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Dis Continuity Nod
"This is starting to sound like a bad comic book plot!"

A Discontinuity Nod that is made towards something that has been written out of canon, people want to be written out of canon, or even an entire old Continuity that is no longer canon. May be a sign of Canon Discontinuity, a callback to something a lot of people miss, or just making a joke at the fanbase's widespread hatred. Who Writes This Crap?!

Sub-trope of Mythology Gag. Contrast Continuity Nod.

See also Take That, Scrappy!

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime/Manga 
  • Digimon Tamers: The second of the movies, Runaway Digimon Express, was made without the input of the head writers. A Drama CD (Message in a Packet) released later depicts the Tamers a year after the events of the anime, without their partners, effectively retconning the movie out of existence. However, in a remarkably respectful nod, Ruki is heard humming Promise of the Setting Sun, her song from the movie. One of the aforementioned head writers, Chiaki Konaka, noted on his website that he enjoyed the movie and the psychological way it explored Ruki's relationship with her absent father — something Konaka deliberately chose not to emphasize, since he didn't want to give the impression that it was responsible for her being a standoffish tomboy.
  • Inadvertently invoked in regards to 4kids in the first episode of the Funimation dub of One Piece where Luffy remarks "That was fun, but we shouldn't go back there."
    • In the same arc, Usopp panics that "We've got zero, and I mean Zoro...no I mean Zolo chances...no I mean zero chances...wonder how Zoro's doing."
    • Eiichiro Oda, the author of One Piece, also seems fond of introducing plot points relating back to events 4Kids Animation left out of its version of the series or censored out. Most notoriously, an entire Story Arc was removed. One main character's ultimate goal is a reunion with a character from this arc, while another main character keeps referring back to it. Both of these traits were introduced well after 4Kids had removed this arc.
  • A subtle blend of this and Mythology Gag can be seen in the fourth anime season of Slayers; when a chart displaying the various Big Bads of the setting is shown, while the two slain in Next (Hellmaster Phibrizzo and Demon Dragon King Gaav) have their images dented, the image of Dark Star Dugradigdu, the ultimate Big Bad of Try, is left intact. This reflects the fact that Kanzaka has famously proclaimed his disapproval of the Try season, due to it being all-original material even if he was involved in creating it.
    • Of course, taking this seriously leads to a continuity tangle, because if Try is cut out, then it leaves one wondering why Gourry was searching for a replacement to the Sword of Light — he gave it up to the Overworlder Sirius to be taken back to the Overworld in Try, but in the original novels, Phibrizzo stole it and sent it back to the Overworld before dying — which didn't happen in the anime rendition of that arc.
  • Macross 7 masterfully combines this with a Take That, by having the Jamming Birds fail because they used music from Macross II.
  • Space Dandy runs on Negative Continuity, so it's fitting that in one episode of season 2 Meow references everyone in the universe being turned into a zombie in episode 4 before everything went back to normal the following episode.

    Comics 
  • Spider-Man fans hate The Clone Saga, and Spider-Man really, really hates clones.
    • An issue of Avengers: The Initiative revealed J. Jonah Jameson also really hates clones.
      • The Initiative probably started hating clones not long after that. Interestingly, the three clones of MVP who, uh, didn't turn evil were suited up in copies of Spider-Man's "Iron Spider" costume and called the Scarlet Spiders — after the alter-ego held briefly by Ben Reilly, the original Spider-Clone.
    • And yet Ben Reilly has his name pop up relatively often. Well, there are a number of fans who liked the character and just hated how the plot turned out.
    • When you defeat Spider-Man while playing as Spider-Man in the Capcom game Marvel Super Heroes, he quips "Just what I need... another clone!"
      • Lampshaded in a scene from Spider-Man/Human Torch where Spider-Man and Torch find themselves reminiscing about old times:
        Torch: Or the time when Occulus stole Doc Ock's adamantium arms and became Doctor Occulus and then the two of us had to...
        Spider-Man: That wasn't me.
        Torch: What do you mean that wasn't...
        Spider-Man: That was my clone.
        Torch: Well what about the time when the power Skrull and the multi-colored symbiotes...
        Spider-Man: Clone.
        Torch: When Quasimodo rebuilt your Spider-armor...
        Spider-Man: Clone.
        Torch: When Demogoblin and Diablo...
        Spider-Man: Clone.
        Torch: Hmm. I guess it's probably for the best if we...
        Spider-Man: Skip over that whole period? Couldn't agree with you more.
    • Deadpool has been known to remark that he'd "be crucified if there was a clone in this book".
    • Spidey is, however, willing to acknowledge the New Fantastic Four.
      • And another Nod was made to the New Fantastic Four in the recent Venom arc, Circle of Four, with spin off characters of those that made the New FF (Spidey, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider) forming the circle of four to stop Earth from being swallowed by Hell; Namely, Venom, Red Hulk, X-23 and the second Ghost Rider.
    • In Paradise X, Officer Parker briefly considers the notion that the Guardians of the Galaxy have come to the past to clone something, but immediately backtracks with a "no, don't even say the word 'clone'".
    • In the Spider-Island story arc MJ gets the line "If we're doing the clone thing again I'm moving back to LA."
    • One of the tidbits of advice that Peter gave Miles Morales during the Spider-Men crossover was to never ever allow anyone to clone him. Also never lend any money to Wolverine or Mockingbird.
  • The usual Take That approach is inverted in the Gargoyles comic book. A scene between Hudson and Jeffrey from the Canon Discontinuity Re Tool was incorporated into the comic because it was one of the few things the retool got right.
  • In The DCU, the original Bat-Girl, Betty Kane, was retconned Post-Crisis into always being called "Flamebird" aka Bette Kane, because writer Marv Wolfman hated that version of the character. But years later, in Young Justice, Flamebird meets the current Batgirl and immediately says, "Batgirl? Been there, done that."
  • Dr. X, an Utrom scientist in the Image Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, was written out of canon along with everything else in Vol. 3. An Utrom scientist with the same name has since appeared in the current Tales of the TMNT book.
  • When Gordon Rennie started writing a new series of Rogue Trooper, set in the same time period as Gerry Finley-Day's initial run, one panel showed a graffito reading "Thank God it's not Friday!"
  • The Doctor Who Magazine comic strip had an Eighth Doctor strip that declared the early TV Comics Doctor Who strips to be daydreams the Doctor had about what things would be like if the universe were nicer.
  • A flashback from an issue of the New 52 Nightwing series showed Dick's mother and father clad in his original "disco" suit from the New Teen Titans (which he obviously never wore in the new continuity).
  • Astérix et ses Amis contains a scene where a fan of Asterix insists to him that she owns books of all of his adventures, "even the one where you fight aliens".
  • There was a better-off-forgotten The Punisher miniseries called Purgatory, where Frank was killed and turned into an avenging angel who went after demons. It was quietly dropped when Garth Ennis took over writing for Frank. Years later, in Thunderbolts, Frank is on death's door when an angel feather acquired by Deadpool is instantly drawn to him, healing all his wounds. When everyone wonders why the feather was drawn to Frank, he just says, "Don't want to talk about it." Olivier, the Big Bad of Purgatory, also went on to cameo in Nightcrawler and Fear Itself.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures had a 3-issue miniseries tie in called "The May East Saga," which was reviled by fans due to its ridiculous story about a super powered witch that was an ancestor of April's and its particularly bad artwork. One of the later issues that consisted of a Whole Episode Flashback saw the 3-parter floating in a bunch of sewage among other trash, while a special had April tell Turtles about the 3-parter's plot as some ridiculous dream she had, while the Turtles comment it sounds more like a nightmare.
  • Trinity War and Forever Evil introduced Sea King, the evil Mirror Universe counterpart of Aquaman. Sea King resembles the bearded, Hook Handed version of Aquaman from Peter David's acclaimed 90's run, which is no longer canon in the New 52 continuity.
    • The same event introduced the Outsider, the Mirror Universe version of Batman's butler Alfred. This was a nod to an old Silver Age story where Alfred died and was resurrected as a monstrous being known as the Outsider, a tale which was later stricken from continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

    Fan Fic 
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has nods towards "those three episodes" of the Mega Man cartoon; a producer offers to make a Mega Man cartoon and gives those episodes' plot synopses. Mega politely dissuades him.

    Film 
  • In Clash of the Titans (2010), Perseus roots around in a chest and pulls out Bubo, the clockwork owl from the original film. Perplexed, he shows it to another character and is told to throw it back in the chest. This reboot don't need no Comic Relief Animal Companion!
  • The Incredible Hulk toes the line with this. Originally, it was envisioned as "a reboot and a sequel" to 2003's Hulk, which meant that Hulk would be canon, but subject to Broad Strokes in order to better tie to the feel of the original TV show. Ultimately, the final product had little to do with the previous film, so the one tie-in that remained is that at the end of Hulk, Bruce Banner is in Brazil, and at the start of Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner is still in Brazil.

    Literature 
  • A Star Trek: The Next Generation Expanded Universe novel has an admiral opining to Picard that Kirk obviously had so much contempt for Starfleet Command that he would just invent stuff for his reports, "including that one ridiculous incident in which he claimed someone stole his first officer's brain." This is of course, a reference to the infamous TOS episode "Spock's Brain", universally considered one of the worst episodes of the original series, if not the worst.
  • In Final Watch, Anton meets Yegor, the boy from the first novel, who mentions a dream he had, which is, basically, the plot for the Night Watch film, which diverges from the novels. Specifically, the part about Yegor being Anton's son.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • Doctor Who New Adventures:
      • First Frontier referenced the charity special "Dimensions in Time"... as being All Just a Dream.
      • Head Games establishes Dr Who of the TV Action comic strip as a creation of the Land of Fiction. In the same book the Doctor, making his way through a Mental World with elements of the Land of Fiction, has a thoroughly cathartic time blasting Daleks to bits in a way he'd never do in the real world, just like the video game Dalek Attack.
    • The Past Doctor Adventures novel Business Unusual likewise had the Sixth Doctor dream the events of "A Fix With Sontarans".
    • The Big Finish short story collection Repercussions was set on a mysterious airship where the Doctor took people who had to be removed from time for one reason or another. These included a red-haired young man in a Fun T-Shirt that read "I went to Agora and all I got was this lousy shirt" (Grant Markham, Sixth Doctor companion in the Doctor Who Missing Adventures) and a blonde young woman in a similar shirt that read ""I went to Hyspero..." (Sam Jones, companion in the Eighth Doctor Adventures).
  • In the third issue of the StarCraft comic, a ghost slaughters the inhabitants of Bhekar Ro. This was the planet that was featured in Shadow of the Xel'Naga, a book by the oft-reviled Kevin J. Anderson that featured many aspects of things never seen before or since and full-blown continuity errors. While dark and depressing, fans were pleased.
  • Star Wars tie-in book The Jedi Path includes an essay on the Force, in which the author encourages the reader not to think too much about midi-chlorians and focus on the wider aspects of the Force. An annotation from Luke says he wants to return to the idea of "the Force as it flows through us – not from us."
  • Warrior Cats:
    • In the first book, there was a ThunderClan cat named Rosetail who was killed defending the nursery; she was not listed in the Allegiances or otherwise mentioned in the book. It became a well-known error, and in a book that came out five years later, a character comments, "There was an elder named Rosetail who died back when I was nursing Swiftkit..."
    • Similarly, in the first series, apprentices would always travel to the Moonstone before becoming a warrior. Fans pointed out that the characters haven't been doing it in recent books, even though the Clans had found a replacement for the Moonstone in their new home. Leafpool comments in a scene, "We seem to have left that tradition behind when we came to our new home."

    Live Action TV 
  • Stargate SG-1 has several of these.
    • A couple of episodes parodied Carter's infamous "reproductive organs" speech from the pilot. (Carter: "God that's horrible! Who would ever say that? ")
    • 200 and Wormhole X-Treme are mainly based off this trope. For example, in Wormhole X-Treme, the cast and crew of the titular Show Within a Show mock plot elements of SG-1, including three shots of a zat gun vaporizing people and the fact that characters who are out of phase (thus insubstantial) can sit and walk without falling through the chair, desk, floor, etc. The former was actually written out of the show, while the latter was shamelessly reused years later.
    • There's also O'Neill's quip about his name. "O'Neill, with two 'Ls'. There's another Colonel O'Neil with one 'L' and he has No Sense of Humor," referencing the movie O'Neil who was much more angsty.
    • Then there's this gem from Heroes where Dr. Fraiser is going through Jack's medical files.
    Dr. Fraiser: ...nanite technology, artificially aged him ... he had a shoulder punctured by an alien time capsule device. Erm ... three knee operations ... oh ... that's the whole Hathor incident which he's asked me never to discuss ...
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In the episode "The Void": "Deuterium? You can get that anywhere!" in direct contradiction to several Voyager episodes where they try to find that isotope of hydrogen (roughly 1% of all matter in the universe is deuterium); they even scan planets to find deuterium ore and when they do, it's intelligent. In other words—it's intelligent gas!
    • In the episode "Day of Honor" Tom Paris states that he's never "navigated a transwarp conduit." This is possibly a Discontinuity Nod to the earlier episode "Threshold", widely considered to be one of the show's worst (and up there with "Spock's Brain" as a contender for worst in the entire franchise), which is based around Paris entering a distinct phenomenon also referred to as "transwarp" and wackiness ensuing.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Trials and Tribble-ations" acknowledges the different Klingon appearances between TOS and TNG. At the time of the episode, there was no canon explanation. The writers feared an attempt to create one would be anti-climactic or narmy because fans knew it was due to budgetary issues, so they made a joke out of the characters debating all the existing fandom theories (especially genetic engineering mishaps or viral mutations) and Worf refusing to take the bait. Years later, the Enterprise series decided to use these very suggestions in an attempt to create a canon explanation, although the writers ended up feeling their earlier fears were justified (a Klingon subjected to experimental genetic engineering picked up a common virus which mutated and spread the altered genes to a segment of the Klingon population).
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Journey's End" gives a Discontinuity Nod to a controversial aspect of the TV movie: The Doctor's hand regenerates into a "Human" Doctor, who mentions that the particular combination (Human & Time Lord) has never happened before. The new human Doctor is visibly disgusted by the whole thing.
    • Even the Doctor Who Expanded Universe is playing along. In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio play An Earthly Child the Eighth Doctor (the one who made the statement) shows surprise to the idea of his granddaughter Susan having a child with the very human David Campbell.
    • Although some have used the above (and other examples) as evidence to support the claim the 1996 TV movie never happened, additional Expanded Universe entries have provided ways the events can be rationalized. In particular, the IDW comic book miniseries The Forgotten suggested the entire "half-human" thing was a ruse put on by the Doctor to mislead the Master (exactly how is never really explained) in case he attempted to escape his execution. Several novels have also had a go at it. One by Kate Orman says the Doctor isn't sure of his own origins because his memories are vague and seem to contradict each other.
    • In his book The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter in which he charted the progress of writing the 2008/2009 Doctor Who episodes, Russell T Davies revealed that he was considering putting in a line of dialogue in David Tennant's final episode explaining the half-human remark ("Oh, that was like picking up a bug, I got over that.") but decided that it would be too confusing for the mainstream audience. If included it would have been an example of Author's Saving Throw.
    • Note that the movie has since been confirmed canon (the Eighth Doctor shows up in "The Day of the Doctor"), but presumably only in Broad Strokes.
    • In "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Doctor pokes fun at the UNIT dating controversy (visible under that name at The Other Wiki) with a line about "when I worked with them back in the seventies... or was it the eighties?"
    • The above-mentioned "The Day of the Doctor" episode makes a similar joke, with a character stating that the Doctor's UNIT files either refer to the '70s or '80s depending on the calendar system used.
    • A central idea of the proposed post-TV Movie storyline, was a retooling of the Master into being the Doctor's long lost brother. This is referenced thus in the "The Sound Of Drums":
      Martha: I thought you were gonna say he was your secret brother or something.
      The Doctor: You've been watching too much TV.
      • This idea dates back to the 70's when Jon Pertwee played the Doctor. The season finale was to reveal that the Master was the Doctor's brother, and his character was to die saving the Doctor's life. Unfortunately, Roger Delgado, the actor who played the Master, was killed in an automobile accident, and so the story was never filmed.
    • In Big Finish Doctor Who episode the TARDIS opening to human eyes is apparently revealed to be due to the 6th Doctor changing the Gallifreyan retinal systems to that of his companion to slow down a Dalek invasion. At the end he says this might linger on.
  • Married... with Children's Cousin Oliver Seven makes an appearance on a milk carton.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When asked about Kennedy in her first season 8 appearance Willow says she's dead (in a nod to the fans that hated that ship), but quickly clarifies that it was a temporary magic death and she got better.
    • Also, Xander has a Meaningful Name referencing the original (but non-canonical) movie of Buffy the Vampire Slayer— Buffy's friend in the movie was named Pike. Zander (pronounced identically to "Xander") and pike are closely related species of fish.
  • In the first episode of Columbo filmed after the spin-off Mrs. Columbo ended, the writers considered having Columbo offhandedly mention some nut pretending to be his wife; of course, the most this would disavow is her relationship to him (Levinson and Link maintained that the star of Mrs. Columbo is actually the wife of some other detective named Columbo): her existence, and therefore any events of the show that don't depend on their relationship, is avowed.
  • In Supernatural, when Sam and Dean meet the prophet Chuck, he initially thinks he's a god, and that he caused it all, rather than just writing it down. He apologizes for all the pain and suffering, "the bugs", as well as "that ghost ship."
    • Doubles as Continuity Nod as well. In the final episode of Season 5, it's revealed that Chuck really is God, when he finishes writing the last book, smiles knowingly, and vanishes.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: In "Max's Secret Girlfriend", when asked about what he told to Nancy, Max says that he told her about everything except the dragon dog. In "Curb Your Dragon", the Russo's adopt a dragon dog, but it never appears again.
    Max: "I still have no idea what happened to that."
  • In the season 3 premiere of Revenge, season 2's overarching plotline is casually resolved with a couple lines of dialogue including a Deus ex Machina. Emily and Nolan then speak for the people who didn't care for said plotline:
    Emily: Let's never say the words "Carrion" or "Initiative" ever again.
    Nolan: Amen to that.
  • In Cheers, it was stated that Frasier's father was a scientist who had been dead for years, which obviously had to be Retconned when they gave Frasier his own show, since it featured his ex-cop (and still very much alive) father as a major character. They eventually Lampshaded this when Sam from Cheers guest-starred on Frasier, and pointed out this inconsistency. It turned out Frasier had lied about his father being a dead scientist because he was angry at him.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The WWE made fun of the Katie Vick storyline at least twice (by Triple H and Shawn Michaels, no less!), and the character actually played a part in Kane's Start of Darkness origin story, Journey Into Darkness.
    • CM Punk also took a shot at Katie Vick angle:
      • CM Punk: "Katie Vick. And if you don't get it, that's fine, just YouTube it, it'll drive you to drink and then you can come see me...AND I WILL SAVE YOU!"
    • Kane, himself has referenced it a couple times; first when he found himself on a team with Triple Hnote , and later during his anger management therapy class.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr winning the 2006 Royal Rumble was dubbed by the WWE as the first time that someone won the Royal Rumble as the #2 entry. This was a reference to the widely hated 1999 Royal Rumble where Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble as the #2 entry.
    • WWE's discontinuity of Rey Mysterio unmasking in WCW is subverted with the cover of Rey Mysterio's DVD "The Life Of A Masked Man". On the cover, he holds the mask in front of his face, so the top half of his head is visible, but his face is not completely visible. Thus he can be seen as both being masked and unmasked - satisfying both the older fans who criticise WWE for denying his unmasking, and the younger fans who have never seen him unmasked before and may not want to. And those who simply despise how WCW handled it; unmasking is Serious Business in lucha libre and it's considered tremendously disrespectful that he was forced to unmask pretty much just because.
  • On the 1000th Raw episode, we saw Mae Young's all grown up child...that's right; the hand returned!

    Tabletop Games 
  • White Wolf came out with a book on Gypsies for their Old World of Darkness line that portrayed Roma as embodiments of all the old Universal Studios horror movie stereotypes. Several years down the line, one of their books featured a sidebar that mentioned how inaccurate portrayals of Roma could be found in literature, movies, and "second-rate roleplaying game supplements."
    • And then there was the execrable supplement, Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand. It was so jarring, badly conceived, and generally unpopular that the company's subsequent edition made a habit of noting that everything in the book was an unreliable narrator claim by someone who was misinformed, insane, or just plain wrong. (Not to mention dropping a NUKE on the Black Hand's base.)
      • Popular rumour at the time was that DSotBH was created as a (not so) subtle Take That against certain White Wolf execs by a disgruntled writer.
    • Similarly, there was Samuel Haight, who ended up with the powers of a werewolf, a vampire, and a mage. When he died, his soul was instantly whisked away to be turned into a Deathlord's ashtray. In a novel detailing the endgame for Mage: The Ascension, a mage manages to gaze into the Umbra, and sees a powerful ghost extinguishing his cigar on a screaming ashtray.
    • White Wolf is pretty notorious for this; they practically breed long-simmering writer resentments. Later Exalted books have grown less and less subtle about the contempt the current crop of writers holds for the earlier writers in the line.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition book Heroes of Battle, which deals with warfare and army life, allows use of the Bluff skill to inspire one's soldiers with false confidence. An example of a "hard to believe" bluff is "That dragon can only breathe fire once per day! Quick, let's get him while he's vulnerable!" This may be a reference to previous editions where dragons were limited to using their breath 3 times a day. 3.5 allows them to do so once every fifteen seconds.

    Video Games 
  • In Telltale's episodic Sam & Max: Freelance Police games, there are a few references to Sam And Max: Freelance Police!!, the game that LucasArts cancelled:
    • In Sam and Max's office, there is a case file labeled "3/3/04", the date on which the game was canceled, to which Sam quips:
      Sam: Ah, I remember that case. Particularly gruesome.
    • In episode 105, while examining a ballet poster:
      Sam: "Ferret Lake".
      Max: Ooh! Sequels to beloved classics are always better than the originals!
      Sam: *with emphasis* Yes Max. Yes they are.
    • In episode 202, Sam finds on Easter Island among various missing items and people, "a fully playable beta of Sam and Max: Freelance Police!!"
    • In episode 205, Whizzer fires Satan as the ruler of hell, claiming that his termination was due to "current market place realities and underlying economic considerations", the exact reasons LucasArts gave for canceling Freelance Police!!
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the character Ivan Raidenovich Raikov was put into the game specifically to make fun of Raiden, the surprise protagonist from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. At one point, Naked Snake must disguise himself as Raikov. With his uniform and mask on, his commander tells him he looks so much like Raikov that 'you're starting to irritate me already.' Upset, Snake responds, "But this look should make me more popular!"
    • Earlier still, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (the expanded version of the game) introduced a series of bonus non-canon story missions known as the Snake Tales. Most of them are fairly serious in tone, but the fifth story, "External Gazer", is an insane parody of the original game, particularly towards the climax. At the absolute apex of the plot, Solidus attempts to stop Snake by releasing "the seal" on a unit known as "Them": "Their presence alone has the ability to destroy a world", he warns. "They are children of darkness on whom is focused the combined hate of the entire universe". "They", of course, are Raiden and Rose. Snake then experiences an extended Mind Screw sequence, leaving him in a bizarre dream world in which he is convinced he's Raiden. Every single element of the "dream", from Rose calling Jack up in the middle of a bloody war in order to complain about her love handles, to Rose's electrical equipment being possessed by lines of the Japanese syllabary and telling the couple how to clean toilets, make fun of the stranger plot elements in Metal Gear Solid 2.
    • One of the shorts on the expanded Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence involved Raiden going back in time to try and kill Naked Snake so he can become the series' protagonist. Somehow, he keeps transporting into precisely the wrong moments, and by the time he actually gets a shot at it, he's learned to respect Snake too much to kill him. That doesn't stop his quest. He just respects Big Boss and still tries to kill Solid Snake.
    • A more bitter twist on this theme was in Metal Gear Solid 3, where Zero tells Snake about how in fairy tales, the youngest brother is always named Jack, and 'gets the shabbiest treatment, but is cleverer than his brothers and gets the happiest ending'. Raiden's name is Jack, he's the "youngest" protagonist (both Big Boss and Solid Snake were introduced in 1987, but Raiden was introduced in 2001) and he got the shabbiest treatment from fans, but MGS2 was the cleverest game and the one Kojima was the most proud of, and in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Raiden does get the happiest ending of the series' three protagonists.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance, Snake has bonus VR Photography Missions, most of which are concerned with photographing posters of bikini models. Two of them are murder mysteries, and, in both, the victim is Raiden, who is found in a comically undignified position in his death. The first one has two solutions - an in-character one (Fatman, who murdered Raiden to steal his straw) and an out-of-character one. It's an MGS2 promo poster in a nearby room with Snake on it.
    • The "CHAIR RACE" trailer involves Snake sitting down in a Director's chair, to represent that Hideo Kojima would direct Metal Gear Solid 4. He then takes off his mask and reveals that underneath, he's Raiden. Canned booing accompanies this. Raiden later fights Snake over a 'Main Character' chair — he foot-pops as their buttocks touch and then is thrown off the edge of the stage - Snake then sits down in the main character's chair, gets Mickey Mousing to emphasize his sexiness, and the audience cheers ecstatically. At the end of the trailer, Raiden crawls back up, humiliated and bruised.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker acts as a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, treating the events of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, the previous PSP game in the series and another Snake Eater sequel itself, as if it never happened. The only real acknowledgment of Portable Ops is the following throwaway line said by Kazuhira Miller.
    Kaz: Finally, we can leave all that crap in San Hieronymo behind...
    • Snake's Revenge, the non-canon NES sequel to the original Metal Gear, has been the subject of a few digs throughout the series. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake mocks Big Boss' transformation into a cyborg at the end of Snake's Revenge by having a character mention a rumor about Big Boss becoming a Snatcher, while Metal Gear Solid 2 has Snake remark that he's "not a big fan of blades", a reference to Snake's main weapon in Revenge.
    • After MGS3 established Big Boss' characterization as a Fallen Hero, MGS4 had Solid Snake lamenting the fact that Big Boss is suddenly being revered by the public as a legendary hero (after information on his earlier missions was recently declassified) despite the clearly antagonistic role he had in the original MSX games. It also has Snake pulling hitherto-unseen CQC skills from out of nowhere; the explanation is that Snake always knew, stopped using those skills due to their association with Big Boss, but is now finding himself instinctively calling upon them due to so many current soldiers having learned Big Boss' CQC skills.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes's "Deja Vu" campaign, logos of main sequence games scattered around the level can be erased by pointing a special light at them, and non-canon Gaiden Games cannot be. While it's not scripted, one part of the stage is deliberately set up to make a swipe at this - the player first picks up the gun in front of the logo for Metal Gear Solid, which upon being erased causes Kaz to ask you if there are any more of those things around there. As soon as the player leaves the building they come face to face with the logo for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and if they try zapping it nothing happens, causing Kaz to remark that it's 'nothing special'. This also clears up the ambiguous canoninity of games like Revengeance and Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops.
  • Model A in Mega Man ZX Advent turns out not to be a biometal based on Axl but on the big bad, Albert. Some fans consider the scene which reveals this to be a giant Take That at Axl and his creators (regardless, Model A is clearly based on Axl visually and gameplay-wise).
    • A subtler one comes earlier in the game.
    "Model A: I don't even know why I was created."
  • One of Chun-Li's win quotes in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is "Leave me alone! I'm a fighter, not a news reporter!" This is a reference to the live action Street Fighter movie, in which Chun-Li's occupation was changed from Interpol agent to news reporter.
    • Ironically, Mega Man 9 includes a reporter who looks suspiciously like her during the opening movie.
  • One of the endings in Star Fox Command refers to Papetoon, a planet from the comic that ran in Nintendo Power (more specifically, it was the home base of the team). Said comic was based on the first game, which became Canon Discontinuity when Star Fox 64 came out.
  • In Crisis Core, there's a small scene where Zack finds a Shinra army helmet lying on the floor of the slums. It causes him to briefly consider the presence of a Shinra army living underneath Midgar, which he soon dismisses as a 'stupid idea'. Dirge of Cerberus involved an underground Shinra army and is widely considered the worst thing to come out of the whole Compilation, which is saying something.
  • In The King of Fighters XI Kyo has a special winquote if he's in a Mirror Match: "Another clone? There's enough of me to start a baseball team!" This is a nod to the much-maligned NESTS storyline in The King of Fighters '99, 2000, and 2001, which had clones of Kyo as a plot point.
  • Dawn of War 2 has several veterans of the campaigns from the original game and its expansions. The campaigns on Tartarus and Kronus are remembered as great victories for the Blood Ravens Space Marine chapter. Kaurava was "a mistake, and it shouldn't be mentioned ever again" in the words of Cyrus, the Scout Marine Sergeant and one of the few survivors of that campaign. Guess which one of the three was in the outsourced, disliked addon note .
    • Also, Kaurava is mentioned as having seriously depleted the chapter's manpower, which is why they're so desperate to hold on to the Aurelia subsector, which is one of their few recruitment pools. And that campaign ends up being Cyrus' reason to turn to Chaos if he ends up as the traitor in Chaos Rising.
  • In Mortal Kombat Deception, one of the unlockable items in Konquest Mode is earned by decking the Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance hidden character Mokap, who is walking around one area in a particularly dopey manner, for no reason. Didn't stop Mokap from reappearing in Mortal Kombat Armageddon, though. (He had a good reason to return: they had to bring back EVERYONE for Armageddon, scrappies included. Which was actually good for characters like Stryker.)
  • The GBA port of the original Final Fight, titled Final Fight One, features the Street Fighter Alpha renditions of Cody and Guy as playable characters. The storyline for both characters have them reliving the events of Final Fight in a dream. (At least, they think it's just a dream.) When Alpha!Cody confronts Rolento, he claims that he is unable to remember actually fighting him, since he Took a Shortcut after defeating Edi E. and went straight to the Bayside stage. This is a reference to the earlier SNES port of the game, which removed the entire Industrial Area stage, and by proxy Rolento, due to limited cartridge space.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, Dante from Devil May Cry is a playable character. He is confronted by Alastor (the spirit of a demonic sword he used in the first Devil May Cry), who chews Dante out for leaving him behind during the events of Devil May Cry 2. Dante protests, "I don't remember that!"
    • Trish goes on to insinuate that the "Dante" from DMC2 was actually a friend of Dante's named Enzo, who had apparently stolen Dante's clothes in order to impersonate him.
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, if you look closely enough at a computer's screen in the Ghostbusters' headquarters, you can see the end screen from the maligned Ghostbusters NES game!
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Setzer from Final Fantasy VI made a cameo, in which he bribes Roxas to lose a tournament to him - an act which is, at best, completely Out of Character for a compulsive gambler. In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, this conversation is had in a Tutorial (the Dissidia tutorials are delivered by previous Final Fantasy characters) -
    Shadow: Don't even try dirty tactics like bribing opponents to lose...
    Setzer: What's this all about? I would never stoop to that! Well, Shadow may have spoiled the mood, but...
  • Capcom loves to poke fun at the hideous American boxart for the original Mega Man, starting with a sidequest involving "posters of heroes" in Megaman ZX Advent where it was described as resembling a "colorful coal miner", continuing with the fake box art they commissioned for Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, drawn in a similar art style, and having Bad Box Art Mega Man as a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken.
  • In Ōkami, if you collect all 100 Stray Beads you get the game's Infinity Plus One Weapon. In Ōkamiden, they're the cheapest type of Vendor Trash you can get.
  • In Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, Shu seems to be aware of the reboot that occurred between the Classic and Alpha series, though he feels the current timeline is the one that isn't supposed to exist and seeks to rectify this.
  • In the 2011 version of You Don't Know Jack, one question poses the hypothetical scenario of Paul Reubens hosting a game show based on the game. Cookie imagines such a thing would be a surefire hit.
  • In Persona 4 Arena Akihiko says that he wants to quit the Shadow Ops and become a police officer - his profession in the no-longer-canon Persona -trinity soul-. In fact, in an interview with Zen United (the European publisher of the game), the designers were originally going to give him a look similar to his Trinity Soul appearance before settling for the look he's given in-game instead.
  • In the 1994 version of Jump Start Kindergarten, there's a video game within a computer game called "Pattern Blaster" which stars a mouse named Roquefort. In the 1998 version, however, Roquefort exists in the "real world" and there's a different mouse in Pattern Blaster named Brie. Sometimes, as Brie is eating a hunk of cheese, Roquefort comments, "Boy, I wish I was Brie right now."
  • One of the main characters of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Victor Belmont, is named for one of the protagonists from the cancelled Dreamcast game Castlevania: Resurrection.
  • One of the taunts you can send to other players in Age of Mythology is a guy asking "What happened to all the stone?" in bewilderment, a reference to how one of the resources from the previous game, Stone, was replaced by Favor in that game.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner has made a few jokes over the years about rejected characters like Homeschool Winner (a tall, skinny Homestar Runner look-alike). In the 2010 holiday cartoon "A Decemberween Mackerel", a bunch of these rejected characters show up in silhouette form in a line at Bubs' Concession Stand.

    Web Comics 
  • Drowtales has been radically remade twice, so a few of these have come in to the new chapters. In chapter 1 Ariel has a plushie of Syphile wearing her original all-red and black costume, and in chapter 13 Ariel wonders aloud if she should try to shape change into a drider, causing Kyo'nne to comment on all the "icky legs" at which point Ariel dismisses the idea. In the very early version of the story she turned into a drider a few times, but now it's explicitly stated that she doesn't have enough mass to pull that off.
  • Jacob's necromantic golem in Dominic Deegan was unnamed early on, but received the fan name "Patches"... a name he ultimately rejected on his Heel-Face Turn on the grounds that it sounded like a name for a dog. (He's now called "Quilt".)
  • The "Second Eaton" story arc in Shortpacked! was utterly loathed by the readers for a multitude of reasons, and was not referenced for years... until recently: "Hey, everyone agreed to never mention that "Second Eaton" crap ever again."

    Web Video 
  • In November 2010, The Nostalgia Chick released a video in which her supporting cast was giving each other lessons on the various recurring themes of the show. When Brian (the recurring character whose shtick involves dark humor about sexual predators) mentions the much-hated 'rap about rape' (a video skit that received a Dude, Not Funny! reaction from many people, and was taken down shortly afterward), Nella punches him and shouts "Rule Number One of Team Nchick! We do not talk about the rape rap!" Interestingly enough, before this, Brian was practically apologizing for it.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged does this from time to time in regard to Dragon Ball GT when characters read the legal disclaimer at the start of each episode. The bog-standard disclaimer reads: "The following is a non-profit fan-based parody. Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT are all owned by Funimation, Toei Animation, Fuji TV and Akira Toriyama. Please support the official release." Each time it's read by a different character (usually a character who either dies or is gravely injured in the episode), and most of the time they get through it without issue. That said, when Guru does it, he sounds audibly shocked that GT is counted among Akira Toriyama's various Dragon Ball properties. Then Cyborg Freeza glitches out and shuts down because he can't process GT's presence in the disclaimer.
    Goku: Man, this is worse than that time I was in high school, and all the guys called me "Geeko", and I was Piccolo's slave, I couldn't get Chi Chi to like me, and... Oh wow, I hit that rock harder'n I thought.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, specifically the Show Within a Show in "The Ember Island Players", in a reference to the unpopular episode "The Great Divide":
    Actor!Aang: Look! It's the Great Divide! The biggest canyon in the Earth Kingdom!
    (pause)
    Actor!Sokka: Ehh... Let's keep flying.
  • The Jonny Quest TV movie Jonny's Golden Quest introduced Race Bannon's daughter Jessie, which he had with his on-and-off lover Jezebel Jade. In the second season of the follow-up series, Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, the identity of Jessie's mother was revised to Race's previously unseen ex-wife Estella Velasquez, since the head writer of the series felt that Jade was not the kind of woman to give up her life as an adventurer to raise a child. When Jessie meets Jezebel in one episode and finds out she was romantically involved with her father, she finds the idea that Jade could have been her mother absurd.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Stan's Best Friend", Stan says he has never had a dog since his mother forced him to kill his own dog Freddy as a child. When Francine mentions that the family have actually owned two dogs before (Thor in the pilot, and Fussy in "Not Particularly Desperate Housewives"), Stan says that those episodes were just dreams.


Development GagIn-JokeGenius Bonus
Negative ContinuityDiscontinuityDork Age
Deus ex MachinaContinuity TropesDisplaced Origin
Depending on the WriterConsistencyDeus ex Machina

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