Jonathan Frakes: We have an idea for a sitcom, half-hour: The Rikers in space, their wacky Uncle Data, and their little dog Worf, on, like, the Titan, probably... We're married, and we're carrying on the Prime Directive. Because Patrick's too, uh—Story's over. The Hero and the Love Interest have married, settled down, have no further interest in adventures - and, besides, who would look after the kids while they saved the world? Or maybe he was Put on a Bus or perhaps - gasp - he died and stayed dead. And yet the powers that be still want a sequel. What's a writer to do? Why, promote the Sidekick of course. Or an ally. Or a brother or child. They haven't married and settled down yet. The Hero and his Love Interest can serve as supporting characters (and prove that they are Happily Married as a sidenote). Or the Heroic Bystander, or the Heroic Wannabe - any character that wasn't the lead can fit, if only they are promoted to lead. A Sequel Hook about their story helps, but is not required. Even new characters who have plausible relationships to the old story, such as the children The Hero and Love Interest could have - or the child the Love Interest is about to have, even if she wants to make sure he doesn't Turn Out Like His Father. Any story is possible; the Changing of the Guard may be invisible to the characters, behind the fourth wall. However, a Changing of the Guard can be noticeable. It could be subtle, such as when a character snarks about the precursor settling down because earlier in the series, when heart-whole and fancy-free, he had mocked lovers. However, it's often a bit more overt. When it is, it usually falls into one of these subtropes:
Marina Sirtis: Old.
Marina Sirtis: Old.
— Star Trek: Nemesis featurette, "Reunion With the Rikers"
- Passing the Torch: The Hero helps decide the succession and hands it off, either personally or by explicit proxy.note
- Take Up My Sword: The Hero died, and another character must take their place.
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Anime & Manga
- Digimon Adventure 02 picked up where the first left off by having the two youngest kids team up with a whole new group, while the older heroes served as mentors.
- Mobile Suit Gundam focuses on Amuro Ray and Char Anzable as the main protagonist and antagonist, respectively. The sequel, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, picks up 7 years later, with new protagonist Kamille Bidan taking over as the main character, with Amuro and Char moving to supporting roles. Also spawned two more Changing of the Guards later in the franchise.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has Kira Yamato as the protagonist. In the sequel, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, new character Shinn Asuka takes the main role, with Kira as a secondary antagonist / supporting character. Eventually subverted when flagging ratings caused Kira and a majority of the cast from the original SEED to return to the starring roles, with the new heroes becoming the main antagonists.
- Gundam Build Fighters focuses on Gunpla builder Sei Iori and Gunpla fighter Reiji Asuna. The sequel, Gundam Build Fighters Try, picks up 7 years after the end of Build Fighters, with new teenagers Fumina Hoshino, Sekai Kamiki and Yuuma Kousaka taking over the protagonist roles from the now considerably older Sei and Reiji.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure passes the torch to a different Joestar every new series, although they usually wind up in conflict with Dio (even indirectly) at some point. It's also common for supporting characters in one series to show up in another, like Polnareff's involvement in Part 5.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Striker S Sound Stage X has the big heavy-hitters of Riot Force 6 nowhere in sight; they're off on their own missions. A mere planet-wide Zombie Apocalypse is something for Subaru, Teana and the other Forwards to handle.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid has Nanoha actually listening to her doctors' advice for once and temporarily resting her wings, letting her daughter Vivio, whose training she's personally overseeing and who she had proclaimed to be skilled enough to have her own Intelligent Device, take over as main character. The Guard changes back in Force, however.
- Mai-Otome changes the main character from Mai to Arika in both versions, but the nature of Mai's eventual reappearance is very different between the two adaptations.
- The Record of Lodoss War OVA switches halfway through from Parn to Spark as the main character. Of course, he's actually just being badass offscreen, and returns just in time for the Final Battle.
- Similarly, the second season of Superbook had Gizmo team up with a young friend of the main characters of the first season, Joy and Chris. They kept in contact with them through a communication screen in Gizmo's stomach (he's a robot).
- The first few episodes of Transformers Headmasters moved the main characters from The Transformers out of the spotlight to focus on the Headmasters. Something similar happened between Masterforce and Victory.
- Akira Toriyama wanted to do this in Dragon Ball Z, switching the focus from Goku to his son Gohan, but the audience and the publisher kept demanding more Goku.
- It has been said that he originally did want to change from Goku to Gohan, but switched the main focus back to Goku because he decided that Gohan wasn't fit for the role.
- His notes for the end of the Cell Saga have confirmed he intended for Gohan to fit the role. Likely Executive Meddling and a combination of fan love for Goku as well as the reason listed above probably resulted in Goku becoming the main hero again.
- With every new arc and region of Pokémon Special comes new protagonists, with the old ones occasionally providing backup. The best thing about this is that since the focus isn't on one character all the time, nobody suffers from Badass Decay.
- In Attack on Titan, after the destruction of the old Special Operations team led by Levi, a new squad of the remaining 104th Trainees is formed. Eren notes the similarities between the two with visible sadness.
- Part One of Tokyo ESP focuses on Rinka and Azuma, who go missing so Part Two features new protagonists Jun and Zeusu.
- Aikatsu! has Ichigo train a fan of hers, Akari, in the idol business, clearing the way for when Akari and new group of friends take over the main character roles in season 3.
- In a controversial decision, the folks in charge of Ultimate Spider-Man allowed Peter to be killed off. A successor named Miles Morales took up the mantle, despite being younger, smaller, and afraid of his powers.
- Astro City:
- Had a two-issue story arc on this trope. Spider-Man Expy Jack-In-The-Box is confronted by nightmarish futuristic versions of his son, who blame Jack for their fate (in their Alternate History, Jack died before they were born, and was therefore unable to be a father figure in his life). When Jack later discovers his wife is pregnant with the as-yet-unborn son, he has to decide between giving up his super-hero identity or risk leaving behind a twisted offspring. The problem is resolved when Jack passes his super-hero identity to an acrobatic gang member, whom he aids from his home basement with remote-control spy cameras and microphones.
- This is actually about the second Jack-In-The-Box passing the torch to the third. The first Jack was the father of the second and was killed in action, although his family knew only that he vanished without a trace. It wasn't until years later that his son discovered a hidden cache of his costumes and equipment, and decided to become the second Jack-In-The-Box.
- The mantle of The Confessor is passed on when the original Confessor is killed and his sidekick chooses to take over the role.
- Played with in the case of Quarrel, a male villain whose daughter inherits his title and equipment, but ends up becoming a hero instead - just as he wanted.
- Comes up in the story of Starfighter as well, in a different way. As his powers begin to fade, he wonders what he's done wrong - only for the entity that grants said powers to explain it just wants him to have a peaceful retirement. It then presents him with a list of several worthy candidates to take on the mantle, one of whom is his daughter.
- In Fables, Rose Red is pretty explicitly handed the Designated Heroine role after her sister marries and settles down.
Films — Animation
- The purpose of The Transformers: The Movie was to kill off the old toys to make room for new ones.
- Almost happened with G.I. Joe: The Movie as well, which was in production around the same time. The negative reactions from the audiences prompted the executives to rework the plot, allowing Duke to live. Still happened to an extent with Cobra Commander, however.
- A common Disney sequel tactic:
- The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is about Simba's daughter, Kiara, rather than about Simba.
- The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is about Ariel's daughter more than Ariel herself.
- Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure is, as the title indicates, about Lady and Tramp's son Scamp, not them.
- Return To Never Land is about Wendy's daughter Jane going to Never Land with Peter Pan.i
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls has Twilight Sparkle remain as the protagonist in the first film, teaming up with humanized versions of her friends. In the sequels, the reformed Sunset Shimmer takes over as The Hero while Twilight's role is gradually diminished in place of her own human counterpart.
Films — Live-Action
- Short Circuit 2, sure it's still Johnny Five but now Guttenberg has been replaced with his quirky not-really-Indian sidekick.
- The Tremors series passes the "hero torch" from Val (gets married) to Earl (opens a theme park) to Burt (when last heard from, still at it..)
- Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 with Snowman dressed as The Bandit.
- Ghostbusters (2016) is about a new, all-female team, with a cameo or supporting role from Bill Murray.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull introduces Indy's son Mutt, who was seemingly being set up to take his father's place. Even so, the film ends with a pointed subversion of passing the torch as Indy's trademark hat is blown off its rack and Mutt picks it up. He's about to try it on when Indy snatches it back. And in 2016, a fifth Indiana Jones film was announced, with Harrison Ford still in the lead.
- Rocky Balboa had a perfectly good opportunity to pass off his Best Boxer EVAR mantle to a young man named Steps (who did not have any other purpose to the story). He doesn't, although Creed shows him training the son of his old rival.
- A meta-version of this occurs in the beginning of The Rundown when The Rock enters a club and passes Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wishes him a good time as he's leaving the club.
- An odd example occurs with the Van Wilder series. The first movie focuses around its titular character. The second movie then shifts focus to the sidekick, Taj. The third movie then returns to Van, the main character from the first movie.
- Bruce Almighty starred Jim Carrey as Bruce... and as a supporting character, Steve Carell as newscaster Evan. Steve's character would then get promoted to the lead role in the sequel, Evan Almighty.
- James Bond:
- Skyfall does this for the Bond series' supporting cast. By the end of the film Judi Dench's M has died, been replaced by Ralph Fiennes' male M. We are introduced to a quartermaster, or Q, for the first time in a Bond movie with Daniel Craig. At the end we learn that the Bond Girl throughout the movie was named "Moneypenny" all along, when she decides to give up being a field agent for a desk job. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
- At some point, a spin-off of Die Another Day was in the works, starring Jinx - who was a beautiful CIA agent in the movie - as the main character, and would have had Pierce Brosnan doing a cameo appearance as James Bond. Wai-Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies was also rumored to have her own movie.
- The first four entries of the X-Men Film Series featured Wolverine as the main protagonist, but X-Men: First Class has Magneto and Professor X as the two lead characters.
- In Avengers: Age of Ultron, by the film's end, several of the original Avengers lineup have retired, left to attend to other matters or just plain disappeared. A new team is unveiled in the final moments: Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, the Falcon, Scarlet Witch and the Vision.
- Raymond E. Feist's The Riftwar Cycle. While most of the powerful magicians are long-lived, supporting characters in the later books are typically descendants of the original protagonists. Famous examples are the descendants of Duke Borric and Jimmy the Hand.
- J. R. R. Tolkien wrestled with the idea of having Bilbo have more adventures after The Hobbit, but quickly decided on having a son or other relative have them instead, although it took him a while to decide on Frodo.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs played with this in his Mars books. After the third book, he began writing about a larger stable of viewpoint characters, as John Carter's own romance arc had been completed and he needed new princesses to rescue and heroes to rescue them. John Carter remained a central figure and The Hero throughout the series, however
- Andre Norton's Witch World started with two books about Simon Tregarth. Then she wrote them about his children, or about other characters in the same world.
- Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga began with Shards of Honor before going on to be mostly about the son of that novel's protagonists.
- Piers Anthony's works:
- Done constantly in the Xanth series. What generation of Bink's family are we on now?
- In the Apprentice Adept series, this is played with. The main characters in Book 4 and 5 are from the second generation, but in Book 6, the first-, second- and third-generation heroes all get equal screen time and are equally relevant to the plot.
- Older Than Steam: Done repeatedly in the sequels to the Chivalric Romance of Amadis of Gaul.
- Heralds of Valdemar does this, but just as often in reverse, recounting the experience of past generations rather than future ones. And then the children of past generations take the torch, but still in the past. And then their great-great-great-grandchildren show up in the present novels.
- Terry Brooks' Shannara series does it regularly. The grandchildren of the characters of previous book typically become the protagonists of the next. Suffers from Generation Xerox somewhat.
- There's a new set of characters is almost every book. The only constant is the the Abbey itself.
- And there are a few novels that predate the construction of the Abbey, so not even that is entirely constant.
- Dragonlance Chronicles has Tanis as its lead character but its sequel Legends set shortly after has the twins Caramon and Raistlin take the spotlight. The next book set years later has the children of the heroes from Chronicles as the main cast.
- The last few Anne of Green Gables books are mostly about her kids.
- The Sacketts series by Louis L'Amour has this built-in and happening over and over. As the title suggest, the series is meant to be about the Sackett family, not one particular hero.
- Every new one of The Chronicles of Narnia has a new changing of the guard: First, there were the 4 Pevensie siblings. Then there were two and a cousin. Then the cousin and a friend... The prequel even established a minor character from the first published book as the major character in a previous adventure.
- In Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy books, the first trilogy is narrated by Phedre. The second is by her adopted son, as Phedre is semi-retired from adventuring by the time he's an adult. (The third is by a distant relative of theirs a century or two later.)
- The Edge Chronicles features a new set of characters across almost every book. The whole series has three trilogies, each with a different central protagonist.
- The sequel series to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus focuses on a new group of kids. Percy and Annabeth are the only old characters who are part of the seven main characters.
- X-Wing Series:
- The first four books had Wedge Antilles and Rogue Squadron, but the primary focus was unmistakably Corran Horn. Those four books ended with the Rogues, including Wedge and Corran, deciding to help a planet's defenses build up after "killing" the Big Bad. The next three books were to be written by another author, who wanted to write from the POV of some of Wedge's friends creating a new squadron. Executive Meddling nixed this, so Aaron Allston had Wedge leave the Rogues for a while and create a new squadron himself. Some other characters are in common, but in different or reduced roles.
- Mercy Kill, the 10th X-Wing novel, happens after a 20 year Time Skip, and a new generation of Wraiths are introduced. Several of them are the children of the original cast.
- The first series of the Warrior Cats books started off with Firestar as the main character. He was then replaced by Brambleclaw, his former apprentice, in Warrior Cats: The New Prophecy. In Power of Three, Brambleclaw turns into a background character like Firestar, and is replaced by his adopted children Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf. Omen of the Stars has Ivypool and Dovewing, two younger cats, as its main focus, with the Power of Three characters still in tow. And then in A Vision of Shadows, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight's kit Alderpaw is the main focus, with Ivypool and Dovewing as background characters.
- Most of the main good guys from the first three Emberverse books have a lot of authority in the new nation-states by the time the second series rolls around. This would put a crimp in their ability to go haring off to find the Sword of Plot Advancement when such a trip would take several years - a fact the resident Tolkien geek deeply laments - and so the task falls to the previously established Chosen One, his childhood friend, and seven more characters who either could be missed by blinking in the first three books or are completely new. While they're away, we do get the occasional glimpse of the old guard struggling to stave off the new Big Bad.
- The Legacy Of Dakhaan, set after The Dragon Below with some of the same characters, promotes Geth, Ashi, and Ekhaas to center-stage since Dandra and Singe have their happy ending and the Marcher crowd are too busy at home.
- Mort and Ysabell's story ended with them Happily Married. So for the next novel that needed a young clueless human to take on Death's role and mess things up, their daughter Susan was introduced.
- Lords and Ladies also ends with Magrat, the Maiden of the Lancre coven, getting married. Luckily, the same novel introduces a coven of young girls messing about, one of whom — Agnes Nitt — actually has some talent and becomes Third Witch (eventually) in the next coven novel. Arguably, the Tiffany Aching novels mark a Changing of the Guard for the entire witches series, with Tiff becoming the main character while Nanny and Granny fade into support roles.
- Guards! Guards! starts off being about Carrot Ironfounderson, the secret heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork who joins and breathes new life into the night watch and turns his boss Captain Samuel Vimes around from being a burned out alcoholic into a capable watch commander again. Subsequent "watch" stories focus almost entirely on Vimes who is far more interesting as the grizzled veteran.
- After a while, the Thoroughbred series stopped focussing on Ashley and her friends and timeskipped a few years to focus on their kids instead.
- The first three books of The Black Company series are narrated mainly by Croaker, Annalist of the Black Company, who then passes the duty to his successor Murgen, who ever only gets mentioned once in the third book, and while Croaker stays an important character, we don't get his point of view anymore. Murgen in turn passes the annalist duties on to his understudy Sleepy, who in turn is implied to be succeeded by Shukrat and Arkana, Croaker's adopted daughters. It's worth noting that according to company tradition the annalist tends become the standard bearer and eventually rise to being captain, so each of those follow the previous one in more than one role.
- In Andre Norton's Warlock series, the hero of Storm Over Warlock is the Love Interest of Ordeal in Otherwhen. In Forerunner Foray, the Love Interest is the son of the first two protagonists.
- The first half of the Sector General series follows the medical adventures and advancement of the young Doctor Conway. At the end of the sixth book, he is promoted to the highest ranks of the hospital staff, which means far less work with individual cases and definitely no missions away from the hospital. Accordingly he is retired as a protagonist, and the next six books all focus on different characters.
- After Angie Sage's Septimus Heap series, she started Tod Hunter Moon, where the Septimus characters are only minor roles. The heroine fo the first book becomes Septimus's apprentice at the end.
- In Mavis Doriel Hay's first detective novel Murder Underground, two of the viewpoint characters are Betty Watson and her fiancé Basil. The protagonist of the sequel, Death on the Cherwell, is Sally Watson, who in due course is revealed to be Betty's younger sister.
- Inspector Morse's sidekick, later the star of Lewis.
- Power Rangers did a lot of this in its early seasons: when old actors left or started getting too old for their roles, they transferred their powers to new ones and went off to do stuff.
- The War of the Worlds series did this when it switched into a Darker and Edgier season, throwing out decayed villains and immediately establishing the threat of the new ones with the death of two of the ensemble. Their mourning was short-lived due to the addition of Adrian Paul as an Anti-Hero.
- In M*A*S*H this happens to several major cast members: Henry's tour of duty ends, he gets killed on his way home, and is replaced by Sherman Potter. Trapper goes home as well, in comes BJ. Frank breaks down, and is replaced by Charles. When Radar leaves, Klinger takes over his role as the company clerk.
- Agent John Doggett replaced Fox Mulder as the male lead after the latter was abducted by the aliens in the eighth season of The X-Files. In the ninth season, Monica Reyes replaced Dana Scully as the female lead, completing the guard change.
- Happened frequently in Law & Order; probably could have gone on forever if the network hadn't pulled the plug.
- Happened just as frequently on ER; final scene has Carter (once a young intern, now in charge of the shift) saying the exact same thing ("You coming?") to the now near adult daughter of the now deceased doctor who was in charge when Carter was said intern.
- In the last season of JAG it looked like they were preparing for this—the General replacing the Admiral, and the two younger lawyers being introduced.
- Babylon 5: This was a theme of the fifth season, beginning with Captain Elizabeth Lochley being assigned to replace Captain Susan Ivanova as commander of the station. Through the course of the season, most of the established characters would retire, take on new jobs, deal with the fact that they didn't have their old jobs, and generally pass the torch to a variety of minor or supporting characters from previous seasons who were similarly moving on from their old roles in life. With the penultimate episode, Sheridan and Delenn depart Babylon 5 and the audience is treated to a shot of all of the replacement characters standing at the Command and Control viewport in the style of the first season's intro.
- This also happened to a smaller degree in the second and fourth seasons. Commander Sinclair was reassigned to Minbar after the first season (due to the actor suffering from medical problems) and replaced with Captain Sheridan. In the fourth season, Garibaldi goes missing, then takes a leave of absence, then resigns, and throughout all of this, Zack Allen ends up with his job. Sheridan goes on the warpath against Earth and Susan Ivanova takes over as commander of the station for most of the season.
- After the second season of GARO, a movie was released to wrap up the story of the hero Kouga; after this, the third and fifth seasons focused on Ryuuga (a future Garo user) and the fourth on Kouga's son Raiga.
- Zigzagged in Tiere bis unters Dach. The first two seasons center around Greta , her sister Lilie, and her friends. At the beginning of season 3, she realizes that she's gotten too old for adventures, and her younger cousin Nellie moves in and becomes the new main character, while the previous child cast pretty much disappears. In season 4, the now teenaged Greta and Lilie once again become prominent recurring characters, and Greta's old friend Celine also shows up from time to time, though Nellie is still the main character.
- Star Ocean: The Second Story, has two selectable protagonists, one of which is the son of one of the protagonists in Star Ocean The First Departure. (e.g. Star Ocean 1)
- The ending of Neverwinter Nights was set up for another adventure, but they move on to entirely new groups of heroes in the expansions and the sequel.
- Most games in the Castlevania series focus on a different Belmont, although sometimes they're not available due to plot purposes, like in Castlevania: Bloodlines, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
- Later installments of the King's Quest series focus on the adventures of Graham's (the original protagonist) descendants.
- Eternal Darkness levels end (which often involves the death, or worse of said character) although it still has a protagonist who's played in the intervals between chapters.
- Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War skips 17 years after its halfway point, so pretty much your entire army will be replaced by the children of your units.
- This trope works backwards in the Elibe games. Blazing Sword (or just Fire Emblem outside Japan) was a prequel to Sword of Seals, so it naturally starred the parents of several of that game's characters.
- Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. The main characters from the former are all out of the picture somehow (dead, in another time, or busy elsewhere), but before they left they set up an unimaginably complex Gambit Roulette to produce the main characters of the latter and get them to be in the right places at the right times.
- Apollo Justice takes over from Phoenix Wright in the Ace Attorney games. Well, he technically does - the fact that the entire Apollo Justice game centres on what happened to Phoenix left some fans unconvinced. Still, Phoenix's pals were absent, to allow for a new cast. Probably as a response to this, later games fleshed out Apollo's personality and backstory to make him more distinct from Phoenix.
- It actually was supposed to be a whole new set of characters but Executive Meddling caused it to include Phoenix and the writers had to make it so that Phoenix couldn't just swoop in and save the day.
- The son of the main characters from the previous game is implied to the new hero in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and the game also focuses a good deal on the other children of the previous heroes as well, but the old heroes are quite active in the story themselves as well.
- A staple in the Dragon Age series:
- Dragon Age II continues the history of Thedas post-Fifth Blight (which was depicted in Origins) but with a new lead character and a mostly brand-new supporting cast.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition mixes things: Hawke's gang is for the most part dispersed all around Thedas, most party members are new faces and Ascended Extras from supplemental materials but Varric, alongside Origins veterans Leliana and Cullen joins the title organization, with Hawke themselves giving a hand for a while, while other veteran characters including the Origins protagonist, if they survived, are still active off-screen and referenced in the War Table section of the game.
- In Valis IV, Yuko Ahso, who Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence at the end of Valis III, passes the Valis Sword to new heroine Lena Brande. Cham and Valna return as supporting characters.
- All the games in The Tale of ALLTYNEX trilogy does this.
- At the end of Final Fantasy X, Tidus ceases to exist due to the fact that Jecht's existance as Sin was the only thing keeping him alive. Obviously, Square Enix couldn't make him the protagonist of the sequel, so the story centers around Yuna instead and her quest to bring him back.
- At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning, Vanille, and Fang all die as a result of the plot, so they're out. Bring in Lightning's sister, Serah. Conveniently, Lightning, while in Valhalla (Heaven if you will), is able to summon Noel to give her some help. Vanille, Fang, Snow, and Sahz also make appearances, not counting DLC.
- The main Pokémon series has had 7/14/15 heroes so far (depending on how you count); Red/Leaf, Ethan/Kris/Lyra, Brendan/May, Lucas/Dawn, Hilbert/Hilda, Nate/Rosa, and Calem/Serena. In the Orre games, there's Wes in Pokémon Colosseum and Michael in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Ranger games have 3/6 heroes (Lunick/Solana, Kellyn/Kate, and Ben/Summer). Then there's Mark/Mint from the TCG games, an unnamed hero from Pokémon Conquest, Todd Snap from Pokémon Snap and Lucy Fleetfloot from Pokémon Troizei/Link. In a series that revolves around "gotta catch 'em all", this was probably the best way to avoid continually invoking Bag of Spilling.
- Puyo Puyo Fever was supposedly going to take place in a different universe from the previous games...but lo and behold, former protagonist Arle somehow found her way in, along with Carbuncle. Other classic Puyo characters returned in the sequel, putting them in the same continuity.
- Pretty common in SoulCalibur V, Sophitia and her sister Cassandra have been supplanted by Sophitia's children. Xianhua, Taki and Kilik have all been replaced by successors or offspring that use the same weapons and styles. Yoshimitsu is apparently a legacy character, but with the mask you can't tell he's changed. Nightmare got a new identity for story purposes, but he's still the same guy. Maxi and Siegfried are cool old guys, the rest of the returners have been rendered ageless in one way or another or always were.
- Each new main entry in the Persona series features a new group of heroes; Persona 2 is the only main series game where party members from the previous one still play a major role in the plot, though Persona 4: Arena reveals that the cast of Persona 3 haven't given up on the hero business just yet.
- inFAMOUS: Second Son changes the protagonist from Cole McGrath to Delsin Rowe due to the fact that the game takes place after the good ending of inFAMOUS 2, in which Cole sacrifices himself.
- Season Two of The Walking Dead has Clementine become the hero this time around since Lee ends up succumbing to the zombie plague by the end of the first season.
- Red vs. Blue: After the end of the fifth season, the show was brought back with the miniseries Recovery One, which featured a new protagonist named Agent Washington in the starring role. None of the original main characters reappeared, and the only returning characters were Delta, featured in the first miniseries Out of Mind, and Wyoming, who appears briefly and without any lines. Washington continued as the protagonist into the next season, Reconstruction, where the original cast gradually joined him.
- Scary Go Round started with the characters Tessa and Rachel (let's call them the "New Guard") as protagonists, but they were soon complemented with and eventually usurped by characters from John Allison's previous webcomic Bobbins. For a while Shelley, Amy, Tim, and Ryan (the "Old Guard") reigned supreme, but then a batch of younger characters, in particular The Boy and Perky Goth Esther (the "Young Guard" along with their friends) gradually took over. In the final chapters of SGR, the younger siblings of the "Young Guard", mainly Lottie and Shauna (the "Kid's Guard") starred (and transitioned into the successor webcomic Bad Machinery).
- The "Old Guard" remained until the end too: the very last couple of comics show Shelley saying goodbye to Amy and Ryan and leaving town. As Lottie is the sister of Esther's best friend and both of them have met Shelley, it's almost my case of Take Up My Sword in the investigating-local-weirdness game. Ryan and Amy still appear in Bad Machinery as supporting characters - Ryan is now Shauna and Lottie's teacher.
- Ruby Nation is a continuation of the story in Ruby's World, but the perspective has shifted to that of Elise.
- Batman Beyond is about Batman's replacement. The original Batman acts as Mission Control.
- Extreme Ghostbusters focuses on Egon training a new group. The Real Ghostbusters haven't quite quit, though, and return for one two-parter.
- This was sort of the entire point of Tiny Toon Adventures — the old school Looney Tunes ran an academy at which they could teach their skills to the next generation of Suspiciously Similar Substitutes.
- The Legend of Korra:
- In the episode "Welcome to Republic City" Katara, aged survivor of the previous series Avatar: The Last Airbender, lampshades this in her Passing the Torch speech to young Avatar Korra:
Katara: Aang's time has passed. My brother and many of my friends are gone. It's time for you and your generation to take on the responsibility of keeping peace and balance in the world. But I think you're going to be a great Avatar.
- It was played with a little bit previously, as the Avatar is a constantly reincarnated series of heroes, and Aang was frequently compared with his previous incarnations Roku and Kyoshi. Korra gets it a little worse, though, as there are plenty of people living who still remember Aang.
- In the episode "Welcome to Republic City" Katara, aged survivor of the previous series Avatar: The Last Airbender, lampshades this in her Passing the Torch speech to young Avatar Korra:
- Technically, since the respective successions are decided mostly from above, political Inaugurations and military Changes of Command would be this, rather than Passing the Torch.
- As a star ages, if it had planets, the habitable zone (an imaginary boundary where liquid water can exist) will gradually move outwards (once every 2 billion years or so), ending life on the planet that was originally inside the habitable zone, but at the same time allows planets further away to support life. When life first began on Earth, life was no longer possible on Venus. And when life is no longer possible on Earth, life will become a possibility on Mars.