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Canon Marches On

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One day, someone decides to create a work of fiction which turns out to be a huge success. To cash in on its success, numerous spinoffs and licensed material might be produced that are centered on that particular work, with many of them claiming to be canonical with the original work.

But then from out of nowhere, the creator decides to produce their official follow-up which flat-out contradicts what happened in the spinoff material. Looks like the writer of that one tie-in book was too hasty with killing that seemingly unimportant character. Or they incorrectly predicted how the aftermath of the original story would turn out. Alternatively, spin-offs or other additional material created for an on-going Long Runner is eventually contradicted when the original work visits the same subject. In the case of an anime contradicting the on-going manga it's adapting, it's common for the anime to outright ignore their version and pretend it never happened.

This usually happens because the creator is unaware of the spinoff material (after all, it may have faded into obscurity during the Sequel Gap) or because they have deliberately chosen to retcon the spinoff out of existence, or there was simply miscommunication between the creator and the tie-in writers. When it comes to fandom if this happens, at best it'll just be considered an Alternate Continuity. Avoiding this trope is often the reason why Filler material has so little substance to it.

See also Overtook the Manga. This may result in Canon Foreigner.

Compare Series Continuity Error, where two or more installments of the same branch of a franchise unintentionally contradict each other. See also Early-Installment Weirdness and Continuity Snarl. Often results in Characterization Marches On when a character from the original work ends up behaving differently in the followup than they are depicted in the spinoffs. Not to be confused with Schrödinger's Canon, where there's still a chance that the spin-off in question might be considered canonical. The Fanon counterpart to this trope is Outdated by Canon, and for mere fan theories it's Jossed.

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Other examples:

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    Multiple Media 
  • Any portrayal of the Space Jockeys (now known as Engineers) in the Alien, Predator, or Alien vs. Predator expanded universe prior to the release of Prometheus is guaranteed to fall under this trope, such as the Xenomorph-Space Jockey hybrid in the comic Aliens: Apocalypse and in the game Aliens: Infestation.
  • Given that Incredibles 2 leads off with fighting and defeating the Underminer and then goes into Helen becoming family breadwinner and Bob adapting to being a House Husband, I2 ignores the comic adaptation and the Rise of the Underminer game in favor of only needing the audience to be familiar with the previous film (and, optionally, its spin-off, Jack-Jack Attack).
  • The Mortal Kombat comics by Malibu depicts Noob Saibot as a separate entity from the original Sub-Zero, who unlike the games, survives the first tournament and doesn't die until the second one. The true identity of Noob Saibot as the original Sub-Zero was not established in the games themselves until Mortal Kombat: Deception. Furthermore, the live-action TV series Mortal Kombat: Conquest took it even further by having Noob Saibot as an Outworld warrior who co-existed alongside Sub-Zero's ancestor during the Great Kung Lao's lifetime, which would make him over hundreds of years old during the present time of the games.
  • The original Star Wars Expanded Universe (now known as Star Wars Legends) was loaded with decades of comic books, video games, TV shows, etc. that sometimes contradicted each other and the movies themselves in some way, contributing to Disney's decision to de-canonize much of it and rebuild the EU more or less from the ground up following their acquisition of Lucasfilm.
    • A great example is the first piece of EU/Legends fiction, the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which was published between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It was intended as a possible TV Movie canonical sequel by Lucas in the event that A New Hope didn't pan out. Amongst other things, Luke and Leia are implied to have a budding romantic/sexual relationship, and Luke is portrayed as a Lovable Rogue with a knack for lying.
    • George Lucas tried to prevent this with the Clone Wars by forbidding any direct depictions/discussions of it in EU works, having always intended to tell that particular story himself eventually. It didn't entirely work; while there were only vague allusions made prior to the release of Attack of the Clones, it is clear that a lot of the writers of those allusions assumed that the Clone Wars entailed the Jedi and Republic fighting an evil army of clones, rather than fighting alongside a heroic army of clones. Most notable in this regard is The Thrawn Trilogy, which not only makes this flub, but also contains some other tidbits that ended up being cut or reworked in later stories, such as Coruscant not being a City Planet or Darth Vader having lost his right arm as punishment for the Death Star's destruction.
    • The Rise of Skywalker ignores Poe having encountered jumptroopers earlier in Star Wars: Poe Dameron and Luke's X-Wing being non-operational in The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary. The reveal that Snoke is an artificial "strandcast" created on Exegol during the time of the Empire ignores the novelization of The Force Awakens claiming that Snoke witnessed the rise and fall of the Empire.

    Anime & Manga 
  • A lot of the Filler in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z that tried to expand on the lore of the setting eventually got invalidated as the manga and overall Dragon Ball franchise continued along:
    • The earliest example is a Red Ribbon Army episode where Master Roshi recounts the legend of the Dragon Balls that explains their origin (they were originally one enormous wish-granting gem that, after years of greedy pillaging to obtain it, were split into the seven balls by the Dragon God). A year and a half later Toriyama would introduce his own backstory with the Guardian of Earth, Kami (God) as their creator.
    • Another Red Ribbon example is Dr. Frappe, who is introduced in the anime as the creator of Android #8. Four and a half years later Akira Toriyama brought the Android line back and introduced their creator, Dr. Gero, disregarding Dr. Frappe entirely.
    • During Gohan's training in the Saiyan Arc, Gohan goes wild and attacks Piccolo thanks to subconscious commands sent from Goku's Saiyan pod, so Piccolo obliterates it. Only a month later, the manga would have Goku use this pod as the basis for a spaceship that takes him to Namek.
    • During Goku's training with King Kai in the same arc, he's told the full story about the death of the Saiyans: their homeworld's destruction by a meteor was in fact a karmic act by the planet's Guardian. Three months later, the manga would contradict this by explaining that new villain Frieza had destroyed it himself for entirely selfish reasons, and that the original chance meteor story was a lie of his to keep the surviving Saiyans loyal to him.
    • After the new Frieza destruction backstory was revealed, Toei made a TV special depicting the last stand of Goku's father Bardock as he realizes Frieza will destroy it, which Toriyama liked enough to give Bardock a cameo in the manga when Goku finally met Frieza. This would be contradicted by Dragon Ball Minus chapter in Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, with Toriyama giving these events a different take where Goku is sent away deliberately and Bardock is a softer character. This would be solidified in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which incorporates Minus as part of the opening backstory scene.
    • King Kai's exposition also explained that the Saiyans were cavemen who settled on planet Plant and renamed it after their king Vegeta, with Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans and Dragon Ball GT elaborating that they slaughtered the native Tsufuru/Tuffle people and seized their technology in the process. This would later be overwritten by Dragon Ball Super, establishing that the Saiyans were always on their homeworld (originally named Sadala) with no Tsufruians, and remained somewhat primitive. The Broly movie also suggests that King Cold took them into his service three generations before Frieza destroyed the planet, rather than Frieza himself doing this just one generation earlier.
    • Speaking of Broly, while his three movies could comfortably fit into the original story even today, in 2018 Dragon Ball Super: Broly would come out that completely reinvents his characterization and his first meeting with Goku and Vegeta, which now takes place much later as an unambiguously canonical story.
  • Like Dragon Ball above, Filler in Naruto that took a stab at (at the time) underveloped lore ended up being invalidated by the manga's later developments.
    • The antagonists of the Search for the Bikouchu arc are trio of Iwa ninja siblings in their mid-to-late thirties who are stated to be the grandkids of the First Tsuchikage, and use jutsu based on bees which they learned from him. Much later, the Kage Summit arc of the manga introduced Onoki, the Third Tsuchikage, a man in his late seventies who is also the First Tsuchikage's grandson. The manga also featured some flashbacks to the time of the First Tsuchikage, and there's nothing that suggests that he used Bee-related ninjutsu.
    • Naruto went on many missions with Shino during Part I Filler. However, during the Hunt for Itachi Arc in Part II, Shino said that he had never gone on a mission with Naruto before this one.
  • The anime adaptation of Saint Seiya introduced several elements that contradicted the Manga. The most noteworthy example would be Hyoga's master. The anime introduced a Canon Foreigner called the Crystal Saint as his master, only for the manga to reveal that it was actually Aquarius Camus. The Anime tried to patch this over stating the Camus was the master of Crystal Saint.
  • Gundam:
    • Yoshiyuki Tomino wrote a novel called Gaia Gear, which operates on the assumption that nothing of relevance happened for nearly 200 years following the events of Char's Counterattack. Needless to say, several sequels like Gundam F91 and V Gundam were produced (some of them with Tomino's involvement) which contradict this, and while Gaia Gear hasn't officially stricken from canonicity there's no way it can fit into the timeline anymore.
    • The gap between Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn was originally filled in by an interquel duology consisting of the manga titles Across the Sky and Last Sun. Their primary connection to the main animated series is the presence of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 03 Phenex, the third Unicorn unit that was lost after its NT-D system went haywire and caused the suit to run off to unknown regions. However, Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative, released after the two manga series, contradict their events in the way the Phenex is characterized; while Last Sun portrays it as a bloodthirsty monster, Narrative (itself an adaptation of the final chapter in Unicorn that the original anime did not cover) reveals it contains the uploaded consciousness of Newtype Rita Bernal, who is a Nice Girl that would never willingly attempt to hurt or kill another human.
  • Girls und Panzer has the Ribbon Warrior manga spinoff which began prior to the release of Der Film and Das Finale. As a result, the manga has several divergence with the main storyline, especially in regards to how BC Freedom High School was handled.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Emiri Kimidori's Image Song, which was released after the first season of the anime aired but before the tenth volume of the original light novel series, paints her as someone who wants to connect with humans and make friends but can't due to being a humanoid interface. However, the tenth volume reveals that she's actually largely indifferent to humanity and refuses to do anything that isn't ordered by the Entity, not even when her fellow interface Yuki's personal safety is at risk.
  • One Piece: The anime adaptation uses a lot of Filler and extends scenes in order to pad out the runtime in order to prevent it from overtaking the manga. However, some of these filler scenes and extra-canonical story arcs contradict later plot revelations.
    • The Warship Island story arc, the first filler arc in the anime, the Straw Hats encounter a species of dragon, but this contradicts the Thriller Bark Arc where Zoro expressly says he doesn't believe in dragons, and the Punk Hazard Arc, where the Straw Hats canonically encounter dragons (artificially created by genetic engineering) and exclaim with shock that they can't believe dragons are real.
    • The anime-only G8 arc introduced the Vice Admiral Jonathan, who is one of the most laid-back and reasonable Marine officers seen so far, even offering unconditional clemency to all the Straw Hat members without a bounty (at the time), something no other Marine has ever offered any pirate. It's mentioned Jonathan is the protégé of Admiral Akainu. This was when only the names of the Admirals had been revealed, so it clashes heavily with how Akainu is actually portrayed, an incredibly vicious General Ripper introduced killing a thousand innocent people on the off-chance one criminal might have been among them, killed Marines for not continuing to kill pirates in the midst of battle, and once got into a death match with a fellow Admiral who disagreed with his brand of "Justice". The idea of someone like Jonathan being his protégé is almost unthinkable.
    • A filler episode of the Davy Fight Back Arc had Chopper use two Rumble Balls within a short period of each other. This contradicts a later reveal in the Enies Lobby Arc where it's shown that consuming more than one Rumble Ball within six hours of the first causes Chopper to lose control of his transformations, a consequence not shown in this earlier filler episode.
    • The 4Kids dub excised the Laboon Arc, editing the footage to make the whale into a giant iceberg that Luffy casually blasts out of the way with one of the Going Merry's cannons. The reason for this modification isn't clear, but had the dub continued into the Thriller Bark Arc, it would've caused a very significant plot hole, as they meet a man who has a very plot-significant bond with that whale.
    • The anime added an additional scene to Hody Jone's backstory in the Fishman Island arc, showing human slave traders kidnapping one of his friends and beating him and the rest up for trying to stop them. This directly contradicts a major twist later in the story arc, where it's revealed that humans never did anything to Hody, his hatred of them is completely secondhand, due to the bad environment of the district in which he had grown up.
  • In the DEATH BATTLE! episode "Zuko VS Shoto Todoroki", Boomstick is grossed out as he describes the Arranged Marriage between Endeavor and Rei, claiming that Endeavor "popped out kids until he got the right Quirk combo", which implies that Shoto is a Child by Rape. Chapters released after this episode reveal that at first, Endeavor and Rei truly loved each other, and the relationship only turned abusive after Shoto's birth, disproving the theory that Endeavor raped his wife.

    Comic Books 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): Effort was made to keep the comic stories and events in line with the canon of the animated series — according to the comic artist Andy Price, the "comics are canonical until [the] show contradicts [them]" according to Hasbro — and most that fans would point out were just minor details that could be glossed over. However, the show contradicting the comics is something that has happened fairly often, overriding both stories as a whole and important details of other ones.
    • My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic: The Dazzlings issue covers their backstory and how they came into the human world to be the villains of Rainbow Rocks. However, in the seventh season, a different and incompatible account of how this happened is shown and scrubs away the comic's canon.
    • "Reflections": The story's setup involves Celestia and Starswirl having adventured to parallel realities in the wake of Nightmare Moon's banishment by using the magical mirrors Starswirl had created, until Celestia fell in love with an alternate version of Sombra and Starswirl closed off the mirrors to prevent excessive cross-universe entanglements. The Season 7 finale, "Shadow Play", however establishes that Starswirl had vanished when Luna and Celestia were still children and before they became the rulers of Equestria, requiring him to have been long gone when Luna became Nightmare Moon and making it impossible for him to have played the central part he did in the comic's backstory.
    • "Siege of the Crystal Empire" has the return of King Sombra, who was supposedly killed off at the start of season three. The writers of the comic assumed the TV writers were done with him, and so brought him back with both a backstory in the aforementioned "Fiendship is Magic" mini-series as well as resurrecting him for the arc. Fast forward a few years to the show's final season and Sombra is revived at the start of the season and acts as the villain for the first two episodes, completely ignoring the comic's story.
  • Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens introduces Canon Foreigner Keila, who is a vampire like Marceline. Later down the line, Adventure Time's "Stakes" arc would establish Marceline as the last and only vampire in Ooo.

    Fan Works 
  • As a general rule, any fan works that were made when a series was in its infancy tend to have this happen to them, as fans can't always predict how canon will handle particular subjects.
  • The Infinite Loops has a handy explanation for this: expansions and variant loops. See, the unknown disaster that caused the loops forced most of the multiverse to re-start from backups — i.e. their media in our world. Because of this, anything that isn't explicitly stated in canonicity varies from loop to loop (i.e. the Walled Kingdom shifted locations frequently because the canonical world map of Attack on Titan was only revealed later and is a spoiler to boot, and Gilda's backstory was usually something very different from Griffonstone). Loops sometimes get 'expansions' (i.e. continuations of the media) that can stabilize more of the loop — which, out of universe, is the writers taking new canonicity into account. It's usually fairly well-worked in, with stories of loopers coping with baseline deaths and the loss of what they considered their childhoods.

  • Alien: Covenant puts the final nail in the coffin of the Alien vs. Predator films by revealing the xenomorph, as we know it, didn't exist until the events of Alien: Covenant, as they were created by David mucking about with Engineer biotech.
  • Dumb and Dumber To ignores plot details from the prequel, When Harry Met Lloyd, and the animated series where Harry and Lloyd go on further adventures with the Mutt Cuts Shaggin' Wagon and their pet beaver Kitty.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife ignores the animated series and video game continuations of the films, as paranormal activity hasn't been reported in thirty years.
  • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! and Godzilla: Final Wars reference Godzilla (1998), ignoring Godzilla: The Series where Zilla returns as a cyborg and the Godzilla hatchling grows up to fight additional monsters.
  • The Jurassic Park films have ignored the video games and comics, despite being promoted as official continuations of the story. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at least reuses the name of the Isla Nublar volcano from Jurassic Park: The Game (Mount Sibo), but everything else is dubiously canon at best due to being made before the Jurassic World reboot trilogy.
  • Men in Black II ignores the animated series where Agent J and Agent K continue to have adventures, and follows the ending of the first movie instead.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: According to prequel books, Jack Sparrow used to work for the East India Trading Company and was made captain of the Wicked Wench, until he refused to transport slaves, resulting in Cutler Beckett branding him a pirate and sinking his ship (which would later become the Black Pearl thanks to Jack's deal with Davy Jones). The movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales however shows Jack becoming a pirate captain after inheriting both his magic compass and the Wicked Wench during a fierce battle against the pirate hunter Armando Salazar, and cementing his position as captain by defeating Salazar.
  • The Saw franchise received a prequel comic book titled Saw: Rebirth to tie into the release Saw II, which detailed the backstory of John Kramer and was considered canon by the films' writers at the time. Saw IV, which brought a new writing team to the franchise, rendered the comic incompatible with the film canon due to the new writers making a drastically different version of John's backstory as one of the film's main storylines. This new backstory would be further built upon in later films.
  • Star Wars as a whole is somewhat notorious for this. George Lucas is on record as never having considered any of the licensed works canon, and never gave much thought to contradicting them with later films. A particular example was the prequel films: most of the existing EU material at the time (now Star Wars Legends) had been written under the assumption that the Clone Wars and the Jedi Purge had been separate conflicts, the former happening about forty years before the original trilogy and the latter about twenty. The prequel trilogy moved them both to twenty years ago, with the Clone Wars having been orchestrated specifically to set up Supreme Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine's self-coup against the Republic and the Jedi. This caused a huge number of Retcons and Continuity Snarls in the EU.
  • The Terminator films ignore the expanded universe materials, including novels, the Future War toyline, the TV series, the ride, and the origin story introduced in a crossover.
  • TRON: Legacy ignores TRON 2.0 and the tie-in comics.
  • The X-Men Film Series ignores plots introduced in the tie-in comics and video games, this caused problems since many of them tried to fix plot holes introduced in the film series, which is loaded with them, but removing these spin-offs from continuity meant those plot holes were opened again.
  • Given that Incredibles 2 leads off with fighting and defeating the Underminer and then goes into Helen becoming family breadwinner and Bob adapting to being a House Husband, the film ignores the comic adaptation and the Rise of the Underminer game in favor of only needing the audience to be familiar with the previous film (and, optionally, its spin-off, Jack-Jack Attack).
  • Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, the sequels to Halloween (2018), directly contradict the novelizations of 2018 and Kills. The most glaring example is the novelization of 2018 mentioning Myers house being demolished and replaced with an orchard, yet come Kills, and the house is revealed to be intact, inhabited and becomes the place where the third act sets off.
  • The first three movies of Resident Evil Film Series had novelizations which were written by Keith R. DeCandido and got subsequently ignored with the release of Afterlife, Retribution and especially The Final Chapter, the latter of which reveals that Umbrella deliberately caused the Zombie Apocalypse whereas in the prior novelizations it was established as a freak lab accident that went out of Umbrella's control.

  • The Lion King: Six New Adventures was a series of licensed book sequels based off of The Lion King. They starred Simba's son Kopa and gave info on things like Simba's grandparents and Scar's youth. Come the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and Kopa has been replaced with a daughter named Kiara. The series The Lion Guard also features a different backstory for Scar (and, though it acknowledges that he had a different name once, it doesn't outright call him "Taka"), though whether the cartoon is canonical to the films or is in an Alternate Continuity is up for grabs.
  • The Journal of the Two Sisters is a companion book for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic written by one of the show's writers. The canonicity of the book has been pulled into question due to inconsistencies with later episodes of the show. For example, the book states that other alicorns existed in the past and it's heavily implied Celestia and Luna were born alicorn. Season 6's "The Crystaling" implies that Flurry Heart is the first alicorn ever born in Equestria. The book's writer - who doesn't work on the show anymore - tries to handwave this as the sisters being born before Equestria. The episode "Shadow Play" also strongly counters the book by depicting the Tree of Harmony as younger than the book does.
  • Older Than Steam: After Cervantes wrote Book I of Don Quixote, an unknown writer using the pseudonym of Avellaneda published a second part, wholly without Cervantes’s permission. This spurred him to write the proper sequel, in which Avellaneda’s volume exists in-universe, and causes the real Quixote to have a breakdown when he discovers it, since he knows he didn’t do anything described within it.
  • The Young Adult Buffy the Vampire Slayer book Halloween Rain, the third Buffyverse book ever written, has Buffy fighting for her life during All Hallows Eve, when the forces of evil are at their strongest. Days before its release, the show had its own Halloween episode — which established that not only is there nothing particularly supernatural about Halloween, but most demons actually take the night off, making it the most normal night in Sunnydale.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy: Like much of the Star Wars expanded universe, the 2010s movies ultimately knocked this series out of canon: the end of Bria's arc in Rebel Dawn was superseded by Rogue One before the entire series was rendered non-canonical by the release of Solo. Even before that, at one point, narrative text identifies Boba Fett as having been born Jaster Mereel (as had been established in Tales of the Bounty Hunters and generally accepted as his background at the time). The trilogy was published just a few years prior to Attack of the Clones establishing Boba as a clone of Jango Fett, with later material such as Star Wars: Bounty Hunter establishing Jaster as Jango's mentor. Boba then used his name as an alias.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate did this to the very infamous novel that was licensed at the same time and released one year... after. The thing is that the novel only shared a few starting and final details, because it was based on a very early script without much developed yet, and completely invented the rest. Therefore, the game managed to discontinue whatever was written even before the novel was published. Anyway the results of the latter left much to desire and are despised by fans even today. The problem is, since videogames are a minor media in the Forgotten Realms lore while books are major sources, technically it would be the novel that supersedes the game... but then comes Baldur's Gate II that totally ignores whatever was plotted in there. Then the same writer releases a novel for it, ignoring again what the game developers did. Thankfully, the fans so reviled and despised those books that years later other official Forgotten Realms material such as Legends of Baldur's Gate have quietly discarded the novel's narrative and characters in favor of ones closer to their game incarnations, though the name of the novel protagonist (Abdel Adrian) is still considered canon according to Murder in Baldur's Gate and comments from Forgotten Realms creator Ed Greenwood (it is supposed, although never confirmed, that this name has always been an unofficial internal name at Bioware since the days of the early drafts, and the novel only recycled it).
    • The final release of Baldur's Gate III more than twenty years later pretty much directly discards some of the most contentious discontinuities with the novels, namely the characterization of Jaheira and Minsc, and thus indirectly rejects anything else from those books. It is also a long awaited return of the franchise that was much publicized and for which the IP owners invested a lot, a sign that videogames are now considered an important part of the lore, reinforcing the status of the original games as canon sources.
    • In the adventure module Murder in Baldur's Gate for the pen & paper RPG, it is stated that the main character of the two games was attacked by a fellow Bhaalspawn and although the victor of the fight remains unknown, a giant soul-sucking monster eventually emerged from the confrontation, which was slayed by other adventurers, freeing Bhaal's essence and allowing him to return, albeit in a weakened, not fully divine form. This discontinued whatever ending for Throne of Bhaal was chosen, since either the protagonist absorbed the essence and became a full god, or renounced it, becoming a normal mortal without anymore the taint of Bhaal.
  • 007 Legends, which is a tie-in to Skyfall, features a level loosely based on the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, where Daniel Craig's incarnation of James Bond meets and confronts Ernst Stavro Blofeld. This is contradicted by Spectre, which has Craig's Bond meet Blofeld for the first time.
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon began development as a standalone Gaiden Game separate from the series's main timeline, but as its storyline was not explicitly contradicted by the main series, it wasn't impossible for its events to have taken place after all... that is until Order of Ecclesia was released, its events occurring within a similar time period as Circle of the Moon and thus making it extremely difficult for the two to occur in the same continuity.
  • NetherRealm Studios has a tendency to ignore content not directly created by them even if they had their creative guidance and/or approval.
    • Injustice: Gods Among Us had a prequel comic book series written by Tom Taylor showing us in detail how this game's version of the DC Universe ended like it is and revealing the fate of characters not addressed in the game. However, the sequel Injustice 2 ignores and/or changes various details from the comic very blatantly (such as the reason of Robin/Damian Wayne's defection to Superman's side, the fate of the Teen Titans (who were alive but imprisoned in the comic but are stated to be dead in the game), and the characterization of some characters such as Poison Ivy (who had a soft spot for Harley in the comic but attempts to coldly kill her in the game's story mode) among many other details).
    • Mortal Kombat X and its sequel Mortal Kombat 11 ignores the tie-in comic book series' events and characterization of the characters.
  • In the One Piece manga, Shanks is The Hero's Idol and a mysterious swordsman whose powers, achievements and motivations are very slowly revealed over the course of the series. It can be jarring to look back at old licensed games portraying his playable or boss forms as just some guy once you know he's an Emperor and one of the strongest men in the series.
  • Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 was a prequel game released just two days before the original Lilo & Stitch film was released, showing the lives of Dr. Jumba Jookiba and Experiment 626 (Stitch) before their arrest, with 626 collecting DNA for Jumba to use for making more genetic experiments. However, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch had a flashback scene that retconned the game out of the canon, establishing that Jumba and 626 were arrested just shortly after the latter's creation.
  • In the Ultima series, the latest game tends to reflect the status quo, becoming more noticeable in Ultima VIII and Ultima IX, where the character customization options are no longer available and it turns out the protagonist has always been a blonde haired human male, ever since the days of Sosaria according to Ultima Online.
  • Various videogames based on Shrek in earlier years filled up their rosters by introducing fairy tale characters that weren't in the movies. Some of them were then introduced in later movies, with completely different designs and characterizations. One example is Humpty Dumpty, who appeared in Shrek SuperSlam and Shrek Smash N'Crash Racing with drastically different designs between them and made his first canon appearance only later on in Puss in Boots (2011).
  • Zatch Bell! licensed games like Konjiki no Gash Bell!! Makai no Bookmark always portrayed Zeno as being able to cast the Baou Zakeruga spell or some variant of it just like his brother Zatch can. Zeon only becomes prominent very late in the series, where it is revealed that his beef with Zatch is precisely because the younger twin was the one entrusted with this single-user ability despite Zeno being the Child Soldier undergoing a Training from Hell under the King's orders.

    Western Animation 
  • Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, which was an animated follow-up to the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, depicts Dr. Curt Connors becoming The Lizard, and then seemingly falling to his death. These are never brought up in Spider-Man 2 or Spider-Man 3, which came out after the series finished its run and feature Dr. Connors alive and well.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures had one singular promotional comic with two stories. One featured Iron Man battling the Living Laser, which didn't get contradicted. The other, featuring S.H.I.E.L.D. agent versions of Hawkeye and Black Widow, did get contradicted by the show, which introduced them as criminals (at first). Interestingly, the Black Widow in the comic is blonde, so you could argue that it's supposed to be Yelena Belova as opposed to Natasha Romanova, but Hawkeye is explicitly identified as Clint Barton in the comic.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars had a curious example of this with the Mandalorians. George Lucas's original plan had been to depict them as a planet of pacifists, which would have wiped out pretty much all the existing EU lore about them. Dave Filoni instead persuaded Lucas to synthesize the existing lore with his current vision, resulting in a canonical depiction fundamentally rooted in Star Wars Legends, with the pacifist "New Mandalorians" represented by Duchess Satine Kryze being merely one faction among many. Though it did mean the then-current Republic Commando Series, one of the sources Lucas and Filoni drew on, ironically had to be cancelled because its storyline no longer fit canon.