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Adaptational Job Change

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"Frollo really gets to have a lot of different jobs, doesn't he? Frollo was the Archdeacon in the book, he was a judge in the Disney one, but now the greatest Frollo of them all is the Sheriff of Notre Dame!"

A character in an adaptation, remake, reboot, Alternate Continuity and so on has a different occupation than in the original source material.


This can happen for a number of reasons. It could be the original job may not have paid a lot, didn't suit the character or maybe because of changes in technology or society. The job may also be left out of the adaptation or become an Informed Attribute if the adaptation simply has no narrative use for it.

This trope is different from New Job as the Plot Demands; that trope usually involves the character changing jobs within a continuity. And this is not to be confused with Adaptation Dye-Job, where just a character's hair color changes. They might also pick up an Adaptational Skill to go with their new job.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the TBS version of Aggressive Retsuko, Boss Buffalo/Yagyū held some position of authority, as implied by his sub name, while in the Netflix version, he's just another employee.
  • Bokurano
    • Takami "Komo" Komoda's father is a naval officer in the manga and a Diet member in the anime. In both cases, he's the one who Komo first tells about Zearth, and helps bring it to the government's attention.
    • Kanji's mother's job is tied to the Ascension Towers in both versions, but in different ways. In the manga, she was an architect and assistant director of the project to build the towers, while in the anime, she's a scientist who works in the towers.
    • Daichi's uncle, Kengo works in construction in the manga, and owns a newspaper in the anime. As a result, Daichi helps his uncle with construction in the manga and is a paperboy in the anime.
  • Excuse Me Dentist, It's Touching Me!: In the One-shot, Tomori was not mentioned to have any connection to the Yakuza, here, he is the second in command of another family.
  • Almost all of the adults in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT have a different job than they do in the main series (though this is pretty much required since it's an Elementary School AU for a work of Military Science Fiction). The only constant is that Nanoha's family still runs a cafe (and even then, her father is a barista instead of a baker).
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Red and Blue Misty is a gym leader. In the Pokémon anime her three older sisters (who are Canon Foreigners) are the gym leaders of her gym instead. This was later reversed when Misty was Put On The Bus as Ash's travelling companion. Misty is now a gym leader while her sisters are travelling.
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, Blue is shown to have become the new gym leader of Virdian Gym. His anime counterpart, Gary, however, instead ends up aiming to be a Pokemon Professor like his grandfather, while the role of new Viridian gym leader is instead taken by Agatha, who in the games is an Elite Four member.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, as part of the player's journey, they encounter the seven Trial Captains throughout the Alola region. However in the anime, the Trial Captains position doesn't exist. Four of the Trial Captains, Kiawe, Lana, Sophocles, and Mallow are instead fellow students at the Pokémon School Ash goes to. The remaining three, Ilima, Acerola and Mina are just trainers they meet along the way. They do all participate in the region's first Pokémon League tournament.
  • Sailor Moon: What Reika is studying in school (so she can have that job later) changed from mineralogy in the manga to archaeology in the anime (though it resembles paleontology more when we see her in episode 41). Also what college she's attending changes, from K.O. University like Motoki to Azabu Technical College.
  • In Splatoon, Callie and Marie have a news show where they announce the stages. In the manga, they not only do that, but they're also Turf War announcers.

    Comic Books 

     Fan Works 
  • Rise from Darkness does this accidentally. Written in 2001, there was still confusion amongst Metroid fans about just what Samus' job entailed. She's a Bounty Hunter yet she doesn't fully fit the criteria. As a result, the fanfic has her as a cold-blooded Professional Killer.
  • Warriors Redux changes Medicine cats into Seers by removing the nursing element of their job. This was done both because the author disliked the usage of Healing Herbs with obligate carnivores and because cats using herbs was deemed too anthropomorphic
  • In the RWBY fic Pawprints, Hunters and Huntress' don't kill Grimm. They instead assassinate animal shapeshifters known as "Panthers", which take the place of Faunus in the Alternate Universe Fic.
  • Give In, Give In [and Relish Every Minute of It] is a modern AU where Frollo is a lawyer instead of a justice minister.
  • Vigilantes' Dawn: Since Laurel is the one who went on the Gambit with Oliver instead of Sara, she never got the chance to take the LSAT, let alone go to law school. When she gets back to Starling City years later, she gives up her dream of being a lawyer due to her vigilante activities, and instead elects to go into charity work and fundraising.
  • In Hyrule Castle High Hyrule doesn't have a monarchy anymore. Zelda's father is a senator instead of a king.
  • Frost Killing Hour: Hans is a member of the Royal Guard instead of a prince from another land.
  • Warriors Rewrite introduces "care takers" as a rank in the four Clans. They help take care of kits, elders, and the Clan in general. Several warriors, such as Ravenpaw, are turned into care takers.
  • This Bites!: Downplayed with Nami. While she still has the position of the Strawhat's Navigator, Luffy also assigns her as the Second Mate after the events of Whiskey Peak.
  • Daria In Morrowind takes place in, well, The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, so there aren't any football teams. The story's version of Kevin works as a security guard (as dim-witted as ever) while Maiko serves as a soldier in the Imperial Legion.

  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo is changed from the Archdeacon of Notre Dame to the Minister of Justice, presumably at least partly to avoid controversy from having a man of the cloth as a villain.
  • In the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, the dalmatian Pongo's human owner has a vaguely-referred-to job in the finance sector. In the animated film 101 Dalmatians, he is a songwriter, giving the filmmakers an excuse to include some song-and-dance numbers.
  • In The Snow Queen, Gerda is from a middle-class family. Anna, her counterpart in Frozen, is made into a Royal Princess, the younger sister of the ice-powered queen.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:
    • The movie changes the Peter Parker of Spider-Man: Noir from a reporter to a private eye.
    • Zigzagged in the case of the Peter Miles Morales replaces. In the aforementioned Ultimate Marvel universe, Peter was a webmaster from the Daily Bugle's website. Here, the Peter of Miles's world does have the traditional job of photographer.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Beauty's father is a rich merchant. In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Belle's father Maurice is an inventor.
  • In the original Gotham by Gaslight, a man named Tolliver as Commissioner, who'd become mayor in the sequel Master of the Future Batman: Gotham by Gaslight has Tolliver the mayor as already.
  • Reign of the Supermen reimagines Joan Dale, the Golden Age heroine Miss America, from a reporter to basically a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Hillary Clinton in a "What if Hillary won the 2016 Presidental election?" scenario, which is a reference to the original story seeing her and her husband Bill Clinton in attendance at Superman's funeral during Bill's tenure as President.

    Films—Live Action 
  • The live-action 101 Dalmatians (1996) has Roger as a video game designer; the original Disney animated film had him as a songwriter.
  • Several characters undergo this in the film adaptation of Street Fighter
    • Chun-Li was changed from Interpol agent to news reporter.
    • Ryu and Ken are changed from martial artists to conmen who also practice martial arts.
    • Subverted with E. Honda and Balrog, who used to be a sumo-wrestler and boxer respectively, as in the games until their careers were ruined by M. Bison, and now work with Chun-Li on the news;
    • Subverted with Sagat who's a retired fighter turned mob boss, while still working as a bodyguard for M. Bison like in the games.
  • In A Dog's Purpose, Maya is search-and-rescue dog Ellie's second handler after her original one ends up with a Career-Ending Injury. The film adaptation had Ellie being shot and killed instead of her handler. Thus, the film created a Canon Foreigner reincarnation named Tino. Maya was changed into a college student who adopts Tino.
  • Barney Rubble in The Flintstones is Fred's co-worker at the Quarry, while in the cartoon his job wasn't even revealed.
  • The Punisher:
  • In both the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and most adaptations, Beauty's father is a merchant. In the Disney animated version, he is an inventor, while in the Disney live action version, he makes music boxes for a living.
  • In The Giver Fiona's job was changed from Caretaker of the Old to Nurturer, which allowed her to help Jonas and Gabriel escape.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • While he still ended up as a reporter in the Daily Planet, Man of Steel introduces Clark Kent first working at an oil tanker.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Jimmy Olsen is changed from a journalist at the Daily Planet to an undercover CIA Agent.
    • In Suicide Squad (2016), Harley Quinn is shown to have been a psychiatrist, not a psychologist, prior to becoming a villain. note 
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man changes James Rhodes from a former Marine who became Tony Stark's pilot after leaving the military to an active officer in the U.S. Air Force who serves as Stark Industries' military liaison.
      • Obadiah Stane is also changed changed to being Tony's business partner rather than a rival.
    • The Incredible Hulk changes Betty Ross from a Military Brat to a bioloigist who worked on the same project as Banner.
      • Overlapping with Adaptational Intelligence, Samuel Sterns is a university professor who specializes in cellular biology rather than a janitor.
      • Prior to becoming the Abomination, Emil Blonsky is changed from a Russian KGB Agent to a member of the Royal Marines.
    • Thor changes Jane Foster's job from nurse to astrophysicist.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
      • Sam Wilson goes from an ex-criminal and social worker to an ex-USAF pararescueman and a VA councilor.
      • Alexander Pierce goes from a S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent to a member of the World Security Council.
      • Sharon Carter starts out as a SHIELD agent like the comics but later joins the CIA.
      • Brock Rumlow goes from a criminal and terrorist to a SHIELD spec ops agent.
    • Ant-Man makes Hank Pym a former SHIELD agent, though he was still a scientist as well. He also eventually retired to run his own technology company, while the comic version of Hank mostly stuck to research.
    • Captain America: Civil War changes Zemo from a wealthy German Aristocrat to a ex-Skovian specials forces operative. This leads to a case of Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames given he was called Baron Zemo in the comics. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does re-establish him as being a Skovian Baron and using the codename Baron when he interacts with the criminal underworld.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming:
      • The Vulture is changed from an inventor who became a costumed supervillain after being screwed over by his business partner to the head of a salvage company who became an Arms Dealer after being screwed over by the government (and Tony Stark).
      • The Shocker in the comics was an amateur inventor who used his talents to become a safecracker and later, a supervillain. The Homecoming version of the Shocker was an employee at the Vulture's former salvage company who became his enforcer after the group turned to crime.
      • Mac Gargan is a violent criminal instead of a Private Detective.
      • Finally, Betty Brant is changed from J. Jonah Jameson's secretary at the Daily Bugle to one of the teenage anchors for Midtown High's news program.
    • Black Panther (2018):
      • Princess Shuri doesn't really have a job in the comics, but The Movie made her a scientist and the head of the Wakandan Design Group.
      • Nakia went from being a Dora Milaje to a War Dog (Wakanda's spy group).
      • Okoye gets an Adaptation Job Promotion, going from only a noteworthy Dora Milaje in the comics to being The Leader of said order.
      • Zuri went from being a veteran Wakandan soldier to a High Priest who is a retired War Dog.
      • Ayo is already expelled by the Dora Milaje in the comics when introduced, but she's still employed in The Movie.
      • Similar to Okoye, the film version of M'Baku gets promoted to the Wakandan high council at the end of the film.
      • The film made Erik Kilmonger's father a War Dog and Prince of Wakanda.
      • Everett Ross went from a US Department of State functionary to a USAF pilot and CIA Agent.
    • Captain Marvel (2019):
      • Maria Rambeau, a seamstress in the comics, is now a pilot in the US Air Force. As revealed in WandaVision, she then becomes the one of the founders of S.W.O.R.D.
      • Minn-Erva is a Kree sniper as opposed to a Mad Scientist.
    • Spider-Man: Far From Home: In the comics, Mysterio is a special effects artist and stuntman who turned to crime. This version of the character is a Super Soldier from Another Dimension or so he claims. He's the same pathological liar that he is in the comics, and he's actually a former Stark Industries employee and the engineer who designed the hologram tech first seen in Captain America: Civil War.
      • J Jonah Jameson runs a disreputable, Info Wars style internet talk show rather than a highly respected newspaper like the comics and the Sam Raimi films.
  • Annihilation (2018):
    • Downplayed with Lena. While still a biologist like in the novel, her specialization is implied to have been changed from ecology to cell biology, likely something involving cancernote . This fits with the setting being seen as an ecosystem in the book, while it is compared to a tumor in the movie. She's also got the surveyor's military background from the novel.
    • The other three members of the expedition team were changed from a surveyor, an anthropologist, and a linguist to a geologist, a physicist, and a medic.
  • The Snowman (2017): Arve Støp was a magazine owner in the novel, but here he's a tycoon.
  • Death Wish (2018): In the original novel, Paul was an accountant. In the original film, he was an architect. Here, he's a surgeon.
  • In The Chink and the Child, the protagonist is in the navy. Broken Blossoms changes him into a Buddhist missionary.
  • In A Wrinkle in Time (2018), Mrs. Murry is a physicist like her husband, while in the books she's a microbiologist. (This might have caused a problem if there was any chance of the sequel being adapted, since her cell research is an important plot point.)
  • Batman:
    • In Batman Returns Catwoman is shown to a secretary to Canon Foreigner Max Shreck. In the Comics she borded on having a Multiple-Choice Past but was never a secretary in any of them.
    • Batman Forever has Riddler go from a former Carnie to a former employee of Wayne Enterprises who starts up his own business.
    • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
      • In Batman: Year One, Jim Gordon is a Lieutenant who gets promoted to Captain in the end and gets promoted to Commissioner after The Long Halloween. In Begins, Gordon is only a sergeant who becomes a lieutenant at the end before becoming Commissioner in The Dark Knight.
      • Batman Begins has Henri Ducard go from a famous French detective to a member of the League Of Shadows their leader Ra's Al Ghul to be precise. Similarly, Victor Zsasz is changed from a Serial Killer to Professional Killer for Carmine Falcone and Scarecrow goes from a former university professor to one of the head doctors at Arkham Asylum. Lucius Fox is also changed CEO of Wayne Enterprises to head of the Wayne Tech Applied Sciences Division , though Bruce does make him CEO after becoming Majority-Share Dictator however.
      • The Dark Knight has Salvatore Maroni changed from The Rival to Carmine Falcone to a Dragon Ascendant who takes over most of Falcone's operation during the nine month Time Skip
      • The Dark Knight Rises sees Bane as the leader of the League Of Shadows or he is actually The Dragon but whatever, a position he never held in the in the comics. (However Ra's did test to if Bane could be his heir in the comics.)
  • In the live-action Kim Possible film, Bonnie and Kim are on a soccer team. In the cartoon, they're on the cheerleading squad. As a reference to this, in the film Kim asks Bonnie when cheerleading tryouts are, only to be told that Middleton prefers soccer over football.
  • Green Lantern features Amanda Waller as a xenobiologist. While the Waller of the comics does hold a doctorate, it's for political science.
  • The film King Ralph was loosely based on a novel by Emlyn Williams titled Headlong. The movie version changes the protagonist from a British stage actor named Jack Green (nee Sandring) to an American lounge singer named Ralph Jones.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1925):
    • Downplayed with King Kynd, who is now Prince Kynd.
    • King Krewl is Prime Minister Kruel.
    • Uncle Henry is turned into the Prince of Whales by Prime Minister Kruel. In the books, only his niece Dorothy became honorary royalty.
  • In the original RoboCop trilogy, pre-RoboCop Alex Murphy and Anne Lewis were uniformed beat cops and their superior officer, Reed, was a Sergeant. In RoboCop (2014), pre-cyborg Murphy and the Gender Flipped and Race Lifted Jack Lewis are plain-clothes detectives, the latter of whom's rank being Sergeant, and Reed's counterpart, Karen Dean, is the chief of police.
  • Bicentennial Man:
    • In the original story, Sir was a member of the Regional Legislature (think State Senate), but in the film, Sir builds clocks and other timepieces. He teaches his skills to Andrew, so he's more of a clockmaker than a carpenter.
    • The US Robots regional robopsychologist, Merton Mansky, is promoted to NorthAm CEO Dennis Mansky for the film.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Wizard is revealed to be not a wizard at all and he's a sideshowman/ventriloquist/magician from Omaha, Nebraska. Emerald City updates his character to a a low-ranking power plant technician from Kansas.
  • In The Mortal Instruments books, Luke Garroway is a bookseller, the TV adaptation Shadowhunters he is a police officer.
  • The Expanse: Downplayed. In Leviathan Wakes, James Holden started out as the XO of the Canterbury. In the show, he was the Cants 2nd Officer, having no interest in the XO position.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Happens to the entire Black Canary family. Dinah Laurel Lance went from being a florist to a respected lawyer, while her mother Dinah Drake-Lance went from being a police informant to a history professor. Her father Quentin Lance started as a detective much like his comic counterpart, but is eventually promoted to Police Captain, then resigned, and then Deputy Mayor of Star City.
    • Mia Dearden is introduced as a prostitute, but her counterpart Thea Queen's first official job is a bar owner.
    • Subverted by Iris West. She's a journalist in the comics, but is introduced in the show as a barista before becoming a journalist later on.
    • Cisco Ramon went from street gang leader and break dancer to an esteemed engineer.
    • Ronnie Raymond went from being a jock to an esteemed engineer.
    • Cat Grant went from columnist and reporter to a media mogul and CEO, though she do occasionally mention that she started as the former two.
    • Jimmy Olsen went from photographer to Art Director then acting CEO, though he is a retired photographer.
    • Hank Henshaw goes from scientist to (former) director of D.E.O. The same can be said to Martian Manhunter, who impersonated him for over a decade and then got hired to do the real thing.
    • Lucy Lane went from flight stewardess to JAG.
    • Alura Zor-El went from Housewife (by Kryptonian standards at least) to Judge.
    • Lar Gand aka Mon-El went from Daxamite explorer to a Decomposite Character respectively consisting of a father and a son who are the King and Prince of Daxam.
    • While still a criminal, Prometheus is introduced as a legitimate lawyer (the DA, in fact).
    • Julio Mendez was Barry's fellow forensic scientist in The Flash (1990). Here he is seen as Da Chief on Flashpoint and in the new timeline as a musician.
    • Clifford DeVoe goes from a lawyer to an Evil Teacher.
    • Lyla Michaels went from historian to eventual director of A.R.G.U.S. following Amanda Waller's Death by Adaptation.
    • Eobard Thawne's present day ancestor went from con-artist to police officer.
    • Hunter Zolomon went from Police profiler to an unemployed but notorious Serial Killer.
    • Reign works as CFO for Luthor Corp.
    • Savitar is still a cult leader, but it’s revealed that he was a forensic scientist (due to being Barry Allen's time anomaly) before his slide into villainy instead of a pilot.
    • As the later seasons of Arrow revealed John Diggle was really John Stewart, he falls under this twice over. One is that while both characters were in the armed forces, in a piece of Ret-Canon based on the DC Animated Universe, John Stewart was a Marine before going into architecture, whereas John Diggle was in the army. The other is wildly different in their post-military careers in that Diggle became a bodyguard, whereas again, Stewart was an architect.
    • In the comics, David Hersch/Cicada was an architect and preacher before becoming a cult leader. In The Flash, David Hersch is a bomber while the man who actually takes on the Cicada identity, Orlin Dwyer, is a factory worker.
  • Game of Thrones made few changes from A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Bronn takes Ilyn Payne's role as Jaime Lannister's swordmaster teaching him to fight Southpaw after losing his right hand.
    • Sandor Clegane joins the Brotherhood Without Banners.
    • Pyp is made a steward of the Night's Watch instead of a ranger. It is never specified if Edd is a steward like in the books, but he is depicted being more action-oriented, and ends up as lord commander.
    • Mace Tyrell pulls double-duty as Master of Coin and Master of Ships, as the books' Master of Coin had been adapted out.
  • Orphan Black: 7 Genes changes several character professions from the series it was based on, namely:
    • Sarah Manning is introduced as a hardened con-artist, but her counterpart Sara Aoyama is seen working at a factory in the Pilot before quitting.
    • Unlike Felix Dawkins who is a Starving Artist and is also a con-man, his counterpart Kaoru Aoyama is straight-laced and more well-off, evidenced by his lofty apartment.
    • Makio Iwaki doesn't have his counterpart Paul Dierden's military background.
    • Instead of her husband, the Nosy Neighbor of Alison Hendrix's counterpart is her monitor.
  • Black Lightning is a high-school teacher in the comics and most media. The TV adaptation instead introduces him as a school principal, though he was a teacher.
  • Happens a lot in Power Rangers being adapted from Super Sentai:
  • The various Netflix shows for the Marvel Cinematic Universe have greatly changed some characters' career paths:
    • Daredevil (2015):
      • Played with for Karen Page. She begins season 1 basically the same way as her debut in the comics went, with her being the newly hired secretary for Nelson & Murdock. However, following Nelson & Murdock's breakup in the back part of season 2, she ends up at the New York Bulletin as a reporter, and ends up taking over the confidant role normally played by Ben Urich in the comics (due to Ben having been killed by Wilson Fisk at the end of season 1). Then in season 3, she's fired from the Bulletin after Dex's attack, and ends the season back at a reformed Nelson Murdock & Page as an in-house private investigator.
      • In the comics, Elton Healy/Oddball is an ex-street performer. In the Netflix show, John Healy is a hitman working for Wilson Fisk.
      • In the comics, Bullseye grew up as a street criminal. In the Netflix show, Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter worked at a suicide hot line, then served in the Army, and finally ended up in the FBI.
    • Luke Cage (2016): Luke still began as a petty criminal with his best friend (and unbeknownst to him, half-brother) Diamondback. But unlike in the comics, Luke got a chance to escape his criminal lifestyle by becoming a Marine and later a deputy sheriff. That he got out of the criminal lifestyle but Diamondback didn't caused a rift between them that culminated in Diamondback framing Luke for some crimes and getting him thrown in prison.
      • In the same vein, Mariah Dillard is as much a criminal as she is in the comics, but she's now also a city councilwoman.
      • In the comics, Raymond "Piranha" Jones grew up in poverty and lost all of his teeth by the age of 15, replacing them with long, sharpened steel spikes, which was how he earned his nickname "Piranha". He then became a criminal at an early age, eventually rising to the level of crime boss. His Netflix counterpart grew up as the bastard son of a Wall Street broker and a prostitute, and rose to become a genius financier and banker; and gave himself the nickname "Piranha" because he considered himself the kind of person that others never saw coming.
    • The Punisher (2017):
      • In the comics, Micro was a legendary computer hacker from jump who then got forced underground after a few hacking schemes went bad and his nephew got killed. In the show, David Lieberman is an analyst for the NSA who's forced into hiding after an attempt on his life by the DHS Assistant Director for the New York field office due to watching a compromising video of Frank and a bunch of Marines executing an Afghan cop.
      • In the comics, Billy Russo was an assassin with an abusive background who was hired by the Costa crime family to assassinate all those connected to the Castles' murders. In the show, Russo joins the Marines, becomes friends with Frank, and then joins Colonel Schoonover and Agent Orange to profit off a black ops unit that traffics heroin out of Afghanistan. Then, after a mission gone bad, he uses his spoils of war to open a private military contractor firm called Anvil.
  • In The Handmaid's Tale, Serena Joy's pre-Gilead occupation is changed from a televangelist to a Blonde Republican Sex Kitten political pundit (in the vein of Ann Coulter). This is likely due to Society Marches On, as televangelists are no longer relevant in 21st century America.
  • The Flash (1990) depicts Henry Allen, a doctor in the comics, as a former police officer.
  • In the Superman comics, Lois Lane's father Sam was an army general. In Lois & Clark, he's a cyberneticist.
  • Thomas Wayne was a surgeon in Batman but in Pennyworth, he's a forensic accountant and also a CIA agent.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • A slight variation in "Shadow Play", in which Henry Ritchie was the district attorney who prosecuted Adam Grant for murder. In the short story "Traumerei" by Charles Beaumont, he was the unnamed dreamer's defense attorney.
    • In "The Jungle", Alan Richards is a corporate executive who oversaw the building of a hydroelectric dam in an unnamed African country. In the short story by Charles Beaumont, the equivalent character Richard Austin is an architect who designed a new city called Mbarara.
    • In "Little Girl Lost", Bill is a physicist. In the short story by Richard Matheson, he is a CalTech engineer.
    • In "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross", the title character initially does odd jobs for the multi-millionaire Mr. Halpert while Leah Maitland is a social worker. In the short story by Henry Slesar, Ross initially works at a bottling plant while Leah is doing a teacher training course.
  • In the original Watchmen comic, Hooded Justice was speculated to be a former circus strongman in Hollis Mason's autobiography. In the HBO show, Will Reeves, the show's take on Hooded Justice, was an officer in the NYPD like Mason himself was.
  • Dracula (2020):
    • Van Helsing changes from an academic in Dracula to a nun here. Averted in Episode 3 where her descendant Zoe is again a scientist.
    • Renfield is a lawyer in this incarnation.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "The Misfortune Cookie", Harry Folger is a Caustic Critic who loves writing scathing reviews of restaurants, whether they deserve it or not. In the short story by Charles E. Fritch, his occupation is not given.
    • In "A Matter of Minutes", Michael Wright works in an office. In the short story "Yesterday Was Monday" by Theodore Sturgeon, the equivalent character Harry Wright is a car mechanic.
    • In "Shadow Play", Adam Grant's defense attorney Erin Jacobs is the first person who begins to suspect that he is telling the truth about their reality being his recurring nightmare. In the original episode, the equivalent character Paul Carson is a newspaper editor.
    • In "Lost and Found", Jenny Templeton will become the first President of Earth, who will be known as the Great Peacemaker, in the future. In the short story by Phyllis Eisenstein, she is destined to become a famous and celebrated anthropologist.
  • Gotham:
    • In both Batman Begins and the story arc "Wrath Child", flashbacks to the night the Waynes died had Gillian Loeb, the corrupt police commissioner from Batman: Year One, as a captain at the time. Here, he's already commissioner.
    • Outside of a subplot where she temporarily replaced her husband, Jim Gordon, as commissioner following fallout of the events of Knightfall, Sarah Essen was killed as a Lieutenant. Here, she was a Captain and Gordon's superior officer. Likewise, barring the Elseworlds The Nail and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Bullock was never canonically promoted higher than Lieutenant. Here, season 4 sees him briefly as a Captain.
    • The Riddler has had a few different backgrounds in the comics, originally having been depicted as a carnival employee gone bad. His Season 1 job as a police forensic scientist is original to the show.

  • The folk song "Van Deiman's Land" is about a gang of poachers transported to Australia. One of the prisoners is a woman (usually named Susan Summers) who "transported was for taking [or selling] of our game", meaning she received the poached animals. However, some versions of the song say "transported was for going on the game", meaning she was a prostitute. (Other versions just have "transported was, we all knew well the same", leaving her actual crime/profession unstated.)

  • In the opera Hansel and Gretel, the father becomes a broom-maker rather than a woodcutter, allowing his occupation to be symbolically linked to the Wicked Witch's activities.
  • In The Kansas Collection, Ozma is a queen instead of a princess. She is crowned a queen in The Marvelous Land of Oz, but she's a princess in future titles.
  • In Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Sinister Six consists of scientists who used to work for OsCorp being mutated into supervillains by the Green Goblin as punishment for leaving his company. Carnage, Electro and Kraven the Hunter are members of this version of the Sinister Six when their comic counterparts were not scientists (Carnage was a serial killer, Electro was an electric lineman and Kraven was a hunter). At least one production went so far as to have the Green Goblin address Carnage as "Dr. Kasady, our blood guy" when introducing the members of the Sinsiter Six in the Villain Song "A Freak Like Me Needs Company", implying that this version of Cletus Kasady is specifically a hematologist.

    Video Games 
  • On his first appearance in Donkey Kong, the character now known as Mario was a carpenter, using his hammer to smash obstacles. In Mario Bros., he and his newly-introduced brother, Luigi, became plumbers, the occupation in which they've become best known.
  • In Mega Man X, Storm Eagle and Chill Penguin were part of the Air Squadron and Polar Region Squadron of Maverick Hunters, respectively. In the remake, Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, the two are transferred to the 17th Squadron, the same as X and Zero.
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature reuses many of the characters that appeared in Harvest Moon 64, however almost everyone now has a different job in Mineral Town compared to their old roles in Flower Bud Town. For example, Ann's family used to own a ranch in 64, but Ann and her father now runs an inn while Gray is a blacksmith.
  • Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star becomes a bartender in the new game based on the franchise, which takes many cues from the Yakuza series.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us Harley Quinn used to be a psychiatrist. In most comics and in her original Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn was a psychologist.
  • Batman: Arkham Series
    • Batman: Arkham City Hugo Strange goes from being a self-employed Mad Scientist to being a former doctor at Arkham Asylum and administrator of Arkham City.
    • Batman: Arkham Origins:
      • Bane, Firefly, Killer Croc, Electrocutioner, Copperhead are all working as Professional Killers of the highest caliber.
      • The game also has The Riddler start out as an Affably Evil Super-Hacker called Enigma (and he was part of the GCPD Cyber-Crimes division before that) when in the comics he was a carnival employee before donning the green spandex. Similarly Mad Hatter goes from being a Neuroscientist before fully embracing his insanity where he is the owner of a clothing store. Harley Quinn is also seen as a psychologist working at Blackgate Prison instead of one working as an intern at Arkham which was closed at the time of the game and a Freeze-Frame Bonus reveals that Jonathan Crane (the future Scarecrow) works there as well when was a university professor in the comics. The Cold, Cold Heart DLC also reveals that Mr. Freeze not just a Cryogenics scientist but that one that built Cryo Weapons.
    • Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate sees Rick Flag, Jr. with the lower rank of Captain rather than a Colonel.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight:
    • Professor Pyg going from a member of the Circus of Strange to their boss as well as owning a beauty palor on the side.
      • Dr. Alexander Sartorius (Doctor Phosphorus in the comics) goes from a nuclear physicist to a a scientist working for Stagg Enterprises.
    • The series in general does this Aaron Cash. He first appeared in Batman: Arkham Asylum as one of the head guards like in the comics. In Arkham City he is shown to be working as part of the Medical Protection Team in Arkham City (since the Asylum was shut down). Arkham Knight has him as a GCPD officer and acting as Gordon's Number Two.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The original Angelina Ballerina books and the 2002 animated series had Angelina's father as a reporter for the Mouseland Gazette, the local newspaper. In the 2009 CGI series "The Next Steps", Angelina's father operates a music store.
  • In The Boondocks, Tom DuBois' wife Sarah is an attorney just like her husband. But in the animated series, there are no mentions whatsoever of Sarah having any kind of profession, as she seems to only be a housewife.
  • In the original Busytown books by Richard Scarry, Father Cat was a grocer. The 1994 animated series, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, changes Father Cat's occupation to travel agent. Nowadays in the 21st century, various Internet services like Expedia, etc. have made travel agents not as prevalent as they once were.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson aspires to be a journalist. Her comic book counterpart has had many careers, but that isn't one of them, though this is arugably more in-line with the Ultimate Marvel self, who did express an interest in journalism.
  • On Total DramaRama, Chef Hatchet is a preschool teacher instead of a Drill Sergeant Nasty Camp Cook. However, the characters still call him "Chef".
  • In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, April O’Neil is a computer programmer and runs an antique shop. In the 1987 cartoon, she is a reporter.
  • This trope is zig-zagged when it comes to DuckTales (2017) over its depiction of Darkwing Duck. The original was never specified to have a job in the real world, with his only work (and apparent source of income as a freelance agent for S.H.U.S.H.) being a crimefighter. Here, Drake Mallard started off as an actor who was set to play Darkwing in a reboot of his old tv series before it was cancelled, leading him to take up the role of a superhero for real.
  • The Batman:
    • Police Chief Angel Rojas is a Hispanic composite of Gillian Loeb from Batman: Year One and longtime supporting character Harvey Bullock and, much like them, is a cop. However, Loeb was one of Jim Gordon's predecessors as Gotham's police commissioner and while he's the highest on the GCPD's totem pole we see through most of the first two seasons, Rojas himself is ultimately the second-in-command, not the top cop like Loeb was, and thus can be overridden by the commissioner, as seen in the second season finale (and Rojas's final appearance), when Gordon, who'd just become Commissioner, does just that by forcing him to reinstate and rehire Yin and call off the manhunt for Batman after Rojas fired and arrested her and spent two season trying to arrest the Dark Knight. Additionally, Bullock never held a rank higher than Lieutenant, barring the Elseworld The Nail (where he replaced Jim as Commissioner) and Gotham (where he was briefly the captain the unit he and Gordon were a part of) and the closest to this being the animated version of Gotham by Gaslight (where he was combined with Chief O'Hara and made Gordon's second-in-command).
    • Likewise, Ellen Yin is based on Ellen Yindel from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, but where Yindel was a Captain when we first meet her, Yin is only a detective, though ultimately both replace Gordon as Commissioner (Yindel within her debut, Yin at some point before the 2027 segment of "Artifacts").
  • In the comics, Yuri Watanabe is a police captain. In Marvel's Spider-Man, she is depicted as the chief of the NYPD.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man sees Jean DeWolff and Stan Carter as beat cops instead of respectively a captain and sergeant.
  • In Transformers: Rescue Bots, Charlie Burns is a police chief, when his job was fire chief in the storybooks and original toyline that predated the animated series.


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