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Orwellian Retcon

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From Sebastian Shaw to Hayden Christensen.

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."

When a Retcon is performed by going back and changing the original work, so that subsequent printings of "the same" work are actually different.

This may happen as the result of deciding after that fact that something had Unfortunate Implications, was Dude, Not Funny!, or needed to be Distanced from Current Events, but could also be caused by Flip-Flop of God, Science Marches On, or being Screwed by the Lawyers. Like many tropes, this can be for good or for evil.

This one is a prime source of Adaptation Displacement for more recent fans. It may lead to a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition, Updated Re-release, George Lucas Altered Version, Broken Base, and Creator Backlash, especially if the original version is taken off the shelves. If an entire work is subjected to this rather than a portion, then it belongs to Bury Your Art.

Named after George Orwell: in his novel 1984, the main character's job at the Ministry of Truth is to rewrite old newspaper articles to hide the government's flip-flopping on political issues. Contrast Death of the Author, Canon Discontinuity. Related to Early-Bird Cameo, where an adaptation or remake of a work puts in extra early Foreshadowing for later plot developments. Compare Flashback with the Other Darrin.

See Written by the Winners and its subtrope Internal Retcon for In-Universe examples.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Lucky Star has a minor example: Konata was originally portrayed as a cool Gamer Chick, but was soon changed into an down-to-earth, sort-of-pervy Otaku Surrogate. When the yonkoma were collected into volumes, Yoshimizu changed Konata's lines in some very early strips to make her image consistent. Because this change was very early on in the series and Yoshimizu discussed that in the omake, it is not as displeasing. Parodied in a later omake, which consists of several "What if"-strips. One of them is "What if episode 1 was drawn today", which is simply a reprint of the strip just as it was published in the first volume.
  • The original dubbed airing of the Dungeon Dice Monsters mini-arc of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime used the original designs for the Dice Crests. For no adequately explained reasonnote , all subsequent airings used CG dice with a completely changed set of Crest markings. Fortunately, the American board game version and its Game Boy Advance adaptation used mostly the original designs, with only the Magic Crest changed to a circle with a lightning bolt in the center.
    • The original Weekly Shonen Jump printing of a chapter in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, of Yugi's duel with Bakura, had Bakura's trump card monster called "Dark Necrophilia". This was then changed to "Dark Necrofear" for the following chapter and the graphic novel reprints, to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of the original name.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Adventures gets a lot of changes and revisions when its chapters get collected into tankōbon form. Makes sense, as the manga gets serialized in three different magazines and out of order to boot, not to mention the mangaka often adds new details to incorporate whatever new features that had since been released from the new games.
    • While the original design for the Pokémon Jynx has been a subject of controversy for years (see Video Games section below), The Pokémon Company International has taken action by pulling three episodes that feature Jynx in her original design in the same manner that The Pokémon Company in Japan pulled "Cyber Soldier Porygon", i.e. they pretend that these episodes never existed. What makes this worse in Jynx's case is that one of the episodes just features her in a small cameo, and that one of the pulled episodes was remastered in Japan so that Jynx would appear in her current design.
  • One Piece:
  • The Japanese home video release of the 1986 Fist of the North Star theatrical movie changed the ending of the final battle so that Kenshiro's final battle with Raoh ends in a stalemate rather than losing like in the original theatrical version. Even though the theatrical ending was used for all the international releases, it didn't get to be featured in any of the Japanese home video releases until the DVD release in 2008 and even then it was only available as a bonus feature in first-print editions of the DVD.
  • Chapter 83 of Berserk was serialized in magazine format, but never included in any re-releases (and its events were cut from all adaptations) at the author's own request. He felt it revealed too much about the setting too soon and limited his ability to expand upon it later after introducing the literal god of the universe.
  • In the anime adaptation of Art of Fighting, Yuri Sakazaki was originally voiced by a young, not-yet-famous Ayumi Hamasaki, who also appeared in a series of live-action promos for Art of Fighting 2 in Japan. When the anime was re-released on DVD in Japan, all of Ayumi's dialogue were dubbed over by Kaori Horie, Yuri's actual voice actress in the games, since Hamasaki (who had become a huge J-Pop star in the intervening years) wanted a great share of the royalties for the use of her voice.
  • Along with more standard panel redraws, a few instances occur in the 2003 Updated Re-release of the Sailor Moon manga, (published stateside by Kodansha in 2011), some of which carry over to Sailor Moon Crystal.
    • During Act 2's Crystal Seminar story (which introduced Ami), an instance of a floppy disk from the original 1992 version was replaced by a CD-ROM in the re-released version. Also, to be consistant with the tokusatsu version that was airing at the time, the "sailor senshi" are referred to as "guardians".
    • An unnamed fog attack in the manga (referred to as "Sabao Spray" in the first anime) was changed to be called "Mercury Aqua Mist", to tie in with the live-action version. Sailor Moon's first sceptre was also redrawn to have a crystalline top.
    • Sailor Jupiter had a flower-themed belt added to her first uniform in redrawn panels, a detail that Takeuchi had originally wanted to include on her but had never gotten the chance to.
    • The 2011 English-language editions from Kodansha USA underwent some minor revisions in reprints to correct some mistakes, including an instance of mistranslating Jupiter's "Sparkling Wide Pressure" as "Spark Ring Wide Pressure," and Queen Beryl referring to herself as "Princess Beryl."
  • In Death Note, Near was introduced as a serious character, but had some childish expressions in certain early chapters. When these chapters were collected into the tankōbon editions, Takeshi Obata redrew the panels so Near's face would be less expressive.
    • Another example involved the death of Light's father. In the original Jump serialization, Ryuk speculates that since Soichiro never used a Death Note, he would go to Heaven. As the final chapter of the manga ultimately revealed that there is NO Heaven or Hell (at least, Ryuk doesn't think so), Ohba altered the line in the tankōbon release to prevent any further misunderstandings, with Ryuk now speculating that Mr. Yagami would have died peacefully.
  • A necessary one happens in Queen's Blade Rebellion between the web version of the Illustrated Stories and the paperback version: In the net-based one, Mirim kills one of the Tomoe's fellow shrine maidens (later revealed to be named Tokiwa) when trying to help Annelotte escape from Gainos. Since that scene is out of character for her, in the paperback version, Tokiwa was killed by random guards instead, while Mirim is chasing Annelotte instead. This was omitted in the animated version, as the aforementioned scene never happens and the events are developed in a different direction. Also, the manga version has Leina using her "Maria" persona rescuing Annelotte instead, rather than Tokiwa, and Mirim does not appear until some chapters later.
  • The early print run of Cyborg 009 in Weekly Shōnen King had the lead hero's name first given as "Joe Muramatsu", which later changed to "Joe Shimamura". Ishinomori would revise the earlier chapters when they were reprinted, to correct that continuity error. He also corrected a few instances where 003's surname was used in light of her given name, or where he'd used the wrong katakana for 003's given name and called her "Francois" instead of "Francoise".
    • The chapter "The Aurora Strategy" originally had a character named "Dr.Dolphin" and his daughter "Iruka". In some reprintings, Iruka's name was modified to "Cynthia", which the 2001 anime used.
  • One of these happened in YuruYuri; early in the manga, Akane was originally Akari's (unnamed) older brother. He was converted into a girl for the anime, and this change persisted into later chapters.
  • When JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean was still running in Shonen Jump, the final evolution of Pucci's Stand was called Stairway to Heaven. When it was collected in tankōbon, it was renamed Made in Heaven, possibly because the lyrics fit the motives of its user better. Fan translations are more likely to call it the latter.
    • In the same part, a stand with the name Earth, Wind & Fire had its name changed to Planet Waves for the tankōbon release, due to the fact that Part 4 already had a stand using the same name, maybe.
    • In Part 1 - Phantom Blood, Will. A.Zeppeli mentions not having any children, and calling Jonathan the equivalent of a son to him. This gets contradicted with the existence of Mario and Caesar in Battle Tendency, so later releases of Phantom Blood's manga changed the line, as well as having an apology by Hirohiko Araki.
    • In Part 8 - JoJolion, Kei Nijimura's stand was initially named Going Underground, but it got changed to Born This Way in later releases of the manga. What makes this odd is she still has the initials G.U. in her outfit, despite her stand's name getting changed.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • When Son Gohan debuted in Chapter 196 in Weekly Shōnen Jump, he gave his age as three years old, hence why he holds up three fingers. Gohan is said to be four years old on the title page of the very next chapter, and his dialogue is altered in collected re-releases to change his age to four (him holding up the wrong number of fingers can easily be explained by his young age).
    • In the original version of Chapter 213, when Krillin meets up with Gohan to fight Nappa and Vegeta, their dialogue implies they are meeting for the first time. By the time the tankōbon came out, Akira Toriyama apparently remembered that they had met at Kame House a year earlier, and their dialogue was rewritten accordingly.
    • When Goku first attained the Super Saiyan transformation in the Namek Arc, it was stated that his power was increased 10x. This was the same amount that Goku had used for Kaio-ken earlier in the arc and thus wasn't that impressive, so in the tankōbon release, it was revised to 50x.
    • In Chapter 389, Cell originally announced that the Cell Games would take place on "M 17th". "M" cannot stand for May, as it's been several days since the Androids arrived on May 12th and the Cell Games are supposed to take place nine days after the announcement. The kanzenban and full-color editions changed this to the more reasonable May 26th.
    • The kanzenban release also added new pages of material that expanded the end of the manga. What's unusual is that , as of 2022, the only place you can find this ending are the Full Colours and the kanzenban itself in Japan. It has never been translated into English, with most publications (including Toei themselves) content on reprinting the existing tankōbon versions instead.
  • When Funimation reissued Dragon Ball Z in "remastered" DVD season sets in 2007, they re-recorded parts of their own dub. Since the first 67 episodes weren't recorded with their in-house cast until 2005, the remaining episodes (recorded from 1999-2003) had some inconsistencies, especially in the Ginyu/Frieza episodes, where over half of the characters had redubbed dialogue. Some characters (Vegeta, Krillin, Frieza) had the same actors giving much improved performances (including in the existing in-house dub episodes), while others (Ginyu, Burter, Tien) had been recast, and were now being redubbed by their replacement actors for consistency. Most of this redubbing stopped by the Android saga, though notably Maron, Spice, and Mustard were redubbed in the Garlic Jr. episodes by new actors. To hear this dub as it originally sounded, you'd need to track down the original DVD singles.
    • They did something similar when YuYu Hakusho was released to Blu-ray, though it was only small changes, and far less noticeable ones.
    • Similarly, Funimation has made little effort to release their original dub of the show from 1995, commonly referred to as the "Ocean dub" or "Pioneer dub" due to the production studios involved. This is the one where the Rock the Dragon OP and the Over 9000 meme come from, but it's only been released twice: the original Pioneer VHS tapes from the 90s, and the Rock the Dragon DVD set from 2013. Meanwhile, Funimation's more prolific in-house dub has been released at least four times and is the one readily available on streaming services.
    • Funimation did this again when they released the DVD of the original Dragon Ball movie, Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies. This was one of their very first dubs, and it got lambasted so badly on DVD reviews that they recorded an entirely new dub with their modern Dragon Ball Z Kai cast. The original dub was not provided as an option, resulting in this trope.
  • Ayakashi Triangle usually just makes cosmetic alterations to the volume version, but actually changes plot-relevant dialogue for chapters 112 and 113, where Reo fights Donpa, whose gourd sucks in anyone who responds to their name. In the digital magazine version, she ends the first chapter responding to her name, which is resolved anticlimactically by Donpa either forgetting or refusing to use his gourd (even though Reo wanted to be Captured on Purpose). In the volume version, Donpa simply never states her name.

    Asian Animation 
  • Earlier seasons of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf show Wolffy capturing the goats by tying rope around them. Later seasons have him tying them up using glowing bands instead, and later versions of the earlier episodes are changed so that they feature the glowing bands instead of the ropes.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics loves to reprint their older stories in their newest issues. You'd be hard-pressed to find even one of these reprints that hasn't had a good portion of the dialogue rewritten or panels redrawn in order to avoid sexism, racism, Unfortunate Implications, to maintain consistency with characters whose names had changed since the story's original publishing, to give a dark story a happier ending, or even to change a Walkman into an iPod, or alter a fourth-wall breaking line to remove a reference to Dan DeCarlo.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Later printings and the digital releases of The Avengers (1998) #71 remove a page showing a sex scene between Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym where Hank makes use of his size-changing technology to shrink down and presumably literally go inside her.
    • Thanks to legal issues, all reprints and collected editions of the Marvel NOW! Avengers relaunch have changed Smasher's real name from "Izzy Dare" to "Izzy Kane." Her last name was originally supposed to be a hint that she was the granddaughter of Dan Dare, but this was instead changed to make her the granddaughter of the obscure Golden Age hero Dan Kane, a.k.a. Captain Terror.
    • The original version of 2016's Captain Marvel #9 had a scene where Magneto and Carol confront each other. In it, Magneto implies that Carol is Jumping Off the Slippery Slope with her Change the Future initiative and compares her to the Nazis, to which Carol dismissively compares him to an internet troll invoking Godwin's Law. This scene, along with Magneto's appearance, is cut from the trades, as Carol making fun of a Holocaust survivor and dismissing his experiences made her look bad.
    • Marvel Tales reprinted early Spider-Man stories and occasionally updated topical cultural references in the dialogue. In the "Marvel Mails" section of #159, someone named Vincent Gonzalez wrote in, asking the editors to go all the way in terms of these updates. It's followed by a sequence from "Spidey Strikes Back" (originally printed in The Amazing Spider-Man #19) humorously updated to The '80s. You can find it here.
    • X-Men Classic was a reprint comic of the early adventures of the "All-New" team. Some reprinted stories were edited to conform with more recent interpretations of the character and remove Early Instalment Weirdness. E.g., when Nightcrawler was visiting Banshee's ancestral castle, his ability to (explicitly) turn invisible in darkness was edited so that he's merely very hard to see (i.e., you can no longer see the background through his body).
  • The Aliens comics by Dark Horse began in 1988 with Hicks and Newt as the main characters, set about a decade after the events of the second film. After Alienł came out in 1992 and killed off both characters before its opening credits, reprints of those comics changed the characters' names to "Wilks" and "Billie" respectively. Since 2018, newer reprints have gone back to the original versions with Hicks and Newt.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
  • DC Comics has done this a few times in the past.
    • For example, in Supergirl's first story with the Legion of Super-Heroes, the following dialogue occurred when Supergirl figures out that the Legion who wants to induct her into their club is the same one that inducted Superboy.
      Original printing (from Action Comics #267):
    Lightning Lad: Not the same ones he knew, although we have the same names...
    Saturn Girl: We are the children of the three young super-heroes who befriended Superboy! We are carrying on the Legion's traditions...
    Reprint (from Action Comics #334):
    Lightning Lad: You're hitting on all cylinders, Supergirl!
    Saturn Girl: We've admired Superboy...and you! That's why we made this trip!
    • A second example concerns Jonathan and Martha Kent. In Superman #161, a story was printed where they go to a remote island and accidentally unleash an incurable centuries-old virus on themselves, explaining how they died. However, when the story was reprinted in Superboy #165, they were drawn significantly younger. This is because twenty issues prior, a story with a "Truman Show" Plot was printed where the producer, concerned with his viewers not accepting an old couple with a teenage son, made the senior citizens of Smallville younger, Pa and Ma Kent among them.
    • In the sixties, there was an attempt to establish a 30th century Superman, whose adventures were published in Superman #181, Action Comics #338-339, and World's Finest Comics #166. However, there was no effort to tie in the Legion of Super-Heroes series (which supposedly took place in the same time frame), so when his first three stories were reprinted, the setting was retconned into the 25th century.
    • In "Superman Under the Red Sun" from Action Comics #300, when Superman manages to make it back to the Fortress of Solitude and finds a tiny rocket left from the enlarged Kandor, Superman gets some lead-wrapped Red Kryptonite with the intention to use it on himself, but a few panels later he ends up using a still functioning Shrink Ray instead. After using the rocket to return to the present, he goes on to say he'll wait until the Red Kryptonite's effect wears off, suggesting he had used the Red-K to shrink himself in the first place. Of course, when the story is reprinted more than a decade later, the panel depicting Superman shrinking himself with the shrink ray was changed so that he's using the Red Kryptonite instead.
  • In the original printing of Infinite Crisis, Superboy challenges Superboy-Prime with the line: "Come on, you motherf-!". Due to complaints over the implied language, this was truncated to a simple "Come on!" in reprints and the trade paperback.
    • Batman points a gun in one issue, with a "klik" sound effect that was removed in the trade paperback, with the explanation that the sound effect was meant to be the sound of the gun scraping on something rather than being fired on empty.
  • The Brainwashed Batwoman in Final Crisis initially had a ball-gag in her mouth as part of her Darker and Edgier design, but this was removed from subsequent reprints and collected editions. A few other changes were made as well, such as correcting some coloring mistakes on characters like Shilo Norman.
  • Averted for Usagi Yojimbo. Stan Sakai has stated that he regrets presenting the Big Bad Lord Hijiki in one of the earliest issues as the only human being in a world full of talking animals (his face has never again been seen on panel since then), but admits that the first collection has gone through so many printings that going back and changing it now would be pointless.
  • When Marvel began reprinting old horror and sci-fi tales in the 70s, they sometimes altered details to make the stories better fit the then-current Marvel Universe continuity. For instance, a reprint of a 60s Strange Tales story had a generic scientist Retconned into being a young Hank Pym, while a reprint of a 50s Menace issue had a nondescript foreign spy changed to an agent of Hydra.
    • The character Xemnu the Titan was originally called The Living Hulk (or just The Hulk) in his first appearance. Monsters on The Prowl #11 changed most of these into "Living Titan/The Titan", the former of which doesn't make as much sense as the original since a 'hulk' is supposed to be a dead ship, hence the main character calling the partially-mechanical Xemnu a "living hulk" after ressurecting him with electricity. Perhaps this is why he was never referred to as a Living Titan again.
  • A scene in Dirty Pair: Dangerous Acquaintances involved Kei and Yuri mugging a pair of hostesses and stealing their Playboy Bunny uniforms to sneak aboard a luxury spaceliner. Due to possible copyright issues with Playboy magazine, the art was altered in the trade paperback to remove the ears and tails from the costumes.
  • Some of the more recent releases of Golden Age DC Comics titles have been altered to remove content that would be deemed offensive today. For example, certain editions of Wonder Woman Vol 1 were edited to remove offensive caricatures of African-American and Japanese characters.
  • The collected editions of the New 52 Teen Titans volume got hit with a few of these due to inconsistencies with the new continuity:
    • All references to Tim Drake having been Robin were removed. Interestingly, DC left in the picture of him wearing his Robin outfit (it has an "R" as the logo, not the bird head logo that Red Robin uses - the zero issue would confirm that he wore that costume, but "always" called himself Red Robin).
    • A cameo from Miss Martian (wearing her Young Justice costume) was removed and replaced with an image of a generic, unnamed teen heroine.
    • A line in Batwoman that had Flamebird referencing her past as a Titan (which never happened in the New 52) and a battle with Deathstroke was also edited out in the collected edition.
  • Some dialogue from Batgirl #37 was changed for the TPB collection to remove the implication that Barbara Gordon was shocked and disgusted to discover that an apparently female villain was a cross-dressing man, which had been seen by readers as out-of-character and transphobic.
  • The original printing of We Can Never Go Home #3 had a Costume-Test Montage where Maddie was seen dressed as trademarked heroines like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Ms. Marvel, Power Girl, Zatanna, Silk Spectre, Judge Anderson, Tank Girl and Death. A number of the outfits had to be omitted in the trade paperback, but were replaced with the costumes of other recognizable characters, like Storm, Psylocke, Robin, Batgirl, and The Mighty Thor.
  • The Doctor Who Magazine story "The Crystal Throne" had dialogue changes in the collected edition to a scene where Strax encounters a Sikh man. The initial comedy dialogue, intended to be Strax being Innocently Insensitive, apparently came across as too similar to racist humour that Sikh readers had experienced being directed at them in real life.
  • The first X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda collection removes two pages, adding two new pages to eliminate mentioning a subplot. Fixed in the later hardcover edition.
  • The original version of The Killing Joke uses the "new look" Batman costume with the yellow oval behind the bat insignia, which Batman was still wearing in the main comics in 1988. When The Killing Joke was digitally recolored in 2008, the yellow oval was removed from every single panel, leaving just the bat, because in 2008 Batman no longer had the oval. This change is baffling since no other attempts were made to modernize the story, which is still canonically set when Batman still had the oval.
  • A miscommunication in Detective Comics (Rebirth) led to a scene showing a Christian cross on the tombstone of Batwoman's mother, even though she and her family are Jewish. The digital and collected editions edited out the cross and replaced it with a Star of David.
    • Another miscommunication led to Ra's al Ghul being revealed as the mystery villain in All-Star Batman. Collected editions edited it out.
  • The first teaser poster of Spider-Geddon, a story featuring several characters of the Spider-Man franchise, included the Spider-Woman from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. The poster was silently fixed later to feature the 616 Spider-Woman instead in that spot, and in the same pose. Clearly the artist received a list of characters for the poster, but that list was not clear about which Spider-Woman to include. The mistake may be justified because the Ultimate Marvel universe was a major alternate universe, and Ultimate Spider-Woman (under the name "Black Widow" at the time) had already been used in the previous project of this type, Spider-Verse.
  • Reprints of Monica's Gang stories in The New '10s have the tendency to follow the political correctness of the newer output, at times with risible results, such as the removal of guns and smoking pipes, and adding posters so the characters aren't defacing walls. Removing "swears" that were mild to begin with is also common.
  • A Justice League International PSA in which Booster Gold is dismissive about the threat of AIDS and Fire literally flares up at him was redrawn after Fire lost her powers and Booster's super-suit was destroyed and replaced with bulky Powered Armor, in order to reflect this.

    Fan Works 
  • This trope is par for the course in fanfiction, with many authors revising early chapters of their fics, either to improve the writing quality or to fix inconsistencies.
  • When Durandall wanted to retcon something in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, it was easiest for him just to go back and change the chapters themselves. Usually, this only applied to character names.
  • In chapter 7 of The Last Crystal Unicorn, Shimmering Ruby insults Shining Armor, calling him "retarded" behind his back. This was found to be offensive by many, so the insult was changed to "pitiful".
  • A minor example from Mass Effect: Interregnum. When the game's Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC was released, it included a list of Garrus's squadmates. Several of them had been included in the fic with original names, so the characters in question were renamed to match.
  • In Sylvia the Sylveon, Moondancer's nickname was Moonie, which was meant to be a reference to early 90s Sailor Moon fans. But after the Unfortunate Implications were pointed out, the author changed it to Dancer.
  • In Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon, some characters had brown or black hair, but the author decided there was too many brown and black haired characters, so their hair colors were changed to more wild ones, the most notable being the now green haired Emiru.
  • Red Fire, Red Planet had the author discover he'd made a mistake with an Andorian minor character, giving him the wrong Andorian gender honorifics. "Sh'" is a female-analogue prefix, but the Andorian in question was male, so StarSword just went back through the first three chapters and batch-replaced every instance of "sh'Kreem" with "ch'Kreem".
  • Nimbus Llewelyn occasionally does in Child of the Storm. The changes are usually minor, and made after someone points out a mistake. This is not always the case, however - once he added over 4,000 words to a chapter in the form of an extra scene or two.
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: CD/Grade, the author, constantly goes back to edit, readjust, and add little bits of information to the story.
  • A Chance Meeting of Two Moons: In the fall of 2017, Evilhumour and Anon e Mouse Jr. went back and revised the earlier chapters, primarily to fix spelling and grammar, but also making a few other modifications. Among them included adding an earlier mention of the Doors to the Realms In Between (one had already existed later in the story), and changing one of Elusive's lines into a Big "YES!".
  • Davion & Davion (Deceased) originally had the family of Commodore Grec escape the Amaris Coup as they were invited to New Avalon. The author later wrote Grec as bereaved by the Coup, amending the previous reference to indicate that he declined to invite his family as it was a privilege other soldiers couldn't share, something that more than justified his later emotional distress.
  • After the second class trial was completed in the Danganronpa fic System Restore, author CarthagoDelenda went back and revised the first seven chapters. This was primarily to add details and strengthen the build-up to The Reveal of the second murderer's identity, making the Foreshadowing clearer in areas. In addition, the culprit admits to being more conflicted about their decision and shows more empathy towards Kuzuryuu and Pekoyama. Compare the following two lines.
    Original: I certainly had no intention of killing Pekoyama-san, not until I had a reason to.
    Revision: I had no intention of killing anyone, especially not Pekoyama-san… not until I was given a reason I couldn’t avoid.
    • Part 5 of Chapter 3 was revised (the first time) to deal with Unfortunate Implications, particularly relating to Souda's Despair Fever symptoms, in which he imagines that he is Sonia. There was later a second revision made in regards to Souda's death in general, which was causing confusion based on the wound described and the actual wounds caused by the intended weapon (after toning down said death already) and deciding against having two murders in chapter 3 since it was simply done to follow Danganronpa's "tradition".
  • SAPR:
    • Originally during the lead up to the Breach Applejack and Fluttershy were infected with a Grimm parasite that would have turned them into sleeper agents. Due to negative viewer feedback, however, this was removed entirely from the story.
    • An entire chapter involving a trial and one of Jaune's sisters being a member of the White Fang was removed.
  • Chapter 28 of The Longest Road was rewritten in order to deal with the massively homophobic implications regarding Erika. That is, the original chapter had the reveal that LBGTQ+ trainers were barred from being gym leaders, so Ash ousted Erika as a lesbian in revenge for her jerkass behavior, causing her to lose her position.

    Films — Animated 
  • Several movies from Disney Animated Canon have had this done to them:
    • In one scene in the original VHS and LaserDisc releases of The Lion King, a dust cloud kicked up by Simba seems to form the word "SEX." Although the animators claimed that it actually said "SFX" (special effects), the scene still got edited in later editions.
      • A number of cosmetic edits were made to The Lion King in 2002 to enhance scenes the original animators weren't happy with. Among the changes were re-drawing the crocodiles in "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" to be less crude-looking, editing Scar's shadow in "Be Prepared" to better match his head shape, and adding more detail to the waterfall in "Can You Feel The Love Tonight".
    • Aladdin:
      • The opening song describes Agrabah as a "barbaric" locale "where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face." In response to complaints about the Unfortunate Implications of that line, later editions replaced it with "where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense" (though you can still find the original lyrics in some foreign dubs and on the original CD release).
      • At one point in the movie, Aladdin gets attacked by the tiger Rajah and says, "Come on...good kitty, take off and go...". Due to other, simultaneous noises (possibly Rajah snarling), it's hard to understand what he says, and some people said it sounded like "Good teenagers, take off your clothes." The line was later cut out in the DVD release, only to be restored for the Blu-ray release just over a decade later.
    • Fantasia: In one scene in the original film, several young black centaurettes with donkey bodies (the one with the most screentime was nicknamed Sunflower) are seen performing menial duties for the beautiful Aryan centaurettes and for Bacchus. Needless to say, later audiences considered this unacceptable, and Sunflower and friends have mysteriously disappeared from all releases after 1969. The two lighter-skinned zebra centaurettes who attend Bacchus got some of their scenes trimmed as well, including a scene where one is trying to help the very drunk Bacchus down from a gazebo. Furthermore, Disney has cracked down on videos on the Internet showing footage of the unedited scenes, so good luck finding any evidence of the original version.
  • In the wake of the Me Too Movement, the 2019 home video release of Toy Story 2 cuts out a not-so Hilarious Outtake involving a casting couch-esque moment between Stinky Pete and two Barbie dolls.
  • The theatrical release of Hotel Transylvania 2 contained a joke spoken by Kakie the Cake Monster, "the scariest monster of all is diabetes!" However, parents and groups reacted quite negatively about the line's implications, so Sony Pictures quietly replaced the line with laughter by Kakie for all future releases of the film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Star Wars films have had this happen a lot over the years, enogh that The Other Wiki has a whole article about it:
    • When A New Hope was first released in 1977, it was just called Star Wars. Once it became a runaway success and George Lucas realized he could do all the episodes he envisioned (or claimed to have envisioned at any rate), it was re-released to cinemas with the Opening Crawl now titled "Episode IV - A New Hope".
    • A scene from A New Hope where Han shoots Greedo in the cantina went back and forth on it. In the original release, Han just shot Greedo in cold blood. Realizing that this might not paint the hero in the best light, the scene was updated for re-release with Adaptational Self-Defensenote  — in the form of Greedo shooting at Han and missing at point-blank range before Han shoots him back. This just made the scene look ridiculous, and fans complained, rallying around the mantra "Han shot first". This led to a third change to the scene in which Greedo and Han fire at each other nearly simultaneously. And Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm led to a fourth variant in which Greedo is dubbed in threatening Han before firing (in an alien language and without subtitles, so you'd have to be a Star Wars nerd to know exactly what he said).
    • The Special Edition re-relases of the Original Trilogy mostly updated the special effects, but in some cases it tweaked things to align with the Prequel Trilogy. Most notable was the appearance of Anakin's Force ghost at the end of Return of the Jedi, played in the theatrical release by Sebastian Shaw (who also played the "true" Anakin we see when Luke removes his helmet). After the prequels came out, Shaw's head was digitally replaced with that of Hayden Christensen, who played the character in the prequels (with the body remaining the same). Fans of the Original Trilogy were not happy, to say the least.
  • Director Michael Mann suppressed copies of the original theatrical cut of Last of the Mohicans after some fans expressed displeasure at removal of scenes and music from the director's cut which Mann decided he didn't like ten years later. Various character-driven scenes were excised and action scenes added; complicating things, choice bits of dialogue were edited in, but the overall length of the film didn't change due to the volume of cuts. Altered sound design consisted of recycled bits of soundtrack, with the volume turned down. To this day, the theatrical cut is only available in Europe.
  • The original showings of Star Trek: The Motion Picture had dialogue describing the VGER cloud as being "Over 82 A.U.s in diameter." Subsequent prints and the DVD release edited the dialogue slightly so now it is described as being "Over 2 A.U.s in diameter," which better fits with the established canon for how fast the Enterprise travels under impulse power over the timeframe of the movie. (Earlier video releases, such as the widescreen LaserDisc of the theatrical cut and the 4:3 extended TV cut, do retain the 82.)
  • The phone number in Bruce Almighty was not originally an example of the 555 trope; Universal digitally altered all releases after the original theatrical print because the original number turned out to actually belong to people in various area codes. Even more confusingly, although the English audio track was overdubbed to match the new number, the French dub on the DVD wasn't, no doubt leaving many Francophones confused as to why the number on screen didn't match the one read out by Bruce.
  • The extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King changed a scene where Pippin finds Merry on Pelennor Fields — in the theatrical version this happens during the day, whereas in the extended edition it happens at night, implying that Pippin had been looking for a lot longer. The commentary track reveals that this is because the extended edition includes the Houses of Healing scene, which would have happened in the interim, whereas the theatrical cut does not.note 
  • In the original release of Traffic (2000), the drug czar's daughter, a teenage drug addict, attends Cincinnati Country Day School, a private prep school in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Amid protests from school administrators who objected to the association of the school with drug use, the reference to the school was scrubbed from the DVD release and TV broadcasts.
  • Original releases of The Crush have the teenage Stalker with a Crush named Darien, after a real woman the writer knew. When the real woman sued him and won, subsequent releases dubbed in the name Adrienne, with varying degrees of success.
  • The original English version of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II was bumped up to stereo and had most of its dialogue re-dubbed by different actors when it was finally brought to the United States in 1999 by TriStar Pictures for unknown reasons. The only evidence of the original version is a Hindi theatrical print made without a clean music and effects track, so English dialogue is sometimes heard unscathed. So far, no full length release of the original dub is known to exist.

  • The Gaiad has its chapters frequently updated to keep up with scientific advances or to add new illustrations.
  • In 1831, Mary Shelley rewrote significant portions of her 1818 novel Frankenstein, resulting in a much more fatalistic text.
  • In response to charges of anti-Semitism in his novel Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens eliminated most of the references to Fagin's Jewishness in later editions—in the original he was constantly referred to as "the Jew"—though it is mostly the original that is read, reprinted, and studied today, while the more sanitized version has been forgotten.
  • Ender's Game originally had the main character use the N-word, and depicted Russia in a different light (it was written during the Cold War). Before Orson released an edited version, he told all of his fans that if they sent their copies of Ender's Game to him, he'd send them back free copies of another, not yet released, book of his. What did Orson do with the copies he received? Destroyed them.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Later editions of the book contain a few minor changes to sentences in Elvish. In some cases, these are typos that weren't caught earlier (it's not like many people would know how Elvish is "supposed" to be spelled). In others, it's an actual change to the dialogue.
    • A major change from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings was the account of how Bilbo won the Ring from Gollum. The Hobbit shows Gollum offering the Ring as a genuine prize in the riddle game, written long before Lord of the Rings envisioned the Ring as an Artifact of Doom that Gollum would never part with willingly. The latter work cleverly addressed this by saying that the account in The Hobbit was Bilbo's own record of what happened, which Gandalf immediately found very suspicious. Bilbo confesses to Gandalf that he tricked Gollum into giving him the Ring. Then later editions of The Hobbit itself was altered to reflect LoTR's characterization of what really happened, explained In-Universe as Frodo learning the truth from Gandalf and editing his uncle's book. All this does, however, leave the weirdness of reading the extant editions of The Hobbit followed by The Lord of the Rings, leaving Gandalf confronting Bilbo about something that apparently didn't happen.
  • Edmond Hamilton's book The Star Kings. In the original ending, the hero returned to his own time and body, and his love followed him some time later by swapping bodies with an incurably comatose girl. Once Hamilton wrote the sequel, that changed to her contacting him telepathically and saying they are working on a way to transport him into her time physically. For some reason, however, some recent printings still include the original ending.
  • Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was originally set in 1992. After The Film of the Book Blade Runner was released, subsequent printings changed the year to 2019.
  • Arthur C. Clarke:
    • Clarke rewrote the first chapter of Childhood's End to avoid Failed Future Forecast. However, he does also include the original first chapter in some editions.
    • In-Verse example: In Ghost From The Grand Banks, one of the main characters made his fortune performing Orwellian Retcons on old classic movies, digitally erasing the Everybody Smokes trope by replacing such films' omnipresent cigarettes and pipes with lollipops, chewed pencils, etc.
  • R.A. Salvatore changed some details of Drizzt's backstory in later drafts of The Icewind Dale Trilogy so as to better fit his expanded conception of the character's origins in The Dark Elf Trilogy. Specifically, the line "Two hundred years of living many miles below ground had not been erased by five years on the sunlit surface. To this day, sunlight drained and dizzied him." The prequel trilogy's timeline established that Drizzt was only in his mid-forties or so.
  • The chronologically last book of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Talking to Dragons, was written first. When it was republished, some minor changes were made to make it agree with the other books.
  • Happens a lot in reprints of Enid Blyton stories, partly to change money references to decimal currency but also covering minor plot points (one novel has the characters bribing a girl with chocolate, rather than money as in the original). However, a scene in Secret Seven Fireworks where the Seven accidentally set fire to the shed where they've stored their fireworks and set them all off was rewritten to have the shed instead containing their guy (presumably because that was considered less dangerous), meaning they acquire a new guy by the next chapter and the original ending of the police giving them new fireworks as a thank you was lost. (The novel also alters all references to them buying fireworks to their parents buying them for them, to cover modern age restrictions on sales.)
    • The villains in many of the Little Noddy stories were originally Golliwogs. The modern editions have replaced them with Goblins. In addition references to Noddy and Big Ears sleeping in the same bed have been removed.
  • Stephen King rewrote and expanded large portions of the first volume of The Dark Tower to "better fit in" with the later books. This included retconning all of the villains from Roland's past as the same guy. Since The Gunslinger as originally written is composed in a style unlike King's later works, and features call backs to story elements that were never expanded on in the finished work.
  • King's The Stand was originally set in 1980. Subsequent printings were set in 1985, then the uncut version in the 1990s (with references to AIDS and a few other cultural changes).
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • In one of the more famous examples in literature, at least among Trekkers, Della van Hise's Star Trek: The Original Series novel Killing Time was released and then almost immediately recalled when it was discovered that the author was a former K/S Slash Fic writer, and that this comes through blatantly in the original text of the novelnote . The next edition had the worst of the subtext edited out, but original copies can still be found on eBay and in used bookstores, and many K/S fans actively hunt them out.
    • Diane Duane made some minor edits to Rihannsu to clean up internal continuity when the first four books of five were re-released as an omnibus edition in the early 2000s.
  • Diane Duane has released edited "New Millennium Edition" versions of the first nine books of the Young Wizards series to clean up the timeline. Seeing as the series had been published over the course of thirty years at that point, each was set in the present day at time of publication, and yet Kit and Nita had only grown a couple of years... it was probably for the best. In addition to resetting things so the series starts in 2008, she also took the opportunity to fix some other things, such as a very dated understanding of autism in A Wizard Alone.
  • Small-scale example: Any reprint of the early Eragon books now marks them as the Inheritance Cycle instead of the Inheritance Trilogy.note 
  • The previous publisher of Avalon: Web of Magic went bankrupt. In the switch to Seven Seas Entertainment, the author revised the books to avoid plot holes and ridiculous behavior.
  • The original Oompa-Loompas of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were black, and specifically mentioned to be from Darkest Africa. After numerous people pointed out the Unfortunate Implications of Willy Wonka as a slave owner, later printings changed them to the white and somewhat hippie-ish inhabitants of Loompaland. Additionally, the character of Veruca Salt was originally known as Veruca Cruz.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Later editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were edited to make Nearly Headless Nick's claimed age match with the age given for him in Chamber of Secrets. Also in Philosopher's Stone, Hagrid originally stated he had to "give Sirius his bike back". This was later contradicted by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Sirius Black gave the bike to Hagrid and told him to keep it before disappearing. Later editions of Philosopher's Stone rectified this by having Hagrid just say he had to put the bike away.
    • Early editions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets have Dumbledore tell Harry that Voldemort is the last living ancestor of Salazar Slytherin, even though the word "descendant" was obviously meant. This was of course eventually changed, but not before inspiring some humorous Epileptic Trees. Also in the same book, Lockhart mentions that one of the less-than-photogenic people he stole credit from was a witch with a "harelip" (an outdated term for a cleft lip), which was changed to a "hairy chin" in later editions.
    • In the first American printing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a mistake made by Rowling (in both the British and US-market editions) made it so the order in which the shadows of Harry's parents come out of Voldemort's wand contradicts the order in which Voldemort said he killed them, launching a thousand fan theories. This was corrected in later editions.
    • In the original edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it's a minor plot point that prefects can't take house points. However, this contradicts an earlier scene in Chamber of Secrets in which Percy takes points off Ron. Later editions of Phoenix altered the dialogue so that the rule is that prefects can't take points off other prefects.
  • In Narcissus In Chains by Laurell K Hamilton, the hardcover version of the book contained a scene where the main character was raped. All other editions of the book have had edits made so that it's merely questionable as to how willing she was (mostly dialogue changes so that she's not flat out saying "no, I don't want to.")
  • The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series underwent a major retcon of their first stories beginning in 1959 (the first 34 for Nancy, 38 for the Hardys). Ostensibly to remove dated slang and racist stereotypes, and also to make the stories shorter and faster-paced, this led to a realization that some stories simply fell apart otherwise, so more than a few of the books were completely new stories with nothing but the title being the same. Purists of the two series have criticized the revised books as being bland and sanitized. The original volumes can be found through reprints from niche publisher Applewood Books.
  • A reissue of Huckleberry Finn in 2011 omitted the N-words, exchanging the word "slave" where appropriate.
  • Agatha Christie's book And Then There Were None was originally called Ten Little Niggers in the UK. Then it was Ten Little Indians before that term for Native Americans fell out of politically correct language, resulting in its current title. In the novel, the rhyme was changed from Ten Little Niggers to Ten Little Indians to Ten Little Soldier Boys, and the name of the island from Nigger Island to Indian Island then to Soldier Island. The U.S. edition has always used the title "And Then There Were None".
  • In The Lorax there was originally a line that joked about how polluted Lake Erie was. Some environmentalists pointed out to Dr. Seuss that there were efforts to clean up the lake. So reprints have changed the Lake Erie line. It can still be heard in the Animated Adaptation however.
  • The "FUDGE" books by Judy Blume were edited in post-2002 reprints to, among other things, replace references to The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and The Electric Company (1971) with references to the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, replace vinyl record players with CD players, and in Sheila the Great, change the reason the characters are using a mimeograph machine (in 1972, it was because they hadn't gotten a copier yet. In 2002, it was because the copier broke).
  • Jurassic Park was slightly edited after The Lost World (1995) was published to remove reference to Dr. Malcolm's death, to support his retcon back into existence for the sequel.
  • In Just Me and You, the first of Mercer Mayer's "Little Critter" books, at one point, Little Critter is threatened with being spanked. This was changed in recent reprints to have him being threatened with getting a "time-out".
  • The Baby-Sitters Club was revised somewhat in later printings, as editors tried to reconcile a few inconsistencies made by Ann M. Martin and ghostwriters:
    • In the original Kristy's Big Idea, Kristy is described as wearing a skirt and blouse. As Kristy would later be established as only liking sweaters and jeans, this detail was changed to fit that. Her mother's name was also originally given as "Edie Thomas", but as Martin later referred to her as "Elizabeth", this was also corrected in later editions.
    • Karen's mother and stepfather were originally named "Sheila" and "Kendall" in Kristy's Big Day. Reprints corrected their names to be "Lisa" and "Seth", the names that Martin would settle on when writing Baby Sitters' Little Sister.
    • An early edition of one Little Sister book had Karen concoct various plans of revenge on a boy that bullied her. One idea was her saying that she'd tell him he was adopted. After parents complained about the implications of that passage, this was changed to Karen's plan being "Tell him I will never ever speak to him again".
  • Reprints of the Norwegian edition of the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren rewrite Pippi's father's title from "negerkonge" (Negro King) to "sydhavskonge" (King of the Southern Seas), due to the, well, you know what.
  • Imaro when first released in 1981 had a chapter called "Slaves of the Giant-Kings" with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures of the Tutsi and Hutu of Rwanda and Imaro incites a bloody rebellion against the Tutsi. Then in 1994 the Rwandan Genocide happened where the Hutu slaughtered the Tutsi. When author Charles Saunders finally reprinted Imaro in 2006 he removed "Slaves of the Giant-Kings" entirely, replacing it with "The Afua". In addition, Saunders moved the chapter "The City of Madness" to the start of Imaro 2: The Quest for Cush and replaced it with "Betrayal in Blood" since in the original publication there was a large gap between "The City of Madness" and the preceding chapter while "Betrayal in Blood" bridges that gap.
  • Darkspell, the second book in the Deverry series, was later released in a revised edition. Some of the changes were made to bring the book more in lime with how the author originally envisioned it, before her editor overruled it. For instance, Sarcyn is redeemed in the new version instead of going insane and his brother has been replaced with a sister, whose role has been drastically reduced. Also, the Thieves' Guild in one town was changed into just a father and his son, because the author came to realize that the town wasn't large enough to support a fully-fledged thieves' guild.
  • Older books in the Kid Detective series The Three Investigators were reedited to replace Alfred Hitchcock with fictional stand-ins after the Real Life Hitch's death.
  • After much demand from fans, and profiteering by secondhand book dealers, Terry Pratchett's first novel The Carpet People was eventually republished. However, it was heavily rewritten, partly to remove bad writing but also to replace the conventional High Fantasy monarchism and glorification of war of the original with the more democratic and pacifist political outlook of Pratchett's mature novels.
  • Recent reprints of the older Geronimo Stilton books have many illustrations replaced or partially redrawn to replace Trap's old designnote  with the one introduced around volume 31-32 of the main seriesnote . The partially redrawn ones are the most obvious ones, since the new, digitally colored parts are drawn over the original watercolored pictures.
  • The second book of the Book of the Dun Cow series, The Book of Sorrows, was rewritten and reissued some time later as Lamentations. The new version differs in writing style, changes various plot points, and both introduces new characters and removes existing ones from Sorrows. This was to bring the series in line with the final book, Peace at the Last, which followed the rewritten continuity.
  • The biggest modern revisions made by Jin Yong, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils now ends with Wang Yuyan rejecting Duan Yu, opting to stay and take care of her now crazy cousin, Murong Fu, Duan Yu marrying all his previous romantic interests and a few other retcons.
  • Michael Moorcock:
    • Two different works were edited in later editions, because the first editions appeared to endorse rape in certain circumstances and Moorcock was convinced by feminist criticism that this was morally wrong:
      • In the ending of the first edition of Gloriana, Quire successfully gives Gloriana her first ever orgasm and ends the barrenness of her kingdom by raping her. In later editions, when he tries to, she overpowers him and rapes him with the same result.
      • At the end of the first version of "The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming", the Fireclown cures Mavis of her uptightness and right-wing politics by raping her. In later editions, he does it by whipping her until she has an emotional breakdown, which may or may not be an actual improvement.
    • On a smaller scale, many 1990s and 2000s reprints of early Moorcock works changed the names of certain characters to make them members of the von Bek or Cornelius families, or to turn originally unconnected villains into versions of Johannes Klosterheim or Gaynor the Damned (sometimes also using the latter's pseudonym in more modern or futuristic settings of Paul van/von Minct).
  • In The Stormlight Archive book Words of Radiance, the climactic battle between Kaladin and Szeth was rewritten: after Szeth learns that his terrible crimes were All for Nothing, the original hardcover has the former kill the latter, while the paperback release has Szeth choose to fall to his death in the Highstorm. In both editions, he's brought Back from the Dead anyway.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • In later editions of the original Mary Poppins novel, the "Bad Tuesday" chapter (in which the central characters are magically transported to different parts of the world) was repeatedly rewritten to tone down the racist depictions of the foreign characters. The first iteration simply replaced ethnic slurs and other particularly derogatory sentences with more respectful versions, while the final iteration completely changed the characters from human beings into talking animals.
  • Oracle of Tao has had a number of edits since its video game version. In particular though, Ambrosia Brahman's name has been changed from Brahmin (in the video game). This is true even on a picture where Ambrosia signs her name on an identification card.
  • S-F: The Year's Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy: In this Anthology, there is a note on the first page of "Sense From Thought Divide", by Mark Clifton, admitting to revisions from the original publication.
  • In the Magic Shop series, every book includes a pair of talking rats named Jerome and Roxanne except the first one. The twentieth-anniversary revised edition gives them a short cameo, along with some smaller changes.
  • Animorphs was re-released with new covers and some updated pop culture references, though they only got through the first few books.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Law & Order featured a mass murder at a bar called "The Velvet Room". After the owners of an actual New York bar of that name sued, the episode was redubbed to change the name of the bar to "The Vivant Room".
  • The short-lived The Little Muppet Monsters was retconned out of existence in reruns of the The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years special from 1986, which was made before LMM was cancelled. The original broadcast included cameos by the show's characters, clips from the series, and a mention of the show in a speech by Big Bird, all of which were edited out when the special was shown on Odyssey.
  • The picture of Penny & Desmond in the Lost episode "Orientation" originally showed Henry Ian Cusick with a model who was not Sonya Walger. On the DVD, the photo has been digitally altered to include Walger (and was edited for the rerun as well).
  • The re-filming of earlier episodes of Seinfeld when Frank Costanza was recast. Also, the first episode featuring Newman had him voiced by Larry David, as he did not appear on screen. Reruns of the episode feature Wayne Knight's voice instead.
  • Happened a few times on Babylon 5. Generally this was done to fix a mistake that was detected almost immediately after the first airing, such as Sheridan's old ship (the Agamemnon) opening fire on civilian transports in "Moments of Transition" (changed to the Pollux later), and Sheridan's notorious reference in "Comes the Inquisitor" to the Jack the Ripper murders happening in the "West End of London". Also, all official releases of the original pilot "The Gathering" are the "Special Edition"; the original pilot (as originally aired) is a case of Keep Circulating the Tapes.
    • Averted with the recasting of Anna Sheridan. After Melissa Gilbert played John Sheridan's (Bruce Boxleitner, Gilbert's real-life husband) wife Anna in a pair of third-season episodes, J. Michael Straczynski considered doing a reshoot with Gilbert of an earlier second-season scene featuring Anna Sheridan (originally filmed with a different actress), but it never actually happened.
    • Interestingly enough, some refilmed footage is clearly visible, as there was a Flashback with the Other Darrin in "Z'Ha'Dum". Also lampshaded in the Director's Commentary.
  • At the beginning of Heroes Season Three episode "I Am Sylar", the "Previously on…..." segment shows a scene in which Danko instructs Sylar to shapeshifter into Agent Taub for a while. However, this never actually happened "Previously on Heroes". It was, in fact, an entirely new scene that according to the writers was written and shot for the sole purpose of being placed in the recap.
  • Battlestar Galactica became infamous for including deleted scenes in its "Previously On" sequences, or just throwing in extra dialogue when a character's face wasn't visible.
  • Sons of Anarchy inserted a line in a "Previous On..." wherein the character of Cherry who had been explicitly Put on a Bus to Canada is told she will be "safe in Ireland," to set up her three episode guest appearance while the club goes to Oireland.
  • The original LP for the soundtrack of Battle Fever J depicted Battle France wearing the light blue suit he wore in early episodes. The later CD version, first printed during the 1990s, changed to the white suit he wore in later episodes.
    • Episodes 1–3, 5, and 7 have two versions: the original, in which Kenji Ushio plays Hedder, and the other in which he has been replaced by Masashi Ishibashi
  • At the end of the first season of Sherlock, John's Character Blog stopped dead, with increasingly worried comments from his friends, none of whom had seen him since the Cliffhanger. When the second season revealed the cliffhanger was resolved very simply within seconds, the blog was quickly changed to fit the new events.
  • Some of the Missing Episodes in Doctor Who have been reconstructed with animation, which was used in at least one case to do this - the "Bad Wolf" Arc Words from the 2005 series actually show up in "The Invasion", a 1968 story.
  • Done on, of all shows, Wheel of Fortune. The Announcer Charlie O'Donnell died in November 2010, barely two months into the 28th season. Naturally this meant that other announcers would fill in, but where this trope comes into play is with the episodes Charlie had taped which had not yet aired. Deciding that it would be "too sad" to hear his voice posthumously, the producers dubbed Charlie's voice over with those of the fill-ins. This came into play again during the summer rerun cycle in 2011: as Jim Thornton had been chosen as the permanent replacement, he was dubbed over everyone else on the reruns — including a few episodes originally announced by Charlie, meaning that some were overdubbed twice!
  • One episode of Kamen Rider Gaim garnered international attention by "borrowing" the official map of Gotham City to use as the map of the story's setting, Zawame City. For the home version the map was digitally replaced with a more generic-looking location, presumably to avoid legal entanglements with DC Comics.

  • Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk! had co-writer credit given to Trinidad James from sampling All Gold Everything, The Gap Band for similar elements to Oops, Upside Your Head, and the producers involved with all three bands.
  • Michael Jackson did this twice and didn't announce it. After the success of the Rock With You single - which was itself a remix, as was the B-Side Get On The Floor - the album Off The Wall was reissued with the single mixes replacing the album versions, unannounced, which remains to this day. The same thing happened with the album Bad, which had numerous differences, most notably a spoken intro to I Just Can't Stop Loving You. The 2001 remasters presented retained the revised tracklistings. Enough people kicked up a fuss about the Bad album being changed that they hoped the original mix (albeit remastered) would be reused for Bad 25. It wasn’t, the revised mix was used instead.
    • Michael had three changes to his albums that were announced, however - Ben had the cover changed to remove the rats (Ben is supposed to be Michael's pet rat) because they were apparently scaring kids, History was revised to contain an edited version of 'They Don't Care About Us' (due to containing the line 'jew me, kike me' which was considered offensive), and Off The Wall's cover was changed to just showing his lower half on the US pressings and the 2001 remaster because it was thought that younger fans would not realise it was the same Michael (prior to his skin bleaching and hair straightening).
      • After Michael's death, newspapers that had accused him of being a pedophile stopped doing so and praised him instead, acting like there had never been any accusations, though a new set of allegations against him surfaced in early 2019 following the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. This naturally confused their audiences, some of whom were quite vocal about it.
  • Stay With Me by Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips had similarities to I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who were retroactively given co-writer credit on Stay With Me.
  • Wham's 2011 reissue of The Final (with a DVD of the video release) presented it as the 'original album' and played on the nostalgia of people who would have bought it on vinyl or cassette in 1986. However, the reissue is based on the CD release, which was released later and doesn't contain Blue (Armed With Love), the extended mixes of Bad Boys, Careless Whisper and I'm Your Man. As Blue is pretty rare on CD, this was widely seen as a missed opportunity.
  • After Rolf Harris' conviction for indecent assault, his vocals were removed from subsequent reissues of Kate Bush's Aerial and replaced with her son Bertie.
  • After the first 3 million copies were sold, Weezer's self-titled debut had the album mix of "Say It Ain't So" quietly replaced by a single remix at the band's request - the difference is barely noticeable anyway. A deluxe version of the album included the original mix as a bonus track.
  • When it was released as a single, Taylor Swift's "ME!" contained the line "Hey kids, spelling is fun!", however the album version removes this, likely because of the negative reaction the line got.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • It's very common for books of newspaper comic collections to revise, edit, or just outright omit comic strips the artist disliked on first run. Since it's quite difficult to track down "original" strips as they first ran in newspapers, this is one form of media where Orwellian Retconning can be almost undetectable and thus extremely successful.
    • In The Prehistory of The Far Side Gary Larson admits to doing this on several occasions. For example, one comic involved a vampire watching a TV ad boasting "when you're out of A-positive, you're out of blood!" with the caption "Your Vampire TV station." Larson admitted finding that caption redundant, and sure enough it never accompanies the comic in any other Far Side collection or calendar.
  • An early FoxTrot strip had Jason recording an answering machine message proclaiming that the caller dialed "Satan Hotline". When the strip was reprinted in book collections, it was changed so that Jason was singing "A million bottles of beer on the wall."
    • Another strip featured Andy, high on decongestant, realizing that she was surfing the television when it was off, which lead her to claim "I thought Oprah looked extra-black". Given the unfortunate implication with the dialogue, it was changed to "I thought Bill O'Reilly seemed a little soft-spoken" in reprint collections.
  • This was played with in a Dilbert comic, when Topper says he passed a gallstone so big it became the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration.
    Receptionist: I find that hard to believe.
    Topper: Give me ten minutes and then check Wikipedia.
  • The Complete Calvin and Hobbes book-set had some of the dialogues altered:
    • A strip from January 7, 1987 had the dialogue "Was I adopted?" changed to "Was I genetically engineered or cloned?".
    • A similar change was done for the November 25, 1988 strip, where mentions of "biological mother" was changed to "a good mother."
    • A strip from November 24, 1987 had Calvin's dad's explanation for why the weather is getting colder altered so that it's more scientifically correct.
  • When For Better or for Worse entered reruns, several older strips had their artworks altered, from seat belts being added when characters are driving to Ellie reacting more angrily to John (this was after Lynn Johnston divorced her husband, who was the basis for the character). This is, however, averted in The Complete Library hardcover reprint, where the book editor is taking great pains to restore the strip close to the original version as possible.
  • A retcon that was done because of an error: a Pearls Before Swine strip from February 7, 2016 accidentally ruined a pun in the next-to-last panel, where Pig said "I want to be your friend" instead of "I want to be your Fred" (this is based on a lyrics from a Bruce Springsteen song "Born to Run"). In the online edition and subsequent reprint in book collections, it was corrected so Pig said "Fred".
  • The Family Circus frequently reuses panels, either with the same joke or a new one that fits the art. These panels are generally redrawn to update any technology (although the wood-panelled CRT television remains an exception), and sometimes reworked to update other things as well (like a rerun "We're going to Disneyland!" storyline that made a point of referencing the most recent attractions). As with FBOFW, scenes in cars have seat-belts added.
  • A Garfield strip for October 20, 2002 originally had Garfield reciting Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay". However the poem was still under copyright when it ran so it was replaced with an original poem in reprints. (The poem has since lapsed into public domain as of 2019).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ever since the World Wrestling Federation were forced to change their name to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002, they've made sure to remove all references to the letters WWF and the "Federation". This is partly because of not being allowed to use the acronym for legal reasons, and wanting to make the rebranding as absolute as possible. Which means that older wrestlers like Randy Savage are referred to as "former WWE wrestlers", even if their runs with the company took place long before the name change, and making edits whenever a wrestler or announcer mentions "WWF" on DVD releases of pre-2002 footage. Averted on the UK licensed DVDs which, through some legal loophole, can be released unedited. Averted with the release of the WWE Network, as footage from the WWF days can be found there unedited due to a licensing agreement between them and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
  • Trisa Hayes had appeared in Penthouse some time prior to her surprise ECW debut as Beulah McGillicutty at ECW Hostile City Showdown 95. However, because WWE had a working relationship with Playboy at the time that the Rise & Fall of ECW DVD was released in 2004, Tommy Dreamer had to say that she had been a Playboy Playmate. For the record, Tommy Dreamer, real name Thomas Laughlin, is married to Trisa Hayes in Real Life. Yes, WWE made Tommy Dreamer lie about what magazine his wife had appeared in prior to her ECW debut.
  • When Sid Justice eliminated Hulk Hogan at Royal Rumble 1992, fans cheered and Gorilla Monsoon responded as if it was fair. While the home video version kept the original reaction and commentary, the recap on Superstars in the weeks after was edited to remove the cheering, and Monsoon actually re-recorded his commentary to cast Justice in a negative light.
  • Normally, the debut of a company's new logo would be greeted with much fanfare. However, when WWE decided to update their "scratch" logo into a more modern, sleeker logo, there was not one mention of the new logo made on-air, despite it replacing the old WWE logo on almost everything (microphones, stage, announce table, backstage interview area, turnbuckles, the patch on the referees' shirts, etc.). Making it doubly bad is the fact that the supposedly "new and improved" WWE Championship was to be revealed that night, but what was revealed was a belt exactly the same as the old WWE Championship, only with the new logo instead of the old. So in Kayfabe, no one exactly knew what was so new and improved about the belt, as it was never mentioned by anyone on air.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Given the nature of BZPower, wherein players can edit their own posts at will, this has taken place every now and then in RPGs such as Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG or Dino Attack RPG, usually when a player is adding in a piece of information he originally forgot or when a player is decanonizing something he wrote. For example, in Dino Attack RPG, Dr. Cyborg's revelation of Pterisa's origins vanished without a trace after Andrewnuva 199 asked avmatoran to retcon it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Done humorously with the Paranoia franchise, where the much-reviled fifth edition of the game has been officially declared an unproduct.
  • Following the January 2022 controversy over Wizards of the Coast's attempted changes to the Open Game License, Paizo announced they would be divesting Pathfinder Second Edition of remaining material held over from Wizards' SRD. This results in a lot of retcons to established lore of the Lost Omens setting: among other things, dragons have been thoroughly reworked away from the chromatic and metallic breakdown of Dungeons & Dragons, and the drow are being deleted altogether in favor of expanding the role of the serpentfolk. The latter basically means the Second Darkness Adventure Path is now Canon Discontinuity.
  • When Warhammer 40,000 ended the Squat race, reprintings of books where Squat characters appear had them deleted, turned into humans or Ratlings although they do get a mention since the sixth edition rulebook. They were eventually brought back as the Leagues of Votann in 9th edition.

    Theme Parks 
  • The original Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Theme Parks was refurbished to include characters from the film adaptations, with dialogue rerecorded for several of the ride's original characters referencing Captain Jack Sparrow and the like. Fan reaction was mixed. Many years prior to the movie, the ride was altered to give all the women being chased by the pirates plates full of food to tone down the implications of the scene by attempting to provide a G-rated motive for the pursuit. (They're just trying to steal the food! And the women are trying to prevent them from stealing the food! That's all).
  • One of Walt Disney's motivations for building Disneyland in the first place was that he regretted not being able to change his movies after they were released, but a theme park has lots of opportunities for renovations. Whether he meant that recalling and re-editing his films would have been financially unfeasible when he had new movies that needed work on or that ethically he just couldn't bring himself to do it is uncertain.

    Video Games 
  • While most content updates in City of Heroes added new missions and story arcs, there were occasions when the developers would go back and redo existing missions that were badly designed (making them very unpopular with the players) or that were contradicted by changes to the game lore. The infamous Positron Task Force was completely rewritten from the ground up after years of overwhelming negative feedback from players.
    • This also could happen frequently with the Mission Architect feature as it was possible for the author to edit a story arc that they have published without taking it down and republishing. The arc still had the same ID number and player ratings, but could very well have been changed into a completely different story if the author so chose.
      • Sometimes this was necessary as a exploit fix could have unintended consequences for authors who didn't try to write farming missions and now had to make changes to fix their damaged story arc.
  • Dragon Age: The Chantry is well-known to rewrite historical documents to suit whatever politics it has at the time—particularly mage and/or elven heroes.
    • While the Enslaved Elves fought with the humans' prophet Andraste to free Southern Thedas from Tevinter, after the Exalted March against the (Elven) Dales, the Chantry stripped the elven general Shartan from the Chant of Light, and race lifted Ameridan, an elven mage Inquisitor to support their on-going anti-elf propaganda.
    • They also tend to erase or downplay the heroic accomplishments of mages, since the Chantry derives a lot of power from convincing the common folk that their Templars (whom they keep addicted to lyrium, which the Chantry has cornered the market on) are the commoners' only protection against dangerous magic-users (who they claim, if left unchecked, could create another Tevinter).
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, if the Inquisitor is male and in a romance with Dorian, Dorian can remark at one point that he wonders how long it will be before the Chantry writes that part out of the Inquisitor's exploits (due to Dorian being from the Tvinter Imperium)?
  • A couple of changes were made to Portal for its Alternate Reality Game leading to the announcement of Portal 2. Specifically the ending was altered and a series of radios were added to the game with an accompanying achievement to find the locations where all the radios received a signal.
  • Fallout 3 had some changes made by its "Broken Steel" DLC, mostly to address complaints about the ending.note 
  • All the re-releases of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake since the 2004 Japanese feature phone ports renamed many of the characters specific to those two games. The re-releases of Metal Gear 2 in particular also changed all of the realistic character portraits into ones drawn similarly to the style of Metal Gear Solid illustrator Yoji Shinkawa, since all of the portraits in the MSX2 version were trace-overs of real-life celebrities (which could've led to Konami facing legal problems if they were kept due to the unauthorized use of people's likenesses). Dr. Kio Marv's broken Russian in the second game was also rewritten to more closely resemble actual Czech. Even the Japanese Virtual Console release of Metal Gear 2, which is otherwise an emulation of the MSX2 game, uses the Shinkawa-style portraits.
  • The 10th anniversary re-release of the Wesker's Report documentary removed the line in which Wesker claims that Sherry is in his organization's custody. This was meant to foreshadow a plot development for a future game that was later abandoned.
  • The GBA re-release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past rewrites Link's uncle's dying speech to remove the infamous "Zelda is your..." line. A Mythology Gag, however, has a superboss that gives a more accurate translation of the original Japanese line ("You are... the princess's... ... ... ...") right before attacking. Also the "seven wise men" were changed to "Seven Sages", to be consistent with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, especially since it reveals only two of them actually are men.
  • Originally, the Gerudo symbol in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a crescent moon and star, very similar to the symbol of the Islamic faith. Also, the text of the Ominous Latin Chanting in the Fire Temple was originally an Islamic prayer. Both were changed in subsequent releases of the game to remove the Islamic references entirely. Also, to maintain the E rating instead of getting bumped to Tnote , Ganon's blood shed during end-game cutscenes was changed from red to green.
  • Submachine 1: The Basement is actually the third version of the original Submachine. Amongst the changes are the inclusion of a teleporter device and a Wisdom Gem, both fundamental concepts in the later Submachine games.
  • Mass Effect 3 altered and expanded on its ending after major fan backlash. Most of the changes were done to avoid any Inferred Holocausts, make the endings more bittersweet than unintentionally bleak, and give a bit more insight into how the final choice shaped the universe. The reaction to these changes were mostly positive. The Leviathan DLC goes even further and has the eponymous Leviathans mentioning the AI behind the Reapers, the Catalyst, which has relatively no build up in the main game.
  • Nintendo and Game Freak received criticism over Jynx's design in the Pokémon franchise over her similarity to the blackface stereotype. (This was not intentional—but what Jynx is really based on is controversial itself.) They resolved this issue by changing Jynx's face from black to purple, including for remakes of old games, as well as promptly replacing any images of Jynx with a black face with new artwork where her face is purple wherever possible and recoloring the episode of the anime that started up the whole debate. This proved futile with the English dub, though (see Anime & Manga section above).
  • Star Trek Online: After the Legacy of Romulus Expansion Pack launched Cryptic started going back through the early missions and tweaking them, culminating in season 9's complete rewrite of the Borg and Undine episodes as one episode titled "Borg Advance". While most of the changes were fairly well-thought-of, "Where Angels Fear to Tread" (formerly "The Return") had what was previously an ordinary Romulan Star Navy captain fiddling with Borg tech get retconned to be a Tal Shiar officer who was experimenting on Romulan Republic POWs. This made the moral choice (left over from the previous version) of what to do with her and the Borg tech she's experimenting on no actual choice at all.
  • In the Game Boy Advance and most later ports of Final Fantasy VI, the scene in which Locke meets Celes is censored to remove the Imperial soldiers beating her onscreen, which Squaresoft considered necessary in the age of video game ratings systems in order to get the desired rating in Japan.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • This trope is what fuels the fight between the Ishgardians and Dravanians — the Ishgardians and Dravanians lived in peace after they saw the awful price Hraesvelgr paid when he was forced to eat the human Shiva. However, King Thordan I and his Knights Twelve, seeking the power of the dragons, slew Ratatoskr and ripped out the eyes of her brother Nidhogg. The king and half the knights were killed by Nidhogg and the remaining knights stole away with Nidhogg's eyes and claimed Ratatoskr's power as their own. When the Dragonsong War started, the Church lied as to who started the war, claiming the dragons betrayed them instead. This remained a secret for a thousand years until the Player Character and the remains of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn make their way to Ishgard to hide from the Brass Blades and Crystal Braves after they are accused of regicide.
    • Patch 6.1 adds a few small retcons as part of its effort to shorten the infamous Praetorium dungeon down from over an hour long to half an hour. The player character now only recognizes the suit of Magitek armor they bonded with, "Maggie", after it's destroyed, and the party encounters Gaius for the first time earlier on in the dungeon.

    Web Animation 
  • The Bonus Stage episode "2 Fast" has a Gamebooks-style ending, and included in the options is "Creepy Ending". Originally this involved Elly and a female Joel waking up in bed with Phil. Apparently fans were disturbed by this, as Joel says in the following episode, so Elly's mouth was removed and the figures were changed into puppets.
  • Everything Is Broken:
    • In the original upload of part 7 Flippy starts to run away from evil Flaky when Celestia comes out of nowhere and whispers "run" into his ear and she is never seen again. But in the 2020 reupload that is edited out and Flippy runs away by himself.
    • In the original upload of part 9, LG Creepybloom explains to Rainbow Dash they are not the original characters but came from fanfics. But in the 2020 reupload that is edited out so they are not aware of their fanfics anymore.

  • Busty Girl Comics changed a few words in an early strip to try to be more inclusive of diverse feelings on busts. Since Tumblr archives previously uploaded versions of images, you can compare the original to the more cautiously framed version.
  • 8-Bit Theater: Thief's uniform turns red shortly after he changes class to Ninja. Then it turns black to make him more like a traditional ninja (and because Fighter and Red Mage are already very, very red). When the other warriors call him on it, he claims it's always been black... and when that comic went up, the author went back and edited every single page in which Thief is wearing the ninja uniform (even some very old pages, where Thief is wearing the ninja uniform in Flash Forwards or Imagine Spots), to make that uniform black.
  • There is a device in City of Reality that is made to do this and this alone. It is brought to Reality by a thief who uses it to predict the every move, and later used by Hawk, who uses it to be "perfect" at everything, until it falls back into the thieves hands. Later, it turns out it was causing freak storms threatening Reality.
    • The same device is later used by the reader in a dark Gamebook in Magic World.
    • And then used by saboteurs trying to steal crystals from all the worlds at once. The first time, they failed due to the high security, but the second time around, they knew exactly what to do. The characters are still dealing with the fallout.
      • This last one is the only one that was actually retconned into the comic, with the original version available off-site. All other instances were treated as regular Mental Time Travel.
  • Schlock Mercenary quotes from a book called The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. Originally, this was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, until Franklin-Covey, owners of the actual Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, noticed and sent what can only be described as a very polite cease and desist notice. Luckily, Tayler took it in stride since the change meant he could finally make Merch based on the quotes without a potentially harsher letter.
  • The print release of early chapters of El Goonish Shive changed a few things (which were later changed in the archive as well) away from throwaway gags and/or revealing too much. Such as Grace's reaction to Tedd's invitation (first version didn't fit her Innocent Fanservice Girl character), Susan's reaction to meeting "Ellen" fElliot (first version sounded really out-of-character, with Susan calling "Ellen" "cutie") and a conversation between the same fElliot and Sarah.
  • In Erfworld, Bogroll's special ability was Regeneration and Deletionism was a school of magic for Naughtymancy along the Numbers axis, but was completely changed in the archives and books so that Bogroll now had Fabrication and Naughtymancy/Numbers was now "Retconjuration". Deletionism and Regeneration now only exist in the memories of fans (and the wiki). Word of God said that this was because he hadn't thought the special abilities system through at that point.
  • Starslip was originally called Starshift Crisis, but copyright issues with StarShift: The Zaran Legacy caused the starshift (the in-universe transportation method) to be retconned as the "starslip", and all references in the archives were changed.
  • The author of Meaty Yogurt had previously written another comic featuring a character with an odd eye. After feeling that an eye scar in Meaty Yoghurt was too reminiscent of this character, she redrew all the character's appearances with a lip scar instead.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, a few bits of dialogue in the first two chapters were quietly changed, a year or two after they first went up. For example, on this page, "homme de fer" was changed to "tin man" because Tom thought the French was gratuitous. Oddly enough, some further changes were made for the first volume of the print edition, but these weren't incorporated into the online archives.
  • Homestuck:
    • Andrew Hussie stated that the playable human characters are supposed to be a-racial, so readers could imagine them as any race they prefer. When a reader pointed out an old page on which one of these characters was referred to as a "white rapper", Hussie went back and replaced the word "white" with gibberish. note  Soon afterwards, he changed it to "a white guy who is a rapper".
    • Occasionally panels are posted with unintentional errors, which are quietly corrected by the author shortly afterward. For example, when the Bec's Head Base first appeared it had the troll's Sgrub logo. It was quickly changed to the standard Sburb logo. The Sufferer's death was initially depicted with less detail, and soon had more muscles and lines showing the cut of his clothes added. Another example was in a flash where the deceased Nepeta was shown without the Prophet Eyes of dead characters. This was also corrected, dashing hopes of a resurrection. Amusingly the opposite happened in a flashback panel where two characters that were alive at the time of the flashback were shown with Prophet Eyes - again, this was fixed.
    • Overlapping with Cut Song: A dispute with a (now former) member of the music team caused a few existing flash animations to be re-done with new music. In another example, a composer had his songs removed from the fifth music album after he was caught plagiarizing. It happened again when a winner of the fan music contest did the same thing.
    • Another race incident happened after one of the a-racial, Deliberately Monochrome human characters got a "ridiculous game powerup" that involved a wacky palette, including peach-toned skin...and described it as feeling "Caucasian." This was initially done deliberately by the writer to poke fun at the issue, but some readers took it as an excuse for harassment, leading him to rewrite the line as "peachy".
      Andrew Hussie: ...what motivates me more to revise it is noticing more than a few unsavory individuals using it as justification to harass POCs or anyone who, reasonably, wanted to voice their concerns. On reflection I’d rather not have my decisions serve as fodder for the arguments of such people. They don’t speak for me. As a humorist, and someone who writes a provocative and unpredictable story, there are many types of unpleasant responses to my stuff I can easily accept. But some types...maybe not so much.
    • And a huge one with John reaching through a hole in the universe and poking his arm into a number of past panels and even a couple of flashes - all of which now have his arm inserted into them if you go back and check.
    • And again with oil being zapped all over past points in the comic by the same.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja's "Issue One Half" and "There Is A Raptor In My Office" originally had Doc dealing with a villainous Ronald McDonald and the McDonald's corporate empire. "AWOL MD" has him showing up again as Donald McBonald - going from Enemy Mime to straight-up Monster Clown as a result - and both the previous issues were altered to feature "McBonald's" references.
  • Invoked but averted when Bedivere stops being Gender Flipped in Arthur, King of Time and Space; the characters say it'll only happen as long as no-one expects the management to go back and redraw all the previous strips he appeared in. A later retcon establishes he's trans, so the previous strips of him appearing female are in continuity.
  • Jodie Troutman has been very careful to expertly hide her earlier comics (except for Vigilante, Ho! and the second-incarnation Sporkman strips) from the Internet, to the point that the FAQ for Mary Elizabeth's Sock has a question of whether the characters have been seen before, to which she responds that some of them have been in Lit Brick and Sporkman (neglecting to mention nearly all were in, and most originated in, Basil Flint, P.I., Andiewear, Felicity Flint, Agent From H.A.R.M., Flint Again, and/or Flat Feet and High Heels).
  • Ménage ŕ 3 experienced an unusual retroactive adjustment, in that it became less censor friendly, when the creators got tired of having to apply a Scenery Censor to the strip's extensive nudity, and went back over early strips adding nipples and such.
  • A couple of early Questionable Content strips have been edited since they first appeared. See the series' trope list for details.
  • An early strip in Between Failures has Thomas using "queer" as a pejorative, which was later edited to a different insult. The creator discussed his reasons in that page's comments section - mainly that Thomas was planned to have a bad tendency to "kick down" due to his general anger and frustration in life, and that he was supposed to eventually confront and grow out of such insults. In practice, Thomas mellowed considerably faster than originally planned and so the bad habit and planned storyline went way out of tone for him and had to be discarded, with the creator going back to snip off the dangling thread.
  • Sister Claire did this for the first few comics due to Yamino not being satisfied with how the original pages turned out and some of the more juvenile humor at the time which contrasted greatly with later events of the story. As such the new pages tone down these bits and add some more context to the characters.
  • In Eerie Cuties, Blair using an Artifact of Doom to make Brooke and Nina make out got such an outcry from the fans that it was changed to him forcing Brooke to do a cheerleader routine instead.
  • In Dangerously Chloe, Abby originally looked significantly younger in her first appearance; the comic in question was edited before the next update for unclear reasons. Also, Lacy's dialogue originally suggested her lesbian parents would be disappointed with her if she started dating boys - this was changed after fan outcry to her just wanting to emulate them.
  • Chris-chan had made many retcons in Sonichu (such as changing names on those based on real people), but the ones made in September 2015 were noticeable. Issues 9 and 10 were altered to be less homophobic, such as replacing the infamous cure for homosexuality plotpoint with a cure for "Nombie-Zazis", although some details such as the need for Chris' "straight blood" were still left intact.
  • VG Cats is pretty notorious for doing this anytime it crosses the line. A joke about the death of Satoru Iwata went over so poorly that the strip that once contained the gag was heavily trimmed to almost nothing, and two entire strips were withdrawn altogether because they offended fans (one offended Bronies, another that had already been moved to the site's outtakes folder was deleted altogether for its harsh stereotyping of fan convention attendees).
  • In Jerkcity, a number of strips, dating to its debut in 1998, were updated in 2020 to reflect the comic's name having been changed to Bonequest a couple years prior. The strips featuring the Rands character were also changed, either with another character (usually Atandt) being put in his place or with the strips being replaced wholesale. Some oddities occurred as a result, one in particular involving a strip originally featuring Rands asking Deuce to be his "smooth buddy". After the update, Rands was replaced by Pants, who in the strip immediately afterwards asks if he missed "smooth buddy week".

    Web Games 
  • In BIONICLE's 2001 Mata Nui Adventure Game (AKA Mata Nui Online Game), the islanders were originally called Tohunga, which unknown to LEGO was a culturally sensitive term to the Maori people. The game was also intended to mention ritualistic Haka dances and the deities Papu and Rangi, all inspired by Polynesian cultures. After threats of a lawsuit, the cultural elements were mostly removed, though they remained in a couple of text files and in the game's German dialogue. For the game's 2006 re-release, Tohunga was replaced by the made-up Matoran, the name LEGO had been using since late-2001 for the villagers. The prompt "choose your Tohunga" from the final mini game was however not corrected. Also removed was Tahu's silhouette on the beach and the accompanying short cutscene, as the re-release lets you play chapters in different orders and keeping them would cause continuity mistakes. Later, Templar Studios released the original version on their site (only missing a couple text files), even preserving all instances of Tohunga, which would not have been legally permitted for LEGO.

    Web Original 
  • Season 1, episode 3 of TANIS refers to the real-life case of Elisa Lam, who drowned in a hotel's water tower under mysterious circumstances. The podcast presents a fictional conspiracy theory that Lam had been possessed by a future-flung Aleister Crowley. After outcry from the listeners, the episode was re-released with all instances of Lam's name bleeped. However, it's still obvious who's being discussed, what with the infamy of the case and references to Crowley writing about a historical figure named Siela (pointed out as an anagram of "BLEEP") and contacting an alien named Lam (not bleeped).

    Western Animation 
  • Daria justified airing on MTV by using then-current songs as interstitial music; however, the rights issues put off a DVD release for a decade, at which point it was finally released with almost all of those songs removed. The box actually contains a little note from creator Glenn Eichler commenting on this, noting that while season one Daria would disapprove, season five Daria would say to shut up and pass the popcorn.
    • The DVD also unfortunately has an edited version of "Is It College Yet?" In particular, this version takes out some scenes that help set up Daria and Tom's breakup.
  • The Pixar short Knick Knack had one of these. In the original 1989 version, the character models for Sunny Miami and Sunny Atlantis have very large breasts. In the 2003 release and onward, they both have significantly smaller breasts. Their new bras are also less revealing.
    • If you look closely at the 1989 version, you can see Sunny Miami's bra does not extend to her back. It does in the 2003 version.
    • This wasn't the idea of Disney, but of the original creator John Lasseter, which is a bit ironic looking back.
  • In "Space Pilot 3000," the first episode of Futurama, a man using the New New York tube system originally requested "JFK Jr. Airport" as his destination, an obvious joke on the real NYC's JFK International Airport. A few months later, the real JFK Jr. died in a plane crash; subsequent U.S. airings changed the line to a different parody of an NYC location, "Radio City Mutant Hall".
    • A quick gag in "The Cryonic Woman" had Bender applying for a job using the career chip embedded in a severed human arm, which when scanned reads "Prime Minister of Norway." Following terrorist attacks in Norway in 2011, reruns on Comedy Central and SyFy, as well as (eventually) the streaming version on Netflix and later Hulu, used an edited cut where the career was indicated as "Chainsaw Juggler." Cartoon Network's reruns left the joke intact.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, an Ascended Extra known affectionately among fans as Derpy was given a scene which not only made her Fan Nickname Ascended Fanon but also gave her a speaking line. However, due to the voice actress thinking Derpy was male, she was given a deep voice which, given Derpy's role as The Ditz and the implications of her name, sounded like a Simpleton Voice. This resulted in complaints from Moral Guardians who claimed that "derpy" was pejorative and insensitive to people with disabilities. In order to avoid continued controversy, the episode became a Missing Episode for a while, and when it returned to iTunes and The Hub, she was given a voice with less Vocal Dissonance and the line referring to her as "Derpy" was edited to take out the name (though The Hub's closed captioning wasn't updated to reflect the change). Many fans weren't happy, but episode writer Amy Keating Rogers later explained why it had to happen.
    • It's worth mentioning that those who bought and downloaded the episode from iTunes early on (for example, those with a Season Pass) have the original version of the episode. Those who have the Friendship Express DVD also have the original version.
  • South Park:
    • The first airing of the episode "The Mystery of the Urinal Deuce" gave George W. Bush a fairly "generic" accent; within a few days, reairings had redubbed him with something closer to his real-life Southern accent.
    • After "The Big Fix" revealed that minor character Token Black's real name is actually Tolkien, all previous media where his name is uttered were edited to have the subtitles say "Tolkien" instead of "Token"note . Stan and Randy's subtitles still refer to him as "Token", as they had assumed his name really was Token before the reveal.
  • In the original airing of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Apokolips...Now! (Part 2)," Stan Lee, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Nick Fury could all be seen at Dan Turpin's funeral, with the cameos meant as an homage to the deceased Jack Kirby. Presumably for legal reasons, the cameos were all removed for the DVD release and subsequent airings. The cameos were finally restored when the episode streamed on HBO Max in 2021.
  • In the original cut of the 1933 Disney short, The Three Little Pigs, The Big Bad Wolf attempts to trick the pigs into letting him into the brick house by disguising himself as a stereotypical immigrant Jewish peddler, complete with skullcap, beard and exaggeratedly big nose. In 1948, the studio reanimated the scene so that the wolf was now disguised as a Fuller brush salesman. However, he still had a Yiddish accent. In subsequent prints, especially for TV, the audio was overdubbed to give him a generic "dumb guy" voice.
  • In the original airing of The Simpsons episode "Team Homer", Homer is shown having somehow stolen the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor given to Dr. Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields. Only a month after it aired, Dr. Ngor was murdered, which could make viewers think that Homer killed him for it. In syndication and on the season seven DVD set, the scene was changed to show the Oscar being the one given to Don Ameche for Cocoon, who had died a few years earlier, but of natural causes. The original version of the episode showing Ngor's award has never reaired, though some YouTube users managed to upload the scene.
  • The first season of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? gave the titular character a Synthetic Voice Actor. In later episodes, he is voiced by a human voice actor named Bobby Block. Re-runs of the early episodes had his dialogue re-recorded with Block's voice.

  • There are a few rather infamous images from the USSR featuring Stalin and others... then fewer and fewer 'others' as those people (or the nations they hailed from) fell out of favor, until only Josef Stalin remained.
  • When Orwell worked for the BBC he had trouble keeping up with shifting alliances. First the Soviets were neutral towards The Allies and against Germany & Japan (Second Sino-Japanese War), then neutral with Germany & Japan and against The Allies early in World War 2 (Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact), then against Germany and neutral with Japan and allied with The Allies (Soviet-German War, Soviet-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact), and then against Japan for the last month of the war. And then the Soviets were against The Allies again as the Cold War sank in. Further complicating matters, every one of Germany's European allies (Italy, Romania, Hungary, Finland, etc) also fought on both sides. Each and every time propaganda in the concerned countries had to change tack, sometimes drastically.
  • This is a possible explanation (besides Fake Memories or The Multiverse) for the Mandela Effect. But it requires a fair amount of belief, because the level of organization is far beyond what is considered normal (think Eastern Europe during Soviet times). In order for this explanation to work, essentially every copy of Berenstein Bears everywhere needs to be replaced with Berenstain Bears. While this plays out easily when there are few copies, as in the picture of Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov, replacing hundreds of thousands of copies of a written work is another matter. This also fails to take into account the fan backlashnote  to any change to canonical texts, which means second or third hand copies of the original source material is sought after and guarded jealously, in preference to revised modern editions. This also applies to video copies of films and TV shows; the original politically incorrect version of Fawlty Towers is always going to be out there somewhere. Fans will see to this.