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Elements Exiled from Continuity for other or mixed reasons.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • While not exactly a retcon, later Robotech projects such as Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles have refrained from using names such as Macross, Zentraedi, and other recognizable elements from Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the original version of the first segment of the original 1985 series. As evidence, Maia Sterling in Shadow Chronicles only mentioned that she was "half alien", not "half Zentraedi", despite the fact that fans would know that her parents were Max and Mirya and the Zentraedi were an allied race that Marcus and Alex would have been familiar with. The word "protoculture" and the abbreviation "SDF" however, are not protected by trademark or copyright and can be used by Robotech. In any case, SDF now stands for Shadow Dimensional Fortress, due to an upgrade using Shadow Technology. These restrictions are probably due to the very confusing licensing agreement between Harmony Gold and Big West, the Japanese rights holders to Macross. There is a similar restriction on recognizable Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross material, but those restrictions are mostly character and mecha designs. It helps that unlike in the Macross Saga, everything was renamed in the Masters segment.
  • In a downplayed example, Robotech is technically part of the Palladium Megaverse, and there are conversion rules for Robotech mecha in the Rifts Conversion Book. However, there have been no canonical crossovers between the two universes. In the case of the Robotech-verse, this is plainly because Robotech was a strong property of its own and its tone might clash badly with the Rifts kitchen sink, but it's also speculated that Rifts doesn't carry canonical Robotech material because Palladium only owned the license off-and-on and didn't want to have to scythe it out of existing Rifts material.
  • The Vehicle Voltron and all the characters associated with it seem to have met this fate. The Lion Force Voltron is simply more popular and more iconic. There is also the fact that Voltron is a licensing of Golion, the licensing of which is probably expensive, given the popularity it gained as Voltron. It is possible that WEP simply chose not to renew the licensing for Dairugger XV as its lack of popularity probably gives them little incentive to do so.
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    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Jean-Paul Valley, the first Azrael, was never seen nor heard from again after his death in Azrael: Agent of the Bat #100, (aside from briefly popping up in Blackest Night, where he did nothing but walk past Scarecrow and kill a few random shmucks.) This is mainly because the editors didn't really know what to do with him after Knightfall ended. This was exacerbated by factors such as that Jean-Paul had never appeared outside of his own title in anything but a Bat-book and one issue of Batman and the Outsiders, where he appeared as AzBats, not ever being particularly popular, and having the exact same creative team for the entire run of his own title. Ironically, Jean-Paul's death took place at the same time as Batman: Hush, which focused on how Batman interacted with his allies, enemies, and loved ones. Real nice DC.
    • In the wake of DC's New 52 reboot, former Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown have been declared off-limits by editorial. Gail Simone pitched a team book that would have starred Stephanie, Bumblebee, Misfit, and Black Alice, but it was not approved, and Steph was subsequently pulled from a scheduled guest appearance in the Smallville comic. Meanwhile, Cass has not been seen or mentioned in Batman Inc, despite the fact that she was one of Bruce's agents (as well as the Batman of China) in the pre-New 52 volume.
      • Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison also have mentioned wanting to use them, but being barred. Those two are also bunched with Donna Troy and pre-New 52 Wally West in the exiled club.
      • Stephanie finally turned up in a cameo in 2014 in Batman #28, and later as a newly debuted Spoiler in Batman Eternal. Donna Troy (or at least some version of her) was introduced in Meredith & David Finch's run on Wonder Woman. Cassandra returned in Batman and Robin Eternal, while Wally returned in DC Rebirth.
    • When Green Arrow was brought back by Kevin Smith, he insisted on a one-year moratorium that forbade Ollie from showing up in any other titles (despite half the DCU being featured in Kevin Smith's run on the book, including a cameo from the usually exiled Morpheus). The reason? Smith was afraid some moron would botch up his "this'll take a year to resolve" plotline by dropping misleading hints or botching the "amnesia" sub-plot or mucking up the story's timing (the entire 12-issue run takes place over only a very short period of time). It made sense, so DC ran with it.
    • Hawkman was declared off-limits by DC editorial from 1996-2001, due to the character's Post-Crisis Continuity Snarl, caused by the 1989 reboot of the character, even though both Hawkmen were already established in Post-Crisis continuity. For his run on JLA (which featured the old favorites or their Legacy Characters), Grant Morrison created Zauriel as a stand-in for Hawkman.
    • After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Marv Wolfman and George Perez took the opportunity to revise the history of the Teen Titans. While some of the past Titans that they didn't care for got to stay in revamped forms (such as Bat-Girl becoming Flamebird), the character of Duela Dent/Harlequin was one that Wolfman wanted completely gone. She was excluded from the Post-Crisis backstory, and for a time, she was forbidden to be referenced in the comics. Phil Jimenez attempted to set up a plot thread for her in the Team Titans book, but had the story nixed by the editorial team. Duela was finally allowed to be fully re-introduced in the JLA/Titans miniseries, although her past with the Teen Titans was now inconsistent. Some writers retconned her as only being an occasional ally to the original team, while others depicted her as a member in flashbacks.
  • Like Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) is not branded with the Revolution (2016) label. However, unlike Jem (who is part of the following Hasbro Comic Universe via references, cameos and other, subtle means), the MLP universe is the one mainstream Hasbro IDW comic not a part of the shared comic universe. The settings are apparently too incompatible, though the authors are hoping to one day avert this. One can only imagine the fan reactions when they do...
    • And now that the Transformers comics (the nucleus of the HCU) has been rebooted after the Unicron Crisis Crossover, the status of the Jem comics within the new universe (if IDW does create a new HCU) is unclear. Prior to the reboot, the Dungeons & Dragons comic was left out (due to being too complicated to tie in), while their adaptation of Clue was, like Jem, another semi-connected title.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • When adapting Big Hero 6 from an obscure Marvel comic to a Disney animated movie, both Disney and Marvel mutually agreed to divorce Big Hero 6 from the Marvel Universe entirely. Not only does the movie not reference any Marvel elements, but Marvel exiled the team from the comics as well, note declining to reprint the original comic or bring the characters out of Comic-Book Limbo (their most recent appearance in the main Marvel continuity was in 2012, when they appeared in The Amazing Spider Man storyline Ends of the Earth), which disappointed fans, who were hoping the success of the film would result in the characters making a return to the main Marvel comics. Also, because of the above-mentioned issues with Fox, Sunfire and Silver Samurai were excluded from the movie (since both are technically X-Men characters). Silver Samurai and Sunfire don't appear in this movie because 20th Century Fox has film rights to all X-Men related and mutant characters.
    • After Ghost Rider was abruptly canceled in 1998, Danny Ketch made a single appearance in Peter Parker: Spider-Man, where the dangling plotlines from his own book were tied up in a very quick and unsatisfactory fashion, but leaving him still active within the Marvel Universe. His predecessor Johnny Blaze was soon brought back as Ghost Rider, but Danny was barely - if at all - mentioned, and for reasons unknown, never once appeared in any Marvel comic until a decade later.
    • During the 90's, Marvel Comics held a contest where readers were able to design a villain for the Thunderbolts title. The winning character, Charcoal, proved popular enough that he was added to the team as a main character. The fan who created Charcoal soon threatened to sue Marvel for ownership of the character right around the time he was supposedly killed off. Though the death was meant to be temporary and the lawsuit never gained any traction, the writers decided to leave Charcoal dead due to the actions of his creator. He has not been seen or mentioned since.
    • Kitty Pryde was pretty much the only major member of the team to never appear in the beloved 90s X-Men cartoon. According to the creators, this was because the execs didn't want her involved due to the failure of the Pryde of the X-Men pilot a few years earlier.
    • Elijah "Eli" Bradley, aka Patriot of the Young Avengers, hasn't been seen in the Marvel Universe since the conclusion of The Children's Crusade in 2012. Writer Kieron Gillen mentioned that he was not allowed to have Eli as one of the leads in the subsequent 2013 Young Avengers relaunch, which led to him using America Chavez instead. A page from the Age of Ultron event from that same year was also altered to replace a photo of Eli with a photo of the aforementioned America Chavez, lending more fuel to the theory that there was some sort of embargo on using the character. Marvel eventually went so far as to introduce a brand new Patriot named Rayshaun Lucas during the Secret Empire crossover, seemingly cementing that there were no plans to bring back Eli anytime soon. There's been no official word as to why exactly Eli has been put on ice, but the rumor is that it may be due to a dispute with the estate of Robert Morales, the writer of Truth: Red, White & Black, the mini-series that the character was originally spun-off from.

    Fanfiction 
  • The Bride of Discord Verse did this with Flutterby Lily, the daughter of Shining Armor and Cadence, ever since the introduction of their canon daughter in the show, Flurry Heart. The creator mentioned at her panel at BronyCon 2018 that when deciding what elements to omit when adapting Daughter of Discord as an audio drama, Flutterby Lily was one since most people were more familiar with Flurry Heart th an her. She also hasn't been seen in any of the fanfics set in the BOD universe since Flurry Heart debuted.

    Franchises 
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • Big Finish Doctor Who spent most of its lifespan avoiding recasting dead actors, or those who did not want to reprise their role. And then there were cast members whose advancing age restricts them from reprising their characters except as equally aged characters. This limited storytelling somewhat, as setting stories in certain eras became impossible with an Absentee Actor, leading to many spinoff ranges (such as giving Sarah Jane a solo show, and partnering Leela and K-9 up with Romana), role changes (Katy Manning plays Iris Wildthyme, and only occasionally Jo Grant), and prose stories narrated by companions. A few stories did hint around the edges of recasts — a recast Fourth Doctor is heard briefly in "The Kingmaker", a recast (mad but more importantly elderly) Adric appears in "The Boy that Time Forgot", and companion actors would occasionally 'play' absent parts in the context of their character imitating their friends, but for a long time it was felt that actively recasting would be disrespectful. Fans kept asking, however, and in the mid-late 2010s full-cast First, Second and Third Doctor audios began appearing, with new actors replacing lost Doctors and fan-favourite companions like Barbara and Ben. (In particular, Frazier Hines' version of the Second Doctor in his Companion Chronicles audios was known for being uncannily accurate; he now plays the Second Doctor, as well as his usual role as Jamie.) Which roles are recast still depends on a number of factors: There is no genuine interest in recasting soundalike actors to revisit younger versions of characters played by still living actors/actresses who have simply aged out of their roles (i.e. their voice has changed too much with age making it implausible to reprise their character except as older versions) and it is unlikely Sarah Jane will ever be recast, due to the rawness of Elisabeth Sladen's death.
    • One of the very few absolute rules for writers of the Doctor Who New Adventures was a complete ban on use of the Valeyard, simply because the character's vague and confusing origin made him such a walking Continuity Snarl. Later novels in the series did acknowledge his existence without having him actually appear on the page, and he finally appeared in prose Doctor Who in the BBC Books-era Past Doctor Adventures.
  • Pokémon:
    • The anime adaptation has three examples, one involving a move.
      • Porygon has never been featured (and the evolutions not shown at all) in the anime, except as a Freeze-Frame Bonus during a montage at the beginning of one of the movies and in the Poké Rap (despite the show's nature) after the first form's "involvement" in an incident involving Epileptic Flashing Lights. Qualifies as a combination of Legal and Corporate, as the episode containing the incident in question is under an actual legal ban.
      • The move "Earthquake" has twice been banned from being depicted in the anime, due to two earthquakes in Japan.
    • The Pokémon TCG has Kadabra, with this sometimes extending to its entire family, due to Kadabra having similarities to Uri Geller, who threatened to sue. A Kadabra card hasn't been seen since Skyridge (Abra and Alakazam appeared in Mysterious Treasures, but not Kadabra), Abra hasn't been seen since Mysterious Treasures, and Alakazam hasn't been seen since Rising Rivals.
      • In addition, Kadabra has been exiled from other Pokémon-related things as well, as it hasn't been seen in the anime since the episode "Fear Factor Phony" and Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia featured Abra and Alakazam, but not Kadabra.
      • Alakazam was featured as a Pokémon-EX and Mega Pokémon in an X and Y set, more than six years after its last appearance. However, Kadabra is still subject to its current fate in the TCG.
    • It must be noted that these edicts only apply to the Anime. Porygon and Kadabra can and have made appearances in the various manga series. Porygon and its evolutions continue to appear in the TCG as well.
  • TRON: Disney green-lit TRON 2.0 as a Sequel in Another Medium because they didn't have any interest in another film at that time. 2.0 spun off its own (small) canon with a sequel game and a comic book miniseries. But between 2.0 and the runaway success of the "Space Paranoids" level in Kingdom Hearts II, Disney changed its mind about a second film, and made TRON: Legacy, declaring all 2.0 material non-canon. The main difference in the canons is the fate of Lora Baines-Bradley who was killed (becoming Ma3a in 2.0 canon), but is alive in Legacy canon and features in the Alternate Reality Game establishing the film's backstory. The other difference is in Tron's fate; in 2.0, he was uploaded to archive and became a King in the Mountain, upgraded and restored in the system's time of need. In Legacy canon, he is put through a Trauma Conga Line and his ultimate fate is to be Reforged As A Minion before suffering a Disney Villain Death and falling into the dead Simulation Sea and Uncertain Doom.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Highlander did have Christopher Lambert appear as Connor Macleod in the pilot. However, they couldn't re-use any of the material he shot as flashbacks without paying Lambert another appearance fee, something the budget simply wouldn't allow. So, when footage from the pilot was re-used in a season 4 ep, Lambert/Connor was edited out.
  • Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation character Venus De Milo was barred from appearing in anything under Peter Laird's ownership of the series, due to his complete hatred of the character (to the point that jokes about her are not allowed). Only now is it possible for Venus to appear again due to a change in ownership over the Turtles, but even this may not be possible considering her mixed status among the fans.
  • The Alien Spell from Ultraseven seems to have been given this fate, mainly due to the Unfortunate Implications of its design, which was inspired by survivors of the atomic bombings (and its episode is also a Banned Episode). Starbem Gyeron, another Kaiju from the same series, was believed to have suffered this fate as well, since its episode was removed from circulation as a result of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster; however, said rumor turned out to be false, since Gyeron later reappeared in episode 20 of Ultraman Geed.

    Roleplays 
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe absolutely averted this trope. If you submitted a character (be it a player or a non-player character) to the setting, it was fair game to be used in someone else's story. Granted, that someone else was required to work with you to do it, and wasn't allowed to turn your character into The Chew Toy without your permission, but you couldn't refuse someone else's requests to use your guy.
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    Toys 
  • The BIONICLE bird species Kahu and Kewa (aka Goko-Kahu) were considered non-canon for years, due to LEGO receiving legal threats from Maori activists for using words from their language to promote toys. LEGO introduced a new type of bird called Gukko to fill in their roled instead. Later on, the Kahu and Kewa have been accepted back into canon, explained away as being Gukko sub-species. A number of other Maori-inspired names were however forever lost, and the Matoran villagers' former name, "Tohunga" was de-canonized.
    • Other elements lifted from Polynesian cultures have been removed from the brand for the same reason. Two mysterious godlike entities known as Papu and Rangi were referenced in the Mata Nui Online Game, but are now only alluded to in odd text files which the developers forgot to rewrite. The tribal dance Haka was an important part of Bionicle culture and would have appeared in the never released Legend of Mata Nui video game — notably, the dances feature prominently in the game's early alpha version, but the game's later builds removed it due to the Maori threat.
    • Due to the aforementioned game's cancellation, one thing lead to another, and the elemental beasts, who act as stage bosses in all but the final game level, never even showed up in canon. Their only legacy is the Vatuka, a miniature version of the scrapped game's giant Vatuka Nui Blob Monster, who appeared in a tie-in game and was thus canonical.
    • Further fantastical elements, like the heavy deifying of the Toa warriors, their depiction as wrathful nature gods and Turaga Matau's never-shown ability to fly were likewise excised once the franchise's genre became more of a science-fantasy. Kapura's ability to "go fast by moving slow" has been kept in canon, but it was never brought up again after the first year.

    Video Games 
  • Banjo and Conker were replaced with Tiny and Dixie Kong in Diddy Kong Racing DS, effectively banishing the Microsoft-owned bear and squirrel from the Nintendo-owned Donkey Kong universe (Conker's shift into a Black Comedy character since the original game may also play a hand in this); Tiptup, a recurring Banjo-Kazooie character, is still there. Word of God was vague on whether their absence was at the request of Microsoft or Nintendo (though it was strongly implied one of the two was responsible). Many of the DKR-exclusive characters are owned by Rare and yet were allowed in anyway, and Tiptup's roles in the Banjo-Kazooie series have been pretty minor (and his character design has been noticeably altered), so it's likely the developers assumed they could get away with it.
  • The King of Fighters has also now suffered from this as SNK is now eliminating all references to the character K9999 who WAS a Captain Ersatz of Tetsuo. Notably for King of Fighters 2002 Ultimate Match, which is a remake of a game that originally had K9999 in it, they replaced him moveset-wise with the new character "Nameless" or Ж'.
  • Skullgirls has a perplexing example with one character that's technically already in the game but whose design was created by a fan - Juju the Sniper. Created as part of a fan design contest, Juju was actually accepted into the roster since her design was unique and she was, as stated, already in the game as one of the original roster member's support characters. However, the designer went and broke the (very clear and simple) Non-Disclosure Agreement mere hours after the design was accepted. This left the developers in an awkward but legally-binding position: Juju, as designed by the fan, cannot make an appearance in the game. Her role in the game as of the agreement still stands, but she will likely not see any more development unlike a great deal of other side characters.
  • A similar but slightly more amicable example is Mallow, Geno, Smithy, and the other original characters from Super Mario RPG. While they (especially Geno) proved popular, Square Enix holds the rights to them, essentially cutting them off from the rest of the Mario universe. Geno was able to make exceedingly brief cameos in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saganote  and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (as a DLC Mii Fighter costume for the latter, and alongside a character from a game fully owned by Square Enix) with permission from Square. As a result, living Suspiciously Similar Substitutes of the Seven Stars that were the game's Plot Coupons appeared in Paper Mario.
  • There was a small amount of furor for Super Robot Wars Original Generation after its first Animated Adaptation Divine Wars removed nearly every appearance of the Huckebeins, Humongous Mecha that basically look like Gundams with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. Many fans feared the exile of the entire line, especially after the previews of the Original Generations Video Game Remake on the PlayStation 2 also omitted them, as well as all Huckebeins' plastic model kits ceasing sale. These fears alleviated when the game was released, as all Huckebeins were present and accounted for.
    • The Irony is no one was especially afraid after Divine Wars because the Huckebein did show up (just briefly in the last episode as a set of blueprints). When the second promotional trailer for Original Generations was released, the Huckebein animation was removed and replaced with a different unit. At this point, a malicious but clever fan spread rumors then-Bandai (before their merge with Namco) sued Banpresto over its use of the Huckebein. For some indiscernible reason, a large part of the fanbase believed it, despite Bandai OWNING Banpresto and later merging with them. Cue massive screaming to the point where Banpresto discovered the rumor and intentionally kept it alive for the sole purpose of their amusement.
    • It happened again in The Inspector, an adaptation of Original Generation 2 and sequel to Divine Wars. One character, who in the games is supposed to use a Huckebein, starts with an anime-exclusive mass-produced Wildschwein, which looks less like a Huckebein. This really didn't matter in the long run, as the character will acquire a more powerful super robot, yet most fans believed Bandai Namco Entertainment ordered the Huckebein removed because they didn't want a knockoff of the popular Gundam making what amounts to a cameo appearance, since most of the cast in The Inspector will be using their character-exclusive Humongous Mecha by the end of the show, none of them being Huckebeins.
      • Fortunately, The Inspector justifies the disappearance of the Huckebein: In-Universe, The Federation scraps its development. Rather than relegate another character using a Huckebein, he gets to pilot the "EXbein", another anime-exclusive unit which, in-story, is the prototype to the intended Huckebein. Then again, any Super Robot Wars fan is hardly fooled to see the EXbein is a Huckebein, with the difference simply removing the signature "V-fin" on its head, while adding a pair of giant visors around the eyes. The fact the mechanical designer for the EXbein is the same person who designed the Huckebein for the games says something about the similarities between them.
      • The Inspector essentially chimes in on this trope later with the "Guarbein", a Huckebein with a Guarlion Custom's head and shoulders. Hilarity Ensues as its pilot, who's wearing a terrible disguise, is using a Huckebein with a terrible disguise. Lampshaded by the villain when the Guarbein makes its debut:
        "GuarBein?! Your camouflage can't fool me!"
    • Although the EXbein makes its way into the games, Original Generation decided to use this trope to its fullest: all Huckebeins ever manufactured are destroyed in a mandatory story event. At that point, fans were divided on whether this was a mean-spirited joke by Banpresto or there's truly a legal problem to be had with Bandai Namco. However, the Huckebein appears as is for Super Robot Wars V, making this an aversion.

    Western Animation 
  • Hey, hoping for a crossover between Star vs. the Forces of Evil and Gravity Falls? Well too bad, because per Adam MacArthur, Disney has a rule preventing their original animated series from crossing over with each other (possibly due to different animation styles or genres). note  Considering that the company had allowed for crossovers with their shows in the years past, the (seemingly new) mandate comes off as rather questionable, not to mention the crossovers years prior that all involved Lilo & Stitch: The Series— though it's possible that show, being a spin-off from a Disney film, was under different rules. It may also be related to issues with the creators of shows and having to get them involved too. What makes this rule particularly confusing is that two completely original Disney Jr shows, Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso, crossed over a few years prior.
  • The Transformers:
    • The use of the Decepticon Mini-Cassette Buzzsaw was discouraged since his toy was packaged with Soundwave's, and as such he didn't need to appear so long as Soundwave did. He did make a few appearances, but his function as spy was largely taken over by Laserbeak.
    • The Decepticon Reflector appeared prominently in Season One, but by Season Two the character was barred from usage. Although Reflector's toy was planned as a last-minute addition to the 1984 catalogue, Hasbro passed up on it as they thought it would be "too boring" for kids. As such, he was kept in the cartoon to fill out the rather small Decepticon army, and by the time more Decepticons appeared, the character was only present at the animators' discretion (ironically, the Reflector toy would see release after the fact as a mail order item in 1986).


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