%% This page's examples section is alphabetized. Please maintain this. The troper collective thanks you.
You have an ongoing serial or a [[TheVerse Verse]] of some kind. In the canon of that work is an element that [[TheArtifact has become an embarrassment]] or is just plain out of date, one that has been abandoned or is in severe danger of being abandoned. CanonDisContinuity is what happens when that element is written out. ReimaginingTheArtifact, on the other hand, is what happens when you try to make that element ''work'' with the overall tone of the serial.

To qualify, the element must have either been abandoned or been treated purely as TheArtifact.

If the problem was with an ArtifactTitle, this strategy may result in a retroactively JustifiedTitle.

Related to {{Reconstruction}} (when something similar is done for a trope or genre, rather than a character or concept) and RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap. TookALevelInBadass is also related. See also CerebusRetcon, where something similar happens mid-story. May also involve a ReplacementArtifact if something thought to be TheArtifact was first removed, found not to be, and then replaced with a tweaked version.
!! Examples:


[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Grant Morrison does this frequently, so much so that he has his own folder.
* Apache Chief, widely regarded as one of the lamest of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'', was re-adapted in 2002 by Joe Kelly into a much more interesting character, [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Manitou_Raven Manitou Raven]].
* Jughead from ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' wears a beanie on his head. It was [[AluminumChristmasTrees an actual fashion]] in the 1940s amongst young boys to cut up old fedoras. It was meant to signify Jughead being immature for his age, but [[OutdatedOutfit fell out of style]] and the significance has been lost. Modern readers are more likely to connect it with Burger King crowns than fedoras. The [[ComicBook/ArchieComics2015 2015 reboot]] introduced a new meaning behind the hat: Jughead was a wealthy boy who wore a fedora, however one day his parents [[RichesToRags lost their money]] due to being swindled by a scam. Jughead cut up his hat and he gained the nickname "Jughead" due to his parents being scammed by a water bottle company.
* This is what Creator/BrianMichaelBendis has done with Marvel's lesser or dated 1970s characters like ComicBook/{{Luke Cage|HeroForHire}} and the first ComicBook/SpiderWoman.
* According to his commentary in an ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' collection, Bendis seemed to believe he was doing this with Venom when he was brought into that series. Their treatment of ComicBook/TheCloneSaga is a more solid example.
* Batman:
** The Batcave's giant penny. Despite being the most infamous part of the cave's background, Batman got it from an early, ''absurdly'' minor foe of his called the Penny Plunderer. Said villain has never made a comeback, but his penny is too iconic to drop at this point, so most later incarnations starting with ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' kept it but attributed it to Two-Face instead.
** Comicbook/{{Robin}}:
*** Dick Grayson: As comics get DarkerAndEdgier, a KidSidekick is more and more obviously an unethical endangerment of the poor kid, especially since ''letting them actually die is nothing new.'' Why is there still always a ComicBook/{{Robin}}? Because the kid is usually going to try avenge the DeathByOriginStory victim or otherwise operate on his own ''anyway,'' and so Bats takes him under his wing to make sure the kid can actually ''survive'' his chosen path, and in some cases, be a proper hero instead of [[ThouShaltNotKill crossing the line]] for vengeance.
*** Jason Todd: He was a delinquent who Bruce wanted to help, and it's also implied Bruce used him as a ReplacementGoldfish for Dick after he quit.
*** [[Comicbook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]]: After Jason Todd's death, Batman's [[SanitySlippage borderline-instability]] could easily turn into a HeWhoFightsMonsters case if he didn't have someone to keep him down to Earth, and Tim wanted someone to take the job for this very reason.
** [[http://www.agonybooth.com/3-lame-batman-villains-rescued-from-obscurity-by-awesome-retcons-52175 This]] article on Website/TheAgonyBooth discusses old, laughable Batman villains who were reimagined into much more effective and menacing threats.
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' had several of these:
** Bizarro was a silly character; nowadays, the silly character is around, but the idea of "Flawed Superman clone" (the mechanics, whether there's only one or the process to make them is sufficiently known to allow more to be made, and other details vary) called "Bizarro" has been brought back repeatedly in both the comics and adaptations.
** ComicBook/KryptoTheSuperdog has been brought back... but to keep down the silly factor, he's sufficiently ill-tempered that he has to be kept in the Fortress of Solitude, and thus serves as a guard dog rather than as an NonHumanSidekick.
** ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' did this with the Clark Kent identity ComicBook/PostCrisis. In the old days, he was just what the TV intro said: Superman, disguised as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. He really had no reason to have a human identity, especially after his powers increased to the point that the job at the newspaper in order to find out about dirty deeds was no longer necessary. ComicBook/PostCrisis, he's now more Clark Kent who dresses up as Superman and not the other way around. It's also been said that he likes having something he's good at for reasons other than his GameBreaker powers; being able to [[Film/SupermanReturns throw a whole island into space]] won't help you win a Pulitzer.
** There's also [[ClarkKenting Superman's use of glasses to hide his civilian identity]]. Today, very few people seriously believe that he can effortlessly disguise his face just by donning a pair of glasses, but a few modern writers have toyed with the idea that he actually uses the glasses to hide his distinctive eye color (a bright shade of robin's egg blue that isn't seen in normal human eyes), which is one of the few visible markers of his Kryptonian heritage. Fittingly, this detail came right about the time that Clark's extraterrestrial roots were starting to get more focus in the series (they were originally just a convenient explanation for his superpowers, but have since become a crucial part of the ''Superman'' mythos).
** Creator/ChristopherReeve's performance in the movies also made ClarkKenting make more sense. With his acting ability, the ''total'' change in demeanor was enough to make pretty much anyone say "Okay, now I can see it."
* Creator/DonRosa did tons of this in ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck''.
* DC brought back widely-hated FadSuper / CaptainEthnic Vibe, who was killed off in the 80s shortly after his debut. They've given him a less-ridiculous costume and removed the more offensive aspects of his back story (he's no longer a [[GangBangers Gang Banger]] who talks like Creator/AlPacino from ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}'') to make him a more well-rounded character, which led him to become a main character in ''Series/TheFlash2014''.
* ''Comicbook/{{Earth 2}}'' was meant to do this with a number of GoldenAge characters, reimagining them in a modern context. For instance, Wing is now a young Asian-American cameraman rather than the racist AsianSpeekeeEngrish caricature he was in the 30s. However, ExecutiveMeddling led to the original writer leaving, and the new writer having to throw away all of that writer's work in favour of a DarkerAndEdgier plot revolving around an [[spoiler:evil Superman]].
* Likewise, ComicBook/BuckyBarnes. While Robin's reimaginings tend to keep the KidSidekick angle as a basis, Bucky, though remaining a junior partner to ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, became [[PsychoSidekick a kind of shadow assassin]] that did the dirty work that an iconic symbol like Cap just couldn't be seen to do. The KidSidekick turned into a sniper that used "KidSidekick" as a cover. The Ultimate Universe had him as a wartime photographer who was assigned to photograph Cap kicking Nazi ass.
* Rick Remender has stated he's fond of this practice, as he considers it a challenge to use obscure or hated characters from periods like the 90s. He's since stated that ComicBook/{{Onslaught}}, a widely hated 90s villain, will be the BigBad in his ''Comicbook/UncannyAvengers'' run.
* In ''Franchise/XMen,'' the ''Comicbook/NewXMen'' series ditched the standard superhero threads, a [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] convention seen as {{Narm}} by the writer in light of today's DarkerAndEdgier comic stories, for black and yellow leather outfits. When the spandex returned in ''Astonishing X-Men,'' we're given a good reason for it: The people need to feel like they can ''trust'' their heroes, especially the hated and feared mutants, so a "DarkerAndEdgier kill squad" look was wrong for them.
* Franchise/WonderWoman:
** Wonder Woman had her invisible jet rendered pointless after it was decided she could fly, and it's been a topic of teasing ever since. However, more recently, people have realized that having a stealth vehicle that could transport people or cargo could be pretty damn useful and a lot more effective than simply carrying one person in your arms.
** Steve Trevor has gone through this lately. Being the poster child (and page image) for UselessBoyfriend, writers can't really find much to do with him, but he hangs on because they all assume that, being the Wonder Woman equivalent of Lois Lane, he '''should''' be there. However, the New 52 relaunch has turned him into the liaison between the Justice League and A.R.G.U.S., turning him into the AlternateCompanyEquivalent of Marvel's Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.
* IDW's Franchise/{{Transformers}} works do this frequently, reimagining old gimmicks from the franchise's early years.
** Combiners are treated as a FantasticNuke, with the Autobots having to pull out of Earth when the original combiner is abducted by the Decepticons, who naturally want their own.
** Micromasters are an attempt by the villains to re-create Cybertron on another world, and aside from being smaller and more energy-efficient they are incredibly manoeuvrable, agile, and numerous, what with there being a whole planet of them.
** Headmasters are the result of several thousand years worth of tinkering and stealing by their creator, and the final result is much more efficient and deadly than the average Cybertronian.
** The first Pretender managed to ravage Cybertron, and all the ones after are still portrayed as powerhouses and credible threats, resistant to things that would normally be serious threats to a Transformer.
** The Dinobots choose their out-of-place alternate modes in order to survive on a prehistoric Earth where the conditions are hazardous to them without protection, and quickly become attached. Their designs are also reimagined to look more like ''real'' dinosaurs, complete with scale alterations as needed (meaning the member who turns into a brachiosaurus is now head and shoulders over everyone else).
** Action Masters, the Transformers that didn't transform at all, are Cybertronians who have renounced transforming for religious reasons, even having the mechanisms needed to transform removed surgically, for which they have faced a lot of prejudice, including at one point [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything being the instant suspects in a terrorism case]].
** The existence of CyberCyclops characters in a race of sentient machines ''horrifyingly'' explained as a form of punitive mutilation called "Empurata" where their faces were removed and their hands chopped off, and they were left with just a singular optic and unwieldy claws. Because it was only supposed to happen to criminals, they were publicly humiliated and shamed for speaking against the corrupt government.
** With the ''[[ComicBook/Revolution2016 Revolution]]'' mini-series establishing the Franchise/HasbroComicUniverse, they've done things to some of the other franchises- ie. ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}'' is a sub-division of ''Franchise/GIJoe'' (which in turn is now a division of the Earth Defense Command, from the [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers G1 Transformer cartoon]]) designed to combat the Cybertronians, rather than just a team of good guys taking on bad guys (VENOM being led by the breakaway Miles "Mayhem" Mannheim, who had earlier been in charge of MASK, and prior to that [[ComPositeCharacter was the "Sea Adventurer"]] in [[MythologyGag Joe Colton's Adventure Team]]).
* In a rather ironic case of CelebrityParadox, ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}'s name began to come off as a bit ridiculous after the character had been around for a decade or two, as the term "brainiac" eventually entered the popular American lexicon as a juvenile slang term for "genius", making one wonder why an alien robot would unironically call himself that in-universe. The Post-Crisis comics eventually retroactively decided that his name was an abbreviation of "'''Brain''' '''i'''nter'''a'''ctive '''c'''onstruct", making it a bit easier to take seriously.
* ''ComicBook/TheShadowHero'' is a {{Revival}} of the little-known 1940s superhero the Green Turtle, and provides in-canon explanations for many of the more peculiar aspects of the character, such as his unnaturally pink skin, {{Stripperiffic}} costume, and curious turtle-shaped LivingShadow.
* In today's political climate, it's next to impossible to unironically portray an American CaptainPatriotic character who can be taken seriously, since [[MyCountryRightOrWrong unquestioning loyalty to the most powerful military superpower in the Western hemisphere]] is far more likely to be seen as the mark of a soldier than the mark of a superhero. So then why is ComicBook/CaptainAmerica still such a popular character? Well, in addition to being [[GrandfatherClause the oldest example of such a character still in publication]], the modern incarnation of Cap is easy to root for because he fights for American ''ideals''--freedom, democracy, equality and human rights--rather than for America's government. He's actually far more likely to question (or outright ''challenge'') authority figures than many other superheroes, and will gladly disobey any order that goes against his conscience. In his own words: "I am loyal to nothing...except [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanDream the dream]]."
** This is also an UnbuiltTrope. ComicBook/CaptainAmerica has always been the American left-wing progressive character. The right-wing MyCountryRightOrWrong character is US Agent, who was built in part to be what Cap'n looks a bit like and show why Captain America is ''not'' that. Before US Agent, the guy who acted like CaptainPatriotic was ComicBook/IronMan.
* Gorilla Grodd, one of [[Franchise/TheFlash the Flash's]] archenemies, was introduced during a period when gorillas were something of a fad in superhero comics. By the end of the Silver Age, he had essentially become an ignored, one-note threat, and only kept appearing [[GrandfatherClause because he'd been around so long]]. But post-Crisis writers brought him back into relevance by making him a KnightOfCerebus bent on complete world domination, and one of the Flash's deadliest foes; in Creator/GeoffJohns' seminal run, in fact, he nearly destroyed Central City singlehandedly. It helps that modern writers tend to emphasize the LackOfEmpathy at the heart of his character, demonstrating how scary an aggressively territorial ape would ''really'' be with genius-level human intellect, but no human compassion whatsoever.

[[folder:Grant Morrison]]
Creator/GrantMorrison loves doing this.
* In his ''{{JLA}}'' run, he brought back such goofy stuff as Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'s Silver Age imp sidekick Quisp in a way that fit the tone of the new title.
* ''ComicBook/SevenSoldiers'' was a project whose entire remit was to take dated or underused old characters and re-imagine them for today.
* ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'' is almost nothing but Reimagining Artifacts from the 1960s and 1950s stories.
* ''ComicBook/GrantMorrisonsBatman'' has a bunch of these, as part of his quest to make ''everything'' canon.
** Morrison's unconventional take on ComicBook/{{Robin}} with the character of Damian Wayne deserves special mention. Where many fans have previously taken the very concept of a KidSidekick with a grain of salt (see above) because of the obvious dangers of the superhero profession, Damian shook up the classic Batman/Robin dynamic in that he was a ''scarily'' competent fighter who was [[TykeBomb raised as an assassin]] from an early age, and he could be even ''[[PsychoSidekick more]]'' deadly in the field than [[ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} Dick Grayson,]] who served as the Batman to his Robin.
** Morrison also brought back Bat-Mite, who was a thoroughly Silver Age thing that wasn't used beyond that point if not in some kind of Mxyzptlk story or something. Morrison reimagined him as the drug-fueled guide to Batman on his journey in "Batman R.I.P."... but then Mite disappears implying he actually averted this and really ''was'' an imp from the fifth dimension. Really, it's up to the reader's interpretation.
** The Club of Heroes that Batman belonged to is reimagined as a kind of parody of the Legion of Super-Heroes; they were formed by a bored billionaire who wanted a club of heroes of his own, and Batman never even showed up to their first official meeting, and the club disbanded after that.
** On a more general note, Batman's aversion for alcohol, at least as far as UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks had it, was originally part of his goody-two shoes personality. Now, it is part of his fear of losing his physical and mental edge if he drinks, so he has good reason to prefer milk.


[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DCShowcaseGreenArrow'', this is done with Green Arrow's infamous boxing glove arrows. The arrow's purpose was to strike the opponent with blunt force, but not kill them. However, it was too goofy for some to take seriously. Here, they are replaced with cylinders or segments (about the size of the exploding arrowhead) made out of what appears to be vulcanized rubber or something similar as to be able to impact hard without impairing the arrow's flight or looking goofy. In essence, the arrow equivalent of rubber bullets.

[[folder: Film - Live Action]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
** Dr. [=McCoy=]'s nickname "Bones" comes from the term "Sawbones", which was an old nickname for doctors. Since the term has fallen from the parlance, [[Film/StarTrek the 2009 film]] had Kirk call [=McCoy=] "Bones" because, in his introduction, he explains he's joining Starfleet because "[[DivorceAssetsConflict The ex-wife took the whole damn planet]] in the divorce. All I've got left is my bones."
** Similarly, simply having an African American woman as a major character was revolutionary and progressive in the 1960s, but many more current criticisms would point out that Uhura was "answering the phones" while the white male leads went off on adventures. This criticism wasn't strictly fair, but that didn't stop the reboot from making sure to point out that Uhura's linguistic skills were extremely valuable and elevating her to an ActionGirl along with the male leads. When dealing with completely foreign cultures, often for the first time, whoever "answers the phone" better be a gifted speaker for your people.
* The Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' takes the comic-book reimagining of [[ComicBook/BuckyBarnes Bucky]] one further and makes him a grown man--[[Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier the sequel]] has it that he's actually a year ''older'' than Cap. He's also a ChickMagnet who enlists in the army before Steve does. He does look comparatively younger and [[BadassNormal less intimidating]] next to post-serum Cap, but that's about it.
** In ''Film/IronMan3'', the Mandarin's somewhat politically incorrect "evil foreigner" persona is refitted for the 21st century by having this version of the character [[spoiler: ultimately revealed as an actor hired to play up foreign terrorist stereotypes to cover up for the real mastermind, Aldrich Killian]]. Note that [[TropesAreNotGood this turned out]] [[BrokenBase quite controversial]], however, with many fans feeling that they were a bit ''too'' imaginative with this particular artifact.
** ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'': Wong, for decades an infamous example of EthnicMenialLabor in the comics, is given AdaptationalBadass treatment as a fellow sorcerer and one of the mentors of Strange.
** ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'' updates several aspects that originated in the Sixties but don't really hold up as well fifty years later:
*** Aunt May is YoungerAndHipper, as cultural views of a mother figure have similarly aged down.
*** The Parkers have moved from a house in Manhattan to an apartment in Queens, as gentrification means the former no longer works as a low-income neighborhood.
*** Originally, Peter being a nerd made him a social outcast. These days, nerdiness is more mainstream, and Peter's aptitude for science means he attends a [=SciTech=] magnet school. In line with this, school bully "Flash" Thompson has been modified from a JerkJock to an academic rival.
** ''Film/BlackPanther'' removes M'Baku's KillerGorilla motif and [[ComicBookMoviesDontUseCodenames "Man-Ape" pseudonym]] due to the UnfortunateImplications of associating a black man with an ape.
* Although ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial'' was treated by Lucasfilm as an embarrassment that would never again see the light of day, elements of it still made their way into the canon. Chewbacca's family, named the unfortunate "Malla", "Itchy", and "Lumpy", had their names retconned as nicknames akin to "Chewie", with their full names being "Mallatobuck", "Attichitcuk", and "Lumpawarrump". Likewise, the Wookiee holiday of "Life Day" is mentioned from time to time in ExpandedUniverse works, and [[EnsembleDarkhorse Boba Fett]] (first introduced in an animated short in the Holiday Special) went on to become a major supporting character with a huge fan following.
* In Creator/DanielCraig's first two ''Film/JamesBond'' films, ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' and ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', the filmmakers made a conscious effort to abandon many of the campier aspects of the TuxedoAndMartini genre, like the flamboyant villains and the advanced gadgets. As such, series mainstay [[GadgeteerGenius Q]] was nowhere to be seen. But when Q was reintroduced in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', Craig's third outing, he got a notable modern update as MI6's tech-savvy MissionControl with a talent for [[PlayfulHacker computer hacking]], as well as being [[YoungerAndHipper aged down significantly]] to contrast him with the more traditionalist Bond. Though he ''does'' have the obligatory scene where [[OncePerEpisode he supplies Bond with a list of new gadgets]], his computer skills are his primary talent. As the film is quick to point out, having a tech-savvy spy is ''still'' [[{{Reconstruction}} a huge asset in an age of digital espionage]], even if he doesn't [[MythologyGag build exploding pens]].
* In the comic books, ComicBook/LexLuthor is traditionally portrayed as an egotistical, no-nonsense businessman who craves power and respect, and is obsessed with [[VillainWithGoodPublicity appearing respectable at any cost]]. With that in mind, it can seem a bit odd that he insists on going by the diminutive nickname "Lex", which has long been established as [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname being short for "Alexander"]]. Back in the 1930s, it was [[RuleOfCool a distinctive name with a sinister ring to it]]. Today, writers only really use it because [[TheArtifact it's unthinkable to call him anything else]]. ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'' apparently realized that fact, and reimagined Luthor as a [[AgeLift significantly younger]] science prodigy with [[BunnyEarsLawyer an eccentric, manic personality]], who commands respect despite [[NoSocialSkills being flippant and irreverent to everyone he meets]]. Though some viewers are understandably [[BrokenBase divided on how faithful the portrayal is]], it's far easier to imagine ''that'' version of the character calling himself "Lex".
* ''Film/WonderWoman2017'' does this with a few elements of ComicBook/WonderWoman lore [[TheArtifact that are kept around today out of tradition]], even if they don't always seem logical.
** Diana's iconic [[CaptainPatriotic star-spangled]] [[LeotardOfPower leotard]] doesn't exactly mesh well with the elements of Myth/GreekMythology that are so central to the mythos these days, but she still wears it because it's unthinkable to have her wearing anything else. The movie's version generally keeps the design and color scheme of her classic costume, but it nixes the star motif and replaces the white trim with gold trim, making it look more like an exceptionally colorful suit of Greek armor than a patriotic get-up. Her chest emblem is also reimagined as a winged eagle design that just happens to be W-shaped, preventing any questions about why an Amazon princess [[BroughtToYouByTheLetterS wears the letter "W" on her armor]]. [[note]] Since, y'know...there's no "W" in the Greek alphabet.[[/note]]
** The Lasso of Truth is another classic element of the mythos that isn't exactly "Ancient Greek", but continues to be used because it's Diana's IconicItem. The movie makes it a little less inexplicable by renaming it "The Lasso of Hephaestus", explaining that it was forged from metal by the blacksmith god Hephaestus. And instead of psychically compelling people to tell the truth (which isn't the sort of thing that you'd expect of a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy warrior culture]] like the Amazons) it just grows hotter when its victim tries to tell a lie, making it excruciatingly painful to resist.
** Steve Trevor is a good example of a character [[TheArtifact who used to be integral to the mythos, but often feels out-of-place in modern stories as the writers don't always know what to do with him]]. Since the Golden Age, many writers have waffled on whether he's Diana's boyfriend or just [[TheBrigadier her contact in the military]], and the nature of ComicBookTime means that he can't always keep his original backstory as an Army Air Corps pilot who met Diana during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. [[note]] Case in point: he was killed off and brought back several times during the Silver Age, the Bronze Age version [[AgeLift made him several decades older than Diana]], the post-''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'' version married him off to Etta Candy, and the ComicBook/New52 version made him a young government agent who's merely assigned to Diana as her "handler".[[/note]] The movie sidesteps the issue by [[spoiler: having him [[DeathByOriginStory die]] in a HeroicSacrifice at the end of the movie]], thus making him integral to Diana's origin without having to explain how he's relevant to her life in the modern era.

[[folder: Literature]]
* From the 1937 ''Literature/TheHobbit'' to the 1954 ''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', TheArtifact that was Bilbo's stolen ring of {{invisibility}} became an ArtifactOfDoom, and one of the most famous ones at that.
* In Literature/HarryPotter, the later books often mused on the nature of death and how no magic could bring back the deceased. This became somewhat awkward when you remember all the ghosts floating around Hogwarts and interacting the the other residents. Rowling lessened this somewhat with a [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix conversation between Nearly-Headless Nick and Harry]], where Nick explains how choosing to become a ghost makes you know nothing of the secrets of death, and it how it's just a feeble imitation of life, and he even contemplates how it might have been better to have gone on.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Ryan Howard of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' eventually lost his role as the newcomer for obvious reasons, and went through an arc that saw him become a CorruptCorporateExecutive and then fall from grace. Despite having no storyline to advance, he stuck around because as he was played by an executive producer on the show. Later seasons remedied this by making the character into a satire of a hipster, thus giving him something unique to do again.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the 1970s the idea of the Doctor travelling around wildly in space and time had been largely dropped in favour of earthbound stories thanks to the show's {{ReTool}} into a SpyFiction-style show, with the exception of one space jaunt OnceASeason. Season 12, which introduced the Fourth Doctor, went noticeably 'retro', harking back to the Hartnell and Troughton era in terms of tone. Not only do all of the stories (except the first of the season) involve time and space travel, there is a Dalek story written by Hartnell-era writer and Dalek creator Creator/TerryNation ''and'' a Cyberman story written by Hartnell/Troughton-era writer and Cyberman creator Creator/GerryDavis, and a Troughtonesque (but DarkerAndEdgier) "[[TheSiege base under siege]]". The only Pertwee elements are Sarah Jane's continued presence, "Robot" which was deliberately written as a Pertwee-style story but with the new Doctor in it to show off how different his new personality was, and the Sontarans who reappear as the antagonists in a two-part BottleEpisode to save money on monster costumes.
** A combination of this and AscendedFanon lent plausibility to the biggest narrative conceit of ''Series/DoctorWho'': that even when the characters stop off somewhere for totally innocent reasons, they will inevitably encounter not just trouble, but extraterrestrial trouble. Fanon for years has been that the TARDIS, which is a [[SapientShip living being]], purposely drops the Doctor off in places and times where he is needed. This was heavily implied to be true throughout the revived series, and is eventually explicitly made canon in "The Doctor's Wife".
** The TARDIS' police box design. At first, in TheSixties, it wasn't anachronistic, but nowadays, characters ask "What is a 'police public call box?'" and the broken chameleon circuit, though part of the setting from day one to a smaller degree[[note]]The First Doctor noticed the TARDIS hadn't adapted to its new location once they ''left'' Earth, and it was the first sign that something was wrong. They wound up with the more pressing problem of not being able to control their destination.[[/note]], is sometimes a running gag (It's fixed! ...and its new form is not under the Doctor's control, highly inconvenient, and at least you know where to ''enter'' the police box version. It's fixed! ...and when it scans the area and decides on an "appropriate" form, it's always a police box. Or Donna can fix it with her new Time Lord knowledge! ...which is about to burn out her brain, and what comes next is ''not funny.'') and the Doctor has at least once admitted that he could probably fix it if he really wanted to, but likes it the way it is. They also introduced (and [[TropeNamer named]]) the idea that the TARDIS has a PerceptionFilter that makes people not notice it even if its apparent form isn't period-appropriate.
** The Daleks had suffered some extreme VillainDecay by the end of the Classic series, becoming quite easily explodable and harmless even in great numbers, as well as having no agency thanks to the introduction of their leader, Davros. This was not helped by the species being a UK cultural meme for forty years - impressions of their obnoxious, squawky voices and jokes about their use of [[SpecialEffectsFailure plungers]] [[ImprobableWeaponUser as weapons]] and (imagined) inability to climb stairs were something of a hack comedian standard routine. The new series reintroduced the Daleks in the episode "Dalek", in which we find out that the Dalek race was on the brink of annihilating the Doctor's race, and the Doctor had to commit genocide against both species in order to save the universe itself - the Dalek in the episode gets a much less shrill, much scarier and much more expressive voice than the original series Daleks had, is treated realistically as the death machine that it is, and incorporated elements from the very first Dalek serial (such as the idea of Daleks as objects of pity as well as revulsion) in order to make them just as terrifying as they had first been forty years ago. Throughout both Davies' and Moffat's showrunning of the revival era, there's also been an added emphasis on delving into the psychology of the Daleks and the Doctor's relationship with them. (For example, they claim they grew stronger in fear of him. He's tempted by them to lose his temper several times, and also ponders in private whether he could maybe redeem them one day, somehow.) This effort helped the Daleks return to the sort of nuance and cred they had as antagonists back in the 60s and 70s. And Davros, previously overused in the classic era after his first appearance, has had a guest role in only two revival-era stories so far, one in each showrunner's era. Tellingly, these Davros stories were critically well-received, both for Davros' rare resurgence and the quality of writing put into him as a villain.
** Several other classic-Who races that'd been fairly lame from the moment of introduction, such as the Silurians, Ice Warriors, and Zygons, have likewise been re-vamped into something much more formidable by the revived series, making them scarier in some cases and more tragic or multifaceted in others.
** The concept behind the Nimon - aliens based on the Minotaur of Myth/ClassicalMythology - is used again for the central alien in "The God Complex", this time creating something more complex and tragic than the original take.
** "Cold War" is a whole episode written to explore the stereotype about ''Doctor Who'' monsters always being easily outrunnable MightyGlacier creatures with movement impeded by the actors' [[PeopleInRubberSuits unconvincing rubber suits]]. It reintroduces an Ice Warrior, an old-school monster who fits this description, and reveals that what was assumed to be his body is in fact his armour. The armour impedes his movement just like the monster costumes do in real life, and once he's shed it, he is a ''lot'' faster.
** The Cybermen started out fairly scary for the 60s, with their emotionless desire to convert other beings into more Cybermen. As time went by, less focus was put on the assimilation aspect of their personalities, and they became generic robotic soldiers, often openly displaying emotions as well. When they reappeared in the new series (as parallel universe counterparts that never had the originals' {{Weaksauce Weakness}}es), much more focus was placed on the BodyHorror and LossOfIdentity aspects of their nature, making them scary once more. This includes a direct InternalHomage to their big moment of the Classic series ([[TechnicallyLivingZombie slowly emerging from tombs]]) in "Death in Heaven". The way of defeating them went from 'throw gold coins at them' to 'give them their emotions back,' creating heart-wrenching scenes of Cybermen screaming in agony, dropping dead, or outright exploding as they were destroyed by the sheer horror of what they'd become. (However, VillainDecay set in once again as this became easier to do.)
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the old [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS-era]] Klingon foreheads were simply dismissed as [[WatsonianVersusDoylist old budget-level alien makeup effects]] and style evolution... until the [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9]] episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" brought attention to it by juxtaposing Worf (undercover) next to some old-style Klingons. He said "It's a long story" and the Klingons "don't talk about it with outsiders", making the difference an in-universe affair. Come ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', a season 4 episode finally gives an explanation: They are the result of a badly botched attempt to match human [[{{Transhuman}} augments]] with Klingon augments of their own, but it went horribly awry and caused a terminal viral disease. The cure involved a blend of human DNA to undo the damage, which had the side effect of loss of cranial ridges for a few generations. Reconstructive surgery is mentioned, hence ''specific'' Klingons showing up in the TNG era with the forehead ridges they hadn't had in their original appearances.

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* The {{Code|OfHonor}} used to be the rule of law Wrestling/RingOfHonor was built on. Refusal to follow it resulted in penalty, with the more grievous violations making one eligible to dismissal from the promotion. Eventually, the flaws in such a system became apparent and the code was done away with, except fans wanted it back. So the code returned but was less "law" and more a tool to further flesh out wrestlers.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' had several bestiaries dedicated to re-imagining various monsters; in particular, "Misfit Monsters Redeemed" is purely this trope, as they chose the stupidest monsters from the Gygax era and attempted to make them ''work''. This was inspired by their revamp of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' Goblins, who are generally just treated as fodder, as they lack the 'technical skills' that they have in other works.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' took some cues from ''Pathfinder'' in its fifth edition, re-imagining many of the same weird old monsters into something a bit more functional.
* One of the main card types in ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' are Normal Monsters, given that they have their own card frame. There was a time when the bulk of your monsters were normal, and a time slightly more recent when you had a few to serve as muscle, but thanks to power creep that doesn't really happen anymore. Over the years there have been attempts to make them more relevant, such as Heart of the Underdog and the Heiratic archetype. Their success has varied.
** Similarly, there are many iconic monsters that, due to PowerCreep. are now laughably weak. Every so often, the game comes out with a 'retrain' of one of them, which is a new, more powerful card representing the same character.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' has done this several times.
** Cyrodiil, the setting of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', was described as an "endless jungle" in earlier games. It was changed to a temperate region for ''Oblivion''. This is explained in obscure texts as [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Talos]] terraforming the region because of it being inconvenient to live there. Due to the CosmicRetcon involved, Cyrodiil effectively never was a jungle. When the developers of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline'', which takes place before this happened, dismissed this inconsistency as a "transcription error", FanonDiscontinuity was declared among lore junkies. Others rationalized that Talos' changes to the landscape were retroactive, making it so that Cyrodiil had always been temperate.
** The [[CatFolk Khajiit]]'s appearance [[ArtEvolution changed]] between ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena'' and ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall'', and again between ''Daggerfall'' and ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', becoming steadily more cat-like. Lore from after ''Daggerfall'' explained this by establishing that there are different "breeds" of Khajiit that are born depending on the phases of the moon.
* The Crystals in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' were consistently present, if not always the MacGuffin of the story, from ''I'' to ''V''. By ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' they were becoming stale and were removed - however, the system by which the characters learn magic is still crystal-themed, focusing on the use of equipping much smaller crystals called Magicite. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' did the same trick, allowing the player to give spells and abilities to characters by putting associated Materia crystals in their weapons and armour; ''VII'' also featured a subplot near the end where the characters must rescue "Huge Materia" in a save-the-Crystals-like fashion, although it doesn't change the plot of the game if you fail and lose them all. ''VIII'' didn't even contain these diminished Crystals, and ''IX'' featured them only as part of the 'Classic ''Final Fantasy''' {{Pastiche}}. In recent years, the concept of the Crystals has been revived, inspiring the "Fabula Nova Crystallis" franchise ('new tale of the Crystals'), featuring several different universes where Crystals feature in the same ways - a deliberate case of RevisitingTheRoots. Various spinoffs such as ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyExplorers'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight The 4 Heroes of Light]]'', etc, all feature the original Crystals myth in more modern ways.
* The typewriters and [[SaveToken limited ink ribbons]] that were used throughout the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series up until the [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 fourth installment]] would be brought back in the form of tape recorders and limited cassette tapes for ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil7'', keeping with the game's theme of getting back to the series original heavy emphasis on slow foreboding horror as opposed to action.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-148 SCP-148]] of the Wiki/SCPFoundation was originally a metal alloy which blocked psychic energies without any side effects or downsides, and was used to make some of the [[TailorMadePrison Tailor-Made Prisons]] for other [=SCPs=]. Wiki site members decided this was boring and rewrote it so that it has such extreme downsides that no one uses it for anything.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Similar to the above Apache Chief/Manitou Raven example, the campy characters original to the old ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'' show were re-imagined as the Ultimen and given a tragic arc in an episode of the Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' series.
* In yet another example, ''[[WesternAnimation/YoungJustice Young Justice: Invasion]]'' did a more serious, respectful take on Apache Chief and several other of the "[[CaptainEthnic Affirmative Action]]" Super Friends. Samurai and El Dorado became [[GenderFlip Asami "Sam" Koizumi]] and Eduardo "Ed" Dorado, losing their stereotypical costumes and quirks in the process. Apache Chief's popular for this. The ''Young Justice'' version is even named for and voiced by the same guy as his ''Justice League'' counterpart. (However, Longshadow is actually his last name, as opposed to Long Shadow as a codename.)
* ''WesternAnimation/BewareTheBatman'' uses the D-list and '''extremely''' [[http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/files/costumes/6711/58102/CI_58102_1329485211.jpg 80s villain Magpie]] as a recurring character, but she's been given a 21st century makeover so that she now resembles a flashy, modern pop starlet like Music/LadyGaga rather than a hair metal groupie.
* The villains in ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' are named after each animal they're based on--Lizards, Jackals, etc.--instead of them all being called "Mutants", and often get new names that while still based on their animal, are a bit more imaginative (Vultureman becomes Prefect Vultaire.) Third Earth is populated by many animal races and the Mutants' equivalents are drawn from them.
* ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'':
** Cutie Marks in the ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' franchise have existed since the first generation and have since been TheArtifact; even in the original series and comics, they were just there because the toys had them and they were never discussed by the characters. If you were a show-original pony, you didn't have a mark because it wasn't necessary (from a toy-selling point of view) to give you one. It wasn't until [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3 Generation 3]] that they were acknowledged by the characters and given their name, and only in ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship Is Magic]]'' did they actually have a purpose in the story other than just sort of being there, now representing a pony's special talent and calling in life. Getting one in childhood is used as a stand-in for puberty and someone who helps you figure out the meaning of yours is sort of like a guidance counselor.
** The Friendship Reports in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' were originally meant [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle as a recap of the episodes events]], but began to be phased out near the end of Season 2 and were practically non-existent in Season 3. In Season 4, the concept was been brought back after the [[FanNickname Mane 6]] found the Princess' old diary and decided to keep one for themselves.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987'', for [[AnimationAgeGhetto obvious reasons]], couldn't actually show the heroes slice and dicing with their weapons, at least, not against foes who were flesh and bone. What to do to compensate for the lack thereof? Simple. Turn opponents such as the Foot Soldiers into [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman robots]], so that slicing and dicing can be shown freely.[[note]]Hey, at least they didn't SetSwordsToStun.[[/note]] In [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 the 2012 series]], where multiple things from the 1987 series are reimagined to be less silly, the robots are revealed early on to be adaptive, and can challenge the heroes. It's also justified: The heroes keep beating up the Foot so much, they can't recruit any more minions!
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' features a reimagined version of Ace the Bat-Hound, a loyal masked [[GratuitousAnimalSidekick dog sidekick]] that Batman had during the campy Silver Age, when animal sidekicks were something of a fad in comics. But instead of taking him as a sidekick, Bruce simply adopts Ace after he retires from crime-fighting, and he gives the elderly Bruce some much-needed companionship after he falls out of touch with his old friends from his days as Batman.
* The idea of a wrestler taking random challenges from the crowd might just about have been plausible when Comicbook/SpiderMan's origin was written in 1962, but creators since then have just had to barrel through it and hope nobody asks questions. ''WesternAnimation/MarvelsSpiderMan'' makes an attempt at bringing it into the 21st century by suggesting it's not a normal wrestling event but a RealityShow called ''So You Want to be a Wrestler?'' (It's still unlikely Spidey could just turn up, not give his real name, and end up wrestling the champ -- [[ProWrestlingIsReal for real]] -- the same day, but the basic premise is there.)