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Adaptational Angst Downgrade

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A distant, brooding vigilante in one universe, and an imperfect-but-well-meaning father figure in another.

A character is happier in a derivative work than in the source material. This could be caused by the adaptation being Lighter and Softer overall, the adapters deciding to Throw the Dog a Bone, or other plot changes that mean their angst doesn't happen. This may overlap with Angst? What Angst? if the character suffers through the same things as in the source, but is strangely cheerful regardless.

Contrast Adaptational Angst Upgrade. Compare Adaptational Comic Relief, where a character is a lot more humorous and comical in the adaptation than they were in the source, but not quite joyful and untroubled (though the two can occasionally overlap). May cause an Adaptational Personality Change, specifically Adaptational Nice Guy if the character originally became a jerk as a result of the trauma they went through. See also Adaptational Backstory Change, which may overlap with this if the character's backstory is a major cause of their angst.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ace Attorney (2016):
    • Edgeworth doesn't suffer from his in-game counterpart's fear of earthquakes since this version of DL-6 did not involve one.
    • In the game, Adrian Andrews is one of the biggest Woobies of the series, and being accused of the crime made her break down in court and begging for help in light of her dependency issues. In the anime, her issues are not present or not being forced to be exposed and she manages to be calm most of the time.
  • All of the problems regarding Fubuki Shirou's split personality and his struggling to get over it are removed in Inazuma Eleven: Ares, where his family didn't die in the avalanche accident.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
  • This occurs in the Slayers franchise in regards to Zelgadis's chimeric state; despite being used as a Butt-Monkey ploy several times in the anime, he's actually less prudish in regards to his appearance, and embraces the awe and nicknames that he receives from strangers (i.e "The Heartless, Mystical Swordsman); if for nothing else, he gets upset when he's being used for a silly ploy (such as being used as an anchor.). In the original novels, he is far more sensitive about his appearance and not frivolous at all; a side-story featuring him emphasizes this angst in which he broods over the fact that he made friends who see beyond his appearance in the first place.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Animated Adaptation of Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi:
    • In the flashback Wei Wuxian wasn't as distraught when hearing about the upcoming wedding of Jiang Yanli and Jin Zixuan as he was in the novel. In the novel he ranted about not being able to attend his sister figure's happy event and how he didn't think her husband-to-be deserved her, whereas in this adaptation he was more accepting of the news (even if still saddened) and simply thanked Lan Wangji for informing him.
    • Lan Xichen goes through some horrific events in the climactic arc, specifically seeing his sworn brother's true colours as the Big Bad and then playing a hand in his gruesome death. In the novel, he's so devastated that he goes into seclusion by the epilogue, has trouble carrying out his leadership duties and is noted to not be doing so well. In this adaptation, while still clearly grieving and and needing time to recover, he's still holds himself together so he can accompany everyone to Lotus Pier, look out for his brother by talking to Wei Wuxian, and attend the sealing ceremony in better shape than the novel implies; not only is it unclear that he'll need to go to seclusion like his novel counterpart, but another character also beats him to it due to undergoing Adaptational Angst Upgrade and being in worse shape than he is.
    • Its Super-Deformed spinoff The Founder of Diabolism Q is a gag series that focuses on the characters' comedic and light-hearted adventures while retaining little angst from the main series. Although the traumatic events of the original story have still happened offscreen, they have little impact on the episode plotlines themselves.

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    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs:
    • Marco is far more optimistic in "What if Eva was never a controller?" because he never lost his mother at a young age. Once he reveals his secret to his parents, they offer emotional support to all the Animorphs.
    • The premise of "What if they saved Jake's family?" means that near the end of the war, Jake's parents aren't infested and Tom is freed, so Jake doesn't cross the Despair Event Horizon.
    • In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", all three of the Fangors are much happier. Elfangor was never forcibly taken away from the love of his life, Loren never became a blind amnesiac, and Tobias was raised by loving parents instead of an aunt and uncle who don't care about him.
  • This applies to pretty much everyone in Dæmorphing. The Chee give the Animorphs therapy, Tobias is less cut off from humanity and reunites with his mother much sooner, Tom is saved halfway through, and Jake's parents are never infested.
  • While Jake is still traumatised from the war in Eleutherophobia, Tom being alive gives him one less thing to angst about, and his relationship with his parents is less strained as a result. Tom also helps Tobias deal with his grief for Rachel.
  • "What if Tom was never a Controller?": Since Tom never has to deal with the hell of being an involuntary, he's not suicidally depressed. In turn, Jake's main source of angst is nonexistent. This ultimately leads to Tom saving their parents from being infested, allowing them to escape to the Hork-Bajir valley with the others.
  • Since the Yeerks are benevolent refugees instead of an invading empire in What if the Yeerks Were the Good Guys?, the major human hosts have much less angst. Mr. Chapman didn't sell himself into slavery to protect his daughter; Eva merely got divorced and moved away instead of having her death faked for her; and Tom is friends with Temrash instead of being suicidally depressed.


  • Vigilantes' Dawn: Oliver brings Laurel onto the Queen's Gambit instead of Sara, leading to Sara having this. While she doesn't have it easy, mourning both her older sister and one of her closest friends for five years and enduring her parents' divorce, she nonetheless grows up to be a relatively well-adjusted individual. By the time Oliver and Laurel return home, she's become a detective like her dad.


  • BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant:
    • Since Jaune confesses his fake transcripts to his teammates in private, he never gets blackmailed by Cardin here.
    • While Ragna's had a rough past, unlike the BlazBlue games, he never got his arm cut off by a mind raped Jin, never met Terumi, and was adopted normally by Jubei rather than after he lost everything.
    • As mentioned above, Jin was never mentally manipulated into maiming his brother and, by all accounts, he was adopted into the Kisaragi family normally rather than them finding him wandering aimlessly.
    • In Volume 3 of RWBY, Pyrrha struggled with learning the true, dark history of Remnant, as well as the possibility of losing herself if she chose to take on the Fall Maiden powers. None of these happen here, as Amber was long since dead before the story began, so she's never called upon to become the next Fall Maiden, nor does she struggle with learning the truth of the world as a result.
  • Arc Phantoms: Thanks to the Persona coming into play, Yuya no longer goes through his Stepford Smiler Sanity Slippage as it allows him to confront his frustrations and rage over what happened with his father.
  • Code Prime: Despite the war being potentially WORSE due to a much stronger opponent, the Autobots are actually good for all the Black Knights in creating a circle of trust that makes everyone's relationships better.
    • The good Imperial siblings ( Lelouch, Nunally, Cornelia, Euphemia) all find each other again, open up, and find a new father figure in Optimus Prime.
    • Kallen starts repairing her emotional health thanks to Arcee and Cliffjumper talking her through her isolation so that by R2 she can actually mentor others having been in their space.
  • Harbinger (Finmonster):
    • Like in canon, Norman is an outcast because of his ability to see the dead but in this story, it appears that he has a much closer relationship with his family than at the beginning of the movie. His sister Courtney, in particular, is much kinder and closer to him in this story, where in the movie's beginning she was almost as dismissive of him as the rest of the town. Also his new friendship with other characters helped alleviate some of his angst.
    • Like in canon, Mr. Prenderghast is an outcast in the community and estranged from his family, however his friendship with Stan Pines implies that he is not completely alone like he was in the movie.
  • I'm Nobody: Thanks to Roxas giving the Organization the middle finger much earlier than he did in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, he averts his, Xion and Axel's entire Trauma Conga Line, which includes a massive amount of Poor Communication Kills, Toxic Friend Influence What Measure Is a Non-Human?. Since none of that ever happens here and they're in a far healthier state of mind surrounded by positive influences instead of toxic ones, they're all far more well-adjusted as a result. This becomes visible in moments like Roxas' encounter with DiZ and his Fantastic Racism spiel or the Internal Reveal that he is Sora's Nobody, as he shuts down the former quickly and has no issues with the latter being secure in his own identity - a far cry from canon.
  • Shirou Emiya of canon Fate/stay night dreamed of being a hero, but had to deal with the fact that he lived in a Crapsack World that ran on Black-and-Grey Morality at the best of times; the varying timelines forced him to either find a compromise, suffer a Cynicism Catalyst, or abandon his dream entirely. The Shirou Emiya of Emiya Sensei?, by contrast, grew up in the world of My Hero Academia which, while still far from being a Sugar Bowl, has being a genuine, unambiguous hero as a standard career choice; as a result, he's a much more well-adjusted, genuinely happy person who can save lives as the very popular and successful hero Archer. He even lacks his canon self-destructive habits, presumably having them trained out of him by his teachers before they could get as bad as they did in some routes.
  • The White Wolf of Westeros: Due to Geralt of Rivia joining up and making friends with them, all of House Stark's kids is given this in one way or another (so far).
    • Robb is given reassurance that his siblings are safe from week to week, and can be a focused military leader without worrying about expectations from the North or from his mother as much.
    • Sansa is rescued from King's Landing during Eddard's execution. So although her father still dies, she has a support system that gives her much more help to keep happy with family.
    • Arya evacuates with her sister and is mentored by Geralt to be a fierce protector. Thus, while still a born warrior, her PTSD is lessened thanks to family.
    • And of course, Bran and Rickon are so far just happy to have the family reunited.

Doki Doki Literature Club!

  • Just Art is a YouTube channel that is known for having an animatic series where the main girls of the visual novel are goofy teenagers getting up to different hijinks in every episode, thus removing all psychological horror elements from the source material.


  • Since Bruno didn't get his canon gift and instead got Antonio's in How Far Do These Roots Go Down?, he's much more popular in the town and even has a husband.
  • Have suffered from Laser-Guided Amnesia since she was five, Mirabel in Returning Home lacks all of her feelings of "unspecialness" she feels compared to the rest of her family.
  • where the dandylions play:
    • For Bruno, while his canon-counterpart lived alone (except for rats) within the walls of the Casita, unable to interact with a family he believed hated him in a village who dreaded his gift, here he managed to leave and develop a less toxic social life amongst villagers who don't see him as a villain. He was even able to meet a girl who gave him a daughter that loves him.
    • For Mirabel, she doesn't know about her family legacy and thus doesn't have the lingering feelings of doubt and inadequacy that they bring. She even has a circle of friends her own age, something that was absent in canon.

Game of Thrones


  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and its novelization, Alan Jonah indicated his turn to villainy was influenced by decades of witnessing the worst of humanity first-hand over and over at least as much as it was influenced by his daughter's murder. In Abraxas (Hrodvitnon), the former reason for Jonah's dark side turn is brought up minimally and his daughter's death is treated as his chief motivator, making his start of darkness significantly more self-centred.

Helluva Boss

  • Loona’s troubled childhood in Owl's Hell That Ends Well is arguably much less traumatic or painful as in canon. While she still lived in the streets most of her childhood, was betrayed by her mentor, was abused at her orphanage, antagonized by Stella and felt like a replacement for Octavia for most of her life, there were improvements from how the regular Loona had it. For one she lived in an actual orphanage rather than a glorified kennel. She was adopted as a child rather than a late teen, sparing her from years of isolation and neglect. And she was happily adopted by the wealthy and loving Prince Stolas, who treated her like his own daughter.

Life Is Strange

  • soft supports and the punks that need them: While Chloe's father still dies and it takes a heavy toll on her, her Long-Distance Relationship with Max and being able to depend on the Caulfields when drama at home becomes too much has mellowed her out considerably compared to her counterdependent-canon counterpart. She's still a punk and a rebel, but she's level-headed not to get herself expelled.

The Loud House

My Hero Academia

  • Unlike his canon counterpart, Izuku in Raindancer was born with a quirk (the ability to generate and turn into water), and was not raised with Bakugo in his life. Combine this with a productive circle of friends and Izuku comes out of it being more emotionally well-adjusted.


  • Time to Disinfect: All of the friend group, except for Mari herself, are mentally better off in this fic due to Mari's death never happening.
    • While Sunny is angry over the recital, he's merely a frustrated young boy rather than becoming a suicidally depressed shut-in.
    • Basil isn't saddled with the trauma of witnessing and covering up the accident, and is still on good terms with Aubrey rather than becoming the target of her lashing out.
    • Hero doesn't shut down from grief, and Kel doesn't descend into toxic positivity, which also means their huge blow-up has no reason to happen.
    • Without the tragedy driving her friends apart, Aubrey isn't left to feel abandoned and develop anger issues because of it.

The Owl House

  • In canon, Camela's husband and Luz's dad Manny died tragically from a Soap Opera Disease, giving both of them lingering angst that effects their personalities on a fundamental level. In An Odd Little Family, Luz was the product of a one-night stand between Camilla and Eda, leaving out that little subplot entirely.
  • Luz Belos: Princess of the Boiling Isles:
    • Luz and Amity have been dating for years by the start of the fic, Luz's carefree personality providing Amity the emotional fulfillment her canon counterpart wouldn't have until much later in the parent series.
    • While in the parents series Amity's parents forced her to drive away Willow for her own good, here her parents only think that was what happened and they still remain friends with the Blights none the wiser.


Steven Universe

  • In A Pink Planet, the Gem War never happened and Pink Diamond was able to make a compromise with the rest of the Diamond Authority. Because of this, the devastating effects the war had on everyone (Jasper's PTSD, the hundreds of gems being corrupted, the Diamonds believing Pink to be dead) never happened. Not only that, but all of her close friends know that Pink Diamond is Rose Quartz and geminal technology allowed her to have Steven without giving up her physical form, allowing Steven to have his mother in his life and keep her friends from having to mourn her.
  • Since Rose didn't die in Piece of a Diamond, Steven, Greg and the Crystal Gems lack a lot of the angst their canon-counterparts were suffering from.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

Total Drama

  • In Twinning With a Twist, Dave was voted off first by his teammates for being a jerk. It is later revealed that he was a jerk because he had a bad day prior to the start of the show, which did not improve during the two days he spent on the island. Despite that, it is implied that things did improve for him after he arrived at the Playa des Losers, and he enjoys the rest of his stay there. It is also shown that Dave is on good terms with the other castmates that were voted off. Compared to what happened in canon, with Dave suffering painful humiliation, being rejected by his love interest, and finally losing his sanity and being abandoned on the island, being voted off first was probably the best for him.


  • Earning Her Stripes: Panacea's family situation and psychological health are much better than in canon, because she confronted Brandish shortly after obtaining her powers (with backing from the Pelhams) and made it clear that she'd rather be a rogue than a hero. She's paid a high but reasonable wage for her services, with a surcharge for short notice and a tenfold multiplier if brains are involved, and she has treated Mark Dallon's depression.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Carrie:
    • The book gives us access to Sue's inner monologues, where she grapples with fears of whether she's doomed to end up a Stepford Smiler who views her high school days as the best of her life - and that's on top of her Heel Realization about how she bullied Carrie. The films just have her feeling bad about the shower incident. The 1976 and 2002 films also leave out a subplot where she fears she might be pregnant and, while it's in the 2013 film, that one confirms she is and will have Someone to Remember Him By re: Tommy. The book had her getting her period to leave it open whether she was just late or the ordeal made her miscarry. Ironically, The Rage: Carrie 2, which is an original story not connected to the book's canon after the high school timeline, states that Sue spent time in a mental hospital over the trauma of the massacre - which isn't so in the book.
    • Chris gets several POV chapters too, where we learn that her relationship with Billy is abusive at worst and mutually toxic at best; Their First Time happened when Billy essentially raped her and Chris found herself enjoying it. After the prom massacre, Billy hits her and intends to leave town without her. In the films, the two are an evil couple, but actually quite happy together. In the 1976 film, Chris is able to get Billy to do whatever he wants.
    • Margaret White in the book is said to have been traumatized as a child by her grandmother's telekinetic powers, making her believe she was possessed by the devil, and explaining her religious fanaticism. None of this is mentioned in the films. In the book, she was also left heartbroken when her husband died in a construction accident. In the 1976 film, he just ran off with another woman, and Margaret has made peace with it (albeit believing the devil "carried him off").
  • Despite otherwise sharing much of his background with the Ultimate version of Reed, the Reed in Fantastic Four (2015) lacks Ultimate's abusive dad.
  • There's a good deal of this in the Harry Potter films, mostly due to the obvious need for compression. The angst experienced by side characters is particularly likely to be cut, of course, but even Harry has his angst downgraded at some points. Specific examples include:
    • The film version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone does this with the storyline about the trio losing a hundred and fifty house points. In the book, this results in them becoming despondent social outcasts for a while, but the film just skips over that.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets greatly downplays Harry's angst about potentially being the Heir of Slytherin, although it gets a little more play in the film's Deleted Scenes and the extended cut that reincorporates them. Also, the book version of Riddle's monologue makes it clear that Ginny was put through a great deal of angst as she gradually realized that she was behind the attacks. The film reduces this to a brief mention that, "the power of the diary began to scare her."
    • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this happens to Ron and Hermione's subplots. In the book, Crookshanks supposedly eating Scabbers causes a huge rift in Ron and Hermione's friendship, and Harry points out that Ron is probably right, causing Hermione to be angry at him too. In the film, there's just a brief scene of Ron and Hermione arguing about whether Crookshanks did it, with Harry apparently staying neutral. Also, the book features Hermione becoming noticeably distressed and overwhelmed from taking so many classes with the Time-Turner, but in the film, she seems to handle the extra classes just fine.
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire treats Barty Crouch, Jr. as simply a Card-Carrying Villain, eliminating the book's implication that his cruel, uncaring father drove him to embrace Voldemort as a Parental Substitute. Indeed, Barty Sr. seems to be an Adaptational Nice Guy in the film, so the Freudian Excuse that Barty Jr. had in the book doesn't even make sense anymore.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry doesn't fly into frequent ALL CAPS rants of rage at his friends nor does he yell at Dumbledore and trash his office during the final scenes as in the book; the movie instead portrays his inner struggle throughout the plot as one of bleak isolation because of his tribulations rather than angry frustration from feeling like he's treated with kid gloves too often. Likewise, the moment where he punches Draco for insulting his mother and his expulsion from Quidditch is removed.
  • In Justice League (2017), there was considerable disagreement, particularly between Bruce and Diana (with Bruce carrying the Jerkass Ball) over using the Mother Box to resurrect Superman. In the Snyder Cut, the League comes to a unanimous decision about it fairly quickly, with only Barry and Alfred raising some brief concerns.
  • While this Spider-Man clearly has his share of problems in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Uncle Ben's death doesn't weigh as heavily as his conscience as it does in other adaptations — or, if it's there, then he does a really good job of hiding it. He's also a lot more secure in himself as Spider-Man, even though he doesn't really think he's all that important as Peter Parker. All that being said, some of his problems utterly balloon in Spider-Man: No Way Home when he loses his Aunt May, and practically all his living friends in a pretty horrible way, and his financial support.
  • Ophelia provides an unusual example where both this trope and Adaptational Angst Upgrade apply to the titular character; she has even more struggles and serious problems here than she does in Hamlet, but Ophelia is also portrayed as more resilient and rather than succumbing to despair and dying by probable suicide as she does in the play, she instead holds onto hope in spite of her suffering, fakes her death and gets to live a long, happy life with her child.
  • The first adaptation of The Children's Hour, These Three, is still a somber tale about infidelity and power-dynamics, but the climax is considerably less depressing. Martha's love confession is quiet and calm instead of the Anguished Declaration of Love from the play and she wasn't Driven to Suicide. The inversion is in large part due to The Hays Code forcing the film-makers to make the film about a straight love triangle instead of a gay one, and censorship over the suicidal themes.
  • In the book The Warriors is loosely based on, the girl Mercy is based upon ends up being gang-raped and abandoned by the protagonists. While Mercy's film counterpart has to deal with being chased across New York by cops and other gangs all night, and has a sad backstory of poverty and neglect, she doesn't go through anything as horrific as her book counterpart and is accepted as part of the gang in the end.
  • The Wizard of Oz: In the books, the Tin Man (then known as the Tin Woodsman) accidentally chopped some of his own parts off when the Wicked Witch of the East enchanted his ax, but his friend replaced each of his parts with tin. This backstory isn't mentioned at all in the movie.


    Live-Action TV 
  • All Creatures Great & Small (2020): Wesley Binks' story is greatly changed from in the books. Here, instead of losing his dog and the last thing stopping him from embracing a criminal life, James saves it, getting Wesley a job on a farm instead with every sign he's been turned around. The book said he'd become a hardened felon and left Yorkshire eventually, never to return.
  • In the flashback episode of Animorphs that bears his name, it's revealed Tobias led a pretty comfortable life before becoming an Animorph, in stark contrast to his rough background in the books.
  • Mother's Milk in The Boys (2019). His family situation is much better than in the comic, where he is divorced and his ex-wife is a drug addict, while his daughter is involved with many unsavory things and his mother was turned into a horrific mutant.
  • Doom Patrol (2019) has Dorothy Spinner experience her first period in "Dad Patrol", which is a better experience for her than it was in the comics. Rachel Pollack's run established that Dorothy underwent her first menstrual bleeding in front of other children who cruelly mocked her by calling her "a monkey on the rag" and that her mother told her to her face that she should've been aborted (which was made worse in hindsight when John Arcudi's run later established that Mrs. Spinner was Dorothy's adoptive mother), plus Dorothy often expressed self-loathing over how her menstrual cycle made it difficult to control her powers. Here, Dorothy has her first period in the bathroom of a convenience store and is assured by the clerk that what she's going through is normal and simply means that she's growing up, with no indication that her period affects her powers.
  • Fate: The Winx Saga doesn't include Aisha's backstory as an isolated princess who grew up in a very strict environment. Season 2 however does state that she is under pressure to succeed from her parents, who disapprove of her going to Alfea, and thus she has to get top grades and rise through the ranks very quickly to justify attending.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Loras makes little mention of Renly after Season 2 aside from an oblique preference for green-and-gold brocade like Renly wore and takes Olyvar as a casual lover, rather than remaining celibate out of grief-stricken loyalty as in the books.
    • In the books, Tyrion's relationship with Jaime soured after the former admitted that he lied to their father about his wife Tysha being a whore. This is one of the contributing factors, asides from murdering his former lover Shae and his father, that led Tyrion into a darker path where he desires to destroy his family for the betrayal he experienced. In the show, he's still on good terms with Jaime since Tysha wasn't mentioned and despite committing murder and patricide, Tyrion is still in his usual wise-cracking and clever self even when Jorah captured him.
  • Ayumu in the J-drama adaptation of Life (2002) is presented as ever so slightly less depressed and troubled than in the manga, mostly due to them removing her Self-Harm habits. The live-action adaptation focuses more on her overcoming her hardships and dealing with her bullies.
  • Poirot:
    • The adaptation of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe adaptation diminishes the political overtones of the original setting, which reduces the unpleasant characteristics of the scapegoat and removes many of the killer's sympathetic qualities, so the Sadistic Choice that Poirot must face in the books is not apparent in the adaptation.
    • The Murder on the Links: In the original novel, Jack Renaud goes through a lot of angst and guilt due to his father's death and his belief that his old flame, Bella, is the one who murdered him out of revenge because he had left her for Marthe. When Bella (who is actually innocent) confesses to the crime to save him from arrest, he is deeply upset that his "sacrifice" was all for nothing, and goes into an Angst Coma when his mother disowns him. Even after the case is resolved, he expresses anxiety over his tainted heritage because Paul Renaud is revealed to be a murderer in the past until Poirot assures him otherwise. The TV adaptation removes all his daddy issues by making Paul Renaud Jack's stepfather instead of his biological father. And while he does initially attempt to protect Bella from suspicion by Taking the Heat, as he did in the book, he immediately goes to celebrate with Marthe when Bella returns the favour and acquits him.
  • The Power (2023): In the book, Allie was frequently raped by her foster father, finally killing him the latest time as her power activated. She shocks him during his attempted rape here, and she's only just come into his house so he hadn't attacked her before. Granted, this is still awful so not an extreme downgrade.
  • Power Rangers often indulges in this when adapting Super Sentai series.
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Zack's Zyuranger counterpart, Goushi, lost a younger sister to Witch Bandora. Zack has no siblings to lose.
    • In Mirai Sentai Timeranger, TimeBlue was suffering from a terminal illness. The Time Force Blue Ranger, Lucas, is perfectly healthy.
    • In Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, Ryoga lost his brother and sister-in-law in an accident, and struggled with raising his young niece throughout the series. His Power Rangers: Dino Thunder counterpart, Connor, has no such backstory (due to being a teenager and all the other family members getting Adapted Out).
    • Prior to the beginning of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, DekaBlue and DekaYellow were captured by a criminal and held hostage. The original DekaRed suffered a Career-Ending Injury saving them, which both harbored guilt over. Their Power Rangers S.P.D. counterparts were spared this backstory.
    • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, the Magirangers struggled with the seeming death of their mother for most of the series. Their Power Rangers Mystic Force counterparts did not as Udonna is not their mother (at least for the rangers not named Nick) and rather than thinking she's dead, they know their mentor is alive but captured, not to mention she returns to the team much earlier and stays with them for longer.
    • In Juken Sentai Gekiranger, GekiRed lost both his parents to Long, the actual Big Bad of the series. In Power Rangers Jungle Fury, Casey didn't lose anyone in his backstory.
    • In Tensou Sentai Goseiger, GoseiBlue lost his brother-in-arms GoseiGreen to a Monster of the Week before the Goseigers were fully assembled. Gosei Green was not adapted into Megaforce.
    • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Gokai Red's mentor AkaRed was missing and presumed dead only to resurface later. Gokai Blue's mentor Sid Bamick was forcibly and irreversibly converted into the cybernetic warrior Barizorg, who Gokai Blue was forced to slay in battle. Gokai Yellow lost her kid sister to a terminal illness as they had lived in poverty. Gokai Pink's homeworld of Famille was destroyed by a Monster of the Week who incinerated her mother and father in front of her. Gokai Green's planet was destroyed by The Empire as well. The five Mega Rangers did not endure such losses to the point that Barizorg becomes Argus, a robot warrior with no personal connection to the Blue Ranger, with the closest they get being the temporary disappearance of Robo Knight (Gosei Knight). This is inverted in the case of the Sixth Ranger; Token Earthling Gokai Silver did not lose anyone in his backstory, whilst Token Extra-terrestrial Orion lived through the conquest of his homeworld of Andresia by the Armada.
  • The Titans (2018) version of Rose Wilson was completely changed. She has an overly complicated and tragic backstory in the DC comics, which involves her mother dying when she was only ten years old, being kidnapped by Slade's evil brother, joining and leaving different Titans teams for being The Friend Nobody Likes, PTSD, being abused and gaslighted by her own father and still wanting his approval and love, and zigzagging between anti-villain and hero. In the show, her mother is alive and she has never lived most of the traumatic events that ruined her life in the comics. She is still manipulated by Slade into becoming his lackey, but is not as bad or tragic as in the comics.

    Puppet Shows 

    Video Games 
  • In the Dynasty Warriors games, Zhenji remains Happily Married to Cao Pi because Guo Nuwang, who is Cao Pi's favorite concubine and second wife, never appears in the game and the issue about her son, Cao Rui, being possibly the son of her first husband, Yuan Xi, was never discussed. In the historical records and the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Pi becomes more interested in Guo Nuwang, who plants doubt on him that Cao Rui is possibly Yuan Xi's son and not his. Because of this, Zhenji loses favor from Cao Pi and feels neglected. When she tried to bring her complaints to him, Cao Pi orders her to commit suicide.
  • In the Samurai Warriors games, Gracia Hosokawa wasn't condemned as the daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide, who betrayed Oda Nobunaga. In fact, several characters still became good friends with her. She prefers to look towards the future while upholding her father's legacy rather than linger on his death. And she survives her tragic historical death thanks to her friends.
  • Shinji Ikari Raising Project is a complex example. Some of the endings are arguably even more dark than Neon Genesis Evangelion, with the world assimilated without any hope to ressurection. In other endings, the world is happy, but Shinji is gone from that reality and forgotten. Some endings are extremely goofy, and, finally, some endings are really happy: the world is safe and Shinji is happy with the person he loves. So, game can make you forget horrors of the original anime, but you have to try hard to get your happy end. Also, the situation during the game is changing depending on your choice: so, Mood Whiplash is a thing. The manga adaptation of the game, Shinji Ikari Raising Project, chose light aspects for further interpretation.
  • Shin Kazama is a lot more cheerier in U.N. Squadron than he is in its source material Area 88. In the former, he brags about being on the winning team with a smile on his face and, as the ending indicates, is content with going home to live a normal life after everything's said and done. This is in stark contrast with the latter, where he rather quickly becomes a Shell-Shocked Veteran and returns to Area 88 twice even when he has the chance to leave.

    Visual Novels 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel 2: The visual novel is happier not only than Neon Genesis Evangelion, but than Neon Genesis Evangelion: Girlfriend of Steel. While Angels still attack, NERV fight them much more successfully. Rei, Shinji, Asuka and Kaworu live almost as normal high-school students, and Yui is alive.

  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Thanks in part to this version of Bruce Wayne being a much more openly affectionate and present father figure, the many instances of friction among the Batfamily seen in the comics are nearly nonexistent, and they interact with each other like any tightly-knit family.

    Web Videos 
  • In Friendship is Witchcraft, Nightmare Moon never occurred. When Luna tried to overthrow Celestia, Celestia decided to banish Luna to space camp for one-thousand hours instead of one-thousand years in the moon. Luna still has a Friendless Background, however she's more dorky than troubled.

    Western Animation 
  • DC Super Hero Girls (2019): As part of her general personality change to being a pacifist Granola Girl as opposed to being a socially anxious Cowardly Lion persona in the source material, this version of Jessica Cruz — like most adaptations of the character — also lacks the darker backstory that resulted in such a personality. The insecurities the character has about their worthiness of being a Green Lantern that is present in the comics is lightly touched upon, but only in a single episode ("#LivingTheNightmare").
  • Superman: The Animated Series: "In Brightest Day" has Kyle Rayner given Hal Jordan's origin of becoming a Green Lantern by inheriting Abin Sur's ring, which also comes with omitting the tragic detail of his backstory in the comics where his girlfriend was murdered by Major Force early in his career as a Green Lantern.
  • The Transformers: Optimus Prime is far friendlier and seemingly much happier than the angst-ridden Optimus of the comics. At least part of this can be chalked up to how in the comics it's revealed that Optimus deliberately crashed the Ark onto Earth, meaning he's directly, actively responsible for bringing the Transformers' war to Earth. In the cartoon, meanwhile, the Ark crashed because the ship lost control when the Decepticons boarded and both sides were engaged in a desperate close quarters fight, and Optimus was seen trying to prevent a crash by steering the damaged ship as best he could.
  • The What If...? episode "What If... Thor Were an Only Child?", we see what things would be like if, instead of adopting him as his son, Odin returned an infant Loki to his father Laufey. Instead of being raised as a back-up heir in Asgard, Loki is the crowned-prince of a version of Jotunheim with a more relaxed relationship with Asgard. Without the baggage of being an Orc Raised by Elves, he doesn't suffer the Sanity Slippage of his Sacred Timeline counterpart goes through, going from being an on-again, off-again supervillain with Delusions of Grandeur and a Chronic Backstabbing Disorder to a life-long friend of Thor's who goes along with his zany antics.
  • Young Justice (2010)
    • In the Post-Crisis DCU, the Martian Manhunter has generally been portrayed as one of the (if not the) sole surviving Green Martian, a fact that understandably causes him pain. In the show, however, Mars is a thriving civilization and J'onn has many nieces and nephews, one of whom is teen superheroine Miss Martian.
    • The show ignores Roy Harper's history as a drug addict. And while the story of Roy losing his arm is loosely adapted, the circumstances and fallout are portrayed as far less traumatizing.
    • While Jade's relationship with her father Sportsmaster is depicted as abusive, the show excises her history as a victim of sex slavery from childhood. She is also not a Child by Rape, a retcon that was introduced in Birds of Prey.
    • Rudy and Mary West are not depicted as Abusive Parents to their son Wally like in the comics.