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Alternate Continuity

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Alright, let's start at the beginning one more time.note 

Queen Serenity: Remember Fiore?
Sailor Moon: Yes! Yes I do! And I seem to be the only one who does!
Queen Serenity: Well you see, there's the series, and then there's the movies and the movies are a whole other continuity, honey.
Sailor Moon: W-What?! What are you talking about?
Queen Serenity: The movies. The whole thing with the Kisenian Blossom, and Fiore, and your future child? It's all just a whole other continuity.

Continuity is a confusing thing. Sometimes when adapting a work, writers will scrap previous continuity and write a new continuity either disregarding the old one, or painting continuity in Broad Strokes. The result is an Alternate Continuity — a story that is no less "official" than the original, but which cannot be reconciled with it with regards to Backstory or Canon. It effectively lives in a different plane of existence. Sometimes this forms the basis of a Series Franchise.

Anime in particular has several diverse distribution paths in Japan, depending on its format — motion pictures in theaters, OVAs in direct-to-consumer sales, and 26+ episode-long series on television. It is not uncommon for an anime to transfer from one distribution path/format to another. This is most frequently seen in shows that enjoy great success as OVAs; they jump to broadcast, and what was once effectively a miniseries becomes a story it takes an entire season to tell. Alternately, a successful series can become a movie.

When such a move is made, it's common for the story to simply be retold in the new medium, often with radical changes in both plot and characterization, creating an Alternate Continuity.

Oftentimes, an Alternate Continuity is unintentionally started when a show based on an unfinished series of a different medium runs out of material, as in Overtook the Manga.

Sometimes an Alternate Continuity is the occasion for Adaptation Decay, which means the gradual change (not necessarily bad, just change) in the themes and characters of the original. See also Elseworld and Canon Discontinuity.

One of the meta-causes of Alternate Universe.

When a show's writers make the Alternate Continuity their new "main" Continuity while discarding the old one, it becomes a Continuity Reboot. If the Alternate Continuity and the regular one share backstory and diverge from each other at some point, that's generally an Alternate Timeline.

This is not the same as an Alternate Universe in that, outside of crossovers and What If? scenarios, they generally don't interact with the "main" universe. An Alternate Continuity will become an Alternate Universe if the characters do cross over. To explain, consider two works of speculative fiction wherein a cosmic entity threatens to destroy the entire multiverse: in one version of the story, the entire multiverse gets destroyed and every single possible universe is annihilated. But in the other version of the story, the threat is defeated and the entire multiverse is saved—every single alternate universe is spared. These two stories are obviously irreconcilable—you can't justify the contradiction by saying that they exist in alternate universes, because you cannot "expand" any further than The Multiverse—you cannot have a "multi-multiverse" wherein one multiverse is spared and the other is destroyed. Thus, you are forced to take the "meta"-way out and regard them as two completely separate, incompatible works of fiction. They might share the same brand name or intellectual property, but they have no canonical or metaphysical relation to each other whatsoever. This is Alternate Continuity, and what distinguishes it from an Alternate Universe.

Note that this trope is specifically about changes in continuity moving from medium to medium, or after a Continuity Reboot. See also The Movie, Ultimate Universe (a Sub-Trope of this Alternate Continuity), Canon Immigrant and Series Franchise. A Fan Fic which attempts to weld two or more continuities into a single story is called a Patchwork Fic.


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    Comic Books 
  • Pick any major comic book series; you'll find at least two conflicting storylines and a movie or two for good measure. Both DC and Marvel also use actual Alternate Universes. Also see Ultimate Marvel, the original Ultimate Universe. Now that both the mainstream Marvel reality and the Ultimate Marvel reality have (indirectly) interacted with the same Alternate Universe (Marvel Zombies - the original Squadron Supreme also make an appearance in Ultimate Power), you could say that they are a part of the same Alternate Universe "network" rather than two separate Alternate Continuities (indeed, it's been designated as Earth-1610, where the main universe is Earth-616).
    • By 2015, the Ultimate and Original Marvel Universes had crossed over many times, and were both destroyed in the third Secret Wars event.
  • The Marvel MAX mature readers imprint has alternate continuity versions of The Punisher (The Punisher MAX), Deadpool and Nick Fury (Fury (MAX)), amongst others. Whether they share a continuity with each other varies.
  • According to this interview, the 1995 Archie comics of Scooby-Doo were this to the cartoons.
  • Spider-Man: The comic strip suffer from Alternate Continuity in many ways. For instance, in 2009 after One More Day, Spider-Man was reintroduced as a single man for reasons unconnected with events in the comic book universe, while in the comic strip universe, the writer did a reverse Funky Winkerbean and went back ten years in time. A few months later it turned out to be All Just a Dream. The newspaper Peter Parker is also much more handsome than the comic book one, although why that should be so is a good question.
  • 2000 AD is a British anthology comic with numerous stories that aren't directly related (barring some Crossover event), but their individual comics often have multiple continuities. For instance, their biggest comic Judge Dredd has a "Main" continuity that's been running since 1977 that notably averts Comic-Book Time, several short-lived continuities by DC Comics and Heavy Metal, a more succesful and recent one by IDW Publishing, and one that follows the continuity of the 2012 Dredd film as a Recursive Adaptation.
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe works like this: There is no ongoing continuity, but occasionally one specific story will reference another specific story. There are comic books and pocket books, and each have their own continuity. There are many characters that only appear in the pocket books. In the pocket books, Uncle Scrooge's rival is named John Rockerduck, while in the comic books he has no rival except for Flintheart Glomgold, who appears very rarely. In the pocket books, Donald has a secret superhero identity by the name of Duck Avenger or Paperinik, but this is only ever mentioned in stories specifically about his adventures as Duck Avenger.
  • The comic mini-series, Star Trek: Countdown bridges the continuity gap between Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek (2009), depicting Spock Prime along with a partial TNG cast reunion helping Nero trying to prevent Romulus' imminent destruction in the prime reality. Though Word of God decanonizes the comics, the film doesn't explicitly ignore them either leaving its canonicity up to the readers, thus rendering the mini-series' continuity ambiguous. Although it should be noted the graphic novelization of the 2009 movie officially integrates and features the events of Countdown in the scene where Spock Prime mind-melds with New Kirk on Delta Vega.
  • The Smurfs: There are currently four different continuities: the comic books, the 1980s cartoon show, Sony Pictures' live-action film series, and the 2021 cartoon show. To tell apart the continuities, Greedy is the village chef in the 1980s cartoon show, while in the other continuities Chef, Baker, and Greedy are separate characters. For other notable differences, read these four separate pages at the Smurfs Wiki. (Their stories in the Johan and Peewit series could be considered a fifth continuity, since their Smurf Village is located in the Cursed Land instead of the Smurf Forest.) Sometimes for the sake of merchandise like the Smurfs Village game app, there would be mixing of characters from most if not all of these continuities.
  • The Adventure Time comic book series as a whole takes place in a separate continuity that diverges from the show sometime during the fourth season. The major giveaways of this divergence being that the Lich was killed by being thrown into the sun, the missing piece of Earth has been restored, and Billy is still alive. In addition, while the spinoff Marceline and the Scream Queens shows that other vampires exist in Ooo, the series proper later revealed that Marceline is the Last of Her Kind and that she was a vampire hunter that all but exterminated vampires before being turned herself.
  • Shortly after the fifth season of Samurai Jack ended its run on [adult swim], IDW Publishing published a five-issue miniseries titled Samurai Jack: Quantum Jack, which is a self-contained story that is not in the same continuity as the original cartoon or IDW's previous ongoing comic continuation that lasted 20 issues.
  • The Comic-Book Adaptation of Dexter's Laboratory is seen as having not one, but two alternate continuities. However, whether they are an alternate continuity or not is debated by fans, with some believing it is in Broad Strokes of the original series:
  • Spider-Man: Life Story: Zdarsky said that his insistence was to insert the different Spider-Man stories into the actual decades they were published in, as such while a version of Spider-Man (which did have real time aging and progression) definitely happened, changes and alterations happen from his depiction of the Lee-Romita era and eras after that.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

    Fan Works 
  • While Calvin and Hobbes originally met Galaxoid and Nebular during the fall, in Can You Imagine That? they meet the summer after the original strip.
  • While the events of A Triangle in the Stars are set after Gravity Falls, it is only set after the events of Ocean Gem in Steven Universe. Because of this, the Cluster doesn't exist, and a few Gems are different. Not to say that there aren't minor references to the episodes afterwards, however.
  • The first Dante's Night at Freddy's story could conceivably take place in the same continuity as Five Nights at Freddy's. The sequel isn't so straightforward.
  • Family Guy Fanon is basically this trope for the whole Family Guy cartoon. With several key differences in from the fanon wiki to the original such expanding on story arcs that were lacking in the original (the Brian's death and Brian moves out story arcs are big examples), one-off characters getting expanded roles (see Change for a Buck, Kimi, and Randall Fargus) and certain other characters getting changed personalities (see Francis Griffin) and even events (Ex: The two cancelations are changed around. The first cancelation happens after Season 3 instead of Season 2, and the second cancelation happens after Season 4 instead of Season 3).
  • Flowing Star is set into a new timeline and different canon taking place after a Pseudo Season 1 from the original The Loud House, where Stella still came to Royal Woods and met Lincoln, but the boy has a dark past and there's people with a vendetta against him.
  • Franchouchou feat.: A Zombie Land Saga fic. Because most of the fic was written before the second season aired, some major events like the EFS failure haven’t occurred here and several backstory points for the cast have been written from scratch.
  • The Matrix Rewinds: After the events of Revolutions, there was an uneasy peace between Zion and the machines for five years, but it was ruined by the mass defection of programs who sympathized with humanity, leaving only the evil programs in charge. The story begins five years after the war broke out again, with the humans having moved to New Zion and several characters who were killed off between Revolutions and Resurrections, particularly Morpheus, being still alive. Arcadia Bay is a smaller version of the Matrix created as a prison for all those deemed most likely to rebel against the system and become red-pills, filled with deliberate inconsistencies to keep any of its inhabitants from realizing the false nature of their reality.
  • More Fragging Paperwork is set after a Broad Strokes version of The Transformers: The Movie where the Decepticons still ambush an Autobot shuttle and kill all aboard it, but Optimus Prime is still alive and Megatron hasn't been reformatted into Galvatron. The author's note admits the fic can't fit into canon due to Optimus being mortally wounded shortly after learning about the shuttle ambush.
  • SCP-2043: The Magical World: The setting and background of the SCP Foundation are the same as most canon interpretations of it, but the fanfic's version of SCP-2043 is drastically different than the canon one; the fic's 2043 and its sub-entities comprise Puella Magi Madoka Magica's magical girl system, while the canon 2043 is a young adult who makes duplicates of herself whenever she isn't being watched.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos is basically this trope to the third season of Sonic X. According to Word of God, the events of the Dark Chaos backstory took place in canon too. However, there are several key differences in the canon timeline according to the author. Most notably, Tsali's homeworld is never destroyed and he never becomes the Ultimate Weapon and Maledict doesn't get involved in the Metarex War at all due to the Demon Empire falling into an economic depression after his war with Cosmo's race (which in turn stops the Angels from invading the galaxy in retaliation). Thanks to these key differences, the canon Sonic X events happened in the show rather than the events of Dark Chaos.
  • Spider-Ninja is specifically stated to take place in a dimension that's part of the Spider-Verse and the TMNT multiverse. This allows the author to write a female Peter Parker and make this universe's Spider-Man a member of the Hamato family via adoption. Later chapters also reveal it's also a reality where the Kraang species was killed off by the war between the Skrulls and the Kree (though the ooze still landed on Earth), Leatherhead is Doctor Curt Connors' Lizard form, and the Chitauri Invasion happened in L.A. instead of New York.
  • RWBY Grimm Darkness ends up being this to RWBY in regards to Volume 3 and beyond, due to a few events in the latter making things incompatible with the fanfic unless a few retcons are made regarding Volume 3. A list of such changes made to Volume 3 are on the fanfic page itself.
  • Ruby and Nora is a separate continuity to RWBY that diverges from the events of Volume 1. The main differences in this continuity are that the majority of characters are gay and the story is darker, with there being a high death toll, including many well-liked characters.
  • Fatal Frame VI: Vengeance serves as this to the main Fatal Frame series as of the release of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water; for starters, Miku Hinasaki married a man named Shuichiro Kobayashi and had two daughters, one of whom is Sumiko's friend Minako.
  • Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee is this to the core series Pokémon games as well as the Love Live! School idol festival and ALL STARS mobile games, the Kirameki and Hibikino sagas of Tokimeki Memorial and the TwinBee games, with some of the differences being that the story is darker at times on the LL!, TokiMemo and Twinbee side of things while also being more lighthearted than certain points of the Pokémon games at times, Pokémon anime exclusive characters such as Risa and Margo existing alongside characters such as Hilda and Hilbert, the establishment of a Pokémon Trainer's Club at Nijigasaki High thanks to Hilda which is nonexistent in SIF ALL STARS as well as the Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club anime and new characters such as Yoko Catherine Osaka White and Elesis "Ellie" Kashiwagi Kousaka who are exclusive to PokéLive!. And excluding Coco and Margo, the other heroes/heroines are gay/lesbian or bi.
  • In EVA Sessions: Someplace Vast and Dry, the entire timeline for Evangelion is shifted forward by fifteen years, such that The Event (Someplace's version of Second Impact) takes place in 2015 rather than 2000, allowing for a Setting Update.
  • Pokémon Crossing: It's the Pokémon universe, albeit inhabited by Animal Crossing characters instead of humans.
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles:
    • This comic diverges from canon between the Hunt for Uchiha and Invasion of Pain arcs, when someone utterly wipes out the Akatsuki except for Tobi during Naruto's Toad Sage training.
    • Another divergence is Hinata's knowledge of Naruto being the host of the Kyubi. In canon, she was aware of it during the Hunt for Uchiha arc. NHC takes place after the events of that arc, and yet Hinata in NHC is unaware of Naruto being the host of the Kyubi until Chapter 6.

    Films — Animated 
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights reuses the character models of Green Lantern: First Flight, but is demonstrably a separate continuity because of the sheer number of discrepancies, the most noticeable ones being that none of the characters' voice actors from First Flight reprise their roles for Emerald Knights, Abin Sur's design is slightly more comic-accurate than how he appeared in First Flight and the film takes place when Sinestro is still a Green Lantern, when the plot of First Flight was driven by his betrayal of the Green Lantern Corps and the obtaining of his trademark yellow ring (and several of the Green Lanterns who died in First Flight turn up alive and well in Emerald Knights).
  • Until the release of Simba's Pride, the cub raised at the end of The Lion King (1994) was described in all tie-in books as male, as opposed to the female Kiara in the sequel. Most famously, a series of books released soon after the first movie depicted the adventures of Simba's son Kopa. The series wasn't written by Disney though. Due to the fact Disney doesn't consider anything but the initial film canon, Simba and Nala have no less than three semi-canon cubs who are supposedly the same individual: Kopa from the aforementioned books, Kiara from the sequel, and their new son Kion from The Lion Guard...until the Canon Welding between Simba's Pride and The Lion Guard revealed that Kiara and Kion co-exist in one timeline.
  • Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw shares a few characters with Pound Puppies (1980s), but is clearly a different continuity from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Among the most notable discrepancies are the absence of Holly, Katrina Stoneheart, and Brattina and Whopper not being a baby.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and it's sequel have this trope as the basic premise. The first movie involves six versions of Spider-Man meeting each other (Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman note , Peter Benjamin Parker/Spider-Man Noir, Peter Porker/Spider-Ham, Peni Parker and Sp//der, and rookie Miles Morales/Spider-Man) and teaming up to stop Kingpin while also returning to their home dimensions. The sequel takes this a step further, with Miguel O'Hara/Spider-Man 2099 having united Spider-Heroes from across the multiverse to act as the Spider-Society.
  • Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans is non-canon to the original series. In fact, the production team that worked on the original series was disbanded after the Grand finale back in 2006.
  • Disney adapted the Winnie the Pooh story "In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day and We Learn What Christopher Robin Does in the Mornings" twice, loosely as Pooh's Grand Adventure and then more directly 14 years later as the third part of Winnie the Pooh (2011). These must be alternate continuities since while Pooh and friends are possibly ditzy enough to mistake a note saying Christopher Robin is at school for one saying he was captured by a monster twice, Christopher Robin can only have started school once.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Highlander franchise has a lot of different continuities – it's hard to pin down exactly how many there are, as some are intended to be different from the outset while others are simply the result of retcons. Let's go through it step-by-step:
    • The original movie Highlander (1986) ends with Connor MacLeod winning the Prize.
    • The second movie Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) considers the original movie canon, and is set around forty years later in a dystopian future. Notably, the theatrical version and the "Renegade Version" Director's Cut are quite different, so they could count as two separate continuities in and of themselves.
    • The third movie Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994) – also known as Highlander: The Final Dimension, depending on your area – considers only the original film to be canon, picking up a few years after Connor had apparently won the Prize. It directly contradicts Highlander II and completely ignores the TV series, which was running at the time.
    • Highlander: The Series (1992-1998) is set in an Alternate Continuity to the movies, where there are still Immortals alive all over the world and nobody has won the Prize. Its protagonist is Duncan MacLeod, another Immortal from the same clan as Connor. The series does consider the events of the original film to be canon in Broad Strokes (the second season premiere references Connor defeating the Kurgan in 1985) but it completely ignores Highlander II and, upon its release, Highlander III as well. The spin-off series Highlander: The Raven (1998-1999), starring recurring character Amanda, is set in the same continuity, as is the animated webseries spinoff The Methos Chronicles (2001) which ties into the series canon as part of Methos's backstory. There was also a series of ten Highlander novels published from 1995 to 2000, which are set in the TV series continuity and are considered canon.
      • The fourth movie Highlander: Endgame (2000) is apparently in the continuity of the TV series, and also extensively references the Broad Strokes events of the first movie. But it contradicts the series in some notable ways, such as Duncan previously being married and the consequences of fighting on holy ground.
      • The fifth movie Highlander: The Source (2007) considers the TV series and Endgame to be canon. Oddly, despite being set in a dystopian future, the character Joe Dawson (a mortal human) doesn't seem to have aged at all.
      • The low-budget 17-minute short film Highlander: Reunion (2008) is set about ten years after the TV series, and very deliberately completely ignores everything about Highlander: The Source.
      • The Highlander comic books published by Dynamite are in continuity with the TV series and Endgame. However, the ongoing series again contradicts the TV show in a few notable ways: characters are aware of the Watchers and of Dark Quickenings much earlier than they should be, and Duncan's relationship with Tessa is noticeably absent.
      • The Big Finish Productions licenced audio dramas from 2009 and 2011 also consider the TV series and Endgame to be canon.
      • The cancelled video game Highlander: The Game would have had a new protagonist, Owen MacLeod, but would have also featured appearances of characters from the TV series such as Methos and Duncan as well as Connor.
    • Highlander: The Animated Series (1994-1996) is set in the far future and operates differently enough to be considered its own continuity, with immortals giving up their immortality at will and so on. The protagonist is Quentin MacLeod, born in the 27th century; in the backstory, Connor was killed by the series Big Bad Kortan. The video game Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods (1995) is set in the same continuity.
    • The anime movie Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (2007) is set in a completely different continuity to everything else that came before. Its protagonist is Colin MacLeod, born in 2nd-century Roman Britain.
    • Each of these continuities operate by their own sets of rules. Thus something that is portrayed as Word of God in one continuity may not happen the same way in another. This only serves to further irritate fans and causes them to hate each other and fight more and more over which version of Highlander they think is best. There can be only one! note 
  • Star Wars: A famous example of this is what happened to the original Star Wars Expanded Universe, which spans over 30 years of literature and other media. After Disney acquired the franchise, almost all of the material produced under George Lucas's ownershipnote  was placed into a separate continuity called Star Wars Legends, as Disney wanted a clean slate for the Sequel Trilogy (Episodes VII, VIII & IX) and their stand-alone films like Rogue One. As such, the only non-Disney-produced media that are part of the reboot canon are the original six films (theatrical cuts) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    • A few examples of the differences between reboot canon and Legends:
      • In The Force Awakens, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) is Han and Leia's son and only child, instead of there being Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo.
      • In the reboot canon, Luke Skywalker never married or had kids, whereas originally, Luke married Mara Jade and the two had a son named Ben Skywalker.
      • Post-battle of Endor, Luke rebuilt the Jedi Order by settling his new Jedi Praxeum ("Jedi academy" if you will) on Yavin 4 inside the pyramid that once housed the Rebel base that was targeted by the Death Star back in A New Hope. In the reboot canon, Luke taught the Jedi ways in a jar-shaped temple with several wooden huts, on a unspecified planet the biome of which is significantly different from Yavin 4.
      • In Rogue One, the Rogue One team steals the Death Star plans, overwriting pretty much every story involving Operation Starhook in the original expanded universe, including Kyle Katarn's involvement in stealing the plans in the Dark Forces series.
      • Solo takes plot elements from The Han Solo Trilogy (like Han being an Imperial deserter), but changes names and details to make a different story.
    • Star Wars Infinities: Each of the original trilogy movies has an alternate continuity comic, with things like Luke dying on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back and Vader surviving the Death Star and helping the rebels find Palpatine while wearing white armor in Return of the Jedi. There was also a novel supplement in which Luke was killed by Luuke in The Thrawn Trilogy. There are also other stores put into the Infinities category that weren't compatible with canon (reboot or Legends), like Skippy The Jedi Droid.
      • Even within the new Disney-era canon, the various LEGO animated specials and some kids comics from IDW are likewise treated as standalone from the main Star Wars canon.
      • Star Wars: Visions and its tie in book Star Wars: Visions - Ronin are likewise part of their own continuities.
  • Superman:
  • Spider-Man
  • Men in Black had at least two continuities. The first movie ends with J neuralizing K and taking L as a new partner. At the beginning of the second, we find L quit between movies, and the first third of the movie follows J trying to restore K's memories. In The Animated Series, however, J, K, and L are all agents at the same time. There were a series of tie-in novels with J and L, but these could be slotted into the timespan between movies.
  • James Bond:
    • The Daniel Craig incarnation in Casino Royale portrays him as a new and inexperienced agent. However, it is set in the mid-2000s, and therefore after every previous Bond film, and includes several characters that were later additions to the series of films, such as the female M played by Judi Dench (who's actually another M). While still part of the Eon Productions series, the Craig films are intended to be a separate new timeline from the classic continuity (Dr. No to Die Another Day) where James Bond is supposed to be one man despite being played by five different actors across 40 years. Time will tell if a new Continuity Reboot happens after No Time to Die.
    • The movies are also a separate continuity to the original Ian Fleming novels.
    • Never Say Never Again is also in a different continuity to the official Eon films, as it wasn't produced by them.
    • Likewise, the comedic 1967 version of Casino Royale, in which the "real" James Bond is actually an elderly gentleman and ex-lover of Mata Hari, has no connection to the standard Bond continuity... or does it?? It is made specifically clear in this film that after the retirement of the original Bond, his name became nothing more than a codename for new spies - and a subtle reference is made to Sean Connery's Bond as one of his namesakes. Between Daniel Craig's Bond only *just* becoming 007, and references in both On Her Majesty's Secret Service and (more subtly) Diamonds Are Forever to Connery and Lazenby's Bonds being different people entirely, one has to wonder...
    • The American Casino Royale TV film from 1954 could never fit into any sort of official James Bond continuity. Bond himself is an American CIA agent, and Clarence (Felix) Leiter is an English MI-5 agent.
    • Any 007 games are placed in their own continuities from the film series.
  • The direct-to-DVD Tinker Bell movie is almost a different continuity from the Disney Fairies series of books, with only a handful of characters and some concepts in common.
  • The Star Trek reboot movies a.k.a. "The Kelvin Timeline" are explicitly set in an Alternate Timeline that exists parallel to the TV shows and the first ten films ("The Original Timeline"), so it could be a prequel without being Continuity Porn or getting hated like Star Trek: Enterprise. Nero and his Narada crew as well as Old Spock are from the original timeline. An Admiral Archer is also mentioned in passing.
  • The Godzilla series has the Showa, Heisei, and Millenium series, each a separate continuity with the original 1954 film being the only thing shared between them. In addition, each film in the Millennium series is itself a separate continuity (except for Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.).
  • The Halloween movies were rebooted three times, making at least four different timelines.
    • The first being the "Original Timeline" a.k.a. the "Thorn Timeline" which is Halloweens 1-6, excluding 3.
      • Halloween III: Season of the Witch, is really its own thing and has eternally been put into discontinuity from the series as it abandons the Myers storyline. The series was originally meant to be an All Hallows' Eve-themed anthology and H3 was the merely the next episode and references some thematic elements seen in the first two movies. Also, a Shout-Out briefly shows a TV commercial of the first movie playing within this one, making the first two movies as Type 2 films within a film. The next installment, H4 returned to the Michael Myers saga.
    • Then there's the "H20 Timeline" with Halloweens 1, 2, H20 and Resurrection since Halloween H20 ignores 3, 4, 5 and 6.
      • While they may be in Broad Strokes, certain aspects of Halloween H20 such as Laurie's fake death and the photos of (presumably) Michael's killings in Loomis' office vaguely add credence to a connection between Halloweens 4, 5 & 6 and H20. TPTB considered canonizing the last three films, but ultimately decided to drop them to restore the franchise to form. A draft of H20 even featured a scene with Laurie vomiting after hearing the news of her daughter, Jamie Lloyd's death.
    • Then we have the "Rob Zombie Timeline" a.k.a. the "Zombie-verse" with Rob Zombie's 2007 Reimagining of the original film and its sequel, completely separate from all previous entries.
    • Now there's the Halloween (2018) reboot timeline with Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends that only canonize the original 1978 movie.
    • There are also Halloween comics, which may or may not canonize the film series or even each other, creating multiple, ambiguous, self-contained continuities.
  • Cited by many with the original Planet of the Apes franchise and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, even though Word of God said it was intened to be a prequel of sorts. They also described it as a reboot, though. There are essentially five timelines:
    • The original novel Planet of the Apes.
    • The original film franchise of Planet of the Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and the Planet of the Apes live-action TV series. It can be debated that the live action TV series is not in the continuity of the films since it's shown to take place in California while the films were near New York City, and there's a dog in the TV series, even though they were all killed in the movie timeline (which may have just been an error). The human society in the TV series also lasted until at least the 25th century, which is inconsistent with Conquest / Battle though consistent with dialogue from Escape. There's also the interpretation that Conquest / Battle changed the original timeline where the rebellion was begun by an ape named Aldo (a name also used in Battle and the TV series for unrelated characters) after centuries of apes serving man. Battle ends with a merged ape/human society and not with humans reduced to animals.
    • The animated Return to the Planet of the Apes, which is closer to the original novel (the apes have technology and live much like humans), but not part of it.
    • The 2001 remake, Planet of the Apes (2001). It takes place on an actual alien planet, not Earth All Along.
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes started its own continuity.
    • A variety of comics that fit into various continuities. The original franchise spawned a bunch, and the 2001 reboot spawned a few, as did 'Rise'. The original film's comics also crossed with Alien Nation.
    • A possible fifth universe is the POTA videogame based on the original novel.
      • Granted, some fans do debate what exists where, and there really isn't a clear-cut consensus.
  • A lot of the events in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World are different from the comic book series, so the movie must take place in an alternate continuity.
  • The Universal Soldier films make up three continuities, all springing from the original 1992 Roland Emmerich film. Two Direct to Video sequels were made back-to-back in 1998, Universal Soldier II: Brothers In Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business, starring none of the original cast. Jean-Claude Van Damme then came back in 1999 with Universal Soldier: The Return, which retconned the previous two but was itself poorly received and became the last film in the series to be released theatrically. Two further sequels were made even later which retconned The Return as well, brought back both Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren and went the Darker and Edgier route, Universal Soldier: Regeneration in 2010 and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning in 2012.
  • 101 Dalmatians has almost a dozen alternate continuities.
    • Dodie Smith's Novels have Pongo married to Missus, Perdita married to Prince, Cruella being married, the Dearly’s having Two Nannies, and the two Badduns being Saul & Jasper.
    • Disney's animated film renamed the Dearly's to Radcliffe and gave them one Nanny, Missis and Perdita became one character, Cruella isn't married, and Saul is renamed Horace. This film also got an "Animated" Sequel.
    • The live-action films are closer to the animated films, however, Roger (now Dearly again) designs video games rather than compose songs, and it's set in the late 1990s rather than the 1960s.
    • The animated TV series proceeds to become a mixture of all of the above, while also being set in the U S.
    • The video game, 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue, takes place in a completely different continuity to the film it's supposedly based on, though with the "Animated" Film Style.
    • The short-lived musical is closer to the novel, but Saul is renamed Jinx, plus there is an alternate climax.
    • Both Pongo & Cruella appear in the Show; Once Upon a Time.
    • There is also the Continuity in Descendants, which has Cruella and her Son (with Tie In Books also featuring Pongo & Perdita).
    • Then, there is the Continuity of 101 Dalmatian Street which is in Canon with only the first of the "Animated" Films.
  • Dumb and Dumber has 3 continuities all stemming from the original movie.
  • The Terminator franchise has several different continuities, to such an extent that even the original film isn't exempt from this. At this point it's so convoluted that it reaches near-Highlander levels, not helped by the fact that all these sequels and reboots are essentially regurgitating the same plot repeatedly. Various explanations have been given throughout the years in order to reconcile the different timelines, usually as a result of a Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • The "original altered timestream" comprises the first four movies: The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation.
    • The Universal Studios attraction Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996) takes place after the events of T2, in an alternate continuity where Sarah and John have been conducting hit-and-run attacks against Cyberdyne for years. At the end of the attraction, John and the T-800 successfully destroy the T-1000000. Notably, this attraction was considered to be canon (according to Cameron himself) up until the release of T3.
    • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes place in an alternate continuity which splits off just after the events of T2, with John and Sarah Connor leapfrogging twenty years into the future with the help of a friendly Terminator. Apart from cannibalizing certain plot elements of T3 (Sarah's cancer, a female Terminator, Judgment Day not averted), nothing else is counted as canon from the third film.
    • T2 and T3 also have book trilogies that create yet more alternate timelines, one from each movie.
    • The RoboCop Versus The Terminator Crossover and a number of other comics make their own continuity. In particular, RoboCop's brain turns out to be the source of SkyNet. Terminator: Salvation Final Battle definitely is its own thing as well.
    • Terminator Genisys creates a complete new timeline after altering the events of the first Terminator film, erasing the "original altered timestream" mentioned above and starting over.
    • Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) is a direct sequel to The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). That's it.
  • Maleficent, despite initially being presented as a Perspective Flip to Disney's Sleeping Beauty, is this regarding the 1959 film. Particularly, the second half of the film alters much of the original's plot, with the film's Narrator outright implying that the original story is something of an In-Universe Historical Villain Upgrade. For one thing, Maleficent survives in the end.
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): Averted. This film takes place in the same universe as the games and takes pains to acknowledge the larger mythology while not causing plot issues. Also, Ubisoft liked the film's production design so much they decided to try and incorporate some, especially the redesigned Animus, into future Assassin's Creed games.
  • Batman:
  • Alien: The prequel films Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, directed by Ridley Scott, explicitly contradict the events of the two Alien vs. Predator movies.

  • Animorphs has an Alternamorphs series featured two books, The First Journey and The Next Passage. They were structured in the form of a Gamebook-type story. In the first book, the reader became part of the group that gained the morphing power from Elfangor and joined the Animorphs on their first adventure. Upon completion of this, the story continued with an adventure involving a Sario rip (rip in time). The second book involved elements from two different Animorphs stories from around the midpoint. However, the books were structured in such a way that only a single set of possibilities allowed you to continue the story. Perhaps, for this reason, the series never really caught on, has been largely forgotten, and was discontinued after the second book.
    • There's also one in Megamorphs: Back to Before, where the kids were sent back so they could go another way home instead of through the construction site where they met Elfangor. Things turn out very differently from the main series.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was loosely translated into Russian. The translator modified the story as he as saw fit. When the story became popular, he wrote a series of books based on his translation of the first Oz book. Those books went in a different direction than the Oz books written by Baum, effectively making an alternate Oz universe.
  • While The Wicked Years may technically follow some of the events in the Oz books and movies, the vast difference between it and the Oz canon makes them another continuity.
  • Dexter has so many changes in cast (anywhere from who's alive and who's dead at a given point, to who's doing what job, to the gender of Dexter's child with Rita) and storyline that it's simpler to treat the novels and the television series as Alternate Continuity with each other. Trying to reconcile the two any other way is impossible.
  • The Hardy Boys have several different continuities, as the publishers try to keep the series relevant to modern kids. There's the "Blue Spines", which is the blue hardcover books & digests (and that's broken down to the Original Texts and the rewrites of the '70s), the Casefiles, Undercover Brothers, the Clues Brothers, the new Adventures series, and the second "Case files" series which has little to do with the first. There's even three different TV continuities, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries of The '70s (the best known of the TV versions), the Mickey Mouse Club serials of the 50s, and The Hardy Boys Casefiles of the '90s.
  • The T2: Future War series (written by S.M. Sterling) disregards the events of the third film and places Sarah, John and a German resistance fighter (who evidently was/becomes the base model for the T-800/850 series) fighting T-model endoskeletons in present day America, and hide out while the Future War begins.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had the same thing with its own three book trilogy, which kept the third film events, naturally, but placed John and Kate in a different timeline than the one which led to the events of Terminator Salvation.
  • Each of the three books in the Manifold series by Stephen Baxter features three different resolutions to the Fermi Paradox.
  • The Space Odyssey Series: 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, despite their titles, take the original 2001: A Space Odyssey film (but not the original book) as canon and take place in different continuities from each other. (The first sequel formed the basis for the movie sequel to 2001, of course.)
  • Because Roald Dahl was unhappy with the first movie adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1971, he arranged that the novel's Immediate Sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (which was published in 1972) would never have a film adaptation. Most adaptations of the book into other media, such as the 2005 film of Chocolate Factory, thus end on a note of complete closure — with Charlie and his family comfortably ensconced in the factory — rather than setting up the further adventures of Great Glass Elevator and a planned third book. They also disregard the more clearly deliniated personalities Dahl gave the other grandparents in the sequel in favor of coming up with their own approaches to the characters. Thus, these are all alternate continuities.
  • Modesty Blaise has two related continuities, both written by the same author. The novels came after the comic strip, and has a different method by which Modesty and Willie start working for Tarrant. Characters are created in one continuity and show up in the other a lot (Dinah Collier and Dr. Giles Pennyfeather both originated in the books). There's a lot that can be considered part of both, but a lot that can't. Gabriel is notable for how different things are: in the comics, he escapes twice from Modesty & Willie, while in the books after their first encounter, Gabriel has obviously lost a lot of his superiority, and eventually gets killed by another villain.
  • Dick Niglet & The Shit Wizards Of Asscabin features an alternate ending to The Vagina Ass of Lucifer Niggerbastard via world jumping.
  • The five Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner novels are all an alternate take on the Digital Devil Saga series of games. Or to be more precise, what the games where originally meant to be. Even better, the games themselves are spinoffs of Shin Megami Tensei.
  • Autobiography of Red contains two modernized retellings of the story of Geryon and Herakles. In one, which is closer to the original myth, Herakles kills Geryon. In the other, he seduces him and breaks his heart.
  • The Ultima novels feature new characters and settings inspired by the main games, along with different character interpretations and personalities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stargate features no less than three separate continuities:
  • The Red Dwarf novels take place in a different continuity to the TV series, in many cases incorporating concepts from the TV series with a different spin (and vice versa). The first two novels (Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (1989) and Better Than Life (1990)) were written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor under the collective pen name Grant Naylor. After they dissolved their writing partnership, they wrote a Red Dwarf novel separately (Last Human (1995) by Naylor, and Backwards (1996) by Grant) which each acted as third novels in the series. This split the novel series into two Alternate Continuities.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles splits the Terminator franchise by taking the first two movies as backstory and almost completely ignoring the third, apart from cannibalizing certain plot elements (Sarah's cancer, a female Terminator, Judgment Day not averted). Then a fourth movie came out after the series, which has nothing to do with it and takes the third movie as canon.
    • The constant alteration of the timeline makes EVERYTHING work.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Kamen Rider: The franchise tends to weave back and for between Alternate Continuity and Shared Continuity. The Showa era (ranging from the original Kamen Rider to Black RX) were their own unified universe; Kamen Rider: Skyrider was planned to be a Continuity Reboot but plans fell through and it was tied in with the other shows. The 1990s movie trilogy of Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue, Kamen Rider ZO, and Kamen Rider J were also considered continuity reboots, but didn't go anywherenote . The Heisei Era Rider series from Kuuga to Kiva were separatenote  until Decade and the Den-O movies came out, not only creating a Shared Continuity along with the Showa Riders, but also creating Alternate Continuities for the Heisei Riders AND calling the Super Sentai franchise an Alternate Continuity to the Kamen Rider franchise.
    • Kamen Rider also has some internal examples thanks to its movies. While some avert Non-Serial Movie, others cannot be placed during the span of the original show for various issues. Kamen Rider 555 and Kamen Rider Blade have movies that ask "What If? The Bad Guy Wins?" and "What if the series ended differently?", respectively. Likewise, Kamen Rider Wars depicts another alternate version of 555's final battlenote  which seems to have been rewritten mainly to give protagonist Takumi Inui Survivor Guilt.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power doesn't share continuity with the Peter Jackson film trilogies, despite the Mythology Gags, sharing certain iconography and New Line Cinema being involved with the production. However, the differences between the show and the movies are few enough that the show can be seen as a Broad Strokes prequel to the film adaptations.
  • Even the sitcom Mama's Family is an example of this. Originally developed on the "Family" segments on The Carol Burnett Show, Eunice Higgins and her acerbic mother Thelma Harper had their story first furthered on a brief special, In this version Ed later is shown to have divorced the feisty Eunice; still later Mama has died, leaving Eunice free to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress, until she's asked to stay and tend to Aunt Fran. It was a more dramatic take on the quarrelsome Higgins and Harpers, focusing more on Eunice and her broken dreams and hopes, and Mama is more bitter then she would be on the later series.
  • RoboCop
    • Both television series split off at various points in the film continuity and base their stories on different circumstances. In 1992's RoboCop 3, the film ends with OCP ostensibly being destroyed and the Delta City project falling through its initial stage (if not outright cancelled). RoboCop: The Series follows on from RoboCop 2, and assumes that OCP has already completed the Delta City project (which was one of the underlying threats of the original film) and is having to live with the consequences, while Robo is more directly tied to OCP interests and his immediate family. RoboCop: Prime Directives (as stated by the producers) only regards the original film as canon, and assumes Robo/Murphy survived a decade in service (and his son grew up without ever seeing his father, unlike the 1994 series), while OCP never fully went through with the Delta City project, letting the city languish instead.
    • There are also at least two separate RoboCop comic continuities, and neither of them makes clear what (other than the original movie) they consider to be canonical.
  • The BBC series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was based on the novel series by Elizabeth George. While the pilot was about as close to a direct adaptation of the first book as could be expected in trimming a mammoth paperback into a three-hour, two-episode pilot, the television series made bigger and bigger alterations to the novels with every story. The second episode of the third series, A Traitor To Memory, was the last episode to be even loosely adapted from a George novel, and the show went in its own direction from that point on, making only fitful attempts to integrate later novel canon into the storyline (as they did with Helen Clyde's death). The most notable change was turning the closeness between Lynley and Havers up to eleven, to a point where a romantic relationship between the two seemed not just possible but logical, despite George's decree that they would never get together in the novels. The novels and show are now considered to be almost entirely separate entities; many Lynley/Havers shippers say that while they respect George's decision with regard to the novels, it has no bearing on the television characters.
  • This trope is one of the primary arguments against the Tommy Westphall Hypothesis that argues, based on the series finale of St. Elsewhere, that if that series was just young Tommy Westphall's dream, then any work even tangentially connected to the series occurred in the same universe and was thus also All Just a Dream. The existence of alternate continuities means that just because a character appears in two works, it does not mean that they share the same continuity.
  • Doctor Who has a number of these, many from the period between 1989 and 2005 fans have nicknamed the Wilderness Years.
    • The Movie (actually two movies) starring Peter Cushing as a Lighter and Fluffier *human* version of the Doctor literally called "Dr Who". (According to a novelization by Steven Moffat, these exist in the {{Whoniverse)) as fictional accounts of the Doctor's adventures.)
    • The Eighth Doctor (played by Paul McGann) had many off-screen adventures after he debuted in a failed Backdoor Pilot TV movie. These occurred in comics, novels and audio dramas, the latter from Big Finish Productions. For the most part, fans quietly ignore the comics and novels in favor of the audio dramas, though they could potentially all exist in the same continuity.
    • The Curse of Fatal Death'' by Steven Moffat, as the Ninth Doctor (but not the Ninth Doctor as played by Christopher Eccleston), played by Rowan Atkinson, burn through four regenerations in less than three minutes. It was a mini-story this Played for Laughs.
    • The late Wilderness Years Flash animation Scream of the Shalka, written by Paul Cornell, features a Ninth Doctor unlike the later canonical Ninth Doctor. It starred Richard E. Grant as this Doctor and had then-unknown David Tennant in a small role (because he insisted on it).
  • The 1980s Casablanca TV series is presented as a prequel to the film, but diverges from its canon by having Strasser and Heinz already present in Casablanca before the timeline of the film.
  • Hannibal: The first couple seasons contradict little from the books. They have an occasional Gender Flip and have significant plot points the books' backstory doesn't mention. Around Season 3, this trope is in full force: Will Graham takes over Clarice's role in the third book, before the plot of The Red Dragon has even happened, and Clarice doesn't seem to exist.
  • After Dallas infamously made a whole season All Just a Dream to bring Bobby Ewing Back from the Dead, its spinoff Knots Landing became this, due to the fact that Knots Landing used Bobby's death as a plot point. This rendered the spinoff incompatible that Dallas from there on in
  • The many recent shows from The New '10s based on DC comics works such as Gotham, Krypton, and Titans are set in their own universes, in contrast to the CW's Arrowverse, which sets Arrow, The Flash (2014) and Legends of Tomorrow in one shared world and Supergirl (2015) on one that regularly crosses over with them (The exception being Black Lightning, which was developed separately from the aforementioned shows and may still be connected to them somehow in the future).
  • Wonder Woman (1975): The series created some things that had never existed in the comics to that time, such as the I.A.D.C., IRAC, and most of the villains. Some were played with, such as Wonder Girl. Zig-zagged in that the series's impact on public consciousness was such that some of these elements moved from the series to the comics and have survived the test of time. Wonder Woman's transformation sequence and the, um, look that Lynda Carter brought to the part are the most notable of these.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Secret Life of Toys is a Spin-Off of The Christmas Toy, but it has Rugby, Balthasar, Mew and Ditz living in a different playroom, belonging to children named Penny and Simon instead of Jamie and Jesse, and with an otherwise different cast of toy companions (some of them Suspiciously Similar Substitutes: for example, rag doll Raisin in place of Apple and female rocking horse Hortense replacing male scooter horse Belmont).

  • In an extreme case, none of the adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are compatible. There are nine versions: the radio series, its novelizations, the TV series, the movie, the stage show, the comic, the LP albums, the computer game, and the towel. In fact Douglas Adams once said that he deliberately went out of his way to make sure that every iteration conflicted with every other iteration.
  • The first three episodes of Blake's 7: A Rebellion Reborn are a retelling of Series 1. While the basic outcomes and characterisation remain more or less the same (Blake is sent to Cygnus, then escapes on the Liberator), there are major changes to the setting and science fiction elements. Chief among these is the elimination of the teleport, which is replaced by a shuttle as budget is no longer a restriction, and the placement of the series in the 2200s (assuming Federation history is to be trusted, Blake's 7 had 700-year-old pioneer ships).
  • Journey into Space: The standalone instalments produced take place in different continuities from each other:
    • In The Return from Mars, the Discovery is caught in a time warp after leaving Mars at the end of The World in Peril and eventually returns to Earth in 2026, decades after they left.
    • In Frozen in Time, the Ares, crewed by Jet, Lemmy, Doc and Mitch, left Earth on June 8, 1973 and began a mission of exploration around The Solar System.
    • The Host also takes place in a different continuity from the original series. The Ares was launched approximately 100 years later, at some point between 2071 and 2079.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The RPG of The Dresden Files is, for the most part, set in the same continuity of the books, but the conceit of the books (that Billy is writing it at Harry's behest to educate muggles about the supernatural) requires that Billy learn things that Dresden wouldn't tell anyone in the continuity of the books.
  • When the Star Fleet Battles game was established in 1979, it was based on the entirety of Star Trek canon that existed at the time, which is to say the original series, the animated series, and an assortment of Fan Fiction. As the canon expanded and matured over the decades, the result was that SFB, which only had a license for said pre-1979 canon, came to be an Alternate Continuity where the movies and spinoff series are disregarded.

    Theme Parks 
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal's Islands of Adventure, despite being based heavily on the 2005 film, is set in a different continuity where the existence of Skull Island is made public years before the film took place, which eventually leads to an expedition of the island being set up and broadcast to the world.
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues can be considered this for the general Star Wars canon. It was initially set to take place between the prequel and original trilogies, but, as, of 2015, guests receive help from Finn and BB-8 and fly around the wrecked Imperial Star Destroyers on Jakku. Never mind the fact that C3P0 and R2D2 are working for a travel agency. It's not really meant to be taken seriously as a canonical ride, as opposed to its predecessor, the original Star Tours.
    • In fact, this can be applied to most Disney Theme Parks rides that are based off a pre-existing property but don't necessarily tell the story of that property, or when meeting characters that wouldn't really fit in the area you find them (such as Mary Poppins and Bert in Main Street, USA - a small town based on Walt's childhood in Missouri).

  • Transformers has had this since day 1; while Marvel's original cartoon and comic from 1984 share the same characters, setting, and premise, they tell completely different and irreconcilable stories, and new continuities keep sprouting to the extent that fans group them into higher-order sets to make sense of it all. Hasbro at one point canonized this with the concept of a universal stream, groups of universes that more or less correspond to the existing franchises (and also include GoBots and Robotix)... and then apparently de-canonized with with the launch of the Prime franchise, apparently because alternate universes were confusing and boring.
    • Possibly re-canonized - Unicron, Primus and the big Thirteen are back in as we know and love them (With some minor changes to specifics). In fact, it's the only mainline series to address the Thirteen (they as a group were thus far confined to collector's club exclusive comics, though a couple of existing characters were revealed to be in their ranks.)
      • The stance until recently was that universal streams and the multiverse and all that are untouched, but things in the current version of the franchise are not part of or connected to any of it. (This is problematic due to a few places where they do intersect, most notably the Rise of the Dark Spark video game, and subject to change). One suspects they did this mainly to get around the issue of "multiversal singularities", especially where the Thirteen (and Alpha Trion in particular) were concerned.note  That stance has since changed, and the current incarnation of the franchise is now treated as part of the multiverse that was blocked off from the rest until recently, according to the new version of "Ask Vector Prime" due to the fact that despite Hasbro saying that the Aligned universe was unconnected, both Fun Publications' comics and Transformers Regeneration One having Aligned characters make cameos..
    • Before the release of the Beast Wars cartoon, the first wave of toys implied that the series was merely a continuation of the traditional Autobot/Decepticon war under the new faction names of Maximals and Predacons. The bio of Optimus Primal's bat form, for example, mentions he once had a tractor-trailer mode, implying Primal is actually Optimus Prime. Furthermore, there were references in the bios to contemporary Earth, such as Tarantulas hunting people in the cities of Earth. After the release of the cartoon, the following toy bios followed the status quo established by said cartoon, leaving the original toy bios an alternate continuity.
  • Monster High:
    • The franchise itself has several continuities: the doll's diaries, the cartoon series, and the novel series by Lisi Harrison. The diaries and the webisodes seem to follow the same plot line, and there is some debate over whether the TV specials are part of the same continuity as the webisodes. The novels, meanwhile, follow a completely different story.
    • Generation 3 seems to have two separate continuities between the live-action movie and accompanying TV series. Although both have some similarities such as Clawdeen becoming the main focus and is half human, Draculaura learning witchcraft, and Frankie being reimagined as nonbinary, two major differences from both are Clawdeen trying to get into Monster High in the series while she was already accepted to it in the movie, and Draculaura's witchcraft being kept secret from most other monsters despite said talent being exposed in the movie.
  • Every My Little Pony generation takes place in an Alternate Continuity from the others before it. G1 in particular had many AUs - My Little Pony Tales, the toys, My Little Pony 'n Friends, the different books, and the British comics.
    • The G3 cartoons take place in a vastly different continuity from the books. The books may be meant to be in the toy continuity.
    • On top of that, G3 and G3.5 are hard to reconcile. They did way more than change the animation style; Rainbow Dash gets not just a new actress but completely different way of speaking to the point of not seeming like the same character at all, and Cheerilee has gone from the leader of Unicornia to an apparently teenage earth pony from Ponyville with a sister who never existed before (and she too gets a new VA.) The main team contains a unicorn and a pegasus where before the three races lived in separate cities; if we take the "Newborn Cuties" web shorts into account, they've all known each other from the time they were were babies; they even got to watch Sweetie Belle being created. This is naturally at odds with not knowing about unicorns until Rarity accidentally teleported herself into Ponyville, or about pegasi until Star Catcher became very good friends with Skywishes and they eventually talked the somewhat xenophobic pegasi into coming out of the shadows. If you treat it as an alternate continuity, and say that Pinkie Pie's being unchanged - make no mistake, she's the only returning character who is unchanged - is a Mythology Gag similar to Peter Cullen playing Optimus Prime in G1, the film series, and Prime despite those series clearly being unconnected, suddenly it all makes sense.
    • My Little Pony (Generation 4) takes place in yet another continuity, though it contains a few Mythology Gags to prior generations, especially G1. To what degree the comic fits in is unknown; it ties in to show events quite well at times but also has some contradictory elements.
  • The 1998-2002 version of the Furby toy came from Furbyland, while the 2005-2007 version of the Furby came from Furby Island. There was even a TV special called Furby Island that aired on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2005, where a family discovers the island.
  • BIONICLE has two official continuities:
    • Generation 1, which ran from 2001 - 2011.
    • Generation 2, which ran from 2015 - 2016. Gen 2 contained multiple Easter Eggs which implied a connection to Gen 1 in some way via the Mask of Time, but it was Cut Short before this connection could be confirmed or denied.

    Visual Novels 
  • Giant spoiler warning for Ever17 to the extent if you know this ahead of time, story is ruined for you. Subverted. All events of the original four paths actually happen plus some stuff they leave out to avoid ruining the climax. They're tied together by happening on two different points in the timeline plus an attempted fix so that the ending would be less bittersweet/downer, depending on the route.

    Web Animation 
  • The precursors to Battle for Dream Island are a set of comics created by Cary Huang from mid 2008 to mid 2009 known as Total Firey Island and Firey Comics, which are in their own separate continuity completely independent of BFDI. Even so, Firey Comics establishes the personalities of many of the characters from BFDI, and some of the challenges from TFI would later be repurposed for BFDI. Firey Comics can be found here, here and here, while Total Firey Island can be found here.
  • According to Word of God, each Bunnykill installment takes place in a continuity separate from the others.
  • Doctor Who web animations:
    • The line often taken with Death Comes to Time is that it takes place in another continuity, due to Time Lords being Reality Warpers instead of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and the 7th Doctor dying. Though some use this to consider the TV Movie and New Who non-canon.
    • The next web animation, Scream of the Shalka, was originally a story to celebrate the 40th anniversary with Richard E. Grant as the official Ninth Doctor. However the revival of the series meant it went into non-canon status and so is now considered alternate continuity.
  • Emesis Blue follows a similar but not exactly identical continuity to the original Team Fortress 2 continuity. Of note, both Redmond and Blutarch Mann die during Jules Archibald's funeral, the circumstances behind their deaths being different to how they die in canon. In addition, Conagher Slaughterhouse is based on the RED side of 2Fort, but the BLU side isn't present, meaning that at least in this continuity 2Fort as we know it in TF2 does not exist.
  • I.CINNAMOROLL, a web series made by Sanrio, takes place in a timeline where Cinnamoroll never met Anna and became the face of Cafe Cinnamon. As such, none of his friends (with Milk being the only exception) are shown or mentioned in media involving this timeline, and Cinnamoroll is shown to be noticeably more mature compared to the Cinnamoroll from the original timeline. The shorts focus on a Slice of Life style featuring him.
  • Lobo (Webseries) R-rated and raunchy feel diverts away from the Lighter and Softer DCAU.
  • RWBY Chibi is a spin-off of RWBY where the characters are Super-Deformed versions of themselves taking part in non-canonical comedic antics set sometime before the events of RWBY Volume 3, when everything suddenly became much darker and higher-stakes. Chibi was born out of a stated desire by the creators and FNDM to keep the lighthearted hijinks and comedy elements that had defined much of the show's identity in the earliest Volumes.
  • Shrapnel: The figurine review series takes place in a version of the Shrapnel universe that breaks the fourth wall left, right, and center to look at and review figures and toys from a variety of different series/franchises, with Shrapnel characters as the hosts.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers: All of it pretty much screams "Different Universe" in this series. The Lawsuit arc centers around this.

  • Crimson Latex was cancelled, but all the characters were later re-used for Collar 6.
  • Ultima-Java originally had a multiverse, however since January 2010, the concept of a multiverse has been removed. However the pre-reboot continuity titled Universe 2, is still considered an alternate continuity to the main comic Ultima-Java: History.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Though the comic has rarely touched upon some of the more interesting stories, presumably out of suspense. One arguable point is that the author has complaints about things that didn't make sense in the original story. Now, despite having alternate universes be the ultimate fan fiction tool, Universe 3 is strange. In this universe, Bardock gets his psychic powers in a different method and leads a successful rebellion against Frieza.

    Web Original 
  • Before Your Eyes is this for The Confessions of Dorian Gray, since Dorian gets an implied Age Lift and it's unclear how the short fits into the Confessions timeline.
  • The rebooted Darwin's Soldiers RP on Furtopia (not the first incarnation) takes place in a different continuity than the trilogy and the original first RP. In turn, the trilogy is a different continuity than Furtopia RPs.
  • The Reset Button is applied to the Neurotically Yours comic and now shows what the life of Germaine is like if she focused on getting a job and improving her life instead of staying in expensive city doing nothing but poetry.
  • Red Panda Adventures — The original "Panda Squadron" series. It's a much hammier, wackier version featuring the Red Panda as an agent if the Canadian government fighting the Nazis. It crosses over with the main continuity in the episode "The World Next Door", when the Squadron's Baboon McSmoothie comes to the main universe to get an item necessary to fight the Nazis in his universe.
  • TekkitLive places some of the primary cast members of SMPLive into a Schizo Tech world with nuclear weaponry, cannons, computers, and more. This leads to some drastically different character traits compared to the main server.
  • Trinton Chronicles has three so far since 1999, and rumor states may end up with a 4th.
  • Unwanted Houseguest: The comic book series is this. The first issue establishes Aberfoyle Manor as in a town, while the Youtube series sets it in the middle of the woods in an Eldritch Location.

    Western Animation 
  • Due to just how long the series has run (100 years as of 2019), the Felix the Cat franchise has several different continuities in it:
    • The Silent Era Felix, which is unmistakably set in a surreal, comedic caricature of 1920's urban culture, with some fairy tale and fantasy elements sandwiched in. Felix is portrayed as a nomadic Anti-Hero who acts on his own in the bulk of these cartoons, with recurring side characters being kept minimal and only sporadically appearing. The newspaper comics and comic books are all derived from this era, but there is an overlapping period between them and the Oriolo Felix due to Joe Oriolo taking over the art and writing chores for them around 1954 and running them up to the early 60's.
    • The very short lived Van Beuren Era Felix, which is set in Disney-esque, pure fairy tale settings with little of the surrealism and absolutely none of the urban nature of the Silent era shorts. This Felix is portrayed as a meek little kid who gets overwhelmed by large casts of oneshot characters.
    • The Joe Oriolo (and later, Don Oriolo) Era Felix (sometimes referred to as the Trans-Lux Felix), the longest running and most well known incarnation of the series. This era has such a different art style, tone, and set of characters and locales from the Silent cartoons that the only thing that ties them together is that they both star Felix the Cat, and even then, the Oriolo Felix has a considerably different personality than the Silent era Felix. Felix occasionally gets to use his surreal abilities from the silent cartoons (such as detaching his tail to use it as a disguise in "The Magic Bag", and morphing it into a fist to punch back arrows in "Felix Out West") but they're downplayed in favor of using the benefits offered by the Magic Bag of Tricks, which was introduced in this series. The Movie and Baby Felix & Friends are also set in this continuity.
    • The Twisted Tales of Felix series, which attempts to be an amalgam of the Silent and Oriolo eras of the series, being a retro cartoon throwback to the original Felix cartoons, as well as cartoons of the 1930s, such as those by Fleischer Studios.
    • The Betty Boop & Felix newspaper comics, where Felix acts as a normal, non speaking house pet to Betty Boop, basically replacing Pudgy the dog from Betty's own cartoons.
    • And then you have the oddity that is Felix the Cat Live!, a very obscure live-action TV show which has no ties to any of the previous continuities, and portrays Felix the Cat in live action costume.
  • Transformers, to the point where even dedicated fans still can't really keep track without a map. This is compounded by the companies responsible for the franchise in the US and Japan actually disagreeing on continuity - Transformers: Cybertron (known as Galaxy Force in Japan), for instance, is a standalone series according to Takara, but Hasbro considers it to be in continuity with the previous two franchises in the "Unicron Trilogy"; Transformers: Armada aka Micron Legend and Transformers: Energon aka Super Link. Many toy design elements make it clear that this was the original intent, but that the Japanese makers of the animated series took it upon themselves to declare it a standalone continuity, requiring some awkward redubbing in the American version to link it back to the Trilogy.
    • The problem is also compounded by Takara attempting to stuff everything (bar the Unicron Trilogy and Transformers: Animated) into the Generation 1 universe.
    • Takara later retconned Cybertron back into being a sequel to Arm/Ene. This doesn't eliminate the snarl due to the Galaxy Force characters, who were different folks in Japan, having different names even if they have the same jobs and head designs, as well as incompatible histories for the ones with the same names without the glue seen in Cybertron. Merging them... does this mean Doubleface and Noisemaze are now the one Sideways seen in US continuity? What about Convoy and Galaxy Convoy? Megatron and Master Megatron? And how is Starscream back?
    • Transformers: Animated is off on its own continuity. In Japan, Word Of God places it in movie continuity, with Bulkhead renamed Ironhide (yes, Animated Ironhide did appear. He's now Armorhide.) but nothing else was changed, to the point of making the connections an Informed Attribute that really doesn't hold any water.
    • The multiple incarnations of the Generation 1 universe in the comics.
    • And all the children's books. (And even the children's books weren't afraid to take what they liked of past installments and leave the rest. Sometimes the 'cons pop up in the same drill vehicle five minutes after they used it to escape last time; sometimes Jetfire is just fine after getting a Family-Unfriendly Death. You can surely bet we never hear about the whole "thousands of human slaves go 'squish'" thing again.)
    • And the Armada/discontinued Energon comic. And the other Armada comic, from the UK.
      • The snarl of continuities is enough to require classification within the work itself. According to the best in-universe sources (the Transformers: TransTech continuity, which acts as the de facto hub of the Transformers multiverse) there are at at least 15,962,782 cataloged "universal streams" (read: alternate continuities) known to exist, with 1,176,325 of those having "come to termination". Those are just the ones that they know of- the actual number is undoubtedly much larger than this.
  • ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks: In "Family Spirit", Dave states he met The Chipmunks seven years ago, cancelling out the events of the earlier series.
  • Word of God is that the Madagascar films and the spin–off TV series The Penguins of Madagascar are in alternate continuities.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has had so many continuities that in the Turtles Forever special, they made it so that every continuity was actually an Alternate Universe in a TMNT Multiverse.
  • The 2015 episodes of Golan the Insatiable are set in a different timeline than in the 2013-2014 episodes.
  • ThunderCats has Thunder Cats 2011
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven has a TV series that is completely different from both movies. It takes place in the time of the second movie, but Killer, a character from the first movie, is in it.
  • The Emperor's New School, the spin-off to The Emperor's New Groove, retcons Kuzco's Character Development from an egotistical Jerkass, and has Kronk still working with Yzma, who has the Paper-Thin Disguise of Principal Amzy.
  • The Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Ben 10,000 Returns" states that all the movies, video games, alternate futures, and What If? episodes are all alternate timelines.
  • Xiaolin Chronicles. With different characterizations (one example out of many in the show would be Wuya being trapped in a slinky instead of a puzzle box like in the first show), Raimundo not being the leader of the monks (and apparently never was here), the names of the Shen Gong Wu being different, Dojo's new design, the show seems to be heading in this direction.
  • Cartoons based on movies like Beetlejuice and Jumanji: The Animated Series seem to be in their own continuities rather than following the movies they were based on. Alienators: Evolution Continues is the one that follows the film it was based on.
  • The Real Ghostbusters is a special case, as the episode "Citizen Ghost" confirms it takes place after the first movie, but "Take Two" reveals that said movie (starring the same cast) exists in their world, as well, so any discrepancies between the cartoon and the film can be explained as artistic license taken when the film was made in the cartoon continuity. This would explain why the series didn't portray them as bankrupt pariahs like they were in the beginning of Ghostbusters II.
  • The Rainbow Magic movie ignores everything that happened after the first series of books except the girls getting the fairy lockets.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is set in an alternate continuity from previous shows and movies. However, in the finale, an Alternate Timeline is created, and it's heavily implied that the original continuity happened in this timeline.
  • The Timothy Goes to School TV series has two different alternate continuities in picture books. The Yoko and Friends beginning reader books have many of the same characters, but cast Yoko in central role and eliminate at least a couple of the characters, including Lilly. Certain stories are versions of the TV episodes, but cast different characters in the main roles and have other variations. The Yoko picture books go even further. Mrs. Jenkins is still the teacher, but most of the other major characters from the TV series are absent and Yoko's mother is depicted differently. For example, in the TV show, she reluctantly allows Yoko to bring special toys to school, only for bad stuff to happen to them. In the Yoko's Show-and-Tell picture book, her mother disallows her to bring a special toy to school, but she disobeys and it gets wrecked and has to go to a doll hospital.
  • The Boondocks television series is an alternate continuity to the newspaper comic strip it's based on. The characters' personalities are tweaked a bit, a lot of new characters are introduced; and Michael Ceasar, a main character in the comic strip, is even Adapted Out.
  • The book Charming Opal and the animated television story "Opal's Looth Tooth" from the Toot & Puddle series tell rather different stories of Opal losing her first tooth. In the book, Opal loses her tooth when she, Toot and Puddle are playing at Pocket Pond and Toot has to find it at the bottom of the pond. Then, later, Puddle dresses as the tooth fairy to leave a quarter under Opal's pillow. The animated story focuses mainly on Opal's worries about her loose tooth, i.e. "What if it never comes out?", "What if I lose it?", "What if a new tooth never grows?", etc. She finally ends up losing it in a piece of bread at dinner, then the group hurries to go to bed so that the tooth fairy can come. Opal wakes up the next morning, happy to find her quarter.
  • World of Winx is clearly this to Winx Club.
  • Total DramaRama is an alternate continuity to Total Drama in which the teens are now preschoolers and are all attending the same daycare.
  • Teen Titans Go! serves as the alternate reality to the original Teen Titans series from 2003.
  • It's possible that the live-action Fairly Oddparents TV Movies are this in regards to the series itself, seeing as they go on a totally different tangent then what the ending to Channel Chasers did, instead having Timmy choose to live his life exactly as he did as a kid in order to keep Cosmo and Wanda forever. In addition, Poof still can't say anything other than his name (in an episode that aired shortly before A Fairly Odd Summer, he learned to talk), Sparky isn't so much as mentioned (even in A Fairly Odd Summer, which debuted long after Sparky was introduced to the series), and the live-action movies treat Tootie as the only potential love interest Timmy ever had (Trixie, for instance, isn't even mentioned in them), among other things.
    • With Season 10 introducing a new character that Timmy has to share Cosmo and Wanda with, it's even possible that ALL the movies are now alternate continuity.
  • Similar to the Ghostbusters case above, Men in Black: The Series is an Alternate Continuity from the movies. The movie actually exists in this universe and is the story of the MIB leaked by the Worms using a human suit and the name of Lowell Cunningham. The series even mentions Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the actors playing K and L and shows them (in very accurate cartoon versions) on camera.
  • The short-lived RoboCop: The Animated Series depicted an even more-futuristic and hi-tech Detroit than RoboCop (1987) and, as shown in the finale, a still-living Clarence Boddicker.
  • Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Justice League exist in the same continuity. Young Justice (2010) and the various films are all separate continuities.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation: The show is set in a timeline that combines elements from both the original 1983 cartoon and the 2002 cartoon with some characters being Race Lifted and others having different characterizations than the original 80s show.
  • Tak and the Power of Juju (2007) is evidently a different continuity from the original video games, as the games' main villain Tlaloc (renamed "Traloc") only appears in one episode (which is established to be his first meeting with Tak) and the Origins Episode special "Destiny Schmestiny" is completely incompatible with Tak's backstory as established in the first game.
  • The educational film series Language Arts Through Imagination seems to be this to the original Journey into Imagination ride as Dreamfinder does not appear at all; Figment is the only one teaching the live action kids the role imagination plays in putting language arts related concepts into practice.
  • The Cuphead Show! appears to be set in a continuity separate from that of the game it's based on. The first episode is more or less an alternate take on how Cuphead's soul became indebted to the Devil, with a carnival instead of a casino, and King Dice's relationship with the Devil is more one-sided than it was in the game. By the end of the series though, The Devil's casino does show up and Cuphead goes right into it with Mugman trying to stop him, but it still different from the games as Ms. Chalice is already part of their group rather than joining in later.
  • The three shows in the Kung Fu Panda franchise are treated as this when it comes to the films themselves, while the shows acknowledges the events of the movies, the movies ignore the events depicted in the series, such as the Legend of Awesomeness episode "Enter the Dragon" featuring Po master chi, while the third movie ignores this and treats the events of the movie as the first time Po masters chi. Meanwhile in The Paws of Destiny and The Dragon Knight has Po go from the Dragon Warrior to the Dragon Master, yet the fourth film still refers him as the Dragon Warrior despite getting a new rank in-between the events of 3 and 4 and the overall plot of the film is that Po having to give up his title as the Dragon Warrior in order to became the spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace.

Alternative Title(s): Alternative Continuity, Alternate Continuities