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Canon Discontinuity
"Much like the half human revelation of the TV Movie, this book manages the rare feat of anti-canon — so radioactive and universally considered a bad idea that it’s been actively rejected; people have gone out of their way to dig it up just to shoot it and make sure it’s dead."
Phil Sandfier on the Eighth Doctor Adventures, The Ancestor Cell

When an element of canon is removed from canon of a work by those who write the work.

There are numerous reasons why this can happen. It can be an uncomfortable case of Old Shame, double standards, Misaimed Fandom or Unfortunate Implications for the writers. It can also happen when Fanon Discontinuity is so vehement that the writers end up agreeing and rewrite the canon. Sometimes it's just a moment or piece of writing viewed as stupid, unpopular, or simply not making sense within that universe. A retcon big enough, or duelling writers that are Armed with Canon can cause elements of a work, like characters, events, or episodes to be turfed out of the canon.

Sometimes the discontinuity is more subtle, such as a single line of dialogue or the specifics of an event. Besides those things, everything else is in canon. When that happens, they're treating it in Broad Strokes. Note that this trope has to do with the creators putting something out of continuity. Obviously, this is one of the meta-causes of Alternate Universe.

See also Continuity Reboot, Alternative Continuity, Broad Strokes, Disowned Adaptation. Old Shame works usually get this treatment. The opposite of Ret Canon and its descendant tropes. See Cutting Off The Branches for when all but one ending of a Multiple Endings game becomes canon discontinuity. When fans do this, it is Fanon Discontinuity. If the writers lampshade a discontinuity, either canonical or just something the fans want to be discontinued, then that's Discontinuity Nod. See also the Orwellian Retcon, which may overlap with this.

Not to be confused with Exiled from Continuity, when it's a character or a specific element or elements of a universe that are declared off limits for use, be it in-universe or in another version of that universe, for legal reasons or otherwise (although whether they are simply made non-canon or technically still exist, but can't be used depends on the situation).


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Multiple Media 
  • After acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney decided to drop the hammer on the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as seen here, with the business end formally coming down on April 25th, 2014. The EU has been running since 1977 and comprised literally thousands of comics, novels, short stories, video games and so on, making this perhaps the single biggest example of this trope ever. The new Disney-Lucasfilm group has created a dedicated Story Team that will ensure everything produced under the new regime, starting with Star Wars Rebels, is iron-clad and wholly consistent canon... but this necessitates the formal axing and cessation of the old EU and content for it. "Elements" from the EU will still appear in media after the split at the Story Team's discretion, but the EU as it was has been ended.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The last hundred or so pages of Battle Angel Alita are ignored by the renewed Battle Angel Alita: Last Order; originally intended as an adaptation of the last level of the game of the comic, it has spiraled into a second story longer than the original that is still ongoing. It should be noted that in this case, the original ending was an effort to avoid Author Existence Failure. After he got better instead, he decided to do it right.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water's director Hideaki Anno created a compilation of the series called "The Nautilus Story", with the conspicuous absence of 11 infamously poor quality filler episodes nicknamed the "Island Arc".
  • The Dragon Ball Z movie Battle of the Gods effectively retcons Dragon Ball GT by having Pilaf and his crew be children again as a result of a poorly worded wish on the Dragon Balls. Akira Toriyama himself has called GT a "wonderful side story", which is a polite way of saying it didn't happen. This was long before Battle of Gods was even imagined.
  • The animated version of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle contains a discontinuity with the "Tokyo Revelations" OAVs ignoring the last filler arc from the broadcast series and picking up right after the escape from the Rekort library.
  • Macross II has been officially been shunted off into its own private universe. Aspects of the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series and the movie Do You Remember Love are taken in Broad Strokes in later Macross series.
  • Nothing from the Sun Wukong arc of Shamo has been mentioned once in subsequent chapters. The arc that followed it was a flashback arc that followed a different character, and when the series finally came back to protagonist Ryo Narushima he had become a washed-up prize fighter, as opposed to the near demi-god he was at the end of the Sun Wukong arc.
  • The second Digimon Tamers movie is mostly about a Digimon attacking on Rika's birthday and mind-controlling her with a song she used to sing with her father. It also seemed to latch on to the idea planted in the final episode that the Tamers could use the portal Takato found in Guilmon's house to reunite with their partners. It was written and produced without the input of the head writers, however, and a CD drama released later reveals that the kids had yet to reunite with their partners even a year later, and revolved around them sending messages to the Digital World that their partners might stumble upon one day. (One of the writers speaks highly of the movie on his website, however, and the drama has a scene of Rika humming the song from the movie.)
  • While the writers of the Naruto anime largely restricted themselves to creating new villages and countries for filler arcs, leaving the major names alone for future manga expansion, one glaring example of this emerged: Mission - Protect the Waterfall Village OVA. As portrayed in the OVA, Waterfall Village is so small that a dozen men can effectively seize control of the entire village and their leader is a spineless teenager. Yet a later anime arc implied the village was highly aggressive and prone to launching border attacks on larger countries. And if that wasn't enough, Word of God is that the village had the third-most powerful bijuu under their control.
    • A flashback during a Fourth World War filler episode showed Guy, Rin and Sharingan Kakashi on a team together, all wearing official Konoha uniforms. Manga chapter 604, however, published a month before that episode aired, showed that Kakashi killed Rin not long after Obito's death (Kakashi still wore his father's empty sheath), so the anime episode takes place in an impossible timeline. That, or Guy's memory really is as terrible as Kisame believed.
  • The Gundam franchise has Gaia Gear, a novel written by franchise creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, set 110 years after Char's Counterattack and focusing on a literal Char Clone. The later Gundam F91 and Victory Gundam, also written by Tomino, push Gaia Gear into discontinuity by contradicting elements of its backstory. On top of that, we have Tomino's upcoming Reconqista in G (AKA G-Reko), which purportedly takes place in the firstant future of the Universal Century timeline.
    • G Saviour is in a strange place with regards to continuity. Sunrise has never said it's non-canon, but have also admitted that they do not like to talk about it and generally pretend the movie doesn't exist. Which is why the G-Saviour's brief cameo in Gundam Build Fighters came as such a surprise to the fanbase.
  • Not only was Episode 4 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann cut out of the manga, but the Episode 5 Opening Narration even refrained from using clips from that episode!
    • The Compilation Movie also skipped over the events of Episode 4, only showing them as part of a travel montage (which makes Kamina questioning who Kittan is later doubly hilarious, as they met in that episode).
  • An interesting deal for Tenchi Muyo!: the OVA special "Space Police Mihoshi's Space Adventure", which introduced Mihoshi's partner Kiyone (and Pretty Sammy, but that was because of Mihoshi's story) was made non-canon by the series' creator, yet it was used as a canon point for another creator's stories using the Tenchi cast.
  • One Piece Film: Z was originally supposed to canon, but Oda decided against it due to the numerous discrepancies between it and the manga. Though most agree that, if anything villain Z, should be a part of canon.
  • Cyborg009 has at least three stories that Shotaro Ishinomori stated that he personally didn't see as applying to canon, and that fans would be better off ignoring: "Empty War" (which was rewritten and redrawn as "A New Type of Bomb"), "The Man with the Expensive Castle", and a retconned version of the team's origin that acted as a prologue to the Underground Empire arc. The first story is considered old shame by Ishinomori due to the very fact that he had a better idea and revised it, while the latter two incorporated the Executive Meddling-induced change of having 007 be a kid (in order to tie into the then-recent 1966 animated film adaptation of the manga).
    • To make things confusing or perhaps for a completist measure, Tokyopop included both "Empty War" and "A New Type of Bomb" alongside each other in their US release of the manga, as well as placing "The Man with the Expensive Castle" before the Vietnam arc (when it was originally published after the Mythos arc), leading to a confusing lapse in continuity.

    Comic Books 
  • After Crisis on Infinite Earths, "Pre-Crisis" continuity (as it became known) became this. And yet, writers sometimes skirted around this, such as when Peter David's Supergirl somehow was able to travel back to Pre-Crisis continuity, begging the question of whether it actually ceased to exist, or just got...cosmically buried somehow. Of course, now that the New 52 is in place, one could be left wondering the exact same questions about the original 1986-2011 Post-Crisis continuity.
  • Lampshaded in the Grant Morrison run on Animal Man - Animal Man meets the previous version of himself from another continuity during a peyote trip. The same storyline has him meet Grant Morrison later in the series, at which point Morrison explains that the continuity differences come from different writers writing the same character for different comics. It also features a character - Psycho Pirate - who remembers all the alternate continuities that have ever existed, and goes crazy as a result.
  • The Gargoyles comic, written by the series' original head writer and officially promoted by Disney, ignores the third season, save for the first episode, which it largely retells with the first two issues.
  • This seems to happen to Spider-Man often:
    • One series written out of continuity was Spider-Man: Chapter One, which ineptly updated several bits of Spider-Man's origin; for instance, the Sandman and Norman Osborn were now related, as a way to explain their similar-looking hair.
    • In the one-shot The Osborn Journal, Norman Osborn claimed in his private journal to have had nothing to do with Aunt May's death in Amazing Spider-Man #400. Two years later, it's revealed he kidnapped her and had an actress fake her death, with no mention of his earlier claim otherwise. Marvel's Spider-Girl comic, however, sticks to the Journal's perspective rather soundly, and the real May Parker is said to have been the one who died in Issue 400.
    • Marvel's vague statements either took Trouble out of continuity or implied that it never was in continuity. This series depicted Peter's Aunt May as an unwed teenager and implied she was really his mother.
    • Mark Millar ultimately tried to salvage Trouble as canon in the last issue, trying to establish it as taking place in the Ultimate Marvel Universe via having reference be made to the Ultimate Marvel version of Bucky Barnes (who survived the war and became a famous writer). However, no one else has bothered to pick up on it and it's still a stand-alone story, mostly because it doesn't hold up to anyone with an understanding of basic math.
    • Ultimate Avengers seemingly cleared up the issue by establishing that Trouble is simply a comic-within-a-comic in the Ultimate universe.
    • Despite the claims of a Very Special Episode, Peter Parker was never molested.
  • The writers of the Disney Adventures Power Rangers S.P.D. comic conveniently retcon the reasons behind A-Squad's defection, turning it into Mind Control instead of a voluntary Face-Heel Turn.
  • The infamous "25 Years Later" arc of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series depicted two different alternate futures for Mobius, one of which was ironically created as a result of attempts to change the other. Neither one was mentioned again after the arc ended. Even more egregiously, the character of Lara-Su, Knuckles' and Julie-Su's future daughter and a major player in the arc, vanished along with it, even though her character was introduced in yet another alternate future story written before "25 Years Later".
    • The "X Years Later" timeline was revisited in a Sonic Universe story, while a later one featured the alternate version of Lara-Su (who was a separate person from the one who appeared in "25 Years Later".
    • This seems to be the effect of the past two hundred fifty one issues following the end of Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide and its Cosmic Retcon ending. Word of God states that, yes, those issues did happen, but it's obvious that they won't have any major standing in the new comics.
  • Jon Sable, Freelance: Creator Mike Grell's later uses of Jon Sable have ignored the 27 issues of Sable written by Marv Wolfman.
  • In the finale of The New Titans, Starfire is revealed to be pregnant. It's never mentioned again.
  • A storyline in Justice League Europe revealed that Doctor Light's Ice Queen behavior was the result of chemicals in a popular soda she enjoyed drinking, leading to the character becoming more personable once she kicked her habit. This was completely ignored by later writers, who brought back her rude, condescending personality with no real explanation.
  • The third volume of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book, published by Image Comics as the official continuation to the Mirage-produced series, was completely ignored when TMNT co-creator Peter Laird returned to write volume 4.
    • Almost all of the "guest era" portion of volume one, which took place from issues 22 through 44 and did not have any input from Laird and Eastman, has been stated to be non canon, with the sole exception of "The River" two-parter from issues 27 and 28.
  • In the rebooted series The Hulk, an angry response to writer/artist John Byrne's reboot of the title character, particularly his "Man of Steeling" of the Hulk in Annual #1, was responded to in the title's letters page by something along the lines of, "When you not like what happen, do what Hulk do: Pretend it never happened." Thus, the six issues and an annual were simply removed out of existence.
    • During Peter David's "Tempest Fugit" storyline, one line discontinuitized the entirety of previous writer Bruce Jones' 42 issue run.
  • A particularly brutal version happened in the first issue of the ClanDestine/X-Men mini-series. In one line of dialog, Alan Davis (ClanDestine's creator and artist/writer on the original Clan mini) rendered the entire second half of the original mini (i.e. The Issues He Didn't Write) as All Just a Dream.
  • Keith Giffen's infamous "Five Years Later" Time Skip in Legion of Super-Heroes was motivated by his desire to avoid the many dangling plot threads left over from Paul Levit'z run.
  • The 2006 series of The Warlord has been largely ignored in The DCU continuity. With the 2009 series continuing the original series, it seems the 2006 series has slipped completely into this realm.
    • And Mike Grell's 1992 mini-series off-handedly dismissed the death of Tara which occurred in issues after Grell left the original series.
    • And the new series seems to ignore Mariah's decision to willingly partner herself with a man who physically abused her. Grell has restored her to her original Action Girl Adventurer Archaeologist persona.
  • Countdown to Final Crisis was almost discontinuity. Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers led into Final Crisis but Countdown did not. However, Morrison (who also wrote Final Crisis) was forced to cave in and acknowledge Countdown via a time loop scenario: Darkseid wasn't killed at the end of Countdown but thrown backwards in time and possessed the mobster who would become Boss Dark Seid, resurrecting his minions in human bodies and consolidating his power base while waiting for his "death" so that he could kill his son and bring the corrupted-by-regular-Darkseid Mary Marvel into his inner circle.
    • Alternatively, Darkseid fell backwards through time after the events of Jim Starlin's Death of the New Gods... but Morrison has stated that the true final war of the New Gods was fought on a higher plane than mere mortals could comprehend, and that both Countdown and DoTNG were merely the mortal characters'/writers'/artists' hopelessly limited, three-dimensional perception of what really happened.
  • Years before the Continuity Snarl of Hawkman, there was a story, in the original Silver Age 1960s Hawkman series, which threatened to reveal Carter Hall's identity as Hawkman. He ended up protecting his identity but publicly revealing that he's a space alien. Needless to say, this was ignored later.
  • An odd example is Sovereign Seven, a team of humanoid aliens created by Chris Claremont for DC Comics. They were part of the Genesis Crisis Crossover, and at one point Power Girl became a member of the team. And then, in the final issue, it turned out they were entirely fictional within the DCU. This appears to have been for the opposite reason than most; Claremont wanted to separate his (creator-owned) characters from The Verse once his book was cancelled.
  • New Avengers: Illuminati #3 has been treated as such, due to the sheer level of Critical Research Failure on the part of Bendis regarding the original Secret Wars series and Beyonder.
  • The 1990s Metal Men miniseries reveals that they are actually human minds in robot bodies and has Will Magnus become Veridium, a Metal Man based on a fictional metal. This change was not well received and quietly dropped from continuity, along with the Metal Men themselves. When Magnus appears as one of the main characters of 52 he refers to the '90's series as hallucinations resulting from a psychotic break, and now takes regular anti-depressants to help keep his mind in one piece.
  • The "Life and Death of Johnny Alpha" story in Strontium Dog has explicitly relegated all of Peter Hogan's stories to the realm of in-universe fanfic. Garth Ennis' contributions seem to have actually happened.
  • DC Comics has a series of books entitled The Greatest Stories Ever Told, each featuring one character or theme. A Batman volume came out in the late 80s, followed by a volume 2 in the early 90s. V2 was released opposite Batman Returns, and features all Catwoman and Penguin stories. Decades later, DC revived its Greatest Stories series, reprinting the first Batman volume . . . and produced an entirely new Greatest Batman Stories Volume 2, shoving the previous V2 into no-man's land. (By amusing coincidence, the first volume of Batman stories was the second Greatest Stories volume overall (after Superman), and thus had Greatest Stories Volume Two on the spine. So, at a casual glance, all three different books appear to be "Volume Two" of the same series.)
  • DC ran an event called Origins & Omens, which had each book featuring an ominous short story hinting at future plots. The Teen Titans story featured several major revelations, such as Static joining the Titans, Blue Beetle kissing Wonder Girl, Sun Girl becoming pregnant with Inertia's child, and Kid Devil being turned into a withered husk. With the exception of the Static bit, literally all of these plot points were ignored.
  • Chuck Austen's Avengers and X-Men run is treated as such outside of the Broad Strokes. His characterization of Hawkeye and Hank Pym (whom he retconned into being enemies with no real explanation) was roundly ignored by future writers, and the female Captain Britain (a new Avenger that Austen created) quickly ended up in Comic Book Limbo.
  • Devil's Due Publishing's entire seven-year run of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (including numerous side titles), intended to be a continuation of the original Marvel storyline, was segregated to its own continuity after IDW Publishing took away the comic book rights from DDP. IDW now publishes its own continuation of the Marvel run (penned by its original writer Larry Hama), reprinting the Devil's Due run under the title of G.I. Joe: Disavowed.
  • Orson Scott Card's Ultimate Iron Man revamps Tony Stark in a way that was ignored by every other comic featuring Ultimate Iron Man, creating Continuity Snarl. Mark Millar explained that Ultimate Iron Man is a Show Within a Show in the Ultimate Universe.
  • At one point in X-Men, the lineup at the time were killed and resurrected, making them invisible to cameras, and this is treated almost as a second mutant power in the next few dozen issues. When Chris Claremont left, however, this was completely forgotten, and the lineup at the time - which includes Wolverine, of all people - are seen on camera without comment from then on. His run in 2000 makes a brief mention of this fact with Rogue, but this only serves to muddy the waters further - where it's been mentioned at all, it's explained as a side effect of the Siege Perilous, except that Wolverine and Longshot never went through it, and Rogue did. Common fan explanation is that Roma quietly revoked the "invisibility" gift around the time of the Xtinction Agenda (which is where Claremont actively stopped referencing it) and that the gift itself may have been contingent on the X-Men both possessing and going through the Siege Perilous.
  • Nextwave is probably the oddest example of this trope ever made. Officially, it is not canon, but most fans (and quite a few writers!) treats the act of making it discontinuity as a discontinuity in and by itself. This has caused some of the lunacy contained within the series (mainly the parts containing Aaron Stack and the other team members) to spill into the Marvel mainstream.
  • Secret Invasion ignored the X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl mini-series, where the Avengers member Mockingbird appeared in the afterlife. Invasion established that Mockingbird had never really died in the first place, making the series moot. However, the series' artist Nick Dragotta did later imply the events of the series were somehow still canon when discussing the new Miss America he created for the Vengeance mini-series, making the Dead Girl's canonicity difficult to determine.
  • Along those same lines, Brian Michael Bendis brought back The Wasp after killing her in Secret Invasion, with the explanation that she'd never really died in the first place. However, Wasp had earlier appeared in an issue of The Incredible Hercules where she was seen in the Greek Underworld, establishing that she was indeed dead. Though since the fandom was quite happy to have Jan back, there wasn't too much fuss.
  • Jeph Loeb and Daniel Way's critically-panned series Wolverine: Origins seems to be headed this way, if it isn't there already. The premise of the series was exploring Wolverine's Mysterious Past, which is an interesting idea... except by that point Wolverine's past had already been quite fleshed-out, so the series essentially consisted of the writers inserting new, unknown elements of his history in among the existing stuff, making Wolverine's origin (you know, the thing this series was supposed to be clearing up?) one huge Continuity Snarl. Among the "revelations" made were the fact that Wolverine is not a mutant after all but rather a "lupine," a species that looks completely human but is actually canine rather than primate in origin, and that Logan's mysterious, immortal ancestor, the founder of "lupine" society, had been behind basically every threat he'd ever faced, including the Weapon Plus program (even though the mastermind of that had already been revealed as someone else in a far better story). This was swept under the rug almost immediately after the series ended; whenever Logan's species has been referred to since then, he's always been called a human mutant, and the writer of an upcoming miniseries set during the same time period as Origins has confirmed he'll be ignoring it, quite simply because it would be too confusing to acknowledge. Except the plot thread is still continuing in Wolverine, meaning it hasn't been rendered as discontinuity....yet.
  • If a writer writes anything involving the Phoenix Force, it is bound to be rendered non-canon by the next writer that writes something involving Phoenix. Most notably, Avengers vs. X-Men ignored the Alan Davis-penned Phoenix Force stories from his Excalibur run, which among other things established the Phoenix Force as Merlin's private energy reserve stash based off of the lifeblood of the universe, as well as establishing that any usage of the Phoenix Force is enough to bring the various cosmic forces down upon the wielder, due to the fact that every time a user uses the Phoenix Force, the collective life force of the universe is drained.
  • Endsong, which was a sequel to The Dark Phoenix Saga, was declared non-canon almost as soon as it was written. It was not until Avengers vs. X-Men that it was restored to canon, with Wolverine giving a vague recap of the story to the Avengers when discussing the dangers of the Phoenix Force.
  • Everything previously established about the White Queen (complete with her being in her 40s) was wiped out by the combination of Grant Morrison's New X-Men run and Emma Frost's short-lived flashback ongoing series.
  • Madame Masque was accidentally killed near the end of Bendis' Moon Knight run. She's since shown up in Matt Fraction's Hawkeye run with no mention of her demise whatsoever.
  • In the 70's, Mortadelo y Filemón author Francisco Ibáńez lost his ownership rights over his characters after a few legal fights with his publishing house. They subsequently hired new, usually unnamed artists to take on the series instead. The change was very noticeable and unsuccessful, so the publishers allowed Ibáńez to retake his series, but under their guidelines. Some years later, the courts awarded him the full ownership rights for the series, and he proceeded to ban the publishers from ever again reprinting any of the books he hadn't authored and get rid of all the characters he had been forced to write in but didn't really like. Interestingly enough, he did save one particular book from the purge, since the artist who had written it was a friend and had asked him for advice- Ibáńez even drew a new cover for it.
  • Adam Strange's late Eighties turn to the Darker and Edgier has become this, as most later writers ignored the ideas in it (other than the introduction of Aleea, Adam and Alanna's daughter). Oddly, however, all five issues of this phase have been reprinted by DC in glossy full color, unlike almost any other Adam Strange stories.
  • At the end of Astérix and the Falling Sky, the characters get their memories wiped. This was presumably done because the story broke the established rules of the universe, being a Genre Shift into science fiction involving Ancient Astronauts. It also had the unexpected upshot of allowing fans to doubly ignore an extremely poorly-written, poorly-drawn and borderline xenophobic story.
    • Asterix and Obelix's Birthday is pure Continuity Porn with appearances from every major, remotely sympathetic One-Shot Character in the whole series, including several villains like Prolix, Codfix, Gaius Julius Caesar, the pirates, and Squareofthehypotenus, and characters who were heavily implied dead like Laurensolivius. The only ones absent are the more generic Roman bad guys, and Toon and Nagma from The Falling Sky.
  • In Morbius's first solo series Martine Bancroft is shot and killed, later to be resurrected as an undead being with no feelings. Three years after the series' end another comic shows her working for a magazine company, alive and well, with no explanation. Then in her next appearance in Amazing Spider-Man she is suddenly a vampire.
  • There is an obscure UK-exclusive Transformers comic called "The Beast Within," wherein the Dinobots merge to form a combiner simply called the Beast, which proceeds to slaughter most of the Decepticons and a number of Autobots before being destroyed. When asked about a Dinobot combiner, Hasbro tends to deny all knowledge of such a thing, indicating they've either forgotten the comic or like to pretend it doesn't exist, something most fans are happy to agree with.

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • Superman Returns ignores Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (and Supergirl), instead having Superman leave for five years at some point after Superman II.
  • The Godzilla franchise is particularly infamous for this. Pay close attention here: The Return Of Godzilla (also known as Godzilla 1985) ignored every Godzilla movie except the 1954 original. The Heisei Era movies after The Return of Godzilla create a new timeline that is very tightly interwoven, with a largely recurring main cast and developing plotlines from movie to movie. The "ignore every previous movie except the 1954 original" reset button was pushed again four movies in a row: Godzilla 2000, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!, and Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. The next movie, Godzilla Tokyo SOS, was a sequel to the previous film, but the next film after that, Godzilla Final Wars, has an ambiguous continuity that could fit anywhere or nowhere in the series. Vs. Megaguirus, GMK and Final Wars all treat the American Zilla as canon... but have no relation to each other!
  • Highlander is one of the most retconned canons in existence. Almost all iterations of the franchise accept the original movie as canon, with a few various retcons, but tend to ignore each other:
    • The second movie retcons when MacLeod and Ramirez first met, now taking place on an alien planet. The updated version of the second movie re-retcons when MacLeod and Ramirez first met, now taking place on Earth, but in the distant past.
    • The TV series ignores the second movie, and retcons the ending of the first.
    • The cartoon TV series accepts some of the flashback stuff from the first movie (there are immortals, two of them are Connor and Ramirez) and ignores everything else, including the bits of the first movie set in 1980s New York.
    • The third movie ignores the TV series and the second movie.
    • The fourth and fifth movies follows the TV series' continuity, while ignoring the second and third movies.
    • And the fifth movie has been retconned into All Just a Dream via Word of God
  • Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland were rendered non-canon by Return to Sleepaway Camp.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service might be taken as ignoring You Only Live Twice, so far as it shows James Bond and Blofeld meeting face-to-face for apparently the first time (neither recognises the other) when they had already met in the previous film. Of course, both were played by different actors, but in-universe that's no excuse. You can blame Pragmatic Adaptation on this, as the book On Her Majesty's Secret Service precedes You Only Live Twice (where Bond goes to Japan and finds Blofeld there by accident).
  • The third Chakushin Ari movie, Chakushin Ari: Final, is promoted like the grand finale to a trilogy but actually ignores the events of Chakushin Ari 2.
  • Halloween
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show creator Richard O'Brien almost immediately disowned the semi-sequel Shock Treatment, as did the director of both films, Jim Sharman. (Richard has stated that Shock Treatment, originally written as a strict RHPS sequel but soon to evolve into a completely different film, was a mere abortion.) Richard would eventually write both a movie script (Revenge of the Old Queen) and a stage musical (Rocky Horror: The Second Coming) that wiped the events of Shock Treatment out of the canon entirely. However, neither were produced.
  • Predators dismisses the Alien vs. Predator movies and instead it acts as a sequel to the original film and the sequel (while the events of Predator 2 weren't directly mentioned in Predators, neither was 2 said to not be canon).
  • In the same vein, Prometheus pretty clearly eliminates the Alien vs. Predator movies out of Alien's canon by stating that Weyland Industries was founded in 2012 by Peter Weyland, rather than Charles Bishop Weyland, who in the AVP films had already had a successful business by 2004.
  • Universal Soldier has had numerous sequels with numerous instances of installments ignoring other installments. The first film was followed by two sequels, Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business, which were ignored by the next film, Universal Soldier: The Return. The next film, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, ignored every previous movie except the first.
  • The third and fourth Pumpkinheads ignore the second, which was tenuously connected to the original anyway.
  • The Jaws franchise ignored Jaws 3D when creating the sequel, Jaws: The Revenge. The tagline even said Jaws: The Revenge was the final installment in the trilogy.
  • The MST3k film Boggy Creek 2: The Legend Continues is a curious case; Charles B. Pierce produced and directed the original The Legend of Boggy Creek, a documentary/dramatic re-enactment about an actual rural legend of a sasquatch-like creature living in the backwoods of Fouke, Arkansas. The studio that owned the film tried to cash in on its popularity and made a full-on fictional sequel, Return to Boggy Creek, without the involvement of Charles B. Pierce. Charles B. Pierce then, out of spite, made his own sequel, completely ignoring the events of Return, combining a fictional narrative about a college nature trip with more dramatic re-enactments of alleged sightings of the creature.
  • Averted with Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness which revamp the TOS era of the Trek Verse in a divergent, parallel timeline. The new movies accept the previous shows and movies as canon as they're a loose continuation of that continuity. Contrary to popular belief, the timeline in the new movies is not the original timeline having been altered, but simply a new, separate timeline altogether that branches off the original one as a result of Time Travel.
    • The voyages of the NX-01 Enterprise remain as part of the history shared by both timelines ironically enough, given how divisive the show was to fans.
  • The 2006 Continuity Reboot of The Pink Panther as well as its sequel dismisses all of the events of Trail of..., Curse of... and Son of....
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a very well-known example of this trope. After the film came out, no one was really happy with the result (from the fans to the production team. Even Hugh Jackman has stated it didn't feel like a Wolverine movie), and the various contradictions it has with the original trilogy. The prequel franchise was then rejiggered with First Class (containing a completely different Emma Frost) and this film was ignored entirely in Days of Future Past where even The Last Stand was taken into account.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • X-Men: The Last Stand may have been erased through the Cosmic Retcon, but it's featured in flashback scenes and its existence is at least acknowledged. X-Men Origins: Wolverine however (aside from a flashback scene from Victor crushing Logan's claw), is very hard to reconcile with the events shown: William Stryker is played by a younger actor and holds a different rank and job, which could be just The Other Darrin. In addition, it's strongly implied that he doesn't know Wolverine yet, and this movie takes place around the end of the Vietnam War, but according to Origins they met during it. Also, in both First Class, and the flashback in The Wolverine, Logan is never shown with Victor, and save for him being in Ngasaki, seems to just be a loner making petty cash like in the first film.
      • In The Last Stand, Bolivar Trask is played by Bill Duke, a 6'4" plump black man while in Days of Future Past he is played by Peter Dinklage, a 4'5" white man. Many assumed that Duke's Trask in the The Last Stand was indeed Bolivar Trask, however his first name was never confirmed as he was only referred to as "Trask". As a result, Duke's Trask has been retconned into "Secretary Trask" whereas Dinklage is confirmed as the true Bolivar Trask.
      • Wolverine in the Bad Future still has his adamantium claws, despite having lost them in The Wolverine. Word of God said since Wolverine in the Bad Future is working with Magneto, he could have recoated Wolverine's claws if he desired. Also, his character is depicted as The Heart rather than a walking knife, an extension of his Character Development in that film.
    • There were also several comic books and video games that were touted as "official" prequels to the various movies that were contradicted by the later films. For instance, the comic book prequel to the first movie and X-Men: The Official Game both seem to be contradicted by the events of The Wolverine.
  • Other than its title, The Exorcist III completely pretends Exorcist II: The Heretic never happened.
  • According to American Reunion, the Direct-To-DVD sequels didn't happen.
  • Planet of the Apes: In the third film, 'Escape From the Planet Of The Apes', Zira states that apes were held as slaves for several generations before rising up, and that a gorilla named Aldo was the first to say "no". But, 'Conquest' tried to retcon that out by editing Zira's speech when Caesar watched it on tape. There was a comic, 'Revolution On The Planet Of The Apes' that tried to repair some of the stuff after 'Conquest', though its canon status isn't clear. It's possible, though, that the changes in the events of the ape revolution are a result of a changed timeline rather than continuity issues.
  • The Legend of Conan (set for a 2014 release) is a sequel to Conan the Barbarian (1982) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The producers have already stated that it will completely disregard Conan the Destroyer as well as the 2011 Conan reboot.
  • The canonical status of A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series has not been clarified by the filmmakers, but it has been ignored by every subsequent sequel.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Mad Max ends with Max's wife still alive in the hospital. The last we hear about her condition is a doctor saying that she'll survive. However, the rest of the series implies that both his son and wife were killed by the motorcycle gang, freeing him up to remain a Road Warrior who has lost everything.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre isn't infamous for this but damn if it shouldn't be:
    • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 completely ignores that the prescript says that the crimes of Leatherface's family were discovered, presumably so there could be a sequel in the first place.
    • Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III ignores most of the first movie, throws out the second entirely and is almost a quasi-reboot but its really unclear.
    • Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation ignores both the previous films though it does make mention of two "minor incidents" occurring since the first movie.
    • Texas Chainsaw 3D weirdly ignores the remake and its prequel completely as well as the other three films and picks up directly after the end of the first movie.
  • In general Disney sequels are not Disney Animated Canon unless they got a theatrical release.
  • Author Christopher Isherwood was so disgusted at the 1972 film version of Cabaret - the most "Hollywood-ized" adaptation of his original novel Goodbye To Berlin - that he not only stood up and protested at the film's premiere (insisting that he never actually slept with a woman, as his on-screen expy did) but wrote the incredibly open tell-all autobiography Christopher and His Kind in order to tell the 'real' story. Likewise, though allegedly a fan of Christopher's original novel, Jean Ross (who was famously renamed Sally Bowles for the novel) refused to see either the stage or film version. She died shortly after the film's release.

    Literature 
  • Zorro: at the end of The Curse of Capistrano, the main villain was dead, and Zorro publicly unmasked, revealing his identity to everyone. By the third book, neither of those events had ever happened.
  • The issue of Lord Soth from the Dragonlance novels, represents perhaps the unholy lovechild of Canon Discontinuity and Executive Meddling. In the novel Knight of the Black Rose, TSR took the famous Dragonlance character into Ravenloft, where he became a Dark Lord. This did not sit well with one of the original authors of the Dragonlance series, Mr. Tracy Hickman who, according to rumor, demanded that TSR/Wizards of the Coast Retcon Soth's trip to Ravenloft, and killed off the character for good measure. And before dying, he repents of his crimes, regains his honor, and swears an oath to pursue redemption in his afterlife. This is a giant flaming Take That against ever putting him in Ravenloft, as one of its conceits is that some people are simply so evil that they're beyond redemption - and its Dark Lords are those people (although TSR averted the discontinuity by publishing Spectre of the Black Rose which reconciles both viewpoints).
  • The rules for thought-speak in Animorphs are as follows: only Andalites, Mercora (in Megamorphs #2), Leerans (in "The Decision", due to their psychic abilities) and Garatrons (in "The Weakness; their mouthless anatomy is like Andalites') can use it in their natural form, it can be used in any morph including human, and anyone, of any species, morphed or not, can "hear" it. Events contradicting the first two before KAA settled on the rules are not canon.
  • The Legacy of the Aldenata novel The Hero, by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo, was declared non-canon after the publishing of Tom Kratman and John Ringo's Watch on the Rhine and later of Eye of the Storm.
  • The Red Dwarf book series starts with two novels, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better Than Life, written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (working collaboratively under the pen name "Grant Naylor"). After that, Naylor wrote the novel Last Human and Grant wrote the novel Backwards — both of these act as the third novel in the series, in Canon Discontinuity with each other.
  • The Worthing Saga has multiple levels. The actual "canon" consists primarily of the full-length novel. The stories included in the back of a later edition came first, but Card didn't have them on hand when writing the novel, so a lot of the details differ, and he essentially made them an Alternate Universe. The stories not included are all so awful that he wouldn't even discuss them.
  • For a while, it was common for Clive Cussler's NUMA Series novels to end in sweeping global changes... that were promptly ignored by later novels in the series. These endings have included such things as the creation of a perfect "Star Wars" weapon system that would make nuclear war impossible.
  • Known Space short story "A Darker Geometry" was declared non-canon shortly after it was published. Also, the canonical description of being inside a stasis field when it is activated is a single-word paragraph reading Discontinuity.
  • Plato in The Republic, when discussing censoring stories, starts with the necessity of censoring out all myths that attribute evil behavior to the gods.
  • When finishing The Dark Tower series, Stephen King himself stated right before the very end that fans could just stop reading here if they so wished, and simply be happy with the fact that Roland reached the Dark Tower and finally entered it. What follows is rather cruel, after all. Previously, Roland had stated that the book Insomnia felt 'tricksy and full of lies' and did not read it. A character from the book shows up, but his actions and fate are contrary to how he acts in the Dark Tower.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Secrets of the Clans was the earliest guidebook. Five years after its release, several other books had come out, contradicting some of the things it said. Vicky Holmes stated: "I'm afraid Secrets of the Clans is a bit of an anomaly, in that it strayed off the path of rightness in several areas. Please take the Super Editions, and other Special Editions, as canon!"
  • In Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novel The League Of Frightened Men, Inspector Cramer, who in all stories before and after that one smokes (or at least chews on) cigars, smokes a pipe.
  • The monstrous way the Wizard came to power according to The Marvelous Land of Oz was met with such fan outcry that later books, although they don't explicitly contradict it, never mention it again, and the Wizard has to be told a number of things - in part by Ozma herself - he should have known were it true. But in a sneaky way, what was met with massive outcry when it was published has become an establishing trait in Darker and Edgier modern retellings like Oz: The Great and Powerful and Wicked where Mr. Diggs ranges from Anti-Hero to villain.
    • Ruth Plumly Thompson also restored this Wizard's history in The Lost King of Oz when Pastora was found and returned to Oz. At least once, Thompson mentions the Wizard's embarrassment at his history regarding the king.
  • None of the Star Trek novels are considered canon by Paramount. Despite this, when Star Trek: Voyager was still airing on television, the official website stated that Jeri Taylor's novels Mosaic and Pathways were canon as they featured background information on the characters of that series. In 2006 (by which point Voyager had finished airing), the entry was amended to state that they "used" to be considered canon.
  • The Chronicles of Amber does this a lot. Disregarding the prequels by another author (something Zelazny had established he did NOT want), and some of the Early Installment Weirdness, Zelazny himself frequently fell into it. Corwin initially remembers that he and Random were full brothers, whereas Eric was his half brother—which is then completely flipped around in a later book, with Eric being his full brother. Some things like this are hand-waved away based on the fact that Corwin was still suffering from head trauma at the beginning of the first book. But Zelazny is also bad about keeping track of time streams: The Courts of Chaos are initially described as a place where time runs much faster than in Amber, justifying how Benedict and Corwin can have children or grandchildren from encounters that subjectively to them were only months or weeks ago. But then in the later books, it's exactly the opposite, with any character going to the Courts experiencing that time elsewhere flows much faster, making minutes there into hours elsewhere. It's probably best not to think too hard about it.
  • The short stories in the Horatio Hornblower saga were considered to be less canon than the novels by C.S. Forester and he discouraged the reprinting of Hand of Destiny, Bad Samaritan, and Hornblower and His Majesty (although they are available if you look). Destiny in particular contributes to the Continuity Snarl of the Castille and Hornblower's powder burns.

    Live Action TV 
  • Smallville
    • This happens to Lana Lang's aunt Nell, and Chloe Sullivan's father Gabe Sullivan. Lana apparently still visits Nell regularly in season seven but in season six she said she had no blood relatives left. Gabe is last seen in the season three finale, but he is inexplicably absent in season eight when Chloe marries Jimmy. Clark, her best friend, gives her away at the altar instead of Gabe, suggesting he died and Chloe has no male relative left, but there is no mention of it.
    • "Eternal" is bad enough the wiki page has a section dedicated to it.
    • The kryptonian soul mate bracelet from "Skinwalker" was completely forgotten right after its introduction. Observant Fan Fic writers have since picked this up in order to pair him with Chloe.
  • Galactica 1980, the Contested Sequel of the original Battlestar Galactica, was long considered mostly noncanonical by fans. When the franchise had its Continuity Reboot in the 2000s, several novels and comics set in the original continuity were released. Those works made it official that the events of Galactica 1980 never happened.
  • George Lucas has publicly said that the The Star Wars Holiday Special does not form part of the Star Wars canon.
    • This is not surprising, as technically, as far as George Lucas is concerned, only the six movies are actually in the official Star Wars canon. Everything else, even if made by Lucasfilm, is subject to being superseded by the movies. On the other hand, he also said he would love to smash every extant copy of said "Holiday special" with a sledgehammer given half a chance...
    • Greedo shooting first is another example, as Lucas has implied through burying the original theatrical versions in his vaults that the Special Edition second version (he and Han shoot at almost the same time) is now the official version of the event.
  • Many Xena: Warrior Princess fans do not officially consider the two-part "Friend In Need" arc to be the finale, and neither do the writers of the Xena comics. The Dark Xena arc is basically a Fix Fic - constructing a story to undo the finale and other events (such as the death of the Olympian gods).
    • Not only do the comics state that the finale cannot be canon, the show itself makes the events of the final episode dubious at best, since it finished with Xena's soul trapped on Earth as an intangible, invisible ghost. Meanwhile, several episodes throughout the show's run state that Xena and Gabrielle return, reincarnate and generally stick around one way or another forever.
    • And then there's Hercules & Xena: the Animated Adventure, the "Star Wars Holiday Special" direct-to-video production that is ignored by all fans of both series except collectors and the occasional fan historian.
  • Star Trek
    • The original series episode Balance of Terror is highly regarded. However, its assertion that the Romulans do not have warp drive was questionable at the time, and was understandably ignored in Star Trek: Enterprise.
    • Voyager's "Threshold" is so badly regarded that it was explicitly stated to be non-Canon by the producers while the show was still in production and later directly contradicted on-screen.
  • Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation was one of the inspirations for a whole retcon of the franchise. The producers even reassured fans that Venus de Milo, outside of history books of the series, would never, ever, ever be mentioned again. The disowning is further pronounced in Turtles Forever, where The Next Mutation (as well as other TMNT oddities best left in the depths of obscurity such as Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and the musical) is missing from 2003 Shredder's slideshow of The Multiverse (and just for kicks, even the ridiculously absurd anime OVA is acknowledged in that same scene). Production-wise, this can be explained away by rights issues, but everyone knows no one wanted to dredge up those continuities again.
  • Charmed
    • In the episode "All Hell Breaks Loose", the supernatural is exposed to the general public when the Charmed Ones fight a demon before a news crew, causing a chain of events that ends up in Prue's death. However, the episode "Forget Me... Not", introduces the Cleaners, magical beings tasked with "cleaning" such exposures. However, thanks to time travel, that exposure no longer happened. Maybe that's what the Cleaners intended all along, and the Charmed Ones just didn't see them.
    • In the episode "Morality Bites", the sisters learn that their mission is to protect innocents, not punish the "guilty" and take justice into their own hands. However in the episode "Hyde School Reunion", in order to save Phoebe and Chris, Phoebe and Paige glamour Rick Gittridge, a petty criminal, and deliberately get him killed by a group of demons.
    • Chris comes back from the future in order to keep Paige from dying. And yet, for the entire season he is featured in he refers to future Paige many times as if he knew her, despite not having even been conceived when she "died." The event that would have killed Paige was the Titans, in the first episode where Chris appeared. So one of the first things Chris did was to change that part of his future, and apparently this is an aversion of Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: His memories changed to reflect his new future that includes Paige. it's also possible that Chris was simply lying about Paige's death and just chose to appear during the Titans crisis because it seemed serious enough to be a believable reason for his time travel.
  • NBC has repeatedly ignored the existence of the aborted 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live. In the season-by-season Best Of series, this was the only one skipped, with "The Best of 1980" containing material from the last episodes featuring the original cast. The 15th and 25th Anniversary specials ignored it, save for clips of its musical guests; and in fact, the 25th Anniversary special's opening titles contained a cast photo from every season EXCEPT that one. (Each photo on the film strip is even labeled with the year - 1979 and 1981 have nothing between them.) Additionally, the late-night 'Classic SNL' reruns that ran for several years only aired a single episode from this season, and due to NBC's coverage of the Pope's death, many areas never saw it.
    • NBC did redeem themselves slightly, however; after the death of Charles Rocket, a clip of one of his Weekend Update jokes was edited into a DVD reissue of the 25th Anniversary special.
  • Game Shows. Yes, game shows. Although rare, there's a few games that have retconned their histories:
    • The 1985-86 Break The Bank, which aired in syndication. The first 13 weeks (a quizzer where couples earned seconds to be used in silly stunts to earn Bank Cards to possibly break the Bank) were hosted by veteran game show host Gene Rayburn, who got into arguments with the producers because they thought he shouldn't be joking around during their serious and suspenseful show (no, seriously). Rather than do something about it, they fired Gene and brought in Joe Farago; a few weeks later, they dropped the stunts in favor of a $2,000 front-game goal and a Master Puzzle.
      • Subsequent reruns were only of the Farago episodes, with no mention of Rayburn or acknowledgement that he had ever hosted in any future airings. (It's unclear how much, if anything, Rayburn had with his shows not being rerun.)
    • The producers of Press Your Luck wouldn't allow either of the two episodes featuring Michael Larson (June 8 and 11, 1984) to air on USA or GSN until 2003. The only indication that he'd even been on the show was the re-randomization of the board patterns.
    • The Price Is Right has several examples of omitting its history. Long-time host Bob Barker has absolutely refused to allow episodes where fur coats and other products made primarily from animal carcasses were offered as prizes; rather than say "This happened, it's shameful, but it's history.", Barker instead went the route of "I don't want anyone to know I was ever giving these away."
      • He vetoed episodes featuring ex-model Holly Hallstrom (more than 2,000 episodes from 1977-95) with explanations varying, although Barker and Hallstrom had a hostile relationship at least during the later years.
      • Barker also refuses to discuss or even acknowledge longtime announcer Rod Roddy; as such, the only true classic star Barker has praise for is announcer Johnny Olson (who died in October 1985 and was replaced by Roddy in February 1986). This is likely because Roddy, who died in 2003, had a salary dispute with Barker, which in turn explains why Roddy did not appear on camera in his later years (as he and Johnny had previously). Fremantle Media tried to cover Roddy's lack of face time by saying that they had enacted a policy preventing announcers from appearing on-camera, but that was soon jossed when his successor, Rich Fields, began getting face time as well.
      • And don't even ask how Dennis James, who hosted a weekly nighttime version alongside the daytime show for its first five years and had been not only chosen by Goodson after talks with original host Bill Cullen fell through but was associated with Price months before CBS and Barker were ever in the picture (when the New version was being pitched solely for weekly syndication), falls into this. Most of the 1972-80 nighttime run contained furs, but GSN refused to show the remainder and only pulled out a daytime substitution from December 25, 1974 after James died in 1997.
    • Wheel of Fortune, despite running daily since 1975 and debuting with Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford, seems intent on putting forth the deception that it began in 1981 (or 1983) with Pat Sajak and Vanna White. This may be due to Woolery leaving after salary disputed with creator Merv Griffin (he wanted $500,000; Merv offered $400,000)...but if GSN and the E! True Hollywood Story can acknowledge Wheel's full history, why can't the show itself?
      • References to non-Sajak/White eras and the daytime show as a whole are extremely rare, and the show's official website mentions the other hosts just once so they can slap you with a lifetime ban if you've ever been a contestant...which includes the No Budget children's spinoff Wheel 2000. (Oddly, they only name-check Woolery, Sajak, and Bob Goen; this is followed by "or other hosts", which covers at least Edd Byrnes, Rolf Benirschke, and Alex Trebek for the sake of averting Loophole Abuse. Whether foreign iterations are counted in this is uncertain.)
      • Bizarrely, for their ceremonial 3,000th nighttime show in 1998, Wheel showed clips of Edd Byrnes' first pilot (taped August 28, 1974) and name-checked him. They then claimed that what we were seeing was the pilot, disregarding not only the fact that another pilot was taped later that day but also the original 1973 pilot Shopper's Bazaar, hosted by Woolery. Bazaar was very different than everything made since, which would've provided a far more stark contrast.
      • They also seemed intent to, in Season 28, erase any idea that they taped out of order after Charlie O'Donnell died: he had done another eight weeks that had yet to air, but these were dubbed over by various substitutes as Wheel claimed "it was a tough decision, but it would have been too sad to hear his voice so close to his death". In Summer 2011, the sub-announcer shows were dubbed over by the just-hired Jim Thornton. To say fans were displeased with these decisions would be putting it extremely mildly.
  • A rare Tokusatsu example in Kamen Rider Decade, whose final episode ended on a cliffhanger and a trailer for a conclusion movie. Said movie would contain absolutely NO footage from that trailer and only a select few of the concepts it implied. Fans were livid, and a group of Japanese parents (akin to the PTA) complained that the last episode was just a half-hour advertisement for the movie, which did nothing to resolve the dangling plot points, making both of them a giant money grab. Only several months later with the Director's Cut version of the movie would we be given only a select few snippets from that trailer added into a dream sequence near the film's start, showing the fans to more or less ignore that trailer. There was also a slightly smaller change within reruns of the last two episodes: characters were removed from specific shots, stock footage was used, and dialogue was added in order to fit better with how the aforementioned conclusion movie started out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer mostly ignored the movie it was based on. The only real references to it are that Buffy was kicked out and the whole Watcher/Slayer relationship. Worth noting is no mention of Pike and only a brief mention/scene of Merrick being her first Watcher (who looks extremely different from Donald Sutherland) in a late Season 2 episode. And then there were multiple references of "burning down the gym to kill all of the vampires in it", a part missing from the movie. Technically the series isn't based on the movie as aired, but on the original script (written by Joss) the movie was based on, which included Buffy burning down the gym.
  • The Big Finish version of The Tomorrow People includes a list of homo superiors who died when their powers first manifested. This turns out to include the characters from the 1990s Revival.
  • After Saban re-acquired Power Rangers, executive producer Johnathan Tzachor made a post on the official message boards saying that he considered every season made by Disney (from Ninja Storm through RPM) non-canon.
    • That is until the news came that Toei was filming a Legend War sequence for the 20th Anniversary, and all the teams (both from Saban and Disney) are a part of it...
      • Of course, Tzachor also claims that every incarnation of the franchise is its own continuity, even when all onscreen evidence claims otherwise, so fans are generally content to ignore him.
    • On a related note, Saban has said that RPM is non-canon until they need to reference it or do a crossover, at which point it'll become canon. This is easier to understand than the above, since RPM is an After the End series that implies a cruel fate for at least one past Ranger. When the time came to canonize it in a crossover with Power Rangers Samurai, it was explained as being an alternate universe.
    • Tzachor aside, this trope was ultimately subverted when Paul Schrier mentioned at Comic-Con 2011 that, while the current Saban Brands production regime does not like the Disney seasons and wishes they did not exist, they are in-continuity and have not been disowned
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The Zat gun on Stargate SG-1 may be an example of this. Early on it was said that "one shot stuns, two shots kill, and three shots disintegrate." They used the third shot a few times until they realized how much energy that would actually require. This was later self-parodied in "Wormhole X-treme!" with one of the writers saying: "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
    • Moreover the difference between the show and the movie is extreme. Ra goes from being the last of his kind to the leader of the Goa'uld System Lords. Abydos is also moved into the Milkway from another Galaxy. The Jaffa are invented and Ra's species made into the Goa'uld. Word of God explained the movie's Ra being one of The Greys as him having implanted himself into an Asgard. The way the Stargate functions is also considerably different in the movie than in the show. However, references to the movie's events never stopped, and many fans will point out we never had it on good authority that Ra was the last of his kind (the tablet Daniel read from said he escaped his dying world; it's unclear what led people to jump to the conclusion that there was absolutely no way anyone else did the same.) SG-1's relationship with the movie is more "the movie mostly happened, but we change what doesn't work for us" than "Movie? What movie?"
    • The episode "Hathor" was effectively struck from canon due to the writers considering it the worst episode they ever wrote. Hathor reappeared later at the head of a Jaffa army she'd brainwashed away from several other Goa'uld, but how Goa'uld queens work was retconned due to the squickiness of the original explanation, and characters would refuse to talk about the events of the episode when asked.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The family goes to see a psychologist, then leaves, then John comes back several times, then Sarah comes back, then Sarah comes back in another episode and the psychologist says that after the first time he never saw them again. All in Season 2.
  • This existed between the Highlander movies and series to the point of Continuity Snarls at times. (see the Film entry)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has a problem with this in multiple shows.
    • In one original series episode, Sara was stated to have a brother. In a season 12 episode, she refers to being an only child.
    • Official info on the CBS character bios was changed and/or ignored. The bios had Catherine being born in Bozeman, Montana (probably recycled and given to NY's Lindsay) and having a sister, and Grissom's father being involved in smuggling. Making it worse was this information being included in the first episode guidebook that was released.
    • Sara's background is another notable example, the bio stated Sara growing up in a family of hippies, and she was always serious and focused while they were laid back. This is totally and completely ignored later.
    • In CSI: NY, Mac says he used to sit with his wife in the hospital, indicating a likely original intent to have Claire found, then die of her injuries after 9/11. But later, he says she was never found when talking to his stepson, Reed.
    • The famous "Danny was from a family of cops" stuff. The producers retconned by saying "extended family", but many still don't buy it.
    • Stella stated in Season 1 that she lived at St. Basil's orphanage until she turned 18. Season 3, though, had a rather big crossover plot involving the woman Stella shared a foster home with as a teenager.
  • Ken Wahl, who played lead character Vinnie Terranova, left the series Wiseguy after Season 3 and the fourth (and final) season began with the other characters investigating his character's disappearance and finding out he had been murdered. Six years later, Wahl starred in a reunion movie with no mention made of his character's death.
  • Sam & Cat, which is a Spin-Off that takes one character from iCarly (Sam) and one from Victorious (Cat), appears to retcon the iParty With Victorious Cross Over episode from those two prior franchises. Instead of the pair recognising each other from the events of that episode with them meeting each other in person and spent much of the episode together, Cat only recognises Sam by way of Cat knowing about the iCarly webshow.
  • Austrian series Die Piefke-Saga, part 4. The series parodied German tourists in Austria and the industry in general. Said part was set in the future, where Tyroleans were replaced by androids, while the last remaining natives had become La Résistance.
  • Sesame Street is constantly retconning itself due to having a sliding timeline.
  • Only Fools and Horses's writer, John Sullivan usually liked to pretend that the 1986 Christmas Special, "A Royal Flush" never happened, due to Del being absolutely cruel to Rodney by ruining his chances with the daughter of an aristocrat. Sullivan only allowed the episode to be released on video and DVD due to demand from the fans, and even then it was in the form of a severely edited version in which Del is a lot less mean.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Missing Episode reconstructions occasionally use this to 'fix' things the BBC would rather didn't happen. For example, the interview with Anneke Wills at the end of the official audio reconstruction for "The Underwater Menace" reveals that she and the director had agreed to alter a part where Jamie slaps Polly in the face to get her to stop freaking out because, in addition to being unnecessarily chauvinistic, it was really out-of-character for Jamie (who had just recently been introduced). In the reconstruction, he merely roughly pulls her to her feet, which is enough of a shock to shake her out of her panic. Another example is how the reconstructions deal with the random racial slur in "The Celestial Toymaker" - the BBC's official reconstruction buries it by having the narrator talk over the top of it, and the semi-official Loose Cannon reconstruction edits the line out entirely.
    • Between the nonsensical plot and So Bad, It's Horrible quality, "Dimensions in Time" has been officially stated by the BBC never to have happened (both the webpage and the Expanded Universe agree that it is All Just a Dream) despite having been intended at the time to be canon (as, in the eyes of the producer, bad canon was better than no canon at all).
    • "Death Comes to Time" totally ignores the events of the TV Movie (the Doctor is still the Seventh Doctor) and serves as an 'ending' for the show.
    • "Scream of the Shalka" was an attempted Reboot and introduced a new Doctor and a new Master, now his companion. Hopes were to use it to get a new series launched, but the eventual actual revival made a point of ignoring it as Russell T Davies strongly disliked it.

    Music 
  • The Divine Comedy's first album, Fanfare For The Comic Muse, is very firmly this; it's been long deleted, and nobody - least of all Neil Hannon - seems to want it rereleased.
    • Other musicians who do their best to pretend their first albums don't exist include Tori Amos and Genesis. Y Kant Tori Read, like Fanfare, is long deleted, and From Genesis to Revelation probably would be if anyone from Genesis had their way, but they don't own the rights to it, their then-manager does.
      • Genesis also likes to pretend that the widely panned album Calling All Stations (featuring Ray Wilson on lead vocals) never happened either. No songs from that album were included on the 2006-2007 reunion tour.
  • Another musician to do this is David Bowie, who never includes his first self-titled album (his second self-titled album was later renamed "Space Oddity") in his discography.
    • His early novelty song "The Laughing Gnome" is generally acknowledged as something that should not and should have never existed. When Trolls hijacked a fan vote for what songs he should play on a tour so that it came high up, he scrapped the poll altogether.
    • Never Let Me Down (1987) is not only often considered his worst canonical album, but one song on it ("Too Dizzy") was dropped from reissues.
  • Eminem's debut album, Infinite, was a complete commercial failure, and has never been reissued. The songs featured a very young Eminem performing in smooth R&B styles he would never revisit, and none of the material has reappeared in any form. (While his second release, The Slim Shady EP, has also never been reissued, most of the material was either repeated or remade for The Slim Shady LP.) He does, however, reference it in Recovery song Not Afraid:
    "From "Infinite" down to that last "Relapse" note  album..."
  • Both Alanis Morissette and Björk have embarrassing early albums they don't acknowledge as part of their discography; Björk's was an LP of covers recorded when she was a child, while Alanis' were teen pop which won her fame in Canada but failed to chart in the US.
  • The Doors have never reissued their two post-Morrison albums, Other Voices and Full Circle, even in the supposed Complete Studio Recordings boxed set. These have allegedly only seen CD release in Russia, and those discs are very likely unauthorized.
    • Both albums are now available on iTunes.
  • Both the fans and Helloween themselves agree that there's no such thing as Chameleon in their discography. It was the last album with Michael Kiske on vocals, and the most Lighter and Softer of them all. Nowadays Pink Bubbles Go Ape has fallen here as well, despite that the band played some of that album's songs, like "Mankind" and "The Chance".
  • While The Final Cut still exists in the mind of Roger Waters (who still performs its material live), the album was shunned by the other members of Pink Floyd, who had very little input in the disc. David Gilmour in particular was disgusted that Roger would not only fashion a new album out of rejects from The Wall, but have the nerve to credit Pink Floyd as mere sidemen on his 'requiem for the post-war dream.'
  • For Pantera and their fans, their first album was 1990's Cowboys From Hell, ignoring the previous 4 albums a.k.a. their hard rock/glam era.
  • The third verse of the British national anthem, "God Save The Queen" is now discarded as it is deemed too belligerent:
    O Lord our God arise,
    Scatter her enemies
    And make them fall.
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,
    On Thee our hopes we fix,
    God save us all.
    • The very dated verse six, which makes reference to George Wade and his "rebellious Scots to crush" has also proved worthy of omitting, for obvious reasons.
  • Similarly, only the third verse of "Deutschlandlied" is part of the German national anthem. Verse 1 was already being questioned for its apparent belligerence and imperialism before it was co-opted by the Nazis. Verse 2 is jingoistic self-aggrandizement that is... a bit awkward now, to say the least. Verse 4 was a Nazi invention, so... yeah.
  • The third stanza of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is often omitted in official renderings, because it mocks the British military as "hirelings and slaves". Of course, Britain is now a key ally of the USA, making the verse very outdated.
  • Both Metallica and Megadeth will generally pretend that the eighth album in each of their discographies, St. Anger and Risk, don't exist. "Generally" is a key word: the material is rarely, if ever, performed in current concerts, but both bands will admit to the albums' existence if pressed hard enough.
  • Devo has generally ignored the entire Enigma Records discography, and their last Warner Bros. Records album, "Shout". While they acknowledge their existence, good luck hoping for a re-release, or hearing anything from it performed live again.
  • Ozzy Osbourne has deleted the live albums Speak of the Devil, Just Say Ozzy, Live and Loud and even the studio album The Ultimate Sin from his catalog, and they are no longer being made. The reasoning for the live albums being erased might have something to do with Ozzy often being criticized for having a large amount of Greatest Hits and Live Albums (9 studio albums of original material compared to a total of 10 compilation/live albums, not counting work with Black Sabbath), but the deletion of The Ultimate Sin most likely has something to do with the legal troubles with a former band member over songwriting credits.
    • At the time it was released (1982) Ozzy made no bones in interviews about hating Speak of the Devil passionately. He did it only because he was contractually obligated to do a double live album with a lot of Sabbath classics at the time (and the shows in question were recorded mostly after Randy Rhoads' sudden death, not a good time for Ozzy). Of course, it helped him out a lot because his versions were a lot better than what his former bandmates served up on Live Evil. It's not a great surprise that as soon as he could put it out of print, he did so.
  • The Goo Goo Dolls started as a Hardcore Punk band, evolving into a Pop Punk sound that produced both their major label debut Superstar Car Wash and their commercial breakthrough album A Boy Named Goo. The follow-up, Dizzy Up the Girl, introduced a ballad-oriented folk-pop sound that brought them even greater commercial success. They no longer perform/discuss the old material for obvious reasons. Their 1987 debut First Release has been out of print since...1987, and when asked what the chances of them ever playing the pre-Car Wash material again were, they said "take the highest number you can think of and multiply it by three".
  • Squeeze, the final album by Velvet Underground, was never reissued to CD or MP3 format and has been out of print on vinyl since the early 80s. It also sounds very unlike anything else by The Velvet Underground due to the absence of Lou Reed or anyone else associated with the band aside from Doug Yule. It is also the only album left out of the otherwise retrospective compilation Peel Slowly and See.
    • In fact, the only reason anyone tried to call it canon in the first place was Executive Meddling. Doug Yule wanted to release Squeeze as a solo album.
  • Judas Priest seems to have all but forgotten about the era of Tim "Ripper" Owens now that Rob Halford is back. In fact, a 2012 box set called "The Complete Albums" contains the band's first two albums (the first release on CD endorsed by the band) but ignores both albums with Tim Owens.
  • Van Halen III, the group's only album with Gary Cherone is not mentioned on VH's official website nor do songs from it appear on any Greatest Hits Album.
  • Paul McCartney clearly considers The Beatles album Let It Be to be this, while John Lennon didn't (George and Ringo were either apparently neutral or didn't make their views on the subject known). The reason for this essentially stems from Creative Differences; the album was recorded during a period of tension between the band, and the recordings were shunted aside until producer Phil Spector was brought in to sort them out and make something presentable of them. However, either through oversight or spite no one actually let McCartney know what was going on, so while Lennon was satisfied McCartney was horrified to hear what had been done to his original songs (especially "The Long and Winding Road") without his knowledge or permission. Let It Be... Naked, released over thirty years after, is generally considered an attempt by McCartney to replace the original.
    • Not only that, but the American Beatles albums are also ignored, with the occasional exception of Meet The Beatles. The canon established in the 1980s with the CD releases and re-mastered in 2009 includes only the UK albums, except for Magical Mystery Tour, which was never a proper album in the UK, just two EPs. The live album The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl has never been released on CD due its awful sound quality, and the early bootlegs The Star Club Tapes were actively suppressed by the Beatles for the same reason.
  • Since it was the only Yes album made without him, Jon Anderson refuses to perform any material from Drama live.
  • The KLF did this to their entire back catalog when they left the music business in 1992. Well, specifically they pulled all of their albums out of print to make it clear that their retirement wasn't just a stunt to sell more of their back catalog.
    • Only in the UK, however. One can still buy copies of their American Arista releases. The American releases (and remaining UK copies) have been in high demand with British fans since the band retired.
  • Robyn Hitchcock disowned his second album Groovy Decay: He pulled it out of print a few years after it's release and replaced it with Groovy Decoy, which featured the original versions of four Groovy Decay songs but mostly consisted of demos from the same period. The original Groovy Decay album can still be found in it's entirety on the box set Gravy Deco though, and the album even got a 2007 remastered re-release with bonus tracks, although it was only released as a digital download.
  • The Bob Dylan album Dylan was released without his approval by Columbia Records after he jumped ship for Asylum Records, pieced together from some dubious outtakes. After he returned to Columbia several years later, it was quietly buried and largely has remained so ever since.
  • Scooter have all but ignored their first single Vallée Des Larmes. HP Baxxter introduced his signature rapping/singing style on their second single Hyper Hyper, which was successful. Vallée Des Larmes was not included on an album and its only recognition by the band since is the inclusion of a Remixed version on the 1998 compilation Rough And Tough And Dangerous. It appears on the bonus disc, as the remix was a B Side. The reason for them ignoring Vallée is because it's an instrumental, it wasn't successful and it was recorded at a time when Scooter were meant to be a one off project. Its main B Side Cosmos appears on the band's first album And The Beat Goes On, however. In later years, they have acknowledged the influence they had on Scooter and the band have done the odd darkwave inspired song since. They have admitted that it was more financially viable playing Scooter's style of music.
  • Scooter have buried their album Sheffield, it's definitely the Oddball in the Series and they aren't fond of its lead single "I'm Your Pusher". The second single from the album, "She's The Sun", is widely regarded as one of the band's best songs, but it doesn't really fit in with their repertoire these days. No tracks from the album were included on the UK version of their Push The Beat For This Jam compilation, but they have been on all others.
  • Neither of the two original videos for Madonna's first single "Holiday", which featured the pre-MTV, pre-Lucky Star singer dancing in a production studio (featuring an observer dressed in a nightgown in the background), have been included on any of her official video releases. This included 2009's Celebration DVD collection, which collected almost every other music video she ever released (including a live performance of "Holiday", shot at the same time as the videos). Notably, both versions featured poor production values.
    • In the same vein, the original music video for "True Blue" (which didn't feature Madonna in it) has never been acknowledged either, due to it being helmed by an amateur director who won an MTV "Make My Video" contest in 1984. Madonna has also refused to play the song at most of her concerts, as the song was written about her (abusive) ex-husband Sean Penn, after they divorced in the 90's.
  • The second album by Bad Religion, Into The Unknown, actually got better reviews than their first album, but was rejected by fans because it explored prog-rock influences and piano melodies. After selling poorly, it was ignored in the discography for years, only being reissued 27 years later (in vinyl only) as part of a box set.
  • Country Music singer Joe Nichols has an album titled III. It was his fourth album. The one that was excluded from the chronology? His obscure 1996 self-titled debut on a small indie label — although none of its singles charted in the US, one got to #74 on the Canadian country charts, and all four had music videos.
  • Bomshel seemed to quickly ignore the fact that Buffy Lawson was ever one-half of the duo (the other half being Kristy Osmonson). The Lawson/Osmonson pairing recorded a three-song EP, from which all three cuts charted, and a song for the soundtrack to Evan Almighty. After Kelley Shepard replaced Lawson in 2008, the new lineup quickly tossed aside three of the four songs from Lawson's tenure, keeping only "Bomshel Stomp", before disbanding in 2013.
  • They Might Be Giants' first-ever music video was for "Rabid Child," created around the time of the song's debut on their 1985 Demo Tape. The band very reluctantly allowed a brief fragment to be shown in their Gigantic documentary in 2002, but will refuse any discussion concerning a full public release. No one knows why.
  • Al Jourgensen completely disavows his first album With Sympathy, calling it an "abortion." It's a very poppy dance album as mandated by his record label, sounding nothing like the metal/industrial band they would become. This was also a period of time when Al sang in a faux English accent for reasons he doesn't even know/remember. He does still acknowlege his first single "Every Day Is Halloween" that predates the album. While also a poppy dance number, it remains a fan favorite.
  • Shakira released two albums as a child before her breakout album "Pies Descalzos", however, they were critical and commercial failures and aren't listed on her oficial discography.
  • Katy Perry's website doesn't mention any of her Christian albums recorded under her real name, Katy Hudson.
  • Ads for Jerrod Niemann's 2014 single "Buzz Back Girl", the third single from his third album High Noon, seem to take the stance that the preceeding single "Donkey" never happened. This is most likely due to "Donkey" being a highly polarizing Double Entendre-laden novelty that completely self-destructed on the charts, dying at #43 only a few weeks after the album's lead single "Drink to That All Night" hit #1.
  • Brooks & Dunn seemed to take the stance that their 1999 album Tight Rope never happened, despite producing a Top 5 hit in "You'll Always Be Loved by Me". The album was their worst-selling and least successful on the charts, was derided by critics for its tired sound, and had none of its singles appear on their second Greatest Hits Album in 2004. Making this omission more egregious is the fact that said Greatest Hits album does feature "South of Santa Fe" from the album immediately before Tight Rope, which has the dishonor of being their only single not to hit Top 40 on the country charts! (By comparison, their second lowest charting single is "Beer Thirty" from Tight Rope, which still got to #19.)
  • Taylor Swift does not perform any of the singles off her debut album, except for an occasional performance of "Our Song" in a more pop style.
  • Country Music singer Rodney Atkins has disowned "Honesty (Write Me a List)", the only hit from his 2004 debut album, possibly due to Early Installment Weirdness that put it out of line with the style he developed by "If You're Going Through Hell" two years later.

    Other 
  • A couple of things from the BIONICLE storyline:
    • The climax of the 2001 storyline is a major Continuity Snarl which the authors solved by applying this trope. Three mediums, the first book, a web game and a scrapped video game depict the event in irreconcilable ways:
      • In the Mata Nui On-Line Game, the six Toa heroes merge through unseen means into the two Toa Kaita. A horde of Manas overwhelms them at first, but they defeat them by destroying their energy-towers. The Makuta's presence separates them into their individual modes, and they then go on to participate in an epic clash with Makuta. Defeating him, the Toa are teleported to the surface, which has been kept clear of Makuta's Rahi forces by the villagers' army.
      • In the canceled game, they are merged into the Kaita modes by two machines. The horde of Manas never stands a chance and are dealt with through old-fashioned violence. Makuta separates the Kaita and teleports the six Toa away. Presumably, they then fight the Shadow Toa and then Makuta himself. After this, they stay in his lair and... party?
      • In the novel, the Toa Mata try to fight two Manas, combine into the two Toa Kaita on their own only after they fail, and defeat the Manas with trickery and their Elemental Powers. Then, they separate at heir own will, and clash with the Shadow Toa. Realizing that they're no match for their own clones, the Toa destroy each other's Shadow doubles. The climactic fight with Makuta... never occurs in the book; it's simply left as a cliffhanger. The villagers' army isn't mentioned.
      • According to Word of God, the events went as follows: The Kaita are formed inside two devices before the fight with the Manas. There are only two Manas, and are defeated by demolishing the energy-towers. Makuta's presence separates the Toa, who then fight their Shadow counterparts. These are defeated by the six Toa each absorbing their own clones into themselves. The confrontation with Makuta as well as the villagers' battle with the Rahi follows the MNOG's presentation.
    • Most of the beginning of the novel Makuta's Revenge has been scrapped in favor of the way the scenes played out in the on-line animations.
    • The introduction of the movie The Legend Reborn. It has so many things that clash with the storyline's continuity, whether established previously or afterwards, they simply chose to ignore it. That is not to say the events themselves didn't happen. They just happened in a way that contradicts the movie's visuals (like Mata Nui's island is shown being covered with lush jungles when according to canon, it was a barren wasteland).
    • A couple of things from the on-line clips and the first movie trilogy also get ignored, most infamously the shipping scenes, as there came to be a No Hugging, No Kissing rule.
    • Taxi crabs were also considered dis-canonized for years because the writer didn't like the joke. They have slowly drifted back into canon territory, though.
    • The part about the tribes on Mata Nui renaming themselves from "Tohunga" to "Matoran", due to legal reasons in real life, was also dropped. They later made a Retcon so that they've always been called Matoran.
    • The Kahu and Kewa birds have been considered non-canon for some years because of legal issues surrounding their names. They were replaced in-story by Gukko birds who have been retconned into their places. Later, they accepted them back into canon, with the explanation that they're a subspecies within the Gukko. Thus, technically, it still can be said that the Gukko have been there all along.
  • This is essentially what a marriage annulment amounts to. In a divorce, a marriage is officially declared to be over; when a marriage is annulled, however, it is considered never to have been a valid marriage in the first place. In times when divorces were significantly harder to get, many people would find a reason for an annulment.
    • The annulment/divorce distinction is a specific manifestation of a greater issue in contract law: some contracts can be declared void, i.e., considered to have never been formed, for reasons such as misrepresentation, one party being a minor who did not get adult consent, among other things, while other contracts are "voidable"—they were valid contracts up to a point where one party's behavior rendered them void.
  • Coca-Cola's official history at its website doesn't mention New Coke at all. Nor does its corporate museum.
  • When former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on charges of sexually molesting teenage boys, students at Penn State painted him out of a mural showing all the present and past coaches of the football team, replacing him with a blue ribbon.
    • Even moreso, the NCAA erased every Penn State football victory from 1998-2011 as part of the punishment for covering up the scandal for so long.
  • Neither Benedict Arnold's name nor face appear on memorials to him at the site of the Battle of Saratoga or on the formal roll of past commandants of West Point at the U.S. Military Academy (only the date, 1780, appears where his name would be), since despite real military accomplishments that twice saved the Continental Army's bacon during the Revolutionary War, he's remembered today primarily for selling out to the British (and specifically, was going to hand over West Point to the enemy, until George Washington found out about the plot).
  • From 1912 to 1948 the Olympic Games used to feature art competitions which was considered official and with their own medals. Now the IOC considered those events unofficial and the medals won aren't included in the IOC official database.
  • An amendment to the U.S. Constitution can become this in the legal system if and only if another amendment passes that repeals it. So far this has happened with the 18th Amendment (which banned alcohol), which was repealed by the 21st Amendment.
    • Congress has attempted this to the Eleventh Amendment, on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment (Part V, giving Congress the power to enforce the amendment with appropriate legislation). The US Supreme Court struck this down in Copyright Law. On the other hand, the wording of the Eleventh Amendment wherein the amendment denies Federal Court jurisdiction in cases against a state by citizens of a different state or a foreign country has also been rendered canon discontinuity thanks to the US Supreme Court.
      • The Eleventh Amendment is still in force. The wording denies original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in such cases (that is, they would have gone directly to the Supreme Court); it was quickly realized that otherwise the Supreme Court would be overwhelmed, and its role as the highest appellate court compromised.
  • Any part of the Constitution can become this, not just amendments. In fact the whole point of amendments, really, is to have this option to rewrite part of the Constitution if need be. For example, U.S. senators were originally elected by the state legislatures (as specified in Article 1), but that was changed in 1913 to direct popular vote by the 17th Amendment.
  • The Articles of Confederation are this to the American government as a whole. Early Americans' fear of centralized government were borne true in the Articles, and the interstate squabbling that entailed caused it to fail. The Constitution replaced it, with a stronger central government.
  • After Melky Cabrera was supposed for Performance-Enhancing Drugs, the San Francisco Giants acted like he didn't exist, excluding him from the postseason roster and even not giving him a World Series ring.
    • Similarly, Lance Armstrong's 7 Tour de France titles were stripped after he was found to have PEDs.
  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln football program holds the NCAA record for most consecutive home-game sellouts (the streak started in 1962). When the university celebrated the 300th consecutive sellout game in September 2009, they very carefully did not invite former athletic director Steve Pederson or former head coach Bill Callahan, the two men "credited" with almost ruining the football program and bringing the streak to an end.
  • This is what the Incognito Mode or Private Browsing mode does to a Web browser's history when activated.
  • Model railroading generally ignores the fact of segregation in a large portion of the United States during the first six decades or so of the 20th century; drawings of stations with separate "colored" waiting rooms understandably do not label them as such, but the reason for multiple waiting rooms is not given; and while "Jim Crow" coaches and combines (passenger cars with a section for baggage or freight) with separate sections for "white" and "colored" passengers are sometimes mentioned and seen in photographs, plans for such cars rarely appear and the cars are not commonly modeled. Also, if you want people of color on your layout, you'll probably have to paint the figures yourself (it's a blind spot among manufacturers, not prejudice). This despite the current passion for realism in the hobby.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Do you remember the time Rey Mysterio Jr was unmasked in WCW? WWE doesn't. This is probably for the best, though, as most feel he should have never been unmasked to begin with. Normally the commission wouldn't have allowed this and would have demanded that Rey stay unmasked, but considering the disrespectful manner of his unmasking and the fact that they hated what Bischoff did, they allowed him to stay masked. The loophole used to justify this is to claim that because Rey no longer includes "Jr" in his ring name, he's actually now portraying his uncle's character, despite being smaller and having a different wrestling style than his father.
  • Kayfabe example: on the April 17, 2000 edition of Raw, Chris Jericho upset Triple H and won the WWF Championship, but Triple H - then running the show alongside his wife Stephanie McMahon - promised referee Earl Hebner that he would never touch him again while he was under contract if he reversed the decision. Hebner did just that, turning the WWF Championship back over to Trips and striking the match from the records; Trips rewarded Hebner by firing him and nailing the Pedigree. To this day, the official WWE records don't acknowledge Jericho's victory on that night.
    • Real Life example: According to the "official" WWE title history, Bob Backlund defeated Superstar Billy Graham for the WWWF Championship in February 1978, and lost it to The Iron Sheik in December 1983. However, in November 1979, at a cross-promotional show in Japan, Antonio Inoki defeated Backlund cleanly for the title, and was announced and promoted at NWF (National Wrestling Federation, a subsidiary of the NWA) shows as being the WWWF Champion. Since the WWWF never authorized this title change, they never acknowledged Inoki as being their first (and, discounting the Pacific-Islander Yokozuna only) Asian world champion.
    • Similarly, the Rockers won the WWF Tag-Team Championship from the Hart Foundation on the November 23, 1990 edition of The Main Event. However, due to a ring rope malfunction during the match in the second fall, the title change was stricken. The Rockers never won the titles again.
  • Chris Benoit never wrestled, so all accomplishments are disregarded including his Royal Rumble win and title victory at WrestleMania XX.
  • Thanks to the ruling regarding the World Wide Fund for Nature, the WWE had to retcon everything from before the WWF-to-WWE change to say "WWE". Except in Europe, oddly. And they still do this when writing or talking about said era(s), but on the footage itself, all WWF logos and utterances are legal again.
  • Kane's (kayfabe) marriage to Lita had to be retconned due to the Matt Hardy/Lita/Edge debacle. Recently, they moved it back into continuity, and the latter was retconned (mostly) due to Matt's release and subsequent blackballing from the company.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Fans of Paranoia like to pretend that the much-maligned Fifth Edition doesn't exist. In fact, the writers of a later edition (Paranoia XP from Mongoose Publishing) have declared the Fifth Edition an "un-product" (rather appropriate for a darkly humorous game about a dystopia). The also-maligned Crash Era near the end of Second Edition also officially "never happened".
  • When White Wolf screwed up with the Old World of Darkness, they'd often try to correct the biggest disasters by destroying all involved and making sure they would not rise from the ashes. Examples:
    • Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand for Vampire: The Masquerade, which "revealed" that most vampires were possessed by evil spirits, and featured a "liberated" group called the True Black Hand that fought against them. By the time Third Edition came up, said group was wiped out entirely after it was revealed that they'd gotten everything wrong.
    • Samuel Haight started off as a villainous NPC for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, a disgruntled Kinfolk who ended up killing five werewolves so that he could become one in a blasphemous ritual. This was good. Then he got his hands on an artifact that let him use Awakened magic. This was bad. Then he became a ghoul and started learning vampiric Disciplines. This was worse. Finally, a book came out devoted entirely to killing him, and the minute his soul arrived in the afterlife, it was taken and forged into an ashtray by Rasputin.
    • In first edition WOD, a vampire could make other vampires of both animals and werewolves. Second edition WOD plainly admits that the former ("vampire dogs") is stupid and the latter hybrid overpowered, so disallows both.
  • GURPS Traveller disavows the Rebellion (from MegaTraveller) and the Virus (from Traveller: The New Era), portraying itself as an "alternate history" from Traveller. Other Traveller products keep the Rebellion and ditch the Virus, or keep both (fans and players are similarly split; see Broken Base).
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Writers for TSR went so far as to mention explicitly in a reboot continuity guide for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting that Greyhawk Ruins was to be considered the official version of Castle Greyhawk and not the pretty dated and unfunny parody module Castle Greyhawk.
    • ALL of the Eberron Tie In Novels are considered non-canon.
    • The Ravenloft novel Lord of the Necropolis has been sealed in the earth below canonicity with an Imprison spell for revealing the nature of the Dark Powers, which is a thing you are really, really not allowed to do.
  • Because no one's entirely sure if the Chaos God Malal from Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 is owned by Games Workshop or the comic book author who introduced him to the franchise, GW dropped all mention of him from their gamebooks to be on the safe side.
    • GW might not mention Malal by name, but he still gets a few references. For example there's a Chaos Space Marine warband called "Sons of Malice" that wears Malal's colours and the rulebook for the spinoff game Inquisitor includes a weapon very similar to the ones champions of Malal use in the list of daemon weapons.
      • He also appears in one of the short story collections GW released, though he is know as "Malice" there.
    • Speaking of Warhammer 40,000, the Squats have been stricken from all records, partly due to a shift towards a "more serious" direction, partly because their attempted army book became an absolute mess after pre-production. Current canon is that did exist, but only just long enough to be entirely eaten by Tyranids.
      • Black Library author Dan Abnett has some fun with this in his Ravenor series. When Sholto Unwerth reveals his Squat ancestry, Ravenor says that he's never heard of them, and Sholto notes that most people think they were just a myth.
      • Squats are back again, but now recognized as a type of abhuman rather than a distinct race.
    • By the third edition, the Star Child and attendant background elements introduced in Slaves to Darkness had been officially stricken, with a note in the corebook that the "Star Child cult" was a minor Tzeentchian cult that had been obliterated.
      • For those unfamiliar; the Star Child belief was that, basically, The Emperor of Mankind was the reincarnated gestalt of a thousand pre-Chaos Gods human psykers and that, when he was struck down by Horus, all of his compassion, hope, love, and other positive elements of self were cast into the Warp to become a gestating nascent god, the so-called Star Child. A secret conspiracy of ex-daemonhosts (people who had been possessed by daemons, but then cast them out, often through the aid of the Eldar) called the Illuminati were working to find the Sensei, immortal, sterile offspring of the Emperor of whom the Emperor himself was ignorant in hopes that by gathering them all and sacrificing them the Star Child could be infused with the power to awaken as a new God-Emperor to rule mankind.
    • On the Warhammer Fantasy side of things, the Fimir got almost entirely excised from the canon, because there weren't any female Fimir and they could only reproduce through...well let's just say it's not family friendly and leave it at that. They've slowly been reintroduced through Forge World and references in the 8th edition Rulebook, but appear to be substantially different.
  • Magic: The Gathering. Karona meeting Yawgmoth, apparently still alive, in the Scourge novel has been retconned as having been an impostor. Or it could have been a Psychic Dream of the past.
  • Exalted:
    • Scroll of the Monk is a much-maligned product and Old Shame of writer Dean Shomshak. The Ink Monkeys have gone on record as saying it does not exist beyond an example of not reading the rules before making a book.
    • Zeal was widely panned before Errata Team Prime finally canned it.
    • Even the most vocal of the current writers and editors are of the opinion that the first 2-4 chapters of Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals should not be read, discussed beyond variations on "it's awful", or used in character backstories.
  • Shadowrun
    • Many of the earlier novels. Before the 2nd Edition, when the game really found its voice, Shadowrun was portrayed very much as Dungeons & Dragons In The Future (!!!), with a heavy emphasis on bizarre creatures, cyborgs, mad science, and otherworldly spirits. This led to such things as characters somehow rising from the dead, invasions by Eldritch Abominations across the planes, and (especially) a dying corporate CEO having his brain implanted into a glorified tumor in a jar, communicating via Matrix hookup. Nothing is ever declared non-canon, per se, but whenever a sourcebook finds itself having to cover material from this earlier era, the Shadowland commentators make a note to remark on just how utterly bizarre these events and creatures are, many thinking them to be just hoaxes or exaggerations.
    • For example, in the novels, Dunkelzahn's death was a Heroic Sacrifice meant to help his agents prevent a premature invasion of Earth by the Horrors because of a side effect of the Great Ghost Dance. But in all subsequent sourcebooks, this aspect of the event is rarely touched upon, with Dunkelzahn's death being an assassination by unknown parties. One of the exceptions was in Harlequin's Back, where the players have to fix the aforementioned side effect. The prologue implies that Dukelzahn is, on some level, the one setting it into motion. This still fits in the continuity of the game, technically, as only maybe two people know what really happened to Dunkelzahn (Harlequin is one of them, and even he's not entirely sure). As far as everyone else in the world is concerned, it really was an assassination by unknown parties. The Sixth World Almanac touched on this in the history section, with a fringe-sounding group theorizing that Dunkelzahn committed suicide, based on a video of him making arcane gestures shortly before the explosion that killed him. Regrettably, Sixth World Almanac also contains several very bad examples of historical inaccuracy such as Roman roads...in Ireland.
    • Also true in-continuity. Megacorps control the media, and it's virtually impossible to get the truth out.

    Video Games 
  • Epic Mickey deliberately ignores the fact that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit still appeared in cartoons for many years after Disney lost him. This may be justified as the Disney and Lantz Oswald are treated as two separate characters, but there isn't even an implication given that Ozzie starred in more shorts after Walt lost him.
  • Satoru Iwata declared that the true "current" state of the Star Fox series is either after Star Fox Assault or somewhere before Star Fox Command. More than likely to be the former than the latter, if current information is any credible, as whilst the appearances of the cast in Super Smash Bros. Brawl do make some slight reference of certain of Command's plotlines, they otherwise seem to resemble and behave like their appearances in Assault far more. Specifically, Fox McCloud and Krystal's relationship problems from Command are alluded to in their profiles, but otherwise they're still together and Krystal is still a member of Star Fox (as opposed to joining Star Wolf), Panther Caruso does not speak in third-person and the ships are all pre-Command.
  • Epic has admitted that Unreal Tournament 2003 isn't a complete game, first by refining the original game into Unreal Tournament 2004 with many of the previously missing features and offering a rebate to 2003 owners who bought 2004, then by numbering the sequel Unreal Tournament III. Strangely enough, the backstory of 2004 doesn't override that of 2003, claiming that every event of 2003 happened (such as Malcolm being defeated by Gorge). The same can't be said for the original Unreal Championship, which was set in an Alternate Universe.
  • After Singletrac died, 989 Studios took over the Twisted Metal series and produced the third and fourth games. Once Incognito Entertainment (a studio consisting largely of Singletrac employees) regained the rights to the series, they made Twisted Metal Black, which was much Darker and Edgier than the original two games and set in its own continuity. The only PSP entry in the franchise so far, Head-On, is set after the second game and ignores the 989 entries. The post-989 entries were much better received, anyway. This to the point that Head-On is considered by fans to be the "true" Twisted Metal 3.
  • All the Castlevania games (barring the parody game Kid Dracula) were part of the canon in some form or another until Koji Igarashi (the director of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) took over the series as producer during the development of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, removing the two Nintendo 64 installments, Legends, and Circle of the Moon from the official timeline. Igarashi clarified that the N64 games and Circle of the Moon were still canonical, but were demoted to "side-story" status. Castlevania Legends on the other hand, was officially retconned out of the series' continuity and is now regarded as an alternate universe story.
  • Capcom has all but said that Devil May Cry 2 doesn't exist - for instance, Dante is a playable character in Viewtiful Joe for comedic reasons, and he outright says "I don't remember that" when Alastor references the events of Devil May Cry 2.
    • To further illustrate how much Capcom denies DMC2, the game after it (DMC3) is a prequel to the series - about as far from the events of 2 that one could get without acknowledging it. And then 4 is set years after 1, yet still before anything to do with 2. They're really going out of their way to avoid that one.
  • The novel Crysis: Legion has been completely rendered as this by the events of Crysis 3. Unfortunately this means that quite a few plot holes closed by the novelization have been opened back up again.
  • This happened to both a good chunk of Fallout 2 and almost all of Fallout Tactics. The former for the reasons stated below, the latter because many of the elements contradict the original game and its backstory. On the other hand, Bethesda seems to have the position that it's valid if it doesn't contradict anything, in relation to 2, and events are canon, details are not, regarding Tactics. Specifically, when asked about Super Mutants, a Brotherhood Scribe lists fighting them on the West Coast and then near Chicago. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, however, is completely exiled from continuity.
    • Interplay and Black Isle had also dismissed them soon after release, and the tattered remnants of the dev team contributing to the Fallout Bible continue to do so.
    • The original ending of Fallout 3 was...vastly unpopular, to say the least (the player is forced to flip a switch that will save the day but also douse them with lethal amounts of radiation. Any companions that are immune to radiation will simply refuse to do it for you.). The Broken Steel DLC fixes that by allowing a companion to flip the switch, or the player do it themselves but be put in a coma for two weeks.
    • Chris Avellone, one of the head writers for Fallout 2, created a series of Fallout Bible posts which made a good portion of the game, particularly the overwhelming number of cheesy pop-culture references, non-canon. Nearly everything that happened in the town of Broken Hills is non-canon.
    • Fallout: New Vegas however is full of nods to both Fallout 2 and Fallout: Van Buren, the game that would have been Fallout 3. Its Old World Blues DLC is also partly based on content that was cut from Fallout 2.
  • On the subject of Bethesda, suddenly realizing that multiple endings of the second game in The Elder Scrolls series would have been a great idea for the end of a series, they averted this trope fully by declaring all SIX endings canon. It's now listed in canon as the Warp in the West (an in-universe Mind Screw), transforming 44 quarreling city-states into five loyal countries literally overnight.
  • In the late '90s, Konami farmed out the development of two Contra sequels to Hungarian developer Appaloosa (best known for the Ecco the Dolphin series). Contra: Legacy of War for the PS and Saturn in 1996, and C: The Contra Adventure for the PS in 1998. Neither was that well-received by fans and critics alike. In fact, Konami even canceled plans to release a Japanese version of Legacy of War. In 2002, Konami commissioned Nobuya Nakazato (director of Contra III and Hard Corps) to develop the PS2 sequel, Contra: Shattered Soldier. The unlockable timeline of the game mentions all of the past Contra games, with the notable omissions of Legacy of War and Contra Adventure (and Contra Force, which was just a Dolled-Up Installment to begin with). On a related note, the Japanese and American versions of the series had their separate continuities prior to Shattered Soldier. In Japan, the series always took place in the distant future, but in America the early games in the series (namely Contra, Super C and Operation C) had their plots rewritten so that they took place in the then-present. As a result, when they retained the future setting for Contra III, the changed the identities of the two heroes from Bill and Lance to their descendants Jimbo and Sully. With Shattered Soldier, Konami ignored the continuity of the previous American localizations and followed the original Japanese plot more closely.
  • When the NES port of Metal Gear proved to be successful, Konami commissioned one of their teams to develop a sequel for the American and European market titled Snake's Revenge. This sequel was made without Hideo Kojima's involvement and when he was told about it, he decided to make his own sequel for the Japanese MSX2 titled Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The Metal Gear Solid games follows the storyline from Metal Gear 2 rather than Snake's Revenge.
  • Monolith Productions chose to ignore the two F.E.A.R. Expansion Packs (which were made by a different company) when they started development on the game's real sequel. Some elements from the expansions were kept in the sequel, however, such as the Replica reactivating despite Fettel's death (though this time with an actual logical explanation, at least for the first group of them), Fettel coming back from said death, and the ability to punch doors open.
  • The official position of Valve is that the Half-Life addons Opposing Force and Blue Shift are not addressed in Half-Life 2, its addons, and future sequels. The name of Barney Calhoun and his background as a security guard in Black Mesa were taken from Blue Shift and incorporated into Half-Life 2, but since all Half-Life protagonists are Heroic Mimes and he never mentions any of the events or other characters from Blue Shift later on, it doesn't actually confirm that it did happen in the official continuity.
  • Halo's continuity policy directly addresses this; new material automatically overrides old material in the event of a contradiction, while the games override the books, which in turn override promotional materials like the "Believe" ad campaign. Thus, the claims in the older books that Elites, Brutes, and Hunters were never encountered until the last year of the Human-Covenant war were overridden by newer material (and updated reprints of said older books) which had them fighting in the war from the very beginning.
  • Myst is a little more complicated, as it involves multiple Literary Agent Hypothesis. The first two books (Atrus, Catherine) do not mention the D'ni society as having slaves, just a caste system. Book of D'ni makes it explicit that slavery is repugnant to D'ni society. Then Uru came out, with the storyline's finale in Myst V... Again, it seems the author of the books "based" his writings on Catherine's journals, which dismiss the clear slavery of the Bahro, for never entirely cleared reasons. As for Book of D'ni, well, people long gave up making sense of it. And then there's Pyst, which shows how the first game's locations have been overrun by commercialization (and subsequently abandoned), but that was an outright parody.
  • Nintendo has outright stated that The Legend of Zelda CDi Games never happened. This is taken to such an extreme that an issue of Nintendo Power describes The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks as the first time Zelda is a (semi)playable character. She was fully playable in two CD-i games. The official Hyrule Historia, which gives the official timeline of the games, also omits them.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Hotel Mario for the CD-i is disregarded by fans, critics and Nintendo developers alike.
    • The premise of Super Mario Bros. 2, with its All Just a Dream ending has been entirely ignored by the Mario canon, since all of its supposedly "wacky dream characters" (who weren't Mario characters at the time, see Doki Doki Panic) have since been shown to be residents of the normal Mario universe.
  • When British game publisher U.S. Gold got the license to produce ports of Strider for home computers in Europe, they took the liberty of producing an exclusive-sequel titled Strider II, which was later remade for the Sega Genesis and Game Gear and released in America under the title of Journey From Darkness: Strider Returns. Capcom later got to make an arcade/PS sequel titled Strider 2, which completely ignored U.S. Gold's own sequel.
  • A variation that didn't have anything to do with quality occurs in the God of War franchise. In the first game, in an unlockable video the protagonist, Kratos, visits his mother and learns that Zeus was his father. He's not happy to learn this, and plans to take vengeance on Zeus somewhere along the line. Yet in the second game, as Kratos is holding a dying Athena, Athena reveals to him that he is Zeus' son, which Kratos is surprised to hear, but declares that he "has no father". The director of the game acknowledged this error in the extras, and states that he was disappointed that they revealed it in the first game, because he finds it more fitting for it to be dropped on Kratos after he is denied his vengeance. He openly said that he doesn't care about the error.
  • The creators of the Star Control series have made it clear that Star Control 3, which was made without their input and was met with overwhelming fan backlash, never happened. So no, the Precursors aren't cows. Word of God has revealed that some of the things in it are what the creators had intended to do if they'd gotten to make their own sequel, though - such as the part about the Mycon actually being biological terraformers created by the Precursors whose programming has become distorted into a bizarre religion.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 seems to ignore Red Alert 2's Expansion Pack, Yuri's Revenge - the third game's starting cinematic starts with the Soviet Union defeated while both of YR's endings had them surviving (conquering the world in the Soviet one, teaming up with the allies to take down Yuri in the Allied one).
    • Red Alert 3 takes place in an alternate Red Alert setting. The very intro movie explains this. RA3 says that a time machine was used by the Soviets at the end of RA2, to destroy Albert Einstein and prevent the allies from developing several key technologies. Nevertheless, FutureTech creates very similar technologies anyway but because of the change in timelines, the Empire of the Rising Sun exists in RA3 when it wasn't supposed to exist at all in the previous timeline (this is in fact part of the last 4 missions in the Empire of the Rising Sun campaign).
  • The Ultimate Spider-Man game was initially touted as being 100 percent canon in the comic book continuity. Unfortunately, the comic eventually moved in a direction that made it flat out impossible to treat the game as canon, so Brian Bendis ended up writing a Broad Strokes Pragmatic Adaptation that imported the most relevant bits of the game, while roundly ignoring the elements that didn't fit.
  • World of Warcraft ignores most of what is said in the Warcraft tabletop game. Especially considering Whitewolf and Blizzard Entertainment broke off ties. This is something of a rarity for Blizzard, who have a history of standing by licensed works and their storyline elements.
    • That said, any time something happens in WoW that directly contradicts established canon in the RTS games takes precedence, often stated as being "ongoing shifts in artistic leaning" or the like. Certainly not because they just forgot the old story and never went back to check on it before finalizing the new info. Even when one of the writers specifically states that to be the case. See: the entire backstory of the Draenei: Originally, the Eredar were one of the races that corrupted Sargeras; now, Sargeras was already corrupted by the Nathrezim by the time he got to them, and he corrupted them, with the Draenei being that faction of the Eredar who resisted his corruption.
  • A rather odd case for Banpresto's Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Original Generation (OG1) lets players choose between Ryusei Date and Kyosuke Nanbu, whose stories co-exist with one another for the first half of the game. It's only until the second half events unfold differently for either character. Come Original Generation 2 (OG2), events state only Ryusei's second half of OG1 happened; Kyosuke's second half is never mentioned at all. While this drops loads of foreshadowing from Kyosuke's second half of OG1, fans were quick enough to deduce Banpresto did this to show that OG1 was never meant to be played in favour for Kyosuke, but the sequel was, since the game was primarily focused on his story from Super Robot Wars Impact. Strangely enough, Kai Kitamura seems to know the other members of the cast very well, even though he's a permanent character in Kyosuke's route. And to celebrate SRW's 15th anniversary, Banpresto released Original Generations (OGs), a Video Game Remake on the PlayStation 2 of both GBA games, which rehashes the storyline to include Early Bird Cameos, new Humongous Mecha, the cast of Super Robot Wars Reversal, new characters and a major personality change to Axel Almer.
  • Oddest case ever: Leisure Suit Larry 4. It doesn't exist. It's not just non-canon, it was never made. Yes, Al Lowe jumped from 3 straight to 5.
    • This works itself into the plot of Larry 5 interestingly: because 4 was never released, both player characters have no recollection of what happened after Larry 3. The actual in-game explanation is that the Big Bad, Julius Bigg, stole the master floppies for himself before release. Patti is the first to realize this after he catches Julius humming the love theme from 4, which she wrote herself, knowing that he must have stolen the floppies if he knows the melody.
    • The lack of 4 even became a plot point in Space Quest 4. Vohaul had corrupted the master disks and used them to take over Xenon.
      • The real-life explanation is, of course, that they couldn't think of a good way to continue from Larry 3's happy ending, so they just did a sequel anyway and made the continuity errors it produces part of the plot. The story goes that Lowe, the creator of Leisure Suit Larry, had sworn that there would never be a 4...before agreeing to make another Larry game. To keep his oath, he made 5 and simply had the characters reference Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies, a title that exists in the game's plot. The cleanup for the plot from 3 was an added bonus.
  • Another Sierra example is that the widely-derided King's Quest: Mask of Eternity has never shown up on any of the compilation CDs of the series and has only since been re-released on Good Old Games.
  • After a whiny princess kissed a hedgehog back to life in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the entire game erased itself from continuity via temporal retcon. A bit Hilarious in Hindsight, too: after firing the writers, SEGA wisely decided to pretend the entire game never happened, as well.
    • This is made confusing because, despite the game being ERASED FROM TIME, it still appears in Sonic Generations! And Sega has yet to comment.
      • Fans are torn between unable to find a suitable reason for this inclusion or attributing it to the Time Eater completely messing up the timeline, including other alternate timelines.
    • Knuckles Chaotix has been written out of canon by their Sonic Heroes portrayals, referenced in Sonic Generations where a poster with Mighty on it says he was last seen in 1993. Mighty fans haven't taken this very well. Presumably this would also apply to Sonic the Fighters for its pre-Heroes inclusion of Espio (not to mention the plot including an eighth Chaos Emerald), but characters introduced in the game have since made cameos in Sonic Generations posters just like Mighty.
  • Legend of Mana, originally marketed as Seiken Densetsu 4 (and possibly a direct sequel to Seiken Densetsu 3), is now not considered by Square-Enix to be part of the main World of Mana continuity.
    • Its Japanese name is "Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana" (there is no 4), which means that everybody assumed that this was the 4th game in the main series.
    • Switching up the elements (replacing Moon with Metal) probably didn't help it much.
  • Touhou is an interesting example. The first five games were made for the PC-98. The rest of the series is for Windows. The Windows games make very few references to the PC-98 games, and what little that carried over is greatly changed. The fanbase is split on whether or not this trope has taken effect, somewhat exacerbated by ZUN only saying that we could ignore the PC-98 games when questioned about them instead of anything stronger.
  • Radical Dreamers, the text-based (and Japan-only) first sequel to Chrono Trigger, was completely thrown out of continuity by the later PS sequel Chrono Cross, which was also something of a remake of Radical Dreamers. The events of that game are thrown into an alternate reality...or something. Series creator Masato Kato originally had much greater plans for Dreamers, but the entire game was rushed. Cross was his way of finishing off his original planned story...and the characters of Trigger, while he was at it.
  • In a cross-medium example, all Alien vs. Predator games seem to ignore the existence of Alien: Resurrection by depicting xenomorph encounters, Weyland-Yutani xenomorph research facilities, and at least two completely infested planets known to Company executives at a time when the species is supposed to be extinct in known space. The latest game, however, acknowledges one of the Alien vs. Predator films; however, it ignores all previous games.
  • While not entirely declaring them non-canon, Yoshio Sakamoto said that he did not take the plots of the Metroid Prime games into consideration in the making of Metroid: Other M. This leads to some weirdness when Samus mentions that this is the first time she's undertaken a mission alongside the Federation when she already did that in Metroid Prime 3. However, these are minor plot holes in a series riddled with them. The fact that the Prime sub-series was American-made and told its own story instead of furthering the plot of the Japanese games may have had something to do with this.
  • In 1993, Falcom commissioned two separate companies to developed their own versions of the fourth Ys game. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun was released by Tonkin House for the Super Famicom, while Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys was released by Hudson Soft for the PC Engine Super CD (a third version was also planned for the Mega Drive, but it was never released). Ys V was later developed by Falcom and exclusively for the SFC, and all the later Ys sequels followed the SFC games. The 2005 PS2 remake of Ys IV was even based on the SFC version.
  • Bomberman: Act Zero is not a part of the main Bomberman continuity, both on account of it being a radical departure from the series' light-hearted mood and from it being a rather terrible game on its own.
  • The Duke Nukem games "Time to Kill" and "Land of the Babes", for the original PlayStation, while decent in their own right, aren't regarded as canon. The fact that they were made by different developers probably has something to do with that. Neither is the N64-exclusive installment Zero Hour, supposedly.
  • Soldier of Fortune: Payback was produced by a low-budget developer, seemingly with a Game Maker program, disregards the characters and story of the previous games.
  • When it first came out in 2003, TRON 2.0 was supposed to be the official sequel to the movie TRON, since it seemed almost certain that Disney would never make a second film. Seven years later, when they actually did release another movie, the continuity differences between TRON: Legacy and 2.0 proved irreconcilable, so 2.0 was rendered non-canon.
  • It's a general rule within Pokémon that the canon game is the third game (Bluenote , Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, etc). If a previous game is referenced to it's always the third game, which is a mixture of the original two with changes.
    • Pokémon Yellow seems to be the only exception, as there are plenty of hints in G/S/C that R/G/B are the canonical Generation I games rather than Yellow: G/S/C's Cerulean City featuring the house of the man who trades Pokémon in R/G/B rather than its Yellow counterpart with the girl who gives the player Bulbasaur (and even the man himself), the Yellow-exclusive house in Route 19 being absent, or Blue's party being based on that of R/G/B rather than Yellow.
      • G/S/C and HG/SS hint that Yellow version is somewhat canon considering Red has all three starters and an unevolved strong Pikachu.
    • This may also be due to the fact that Yellow is based more closely on the anime, and the main series of games are generally their own entity. The anime did get another nod, though, in Pokemon HG/SS, with the release of the Toys R' Us exclusive Ash's Pikachu event Pokemon.
    • Pokemon Black and White is also an exception, as it didn't have a "third game". Instead, it had a sequel.
  • Grand Theft Auto Advance is notable in the Grand Theft Auto series for this. Effectively the only game in the series to receive virtually no input from primary GTA developer Rockstar North, it features unique characters (i.e. Mike, Cisco, Jonnie and Yuka) and plot developments (bubonic plague occurring in Liberty City and 8-Ball's arrest that resulted from a Colombian Cartel attack) that are never acknowledged in succeeding GTA games.
  • If you search for the Virus Invasion series, you'll find Virus Invasion 1 through 7, however, there actually existed an eighth game which was removed from the timeline. As it was subjected to an Orwellian Retcon, it is somewhat of a Missing Episode these days. It has a story behind it which sounds like it was taken from a creepypasta. Firstly, it was an Oddly Named Sequel called Little Bear's Adventure. It took place at approximately the same point in the timeline as Virus Invasion 2, but was actually made first, shortly after Vi 1, and used the same (rather glitchy) engine. It was Darker and Edgier too: ever noticed how you play as yellow little bear in Vi 1 but cyan little bear in Vi 2? Well, that's because the first little bear never actually escaped: he was abandoned somewhere when the others left, becoming the protagonist of Little Bear's Adventure. He tries to escape again, but fails, ''dying at the end''.
  • The universally-loathed novelization of the Baldur's Gate series, in which the protagonist was a Jerkass Karma Houdini and every other character received severe character assassination, was eventually declared non-canon by Wizards of the Coast.
    • Officially, D&D video games are all non-canon to the broader tabletop D&D continuity. It lets the video game designers shake up the world however they like without worrying about treading on tabletop designers' and players' toes. However, most novels are treated as canonical to the tabletop settings unless stated otherwise (a situation classic Dark Sun players were familiar with and bemoaned), which is why the Baldur's Gate novel specifically needed excising.
  • WWE '13, features a story mode that allows you to play through the company's Attitude Era as many of its top stars at the time. The first part lets you play as D-Generation X which, as fans who were watching back then remember, started out as the trio of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna. In the game's retelling of the story, it's just Shawn and Trips. Apparently WWE either wants to forget that Chyna ever worked for them, they want everybody else to, or both.
  • The now closed Dragon Ball Online ignores Dragon Ball GT and even certain elements (read: Filler) in the rest of the Dragon Ball anime. This was due to Netmarble only obtaining the license for the manga, as well as the Toei character Bardock.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising is treated as the only sequel to the original Kid Icarus, completely ignoring the Gameboy sequel Of Myths And Monsters. Possibly due to the fact that the sequel was initially only released in America(with a much, much later Japanese release on the virtual console), though it was made in Japan by Nintendo.
  • The Romeo and Juliet quest in RuneScape, which, as of a September 2010 update, has the dubious honor of being the first (and, so far, only) quest to be completely removed (down to most of the characters) from the game and site features — including a Postbag from the Hedge letter that, by that time, was nearly four years old. The explanation Jagex gave for removing the quest is that it they felt it simply didn't mesh well with the world of Gielinor. Two other former quests (Sheep Shearer and Witch's Potion) simply got demoted to miniquest status, and several other quests were updated or retooled as time went on.
  • Parasol Stars, the second sequel to Bubble Bobble, has never had a rerelease (not even in a compilation) and all the spin-off games ignore it.
  • Super Adventure Rockman was officially disowned by Capcom and Keiji Inafune for its overly dark tone.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank had their canon status disrupted for years because of the Future Trilogy. Into the Nexus officially renders the two games non-canon.
  • BioShock 2 Multiplayer features several re-tooled maps from both BioShock and BioShock 2 including another version of the Kashmir Restaurant. The original area the player visits in BioShock can be seen through the windows of the Silk Lounge, indicating that this area also existed in the original game, but there is no sign of it in neither BioShock or BioShock 2.
  • The second episode of Burial at Sea for BioShock Infinite completely nullifies the story of BioShock 2 by making it impossible for certain elements of the game – like the Alpha Series Big Daddies and the link they have with the Little Sisters – to exist within the timeline.
  • Because they couldn't secure the rights with the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs after the first game, the events of Deep Jungle never happened in the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • The official sequel to Homeworld completely ignores the stand-alone Expansion Pack Homeworld: Cataclysm. The only possible hint is the suspiciously low numbers of the Bentusi left in the galaxy. While many assume it's because the Vaygr killed the rest, it's difficult to ignore that the plot of Cataclym has the majority of the Bentusi fleeing to another galaxy to escape the Beast.

    Web Comics 
  • Lampshaded in Narbonic here and here, where the "two foremost experts in comic-book continuity" explain away all plot discrepancies.
  • In Erfworld, the magic school of Deletionism was replaced by "Retconjuration" in order to explain how a change was retroactively made to a character's special ability. Therefore, Deletionism has never existed.
  • In an early episode of The Order of the Stick, Roy's ghostly father mentions that Xykon killed his master Fyron and his master's son. When these events are depicted in Start of Darkness, no mention of the son is made.
    • It's more confusing than that. Start of Darkness was released before strip #434, which has Roy mention Master Fyron's son again.
    • It's speculated by some fans that Fyron's son was killed off panel.
  • 8-Bit Theater: Thief's ninja costume was never red.
    • In context, the outfit was red for the greater majority of one strip. Black Mage lampshaded the color change the following strip while he was descending into his standard state of being pissed off.
    Black Mage: (to Red Mage) You suck. (to Fighter) You suck. (to Thief) And you were wearing red a second ago!
    Thief: No I wasn't. Besides, what kind of ninja wears bright red?
    Black Mage: Ha! I never said it was bright red!
    Thief: Neither did I.
    Black Mage: Ghk!
  • A Loonatic's Tale "Job Hunting" never happened; what we see is a version which was severely neutered to make it acceptable for use in a school assignment. The artist is in the process of drawing "Rehired", the canon version of the story.
    • Rick and Becky actually use it as a barometer for what does and doesn't constitute valid criticism; anyone who says they thought the original "Job Hunting" was good, isn't going to be any good to them if they need an editor.
  • The Second Eaton arc in Shortpacked! never happened. You just imagined it. Now let's never speak about your crazy, drug-fueled hallucination again.
  • There's an in-universe example in Our Little Adventure with The Lady of Fate and Fortune. The creation of the Magicant caused so much turmoil and greed that the other gods decided to revoke the Fortune Lady's god status and banish her.

    Web Original 
  • Serris says that the rebooted Furtopia RP is not part of the Darwin's Soldiers canon and never will be.
  • In perhaps the only example of this happening in-universe, the characters of PRIMARCHS delete 80 chapters of their own story in order to defeat the Plot Hole.
  • A weird example is raocow, who in many of his old videos would always say "That was a demo" whenever he made a mistake and immediately fix it using rewinds or savestates. He has since stopped using savestates as much, to the point that he sometimes subverts it by saying "That totally happened" when he screws up.
  • Weirdly subverted in The Church Of Blow, where the protagonist of the second series is an actor trying to make a viral YouTube video. Then he starred in the Real Life viral video "Youtube is my Life", which the character is certain does not exist.
  • Every Let's Play by TheStrawhatNO! from before Bomberman Hero has been removed from their YouTube channel or set to private/unlisted. Solidified when ThornBrain updated all of the LP playlists, and Bomberman Hero is listed as LP #1.
  • Sometimes occurs, oddly enough, in Survival of the Fittest. Sometimes a mod or handler declares a scene (mostly in pre-game or a character's backstory) as non-canon, for whatever reason. Two examples of scenes declared non-canon by a mod include a thread in v1 where a rejected character actually showed up on the island and randomly killed someone, and a scene in v4 pre-game where a character was prostituting herself out for drugs, with the other character having an implausible amount of drugs on him.
  • A small group of administrators at Wikipedia have "oversight" abilities, allowing them to restrict the contents of a past edit so that only other administrators, or other oversighters, can see what was removed (usually for libel or privacy reasons). In extreme cases, oversighters can remove the edit from the history, so that only they can tell it was even made in the first place.
  • The first two installments of Chaos Fighters, Route of Land and Route of Sea are no longer canon and set for rewrite.
  • The author of Worm pulled a chapter that he was dissatisfied with a few hours after posting it because it didn't make sense within the context of the story.

    Western Animation 
  • According to Word of God the Ben 10 episodes set in the future are not canon, as they portray Kevin as an unrepentant villain, but in Alien Force, he is a redeemed good guy. Also, the pop-up edition of the episode "Goodbye And Good Riddance" states that the episode is not canon and that the real story of Ben's return to Bellwood is the live action film "Race Against Time". However, the Ultimate Alien episode "Ben 10,000 Returns" made all canon inconsistent events alternate universe, including "Race Against Time" and the villain Kevin future.
  • The Heavy Gear animated series is considered by Word of God to be an entertainment broadcast similar to professional wrestling within the Heavy Gear universe, and thus not representative of how things work in the "real" Heavy Gear universe.
  • It seems everything Disney made before Steamboat Willie is considered discontinuity as Pete, Mickey, and Minnie Mouse are all labeled as having debuted in it. Pete actually first appeared three years earlier in an Alice Comedy cartoon called Alice Solves the Puzzle, while the other two mice debuted earlier in 1928 in Plane Crazy. Of course considering that their first cartoon featured Attempted Rape by the world’s biggest and most kid-friendly icon, it makes sense Disney does not talk about it.
    • The Disney Princess roster varies significantly, tending to eliminate princesses from less popular movies. This shows up in merchandise and tie-in books. Most notably, Princess Eilonwy and Kida are never included. One book specifically mentions that Ariel is the only princess from an underwater kingdom.
    • The book Disney Dossiers fails to mention most of the details about the feature characters established in their TV spin-offs or sequels (examples being Aladdin having a father, Kuzco having a significant other, and Scar's birth name). This is most likely because the direct-to-video sequels and spin-off series are not considered canon by the Walt Disney Company.
    • A Disney Princess coloring book about Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding also for some reason ignored the events of the film's sequels. One, is that Iago the parrot isn't attending the wedding at all (at the end of Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, he made a Heel-Face Turn), and two, Jasmine's wedding dress for some reason looks absolutely nothing like the one she wore in Aladdin and the King of Thieves!
  • It's likely that the writers for the 3rd An American Tail movie, The Treasure of Manhattan Island, were trying to cause canon discontinuity for Fievel Goes West when they had Fievel say that he had a dream where the family moved out west. The difference here is that the discontinuity had nothing to do with fan opinion, and it in fact angered a lot of fans.
  • Every Simpsons Halloween episode is out of continuity. To the extent that the show has continuity.
  • The much-reviled episode "The Principal and The Pauper", where it's revealed that Principal Skinner is in fact a former street punk pulling a Dead Person Impersonation of the real Seymour Skinner (who wasn't actually dead), has been marked as non-canon by the writers. A later episode blatantly contradicts it by showing the familiar Seymour as a baby in Agnes Skinner's womb. Essentially, Principal Skinner is definitely the genuine article, except on the very few occasions when the episode's referred to for the sake of a usually self-deprecating joke.
    • Lampshaded in "Behind the Laughter" where it turns out that "The Principal and the Pauper" was written during a period where the Simpsons had a massive falling-out and couldn't stand to be around each other. As a result, the show was forced to resort to "increasingly nonsensical plots and storylines"; cue Principal Skinner announcing he's an impostor.
    • Notably, the episode itself "justifies" it- right before the end credits, the judge explicitly declares that no one must ever mention the episode's events again, and act as if it had never happened, "on penalty of torture!" (cue cheers from the crowd). On the DVD commentary, Ken Keeler, writer of the episode, complains that a couple of sequences that made this point even more obvious - that this was a non-canon episode about how preciously some people can take their relationships with TV characters - were cut for time, though he claims to no longer remember how they went. (Keeler also believes this episode is his best work out of everything he has ever written for TV, which does include the much more popular Simpsons episodes "Two Bad Neighbors" and "Brother From Another Series", plus "Time Keeps on Slippin'" and "Godfellas" for Futurama.)
    • On the other hand, a later episode had Skinner accuse Lisa of dishonesty (for deciding to refer to her new cat, which looked exactly like her old cat, as Snowball II rather than the actual Snowball V), to which Lisa responded by pointedly calling him "Principal Tamzarian" to point out his hypocrisy - Armin Tamzarian being Skinner's real name according to "The Principal and the Pauper".
    • The negatively-received "That 90's Show," which attempted to retcon Marge and Homer meeting and getting married in the 90's instead of the 70's and early 80's, has been completely ignored with later episodes revisiting their past once again using the timeline introduced in "The Way We Was."
  • In Transformers Generation 1, the Big Bad Unicron was revealed in season three to have been a Gone Horribly Right experiment by an alien Mad Scientist named "Primacron" - his intent was that Unicron would devour all life in the universe, and then Primacron could repopulate the universe with lifeforms of his own creation and design. All subsequent itinerations of Transformers have stuck with the idea of Unicron as a Satanic Eldritch Abomination, a concept from the Marvel Transformers comics.
  • Jonny Quest: Lance Falk, the head writer of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, instigated an official policy to ignore the events of the 1984 series and the two made-for-TV movies on the show.
  • It seems that The Flintstones have discontinued, or tried to discontinue, their "older Pebbles and Bam-Bam" related media. Though they did make a cameo appearance in Johnny Bravo.
  • One episode of Family Guy involved Lois working as a reporter for Fox news and discovering that Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh (along with a number of other celebrities) are actually just fictional personas created by Fred Savage. A later episode features Rush Limbaugh having a book signing in Quahog, leading to this conversation:
    Chris: But I thought Rush Limbaugh was just a fictional character played by Fred Savage...
    Lois: Where'd you hear that?
    Chris: Fox News.
    Lois: Then it's a lie. Everything Fox News says is a lie.
    Chris: This one's true mom! You saw it with your own eyes and then you reported it on Fox News!
  • Arlene Klasky has said in an interview that she would take delight, along with Gabor Csupo to make new Rugrats episodes. Of course, this would mean ignoring the events of All Grown Up!. Rumor has it that Klasky/Csupo were sick and tired of the spin-off anyway (keep in mind, the spin off only existed due to executive demands).
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series was largely deemed non-canon by Paramount for decades, even though writers referenced events from the show and managed to force select elements (most notably the episode "Yesteryear", which told of Spock's childhood and was widely regarded as the cartoon's best episode) into canon if only because of their popularity with fans. While the Expanded Universe novels got away with referencing the cartoons, in 1989 Paramount put into its contract with DC Comics that writers could not use or reference the cartoon, much to writer Peter David's horror. Ultimately, to promote the cartoons getting a DVD release, Paramount did a fan poll to decide once and for all the canon status of the cartoon, with fans voting overwhelming to make the company finally acknowledge it as part of the show's official continuity.
    • There is at least one line of dialogue which directly contradicts events of The Animated Series. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", Dax mentions that Klingon Captain Koloth had always regretted not facing Kirk in battle, even though Kirk and Koloth exchanged fire in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "More Tribbles, More Troubles". This is parodied in Star Trek: The Complete(ly Useless) Encyclopedia, which occasionally takes the tack that the animated series is the canon, and the live-action sections of the Star Trek universe should be judged purely on their accuracy to it.
  • The Stargate Infinity cartoon is officially not part of the canonical Stargate Verse.
  • Word of God is that Avengers Assemble is meant to be a sequel to The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, with a flashback in one episode showing the Avengers in their costumes and art style from EMH. However, this contradicts some elements seen onscreen (namely that The Falcon makes his debut as a hero in Assemble, while he was already active in EMH), meaning that the three episodes of EMH Falcon appeared in are either Canon Discontinuity, or happened differently.
  • The way My Little Pony Equestria Girls is included in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic canon is that it happened, but nopony discusses it, pretty much making it not part of canon events. It is currently unknown if Rainbow Rocks will suffer the same fate as well.


    DiscontinuityFanon Discontinuity
Call BackContinuity TropesCanon Fodder
Bellisario's MaximJustForFun/Tropes of LegendFanon Discontinuity
The Call Knows Where You LiveOlder Than FeudalismCanon Fodder
Brought to You by the Letter 'S"ImageSource/Live-Action FilmsClark Kent Outfit

alternative title(s): Canon Banned
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