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If only more adaptations were this honest.

"That awful musician from the manga? He wasn't in the anime..."
Saiki, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (anime adaptation)
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When a work is being adapted, liberties with the original will have to be made. Due to time or length constraints, some things may have to be taken out. Sometimes it involves taking out a character who was very important in the original story.

Could happen because of Adaptation Distillation, in a Compressed Adaptation or a Pragmatic Adaptation. These characters would usually fall victim to the existence of a Composite Character, with which there is often plenty of overlap. Another possibility is that maybe some aspects of the work may be saved for potential sequels.

Related to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, where a character vanishes without explanation from the original work. Compare Demoted to Extra, where the character does appear but in a much less important role. Contrast Canon Foreigner, where an adaptation features a character who didn't exist in the original work. If a character is cut from an adaptation of an ongoing work but then turns out to be extremely important later on, this could result in an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole.

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Examples

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    Animation 
  • In the The King of Fighters games, Rugal famously had a pair of henchwomen named Vice and Mature. Mature is present in The King of Fighters: Destiny, while poor Vice is MIA.
  • A variant of sorts appears in Miracle Star, the Chinese bootleg of The Amazing World of Gumball. There's no equivalent to Gumball's younger sister Anais in Miracle Star due to the show being produced at a time when China had a one-child limit (which wouldn't count the Darwin equivalent because he's adopted).

    Comic Books 
  • The 2009-2010 The Clone Saga "Director's Cut" miniseries removed many characters like Seward Trainor, Spidercide, Judas Traveller, Grim Hunter, and the Scriers. It also goes with an earlier idea and has Harry Osborn as the one behind it, not his father Norman, who's still dead in this version.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) is an alternate telling of Wonder Woman's Golden Age WWII era origins in which Steve Trevor's (and in the original comics Diana Prince's) USAAF superior General Darnell doesn't even rate a mention. It also reduces the Heyday triplets to the Heyday twins.
  • The single-issue Comic-Book Adaptation of Masked Rider omitted Count Dregon's lackey Doubleface.
  • The Sonic The Comic adaptation of Streets of Rage 2 ditches Adam Hunter completely, replacing him with a new character named Officer Murphy, Skates' stepfather and a former ally of Axel and Blaze. Skates is never even referred by his real name.
    • Narrowly averted with /Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog which finally introduced Cream the Rabbit after ten years of being featured in the games after negotiation.
  • Tatanga was conspicuously absent from the comic adaptation of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
  • Ultimate X-Men:
    • Professor Xavier was crippled by an alien named Lucifer in the comics. Here he's crippled by Magneto.
    • In adapting Proteus into a Composite Character, Gabrielle Haller (Legion's mother) and Joseph MacTaggert (Proteus's father) were written out with Professor Xavier and Moira MacTaggert having the child together, rather than them having sons with separate people.
  • Despite the crossover nature of the story, the only characters who actually appear in RoboCop Versus The Terminator are Murphy himself and Dr. Lazarus from the former and Skynet from the latter with a bunch of generic T-800s as the villains, though John Connor and Nikko get namedropped.
  • Following the New 52 two fan favorite Amazons, Artemis and their captain of the guard Philippus, were jettisoned for the new version of Wonder Woman. Rebirth undid many of the changes wrought on Diana and the Amazons by the New 52 by revealing that her mind had been tampered with and that the Amazons she's been interacting with were fakes, paving the way for Temi and Philippus to return to continuity.

    Fanfic 
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    Literature 
  • The children's novel BIONICLE Chronicles 1: Tale of the Toa omits the Toa's climactic fight against Makuta, making their confrontation with the Shadow Toa the climax instead. Due to its length, the author's unfamiliarity with the brand and the confusion within LEGO about what parts of the story were canon at all, many animals and side characters also never appear, most notably those from the Mata Nui Online Game (apart from Jala). A Nui-Jaga scorpion has a scene in the original manuscript but was deleted from the book's final release.
  • The novelization to The Death of Superman yanks out just about everyone in the DC Universe save for the lineup of the Justice League at the time, Wonder Woman and Batman. This also includes Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who is very a big part of the finale due to the destruction of Coast City.
  • The Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers replaces Captain Hollister with a female captain named "Kirk" (the name being a Shout-Out to the Captain from Star Trek: The Original Series).
  • The storybook of The Jungle Book 2 omits the scene where Kaa attempts to eat Shanti, thus removing Kaa from the story.
  • The novel of Kamen Rider Decade omits the Hikari Photo Studio and its owner Eijiro, Natsumi's grandfather. In the series, Tsukasa and friends travel between worlds by changing the backdrop in the studio; in the novel they simply use Tsukasa's camera. Sayo, Tsukasa's sister from The Movie, also does not exist in the novel. The novel has Tsukasa visit the original Kamen Rider worlds as opposed to Suspiciously Similar Substitute counterparts, which means Yusuke Onodera (the alternate Kamen Rider Kuuga) is gone. Since the novel stops after they've visited the nine Heisei Rider worlds, anything that happens afterwards (including the Showa Riders and the Crossover with Samurai Sentai Shinkenger) is gone too.
  • The novel adaptation for the first Kingdom Hearts game cuts out Olympus Coliseum, Atlantica, Halloween Town, and 100 Acre Wood.
  • In the Junior Novel version of The LEGO Movie, all of the live-action characters are excluded from the film, as is the plotline with Finn and his father.
  • The novelization of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots by Project Itoh omits the BB Corps completely, rewriting most of their scenes into battles with regular PMC soldiers and Haven Troopers.
  • The Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain novelization never mentions George Sears/Solidus Snake and act as if David and Eli (aka Solid and Liquid) were the only clones that Big Boss ever had.
  • The Mobile Suit Gundam novelizations, written by Yoshiyuki Tomino independent of the TV series (and free from the toy companies' demands), does this not with characters but with the Humongous Mecha instead, cutting both sides down to the bare essentials. Gone are all of Zeon's wacky one-off Super Prototypes; instead they just use the iconic Zaku II and Rick Dom, as well as the telepathically controlled non-humanoid mobile armors Brau Bro and Elmeth (which gets a limited production run unlike in the series) and the massive Big Zam (which does not). This is partly due to the fact that the novel never once goes to Earth, meaning ground- and amphibious-use machines like the Gouf and Z'Gok have no place in the story. The Federation gets off considerably easier, with only the Guntank being cut, but then they never had very many mobile suits in the original series to begin with. It also adds the G3 Gundam from the MSV series as a Mid-Season Upgrade, but that's not much considering it's only a repaint of the original.
  • In the novelization of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, Derpy is replaced with Trixie, likely to avoid mentioning her name.
  • Some storybook adaptations of Oliver & Company remove Georgette.
  • The Haggunenons of Episode 6 of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were written out when the episode was novelized as part of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, to be replaced by Disaster Area. The TV series followed suit. This also eliminated the only actual appearance of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, still mentioned in some Guide entries that were moved up earlier in the books. The reason for this seems to be that the Haggunenons were largely a John Lloyd idea and Adams didn't want the complications of including concepts that weren't his.
  • Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner omits Fred: A major character and Narrator All Along from Digital Devil Saga 2. This also happens to a number of Mauve Shirts from the first game, such as James Mason and the Hip Hop Brothers.
  • The novel Thanos: Death Sentence opens with a Broad Strokes retelling of The Infinity Gauntlet. While the overall roster of heroes who challenge Thanos is already different, the two most significant absences from the battle are Adam Warlock and Nebula, both of whom played key roles in the villain's downfall in the original story. Instead, it is Kronos, Thanos' own grandfather, who ultimately defeats him.
  • Wing Commander's Player Character, Christopher Blair, is all but written out of most of the Wing Commander novels, save for Heart of the Tiger and The Price of Freedom, both novelizations of the games. The books instead tend to focus on the exploits of either Admiral Tolwyn, Jason Bondarevsky, or a number of Blair's wingmen from the games.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 TV series leaves out Glass, one of the four viewpoint characters from the book.
  • The version of the Royal Flush Gang seen in Arrow is missing Ten, who traditionally acts as the team's other female member.
  • Beetleborgs: The final arc of the original series, Juukou B-Fighter, featured heroes and villains returning from the previous Metal Heroes series Tokusou Robo Janperson and Blue SWAT. The battle scenes were adapted into the episodes Convention Dimension (which completely omitted the Blue SWAT heroes) and the season 1 finale (which cut all Janperson and Blue SWAT characters).
  • The Boys (2019) drops out Jack from Jupiter (creator Eric Kripke explained that an alien would be too fantastic for their grounded approach), with an original character, Translucent, taking his place as the final member of The Seven.
  • The pilot episode of Dirk Gently, based very loosely on the book, also skips the Monk and his horse. And Professor Chronotis. And Michael Wednesday-Week. And the alien. And ... look, it's got Dirk, Richard, Susan and Gordon.
  • Dirty Dancing : Most of the main and minor roles from the film are cut, not the least of which include Baby's mother and sister, Tito the bandleader, and Robbie (who becomes Composite Character Neil). In fact, Baby and her father (who are now Kellermans),Johnny, Penny and Neil are the only characters left from the film.
  • In the original BBC radio version of The Flight of the Conchords, Rob Brydon played the narrator, but is dropped completely from the TV adaptation.
  • In the original Get Smart series final season Max and 99 had twins, a boy and a girl. In the 1995 revival series only the (now adult) son is shown, and there's no mention at all of his sister.
  • Almost none of the Hulk's supporting characters show up in the seminal live-action show from The '70s. Instead of General Ross, the Hulk spends the series being pursued by a reporter named Jack McGee.
  • In the TV series adaptation of the play Kim's Convenience, only one of the four characters played by the same actor in the play is still in the show, Jung's friend Alex. Mr. Kim's friend Mr. Lee becomes Mrs. Kim's friend Mrs. Lee, and Rich and Mike are nowhere to be seen. Also, Jung is married with a child in the play, but neither mother nor child exist in the show so Jung can be single and have a Love Interest going into Season 2.
  • The TV version of M*A*S*H drops Duke Forrest, Tom Skerritt's character in the film, in order to tighten up the cast. Additionally, some of the film's supporting characters (Spearchucker, Lt. Dish, Ho-Jon, etc.) make scattered appearances in the first season, but were all Brother Chucked by the second season.
  • Obviously the amount of characters that encompass King Arthur is immense, and Merlin was never going to fit them all in (in fact, they did the now-rare move of separating the characters Morgana and Morgause, who in many adaptations are combined into a Composite Character), but there were a few key characters that never appeared: Elaine, Galahad and Kay. These three in particular usually make it into other adaptations, and fans of the show often commented on their absence here.
  • When a crossover from Frozen was incorporated into season 4 of Once Upon a Time, the important human characters - Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Hans - were brought over. Sven was also brought over. But Olaf is noticeably absent, and the events at the end of Frozen seem to have been changed so that Hans is still on the loose looking for new schemes to take over Arendelle (perhaps he escaped from the boat that was meant to ship him back to the Southern Isles). A probable reason for Olaf's absence is due to him being pretty superfluous and, meta-wise, too difficult to have around in terms of special effects.
  • Super Sentai to Power Rangers is an odd case, as it adapts a Japanese live action show into an American live action show. In this adaptation process many characters or concepts have a direct counterpart. However, some lack a counterpart in Power Rangers, resulting in this trope. The most common victims of this trope in Power Rangers are multiple Monsters Of The Week, as Power Rangers mostly has a shorter episode run compared to Sentai. More specific examples include:
  • Umino does not appear in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon due to being a Composite Character with Motoki.
  • Omni Consumer Products, the company that turned police officer Alex Murphy into the eponymous cyborg in the RoboCop film series, is nowhere to be seen in RoboCop: Alpha Commando.
  • Wonder Woman and Green Lantern were the only founding members of the Justice League never to appear in Smallville. However, Wonder Woman was alluded to in the show's final season (with Chloe referencing a certain "wondrous woman" she'd encountered during her travels). Wonder Woman and the John Stewart version of Green Lantern would later appear in the Season 11 comics published after the show ended.
  • Spider-Man (Japan) didn't feature anyone from the comics besides Spider-Man and even changed his civilian identity from a New Yorker named Peter Parker to a resident of Tokyo named Takuya Yamashiro.
  • Titansverse
    • Titans (2018)
      • Most likely due to being a Justice League founder in all continuities post-Flashpoint, Cyborg will not be part of the titular Titans. Interestingly however, he is part of the universe, but given an Adaptation Origin Connection to the Doom Patrol.
      • The team's roster is largely based on the 80s New Teen Titans comics by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, with the other main exception (after the aforementioned Cyborg) being the omission Wally West, a.k.a Kid Flash. It's unknown if the character was omitted due to his use in the live-action CW Flash series, or if the producers plan to introduce him in a later season.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries TV adaptation, True Blood, completely left Bubba out of the show.
  • Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, are both Doorstoppers that together break a thousand pages, so by necessity some things were excluded from the six-episode miniseries. Thomas Cromwell's Psycho Sidekick Christophe is cut, unsurprising as he was one of the only completely fictional characters. Most of Cromwell's busy home life is left out, too. His nieces are seen once or twice, but people like Helen Barrenote  don't appear at all.

    Multimedia 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Ant-Man and The Wasp were left out of The Avengers and had their spots as founders taken by Hawkeye and Black Widow. Joss Whedon tried to include Wasp as part of the team, but had to write her out of the script.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
      • Tony Stark creates Ultron instead of Hank Pym, Ultron's creator in the comics.
      • Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's father Magneto and the term "mutant" do not appear, due to 20th Century Fox owning the X-Men film rights — instead, the twins' powers are the result of experimentation and their father is mentioned to have died in a bombing alongside their mother.
      • Ultron's body was originally built of the indestructible metal adamantium. Since Fox also owns the rights to that (adamantium is more associated with Wolverine than anyone else), instead Ultron builds a new body out of vibranium, the equally resistant element that constitutes Captain America's shield.
      • In comics, The Vision's mind is a copy of the mind of Wonder Man, and has to struggle with having a human mind in a robotic body. In the film, Wonder Man does not exist and neither does that special relationship, as J.A.R.V.I.S. was already an artificial intelligence to begin with.
      • Likewise, the Vision was created by Professor Phineas Horton from the remains of the Golden Age Human Torch. In the movie, his body is instead created from scratch by Helen Cho.
    • Too many character to count in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Listing all of the characters from The Thanos Quest and The Infinity Gauntlet who don't appear would take all day, so the major exclusions include:
      • Mistress Death. This is affects the plot in a major way, as Thanos' motivation for wanting to wipe out half of the sentient life in the universe is changed from seeking Death's love to trying to prevent a massive Overpopulation Crisis.
      • Adam Warlock, who played a key role in stopping Thanos in the original story. Adam's buddy Pip the Troll is absent as well.
      • All of the Elders of the Universe other than the Collector. Instead, Thanos steals the Infinity Stones from other characters.
      • All of the characters whose film rights were controlled by Fox, meaning that Wolverine, Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Cyclops and Uatu the Watcher don't show up.
      • Many of the Avengers, such as Quasar, She-Hulk and Namor.
      • Starfox, Thanos' brother and Mephisto, who served as an ally to Thanos.
    • Black Panther:
      • T'Challa's two most famous love interests, Monica Lynne and Storm, are both omitted. In the case of the latter, it was likely due to the MCU being unable to use X-Men characters at the time. Instead, T'Challa's primary love interest is Nakia, a character he never actually dated in the comics.
      • In the comics, T'Challa and Shuri have an adopted older brother named Hunter. In the movie, there's no indication that T'Challa has any siblings other than Shuri.
    • Though he does appear near the end of the film, Nick Fury is replaced by Captain America as the leader of the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger. This is likely due to the fact that Fury apparently does not possess his comic counterpart's slowed aging in the movies, and thus would be too young to be a veteran of World War II. The fact that Fury is black in the movies might also have complicated things given the institutionalized racism a black soldier would've faced in the 40's.
      • Baron Zemo is replaced by one of Arnim Zola's HYDRA mooks as the "killer" of Bucky Barnes.
      • Captain America: The Winter Soldier revealed that The Falcon's winged flight suit was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, with supplementary material clarifying that the military ordered it from Stark Industries. This is in contrast to the comics, where the Falcon's wing suit was created by Black Panther.
      • Barring a Retcon in a future film, it would seem that the first and last of the three replacement Caps who filled in for Steve while he was frozen (William Nasland and William Burnside) have been adapted out as well. The second replacement Cap, Jeffery Mace, does appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Coulson's successor as the head of the agency once it's reinstated as an official agency.
    • Daredevil:
      • Ben Urich doesn't work for the Daily Bugle, as Sony had not yet made the deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU when the show was in production. This also necessitated the creation of a new editor-in-chief named Mitchell Ellison, who functionally served as a replacement for J. Jonah Jameson.
      • As mentioned in the Age of Ultron section, the MCU could not use adamantium due to its association with the X-Men franchise. This meant that the material Professor Oyama used to reinforce Bullseye's skeleton had to be changed from adamantium to cogmium, a much more obscure fictional metal from the Marvel Comics Presents anthology.
    • Carol Danvers and Scott Lang don't appear in Jessica Jones, and Carol's role as Jessica's blond best friend is taken by Trish Walker. Jessica's schoolgirl crush on Peter Parker was also cut, since there's a significant age gap between the two in the MCU, meaning there's no way they could have been classmates like in the comics (in addition to the above-mentioned rights issues meaning that Spider-Man wasn't part of the MCU when the show was initially written).
    • The vast majority of the characters featured in the Civil War comic don't appear in the movie adaptation, since the MCU has far fewer superheroes to pick from.
    • The two Guardians of the Galaxy movies are largely based on the 2008 relaunch of the comic, but several core members of the team have yet to show up. These include Drax's daughter Moondragon, as well as Phyla-Vell and Bug (the later of whom could not be used due to legal issues).
  • In the Mass Effect Expanded Universe, it's fairly common for Commander Shepard to be entirely absent, due to very customizable nature of the character (in terms of gender, ethnicity, background, and major plot decisions). The writers tend to take it as an opportunity to flesh out the wider universe instead.
  • In the original Noob webseries, an Evil All Along character was introduced under the context's equivalent of a fake identity that lasted a few episodes. The novel and comic first show the character under her real identity. The fake one is mentioned in the novel, but seemingly completely disappeared in the comic before briefly showing up in a comic-only subplot.
  • Power Records's book and audio record adaptaion of Escape from the Planet of the Apes omits Dr Milo. Zira and Cornelius are instead the only occupants of the spaceship and it is Cornelius who susses out that he and Zira have travelled back in time.

    Pinball 

    Radio 
  • The Audio Adaptation of Breath of Fire III drops entire arcs out of the Childhood Chapter, which led to characters such as Rei, Teepo, Palet and the entire Tournament Arc not featuring in there.
  • The BBC's 2012 audio adaptation of Through the Looking-Glass omits Lily. So when Alice asks why she is being assigned the role of White Pawn, the Red Queen tells her to keep quiet.
  • The BBC's radio adaptation of Tintin adventures Destination Moon and Explorers On The Moon omit Thomson and Thompson. Consequently, Jorgen is solely responsible for the oxygen being used up too fast on the rocket.

    Theatre 
  • Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well takes place during a shorter time frame than the short story from The Decameron on which Shakespeare based his play. Therefore, the twin boys Helena gives birth to don't appear in the play, since the play ends before she can give birth.
  • The Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of Anastasia leaves out Rasputin and Bartok, going for a story closer to reality.
  • The Bleach Musical was adapted for stage from Bleach but left out several important characters. The most important characters they left out were Orihime Inoue and Uryuu Ishida, both of them being vital to later arcs.
  • Morgan le Fey is absent from many modern productions of Camelot.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
    • The Golden Ticket (an opera) drops both of Charlie's parents, Mr. Gloop, Mrs. Salt, Mrs. Beauregarde, and Mr. Teavee.
    • The 2013 stage musical drops Mrs. Salt and Mrs. Beauregarde — both Veruca and Violet are rather clearly daddy's girls for the change — though the latter is mentioned in passing in Violet's introductory song.
  • The Musical version of Chicago eliminated the role of Jake, a reporter who served as the Audience Surrogate
  • In Death Note the Musical, which compresses the entire series into a two-hour show, several characters from the first arc, such as Watari, Matsuda and Naomi Misora, are not present. The entirety of the second arc is also omitted and both Light and L die at the same time.
  • The Desert Song: Benny and Susan are absent from all movie versions except the 1929 one (in which Benny is played as Ambiguously Gay).
  • Dirk, the stage adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, drops the Monk and his horse, partly to simplify the timeline of events (in the novel, the Monk spends most of the story off on his own doing things that only become significant in retrospect) and partly because incorporating a live horse was beyond the resources of the theatre that originally staged it.
  • In the 1920s Dracula stage adaptation, Lucy's life, death, undeath, and staking all happen offstage and get reported second-hand, so the woman herself never appears. Two of her suitors, Arthur and Quincy, are dropped entirely, while Seward appears in his capacity as head of the asylum but loses his romantic history. Dracula's brides are also dropped, since the play confines all the action to England and Dracula's castle never appears.
  • Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde omits Sir Danvers Carew, the gentleman whose murder makes Hyde publicly notorious in the novel. His death is given to Enfield, a minor character in the novel who is given a more significant role in the play.
  • In Falstaff, the Verdi opera based on The Merry Wives of Windsor, Justice Shallow, Slender, Sir Hugh Evans and Master Page are all eliminated, as is Nym, who was little more than a Continuity Cameo in Shakespeare's play.
  • In the musical version of Frozen (2018), Marshmallow, the rock trolls, and the wolves are all omitted. For Marshmallow and the wolves, the musical goes for more psychological drama, and less physical, and therefore removed their receptive set pieces and, by extension, their characters. The trolls, meanwhile, have been replaced by a group of creatures known as the hidden folk, whom are drawn from Scandinavian folklore. The role of the hidden folk is more mystical when compared to the rock trolls.
  • There were originally six greasers in Grease, but the number was shortened to five when the show was tweaked for Broadway audiences. The principal of Rydell High and a few other characters were also cut. A remake of this version (titled The Original Grease) was produced in 2011 and re-instated some of the scrapped characters, with the exception of the principal.
  • Several of Alexander's various relatives got cut out of Hamilton. He had a brother named James who's not so much as mentioned. They got separated as children and James didn't follow him to America so he wasn't a big part of his life. One of his close friends, Edwards Stevens, is speculated to have been his half brother but neither he nor his (potentially their) father Thomas made the cut. His wife, Elizabeth, was one of fifteen children despite only two sisters, Angelica and Peggy, being in the show. His mother in law was actually pregnant with the youngest when he and Eliza got married. He and Eliza had eight children but only the oldest Philip is named. There are references to the other kids but it's never stated how many of them there are.
  • In the theatrical adaptation of Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, P.S.: So Does May from the Junie B. Jones books, Junie B.'s little brother Ollie is mentioned, but not actually seen. Likely true for the productions of other titles from the series as well. This is most likely because all of the children are played by real kids and it would be more trouble than it's worth for a production of this type to try to cast a kid that young.
  • Land of Oz:
    • The original 1902 stage version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz removes the Wicked Witch of the West and Toto (who was replaced with a cow named Imogene).
    • The Wiz left out the Wicked Witch of the West's bees and wolves, and everyone Dorothy and her friends encountered on their way to Glinda's palace (Glinda saves Dorothy the trouble of walking there by meeting her in the Emerald City).
  • Les Misérables:
    • With The Thenardiers and their children, the musical reduces the family to just three: the parents and Eponine. Gavroche is present but never explicitly said to be a Thenardier.
    • Fantine's friends and lover pre-factory worker days are completely absent in the musical; the lover only gets a mention during "I Dreamed a Dream" to explain why Fantine has a child.
    • M. Gillenormand was cut from the musical.
  • The Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of The Little Mermaid adapts out Ursula's alter ego Vanessa, replacing her scene with an Idol Singer contest in which Eric attempts to identify the princess who saved him. In turn, the revised production drops Carlotta and gives her lines to Grimsby.
  • In Little Shop of Horrors Seymour is an orphan, when in the original film his mother was a major character.
  • The original Stratford production of Matilda included a classmate named Reginald, but he was cut from subsequent productions in order for there to be an even number of desks.
  • The stage adaptation of Mort skips the Librarian due to the difficulty the original production had getting an orangutan costume. It also replaces Rincewind with a wizard called Stibbons (before Ponder appeared in the books) so they could use a "generic" wizard costume rather than Rinso's canonical outfit.
  • The first of the Naruto Live Spectacle theater productions condenses the entirety of part one of the manga into a single two-hour show, meaning lots of characters from the first half, both supporting and villainous, are absent. The second omits the Akatsuki members Sasori, Hidan and Kakuzu, though they still are mentioned in passing.
  • In the musical version of Oliver Twist, Oliver!, Monks and the Maylies are omitted.
  • The Dubai version of Pokémon Live! cut out Professor Oak and Delia Ketchum. This meant that a large portion of the plot, which involved Delia, was scrapped as well.
  • In order to concentrate on the main love triangle, the musical version of The Phantom of the Opera left out several side characters, most notably Raoul's older brother Philippe and the mysterious Persian—the latter's function as Raoul's guide into the Phantom's realm was assumed by Mme. Giry.
  • When The Producers was adapted into a stage musical of the same name, Lorenzo St. DuBois, a hippie nicknamed LSD, was given this treatment. In the original film, he walks into the Springtime for Hitler auditions by mistake and is chosen to play Hitler by virtue of his utter lack of talent. LSD's So Bad, It's Good performance as Hitler plays a large role in the play's unintentional and unwanted success. In the musical, Franz Liebkind is chosen to play Hitler, but Roger De Bris is the one to perform the role onstage after Franz breaks his leg.
  • Gounod's opera Roméo et Juliette omits Lady Capulet, Lord and Lady Montague, Balthasar, Peter, Sampson, and various other minor characters, as well as adding a troublemaking Montague page named Stéphano.
  • The Musical of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion drops the "cowboy" classmate that Heather makes out with near the end of the film, and has Sandy reunite with her instead of hooking up with Michele.
  • For practical reasons, Luna, Artemis, and Diana are omitted from most of the Sailor Moon musicals. Luna and Artemis appeared in the first one where they were played by human actors in cat costumes, but were Brother Chucked after that. Diana never appeared in the musicals.
  • Shrek: The Musical:
    • In the UK version, The Magic Mirror is absent. Instead, Lord Farquaad gets the information he needs from The Gingerbread Man. A couple of fairy tale characters were also left out and replaced with characters that would be more recognisable to the UK audience.
    • The Magic Mirror also tends to be cut when it is performed in community theaters, because the Magic Mirror uses motion capture and most theaters can't afford that. Gingy, like above, gives the information.
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a musical loosely based on the first two films of the Spider-Man Trilogy that also used characters from the comics that never appeared in said film series, omits Peter Parker's friend Harry Osborn, as Norman Osborn and his wife Emily are apparently childless.
  • The operatic version of Street Scene, while preserving much of the Narrative Filigree of the original play, does eliminate the secondary characters of Agnes Cushing and Alice Simpson. Miss Cushing's excited gossip about seeing Mrs. Maurrant and Sankey standing close together in the entrance to a warehouse was transferred to Mrs. Olsen.
  • In Stupid F—ing Bird, a modern take on The Seagull, Mash(a)'s parents and Sor(i)n's estate workers were deleted, while Sorin and Dr. Dorn were composited into Dr. Sorn.
  • Toy Story: The Musical: Certain toys were adapted out from the theater version. Hannah, Sid's sister, is also not present in the theater version.
  • Wicked: Liir (Elphaba's son with Fiyero), Sarima, Nor (and the rest of the family), Nanny, and Yackle (and the rest of the nuns), as well as less important characters like Sir Chuffrey (Glinda's husband) and Shell (Elphaba's brother), were removed in the musical. The play also removes the Unnamed God and Lurline elements of the book, leading to a huge change in Nessarose's characterization.

    Visual Novels 
  • The "Ultimate Talent Plan" mode of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony leaves out the Hope's Peak Saga's prequel and concluding casts, keeping it at only the visual novel installments. Justified for the 3 cast, as it'd be hard to do the same friendships and Ship Tease present in the mode when they're the only adults in a group of teens. The mode also omits any mention of the spinoffs.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Certain minor/recurring characters from series such as Caillou and Dora the Explorer in GoAnimate videos don't appear mainly due to fear of being mistaken for an unironic fan of said series due to knowing a character's existence, or due to said characters being difficult to create in GoAnimate.
  • In the Final Fantasy Relay, the Sealed Cave from Final Fantasy IV is skipped over. Instead, Cecil has the 8th Crystal due to a glitch, and when he walks in Kain betrays him as he does in the game.


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