Advertising-Only Continuity

Merchandise-Driven shows need to have toy commercials. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to sell toys to the kids. But the toy manufacturers need to know what the characters look like, as well as the very basic premise, months in advance, so they can create the toys and have them on the shelves by the time kids see the series. The problem is that the plotline probably wasn't included.

Between constant rewrites and the meddling executives, a change in the story is made after the toy is.

It could range all the way from a small but easily made mistake based on Common Knowledge, to something that would hit the Fandom Berserk Button on the media's forum. But either the advertiser(s) didn't notice or didn't care, or they don't think the kids will.

This will probably involve Fan Myopia, but please try to make it understandable to even non-fans.

See Merchandise-Driven and Misaimed Marketing for further examples.

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • A lot of the marketing for Digimon: The Movie refers to the Digidestined being kidnapped by an evil Digimon, which is a subplot from the third movie (The film was edited together from three Short Anime Movies) which was cut from the final product.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Krillin and Gohan summon Porunga on Namek with the Namekian Dragon Balls, and wish for three separate cars. Porunga denies them their wish, in place of one car with all three features — the Ford Focus.
    • Goten and Chibi Trunks summon a Ford Fusion. Piccolo, in awe, exclaims, "it's unbelievable."
  • Sailor Moon: Usagi and Luna watch the constellations of Sagittarius, Libra, and the new Ford Fusion.

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League of America
    • In Craftsman Bolt-On System Saves The Justice League, the Technician uses a Craftsman power drill to stop the Key and his robot henchmen.
    • In Subway/Justice League: Famous Fans, super villains are defeated by professional athletes teaming up with the Justice League, thanks to the delicious power of Subway.
  • Marvel Universe
    • In the Avengers comic Avengers: Heroes Arise, the Avengers team up with the Harley Davidson riding Road Force to rescue Hawkeye from a warehouse full of Baron Zemo's monsters. Unlike in Thunderbolts, Zemo no longer hides as a villain, and works with a Masters of Evil team consisting of Mr. Hyde, Taskmaster, Tiger Shark and Whiplash.
    • In the Glaxo, Inc. sponsored Captain America comic Captain America Meets the Asthma Monster, the Asthma Monster fights with a weapon that causes asthma-like symptoms. Captain America fights the Asthma Monster's gang in Captain America: Return of the Asthma Monster.
    • In Combo Man #1, Rick Wilder eats a Combo after being zapped with energy, becoming Combo Man, a superhero with the powers and visual appearance of a combination of Marvel Comics heroes and villains.
    • In the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association sponsored Daredevil comic Daredevil vs Vapora, Daredevil fights a sentient humanoid cloud of gasoline vapor.
    • In the Fantastic Four comic Fantastic Four: Trapped in the Data Vortex, the Fantastic Four go Inside a Computer System as the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform helps thwart the data slowing efforts of M.O.D.O.K. and the corrupted data monster Datazilla.
    • In the Guiding Light episode "She's a Marvel", Harley Cooper of Springfield, Illinois becomes the superhero Guiding Light. She appears with a different origin in the tie-in comic story, A New Light, in an Intercontinuity Crossover with the New Avengers.
    • Hostess ads, about villains being defeated by Delicious Fruit Pies, were long considered non-canon in Marvel Comics, until the villain Icemaster was introduced in Thunderbolts, the villains Blow Dryer, Flame Thrower, Frizone, Goldigger and Impercepto were referenced in Marvel Encyclopedia: Fantastic Four, and the villains Chairman, Demolition Derby, the Fly, Home Wrecker, Hotshot, Human Computer, June Jitsui, Larcenous Lil, Legal Eagle, Photoman, Printout Man, and Simon the Evil Swami appeared in Fin Fang Four Return!.
    • In the Incredible Hulk comic Sleepy's Hulk Custom Comic, the Sleepy's Man helps out the Hulk by fighting Nightmare.
  • A Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers tie-in comic used the pilot's name of Zoltar instead of Zordon, spelled Rita Repulsa's name with a second s and gave them all different last names (although Word of God would not confirm their last names till years later).
  • Spider-Man
    • In an ad for a Magic Snake puzzle, Magna Mind, a thief, obsesses over solving a Magic Snake puzzle, and is stopped by Spider-Man.
    • In the comic book ad "The Amazing Spider-Man in the Free the Cap'n Mystery", Spider-Man confronts the Sogmaster, who had previously left Cap'n Crunch in prison in the Cap'n Crunch commercial "Tidal Sog".
    • Spider-Man Fights Substance Abuse collects PSA stories including the anti-smoking story Spider-Man, Storm and Power Man, and the anti-marijuana story Fast Lane.
    • The 1995 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man Arachnophobias cards include the exclusive Puma and Rhino hybrid Claw-Hide, Doppelganger and Shocker hybrid Doppel Shock, Mysterio and Lizard hybrid Myzary, and Vermin and Vulture hybrid Scavenger.
  • Transformers
    • A tie-in comic for the Beast Wars: Transformers video game shows a different version of the beginning of the series, placing it in an alternate continuity.
    • The Beast Within, a comic included in The Transformers UK Season 2, Part 2 DVD set, posits the existence of a Dinobot combiner.
  • X-Men
    • Blockbuster's Special Edition Blockbuster Video Kidprint comic Be X-Tra Safe with the X-Men warns the reader not to trust costumed freaks.
    • The Stridex X-Men Marvel Collector's Edition comic introduces John Dee, a protégé of Magneto. The X-men convince him to join, and he is never heard from again.
    • In the X-Men/Captain Universe comic, the identity of Captain Universe is whoever ordered the comic book.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future Part II
    • In 1989, two citizens of Hill Valley hijack a DeLorean time machine and end up in Hill Valley, 2015, amazed at the neon lights and new cars of the future. While searching for pizza, they are briefly confused by a passing hoverboarder wearing a skateboarding helmet. They shrug, before coming across a Domino's Hardware store. Because Domino's Hardware had been manufacturing automated trash cans by this time, confused, the two asked a local police officer where to find pizza. The police officer's visor displayed an electronic message, and an audio message, "Turn around guys." Turning around, they beheld a lavish multi-story Pizza Hut restaurant. Indoors, they began eating from a neon serving tray when a girl began complementing the two on their sense of retro 80's fashion. "Wow, nice look guys, very 80's!" Unfortunately, the two ended up taking the comment very personally before turning away from her.
    • People look at the world through very different glasses. Futuristic looking neon Solar Shades, inspired by the movie Back to the Future Part II, are worn by the pitcher, the batter, the catcher, and the umpire at baseball games, at graduation parties where students wear transparent neon graduation hats, at Pizza Hut restaurants while patrons are eating pizza, by Pizza Hut pizza deliverymen delivering pizza, and shaggy dogs. Drop by any Pizza Hut Restaurant and get a pair of futuristic Solar Shades, inspired by the movie Back to the Future Part II, only $1.99 with any Pizza Hut pizza. Collect a different pair each week while supplies last. Solar Shades from Pizza Hut. They're going like there's no tomorrow.
    • In the Back to the Future Part II Behind-the-Scenes Special Presentation, Back to the Future Part II director Robert Zemeckis admits hoverboards are real.
  • The Batmobile from Batman and Batman Returns has OnStar, despite the potential risk of revealing Batman's identity.
  • In Kung Fury, the trailer shows a Lazor Invader arcade cabinet, instead of Laser Unicorns.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • A Coke Mini commercial features Ant-Man stealing a can of refreshing Coca-Cola from Dr. Bruce Banner's lab. The Hulk chases Ant-Man down the streets of Manhattan, causing severe property damage.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Bad Beetleborgs had a commercial which claimed that the bad guys and the borgs were aliens from another planet, when they were actually kids who wished to become the comic book heroes, the Beetleborgs.
    • Another Big Bad Beetleborgs commercial had generic mutants represent their enemies.
  • Power Rangers
    • A Power Rangers Zeo commercial gave the villain's name as Queen Machina instead of her husband, King Mondo, and had them operating out of the original command center when they were actually operating in the underground Power Chamber.
    • A Power Rangers Time Force commercial had the Big Bad, Ransik, searching for the Power Rangers with a Time Machine, when it was the opposite way around, and the rangers constantly mentioning the evil Cyclobots as the reason they went back in time. In the actual show, Cyclobots are Ransik's Mecha-Mooks.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • In Operation Blue Line, April O'Neil reports on the RTD Metro Blue Line opening between Los Angeles and Long Beach. April asks the Turtles to help fight against the evil Gridlock.
    • The Coming Out of Their Shells tour included a Pizza Hut promotion, cassette tape, VHS tape, live concerts, a pay-per-view show, and appearances on Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee, Larry King Live, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. With the power of live music, the Turtles defeat Baxter Stockman and Shredder's attempt to steal all the music from the world using the De-Harmonic Convergence Converter device. This tour was followed by the Getting Down in Your Town tour, featuring Casey Jones, armed with a water pistol, shooting at kids.
    • In We Wish You a Turtle Christmas, the Turtles sing modified Christmas songs, and give Splinter a gift.
    • In Turtle Tunes, the Turtles hang out in the park and sing, while picking up garbage with kids.
    • In an ad in Germany, Raphael walks into a men's locker room, and goes full frontal.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Toys 
  • After the success of Aliens, many different Alien related action figures were released with little or no connection to the original film, including the alien-animal hybrids Arachnid, Boar, Bull, Cougar, Crab, Gorilla, Mantis, Panther, Rhino, Scorpion, Snake, and Swarm. The most ridiculous example was the Alien King; how it's involved in the alien reproduction system is a mystery. According to an Ashens video review of some of these toys, they were designed as tie-ins for Operation: Aliens, an animated spinoff series that got canned in the planning stages. (We can't possibly imagine why.)
  • Most BIONICLE ads and promos fall under this, particularly the Toa Mahri ads that showed some sort of machine attaching their masks and gills before they go underwater. While one of the books explained that the machine was just cleaning them up, the Toa Mahri's gills are supposed to be a permanent anatomical feature, and they couldn't even breathe air at the time the commercial took place, yet their submarine was clearly filled with air. LEGO released numerous other online animations and games that more often than not took a very Broad Strokes approach to the story, likely confusing many kids in the process, because the actual story was only told through the books and comics at that time.
    • Bionicle (2015) put great focus on various heroes losing their masks to villains: the 2015 Skull villains wear them and drain their power, whereas the 2016 Beasts poison them. In the actual story, this only happens to two masks in 2015, and none in 2016. The mysterious Golden Mask of Skull Spiders and Umarak's red mask variant have also never appeared in the story, though the former was most likely canon.
  • Many Italian commercials for Dragon Ball merchandising in the early 2000 showed Goku screaming "SUPER TRANSFORMATION!" in order to transform into a Super Saiyan.
  • The existence of Environment Specific Action Figures often causes this to happen, where the merchandiser uses some Misaimed Marketing and seriously doesn't consider the plot. Such as The Flash using a Flashmobile, or Batman wearing a green costume in Gotham city.
    • Special mention goes to the line of Street Fighter G.I. Joe figures Hasbro put out in the 90's, which included things like high-tech vehicles and weapons despite the entire premise of the games revolving around hand-to-hand combat.
  • In the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero commercial for the Super Trooper mail-in toy, Lt. Paul Latimer the Super Trooper performs a Super Window Jump through a glass ceiling while holding his rifle, immediately landing and pushing aside a Cobra soldier dressed in black with his right hand, then turns to punch another Cobra soldier behind him with his right hand again. He rushes through a room full of cardboard boxes with the Cobra logo marked in red to his left, and oil drums to his right, intercepting a Cobra soldier who he immediately pushes through a wooden wall. He enters the next room and back hands a Cobra soldier aside with his left hand, then smacks another Cobra soldier with his left hand again. Surrounded by laser gun fire, the Super Trooper holds on to his rifle and rushes through a warehouse of stacked cardboard boxes. He narrowly dodges a laser blast and aims his rifle at a Cobra soldier, then arrives at the stairs and ducks under another Cobra soldier jumping over him. He grabs a shield, and begins blocking laser blasts, then dodges a punch from an oncoming Cobra soldier and bashes him with his shield. At the top of the stairs, he kicks another Cobra soldier with his left leg, sending him tumbling downward. He bashes a Cobra soldier with his shield in his right hand, then swings his rifle in his left hand to smack a Cobra soldier over the railing. He raises his rifle and shield to the air in triumph, screaming a mighty scream.
  • Godzilla
    • The Godzilla Force toyline by Trendmasters is about a Power Rangers-esque hero squad sent in to stop Godzilla's attacks. While there was no live action show, the toy commercial shows a live action depiction of the Godzilla Force.
    • The Trendmasters toyline Godzilla Wars Power-Ups shows Godzilla, Rodan, MechaGodzilla, and Mecha-King Ghidorah wearing enormous suits of armor with projectile weaponry.
  • Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Micro Machines release accurate versions of ships and vehicles from a licensed series, and also release four-wheeled vehicles for characters who have no reason to be driving, such as The Avengers, Star Trek and Star Wars.
  • The commercial for a line of "battle-scarred" Gundam action figures featured the RX-78-2 getting rescued from the Zeong by... the GP-02 Gundam Physalis, which wasn't built until some three years after both of the former units fought each other, to say nothing of what happened with the GP-02 itself.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Instead of Black Widow, the Avengers Quinjet from Avengers: Age of Ultron has Captain America riding a motorcycle in the Hasbro version, and Iron Man riding a motorcycle in the Mattel version.
    • The Captain America: Civil War commercial for the Titan Hero figures shows Hulk in the team during the fight with Crossbones.
  • In one of the earliest Power Rangers toy commercials, Zordon called for the Rangers to morph by saying, "It's Transforming Time!"
    • All of the toys, promo art and tie-in comics released during the original run had the Rangers wearing costumes that included logos of their respective dinosaurs on their chests. This idea eventually made its way into Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. Also, Goldar had wings (in the premiere he had them briefly; they weren't there when he was made to grow to fight the Zords in the climax, or ever again in season one - outside a blink-and-miss bit of Stock Footage Failure from the Japanese version in an episode that was All Just a Dream anyway. Yeah, he got his wings back in season two, but in season one, "Why does Goldar have wings in EVERYTHING but the actual show?!" was a question for the ages right alongside the power coin symbols on the suits.) While Goldar's situation was corrected by a change to the show character instead of the toys, MMPR suits with chest symbols remained confined to the Non-Serial Movie, and MMPR toys that actually look like the MMPR suits only debuted this side of the turn of the century.
    • In Power Rangers Time Force toy commercials airing during the series, Ransik has a never-elsewhere-seen sidekick instead of any of the other actual villains.
  • The RoadBlasters Matchbox toys and playsets had their own story about Turbo Force fighting the Motor Lords, with some very different vehicles than the arcade game, such as the Vehicle Armor Redesign and Modular Intelligence Transport.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
    • The original toy line featured certain themes without much story beyond an Action Figure File Card and the imagination, including Astronaut Turtles, Birthday Turtles, Cave-Turtles, Cyber Samurai Turtles, Dino Turtles, Dwarf Donatello, Pizza Tossin’ Ninja Turtles, Rock'N Rollin' Turtles, Sewer Spitting Turtles, Sports Turtles, Stretching Turtles, Sumo Turtles, Superhero Turtles, Wild West Turtles, turtles based on the art of comic book artist Jim Lee, and turtles with a sort of Intercontinuity Crossover between Star Trek: The Original Series, Troll dolls, and Universal Monsters.
    • The Kung-Fu Tournament Fighters toyline was a tie-in In-Name-Only to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, with an Action Figure File Card and appearance unrelated to any of the three games.
    • The "Mutations" toylines have transformations from mutant form to human form, turtles transforming into oversized turtles, or in the "Mighty Mutations" series, a dump truck.
  • Spider-Man
    • The Toy Biz Arachniphobia toyline includes the Lizard/Man-Spider hybrid Man-Lizard, Hobgoblin/Spider-Man hybrid Spider-Goblin, and Morbius/Venom hybrid Vampider.
  • Happens all the time in Transformers. Sometimes it's relatively minor, like a movie Jazz figure recolored as an homage to G1 Jazz being explained in his bio as having been revived by Ratchet, or Beast Machines quietly expanding the small band of surviving Maximals. Other times it's more complex, like how the early Beast Wars toys' bios set up the series as a direct continuation of G1 on modern-day Earth, with Optimus Primal and Megatron being the same characters as G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron (which would later be contradicted by the TV series). In extreme cases, such as the current Kre-O sub-line, on-package bios and commericals may be the only fiction available.
    • TFWiki.net likes to invoke this when Hasbro applies the Transformers brand name to transforming toys made for a different franchise, such as Star Wars, which makes for amusing pages where the editors pretend to genuinely have no idea Darth Vader has been in anything else.
    • TF Wiki takes it a bit more seriously when it comes to packaging bios. See, if it's officially produced material it's not 100% dismissable, even if it's so not what happened in the show. These tidbits - where again, like Kre-O, maybe it's all we have on a non-show character - are called "micro-continuities." In a corner of The Multiverse, events like movie happened and also NEST has a squad of Autobots and non-feral Allspark mutations we didn't know about helping them fight the 'cons (Several non-sentient vehicles in the films have transforming toys whose packaging gives them something akin to Flavor Text. By TF Wiki rules, while these vehicles actually being these characters is not true in the movies themselves, it may constitute a "micro continuity" where the plane Optimus jumps out of is Stratosphere, the truck that Mikaela used to get an injured Bumblebee out of harm's way is Longarm and did it himself, a bike seen in Mikaela's garage is Brimstone, at least one Sector Seven dune buggy is Dune Runner, etc.)
    • TF Wiki has cataloged an extensive list of commercials, most featuring their own continuity. Perhaps they depict multiple skirmishes that went unseen on the show.
    • The "Electric Train and Battle Set" depicts a battle between blue and silver non-transforming robots, utilizing a series of train cars turning into a Hawkfighter jet, Proton Laser Cannon and Weapon Center.
    • In a Beast Wars McDonald's ad, a boy and an adult man stare at a McDonald's restaurant as it transforms, unaware of the kids inside, playing with Happy Meal toys. With the restaurant fully transformed into a giant robot, the man exclaims, "Cool!" while the boy quizzically asks, "But where's the door?" A panel with a McDonald's logo opens on the robot's torso, revealing a giant Ronald McDonald, who exclaims, "Did somebody say McDonald's?"

    Video Games 
  • In an Acclaim ad, a kid playing with the Acclaim wireless remote for the NES flips back from his chair as a pair of arms from WWF WrestleMania attempt to grab at him, then is pushed by strong currents of air as he hangs on to the chair, then dodges a monstrous green spiked tail and back flips away, then flips the controller in the air, catches it, and shoots out lasers from the controller.
  • Crash Bandicoot
    • A man in an Aku Aku mask is apprehended by police at a Piggly Wiggly convenience store.
    • A man in a Crash Bandicoot outfit drives a truck through Washington, loaded with television sets and PlayStation consoles, looking for Nintendo headquarters and a "plumber boy", eats at a diner and walks out, backs up the truck at night into Joseph J. Feldman's driveway and harasses him on a loudspeaker, harasses kids at a Pizza Hut with a loudspeaker and is offered a job, locates Nintendo headquarters and harasses the office with a loudspeaker until being escorted by security, goes through airport security and dumps out a bunch of inventory, tries to put a large item through an airport x-ray scanner, harasses Brad and his girlfriend at a movie theater with a loudspeaker with Sweet Tooth and Lara Croft until Brad is convinced to play PlayStation games with Lara, harasses a Martha Stewart expy with a loudspeaker on a lawn tractor with Sweet Tooth driving, takes motorbike lessons from Robbie Knievel, takes swimming lessons from world champion swimmer Mark Spitz and complains of shrinkage, takes skydiving lessons, drives a limo and attempts to pick up chicks, continues harassing an old woman from the same limo, participates in roller derby, gets a tank stuck in traffic and gets a ticket, interrupts a covert military mission and gets captured, harasses an injured patient at a hospital, and harasses an employee and a customer at a King Auto Supply store.
    • A man, in a Crash Bandicoot suit, without a visible face in the suit, harasses an ostrich, a wakeboarder, a motorbike racer, and a skateboarder, and is identified in a Police Lineup by a group of monsters.
  • In a Dragon Quest I ad, the Dragon Warrior, an armored knight riding on horseback, is tasked by King Loric to gather inventory items and use commands to prepare in facing the Dragon Lord.
  • In an Ecco the Dolphin ad, a Jacques Cousteau expy recalls spending time with Ecco while on an expedition.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    • An Elliot expy approaches a gazebo at night when an E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial box is mysteriously tossed at him. He picks up the game, and plays it with his mom on the Atari 2600.
    • During Christmas, a bright light shines through the window of a house decorated for Christmas. The front door opens, and a short extraterrestrial wearing a Santa outfit comes in from the snow, alerting the dog. The extraterrestrial points at a Christmas present under the tree and opens its wrapping with telekinesis, revealing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600. Inserting the game into the console, the extraterrestrial nonchalantly begins playing. The dog notices a boy and girl emerging from the bedroom door and walking down the stairs with great anticipation.
  • Final Fantasy
    • In a Final Fantasy VI ad, Mog is a casting director looking to find only the toughest monsters. In a Japanese ad, Terra appears in Shibuya, riding a Magitek armor and tearing up the street.
    • In a Final Fantasy IX ad, Zidane, Garnet and Vivi run through the streets, chasing a magical Coca-cola bottle cap that activates a fireworks display.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning joins the Louis Vuitton fashion family, becomes a Louis Vuitton ambassador, models for the Louis Vuitton Series 4 campaign, and is interviewed by the The Telegraph.
  • In a Joust ad, a man plays Joust on the Atari 5200 while a caged bird starts chirping. Two knights mounted on large birds emerge through the walls and joust. An egg appears. The man transforms into a vulture person.
  • Kirby
    • In a Kirby's Dream Land ad, Kirby is compared in a superhero contest to "Dashing Super Guy". Kirby inhales his entire body, and spits him out as something horrible.
    • In a Kirby's Adventure ad, Kirby flexes his muscles in front of body builders, tosses a man out of a saloon in a black and white The Wild West, engages in Flynning on a staircase, travels in a tornado in a black and white hurricane, eats a man alive, and imposingly emerges out of a giant television screen in front of a gathered crowd of onlookers in a black and white world, before merging into a colored image of Kirby's Adventure on the over sized television screen.
    • In a Kirby's Avalanche ad, a man undergoes a police interrogation to identify a pink marshmallow man that forced him and his friends to play Kirby's Avalanche.
    • In a Kirby's Dream Land 2 ad, Kirby, Rick, Kine, and Coo are scowling tough guys roughhousing some Hell's Angels.
    • In a Kirby Super Star ad, a kid undergoing body expansion is rushed to an emergency room for TMK, Too Much Kirby. The doctors roll him into an observation room with others who have their bodies similarly expanded. The nurse pops one of the kids with a needle, and he flies around like a balloon.
    • In a Kirby: Canvas Curse ad, Kirby has a relationship with an enormous finger.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Metal Gear Solid
    • Snake has a codec conversation with the Colonel about the Ford Focus SE for driving around Shadow Moses Island.
    • Snake fights Psycho Mantis after hearing the specifications for the Ford Fusion Titanium.
  • In a Metroid 1 ad, a man in a futuristic suit plays Metroid with the NES Advantage controller while sitting on a large chair. His television set teleports him to a world of action packed flips and dodging.
  • In a Mischief Makers ad, two kids enter a taxi. The taxi cab driver starts insanely ranting about elements from the game, and turns to reveal eyes from Animeland. Both kids run out of the cab. A boxed copy of the game is on the dashboard.
  • Mortal Kombat has Mortal Kombat: Live Tour, a live martial arts stage show about retrieving a magical amulet from Shao Kahn.
  • In a PlayStation 2 ad, in 2078, the PlayStation 9 spheroid opens to send electronic spores to tap directly into the adrenal gland. Features improved retinal scanning, a mind control system, and telepathic personal music.
  • In a Puzzle & Dragons ad, a man enters a subway car, finding a crowd of people backing away from a fierce dragon. The man holds up his arms in a defensive stance, with his smartphone in hand, blocking the dragon's fiery breath. By playing Puzzle & Dragons on his smartphone, he enchants someone with blue energy, who charges at the dragon and is singed by a second blast of the dragon's fiery breath. He enchants a skateboard with red energy, held by a woman wearing red, who charges forward with red skateboard in hand, enchants a pizza box held by a man wearing green, who has a woman hold the box as he throws enchanted green slices of pizza, and enchants the purse of an elderly woman, who swings her yellow enchanted purse about wildly, and their combined attacks defeat the dragon. After the battle, the five who participated in the battle sit next to each other on the subway seats, hanging out.
  • In a The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants ad, Bart is told to go to bed, but stays up and plays The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants in his room while struggling with a blanket and ignoring screams from Homer.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • Several ads for the first name has a burnt sheep going around town telling people Spyro is a menace.
    • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! has what looks like stop-motion snowmen from a holiday commercial. One commercial pulls back to reveal that Spyro has torched a snowman's head off because he made the mistake of Bullying The Dragon, literally. Another in a parody of The Blair Witch Project, a snowman is talking into his camera while running from Spyro, who caught him at the end. Another has expies of Davey and Goliath, the Davey-expy is bothering Spyro while the Goliath-expy warns him not to, Spyro then head-butts the boy and torched his butt.
    • In a Spyro: Year of the Dragon ad, Spyro is attacking Japan.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • In a Mario Bros. ad, Luigi, in his red plaid shirt, drops his plunger on the floor of an industrial plumbing facility and avoids enemies coming out the pipes. Exasperated, Luigi calls out, "Mario, where are you?", as a giant crab claw grabs his right arm. He runs through the facility and calls out again, and the giant crab claw grabs his neck. Another claw emerges from a pipe and presents both the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 versions of the game. Luigi retreats into a pipe, raising a white flag in surrender.
    • In a Nintendo Cereal System ad, Mario hops on three children whose heads become television sets, and they become Trapped in TV Land, going through Stage 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. Mario encounters some sprites, and they become marshmallows, while the kids find Link in The Legend Of Zelda and call him Zelda. Link encounters some sprites, and they become marshmallows. One kid devours a spoonful of cereal while racking up points in his glasses. Mario jumps around a table showing a nutritious breakfast. Mario jumps around the kids, who are eating cereal with their television set heads. Mario hops on to the front of the cereal box and Mario and Link return to their respective worlds.
    • In a Dr. Mario ad, a man with a shrunken head sings David Seville's "Witch Doctor" while flashing back to the Witch Doctor he encountered, who is also singing David Seville's "Witch Doctor". Both the NES and Game Boy versions are in the Witch Doctor's hut. Both the man and the Witch Doctor play against each other with two Game Boys connected by a link cable. The Witch Doctor jumps out of his hut and starts dancing and chanting as a bonfire explodes. The man explains, after beating the Witch Doctor at the game, the Witch Doctor shrunk his head.
    • In a Super Mario Bros. 3 ad, a large crowd of people dressed in blue, white, black, and red chant "Mario!" as Mario's face is visible from space, covering much of North America.
    • In an ad for the Yoshi puzzle game, Yoshi rampages through the city, casting a large shadow on the streets. Yoshi turns out to not be that tall. Then, a Goomba, Blooper, Boo, and Piranha plant compress into an egg, and Yoshi hatches out of the egg. Yoshi finds a kid on a park bench, and the kid says, "Hey, Yoshi!"
    • In a Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins ad, Wario's Hypnotic Head convinces the audience that he is the master, and Mario is the enemy. Wario convinces the audience not to let Mario collect the six golden coins or reach the palace. Wario's Hypnotic Eyes convince the audience to obey Wario, and destroy Mario.
    • In a Yoshi's Island ad, a man, eating at a diner, engorges himself and re-enacts that one scene from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
    • In a Japanese Super Mario RPG ad, three piranha plants emerge from a city rooftop and start dancing and singing.
    • Mario drives through a Mario Kart 8 course in a Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV, steps out into realistic resolution, and watches Luigi slip on a banana peel, or Peach jumping over a green shell.
    • Mario drives a Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV through Stage 1-1, steps out in realistic resolution, and dies from coming into contact with a Goomba. In Super Mario Maker, this is referenced with a Costume Mario.
  • Tetris
    • In a Game Boy Tetris ad, a man in a futuristic metal suit points his finger and shoots a laser, teleporting in a teenager playing Tetris on the Game Boy. The man in the suit hooks up head phones to his helmet, and with his own Game Boy, plays a furious Button Mashing link cable battle against the teenager, who looks up and smiles at the man, firing a laser blast from his finger, as the man disappears in a blast of energy.
    • In a NES Tetris ad, in a doctor's office, a child doctor recommends a Tetris shot. An Opera lady sings "Nintendo", causing a building to collapse. In a classroom, a student explains the nature of a Tetrizoid. Tetris pieces fall on Isaac Newton's head. A kid button mashes furiously on an NES controller.
  • In a Wizards and Warriors ad, while a kid is playing Wizards & Warriors, Kuros opens the door to his room, stabbing at some monster from the forests of his world. He raises his sword and shouts, "triumph is ours!" as a tentacle reaches into the room. Kuros urges the kid to play Ironsword, preparing him to face the evil Malkil. Kuros leaves the fate of the world in the boy's hands, and goes back through the door to his own world. When the kid opens his front door, he finds his dog, and a mysterious puff of smoke.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: The Planeteers combine their powers to summon the Ford Focus Electric.
  • The Flintstones
    • Fred and Barney's love of Winston cigarettes is never acknowledged on the show.
    • Fred's longstanding grudge against Barney, for taking reasonable quantities of Fruity Pebbles and/or Cocoa Pebbles cereal, which Fred is quite possessive of, in order to survive and thrive in the Stone Age, as part of a peacefully coexisting tribal community, has not been well documented on the show, where Fred's hard working family man personality is exemplified.
  • Ghostbusters: At a grocery store in the city, closed for the night, an employee stocks the shelves. Dancing to the Ghostbusters theme playing on his headphones, the employee carries a box of Hi-C towards an aisle full of Hi-C, where there is another box full of Hi-C. The employee sets the cardboard box he was carrying down on the floor and reaches towards the box. The box opens by itself, a glowing green light emanating from it, as Slimer bursts forth, and the employee screams. Then, Slimer screams, and backs up into the shelves of Hi-C, knocking over cans of the stuff as the employee trips and falls back over the stack of boxes. Remaining on the floor, the employee, with one foot resting upon the box, sips Hi-C among the rest of the Hi-C drink boxes scattered about, and exclaims, "Wow!"
  • The Simpsons: The Simpsons family tend to eat wholesome, home cooked meals. Outside the show, the Simpsons family proudly declare their hoggish love of brand name foods and other products in multiple languages. The Simpsons have appeared in commercials for 1-800-COLLECT, Baseball ads, ads for Coca-Cola, Burger King, Butterfinger, Church's Chicken, Domino's Pizza, Intel, MasterCard, Nike, Ramada Inn, Ritz Bits, Subway, T.G.I. Friday's, Toyota, Universal Studios Florida, and Wonderful Pistachios in the US, CC's Chips in Australia, KFC and Teletoon in Canada, Papas Margarita potato chips in Columbia, Kangoo car dealers in the Czech Republic, Vizir detergent in France, Sabritas Lay's potato chips in Mexico, Doritos in the Netherlands, Channel 4 and Sky 1 stations in the UK, No Problemos cereal in the UK, Japanese commercials for C.C. Lemon soft drinks, and ice cream at the Mister Donut fast food restaurant in Japan.
  • Ads for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal featured the Turtles using their Ninja Nets. Those Turtles. Always using their Ninja Nets.

Alternative Title(s): Plot Sold Separately

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AdvertisingOnlyContinuity