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Adaptation Explanation Extrication

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This phenomenon works thusly:

  1. In the original work Alice and Bob, there is a specific explanation for some plot point. For example, Alice always knows what to get Bob for his birthday because she has latent Psychic Powers.
  2. Alice and Bob is adapted to a new medium—say, film.
  3. The fact that Alice always gets Bob the right gift stays, but her latent psychic powers don't. There is no longer any explanation for why she does this.

This isn't limited to major elements of the work; often times minor things will get thrown in to satisfy the fans who might be looking for it but the explanation is left out because it's not important to the adaptation. This can reduce something to the point of a Hand Wave, but it isn't all bad. If something was not that important to the original work, this helps with the Conservation of Detail and prevents the audience from getting overloaded. However, if done poorly, it can accidentally create an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole.

This is a kind of partial Adaptation Distillation where the explanation is removed in the distillation process but the element it explains isn't. If it's important and done excessively, might lead to Continuity Lockout.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In the beginning of Turnabout Big Top Phoenix is shown wearing pink sweater with huge heart and RyuNote  written on it. Since Phoenix was never shown to be fond of pink or cute things it may leave the viewer wondering why he would even have such a thing. The third game(which wasn't adapted) shows why: the sweater was a handmade present from his first girlfriend.
    • Inverted in Reunion and Trunabout. In the case Phoenix's friend, Maya, who is a spirit medium, is accused of murdering her client while being possesed by a spirit she was supposed to channel. Turns out the girl she was supposed to channel, Mimi Miney was actually alive and killed the client to keep it a secret, while Maya's aunt Morgan, whose help was nessecary to pull this off, wanted Maya framed to get the position of the master of their clan. This however leads to Fridge Logic: While Mimi had much to lose if it was found out she was alive it wasn't as much as a sentence for murder, and if she didn't know what kind of person Morgan was, how did she know she wouldn't turn her over to the police the moment she asked her for help with the murder? Anime version of events explains this: She didn't. Mimi's plan was to bribe Morgan into faking the channeling and it was Morgan who made Mimi into an accomplice by threatening to reveal the fact that Mimi was alive. Since Morgan knew that Mimi was desperate to keep it a secret she would have known Mimi would comply
  • This occurs in the anime adaptation of Attack on Titan. In the anime, Eren is shown to have copied one of Annie's Signature Moves and is later stated to be one of the best at hand-to-hand-combat. That Annie was his teacher is left out, removing an important aspect of their relationship.
  • In the manga version of Berserk, it's shown very clearly as to why Guts doesn't like being touched because he was raped as a child and three scenes show his severe dislike of this: first being when a general taps him on the shoulder after a battle, second when Casca is warming Guts when he fell ill after fighting Griffith, and third when he was carried by Pippin for laughs. In Berserk (1997), these scenes occur, but it's never explained why he doesn't like being touched because the rape portion of his flashback doesn't occur in the anime.
    • Parodied in Berserk Abridged, where Guts wonders during a nightmare whether it's symbolic of something too horrible to contemplate. A panel from the rape scene appears (Holy crap! Too horrible to contemplate is right!), and Guts vows to get back to work repressing it in the morning.
    • In the manga, Guts does not have his armor or his ginormous two-handed sword by the time the Eclipse goes down because of the battle with Wyald, where he had to discard the armor to lure him and broke his sword in Wyald's neck. In this version, Guts is actually wearing his armor when everything happens, but he seemingly leaves his sword in camp in his haste to go after Griffith. Not completely inconceivable, but given how Guts is normally so keen on keeping his sword with him at all times, it seems a bit odd that he wasn't wearing it, especially since he hadn't even bothered to take his armor off.
  • In Brave Story, Wataru (the main character) and Mitsuru (The Rival) are both racing to reach the place called the Tower of the Goddess and receive a wish from her. In The Film of the Book, it's never explicitly explained why it's important who gets there first, or if it is. In the book, it's much clearer: Whoever makes it last will be sacrificed to keep the land of Vision in existence.
  • Due to the anime for Brynhildr in the Darkness condensing over thirty chapters of a major story arc into only a few episodes, many details are swept under the rug or handwaved. Most notably, a lot of explanation behind what exactly is happening with the aliens inside the witches, the full details on Hatsuna's ability to heal herself and others, how Kazumi is able to pull off high level Technopathy despite being relegated to B rank, and why the villain noted for their distinct lack of empathy decided to sacrifice himself for someone he freely admitted to not caring for. A deal where they get the recipe for an all important drug is also swapped out for the man trying to reverse engineer the drug miraculously figuring it out faster.
  • In the first anime arc A Certain Magical Index, Touma has enough time to make an incredibly long speech while running across a tiny room. The novels, however, justify this because his opponent had used a spell to distort space. No such explanation is provided in the anime.
    • The reason Aureolus missed Touma with his first two attacks or how Stiyl survived is not explained in the anime. In the novel, Stiyl explained that he was still alive after being flayed and used heat mirages to throw off Aureolus' aim; this caused the alchemist to doubt himself and made it impossible for him to fully control Ars Magna. Stiyl used the opportunity to restore his body.
  • Coffin Princess Chaika has a Dragoon named Fredrika who took the form of Dominica Škoda's little sister Lucie following the real Lucie's death in an attempt to help Dominica through her grief. It didn't work and Dominica eventually died, so Fredrika started taking the form of Dominica herself to honor her memory. When this is revealed to the main characters following her defeat Fredrika then decides to follow them and look like Lucie instead, but the anime cut Lucie's character and her role in the story completely so she seemingly takes the form of a random girl who just happens to look a bit like Dominica with no explanation.
  • The 2001 adaptation of Cyborg 009 ended its TV run at episode 48, where Joe and Jet appeared to die when they burnt up on re-entry to Earth. In the three-episode OVA arc that followed, both characters in question appeared relatively fine with no explanation of how they got out of the situation. This is due to the fact that aside from a loose adaptation of "God's War" (the OVA), the anime did not adapt beyond volume 10 and thus did not include the explanation for how the characters had survived.
  • Dangan Ronpa: The Animation leaves out large chunks of dialogue that explain the significance of certain clues, but they are still used in the trial scenes. In particular, in case 2, the dialogue that establishes that only one person could conceivably have found out how to destroy the electronic notebooks is left out.
  • The Fairy Tail anime leaves out the entire Ryuzetsu Land chapter from the manga where Lucy gets an apology from her enemy Flare after Raven Tail is booted from the Grand Magic Games. Although the chapter later received its own Original Video Animation adaptation, viewers who were unfamiliar with the OVA and manga would've been left without the one explanation for why Lucy sticks up for Flare later on. The second anime fixed this by adding a new scene where Flare saves Lucy's life between these two encounters, which Lucy uses as proof that she can be trusted.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • The anime only follows the Fate route from the visual novel (with some material from Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel, but only enough to help fill out the episodes and not to spoil the twists of said routes), which never explains the reasons behind Shirou's Martyr Without a Cause tendencies, causing him to come across as an unbelievable idiot.
    • Many other things pop up without full explanation, such as when Shirou conjures the same swords that Archer used (because Archer's actually a potential future possibility of Shirou), or why Sakura was kidnapped by Caster (because she has fragments of the previous War's Grail inside of her body, which Caster intended to use to summon the Grail).
    • The same tendency is carried Up to Eleven in the Unlimited Blade Works movie, which is very much intended as eye candy for those who played the VN, rather than a work in itself. The nature of Heroic Spirits is never explained, beyond "they're what you summon for the Grail War", making the revelation of Archer's identity into a complete Ass Pull; it preserves the emotional context surrounding Shirou establishing a contract with Rin while replacing the scene itself, making it seem as if Rin turned into a complete bitch for no reason for a single scene and then reverted; among other problems.
      • The series for UBW is better about this, except it doesn't explain why Rin doesn't use her magecraft to free herself when Archer captures her, making it look like Plot-Induced Stupidity.
    • The Fate/Zero anime is much better when it comes to this; while there are other reasons for Gilgamesh to be infatuated with Saber, the main one is that she reminds him of Enkidu, his Morality Pet and Only Friend.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Fullmetal Alchemist: During the episode where the baby gets born, Ed is furious with himself because he is useless during critical moments. This seems weird because he has no medical experience, so it shouldn't hit him that hard. Turns out, in the manga, Ed actually attempts (and fails) to use alchemy to build a bridge for Dominic to get the doctor. This, of course, makes more sense because it's within Ed's area of expertise.
    • In the manga it's mentioned that Trisha died of an illness going around. In the 2003 anime, her illness isn't discussed besides it likely being long-term.
  • In the first Haiyore! Nyarko-san Light Novel, when Mahiro and Nyarko infiltrate Nodens' auction house, Mahiro realizes that it's Bigger on the Inside, which reveals that he has the rare ability to perceive distortions in space-time and resist the effects they might have on him personallynote . In the anime, this moment passes without notice, other than Nyarko complimenting him for how well he's handling this unusual situation. While this didn't come up in the two TV series, it becomes an extremely important Chekhov's Skill later down the line, when Nyarko and Cuuko are erased from history and Mahiro is the only one who can save them because he's the only one who even remembers they existed in the first place.
  • In the anime adaptation of Higurashi: When They Cry, some early-arc scenes are omitted or moved to completely different arcs despite being referenced later in the arc in oblique ways:
    • For instance, the scene in the first arc wherein the group plays games with Jirou during Watanagashi and then writes on his shirt as a penalty game is omitted, causing Mion's statement that she is "doing the same thing we did to Jirou" to Keiichi at the end of the first arc to no longer be ambiguous. This leaves anime fans without a major clue that Keiichi was hallucinating the marker as a needle.
    • As a less extreme example, the game of 'zombie tag' is moved from the first arc to a much later arc and Shion is added to the game, despite the 'zombie tag' game being much closer thematically with the first and second arc.
    • Anime-only fans are frequently stumped on why no one mentions that Hanyuu has horns. It's explained in the sound novels that characters did notice them. They just were either too polite to mention them, liked them, or assumed they were hair accessories. The Big Bad Miyo is the only character to take note of them. Miyo mentioning them triggers Hanyuu's memories of Rika's previous death. The anime excluded that scene and all other references to her horns.
    • The anime had so many things taken out that the visual novel's creator asked for a one-episode arc (Yakusamashi-hen) in order to fill in the plot holes.
  • The Idolmaster: Some events in the anime series make a lot more sense if you've played through the game and unlocked the backstories for the idols.
  • The Juni Taisen: Zodiac War anime leaves out why Ox kept showing up during Tiger's backstory: Unlike most battles he had with others, he remembered their previous encounter and started contemplating why he acted irrationally during it. He was going to ask her for a drink to get to know her better.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
  • Naruto:
  • The Negima!: Another World OVAs don't even bother to explain the whole age-changing pills deal, confusing viewers who see Chisame and Chachamaru are now lolis... just because.
  • One Piece:
    • The anime cuts out a scene from the manga where Luffy as a child scars himself to try and impress Shanks, thus it's never explained where he got such a scar.
    • During the Baratie arc, as the Straw Hats head towards the titular restaurant, their guide Johnny tells Zoro that the "hawk-eyed man" he's looking for is said to show up there. Later, it's revealed he confused him with "Old Red-Eye, who drank so much, his eyes turned red." The anime keeps the first scene intact, but not the second, leaving Johnny's story hanging.
    • The anime adapted only two mini-adventures (Coby/Helmeppo and Buggy's story). This becomes a problem for those who've not read the manga and thus not know how, for example, Jango and Fullbody have become marines or Hatchan escaped from the prison and met Keimi.
  • Pokémon:
    • In The Birth Of Mewtwo short that accompanies Pokémon: The First Movie, it's never mentioned how Amber died. In the original radio drama it was shown that Amber had died when she was hit by a car.
    • In the games trainers receive money for winning battles and give up money when they lose battles. Due to this being close to gambling, it isn't in the anime. As a result, Ash and his friends have money with no explanation on where they're getting money from. They don't have jobs and they don't get money from battles.
  • In adapting Puella Magi Madoka Magica to film, a few scenes were cut that apparently just weren't important enough yet provided important exposition nevertheless. This includes magical girls being able to telepathically talk to each other via Kyubey, the nature of familiars, and why Homura's struggle with mathematics and track-and-field is important as they removed the first episode scene where she did both effortlessly.
  • If you only watch the anime adaptation of Shakugan no Shana, you might wonder where the Snake of the Festival came from, and what motivated Yuuji to betray the Flame Hazes. This was foreshadowed early in the novels, including the novels that were adapted in the first season. Unfortunately the "minor" plot point of the Snake of the Festival speaking to Yuji through the Midnight Lost Child and talking to him about his goals and how they can be achieved is left out.
    • Shakugan no Shana got hit with this hard. In addition to the above:
      • The first arc of the first season, the Friagne arc, is an adaptation of the first light novel. Unlike the anime, however, the novel is clear that there are two spells in Friagne's Evil Plan: City Devourer, which creates the massive amount of Power of Existence necessary to power the second spell, and said second spell, Resurrection, capable of giving an entity a full existence. It is explicitly stated the creator of Resurrection is the Crimson Denizen Leanan-Sidhe. Friagne also plants the second spell in his ring of fire resistance, Azure. Neither spell is set off before Friagne is killed, so Resurrection remains dormant within Azure. This is why Yuji is able to gain a full existence in Shakugan no Shana Final; the spell to do so was hanging around his neck practically the entire series, and why Leanan-Sidhe was able to change the activation trigger to a kiss; it was his spell in the first place!
      • The first novel also mentioned Bal Masqué's goal was to create a paradise from Crimson Denizens on Earth, something that evolved into creating an entire duplicate Earth. Viewers of the first and second seasons have no idea what Bal Masqué is after, especially when taking the the first two seasons' Gecko Endings into account, making them come off as a generic Nebulous Evil Organization.
      • Hecate's habit of praying is never explained in the anime, making it come off as a weird character quirk. She's actually communing with the Snake of the Festival, trapped in the Abyss, receiving his instructions for the Psalm of the Grand Order bit by bit.
      • The Psalm of the Grand Order appears in Shakugan no Shana Final as the blueprint to Xanadu and is alluded to in the previous season Shakugan no Shana Second. The allusions, however, are vague and easily missed, which is unfortunate because one, the fact that Sabrac inserted a piece of the Psalm of the Grand Order into the Midnight Lost Child before it translocated to Yuji, is important to understanding how Yuji could hear the Snake of the Festival through the Midnight Lost Child and later merge with him. The Psalm of the Grand Order in the Midnight Lost Child created a Psychic Link between Yuji and the Snake of the Festival, and, with the insertion of yet another part of the Psalm by Sabrac, allows Yuji and the Snake to merge.
      • One of the main complaints about Shakugan no Shana Final was the Loads and Loads of Characters that appeared out of nowhere. Many of these characters should have appeared or at least been mentioned in seasons 1 and 2, but the short stories they debuted in were never adapted to the anime.
      • Entire light novels failed to be adapted! Volume XV takes place between the events depicted in season 2 and season 3, introduces even more of the characters seen in Final, and provides even more explanations regarding Yuji's motives (such as his study into Révolution, a defunct organization dedicated to promoting coexistence between Flame Hazes, Crimson Denizens, and humans). Volume X was all about the first Great War, and provide information critical to understanding what the heck happened to Pheles and Johan at the end of Final.
  • The anime of Sword Art Online is an extremely faithful adaptation of the light novels, with one exception: Kirito's Inner Monologue is removed almost completely. While there are a few important plot points that become confusing due to this omission, mostly we just lose a few jokes. Internally, he makes constant game references, reveals that he wears mostly black due to a simple fanboyish belief that black is cool, continues using Liz's sword Dark Repulsor simply because he thinks the name dark repulsor means the sword is fated to defeat the final boss, and that he memorized a number of placating lines for if he ever found himself in an Accidental Pervert situation (and promptly forgot them when it actually happened).
    • For a more serious example, we also miss his internal explanations for how he can feel the differences in network traffic his interface is processing when an unseen enemy is targeting him. Without this explanation he appears to using some form of sixth sense when he's actually just monitoring packet data.
  • The Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note anime turns each 200-plus-page novel into 4 9-minute shorts, so this is unpreventable. Using episode 1 as example:
    • In the anime the teacher never explained why the boys were in the Special Class. While in Uesugi and Kozuka's case one can immediately guess (lopsided grades), and in Wakatake's case the reason was given in Episode 3 (Highly fluctuating performance, which also earned his epithet "The Wave"), the reason Kuroki is there was never discussed. In the novels, the explanation is absenteeism.
    • When Aya introduces herself in front of the boys (and take a snipe on Wakatake), the way the anime does it makes it difficult to understand why Kuroki calls her the "language expert" right after this. It is because the anime removed her yojijukugo dropping from the speech. The following is her speech, with the removed portion in italics.
    Aya: I'm Aya Tachibana. Reiseichinchakunote  Uesugi-kun, onkoutokujitsunote  Kozuka-kun, happoubijinnote  Kuroki-kun, and the snobby goganfusonnote  Wakatake-kun, who can't even tell the difference between a human and a mailbox... It's nice to meet you all.
  • To Love-Ru. Anime-only viewers do not have the slightest idea about who Celine is and where she comes from. This because the first anime series removed several elements of the manga (included her entire rescue-arc) while the second anime and more closely the manga, "Motto To Love-Ru", start from a point in which she is already present in the story.
  • In the first light novel, Toradora! has a bit of a digression into a tall tale from Yasuko about how she's a "mini-esper" and can teleport three times in her life; she says she's used up two of them, and Ryuuji can have the third time. He almost thinks he did, getting to Taiga in time to catch her from a bad fall. In the anime, well, he just catches her, and the "wait, what now?" moment of paranormality (which is never referenced again) is ignored.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duel Monsters is a victim of this. Especially how certain events happen. The jarring example is the first meeting with Shadi and Dark Yugi. In the manga, Shadi meets Yugi before Duelist Kingdom and is challenged to a Shadow Game by Dark Yugi. In the anime, he does this after defeating Pegasus in a Shadow Game duel. This is important because Pegasus explained an evil intelligence within the Millennium Items, causing him to no longer trigger Penalty Games on people.
    • How did Kaiba get a helicopter in the anime? In the manga, he hijacked it.
    • Where did Ryo Bakura get his Millennium Ring back in the anime? In the manga, he found it in Yugi's room.
  • In the manga of Yuru-Yuri, the girls decide to find (often silly) solutions for increasing Akari's popularity, after she had barely appeared in the last few chapters. In the anime adaptation they do this in the first episode already, even though Akari appears to be the main character, which makes it look like they are merely bullying poor Akari for no good reason.
  • Tales of the Abyss's anime suffers from this a lot, despite otherwise being a faithful adaption. Some situations are not properly foreshadowed or even explained, so they come completely out of nowhere and/or don't make any sense to people not familiar with the video game. Case in point: It's never explained why Ion dies if he reads the Planet Score. He just does. In the game, this was explained properly, especially in skits. They also removed some sub plots such as Luke being trained in using his hyperresonance by Tear which also handles Tear's relationship with her mentor Legretta in flashbacks and shows Luke and Tear growing close and thus making their romance more natural and believable.

    Comic Books 
  • In Post-Crisis continuity of DC Comics, Kyle Rayner was chosen by Ganthet to be the wielder of the only surviving (at the time) Green Lantern ring; after Hal went mad, destroyed the Corps and killed the other Guardians - essentially because Ganthet didn't have any power to do a proper search for a worthy bearer, and Kyle was the first human he found. In the revised New 52 continuity, we get a flashback to Kyle's early days as GL. The Corps is still around, as are the Guardians; yet Kyle was still chosen by Ganthet rather than the ring, but with no indication as to why. Eventually subverted, as a major plot point of GL's New 52 era is that Kyle has a special affinity for all the energies the various Lantern Corps use; and that's suggested to be the reason Ganthet chose Kyle. It doesn't cover why Ganthet handed the ring out personally, but it does explain why Kyle specifically was the one to get it.
  • Marvel's graphic novel adaptation of Moby-Dick. Ishmael at one point claims that Queequeg is a "deacon" of the "First Congregational Church" when a ship's owner asks if he's converted to Christianity. In the book, he follows this claim with a point about pagans and Christians having a shared humanity. In the comic, this explanation is left out, making Ishmael look like a snarky wise-ass.
  • The DC Golden Age Funny Animal character The Terrific Whatzit was a turtle version of The Flash who removed his shell in his superhero guise; and gained his superhero identity from the fact nobody could tell what kind of animal he was without it. In DC Superpets, Whatzit is the modern-day Flash's pet, and does not have a removable shell.


    Films — Animation 
  • In BIONICLE 2, the heroes never showcase possessing any elemental powers, until the very end when they unite them to defeat the villain. It's never explained why they don't use them in any other scene, making the ending come off as an Ass Pull. They have actually used up all their powers in the books that the movie entirely glosses over, and can only use them in the final scene because that's how long it took for them to "refill".
  • Happens multiple times in the film version of Howl's Moving Castle:
    • In them both, Sophie decides to stay at her hat shop as the eldest child. In the book, it's because she's Wrong Genre Savvy about Youngest Child Wins. In the movie, she simply says she's staying because she's the eldest—leaving the audience to assume something involving inheritance or a misguided sense of responsibility, possibly.
    • At the end of both, when she has to return Howl's heart, she wants to know if Calcifer will still be alright. He says he will. In the book, it's explicitly because Sophie can imbue things with magical powers just by talking to them, so she gave Calcifer a life of his own outside of Howl's heart. In the movie, it's Hand Waved with Calcifer simply thinking Sophie is special somehow.
    • In the movie, there is a peculiar and extremely intelligent dog that follows Sophie around. The dog was extremely significant in the book, but all of its plot relevance was shuffled into a minor book character, and it was left in the movie as just a weird dog.
    • The book has a very clear explanation for Howl's mysterious background and odd personality quirks, He's from Wales in the 1980s. In the movie, this is totally ignored.
  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox ends just like the original Flashpoint comic, with The Flash rebooting history into the New 52 timeline. Thing is, the movie omits how this is possible, since in the original comic, this was caused by Pandora tricking the Flash into merging The DCU with the Vertigo and WildStorm universes. Both Pandora and the merger sequence ended up Adapted Out, so there's no explanation given as to why Flash and Batman suddenly have new costumes at the end of the film.
  • A mild case in regards to the name "Rapunzel" in Disney's Tangled. The film completely rewrites the beginning of the original fairytale in which Rapunzel's father sneaks into the witch's garden to steal the rampion that his pregnant wife craves. When he is caught by the witch, she offers him his life in exchange for his newborn daughter, a deal that he is forced to accept. Thus, the witch calls her daughter Rapunzel, another name for the rampion that was used to claim her. In Tangled this entire story is replaced with one in which Rapunzel has magical hair derived from a flower that was given to her sick mother. There is no rampion whatsoever, and Rapunzel is just the really strange name that her birth parents give her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Battle Royale Shuya and Noriko are shot and killed (off screen) by Shogo, but turn up alive later during Shogo's confrontation with Kitano, with only a throwaway line about Shogo hacking the computer system as explanation. Particularly egregious since no mention is made of Shogo being able to do so, and Shinji successfully hacked the system earlier in the film. Fans of the book will know, however, that Shogo hacked the system before the program began to figure out how to disarm the explosive collars worn by all participants, and transferred into the class selected to participate in order to save as many people as possible.
  • The Big Sleep had to omit any references to pornography or homosexuality thanks to The Hays Code. As such, it's left unexplained what's going on in the back of Geiger's store that's so secret, what sort of blackmail material he had on Carmen, and why that one guy hid Geiger's body and shot the man who killed him. In the book, the explanations are, in order: it's a black market pornography business; he had nude photographs of Carmen; the guy was Geiger's lover.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, after the kids become kings and queens of Narnia, the narration tells how they ruled successfully for years and years and were given nicknames: King Peter the Magnificent, Queen Susan the Gentle, King Edmund the Just, Queen Lucy the Valiant. In the film, they're crowned with these names while still kids just after winning their victory, which makes them seem slightly ridiculous and over-the-top — especially in the case of Edmund, whose main contribution to the plot was betraying his siblings to the White Witch before he got better.
    • It's explained in the book that the White Witch's Turkish Delight is instantly addictive, making Edmund's betrayal over a supply of candy seem far less petty.
  • In Cinderella (2015), Gus Gus retains his name from the animated film, but no mention is given of his real name "Octavius," from which Augustus/Gus is a nickname of.
  • In the original Congo novel, Karen is a Corrupt Corporate Executive whose only interest is finding diamonds for her firm. She loads an abandoned mine with dynamite near a dormant volcano in an effort to locate more diamonds and the resulting explosion triggers an eruption that destroys the abandoned city and forces them to Outrun the Fireball. In the Congo film, her character is a lot more sympathetic, the reason she joins the expedition is to find her Canon Foreigner boyfriend who was in an earlier expedition that vanished and the dynamite thing doesn't happen. The great eruption in the film is reduced to a random coincidence. The book also has explanations for the killer gorillas (guard animals gone feral, but smart enough to pass their training to their descendants) and why the city was abandoned (the traits the company wants the diamonds for made them worthless to the original inhabitants, who had no reason to stay when the more desirable ones were gone).
  • David Lynch's adaptation of Dune is one big mess of this. Hardly anything is given a proper explanation, and the film even features a few setups to plot threads whose payoffs are not included.
  • In Edge of Tomorrow, soldiers use variety of guns but Rita Vrataski uses a Cool Sword instead. Why she and only she is using a melee weapon is never explained. All You Need Is Kill from which the movie was adapted explains why. Guns have limited ammo which means no matter how good Rita will get she can only kill so much aliens in a single battle, and a melee weapon removes this limitation. On the other hand it's Difficult, but Awesome to use and the only reason why Rita is capable of using it effectively is because she was stuck in "Groundhog Day" Loop and had as much time to train as she wanted.
  • Ender's Game:
    • In the film, the xenocide of the Formic species is presented just as negatively as it was in the book, but it's never actually explained that the Formic War originally started because of an interspecies misunderstanding, as the Hive Mind Formics were incapable of understanding humans' individual consciousness, and didn't realize that they were killing sentient beings until it was too late. In the film, everyone (Ender included) seems to agree that they're a legitimate menace, only questioning the methods used to defeat them.
    • Ender's decision to leave Earth to search for a new Formic home world also receives far less explanation than it did in the book, largely because of Peter and Valentine's side plot being cut. In the book, it was explained that the political situation on Earth made it impossible for Ender to return to Earth, as the Second Warsaw Pact wanted him dead, and America and its allies wanted him on their side in the coming war with Russia. Also, it was explained that the death of the Formics had led to an extraterrestrial colonization program, and that Ender had accepted an offer to govern a colony; in the movie, he just aimlessly goes off to wander the cosmos alone, with no obvious destination in mind.
    • There's also no explanation for humanity's sudden technological advancements. In just a few decades, humans go from jet fighters being the epitome of aerial warfare to starships capable of beating the Formics back to their homeworld. We are left to assume Imported Alien Phlebotinum thanks to all those Formic ships that fell from the sky. It's mostly the same in the books too, except the books feature two Formic invasions. However, even the First Invasion took place when humans already had hundreds of ships prowling the Solar System and gravity-manipulation technology (according to the prequels). The prequels also show the clear attempts to preserve the Formic ship for study and the foreknowledge of the impending arrival of the main Formic fleet (i.e. the Second Invasion).
    • If you didn't read the book, you could be forgiven for not realizing that the Mind Game is a Wide Open Sandbox rather than a simple linear fantasy game — which is problematic, since the famous "Giant's Drink" sequence can end up looking a tad ridiculous if you don't know that. With the Mind Game as a sprawling, open-ended universe, it's understandable that Ender's fixation on the Giant's Drink challenge could come off as disturbing, since most children would simply dismiss the challenge as unwinnable and move on to another part of the game. Presented as one level in a linear game, Ender's solution (murdering the Giant) becomes the obvious one, his persistence just makes him look like a Determinator, and the grown-ups' horror upon seeing Ender Taking A Third Option looking like they are clueless about how game programming works and/or didn't bothered to call the game's developer to see if that was even possible (the book also mentions something about the game being self-procedurally generating (which is why there's a big surprise about seeing artificial copies of Peter and Valentine Wiggin in the game — the computer was just trying to put something there because nobody had ever beaten the Drink puzzle ever before and there was no "standard" content as a result, so the game mined Ender's psych profile), but this explanation doesn't appears on the movie either — the copies are just... there).
  • Happens in The Remake of The Haunting (1999). After Elenor has been thrown out of bed, she asks, "Who's holding my hand?" In the original movie, this was spoken at the end of a rather tense scene in which Elenor is convinced that Theo is holding her hand. However, it is revealed a moment later than Theo is on the other side of the room, and that no one was holding her hand. It is used out of context and without explanation in the remake, as there is no one in the room with Elenor, nor did she imply at any point that someone was holding her hand before she asked the question.
  • The Hunger Games: In the movie, we never find out the symbolic significance of the mockingjay, nor what the Muttations are made out of (in the book, it appeared to be dead tributes mixed with wolf.)
  • The live action adaptation of Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable removes any reference to DIO or the events of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, leaving certain aspects of the backstory unexplained.
  • John Carter: how quickly John learns Barsoomian. The book states that all Barsoomians have some Psychic Powers. The only explanation for this in the film is that Sola is speaking to him in the "voice of Barsoom."
  • Jurassic Park
    • The movie is occasionally criticized for the film claiming its moral is about the unpredictability of nature, when it was really all the programmer Nedry's fault. The book covers this by showing evidence from the park's own data that the populations were indeed out of control. Nedry wasn't the sole cause of the collapse, but he was the final crack to the foundation.
    • The famous sick-triceratops scene also reproduces enough information from the book to infer, if you've read it, that some of the dinosaurs are eating toxic plants, despite the efforts of the park to manage the park's flora. However, the lysine contingency is mentioned without reference to the trouble it ends up causing in the book.
    • The first book ended with Nublar island being carpet-bombed by the (funnily non-existent) Costa Rican airforce, hence Ingen's new ruling bureau's (and in the second book, Biosyn's) need to go to the "Site B" and get their dinosaurs there. This was actually explained in a scene of the Lost World movie but was left out of the theatrical cut, leaving the casual viewer wondering why Ingen didn't just go back to Nublar, the island with some working infrastructure left and pick some of the dinosaurs still penned up there, rather than massing "two dozen cowboys" and going to catch the entirely free ones in Sorna.
      • This question was compounded when Jurassic World established that Isla Nublar did survive in the movie continuity.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
    • The movie keeps the comic book's dramatic revelation that "M" is Professor James Moriarty, but it never actually explains how a simple mathematics professor—who's also a notorious criminal mastermind—came to be the head of British Intelligence. The comic book explains that British Intelligence recruited him as an informant years before his confrontation with Sherlock Holmes, allowing him to rise up the ranks of the service until he became the powerful "M".
    • Unlike the movie, the comic book makes it clear from the beginning that it takes place in a world where all fiction is true. Among other things, this means that Sherlock Holmes is a very real world-renowned celebrity whose apparent death made major headlines. Therefore, it's a bit more understandable that Quatermain instantly knows who Moriarty is upon seeing his face.
  • Early in The Lightning Thief, it's mentioned that Percy's sword, Riptide, is enchanted to always return to his pocket in the event that he drops or loses it, an explanation that was left out of the two film adaptations. However, the second film still includes a moment where, after being captured by Luke, he works the pen out of his pocket and uses it to escape his bonds, making it seem as though Luke tied him up without disarming him.
  • In the 1997 adaptation of A Little Princess, Sara wakes up to find her attic room filled with food, clothing and other luxuries. In the book, these things were brought to her in secret over a number of weeks by Ram Dass, the Indian man living next door, while she slept. In the film, they're just there with no explanation.
  • The largely unexplained backstory to The Lord of the Rings leaves quite a few of these.
    • Many who haven't read the books wonder why, if the ring was so evil, and Isildur wouldn't destroy it, Elrond didn't just grab it from him and destroy it himself, or even just push Isildur into the lava. In the books, no-one at that time is sure of exactly what the ring does, Elrond included; they have no idea that it's keeping Sauron alive. Isildur takes the ring as a memorial of their victory, and no-one really has any reason to oppose him doing so.
    • The issue of Aragorn as heir to the throne of Gondor. If Boromir can recognise the heir of Isildur simply from the name 'Aragorn', then why isn't he king already? In the books, the issue is far more complicated; while Aragorn is the only surviving heir, he's only distantly related to the old Kings of Gondor, and he also comes from a line that had previously been excluded from the Gondorian succession. The movies explained this as Aragorn himself being reluctant to become king, for fear of falling to petty evil the same way his ancestor Isildur did.
    • One issue that is routinely brought up as though it's a plot hole is "Why didn't the Fellowship just use the eagles and fly the One Ring to Mount Doom, then drop it in from the air?" There are a number of reasons in the books that explain why. The Eagles are forbidden by their creator from intervening directly in the War, so they won't shepherd the Ring themselves. They also would be just as likely to be tempted to take the Ring for themselves as any other sentient creature. The most obvious reason is that the whole point of the Fellowship is to avoid detection, and a flock of eagles would bring all of Sauron's forces down on their heads. For all these reasons, the Eagles are only free to arrive once the Ring is gone and Sauron is defeated. Another factor is that their power is greatly increased in the movies; while their arrival did turn the tide in the book it was the assembled armies of their entire race intervening (which had been established to be mustering much earlier), not just four guys.
  • In the film of The Princess Bride, Buttercup is somewhat confusingly presented to the populace as a princess when she's betrothed, but not yet married, to Prince Humperdinck. The book explains that she was declared princess-by-fiat of some little backwater principality just so that Humperdinck wouldn't be marrying a commoner.
  • A Scanner Darkly:
    • In the novel, Bob and friends freak out and get angry because Barris brings home an 18 speed bike he bought from someone, but Luckman only counts 9 gears (6 in back, 3 in front), leading them to think Barris got ripped off. Later, when Bob gets debriefed by his superiors, he's told that they're pulling him out because the drugs he uses while undercover are starting to affect his brain too much. They saw the group's reaction to the bike gears, due to the house being under surveillance, and they explain to Bob that the problem was that the group was adding the two sets of gears instead of multiplying them, which is how multiple speed bikes work. Bob's inability to figure out the problem indicates to them that his cognitive faculties are being eroded along with the other users. In the movie, this is not brought up in the debriefing, and the bicycle scene remains somewhat bizarre and unexplained.
    • In a scene where the characters are riding in a tow truck after their car broke down on the highway, Luckman says "If I'd known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself." In the book, the statement is explained via Flashback as an in-joke among the group about how different classes of people view the world differently.More detail  In the movie, it just sounds like an incredibly random thing to say.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World includes the Subspace Doors from the graphic novels, but never explains what they are, despite being used during pretty important scenes. It isn't hugely jarring though, considering all the other nonsensical video game tropes and references that are just naturally part of story.
  • She (1965): The novel has a complicated beginning descibing how Horace Holly gets drawn into the Vincey family quest to find a lost city in Darkest Africa, and the months of preparation he and Leo Vincey take before setting out for Africa. The 1965 movie drops all of that and opens with Holly and Vincey, army buddies, already in Africa on unrelated business when the opportunity to search for a lost city is presented to them. As a result, it's just a convenient coincidence that Holly happens to know a lot of useful stuff about antiquity.
  • When Stanley Kubrick adapted The Shining, he did this with several plot points. Kubrick cut out the explanation of who "Tony" is, the story of the dead lady in the bathtub, and the story of the fellow in the dog costume that Horace Derwent debases—but he left all of those moments in the movie, without explanation. He also revised the story's climax, cutting out the exploding boiler, but still took care to show the boiler in a couple of scenes. It's fairly likely that the absence of explanation for most of these elements was deliberate, though, since the lack of exposition adds to the film's mystery and ability to shock the audience.
  • In Spider-Man 3:
    • Peter gains his infamous black symbiote but other than adapting to his costume and making him more hostile, the nature of the symbiote is not explained that much. When it comes time for Eddie Brock to put on the costume, there is no explanation given as to why he now has spider-powers and the audience is left to assume based on the comics.
    • Besides the powers, the symbiote is supposed to retain the memories of the previous user. That's how Brock learns Spider-Man's secret identity and stuff like Mary Jane being important to him. Again the movie fails to establish these facts, so the climax feels even more tacked on.
    • The movie also adapts the scene from the comics where Peter removes the symbiote in a church bell tower. In the comics, Peter did so because he knew from past experience about the symbiote's weakness to sonic vibrations and had no choice but to go to the tower. However, Peter doesn't figure out the symbiote's weakness until well-after he went to the bell tower - meaning he had no real reason to go there other than because of the comics. (The symbiote's weakness is clearly hinted at during this scene for viewers' benefit, but Peter doesn't put the pieces together until his final battle with Venom - which is several scenes after the fact.)
    • In the film, Eddie is in the church because he is praying that God will kill Peter, which seems a ridiculously extreme reaction - yes, Peter cost him his job and wasn't exactly nice about it, but the two were competing for one position and losing your job is hardly something to kill someone over. In the comics, on the other hand, Eddie is there to seek forgiveness. Peter does cause Eddie to lose his job, but as Spider-Man rather than Peter Parker. Subsequently, in the comics Venom hates Spider-Man in his own right, rather than because he's Peter Parker.
  • Starship Troopers, adaptation of Starship Troopers had the Mobile Infantry fighting battles that were extremely unsound tactically. Infantry, unsupported by armor or artillery, making direct frontal attacks on a numerically-superior enemy? Hollywood Tactics at their worst. However, it's also true to the book... sort of. The Mobile Infantry did operate without armor support, but only because their powered armor suits let the MI itself fill the traditional roles of armor, artillery, and even close air support (up to and including nuclear weapons.) When the powered armor was taken out of the movie, the justification for the MI operating unsupported went with it.
  • The film adaptation of Timeline foregoes the language difficulties presented in the book. In the book, the medieval characters speak a mixture of Middle English, Old French, Occitan and Latin, with the time travelers needing earpiece translators to understand them whilst they themselves struggled to be understood. In the film, the medievals simply speak modern English and French and have no trouble understanding the time travelers.
  • In Twilight:
    • Bella runs into some nasty characters who are going to hurt and possibly rape her. In the book, she has gotten lost by this point and does not know where to run, so prepares to scream and fight. It also says that if she tried to run, she would probably trip over her own feet. In the movie, she's still clumsy, but not that clumsy, and is still in sight of a reputable book store. Why she doesn't just turn around is not addressed.
    • Also in the manga: in the book and movie, it's made pretty apparent that Edward is bothered by how Bella smells in their first biology class. In the manga, we get a few panels of him glaring pissily at her, which doesn't really indicate her smell being what's causing the issues and which leaves the panel where she sniffs her hair making her look like she has some nervous tic.
  • In V for Vendetta, Britain’s secret police are called "fingermen", which might strike some people as an odd name for a scary group of fascist enforcers. The movie never explains that the name is derived from the secret police force being collectively known as "The Finger", and there's no mention of the other government agencies following the same Theme Naming (with the visual surveillance department being called "The Eye", the audio surveillance department being "The Ear", the criminal investigation force being "The Nose", and the government propaganda office being "The Mouth").
  • In Vampire Academy, Lissa is tortured by an blind user to prevent her from using compulsion on him. However, this review points out that why couldn't she heal his blindness just so she could compel him? This is because her hands are tied down, and her healing power only works through psychical contact such as by touch, which is out right explained in the Book but only hinted at in the Movie.
  • The Wizard of Oz:
    • The 1939 film version portrays the Winged Monkeys as the unquestioningly loyal servants of the Wicked Witch of the West, but never wastes any time explaining how they came into her service (the fact that they're her Mooks is presumably enough explanation for most people). But L. Frank Baum's original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, specifically explained that the Monkeys were bound to obey the Witch's commands because she possessed a magical golden cap that gave her power over them. It also explained that they weren't technically her Mooks, as they were only required to obey three commands from the bearer of the golden cap; the Witch used up her last command when she had the Monkeys capture Dorothy and her friends.
    • The significance of various colors was always a central part of the Oz mythos in the books, as Oz was portrayed as a society built around the celebration of color and beauty. This is why some of the most iconic elements of the story are instantly identifiable by their color: Dorothy wears a blue gingham dress and red ruby slippers note , she travels along a yellow brick road to reach a city of green emeralds, there's a deliberate shot of a red brick road that leads in the opposite direction from the yellow brick road, and scenes in Oz are filmed in color while scenes in Kansas are filmed in monochrome. The movie retains the original book's striking use of color, but it generally doesn't explain why the various colors are significant. In the book, the Munchkins instantly trust Dorothy because she wears blue, which is the color of Munchkinland; various characters assume that Dorothy is a witch because her dress is patterned with white checks, and only sorceresses wear white; the Yellow Brick Road is yellow because it leads to Winkie Country (the land West of Munchkinland ruled by the Wicked Witch), whose color is yellow; the Red Brick Road in Munchkinland leads to Quadling Country, whose color is red; and the Emerald City is green because it's an independent capital city that lies at the center of the four regions of Oz, and thus has its own color.
    • Some viewers might wonder why everyone in Oz seems to accept the Wizard as the ruler of the Emerald City so casually, since he's an outsider who wasn't even born in Oz, and there must have been someone else ruling the Emerald City before he dropped in. For that matter, his departure can cause a bit of Fridge Horror when you think about the fact that he's essentially leaving a power vacuum in the capital of Oz, with no apparent plans to appoint a successor. The novel (and its sequels) explained both points: he named the Scarecrow as his successor before he left Oz, and it was later revealed that the previous ruler of Oz was a benevolent king named Pastoria who died shortly before the Wizard arrived, while his daughter Princess Ozma mysteriously vanished soon afterward. note 
  • In the original novel which Who Framed Roger Rabbit is based on, the book's surprise ending contains an explanation for the seemingly implausible pairing of Jessica and Roger. As the plot of the novel is completely different from the film, however, the movie's version of the Jessica/Roger relationship is simply treated as some strange, funny case of Deliberate Values Dissonance between humans and toons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Worst Witch it's explained that it's tradition for the teachers and pupils to wear their hair loose at the Halloween celebrations. In season 1's Halloween Episode, this doesn't happen except for Miss Hardbroom. In season 2 it's only implied to be Halloween and there's no reason why all the girls are wearing their hair down for the celebrations. Especially since they're normally only ever shown with it down when they're in their nightgowns.
  • Power Rangers has had a couple of unexplained holdovers from Super Sentai:
    • In Lightspeed Rescue, Diabolico and Olympius have a rather strange death scene where after they explode, a demon face shoots out of them, screams and explodes. This is because in the Gogo V version of this scene, the ghost of Bansheera's counterpart Grandienne was possessing them and died with them (this scene was Gogo Vs' final battle).
    • In Gekiranger and Jungle Fury, monsters come in either alive (most of the major villains) or undead (most of the monsters-of-the-week, created from undead Mooks called Rinshi who are upgraded, gaining the ability to turn into the Monster of the Week at will) and have different deaths depending on this; live monsters get the standard fiery explosion, while undead freeze into statues and explode into dust, shattering just like the Rinshi they're made from. In the two-part premiere, the first Monster of the Week appears to die with the standard explosion multiple times, but isn't dead for real until he shatters. The difference is, Jungle Fury keeps several stories much the same as Gekiranger but doesn't make it especially clear when a monster is not a Rinshi Beast. Usually it doesn't matter much (It's not spelled out why Phantom Beasts and Grizzaka's underlings do not turn to dust in either version, but there's no reason to think they're Rinshi to begin with.) However, in one episode, The Starscream Naja has "life talons" that can restore him from near-fatal damage and resurrect others. He tries to tempt Camille with this. In Jungle Fury, it's not clear why that would appeal to her. If he joins her, they'd have "power over life and death," but only for as many resurrections as Naja has Life Talons; by the final We Can Rule Together speech at the climax, that's three. So not much temptation there. In Gekiranger, on the other hand, we get a detail that was left out of JF: Mele (Camille) herself is a Rinrinshi (Rinshi Beast), and talons from Braco (Naja) can make her truly alive. That is why it's so tempting. (It's also why, when he uses his first talon to save himself from Camille's poison, he instantly changes from Rinshi form into monster form, never to take on Rinshi form again: in Geki, it's the first clue of what the talons can really do; he was no longer a Rinshi. It's also the reason why the two monsters he resurrects explode like monsters in other seasons when destroyed; they are also no longer Rinshi and so don't die like Rinshi. The talons' ability to make you not a Rinshi anymore are an important detail when a normal explosion instead of a Rinshi death meant the monster was still alive three or so episodes previously.)
    • Operation Overdrive inverts this; In Boukenger, Gaja's Mooks, the Karths ("Chillers" in OO) are often seen being used by other villain factions without explanation. The OO episode "Just Like Me", which features one such battle from the Sentai version, has Flurious' flunky Norg bring "Chiller stones" to Moltor, which he uses in the fight against the Rangers.
    • In Gaoranger, Duke Org Ura is destroyed the first time when Shirogane charges at him and impales him on the Gao Hustler Rod. In Wild Force however, the impalement is cut out, so it looks like Merrick just destroyed Nayzor by shoving him.
    • Dora Goblin from Zyuranger devoured the souls of children. Gnarly Gnome from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, however, did not, which led one to wonder what were all those balls of light that flew out of him when he exploded.
      • Season 2's Mirror Maniac's mirror face is shattered for no explicable reason when he goes big. His Dairanger counterpart, Master Mirror, got his face shattered by Shishi Ranger prior to that.
      • Also from season two is the Showbiz Monster, who for no apparent reason dissolves into light when defeated instead of exploding. This is because while Showbiz Monster was just a standard Monster of the Week, his Dairanger counterpart Media Magician was actually a sympathetic character, and thus got a gentler death.
    • A minor one from Power Rangers Dino Charge; in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, the villains' plans revolved around gathering human emotion, specifically anger, joy and sadness. This element has not carried over to Dino Charge...and yet almost all the monsters still have a happy, sad or angry face somewhere on their bodies.
    • In Zeo, Rita accidentally creates a monster from a purse...which is inexplicably not only her strongest creation ever, but possibly the strongest Monster of the Week in the entire franchise, even able to shrug off the finisher from the Zeo Ultrazord. In the Ohranger-Kakuranger teamup movie it comes from, there actually is an explanation for this: it's not that it's incredibly powerful, but simply that as a magic-based Kakuranger monster, it's impervious to the Ohranger's technology-based weapons.
    • Inverted in Power Rangers Time Force; the first episode of Mirai Sentai Timeranger has a bad Unexplained Recovery moment when the Timerangers are trapped in a crashed ship which explodes with them on it...and are inexplicably uninjured afterwards. In the corresponding Time Force scene, Trip frees himself and gets the others off the ship before it blows.
    • Warmax from Power Rangers Mystic Force is a member of the dread Barbarian Beasts... who gets exploded by one hit from the Mystic Minotaur, and that's that. Except in Mahou Sentai Magiranger that wasn't that; it turns out the body was just a puppet and the sword was the actual monster, which then possesses Magi Green and wreaks havoc. This part of the episode was not adapted into Mystic Force, likely due to the large amount of unmorphed footage.
  • Inverted in an early episode of Masked Rider, where a trio of skull faced monsters are pointed out to have a weakness to water, and Masked Rider is able to destroy them by tackling them into a lake. This weakness is not mentioned in Kamen Rider BLACK RX, where going in the lake just makes them explode for no apparent reason.
  • Legend of the Seeker: In the first book, the title of The Book of Counted Shadowsnote  refers to how the boxes each cast a different number of shadows when they're in direct sunlight. In the series, the boxes display no such quality, but the book keeps its title.
  • The pilot of Dirk Gently includes two notable scenes from the original novel: Richard Macduff stopping a message from reaching his girlfriend (by stealing her laptop rather than stealing a tape from her answering machine) and Dirk explaining about his involvement in the Schrödinger's Cat experiment. In the book, the first scene happens because Richard is unknowingly possessed, and the second is Dirk testing whether Richard is thinking logically enough to spot he's talking nonsense. Neither of these explanations come up in the series. (Although to be fair, series!Susan doesn't live in a high-rise flat, so climbing in her window isn't quite as much of an irrational action that needs explained and tested.)
  • The Flash (2014): Speedforce is mentioned several times in the series but it's never really explained what it really is, leaving those who don't read the comics terribly confused. In the comics, it's explained that the Speed Force is a sentient extra-dimensional energy field that grants people like Barry enhanced speed and reflexes while protecting them from the effects of friction and entropy; it provides a cozy Hand Wave for how the Flash's powers are able to twist the laws of physics so much.
  • American Gods keeps Laura Moon's pet name "Puppy" for her husband Shadow, but doesn't explain why she calls him that. The novel explains that she always wanted a puppy, but couldn't get one because her and Shadow's apartment lease didn't allow pets; Shadow tried to cheer her up by jokingly saying that he could be her puppy, pointing out that he could do anything a puppy could. note  It can come off as a bit more condescending and mean-spirited in the show, since it implies that Laura sees Shadow as more of a pet than a husband.
  • In Hogfather, the Librarian of Unseen University has written a letter to the Hogfather, with Ponder Stibbons noting that he can do this even though he's an adult because the rules are different for orang-utans. The Librarian doesn't appear in the TV adaptation, nor is his species mentioned, so it's not particularly clear why the wizards expect the Hogfather to show up in the library, or why this prompts Ridcully to wonder if he'd deliver to apes before humans.
  • In his original appearance in Silver Age Superboy, Mon-El was an amnesiac who Superboy assumed must be Kryptonian since he shared all his powers. Clark therefore named him "Mon-El" based on his own Kryptonian name. Even once he remembered he was a Daxamite named Lar Gand, he continued using Mon-El as his superhero identity in Legion of Super-Heroes. In Supergirl, Mon-El is his actual Daxamite name (Lar Gand is his father), and the fact this doesn't just sound Kryptonian but specifically like Kara's family isn't even commented upon.

    Video Games 
  • In Doki Doki Panic, the game Super Mario Bros. 2 is a Dolled-Up Installment of, twins Poki and Piki fought over the book the story takes place in and accidentally ripped out the last page in which Mamu (Wart) was defeated, explaining why World 7 only has two levels when all other worlds have three.
  • Lots of the more inexplicable events that happen in Final Fantasy VII did have explanation scenes, that were Dummied Out in the eventual game. For example, the original game had a scene where Sephiroth explains that Summoned monsters are monsters of the Ancients who have dedicated themselves to the Planet, immediately before the boss fight with the Red Dragon, which rewards the player with a Bahamut Materia (the implication being that the Dragon chose to become the Materia to help the party). This process is similar to how Aerith persists after her death in the Compilation titles... but with no explanation it comes across as just a bunch of stuff happening for no reason.
  • JumpStart 3rd Grade's Prolonged Prologue was edited down in later releases. However, the line in the beginning of the game spoken by Polly, "There's still an extra credit question, and it's super hard" went down along with it. This now means that at the end of the game, her demand for the extra credit question seemingly comes out of left field.
  • Kingdom Hearts II:
    • Sora and co. seem to arrive in Port Royal during the Black Pearl's first attack - except Captain Jack is already out of his cell and trying to get a ship. Jack's debt to Will is still part of the reason he joins the party, but Will's reasons for letting him out in the first place are left kind of hazy.
    • Gets even more complicated with Atlantica: how the heck did Eric find out Ariel's name? Kiss The Girl never happened because Sebastian was speaking with King Triton at the time, and the Almost Kiss came naturally.
  • The PlayStation port of LEGO Island 2 had a few minigames removed due to space issues. One of these was a Fishing Minigame, which is forgivable due to being boring beyond words. However, all mentions of it were inexplicably left in. This means that the minigame preceding it still has the pond at the end, and Pepper still tells Johnny, Pippin Reed, and Kilroy that he had caught a big fish.
  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter starts with a cutscene where the ship Sam found at the end of The First Encounter in space, barely making it out of Earth's atmosphere before a bus made out of crates carrying caricatures of Croteam crashes into it and forces it back down. In the HD remakes, this cutscene was removed, leaving almost no explanation for why the ship Sam was taking into space is now on fire and half-embedded into a cliff in ancient South America.
  • Splinter Cell Double Agent contains a variant example. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions had an entire sub-plot surrounding a budding romance between Sam and Enrica. This entire plot was missing from the considerably different version released to PS2 and Nintendo GameCube, leading to something of a Plot Hole when Sam abruptly becomes so protective of Enrica and no other JBA members when ordered to kill them in the final mission.

    Western Animation 
  • In the original Axe Cop webcomic, Sockarang started out as an otherwise generic superhero with the power of having throwable socks for arms. Later he gained the powers of Bad Santa and became Good Bad Santa, with a big black beard. The animated Axe Cop series leaves out this plot but has him have the wild-looking black beard from the start anyway. It even kind of excludes the possibility of his having gained it from Bad Santa, because this continuity has a different version of Bad Santa.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Early episodes show a giant penny on display in the Bat Cave, purely because he has one in the comics, which he got during his one and only encounter with Joe Coyne, aka The Penny Plunderer. The Penny Plunderer never appears in the cartoon, but a later episode gave it a new origin: Two-Face had tried to kill Batman by tying Batman to the penny and then launching it into the air, and "they let him keep it."
    • The "sequel" series The New Batman Adventures had a variation where certain stories from the tie-in comic The Batman Adventures were treated as canon for adapting into subsequent episodes, resulting in plot elements being established as "already happened" without prior explanation like Robin having split from Batman to pursue a solo career as the superhero Nightwing and Bruce Wayne's first encounter with Jason Blood/The Demon Etrigan before "The Demon Within", where he and Jason already know each-other. The series did adapt the Robin/Batman split in "Old Wounds" but that was only an adaptation of first 2 issues of "The Lost Years" which also detailed Dick's journey to Nightwing, including where he got the winged glider costume.
      • Oh BTW, Catwoman now has black hair, much like her mainstream comic-book counterpart, instead of her movie counterpart. She explains in the tie-in comic that her blonde look was a dye job. She discontinued it when she discovered that the company that made the hair dye, owned by Roland Daggett, was unethically testing the chemicals on animals.
  • Beast Wars inverted this with the "Transmetal 2" toy line, so named because they were the 2nd wave of Transmetal action figures. In the cartoon, they give this an explanation: the Plot Device of the Transmetal Driver is what creates the Transmetal 2 upgrades. However, some of the transformers adopted from the T2 line received their transmetal forms without the driver; thus they're not technically Transmetal 2's even though they're part of the same toy line.
  • When Iron Man did an adaptation of the iconic "Armor Wars" story arc, they left in the sequence where Iron Man attacks Stingray, which leads to a My God, What Have I Done? moment. In the comics, the fight was significant because Iron Man had assaulted a friend and fellow Avenger, but in the show, Stingray had never appeared before the "Armor Wars" story, and there was no indication that the two men even knew each other. Thus, it's not necessarily clear to the audience why Tony views it as crossing the Moral Event Horizon unless they're familiar with the comics.
  • The My Little Pony episode Swarm of the Century is, by the writers' own admission, an adaptation/homage of the Gremlins movies. As such, many things that in the episode are perceived as Broken Aesops are really a case of this:
    • In the original movies, Billy really doesn't have the actual solution to the problem, unlike Pinkie Pie.
    • In the original movies, most authority figures are presented as either corrupt or incompetent, an element that is not present in Swarm of the Century
    • Pinkie also serves as a stand-in for Murray Futterman, who in the second movie was portrayed as suffering from PTSD from the Gremlins attacking him in the first movie, hence why he had trouble explaining himself.
    • Thus, Billy and Mr. Futterman's inability to properly explain themselves made more sense than Pinkie Pie's.
  • The animated adaptation of Soul Music keeps the highly symbolic scene at the beginning when Imp has to choose between going to Ankh-Morpork or going to Quirm. However, it then moves the Quirm College for Young Ladies to Ankh, thereby separating this choice from the fact that, once things have happened differently, he's working near the College.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Sinestro's yellow ring: since the Green Lantern ring was not stated to be weak to yellow, it's not clear what exactly makes Sinestro so fearsome to other Green Lanterns that he could defeat so many and steal their rings.
    • Justice League went the subtle route - although the Green Lanterns' weakness to yellow is never mentioned or alluded to verbally, pay close attention (especially in the first season) and you will see that nearly anything that happens to get through John Stewart's defenses happens to be yellow. This reaches problematic levels in the Justice League Unlimited episode The Great Brain Robbery, in which Lex Luthor's mind enters The Flash's body. At some point he starts throwing a bunch of stuff from the top of a table at Green Lantern and while cutlery and dishes do nothing to GL's shield, the one thing that penetrates it and causes him to lose the concentration is vanilla pudding.
    • Another one from Justice League is Obsidian, who shows up in backgrounds fairly often. Thing is, Obsidian's powers come from being the son of Alan Scott, who doesn't appear to exist in the show's continuity, so how he got them is a mystery.
  • Teen Titans didn't delve into either Cyborg's or Beast Boy's origin stories, though the comic sequel covered Cyborg's. This has left many fans confused on whether Beast Boy is human or not (he is).
  • X-Men: Cyclops and Havok being immune to each-other's powers. While it was evident the writers were laying the groundwork for a reveal down the line of them discovering they were long lost brothers, they never got around to putting it in the series.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Explanation Extrication