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Discontinuity Nod

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"We remember the New Fantastic Four, Spidey, we just wish we didn't."

Francine: Stan, we had a dog already.
Stan: I don't think so.
Francine: We did! Five years ago you got Steve an old dog that peed dust and you killed it. We also had another dog named Fussy that you...didn't like or something.
Stan: Francine, those were obviously dreams. I refuse to discuss your dreams in the daytime.

A Discontinuity Nod is a Continuity Nod that is made towards something that has been written out of canon, something fans want to be written out of canon, something creators wish they had never made canon, or even an entire old Continuity that is no longer canon. May be a sign of Canon Discontinuity, a callback to something a lot of people miss, or just making a joke at the fanbase's widespread hatred. Who Writes This Crap?!

This trope does not refer to a positive or neutral Mythology Gag to material that has been excised from canon or was created for a non-canonical work. This trope is about unpopular material being jabbed at in the form of an allusion in another work, effectively making it to the Mythology Gag trope what Take That! is for the Shout-Out trope.

Compare Take That, Scrappy! Contrast Continuity Nod.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Tamers: The second of the movies, Runaway Digimon Express, was made without the input of the head writers. A Drama CD (Message in a Packet) released later depicts the Tamers a year after the events of the anime, without their partners, effectively retconning the movie out of existence. However, in a remarkably respectful nod, Ruki is heard humming Promise of the Setting Sun, the song she sings at the movie's climax. One of the aforementioned head writers, Chiaki Konaka, noted on his website that he enjoyed the movie and the psychological way it explored Ruki's relationship with her absent father — something Konaka deliberately chose not to emphasize, since he didn't want to give the impression that his absence was the reason Ruki was a standoffish tomboy at the beginning of the series.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • When Dragon Ball Z got a full-color reprint of the manga, Akira Toriyama wrote a number of new articles expanding on the setting or answered long-standing questions. One article discussing Dr. Gero's Androids mentions that #13, #14, and #15 are nearly complete but not yet ready to be activated; this is a nod to the Non-Serial Movie Super Android 13, where those three Androids (designed by Toriyama himself) were completed by Gero's supercomputer after his death at the hands of a rebellious #17.
    • Dragon Ball GT is the subject of many new Discontinuity Nods, now that the franchise is in something of a revival and Akira Toriyama is supervising it more closely. The Xenoverse video games explicitly refer to it as a sort of splinter timeline caused by Trunks' time machine shenanigans, and the much-beloved Future Trunks has a lot to say about his less-beloved counterpart's methods, although he does come around.
    • Notably, the opening of the Battle of Gods movie depicts early comedic villain Pilaf and his two minions, Shu and Mai, as having wished themselves back to elementary school-age. The main plot hook of GT was an aged Pilaf accidentally wishing Goku back to a child.
  • The Gundam franchise has G-Saviour, which has never officially been de-canonized, but both Sunrise and fans alike tend to ignore it. Sunrise has acknowledged it exactly twice: the first time was in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, wherein Athrun's first mobile suit after rejoining ZAFT is called the Saviour, which got curb-stomped by Kira (piloting the Freedom). The second was when when the eponymous G-Saviour showed up in Gundam Build Fighters... wherein it got blown up 5 seconds into its debut battle and was never seen again.
  • Macross:
  • Inadvertently invoked in regards to 4kids in the first episode of the Funimation dub of One Piece where Luffy remarks "That was fun, but we shouldn't go back there."
    • In the same arc, Usopp panics that "We've got zero, and I mean I mean Zolo I mean zero chances...wonder how Zoro's doing."
    • Eiichiro Oda, the author of One Piece, also seems fond of introducing plot points relating back to events 4Kids Animation dropped or censored out of its version of the series. Most notoriously, an entire Story Arc was removed. One main character's ultimate goal is a reunion with a character from this arc, while another main character keeps referring back to it. Both of these traits were introduced well after 4Kids had removed this arc.
    • Speaking of 4Kids, they are also guilty of this. Having infamously cut out the entirety of the Little Garden arc, including several major characters (like Mr. 3 and Miss Goldenweek/Ms. April Fool's Day), the episode immediately following this deleted arc has the characters giving a rundown of the Baroque Works agents. They mention characters they had apparently never met as if they had recently dealt with them.
  • Deconstructed in Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion. While it rendered Madoka becoming a Goddess and disappearing forever non-canon, they made it a very in-universe discontinuity nod by having the Dark Magical Girl do the retconning by basically usurping God and becoming Satan in the process, with nobody, not even the Big Bad (mainly because of them getting upended by said Satan) or said Satan enjoying a single moment of it.
  • A subtle blend of this and Mythology Gag can be seen in the fourth anime season of Slayers; when a chart displaying the various Big Bads of the setting is shown, while the two slain in Next (Hellmaster Phibrizzo and Demon Dragon King Gaav) have their images dented, the image of Dark Star Dugradigdu, the ultimate Big Bad of Try, is left intact. This reflects the fact that Kanzaka has famously proclaimed his disapproval of the Try season, due to it being all-original material even if he was involved in creating it.
    • Of course, taking this seriously leads to a continuity tangle, because if Try is cut out, then it leaves one wondering why Gourry was searching for a replacement to the Sword of Light — he gave it up to the Overworlder Sirius to be taken back to the Overworld in Try, but in the original novels, Phibrizzo stole it and sent it back to the Overworld before dying — which didn't happen in the anime rendition of that arc.
  • Space☆Dandy runs on Negative Continuity, so it's fitting that in one episode of Season 2 Meow references everyone in the universe being turned into zombies in Episode 4 before everything went back to normal the following episode.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who gives a nod or two to the more controversial elements of the Eighth Doctor's TV movie (see below):
    • In "An Earthly Child", the Eighth Doctor (who in his debut claimed to be half-human) shows surprise at the idea of his granddaughter Susan having a child with the very human David Campbell.
    • In "The Apocalypse Element", the Eye of Harmony opening to human eyes is apparently revealed to be due to the Sixth Doctor changing the Gallifreyan retinal systems to that of his companion to slow down a Dalek invasion. At the end he says this might linger on... and it's still there in the film.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • Fans hate The Clone Saga, and Spider-Man really, really hates clones.
    • An issue of Avengers: The Initiative revealed J. Jonah Jameson also really hates clones.
    • When you defeat Spider-Man while playing as Spider-Man in the Capcom game Marvel Super Heroes, he quips "Just what I need... another clone!"
    • Becomes part of an extended gag in a scene from Spider-Man/Human Torch where both heroes find themselves reminiscing about old times:
      Torch: Or the time when Occulus stole Doc Ock's adamantium arms and became Doctor Occulus and then the two of us had to...
      Spider-Man: That wasn't me.
      Torch: What do you mean that wasn't...
      Spider-Man: That was my clone.
      Torch: Well what about the time when the power Skrull and the multi-colored symbiotes...
      Spider-Man: Clone.
      Torch: When Quasimodo rebuilt your Spider-armor...
      Spider-Man: Clone.
      Torch: When Demogoblin and Diablo...
      Spider-Man: Clone.
      Torch: Hmm. I guess it's probably for the best if we...
      Spider-Man: Skip over that whole period? Couldn't agree with you more.
      • This is technically a bit of a Continuity Snarl, however, since Ben explained everything to Johnny during his time as Spider-Man and he was aware he was talking to another guy.
    • Deadpool has been known to remark that he'd "be crucified if there was a clone in this book".
    • Spidey is, however, willing to acknowledge the New Fantastic Four - but he's the only one.
    • Another nod was made to the New Fantastic Four in the Venom arc, Circle of Four, with spin off characters of those that made the New FF (Spidey, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider) forming the circle of four to stop Earth from being swallowed by Hell; namely, Venom, Red Hulk, X-23 and the third Ghost Rider. A partial nod was made in Fear Itself: The Home Front, formed by Amadeus Cho and featuring Spider-Girl (Anya Corazón), X-23 again and with Thor spinoff Thunderstrike and the new Power Man filling in for Ghost Rider and the Hulk. Finally, an All-New Ghost Rider miniseries' plot involved a teamup between the eponymous Ghost Rider, X-23 again (this time in her identity as the All-New Wolverine), Spider-Woman and the Totally Awesome Hulk. So maybe the characters don't want to remember it, but the writers definitely do. Admittedly, none of the aforementioned stories ever came out and called these teams "The NEW New Fantastic Four", but still.
    • In Paradise X, Officer Parker briefly considers the notion that the Guardians of the Galaxy have come to the past to clone something, but immediately backtracks with a "No, don't even say the word 'clone'".
    • In the Spider-Island story arc, MJ gets the line "If we're doing the clone thing again I'm moving back to LA."
    • One of the tidbits of advice that Peter gave Miles Morales during the Spider-Men crossover was to never ever allow anyone to clone him. Also never lend any money to Wolverine or Mockingbird.
  • A very meta Breather Episode of Spider-Man/Deadpool had Deadpool refer to the Green Goblin as "the guy who knocked up your girlfriend then killed her." Peter responded with confusion.
  • Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files has a nod to the derided 2003 Rawhide Kid MAX series, where a page describing movies based on the Rawhide Kid's life describes one as an infamous gay cult classic that uses the Kid's wandering lifestyle as a closet metaphor.
  • In the Superman series DC Retroactive Superman, it is lampshaded by the fake Destiny when he states that there will be a future Identity Crisis, and it will be so terrible that everyone "will agree to forget it ever happened". The Identity Crisis story does involve a Retcon about the heroes mindwiping villains (and Batman) to forget their secret identities/the fact that they mindwiped anyone at all, but that's hardly "agreeing" and it doesn't quite mean forgetting every aspect of the story either, so Destiny's line sounds more like meta-commentary.
  • Iron Man: There've been similar (but far fewer) jokes about the "Teen Tony" era, such as this bit from Avengers Standoff:
    Iron Man: You know, I got de-aged once, too.
    Thor: I thought you said you never wanted to talk about that.
    The Vision: You did say that, Tony.
  • The usual Take That! approach is inverted in the Gargoyles comic book. A scene between Hudson and Jeffrey from the Canon Discontinuity Retool was incorporated into the comic because it was one of the few things the retool got right.
  • In The DCU, the original Bat-Girl, Betty Kane, was retconned Post-Crisis into always being called "Flamebird" aka Bette Kane, because writer Marv Wolfman hated that version of the character. But years later, in Young Justice, Flamebird meets another Batgirl and immediately says, "Batgirl? Been there, done that."
  • Teen Titans:
  • Speaking of Nightwing, the New 52 removed his original 80s "disco" costume from continuity. Despite this, the outfit showed up in flashbacks as the costume worn by his parents for their trapeze act.
  • When Gordon Rennie started writing a new series of Rogue Trooper, set in the same time period as Gerry Finley-Day's initial run, one panel showed a graffito reading "Thank God it's not Friday!"
  • Doctor Who comics:
    • The Doctor Who Magazine comic strip had an Eighth Doctor strip that declared the early TV Comics Doctor Who strips to be daydreams the Doctor had about what things would be like if the universe were nicer.
    • The IDW comic book miniseries Doctor Who: The Forgotten suggested the entire "half-human" thing was a ruse put on by the Doctor to mislead the Master (exactly how is never really explained) in case he attempted to escape his execution.
  • Asterix et ses Amis contains a scene where a fan of Asterix insists to him that she owns books of all of his adventures, "even the one where you fight aliens".
  • The Punisher: The Punisher was involved in a better-off-forgotten miniseries called Purgatory, where Frank was killed and turned into an avenging angel who went after demons. It was quietly dropped when Garth Ennis took over writing for Frank. Years later, in Thunderbolts, Frank is at death's door when an angel feather acquired by Deadpool is instantly drawn to him, healing all his wounds. When everyone wonders why the feather was drawn to Frank, he just says, "Don't want to talk about it." Olivier, the Big Bad of Purgatory, also went on to cameo in Nightcrawler and Fear Itself.
    • Ennis does his own Discontinuity Nod (and kind of has to, to explain why Frank isn't an avenging angel anymore) in the last pages of his first issue on the title. Frank does a badass monologue about having once seen heaven, that the angels showed it to him as a punishment after he decided to stop killing for them, to show what was going to be forever denied to him now. It's so vague, an unattentive reader can very easily think that Frank is just being poetic about quitting the army and the brief time he had to appreciate his wife and family again before losing them.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Dr. X, an Utrom scientist in the Image Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, was written out of canon along with everything else in Vol. 3. An Utrom scientist with the same name has since appeared in the current Tales of the TMNT book.
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures had a 3-issue miniseries tie in called "The May East Saga," which was reviled by fans due to its ridiculous story about a super-powered witch who was an ancestor of April's and its particularly bad artwork. One of the later issues that consisted of a Whole Episode Flashback saw the 3-parter floating in a bunch of sewage among other trash, while a special had April tell Turtles about the 3-parter's plot as some ridiculous dream she had, while the Turtles comment it sounds more like a nightmare.
  • The Transformers:
  • A variant cover of the first issue of Star Wars features the much-maligned Jaxxon trying to force himself into the comic while the rest of the cast resists.
  • In the Gail Simone run of Red Sonja, the titular barbarian heroine encounters a swordsman named Osric the Untouched, who claims to have divinely-granted fighting skills, at the cost that he will lose them if he ever allows someone to have sex with him without having first beaten him in battle. Fans will recognize that Sonja traditionally had the exact same blessing/curse, which Simone dropped for her run, something confirmed when an incredulous Sonja proclaims that to be "the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: When asked about Kennedy in her first season 8 comics appearance Willow says she died (in a nod to the fans that hated that ship), but quickly clarifies that it was a temporary magic death and she got better.
  • Countdown to Final Crisis was such a controversial series that DC chose to ignore most of it within weeks of its completion (including Final Crisis itself). Even while it was being published, Geoff Johns included a stealth lambasting in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #1, (it was released on October 2007 — Countdown began in May earlier that year and would end in April 2008) where the time-travelling Rip Hunter wrote down a chalkboard of notes to keep track of the current state of The Multiverse, some of which being "DON'T WORRY ABOUT COUNTDOWN" followed by "focus elsewhere" in huge circles.

    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • It does this from time to time in regard to Dragon Ball GT. The series' original pre-episode disclaimer,note  which is read by a different character every time, read: "The following is a non-profit fan-based parody. Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT are all owned by Funimation, Toei Animation, Fuji TV and Akira Toriyama. Please support the official release." When Guru reads the disclaimer he sounds audibly shocked and/or disturbed by GT's presence, and when Mecha-Freeza reads it he glitches out over GT, forcing his father King Cold to read the rest.
    • In Bardock: The Father of Goku Abridged, as per the original special, Bardock has a Dying Dream of Goku confronting Freeza. However, he then has visions of Cell and Majin Buu, to his confusion. And then he sees Goku and friends dealing with the Para Para Brothers from GT, at which point he says "And now I welcome the sweet embrace of death."
    • Then there's the earlier episode, where Goku takes a shot at Dragonball Evolution, which was being released around the same time.
      Goku: Man, this is worse than that time I was in high school, and all the guys called me "Geeko", and I was Piccolo's slave, I couldn't get Chi Chi to like me, and... Oh wow, I hit that rock harder than I thought.
    • Team Four Star very much dislikes Dragon Ball – Episode of Bardock for its nonsensical story and alterations to Bardock's character. Their abridged version of it has Bardock going Super Saiyan because he's enraged by how stupid it is that Freeza's death ball sent him back in time. The whole thing turns out to be a story Goku tells Gohan, who asks his father about things that don't make sense before it's revealed it's All Just a Dream of Gohan's.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev:
    • Rather than Adrien guilt-tripping Marinette into throwing a party for Chloé, Chloé winds up throwing him a party to cheer him up when he's sulking over losing the Black Cat Ring. He proves to be just as ungrateful for her efforts as she was towards Marinette in canon, demanding that she invite the whole school before walking out without so much as a goodbye after Kim announces he's throwing a pool party.
    • Despite never receiving the Bee Comb, Chloé still decides that she's entitled to it because she assumes it matches her favored yellow-heavy aesthetic and because she's the Mayor's daughter.
    • Gabriel briefly contemplates the power that combining Miraculi could hold, and considers using the Peafowl Pin alongside the Butterfly Brooch. However, unlike Canon, he ultimately doesn't do so, as Master Fu liberated the Pin from his office safe before the idea ever occured to him.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has nods towards "those three episodes" of the Mega Man cartoon; a producer offers to make a Mega Man cartoon and gives those episodes' plot synopses. Mega politely dissuades him.
  • Of Patience and Pettiness has Marinette expose Lila's true nature to the rest of her class after a week. However, she's deeply disappointed by how the majority of her classmates try to pass the blame onto others rather than admit their mistakes, and confides to Tikki about how she's glad this happened before she considered handing out any more Miraculi:
    Marinette: "Imagine if I had given one to, I don't know, Max? Or Kim? God, what if I had given one to Adrien? What keeps them bound to Ladybug in a way that they wouldn't betray her as easily as they did me?"
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, when Pikachu sees Scott for the first time, at first he has trouble recalling his name, calling him Shouta, Scottie and Sawyer, in reference to the XY rival... who Ash never got to meet because the timeline was reset before he could.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: The author's notes in Chapter 34 of The Girl Who Could Knock Out the Hulk addresses how the big reveal in that chapter connects to a couple of the author's earlier discontinued stories: specifically, they are actually previous "iterations" of the Kryptonverse that Doom and original Reed tried with their Retconjuration alterations before reaching the one with Kara, and they show her glimpses of them when trying to convince her to join them.
  • An important plot point of Weight Off Your Shoulder is that time-travel shenanigans (and Bunnyx having Loose Lips) RetGones the entirety of Miraculous Ladybug from "Gang of Secrets" onwards and the whole cast (sans Bunnyx, who tries by hook or by crook to correct the timeline even if everybody else his against the idea) occasionally brings up the Bad Future (Hawk Moth getting almost all of the Miraculous) that they just dodged.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Deadpool has the titular protagonist mention at one point that things went sideways in the worst way possible. Then he decides he spoke too soon when the camera cuts to an action figure of his In Name Only incarnation from the now non-canon X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In fact, Deadpool makes fun of Origins a number of times; this is justified by his Fourth-Wall Observer nature being a key part of his character. Deadpool 2 does, however, establish that Origins is canon in some version of the X-Men film universe, as during The Stinger, Deadpool goes back in time to kill that version of the character. And then empties a clip into the corpse.
  • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!, has a dig at the widely hated movie Godzilla (1998). Near the beginning of the movie, the Japanese Defense Force is being briefed on the history of Godzilla. One cadet whispers to another "Didn't Godzilla attack America a couple years ago?" The other's response: "No, that wasn't really him." Interestingly this had the effect of doubling as a Continuity Nod; it established 'Zilla as his own separate canon creature, allowing fans to warm up to the monster as a concept, whatever their feelings about the film. Godzilla: Final Wars followed up on this by having both versions fight each other, with the original Big G winning against his Fragile Speedster American version.
  • In Halloween (2018), Laurie Strode's granddaughter says, upon being asked if the murderer Michael Myers was in fact Laurie's brother, that that's just an urban legend. Many fans of the Halloween series, including the first film's writer/director John Carpenter, regard that Plot Twist from the second film as a Franchise Original Sin; the inclusion of that line in the trailer indicates that the filmmakers do as well.
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008) toes the line with this. Originally, it was envisioned as "a reboot and a sequel" to 2003's Hulk, which meant that Hulk would be canon, but subject to Broad Strokes in order to better tie to the feel of the original TV show. Ultimately, the final product had little to do with the previous film, so the one tie-in that remained is that at the end of Hulk, Bruce Banner is in Brazil, and at the start of Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner is still in Brazil. Edward Norton himself rewrote parts of the script, which included adding the flashback to the experiment which created Hulk with the express purpose of portraying it as different from the previous film.

  • Cthulhu Armageddon: The Re'Kithnid is an extensive reference to the works of August Derleth with its author, Brianna Lethder's last name being an anagram of his. It attributes the Mythos within a Christian framework of Black-and-White Morality, associates them with Medieval alchemy, and reference's Brian Lumley's character of Kthanid via an Expy. It is considered highly inaccurate in-universe.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • Doctor Who New Adventures:
      • First Frontier referenced the charity special "Dimensions in Time"... as being All Just a Dream.
      • Head Games establishes Dr Who of the TV Action comic strip as a creation of the Land of Fiction. In the same book the Doctor, making his way through a Mental World with elements of the Land of Fiction, has a thoroughly cathartic time blasting Daleks to bits in a way he'd never do in the real world, just like the video game Dalek Attack.
    • The Past Doctor Adventures novel Business Unusual likewise had the Sixth Doctor dream the events of "A Fix With Sontarans".
    • The Big Finish short story collection Repercussions was set on a mysterious airship where the Doctor took people who had to be removed from time for one reason or another. These included a red-haired young man in a Fun T-Shirt that read "I went to Agora and all I got was this lousy shirt" (Grant Markham, Sixth Doctor companion in the Doctor Who Missing Adventures) and a blonde young woman in a similar shirt that read "I went to Hyspero..." (Sam Jones, companion in the Eighth Doctor Adventures).
    • The New Series Adventures novel At Childhood's End depicts yet another version of how Ace stopped travelling with the Doctor. This one involves her interacting with an alien artifact that gives her visions of potential futures — which include Ace becoming a Time Lord (the way the TV series writers had considered writing her out before the show was cancelled), dying during an adventure (as in the DWM comic), going to live in the past with Count Nikolai Sorin (as depicted in the novelisation of "The Curse of Fenric"), several scenes from the Doctor Who New Adventures, and one of her hanging out with a young man who might be Hex Schofield from Big Finish Doctor Who — with the implication that none of these potential futures came to be because she chose to go home shortly afterward.
  • The Dresden Files: In Death Masks, Harry meets up with his double and opponents for a magical duel in the parking lot outside of Wrigley Field — the one that totally does not exist in real life. In the tabletop RPG for the series, the City Creation section mentions how you might intentionally create inaccuracies in order to speed the plot or add flavor — like, say, adding a huge parking lot to your city's baseball field (to which Harry himself comments in the notes, "Oh, very funny. Twist the knife.").
  • Night Watch (Series): In Final Watch, Anton meets Yegor, the boy from the first novel, who mentions a dream he had, which is, basically, the plot for the Night Watch film, which diverges from the novels. Specifically, the part about Yegor being Anton's son.
  • In the third issue of the StarCraft comic, a ghost slaughters the inhabitants of Bhekar Ro. This was the planet that was featured in Shadow of the Xel'Naga, a book by the oft-reviled Kevin J. Anderson that featured many aspects of things never seen before or since and full-blown continuity errors. While dark and depressing, fans were pleased.
  • A Star Trek: The Next Generation Expanded Universe novel has an admiral opining to Picard that Kirk obviously had so much contempt for Starfleet Command that he would just invent stuff for his reports, "including that one ridiculous incident in which he claimed someone stole his first officer's brain." This is of course, a reference to the infamous TOS episode "Spock's Brain", universally considered one of the worst episodes of the original series, if not the worst.
  • Star Wars:
    • The tie-in book The Jedi Path includes an essay on the Force, in which the author encourages the reader not to think too much about midi-chlorians and focus on the wider aspects of the Force. An annotation from Luke says he wants to return to the idea of "the Force as it flows through us – not from us."
    • The alleged "Endor disaster" was explained to be Imperial propaganda, as several novels and comic books elaborate that the majority of the second Death Star's mass was obliterated in the explosion with the larger debris being caught by Rebel tractor beams.
    • The Disney-canon book The Princess and the Scoundrel, about Han and Leia's wedding, includes a scene where Han realizes that the battle with the Empire's remnant will be going on for years and Leia will be right in the middle of it and her life will continue to be in danger. He momentarily thinks about grabbing her and flying off with her to some remote planet for them to spend the rest of their lives away from the war, but quickly decides against it on the grounds that Leia "would never forgive him" and "would probably shoot him" before he'd be able to carry out such a plan. This is possibly a shot at the much-maligned book about Han and Leia's wedding in the now-defunct Legends timeline, The Courtship of Princess Leia, in which Han does kidnap Leia and fly her off to a remote planet in an attempt to get her to marry him.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • In the first book, there was a ThunderClan cat named Rosetail who was killed defending the nursery; she was not listed in the Allegiances or otherwise mentioned in the book. It became a well-known error, and in a book that came out five years later, a character comments, "There was an elder named Rosetail who died back when I was nursing Swiftkit..."
    • Similarly, in the first series, apprentices would always travel to the Moonstone before becoming a warrior. Fans pointed out that the characters haven't been doing it in recent books, even though the Clans had found a replacement for the Moonstone in their new home. Leafpool comments in a scene, "We seem to have left that tradition behind when we came to our new home."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Cheers, it was stated that Frasier's father was a scientist who had been dead for years, which obviously had to be Retconned when they gave Frasier his own show, since it featured his ex-cop (and still very much alive) father as a major character. They eventually lampshaded this when Sam from Cheers guest-starred on Frasier, and pointed out this inconsistency. It turned out Frasier had lied about his father being a dead scientist because he was angry at him.
  • In the first episode of Columbo filmed after the spin-off Mrs. Columbo ended, the writers considered having Columbo offhandedly mention some nut pretending to be his wife; of course, the most this would disavow is her relationship to him (Levinson and Link maintained that the star of Mrs. Columbo is actually the wife of some other detective named Columbo): her existence, and therefore any events of the show that don't depend on their relationship, is avowed.
  • Season 4 of Community is hated by fans due to suffering from Out-of-Character Moments, Continuity Snarl, and hanging plot-lines, thanks to the firing of series creator Dan Harmon and several head writers. When Dan Harmon returned for seasons 5 and 6, the season was referred as the "gas-leak year".
  • Doctor Who:
    • The controversial moment in the TV movie where the Doctor claims to be half-human has gotten this treatment multiple times in the new series:
      • "The Parting of the Ways": After it's revealed that the Daleks our heroes are facing were created by the Dalek Emperor from Human Resources, Rose points out that that makes them half-human. The Emperor immediately responds that "THOSE WORDS ARE BLASPHEMY!", followed by Daleks chanting "DO NOT BLASPHEME!"
      • "Journey's End": The Doctor's hand regenerates into a "Human" Doctor, who mentions that the particular combination (Human & Time Lord) has never happened before. The new human Doctor is visibly disgusted by the whole thing.
      • Although some have used the above (and other examples) as evidence to support the claim the 1996 TV movie never happened, additional Expanded Universe entries have provided ways the events can be rationalized. (See the examples in Audio Plays and Comic Books, above.) Several novels have also had a go at it. One by Kate Orman says the Doctor isn't sure of his own origins because his memories are vague and seem to contradict each other.
      • In his book The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter in which he charted the progress of writing the 2008/2009 Doctor Who episodes, Russell T Davies revealed that he was considering putting in a line of dialogue in David Tennant's final episode explaining the half-human remark ("Oh, that was like picking up a bug, I got over that.") but decided that it would be too confusing for the mainstream audience. If included it would have been an example of Author's Saving Throw.
      • Note that the Eighth Doctor has been referenced repeatedly, and showed up in person in the online mini-episode "The Night of the Doctor", but Broad Strokes presumably applies.
      • Just to make things ambiguous, "Hell Bent" treats the half-human theory as a legitimate possibility for the first time in years, although the Doctor (characteristically) confirms nothing, and the plot point which leads to it being brought up is resolved in a different waynote .
    • A central idea of the proposed post-TV Movie storyline was a retooling of the Master into being the Doctor's long lost brother. This is referenced thusly in "The Sound of Drums":
      Martha: I thought you were gonna say he was your secret brother or something.
      The Doctor: ...You've been watching too much TV.
      • This idea dates back to the 70s when Jon Pertwee played the Doctor. The season finale was to reveal that the Master was the Doctor's brother, and his character was to die saving the Doctor's life. Unfortunately, Roger Delgado, the actor who played the Master, was killed in an automobile accident, and so the story was never filmed.
    • In "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Doctor pokes fun at the UNIT dating controversy, an infamous Continuity Snarl, with a line about "when I worked with them back in the seventies... or was it the eighties?"
      • "The Day of the Doctor" makes a similar joke, with Kate Stewart stating that the Doctor's UNIT files either refer to the '70s or '80s depending on the dating protocol used.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter" has devices called "progenation machines" which can make someone a Truly Single Parent which are suspiciously reminiscent of the infamous "looms" from the Doctor Who New Adventures, devices which in that continuity were the only method by which the Time Lords could reproduce and an idea that the new series has ignored.
    • "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar" makes a point of using every Dalek type from the Classic series, New series and a few more besides, but the reviled "New Paradigm" Dalek design pointedly makes no appearance. In fact, blogger Dalek6388 wryly observed that the story's "The Daleks"-style corridors are deliberately designed such that the "fat" New Paradigm Daleks wouldn't be able to get through them.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: In "Transport", when trying to decide where to travel, Red Guy points to a location on the GPS labeled "Clay Hill", which is the name of the town that was in the unaired pilot. The GPS apologizes, saying that place doesn't exist anymore.
  • Married... with Children's Cousin Oliver Seven makes an appearance on a milk carton.
  • My Name Is Earl's Season 4 two-part episode "Inside Probe" had pre-series Earl talk about having a dream about being sent to jail, getting out, getting hit by a car and winding up in a coma. Earl comments that how no one would want to watch it. Season 3, which many agree to be the worst season, had Earl in jail, then in a coma, for several episodes.
  • In the season 3 premiere of Revenge (2011), season 2's overarching plotline is casually resolved with a couple lines of dialogue including a Deus ex Machina. Emily and Nolan then speak for the people who didn't care for said plotline:
    Emily: Let's never say the words "Carrion" or "Initiative" ever again.
    Nolan: Amen to that.
  • The 2018 revival of Roseanne does away with the original series' infamous ending by having Dan alive and well, though on a CPAP machine. One scene has Roseanne shout Dan awake from his sleep and when she states "I thought you were dead!", he annoyingly pulls up the mask and groans "Why does everybody always think I was dead?"
  • Stargate SG-1 has several of these.
    • A couple of episodes parodied Carter's infamous "reproductive organs" speech from the pilot. (Carter: "God that's horrible! Who'd ever say that?")
    • "200" and "Wormhole X-Treme" are mainly based off this trope. For example, in Wormhole X-Treme, the cast and crew of the titular Show Within a Show mock plot elements of SG-1, including three shots of a zat gun vaporizing people and the fact that characters who are out of phase (thus insubstantial) can sit and walk without falling through the chair, desk, floor, etc. The former was actually written out of the show, while the latter was shamelessly reused years later.
    • There's also O'Neill's quip about his name. "O'Neill, with two 'Ls'. There's another Colonel O'Neil with one 'L' and he has No Sense of Humor," referencing the movie O'Neil who was much more angsty.
    • The events of the Season 1 episode "Hathor", considered by both writers and fans alike to be one of the worst episodes in the show, are never brought up except in meta-jokes about how much that episode sucked and also never happened. For example, there's this gem from "Heroes" where Dr. Fraiser is going through Jack's medical files.
      Dr. Fraiser: ...nanite technology, artificially aged him ... he had a shoulder punctured by an alien time capsule device. Erm ... three knee operations ... oh ... that's the whole Hathor incident which he's asked me never to discuss...
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In the episode "The Void": "Deuterium? You can get that anywhere!" in direct contradiction to several Voyager episodes where they try to find that isotope of hydrogen (roughly 1% of all matter in the universe is deuterium); they even scan planets to find deuterium ore and when they do, it's intelligent. In other words—it's intelligent gas!
    • In the episode "Day of Honor" Tom Paris states that he's never "navigated a transwarp conduit." This is possibly a Discontinuity Nod to the earlier episode "Threshold", widely considered to be one of the show's worst (and up there with "Spock's Brain" as a contender for worst in the entire franchise), which is based around Paris entering a distinct phenomenon also referred to as "transwarp" and wackiness ensuing.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Trials and Tribble-ations" acknowledges the different Klingon appearances between TOS and TNG. At the time of the episode, there was no canon explanation. The writers feared an attempt to create one would be anti-climactic or narmy because fans knew it was due to budgetary issues, so they made a joke out of the characters debating all the existing fandom theories (especially genetic engineering mishaps or viral mutations) and Worf refusing to take the bait. Years later, the Enterprise series decided to use these very suggestions in an attempt to create a canon explanation, although the writers ended up feeling their earlier fears were justified (a Klingon subjected to experimental genetic engineering picked up a common virus which mutated and spread the altered genes to a segment of the Klingon population).
  • Supernatural:
    • When Sam and Dean meet the prophet Chuck, he initially thinks he's a god, and that he caused it all, rather than just writing it down. He apologizes for all the pain and suffering, "the bugs", as well as "that ghost ship." Turns out Chuck IS God.
    • In the 200th episode, Dean recaps to a Supernatural fangirl everything that happened since season 5 (in this universe the author stopped publishing books after "Swan Song"). The girl replies, "Wow... That is some of the WORST fanfictions I have ever heard!"
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: In "Max's Secret Girlfriend", when asked about what he told to Nancy, Max says that he told her about everything except the dragon dog. In "Curb Your Dragon", the Russos adopt a dragon dog, but it never appears again.
    Max: I still have no idea what happened to that.

  • Eminem constantly bashes his album Relapse, a Slasher Movie Concept Album full of Eminem doing accents, which was met with negative fan reaction when it came out. On his followup album Recovery, he announces that Relapse doesn't count, proclaims "fuck my last CD, that shit's in my trash", and "in fact, let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was ehh, perhaps I ran dem accents into da gro-uund — relax, I ain't goin' back to that". On Hell: The Sequel, he bullies a girl by forcing her to listen to Relapse in the car until she pops out the CD and snaps it in two.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The WWE made fun of the Katie Vick storyline at least twice (by Triple H and Shawn Michaels, no less!), and the character actually played a part in Kane's Start of Darkness origin story, Journey Into Darkness.
    • CM Punk also took a shot at Katie Vick angle:
      Punk: "Katie Vick. And if you don't get it, that's fine, just YouTube it, it'll drive you to drink and then you can come see me... AND I WILL SAVE YOU!"
    • Kane, himself has referenced it a couple times; first when he found himself on a team with Triple Hnote , and later during his anger management therapy class.
      Kane: Years ago, I had a girlfriend named Katie, but uh... let's just say that didn't turn out so well.
    • Before his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, Stephanie McMahon, the Head of Creative at the time, tweeted an apology to Kane for the Katie Vick storyline.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr.:
    • His winning the 2006 Royal Rumble was dubbed by the WWE as the first time that someone won the Royal Rumble as the #2 entry. This was a reference to the widely hated 1999 Royal Rumble where Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble as the #2 entry.
    • WWE's discontinuity of Mysterio unmasking in WCW is subverted with the cover of Rey Mysterio's DVD "The Life Of A Masked Man". On the cover, he holds the mask in front of his face, so the top half of his head is visible, but his face is not completely visible. Thus he can be seen as both being masked and unmasked — satisfying both the older fans who criticise WWE for denying his unmasking, and the younger fans who have never seen him unmasked before and may not want to. And those who simply despise how WCW handled it; unmasking is Serious Business in lucha libre and it's considered tremendously disrespectful that he was forced to unmask pretty much just because. This along with some Loophole Abuse is why Rey is still allowed to wear his mask these days.
  • The Insane Clown Posse were not very well received by Ring of Honor's fans, to the point ICP vs The Outcast Killaz was left off of the home release of Glory By Honor in 2002, only being found on the otherwise unrelated ROH Uncensored and not even being listed on the official results on the website. However, at Supercard Of Honor II in 2007 Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard insisted Larry Sweeney had brought in something worse than ICP in the form of Johnny Fairplay.
  • On the 1000th Raw episode, we saw Mae Young's all grown up child... that's right; the hand returned!
  • Kofi Kingston first joined the WWE with heavy Jamaican theming despite being from Ghana (it was Kofi's idea; he came up with the gimmick while wrestling in the indies), and was pushed as being from Jamaica for the better part of a year before it was suddenly phased out in 2009, with Kofi dropping the fake accent and retroactively establishing himself to be from Ghana. The change went with surprisingly little fanfare or concern for how big it was, but it's been referenced and joked about here and there:
  • From his first AEW promo, CM Punk said "August 13th, 2005. I left Professional Wrestling. August 20th, 2021, I'm back." No guess for what happened in the middle.
  • One of the strangest Aborted Arcs in 2017 was the reveal of Jason Jordan as Kurt Angle's illegitimate son. Despite supposedly building to something, it was abruptly cut short in 2018 when Jordan suffered a Career-Ending Injury and thus the story was dropped as if nothing happened. Four years later in 2022, the two would reunite where Jordan would give the Olympic Hero a #1 Dad Card for his birthday.

    Tabletop Games 
  • White Wolf came out with a book on Gypsies for their Old World of Darkness line that portrayed Roma as embodiments of all the old Universal Studios horror movie stereotypes. Several years down the line, one of their books featured a sidebar that mentioned how inaccurate portrayals of Roma could be found in literature, movies, and "second-rate roleplaying game supplements."
    • And then there was the execrable supplement, Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, wherein a secret society of vampires called the True Black Hand recruited players to fight alien parasites that were infesting other vampires. It was so jarring, badly conceived, and generally unpopular that the company's subsequent edition made a habit of noting that everything in the book was a claim by someone who was misinformed, insane, or just plain wrong (not to mention dropping a nuke on the Black Hand's base).
      • Popular rumour at the time was that DSotBH was created as a (not so) subtle Take That! against certain White Wolf execs by a disgruntled writer.
    • Similarly, there was Samuel Haight, who ended up with the powers of a werewolf, a vampire, and a mage, becoming the main villain of every gameline all at once and, as such, becoming stupidly overpowered. When he finally died, his soul was instantly whisked away to be turned into a Deathlord's ashtray. The rulebooks have since always carefully closed off the possibility of combining even two different character types. In a novel detailing the endgame for Mage: The Ascension, a mage manages to gaze into the Umbra, and sees a powerful ghost extinguishing his cigar on a screaming ashtray.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse occasionally had groan-worthy bits amongst the horror, such as "Braney," a fallen Mokole (werelizard with dinosaur traits) who hosted a children's show meant to snare children into service to the Wyrm. With the 20th anniversary edition, it's revealed that, as the Mokole are meant to serve as Gaia's memory, fallen Mokole have the ability to twist and pervert memories — and Braney was just one long troll by a fallen Mokole to see what acts the Garou really thought the forces of the Wyrm could get away with.
    • White Wolf is pretty notorious for this; they practically breed long-simmering writer resentments. Later Exalted books have grown less and less subtle about the contempt the current crop of writers holds for the earlier writers in the line.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition book Heroes of Battle, which deals with warfare and army life, allows use of the Bluff skill to inspire one's soldiers with false confidence. An example of a "hard to believe" bluff is "That dragon can only breathe fire once per day! Quick, let's get him while he's vulnerable!" This may be a reference to previous editions where dragons were limited to using their breath 3 times a day. 3.5 allows them to do so once every fifteen seconds.

  • My Fair Lady: "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face" includes a long Take That! to the idea of Eliza marrying Freddy as Shaw confirmed in his own continuation of Pygmalion, with Higgins explaining how their marriage would be bound to fail. His fantasy of their future - Eliza failing in her ambition to become a phonetics teacher, going back to selling flowers instead, struggling financially, and eventually having to turn back to Higgins for help - is very close to what Shaw wrote in his “prose sequel,” but without the eventual Happily Ever After resolution and with the addition of Freddy leaving Eliza for another woman.
    "Marry Freddy! Ha!"

    Video Games 
  • One of the taunts you can send to other players in Age of Mythology is a guy asking "What happened to all the stone?" in bewilderment, a reference to how one of the resources from the previous game, Stone, was replaced by Favor in that game.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, the opening cutscene in Snow Way Out jokes about how the game takes place before the many Crash Bandicoot games developed after the PlayStation trilogy.
    Lani-Loli: How many times have you beaten this clown, anyway?
    Coco: Three.
    Lani-Loli: Really? Only three?
    (Crash nods with a "Mm-hmm")
    Lani-Loli: Funny. Seemed like more.
  • In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, there's a small scene where Zack finds a Shinra army helmet lying on the floor of the slums. It causes him to briefly consider the presence of a Shinra army living underneath Midgar, which he soon dismisses as a "stupid idea." Dirge of Cerberus involved an underground Shinra army and is widely considered the worst thing to come out of the whole Compilation.
  • Dawn of War II has several veterans of the campaigns from the original game and its expansions. The campaigns on Tartarus (original game) and Kronus (Dark Crusade) are remembered as great victories for the Blood Ravens Space Marine chapter. Kaurava was "a mistake, and it shouldn't be mentioned ever again" in the words of Cyrus, the Scout Marine Sergeant and one of the few survivors of that campaign. Guess which one of the three was in the outsourced, disliked addon note .
    • Also, Kaurava is mentioned as having seriously depleted the chapter's manpower, which is why they're so desperate to hold on to the Aurelia subsector, which is one of their few recruitment pools. And that campaign ends up being Cyrus' reason to turn to Chaos if he ends up as the traitor in Chaos Rising.
    • And while the Blood Ravens' defeat was confirmed in 2, in 3 we find out that they were beaten by the orks of all people.
  • The GBA port of the original Final Fight, titled Final Fight One, features the Street Fighter Alpha renditions of Cody and Guy as playable characters. The storyline for both characters have them reliving the events of Final Fight in a dream (at least, they think it's just a dream). When Alpha!Cody confronts Rolento, he claims that he is unable to remember actually fighting him, since he Took a Shortcut after defeating Edi E. and went straight to the Bayside stage. This is a reference to the earlier SNES port of the game, which removed the entire Industrial Area stage, and by proxy Rolento, due to ROM size constraint.
  • Ganbare Goemon DS: The Goemon from the ill-fated New Age Shutsudo reboot makes a cameo in the Oedo prison, all beat up, for "having committed crimes against the series".
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, if you look closely enough at a computer's screen in the Ghostbusters' headquarters, you can see the end screen from the maligned Ghostbusters NES game.
  • In the 1994 version of JumpStart Kindergarten, there's a video game within a computer game called "Pattern Blaster" which stars a mouse named Roquefort. In the 1997 version, however, Roquefort exists in the "real world" and there's a different mouse in Pattern Blaster named Brie. Sometimes, as Brie is eating a hunk of cheese, Roquefort comments, "Boy, I wish I was Brie right now."
  • In The King of Fighters XI Kyo has a special winquote if he's in a Mirror Match: "Another clone? There's enough of me to start a baseball team!" This is a nod to the much-maligned NESTS storyline in The King of Fighters '99, 2000, and 2001, which had clones of Kyo as a plot point.
    • There's also this exchange between Angel and Kula in XIV, in regards to Foxy's (now-retconned) death in 2001:
      Angel: So you didn't bring Foxy this time, or perhaps... Did someone take her out already?
      Kula: I hate you!
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Setzer from Final Fantasy VI made a cameo, in which he bribes Roxas to lose a tournament to him — an act which is, at best, completely Out of Character for a compulsive gambler which hints to The Reveal that Roxas has been placed inside a simulation of Twilight Town. In Dissidia Final Fantasy, this conversation happens in a Tutorial (the Dissidia tutorials are delivered by previous Final Fantasy characters):
    Shadow: Don't even try dirty tactics like bribing opponents to lose...
    Setzer: What's this all about? I would never stoop to that! Well, Shadow may have spoiled the mood, but...
  • League of Legends:
    • One of Pulsefire Ezreal's lines post-rework has him see the Tribunal from the old League lore and react with horror.
    • Sejuani's story Dead of Winter has Olaf refuse to speak of where he was or what he'd been doing during the much-maligned Rise of the Sentinels event to Sejuani, saying the whole thing was best kept in the past.
  • LEGO Dimensions:
    • If Sonic interacts with Lumpy Space Princess, he starts recalling another time he met a princess before immediately forgetting it. This was a reference to the infamous Interspecies Romance he had with Princess Elise in the aforementioned Sonic '06.
    • The Level Pack for The Goonies works in a Deleted Scene where a giant octopus shows up and a Walkman is used to send it away. The game has said octopus show up and a boombox is used to make it drop Andy and Brand. They both agree to never tell anyone about it due to how ridiculous it sounds. Data, however, plans to still tell everyone. This detail actually makes a Blooper from the original film make sense as Data inexplicably mentions a giant octopus at the end.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Winter Soldier's intro dialog if he fights Captain America is "'Captain Hydra'? Gimme a break, Steve!", referring to the infamous 2016 comic storyline where Cap was revealed to be a lifelong HYDRA supporter (which was quickly retconned away due to the immense public backlash).
  • Capcom loves to poke fun at the hideous American boxart for the original Mega Man, starting with a sidequest involving "posters of heroes" in Mega Man ZX Advent where it was described as resembling a "colorful coal miner", continuing with the fake box art they commissioned for Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, drawn in a similar art style, and having Bad Box Art Mega Man as a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken. Bad Box Art Mega Man was also set to be a playable character in the cancelled game Mega Man Universe. A toy store in Resident Evil 3 (Remake) features a bin full of unsold action figures of Bad Box Art Mega Man.
  • Model A in Mega Man ZX Advent turns out not to be a Biometal based on Axl but on the Big Bad, Albert. Some fans—particularly the ones who don't like Axl—consider the scene which reveals this to be a giant Take That! at Axl and his creators (regardless, Model A is clearly based on Axl visually and gameplay-wise).
    • A subtler one comes earlier in the game.
      Model A: I don't even know why I was created.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Snake's Revenge, the non-canon NES sequel to the original Metal Gear, has been the subject of a few digs throughout the series. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the later developed MSX sequel, mocks Big Boss's transformation into a cyborg at the end of Snake's Revenge by having a character mention a rumor about Big Boss becoming a Snatcher, while Metal Gear Solid 2 has Snake remark that he's "not a big fan of blades", a reference to Snake's weapon of choice in Snake's Revenge (which he proudly sheaths into his holster during the opening story sequence).
    • Raiden, the surprise protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty who replaced Solid Snake for the main portion of the game, would be the subject of numerous digs throughout the next few games and promotional material after fans gave him a rather cold reception.
      • Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, the expanded edition of the game, introduced a set of bonus alternate universe missions known as the Snake Tales. Most of them are fairly serious in tone, but the fifth mission, "External Gazer", is a parody of the main Sons of Liberty campaign, particularly towards the climax. At the absolute apex of the plot, Solidus attempts to stop Snake by releasing "the seal" on a unit known as "Them": "Their presence alone has the ability to destroy a world", he warns. "They are children of darkness on whom is focused the combined hate of the entire universe." "They", of course, are Raiden and Rose. Snake then experiences an extended Mind Screw sequence, leaving him in a bizarre dream world in which he is convinced he's Raiden. Every single element of the "dream", from Rose calling Jack up in the middle of a bloody war in order to complain about her love handles, to Rose's electrical equipment being possessed by lines of the Japanese syllabary and telling the couple how to clean toilets, make fun of the stranger plot elements in Sons of Liberty.
      • Substance also has a series of bonus VR Photography Missions, most of which are concerned with photographing posters of bikini models. Two of them are murder mysteries, and, in both, the victim is Raiden, who is found in a comically undignified position in his death. The first one has two solutions — an in-character one (Fatman, who murdered Raiden to steal his straw) and an out-of-character one. It's a MGS2 promo poster in a nearby room with Snake on it.
      • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater introduced a minor character named Ivan Raidenovich Raikov, who was put into the game specifically to make fun of Raiden. At one point, Naked Snake (Solid Snake's predecessor) must disguise himself as Raikov. With his uniform and mask on, his commander tells him he looks so much like Raikov that 'you're starting to irritate me already.' Upset, Snake responds, "But this look should make me more popular!"
      • An early teaser trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, made using character models from Metal Gear Solid 3, involves Snake sitting down in a Director's chair, standing in for Hideo Kojima as director. He then takes off his mask and reveals that underneath, he's Raiden. Canned booing accompanies this. Raiden later fights Snake over a 'Main Character' chair — he foot-pops as their buttocks touch and then is thrown off the edge of the stage — Snake then sits down in the main character's chair, gets Mickey Mousing to emphasize his sexiness, and the audience cheers ecstatically. At the end of the trailer, Raiden crawls back up, humiliated and bruised.
      • A sequel to the above teaser (featured as a bonus video in Metal Gear Solid 3: Susbsistence) involved Raiden going back in time to try and kill Naked Snake so he can prevent Solid Snake from existing and become the series' protagonist. Somehow, he keeps transporting into precisely the wrong moments, and by the time he actually gets a shot at it, he's learned to respect Naked Snake too much to kill him. That doesn't stop his quest though. This time he goes back further into the future to kill Solid Snake himself, only to end up being killed by Big Boss (the future version of Naked Snake) during the final battle of Metal Gear 2 instead.
    • After Metal Gear Solid 3 turned out to be a prequel starring Big Boss, Metal Gear Solid 4 went back to the present day setting and had Solid Snake lamenting the fact that Big Boss is suddenly being revered by the public as a legendary hero after information on his early missions were recently declassified (i.e. the previous game was made) despite the clearly antagonistic role he had in the original MSX games. It also has Snake pulling hitherto-unseen CQC skills from out of nowhere; the fact that CQC was a play mechanic introduced in Metal Gear Solid 3 would've sufficed to justify its inclusion in 4, but an in-universe explanation was also added which established that Snake always knew, but stopped using those skills due to their association with Big Boss and is now finding himself instinctively calling upon them due to so many current soldiers, in awe of Big Boss after his pre-Outer Heaven exploits were declassified after the Big Shell incident, copying his CQC moves.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker acts as a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, treating the events of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, the previous PSP game in the series and another Snake Eater sequel itself which was made without Kojima's involvement, as if it never happened. The only real acknowledgment of Portable Ops is the following throwaway line said by Kazuhira Miller in the beginning of the prologue mission.
      Kaz: Finally, we can leave all that crap in San Hieronymo behind, and bust into the mercenary business for real.
    • In the "Deja Vu" mission in Ground Zeroes, logos of almost every game in the Metal Gear series are scattered across the U.S. Naval prison facility. When the player views a logo from a mainline Metal Gear title (i.e. the Kojima-directed games), contacting Kaz will cause him proclaim the title out loud, mention the number of pixels/polygons that composed Snake's character sprite/model in said game, and quote a line or two. On the other hand, if the player finds a logo for a spinoff title (including Portable Ops or Revengeance) Kaz won't recognize the title and doesn't even try to pronounce it.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • In Ōkami, if you collect all 100 Stray Beads (this involves beating two infamously difficult minigames) you get the game's Infinity +1 Sword. In Ōkamiden, Stray Beads are the cheapest type of Shop Fodder you can get.
  • In Persona 4: Arena, Akihiko says that he wants to quit the Shadow Operatives and become a police officer — his profession in the no-longer-canon Persona -trinity soul-. In fact, according to an interview with Zen United (the European publisher of the game), the designers were originally going to give him a look similar to his -trinity soul- appearance before settling for the look he's given in-game instead.
  • In Telltale's episodic Sam & Max: Freelance Police games, there are a few references to Sam And Max: Freelance Police!!, the game that LucasArts cancelled:
    • In Sam and Max's office, there is a case file labeled "3/3/04", the date on which the game was canceled, to which Sam quips:
      Sam: Ah, I remember that case. Particularly gruesome.
      • The remaster of the first season adds another label to the case file with "9/21/18", the date Telltale Games underwent closure and let go of most of its employees. Sam's comment is unchanged.
    • In episode 105, while examining a ballet poster:
      Sam: "Ferret Lake".
      Max: Ooh! Sequels to beloved classics are always better than the originals!
      Sam: (with emphasis) Yes Max. Yes they are.
    • In episode 202, Sam finds on Easter Island among various missing items and people, "a fully playable beta of Sam and Max: Freelance Police!!"
    • In episode 205, Whizzer fires Satan as the ruler of hell, claiming that his termination was due to "current market place realities and underlying economic considerations", the exact reasons LucasArts gave for canceling Freelance Police!!
    • Meanwhile, the trailer for the cancelled game included a clip where Sam exclaimed his astonishment for them being in 3D, while Max dismissed that with "Eh, it's been done." Max had previously appeared in 3D form as an easter egg in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.
  • Shipwrecked 64: In one of the audio logs, the in-universe developer Connor mentions that he adjusted the proportions on "the wolf guy" so he could share other characters' animations if needed. This is a nod to the old freeware build now retroactively known as "Legacy Edition", where Chief Wulf had a very top-heavy, macho appearance instead of the cartoony roundness all the other characters had.
  • The infamous Street Fighter movie is a great source of in-jokes over at Capcom:
    • One of the most controversial changes made in the film was that Chun-Li was a journalist instead of a cop and Interpol agent. Accordingly, one of her win quotes in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is "Leave me alone! I'm a fighter, not a news reporter!"
    • Likewise, Mega Man 9 includes a reporter who looks suspiciously like Chun-Li during the opening movie.
    • If Demitri uses Midnight Bliss on Chun-Li in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, she'll transform into her movie counterpart, right down to the red qipao.
    • Project × Zone 2 has Pai from Virtua Fighter quote M. Bison's iconic But for Me, It Was Tuesday line, which Chun-Li notes sounds familiar.
    • Likewise, when Juri fights Twelve posing as Bison in the Street Fighter comic, she uses a variation of the "For me it was Tuesday" line.
    • Bison also says the "For me it was Tuesday" line as part of his taunt in Street Fighter X Tekken.
  • Super Mario Party: Birdo has a piece of dialogue where she states that this is "the 11th party", referring to the previous home console Mario Party games, while seemingly disregarding the portable and arcade installments.
  • In Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, Shu seems to be aware of the reboot that occurred between the Classic and Alpha series, though he feels the current timeline is the one that isn't supposed to exist and seeks to rectify this.
  • Doubles a Continuity Nod, but in the the japanese version of Team Sonic Racing, Sonic brings up his first encounter with Silver during Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Silver has no idea what he’s talking about because the game’s Reset Button Ending means those events technically never happened and Sonic is one of the only two people who remember it.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, Dante from Devil May Cry is a playable character. He is confronted by Alastor (the spirit of a demonic sword he used in the first Devil May Cry), who chews Dante out for leaving him behind during the events of Devil May Cry 2. Dante protests, "I don't remember that!"
    • Early, Trish insinuates that the "Dante" from DMC2 was actually a friend of Dante's named Enzo, who had apparently stolen Dante's clothes in order to impersonate him. (This also serves as an in-universe explanation for why Dante's untransformed state is him in nothing but boxers.)
  • In the 2011 version of You Don't Know Jack, one question poses the hypothetical scenario of Paul Reubens hosting a game show based on the game. Cookie imagines such a thing would be a surefire hit.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The site has made a few jokes over the years about rejected characters like Homeschool Winner (a tall, skinny Homestar Runner look-alike). In the 2010 holiday cartoon "A Decemberween Mackerel", a bunch of these rejected characters show up in silhouette form in a line at Bubs' Concession Stand.
    • The original version of the character profile page claimed that the King of Town was Marzipan's father, which was later retconned to be "a horrible rumor". In the 2016 April Fools' Day cartoon "Marzipan's Answering Machine 17.2", the King of Town calls up Marzipan to ask her if there's any truth to that rumor.
  • In one episode of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Malal/Malice, a character whom Games Workshop retconned out of existence as to not to get sued, appears briefly on "Spessbook" chat, threatening to return from the "retconnian" where he is trapped at the moment. At a later point, we actually get to see the Retconnian for ourselves, which holds some of the other retconned things within the WH40K universe like the Squats (and Fucking Horus, who wasn't quite retconned but got killed so hard he could go nowhere else).

  • At the end of the first hand-drawn phase of Bob and George, George makes his debut in his superhero persona and introduces himself as "Spark", saying, "It's the best the author could come up with." When the hand-drawn comic was re-launched and George's superhero introduction is revisited, he now calls himself "Blitz". When Bob/Napalm points out that this was not the name he gave out originally, George/Blitz claims that they never did that joke.
  • Jacob's necromantic golem in Dominic Deegan was unnamed early on, but received the fan name "Patches"... a name he ultimately rejected on his Heel–Face Turn on the grounds that it sounded like a name for a dog. (He's now called "Quilt".)
  • Drowtales has been radically remade twice, so a few of these have come in to the new chapters. In chapter 1 Ariel has a plushie of Syphile wearing her original all-red and black costume, and in chapter 13 Ariel wonders aloud if she should try to shape change into a drider, causing Kyo'nne to comment on all the "icky legs" at which point Ariel dismisses the idea. In the very early version of the story she turned into a drider a few times, but now it's explicitly stated that she doesn't have enough mass to pull that off.
  • The "Second Eaton" story arc in Shortpacked! was utterly loathed by the readers for a multitude of reasons, and was not referenced for years... until 2010.
    Robin: Hey, everyone agreed to never mention that "Second Eaton" crap ever again.

    Web Original 
  • TV Tropes: For a long time, the page image for Affably Evil was a photo of the (Human) Mayor of Sunnydale from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After it was changed to a different picture of him, the caption was updated accordingly, continuing directly from the previous one.
    Old Caption: The Mayor of Sunnydale. Jovial. Fatherly. Wants to be a giant snake demon.
    New Caption: The former mayor of Sunnydale. Jovial. Fatherly. Got his wish to be a giant snake demon, and is feeling peachy-keen!

    Web Videos 
  • In November 2010, The Nostalgia Chick released a video in which her supporting cast was giving each other lessons on the various recurring themes of the show. When Brian (the recurring character whose shtick involves dark humor about sexual predators) mentions the much-hated "rap about rape" (a video skit that received a Dude, Not Funny! reaction from many people, and was taken down shortly afterward), Nella punches him and shouts "Rule Number One of Team Nchick! We do not talk about the rape rap!" Interestingly enough, before this, Brian was practically apologizing for it.

    Western Animation 
  • In the American Dad! episode "Stan's Best Friend", Stan says he has never had a dog since his mother forced him to kill his own dog Freddy as a child. When Francine mentions that the family have actually owned two dogs before (Thor in the pilot, and Fussy in "Not Particularly Desperate Housewives"), Stan says that those episodes were just dreams.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, specifically the Show Within a Show in "The Ember Island Players", in a reference to the unpopular episode "The Great Divide":
    Actor Aang: Look! It's the Great Divide! The biggest canyon in the Earth Kingdom!
    Actor Sokka: Ehh... Let's keep flying.
    • What makes it even more of a Discontinuity Nod is that we don't even see the real Team Avatar's reaction to this scene. Perhaps they decided to never speak of the actual incident again.note 
  • The Jonny Quest TV movie Jonny's Golden Quest introduced Race Bannon's daughter Jessie, which he had with his on-and-off lover Jezebel Jade. In the second season of the follow-up series, Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, the identity of Jessie's mother was revised to Race's previously unseen ex-wife Estella Velasquez, since the head writer of the series felt that Jade was not the kind of woman to give up her life as an adventurer to raise a child. When Jessie meets Jezebel in one episode and finds out she was romantically involved with her father, she finds the idea that Jade could have been her mother absurd.
  • The Legend of Korra had a Sophomore Slump, with the season's Big Bad, Unalaq, being seen as a large part of the problem. The Clip Show "Remembances" has Varrick recap the show like an Abridged Series, during which he calls Unalaq "boring and unpopular" and has the other villains exclude him from their Legion of Doom. This is in-character, given that Unalaq conquered Varrick's homeland, but also summarizes how most fans feel about him.
  • Molly of Denali: In Puppy Paloozal," Molly gets to name the puppies. She considers naming one after the famous Siberian husky Togo, which is a sharp contrast to "Welcome Home, Balto," which recognized Balto rather than Togo as the hero of the 1925 Serum Run.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In Episode 20, Daphne notices a statue of the infamous Scrappy-Doo, and has this to say:
    Daphne: Wow! I haven't seen—
    Fred: Look away, Daphne! We all promised each other that we would never speak of it. Not ever!
  • The Simpsons:
    • The two-part episode "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" had two endings animated for it. The ending that was shown to the press (and later included in the clip show "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular") had Smithers being revealed to be the culprit, which differs from the actually aired ending. This unaired alternate ending was referenced in a later episode.
      Marge: Homer, I don't want guns in my house! Don't you remember when Maggie shot Mr. Burns?
      Homer: I thought Smithers did it?
      Lisa: [quietly, with disdain] That would have made a lot more sense...
    • The much reviled episode, "The Principal and the Pauper", involved Skinner being revealed as taking the name of an army lieutenant he thought was killed during Vietnam with his real name being Armin Tamzarian. Ultimately the show goes back to the status quo by putting the real Skinner on a train and "Armin" resuming the name with there even being a law that no one will speak of the incident again. In a later ep, "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot", Lisa sees two cats she has being killed before her eyes before finally getting another and deciding to dub it Snowball II to avoid having to get a new dish. Skinner, walking by, notes this.
      Skinner: That's really a cheat, isn't it?
      Lisa: I guess you're right, Principal Tamzarian.
      Skinner: ...I'll just be moving along, Lisa. Snowball II.
  • The Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production episode "One Carroter in Search of an Artist" serves as a callback to the classic cartoon Duck Amuck, with Bugs suffering at the hands of the animator. One of the cruel punishments he's put through? He is redrawn as Ace Bunny from Loonatics Unleashed.
    Bugs: Okay, now you're just messin' with me!


Video Example(s):


Ignoring the Great Divide

The fans hated it, so why not establish that hate in the show?

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (51 votes)

Example of:

Main / DiscontinuityNod

Media sources: