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Left: Alternate universe, 1978. Right: Main universe, 2014.

If an adaptation of a series is popular, it will leave its stamp on subsequent adaptations. More strangely, a popular adaptation may leave its stamp on the series it was adapted from, if that series is still ongoing. Ret-Canon is when elements from an adaptation of a work (or the adaptation as a whole) is later made canonical due to the source material acknowledging it or Word of God stating it as such.

For the more general application of changes to the work, see Retcon.

The Canon Immigrant is often a walking example of Ret-Canon. See also: Recursive Adaptation, Adaptation Displacement, and Canon Discontinuity.

Compare Ascended Fanon, where it's Fanon that becomes canon instead of adaptation-only material.




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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Emperor Pilaf's dog henchman was originally named Soba in the Dragon Ball manga. After the TV show gave him the name Shuu, Toriyama incorporated it into the manga (as he'd forgotten he previously named the character).
    • Dragon Ball video games often had to invent new attacks for characters in order to flesh out their move lists. One such example is Vegetto, who only appeared briefly in DBZ, so the infamous Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout gave him the Final Kamehameha (a combination of Goku's Kamehameha and Vegeta's Final Flash) as his signature move. When Vegetto returned in the Future Trunks Saga of Dragon Ball Super, he actually used the Final Kamehameha against Fused Zamasu.
    • The Legendary Super Saiyan transformation, previously the exclusive domain of movie-only character Broly, was given to Universe 6's Kale in the Tournament of Power Saga. Her version is renamed "Super Saiyan Berserk," however.
    • Dragon Ball Z said that the Saiyan originated on the planet Plant but the Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans has a Tuffle scientist saying that they came from another planet and invaded Plant. Sequel Series, Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super made this concept canon.
      • The Tuffles themselves originate in anime filler, before one made an appearance fighting for one of the other universes in Dragon Ball Super's final arc. Of course, this does mean they may not exist in the main universe, necessarily.
  • Shortly after the Negima! alternate universe adaptation introduced Armor Nodoka's ability to split her Diarium Ejus up to read multiple minds, the Nodoka of the manga gained this ability as well (though her version actually shrinks the books based on how many splits she's used).
  • A character was brought Back from the Dead in Ga-Rei because of Ga-Rei -Zero-. A lot of later flashbacks also borrowed from the anime.
  • Excalibur's song in Soul Eater was something invented for the second episode about him in the anime, which was not based on anything in the manga. The next time he appeared in the manga, Excalibur started singing the song.
  • After the release of the Cyborg 009 animated films in the '60s, Executive Meddling from Shotaro Ishinomori's editor forced him to change 007 into a young child in order to match his movie counterpart. Ishinomori hated having to do this, and eventually dropped this aspect in later stories.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena is an odd case. The manga began serialization first, but the show is considered the main canon, and for a time they ran simultaneously. This lead to both works influencing each other simultaneously, and it's not always possible to tell where an idea first originated. Some examples:
    • Anthy's Rose Bride dress was white in the original manga, but was changed to red to match the TV show. The movie compromised by making the dress two-tone, with the front and back being white and the sides being red.
    • Likewise, Utena's male uniform is black in the TV show, but pink in the original manga. The manga eventually had a chapter where Utena received the black uniform from the TV series after her original one was damaged. Chu-chu received his ring and tie from the show at the same time.
  • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Exedor is shown as a weedy but otherwise normal Zentradi with red hair. In Macross: Do You Remember Love?, his appearance is instead one of slight Body Horror, with a bulging, pulsating brain under his scalp that could extrude pseudopods. When the character returned for Macross 7, the Do You Remember Love appearance became his stock appearance, the official Retcon being that he had to alter his body after the ill effects of micronizing and macronizing himself multiple times became apparent.
  • The female Ranma in Ranma ½ initially had black hair, but after the TV show changed it to red, Rumiko Takahashi began coloring it as such in the manga.
  • Lum originally had iridescent hair in the Urusei Yatsura manga, which fit nicely with her bizarre, inhuman appearance. However, since iridescent hair was impossible to animate on a TV budget in the 1980s, and is still very difficult to do even today, the anime adaptation gave her green hair instead. The green hair became so popular and iconic that it was soon used in some of the colored images from the manga, as well as certain covers.
  • The 2003 re-release of the original Sailor Moon manga was renamed "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon" after the live-action show. The updated release also incorporated the show's habit of referring to the girls as "Guardians" instead of "Soldiers," an idea that has since been used in most of the subsequent additions to the franchise (including Viz Media's uncut English dub of the '90s anime) as well. An unnamed move Ami used early on in the manga was also changed to the "Mercury Aqua Mist" attack from the TV show.
  • Naruto:
    • Gaara is described as having brown hair in early manga chapters, much like his brother Kankuro. In the anime, that was changed so that he was an Evil Redhead. Eventually, the manga made Gaara into a redhead as well.
    • Naruto and Hinata having their first meeting as children, when Naruto got beaten up while saving Hinata from a trio of bullies, was a scene created exclusively for the anime, appearing in the considerably expanded Shippuden Episode 166 as a flashback she recalled during her fight against Pain. No such scene or early meeting between them was ever hinted at in the manga itself. However, when The Last: Naruto the Movie was made to outline how they finally got together between the penultimate chapter and the Distant Finale, the very first scene of the movienote  was a somewhat-modified version of this first meeting scene. Because The Last is the first canon movie of the franchise, this retroactively canonized Naruto and Hinata's first meeting, and also officially made Hinata both the First Girl After All and First Girl Wins. While some elements were changed in the canon version of the scene—mainly that the event took place in the wintertime and Hinata was not dragged away by her bodyguard Ko after Naruto got beaten up—it's otherwise near-identical to the original Shippuden flashback.
    • Kiba originally had a red jacket and Tenten had a blue qipao in the manga. The manga canonized their anime colours — grey and pink — later on.
    • Zig-zagged with Ino's eyes. In the manga she is green eyed but in the anime she is blue eyed. Some pieces of the manga give her blue eyes, but most give her green.
  • In the Fate/stay night DEEN anime adaptation, Archer strengthens his two signature swords, tripling their size and increasing their power. This was an ability he never displayed in the actual visual novel, but reportedly Kinoko Nasu liked the idea, and the "Overedge" forms of the swords have frequently made appearances in other stories and adaptations featuring Archer, including some written by Nasu himself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra recast Ripcord (formerly a redheaded white guy) as black. Since then, Ripcord has been introduced in three new continuities—the IDW comicbooks, G.I. Joe: Resolute and the G.I. Joe: Renegades cartoon—and in all three of them he's a young black man.
  • In order to manage the Loads and Loads of Characters in Arthurian legend, John Boorman's Excalibur merged the characters of Morgause of Orkney and Morgana le Fay into one Composite Character, keeping the latter's name and powers of sorcery, but giving her the former's role of mothering Mordred after an incestuous affair with Arthur. Though he may not have been the first to make this change, his film popularized the incestuous angle between Morgana and Arthur in many adaptations to come.
  • The Lion King:
  • A map in Star Trek Into Darkness shows the Klingon homeworld, Kronos/Qo'noS, to be located in the "Omega Leonis sector block". The "sector block" descriptor is a cartography term created by the Star Trek Star Charts licensed reference book by Geoffrey Mandel, and the Omega Leonis sector block nomenclature was created for Star Trek Online's overworld. (Sector blocks have since been removed from the game in favor of rendering the entire quadrant as a single map.)

  • Harry Potter:
    • J. K. Rowling mentioned in an interview that after she saw the first Harry Potter, her own mental image of Snape changed to resemble Alan Rickman, which would then affect the way he's described in the later books. This applied to the chapter illustrations in the American versions as well. Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix had portraits of Snape as balding and with a goatee, but Half-Blood Prince showed him with long black hair and no facial hair, just like in the movies.
    • In a smaller example the sixth book mentions an incident from three books earlier when Hermione punched Malfoy, even though she only punched him in the movie (in the book she slapped him).
  • Similarly, both Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse) and Ruth Rendell (Inspector Wexford) have said their mental images of their detectives were dramatically affected by the TV adaptations. Reprints of the novels changed Morse's car from a Lancia to the Jaguar he drove in the TV show.
  • Thomas Harris has been quoted as saying this is exactly why he never watched the movie adaptation of his novel The Silence of the Lambs; not because he disapproved of it, but because he didn't want Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter shading the character's portrayal in the sequels.
  • This is also Terry Pratchett's official reason for not reading Discworld Fan Fiction, along with the legal ramifications that can come with an unintentional (or coincidental) Ret-Canon.
  • In the same vein, John le Carré stopped writing the novels built around George Smiley and the Circus in the early 1980s since, after several wildly popular TV adaptations, he kept seeing Alec Guinness when he wrote the character.
  • In the early Sharpe novels, Sharpe is a Londoner. Following the TV series, later books reveal he fled to Yorkshire as a teenager, where he presumably picked up Sean Bean's accent.
  • After Dr. No was released and made ridiculous amounts of money for all involved, Ian Fleming gave James Bond Scottish ancestry (rather ironic, considering he considered Sean Connery a bad choice for the role at first).
  • In Craig Thomas' novel Firefox, the titular fighter craft was originally nothing more than a MiG-25 Foxbat augmented with state of the art technology. After Clint Eastwood's 1982 movie adaptation came out with its iconic superfighter design, subsequent republishing of the novel would use the movie version of the Firefox to depict the craft. In addition, Thomas changed the description of the plane in the sequel novel Firefox Down to match the new appearance.
    • The Firefox (both the plane and movie plot) is actually an Expy of the 'MiG-242' from an episode of Gerry Anderson's puppet series 'Joe 90'.
  • The original novel of House Of Cards ends with Francis Urquhart's death. This was changed in the TV adaptation, enabling sequels. The two sequels to the novel (both adapted for TV later) are based on the TV ending. Also, Urquhart's wife in the first book is named Miranda and is not a co-conspirator. The sequels have an Elizabeth based on the TV character. (Oddly, the 2013 rewrite of the novel, while using the TV ending, changes Miranda's name to Mortima for some reason.)
  • Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey originally had the mission going to Saturn. It was changed in the films as they couldn't get the rings right, and that change crept into all subsequent adaptations. (This is a bit of a sidewise example, though. The movie is not an adaptation of the novel, nor vice versa— they were developed in parallel.)
  • At the end of the novel Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm dies. He survives in the movie, and in the sequel to the book he is the protagonist. On the flip side, several characters who survived in the book but were killed in the movie adaptation are mentioned in The Lost World (1995) book sequel as having died from assorted natural causes some time after escaping the island. The only major exception to this is Hammond, who stayed dead in the books and alive in the movies.
    • Robert Muldoon is about the only character who survived in the book and died in the movie without being killed off. He doesn't make an appearance (or is even mentioned aside from namedropping of all the survivors) in the sequel, though.
  • Other than the basic premise of "cartoon characters are real and live side-by-side with humans" and four important characters (Eddie Valiant, Roger and Jessica Rabbit, and Baby Herman), there are almost no similarities between the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? and the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. However, the author liked the movie much more than he'd liked his own novel (and recognized that the movie was much more popular and would thus more likely be in readers' minds), and when he wrote a sequel, Who Plugged Roger Rabbit?, he followed up the movie's continuity, not the book's (which was even handwaved away as being All Just a Dream). About the only things carried forward from the first book into the sequels that weren't from the movie were the concept of Toons talking in comic-strip speech bubbles... and Roger's height.
  • Martin Caidin's Marooned featured a Project Mercury mission. Later editions matched up with the movie and featured an Apollo-style spacecraft.
  • The original "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" fairy tale does not have her being awakened by a kiss; that was an addition by Disney. Instead, the apple was dislodged from Snow White's throat when the prince's servants dropped the glass coffin. It's rare to see a "Snow White" adaption that doesn't include it now, even ones that attempt to go back to The Brothers Grimm story.
  • While Roald Dahl ultimately disowned the first movie adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which he wrote the original script for, but it was substantially rewritten by David Seltzer), he did work the phrase "Strike that, reverse it" into Willy Wonka's dialogue in the book's sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. The phrase becomes a recurring one in the 2013 stage musical adaptation of Factory in a sort of merging of this trope and Internal Homage.
  • The novelisation of the Doctor Who story "Shada", written long after the new series was underway, ports various elements from the new series back into an Adaptation Expansion of a Tom Baker story. For instance, the novel restructures everything around a rather new-series-like romance between Chris and Clare, who were mere Implied Love Interests in the original, and other romantic and sexual elements are added (Skagra's behaviour towards Romana in the book is clearly because he has a crush on her, and the Doctor talks a Sapient Ship who falls in love with him into having The Immodest Orgasm - something he definitely would not have been allowed to do in the 70s). There is a reference to the Corsair, a Gender Bender character mentioned by the Eleventh Doctor, and Skagra and the Ship gain a lot of ironic Classic Who Fan Dumb traits in an affectionate Take That, Audience! sort of fashion, when the show at that time was not that self-aware. The Victim of the Week is also characterised in a new-series-like, Russell T. Davies-Pastiche way as a socially awkward gay man struggling with his own ordinary family life with his mother before the villain unexpectedly steals his brain.
  • The Type One vampires seen in The Dark Tower are specifically based on the redesign of Kurt Barlow from the 1979 live-action 'Salem's Lot mini-series.
  • Land of Oz:
    • The loose Land of Oz adaptation The Wizard of Oz (1902) was written by L. Frank Baum himself. Thus, elements of it were reused in the books later. Dorothy's surname Gale was canonized in Ozma of Oz and future books canonized the Tin Woodsman's name "Niccolo Chopper" as "Nick Chopper".
    • The Marvelous Land of Oz refers to Ozma as a "ruddy blonde with hints of gold" (which refers to either strawberry blonde or auburn). The illustrations of the next book, Ozma of Oz, depicts her with brown hair. Virtually every adaptation has her as dark haired and several "Famous Forty" writers refer to her as either brown or black haired.
  • At no point in The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy or The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is Arthur Dent ever explicitly stated to have changed out of the dressing gown he started out in, but this could be explained by the Law of Conservation of Detail. It was only after the TV adaptation applied the Rule of Funny to the situation that the third book in the series, Life, the Universe and Everything adopted the same approach and outright stated he was still dressed that way.
  • Warrior Cats: Aside from being called golden eyed in an early book, Dovewing was consistently blue eyed until Shattered Sky. Despite this, every illustration depicted her with green eyes. Shattered Sky retconned her design to fit the illustrations, so she is officially green eyed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Power Rangers and Super Sentai:
  • As of Series IV of Red Dwarf, Lister's backstory with Kochanski was retconned to one closer to what appeared in the novel Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers than had been detailed in the first two series. Originally he'd been hopelessly in love with her, but never had the nerve to ask her out ("In your entire life, your conversations with her totalled 123 words. You had a better relationship with your rubber plant"); in the books they dated for a while, then she got back with "Tim, or Tom, or it may have been Tony" from Catering. The breakup first gets mentioned on screen in the Season IV episode "DNA", and Tim is referenced in Season VII's "Ouroboros" and Season VIII's "Krytie TV".
    • One episode of that series was adapted from a section of a novel, rather than the other way around: the episode "White Hole" is based on the "Garbage World" section of the novel "Better Than Life".
    • Also in "Ouroboros", Kryten says he always ends up alone, like on the Nova 5 and Lister responds "You killed the crew! All right, it was an accident, but still..." This refers to Kryten's expanded backstory in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, where the Nova 5 crashed because he decided to clean the navigation computer with soapy water.
  • Smallville introduced an Expy of the Green Arrow foe Merlyn known as Vordigan the Dark Archer. When Merlyn was brought into Arrow, Malcolm Merlyn became his real name (his real name in the comics is Arthur King), while his codename was changed to the Dark Archer.
  • Kato in The Green Hornet is now always a martial artist.
  • Doctor Who sometimes incorporated elements from the Dalek comic books and annuals, as well as the Amicus Dr Who movies. The Emperor Dalek from "The Evil of the Daleks" is a Canon Immigrant from The Dalek Book, from which the word "rels" in New Who also originates. "The Parting of the Ways" uses Dalek spaceships modelled after the comic book ones, and even shows a Dalek with a movie-style claw attachment in place of a plunger at one point (although it is a flamethrower).

  • After UB40 hit the top of the charts with a reworked reggae version of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine", Diamond began performing their version of the song in concert.
    • UB40's version was based on Tony Tribe's 1971 reggae reworking of the song, but evidently that hadn't been popular enough to justify Diamond changing his arrangement.
  • Johnny Cash's version of Nine Inch Nails' Hurt. Trent Reznor himself even said:
    It feels like I've just lost a girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore.
  • Bob Dylan in concert tends to perform Jimi Hendrix's cover of his song "All Along the Watchtower".
  • Billy Joel likes Garth Brooks' version of Shameless so much that he lets Garth come out and sing it when he gives a concert.
  • Noel Gallagher of Oasis went through a phase of doing Ryan Adams' cover of "Wonderwall", most notably on his solo and acoustic tours.
  • Suicidal Tendencies brought in significant funk influences from their side project, Infectious Grooves.
  • Robert Smith, singer and guitarist for The Cure, enjoyed Dinosaur Jr.'s cover of "Just Like Heaven" so much that it has drastically influenced the way that The Cure play the song in concerts.
  • Humorous example: After "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied Madonna's "Like a Virgin" music video with his own "Like a Surgeon", Madonna appeared in a second video dressed as a surgeon.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The game didn't even have two-handed Thunder Hammers before Dawn of War gave one to its Force Commander.
      • Technically the Thunder Hammer is not a two-handed weapon, you just can't get a bonus attack unless you have a pair (or in 6th edition, a Thunder Hammer and a Powerfist/Lightning Claw), which no official model has. However, it was not available for a power armoured character until the 5th edition Space Marine codex, which came out after Dawn of War.
    • The Tau Railrifle was first introduced in the Fire Warrior game, and was given rules as a White Dwarf supplement before being added to the next codex.

  • Revivals of a musical with a successful movie version will often try to find places to add songs written for the movie back into the show. E.g. Cabaret, The Sound of Music, Grease.
    • Additionally, some stagings of Grease will use T-Birds as the name of the boys' gang.
  • Revivals of Anything Goes invariably include "It's De-Lovely," "Friendship" and other Cole Porter songs originally written for other shows.
  • The licensed version of The Wizard of Oz as a stage musical still has those damn ruby slippers, while the originals were silver.

    Theme Parks 
  • After the Pirates of the Caribbean movies became popular, references to the characters were added to the original Disney World ride, along with several animatronic appearances of Captain Jack Sparrow. The latter are particularly jarring, as all of the original characters are cartoony caricatures of human beings, but Jack is a perfect likeness of Johnny Depp's character (although Depp himself may be sufficiently cartoony to justify this). More jarring is the sound. Jack Sparrow and redone sound clips mentioning him sound very clear, while any audio still from the original version of the attraction is far scratchier.

  • Transformers:
    • The idea that Jetfire wears a helmet/battle mask resembling his G1 toy design was first introduced by Dreamwave's Transformers Generation One comic book, and has since been used for subsequent G1-style Jetfire action figures.
    • Transformers Animated has a group called the Cybertron Elite Guard serving as the commanding military and security force for the Autobots. Then, the BotCon 2009 theme was about a similar group (with the same winged Autobot insignias) set in G1 continuity called the Cybertronian Elite Guard. The Elite Guard are also in Prime, with Smokescreen having once been a member.
    • In another Transformers example, the Beast Wars toyline originally portrayed the events as taking place on present day Earth and Optimus Primal and Megatron being merely new forms of Optimus Prime and the original Megatron. When the animated series premiered with the events taking place on prehistoric Earth via time travel and Primal and Beast Megatron being made legacy characters, the toyline was changed to match up with the cartoon.
    • Transformers: Prime shows heavy influence from the Transformers series including the general appearance of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron, as well as Bumblebee's muteness (although he now speaks in generic beeps and tones instead of talking using clips from his radio). Many fans have described the aesthetics of the robots as a mix of Movie-style and Animated-style.
    • The War for Cybertron game was effectively a G1 prequel, stated to be in the same universe as the Prime series by the toy company despite the existence of Dark Energon being the only thing the two stories had in common. However, the sequel, Fall of Cybertron, is upping the similarities to Prime with Cliffjumper's head design changing from a G1-inspired design to a clearly Prime-inspired on as well as Bumblebee having his voice box destroyed by Megatron, muting him in the same way as in the Films and Prime. Prime has also had a few nods to the games. Both versions have left their marks on each other to the point that they've sorta converged.
    • Prime also follows in the footsteps of Exodus lately, incorporating bits from across franchise history. Four key macguffins that go into an "Omega Lock"?
    • Beast Wars introduced the concept of a robot soul called a Spark, all subsequent material have included this as a major component of the Transformer culture. This was even retroactively applied to all G1 characters, with the original Optimus Prime and Megatron having particularly powerful sparks able to upgrade the forms of Optimus Primal and Beast Wars Megatron.
      • An earlier concept of this was hinted at in Generation One, when two episodes referred to a "laser core." Once, the 'cons wanted to make sure Prime's was extinguished rather than assuming he was dead due to the damage he'd taken earlier; another time, Megs ordered Devastator to extinguish the Autobots' laser cores forever. This was very spark-esque (something in your chest that, if "extinguished," means you're dead-dead and not cartoon dead, and checking for this is the only way to be sure) and may have been in the back of the Beast Wars writers' minds. However, there's no clear indication that they were aware of it when they conceived of the 'Spark' concept, and it was mentioned on those two occasions only.
    • They also introduced Protoforms, though what they are can vary from the equivalent young, infant, or even prenatal Cybertronians, to simply a Cybertronians' basic form. (The movie toy packaging stands alone in using "Protoform" to mean "Cybertronian who hasn't scanned an Earth mode yet," which would make the entire casts of The War Within or War for Cybertron protoforms.) Not every series included them, but a lot did.
    • IDW Publishing's Transformers series begins life as an updated retelling of G1, but bits of other versions begin to sneak in. These days, not using things like the units of time (cycle, megacycle, etc.) and what we know of Transformer biology (sparks, etc.) that Beast Wars originated is unheard of. Also, by now, we've met Lockdown (Animated-original) and Grindcore (Movie comics original), quite a few characters from the Japan-only G1 sequels, and Omega Supreme uses his name as a Badass Boast (Animated Omega was the first to do that.)
      • To make a long story short, once any Transformers property introduces a character or concept, it becomes fair game for both new series and new versions of older series. In The Multiverse, one Demolishor or Barricade or Omega Lock existing means that every universe probably has one that you just haven't met... yet.
    • The use of the term "Titans" to describe massive, city-sized Transformers like Metroplex, Scorponok and Fortress Maxmimus originated in the IDW comics. It's since been officially adopted as the classification for such characters from Hasbro, featuring most prominently in 2016 Titans Return toy line.

    Video Games 
  • Kirby:
    • The platformer Kirby: Squeak Squad redesigned Dedede's palace to resemble the one from the anime adaptation. The room where Kirby fought Dedede even contained the monster summoning device from the series.
    • Similarly, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, the GBA remake of Kirby's Adventure features the Fountain of Dreams from Super Smash Bros. Melee, complete with its remixed stage music.
    • Super Star Ultra and Mass Attack started giving attention to Sword and Blade as Meta Knight's followers, most likely because they were in the anime (where Axe, Mace, Trident, and Javelin were nowhere to be seen). Also, in Super Star Ultra, the Halberd was redesigned to resemble its Brawl appearance.
    • Kirby's Catchphrase "poyo!" and Dedede's Verbal Tic "zoi" are both originally from the anime, as is Meta Knight's habit of wrapping his cape around himself.
    • Escargo(o)n, Customer Service, and Macho-San/Max Flexer appear in different extra mini-games in Kirby Mass Attack.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot allows Meta Knight to use Galaxia Darkness, his Final Smash in the Super Smash Bros. series, as an attack.
  • On the subject of Smash Bros., that game influenced how Captain Falcon was portrayed; all of his appearances after the SSB games now have him with all of his Smash Bros. moves intact. It overlaps with Ascended Meme as well. In F-Zero GX, the song that played during the credits reel when you completed Story Mode mentioned the Falcon Punch, hinting that it was one of his canonical abilities (his other SSB moves are left up in the air). In Falcon Densetsu/GP Legend, Falcon gets to finally show his moves during the Grand Finale and goes out in a blaze of glory.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue didn't take the anime into account due to being based on the Japanese Red and Green (and the anime didn't exist at the time). Later versions do. It shows:
    • Pokemon Yellow is a version of the Gen I games altered to match the anime. Pikachu is the starter, Jessie and James appear regularly, the Pokemon designs reflect their TV appearances (rather than the Off-Model, Nightmare Fuel-inducing original sprites), and the main Team Rocket mons are uncatchable (because Ash would never catch 'em). Surprisingly, one of the uncatchable mons is Weedle, which Ash attempted to catch in the anime. The player can however, obtain all three starters in scenarios that resemble plots in the anime where Ash got his starters from. Brock mentions his wanting to be a breeder in Yellow as well. The nurse sprite was altered to match Nurse Joy.
    • In Pokemon Stadium 2, Misty has a Togetic. Togepi would eventually evolve in the anime.
    • In the canonical games, come Pokémon Gold and Silver Misty has some minor tsundere and Hot-Blooded qualities that she lacked in the original.
    • As of Pokémon X and Y, Pikachu's cry uses its voice from the anime, and, as of Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, so does Eevee.
    • The games have been using Wingdinglish instead of a 'real world' language since at least the fifth gen. This originated in the anime (and was originally an invention of 4kids trying to make it easier for other localizers by removing Japanese text). This also due to the franchise experiencing an Earth Drift of sorts.
    • The games usually avoid referencing adaptations besides the anime. However in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, a picture of Archie, Shelly, and Jirachi exists. In the Emerald chapter of Adventures, Archie tried to capture Jirachi.
    • As of the fourth generation, Blue has a Machamp on his team, like his Adventures counterpart.
    • OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire made Wallace into a Contest Master. This originates from Adventures and was also used in the anime.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming takes many of its visual cues from the film adaptation.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Many elements from the various media adaptations of the Street Fighter franchise ended up being used in the backstories of later games. Most notably, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie greatly influenced the plot of the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series, from M. Bison's more muscular design to the origin story of Ryu's red headband. Ken's brainwashed "Violent Ken" form from the animated movie also became playable in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and Ultra Street Fighter II. Masahiko Nakahira's manga adaptation of the first Alpha game featured a storyline involving Ryu being possessed by the Satsui no Hadou, the same power used by Akuma; this concept would be reused for Ryu's storyline in Alpha 2.
    • Evil Ryu having a burning hole in his chest in Street Fighter IV is taken from Masahiko Nakahira's Street Fighter III: Ryu Final manga, where Ryu impaled himself on Akuma's fist in order to avoid his Shun Goku Satsu.
    • Ryu Final also had Elena communicating with Ryu via a sacred tree in her native Kenya. The sacred tree in question is mentioned in Elena and Dudley's prologue in Street Fighter X Tekken.
    • While the real reason may be simple convenience for the artists of the scene, Guile's intro in Street Fighter IV shows him holding Charlie's dog tags, on which the name "Charlie Nash" is written ('Charlie' is his name in western territories, while 'Nash' is his name in Japan). While the true use of this probably is to avert having to redraw the scene for Japanese audiences, the name 'Charlie Nash' is a common Fanon name as well as the name given to Charlie in UDON's comic book series (which is how it fits into this trope).
    • Maki from Final Fight 2 originally sported a different outfit, but was redesigned for the Sakura Ganbaru! manga series. Elements of Maki's manga design (namely the use of a tonfa as her personal weapon) were incorporated into her new design for Capcom Vs. SNK 2, and later Street Fighter Alpha 3.
    • Speaking of which, Sakura Ganbaru! ended with a Distant Finale showing a now-adult Sakura working as a gym teacher. Sakura's Street Fighter IV ending similarly depicts an adult Sakura reuniting with Ryu several years after the events of the game, and she's now shown wearing her gym teacher outfit from the manga.
    • Ryu's Metsu Hadouken also originated as Evil Ryu's Level 3 Super in Capcom vs. SNK 2.
    • Aspects of Cammy's backstory from the Alpha series, such as her codename Killer Bee, were also based on elements that originally appeared in Masaomi Kanzaki's Cammy Gaiden manga.
    • The idea that Decapre has her face burned on the left side comes from the UDON comics series.
    • In the Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki mini-series, Sarai is eventually allowed to begin ninja training after becoming sad over her Muggle Best Friend status. This plot point was canonized in Ibuki's Super Street Fighter IV ending, with Sarai shown in the same ninja training class as Ibuki. She can even be seen wearing her ninja garb in a cameo in Street Fighter X Tekken.
    • For years, Chun-Li's deceased father had no name in the game's canon. When Capcom finally named him around the time of Street Fighter V, they went with "Dorai," his name from the Street Fighter II V anime.
  • Elements of Wolfgang Krauser's backstory (such as being Geese Howard's half-brother and having killed their father when he was a teenager) were introduced in the second Fatal Fury anime special, and later became canon in the subsequent games.
  • The Worlds of Power series of children's books based on NES games ended up affecting two games' sequels.
    • "Kal Torlin", which was the name of the land where Shadowgate took place, was first used in Before Shadowgate and ended up used in Shadowgate 64.
    • Eve, the young woman Jason falls in love with in the novelization of Blaster Master, ends up being his wife in the sequel Blaster Master: Blasting Again for the PlayStation. The author of the book was surprised to find out that his character had become canonical. She even shows up in the Continuity Reboot Blaster Master Zero alongside Jason; as a bonus, his English name is now his canon name in both English and Japanese.
  • The Updated Re-release of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (New Mystery of the Emblem) took several details that were previously solely Word of God, such as Ogma being a former gladiator, and made them part of the characters' official backstories through its support conversations. There's also a Downloadable Content map which centers around a duel between Ogma and Navarre similar to the second episode of the short-lived anime.
  • Starting with the second Yo-Kai Watch game, the anime adaptation has had an influence on the games. For example Jibanyan (who is a main character in the anime and the franchise's mascot) was made into an Ascended Extra, while Katie (the female protagonist) was Demoted to Extra in exchange for Hailey Anne (a female character who has a Yokai Watch in the anime). Yo-kai Watch 4 is a sequel to two of the anime's films.
  • Several elements from the Five Nights at Freddy's books have been made canon in the games... sort of. The games and books seem to have similar starting points, and as such there are many crossovers between the two (For example, in the books Charlie turns out to be a robot designed by Henry to replace his dead daughter. In the games, Michael Afton seems to have taken this role, with Afton as the creator.) But there are several differences too, which imply that the games and books are two different timelines diverging from similar starting points.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion 2, while primarily based on the anime TV series, also incorporates some elements a few elements from Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's official manga adaptation of the show, but tweaks them to better fit in with the anime.
  • The Legend of Zelda:

    Western Animation 
  • In the NES DuckTales videogame, Scrooge McDuck can breathe on the moon with no explanation, in the 2013 remake, it is handwaved that Gyro Gearloose invented Oxy-chew taffy to allow users to breathe on the moon without a space suit, in the 2017 reboot, Oxy-chew appears, explaining how Della Duck stayed for so many years on the moon.
    • The Moon Stage Theme from the NES videogame was used in the 2017 cartoon, with added lyrics and sang by Della Duck.
  • The chapter books and comics based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic were initially considered Loose Canon. With Hasbro's official position that if something happened in the official comics, the official chapter books, or even in Equestria Girls, it's canonical unless outright contradicted by the series itself. Despite the fact that no episodes prior to Season 5 (save for at least one episode) make outright references to either. Several episodes in Season 5, however, either explicitly reference or allude to events in the books, largely due to the books' main writer joining the show's writing stable.
    • The Series 9 finale name-drops King Vorak, Tirek's father from the comics, making him canon to the show.
  • PJ Masks: The show is adapted from a series of French children's books, but drastically changed the tone from fantastic stories to a more traditional heroes vs. villains superhero show. It also added several new elements, like the heroes having their own vehicles, and new villains like Night Ninja and Luna Girl. While the overall tone of the books has remained the same, these changes were nonetheless incorporated into the books after the show became a success.
  • Inspector Gadget: While the first film had a talking Gadgetmobile with a hip and fun attitude, it is well liked that they kept his traits into the cartoon after 1999.


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