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Whenever adaptations and remakes of an earlier works are created, the writers of adaptations/remakes often have to tell the same basic story as the original work in a reduced span of time and also have to alter elements to fit the new medium. Sometimes this leads to stuff being introduced relatively earlier than the original brought them into the picture. This can apply to characters, tech, plots, almost anything, but the basic principle is the same regardless.

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The other reasons adaptation makers will employ this are these: An Iconic Sequel Character(s) will be the beneficiary(ies) of this trope both for the aforementioned narrative purposes and also to appeal to fans of the source material. Also by having characters appear earlier, they can be present when and where they weren't and thus make some changes so as to avoid being a complete retread.

This is easier to see when elements are introduced in a different order than in the original: whichever element(s) appear first become examples of this trope. Though choosing to have certain characters and objects that tie in to the earlier introduced character Adapted Out can also qualify for this trope.

Note: Adaptations that feature the same characters (including most of their associated personalities) and objects (with the associated appearances and functions) as the source, but have a plot and/or backstory that are invented whole cloth are not this trope. Therefore adaptations in question must be of Types 5-3 on the Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification to qualify.

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Also for the benefit for those who are not knowledgeable of whatever works that are cited, please include specific as possible references in order to demonstrate how an example applies (e.g. "Bob didn't appear until episode 24 of the 26 episode long (92.3% into the plot) TV show, but arises in the beginning of the close of the film adaptation's first act of three acts (33% into the plot)." or "In the comics Bob was introduced well after that of his previously established mentor Alice, but in the movie he is introduced without Alice's existence being established").

Compare Canon Immigrant (where a character introduced in a non-canon offshoot of the original source wasn't intended to be part of the main work, but is later incorporated, and retconned to be involved in prior events, due to Popularity Power), Ascended Extra (in which a character in the source material isn't crucial to the plot, but in the adaptation is given more prominence and involvement) and Early-Bird Cameo where a characters appears earlier than their introduction in the same work or series. Adaptation Origin Connection is a related trope of this. The inversion of this is Adaptational Late Appearance.

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Examples, sorted by the medium of the adaptation:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Ace Attorney anime inverts this twice. While the first season is an adaptation of the first two Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games, it skips over the second's tutorial case "The Lost Turnabout", adapting it as the first episode of the second season, which is otherwise an adaptation of the third game. And when it came to adapting the third game, its tutorial case "Turnabout Memories" only adapted after the cases 2 and 3 were adapted.
  • AKIRA
    • In the manga, Kaori doesn't show up until halfway into the series. In the movie, however, she's there from the beginning.
    • Yamagata's death. In the manga, he gets killed at the end of the first volume. In the film, he doesn't die until more than halfway into the story.
  • The Asterisk War: In the original light novels, the minor Queenvale student Violet Weinberg has a bit part in volume 7, chapter 4 (published in Japan in November 2014) where she asks Ayato for an autograph at the School Festival (it's hard to spot: Yuu Miyazaki only uses her given name). The anime gives her a much earlier introduction in season 1, episode 8 (aired as filler in November 2015), then ended after its second season at the end of novel volume 6.
  • Keen-eyed viewers watching Attack on Titan will spot cameos added in the second episode. A young Annie appears among the refugees waiting in the bread line, while a young Reiner and Bertolt appear in the crowd during the announcement of the operation to reclaim Wall Maria.
  • In Bakuman。, Kaya Miyoshi is briefly shown calling for Miho to come with her in the first episode of the anime. She doesn't appear until a few chapters into the series in the manga, when she meets the main characters on the roof. Koogy's music turns up a few times before he decides to make his debut as a mangaka.
  • Bleach
    • In the manga, Chad first appears in Chapter 7 (and this story is put into the anime at episode 4). But in the second episode, he's there offering to help repair Ichigo's house after the fight against Fish Bone D.
    • Ishida gets an odd treatment of this. He has a different Early-Bird Cameo in the manga versus the anime, but still gets introduced in the same story arc.
    • While less noticeable than other examples, in the anime, Kiyone and Sentarou (Ukitake's bickering third seats) first appear in Ukitake's debut when he hears about Aizen supposedly having been killed. In the manga, a faceless messenger tells him, and Kiyone and Sentarou don't arrive until he calls them out of hiding a few chapters later.
  • The original Cardfight!! Vanguard anime introduced Leon Souryu in Season 2. The 2018 remake introduces it during Season 1.
  • While it's only one episode early, In the Date A Live anime, when it suddenly starts raining during Tohka and Sido's first date you can see Yoshino in front of the arcade they take shelter in.
  • An inversion happens in Death Note, where L appears at the very end of the first chapter, but doesn't appear until the Interpol conference in the second episode of the anime. An early scene with Near, Mello and Roger (the man in charge of Wammy's Orphanage) is delayed, and they first appear when receiving word of L's death.
    • Also Matt appears in episode 32 in the anime with Mello.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon Izutsumi was a member of the group well before reaching the Red Dragon in the one-shot. The series proper introduces her alongside Shuro's party and keeps her disguised until the concept of artificial chimeras is brought up, both providing explanation on why there would be a catgirl ninja in an otherwise fairly western styled setting.
  • Detective Conan
    • The anime's first episode gives Conan's future first-grade friends, the Detective Boys, speaking roles.
    • Sonoko was introduced in a filler episode, the sixth episode. Her manga debut was in volume 5, during the Mountain Villa Bandaged Man Murder Case.
    • The 2016 TV special, Detective Conan ONE, which is largely a retelling of the first two episodes, contains a lot of cameos of characters who weren't introduced in the original two episodes, including some flashforwards.
  • In the anime adaptation of Dies Irae, a special super powered version of Ren's normal time stop powers called Eine Faust Finale appeared when he confronted Reinhard at the bridge prior to where the routes are supposed to split. Not only is this far earlier than in the novel where it only appeared near the end of Rea's route, but it also appeared one route too early as the anime adapts Marie's route which canonically takes place before Rea's.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In the manga, Pilaf and his henchmen Mai and Shuu aren't introduced until Goku and friends have collected 6 Dragon Balls and reached his castle (Chapter 18). In the anime, he shows up in the very first episode, and acquires the Dragon Ball that he has in the manga. For the rest of the meta-arc, their various exploits in attempting to acquire the other Dragon Balls are depicted. Which means, since Goku and friends get all the rest, Failure Is the Only Option for these exploits.
    • The introduction of Tenshinhan (Tien) and Chaozu. In the manga, they first turn up at the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai. But the anime introduces them as the villains of a filler episode while Goku is doing his solo training.
  • From Eyeshield 21, the manga introduces Suzuna Taki in the Death March storyarc. The anime includes her in an earlier episode, trying to track down her brother Natsuhiko.
  • Fist of the North Star
    • In the manga, Kenshiro's initial nemesis, Shin, doesn't show up until Chapter 4, while his lost love Yuria (or rather a mannequin bearing her likeness) first appears in Chapter 6. In the anime, they both show up in the very first episode in the form of hallucinations in Kenshiro's mind while going through the desert with real Yuria being a prominent character throughout the first chapter of the anime.
    • The Hokuto no Ken 2 anime changes the order in which certain characters are introduced as well. In the manga, the initial villain Jakoh isn't introduced until Chapter 150 in order to make Falco (who is introduced earlier as an antagonist in Chapter 145) more sympathetic. In the anime Jakoh is introduced in Episode 110, while Falco and the other Gento warriors show up later in Episode 114.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the manga, Maes Huges is introduced during Chapter 6 when the Elric brothers have arrived at Central by train. In the 2003 anime, Maes Hughes first appears during the train hijacking incident and helps Ed and Al retake the train.
    • Kimblee is one of the characters briefly introduced in the first episode of Brotherhood; Isaac MacDougal offers to break him out of prison, but he refuses.
  • In the Futsū no Joshikōsei ga Locodol Yattemita anime, Awa Awa Girls appear briefly on TV in episode one, they are only introduced properly ten episodes later.
  • In the anime adaptation of Granblue Fantasy, Rosetta appears early in Port Breeze, interrupting the fight between Gran and Drang. And again, in Auguste Isles where she warns Gran of impending danger and helps them to recover Lyria when she falls into a coma. In the game's actual plot, she only appears when the crew visits the Lumacie Forest.
  • In Is the Order a Rabbit?, Aoyama first appeared within the first minute of the anime (00:51 to be exact), in an anime-only intro.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In the original Stardust Crusaders manga, during Polnareff's flashback to meeting Dio, a generic bird is perched on the latter's shoulder. The anime changed this to Pet Shop.
    • In the first episode of the anime adaptation of Diamond is Unbreakable, a crowd gathers to watch an unfolding hostage situation. Observant viewers will observe that the crowd in the anime version includes a number of enemy Stand users that wouldn't appear for several arcs, including the Nijimura brothers, Toshikazu Hazamada, Yukako Yamagishi, and even Rohan Kishibe.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo:
    • The anime of Vento Aureo follows the same trend as its predecessors, albeit even more strongly. Shortly after Polpo's death, the montage of Capos talking about the rumors of his hidden treasure includes a short scene of Zucchero and Sale in a car together puzzling out that Bucciarati seems a likely candidate to know where the treasure is.
    • The Vento Aureo anime even dedicates an entirely original episode to the backstory of La Squadra Esecuzioni. It featured them performing a mission in the lead-up to discovering the fate of Sorbet and Gelato, showing all their faces and personalities, and even adding a scene of the other members attending Sorbet and Gelato's funeral afterwards. In the manga, this backstory lasted two pages, showed all the members as no more than silhouettes, and didn't mention any names. The anime version even has an early cameo by Cioccolata and Secco, who are revealed to be the ones that the Boss sent to kill Sorbet and Gelato.
  • Maki and Osaragi both make a small appearance in the final episode of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, during an adaptation of chapter 46. Neither of them showed up in the manga until chapter 65. Ishigami also had several cameos prior to his proper introduction in episode 6 (he had an Early-Bird Cameo on one of the chapter covers in the manga, but it wasn't adapted).
  • In the original Kaitou Joker manga, Ginko and Momo didn't appear until all the way in Chapter 20, and only showed up sporadically after that. The TV adaptation has them present from the very first episode, presumably to give the show a stronger female presence.
  • Every major character appears in the first episode of the 2006 version of Kanon, save for Amano Mishio. Yes, Makoto is there. For those who kept trying to spot the Makoto Sawatari we know, it's not her that we see in the pilot episode, but rather, her fox form, the fox that Nayuki approaches on the hill that we see. Many of them appear only as extras, making them Early Bird Cameoes.
  • In the anime of Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, Tsuna passes by Ryohei, Yamamoto, and Hibari when he is running to catch up with Kyoko.
  • Ootani from Komori-san Can't Decline! showed up several times in the background of the first 5 episodes of the anime. In the manga, he never appeared until Komori bumped into him in chapter 16.
  • In the Little Busters! visual novel, Suginami-san and her Jerkass friends Katsuzawa and Takamiya don't show up until the beginning of Rin or Kurugaya's routes, but the anime briefly lingers over the three of them in an establishing shot of the classroom in the first episode.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid anime begins with a scene showing Sankt Kaiser Olivie, Hegemon Klaus Ingvalt, and Wilfried Jeremiah during the time of Ancient Belka. In the original manga, the first two don't appear until after Einhart gets befriended a few chapters in, while the existence of Wilfried isn't shown until more than 40 chapters later near the end of the Tournament Arc.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
    • Kanna shows up near the end of episode 1 recognizing Tohru's Wave Motion Gun. Doubles as Adaptation Expansion, since Kanna mentioned during her first appearance in the manga that it's how she tracked Tohru down.
    • Saikawa can be seen in the background at four different points during Kanna's first day of school before she's properly introduced. In the manga, she isn't seen until she confronts Kanna after class is over.
  • Moomin places Little My in storylines that took place before her debut in the original books.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The Stinger for Season 1 has Stain lurking in the shadows. In the manga, he doesn't make his first appearance until the end of the Sports Festival Arc before becoming the Arc Villain in the following one.
    • If the previews are any indication, Endeavor will play a role in the Jump Festa 2016 OVA between seasons one and two, where as in the manga, he didn't have his first speaking role until the Sports Festival Arc.
    • Gran Torino makes his first anime appearance in the first episode of season 2, reading a letter sent to him by All Might. This scene is not in the manga, where he doesn't appear until the Stain/Internship arc.
  • In the original manga of Naruto, versus the anime adaptation:
    • Sakura and Sasuke (Sasuke is in the background of one panel) aren't shown clearly until after Naruto becomes a Genin. The rest of the "Nine" aren't introduced until the Chunin Exam arc. In the first episode of the anime, all the members of the Rookie Nine are seen lined up for the Henge Jutsu evaluation. Sakura and Sasuke are even shown going before Naruto.
    • Some of the dialogue is changed, as Shikamaru and Ino replace the generic students who complain about Naruto's mischief causing them to be tested on Transformation, with Shikamaru wondering why Naruto is among the graduates when they are assigned to teams.
    • In Episode 3, a few of the teachers appear while observing Naruto and Sasuke in the classroom, including Kurenai, who is incredibly Off-Model, has the red and white on her outfit reversed, and has a different voice actor for that episode.
    • In the manga, the Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu were only seen clearly when they make their first appearance in person, but in the anime they make an appearance as holograms during the Gaara Rescue, requesting to take care of Team Kakashi.
    • A Whole Episode Flashback of Jiraiya's has two of the ninja who would become the Six Paths of Pain, back when they were still alive. One of whom had already been introduced before the flashback. For the anime, the entire group was introduced.
    • In the Boruto anime, Kashin Koji appears as a cloaked figure casting a genjutsu on Katasuke, before his first appearance in the manga.
    • The Last: Naruto the Movie came out while the Naruto anime was still airing. It wouldn't end for over a year. The Stinger of the movie shows Naruto and Hinata's children, Himawari and Boruto. In the manga, they aren't revealed until the Distant Epilogue. As a result of the film and the Boruto film already having came out, the anime just skipped over the manga's epilogue and adapted a book showing Naruto's wedding arc.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Kaworu Nagisa only appears in episode 24 of the 26 episode long TV series, but he is seen in the first movie of the new Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy. He also shows up quite a bit earlier in the manga adaptation, and is among the first introduced characters in pretty much every Alternate Continuity. This may have something to do with the creators acknowledging him as being a a popular character with the fanbase and thus deciding to given a more prominent role in the stories of adaptation by introducing him earlier.
  • New Game!: Umiko and Shizuku, who aren't introduced until chapters 15 and 25 of the manga, respectively, make appearances starting from the first episode of the anime to establish their characters.
  • The anime of No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! downplays this by having the Nice Girl Student Council President appear a few minutes ahead of schedule, replacing the nameless girl who was originally there.
  • The Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan anime not only has Gyuuki, the first major villain, appear early, but practically has him appear every other minute for no real reason.
  • One Piece has the anime artists adding foreshadowing of future characters that recently appeared in the manga by using an Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Akainu appeared in the background of a group shot just over a month after his present design was unveiled in the manga, Jimbei was shown among the Warlords, and Shiryuu's shadow showed up in Impel Down.
    • Nami is introduced in the first few episodes, with her own storyline, before her manga introduction during the Buggy arc.
  • This happens at least once a season in Pokémon:
  • Two instances in the Pretty Cure All Stars series:
    • In DX 2, Itsuki and Yuri show up in a crowd shot, the movie airing prior to their appearances in the show, though Yuri's something of an exception.
    • In New Stage 3, Cure Honey shows up to lend a hand twice. The movie aired two weeks prior to her official appearance.
  • Rosario + Vampire: In the manga, Ruby Tojou didn't appear until the arc immediately preceding the defeat of Kuyou and the Student Police, and never even met Kuyou until near the end of Season II when he reappears as a member of Fairy Tale. The anime changed the order the story arcs it was adapting so that Ruby appears before Kuyou does; she later shows up to rally Moka and the rest of the Newspaper Club to fight back against Kuyou and save Tsukune from him.
    • Similarly, Mizore's first manga appearance happens one arc after Ruby's introduction. In the anime, she already joins the Newspaper Club before they go on the trip where they would meet Ruby for the first time. Mizore herself never meets Kuyou in the manga.
    • In the manga, Yukari appears after the Swimming Club incident and after Ginei's introduction. In the anime, she appears before either of them.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal has a slight tendency to tease characters before they appeared in the Sailor Moon manga, a perk of adapting an already-finished story.
    • Ami has a brief appearance at the end of the first episode, running to get out of the rain. In the original Sailor Moon manga, she didn't appear until Act 2.
    • Rei shows up briefly at the very end of the second episode with some shots focusing on her shrine. It also foreshadows her Psychic Powers. She didn't appear in the manga until Act 3.
    • In the most drastic example, Luna's human form makes an appearance toward the end of the first season. This form didn't appear until a short story published around the same time as the Infinity arc (third season) and didn't appear in the manga proper until the fifth and final arc, Stars.
  • School-Live!:
    • Played with when it comes to Taroumaru. Chronologically he was a Posthumous Character by the time the manga started however this wasn't revealed until several chapters in. In the anime, which starts In Medias Res from the manga, he is an Ascended Extra.
    • Played straight with Miki. She doesn't meet the club until several chapters in, however the anime has her around from the get-go and her early scenes are treated as flashbacks. This created some trouble due to Megu-nee's reveal of being Dead All Along happening before Miki joined the club in the manga, but the anime had to tip-toe around the issue for several episodes while the manga never pretended Megu-nee was alive (and, as mentioned, Miki gets into fights about how the others aren't helping Yuki by supporting her delusions).
  • In the Soul Eater manga, we first see Sid after he's zombified and fights Maka, Soul, Black Star, and Tsubaki. In the anime we see him an episode earlier, before he became a zombie, in a scene added to the anime where Soul and Black Star try to find out about Kid. Likewise, we see Harvar, Ox, Kilik, Pot of Fire, Pot of Thunder, and Hiro in the fourth episode of the anime instead of some unnamed background characters, as all of them were shown significantly later in the manga.
  • In Space Battleship Yamato 2199 the White Comet Empire shows up as early as episode 9, when the original series didn't reveal their existence until the second season.
  • The manga adaptation of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    • Nia is shown right after Kamina, Yoko, Leeron, and Simon leave Ritoona Village. There's also some Early-Bird Ship Tease for Dayakka/Kiyoh and Rossiu/Kinon.
    • In Gurren-Hen, Guinble makes an appearance just after the destruction of the Doten-Kaizan. He looks (appropriately enough) younger than he did in the original series.
    • In Lagann-hen, the Anti-Spiral's face briefly appears on the moon's surface just as Nia accepted Simon's marriage proposal.
  • The anime adaptation of Urusei Yatsura gets most of the cast assembled way before the manga did. This means that episodes adapted from specific chapters sometimes had to rework the plots to account for characters that weren't yet in the story when the manga was written.
  • In the manga adaption of Rusty's arrival in ThunderClan during Warrior Cats, Ravenpaw is in the camp. In the book, he didn't appear until later.
  • The anime of Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl added a date scene with Yawara in the park with Kazamatsuri (who's trying to avoid all the girls he stood up) in episode #6. One of them (the one in the boat) is Yoko Nanda, who won't join the main cast until MUCH later (like, after the part that's come to the USA). Nanda's defining characteristic WAS her bad luck with men, so it works rather well.
  • In Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh anime, Ryou Bakura appears before Monster World, where he was introduced in the manga.

    Comic Books 
  • Noob:
    • The webseries and novels introduced Castorga during the Centralis battle. The comic has him show up before the first of the Disaster Dominoes that led to the Centralis battle happening in the first place.
    • The webseries and comic introduced the guild of Gaea Admirers during the Centralis battle, but the comic introduced them during an earlier battle taking place on Syrial.
    • The novels introduced Mist right after the faction of Chaos was driven out of Glacesang, an event that happened several months after then Centralis battle. The comic introduces her one day before the Centralis battle takes place.
  • Jem and the Holograms:
    • In the cartoon Jetta isn't introduced until season 2, when The Misfits decided they need a fourth member after Jem and The Holograms start looking for a new drummer. In the IDW comics she's already a Misfit before Jem's band is even commercially known.
    • Stormer's older brother Craig is introduced in the same episode as Jetta but in the comics he bumps into Aja in the first arc.
    • Clash doesn't appear until several episodes into the cartoon but is prominent from the start of the comic.
    • Inverted with Eric. In the cartoon Jerrica has known him for years and The Misfits met him just before the series began. In the comics The Misfits meet Eric several issues in and Jerrica has yet to meet him.
  • Mega Man: Quite a few characters make appearances before the adaptation of their games of origin. The most notable examples include Dr. Cossack and his Robot Masters, who first appear before Mega Man 3. Mr. X (as a new character and not a disguise used by Wily) also appears just before Mega Man 4's adaptation begins, and is later revealed to be Xander Payne, who first appeared in a comic-exclusive arc early in the series.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • In the original comic Peter was initially alone, then Gwen Stacy was his love interest, and Mary Jane (introduced as a background character) was promoted to love interest. In Ultimate Spider-Man, she appears from the very begining.
    • Colossus and Storm are founding members of the Ultimate X-Men, and Wolverine joins shortly after. In the original run, they appeared decades after the creation of the team.
  • Marvel Comics did a Comic-Book Adaptation of Toxic Crusaders, the first issue of which was an adaptation of the cartoon's first episode. The comic had Headbanger and Junkyard appear with Nozone and Major Disaster as heroes wanting to help Toxie fight crime, when the original cartoon had Headbanger and Junkyard appear in the second and third episodes respectively before joining the Toxic Crusaders.
  • The first The Adventure Zone: Balance graphic novel, Here There Be Gerblins gives a brief non-speaking appearance to Carey Fangbattle, Brad Bradson, and Boyland.
  • When Tintin in the Congo was turned into color, Thomson and Thompson were added into the scene where he is saying goodbye to everyone on the railway platform (they were not present in the original black and white edition). The pair made their first proper appearance in Cigars of the Pharaoh.
  • Certain random background Legionaires were changed into Brainiac 5 when early Legion of Super-Heroes stories were reprinted, by simply recolouring them to Brainy's colours (purple clothes, green skin, blonde hair).
  • The graphic novel adaptation of the first Artemis Fowl novel features references to Opal Koboi and her company - both of which play major roles in the second book- that were not in the print version.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Boom! Studios): Drusilla and Spike weren't introduced until the second season of the show. Promotional material for the first two issues has them shaping up to be some of Buffy's earliest foes.

    Fan Works 
  • Batman Revisited: A few characters, owing to this being an Ultimate Universe for the Batman Mythos.
    • Cassandra Cain shows up at the end of the first chapter, which is set not long after Dick Grayson became Nightwing (Which happened a good 15 years before she showed up in real life.)
    • Renee Montoya is here despite similarly not debuting till much later; she's also already The Question, when that took 15 years to happen after her debut.
  • Old Scars: The Cabin survivors are introduced to Clementine shortly after the events of Season 1, instead of being introduced after Clementine travels with Christa for a year and a half.
  • Ruby and Nora: Ilia and Trifa appear before the fall of Beacon, when in canon they appeared much after that event.
  • Star Wars Uncut: In this Fan Film version of A New Hope some characters who don't appear in canon until later films show up.
    • Jar-Jar Binks note  can be seen in a few scenes.
    • There are Ewoksnote  at the medal ceremony at the end.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Early on in the Saiyan Saga, there's a cutaway to Nail and Guru on Namek, the former so bored he wishes something exciting would happen soon.
    • Episode 18 (set in the Freeza Saga) has a brief appearance from Future Trunks, just before he departs for the past (future?).
    • Episode 59's ending shows Videl as a little girl watching the Cell Games, seven in-universe years before she meets Gohan in the Buu Saga.
    • Bardock: Father of Goku Abridged has Bardock, in his final glimpse into the future before his death, sees Perfect Cell, Majin Buu, and the Para Brothers, none of whom he saw in the original.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has several instances of this. Justified, since the new timeline is completely different:
    • Mimey started working for the Ketchum family some time before Ash went on his Pokémon journey.
    • Misty caught Horsea and Psyduck before she even met Ash in this timeline.
    • Serena makes a few cameo appearances during the main story while Ash is still traveling through Kanto, since they kept in touch with each other this time around.
    • Ash meets Paul in the Vermillion City Gym, far earlier than in canon.
    • Burgundy is met aboard the St. Anne this time around.
    • Iris appears in Kanto and starts travelling with Ash long before Unova.
    • Ash has captured several of his Pokémon before even leaving Kanto, including Aipom, Snivy, Goomy and Roggenrola.
  • Son of the Sannin: The members of Akatsuki have a brief appearance much earlier than in canon, while the story is still covering the years before the timeframe of Part I. But as early as Chapter 4, Toneri Otsutsuki of all people, appears briefly, as the mastermind behind the Hyuga affair, and by extension Hinata's kidnapping when she was a child.
  • In Thieves Can Be Heroes!, Makoto Niijima gets named and has a much more prominent role in the early parts of the story than in the original game due to being Izuku's Childhood Friend. She funnels him information and doing her best to support him when she didn't bother with the Thieves much at all until the third major target in the games.
    • In Chapter 17, Futaba Sakura, who doesn't appear until after the third major heist in the games, has a short appearance after she listens in on Izuku and his mom's reunion while lamenting that she'll never get to experience that ever again.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse):
    • Ra's al Ghul, as he plays a major part in the backstory of all three leads. His daughter Nyssa is a lesser examplenote  for the same reason.
    • Ralph Dibny appears much earlier than he does in canon, thanks to For Want of a Nail; as Barry never joined the CCPD as a CSI in this timeline, Ralph was never caught tampering with evidence and thus was never fired. This same nail also presumably prevented his death during the Particle Accelerator Explosion, which was reversed by Flashpoint in canon.
    • Samantha Arias and Ruby Arias appear early on as well, and even meet Kara earlier, thanks to Ruby being enrolled in the same class as Kal-El at Balliol Prep. Sam and Kara even become best friends.
    • Maseo Yamashiro starts making appearances once Slade re-enters the story, as he still a member of A.R.G.U.S. in this timeline thanks to another nail.
  • Universe Falls: The Arc 1 finale "Magic and Mystery" ends with a Cryptic Conversation between Bill Cipher (who didn't appear in Gravity Falls until "Dreamscaperers") and Yellow Diamond (who didn't appear in Steven Universe until "Message Received").
  • Advice and Trust: Kaworu was supposed to come along after the defeat of the Sixteenth Angel. Here he arrives at NERV shortly after the defeat of the Fourteenth.
  • In This Bites!: Bartolomeo was present for Luffy's would-be execution in Loguetown in canon. In this fic, Cross takes the opportunity to temper his passion to be a pirate like Luffy, and suggest that he actually do it right (in canon, while he and presumably his crew had the necessary power to survive in the New World, they had very poor seafaring skills, making it an outright miracle that they made it as far as they did).
    • Characters that would only appear in future locations, like the Whitebeard Pirates, the Marine higher-ups, or the Revolutionaries appear to show current events, or as spectators to Cross's SBS Broadcast, even though the Straw Hats have yet to meet them in person. As of Chapter 30, Admiral Akainu makes an appearance, and he does not like the SBS.
    • Chapter 31 has both Doflamingo and Scratchman Apoo calling in to the SBS Broadcast.
    • By Chapter 36, due to the popularity of the SBS, it's almost easier to list the characters who haven't made an appearance yet.
  • In the audio version of Daughter of Discord (the second story in the Bride of Discord verse) has both Twilight's daughter Twinkle and Rarity's youngest daughter Jewel, among the children she's telling the story to in the Nested Story Reveal, despite the fact that those two didn't appear in the fan fics until Son-In-Law of Discord and CMC: The Next Generation respectively. This was done in part to fulfill the wish of Make-A-Wish kid pokeyinmypocket, who voiced both characters.
  • A Brighter Dark: Azama shows up just after the events of the game's Chapter 5, Laslow and Peri show up during the game's Chapter 6, and Selena, Beruka, and Gunter fully join the party far earlier than in canon, with Gunter avoiding his original Disney Death.
  • In Challenger, besides Pokemon from every region showing up (Ash's third Pokemon is a Sandile), many character appear earlier than canon as well. Giovanni appears in the second chapter, having been at the Viridian City Pokemon Center at the same time as Ash, while Silver and Luna end up traveling with Ash is students/apprentices of his after he takes a break from challenging Gyms to train more.
  • In The Chosen One's Journey, Steven and Cynthia appear as early as Kanto, along with Pokemon from all 5 (later 6) generations.
  • The Differentverse: Several characters (and one concept) appear earlier than in canon.
    • Cadance gets namedropped in the first chapter, and makes a full appearance in chapter 5. This is in stark contrast to canon, where she wasn't even hinted at until the end of season 2.
    • Shining Armor gets namedropped in chapter 2 (again, in stark contrast to canon, where he wasn't even mentioned until the end of season 2).
    • Pinkie Promises make their first appearance in chapter 2, as opposed to the last third of season 1 as in canon.
    • Cranky Doodle Donkey, who debuted in season 2 of canon, gets namedropped (as "Cranky") during the trip through the Everfree.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Kaworu shows up for first time in chapter 2, shortly after Sachiel's defeat. In canon he showed up half year later.
  • Evangelion 303: Asuka and Kaworu show up in the first scene of the first chapter. In canon they appeared in chapter 8 and chapter 24, respectively.
  • In Leviathan, Mirio Togata, who canonically doesn't appear until much later in canon, steps in to stop a conflict between Bit and a random stranger after Bit's attempts to test his lightsaber ended up burning the man's hair off. Mirio had watched the Entrance Exam and congratulates Izuku for his performance during it.
  • The One I Love Is: Shinji meets Kaworu shortly after the defeat of the Thirteenth Angel. In canon Kaworu came along after the death of the Sixteenth.
  • In Project Tatterdemalion, a Bleach AU in which Hollows are the result of The Virus and shinigami those of its vaccine, a pre-Hollow Nel gets a brief cameo as a coworker of Ichigo's parents who was infected- well before the introduction of Arrancar, or indeed any version of the events of Bleach canon.
  • Adventures on the Friendship Express also has a cameo from Flash Sentry in chapter 8. Season 3 of FiM has not ended here yet, so Twilight does not have her wings either, so this is also before he is canonically introduced.
  • Turnabout Storm's:
    • fan novelization has a cameo from Flash Sentry in chapter 52. Keep in mind that Twilight doesn't even have her wings yet, so this is happening way before he is canonically introduced. The author has confirmed Flash is in the story as a nod to the movie. Shining Armour also counts, since he is introduced in the season 2 finale, and the story takes place before that point.
    • Chapter 54 has a cameo from Sunset Shimmer in a flashback. This was actually suggested by the author of the original.
  • Welcome To The World Of Pokemon has game mechanics that appear earlier than they do in canon. Mega Evolution, a Pokémon X and Y mechanic, appears as early as Red With Rage.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, several characters are introduced significantly before they are in canon.
    • While scouring newspapers in his middle school library for any signs of surviving Kryptonians, Izuku has to come up with an excuse as to why he has headphones on. He ends up quickly punching his YouTube app and bringing up the first video on the list, which happens to be a clip by Gentle and La Brava, who Izuku doesn't hear about until his first fall semester in the original manga.
    • Izuku meets Momo Yaoyorozu while looking for a place to eat in Nagoya. After helping her retrieve her phone from a storm drain, they strike up conversation over lunch and end up discovering that they both admire Princess Shazam, becoming fast friends and study partners in preparation for the U.A. Entrance Exam.
    • While attending the U.A. Culture Festival with his parents, Izuku runs into Kendo Rappa, a member of the yakuza and the Eight Precepts of Death under Kai Chisaki, who doesn't appear until the raid on Chisaki's hideout.
    • Itsuka Kendou ends up knocking a robot that would have plowed into Izuku while he was busy thinking and muttering in the middle of the U.A. Entrance Exam's practical portion, becoming a close friend of his afterward. In canon, the two don't meet until the Sports Festival.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic The Ultimate Evil and its sequel, The Stronger Evil, several villains appear earlier than in the source materials.
    • Daolon Wong first appeared in one of the 2nd season's filler episodes that took place after the Demon World duology. In The Ultimate Evil, he makes a cameo appearance during the Demon World section.
    • Drago and the Ice Crew first appeared in two filler episodes of the 4th season when Tarakudo's Oni Mask arc was still unfinished. In The Stronger Evil, Drago and the Ice Crew appear before Tarakudo, and the 5th season's demon chi arc begins before the Oni Mask arc. The latter commences only when Drago instead of Daolon Wong unwittingly brings Tarakudo on the board.
  • Btvs: Seasons Rewrite:
    • In the original canon, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce didn't appear until the events of "Bad Girls," the thirteenth episode of Season 3. Here, he appears much earlier during "Myhnegon," an adaptation of the seventh episode "Revelations."
    • Allen Francis Doyle didn't appear in the Buffyverse until "City of", the pilot episode of Angel Season 1. Here, he debuts alongside Wesley in "Myhnegon."
    • Inverted with Anya. In canon, she appeared in "The Wish," the ninth episode of Season 3. Here, she doesn't appear until the second chapter of the Season 4 rewrite.
  • Crimson And Emerald:
    • Mandalay was contacted by Toshinori to help them investigate the Vestiges in One for All through her telepathy.
    • Camie and Inasa come a lot earlier in attempt to get Shiketsu's most famous alumni, Hawks, to hook up his fellow Shiketsu students with interns.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • CVFY first cameo at the Beacon initiation helping with the new students. Coco and Velvet are formally introduced in the scene where Cardin bullies Velvet (which in the original RWBY was originally meant to be Cardin bullying a nameless extra before Velvet was made an Ascended Extra).
    • Neo is referenced in Volume 1.
    • Neptune is introduced alongside his Sun, not a few episodes afterwards.
  • Amazing Fantasy:
    • Izuku meets Hanta Sero, Kyouka Jirou, and Neito Monoma while preparing for the U.A. Entrance Exam, months before he meets them in canon.
    • All For One appears as the ominous voice Mysterio calls as early as Issue #3 before Izuku even starts his training.
    • Stain makes his first on-screen appearance in Issue #6, rather than after the Sports Festival.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Spider-Man Trilogy Mary Jane is introduced as Peter's Girl Next Door and high school crush. She is actually a Composite Character of Gwen Stacy, Peter's high school girlfriend in the comics who famously was killed by the Green Goblin in "The Night Gwen Stacy Died." Mary Jane didn't show up until Peter was in college and formed something of a Betty and Veronica rivalry for Peter's affections, and years later ends up marrying Peter. Gwen doesn't show up in those films until Spider-Man 3, and is an obvious Romantic False Lead. The Amazing Spider-Man has Gwen as Peter's high school girlfriend, ending up being Truer to the Text in this regard.
  • In the novel Maurice, Scudder is subtly mentioned several times before Maurice actually encounters him. In the film, there is a brief scene early on that only serves to introduce him to the audience as a servant in Clive's house, and call him by name.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • The Avengers has both Black Widow and Hawkeye as original members, even though both characters joined later rosters in the comics. Meanwhile, this is inverted in regards to Ant-Man and The Wasp, two founding members in the comics who are nowhere to be found in the films until 2015's Ant-Man. Wasp doesn’t officially suit up until a decade into the franchise in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.
    • Captain America from his second solo move on draws heavily from Ed Brubaker’s work with the character that started in 2004. The most prominent aspect of his work in the MCU is his reinvention of The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes. Bucky was changed from a long dead Kid Sidekick to someone who was kidnapped by the Soviets in World War 2 and turned into an assassin with a metal arm.
    • Ultron is the main villain of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and is accidentally created by Tony Stark. In the accepted comics canon, Hank Pym (the first Ant-Man) created Ultron, but Hank had not even been introduced at this point in the MCU.
    • The Avengers had already been published for about a decade when Thanos first appeared in 1973. In the MCU, Thanos has essentially been the franchise's Greater-Scope Villain since the first Avengers movie, where he was revealed to be the Man Behind the Man in The Stinger.
    • In the comics, James Rhodes didn't appear as part of Iron Man's supporting cast until 1979, and didn't become War Machine until 1992. He's part of Tony's supporting cast from Day 1 in the first Iron Man movie, and becomes War Machine in the very next movie. In this continuity, he effectively predates a bunch of characters who have been around a lot longer in the comics, like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Hawkeye.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming:
      • Inverted with Spider-Man himself. In the comics, he predated Iron Man and the formation of the Avengers, and was in fact, probably the only major Marvel hero at the time not to be a member of the team when the book first launched. Because Spider-Man's movie rights were off-limits during the first two Phases of the MCU, he doesn't show up in the movies until several years after the Avengers have already been formed. In fact, Peter Parker's idolization of the Avengers (especially Iron Man) is a plot point.
      • Done retroactively via Word of God that the kid in the Iron Man mask that Tony rescues from the Hammer Drone in Iron Man 2 was a young Peter.
      • As an Expy / Race Lift of Mary Jane, Michelle "MJ" would count as well, since she's introduced as Peter's high school classmate in Spidey's first solo MCU outing, while Gwen Stacy has yet to be introduced in this continuity.
    • Shuri is present from the very beginning of Black Panther, even though she wasn't introduced until the 2005 run of the comics. Same goes for the Dora Milaje, one of whom even appeared in Captain America: Civil War, despite not existing in the comics until The '90s.
  • In John Carter, the Therns are the Big Bad, provoking the conflict between the city-states of Helium and Zodanga, and even being accidentally responsible for bringing John Carter to Mars in the first place. In the original novels, the Therns weren't introduced until the second book.
  • In the movie version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Manfred von Karma, who is elevated to being the Big Bad, is introduced far earlier than he is in the videogames. It is largely due to all but two of the game's five cases being Adapted Out and also using the case against Miles Edgeworth (the fourth one that occurs late in the game, but the second one in the movie) as the main plot of the film.
  • In the film Gor which very loosely adapts the first book of the Gor series, the Big Bad is Sarm, a priest/king. Sarm the Priest-King (which is a different species altogether) only appears in the third book.
  • When the first Alex Rider novel was made into a film, Stormbreaker, it featured the character of Sabina Pleasure as Alex's school crush even though she doesn't appear until the third novel ("Skeleton Key"). This was obviously to play on the teen romance arc, because sequels where she could have turned up were originally planned.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie: The 1995 film that adapted the events of the first game featured two charactersnote  that didn't debut until Mortal Kombat II. While Jax only makes a cameo appearance (which in turn serves as an Early-Bird Cameo in relation to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), Kitana plays a prominent role as Shang Tsung's personal assassin who does a Heel–Face Turn to aid the heroes in defeating the Evil Sorcerer. Though it is interesting to note that when MK1 was being developed, her prototype character, named "Kitsune", was going to be in the game as the daughter of Shang Tsung, but was scrapped from the final product. Thus, her appearance in the movie doubles as both an adaptational early appearance and a Development Gag.
  • David being revealed as the true Big Bad is a major shocking reveal in Allegiant and is kept secret until near the end; with most of the first part of the book focusing on Nita's rebellion. However halfway through The Divergent Series: Allegiant, David's true persona is already unmasked and he spends the rest of the film as the main villain.
  • In The Maze Runner trilogy, the Right Arm, a resistant movement working against W.I.C.K.E.D, are introduced in the third book The Death Cure. In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the film adaptation of the second book The Scorch Trials, the group is revealed to exist about a third of the way through the movie, and the plot then becomes about the protagonists finding and meeting up with them — which they do shortly before the climax.
  • Alfred Pennyworth was not a main Batman character until the 1970s. Previously Bruce Wayne had been raised by his uncle, Philip, upon his parents’ death (Philip was originally his paternal uncle but now is his maternal uncle). Uncle Philip has never been in any Batman movie. Alfred has been his father figure in every film incarnation since the 1989 movie which was then a pretty change to the character.
  • DC Extended Universe
    • The universe includes The Masquerade as part of its story, and as such by the time the Justice League is formed very few of the heroes are actually known public figures, only existing in classified surveillance videos and government files. In almost all comics continuity the Justice League is formed because the heroes already knew each other personally, and ended up finding their Crisis Crossover team up to be successful and want to continue it. Here just trying to determine that this "Flash" or this "Aquaman" exist is a trial.
    • The comics Suicide Squad was formed as a potential countermeasure against various metahumans, including if the Justice League went rogue. The film Suicide Squad has Amanda Waller organizing the squad long before the existence of metahumans started to become an issue.
    • Cassandra Cain is the second most recent addition to the main Batman family, having been introduced in 1999 during the Batman: No Man's Land arc. She will, however, be the first member of the family outside of Batman and Alfred to be seen in this universe in Birds of Prey (2020) and will beat Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown to being in anything live action despite them both being older characters. He was created in 1989 and she in 1992.
  • In the James Bond film series, SPECTRE is introduced in Dr. No, and its leader Blofeld appears in From Russia with Love, the first and second movies respectively; in the books, both first appeared in Thunderball, which would become the fourth movie.note 
  • A Christmas Carol:
    • Many adaptations introduce Bob Cratchit's wife and children, or at least Tiny Tim, early on in the story, both to build up the audience's interest in them and to add more Christmas cheer to the story's somber beginning. In the book, they don't appear until the Ghost of Christmas Present sequence.
    • Almost every adaptation has Scrooge's former fiancée Belle appear at Fezziwig's party, letting both the older Scrooge and the audience see the young couple happily in love. In the book, she doesn't appear until the scene where she ends their engagement.
  • Ramona and Beezus starts with the Quimbys already having three daughters. In the book series, Roberta was born at the seventh installment, and her birth takes place after the wedding of Aunt Bea (an event which serves as the climax of the movie adaptation).
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Hajime Saito was introduced two-three arcs earlier than in the source material. Likewise, Gien and Banjin were part of the final Big Bad's team but were introduced in the same arc as Saito in the film.
  • The live-action version of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable only covers the first two arcs, but it already features Yukako Yamagishi in a large enough role to be featured in promotional materials alongside the main cast, and the villain who kills Keicho Nijimura at the end is not Akira Otoishi but Yoshikage Kira. Also, whereas in the anime and manga Echoes only appears as an egg during the Nijimura Brothers arc, in the live action version it hatches during this sequence, revealing ACT1.

    Literature 
  • Those Doctor Who Novelisations that were published some years after the TV story was broadcast sometimes added in references to later stories.
    • For instance, in the novelization of "Terror of the Autons", the bomb that the hypnotized Professor Philips uses to try to kill the Doctor and Jo was retconned into a Sontaran hand grenade.
    • And there's the notorious line in the novelization of "The Time Meddler" where the Doctor refers to the Monk as a Gallifreyan, leading fans who relied on the novelisations to believe that the Doctor's home planet had been named eight years earlier than it was on TV.
    • The novelisation of "Shada" contains a short scene where the Fourth Doctor and Romana gossip about the Corsair, a Time Lord created for the Eleventh Doctor episode "The Doctor's Wife". It also has a number of references to other things introduced after the Fourth Doctor's era, such as Carrionites (first seen in "The Shakespeare Code"), time locks (introduced in "The Stolen Earth") and Visionaries (first seen in "The End of Time").
    • The novelization of "Rose" has several: First off, Conspiracy Theorist Clive Finch has pictures of all of the New Series Doctors up to Thirteen, the incumbent when the book was published ("Rose" was the very first episode of the new series). Second, during the climax, a couple paragraphs show how Donna Noble slept through the Auton attack.
  • In Paradise Lost, Raphael and Michael both talk to Adam in the Garden of Eden, even though both appear long after his death in the biblical canon.
  • One such instance occurs in Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner. In the Digital Devil Saga duology, Serph Sheffield appears halfway through the second game. However, in the novels, he appears at the end of the first volume, which is halfway through the first game.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow:
    • Mia Dearden (the 2nd Speedy in the comics) was originally introduced years after Roy Harper (the 1st Speedy). Here, she's reinvented as Oliver Queen's sister named Thea Dearden Queen and was introduced in the pilot. The TV version of Roy Harper was instead introduced during the second half of the (first) season.
  • In Emerald City, characters from the Land of Oz books who don't appear until The Marvelous Land of Oz (the second book in the series) such as Tip, Jack, and Mombi, instead show up early in Dorothy's journey, which parallels the action of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • Inverted in Game of Thrones, in which many characters (notably Edmund and Blackfish Tully) first appear later than in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, to prevent the producers of the television show from having to cast someone for one scene in the current season and then hope and pray that they're still available for a much bigger part in a later season.
    • Played straight in the pilot. Hodor appears as a face in the crowd when King Robert arrives in Winterfell, but isn't properly introduced until three episodes later.
  • A large number of Batman's supporting cast and Rogues Gallery have showed up in Gotham even before Bruce Wayne dons his iconic cowl.
  • The Expanse: Chrisjen Avasarala doesn't appear until the second book, but she's a major character from the first episode of the tv series in order to provide an Earth-perspective to political events.
  • I, Claudius adapts the novels I, Claudius and Claudius The God. In the novels, Herod Agrippa is briefly mentioned but doesn't appear in person until the sequel, at which point Claudius talks about him being a childhood friend and playing an important role in previous events. The novel lampshades the use of Remember the New Guy?. In the tv series, a Pragmatic Adaptation is done wherein Herod is "written into" scenes from Claudius' earlier life, rather than appearing out of nowhere like in the novels.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm had Cameron Watanabe show up in the beginning, as his Sentai counterpart Shurikenger was introduced in episode 21, though this is a subversion as Cameron is also a Composite Character due to his Sentai counterpart as support for the Rangers being Oboro Hinata.
    • Power Rangers Dino Charge had Kendall Morgan being introduced from the start of the series, whereas her Sentai counterpart Yayoi Ulshade was introduced in episode 21.
  • In Preacher, Odin Quincannon is a major villain for the first season, before the show does more than hint at the Grail or Jesse's family matters. In the original comic series, Odin was the newly-introduced villain of an arc about two-thirds of the way through, after the Custer family arc and the first Grail one.
  • In the Netflix adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017), the show is set up with a much more cohesive narrative from the get go through bringing in aspects of the Volunteer Fire Department in the adaptions of the first 4 books when they didn't show up until a little bit after, most notably in the Sigil Spam of the VFD logo, which the film shows Olaf's tattoo actually looking like this time around, the frequency of VFD spyglasses, and Montgomery Montgomery and Josephine being shown as clearly active members.
  • A lot of characters (specifically Lex Luthor, Lois Lane and various superheroes and supervillains) in Smallville showed up years before Clark Kent even became Superman.
  • On True Blood, Sophie-Anne is introduced at the end of the second season, which loosely adapts the second book in The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries series. Sophie-Anne wasn't introduced in the books until the fifth one; by time the series reached that point, she'd been killed off.
  • The Walking Dead inverted this on several characters:
    • Tyreese, Sasha note , Allen, Donna and Ben were introduced during the middle of the Prison Arc in Season 3, whereas in the comics they were introduced near the beginning. That's not even counting the fact that Allen and Ben are Decomposite Characters since they're In Name Only characters. Their respective "actual" note  counterparts, Ryan and Lizzie, were instead introduced in the Season 4 premiere along with Mika, the Gender Flipped version of Allen's son and Ben's twin brother Ben who, like the rest, were introduced near the beginning.
    • Morgan toyed with this trope after his initial appearance. Canonically, Morgan was Put on a Bus earlier and then gets reintroduced after the prison arc. In the show, Rick, Carl and Michonne revisited their old town during the series' Prison Arc and encounters him there. Then during the arc of his supposed reappearance, he didn't showed up until three-four arcs (including one filler) later.

    Theatre 
  • When Frozen was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2018, many changes were made to the story. Among them is that Anna's first run-in with Kristoff is during "For the First Time In Forever" right before she runs into Hans, rather than meeting him for the first time at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Sauna. In fact, it goes a step further: in the movie, Anna runs into Kristoff at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Sauna, then they meet Olaf in the woods the next day, before reaching Elsa's ice palace. In the musical, Anna first meets Kristoff and Olaf before she ever gets to Oaken's. And this is all in the first act (as the story is restructured so that "Let It Go" is the closing number for act I).
  • Bianca cameos in "Drive" at the Lotus Hotel in The Lightning Thief, the musical adaptation of the first book in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, when she doesn't show up until The Titan's Curse in the book series proper.

    Video Games 
  • 007: From Russia with Love, the Licensed Game of From Russia with Love, gives James Bond several gadgets that wouldn't appear until later films. Among other things, he gets to use the jetpack from Thunderball in the Justified Tutorial, and acquires Q's tricked-out Aston Martin DB-5 from Goldfinger on the third level.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of Metroid, yet it features items and abilites that didn't exist in the original, but debuted in later games. As well, Kraid and Ridley are based on their appearances in Super Metroid, and Samus's distinctive Varia Suit design after the Zero Suit sequence originally appeared in Metroid II: Return of Samus. Notably, the Power Grip is based on an ability from Metroid Fusion that didn't require an item to use.
  • Dante's Inferno: In The Divine Comedy, Satan, though discussed about intermittently by the protagonist and Virgil during their journey through the Nine Circles of Hell, is seen in person by the poets in the last circle at the very center of Hell. In the videogame loosely based on the poem, Lucifer plays a far more active role and is first seen on Earth taking Beatrice's soul before Dante has gone through the Gate of Hell.
  • Ratchet & Clank (2016) includes a lot of the weapons that were introduced in R&C games after the first one (that is, all of them), including the Bouncer (Going Commando), Combuster, Mr. Zurkon, Groovitron (Tools of Destruction), Plasma Striker (A Crack in Time), and Warmonger (All 4 One). Also, as a "reimagining" of the plot of the first game, Dr. Nefarious appears, but in his organic form prior to his Unwilling Roboticization.
  • Dragon Ball Z The Legacy Of Goku II:
    • In the original manga, Mr. Satan (AKA Hercule) first appears during the Cell Games. In this video game which adapts the events of the Androids/Cell Saga (of which the aforementioned Cell Games are the last act), he is introduced just after the warning about the arrival of the androids within three years time in West City taking part in a parade in his honor.
    • Zig-zagged in regards to Cooler. Cooler, an antagonist from two Non-Serial Movies which would have occurred sometime within the aforementioned three years, arrives shortly after a mission in which either Gohan or Piccolo have stopped a tribe of Triceratops from trying to run farmers off their land (which occurs prior to the heroes training for the Android's attack) only to issue a challenge to fight against Goku and then flies off. It's not until one completes a prolonged sidequest of finding seven missing Namekians to get them to New Namek (where Cooler is waiting) which even at the earliest can't be completed until the game's third to last mission (the one immediately prior to the Cell Games) at which point Cooler wouldn't have been present. note 
  • The PSP port of Persona 3 featured characters that first appeared in Persona 4 in cameos: Ms. Kashiwagi for the male protagonist's route, and Yukiko Amagi for the female protagonist's.
  • Sword Art Online's "Gameverse" not only makes Leafa and Sinon into SAO Survivors in this version of events, but it also makes Yuuki a bonus boss/character in Hollow Fragment before introducing her as a full party member in Lost Song, which takes place before this continuity's version of Gun Gale Online. In the main continuity, Leafa is introduced after Aincrad, Sinon in GGO, and Yuuki is introduced AFTER the incident involving GGO.
  • Black Mesa features cameos by Half-Life 2 supporting characters Eli Vance, Isaac Kleiner, and Barney Calhoun, with mentions of Wallace Breen and Arne Magnusson. All of these characters, while technically present in the original Half-Life due to retcons, were indistinguishable from all the other NPCs.
    • Inverted with many of the weapons, which tend to debut a few maps after their original counterparts. For instance, the crowbar isn't found at the elevator shaft, and is instead located in the room past the lobby.
  • Inverted in Spider-Man (PS4) with Doctor Octopus. One of Peter's earliest villains in the comics and other incarnations, this version of Otto Octavius only became Dr. Octopus 8 years into Peter's career as Spidey.
  • Yoshi made retroactive cameos in the Super Mario Bros.. trilogy by way of video game remakes. In Super Mario Bros. DX (a remake of the first Super Mario Bros..), there's a block hidden in each level in Challenge Mode, each holding a Yoshi egg. Collect it, and Yoshi will hatch out during the point tally. When Super Mario Bros. 2 was remade as Super Mario Advance, you can unlock an extra mode where you can find two Yoshi eggs in each level. Find all the eggs in each world, and Yoshis would hatch out of them. Finally, Super Mario Bros. 3 was remade for Super Mario All-Stars and as Super Mario Advance 4, and in both versions, the King of World 7 had been transformed into a Yoshi rather than a Piranha Plant.
    • A more straight example from that game would be the fact that the sprite used for the last example mentioned, after going unused in Yoshi's Cookie, would later be used for the main sprite for Yoshi in Yoshi's Island.
  • Mega Man:
  • In the Anniversary remaster of Halo: Combat Evolved, 343 Guilty Spark is introduced in a terminal message where he warns you that your ship is getting too close to the ring. The rest of the terminals delve into his backstory.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: As established in the prequel Batman: Arkham Origins, Bane and his right hand man Bird, Black Mask, Lady Shiva, Anarky, and Deathstroke are among the earliest major villains Batman has faced, and predates characters like Robin, Batgirl, and Mr. Freeze, while in the comics they did not appear until long after those characters.

    Web Animation 
  • The original toyline early on in its life aside, most Beast Wars fiction protrays the Maximal/Predacon conflict happening centuries after the Autobots and Decepticons gave way to the two (putting aside the time travel to prehistoric Earth). The Transformers: Power of the Primes sees Optimus Primal interacting with the Autobots and Depecticons without the use of time travel, including working with the original Megatron and once he's resurrected, Primal's own namesake, the original Optimus Prime.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • As Vaguely Recalling JoJo is an adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, there are comedic scenes where characters from the other parts will show up
    • Vanilla Ice is seen playing card games with the D'Arby Brothers when Joseph is using Hermit Purple. He and Telence also appear in a photo of Dio created by Hermit Purple.
    • Giorno Giovanna is seen in background events with his dad, DIO.
    • Yoshikage Kira is the owner of the dog devoured by Yellow Temperance.
    • Illuso shows up Polnareff and Kakyoin talk about the non-existance of a world inside the mirror.
    • Josuke Higashikata, Yuriko Yamagishi, and Keicho Nijimura show up during Steel Dan's underclassman rant.
    • Rohan Kishibe is the mangaka who interacts with Boingo.
    • Page looks like Pesci, which doubles as a pun and then Straizo spares him, so he's alive during part 5 somehow.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has a significant amount of cases for this trope:
    • In the comics, Black Panther didn't join the team until The Avengers #52, long after Hawkeye joined the team in The Avengers #16. In The Avengers: EMH, he appears within the first few episodes and joins the team in the fifth episode, while Hawkeye doesn't end up joining the team until after Black Panther.
    • Hawkeye himself also counts. While he doesn't join the team until halfway into the first season, he actually shows up within the first few episodes as a fugitive who has been framed by Black Widow.
    • Ultron originally debuted in The Avengers #54, where he was created by Hank Pym, who had long since retired his original Ant-Man identity in favor of the name Goliath. The Avengers: EMH instead introduces Ultron in the fourth episode, where he is the creation of a less-experienced Hank Pym who is still using the Ant-Man name. Ultron goes on to serve as a minor recurring character before finally becoming a major villain in the the twenty-third episode.
    • Carol Danvers/Ms.Marvel also becomes an Avenger early in the second season, despite not joining the team until issue #183 in the comics.
    • Graviton made his first appearance in The Avengers #158, many years after the team was established. In The Avengers: EMH, he's the main antagonist of "Breakout" (the two-part series premier), effectively serving as the first major villain the Avengers have to face as a team.
    • Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage and Iron Fist all join the New Avengers in the second season, even though they weren't formed until many years after the debut of the original team in the comics. The Thing and War Machine, both of whom joined the West Coast Avengers in The '80s, are also part of the adaptation's version of the New Avengers.
  • The Batman: Batgirl became Batman's first sidekick in season 3, whereas Robin didn't come along until season 4. (In the comics and most other media, Robin comes along before Batgirl) This was done because Robin was currently being used in Teen Titans and couldn't appear due to the "Bat-Embargo" at the time.
  • DuckTales (2017): In the original cartoon, Fenton Crackshell, alias the superhero Gizmoduck, isn't introduced until the second season, after over 65 episodes, and in-universe after some time has passed since Scrooge first met his grand-nephews. In the new series, the Gizmoduck suit is teased in just the third episode of the series, and Fenton makes his debut a mere eight episodes later in episode 11.
  • Fantastic Four: Both Terrax and Firelord are present during Galactus' two-part debut episode, and battle the heroes during their master's attempt to consume the Earth. The episode is adapted from the original "Coming of Galactus" storyline from 1966, while Firelord and Terrax did debut until 1974 and 1979, respectively.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series:
    • Whereas Hobgoblin in the comics was a Big Bad Wannabe imitator of the earlier introduced Green Goblin, in the 90s TV series Hobgoblin was introduced before the longtime Spider-Man archenemy Norman Osborn took up the identity of the Green Goblin. The reason for Green Goblin's later appearance in the show was that he, and also Sandman and Electro, were considered for being featured in a Spider-Man film that never got made by James Cameron and the creators of the show were denied by Marvel executives from being able to use the Green Goblin. Hobgoblin was used for the TV show in his place until the Cameron film was cancelled leaving Green Goblin available, and in doing so also allowed Hobgoblin to be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap by giving him a characterization uniquely different of that of Green Goblin.
    • Eddie Brock was already Venom when he first appeared in the comics, and all the stuff about him being a former reporter whose career was accidentally ruined by Spider-Man was only established by exposition and flashbacks. The cartoon introduces Eddie as part of the supporting cast in the very first episode, and slowly builds up his hatred of Spider-Man across several episodes, until he finally becomes Venom near the end of Season 1. Nearly every adaptation since then (including Spider-Man 3 and The Spectacular Spider-Man) has adopted this method, introducing Eddie as Peter's coworker or friend, in order to actually show audiences why this guy hates Spider-Man so much.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Grand Admiral Thrawn becomes the Big Bad for the second half of the series. Thrawn originally appeared in The Thrawn Trilogy (which had been retconned along with the rest of the Legends continuity), which takes place after Return of the Jedi, whereas Rebels takes place a couple of years before A New Hope.
  • Played with in Thomas the Tank Engine. Though Thomas debuts in the same story as in The Railway Series ("Thomas and Gordon"/"Thomas Gets Tricked"), it is aired before those of "The Three Railway Engines" (which he now also cameos in) so the first episode revolves around the title character.
    • Also played with in The Adventure Begins, a movie retelling the events of the first two books. In this version, Thomas doesn't arrive on Sodor until after the events of The Three Railway Engines, ("Edward and Gordon" happens before Thomas's arrival, and Edward later retells "The Sad Story of Henry" to Thomas). However, James, who in The Railway Series only showed up at the end of the second book introduced as a "new engine", is there from the beginning, before Thomas even arrives on Sodor. Similarly, Annie and Clarabel, who in the books aren't properly introduced until the fourth book as Thomas's coaches on his branch line, are introduced as coaches assigned to James during Thomas's time as station pilot.

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