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Abled in the Adaptation

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Hunter Zolomon in The Flash comics (left) and The Flash (2014) (right).
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Sometimes in adaptations a character's physical or mental illness is removed or downplayed compared to the source. This could be for pragmatic reasons (such as the disability being difficult to adapt) but often times the disability is simply removed. One reason for the removal is to make a character more threatening.

Sub-trope of Adaptation Deviation. Compare to Throwing Off the Disability and contrast with Disabled in the Adaptation.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • In Tales from Earthsea, Therru has half of her face red, like a bad sunburn. The original books had her suffer burns which burned that side to the bone, making her lose an eye. Her hand was burned to uselessness as well.
  • Latifa from Amagi Brilliant Park was originally blind in the light novels. This was downplayed to being physically ill with no mention of blindness in the anime adaptation.
  • The first Fullmetal Alchemist anime downplayed a few from the source material. The first anime ended before the manga, however, which means the writers didn't know of the manga ending at the time:
    • In the manga, Alphonse's body is extremely malnourished when it is finally restored. In the anime, it remains in the very same state (stalled aging and all) when it was taken.
    • Edward zig-zags this. In the anime's Grand Finale, he briefly regains his lost arm and leg before performing a Heroic Sacrifice to bring Al back which results to Ed being sent to an Alternate Universe where he once again lost his restored limbs. The source material's Grand Finale has Ed at least getting his arm restored.
  • The original ending of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam has Kamille Bidan defeating the Big Bad at the expense of getting brain damage. The twentieth anniversary theatrical re-release omits this fate.
  • Pokémon:
    • At the end of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Lusamine still suffers from the effects of Nihilego's toxins. Her daughter Lillie decides to travel to Kanto with her and see if Bill can give them advice. In the anime, she's only ill for a period before going back to normal after a few episodes. As a result, Lillie doesn't go to Kanto.
    • In the games, Necrozma was "crippled" by ancient people who wanted its power for themselves, causing it immense pain and necessitating it to consume all available light that it can. It can also only transform into Ultra Necrozma if it has merged/absorbed with Solgaleo or Lunala. In the anime it manages to become "healed" of this affliction when Ash, his friends, and the people and Pokémon of the whole Alola region share their energy with it, allowing it to transform into Ultra Necrozma indefinitely and without absorbing Solgaleo or Lunala beforehand.
    • It's unknown if it's an actual disability or not, but Erika randomly falls asleep mid-sentence and falls asleep frequently. This element of her character is left out of her Pokémon anime, Pokémon Adventures, and Pokémon Zensho incarnations.
  • In the School-Live! manga, Team Mom Yuuri undergoes a mental breakdown in the second arc. This is foreshadowed by her two Freak Outs in the manga, first when she loses her cool when it seems like she'll have to Mercy Kill her friend Kurumi and then again when a rescue helicopter crashes. The former is toned down in the anime and the second doesn't even happen. This makes Rii a more stable character in anime canon.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Game of Thrones fanfic The Young Stag, Bran retains the use of his legs after recovering from his fall.
  • Vale's Underground:
    • In RWBY canon, Mercury Black lost his legs and needed them replaced with robotic prosthetics. In , he retains his legs. Justified since this is a real-world AU and he wouldn't be able to get prosthetics that would allow him to fight as well as he does in canon.
    • Voulme 6 confirms that Neopolitan is mute. Nia Poletti can talk just fine.
  • Also in RWBY canon, it's confirmed that Neo is mute. In Burning Coals, Neo is indeed able to speak, but prefers not to due to her own inability to trust and the fact that her throat is damaged, giving her a quiet, raspy voice.
  • In RWBY canon, Yang got her arm cut off by Adam. In Ruby and Nora, she was thankfully spared this.
  • The Butterfly Effect: Downplayed. In the original manga/anime, Nana's arms and legs were all severed by Lucy, forcing her to use Artificial Limbs. Here, after the limb severing, Kaede and Nyu come across Nana and try to heal her, but only manage to reattach one arm and one leg before Kakuzawa's men show up and force them to flee.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Kimimaro Kaguya, who suffered of a terminal illness that ended up killing him in canon, is cured by Orochimaru using the knowledge from the Scroll of Seals. As a result, he's at full health and power when the Sound Invasion arc rolls around, and even manages to survive his encounter with the heroes.
  • In Ariel & Belle, Ursula doesn't take away Ariel's voice when she turns her into a human.
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    Film — Animation 
  • Ronno from Bambi is just a friendly buck whose has a lame leg due to surviving a gunshot. In the Disney adaptation and its interquel Ronno's age was decreased, he became a rival to Bambi, and he lacks any disabilities.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame Quasimodo is deaf due to working with loud bells and was born with a large wart over his left eye. In the Disney adaptation he is able to hear and speak and has two functional eyes.
  • Shere Khan in The Jungle Book is referred to as a "lame tiger" who was born with a crippled hind leg - he is a man-eater specifically because his disability stops him from being fast enough to catch a deer or a bull. Adaptations (including the Disney cartoon) tend to leave out this trait to make him a more threatening villain.
  • In Loskutik And The Cloud, one of Barbatsutsa's eyes is blind and she wears a huge black eyepatch. Probably to avoid giving her a too villainous look (in the book, she looks like a crossover between a pirate and a witch and is really one of the nicest characters out there underneath], the creators of the animated adaptation made her short-sighted, but with both eyes seeing.
  • According to religious texts Moses was "slow of tongue", indicating a Speech Impediment or speech disorder.note  In The Prince of Egypt this is absent.
  • Pinocchio (1992) has the Wolf and the Cat at the ending. The Fox and the Cat from The Adventures of Pinocchio become disabled for real after faking disabilities. That doesn't happen with the Wolf and the Cat of this version; they just get imprisoned.
  • In Coco, Frida Kahlo in the Land of the Dead is able-bodied unlike the real Frida, who had a lame leg from contracting polio as a child which was amputated near the end of her life, as well as chronic pain from a horrific accident in her teens. In-universe, this appears to be the case with many of the other denizens of the Land of the Dead, as the deceased Ernesto shows no physical signs of having been crushed by a giant bell, and Coco is no longer wheelchair-bound and seems perfectly lucid once she passes away.
  • In the comics version of Big Hero 6, Hiro is shown wearing glasses. In the animated movie, it's shown that that version of Hiro doesn't.
  • In the comics, Professor Pyg is one of the few enemies of Batman who actually qualifies for the legal definition of "insanity". In Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, while he still engages in twisted experiments (his introductory scene involved Two-Face's evil personality trying to get him to scar the right side of Dent), he's pretty much clear-minded enough to properly talk to others.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In the comics Hawkeye spent most of his run being partially deaf, wears a hearing aid, and can use American Sign Language. In the film incarnation none of this is included.
    • Thor: In the comics, Thor's "Donald Blake" alias on Earth is a crippled medical student whose cane would transform into Thor's hammer, which Odin set up in order to teach him humility. Because of the circumstances of Thor's being sent to Earth being different in the MCU, "Donald Blake" is instead an incredibly buff vaguely Scandinavian guy.
    • In the comic story where Thor suffers Eye Scream while Asgard is being destroyed, he (willingly) loses both of his eyes. A similar thing happens in Thor: Ragnarok, but he only loses one (right) eye during the film's Final Battle, then gains an artificial eye in a later time anyway.
  • Peeta from The Hunger Games loses his leg in the books, but not in the film adaptation. The male tribute from District 10 in the 74th Hunger Games also doesn't appear to have a crippled leg like he does in the books, as he is seen running to the Cornucopia at the beginning of the games.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: In the comic book on which the film is based, Magneto is paraplegic by the time of the Bad Future. In the film's depiction of the future, he's up and walking around on two feet.
  • In What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Arnie keeps his mental retardation, but in the novel he also was missing an eye.
  • Barbarella: In the original comic books, the Black Queen wears an eye patch, and since she never takes it off, it implies she's blind in that eye. In the movie, she only has the eye patch for one scene where she's King Incognito, and both her eyes appear to be perfectly healthy.
  • In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West is missing an eye. Many adaptations like the 1939 movie show her as having both eyes.
  • In the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman film series, Commissioner Gordon is shown not to need glasses.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Justice League (2017) sees Crispus Allen not needing to wear glasses.
    • SHAZAM! (2019) sees its version of Dr. Sivana also not wearing glasses, though he did need them before getting the Eye of Sin lodged in his right eye..
  • In the theatrical version of The Children's Hour and its 1960 film adaptation, Martha's gayngst leads her to be a depressed and anxious woman. In the censored These Three incarnation from the '30s, her angst is watered down and she never kills herself.
  • Not "abled", but a semi-example: In Freak the Mighty, Freak's growth is extremely stunted by his Morquio Syndrome, almost to the point of dwarfism (though he hates being called a "dwarf"). In the film adaptation The Mighty, as played by Kieran Culkin, he's still severely crippled and dying, but his size is average for his age.
  • A Dog's Purpose:
    • In A Dog's Purpose Ellie is a search-and-rescue dog who loses her sense of smell after acid gets on her nose. In the film this doesn't occur because she gets shot before this happens. As a result, Ellie never retires and gets a new job where she helps teach people about safety.
    • Ellie's handler Jakob is mentioned to have been shot before. It almost ended in a Career-Ending Injury. The film doesn't mention that Carlos was ever injured.
  • Rob Reiner's cinematic adaptation of Misery changed the scene of Annie lopping off Paul's foot with an axe to her breaking his ankles with a sledgehammer — though a focus group insisted on him at least walking with a cane after his injuries, in a rare example of a Focus Group Ending making a work harsher rather than softer.
  • In the original RoboCop trilogy, the eponymous protagonist was severely mutilated (specifically getting his right hand blown off by a shotgun, then his entire arm, then several shots to his abdomen area, and then finally the fatal headshot) before his death and eventual cyborgification. The 2014 reboot only has him die via 3rd degree burns with his limbs intact, plus he gets to keep his right hand, lungs, heart, and consciousness after his cyborgification.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Walking Dead:
    • In the source material, Rick loses his right hand after the Governor chops it off. This was omitted in the show. Likewise, comic Rick is partly crippled after Negan breaks his leg, but this doesn't happen on the show either.
    • In the comics, Dale loses both of his legs before dying. This is omitted in the show due to him dying much earlier in the timeline, though these storylines were distributed to different characters.
    • Andrea got some nasty facial scars in the comics. It was omitted in the show.
    • In the comics, Carol's mental illness becomes so out of hand that she committed suicide. In the show it is more subdued and she is Spared by the Adaptation (for now).
    • Maggie and Michonne's mental illness from the comics are Adapted Out in the show.
    • The Governor is severely mutilated by Michonne in the comics, namely: having his left eye gauged out, and both his right arm and penis chopped-off. In the show, Michonne only took out his eye, and it's the right one at that.
    • Carl's Moe Greene Special is much more severe in the comics, as the injury also took out his right ear and causes him brain damage. In the show, it is a traditional Eye Scream. Likewise, his Creepy Child tendencies from the source material are greatly toned down.
    • In the comics, Morgan never really got back from his Sanity Slippage after his son's death. In the show he got his act together, and like Carol, he is Spared by the Adaptation (again, for now).
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The show downplayed Doran Martell's gout to the point where he is able to move around without his wheelchair while leaning to Ellaria's help to walk around for a bit. In the books, his gout is already so severe that his legs are deformed, which crippled him and gave him constant pain.
    • In the books, Tyrion actually lost his nose in the assassination attempt on him during the Battle of Blackwater. In the show, it's only a typical facial scar.
    • In the books, Ramsay chops off some of Theon's toes and fingers and even plucked most of his teeth. Theon lacks these injuries in the show, though he does limp around for a while after Ramsey's tortures.
    • The show's version of Euron has both of his eyes in display. In the source material he is wearing an eye patch on his left eye, and it's vague what's wrong with it.
    • In the books, Myrcella Baratheon loses an ear and gets her face heavily scarred. This is omitted in the show.
    • In the books, Gregor Clegane's undead corpse is missing his head due to it being sent to the Martells to appease them for Gregor's role in the deaths of many of their family members (Ellia, her children, and Oberyn who in turn was the one who caused Gregor's death). The show's version of the undead Gregor has his entire body intact. Furthermore, when he was alive Gregor suffered from headaches due to his gigantism that even milk of poppy can't numb. In the show no mention is made of his opiates consumption and there are no effects to make him look like an inhumanely huge brute except for the camera angles.
    • In the books, Walder Frey is in his 90s and needs to be carried in a litter to get around. In the show, he's a few decades younger and has no difficulty walking.
  • Arrowverse:
    • In the comics, Mia Dearden is HIV positive. Her Arrowverse counterpart, Thea Dearden Queen, displays no such illness.
    • In many comic stories, Dinah Drake Lance succumbs to cancer long after passing her Black Canary mantle to her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance. Here, the elder Dinah is in good health and even outlives her daughter.
    • Hunter Zolomon is paraplegic in the comics. Here, he is just fine, and is instead Secretly Dying from a speed drug overdose. However, Eobard Thawne pretends to be when posing as Harrison Wells.
    • In the comics, Roy Harper loses his right arm during the battle with Prometheus. That did not happened here due to Roy being absent during the adaptation of the Prometheus arc.
    • In the comics' Bad Future Flash storyline, the future Iris West becomes paraplegic. Here, she isn't due to her being long dead in that Bad Future. The disability was given to Wally instead.
    • In the comics, Nathaniel Heywood has an amputated leg thanks to an undiagnosed infection. Here, all his limbs are intact and his only disability is hemophilia.
  • Batman (1966) with Adam West notably lacks the PTSD the character is known for. Commissioner Gordon is also shown not to need glasses.
  • Iron Fist (2017): Harold Meachum in the comics had his legs amputated. Harold Meachum in the Netflix MCU still has his legs.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Gabriel Reyes in the comics was born with an unspecified neurological disorder (the result of his mother having been pushed down the stairs while pregnant), which left him wheelchair-bound and mentally and developmentally slow. In the show, he's a normal 14 year old who's left paraplegic after the attack that gave his brother, Robbie Reyes, his superhero origin story. In fact, it's indicated he's a very intelligent young man who quickly pieces together who Daisy is after spending a few hours with her during a blackout, which the comics version would most likely not be able to do.
  • Gotham
    • Jim Gordon and Crispus Allen aren't shown to wear glasses.
    • Professor Pyg is actually clear-headed in the show.
  • Orphan Black: 7 Genes omits two disabilities from the series it was based on:
    • Nagase never loses his left pinky finger unlike his counterpart Vic Schmidt due to the characters and Story Arc responsible for it being Adapted Out.
    • The original series' Season 1 finale shows Cosima Niehaus developing the respiratory illness that plagued most of the clones. In the remake, the first season concludes with her counterpart Izumi Odagiri in good health.
  • The White Queen: The real King Richard III had severe scoliosis which caused his shoulders to be uneven, although the deformity wouldn't be noticed under clothing. Aneurin Barnard's portrayal of the character includes a couple of Shirtless Scenes which demonstrate that Richard is devoid of a physical handicap.
  • The Return of the Condor Heroes has The Hero Yang Guo losing his right arm third quarter into the story, requiring him to both re-purpose his fighting style and learn new ones to accommodate his now handicapped condition. Several live action adaptations (except the one in 2006) have swapped it due to Yang Guo being played by right-handed actors.
  • How I Met Your Mother originally concludes with the titular mother dying from an unknown illness some time before the Distant Finale. The Finale Season DVD release features an alternate ending where she is still alive during that time, heavily implying (since there was no new footage) she was eventually cured at best, or just prolonged her life and is still going to die but in a much later time at worst.
  • The Blue Ranger from Mirai Sentai Timeranger is an Ill Boy with Incurable Cough of Death. His counterpart in Power Rangers Time Force is in good health.
  • In Catch-22, Major —— de Coverley wears an eyepatch as the result of an eye injury. In the miniseries, both eyes are working fine.

    Literature 

    Theatre 
  • Wicked:
    • In the original Wicked book Elphaba has an allergy to water. She bathes using oils, avoids water in all forms, and as in the original Oz story, her death involves Dorothy splashing water on her. In the theatrical adaptation there are rumors that water can melt her—and in the song "Thank Goodness" Fiyero gets upset at the absurdity of the idea—but it's not true. Elphaba ends up Spared by the Adaptation when she fakes her death. Also, as Elphaba's design is based off the MGM Witch and not the original book one, she has both eyes intact.
    • In a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, Elphaba's sister's disability was changed for the musical. Nessarose was born with no arms in the books; however, due to the difficulty of representing that in a play, she was changed to being wheelchair bound.
  • The real Thomas Jefferson was almost certainly somewhere on the autism spectrum. His characterization in 1776 doesn't necessarily conflict with this, but it is at least downplayed. Hamilton, on the other hand, portrays him as a flamboyant, larger-than-life character without any hint of the real man's withdrawn nature.

    Video Games 
  • Onmyōji: Hangan is apparently blind in the original game, but this is made even more of an Informed Deformity in the MOBA game adaptation where he still says his eyes can't see, but a stock animation sequence has him looking around in search of an object.
  • Dynasty Warriors:
    • Deng Ai was historically someone who had a notable stutter that wasn't taken seriously until his talents were exploited by Sima Yi via a fateful encounter; his portrayal in the game series makes no mention of his stutter at all.
  • Samurai Warriors:
    • Historically, Kanbei Kuroda was imprisoned by the rebellious Oda vassal, Araki Murashige, but he escaped at the cost of an injury that left him with a pronounced limp. In the game itself, he doesn't have a leg injury and is able to move just fine.
    • In the games, Yoshitsugu Otani has his whole body covered except his eyes and nose which is a nod to historical counterpart who is a leper. However, the game downplays his leprosy as he is able to move freely.
  • Lusamine in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon isn't Brainwashed and Crazy like in the original Pokémon Sun and Moon. Due to this, she doesn't end up hospitalized after being defeated. Instead, Cosmog ends up injured. This difference means that Lillie stays in Alola, while Gladion is the one that runs off.
  • Calvina Coulange from Super Robot Wars Judgment suffered nerve damage to her arms during the Lunar Furies' first attack on the Moon in the backstory and is unable to pilot until she gains control of one of the Furies' Cytron-equipped machines. She still has full use of her arms in the Super Robot Wars Original Generation continuity, however. This is presumably for gameplay purposes, as the mainline SRW games restrict pilots to units from their own series while OG lets any character use any mech with a few exceptions and making just one character who's completely restricted to Fury units would have been a hassle to program.
  • In Deltarune, Undyne has both eyes.

    Web Animation 
  • DC Super Hero Girls combines pre-52 elements and post-52 elements of Barbara Gordon. She's actually made a Decomposite Character, where she becomes Batgirl in the series and is never paralyzed, while Oracle is her AI assistant. The Joker, who is the reason Babs became paralyzed, is only mentioned once in a side comic — to develop Harley's character, with no mention of Batgirl ever having encountered him.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Killing Joke, the first Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, was shot by The Joker. She became paralyzed due to the incident but later became the Disabled Badass "Oracle", until the New 52 reboot retconned her to having recovered the use of her legs after the shooting. In the DC Animated Universe, there are no signs of Batgirl ever having been wheelchair bound. In Batman Beyond, she is shown as a senior but her legs work perfectly fine.
  • The Batman:
    • This version of Mr. Freeze can survive unharmed in normal temperatures without his suit and has actual ice-based superpowers instead of relying on a freezing gun. The suit merely helps him keep his powers under control. It should be noted that excessive heat will temporarily disable his powers, so that weakness is still present to an extent.
    • In the comics, Dr. Kirk Langstrom developed the Man-Bat formula as a cure for his own growing deafness. In The Batman, Langstrom isn't going deaf and is creating the formula purely to terrorize others (though curing deafness is his cover story.)
    • Maxie Zeus, while still crazy, isn't so crazy that he suffers from delusions that he's really his namesake like the comics character does.
  • Beware the Batman:
    • Barbara Gordon skips becoming Batgirl and goes straight to Oracle without being paralyzed.
    • Much like in the aforementioned Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Professor Pyg is pretty clear-headed and lacks the actual insanity of the comics Pyg.
  • In the comics, Starfire's sister Blackfire can't fly due to a childhood illness. She can't absorb ultraviolet radiation like others of her species. In Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! Blackfire shows no signs of disability. She is adept at flying and can fly faster than the speed of light.
  • In Thundercats 1985, Lion-O's father Claudus (seen once via Time Travel and once as a ghost) was blind (he somehow lost his sight in the war with the mutants). He's not blind at all in the 2011 reboot.
  • In the comics, Flash Thompson was an adult soldier who lost the lower part of his legs in battle before becoming Agent Venom. Both Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man, focused on Peter's time starting out as Spidey and thus set in high school, see their respective versions of Flash still have his legs intact when he bonds with the Venom symbiote.


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