When a work is being adapted, liberties with the original will have to be made. Due to time or length constraints, some things may have to be taken out. Someone being Adapted Out involves taking a character who was fairly important in the original story and cutting them out.
Could happen because of Adaptation Distillation
, in a Compressed Adaptation
or a Pragmatic Adaptation
. These characters would usually fall victim to the existence of a Composite Character
, with which there is often plenty of overlap. Another possibility is that maybe some aspects of the work may be saved for potential sequels
Related to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
, where a character vanishes without explanation from the original work. Compare Demoted to Extra
, where the character does appear but in a much less important role. Contrast Canon Foreigner
. If a character is cut from an adaptation of an ongoing work but then turns out to be extremely important later on
, this could result in an Adaptation Induced Plot Hole
Examples are listed in the original format of the media being adapted from as opposed to the medium they are being adapted to.
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Adapted from Anime and Manga
- Midori Days: The anime version is only 13 episodes long, whereas the manga is 85 chapters in all. Because of the difference in length, characters like Nao and her father, Shirou, were left out of the anime, along with Lucy.
- Krillin isn't in the live action adaptation Dragonball Evolution, even though Piccolo (who appeared much later than Krillin did) is.
- Minamoto Shizuna-sensei is absent from SHAFT's TV anime adaptation of Mahou Sensei Negima!, and Takahata-sensei pretty much takes over her parts in addition to his own.
- The direct manga adaptation of Code Geass cuts out the Knightmare Frames, which reduces the scale of the story overall by taking out a hefty chunk of the military aspect. Also removed are characters like Cornelia, who tied heavily into the military part of the anime.
- Nozomi is absent from the anime adaptation of Elfen Lied, despite being the reason the story is called Elfen Lied in the first place (it's a song she sings).
- Though he still appears in a supporting role, Toji is replaced by Asuka as the pilot of Eva Unit 03 in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. Gaghiel is also replaced by an unnamed, clock-like Angel.
- Due to the condensed nature of the movies, a lot of the Angels were either omitted or made into Composite Characters.
- Aoshi, the Oniwabanshuu, and the Hiruma brothers are all omitted from the live-action Rurouni Kenshin film due to pacing issues. Aoshi's role as Kanryu's bodyguard and Gohei Hiruma's role as the impostor Battōsai are both given to Jin-e.
- The second film will feature Aoshi and the Oniwabanshuu (at least Misao and Okina), alongside the Juppongatana.
- Sailor Moon:
- The following Sailor Guardians do not exist in The Nineties anime at all: Sailor Ceres, Sailor Pallas, Sailor Juno, Sailor Vesta, and Sailor Cosmos, albeit the first four still appear as characters, but never become Sailor Senshi.
- Several villains from the Manga's Shadow Galactica are also nonexistent in the anime's final season.
- Due to practical reasons, Luna, Artemis, and Diana are omitted from most of the Sera Myu musicals.
- Speedwagon, Jack the Ripper, Dire and Straizo were all removed from the movie adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The fan response was so negative that the movie has never been released on DVD, even in Japan.
- The 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime cut out a lot of the cast who were introduced partway into the series (the Xingese characters, the Briggs soldiers, etc.), in favour of introducing a bunch of Canon Foreigner and creating a Gecko Ending.
- The Video Game "Curse of the Crimson Elixir," which loosely adapted the first few chapters of the manga before beginning its original storyline, almost completely removed Shou Tucker from the game, instead treating him as a Posthumous Character as Ed and Al investigate his house just minutes after Scar has killed him.
- Hikari Gosunkugi, one of Akane's hopeless suitors, is largely absent during most of the Ranma ˝ anime and doesn't make an appearance until much later in the series. Until then, his role was usually given to Sasuke, a character original to the anime.
- The Bleach Musical was adapted for stage from Bleach but left out several important characters. The most important character they left out was Uryuu Ishida, who is so important to the story that the final arc wouldn't work at all if he wasn't in the story from the beginning.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A's left out Gil Graham and the Liese Twins, who were revealed to be behind the plot of the season. Metafictively speaking, this is because the movie is an in-universe adaptation of these events, and their roles in those events were classified.
- The Super Robot Wars franchise does this often, as a result of having to tell the plots of 10-20 different Humongous Mecha anime all at the same time, along with the Original Generation plotline. Oftentimes, characters from other anime will take up the abandoned roles, but this isn't always true.
- The recent Super Robot Wars OE reduces Gundam Wing and Gundam 00 to just their respective main characters, Heero and Setsuna, running around in their Gundams intervening in battles. The rest of their supporting cast, including their fellow Gundam pilots, are nowhere to be found.
- In Super Robot Wars Judgment, the entire "Devil Colony" arc, as its plot comes to a halt upon Master Asia's death. Similarly, Prime Minister Wong Yun-Fat (who was involved in the TV series' final arc that the final battle is based on) and Urube Ishikawa (whose role of manipulating Domon is partially done by Azrael) are given this.
- In the same game, the Muge Zorbados Empire does not exist in Judgment; instead, Shapiro defects to the Gradosians.
- This is something of a recurring problem for G Gundam in SRW. It never has much plot-inclusion and is mostly there to give the player some more Gundams to use. This is probably because most of the series is one long Tournament Arc, which would be tough to fit into the typical war story narrative of an SRW game.
- In Shin Super Robot Wars, the other Shuffle Alliance members are not in the game entirely. Since Gundam Wing was still airing when the game was released, Heero and Zechs were the only characters in the game.
- The NES adaptation of the Strider manga omitted a few characters most notably Yuri (who serves as The Dragon to the Big Bad) and the Director, who created the Mind Control Weapon that's the focal point of the entire plot.
- The "Sanctuary Chapter" OVA adaptation of the Hades saga in Saint Seiya removed Harpy Valentine and Radamanthys' Praetorian Guard from the final chapters. This is specially notable for Valentine, who returns much later in the 2nd "Inferno Chapter" OV As and references a meeting with Seiya that never happened...
- In the anime adaptation of Trinity Blood, many characters from the novels (such as some members from the Vatican and Rosenkreuz Orden) do not appear while some have their roles reduced though some of them do appear in the manga.
- The anime adaptation of Berserk cut out the character Donovan, a mercenary who raped Guts as a child, despite a fair amount of time being devoted to Guts's childhood. This event would lead to Guts's extreme aversion to being touched, which while not completely out of character for him, does seem a bit odd without an explanation.
- The Mobile Suit Gundam novelizations, supposedly being what Yoshiyuki Tomino wanted the series to be before his sponsors got through with it, has pretty much the entire original cast of characters, and even a few new ones, but pares the Humongous Mecha roster down to the bare essentials. The Zeons only ever use the iconic Zaku and Dom mobile suits, and a few variants thereof, as well as the telepathically controlled non-humanoid mobile armors Brau Bro and Elmeth (which gets a limited production run unlike in the series) and the massive Big Zam (which does not). The Federation gets off considerably easier, with only the rather silly looking Guntank being cut, but then they never had very many mobile suits in the original series to begin with. It also adds the G3 Gundam from the MSV series, but that's not much considering it's only a repaint of the original.
- Neither September Neun nor August Acht made their appearances in the anime of Senyuu.
Adapted from Comic Books
- The 1978 cartoon adaptation of the Fantastic Four entirely dispensed with Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch, and substituted Herbie the Robot, due to The Human Torch's rights not being available as they had been negotiated separately and were with a different company. The reason was not, as is often mentioned, due to worries that children might set themselves on fire trying to imitate the Torch.
- Tim Burton's Batman had The Joker as the killer of Bruce Wayne's parents, rather than Joe Chill, the man who shot them in the original comic books. Though the other crook may be Joe Chill himself.
- Batman Forever has Dick Grayson's family murdered by Two-Face, rather than Tony Zucco. Much like with Jason Todd.
- Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man is absent in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series. (save for one appearance in an Alternate Universe).
- With Peter Parker's high-school years compressed into the first third of Spider-Man, you could argue that most of the villains Spider-Man fought in his early years were adapted out of Sam Raimi's trilogy, for instance Electro, Mysterio, the Vulture, Kraven, and the Kingpin. Also a number of supporting characters, e. g. Mary Jane takes over Liz Allan's role at Midtown High, while her Aunt Anna is replaced by her parents. Joe Robertson's son Randy (who went to college with Peter) and Bugle staffers Frederick Foswell and Ned Leeds also drop by the wayside, and Flash Thompson, who eventually became Peter's friend in the comics, drops from sight after Peter's high-school graduation in the films.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man had Walter Hardy, the father of Black Cat, as Uncle Ben's killer. In the original comics and most other adaptations, Ben's killer was just a generic burglar.
- Hawkeye is absent from both Ultimate Avengers movies, despite being a major character in The Ultimates, the series the films were inspired by.
- Ant-Man and The Wasp were left out of The Avengers and had their spots as founders taken by Hawkeye and Black Widow. Joss Whedon tried to include Wasp as part of the team, but had to write her out of the script.
- Logan's childhood friend Rose was omitted from his back story in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and much of her role in the plot was given to Sabretooth. As was Dog, Logan's half-brother.
- The BBC's radio adaptation of Tintin adventures Destination Moon and Explorers On The Moon omit Thomson and Thompson. Consequently, Jorgen is solely responsible for the oxygen being used up too fast on the rocket.
- The character of Mort (one of Basin City's few honest cops) was written out of the cinema version of Sin City. In the comics, Mort is the own who picks Hartigan up outside the prison. In the movie, this was done by Bob. (The extended version still includes a scene where Mort visits Hartigan in hospital.)
- Though he does appear near the end of the film, Nick Fury is replaced by Captain America as the leader of the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger. This is likely due to the fact that Fury apparently does not possess his comic counterpart's slowed aging in the movies, and thus would be too young to be a veteran of World War 2. The fact that Fury is black in the movies might also have complicated things given the institutionalized racism a black soldier would've faced in the 40's.
- Baron Zemo is replaced by one of Arnim Zola's HYDRA mooks as the killer of Bucky Barnes.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier revealed that The Falcon's winged flight suit was commissioned by the U.S. military, with supplementary material clarifying that the military ordered it from Stark Industries. This is in contrast to the comics, where the Falcon's wing suit was created by Black Panther.
- Iron Man used the short-lived Force Works team from the comics, but replaced U.S. Agent with Hawkeye for some unknown reason.
- Every live-action depiction of The Incredible Hulk omits Rick Jones, despite that character being an intrinsic element to his backstory and setting Bruce Banner up as a heroic figure willing to risk his life to save another. Interestingly, Ang Lee's film used a character for the same general purpose, but didn't go all the way and actually name him Jones. Likewise, the real creator of the Hulk, commie spy Igor Drenkov - who Banner told to stop the countdown but didn't - doesn't appear in adaptations with the exception of The Marvel Superheroes, a Motion Comic which used the original comic book panels.
- In the original Spawn comics, Al Simmons was killed by Chapel, a character from Rob Liefeld's Youngblood series. Rights issues made it impossible for Chapel to appear in the movie, so the character Jessica Priest was created as a replacement.
- In the X-Men comic books, Magneto had an infant daughter named Anya, whose death was a major contributing factor to his fall from grace. Both Anya and her mother, Magda, are omitted from X-Men: First Class, which instead presents a missile attack from the U.S. government as the final reason Magneto turns to villainy.
- In the comics, Professor Xavier was crippled by an alien named Lucifer. In the movie, he's accidentally crippled by Magneto.
- The New Batman Adventures, Young Justice, and any other adaptation featuring Nightwing ignore Superman's role in the character's originnote . It's especially noticeable since the Nightwing identity dates back to Krypton!
- Although Young Justice doesn't show how Dick adopted the Nightwing persona, since it occurs some point during a five year Time Skip. It's still possible that Superman was involved. When asked, producer Greg Weisman admitted that they hadn't worked out all the details of how Dick chose the name "Nightwing."
- Similarly, in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Dick's becoming Nightwing is literally just Batman suggesting the name out of the blue.
- Jason Todd, the second Robin, was completely skipped over in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Chunks of his origin were also given to Tim Drake, who replaced him as Batman's new partner in the show.
- Wonder Girl was the only founding member of the Teen Titans not to appear in the animated series. This was due to the infamously convoluted rights issues regarding the Wonder Woman franchise.
- Likewise, the original Wonder Girl, Donna Troy, is the only founding Titan not to appear in Young Justice due to legal issues, though her successor Cassie joins the team in the second season. Word of God also says that Donna was a member of the team during the five year Time Skip but had left by the time of the second season.
- The Silver Age Atom, Ray Palmer, retired and passed the mantle to Ryan Choi after his ex-wife Jean Loring murdered Sue Dibny during Identity Crisis. In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Palmer simply retired from crime-fighting so that he could focus on his research.
- The character of Lisa Miller is absent from the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim, although she does appear in the animated short. Also, Wallace's boyfriend Mobile never appears in the film. While he doesn't affect the plot much directly, he does spark a fairly important subplot where Wallace decides to move in with him, leaving Scott without a place to live until he takes the plunge and moves in with Ramona. The closest the film comes to this is Wallace telling Scott to move out for no particular reason, and then never bringing it up again.
- The giant squid monster is removed, yet the backstory about its creation still seems to exist.
- Bernard and Bernie, the newspaper seller and the kid who hangs around his stand, don't appear except during the big explosion which wipes them out, making you wonder who they are. Though they are put back in the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition, the rest of the cast of their B-plot still either on't show up much, or are cut out entirely (as with Joey and Aline, the feuding lesbian couple).
- Dr. Long, Rorschach's prison psychiatrist, has his role cut down significantly due to time purposes. Thus, his wife and her subplot of leaving him were dropped. Rorschach's land-lady and her kids also went missing.
- Ozymandias originally had three Vietnamese servants, who would later die from him drugging their wine.
- In the comic there is a flashback where a little-seen costumed vigilante named Captain Metropolis calls together a meeting to form a group called Crimebusters. In the film, this role is given to Ozymandias, and the group's name is Watchmen. As a side note, the comic carefully avoided ever using that particular name about any group.
- Tim Drake, Onyx, and all mentions of Stephanie Brown are cut from Batman: Under the Red Hood. This was likely due to the characters and references not being familiar with anyone but existing comic book readers.
- In the DCAU, Hal Jordan was never a Green Lantern, and his origin was instead given to Kyle Rayner. Hal and Aquaman were also replaced by John Stewart and Hawkgirl as founding members of the Justice League, though Aquaman did make guest appearances from time to time.
- Hal got to make a tiny cameo in a later episode of Justice League Unlimited, where he briefly replaced John thanks to a Timey-Wimey Ball.
- Guy Gardner, the Green Lantern before John, was omitted as well. A mugger who looked a lot like Guy did appear in the episode of Superman: The Animated Series that introduced Kyle and Sinestro, but that's it.
- Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, also never appeared in the DCAU, though his job as a forensic scientist was given to his nephew, Wally West, who is the Flash in the DCAU. That said, both a cop in the episode "The Brave and the Bold" and Wally's boss in "Flash and Substance" resemble Barry and in the latter episode, Wally also mentions an uncle who's flying in.
- The adaptation of Days of Future Past from the X-Men animated series completely omitted Kitty Pryde. Her pivotal role in the plot was instead given to Bishop, likely due to his popularity in the comics at the time. In fact, Kitty Pryde was the only major member of the X-Men to never make any sort of appearance in the 90's cartoon. In episodes loosely based off stories she appeared in back in the original comics, her role would usually be given to Jubilee.
- While they added a lot of characters in X-Men: Days of Future Past (in the original story, only Magneto, Storm, Colossus, Kitty, and Wolverine survived while Beast and Magneto's younger self were not involved in the story), at the same time a lot of characters were removed from the original story. Rachel Grey and Franklin Richards are not present in the bad future (likely because Rachel's parents were dead and Franklin is tied to the Fantastic Four and thus would require too much explanation to include them), while the film has Wolverine work with Beast and Xavier rather than the group of X-Men who did so in the past (the above mentioned from the future minus Magneto and along with Angel and Nightcrawler), and Mystique had her own Brotherhood of mutants helping her carry out the assassination, none of whom who appear in the film. At least one of these, Pyro, is justified by being tied into the original films' timeline and so isn't born at this point, as was the X-Men team involved.
- The adaptation of Secret Invasion in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes ignored Spider-Woman and divvied up her role in the plot between Mockingbird and Black Widow. Elektra was also omitted in favor of Viper. Also, though understandable due to the franchise having Loads and Loads of Characters, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were left out as well. It's only notable since Hawkeye, who joined the Avengers in the same issue as them, and Black Panther, who came much later, were included as part of the team.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Lashina and Stompa were the only members of the Female Furies. Additionally, Mongal replaced Granny Goodness as the Furies' master. In the comics, Tatsu Yamashiro became the vigilante Katana after her husband and children were murdered by a Yakuza boss named Takeo. In the show, Tatsu instead became Katana after Takeo murdered her sensei Tadashi. This was mostly due the cartoon's version of Katana being far too young to have been married.
- Oroku Nagi, older brother of the Shredder, never appeared outside of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, where he was a prominent part of his brother's origin. His role in the Hamato Yoshi/Tang Shen love triangle was replaced either by original character Yukio Mashimi or the Shredder himself.
- The Animated Adaptations of the first two arc of the Superman/Batman comics had this.
- In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, the adaptation of the comic of the same name, the future Superman, Pete Ross, the John Stewart Green Lantern, the Super- and Bat-families, the Michael Holt Mister Terrific and the original Flash and Green Lantern were all omitted from the comic. While some were minor (Mister Terrific, Jay Garrick, and Alan Scott only appeared in a scene that led with a fight Superman and Batman had with Captain Marvel and Hawkman), three are notable: the future Superman since he figured into the sub-plot to destroy the Kryptonite meteor, Pete Ross because he was Luthor's Vice President, and John Stewart because he was the only member of Luthor's Super Team not to appear.
- In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, based on "The Supergirl from Krypton", Bernadeth, a member of the Female Furies didn't appear, though in the comic, she spent the Furies' fight with Wonder Woman and Big Barda sitting on the sidelines with Granny Goodness. The Justice League, JSA, Teen Titans, and Outsiders were also omitted from the scene at the end when Superman introduces Kara as Supergirl.
- Justice League: Doom is based off Mark Waid's "Tower of Babel" story, but omits Aquaman, Plastic Man, Wally West, and Kyle Rayner, and replaces them with Cyborg, Barry Allen, and Hal Jordan. Also Ra's al Ghul was the lead villain in the original story. In the movie, he's replaced by Vandal Savage and the Legion of Doom.
- Justice League: Cry for Justice:
- Roy Harper had his arm severed by Prometheus. In Young Justice, the arm was instead amputated by generic Cadmus scientists. Also, Roy's bionic arm was created by Cyborg in the comics, while in the show, Lex Luthor provided it.
- Maxwell Lord was the one who killed Ted "Blue Beetle" Kord in Infinite Crisis, but in the show, Kord was murdered by Deathstroke and Sportsmaster.
- Paul Westfield is entirely removed from Superboy's origin, with Lex Luthor taking his place as Conner's creator from the very beginning.
- Ultimate Spider-Man makes omits the three White Tigers who came before Ava Ayala, instead establishing that she inherited the mantle directly from her father. It also skips over the Sons of the Tiger, a trio of martial artists who had the tiger amulet before the original White Tiger.
- Black Panther's father, King T'Chaka, was killed by Klaw in the original comics, but the identity of his murderer is changed in most adaptations. T'Chaka was killed by Herr Kleiser in Ultimate Avengers 2, Moses Magnum in Iron Man: Armored Adventures and M'Baku the Man-Ape in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (albeit in this last case, Klaw appears in the series and his hidden help is what allows M'Baku to kill T'Chaka).
- In Beware the Batman, Katana takes Robin's place as Batman's traditional sidekick. The show intentionally ignores Batman's most iconic foes in favor of trying to raise the profile of his more obscure villains. For instance, Magpie and Anarky serve the roles traditionally held by Catwoman and The Joker, with some cases bordering on outright Expy status.
- The Generation X TV movie from the 90s had to omit Chamber and Husk due to budgetary reasons, replacing them with two similar characters named Refrax and Buff. Synch was also left out, but no reason was given.
- Justice League: War, adapted from the first arc of The New 52, Justice League: Origins, replaced Aquaman with Shazam.
- Son of Batman cuts out any Robin that wasn't Dick Grayson (Robin I) and Damian Wayne (Robin V). Aside from the lack of anyone mentioning any other Robin (which could be just that), there are few others ways this can be noticed. Jason Todd (Robin II) is removed as there's no costume monument in the Batcave (which was placed there after he died), and the Lazarus Pits are unable to revive Ra's al Ghul after he was caught in an explosion. Jason was caught in even closer proximity to an explosion and was revived with a Lazarus Pit. Tim Drake (Robin III) clearly does not exist, since in the comics, Damian usurps the role of Robin from him. Here, there's nothing to suggest there's an active Robin.
- The Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Inhuman Nature" retells the Fantastic Four's first encounter with The Inhumans, but with the Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. replacing the FF. A-Bomb is even given the Human Torch's romance plot with Crystal.
Adapted from Film
- Carl the friar is absent in the tie-in videogame adaption of Van Helsing. So is Chas Kramer from the Constantine tie-in game.
- When The Producers was adapted into a stage musical of the same name, Lorenzo St. DuBois, a hippie nicknamed LSD, was given this treatment. In the original film, he walks into the Springtime for Hitler auditions by mistake and is chosen to play Hitler by virtue of his utter lack of talent. LSD's So Bad, It's Good performance as Hitler plays a large role in the play's unintentional and unwanted success. In the musical, Franz Liebkind is chosen to play Hitler, but Roger De Bris is the one to perform the role onstage after Franz breaks his leg.
- The TV version of M*A*S*H drops Duke Forrest, Tom Skerritt's character in the film, in order to tighten up the cast. Additionally, some of the film's supporting characters (Spearchucker, Lt. Dish, Ho-Jon, etc.) make scattered appearances in the first season, but were all Brother Chucked by the second season.
- The Licensed Pinball Table for Bram Stoker's Dracula omits Mina Murray and Jonathan Harker completely, as neither Winona Ryder nor Keanu Reeves would allow their likenesses to be used. Aftermarket plastics with their images based on prototypes are available, however.
- Similarly, Apollo 13 is completely devoid of Tom Hanks, the star of the film. The closest substitute is the astronaut on the backglass, whose face is covered by a One-Way Visor.
- In the Junior Novel version of The Lego Movie, all of the live-action characters are excluded from the film, as is the plotline with Finn and his father.
- Similarly, The LEGO Movie Videogame keeps Finn, but leaves out everything regarding his father, The Man Upstairs, including taking out his foreshadowing in Emmet's opening vision.
- Omni Consumer Products, the company that turned police officer Alex Murphy into the titular cyborg in the RoboCop film series, is nowhere to be seen in RoboCop: Alpha Commando.
- Power Records's book and audio record adaptaion of Escape From The Planet Of The Apes omits Dr Milo. Zira and Cornelius are instead the only occupants of the spaceship and it is Cornelius who susses out that he and Zira have travelled back in time.
Adapted from Literature
- Numerous characters in the film versions of Harry Potter. Some do not appear at all (such as Peeves the poltergeist), some are absent in earlier films, but show up later when they're important with an explanation as to why they've been absent (such as Bill and Charlie Weasley) and some appear in earlier films but are absent in later ones (such as Nearly Headless Nick and Firenze). The same thing happens in the video games, but since there are multiple versions of each game for different platforms (there are five different versions of the first game alone), nearly every non-major character is absent from one game or another without explanation, which leads to apparent cases of Remember the New Guy in later games.
- Twilight ended up cutting several of the human characters and Pair the Spares by having two characters who had their love interests taken out with each other.
- Examples from the various adaptations of Lord of the Rings:
- Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry, together with the Hobbits' entire "Old Forest" adventure, are absent from both film adaptations made so far.
- Glorfindel is absent in both adaptations, too: In the Peter Jackson films, his role of rescuing Frodo from the Nazgűl and bringing him to Rivendell is given to Arwen. In Bakshi's animated adaptation, his role is given to Legolas.
- Similarly, Prince Imrahil who plays a major role in The Return of the King is omitted entirely from both the Jackson and the Rankin/Bass version. In the books his role supporting Gandalf's defense of Minas Tirith and his support of Aragorn as King of Gondor are fairly important plot points, as he's the one that figures Aragorn can cure victims of the Nazgűl.
- Beregond is cut from most adaptations. His (and his son's) role as Pippin's friend is given to Faramir in the Jackson films. His role in defending Faramir from premature cremation is simply cut from the same, so Pippin's dash for Gandalf is even more desperate and they only get there just as the pyre is about to be lit. Purportedly, Ian Hughes' character was meant to be Beregond, but the name was changed in post-production because the role had been so reduced. (Not that you hear either name said onscreen.)
- Ghan-buri-Ghan and Elrond's sons Elladan and Elrohir are also absent from the Peter Jackson film. Quickbeam the Ent appears in the crowd shots, Demoted to Extra.
- Scarlett O'Hara's children from her first two marriages, Wade Hampton Hamilton and Ella Lorena Kennedy, appear not to exist in the film adaptation of Gone with the Wind.
- Rita Blakemoor from The Stand, who was merged into a Composite Character with Nadine. Elements of Nadine's character (particularly the presence of Joe) were also merged with the Lucy character. Fran's mother is dead in the beginning of the TV adaptation. And Dayna is also a Composite Character with another minor character.
- Madge Undersee and her family do not appear in the film versions of The Hunger Games probably due to casting logistics and length constraints. Katniss instead gets the mockingjay pin (now lacking its Back Story involving Maysilee Donner) from a vendor at the Hob.
- There was a fourth son in The Swiss Family Robinson book. He got dropped from the Disney movie.
- The Warrior Cats graphic novel trilogy SkyClan and the Stranger (and bonus manga at the end of SkyClan's Destiny) is unique among Warriors mangas in that they try to make all SkyClan cats appear, or at least be mentioned. While almost the entire Clan is in there, the only ones to not show up or be mentioned at all in either the trilogy or the bonus manga are Sagepaw and Egg, for whatever reason.
- Examples from adaptations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:
- Disney's Alice in Wonderland adaptation leaves out the Duchess, Fish Footman, the Frogman, the cook, the pig baby, the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle (although sequences were storyboarded for those characters) and replaces Pat with the Dodo. The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle were dropped for being "too talkative" (or words to that effect). Earlier drafts omitted Alice's sister.
- Jan Svankmajer's Alice omits the Gryphon, the Mock Turtle, the Cheshire Cat and replaces the roles of the Duchess and her cook with the White Rabbit.
- Burbank Films's 1988 Alice in Wonderland has the Dodo show Alice the Mock Turtle as opposed to the Gryphon.
- In Through The Looking Glass, after ringing the bells for the castle, Alice is greeted by a frog. He is omitted in the 1985 TV movie. The food whom Alice is introduced to are both absent, perhaps because the writers needed more time for the sequence with the Jabberwocky. Dinah's kittens are also absent due to the story being adapted to take place directly after Alice's trip to Wonderland (as opposed to 6 months later).
- The BBC's 2012 audio adaptation of Through the Looking-Glass omits Lily. So when Alice asks why she is being assigned the role of White Pawn, the Red Queen tells her to shut up.
- The Red Knight is often left out of adaptations of Through the Looking-Glass. Alice just meets the White Knight without encountering the Red Knight in the first place.
- Dinah and the kittens are absent in the 1998 Through the Looking-Glass film. The story is instead bookended with Alice reading the Through the Looking-Glass book to her daughter.
- Gor, the film version of Tarnsman of Gor, adapts out Tarl's father Matthew, the Older Tarl (Tarl's instructor at arms), Torm the Scribe, Tarl's sword brother Kazrak of Port Kar, the slave girl Sana, Nor the (sentient) spider, Pa-Kur the Master Assassin, Mintar the Merchant, and Tarl's tarn Ubar of the Skies.
- Dirk, the stage adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, drops the Monk and his horse, partly to simplify the timeline of events (in the novel, the Monk spends most of the story off on his own doing things that only become significant in retrospect) and partly because incorporating a live horse was beyond the resources of the theatre that originally staged it.
- The pilot episode of Dirk Gently, based very loosely on the book, also skips the Monk and his horse. And Professor Chronotis. And Michael Wednesday-Week. And the alien. And ... look, it's got Dirk, Richard, Susan and Gordon.
- Due to the novel having Loads and Loads of Characters, Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line fails to feature several major characters, including Queen the Texan.
- In the animated adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia adventure The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Father Christmas does not appear. Instead Aslan gives the children their weapons. That was also the original plan for the 2005 film before someone designed a Father Christmas who looked more suited to the story.
- Several characters are taken out of Disney's adaptation of The Jungle Book, perhaps most notably Tabaqui the Jackal. Most of them do not appear in the live action adaptation either (though the second more loyal sequel Mowgli's Story features Tabaqui and a few others).
- It's not exactly an adaptation, but Bagheera and Kaa don't get roles in Talespin.
- Hrun the Barbarian from Discworld doesn't appear in Sky1's The Colour of Magic. Professor Pelc, Prehumous Professor of Bibliomancy, doesn't appear in their adaptation of Going Postal.
- The stage adaptation of Mort skips the Librarian due to the difficulty the original production had getting an orang-utan costume. It also replaces Rincewind with a wizard called Stibbons (before Ponder appeared in the books) so they could use a "generic" wizard costume rather than Rinso's canonical outfit.
- Watership Down: Mainly due to Adaptation Distillation, rabbits not appearing in the film of the book include:
- Those Two Guys (three actually) Hawkbit, Speedwell and Acorn
- Plucky Comic Relief Bluebell
- Strawberry, a refugee from Cowslip's warren
- Hyzenthlay's friend Thethuthinang and Nelthilta, the turncoat doe
- Plus the mouse Hazel rescues from a hawk on Watership down, who is actually the character in the book that informs the rabbits that the Efrafans have gathered below the down and are planning to attack.
- From Wicked: Liir, Sarima, Nor (and the rest of the family), Nanny, and Yackle (and the rest of the nuns), as well as less important characters like Sir Chuffrey (Glinda's husband) and Shell (Elphaba's brother).
- In the cartoon adaptation of Animal Farm, Mollie and Clover are absent. Benjamin the donkey fills in for Clover, if anything.
- The original 1902 stage version of The Wizard of Oz removes the Wicked Witch and Toto (who was replaced with a cow named Muriel).
- The 1925 In Name Only movie version, in addition to changing almost the entire plot, takes this Up to Eleven and removes everyone except for Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and the Wizard. Characters loosely based on those from later books appear in place of the omitted characters.
- In the original novels, Glinda was the Good Witch of the South, and the Good Witch of the North Dorothy met when she first arrived in Oz was a different character. The film version combined the two into a single character... Named Glinda. Due to Adaptation Displacement, most subsequent adaptations have also had Glinda as the only Good Witch.
- Early Thomas and Friends episodes omitted many one shot or background characters used in The Railway Series novels they were adapted from, with Thomas or some other recurring engine taking their place. Jinty and Pug are absent in episodes adapted from "The Eight Famous Engines" for example, while, due to lacking budget for a model of The Flying Scotsman, "Tender Engines" was loosely adapted from "Tenders For Henry", with only the engines' tenders being shown in a cameo.
- Numerous characters from the books (including the Mountain and Small Railway Engines) will also never appear in the television series now that it has broken away from The Railway Series.
- When The Relic was adapted to film, Agent Pendergast was written out and Lieutenant D'Agosta was promoted into his role. Pendergast became the Break-Out Character of the novel and is featured as the main character of all the novels that follow. The series is informally titled "The Agent Pendergast Series."
- William Smithback, a reporter and recurring character in the Pendergast novels, was also cut from the book, though unlike Pendergast his character traits weren't given to anyone.
- The movie version of Jurassic Park leaves out the character of publicist Ed Regis. The character of Gennaro in the movie is a Composite Character of him and the book's Gennaro.
- The Cider House Rules, whose adapted screenplay was written by the novel's author, leaves out Melony entirely.
- In A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge two children named Ignorance and Want, whom Scrooge must avoid. A few adaptations don't have the Ghost show Scrooge the children.
- In most adaptations of Oliver Twist, including the musical version Oliver!, Monks and the Maylies are omitted. In Alan Bleasdale's mini-series, Monks and Rose Maylie are retained, but Rose (who retains her original name Rose Fleming) is now Mr. Brownlow's ward.
- The TV movie adaptation of The Westing Game lacks Theo Theodorakis, Flora Baumbach, Dr. Denton Deere, and Madame Hoo.
- Beorn, Bolg, Roäc, and the Master of Lake-town are absent from the animated film of The Hobbit.
- Bound to happen with Les Misérables as it's difficult to adapt a 1500-page book into anything remotely watchable without cutting several characters. The Thenardiers and their children are hit with this often.
- Obviously the amount of characters that encompass Arthurian Legend is immense, and Merlin was never going to fit them all in (in fact, they did the now-rare move of separating the characters Morgana and Morgause, who in many adaptations are combined into a Composite Character), but there were a few key characters that never appeared: Elaine, Galahad and Kay. These three in particular usually make it into other adaptations, and fans of the show often commented on their absence here.
- The original novella The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a sort of detective story, and the central character is the Amateur Sleuth Mr Utterson. As adapatations typically drop the mystery aspect, his character tends to get Adapted Out or merged with Dr Lanyon.
- In order to concentrate on the main love triangle, the musical version of The Phantom of the Opera left out several side characters, most notably Raoul's older brother Philippe and the mysterious Persian—the latter's function as Raoul's guide into the Phantom's realm was assumed by Mme. Giry.
- The film adaptations of Percy Jackson and the Olympians have a few. The Lightning Thief left out several characters, and this notably includes Ares and Kronos, two major antagonists of the book and in the latter's case, the Big Bad of the entire series. Other characters like Clarisse and Dionysus were also left out. The sequel makes Clarisse, Dionysus and Kronos appear, but Circe got the shaft this time.
- At least one film adaptation of the first book of Beau Geste left out a particular character who in subsequent books was revealed to be plot-critical in the original book.
- Given that the original books are edging on doorstoppers, it's understandable that several characters would be missing from the film adaptations of The Vampire Chronicles. Not only minor characters got ignored, though:
- Interview with the Vampire axes Louis' younger brother Paul, whose death was the catalyst for Louis' suicidal depression in the beginning of the book, replacing him with a brief mention of a dead wife and child who didn't exist in the books. An entire subplot regarding a woman named Babette who Louis secretly advises in running her family was also dropped.
- Queen of the Damned is much more liberal with the axe. Louis and Nicolas are both entirely absent, despite being Lestat's love interests and, especially in Nicolas' case, integral to the plot. (It was his violin Lestat played to wake Akasha.) Daniel is also dropped, leaving Armand Demoted to Extra as his plotline revolved mostly around Daniel. Mekare is also missing, apparently having become a Composite Character with her sister Maharet, and Khayman is nowhere to be seen, as much of the backstory was dropped to focus on the modern plot. The Talamasca agent Aaron Lightner has also been removed from the film, with his role as Jessie's mentor being taken over by the Composite Character David Talbot.
- If you like Journey to the West, you probably know that you'll have a hard time finding any adaptations which don't cut down his role or just remove him entirely, but Enslaved: Odyssey to the West does that and removes Sha Wujing.
- As an adaptation of a book series with Loads and Loads of Characters, Game of Thrones has a fair number of Composite Characters as well as a fair number of minor characters who have been adapted out completely. The most notable example is Jeyne Westerling who has been removed in favor of Canon Foreigner Talisa Maegyr - the Westerlings are still mentioned, but have no story significance unlike the books. Comments by one of the actors suggest that the character Lady Stoneheart may not be appearing in the TV series either, though it's too early to be sure.
- Margot Verger is entirely absent from the film adaptation of Hannibal, and as a result the manner of death for her brother, Mason changes considerably between the two, since she killed him in the original book.
- Alan Bloom is given only a minor part in Manhunter and completely left out of the Hopkins / Norton take of Red Dragon. Inverted in Hannibal where he's gender swapped and turned into Allana Bloom, who becomes a major supporting character and Grahams' potential love interest. Ditto Margot Verger, who appears in season 2. Since the show is a lengthy prequel to the original story, both they and every other character get greatly expanded roles.
- Julia and her sister are entirely absent from the movie version of My Sister's Keeper. Julia's absence leads to an entire romantic subplot between her and Campbell being cut, substantially reducing Campbell's screen time.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has Loads and Loads of Characters on the Golden Ticket tour as written, but many of the adults have dialogue/plot functions that are easily handed to others. Depending on the adaptation, some are Demoted to Extra, and others fall under this trope.
- Mike Nichols' film adaptation of Catch-22 drops several of the Loads and Loads of Characters, including Major _____ de Coverley, Chief White Halfoat, and Ex-PFC Wintergreen.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: The character of Conseil is often left out. The notable exception is the Disney version where he's played by Peter Lorre. In some more recent adaptations, Conseil is replaced by Professor Arronax's daughter.
Adapted from Live Action TV
- In the original Get Smart series final season Max and 99 had twins, a boy and a girl. In the 1995 revival series only the (now adult) son is shown, and there's no mention at all of his sister.
- In the Brady Bunch Animated Adaptation The Brady Kids Alice and the parents don't appear, and the dog Tiger is replaced by Moptop.
- The Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers replaces Captain Hollister with a female captain named "Kirk".
- The novel of Kamen Rider Decade omits the Hikari Photo Studio and its owner Eijiro, Natsumi's grandfather. In the series, Tsukasa and friends travel between worlds by changing the backdrop in the studio; in the novel they simply use Tsukasa's camera. Sayo, Tsukasa's sister from The Movie, also does not exist in the novel.
- Nurse Christine Chapel, one of the main characters from Star Trek: The Original Series (and one of only two female leads), is completely absent from Star Trek (2009), presumably so Uhura can benefit more from The Smurfette Principle. Chapel's absence is Handwaved in Star Trek Into Darkness, but even though this confirmed that at least she still exists and is alive in-universe, it didn't go over too well with fans.
Adapted from Newspaper Comics
- Garfield and Friends removed Blue and Cody from the U.S. Acres cartoons. Also, in a rather odd example, one U.S. Acres quickie was an adaptation of this comic, but it removed Sheldon.
- Arlene, Garfield's (ir-)regular girlfriend from the strip, was also missing from the show. Reportedly, this was at creator Jim Davis's request – the suits apparently wanted her acerbic personality toned down (and they disliked her buck-teeth) and Davis was unwilling to allow the changes. Garfield eventually got a different girlfriend, Penelope, later in the cartoon's run.
- Every woman other than Dr. Liz Wilson that Jon dated or attempted to date is also absent, in favor of playing up Jon's futile attempts to woo Liz.
- The unnamed Spiders (whose antics fill many a Sunday strip) are missing, though mostly because those strips only became commonplace after the cartoon ended.
- The cartoon version of Baby Blues got rid of Hammie and Wren, as it focused on when Zoe was a baby and neither were born yet.
- Michael Caesar is completely absent from The Boondocks cartoon series, despite being Huey's best friend and the second most frequently seen character in the comic strip.
Adapted from Radio
- In the original BBC radio version of The Flight of the Conchords, the optimistic New Zealanders trying to make it big in Britain have an even more optimistic Cloud Cuckoolander manager, played by Welsh character actor Rob Brydon. Sadly, the magnificent Brydon who did so much to make the radio series work is dropped completely from the TV adaptation.
Adapted from Tabletop Games
- The animated adaptations of the Queen's Blade gamebooks took some liberties towards some characters and plot events:
- Hans (Hobby Japan's collective Word of God and Author Avatar) does not appears in the animated TV series, but he appears in the CD dramas and the videogames, His role is replaced in the anime by The Head Archangel instead.
- Nyx doesn't appear in the first season, as the producers of the anime seems to run out of episodes for including her (other than a brief cameo), not to mention she's not very important, plot-wise, for the story (despise having a designated voice actress). She appears in the second season for real.
- Alice, the main protagonist of the Queen's Gate novels and gamebooks, only appears in the Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos game and she doesn't appear in the anime. Also, neither her friends nor her family in Europe and her backstory from the novels are mentioned anywhere in the game.
- While she is a crossover character in the Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos game, Noel Vermillion is the only character from her universe who appears, and despise being mentioned in the game and being the main motivation for her for being in the game, Jin Kisaragi doesn't not appear in the game. This is somewhat egregious, as while the events of the game are not canon for the BlazBlue universe, both characters are vital for Hazama aka Yuuki Terumi for his plans to work and he's not mentioned anywhere.
- Also, none of the characters from the Sword of the Unicorn novels appears anywhere, as the events of those novels are not canon, since the novels took some liberties with the already established backstory. (For beginners, there's no QB tournament here)
Adapted from Theater
- In the UK version of Shrek: The Musical, The Magic Mirror is absent. Instead, Lord Farquaad gets the information he needs from The Gingerbread Man. A couple of fairy tale characters were also left out and replaced with characters that would be more recognisable to the UK audience.
- The Magic Mirror also tends to be cut when it is performed in community theaters, because the Magic Mirror uses motion capture and most theaters can't afford that. Gingy, like above, gives the information.
- There were originally six greasers in Grease, but the number was shortened to five when the show was tweaked for Broadway audiences. The principal of Rydell High and a few other characters were also cut. A remake of this version (titled The Original Grease) was produced in 2011 and re-instated some of the scrapped characters, with the exception of the principal.
- The film version of Paint Your Wagon removed Ben's daughter Jennifer and her Latin Lover Julio, who were the primary couple in the original show.
- The film version of Camelot eliminated Nimue and Morgan le Fey, both of whom appeared in one-scene each in the original play. Morgan le Fey is also absent from many modern productions.
- The Musical version of Chicago eliminated the role of Jake, a reporter who served as the Audience Surrogate.
- In the film version of On the Town, Claire's fiancé Pitkin is absent, which serves to remove the adulterous implications of her affair with Ozzie.
- The film version of Animal Crackers entirely eliminated the part of Wally Winston, a society gossip columnist (who, like many other such characters from contemporary plays and movies, was a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Walter Winchell). His love interest, Arabella, was made a Composite Character.
Adapted from Toys
- Each and every Transformers toyline has characters that aren't added to the TV shows, comics, or movies.
- This also applies to every generation of the My Little Pony franchise to be adapted.
- The current fourth iteration of the toyline has Lily Blossom, a Pegasus with a unique design (something normally reserved for major characters) who was part of the early wave of releases along with the six leads from the TV series, yet has never appeared in the show.
Adapted from Video Games
- The live action film version of King of Fighters omitted the vast majority of the cast, in favor of focusing on Kyo, Iori, Mai, Terry, and Rugal.
- In the anime adaption of Disgaea, Big Sis Prinny is left out, which is important as she's Laharl's mother and her death is the reason he's so bitter towards Love.
- A few Pokémon characters never appeared in the anime. With Pikachu's actions in the Porygon episode causing a seizure incident, its evolutions will never appear in anything bigger than a cameo in any anime episode. Quite a number of human characters do not appear as well, including Gym Leader Janine, some of Generation IV Frontier Brains, and several Elite Four members.
- Team Plasma was also thought to be this for a while, after their first appearance was cancelled after the Tohoku Earthquake. But the depiction of the team from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 ended up appearing as Arc Villains after the Unova League tournament.
- Pokemon protagonists often pop up in cameos but Leaf, the female protagonist for the Kanto remakes, has yet to appear. None of the Unova protagonists have popped up either.
- Though his minions and many elements of Super Mario Bros. 2 appear in Animated Adaptations of the Super Mario Bros. series, Wart has yet to appear in any of them, Bowser/King Koopa usually acting as a Composite Character for them both. He did make the odd appearance in the comics however.
- In the CLANNAD Visual Novel, Kappei was actually an important (if late introduced) character with his own ending and everything, but so far has not appeared in any Clannad anime adaptation ever.
- When Popotan got its adaptation, some characters disappeared completely. One of them was the main character.
- Tails and Amy Rose are not in Sonic Underground. In fact, Amy wasn't in any animated Sonic material until Sonic X, which led many detractors to believe she was created for that show.†
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney had to drop nearly all of the third case and a good chunk of the second, so quite a few characters were cut. Most notable were April May (whose role was taken over by Redd White), Cody Hackins, Wendy Oldbag, Jack Hammer, and Will Powers. Every character introduced in the fifth case, "Rise from the Ashes", is also missing. However, given that that case wasn't in the original GBA game, instead being added to the Updated Re-release for the DS as an epilogue of sorts, that's kind of understandable.
- Wing Commander's Player Character, Christopher Blair, is all but written out of most of the Wing Commander novels, save for Heart of the Tiger and The Price of Freedom, both novelizations of the games. The books instead tend to focus on the exploits of either Admiral Tolwyn or Jason Bondarevsky, or a number of Blair's wingmen from the games.
- Metroid Prime Pinball: Of the five main bosses from Metroid Prime, Flaahgra is the only one to make no appearance.
- The manga adaptation of Kingdom Hearts left out Deep Jungle, the Tarzan world, due to rights issues. Also, subsequent games have acted like the world never existed, leaving a minor plot hole.
- In two manga adaptations of the Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War games, different characters hqave been cut out:
- Mitsuki Oosawa manga: Holyn and Beowulf, prospect love interests for Ayra and Raquesis, disappear from the story — while Ayra hooks up with Lex and Raquesis with Finn. (after having her Brother-Sister Incest deal with Eldigan cranked Up to Eleven until he dies) This was presumably done to avert Derailing Love Interests - which doesn't explain why Oosawa kept an expy of Eldigan's canon wife Grahnye around and made her a total asshole, while still capable of making a Love Triangle between Ferry, Lewyn and Sylvia without derailing the loser (Sylvia, who instead is very sympathetic).
- Nea Fuyuki manga: Sylvia's children Leen and Corple. (And in the meantime, Leen's love interest Ares has his eyes set on Princess Julia instead). Fuyuki allegedly said in author's notes that she wanted to keep them around, but time restrains didn't allow her to.
- The first Breath of Fire manga, which adapted the first game, omitted the Quirky Miniboss Squad almost entirely (only 1 out of its 4 members appears) despite being the main enemies for a fourth of the game.
- In the Mass Effect Expanded Universe, it's fairly common for Commander Shepard to be entirely absent, due to very customizable nature of the character (in terms of gender, ethnicity, background, and major plot decisions). The writers tend to take it as an opportunity to flesh out the wider universe instead.
Adapted from Web Original
- In the original Noob webseries, an Evil All Along character was introduced under the context's equivalent of a fake identity that lasted a few episodes. The novel and comic first show the character under her real identity. The fake one is mentionned in the novel, but seemingly completely disappeared in the comic before briefly showing up in a comic-only subplot.
Adapted from Western Animation
- The Masters of the Universe film dumped Orko for a stand-in character who filled the same role in the franchise. This is Hand Waved when one of the titular Masters claims that Skeletor has captured a number of their allies.
- When Fluppy Dogs was adapted into an hour-long Television Movie, there was a sixth Fluppy named Fanci who did not appear in the film at all.
- The film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender ommited Suki, The Warriors of Kyoshi, Jet, and King Bumi.
- This is a little ironic considering M. Night Shyamalan had said in multiple interviews how much he loved the Kyoshi Warriors. Apparently, he wanted to make a sequel or interquel focusing on just them, but Airbender's horrible performance at the box office put the kibosh on that.