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Adaptational Late Appearance

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It appears as if a character has been Adapted Out. They're nowhere to be seen, despite the fact they should have appeared by now according to the source material. All of a sudden, the character appears in the adaptation!

Maybe they're in a Demoted to Extra role, maybe they're given a completely different role, or maybe they're just mysteriously late. Either way, they appear much later in the adaptation than they do in the original source.


Adaptational Early Appearance is the inversion. This can lead to an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole or an Adaptation Relationship Overhaul. Can sometimes result in Remember the New Guy? when a character omitted from the adaptation of their debut appearance is present for a later one and the story acts as if they've always been there.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • AKIRA: 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.
  • Kurenai and Asuma's daughter Mirai appeared in Naruto as an infant and a toddler. Her adult design, on the other hand, had this treatment. She appeared in chapter 700 of the manga in the Distant Epilogue. That chapter wasn't in the anime (with the last episode adapting a book about Naruto's marriage instead) but was later loosely adapted in episode 24 of Boruto. Mirai wasn't present in episode 24 either. As Mirai is several years older than the other Next Generation kids, she has no reason to hang around anyone except maybe Shikadai. Mirai was thus mysteriously absent until she appeared at the end of the Academy arc in episode 38.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Only one member of the Elite Four from Pokémon Red and Blue, Bruno, appeared during the original Indigo League arc. Lorelei appeared during the filler Orange Islands arc. Lance appeared during the Johto arc, though justified as he was an important character in Pokémon Gold and Silver. Agatha finally appeared at the beginning of the Battle Frontier arc.
    • The rival of Pokémon Gold and Silver is absent in the anime except for a cameo in the Japanese intro of The Legend of Thunder special. As a Mythology Gag, he's shown defeating Jimmy, a counterpart character to the games' male protagonist. Paul in the Sinnoh arc may be an Expy of this rival, having many similar attributes.
    • Wallace is the eighth Gym Leader in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and the Champion in Emerald. He was passed over during the Hoenn arc, as the anime chose to use Juan, the eighth Gym Leader of Emerald for Ash's final Gym battle in the region as part of promoting Emerald. Wallace ended up appearing in the next region, Sinnoh, as a famous coordinator (despite not even being in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl).
    • Barry is the rival of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. He was given an expy in Dawn's Childhood Friend Kenny. Kenny has a similar design to Barry and has his same basic role as him. However, Barry himself eventually turned up later in Diamond & Pearl to serve as another rival for Ash, making Kenny redundant, as they both use the same starter Pokemon, though unlike the games where the rival has the starter super effective on the player's starter, Kenny and Barry both use members of the same evolutionary family as Piplup, the Pokémon Dawn chose, with Barry's being Empoleon, and Kenny's being a Prinplup until the Grand Festival.
    • N and Team Plasma of Pokémon Black and White and its sequels, didn't appear until after Ash was done competing in the Unova League. In this case, it wasn't the original plans of the anime staff, as Team Plasma was supposed to be introduced coming to conflict with Team Rocket in an early episode, but Japan was hit with an Earthquake just when the episodes were to about to air, causing the episodes to be pulled and the plotline dropped.
    • Of the Kalos Elite Four, only Drasna didn't make an animated appearance during Pokémon the Series: XY, only to appear years later in Pokémon Journeys: The Series as one of Ash's World Coronation Series opponents.
    • Team Flare didn't appear until the start of the third year of the XY series, at which point Ash had just gotten his 7th Badge. The earlier plots at the Power Plant, the Poké Ball Factory, and the Frost Cavernnote  are all handled by Team Rocket instead. However, their leader Lysandre was a important character in the Mega Evolution Special episodes, directing the actions of the protagonist Alain.
    • Lisia, Wallace's niece, was introduced in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the 6th generation remakes of Ruby and Sapphire. However, she wouldn't be introduced until Pokémon Journeys.
    • Hau of Pokémon Sun and Moon appears at the start of the game and is your second best friend besides Lillie, as well as your rival. In the anime, Hau doesn't appear until over 90 episodes in, long after the anime has already finished the game's climax, with Gladion, a later rival in the game, replacing his role as Ash's main rival.
    • Guzma, one of the main villains of Sun and Moon, took until 115 episodes into the arc to appear in the anime, by which time the show had not just dealt with the Mother Beast plot, but Necrozma as well.
    • Marnie, one of the two main rivals in Pokémon Sword and Shield, doesn't appear until late in Pokémon Journeys: The Series. This also applies to her Loony Fans Team Yell by extension.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Minto, Retasu, Bu-ling and Zakuro appear at the beginning of the manga before passing through the Debut Queue, but are removed from the beginning of the anime.
  • The School-Live! manga reveals that Megu-nee is Dead All Along in the first few chapters. The 12-Episode Anime takes several episodes to do its reveal. Thus all moments where Miki is confrontational towards Yuuri and Yuki towards the latter's mental illness were removed, making Miki come off as overall softer. Several scenes had to be reworked to avoid spoilers as well.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Shizuru, Kuwabara's sister, made her first appearance after Yusuke's house was burned down (and was also the one that cut Keiko's hair after it got singed, which was unexplained in the anime). However, in the anime, she didn't appear until the beginning of the Rescue Yukina arc.
    • Kurama's mother's boyfriend was originally introduced at the same time he was, though he didn't do much besides telling Kurama that his mother was going into crisis and speed up his plan to sacrifice his life to the mirror in exchange for hers. (This line was given to a generic nurse in the anime.) Thus when Kurama mentions that she's getting married in the Sensui arc, and her honeymoon and stepson become plot points in the final arc, they don't come entirely out of nowhere.
  • The first season of the Ace Attorney anime is an adaptation of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and the sequel Justice for All. However, one of the cases it skips over is "The Lost Turnabout" the tutorial case of Justice for All. "The Lost Turnabout" is later adapted as the first episode of the second season, which otherwise is an adaptation of the third game, Trials and Tribulations. It works because the defendant of "The Lost Turnabout" returns as the defendant of "Recipe for Turnabout", the third case of Trials and Tribulations. And on the subject third game, the second and third cases of the game are adapted first, followed by the first case, "Turnabout Memories", due to it being a flashback and heavily connected to the last two cases.
  • Sailor Moon: Diana had made her first appearance in the manga during the Black Moon arc, which was the second arc of the series. In the anime, however, she does not appear until the fourth season, Sailor Moon SuperS.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
    • The anime cut out the principal's first appearance where he confiscates Karen's magazine, so he doesn't show up until the French School visit.
    • Makkii-senhai and Gigako had their initial cameo cut during the first season, so they aren't seen until the first episode of season 2.
    • The Cubari Facaccimo, a bizarre one-eyed... thing that had something to do with Kaguya's plans for Valentine's day the previous year appeared while the student council is cleaning up at the end of their first term. In the anime, it isn't seen until they're moving back in after the election.
    • Kyoko first appears in a one panel flashback in the manga when Ishigami mentions the middle school incident to Kaguya during their first study session. While the anime kept the dialogue alluding to the incident, it cut out the flashback, so Kyoko isn't actually seen until Osaragi's Day in the Limelight in the lead up to the sports festival.
    • Downplayed with Shizuku. The anime has her introductory flashback take place right after the culture festival starts as opposed to right before it.
  • Due to the To Love Ru's anime first season being a loose adaptation, the second season picking up from a specific point in the manga while being a very faithful adaptation, and nothing but OVAs to try to fill in holes in the the continuity, Celine's plant form is introduced very late in an OVA, followed by her humanlike form shortly afterward with no explanation. In the manga, her plant form was introduced very early and it took 101 chapters for her to turn into her humanlike form.
  • In Trigun manga, Vash meets Legato before he meets Wolfwood. In the anime, he meets Wolfwood first, and Legato is introduced several episodes later.
  • In Ranma ½, Hikaru Gosunkugi originally appears in volume 5 of the manga, establishing him as a classmate of Ranma and Akane, and already crushing on Akane for a while. He's absent in the early anime, however, most of his role taken instead by Canon Foreigner Sasuke Sarugakure (minus the Akane crush). Hikaru does finally join the cast in the anime, but only by episode 96 of the second season, as a New Transfer Student. Afterward, he retakes his role for the later stories that involved him in the manga.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: The first season of the anime picked various chapters of the manga to mix into the anime from different points in the manga's story line. This results in Ilulu, both before her reforming and later when she moves in with Kobayashi being absent despite the chapters that were adapted into the episodes had this character in them. This is referenced during the season 2 announcement at the end of volume 8 of the manga, where the character asks the author's avatar if she will appear (he tries to avoid the question but eventually confirms it). By extension, this also results in Clemene and Taketo being pushed back as well, since their introductions directly tie into her character arc.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: In the game, Link first meets Malon upon arriving in Castle Town. In the manga, this role is given to a disguised Princess Zelda instead. Malon doesn't appear until Link arrives at Lon Lon Ranch in chapter 5.
  • Death Note: L appears at the very end of the first chapter of the manga, but doesn't show 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 is delayed, and they first appear when receiving word of L's death.
  • Hunter × Hunter: While the manga and 1999 anime have Kite appear in the first chapter/episode, the 2011 anime delays his debut to episode 76. His meeting with main character Gon during the latter's early childhood is instead a flashback here.
  • In the manga adaptation of Persona 5, Kasumi Yoshizawa(or rather, Sumire), the new party member added in Royal, debuts in the summer, not long after the defeat of Kaneshiro, the third Palace ruler, about a third of the way through the story. In the original game, Kasumi was introduced on April 12, a few days after the start of the game, and also was prominently shown in the Action Prologue.
  • In the original Reign of the Seven Spellblades novel series, Chloe Halford's Plot-Triggering Death scene is the prologue of volume 1. The manga adaptation instead starts with the True Companions' first day of school about ten years later and reduces the scene to a two-page spread at the end of volume 3 (corresponding to novel volume 1's epilogue).

    Comic Books 
  • In the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer show, Angel was introduced in the very first episode. In Boom! Studios' comic reboot, he doesn't show up until the fourth issue.
  • In the Jem cartoon, Jerrica Benton has known Eric Raymond for years and The Misfits met him just before the series began. In the Jem and the Holograms (IDW) comic, the Misfits are appointed with Eric as their new manager in the seventh issue and Jerrica doesn't meet him until the fifteenth issue.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • The Ultimates:
      • Loki, the very first villain The Avengers ever faced in the original comics, doesn't appear until the sequel series, Ultimates 2, where he is revealed as the Man Behind the Man.
      • Kang the Conqueror was a very early Avengers villain, showing up in issue #8 of the original series. The Ultimate version of Kang would not appear until the "Ultimates Disassembled" storyline, which was published 12 years after the first Ultimates series began.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man:
      • Mysterio, who first debuted in the Silver Age back in The Amazing Spider-Man #13, didn't appear in the Ultimate universe until the lead-up to Ultimatum, 8 years after the series began.
      • Likewise, the mainline universe's Vulture first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 back in 1963. Ultimate Vulture's first appearance was in Ultimate Spider-Man #89.
      • The Chameleon, who was one of the very first villains Spider-Man ever fought in the original comics, did not appear in Ultimate Spider-Man until about 10 years after the series began.
    • Ultimate X-Men:
      • Angel, who was one of the founding Silver Age X-Men in the original comics, doesn't show up until issue #40.
      • Vanisher was the second ever villain fought by the original X-Men, but doesn't appear until the Ultimate War mini-series in this universe.
  • The Hasbro Comic Universe version of Rhinox appeared late in the universe's run, towards the Grand Finale, The Transformers: Unicron. This is especially notable as Rhinox is a case of Decomposite Character as the Beast Machines version of Tankor appeared earliernote .

    Fan Works 
  • In Dæmorphing, events are shuffled around so that the Animorphs evacuate their families to the Hork-Bajir valley (Welcome Home, based on book 49) before they find the various Andalites stranded on Earth in Destroyer of Worlds. Additionally, Mertil and Gafinilan are introduced before Arbat's team, which was the other way around in canon (they appeared in #40 and #38, respectively).
  • Date A Re:Live: In canon, the AST appeared in the first arc. Here (renamed from the Anti-Spirit Team to Advanced Security Team due to Adaptational Heroism) they've made their first appearance in the second arc.
  • Aerith is the very first character shown in Final Fantasy VII. In Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged she's introduced during her and Cloud's second encounter and her formal introduction, which in canon was her third scene. In fact her original introduction was omitted altogether, as her canonical second scene and first encounter with Cloud appears in a flashback.
  • In the For Want of a Nail fanvid From the Ashes, Edward doesn't encounter Sloth and Envy until the tail-end of the series. This is done to make Sloth's reveal more surprising and make Envy stabbing Ed come as a surprise.
  • Justified in Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger as the story is being told from the perspectives of Team JNPR, who canonically don't meet certain characters until long after they've already debuted.
    • Penny makes her first appearance late in the Volume 1 of RWBY. Here, she debuts as one of the Vytal Festival's finalists (which is set in the middle of Volume 3).
    • In canon, Neo first appears in the fourth episode of the second volume. Here, she appears right before Pyrrha's scheduled tournament match with Penny (placing her debut in the middle of the third volume's eighth episode).
    • The White Fang enter the story during the Fall of Beacon, as opposed to canon where they were recurring antagonists since the first volume.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Sabrina in the Pokémon anime was the fourth Gym Leader Ash challenged during his Kanto journey. In this story, Ash faces her for the sixth badge, and even then he does so forcibly.
  • The Road to be a Pokemon Master: You first see Wally in the games the first time you visit Petalburg City. Here, he makes his debut when Ash and co. reach Verdanturf Town.
  • Total Shuffled Island Series: Most of the original Island cast and some of the Revenge of the Island characters now make their debuts in a later season than in canon: Tyler debuts in World Tour instead of returning from Island, Cody, Courtney, Gwen, Harold, Izzy, Justin, Lindsay, Noah and Trent now debut in ROTI, and Anne Maria, Brick, Duncan, Eva, Heather, Leshawna, Katie, Mike, Owen and Sadie now debut in Pahkitew Island.
  • Random Drama Series: Most of the original Island cast and some of the Revenge of the Island and Pahkitew Island characters now make their debuts in a later season than in canon: Bridgette, Cody, Eva, and Ezekiel now debut in ROTI, Anne Maria, B, Brick, Cameron, Courtney, Dawn, Geoff, Izzy, Justin, Katie, and Sadie now debut in Pahkitew Island, and Beth, Dakota, Jasmine, Leonard, Lindsay, Max, Owen, Rodney, Scott, and Topher now debut in the author's famade season Danger Island.
  • In Changing of the Guard, Ben has his first encounters with Kraab and Sixsix at 15 years old as opposed to the main series, where he first fought them when he was 10.
  • In Maelstrom, Bakugou is first introduced at the end of Chapter 2, as Izuku is beginning his first day at UA, instead of being introduced as Izuku's childhood friend turned bully.
  • Universe Falls: In the series, Dipper finds the Journal on the twins' first day in Gravity Falls, right before he meets Mabel's boyfriend "Norman". In this fanfic, Dipper finds it on the third day, around the same time he and Mabel first meet Steven, Connie, Lion, and the Crystal Gems.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • Yakumo Kurama and the Kamizuru siblings (all characters from Part I filler) don't show up until after the Time Skip.
    • Likewise, Kakashi's father Sakumo (who originally appeared during a Near-Death Experience in the Invasion of Pain) isn't seen until the Fourth Ninja War when he's brought back as an Edo Tensei zombie.
  • Code Prime: While Unicron has appeared in C.C.'s code-induced visions, the Terrorcons have yet to make an appearance in the story. They later appear in Chapter 25 of R1 as a bunch of broken Knightmares that are accidentally exposed to Dark Energon in a cave, killing several Vehicons and turning them into Terrorcons.
  • Later, Traitor: Linda doesn't start kidnapping the campers until Frazie's second day at Whispering Rock. In Psychonauts, the game took place over the course of one day and she started kidnapping the campers in the afternoon.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In the comics, Spider-Man predated Iron Man and the formation of The Avengers, and was not 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, his idolization of the Avengers (especially Iron Man) is a plot point.
    • Played with in the absence of The Wasp and Ant-Man in the first two phases of the MCU. In the comics, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were founding members of the Avengers, and in fact Jan was the one who coined the name "Avengers" in the first place, while Hank was the creator of Ultron. Instead, Nick Fury named the teamnote  and the creation of Ultron fell to Stark and Banner. And then it's turned on its head in Ant-Man, with the revelation that Hank and Jan predated the Avengers, working as operatives of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Cold War. Making it both a late appearance in the context of the franchise as a whole, and an In-Universe early appearance.
    • In the comics, the Mandarin was one of Iron Man's earliest villains, and his ArchEnemy. Although a charlatan claiming to be the Mandarin shows up in Iron Man 3, the real Mandarin doesn't appear until the 2021 movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a full 13 years after the release of the original Iron Man movie. Because of this, the Mandarin instead fights Shang-Chi, as Iron Man was killed off at the end of Avengers: Endgame 2 years prior.
    • Adam Warlock doesn't join the Guardians of the Galaxy until the third movie (though his cocoon appeared in The Stinger of the second movie), while his comic counterpart was one of the founding members of that version of the team.
    • As mentioned above, Kang the Conqueror was one of the earliest villains to fight the Avengers, having first appeared in 1964. In the MCU, Kang doesn't show up until Loki (2021) as "He Who Remains," with his actual Kang persona not debuting until Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in Phase 5, nearly 15 years after the franchise first began.
    • Because their film rights belonged to 20th Century Fox until Disney bought the company in 2019, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men were legally barred from appearing during the first 3 phases of the MCU. In the original comics, the Fantastic Four predated the Avengers (and kickstarted the entire Marvel Universe), while the X-Men debuted in 1963, the same year the Avengers first came together. Instead, the MCU has the Avengers as the team that kickstarted the universe, with the Fantastic Four not appearing until Phase 5 and the X-Men still not having a confirmed debut date. Because of this, a number of characters who came much later in the comics (in many cases decades later) like War Machine, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Kate Bishop, Kamala Khan, and Ironheart ended up making their debuts years before the FF or X-Men in this continuity. Additionally, certain characters who were originally created for those series (like Black Panther, who started off as a Fantastic Four supporting character back in The '60s) ended up having their own movie debuts ahead of them as well. A further consequence of this was that movies adapted from stories that included those characters had to omit them, meaning that the FF were not in the movie version of Civil War, and that Wolverine and the Silver Surfer could not join the fight against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame, even though they did in the original story. Alternate universe iterations of Professor X and Mister Fantastic would eventually appear in 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, 14 years after the start of the series.
    • Speaking of, Starfox made his debut in the same issue as his brother Thanos, and would go on to appear in many of the stories centered around the latter, including the aforementioned Infinity Gauntlet. Starfox doesn't appear in the MCU until The Stinger of Eternals, which takes place after Thanos' defeat and death at the hands of the Avengers in Endgame.
    • Namor was one of Marvel's first superheroes, debuting way back in 1939, before the Marvel Universe was even an official thing. In the MCU, due to licensing issues, Namor doesn't appear until 2022's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
  • Divergent: Uriah was a supporting character in the first book, but his role got expanded in the sequels. However, possibly because of his minimal role, he was cut from the first movie and introduced in the sequel.
  • The Harry Potter film franchise does this with many of the side characters, making them appearing only when they become relevant to the plot.
    • Both Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang debuted in the third book. Since the films mostly cut Quidditch, Cho's debut is delayed to the fourth film, while Cedric does still technically appear, but isn't referred to by name or properly introduced, and is played by a different actor.
    • Professor Sprout, introduced as Harry's teacher in the first book, appears the first time in the second film.
    • Arabella Figg, who got introduced as early as the second chapter of the first book, only appears in the fifth film.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange appeared as early as the fourth book as a Death Eater standing trial in the Pensieve Flashback. Since the flashback is changed in the film, she makes her debut in the fifth film.
    • Meanwhile, Bellatrix' sister, Narcissa Malfoy, was also very briefly introduced in the fourth book at the Quidditch World Cup and had been mentioned a couple of times before and after then. She's neither seen nor mentioned until the sixth movie.
    • Mundungus Fletcher, who was introduced as a prominent member of the Order of the Phoenix in the fifth book (and mentioned even earlier) only makes an appearance in the seventh film.
    • Bill Weasley appeared in person for the first time in the fourth book and continued to be a Recurring Character onwards. He only appears in the last two films.
    • Dumbledore first mentions his brother Aberforth in Harry's presence about halfway through the fourth book. He's mentioned in passing every once in a while and Harry technically meets him in both the fifth and sixth books without knowing who he is. Although Harry notes he looks familiar but can't put his finger on why. However, outside an extra playing him in the fifth movie in a blink and you'll miss it cameo, he's not so much as mentioned until the seventh movie and doesn't appear until the eighth. Harry even says he didn't know he existed at the wedding in the former movie.
    • Lavender Brown is a supporting character throughout all seven books. Technically, she's in the second and third films, but this just amounts to the name "Lavender Brown" being assigned to an extra who is never actually identified onscreen as the character. For all intents and purposes, Lavender doesn't make her filmic debut until it's time for her disastrous romance with Ron in the sixth movie.
  • The first installment of Percy Jackson and the Olympians merges Annabeth Chase and Clarisse La Rue, hence why Annabeth has dark brown hair and is rather hostile to Percy in the beginning (in the books, Annabeth is snarky to Percy at her worst, while Clarisse is his frenemy). Since Clarisse has a major role independent of Annabeth in the second book, she debuted in the second film, in the process causing Annabeth to suddenly sport her book-faithful blonde hair and a more reserved personality.
  • Gwen Stacy was famously Spider-Man's Love Interest before Mary Jane Watson. In the Spider-Man Trilogy, Gwen (and her father) wasn't introduced until the third film, well into Peter and MJ's relationship.
  • In the comics, Catwoman has traditionally been one of the first costumed villains Batman encounters (having first appeared all the way back in Batman # 1 in 1940). In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy however, she appears in the final chapter of the series, at a time when Bruce has already retired from the role of Batman and returns to the cape and cowl after a gap of eight years.
  • Much like the Ultimate X-Men example mentioned above, Angel doesn't appear until the third movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, even though he was a founding member of the team in the comics. Likewise, Beast doesn't show up until The Last Stand, though the prequel film, X-Men: First Class, would later establish that he was a founding member of the team who left at some point between the two movies.
  • Warden John Economos and Flo Crawley were introduced in Suicide Squad #1 as part of Amanda Waller's support staff. They're completely absent from the first movie, but were added to the follow-up as part of the Truer to the Text approach taken by James Gunn.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The "compies" (Procompsognathus in the novels, Compsognathus in the films) were present in the original book and are actually the ones to kill Hammond at the end, but are absent in the first film and wouldn't appear until the second film.
    • The sick Stegosaurus in the first novel is changed to a Triceratops in the film, and the Stegosaurus wouldn't appear until the second film (although some vials of frozen embryos labelled Stegasaurus are visible briefly in one scene in the first film).
    • The sauropod that the visitors first encounter was changed from an Apatosaurus to a Brachiosaurus. Apatosaurus wouldn't appear in the film franchise until the fourth film.
    • The Carnotaurus featured in the second novel were omitted in the second film and didn't make an appearance in the films until the fifth entry, and also lack the colour-changing abilities they were depicted with in the novel.
    • Microceratus (then known as Microceratops) were a minor species present in the original novel, but were absent in the films up until the sixth movie (although they were featured in promotional material for the fourth film).
    • The original novel featured an aviary sequence where the characters are attacked by pterosaurs. The sequence was cut from the film adaptation, and the pterosaurs wouldn't appear (as a very minor appearance) in the sequel film (and changed from Cearadactylus to the larger and more famous Pteranodon), while the aviary sequence wouldn't be used until the third film.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daredevil:
    • In the Daredevil comics, Bullseye already has a preexisting rivalry with Matt by the time Elektra shows up in New York as an assassin, and winds up killing her with her own sai. In the live-action show, Bullseye isn't introduced until the third season, after Elektra has already been killed off.
    • Non-character example, but in the comics, Daredevil first appeared in a yellow costume before switching to the iconic red suit most people are familiar with. The Netflix series eschewed the yellow suit entirely, only for it to be used for the character's costumed reintroduction into the MCU years later in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
  • Game of Thronesnote :
    • Catelyn's father Hoster, uncle Brynden ("Blackfish"), and brother Edmure all first appear in A Game of Thrones, but aren't introduced until the third season of the show.
    • Meera and Jojen Reed and Ramsay Snow are part of the Winterfell story in A Clash of Kings. All three first appear in the third season, after Winterfell is abandoned; Ramsay isn't identified until the end of the season.
    • Euron Greyjoy's presence is first felt in A Storm of Swords when he has his brother killed, and he appears in A Feast for Crows. All of these events are held until the sixth season.
    • Randyll Tarly is among Renly's bannermen in A Clash of Kings, and shows up as part of Brienne's story in A Feast for Crows. He doesn't appear until the sixth season, in an adaptation of a different story (Sam's) from A Feast for Crows.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Season 3 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers adapted Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, but swapped the order the mechs appeared in, resulting in the Shogunzords (the Giant Beast General Gods) and Battle Borgs (the Beast General Fighters) appearing after the Ninjazords (the Super Stealth Beast Gods and Tsubasamaru) and Ninjor (Ninjaman).
    • Gingaman's main villains all appear in the first episode, even if they aren't active until later. Their Lost Galaxy equivalents are more spread out; Captain Mutiny, for example, is a late series Arc Villain, while his Sentai counterpart, Zahab, is Gingaman's Big Bad.
    • Technically, all the pre-Zyuranger suits used in Power Rangers Super Megaforce, as the entire franchise began with the adaptation of Zyuranger which was the 16th Super Sentai.
    • In Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Chaos, Luckyuro and Torin all appear in the first episode. Ramirez/Kyoryu Cyan appears in episode 5 along with his Zyudenryu, Ankydon, while Dantetsu Kiryu appears in episode 20. In Power Rangers Dino Charge, Curio (Luckyuro) first appears in the fourth episode, while Arcanon (Chaos) and Zenowing (Torin) appear well into Dino Super Charge note . And while the Ankylo Zord appears in episode 6, it's not until Dino Super Charge that the corresponding Aqua Ranger/James Navarro, puts in an appearance.
    • Ninninger's Masakage Tsugomori first appears immediately after Raizo Gabi's demise and is a main villain. Tynamon appears late into Super Ninja Steel, and consequently doesn't last as long.
    • The Go-Busters was the team introduced after the Gokaigers (Super Megaforce). Power Rangers: Beast Morphers are instead the team succeeding the above mentioned Ninja Steel Rangers due to it being adapted Out of Order. This obviously extends to their entire cast, with the exception of Big Bad Evox (who is actually the Returning Big Bad of Power Rangers RPM).
  • Stargirl (2020):
    • Paintball was one of the very first villains to appear in the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic book, but doesn't show up until Season 2 of the TV show.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • 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 Billy 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 show up until three-four arcs (including one filler) later.
  • War and Peace (1972): Andrei, who is introduced in the first chapter of the book, has his appearance delayed until Episode 2.
  • Wonder Man first appeared in the comics way back in The Avengers #9 back in 1964, and his brain patterns were subsequently used to create The Vision. Wonder Man doesn't appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until his own self-titled Disney+ series, long after the Vision's 2015 debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Knight depicts Man-Bat showing up very late in Batman's career, in contrast to the comics where he's been around since the seventies or the DCAU's using him as a Starter Villain. The last night of his career, in fact.
  • Beast Wars: Transformers depicts Rattrap as a Maximal recruit found from a stasis pod, when the Beast Wars cartoon established that he was a member of the Maximals from the beginning.
  • Black Mesa: This is the case for 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.
  • The original Final Fantasy VII opens with Aerith's introduction, followed by the city of Midgar. In the remake, the surrounding landscape outside Midgar gets introduced first before the actual city, with glimpses of its locations that were visited later in the original game shown, before proceeding to the original Aerith introduction. The remake also has several enemies that appear later than in the original, such as the Smoggers being encountered in the slums instead of the No. 5 reactor.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), Doctor Octopus shows up a good eight years into the Webslinger's career despite usually being one of the first villains he faces both in the comics and many other adaptations. Likewise for Norman Osborn, who still isn't the Green Goblin, though The Stinger implies that he's finally going there.
  • In order to provide characters to all factions, Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer II, do this to a smaller or greater extent, as the game takes place at roughly the time of Karl Franz's coronation.
    • For the Empire, of the characters that Markus Wulfhart can recruit, two of them lived centuries (Rodrik L'Anguille's story took place around seven hundred years before, and an exact date for Jorek Grimm's life is not given, beyond that it was enough time for the notoriously slow to accept new technologies Dwarfs to make regular uses of his inventions) before the games' time period.
    • For Bretonnia, Repanse de Lyonesse's story took place around five centuries before the games' events, but it's strongly implied she has been kept alive since (whether in stasis or by simply extending her lifespan) by the Lady.
    • The Vampires Counts, being undead and all, mix this with Adaptational Early Appearance, as while Vlad Von Carstein was killed centuries before Karl Franz's coronation, he was brought back to unlife during the End Times (which happens years after Karl franz was declared Emperor).
    • For the Greenskins, while Grom the Paunch's final fate was left ambiguous, his story happened centuries before.

    Web Animation 
  • Many animated adaptations of Talking Tom And Friends have Ben and Ginger as part of the main cast from the very first episode. In Talking Tom Shorts, however,note  both don't appear until Season 2 in the episode "Treehouse Rescue Party".


    Western Animation 
  • Action Man (2000): Professor Gangrene doesn't show up until the second season and doesn't officially join Dr. X's forces until his second appearance, when the 1995 cartoon had him established as a minion of Dr. X from the start and had his debut occur in the second episode.
  • The Batman:
    • Robin doesn't make his debut until season four (of five), with Batgirl actually becoming Batman's first sidekick in season three. This was due to a "Bat-Embargo" that DC had put in place at the time which prevented many Batman characters from appearing in multiple shows airing at the same time, and Robin was a main character in Teen Titans (2003) for most of The Batman's run.
    • Harley Quinn was introduced in an early episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Joker's Favor", but also wasn't introduced until season 4 of The Batman.
  • Daisy Duck usually is depicted as the primary love interest of Donald Duck with the two of them being usually portrayed as Official Couple since before the continuity of the Classic Disney Shorts and the Disney Ducks Comic Universe. In DuckTales (2017) she's introduced in season 3 as a new character Donald just meets after his core personality as known from other works is already established.
  • Garfield and Friends: In the U.S. Acres comic strip, Orson's brothers appeared in the earlier strips before being phased out when Orson had to leave his mother and set out on his own. Their animated counterparts (who were given the names Mort, Gort and Wart in addition to being redesigned so they were easier to tell apart and made more important characters than they were in the original comic strip) didn't appear until the ninth U.S. Acres episode "Keeping Cool".
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Sinestro doesn't appear in the show until after the Red Lantern Corps, the Star Sapphire Corps and the Blue Lantern Corps had been introduced and has yet to obtain a yellow power ring and found his own Corps. This is a strong contrast to the comics, where the Sinestro Corps was the first of the Lantern Corps besides the Green Lantern Corps to appear and Sinestro had spent years fighting Hal Jordan and the other Green Lanterns with his yellow ring before it occured to him to found his own Corps.
  • Hilda: In the graphic novels, the black hound (or Jellybean) makes his debut in the same story where Hilda joins the Sparrow Scouts. This story was split over three episodes, with multiple new stories in between, for the animated series. As such, Hilda joins the scouts in episode 4, but Jellybean isn't properly introduced till episode 12.
  • In Sky1's Moominvalley:
    • Misabel doesn't appear in the adaptation of Moominsummer Madness, instead appearing in a later episode, "Moominmama's Maid", based on her role in the comic strip.
    • The Hobgoblin's Hat storyline, which made up the bulk of the second novel Finn Family Moomintroll, becomes three episodes around the halfway point of Season Two, immediately followed by the adaptations of Moominpapa All at Sea and Moominvalley in November — the final books. So the appearance of Thingummy, Bob, and the Hobgoblin move from near the start of the series to near its end.
  • Muppet Babies (2018):
    • In the original 1984 series, Baby Rowlf was an established member of the main cast from the very beginning. In the 2018 series, he doesn't show up until "The Best, Best Friend", the first half of the 19th episode.
    • Scooter and Skeeter were also two of the main characters in the 1984 series who appeared since the very beginning. In the 2018 series, they can be seen in a picture on the wall all throughout the first season, but it isn't until "Win a Twin", the first half of the fourteenth episode of the second season where they make their first physical appearances.
  • In the original 1991 version of Rugrats, Fluffy, Angelica's pet cat first cameoed in "Touchdown Tommy", the first half of the eleventh episode of the first season, before getting her own A Day in the Limelight episode in "Fluffy Vs. Spike" one episode later. In the 2021 reboot, Fluffy makes her debut in "Fluffy Moves In", the second half of the twenty-third episode of the first season.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series:
    • Electro was traditionally one of Spider-Man's earliest adversaries, while this series doesn't have him appear until the fifth and final season.
    • Gwen Stacy, who was Spider-Man's love interest in the comics before he fell for Mary Jane, was largely absent in this show and only appeared as Peter Parker's girlfriend in an alternate reality during the Grand Finale.
  • Super Dinosaur: The Megaraptor (and the Humongous Mecha built by the Kingstons and used to fight it), who debut in Issue #4 of the comic, don't appear until the season finale of the show.
  • Transformers: Cyberverse: Grimlock was the only Dinobot to appear in the series with the other Dinobots Snarl, Slug, Sludge and Swoop not appearing until the post-series movie The Immobilizers. This differs significantly from most continuities having all Dinobots introduced together (or Swoop and Snarl being introduced shortly after the rest, as the case was in The Transformers).
  • Iceman, Beast, and Angel, who are founding members of the X-Men in the comics, don't appear until season 2 of X-Men: Evolution.
  • Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production's first season generally focused more on Bugs interacting with new characters created for episode plots, with the classic Looney Tunes characters getting introduced later on in the series. A particularly notable late appearance is Daffy Duck, who didn't appear until the Season 1 finale.
  • Young Justice (2010)
    • In the original Silver Age comics, Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad (Garth) were founding members of the Teen Titans. The TV show, however, has a new Aqualad named Kaldur'ahm take Garth's place in this capacity, with Garth only showing up later in the first season. He eventually joins the team offscreen during the 5 year Time Skip between seasons 1 and 2.
    • Likewise, Donna Troy, a.k.a. Wonder Girl, was the fourth member of the original Teen Titans (though a later Retcon established that Speedy had been involved before her) and joined them very shortly after they first got together. Due to legal red tape, Donna could not appear in the first season. Word of God confirmed that she also joined the team offscreen during the aforementioned Time Skip, but she didn't actually appear onscreen until the third season, when she by then became a United Nations ambassador.
    • The Stinger of the Season 4 finale sees the debut of Supergirl in the show's continuity, long after various other heroes who were introduced after her in the comics have already shown up.