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  • Avengers, Assemble!
    • The series removed the Soul Gem from its version of the Infinity Gauntlet. Additionally, despite the heavy presence of Thanos in the second season, Mistress Death never appears. This causes problems in the show's adaptation of The Infinity Gauntlet, since instead of Nerfing himself to to impress Death, now Thanos does it out of vanity or sheer stupidity.
    • Speaking of The Infinity Gauntlet, the show's adaptation of that storyline drastically reduces the number of heroes involved. In the comics, around 20 heroes (and Doctor Doom) united to fight Thanos, while in the TV show, it's just the eight principal Avengers.
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    • The same thing can be said for the Civil War adaptation in Season 3. In the comics, the conflict was fought by dozens of heroes, while in the show, the number of combatants is around 14.
    • Likewise, despite adapting the initial arc of Thunderbolts, Jolt, the Token Good Teammate, is absent.
    • However, for the first time in a long time, Igor Drenkov, the spy who ignored Bruce's wish to delay the firing of the gamma bomb, is actually acknowledged, averting this with him.
    • The fifth season, Black Panther's Quest, very heavily features the kingdom of Atlantis. However, Namor never appears, even though he has a history as Black Panther's enemy and rival. Instead, Atlantis is ruled by Attuma, who is given a role and characterization similar enough to Namor's that he borders on Expy / Suspiciously Similar Substitute status at times. Presumably, Namor was deemed off-limits due to Marvel not having complete control of his film rights, which was also why the X-Men and Fantastic Four-related characters like the aforementioned Doctor Doom suffered from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome after the show's first season.
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  • The adaptation of Secret Invasion in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! ignored Spider-Woman and divvied up her role in the plot between Mockingbird and Black Widow. Elektra was also omitted in favor of Viper. Also, though understandable due to the franchise having Loads and Loads of Characters, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were left out as well. It's only notable since Hawkeye, who joined the Avengers in the same issue as them, and Black Panther, who came much later, were included as part of the team.
  • The cartoon version of Baby Blues focuses on when Zoe is a baby, and therefore her little brother Hammie is nowhere to be seen. Youngest sibling Wren is also left out, but with good reason - she wasn't introduced until 2002, two years after the series aired.
  • The final season of The Batman featured Batman teaming up with various members of the Justice League, including Superman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman and Green Arrow. Wonder Woman was left out (due to the notorious legal red tape around the character's media rights), as was Aquaman.
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  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Lashina and Stompa were the only members of the Female Furies. Additionally, Mongal replaced Granny Goodness as the Furies' master. In the comics, Tatsu Yamashiro became the vigilante Katana after her husband and children were murdered by a Yakuza boss named Takeo. In the show, Tatsu instead became Katana after Takeo murdered her sensei Tadashi. This was mostly due to the cartoon's version of Katana being far too young to have been married.
  • In the Beetlejuice cartoon, the Maitlands, the central protagonists from the original film, do not appear at all.
  • In Beware the Batman, Katana takes Robin's place as Batman's traditional sidekick. The show intentionally ignores Batman's most iconic foes in favor of trying to raise the profile of his more obscure villains. For instance, Magpie and Anarky serve the roles traditionally held by Catwoman and The Joker, with some cases bordering on outright Expy status.
  • Michael Caesar is completely absent from The Boondocks cartoon series, despite being Huey's best friend and the second most frequently seen character in the comic strip.
  • In the Brady Bunch Animated Adaptation The Brady Kids Alice and the parents don't appear, and the dog Tiger is replaced by Moptop.
  • Castlevania is based on Dracula's Curse, yet it omits Grant DaNasty from the storyline. Also missing is Death, with his role as Dracula's right-hand minion and best friend instead given to Issac.
  • Curbside was an unsuccessful pilot that intended to revitalize the classic Terrytoons characters through an Animated Anthology show. Tom Terrific appears in the Mighty Mouse segment, but he is not accompanied by his canine companion Mighty Manfred.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Jason Todd, the second Robin, was completely skipped over in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Though some argue that their version of Tim Drake is more a Composite Character of Tim and Jason, both in origin and personality.
    • Crime bosses Carmine Falcone and Sal Maroni were removed from Batman: The Animated Series, with Rupert Thorne taking over the former's role as Gotham's most powerful crime boss and the latter's role in Two-Face's origin.
    • Steel is the only replacement Superman from Reign of the Supermen to appear in this continuity, as Superboy, Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator never show up.
    • Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, also never appeared in the DCAU, though his job as a forensic scientist was given to his nephew, Wally West, who is the Flash in the DCAU. That said, both a cop in the episode "The Brave and the Bold" and Wally's boss in "Flash and Substance" resemble Barry and in the latter episode, Wally also mentions an uncle who's flying in.
    • Likewise, the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern is not a founding member of the Justice League in this continuity, though he is still established to exist (including a scene in the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Once and Future Thing" where he briefly replaces John due to a Timey-Wimey Ball, and a cameo as a statue in Justice League vs. The Fatal Five). Instead, he and Barry have their spots as founding members of the Justice League taken by John Stewart and Wally West, their successors in the comics, with Static Shock revealing that John also took Hal's role as the Green Lantern responsible for the removal of Sinestro from the Green Lantern Corps.
    • Guy Gardner was also absent from the Justice League cartoon (despite the large number of Justice League International characters who showed up during the Unlimited seasons), making Guy the only GL Corps member from Earth other than Jade (whose absence was justified by her not having been a member of the Justice League in the comics when the show was running) not to appear in the series in any capacity. An unnamed mugger who looked a lot like Guy previously made a cameo appearance in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "In Brightest Day." However, like Hal, a 31st century museum in the Justice League vs. The Fatal Five movie features a statue of Guy, but how exactly he fits into the team's history or the established canon is left unexplained.
    • In the original Static comics, Puff was part of an Evil Duo with another girl named Coil. In the Static Shock TV show, Puff's partner is changed to a hulking male villain called Onyx.
  • DC Super Hero Girls , much like its predecessor uses Jessica Cruz, but both shows omit her partner in the comics, Simon Baz. For the latter, she started out as Lois Lane's camerawoman and most of her interactions are with Batgirl. For the former, Hal Jordan took the role as Jessica's partner.
  • The 2018 Dennis The Menace UK CGI adaptation, Dennis And Gnasher Unleashed, makes Dennis's gang a Gender-Equal Ensemble by introducing two girls and writing out Flat Character Curly.
  • In El Chavo Animado, the Animated Adaptation of El Chavo del ocho, The Chilindrina didn't appear because Maria Antonieta de Las Nieves (her actress) owns the rights to that character.
  • The '67 Fantastic Four cartoon completely omitted Alicia Masters, despite doing adaptations of episodes she appeared in. Also, due to rights issues, Ant-Man did not appear in the show's adaptation of "The Micro-World of Doctor Doom." Those same rights issues also prevented Namor from appearing, resulting in the creation of a Suspiciously Similar Substitute named Prince Triton.
  • The 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon adaptation of the Fantastic Four entirely dispensed with Johnny Storm a.k.a. Human Torch, and substituted Herbie the Robot, due to The Human Torch's rights not being available as they had been negotiated separately and were with a different company. The reason was not, as is often mentioned, due to worries that children might set themselves on fire trying to imitate the Torch.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • Willie Lumpkin, the team's dutiful mailman, never appears.
    • Johnny's best friend Wyatt Wingfoot doesn't show up either. This means that "Prey of the Black Panther," an otherwise very faithful retelling of Fantastic Four #52, gives his key role in rescuing Johnny (and thus foiling T'Challa's trap) to Reed.
    • The Silver Surfer, Terrax and Firelord are the only Heralds of Galactus to appear; Air-Walker is neither seen nor mentioned.
    • Sandman doesn't appear as part of the Frightful Four, with his spot on the team taken by Hydro-Man. Like the Spider-Man: The Animated Series example mentioned below, this was presumably because Sandman was earmarked for use in James Cameron's Spider-Man movie at the time.
  • The Thing segments on Fred and Barney Meet the Thing completely omitted the other three members of the Fantastic Four Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch, instead having The Thing portrayed as a solo hero with the oddity of having a teenage human form and transforming into his orange alter ego by slamming two rings together and declaring "Thing Ring, do your thing!"
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • The series removed Blue and Cody from the U.S. Acres cartoons. Also, in a rather odd example, one U.S. Acres quickie was an adaptation of an existing comic, but it removed Sheldon.
    • Arlene, Garfield's (ir-)regular girlfriend from the strip, was also missing from the show. Reportedly, this was at creator Jim Davis's request – the suits apparently wanted her acerbic personality toned down (and they disliked her buck-teeth) and Davis was unwilling to allow the changes. Garfield eventually got a different girlfriend, Penelope, later in the cartoon's run.
    • Every woman other than Dr. Liz Wilson that Jon dated or attempted to date is also absent, in favor of playing up Jon's futile attempts to woo Liz.
    • The unnamed Spiders (whose antics fill many a Sunday strip) are missing, though mostly because those strips only became commonplace after the cartoon ended. The spiders appeared in at least one Quickie, however.
  • Green Eggs and Ham: The two animals Sam rides in the beginning of the book and TV special are absent in this series.
  • The Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Inhuman Nature" retells the Fantastic Four's first encounter with The Inhumans, but with the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. replacing the FF. A-Bomb is even given the Human Torch's romance plot with Crystal.
  • Iron Man:
    • The show used the short-lived Force Works team from the comics, but replaced U.S. Agent with Hawkeye for some unknown reason.
    • Season 2 had a fairly faithful adaptation of the "Armor Wars" storyline, but with some character changes:
      • Ghost replaces Spymaster as the one who steals Tony's armor designs.
      • The original storyline has an issue where Tony has to stop the Raiders from hijacking a plane. In the cartoon, it's Blizzard and Blacklash who attempt the hijacking.
      • Edwin Cord is replaced by Justin Hammer as the backer behind Firepower. Firepower is also changed from a suit of armor to a robot, meaning Jack Taggert, its human pilot, doesn't appear.
      • Titanium Man II and Force are made into a Composite Character with Crimson Dynamo. Crimson Dynamo dies during a battle with Iron Man (like Titanium Man), and it's his armor that kick starts the "Armor Wars" storyline when it's revealed to contain Tony's stolen tech (like Force's).
      • In the comic, Captain America is the Avenger who fights Iron Man after Tony breaks into the Vault. In the show, it's Hawkeye.
      • Scott Lang and Abe Zimmer have their roles cut entirely, with no analogues for them appearing.
  • Black Panther's father, King T'Chaka, was killed by Klaw in the original comics, but in Iron Man: Armored Adventures T'Chaka is instead killed by Moses Magnum.
  • Lucky Luke:
    • Sarah Bernhardt was about the French actress touring the United States. The corresponding Hanna-Barbera episode merely has a generic opera singer from Boston touring Texas for some reason. The series otherwise had no issues with Historical Domain Characters.
    • Downplayed with Luke himself in the Les Dalton cartoons, where he is said to be in retirement.
  • Phoebus does not appear in The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, the series based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • The most notable characters omitted in the Ruby-Spears Mega Man animated series are the Fortress Bosses and several of the Robot Masters, to the point that Mega Man and Mega Man 3 are the only games released at the time the cartoon aired to have every Robot Master make at least one appearance.
  • Since The Moomins has Loads and Loads of Characters, this was inevitable in Moominvalley. Of particular note, the Mymble's Daughter is never mentioned, with the Mymble's family comprising Little My and half a dozen smaller versions of Little My (and possibly Snufkin, although it doesn't come up). Despite having two and a bit episodes based on Moominsummer Madness, Whomper and Misabel don't appear in any of them (although Misabel later appears in "Moominmama's Maid", based on her role in the comic strip).
  • Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm omitted quite a few characters, including Johnny Cage, Kung Lao (again), Goro, Kintaro, Sindel, Mileena, Reptile, Baraka and Jade. Reptile and Goro were likely left out due to having been killed in the first movie, which the show was ostensibly a sequel to, and an Expy of Reptile called Komodai did appear. The movie connection made Johnny Cage's absence especially odd, as he had been one of the main characters in the first film.
  • Scrooge's younger sister Fan also gets left out in some adaptations. The Mr. Magoo version of A Christmas Carol leaves out not only Scrooge's younger sister Fan, but his nephew Fred too.
  • In My Little Pony G1 all the princesses have pet baby dragons (also referred to as their assistants): Spike, Prickles, Spiny, Fiery, Smokey, Flash, and Sparks. Of the dragons only the original, Spike, appeared in either My Little Pony TV Specials or My Little Pony 'n Friends. The other dragons have also dropped from the franchise, with only Spike reappearing in G3 and G4.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The current fourth iteration of the toyline has Lily Blossom, a pegasus with a unique design (something normally reserved for major characters) who was part of the early wave of releases along with the six leads from the TV series, yet has never appeared in the show.
    • Princess Skyla is a plush toy of a baby alicorn from G4. Many thought that she would be introduced as Shining Armor's and Cadence's daughter, however when they did eventually have a child their daughter Flurry Heart turned out not to be Skyla. The fact Skyla is a both an alicorn (a foal at that) and a princess makes her exclusion all the more noticeable. It's even mentioned in-series that Flurry Heart was the first alicorn ever born, thus meaning Skyla doesn't exist in the cartoon canon.
    • The G4 toys have two adult alicorn, Princess Sterling and Princess Gold Lily. They've never been referenced in cartoon canon and aren't alive currently, if they ever were.
  • The animated miniseries Red Planet, which was adapted from the book of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein, omitted Jim Marlowe's friend Frank Sutton, with his role instead filled by Jim's sister Phyllis "PJ" Marlowe.
  • Omni Consumer Products, the company that turned police officer Alex Murphy into the eponymous cyborg in the RoboCop film series, is nowhere to be seen in RoboCop: Alpha Commando.
  • The three-part premiere of the Silver Surfer animated series adapts the Galactus Trilogy, but completely dispenses with the Fantastic Four and Alicia Masters. Instead, the Silver Surfer is convinced to spare Earth by a pre-Nova Frankie Raye.
  • For some reason Sonic SatAM never used Knuckles, Amy or Metal Sonic, despite its second season airing after their debut games came out. It didn't help that Sonic the Hedgehog CD's American localization insists that Amy is actually Princess Sally, despite the fact that the two characters look nothing alike.
  • Sonic Underground had relatively few main characters from the games at all, with only Sonic, Robotnik, and a few appearances by Knuckles.
  • While Chapel does appear in the Spawn animated series, the rest of his Youngblood compatriots do not. In fact, there's no indication that Youngblood even exists in this universe, as Chapel is the one who goes after Spawnnote  at Jason Wynn's behest. This is in contrast to the comics, where a vengeful Spawn actually tracked down Chapel and attacked him in front of his teammates at Youngblood HQ.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
  • Gwen Stacy didn't appear in the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, even though it was produced when she was actually alive in the comics, instead making her father George Stacy the uncle of Mary Jane, in what was likely a case of Composite Character.
  • Other Spider-Man: The Animated Series examples:
    • The show's adaptation of Secret Wars (1984) removed the X-Men and The Avengers, with Storm and Iron Man instead serving as the sole representatives from their respective teamsnote  (the X-Men's omission was likely to cut costs, as hiring the Canadian cast of the then concurrently airing X-Men cartoon to reprise their roles for the X-Men's previous appearance on the show, the two-part episode "The Mutant Agenda"/"Mutants' Revenge", proved to be very expensive). The Hulk was planned to appear in the three-part episode, but had to be left out because his rights were tied up by his own show airing on UPN. The adaptation also left out most of the villains from the crossover, such as Ultron and Galactus.
    • The flashbacks detailing Captain America's role in World War 2 omitted Bucky Barnes and most of The Invaders (most notably Namor and the original Human Torch), instead having Cap be the leader of a group of superheroes called the Six American Warriors.
    • Jean DeWolff, a police detective and sometimes ally of Spider-Man's, is replaced with an Expy named Terri Lee.
    • Betty Brant, who was Peter's first love interest in the comics before Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane were later introduced, is completely removed from the cartoon.
    • Recurring villain the Sandman was also absent from this series, due to both him and Electro being sanctioned for use in an ultimately-unfilmed movie adaptation from none other than James Cameron. Even when Electro ended up appearing in the series, he was written to be the son of the Red Skull instead of the comics' Max Dillon.
  • Spider-Man: The New Animated Series suffered some Executive Meddling that forbade old people from appearing. While J. Jonah Jameson only got Demoted to Extra, outside of a picture, Uncle Ben and Aunt May never appeared, despite the former being the reason why Peter is Spider-Man and the latter being an important person in Peter's life. Robbie Robertson didn't even get that, being written out altogether.
  • Guile's wife Julia and daughter Amy do not appear in the Saturday morning Street Fighter cartoon, and instead, he's in a Love Triangle with Cammy and a Canon Foreigner named Cindy. Ken's fiancée Eliza doesn't show up either.
  • Super Friends:
  • Wonder Woman was left out of the Justice League segments from Filmation's Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. Strangely, her Kid Sidekick Wonder Girl did show up in the Teen Titans shorts.
  • Though his minions and many elements of Super Mario Bros. 2 appear in Animated Adaptations of the Super Mario Bros. series, Wart has yet to appear in any of them. Bowser/King Koopa usually acts as a Composite Character for them both.
  • It's not exactly an adaptation, but Bagheera, Kaa, Hathi, the wolves and vultures from The Jungle Book don't get roles in Talespin.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • Oroku Nagi, older brother of the Shredder, never appeared in the show. His role in the Hamato Yoshi/Tang Shen love triangle was replaced by original character Yukio Mashimi.
    • The episode "Time Travails" in the original comics guest starred Cerebus the Aardvark. He wasn't included in the cartoon story obviously, although a normal aardvark wearing a mask makes a brief appearance as a reference to him.
  • Oroku Nagi, older brother of the Shredder, never appeared in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012). His role in the Hamato Yoshi/Tang Shen love triangle was replaced by the Shredder himself.
  • Teen Titans:
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • Early episodes omitted many one shot or background characters used in The Railway Series novels they were adapted from, with Thomas or some other recurring engine taking their place. Jinty and Pug are absent in episodes adapted from "The Eight Famous Engines" for example, while, due to lacking budget for a model of The Flying Scotsman, "Tender Engines" was loosely adapted from "Tenders For Henry", with only the engines' tenders being shown in a cameo.
    • Numerous characters from the books (including the Mountain Engines) will also never appear in the television series now that it has broken away from The Railway Series.
  • Since the world of ThunderCats (2011) consists only of Beast Folk, none of the 1985 ThunderCats' human allies are present (from Homo sapiens like the Warrior Maidens to Human Aliens like Mandora). Poor Bengali accidentally became this — he was supposed to appear in the later seasons that were never made due to the network suddenly pulling the plug on the series, making him the only member of the original series' core cast not to get so much as a cameo or mention in the reboot.
  • In Nelvana's Animated Adaptation of Rosemary Wells' Timothy Goes to School book and Yoko & Friends. Hazel from Hazel's Amazing Mother and Nora's sister were both absent from the series even though Hazel was in the original 1998 Yoko book.
  • Jim's father, distant due to his brother Jack having been taken by Trolls as a kid, was around in the Trollhunters book but is a Disappeared Dad in the animated series adaptation for entirely unrelated reasons, presumably removing Uncle Jack from the show as well.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man:
    • The series omits the three White Tigers who came before Ava Ayala, instead establishing that she inherited the mantle directly from her father. It also skips over the Sons of the Tiger, a trio of martial artists who had the tiger amulet before the original White Tiger.
    • Likewise, while the Sam Alexander version of Nova is a major character, there's no mention of Richard Rider, his predecessor.
    • Eddie Brock. While Venom does appear as a recurring villain (and then a recurring hero starting in Season 3), Eddie Brock, his most famous and longest-lasting host, does not. Not even as Anti-Venom, as Harry replaced Eddie was the first Venom and Anti-Venom.
    • Gwen Stacy, Mr. Negative, Hammerhead, and the Hulk's "Joe Fixit" persona seem to be exclusive to alternate universes, as the "Return to the Spider-Verse" 4-parter depicts Mr. Negative and Hammerhead being exclusive to the show's version of Spider-Man: Noir, Mr. Fixit merely being the Hulk's counterpart in that world, and when Peter meets Spider-Gwen, he doesn't even seem to know who Gwen Stacy is.
  • The 2017 reboot of the original Wacky Races omits most of the original racers and the Interactive Narrator, the only characters returning from the original cartoon being Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, Dick Dastardly, Muttley, and the Gruesome Twosome.
  • X-Men:
    • The adaptation of Days of Future Past completely omitted Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers. Their roles in the plot were instead given to Bishop and Forge, respectively, with Bishop's presence being justified by his popularity in the comics at the time. In fact, Kitty was the only X-Man at the time to never make any sort of appearance in the 90s cartoon, as even Rachel (whose absence could otherwise have been excused thanks to her complicated backstory) had a non-speaking cameo in the "Beyond Good and Evil" storyline. As for Kitty, in the episodes based on stories where she appeared in the comics, her role would usually be given to Jubilee.
    • The show also had Magneto be the one to cripple Xavier, rather than Lucifer.
    • Despite the Loads and Loads of Characters featured, several of the New Mutants didn't show up either, most notably Sunspot and Dani Moonstar. While a few of their teammates like Illyana Rasputin, Warlock, Cannonball and Wolfsbane did appear in separate episodes (with a few others like Boom-Boom, Rictor and Karma also having non-speaking cameos), they never interacted with one another. Given this, as well as the lack of references to the New Mutants as a group, it seems that the team itself was never formed in this continuity.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • During the course of the series, all of the All-New, All-Different X-Men appear except for Banshee and Sunfire.
    • Despite covering a large swath of the X-Men's history, some prominent characters like Psylocke, Moira MacTaggert and Lilandra never appear. Some prominent villains were also left out, perhaps most notably Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club.
  • Young Justice:
    • The original Wonder Girl, Donna Troy, is the only founding Titan not to appear, due to legal issues, though her successor Cassandra Sandsmark joins the team in the second season. Word of God also says that Donna was a member of the team during the five year Time Skip but had left by the time of the second season. Donna finally appears in the third season, where she has a cameo role.
    • Roy Harper had his arm severed by Prometheus. In the show, the arm was instead amputated by generic Cadmus scientists. Also, Roy's bionic arm was created by Cyborg in the comics, while in the show, Lex Luthor provided it. However, Cyborg does eventually show up in Season 3.
    • Maxwell Lord was the one who killed Ted "Blue Beetle" Kord in Infinite Crisis, but in the show, Kord was murdered by Deathstroke and Sportsmaster.
    • Paul Westfield is entirely removed from Superboy's origin, with Lex Luthor taking his place as Conner's creator from the very beginning.
    • Out of the founding members of Young Justice (Tim, Conner, and Bart) only Superboy appears in the first season of the show as it is much closer to a Teen Titans, adaptation taking elements of both series and combining them with an original story arc.
    • Bart himself seemingly has half of his heritage adapted out. In the comics, he's a descendant of both Barry Allen and Eobard Thawne. The show makes no mention of his Thawne heritage, and there's not even a hint that there has ever been anyone who uses the Reverse-Flash moniker.

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