What Could Have Been: Nintendo's Super Mario franchise, probably the most significant in videogame history, was essentially made with original characters because the company lost the rights to make Popeye arcade games...
Ironically, a few years after Nintendo became successful in American arcades, they did produce a Popeye video game. It played nothing like Donkey Kong, however.
The Popeye franchise itself only exists because a scientist got the decimal point in the wrong place when calculating the iron content of spinach.
Actually, it's been speculated that spinach was chosen because of its high Vitamin A content, not its iron content.
Artistic License - Biology: In Females is Fickle, Olive's goldfish jumps over the edge of Popeye's ship, and she screams "Oh Popeye save my goldfish! He'll DROWN!!"