If an adaptation of a series is popular, it will leave its stamp on subsequent adaptations
. More strangely, a popular adaptation may leave its stamp on the series it was adapted from
, if that series is still ongoing.
For the more general application of changes to the work, see Retcon
The Canon Immigrant
is often a walking example of Ret Canon. See also: Adaptation Displacement
and Canon Discontinuity
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Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball: Akira Toriyama was so impressed with the TV special featuring Goku's father Bardock that he subsequently incorporated the character into the manga for a two-panel flashback to the ending of the special, earning both him and the special canon status. This makes Bardock the only anime-original character to be featured in the manga. Taken even further with Dragon Ball Kai—a recut of the Dragon Ball Z anime with 99% of the filler taken out, in which Bardock's death at the hands of Freeza is used as the introductory scene.
- Shortly after the Negima! alternate universe adaptation introduced Armor Nodoka's ability to split her Diarium Ejus up to read multiple minds, the Nodoka of the manga gained this ability as well (though her version actually shrinks the books based on how many splits she's used).
- A character was brought Back from the Dead in Ga-Rei because of Ga-Rei Zero-. A lot of later flashbacks also borrowed from the anime.
- Excalibur's song in Soul Eater was something invented for the second episode about him in the anime, which was not based on anything in the manga. The next time he appeared in the manga, Excalibur started singing the song.
- In The DCU:
- Batman's Battle Butler Alfred was originally drawn as a stout and clean-shaven man, but in 1944 he was dispatched to a health resort from which he would return thin and mustached so that he would resemble William Austin's portrayal in the 1943 serial. Also, he originally died in the comics but the 60's Adam West series got him revived. The change was spoofed in a 1994 "Zero Hour" story that ostensibly took place after Alfred had left Bruce Wayne while they were tracking down Bruce's kidnapped girlfriend and Tim Drake's father in England (though he came back about a year later); Batman and Robin are confronted by a short, fat, non-mustached, Cockney-accented double of Alfred reminiscent of the early 1940s portrayal, and immediately remark that Alfred doesn't look like himself. Alfred then reminds them of his resort vacation, which (in the new continuity) he has just returned from, and explains that the resort was not a health spa at all, but a school for private detectives (the "new" Alfred wants to follow in his employers' footsteps). The short, fat Alfred eventually disappears long before the real Alfred returns.
- It may seem hard to believe, but Catwoman didn't wear a black costume until the 60's Batman and Batman Returns. Prior to (and long after) that, she usually wore purple in the comics. It wasn't until Darwyn Cooke's revamp in 2002 that she officially adopted a black Spy Catsuit in the comics.
- Batman's Grappling-Hook Pistol also originated in the first Tim Burton Batman movie.
- The Batman storyline "The Destroyer" ended with Gotham sporting a redesigned look that resembled the city's retro art deco depiction in the Tim Burton movies.
- The idea that Jim Gordon met Bruce Wayne on the night of the Wayne murders originated in Batman Begins, and has since made it to the comics (and also subsequently served as an inspiration for the premise of Gotham.
- It was Marlon Brando's idea to have Jor-El wearing a recognizable 'S' logo in the 1978 Superman film, making it a preexisting Kryptonian emblem rather than merely a personal symbol of Superman. This change filtered into the comics awareness, explicitly finalized in the 2003 title Superman: Birthright.
- The childhood of Clark Kent was changed once in response to the Movie with his powers developing gradually and no career as Superboy, and more recently it has changed again to become closer to the portrayal in Smallville, including restoring Lex Luthor as a Smallville resident and friend of Clark (which, ironically, is what they had changed him from Post-Crisis).
- His career as Superboy was a retcon in itself. The original telling of Superman's origin in Action Comics #1 had him raised in an orphanage, and his super powers developing slowly during adolescence.
- Smallville itself first appeared in the earliest Superboy comics, but they never specified exactly where in the country it was located until after the Movie had put it in Kansas.
- Indeed, the whole cold, antiseptic look of the Post-Crisis Krypton was taken from the movie. Ironically, Superman: Birthright undid this change, moving it back toward the Silver Age version.
- Post-Infinite Crisis, Krypton is even more like the movie version than it was post-Crisis. Superman's fortress is now the same crystalline structure seen in the films (and in Smallville), complete with Jor-El hologram.
- Also, after the movie, many artists drew Superman resembling Christopher Reeve.
- With John Byrne being the first, because he couldn't follow the style of Curt Swan.
- The Hall of Justice from the Super Friends cartoon was made canon in the comics after Infinite Crisis.
- In both the Golden and Silver Age, Wonder Woman had the magic lasso — which could compel total obedience from anyone caught in it. As one might imagine, she had it used on her pretty regularly. As this was regarded as a little squicky for television, the lasso's ability to compel was reduced to being able to force its captive to tell the truth. This is now so canon, The Other Wiki doesn't even mention the original ability.
- More recently, Wondie has started spinning around to change her clothes, a magical transformation used in the 1970's TV show, but not in the comics until twenty years later, when Promoted Fanboy Phil Jimenez was writing & drawing the book.
- After 2001's Justice League cartoon featured a Hawkgirl as a member, writer Joe Kelly chose to add the DC Universe's then-current Hawkgirl to the contemporary JLA (even though this was a different character, connected to the Golden Age Hawkgirl rather than the Silver Age version from which the cartoon's heroine was adapted).
- Justice League also introduced the idea that John Stewart (Green Lantern) was a Marine, an idea that's since filtered into the comics.
- John Stewart also returned to being an active Green Lantern and joined the League during Kelly's JLA run and started wearing the same costume he wore on Justice League (sans gloves) and the same haircut the animated Stewart had in the first two seasons.
- While John Stewart has yet to sport the "bald with goatee" look from the Unlimited seasons, Power Ring does sport a similar one, thanks in part to the events of JLA/Avengers destroying and rebuilding the Crime Syndicate's universe, giving him a Race Lift that changed him from a blonde Kyle Rayner counterpart into a counterpart for Stewart. Also after joining the post-Infinite Crisis incarnation of the League, John joked about Black Lightning's current bald look, then said he'd looked look good bald with a goatee.
- The Teen Titans cartoon debuted in the same month as a relaunch of the Teen Titans series. Both took inspiration from the classic 80s Marv Wolfman/George Perez "New Teen Titans" series, but it was also pretty obvious that DC was making their properties look similar across the board.
- The cartoon team was composed of Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. The comics team was composed of former Young Justice members Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash, with the 80s Titans Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy returning. The comics team thus superficially resembled the cartoon team - only with the former Young Justice members, most notably Robin, being Legacy Characters of the 80s Titans. At least some of the older Titans were not even teenagers by this point, having aged into their 20s. Notably, comics Raven, in spirit form before the relaunch, was given a new teenage body just for the series, and Gar Logan's codename, then Changeling, reverted to Beast Boy (despite being more like Beast Man).
- Many of the characters in the cartoon saw their comic versions' costumes get redone to match (or at least more resemble) their animated counterparts. Even Starfire (whose ultra-stripperiffic bikini-like "armor" isn't going anywhere anytime soon) has her boots changed to resemble series Star.
- The romantic subtext between Raven and Beast Boy in the cartoon made it into the comics in a bona fide squee moment. The author claims he didn't do this because of the show, though.
- Bumblebee's shrinking abilities were also introduced in the show, before being made canon in the comics after Infinite Crisis. Prior to that, she simply had a suit of Powered Armor that resembled that of a bee.
- A '90s Titan named Joto was revamped as "Hotspot" in the toon note , and received flamethrower powers as opposed to simply using heat generation. After Infinite Crisis, the comic Joto inexplicably took on the flaming head look of his animated self, the "Hotspot" codename, and began using fire as an ability.
- Ever since Batman: The Animated Series redefined Mr. Freeze as a tragic figure, consumed for the lost love of his stricken wife, the original comic version was changed to resemble that. Originally, he was just a villain with a gimmicky weapon with no back story, a version that appeared in The Batman.
- Based on the popularity of the animated series version of the Clock King (Temple Fugate), a new Clock King with the same name and dress was introduced to The DCU (though instead of Awesomeness by Analysis powers, this version has actual precognitive abilities as well as a sadistic streak).
- The series also went with the Batgirl moniker to make Barbara Gordon begin using that identity as a student rather than a librarian as it originally was, and given this change in age, she got a flirting relationship with Robin (Dick Grayson, now Nightwing in comics). Now flashbacks tend to show Barbara getting her Batgirl identity at her teens, and having an on-off relationship with Nightwing (who, before that, was mostly interested on his Titans teammate Starfire, so Ship-to-Ship Combat abounds).
- The series also introduced the idea of Bruce Wayne being childhood friends with Zatanna, which was later made canon in the comics by Paul Dini after Infinite Crisis. Prior to this, Batman had been portrayed as being much older than Zatanna. Only the later series Young Justice has kept Zatanna younger, making her a peer of Robin.
- Superman flies because the Fleischer cartoons found it easier to animate flight than jumping. Simultaneously, the radio show started depicting Superman flying so that they could fit plot exposition into scenes while he traveled place to place. However, the radio show avoided calling it flight. Most of his other powers came from the radio or cartoon shows, too. Initially, he was just as the opening sequence described him: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings In a Single Bound. Heat vision, super breath, and more were largely later additions.
- Action Comics (DC) itself also gradually drifted toward flight due to artist mistakes. As artists depicted Superman performing more and more impossible maneuvers in midair, AC writers explained it away as his ability to change trajectory in midair. When Fleischer, who had followed the comics and radio show, asked point-blank if Superman could fly, AC gave up and said he could. It didn't become official though until a 1942 Superman novel written by the head writer of the radio show, where it explicitly stated Superman flew across the Atlantic Ocean to stop a Nazi rocket missile. By 1943, Superman could fly 8 times the speed of light.
- Superman's childhood home Smallville was apparently just as vaguely located as Metropolis, until the 1978 movie set it in Kansas.
- Though General Zod already existed in the comics before and after Superman II, his backstory became such a mess that eventually DC decided to make a "definitive" reboot of the character based on his most iconic version: that of the aforementioned film.
- Kryptonite was first introduced on the Superman radio show in 1943, before being incorporated into the comic book.
- When The Flash got a TV series, a couple of small changes were made in the comic: Wally got a dog and a new costume with a symmetric belt like the one on the show. This was only fair since the TV Flash, while based primarily on Barry Allen, also borrowed elements from Wally (such as his post-Crisis need for huge amounts of food).
- During Flash: Rebirth Wally gained yet another new costume that was even more inspired by the live-action suit. It had the pointed, Batman-like nose and the darker color scheme, in addition to the aforementioned belt. The costume also added a logo similar to the one on Wally sported in Justice League.
- Katana had always been more of a lower-tier, ensemble character, but her big role in Beware the Batman led to DC giving the character her own solo book, as well as a spot in the Justice League.
- The Brightest Day and New 52 versions of Firestorm were inspired by the character's portrayal in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. While the Jason Rusch/Ronnie Raymond combo had shown up in the comics before, it was the TV show that established Jason as a Child Prodigy. Prior to that, he was mostly an average student who relied on Professor Stein to provide Firestorm's science knowledge.
- Static was given both of his costumes from the Static Shock cartoon; the original in the Rebirth of the Cool limited series, and the second after joining The DCU around the time of Final Crisis. Note that Static's original outfit◊ looks nothing like either of the suits from the cartoon◊.
- Despite Superman: The Animated Series's version of Supergirl being Kara In-Ze, a loose adaptation of Kara Zor-El, the then-current Supergirl in the comics, Linda Danvers was given the "white shirt, hot pants" Supergirl costume used in the series.
- The New Batman Adventures, the sequel show to Batman: The Animated Series featured revamped designs for every character, in order to streamline the show's look to make it easier to animate on the smaller budget, as well as to make it more compatible stylistically with Superman: The Animated Series. Most of the new designs were poorly received (especially the Joker's), but one in particular that most people seem to like is Scarecrow's. It didn't look much like an actual Scarecrow (more like a western preacher), but it was pretty creepy (which is good considering fear is the Scarecrow's whole shtick). The staff liked the outcome, particularly since they'd fiddled around with different designs before and found them ineffective. Since TNBA, many versions of Scarecrow incorporate that version's distinctive hanged man's noose.
- When Vixen rejoined the Justice League after Infinite Crisis, she was given her look from Justice League Unlimited.
- As of the New 52...
- Amanda Waller is a lot slimmer, ala her appearance in Green Lantern and Smallville.
- Commissioner Gordon had reddish-brown hair in the present day, ala his appearance in The Dark Knight Saga and Zsasz grew a beard like his appearance in Batman Begins.
- Bane initally had a look reminiscent of the one he had in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, though it's since been tweaked to include a vest and cargo pants similar to his The Dark Knight Rises incarnation.
- Etta Candy got a Race Lift ala her counterpart in the failed Wonder Woman pilot and is now African-American.
- Additionally, both Miss Martian and Sportsmaster have since been seen wearing their costumes from Young Justice. note
- Coincidence or not, some have also noted that Harley Quinn's New 52 design resembles the iteration of the character seen in the Batman Live stage show and Batman: Arkham City.
- The Tumbler from The Dark Knight Saga has been made canon in Detective Comics.
- Vandal Savage's facial scars from Young Justice have been incorporated into his modern design.
- Tommy Merlyn as Oliver Queen's best friend before he became Green Arrow.
- Catwoman's new origin is closely based on the Batman Returns version.
- Wally West is now half-African American, taking a nod from The Flash (2014), where Iris West and her family are black. Iris herself is still white in the comics, since her New 52 counterpart debuted before the show began production.
- Felicity Smoake, formerly a very minor Firestorm character, has been redesigned and ReTooled to more closely resemble her Arrow counterpart.
- The new Royal Flush Gang seen in Forever Evil resembles the more down-to-Earth version of the group from Arrow.
- Mercy Graves, Lex Luthor's assistant / bodyguard, is now Asian-American to match her appearance in The Batman and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- In the Marvel Universe:
- Following the success of the 2000 movie, the X-Men switched to dark leather costumes which more closely resembled those of the movie. Toad's markedly different appearance and advanced powers (a mostly regular-looking guy with a prehensile tongue and amazing acrobatic skills as opposed to a deformed hunchback who just jumps around a bit) was also copied.
- As a minor example, Rogue used to have a white Skunk Stripe, across her head from front to back. Ever since the movies, only her front bangs have been white (even in X-Men Forever, where her original hair style, at least at first, should have been retained).
- The writers can't even decide whether Rogue's hair is naturally like that, or, as mentioned in an '80s letter column bleached by her for effect...
- The leather costumes only lasted until 2004, when they returned to more traditional superhero costumes.
- Rogue also lost her curls in favor of straight long hair similar to Anna Paquin's.
- Rogue's real name, Anna Marie, was also taken from the movies, where she was Named by the Adaptation.
- Greg Rucka and other artists showed Wolverine's claws coming from between his fingers as opposed to the backs of his knuckles. Also, like the Superman example, some artists have drawn Wolverine looking like Hugh Jackman.
- Mystique also gained a scaled, reptilian appearance to better reflect her movie counterpart. This too was eventually undone.
- Magneto's plastic prison from the movies was used in Ultimate X-Men.
- It may shock people to learn that the idea of the Xavier Institute as an actual school was also something that came from the movies. Originally, the school aspect was more of a cover story than anything, and the only actual "students" were the X-Men themselves. Then the first movie came out and introduced the idea of the Institute as a real school with numerous mutant students, and Grant Morrison subsequently made the idea canon in the comics.
- Due to the popularity of X-Men: First Class, Marvel launched First X-Men, a prequel series about an early incarnation of the team led by Magneto and a not-yet-disabled Professor Xavier.
- Gambit's role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine led to the Weapon X: First Class mini-series, which established that as a teen, Gambit was present at the Weapon X facility the night Wolverine made his fateful escape.
- In the original comics, Iceman was a founding member of the team and about the same age as Cyclops and the other X-Men. The movie made him a teenage trainee who was significantly younger than the real X-Men, and this eventually carried over into Ultimate X-Men, X-Men: Evolution, and Wolverine and the X-Men.
- Post-AXIS, Quicksilver has been given a new costume that incorporates his goggles from X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- Sabretooth's post-AXIS design draws some inspiration from Liev Schreiber's portrayal of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, namely the shorter haircut and more clean shaven appearance.
- Circa 2005, Spider-Man gained biological webshooting powers like those portrayed in his eponymous 2002 movie. Continuing the trend, in 2007, the "Back in Black" storyline, wherein Spidey starts wearing the black costume again, echoes Spider-Man 3, which is a retelling of the original black costume storyline.
- In the original Black Costume saga, the symbiote did not affect Peter's personality, at all. It just made him tired because it would take his body out crime fighting while he slept. The addition of it making him more violent and mean came from the '90s cartoon.
- According to Word of God, the second Superior Spider-Man costume was directly inspired◊ by the unused design Alex Ross created for the first movie◊.
- The supervillain Bullseye originally wore a costume with a mask that had a bullseye design on it. In the 2003 movie, Bullseye dressed like a biker and had a bullseye scar directly on his forehead. Sometime later the comic book version received the scar as well, when an enraged Daredevil carved a bullseye into the forehead of his nemesis.
- The Bullseye seen in Punisher Max had even more of the movie's influence. He not only had the scar, but also ran around in street clothes as opposed to a costume.
- The Ultimate version of Elektra wears a black costume similar to that of her movie counterpart.
- The famous phrase "with great power Comes Great Responsibility" was shortened from a longer form and attributed to Uncle Ben by Retcon. (It was originally spoken by the narrator.)
- The Negative Zone, a longstanding element of Fantastic Four stories, was brought into the Ultimate universe under a new name: the N-Zone. Since then, characters have occasionally used this term for the Negative Zone in the regular continuity.
- Matt Fraction made the Thing Rings from Fred and Barney Meet the Thing canon in FF. Though in this case, they're used by Darla Deering rather than Ben Grimm.
- Captain America's sidekick, The Falcon, briefly wore the same armored costume he wore in the short-lived The Avengers: United They Stand animated series. However, when he rejoined the Avengers a few years later, he ditched the threads.
- Speaking of Cap, the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films has led to his comic counterpart sporting an outfit that looks greatly inspired by his appearances in Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengersnote as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Said costume does away with the flared gloves and buccaneer boots, replacing them with more utilitarian gloves and combat boots. The familiar chainmail of his old costume is replaced with a more modern-looking armor design, as well. Finally, a blue helmet with painted-on wings takes the place of his winged mask.
- The version of Whiplash seen in Ultimate Spider-Man is heavily inspired by Micky Rourke's portrayal of the character from Iron Man 2, right down to the Arc reactor harness and Russian ethnicity.
- The idea of James Rhodes and Pepper Potts as contemporary supporting characters was something introduced in Iron Man. Up until that point, the characters had little interaction or relation in the comics. This also carried over into Iron Man: Armored Adventures and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- The comic version of S.H.I.E.L.D. has since adopted the Avengers Initiative from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The second volume of Secret Avengers sees S.H.I.E.L.D. using the Initiative to recruit its own team of superheroes, similar to the origin of the Avengers in the live-action film.
- Hawkeye now wears a black leather costume similar to the one he wears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie costume is itself inspired by the one seen in The Ultimates, though the current mainstream outfit adds in some purple coloring.
- The Iron Patriot armor has returned to the Marvel Universe due to its use in Iron Man 3. It was used by Tony Stark in The Ultimates and, like in Iron Man 3, by James Rhodes in Secret Avengers.
- Blade's original powers were being immune to vampire bites, aging slowly and nothing else. He later picked up enhanced senses but didn't really become super in any sense of the word until his film came out.
- The Hulk's reintroduction into the Avengers was also motivated by the films. In the original comics, he quit after one issue, but the Marvel NOW relaunch has since seen him return to the team as a main character.
- From the classic Age of Apocalypse, we've got the classic Sunfire later sporting his AoA counterpart's look, ironically as a horseman of Apocalypse. Earlier than that, Shadowcat briefly employed a claw device similar to the one used by her AoA self.
- The movie version of the Chitauri (who were almost nothing like the Chitauri from The Ultimates) immigrated to the mainstream Marvel Universe as enemies of Nova.
- The true face of the original Ultimate Universe Chitauri wasn't revealednote until Hunger—when it was shown they look exactly like their movie counterparts.
- In the lead-up to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Marvel had Star-Lord adopt the Badass Longcoat worn by Chris Pratt in the film.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. came up with the idea of giving Donnie Gill ("Blizzard") actual cryonic abilities, rather than having them come from his costume or Powered Armor. This change carried over into the comics, where Blizzard was revealed to be an Inhuman during Infinity and Inhumanity. Due to production time, the change actually happened in the comics before Donnie even debuted on TV.
- In the lead-up to the second Captain America film, the Winter Soldier began wearing his face mask and goggles from the movie in the flashback series Winter Soldier: The Bitter March.
- The movie introduced a drug that Bruce Banner had designed to control Hulk-Outs. Though it proved ineffective on Banner, Nick Fury discovered that it could be easily used to create a Faux Death effect on normal people. This drug (with the same origin!) later appeared in All-New Invaders.
- After becoming the new Captain America, Sam Wilson was redesigned and given a new costume that incorporates his red goggles and wing-pack from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- The Spider-Cycle from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon appeared in an Imagine Spot in issue #200 of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers have been shown using Quinjet models that look exactly like the ones seen in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- The War Machine drones seen in Avengers / New Avengers: Time Runs Out are based off unused concept art of War Machine from Iron Man 3.
- The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics were remarkably resistant to this, but an exception showed up with Casey Jones. Casey was originally introduced as a fairly loopy vigilante whose motivations mainly seemed to be watching way too much TV. However, in the 2003 cartoon he was given a You Killed My Father backstory involving the Purple Dragons gang and their leader Hun; Hun was imported into the Mirage comics late in the run of Tales of the TMNT, and Casey's background was updated accordingly.
- Since the release of the video game adaptation of The Darkness, the comic adapted a couple traits from the game, notably the titular Darkness' ability to take control of its host whenever it wants.
- As the Scott Pilgrim film (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) had been in development since the release of Volume 1 (of 6), elements from the script (and interactions with screenwriters Edgar Wright and Michael Bacall) were incorporated by creator Bryan Lee O'Malley into subsequent volumes, per his own confessions. Much of Volume 6 was written during and directly after filming of the movie adaptation, meaning Jason Schwartzmann's portrayal of Gideon had been filmed while O'Malley's conception of the character was in flux, thus influencing the character's depiction in the graphic novel. Furthermore, some shots originating in the film's climax (the elevator with a downward arrow indicating its direction; the overhead angle of Scott dead on the floor) were directly incorporated into Volume 6. O'Malley has also stated that certain gags (such as the lines "It was just a [bisexual] phase," "You had a sexy phase!?") originated in the film's screenplay and were adapted into the graphic novels with permission, and that certain scenes were inspired by trips O'Malley took around Toronto with Wright and Bacall (such as the Honest Ed's sequence from Volume 3, which apparently came from Wright and Bacall's genuine shock and confusion once they entered the store, and horror upon seeing a particularly grotesque wall-mounted deer-head clock).
- A minor one from Archie Comics. In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Aunt Hilda & Zelda were an old crone & a chubby green-haired woman, respectively. Around the time of the TV show, they were changed into attractive middle-aged women.
- A major change was Salem. He was originally a normal, non-talking orange cat until the TV show. Now he's a black cat who used to be a human.
- The Spawn comics changed the title character's origin so that he was killed by Jessica Priest rather than Chapel from Youngblood. This concept originated in the movie, and was made canon after Rob Liefeld left Image Comics (and took Chapel with him).
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra recast Ripcord (formerly a redheaded white guy) as black. Since then, Ripcord has been introduced in two new continuities - the IDW comicbooks and the G.I. Joe: Renegades cartoon - and in both of them he's a young black man.
- In order to manage the Loads and Loads of Characters in Arthurian legend, John Boorman's Excalibur merged the characters of Morgause of Orkney and Morgana le Fay into one Composite Character, keeping the latter's name and powers of sorcery, but giving her the former's role of mothering Mordred after an incestuous affair with Arthur. Though he may not have been the first to make this change, his film popularized the incestuous angle between Morgana and Arthur in many adaptations to come.
- One of the main plot elements of the many adaptations of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—namely the two female characters, Jekyll's innocent fiancee and Hyde's slutty barmaid girlfriend—is not present in the original novel at all. This plot thread was created for the wildly successful 19th century stage adaptation of the novel, and has since become part of almost all subsequent adaptations.
- J. K. Rowling mentioned in an interview that after she saw the first Harry Potter, her own mental image of Snape changed to resemble Alan Rickman, which would then affect the way he's described in the later books. This applied to the chapter illustrations in the American versions as well. Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix had portraits of Snape as balding and with a goatee, but Half-Blood Prince showed him with long black hair and no facial hair, just like in the movies.
- Similarly, both Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse) and Ruth Rendell (Inspector Wexford) have said their mental images of their detectives were dramatically affected by the TV adaptations.
- Reprints of the novels changed Morse's car from a Lancia to the Jaguar he drove in the TV show.
- Thomas Harris has been quoted as saying this is exactly why he never watched the movie adaptation of his novel The Silence of the Lambs; not because he disapproved of it, but because he didn't want Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter shading the character's portrayal in the sequels.
- This is also Terry Pratchett's official reason for not reading Discworld Fan Fiction, along with the legal ramifications that can come with an unintentional (or coincidental) Ret Canon.
- In the same vein, John le Carré stopped writing the novels built around George Smiley and the Circus in the early 1980s since, after several wildly popular TV adaptations, he kept seeing Alec Guinness when he wrote the character.
- In the early Sharpe novels, Sharpe is a Londoner. Following the TV series, later books reveal he fled to Yorkshire as a teenager, where he presumably picked up Sean Bean's accent.
- After Dr. No was released and made ridiculous amounts of money for all involved, Ian Fleming gave James Bond Scottish ancestry (rather ironic, considering he considered Sean Connery a bad choice for the role at first).
- In Craig Thomas' novel Firefox, the titular fighter craft was originally nothing more than a MiG-25 Foxbat augmented with state of the art technology. After Clint Eastwood's 1982 movie adaptation came out with its iconic superfighter design, subsequent republishing of the novel would use the movie version of the Firefox to depict the craft. In addition, Thomas changed the description of the plane in the sequel novel Firefox Down to match the new appearance.
- The Firefox (both the plane and movie plot) is actually an Expy of the 'MiG-242' from an episode of Gerry Anderson's puppet series 'Joe 90'.
- The original novel of House of Cards ends with Francis Urquhart's death. This was changed in the TV adaptation, enabling sequels. The two sequels to the novel (both adapted for TV later) are based on the TV ending.
- Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey originally had the mission going to Saturn. It was changed in the films as they couldn't get the rings right, and that change crept into all subsequent adaptations. (This is a bit of a sidewise example, though. The movie is not an adaptation of the novel, nor vice versa— they were developed in parallel.)
- At the end of the novel Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm dies. He survives in the movie, and in the sequel to the book he is the protagonist. On the flip side, several characters who survived in the book but were killed in the movie adaptation are mentioned in The Lost World 1995 book sequel as having died from assorted natural causes some time after escaping the island. The only major exception to this is Hammond, who stayed dead in the books and alive in the movies.
- Robert Muldoon is about the only character who survived in the book and died in the movie without being killed off. He doesn't make an appearance (or is even mentioned aside from namedropping of all the survivors) in the sequel, though.
- Other than the basic premise of "cartoon characters are real and live side-by-side with humans" and four important characters (Eddie Valiant, Roger and Jessica Rabbit, and Baby Herman), there are almost no similarities between the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? and the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. However, the author liked the movie much more than he'd liked his own novel, and when he wrote a sequel, Who Plugged Roger Rabbit?, he followed up the movie's continuity, not the book's (which was even handwaved away as being All Just a Dream).
- Martin Caidin's Marooned featured a Project Mercury mission. Later editions matched up with the movie and featured a Apollo-style spacecraft.
- The original "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" fairy tale does not have her being awakened by a kiss; that was an addition by Disney. Instead, the apple was dislodged from Snow White's throat when the prince's servants dropped the glass coffin. It's rare to see a "Snow White" adaption that doesn't include it now, even ones that attempt to go back to The Brothers Grimm story.
- While Roald Dahl ultimately disowned the first movie adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which he wrote the original script for, but it was substantially rewritten by David Seltzer), he did work the phrase "Strike that, reverse it" into Willy Wonka's dialogue in the book's sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. The phrase becomes a recurring one in the 2013 stage musical adaptation of Factory in a sort of merging of this trope and Internal Homage.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers originally had Zordon existing in a limbo dimension, with the tube he spoke out of being only his form of communication. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie had Zordon being physically in the tube in a pocket dimension and capable of being killed by rupturing that tube. In Power Rangers Turbo (about two years after the first movie) Zordon was magically brought to the physical tube in a pocket dimension, allowing him to return to his homeworld and exist in a state similar to the movie, and in fact became a major plot element of Power Rangers in Space where Zordon is captured.
- Speaking of homeworld, Power Rangers: The Movie had Lord Zedd acknowledge that Zordon's home planet is Eltar, something that was never mentioned in the show. Since then, Eltar was mentioned in a few post-MMPR seasons.
- Power Rangers RPM introduced a special move using the wheels from the Rangers' suits, an attack which didn't exist in Engine Sentai Go-onger. The move was later incorporated into the Super Sentai canon in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
- When the TyrannoRanger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger showed up in the Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters movie, he was given a modernized Transformation Sequence based off the one Adam Park used during his guest spot on Power Rangers Operation Overdrive.
- They even used the Legacy Power Morpher toy that Bandai had released for the 20th anniversary of Power Rangers for the transformation scene!
- As of Series IV of Red Dwarf, Lister's backstory with Kochanski was retconned to one closer to what appeared in the novel Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers than had been detailed in the first two series. Originally he'd been hopelessly in love with her, but never had the nerve to ask her out ("In your entire life, your conversations with her totalled 123 words. You had a better relationship with your rubber plant"); in the books they dated for a while, then she got back with "Tim, or Tom, or it may have been Tony" from Catering. The breakup first gets mentioned on screen in the Season IV episode "DNA", and Tim is referenced in Season VII's "Ouroboros" and Season VIII's "Krytie TV".
- One episode of that series was adapted from a section of a novel, rather than the other way around: the episode "White Hole" is based on the "Garbage World" section of the novel "Better Than Life".
- Smallville introduced an Expy of the Green Arrow foe Merlyn known as Vordigan the Dark Archer. When Merlyn was brought into Arrow, Malcolm Merlyn became his real name (his real name in the comics is Arthur King), while his codename was changed to the Dark Archer.
- Kato in The Green Hornet is now always a martial artist.
- Warhammer 40,000 didn't even have two-handed Thunder Hammers before Dawn of War gave one to its Force Commander.
- Technically the Thunder Hammer is not a two-handed weapon, you just can't get a bonus attack unless you have a pair (or in 6th edition, a Thunder Hammer and a Powerfist/Lightnig Claw), which no official model has. However, it was not availeable for a power armoured character until the 5th edition Space Marine codex, which came out after Dawn of War.
- Tau Railrifle was first introduced in the Fire Warrior game, and was given rules as a White Dwarf supplement before being added to the next codex.
- Revivals of a musical with a successful movie version will often try to find places to add songs written for the movie back into the show. E.g. Cabaret, The Sound of Music, Grease.
- Revivals of Anything Goes invariably include "It's De-Lovely," "Friendship" and other Cole Porter songs originally written for other shows.
- The licensed version of The Wizard of Oz as a stage musical still has those damn ruby slippers, while the originals were silver.
- After the Pirates of the Caribbean movies became popular, references to the characters were added to the original Disney World ride, along with several animatronic appearances of Captain Jack Sparrow. The latter are particularly jarring, as all of the original characters are cartoony caricatures of human beings, but Jack is a perfect likeness of Johnny Depp's character (although Depp himself may be sufficiently cartoony to justify this).
- More jarring is the sound. Jack Sparrow and redone sound clips mentioning him sound very clear, while any audio still from the original version of the attraction is far scratchier.
- It's safe to say that the first Mortal Kombat movie has practically influenced any game made after it. The main changes:
- Kano was originally American raised in Japan, but after the first film, Trevor Goddard's Australian interpretation was sufficiently well received for him to become an Aussie in the games. Just to complete the mess, Goddard was actually a Londoner who spent his entire life acting as an Australian in order to fill a gap in the Hollywood market. Sadly, Goddard passed away from a bad drug overdose in 2003 and Kano was officially made Austrailian from then on, in his honor.
- The importance of winning ten tournaments, as lampshaded by Shang Tsung at the beginning of MK9's Story Mode.
- Kitana as Liu Kang's Love Interest, lampshaded in both Shaolin Monks and 9.
- Johnny Cage and Goro's rivalry.
- The Ship Tease between Johnny and Sonya (assumed to be canon on most fans' part anyway), albeit in the form of Belligerent Sexual Tension (at first, anyway; Sonya mellows out a bit towards Johnny over time). In Mortal Kombat X, we learn that they eventually have a daughter together, named Cassie.
- Raiden being heavily influenced by Christopher Lambert's portrayal in the movies, specifically his long white hair, his dry sense of humor, his status as Big Good (the very first MK game portrayed him as a vengeful god of evil), and the fact that he is forbidden from directly interfering in the tournament.
- The Kirby platformer Kirby Squeak Squad redesigned Dedede's palace to resemble the one from the anime adaptation. The room where Kirby fought Dedede even contained the monster summoning device from the series.
- Similarly, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, the GBA remake of Kirby's Adventure features the Fountain of Dreams from Super Smash Bros. Melee, complete with its remixed stage music.
- Super Star Ultra and Mass Attack started giving attention to Sword and Blade as Meta Knight's followers, most likely because they were in the anime (where Axe, Mace, Trident, and Javelin were nowhere to be seen). Also, in Super Star Ultra, the Halberd was redesigned to resemble its Brawl appearance.
- Kirby's Catch Phrase "poyo!" and Dedede's Verbal Tic "zoi" are both originally from the anime, as is Meta Knight's habit of wrapping his cape around himself.
- Escargo(o)n, Customer Service, and Macho-San/Max Flexer appear in different extra mini-games in Kirby Mass Attack.
- On the subject of Smash Bros., that game influenced how Captain Falcon was portrayed; all of his appearances after the SSB games now have him with all of his Smash Bros. moves intact. It overlaps with Ascended Meme as well. In F-Zero GX, the song that played during the credits reel when you completed Story Mode mentioned the Falcon Punch, hinting that it was one of his canon abilities (his other SSB moves are left up in the air). In Falcon Densetsu/GP Legend, Falcon gets to finally show his moves during the Grand Finale and goes out in a blaze of glory.
- Pokémon. Red and Blue versions didn't take the TV show into account. Later versions do. It shows.
- Pokemon Yellow is Red and Blue altered to match the anime. Pikachu is the starter, Jessie and James appear regularly, the Pokemon designs reflect their TV appearances (rather than the Off Model, Nightmare Fuel-inducing original sprites), and the main Team Rocket mons are uncatchable (because Ash would never catch 'em). Surprisingly, one of the uncatchable mons is Weedle, which Ash attempted to catch in the anime.
- Brock mentions his wanting to be a breeder in the games as well. The nurse sprite was altered to match Nurse Joy.
- Misty obtains Togepi in the anime. Misty has a Togetic in the games. Togepi evolves in the anime.
- In the canon games, come Pokémon Gold and Silver Misty has some minor Tsundere and Hot-Blooded qualities that she lacked in the original.
- Silent Hill: Homecoming takes many of its visual cues from the film adaptation (which the fans HATE). This is one of the reasons why it's considered the scrappy of the franchise.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic's love of chili dogs featured in DiC's animated adaptations didn't come from any of the games, but it eventually made its way into Sonic Unleashed, which features numerous food items Sonic can obtain, including chili dogs, described as his favorite. Also used in Sonic Chronicles.
- Made awesome in the intro to Sonic and the Black Knight.
- Also, Shadow taking off his rings for an energy boost came from Sonic X, but has since appeared in Sonic 2006.
- In addition to that, Sonic Chronicles features the SWATbots from the old Sonic cartoon as enemies.
- Dr. Eggman used to only be called Robotnik outside of Japan, and vice versa. Now his full name worldwide is Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik.
- The idea of Knuckles the Echidna being a treasure hunter comes from the OVAs.
- In the games, Dr. Eggman, while having his robotic minions, didn't have any close sidekicks; compare this to any of the animated series, where his counterpart has some sort of underling (Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog; Snively and Cluck in Sonic the Hedgehog; Sleet and Dingo in Sonic Underground; Bocoe, Decoe and Bokkun in Sonic X). This was rectified in Sonic Unleashed, which gave him SA-55 "Orbot" as a snarky direct underling, and then furthered in Sonic Colors with "Cubot", giving Orbot somebody else to play off of for humor.
- The idea of pairing Luigi and Daisy might be the only plot element from the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie that was actually adapted into the video games (Though "Mario Mario" and "Luigi Mario" has popped up in Nintendo of America made media, despite Word of God saying they lack surnames). In her debut in Super Mario Land, Daisy was simply a Peach expy for that game and it wasn't until the later Mario Party and Sports games that the idea of having her as Luigi's love interest came about.
- Many elements from the various media adaptations of the Street Fighter franchise ended up being used in the backstories of later games. Most notably, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie greatly influenced the plot of the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series, from M. Bison's more muscular design to the origin story of Ryu's red bandanna. Masahiko Nakahira's manga adaptation of the first Alpha game featured a storyline involving Ryu being possessed by the Satsui no Hadou, the same power used by Akuma; this concept would be reused for Ryu's storyline in' Alpha 2.
- While the real reason may be simple convenience for the artists of the scene, Guile's intro in Street Fighter IV shows him holding Charlie's dog tags, on which the name "Charlie Nash" is written ('Charlie' is his name in western territories, while 'Nash' is his name in Japan). While the true use of this probably is to avert having to redraw the scene for Japanese audiences, the name 'Charlie Nash' is a common Fanon name as well as the name given to Charlie in UDON's comic book series (which is how it fits into this trope).
- Maki from Final Fight 2 originally sported a different outfit, but was redesigned for the Sakura Ganbaru! manga series. Elements of Maki's manga design (namely her footwear and the use of a tonfa as her personal weapon) were incorporated into her new design for Capcom Vs. SNK 2, and later the Street Fighter Alpha series of games.
- The Worlds of Power series of children's books based on NES games ended up affecting two games' sequels.
- "Kal Torlin", which was the name of the land where Shadowgate took place, was first used in Before Shadowgate and ended up used in Shadowgate 64.
- Eve, the young woman Jason falls in love with in the novelization of Blaster Master, ends up being his wife in the sequel Blaster Master: Blasting Again for the PlayStation. The author of the book was surprised to find out that his character had become canon.
- Square Enix cannot decide as to whether Cloud stabbed Sephiroth and chucked him into a mako reactor in a Heroic BSOD Roaring Rampage of Revenge, or if Sephiroth just jumped in himself to spite Cloud and because he had foreknowledge of the power of The Lifestream. This plot event is slightly different in the three games and one OVA it's featured in
- There are varying focal points for each entry of the Compilation's "version" of the Nibelheim incident (for example, Crisis Core is from Zack's POV, whereas Last Order is more multifaceted, incorporating Cloud and the Turks into the equation), as well as the original game's rendition itself (due to Cloud's screwy memories and mental state at that point). According to Word of God, Unreliable Narrator/Unreliable Expositor applies here.
- Updated Re-release Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem several details that were simply Word of God, such as Ogma being a former gladiator, and made them part of the characters' official backstories through its support conversations. There's also a Downloadable Content map which centers around a duel between Ogma and Navarre similar to the second episode of the short-lived anime.
- Transformers Animated has a group called the Cybertron Elite Guard serving as the commanding military and security force for the Autobots. Then, the BotCon 2009 theme was about a similar group (with the same winged Autobot insignias) set in G1 continuity called the Cybertronian Elite Guard. The Elite Guard are also in Prime, with Smokescreen having once been a member.
- In another Transformers example, the Beast Wars toyline originally portrayed the events as taking place on present day Earth and Optimus Primal and Megatron being merely new forms of Optimus Prime and the original Megatron. When the animated series premiered with the events taking place on prehistoric Earth via time travel and Primal and Beast Megatron being made legacy characters, the toyline was changed to match up with the cartoon.
- Transformers Prime shows heavy influence from the Transformers series including the general appearance of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron, as well as Bumblebee's muteness (although he now speaks in generic beeps and tones instead of talking using clips from his radio). Many fans have described the aesthetics of the robots as a mix of Movie-style and Animated-style.
- The War for Cybertron game was effectively a G1 prequel, stated to be in the same universe as the Prime series by the toy company despite the existence of Dark Energon being the only thing the two stories had in common. However, the sequel, Fall of Cybertron, is upping the similarities to Prime with Cliffjumper's head design changing from a G1-inspired design to a clearly Prime-inspired on as well as Bumblebee having his voice box destroyed by Megatron, muting him in the same way as in the Films and Prime. Prime has also had a few nods to the games. Both versions have left their marks on each other to the point that they've sorta converged.
- Prime also follows in the footsteps of Exodus lately, incorporating bits from across franchise history. Four key macguffins that go into an "Omega Lock"?
- Beast Wars introduced the concept of a robot soul called a Spark, all subsequent material have included this as a major component of the Transformer culture. This was even retroactively applied to all G1 characters, with the original Optimus Prime and Megatron having particularly powerful sparks able to upgrade the forms of Optimus Primal and Beast Wars Megatron.
- An earlier concept of this was hinted at in Generation One, when two episodes referred to a "laser core." Once, the 'cons wanted to make sure Prime's was extinguished rather than assuming he was dead due to the damage he'd taken earlier; another time, Megs ordered Devastator to extiquish the Autobots' laser cores forever. This was very spark-esque (something in your chest that, if "extinguished," means you're dead-dead and not cartoon dead, and checking for this is the only way to be sure) and may have been in the back of the Beast Wars writers' minds. However, there's no clear indication that they were aware of it when they conceived of the 'Spark' concept, and it was mentioned on those two occasions only.
- They also introduced Protoforms, though what they are can vary from the equivalent young, infant, or even prenatal Cybertronians, to simply a Cybertronians' basic form. (The movie toy packaging stands alone in using "Protoform" to mean "Cybertronian who hasn't scanned an Earth mode yet," which would make the entire casts of The War Within or War for Cybertron protoforms.) Not every series included them, but a lot did.
- IDW Publishing's Transformers series begins life as an updated retelling of G1, but bits of other versions begin to sneak in. These days, not using things like the units of time (cycle, megacycle, etc.) and what we know of Transformer biology (sparks, etc.) that Beast Wars originated is unheard of. Also, by now, we've met Lockdown (Animated-original) and Grindcore (Movie comics original), quite a few characters from the Japan-only G1 sequels, and Omega Supreme uses his name as a Badass Boast (Animated Omega was the first to do that.)
- To make a long story short, once any Transformers property introduces a character or concept, it becomes fair game for both new series and new versions of older series. In The Multiverse, one Demolishor or Barricade or Omega Lock existing means that every universe probably has one that you just haven't met... yet.