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Old Hero, New Pals

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Misty and Brock left already?note 

"...Yet on Primus, I too have found new brave friends, and a new family..."

There is this new version of an old series. You may notice from the beginning that it continues from the original work instead of being a sort of reboot. However, despite The Hero still being there, most of the supporting cast has been changed for new characters, except for one or two. Sometimes this is due to the hero having moved to a new city. Part of the new cast tend to be Suspiciously Similar Substitutes to old characters. It could be considered a Retool.

Contrast Changing of the Guard. See also Spin-Off, where it's a secondary character being placed in a new setting instead of The Hero. If the (old) hero is traveling with a mix of both old and new party members, it's With a Friend and a Stranger. Rookie Red Ranger is a conceptual inversionnote  even though we may not have seen the team prior to The Hero joining.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Battle Angel Alita: Last Order begins with Alita stranded on Zalem, having left all her friends (and almost all other characters) back on the surface. She soon makes new friends.
  • Guts of Berserk, after losing the Band of the Hawk to the horrors of the Eclipse, gains a new circle of True Companions in the form of Puck, Serpico, Farnese, Isidro, Schierke, Ivalera, Azan, Roderick, and Isma. Maybe even Magnifico. The only person still with him from his original group is Casca, though given the traumas she suffered during the Eclipse at the hands of Griffith himself, she's not of a lot of help to the rest of the crew.
  • The second season of Record of Lodoss War has Parn (older), and Deedlit (unchanged, given she's an elf), but most of the rest of the cast is changed. Oddly, certain characters are introduced is if the main cast has never met them, such as Parn's "first fight" with Orsen and Sharis.
  • The second season of Medabots gets rid of most the supporting cast.
  • While the Advanced and Diamond and Pearl seasons of Pokémon: The Series utilized With a Friend and a Stranger,note  the seasons from Black & White onwards had this trope as Ash picked up Iris and Cilan in Black & White, Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena in XY, Lillie, Kiawe, Mallow, Lana, and Sophocles in Sun & Moon, and Goh in Journeys.
  • Digimon Adventure 02 featured a new team, which included veterans TK and Kari. (See also Changing of the Guard.)
    • Digimon promotions beginning in Summer 2014 began to advertise a new Digimon series, whose sole line of real description amounts to "Tai's back." Not the team — Tai. However, when Digimon Adventure tri got more announcements, this was averted as it showed that the entire Adventure team would return with Taichi.
  • Inverted in FLCL Progressive & Alternative, which have new casts with an old villain in Haruko, though Canti eventually makes an appearance in Progressive.

    Comic Books 
  • When the de-frozen Captain America began having solo adventures apart of The Avengers, this trope was enforced by the fact that he had already lost his supporting cast in the meantime. Fortunately, Sharon Carter and The Falcon went a long way in the 1970s to make him feel better as his new companions. For the second year of the title, all of the original team members except Captain America left the team, with the sole members being comprised of Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver.
  • In The Incredible Hulk, supporting characters come and go (and sometimes come back again) while Bruce Banner remains the central character.
    • This also applies to his cousin She-Hulk, whose supporting cast is often jettisoned for an entirely new one when a new series begins.
  • Paperinik New Adventures only keeps Paperinik (AKA Donald Duck) and Uncle Scrooge (albeit Demoted to Extra), while the rest of the characters are new ones.
  • Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine was a failed attempt to repeat the success of Paperinink New Adventures. It placed Mickey in a new town called Anderville. Pretty much all the cast was new, except for Mickey himself.
  • In the comic series Powers, a major chunk of the secondary cast has been killed over the dozen+ volumes, (including everyone from Jerkass rival detectives to friendly superheroes) but the two leads have remained constant, aside from the occasional time on a bus. As a result either entirely new characters have filled in, old characters have evolved, or the focus has gotten tighter on the leads, depending on the situation.
  • Wonder Woman in particular suffers from this. She had a regular supporting cast up until The Bronze Age of Comic Books, but since then they keep being killed off or just disappearing without explanation. Most infamously, they just won't let her have her original love interest, Steve Trevor, back, doing everything from killing him to marrying him off to Etta Candy (another rarely seen supporting character). Wonder Woman herself has been based off at least three different American cities over the years. Wonder Woman (Rebirth) returns Steve to being her love interest and also brings Etta back as a main character, but one with no interest in Steve.
  • Superboy (1994): The beginning of Karl Kesel's second run as writer had Superboy leave Hawaii and begin working for Project Cadmus, with an almost entirely new supporting cast apart from Dubbilex. At the tail end of the series it happened again, with Superboy becoming a street-level hero in Suicide Slum and acquiring a new supporting cast from the other tenants in his apartment building.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws began after DC's New 52 reboot, starring the trio of Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire. It was later relaunched as part of DC Rebirth, with Red Hood now teaming up with Artemis of Bana-Mighdall and Bizarro.
  • Vampirella: Originally, Vampirella's main supporting cast consisted of the magician Pendragon, the blind vampire hunter Conrad Van Helsing and his son Adam. Conrad was killed off in the Harris mini-series Morning In America but Adam and Pendragon remained as Vampirella's allies throughout the early Harris years. At the end of the "Vengeance of Vampirella" run, Adam was killed off and Pendragon was ultimately Demoted to Extra afterwards. "Vampirella: The New Monthly" introduced the character of Dixie Fattoni who remained a main supporting character until her eventual death, as well as gave more spotlight to Pantha, a recurring character from the original comics. Since then, Vampirella's supporting cast has constantly changed, with the titular character being the only constant throughout the series.

    Films — Animation 
  • Cars 2 had the townsfolk of Radiator Springs reduced to cameos in favor of new characters Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell to accompany Mater and Lightning McQueen.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: With the exception of Bucky and a very old Peggy Carter, none of Steve's supporting cast from the previous film appear the movie. Justified as they are all dead.
  • Journey Back to Oz features Dorothy returning to Oz...however the only one of her old companions who's willing to help her is the Scarecrow. So naturally, her new party is made up of new characters.
  • In The Force Awakens, the original trilogy characters that get the most focus are Han Solo and Chewbacca, who are separated from Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, R2-D2 and C-3PO for most of the film (R2-D2 has shut-down and only wakes up near the end, and Luke –- who is missing — also only appears right at the end after Han has died, while Lando doesn't appear at all. Instead, Han and Chewie are mostly travelling around with new characters Finn, Rey, and BB-8.
  • This was the case for the first few Mission: Impossible movies, with Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames being the only constants throughout the first three films while all of their other teammates or supervisors would be replaced or killed off. The fourth film plays with it a bit, in that Rhames' character is mostly absent outside of a cameo at the end, but Simon Pegg's minor character from the third film is given an expanded role. It's outright averted in the fifth film [as Cruise, Pegg, Rhames, and Jeremy Renner (who was a prominent supporting figure in the fourth film as well) all return in major parts] and the sixth film [Cruise, Pegg, Rhames are joined by Michelle Monagham from part 3 along with Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin from part 5].
  • MonsterVerse: Godzilla and Kong, whom are basically the poster boys and the two main heroes of this franchise, are the only two consistent characters across all four movies and their spin-offs thus far. With each new movie that features either kaiju, they take on a new set of human allies, whilst the previous set disappears except for one or two (if any) members.
  • In Shock Treatment, the semi-sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brad and Janet (and minor characters Ralph and Betty — and possibly the Criminologist) are the only Rocky characters to appear. In an unusual case, all except Ralph and the Criminologist are played by different performers, while several performers from Rocky appear in different roles.
  • Starship Troopers 3: Marauder features Johnny Rico, the protagonist of the first movie, in the leading role but the rest of the cast is completely different.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction pairs up Optimus Prime and Bumblebee with an almost completely new team of Autobots as well as brand new human allies.
  • Wonder Woman 1984: The only one of Diana's supporting cast from the previous film to return is a resurrected Steve Trevor. Justified as this movie takes place 66 years after the first one.


    Live-Action TV 
  • The The New Avengers keeps only John Steed. Of course, his partner changed anyway during the original series.
  • Charles in Charge: When it moved from network to first run syndication the only characters carried over were Charles & Buddy. The youngest son and the mother (played by a different actress) from the previous family was there as a Spinoff Sendoff, showing the house to the new family moving in.
  • In Chef! (1993), only Gareth, Janice, and Everton carry over for all three seasons. The supporting cast changes frequently.
  • Earth: Final Conflict: by the end of the series the only character left from the first episode is Sandoval, The Dragon to the Taelons and — after the Taelons Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence — the Atavus.
  • The revival of Mission: Impossible in The '80s had Jim Phelps lead an all new Impossible Missions Force. However, one of the new IMF members was Grant Collier, son of the original series' Barney Collier, who appeared in a few episodes.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day, by virtue of it mostly being set outside of Wales and Torchwood staff having a low life expectancy. The previous series, Children of Earth also had a milder change of focus.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Due to its Time Travel format, the show rarely has a recurring cast outside of the Doctor and between one and three companions. However, the Third Doctor's era had a strong rapport between the Doctor and UNIT...which dissolved after he regenerated into the Fourth Doctor and he no longer had a connection to 20th century Earth.
    • Most of the Tenth Doctor's allies went on to with their own lives (and spinoff shows), leaving him alone for the 2009 specials, and with a brand new recurring and main cast once he regenerated in "The End of Time".
  • Blake's 7: The original seven were Blake, Avon, Vila, Jenna, Cally, Gan and Zen. In the second season, Gan is killed off, then Blake and Jenna leave, so for the third season Avon (the new leader), Vila, Cally and Zen are the only members of the original crew left. Then Cally and Zen are both killed, so the fourth and final season features Avon and Vila with five replacement characters.
  • Season 4 of Veronica Mars was slated to be this, judging by the teaser. New work environment, new rivals, new (ex)boyfriends, yet Kristen Bell was still playing the lead role despite the notable lack of other series regulars. Sadly, it was too good to last.
  • The New WKRP in Cincinnati: about half of the characters from the old show were still at WKRP, with several new characters replacing the rest of the cast.
  • 24:
    • Thanks to its high mortality rate, several major characters were killed off, and anyone who managed to survive was almost always Put on a Bus. Jack was the only real constant character in the show.
    • Season 4 managed to subvert this. Although Jack and Chloe were initially the only returning characters when the season started, by the halfway point most of the newly introduced characters had been written out with only a handful remaining while several classic characters from the first three seasons were brought back in.
  • This often occurs in the judge panels of casting shows, if the main judge has strong It's All About Me tendencies:
    • Most judges of America's Next Top Model didn't last very long, but in cycle 19, the entire panel was dumped. Except for Tyra Banks, of course.
    • Heidi Klum of Germany's next Topmodel is notorious for this. Her co-judges are lucky if they get to stick around for more than one season.
    • The same goes for Dieter Bohlen of Deutschland sucht den Superstar (the German version of American Idol).
  • Spartacus War of the Damned features a variant. The main characters are still the same (and quite a few addition), but every single antagonist this season are brand new characters.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Just like in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jean-Luc Picard is once again the Hero Protagonist, but the other series regulars are new to the franchise or, in the case of Seven of Nine, borrowed from another entry in the franchise. Averted when he puts the band back together in the third season.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers began with five Rangers (Jason, Billy, Zack, Trini and Kimberly), with Tommy joining the team later on as the Sixth Ranger. Jason, Trini, Zack and Kim were eventually Put on a Bus, leaving Tommy and Billy at the only Rangers from the first season of Mighty Morphin. Eventually, Billy would leave the show as well, and while Jason did return for Zeo, he wasn't present in the next season. By the time Power Rangers Turbo came around, Tommy was the only Ranger from the first season left before he too would be written out.
    • Tommy once again falls into this trope with his return in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, moving to the city of Reefside and recruiting four new teenagers to combat the forces of evil.
  • The Suite Life On Deck: Aside from Zack and Cody, the only characters from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody to return as regular cast members are London and Mr Mosby. However, Kerry, Arwin, Maddie, Esteban, Barbara, Bob and even the Ellis twins, Jessica and Janice, did guest star in an episode each.
  • Law & Order:
  • Raven's Home: The only returning characters from That's So Raven are Raven and Chelsea. Raven's father Victor, her high school boyfriend/ex-husband Devon and her psychic mentor Dr Sleevemoore do have guest apperances on the show. Raven's brother Cory, her mother Tanya and her high school friend Eddie do not appear.
  • The original British version of The Tomorrow People (1973) was prone to this. Members of the Tomorrow People and even the recurring cast around them would come and go, until in the end the only cast member who remained present during the entire series was John, the oldest of the Tomorrow People and the group's de facto leader, and TIM, the team's AI that managed to keep the same voice (actor) the whole time.
  • Frasier (2023) retains only Frasier as part of the main cast. Niles and Daphne don't appear because David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves were too busy with other projects, John Mahoney's death in 2018 resulted in Martin dying offscreen as well and Peri Gilpin only signed on for one guest appearance as Roz. Rounding out the new main cast are Frasier's son Freddy (previously a recurring character in the original Frasier, but is played by a different actor here), Niles and Daphne's son David (who was born in the finale of the previous series), Freddy's friend Eve, Frasier's previously unmentioned friend Alan Cornwall and his new boss Olivia. Bebe Neuwirth also returns as Lilith, albeit recurring as usual.

    Video Games 
  • Ryo and Robert were the only recurring characters in Art of Fighting 3. Yuri also returns as an NPC. The rest were essentially rehashed (albeit slightly reworked) versions of the original cast with the exceptions of Lenny, Sinclair, and Wyler.
  • Likewise, Street Fighter III does the same, with Ryu and Ken being the only returning characters. The Updated Re-releases adds Akuma and Chun Li, respectively, but everyone else is new to the series (albeit a lot of them count as expies of old characters, some of which canonically debuted in later entries).
  • In Garou: Mark of the Wolves, only Terry Bogard is still around. Rock Howard, the game's protagonist, is mostly an Ascended Extra (with a few cameos in Terry's endings in older games), and the rest of the cast is completely new to the series (with a lot of expies as well).
  • Final Fantasy X-2: Yuna and Rikku go have their own adventures, with a new team-member (Paine) in tow, and a whole bunch of N.P.C.s. The other playable characters from FFX have either died (properly), been erased from existence, gone to settle down to start a family, or gone on to rebuild his tribe's society.
  • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: Vaan, Penelo and a couple Ascended Extras steal a sky pirate ship and meet a new buddy, Lyudd. It takes them a while, but the other characters from your main cast do eventually rejoin your party.
  • The Dragon Age: Origins expansion Awakening transplants the player's Warden to a different part of Ferelden, where they acquire a whole new Ragtag Bunch of Misfits (save one veteran who suffered from Late Character Syndrome in the main game). This is also mostly true for the standalone DLC mini-campaigns that star the Warden: "The Golems of Amgarrak" give you the Dace brothers, their pet bronto, and a healing golem as companions, while "Witch Hunt" sees a Dalish warrior and a Circle mage join you (alongside Dog from the original game) on the quest to find Morrigan.
  • In Mass Effect 2, the late Commander Shepard is back in action but with a largely newly recruited crew, while their old crew from Mass Effect is (mostly) unavailable. This is mostly reversed in Mass Effect 3, though, with only one new squad member (two with DLC), while the rest are familiar faces and voices.
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant keeps Yuri from the original Shadow Hearts, but with brand new party, since the previous heroine has died in the bad ending of the previous game, and rest of party is busy elsewhere with their own lives. Some do reappear in the game though or are referenced.
  • Max Payne 3 stars the eponymous character in the lead role once more but the entire supporting cast from the first two games is replaced with new characters. This is likely due to the fact that most of them had ended up dead by the end of Max Payne 2.
  • While Reimu and Marisa are constantly playable (Marisa only after the third game), this has happened twice in Touhou Project:
    • The first instance is during the switch from PC-98 to Windows. Many of the PC-98 characters are merely one-shots that are never heard of again after being defeated. However, Mima and Genjii are some of the exceptions, appearing prominently in almost all games. They are never heard of again after Touhou Kaikidan ~ Mystic Square, the fifth game.
    • After Touhou Fuujinroku ~ Mountain of Faith, the tenth game, starts the Moriya Shrine Conspiracy arc, the characters from the sixth to ninth games have been getting a lot less appearances. Unlike the first case, though, the characters are explicitly shown to still exist, just not getting as much screentime.
  • With the exception of Donkey Kong himself, none of the characters who appeared in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy on SNES or in Donkey Kong 64 appears in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Instead, DK's friends and family have been replaced with the Helper Monkeys, as well as the Jungle Buddies (who are similar to the Animal Buddies from the previous games, but clearly aren't the same). Averted with later Donkey Kong games, which would bring back characters from the games developed by Rare.
  • Ace Attorney: A major event followed by a seven-year-timeskip between the third and fourth games leaves title character Phoenix Wright the Same Character, But Different, as he's gone from a generally well-respected lawyer to a bum-like pianist/poker player. Following this, his supporting cast's gone in the fourth game with little mention as well, and is replaced by his adopted daughter, his new employee Apollo, and their supporting cast (as Phoenix is now the Deuteragonist instead of the protagonist). Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice, however, have appearances by Wright's companions, with the DLC case of the latter being a Nostalgia Level featuring Maya as the sidekick, Edgeworth as the prosecutor, and Larry as a witness. Helps that Phoenix went back to lawyering.
  • The Paper Mario series always has Mario as the main lead while he gets a new set of partners in each game. Mario's allies in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in particular are largely Expies of the allies from the first game.
  • Zig-Zagged throughout the Saints Row series: In Saints Row 2, Johnny Gat is the only one of the first game Saints to return to the Playa/Boss' side, and even he is Put on a Bus in Saints Row: The Third, meaning that none of Julius' original 3rd Street Saints (except the Boss, of course) are active at that time. Gat does come back in Saints Row IV, however, and is even Promoted to Playable in Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. Also, while Gat is the Boss' only still-active pal from the first game, the Boss gains and loses additional pals in the course of later installments.
  • Ys series: Main character Adol is Walking the Earth, while his supporting cast are people who live in regions he visits, so it's to be expected. The only one who consistently stays with Adol is his friend Dogi, but even then they sometimes end up separated. There are several recurring characters, but they usually have some sort of justification, like Geis being a mercenary.

  • Season 1 of Tower of God ends with everybody passing the test of the 2nd floor except for main character Bam, who got betrayed and pushed into the lake by Rachel and got assigned to be guided by Hwaryun. Season two begins with several new characters meeting a new, stronger and far more stoic Bam. The rest of the season 1 cast has since begun to be reintroduced into the story, at least the important ones... and Paracule

    Western Animation 
  • The New Adventures of He-Man was this for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). He-Man and Skeletor travel to planet Primus, where they join the Galactic Guardians and the Evil Mutants respectively. The Sorceress appears from time to time, King Randor and Queen Marlena have cameos in the pilot, and there's one episode with Teela.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fast Forward sends the Turtles and Splinter to the future, where they meet new people.
  • Extreme Ghostbusters, wherein Egon Spengler from The Real Ghostbusters assembles a new Ghostbusters team, with help from Janine Spengler and Slimer. However, the original team comes Back for the Finale.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, the movie spin-off of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, had Twilight and Spike enter the mirror to the human-world without their friends, but in the process make new friends out of the older ones' humanized counterparts. Technically, those humans are Twilight's friends, but at the same time they aren't, so it's likely debatable. As of the third movie, none of the characters from the show appear at all, though as usual, most of the cast consists of expies.
  • Similar to the Transformers: Age of Extinction example, the only returning Autobots in Transformers: Robots in Disguise from the previous series, Transformers: Prime, are Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, accompanied with a new cast of Autobots and humans. Arcee, Bulkhead, and Ultra Magnus do appear in spin-off comics though, and Bulkhead and Ratchet appeared in later seasons.
  • At the second season of Young Justice, only Robin (now Nightwing), Superboy, and Miss Martian are still on the Team and are leading new teammates that joined over the 5-year time skip.
  • Ozzy & Drix: The series is a spinoff of the movie Osmosis Jones but the titular character and his partner Drix are the only ones to return due to them being sucked out of their host Frank DeTorre by a mosquito and transported into the body of a teenager named Hector Cruz. As a result, they have a new supporting cast.

    Real Life 
  • Your life, from your perspective. You go to new places and surround yourself with new people over the years, but you're the one person who has the lead role from birth to death. The only constant.