest they were being dicks who didn't uphold their end of the bargain when Scorpion delivered (as seen in his ''Deception'' ending), but ''that'' would go against Shunjiko being the one to take down Onaga in-canon (with some help from Nightwolf).
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'': In fairness, a lot of it is because ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII II]]'' become an iconic landmark revolutionary sea-changing event of events which changed the universe forever and ever (to the point where pretty much everyone [[CapcomSequelStagnation got plain sick of it]]). If this weren't the case, Capcom ''probably'' would've just relished their success and quietly released ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Alpha]]'' as a fun, inconsequential one-off featuring the unselectable fighters in [[VideoGame/StreetFighterI the first game]], then made a full break with ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII III]]''. As it is, ''II'' and its continuity has reached such an enormous Shuma-Gorathian level that it's ''dragged the rest of the ''Street Fighter'' universe into it''. Hence, ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''. With Makoto, Dudley, and Ibuki (and now Yun and Yang) at the same age and with the same motivations as in a game that canonically isn't supposed to happen for at least another three years. With a hopelessly convoluted plot involving M. Bison (who ''does'' die for real at some point, we just don't know ''when'') and a Korean hellion we've never even heard about before. With Adon seemingly stuck in the distant past. With Rose around for no apparent reason. Before, there would be retcons; now, Capcom [[TheyJustDidntCare isn't even trying to hash it out anymore]].
** Capcom plays so fast and loose with continuity that now we have [[VideoGame/CapcomFightingEvolution Ingrid]], a character who [[ClockRoaches deals with continuity snarls]]. [[CrypticBackgroundReference Maybe]]. Between having few appearances and Capcom's refusal to ever clear anything up, she's more likely to turn into a snarl herself.
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' created an interesting continuity snarl when it {{retcon}}ned the prison books of ''Myst'' and ''VideoGame/{{Riven}}'' into actual ages. That is, the books themselves were not intrinsically special or different from other linking books. ''VideoGame/MystIV'' goes into great detail as to what the Red and Blue ages (named Spire and Haven) are like. While this works for ''Myst'', it violates the events as they unfold in ''Riven''. To beat ''Riven'', you have to trap Ghen in a prison book. This book was presented as a special "one man prison" book, which is a very important plot point. Ghen's no fool; he isn't going to go into any random book some guy brings him. To ensure it's safe, he asks ''you'' to go through the book first. This works out in the end because it is a ''one man'' prison; when he comes through the book after you, you are freed and he is trapped. If that book were a regular linking book, you'd be trapped with a very pissed-off Ghen... who had the sense to bring a gun.
** [[WordOfGod The official version]] is that that the "[[LiteraryAgentHypothesis real]]" Stranger talked his ([[FeaturelessProtagonist or her]]) way out of it, which the player [[HeroicMime can't really do]].
** It isn't the only retcon in the game's canon that poses problems for ''Myst''. When the official rules for linking books were more clearly established, they included the fact that sound doesn't travel through a linking panel. This means that the stranger couldn't have talked to Sirrus and Achenar, regardless of whether they were in prison books or prison ages, nor could he have talked to [[spoiler:Atrus through the linking book to D'ni at the end of Myst]]. This is compounded by the fact that Sirrus, Achenar and [[spoiler:Atrus]] definitely shouldn't have been able to see the Stranger, as although the linking panel lets you see an Age, you clearly can't see back through a linking panel even inside Myst ([[spoiler:including the D'ni book, since when you get to D'ni you can't see back into the library, so how did Atrus see the stranger?]]).
* ''Franchise/MegaMan'' has a real weird timeline. ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' was supposed to end after ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'', but didn't, leaving a complicated mess of the continuity of its series.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManXCommandMission'' takes place during 22XX, which is when the ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series does. Bosses regularly refer to Zero [[UnderestimatingBadassery "Century-Old Junk"]] (literally, not figuratively), and given how the ''X'' series takes place in 21XX, things don't fit, especially considering the time needed for the Elf Wars and such.
*** This discrepancy is explained away by two facts: ''Command Mission'' is a non-canon GaidenGame and ''Zero'' is [[{{Fanon}} commonly assumed by fans]] to occur in 22XX but is actually given no exact date in-series. It's only said that it takes place a century after the Elf Wars, which in turn are set sometime after the currently LeftHanging ''X'' titles.
* Each installment of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' is made by a different team, and each has a very large amount of information in each game. Later teams have been known to completely overwrite what was established by earlier teams. Every single installment has a portion of the fanbase that declares "TheyChangedItNowItSucks".
** ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series even has an in-universe continuity snarl: the Warp in the West. Somehow, ''all'' of the contradictory endings of ''Daggerfall'' are true (the linearity of time broke down. It's called a Dragon Break, and in-universe the Warp in the West was not the first one).
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'': The PC-98 games ''mostly'' seem to have been stricken from canon, but occasionally there'll be a reference to them, leading to headache-inducing attempts by fans to reconcile them with the Windows games. And the setting as described in the first few Windows games doesn't really match later what'd later get nailed down in ''[[AllThereInTheManual Perfect Memento in Strict Sense]]''... which would cause problems itself when the things it covered that weren't in existing games would turn out different when they actually appear.
** The major, not really {{handwave}}able problem is the lunar wars. ''Imperishable Night'' has as its backstory the Apollo missions being a cover up for a war between The Earth and The Moon. Then ''Bougetsushou'' retcons this into the Lunarians being paranoid and maybe doing the odd bit of sabotage to the astronauts, but it being pretty one-sided. The problem is that there being a real, actual war is Reisen's entire reason for running away, and the Lunarians wanting her back (because of the difficulty fighting!) is what kicks off the plot of ''Imperishable Night''.
* The Blaze/Silver/Eggman Nega issue in the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series. In ''VideoGame/{{Sonic Rush|Series}}'', Blaze is from an alternate dimension. In ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic '06]]'' she is from the future (and seems out of character). And the events of ''Sonic '06'' were erased from the timeline in that game's ending, making things more confusing. Additionally, due to that fact she was from the future, she could be REAL version of Blaze, who isn't born until later. The other one DID come from an alternate universe...
** Later on, in the DS version of ''[[VideoGame/SonicColors Colors]]'' (which may or may not be canon), Blaze appears alongside Silver during the third mission on Sweet Mountain and, should the player receive an S rank in their side mission, after a battle with [[ThoseTwoBadGuys Orbot and Cubot]] Silver claims to have felt like they'd fought together before, a nod to ''[='06=]'' Blaze (who was Silver's best friend). Tails comments that perhaps they had been partners somewhere, some time.
** And ''then'' there is ''[[VideoGame/SonicGenerations Generations]]''. Blaze is first seen at Sonic's birthday party interacting with Cream and her in-game character profile notes that she's from another dimension, indicating that this is the same Blaze from ''Rush''. As a ContinuityNod ([[ResetButton of sorts]]) to ''[='06=]'', Blaze is found in Crisis City. Here's where things get wonky. After Sonic completes the Crisis City Act 2 mission "Blaze: Piercing the Flames", Blaze will remark, "I never thought I'd find myself in Crisis City again," bringing up the question of ''how'' exactly Blaze knew of a place that existed in a timeline that was ''erased from history''.
** Additionally, both Silver and Eggman Nega (characters with prominent ties to Blaze, but connected to her by different games) are drawn into this snarl as well, as the two appear in the ''Rivals'' series - ''sans'' Blaze. Here, Silver is still from the future, but Nega (established in ''Rush'' as Eggman's parallel self from the same dimension Blaze is from) is now a ''descendant'' of Eggman, embittered by how Eggman's failures have tarnished the family name in the future and is now an ''enemy'' of Eggman instead of working with him. Later on, Nega reappears in ''Rush Adventure'' and ''Rivals 2'' with the conflicting backstories of his appearances between ''Rush'' and ''Rivals''. It's implied that (due to ''[='06=]'' slamming down on the ResetButton until it ''cracked'') Silver now hails from the ''Rivals'' future and Blaze is from ''Rush'' (with no official word on Nega with his lack of appearances since), but Silver is still the Rival Battle for the Modern era of ''Generations'' (which takes place in Crisis City, no less) and [[spoiler:the ending of ''Generations'' has him and Blaze briefly chatting it up before everyone says their goodbyes to Classic Sonic and Tails]].
** The confusion was finally cleared up in 2012, with Takashi Iizuka stating that Blaze is from an alternate dimension, while Silver and Eggman Nega are from the future.
** On a less important note, games also seem rather inconsistent as to how many moons Sonic's planet has - at last count, there had to be at least two and a half (two intact moons resembling ours, and the moon that was shot with the Eclipse Cannon in ''Sonic Adventure 2''), and yet one of them was referred to as "''the'' moon" in a game that didn't show any others.
* The UsefulNotes/NintendoDS UpdatedRerelease of ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' featured an extra, fifth case which takes place in between ''Ace Attorney'' and ''Justice For All'' [[spoiler: as evidenced by Maya still being away at Kurain Village training]] wherein Phoenix and Edgeworth work together to assist Ema and Lana Skye in their legal case. However, when Edgeworth reappears in ''Justice For All'''s fourth and final case, Phoenix claims not to have seen him since [[spoiler: the fourth case of ''Ace Attorney'' where Miles was accused of murder]] and Edgeworth supports this by claiming to have left the country right after said events; neither of them seeming to remember their work together on the Skye trial. This could simply be explained away as a case of CanonDiscontinuity by stating that the fifth case of ''Ace Attorney'' never really happened in the series proper, due to it being an addition for the remake. But, Ema is integrated with the official continuity in [[FanNickname the Apollo Justice arc]] by having her appear and explain Wright's involvement with her sister's case, thus making Phoenix's and Edgeworth's reactions to each other in ''Justice for All'' seem odd in retrospect.
** It's quite easy to make it fit in canon if you ignore the one part where Phoenix says he has not seen him since [[spoiler: Miles' trial]] and just consider that they were really referring to case 5 of the first game rather than case 4 (case 5 actually does somewhat set up Miles' disappearance). This problem was basically made due to bad porting. If they changed the background in Phoenix's little "Haven't seen him since" monologue, this whole problem would have never existed.
** What's really weird is, because of the order the games were released in overseas, the translations had every chance to fix this and write it so that no one would notice the problem, and they... didn't.
** This is fixed in the 3DS ''Trilogy'' rerelease. [[spoiler:When Edgeworth is brought up in the third case of ''Justice for All'', Edgeworth is stated to have stepped into a courtroom once after his own trial, that time being the fifth case]]. All references to [[spoiler:case four being the last time Phoenix saw Edgeworth]] are removed.
* Ironically, ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' successfully averts this, despite being a MassivelyMultiplayerCrossover. In fact, developer Banpresto does the inverse by snarling continuity together. Currently, the "[[FanNickname Classic Timeline]]", ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' and ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' series have several common ties via characters being the same individual throughout these continuities ([[spoiler:Gilliam Yeager and Cobray Gordon]] head the list).
** Odder still when you realize these continuities were originally to be in its own {{Canon}}, and these characters were only giving out {{Continuity Cameo}}es, but ''Original Generation'' is in the position of tying nearly every Banpresto-developed game into an interlocking [[TheMultiverse multiverse]] courtesy of these entities referencing their own appearances from those canons.
*** Additionally, this applies to one licensed character: it's strongly implied [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Kaworu Nagisa]] in all his appearances throughout ''Super Robot Wars'' (''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4 F/F Final]]'', ''Alpha'', ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsMX MX]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Z]]'') is the same Kaworu or his consciousness surfing across dimensions with full knowledge of his history (in ''Alpha 3'', he vaguely refers to the events of ''MX'', while in ''Z'' [[spoiler:he laments the fate of the ''MX'' world, which is loosely implied to be set before ''Z'']]).
* The creators of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', after admitting they had forgotten a key fact about the eredar that was established in Warcraft III's [[AllThereInTheManual manual]], went on to say that they didn't care about continuity as much as making a good game and brushed off complaints about the changes made to the draenei. Eventually, fans learned to ignore this and some other minor [[RetCon retcons]].
** The draenei retcon was fairly minor in terms of effects to storyline (the draenei didn't have much involvement in it before), although it did retcon the background of Sargeras somewhat. To make matters confusing there are actually two new explanations for his corruption: one being the same as the old one but with the eredar replaced with demons in general, and the other being that he just came to perceive the universe as flawed, with no mention of demonic corruption. Nobody is quite sure which is canon, although the evidence would lean towards the latter one. Years later, demons in general are confirmed to pre-date Sargeras' corruption once again, though it varies by race. ''Warcraft Chronicle'' ended up complicating things even further by saying that ''neither'' explanation is really true. According to the new explanation, the true cause of his corruption was the horror of learning that a newly-introduced force called the Void Gods is trying to exterminate all life in the universe and that there's nothing that can be done to stop them.
** The real Snarl (which was thankfully sorted out) was the origin of Garona, a half-orc and a fairly important figure in lore. She originally had orc and human parentage, and was born before the orcs launched their first major invasion (originally there was quite a bit of time between the opening of the Dark Portal and the First War, during which the orcs mainly did small raids on the human settlements nearby the Portal). However when the First War was retconned to have happened almost immediately after the opening of the Portal, there was no way for her to be half-human. Then she was half-draenei, a human-like race from Draenor. Then the draenei were ugly creatures that looked in no way human. Then the draenei were mutant human-like creatures. The the un-mutated draenei were non-demonic eredar (see above). Her parentage went unexplained for years and for some time it seemed that she was simply going to be erased from continuity, but she was finally given a new origin, making her a product of the warlock Gul'dan's experiments that involved breeding draenei prisoners with orcs, and then making them grow rapidly into maturity with magic.
** Blizzard introduced a new one with their whole "There must always be a Lich King" thing, although they still have time to justify it. The idea is that if no one takes over the job as Lich King, then the Scourge will overrun the world and destroy everything. There's two problems with that. One: There can't be that many Scourge left, since we've fought and destroyed them all the way to the Lich King's very doorstep. Two: We've already seen what happened when the Lich King loses power without a successor, it was the ''entire plot'' of the Warcraft III expansion, the Frozen Throne. The Lich King was dying due to a spell that Illidan cast, but he was interrupted before he could finish. As Arthas rushed over to Northrend to take over, the Scourge did ''not'' overrun the world. In fact, they started to become the Forsaken, who are supposed to have their minds back. Thus, if we assume that the new revelation is true, it not only makes Illidan look like a big fool (even bigger than the heroes who trusted Maiev), it implies that the Forsaken are an evil more dangerous than the Scourge. Although the Wrathgate event and subsequent invasion of Undercity make this a very good possibility, the Forsaken are a playable race and it seems doubtful that the game will ever truly confront or resolve this problem. Even so, not all Forsaken are evil, and the evil ones are not unstoppable (just a playable race, and full of plot armor).
*** The leading fan theory is that it might actually have to do with the Elder/Old Gods, which the Nerubians used basically live over, and the Lich King might technically be accidentally keeping it sealed. Scourge boosted by the power of Eldritch Abominations might be... bad. Very Bad. Considering that Yogg-Saron, god of death, very loudly screams about how the Lich King is trying to usurp his throne, this seems like the most likely explanation. Note that Yoggy was still sealed when the Forsaken were freed, which explains why they kept their minds instead of being re-enslaved by him.
*** However, WordOfGod during an Ask Creative Development Q&A says that the "There must always be a Lich King" statements should be taken at face value. No Old Gods, no Ner'zhul speaking through trusted ghosts... just a need for a new Lich King, with the added bonus that Arthas or Ner'zhul could have unleashed the Scourge and ravages Azeroth without the undead being feral. Arthas likely held them back to corrupt people to maintain his pride (to show that his failings were normal). Why not Ner'zhul? No idea. Probably to buy time to escape the Legion's control.
** Blizzard lampshaded their tendency to do this with the Well of Eternity dungeon, which revisits a previously established moment in Warcraft lore using time travel. Defeating the last boss under the wrong circumstances grants the achievement "That's Not Canon!" with an angry face as the icon.
** Previous lore stated that the only life on Azeroth before the Titans came were the elementals, and the Old Gods that they worshiped, both of which were imprisoned by the Titans before they shaped the world. At some point, the Earthen were exposed to the Old Gods, which turned them into mortal dwarves. Now, a titan computer known as the Tribunal of Ages says that during the shaping by the earthen the Old Gods came to Azeroth and corrupted it, including using the Curse of Flesh, followed by the titans coming. Supplemental materials say that other life existed before the titans came, including trolls, the evil insectoid races, and the faceless ones. Also (as a sub-snarl that is pointed out by the source) the tauren, but before their creator Ancient (the Bull Ancient) could have existed (no Emerald Dream/nature to be spawned from). The Klaxxi confirm that the insectoids (the aqir) were around before the titans, when previously it was just the elementals.
** The recently released ''Warcraft Chronicle'' was written to clarify a lot of the Snarl, especially ones related to the Titans/Old Gods, which include writing off the Tribunal of Ages as a [[UnreliableNarrator forgery]] and giving all life on Azeroth a titanic origin.
* The continuity of the ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' titles can in fact be taken as all games being in the same universe, despite great differences between the first 3 games (actually 2, but one is a two-parter) and the newer 2. This is because both games in the aforementioned two-parter, ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', end with a massive CosmicRetcon, the second of which may have reset everything from [[VideoGame/{{Persona}} the first game]] as well. [[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} The third]] also tries to end itself by retconning out it's own existence, but this time, the protagonists see through it (though it is still a DownerEnding). This is made even more confusing by the fact that the later games make several {{Shout Out}}s to the earlier games in the forms of former playable characters being mentioned on TV or by other characters. In addition, the nature of the enemies and of the Personas which the game is named for do not remain consistent, with the first two games featuring demons from the main series, while the latter two feature shadows born of the human psyche, which is what Personas from the first two games were. Even the portrayal of shadows is inconsistent in the newer games, which [[WordOfGod definitely]] share the same universe, as P3 has artificially made shadows, where as P4 has more "natural" shadows.
** There isn't really that much inconsistency; the only artificial shadows are the Full Moon bosses and Strega's Personae. While it is true that the bulk of the shadows in 3 are tiny fractions of Nyx's essence while in 4 they are reflections of human emotions and thoughts, Nyx (Mankind's subconscious wish for death or an escape from pain) herself, along with [[spoiler: Metis (Aigis' loneliness) and the Embodiment of Despair (The despair felt by SEES on the protagonist's death)]] have their ultimate origins as reflections of emotions just like in 4. Of course, 4 also has [[spoiler: Izanami]]; who doesn't appear to have either of them as her origin.
** According to this surprisingly obscure [[http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=1&cId=3172364 interview]] with ''Persona 4'''s staff, the games ''do'' all take place in the same verse.
** ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' directly contradicts ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' with the characters’ choices of Personas. All of the ''Persona 4'' characters are stuck with their Initial Personas. The game reference Chie and Yosuke’s completed Social Links (meaning they should have their Ultimate Personas) but they have their first ones and too little time has passed for them to have regressed. Teddie is the most glaring example as his Star Social Link is one of three that levels up automatically in ''Persona 4'' and must be completed in order to reach the True Ending (which Arena explicitly follows). Even more confusing is Aigis, who has Pallas Athena even though in The Answer [[spoiler: Aigis inherits the MC’s Wild Card and Pallas Athena is changed into Orpheus. The Answer is clearly canon because Erebus appears in Elizabeth’s story and Aigis still possesses the Wild Card. It is unlikely that Aigis was able to re-fuse Pallas Athena since Igor tells Aigis that she has the access to the same number of Personas through the Wild Card as the MC did]].
** For [=P4U/P4A=], it should be noted that the Personas all use skills they would have at high levels, and unlike the P3 Ultimate Personas, the P4 Ultimate Personas only had increased stats (until [=P4G=]). As for the universe, [[AllThereInTheManual Persona Magazine]], which was published sometime after the 1up interview, often ignores P1/P2 continuity and refers to the current Persona-verse as 'the P3/P4 world', and given that P1/P2 and P3/P4 outright contradict each other several times over, it's possible we're heading for a retcon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' has launched two spinoffs, two fighting game crossover sequels and one an UpdatedRerelease, which together excise the original from continuity. The crux of the matter is the character Marie, who was introduced in ''VideoGame/Persona4TheGolden'', aforementioned rerelease. As she is not present in the original, it throws the question of which version is canonical. ''VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth'' and ''VideoGame/Persona4ArenaUltimax'' both include the character and are considered canonical by WordOfGod. Though these clarifications do help remove most of the snarl, it requires that the original game that spawned the franchise break the canon it originally established.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'''s canon policy that "new > old" naturally results in a lot of these.
** The universe can't make up its mind on whether there was a single "[[ChildSoldiers class]]" of [[SuperSoldier Spartan-IIs]] or more. The various writers have changed the answer to that question more than ''nine times'', which is summed up at [[http://xbox.answers.wikia.com/wiki/Was_there_a_second_class_of_Spartan-IIs this Wikia Wikianswers page]].
** ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach'' established a very precise timeline for the titular battle. And then ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' came along and ruthlessly snarled it up, so much so that the timeline issues ''still'' haven't fully resolved despite ThreeFourThreeIndustries' best efforts.
** Forerunner/Flood-related lore is rife with this, even though ''Literature/TheForerunnerSaga'' made a pretty decent effort to reconcile Creator/{{Bungie}}'s and Creator/ThreeFourThreeIndustries' respective portrayals, with the canon explanation being that any information that gets retconned away had come from an UnreliableNarrator or [[UnreliableExpositor Expositor]]. Most notably, early lore strongly implied that humans were the Forerunners' direct descendants, before later media changed them into two separate but probably-related species. Other examples included the vastly different portrayals of [[spoiler:the Didact]] (which were only reconciled by revealing there were ''two'' of him), the revelation that most Forerunners actually disliked humanity despite previous media establishing the latter as the designated "Reclaimers" to the former's legacy, the shifting timeline of when the Forerunners first became aware of the Flood, and whether the motivations of ancient humanity's attempt to conquer Forerunner worlds leaned towards those of InvadingRefugees merely seeking to replace colonies lost to the Flood or those of [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]] trying to halt the Flood's spread.
** See also ''Film/HaloNightfall'' under Film.
* ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter Alpha 2]]'' basically treated the SNES ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' sequel, ''Final Fight 2'', as if it never happened. They did so by introducing Zeku as Guy's Bushin Ryu predecessor, ignoring the fact that Genryusai from ''Final Fight 2'' was precisely introduced to fill that role. The ''Alpha'' series continued with no reference to Genryusai's existence until Maki, Genryusai's daughter and a fellow Bushin apprentice, was introduced to the portable versions of ''Alpha 3'', where she was Zeku's other student. The developers didn't bother to explain where Genryusai fits in within the Bushin Ryu hierarchy, but some fans believe that Zeku was actually Genryusai's student.
* While early Pokémon games' differences between "Generation" versions are mostly aesthetic, later years significantly change the plot and in ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'''s case, who the main antagonist is. Then there's whether the pre-Game Boy Advance era games are canon, or if only the [[VideoGameRemake remakes]] are.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' has even ''more'' differences between the two versions than previous games, although it is implied that both versions take place in parallel dimensions of each other that are able to interact with each other (Trading, Player battles and the Entralink).
** Continuity in Pokemon games is usually thought of as being based on how the Pokémon themselves are traded from game to game, but this can get a bit confusing when you factor in VideoGame/PokemonColosseum and its sequel, ''VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness''. The latter takes place five years after the former, but both games are only compatible with the GBA games, which are assumed to take place at the same time. The DS games (the Sinnoh-based games and Johto-based remakes) take place three years after the GBA games (the Hoenn-based games and Kanto-based remakes).
** This gets even more pear-shaped if you decide to consider the spin-off titles. Depending on the title in question, it can be canon with the main games (Pokémon Snap and Ranger) or it exists in completely different continuities (The Mystery Dungeon, The Trading Card video game, ''VideoGame/HeyYouPikachu'' and its spin-offs etc.)
** ''[[VideoGameRemake Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire]]'' can't seem to decide where they fall in the continuity. On the one hand, they're explicitly stated to take place before ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', which would put them at the same time as the originals (parallel to the Kanto games). However, there are a lot of [[MythologyGag Mythology Gags]] to the original ''Ruby and Sapphire'', which explicitly point out a ten-year gap. (Such as an NPC mentioning how Pokemon Centers had a second floor 10 years ago) Some believe they imply a ContinuityReboot for the entire series, with the existance of Mega Evolution as the [[ForWantOfANail nail]].
*** To make it worse, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have the Battle Resort, in which it is implied that the Battle Frontier is planned to be built. Thus it should take place before Emerald, where there is a Battle Frontier on the same island.
*** The postgame segment also all but states that the remakes take place in an alternate timeline from the originals, and that the portal the scientists were planning to send the meteor through would have sent it to universe containing the original games.
* The Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} has an interesting approach to continuity snarls.
** The first comes into place with Kagetsu Tohya, a sequel for ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}''. Kagetsu Tohya takes place in a dream world where the continuity is heavily blended and mutually conflicting events all take place together. For example, whether or not Akiha goes to Shiki's school depends on what he is thinking that morning. However, it should be impossible for this to be possible at all because the story is based around Len, and there is no route in ''Tsukihime'' where Shiki meets Len (Arcueid's familiar at the time) while Akiha goes to school with him. The continuity snarl occasionally confuses Shiki as well, but he's prevented from really thinking about it by Len.
** An equally weird example makes up the plot of ''VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia'', which blends the timeline for ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. The nature of FSN means that almost the entire cast ''has'' to be killed off before the end, but they're all okay again in FHA. Characters who died in all three routes are back. [[spoiler:The reason for this is because Tohsaka accidentally merged a large number of continuities together, both ones we saw and ones we did not. Thus while Lancer was always killed, there was a continuity somewhere where he didn't. Like the above example, dream worlds come into it somehow, but since it hasn't been fully translated it's not quite clear how it works out exactly.]]
** Finally, Ryougi Shiki appears in ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'' despite word of god stating that she and Tohno Shiki do not share a universe because the odds of two people having the Mystis Eyes of Death Perception at any given time make it impossible. Nobody seems to have had the eyes for several thousand years, meaning the odds of having them manifest are at probably trillions to one. ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'' has other issues than this, however. Satsuki is alive and a vampire, Arcueid is still around but not all yandere-y, Kohaku's route appears to have been partially resolved, Vermillion Akiha etc.
*** At least in Ryougi's case, she is explicitly stated to come from a different universe, as ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' is set in an alternate reality from ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' and ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' may only be a 2-game series, but it has one thing it can't agree with itself on. ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'' introduces a Akuro, who is the BigBad of the game. Now, dialogue when he's introduced heavily implies that he is the successor of the previous game's BigBad, Yami. But later, the Knowing Jewel claims that he merely used Yami as a vessel. Keep in mind that Akuro didn't exist in the first game, and that both of these versions of what Akuro is come from the ''same game!'' Jeez!
* ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' has this, much to the ire of some of the community.
** In Generation 11, you're told that the Shadow Realm was created [[spoiler: out of the grief of Price Tuan]]. Cichol reveals in Generation 16 that [[spoiler: it's the fault of the Soul Stream]]. The Soul Stream is also responsible [[spoiler: for the desolation of Metus and the Beach of Scathach]].
** Cichol also says that [[spoiler: the desolation of Another World was also caused by the Soul Stream]]. Upon arriving to Another World in Generation 1, under the pretense that you're going to the fabled paradise of Tir Na Nog, Dougal ([[AndIMustScream the only one there]]) tells you that it is another world destroyed by the Fomors.
*** FridgeLogic is also demonstrated here. You're told before you head for Another World that [[spoiler: Nao can't help you there (pretty much saying that you can't be revived by her) because Another World is outside of Erinn's Soul Stream (where she resides)]]. ''How is it, then, that a Soul Stream of one world would affect another that's not under the aforementioned Soul Stream?''
** In Generation 4-8, you learn that the Elves and Giants are [[spoiler: beings cursed by Irinid (Neamhain) herself]]. As per the renewal of Chapter 1, Elves and Giants can now participate in the quests in order to obtain their transformations instead of doing the string of quests they originally had in order to obtain their transformations (which were actually removed). Most of the focus of becoming the [[SuperMode Paladin]] was on making the actual armor to go on the journey to obtain the spirit that will enable the Milletian to become the Paladin at will (with a time limit). When the Milletian actually does transform, they wear the armor that they journeyed to create. Elves and Giants ''do not''. They still become the Falcon (if you're an Elf) or the Savage Beast (if you're a Giant). In addition, the skills respectively are still called "Fury of Connous" and "Daemon of Physis", respectively. [[FridgeLogic One begins to wonder why Morrighan would send beings cursed by her sister to get blessed behind said sister's back, and how they just happen to transform differently from the humans.]]
* As new teams were signed by Creator/{{Konami}} to work on new Franchise/SilentHill entries, the nature and inner workings of the nightmare, as well as mythology behind the titular town, changed considerably.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' cause one within ''itself'' when they [[NamedByTheAdaptation decided to give]] ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'''s corrupt S.W.A.T. officer Branden a first name: his bio in the game proper is listed as "Howard", but according to a radio transmission the player can listen to on the Cryptographic Sequencer in the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, his first name is "Scott".
* ''Franchise/TheSims'' has suffered more and more continuity errors with each new installment of the game.
** Between ''VideoGame/TheSims1'' and ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', Michael Bachelor was revealed as Bella Goth's brother, and apparently switched birth order: he was fresh out of college in the first game, while Bella was married and had a child; but in the second game, he appears on the family tree as older than Bella and his ghost shows that he died of old age.
** In Strangetown, Lola and Chloe Singles are shown as twins in one of the family photo albums, but are several days apart in age.
** In Veronaville, the birth order of the Capps is notoriously confused. While Cordelia is named by her father's memories as his youngest child, the family tree names her as oldest. A generation down, the family tree, Consort Capp's memories, and the memories of the siblings themselves place the birth order of Cordelia's children as going either Juliette, Tybalt, Hermia; Tybalt, Juliette, Hermia; or Juliette, Hermia, Tybalt. On the other side of the family feud, Bianca Monty is shown in the family tree to be older than Antonio and Claudio, but Antonio starts off older than Bianca. Isabella Monty also has no memories of the births of her children.
** Between ''VideoGame/TheSims2'' and ''VideoGame/TheSims3'', Kaylynn Langerak went from being much younger than Mortimer and Bella Goth to being slightly older than them. Additionally, Mortimer went from being apparently older than Bella to being exactly the same age as Bella.
** ''VideoGame/TheSims4'' pulls an outright {{Retcon}} on the backstory of the Caliente sisters, turning their mother from Nighat Caliente, who died when they were children, to Katrina Caliente, who is raising them as a single mother. Additionally, the devs have stated that [[TheCasanova Don Lothario]] has a crush on Katrina Caliente, which means that between games he became older than the Caliente sisters, who were exactly his age in Sims 2.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' originally started off as a direct sequel to the events of [=MSX2=] games ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' with a few slight retcons, but as the series went on the retcons started piling up. Most notably with ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', which contradicted most of the backstory that was established in ''Metal Gear 2'', specifically Big Boss's military history prior to the MSX games (including the moment when he lost his eye) and his age (previous games established he was born during the 1920s, when he wasn't even 30 yet in 1964).
* There are several inconsistencies across the ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' series, although most players pay so little attention to the story that they won't realise it.
** It is said that Mephisto, along with Baal, was originally captured in the desert near Lut Gholein, and later moved to Kurast. In the ''Diablo III'' timeline it says: Mephisto is captured near the jungles of Kehjistan.
** It is said that the Ancients are the spirits of the Nephalem, the Ancient Ones. But the Arreat Summit (the official DII webpage) says that they were barbarians chosen by the Ancients.
** The writings of Abd al-Hazir say that the Tristram Cathedral was built around 912 over the vault where Diablo was imprisoned, but Diablo hadn't even been exiled to Sanctuary at that time.
** The ''Diablo 1'' manual says that after their exile the Three Brothers ravaged the lands of the Far East for countless centuries, but in the game it is stated that they did so for decades. In the current timeline 50 years pass between their exile and capture.
** Before he came to Khanduras Leoric was originally a northern lord, this has been changed to an eastern lord.
** In the ''Sin War'' [[ExpandedUniverse trilogy of novels]] the robes of the order of Dialon are azure, they should be crimson. While the robes of the order of Mephis should be azure instead of black. (To match the color of their Soulstone)
** There are many errors in ''Scales of the Serpent'', where the statue of Dialon has a hammer instead of tablets and where the one of Bala has tablets instead of a hammer.
** In ''Scales of the Serpent'', the high priest of Dialon is named Arihan and is said to have had his title for a long time, but in ''Birthright'' all the high priests are named (Malic, Herodius and Balthazar) and Arihan isn't part of them.
** Abd al-Hazir mention that Zoltun Kulle was a Vizjerei mage and as evidence cites the Demonicus de Zoltun Kulle. In the Book of Cain, Cain suspect Zoltun was a Ennead mage.
** There's even something of a continuity snarl between Diablo II Classic and Lord of Destruction. The cinematics of Diablo II Classic say that Diablo was defeated for a while (long enough for the news to reach Marius, at least) before Baal found Marius, took his Soulstone back, and burned the asylum down. But in Lord of Destruction, Tyrael says that while the hero was fighting in hell, i.e. ''before'' Diablo was defeated, Baal had been rallying his army and launching his assault on Mount Arreat, and had already taken over all but one of the barbarian strongholds; and Baal had already recovered his Soulstone by the time he had taken over Sescheron in the opening cinematic in Lord of Destruction. So... did Baal get his Soulstone back before or after Diablo was defeated? [[spoiler: The [[http://diablo.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline official timeline]] rectifies this snarl: Diablo was defeated in late 1264, and Baal began his assault on Mount Arreat in early 1265, retconning Tyrael's statement and undoing the retcon on Marius' story.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' has given fans attempting to construct a coherent timeline for the franchise many headaches. Especially for the spin-offs, which are usually dated as "X years since the war against the Bacterions" when there have been no fewer than ''six'' such wars. And that's not even counting trying to incorporate the ''VideoGame/{{Otomedius}}'' spin-offs into the primary timeline (the franchise is unclear as to whether or not ''Otomedius'' is an AlternateContinuity).
* ''Franchise/TalesSeries'': Demons are... Drastically different between ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' and ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', and ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' does not help matters despite being an attempt at reconciling any inconsistencies between the two games but managed to bungle this point further. The game flat out stating demons are allergic to mana... Despite the presence of several demonic spirits in ''Phantasia'', which are ''made'' of mana as a rule. Demons are also neutral at worst in Phantasia, willing to help save the world provided they are approached with the right pact ring like any other spirit, whereas in both Symphonia games they are implied to be an AlwaysChaoticEvil race.
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys4'' has two. First this is the game that shows [[spoiler: the Bite of '87]] and so should take place in 1987, but there are also hints that it takes place in 1983 instead. The second revolves around The Puppet - an animatronic responsible for most of the other animatronics in the series been haunted. The fourth game implies that the ghost that haunts The Puppet is [[spoiler: the victim of the Bite of '87]] but The Puppet is active in ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys2'' which seems to take place just before [[spoiler: the Bite]]. Then again, see the first point about when the fourth game is set.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' is set 40 years after the ''ComicBook/TalesOfTheJedi'' comics, yet have very little to do with them, to the point where Jolee Bindo would have married his secret wife during a period where open marriage in the Jedi Order was common.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}''' rolling {{Retcon}} (repeatedly sequentially updating older chapters with new art and story) causes chaos for many fans' understanding of the comic's backstory, and there are ongoing debates on the forums as to what formerly canon information is current canon and what isn't.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' parodies this trope with an actual entity called [[TropeNamers The Snarl]]; created when multiple Gods tried to create the universe and had disagreements about how things worked. The current FantasyKitchenSink of the setting was their way of avoiding this happening again.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Literature/WhateleyUniverse: Does the magic department offer introductory classes for people with no previous magical ability? In one story, a magically inclined member of the school board (who, presumably, would know) explicitly says no. And yet, Ayla will be studying magic for the first time in the spring.
** A partial answer now exists: You need to be able to gather the energies of Magic in some way to take the courses in Magic (and it's explicitly noted that there are (inefficient) ways a normal human can do so).
*** But that still doesn't really work - in ''There's an Angel in Dickenson Cottage'' Lodgerman explicitly tells Kerry that her brother can't come to Whateley despite his enormous magical potential because Whateley only trains students who can already use magic. Ayla can't do this, but is somehow getting enrolled in a Magic 101 course anyway. Lodgerman may be lying for some reason or another, of course, but it isn't addressed.
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is full of this. Strong Bad meets characters from [[ShowWithinAShow Shows Within The Show]] whom HE HIMSELF MADE UP.
* Any attempt to create a consistent origin for [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Dr. Insano]] creates an awful one of these, mostly because there is no effort made to keep things in the [[NegativeContinuity slightest consistent]]. The Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses site now features an [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/cr/ff/27514-dr-insano attempt to explain his existence]], which will probably be made inaccurate next time he shows up.
** Amusingly, Spoony's explanation for him is "There is no continuity, there is only Insano." Though he did say he was flattered that people cared enough to put forth the effort.
*** Later "explained" in ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' as [[spoiler:the effect of [[NegativeSpaceWedgie the Plot Hole]], along with any and all other plot holes in the site's continuity]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* For all that's said about the inconsistencies between the Unicron Trilogy of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' franchise (''[[Anime/TransformersArmada Armada]], [[Anime/TransformersEnergon Energon]]'' and ''[[Anime/TransformersCybertron Cybertron]]''), the ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' [[http://tfwiki.net/w2/images2/1/1d/Continuities.png timeline]] is even worse. It starts out with two distinct main branches, [[Comicbook/TheTransformers the original comic]] and [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers the animated series]], but then along comes ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' and ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'' that uses elements from both series simultaneously. Add that to the splintering off done by the ''Dreamwave'' ongoing series, and you just have to wonder how all of these things could possibly co-exist together.
** The aforementioned series? In Japan, ''Cybertron'' is called ''Galaxy Force'', and it appears it's unrelated to its Japanese predecessors, ''Micron Legend'' and ''Superlink.'' The US version tries to tie the three together, but there are still some problems, so a comic was produced that chalked all of this up to a big warp in time and space... even though some minor retcons and a few lines of explanation saying where the older characters might have gone to would have sufficed. Yeah, it wouldn't have been perfect, but come on, was it really necessary... especially since they've already let the original timeline rage out of control? Also, most people are fine with that comic not being canonized, because the warp in space is caused by the black hole in ''Cybertron,'' which formed when the Super Energon sun created to sustain all the restored planets at the end of ''Energon'' collapsed. Basically, it would have made ''Energon'' the worst ShootTheShaggyDog DownerEnding in the history of fiction... and opened ''new'' holes with the continued existence of Cybertron and Jungle Planet.
** What makes it worse is that it suffers from Xorneto syndrome (see the ''X-Men'' example) in that the right hand seems to not know what the left hand is doing. ''All'' of the Unicron Trilogy's continuity problems could be solved with the "black hole's effect on the multiverse makes Cybertron the ComicBook/PostCrisis version of TheVerse" statement (that comes from the aforementioned comic. Just stop before you get to the part that makes ''Evangelion'' look like HappilyEverAfter by comparison.) That didn't stop ''everyone'' with the ability to create official material from explaining their own pet peeve a different way, explaining some things that didn't need explaining, and making the bigger problems all the more glaring.
** Worse, the show itself mentions none of this, and we're left with plot holes big enough for Unicron to fly through, even a few that would have been changed by a few lines. Starscream's back, not brainwashed into being ultra-loyal and not remembering anything, but also not a NobleDemon, instead more, well, TheStarscream. Jetfire is now Australian. Wing Saber is now a hothead. Sideways is back and has a different origin and final plan and nobody remembers him. Mini-cons have a different origin (including Jolt, who was major in Armada, as Hot Shot's Mini-con partner.) The biggest example is this: when Optimus and Leobreaker first combine, everyone is in total and absolute shock at the impossible - robots combining - happening. ''Guess what the main gimmick of both ''Armada'' and ''Energon'' was?'' (Hint: In Japan, ''Energon'' was called ''Super '''Link.''''') All it would take is a "Hey, Hot Shot, it's been a while!" from Jolt and similar acknowledgements of changes, or ''not'' going on about how combining, which used to happen all the time, is a shocking thing that has never happened before, or ''not'' giving Jetfire a new voice actor and style out of the blue to either completely cure the problem or at least make it fit together much better.
*** Oh, it gets worse: Takara has now decided that ''Galaxy Force'' ''is'' in continuity with ''Micron Legend'' and ''Superlink'', just as ''Cybertron'' is in continuity with ''Armada'' and ''Energon''. It should be noted, however, that many characters in ''Galaxy Force'' do not share names with anyone in ''Micron Legend'' and ''Super Link, ''whereas ''Cybertron,'' in a manner similar to ''Robots in Disguise'', named many characters after familiar ones. This makes the Japanese Continuity Snarl and the American one ''different'' - sharing TheVerse doesn't make single characters out of the ''Micron Legend / Super Link'' characters and whoever in ''Galaxy Force'' they most resemble. (This puts some FridgeLogic in the Japanese version, now full of {{Expy}} characters that coexist. In America, there's one medic named Red Alert. In the old Japanese continuity, ''Micron Legend'''s Ratchet and ''Galaxy Force's'' First Aid don't get in each other's way continuity-wise. In the new version, two guys happen to have highly similar head designs and replacements for their missing left hands by ''dumb luck'' and no one comments on it. Numerous similar examples exist.)
** The [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:Japaneseflowchart.jpg Japanese G1 timeline]] also considers [[Film/{{Transformers}} the live-action film series]] and seemingly unconnected series ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'' as part of the original continuity. Try to make sense of THAT.
*** Oh, yeah, and ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''? That one that took place in the 22nd century, made the Autobots virtual celebrities on Earth, had a completely different style and design aesthetic, included superheroes, genetic experiments GoneHorriblyWrong, and robots being so commonplace that they were used to teach, and [[spoiler:ended with Megatron in chains and Starscream a dead traitor]]? In Japanese continuity, [[LogicBomb it's a prequel to the live-action film.]] [[LyingCreator Except that it isn't.]]
** Furthermore, some characters are "multiversal singularities", meaning that every incarnation of a certain character (like, say, The Fallen) is the same being, instead of just some alternate version. This leads to some headache inducing retcons among other things, and may have been part of the reason why Fun Publications did away with the concept in 2015.
** Sideways's whole ''existence'' is one of these. How bad is it? At TFWiki, many characters have a Disambiguation page (after all, think of how many unrelated incarnations of TF have an Optimus Prime?) Sideways is the only character whose disambig page has a "Fiction" section.
** Out-of-universe, first we have the RID 2001 toy, then the ''Armada'' toy which uses the same bio, reworded to add Minicons. Then the Armada character, an agent and ''offshoot'' of Unicron. Then the ''Cybertron'' character: same name, same gimmick, different revelation about who he is. These are considered to be the same guy, officially. Then the explanation of Cybertron's differences from the connected Armada series - Unicron exists in all dimensions and as such, all are affected by the black hole - better known as the ''Unicron Singularity.'' As "multiversal singularities," Primus, Unicron, and their direct creations exist in all dimensions as the same person. This would mean that Sideways can exist in multiple universes and seem to have a complete, differing history in each, but it's always still him and he'll always be Unicron's herald. The ''Animated'' ExpandedUniverse makes Animated Sideways and Movie Sideways maybe the same guy, and colors him like Armada Sideways… ''without'' anything beyond colors to say that he's also that one. Movie Sideways is cut in half and reappears in the next movie (the likes of which is no big feat for Armada Sideways, who can take many forms and whose true form seems to be energy that looks like multicolored television static), and his toy bios treat him as a manipulator like Armada and Cybertron Sideways, suggesting that he is Armada Sideways or at least just like him… but toy bios say a ''lot'' about movie characters that clashes with the movies, and a lot of movie Decepticons have the same or similar body types. Canon as it was understood at the time of the Unicron Trilogy would seem to make Armada Sideways the true identity of all the others, but there just kept not being any sign of that in later appearances - or any acknowledgement of different series existing in TheMultiverse in any television, film, or mainstream comic incarnation. Finally, they embraced the fact that sense cannot be made of it: the "Ask Vector Prime" column, where fans can ask things of the ancient TimeMaster and get in-character tongue-in-cheek answers, has Sideways take over for one installment when the question is asked - ''first'' he reminds us that [[UnreliableNarrator he's a lying liar who lies]], and tells us that all, some, or none of the past ideas of who he is are totally true… or not.
-->Sideways: "Everything you think you know about me was [[ConsummateLiar a lie told by me to confuse someone]], or [[WordOfGod conjecture from someone]] [[GodDoesNotOwnThisWorld who'd be in no position to know]]. So yeah, maybe I'm a [[Anime/TransformersArmada fragment of Unicron]], because maybe [[Anime/TransformersCybertron Planet X]] [[ExpandedUniverse used to]] [[ArcWelding BE Unicron]]. And maybe I'm [[Anime/TransformersArmada his avatar made manifest]] and untethered once he [[Anime/TransformersCybertron collapsed into a giant singularity]]. And maybe I'm from the Cybertronian Empire.[[note]]"Ask Vector Prime" gives a connection between Planet X and the Cybertronian Empire. Assuming you take Ask Vector Prime as canon at all.[[/note]] [[TheMerch And maybe]] [[FlavorText I'm just]] an [[Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise ordinary Autobot who went crazy]] from [[Anime/TransformersArmada Powerlinxing to the wrong Mini-Cons]]. Maybe I'm [[MultipleChoicePast all of those things, or none.]] And you know what the best part is? [[RiddleForTheAges You'll. Never. Know.]]
** The latest incarnation of the Transformers mythos is still neonatal (a couple of months old as of this writing), and it's ''already'' turning into a Continuity Snarl. According to the powers that be, the video game ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'', the novel ''[[Literature/TransformersExodus Exodus]]'', and the TV series ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' are all part of the same continuity. The problem is, the plots for ''Exodus'' and ''War for Cybertron'' are so disparate and contradictory as to be completely incompatible. Time will tell whether the ''Prime'' cartoon will make any attempt to address these discrepancies, or whether it will [[ShrugOfGod quietly sweep them under the rug and ignore them]], and [[MST3kMantra encourage the fans to do the same]]. ''War''[='=]s sequel ''VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron'' makes some attempts, though ''Prime''[='=]s sequel, the current ''[[WesternAnimation/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Robots in Disguise]]'' makes things worse as Bumblebee, Sideswipe, and Grimlock don't seem to recognize each other.
*** [[WordOfGod Later statements by Hasbro]] have clarified that ''War For Cybertron'', ''Exodus'', and ''Prime'' are part of the same continuity in the same way that the original Transformers cartoon and the Marvel, Dreamwave, and IDW comics are all part of the G1 continuity -- that is, they share similarities in aesthetics and characterization, but are not necessarily consistent with one another. The fandom generally uses the term "continuity '''family'''" to refer to such an arrangement, and this difference in terminology is part of the reason some fans continue to grumble about discrepancies in canon between the three works.
*** Even that doesn't satisfy all, just because ''War for Cybertron'' was ''so'' G1 Prequel-y (its cast is G1 characters and ''only'' G1 characters and their pre-Earth designs were largely based on ''The War Within,'' Dreamwave's G1 prequel.) and had nothing in common with ''Prime.'' However, they're working at fixing the problem via some ArcWelding: ''Prime'' writers ''are'' making references to it, and the second game in the series, ''Fall of Cybertron,'' is also looking more at ''Prime'' than at G1 when it comes to what events it's setting the stage for (though it's still using all G1 characters. Welcome back, Bruticus!) Also, ''Prime'' Shockwave looks very much like ''Fall of Cybertron'' Shockwave.
*** The Aligned continuity gained a new one when both ''The Art of Prime'' and ''The Covenant of Primus'' decided to address the dead Prime whose arm Megatron stole for his BadassTransplant in [[Recap/TransformersPrimeS2E21AlphaOmega "Alpha; Omega"]]. According to notes for Megatron's design in ''Art of Prime'', he stole it from Sentinel Zeta Prime, but according to ''The Covenant of Primus'', it came from the Liege Maximo, one of the original Thirteen. For what it's worth, Wiki/TFWikiDotNet has decided to go with the ''The Covenant of Primus'' explanation.
*** Speaking of "Sentinel Zeta Prime," ''he'' is an attempt to clean up a minor one. One source says the Prime before Optimus is Sentinel Prime and one says it's Zeta Prime, so Hasbro decided, "why not make them the same guy?"
* Played for laughs on ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' when Roger explains the background of a character he's made up for himself:
-->'''Roger:''' My name is Braff Zacklin. I was an international race car driver. One day, a baby carriage rolled out onto the track so I swerved into the retaining wall to avoid it. The car burst into flames, but the baby miraculously survived ... I was that baby.
-->'''Steve:''' That doesn't make any sense.
-->'''Roger:''' I'm Braff Zacklin!
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' begins to run into this during the third season. All of the episodes take place in AnachronicOrder, making their placement already difficult. Some even {{retcon}} the timeline for past episodes. For example, events in one episode took place in between the two prior season finales... and implied the second season finale took place before the first.
** It doesn't help that the series itself is retconning a fair amount of older series's, such as many of the ''[[Literature/RepublicCommandoSeries Republic Commando]]'' novels.
*** Thankfully, the ''Republic Commando'' novels [[AllThereInTheManual have been safely salvaged]].
** Not to mention killing off a Jedi Master in the middle of the Clone Wars who explicitly was still alive ''after'' the war ended.
** It doesn't help that Creator/GeorgeLucas has called the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' a parallel universe, so doesn't feel particularly beholden to upholding it.
** The continuity between episodes has been fixed. The show airs in syndication in a new and chronological order that starts a few weeks after the second life-action film in which Anakin got his scars and became a knight.
* ''WesternAnimation/CareBearsMovieIIANewGeneration'' does this to previous works in the ''Franchise/CareBears'' franchise, from having the Care Bear Cousins grow up with the rest of the Care Bears, instead of separately in ''WesternAnimation/TheCareBearsMovie''.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' where it shows all of the different versions of Crimson Chins there are from the different decades of comic books. They all have different appearances, attitudes and one was even banned (the "super edgy [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks 1985]]" one who [[SirSwearsALot swore excessively]]).
** Played straight in the series with its own continuity. The inclusion of Poof as a main cast member has brought up some confusion regarding his absence in the finale of the movie ''WesternAnimation/ChannelChasers''. Also, the addition of Sparky in Season Nine brings on more continuity issues, such as Sparky not being there on the end of ''WesternAnimation/ChannelChasers'' (the same contradiction happened with Poof) and he not being on the live-action movies - ''[[Film/AFairlyOddMovieGrowUpTimmyTurner A Fairly Odd Movie]]'' and ''Film/AFairlyOddChristmas'' - both taking place thirteen years after the events of the main series. In ''Film/{{A Fairly Odd Movie|GrowUpTimmyTurner}}'', there is even a scene in which Wanda states that Timmy doesn't have a dog.
** The biggest one occurs near the end of ''Film/AFairlyOddSummer'', in which [[spoiler:Timmy's HeroicSacrifice has caused him to [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence turn into a fairy]]]].
* Creator/JephLoeb has stated in several interviews that ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'' and ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' share the same universe as ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes''. As you can tell by the first episodes of both ''Ultimate'' and ''Assemble'', this would only work in heavy BroadStrokes. The most noticeable contradiction being the apparent age difference between [[ComicBook/ImmortalIronFist Iron Fist]] and ComicBook/{{Luke Cage|HeroForHire}} as seen in ''Ultimate Spider-Man'' and ''The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!'' and Comicbook/TheFalcon being a rookie in ''Assemble'' whereas he was already active in ''EMH''.
* Various Cartoon Network shows have been implied to be in the same Universe, perhaps most notably in WesternAnimation/{{The Grim Adventures Of|BillyAndMandy}} [[WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor The Kids Next Door]], but this simply can't be. All of these shows have had their own versions of SantaClaus appear who looks different from the other show. In addition, episodes of shows like ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' show NegativeContinuity like the entire ''Earth'' being destroyed or an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' where Mandy wishes everyone in the world to go away, which can't exist in the same place as shows like ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' which clearly have continuity.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLittleMermaid'' prequel TV series has a couple. In [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid the movie]] Sebastian barely knows Ariel and is assigned to watch over her after she misses the concert. In the TV series he's part of her TrueCompanions and they act as if they've known each other for years. Additionally Sebastian doesn't discover Ariel's grotto until the "Part of Your World" number - after he's only just been told to keep an eye on her. The TV series has him appearing in the grotto numerous times. Otherwise subverted with other details. Eric appears on the show a couple of times but Ariel never sees him, preserving the continuity of their first meeting in the movie. Likewise Ursula appears but is not defeated and does not interact too much with Ariel. ''Disney/TheLittleMermaidIII'' showed Flounder and Ariel meeting for the first time and portrayed Flounder as extroverted and daring. The TV series showed them meeting as children and Flounder is portrayed as timid (but brave when necessary) and cautious in every other media.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' chronology makes absolutely no sense simply going by the show, with multiple episodes set during a specific time of year appearing across three seasons... at which point it was revealed that a year had passed. Show staff have admitted that firm canon has never really been that important to them, though effort is made to keep everything relatively coherent such that one can HandWave it as AnachronicOrder. The books, show, comics and supplementary material also all have their own issues with each other if taken as one overall canon.
** The official WordOfGod line is that any supplementary material can be considered canon, unless the show contradicts it, in which case the show's canon wipes it out. But this still runs into trouble with the comics' "Siege of the Crystal Empire" arc, a massive battle with numerous villains over the show's history...at least the few that the poor writer tasked with putting it together was actually able to use given the show's love of reforming its villains. He even resorted to using Iron Will, a character previously presented as a bit rough around the edges but in no way a villain even in another comic issue.
* The Franchise/{{DCAU}} has a couple because of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'':
** In the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode, "Blasts from the Past, Part 1", Lois Lane makes a snarky remark, saying, "Yeah, and I'm Wonder Woman," which suggests that Wonder Woman was already active in the DCAU. In ''JL'', Diana is presented as a rookie and a newbie to Man's World.
** Likewise, the ''S: TAS'' episode "Apokolips... Now, Part 2" features Forager among the New Gods from New Genesis, yet in "Twilght" he's not yet among their numbers until the end of the episode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Trying to keep track of everything that happened after the death of [[UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat Alexander of Macedon (aka the Great)]] is almost impossible for anyone, even those with higher degrees in Classical History. The scale of the political maneuvering between his putative successors is too large to summarize. Suffice to say that one Classical Historian has described the carnage and politics between Macedon, Persia, the Ptolomaic Empire, and all the others, as a 'Macedonian Soap Opera'.
* Similar case can be made in tracing the outcome of the Mongol Horde. It doesn't help that the Mongols didn't have sophisticated writing system until they begin to be assimilated to the culture of the invaded peoples. It doesn't help even further that the Khans valued secrecy if not deliberate obfuscation-- where is the Tomb of Genghis Khan? Who was split from who?
* The UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses are sure to induce headaches in just about anyone studying them for the first time. The family trees are incredibly complicated (which is part of what started the whole mess, really), and the fact that the entire nobility seems to have been determined to choose from the same list of ten or so first names can make one dizzy after a while. For instance, Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, had several sons, the first two of which were Humphrey and Henry. ''Both sons married women named Margaret Beaufort''. (The sons' mother, by the way, was Anne Neville... '''but not''' the Anne Neville that married UsefulNotes/RichardIII. Totally different Anne Neville.)
* Likewise, if you're interested in Literature/{{Dracula}} enough to study UsefulNotes/VladTheImpaler, prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor when you see the preposterously chaotic history of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rulers_of_Wallachia Wallachian throne.]] Rulership of the principality sometimes changed hands multiple times in a single year, and some rulers had five or even six separate reigns to their name.
* Similarly, the Mexican Revolution. Once the United States got involved, it gets even more confusing because the [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHowardTaft Taft]] and [[UsefulNotes/WoodrowWilson Wilson]] administrations supported opposite sides of the conflict. And this is leaving out historiological debates over the whole mess.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleswig-Holstein_Question The Schleswig-Holstein Question.]] [[UsefulNotes/TheViscountPalmerston Lord Palmerston]] is said to have remarked of it, "Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business — the Prince Consort, who is dead, a German professor, who has gone mad, and I, who have forgotten all about it."
** As a result of a GambitPileup that's been going on for centuries.
* Any time a city has [[NamesTheSame two teams with the same name]] at different times, it can lead to this. A good example in the UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague: from 1971 to 1996 there was a team called Winnipeg Jets, which has since moved to Arizona as the Phoenix Coyotes (later on being the Arizona Coyotes in 2014). In 2012, the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Canada, where they were rechristened... Winnipeg Jets!
** Similarly, the [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA's]] Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002, and in 2013 the new owner decided to rechristen them New Orleans Pelicans to lose the ArtifactTitle (the name came from how in the American Revolution Charlotte was described as "a hornet's nest of rebellion") and get something that fit Louisiana. Then UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (which started play in 2004), said his team would get the Hornets name back in 2014. Though once the Charlotte Hornets were revived with the rename, they made sure to say that the NBA allowed the "new" team to share the pre-New Orleans history, like...
** The Cleveland Browns in [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague the NFL]]. The original team wanted to move to Baltimore, but the city of Cleveland won a lawsuit against the National Football League, in which while the team's roster and staff would move to Baltimore to become an "expansion team" known as the Baltimore Ravens, a new team would begin operating under the old Browns banner three years later. While the new Browns team was originally stocked with personnel in the way that expansion teams usually are, the NFL considers the Browns to be one continuous franchise that "suspended" operations for three years, retaining all the awards the team had won prior to the move.
** Then there's the UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague which had, for a number of years, one team called the Roughriders (one word) and another called the Rough Riders (two words). (This is because the CFL was formed by the merger of two smaller leagues, each of which had a team with that name at the time.) The Ottawa Rough Riders have long since shut down as a team, but the name could be reactivated if someone wanted to buy the right to it from the current owner. (A new Ottawa CFL team began play in 2014, but it's known as the Redblacks and has no particular connection to the former Rough Riders except being based in the same city.) The Saskatchewan Roughriders remain in the CFL.
** In Romanian [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball football\soccer]], CS Universitatea Craiova tries to reclaim the story of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Universitatea_Craiova another Universitatea Craiova]] that's currently in limbo due to financial problems, but the national association refuses to acknowledge that.
* In American college sports, there have been several examples of this phenomenon:
** In 1907, the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association was formed. In 1928, the conference split mostly along public/private school lines; both factions claimed the MVIAA name for a time. One faction eventually became known as the Big Six Conference, later the Big Seven and Big Eight. The other became the Missouri Valley Conference. The Big Eight merged with four schools from the disbanding Southwest Conference in 1996 to form today's Big 12 Conference, while the MVC operates to this day.[[note]]The Big 12 does not claim the history of the Big Eight, which means that only the MVC now has a claim to the MVIAA's old history.[[/note]]
** There have been two separate leagues known as the Big East Conference. The original was founded in 1979 as a basketball-first league. In 1991, it added football, and entered into two decades of turmoil, mostly involving the split between schools that played top-level football and those that didn't. The conference finally split along football lines in 2013. The seven schools that did not play FBS (top-level) football bought the "Big East" name, and joined with three other schools to form a new Big East Conference under a new charter. The FBS football schools that were left behind, plus other new members, retained the charter of the original Big East, but are now known as the American Athletic Conference.
** Speaking of the Missouri Valley Conference, it has been involved with an even more confusing example of this trope, one that also involves the conference now known as The Summit League.
*** In 1977, six schools in the Midwest formed the Mid-Continent Athletic Association, a football-only league, with play starting in 1978.
*** Then, in 1982, the Association of Mid-Continent Universities (the conference now known as The Summit League) took over the MCAA.
*** The MVC got involved in this snarl in the same year when its member schools formed the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, a separate though related league specifically for women's sports.
*** By this time, the MVC was operating a hybrid football league that contained teams both in Division I-A (today's FBS) and the second-tier Division I-AA (now known as FCS).
*** After the 1984 season, the MVC decided to drop football. Coming to the rescue... ''the Gateway''. Yes, the ''women's league''. It took on football as its only men's sport, absorbing both the MVC's I-AA programs and all of the Mid-Continent football teams.
*** In 1992, the MVC took over the Gateway, spinning the football conference off into a new entity which immediately renamed itself the Gateway Football Conference.
*** Finally, in 2008, the football league renamed itself the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Third_Century Crisis of the Third Century]] in Roman History is one to modern historians. Not only were there multiple civil wars and rival claimants for the throne (26 of them over a 50 year period), but the historical records we do have for the area contradict each other regarding when events happened. In some cases, it's unclear whether multiple battles took place at particular locations years apart, or whether there was only a single battle that's been recorded incorrectly.
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