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Adaptational Job Change

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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.

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.


Anime & Manga

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Almost all of the adults in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT has 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).
  • 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

Films - Animated

  • 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.

Films — Live Action

  • The live-action 101 Dalmatians 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.
    • 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: Frank Castle was a Vietnam veteran who lost his family to crime and waged a one-man war on mobsters and criminals. One movie makes him a cop instead, and other continuities have him serve in more recent conflicts.
  • In both the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and most adaptations, the Old Man 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.
    • In Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn is shown to have been a psychiatrist, not a psychologist, prior to becoming a villain.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man changes James Rhodes military branch from USMC to USAF.
    • 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 SHIELD 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 soldier and SHIELD agent.
    • Black Panther (2018):
      • Princess Shuri is a historian and anthropologist in the comics, but The Movie made her a scientist (and the head of Wakanda's Science Department at that).
      • 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 Wakandian 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.
  • 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 Střp was a magazine owner in the novel, but here he's a tycoon.

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.
  • 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.
    • For most of Season 2, Arya Stark becomes Tywin Lannister's cup bearer, unaware who the former is (though he did noticed that she was too educated to be a commoner).
    • For a time, Ramsay Bolton successfully usurps his father as the Warden of the North and Lord of House Bolton.
    • Sandor Clegane joins the Brotherhood Without Banners.
    • Tyrion Lannister was named as her Hand by Daenerys Targaryen.
    • Cersei Lannister was able to take the Iron Throne for herself. She also names Qyburn as her Hand. It should be noted that this happened at a point in the show the books have not reached yet.
    • Pyp is made a steward of the Night's Watch instead of a ranger. Edd is implied to have gone the other way, becoming more combat oriented, and later becoming Lord Commander.
    • Jon Snow was crowned King in the North. As with the previous examples, this happened at a point in the show the books have not reached yet.
  • 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:
  • In the various Marvel Cinematic Universe Netflix shows:
    • Karen Page on Daredevil starts out as an aide to Nelson & Murdock, before later going on to become a reporter.
    • Luke Cage's background is changed from petty criminal to a Marine and later a deputy sheriff.
    • Mariah is a city councilmember in addition to her criminal dealings.


  • 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.

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.

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 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 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.