%% This list of examples has been alphabetized. Please add your example in the proper place. Thanks!

[[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.


[[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 K''irbyOfTheStars'' 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 [[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/{{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:Comic Books]]
* Some of the characters in ''Toys/AmeComiGirls''. For instance, [[ComicBook/InfinityInc Jade]] goes from being the daughter of the [[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 ''X-Statix''), 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 {{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.

[[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/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.

* 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.]]
* ''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:Films--Live Action]]
* ''A Cry in the Wild'' is an adaptation of Gary Paulsen's ''Hatchet'', but the sequel, ''White Wolves: A Cry in the Wild II'' has no relation to [[Literature/BriansSaga the series]] other than having the same director.
* The opening credits to ''Film/{{Adaptation}}'' list it as based on Susan Orlean's book ''The Orchid Thief'', to which it bears very little resemblance. But then, [[PostModernism that was]] [[IntendedAudienceReaction the point of the movie]].
* ''Film/AeonFlux'' had nothing in common with [[WesternAnimation/AeonFlux the TV series]] except for three character names, a couple of prop designs, and that it involved an ActionGirl. The creator of the TV show has been complaining ever since. Interestingly, the video game is actually a wonderfully faithful adaptation of the cartoon, despite being produced as a tie-in for the movie.
* Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/AliceInWonderland''. Despite being named for the shortened-version of the first book, the movie is actually a sequel of sorts. The Red Queen shares only her title with the chess piece from ''Through the Looking Glass'', and is in every other respect based on the Queen of Hearts from ''Alice in Wonderland''.
* The ''Franchise/AloneInTheDark'' video game series is a rather atmospheric experience, usually residing within the territory of SurvivalHorror, but ''Film/AloneInTheDark2005'' is just a hardcore action flick with a few horror elements stolen from various sources, with almost no story elements from the games. When Creator/UweBoll was handed a working script, his first comment was "There weren't enough car chases." Also, at no point are any of the characters ever alone in the dark. They are either with someone else at the time, or they are not in the dark.
* The classic Creator/RayBradbury short story, ''Literature/ASoundOfThunder'' and [[Film/ASoundOfThunder the film of the same title]] both involve time travellers accidentally altering the past while hunting a dinosaur -- and that's literally '''it'''. The movie even kills the concept on which the book was based ''in the first five minutes''. That's like Marty getting run over by a semi before he can hit 88 MPH in the first ''Film/BackToTheFuture''.
** The best part is how, in the original story, the possible effects of the altered past are built up to be unspeakably disastrous during the course of the story. When the Time Safari does get back, however, everything is basically the same... [[spoiler:and then they notice the wonky spelling...]] The story's ending was apparently too subtle for Hollywood, so we got a city overgrown with jungle (it doesn't even [[ItMakesSenseInContext make sense in context]]) and [[EverythingTryingToKillYou crawling with killer baboon-things and sewer sharks]]. Oh, and there's also something about a catfish-man. [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs Of course]].
** The worst part is the movie can't even keep its own mythology straight. In the original story, it was simple - changing something in the past changed the future. In the movie, changing the past causes time to change in six "waves", and the protagonists remember everything that happened before the change. At the end, when the timeline is set right, the changes happen instantly and nobody remembers what happened.
* The film adaptation of the novel ''Avalon High''. In the movie, the main character turns out to be [[spoiler:the reincarnation of Arthur, rather than Elaine of Astolat/The Lady of the Lake]], changing the entire plot completely. Similarly, Marco [[spoiler:is Kay instead of Mordred, and a teacher turns out to actually be Mordred]]. With half of the characters swapped around, it definitely becomes a case of this trope.
* It's been confirmed by WordOfGod that ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' will having nothing to do with the [[Comicbook/AgeOfUltron comic book story of the same name]]. Aside from featuring Ultron as the BigBad, [[CaptainObvious of course]].
* ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'':
** The new character Batgirl introduced is considered by many fans to be this due to the liberties taken with her origin, changing her from Commissioner Gordon's daughter to Alfred's niece, and dropping any original characterization and {{backstory}}.
** Bane from the same film, dropping the WickedCultured GeniusBruiser aspects of his comic book counterpart, leaving a DumbMuscle [[TheBrute Brute]] whose dialogue throughout the movie consists of mere grunts.
* ''Film/{{Battleship}}'' may well have a completely different title. The only real nods to the source are the alien canister bombs that embed themselves into ship decks before exploding much like the pegs from the board game and the (jarring) scene where they use boys to map the sea into numbered squares they can fire at.
* Creator/AndreNorton's ''The Beast Master'' series tell the story of retired veteran Hosteen Storm, an American Indian in the far future who was recruited into an elite commando force, the titular Beast Masters, which were telepathically bonded to a team of genetically enhanced animals (a horse, tiger, pair of ferrets and hawk in Storm's case) to fight an interstellar war. With Earth destroyed on the way to a costly victory, he is discharged with honors to seek his fate and sort out his life on a distant colony world. It's been adapted to other media a number of times... In a manner of speaking:
** [[Film/TheBeastmaster Three films]] were made, recasting him as Dar, a blond BarbarianHero with telepathically linked animal companions in a generic HighFantasy setting. While a box-office bomb, the first film was actually pretty good for what it was and received a [[VindicatedByCable cult following on TV]].
** A SciFi [[Series/{{Beastmaster}} Original Series]] was made, seemingly through direct PopCulturalOsmosis from the films.
* HypeWilliams, a hip hop video director, took a shot at directing a movie in 1998. The result was ''Belly''. Now it may not have won any Oscars due to a mediocre plot, but the film became a cult classic with its distinctive narrative and visual style that Williams videos were known for. Eight years later, Millionaire Boyz Club was finished and ready to be released straight to DVD. This movie has no connection to Belly whatsoever. For reasons unknown to even the actors, the film was released as Belly 2: Millionaire Boyz Club. The original film featured heavy MusicVideoSyndrome (specifically videos Hype Williams directed), narration from the main character, themes of self destruction, knowledge of self, redemption, salvation, albeit done very sloppy in terms of writing, and dropped many anvils towards the end. This "sequel" had a completely different cast and director, none of the themes of the first film, and lacked the visual style and narrative that the first film was known for.
** The title change may also have missed the point of the original. The title "Belly" was meant to mean "Belly of the Beast". The "Beast" supposedly meaning the evil of men, or in this case the evils of the ghetto (drugs, alcohol, violence, etc). The second film however was a cookie cutter "gangsta' flick" that glorified every tired cliche used in 'hood movies.
*** Ironically enough, a true sequel titled "Beast" was supposed to be released around the same time as Millionaire Boyz Club, and was meant to follow up on the two main characters since the last film. This was either scrapped or put on the shelf. The main cause was of course the many legal troubles of one of its main actors, {{DMX}}.
* Hitchcock's suspense classic ''Film/TheBirds'' was inspired by a Daphne du Maurier short story of the same name. The only thing they have in common is that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin there are birds]] and they attack people.
* The 1934 movie ''Film/TheBlackCat'' starring Creator/BorisKarloff and Creator/BelaLugosi has nothing to do with the Creator/EdgarAllanPoe story of that title.
* The sequel to ''Film/TheBlairWitchProject'', ''Book Of Shadows'', is actually about some dorks, inspired by the previous (and acknowledged as fictional) film, trying to find the witch for themselves. {{Mind Screw}}iness, [[{{Fanservice}} naked breasts]], and [[FauxSymbolism random owl "symbolism"]].
* ''Blue Lagoon: The Awakening'' is supposedly a retelling of ''Literature/TheBlueLagoon''. Yes, there is an island, and the two teenage castaways learn to survive and fall in love. But it's set in the modern day with two American high schoolers, who get stranded on the island after fleeing the Tobagoan police during a senior trip. They only live on the island for a few months before getting rescued, and in the meantime they have lots of casual sex knowing full well what it is that they're doing (and she doesn't even get pregnant).
* ''Film/TheBourneSeries'' have nothing whatsoever to do with [[Literature/TheBourneSeries Ludlum's novels]], aside from the name of the main character and his amnesia. They cut out the primary villain (since Carlos the Jackal is just a teensy bit in prison at the moment), changed the time to present day, completely changed the backstory behind Bourne's skills, changed the last name, nationality, profession (and, in the second film, [[spoiler: lifespan]]) of his love interest... The movies are generally considered ''good'', mind you (especially the first one). Just... expect to be disoriented if you read the books afterward.
* ''Film/{{Bratz}}'' is only really about [[Franchise/{{Bratz}} the toy line]] in name only. However, there wasn't much to go on to begin with.
* The forthcoming ''Film/CabinFever: Patient Zero'' has nothing in common with the previous two films outside of having a virus and from the premise, seems to read more like a combination of ''Film/{{Outbreak}}'' and ''Film/TheHumanCentipede''.
* The sequel ''The Curse of the Cat People'' has very little in common with the original ''Film/CatPeople'', beyond featuring the same three main characters.
* ''[[Film/HoratioHornblower Captain Horatio Hornblower, R. N.]]'': Comprising of ''The Happy Return'', ''Ship of the Line'' and ''Flying Colours'', the film takes the bare plotline and ignores everything else. Several major elements and subplots are removed or replaced entirely, characterizations are radically changed.
** Hornblower is now a standard Hollywood hero that makes grand speeches and gives compliments, in stark contrast to the brooding ByronicHero who disdains "unnecessary words".
** A subplot of the ''Lydia's'' surgeon being killed in action against the ''Natividad'' and Lady Barbara assuming his duties, before falling ill en route to England and Hornblower nursing her back to health is added.
** El Supremo's subordinates, such as his personal aide and the captain(s) he puts in command of the ''Natividad'' are written out, and his crucifying of dissidents (which causes a brief skirmish between the ''Lydia's'' crew and El Supremo's soldiers) is not mentioned. El Supremo was later shown to Hornblower as a prisoner chained belowdecks on a Spanish lugger, whereas in the film he personally commands the ''Natividad'' and is killed in its destruction.
** Maria attends a dinner with Lady Barbara and Admiral Leighton at beginning of ''Ship of the Line'', but here dies [[TheGhost offscreen]] while Hornblower was in the Pacific.
** The East Indiamen convoy, which Hornblower must protect from two attacking privateers, is dropped (possibly because Hornblower illegally presses 120 crewmen).
** Hornblower, in the book, absolutely ''wreaks havoc'' on French shipping and naval operations in the Mediterranean, taking numerous prizes. The ''Sutherland'' is explicitly Dutch built and painted with a sloppy Nelson Chequer, which Hornblower uses to perform numerous ruse de guerre, before attacking the four warships in the open sea, virtually destroying three and heavily damaging the fourth, to prevent them from slipping into the harbour defended by coastal artillery, and the ''Sutherland'' is captured and towed to shore to stop from sinking. In the movie, the ''Sutherland'' is French and (in the colourised version at least) is painted an ugly seafoam, Hornblower captures one brig before learning of the warships and attacks them in the harbour, mostly being attacked by shore battery before personally firing a cannon into the ''Sutherland's'' hull to bottle up the harbour and prevent her capture.
** The Chateau de Graçay is removed entirely. They are ''quite'' vital to ''Flying Colours'', as the Comte de Graçay houses Hornblower, Bush and Brown through the winter and helps them assemble a rowboat and has his maids fashion Dutch customs officers' uniforms to escape, whereas here they simply escape from the carriage and reach Nantes, then [[MuggedForDisguise attack three Dutch officers for their uniforms]]. The character Marie, with whom Hornblower carries on an affair, is also removed.
** Bush's foot is shot off by a cannonball at the end of ''Ship of the Line''. Here his leg is hit with shrapnel and gets better during their escape.
** The film contains several anachronisms such as drinking to the King's health (not permitted until the reign of King William IV in 1830) and referring to Sir Arthur Wellesley as the Duke of Wellington in 1808, when he was awarded that title in 1814, both of which the books make a point not to make.
** A detailed analysis of changes can be found [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043379/board/nest/171388912 here]]. That said, the film is enjoyable on its own rights.
* ''Film/{{Catwoman}}'': Go read a ''ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}'' comic. '''Any''' ''Catwoman'' comic. Then compare it to this movie. Other than the main character being a cat-themed antiheroine who dresses in black leather and wields a whip, there's almost no resemblance. The closest this film gets to having anything in common with the source material is an off-hand comment about "other people who have had such abilities", and one of the photos on the table is Selina from ''Film/BatmanReturns''.
* Tony Richardson's ''Film/TheChargeOfTheLightBrigade'' is less a remake of the 1936 Errol Flynn film (or the Tennyson poem) than an adaptation of the nonfiction book ''The Reason Why'', by Cecil Woodham-Smith. Richardson said that the studio [[ExecutiveMeddling renamed the movie in post-production]], thinking ''Light Brigade'' a more commercial title.
* ''Film/CheaperByTheDozen'': The book is about the world's first efficiency expert and how he raises his twelve children, while the movie is about a husband trying to raise twelve kids while his wife is away on a business trip. Note that this only applies to the remakes. The original movies made in the 50's and 60's were much, ''much'' more faithful to the events in the books - which were actually loosely based on events in real life, reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie books.
* Apparently ''Film/CityOfAngels'' is a ForeignRemake of ''Der Himmel Über Berlin (Wings of Desire)'', but aside of the central premise (angel longs to live a human life) there's nothing left.
* The Hungarian movie ''Colonel Redl'' purports to be an adaptation of John Osborne's play ''A Patriot for Me''. Aside from featuring Alfred Redl as the main character, and a prominent duel scene early in the film, they have nothing in common.
* ''Film/TheHustler'' is a reasonably close adaptation of the book of that name. They each have a sequel called ''Film/TheColorOfMoney'', but the film and the novel have almost nothing in common.
* ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' scarcely bears any relation to the books (and comics), besides some few elements like names and most notably {{Creator/Mako}}'s narration at the start. Conan's character is fundamentally altered since he now grows up in slavery, becoming what he is all due to others (e.g. devoting his life to revenge against the warlord who [[YouKilledMyFather left him an orphan]], being educated in the arts and in swordsmanship by Eastern masters). The Conan of the books was always master of his own fate, WalkingTheEarth because he felt like it and absorbing knowledge as he went.
* Happens all the time with comic book movies. Given that ''Film/{{Constantine}}'' doesn't even keep the ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' title out of confusion with ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'', you have to wonder why they bothered.
** Constantine is a curious case, in that while it is viewed as a poor adaptation, it ''is'' viewed as a good stand alone movie.
* ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' only takes the basic premise and title from the F. Scott Fitzgerald story that it is based on. While the former is a good MagicRealism drama by itself, the latter is mostly a comic farce.
* Creator/RogerZelazny's 1969 ''Literature/DamnationAlley'' was set in a post-apocalyptic Nation of California in which the aftereffects of WWIII twenty years ago have spiraled way beyond nuclear winter to bring the entire Earth to the [[ApocalypseHow brink of death]], including continuous several hundred mile an hour winds that continually roar by about 500 feet above the ground to produce a blanket of radioactive rubble and garbage mixed with the contents of a good part of the world's oceans (which regularly results in a shower of horribly mutated sea life raining down to feed the giant abominations that dominate the land) in the sky. The story follows a SociopathicHero (the last living Hell's Angel) who has been forced into a lone suicidal medicine delivery mission through the inland no-man's-land to the U.S. East Coast as the result of a murder conviction. The movie ''Film/DamnationAlley'' was instead set in a toned down version of this two years after the fireworks, with the protagonist recast as a soldier at a missile base in the desert. After braving some drunken hillbillies and rubber cockroaches to investigate a mysterious radio signal, he and his [[TheSquad squadmates]] discover a [[HiddenElfVillage completely untouched]] [[VivaLasVegas haven]] and live HappilyEverAfter. The film was the more strongly favored of two "Sci-Fi" films being made by Fox at the time. The other film was ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars]]'' (1977); this one's budget was 1.54 times larger.
* The "remake" ''Film/DayOfTheDead2008'' is nothing like [[Film/DayOfTheDead the original]] except for being a zombie movie. Except for the setting, the monsters, the downbeat ending and the dying hero turning plot.
* ''Film/DeathSentence'' the film has a different story, focused on a PapaWolf VigilanteMan going on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, as opposed to the original novel, which was a sequel to the ''Literature/DeathWish'' novel. Author Brian Garfield has stated that despite the differences, the film still did get the novel's point across.
** Garfield actually insisted on the changes. Due to his hatred of the sequels to the film version of ''Film/DeathWish'', he would not sell the film rights to ''Death Sentence'' unless the main character was not Paul Kersey and the adaptation didn't follow the film series. This in turn led to a long development hell period for the project.
* For that matter, ''Film/DeathWish''; the film's supposed glorification of vigilantism goes against the intended message of the novel.
* Most film versions of ''[[Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde]]'' are like this. They have a [[FrozenInTime setting of Victorian England]] and a doctor who turns evil by drinking a self-made potion... and that's it. Jekyll is usually [[HotterAndSexier young and sexy]], not middle-aged, and [[TokenRomance he has a girlfriend or wife]]; Hyde looks disfigured and terrorizes prostitutes, a bit like Jack the Ripper. The main reason for this is that, in the original story, the revelation that Hyde and Jekyll are one and the same was a TwistEnding, but is now a case of ItWasHisSled. Since the chances of shocking the audience while sticking to the original narrative are nil, adaptations tend to show the story from Jekyll/Hyde's point of view (he's actually not the protagonist in the book) and spoil the "surprise" early on.
* ''Film/{{Doom}}'' has very little in common with [[VideoGame/{{Doom}} the game series]] it is supposedly based on other than the title. Both the games and the movie feature humans on Mars trying to repel a sudden outbreak of horrific monsters whose origins are initially unknown. The name of the [[MegaCorp Evil Corporation]] responsible for the outbreak is the same, but that's where the similarities end. When the origin of the monsters is eventually revealed, it is completely different than the games, being more akin to [[Franchise/ResidentEvil another video game series featuring similar monsters]].
** Even the monsters themselves (at least, the three types of them that actually appear in the movie) qualify for this trope. Though they do vaguely resemble their counterparts from the games as far as their physical appearances are concerned, the behaviour they display is noticeably different and they possess none of the signature abilities that their game counterparts have.
** The original script was closer to the game, ''Doom 3'' at least, but the idea of opening a gateway to Hell was not considered acceptable for a mainstream film, so it was hastily {{retcon}}ned to be genetic engineering gone wrong.
* ''Film/DragonballEvolution'' has ''some'' elements in common with the original manga, such as the presence of Goku and a girl named Bulma who are in search of the seven [[MacGuffin Dragon Balls]]. But nearly everything else is heavily modified from the original canon. Goku went from a twelve-year old {{Chaste|Hero}} WildChild to a sixteen-year old negative high schooler who wants to get with a girl. He learns the Kamehameha too late, and is too serious to even be considered the same character. And Krillin, a highly important character in the original, was removed entirely (although [[FunnyAnimal Oolong and Puar]] may be understandable). Bulma and [[AscendedExtra Mai]] go the other way and TookALevelInBadass. It was declared CanonDiscontinuity by Toriyama.
* ''Film/DrDolittle'', with Creator/EddieMurphy, is named after a literary character named Literature/DoctorDolittle who talks to animals -- but beyond [[SpeaksFluentAnimal talking to animals itself]], the two productions have essentially nothing in common with each other. The book is set in Britain sometime in the past, the movie is set in the USA of today. The main character got a RaceLift. And that's just the beginning.
* Aside from a few throwaway lines and other minor elements -- some of which don't actually match the game versions anyway (e.g. the beholders) -- ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons'' is nothing more than a generic (and not very good) fantasy movie with a famous brand name attached to it. The sequel ''Film/DungeonsAndDragonsWrathOfTheDragonGod'', a SyFyChannelOriginalMovie, sticks much closer to the original game content, right down to mentioning established gods, demons, spells, monsters, and even having Gary Gygax involved. Each character had a character sheet, and the actors can be seen [[ShownTheirWork reading the Third Edition Player's Handbook]] to better understand their characters.
* The ''Literature/{{Earthsea|Trilogy}}'' movie had very little in common with the books except the names, and sometimes it didn't even get the names right. (Specifically, "Ged" is the protagonist's real name, "Sparrowhawk" is his username. The movie switches that around.) And given that it's Earthsea, where knowing the correct names for things is the root of magical power, that's kind of horrible.
* Only the 1974 ''Emmanuelle'' bears any relation to the novel from which it derives its name, and even that movie deviates from the source material in several respects (in the original novel, for instance, Mario is an openly gay man.) The rest of the Emmanuelle movies were just attempts to cash in on the success of the original.
* Creator/WoodyAllen's film ''Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex ... But Were Afraid To Ask'' has absolutely nothing to do with the (ostensibly nonfiction) book of the same name.[[note]]This is probably just as well.[[/note]]
* This trope is present in ''Existo'', the strangest installment in the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/ErnestPWorrell Ernest]] canon. Existo was a mentally unstable stage magician played by Bruce Arntson in the Ernest movies and TV show. In TheNineties when Ernest was relegated to straight-to-video releases, Existo got his own movie...sort of. ''Existo'' starred Bruce Arntson, but changed his character into an obsessively antiestablishmentary singer/songwriter and put him at the center of a morbid political satire set in Nashville.
* Quite a few supposedly "[[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory based on a true story]]" movies fit this trope -- ''Film/TheExorcismOfEmilyRose'' springs to mind.
* Creator/DavidCronenberg's version of ''Film/TheFly1986'' has very little, apart from the basic premise, in common with [[Film/TheFly1958 the 50s movie]] with Creator/VincentPrice and even less to do with [[Literature/TheFly the original French science fiction story]]. [[TropesAreTools Some consider this a good thing.]]
* ''Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}}'' has very little in common with Creator/MaryShelley's [[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} novel]] except a few names and the concept of person made of corpse body parts being brought life.
* ''Film/FreakyFriday2003'': A girl named Anna and her mother who don't understand each other very well both switch bodies one Friday morning and get a better understanding of each other's lives and become closer, and...that's about all this movie has in common with the original ''or'' the book. [[TropesAreNotBad During the movie's release, people praised it for not directly rehashing its 20+ year old predecessor.]] The lack of similarities didn't stop publishers of the book from slapping a photo of Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis on reprints' covers, though.
* ''Film/FreeWilly: Escape from Pirate's Cove'' is this, very much. The only thing it has in common with the original films is a whale named Willy. And even then, it's a different whale.
* ''Film/FunWithDickAndJane'': Like the famous [[Literature/DickAndJane beginning reader books]], the main characters are named Dick and Jane... and that's it!
* The 1998 ''Film/{{Godzilla|1998}}'' strays so far from [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} the source material]], many fans like to call it ''GINO'' (Godzilla In Name Only), and Toho went so far as to rename the beast "Zilla" because they believed that Emmerich managed to remove the 'God' from Godzilla. They even went so far as to incorporate him into their own ''Godzilla'' series as an antagonist in ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' (thus making it clear that he and Godzilla are two different characters), only to have the ''real'' Godzilla [[CurbStompBattle defeat him with two hits in an 11-second battle]]. Strangely enough, after that film, many fans who previously hated him now [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap accept him]] as just another monster in Godzilla's RoguesGallery. Curiously, the [[WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries series]] that followed the movie was well received.
* The ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' series was originally intended to be something of a ''Goosebumps'' for adults, with new, unrelated stories released every year. After the first two films had concluded Michael Myers's story, ''Film/HalloweenIIISeasonOfTheWitch'' told a completely new and unrelated story about an insane Irish-American novelty-maker and his scheme involving android mooks and planting tiny shards of Stonehenge into his company's Halloween masks in order to "sacrifice" millions of American children via a TV broadcast. The film's poor financial performance led to Michael's return.
* The Korean film ''Film/HanselAndGretel'' borrows some concepts from the original tale but overall it's a completely different story.
* ''Film/HelloMaryLouPromNightII'' has no connection to the [[Film/PromNight1980 first]] outside the setting and being a prom-themed horror film. Likewise, [[Film/PromNightIVDeliverUsFromEvil the fourth]] is unconnected to the previous three outside a brief appearance by Hamilton High (the [[Film/PromNightIIITheLastKiss third film]] was a legit sequel to the second film). [[Film/PromNight2008 The remake]] is similar to the original in only the most basic sense, [[StalkerWithACrush having a completely different story]] all together. Some even consider it to be a completely independent film. The reason the second ''Prom Night'' flick was this was because of ExecutiveMeddling. Originally it was supposed to be called "The Haunting of Hamilton High", and be a scary tribute to the slasher genre (featuring references to ''Literature/{{Carrie}}, Film/TheOmen, Franchise/{{Halloween}}, Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet, Franchise/FridayThe13th, Film/TheExorcist, Film/PromNight1980'', along many others), but because it was a prom-themed horror film with a school of the same name as ''Prom Night'' (which was done on purpose as a homage to the original ''Prom Night''), the original film's distributor picked it up to cash in on ''Prom Night'''s success, and retooled it as a ''Prom Night'' sequel. Needless to say, the director was not happy about this...
* Any ''Film/HomeAlone'' films after the second one have only tenuous connections to the ones before them. 3 and 5 feature completely different families and antagonists (a group of international criminals working for North Korea in 3 and a trio of thieves in 5.) ''Home Alone 4'' technically has the [=MacCallisters=], but they have little to nothing to do with the [=MacCallisters=] from the first 2 movies, nor do any of the new actors look anything like their previous counterparts. Similarly, the Wet Bandits are back (though they're never called that), but Harry has been replaced with Marv's wife. Also, instead of building his own traps, Kevin just relies on a technologically advanced smart home to thwart them.
* The movie version of ''Literature/HowToEatFriedWorms'' has nothing in common with the book other than that the main characters gets stuck in a bet that involves having to consume earthworms. And even then, the film still gets it wrong by saying he has to eat ten worms in one day, when in the book, he had to eat one worm a day for 15 days.
* ''Film/IAmLegend'': The only thing the film and the book have in common is a disease that turns people into monsters. And even then they didn't get it quite right: the infected in the book are traditional vampires (which the book painstakingly comes up with scientific explanations for all their weaknesses: sunlight, aversion to mirrors and holy objects, garlic, staking) who are slow and stupid like zombies, while in the movie they are just hairless, pale cannibals like the monsters from ''Film/TheDescent.'' In the new movie it's a virus that was developed as a cure for cancer, but in the old book, it was a type of bacteria carried by dust storms. Also, a Caucasian-to-minority RaceLift for the main character, Robert Neville, who is nothing like the Neville of the book. While Neville loses his daughter and wife in the film, it's not because of them being infected. Neville's unique immunity is just something that he was born with, and there are plenty of others who are also immune. The setting was a suburb in a small town, while the movie takes places in a desolated New York city. There is no Ben Cortman character (unless you count the nameless infected leader, and even then he shares nothing in common with the Determinator neighbor-turned vampire character from the book). There are no scenes of the infected harassing Neville at home. There is no separate faction of intelligent, civilized vampires (maybe because they thought viewing audiences would be too dense to understand that concept). The woman that Neville meets does not [[spoiler: turn out to be one of the intelligent vampires and betrays him]]. Of course, ''I Am Legend'' isn't TheFilmOfTheBook so much as a remake of ''Film/TheOmegaMan'', which is ''itself'' an In Name Only adaptation of the book ''Literature/IAmLegend''... Except for the name, of course, and the film gives the meaning of the title an entirely different meaning. Robert Neville is a legend because he developed a cure, while in the book Neville [[spoiler: is a legend because in a world inhabited entirely by vampires, the one normal human that hunts them is the monster. He walks in the daylight, he stalks them while they are sleeping and impales them to leave bloodless corpses behind. It makes him the "human Dracula" of this world]]. The original ending would've given it some connection with the book it was apparently based on, but that was changed too.
* ''Film/IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer'' was based on a book from the ''1970s'' (yes, there was book). The film and the book have almost nothing in common, besides the vaguely similar plot and some character names. LoisDuncan, the writer of the book, was apparently pretty unhappy about this.
* Classic Creator/HumphreyBogart film noir ''Film/InALonelyPlace'' shares its title and the character's names with Dorothy B Hughes' novel, and absolutely nothing else. One can see Dix Steele's (successful) attempt to adapt a trashy novel into a screenplay as a metaphor for adapting Hughes' book into a film.
* ''Film/IRobot'', has several passing similarities to the [[Literature/IRobot namesake series]] (it does prominently feature robots being ThreeLawsCompliant), but the actual storyline is nothing like the original. However, that book was an anthology of ''nine'' separate stories in a common universe, mostly revolving around the central character Susan Calvin. The film features many of the concepts of that universe. The conceit of the film is that it's a loose prequel to those stories, a new tale in the overall series of stories whose blanket title is ''I, Robot''.
** However there is [[Literature/AdamLink another story]] called ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Robot_%28short_story%29 I, Robot]]'' that pre-dates the Creator/IsaacAsimov version where a robot is blamed for the death of his creator. Which was made into In Name Only episodes for both versions of ''Series/TheOuterLimits''.
** It does take inspiration from different Isaac Asimov stories, including one called "Robot Dreams." One of the Asimov short stories, "The Evitable Conflict," featured [[spoiler: massive, central robot minds taking over the planet because they could run it better than us. While that story was more subtle (the robots took over without humans even knowing it, versus the RobotWar of this film), VIKI's motivations are close to what Asimov wrote]]. Spooner himself bears resemblance to the protagonist of Asimov's Robot series, Elijah Baley, who is a New York detective who overcomes his distrust of robots when he is forced to work with a robot partner. The similarities end there, however.
*** "The Evitable Conflict" is one of the stories in "I, Robot" the short story collection, and there are in fact slight nods to it beyond those already listed. "Little Lost Robot", for example, involving a robot who is not impressioned with the entirety of the Three Laws, and is ordered by an irate technician to "get lost", is compressed into the factory scene alluded to under MathematiciansAnswer below.
* ''Series/ISpy''. Has none of the wit or coolness of the original. In fact, the director begged the studio not to use that as the title for the movie, but ExecutiveMeddling won the day.
* ''Film/TheItalianJob2003'' shared only the concept of a gold heist in Mini Coopers and a few names with ''Film/TheItalianJob1969''. Notably, the remake's Mini Cooper heist is set in LA instead of Italy. The remake's title refers to another heist shown at the beginning.
* ''Jingle all the Way 2'', the 2014 DirectToVideo sequel to ''Film/JingleAllTheWay'', has absolutely no characters or actors in common with the original. Literally the only common thread is that both films are about a father trying to find a CoolToy for their child.
* ''Film/JonahHex'' bears very little resemblance to [[ComicBook/JonahHex the comic book]], save for the scarred protagonist. The filmmakers added an inexplicable super power to temporarily resurrect the dead, which served no purpose, as he just uses this ability to pump the dead for information, something the hardcore western Hex of the comic would have accomplished simply by shooting the living in the kneecap.
* ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'' was vastly different than the book. Of course, the book, by ChrisVanAllsburg, was a children's picture book and so would've made a movie that lasted around 4 minutes. But the whole plot of the movie revolving around Creator/RobinWilliams' character and his love interest was made just for the movie.
* ''Film/{{Jumper}}'' shares the title, two character names, and the fact that the main character can jump with [[Literature/{{Jumper}} the book]]. Also the fact of the bank robbery itself, but none of the details of it. The book is a character study with a science fiction twist, the movie is a science fiction action flick. The author of the original book tries to remedy this with the third book in the Jumper series, "Griffin's Story," which is slightly closer to the movie than the first book in the series "Jumper".
* {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''Film/JurassicPark'' by Ian Malcolm: "At some point, we will see some dinosaurs on this dinosaur tour, right?" ''Film/JurassicPark'' itself counts more as a PragmaticAdaptation (and a fine one at that). It condenses a few characters, cuts down on the chaos-theory technobabble, and is all in all a well-liked film. The sequel, ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'', on the other hand bears very little resemblance to [[Literature/TheLostWorld1995 the book]]. Which is odd, since Creator/MichaelCrichton specifically wrote the second book to closer resemble the first movie (revealing that [[RetCon Malcolm actually survived]] for instance).
* ''Kemper: The Co-ed Killer'' has almost nothing to do with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Kemper the killer]] it claims to be based on. A few other biopics of serial killers and other infamous criminals also count, especially any created by Ulli Lommel.
* All that ''Film/KeyLargo'' has in common with the play it is supposedly based on is there being a couple of fugitive Seminoles falsely blamed for a murder. The characters of the play have completely different names and backstories. The play does not feature a gangster taking people hostage, and is not set during a hurricane or even in a hotel, though its UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar background was out of date by the time the film was produced.
* The 1995 remake of the 1947 crime drama ''KissOfDeath'' kept the basic plot and included a fleeting ShoutOut (that most people will miss), but changed the characters' names. It would have been polite to call it something else, since the 1947 original is a very good thriller and still quite scary.
* ''Film/TheLawnmowerMan'' has nothing to do with Creator/StephenKing's short story of the same name. They had the gall, originally, to call it ''[[InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt Stephen King's]] The Lawnmower Man'' anyway, and he successfully sued to get his name taken out of the title. The short story is about a creepy satyr who mows lawns. The movie is about a mentally deficient gardener who has his brain transplanted into cyberspace and becomes a god of computers. The short story's climax -- in which [[spoiler:a man is chased down and killed by an animated lawnmower]] -- is a scene in the film.
* ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. The Creator/AlanMoore [[Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen comic]] won't remind you of the film, and vice versa.
* Steven Spielberg's ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'' was promoted (and even credited) as an adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin's nonfiction book ''Team of Rivals''. A tie-in version of ''Team'' was even reprinted around the time of ''Lincoln'''s release. However, ''Team'' covers Lincoln's entire presidency, devoting only a few pages to the 13th Amendment and its ratification - the movie's entire focus. Somewhat justified, as Spielberg originally planned a miniseries adaptation of ''Team'' and later pared it down to the extant film.
* Pedro Almodovar's movie ''Live Flesh'' was supposedly based on a novel of the same name by Ruth Rendell. Both featured a policeman crippled by a shot from a criminal who, when released from prison has an affair with the policeman's partner... and that's it.
* The 1999 adaptation of ''Literature/MansfieldPark''. They didn't like the book, so they converted the ExtremeDoormat protagonist to a DeadpanSnarker PluckyGirl, peppered with some "[[{{Anvilicious}} subtle]]" hints on slavery, and crowned the whole with a dose of [[HoYay Les Yay]].
* ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooMuch'' was a collection of detective short stories by G.K. Chesterton. Hitchcock had the right to adapt some of these stories and used that as justification for using the name (which he thought was too cool not to use).
* ''Film/TheMask'': [[Comicbook/TheMask The original comic]] was more of a horror series involving the titular Mask turning people into Axe Crazy murderers. The movie, then [[WesternAnimation/TheMask the animated series]] turned the character into a comical Super Hero, kept as the main character a guy who only last one issue in the comic, and used few elements from the comic. The show and the movie are actually better remembered than the comic, and the serie was rather well-received
* None of the sequels to ''Film/{{Meatballs}}'' had anything to do with the original outside of being set in a camp. The second film was a DolledUpInstallment shot under the name ''Space Kid'' while the third and fourth films threw out the concept of the relationships between the campers and the counselors in favor of ripping off the ''Film/{{Porkys}}'' franchise.
* Pioneering director Creator/GeorgesMelies did this a bit:
** ''Baron Munchausen's Dream'' features a baron, but he has no obvious similarities to the one TheMunchausen is named after.
** ''The Impossible Voyage'', in French, has the same title as a play by Creator/JulesVerne (''Voyage ŕ travers l'Impossible'', literally ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_Through_the_Impossible Journey Through the Impossible]]''). And both works are about traveling crazy places, including into space and underwater, in ways that are highly reminiscent of Verne's books. That's where the similarities end, though.
** ''The Mysterious Island'' has nothing to do with [[TheMysteriousIsland the book of that name]]; it's actually based loosely on ''TheOdyssey''.
** ''Under the Seas'' is sometimes called ''20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'', but it takes only two things from [[TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea the book]]: the submarine and the fish. (No, seriously. The cutout fish Méličs made for the movie were closely based on the original book illustrations; TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Seas says so]].)
* ''Film/MenInBlack'': The first five minutes of the first movie is a faithful reproduction of the first few pages of the first issue of the [[Comicbook/MenInBlack comic]]. After that, they have almost nothing in common.
* Similarly to the page image, [[http://cube.ign.com/articles/600/600860p1.html IGN once announced on April Fool's Day]] a ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' movie... directed by Creator/UweBoll... produced by Creator/{{Troma}}... and set on Earth, with a plot similar to ''VideoGame/HalfLife''.
* The ''Film/MissionImpossible'' movies borrowed [[ThisPageWillSelfDestruct some]] [[LatexPerfection commonly]] [[MissionImpossibleCableDrop used]] [[ImpossibleMission tropes]] from the original ''Series/MissionImpossible'' TV show, and then created an action thriller film series out of a show that was always focused on outthinking the villain, preferably without him even realizing that there ''was'' someone acting against him. Between that and the way the film treated the only character to appear in both show and film, the cast of the show disavowed the movies and at least one of them stormed out of the theater during the premiere.
* ''Film/MysteryMen'' follows the concept of its comic, but created an entirely new cast and story line. The only character who is in both is Mr. Furious, who is an entirely different character in each.
* The third movie in ''Film/TheNeverendingStory'' series shares no plot at all with the book. The only element from the book it uses that wasn't in the first two movies is the Old Man of Wandering Mountain - and in a very different context.
** As the Old Man of Wandering Mountain chronicles the story that is Fantasien, and the Childlike Empress is the collective imagination which allows the land she rules to exist, the two are never supposed to meet. The situation is akin to a mirror looking in a mirror, and can cause the end of the universe.
** A person is only allowed to meet the Childlike Empress once, at least, until her name is changed again, and Bastian had already met her. [[note]]a good part of the premise to the second half of the book hinges on this[[/note]]
** AURYN can only exist in Fantasia, as its power is Fantasien, the world of human fantasy. A person cannot make things from their imagination magically appear in the human world.
** The Fantasians are not supposed to enter the human world, due to the fact that they are then no longer part of the imagination, but become lies. That was part of the problem with the Nothing - the things it ate up were sent off to the human world, which destroyed both Fantasia and the human world.
* ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum,'' because the original book was very short.
* The Russian UrbanFantasy movie based on the book ''Literature/NightWatch'', itself titled ''Night Watch'', was faithful to the book, except for the depth of the story, the ending and [[spoiler: the fact that in the book Anton and Yegor are unrelated and Anton never went to that old witch]]. But the book is divided in three stories, and only the first was made into the movie ''Night Watch''. The second movie, ''Day Watch'' was completely unrelated to the book of the same name: it was a completely new story with the beginning taken from the second story of the book ''Night Watch'' and some elements from the third one (namely, the magic chalk).
* The film ''Pathfinder'' is a remake of the 1987 film of the same name. Other than having a Scandinavian main character and the same title, they are completely different films (the title even became ''Pathfinder: Legend of the Ghost Warrior'' when Fox realized this).
* ''[[Film/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief]]'' is based on the book ''The Lightning Thief''' in that it is about a boy who is the son of the God Poseidon and he has to find the Lightning Thief; everything else in the film differs from the source material.
* ''Film/PeterBenchleysCreature'' is almost completely different from the book its based on. Several characters have the same names from the book, but there is no guarantee that they will have the same personality, {{race|Lift}}, or role. It has a completely different setting and backstory. Even the titular creature is completely different (the only similarities they have are that they are humanoid amphibious creatures, but [[spoiler:one is a scientifically modified human with steal claws and teeth and one is a genetically engineered shark with human DNA.]]) While some scenes from the book survived for the adaptation (often heavily edited), they are spliced in all over the place and interspersed with completely made up subplots. To top it all off, it really doesn't even share the name. The original novel was called WhiteShark, but was renamed for TheMovie. The original novel was retroactively renamed PeterBenchleysCreature. Although, that said, it wasn't really that bad of a movie....
* Both film versions of ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' share nothing in common with [[Literature/PlanetOfTheApes the novel that inspired them]] except the existence of a planet ruled by intelligent apes with humans as savage animals. Both movies... well, ''ape'' the TwistEnding of the novel [[spoiler: the narrator returns to Earth after his voyage only to find that it too has been dominated by intelligent apes]], though in significantly different ways. Oddly, the third movie in the series, ''Film/EscapeFromThePlanetOfTheApes'', is similar to that of the original novel (loosely), but with the roles of humans and apes reversed.
* Somehow the book ''Please Don't Eat The Daisies'', which was a collection of essays and articles, became a feature film starring Doris Day and David Niven.
* Other than having protagonists with [[ThemeNaming plant-themed names]], and being about seductive women causing drama, the movies in the ''Film/PoisonIvy'' series have practically nothing in common with the original 1992 film starring Creator/DrewBarrymore. The closest thing that the original has to an actual sequel is the third film, ''Poison Ivy: The New Seduction''--which has a completely new cast of characters, and features Ivy's (heretofore unmentioned) sister, Violet, as the protagonist.
* In Argentina, there's a pornographic film called ''Pollémon'', leading one to believe that it's a Pokémon porno spoof. The film's cover even advertises, ''"Vive las fascinantes aventuras de Pollachu!"'' ("Live the fascinating adventures of Pollachu!") If you were expecting to see someone in a poorly-designed Pikachu costume, Team Rocket, or anything else having to do with Pokémon, well... let's just say you'll be PRETTY disappointed.
* The 1960 film of ''Literature/{{Pollyanna}}'' has the title character, the Glad Game, something of the setup, and a few character names/traits in common with the book. The plot, much of the characterization, and some of the side plots are entirely different.
* The Creator/KevinCostner [[Film/ThePostman movie]] of David Brin's very fine novel ''Literature/ThePostman'' is barely recognizable (starting with the fact the movie is not so 'very fine'). The scene where the main character discovers the postman's uniform is the only scene from the book to make it into the movie. Otherwise the main character and his motivation is completely different (in the book he's much less of an obvious white-hat), the love interest is completely different, the villain is completely different (in the book being a genetically-enhanced warrior, in the movie just a weird guy with a beard), there is a second 'hero' who doesn't appear at all in the movie and there is an interesting subplot about a super-powerful AI that is guiding a remote village of survivors back to civilization that isn't even mentioned in the film. [[http://www.davidbrin.com/postmanmovie.htm The author is quite aware of the necessary changes for a movie adaption and is rather pleased with the result]].
* ''Manhwa/{{Priest}}'' is a rather unique and strikingly drawn ''manwha'' combining ReligiousHorror, ZombieApocalypse and TheWestern, as BadassPreacher Ivan Isaacs treks across the American frontier battling a band of rebel angels. [[Film/{{Priest}} The movie]]...is about a ''bunch'' of priests fighting vampires in the far future. About the only thing the two have in common is a main character with a cross on his forehead. The only people who are happy about this are the ones who've never read the comic. The director made this change as he didn't want people saying that he was copying his previous film ''Film/{{Legion}}''.
* The first ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries'' film took the basic plotline of [[Literature/ThePrincessDiaries the books]] and the character names and did its own thing, probably because they got Creator/JulieAndrews to play the grandmother, but the sequel basically did its own thing entirely. The fact that Mia's mother married Mia's teacher and had a baby is the only thing the sequel took from the book series.
* The sequel to ''PureCountry'' shares literally no characters or actors with the first film.
* ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'' shared only the title and character names with the book. Important plot elements and characterizations were either changed or completely ignored. As a matter of fact, Warner Bros. made it no secret that the only reason the movie was made was because the rights to the book were about to expire. When book author Anne Rice offered to pen the screenplay for free, the studio flat-out refused, preferring to make a low-budget cash-in as quickly as possible.
* The plot of the 2012 film ''Film/{{The Raven|2012}}'' has nothing to do with the Creator/EdgarAllanPoe poem "Literature/TheRaven", even though Poe is the main character (unsurprisingly, as an adaptation of the poem would not fill a feature film).
* The ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' [[Film/ResidentEvil movies]] got the ''look'' of the games down for the most part. Too bad they threw out the plot, characterization, atmosphere, and everything else that makes the games so enjoyable. The movies should have been called "The [[GodModeSue Amazing Alice's]] [[WaifFu Kung-Fu Adventures]] in {{Zombie|Apocalypse}} [[Franchise/TheMatrix MatrixLand]]." It would have made much more sense as a title ''and'' pissed off far fewer ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' fans.
* ''The Running Man'' [[Film/TheRunningMan film]] and [[Literature/TheRunningMan novel]] are both set in a dystopian world and center on a television show where a man is hunted. Beyond that, they have nothing to do with each other. In fact, the film adaptation has far more in common with an earlier Creator/RobertSheckley short story entitled "The Seventh Victim", but presumably, Sheckley's relatively-obscure name wouldn't sell as many tickets as the Creator/StephenKing pseudonym. "Based on the novel by Richard Bachman" is placed in the opening credits, and copies of the novel featured Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger's face on the cover, advertising the film.
* ''Film/TheSaint'': Creator/ValKilmer plays a character with the same name as the classic character created by Leslie Charteris, but Kilmer's character is an angsty, semi-OCD, nonentity. AndThatsTerrible. The character is specifically said to have been inspired by Charteris's stories, which are RecursiveCanon within the movie.
* The film ''Saint Sinner'' had nothing to do with the Creator/CliveBarker comic book series.
* Creator/NeilGaiman used to tell a story about receiving a prospective script for a [[Comicbook/TheSandman Sandman]] movie. Near the beginning, he read a scene in which the title character is attacked by soldiers while declaring "[[PunyEarthlings Puny humans!]] Your weapons have no effect on Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams!" Gaiman then put the script down and refused to read another word.
* Creator/RafaelSabatini's novel ''Literature/TheSeaHawk'' was a tale of an English gentleman framed for murder by his fiancée's brother, getting shanghaied to the Mediterranean, and converting to Islam that he might become a pirate and wreak vengeance on the people that threw him away. The Errol Flynn movie ''Film/TheSeaHawk'' is a tale of an English privateer and his affair with Queen Elizabeth, with a bit of background about the Spanish Armada.
* The movie adaptation of ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'', which in its primary market didn't even keep the name, being re-titled ''Film/TheSeeker''. One reviewer joked that "They only changed one thing in the plot - ''everything''", and it's not far wrong. The Stanton family, who in the books are warm, caring and British, are now dysfunctional and American; Will is changed from a thoughtful, wise-for-his-age eleven-year-old to a whiny fourteen-year-old [[HormoneAddledTeenager hormone-addled]] {{jerkass}} who's more interested in stealing his brother's girlfriend than completing his quest for the Signs, and all the Arthurian mythology is hacked out and replaced with Christian allegory. The director himself ''bragged'' about how unfaithful it was, admitting that he [[SciFiGhetto didn't really care for fantasy works anyway]].
* The 2006 version of ''Film/TheShaggyDog'' has completely different characters from the 1959 film, and a different mechanism for transformation (genetic engineering versus a magical ring). Essentially everything is different except for the part where a person is turned into a shaggy dog.
* ''Film/{{Shin Kamen Rider|Prologue}}'', a DarkerAndEdgier ContinuityReboot of the ''Franchise/KamenRider'' franchise. Note that the title itself makes ''[[ArtifactTitle no sense]]'', as the protagonist doesn't wear a mask and never rides his motorcycle while transformed. There's a reason the film has been so heavily disowned by the fandom.
* Some of the adaptations starring Creator/ShirleyTemple were this. The 1938 film based on ''RebeccaOfSunnybrookFarm'' had the same basic premise, but it essentially isn't the same banana as Kate Douglas Wiggin's 1903 original. Both depictions of Rebecca were equally talented, but Shirley!Rebecca was portrayed as a little girl participating in a radio show.
* [[Film/InitiationSilentNightDeadlyNight4 The fourth]] and [[Film/SilentNightDeadlyNight5TheToyMaker fifth]] entries in the ''Silent Night, Deadly Night'' series are unrelated to the previous three movies, which features AxCrazy siblings of [[BadSanta Santa]] imposters. The fourth film is almost unrelated to Christmas and involves some kind of ancient Egyptian witch cult and the fifth has [[LivingToys evil toys]] connected to an enigmatic toymaker by the name of [[{{Pun}} Joe Petto]]. The films have homages to the original three though, with scenes of them being briefly shown on televisions and the villains dressing up as Santa at least once.
* The comic book ComicBook/TheSpirit is about a BadassNormal with no powers, who is a CelibateHero that gets nervous around women and wears an ugly, off the rack blue and white suit. ''Film/TheSpirit'' is about a revived dead guy with a HealingFactor, who is a HandsomeLech in a stylish, tailored, black-on-black suit. And his enemy, the Octopus, is an intimidating and powerful gangster obsessed with not letting anyone see his face. In the film, he's a lower-tier scientist with ambitions of godhood who is incredibly vain and showoffy about his good looks. It's like they were trying to do the exact opposite of the comics. The irony? Creator/WillEisner gave the rights to Michael Uslan, the producer, on the understanding that Uslan wouldn't give the project to anyone who 'Didn't get it'. There were further ironies in the fact that Creator/FrankMiller was a big fan of Eisner, one of Eisner's friends, and showed himself to be capable of understanding the concept of The Spirit as indicated by his Daredevil work.
* ''Stage Door'', the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, had so little in common with ''Film/StageDoor'', the movie nominally adapted from it, that Kaufman joked that the movie might as well have changed its title to ''Screen Door''. The movie's vast changes in characterization, plot and dialogue (barely any of the play's lines were retained) were [[http://zvbxrpl.blogspot.com/2005/03/calla-lilies-are-in-bloom-again.html for the better]].
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'', which was really more of a TakeThat against [[Literature/StarshipTroopers the original book]] than an adaptation. The producers didn't even buy the rights to the original until after the script was written. Verhoeven didn't even read more than a chapter or two into the book, by his own admission.
* [[Film/{{Steel}} The film version]] of Comicbook/{{Steel}} cuts all Superman references apart from the title character wearing a Superman tattoo...which is unintentional, since Shaquille O'Neal, who plays the title character, already had it.
* The ''Literature/StuartLittle'' movies. The books were set in the late 1940s, Stuart was born from a human mother rather than adopted, and only the boat race in the first movie bears any resemblance to the events of the book.
* If Creator/KevinSmith is to be believed, Jon Peters' ''Franchise/{{Superman}} Lives'', a movie that was never made, would have had Superman's iconic outfit be replaced by an all black one, Superman wouldn't fly, and he'd fight ''a GiantSpider'', it would have also given Lex a pet named "Chewie", as well as making Brainiac fight ''polar bears''. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgYhLIThTvk This is true folks]]. Fortunately, Kevin Smith tried to make a script that worked the changes in while still throwing in the traditional Superman feel, but ''Superman Lives'' was never made to this day.
* Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps'' is considered to be this by John Buchan's family due to how far it deviated from the source material after [[spoiler:Hannay sneaks out of his flat]]; that said, they still regarded it as an entertaining film in its own right.
* Neither the [[Film/TheThreeMusketeers1993 1993]] nor the [[Film/TheThreeMusketeers2011 2011]] versions of ''The Three Musketeers'' were at all like [[Literature/TheThreeMusketeers the book]]. In particular, the 2011 film had ''{{zeppelins|FromAnotherWorld}}'' [[AnachronismStew in 1630s France]].
* ''To Have and Have Not'', the film, has very little to do with ''To Have and Have Not'', the Creator/ErnestHemingway novel. This may have something to do with the fact that director Creator/HowardHawks, though a Hemingway admirer in general, hated the book.
* The 1990 film, ''Film/{{Troll 2}}'' is not related to the 1986 B-movie ''Troll'' in any way but name. It's also about goblins, not trolls. Amusingly, there are two films that claim to be the sequel to ''Troll 2'', both directed by Joe D'Amato: ''Crawlers: Troll 3'', which is about killer tree roots, and ''Troll 3: The Sword of Power'' (AKA ''Quest For The Mighty Sword''), which uses some of the goblin costumes from ''Troll 2'', but is actually one of the sequels to ''[[Film/TheBladeMaster Ator]]''). Ultimately the ''Troll'' "series" immediately became a dumping ground for whatever genre horror film came along.
** ''Troll 2'' was part of a trend of Italian in-name-only B-movie sequels in the 1980s and 1990s. There were such instances of an ''Alien 2'' and a ''Terminator 2'' long before such films existed. Low-budget ThreateningShark film ''Cruel Jaws'' was promoted as the fifth ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' film. There was even [[Film/{{Zombi 2}} a sequel]] to ''Film/DawnOfTheDead'' (titled ''Zombi'' in Italy) that spawned a franchise of its own. Why the producers of these films' "predecessors" never filed lawsuits is unknown. These "sequels" were later retitled for overseas release, but ''Troll 2'' is the only instance of such title being retained worldwide.
* The ''Film/{{Underdog}}'' [[TheMovie Movie]]: Well, it uses some of the names from the cartoon. Everything else is different.
* The ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'' 3D movie doesn't follow the documentary format of the original series, opting instead for telling a coherent story with highly anthropomorphised, talking (or rather, "thinking aloud") dinosaurs. The serious, scientific tone is replaced with {{slapstick}}, ToiletHumour and BlackAndWhiteMorality. Nor are most of the original creators involved. It's seemingly more of a combination of ''WesternAnimation/MarchOfTheDinosaurs'', ''Series/DinosaurRevolution'', Disney's ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'' with bits of ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime''. However, the background dinosaur extras ''do'' behave like real animals, at least.
* ''Film/{{Wanted}}'' takes out almost all of the [[ComicBook/{{Wanted}} the original comics]] story and background. The premise in its most broad strokes stays the same: the main character is a cuckolded loser who is brought into a WorldOfBadass by a love interest due to his long-lost and supposedly deceased father. Beyond that, the story and setting are completely different.
* The [[Film/WarOfTheWorlds 2005 movie adaptation]] of ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' features Earth being attacked by hostile aliens in three-legged "tripod" machines. After all the human military's attempted counterattacks are ineffective, the aliens are ultimately defeated by illness due to their immune systems not being able to cope with Earth's bacteria. Beyond that, it has nothing in common with Creator/HGWells's original novel. Most notably, the movie is set in the United States [[SettingUpdate in the early 21st century]] instead of the novel's late 19th century England and the aliens are never stated to be Martians in the movie as they are in the novel.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' bears very little resemblance to its original source, ''Literature/WhoCensoredRogerRabbit''. Only five characters and the premise of human beings and cartoon characters co-existing and the murder plot are there.
* ''[[Film/TheWildGeese Wild Geese II]]'' features no actors (or even ''characters''!) from the original, and also is in a different genre.
* ''Film/WildWildWest''. [[Series/TheWildWildWest The original show]] was a merging of TheWestern with the SpyDrama. It didn't really have much SteamPunk elements, just some technology that would have been high-tech for the time period. The movie ran with SteamPunk and the specific Film/JamesBond-style "save the world" spy escapades. The show didn't have anything like the SpiderTank or the magnetic collars, which makes it a very stark contrast going between the two. According to ''Website/{{Cracked}}'', the premise of the ''Wild Wild West'' movie is based on a ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode that originally starred the above-mentioned ComicBook/JonahHex. It isn't exactly known how it became a ''Wild Wild West'' story. The above clip linked about Kevin Smith working on the unreleased Superman movie has him mentioning that the same guy that wanted all the weird changes worked on the script for ''Wild Wild West'', and he got the giant spider he was so adamant about.
* The movie adaptation of Andzej Sapkowski's Witcher books had little if any resemblance to the source material and many fans have decided to simply deny its existence. The later video games are much more faithful.
* The 1939 film version of ''Theatre/TheWomen'' is very faithful to Clare Boothe's play. The 2008 remake is basically ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' with a different cast and [[{{Gendercide}} no visible men]].
* The 1925 film version of ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' features a completely different plot from the novel, incorporating a few elements from later Oz books that do not apply to the characters in the first book. Dorothy is not a farm girl from Kansas but a kidnapped princess of Oz, and is also a young woman instead of a young girl. The Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are not characters but the disguises of three farmhands. The Tin Man and Uncle Henry are [[AdaptationalVillainy villains]] in this version. The Wicked Witch of the West does not appear at all and the villain is Prime Minister Krewl (based on King Krewl) instead. It ends with Dorothy marrying a prince.
* Before its release, the [[Film/WorldWarZ movie adaptation]] of ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' [[http://io9.com/5830389/world-war-z-movie-synopsis-is-nothing-like-the-book-internet-melts-down was shaping up to be this]]. WordOfGod [[http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/max-brooks-calls-world-war-adaptation.html confirmed it.]] As Webvideo/HonestTrailers put it, "Get ready for the big screen adaptation of [[Literature/WorldWarZ the best-selling novel]] that's got everything you loved about... the title. And nothing else." Later on in the video, they show a scrolling list of all the book's awesome moments that were left out of the film.
* ''Film/XMen'':
** ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'':\\\
Callisto's not scarred or one-eyed, she has a mix of Caliban's and Quicksilver's powers and not her own hypersensitivity.\\\
Kid Omega is actually Quill. The writers even state so in the DVDCommentary.\\\
Leech. The movie ditches his defining trait of not passing for normal and not being able to do anything about it because most mutant powers don't work on him. Also, his powers no longer temporarily nullify whoever he touches, he has an area of effect that fully humanizes whoever enters it. Granted, it serves as a better justification for [[spoiler: using him as a source for The Cure, as using the original comic book plot would have left no screen time for the Phoenix plotline]].
** ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' is fairly notorious for it, with many of the featured mutants having little (or nothing) to do with its comic book counterparts:\\\
Emma Frost. The only attributes that she has in common with her comics counterpart is that she's blonde and can turn her skin into a diamond-like form. ''First Class'' would [[CanonDiscontinuity ignore]] her appearance in this story and present its own version of Emma as much closer to her comics counterpart. Then again, she's called "Emma", but the surname is never said. However, in one of the character TV spots, they clearly use Frost as her surname.\\\
Agent Zero. Not only do they use his New Weapon X callsign instead of his Weapon X one (Maverick), he somehow has Agent X's powers as well. Neither his powers as Maverick (kinetic energy absorption and redirection), nor his powers as Agent Zero (corrosive skin secretions designed to defeat HealingFactor abilities) make an actual appearance. Oh, and he's no longer East German.\\\
Bolt. Or Bradley, for those who missed him because he's long-dead in the comics. He's not only not called by his callsign, he's also no longer the kid Maverick teaches in the use of his powers after retiring - he's now Maverick's comrade-in-arms. Who, instead of lightning-flinging powers, has electric-appliance-powering-and-controlling powers.\\\
Deadpool retains his sarcastic sense of humor, MotorMouth and katanas... and even those fall by the wayside by the time of the main events of the movie. [[spoiler:While he does undergo a procedure to give him a copy of Wolverine's HealingFactor that leaves his body horrifically scarred just like in the comics, he's also saddled with Cyclops' optic blasts, Wraith's teleportation (He uses a device in the comics) and a pair of [[BladeBelowTheShoulder Blades Below the Shoulders]], and just to add insult to injury, his mouth is sewn shut.]]\\\
In the comics, Blob's fat body was a part of his mutation, with the super strength more of a {{Required Secondary Power|s}}. In fact it's ''the fat'' that made him virtually resistant to any weapons.
** ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' has nothing to do with the [[ComicBook/XMen comic book of the same name]] and features entirely different origins for many of the characters. Despite this, the movie was very well-received by critics and was a hit at the box office.\\\
A notable aspect is the complete reinvention of one character in particular, Azazel. Azazel in the comics is an immortal mutant/demon warlord who was banished to another dimension because he looked and acted like the devil and got many women pregnant to have an army of children to free him...somehow. In the film, he's a Russian KnifeNut who looks like the devil but other than killing a few people, doesn't act like it. He instead appears more like his son, Nightcrawler, only red and evil. [[TropesAreNotBad This is not a bad thing]], and as he originally was [[TheScrappy so despised]], the film [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap gave the character a well welcomed overhaul]].
** Most of ''Film/TheWolverine'''s characters are based from ''[[ComicBook/FrankMillersWolverine Frank Miller's Wolverine]]'' series; with some of them taken liberties to in terms of role.\\\
The comics' Kenuichio Harada is ''THE'' Silver Samurai, Shingen's arrogant illegitimate son and a mutant seeking to rule the Yashida clan for himself. He despises the "gaijin" and the Yashidas especially his half-sister Mariko. In the film, most of his personality reflected on Shingen while Harada is relegated to the Yashidas' bodyguard, Mariko's ex-fiance [[spoiler:and not even the actual Silver Samurai]]. His closest reference to the comics is his affiliation with Viper.\\\
Viper aka Madame Hydra is a high-ranking member of HYDRA (and eventually leader) who is a human with superb martial arts skills and knowledge with poisons. Much like Juggernaut before her, the film depicts her as a mutant scientist with snake-like attributes who mainly works for herself. Confusingly, Fox was still allowed to use her, even though she's much more tied to Nick Fury and SHIELD. Strangely enough, it's the Silver Samurai who is one of HYDRA's leaders during the events of ''X-Men: The Official Game''.
* ''Film/YesMan'' is a fictional story using only the central premise of Danny Wallace's non-fiction book.
* Other than being about twenty-somethings entering a program to go undercover in a high school, does ''Film/TwentyOneJumpStreet'' have anything to do with [[Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet the show of the same name]]? It might has well been called ''Film/NeverBeenKissed Goes Undercover''. It's meant to be a StealthSequel, not an outright remake of the show. There's even dialogue at the beginning that makes it clear that the old 21 Jump Street program is being revived, they use the same old church as home base, and several original characters from the show make appearances.
* Given only 5 of the ''Film/JamesBond'' films don't take at least the title from Creator/IanFleming's [[Literature/JamesBond novels/stories]], it happened often.
** ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'' [[EnforcedTrope had to be done this way]]; [[CreatorBacklash Ian Fleming disliked]] [[Literature/TheSpyWhoLovedMe the book]], and refused to allow them to use the storyline. Horror, the novel's steel-toothed villain, was modified and renamed Jaws.
** To a smaller extent, ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' also has little to do with [[Literature/{{Moonraker}} the book]] outside of the villain being named Hugo Drax.
** The short story "[[Literature/OctopussyAndTheLivingDaylights Octopussy]]" shares no plot with [[Film/{{Octopussy}} the film]], but does provide the backstory to the title character, as revealed in a somewhat shoehorned-in dialogue sequence.
** ''Film/AViewToAKill'' has nothing to do with [[Literature/ForYourEyesOnly the short story]] aside from its setting. Even the titles are different, as the short story is called "''From'' a View to a Kill"!
** ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'' has nothing at all to do with [[Literature/ForYourEyesOnly the short story]].
** The first film version of ''Film/CasinoRoyale1967'' (done by a producer who had the rights to [[Literature/CasinoRoyale the novel]]) suffered through both DevelopmentHell and TroubledProduction, and the final product bears only a slight resemblance to the source.
* Creator/PhilipKDick stories sometimes get this treatment, except they tend to change even the name.
** ''Film/BladeRunner'' took the title of one book (''The Bladerunner'' by Alan E. Nourse) and slapped it on a movie made from a completely different story (Dick's ''Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?''). But except for the broad concept of a man hunting for renegade androids, and a few names, everything else differs from Dick's original. In fact, the whole dynamic is reversed: in the story, the androids are soulless villains, the threat of what humanity is becoming. In the film, the androids are tragic {{Byronic Hero}}es and the humans are callous slavemasters.
** ''Film/MinorityReport'' only takes 4 or 5 characters and the concept of Precrime from the original short story of the same name. Differences include a setting relocation, {{adaptation expansion}}s to characters, name changes, adding new characters and what not. The biggest most significant gap, however is the actions the protagonist takes towards the end in their respective stories.
** ''Film/{{Next}}'' is based on ''The Golden Man'', and differs greatly from its source material even for a movie based on a Philip K Dick story: Both share the general idea of the government trying to capture a main character who has the ability to foresee the immediate impact of anything he does before he does it. However, the setting, the main character's background, personality, and appearance, and ''what'' the government wants with him are all changed beyond recognition: In the original story, it was a post-apocalyptic future, the main character was a golden-skinned, non-sapient mutant, and the government was trying to wipe out all mutants with superhuman powers. On the other hand, the film takes place in the present, where the main character is a perfectly normal-looking, sapient human, and the government wants him to use his abilities to help them stop a nuclear threat. Reportedly, the original script was much more faithful to the source material before some drastic rewrites kicked in.
** The original ''Film/TotalRecall1990'' is very loosely based on a short story called "We Can Remember It For You, Wholesale.". Actually, both the film and the story begin being roughly the same, but there's a point in which they divert: just after the protagonist has his malfunctioning memory trip. Viewers of the movie will instantly recognize that point as the same one in which the movie has a sudden MoodWhiplash from classic sci-fi to pull-all-the-stops action movie, while the story turns into a spectacular MindRape.
** ''Film/TotalRecall2012'' completely [[DoingInTheWizard abandoned]] most of the MindScrew elements, [[ComicallyMissingThePoint in an attempt to ground it more in realism]]. Critical reaction to this wasn't exactly favorable.
* ''Film/{{Snowpiercer}}'' is based off of a French graphic novel named ''Le Transperceneige''. Very ''VERY'' loosely - the only thing it has in common are the setting and the name of the train it takes place on. This actually doesn't make it bad at all - the film is still a very strong film on its own.
* Some films snag the title of a self-help book that is selling well at the moment.
** The Creator/NatalieWood romantic comedy ''Sex and the Single Girl'', though it references the original Helen Gurley Brown bestseller and its author, has nothing to do with the original, which was a ''self-help'' book.
** Creator/WoodyAllen made an "adaptation" of the advice book ''Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask)''.
** ''Film/RebelWithoutACause'' was named after a book by a psychiatrist. Otherwise, it has nothing to do with it.
** ''Film/HesJustNotThatIntoYou'' is basically just an ensemble romantic comedy with the same name as the relationship advice book.
* Some nonfiction books are turned into fictional stories with the same themes and subject matter.
** ''Fast Food Nation'' is a fictional story that conveys the original book's argument that fast food is bad for your health and America!
** ''Film/TheMenWhoStareAtGoats'' is a fictional story about the paranormal CIA department discussed in the book.
** ''What To Expect When You're Expecting'' is a fictional story about pregnant ladies based on a pregnancy guide.
** ''Film/MeanGirls'' is a fictional story about the destructive effects of high school cliques on girls based on a self-help book, ''Queen Bees and Wannabes''.
* There have been many modern day film adaptations of Shakespeare plays which may or may not retain the original play's title. These films typically follow roughly the same plot as the original play, but have next to nothing in common with it beyond that. They are usually set in the modern day United States as opposed to the historical settings of the original plays, and in many cases the names of the characters are adapted to modern equivalents if not outright changed.
* This was common with movie versions of Broadway musicals produced in the 1930s, 1940s, and sometimes in the 1950s:
** The 1956 film version of ''Theatre/AnythingGoes'' bears next to no resemblance to the musical it's based on. Aside from five songs (sung in completely different contexts) and the fact that there's a boat (going from France to New York, where the original show was going the other direction), they might as well have called it something like ''Road to Broadway'' and not stepped on anyone's toes.
** The 1949 film ''Red, Hot and Blue'' shares its title with a Music/ColePorter musical and absolutely nothing else.
** The 1936 movie version of ''Rose-Marie'' resembles the original musical play in score only. They share a number of songs and a few {{Leitmotif}}s, but the plots have almost nothing in common other than both having a title character trying to protect a wanted man from a determined Mountie. Between the versions, these three characters all have different names (the "Rose-Marie" of the 1936 movie is a pseudonym), and the relations between them are very different: in the musical play, the wanted man is Rose-Marie's lover, not her brother as in the movie.
** ''Broadway Rhythm'' was nominally an adaptation of ''Very Warm For May''; though the show had been a flop on Broadway, its writers, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, were hired to write {{Movie Bonus Song}}s. However, the film producers ended up throwing out almost everything from ''Very Warm For May'' aside from its BreakawayPopHit, "All The Things You Are."
** The 1952 film version of ''The Belle of New York'' replaced all the songs, and most of the plot as well. However, the original musical dates back to 1897 and has not lasted well in popularity.
** ''Film/TheBandWagon'' is actually a JukeboxMusical that borrowed several songs from the 1931 Broadway revue ''The Band Wagon''. The revue, of course, had no plot, but that hadn't stopped 20th Century-Fox into adapting it into the 1949 movie ''Dancing in the Dark''. Creator/FredAstaire had starred in the revue ''The Band Wagon'' with his sister Adele (who went on from this production to retire from the stage), but performed none of the same numbers in the movie; this total aversion of RoleReprisal was likely deliberate.
** ''Film/FunnyFace'' has a completely different plot from a 1927 Broadway musical which had a few of the same songs and Fred Astaire.
* Very common with {{Spaghetti Western}}s, as Italian studios frequently retitled generic Westerns to cash in on successful films. ''Film/{{Django}}'' provides the most extreme example, with at least '''thirty''' unrelated movies featuring Django in the title. Other popular characters like Ringo, Sabata, Sartana and Trinity inspired similar ripoffs. There were even [[UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny crossovers between several of these franchises]]!
* Virtually every movie with Poe's name in the publicity has little or nothing to do with the author. Creator/RogerCorman took this to an extreme when he made ''[[LovecraftOnFilm The Haunted Palace]]''; it's actually based on Creator/HPLovecraft, but Corman thought Poe's name was more famous and thus would put more seats in seats. Today he'd probably do the opposite....
* In ''Film/IronMan3'', the BigBad is [[spoiler:Aldrich Killian]]. In the comic arc the movie adapts, the character [[spoiler:dies off very near the start and plays no active role in the order of events]] as a result. Another example where [[TropesAreNotBad it works to the benefit of the adaptation]], as it led to a very crazy plot twist halfway through the movie as a result.
* ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'' features a version of Ashley Kafka with the only thing in common with the comic character being that they work as Ravencroft and the name, as the Kafka of the comics was a female psychologist who cared about her paitents, whereas the movie Kafa is a male MadScientist who tortures Electro ForScience
* The only things ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'''s version of Gillian Loeb has in common in the character of the same name from ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' is that he's against Batman and preceding [[TheCommissionerGordon Jim Gordon]] as Police Commissioner[[note]]and even then, in the comics, then was a man named Grogan was held the job between Loeb leaving and Gordon taking over[[/note]], as the movie character has more to do with Michael Akins, an officer who temporarily replaced Gordon as Commissioner: namely being a young, honest, African-American cop rather than the old Caucasian CorruptCop from the comics.
* ''Film/EllaEnchanted'' keeps the names of some characters and the premise of Ella being cursed with obedience, but otherwise bears little resemblance to the book.

* 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.
* Dear lord, the HowToTrainYourDragon books are ''nothing'' like the movie. Most of the similarities come from the names of the characters, and the writers took very great liberties with the plot, such as dragons being enemies with humans, which is not true in the book; Camacazi being replaced with Astrid; and even Toothless' design and species being changed from a tiny, stuttering JerkWithAHeartOfGold to a dragon more akin to a large, dangerous dog. Thankfully, the movies are good in their own right.
* 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:Live Action TV]]
* The 2008 TV adaptation of ''Series/TheAndromedaStrain'' had very little to do with [[Literature/TheAndromedaStrain the original novel]], beyond the basic concept of a deadly contagion.
* ''Series/BaywatchNights'' which was still starring by David Hasselhoff as Mitch Buchannon, as well as a few other characters from the main series showing up, which was the only reason to keep the name since he was not a lifeguard anymore.
** ''The series itself'' undergoes a ReTool from CopShow to sci-fi, making season two ''Baywatch Nights'' in name only even ''more'' than season one was ''{{Baywatch}}'' in name only.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' is supposedly inspired by Nelson Johnson's non-fiction History book ''Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City'', but is actually a fictional crime drama set in 1920s USA that follows a very fictionalized version of an historical character mentioned in the book.
* The 2001 revival of ''Series/CardSharks'' had contestants predict whether cards were higher or lower than each other... but other than that? Where were the survey questions? The second player's row of cards? And what the hell are Clip Chips?!!? It quickly got the FanNickname of "[=CaSINO=]", an [[FunWithAcronyms acronym]] for "'''Ca'''rd '''S'''harks '''I'''n '''N'''ame '''O'''nly".
* The upcoming ''[[ComicBook/TheDefenders Defenders]]'' Creator/{{Netflix}} show will not be based off the comic (which was about a secret group of heroes best known for their founding four -- Comicbook/DoctorStrange, [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk]], [[Comicbook/SubMariner Namor the Sub-Mariner]], and the Comicbook/SilverSurfer). Instead, it will feature a RagTagBunchOfMisfits consisting of Comicbook/{{Luke Cage|HeroForHire}}, [[Comicbook/ImmortalIronFist Iron Fist]], Comicbook/JessicaJones and Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}.
* ''Series/TheElectricCompany'': Its 2009 "revival" has almost nothing in common with its predecessor but its name! Bad enough they threw in a "they fight crime with superpowers" motif, that has little, if anything to do with phonics, but they even ruined the softshoe silhouettes. Why even bother calling it ''The Electric Company''?
* NBC's ''Series/{{Dracula}}'' is quite literaly ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' in name only. The show was so unconnected to the original novel that you could have changed literally every character's name, even Dracula himself, and lost ''nothing''.
* Slightly averted case: In the 1980s, an American production company approached Creator/JohnCleese with the intention of remaking ''Series/FawltyTowers'' for an American audience. When he asked them about it, they told him they'd only made one slight change from the original; they'd removed the character of Basil Fawlty. They end up making it, without the Basil Fawlty character, but changed the name right before air. It was called ''Amanda's'' and it starred Creator/BeaArthur.
* ''Ferris Bueller'', the 1990 sitcom. The protagonist is a teenager who can do virtually anything and often [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall,]] he has a bratty sister and a suspicious principal who are constantly trying to bust him, and he has a neurotic best friend and a cute girlfriend. The similarities to [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff the film]] end there. The series takes place in L.A. instead of Chicago, the soundtrack is absolutely wretched, Ferris and Jeannie's ages are reversed, Ferris is regarded by his peers as a nerd, Cameron's characterization is reduced to [[{{Flanderization}} "He's a hypochondriac; laugh at him"]], and the whole general environment is [[WorldOfWeirdness wacky and over-the-top,]] ensuring that Ferris blends right in instead of standing out. Oh, and Ferris and company ''attend school'' in every episode.
* ''Series/FridayThe13thTheSeries'' was unrelated to the [[Franchise/FridayThe13th film series]], and despite common rumor there were never any plans to have Jason appear on the show or feature his mask as one of the artifacts. The films get a small ShoutOut in the episode "Crippled Inside" though, where the song the rocker chick from ''Film/FridayThe13thPartVIIIJasonTakesManhattan'' plays on her guitar can be heard on the radio.
* The ''Series/HoratioHornblower'' episode "The Even Chance" bears only a passing resemblance to the first several chapters of 'Mr Midshipman Hornblower''.
** In the book, the titular even chance is Hornblower arranging for only one pistol to be loaded in his duel with Simpson, with neither knowing which one, giving each a 50:50 chance of winning, far better than Hornblower's odds in a standard duel. Captain Keene [[spoiler:stops the duel by having neither pistol loaded, not wanting to lose two midshipmen]]. Simpson does not reappear in any subsequent story. In the A&E series, it is a standard duel, but Hornblower is knocked unconscious by Clayton, who is killed by Simpson.
** The rest of the episode features "The Cargo of Rice" and part of "The Penalty of Failure", "Hornblower and the Man Who Felt Queer" and part of "Hornblower and the Man Who Saw God". The first half of "The Man Who Saw God" is put out of order (immediately after his transfer to ''Indefatigable'' instead of after the capture of the ''Papillon'') and comprised only two scenes involving Styles rat fighting while omitting the second half: Hornblower and Finch manning a swivel gun in the mizzen topmast, which is hit and topples, forcing them to jump for safety;
** "The Penalty of Failure" omits his capture by a French privateer, which Hornblower sets on fire to slow down to allow the ''Indefatigable'' to capture her.
** "The Man Who Felt Queer" Simpson and the crew of the ''Justinian'' are rescued after it is sunk and absorbed into the ''Indefatigable'', leading to Simpson taking part in the raid on the ''Papillon''. Archie Kennedy has a seizure, and Hornblower must knock him unconscious to avoid giving away their presence. Simpson then casts loose the jolly boat and shoots Hornblower. Finch dives overboard to save Hornblower, who takes command of the ''Papillon'' in battle against French corvettes. Hornblower later accuses Simpson of trying to murder him and re-opens the duel. In the book, Simpson and the ''Justinian'' never reappear, it is a seaman called Hales who has a seizure, the jolly boat is lost in the course of battle, and the ''Papillon'' is simply captured and not involved in a fight against the French.
* The 2010 ''Series/HumanTarget'' TV show shares the title and the name of the main character. That's about it. Just like in the title sample, you get the feeling that they had a bodyguard show lying around waiting for a name.
* The BBC's ''LarkRiseToCandleford'' and ''TheParadise'' exported the setting and characters, but not the plot, from Flora Thompson's book and Emile Zola's ''Ladies' Paradise'' respectively.
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker,'' while not technically bearing the same name as ''Literature/SwordOfTruth,'' is very much in the spirit of this Trope. The series is "based" on the first book, ''Wizard's First Rule'', but past the first half of the pilot episode, you can basically take everything you remember from the book and just stop expecting any of it to match. There are a ton of characters that share the same names but have completely different appearances, attitudes and role, and while there are a few episodes that are closer to chapters in the book than others, overall most fans of the book who watch it would be sorely disappointed. Anyone who hasn't read the book or just doesn't care about the changes might enjoy it, though... if they could get past the campy fantasy stereotypes.
** Given that the first book's BigBad is killed (rather anticlimactically and ''not'' by the protagonist) at the end of the first season, and the Zedd reveals the second wizard's rule at the beginning of the second season, it can be assumed that the show's creators hoped to have a book-per-season sort of deal. This leaves the viewers (even those who haven't read the books) wanting, when each season is quickly wrapped up in a single episode. Oh, and [[spoiler:Rahl]] gets better in the second season.
** Some of the changes were simply pragmatic. For example, the likeliest reason why [[spoiler:Darken Rahl is Richard's brother instead of father]] is that [[spoiler:Craig Parker (Rahl) is not much older than Craig Horner (Richard)]].
** Some of the differences from the book, at least, received some nods in the show, such as one of the biggest complaints by the fans of the books that Rahl doesn't have white hair in the show. The flashbacks in season 2 reveal that Panis Rahl, his father, had white hair.
* In the early nineties, a fifty-ish TerrenceHill starred in the Italian movie and following TV-series ''Comicbook/LuckyLuke'', about a gunfighter in TheWildWest with a BadassLongcoat, dressed entirely in white, who took up a job as sheriff in Daisy Town. The whole thing looked as if someone had read the back-cover of a Lucky Luke comic and based everything around that.
* ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' bore no resemblance at all to [[Magazine/{{Mad}} the magazine]] that is its namesake. For the first few seasons, there were ''Spy vs Spy'' cartoons in every episode, but even those were eventually removed.
* The live-action version of Spanish children's books ''Manolito Gafotas''. The eponymous KidHero was DemotedToExtra, his [[EnsembleDarkHorse popular little brother]] even more so, and much of the plot centered on his parents and neighbours, most of which were bit players on the novels. In particular, Manolito's dad and his godfather became {{Ascended Extra}}s, getting even more role than ''Manolito himself'' at times. Oh, and the plots of the novels were all but ignored. In short, it was basically a generic Spanish SitCom with the names of the ''Manolito Gafotas'' cast.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Take everything you thought you knew about Arthurian Legend and throw it out the window. Arthur is a Prince right from the start, there's a dragon under the castle, Merlin is Arthur's servant who is around his age rather than much older, magic is outlawed, Morgana is not a villain, Gwen is dark-skinned... Then again, the [[KingArthur Arthurian Mythos]] has been doing this with every iteration of King Arthur since before the written word, so it's tradition.
** As of series 3, Morgana is, in fact, a villain - and, to be fair about that, the seeds of her FaceHeelTurn were planted with the introduction of Mordred in series 1.
** For further deviations from previous versions, however, a number of the named Knights of the Round Table are killed off over the course of the series, well before the Round Table is formed. (EG: Owain and Pellinore at the hands of the Black Knight.)
* In-Universe: In one episode of ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', some film execs buy the rights to one of Jessica's novels merely so they can use its title for a crappy slasher film.
* TheNewMonkees, It's a musical/comedy starring a band, made up of four cute boys selected by the shows' creators; the similarities to [[Series/TheMonkees the classic series]] end there.
* The series ''Series/PoltergeistTheLegacy'' shares nothing in common with its namesake, the ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'' films.
* The ITV/AMC remake of ''Series/ThePrisoner'' bears only the faintest resemblance to the original -- it occurs in a place called The Village, the hero is called Number Six and the villain is called Number Two, and that's about it. The underlying premise is almost ''totally'' different.
** Given how unique the original version was, making an In Name Only version with some of the same inspirations and preoccupations was truer to the original spirit than a slavish remake would have been. Unfortunately, it wasn't awesome enough to deserve to carry the name.
* The French version of ''Ready Steady Cook'' was just a straight cookery show. As bemused executive producer Peter Bazalgette later put it, "for four or five years they paid us a format fee to NOT make Ready Steady Cook!"
* A European series called ''Katz And Dog'' turned into this when it was aired in America. It was renamed ''Rin Tin Tin:K-9 Cop'', presumably because the distributors hoped it'd sell better, but it had nothing to do with the original Rin Tin Tin franchise.
* As the series went on ''Series/RobinHood'' kept moving further and further away from its [[RobinHood source material]]. By the time Tuck shows up (black, fit, not a Friar and pontificating on the "idea of Robin Hood" instead of spiritual matters) and Robin Hood is paired up with a whiny village girl called Kate instead of Maid Marian, you begin to wonder what the point was.
* Japanese ''[[Series/SpiderManJapan Spider-Man]]'': The eponymous hero looks like Franchise/SpiderMan and has the same powers, but he is more a {{toku}}satsu superhero (in fact being '''the''' predecessor for ''Super Sentai'''s HumongousMecha elements) than a comic book superhero. He has a wrist-worm transformation device (although it merely stores the Spider-Man suit in this case), a Spider car (technically the comic had one too, but it was totally different and short-lived), his webshooters are voice-activated (he would shout ''Spider String!'') and last but not least, he has a ''HumongousMecha''. Yeah. Imagine Peter "constantly strapped for cash" Parker being able to buy, repair, refuel and run general maintenance on a robot the size of a skyscraper.\\
Nevertheless, Creator/StanLee was actually involved in the production, and has said several times that he thought the series was excellent, even praising its creativity (and thus its deviance from the character ''he created''). There's an interview with him on the Japanese DVD box set. Apparently, Lee is not too familiar with Japanese media. While the [[HumongousMecha battle mechas]] would be seen as creative at the time, seeing how Spider-Man was the first to do that, everything else, from the transformation device to most of the plot, seems to be copied straight from ''Series/HimitsuSentaiGoranger'' and ''Series/JAKQDengekitai'', two show which were already released at the time. This was likely Lee's first exposure to Japanese Tokusastu as Marvel would later produce ''Series/BattleFeverJ'' and Lee would later attempt to unsuccessfully bring ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' to America.
* ''Series/StargateUniverse'' is ''very'' different from the [[Series/StargateSG1 previous]] [[Series/StargateAtlantis two]] series in the Franchise/StargateVerse, swapping out the GenreSavvy characters, theme of exploration, and CoolGate for {{Angst}}, [[DarkerAndEdgier grit]], and a million year old space ship that's ready to fall apart at the seams. Half the time the gate on the ''Destiny'' seems to serve only as a reminder that yes, this is Stargate (no matter [[DisContinuity how much SG1 and SGA fans disagree]].) Basically, it's a SoapOpera.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' in Korea is named as Power Rangers instead of the ''Super Sentai'' names of the series that air there.
** Especially ''Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger'' and ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' which aired as ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' and ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' (the same name as their Power Rangers counterparts) despite not actually being those series.
** ''Especially'' especially Dino Thunder. SPD can be considered an adaptation of Dekaranger, but PRDT took ''only'' the fight footage from Abaranger and is a radically different show.
* Aside from its title, the series ''Series/TeenWolf'' goes well out of its way to be completely different from [[Film/TeenWolf the original film]], specifically tone wise and going for a style similar to ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''.
* In 2011, NBC made a pilot for a ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' TV series. [[Series/WonderWoman2011Pilot Their version]] of Wondy more in common with {{Franchise/Batman}} than Wonder Woman, being a rich corporate executive who moonlights as a superhero. Little is made of her Amazon upbringing. Her Lasso of Truth is used only to snag enemies, and never to reveal the truth from anyone, [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique or does it in a more mundane manner]]. The concept of using the Wonder Woman persona as a company symbol for the public also mirrors the premise of ''Batman Incorporated''.
** The character's extremely violent and unheroic behavior clashes with even the most DarkerAndEdgier portrayals of the comics characters (in the comics, when the ProudWarriorRace nature of the Amazons comes to take center stage, ThouShaltNotKill is averted in light of the fact that she is a soldier. A dark storyline might put her among enemies that really, ''really'' need to get dead. In such a case, Batman would move heaven and earth to find a way to TakeAThirdOption; Wonder Woman wouldn't. However, this doesn't mean that she is every bit as murderous and brutal as the worst of her villains; the show version ''very much'' is, to the point that no one who has seen it considers her the hero. Basically, there's a ''reason'' this never got past the pilot stage.)
* Many a PoorlyDisguisedPilot ends up being this in regards to the show it's being pitched during. The characters the series usually centers on barely have any screentime at all, if they even get any.
* The trend over the last decade to produce in-name-only remakes of 1970s-era series has led to new versions of ''Series/BionicWoman'', ''Series/{{McCloud}}'', ''Series/{{Ironside}}'', and ''Series/{{Kojak}}'', that tended to port over character names but little else (including the formulas that made the original shows successes).
* The TV series based on the movie ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' is looking like this, as none of the film's characters (not even Marge Gunderson, the film's heroine) will be included and will instead be a different story with similar characters taking place in the same setting as the film.
* The series ''Series/IWasASixthGradeAlien'' (aka ''My Best Friend Is An Alien'') is ostensibly based on Bruce Coville's "Literature/MyTeacherIsAnAlien" books, except for the part where its main similarity is that aliens are involved. None of the characters make the transition, the goal of finding out if your teacher is an alien and/or winning a HumanityOnTrial situation is dropped, and the aliens are openly visiting Earth and even have an embassy rather than spying on us to see if we merit continued existence. In the series, Pleskit is the eponymous sixth-grade alien's name; in the books, it's the name of a foodstuff. Enough said.
* The 2014 series ''Series/TheLastShip'' has a different premise, story, and setting than the original [[Literature/TheLastShip novel]]. While the name of the destroyer remains the same, the fact that the events take place in the 21st century means that the "ColdWar going hot" theme won't play out. The plot is, instead, a global pandemic that wipes out a sizable percentage of the world population, and the destroyer is the location of a lab by a scientist attempting to find the vaccine. With the world governments collapsing, the danger is still real, as the destroyer is soon attacked by a half-a-dozen Russian helicopter gunships (the Russian government has ceased to exist). Commander [[Series/GreysAnatomy McStea-]], sorry, Chandler, together with his XO [[Creator/AdamBaldwin Jayn-]], sorry again, Slattery has to keep his ship away from civilization, while a doctor tries to figure out the cure.

* 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: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).

* 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: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''.

%% The Real Life section has been cut as nothing but Natter, Justifying Edits, non-examples, Complaining about things you don't like, and soapboxing. Don't restore it. This is an admin warning.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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: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.

* 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:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/The3rdBirthday'' is a sequel to the ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' games, but abandons its science fiction roots for half-science spiritual stuff. Mitochondria, the series BodyHorror GreenRocks are not mentioned once. Souls are a legitimate plot point. Four previous characters return, but two are so out-of-character that they could have been original characters, and the other two never had much story to begin with. This was likely due to Square-Enix's license with the ''Parasite Eve'' novel running out and not wanting to renew in order to save on costs.
* ''VideoGame/AloneInTheDark2008'' has little to do with the games before it, being an [[ActionizedSequel Actionized Reboot]] drowning in [[GameplayRoulette many, many different gameplay styles.]] While the main character is revealed to be Edward Carnby, he's also Carnby in name only.
* ''VideoGame/{{Alundra 2}}'' has nothing to do with [[VideoGame/{{Alundra}} the original.]]
* Jaleco's ''VideoGame/{{Astyanax}}'' for the NES has little to do with the arcade game of the same name. There are some similarities in gameplay, but the levels and story are completely different. The arcade version stars a BarbarianHero, while the NES version is about an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent sent to a MagicalLand.
* The modern "Creator/{{Atari}}" is itself an example, being essentially a trading name for what is -- or was -- Infogrames (who acquired rights to the name and some IP in the early 2000s). It has little connection with the original Atari Inc., creators of the VCS console, arcade games, and home computers. It's open to question when the "true" Atari died- following the 1983 video game crash, its arcade and computer divisions were sold separately as legally new companies to new owners (Atari Games and Atari Corp), but with some continuity of business and products. However, both are now defunct; Atari Games was later renamed by Midway who then shut down their entire arcade division. Atari Corp basically threw in the towel after the failure of the Jaguar console and their merger of convenience with hard drive manufacturer, JTS, in the mid-90s; their name and IP were sold off separately and later ended up in Infogrames hands.
* ''Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe'' for the GameGear and ''Golden Axe Warrior'', a clone of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' for the SegaMasterSystem, have scarcely any connections to the ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' BeatEmUp series aside from a few names.
* The ''VideoGame/BaldursGateDarkAlliance'' games are ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', and indeed ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' games, in name only. They're really ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' with the serial numbers filed off.
* ''Videogame/BattleZone1998'' was related to ''Videogame/{{BattleZone|1980}}'' in that both involved tanks and green vectors. However, ''1998'' is a hybrid FPS/RTS/Vehicle combat game, where you build bases with mobile factories and fight over [[UnObtanium bio metal]] with the Soviet Union (or the USA). The main menu of ''1998'' is a callback to Battlezone, with tanks (all rendered with [[VectorGame green vector lines]]) fight, though everything in-game is fully textured. Both games were made by totally different companies - {{Atari}} made the first, Creator/{{Activision}} made ''1998'' and the sequel, ''Battlezone II: Combat Commander''; Activision licensed the name "Battlezone" from Atari.
* ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}} Heroes'' has its characters named after their toy counterparts and they also look like them more or less, but apart from that, the settings, the story, the personalities and powers are completely made-up. This was deliberate on the creator's part -- the original story didn't lend itself to an easily manageable video game and didn't have much in the way of {{Mooks}}... although they could have tried to include some of the main characters' more video game-y abilities or at least made sure that their own ideas didn't ''directly'' contradict the source canon.
* The ActionRPG ''Blood Gear'' claims in its end credits to be ''Aurail 2''. It shares some music with and makes some vague story references to the ArcadeGame ''Aurail'', which otherwise bears no relation to ''Blood Gear''.
* When the GameBoy Advance franchise VideoGame/{{Boktai}} finally got a DS installment it was almost completely different from the original in every way. 90% of the SpaghettiWestern elements were removed, there was no continuity of plot from the original game series, and most tellingly the game no longer had to be played outside in direct sunlight to access certain abilities (though that one at least is probably for the best). The only major similarity is that the two main characters, Django and Sabata, retain their names and appearances (and even they were renamed in certain localizations) but they both have entirely new backstories and motivations.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'' is this for ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire'', sharing almost nothing with its predecessors, apart from the spell nomenclature and character names. As per series tradition, the two central protagonists are named Ryu and Nina; the other two, Bosch and Lin, take their names from Bosch and [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Rinpoo]] from ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII''.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' is a bizarre case of this. It takes place in the same world as [[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger the original,]] but in a different region that was never even mentioned in the original, with a completely different cast of characters and a completely different approach to characterizing them, major elements of worldbuilding created whole cloth, a completely different magic and combat system, a different artstyle, a plot focusing on crossing dimensions instead of time travel... in short, about 95% of the game has nothing whatsoever to do with the original. [[MindScrew The 5% that does, however, happens to be integral to understanding the game's plot.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra Force]]'' for the NES is a localization of an unreleased-in-Japan Famicom game titled ''Arc Hound''. The game has nothing to do with the rest of the ''Contra'' series, being set in present times with human enemies instead of aliens. The American localization of ''Contra III'' for the SNES did try to make a connection by establishing in the manual that the first stage of the game was actually Neo City, the setting of ''Contra Force''.
* A rare positive example (also being a {{license|d Game}}) is the ''VideoGame/{{Def Jam|Series}}'', which has very little to do with hip-hop aside from the music and is instead a wrestling/fighting game hybrid, of which the first two were fantastic. ''Def Jam Rapstar'' was a more traditional hip-hop rapping game, which provided a rare example of a traditional medium fitting for the source material actually being ''less'' accepted.
* ''[[VideoGame/FreeSpace Descent: Freespace]]'' has nothing to do with the ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' series except the name. The sequel dropped the act and is simply called ''Freespace 2''.
** The game was originally going to be called just ''Freespace'', but there was already a drive-compression product with the same name that could've caused trademark issues. In Europe it was called ''Conflict: Freespace'' instead.
* ''Die Hard Arcade'', being a [[DolledUpInstallment dolled-up version]] of ''DynamiteDeka / Dynamite Cop'', has nothing to do with [[Franchise/DieHard the movies]], other than the protagonist being an {{expy}} of Creator/BruceWillis. The sequel kept its original name and ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'' also kept the main character as his original self, though that could be because the licensing was cheaper. (However, at least in the English version of ''PXZ'', there is a ShoutOut to ''Die Hard'' during a ''Dynamite Cop''-based level.)
* ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis 3'' has next to nothing to do with the first two games aside from dinosaurs as foes, and they're not even true dinosaurs in ''3''. Even GaidenGame ''Dino Stalker'' is more effective as a sequel.
* There are at least 2 stages in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' that are In Name Only.
** The Lunar Subterrane stage is based on the canyon ''[[NonindicativeName surface]]'' of the Red Moon in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''. The real Lunar Subterrane in ''IV'' are the first series of underground caves within the Red Moon. However, this only applies for the English version of ''Dissidia'', as the stage is called 『月の渓谷』 (Tsuki no Keikoku) [[DubNameChange in the Japanese version]], which translates to "Moon Canyon". That name actually makes sense.
** The Planet's Core stage is based on the "Final Descent" area from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', where the player would eventually have to fight Jenova∙SYNTHESIS, but not [[RandomEncounters before they (most likely) encounter]] Dragon Zombies, Allemagnes ([[SuddenNameChange later known as "Ahrimans"]]), and Iron Men ([[SuddenNameChange Iron Giants]]). The [[http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/2/2f/Holy_Held_Back.jpg actual Planet's Core]] is were the party encounters Sephiroth.
* While some ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games are actually direct sequels or prequels (the first three) as well as being related by other games (Monsters has Kiefer from ''VII'' star), most are this. Sans a few passing references or plot devices (Zenithia in ''IV'' through ''VI'', which are considered a "trilogy" just like the first three games but are tied much more loosely). ''VII'' and above go even further from any form of semblance to the previous games, unless you count the legacy bosses and DLC of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' to count.
* ''VideoGame/{{Driver}}: Parallel Lines'', which ended up being [[TheyCopiedItSoItSucks just another generic]] ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' clone.
* Westwood's ''VideoGame/DuneII'' RTS game had very little to do with the book, movie, or the first game. The later remake ''Dune 2000'' and sequel ''Emperor: Battle For Dune'' tried a bit harder, but it still doesn't change the fact that ''Dune II'' is an RTS, and a completely different genre from the original ''VideoGame/{{Dune}}'' game.
* The third ''VideoGame/EccoTheDolphin'' game, ''Defender of the Future'', had no connection to the first two games in the franchise other than Ecco being the main character. The storyline was very different.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutBrotherhoodOfSteel'' for ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''. Interplay took a clone of their ''DarkAlliance'' console action games and slapped on the name of their ground-breaking series of open-world {{R|olePlayingGame}}PGs.
* The VideoGame/{{Far|Cry}} [[VideoGame/FarCry2 Cry]] [[VideoGame/FarCry3 Series]]. Even WordOfGod has explained that the series does not maintain continuity of plot, but ''[[ThematicSeries style]]''. As the series tries to expand and improve the mechanics of the predecessor, effectively making it akin to the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' of shooters:
** ''VideoGame/FarCry'' has ex-Special Forces operator Jack Carver stranded on a archipelago in Micronesia, and is trying to find a missing female journalist.
** ''VideoGame/FarCry2'' has a chosen protagonist who is working in Africa trying to stop a man named "The Jackal", a mercenary trying to create further conflict between two factions.
** ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' has tourist Jason Brody holidaying on an Indian/Pacific Ocean island with friends, only for the group to be abducted by pirates who intend to sell them.
*** The ExpandedUniverse novels tried to {{retcon}} the change between the first and second game by introducing a character that ''supposedly'' served as a mentor to both protagonists. Other {{continuity nod}}s also exist between games, such as a briefcase of diamonds from the second game appearing in a {{D|ownloadableContent}}LC mission for the third.
* ''Fighting Force 2'' has almost nothing to do with the original. The first game was a pure 3D BeatEmUp starring four characters and set in a contemporary setting. The sequel had a {{Cyberpunk}} setting, [[GenreShift was a 3D action/adventure platformer]] with very basic brawling elements, and featured only one character from the first game (Hawk Manson), who did not [[NotAsYouKnowThem act]] or even (after the CGI intro) [[YouDontLookLikeYou look like]] his first game self.
* The EA FPS ''VideoGame/GoldenEyeRogueAgent'' was seen by many as a weak attempt to capitalize on the much revered ''[[VideoGame/GoldenEye1997 GoldenEye 007]]'' for the {{Nintendo 64}}: the only connection to the movie/game is the presence of Xenia Onatopp and the "Uplink" multiplayer level. The only justification for the name "[=GoldenEye=]" is that you play as a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rogue MI6 agent]] that gets his eye shot out and is given a golden prosthetic replacement by [[Film/TheManWithTheGoldenGun Francisco Scaramanga]]. The rest of the game involves you being a pawn in a war between [[Film/{{Goldfinger}} Auric Goldfinger]] and Film/DrNo and fighting a bunch of iconic Film/JamesBond villains in a pretty generic FPS. The only appearance by Bond lasts 10 seconds and is revealed to be a simulation.
** Averted when they remade the ''movie'' ''Film/GoldenEye'', [[VideoGame/GoldenEyeWii as a video game for Wii]], with Creator/DanielCraig [[TheOtherDarrin replacing]] Creator/PierceBrosnan as 007, and a generic unknown actor replacing Creator/SeanBean as 006 as well as making it easier by allowing the player to regenerate health a la ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' instead of using body armor.
*** The 007 Classic mode revived the non-regenerating health bar and body armour so take that as you will.
* The ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' series has branched in different directions. Creator/XSEEDGames, a wholly owned subsidiary of the developer, Marvelous AQL (read: the real people behind the game), took over publishing, but has to come up with a new title due to the old name being a literal CashCowFranchise for Creator/{{Natsume}}, Inc. The new ''Harvest Moon'' title (or ''Ranch Story'' as it's known in Japan), which was known as ''Connect to a New World'' in Japan, as well as by fans until the publisher change, is now known as ''Story of Seasons'', with none of the old branding intact, due to XSEED. That game is a ''Harvest Moon'' game in all but name, due to Natsume holding the trademark. As for Natsume, they've clung to the decades-old trademark and appear to be making examples of this trope starting with ''Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley'', which they've handed off to someone other than Marvelous AQL.
* The arcade version of ''[[VideoGame/IkariWarriors Ikari III: The Rescue]]'' is an overhead beat-em-up instead of a shoot-em-up like the original games. It still had Ralf and Clark in it.
* Inverted with the NES game ''Journey to Silius''. Released in 1990 by Sunsoft, ''Silius'' was originally developed as a game based on ''Film/TheTerminator'', but Sunsoft lost the license during development. Sunsoft went back, changed a few character designs and official story, but leaving the stages largely intact.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity'', whose only connection to the previous installments is being ostensibly set in the same location, and a couple of cameos. However, there is still a ShoutOut in ''Silver Lining'', with more to be expected. (If the player tries to have King Graham grab something he can't reach, the narrator says, "Tis Beyond his REACH!" in a way similar to Connor in ''Mask of Eternity'').
* ''VideoGame/KungFuMaster'' was released in Japan as a licensed game based on the Creator/JackieChan film ''Wheels on Meals'', which was titled ''Spartan X'' over there. It has nothing to do with the movie, aside for the names of the hero and heroines (Thomas and Sylvia).
* ''LA Rush'', intended to be a SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/SanFranciscoRush''. Also ''Cruisn'' for the Wii, although it was basically ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'' with the SerialNumbersFiledOff, which used the original ''Cruisn''' series engine.
* Apart from the battle system being reused, ''[[VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia Legaia II: Duel Saga]]'' has effectively nothing to do with the first game. Each game is entirely self-contained, and WordOfGod [[http://www.legendoflegaia.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=123 confirms]] that despite both games taking place on a continent called "Legaia", the two take place on entirely different worlds.
* ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry: Magna Cum Laude'' and ''Box Office Bust'' are mostly a separate series from the Al Lowe series, apart from being set in the same world. The Larry here is different (though related to the previous one), the gameplay is completely different, and the connections to the Al Lowe games feel sort of tacked on.
* The ''[[VideoGame/MakaiToshiSaGa Final Fantasy Legend]]'' games. They were actually from an entirely different series (''VideoGame/SaGa'') that was renamed for American consumption.
* Although ''Max Payne 3'' retained various gameplay mechanics from previous ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' games such as BulletTime, noir narrative and use of painkillers to replenish health, several criticized the game for its use of cutscenes (instead of the more traditional graphic novels), change of setting and atmosphere (from dark and gritty New York City to sunny Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Max's appearance in which he shaves his hair halfway through the game. Despite this however, the game was still a moderate success.
* ''VideoGame/MarioGolf: Advance Tour'' for the GameBoyAdvance. A unique and fun little game, but the "Mario Golf" in the title (not to mention the [[CoversAlwaysLie cover of the game]]) is about all that was carried over to remind you of what you're playing. You spend very little, if any time with Mario and his colorful crew. It's a Golf game with RPGElements where you take the role of an amateur golfer working your way up the ranks. This applies to any of the portable Mario sports games, aside from the 3DS games.
* ''Creator/{{Marvel}} Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign'' was presumably a ''VideoGame/PuzzleQuest'' game based on the ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'' universe. The game play and leveling system are direct lifts from ''VideoGame/PuzzleAndDragons'' and the look and feel are stylistic lifts.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'' abandoned everything that defined the original and X series (no, there aren't even any Metools), to the point that it might as well have just been another franchise altogether. About the ''only'' things it had in common were two protagonists named Mega Man and Roll. That's it. At least Zero and ZX continue the story from where X leaves off, and reboot series Battle Network has stuff like its own versions of certain Robot Masters from the classic series. Legends has no connection whatsoever with any of its prequel series, and even came out ''before'' Zero. However, [[WordOfGod according to Inafune]], ''Legends'' does fit on the Megaman timeline, millenia after the end of the Human-Reploid schism where both are extinct, and a new race that is descendants of the two, human/Reploid hybrids known as "Carbons", finally resolve the tensions from both races. The only problem is that the ''Legends'' series takes place around '''three thousand years'' after the end of the Zero & ZX series, so the connection is somewhat hard to see.
** It's not even just the plot or familiar aesthetics that it lacks, it's that the gameplay is completely different as well. Things were changed up in the Zero and ZX series, but those games still shared most of the core mechanics seen in the classic and X series while having others altered to an extent and a few new ones added. Despite the quality of ''VideoGame/MegaManX7'', it was still much closer to a 3D representation of the Classic/X formula than the Legends games. That said, the Legends series was far closer to the other games in the main timeline than the Battle Network and Star Force games ever were.
* ''[[VideoGame/MidtownMadness Midtown Madness 3]]'' has hardly any similarities to the previous games. That's because it was developed by DICE, the company behind ''VideoGame/RallisportChallenge'' and more famously the ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' series. Meanwhile Angel Studios, the creators of the first two games, went on to create ''[[VideoGame/MidnightClub Midnight Club: Street Racing]]'' for [[Creator/TakeTwoInteractive Rockstar Games]] before being renamed to Rockstar San Diego.
* The Super NES game version of ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangersTheMovie'' has nothing to do with the film itself, as it was originally intended to be a video game adaptation of the show's second season. While the Genesis version does remain true to the actual plot of the movie, the only things the SNES version has in common with the movie ([[CaptainObvious aside from the Rangers themselves]]) is [[BigBad Ivan Ooze]] as the final boss and a {{cameo}} by the Ninja Megafalconzord in the ending. That's it. The enemies are still Putties and a few monsters from the second season of the TV series (along with robot enemies made up for the game), and the Rangers fight their way through ''none'' of the same places they had been to in the movie.
* ''Mobile Light Force 1'' and ''2'' are {{Macekre}}s of two unrelated ShootEmUp games; ''Gunbird'' and ''[[VideoGame/ShikigamiNoShiro Castle Shikigami]]'', respectively.
* ''MonsterRancherEVO'' was a ''drastic'' departure from the ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'' formula. It completely changed the training formula--instead of training stats one week at a time, you give your monsters "stat ''potential,''" which you can only turn into real stats via a rhythm mini-game. Tournaments were all but gone in favor of an RPG plot, with dungeons full of RandomEncounters. While the old monsters were still in the game, one of the new species introduced--the Maya--was even quite stylistically different from other MR monsters, not quite fitting in.
* Little-known ''The New Adventures of the Time Machine'' from Cryo Interactive is said to be based on ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' by Creator/HGWells, but the only thing it has in common with the book is a scientist from Victorian London who invents a stationary time machine and travels to the 8000th century (although the year was changed from 802701 to the round 800000), plus his servant is also named Mrs. Watchett. But once he gets there, Wells' plot is completely abandoned and instead of struggle between the Eloi and the Morlocks we have the strange Hourglass City whose citizens randomly switch their age between childhood, adulthood and elderhood every time a mysterious Wave Of Time comes from the god Khronos. The funny thing is that some ten years ago, the Polish edition included copy of Wells' original novel, even though it wouldn't make much difference if it was "Treasure Island" or "Uncle Tom's Cabin" instead.
* The NES version of ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' was advertised as being based on the "No. 1 Arcade Smash Hit", despite the fact that it was not a port, but a parallel project developed at the same time. The two games barely resembled each other aside for their vaguely similar premises (a ninja travels to America to fight his enemies) and a very similar setting for the first stage.
** The Xbox games are also completely different from the NES games, although they're stated to be prequels.
** ''Ninja Gaiden Shadow'' was a [[DolledUpInstallment modified]] GameBoy port of Natsume's NES game ''Shadow of the Ninja''.
* Invoked by the developer of the original ''VideoGame/OperationFlashpoint'' when Codemasters announced ''[[OperationFlashpointCodemasters Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising]]'' and billed it as the sequel. The original's developer protested that all Codemasters had won from their legal falling-out years before was the ''name'', whereas the developer had kept both the engine (and implicitly gameplay-style rights) and the exclusive right to develop [[VideoGame/{{ARMA}} sequels to the original]].
* ''[[VideoGame/OutRun Outrun 2019]]'' was originally supposed to be released under the name of ''Junker's High'', which in turn was a remade version of a canceled [[SegaGenesis Sega CD]] game called ''Cyber Road''. The ''Outrun'' name was added to the released version with no other modifications made.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' is ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' In Name Only, for most critical points and purposes, not in the slightest connected to the Algol star system, setting for or at least critical element every previous game (including even basically disconnected side games). Then again, [[spoiler:Dark Force being ''dead for good'' in the last game kind of sealed that plot line - and the obvious way out was ''already'' explored to its end one game previous]]. ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse'', in turn, is ''both'' Phantasy Star Online In Name and Some Mechanics Only, and Phantasy Star In Name Only, with a muchly new setting. It ''was'' originally intended for ''Phantasy Star Online'' to be connected to the original series. The derelict starship that makes up the Ruins level was supposed to be the remains of the Alisa 3, the ship from ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIII''. This idea was dropped in development.
*** ''Phantasy Star Online'' and ''Phantasy Star Universe'' are in fact in the same universe, with characters and locations in the former appearing as virtual reality records in the latter.
* ''Daryl Gates' VideoGame/PoliceQuest: Open Season'' and ''VideoGame/PoliceQuest: SWAT'' (later just SWAT). ''SWAT 4'' also has absolutely nothing to do with the ''Police Quest'' series despite the ''name of the protagonist'' being Sonny Bonds.
* ''VideoGame/ProjectSylpheed'' has nothing in common with the previous ''Silpheed'' games, other than having the same developers.
* When VideoGame/PurpleMoon was taken over by Mattel, the two games they released were received this way by the fans. ''Rockett's Camp Adventures'' had a bunch of minigames and made you choose between two dialogue options instead of three, plus it recast almost all the voice actors. ''Secret Paths to Your Dreams'' wasn't even a puzzle game like the other ''Secret Paths'' games -- in fact, it wasn't even a '''game''', it was an electronic dream journal.
* ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' and its sequels have nothing to do with ''{{VideoGame/Quake|I}}'' whatsoever, apart from all being {{first person shooter}}s. "''Quake II''" was originally just the game's working title, until id Software found themselves unable to find a different name they could use that wasn't already trademarked. ''IV'' is a direct sequel to ''II'', at least.
** There's also ''VideoGame/EnemyTerritoryQuakeWars'', which is a ''prequel'' to ''II''. Furthermore, that game is a ''gameplay'' sequel to ''Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory'', despite taking place in the Strogg arc initiated by ''II''.
** ''VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena'' and its ExpansionPack, ''Quake III: Team Arena'', fit this trope as well. Despite having similar weapons and some of the first two ''Quake'''s characters ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and]] [[VideoGame/{{Doom}} the Doomguy]]), the most story connection you get is an AllThereInTheManual quip that the greatest warriors in the world have been teleported to an "Arena" to do battle for the amusement of a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien. Likewise, while the first two placed a large amount of focus on their single-player campaigns, ''Quake 3'' went all-out multiplayer. All of this is by-and-large because it was made as a competitor for ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament''.
* Is VideoGame/{{Rayman}} even '''in''' the ''[[SpotlightStealingSquad Raving Rabbids]]'' games? Some people believe he's the one shooting the rabbids. Creator/MichelAncel took note of that fact when making ''Rabbids Go Home'', an adventure game for once, Rayman-less.
* When Data East picked up the license to ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', all they did with it was take the Japanese arcade game ''Maze Hunter G'' and replace the heroes and powerups with ''Ghostbusters''-related themes, before releasing it to the States. Nothing else in the game involves the Ghostbusters.
* The sequel to Rockstar's ''VideoGame/RedDeadRevolver'', ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', has no connection to its predecessor other than the Western setting, the title, the two main character's scars, and a single game mechanic. This is a rare positive example, as ''Revolver'' was a half-completed game Rockstar bought from Creator/{{Capcom}} and was a level based arcade shooter, while ''Redemption'' was wildly successful both financially and critically, being considered one of the best video games of 2010.
** Naturally, quite a few characters from the first game do get name-dropped, and eventually turned up as skins for multiplayer.
* ''VideoGame/RedSteel2'', a sequel to ''VideoGame/RedSteel'', features vastly different settings, characters and artwork to the point of almost being a different franchise. [[TropesAreTools Note that this is a good thing.]]
* After Creator/{{Infocom}}, the undisputed master of InteractiveFiction text adventures in the 1980s, went under, Activision released a CD-ROM graphic adventure called ''Return to Zork'', which had very little resemblance to the original VideoGame/{{Zork}} games outside the title. All the references to characters, items, and places from the original Zork universe sound painfully forced, as if the makers of the game just randomly took names and used them to fill in blanks in dialogue.
** Activision went on to release another two Zork games, ''Nemesis'' and ''Grand Inquisitor'', both of which were much better than ''Return to Zork'', were properly researched and (with a few exceptions) tied in nicely to the old games. Activision even promoted ''Grand Inquisitor'' by releasing a freeware InteractiveFiction Zork game, ''The Undiscovered Underground'', written by one of the original creators of Zork.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForce Neo'' and Shining Force EXA for the [[PlayStation2 PS2]] don't have anything in common gameplay-wise with previous ''Shining Force'' games; they're {{Action RPG}}s. Although the ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'' consists of installments with varying gameplay styles (as pointed out in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the PlayStation3 and {{Xbox 360}}), it typically gives different names to games with different gameplay styles (as was the case with ''Shining Force'', a strategy RPG, having a different name than the first Shining game, ''VideoGame/ShiningInTheDarkness'', which was a dungeon crawler), which makes it odd that these installments were named similarly to strategy {{RPG}}s in the series.
* The GameBoyAdvance version of ''[[VideoGame/{{Shinobi}} The Revenge of Shinobi]]'' has absolutely nothing to do with the original SegaGenesis game and is a generic Ninja game with ''Shinobi'' on the title.
* ''VideoGame/SoldierOfFortune: Payback'' was outsourced to Cauldron, an East European budget title developer, and thus the gameplay and story have nothing in common with the first two games, other than the PC's organization being named The Shop.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders Infinity Gene'' for the iPhone is a game that has little to do with ''Space Invaders'' beyond a brief segment of the original ''Space Invaders'' and some returning enemies. Instead, it's a shooter that gradually "evolves" as you play it, going in gameplay style from a classic arcade shooter of the '70s or '80s to a modern [[BulletHell danmaku]] shooter with multiple "characters", kill chains, and a special scoring method (in this case, called "Nagoya Attack", which triggers when you pass through an enemy's shot during a short window just after firing when it won't kill you). The resulting game was so [[RuleOfCool cool]], [[RuleOfFun fun]], and original that [[TropesAreTools few people complained]].
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', came out in 2012, ten years after the previous installment. It contains absolutely no story or gameplay elements from the previous entries in the series, aside from the fact that the main characters are special forces. Unusually, it is thus far the most well-received entry in the franchise
* ''VideoGame/StarRaiders II'' (Atari Corp's 1986 sequel to the pioneering 1979 original) started life as a never-released {{license|dGame}} based on 1984 movie ''Film/TheLastStarfighter''. When the license fell through, the game was renamed into a ''VideoGame/StarRaiders'' sequel instead, to generally positive reviews (though it was felt to be more "arcadey", less strategic and less intense than the original).
* ''[[{{VideoGame/Tribes}} StarSiege: Tribes]]'' is a fast paced game where everyone has jet packs and shoots exploding blue frisbees at each other while fighting over flags; it is also exclusively multiplayer. The previous game, ''{{VideoGame/Starsiege}}'', is a [[RealRobotGenre hardcore]] HumongousMecha [[MechaGame simulator]] with an extensive singleplayer campaign and multiplayer. The only things tying the two games together is the backstory (tenuously so in ''Tribes'', which takes place several hundred years after ''{{VideoGame/Starsiege}}'') and a few carried over weapons, such as the ELF Projector. Notably, [[MorePopularSpinoff Tribes is bigger in popular memory than the original Starsiege]].
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighter2010: The Final Fight'' was a futuristic platform game for the NES that really didn't have much to do with the original ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'' (or ''VideoGame/FinalFight'', which only became part of the title in the international version) other than its title. The localization team attempted to establish a connection by claiming that the main character Kevin, a cyborg policeman, was actually Ken from the first ''Street Fighter'' 25 years in the future.
* ''Still Life 2'' had large expectations following it, primarily due to its predecessor leaving the killer's identity unrevealed at the end. When the sequel finally came out, it barely resembled the original in any form. The cliffhanger was resolved in a couple brief flashback sequences that revealed the most obvious suspect as the killer. The remainder of the game, aside from its protagonist, had absolutely nothing to do with the original storyline.
* The only thing the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series has in common with [[Literature/WaterMargin Sui Hu Zuan]] is the fact that both have the protagonist gathering 108 heroes to oppose the government. Otherwise, they have completely different characters, a completely different plot, and are set in completely different universes. This isn't a ''bad'' thing by any means, but ''Suikoden'' is no more valid a name than, say, ''The Rune of Eternal Awesomeness''. Later entries including ''Tierkreis'' and ''Centennial Tapestry'' (still doesn't have an official English name) have become this trope, given their setting in completely different worlds from I-V, although they do retain the 108 characters and some game mechanisms.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' was a drastic change in gameplay compared to its predecessor, and also featured a completely different cast of enemies, many of which would never be seen again (along with BigBad Wart.) This is because the game derived from another game called ''VideoGame/DokiDokiPanic'', which originally ''was'' going to be a ''Mario'' game.
* ''Tetris Attack'' has nothing to do with ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''. It is a localization of a Super Famicom puzzle game called ''VideoGame/PanelDePon''. Later versions of the game were localized under the ''Puzzle League'' name (with the exception of the ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver''-inspired ''Pokémon Puzzle Challenge'' for the GameBoyColor, as ''Pokémon Puzzle League'' was a different game for the {{Nintendo 64}} inspired by [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} the anime]] rather than the games).
* ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilationKingdoms'' was nothing like ''Total Annihilation'' at all. Different universe, different playstyles... everything except the graphics engine was completely different. Oddly the gamestyle is what Chris Taylor wanted to do with ''Total Annihilation'' but was forced to change due to engine limitations.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Turok}}'' comics were about a Native American (the title character) who finds a LostWorld valley of [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs dinosaurs]]. The [[VideoGame/{{Turok}} video games]] made "Turok" the ''title'' of a lineage of warriors fighting to keep the Omniverse from collapsing in an alien land. Some characters have the same name as characters in the comics, and there are bio-mechanical dinosaurs. ''Then'' you had the 2008 Turok game, which was this to both the comics ''and'' the video game franchise to date. Instead of being a chosen warrior, Turok was a [[ASpaceMarineIsYou Space Marine]] of Native American origin. Instead of a lost world, it was an alien planet that just happened to have dinosaurs on it. Instead of protecting it from an evil overlord or EldritchAbomination, he was protecting it from his CO, who'd pulled a serious Colonel Kurtz.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaIX'' is so far removed from the other games in the series, that most fans consider it to be non-canonical. ''Ultima Online'', ''Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash'', ''Runes of Virtue'' I-II, ''Lord of Ultima'' and ''Ultima Forever'' are Ultima InNameOnly. The Ultima Wiki categorizes them as "Other" or "Outside of Normal Context".
* Other than featuring a VTOL-capable combat plane, the 2007 ''{{VideoGame/Warhawk}}'' game has nothing to do with the original, being a ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}''-style multiplayer TPS instead of a single-player only, mission-based action game.
* It's probably safe to say that none of the ''Film/WaynesWorld'' or ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' {{Licensed Game}}s have anything to do with either the SNL skits or the movie (beyond voice clips, character likenesses and half-hearted token references.)
* ''VideoGame/WinBack II: Project Poseidon'''s story is completely unrelated to the first game.
* The original VideoGame/YarsRevenge is a top down shooter featuring weaponized InsectoidAliens. The 2011 ''Yar's Revenge'' is an anime-inspired rail shooter featuring a humanoid girl (with some [[MultiArmedAndDangerous insectoid]] [[WingedHumanoid traits]]) as the protagonist.
* Depending on how their stories and mechanics are handled, fan games can [[SturgeonsLaw often fall into this]].

[[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: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:Western Animation]]
* The WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} cartoon has little in common with the film it's based on, though adaptations like these were not unusual [[TheEighties for]] [[TheNineties their]] time. In the cartoon, Beetlejuice is an AntiHero who is friends with a girl named Lydia. In the movie, his motives are more twisted and he wants to marry Lydia just so he could be freed from the ghost world. Lydia in the cartoon, while she wears white face paint and black eyeliner like a stereotypical goth and has a love for the creepy and spooky, is more-or-less your average preteen. The movie version is stereotypical, to an extent, of course and the ones she makes friends with are the couple that died at the beginning of the movie that are trapped in the house after their death. Not to mention the cartoon is [[LighterAndSofter lighter in tone]] and the duo makes frequent trips to the Neither World, deals with strange roommates, brings a car to life, travels to strange locations, fights with living plumbing tools, makes and disbands a ghoul band, enters their own version of WackyRaces and so forth.
* In the original comics, ''Comicbook/AchilleTalon'' (known in English-speaking countries as Walter Melon) is a pseudo-intellectual bourgeois who works for a magazine and occasionally has wacky adventures. In the AnimatedAdaptation, he's a bumbling "hero for hire" who substitutes for various action hero {{exp|y}}ies.
* An InUniverse example occur in the WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}} episode called "Unfinished". While reading an ''Literature/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'' type novel called ''93,000,000 miles in a balloon'', just when he gets to the exciting conclusion with the main characters about to [[ScienceMarchesOn fly their hot air balloon into the sun to see where it will take them]] he finds the last few pages of the book missing. One of his [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption numerous failed attempts to find out the ending]] includes finding an old 16 mm film adaptation... only to find that the producer dropped the exploration plot completely and turned into a musical about a woman flying to Broadway in a balloon to show off her singing skills.
* A few episodes of the ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears'' cartoons that were based on the books bore little resemblance to the books the episodes were based on. A good example is "The Bad Dream". The book is about Sister having nightmares about the Space Grizzlies movie (based on a line of action figures that Brother liked but Sister didn't) because she found it too scary. (Brother later has a nightmare about the Space Grizzlies too.) The episode of the 2003 cartoon with the same title portrays Space Grizzlies as a TV show, which the entire family (including Sister) likes. Sister is afraid of a specific villain on the show and not the franchise in general.
* Another [=TenNapel=] adaptation, ''WesternAnimation/{{Catscratch}}'', also did this, but turned it UpToEleven. Not only did they change the entire premise, but - in a similar vein to most Phillip K. Dick adaptations - they didn't even keep the name.
** ''ComicBook/{{Gear}}'', the source material, was a borderline {{Grimdark}} comic about anthropomorphic animals fighting a gruesome war by piloting various HumongousMecha. While it contained the Aesop that war is sometimes justified and even necessary, it didn't shy away from the idea that it was ''[[WarIsHell still]]'' [[WarIsHell absolute Hell]] regardless.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Catscratch}}'' was a light-hearted comedy about 3 anthropomorphic cats and the zany adventures they have after inheriting a fortune from their now-deceased human owner. The ''only'' thing it retained from the comic was that [[TransplantedCharacterFic it kept the same main characters]] (minus Simon, who, for better or worse, was not carried over to the show).
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' as a whole isn't this, but some of the episodes "adapted" from individual comic book stories take no more than the basic premise and invent an entirely new plot around it. Stories taken from the comics also inevitably starred someone other than WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck; Fenton Crackshell or Gyro Gearloose usually took on his role, and Donald scarcely appeared in the show at all[[note]]Donald's scarcity is explained in the pilot in which he is re-joining the Navy[[/note]]. Part of the problem is that he's TheUnintelligible in animated form, a problem that doesn't exist in his comics.
* ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'' forms the basis of a ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' parody of this trope. By the time Peter gets finished rewriting the script, it's changed from a British tutor dealing with the king of Siam to a ninja robot in the future ("A.N.N.A.") battling a post-apocalyptic dictator. Initially furious at the changes, and at the audience's approval of them, Lois later admits that "anyone who could take ''The King and I'' and turn it into, well, that, has gotta be creative."
* The ''WesternAnimation/FishPolice'' cartoon had very little in common with its [[ComicBook/FishPolice source material]]. To name some of the changes: Inspector Gill went from looking like [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yz1vIhhPo3s/Try0Y86s6RI/AAAAAAAAErA/Mn_b7sq3diM/s1600/fishpolice1.jpg this]] to basically a fish {{Expy}} of ComicStrip/DickTracy. Also, [[SpellMyNameWithAnS he somehow lost an L from his surname]]. Angel went from being a slender, shapely, smart piece of eye candy and taking a FaceHeelTurn to a buxom nitwit who's involved with the antagonists from the start. The tone is much LighterAndSofter, with lots of FlintstoneTheming and fish puns. In short, it was about as far removed from the comics as it could be while still keeping the "quasi-film noir detectives [[AC:[[RecycledInSpace UNDER THE SEA!]]]]" motif.
* The ''Literature/HarryAndTheDinosaurs'' books are about a boy called Harry who has a bucket of toy dinosaurs. The dinos don't have names, being referred to by their species names, and while they talk ([[ImaginaryFriend only to Harry]]), the books are about Harry doing ordinary things, like going to the dentist or his first day of school. In the AnimatedAdaptation, ''WesternAnimation/HarryAndHisBucketFullOfDinosaurs'' the dinosaurs have names and the stories are mostly set in Dino-World, a MagicalLand accessible [[CoolGate through the bucket]].
* ''WesternAnimation/HiHiPuffyAmiYumi'' is a show supposedly based on the real life pop duo Music/PuffyAmiYumi. The only similarities are that they're a duo of pop/rock and they're Japanese, but that's all, no nods to the original singers, and the personalities seem to been created randomly, for instance the rocker is Yumi and Ami is into bubblegum pop, while in real life Ami has the more rock solos and Yumi's solo songs tend to be more pop oriented.
* The rather obscure cartoon series ''WesternAnimation/HoneyHalfwitch'' managed to be this to itself. The series consists of two sets of shorts, one of eight and one of four, so radically different in art style, tone, setting, design and characterization that each set is this to the other.
* Proof that [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Bad]], ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'' is a very good show, just so long as you ignore the fact that [[HighSchoolAU that kid and his friends]] are named for the cast of ''Comicbook/IronMan'' by some coincidence (despite bearing no similarities to them... save the robot suit and RoguesGallery, though often ''they'' have had their origins drastically rewritten) and enjoy the show for what it is. The concept of this cartoon hails from a very brief period of time in which Marvel Comics had a teenaged Tony Stark as Iron Man. Explaining how this happened would just [[ComicBook/TheCrossing make your head hurt]]. They rebooted not just the ''Iron Man'' comic, but [[ComicBook/HeroesReborn most of the Marvel universe]] after this.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLittlePrince'': The show's premise only vaguely resembles that of [[Literature/TheLittlePrince the original book]]. That's because this is supposed to be less the original book and more a sequel to it.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'':
** Lola Bunny only has her name the same as Lola Bunny from ''Film/SpaceJam''. Where Lola Bunny from ''Space Jam'' was a no-nonsense tomboy who would kick the butts of anyone who called her doll and fell for Bugs after he saved her, in ''The Looney Tunes Show'' she is a StalkerWithACrush DumbBlonde ValleyGirl. WordOfGod admits that they based Lola's new personality around her voice actress' style and have never seen the film.
** In-universe example in the ChristmasEpisode when Lola directs her own version of ''Theatre/AChristmasCarol'', which stars [[LiteralMinded a woman named Carol]] whose father is Santa Claus.
* The [[AdaptationDisplacement relative few]] who still remembered ''TabletopGame/MagiNation'' the TCG/video game did not like the AnimatedAdaptation.
* ''WesternAnimation/MartinMystery'' was drastically different from the Italian comics they were adapted from. For example, changing Martin's lover into his ''stepsister'' and making him like 20 years younger.
* The main cast of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' all take the names and basic appearances of characters from previous generations of the franchise, but the resemblance ends there. Lauren Faust primarily based the mane cast's personalities on how she used to play with her own My Little Pony toys as a kid -- toys that weren't even of the same characters except for Applejack. (Even AJ has a completely different personality from her G1 show counterpart) She also used the ponies from the G1 cartoon as inspiration.\\\
Also goes for many background ponies, both those that have been given a name in the show and those that only have {{Fan Nickname}}s.
** The show itself is a radical shift in tone from its immediate predecessor (where most of the names came from), but that's happened ''every'' time the franchise got a reboot. Frankly, though, given the [[PeripheryDemographic huge fandom]] that showed up for this show, and the tension that happens frequently between the current "brony" fandom and fans of the previous generations, it's best to not bring this up.
** Frankly speaking, fans who collect the toys to satisfy their love of little colorful fillies agree that the Franchise/MyLittlePony franchise itself has qualified since G3.5. They agree that G3.5 and G4 ponies are ''not'' ponies. A subset of them also feel the same way about G2 ponies though (which they feel look more like steeds or ''giraffes'' than ponies).
* ''WesternAnimation/ScaredySquirrel'' has literally nothing in common with the children's books it's based on, save for the title character being a squirrel named Scaredy. To be fair, there really wasn't too much they could do if they'd stayed true to the books, as the original books are very short and targeted to toddlers.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where Creator/AlanMoore is said to have had a run as the writer of ''Radioactive Man''. During his tenure, he changed the title character, a [[TheCape cape]] with super-strength acquired from [[ILoveNuclearPower exposure to a nuclear explosion]], into "a heroin-addicted jazz critic who's '''not''' radioactive". Bart didn't notice.
* The only thing ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM'' has in common with the games is Sonic, Tails, the rings, Buzzbombers, and Robotnik who, even then, barely resemble the games characters in personality and in Robotnik's case both personality and appearance.
* ''WesternAnimation/SonicUnderground'': The only things from the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games are Sonic, Robotnik, the Chaos Emerald and a few appearances by Knuckles.
* Although it retained the creator's trademark sense of humor, The Random! Cartoons adaptation of Creator/DougTenNapel's ''Solomon Fix'' was, in all other ways, ''nothing'' like the original comic. The comic was about a cheerful, UnfazedEveryman cat who prepares to throw a party for his estranged cousin and was an AffectionateParody of Stereotypical British Ettiquette[[note]]WordOfGod was that the comic was based on the "fancy Englishmen" he worked with while creating ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim''[[/note]]. The cartoon was about a LargeHam, magical teddy bear who [[MeaningfulName "fixes"]] other people's problems. Oddly, none other than [=TenNapel=] himself helmed the adaptation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow'' features various Marvel heroes with most of their personalities and characterization set aside in favor of whatever best serves the RuleOfFunny.
* The 1987 ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' cartoon took EVERYTHING from [[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage the original comics]] and flipped it on its head. Whilst the comics were aimed at those in their mid-late teens, the show was cheesy entertainment for kids. The personalities of the characters were changed quite a bit (Raphael was a jokester instead of an anger-laden badass) and the premise was made FAR more into Sci-Fi than anything seen in the comics (considering some of them included aliens and the main characters are mutant reptilians, that says something). Another thing to note is that in the comics, the 'Ninja' part of the title was actually relevant to what the Turtles' activities were (moved around at night, stayed out of sight of as many bystanders as possible and actually fighting other ninjas), whereas in the '80s cartoon [[HighlyVisibleNinja they were known to the general public, had no problem walking around in daylight (albeit usually in disguise)]], and spent the majority of their time fighting robots. It did, however, give the franchise more mainstream and wider appeal, eventually paving the way for darker adaptations closer to the comics. Played with, like everything else, in ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'': the more comic-based [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 2003 Turtles]] had to keep the 1987 Turtles from running out in public in their world.
** And then, we meet the comic turtles. They're as DarkerAndEdgier than the 2003 Turtles than the 2003 Turtles are compared to the 1987 Turtles. (Raph loves the comic Turtles just as much as Mikey loves the 80s Turtles.)
* Despite having the same characters, taking place in a similar setting and having a few of its design choices, ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}'' has nothing to do with the comic of the same name, instead coming off as a strange hybrid of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' and ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends''.
* The ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' take on ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath''. It's about a bunch of grapes who act like jerks. And it was told by Larry the Cucumber, as well as {{lampshade|Hanging}}d.
--> '''Bob''': "Are you ''sure'' that's how the story goes?"
--> '''Larry''': "Oh, yeah!"
* For awhile, Creator/{{Toonami}} was on Creator/KidsWB Despite being billed as an anime block, the block consisted of pretty much the same shows Kids' WB! always aired at the time, and Tom himself hardly, if ever talked during its run there.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWackyWorldOfTexAvery'' has absolutely nothing to do with the real Creator/TexAvery and his characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' has virtually nothing in common with the original [[ComicBook/YoungJustice 90's comic book of the same name]], though showrunner Creator/GregWeisman has said that it was never intended to be an adaptation of the series to begin with and that the title was essentially given to them by some Creator/WarnerBros execs. However the title does fit the central theme of the show, and there are some shout-outs and callbacks to the series' comic book namesake. Originally, there was going to be a series closely based on the comic book, but it turned into ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', keeping the comedy of Young Justice while using the latter's characters. The new series essentially does the opposite, using Young Justice characters with serious stories more in line with the Titans comics.
%% The Real Life section has been cut as nothing but Natter, Justifying Edits, non-examples, Complaining about things you don't like, and soapboxing. Don't restore it. This is an admin warning.