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[[quoteright:239:[[Webcomic/PennyArcade http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cowboid_0.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:239:Although they weren't in Franchise/{{Metroid}}, it's undeniable that the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot robot cowboy angel]] would be the coolest thing ever.]]
->''"Get ready for the big-screen adaptation of the [[Literature/WorldWarZ best-selling novel]], that's got everything you love about the title-- and nothing else."''
-->-- '''WebVideo/HonestTrailers''' on ''Film/WorldWarZ''

This occurs when a derivative work (an adaptation, a sequel, a remake, a reimagining) is so different from the work it took its name from that the ''only thing'' actually tying it to the original work is the title. Occasionally this will expand to include character names and the setting.

This can happen when the work was originally intended as something completely different, but, being slightly similar to an existing franchise, it is changed to fit in that franchise, or it can be straight-up title hijack.

Established properties are ''much'' easier to get greenlit than original ideas. In some cases producers purchase franchise rights for the name alone, and slap it on their own original product as a way of getting it pushed through the studio system. Video games and cult franchises are especially popular for this approach as they are relatively cheap to buy and, being "only" popular art, so called, any established canon for the work can be dismissed as unimportant. Many a CashCowFranchise has descended to this at least once. It may be considered the OddballInTheSeries.

''Important: This is '''not''' automatically TheyChangedItNowItSucks''. An In Name Only work [[TropesAreNotBad may well be decent, or even good,]] if it's assessed on its own merits rather than being measured by how faithful it is to the original work.

If the work in question is not an attempted adaptation of another work, but merely sports a misleading name, that's a NonindicativeName. If the name used to be relevant but less or even not later, it is ArtifactTitle. If a franchise continues after the original source material runs out, that's OvertookTheSeries. If multiple works share the same name but are unrelated, you have SimilarlyNamedWorks. A good way to tell if an example is really this trope or just a bad adaptation: if one were to change the title to something else, would anyone understand that the work is supposed to be an adaptation? If the answer is "no", then the adaptation is this trope.[[note]]Changing character names is not necessary for the test; there is always the possibility of coincidence, or of ShoutOutThemeNaming.[[/note]]

Compare DolledUpInstallment. See also OldGuardVersusNewBlood.

Contrast SerialNumbersFiledOff, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, {{Expy}}. Not to be confused with NonIndicativeName.
[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples:
[[index]]
* [[InNameOnly.LiveActionFilms Live-Action Films]]
* [[InNameOnly.LiveActionTV Live-Action TV]]
* [[InNameOnly.VideoGames Video Games]]
* [[InNameOnly.WesternAnimation Western Animation]]
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The manga ''VideoGame/BlueDragon Ral Grad'' has nothing in common with the ''VideoGame/BlueDragon'' video game or anime series, except for the presence of LivingShadow BondCreatures which themselves are very different in nature between sources.
* ''Anime/DancougarNova'' doesn't have a whole lot in common with the original ''Anime/{{Dancougar}}'', instead resembling ''Anime/{{Gravion}}'', another Masami Obari mecha anime.
* The anime adaptation of ''Manga/EatMan'' has very little to do with the original story other than Bolt Crank being the main character.
* ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'' is a completely new story from ''{{Anime/Gaiking}}'', but reuses the mecha design of the {{Robeast}} Daiku Maryu, and the HumongousMecha Gaiking, as well as a couple of character names.
* This was the point of ''Anime/GalaxyAngel'', which turned a SpaceOpera into a GagSeries when the first game was delayed. See WriterRevolt.
* Subverted in ''Anime/GaReiZero''. The first episode introduces an entirely new crew of {{Badass}} main characters, completely different from the ones in the [[Manga/GaRei manga]]. [[spoiler: The episode ends with Yomi appearing and [[KillEmAll taking them all out]].]] Turns out [[spoiler: the anime ''is'' related to the manga in that it centers around Yomi's StartOfDarkness.]]
* ''Anime/KirbyRightBackAtYa'' (aka ''Kirby of the Stars'' in Japan) isn't really about Kirby, despite the fact that the ThemeSong says so. He's BadassAdorable and occasionally causes mischief, but doesn't have enough personality to carry the show as a central character. The real focus comes from his two friends, the townsfolk, and [[BigBad King Dedede.]]
* ''Anime/GatchamanCrowds'' has almost nothing to do with the original ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'' except for a few of the names and the [[ByThePowerOfGrayskull transformation call]]. Amazingly, ''Crowds'' proved to be a MorePopularSpinoff to the live-action ''Gatchaman'' movie it attempted to cash in on.
* Despite its name, Creator/GoNagai's manga and anime and novel series ''Anime/GodMazinger'' has nothing to do with ''Anime/MazingerZ''. The characters, the setting and the plot are completely unrelated, and the HumongousMecha hardly looks like Mazinger. Apparently the similar title is due to it was intended to be ''Anime/MazingerZ'' sequel, but that concept was scrapped, and ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' and ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' were created instead.
* ''Anime/IdolmasterXenoglossia'' retains ''some'' of the characters' personalities from the original video game, but changes... well, everything else.
* Creator/OsamuTezuka's manga ''Manga/{{Metropolis}}'' is "suggested" by Fritz Lang's ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'', in that Tezuka was inspired to write the manga by a single still image he saw from the film: that of a female robot being born. The two works have a few basic similarities, but they're coincidences- Tezuka hadn't seen the film, or even known what it was about, when he wrote the manga.
** A 2001 anime film, also titled ''Anime/{{Metropolis}}'', is another, quite interesting case. It claims to be based on Tezuka's manga- even billing itself ''Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis''- but is in fact an odd mishmash of that manga, several ''other'' Tezuka mangas, ''and'' the Fritz Lang movie. The film mostly does its own thing, merely borrowing a lot of elements from those works, making this an In Name Only adaptation of an In Name Only adaptation!
* InUniverse, ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'' has a moment where one transfer student talks about the SpacePirates supposedly having a Gundam and another student remarks "These days, the media calls anything with two eyes and antennae a Gundam". A margin note from artist Yuichi Hasegawa reveals that Creator/YoshiyukiTomino (the creator of the ''Gundam'' franchise) specifically asked him to include this line.
* The television spinoff of ''Anime/NinjaScroll'': ''Anime/NinjaScrollTheSeries''.
* The [[AnimeFirst manga adaptation]] of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' has little to do with the show--the names of Ahiru's friends were changed, Ahiru isn't a duck, Mytho isn't really a prince, Drosselmeyer never appears, and the only animal is Professor Cat, for some unexplained reason. The most unrecognizable is Edel, who goes from being a quiet, mysterious woman in doll-like clothing and a huge updo to an [[GenkiGirl energetic]] [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan]] who wears slinky dresses and her hair down--oh, and just happens to be [[spoiler:the BigBad of the manga]]. The consensus among fans range from "It's sort of funny I guess..." to [[FanonDiscontinuity pretending it doesn't exist at all]].
* Despite the title and what the credits claim, ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' has nothing to do with Shakespeare's Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet aside of the characters' names (but not their personalities). The English version made use of some Shakespearean dialogue.
* ''Anime/TalesFromEarthsea'' only really borrowed a few ideas from the ''Earthsea'' books and made something completely different. [[http://www.ursulakleguin.com/GedoSenkiResponse.html LeGuin was NOT amused, meanwhile]] (but she was still (slightly) more amused by the anime movie than by the maligned Creator/SciFiChannel miniseries).
* ''Anime/TenchiMuyoWarOnGeminar'' has extremely loose connections to the Tenchi franchise. The main character, Kenshi, is said to be Tenchi's younger half-brother, but that's the closest it gets. In fact, the series' title in Japan was ''Saint Knight's Tale'', and was created by Masaki Kajishima as a very loose spinoff to his Tenchi franchise. FUNimation changed the title for marketing purposes and to better establish it as a part of the Tenchi series.
** ''TenchiMuyoGXP'' also has very loose connections to the main series, though not nearly as badly. Tenchi himself only appears in a single episode, despite still being the title character. No other original Tenchi character appears outside that episode. Though the show itself is about the Galaxy Police, which is an important part of the original Tenchi series.
** ''Tenchi Forever'' bore little resemblance to the light novel that inspired it. It also takes place in the same universe as ''Tenchi Universe'' instead of the original [=OVAs=].
** ''SasamiMagicalGirlsClub'' has almost nothing to do with the ''Magical Girl Pretty Sammy'' or ''Magical Project S'' series that inspired it, except for a magical girl named Sasami, and appearances of a couple Tenchi characters in drastically different roles.
* ''Anime/{{Voltron}}'' fans back in the day felt this way when the Lion series ended and they first saw VehicleVoltron. The reason for this is because it is actually a DolledUpInstallment of a completely unrelated anime series.
* ''[[Manga/{{Zeorymer}} Hades Project Zeorymer]]'' - Originally a {{hentai}} manga. The title mech and the name of a female character are the only thing the manga and anime share.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Some of the characters in ''Toys/AmeComiGirls''. For instance, [[ComicBook/InfinityInc Jade]] goes from being the daughter of the [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Franchise/GreenLantern to a blind [[RaceLift Chinese]] teenager. She ends up being chosen as the new Green Lantern of Earth, rather than being born with her powers like the original Jade.
* The second ''Bloodstrike'' team is made up of longtime team leader Cabbot Stone, and {{Legacy Character}}s to his original teammates. The legacies have ''very'' little in common with the originals in terms of powers, personalities, and costumes, but share their codenames. For instance, whereas the original Tag was a woman with the ability to freeze enemies in place, the new Tag is a woman with super speed. In-universe there's no explanation for this, but writer Tim Seeley went on record saying that it just didn't feel right to have Bloodstrike without Deadlock, Shogun, Fourplay, and Tag, even if they were new characters.
* ''The Challengers of the Unknown'' keep being reinvented. In the 1991 miniseries by Creator/JephLoeb and Tim Sale Prof was dead, Rocky was an alcoholic, Ace was Comicbook/DoctorStrange and Red was Franchise/{{Rambo}}. The 1996 series by Steven Grant introduced an entirely new team, as did the 2004 miniseries by Creator/HowardChaykin. And in the ComicBook/{{New 52}}, Creator/DanDiDio creates a group of nine characters with the names of the original and 1996 Challs, but none of the personalities.
* Michael Fleisher's run on ''ComicBook/HarlemHeroes'' was focused on a gang of convicts caught up in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, rather than the sport of Aeroball the original strip. In fact, the only reason that the name came up in story was due to the games being played in prison and the skill of the protagonists at Aeroball.
* There's an {{Animesque}} [[http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/luluzinhateen002.jpg Brazilian spin off]] of ''ComicStrip/LittleLulu'' where the characters in question are teens. The plot is basically a generic teen SliceOfLife (with some drama here and there) with characters whose only similarities with the original are their names. And the original cartoons produced by FamousStudios in the 1940s bore almost no resemblance to the comics, keeping only the title character Lulu (though [[DemotedToExtra some of her friends did appear in a few shorts. Very few though.]]).
* ComicBook/NovasAventurasDeMegaman was a Brazilian comic attempting to place the characters in an AfterTheEnd scenario where Dr. Wily managed to TakeOverTheWorld. Beyond the general appearance of the characters, though, there wasn't much left tying it to the video games. Radically altered backstories, personality changes and Roll's increased importance are the most obvious changes compared to the games.
* [[Comicbook/SilentHill Scott Ciencin's comic book adaptations]] to Franchise/SilentHill. As [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] put it, all the adaptations with Ciencin's name on them share is the name of the town and a monster list. Those comics are a prime example of the writer completely missing the point of the source material.
* Many of the characters in Marvel's ''Noir'' series of {{Elseworld}}s are notably different from their mainstream continuity counterparts:
** Of particular note is Dr. Otto Octavius, one of the primary antagonists of ''Comicbook/SpiderManNoir: Eyes Without a Face''. ''Noir'''s version of the character is a sickly, emaciated, wheelchair-bound neurologist. He's a white South African, a Nazi sympathizer, and heir to a large fortune. His actions are motivated by racism. The only thing he has in common with mainline Dr. Octopus is the use of mechanical arms, in this case surgical aids attached to his chair.
** In ''X-Men Noir'', there aren't even mutants. Instead, Professor Xavier has a theory that TheUnfettered are the next stage of human evolution, leading to an entire team of non-powered {{Sociopath}}s that share names and a couple of character traits with the mutant heroes.
* Many a Franchise/SuperMarioBros comic adaptation. The German comics are the strangest here; they share some Mario characters with the series and those characters generally behave how they should, it's just the rest of the plot is outright bizarre to the point of being a WidgetSeries. Some notably strange ones include Super Mario in ''Die Nacht des Grauens'' (Night of Horror) which has a bunch of random Nintendo characters living in a skyscraper attacked by the legions of hell and various movie monsters including [[Franchise/FridayThe13th Jason]], [[Film/ChildsPlay Chucky]], and [[Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre Leatherface]] and ''Sag niemals Holerö'' where Mario goes skiing and has everyone turn into cheese... There were also numerous elements from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' and ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man|Classic}}'' included.
* This trope is a deliberate unifying premise in DC's "TangentComics" line and the "ComicBook/{{Just Imagine Stan Lee|CreatingTheDCUniverse}} " series. Unlike {{Elseworld}}s, which is a re-imagining of a DC character that usually retains most of the core elements, Tangent and Just Imagine attach the existing names to completely different characters with different powers, costumes, origins, appearances, and personalities -- the latter having been co-designed by Stan Lee. Usually, the only common element is that they're metahumans in a modern setting.
* In the foreword to the ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' Trade Paperback "Gods and Mortals", George Perez mentions that there were several proposals for the PostCrisis reboot of Wonder Woman, some of which had nothing in common with the original but the name. See also the "powerless superspy" phase from the early-mid 70s.
* Back in the early 2000s, Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} decided to radically revamp two titles -- ''Comicbook/XForce'' and ''Comicbook/{{Thunderbolts}}''. ''X-Force'' went from the exploits of a mutant paramilitary team to the exploits of a mutant celebrity superhero team obsessed with fame. The title was well-received (and rebranded as ''ComicBook/XStatix''), partially because it inverted the whole "hated and feared" aspect of mutant culture. ''Thunderbolts'', on the other hand, went from the tales of a team of former supervillains seeking redemption to following an underground fight ring centered around C-list villains. This change was quite a bit less well-received.
* DC Comics created several characters during UsefulNotes/{{the Golden Age|OfComicBooks}}, but by the end of WWII the interest in superheroes died down, and most titles (except Superman and Batman) were closed or moved to other genres. The [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] began with the relaunch of Franchise/TheFlash... besides the name and the speed, Barry Allen had nothing in common with Jay Garrick. The same thing was done with Franchise/GreenLantern, Comicbook/{{Hawkman}}, and others. But the prize goes to Comicbook/TheAtom, who went from a rough-and-tumble boxer who was kinda short to a physicist who could shrink to subatomic size.
** Though in this case, things were {{retcon}}ned twice. The first time, it had been revealed that the Golden Age characters lived on [[AlternateUniverse Earth-2]], while {{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} characters lived on Earth-1.
** The second time it was retconned to fit into the new continuity created by Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths. Alan Scott, for instance, was revealed to have received his power from the Starheart, an artifact created by the Guardians of the Universe (i.e., the same guys who made the Franchise/GreenLantern rings), and Jay Garrick and Barry Allen were later revealed to both have received their power from the "speed force".
** Since DC's business theory (such as it is) is about hanging onto trademarks as long as possible, they have a long history of reusing names in some odd fashion or another. Such as the 1940's superhero Johnny Thunder, the 1950's cowboy Johnny Thunder, and the 1980's noir detective Jonni Thunder. Or all those unrelated characters named Comicbook/{{Starman}}. This often leads to the point where a story tries to [[ArcWelding reconcile these different incarnations somehow]].
* Marvel did the same thing with the [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Human Torch]]. The original 1930's incarnation was an ArtificialHuman who would burst into flames whenever he was exposed to oxygen, while the SilverAge ([[AdaptationDisplacement and far better known]]) version was a human teenager who received flame abilities from [[NegativeSpaceWedgie cosmic radiation]].
** Also ComicBook/TheVision. The Golden Age Vision was an alien police officer from another dimension. The new Vision introduced in ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' during the 60's was a {{Ridiculously Human Robot|s}} created by Ultron. The only thing the two have in common is the recycled name and similar costumes.
** Angel. The Golden Age Angel? A Batman-like BadassNormal with tights and a cape. The Silver Age Angel? A wealthy {{mutant}} teenager with [[WingedHumanoid large, bird-like wings jutting out of his back]].
** And Golden Girl. The original Golden Age version was a white BadassNormal and CaptainAmerica's love interest. The new version introduced in Comicbook/TheInvaders during the 70's was a Japanese-American teenager with the ability to fire concussive {{Hand Blast}}s.
* When Creator/VertigoComics publish a series that shares a name with a Creator/DCComics property, that, and a few loose concepts, will be ''all'' it shares (with a few exceptions, such as ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'', ''Comicbook/SwampThing'', and ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol''). The most extreme example (if you don't count ''Comicbook/{{Sandman}}'') was ''Beware ComicBook/TheCreeper!'' which was about a 1920s Parisian surrealist who wore a costume vaguely similar to Jack Ryder's.
* The upcoming ''ComicBook/BattleworldRunaways'' series, while ostensibly inspired by ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' features only one member of the original cast, and has a very different plot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Fanfiction can easily become this if the writer is bad [[TropesAreNotBad (and sometimes if the author is good).]]
* [[http://spoon300.deviantart.com/gallery/31302955 Doctor Who: The Manga]]
* The works of ''Creator/HansVonHozel'' often do this almost literally, since some only reference the title of the work they are based on.
** His ''Manga/{{Gravitation}}'' and ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'' fics are particularly blatant examples.
** His ''Film/RushHour'' fic is actually about the ''board game'' of the same name.
** Also, his ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'' fics are essentially about wars between the Beatles (who can only say "Liverpol") and ABBA.
* The only thing tying mauroz's ''[[http://fav.me/d5gq1b1 Friendship is Magic]]'' series with [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the show it is based on]] is the name of the comic series and characters, bringing it closer to a MagicalGirl manga.
* ''Fanfic/FriendshipIsMagicalGirls'' is an In Name Only version of mauroz's comic. Despite sharing a similar premise ({{Magical Girl}}s) and a similar name, it is entirely different. When confronted about it, the author claims that he wanted "to do something a bit different than Mauroz's magical girl comic strip".
* ''FanFic/HomestuckHigh'' bears very little resemblance to the original Homestuck, with the only thing even remotely related to the alleged source material being the character names and the title of the fic itself, and after the first chapter has nothing to do with high school.
* The infamous ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfic ''Fanfic/MyImmortal'' takes this trope to ridiculous levels - to the point where it stops being a Harry Potter fanfic even in name. Many of the characters are given new names. Good vs. evil is replaced with goffs vs. preps, Muggle bands constantly perform in Hogsmeade (though it is more likely to be Vlodemort and da Death Deelers), and there is NO character that could be remotely mistaken for their canon counterpart. Seriously, Hedwig is Voldemort's gay lover in the fic. In the original series, ''she'' is a ''female '''owl'''''.
* Taken UpToEleven with ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn''.
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7444084 Robo Bando]] is this to ''Manga/ElfenLied''.
* "[[Fanfic/TheConversionBureau New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus]]" manages to simultaneously be a MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic fanfiction ''and'' a [[TheConversionBureau Conversion Bureau]] story in name only.
** Ponies are not present except for a few offhand mentions of the show itself.
** The eponymous bureaus of ''The Conversion Bureau'' are not present and there is no [[{{Animorphism}} human-to-pony transformation]]. Instead, the bureau is a bioterrorist group inspired by [=MLP:FiM=] to engineer and release a SyntheticPlague that feminizes men.
* The much-loved ''Fanfic/ThirtyHs'' bears no resemblance to ''Literature/HarryPotter'' aside from a few character names, and even those are often altered.
* Basically every single character in HogwartsSchoolOfPrayerAndMiracles, but the Dursleys and Voldemort are some of the most glaringly obvious examples. (The Dursleys are a nice, loving family, Petunia is a carreer-woman, and Voldemort is [[spoiler: an internet-troll mocking atheist stereotypes by deliberately posting exaggerated versions of them on his Reddit-account.]])
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films--Animated]]
* The 1997 animated film ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'' was supposedly "based on" the play by Marcel Maurette. Creator/DonBluth turned it into a musical with Rasputin as an undead sorcerer with a talking bat sidekick, among other changes (the play had already been faithfully adapted to a 1956 film starring Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman).
* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAsRapunzel'' has little to do with the actual Rapunzel story except for having a girl named Rapunzel, a witch, and a tower. The famous "let down your hair" scene is relegated to a dream. Instead, the focus is given on a magic paintbrush.
* ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'' was about a scientist with a strained relationship with his father, turning water into food, and accidentally having the food turn giant. The book ''Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs'' was about a place where food came down from the sky instead of rain, no scientists involved, and it started getting larger until they had to leave. This crosses over with AdaptationExpansion, as the original was a very short picture book.
* Lampshaded in Creator/WaltDisney's original ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' in the Nutcracker Suite segment. The narrator says "You won't see any nutcracker on the screen. There's nothing left of him but the title."
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'' is a noted example. Direct sequels notwithstanding, the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games all take place in different settings, but at least have some shared elements: fantasy worlds (with {{steampunk}} and bits and pieces of sci-fi increasingly mixed in for later games), heavy use of magic, swordplay, revolutionaries, tyrannical political institutions, series mainstay creatures like Chocobos, etc. Unlike the high fantasy settings of the games, the film was set in a distantly futuristic Earth, one that had essentially none of these mainstay elements. And perhaps most damning of all: Square ''themselves'' made it, and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi was involved in the film's production. Yes, even ''creators'' can fall victim to this trope.
* The notorious 1966 release of ''Literature/TheHobbit'' takes this to ridiculous levels. Several character names are changed, such as Smaug to Slag, and others such as Bard, Thranduil, and most of the Dwarves are cut out. One major character in this movie is a CanonForeigner named Princess Mika, who is princess of Dale (despite no royal family being present in Dale at the time the book takes place in). Bilbo slays Smaug himself and marries Princess Mika.
* ''Disney/TheFoxAndTheHound''. How Walt Disney Studios managed to look at [[Literature/TheFoxAndTheHound what reads like a fictionalized documentary about the life and times of a mongrel hunting dog and a human-reared wild fox who live through bear hunts, rabies epidemics, and the rise of suburbia among other things]] and thought it would make a wonderful talking animals musical about racism is a mystery for the ages.
* ''{{Disney/Frozen}}'' is billed as an adaptation of ''Literature/TheSnowQueen,'' but it's probably better to say that it's just an adaptation of the title. The original fairy tale was about a peasant girl trying to rescue her friend from an AmbiguouslyEvil member of TheFairFolk, with [[RandomEventsPlot random encounters]] along the way; the Disney movie is primarily about a good, human queen with [[PowerIncontinence uncontrollable]] [[AnIcePerson ice magic]] and her relationship to her sister, with the threat of EndlessWinter and a few original characters thrown in. They both include a reindeer sidekick, though.
* Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}''. See SadlyMythtaken for how the film differs in so many ways from the original myth.
* The Creator/{{Dreamworks|Animation}} [[WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon adaptation]] of ''Literature/HowToTrainYourDragon''. While some character names are the same, the plot and setting is otherwise completely different. (An article linked to on [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]] said the new directors found the original story too "sweet and whimsical") [[TropesAreTools The original author approved of the changes, it got stellar reviews and did very well commercially, though, so who's counting?]]
* Disney's ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' bears little resemblance to [[Literature/TheJungleBook Kipling's original]] except for a few character names and the basic premise of a boy RaisedByWolves. To Wit:
** It turned Kaa into a literal SmugSnake, Baloo into a hedonist, and Bagheera into something of a godfather.
** Mowgli is changed from a NobleSavage to a BrattyHalfPint.
** At one point in the Kipling stories, Kaa the python hypnotizes a troupe of monkeys into becoming his helpless (ahem) dinner guests; later on, Mowgli singes Shere Khan's fur with a burning branch, and when that fails to get rid of him, Mowgli and the wolves stampede a herd of water-buffalo over him. As if that wasn't enough, in the story "Red Dog", Mowgli causes the marauding dogs of the title to be attacked by millions of angry bees; those who survive this by jumping into the river are attacked by Mowgli with a knife, and any that are left must then face Mowgli and his enraged wolf pack. Incidentally, Mowgli does most of this while he's naked. It should come as no surprise that none of this makes it into the Disney version.
*** Using fire against Shere Khan does show up in the movie. The branch was tied to his tail, but he was never directly singed. Well, not that we see, at least...
** Hathi is a bumbling but benevolent ModernMajorGeneral, rather than the heavily scarred, human-hating ShellShockedVeteran from the stories.
** Shere Khan is a suave and dangerous badass, rather than the crippled but occasionally dangerous shadow of a once great predator from the book.
** King Louie is an original character; the monkeys in the book, called ''Bandar-log'', have no leader. The vultures aren't present in the book either; the most prominent bird character is Chil the Kite.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheKingAndI'' incorporates many of the original songs and characters from the Rodgers and Hammerstein play of the same name that it was based on, but in trying to be kid-friendly introduced many plot elements, comic relief, and supporting characters that made it jarringly dissimilar from the play. There's now a villainous subplot to take over the Kingdom of Siam, evil wizardry, a generic teenage romance, and annoyingly cute animal sidekicks. Fans of the play and moviegoers alike did not take kindly to this version and the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein pulled all support for anymore animated films based on the duo's works.
* ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole''. As [[http://duckyworth.deviantart.com/journal/DT-LOTG-Owls-of-Ga-Hoole-2010-REVISITED-396728950 one avid fan]] pointed out, the film and the book had almost nothing in common. For example, Nyra doesn't appear until the 4th book, concepts like moon scalding are removed, species of certain characters are changed, and [[spoiler:Kludd and Metalbeak are separated into 2 different characters.]]
* While it's more of a spinoff of the ''Franchise/{{Shrek}}'' series, ''WesternAnimation/PussInBoots'' has very little to do with [[Literature/PussInBoots the original fairy tale]]. The only thing the two have in common is that there is a talking cat that wears boots.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'' started out the same as [[Literature/MrsFrisbyAndTheRatsOfNIMH the book]], but later told an entirely different story where Nicodemus became an old mentor with magical powers, and the deserter became a murderer. [[TropesAreTools Despite this fact, many people see this as Don Bluth's best work]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' and all its sequels, though it is [[PragmaticAdaptation entirely justified]] - the William Steig novelty children's story that inspired the series would barely have stretched to a five minute short.
* ''WesternAnimation/SinbadLegendOfTheSevenSeas'' has nothing whatsoever to do with the stories about Literature/SinbadTheSailor other than featuring a character named Sinbad who happens to be a sailor. Further, it removes "Sinbad" from the original story's Literature/ArabianNights background and places him in a completely Greek setting - probably because, this having been 2003, the producers felt that it was TooSoon after 9/11 for an Arab hero (which is pretty stupid, like thinking it would be offensive to have a character from Oklahoma in a movie released just after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing).
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerryTheMovie'' actually starts out pretty faithfully for a little while. When they start [[SuddenlyVoiced talking]] (although not unprecedented), they start singing about friendship. While they sometimes had loose alliances in the old shorts, they've never been "friends to the end". And then, the plot kind of drifts away from them and [[HumanFocusedAdaptation focuses on the orphan girl Robyn]] and they are [[DemotedToExtra reduced to sidekicks]].
* Aside from the names, ''Disney/BigHero6'' has very little in common with the comics it's inspired by, incuding {{Race Lift}}ing the entire team and moving the setting from Japan to the fictional city of [[{{Americasia}} San Fransokyo]]. A case of TropesAreNotBad, as the source material is not as well looked upon due to being a rather ShallowParody of Japanese media tropes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* For various reasons, the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story ''The Massacre'' had to be heavily rewritten by script editor Donald Tosh from John Lucarotti's original scripts, so much so that Lucarotti actually asked to have his name taken off the screened episodes. When he came to write the novelisation, Lucarotti took the opportunity to tell the story he'd wanted to tell in the first place, rather than the one that was aired. It has only a passing resemblance to the TV story.
* Any books "written by" Creator/VCAndrews (Actually her ghostwriter) after her death that weren't either started or outlined by her (It's not exactly known how many stories she outlined), or don't follow the standard GenerationalSaga. It's been argued that all of the recent "Andrews" books have nothing left of her in them (Particularly the one-off books and the much loathed teen paranormal books).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In 2010 or so, Music/{{ACDC}} released a compilation CD of several of their existing songs. It's called the ''Film/IronMan2'' soundtrack, apparently because the director likes AC/DC. Only two of the songs on the CD are in the movie (one was in the first one).
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB615_Ksvd0 Alice Deejay - The Lonely One (Airscape remix)]]. The only connection is that Airscape also co-produced [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5eIrLsOdew the original version]].
* The 2008 reformation of Captain Jack bears no resemblance musically to their predecessors. (Francisco Gutierrez, the original FaceOfTheBand, passed away in 2005)
* Music/AphexTwin has said that some of his "remixes" for other acts were done without even ''listening'' to the originals, let alone ''using'' any part of them. He's probably not the only remixer who's done this, but most wouldn't admit to it. If you enjoy Aphex's work then it probably isn't going to make much difference to you whether he uses any of the originals or not.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX-PoUAqNY0 Cygnus X's remix]] of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXFwOjm0_MU The Art of Trance - Madagascar]], which is the basis for most subsequent remixes, uses almost no material from the original version.
* Music/DirEnGrey is a particularly interesting case; while the band's lineup hasn't changed since its inception, [[NewSoundAlbum every other album sounds like it's been done by a different band]]. Yep, the same guys who wrote the VisualKei CultClassic ''Gauze'' are the exact same guys who wrote the TechnicalDeathMetal album ''Dum Spiro Spero''.
** That's not all. They've rearranged many of their older songs in their new style; while some are simply rerecorded with minimal alteration, much of the older material have been entirely rewritten.
* The Meat Puppets' ''Golden Lies'' was originally intended to be an entirely new Curt Kirkwood project called Royal Neanderthal Orchestra, hence his being the only original member of the band involved. As with the Red House Painters example, this is because he couldn't get the label to put the album out without the Meat Puppets name attached to it. ''Golden Lies'' was at least in a similar style to what the Meat Puppets had been doing in the mid-90's, albeit with a somewhat heavier sound and the curious addition of some RapRock influences. This lineup of the band also put out a LiveAlbum that was a mix of ''Golden Lies'' material and older Meat Puppets songs.
* The group Gregorian is closest to its namesake in that it's a choral group. Their music involves harmony and full instrumentation, neither of which are involved in true Gregorian chanting.
* Music/GunsNRoses. Actually, they have been since 1985, two months after LA Guns and Hollywood Rose merged, when Axl Rose fired all the former LA Guns members (making the name of the band confusing) and replaced them with Slash, Duff [=McKagan=], and Steven Adler. And now it is ''that'' band In Name Only, because, except for FaceOfTheBand Rose, everyone in that lineup left the band by 1997; and besides, the band's style shifted more toward industrial metal than plain old hard rock.
* The reformation of Hole... with only Music/CourtneyLove as an original member. Her former partner [[http://grungereport.net/?p=30 was much critical.]]
* A rare case of a singer In Name Only-ing his own song. Ike Reilly's "Duty Free" was covered by Cracker. Reilly then re-wrote the song, keeping only the opening line and part of the chorus the same for his album "Salesmen and Racists."
* Music/InsanePoetry was once a group consisting of three rappers and a DJ. One of the rappers, Cyco, continues to release music under the name Insane Poetry even though the group has disbanded.
* Music/{{Queen}} + Paul Rodgers on ''The Cosmos Rocks''. Might as well have been called 'Paul Rodgers, and two ex-members of Queen were at the studio that day'.
* Music/RedHousePainters' fifth album, ''Songs For A Blue Guitar'' was originally supposed to be a solo Mark Kozelek effort, but when 4AD dropped Kozelek and his project and he got picked up by Island Records, he was pressured into renaming it to a Red House Painters effort. What listeners were treated to was something so vastly removed from the nightmarish, stark textures of the first 4 albums that the album was only lukewarmly received at first. Many were a little jarred to hear Mark suddenly singing slightly more upbeat, borderline SouthernRock songs with some minor folk influences. The album has warmed up in overall opinion, though.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7JZTLfntKI This is Steve Nalepa's "Monday".]] And [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtnVduIY75Y this is The Glitch Mob's remix of it.]] Other than the riff at the beginning, the two have very little in common.
* The English versions of Music/{{tatu}}'s Russian songs (sometimes).
* Music/{{Underworld}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fr1x-N3-k8 "Born Slippy"]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlLWFa1b1Bc "Born Slippy.NUXX"]] are two completely different songs. The latter became much more popular, [[SongAssociation due to being featured in the film]] ''Literature/{{Trainspotting}}''.
* Most Music/VelvetUnderground fans consider ''Squeeze'' to be this, especially since none of the original members - especially core songwriter Lou Reed - play on it.
* All remixes of The Vengaboys - Kiss (When The Sun Don't Shine), the best known of which is the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMSzK-K38eQ&feature=fvst Airscape remix]].
* The "Inferno Mix" of Xorcist's "Scorched Blood" sounds nothing like the original.
* Music/{{Yes}} had a particularly bizarre example, where after a complicated series of membership changes, there existed a band named Yes consisting of original members Chris Squire and Tony Kaye, along with Alan White, drummer since 1973. Their sound was sleek '80s radio-friendly pop-rock. Meanwhile, the band ''Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe'', made up entirely of ex-Yes members, essentially was classic 1970s Yes in everything ''but'' name. Their tour was called "An Evening of Yes Music Plus," but they couldn't call themselves Yes, despite being closer to the band's prog roots and original sound than the official Yes.
* Many bands where none of the founding members exist, yet the band is still going qualify.
* Any instrumental mix of a song which remains credited to the original singer, even when that person had no artistic input beyond their singing in the first place (which, of course, no longer appears!) Examples might include [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMDnA--eocc this]] vocal-less mix of Music/KylieMinogue's early hit "I Should Be So Lucky" (back when she was still a puppet of the Stock Aitken Waterman "hit factory"); she neither wrote, nor apparently appears on this mix of the song, but it's still credited to her.\\
This goes as far back as the 50s. Calypso singers would normally be backed by a jazz orchestra, and backing tracks would be recorded in advance. Sometimes, the singer would not get round to voicing a track in time for its inclusion on an album or single, so the song would be released as an instrumental. If it was filler on an album it would be credited to the singer, if it was a single track, the orchestra would normally be credited on their own. Lord Melody was infamous for this because he often missed deadlines by being in other countries recording for other record labels.\\
Ska, rocksteady and reggae artists of the 60s and 70s also did this sort of thing, leading to at least one mistake on a Bob Marley And The Wailers box set "Man To Man" where the song Mellow Skank, an instrumental track by The Hippy Boys(a group that featured several members of The Wailers backing band but none of the singer-songwriters) was included. The song was actually an instrumental of a song called Talk Of The Town by Glen Adams.
* Since the 1980s (if not earlier), there have been numerous cases of musical groups legally (and sometimes illegally) using the name of a well-known rock and roll or pop group, even though the group in question has no original members. This has been a sore spot for years with original group members, especially those who wish to continue performing under their original name, only to find "imposter" groups holding the name rights. (Note: naming groups impacted by this would violate the "No Real Life Examples" rule on this page, so please do not add names here).
* In Brainbug's "Nightmare (Sinister Strings Mix)", the only vestige left of the [[AdaptationDisplacement forgotten]] original mix is the DreamMelody from the breakdown. The rest of the original was a piano trance tune in the style of Robert Miles.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:New Media]]
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'': Several in-universe namings of the trope (though this applies to single characters more than franchises).
** By two-thirds of the way through his ''Comicbook/SupermanAtEarthsEnd'' review, Linkara can only bring himself to refer to the title character as "Bearded Idiot."
** In an early text review he dubs the title character of ''All-Star Batman and Robin'' "BINO" (Batman In Name Only). In the video version he decides that "Batman" must actually be an insane hobo who found a Batman costume and dubs him "Crazy Steve."
** During a review of a later issue of ''All-Star Batman and Robin'', he deduces that the version of Franchise/WonderWoman as seen in the comic is an escaped mental patient who wears Wonder Woman's costume, and dubs her "Bonkers Betty".
** The plot of ''{{Godyssey}}'' is so in contrast to Jesus' actual life and teachings that Linkara suggests the Greek gods found the wrong crucifixion victim, naming him Jesús [[note]]pronounced closer to 'Hay-sus'[[/note]], the Christian martial artist. [[spoiler:He was AllJustADream anyway]].
** The PreviouslyOn segments are all very much this--it is mercilessly {{played for laughs}}.
* There is a ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'' comics series available for the iPhone, and probably other portables. Flash is a former CIA operative, and Dale a current one; they know each other from the Agency, and Dr. Zarkohv is a close friend of Flash. He's also considered a terrorist, and believed to be creating [=WMD=]s.
* [[TropesAreTools Used to awesome effect]] in ''WebAnimation/HowToKillAMockingbird''.
* In computing, there is a technology called "Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independent Disks" ([=RAID=]). One version, [=RAID=] 0, has no redundancy (which makes it extremely vulnerable to one drive error ruining the entire array, kind of defeating the purpose of a [=RAID=], which is to set up multiple physical drives as a single logical array, wherein a single error does not necessarily mean a failure of the array).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Aside from the name and a few small sprites on the playfield, Bally's ''Pinball/SpaceInvaders'' [[PhysicalPinballTable pinball machine]] had no relationship to the [[VideoGame/SpaceInvaders arcade game it was named after]]. The art design made it look more like an ''Film/{{Alien}}'' pinball than anything else.
* A version of the Creator/{{Sierra}} [[DigitalPinballTable computer pinball game]] ''VideoGame/ThreeDUltraPinballThrillRide'' was released for the GameBoyColor. Aside from the name and general premise, it has almost nothing in common with the original.
* From 1976 to 1978, Creator/{{Bally}} released home versions[[note]]that is, PhysicalPinballTables for home use[[/note]] of several of their arcade pins: ''[[Pinball/CaptainFantastic Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy]], Pinball/{{Fireball}},'' and ''Pinball/EvelKnievel''. Since the home versions reused the same playfield layout and components, they ended up having completely different playfields, rules, and artwork from their original namesakes.
* Similarly, starting in 2012, Creator/SternPinball released lower-priced home versions of their games under the moniker of "The Pin". ''[[Pinball/{{Transformers}} Transformers: The Pin]]'' came out in 2012 as an Amazon exclusive, while ''[[Pinball/TheAvengersStern The Avengers: The Pin]]'' was released in 2013. As both games shared the same cabinet and layout, removed the originals' dot-matrix display, animations, and sound effects, and are limited to two players, they ended up being In Name Only versions of their originals.
* The UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}} version of ''VideoGame/DavidsMidnightMagic'' bears almost no resemblance to the original UsefulNotes/AppleII game, aside from being a DigitalPinballTable using predominantly black and dark red colors.
* Despite sharing the same name and many game rules, the NintendoEntertainmentSystem version of ''VideoGame/RollerBall'' is significantly different from the MSX version, with a completely different playfield, a new bonus screen, and a gratuitous New York skyscraper setting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Some ProfessionalWrestling fans refer to Wrestling/{{WWE}}'s Wrestling/{{ECW}} revival as ECW In Name Only, due to the fact that it seems completely opposite from the old ECW in terms of atmosphere, storyline tone, wrestling style, and talent level; WWECW is another popular name for it. Others [[FanonDiscontinuity don't even give it that level of respect]]. True, it did start out very much like the original ECW - just to get the old fans to tune in - but soon enough Wrestling/CMPunk took over the program and there was much more emphasis on actual wrestling ability than the GarbageWrestling and {{Gorn}} of the glory days. [[ExecutiveMeddling It's doubtful that much of that stuff would have got past the censors anyway]], especially since WWE was trying to cultivate [[LighterAndSofter a family-friendly image at the time]]. Still, the likes of [[Wrestling/BobHolly Hardcore Holly]] and Wrestling/KellyKelly did their best.
* [[Wrestling/{{TNA}} Total Nonstop Action Wrestling]]. The company seemingly embodies this trope increasingly by the day. The ultimate kicker here was on October 14, 2010, where there was so much emphasis on [[spoiler:putting over Wrestling/HulkHogan's Immortal faction [[TheReveal revealed]] at ''Bound For Glory'' as TheIlluminati]] that in the first hour of ''Impact'' only [[spoiler:ten seconds of wrestling]] had occurred. That number expanded to [[spoiler:nine minutes]] by the end of ''Impact'', and [[spoiler:20 total minutes of wrestling]] within the full three-hour block of ''Impact'' and ''Re[==]Action''.
[[/folder]]

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[[folder:Radio]]
* The 1940s radio series, ''The Weird Circle'' specialized in Book-To-Radio adaptations that had nothing in common with the source material other than the titles.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion]]
* This is OlderThanFeudalism, as it is a recurring theme of Literature/TheBible in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus himself explicitly warned that people would pretend to serve Him, but actually be forging His signature on their own self-will. Talk about HarsherInHindsight.
* Similarly, most "Eastern" religions as practiced in the US would likely be considered in-name-only adaptations of their origin religions by said originators.
** The most blatant example would probably be Buddhism, where most western branches reject reincarnation, i.e. the entire reason the eight-fold path exists. Roughly equivalent to a branch of Christianity rejecting the idea of a God and all that "peace and goodwill" stuff and saying it's all about beating up moneylenders.
* How many other Christians see Mormonism, to the annoyance of the Mormons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sports]]
* As the old VFL expanded to become the [[AustralianRulesFootball Australian Football League]], most of the Melbourne-based teams lost their links to the suburbs (U.S. = neighborhoods) whose names they bear. Collingwood, Hawthorn, and St Kilda no longer have any connection to their original home suburbs, and the other local grounds are only used for training and social purposes. Also, the Brisbane Bears were originally based 70 miles from Brisbane, and their mascot was a koala ([[ArtisticLicenseBiology Koalas are not bears]]). They have since moved to actually play in Brisbane, and merged with Fitzroy to be known as the Lions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}} Manhunter'' started live as a property completely unrelated to the ''Rifts'' RolePlayingGame. Then Myrmidon Press got permission to use the Palladium Rules system for their title, and decided to tack on the ''Rifts'' name. The only thing that connects the game to ''Rifts'' is that magic and technology exist side-by-side, and sparse, obviously shoehorned in mentions of rifts in time and space appearing later in the setting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* The musical version of ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' is starkly different from [[Literature/{{Wicked}} the book]]. While it shares the core element of "Deconstruction of TheWizardOfOz from the point of view of the Wicked Witch", its otherwise much LighterAndSofter, makes both Elphaba and G(a)linda much more sympathetic, adds in a number of plot points, and removes a number of others. Considering both it and the book are very popular, though for different reasons, it reminds us that TropesAreTools.
* The 1919 Broadway musical ''Irene'' was revived in 1973 with a completely different book and most of the score replaced by miscellaneous song hits from the period.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Invoked in ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'' "[[http://dresdencodak.com/2010/06/03/dark-science-01/ Dark Science]]" arc: Ronnie Awning made adaptations of famous works without reading them. Which allowed his sponsor to use the authors turning in their graves for energy generation.
* Website/PlatypusComix's longest-running series, ''Webcomic/ScrambledEggs'', received inspiration from a juvenile fiction novel titled ''Hello, My Name is Scrambled Eggs'', but Peter Paltridge says the only similarities the current comic and the novel have include some characters' names and the use of "No kidding!" as a CatchPhrase.
* Parodied with ''Webcomic/TheWayOfTheMetagamer 2: In Name Only'' - a FictionalDocument sequel to ''Webcomic/TheWayOfTheMetagamer'', starring The Detective and TheWatson.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Sites]]
* [[Website/{{Cracked}} Cracked.com]] has nothing in common with the (defunct) ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' rip off [[Magazine/{{Cracked}} magazine]] except the name and comedy theme.
* Napster is another example. The original Napster shut down in 2001, but it was resurrected in 2002 as a new name for the subscription music site by the same people that shut it down. As one article termed it, "It was as if a victorious Darth Vader had licensed the rights to rebrand the Empire as the Rebel Alliance."
* [=KidsWB.com=], supposedly the relaunched version of the programming block from which it got its name, is more like a website for pre-1997 Creator/CartoonNetwork.
* TF-Media is a site called, "Transformation Media". However, the transformation you'll actually find ''on'' the site is limited to Transgender. (And even then, most people who go there think "female to male" transgender is "Pass the BrainBleach" anyways, so it's really male to female) The users in the chatrooms are different, and have gotten ''much'' better about the transgender saturation, but the site is still predominantly Transgender transformations in between the one or two different types. Even the users are well aware of this and point out that it's really, "TG media".
[[/folder]]
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