Series Continuity Error

"... and yet I also become annoyed whenever the great Homer nods off."
Horace, "Ars Poetica"

Certain facts or events are presented in a series that contradict earlier episodes. May be done intentionally, or incidentally. Can lead to a Continuity Snarl or Continuity Drift.

A common feature of Long Runners. Compare Beyond the Impossible, which is about characters breaking the story's internal logic by doing what is physically impossible.


Example subpages:


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    Advertising 
  • One of the Somersby apple cider commercials tells the story of how the music was only listened to until lord Somersby accidentally invented dancing. Then in a later commercial featuring young lord Somersby, we can clearly see some people dancing in the background, even thought it is supposed to canonically take place earlier. Given the nature of these commercials, which run on deliberate Anachronism Stew for the sake of Rule of Funny, it can be justified though.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai anime, when the villain Tachibana Takae shows up, everyone besides Momo is confused because they don't know who she is. This confusion extends even to Mayuzumi, who beat Takae prior to the events of the original visual novel to become the youngest member of the "Big Four". As one of the few members of the cast who doesn't blatantly disregard pretty much everyone else, it would be fairly odd for her not to remember her.
  • In the second chapter of Ice Revolution, The Rival has clearly seen tomboy Masaki in her girl's uniform yet in the next chapter she continues to view Masaki as a boy.
  • Dragon Ball GT
    • In the second season, Trunks is able to detect No. 17's Ki, and is even able to compare it with that of No. 18... despite the fact that a major plot point in the background of the two androids when they were first encountered back in Dragon Ball Z was that they didn't radiate Ki at all!
    • When facing Rilld, Son Gohan transforms into a Super Saiyan... Despites being the "Saikyou no Senshi" and having his fighting capacity maxed at all times.
  • Fairy Tail: The Artifact of Doom in the form of an eight-legged castle in the Nirvana arc of could only be destroyed if the crystals at the root of each of its legs were destroyed simultaneously. The protagonists just barely manage to scrape together enough people with the strength left to fight so that they can post someone at all six crystals. Lampshaded in the Q&A section by Mirajane, questioning whether it took off the extra legs to move faster.
    • At the end Fighting Festival Arc, Fried is seen with short hair after an Important Hair Cut, yet is seen with back to normal at the start of the very next Arc.
  • Lampshaded in Pretty Sammy TV Series when Romio appears as the third candidate who was flung into a Trap Door in the beginning. She then starts a Flashback to the first episode and afterwards it's pointed out they look nothing alike.
  • Don't try to put Rave Master on a timeline. You just can't. If you were to try, there'd really only be one little flaw in it — Haru claiming that he's been fighting to save the world for two years when he's only been the Rave Master for a little over one.
  • Fist of the North Star has quite a number of continuity snarls as the series went on. For example, when Kenshiro's adoptive brothers were first introduced, Kenshiro initially mentions that none of them are actually blood-related. Later it turns out that the eldest two, Raoh and Toki, are blood-related after all and we are shown the ruins of their childhood home along with the graves of the birth parents. This can be handwaved by the fact that Kenshiro wasn't exactly sure himself. However, it later turns out that none of them were even born in Japan at all, but that the three of them were refuges from the Land of Asura and that Raoh and Toki's mother is buried in a swamp. If that wasn't enough confusion, then comes the prequel Fist of the Blue Sky, which shows that the baby Kenshiro was born in Japan.
  • In chapter 48 of Elfen Lied, Nana's sleeve, which was torn off in the previous chapter, reappears.
  • Bleach has had a number.
    • A particular example is Aizen's claim that Kisuke Urahara was exiled for creating a gigai that was untraceable, and destroyed the reiatsu of the shinigami using it, both things that Urahara did. In the "Turn Back the Pendulum" chapters, on the other hand, Urahara's exile is the result of Aizen framing him for turning Hirako and the others into Hollows, something Aizen did. As this comes in the middle of a speech boasting about how evil he is and how he has fooled and manipulated people for hundreds of years, there's no reason why he'd be lying, either, although it could be handwaved as Urahara's doings being the official reason for his exile, giving Aizen a chance to not mention his involvement in the matter.
    • During the Fake Karakura Town fight, Aizen states that he knew that Ichigo was special because Ichigo was " The child of a shinigami and a..." and the chapter ends. Ichigo didn't know this, but the audience did, and assumed that Aizen was going to say Ichigo was the child of a shinigami and a hollow, which would explain where both sides of his powers come from. The very next chapter has Aizen start by revealing Ichigo was " The child of a human and a shinigami", reversing the order, explaining nothing to the audience, and revealing nothing to Ichigo, as Isshin, his shinigami father, decided to show up right then in the full regalia. With the Reveal that Ichigo is, in fact, the child of a Shinagami and a Quincy (who ARE technically humans), this adds a whole new level to Aizen's Mind Screw of Ichigo For the Evulz. You can just imagine Aizen thinking to himself, "BAHAHAHA this stupid peasant doesn't KNOW the truth that I know, HAHA!
    • Way back at the beginning of the series, it was said that Ichigo's vast and uncontrolled reiatsu made it so his zanpakuto was permanently stuck in shikai, when most Soul Reapers have to use a verbal command to change their sword. When Ichigo ran into Kenpachi Zaraki, the same was said to apply to his zanpakuto. Fast forward to the final arc, and Zaraki becomes able to activate his shikai, when it was previously said to already be in shikai mode. In fairness, it was only mentioned once early on, and it's something even a lot of fans forgot about.
      • This is actually explained properly in the series. Depending on the relationship between the users and their swords, Shikai can take different forms. Yumichika took advantage of this and tweak his verbal command to hide his shikai true form.
  • Pokémon
    • One of the Best Wishes episodes has Ash searching for a Thunderstone as part of a contest scavenger hunt. Someone throws one at him, and Ash is desperate to catch it before it hits Pikachu, yelling that he'll evolve if he touches it. However, Pikachu smacked away the stone Ash had in the first season and didn't evolve as a result.note 
    • Another season one episode claimed that Pokémon aren't evil, even if they do obey their evil masters. Later seasons features many wild Pokemon who just do asshole things because they're jerks, some of them outright evil, like the Togepi in "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before!" or a gang of Litwick in Best Wishes.
    • Pokéathlons were not a thing when Ash was in Johto, yet in a Sinnoh episode they suddenly show up and Brock acts like they knew all about them all this time.
  • K-On! has two instances between its first and second seasons:
    • In the 7th episode of the second season (the third year for all the girls save Azusa, who is a year younger), Azusa is told of Megumi Sokabe, the former Student Council President that by that point graduated, and she doesn't know who she is. However, Megumi appeared as the Student Council President in one scene in the Season 1, episode 11 taking in Ritsu's profuse apologies for missing another deadline. Every member of the band was there, including Azusa. This is due to a Retcon that changed which year Megumi graduated, as indicated by the color of the ribbon she wears depending on which season you're watching.
    • In season 2 episode 13 (15:05), Azusa complains that Yui still hasn't learned to read music, which is consistent with the manga. However, in a scene created for the anime in season 1 episode 10, Yui was reading a score while practicing guitar in the middle of the night.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san pointed out one from the original light novels in the first TV series. The short has Mahiro and Nyarko doing a Fourth Wall Mail Slot, but the only question they take asks why Mahiro's lunch period was placed after third period in the novels and after fourth period in a magazine-published short; Nyarko responds by angrily tearing up the letter.
  • In Freezing, Arnett McMillan is stated to be Swiss. But in the prologue/spinoff manga Freezing: Zero, she is shown to be American.
  • A fairly minor but aggravating one, given how they usually make a pretty decent effort to make sure their Techno Babble is consistent, is the EMS-10 Zudah's model number from Mobile Suit Gundam MS Igloo. The Zudah is a Flawed Prototype frontline combat mobile suit, with the E standing for Experimental, but previous Gundam series had established that in the Zeon model numbering scheme EMS stood for Excavation Mobile Suit while prototypes were denoted with the prefix YMS, which doesn't seem to stand for anything (Young Mobile Suit, maybe?) but follows the tradition of the US Air Force using the letter Y to designate experimental aircraft (most notably the experimental flying Wave Motion Gun known as the YAL-1).
  • Kakashi from Naruto became a chunin at age 6 according to databooks and early in the series he said he was 6 years younger than Naruto when he became a chunin. Later in the series he was shown to have became a chunin when Obito and the others were, which was age 11. Either it was retconned or he has a serious case of Younger Than They Look, because he doesn't look 6 at all.
    • Not an error. Kakashi became a jonin at 11, he was already a chunin when working with Rin and Obito.
    • The most powerful techniques used by an Uchiha depend on the state of their eyes - when Sasuke was going blind due to over-using his Mangyeko techniques, those techniques deteriorated and vanished as a result. However, in the end of the series, Madara continues to use these same techniques despite having no eyeballs whatsoever, frustrating fans who were hoping that this character would get some comeuppance.
  • In the first volume of Wandering Son its shown that Takatsuki does not know, the then unnamed, Kanako well enough to know of her ditzy qualities. The next volume establishes them as having been friends since kindergarten.
    • Mako acts surprised when Nitori tells her she has a part-time job yet earlier Nitori clearly told her, and she even imagined what she'd look as a waiter.
  • An early Fullmetal Alchemist episode has Alphonse clearly getting kicked into a pool of water. A much, much later episode has his seal getting wet, and Al not dying from it, as a plot point. It's likely the former scene was The Artifact from the manga continuity.

    Comic Books 
  • Matt Olsen of the W.I.T.C.H. comic series is one of the worst examples of this. When he first appears, he's a student with a thing for guitars, has a grandfather who owns a pet store and is utterly shocked when his girlfriend, Will Vandom, reveals her secret identity as a Guardian. However, come the second chapter of the New Power storyline and it's revealed that he's actually from Kandrakar, knows magic and already KNEW Will and her friends were Guardians. And there's been nothing to try to fix the previously established backgrounds.
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four
    • The very first story arc established Reed and Sue as 21 years old when they first became superheroes. Later issues would inexplicably claim they were no older than 18 at the present.
    • The Maker/Reed Richards shows to Falcon how he keeps his intellect always a few steps ahead of The Children by elongating his brain. That shouldn't be possible or even necessary. To elaborate: in the first run of the series, Sue ran some tests on Reed and found out that his organism was completely mutated; he became a worm-like being with just a core, no organs other than that. And later, Sue's mother remarked that Reed was getting smarter by the minute due his mutation. So in the span of a thousand years Reed would be evolving his genius naturally, and there would be no brain for him to elongate.
  • In one issue of Bone, Rocque Ja cuts off Kingdok's tongue, and it's explicitly stated he can't speak with his tongue missing. Then, in a later issue, Kingdok is able to speak without any explanation given.
  • In the Astérix comics, Obelix's birthday is celebrated in Obelix and Co., just Obelix's. But in Asterix and the Actress, it is revealed that Asterix and Obelix were born on the same day and they celebrate their birthdays together.
  • In The Smurfs, the story The Finance Smurf introduces the money system and the Smurfs are revealed as not knowing what money is at all. This contradicts earlier stories, such as The Egg and the Smurfs where a Smurf makes a wish to become "rich" — and ends with jewels and money as a result — and in Smurf Stories where a Smurf creates a machine that can turn hazelnuts into gold coins and the Smurf tells Papa Smurf he'll use the coins to buy more hazelnuts.
  • Fables. This is done as a plot point. It used to be 'John of All Fables' but the 'author' made a typo so the universe created the Loveable Rogue Jack of All Fables. Jack meets John later on. Chaos ensues, which it usually does around Jack.
  • Transmetropolitan's resolution famously revolves around a picture taken by a minor character. Unfortunately, said minor character is given the camera long after the event she is supposed to have taken a picture of.
  • In a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic — early in the "City at War" arc — the Foot Soldiers are shown knowing the location of the Turtles' lair since they had apparently "raided it before". This event happened in the first theatrical movie — never in the Mirage comics.
  • Doctor Strange states near the climax of Avengers Disassembled that "there is no such thing as chaos magic." The good doctor has used chaos magic before. Using the terms from the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG, his Arch-Enemy has been a chaos magic master for going on forty years now. Kind of impressive for magic which doesn't exist, right?
  • In an issue of Alpha Flight, speedster Northstar is suffering from a disease since Pestilence, that storyarc's bad guy, kissed him. Problem is, said kiss won't happen until the following issue. (Northstar's illness was originally intended to be AIDS, because, you know all gays have AIDS, and you can get it from a kiss on the forehead.).
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker's middle name has been repeatedly stated as "Benjamin," after his uncle. However, one comic short story co-written by Stan Lee himself has Mary Jane call him "Peter Q. Parker."
    • Stan Lee wasn't good at remembering names. In some early issues of Incredible Hulk that he wrote, the protagonist Bruce Banner was suddenly called "Bob Banner". Lee handwaved the error by revealing that his full name is Robert Bruce Banner.
  • Uncanny X-Force is running right past this in its third issue into They Just Didn't Care territory.
    • The opening page describes Psylocke at age 16, living alone, broke, modeling and nearly going insane when her powers activate. Problem is, Betsy comes from a privileged upbringing, she was an adult charter pilot when her powers began to develop, she wasn't traumatized by them, and oh yeah, she wasn't Asian.
    • Later in the issue, Storm asks Psylocke if she thinks Bishop is capable of killing a little girl. Literally the last time the X-Men saw him, Bishop had murdered a team of Sentinel pilots, thrown the Sentinels at a group of mutant students, and put a bullet in Professor Xavier's head, all to murder an infant girl. And when that didn't work he seeded the planet with nuclear weapons that are still set to cause an apocalypse in about fifty years' time. However, Psylocke reminds her immediately that he tried to do it before.
  • Wolverine: The Sabretooth that died in Wolverine #55 was a clone, and the real Sabretooth was in hiding. So what was the deal with Wolverine Goes to Hell, where Wolverine beheads Sabretooth's soul and leaves it unable to return to the living?
    • Clones of Sabretooth tend to have their Healing Factor go haywire, hence Mr Sinister not cloning Sabretooth along with the rest of the Marauders. Romulus creates several clones of Sabretooth without mentioning this cloning problem, and we don't know how long they can stay alive.
  • In issue #2 of Pocket God, the pygmies bury Klik when they think he's permanently dead; marking his burial site with a gravestone. However, in issue 14, everyone but Klik is perplexed when they come across some graves; not knowing about burials because they are immortal and never had to bury one of their own.
  • The Marvel 1602 "Fantastick Four" sequel miniseries has Shakespeare get inspired by a lady when she yells "And damned be he who first cries 'hold, enow!'", causing him to start looking for a pen, and culminating in her forming a relationship with Shakespeare and writing his plays for him. All well and good as history goes in these comics, given that in the continuity in question continental North America is overrun by dinosaurs, but it does have one minor problem. The line in question had already been written into Macbeth in-universe. In fact, it was one of the first lines spoken in the series.
  • Marvel's Legion of Monsters vol. 2 by Dennis Hopeless and Juan Doe completely depends on continuity errors for its story to work:
    • The plot hinges on the fact that Morbius was supposedly never bitten before; being bitten by a monster in Monster Metropolis started the spread of the virus that lay dormant in his blood. But he was in fact bitten before, by the vampire Hannibal King, no less.
    • In the flashbacks that take place in 1973 Morbius is shown surprised by the existence of pacifist vampires, but by that time he didn't even believe vampires or the supernatural existed at all, thinking they were fictional. The same goes for Dracula, who the flashbacks show he met.
    • The 1973 flashbacks make it seem Morbius had been a vampire for several years by that point and had been trying to cure himself for a long time, even though he was only introduced a year and a half before (in October 1971). The only way this can be explained is if Morbius became a vampire somewhere in the '60s, but this only further enhances the problem (see the Legion of Monsters entry on the Comic-Book Time page for more explanation on this).
    • Morbius is wrongfully described as "an MD with expertise in supernatural medicine". In a 1986 comic—which takes place later in the continuity—he explicitly says the supernatural remains outside his area of expertise.
  • Issue 15 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic haves Spike refer to events from the sixth episode of the main show's Season 4, but later in the issue Applejack doesn't recognize Daring Do, a character she met two episodes before the aforemented one.
  • Comics written by Brian Michael Bendis tend to suffer from this, especially when they're referencing a different comic book. Even when the story being referencing was written by Bendis himself.
  • Convergence:
    • There are a number of these scattered throughout the tie-in issues, mostly fairly minor, but they do stand out to those familiar with the time period in question.
      • Captain Marvel is referred to as "Shazam" several times, despite the fact that his name was not changed to Shazam until the New 52.
      • Both pre-Crisis Barry Allen and Jay Garrick refer to the Speed Force, something neither of them should have any knowledge of since the concept wasn't created until the post-Crisis Wally West Flash series. Barry's opponent, Tangent Comics Superman, mentions this.
      • 90s hook-handed Aquaman is pining for Mera, but the two of them were separated and not on good terms at all during that time period.
      • Kyle Rayner's ring talks to him and welcomes him back to the Green Lantern Corps, but the Corps did not exist when he first became a GL, and it rarely spoke to him, if ever. He shouldn't know anything about Qward either, having not encountered the Weaponers that early in his career.
      • Kyle views Hal and Parallax as two separate entities. This is consistent with the Geoff Johns retcon that made Parallax a fear entity that possessed Hal, but before the retcon, Hal was Parallax. Note that the fear entity never appears or is referenced, and Hal's sanity while depowered is consistent with the post-Zero Hour zero issue of Green Lantern, so this may not be a continuity error so much as an attempt to remain mostly consistent with the past while keeping the retcon in mind.
      • The summary of the events of Emerald Twilight is wrong. Hal didn't kill all the other Green Lanterns. He defeated them and took their rings, but he left them enough power to survive. And indeed, most of them turn up later on during Geoff John's run and are collectively known as the Lost Lanterns. Similarly, Hal didn't kill the Guardians either. They pooled their power and put everything they had into Ganthet, who created a ring for Kyle. Hal absorbed all the power of the central power battery into himself.
      • In "Batman and the Outsiders", Commissioner Gordon has red hair. He should have white hair and a white moustache in any pre-Flashpoint appearance, with the exception of stories like Year One that are set in the past.
      • Supergirl is wearing the wrong costume for her death scenes from Crisis on Infinite Earths.
      • Matrix is called Kara by Lex.
      • Superwoman of Earth-3 is referred to as Lois Lane by several of her fellow Crime Syndicate members. Pre-Crisis Earth-3 Lois Lane was a separate character from Superwoman.
      • Pre-Crisis Captain Atom is referred to as Nathaniel Adam — the name of the Post Crisis Captain Atom — rather than Allen Adam.
      • Parallax focuses his power through a ring when he kills Deimos. Parallax has internalized the power of the Main Power Battery and doesn't use a ring. The tie-in issues depict this correctly, it's just the main series that gets it wrong.
      • The Legion Of Superheroes that battles Earth-4's Charlton heroes seems to be some weird mix of the post-Zero Hour Legion and the pre-Zero Hour temporal duplicates of the original Legion that wore very similar costumes (Batch SW6, who starred in Legionnaires). It includes the characters from Legionnaires who weren't duplicates of existing characters like Computo and Catspaw, neither of whom appeared in the reboot, but it also includes Timber Wolf and Princess Projectra, neither of whom were in Legionnaires (their SW6 selves were killed during the Dominator war) and both of whom look like their reboot selves (particularly obvious in Jeckie's case, since it means she's a giant snake). Characters who were dead/radically altered by the end of the reboot aren't, and everyone with different costumes in the two versions is wearing the SW6 version. Except Element Lad, who's wearing his pre-Zero Hour adult self's costume.
      • The status quo of the West family is that of the final issues of Wally's own series. This changed dramatically in Flash: Rebirth. The idea that pre-Flashpoint Gotham was taken before Barry's return (i.e. three years before Flashpoint) doesn't jibe with any of the other stories.
    • The beginning of Issue 6 is baffling when it comes to the continuity of the main DCU. You have the Justice League talking to the Justice League United (which formed after Forever Evil). Okay. Telos, the planet, is being transported into the universe, which has drawn attention of several parties. You have the Oracle being from the Superman books, Nix Uaotan from The Multiversity, and Darkseid taking notice. That's all fine. But you have Jediah Caul and K'rot from the short-lived Threshold booknote , the Red Lanternsnote , and the freaking Guardians of the Universenote . And Blue Beetle is there too, still stuck in space apparently. It also might have a continuity hiccup with itself, as the Barry Allen that Earth 2 Jay Garrick meets implies he was grabbed after meeting Psycho-Pirate from Crisis On Infinite Earths, which flies in the face of the Barry Allen from his own tie-in, who was taken when he first left the future to say hi to his friends, before he was set on his death course, and was stuck under a dome for a year.
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind: One scene has a New Resistance member suggesting Malcolm Reynolds is hiding out on his homeworld, Shadow, with Bea retorting that Mal is too smart to hide at his house. Other material, including the RPG, stated that Shadow was glassed by the Alliance during the Unification War.
  • The entire existence of Wonder Girl resulted from such an error. Teen Titans originated as a team-up of the major DC heroes' sidekicks. But it was completely forgotten by the writers that Wonder Girl wasn't Wonder Woman's sidekick, she was Wonder Woman herself as a teenager. When somebody remembered this fact, the retcon to explain it gave the Titans' version of Wonder Girl her own identity as Donna Troy and possibly the most convoluted history of any fictional character, ever.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts
    • A comic strip from 1959 has Snoopy say that he doesn't have any siblings, yet they appear later in the strip's run (and were mentioned in this 1970 strip). To make matters worse, when he does first meet his siblings in the strip he claims they all speak different languages, which is also later shown to be false. He also started calling Charlie Brown the "round-headed kid" around the late 1960's, even though he called him by his name earlier, although that could be more of Characterization Marches On.
    • Even stranger, the December 5, 1960 comic has Snoopy denying being a beagle.
    • Even though Violet's birthday is apparently June 17th, according to the June 17, 1962 strip, a couple of the 1950's strips hinted her birthday is January 28th: In the February 22, 1951 strip, she said her birthday was last month, and in the January 29, 1955 strip, Charlie Brown said her birthday was yesterday.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of the first Aladdin film, the Genie loses his cuffs as a result of him being freed by the title character using his third wish. However, in the sequel, he for some reason started to wear cuffs again. The TV series finally Lampshaded this in one episode by having Genie say, "The only thing I'm a slave to is to fashion!", implying that he wears his cuffs because they look good on him.
  • The Disney Direct-to-Video film The Lion King 1˝ (which is essentially a recap of the first film's events, but from Timon and Pumbaa's point of view) actually contradicts the events of the first Lion King film on many levels. Though, given whose points of view it's told from...Then again, some people have interpreted it as a parody because of how many events it contradicts.
  • At the end of Disney's Atlantis The Lost Empire, Kida actually gains more tattoos on her face, but in the sequel, all of her tattoos save her first one are inexplicably gone!
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • Esmeralda mysteriously started to wear her Gypsy outfit again (although with a pair of shoes, she was barefoot in the first film) in The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, even though said outfit as well as all but one of her other dresses (including the one she poledanced in at the Feast of Fools) were implied to have been destroyed by Frollo at the end of the film so he can have her executed properly, which leaves her with a white dress in which Esmeralda would have been burned alive in.
    • Also in the same film, her new husband Phoebus mysteriously gains his armor back despite losing it near the end of the first film, much like his wife Esmeralda ending up wearing the white dress.
    • Even more jarring, the little girl who hugged Quasimodo at the end of the first movie is present at the start of the second movie, unaged at all even though enough time has passed for Esmerelda and Phoebus to have a young son.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh: Piglet's Big Movie recounts how Kanga and Roo first came to the 100 Acre Woods. Tigger takes part in the event, even though Pooh and the others first met Tigger in Winnie the Pooh & the Blustery Day, in which they already know Kanga and Roo.
  • Stoick shows his son Hiccup his deceased mother's breastplate in How to Train Your Dragon. It's massive, and the cup size is large enough to fit over the teen boy's head. When she is seen in flashback in How to Train Your Dragon 2, she's slender and modestly endowed. Whose armor was that in the first movie then?
    • It wasn't her actual breastplate, it was made FROM her breastplate, as in using the same chunk of metal.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The third film in The Omen series, Omen III: The Final Conflict, ends with the second coming of a fully-empowered Jesus Christ on Earth, a seemingly important event which is naturally not mentioned once in Omen IV: The Awakening.
  • In The Princess Diaries, Mia's birthday is stated to be after Genovian Independence Day. In the sequel, her birthday is before Genovian Independence Day.
  • Two big examples from the Star Wars films:
    • First is the conflicting ages of the Republic given by Obi-Wan and Palpatine. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan establishes that the Jedi have been protecting the Republic for "a thousand generations" (anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 years depending on how you count a "generation"). In Attack of the Clones, Palpatine says that he will not let "this Republic which has stood for a thousand years" fall. Even factoring in that Obi-Wan may have been exaggerating (which, according to the Expanded Universe, he wasn't) that's a pretty big difference in ages. It's been Handwaved since that there was a major reformation and restructuring of the government a thousand years prior which Palpatine is referring to, hence the reference to "this Republic" rather than "the Republic".
    • Another example is Leia remembering her mother as established in Return of the Jedi, only for Padme to die within minutes of Luke and Leia's birth in Revenge of the Sith. There have been attempts to explain this, such as the novelization implying Leia was "trying to take in every detail" or some fans' speculating Leia was referring to her foster mother but even Leland Chee, the man responsible for sorting the massive convoluted Star Wars continuity, says that he's stumped.
  • The Halloween films:
    • At the end of the first movie, Michael is shot by Loomis six times, then falls off a covered balcony at the back of the house; this scene is shown again at the start of the sequel — and Loomis shoots Michael seven times (despite only having a six-chamber revolver), sending him flying off an uncovered balcony at the front of the house. Made all the worse when Loomis goes around shouting "I shot him six times!" in the first few minutes of the film.
    • In the original Halloween, the Myers house is a modest two-story home. By the time we get to Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, it's a huge, Gothic-style mansion, and by the time we get to the sixth film, it's back to being a two-story family home that's still completely different from what we've seen in the first two films. At the time these films were made, they were on the same continuity as the first two, so there's no excuse for the discrepancy.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan recognizes Chekov despite the latter being introduced in the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series. The episode with Khan was part of the first season. One theory is that, since Chekov never got a formal introduction episode, he could've been in the lower decks since Day One and been promoted to bridge officer after Khan's banishment. It wouldn't even be the first time someone's shown up on screen out of nowhere and been treated like they were on the show the whole time. Walter Koenig likes to joke that offscreen they met when Chekov kept Khan waiting at a restroom, then left him with no toilet paper, hence Khan remembering him.
    • This is made more plausible by the fact that two second-season episodes featuring Chekov, "Patterns of Force" and "Catspaw", are actually set before the episode with Khan. So clearly Chekov was part of the crew when Khan and his henchmen tried to take over the ship; his fight against them was just not shown.
  • Smaug is quite clearly a quadruped in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and then transforms into a wyvern in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    • Although the Extended Edition of the first film replaces the original Smaug with the new one to make the series more consistent when viewing the extended cuts.

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE
    • The original intro of the story involves Takua summoning the Toa in their canisters to the island. He got blasted into the sky to witness six metal capsules descending form the "heavens" and landing in the sea, then drifting to the island shores. Later material explained that these canisters had been floating in the ocean for a thousand years before Takua attempted to do this.
    • Another example is what the Order of Mata Nui reported about Karzahni. In their book, they write about how he is amassing an army in his own realm to lead them into battle. When Karzahni reappears in the story, he reveals he's been following the Matoran who later became the Toa Inika ever since they had gotten away from him, so he would've had no time to train any army.
    • When the Rahkshi attack Ta-Koro in the movie Mask of Light, Tahu, the village's protector, boldly shouts "None have breached Ta-Koro's gates before! And none shall this day!" Except that the previous set of baddies, the Bohrok-Kal have broken into the village and defeated Tahu himself, right before the movie's story.
    • Some scenes of the second movie, Legends of Metru Nui, are at odds with the novels' and comics' stories. One of the more notable issues is Matau learning that his blades double as wings. In the movie, everyone is surprised when they activate and save him from plunging to his death, but according to the comics, he has already used them for flight earlier.
    • The comics leading up to the third movie, Web of Shadows, didn't want to spoil Vakama's betrayal, and so showed him leading his team into the Coliseum to clash with the villains. Yet in the movie, we learn that Vakama, having become evil due to the villains' influence, was in the Coliseum the whole time, waiting for his former comrades to try and take him back.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe:

    Myths & Legends 
  • See the origins of gods in Greek Mythology.
    • Aphrodite both rose from foam created by Uranus' severed testicles and was born to a mistress of Zeus.
    • Dionysus is both the son of Zeus, and the son of Persephone and Hades.
    • After swallowing the pregnant Metis, Zeus gets an agonizing headache. When Hephaestus split his head open to relieve the pain, Athena sprang forth. She went on to become the most important goddess of her generation, and Zeus took great pride in the fact that he'd "fathered" her all by himself. Hera became jealous and gave birth to a child all by herself, to prove Zeus wasn't the only one who could do it. That child? Hephaestus. Some authors solved this one by having somebody else, like Prometheus or Hermes, split Zeus's head instead, or denied that version of Hephaestus's birth.
  • The Canon of Norse Mythology consists of numerous sources which contradict each other on many points.
    • In particular, the important story of Balder's death exists in two very different versions.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons gods:
    • The Demon Queen of Spiders, goddess of the drow, is called Lolth. R.A. Salvatore accidentally spelled her name Lloth when she became a Forgotten Realms character, and the error proliferated to the extent that a rationalization was needed.
    • Juiblex had similar problems, being often misspelled as Jubilex. Since both are Demon Lords it is quite easy to invoke I Have Many Names to justify the differences.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering novel Rath And Storm, it's briefly mentioned that Hanna's mother Rayne is dead. However, we later find out in Prophecy that she's quite alive. And then she dies in that book.

    Video Games 
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction reveals Ratchet to be the last of the Lombaxes... but in Going Commando, Angela Cross is one too. Whoops. Apparently, Word of God has said she's a separate but similar species. Regardless, in the prison in Tools of Destruction, they mention "prisoner's of Lombax descent", so Angela could also be half-Lombax. Flip Flop of God. As of A Crack in Time Angela has been confirmed as a Lombax (apparently females don't have tails).
  • In Street Fighter II, Guile wants revenge on M. Bison for killing his friend Charlie. In Street Fighter IV, he's insistent that Charlie is still alive because (as established in the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series) they Never Found the Body.
  • Chrono Trigger is inconsistent regarding its handling of temporal inertia and paradox handling. Early on, the death of the queen removes her descendant Marle from existence, while saving her causes Marle to return. Later, you can remove the contents from a chest, go back to a previous time period, remove the contents, and still have both sets. You can also destroy the Black Omen four times by going back to a previous time period and do it again. Destroying the Omen in 600 AD somehow does not invalidate the fact that you destroyed it in 1000 AD, even though it should not have existed then.
    • It's handwaved that the Black Omen is somewhat unstuck from time giving it a timey-wimey excuse for the above, though it is still a bit inconsistent with just how much temporal inertia holds such as how the main cast plays rather significant roles in major turning points in history dating back to the beginnings of humanity but it rarely causes any major changes to future time periods.
  • Ultima has a considerable number. One example would be the entire game of Ultima Underworld, which takes place in a dungeon that had been destroyed several games previously.
  • Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2, and Lightning Returns have terrible in-game continuity, and cross game (they are a successive series of events) continuity, to the point the final game in the trilogy that built off of everything the prior two had happen, has completely different reasons/motivations/developments/explanations/Etcetera for events when reflected upon by the characters and the lore of the games themselves. But they still apparently happened the exact same way.
    • Etro is stated to be the goddess of time in 13-2, but in Lightning Returns and the expanded universe material her dominion is over the cycle of death, meaning Time travel and visions of the future/alternate timelines she made possible in the second game could not have been done by her, and the rest of the series' god entities were either Sleeping or dead.
  • On the way to the True Ending of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, the CPU Candidates are promoted to full CPUs. Yet at the beginning of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, the direct sequel, Nepgear introduces herself, Uni, Rom and Ram as CPU Candidates. While there are a few ways to reconcile this (mk2's Good Ending is the canon one, or the immortal goddess CPUs being reinstated after the events of the game), the game doesn't explain it.
  • Space Quest: The WD40 terminoid in Space Quest V: The Next Mutation is sent to collect on the payment Roger Wilco didn't make for the Gippazoid Novelty Company's Labion Terror Beast Mating Whistle after defeating the Arnoid sent to collect payment in Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon. In that game, Roger defeated the Arnoid, who demanded payment for the whistle from Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge. In that game, examining the order form shows the whistle is for free, which in later games is never brought up again in-story. The developers admitted it was an oversight, and the Space Quest wiki runs with the idea it's the company's fault for charging for an allegedly free item.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon clearly states dragon eggs only occur once every twelve years. In Spyro: A Hero's Tail you must rescue different dragon ages despite the fact no one seems to have aged much since the third game, and certainly not twelve years.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis states that Raccoon City was completely blocked off from the outside by the military in order to contain the viral outbreak and supposedly taking place before and after the events of Resident Evil 2 (apparently the entire second game took place while Jill was unconscious from the T-Virus infection). In the game, you can see most of the city is a burning wreck and the entranceway for the RPD is littered with construction equipment while also having two of the main doors inside being barricaded. However, Resident Evil 2 shows the front entrance of the RPD being rather clean as if nothing happened on the property. Not only that, but the opening cut scene shows Leon and Claire entering Raccoon City without any blockades barring their way and most of the city looks abandoned rather than an inferno.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue
    • Word of God says Grif was the Army's sole draftee, and his resentment of it drives him to be the world's biggest slacker. However, in the first episode, he says he "signed on to fight some aliens".
    • In Season 5, Grif makes a snide remark about how Tucker was impregnated by an alien, in spite of the fact that the Reds had already departed the coastal base before the Alien appeared, and the Blues never mentioned the encounter to the Reds at all. The DVD Commentary states that They Just Didn't Care and were aiming for Rule of Funny, not continuity.

    Web Comics 
  • In Drowtales an update had a conversation play between two characters implying they had never met before that point, despite the characters having been established as close friends early in the series. This was quickly pointed out by fans and the conversation was edited and corrected.
  • Teahouse has a few inconsistencies over the comic:
    • Claret's hair colour changes from light green to a much darker one.
    • Axis' hair colour changes, his tattoos vanish and his skin tone has become lighter. Seen here, which also notes the sudden change in maid outfits.

    Web Original 
  • The Chronicles Of Jaller: Invoked, Lampshaded and Played for Laughs in "Black Piraka Gets Noticed Part 2."
    Penguin the Penguin: Wait, vasn't there a table zere? And what's zat doing zere?
    Axon: What— Oh! (laughs) Yeah, we don't work very hard with continuity here. Those scenes were filmed months ago.