Author's Saving Throw
aka: ptitlehr8d6bdwnwsk

"Here's a secret — when I finally okayed the clone saga, I told Danny Fingeroth to build a back door into it. I said that I wanted to be able to bring Peter back as the real deal... While the fans claim they want change, they tend to react negatively to it. So do most creators!"
Marvel Editor Tom DeFalco on The Clone Saga

Changes to a story are an aversion to Status Quo Is God, but such changes are a necessary part of Character Development and Plot Twists. What makes such changes an Authors Saving Throw is when the creators add them to (or remove them from) a story based on what they've heard from their audience.

Even writers without Direct Demographic capabilities usually gain some form of access to the fandom that has spawned around their creation. They may find out that a Shocking Swerve they wrote was not well-received and decide to retcon that storyline. Or they may learn what fans were inspired to do, and incorporate those things into later works as a Shout-Out to the fans.

Named for a common Tabletop Game term originating in Dungeons & Dragons; a "saving throw" is a die roll representing, say, a hero's attempt to catch themselves when falling off a cliff, or the Deadpan Snarker's attempt to resist the urge to taunt Cthulhu.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Many City Hunter fans were angered when they learned that Ryo Saeba's partner, Kaori Makimura, was killed off in its spinoff Angel Heart. Because of this, Tsukasa Hojo, the author of both titles, went on to proclaim that Angel Heart was not actually a City Hunter sequel, but a spin-off set in an Alternate Universe featuring most of the same characters.
  • Naruto:
    • Fans claimed Sasuke was a ridiculously Easily Forgiven Karma Houdini at the end of the manga, so Shippuden episode 479 added a shot of Sasuke sitting in prison while blindfolded and heavily restrained, while Sixth Hokage Kakashi jumps through hoops to try and get him released.
    • A minor one concerning a piece of dialogue: At one point during the final battle with Madara, Kakashi remarks that Sakura's feelings for Sasuke "had changed over time", some shipping fans interpreted and tried to use this as proof that Sakura didn't love Sasuke anymore; However the anime adaptation added another line where he explicitly clarifies that she still loves him but it's now on a totally different level. And they end up married at the end of the series.
  • Many fans had started to disapprove of the incredible over-the-top antics and Monster of the Week aspects of Tenchi in Tokyo, especially since all signs pointed to it being a sequel to Tenchi Universe (Tenchi says it's been two years since they all got together and when Noboyuki mentions Achika, the young, schoolgirl version from Tenchi Muyo in Love appears). Episode 13 and 14 later revealed that it was firmly an AU.
  • Cyborg009 was originally intended to end at the Yomi arc, with the apparent deaths of 002 and 009. This would end the manga at volume 15 (or volume 10 in the USA release, which is where Tokyopop did in fact end things). Fan revolt and the popularity of the series convinced Ishinomori to resume the manga soon enough, and he threw in a retcon stating that 001 managed to teleport the two to safety before they could die (they still wound up comatose and having to be rebuilt, but were alive).
  • Genshiken: The Madarame Harem Arc ended with no real winner, making many fans upset that a two-year-long build-up essentially amounted to nothing and possibly even dismissed the development of another character. By the penultimate chapter, several of the characters rag on Madarame before Saki and Kousaka join them to settle the decisions once and for all while calling out his reasoning, telling him to go with Sue.
  • Fairy Tail: The Tartarus arc contained the following saving throws:
  • Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened used a different Mewtwo over the one from the first movie and its direct sequel. This new Mewtwo ended up as quite the Base-Breaking Character, and soured many fans. The next movie to reuse past legendaries, Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, would heavily imply they were all the same ones that appeared in their original movies (even the one who died at the end of Pokémon Heroes).
  • In One Piece, the Dressrosa arc was incredibly long, at almost 2,000 pages long and going on for over two years in Weekly Shonen Jump. As if Eiichiro Oda was apologizing for it dragging on, the following arc, the Zou arc, is literally one-fifth of Dressrosa's length.
  • In Saki, one criticism of the Side B semifinals is that all four teams tended to stay in the same positions for much of the round, particularly Rinkai's overwhelming lead and Usuzan being dead last and in danger of going bust for a fair portion of the match. The captain match, however, seems to address this by having things get shaken up a bit, to the point at which Usuzan briefly gets to second place.
  • Shokugeki no Soma: The fact that Souma's father Jouichirou is a world famous chef and one of the best chefs to come out of Tootsuki initially seems to run counter to theme that Souma is simply an everyman who proves that anyone can succeed. Subsequent chapters establish that Jouichirou never actually taught Souma how to cook and didn't even want him to become a chef. It was only through challenging his father every day that Souma gradually became a skilled chef.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam there is a series of episodes where the White Base is in enemy territory on Earth, they need to pass through North and Central America to reach Jaburo. During this time they run low on spare parts and their mobile suits end up in really bad disrepair. Fans have often asked whey they didn't start salvaging some of the many Zeon suits that Amuro periodically destroyed to use as backups (especially since Ryu Jose and Hayato are stuck piloting the Guntank, which is basically a cap-ship's cannon on treads). When the story was retold in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin the Guntank was eventually replaced with a salvaged and modified Zaku which Kai Shiden piloted until they reached Jaburo.
  • In the original series of Neon Genesis Evangelion, some people complained about how Shinji behaved during the Bardiel incident, where the parasitic angel took over Unit-03 and turned it against NERV, holding its pilot hostage. While it was understandable that Shinji would be reluctant to destroy Unit-03 completely as Gendo was ordering him to, he refused to even try to defend himself against the possessed Eva, even when it had its hands around Unit-01's throat and was about to kill him. Obviously this wouldn't help the hostage either, and Shinji is being so immature that it didn't seem that unreasonable when Gendo activated the Dummy Plug system instead. When it came time for the same scene in Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji does grab Unit-03's arms by the wrists and force them away from Unit-01's neck, so Bardiel grows a second pair of arms from the back of its shoulders and overpowers him. He's still not willing to go all-out to save himself (especially as he knows it's Asuka inside the Eva this time), but he doesn't seem quite so childish and it makes Gendo's use of the Dummy Plug more of the Kick the Dog moment it was intended to be.

     Comic Books 
  • Power Girl: When Power Girl's Atlantean origin was revealed, fan reaction was mostly negative. Therefore, issues of JSA: Classified and Infinite Crisis subverted the reveal, and restored her origins as a Kryptonian and survivor of Earth-Two.
  • She-Hulk:
    • While Dan Slott was in charge, he made a saving throw for another comic title, The Punisher. A lot of controversy grew out of an issue where Frank poisoned and blew up a bar filled with two dozen C-List villains. Because of this, Dan used one She Hulk issue to reveal they survived and had their stomachs pumped.
    • Sometimes saving throws need their own saving throws. After an X-Men comic revealed She-Hulk had slept with the Juggernaut while also serving as his defense attorneynote , fan reaction was heavily negative, with readers considering this to be an out-of-character violation of legal ethics, and also squicky. Throughout the run, Slott had She-Hulk deny it, while everyone accused her of being a whore whenever She-Hulk denied the charge. The pay-off to the whole thing was her pulling out an alternate universe tourist counterpart who claimed she was the one who slept with the Juggernaut.

      Fan reaction to this retcon was even more negative than the original, largely due to how widespread the retcon's effects could potentially be. The alternate She-Hulk was merely one of a large number of alternate heroes and villains who would come to the main Marvel Universe and act out of character, and thus, every character is potentially an imposter. The plotline was so widely reviled, that Peter David (who took over after Slott left the book) immediately rolled his own saving throw denouncing it as lies, and later writers of She-Hulk have had the character herself wondering if maybe she did sleep with Juggernaut after all.
  • Spider-Man
    • During The Clone Saga, it was stated that new character Ben Reilly was the original Spider-Man and the character that had been in comics for the past 20 years was the clone, which wasn't even the original intention of the hook. This didn't sit well with fans and was taken out again; a hook had been added by the writer in case they needed to. The whole thing was really kind of a mess, so the story ultimately ended with Ben being killed off and Peter being revealed to have been the real Spider-Man all along.
    • One Moment in Time attempted to address the issues that arose out of the extremely controversial One More Day.
    • Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy got flak for retconning that during the event of The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Gwen had regained consciousness enough to overhear the Green Goblin call Spider-Man "Peter" and spent her last moments hating Peter. Issue 4 sees Peter confront the real Gwen and Gwen says that while she feels betrayed by what happened, she still loves Peter and understands why he's Spider-Man.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Hal went Ax-Crazy after the destruction of his city becoming the villain Parallax. Some fans were not happy, seeing it as a Bridge Drop in favor of the Younger and Hipper Kyle Rayner. Geoff Johns eventually retconned this into Parallax being an ancient alien fear monster who was responsible for the Lanterns' weakness to yellow and who slowly pulled Hal over to Brainwashed and Crazy. Many of the named characters Hal had killed were brought back to life, as well.
    • Arisia was first introduced as a 13-year-old GL who had a sort of little sister/big brother dynamic with Hal. This eventually turned into Arisia harboring an unrequited Precocious Crush on Hal, which later resulted in a story where she used her ring to age herself up so that she could enter a relationship with him. Fans found the whole thing kind of Squicky, so Johns later stated that due to her planet's prolonged orbit around its two suns, 13 years on her world were technically closer to 240 years on Earth.
    • As society marched on, fans began to raise eyebrows at Hal's origin, specifically the fact that the most fearless guy on the planet conveniently turned out to be a straight, white, male American. A story was eventually done that showed there were many Green Lantern candidates all throughout the globe, and Hal was chosen because he just happened to be the one closest to Abin Sur's crash site.
  • Batman:
    • The editorially influenced attempt to recreate Batgirl III/Cassandra Cain (from Batgirl (2000)) as Robin's erudite Dark Action Girl nemesis (explained by her returning to her supposed Assassin roots) provoked rather justifiable complaints that the writer and editor involved hadn't bothered to read Batgirl's solo title. A few months later, we found out that Deathstroke was feeding her mind-control drugs, really.
    • An issue of Robin smoothed the controversial issues of Stephanie Brown's death and Leslie Thompkins' moral downfall in the "War Games"/"War Crimes" arcs:
      • Stephanie Brown's death was faked with Leslie Thompkins's help to keep Black Mask away from her, and Leslie did not, as had previously been claimed, deliberately kill Stephanie by withholding treatment from her in order to discourage Batman from taking on Kid Sidekicks. Batman suspected, but to give Stephanie Brown privacy, he never shared his feelings with Robin.
      • An earlier comic had used her absence from the memorial case used to justify that Stephanie was never an official Robin. Once it was revealed that Batman suspected she was still alive, it became why he never added Stephanie's Robin suit to the memorial (she wasn't dead, so she couldn't be a dead Robin).
    • Probably in an attempt to please fans of all three Batgirls, the final issue of Gail Simone's Batgirl (2011) series was a Futures End tie-in that featured Cass, Steph, and a new Batgirl named Tiffany working together alongside Barbara Gordon as the League of Batgirls. The issue was almost universally well received.
    • Mr. Freeze's revival during Knightquest was due to this trope - Freeze had been killed by the Joker during Robin II: The Joker's Wild, putting an end to a seemingly lackluster villain. Then Batman: The Animated Series came out and "Heart of Ice" suddenly made Freeze popular. When he came back, it was revealed he had a special device in his suit that put him in suspended animation to save his life.
  • The Toyman, a B-list Superman villain, was traditionally just a funny man in a striped suit who built dangerous giant toys to rob banks and give the Man of Steel a hard time, but in the Dark Age he was re-imagined as a bald child murderer in a black cloak. This didn't go over too well. Fast-forward to 2008, when it's revealed that the bald Toyman was a defective robot decoy created by the real Toyman, who is now once again a funny man in a striped suit, albeit a dangerously insane one, who will do anything (up to and including murder) to protect children. Funny thing - the Darker and Edgier Toyman actually started out as a parody of the trend; he adopted the new persona and modus operandi because he was left out of the latest line of Superman action figures for not being a dangerous enough villain.
  • Black Panther: Jack Kirby's short-lived run ignored pretty much all of T'Challa's characterization and supporting cast from the far better received Jungle Action series, and had him acting wildly Out of Character to boot. This was eventually resolved in a storyline from Marvel Premier, where it was revealed that T'Challa had been suffering from severe Laser-Guided Amnesia for most of Kirby's run.
  • An issue of New Avengers drew some Internet Backdraft over a scene where Hawkeye had sex with an amnesiac Scarlet Witch, which some fans argued constituted rape. The Children's Crusade retconned this out by revealing the Scarlet Witch Hawkeye slept with was Actually a Doombot. Ironically, Hawkeye is now the one who had been raped.
  • Monica Rambeau: A number of fans criticized Greg Land's redesign of Monica for Mighty Avengers (2013), especially black fans who disliked Monica suddenly having straight, European-style hair. Al Ewing then wrote a scene where Monica was shown horrified after a young black girl said she wanted to straighten her hair to look like hers, and by the end of his run, he brought back Monica's dreads and Badass Long Coat.
  • Supergirl: In 2004, Kara Zor-El was reintroduced with a new origin; Zor-El was evil and sent Kara to Earth to kill baby Kal-El. Fans hated it. Author after author has stepped up to try a saving throw (no, wait, she was sent back to babysit him, no, wait, Zor-El wanted her to kill him after all but she didn't want to but got brainwashed, no, wait, she was sent back to fight off ghosts from the Phantom Zone, and so on, and so forth). Supergirl #35 hand waved off all of the previous origins as dementia caused by Kryptonite poisoning and gave her back the classic Silver Age Origin Story, and Supergirl #34 had her finally take a Secret Identity (Linda Lang. Cute, DC Comics, very cute).
  • The Punisher: After many fans hated The Punisher: Purgatory turning Frank into a supernatural force with divine powers, Welcome Back, Frank changed it back to Frank being a human, criminal-hunting anti-hero.
  • The Atom:
    • The one-shot, Titans: Villains For Hire, managed to spark racial controversy when Ryan Choi, the second Atom, was killed (and his body carried around in a shoebox), and a new Atom series starring Ray Palmer (Choi's white predecessor) was launched. When DC announced its intent to reboot with the New 52, the Ryan Choi Atom was announced as joining the Justice League, to much fan rejoicing.
    • Fan reaction slowly started to sour, though, when the promised Ryan Choi, though name-dropped as alive, never appeared, while Ray was demoted to a supporting character in the short-lived Frankenstein: Agents of SHADE. An Atom did join the League eventually, but she was a completely new character and secretly an evil spy from another dimension. Fans grumbled about the lack of an heroic Atom, so when DC's next reboot rolled around with DC Rebirth, Ryan Choi appeared in DC Rebirth #1 heading out to rescue Ray Palmer. Fans rejoiced again. In addition, Convergence revealed the pre-Flashpoint Ryan to be Only Mostly Dead, and saw him restored and reunited with the pre-Flaspoint Ray, even getting to punish his Karma Houdini killer, Deathstroke.
  • The controversial mini-series Justice League: Cry for Justice saw Roy Harper having his arm ripped off and his daughter Lian being violently crushed to death. This lead to an unpopular period where Roy relapsed and became addicted to heroin (which he had kicked in the 70's) and even became a member of Deathstroke's decidedly less-than-heroic Titans team. This whole series of events was retconned out by the 2011 DC relaunch, with Roy having both arms intact, no dead daughter tragedy, and his original heroin addiction replaced by alcoholism; however, when that proved unsatisfactory, the Crisis Crossover event Convergence resurrected Lian and had pre-Flashpoint Roy reunited with her and abandoning his dark days for good.
  • Justice League of America: There was an outcry over the death of Tasmanian Devil, one of the few openly-gay superheroes DC has, calling James Robinson anti-gay. He later wrote a JLA story that ended in Tasmanian Devil's resurrection.
  • In Thor issue 301, Thor is visiting the various pantheons of Earth to gather energy to revive the Asgardians. All's well and good, until he gets to the Hindu gods, and Shiva demands a fight in exchange for the energy, and thanks to some rules-screwing, Thor manages to defeat him. This did not sit very well with Hindu fans, as Shiva is the Big Good to more than a few Hindus and his power is said to be limitless, and besides that it just didn't make much sense from a storytelling perspective, as Shiva was stated to be equal to Vishnu, who is stated to be equal to Odin; would changing the setting of the battle really make up for the power gap? Anyway, next time the Hindu gods showed up, it was revealed that Shiva was out that day and Indra, a far less powerful god, was filling in for him, as well as publishing the Encyclopedia Mythologica, which states that the limits of power possessed by Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are completely unknown.
  • A Spider-Man oneshot featured the apparent death of Sabra, an Israeli superheroine, by being ignominiously shot In the Back by Crossbones. Fans were upset at the fact that Sabra is a Nigh Invulnerable powerhouse capable of trading punches with the Hulk, claiming a normal sniper round shouldn't have even hurt. The result was the writer having to go on Twitter and confirm he'd just grazed her. Whether this was intended the entire time or an example of I Meant to Do That is debatable, but she's since reappeared without a scratch on her.
  • Journey into Mystery: To appease fans of Norse Mythology, Kieron Gillen rewrote the character of Loki, reborn following his death in Siege. The new Loki is a well meaning-if-occasionally-trouble-making Guile Hero, much closer to the traditional mythology.
  • Following Avengers vs. X-Men, fans pointed out plot holes and Fridge Logic aspects of the story. Kieron Gillen wrote Consequences, which explored many of the same issues fans had discussing, such as noting Wolverine being ultimately at fault for the whole incident and points out how he nearly destroyed the Earth by attempting to kill Hope Summers.
  • The New 52:
    • Harley Quinn: DC announced an art contest based around drawing a page for the #0 issue that ended with a panel described in the script as a naked Harley about to commit an Electrified Bathtub Bath Suicide. This sparked Internet Backdraft over an apparent misogynistic eroticisation of a woman's suicide, made worse by the fact that the script didn't include any of the dialogue, or indicate that it was meant to be contextualized as a fantasy sequence. When the issue was published, the final panel of the page showed a fully-clothed (well, as much as she ever is in the New 52) Harley Riding the Bomb instead.
    • DC attempted to give a number of female characters that had their own comics more modest, practical costumes as part of the reboot, annoying a number of fans in the process. Power Girl, Zatanna, and Black Canary characters all ditched their new suits in favor of costumes much closer to their classic designs.
    • For the Huntress series, DC brought back the original, 70's-era Huntress, Helena Wayne, but in the process Dropped A Bridge On Helena Bertinelli, her successor. The fans divided in a Broken Base over the incident. Then, following the events of Forever Evil, DC revealed that Helena Bertinelli was in fact alive, and that she'd be a major character in the Grayson series.
    • The first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws showed Starfire as amnesiac and unable to remember individual humans' faces, which made the fact that she then slept with Roy Harper pretty iffy. Her personality and characterization were pretty much entirely erased, leaving her someone who just wanted to have sex with whoever. Pretty much nobody but the writer was even a little bit amused with a character who was reduced to a blow-up doll in barely any clothing — yes, even compared to her old costume. Writers tried showing that this was an act before it was further clarified that Roy believed that if he left, then she'd forget him. Fans reacted with Squick and it seemed DC really couldn't win with this one, so she has left the team entirely to get a Lighter and Softer solo series, as well as a more modest costume (more or less the same as Teen Titans with hotpants instead of a skirt). Her familiar characterization returns, and nothing of her Outlaws days is mentioned.
    • After the complaints about the Teen Titans relaunch disrespecting the vast history of the franchise by establishing Tim Drake's team as the first ever group of Titans, the Titans Hunt mini-series established that a prior team resembling the original Silver Age Teen Titans did indeed predate the modern group.
    • DC Rebirth was a Saving Throw for the New 52 era as a whole. The New 52 had alienated some longtime fans by embracing being Darker and Edgier and by wiping away beloved Legacy Characters and relationships in the interest of starting from scratch. Rebirth began to reintroduce several missing elements starting with Wally West, the third Flash, and openly stated that it intended to move toward the brighter side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. The New 52 changes were even blamed on a Reality Warper, Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, metatextually saying that the problem was writers trying to mimic his comic of origin too much, as many others had in The Dark Age of Comic Books.
  • The Avengers issue #200 became infamous for having Ms. Marvel character Carol Danvers suddenly pregnant, giving birth to a boy who grows up to adulthood within a day. Identifying himself as Marcus, he explains how he controlled her and impregnated her with himself as a method of crossing dimensions. At the end of the issue, Marcus must return home and Carol decides to follow him. Chris Claremont later wrote Carol's return, whereupon she gives a What the Hell, Hero? speech to the Avengers for letting her go with Marcus when he was controlling her mind.
  • Way back in the '70s, The Falcon, Sam Wilson, had a controversial retcon to his origin, where he was actually a pimp who went by the name "Snap" Wilson and that his down-to-earth family origin was something the Red Skull had tossed in while using the Cosmic Cube. J.M DeMatteis later tried to fix this by explaining that Sam Wilson was truly a good man from a loving family, and that "Snap" Wilson was actually a Split Personality created by the trauma of losing his parents. Rick Remender later took this a step further in All-New Captain America, definitively stating that "Snap" Wilson never existed, and that the whole thing was just the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube to warp Sam's memories.
  • Captain America: When Bucky Barnes first appeared, he was clearly a child, but Kid Sidekicks gradually fell out of favor in the ensuing decades. Ed Brubaker dealt with this by establishing that Bucky had been a teenager who grew up on an army base, and that prior to meeting Cap, he had undergone an intense military training regimen overseas, meaning that he was already a skilled soldier well before he entered the war.
  • The 2017 series of Nova restored Richard Rider to life after years of fans asking for his return. Additionally, the series has him mentoring his successor, Sam Alexander, appeasing the fans who had grown to like the new Nova during Rich's absence. The second issue also has a subplot showing that even though many of the heroes of Earth don't appreciate or understand Rich, his heroic exploits have made him a hero to the many aliens residing on Knowhere.
  • A lot of Avengers Forever was damage control for The Crossing as it's revealed that Immortus had only manipulated Iron Man since Operation Galactic Storm to the Crossing and not from Kang's first battle with the Avengers, and that the Mantis who seemed to have made a Face–Heel Turn was really a Space Phantom.
  • The Children's Crusade undid the Scarlet Witch's Face–Heel Turn and even revealed that her actions during Avengers Disassembled and House of M were the result of being possessed by a cosmic entity.

  • Nobody Dies had a particularly weak fourth season, and is generally considered the point of where all the story's weak bits began showing. This eventually required the author to retcon almost the entire season into being a shared dream. The problem was that, while the Saving Throw wasn't a full-blown Voodoo Shark, people still raged against it because it ended up (apparently) eliminating what they did liked about the season... which resulted into a Creator Breakdown and the story becoming "dormant".
  • Readers of the Poké Wars story, "The Subsistence" were baffled by Dawn's sudden prowess with guns, and most complained that it was an Ass Pull. Then Cornova wrote "The Incipience" and did some minor rewriting which better explained Dawn's sudden gain of Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • The Pretty Cure fan fic, Twilight Pretty Cure got significant backlash over the unintentional way the author treated some serious subjects. The author accepted the legitimacy of these concerns and set out to completely rewrite the story.
  • A common complaint about Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness is that the Cruciatus Curse is demoted from being a nightmarish torture to the equivalent of flogging — the students take to bragging about how often they get cruciated. Thanfiction wrote a scene in Chapter 21 of the first story where Neville, facing Bellatrix, gets hit with the curse — and thinks to himself, just before he whites out from the pain, that the Carrows never did a proper one.
  • Aftermath of the Games was hit with a Broken Base over Twilight defeating the villainous Starlight Glimmer by Ret Goneing her via adopting her younger self and taking her away to the future, especially since it happened offscreen. The sequel, Integration, addressed some concerns the fans had by using an interlude chapter to flashback to the event in question. It shows that Twilight did offer Starlight the same chance of redemption that she got in canon, but she refused and became even more dangerous, meaning that Twilight really DID have no other choice. Also, despite her friends, brother, and fellow princesses being extremely supportive of her decision and believing that it was necessary in those circumstances, Twilight is haunted by what she did, feeling like she had purposely murdered the original Starlight, which combined with her being fully aware of the possible ramifications of altering the timeline meant she felt undeserving to be filly Starlight's adoptive mom.
  • Parodied in Peter Chimaera's Digimon 3: Predator vs Digimon. Peter Chimaera is a well known writer of Troll Fics and is notorious for his intentionally inaccurate portrayals of the source material he writes fanfiction about. His first two Digimon stories, for example, erroneously used the name Digimon for a single character, rather than the collective term for multiple species of digital creatures, like it is in the original source. After a lot of complaints about this by people who did not realize the joke, Chimaera pretends he realized this mistake and retcons it in Digimon 3, saying the character Digimon belongs to a new species of Digimon he specifically created for his story.
    Peter Chimaera: Auithors notel Digimon is a new Digimon because there is not actual Digimon that is called Digimon he is a new one that I invented

    Films — Animated 

  • Legend says that Stesichorus (a Greek poet, who lived in the 7-6th centuries BCE) was struck with blindness after he wrote his original poem, in which the author bashed Helen for causing The Trojan War. He recants it by writing down another, but not as popular, oral version of her myth. The other version claims that the real Helen had spent the whole duration of the war in Egypt, and the Helen who went to Troy was just a duplicate made out of clouds note . Euripides also used a version of this story in his Helen. This became recognized as a palinode, a literary form, in which a poet writes a second poem to disavow an earlier one.
  • Euripides, wrote two versions of the story of Hippolytus. Only the second version survives, but it is widely believed that in the original version outraged the audience because Phaedra (wife of the great hero Theseus) lusts without shame after her step-son Hippolytus, and brazenly attempts to seduce him. The second, surviving version bends over backwards to make Phaedra blameless (she's deeply ashamed of her feelings, and only seems to come on to her step-son because her nurse betrays her). She still comes to no good end, committing suicide and attempting to frame Hippolytus for rape.
  • A well-known example can be found in Sherlock Holmes stories. In The Adventure of the Final Problem Doyle had both Holmes and his nemesis Moriarty apparently die in a waterfall; after public outrage (and big sacks of cash) he retconned the event, allowing the detective to defeat the Big Bad and survive.
  • The Magic: The Gathering novel Scourge had the Big Bad, Karona, gather five powerful beings representing the colors of magic, namely Multani, Teferi, Fiers, Llowalyn, and Yawgmoth, revealing that Yawgmoth (the Big Bad of the Weatherlight Saga), who was dramatically killed, was hanging on in some form. The storyline fans were not amused at the news. A few years later, the Time Spiral block trilogy had Teferi deny his meeting with Karona, and several characters stated that they'd personally confirmed that Yawgmoth was dead.
  • In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens wrote a new Earn Your Happy Ending ending for when the original Bittersweet Ending wasn't well received by fans.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The franchise has been up to its elbows in these. First the controversial New Jedi Order books introduced Vergere, and her philosophy that the Force was too complex to be summed up as simple light vs. dark. This ticked off a lot of fans, so the writers did the Dark Nest Trilogy and Legacy of the Force in response, which had Jacen Solo (Vergere's main pupil) become a Knight Templar and fall to The Dark Side as a result of her teachings. Problem was, many fans felt bothered with Jacen's fall, so the current Fate of the Jedi series is retconning it to have been not because of Vergere's teachings, but because he encountered something during a journey through the galaxy that made him go crazy.
    • Karen Traviss's Republic Commando Series has been very polarizing, due to her single minded approach to storytelling. After four novels of vicious anti-Jedi sentiment at the hands of the Mandalorian characters, she included two scenes in her last novel to try and fix things up. First, she made Maze call out Skirata for being an asshole, and the renegade clones a bunch of brainwashed slaves, effectively comparing Skirata to the Jedi he was trying to save his troops from. Then, she revealed Djinn Altis' rogue Jedi convent, giving a fresh perspective that was separate from both the Republic Jedi and the Mandalorians, putting a lampshade on the whole series focus.
  • A Karen Traviss example: Her first Halo book, Halo: Glasslands, was despised by the fandom for demonizing the scientist Catherine Halsey while portraying her rival Admiral Parangosky as a model of honesty. In reality, both of them have committed plenty of unethical acts to defeat both the Insurrection and Covenant. Thus, in her second book Halo: The Thursday War, Parangosky was now depicted as more sinister and ruthless (willing to starve an entire species by secretly making their crops and meat inedible) while Halsey gets some sympathetic reveals, such as that she still cries over the death of her daughter Miranda Keyes.
  • In-universe, and somewhat more literal, example in the fifth Captain Underpants book (sorry, EPIC NOVEL), Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman. Ms. Ribble (who, via a screwed-up hypnosis sessionapparently the Hypno-ring George and Harold used works in reverse on women — turned into Wedgie Woman) sprays spray starch on Captain Underpants, rendering him powerless. George and Harold, in an effort to save the Captain, quickly write a comic book to try to negate this weakness. To make a long story short... it worked.
  • Honor Harrington: The People's Republic of Haven started the series as a welfare state gone wrong, with the majority of its citizens on welfare, not contributing to the economy, forcing the Republic to conquer in order to survive. A lot of people have taken this as an attack on the concept of a welfare state. In the novella I Will Build My House of Steel, found in the Manticore companion book House of Steel, Weber mentions that several other star systems, influenced by Haven, enacted similar reforms, but they actually pulled it off without gutting their economies, by virtue of having relatively honest politicians... until, that is, they got conquered by Haven.
    • When Weber introduced the concept of the prolong treatment in the second book of the series, The Honor of The Queen, it's explicitly stated that the 3rd generation prolong treatment, which is given in infancy, extends all stages of life, such that people from a planet without prolong are stated to be disturbed to be visiting a Manticoran warship that looks like it's crewed mostly by teens and pre-teens (really crew in their chronological 20s and 30s). Later in the series it's also mentioned that the (mixed sex) crews are required to have birth control implants while serving on ships because sex between consenting crew members who spend long periods in close quarters is considered inevitable, and is tolerated. When the Unfortunate Implications and Squick factor of those two facts considered together was pointed out (and that this would be true of the entire culture, not just the military), later stories in the universe make a point of mentioning that prolong also includes treatment that causes one to physically at a normal rate until they reach adulthood, at which point the slowdown of physical aging is allowed to happen.
  • In-universe example in Misery; a fan kidnaps a writer to force him to do an Author's Saving Throw after he killed off a beloved character in his series.
  • In the Old Man's War series, John Scalzi reveals in the afterword of Zoe's Tale that he decided to do a Perspective Flip of the previous book rather than continuing the story, as he was never happy with Zoe's offscreen recruitment of a whole army, and thought the many fans that accused it of being a Deus ex Machina had a good point. He also took the opportunity to provide more closure to the werewolf storyline.
  • Harry Potter
    • Many fans complained that, since catching the Golden Snitch basically scored 15 times as many points as a goal and ended the game, the Seeker made the rest of the game irrelevant. The World Cup game shown in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire demonstrates that—at the professional level, at least—a world-class Seeker is no match for a good team. The Weasley twins successfully manage to win a bet that Ireland's team will win the game, but that Bulgaria's Seeker will still get the Snitch, showing that catching the Snitch doesn't guarantee victory.
    • One of the most disliked elements of the series was the idea of sending Harry to live with the Dursleys. Even if they didn't know the Dursleys would turn cartoonishly abusive towards Harry, they certainly did by the end of the first novel. The original explanation - Dumbledore wanted Harry raised away from the Wizarding world to guard against Harry growing up arrogant and entitled - only served to inflame the readership's condemnation, pointing out that if that was all that Dumbledore wanted, Harry could have been simply dropped off at an orphanage or another place where Harry was guaranteed to find a loving Muggle family. Come Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, we find out that Harry's Crazy Cat Lady next door neighbor was actually Dumbledore's agent, sent to make sure Harry was safe. Then in the final chapters, Dumbledore reveals the REAL reason he sent Harry to the Dursleys: because of the nature of Lily's Heroic Sacrifice enchantment, it meant that as long as Harry was under the guardianship of her family, he had magical protection away from Hogwarts from the Death Eaters. Petuina Dursley, Lily's estranged older sister, was the only remaining relative of hers, leaving Dumbledore with no choice but to leave Harry there. Later, Dumbledore apologizes to Harry for putting him through all of that and admits that Harry grew up to become a much better person than anybody would have expected under those kind of circumstances.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer's sixth season, magic was portrayed as akin to a drug, which was highly dangerous and addictive, and could even lead to users becoming "junkies" willing to do anything for a "fix," as happened to Willow slowly over the course of the season. Joss Whedon himself didn't like this development, and fans agreed; season seven's first episode featured a scene where Giles explicitly states that magic is not addictive, and it's explained that Willow's actions were actually due to her not using magic.
  • The Angel episode "The Girl In Question" was reviled by the fans for many reasons but mostly because Buffy was revealed to be dating an unseen figure named "The Immortal" who happened to be an old rival of Buffy's previous lovers Angel and Spike. This was for a long time the last thing known about her in the entire Buffyverse. The comic continuation revealed that this Buffy was actually another slayer impersonating her and that Andrew Wells lied to Angel and Spike.
  • Power Rangers
  • Kamen Rider:
  • A month after the Prison Break Season 3 finale, it was announced that, in part due to fan reaction, it wasn't Sara Tancredi's head in the box, and she would be back next season. The other big part of the decision was the fact that Sara had only been killed in the first place because of behind-the-scenes drama between the then-pregnant actress and the executive producers. By the fourth season, everyone was friends again so the character returned. And ironically got pregnant.
  • The third season finale of Bones, Zack is revealed to have been manipulated into becoming the apprentice to a cannibalistic serial killer, and claims to have murdered a man. During an episode of the fourth season, he says that he didn't actually kill anyone himself, he just told the Gormogon where to find a victim and claims he would have killed the victim himself if the Gormogon had told him to. In his mind, this equated to having done the deed himself.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor Who 1996 TV movie included a scene in which the Doctor says that he is half-human; this was widely disliked and subject to Fanon Discontinuity. To ameliorate this, without upsetting the fans who enjoy this interpretation (The Eighth Doctor Adventures doubled down on making him half-human), Moffat has stated that the Doctor did indeed utter those words, very carefully not specifying whether they were true. After all, the Doctor lies. "Hell Bent", the Moffat-penned Series 9 finale, has Ashildr/Me ask the Doctor if he's half-human (it has to do with the possibility that he is The Hybrid), but he only asks her if it matters what he is by way of reply, and the conversation takes another path from there.
    • In "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit", the Happiness in Slavery depiction of the Ood as a happy servitor race and the Doctor's acceptance of it as unproblematic were seen by many fans as gross breaches of the series's and the character's usual moral positions. Two years later the "Planet of the Ood"" story returned to the same setting and revealed that the slave Ood were only happy because the evil humans had been lobotomising them, and that the Doctor only accepted their servitude because he was a bit preoccupied with a planet orbiting a black hole and Satan trying to kill them all... shut it.
    • There are some fans who have shown distaste for the Cybus Cybermen from "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel". After "The Pandorica Opens" aired, Steven Moffat tweeted that this appearance of the new Cybermen were in fact the Mondas Cybermen; they just didn't have the budget to change the costume.
    • The Daleks got a multicolored upgrade in "Victory of the Daleks", and the bright, colorful Daleks were presented as what a Dalek would look like forevermore, the "New Dalek Paradigm," as they put it. It turned out even this Narm Charm loving fanbase has its limits. So the next time a Dalek had to be a threat, it was a sorta petrified-looking run-down one with no trace of its original color. Every Dalek appearance since then has had the old bronze Daleks as the vast majority if not the only design. The "New Dalek Paradigm" is apparently still around, but they're taking a backseat to their bronze immediate predecessor models.
      • A visit to the restored Dalek homeworld of Skaro showed Dalek variants from all across franchise history. The New Paradigm Daleks were not seen in any way, not even as background filler, letting us know they're as good as never having been. (This also constitutes a 'throw' to one problem people had with Asylum of the Daleks - in that episode, the past Dalek variants people got excited for were only seen briefly, in light so low it's hard to tell the old ones from the new. The Special Weapons Dalek, which really got the fandom excited, was especially blink-and-miss. Not so in the return to Skaro - the old Daleks get as much screentime as the current model, with the Special Weapons Dalek getting to be the one to yell "EXTERMINATE THE DOCTOR!" as they mobilized.)
  • Lost: The producers originally intended for Paolo and Nikki to be major characters. After a fan revolt, they changed their plans by not only killing off the characters, but doing so in an incredibly sadistic way.
  • Smallville: Season Seven ended with Lana, having just woken up from a Brainiac-induced coma, leaving Clark a Dear John video expressing her belief that she was only holding him back. However, not only were her fans unhappy with this direction, but her actress had been absent for the final five episodes of the season due to filming Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and the recent writer's strike hadn't helped matters either. The very next season, in the penultimate episode of Lana's farewell arc, Tess Mercer reveals to Clark that it was all a lie: Lex's men kidnapped Lana and forced her to make the video at gunpoint in order to throw Clark off the trail. Tess even lampshades the Plot Hole of Lana somehow getting her hands on a video camera right after waking up.
  • In the seventh season finale of House the title character drives his car through Cuddy's dining room window in revenge for breaking up with him and escaping to a tropical beach. This caused a full-blown fan revolt with claims that House became no better than a psychotic murderous Domestic Abuser and that his stunt could have ended with the deaths of several people. The creators responded to this on Twitter claiming that House had made sure that everyone was gone by looking through the window which prompted the fans to point out that Cuddy's daughter was likely in the room and she wasn't tall enough to be seen. Come the season 8 premiere and we get a scene where House turns himself in to the authorities and explains that he had made sure that everyone in the room had left and that he knew that Cuddy's daughter was at a sleepover.
  • For the first three seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise, the show was criticised for wasting the potential of its prequel setting by neglecting the Romulans as recurring villains (rather than properly leading up to the known canonical Romulan War) and instead embarking on a long confused Myth Arc involving a "Temporal Cold War" which soon fell prey to The Chris Carter Effect, as well as for depicting the Vulcans as a race of hypocritical Jerkasses. When Manny Coto took over as showrunner for the fourth season, multiple Saving Throws were given: the Temporal Cold War was resolved in the two-part premiere, a three-part story involved a major spiritual revolution in Vulcan society that brought them closer to the aliens we knew and loved, and a major story arc throughout the season involved a resurgence in Romulan aggression which also served to forge alliances between the future founding members of the Federation. The Enterprise relaunch books manage to take this even further by retconning Trip's death into a faked death, as well as dealing with the Romulan War and founding of the Federation.
  • At the end of Season 3 of The Mentalist, Jane kills Red John and sits peacefully waiting to be arrested. In the first episode of Season 4, it turns out that that wasn't Red John and he's found not guilty in a spectacular example of Hollywood Law, so the series can continue as before.
  • Supernatural
    • In the fourth season, Sam was revealed to be in a sexual relationship with the demon Ruby. Even putting Shipping aside, the fanbase took a major issue with this. As Ruby was a demon with no corporeal body of her own, she had to possess another woman to use for her, uh, interactions with Sam. By having sex with her, Sam was either raping the host (who had not given consent) or engaging in necrophilia (if the host was a corpse). The writers took a third option by revealing that Ruby's host was a comatose girl about to be taken off life support, whose body was still alive but spirit had moved on to the afterlife. Mileage varied as to whether or not this made the situation any less squicky.
    • In later seasons, the show began to place more and more focus on the Dean and Castiel relationship, including deliberate subtext and occasional jokes that their friendship is not entirely platonic. Some in the fandom took this as a possible legitimate intention on the writers' part to foreshadow an actual romantic relationship between them, and were extremely excited at the prospect of the protagonist of a very popular, mainstream, genre show being openly bi. However, during season 9, one of the writers on twitter revealed that Dean being bi was an interesting idea but that they had absolutely no intention of making it canon. This caused outrage from people who claimed the show had been queerbaiting - deliberately enticing queer audience members to keep watching with the promise of dearly needed representation without any intention of actually following through. During season 10, therefore, the authors tried to smooth things over with the episode Slash Fiction, in which Dean encounters Destiel shippers and states that while it's not the right interpretation, it's totally cool that they have their own interpretation of things. Reactions to this were mixed - some shippers liked it, but those who really wanted Dean to be bi were only the more convinced that the writers never understood why people wanted Dean to be queer so much in the first place.
  • In the crossover movie between Tensou Sentai Goseiger and Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, we're given the first cameo appearance of the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, who transform into all Red Rangers. However, it's revealed in the first episode of Gokaiger that the only reason they could do that was because of the Ranger Keys, which they wouldn't get until the time between Gosei and Gokai. How do they solve that? Reveal that the team had been sent back in time on a mission by Domon of the Mirai Sentai Timeranger and they decided to give the two teams a hand while no one was looking. On the other hand, we're still not sure how it is that the Gokaigers keep their ability to turn into other Rangers after the past Rangers' powers were restored at the end of the regular series. Not that anyone is complaining.
  • Once Upon a Time: Season 5 fixed many problems fans had with earlier seasons. It kept the focus on the main cast and stopped the new characters been a Spotlight-Stealing Squad as fans had been complaining about in previous seasons, fixed some plot holes, and made Belle more than just Rumplestiltskin's Satellite Love Interest. It also acknowledged that Rumple and Belle's relationship had turned toxic and become a Yo Yo Plot Point. The finale threw the biggest though; after years of Regina been seen as an Unintentionally Unsympathetic Karma Houdini that showed no remorse for her actions as the Evil Queen, Regina reveals that her previous lack of remorse was due to repressing it and her entire character arc in the finale revolves around her desire to be free of the baggage that comes from her actions. She then splits herself into her light and dark sides leaving us with a good Regina that can have a fresh start and the Evil Queen who can receive proper punishment.
  • The Community episode "Repilot" dismisses the entirety of the widely-hated Season 4 (the only season not overseen by Dan Harmon) by claiming that the school had suffered a massive gas leak, explaining everyone's inconsistent and decidedly Out of Character behavior.
  • Glee removed the new members of the Glee Club in Season 5 because of the fans who hated the new characters and direction old club members had taken. Instead, the show began to focus on what the old cast was doing out of the club.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • The first few episodes were heavily attacked by Marvel fans for mostly using Canon Foreigner characters instead of actual Marvel heroes and villains, as well as the use of Red Skies Crossovers with other MCU properties (Thor: The Dark World being the most notorious) rather than direct involvement. The latter half of Season 1 subsequently began using actual comic characters like Deathlok and Blackout, while also doing a heavy multi-episode arc dealing with the aftermath of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The producers also made sure to announce that more comic characters like Mockingbird, Absorbing Man and Al MacKenzie will be appearing in Season 2. Season 2 also revealed that Skye was a Canon Character All Along.
    • Fans of the MCU would decry the franchise for taking heroic comics characters like Sitwell and making them HYDRA agents. Season 2 reveals that some HYDRA agents actually were loyal SHIELD agents who were brainwashed into becoming evil.
  • Arrow

  • Alanis Morissette is often criticized for her song "Ironic", because of its highly colloquial and technically incorrect use of the word in the title (her definition is more akin to a Cruel Twist Ending). Her Parody Retcon response? The song itself is ironic.
  • Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony (the radical innovations in his earlier work had incurred the wrath of Josef Stalin, so this was really a saving throw on Shostakovich's life.)
  • Record Producer Ross Robinson started producing a bunch of Post-Hardcore artists seemingly as an apology for his hand in the rise of several Nu Metal bands. Post-Hardcore albums he produced include At the Drive-In's Relationship of Command (2000), Glassjaw's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence (2000) and Worship and Tribute (2002), and The Blood Brothers' ...Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2003). These are considered to be some of the best post-hardcore albums of the decade and brought post-hardcore to a wider audience, so he may well have succeeded.
  • David Bowie expressed regret for his comments in interviews during the Thin White Duke era, during which he occasionally expressed sympathy with fascism (due, it's generally accepted, to getting Lost in Character as the Duke, who actually was a fascist). After this point, on the rare occasions when he would express political themes in his work, they often tended to be anti-fascist, anti-racist, or otherwise anti-authoritarian. Good examples are the videos for "China Girl" and "Let's Dance", as well as much of the content of Tin Machine. The line "To be insulted by these fascists is so degrading" from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) is also generally considered to be an apology for this period. (It may be worth pointing out that some of Bowie's pre-Duke material also had anti-authoritarian themes, most notably Diamond Dogs, which started out life as a musical adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and still had several songs referencing the book even after Orwell's estate refused him the permission to use the work).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Daniel Bryan was supposed to have fallen over the Despair Event Horizon after the Authority's constant screwing leading up to a gauntlet match against the members of The Wyatt Family. Bryan then joined their team, changing his outfit to a a plain sleeveless jumpsuit that made him look like '90s throwback to Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, wrestling garbage collector, and was even billed as "Daniel Wyatt" in house shows, but he didn't act all that different than before. The fanbase did not buy into Bryan's "motivation", and every crowd he wrestled in front of absolutely refused to boo him. So two weeks later, he and Bray Wyatt are in a steel cage match against The Usos. Once the Usos win, Bray attempts to discipline Bryan and, in a fit of Bullying a Dragon (heh) goads him into fighting back. Which he does, kicking Bray Wyatt up and down the thunderous "YES!" chants.
  • Fans thought Bryan would be in the 2014 Royal Rumble. He wasn't. The fans were displeased to the point where they turned on the event itself, and utterly rejected Batista's win of said Rumble, knowing he'd get a title shot at WrestleMania. Despite HHH and Steph throwing obstacle after obstacle at Bryan, he was eventually written into the WrestleMania main event. He beat HHH, but it was still worrisome who'd win. But again, after Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker and broke the streak and nearly caused Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, Bryan's victory was all but assured.
  • Fan reaction was so bad to Roman Reigns' win of the 2015 Royal Rumble that not even The Rock could placate them (it didn't help that the event took place in Philadelphia that year). It wasn't so much about hating Reigns — a lot of people felt he had potential, but it was almost universally agreed that he wasn't ready for a main event push yet. The fans were mainly pissed about the terrible booking they had to suffer through lately, more specifically on how Daniel Bryan didn't win (Bryan was in the match this year but was eliminated early). Bryan had just recently come back from a long term injury and many felt it was wasting his return momentum. Reigns had just come off injury too, but it was for all of two months so all it did was kill any momentum he already had, not helped by the fact that his return feud was with The Big Show. End result? Despite the company's many, many desperate attempts to get him over, the fans absolutely refused to get behind Reigns and continued booing him out of the building. Realizing that if he won at WrestleMania all of his potential as a top baby face would be utterly destroyed, they had Seth Rollins cash in during the main event and leave with the title instead.
  • Survivor Series 2015 had Sheamus cash in right after Reigns had finally won the title and leave as champion. Fans took issue because the move was both incredibly predictable and considered the worst move that could possibly be made by the majority of the IWC, even more so than Reigns having his big face win. However, it did prevent Reigns from getting more heat — since all the heat went to the company, primarily Vince McMahon. After this, the company finally got a clue and started booking Reigns correctly. After he got screwed out of the title again at TLC 2015, Reigns snapped and went on a rampage, attacking three members of the League of Nations with chairs shots before The Authority and the referees came out to stop him.
  • WrestleMania 32 seemed specifically booked to spite the hardcore fanbase. The IWC was spitting fire everywhere, ratings were falling, house show attendance was down, and Roman was facing more X-Pac Heat than ever before. Not helping things was the return of Seth Rollins from his Game-Breaking Injury, who, while still the vile heel he was from before, was widely sympathized by the audience and infinitely more popular than Roman. And then, for the cherry on top, Roman violated the Wellness Policy, meaning the company had to get the belt off him soon before they suspended him. So, we come to Money in the Bank 2016, where Seth gave Roman the clean comeuppance fans believed he deserved, Dean Ambrose (fan favourite at the time) cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase he had won earlier that night on Seth and finally getting his revenge on his Arch-Enemy, and also booking the long-awaited Shield triple threat the next night for the following PPV. The next day, Roman was suspended.
  • At Money in the Bank 2017, WWE booked the first ever women's Money in the Bank ladder match. The finish came when Carmella's boytoy James Ellsworth pushed Becky Lynch off a ladder and retrieved the briefcase for Carmella. The fact that, technically, a man won the first women's MITB, and all the negative implications therein, caused WWE to quickly change the decision of the match to a no-contest and book the match to happen again on Smackdown. This time, Ellsworth's attempted interference was thwarted by Lynch, who pushed him off the ladder, although Carmella still won. Ellsworth was handed an in-character one month suspension to remove him from TV long enough for the heat to die down.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Samuel Haight from the Old World of Darkness was a Creator's Pet that quickly became The Scrappy, until the creators finally clued into the fact that everybody hated him and killed him off, after which his soul was forged into a sentient ashtray.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade, Second Edition had a sourcebook called Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand which proved very unpopular because it suggested that the Sabbat (Already a secret vampire conspiracy to control humanity) was itself controlled by a secret conspiracy within the Sabbat's "Black Hand" faction, which was itself called the Black Hand. This "True Black Hand" controlled everything from the land of the dead, residing in the ghost of the First City mankind founded. fan reaction was that these elements (and more) were needlessly complicated and stupid. When the next edition of Vampire:The Masquerade came out, they scaled back both new clans introduced in that book to about a dozen members each, declared that the scope of the "True Black Hand"'s power and agenda were extremely exaggerated, and then dropped a ghost atomic bomb on the underworld city they were operating out of for good measure.
  • After the changes to the Forgotten Realms to bring them in line with Dungeons & Dragons's Fourth Edition were poorly received, control over the Realms' direction for Fifth Edition was given to creator Ed Greenwood, who wasn't much happier than the vocally displeased fans. He proceeded to remake Forgotten Realms in his own vision.
  • Warhammer 40K: Just about every change the fans react negatively to can be handwaved away with "everything we know is In-Universe propaganda or misinformation". For instance, some players disliked the reveal that the Necrons are more than an unstoppable army of robot zombies, this was countered by claiming that the old characterization was based on a few seriously damaged cases.

     Video Games  
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time featured a rather infamous Shocking Swerve that revealed the entire universe of Star Ocean was actually an MMORPG, with every character in the universe being an NPC in this game meant for 4D beings. The fans bashed this plot twist mercilessly, to the point that the series became known for only this plot twist. The next game in the series, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, wrote around this by introducing the concept of The Multiverse and ways to leap from one dimension to another, thus providing a way around the plot twist without completely retconning it.
  • For years, Sonic the Hedgehog fandom Flame Bait was the debates over whether the real name of the series villain is "Robotnik" or "Eggman", owing to dub discrepancies; "Eggman" was always his name in Japan, but the U.S. continuity localized his name into "Dr. Ivo Robotnik", up till around the Sonic Adventure series when the name of Robotnik was slowly being phased out in favor of calling him Eggman, in order to keep the series more in line with the Japanese Sonic continuity and to prevent the confusion of the series main villain having two names at once. Sega settled the issue by saying both names are official (Robotnik is his real name, but Eggman is the nickname everyone else uses instead), and in an attempt to officially curb this long-standing fandom hot button, the finale of Sonic Generations established once and for all, in-canon, that the real name of Dr. Eggman is still "Dr. Ivo Robotnik". The good doctor himself, when answered to by his real name, notes with irony that "Nobody calls me that anymore." Heck, it was canonized before then by Eggman's grandpa being named Gerald Robotnik.
  • Fallout 3's ending caused some rather... negative reactions, in no small part thanks to its Diabolus ex Machina (as the endings boil down to "Good" (activate the purifier and kill yourself) or "Bad" (get Sarah Lyons to turn it on). The DLC/Expansion pack Broken Steel changes the ending, allowing the game to remain playable after this. Word of God says the game's default endings (without the expansion) are non-canon.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money confused lots of players when it came out, as one of the major plot elements involves the Sierra Madre's Vending Machines. The Vending Machines are explained as being Matter Replicators, and characters with knowledge of the Pre-War world (like Father Elijah and Dean Domino) act like they were a common appliance before the Great War. However, a major part of the Fallout series' backstory is the Resource Wars, which had the world tearing itself apart over the last few remaining resources left on Earth. But why would the Resource Wars even happen if these Matter Replicators were so commonplace? However, the Old World Blues DLC solved this by having records in the Big Empty explain that the Sierra Madre Vending Machines were actually extremely state-of-the-art experimental machines before the War, and everyone that said otherwise during Dead Money was lying to the Courier, whether they knew it or not.
  • While there are still many bones one can pick about Fallout 4 over (which we won't discuss here), it's generally clear that Bethesda listened to a lot of the complaints given about 3 (and even New Vegas, to a lesser extent) when working on it.
    • Two of the most common complaints given to 3 were the revamped Karma system and how it interacted with the main quest. Many people complained that not only was the Karma system too easy to cheat/manipulate, but that it seemed arbitrary on assigning morality to certain people/factions in the Capital Wasteland. Relatedly, old-school Fallout fans complained that the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel was written as too much of a "White Knight" organization (many found themselves instead rooting for the Brotherhood Outcasts, who are ironically the closest ones in behavior to the Fallout 1-era Brotherhood), and the Enclave felt both shoehorned in & like a Designated Villain. Also, while all of the companions in New Vegas were well-received, many of their unique companion perks/best endings were either hidden behind obnoxiously subtle clues or infuriating bug issues. Fallout 4 amends all these issues by removing the Karma system entirely and replacing it with the new Companion Affinity system (which, admittedly, still has its own flaws). The new Affinity system - what the Sole Survivor's followers feel about their actions - now helps guide the Sole Survivor on a more personal moral level, giving their actions more weight. The Affinity system is also clearer on what a companion likes/dislikes, and makes it easier for the player to befriend them & level up their affinity with them so as to get a unique perk. On another note, the BoS now act much more like their West Coast counterparts (having Taken A Level In Jerkass), with the Brotherhood Outcasts even being mentioned as rejoining the organization after Elder Maxson took charge. The aforementioned removal of the Karma system and the new take on the BoS also helps reinforce the game's Grey and Gray Morality, which is far more complex than 3's Black and White Morality and more like the complicated morality found in the older games & New Vegas. 4 also offers different faction-based endings to the main storyline like New Vegas (which 3 lacked), although it sadly still lacks the Modular Epilogue found in 1, 2, and New Vegas.
    • Several older Fallout fans complained that the decision to have 3 be set on the East Coast (while all the previous Fallout games were set on the West Coast in California) made it feel too distant and didn't give enough allusions to past events. While 4 is still set on the East Coast, the game has loads of Call Backs (Wattz Consumer Electronics apparently had a Boston office), Continuity Nods (Elder Maxson got his position thanks to the Lost Hills Elders back in California), parallels to previous games (the Institute is more or less a saner Think Tank without a Dr. Mobius to keep them in check), and Mythology Gags (The Brotherhood now has a zeppelin to use in their travels) to all the games before it. At times, it even gets to the point that 4 verges on Continuity Porn levels.
    • Many gamers complained about the lack of weapon variety and about the somewhat clunky gun play (like how the player had to manually switch to grenades/mines to use explosives) in 3. Others grumbled about how most of the residents of the Capital Wasteland came across as either just depressing or really insufferable, which made it hard for players to really care about the game's various storylines. Other players expressed annoyance/disbelief that the Wastelanders have unable to restart society in the intervening centuries after the Great War, especially while the West Coast has thriving nations & city-states like the New California Republic, the Shi Empire, New Reno, and Vault City. Meanwhile, 4 offers much more weapon variety, turns the weapon customization introduced in New VegasUp to Eleven, and takes cues from countless other FPS games in making the gameplay more exciting and engaging (grenades can finally now be hotkeyed and used in conjunction with other weapons). Related to the above, while the residents of the Commonwealth still have their fair share of Jerkasses, most of them are either surprisingly friendly or just ordinary people trying to live their lives that are properly cautious of outsiders, helping incentivize audience investment. Also, all of the main factions are presented with both sympathetic and unsympathetic traits, and the player is allowed to join each of them to help serve as an Internal Reformist and improve the Wasteland. Finally, the lack of an organized government in the Commonwealth is actually a major plot point this time around, with it explained as being due to a combination of several factors:
      • A) The nearby presence of the Glowing Sea, which helps provide a "safe place" for Demonic Spiders like Deathclaws, Charred Feral Ghouls, and Bloodbugs to thrive and continue harming the Commonwealth; and the Glowing Sea's infamous radiation storms which helps cause crops to fail and mass starvation to ensue.
      • B) The Commonwealth Minutemen's recent Humiliation Conga triggering a second regional societal collapse.
      • C) The Institute's near-constant meddling with the surface (which discourages people from organizing together and becoming a potential threat to their power).
      • In fact, the entire Settlement system has the purpose of helping create & organize peaceful towns and settlements across the Commonwealth, from which a new society can arise.
    • Last but not least, one of the complaints often leveled at Fallout 3 was how much darker and more depressing it was than its predecessors, lacking most of the series' dark humor. Ironically, while New Vegas was significantly cheerier (in part because of the Wild Wasteland perk), some complained that the game was too optimistic and breezed too much over the many serious situations in the game. Fallout 4 reaches a happy balance between the two, more or less. While the game still has a fairly grim and serious main story (with many a gut-punch and tragic moment to be found), it's overall far Lighter and Softer then both 3 and New Vegas, cranking up the Black Comedy while being more optimistic and generally having sillier side-quests/random encounters.
    • Concerning Fallout 4 itself:
      • After the base game was criticized for focusing too much on combat-focused endings for quests/bosses, the storyline DLCs (Automatron, Far Harbor, Vault-Tec Workshop, and Nuka World) started to supply more varied options to solve quests/defeat bosses. For example, the usual ending to the Automatron DLC involves getting through a rather grueling attack sequence against the Mechanist's Mecha-Mooks, and usually then killing the Mechanist afterwards. However, the player can instead:
      • A) Pass the battle entirely if they have a high enough rank in the Hacker perk by accessing a normally-locked elevator to take them straight to the Mechanist's lair.
      • B) Peacefully talk the Mechanist down after the battle by either having a high-enough Charisma stat for the needed speech checks, or wearing the Silver Shroud costume to unlock unique dialogue options.
      • On a related note, Fallout 4 was criticized by fans for downplaying the series' famous reputation for Video Game Cruelty Potential. Several fans snarked (not unfairly) that the closest thing to an "Evil" option in the game was the "Sarcastic" dialogue option. The Nuka World DLC can be seen as a response to this, with it going in the opposite direction of the base game (which leaned towards positive options) and instead leaned towards negative outcomes. In fact, the Nuka World DLC is actually the first Fallout work that actually lets the player join up with Raiders, and even lead them on a massive invasion of the Commonwealth while showing chaos and misery in their wake.
  • After many players called out Metal Gear Solid for its extremely loose understanding of basic genetics (as relayed by the main antagonist, Liquid Snake), Hideo Kojima stepped up and established that Liquid himself has an extremely flimsy grasp on the subject and didn't actually know a word of what he was saying. It doesn't explain how a man with a supposed I.Q. of 180 and a fluency in seven languages could get such simple scientific facts wrong, or why Ocelot refers to Solid as the "inferior one".
  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was written with a mandate from marketing to turn the series away from the Arabian Nights feel and make it Darker and Edgier, complete with emo antihero Prince and heavy metal music. The fans bashed the change mercilessly, and the writers answered rather innovatively by working the Dork Age into the plot of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. The Prince had become so dark and angry due to the stress of being pursued by the Dhaka for years; freed from it his original snarky attitude returns. The Dark Prince is a manifestation of all the character flaws the Prince demonstrated in Warrior Within who also points out the inherent selfishness and irresponsibility in the Prince changing history to fix his mistakes. Taunted with this near the end, the Prince realizes how childish he has been and chooses to face the consequences of his actions, silencing the Dark Prince.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Fans were treating the Axel and Roxas relationship with Ho Yay, so Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days chose to retcon their relationship into one of big brother/little brother — while still leaving plenty of potential Ship Tease for those who choose to see it that way.
    • The new "HD 1.5 Remix" Collection gave all non-Japanese fans Kingdom Hearts Final Mix for the first time, and re:Chain of Memories to the rest of the world (it was given a downplayed Western release in America only), as well as including remastered cutscenes from 358/2 Days. Demand was high enough to announce 2.5 for a 2014 release which includes the Final Mix versions of the second game and Birth By Sleep as well as re:Coded scenes thrown in.
    • The Disney elements have been The Artifact since Days, but there has been some effort to avoid this starting from coded. Donald and Goofy are given a bigger role in coded after getting Demoted to Extra and return to being party members for Kingdom Hearts III. A scene added to the storyline of coded during 2.5 Remix has Maleficent making a connection between the Datascape and the Book of Prophecies from chi, adding context to her appearance in 3D and reversing the Villain Decay she has gone through. Additionally, the Disney worlds are back to having a story reason for getting visited as of 3D (where visiting them was necessary to get the ability to save the protagonists of Birth By Sleep and Days) and III (where Sora goes to Olympus Coliseum specifically to train).
  • The King of Fighters:
    • The creators changed the gamplay in '99; four characters are selectable for the fight, with one (or more, in 2001) being a Striker, a supportive character that would be called to perform a move in order to stop an opponent or open his guard for your attacks. Fans disliked the bugs and infinite combos that came with it. In 2002, the game went back to 3-on-3 fights with no strikers, like '98 and the titles before it.
    • Most fans were unhappy (euphemism) about Ash Crimson taking the role of protagonist previously covered by Kyo and K', just as much as they were unhappy about him stealing both Chizuru and Iori's Sacred Treasures powers. Come XIII, Ash enacts a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Big Bad of that Story Arc. Mind you, he doesn't die... he is erased from existence. Retroactively! So he never really existed in the first place.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1. After the second game, the fanbase was extremely displeased by what, to Gordon, amounts to a Shoot the Shaggy Dog even worse than the first. The Episode blows the rage away through a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the Vortigaunts that both retcons Alyx's implied death, and changes the whole storyline, showing the G-Man isn't as all-powerful as thought before.
  • The debut trailer for the 2011 SSX game had an extremely Darker and Edgier feel, realistic and "gritty" graphics, some plot revolving around rival teams of boarders competing to race in the most inhospitable places on Earth and the title SSX: Deadly Descents. Cue derogatory nicknames like "Call of SSX: Winter Assault" and variants. Every single game related media since then has the developers insisting that the characters and the cartoony and over the top feel of the game are still there and that the "Deadly Descents" are just a small part of the game, the others being the classic racing and trick modes. The subtitle was eventually removed.
  • The reveal of DmC: Devil May Cry was accompanied by the creators putting it as a prequel to the existing series. Internet Backdraft over changes to the character and backstory that were incompatible with pre-existing canon caused the creators to Retcon the game into a parallel world.
  • When Ratchet & Clank came out, a recurring complaint among critics was Ratchet's characterization (acting like a selfish Jerkass towards the much more sympathetic Clank). When Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was in development, Insomniac made sure to include several cutscenes where Ratchet defends Clank and worries for him, all with the explicitly stated purpose of "fixing" Ratchet's character. Also, the series reimagining has a few of the early cutscenes explicitly show Ratchet's characterization more in line with his later appearances.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Forsaken have begun using Val'kyr necromancy against their human enemies in order to replenish their numbers. Unlike Scourge undead, however, Forsaken undead retain the free will they had in life after being raised. When this was revealed, Alliance players began complaining that a human being killed by the Forsaken, raised into undeath by them and then choosing to aid the Forsaken in slaughtering their former comrades of their own free will broke the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Blizzard eventually addressed this in one of their Ask Creative Development sessions, saying that though new Forsaken are free-willed, many of them are raised in a frenzied and malleable state in which they can be easily manipulated into attacking their allies by the Forsaken. This effect is apparently only temporary and the new Forsaken do eventually get to make their own choice afterward.
    • World of Warcraft caused a lot of Fan Backlash based on changes to their main characters. Heroes of the Storm (a MOBA game with a Crossover between Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo) was released featuring the more classic, iconic portrayal of the Warcraft main characters. And thus, Thrall is once again the Warchief with strong commitment for the Horde, Jaina is the idealistic mage that believes in peace on both Alliance and Horde, Sylvanas is disgusted by her undeath existence and focused on her revenge of the Lich King, while Malfurion is a Reasonable Authority Figure like in the RTS games, Tyrande is the practical, capable commander, Illidan is an antiheroic dangerous Wild Card, and Kael'thas returns to putting his people's safety into his top priority. Blizzard gave a Hand Wave that these heroes are taken from certain timelines of the game so that they could use the portrayal of the characters that their fans see as the best instead of being stuck with the current timeline. The inversion of this occasion is Varian Wrynn, who's instead taken in his most recent incarnation, but since his earlier self was the one that caused backlash and he gradually earned the fans' favor ever since until his death, the latter self is the more ideal self to pick.
    • The release of Legion was a response to Wow's numbers dropping to numbers not seen since mid to early vanilla due to the severe lack of endgame content in Warlords of Dreanor. In Leigion, Blizzard revealed many, many features people have asked for. Demon Hunters, a class demanded for years? Check. Ashbringer, a weapon many players wanted to wield? It's yours. Emerald Dream, an area that has been anticipated in some form for quite some time? Not the theme of the expansion, but you'll be going in. Return of the fan favorite Illidan? Is his inclusion on the box art any hint? On top of that, many other additions are being added in direct response to Warlords of Dreanor's failures, including overwhelming endgame content and many improvements to dungeons to keep them relevant.
  • Valkyria Chronicles III: Fans criticized the Darcsen race from the first game; their background appeared based on European Jews persecuted during World War II, while the art style and cultural cues were more based on Japan. It appeared the game replaced the Jews with the Japanese. Shin Hyuga is introduced in III, his mother comes from "somewhere in the Far East" while he is modeled to be Feudal Japanese in a mid-20th-centurish fantasy pastiche world. Shin's inclusion is most likely meant to help dissolve the Jew-Japan image by showing an expy-Japan.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The ending of Mass Effect 3 had caused an Internet Backdraft of epic proportions. Official polls from BioWare showed that nearly 90% of fans hated the ending for various reasons. The outrage culminated in several campaigns aimed at getting BioWare to notice, including donating tens of thousands of dollars to Child's Play. Two weeks after the game's release, BioWare announced they'd be releasing an extended version of the endings to (hopefully) clear up everything that happened. Most fan complaints about the original ending were addressed, a couple Retcons went a long way to mollifying the fanbase upset over the Inferred Holocaust of the original ending (things aren't nearly as bad as Fridge Horror believed).
    • The Citadel DLC to ME3 addressed the biggest non-ending related complaint about the game, which was the absence of information for the surviving Mass Effect 2 squad, particularly the love interests. While none of them figure into the main plot of the DLC, a slew of additional scenes were added with all of them.
  • After Microsoft Studios received a massive counterattack about several poorly received features on the new Xbox One, they released a statement detailing changes made for damage control, such as no universal DRM on used games and no required 24-hour internet checkup, even though it still needs an initial internet connection to set up.
  • Super Robot Wars:
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon X and Y created Mega Evolutions to power up Pokémon that were well-liked (particularly Charizard) but fans were complaining about because they were useless in competitive battle.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl explicitly stated that Pokémon training is consensual for both parties, and that the reason Pokémon have to be weakened before capture is actually a Secret Test of Character on the Pokémon's part, in order to prove that the trainer is worthy of them. This is damage control toward the accusations that the series glamorizes blood sports like cock and dogfighting.
    • Mewtwo was, for years, depicted as a god-like Blood Knight who is one of a kind. His depiction in Mewtwo Strikes Back in particular made Mewtwo in the eyes of many. So when Genesect and the Legend Awakened featured a brand new Mewtwo who was softer and more feminine than the original... was not received well. In the wake of this, official materials (such as the fourth Super Smash Bros. game and the official Pokémon website) started to play up the Blood Knight persona used in the games and the first movie, while neglecting to reference the softer Mewtwo seen in Genesect.
  • Dawn of War:
    • One of the reasons Soulstorm was so disliked was the legendarily bad performance by the Space Marines commander Indrick Boreale. To the studio's credit, Relic Entertainment actually explored the results of Boreale's decisions based on those complaints. Come Dawn Of War 2, Cyrus confirms that Boreale died in the previous game and cost the Chapter a large chunk of their manpower and the Chapter's recruiting worlds are being threatened from all sides. In Chaos Rising, Cyrus cites Boreale if he's the traitor, believing that the Chapter is no longer worth obeying if it promotes complete idiots to important ranks.
    • When the trailer for Chaos Rising came out, it was widely speculated that one of the Chaos Space Marines in the trailer was Eliphas the Inheritor, the charismatic Chaos Lord from Dark Crusade. Only problem was that Eliphas' ending cutscene in the game has him ripped apart by a daemon, specifically citing that he had no chance of redemption. So the creators transferred Eliphas to a new legion with a mission from Abaddon the Despoiler (the Warmaster of Chaos) himself just to include the character for fans.
  • The HD Remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker addressed two of the biggest complaints lobbied at the original game; the Triforce quest and sailing. For the former, the fetch quest was reduced to finding three shards in the ocean instead of the original eight while with the latter, a new sail was created the increased the speed of Link's boat without having to constantly change the wind direction.
  • The "Burial at Sea" DLC for BioShock Infinite addresses a major complaint many had about the first game; namely that Daisy Fitzroy was depicted as supposedly being just as evil as Comstock, despite being a black freedom fighter trying to destroy a racist regime that oppresses and murders her people. The DLC serves to make her more sympathetic and retcons the details of her death, making it into a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Star Trek Online
    • Fans pointed out problems with the Hobus supernova (the one that destroyed Romulus in Star Trek), so several missions put you in contact with Non Player Characters who also said, "yeah, this doesn't make one damn bit of sense". An arc reveals the supernova and its FTL blast wave were the result of a weapon deployed by Romulan Admiral (then Praetor) Taris at the behest of alien "dark masters", a.k.a. the Iconiansnote . This is a take-off from the new movie's prequel-comic Countdown.
    • Cryptic did it again after they introduced the Voth. While shooting dinosaurs "with freaking laser beams attached to their heads" was fun, it was controversial at best from a story standpoint (actual armored vehicles would make a hell of a lot more sense). In Season 9, the Voth are defeated in the Dyson Sphere by the Undine, bringing back a popular but underused threat.
    • Among the reasons the season 9 Undine lockbox ships were hated was the fanon idea that Undine ships were themselves intelligent beings,note  which led to the theory that forcing them to now obey Feds, Klingons, and Romulans required Mind Rape. Delta Rising's first mission, "Mindscape", included a line from Tuvok that most Undine ships were in fact something like tools (Eric Cooper's command ship in the mission is an exception), no more sentient than a normal starship.
  • Neptunia: By the original release of Victory, the characters were all comically exaggerated to the point that half the fandom found them annoying, with everyone's opinion clashing with everyone else's. Idea Factory began rolling saving throws by going back to basics: the Updated Re-release Re;Birth series. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 uses a new plot and introduces characters with much more relatable personalities, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re Birth 2 tweaks the script considerably while maintaining the much-lauded new characters, and the third remake changed several plot events to not require the leads to be Jerkasses. Where unpleasant things had to happen, the characters agreed to get them over quickly with obvious disdain for the recycled script they'd been given. Come Megadimension Neptunia VII, the likable cast of characters is now hailed as one of its high points.
  • When Koei added Naotora Ii to Samurai Warriors Chronicle 2nd as a tall and shapely but shy and apologetic woman, fans were unimpressed that they chose one of the few women of the era who wielded genuine power to portray that way. 4 patched things up by showing that as shy as her manners were, she was still a competent politician, unflinching on the battlefield, and when she does set her mind on something, nothing stops her.
  • Leliana appears in all Dragon Age games even if she was killed in Dragon Age: Origins, with no explanation for her survival except a suggestion from Leliana herself that the Maker had more plans for her. This inevitably led to jokes about how the Sacred Ashes can cure beheadings even when they've been desecrated. One DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition offers an explanation that fits much better into the established lore. Leliana wasn't brought back. A spirit, empowered by the lyrium surrounding the Ashes, broke through the Veil and took Leliana's form, picking up where she left off. For all intents and purposes, this spirit became Leliana. In world states where Leliana was killed, this neatly places her in the same category of characters as Cole, a Spirit of Compassion impersonating a young mage he was unable to save, and the Guardian of the Ashes, a spirit of unidentified virtue impersonating one of Andraste's most loyal followers.
  • Fire Emblem Fates attracted controversy for the character of Soleil, who appears to be a bisexual woman who prefers women but only has heterosexual romance options. In particular, the Male Avatar's support with her features him drugging her with a potion that causes her to perceive men as women and vice versa, then pursuing a relationship with her, an action many fans found worryingly close to corrective rape. Similarly, her support with Wholesome Crossdresser Forrest was her refusing to accept that he was actually a boy, all while stalking him and making creepy come-ons that only fly due to her being the girl in the scenario. Before the game even came out in the U.S., Nintendo of America issued a statement that these supports would be extensively rewritten.
    The rewrites were, on the whole, well-received. Soleil still very obviously likes the ladies, and most of her S-rank supports were changed from a romantic Relationship Upgrade to her politely knocking back any offers of marriage for being Platonic Life Partners instead. The above mentioned supports are only two chains that end in marriage: Soleil knows that Forrest is male from the get-go, and their conversations are about her not believing that his hair is real. Meanwhile, the Male Avatar no longer drugs her — instead, he consensually blindfolds her for a visualization exercise, letting her imagine people as the opposite sex to help her work out her confused feelings for him (and even then, she hints she's making an exception for him).
  • Batman: Arkham Knight:
    • Originally, it didn't allow players to alternate characters in challenge maps like in the previous games. This caused a ton of negative feedback, and was addressed by the developers on twitter, where they announced that there would be two patches for the game; First would add combat character selection, and the second would add Predator character selection. The patches were released on October and November, respectively.
    • Originally (even after the previous patch), there are no leaderboards for alternate characters, causing fan complaints. The response is the amount of maps with the amount of characters (40 x 8) would require a lot of work to merely compare points.
    • Due to players complaining about the issues with the PC port, the devs offered all of the previous Arkham Games for free for those who bought Knight, and PC got the Community challenge pack (Community chosen challenge maps remastered from Asylum and City) before consoles got it.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode:
    • Telltale Games got some heat for featuring only male Jesse in the marketing for the game, which implies the male character is the true mc/pc and causes female gamers to feel left out and underrepresented... so they fixed it in later advertisements that started to pop up around the release of episode 2, which featured individual commercials for both versions of Jesse, or showing both versions in the same commercials.
    • The game was facing accusations that the game was too soft compared to other Telltale games, so several character deaths planned for episodes 3 & 4.
  • Raiden III was panned by many players for not including the iconic Bend Plasma (aka "Toothpaste Laser") that originated in Raiden II, replacing it with the Photon Laser. It was put back in Raiden IV, though with somewhat different behavior.
  • The developers of Cytus attempted to address the issue of lenient timing windows by introducing TP, an alternate scoring system that's less forgiving on mistakes and adds a harder-to-obtain variant of the Perfect judgement. The TP is explained in official social media and forum posts, but not in-game and the game does not show the breakdown between "color" Perfects (the harder variant) and "black" Perfects.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • Most of the fan base didn't like how the player character was left to do everything themselves while the major NPCs just ordered them around and rarely helped out. The Heavensward expansion pack remedied the problem by having the major characters take action more frequently and fight alongside the player much more often, making the characters feel like they are a part of the struggle rather than being glorified commanders.
    • A major complaint players had was how their own characters were just nothing more than mute fighters that occasionally nodded and nothing else. Heavensward tackled the issue by having the player character emote more often and build personal bonds with certain characters while also giving the player more dialogue response prompts to flesh out their own characters.
  • Guild Wars 2: Many fans of the game expressed their hate of Traherne for taking the spotlight from the player and having the entirety of the Orr arc about him. In Heart of Thorns, Traherne disappears completely until the very end where the player kills him.
  • Tales of Zestiria: The Japanese fanbase exploded over how Alisha, billed as a main character, was treated by the story and Demoted to Extra following a huge media campaign centred around her and being hyped as the game's heroine. Creators responded with the Alisha DLC, focusing on Alisha's story after the end of the game.
    • Several other complaints about the game's plot were addressed in distant prequel Tales of Berseria, successfully enough that Berseria is now considered required playing to get the most out of Zestiria. Among other things, "Malevolence" was given a much less arcane explanation of its nature and effects without contradicting Zestiria, and the view that Armatization created blatant favortism of the human party members was embraced and explored to the fullest with the unstable, often-fatal early versions of the technique, while also explaining how Rose was able to use it despite Armatization supposedly being restricted to the Shepherd.
  • Among the complaints of The Evil Within was how the game locked letterboxing throughout in gameplay which was very distracting to play (one of the first mods was removing it), as well as how difficult and unfair the game is in general, even on Casual difficulty. These were all resolved with a June 2015 patch - letterboxing was removed entirely on all platforms during gameplay but not cutscenes, and Casual Difficulty was made more merciful; Haunted are much less likely to revive once dropped, the odds of scoring critical headshots are higher, bomb disarming never increases in speed, and bosses are just as lethal as always, but take a lot less firepower to kill.
  • The Talos Principle: Many changes in the Road to Gehenna DLC with regards to the main campaign.
    • The sigil-based puzzles, widely considered to be That One Puzzle. There are only two sigil puzzles in the whole DLC, and they're only required to access the secret ending, as opposed to the dozens of sigil puzzles in the main campaign, many of them required to complete the game.
    • Many players viewed the puzzles involving recorders as confusing or hated that many of them required a lot of waiting (the latter worsened by the fast-forward button not being available in early versions of the game), with some of them even fearing to see the "play" symbol on the puzzle description, and many fan-made puzzles labeling themselves as "No recorders". The DLC only has two puzzles involving recorders (and neither involves the platform).
  • Street Fighter III was an infamous disappointment for Capcom, with one of the most frequently-cited reasons for its failure being that it ditched the majority of the fan favorite characters from Street Fighter II in favor of an almost entirely new cast. Capcom subsequently released a new game in the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series the following year, which featured most of the recognizable characters from Street Fighter II, and later brought back Chun-Li and Akuma in Third Strike, an Updated Re Release of III. While a few of the better received characters from III have since reappeared in the newer games and the Capcom vs. Whatever franchise (namely Ibuki, Dudley, Elena, Hugo, Makoto, Yun, Alex and R. Mika), the series has still largely maintained a focus on the characters everyone remembers from II.
  • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the villainous Bowser has no dialogue. This wasn't a well-received change by fans; they felt his dialogue was a huge amount of what makes Bowser appealing in other Mario RPG games, so in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam and Paper Mario: Color Splash, he talks again.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash made several saving throws after the criticism Paper Mario: Sticker Star received:
    • Sticker Star was jeered relentlessly for most of its cast being more or less indistinct Toads with the personality of... well, paper. For Color Splash, while the issue wasn't fixed per-say, the writing was much sharper and sincerely funny, managing to give even the near-identical Toads distinctive personalities. There were also more non-Toad NPCs like Friendly Enemy Bowser forces.
    • Sticker Star had many generic environments, especially when compared to the areas of previous Mario RPG's. Color Splash brought back the more detailed levels and had them connect better than Sticker Star did.
    • The battle system in Sticker Star was considered to be a waste of time and unrewarding due to the lack of experience and no reward other than coins (many of which were only gained if the battle was won without taking damage; something that is hard to do with most attacks without spending coins to let you use more stickers) and more stickers. Color Splash added ways to permanently increase the number of attacks used per turn without spending coins and had some cards that let you use multiple attacks with a single card making it much easier to win battles quickly. Hammer Points were also added as a kind of experience system.
    • The Thing system was overhauled. In Sticker Star, being able to use a Thing required you to backtrack and turn the Thing into a sticker; additionally the system was a total Guide Dang It!, especially for bosses. Color Splash overhauled the system so that Things were automatically turned into cards when you got them and added a hint system to tell you what Thing was needed next (though it will not tell you if multiple Things are needed on two separate things in the same level, but that is still better than Sticker Star).
    • Bosses were considered anticlimactic in Sticker Star due to the battles being a case of using the appropriate Thing at the appropriate time and watching the HP lower to the point that one attack will finish them off. In Color Splash, some bosses that do not need a Thing to get defeated; in battles where a Thing is needed, the Thing is used to stop a powerful attack or make it vulnerable, meaning bosses are actually fun to fight.
    • In the previous game, Kersti was considered incredibly overemotional and mean to Mario, while also not receiving any character development. In Color Splash, while he's still somewhat overemotional at times, Huey is nicer, jokier and comparatively more relaxed.
  • Capcom had received flack from fans for neglecting the Mega Man video game franchise following the cancellation of several games (including the highly-demanded Mega Man Legends 3), as well as the character's exclusion from Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and the decision to include Bad Box Art Mega Man as a Joke Character in Street Fighter X Tekken. Keiji Inafune's departure from the company further fueled the flames. So when Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was announced, Mega Man X is the very first character to be featured in the debut teaser trailer, even before Capcoms' resident poster-boy Ryu shows up.
  • Though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did receive a lot of high praise for its gameplay and dense open world, one of its most commonly cited flaws was that it suffers from noticeable framerate problems, an issue usually uncommon in first party Nintendo releases. In late March of 2017 Nintendo released the 1.1.1 update which fixed the vast majority of the issues, making the framerate much smoother.
  • ArcSys is well-known for overcharging with their Updated Re-release titles, releasing the same game multiple times at full price with small amounts of additional content. So, when it was announced that GGXrd: Revelator would be getting an update as digital download and a lowered-price retail release, many saw it as a relief.
  • No Man's Sky: Every single patch could be seen as an attempt at this due to the controversy surrounding many of the promised features that were missing during the game's initial release.
    • The day one patch notes, which many suspect were released just to combat the leaks and prove that the leaked copies were, in fact, incomplete builds. Judging from the reviews from critics, however, it didn't seem to help much, being just a posturing Take That! to the pirated versions.
    • Patch 1.04, released August 18th, fixed some of the bugs each version suffered.
    • The entirety of the Foundations Update, which added numerous features that were previously promised, including base building and board-able freighters, in addition to fixing a number of bugs.
  • Super Mario Odyssey
    • The Mario franchise faced several accusations of stagnation during the 3DS and Wii U eras with the primary criticisms being an overload of Toads at the expense of other races, the gameplay being based mostly on the 2D Mario games, controversial changes to much loved gameplay styles, generic video game settings and most bosses being the Koopalings or other recurring bosses. Odyssey has the new Capture mechanic, expansive and unique locations, new NPCs, unique bosses and the returning characters, aside from series staples, are so obscure their presence was an unexpected and welcome sight.
    • Bosses in Odyssey are much harder than the ones in past 3D Mario games and Recurring Bosses change up their attack patterns, arenas to make rematches different and harder. This is likely in reaction to the criticism bosses in past 3D games were too easy and bosses fought several times were just the same battle over and over again.

     Web Comics  
  • College Roomies from Hell!!!: early on in the comic, Maritza chose to kill off Dave, but there was such an outrage among the fans that she decided to bring him back.
  • In El Goonish Shive, when asked whether she was bisexual, Ashley answered that she "doesn't like labels". This caused some hostile reaction among bi readers, due to a more general trend of "not liking labels" as the latest form of bi erasure among various works. The next page has Ashely explain herself and Ellen explicitly identifying herself as bisexual homoromantic.
  • Sinfest:
    • When Maverick pulled a gun on Slick and threatened him, the author had a scene a few strips later where another character picks up the gun and mention "it wasn't loaded". Readers pointed out that it wasn't clear whether Maverick actually knew that, so the author posted a flashback of her unloading the gun to hammer the point home.
    • September 2016 has an arc involving a hacked payment processing machine at a brothel, "fining" cheap patrons and announcing their purchase history was now posted on the Internet. Even fans felt this may be "too extreme", so it was soon retconned into "random messages" inserted into the payment program.

     Web Original  
  • The The Nostalgia Chick team were getting a lot of flack over the "Nella abuse", which Fan Dumb took way too seriously and thought it was happening in real life. So Lindsay made a "Thanks For Your Feedback", detailing that the Nostalgia Chick had sinfully low self-esteem and was paying Nella to make her look better. This seems to have also influenced "the Dark Nella Saga," where the evil entity possessing Nella gets revenge on the Chick for all the hell she put her through. (Note that the "Nella abuse" has pretty much stopped since the Saga ended.)
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Fans claimed The Entity storyline from "Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu" didn't explain why Missingno was afraid of Lord Vyce, when it was built it up as an unstoppable universe-devouring Lovecraftian demon. So the writer Lewis Lovhaug explained in the commentary that Vyce's attacks were able to hurt it but not kill it, at least according to Missingno, and it found getting rid of him to be enough of an inconvenience that it hid in our world so Linkara would defeat Vyce. Lewis also comments that Vyce not being able to kill it was only claimed by Missingno, who is full of itself even for a god.
  • The Onion attracted a bit of controversy in February 2016 when it published an uncharacteristically charitable article about Hillary Rodham Clinton ("Female Presidential Candidate Who Was United States Senator, Secretary Of State Told To Be More Inspiring") shortly after the website was bought by Univision chairman Haim Saban, one of Clinton's most prominent financial backers. Several readers accused the website of "selling out", implying that their new owner had pressured the writers into making the Clintons look good—particularly since they had previously written several articles openly mocking her and her bitter rivalry with Bernie Sanders. Shortly after, the writers showed that they were quite aware of the criticism, and went right back to unabashedly thumbing their noses at Clinton with several better-received articles, showing that they were still equal-opportunity satirists committed to making fun of everyone.
  • Deviant ART reviewer The Media Man ruffled a lot of feathers in the "Boys of Bummer" entry of his Top 10 Worst Simpsons Episode List, where he said Bart deserved what he went through in that episode. In response, he later rewrote his list to make it less controversial.
  • Enforced by The Angry Video Game Nerd in his Ikari Warriors review. He resurrects Kyle Justin to help him play the game, but Kyle berates the Nerd for only bringing him around when he needs a favor (as his iconic theme song hadn't been used in quite a while). This exchange occurs:
    Kyle: I'm not helping you! Besides, you never play my theme song anymore.
    Nerd: Yeah... the theme song... I thought people were getting tired of that.
    Kyle: You thought wrong.
    Nerd: Yeah. (Looks right at camera) I know.