Follow TV Tropes

Following

Adaptational Context Change

Go To

"Wipe them out. All of them."
Chancellor Palpatine, The Phantom Menace

"Wipe them out? All of them?"
Chancellor Palpatine, Darths & Droids

In an adaptation, a line of dialogue or action from the original work gets transposed to a different character or context, thus changing its meaning.

Note that just moving an event to a different place in the story or giving a line to a different character is not in itself enough to qualify. When adding examples, please explain how the change gives a new meaning to the event/line. For example, it may cast a different light on a character, create a different mood, or convey a different moral.

Advertisement:

Can be a cause or effect of Adaptation Decay, Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole, Adaptation Distillation, Adaptation Expansion, or Adaptation Personality Change (among others).

Not to be confused with Adaptation Displacement. The Cover Changes the Meaning is this trope's musical equivalent.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The context of revealing Megu-nee is a figment of Yuki's imagination is different between the School-Live! anime and manga. In the manga Yuki has a flashback due to being reminded of words Megu-nee said prior to her death. We see Megu-nee's death scene and Yuki faints. It's revealed in the next chapter that Yuki had fell into a deep sleep due to the trauma of Megu-nee's death. When she woke up she was hallucinating Megu-nee had never died. In the anime instead the reveal is done later both episode wise and context wise. Miki is already a character and she asks Yuki who Megu-nee is.
  • In the anime for Higurashi: When They Cry, the kids playing "zombie tag" was moved to the second season when it was originally from the first arc. It fits the pre-Cerebus Syndrome theme of Onikakushi better as well.
  • At the end of the first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Vita asks Fate if she's Nanoha's ally when the latter has a Big Damn Hero moment, to which Fate responds that she's Nanoha's friend with confident Tranquil Fury. During the movie version of Vita's attack, it's Signum that asks Fate if they're family after having prevented her from reaching Nanoha in time, and Fate is crying when she gives her response.
  • In the original manga of Yu-Gi-Oh!, when Mai asks Joey if she was in the dream where his friends helped him wake up from his brief coma, Joey awkwardly tells her that she wasn’t. He tries to play it off as a joke by pointing out that they were in a classroom and she is too old to be there, which only ends up hurting her feelings. In the anime this scene is the same, except this time she really was in the dream and Joey is just too embarrassed to admit it. This was likely changed to ramp up the Ship Tease. Later, Joey admitting the truth snaps her out of her Laser-Guided Amnesia (again, this was added to the anime).
  • In the Kaguya-sama: Love Is War anime, there was an extra scene during the psychological test chapter where Hayasaka wears a paper cutout of Fujiwara's face so Kaguya has someone to practice one of her schemes against. The manga would eventually use a similar visual where she's talking to Kaguya while wearing a Shirogane mask, though there she's secretly acting as an intermediary between her and Shirogane by relaying questions and answers to him via text message, allowing the two of them to unknowingly be completely honest with each other for the first time.
  • Kiyotaka does the "forget-it beam" in both the Visual Novel Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and The Anime of the Game. The game has him doing it when Makoto talks to him during the Chapter 1 investigation, when he almost reveals that the nameplates were switched before realizing Makoto could be the killer. In the anime, on the other hand, he does it the morning after his sauna duel with Mondo while asking Makoto to forget about who won, which Mondo praises and causing both to laugh in glee.
  • In the Noblesse anime, Union were sent to investigate Korea and find Rai's coffin with clear understanding of it's significance, and Nobles were sent to arrest Rai under suspicions of killing the previous Lord. This is different from the webcomic, as the coffin was discovered by one of Union's branch members by chance and was left as a trophy, and the death of two of their agents if what starts the chain of events that later brings the attention of both groups. The current generations of both Union and Nobles didn't even know the Noblesse exists.

    Comic Books 
  • The circumstances behind the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne have changed in nearly every adaptation of the Batman mythos. In the original Batman comics, the shooter, Joe Chill, was a hitman hired by crime boss Lew Moxon, who wanted revenge on Thomas for sending him to jail. In the 1989 movie, Joe Chill is replaced by Jack Napier, who would become The Joker. In Batman Begins, Joe Chill is a low-level crook who shoots them in an armed robbery gone bad. In Gotham, it's part of a larger conspiracy involving the Court of Owls, with Moxon's role filled by Hugo Strange and Chill's role by Matches Malone. And in Joker (2019), it is caused by a riot instigated by the Joker's appearance on Murray Franklin's talk show.
  • The Gasman’s name in Maximum Ride. In the book it was because he had an iffy digestive tract causing him to fart a lot, in Max Ride: First Flight it’s because he’s good with machinery - in particular explosives.
Advertisement:

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs:
    • In "What if they were caught during their first mission?", Jake says "Don't give up. Don't ever give up," to Tom, just like in The Capture. In the book, he said it anonymously over the phone as a gesture of kindness now that he understands how horrible being a host feels; in the fic, he's informing Tom to his face that there's a hope they'll both be saved from the Yeerks.
    • "What if Tom was infested by a Member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" is about a Yeerk in Tom who overthrows Esplin, leads a rebel faction, and gets the morphing cube from Cassie. Unlike in canon, this Yeerk is Aftran, who's entirely on the Animorphs' side.
  • Hell's Boiling Point
    • In canon, the duel at the Covention was due to an ill-conceived wager between Luz and Amity. Here, it's set up by Lilith as an attempt to capture Eda, since Hellboy put a stop to it before Luz could even finish the sentence (Luz having been temporarily banned from doing magic by her mom, and only having one useless light spell).
    • In canon, Eda running out of her elixer was due to her Hexas Hold'em addiction. Since said addiction has been Adapted Out, it's instead due to her being distracted by the Arrival of Hellboy and the events at the Covention.
    • The destruction of Tibbles' tent. In canon, it was trampled by Hooty. Here, it's blown up by a vengeful Eda.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger:
    • In canon, Jaune's friends noticed that he seemed depressed, which was caused by his feelings of inadequacy. Here, it's caused by the Mask of Nihilus' influence on Jaune's mind as well as sleep deprivation from his tendency to stay up all night.
    • Pyrrha asking Jaune whether he believes in destiny. In canon, it was related to Pyrrha being uncertain about whether she should become the next Fall Maiden. Here, it's asked in the context that Pyrrha is referring to herself and Jaune.
    • The scene from Volume 3 where Pyrrha accidentally uses her Semblance to throw Jaune into a wall out of stress is changed so that she intentionally does it out of self-defense when Jaune violently grabs her arm and almost uses his Force Drain on her.
  • The One Piece fanfic This Bites! does this often:
    • In the anime Navarone Arc, the Straw Hats are focused solely on escaping the G-8 base with their acquired gold. In This Bites, the Straw Hats still want to escape, but Cross makes it a bet with Vice-Admiral Jonathan that they'll escape in twenty-four hours while helping reveal the base's weaknesses and proving the base is viable to the Marines, all the while planning to recommend Jonathan to the MI4 splinter sect.
    • In the manga, Luffy (angry at Foxy for shooting Shelly the horse) accepts Foxy's challenge to a Davy Back Fight without a second thought. In This Bites, Cross prevents Foxy from wounding Shelly, but Luffy accepts the challenge since he remembers from Shanks's stories that the Davy Back Fight will have a captain fight, which Luffy will use to beat up Foxy for being a fake pirate.
    • In the manga, Sabo regained his memories of Ace and Luffy after seeing a newspaper report of Ace's execution, which pushes him into a 3-day coma out of despair of losing one of his brothers and not being there to save him. In This Bites, he regains them from seeing the SBS broadcast of Luffy being pierced by Baron Omatsuri's arrows, his Big Brother Instincts restoring his memories.
    • In the manga, Keime was captured by Disco's men solely for the purpose of profit, forcing the Straw Hats and Hachi to attack the Human Auction House and save her. In This Bites, Keime was captured by Doflamingo's subordinates, who purposely lured the Straw Hats to the Auction House so they would get into conflict with the Celestial Dragons there. He makes it clear he seeks entertainment from them by leaving the string message "Don't Leave Me Hanging".
    • Downplayed when Luffy punches Saint Charloss. Like in canon, he does so for Hachi being shot after Taking the Bullet, but he is also spurned for making Cross broadcast an interview on the debauchery of Celestial Dragon and for Charloss's family sticking Vivi with a bounty that forced her to leave Alabasta.
    • In the manga, Bartholomew Kuma scatters the startled Straw Hats without them knowing they'll be sent to where they can train, with Luffy breaking down in despair at the seeming loss of his crew. In This Bites, the Straw Hats know what Kuma has in store for them; Luffy, the last one to be sent, becomes furious when he learns that Kuma planned on attacking and sending them away against their will if he didn't tell Cross beforehand, and uses his last moments to fight Kuma despite knowing he'll lose.
    • In the manga, Luffy goes after Blackbeard when he learns that he's the one that handed Ace to the World Government, with Ivankov intervening to remind Luffy that they still have a chance to save Ace. Here, Luffy has to stop Whitey Bay and Squard from doing the same.
  • In My Hero Academia, during the Sports Festival finale match between Shoto and Katsuki, Katsuki is furious in his match since Shoto is refusing to use his fire quirk. In Viridescent, Katsuki's anger is more controlled but even greater than is canon because Shoto targeted Izuku for being the feared villain Heat Viper's son as a mean of surpassing his own father Endevour, and their fight exposed Izuku's heritage to the public, putting Izuku under the hateful eyes of the public because of it.
  • The Steven Universe comic Steven and the Crystal GMs: the events of On the Run remain mostly the same with one notable difference Amethyst reveals that she was made by Pearl, in what she calls a case of Wife Husbandry. This changes the nature of the fight sequence significantly.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Riposte was created when Kagami lost to Adrien in a fencing match and her sword becomes possessed by an akuma. In Lady Fairy, she is created from Kagami's rage at Lila for threatening Marinette and her fencing-helmet becomes possessed by an amok.
  • In the The Owl House episode "Convention" has Luz challenging Amity to a witches' duel without a second thought after she steps on King's dropped cupcake. Once she realizes what she gotten into, she rushes to Eda in panic. In Luz Noceda, The Fighter, Luz keeps King's cupcake from being smashed, but challenges Amity after the latter states she can't be a witch, which reminds Luz of the bullies she dealt with on Earth. However, since Luz here is a kickboxer and knows more spells, there is more assurance in her own ability to fight than in canon.
  • In Code Geass, the SAZ Massacre was due to Lelouch accidentally Geassing Euphie with the order to kill all of the Japanese. In Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron, it was due to Charles selling out to the Galra Empire, causing the Galra and Britannian soldiers loyal to Charles to start killing people.
    • Additionally, in canon Euphemia was shot by Lelouch as it was the only way to stop her, and it wound up killing her. Here, it was due to Nebiros being there with orders to kill Euphemia and Nunnally, and Suzaku got Euphemia to the Castle of Lions in time for a cryo pod to be used to heal her.
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten: Fuka regularly insists that everything she's experiencing in the netherworld is all just her dream, refusing to accept the notion that she died and was reincarnated as an 'unprinny'. In the Alternate Universe Fic Wolf in the Streets, Sardine in the Sheets, she retains this stubborn attitude — but instead of declaring everything that's happening to be one long dream, she zeroes in on a much narrower chain of events. Specifically, an accident at the lab that nearly killed her and Desco, and did claim the lives of her mother and other sister... and led to her father being imprisoned for involuntary manslaughter. She and her sister ended up at Valvatorez's rehabilitation home, which she insists is a temporary measure until their father finally takes a break from his latest project and remembers he has kids to pick up.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • Naruto receiving the First Hokage's necklace from Tsunade is framed as a mother gifting her adopted son a family heirloom as a graduation present rather than him just getting it for winning a bet.
    • The Rescue Arc just before the Time Skip ends with a fight between Naruto and Sasuke even though the latter never defects. Instead, Obito used Kotoamatsukami on Naruto so he'll willingly turn himself over to Akatsuki and Sasuke is trying to Beat the Curse Out of Him.
  • J-WITCH Season 1: Daolon Wong's deal with Shendu. In canon, it was to get access to the powers of the dragon talisman. Here, it's to acquire an ally to help overthrow Phobos and find a way to control all the Shadowkhan tribes.
  • A Moth to a Flame: Marcy's confession mostly follows the reasoning and background of canon, but while there it was the desperate plea of a guilty friend, here it's the delusional self-centered ramblings of someone off the deep end.
  • The collective term "we don't talk about Bruno" was implied to be one that formed naturally among the Madrigals and the villagers in Encanto. In ⫚ - His Daughters, The Miracles of the family, it was an edict forced onto the family by Alma. Because Bruno was Isabela, Luisa and Mirabel's father in this version and they still love him in spite of leaving, this leads to the three of them slowly ignoring her authority as matriarch out of spite.
  • In My Hero Academia, Katsuki Bakugo called Izuku Midoriya "Deku" as a way of telling Izuku that he was useless when they were kids. In Support, a much more solid friendship, combined with Izuku using his intelligence to devastating effect to prank someone who stole his Quirk Analysis notebook, outright makes the context do a 180-degree spin: Katsuki is saying that Izuku is the one people should worry about the most.

    Film — Animated 
  • The original The Long Halloween had Ambiguous Ending where Gilda Dent, Two-Face's wife, confesses out-loud to being Holiday and the belief that Harvey took over on New Year's, even though Alberto Falcone has claimed to be the killer and she was supposed to be in the hospital during some of the killings and even faked his death on New Year's, leading to fan speculation that about what was going onnote . In Batman: The Long Halloween, it's changed so her confession is done when she becomes aware Batman is with her and confronting her about it — and made explicit that she was indeed Holiday, especially after Alberto suffers Death by Adaptation on New Year's Eve instead of faking his death as in the comic. Additionally, her reasoning is changed from trying to get Harvey to stop overworking himself and putting his work above family, to revenge for an abortion Falcone forced on her.
  • G.I. Joe: The Movie had a memorable scene of Cobra Commander responding to being devolved into a mutant snake with his Madness Mantra of saying "I was once a man", except in the context of the FCBD Funnies strip of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, where the saying refers to how Cobra Commander was just an ordinary guy with a wife and son before he became the fearsome leader of Cobra.
  • Alice in Wonderland: In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Hatter complains about his watch being two days off. He, in fact, has a special watch which indicates the day of the month rather than the time of day. In the Disney version, the Hatter still uses a version of this line, but it's turned into a humorously nonsensical objection to the White Rabbit's ordinary watch.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • Sam says the exact same line to Frodo at the end of both the book and movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring: "Of course you are, and I'm coming with you!" In the book, Frodo has just said, "But I am going to Mordor!", but in the movie the line is changed to "I'm going to Mordor alone!", which makes Sam's response a lot more humorous.
    • In the book the whole "fear no nightly noise" speech was said by Tom Bombadil in his house in the Old Forest on the borders of the Shire. When they decided to cut Bombadil from the film adaption they gave this line and some others to Treebeard in Fangorn forest. This changes the meaning of the line from "no matter what you hear tonight, it won't harm you" to something more like "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite".
    • In the book, Sam interrupts Gollum at a moment when he is having second thoughts about his betrayal of Frodo. He accuses Gollum of "sneaking" about, putting Gollum on the defensive and hardening his resolve to feed the hobbits to Shelob. In the movie, the dialogue is the same, but the scene is very different, as Sam has surprised Gollum disposing of the lembas. Sam's accusation thus seems more justified, and lacks the negative consequences of the original.
    • The mournful elegy Pippin sings to Denethor in the movie is actually adapted from Bilbo's cheerful walking song in the book. Some of the original lines are removed in the film version, but the only actual word change comes in the last line, which has been changed from an optimistic "Mist and twilight, cloud and shade, away shall fade! Away shall fade!" to a much more ominous "Mist and twilight, cloud and shade. All shall fade. All shall fade."
    • In the book, Eowyn says the line "Do you not know?" to Faramir, in order to let him know that she has fallen in love with him. In the movie, her relationship with Faramir is downplayed, and her feelings for Aragorn emphasised, so the line is kept the same, but said to Aragorn instead.
    • Sam's vision of the star over the Ephel Dúath shows up in the extended edition of the movies, but is given slightly different significance. In the book, the vision is a private experience of Sam's that gives him strength to continue the journey. In the movie, Sam points out the star in order to encourage Frodo, taking the focus off of Sam's inner struggle and shifting it to Frodo's need for support.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: Civil War: In the original Civil War storyline, Steve Rogers gives an impassioned, now infamous speech about how when you are told to change, even by the whole world, you have to stick to your guns. It was criticized by many by being a possible excuse for bigotry, racism, and more, and so in the film, the speech was attributed to Peggy Carter, who had to fight sexism in her field as a spy (she was typically given office work after Captain America's death) to eventually found SHIELD.
    • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Superior says his LMD bodies are "designed only for killing", an obvious reference to M.O.D.O.K. However, while M.O.D.O.K. chose this name to show his willingness to kill, the Superior — while he is a killer — means the bodies were originally created as targets and he sees them as disposable; they're designed to be killed.
    • Avengers: Endgame: The Secret Empire moment where Captain America says "Hail HYDRA" is recontextualized in the film as a gag. Steve says it to a group of actual HYDRA agents to trick them into giving him the MacGuffin, then walks away with the smuggest grin you'll ever see. Seeing as Secret Empire is one of the most reviled storylines in recent Marvel history, this change was well-received, with some movie theaters reportedly breaking out into applause.
    • The Incredible Hulk (2008): In an exception to their usual stance on Gimmick Matches, CMLL B Show Universal Pictures Propaganda Event - Hulk el Hombre Increíble changed The Hulk and Abomination's battle in the climax of the movie into a sanctioned street fight.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
    • In the games, Dr. Ivo Robotnik is nicknamed "Dr. Eggman" based on his cartoony oval shaped body. In the film, the "Eggman" nickname is instead derived from his flying drones which are ovoid and white.
    • The Novelization makes a couple of changes from the film:
      • Although they're never named in dialogue, a label in his mobile-lab confirms that like in the games, Dr. Robotnik has named his robots "Badniks". In the novelization, Dr. Robotnik has named his robots "Botniks", and it's Sonic who nicknames them "Badniks".
      • In the film, Sonic mockingly calls Robotnik "Eggman", as a reference to his moniker in the videogames. In the novelization, this is absent; instead Sonic calls Robotnik "Robuttnik", the same derogatory nickname used in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) and Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics).
  • Les Misérables (2012) swaps the order of a few songs around from the musical:
    • Fantine sings "I Dreamed A Dream" after she's fired from the factory in the stage version. In the film "Lovely Ladies" happens first and Fantine sings it when she's in despair after becoming a prostitute.
    • "The Runaway Cart" takes place after Valjean saves Fantine from arrest onstage, but in the film it takes place just after Fantine loses her job. (In the novel, it happens several years before either of those events, making both the stage and the screen versions examples of this trope to begin with.) Both versions of the scene eventually lead to the reveal that a lookalike has been wrongly arrested in Valjean's place. In the stage version, Javert simply mentions that he's only known one other man as strong as "the mayor," an ex-convict who happens to have just been recaptured; in the film, as in the novel, the earlier cart-lifting incident makes Javert start to suspect that "the mayor" is Valjean, eventually leading to his reporting him, only to learn that "Valjean" has already been caught.
    • Javert's solo "Stars" was originally placed in the middle of Act I, before the time skip from 1823 to 1832, and centered on Javert vowing to find Valjean despite having lost track of him. But early in the London production's run it was moved to a later point, after the time skip; the new context was Javert vowing to find Valjean after regaining track of him for the first time in nine years. The film puts it back in its original placement and context.
    • Éponine sings "On My Own" in Act II of the stage version, after the rise of the barricades and just before she decides to rejoin the battle despite Marius having sent her away. In the film she sings it after the "Rue Plumet" sequence, before the stage version's Act I finale "One Day More," and before she sets off to the barricade for the first (and in the film, only) time. This makes more sense in a way, as the film has her sing the song before its inclusion in part of the Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number One Day More, whereas the stage show features it before, making it the only leitmotif from the show in the song we are not already familiar with.
    • "Do You Hear The People Sing" happens much later in the film than it does in the stage version. Onstage its sung as the students whip up support for the pending revolution; in the film it's sung at the actual beginning of the revolution, as the barricade is built.
  • West Side Story:
    • In the stage version, "Cool" is sung before the Rumble, while "I Feel Pretty" and "Gee, Officer Krupke" are sung afterwards. In the 1961 film version, to create a rising "line of tension" with no lighthearted moments after the Rumble, "Gee, Officer Krupke" and "Cool" switch places and "I Feel Pretty" is also moved to an earlier scene. The 2021 film version keeps "Cool" and "Gee, Officer Krupke" before the Rumble, but returns "I Feel Pretty" to afterwards.
    • The lyrics to "America" in both films are almost completely rewritten from the musical. The original lyrics had been criticised for mocking Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans. The films focus instead on the discrimination the Puerto Ricans had suffered in America. The song is also changed from an all-female number revolving around an argument between Anita and another girl to a male-and-female number with Anita vs. Bernardo; the latter was Sondheim's original intent, only rewritten because Jerome Robbins wanted an all-female dance number in the show.
  • In Perfect Pie Marie's apology to Patsy is thought to herself in a diner in the play, but is said at Parsy's bedside while she's in her coma in the movie. This, combined with her sounding on the verge of tears and kissing Patsy's forehead before she leaves, makes her come across as far more horrified and in the throes of guilt and self-loathing than she did in the play, which implies she left as soon as she was well enough to walk.
  • The 1986 film Little Shop of Horrors gives Audrey and Seymour a happier ending than the stage musical. In the film, they survive to live out their suburban dreams as opposed to the stage musical, which ends with both getting eaten by the carnivorous plant, which goes on to take over the world. This changes the tone and implications of the work significantly. Originally the film's ending was the same as the play's, but test audiences responded so badly that much of the final half-hour had to be reshot; the Director's Cut restores the intended ending.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet:
    • In the original play, Mercutio said "A plague o' both your houses" immediately after being stabbed. In film, he only says it after "Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch", upon realizing the wound is fatal.
    • Romeo originally said the line "Tempt not a desperate man" when confronting Paris in the Capulet family vault. In the movie, where Paris is Spared by the Adaptation, he says it when taking a Human Shield against the VPBD SWAT cops outside the vault.
  • The film version of Oliver! turns the Irrelevant Act Opener "Oom-Pah-Pah" into a relevant number; Nancy sings the song to distract Sikes and Bullseye so Oliver can escape their sight.
  • By making Bombalurina into Macavity's partner in crime, Cats twists Macavity The Mystery Cat from a song denouncing his crimes to glorifying them.
  • In A Chorus Line, Diana and the other dancers sing What I Did For Love just after Paul's Career-Ending Injury as they ponder their lives should their careers end like that. The film version turns it into a solo for Cassie as she reflects on her career just before Paul's injury.
  • The climactic moment of The Fly (1958), revealing what's become of the fly with Andre's head, has the hybrid shrieking/buzzing "Help me!" as it is trapped in a web, about to be devoured by a spider. In The Fly (1986), which completely rethinks the story to have the protagonist undergo a Slow Transformation into a Half-Human Hybrid, this line becomes the now-disfigured Seth's desperate plea to his lover Veronica for emotional support.
  • The novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, from Different Seasons, is narrated by "Red" who got his nickname because he's a red-haired Irishman. In the film adaptation, The Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman plays the role of Red, and the nickname comes from his last name Redding. He still claims that he got the nickname because he's Irish, but here it's a bit of obvious sarcasm.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The part of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where Draco calls Hermione a Mudblood and the subsequent explanation of the term is played for far more drama in the film version. In the book Hermione doesn't know what the word means and the scene is an explanation of the general Fantastic Racism pure blood wizards have against Muggle borns. In the film Hermione already knows what the word means.
    • The trial of Barty Crouch Jr in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the book, Harry already has foreknowledge that the man was sent to Azkaban and later died. Barty Crouch Sr is clearly shaken and his wife is sobbing away behind him. It's not until later that his guilt is revealed. The film instead has Karkaroff shouting Jr's name out as a shock reveal. Sr's I Have No Son! moment in the book is Played for Drama, where we're supposed to sympathise with Jr. In the film, we're meant to root for Sr.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry is shown a photograph of the original Order of the Phoenix by Mad-Eye Moody. Harry finds it disturbing, especially since so many of them died shortly after it was taken. In the film version, Sirius shows Harry the photo instead and it's a more tender scene - with Sirius reminiscing on the people he misses.
    • Same movie changes context of Sirius's famous "the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters". In the book Harry suspected Umbridge is a Death Eater because of her cruelty, and when he told Sirius about his suspicions he answered with said quote, meaning that Death Eaters aren't the only evil in the world. In the movie Sirius says it when Harry is doubting himself, and the quote is supposed to mean that no one is really Pure Good or pure evil. Ironically, substituting "Evil" for "Death Eaters" makes the quote opposite to the original meaning, since it suggests that Death Eaters are all the evil in the world.
    • In the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry asks if Voldemort can feel his Horcruxes being destroyed, saying "they're pieces of his soul", but Dumbledore responds that Voldy has been separated from his fragments for so long that he can't feel them. In the film of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron instead says "they're pieces of his soul", but instead arguing that Voldemort should be able to feel their destruction, which in the film he does.
    • In the Deathly Hallows book, Ginny intentionally calls Harry into her room to kiss him as a "happy birthday" / going away present and then Ron busts in. In the movie, she asks him to zip her dress up in the middle of the kitchen, they kiss, and then George walks in.
  • In the novel Brideshead Revisited, Julia marries Rex Mottram over her family's objections, exemplifying her independent, rebellious spirit. In the movie, the marriage is the family's idea, and Julia's acquiescence demonstrates how subjugated she is to them.
    • In the book, Charles' cousin Jasper warns him off of Anglo-Catholicsnote  in general, saying "they're all sodomites with unpleasant accents". In the movie, Jasper makes a similar remark, "Sodomites, all of them!", in specific reference to the Roman Catholic Sebastian and Anthony Blanche. Thus a piece of rhetorical bigotry becomes a specific comment on the characters' sexuality.
  • The Princess Bride: The novel The Princess Bride has a frame story narrated by an adult looking back nostalgically at his childhood (as represented by the times his father used to read him the story-within-the-story The Princess Bride), and he gets in a few cynical zingers about what he's learned from growing up. The movie has a more hopeful frame story, about a child being read The Princess Bride for the first time, but some of the cynical zingers are retained and given to characters in the inner story: Westley says "Life is pain... anyone who tells you differently is selling something" when he's angry at Buttercup for (he thinks) abandoning him, and Miracle Max, who's become very cynical after his mistreatment by Humperdinck, gets the line about True Love being the greatest thing in the world except a good sandwich.
  • The Name of the Rose: the novel's title is ambiguous, as it ends with the lines "Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus / the rose of old remains only in its name; we possess naked names." The film makes the title explicit; the "rose" is the peasant girl that Adso loved, but whose name he never learned.
  • Starship Troopers: Invasion: Starship Troopers opens with a monologue about why the narrator "always gets the shakes before a drop." Rico is delivering it and mentions that a doctor explains it as the same kind of excitement a race horse has before being let out the gate; Rico's inner monologue then concludes that he's really shaking because he's scared shitless every time he drops. The movie Starship Troopers: Invasion opens with the same lines; a new character gives the monologue and claims it's because he's excited, like a race horse.
  • Anne of Green Gables: In the book, Matthew collapses and dies from a heart attack in the doorway of Green Gables after hearing the news that the bank where the Cuthberts kept their money has failed. In the 1985 film, he suffers a heart attack while bringing the cows home from the pasture, and dies in Anne's arms after confessing how proud he was of "his little girl".
  • Dune (1984): In the original novel Dune, Paul Muad'Dib notes that "[his] own name is a killing word", in reference to the violent fanaticism he has inspired. In the film, it instead refers to a sonic weapon invented by the Atreides in that version before their betrayal, and given to the Fremen. While teaching the Fremen how to use the weapon, one accidentally goes off when a Spear Carrier greets "Muad'Dib", making Paul's line literal as much as symbolic. (Inevitably, a few Fremen use the battle-cry in the final battle.)
  • In The Gruffalo, the lines beginning "But what is this creature with terrible claws..." are the narrator describing the mouse actually encountering the Gruffalo. In the BBC Animated Adaptation, the same lines are the predators comparing notes on what the mouse has told them.
  • The Martian: In the book, after the plan to send supplies to Mark Watney fails, Mark sends Major Martinez an email asking Martinez to talk to Mark's parents if he doesn't survive his ordeal on Mars. The movie keeps the request but has Mark ask Commander Lewis to do it instead.
  • The final lines of the novel Grendel (after he has had his arm torn off by Beowulf) are "Poor Grendel's had an accident. So may you all,"- a final, spiteful snarl at the readers. In the Animated Adaptation from 1981, the line appears but emits the second sentence, fitting with the film's depiction of Grendel as an innocent child in a Crapsack World, not fully understanding what's happened to him.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: In the radio series and book adaptation, Arthur tries to tell Marvin about a glorious sunset he's just watched, to which Marvin replies "I've seen it. It's rubbish." In the movie, Marvin says this about a video recording.
  • The U2 song "Pride" is about the power of individuals to effect social change, with particular reference to Martin Luther King Jr. In the movie Moulin Rouge!, the lyrics get changed from "one man in the name of love" to "one night in the name of love", and the song becomes a seduction ballad.

    Literature 
  • Ciaphas Cain: An early story has "Well that was unexpected" as the last words of the Chaoos warmaster Varan, reading like a deadpan This Cannot Be!. A later book turns him into the Big Bad, a Hitler-analogue with a ridiculous mustache and the ability to permanently mind-control people who hear his voice, and while those are indeed the last words he speaks, he screams them as he reveals his Chaos mutations include Femme Fatalons and a carapace-like skin.
  • Used for comedic effect in Vader and Son; Darth Vader's lines from the original movies are placed in the Lighter and Softer context of him raising Luke and going through the travails of fatherhood (for instance, he pulls out the infamous "Luke, I Am Your Father" line while asserting his authority to get Luke to pick up his toys.)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • The original radio version has Arthur convincing Prosser to hold the bulldozers while he goes to get a drink. In the book, Ford not only performs this act, he also convinces Prosser to lie down in front of the bulldozer as a guarantee that it won't destroy Arthur's house. The former version makes Arthur look a bit eccentric, but the latter showcases Ford's alienness.
    • When the Vogon captain asks Arthur and Ford what they thought of his poem, Ford is the one who, surprisingly, says, "I liked it!" It's even more surprising in the book, however, where the line is said by Arthur, and Ford hasn't even thought of taking this approach. While the original can be taken as just another example of Ford's weirdness and pragmatism, the adaptation shows how Arthur's unfamiliarity with the world he's been thrust into gives him a fresh perspective and allows him to think of things Ford wouldn't.
  • Revenge of the Sith: In the original film, Obi-Wan remarks "So uncivilized" after killing General Grievous with a blaster, referring to the weapon. In the novelization, it's instead a Bond One-Liner directed at Grievous himself.
  • From the BIONICLE novels:
    • In Web of Shadows, Vakama sets out on his own to find and secure the captured citizens of his ruined city, joining the villains only as a ploy. He doesn't become evil until Roodaka gets him to touch Makuta's throne, whose dark energy corrupts him and makes him forget his mission. In the animated film the book is based on, by this point Vakama has already been brainwashed by Roodaka and the throne's current owner Sidorak stops him from touching it. The film doesn't reveal the seat belonged to Makuta.
    • The Legend Reborn movie has Kiina acting very upbeat, placing her hope in that the newcomer Mata Nui will help her friends. The book keeps her lines the same but explains she's only putting on a facade to keep Mata Nui's spirits up because her real personality is so abrasive. In the movie, Kiina and Ackar have a genuine back-and-forth about their journey's perils while Mata Nui listens in. In the book, their exchange is kept the same but their tone is different. Ackar sees through Kiina's lies and subtly tries to clue Mata Nui in about what's really going on.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Around the World in Eighty Days: Among the adventures Phileas Fogg has in the original Jules Verne novel are 1) trying to get a train over a partially collapsed bridge, which happens in America towards the end, and 2) ripping all of the wood out of the superstructure of a steamship to feed the boilers, which happens even later, as he's crossing the Atlantic on the way home. In the 2021 TV miniseries, both incidents are combined into one sequence in the outbound part of Fogg's journey, as he's crossing through Italy on the way to Brindisi. Also, he's given a reason for his heroics, other than just winning his bet: he's rushing an injured child to Brindisi for emergency medical treatment.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jon Snow saving Sam from Alliser Thorne's bullying is changed in the series. In the books, it's purely Thorne's pettiness that motivates Thorne to order the other recruits to beat on the weaker Sam, and when Jon unites everyone against Thorne, it's a triumphant moment in which the recruits stand up to Thorne's tyranny. In the show, the scene doesn't end there and Thorne angrily counters this defense of Sam, pointing out that going easy on Sam is counterproductive, as when they get out in the field, none of the enemies will show him such mercy. The show takes Thorne's side and portrays his Training from Hell as tough, but necessary to survive in the Night's Watch. The book takes Jon's side, as he argues that with 2/3 of the Night's Watch structured as non-combatant support staff, it doesn't make sense for the Night's Watch to throw away a potentially valuable literate recruit to focus on combat training that isn't likely to be relevant, anyway.
    • In a more bizarre example, dialogue from the A Dance with Dragons epilogue is transposed from Varys giving a monologue to (and killing) Kevan Lannister to Qyburn doing the same to Pycelle. Varys's speech is about revealing his motives and the existence of the Hidden Backup Prince while Qyburn just seems to mostly be wanting to herald Cersei taking full control. The show version of the speech and murder also seems extraneous because Qyburn specifically interrupted Pycelle from going to Baelor's Sept, where he would have been killed in the explosion anyway. In the book, Kevan is specifically assassinated by Varys to restore the conflict between the Lannisters, Tyrells, and Sparrows, because Kevin was being too effective at stabilizing the situation.
    • In the books, Lord Wyman Manderly hosts several Frey guests whom he murderously despises, but doesn't want to violate Guest Right (like the Freys infamously did). Upon finding out that his hostage son was released, he gives the Freys parting gifts, which indicates that their guest stay is over, and has them murdered shortly afterwards. He then has them baked into a pie to be served to the Boltons, the other main villains from the Red Wedding. In the television show, Arya bakes Lord Walder's two sons into a pie which she serves to him, which results in the gesture (and the extreme effort of accomplishing it) having little meaning as she slits his throat mere seconds later before he (or the audience!) can understand the implication.
    • In the books, Ramsay marries a childhood friend of Sansa who is pretending to be Arya Stark and only a few know or suspect it's not the real Arya, with only Theon knowing her true identity. In comparison, the show simplifies the matter by having Ramsay marry the real Sansa Stark. This changes the context of Theon rescuing Ramsay's bride. In the show, due to the bride being Sansa, the rescue is an attempt to redeem himself to the Starks for betraying them. In the books, since Theon is the only one attempting to rescue her for being an innocent victim instead of her family name, the rescue is an attempt to redeem himself in his own eyes and/or that of the gods.
  • In the original comics, Oswald Cobblepot was given the harsh nickname "penguin" by bullies as a child because he was short, obese, and had a beak-like nose. In Gotham, Oswald is of average height and thin. His nickname and subsequent Berserk Button comes from the fact that he has a limp, making him look like he "waddles" when he walks.
  • Merlin is generally an In Name Only adaptation of the Arthurian Legends, but does this trope on occasion. For example, the dragon under the castle comes from a story where a young Merlin finds two dragons fighting under a castle, which he then uses to prophesy about future events. Likewise, The Reveal about Morgana fits the most famous legends, except that here she's Arthur's half-sister through Uther, rather than their mother, altering the reason for her vendetta.
Advertisement:

    Music 
  • In Kidz Bop's version of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida", a song told from the perspective of a fallen king, the line "Revolutionaries wait / For my head on a silver plate" is changed to "Revolutionaries wait / For my food on a silver plate" which... what? It implies the revolutionaries care about the king being well fed.

    Theatre 
  • In the 2000s, there was a pantomime production of Aladdin which used the songs from the Disney film. However, the pantomime changed the context of the song "Never Had A Friend Like Me". In the Disney film, it is sung by the Genie, after Aladdin meets him in the Cave of Wonders. In the pantomime, it is now sung between both Abanazar (the villain) and Aladdin, as part of the former's plan to entice Aladdin to come to the cave to find Genie's lamp.
  • The Matchmaker to Hello, Dolly!:
    • In The Matchmaker, Cornelius has an Audience Monologue shortly after he falls in love with Irene in which he says that even if he gets caught out and loses his job, the memory of this day will sustain him. In Hello, Dolly!, the monologue occurs close to the end, after he's been rumbled by his boss, and the bit about being caught out and losing his job is in the past tense. In one version, he's looking optimistically at a possibility that might never happen; in the other, it has happened and reality has had time to sink in, but he's declaring that all things considered it was still worth it. (Interestingly, the bit about not being sure whether Irene returns his feelings remains the same.)
    • In The Matchmaker, Dolly has an Audience Monologue near the end where she talks about her motivations for what she's been doing. In Hello, Dolly!, it's split into several shorter monologues spread through the play, with the earlier ones talking about what she's about to do instead of what she's done.
  • In the American production of the stage musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the Disney film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Cut Song "In a Place of Miracles" was intended to be sung after Esmeralda interrupted the hanging of Quasimodo and Phoebus. In the American production of the stage musical, it is performed after Frollo and his men discover the Gypsies' hideout and they are forced to evacuate, and incorporates a Dark Reprise of "Heaven's Light," in which Quasimodo laments that his love for Esmeralda will never be returned.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire:
    • The film opens with Daniel Hillard singing "Largo al factotum"(AKA "Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!") from The Barber of Seville in a cartoon voiceover role. The Musical instead has him performing a jingle for a "Pizzacato Pizza Rolls" commercial, beginning with the mondegreen "Pizza roll, pizza roll, pizza roll". Also, Daniel is fired rather than voluntarily quitting his job as in the movie.
    • The musical replaces the film's "run by fruiting" scene at the pool with an aerobics number ("The Shape of Things To Come") at a gym.
    • The musical's version of the restaurant scene is set at a Spanish restaurant and incorporates a flamenco song and dance("He Lied to Me").
  • Some productions of Macbeth move the Porter's Act II humorous soliloquy to the beginning as a prologue spoken by one of the three witches, changing it into a dark foreshadowing of things to come.
  • Different quartos of Hamlet place the iconic 'To be, or not to be' monologue in different points in the play, significantly changing its implications on the eponymous protagonist's mental state when it is uttered. In one quarto it is used as a more generic philosophical musing, and in another it is Hamlet seriously contemplating suicide, his mental stability in shambles.
  • In the original Richard III, the opening "Now is the winter of our discontent" monologue is Richard lamenting how great the world is right now and what a Card-Carrying Villain he is. In the 1995 film with Ian McKellen, Richard gives the first half as a public speech, appearing to be genuine praise about how great things are in the kingdom now... until he mutters the second half of the soliloquy while at a urinal, rambling about how unfair the world is while metaphorically pissing on his rivals.
  • Tommy was originally a concept album Rock Opera by The Who in 1969.
    • When it was filmed in 1975, they changed who died in the confrontation between Tommy's father and his mother's lover (originally the lover dies, in the film Tommy's father dies.) In both cases the survivors sing the "You didn't see it, you didn't hear it" number to Tommy
    • When it was staged as a Broadway musical in 1993, they rewrote the meaning of the ending so that instead of Tommy insisting you have to work and suffer for the spiritual revelations, you should strive to be normal because that's the best gift. In both cases his disciples reject him with the "We're Not Gonna Take It" song.
    • Some amateur productions of Tommy, particularly those which might have younger or more conservative audiences watching, have staged the "Fiddle About" number as a song about Uncle Ernie taking advantage of the Walkers' trust by using their home for romantic trysts with women, rather than molesting Tommy.
  • The 1936 adaptation of The Children's Hour, These Three, censored the plot. In the original play the accusation is Martha and Karen are a couple, and Karen is cheating on her fiancee. In the 1936 version it's assumed Martha and Joe are cheating. Thus many of Joe's lines are given to Karen, and his anxiety over the concept of his girlfriend cheating on him is transferred to her. The climax and ending are completely different. Instead of Joe leaving Karen it is Karen who didn't believe Joe. The dialogue afterwards between Karen and Martha is considerably less dramatic as Martha is calmly confessing her unrequited feelings for Joe instead of giving a gayngst filled Anguished Declaration of Love to Karen. The ending is a Bittersweet Ending where Karen and Joe reunite but the reputation of their school remains ruined instead of the Downer Ending of the play where Martha killed herself and Karen and Joe stay separated.
  • The Sound of Music
    • In the play, Maria and the Mother Abbess sing "My Favorite Things", after Maria recalls that hearing the nuns at Nonnberg sing made her want to join them. In the movie, Maria sings it to the Von Trapp children during a thunderstorm, leading to a confrontation with the Captain when he catches everyone staying up past bedtime.
    • In the play, Maria and the children sing "Do-Re-Mi" during her first day as the kids' governess. In the movie, Maria takes longer to earn the children's respect, so "Do-Re-Mi" doesn't begin until at least her second day as governess. The movie also has the song performed in a montage, indicating that the children took several weeks to learn how to sing, as opposed to the one day shown on stage.
    • In the play, Maria and the children sing "The Lonely Goatherd" during the aforementioned thunderstorm. In the movie, they perform it as a puppet show for the Captain, the Baroness, and Uncle Max. The Captain and Liesl follow this up with "Edelweiss", which the play saved until the Kaltzberg Festival. (The movie also the Von Trapps sing "Edelweiss" at that festival, as a reprise.)
  • In Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA:
    • The opening Show Within a Show was originally called Quid Pro Quo and was hosted by protagonist Waz himself with clown Shood Kood Wood as his sidekick. After the show crossed the border to the US, the opener was retooled into The Mr. Wow Show, hosted by the eponymous clown, with Waz as a contestant.
    • After the "Hall of Equals" act/scene, where Waz was originally initiated into the Freespirits, was retired, his initiation instead had him participate in the "Urban Jungle" hoop/shape diving act.
  • Mary Poppins: The stage musical of the film Mary Poppins has a few songs swapped around so that their context is different.
    • The film has "A Spoonful of Sugar" as the first song Mary sings to the children, helping them tidy up the nursery and serving as an introduction to her general magic. In the musical it happens later after the children accidentally mess up the kitchen.
    • "Feed The Birds" is changed from a lullaby in the film, to a duet between Mary and the bird woman as she personally takes the children to visit the bank.
    • "Let's Go Fly A Kite" is the film's finale, establishing the new bond between Mr. Banks and his children. In the musical it's instead sung by Bert trying to cheer the children up after they've fled from Miss Andrew.
  • In the stage version of The Little Mermaid, based on the 1989 film:
    • Unlike in the film, where Ariel found it in a sunken ship, the fork that Scuttle calls a "dinglehopper" is thrown overboard from Eric's ship along with several other royal treasures.
    • The music from the film's sailor jig scene is lyricized as "One Step Closer" and used for Ariel and Eric's Dance of Romance.
    • The Broadway production had Sebastian and the sea creatures perform "Under The Sea" to console Ariel after the destruction of her grotto, rather than to get her mind off Eric as in the film. The revised production restored it to its original context. Conversely, the Junior version places the number earlier, between "Part of Your World" and "The Storm".
    • The song "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" is based on the film's leitmotif for Scuttle, who is not present during this number.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: During the ball scene in Cinderella, when the Tremaine family see Cinderella dance with the prince, not knowing she's the stepsister they hate so much, the daughters are amazed of her beauty and want to meet her, while Lady Tremaine tries to get a closer look. In Kingdom Hearts, the lines are the same, but this time, they're furious over this matter, and summon the Unversed to murder everyone at the ball.
  • LEGO The Lord of the Rings borrows sound clips from the movies and changes the context of some of them. One example is "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!" In the movie, it was a Bond One-Liner and reference to cannibalism. In the game, the orcs are celebrating getting a pizza delivery.
  • In Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, most animations and lines are kept intact with Frank West using Chuck Greene's place. However, there are a few lines modified for the newer story, yet the animations still fit the context perfectly. For example, Psychopath and CURE member Brandon Whitaker is the one who bombs the arena gates instead of Sullivan in Chuck's outfit. Chuck reacts to the footage with shock and is outraged at being set up while Stacey backs away from him in fear. In Off the Record, Frank reacts to the footage and is outraged at Stacey while she backs away explaining her organization's being set up. A more traditional example can be found in the cutscene introducing Slappy the Psychopath. The line "Everybody knows me! I'm Slappy! And everybody knows you!" goes from angry accusation at Chuck (as he was framed for the outbreak) to squee for Frank (as he was a TV celebrity).
  • In the GBA game based off Revenge of the Sith, Obi Wan calls Grievous "so uncivilized" before their fight. In the actual movie, this line was directed towards the blaster that he had to use to kill him.
  • Super Robot Wars, being a Massive Multiplayer Crossover that revels in altering the plots of its series. In T alone, Char drops his orginal series line "Because he's a spoiled brat" in reference to Glemmy Toto, his "I'm doing something extremely wicked" inner monologue during an Enemy Mine with Londo Bell, and shouts "Begone, Axis! Along with my unpleasant memories!!" while helping push the rock away from Earth.
    • Quite possibly the most dramatic change in the series comes courtesy of Super Robot Wars X. In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, Mariemaia describes the titular waltz as the way "The three beats of war, peace, and revolution continue on forever" in the standard Forever War most Gundam universes are trapped in. In X, the bad guys kidnap her after she gives the speech because it shows that she's figured out the truth: Her world is one of three being secretly controlled by an Eldritch Abomination that feeds on the negative emotions of humans. It's the one manipulating events to ensure that permanent peace is never achieved, but to ensure the people don't go numb and stop producing enough pain and sorrow, it gives the worlds breaks by rotating them between the roles of "World of Peace", "World of War", and "World of Revolution".
  • Your Bizarre Adventure's story mode is a Compressed Adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind. In the latter, protagonist Giorno Giovanna refers to his lofty ambitions in life (to solve the drug epidemic plaguing his hometown by taking over the mafia) by stating that "I, Giorno Giovanna, have a dream." At the start of the game, he repeats the line when the player character talks to him... only to explain that his "dream" is simply to evade the security guards standing around the area.

    Web Comics 


Top