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2 Broke Girls

  • Unexpected uses the fact that the series established that Max and Caroline attended the same party a year before they met and uses that to give them a chance to meet before Caroline loses her money when Caroline asks Max for help dealing with a wine stain. This leads to Caroline setting up the cupcake business and signing it all over to Max before she loses her money, and subsequently moving in with Max once she becomes poor, the story ending as Caroline blows Max's mind by admitting that she is in love with her.
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Ace Attorney

  • A Complete Turnabout takes place in a universe where the DL-6 Incident never happened. As a result, Edgeworth never abandoned his dream of becoming a defence attorney, Misty was never disgraced, Mia became a detective, Maya became a singer, Phoenix became a prosecutor, Dahlia became a good person and Edgeworth's girlfriend, and perhaps most importantly, Redd White was never stopped and Bluecorp has grown into a massive and dangerous organisation known as "the Network"
  • Double turnabout! Paradise of light and shadow Starts with a paragraph of this trope, explaining how small change can cause massive changes in the future. Namely how Larry's girlfriend picking up object 5 cm away from what she was supposed to grab had snowballed into Doug Swallow getting murdered 8 months earlier that he should've died, Diego never getting poisoned, Dahlia's plan to poison Phoenix succeeding (although he lands in a coma, not in a coffin), and Iris getting accused of this.
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Ah! My Goddess

  • The Goddess and the Sky starts when Keiichi drops the phone in the dormitory, and the wish that should have gone to him ends up going to Sora instead, who proceeds to accidentally wish that Belldandy would marry her. As a result, Keiichi isn't kicked out of his dormitory, gets an angel named Malaika and is Ship Teased with Sayoko, while Sora and Belldandy are forced to leave as their dormitory room is only supposed to have one occupant and end up renting a haunted apartment occupied by Erdgeist, an Earth Spirit Third Class.

Arrowverse

  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse):
    • A series of nails result in both Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El landing on Lian Yu alongside Oliver Queen.
      • Barry and Joe get into one of their many arguments and Joe, in the heat of the moment, accidentally calls Barry "crazy". Barry had been offered a chance to study abroad in China at the time, and Joe's actions pushes him into accepting it. On the way there, his connecting flight is cancelled, so he elected to take a boat there instead, which subsequently capsized and landed him on Lian Yu.
      • Instead of two one-seater rockets, the Els build one two-seater rocket for their kids. Thus, Kal-El travels with Kara, and is stranded with her in the Phantom Zone and later on Lian Yu.
      • Oliver himself is alone on the ship besides the crew; his father is called away on business before the trip, and the trip takes place before Oliver really gets into his partying lifestyle or dates Laurel, meaning he never brings Sara along with him.
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    • Oliver and Barry's disappearances last ten years instead of five, and it has massive effects on the life of their friends.
      • Thea never gets into drugs because she still has both her parents. Instead, she's actually sheltered due to their over-protectiveness.
      • The Lances' marriage doesn't fall apart because Sara was never presumed dead. Sara herself never becomes a member of the League of Assassins, instead finishing college and becoming a humanitarian.
      • Tommy falls off the wagon thanks to Oliver's earlier disappearance, forcing Malcolm to cut him off earlier. Tommy caves after a few months, and goes straight by then, eventually becoming an executive at Merlyn Global.
      • Robert's survival eventually leads to him and Moira regaining the courage to try and defy Malcolm again by informing Walter Steele so he can act in their place. Malcolm finds out, and kills Walter in turn.
      • Barry confides in Iris the reason why he's going to China. When he "dies", Iris blames Joe, resulting in them being estranged. They attempt to reconcile a few years later, but a heritage projects reveals Francine and Wally's existences, causing Iris to cut off communication for good. Since she no longer listens to Joe, Iris pursues her original dream of becoming a police officer and succeeds.
  • Survivors diverges from canon when Jor-El and Zor-El build a single space pod for both of their children; as a result of it, Kal and Kara make it to Earth at the same time.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • Alternate History is a fan-comic where Aang broke out of the iceberg twenty years later than in canon. Most importantly, this leads to Zhao successfully taking the moon. Yue is taken prisoner and waterbending is impossible.
  • An idea thrown about but poorly executed is what would happen if by turn of events or a reversal of roles, Azula was the one that was banished instead of Zuko? The executions leave a lot to be desired, as they usually turn Azula into Zuko with a Uterus note for note.

Back to the Future

  • "The Almanac Chronicles" has several, but one in particular stands out. President John F. Kennedy is not assassinated on November 22, 1963. It is implied this was due to Biff saving someone's life while on vacation in the Bahamas, a vacation he would not have taken had he not made his fortune from the almanac.

Bleach

  • A Grudge Not Held has Rangiku never getting hurt by Aizen's lackeys and therefore giving Gin no reason to join him for revenge. Gin is still the captain of the Third Division, but as he spends most of his time with Rangiku (who is now his Vice Captain instead of Toshirou's), he formed more bonds and more concerns about others (he still has an incredible sadistic streak, though). This leading to him and Rangiku busted Rukia out of her jail. Several matches up to the Deicide arc are changed. Also, there are other important factors such as Hitsugaya is the one who follow Aizen instead of Gin, Harribel is killed by Yamamoto, Gin's never developed the poison in his Bankai, Rangiku is stronger because she was trained by Gin, etc...
  • Not Quite As Planned: What might have happened if Ichigo had been a few seconds slower when recovering his powers in the Shattered Shaft? This story answers that question in the most awesome way possible.
  • A Protector's Pride: What if Ichigo confronted his Inner Hollow instead of running away from it? Things quickly snowball from there.
  • Substitute School, First Semester: What if Rukia had succeeded in only giving Ichigo half her power?
  • Sight: Because Ichigo can see spirits, Benihime and Zangetsu are able to train him to be an efficient fighter. Because of this and the fact he has the cooperation of his zanpakutou and inner Hollow, Ichigo wins his fight against Grimmjow when Zangetsu lets him go into Bankai. He wins the fight but loses the battle when Tousen shoots him in the back.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • In Kallysten's and Kantayra's Tabula Rasa Ad Aeternum the memory crystal that is accidentally crushed as the Reset Button in the episode "Tabula Rasa", isn't. This leads to the personas and assorted odd relationships the Scoobies adopted in the presence of Laser-Guided Amnesia growing into their own characters.
  • The premise of Buffy the Vampire: Awakenings is that the Master accidentally turns Buffy during the season one finale.
  • In The Pride of Sunnydale Xander is possessed by a primal lion spirit rather than hyena and retains his possession.
  • The One With The Angelic Face series changes from canon because the gypsy curse that gave Angelus a soul also turned him into a woman, who takes on the name Angela but still falls in love with Buffy.
  • In The Hell-er-Nator: Chaos Machine the true nail isn't a kid buying the last military rifle before Xander, but Ethan Rayne being hired by Wolfram & Hart to perform his Halloween chaos, resulting in him having the money to purchase far more costumes and use a more potent spell.

Coco

  • Somos Familia: A nail so big it borders on AU. What if Ernesto hadn't killed Hector?
  • Dead Men Tell Tales: This fic diverges from canon because Hector knows from the very beginning that Ernesto murdered him. Because of this, Ernesto cannot reap the benefits of his fame in the Land of the Dead.

Code Geass

  • Dauntless: What if Clovis found Lelouch before the series started?
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of Britannia: What if Lelouch had never been banished?
  • Nil Desperandum combines this with Peggy Sue. While Lelouch's mind is sent back in time, the true nail is Nunally dying during the Invasion of Japan. Luluka and Suzaku miss their rendezvous with Genbu Kururugi because they take the time to bury her. As a result, Suzaku never kills his father or becomes an Honorary Britannian, instead becoming Luluka's closest ally.
  • The Black Emperor: What if Lelouch had confided in Milly before the series start?
  • Armed Resistance: What if Nunnally died before the series started?
  • Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion: What if Lelouch had better prepared for his rebellion against Britannia?

Crossover

  • Co-op Mode: Because of Gaia's presence in the story, a lot of things in the Wormverse change - with the most important one happening so far being Contessa abandoning her previous Path of Victory to follow Gaia's plans. This leads into more changes down along the line.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Aside from the fact that Shinji is Superman in this story, there is also his origin. Lara dies before Jor-El finishes the rocket, leading him to instead place a computer database of Krypton and Kryptonian DNA inside of the rocket. The rocket lands in Antarctica instead of Kansas, where it is found by Yui. Upon receiving a message from Jor-El, she decides to artificially inseminate herself with the stored DNA, leading to Shinji becoming half-Kryptonian.
  • Child of the Storm leads to the not inconsiderably sized nail that James Potter was, in fact, Thor Odinson undergoing a first attempt at this humility thing. Needless to say, it ended badly, leading to a memory wipe and an adjustment of the approach for the New Mexico attempt. Once Thor gets his memories back and Harry discovers who his father is, he ends up blossoming under the influence of his family and the Avengers (and, you know, actual affection), developing a much more comprehensive friend network and becoming far more confident and open with his feelings. Other changes include the likes of Sirius Black not having to live as a fugitive and the Dursleys being locked up. On the other hand, the revelation that Harry is Thor's son sparks the likes of HYDRA, Lucius Malfoy and the Red Room into action, leading to a brutal shadowy war being waged between SHIELD/the Avengers and HYDRA, in which Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, most of MI13, a lot of the Ministry's upper echelons and almost all of MI-6 are among the many thousands of casualties. And since Harry's been repressing a lot of rage, as a result of a number of near death experiences, an actual death experience and failing to save, as he sees it, Luna Lovegood, then seeing his father get shot and put into a coma he occasionally teeters on the edge of becoming the next Magneto, something not helped by his developing Psychic Powers (Jean Grey's a cousin of his on his mother's side of the family), and his connection to the Phoenix.
    • Also, with the integration of the Potterverse, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, aspects of the main Marvel Universe, the DC Universe and The Dresden Files, quite a lot of prior nails were already scattered.
    • In chapter 80, Doctor Strange quotes the Trope Namer as part of his explanation for his actions, having outright weaponised the trope to deadly effect. Just a few of these nails, as listed in the final chapter, include: Harry Dresden becoming Wanda Maximoff's boyfriend and apprentice, putting him in line to be Sorcerer Supreme; Lex Luthor getting Adaptational Heroism; the creation of Ultron presumably being averted due to Tony's justified fears after JARVIS is hijacked; James Bond being resurrected as a kind of Living Weapon; Bucky Barnes joining the Avengers and bringing all of his considerable experience as the Winter Soldier with it; and MI13 , T'Challa, and most crucially Harry taking several levels in badass due to their near-fatal experiences. And that's during the duration of the first book alone.
  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K's starting premise is that discovering the eponymous game as a child gave Shinji Ikari a hobby that helped him build confidence and strategic, tactical, and interpersonal skills, with the resulting Character Development changing the way he deals with the events of Evangelion canon.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Several nails influence this fic: The first one is a minor miscalculation on Jor-El's part, which results in Kal-El's ship crash-landing in Germany, killing him, and STAR Labs taking it for analysis; the second one is STAR Labs's funding being cut heavily by Seele as part of their Evil Plan, eventually turning it into a glorified sperm bank; the third one is Kyoko Zeppelin Sohryu wanting to have a baby and so going to STAR Labs to get an in vitro fertilization; and the fourth and most important one is her being good friends with Emil Hamilton, who does the procedure... and as the former head of the Kryptonian retrieval project and knowing how powerful Kal-El would have become (and seeing how screwed up the world is becoming), takes a brief dip in the (benevolent) Mad Scientist pool and fertilizes the ova that will be Asuka with Kryptonian DNA.
  • Thousand Shinji: The premise is shortly after being abandoned by Gendo Shinji met a time-displaced disciple of Tzeentch -Chaos God of Manipulation and Sorcery of the Warhammer 40,000 universe-, who taught him the ways of plotting and scheming among other skills. As a result, Shinji grows into a very different person from his canon self, and when summoned to Tokyo-3, he begins his own machinations to repay his father for his "kindness".
  • This trope is played with in the fic Distorted Reflections; a crossover between Stargate SG-1 and Jeremiah, the premise of the storyline is that Jeremiah is an alternate universe that diverged from the timeline SG-1 are familiar with at some point in the eighties, as analysis of their shared histories reveals that a few recent presidents were different in the two realities. While the obvious difference is the release of the "Big Death" in the Jeremiah universe, other subtle changes are observed as SG-1 spend time in this universe, including the continued survival of old foes and allies like Frank Simmons or Martouf, as well as an unexpected revelation about the true identity of the host of the Tok'ra Malek.
  • Queen Serenity coughed while casting the resurrection spell that would revive her daughter along with everyone else. The result? The Moon Princess is Nanoha Takamachi, as seen in White Devil of the Moon.
  • In The Unicorn At Hogwarts Twilight Sparkle's presence in the Harry Potter universe has repercussions ranging from Harry not getting onto the Gryffindor Quidditch team in first year to Peter Pettigrew being exposed and captured two books ahead of canon. On the other hand, Word of God stated that he wrote Hermione out of the story's main plot because he felt that she and Twilight Sparkle are too similar in personality and characteristics, and so felt that not having her attend Hogwarts would be better for the plot. Thus, Twilight was sent to a version of the Potterverse in which a nail had already changed the plot somewhat.
  • Magical Pony Lyrical Twilight, a Fusion Fic of MLP and Lyrical Nanoha has the Jewel Seeds landing in Ponyville instead of Earth, thus setting the events of the three Nanoha series in Ponyville instead.
  • The Tabula Avatar Universe kicks off with the Scoobies being uploaded to Baldur's Gate 2 when the Trio find the unbroken memory crystal from 'Tabula Rasa'.
  • A lot of people die who would have otherwise been saved in Hybrid Theory because the presence of so many new people running around means that any given Contrived Coincidence in the source material, such as a Sailor Senshi being in a specific park at a certain time, simply might not happen.
  • Legacy Of The Red Sun: Kal-El lands on Tatooine after Luke dies at the age of four. Darth Vader discovers Luke is his son, and destroys Tatooine, and years later kills Kale's adoptive family and Leia's.
  • A Man of Iron has Tony Stark taking Jon Snow back to Iron Pointe with him, meaning that he isn't there to befriend Samwell Tarly at the Wall. As a result, Sam is rescued by Tyrion before he takes his vows, while Dolorous Edd is the one to become Lord Commander Mormont's steward.
    • Iron Man intervenes at Ned's execution, saving his life but causing a panicking Joffrey to kill Sansa by accident. Ned is then able to take over the Northern rebellion, managing to avoid many of the mistakes Robb made in canon — among other things, Robb is made to go through with his betrothal to one of Walder Frey's daughters, earning House Frey's true loyalties. He also refuses to release Jaime, instead sending him back to be imprisoned in Winterfell.
    • The North's better situation leads to Roose taking Gretin Frey as a wife instead of Walda, because he's looking for a strong partner who can give him a better heir, rather than just someone with a big dowry. Also, he and Walder are staying loyal to the Starks, strongly enough that Tywin's not even bothering trying to win either of them over.
    • The far more serious situation with the Lannisters leads Tyrion to decide not taking Shae to King's Landing.
    • Thor's presence, and a show of force, causes all the Storm Lords who declared for Renly to turn cloak to Stannis.
  • Light and Dark DEUX: The New Adventures of Dark Soichiro has the basic premise involve Soichiro losing the memory bomb that Blud gave him, so he now remembers that he is Dark Yagami, and so the timeline drastically changes.
  • The Bubblegum Crisis / Ah! My Goddess crossover A Goddess Comes to Call starts when Keichii, instead of wishing that Belldandy would stay with him, wishes for the girl who would be perfect for him, and ends up with Chihiro Fujimi. Fifty years later, Linna accidentally summons Belldandy and wishes for her to stay with her, resulting in the goddesses (and Mara) getting involved with the Knight Sabers and boomers. Also, Girls' Love ensues.
  • In Wonderful!, the point of divergence is Slaughterhouse Nine's early rampage. Taylor lost her father instead of her mother, and triggered, gaining super-powers. When Emma was attacked by the ABB she helped Sophia to save her. Taylor and Emma remained friends, Sophia became Taylor's tolerated acquaintance, and Taylor never was bullied.
  • Much of the canon plot diverges significantly in Anything Goes Game Changer because Ranma happened to meet Ryoga's father and learned a sensor technique from him. This leads to Ranma meeting Miya Asama which leads to him learning manners from her (along with sparring). As a result, he leaves a message to Ryoga that he got dragged off on a training trip by Genma (thus preventing Ryoga from getting cursed), has a friendlier meeting with Shampoo (and as a result doesn't get her as a fiance), makes a better first impression on the Tendos, and Ukyou is convinced to give up her claim on him as well.
    • Ranma's actions have also resulted in Akitsu serving him rather than Mikogami, Uzume being able to pay Chiho's hospital bills by posing for photos with Ranko, and several Sekirei not being winged by their canon Ashikabi due to Ranma interfering whenever he finds unfair fights between Sekirei.
  • A Shadow of the Titans: Per Word of God, this is the reason that Cyborg attempts his undercover mission at the HIVE from Season 3 despite the plot still being in the timeframe of Season 2 (going by Slade's cameos) — Jade's presence and actions have ramped up the HIVE's threat level enough for the Titans to do this. And Jade seeing through his disguise cuts it short before Cyborg catches Blood's attention, thus seemingly preventing the Season 3 Story Arc from ever happening.
  • I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC provided the question of "what would happen if Bryan Singer never worked on Superman Returns?" The result: DC handed Directorial rights to Michael Bay which resulted in being one of the highest grossing Superhero movie of all time, Nolan leaving due to Executive Meddling resulting in The Dark Knight never being made, Bryan working for Fox to avoid various misfires with the Marvel movies, and for some reason bowler hats were back in style.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters happens because of a small yet major change to the end of Jackie Chan Adventures' Demon World story — as Shendu is being resealed, he spitefully destroys the Book of Ages, triggering a Time Crash that destroys the JCA universe and merges the remnants of it with the W.I.T.C.H. universe. With the Chans and all of their allies and enemies added into the mix, the war on Meridian starts undergoing major changes.
  • A crossover between Dragon Ball Z and Tenchi in Tokyo has Cell's search for Android #17 and #18 take him through to Tenchi's high school the day the girls would have ran roughshod over the school festival. This drags Tenchi and the others into the Z-Warriors' fight for the future, leading to Yuugi performing a Heel–Face Turn and a Redemption Equals Death by being the one who sacrifices their life to stop Cell's self-destruction instead of Goku.
  • In The Lone Traveler, this gradually becomes how the eponymous Traveler operates as he travels around the multiverse.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, the teams are very different from the original RWBY story. Izuku is the leader of Team Mandevilla (MNVW) with Pyrrha, Nora, and Weiss. Ruby is the leader of Team Raspberry (RSBR) consisting of Shouto Todoroki, Katsuki Bakugou, and Lie Ren. Tenya Iida is the leader of Team Tabby (TABY) consisting of Tsuyu Asui, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long.
    • Mountain Glenn is nothing more than abandoned ruins in the main RWBY canon, but Toshinori's intervention has allowed it to become a small, protected city that's as heavily guarded if not more-so than Vale. It's also Izuku's and Katsuki's hometown, having become known as the "City of Hope" for Toshinori's heroics with a statue dedicated to him as thanks.
    • During the attack on the Underground Training Facility, Izuku immediately sends out a distress signal as soon as he and the others are confronted by the Monochrome League. This allows Toshinori to arrive to save them much earlier than he did to save Class 1-A in his home series, keeping him from having to push his limits and saving Aizawa from being grievously wounded by Nomu.
    • Tenya has Team TABY cooped up in their dorm while studying for their final exams. Because of this, Blake isn't at Vale's docks that day to meet Sun and his role as Blake's confidant is passed to Izuku. Things get even more complicated for Sun when Team MNVW and Team RSBR happen to see him while he's already being chased by Team MADE, meaning that twelve Huntsmen and Huntresses-in-Training (including Ruby, Weiss, and Pyrrha) are running after him.
      Sun: Oh wow, this just isn't my day is it?
  • The divergence point between the main Earth's Alien History timeline and its Mirror Universe is the Doctor being present at the Battle of the Citadel to sabotage the Mekon's forces. Without him, the Mekon successfully conquers Citadel space and uses the Omega particles to destroy FTL capabilities in TeTO space, crippling the alliance. This, combined with the Race then abandoning TeTO to avoid further conflict with the Mekon, causes a rise in xenophobia and revanchism, eventually leading to TeTO becoming the Terran Empire.
  • The whole point of The Weaver Option is to alter the past of the Imperium of Man by introducing parahumans into its past, setting up a chain reaction of changes.
  • Amazing Fantasy has Izuku walk down an alleyway to investigate a purple figure climbing up a wall instead of a shady underpass while on his way home from middle school. As a result, he's bitten by a genetically-modified spider instead of meeting All Might, giving Izuku the powers of Spider-Man.
  • Discussed in Infinity Crisis. While musing on their pasts with Thor, Kara expresses her fear that she might have become as bad as her enemies if she hadn’t been raised by the Danvers once she arrived on earth.
  • My Hero Playthrough: After recognizing his new power (The Gamer), Izuku rushes home to experiment. As a result, he is not there to slow down Sludge or inspire All Might and Bakugou dies.

Danganronpa

  • In The PreDespair Kids, Hope's Peak Academy hosts a competition called the Hope Games, a mix of a relay race and events that the students had to complete. Those who come in last each time are eliminated. One of these events was a truth or dare challenge, which got more and more intense as it went on. One of the dares involved Mukuro being forced into "scaring" Taka...which she did by revealing that he has feelings for Mondo on live television. This sends him into a Heroic BSoD and causes her to have a My God, What Have I Done? moment. However, the shock and guilt of the incident is also what ultimately results in her deciding to turn her back on Ultimate Despair and try to save everyone before The Tragedy even begins. This is what resulted in the blog changing from a prequel into an Alternate Universe.
  • System Restore diverges from canon when Togami trips and falls during the blackout at the party. This results in Hanamura killing Komaeda instead of him, drastically changing the events that follow.
  • Three-Point Shot also has this as its premise for New Danganronpa V3. Kokichi Ouma, partially out of curiosity and partially out of amusement, tampers with the crime scene of the first murder by picking up the shotput ball and throwing it back up to the top of the bookshelves. This leads to the mastermind being exposed as the true culprit and executed, meaning that the original protagonist, Kaede Akamatsu, survives past the first chapter.
  • I'd Trade My Life For Yours has a similar premise as Three Point Shot, but with a different execution- Shuichi Saiharanote  ends up Taking the Heat for the first murder and being executed.

Daredevil (2015)

  • The fanfic series "The Boxer's Daughter" is an AU with Matt Murdock gender-flipped. In most stories where the author changes some massive aspect of the story, like a character's gender, that's all they change. It's like rewatching the show again only with different pronouns for that character. In this fic, changing Matt's gender actually changes quite a lot about the plot: the work pretty much maintains the core of the original story, but it introduces a lot of new characters, a number of characters that were killed in the actual show instead live or vice-versa, while some actions undertaken by one character instead get taken by another. These little differences end up making a huge impact on the narrative.
    • To give an example, there's the ways in which season 1 is altered: 1) Nelson & Murdock refuses rather than accepts James Wesley's check when he comes to hire them on John Healy, so a different crooked attorney gets him. This means that Mattie gets Wilson Fisk's name by beating up Detective Hoffman instead. So as a result, the sniper that shoots Detective Blake also kills Hoffman and wounds Ben Urich. Because of Hoffman being dead, Healy is later sent to kill Blake, but Mattie stops him, and consequently also brings Brett Mahoney in on the Fisk investigation a lot earlier than he was involved in the show. Healy, Blake and Owlsley thus all survive to sell out Fisk. 2) Foggy doesn't follow Karen when she goes out at night to talk to Elena, so the guys that jump her manage to break her ankle before she can mace them. This leaves Karen on crutches, a means that Brett and Foggy interview Fisk's mother instead of Ben and Karen. Thus, it's Foggy, not Karen, who ends up killing Wesley. And Ben ends up living because Foggy tells Mattie about what happened. 3) Fisk lures Mattie into Nobu's trap not by having Elena Cardenas killed, but rather by burning down her building.
    • Stick ends up getting killed in this retelling of season 2, much earlier than he meets his death in The Defenders during the actual continuity. Jacques, the Frenchman that Stick hired to kill Elektra in the actual show, ends up taking Stick's place in The Defenders, and lives.

The DCU

Dragon Age

  • In Walking in Circles, Solas being taken into the Circle of Ostwick causes a chain of events which lead Evelyn, the Inquisitor herself, to develop a much more radical view about the current world state. This in turn results in her becoming his ally and confidant in his plan of taking down the Veil, and he actually agrees with her decision (unlike in canon).
    • The Bad Future also happens differently from the canon game; instead of being resigned to his fate and imprisoned, Solas, in his grief and rage at losing Evelyn, gathers forces to take over Redcliffe Castle, making it his headquarters in his war against Corypheus. He also kills Alexius to take the amulet.
  • In Twice Upon An Age, the nail in question is the Elder One's orb having accidentally selected two Inquisitors instead of one. It's a Foregone Conclusion that the good guys will save the day, but having double the Inquisitors leads to recruiting both the mages and the Templars, as well as having double the antagonists since both Samson and Calpernia are present.

Dragon Ball

  • In Break Through The Limit, during Goku and Piccolo Jr's fight, Goku dodged an attack that he didn't dodge in canon, making his victory over Piccolo even greater. This prompted Piccolo not to develop a single technique to kill Goky, but to train his body as a whole to become stronger. And thus, when Raditz arrived Earth, Piccolo was much stronger than him. And things only change even further from this point onward...
  • MasakoX of Team Four Star does a monthly "What-If Week" feature on his YouTube channel where he explores scenarios pitched by fans. By far his most popular story is "What If Raditz Turned Good?", where Raditz barely escapes his original death and joins the good guys both out of loyalty to his brother and because Vegeta rejects him as a useless failure. This results in a timeline where Raditz becomes Bash Brothers with Goku (and just as bitter a rival to Vegeta), forms an Odd Friendship with Piccolo, helps the Z-Fighters take most of their enemies down more easily, and even marries Launch and has several kids with her, including a daughter who forms a Freudian Trio with Goten and Trunks.

The Dresden Files

  • In Fight and Flight, Harry Dresden decides to run away from Molly's trial, taking her with him. This results in them fleeing to Australia, the White Council hunting them down, and Ebenezar revealing his true relation to Harry earlier than in canon.

Fate/stay night

  • In Kariya's Legacy, Shinji Matou meets with his uncle Kariya Matou and as a result he becomes a much nicer brother to Sakura and became an artificial magus.
  • Another story actually mentions this trope by name; In Chaos Theory, the nail in question is that instead of letting Ilya vanish mysteriously into the night after her cryptic message, Shirou tries to make nice with this little girl who's clearly out on her own. This jumpstarts some Character Development for Ilya, letting her see that her target is more than Kiritsugi's favorite and not nearly as cold as her father was, becoming a what some consider a fanmade "Ilya Route".

Final Fantasy

  • There are a number of Final Fantasy VII "What If?" fics out there that take a look at what might have happened had the ending of Crisis Core had panned out just a little bit differently preventing Zack's death. One of the most egregious is By a Fraction of a Degree by findthetiger129, where Reno sneezing is the Nail.
  • The Final Fantasy VII/Crisis Core fanfic The Fifth Act, as opposed to going insane and getting manipulated due to his terminal illness Genesis is healed before he got truly desperate. Events diverge as Genesis never defects and becomes the Hero of Wutai instead of Sephiroth. Wutai surrenders early to regrow their own forces and make their own terms. Sephiroth never goes insane and Angeal betrays them when he suffers from degradation alone.

Frozen

  • It literally takes The Weight Of A Snowflake to save Anna & Elsa's parents from drowning at sea. With the King and Queen still alive, Elsa's life changes drastically for the worse. She rebels against her parents and becomes the villain from the early versions of the script.
  • In Darkness Burning, the king and queen return safely from their voyage instead of dying at sea. As a result, Elsa is never crowned queen and the events of the film don't occur. Anna is sent off into an Arranged Marriage because Elsa's too scared to get married and provide a heir herself. As a result Elsa becomes even more depressed and withdrawn into herself. She ends up attempting suicide, but her parents catch her before she bleeds out. The rest of the fic revolves around her recovering and learning to come out of her shell.

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • Build Your Wings on the Way Down: The nail is Edward keeping the secrets of alchemy that he learned from the Gate by learning the Awful Truth.
    • Since Edward knows what a talking chimera entails and given the impression by Mustang that the military support Shou Tucker's endeavors, he doesn't bother investigating Tucker. Because of this Edward doesn't attract the attention of Basque Grand, but manages to gets to Hughes to intervene and keep it a secret when the worst does happen.
    • Chimera!Nina is housed with the Hughes as opposed with her father when the truth was revealed. This spares her from Scar and allows Ed time to save her.
  • From the Ashes is a fanvid for the 2003 anime where the nail is that Edward didn't transmute Alphonse's soul into armor. Ed goes through altered events compared to canon and some things don't even happen at all.

Gravity Falls

  • GF Serendipity: The divergence point between the fic and the series is that Fiddleford McGucket and Stan Pines chance upon each other and become business partners before Ford would consider asking for the former's help with the portal.
    • Stan and Fiddleford became millionaires and now head one of the biggest companies in America.
    • Ford never tried to ask for Fiddleford's help.
    • Ford traded his hands to the Hand Witch for her help with the portal. It still doesn't work and he now has skeletical hands made of alien metal from the spaceship he found during his research.
    • Ford is so isolated from the rest of Gravity Falls the residents not only don't mistake his twin for him but don't even figure out they're related.
    • Ford still sees Bill Cipher as a muse and never hid the Journals.
    • Stan is so famous the residents of Gravity Falls know of him in spite of not knowing the reclusive scientist who lives there is his twin brother.
    • It's Ford who has a mullet instead of his brother.
    • Ford's dressed like the crazy old man Fiddleford became in canon and also has a beard.
    • Fiddleford decides not to make his memory-erasing gun.
  • Stanswitch is a fanfic where it was Stan who got sucked into the portal instead of Ford and everything that makes this fic different from canon is because of this.
    • Ford's cabin isn't turned into a tourist attraction.
    • Because Ford isn't a gambler like Stan, Gideon doesn't use the false lottery check trick on him.
    • Ford becomes a teacher and a repairman for a living.
    • Ford finds out Wendy is Brilliant, but Lazy and encourages her to show more of it.

Harry Potter

  • In "What If Snape Died", we see a timeline where James fails to save Snape's life. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black were expelled from Hogwarts for the prank. That and James having no time for friends ever since he and Lily started dating resulted in Peter Pettigrew being a loner for the rest of his days as a Hogwarts student. Pettigrew still became a Death Eater but never had a chance to spy on the Light or frame Sirius with anything. After graduation, James, Sirius and Remus had no news from Pettigrew until his death during a raid that took place after James and Lily's marriage. Because nobody overheard the prophecy, Dumbledore decided to keep it to himself out of fear the Potters and/or the Longbottoms might accidentally call Voldemort's attention to it if they knew. Harry grew up with both parents until he was five. Then, while they were out to shop, Voldemort and some Death Eaters showed up. Lily sacrificed herself to save Harry, Voldemort was defeated and Harry became the Boy-Who-Lived. James and Sirius were around to raise Harry despite Dumbledore still wanting him to live with the Dursleys. James said he'd rather kill Harry. In the meantime, Lucius Malfoy killed Frank Longbottom and was forced to spend the rest of his days in Azkaban as punishment; Xeno Lovegood found out Voldemort was a half-blood named Tom Riddle, published it and was killed for that, resulting in Mrs. Lovegood selling the Quibbler and not risking her life in any charms experiments so she'd be around to raise her daughter. Narcissa Malfoy, under the excuse of applying for the Defense teaching position, entered Hogwarts Castle to slip Riddle's diary to Percy. She ended up joining her husband in Azkaban. Sirius Black took custody of Draco Malfoy, who became a non-bigoted Ravenclaw. James became the Defense teacher and Harry used his link to Voldemort to end the curse on the job. James Potter and Alice Longbottom got married and had a daughter named Lily. During Harry's first year as a Hogwarts student, Quirrel took the Astronomy position instead of Defense. By the time he lost his life attempting to steal the Philosopher's stone, Voldemort already had no Horcruxes to keep him alive.
  • A Different Dursley Family, by Lucillia. After getting caught for a prank, Vernon Dursley was expelled from Smeltings and had to go to a comprehensive school, where he learned to be tolerant, making him an Inadequate Inheritor as far as his father was concerned. Without his father's money or connections, he became a mechanic to earn a living. Despite this, he still married Petunia and had a child born in July, 1980. Considering "Dudley" an Unfortunate Name, he insisted his son would instead be named "Ryan". Vernon talked Petunia out of blaming her sister for her parents' deaths by arguing they'd be killed by Death Eaters anyway. Petunia also Works as well.
  • While the basic concept of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is "Everyone is smarter and the Idiot Ball doesn't exist," the missing nail that brings about the most change is that Harry's aunt Petunia reconciled with her sister Lily, and went on to marry a prestigious scientist instead of Vernon Dursley. As a result, Harry has a happy childhood and is a great deal smarter, more cunning, and more cynical than his canon counterpart.
    • That's just the last nail in the coffin of Potter canon. In reality it all started with Voldemort turning Harry into a baby version of himself as an infant, all because of the way souls work in this version of the Harry Potter universe. It's also implied that the canon version of Voldemort went completely insane, unless only the HPMoR version was born a genius.
  • In Harry Potter and the Power of Paranoia Harry doesn't go back to Hogwarts fifth year and puts his identity under a Fidelius Charm in order to hide from Death Eaters and the Ministry. When Hermione forgets his existence as a result and decides Hogwarts is unsafe, she has her parents pull her out of school - but not before mentioning it to gossip queen Lavender Brown. Rumor spreads and eventually Muggleborn and some halfbloods are leaving not just Hogwarts, but Britain itself, in droves. As the author puts it, "The Great British Muggleborn Diaspora began with a simple conversation between two teenage witches."
  • The Trope name is directly referenced in Once a Freak, Always a Freak. During the Triwizard Tournament, Hermione sides with Ron in his jealousy of Harry, spiraling Harry into a severe depression, culminating in him willingly letting the Hungarian Horntail kill him. Oh, but it doesn't stop there, because due to Hermione's actions, all of magic was destroyed by muggles. note 
    For want of a friend, magic was lost.
  • Weasley Girl is an answer to all the "What if Harry Potter had been born a girl" Gender Flip fics out there, by exploring a world in which Ron Weasley was born a girl. Apparently a female Ron ("Veronica" in this universe, nicknamed "Ronnie"), being the first-born Weasley daughter, does not have canon Ron's insecurity issues or his arachnophobia, though she shares his temper and tendency not to think ahead. This causes the plot to steer off-course as early as the Hogwarts Express, when Ronnie drags Harry along to take a look at Lee Jordan's giant tarantula, which results in a couple of characters being introduced quite differently, which again changes Harry's situation in Hogwarts a little and leads to an earlier first confrontation with Voldemort. It pretty much goes from there.
  • A Year Too Soon asks the question: What if Harry somehow went to Hogwarts a year earlier? Because Harry hadn't met Draco yet, he has no prejudice against Slytherin and gets Sorted into the house. While he does face prejudice for being a halfblood, his celebrity status and hard work cause most to treat him at least civilly and by the end of the year, Harry's considered the leader of the younger Slytherins. Furthermore, due to Harry being a Slytherin, Voldemort decides to feel him out for a potential alliance.
  • When in Doubt, Obliviate: When on route to Privet Drive, Sirius Black runs into Gilderoy Lockhart, who opts to be the one to raise Harry instead, and drops off an Obliviated Sirius at St. Mungos. As a result, Sirius never gets framed and sent to Azkaban. Instead he spends his recuperation setting up emergency Portkeys for his friends, which save the Longbottom from getting tortured and driven insane. With actual parents around, Neville grows up with an actual spine. Being a Pureblood, he ends up getting to know Draco Malfoy well during social events, but can stand up to him due to not being a collapsing bundle of anxieties. With a peer of equal social standing who's not a simpering sycophant, Draco Malfoy becomes less of a prat.

How to Train Your Dragon

  • Becoming Lífþrasir diverges from canon simply because Astrid was in a particularly bad mood on the second day of dragon training for various reasons, inspiring her to make a particularly cruel comment to Hiccup that drove him to leave the entire island when Stoick's later actions apparently affirm Astrid's words that his father has always been ashamed of him.
  • Black As Night again sees things change on the second day of dragon training; when Astrid's axe is hit by Nadder fire because she was a fraction too slow to dodge, during her subsequent argument with Hiccup, she swings her axe at his face in exasperation, only for the molten metal of the axe to strike Hiccup in the face and leave him blind.
  • Since the release of the second movie, various fics, such as Night Speed, Nightfall or Wild Hearts look at a world where Hiccup was abducted along with Valka when she was taken by Cloudjumper, commonly resulting in him meeting Toothless ahead of schedule and developing a few dragonesque traits as he grows up.

Jackie Chan Adventures

  • Queen of All Oni diverges at the start of season 4, where, rather than releasing Tarakudo, Daolon Wong's improvised spell instead transforms Jade back into the Queen of the Shadowkhan. After this, the story transpires almost the same as canon (minus Jade as the Big Bad), but with a growing number of differences — Viper, El Toro and Paco have a larger role in events, for starters, and there's a secondary group of MacGuffins that wasn't present on the show.
  • Queen of Shadows diverges at the end of Season 2's Demon Portal arc, where Jade's attempt to stop the Shendu-possessed Jackie from rewriting the Book of Ages damages the book and creates more radical changes than Shendu had planned. As such, Jade finds herself in a reality wherein she's Queen of a Shadowkhan empire conquering Japan.

Kamen Rider Fourze

  • Horseshoes and Hand Grenades starts with Kengo trying to save Gentaro from death (ep. 32). What actually happens? Gentaro was resurrected by a serpent called Ophiuchus who brainwashed him to believe that his friends didn't care that he died. This has caused the Kamen Rider Club to do their best to fight their former friend, brought in seven Kamen Riders and characters from their shows, and many stories detailing Simultaneous Arcs involved with many other secondary characters.

Kantai Collection

  • In Eternity the nail that sets the premise of the fic is that Enterprise managed to damage Yamato during the Kure raid, preventing her from participating in Operation Ten-Go, from there the changes are:
    • Nagato takes Yamato's place as the flagship of Operation Ten-Go, and since the Carrier part of US Navy deemed her not important enough as Yamato to sink, she managed to engage the Task Froce 58 Battleships and actually did quite a showing by severally damaging several ships by herself before being disabled and captured. Knowing that the Japanese would be furious that the enemy kept her as the war thropy instead of sinking her, the Americans used her as a kamikaze bait with the orders for her sole "escort", William D. Porter, to let the suicide bombers do as they wished. Despite these orders, Willie Dee's captain ordered the crew to shoot them down, which they did. Later they both sink during Operation Crossroads' atomic bomb tests.
    • Despite attempts to scuttle her, the Americans managed to capture Yamato. General MacArthur personally arrived to inspect her and was captived by her. She took Nagato's place in Tokyo Bay for Japan's signing of surrender, and after that MacArthur used his influence to essentially make her a part of US Navy, with her first combat action, both as a ship and as US ship, was during the Korean War shelling North Koreans.
    • In 1957, finding no support in securing Enterprise' retirement as a museum ship, Halsey contacts MacArthur with a deal: He will help the General in convincing the Government to keep Yamato on the more permanent basis, and in return the General will help him convincing the Japanese, who were looking to strengthen their nascent Maritime Self-Defense Force against the communist threat, to buy Enterprise. They agreed and succeeded, with Yamato becoming USS Montana, serving in US Navy until the 70s, and Enterprise becoming Yonaga (Long Night) and serving Japan, with Halsey as an advisor until his death in 60s, well until the 2000s, earning her titual nickname Eien (Eternity).

Katekyō Hitman Reborn!

  • Vigilante Tendency: Tsuna decides to take his idiot father's advice for once and thus tries to protect his crush Kyoko from some bullies. This leads to him starting a vigilante group in Namimori (much like his ancestor Vongola Primo) and befriending several of his allies and all of his Guardians earlier, along with destroying any sense of normalcy in his life and whatever was left of his sanity. And this was before the Vongola got involved.

Kill la Kill

  • A Minor Miscalculation opens with the premise that Nui Harime accidentally kills Mako's parents instead of Ryuko's father, and examines the impact this has on the events of the normal story.

Kung Fu Panda

  • The Vow: Shortly before Lord Shen undergoes his Start of Darkness, he gains as a lover a swan noble named Lady Lianne whom he nearly marries before his exile and whom he takes prisoner during the events of the second movie. Eventually, Shen marries Lianne yet sets her free out of love. This drives Shen into a state of depression so severe that when it's time to set sail for his conquest, he doesn't even gloat to the imprisoned Furious Five. He's then attacked by Jade, a dhole spy who's come to love Zhan the Wolf Boss. Her rant about Shen's willingness to bring everyone, including his loyal friend Zhan, down with him causes the peacock to knock Zhan unconscious and order him to be taken to the southern forests with the majority of his wolf pack. This way they're not around to die in Shen's final confrontation with Po (or for the Wolf Boss to be killed by Shen himself).
    • Shen himself survives from being crushed under a cannon because the deck under him collapses and he falls into the river. However, only a select few learn of his survival, and Lianne forces him to live as her secret prisoner so that they can raise together their son Zian who shall inherit Gongmen City once he's old enough.

The Legend of Korra

  • Unstable Equilibrium starts with Asami's father Hiroshi, not her mother Yasuko, being murdered a decade ago. This ends up leading Asami, not her father, into siding with the Equalist movement.

Life Is Strange

  • What If's? is a fanfic taking place in the alternate San Fransisco timeline, in which Max and Chloe got together after breaking into the swimming pool, and Max anticipated the tornado hitting Arcadia Bay despite her bringing down Jefferson. Rather than look for a way to prevent it, Max warns Chloe and her friends about it so that they can protect themselves and pass the warning along to the rest of the town. Arcadia Bay is devastated by the tornado, but ultimately survives and recovers, with Max, Chloe and all the survivors continuing to reside there, and the game's last Sadistic Choice is averted; while Chloe and Max deduce that Max saving Chloe in the bathroom was the cause of it, they don't consider sacrificing Chloe to prevent it. Max is confirmed to have lost her time powers a year after she and Chloe became a couple.

The Lord of the Rings

  • In Sent Home Tied Up in a Sack, Elrond sends Pippin home from Rivendell. The results - The Bad Guy Wins Downer Ending (specifically, because Pippin wasn't around to cause Gandalf's death, he never became Gandalf the White, so he was unable to free Theoden from Saruman's power, or defeat Saruman himself later on; Wormtail is able to RAPE Eowyn, impregnating her and forcing her to miss the final battle, because Gandalf doesn't have the power to expose him; Faramir dies because Pippin isn't there to save him; and Pippin himself becomes a soldier of Sauron, who is able to reclaim the Ring). Nice Job Breaking It, Elrond.

Love Hina

Lyrical Nanoha

  • Game Theory: The central premise is that Precia Testarossa is a little saner than she was in canon, and consequentially knows that being an outright Abusive Parent is a really bad way of controlling Fate. The result is that canon gets turned on it's ear, and Butterflies Of Doom spread even more changes.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • What If asks the question of "What would happen if people in the MCU actually communicated with each other?" Loki's relationship with his family is much improved by Odin explaining why he adopted a frost giant baby, including admitting that few of his many reasons were noble. Project Insight is stopped by the entirety of the Avengers, which also means Black Widow doesn't dump all of SHIELDs files online and because Steve Rogers hasn't puzzled out that the Winter Soldier killed the Starks, he lets Tony know HYDRA had them assassinated. The Civil War is shaping up to never happen since Tony brought up the idea of working with the United Nations to Steve and warned him about Ross's greed when it comes to Enhanced like Steve, while Rhodey sat down and explained to Steve what exactly the United Nations is when the latter unthinkingly compares it to SHIELD.

Masters of the Universe

  • Forever He Man has its inspiration in a He-Man episode where he almost has his sword destroyed. In the story, Orko not being able to catch the sword in time locks Adam in He-Man form for life.

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

Mob Psycho 100

  • A Breach of Trust: This is a world in which Mob and Reigen's paths have never crossed, in which 10-year-old Mob found psychic guidance in the form of the aging, retired tv personality Keiji Mogami, in which Reigen followed through on his plans to close the Spirits and Such Agency, in which a cruel twist of Mob's powers forces him to confront how dangerous he really is.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Split Second, this is one of the defining tropes. The story follows Twilight, a White Mage, andnote  Sparkle, a Black Mage.
  • In Rainbooms and Royalty, the central conceit is that Princess Celestia was in Cloudsdale rather than Canterlot when the Mane Cast earned their cutie marks, and took Rainbow Dash as her student rather than Twilight Sparkle, despite knowing that the Pegasus was more inclined to athletics rather than academics.
  • The oneshot Tyrant shows what happens when Twilight Sparkle chooses to NOT give up her alicorn powers to Tirek to save her friends.
  • A Minor Variation is another story that changes the events of the Sonic Rainboom, in this case by having rainbow dash literally lose a shoe for want of a nail. It diverges a LOT harder than Rainbooms and Royalty.
  • In the past of RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse, Celestia went evil instead of Luna. Everything changes because of it.
    • And in The Cadanceverse both of them went evil, forcing Cadance to seal both away, leading the Elements of Harmony to go to a group of musicians instead. (Oddly, Fluttershy is still an element, albeit of Generosity rather than Kindness.)
  • Make a Wish has Scootaloo dealing with the implications of this when her wish to be Rainbow Dash's sister comes true, rewriting history. Her first concern is her own parents who, while they had been happy enough in the original timeline, appeared to be better off in a world where Scootaloo's birth didn't force them to marry each other. The flip side of this was Rainbow Dash's relationship with her family, which appeared to develop problems precisely because of Scootaloo's presence. Though this is somewhat subverted with her father, who characters say would likely be how he was regardless.
  • The entire story of The Path of Absolution - Punishment hinges on Diamond Tiara taking the time to read the letter that the Cutie Mark Crusaders wrote, leading to her not publishing it and causing a whole bunch of drama to follow, starting with the suicides of the CMC and ultimately going for more darker stuff.
  • The Manehattanverse got kicked off by the Elements of Harmony being moved from the ruins of the castle to the Manehattan museum of supernatural history several months before the effective first ep. As a result Twilight Sparkle is sent there instead of ponyville and meets a different cast.
  • In the Stallions Of Harmony Verse Twilight Sparkle already has friends (Sunset Shimmer and Moondancer), so she wasn't sent to Ponyville. Instead, Prince Blueblood was, along with Shining Armor acting as his bodyguard. They, along with four other stallions, become the Elements of Harmony.
  • In Parting Words and its sequel The Great Alicorn Hunt, history diverges rather dramatically when Twilight Sparkle finally gets sick of Celestia's Trickster Mentor ways and quits being her student. For starters, Sombra gets his flank kicked in less than five minutes, and when Twilight receives Starswirl the Bearded's last spell, she has enough self-confidence and stability that she gets it right the first time, and all six of the main cast ascend...
  • Nav often plays the role of a nail in Diaries of a Madman when canon plots from Friendship is Magic crop up. Most notably, A Canterlot Wedding ends very differently due to his presence.
  • In TD the Alicorn Princess, Twilight ends up being knocked out by one of Rarity's out of control storms. As a result, TD ends up taking her place, and events wildly diverge from the canon episode.
  • The Pony POV Series began with the alternate timeline Dark World where Discord won and turned the Mane Six into his brainwashed Co-Dragons before showing the primary timeline where he lost. The nail between the two timelines? Shining Armor.
    • While there are minor deviations between the POV Series and the main timeline, the big diversion comes from Discord having a Psychic Link with Diamond Tiara (his multiple times great niece) he uses to manipulate her into freeing him for round two.
    • The Wedding Arc has one big one: Queen Chrysalis is a Peggy Sue due to the actions of previous Big Bad General Admiral Makarov.
  • The Witch of the Everfree starts with Sunset Shimmer staying in Equestria instead of going through the mirror, due to having a panic attack right after Celestia throws her out, which prevents her from overpowering the guards escorting her out of the castle.
  • The The Freeport Venture series removes the mirror as the catalyst for Sunset Shimmer's fall, replacing it with jealously over Cadence's ascension that results her attacking the Princess of Love. Additionally, Celestia reluctantly allows Sunset to leave her tutelage after a long discussion, rather than Sunset running away in a fix of rage. As such, Sunset ends up in the titular Wretched Hive of Freeport. In an interest variation, this series does imply that everything in the show's canon still happened in an alternate timeline... by way of another For Want of A Nail story that takes place in the Sombra timeline that was seen in the season five finale, with that timeline also doubling as an alternate future.
  • In Loved And Lost, an extended retelling of the 2nd season finale, Twilight herself stops the Changeling army by using on all of them a shrinking spell Prince Jeweliusnote  showed her before Cadance and Shining Armor get a chance to blast the Changelings out of Equestria. Jewelius then holds all the other heroes than Twilight responsible for the invasion, turning the entire city of Canterlot against them. He removes the princesses from power and exiles them from Equestria along with Shining Armor and Twilight's friends while he takes the throne for himself. The outcasts then try to reunite with Twilight and earn back their lives while Jeweliusnote  tries to keep their public image tarnished.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles: The events from the tv show and movies are retold with Flash Sentry now playing a main role.
    • Wonderbolt Academy is retold with Soarin being present at the academy.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • In Fox Rain Lila happens to stumble on Master Fu and impress him into giving her the Fox Miraculous while she's going to the Italian embassy in the aftermath of "Volpina", triggering a number of changes. So far she's slowing becoming nicer rather than crueler as in canon, and has accidentally made Gabriel stop suspecting his son is Chat Noir while allowing Master Fu to keep the Miraculous Book long enough to copy it whole.

My Hero Academia

  • Juxtapose: A major theme in the fic, as per Word of God, is the divergence from canon events due to small changes butterflying into major effects. Several of these changes include:
    • The USJ Attack never happening because of how Kensei's kidnapping was prevented, something that was greatly implied to have happened in canon and a crucial part of what led to the Attack happening in the first place. This then leads to...
    • The Sports Festival's second stage changing due to the availability of a higher budget combined with forewarning of the increasing Villain threat.
Naruto
  • An exam proctor getting food poisoning and getting replaced in the last minute results in Naruto becoming a ninja two years early in the First Try Series.
  • Name checked and discussed in the opening paragraph of Escape From The Hokage's Hat when Naruto shifts his aim ever so slightly:
    It is often said that for want of a nail, the battle was lost. While overly simplistic, this particular nugget of truth was surprisingly accurate.
  • In Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja, at the point in canon where Haku "killed" Sasuke during the battle on the bridge, he actually did kill him. The resulting plot extrapolations actually follow the original spirit of the trope rather closely as as a result of Team 7 not entering the Chuunin Exam (and actually being away from Konoha during the finals as a result) the Sand/Sound invasion is not the Epic Fail it was in canon and Orochimaru successfully destroys Konoha!note 
  • In Catch Your Breath, where Kei's, a Self-Insert OC, simple existance and the ripple effect it brings, changes canon Naruto a lot. Whooo boy:
    • Due to a paralytic poison, Kei gets taken by Mist shinobi instead of Rin (who was the harder target then) and becomes the host of the Three-Tailed Beast. She planned for this eventuality in a way.
      • Rin not dying prevents Obito's Face–Heel Turn.
      • Obito not going insane and rejecting reality, in turn, means that there is no Mangekyo Sharingan to take control of the Kyuubi and set him upon Konoha (with the exception of Madara himself - who is connected to the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path and thus has a very limited range of movement.)
    • Kei's simple act of sharing her "foreknowledge" with her team, plus Jiraiya and Kushina, results in massive changes to the Naruto plotline:
      • Jiraiya goes to find Tsunade and together they save Yahiko - averting Nagato's transformation into Pain.
      • Tsunade returns to the village twelve years earlier than in canon, and later decides to stay.
      • Nagato comes to Konoha's aid, thanks to Jiraiya and Tsunade coming to Akatsuki's rescue after the Ripple Arc.
      • Kushina and Minato survive Naruto's birth.
      • Kei sharing the knowledge with Isobu, trying to befriend him, and nudging Kushina (who had already started to doubt her preconcieved bias against bijuu due to Kei's abovementioned spilling of the beans) to be more cordial to Kurama later results in Yang Kurama not rampaging all over Konoha.
      • And this twist of fate, in turn, results in Iruka's parents not getting killed.
      • Minato has Obito steal Sasori's files from Suna, likely to better prepare for the possibility of something like the canon Akatsuki being created.
      • And many, many more offscreen and unseen changes.
    • Due to having access to Kei's memories (and fuuinjutsu knowledge), Isobu tells Shukaku how to strengthen Gaara's seal from the inside. As a result Minato strengthens it from the outside. Neither of which happened in canon.
  • The whole point of The Tale Of Nagato Uzumaki, whos premise is "What would have happened if Nagato, Yahiko and Konan decided to follow Jiraiya to Konoha? Well, so far:
    • The most obvious ones, Nagato does not become Pain, Yahiko doesn't die, and their version of Akatsuki as an organization dedicated to create peace remains uncorrupted.
    • Nagato, Yahiko and Konan takes part in the Third Shinobi World War, which causes Team Minato to get a different mission from blowing up Kanabi Bridge, and Kakashi, Obito, and Rin managed to survive.
      • Thanks to Obito surviving, he and Kakashi managed to stop Rin from trying to kill herself when she was made the jinchuuriki of the Three-Tails, and got Jiraiya to create a seal stopping the bijuu from escaping.
      • Since Rin surives, Obito doesn't pull a Face–Heel Turn, but Shishui Uchiha takes his place.
      • After the Kyubi's attack and Minato and Kushina's death, Nagato is made the Fifth Hokage, and becomes Naruto's guardian.
    • Yahiko stops the Kumo Head Ninja who just kidnapped Hinata before Hiashi can kill him, preventing the resulting incident and sparing Hizashi's life, which causes Neji not to grow up hating and resenting the Main House. However, this also sours Konoha's relationship with Kumo, since it was a ruse to get the Byakugan regarding the outcome.
    • Nagato forcefully disbands Root and kills Danzo, ensuring that the Uchiha Massacre never happens.
      • And thus, Itachi never joins Akatsuki and stays in Konoha. Naturally, Sasuke's not an avenger, and his dream is merely stepping out of his brother's shadow.
      • Since Itachi never joins Akatsuki (renamed Moon's Eye here), Zabuza ends up taking his place.
    • Nagato's own ideas of how the new genin teams should be causes Naruto to end up with Hinata and Shikamaru as his teammates instead of Sasuke and Sakura.
    • As well as many other changes.
  • In Son of the Sannin, the nail is the Sannin couple raising Naruto and being around Konoha as he grows up. Among the events changed are as follows:
    • Jiraiya manages to solve the Hyuga affair, saving Hizashi from having to sacrifice himself and warning Kumo not to try and pull something like this again.
    • Upon learning that the Kazekage’s son is a jinchuriki, Jiraiya visits Suna as an ambassador and offers to perform a seal on Gaara so he can control his tailed beast better. This also results in Naruto befriending the Sand Siblings earlier than in canon, and Gaara not growing to be Ax-Crazy.
    • When Itachi and Shisui’s attempts to defuse the tensions with the Uchiha Clan fail, they pull off their coup and attack Konoha. Among the victims are Hiashi Hyuga and Inoichi Yamanaka, and Hiruzen Sarutobi is injured to the point he can’t continue as Hokage, passing on the title to Jiraiya.
    • The above leads to the standards in the academy to be increased for the graduates, so the genin become more proficient to face future threats.
    • Several of the genin teams are reorganized different from canon:
      • Naruto, Hinata and Haku under Kurenai.
      • Kiba, Shino and Tamaki under Kakashi.
      • Sasuke, Sakura and Karin under Shizune.
    • Mizuki successfully steals the Scroll of Seals and delivers it to Orochimaru.
  • Team 8: The premise of the Fan Fic is that Kurenai takes on Naruto as her student instead of Kiba, but according to the author, the original nail in question is actually some unspecified event in Kurenai's backstory that led to the deaths of her old teammates, a recon-oriented team. Consequently, when she is offered a chance to form a new recon team, she decides to scout the class rather than simply take the students based on written reports.
  • One Eye Full Of Wisdom: An event in the past has made a few people have very different mindsets than from canon, most notably Kakashi. He is far more emotionally stable, and that manifests in being a much better teacher because he actually has the social skills necessary to turn the time-bomb that is Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke together into an actual team.
    • Chapter 41 reveals the (probable) point of divergence: Kakashi didn't manage to track down Rin after she was kidnapped and made into an unstable jinchuuriki, thus sparing him the trauma of her Suicide by Cop (that honor instead going to a passing Orochimaru). The guilt from her disappearance remained, but he survived and recovered in a way his canon self wasn't able to.
  • The Somewhat Cracked Mind Of Uchiha Itachi: The initial and primary nail is that Itachi meets Kisame right after he defects Kiri and convinces him to join Konoha. Sarutobi uses this incident to imply that he sees Itachi as a potential successor (despite Itachi himself having no personal interest), which prevents the coup from getting off the ground. This later leads to an inter-clan civil war years later when Naruto, who was Itachi's student, is noted to be Sarutobi's preferred successor. Apparently, the Uchiha Elders didn't want second best with an Uchiha teaching a future Hokage rather than being a future Hokage, as Fugaku lampshades.
    • This leads to the second major nail: since the Uchiha Clan Massacre never happened, Itachi never leaves Konoha and is significantly more light-hearted, if rather... odd. One day, he gets it into his head that he should start a summer camp for kids at the Academy, and everything spirals downward from there.
      • Sakura and Ino break out of their fangirl mindset much earlier than they did in canon because the summer camp allowed to see Sasuke as a person, causing neither of them to develop genuine romantic feelings for him along with retaining their close friendship.
      • The Konoha 12 in general forms much earlier than it did in canon because all the kids ended up meeting and befriending one another while at summer camp.
      • Thanks to some intervention at the hands of Naruto, Kisame, and Iruka, Mizuki never makes a Face–Heel Turn. He then effectively adopts Naruto with his best friend, Iruka.
      • Since Mizuki never made a Face–Heel Turn, he has no problem helping Iruka out by looking over some old files and deciding to look into an old classmate, leading to them accidentally making said classmate, Kabuto, paranoid in thinking his cover was blown, leading to Naruto and Sasuke finding out about the Kyuubi at age nine while Kabuto flees Konoha.
      • Since Itachi never killed the clan, Sasuke doesn't have an obsession with power. As a result, he ends up becoming Team 7's medic-nin instead of Sakura after Tsubaki impressed him with her demonstration during career day.
      • The Uchiha Clan's presence causes Orochimaru to spare Rasa, the Fourth Kazekage, as he needed another Kage-level shinobi to help even the playing field. This backfires on him, as Rasa hires the Akatsuki to aid in the Invasion with the promise of Gaara as payment. Both members, Sasori and Kakuzu, despise him too much to let him go, forcing his battle with Itachi into a Mêlée à Trois.
      • Itachi's continued presence in Konoha also delays Deidara's defection from Iwa, as they formed a rivalry thanks to a number of border patrol clashes, which resulted in Deidara bonding with Onoki over their shared hatred of Uchihas. When Deidara does decide to defect, Akatsuki sends Hidan to recruit him, which is (unsurprisingly) unsuccessful and sparks a fight. During said fight, Onoki shows up and reveals he can blow stuff up even better than Deidara can thanks to his Dust Release, which Deidara is so impressed by that he decides to stay in Iwa.
  • In Whirlpools Among The Eddies, Naruto being the one who saved Karin instead of Sasuke and finding out that he has family leads to the two spending the month between the Chuunin Exam preliminaries and finals getting to know one another, leading to discovering more about the Uzumaki Clan and the Mask Storage temple.
    • Karin's presence also encourages the Third Hokage and Jiraiya to tell Naruto about his Mother, which leads to him deciding to train harder and so he ends up being promoted to Chuunin after the Invasion fails.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A Crown of Stars: Discussed. On several occasions Shinji and Asuka talk with Daniel, Rayana or Ching about other alternate worlds, and their hosts tell them about other timelines where their counterparts made different decissions which changed their lives completely.
  • Advice and Trust: The premise of the story matches up exactly with Eva canon until during the kiss Asuka gives Shinji—he holds her back to stay upright (because he can't breathe and Asuka is holding his nose shut), which she interprets as the vital reassurance she was hoping for that he liked her, as well. Things tumble along from there...to say the least.
  • The Child of Love: The nail was Asuka having an one-night stand with Shinji due to Gendo messing up with her hormones and getting pregnant. From that point events start diverging from canon considerably.
  • HERZ: The divergence starts out during the battle between Asuka and the MP-Evas. Rei felt Shinji's distress so she flew to help him instead of starting off Instrumentality. She broke the bakelyte blocking the access to the entry plug and both hurried to help Asuka. Meanwhile GEIST used a super-computer to disable five MP-Evas, making impossible the Ceremony. Shinji fought the remainder functional Evas and managed to win.
  • Higher Learning: The nail is Shinji, Asuka and Rei getting a new teacher (actually a time traveller). Their lessons teach them to look things from a different perspective and open their minds to new possibilities. Thanks to it the three kids become somewhat saner and more stable and eventually Shinji helps everyone to reject Instrumentality.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, the point of divergence happens after episode 24: Gendo manages through political maneuvering to avert SEELE's attack for a time.
  • Nobody Dies: The nail is Yui aborting the Contact Experiment, and banning them altogether, which sees the survival of Kyoko, as well. From there, things change further, with Shinji being much better-adjusted, Asuka being a stuttering wreck who was (unintentionally) abused by her mother while she heaped praise on her older brother (who effectively gained the personality of Canon!Asuka), and Rei became...well, think of it this way: what would happen if she was raised by Haruhi Suzumiya instead of being a clone of Yui? The answer: antics that would make Fegelein smile.
  • The One I Love Is: The nail is Rei watching and feeling several Shinji's memories during a synch test in Unit 01 and realizing she likes him but he is falling for Asuka. Rei decides she will not let Asuka have him, and subsequently she gives Shinji a chocolate box in Valentine’s Day. That action unleashes a succession of changes alter the relationships between the main characters profoundly and eventually lead to avert the end of the world.
  • Neon Metathesis Evangelion: The nail is the Angels arriving in a different order. So far, Touji is an actual pilot due to his unit surviving becoming Bardiel, Kaworu arriving earlier and becoming the pilot of Unit-04, Shinji, Rei, and Asuka becoming a couple, and considerable more friction developing between the pilots and the command staff.

Once Upon a Time

  • Mr and Mrs Gold: With Belle’s new characterization and influence on the story, changes are inevitable.
    • Henry gets confirmation that his theory that the book is true is brought in early when Rose (who gave him the book) accidentally slips that she is awake and aware of everything.
    • Mr. Gold concedes to Regina that he does in-fact remember long before he was meant to in-canon.
    • August decides to try and trick Rose into giving him the dagger instead of Mr. Gold. It still does not end well.
  • Freeze On The Stones: The premise is that Regina managed to elope to Daniel, causing Cora to marry King Leopold instead. As a result, Cora cast the Dark Curse instead of Regina and Storybrooke changes to fit Cora's more twisted personality.

One Piece

  • This Bites!:
    • Quoting this very trope, in fact. Back on Little Garden, the Unluckies were chasing Cross. Because of that, they didn't interrupt Sanji's conversation with Mr. 0. Because of that, Crocodile never had a reason to doubt Mr. 3's loyalty. Because of that, Mr. 3 got a chance to explain himself. Because of that, Mr. 3 is assigned to literally white-washing Rainbase with his powers. Because of that, countless Marines and civilians end up dead, the Straw Hats end up with no way out of Crocodile's cage, and Cross ends up in an Enemy Mine with Tashigi.
    • Because Cross told Smoker that they were helping Alabasta's "heir apparent", Smoker passed this information to his superiors, which went all the way to the top. And as a result of the pettiness of the World Nobles, Vivi was declared an associate of the Straw-Hat Pirates, and hence, a pirate herself, something no royal status can protect her from. Thus, the only course of action is for her to join the Straw-Hats full-time.
    • Because Cross and his group completely curb-stomped Satori, they proceeded on before Wiper had organized the Shandians to attack Eneru's territory. Because of this, Eneru's other priests were unoccupied at the moment, which means Ohm, the deadliest of the priests, is fully free to intercept them.
    • Luffy being pincushioned by Baron Omatsuri's Rain of Arrows, and it being broadcast on the SBS worldwide, including to the Revolutionaries, restores Sabo's memory of his adopted brothers way earlier than in canon.
    • Because Kokoro heard Yokozuna speaking (thanks to Soundbite), she got more drunk than usual. Because of this, hearing Merry's love for her crew hit her harder than usual, so she came up with a plan to get Tom's two apprentices to help the Straw Hats with their ship problem. Because of this, Franky and Iceburg met with the Straw Hats earlier than Cross expected, and Kokoro told them, as Tom's apprentices, to build a ship worthy of the Pirate King's successor... within earshot of the CP9 agents that were looking for Tom's apprentices, who were known to have the Pluton blueprints in their possession.
    • Thanks to the SBS, Lucci and Jabra find out about Luffy's Determinator status and fighting prowess long before they actually meet. When the assault on Enies Lobby comes, determined to get a good fight without Lucci getting in the way, Jabra is the one that ends up fighting Luffy on the roof, after taking out Blueno.

Persona 5

  • Two major events in the past change events in The Evil Queen.
    • Makoto is able to learn from Shiho about Kamoshida's true nature and takes proactive steps to expose him early on and have him removed from the Academy. This removes Kamoshida as the Starter Villain but now Makoto is the one ruling the school as a tyrant with a Palace of her own.
    • Rather than attack and imprison Igor from the beginning, Yaldabaoth openly challenges Igor to his game to determine humanity's fate. When he tries to recruit Akechi to play his part, Akechi rebels and attacks Yaldabaoth, which leads to his failure and destruction at Igor's hands when he tries then to overpower him.

Pokémon

  • In Sylvia the Sylveon, Bolt, one of Sylvia's brothers, is caught by a trainer in front of Sylvia, who is unsuccessful in saving him. When Sylvia reunites with Bolt, we find out that he was treated well by his trainer, has become much nicer as a result, and was released so he could start a family.
  • A New Chance Series diverges from Pokemon canon after the fifth movie when Ash, through a soul bonding technique, is able to save the Latios he befriended. Out of gratitude and a desire for adventure, he and his sister Latias end up joining him on his journey, while Ash gains the ability to speak with Pokemon. Other changes include:
    • Ash arrives too late to Mount Silver to save Larvitar's mother from the poachers that stole him, so Larvitar becomes Ash's official Pokemon.
    • Ash places fourth in the Johto League
    • Bianca goes from a one movie character to a recurring character in the first story, and later becomes Ash's traveling companion in Hoenn in the second story.
    • Pidgeot returns to Ash after being reminded of his promise by Pikachu, and goes with him to Hoenn.
    • Team Rocket are robbed by Rico, only this time they lose Arbok, Weezing and Meowth. Ash and his Pokemon are able to rescue them, which among other things, convinces Team Rocket to give up stealing Pokemon
  • For the Mission deviates from canon in Explorers of Sky by letting the human keep his memories after being transformed into a Pikachu.
    • This means that he is aware of his mission to prevent the planet's paralysis even though he gets separated from Grovyle and the partner, Martha still persuades him to form an exploration team with her.
    • The human adopts an alias, Ian (his real name is Nate), and claims to be a Pokemon with amnesia instead of a human.
    • After their first exploration, he doesn't reveal that Wigglytuff had already been there. Also, he has their first recruit excavate two small crystals before the trap at the end of the dungeon washes them out.
    • Team Skull is caught in the act of eating all of the Perfect Apples after "Ian" stays up at night and hides to spy on them and reports it to Chatot. Suitably enraged, Team Skull plans to get revenge on Ian's team and follow them into Apple Woods to make them fail their mission. But that's what he wanted all along. The end result is the trio getting banned from the guild.
    • Above all else, Nate knows that after all is said and done, he will disappear.
  • Common Sense involves Team Rocket retaining the level of competence they had in the beginning of the series and, as the name implies, some common sense for their plans.
    • After their first loss, Jessie and James each catch a Pokemon to boost their ranks. As a result, Team Rocket nearly succeeds at stealing Pikachu in Viridian Forest by defeating Ash and Samurai's Pokemon (Misty got hers stolen by James before she could call any out). Only Ash having Pidgeotto use Sand-Attack to cover their fleeing stopped them.
    • Because of their pragmatic approach, Team Rocket's notable victories include catching a hive of twenty Beedrill, stealing the Moon Stone, stealing a majority of Pokemon Tech's Pokemon, and kidnapping the Squirtle Squad along with forcing them to join Team Rocket.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, as the result of the creation of the new timeline, has plenty:
    • The main and biggest one is the appearance of Bloodliners, which many canon characters became.
    • There is a Culture Clash between Trainer regions and Ranger regions, resulting in wars between the two ways of life, where it seemed both sides were at peace with each other in the original timeline.
    • Since the S.S. Anne does not sink and safely arrives to its destination, Ash's travelling route changes, and so does the order he challenges the Gyms after Vermillion: instead of going to Saffron City, he goes first to Celadon City and then to Fuchsia City for the next one. In the latter case, he fights against Janine instead of Koga.
    • Ash makes a point of legitimately earning his Kanto Gym Badges, recalling how more or less half of them were more reward than actual victories in the original timeline. So far, he has done this with the Boulder, Cascade and Rainbow Badges.
    • Ash and Misty have caught several of their Pokémon at different locations and points in time (in Ash's case, even from regions outside Kanto), in addition to new ones they didn't have in the original timeline.
  • Traveler diverges when Ash's mother wakes him up earlier than canon, allowing him to arrive at Professor Oak's with the other three prospective trainers. While Ash still doesn't get one of the starters, his first Pokemon is a male Nidoran instead of Pikachu.
    • Because Ash wasn't late, he ends up traveling with the other rookies (minus Gary) and meets a Pokemon Master named Michael shortly before arriving at Viridian City.
    • Meeting Michael inspires Ash to work harder and really devote himself to training his Pokemon.
    • Ash's seriousness leads him catching far fewer Pokemon (by the time of the Indigo League, Ash only has 10 Pokemon, one of whom can't battle and another is too young for the league) and training much harder with them instead of leaving most at Oak's lab to do their own thing.
    • Because of Ash's more serious training, he ends up coming in second place at the league and becomes an Elite Four trainee.

Ranma ½

  • Heated Storm Yields a Wild Horse's Heart diverges from canon with Ranma and Genma arriving at the Tendo dojo in their natural forms rather than their cursed ones. As a result, Ranma makes a better first impression on Nabiki and becomes engaged to her instead. Since Ranma isn't engaged to Akane, his first fight against Kuno occurs under different circumstances and Kuno learns of Ranma's curse before becoming smitten with "Ranko" and accepts the truth of the situation.
  • In Happenstance Gone Right, the Lady-killer Band-Aid incident ends with Ukyo and Shampoo successfully getting Ranma to sign marriage licenses to each of them. Besides nullifying Ranma's engagement to Akane, it also leads to him having a more stable romantic relationship with each who no longer fight over him since they've "already won".

RWBY

  • Professor Arc has Jaune becoming a member Beacon's teaching staff instead of Beacon's student body and his absence as a student has major repercussions on his friends and team.
    • Ruby and Pyrrha, for instance, felt lonely and left out as they never became close friends with Jaune Arc, so Professor Arc offered the idea of both girls forming a friendship which solves their loneliness. As for their feelings toward the professor himself, these are entirely exchanged due to his different status. Pyrrha remains professional at first but eventually befriends him while Ruby develops a crush on him as soon as they meet.
    • Others are not so lucky. Sun doesn't become a Love Interest for Blake because Professor Arc's significant role during the fallout of the reveal of her former involvement with the White Fang incidentally kept Sun from ever making much of an impression on the girl.
    • Similarly, Neptune greatly disappointed Weiss after pretty much ditching her once he realized that Beacon's High-School Dance involved actual dancing. Without Jaune Arc there to convince him to simply come clean to her as of the real reason, Neptune never redeemed himself and Weiss decided that he wasn't worth her time.
    • Former Team JNPR had it the worst because without Jaune's leadership and his knack to give Pyrrha, Ren and Nora a sense of belonging, plus their new member's compete refusal to see them as teammates, the new "Team" RVNN can be called such in name only.
  • In Of Crystal Shards and Dust, Remnant's entire history is rewritten when the Kingdom of Lucis leaves their previous homeworld of Eos, as King Regis opted to defy the fate prophecized for himself, his then-unborn son Noctis and their world by leaving it. The fic has currently covered an original prologue arc detailing Lucis' earliest interactions with their new neighbors in addition to a revised version of Volume 1, and here's what changed in those 16 chapters alone:
    • Regis is able to broker an arrangement with the people of Menagerie by accepting the Faunus into their borders, thus negating some of the early discrimination they feel. The Faunus have shown their gratitude to him, with most story-important characters like Ghira, Adam and Blake becoming Kingsglaive associates, if not Glaives themselves. That said, the White Fang still exist, but their turn to extremism does not occur as quickly as it did originally.
    • Team STQR, Ozpin and James Ironwood are the first Remnant representatives to visit Lucis and thus forge the strongest bonds with them. The students become friends with some of the younger Glaives which in turn makes them important associates to the Lucian government. One of Qrow's visits to Insomnia had him take along Ruby and Yang, where they accidentally meet Noctis, Prompto and Lunafreya; this makes all five of them Childhood Friends, during which Yang's unrequited feelings for Noct begin.
    • Jaune becomes the apprentice of Kingsglaive commander Titus Drautos, and becomes a much more competent fighter despite retaining his clumsy attitude. As his prowess now allows him to overpower Cardin when he was the victim on the show, Ruby becomes Cardin's newest target instead when he mocks how she got into Beacon by pure luck, sending her into a Heroic BSoD; here, her defeat of Torchwick at the beginning of Volume 1 just so happened to be caught on camera, and Ruby becomes a very minor celebrity, which only fuels her insecurity further when she wants to be treated normally.
    • Ruby and Weiss' initial rocky relationship does not come to pass; when the former is left behind by Yang during their first day, she is instead caught by Gladio, leading to her reunion with Noct and Prompto. Their first meeting instead takes place during the initiation test, after Weiss is acquainted with Ignis. As Ruby does not make a horrible first impression, Weiss is much more cordial, and becomes more emotionally supportive of her due to Cardin's bullying taking its toll.
    • Weiss' grudge against the White Fang is justified here as having lost a relative to them when a splinter group became militant - a twin brother named Blanc she never had in the original canon. As Blake was mainly associated with the Kingsglaive here and only just recently learned of the Fang's wrongdoings, she doesn't try to plead on their behalf and tries to be more understanding of Weiss' situation, but the latter's strong feelings lead to the same awkward spell between them.
    • Because of the above point, Blake doesn't attempt to run away from her friends and thus, she doesn't formally meet Sun just yet. Her original cafe date is revised to include the rest of Team RWBY after Yang forces the two of them to make up through "therapy shopping", where they run into Penny and Gawain, an OC character from Atlas who Ruby takes a liking to. It is Gawain who inspires her to investigate the White Fang at the docks, but the proposal is met with hostility from the others, especially Weiss, who comes close to nearly coming to blows with her for using her brother's name. However, the more high-profile nature of the dock heist ends up dragging them and the Lucians in to save the day, which does end with Weiss and Blake making amends and much more understanding of each other's situation.

Saki

  • Two doujins by the same author, Kazekoshi Buchou Monogatari, and Kiyosumi Captain Monogatari, take a look at what would have happened if Hisa, president of Kiyosumi's student congress and mahjong club had attended Kazekoshi, and if Mihoko, captain of Kazekoshi's mahjong club, had attended Kiyosumi, respectively. While in canon, it's implied that Hisa could not afford to go to Kazekoshi, resulting in Mihoko not being able to see her again for three years, the latter doujin has Mihoko tell Yuuki and the viewer what happened that resulted in her going to Kiyosumi. The former doesn't go into why Hisa is attending Kazekoshi, but implies that the circumstances that resulted in her dropping out of the tournament where she first met Mihoko, and changing her surname from "Ueno" to "Takei" never happened.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • Ned Stark Lives is about Ned Stark, well, being saved from execution by Joffrey when Varys drugs him to prevent Littlefinger's plans of starting a catastrophic war come to fruition. Apart from Jon's and Dany's stories remaining relatively unchanged, the state of Westeros is, in comparison to what happens in the books, much better because of this.
  • The Dragon Returns: Game Of Thrones deals with Rhaegar Taragryen, who had faked his death, who returns with his family to Westeros to take back the Iron Throne.
  • The Many Sons Of Winter has a small one in the years after Torrhen Stark surrendered his crown to Aegon the Conqueror, when the Starks hit on the idea of starting ranching a cow similar to Highland cattle after Torrhen discovers a herd of them. About 300 years later, the North is rich and prosperous, Winterfell is an enormous populated city, the Night's Watch never lacks for anything thanks to the North's support, Moat Cailin is not only fortified, but part of a large canal that crosses the continent...
    • From the same author, A Northern Dragoness has the Pact of Ice and Fire being fulfilled with the marriage of Daena Targaryen to Jonnel Stark. Not only is the illegitimate birth of Daemon Blackfyre averted, but Baelor's hold is weakened further when she lambastes him on her way out of the Red Keep, leading to discussions of establishing a regency for life. In an attempt to reinforce Targaryen authority, Aemon the Dragonknight is sent to rescue a noblewoman of House Swann from sexual slavery in Lys. His subsequent absence leads Naerys to die giving birth to twins, one of which survives.
  • Robb Returns is a Peggy Sue about Robb Stark being sent back in time after his death in canon. The entire story ends up pretty much made of this.
    • Domeric Bolton never meets his brother, because he is sent to Winterfell by his father and then becomes betrothed to Sansa while Ramsay meets a grisly death of his own.
    • Jon Arryn is not poisoned - and sends his son to foster with Ned.
    • Littlefinger's embezzling is discovered. And he gets captured before he can run away.
    • Theon casts away his allegiance to the Drowned God and the Old Way.
    • Jorah Mormont returns to the North.
    • Mance Rayder makes a deal with Ned to allow the wildlings to cross the Wall.
    • The Faith Militant reappears much sooner than in the books.
    • The direwolf not only survives, but gives birth to seven pups instead of six, the seventh becoming Theon's.
    • Robb lampshades that his Peggy Sue is this - showing his father what happened led Eddard to ask about the Others to his bannermen, so Greatjon checked on the Hearthstone and brought it to Winterfell, where the stone is used to call for help from the South.
  • Summer Crowns is built on a crucial change to the climax of Robert's Rebellion. Rather than leading his family's forces at the Trident while leaving Ser Arthur Dayne and Lord Commander Hightower in Dorne to guard Lyanna, Rhaegar does the reverse, sending them to fight while he stays behind. He thus survives the war and is able to flee to Pentos, where he crowns himself King and rallies the Targaryen loyalists.
  • The For Want Of A Nail Series, naturally enough, is based on this, in a way rather literal to the Trope Namer. Namely, Catelyn Stark's horse throws a shoe and it takes a day for a blacksmith to replace this. As such, she never needs to stop for the night at the Inn at the Crossroads, which means she never arrests Tyrion out of her mistaken belief that he's the one who tried to kill Bran. Thus, the Lannister-Stark conflict which kickstarts the War of the Five Kings is averted, and all of Westeros' history is radically changed.
  • In Were We Different Men, Brandon Stark survives his attempted garroting at the Red Keep and Jaime Lannister hesitates to kill him. Consequently, Jaime and Brandon escape the Red Keep with the aid of Ser Barristan Selmy, the Westerlands join Robert's Rebellion far sooner, Jaime marries Lysa Tully, the ensuing war takes place in the Reach, Robert Baratheon reconciles with Stannis, Tywin Lannister, Randyll Tarly, Balon Greyjoy and Hoster Tully die in the Rebellion while Quellon Greyjoy and Rhaella Targaryen survive. Aerys II destroys King's Landing with his wildfire plot, taking Viserys with him. Catelyn dies in childbirth, Brandon marries Barbrey Dustin and a new capital city is built. Oh, and a Myr-Lys-Tyrosh alliance invades.
  • In Good Company: Stannis Baratheon stays in King's Landing during Ned's tenure as Hand of the King and helps his investigations. As the story progresses, Robert's friendship with Ned deteriorates, Arya and Shireen strike an Odd Friendship and the War of the Five Kings is instead the war between House Lannister and the Iron Throne.
    • From the same author, The Distance has Ned die with Lyanna at the Tower of Joy, resulting in Catelyn being married to Stannis, who is named Lord Protector of the North. Benjen adopts Jon Snow as his son.
  • In The King in the Narrow Sea, Selyse Baratheon drinks with Maester Cresson and Melisandre, dying at the same time as Cresson. As a result, Melisandre is blamed for their deaths, she falls out of favour and gets killed by Lord Celtigar as she struggles to free herself. With Melisandre gone, Stannis listens to his other advisers and reaches out to the Lords of the Vale. Meanwhile, Tywin Lannister sends Kevan to take Dragonstone, with the promise of naming him Lord Kevan Lannister of Dragonstone.
  • Bequeathed from Pale Estates: There are two major nails:
    • Jon Snow was born Lyarra Snow. Or, to be more specific, Aegon Targaryen was born Visenya Targaryen. This subtly changes the dynamics of the Stark family, culminating in Lyarra being marked and betrothed to Oberyn Martell.
    • The Plague hit Westeros a few years prior to the start of the story. Completely indiscriminate, it struck noble and smallfolk alike, and killed off several prominent characters in canon (most notably, Petyr Baelish, who succumbed to inoculation fever). Only the Starks were able to avoid losing any family members and retain a positive reputation with its bannermen and smallfolk. This event radically changes the entire political situation of Westeros and weakens the Crown significantly.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • According to Word of God, the backstory of Sonic X: Dark Chaos diverges from the canon Sonic X in two specific ways. Both of these critical changes set off a chain reaction that leads to the Darker and Edgier Crapsack World of Dark Chaos compared to the canon Sonic X;
    • Tsali's entire story never happens and he doesn't become the Ultimate Weapon in the canon. In Dark Chaos, he does - which results in him exterminating Cosmo's race rather than the Metarex. He quickly turns the subsequent Metarex War into a brutal bloodbath that leaves much the galaxy in ruins and trillions of people dead.
    • An economic depression forces Maledict to abandon his plans and pull his forces out of the Milky Way, so the Demon Empire never appears in canon. In Dark Chaos, this doesn't happen - so Maledict's plan goes off without a hitch and leads to the Demon occupation of the galaxy (which in turns leads to the Angel invasion in Episode 65).

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

  • In Reign of Marco Toffee conquered Mewni when Star was still a child and she was sent to earth and adopted by the Diaz family resulting in several changes:

Star Trek

  • The Wrong Reflection: The established differences between the prime universe and the Mirror Universe mean that the typical "same crew as our side but EVIL" trope in Mirror Universe Star Trek stories doesn't apply to the USS Bajor. There is no ISS Bajor because Bajor is part of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, and because most of Prime Eleya's command crew are members of Terran-allied species, there's no mirror version of them either. Frankly they were lucky to even get a Mirror Eleya, and she's an officer in the Cardassian military rather than the Imperial Starfleet.
  • In Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, Charlie X returns 12 years after Kirk's supposed death in the Nexus and, angered that Kirk isn't there to be personally killed by him, uses the Guardian of Forever to kill Kirk's mother before his birth, thereby ensuring that James T. Kirk is never born. He succeeds, resulting in a completely different reality, although many faces are still familiar (since the change isn't that far into the past). There's no Federation in the new timeline. Instead, there's the Galactic Order, a tyrannical multi-species empire ruled by Curate Prime (actually, the super-powered Gary Miller, who made it off the planet without Kirk to stop him and took over the Federation). Instead of the USS Enterprise-B, there is GSS Conqueror, commanded by Evil!Harriman. Chekov leads a rebellion under the name Kittrick, while Uhura is married to Stonn, Spock's rival from the original timeline.
  • Through a Mirror Darkly looks at what would have happened if James Kirk never joined Starfleet: the Narada destroys both Vulcan and Earth, and the Federation collapses after losing a war that'd followed. The Romulans and the Klingons are at full-out war with each other, and James—who has also met up with Bones, Scotty, and Spock Prime—works with smugglers in order to survive. Then James and his crew come across the Botany Bay...
  • Eclipsed sees the Silver Blood duplicate of Voyager from "Course: Oblivion" survive their deaths and return 'home' ahead of the original crew simply because the 'duplicate' Doctor took samples of the original Silver Blood to try and use it to create a new body for himself.
  • "Brother on Brother, Daughter on Mother": The Mirror Universe is explained as having split off from a similar timeline to the prime universe, one where the Western Roman Empire took slightly longer to fall due to Flavius Aetius overthrowing Emperor Valentinian (instead of Valentinian assassinating him) and defeating the Vandals, "then the Nazis, Trumpers, Optimum, and the Krasnov junta were a little more successful."
    Reshek Taryn: But then import Borg from the future and—
    Gaarra: The rope, what, frayed?

Star Wars

  • The Unabridged Memoirs of Darth Plagueis the Wise is based on the divergence point that Plagueis stays sober enough to see Sidious' attempt on his life coming. Thus, he's able to survive it, killing Sidious instead, and thus the events of the Prequel Trilogy play out completely differently.
  • There is a Tumblr thread detailing what would happen if Anakin was placed into childcare instead of frontline combat during the Clone Wars. It ends up with him owning "The Galaxy's largest collection of refrigerator art" and the Jedi order lasting into the sequel trilogy.
    • Another thread starts with some trivia on China's Han Dynasty (a jailer turned rebel after he accidentally let a prisoner go, which carried the death penalty), and someone saying, "Yup, sounds like something Han Solo would do alright," leading to a situation where Han got conscripted into hauling prisoners, but one escapes. This leads to him pilfering a Star Destroyer, bombing the Emperor's palace, finding out that there's a "Dead Man's Shoes" policy on Imperial succession, leading to him installing Lando as Grand Vizier out of spite and reinstating the Senate at the earliest opportunity.

Steven Universe

  • During The Trial, Steven is put on trial by Blue and Yellow Diamond when he insists that he's Rose Quartz (His mother). In Revelations, however, Steven decides to come clean and reveal that he's not Rose Quartz, but her son. While trying to make sense of this revelation, Blue Diamond gets a closer look at his gem and recognizes it as Pink Diamond's, leading Steven and the Diamonds to finding out that Rose Quartz was Pink Diamond much earlier.

Superjail!

  • An Unexpected Child: The Mistress becomes pregnant with the Warden's child after the events of her debut episode "Ladies' Night". This of course leads to a strange chain of events, involving a maze in the center of the Earth and a circus that gets its entertainment from slaughtering, that ultimately result in Mistress having the baby, a one-month premature little girl whom she decides to name after her mother and also Warden's mother in their honor, at the end.

Supernatural

  • The fanfic Song Remains the Same already changes the series by giving Sam and Dean a sister in the form of Alex (Sam's twin), but when Balthazar saves the Titanic, one consequences of the new timeline is that Alex was separated from her brothers when she was very young because John got drunk on a brand of whiskey that never got made in the original timeline when its founder died on the ship and decided that she would have a better life without them. As a result, Alex commits suicide in her teens in a state of extreme depression and anger at the world, leaving Castiel horrified when he learns what Balthazar's actions have caused.

Teen Titans

Temeraire

  • Black Wings, Black Sails diverges from the original series when Laurence is sent away early in His Majesty's Dragon, the very first book, to allow someone raised in the Aerial Corps to attempt to harness Temeraire in his place. Rather than remaining in the pasture as he did in the books and forcing someone to go fetch Laurence in the middle of dinner with his Navy friends, Temeraire flies off to search for Laurence and finds him openly re-accepting his post in the Navy after having come to accept the loss of Temeraire over dinner. Temeraire becomes fully convinced that Laurence never wanted him in the first place and reluctantly accepts Dayes as captain. Laurence goes to bed on the Reliant for the night, only to realize the next morning that he's made a horrible mistake about twelve hours too late and is unable to take Temeraire back.

Total Drama

  • In Courtneys Crusade For Redemption Courtney's actions cause several changes in the new timeline.
    • Due to getting assigned to the Villainous Vultures from the start, Courtney has the chance to talk with Gwen and fix their friendship early on. This also changes the runners of the first challenge, which gets Sierra eliminated while Lindsay gets to stay.
    • Lindsay staying with the Heroic Hamsters is a big nail as well, as they do much better than in canon, which also gives Courtney the chance to eliminate several antagonists via voting them off whenever the Vultures lose.
    • As said above, Courtney orchestrates several eliminations. She also gets Chris to be more fair, mostly making it impossible for any contestant to sabotage the votes.
    • Courtney's intervention prevents Mal from taking over Mike's whole personality. Also, Mal is outed relatively early, so the other contestants are both wary about him and willing to help Mike to keep Mal's misdeeds under control.
    • Courtney and Scott become an Official Couple.
    • Courtney gets the immunity idol, so she's now protected from being voted off, and Cameron is voted instead.
    • Sierra, Duncan and Alejandro are eliminated much earlier than in canon.
    • Since Duncan gets assigned to the Heroic Hamsters from the beginning, he feels more pressured to protect his bad guy's reputation. This gets him to lose whatever respect the other contestants had for him when he's finally eliminated.
  • In Legacy, a delay of a few seconds has consequences that reverberate for years.
  • In Total Drama Underdogs, Ezekiel never makes his infamous sexist comments, so Courtney is eliminated instead of him. The changes get bigger and bigger as the story unfolds.

Transformers

  • A Child Shall Lead Them starts when the mortally wounded Optimus Prime is taken to the repair bay after the battle at Autobot City, and tries to pass the Matrix to give it to Ultra Magnus, but drops it. Swoop quickly catches it and is transformed into Pterodactus Prime, the new leader of the Autobots.

True Blood

  • The fanfic How Could You Forget? is an AU fic that explores how the events of season 4 and beyond would have been changed if the witches had erased Bill Compton's memories instead of Eric Northman's.
    • In the actual show, Eric has his memories erased by some witches when Bill sends him to break up a convent. In this story, Eric bites Marnie, but she's shocked enough to let him go. Bill is thus forced to visit the witches himself to try and put them at ease, only Marnie is pissed off enough by Eric's visit that she decides to erase his memories instead. The overall core of the main story is roughly the same, but some of the characters swap roles, some scenes are completely unaltered, and other events never happen. This is most apparent during the season 4 part.
    • Sookie never gets into a relationship with Eric, as a result of having to shelter Bill.
    • Because of Bill and Eric switching places, their respective progenies Jessica and Pam also swap roles. Jessica and Sookie decide to keep Bill hidden since Eric is itching for an opportunity to dispose of Pam.
    • While Pam still has the decomposing spell placed on her by the witches, what leads up to it is altered: in the actual show, she confronts the witches to try and get them to undo the spell on Eric. In this story, though, she is sent by Eric to check on the witches after Jessica pays a visit to Eric trying to get some information about the witches that might help her and Sookie with handling Bill.
    • Since Bill is the Vampire King of Louisiana, Jessica and Sookie have the additional matter of having to try and coach him enough to hide his amnesia after Jessica lets slip to Eric what happened.
    • The sequence behind Nan Flanagan's death is entirely unchanged, dialogue and all.
    • Because of Sookie and Jessica being there to ground him, Bill never becomes the power-hungry Billith. In fact, in season 6, it's Eric who ends up killing Governor Burrell, to avenge Nora, rather than Bill doing it while trying to find Jessica.
Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-
  • Reversal Of Fate, by Tonight's The Night is set up on the basis that it is Syaoran, not Sakura the one who lost who lost his memories and Sakura would have to be the one finding the feathers. As their personality and experience are different, the story branches off almost immediately resulting in different sets of Character Development for them.

Twilight

  • Before the Dawn: Bella decides to take a quick trip through Mexico after her mother's marriage, and as a result, she's abducted and brutally raped by a vampire trying to create an army of hybrids, Bella only escaping after she becomes a vampire herself.
  • Bonne Foi: Wandering into the wrong alley while suffering from the flu as a human, Edward is turned and abandoned by Victoria rather than becoming Carlisle's first 'son', with the result that he continues to kill humans well into the twenty-first century until he meets Bella while she's at college.

Warrior Cats

  • Wily and Proud takes place in an AU where Rusty was a stray, not a housepet. This change means that he becomes ruthless and paranoid in order to survive, and ends up joining ShadowClan instad of ThunderClan.
    Life as a stray comes with a number of hardships, he reasoned with himself. These hardships have changed me. This is not who I am. This is not my fault. I am an honorable cat. Nevertheless, the white tom lay dead at Rusty's paws, its fur matted with dirt.
  • Fire and Shadow is an AU where Rusty joins ShadowClan instead of ThunderClan.

Wicked

  • The Land of What Might-Have-Been diverges from canon when Fiyero/the Scarecrow is unable to send his note to Elphaba, but this sends them to another alternate world, over fifty years in the future, where things changed when Elphaba was shot down a few months into her rebellion against the wizard, starting a chain of events with devastating consequences.

World War

  • The confirmation of an alien invasion force on it's way to Earth has far more of an effect than one would expect as shown in Worldwar: War of Equals. For instance, some people die earlier than they did in OTL such as Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe, has people living past their date of death such as Muammar Gaddafi, has some leader stay in power longer such as Hosni Mubarak, has wars such as the Arab–Israeli Conflict and the War on Terror either put on hold or ended, among many others.

Worm

  • Quicken: The point of divergence is the attack in the alley. Emma doesn’t try to fight back and Shadow Stalker doesn’t save her. Then Emma fights back and triggers. So, she never meets Sophia and she doesn't turn against her best friend.

Yin Yang Yo!

Yu-Gi-Oh!

  • Fallen King's events begin when Pegasus wins the duel instead of Yugi.
  • In a late chapter of Shadowchasers: Ascension Jeb is confronted by a being named Xon who can view realities like this; after offering to explain what he viewed if Germany won World War II (met by flat refusal by Jeb, who's already seen enough of those) Xon gives him one closer to home: how things would have turned out differently if Mayls' plot to murder Jamor Stormbringer had failed, and Jalal's father had survived. The answer Xon gives is not as happy as one would assume. (In short, without this tragedy that now defines his purpose, the Shadowchasers would not have been founded, and whoever took it upon themselves to mediate affairs between humans and shadows would not have nearly the ability nor desire to do so, leading to all-out wars of genocide leading to the Earth's destruction.) Of course, Xon is a Humanoid Abomination in league with diabolical beings, so his opinion is very likely skewed.

Yuri!!! on Ice

  • Rivals Series:
    • Right there in the summary "A single event changes the course of Yuuri’s life, throwing him into a bitter rivalry with Viktor Nikiforov that spans across his entire skating career." The single event in question is Yuuri's parents taking him to watch the Junior Grand Prix finals, where a callous comment by Viktor massively injures Yuuri's self-esteem and turns his admiration for the older boy into resentment. The sense of rivalry born from this encounter gives Yuuri additional drive in his skating, and his career progresses at a much faster pace compared to canon.
    • Yuuri's presence at Skate Canada for Phichit's senior debut distracts Viktor and causes him to botch a jump and injure himself, putting him out for the rest of the season, which changes the orders of his themes for the following years. This eventually results in the Stammi Vicino routine being crafted the same year as the Yuri on Ice routine, rather than it being the year before.

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