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Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole

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"I say, that plot line made a lot more sense in the original manga."
Bakura referring to the duel between his evil side and Yugi, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series

So you're watching the movie version of your favorite book, and wait — wasn't Alice's sword broken two scenes ago? What happened to the scene where she went to go get it reforged? And why is Bob seemingly flirting with Charlotte? Doesn't he indicate in the third book that he never liked her and suspected her of being a traitor?

Almost no adaptation is perfectly accurate. Details often get left out of adaptations, and sometimes this works, sometimes this doesn't (particularly to those unfamiliar with the original work). Other times, details are added that seem perfectly fine at the time, but end up directly contradicting canonical plot points — with a continuing work, this may even be a plot point the original writers hadn't actually written yet. Sadly, authors are not psychic.

If added material results in a plot hole, it may require an additional scene to Hand Wave it away. If removed material caused the problem, there may be a brief Info Dump to fill everyone in on what they missed. Contrast with its inverse, the Plot Tumor.

If this is caused by a work being translated into another language, it's a Dub-Induced Plot Hole. If there is simply a lack of explanation as to why something happened, instead of a full-on Plot Hole, it's Adaptation Explanation Extrication. Contrast Adaptational Explanation where a plot hole gets fixed in an adaptation.

See The Artifact if something similar happens during the production of an original work. Orphaned Reference describes a similar effect for an original work caused by scenes being deleted from the final version.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The first Army of Darkness comic was an adaptation of the movie which featured the alternate ending where Ash wakes up in a post-apocalyptic future rather than going back to his own time. The next series of comics start where the movie ended, with Ash fighting deadites at work.
  • When Epic Mickey was adapted into a roughly sixty-pages long graphical novel, many things had to be left out. Most notably: 1° Mickey never comes across Small Pete and Big Bad Pete in the scenes where, in the game version, he does; 2° Mickey's adventure when searching for the rocket pieces are reduced to one single splash panel per quest. As long as it was standalone, alright. However, when Epic Mickey 2 got its own graphic novel, it was adapted back from the second game, without checking what had been changed for the first graphic novel; Small Pete and Big Bad Pete are just casually recognized by Mickey who acknowledges having fought them before; same goes for Pete Pan, who was met by Mickey in the Ventureland quest of the game, one of those that had gotten reduced to one panel. But, most important, the single-panel summary of the fight between Mickey and the Mad Doctor in the first installment left out The Reveal that the Doctor turned himself into a cyborg to be immune to the Blot's attack. The whole plot of Epic Mickey 2 is the Mad Doctor wanting to be human again as the Blot no longer exists and his too-quickly-made animatronic parts are starting to break down. And yet, readers who knew the first story only from the graphic novel and had not played the first game itself did not have a clue what the whole "Mad Doctor is a robot" plot point was about.
  • In Dell Comics' Comic-Book Adaptation of Mad Monster Party?, the King Kong Captain Ersatz referred to only as "It" was changed from a giant ape to a giant humanoid fish monster. In spite of the change, Felix still offers "It" a banana and Baron von Frankenstein still calls "It" an overgrown chimpanzee.
  • In the Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty graphic novel and motion comic adaptation, Snake's holdup of Olga is massively compressed, so she takes her gun, throws it overboard, and it's followed immediately by a gun battle. How she has a gun after throwing it away isn't explained. (In the original game, she had a second gun disguised as a knife and a USP strapped to her back, which Snake was in the process of relieving her of before she managed to distract him.)
  • The comic version of Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (the one made to look like a Film Comic) misses a plot-critical line of Prof. Calculus: In the animated film, Calculus said the miniature duplicator machine was "a very special version", meaning Tintin actually did try to outsmart Rastapopoulos. In the comic, without this line, it looks like an accident.
  • In the graphic novel adaptation of Wings of Fire: The Dark Secret, Starflight mentions that Queen Scarlet had him fight scavengers in the arena. While that's true in the original book, that never happened in the graphic novel version; it only had Starflight and Tsunami's "fight" and the IceWings' deaths.

    Fan Works 
  • A Brighter Dark removes Anankos and the kingdom of Valla from the narrative. The problem is, a lot of character motivations and backstories (most notably Garon's) only make sense with Anankos's involvement, meaning quite a bit of the fic (which follows canon very closely) doesn't make sense.
  • All my homies hate Athalie Severin: Why does God suddenly decide to kill Athalie Severin right at that moment, when he could have killed her before she killed her sister or abused her kids? Muted averted this by not having God appear at all, and not being, well, a Crack Fic.
  • In Chrono Trigger: The Musical Crono arrives at Guardia Castle in 600 A.D. followed by him and Lucca returning through the forest, skipping over Marle suddenly disappearing from the timeline because history has been changed and they need to fix it.
  • In Cibus Esculentus Madoka Magica, Homura and Kyoko come off as nothing but arrogant when the former seeks to protect Madoka without the others' help and the latter fights for territory. The person that SeaRover1986 (formerly McKnight) commissioned skipped over a lot of details (such as most of Sayaka's interactions with Kyousuke) assuming them redundant. However, the reason Homura originally shunned everyone's help except Kyoko's was because they brushed her off when she tried to warn them about their fates to turn into Witches and then broke down after having to kill Sayaka's Witch form. As for Kyoko, Grief Seeds which could only be obtained from Witches, were the sole reason Puellae Magi fought for territory in the first place. Both issues should be moot due to a lack of Soul Gems, Grief Seeds, and Witches; Cibi don't wield Soul Gems, because instead of succumbing to despair and becoming Witches, their purpose is to get eaten by Esurientes after keeping their numbers down for a bit, in order to help them reproduce by spawning. This trope is exactly one of two reasons why the author seeks to reboot the story (the other, more importantly, to write it in his own words for reasons explained here).
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Vegeta kills Ginyu rather than sparing him like he did in the source material. This eventually brings up a plot hole when the Ginyu Forces gather together at King Kai's planet yet Captain Ginyu himself is not present as he doesn't die in the canon. note  HFIL clears this up by establishing that Ginyu's soul is a frog, and was thus unable to tell his team who he was.
    • Porunga teleporting Piccolo against his will was an added bit of funny, but made it rather confusing that he couldn't teleport Goku the same way. It is worth noting, however, that Goku was extremely powerful by this point, and Porunga had just created New Namek, as opposed to finding it like in the original, meaning he could've just been too tired.

    Films — Animated 
  • A minor example in Alice in Wonderland: when Alice grows to giant size in the forest a bird mistakes her for a serpent, even if she looks nothing like one. In the original book, it was her neck that had grown out of proportion, which makes the mistake more believable.
  • Batman: Year One has a slight one. Just like in the comic, when Jim and Barbara Gordon go to meet Bruce Wayne because of Sarah Essen's theory that Bruce is Batman, Bruce does his typical playboy thing and even has a woman spooning him the entire time who he says can't speak English. However, the film gives her another line, where, after the Gordons leave, she complains about their weird party in English and Bruce tells her to shut up and take her money. In the comic, there's nothing to indicate that Bruce didn't sleep with her or that she spoke a word of English, making it pretty believable that she didn't know he was pulling anything shady, whereas in the movie, it's kind of weird that she would keep quiet after this weirdness or wouldn't piece together that Bruce is at least connected to Batman.
  • The adaptation of the famous Batman Graphic Novel The Long Halloween creates one surrounding the Holiday Killer's identity. In the original graphic novel, it was left ambiguous at the end who of the three primary suspects; Alberto Falcone note  Harvey Dent note  or Gilda Dent note , did which, if any, of the Holiday killings. The Holiday Killer themself is kept off-panel in every scene before Alberto gets caught to assist in this mystery. In the film, however, Alberto Falcone is ruled out as a suspect when he's shot and thrown into a boat's propeller, leaving him Deadder Than Dead halfway through the story, and at multiple points, both the audience and Batman see the Holiday Killer plainly; they wear thick clothes and a mask, but have the unmistakeable body-type of a well-built man. While Harvey does get charged for the killings (after becoming Two-Face) at the end, Batman confronts Gilda in the scene where she burns the evidence in this version, but doesn't call out her claims of having been the only killer as nonsense. It's also at least treated as a possibility that Batman will let them go now that the Holiday killings are over, because he finds their motives sympathetic, which would be seriously Out of Character for Batman even if Gilda/Harvey's killings hadn't lead to a gang war in Gotham and hadn't killed Alberto Falcone, who is (mostly) innocent in this continuity.
  • In most literary versions of Beauty and the Beast, the land where Beauty lives isn't the land ruled by the Beast/Prince's family, nor is the enchanted castle his own castle - he was only placed there for his safety for the duration of the curse, and in the end he and Beauty are transported to his homeland. In the Disney version, the enchanted castle is his own, so the audience is left to wonder why neither Belle nor any of her neighbors know that the castle exists or that their prince was turned into a beast. The 2017 live-action remake fills this plot hole in a new way, by having the curse make the whole kingdom forget the existence of the castle and everyone inside it.
  • From the BIONICLE movies:
    • Tahu's brave proclamation in Mask of Light that "None have breached Ta-Koro's gates before!" is undermined by the fact that it has been breached during the Bohrok-Kal arc (with the destroyed gate's rubble even burying Tahu), not long before the movie's events. In the writers' defense, it was something of a filler story written sometime during the film's production, and it's possible they didn't know about it or didn't feel like changing the line.
    • Minor case, but the film has Jaller and Takua be scared by a bunch of Bohrok until they realize they've been frozen stiff. Yet the Bohrok have been defeated and rendered inanimate quite some time before the film's events, which the duo had witnessed firsthand. Afterward, the remaining Bohrok were reactivated and beaconed back to their underground nest, meaning none would still be at large or pose a threat to anyone. Perhaps a few got lost in the snow? In reality, they were only put into the film because the CGI team had already created models for them before the script was written.
    • During Tahu's purification, Lewa uses Tahu's Magma Sword and activates its fire power, when the fact that most tools can only channel the power of their user has been established in the very first comic. Lewa's power is air, so the Magma Sword would have been spewing wind rather than heat.
    • Legends of Metru Nui doesn't explain why the heroes never once use their Elemental Powers in the several battles they take part in, until the very end of the film, when they suddenly defeat the Big Bad with them. Being a Compressed Adaptation, it rendered multiple books' worth of storyline as a short montage, but without mentioning how their powers have depleted during that time, and were recharging over the course of the movie.
    • The Legend Reborn's opening scene shows the island of Mata Nui as green and lush, until the real Mata Nui bursts out from under it. Then as the Mask of Life gets launched into space, the planet is depicted with numerous landmasses. The Mata Nui island had actually been a barren rock for a while before the movie with no plant life, and the planet wasn't called "Endless Ocean Planet" for nothing either, it had no continents. In fact the official Bionicle website's webmaster at the time brought up these inconsistencies during a meeting with the filmmakers, but his points were ignored.
  • In The Fantastic Adventures of Unico no reason is given as to why the gods can't just keep Unico for themselves. In the original manga it is explained that if Venus did kept Unico with her Eros would just steal him back for Psyche.
  • Heavy Metal adapts a number of stories from the comic it's based on, but tends to credit strange or supernatural happenings to a dimension-traveling green ball called the Loc-Nar as a way to tie them together. However, this causes some of the stories to not make sense, most notably the Captain Sternn segment. In the original, Sternn is on trial for many crimes, but he confidently claims he bought off one of the witnesses. Said witness, Hannover Fiste, gets partway through a very unconvincing testimony before he flies into a rage at Sternn's evil and turns into a monstrous being on the stand, and in the ensuing chaos, chases Sternn out of the courtroom, smashing everything in his path... then, once they're clear, Sternn hands Fiste the cash. The implication in the original story is that Fiste is his accomplice, with him Hulking Out being some kind of superpower, and therefore the entire thing was a ruse on his part to escape the trial. But in the film version, Fiste's transformation is triggered by the Loc-Nar, which he picked up off the ground right before the trial—something Sternn couldn't possibly have planned for. Consequently, it now seems like Sternn genuinely expected to be declared "not guilty" by a single shifty-eyed witness rambling about him being "the very cream of human goodness", when in the original story, that was the misdirection.
  • The Lion King (2019):
    • In the original film, it's made fairly clear why the hyenas are so willing to go along with Scar's plan: they're a bunch of bickering louts with no leader, he's able to bribe them with food, he's responsible for their initial attack on Simba and rewards them even after they fail, and based on the way they speak to him, it seems like they've known each other for a while. In the remake, it's made clear that Scar only met the hyenas after said attack, he doesn't offer them anything apart from his word, and the hyenas already have a clear leader in the form of an Adaptational Badass-ified Shenzi. Yet the hyenas are still happy to fall in line for a very risky plan, based on the statements of the brother of the guy who just ripped through them like tissue paper. If anything, it makes one wonder why the hyenas didn't try to attack Scar the moment he showed up. And if they did want Mufasa dead so badly, why didn't they try to kill him themselves earlier in the rescue scene, when they had him surrounded, outnumbered about 12-1, and their leader present? (In the original, there's only three hyenas at the scene, one of which is Shenzi but she, again, isn't any kind of leader, and Mufasa literally got the jump on them before quickly scaring them off instead of talking to Shenzi for a few minutes.)
    • In the original, Scar knocks Zazu unconscious before he can go find help during the stampede, removing the only witness from the situation. In the remake, Scar instead orders Zazu to go retrieve the pride for help. This change was probably seen as pragmatic, since it was puzzling in the original what Zazu thought knocked him out and why Scar didn't just kill his scheme's only witness, who he already hated. But after the stampede, Scar claims he didn't make it to the gorge in time to save Mufasa and Simba - even though Zazu was with him at the gorge. Considering Zazu still regularly visited Pride Rock after Scar became king (despite being implied to have been banished), and is also implied to have heard every word of Scar announcing himself as king, it's a glaring flaw in Scar's cover story.
    • In the original, Scar's plan was to have Simba and Mufasa's deaths look like they died in a stampede. Prior to leaving to get Mufasa for a "surprise present", he halfheartedly tells Simba to work on his roar as a way to occupy himself. Simba's survival was an accident, so Scar tricked Simba into thinking he caused it, which considering it happened after Simba started practicing roaring, is understandable Simba would think he caused it and feel enough guilt to run away. The remake keeps this mostly the same, except it has Scar bring Simba to the valley for the explicit purpose of practicing roaring before he has the hyenas cause the stampede, which makes Simba's guilt no longer make sense since Scar basically ordered him to do it, making it far less sensible for Scar to leave Simba alone rather than stay to watch him practice, and makes it seem like Scar wanted Simba to survive, since there was no reason to make him seem like he caused it.
    • Just about every critical review of the film has snarked at the fact that the song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is now sung during the daytime.
    • Scar backs Simba up to the ledge of Pride Rock to throw him to his death and gloats about how he is reminded of Mufasa's own demise in the same way. When Simba retaliates and confronts him for confessing to Mufasa's murder, Sarabi pipes up, having realized Scar's knowledge of Mufasa's last moments blows his cover, and even quotes him verbatim. If she could hear him perfectly, why didn't she try to do anything until after Simba saved himself?
  • Son of the White Horse:
    • Stonecrumbler and Irontemperer are already familiar with Treeshaker before he meets them despite Treeshaker having grown up separated from his brothers. In the original folk stories, they knew of him from hearsay, but in the movie there is nobody around they could have talked to.
    • The only way to explain the behavior of the dethroned Rain King towards his sons and lengthy negligence of his likewise fallen queen (the White Mare) is to theorize he was secretly testing them so that they wouldn't end up like his previous three sons, hoping his plan to reclaim his power would pan out 14 years later. In the folk tales, the man in the forest, the evil goblin and the king himself are three different characters, unrelated to the protagonists. The Rain King, who was invented for the film, is a combination of all three and is also the three brothers' father and the White Mare's former partner. The film doesn't explain why he took on all these personas and neglected/hindered his family if they all had the same goal.
    • The evil main dragons threaten to kill the small chainlink dragons that form a giant snake if they let the White Mare's third son escape. When the White Mare escapes with her third son in her womb, the snake faces no obvious punishment. In the folk stories the film was based on, the snake either doesn't appear or only shows up at the end, while the film introduces it in the opening and forgets about it until the ending. The dragons' meaningless threat was inserted into the movie from a different folk tale, seemingly only for the sake of a literary reference and to give context for the Dramatic Chase Opening where the small dragons fail to capture the Mare.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: Miles Morales notably has a different last name than his father, Officer Jefferson Davis. When Miles was originally introduced in Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, this was because "Jefferson Davis" was only his father's birthname; he took his wife Rio Morales' last name after he got married, wanting to distance himself from his criminal brother Aaron Davis. But since this isn't the case in the film, it raises the question of why "Davis" isn't Miles' last name too.
  • Thumbelina (1994) applies Adaptation Expansion in several areas, largely by increasing the roles of various characters. One of those characters is the swallow, who accompanies Thumbelina throughout the film rather than just show up at the end — except, since the movie still focuses on Thumbelina's struggles to get home, this led to many a viewer wondering why he couldn't just fly her home from the start.

    Literature 
  • Doctor Who Novelisations:
    • Doctor Who and the Space War, the novelisation of "Frontier in Space", removes the twist Cliffhanger ending of the Doctor getting shot, but both Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks and "Planet of the Daleks" start with the Doctor near-fatally wounded.
    • The adaptation of "The Robots of Death" has an utter howler when a character shows up to watch the Doctor being tortured, who was last encountered having been strangled to death.
  • MonsterVerse novelizations:
    • In the Godzilla: King of the Monsters novelization, the three-headed dragon Ghidorah's remaining severed head at the end is covered in barnacles, unlike in the film. In both the film and book versions of the story, the ocean which the head was dredged up from (using no less than nine fishing boats due to the head's size and weight) is supposed to be barren and poisoned to the point of lifelessness, having been lethally blasted by the Oxygen Destroyer just seconds after the head was torn off by Godzilla while he was dragging Ghidorah into the water. So where the hell did the barnacles come from, and how were they alive and present long enough to attach themselves to the head en masse?
    • The novelization of Godzilla vs. Kong explicitly says that Apex have severed skulls from two Ghidorah heads in their possession, whereas only one skull was ever explicitly seen in the movie. This comes across as a glaring continuity error, since in the previous story (book and film versions both), Ghidorah's entire body including all three of his attached heads were completely disintegrated, leaving behind only the single, earlier-decapitated head that's mentioned above, and there were no other points during the movie inbetween Ghidorah's unsealing and his death at which he could have lost and regrown another head.
  • The Red Dwarf novelisations:
    • The disaster that wiped out the Red Dwarf crew was caused not by Rimmer's incompetence, (which happened in the TV series (except when it didn't) but by a series of malfunctions that the crew were unable to notice. For some reason, the disaster did not happen in Ace Rimmer's universe, despite it having no connection to his presence (or lack thereof) on the ship, with the one real difference being that Ace was held back in school, while Prime Rimmer wasn't (which led to Lister having a bunkmate on the ship who encouraged him to apply himself).
    • In order to make Lister smuggling Frankenstein on board less wildly irresponsible, the book says she was an expensive pet-shop cat that was inocculated against everything. This makes it significantly less likely that she not only wasn't spayed, but was pregnant when Lister bought her, which is required for the Cat race to exist.

    Radio 
  • In the radio version of New Dynamic English, Max said that he's born in Portland and moved to San Francisco when he's in college, despite that in the software he said that he lived in San Francisco "all his life".
    • Max also has a son, while in the software's Module 2 Matrix Vocabulary, he said he has a daughter, and later children in Module 4. One can wonder about his daughter's fate.
    • Max said that his full name is "Max Wilson", despite that in Module 1, he said that "Max" is short for "Maxwell".
    • Richard Chin/Chen from Module 1 is the same as the one in Module 6; an elementary school teacher who's married to a fashion model. The illustrations from the software differs, however.
  • In the radio adaptation of Wyrd Sisters the older witches tell Magrat that the Fool/Verence II is, in fact, the son of Verence I and Mrs Fool, as everyone believes, and that Tomjon is the son of the elder Fool and the Queen, as in the book, making them both "half royal". Setting aside that the whole point of the scene in the book is "the king is someone who does not have royal blood at all, and this is all to the good", this makes a nonsense out of the claim that telling everyone they're brothers and Verence is the older is "truthful but not honest", since they're not brothers at all, and it's not clear why Magrat is somewhat aghast at the supposed Exact Words, since they've actually put the person with the strongest claim on the throne after all.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has this happen between editions.
    • In the 3.5 player's handbook, a priest of Pelor, the quintessentially good deity of Greyhawk, is seen using a Symbol of Pain spell, which good aligned gods cannot grant. What happened was that they reused some artwork from the 3.0 PHB of the priest using the pain aspect of the Symbol spell, which was originally an unaligned spell.
    • Drow society in Forgotten Realms is based off of infravision, but 3.5 removed infravision.
    • The original CD&D supplement for the Mystara setting's nation of Karameikos included a three-paragraph summary of the content of an epic poem, roughly equivalent to the real-world Iliad, that underpins much of the native Traladaran culture's history and religion. When Karameikos was re-packaged for an AD&D audience, the three-paragraph summary was presented as the actual saga, meaning it was no longer a poem, no longer exciting, and no longer appealing enough to justify the Traladarans' having revered it for hundreds of years.
  • Pathfinder: Second Edition has a really odd and extreme example. Paizo, the creators of Pathfinder, decided to remove slavery from the primary setting of their games due to no longer feeling comfortable with the Darker and Edgier tone they made when they first released Pathfinder. However, instead of saying it was abolished or creating a narrative reason, they instead retroactively removed slavery from the game, not just in the sense of not allow pcs to own slaves (which would be completely reasonable), but making it so even villains don't have slaves. This creates tons of plotholes, as there were a lot of evil races, organizations, and countries that use slavery, and there's even a species of demon created from slavers, yet now suddenly they never once used slaves despite having them being a core part of why they were presented as evil, the biggest one being The Empire Cheliax, which had an Adventure Path dedicated to the players being freedom fighters in a city ruled by them and being able to free slaves during it. There are also multiple organizations dedicated to abolishing slavery, so what they are supposed to do now is a mystery, or if they even exist now, given the reason they were created no longer is apparently a thing anymore.

    Theatre 
  • Evil Dead: The Musical: Lampshaded. In the movie, Jake tries to force the group out into the woods to look for Bobbi Joe, his girlfriend. In the show, Bobbi Joe is adapted out, but Jake still wants to force everyone out into the woods. When Ash demands to know why Jake would want to go into the woods, Jake handwaves it by saying, "I don't have time for your common sense!"
  • Love Never Dies, while not a straight adaptation of The Phantom of Manhattan, is based heavily on it (to the point Forsyth is actually credited for the show) and takes several plot points wholesale, most notably Christine's son being Erik's, not Raoul's. However, the changes to Raoul's personality—namely, making him a drunken Jerkass—are such that the explanation for how the characters know who Gustave's biological father is had to be changed, as with this significantly more selfish version of Raoul it wouldn't make sense. However, that then means it also no longer makes sense how everyone comes to be so sure of that particular fact. Short version: Book!Raoul is impotent/infertile—so of course they're sure it's Erik, it can't be anyone else—but he's a really nice guy and decided to Give the Baby a Father. Show!Raoul wouldn't do that, so the impotence is removed and he had sex with Christine in the correct timeframe to believe the boy to be his. Which means the show has to pivot to the significantly shakier evidence of Gustave's musical talent to prove that Erik is the father. There are many reasons this doesn't actually prove anything (even not accounting for the Writers Cannot Do Math-induced timeline issues), yet the show treats it as rock-solid evidence on par with modern science.
  • The stage musical Wicked features numerous ideas that weren't in Gregory Maguire's novel, one of which is The Reveal that Boq is the Tin Woodman. This should raise some questions if you've read L. Frank Baum's original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (where Boq first appeared), where Dorothy encounters both Boq and the Tin Woodman—making it clear that they're not the same person.

    Video Games 
  • Advanced V.G. II: The opening story mode cutscene features a flashback to Yuka's televised match with Jun, using the exact same footage from the OVA. This suggests that the game takes place sometime afterward, except it creates two problems:
  • The Bourne Conspiracy video game follows the plot of the first Bourne movie pretty accurately except for some added flashback missions and a runup to the hit on Wombosi at the start. However this actually hurts the premise since it makes the Treadstone program look not so bad, and Bourne more like a coward than someone with principles. The game doesn't allow you to use lethal force against civilians or police, something the movie implied that Treadstone was quite lax about, it creates an odd moral issue when Bourne gets a burst of conscience and can't kill Wombosi, despite that he slaughtered dozens of his mooks to get to him and also killed Wombosi's Dragon, (a character that doesn't appear in the film), and depicts the flashback missions as quite noble and just despite the film implying that they often consisted of killing innocent people who happened to inconvenience the CIA, involving things like fighting off a terrorist assault on an airport and stopping a terrorist from obtaining a dirty bomb. Pre-amnesia Bourne and Conklin come across more like ruthless Anti-Heroes rather than the immoral killers as portrayed in the movie.
  • Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza is a rather direct adaptation of the classic action film, Die Hard, but with a few plot points added and John McClane fighting off hundreds of terrorists for the sake of more action, leading to some plot inconsistencies.
    • For instance, the game's recreation of Hans' masterplan from the film - hijacking all the bearer bonds from Nakatomi Plaza's vault, stage a faked suicide bombing and escape in their getaway vehicle - makes a lot less sense when translated to video game, given how Hans brought along nearly a hundred extra mooks (compared to the film where his team consists of twelve guys). How does a small army of terrorists fake a suicide bombing without raising any suspicions? And should Hans' theft of the bonds goes off without a hitch, how is his legion of goons going to evacuate discreetly given their numbers?
    • There's also the rooftop scene where John tries to evacuate hostages only to be mistaken for a terrorist and shot at. In the game, John meets a bunch of SWAT officers in a stage and helps them escort some hostages, before the helipad scene. Despite having met up with the relevant authorities who likely informed their superiors that John isn't one of the terrorists, the rooftop moment still happens.
    • Crossing with Adaptation Explanation Extrication, there's no reason why John needs to remain barefoot the entire game after killing dozens and dozens of terrorists he could salvage shoes from, unlike the film where the one opportunity he has to steal shoes is from Tony, a mook whose "feet is smaller than his sister's". John just needs to be barefoot because the game says so (either that, or all 50-plus terrorists John killed throughout the game have feet smaller than his sister's).
  • Several plot points and moments in Dead Rising 2: Off the Record make less sense than they do in the original:
    • In the original, Chuck Greene was the one framed for starting the zombie outbreak, whereas in this version, it's just a fanatical zombie-lover, and as such, various bosses who tried to kill the player believing him responsible had to have their motivations changed. This worked out well for most, but Carl Schliff now decides to kill Frank for not being the adressee of a package he signed for, even though all his previous dialogue in the cutscene, with him strongly implying he'd accept anyone's signature, remains the same.
    • In the first game, Tyrone King leaking the video of "Chuck" releasing the zombies was a key part of Phenotrans' plan to frame someone else for the outbreak. In this version, the zombies really are released by the man caught on the camera; Brandon Whitaker, but TK still leaks the video. Yet Stacey, the Big Bad working for Phenotrans in this version, calls this a betrayal and takes action against TK even though they were the ones to tell him to use Brandon, who is ostensibly the perfect fall-guy. If they never intended the exact cause of the outbreak to be known, why enact this convoluted scheme of using proxies of proxies to start it? And if TK wanted to betray Phenotrans, why didn't he just point attention at them out directly instead of simply exposing their psychotic patsy who operated with TK directly in the plotting, and thus would likely expose TK first if caught, and who's part of a CURE, which Phenotrans already uses as a proxy to start outbreaks?
    • Stacey is the The Mole in this version, not Sullivan. In most cases, this just turns a lot of Foreshadowing in the original game into Fauxshadowing, but results in someone opening the safehouse doors to let zombies in and knocking out Sullivan... while Stacey is in the room with Frank.
  • A plot hole created between platforms of The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 3 appears in the Canopy Forest level. There is a squirrel on a balloon who gives a minigame challenge, and reward the player with "a squirrel-y prize". In the console versions of the game, that prize is an acorn-shaped hat, while in the online Flash version, it's a rather nebulously relative pair of green pants.
  • Mizoguchi's ending in the first instalment of the Fighter's History Fighting Game series has him get dragged off to another tournament by a man with a funny mustache, with him predictably protesting with "You gotta be kidding! Hey, get me outta here!" The SNES port changes Mizoguchi's dialogue to "I will try my best! Let's go!", but still depicts Mizoguchi getting dragged off.
  • GoldenEye (1997): Because the game adds a number of original levels, including locations that Bond never visited in the film, Natalya is artificially dropped into multiple levels where Bond saves her, only for her to be inexplicably kidnapped again at the start of the next level. MI6 specifically sent Bond to Russia to find the survivor of the Severnaya massacre, so they should have whisked her away right after Bunker II.
  • Kingdom Hearts's Atlantica world features an original story which includes Ariel letting Ursula access Triton's palace and steal his trident in exchange for the ability to travel to other worlds (which she does not honor). Ariel then fights against Ursula alongside Sora, Donald, and Goofy, and the group end up killing her. This causes some weirdness when Kingdom Hearts II more closely follows the events of the The Little Mermaid (1989), since Ursula makes an Unexplained Recovery (Maleficient does have the power to resurrect dead villains, although she isn't shown doing so with Ursula), and Ariel still trades her voice and soul to her in exchange for human legs despite already having been tricked by her before, so she should have known better.
  • The obscure NES game Menace Beach revolves around rescuing your girlfriend from a villain. The enemies who attack you are his henchmen sent to impede your progress. The game was later rereleased under the title Sunday Funday as a Christian edutainment game. Problem? To make the game more Christian, the plot was changed to be about you trying to get to Sunday school. With this change however, there is now no explicable reason for all these weirdos to be trying to violently murder your character, or for your character to take so many detours through the sewers and caves to reach the church. The Angry Video Game Nerd said it best in his review:
    "Who are these raging atheists trying to stop you from going to Sunday school?"
  • The Trilogy and New Play Control re-release of Metroid Prime fixed a particularly glaring plot hole regarding the titular creature present in the original GameCube game: scan logs explain that the titular Metroid Prime had been captured by the Space Pirates and studied for a while, before escaping back to where it came from (having merged with Pirate gear in the process). The problem is that where it came from happens to be behind an impenetrable barrier that is locked with several keys that the Pirates clearly never found. To remedy this, the re-releases changed it so that it was never captured by Pirates to begin with. Except this introduced a new plot hole in how it managed to get all that fancy Pirate gear it uses if it was never captured by them. Or why is it even called "Metroid Prime" when it was the Pirates who gave it that name.
  • The portable version of Pac-Man World 2 copy-pastes several lines of dialogue from the Console version, without any regards to context. This leads to things like the Final Boss gloating how Pac-Man can't survive his fireball and Interface Screw attacks, only to then not use them.
  • In Prince of Persia, Level 12 originally had you encounter the Shadow Prince for the final time and Sheathe Your Sword to re-merge with him and cross a Bottomless Pit. The NES port replaced this with a Skeleton rematch, resulting in a What Happened to the Mouse? situation.
  • In the SNES port of Prince of Persia 2, rather than the Prince returning to the Palace for a Final Boss, New Dimension showdown with Jaffar, the latter instead inexplicably shows up as a Zero-Effort Boss at the Temple of Doom after the Prince's shadow acquires the Sacred Flame.
  • The first world in Rayman involved fighting a tribe of "Moskitos", one of whom (Bzzit) became your ally after you beat him. In the GBA and PC versions, the lead Moskito, who was red in the PSX version, had the exact same colors as his underlings, leaving several players scratching their heads as to why the guy whose Heel–Face Turn they made such a big deal a few levels ago is suddenly out for your blood again.
  • Rambo: The Video Game is a Compressed Adaptation based off the first three Rambo films, and the segments based on First Blood, ends with Rambo getting arrested just like in the film. Unlike the film, where Rambo kills, at most, three policemen by accident, the game allows him to maim, shoot, and massacre cops, which makes Rambo's imprisonment feel more like a slap on the wrist, and his later release in the adaptation of subsequent films, even as a Boxed Crook, nothing short of lunacy. This is likely also Gameplay and Story Segregation, since the game at least awards a higher score for incapacitating cops non-lethally, but a lot of the context needed to assume this is lost on those not familiar with the films. Ironically, this rampage is much more faithful to the original story, except there it ends with Rambo being killed.
  • What are generally considered the two biggest flaws in the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 are the numerous examples of Continuity Snarls and plotholes caused by the story's "reimagination".
    • Elliot and Marvin needing Claire/Leon to find a way out of the station seems rather jarring, given that neither the front doors nor the main gates are in any way locked, allowing just anyone to stroll in as they please. In fact, that's exactly how the scenario A character entered the precinct. But after exploring the East Wing and returning, the front doors are magically barricaded, though this can be easily handwaved that Marvin and the first run protagonist were able to barricade the doors after saving their life. Given the state of the streets outside, walking out the front doors may not have been the wisest idea, but it is how the character Hunk escapes in 4th Survivor Mode.
    • Not actually a new plot hole, per se, but a different, worse one than the original game. We know from other games, particularly the Outbreak series, that Raccoon City had been under a military quarantine for nearly a week by the time Leon and Claire arrived. Now with his new backstory, how did Leon get into the city and not notice the quarantine given the warning he received to stay away? According to the director of Resident Evil 3, the reason why Leon and Claire can get past the quarantine is because they coincidentally go through a part of the quarantine that has been abandoned due to zombie attacks. Whether this explanation is still canon to this game is unknown.
    • The chopper crash. You get foreshadowing that a chopper's coming in from a corpse's hand radio, but unlike in the original game, there's no Elliot or another idiotic and unlucky cop to accidentally shoot it up and cause it to crash into the RPD. Instead, it just sort of does, with no context as to why. Seeing as there's no aerial enemies in the game, it raises the question of what the hell happened to cause a nose-first dive.
    • Like with the original game, the two scenarios are now mutually exclusive in the events they depict, even accounting for Gameplay and Story Segregation, but both need to be canon for the rest of the series to make sense. The protagonists encounter different people in the same places (or the same people, but alone), characters die "twice", etc.
    • How Ada manages to survive her Disney Villain Death is a mystery. She obviously didn't have her signature hookshot yet, since it was given to her by Wesker after managing to escape from NEST in the original. Even assuming that she did have it all this time due to changes made to the narrative, the game makes no indication of this being the case, as there were several points during her short playable segment that could have benefited greatly from just using it, therefore making the theory highly unlikely to be true. So how did she survive the plunge into the deep elevator shaft to come to Leon's aid later on? Of note is the fact that this was already unexplained in the original game, but in Wesker's Report he explains that he saved her, as she was working for him at the time. The difference being that the original game had two different ways for Ada to "die", and the other one looked more survivable.
  • Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
    • In the original game, it was implied (and confirmed by other material) that Brad Vickers was Nemesis' initial target, and the monster had been stalking the S.T.A.R.S. officer for some time. In the remake, though, Jill is Nemesis' first target, and we see that his pod was deployed right outside her apartment. Yet Brad still explains to Jill what Nemesis is and that he's hunting S.T.A.R.S. even though, by rights, he couldn't have even seen Nemesis for more than a minute before the game began, if at all.
    • While it was never been made wholly-clear canonically what Jill was doing during the initial stages of the outbreak, the original begins with her arming herself before jumping out of her apartment as it explodes while pursued by zombies, showing she was aware of the outbreak, even if she may have been forced to fight it head on sooner than expected. In the remake, though, despite the game opening with news reports of how the outbreak is tearing the city apart, Nemesis bursting through her wall catches her totally off-guard. It is stated that she was holed up in her apartment, hiding from Umbrella and Chief Irons' men for the preceding week, but you'd think she'd have turned on the TV or radio at some point. Or looked out the window. Or heard gunshots, explosions and screaming.
  • Resident Evil 4 (Remake):
    • The game cuts a lot of exposition, to the point of effectively cutting entire plot points from the original, without which parts of the story don’t make sense. For one, in the original, Ashley's disappearance was thought to be due to a leak or traitor within the American government, and so they call on Leon because he was not involved in the President's security team when Ashley disappeared, so he was not a suspect. This fact was even exploited by Los Illuminados, with some found files stating to expect a slow American response due to them combing for the traitor. None of this is ever stated or implied in the remake, and Leon has no trouble speaking with Agent Hunnigan or requesting evac as soon as he’s with Ashley, making it seemingly nonsensical that Leon was not only sent on the mission alone, but didn’t call for reinforcements as soon as he realized the village was a BOW site.
    • In both versions, Bitores Mendez accosts Leon in the Village Chief's Manor, grabbing him by the throat and noticing he is infected with the Plaga. Like in the original, Ada intervenes by shooting Mendez through a nearby window and causing him to release his grip on Leon. But in the original, Mendez threatened Leon with death if he continued to cause trouble, then jumped out of the window in pursuit of Ada. Here he calmly leaves without a word. Him sparing Leon can be (somewhat ) justified by Leon's Plaga infection, but Mendez doesn’t even seem interested in chasing Ada, an obvious second interloper he has zero reason to keep alive.
    • Midway through the castle, Leon loses contact with Hunnigan but there is no evidence of jamming or foul play by Los Iluminados; the signal simply cuts out due to unknown interference. Despite this Leon makes no attempt later on to reestablish communications, even after he communicates with Luis and Ada just fine.
    • It's never explained how Mike knew to show up at the island to assist Leon during the climax, since they agree upon a different extraction point a ways away earlier in the story, and a moment where Leon attempts to contact with the outside world using the island's communication facilities (not getting a reply, but it’s still implied his message got out.) is cut from the remake.
    • The Separate Ways DLC retcons it so that Wesker is actually in the village around the same time as Leon and Ada (in the original, he was just Ada’s employer.) But given Wesker’s enhancements canonically made him a One-Man Army, even compared to Ada, it's unclear why he even sent Ada on the mission instead of handling it himself, or at least working with her if he had no problem showing up in person.

  • The Play Station 2 version of the first Splinter Cell includes an extra mission set in a nuclear power plant as an added bonus to make up for all the other content that had to be cut from the Xbox and PC versions. Despite this mission not being available on any other platform other than the original PS2 release, however, it's still treated as plot-critical to all versions, as the mission explains how a rogue Chinese general got his hands on nuclear material he plans to make a bomb with - on any platform other than that, all this comes out to is a brief moment in the second Chinese Embassy mission where Lambert suddenly starts freaking out about having found some "missing Americium-239" the player was never warned about before that point.
  • Warcraft 3 Reforged created one in the Scourge campaign. In the original game, Arthas had to use a waygate system or goblin zepplins in order to get around Sylvanas destroying the bridges so he could reach the Sunwell and bring back Kel'Thuzad, the Sunwell being located in Silvermoon city. World of Warcraft would later move the Sunwell to it's own island located past Silvermoon city, which the Arthas focused novel, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, provided a reason he got to it by using Frostmourne to make a ice path to cross it. Reforged adjusted the level to include said explanation, but still kept prior elements of invasion the same, such as waygates and zeppelins, creating a plothole exclusive to Reforge about why Arthas never used ice to cross the destroyed gaps sooner.
  • The Warriors:
    • One scene has Masai demand to know who The Warriors are and none of the other Riffs can answer him. This makes sense in the film, since we have no reason to believe the Warriors ever did anything to stand out. In the game however, the missions involve fighting their way through several gangs (trashing dozens of members with only four, at most, of their own), beating up or killing several other gang leaders and overthrowing the rival gang of Coney Island who they split from. While the Riffs ARE the biggest gang in the city, and presumably don't follow everything that happens with the small-time gangs, it is strange to think that none of them would've heard about the Warriors given all the havoc they cause.
    • In the movie, Sully has never heard of the Warriors, and is somewhat open (if reluctant) to them passing through his territory. In the game, there's an earlier mission in which Sully starts telling everyone that he and the Orphans wrecked the Warriors, leading the Warriors to invade Orphans territory to wreck them, and culminating in them trashing Sully's car. This would make Sully far less likely to let them go during the events of the final mission/movie, and far more likely to immediately start a fight. The only real difference between the two versions of the scene is that in the game, Mercy reminds Sully that they wrecked his car (like he'd forget).
  • Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen's Famicom "port" has at least two gaping plot holes. First, Rhea/Lair, the poet originally encountered in Minea Town at the beginning, doesn't appear until Darm Tower, and her Silver Harmonica, which you had to fetch for her in the Abandoned Mine and is an important plot item in the finale of the sequel, is likewise absent until then, where it is suddenly presented to Adol by Goban out of thin air. Second, instead of Adol receiving the Monocle/Glasses to read the last few Books of Ys, he instead somehow ends up back at Jeva's house for her to read them, though he was supposed to be locked in the Tower.

    Web Original 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who animated adaptation of "Shada" starring Paul McGann has the conceit that the Eighth Doctor remembers the original adventure being disrupted (by "The Five Doctors", not strike action) and drags Romana along to complete it. In other words, the Tom Baker version is how it was "supposed" to go. However, it also has the scene when Wilkins recognises the Doctor and remembers his degree and past visits to Chronotis, and the Doctor replying that he missed one because the Doctor was in "a different body". So either the disruption to the timeline somehow extended to all the Doctor's visits to St Cedd's, or the Eighth Doctor just happens to have been in Cambridge in exactly the same years as the Fourth.
  • "Nightfall": Eve mentions that her boyfriend printed out his boarding pass "last night", but the premise of the original story, "Nightfall (1941)", is that night only ever occurs during the eclipse that occurs for a few hours every two thousand, forty-nine years. (Listen at 1:22) If night occurs on a regular basis, then the eclipse shouldn't cause the panic/chaos that it does.

    Western Animation 
  • Avengers Assemble
    • In the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline, one of the things that led to Thanos' downfall was his decision to purposefully hold back against the heroes so that he could impress Death. The cartoon adapts this plot point but removes Death from the equation, meaning Thanos basically holds back against the heroes either because of his own arrogance or a random case of Bond Villain Stupidity.
    • Season 3 adapts the original Thunderbolts story arc from the comics, which involves the Masters of Evil, a team of super-villains, posing as a new super-hero team in order to get people to trust them. In the comic, it actually made sense that nobody recognized them despite the fact they were still using the same powers, since the Masters of Evil had been through several lineups over the course of their career, and the members they used for the impersonation all had super-powers and abilities that were, for the most part, pretty common in the Marvel Universe note . Plus, they showed up at a time where most heroes in the Marvel Universe had gone missing, making it easier for them to get accepted with no question, since people were all too happy to have a new superhero team serving as their protectors. In the cartoon, the Avengers have only met the Masters of Evil a few episodes before they show up disguised as the Thunderbolts, the only line-up they have displayed is the one they use while in disguise, very few of the characters with similar super-powers have been introduced, and every Marvel hero is still alive and well, so you are left wondering how the Avengers don't put two and two together when this mysterious new superhero team with the same powers as a super-villain group they recently fought shows up.
  • A minor one in the (loose) ''What If'' adaptation of Marvel Zombies. In both versions of the story, The Avengers get infected relatively early in the outbreak, and their zombified selves serve as antagonists for the rest of it. In the original, it was believable that Earth's Mightiest Heroes could fall so quickly because they were the first to respond to an anomaly, which turns out to be a zombified Sentry, meaning they unexpectedly found themselves confronted by the zombie-plague, in the form of a carrier far more powerful than any of them. But in the animated adaptation set in a divergent MCU, they decide to all jump into the center of the hoard with no apparent plan, and are all infected off-screen, implicitly from being overwhelmed by the zombies' numbers. This ill-thought out plan seems especially inexplicable because, at that point in time in the MCU, the Avengers were disassembled, and would only have reassembled after they realized how massive a threat the zombies were.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold followed the comic book Retcon that established that the scarab that empowered the Golden Age Blue Beetle was actually an alien robot. No effort was made to explain why the original Blue Beetle's costume still looked like spandex tights when Jaime, the current Beetle, had a suit of Powered Armor. (In the comics, it was because the scarab was infused with magic power while on Earth, which distorted its actual powers, and it only "awoke" after the second Beetle - who never actually used it - started experimenting on it.)
  • Hilda: Season 1 Chapters 12 and 13, which adapt the graphic novel Hilda and the Black Hound, keep the subplot about Hilda failing to get any Sparrow Scout badges. However, while this was a valid plot point in the original graphic novel, here it contradicts the events of Chapter 7, which contains a story unique to the animated series in which Hilda, David and Frida succeed in gathering a Blue Nettle for their botany badge.
  • Mocked in Mission Hill when Kevin and his friends go to see the movie adaptation of "Feminoid", a comic series they like. Kevin spends the entire movie screaming what is wrong with the movie at the screen, including this:
    Kevin: NOOOOO! She can't talk! Dr. Klaveus removed her voice adapter in issue 213! READ ISSUE 213!!!
  • In The Smurfs original comic books, it has been established that Grouchy Smurf was the Smurf who was bitten by the Bzz Fly in "The Black Smurfs", and his current moody behavior was caused by this (either due to having been more time as a Black Smurf as the others, or because he was directly stung by the fly, while the others were bitten by their infected peers). The Hanna-Barbera Animated Adaptation had several episodes that included Grouchy Smurf (as grouchy as ever) before adapting this story into "The Purple Smurfs", so his behavior is unexplained. It cannot even be excused by Anachronic Order, since Lazy Smurf is the one bitten by the Purple Fly, and it's shown later when Grouchy Smurf is bitten by a Purple Smurf, even telling at mid-transformation "I hate... GNAP!"
  • In the Thomas & Friends episode "Trucks!", some trucks (not road vehicles, but what Americans would call freight cars) deliberately cause an accident because they think Peter Sam is Sir Handel, despite Peter Sam being painted green and Sir Handel being painted blue. This made more sense in the original Railway Series book, where all the narrow gauge engines were painted the same red color.
    • The television series often adapted stories in a different order to that in the books, which often had the effect of disrupting story arcs and requiring plotlines to be rewritten. Notable examples include Percy describing his charge through a great flood years before it happens, or Gordon and Thomas taking over a decade to get back home from the mine.
  • Teen Titans (2003) does a very loose adaptation of the The Judas Contract storyline from the comics, but the Adaptation Distillation makes the heroes' eventual victory defy even Willing Suspension of Disbelief. In the comic storyline, Deathstroke and Terra were under orders from The H.I.V.E. to capture the Teen Titans alive, and thanks to Terra's spywork, they succeed in capturing all but Dick Grayson, who narrowly escapes capture and joins forces with Jericho to free his teammates, who then defeat Terra, Deathstroke and the H.I.V.E. The series removes H.I.V.E. and Jericho from the story; Slade just wants the Titans out of the way to terrorize the city, and so Terra fights and seemingly kills each Titan individually. But the Titans all survive the fights and regroup offscreen. Most of the Titans, the show at least presents as a case of Never Found the Body both in-universe and out, but Robin gets crushed with a boulder, then Terra gives the insignia from his costume to Slade, yet appears fine later on, to Terra and Slade's surprise.
  • In the Ellipse-Nelvana Animated Adaptation of Tintin, part of the dialogue shows that The Calculus Affair took place before the moon stories (Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon) instead of the other way around like in the original comics. However, in The Calculus Affair we see Tintin and Haddock fought off both Syldavians and Bordurians to rescue Professor Calculus. Yet in the moon stories, we see Calculus happily working for the government of one of the countries who fought over his kidnapped self (Syldavia).
  • In episode 7 of Truckers, Gurder claims he's never wanted to lead anyone because he sometimes has doubts about things. In the original book, this refers to an earlier scene (which appears in episode 5) where the Abbott tells Masklin that, "The most important thing about being a leader isn't being right or wrong, but being certain. Though, being right usually helps." This line of dialogue is omitted from the TV adaptation, removing the reason for Gurder's worry.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) features a similar Plot Hole during a Whole Episode Flashback which shows the Silver Age X-Men battling Magneto. Iceman is a teenager and significantly younger than the founding X-Men in the show, so it makes no sense for him to have been part of the team when they were all teens themselves. He'd have to have been a child when Xavier recruited him for any of that to make a lick of sense. What's worse, in the flashback he actually looked older.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series:
    • "Cold Comfort" contained a Flashback Mythology Gag referencing the original Stan Lee /Jack Kirby series by featuring a battle between the teenage founding X-Men and Magneto. The problem? In the show's continuity, it's established that the team didn't encounter Magneto until years later when they were all adults.
    • Likewise, despite being a founding X-Man in the comics, when Angel first appears in the show, it's clear that he and the X-Men have never met before. A few of the later episodes (such as "Proteus: Part I" and "Xavier Remembers") erroneously inserted Angel into flashbacks showing the original founders of the team, despite him never having been a member in this continuity.

 
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"You Will Become Oozaru"

Krimson Rogue as a long-time fan of Dragonball tears into Dragonball Evolutions' depiction of Oozaru.

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