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Canon Immigrant
The expanded universe is a wonderful place, where new ideas can frolic without having to worry about fitting into the canon. However, sometimes an idea is so interesting that the people who create the canon decide it deserves to be included.

Thus, we have the canon immigrant, who is a character created and nurtured in another medium and, eventually, imported back into the original. Note that, often, surface details are brought in to play off a new movie or TV series; this isn't that. Rather, it's usually a completely new character, who over time becomes more and more popular with the fandom, often filling some niche that was never quite complete before. As a recurring trend, these tend to be female characters (likely to be "spunky") who serve to break up an otherwise male Rogues Gallery or ally contingent.

If they're successful enough, they'll be included in new entries in the expanded universe, cross-pollinating concepts. Canon immigrants are often part of an adaptation distillation, and new, canonical version usually has extra details to tie them into the more complex backstory of the original.

One should always be aware of the Canon Rule of Cherrypicking and Broad Strokes: the fact that one or two elements from an Alternate Continuity or expanded universe have made their way into canon does not make the rest of the alternate continuity or expanded universe canon, as a whole.

A character is more likely to become a canon immigrant, and be embraced as such, if s/he is God-Created Canon Foreigner.

This applies exclusively to characters or concepts who make the move from adaptation to original material. When dealing with alterations to existing canon that ends up changing the original material, see Ret Canon.

This is what every Canon Foreigner strives to be.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Batman 
  • Harley Quinn, from Batman: The Animated Series, may be the quintessential example. This Perky Female Minion (and girlfriend) of the Joker was nearly as insane as he, and the dynamic they created was unique among supervillains. After being imported to The DCU, she got her own ongoing series that lasted 38 issues and a major role in the short-lived live-action TV series, Birds of Prey. She went on to co-star alongside Poison Ivy and Catwoman in Gotham City Sirens, as well as appearing in the hit video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, and its sequel, Batman: Arkham City. She currently stars in the new Suicide Squad series.
  • Renee Montoya, a police officer and detective of the Gotham City Police Department, was created for the animated series, but actually appeared in the comics first due to the lengthy production time of the show. She guest starred in numerous Bat-Family titles before being cast as one of the lead characters in Gotham Central, then 52. She also wore the mantle of The Question for a time.
  • Lock-Up also made the leap to The DCU, surprisingly before Harley.
  • Roxy Rocket is a recursive canon immigrant — she originated in the The Batman Adventures comic based on the animated series, then made it into the series, before finally migrating from the series to the DCU proper as an enemy of Batgirl.
  • Sewer King, also from the animated series, appeared in 52. He appeared in one issue, only to die at the end of said issue.
  • There's Raven, Jay and Lark, the Penguin's henchwomen from the DCAU. Lark was adapted from the comics while Jay and Raven were original characters, and it wasn't until the New 52 reboot that they were made canon.
  • Batgirl is an interesting case. The character was created by DC Comics in 1966, at the behest of Batman TV-show producer William Dozier. Technically, she appeared in the comics (just barely) before her first broadcast appearance — but she exists only because the television show wanted an "official" young female character fighting alongside Batman and Robin.
  • The weirdest example is Condiment King: a throw-away joke villain... who got added to the DC Universe as a throw-away joke villain.
  • Terry McGinnis was seen in a few issues, but these were all set in the DCAU continuity (this includes his mini-series.) As of Batman #700, however, he's been inserted in the main DCU timeline as both an alternate universe Batman, and in the main universe as a possible future successor to Damian Wayne. Damian in this case fulfills the role Bruce did in the DCAU.
  • Mr. Freeze existed in the older works, but it was in Batman: The Animated Series that his modern characterization was taken from. Even Batman & Robin used that version of the character. Prior to his appearance in the cartoon, he hadn't shown up in comics in almost 20 years
    • Mr. Freeze is a double immigrant, of sorts. He was originally called Mr. Zero but he was renamed Mr. Freeze in the 60s live-action TV show and was as campy as could be expected. He was popular enough in the TV show that this characterization and name was then used for the comic version.
  • Chief O'Hara, a fairly important character from the 60s live-action Batman series went on to make scattered appearances in the comics
  • A comparatively minor case, but Barbara Gordon's role in Batman Beyond led to the now DC-comics-canon-for-the-time-being future depiction that she will eventually take on the role of Police Commissioner of Gotham after her father retires.
  • King Tut from the Batman TV Series appeared as the main villain in a story arc of Batman Confidential, giving him Canon Immigrant status some 40-something years after he first appeared.
    • King Tut also makes an appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which makes him an immigrant from one TV canon to another (or one TV canon to the DCU to a different TV canon. You decide!).
      • Brave & The Bold also went one step further, having cameos by the likes of False Facenote , Louie the Lilac, Bookworm, The Archer, Marsha Queen of Diamonds, The Siren, Ma Parker, Black Widow, Shame and Egghead. All had a cameo in a prison break, IN ONE EPISODE! All of them were one-shot villains from the 60s TV series.
      • Also, Egghead made the jump to the DCU as well, though looking less like Vincent Price.
  • Averted thankfully in one-time Batman videogame foe Sin Tzu, a should-have-been Ra's Al Ghul character rife with Unfortunate Implications and created with the author stating that he could end up like Harley Quinn and make the jump. In short, neither Stan nor Jim Lee can sit down and say, "Today, I Will Create Fonzie".
  • The DCAU interpretation of Clock King, who was originally a Green Arrow villain, made the jump to the comics as a Batman foe. A character with the same name and time motif had appeared on the 60s Batman TV show.
  • The Phantasm from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was modeled after one-shot comic villain The Reaper, who appeared in the now Retcon story Batman: Year Two.
  • The Batcave was first created for the 40s Batman movie serials. Before then, Bats' home base had always just been Stately Wayne Manor, with a tunnel to the barn which held his vehicles. The producers of the notoriously cheap serial couldn't afford to build a mansion set, so they re-used a cave set which had been used for a different serial, calling it simply "Bat's Cave." The idea worked so well that the comics began including the hideout within a few months, renaming it "the Batcave." The serials also were the first to depict the passage-way to the Bat-Cave to be behind a grandfather clock.
  • The 40s serials were also responsible for making Alfred's thin, mustachioed look. When Alfred was first introduced, he was rather fat and was clean-shaven (and a lot more bumbling).
  • The Batmobile has had its famous jet exhaust since the 60s series added it.
  • The giant penny first appeared in the Batman newspaper comic, before it ever appeared in the comic book.
  • The Grey Ghost from Batman: The Animated Series eventually appeared in Batgirl, only to be killed off in one of the final issues.
  • Lau, the Hong Kong banker from The Dark Knight film, made a brief appearance in an issue of Red Robin.
  • Corrupt businessman Roland Daggett from Batman: The Animated Series appeared as an antagonist in The Dark Knight Rises, though his first name was inexplicably changed to John.
  • Scorn, Robin's Evil Counterpart from The Batman, has recently been made canon in the New 52 continuity.
  • The new, female Copperhead from Arkham Origins is another unique example like Batgirl and Aqualad. She was created for the video game, but was announced to be coming set to be the New 52 before the game was even released.

    Superman 
  • Jimmy Olsen is perhaps the earliest well-known example; he originated on the Superman radio show (though an unnamed copy boy briefly appeared earlier in the comics).
  • Kryptonite also debuted on the radio show, though it was used earlier (as "K-Metal") in an unpublished comic book story.
  • Perry White, editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, also first appeared on radio and transitioned to the comics in 1940. The name Daily Planet was a radio show invention as well.
  • Most of the original characters in Superman: The Animated Series were simply Expies of existing DCU characters (e.g., Luminus and Mala, for Dr. Light and Faora/Ursa), but a few exceptions have had staying power in other media:
  • Smallville: Following the Infinite Crisis reboot of The DCU, Clark Kent spent his teenaged years dealing with various mutant villains created by the Green Rocks that accompanied his spaceship. Also, Luthor grew up in Smallville (though this had already been established in a previous storyline, it has been repeatedly retconned back and forth).
    • DC Comics has made several in-continuity winks to the character of Lionel Luthor, Lex's father. In one instance, Lex hired an actor to play the part of his foster father in order to enroll him at Smallville High School. The actor in question bore a physical resemblance to John Glover. It has since been established that Lionel Luthor is Lex's legitimate father in canon DC Comics continuity. However, instead of being a wealthy businessman, the comic book version of Lionel was a blue collar alcoholic.
    • Ma and Pa Kent have also been consistently redrawn to resemble elderly versions of Annette O'Toole and John Schneider (as well as appearing in flashbacks as they did in the series).
    • There were plans for Chloe Sullivan to make the jump to the comics following Infinite Crisis, but ultimately it fell through. She eventually showed up in a Jimmy Olsen feature.
    • As an in-joke, the Smallville versions of Clark Kent, Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan made a cameo appearance in the first issue of Geoff Johns' Teen Titans run.
  • Professor Pepperwinkle from the 1950s The Adventures of Superman TV series is a similar case. He made his first appearance in the comics in 1974. This was probably helped by the fact that the TV series was commonly rerun in syndication, so readers who weren't alive in the 1950s were still likely to recognize him.
  • Ursa and Non from the movie didn't come to the comics until 26 years later. However, they were based on Quex-Ul and Faora, two Phantom Zone criminals from the comics. Zod was an amalgamation of the comics' Zod and Jax-Ur.
  • Inspector Henderson first appeared in the Superman radio series in the 1940s and later in The Adventures of Superman television series in the 1950s. He eventually appeared in the Superman comics in the 1970s. Since then he has turned up in Lois and Clark and Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Eve Teschmacher, Luthor's female accomplice from the original Superman film, showed up in Grant Morrison's JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel as Lex's secretary.
    • Otis, Luthor's henchman from the same film, showed up in Young Justice as the head of Lex's security detail. He's also Lex's P.A. in the Smallville continuation comics (where his surname is "Berg"). And he had a cameo as a LexCorp security guard in the mainstream DCU's Forever Evil comic.
  • The Pre Crisis Superwoman, Kristin Wells, first appeared as a time traveling historian in Elliot S! Maggin's Superman novel Miracle Monday.
  • The often-mocked (but beloved by some) Supermobile was originally based on a 1970's toy made by Corgi. It only had a handful of appearances in the comics (because readers complained it was silly), but it appeared in several episodes of Super Friends. note 
  • Alexis Luthor was introduced in the Legion Of Superheroes cartoon as the descendant of Lex Luthor. In The Multiversity, Grant Morrison made her canon as the daughter of Earth-16's Lex.

    General DC Comics 
  • A number of characters from Kingdom Come have found their way into the main DCU continuity, including Cyclone and Magog.
    • The KC version of Superman fell through a Negative Space Wedgie into the main universe.
    • In a less literal sense, for years many characters were written to resemble the Kingdom Come versions of themselves more; Nuklon becoming Atom Smasher, Mary Marvel's costume change, and more.
    • Wonder Woman was revealed to own a suit of armor like the one she wore in Kingdom Come. Since she's plenty tough without it, her donning the armor is now treated a signal that things have gotten really dangerous.
    • The mainstream continuity Superman temporarily adopted a black background for his chest emblem like his KC counterpart. Like his KC counterpart, it was to mourn mass death (in this case from the Our Worlds at War storyline.)
    • And prior to the above Negative Space Wedgie KC Superman Batman and Wonder Woman came to the past to meet their mainstream counterparts (which made Kingdom Come for a time the official future of the DC Universe.) Now it's an alternate earth where the events happened concurrent to our present.
      • The Kingdom story didn't establish it as "the official future", instead it was the story that introduced the little-used concept of Hyper-Time. The Kingdom Come characters assumed they were the actual future incarnations of the characters, only to find out by the coda that they were actually just visitors from a vast tapestry of alternate timelines which sometimes feed into the canonical DC Universe. Sharp-eyed readers will recall that clues were being planted that something screwy was going on with the DCU Timeline as far back as the New Years Evil and DC One Million stories.
  • Más y Menos from the Teen Titans animated series were original characters for the TV show who have since made appearances in the comics. Cinderblock was also created for the show before appearing in the comics.
    • The cartoon's version of Gizmo also made the move. Similar to the below-mentioned Ultimate Nick Fury making the move to the classic Marvel Universe, he was introduced as the son of the original Gizmo.
  • Isis from the TV series Secrets Of Isis was introduced as an inhabitant of Captain Marvel's world of Earth-S, back in the days of the original multiverse.
    • Decades later, the series 52 features a version of the character as a probationary member of the Marvel Family, though she meets her end in Week Forty-Four. She gets resurrected by Felix Faust in a later miniseries.
  • Superfriends
    • Wendy and Marvin were introduced in The DCU in 2006 as caretakers of Titans Tower. However, they were super-genius, black-haired twins, so they had really little to share with the originals (not necessarily a bad thing). In an ironic twist, they were viciously mauled by Wonder Dog, resulting in a dead Marvin and paraplegic Wendy. Although, to be precise, the dog they adopted turned out to be a shape-shifting monster controlled by some villain. Oh, and their dad's the Calculator. Wendy later went on to appear as a major supporting character in Batgirl 2009, but was written out of the book just prior to its cancellation. After their comic book debut, the two were also brought over into the Young Justice animated series.
    • Samurai, a Japanese superhero introduced in the same cartoon, would later be brought into the DCU during Brightest Day.
    • Before that, the Wonder Twins were members of the Justice League International spinoff group Extreme Justice, and reserve members of Young Justice.
    • Apache Chief, Samurai, and El Dorado were also brought over into Young Justice, albeit with modernized, less-stereotypical personalities and origins. And in Samurai's case, a Gender Flip.
    • Minus the Gender Flip, it had happened before that in Justice League Unlimited, with the Ultimen. In fact, Young Justice's version of Apache Chief, a teenager of Apache descent named Tye Longshadow, even has the same voice actor as JLU's own Apache Chief pastiche... who was known as Long Shadow.
  • A number of Teen Titans characters got Canon Immigrant costumes, finding themselves redesigned to resemble their animated counterparts.
    • And to complete the circle you have the Alternate Universe in the Teen Titans cartoon comic where elements of the characters' original comic predecessors are integrated into their current designs; Aqualad as a Hook Handed "Tempest" and Speedy as the goatee-sporting gunman "Arsenal" being the most obvious examples.
      • The DC Nation shorts did this once again due to Mad Mod's powers turning back to time.
  • Jackson Hyde/Kaldur'ahm, the second Aqualad and son of Black Manta, was introduced during Brightest Day months before the Young Justice cartoon show he was created for debuted (thus making this case similar to the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, who was created for the 1960's Batman show but debuted in the comics first).
  • The Milestone Comics characters have been incorporated into the DC Comics universe, thanks to Static's popularity. The Dakota-verse was merged in with an in-universe Retcon, and only Icon and Superman know the truth.
    • Additionally, Static later adopted the second costume he wore in the TV series when he joined the Teen Titans.
  • The sentient space cruiser Aya was introduced in the Green Lantern comics just prior to the New 52. Aya was created by Bruce Timm for Green Lantern: The Animated Series, but like Batgirl and Aqualad, appeared in the comics first.
  • Persephone, one of the Amazons from the Wonder Woman animated movie, appeared in several issues of Gail Simone's Wonder Woman run. This was likely due to Simone having written an early draft of the film's script.
  • The Protector originated in animated Teen Titans anti-drug PSA and has since appeared in a few cameos in the comics. He also showed up in Teen Titans Go! and Tiny Titans.
  • The blonde, Cathy Lee Crosby version of Wonder Woman (from the failed 1974 Pilot Movie) was made canon in Infinite Crisis as the Wonder Woman of Earth-462. Likewise, Drusilla, the Canon Foreigner Wonder Girl from the live-action show, appeared as her sidekick.
  • The Global Guardians originated in the Super Friends tie-in comic, before they made a proper in-continuity debut in Infinity, Inc. years later.
  • Partial example: Tommy Merlyn was introduced to the New 52 Green Arrow shortly after Arrow started. The timing and new first name can't be accidental, though the dark archer known only as Merlyn has long been a foe of GA. In the end, Arrow's Tommy Merlyn isn't the villain we know and love. His father, Malcolm Merlyn, is the Big Bad of season one.
    • Diggle has also made the jump from Arrow to the New 52 comic.

    Marvel Comics 
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson first appeared in the films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor and The Avengers. He has since appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and later, the main 616 universe.
  • As of the Battle Scars mini-series, 616 Nick Fury has a son named Marcus Johnson, who bears a suspicious resemblance to the Samuel L. Jackson-inspired Ultimate / film-verse Fury. His birth name was actually later revealed to be Nick Fury, Jr. The 616 version of Coulson is his partner, reflecting the film version's role as Fury's right-hand man.
  • From X-Men: Evolution:
    • X-23, who was a cute, female clone of Wolverine, similarly crossed the animated series/comic book barrier (and appears in Marvel vs. Capcom 3).
    • She wasn't the only original character on the team, but was much more popular than Spyke, Storm's nephew who was essentially a male Marrow who even joined the Morlocks at one point. Though he did inspire two similar characters. A modified version of Spyke named "the Spike" was a member of the Milligan-Allred version of X-Force, but he fell prey to the team's infamously high turnover rate. More recently, a canon nephew for Storm named David Evan Munroe (Spyke's name was Evan) was introduced, though it has not yet been revealed if he is a mutant.
  • The mutant superhero Firestar was created for Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (issues with the rights to Fantastic Four characters scuttled the original plans for the Human Torch, who's canonically a long-time friend of Spidey) and, like Spidey's other amazing friend Iceman, was supposed to be a former member of the X-Men. She was imported into the Marvel Universe in X-Men #193, had her own limited series, and later served as a member of the New Warriors and The Avengers.
  • In The Fantastic Four (1978), the Human Torch was replaced by a Robot Buddy named "H.E.R.B.I.E.", not (as one rumour stated) because the producers were afraid children would immolate themselves trying to imitate the Torch, but because there was a solo Human Torch movie deal in the works at the time. Assorted versions of HERBIE have since appeared in the comics as an example of the sort of random stuff Reed Richards invents between adventures. (In the most recent cartoon, "Herbie" is the name of Reed's computer, a capacity he appeared in in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes first, being the Baxter Building's AI similar to JARVIS in the Iron Man movies.
    • Herbie is currently Franklin Richards' robot guardian, at least in the Franklin Richards one-shots and Power Pack minis.
    • HERBIE's been depicted pretty regularly lately as a model of robot that Reed produced dozens of to perform various odd jobs around the Baxter Building.
    • In the alternate future of the MC2 universe, Reed has seemingly transplanted his brain into a HERBIE robot. He's actually operating it remotely from the Negative Zone.
  • In X-Statix, Latin Lover El Guapo was a character added to the X-Statix movie to help it appeal to a broader audience (there aren't many traditionally attractive men on the team), and to hold the Conflict Ball by, in being so handsome, disrupting the other characters' relationships. However, the actor playing him is an actual mutant who eventually is asked to join the team for real as El Guapo. He proceeds to do the exact things movie El Guapo was created for, completely on accident.
  • The 90s' X-Men animated series gave another interesting example in Morph. He was based on a comics character, Changeling, who had been killed in the 1960s, and was Killed Off for Real in the pilot to shock everybody. He proved so popular in his brief screentime that not only was he brought back to life in the cartoon, but an AU version of Changeling who went by the codename Morph was introduced in the comics.
    • Two of them!
  • Reptil, originally a character created just for The Superhero Squad Show toyline (which came before the show, remember), was introduced in the comics in an Initiative special in early 2009. He then became a student at Avengers Academy the following year, just barely getting a main character spot in a book before the TV show debuted. As a Hispanic character, he filled a demographic need, and, as a Fun Personified Promoted Fanboy who can transform into dinosaurs, brought something unique to the table.
  • The Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow debuted in a direct to DVD animated film before facing the Avengers from the past (Earth-616's Avengers) in Avengers v4 #1.
  • The Mutant Response Division, or M.R.D., first appears in Wolverine and the X-Men, and has since been introduced in the main X-Men comics continuity starting in mid-2010, and has also spread to a mention in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • J.A.R.V.I.S., the AI that replaces Edwin Jarvis in the Iron Man films, has since appeared in the comics as the internal computer of Pepper's armor. Apparently, the comics version's personality is modeled on the human Jarvis.
  • In a manner similar to Aqualad and Reptil, the new White Tiger (aka Ava Ayala) introduced in Avengers Academy was created for the Ultimate Spider-man animated series. The new Nova, Sam Alexander, was also created for the show and was introduced into the comics during the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event.
  • The Anton Vanko version of Whiplash was introduced in the comics in order to have a version of the character similar to the unique take on Whiplash seen in Iron Man 2.
  • Sophie "Chat" Sandoval, a mutant who Speaks Fluent Animal, first appeared in Marvel Adventures Spider-Man as a friend of the teenaged Emma Frost, and later the teenaged Peter Parker's girlfriend. A couple of years later, she was introduced to mainstream Marvel in Spider-Girl (the Anya series) #4.
  • Monica Chang was introduced in the Ultimate universe as the second Black Widow. She made the jump to the mainstream Marvel Universe in the Avengers A.I. series, albeit without the Black Widow moniker.
  • Geldoff was introduced in Ultimate Spider-Man and gained a counterpart with the codename "Proton" in the mainstream universe in Avengers: The Initiative. He didn't last long.
    • Shockingly, a second version of Geldoff has now been introduced in Inhumanity.
  • The Chitauri (albeit the version of the movies rather than the original version) were introduced in issue 4 of the latest Nova comic, facing off against the aforementioned Sam Alexander.
    • Later, in Hunger #1 the designs of the Chitauri in the Avengers movie were used for the Ultimate Chitauri, as this version of the aliens (the original version) had never showed their true form before (as they only appeared shape-shifted into humans in The Ultimates).
    • The Chitauri are complicated. In the Ultimate Universe, they were Darker and Edgier, and more competent, Skrulls. As such, there were already "main Marvel universe Chitauri" - the Skrulls themselves. Because of this, whenever an adaptation, even a largely Ultimate-inspired one, wanted shapeshifting aliens, they just used the familiar Skrulls, and whenever the Chitauri show up, they're your standard Alien Invasion. So the very different movie-style Chitauri entering the comics-verse is a case of a Canon Immigrant... even though there are already comic Chitauri, and even a 616 version of them (the Skrulls the Chitauri were based on.) ...No, the headache you're feeling is normal.
  • Raza was originally created for the first Iron Man movie as a Race Lifted Expy of Wong-Chu from the comics. In the 2010 Invincible Iron Man Annual, the Mandarin, while talking about his past, also talks about Iron Man's origin, and mentions Raza being there.
  • Combining this with Publisher Hop, after Neil Gaiman won full rights to the character and signed onto Marvel, Angela from Spawn appeared in the finale of Age Of Ultron and later Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • The Age of Apocalypse saw three straight examples: Abyss, who is a hero in the classic Marvel Universe; Emma Stead, a member of the Hellfire Club's London branch, whose AoA counterpart was Damask; and Genocide, whose counterpart is Holocaust. In a more literal case, Holocaust himself and Sugar Man, as well as Dark Beast and X-Man, the respective counterparts of Beast and Cable ends up in the classic Marvel Universe as the original AoA story closed. Since then, the AoA versions of Sabretooth, Blink, Nightcrawler, and Blob also appeared in Earth-616.
  • When the original Guardians of the Galaxy went back in time, Vance Astro talked his younger self out of joining the Air Force and caused the premature emergence of the latter's telekinesis, causing his universe to become an alternate timeline. The mainline Marvel Universe version of Vance Astro is the New Warriors / Avengers member known as Justice.
  • The Ultimate Marvel version of the Beetle originated in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, before making the jump to the comics a few years later.
  • Takuya Yamashiro, the Japanese version of Spider-Man from the Toei live-action show, will be brought into the official Marvel canon during the Spider Verse crossover event.
  • Though he is never named as such, a villain clearly based on the Fifth Avenue Phantom from Spider-Man (1967) once tangled with Spider-Girl.
  • Melinda May originated in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before being made canon in the comics.

    Anime 
  • El Hazard (the TV series) featured a goofy and silly version of the "ultimate weapon android" Ifurita, as opposed to the far more serious and angsty Ifurita from the original OAV continuity. However, her popularity led to her being written into the latter continuity via the Radio Dramas, where her name was changed to "Ifurina."
  • Ryo Akiyama from Digimon Tamers and his Digimon don't seem to follow the same rules as the others. This is because he is from the Alternate Universe where the Digimon Adventure series took place. This is explained in the series of video games of which he is the star. To drive the point home, he is not in the manga that was later adapted from the series.
    Unfortunately for western fans, his games were on the Wonderswan, a handheld that was never released outside Asia. The first of these games got an English translation for Hong Kong, but the translation sucked. When he did turn up in Tamers, there was naturally massive confusion, as without the games to explain his backstory, he seemed to make absolutely no sense as a character. Interestingly enough, he's a different kind of Canon Immigrant, his games are canon to the Digimon Adventure universe, he cameoed in Our War Game, and then twice in Digimon Adventure 02, and is a vital part of Ken's backstory. He moved to the Tamers universe after ZeedMilleniummon's final defeat, effectively immigrating from one universe to another.
    Due to the wildly different animation styles of the movies and Tamers, Ryo being in Tamers didn't cause much confusion: your average American Digimon fan had no idea that Ryo was supposed to be that guy in a couple shots of the movie (as a background character and Continuity Nod; if you didn't know who he was beforehand you had absolutely no reason to take note of him.) "Who is that guy we mostly see from behind with Ken in the origin story, and what was that monster-thing" was a major question, though, and even once fans did know, the decision to make a video game that necessary to understand what is going on in the show came to be seen as further evidence of season two's Seasonal Rot.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew imported everything but characters from the anime after it Overtook the Manga. The girls originally didn't use transformation phrases, for one...
  • Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~, the anime prequel to Mai-Otome, features Mayo and Shion, characters originally from the Mai-HiME Destiny Light Novels taking place in an Alternate Continuity to Mai Hi ME. A rare example of trans-continuity, trans-setting promotion to canon.
  • Mana Kirishima first appeared in the Neon Genesis Evangelion video game Girlfriend of Steel, but proved popular enough that she later appeared in the unrelated Shinji Ikari Raising Project game and manga.
    • The Shinji Ikari Raising Project game introduced three new NERV technicians named Kaede, Satsuki, and Aoi. The three would later appear in the Alternate Universe Campus Apocalypse manga.
      • However, none of them have actually immigrated back into the anime canon, or even the Rebuild of Evangelion movies.
  • Mazinkaiser was born out of the idea of giving the Mazinger Z a Mid-Season Upgrade for Kouji Kabuto in Super Robot Wars F Final. Developer Banpresto asked Go Nagai, Mazinger's creator, to design it; not only were players pleasantly surprised with the upgrade, but the reception of its appearance allowed Nagai to quickly incorporate the Mazinkaiser into Mazinger canon.
  • Mei Sakura, a character created for the Love Hina anime, was not only inducted into the manga at its very end, but Akamatsu then transplanted her into Mahou Sensei Negima!, causing many fans to wonder if they're one and the same person.
  • In Detective Conan, Inspector Shiratori was originally movie-only (and holding one rank lower) and Detective Takagi was originally used only in fillers. A number of minor police inspectors were named after their voice actors.
  • In ARIA, Ai was originally anime-only character, but starts to appear in special chapter in various guidebooks, culminating in becoming Akari's apprentice in the last manga chapter (and anime episode).
  • The VB-6 König Monster first appeared in the Playstation game Macross Digital Mision VF-X. Macross Frontier is the first animated Macross series in which it has appeared. Fan theory holds that it got in due to its awesome, gigantic toy.
    • Also from Macross, though possibly a coincidence, the idea of controlling Veritech fighters with a brain interface showed up in the American Robo Tech tie-in novels several years before they were introduced to the Japanese canon in Macross Plus.
  • Dragon Ball Z has one in the form of Goku's father Bardock. Reportedly Akira Toriyama liked the Bardock movie special so much he including him in the manga, in a brief two-panel flashback.
    • Dragon Ball Kai, a recut of the anime which sheds off the majority of the filler, actually makes Bardock's death the prologue to the series.
  • In Saint Seiya, the special brainwashing technique of the Pope, the Genrou Maouken, appeared first in the anime before being introduced by the author in the manga. Similar is the case of the character Lyra Orpheus from the 2nd film, who's later seen (redesigned) into the manga continuity (though Kurumada made the design sketches for the movie enemies).
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Seiichirou Shiba, Rena Yuuki and Sera Gallagher all first appeared in the PlayStation game The New Challenger and they later were put into the extra ending of Sin.
    • Also Aya Stanford, who appeared in the Sin OVA and some episodes in Saga, was a character originally created for the first SAGA drama CDs.
  • Rai the protagonist of a video game spinoff, or someone that looks very much like him, appeared in Code Geass R2 for a few moments.
    • Similarly, Nonette Ennagram (The Knight of Nine, who's name is derived from two words meaning nine.) appears in R2 when the Knights of the Round are revealed... She never appears again. Some fans have taken this to mean that she's the only Round who hasn't tried to kill Lelouch, and one of the few Rounds to survive the events of the series.
    • Marika Soresi and Liliana Vergamon, two characters used to expound on Cornelia's opinions of events in the novels while acting as her wingmen, appear alongside Britannian Ace and Knight Of Round Luciano Bradley in Code Geass R2. They die immediately.
  • In the Guyver anime film Out of Control, the villainous Guyver II was given a Gender Flip. This female version of Guyver II was incorporated into the manga as another character named Valkyria.
  • The Gundam video game series SD Gundam G Generation features a number of Original Generation mecha in order to spice things up. So far, only one of these has filtered back into the source material: the Gundam Belphagor, from Gundam X's After War time line, which shows up in the sequel manga Under The Moonlight.
    • Gundam actually has quite a lot of these. Mechs that only appear in MSV model kit lines have been showing up in subsequent anime productions since Zeta Gundam, Gundam Unicorn being a particularly massive example.
    • One of the most obscure ones comes in the form of the Perfect Gundam, an armor upgrade for the RX-78-2 Gundam from the original series that debuted in an obscure manga called Plamo Kyo Shiro, where it was a kitbash plastic model created by the title character and scanned in to a VR game to battle against other models (a premise later used for the mostly unrelated Gunpla Builders Beginning G). It has since gone on to appear as an upgrade for the actual Gundam in various video games, notably the G-Gen series. The Perfect Gundam finally appears in animated form in the season 1 finale of Gundam Build Fighters (which also users a similar premise to the aforementioned Plamo Kyo Shiro and Gnpla Builders Beginning G), in that episode it is piloted by Takeshi Iori, the runner up for the second world championships and the father of the protagonist.
    • The latest example is the Perfect Strike Gundam from the Gundam SEED remaster. After the Strike Gundam model kits were released, a common project for model collectors was to build a version of the Strike with all three Striker Packs equipped at once. Someone at Bandai must have liked the idea, because the Perfect Strike appears in the latter half of the remastered Gundam SEED, upgraded from the original Strike.
    • Probably the oddest one of the bunch are the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz redesigns of the original five Gundams of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. All five made their first appearance as just drawings. Wing would be the first to make a move, becoming a hidden unit in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2, then an event unit in SD Gundam Capsule Fighter before officially appearing in the remake manga Glory of Losers with the other four.
  • In Naruto, a certain pair of lightning-powered swords from a filler arc in the anime ends up showing up in the manga being wielded by a former member of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist, albeit with a slightly different design.
    • The guy who actually wielded said swords in the before-mentioned filler arc ends up showing up in the manga himself, during a flashback.
    • Gari from the Hidden Stone Village, Chukichi of the Hidden Mist Village, Pakura of the Hidden Sand Village and Toroi of the Hidden Cloud Village were all originally from the sixth Naruto movie. They made their appearance in the manga during the Fourth Ninja War arc.
    • The infamous Episode 167 had 6-tailed Naruto perform 2 anime-original moves: a Rapid-Fire Tailed Beast Bomb and a Tailed Beast Laser. In chapter 610, both Killer Bee and Naruto used the former on the Juubi, while the Juubi used the latter on the two.
  • Musashi Tomoe from Getter Robo is an example that it might seem surprising to fans, but in Ken Ishikawa's original manga, Getter-3 was piloted by Professor Saotome. Musashi was created to fill that spot in the anime adaptation, and Ishikawa liked him so much that he was imported back into the manga and has subsequently become a central and fan-beloved member of the Getter family.
  • Dororon Enpi-chan is a boderline erotic 4koma parody of Go Nagai's Dororon Enma-kun with with main character being Enma's Distaff Counterpart. In recent remake, Dororon Enma-kun Meramera Enpi is introduced as the main villain and Enma's sister.
  • Minamo from Sketchbook first appeared in the anime incarnation, in which she is Daichi's little sister. She even has a rather big role, interacting a lot with the main character Sora, starting with the very first scene of the series—and she also participates in the art club's events later on. Perhaps the makers wanted to have a younger character to appeal to a larger demographic. She was re-introduced into the manga in chapter 97, about two years after the anime ended. Her first scenes in the manga imply that she has had prior interactions with the main cast, but the author stated in the notes that her Immigration into the manga continuity has no real meaning for the timing.
  • The comics for Wedding Peach featured an upgrade for all the girls to Super Love Angels as an excuse to match their outfits with the ones seen in the anime. The anime had no such upgrade.
  • Trigun: The boomerang-wielding Descartes actually appeared in the first episode of the anime before showing up in the manga Trigun Maximum. Several other one-shot characters from the anime have make brief cameos when Vash flashes back to various people he's met in his journeys. Yasuhiro Nightow has actually stated that Vash's encounters with these characters in the anime episodes is canon within the manga's backstory though that would mean that they'd be ''slightly'' different than the anime versions since Meryl and Milly wouldn't exist in them as they didn't officially meet Vash until the third chapter of the manga.
  • There were rumors that Original Character Ayumi Sakigame of Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage would make the jump to Smile Pretty Cure! as a Sixth Ranger, but nothing of the sort happened. On the other hand, the items known as Miracle Lights, which made their first appearance in the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, would bounce over to the All Stars movies, becoming an important part of how the movies play.
  • Several Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that were previously only in the anime, like Guardian Eatos, were made into real cards years later…albeit as knock-offs in some cases, including that of Eatos.

    Audio Play 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays have their own Canon Immigrants brought in from the comic strips, mostly from Doctor Who Magazine: short episodes feature cuddly alien conqueror Beep the Meep and Time Lord construct Shayde, and there is a short and a full-length episode in which the Doctor's companion is shapeshifting penguin Frobisher.
    • The Company Of Friends is an Eighth Doctor play that features a 45-minute story for two people that were never in the Big Finish audios before — Fitz (books) and Izzy (comics).
      • For the longest time, Big Finish's works were of debatable canon, never officially being acknowledged by the show itself, but never being denied either. In a prequel to the 50th anniversary special called "The Night of The Doctor", the Eighth Doctor acknowledges and name-drops all of his audio-only companions, officially rendering Big Finish's stories and characters canon.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Mechanic Wrench of the fic, Rainbow in the Dark, actually has her origins in an earlier piece by the author.
  • The Awakening of a Magus (an early Harry Potter fic the author stopped writing and removed it from Fanfiction.net due to personal problems, although a copy still exists on fictionalley.org), had a Recursive Fic called Who Wants to Live Forever describing the death of a background character from over 3000 years ago (likewise removed due to being a songfic). Details of that description later made it into the Awakening.
  • The original Pokeumans series was sufficiently successful and had enough scope to prompt a community of fan series of its own. Ideas from these such as the evil mooks being called 'Extinctionists' and The Board of Dream Messengers were then accepted across the whole group and in the original series.
  • Reimagined Enterprise takes a number of plot details from the non-canon Star Trek Expanded Universe and uses them.
    • "Rihannsu" is the real name of the Romulans and "Romulans" is a human code name for them.
    • A version of the Optimum Movement from Star Trek: Federation appears as antagonists during the Post-Atomic Horror in the flashback in "Remembrance".
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, a story based around the Mega Man cartoon and Classic game series, the leader of the Mega Crew is revealed to be Tiesel Bonne, from the Mega Man Legends games. Later, his siblings appear, and the Bonnes become supporting characters.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Big Name Fan Lizsama's Original Character, Elizabeth Marmalade, appears in Arc 3 with her permission.
    • The Neo Emerald Spears, who are based off the Emerald Spears from Archie Comics' Mega Man, appear in Arc 4.
    • Prism Man, who's exclusive to the Mega Man NT Warrior anime, appears in Arc 4.

    Film 
  • The Moorish character in Robin Hood, who in the last decade or so has cropped up in Film and TV, at least. His earliest incarnation seems to be have been Nazir in Robin of Sherwood.
  • The 1998 American Godzilla officially became part of the Japanese Franchise/Godzilla franchise with the release of the film Godzilla Final Wars and was even given the official name of "Zilla". Poking fun at the American rendition, unlike all the other monsters, which are depicted as men in latex costumes, Zilla is rendered in intentionally mediocre CGI.
    • He was referenced in an earlier film in which a character asks "Didn't Godzilla show up in New York recently?" and is told "That's what the Americans think."
    • And it doesn't stop there. Mothra, Rodan, Varan, Baragon, Kamoebas (a giant turtle from the obscure film Space Amoeba), Moguera (from another obscure film called The Mysterians), Meganulon, Manda (from yet another obscure film called Atragon) and King Kong were all stars in their own respective films before becoming part of the Godzilla franchise.
    • Frankenstein Conquers The World
      • It's known as Frankenstein vs. Baragon in Japan. It takes Frankenstein's Monster (who, not surprisingly, is mistakenly called "Frankenstein") growing to giant size and fighting Baragon.
  • Coruscant, the capital of the Old Republic and later the Galactic Empire in the Star Wars Universe, first appeared and was named in The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. It was finally made G-canon when The Phantom Menace was released.
    • The Star Wars Radio Dramas (1981) marked the first physical appearance of Bail Organa, Leia's adoptive father. He appeared in the prequel trilogy as the Republic senator from Alderaan, played by Jimmy Smits.
    • Quinlan Vos, a Jedi based on a character from the background in a shot from Tatooine, was given a story in the comics and novels. George Lucas loved the character so much that he intended to give him a scene in Revenge of the Sith, but due to time constraints, the scene was cut. He is, however, mentioned by name when Obi-Wan speaks to Anakin about the Outer Rim sieges.
    • Ditto with Aurra Sing, another cameo in Episode I that was given a backstory in the EU and elevated to G/T Canon in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Darth Bane has been elevated from C-Canon to G/T-Canon with the final arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

    Gamebooks 
  • King Toadstool and Wooster, Super Mario Bros.-related characters introduced in Nintendo Comics System, made a few appearances in the Nintendo Adventure Books.
  • The Lone Wolf gamebook series had a short-running companion novel series called Legends of Lone Wolf, which covered and expanded upon the gamebook stories, including introducing several new characters. Demigoddess Alyss was introduced early into that series, and broke through the canon ceiling in Book 16 of the gamebook series.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Radio: None of the three most famous stories associated with the Arabian Nights—"Aladdin","Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", and "Sinbad the Sailor"—were part of the collection as it was assembled in the Arab world over several centuries. All three were independent folk stories added to the Nights by Antoine Galland when he compiled his 18th century French translation, which introduced the Nights to European culture.
  • William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes play introduced the character of Billy the page-boy. When Arthur Conan Doyle later wrote a couple of Holmes plays himself (The Crown Diamond and an adaptation of The Speckled Band) he included this character, possibly for the sake of consistency with Gillette. Conan Doyle later adapted The Crown Diamond into a short story (The Mazarin Stone), and thus Billy entered into the Sherlock Holmes canon. He also received a very brief mention in a couple of the later canonical tales.
  • Happened with Raymond E. Feist's The Riftwar Cycle. The characters of Gorath, Owyn, Jazhara and Jimmy's twin brother Lysle Rigger all make their first appearances in the computer games Betrayal at Krondor and Return To Krondor, set in Feist's world. They were then incorporated into canon when Feist wrote a novelization for both games and made references to them in later books.
  • Margo Lane appeared first on The Shadow radio show before Walter Gibson incorporated her into the prose series. Earlier novels of the Shadow often only barely featured women, but the radio show wanted vocal contrast.
  • Inspector Morse had a Canon Immigrant car. The original novels by Colin Dexter had Morse driving a nondescript modern vehicle, but the TV show gave him a Cool Car, a red 1960s Jaguar Mark II. The car became so iconic of the character that the novels written after the TV show started included it with no explanation of the change, even to the point of putting it on covers (art images, not photos from the show).
  • Ellery Queens secretary Nicky Porter was originally created for the radio show, but later appeared in two of the novels and a dozen short stories.
  • Hastur, a great old one in the Cthulhu Mythos is actually a canon immigrant from The King in Yellow (well sort of) with a name taken from an Ambrose Bierce story by way of August Derleth.
  • A minor example; The Wizla Tobacco and Rolling Paper Company was first mentioned on the label of Albert's tobacco tin in the TV adaptation of Hogfather, before getting referenced several times in Unseen Academicals.
    • As revealed in the official Mort playscript, rather than try and duplicate the established appearance of Rincewind for the sake of a brief cameo, the Studio Theatre Club replaced him with their own nervous junior wizard character. They called him Stibbons.
    • In The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide the list of cafes includes Cafe Ankh, and the pubs and taverns includes the Octarine Parrot, both from Discworld Noir.
  • Doris and Benny the Cab, created for the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, appeared in the sequel to the original book. Another character created for the film, Teddy Valiant, is mentioned in the book, though he doesn't appear in either version because he was killed years ago.
    • Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit? is really more of a sequel to the film than the book in most respects, including Toons being animated characters rather than comic strip characters, Roger being a good guy and being set in The Forties rather than The Eighties.
  • Two famous British literary heroes had their backgrounds tweaked to reflect those of their actors in live action adaptations:
    • At first, Ian Fleming didn't like the casting of Sean Connery as James Bond. However, after seeing Dr. No, he made Bond's father, like Connery, a Scot.
    • Bernard Cornwell established his hero, Richard Sharpe, as born and raised in London. After Sean Bean portrayed the character for television, Cornwell added a previously unrevealed aspect of Sharpe's childhood. At age 15, Sharpe moved to Yorkshire, where he presumably gained an Oop North accent similar to the obviously-not-from-London Bean's.
    • Also the character of Rifleman Harris was created for the TV series and subsequently appeared in the novels because Cornwell liked him.

    Live Action TV 
  • The first name of Uhura, of Star Trek: The Original Series. The name "Nyota" (Swahili for "star") was invented by William Rotsler for his 1982 book Star Trek II Biographies. It was approved by the original actress, Nichelle Nichols, and by series creator Gene Roddenberry. After wide use in the Star Trek Expanded Universe and All There in the Manual works it finally became canon in the 2009 film, Star Trek. As did the names of Captain Kirk's parents, George and Winona, coined by novelist Vonda N. McIntyre in Enterprise: The First Adventure. McIntyre also gave Mr. Sulu the first name Hikaru in her novel The Entropy Effect, and the name was canonized in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • The Holodeck of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, which started its life in Star Trek: The Animated Series. Kirk's middle name was first declared as "Tiberius" in the animated series as well (though it was conceived earlier, and Gene Roddenberry had previously used "Tiberius" as the middle name of the title character, William T. Rice, in his first TV series The Lieutenant).
    • Although that does conflict with the tombstone that Gary Mitchell conjures up in the second pilot, which reads James R. Kirk...
    • Add to that Lady Amanda's surname of Grayson, taken from "Yesteryear," the best known episode of ST:TAS.
    • Minor example: the most prominent new species of the animated series, the Caitians (M'ress) and Edoans/Edosians (Arex), are also canon immigrants: Caitian admirals appear in The Voyage Home and Edosians have been mentioned several times (for instance, Garak dealt with Edosian orchids while a gardener).
    • If plot points from originally non-canon works count, then the big, big one would be the entire episode "Yesteryear". Though the animated series was largely considered non-canon, this one episode gave us a lot about Vulcan culture and Spock's past that has been adhered to - its events were referenced in TNG's "Unification," Vulcan's Forge and sehlats were featured in the Vulcan trilogy on Star Trek: Enterprise, and the reboot movie's sequence with young Spock is taken nearly word-for-word from the episode.
      • While only referred to as a "teddy bear", the sehlat was actually first described in the episode Journey To Babel, so it may not qualify.
    • Synthehol, an alcohol substitute that gets one drunk, but the effects of intoxication can be dismissed at will, started life as a concept in the TNG novels and was soon written into the TV series.
    • "The Warrior's Anthem", a Klingon war hymn sung in DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire", originally appeared in the video game Star Trek: Klingon.
  • Doctor Who has occasionally dipped in its Expanded Universe, largely because of the former fanboys currently in charge.
  • In a comic about the character Spike from Angel, Spike is sent to an asylum for demons and meets an incredibly strange character... a human-sized, floating, telepathic Betta fish named Betta George. Apparently, when Joss Whedon approached the writer of these comics to collaborate on the canon continuation comic After The Fall, he noted "I like George. Let's find a place for him." The fans are reportedly somewhat squeamish about the inclusion of such a blatantly strange character in canon, despite the show's other eccentricities.
    • Illyria also appeared in another comic's canon and will appear in Buffy season 9.
    • Beck, who also appeared in the Asylum mini-series and other Spike comics appears in After The Fall.
  • Howard, Marina, and Pearl from Last of the Summer Wine. They started out in a stage play version of the show, and got a good enough reaction to become part of the TV cast.
  • The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation villain Sqweegel. Anthony Zuiker's digital novel "Level 26 Dark Origins" has first White Sqweegel and at the end comes Black Sqweegel, the one who crossed to CSI. Word of God has confirmed the immigration on Level 26 website.
  • In Power Rangers, this is subverted with Zordon's home planet of Eltar. While Eltar Is first mentioned in the non-serial first movie, and not mentioned in the main canon until Power Rangers Turbo, the name has been in the Universe Bible since the beginning.
    • Likewise the Tengu (renamed Tengas) and the Rangers' ninja costumes and powers originated in the movie and were used in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3, since the events of the movie were modified and retold in the series. The Zords don't quite count as they were based on the mecha from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger and most likely would have appeared in the series anyways even if the movie was not made.
    • The Battlizer from Power Rangers S.P.D. crossed over to its source material, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, the same yearnote  when they returned for its team-up movie with Magiranger.
    • While the term wasn't used for Gokai Silver's Gold mode from Kaizouku Sentai Gokaiger and Kyoryu Red's Carnival mode from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, both modes do share traits from Power Rangers Battlizers, most notably, enhanced power armor, and a finisher.
  • The "Clue Crew" in Jeopardy! originated on the short-lived kids' version Jep!, there called the "Jep! Squad".

    Music 
  • The Beatles had a problem with the soundtrack to their television film Magical Mystery Tour, as the film had only six songs. In Britain the soundtrack "album" was released as two singles with three songs apiece. In America, Capitol Records added the Beatles' 1967 singles (including "Penny Lane", "Strawberry Fields Forever", and "All You Need Is Love") to the soundtrack to make a full length album. The revised American version has now become the standard version all around the world; the original British edition of Magical Mystery Tour wasn't released again until the 2012 DVD and Blu-ray special edition rerelease of the movie. Purists don't like the US album because it apparently messes with the band's concept - but the band actually preferred the US album and reissued it as such from the 70s onwards.
  • Music/Megadeth 's soundtrack contribution compilation Hidden Treasures was originally designed as a limited edition bonus disc for Youthanasia, but became very popular, largely thanks to the hit single "Angry Again" being included. It was released as a separate release in its own right, and a remastered version was reissued in the UK many years later (the US label kept most of the tracks for the box set Warchest, although some appear in different versions).
  • Music/Oasis had the B-Side compilation "The Masterplan" which was designed for US and Japanese fans to avoid them paying a lot of money for singles. It ended up being released in the UK thanks to demand, and has since become one of their most popular releases.

    Mythology 
  • Although many sources now list among the Norse pantheon a goddess of love named "Astrild", she is in fact the creation of a Romantic-era English poet; the original Norse goddess of love was Freyja.
  • The hippogriff made its first documented appearance in the 16th century poem Orlando Furioso, and it's unlikely that even people who'd sincerely believed in griffins ever gave credence to these horse/griffin hybrids. That hasn't stopped modern fantasy writers from including them in the roster of commonly-appearing mythical beasts.
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, created for a department store giveaway childrens' book which was later adapted into a song and a TV special. The character became so popular that he's been added to the eight reindeer from "A Visit From St. Nicholas"/"'Twas The Night Before Christmas" and has become The Face Of The Band in the public consciousness.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Similar to Clark and Lois' marriage, Jon and Liz of the comic strip Garfield are now the strip's Official Couple after nearly 30 years of non-interest and pity dates on her part. This is mainly because the live action movies had paired the two off in the first and married them in the second.
    • Also, Binky the Clown who debuted in the Garfield Halloween Special before appearing in the strip a year later.
    • Floyd the mouse is an odd case. He debuted as a minor character on Garfield and Friends, and appeared in the strip several years after that show ended, but he only ever appeared in one strip (January 27, 1998).
    • Hubert and Reba, Jon's old neighbors. They first appeared in the special Here Comes Garfield, aired October 25, 1982, then started to appear in the strip 13 days after that.
  • The animated Peanuts special, Snoopy's Reunion, aired in 1991, featured three of Snoopy's siblings who hadn't appeared in the strip, Andy, Molly, and Rover. While Molly and Rover never appeared in the strip, Andy first appeared in the strip in 1994.
  • Cueball, the villain from the 1946 film Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, would much later (2011) appear in the Dick Tracy comic strip.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The main character of the '70s manga and anime Tiger Mask, a masked pro wrestler by the same name, was brought into New Japan Pro Wrestling in the '80s. He's since become something of a Legacy Character — at least four different wrestlers have donned the mask — as has his Evil Counterpart, Black Tiger.
  • Suicide, a character who first appeared in TNA Impact!: The Video Game, and later showed up in the ring to exact unspecified revenge on the Motor City Machine Guns. Due to wrestling's self-aware nature, this led the Guns to complain to anybody who'd listen about having been beaten up by a video game character.
  • Tommy Lister, a.k.a. "Zeus", became a pro WWF wrestler after doing No Holds Barred with Hulk Hogan. That venture fared mediocrely, but that didn't stop WCW from bringing him back briefly to fight Hogan as "Z-Gangsta".
    • WCW tried it too, when they made David Arquette the WCW Champion after Ready to Rumble. This isn't quite an example, as Arquette's WCW run was explicitly as himself and not his character from the movie, but it's close enough to merit a mention. The bizarre triple-cage match that serves as the movie's climax also made a WCW appearance as part of this storyline.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Battletech, Adam Steiner was created for the spin-off cartoon; however, he has since been "adopted" into the canon of the main line, becoming one of the heroes of the Lyran Alliance due to his military exploits and eventually becoming known as one of the greatest Archons in the history of the Lyran state. Other characters from the Cartoon have appeared, but none as prominently.
    • Ian Dresari, the protagonist of MechWarrior 4, is canonized in the history of the tabletop game. Word of God is that reports of Ian Dresari's tyranny in the sequel are actually unfounded propaganda by House Steiner to demonize him and turn public opinion from him. Dresari was defeated but ultimately survived the events of Black Knight come the time of the Civil War.
    • The Deimos battlemech originally appeared as an unofficial mech in the Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries MekPak mod. It was later made canon and appeared in the official BattleTech technical readouts. The Bombast Laser appeared in Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance and was made a canonical weapon eight years later in the "Tactical Operations" advanced rulebook.
  • The Blood Ravens chapter of Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 were initially invented for the Dawn of War series of video games, but eventually got accepted into 40K canon due to the popularity of the series, and have since appeared in several Black Library novels, including the novelisation of the games themselves.
    • Plus being used as an example of how to use Chapter Traits in the old 4th edition Codex (albeit with traits that were not at all representative of the Blood Ravens as seen in-game despite more fitting ones being available, making for a weirdly inverted case of Canon Defilement).
      • The Blood Ravens have also become a one-spin-off-to-another example with the release of the Honour The Chapter sourcebook for Deathwatch. Prior to this there was just one piece of art in Rites of Battle and a quote from Captain Davian Thule in the core book.
  • Elegant Nova of Progression first showed up in Keychain of Creation as an Alchemical Mad Scientist dedicated to making mortals into Alchemical Exalted piece-by-piece. Now, crack open Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals and flip through to "Notable Individuals"...
  • The Viashino of Magic: The Gathering were originally introduced in the Tie-In Novel The Prodigal Sorcerer by Mark Sumner. The designers of the game liked them so much that they worked them into the game, and they still turn up from time to time.
  • Gomorra, California, home of the tie-in Collectible Card Game, would eventually become an Immigrant Setting for Deadlands. Part and parcel to this were many, many Canon Immigrants, including most of the entire Whateley Family, Sioux Union, and piratical Maze Rats.
  • Many concepts devised for specialized settings in Dungeons & Dragons have subsequently become incorporated into the core rule system, as when domains and darklords from the 2nd edition Ravenloft setting became a standard feature of the 4th edition Shadowfell.
    • The writers of the Forgotten Realms supplements have made canon a wide variety of plot points from the video games. The whole Bhaalspawn plot from the Baldur's Gate series is referenced in the 3.5E splat Lost Empires of Faerűn. Zehir, the Bigger Bad of Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir and the yuan-ti god of poison, was homebrewed for that Expansion Pack, then became one of the primary pantheon of 4th edition and its Points Of Light setting, and then was relisted as a subservient deity of Bane in the 4E Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide.
  • Psurlons were a new monster created for the Dark Sun: Shattered Lands computer game. They turned out to be popular and interesting enough to be introduced to the tabletop setting as well.

    Theatre 

    Toys 
  • The Starlight Girls (the foster girls Jerrica takes care of) were created specifically for the Jem TV series. However, at least three of them: Ashley, Ba Nee, and Krissie, were later made into dolls.
  • Many of the more notable minor characters in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic began gaining more and more recognition and nods from the writers, to the point where several of them were finally firmly cemented into canon in the form of toys.
    • By now, the overwhelming majority of background ponies have toys; previous generations have had toylines that were much bigger than the shows' casts, but Hasbro realized how much fans have latched onto the background characters and have figured that if they make the 'extra' toys look like the crowd filler ponies instead of just slapping random color schemes on them, you'll have a character who means something to someone. The Fan Nicknames are even used when not problematic due to copyright.
  • The Baroness actually debuted in Marvel Comics' G.I. Joe in issue #1, created by Larry Hama when he realized there were very few women in G.I. Joe at the time. She was the first character in the cannon to cross media, being imported into the TV show and given her own figure thereafter.
  • Monster High's C.A. Cupid is this for Ever After High, where she currently resides.

    Video Games 
  • Karin Kanzuki, Sakura Kasugano's rich bitch Ojou rival from Street Fighter Alpha 3, was originally created for a Sakura-centric tie-in manga, Sakura Ganbaru! by Masahiko Nakahira.
    • Gouken, Ryu and Ken's sensei, was originally a character in a Street Fighter II tie-in manga by Masaomi Kanzaki. The character was later adapted in the video games' canon in the original Street Fighter Alpha before making a full-fledge appearance as a fighter in Street Fighter IV.
      • That's Gouken and not Sheng Long (although Gouken has all of Sheng Long's supposed moves).
      • "You must defeat me to stand a chance!"
    • There's also Evil Ryu (from Masahiko Nakahira's Street Fighter Alpha manga) and Shadaloo Cammy (who first appeared in the inter-company crossover game X-Men vs. Street Fighter). Aspects of Cammy's backstory from the Alpha series, such as her codename Killer Bee, were also based on elements that originally appeared in Masaomi Kanzaki's Cammy Gaiden manga.
    • Maki is a triple canon immigrant, being one of the many new characters introduced in Final Fight 2 (where she was a Distaff Counterpart / Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Guy from the previous game), only to be immediately forgotten. And then Masahiko Nakahira brought her back to the limelight in Sakura Ganbaru!, causing Capcom to suddenly remember her and putting her in Capcom vs. SNK 2 before she was eventually featured in the portable versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 along with Eagle and Yun.
    • Mecha Zangief first appeared in the Marvel vs. Capcom games as a secret character. In Super Street Fighter IV, he returns as an alternate skin for Zangief.
    • Ingrid started out as a character for the cancelled Capcom inter-series crossover game Capcom Fighting All-Stars. She'd, however, make the jump into its "spiritual successor" Capcom Fighting Evolution, and later ported into the PSP version of Street Fighter Alpha 3. It was later confirmed that Ingrid is indeed part of the Street Fighter series.
    • The idea that Decapre have her face burned on the left side comes from the UDON comics series.
  • Several monsters from Super Mario Bros. 2, which was just a Dolled-Up Installment based on the game Doki Doki Panic, have gone on to be included in later Mario games. These include Shy Guys, Bob-Ombs, and Birdo, as well as a race of mice creatures similar to the boss Mouser.
  • Donkey Kong's white palette in Super Smash Bros. might be based on Eddie the Mean Ol' Yeti from the Donkey Kong Country cartoon series, who was essentially a white-furred version of Donkey Kong.
  • Mr. Game & Watch originally took various forms throughout the Game & Watch handhelds, hardly ever looking the same twice. Then Super Smash Bros. Melee, needing one form to represent the franchise, gave him one to fill all functions modeled after the civilians in Fire. This was later adopted into canon as his regular form in Game & Watch Gallery 4, released a year later.
  • There are quite a few examples from the Mass Effect series:
    • Technically, even Captain Anderson and Saren are examples of this; they're the main characters of Mass Effect: Revelation, the prequel novel released before Mass Effect 1.
    • Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson first appeared as the protagonists of Mass Effect: Galaxy before becoming party members in Mass Effect 2. In Jacob's case, he's probably one of the few video game characters to go from being a Player Character in one game to just a party member in a later one. Miranda herself had another appearance in Mass Effect: Redemption before Mass Effect 2 came out.
    • The Illusive Man first appeared in the novel Mass Effect: Ascension, a year and a half before his main series debut in Mass Effect 2.
    • Feron, Liara's drell companion in the comic Mass Effect: Redemption, returns as a character in Mass Effect 2's "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC. In fact, the whole mission revolves around rescuing him from the Shadow Broker. The fact that Liara becomes the Shadow Broker at the end is kind of an unintentional consequence of the whole thing.
    • Kai Leng, Recurring Boss in Mass Effect 3, first appeared in the novels Mass Effect: Retribution and Mass Effect: Deception.
    • Dr. Eva Coré from Mass Effect 3 seems like an example of this at first. Eva Coré is one of Jack Harper's (a.k.a. the Illusive Man) companions in the comic book Mass Effect: Evolution, which takes place 20 years before the series proper. However, Eva dies at the end of the comic. For anyone who's read Evolution, the fact that one of the scientists on the Mars research facility has her name should be the first clue that something is very wrong with this woman. She turns out to be a Fem Bot mole created by the Illusive Man to sabotage the facility.
    • Kahlee Sanders was a main character in all four Mass Effect novels (Revelation, Ascension, Retribution, and Deception) before becoming a minor NPC in Mass Effect 3.
  • From Mortal Kombat, the character Quan Chi apeared first in the animated adaptation to later make his game debut in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, and eventually made his way into the main series with Mortal Kombat 4. Additionally, the concept of "Order vs. Chaos" was first used in the Comic Book Adaptation, years before the inclusion of the Order and Chaos Realms and its representative characters in Deception.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming does this with the art style, architecture, and specific locations from the non-canonical Silent Hill movie.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Amy Rose and Charmy Bee are both canon immigrants. Both first appeared in a comic series in Shogaku Yonensei, published in Japan in 1992. While elements such as Nikki transforming into Sonic and being bullied by a lizard called Anton were left firmly in the comic, Amy (Nikki's girlfriend in the comics, ironically) was picked up and debuted officially in Sonic the Hedgehog CD (also ironic in the fact that she was labeled Princess Sally in the American manual anyway), while Charmy (one of Nikki's friends) was used as one of the characters in Knuckles Chaotix (even more irony in the fact that Sonic didn't have any appearance in that game aside from appearing in the good ending credits, thus didn't interact with him). Their backgrounds were, naturally, radically altered as a result.
    • In the Sonic Sat AM and Sonic Underground television series, there were robot characters called SWATbots. These robots were added into the recent Sonic RPG, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, as a reference.
    • Likewise in Sonic Chronicles, Procurator Shade and the Nocturnus Tribe Echidnas share everything except their names with Julie-Su and the Dark Legion from the American Archie Sonic comics continuity - making them canon immigrants under false passports.
    • In recent games, like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic can be seen eating chili dogs, something Sega picked up from the '90s cartoons. In Unleashed, eating chili dogs will actually give you some XP.
    • Arguably, the concept of Eggman and robotic buddies that's happened in at least two adaptations, has made it into recent games with Cubot and Orbot.
      • All that's missing is the tertiary robot with an odd job (Coconuts the janitor and Bokkun the messenger filled this position in the aforementioned respective adaptations).
      • Some of the robots that Eggman made in AoStH and/or the early Archie comics also appear in his own puzzle spin-off, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (the aforementioned Coconuts included).
    • Eggman's name was Americanized as Robotnik for the Genesis games' release in the US, which was changed to back to Eggman during Sonic Adventure. Sonic Adventure 2, however, made the Robotnik name canon by introducing Eggman's grandfather, Gerald Robotnik.
  • Originally, Nasu Verse Word of God stated that it was extremely improbable for two people with the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception; hence Shiki Ryogi and Shiki Tohno had to exist in a separate Alternate Continuity. However, Shiki Ryogi has just been announced as being in Melty Blood. In this case though, the immigration is quite literal.
    • Also, Kanshou and Bakuya Overedge form from the Fate/stay night anime became a canon.
  • The Resident Evil series features a machine known as the Red Queen, an Umbrella supercomputer dedicated to managing the company's assets. The Red Queen, however, is a canon immigrant from the non-canonical movies based off of the games. In The Umbrella Chronicles, it has a more distinctly adult voice.
  • Similarly, the transformation effect in the film Silent Hill was used for subsequent games in the series.
  • The Super Robot Wars series is loaded with these, ranging from the Mazinkaiser in F Final to the Great Zeorymer in Super Robot Wars Judgment and the Final Dancougar in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 (the latter two having only existed on concept/paper prior to the games). Then there's whole stitch about Elzam von Branstein and Ratsel Feinschmeker: Elzam was introduced in Super Robot Wars Original Generation, but he appears in Alpha 2 as Ratsel, then subsequently back as Ratsel in the sequel Original Generation 2, where he gets his Ace Custom Aussenseiter, which then reappears in the last Alpha game. Elzam was loosely mentioned first in the obscure Super Robot Spirits and in the back-story of Alpha. It isn't until Original Generation that he appeared in full.
  • While the appearances of Monolith Soft's Namco × Capcom Original Generation in Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier came off as a simple guest starring, their reappearance in the sequel Endless Frontier EXCEED may very well serve as the continuation of their story, suggesting that Monolith is willing to transfer their characters into the Super Robot Wars series in order to keep using them.
  • A few characters from the Pokémon anime cameoed in the Yellow version, notably Team Rocket's Jessie and James (who show up to fight you a few times). There's also a few references to anime counterparts (like Brock saying he wants to be a breeder, which seems to also be the case in HGSS making this a full-fledged Canon Immigrant).
    • There is also, to a lesser extent, the Nurse Joy model. Though the games do not call the nurses Nurse Joynote  and the nurses originally had blue hair, from Yellow Version onward the nurses resemble Joys more and more, to the point where you can clearly see that the Kalos region's nurses looks exactly the same as how the Nurse Joys from Unova are portrayed.
    • A gameplay immigrant was the "dash button"; it originally debuted in the second game adaptation of the trading card game before moving over to the third generation, and has been in the main games since.
    • In Pokémon Pinball, Ecruteak and Cianwood City's music from Pokémon GSC was originally the Blue Field theme. Plus, the "Catch 'Em" theme in said field was originally the 1st Japanese opening theme of the anime, "Aim to Be a Pokémon Master".
    • The font used in the American logo was later used in the Japanese theme park PokePark, and eventually would be used for the Japanese box art for PokéPark Wii and its sequel.
    • The Pokémon TCG introduced many new elements:
      • Some newly-introduced moves would become fully fledged game moves in new generations, such as Flail and Rain Dance.
      • Abilities first appeared in the card game as "Pokémon Powers" and later "Poké-Powers/Bodies" before becoming a mechanic in Ruby/Sapphire. Strangely, it took eight years for the card game to also start using the term.
      • Artwork for some items such as the original Potion would be canonized in FireRed/LeafGreen.
  • Most of Pac-Man's supporting cast — Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Jr., Baby Pac-Man, and Professor Pac-Man — were all originally from unauthorized Midway sequels to the arcade game.
  • Originally in Kirby, Meta Knight's two sidekicks were Meta Axe and Meta Mace, but in the anime Meta Knight is assisted by Sword and Blade Knight. Likely because of this, in Kirby Super Star Ultra, Meta Knight has Sword and Blade as helpers when playable. It helps that Blade Knight is already a helper.
    • The design of King Dedede's castle from the anime series was used in Squeak Squad, Epic Yarn, and Mass Attack.
    • Likewise, the Battleship Halberd's design from the anime appeared in Squeak Squad, then Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out and the Halberd's design from that game was used instead in Super Star Ultra and Epic Yarn.
    • The water ability from the anime has also appeared in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
    • Also, Kirby started saying "Poyo" in the anime, this has been transferred into Epic Yarn, Return to Dream Land, Mass Attack and Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode.
    • A good amount of anime characters make their first game appearances in Mass Attack's mini-games, including (but not limited to) Escargoon, Customer Service, Max Flexer, and Chef Shiitake.
    • The spear-carrying Waddle Dees from the anime show up in later Kirby games. They later become playable characters in Return to Dream Land.
    • In some later games, Meta Knight wraps his cape around himself when he's not using it, a nod to the anime.
  • The GBA port of Breath of Fire I gives names to three nameless Guest Star Party Members, with two of them (Sieg and Rai) taken straight from an early manga adaptation of the game, Princess of The Wings.
  • In Dead Space, the Divet Autopistol from the first game is revealed to have been left behind by the characters in its prequel sequel.
  • Konami decided to link their popular Castlevania series to the famous Bram Stoker novel Dracula, so when they designed Castlevania: Bloodlines, instead of starring a Belmont, it featured a member of a related branch family who had emigrated to America — the Morrises. John Morris (the member in question) is the son of the novel's Quincey Morris.
  • Unintentional, but Lamp Oil, which first appears as an item in both Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon becomes a real item in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • Quite a few things that have originated in Super Smash Bros. have found their way into its originating franchises:
    • Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch makes an appearance in the F-Zero: GP Legend anime.
    • The Green Missile and the Egg Roll are both utilized by Luigi and Yoshi in later Mario sports games. Peach using her hips as an offense in Mario Kart Double Dash may also qualify. The Whirling Fortress was also never used by Bowser before Melee, whereas he does similar moves rather often now.
    • Metroid Prime was the first Metroid game to include homing missiles, a year after Samus used them in Melee.
    • Kirby actually fought Master Hand and Crazy Hand in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. Inhaling them gave him a reduced version of his Melee moveset.
    • Dedede's Jet Hammer may have been the inspiration for his tricked-out mallet in The Revenge of the King in Kirby Super Star Ultra. Also some shots of the Halberd in cutscenes in Ultra were re-used from Brawl's version of it as a stage.
    • Kid Icarus: Uprising features the re-imagined versions of Pit and Palutena that debuted in Brawl. It also utilizes one of Pit's alternate colors to create a new character in Dark Pit.
  • The American Commercial for the first Golden Sun game infamously had absolutely nothing to do with the game itself, save for featuring fantastic elements. It involves an opera house's pit orchestra fighting off a horde of gargoyles, and then taking down a dragon that took the form of a chandelier. Very cool, but it had nothing to do with the actual game. And then Golden Sun: Dark Dawn came around, and introduced a new summon named Crystallux. According to the legend, he was a dragon that so loved the music in the Belinsk opera house that he turned himself into a chandelier, so that he could live in the opera house and hear the music whenever he wished. Yes. It's the exact same dragon. He even tries to help you fight off some particularly nasty monsters when the opera house gets attacked. Thankfully, he doesn't get killed like he does in the commercial.
    • Although the summon sequence begins with him rising from the shards he was left in from the commercial.
    • The woman that dies defending the dragon from the monsters resembles the woman in the commercial.
  • Epona the horse, from the later games in the Zelda series, may qualify as this. Quite a few years before she made her series debut in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link had a similarly-colored horse named Catherine in both the cartoon and the comic book adaptation, both of which were based on the first two games in the series.
    • Spryte from the cartoon may very well have been an inspiration for Navi in Ocarina of Time, too.
  • Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns features Pitfall Harry's niece Rhonda, and their cowardly pet mountain lion Quickclaw, who were both originally created for animated segments from Saturday Supercade.
  • Although it took until the end of the trilogy, Gears of War 3 brings in a large selection of characters from the Expanded Universe, such Jace Stratton, Samantha Bryne and Bernadette Mataki into the playable campaign. All of them previously existed in the comics and novelizations. In a variation, Michael Barrack, who first appeared and was Killed Off for Real in the novels, will be available as future Downloadable Content. Surprisingly, Alex Brand from the graphic novels has no planned appearance, much to some fans' disappointment.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, the Crystal Coconuts and the concept of Cranky Kong as a combination magician and Mad Scientist who made magical potions both came from the animated series of Donkey Kong Country.
  • In the Halo series, Dr. Catherine Halsey, who makes her first in-game appearance in 2010's Halo: Reach, had already been playing a major role in the Expanded Universe since her debut in the 2001 novel Halo: The Fall of Reach.
    • Several other major EU elements introduced in The Fall of Reach have made their way into the games, including: Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs), who first appear in-game in Halo 2 and would eventually star in their own game; The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), which got a one-line reference in Halo 3 before playing a more important role in the plots of the later games; and Covenant Engineers, who first show up in-game in Halo Wars, but got a starring role (and redesign) in ODST.
    • The SPARTAN-III program was introduced in the novel Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, which was published about a year before the release of Halo 3. In Reach, all but one member of Noble Team, including the player character, are SPARTAN-IIIs.
    • The current Big Bad of Halo 4's Spartan Ops co-op campaign, Jul 'Mdama, first appeared as one of the main characters in the novels Halo: Glasslands and Halo: The Thursday War.
  • Howard Blackwood, a character from the comic Silent Hill: Past Life appears in Silent Hill: Downpour.
  • Several characters introduced in Starcraft 2 came from novels, including Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk (the Dark Templar trilogy), Tychus Findlay (Heaven's Devils), Matt Horner (Queen of Blades), November Annabella "Nova" Terra (Starcraft: Ghost: Nova).
  • Also by Blizzard, World of Warcraft. Several years ago Dave "Fargo" Kosak made two Warcraft-based webcomics starring a Dwarf named Flintlocke, aptly titled Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth and Flintlocke Vs. The Horde. When Kosak was later hired as Lead Quest Designer for World of Warcraft, Flintlocke and several other characters from the comics were put in the game as minor NPCs.
  • The North American box art for Mega Man 1 is notorious for its depiction of a middle-aged man in a blue and yellow rubber suit that looks nothing like but is nonetheless supposed to represent Mega Man. Oh, and he wields a pistol rather than having an arm cannon. Subsequent box art depictions would look more similar to Mega Man's actual appearance (the arm cannon, for example, being only introduced in the Mega Man 3 box art), until finally the North American/PAL and Japanese appearances of the character would be the same. Jump to more than twenty years later: the weird version of Mega Man who appeared on the North American box art for the first game was announced as a playable character ("Bad Box Art Mega Man") in the now-cancelled Mega Man Universe. Later, Mega Man would appear as a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken, but as a twenty years older (and notably pudgier) version of the middle aged man from the North American box art.
  • Persona 4
  • Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive has this for the ninja characters. First, of course, was Ryu Hayabusa showing up in Dead or Alive. The Ninja Gaiden revival games would feature DoA's Ayane and Kasumi a few times. In Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, NG 's Momiji and Rachel are playable fighters.
  • Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds, which is inspired by both H.G Wells' novel and the Rock Opera of the same name, became a canon immigrant when said rock opera was re-imagined for a live stage show. The background film for the music features the game's model of the Martian Flying Machine, and also a "prologue" set on Mars taken from one of the game's intro movies (the audio from the intro movie is used unedited in the original, but is re-dubbed with new dialogue in the "New Generation" Updated Re-release).
  • In the Star Fox series, Krystal has been Fox McCloud's love interest for the last several games, however she began life as one of two main characters in the unreleased N64 game Dinosaur Planet from Rare, and she was originally envisioned as a blue cat rather than a blue fox. The other main character was her brother Saber, who bore a passing resemblance to Fox. Upon seeing the game during development, Shigeru Miyamoto noticed the resemblance and suggested that the game be turned into a Star Fox spinoff. The game was eventually moved to the GameCube and was retooled into Star Fox Adventures. One of the changes in this development was that Krystal underwent a redesign— now she was a fox, as well as being older and sexier.

    Web Comics 
  • In Something Positive, Fluffmodius, the "little blue freak" that yells "HELLO NEW FRIEND"! at Kharisma, was originally a one-off joke for his non-continuity strips for Rhymes With Witch. Let that be a lesson to you: Do not taunt the Word of God.
    • ...and going the other way, Rippy the Razor was a one-off gag in Something Positive, but now is Randy's tormentor in some RWW material.
  • The Dini-verse characters Kathy Duquesne, Roxanne Ballentine, and Sonia Alcana from the DC Animated Batwoman movie are regular characters on DC Nation, having been recruited by Hawkman to police his town between incarnations.
  • Somewhere askance of canonical Problem Sleuth, the Midnight Crew, a four-man mercenary group, was created as a donation request that spent most of their time fighting the protagonists. In Homestuck they are exiles in the Trolls' session, and were given about a month of screentime and character development. Later, in the Kids' session, they are given new names, and the leader ascends to Big Bad status.
    • In another Homestuck example, when Andrew Hussie put the Homestuck adventure game up on Kickstarter, he promised humorous rewards for extremely high donations, including "Your fantroll will become canon" for a donation of $10,000. He was incredibly surprised when not one but two people actually donated that amount. True to his word, those trolls (Mierfa Durgas and Nektan Whelan) did show up in the comic's canon... but the $100,000 prize was "Your fantroll will survive past their first panel", so they didn't last long.
  • Season 4 of Survivor: Fan Characters pitted ten canon characters, such as Sephiroth, Riku, Shiki, and Minerva Mink against ten fan-made characters. In other seasons, characters from the fan-characters canon universes visit on the family and friend reward challenge, and the host of all 8 seasons so far has been Jeff Probst.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Even though the authors are not fans of Dragon Ball GT, U18 Bra is clearly the non-fighting, typical teenager GT incarnation. She even wears the same outfit. Word on this is that one of the authors liked her character even though she's from in their minds a bad series.

    Web Original 
  • Yelizaveta 'Bounce' from Survival of the Fittest version four started off as a character in the 'In-Universe Chat' (a chatroom where SOTF members could RP being members of the show's audience). After some time, she was brought into the version four pregame as a fully-fledged character.
  • Lastie's PRIMARCHS has Farseer Kyli, a character who was originally created to MST the story. Lastie featured her in the story's 3rd arc.
  • Barry Kramer, originally the editor for JonTron, has officially transferred over full-time to Game Grumps, which no longer includes Jon.

    Western Animation 
  • Woody Woodpecker has two: His niece and nephew Knothead and Splinter originally appeared in the comics, but were eventually brought over into his theatrical toons.
  • Disney's Max Goof was imported into the Disney canon from Goof Troop. This is unique in that Max has no "iconic" depiction to revert to and, unlike other characters, has aged appreciably over time. However, Max's appearance and role is arguably based on Goofy Jr., a character used in Goofy's original cartoon shorts (he once introduced himself as "Goofy Jr., ma'am").
  • In the Tom and Jerry cartoons, the grey mouse who could speak came from the licensed comics. There, he was called Tuffy, and was Jerry's friend; when he was adapted, he became Nibbles, and Jerry's nephew.
  • Lola Bunny. Created for Space Jam, she became a regular in Baby Looney Tunes, the comic series, and most recently The Looney Tunes Show.
    • Before Lola, there was Honey Bunny, Bugs's girlfriend in the comics, who made a cameo appearance in the TV special "Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet".
  • The character Oil Slick was originally a toy-only character in the Transformers Animated series. However, the writers found the idea of a chemical warfare expert who turned into a motorbike with a ram's head on the front (and a ninja, to boot) rather appealing, and he was later written into both the supplementary comic series and the show itself as part of Team Chaar.
    • The Lockdown figure from the Revenge of the Fallen toyline was later repurposed as G1 Lockdown. Although they're completely seperate characters, their toys are identical and with only small differences in canonical appearances.
    • And now, Lockdown is going to appear in Age Of Extinction! He looks quite different from the ROTF toy, though. (And yes, TF toys usually come before the movie/cartoon/comic they're designed for, but Lockdown's toy came out when Ao E couldn't possibly have been planned, years ago; it was more like "Everybody loved that Lockdown guy, let's movie-ify him and see if they'll buy his toy twice!"
  • Though The Goliath Chronicles has been excised from Gargoyles canon, with the exception of season premiere "The Journey", another part of the series has managed to find its way into fanon and eventually canon: The scene where Hudson's blind Human friend Robbins reveals that he already figured out Hudson was a Gargoyle, particularly the part where he mentions a scent "like old leather and concrete".
    • While the comic licensed by Marvel was deemed noncanon, Petros Xanatos appeared in #7 prior to his onscreen appearance in Vows.
  • Arguably Disney's best example; while Donald and Daisy Duck premiered in Disney animated shorts, one of Duckburg's most illustrious citizens, Scrooge McDuck, started as a supporting character in the Carl Barks' Donald Duck comics in 1947, where he grew in popularity until he wound up getting his own title in the fifties. His first animated appearance was in an educational short called "Scrooge McDuck and Money" in 1967, and then he starred in the 1983 theatrical featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol, as Ebenezer Scrooge. He then co-starred with Goofy in "Sport Goofy in Soccermania" before starring in DuckTales, cementing his place as one of the most famous cartoon ducks of all time.
    • Meanwhile, Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, first showed up in the Silly Symphonies comic strip (which Donald starred in at the time). Their first appearance was later adapted into an animated short, and the rest is history.
  • Matilda and Sergeant Slipper were created for the animated adaptation of Dennis the Menace (UK). They both made appearances later in The Beano.
  • A few elements of the 4Kids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have made their way into the original comic book universe, including the Battle Nexus, and its proctor, the Gyoji; and more recently, Hun and (off-panel only, due to the series' cancellation) Agent Bishop.
  • On The Fairly Oddparents, two of the Crimson Chin's villains, the Iron Lung and the Brass Knuckles, appeared in the non-canon webtoons before appearing in the series proper.
  • The Animated Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables features the characters of Felicity, Felix, & Hetty King as well as suspected witch Peg Bowen, all of whom originally appeared in the live-action series Road To Avonlea (known just as "Avonlea" when it aired in the US on Disney Channel). Though Sullivan Productions created both shows, so they're only reusing characters they created.
  • King Louie of Disney's The Jungle Book has appeared in a few other works based on the stories that the Disney film is based on, most notably Fables, which, as an afterthought, the creator Bill Willingham described as, "a very good example on why it's best to go back to the source material before one embarks on a major story, rather than rely on often faulty memory of which characters were original canon and which weren't."
  • According to Matt Groening, Milhouse made his first appearance in a Simpsons Butterfinger commercial.
  • The character of Brutus from Popeye is an odd twist on the trope. The original Thimble Theater Newspaper Comics used the character Bluto first. After a two week fight with Popeye in the comics, Fleischer Studios thought he would be a good character to include in their theatrical cartoon shorts. Thinking (mistakenly) that Bluto was a creation of Fleischer Studios, Segar created a Captain Ersatz of his own character, named Brutus. Later in the Hanna-Barbara cartoons, Bluto was replaced with Brutus, the canon immigrant from the comics, who looked identical but had a different name, thus confusing children everywhere.
  • The antagonists from both live action Ben 10 films have appeared in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. In that sense, Nanomech is one too.
  • As pointed out on its' main page, The Hex Girls from Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost could technically count, since they debuted in that movie, and have since gone on to appear in another movie, an episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo? and 2 episodes of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.

    Real Life 
  • Audio-animatronic figures of Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa have been added to the Disney Theme Parks ride that inspired their movie franchise. An odd case, since the original version of the ride didn't have any story, as such.
    • Some say that the plot of the movie was partially based on a canceled Monkey Island movie, which was in turn based on a game inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
      • Actually, it gets deeper than that and much more complicated. Monkey Island was visually inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but the atmosphere and story elements were inspired by the novel On Stranger Tides. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies have a great deal that seems to have been lifted straight out of On Stranger Tides, as well. Now that On Stranger Tides is a Pirates of the Caribbean movie we've in some strange way come full circle.
  • When NASA opened a poll to name the new ISS module, Stephen Colbert rallied his fans cast write-in votes for "Cobert." After the poll closed (and "Cobert" had won by a large margin) NASA declined to use the name, opting for Tranquility instead. A few months later NASA installed the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) as a nod to the contest winner, complete with mission patch.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Hungry, Hungry Homer", the Springfield baseball team, the Isotopes, threatened to move to Albuquerque. A few years later, the minor league team in Albuquerque changed its name to the Albuquerque Isotopes.


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