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Sequel Displacement

Go To
Street Fighter II: Known for defining the genre of Fighting Games.
Street Fighter: Known for being the reason Street Fighter II has the number 2 in its title.
"And for that matter, why is this game called Street Fighter II? What the hell happened to Street Fighter?"

Basically when a series is rolling along, and doing decent, if a bit obscure. Then one installment is released, and that installment takes over the series. Occasionally, a fan might go back and look at the obscure earlier entries, but within the general fanbase, this entry is the series from the moment of its release.

Often caused by a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, and related to Adaptation Displacement, More Popular Spin-Off, and Older Than They Think. The aforementioned hardcore fans sometimes declare that It's Popular, Now It Sucks!. Usually happens with video games, but can apply to series in other media.

This does not count series which simply avert First Installment Wins by having a non-iconic first installment that was never displaced from popular consciousness.

Exceptionally likely in video games when an old series, beloved by those who remember it but well vanished from the public consciousness, gets a new installment. See Metal Gear Solid and Street Fighter II.


Contrast It's Popular, Now It Sucks!. The exact opposite of this is First Installment Wins.

Obligatory Tropes Are Not Bad note: please don't call people stupid for finding out late and starting with a sequel in the middle of the series, therefore not knowing the previous ones, especially if there are no numbers in the title. If they refuse to acknowledge what came before, then you have a case of Fan Dumb. Starting with a sequel might lead to Early Installment Weirdness.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • GaoGaiGar is well-known amongst anime fans for restarting the Super Robot Genre to the Hot-Blooded days of yore and is one of the most popular Humongous Mecha series out there. It also happens to be the eighth and last (not counting GaoGaiGar FINAL or the Vaporware Baan Gaan) installment of the Brave Series, while the first seven installments were only exported to South and East Asian countries. Much of this is due to being the only show in the series to not only appear in the Super Robot Wars games -prior to 2017 game Super Robot Wars V-, but the only one released to Western countries.
  • The Parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure everyone remembers are from Stardust Crusaders onward. Part 1 and Part 2 are a lot more like Fist of the North Star than what the series later became. To the point that, in America at least, the series was localized with Part 3 first, half of Part 4 next, and the rest ignored. This leads to a lot of Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros." in some discussion forums.
    • The video game adaptations have it even worse: the first two games were adaptations of Stardust Crusaders (though young Joseph from Battle Tendency was playable in the latter), then came an adaptation of Vento Aureo, and then in 2006, there was finally an adaptation of Phantom Blood.
    • Since then, the games have usually featured a variety of characters from the different installments, albeit with Jotaro usually still being the central protagonist. Case in point: Eyes of Heaven features all eight JoJos up to that point (as well as a huge number of villains and supporting characters) as playable fighters, but the final showdown in Story Mode still comes down to Jotaro and DIO.
    • Also notable on Jump Super Stars: The first game had Jotaro and DIO (The Hero and Big Bad of Stardust Crusaders, respectively) as playable and nobody else. The sequel promised including all the chapters, and they delivered... by making the other mains Assist Characters, but DIO and Jotaro still as the only playables. While Dio is also the Big Bad of Phantom Blood, it is his Stardust Crusaders incarnation that is most... iconic. In fact, every one of his panels and almost all of his moves come from Part 3.
    • Somewhat alleviated by the 2010's anime adaptation, which finally adapts the series in its proper order. Due to its surprising popularity in the west, most new fans are more likely to know of the earlier parts first. In fact, Viz released Parts 1 and 2. J-Stars Victory VS averts this by including Jonathan and Joseph, the protagonists of Parts 1 and 2, as the representatives of the whole franchise (which presumably ties into the anime adaptations mentioned above). There were apparently plans to include Jotaro and Dionote  as DLC, but they never materialized.
  • UFO Robo Grendizer: In France and Italy, Grendizer was aired before its predecessor series, Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. It became phenomenally popular in that country, but almost nobody knew it was the third part of a trilogy, to the point that, when Mazinger-Z was broadcast in France ten years later, people accused it of being a Grendizer rip-off.
  • In Detective Conan, what many don't know is that Kaito Kid originally appeared in a short-lived manga, Magic Kaito, written by Aoyama. His appearance is just a mere Crossover. He was so popular that he eventually became a main character and recurring nemesis of Conan.
  • Dragon Ball: While Dragon Ball Z is actually more of a rebrand than an actual sequel, it is indisputable that it's more popular than the first third covered by Dragon Ball, thanks to a strong focus on titanic fights that destroy mountains and shake the very planet, and plenty of "get hype" character power-ups and transformations along the way. This isn't exclusive to the USA: Z is more popular everywhere, even in Japan, where most memes, shout outs and merchandise come from Z. It's also very telling that almost all video games and Toei's two sequel series, GT and Super, take the most inspiration from Zs material, and most anniversary celebrations such as Dragon Ball Z Kai focus on it.
    • Dragon Ball Zs introduction in the West also contributed to its success over the first third. The first series had several false starts in the United States, after Harmony Gold took a crack at it in 1990, though this iteration lasted five episodes due to only airing on two local East Coast channels during school hours. Later, U.S. licensee Funimation bought the rights to all three shows at once with syndication plans. FUNimation's CEO Gen Fukanaga wanted to adapt Dragon Ball Z first as that's what he saw while in Japan, but Toei insisted he start from the beginning of the story with Dragon Ball. Gen did so by adapting only the first arc before skipping to Dragon Ball Z like he wanted. The rest, as they say, is history: Z's compelling action catapulted it to success and left the original Dragon Ball in the dust.
  • Sailor Moon is a spinoff of an earlier manga titled Codename: Sailor V, which stars Minako during her days as Sailor V. The creator was asked to expand it into a team format, which led to Sailor Moon. Codename: Sailor V was initially only released in a handful of countries outside of Japan, and never in North America outside of Quebec. Codename: Sailor V eventually got an official English release in September 2011 alongside a new translation of Sailor Moon; though it is doubtful it will ever become more popular, at least people know it exists.
  • Tekkaman Blade (a.k.a. Teknoman) is a sequel to an earlier Tatsunoko anime, Tekkaman. Barely anyone knows this. It doesn't help that Tekkaman Blade is practically a sequel In Name Only, much less a remake. The presence of both in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom helped remedy this, to an extent. Blade is still more popular, but the original now has SPACE LANCE for people to remember him for...
  • While obscure, the OVA Twinkle Nora Rock Me! is a cult classic among certain groups of anime fans because of its infamous "animation", but very few people are even aware that it's a sequel. The prequel, simply titled Nora remains even more obscure, likely because the animation isn't anywhere near as bad.
  • When you think of the character Casshern nowadays, you probably think of Casshern Sins before Neo Human Casshern. In fact, you'd be lucky if you found every episode of the latter before Sentai Filmworks released Neo Human Casshern on DVD.
  • Outside of Japan, the first season of Jewelpet is frequently ignored by anime watchers due to the lack of a complete subbed version. Some sites even mistakenly replace videos from the first season with videos from the second season.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has an in-universe example with the Second and Third Impacts. The First Impact is the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs off way back when, which actually isn't the case. First Impact is when the Black Moon struck the Earth, far before the time of the dinosaurs. The only reason the K-T meteor impact is linked to First Impact is because of the cover story for Second Impact also being a meteor impact.
  • Yatterman managed to do this to Time Bokan, its predecessor in a meta-series. In fact, there are some fans that don't have any idea it was part of a series at all. This came to a head in the 40th anniversary anime for the franchise, which mainly takes its inspiration from Yatterman. Yatterman has eclipsed the entire Time Bokan franchise to such a point where people are surprised that a non-Yatterman Time Bokan protagonist (Ippatsuman) managed to be featured in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. It's been dialed back a bit with the release of Time Bokan 24, though.
  • Outside of Japan, this occurred to Osomatsu-san. It's a sequel series to the classic series Osomatsu-kun meant to celebrate the mangaka's 80th birthday. It ended up a Sleeper Hit both internationally and in Japan. Most countries didn't get exports of any Osomatsu-kun series until after Osomatsu-san, and even if they did it's unlikely most fans remember it as much as Japanese viewers. The first episode makes it clear that the series is a sequel, however many non-Japanese fans simply think they're making fun of 1960s anime in general. Many jokes go over peoples heads because they aren't acquainted with the older series (Osomatsu-san is essentially what Dog Sees God is to Peanuts—a sequel of a family friendly work where everyone is older and the jokes are more adult oriented).
  • Free! is actually a Time Skip series meant to take place years after the plot of the KA Bunko novel High★Speed!. It's not as noticeable since the story focused on most of the cast in middle school rather than in high school, but Haruka and Rin do make references to some plot points in the book. The success of the first season led to KA Bunko trying to mitigate this by rereleasing the the first book and releasing a second volume detailing more about what happened since the first's end, with them integrating some of the show-only characters into the plot. The second book was even made into a film— High★Speed! - Free! Starting Days, though it came at the cost of Free! veterans wondering why the film was about middle schoolers rather than the characters they've grown accustomed to.
  • Many people may not realize that Great Teacher Onizuka was an almost direct sequel to a lesser-known manga series, Shonan Jun'ai Gumi!. They most likely assumed that GTO started in medias res, though it could just be the fault of Tokyopop for Americans.

    Comic Books 
  • The second volume of Doom Patrol wasn't popular at all until Grant Morrison took over, and the title subsequently became one of the most iconic comics of the '80s and early '90s. Today, few people remember the initial 18 issues that preceded Morrison's run.
  • Naturally, most people are unaware of the 1986 Superman reboot Man of Steel or anything that continues from it. When The Death of Superman was released after a flurry of media coverage unheard of for a comic book saga, some more familiar with earlier comics or the character's various film and TV incarnations may have been confused to learn that Ma & Pa Kent were alive or that Superman and Lois were officially a couple with her knowing his secret identity or that Supergirl wasn't Superman's cousin but a shape-shifting life-form who was dating long-haired redhead Lex Luthor. New and returning fans may have been even more confused by subplots born of elements introduced in the period between 1986 and 1992.
  • Initially played straight regarding Hawkman, then subverted. Thanks to Hawkgirl's popularity from Justice League (and previously, the Silver and Bronze Age comic book Hawks), a lot of mainstream audiences were far more familiar with the space cop, Thanagarian concept of the Hawks than the original Golden Age reincarnating Hawks. While Smallville would use Carter Hall instead of Katar Hol, that didn't really do much, since it was a relatively minor role, and Justice League was just more popular in the long run. Then the Arrowverse used the reincarnating Hawks, and people became much more familiar with that version of them than the space cops.
  • The Belgian comic Johan and Peewit is not very famous around the world. However, everybody knows its spin-off The Smurfs.
  • Dan Garrett is known for being the original Blue Beetle, but much like Alan Scott and Jay Garricknote , he's been completely overshadowed by his successor Ted Kord, who in turn has been overshadowed by his successor Jaime Reyes. The general audiences know them far more than the original.
  • Like the X-Men example below, nobody really cared much about Supreme until Alan Moore came along. Many modern readers are unaware that there were already 40 issues prior the start to Moore's run.
  • The original run of Teen Titans - starring Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, and later Speedy - has largely been displaced by The '80s The New Teen Titans (which got rid of several of the previous Titans and introduced Cyborg, Starfire and Raven, and also added former Doom Patrol member Beast Boy to the cast), though many comic fans know that the group were True Companions pre-New 52. This became even worse when the Teen Titans animated series came out and it was based on The New Teen Titans. Aqualad and Speedy were included in the cartoon but are Titans East members, while Kid Flash appeared in one episode but never even interacted with the Titans. Wonder Girl was planned to appear but was banned due to the Wonder Woman embargo, though she did appear in the Teen Titans Go! comic spinoff.
  • Ask someone about X-Force and you'll generally get descriptions of two books; Peter Milligan's humorous and satirical X-Force/X-Statix run and Rick Remender's seminal Uncanny X-Force run. There's been multiple X-Force comics before, between, and after said books, but they tend to ignored or quickly forgotten. Fans generally know of those other series — mainly because Cable played a big role in them — but not many care to know much about them.
  • Everyone knows about the first Venom, Eddie Brock, and a decent number know about the third and fourth ones, Mac Gargan and Flash Thompson. However very few are aware that there was a second Venom, a mobster's son who got the symbiote. This is understandable, as the second Venom was a total pushover who only lasted a few issues at best, so many just plain forget he existed.
  • Thanks to a number of factors, including the beloved movie adaptation, the second Guardians of the Galaxy team (Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon, Groot, Drax, Gamora, etc.) is iconic and extremely well-known, while many forget or don't know that the original Silver Age team even existed. The only members of that team that are really remembered are the ones with links to the newer team, like Yondu.
  • Although created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, X-Men didn't take off as a franchise until its relaunch by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum with the addition of new and highly popular characters like Storm, Nightcrawler, and especially Wolverine. Today, most people remember that particular team when asked to describe the X-Men and their ensuing adventures written by Chris Claremont. Adaptation Displacement is also in effect here, as the later additions to the team became far better known thanks to the movies and the various animated series. Characters like Wolverine and Storm are now largely recognizable, while far fewer people would be likely to identify someone like Polaris. Cyclops and Beast were in both, but while the original Cyclops would be instantly recognizable to modern fans, fans who only know the furry blue version of Beast introduced later might be puzzled by Hank's original (human except for large hands and feet) appearance.
  • The original Suicide Squad team introduced in 1959 has been completely overshadowed by the retooled team introduced in the 80's, a team of supervillains kept on a government leash and assigned to do covert missions that would be too dangerous for regular soldiers. This is a stark contrast to the original team, who were just a regular band of adventurers, and with the exception of Rick Flag, Jr, contained none of the familiar faces from the better known lineup. Original team members Jess Bright, Dr. Hugh Evans, and Karin Grace will get a resounding "who?" when brought up to non-comics fans, while most of them have heard of the retooled lineup's members such as Amanda Waller, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, or Harley Quinn.
  • The Charlton heroes Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and The Question were relatively successful, though none of them are A-listers or that prominent in public consciousness. No, people are much more likely to know the characters created to be their expies for Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan, Nite Owl and Rorschach.
  • If you use the name "Baron Zemo", you're most likely referring to Helmut, who didn't appear until nearly a decade after his father and didn't actually become Baron Zemo nearly two decades after. If you refer to Heinrich, you're going to have to specify his name to avoid confusion.
  • Most of people who have heard about Batgirl and Supergirl are only aware of Barbara Gordon and Kara Zor-El, and they completely ignore the existence of older characters with similar codenames (Bette Kane and Lucy of Borgonia/Super-Girl, respectively). Related to Batgirl, Huntress and Batwoman probably bring to mind Helena Bertinelli and Kate Kane rather than the first two women who used said codenames.
  • Likewise, nowadays, if someone is talking about "Captain Marvel," they're usually referring to Carol Danvers, who is actually just the most recent character at Marvel to use the name. Far fewer people in the mainstream are aware of Mar-Vell, the Silver Age superhero she got the name from, and whose book she actually originated in. Even fewer people know about Monica Rambeau, the Captain Marvel after Mar-Vell and before Carol.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Three Caballeros, despite usually being considered a one-off film, is actually the sequel to a film called Saludos Amigos. In this case, people can be forgiven for thinking that the sequel was a stand-alone film, because the first movie wasn't shown in any capacity between its 1942 premiere and its 1995 limited-run Laserdisc release. Even after a much wider DVD release in 2000, it's still relatively unknown.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • When most people think of Rambo, they picture the character shirtless in the jungle, slaying hundreds of mooks with machineguns and explosive arrows. In Rambo's first film, First Blood, he's fighting American lawmen and only kills one in self-defense with a rock (and the man's death wasn't even intentional, or even really directly caused by Rambo). And it's also a relatively anti-war movie, though not nearly so much as the original book, focusing on the shameful reception of Vietnam veterans upon their return home. The film ends with Rambo crying his heart out over the injustice of war and those who wage it, and in the original cut and novel's ending, being Driven to Suicide. The sequels are pure war porn.
  • Partially because of its title and partially because it came out literally months after the first, only diehard Pink Panther fans realize that the first sequel was not The Return of the Pink Panther, but the less well-known A Shot in the Dark. Ironically, it's Shot that brought in many of the elements (Clouseau's karate "prowess", the increasing tomfoolery of his accent) and characters (Dreyfus and Cato) who are key to the later films; it's also commonly regarded as the best film of the series.
  • The original Mad Max (which was only given limited release in America) is far more obscure than its sequels Mad Max 2 (renamed The Road Warrior in America), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and especially Mad Max: Fury Road. Notably, while the sequels became highly influential visions of an After the End world in their depictions of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the original film is set in a pre-apocalyptic civilization that is on the verge of/in the process of falling apart.
  • While all James Bond films have recognition, it tends to happen with third installments that gain both critical acclaim and massive success:
  • Many people have no idea that Robert Rodriguez's Desperado is actually the second film of a trilogy, the first being El Mariachi, which was made on a shoestring budget and never received a wide release.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the third installment of Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, is even more famous than A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More.
  • In the Evil Dead series, most people remember the ass-kicking character of Ash, toting a shotgun and sporting a chainsaw for a hand. The first film of the series, however, is a more straight horror film with an ensemble cast. Ash is just a regular college kid who happens to make it to the end. Producers were even reluctant to call the second film Evil Dead 2 out of the belief that few people had even heard of the first film. Taken up to 11 with Army of Darkness, which totally dropped the Evil Dead name as well as most of the gore to make it more marketable to mainstream audiences and got so popular as a stand-alone movie that it's not uncommon to find fans of it who don't even know the rest of the franchise exists.
  • The cult classic kung fu flick Master of the Flying Guillotine is actually a sequel to the little-remembered film One-Armed Boxer.
  • Although it works fine as a stand-alone film, Another Time, Another Place is actually a sequel to a Made-for-TV Movie based on another Jessie Kesson novel called The White Bird Passes, which deals with the protagonist's childhood.
  • Tom Laughlin directed and produced (using assumed names) The Born Losers in 1967, a typical American International Pictures biker flick featuring Laughlin as a half-breed Indian ex-Green Beret named Billy Jack. The movie proved a surprise success and Laughlin made an even more successful sequel, Billy Jack, three years later. These days Born Losers is fairly obscure while Billy Jack has a massive cult following, followed by two sequels of its own.
  • Two strange examples with Troll 2 and Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. Both of these sequels are considered worse than the original movies, but have overshadowed them precisely because they're so bad and over-the-top. The first Troll film is primarily remembered, if at all, for having a lead character named "Harry Potter" who predated the famous one by over a decade. Silent Night, Deadly Night in turn is better known for the controversy it caused for having killers dressed as Santa Claus.
  • Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is the most infamous of the series. Though the previous two are not great, this one has the most special effect failures and John Barrowman's infamous adlib "what do you say I take you home and eat your pussy?".

  • James Branch Cabell wrote 20-odd books set in his "Poictesme" universe. They were little-read until the 7th one, Jurgen, appeared in 1919: that one inspired the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice to attempt to prosecute Cabell for obscenity, naturally giving the book great publicity. Afterwards, Cabell went right back to obscurity. Jurgen is still by far the best known book in the series, although in the author's own opinion and that of some fans, it's not the best. (One reprinted edition of his works gave a collection of pans from the critics... then after 1919, he issued book after book to be told that it was "not nearly as good as Jurgen.") Lampshaded in his later novel Smirt, where the author Author Avatar protagonist talks God out of writing a sequel to the Bible, knowing how critics would treat it.
  • Dan Brown's runaway success The Da Vinci Code was a sequel to the much less known Angels & Demons. This was retroactively countered by publishers and filmmakers, who hoped to take advantage of lingering Dan Brown fever by snapping up Angels and Demons and marketing it aggressively. Most people probably think Angels and Demons is the sequel; certainly this is the case for the movie.
  • The Silence of the Lambs is the second part in a series, though it's an easy mistake to make. As protagonist Clarice Starling is investigating her first case during the said book, and due to the movie adaptation's huge popularity, many fail to realize there was a first book; Red Dragon covers the last case of Will Graham, and is connected through later-recurring characters like Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford. Following a proper film remake of Red Dragon and a prequel series, however, the series has become better known.
  • Last of the Mohicans is far more well known than The Pioneers, to which it was written as a prequel.
  • Dune provides an In-Universe example. Duke Leto, a charismatic and powerful leader that purchased one of the most important planets in the political system and created the second-best army in the universe, is completely overshadowed by his son, Paul.
  • H.G. Wells' The Crystal Egg, a short story about an alien artifact sent to Earth to spy on it in preparation for a coming invasion isn't remembered very well by most, especially compared to the story of said invasion.
  • Little House in the Big Woods was Laura Ingalls Wilder's first book, but it is the second in the series, Little House on the Prairie, that is better known, to the extent that it is the name by which the whole series is now known.
  • While The Hobbit is by no means obscure, it's not as well-known as The Lord of the Rings. With The Lord of the Rings getting a film adaptation before The Hobbit, some people now believe that The Hobbit was written as a prequel after LotR.
  • A rare case of the Spiritual Successor overtaking the original. Hitomi Fujimoto's shoujo mystery Light Novel KZ Shonen Shoujo Seminar was Cut Short after a year. Its official Spiritual Successor, the tween novel Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, however, spans more than thirty books, two spinoff series (including several full-length novels), and was adapted into both manga and anime.
  • Bang The Drum Slowly by Mark Harris was the second book in a tetralogy. Thanks to well-received TV and film adaptations, it is much more famous than its predecessor, The Southpaw.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Saved by the Bell is a half-sequel, half-Retool successor to a series titled Good Morning, Miss Bliss.
  • In today's world, many people remember that sitcom about a short sassy black kid and another one about a quartet of girls in a school for girls. Not many realize that The Facts of Life is a spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes.
  • In-universe example: In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, it's revealed that the aliens' favorite film is Arthur 2: On The Rocks. One day, Harry discovers the original Arthur:
    Harry: There's a prequel!
    Sally: Well, who knew? This is going to answer so many questions about Arthur 2.
    Harry: Yeah, like the "2".
  • Many modern fans are unaware that Ultraman was a follow-up to a lesser-known show called Ultra Q. And with good reason, as Q took place before the Ultra Series made a Genre Shift into straight-up Superhero action, and as such comes across closer in tone to The Outer Limits or The X-Files.
  • Red Dwarf. For many fans, the show doesn't really establish its status quo until the third series (Red Dwarf III).
  • Doctor Who: Most viewers nowadays are more likely to have seen the 2005 relaunch than the original series. Memories of the Classic Series are dominated by the third and fourth Doctor eras, when the show was at the height of its popularity. (With the Third Doctor era onward the program also shifted to color and was fully preserved in the archives, unlike the first two eras.)
  • The original Law & Order is largely unknown in Spain. But put on TV any day, at any hour. Chances are, one channel will be broadcasting an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit under the label "Law and Order".
  • The BattleBots robots Dr. Inferno Jr. and Son of Whyachi are named after their predecessors, hence their names. However, the original Dr. Inferno and the original Whyachi failed to defeat anythingnote  and were never shown on TV, while Dr. Inferno Jr. and Son of Whyachi proceeded to become champions and wound up being a lot more recognizable among fans of combat robotics.

  • One of Barenaked Ladies most best known hits in the US is their border-crossing breakout hit "One Week" from the album Stunt (1998). It's possible, even likely, that most Americans believe Stunt is their first album. The band had been together for a decade before that and had recorded nine albums, Stunt included, in that time. In fairness, of those nine, five were independent demo recordings, three of which weren't even widely released (one wasn't released at all), but even if you lived in Canada, it's unlikely you knew they even had an album before 1992's Gordon.
  • Deadmau5's debut album wasn't Random Album Title. His first two albums aren't even mentioned on the official website, despite having one of his more popular songs, 1981.
  • Felix Mendelssohn's first violin concerto is relatively obscure. His second is one of the most recognizable pieces from the early Romantic period. Most people think he only wrote one.
  • Did you know that that famous piece Liebestraum by Franz Liszt is actually Liebestraum No. 3? Now you do.
  • Similarly, Fryderyk Chopin's first piano sonata, in C minor, is often overlooked and rarely performed. The second, in B-flat minor, is much more famous, as it contains a well-known Funeral March as the third movement. The third, in B minor, is also better-known and much better-received than the first.
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff is perhaps best known for the virtuoso piano writing and lush romantic melodies of his second (C minor) and third (D minor) piano concertos, the latter of which was featured in The Shining. The first concerto, in F-sharp minor, is rarely heard, as is the fourth, in G major.
  • Grammy awards for Best New Artist are often given to new stars whether or not they have released any albums prior to their break-out success. They double as Award Category Fraud.
    • Paula Cole received a Best New Artist Grammy for her second album.
    • Kenny Chesney won a Best New Male Vocalist award shortly before the release of his fourth album.
    • Shelby Lynne won this award in 2001, and in her very irritated acceptance speech reminded everyone that she had been recording and releasing albums for over 10 years. She later fell victim to The Runner-Up Takes It All, having been overshadowed by all four of the people she beat.
    • Welcome Interstate Managers was the third album by Fountains of Wayne, released seven years after their first, self-titled, album. But the breakaway hit "Stacy's Mom" (the first - and usually, only - Fountains of Wayne song the general public is widely familiar with) from Managers led to Fountains of Wayne getting nominations for Best New Artist.
    • Amy Winehouse won Best New Artist although she already had a best-selling album in Britain beforehand. Back to Black is her second album (her first was Frank from 2003).
    • The Jonas Brothers were nominated after being discovered by Disney.
    • The Backstreet Boys. First album? 1996. Grammy Best New Artist nod? 1999.
    • Alanis Morissette. Jagged Little Pill was her third album; she'd released two albums of cheesy synth-pop in her native Canada as just "Alanis".
    • Bon Iver won the 2012 Grammy for Best New Artist, despite their first album being released in 2007. (Skrillex also already had several EPs before being nominated.)
    • In an odd case, Meghan Trainor won the award in 2016, a full year after getting several noms the previous ceremony on the strength of her first single, "All About That Bass". However, she subverts this overall because she had only one album out at the time.
    • Feist was nominated in 2008 after her first commercially successful album, The Reminder. The problem? She had three albums before that and had been making music for 17 years.
  • Kenny Chesney's first album was the little-known In My Wildest Dreams, released by Capricorn Records in 1994. But the label didn't have the resources to work the country market, and the album quickly vanished without a trace (although he re-recorded a single from it, "The Tin Man", in 2001). Some people may not even be aware of the four major-label albums that he had in The '90s before No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems in 2002, the first album to establish the beach-bum persona he's largely had ever since — even though he had several signature songs on the prior albums such as "She's Got It All", "How Forever Feels", and "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy".
  • Similarly, Suzy Bogguss had been recording since 1981, but won the Country Music Association's Horizon award in 1992. The fact that said award is now called the New Artist Award should clue you in as to how her win fits this trope.
    • Gary Allan won the same award in 2003, even though he had been recording since 1996.
  • Justin Moore won the Academy of Country Music's Best New Artist award in 2014, months after the release of his third album. And it's not like his previous albums were obscure flops, either — the first two both went gold and produced a combined three #1 hits.
  • Bob Dylan's first album was not The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan but a self-titled album containing only two original songs.
  • Anything an artist records before they score a major studio deal is usually ignored. For example:
    • Only hardcore Eminem fans even know of his first album, which was not The Slim Shady LP. Only 250 copies of Infinite were sold.
    • Good News For People Who Love Bad News was the fourth Modest Mouse album and their second album on a major label. Their first being The Moon & Antarctica in 2000.
    • Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers is his third album, but his first on a major label, and his first with a major hit in "Black and Yellow".
    • Green Day exploded in 1994 with the hit single "Basket Case", from their third album, Dookie - the first after signing to Warner. Unless you were a major follower of the independent punk rock scene, you probably thought Dookie was their debut. They actually released two EP's, 1,000 Hours (1989) and Slappy (1990), as well as two full albums, 39/Smooth (1990), and Kerplunk in 1991. The first three were re-released in 1991 in one extended recording, now called 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. Unless you're a huge Green Day fan, you likely have still only ever heard of Kerplunk and even that is unlikely. It would seem that no tracks from Green Day's International Superhits! precede Dookie, until you realize one of Dookie's most well-known songs, "Welcome to Paradise", is a re-recording from the previous album.
    • Many people are unaware that Bob Marley And The Wailers released many singles and four albums in Jamaica before signing with Island in 1973. This happened 11 years after Bob released his first single.
    • They Might Be Giants released two albums and a compilation of b-sides on independent label Bar None before landing a deal with Warner Music imprint Elektra. While dedicated fans are rather attached to the first two albums, their major label debut, Flood, is still by far their most well-known album, to the extent that "Floodies" is the Fan Community Nickname for anyone who got into the band because of that album. It still is known as the Gateway Album for many fans, even though it's been over two decades since the band was on that label.
  • Fall Out Boy's From Under the Cork Tree, often listed as their debut by even music writers, is their second album. While "Take This To Your Grave", their first album, and "Evening Out With Your Girlfriend" (their second ep and an Old Shame for the band) are more often listed as their debut, but that honor goes to a split EP they did with drummer Andy Hurley's then current band Project Rocket. The split EP featured songs that would later appear on "Evening Out" and Andy would later join Fall Out Boy after Project Rocket's breakup in 2003.
  • Yes, Nirvana made an album before Nevermind. "About a Girl" is most likely the only song non-fans would know from Bleach, due to the Unplugged In New York version getting radio airplay. The studio version of the song is the only Bleach track on the self-titled Greatest Hits Album too. Kurt even lampshades this in the Unplugged album: before playing "About a Girl," he quips "This is a song from our first album. Most people don't own it."
    • Kurt Cobain's death and subsequent legendary rock-martyrdom (as well as being labeled "The Godfather of Grunge" even while still alive) has provided Bleach with some Retroactive Recognition but it's not impossible that if Cobain was still alive, no one would remember that Nirvana had an album before Nevermind. Also, considering the number of compilations, live albums, et al released well after Cobain's death, it's possible for many to forget that they only had three studio albums, the third and last being 1993's In Utero.
  • Switchfoot's three albums prior to The Beautiful Letdown, featuring "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move", are largely unknown outside the Christian Rock fandom.
  • Good Charlotte made a self-titled album with a different drummer before they achieved worldwide success with The Young and The Hopeless. At concerts they'll sometimes say they were going to play a song "off our first album", and everyone would cheer thinking it was from The Young and the Hopeless... Then they'd play "Festival Song" and half the audience would get really quiet... and the other half would scream even louder!
    • In the UK, this is in place even more so than America - the self-titled album was only released after The Young and The Hopeless, and the music videos have never seen any airplay in the country.
  • Drake released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, in 2006 but didn't get a record deal until 2009. Only hardcore fans really know about that and the other mixtape he made. A weird version with this, because his first hit single, "Best I Ever Had", was actually released on a mixtape made before he had a record deal.
  • Tears for Fears's second album, Songs from the Big Chair, was far more popular than their first and contains their best-known songs, including "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Shout" and "Head Over Heels". The main reason for its success is that it was huge in America, whereas their first album The Hurting and its singles (particularly "Mad World") mostly had success in the UK and Ireland. "Mad World" later gained worldwide popularity when it was Covered Up by one hit wonders Michael Andrews and Gary Jules 19 years later. The band have gone on record saying that they love this Cover Version.
  • Despite the title track being one of their best known singles, The Who's My Generation album was out of print in the UK for decades, and prior to 2005 only an altered U.S. release was available on CD.
  • Six years before his breakout album Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf recorded a duets album with Stoney Murphy. Even the record's producers forgot about it in the intervening six years, reissuing it with Edwin Starr's vocals in place of Meat Loaf's. After Meat Loaf became a household name, the album was reissued again, with his lyrics restored, but Stoney's removed.
  • Japan's first two albums 'Adolescent Sex' and 'Obscure Alternatives'. David Sylvian has even gone on record saying they should never have released their first album. This isn't surprising because the album is a So Bad, It's Good attempt at jazz influenced glam rock. They did however perform tracks from 'Obscure Alternatives' up until they broke up, but it divides fans due to Sylvian's completely different vocal style and the occasionally banal lyrics. The compilation 'Assemblage', which features a couple of tracks from their first album is much better remembered, and some people believed it was their first album until the remasters came out, which contains an image on the spine which can only be completed by buying all the albums in the set.
  • Many people think that New Gold Dream was Simple Minds' first album, despite the fact it was their sixth (or fifth if you count Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call as a double album).
  • The Offspring's Greatest Hits Album include nothing before their third/breakthrough album, Smash. Still, the band at times defies the trope, and even performed predecessor Ignition in its entirety during said album's 20th anniversary.
  • Hardly anybody knows Supertramp's first two albums, which preceded a revamp in line-up (only the two bandleaders stayed) and sound.
  • David Bowie had recorded 2 entire albums and released one before Space Oddity (titled Man of Words, Man of Music until a 1972 reissue) made him famous and codified his style. His 2nd album in recording order, Love You Till Tuesday, was a casualty of Deram Records' financial problems, and received no authorized release until recently (although the lead single was released, complete with an ad for the thought-to-be-upcoming album on the sleeve).
  • Journey released 3 albums, with 2 different frontmen, in a weird experimental style that drifted between Jazz, Progressive Rock and Hard Rock, before Steve Perry and an arena rock sound made them superstars.
  • Queen's first (self-titled) album is largely forgotten or unknown by all but the most hardcore Queen fans. Their popularity began to pick up with Queen II, spiked with Sheer Heart Attack and probably peaked with A Night At The Opera, but Queen has (almost) never had a single song featured on any collection albums. This is a shame, because it's a strong debut.
    • In fairness, the band only included Top 20 hits on Greatest Hits, thus several later period singles don't appear on it either. The band remained proud of "Keep Yourself Alive" and performed it constantly later on, however, so this is simply a case of too many hits.
    • Possibly because Queen II was where the "classic" sound came together. One can argue the merits of their debut, but it had a noticeably different sound to their later work, with a more pronounced early '70s Zeppelin-influenced hard rock feel and some religious themes.
  • Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was either their sixth or eighth album, depending on whether or not you include two albums the band made as soundtracks for obscure French hippie films. Either way, you'd be surprised by how many casual/new fans earnestly believe the band's debut album was Dark Side.
    • The band did have two top 20 hits in the 1960s, but only in Britain. Most Americans aren't familiar with it.
    • Not really surprising, seeing the band themselves admitted they didn't really know what they were doing before Dark Side or possibly Meddle.
  • Elton John made an album before his self-titled one. But almost no one has even heard of it, except for Americans who think it's his tenth album (it was released there six years after it was released in Britain).
  • Wicked Lester, founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Nobody remembers it. KISS, however, is quite well known.
  • No one remembers a Fleetwood Mac without Stevie Nicks, even though she didn't join the band until 1975, a full eight years after the band was formed. Not even Fleetwood Mac.
  • Mobb Deep's first album, Juvenile Hell, is mostly forgotten. Their follow up, The Infamous is what really made the duo stars of the New York hardcore hip hop scene.
  • Genesis' first album, 1969's From Genesis to Revelation, was recorded by a lineup which featured Anthony Phillips on guitar and John Silver on drums. It was marred by Johnathan King's string-laden overproduction and Decca Records' Executive Meddling. The group do not own the rights to the album and appear to have disowned it. The more Progressive Rock -based Trespass, from 1970, featured more of the band's trademark sound and style, but was, like FGTR, a commercial failure. The first major Genesis success was 1971's Nursery Cryme, featuring the cult hit, "The Musical Box". By then, the classic line-up of Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and new members Steve Hackett and Phil Collins was established, and the group's sound better defined and produced.
    • Genesis have indeed disowned FGTR, and stopped performing numbers from it very early on. The majority of the fans agree with this and discount FGTR from the canon discography or treat it like an outtake or bootleg. Lineup and style aside, Trespass still has a firm place in the fandom's hearts, however, and numbers from it have made regular appearances at gigs, especially "The Knife".
  • Shania Twain released an unsuccessful self-titled debut album in 1993 featuring a more traditional country-pop sound and style, before making it big with the Robert John "Mutt" Lange-produced, more rock-flavored hit style the introduced on its followup, The Woman In Me.
  • Carole King's Tapestry was a huge hit in part because of the perception that after a successful songwriting career she was finally stepping out to make a statement as a performer. But she'd already released a smattering of singles in the '60s, including one ("It Might as Well Rain Until September") that became a fairly big hit in both the US and the UK. Then in 1968 she released an album with her band The City (Now That Everything's Been Said) that was basically a Carole King solo album, since she wrote all the songs and sang lead on all but one. Then a year before Tapestry she released her first official solo album, Writer.
  • Jimmy Buffett's 1973 album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean marked the debut of the style that would make him famous, but it was actually his second released album and third recorded album (after his folk-pop debut album flopped his former label refused to release the similar-sounding second album, claiming they lost the master tape. After his later success they miraculously found the tape and released it).
  • Warren Zevon's debut album was not his self-titled 1975 set, but 1969's ultra-obscure Wanted Dead or Alive. And before then he recorded a couple singles as a member of the duo Lyme & Cybelle.
  • Nickelback's debut album was released in the late '90s, and it was not Silver Side Up, the album that got them popular even in their own homeland of Canada. Even though the group previously had rock radio hits in "Leader of Men" and "Worthy to Say" (the former went top 10 on the Mainstream Rock charts), most people don't appear to remember anything before Silver Side Up's "How You Remind Me".
  • Jean-Michel Jarre released a couple of albums before his international breakthrough Oxygène (one intended as library music and the other a film soundtrack), though both remained obscure and the former is still out of print.
  • Michael Jackson's solo debut isn't Off the Wall - his fifth album (but like the rap examples above, the first after a label change).
    • While everyone knows that Jackson was a member of the Jackson 5, one of Motown's most successful groups, few people know that he actually had solo hits before "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," let alone singles. "Got to be There," "Rockin' Robin," and "Ben" were all top 10 hits, with the lattermost song becoming his first number-one.
    • His little sister also falls into this. Most people tend to think Janet's first album was Control. It is actually her third. In all fairness, however, Janet stated herself that she sees Control as the official start of her music career.
  • Iron Maiden's first two albums have their fans, and the first has the self-titled song that closes all concerts. But the albums are easily overshadowed by The Number of the Beast, which introduced charismatic front-man Bruce Dickinson.
  • Remember those 2 albums MC Hammer made in the '80s? No, you don't, because you'd never heard of him back then, because it was his third album, Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em that he finally had his first hit with "U Can't Touch This".
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers started their breakout with their fourth album, Mother's Milk... and after a label change became superstars with the fifth, Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
    • Luckily, their third album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan will always be remembered because it's the only one they made with the original lineup of guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. Hillel's death a year after its release affected the band so much that they constantly reference it in their music.
  • Though Split Enz had a few hits with their third and fourth albums Dizrythmia and Frenzy, it wasn't until their fifth album True Colours that their success really took off.
  • No Doubt was endlessly amused when they were nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy for the wildly popular Tragic Kingdom album. It was actually their third album, and they had been performing for nearly a decade. David Letterman even referred to Tragic Kingdom as their first album when No Doubt made their first appearance on his show.
  • Finger Eleven is a very strange Canadian example. Most people first heard of them during the release of their self-titled album (which spawned a couple of big hits), which was released in 2003. However, the band (minus one member who left in the mid-90's) previously played as a group called Rainbow Butt Monkeys, which had already produced a debut album before they changed their name to Finger Eleven. Furthermore, their self-titled disc was their third studio release - the band had already released two albums in 1997 and 2000.
    • Not only that, but their most famous song never came until their fourth album, "Them vs. You vs. Me". That song? A little ditty called "Paralyzer."
  • Kardinal Offishall signed to Akon's Konvict Muzik Records in 2007, and promptly released his (to date) best-selling single (and his only American hit) "Dangerous" on his first album with the label, Not 4 Sale. Akon was the guest artist on the song, was the main reason it became a hit in America, where the song is still more associated with him than with Offishall. However, many people who bought the album and enjoyed it in the U.S. apparently didn't realize that Offishall had been a household rap name in Canada for a good 9 years beforehand. Not 4 Sale was Kardinal's fourth studio album, and he had already received critical acclaim and Canadian awards for several chart-topping hits.
  • Many people outside of their more devoted fanbase haven't heard any of The Human League's material prior to their third album Dare, which included the breakout single "Don't You Want Me?". The only song the average punter might know from the earlier era is "Being Boiled" because it was reissued as (to all intents and purposes) a standalone single after the success of Dare, earning it a place on future greatest hits albums.
  • Deep Purple's first three albums, while fairly popular in the United States (like their cover of "Hush"), are generally overshadowed by their fourth album Deep Purple in Rock, which set them on the road to pioneering Heavy Metal.
  • Many My Chemical Romance fans are unaware the band made music before Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and are typically surprised upon discovering 'I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love''.
  • Abba's first album Ring Ring wasn't widely known until the band became big later in the 70s. Most people think that their Eurovision Song Contest winner "Waterloo" was their first single, when it was on their second album.
  • KMFDM's debut, Opium, was initially only released as a limited run of 200 cassettes, and due to the tapes being lost for a long time, didn't see a rerelease until 2003. Thus, to most fans, What Do You Know Deutschland was their first album.
  • You've Come A Long Way Baby was Fatboy Slim's mainstream debut. Before that, he had Better Living Through Chemistry.
  • The original lineup of The Moody Blues was an R&B-influenced British Invasion quintet with Denny Laine (later to join Wings) on vocals and guitar, and Clint Warwick on bass. They had a minor hit with a cover of Bessie Banks' Go Now", and an album called "The Magnificent Moodies" in 1965. Laine and Warwick were replaced by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, respectively, who created the progressive sound the Moodies are known for with their second album, 1967's ''Days of Future Passed" (which featured "Nights In White Satin").
  • Franz Ferdinand's video for "Take Me Out" was the one that shot them to fame, no doubt due to the rather avant garde style used in the video. It was actually their second video, their first was "Darts of Pleasure", which was a more typical video (aside from the scenes inside the singer's mouth...).
  • Many Kelly Clarkson fans outside the US never saw her on American Idol and assume her incredibly popular album "Breakaway" was her first when it's really her second after "Thankful".
  • Def Leppard made two albums before its breakthrough Pyromania. Even the band itself tends to ignore them.
  • Practically any huge act past its prime has a tendency to ignore songs from its two albums previous to their latest tour unless some song from said albums was a huge hit. These acts prefer to only play their classic-era songs and songs from the new album they are promoting at the time.
    • Except for "Start Me Up", The Rolling Stones rarely play live anything from The '80s nowadays.
    • Nor does Paul McCartney play stuff from his catalog of songs written between 1984 and 1994, though "Hope of Deliverance" resurged and appears on occasion.
    • The Who don't play in concert songs from the Kenny Jones era that much either, aside from minor hits "You Better You Bet" and "Eminence Front".
    • The only post-Back in Black songs AC/DC plays regularly are "For Those About to Rock" and "Thunderstruck". The ones from the album being promoted are included, and "Who Made Who" has some rare appearances, before the Rock or Bust tour subverted this a bit by featuring "Rock N' Roll Train", from the previous album.
  • Edguy's first album was not Kingdom of Madness, but The Savage Poetry, released two years before Kingdom. To further confuse fans, they remade The Savage Poetry in 2000 (removing the The from the title in the process). However, the first Savage Poetry was self-published, while Kingdom was their first album with a record label.
  • Eurythmics' first album In The Garden wasn't much of a success at the time and is still generally overlooked today. Their career really took off with the Surprisingly Improved Sequel, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
    • Even less well known is Lennox and Stewart's first band, The Tourists, who had two mostly-forgotten top ten hits in the UK (a cover of the old Dusty Springfield song I Only Want To Be With You, and the self-penned follow-up "So Good To Be Back Home Again"), only to almost instantly fall apart. Interestingly, the album both these hits came from, Reality Effect, was itself an example of this trope, being the more successful follow-up to the largely overlooked The Tourists.
  • Alice Cooper's first big album was Love It to Death. However, that was their third album and the last of a three record deal. The previous two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action, tanked commercially and critically and it wasn't until Love It to Death that the band clued in on its signature sound. No song from the first two records has been played since the tour of the third and most people forget they exist.
  • Pantera's Cowboys From Hell is actually their fifth album. Though the band does their best to convince you it's their first.
  • The Black Eyed Peas are an interesting case. Elephunk is often considered to be their breakout album, but not many know that they had two prior albums that were released by Interscope prior to this - Behind the Front and Bridging The Gap. Very few people know about the existence of these records - not only did both of them fail to crack the Top 50 U.S. albums on Billboard, but they had a different female vocalist (Kim Hill), and the production values were smaller-scale and focused on "preemo" beats.
  • Shakira's first two albums (Magia and Peligro) were only released in Colombia and have been long-since deleted. She also had two Spanish-language albums (Pies Decalzos and ¿Donde Estan Los Ladrones?) that were huge hits before Laundry Service launched her in the English-speaking world.
  • Three of Imagine Dragons' first four hit songs-"Radioactive", "Demons", and "On Top of the World"-premiered on an EP titled, Continued Silence. Its name sets it up as the follow-up to Imagine Dragons' second independently-released EP, Hell and Silence. None of the songs featured there charted as highly as the most popular tunes from Continued Silence. Additionally, only one song from Hell and Silence made it onto the original releases of the band's first studio album, Night Visions, while all but two of the tracks from Continued Silence earned inclusion. Consequently, only the most hardcore Firebreathers remember it (as well as the other two independent EPs), for now.
  • Vocaloid didn't become a big hit as a software until Hatsune Miku, released during the VOCALOID2 era, grew in popularity. Miku herself is a double case of this as she was the second VOCALOID2 bank released, succeeding the English-speaking Sweet Ann.
    • While the V1 era has gotten into public conciousness since, it's usually limited to MEIKO and KAITO, both of whom have the benefit of getting Updated Rereleases of their banks for later engines and a strong brand association with Miku. LEON, LOLA, and MIRIAM, on the other hand, weren't so lucky.
  • The debut of Hour of Penance is mistaken to be The Vile Conception when it's actually Disturbance. Pageantry for the Matyrs is also quite to overlooked album.
  • Country Music singer Joe Nichols released an album in 1996, seven years before his first hit single, "The Impossible".
  • Little Big Town recorded their first album in 2002, but it was quickly forgotten when three years later, they had their breakthrough with "Boondocks".
  • Keith Urban's first release in the U.S. was an album as the frontman of the band The Ranch in 1997. As none of the album's singles went anywhere, it was quickly forgotten once he started having hits of his own. Likewise, most of the singles off his first solo American album are largely forgotten, due in part to Early Installment Weirdness and a more than year-long hiatus preceding the megahit "Somebody Like You", the first single off his second, in 2002. (In fact, his very first solo single, "It's a Love Thing", remained his only single not to hit the country Top 10 until the highly polarizing "Female" in 2018.)
  • Shane McAnally is one of the most popular songwriter-producers in Nashville in The New '10s, most notably for Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves, and Old Dominion. But before all that, he was a solo artist for Curb Records in 1999 and 2000, and he had a #31 hit with "Are Your Eyes Still Blue".
  • Sara Evans' 1999 breakthrough album No Place That Far and its Breakthrough Hit title track are a double example. Not only was it her second album after 1997's Three Chords and the Truth (whose singles all failed to enter the top 40, despite critical acclaim), the title track wasn't the first single — the lead single to the album was the now obscure "Cryin' Game", which didn't crack the top 40 either.
  • "Amazed", the Signature Song of Lonestar, the biggest country music hit of 1999, and the first song to top both the Hot Country Songs and Hot 100 charts since 1983, was the second single off its corresponding album Lonely Grill. The predecessor, "Saturday Night", stalled out at #47 on the country charts. This is a double example, as Lonely Grill was their third album (and first after John Rich [later of Big & Rich was fired from the band), with the first two having a more mainstream country sound and no crossover hits.
  • Tim McGraw's breakthrough album Not a Moment Too Soon was actually his second. His self-titled debut had no hit singles and is long forgotten. It's also a double example in that most people who do remember it think that "Welcome to the Club" was its first single; instead, the first single was "What Room Was the Holiday In", which quickly fell from consciousness as it didn't chart.
  • Ask someone what Papa Roach's debut album was and 99% of them will say it was 2000's Infest. It was actually Old Friends and Young Years, released in 1997. Granted, it never charted as it was released independently. It's also subject to Canon Discontinuity, as none of its songs are performed live.
  • Macklemore's first album was not 2012's The Heist with Ryan Lewis, it was 2005's The Language of My World (before they even met). Made independently, the album was virtually unknown to anyone who wasn't involved in Seattle's underground hip-hop scene. Even more surprising, his debut EP was Open Your Eyes released in 2000.
  • Coldplay aren't an example, as most people are aware of their first album Parachutes, but A Rush of Blood to the Head was really the album that launched them in America. Coldplay is also notable for their lead singles always being overshadowed by a later song — "Shiver" by "Yellow" (the one song from Parachutes that remains on setlists), "In My Place" by "Clocks", "Violet Hill" by "Viva La Vida", "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" by "Paradise", and "Magic" by "A Sky Full of Stars". The only one where that didn't happen was with X&Y, where lead single "Speed of Sound" was easily the album's biggest hit. However, as time went on, "Speed of Sound" faded into relative obscurity and "Fix You", the direct follow-up, became the song everybody remembers.
    • Unless you bought the single Yellow, you may not know that Coldplay released the "Safety E.P" in April 1998, as one of the b-sides (No More Keeping My Feet Off The Ground) is taken from it.
  • Neil Thrasher has been a country music songwriter in the Turn of the Millennium, most prominently for Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, and Diamond Rio. However, he was originally one half of the singer-songwriter duo Thrasher Shiver, which recorded one album for Asylum Records in 1996.
  • In some circles, Chubby Checker's "The Twist" tends to be overshadowed in terms of radio play by its follow-up, "Let's Twist Again". But to general audiences, "The Twist" is still his best-known song.
  • The Yes Album was actually their thirdnote , though it is the first to establish their genre-defining Progressive Rock sound. The first two are more straightforward rock, albeit with Peter Banks on guitar instead of Steve Howe, and gratuitous use of a backing orchestra.
  • Sick Puppies started in the 1990s and released an album in 2000, but they didn't become popular until their second album in 2007.
  • The Wallflowers were formed in 1988, and their self-titled album was released by Virgin Records in 1992. The album met with good reviews but poor sales, they had a mutual parting with the label, and it took them four years to rebuild popularity as a live act, write new material, find a new label, and record another album. As a result, most people know them for their second album, Bringing Down The Horse and its hit singles.
  • Collin Raye's Signature Song is "Love, Me". This was actually his second single; his first was the now-obscure "All I Can Be (Is a Sweet Memory)".
  • Usher's song "Confession, Pt. I" is not nearly as popular as its hit sequel "Confessions, Pt. II". It doesn't help that only the second part has a music video.
  • Billy Dean's debut single was long believed to be "Only Here for a Little While". However, his actual debut was "Lowdown Lonely". The latter was withdrawn after only a few weeks because of poor radio performance, and it quickly became a footnote since it did not chart and was not promoted for very long.
  • John Berry had two singles out before his breakthrough song "Your Love Amazes Me": "A Mind of Her Own" and "Kiss Me in the Car". Both charted very low and were forgotten. Before even that, he had cut two independent albums, but neither was widely released until after he had broken through.
  • "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am", the Breakthrough Hit for Lee Roy Parnell, was the second single off his second album.
  • The first major hit single for Big Machine Records was not anything by its flagship artist Taylor Swift; instead, it was Jack Ingram's 2006 hit "Wherever You Are".
  • Unless you're a real fan of the band, or knowledgeable about eighties rock in general, you probably wouldn't know that Europe had two albums under their belt before they released The Final Countdown as neither they nor any of the singles charted outside their native Sweden.
  • The Band Perry's most successful song by far was "If I Die Young". This was their second single; the first was the largely forgotten "Hip to My Heart".
  • Highway 101's debut single was long thought to be "The Bed You Made for Me", still one of their most famous songs. However, their first release was actually a little-known cut called "Some Find Love", which failed to chart and never appeared on an album due to the band hating it.
  • Bon Jovi's third album Slippery When Wet is this compared to their first two albums. While those two albums were moderately successful, Slippery When Wet propelled the band to superstardom and has the mainstream assuming it to be their first album. The band even thinks so too, as they barely play anything from those albums anymore save for "Runaway".
  • Twice over with Alan Jackson. His debut album was New Traditional in 1987, which was quickly forgotten due to it being a small independent release that never got reissued. And his first Arista Records single was not "Here in the Real World", but rather "Blue Blooded Woman"; the latter was quickly forgotten due to it fizzling out below the top 40.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The first WWE Diva Search was a rather forgettable contest held in 2003 on and the winner went on to appear in a photoshoot for WWE Magazine. The next year, the contest was held as weekly segments on WWE Raw and the winner was awarded a quarter-million dollar WWE contract. This contest was not remembered in a good way however.
  • AJ Styles appeared in WCW and WWF prior to becoming the face of TNA. His WCW and WWF runs are widely forgotten as due to company politics, he could not compete with established stars for a push (and his signing with WCW happened only a couple months before they were bought out). When TNA wanted to set itself apart from WWE, he seized the opportunity. Even after returning to WWE to great acclaim at the end of his career, WWE itself chooses to ignore his previous time in the company, in addition to choosing not to name any other company that he was a part of (again, due to company politics), including TNA and NJPW.
  • Nowadays everyone knows that NXT is the WWE brand where you can find the closest thing to an actual wrestling show (as opposed to 'sports entertainment') inside WWE with many of it's wrestlers and matches being highly regarded among critics. However, not many will know the current NXT is actually the third iteration of the show. With the second one being a developmental brand made exclusively to showcase wrestlers training in the performance center. And before this, it was a wrestling reality show. Yes, NXT's first iteration was a show where developmental wrestlers competed with each other in a series of contests that had little to do with wrestling. Although occasionally you got actual matches, the focus was more on the weird challenges and the drama between mentors, who belonged to the main roster, and rookies. This era of NXT is mostly ignored by WWE with the exception of one thing. This was the show where The Miz got to "mentor" Daniel Bryan kicking off their long rivalry that lasted over a decade.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000 is a good example, being far more popular outside the UK than Warhammer is. Most people who are not into the tabletop gaming scene will refer to 40k simply as "Warhammer", sometimes to the point of not even realizing that there is a medieval fantasy version.
  • Though every edition of Dungeons & Dragons has a pretty firm following, the many Newbie Booms over the years mean that the most "iconic" edition can range heavily. But even when there were only a few products available, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was far more popular than Basic, which was a modified version of the oldest ruleset. For a while, it became pretty common for groups to switch up to the newest edition, or at least for new players to prefer the new one—but 2000's 3rd Edition (or more specifically, 3.5) bucked that trend and refused to lose popularity when 4th Edition rolled around, due to 4th being a majorly Contested Sequel, and seemed to be essentially the "default" vision of the game until 5th Edition showed up in 2014.

  • Richard III is perhaps the most egregious example of all, as throughout history it was often and is often discussed and performed as a stand-alone play, when in fact it is a direct sequel to Henry VI and almost all the characters from Richard were introduced in Henry. It is to the point where entire in-depth analyses of the play completely neglect to mention its context, and whole interpretations of Richard and other characters by actors and critics overlook the events of Henry and how those characters were shaped by it — many events in Richard make a lot more sense in light of what these characters got up to in Henry and the relationships between them are shown as quite a bit more complex and multi-layered than might first appear if Richard is watched solo.

    Video Games 
  • The ZX Spectrum game Abu Simbel Profanation was Dinamic Software's first really successful release. It was preceded by two lesser-known Maze Games with the same protagonist, Saimazoom and Babaliba.
  • Due to the original game being unrefined at best, other Artix Entertainment games have eclipsed the original AdventureQuest in popularity. However, many of the characters prevalent in the other games stem from the original game.
  • After Burner II is more of an Updated Re-release than a sequel to the original After Burner, and so displaced it quite easily in Japan. In America there is nothing to displace, as the original was never released at all.
  • Animal Crossing on the Nintendo GameCube is a very well-known game, but few people know it's an Updated Re-release of a Japanese-only Nintendo 64 title.
  • Bioshock for System Shock, although it is more of a Spiritual Sequel Displacement. For that matter, System Shock 2 to the original System Shock.
  • The original Borderlands is also a downplayed example. Yes, most people are aware that there was a first installment, but most people see the true start of the series to be the second game. So much so, in fact, that when they ported the series over to the PS4/Xbox One generation of consoles, they named the re-released bundle after the overarching villain they introduced in the second title and left out the first game.
  • The developers of BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm endorse this officially, encouraging new players to skip the highly dated original game (which never saw the light of day beyond Catie Wayne’s fan forum) and jump straight into the sequel instead.
  • The Burnout series had a cult following thanks to the well-received Burnout 2: Point of Impact. However, Burnout 3: Takedown, the first game in the series published by EA, was immediately hailed as one of the greatest racing games of all time (only being beaten by the Gran Turismo series on Metacritic) and became a massive mainstream hit, meaning that the first two games in the series have been largely forgotten.
  • While the Call of Duty FPS series was fairly well-known (perhaps even very well-known) and acclaimed from the start, it didn't turn into the household name we know today until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It came to the point where developer Infinity Ward simply titled their next sequel Modern Warfare 2 and considered it a new intellectual property. Activision added Call of Duty back into the title, however, for name recognition. An alarming number of people seem to think the series started with Call of Duty 4, despite it having "4" in the title. This is thanks in part to the shift in primary fanbase from PCs to consoles; before Modern Warfare, the only main-line game by Infinity Ward to come to consoles in its original form was 2 (1 never even got a console release until the "Classic" version on PSN and XBLA alongside Modern Warfare 2's release; its expansion United Offensive is still PC-exclusive), while most other console games in the series were spinoffs from other developers (Finest Hour, Big Red One, Roads to Victory, etc).
  • The first Clock Tower was only released in Japan, so most Westerners have only heard of the 5th and 6th-gen games.
  • The original Cool Boarders was released very early in the PlayStation's lifespan, and was essentially a glorified tech demo that had a handful of tracks, five boards, no competition mode (or anything besides time trial) and next-to-no replayability. Cool Boarders 2 was essentially a remake of the first game, with some of the original levels appearing as well as many more levels, multiple characters/boards and several different modes. Notably, the original Cool Boarders is the only one of the first four games not to sell over a million copies.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day. While there are many who know that the squirrel's first appearance was in Diddy Kong Racing, and that Bad Fur Day was originally meant to be a kid-friendly 3D platformer, very few are aware that Bad Fur Day is actually the second game that has him in the lead role. The first was the E-rated Conker's Pocket Tales came out on the Game Boy Color a few years before Bad Fur Day, which was actually well-regarded as one of the best games for the system upon release.
  • Crusader Kings: While CK2 is one of the most successful Paradox Interactive titles (along with Cities: Skylines and Stellaris), with 15 expansions released as of March 2020, the original Crusader Kings is so obscure, people talking about it on forums and in chat usually need to specify they mean Crusader Kings 1, or else people think they mean CK2. Generally, don't expect anyone who wasn't a Paradox fan before 2012 to have played (or often, even heard of) it.
  • Crystal Quest thoroughly displaced Crystal Raider, a shareware prototype so primitive that it didn't even have a Quit command. (You have to physically reboot the computer to escape it.)
  • If Dark Souls is an actual sequel or just spiritual successor to Demon's Souls could be argued, but regardless Dark Souls by far the better known game. Dark Souls was both far more available, being cross platform rather than Playstation 3 exclusive, and implemented several mechanics which made the game considerably easier and more accessible. Yes, that's right, ''Dark Souls'' is the EASY version.
    • Demon Soul's was, it's self, a spiritual successor to the King's Field series. Although it was reasonably popular in Japan, the series is considerably more obscure in the west.
  • Dragon Age is another example of a Spiritual Successor eclipsing the originator in popularity, which followed in the footsteps of BioWare's own Baldur's Gate saga. Of course, a lot of gamers became acquainted with BioWare following their console debut and Star Wars based megahit, Knights of the Old Republic. And most fans of the original videogame aren't aware that it's a sequel to the comic book Tales of the Jedi, the game's title being the name of the comic's first two arcs.
  • Try telling fans that Duke Nukem was originally a pink sweater-wearing Oprah fan. They would probably just laugh at you. From another angle, most people think of Duke Nukem as being a First-Person Shooter hero, which is a shame, given how he shines in the side-scrolling Platform Games where he has his roots.
  • Dune II. Yes folks, there was another Dune video game. And not even a bad one at that. Just of a completely different genre than Dune 2.
  • The full title of Dwarf Fortress is Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress. The original Slaves to Armok is an actual game, and is more like an adventure game. In turn, the older 2D version has mostly been displaced by the later 3D one. Except, perhaps, for the handful of popular Let's Plays like Boatmurdered.
  • The first Dynasty Warriors was a standard fighting game for the PlayStation called Sangoku Musou in Japan. When Dynasty Warriors 2 was released and introduced the Hack and Slash formula the series is now known for, it was reintroduced as Shin Sangoku Musou while the West just called it Dynasty Warriors 2; as such each installment in the series is now one number ahead of its Japanese counterpart, even though it's the same game.
  • Few people have heard of Earth 2140, an uninspired 1997 RTS about two robots and cyborgs duking it out After the End. Then, 3 years later, Earth 2150 came out, continuing the storyline but revamping the gameplay to introduce 3 unique sides, day/night change, full 3D, and a timed campaign. Many RTS fans have at least heard of Earth 2150, and the unique naming scheme hides the fact that Earth 2140 even existed. 2150 was followed by two Expansion Packs and another sequel in 2005, Earth 2160, which largely failed to impress fans.
  • EarthBound (aka MOTHER 2 in Japan) is a cult classic JRPG, and those who know of it also speak highly of its Japan-only sequel Mother 3. EarthBound Beginnings (aka MOTHER 1) gets no such love however, due to being host to Forced Level-Grinding that makes playing it such a frustrating experience that it was half the reason the completed Western localization of the game was stuck in the Nintendo vault until 2015.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden is much better than its Japan-exclusive PC-98 predecessor, 46 Okunen Monogatari: The Theory of Evolution.
  • While the Fallout series of PC games is still critically acclaimed and has a loyal following, Fallout 3 is a far more mainstream success, and the majority of modern fans were probably introduced to the series through it. Fallout: New Vegas was referred to as "the second Fallout" a lot more often that it should have been, considering it's predecessor had the number 3 in it's title.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Although the series was already somewhat popular prior to 1997, Final Fantasy VII brought in an overwhelming wave of new fans, making a rather large amount of people think that it was the first title in the series despite the number "VII" in the title. In fairness to Europeans, it was the first Final Fantasy to be released there. And even before VII, there was still IV and VI, released in America as "II" and "III".
    • In Japan, this is absolutely the case for the NES version of Final Fantasy III, as it was the first FF title to truly get "huge" — the first two aren't obscure by any means, but much like the Distinguished Quompetition, many NES-era gamers in Japan considered this to be the first good Final Fantasy and the first to really show Square's burgeoning graphical flair, Uematsu's soundtrack skill, and had (for the time) a very memorable story. As a result, it sold like hotcakes and lodged itself firmly in the Japanese zeitgeist; if a work outside of the gaming sphere (like a TV show or somesuch) references NES-era Final Fantasy, 99% of the time, it will reference this game specifically (with Cloud of Darkness being particularly iconic).
  • The Fire Emblem series has two major examples:
    • The first game to not fall under No Export for You, The Blazing Blade, is actually the seventh in the series. Not only that, in an inversion of The Foreign Subtitle, it was released as simply Fire Emblem in the West, practically encouraging this. This causes some issues, as The Blazing Blade is a prequel to The Binding Blade, a game that never got released outside of Japan, leaving a lot of players confused by what seem to be a ton of Sequel Hooks that are actually Foregone Conclusions or Call Forwards. The Western fandom later discovered earlier games through Fan Translations, but The Blazing Blade is still far more popular than its predecessor outside of Japan.
    • Then came Fire Emblem Awakening, the game that the developer feared would be the last entry in the franchise but instead caused a big Newbie Boom that finally granted the series a substantial foothold in the Western market. A boom that also means a large portion of the fandom nowadays is only casually aware of the previous 12 games in the series. Ironically, Awakening is a Milestone Celebration filled with Continuity Porn, and actually features characters from earlier games as downloadable guest units.
    • There's also potentially a downplayed example among the Japanese fandom. While Marth's saga is definitely most popular there, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (and its remake Shadow Dragon) seems to lag considerably in popularity behind its direct sequel Mystery of the Emblem (later remade as New Mystery of the Emblem); the world based on that saga in Crisis Crossover Fire Emblem Heroes is named after the latter rather than the former. Of course, Mystery of the Emblem actually included its precursor as part of the game, minus a few characters that were inexplicably cut (New Mystery of the Emblem is a remake of only the second half of Mystery of the Emblem).
  • So far, only four Fire Pro Wrestling games have made it outside the Land of The Rising Sun: two for Game Boy Advance (heavily bastardized) and one for PlayStation 2 (known as Fire Pro Wrestling Returns), which is fairly more popular in the U.S. than any other game in the series. Like, about twenty of them, which are also available for such popular consoles as Super Nintendo, PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast and Sega Saturn. The new Fire Pro Wrestling World may get this treatment, as it was released in the US for PC and current gen consoles, and came complete with a New Japan Pro-Wrestling license, and was endorsed by Kenny Omega.
  • Galaga surpassed its predecessor Galaxian in popularity.
  • The Ganbare Goemon series originally began with a Japan-only arcade game called Mr. Goemon, which the original Famicom game Ganbare Goemon was loosely based on. Some gamers even assume that the first SNES game in the series, the one that came out in America as Legend of the Mystical Ninja, is the first game in the series period.
  • Glider PRO displaced Glider 4.0 and the original Glider.
  • The Goonies II is a relatively popular NES game, somewhat based on the movie. There was an earlier Goonies game for the Famicom, which wasn't even released outside Japan except for the Vs. System arcade cabinet, which in turn many people never really noticed.
  • In a mix of this and First Installment Wins, many less-hardcore fans of the Gradius series don't seem to know that Gradius II exists, thinking that the series goes from Life Force (NES) to Gradius III (SNES), and magically becomes Gradius V somehow (Gradius II & IV being nonexistent).
    • Just to make things even more confusing, Salamander (Life Force) got a 1996 sequel in Japan, which, of course, never got an American release and has not been ported to any console.
    • Additionally Parodius Da! for the arcade is actually a sequel to the original Parodius for the MSX.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series, when it leaped into 3D. With the release of III, to be precise, which discarded both the original and Grand Theft Auto 2.
  • Grim Dawn is the Spiritual Successor to Titan Quest, sharing the same engine, gameplay mechanics, and game development staff. Grim Dawn is considered one of the "Big 3" Diablo-clone Action RPGs alongside Diablo III and Torchlight II, while Titan Quest is hardly remembered.
  • The Guardian Legend was originally Guardic Gaiden, a spin-off of the MSX game Guardic.
  • Half-Life is an undisputed classic, but the massive gap between releases, coupled with fans who found the series through The Orange Box (which included Half-Life 2 and both of its Episodes, but not the original), has created a case of this in newcomers to the fandom.
  • A large majority of the Story of Seasons fanbase began with either Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, or their female versions. The series began two gens before those titles. The original SNES title was largely forgotten until the Virtual Console re-release, Harvest Moon 64 is a prime example of a game that everyone calls amazing but almost no one has played (though the Virtual Console release helped), Back To Nature is just seen as the 3D version of FOMT, Save The Homeland is often ignored for being a black sheep, and the Game Boy games are seen as too watered down.
  • Herzog Zwei for Herzog. The fact that the original Herzog was only released for Japanese computers doesn't help with its recognition. Most people who don't know German probably aren't even aware that it is a sequel. Even Electronic Gaming Monthly didn't realize it was a sequel — on a list of games they felt needed sequels, they referred to a hypothetical Herzog Zwei sequel as Herzog Zwei 2, rather than Herzog Drei.
  • The Hitman series really started getting noticed with its second installment, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, due to the game getting a wide release on consoles. Several fans falsely believe it to be the first game in the series despite the fact that it clearly has "2" in the title, and are surprised to learn about the original PC-exclusive Hitman: Codename 47.
  • Amongst non-Sega fans, Jet Set Radio Future for the Xbox is more well-known than the first Jet Set Radio, which was on the Dreamcast. This is because of two reasons: 1) The first game was released when the DC was losing its popularity in America and Europe, and 2) Future and Sega GT 2002 were put together on one disc and packaged with Xboxes during the holiday season of 2002, so everyone who got an Xbox for Christmas that year had no choice but to play it. When the first JSR got an HD makeover in 2012 for download services, a lot of people who only played Future complained about how different this one is.
  • Just Cause has some good ideas (vehicle stunts, a massive map), but various issues prevent it from being a good game and it was quickly forgotten. Just Cause 2 refines all those ideas, irons out most of the problems, and immediately attracted widespread praise and a large fanbase for its over-the-top gameplay. The only reason the first game is mentioned is to say that it's not very good.
  • Few people remember Kingdom Under Fire: A War Of Heroes for PC... despite it being more unique than its sequels. It is one of the first RTS titles to have RPG-style upgradeable hero units — years before Warcraft III — as well as making the odd choice to combine RTS and Diablo-style stages.
  • Koudelka, the first game of the Shadow Hearts series that was released on the original PlayStation, tends to be described just as "the prequel to Shadow Hearts".
  • Many fans of Kunio-kun are familiar with either the Nekketsu Sports series or Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari (known Westside as River City Ransom), but the game that started it all, Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun (translated as Renegade), is considered a separate game due to it more serious tone and art style. Games like Super Dodge Ball were originally supposed to be the goofy chibi spin-off.
  • Very few Legacy of Kain fans have played Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2. In fact, many assume that Soul Reaver is the first game in the series and don't even know that the SR games are spin-offs of the original Blood Omen.
  • Generally averted with The Legend of Zelda, but for some time after Ocarina of Time's release, thanks to its tremendous success, a few who started with that game called Majora's Mask "Zelda 2" (something that if said, tended to get that person into trouble). Also, because A Link to the Past introduced many of the elements and tropes that the series is known for, it's not uncommon for people to consider it the "first" real Zelda game. Or, at the very least, have played it but not the first two.
  • LISA: The Painful is technically the second game in the LISA series - LISA: The First was released two years before it (and is notably the only game in the series to feature Lisa herself as a character). However, most fans have only ever heard of LISA: The Painful and its sequel LISA: The Joyful.
  • Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen is a small and profitable phenomenon in the global mobile market - but despite the fact that both of its prequels came out in English before, most people outside of China don't even realize that it is the third game in a series, NikkiUp2U. At least part of this is down to the first title, NikkiUp2U having only received a quiet Android release, so the large iOS player base will have never even heard of it. On top of that, the second game, titled Hello Nikki - Let's Beauty Up! in English, shut down its global servers in 2016 (without resolving the story of whether or not Nikki found her father). So by the time Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen launched in English and received both an Android and iOS release with a different international publisher at the helm, there was no way for the many, many new players to even play the better known of the two previous titles. They are so obscure that many fans haven't even realized that the huge "NIKKIUP2U3" logo in the main menu of Love Nikki is referring to this game. That said, the English script still retains many ShoutOuts to the previous game, such as Nikki noticing that the Fantasy Envoy looks familiar, and several Hello Nikki outfits are included in the sequel.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom is a decent enough Eastern RPG with a nice soundtrack and attractive visuals, but it brings little if anything new in the gameplay department. The plot and characters are also quite simple. It would lead to the far improved prequel Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals.
  • Bungie's Marathon introduced a lot of things to the first person shooter genre and the video game industry as a whole, but everybody just remembers Halo. This might be considered a case of Spiritual Successor Displacement. This is somewhat ironic, as Marathon itself displaced Pathways into Darkness, Bungie's previous game that Marathon is a spiritual (and literal) sequel to.
  • Given the commercial failure of the Virtual Boy, many ignore that Mario Tennis started on that platform and not on the Nintendo 64.
  • How many people remember the 1989 MechWarrior? Or BattleTech before it.
  • The first two Metal Gear games were released on the MSX2, a computer platform that was not widely available. While the first game did get a bit of exposure thanks to actually being localized, as well as having a reworked NES port that saw a much wider release, the second game remained only in Japan and came out at the tailgate of the MSX2's lifespan (an unrelated sequel for the NES was made for the west instead). As a result, the third game, Metal Gear Solid, which was released on the more widely successful PlayStation, served as something of a soft reboot for the series and included in-game plot summaries of the two MSX2 games for players who missed out on those games. Lampshaded in Metal Gear Ac!d, where an in-game commercial reminds audiences that "Metal Gear wasn't always in 3D."
  • For the Metroid series, due to the long release gaps between entries in the mainline 2D games, the 3D Metroid Prime Trilogy sub-series gradually became the main image of the franchise following the critical acclaim and success of 2002's Metroid Prime. This is to the point that you'll still occasionally see people who are unfamiliar with the franchise believe that the 2002 game is actually the first installment in the series, despite Metroid originating on the NES sixteen years prior. In addition, around Prime's release, it was also common for people to think that this "new" series was made to serve as Nintendo's answer to Halo.
  • The old Minecraft Classic — the one with the unlimited number of blocks, blocks destroyed with a single click, simple shading, no monsters or items, and no day/night cycle — suffers from it when compared to the regular Minecraft. (The "unlimited blocks" (and easy block destruction) function in Minecraft Classic appears in a mode of regular Minecraft called Creative Mode, which served to further push Minecraft Classic into obscurity. Eventually Mojang went all the way and took Classic down for good.) For an example see the confused comments on this video, which show that by 2012 some people weren't even aware of Classic's existence:
    Why do the blocks destroy so easily???
    how do you break the blocks so fast and how do you do the unlimited block thing
  • The second installment of Motor Toon Grand Prix is notably more recognizable than the first one, which is Japan only. In addition, the 2 was dropped from the title of the US release (but not the European release for some reason).
  • How many people know that Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- is a remake? Due to this game's bigger success and expanded cast and universe, its presence almost completely eclipses the original Namu Amida Butsu!, and nearly no overseas fan have ever heard of the original game at all.
  • Need for Speed became excessively popular with the release of Need for Speed: Underground in 2003, and spawned an also popular sequel in 2004. Then another in 2005... and another in 2006... and 2007... and 2008... Then after five years, the series became stale, and each game was significantly less well-received, before finally shifting back to its roots with 2010's Hot Pursuit. Due to a split fanbase, EA knew there would be still some of the newer fans who yearned for the Most Wanted 2005/Carbon-style gameplay and customization, hence Need for Speed: World was released alongside Hot Pursuit 2010. A straighter example would be the fact that the game used to be a licensed game for a magazine called Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed.
  • NieR: Automata displaced the original Nier so much that there are some people who aren't even aware it is a sequel to a previous game. It doesn't help that connections between the games are pretty loose (it'd be more accurate to say they share a continuity), nor that Square Enix themselves seem to slip into this a bit at times (such as advertising the Updated Re-release of Nier as a prequel, without indicating that it came out first).
  • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fandom suffers from this, as some of the many people who started the series with the Explorers games have no idea that the Rescue Team games exist or just ignore them.
  • For younger generations, the Sands of Time trilogy from Prince of Persia displaces the previous games in such a way that many of them refer to Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones as Prince of Persia 2 and 3 respectively. When Prince of Persia (2008) was announced, there were many complains about the game not following the Sands of Time trilogy and "not being a true POP", ignoring that those games already are a Continuity Reboot of a series that started in 1989.
  • Punch-Out!! is an iconic NES title, but few are aware that the franchise started out as a series of popular arcade titles (which themselves include an oft-forgotten arm wrestling spin-off game) before hitting Nintendo's home console a few years later. On top of that, even the SNES sequel goes unremembered, resulting in most people assuming the franchise consists solely of the 1987 NES game and its 2009 Wii reboot.
  • Puyo Puyo:
    • When people talk about the "first" Puyo Puyo game, they are almost always referring to the arcade game instead of its MSX/FDS predecessor. In fact, several outlets (including the official 25th Anniversary Book) treat the 8-bit games and the arcade game as a single entity and Sega has referred to it as a "prototype" in at least one interview.
    • As far as most people are concerned, the first English, non-Dolled-Up Installment entry is the GBA Puyo Pop. Nobody talks about the NGPC Puyo Pop, and those that do remember the English arcade game question its legitimacy.
  • Quake I was a hugely influential game (it almost single-handedly invented Tournament Play, for instance) but was later overshadowed by the multiplayer-oriented Quake III: Arena. It wasn't until Quake IV was released years later that the series got back to its roots with a single-player campaign.
  • Rayman: Raving Rabbids (and the Rabbids themselves) has become quite well known, even getting a crossover in a Mario game. However many, particularly younger, people have no idea the Rayman series dates back to 1995, released for the Atari Jaguar and Sony PlayStation (the PS1 version was one of the best-selling PS1 games ever, especially in Europe). The displacement has died out somewhat, as the classic platforming revival starting with Rayman Origins has had major critical success.
    • Rayman 2 is an example as well, as although it is something of a Cult Classic at this point, it was quite popular at time of release and is generally better known than the original.
  • A lot of fans don't know that Red Dead Redemption wasn't the start of a new series. Red Dead Revolver came out back in 2004, a full six years before Redemption, and calling the then-unannounced sequel "Red Dead Redemption 2" instead of "Red Dead 3" or "Red Dead (insert word starting with R)" became a small Fandom-Enraging Misconception... at least, until Rockstar announced that the sequel actually would be Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla has had this effect on the Red Faction series. Not many people know about the first two games, to the point that Armageddon failed in part because it went back to the series' roots as a corridor shooter.
  • Remnant: From the Ashes has done quite well for itself, but few people know that it's actually the sequel to Chronos (which is understandable as Chronos was VR exclusive). Chronos is so unknown that when it was repackaged in non-VR form as the "prequel" Chronos: Before the Ashes, people wondered why it was such a big step backwards from Remnant.
  • Resident Evil 4, so very much. Despite the "4" in the title, some new fans are surprised to learn that not only were there other Resident Evil games before it, it's not even the fourth game.
  • Rhythm Heaven's second edition for the Nintendo DS is regarded as the series' first title outside of Japan rather than its Game Boy Advance predecessor.
  • Rocket League is about a billion times more famous than its predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars.
  • Saints Row 2 is a downplayed example. While it is obviously the second game in the Saints Row series, the original game was exclusive to the Xbox 360 (while all of the sequels were multiplatform) and was considered a So Okay, It's Average Grand Theft Auto-clone that probably would've faded into obscurity had a Surprisingly Improved Sequel not been made. Even though fans of the series are aware that a Saints Row before 2 exists, the number that have actually played it is in the minority. It was also because of this that Saints Row: The Third didn't continue any of the plotlines from 2, since non-Xbox gamers found it hard to follow the story. Saints Row IV however, contains references to all the previous games, including the first.
  • Secret of Mana, a.k.a. Seiken Densetsu 2, from the World of Mana series. Even in Japan, the first game was released with the subtitle of Final Fantasy Gaiden and was presented as more of a Final Fantasy game than its own entity. In America, it was only released as Final Fantasy Adventure, leaving many Americans unaware that it was even a Mana game at all. In both cases, Secret of Mana greatly overshadowed it and came to define the series worldwide. A Game Boy Advance remake of the first game, Sword of Mana, even redid several key mechanics and the entire aesthetic to look more like Secret of Mana and its sequel. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, another remake of Final Fantasy Adventure was released in 2016 for smartphones and the Play Station Vita and while it sticks much closer to the original version's formula than Sword of Mana did, it was still renamed Adventures of Mana overseas, though Square Enix still acknowledges that it's a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure.
  • The Sega Genesis is a well-known video game console from the early 90s. The Sega Master System is not.note  More people know the Game Gear, and its ports, better than the actual Master System. The SG-1000 is even more obscure.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series suffers terribly from this thanks to the vast majority of the franchise never leaving Japan. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is in fact SMT3, the first two being released only in Japan on the SNES. Its spinoff series, Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army is also in fact the third Devil Summoner game, as the first game never came over to the US and it wasn't until 2013 that any version of the second game, Soul Hackers, left Japan. Add in the fact that events in DS3 reference events in SMT1 and 2, and that the sequel to DS3 was released as Devil Summoner 2 in the U.S. On top of that, the 3DS port of Soul Hackers, the first version of the game to leave Japan, includes a bonus dungeon with Raidou in it, further cementing his duology as the more well-recognized entries of the series.
    • Not to mention the original Megami Tensei games on the Famicom, the first one being a sequel to the first two novels from the rather obscure Digital Devil Story trilogy (which has nothing to do with the other Megaten spin-off series called Digital Devil Saga).
    • This happened within one of the sub-series: Persona 3 reworks all of the gameplay mechanics from the first two Persona games, tones down some of the symbolism, and adds a Dating Sim mechanic, with the result being that it and its sequels' popularity have completely eclipsed even its mother franchise. The original Persona is probably a rare case of completely inverting First Installment Wins; it's considered the worst of the series due to its clunky gameplay, with most of its memorability coming from its horrible Americanized translation until a proper one was made for its PSP makeover.note  And while there was later revitalized interest in Persona 2 (it helped that 3 and 4 eventually garnered massive Broken Bases due to all of the spinoffs they'd gotten), it's still a cult hit at best, not helped that it was released oddly: Eternal Punishment, the second half of the duology, came to the U.S on the PSX with Innocent Sin never being exported, and no one could play the first half of the story until its PSP re-release eleven years later. (And even then, the rerelease of Eternal Punishment was never exported along with it.) Meanwhile, 3's sequels, Persona 4 and Persona 5, became more and more popular, with 5 becoming the highest selling game in studio Atlus's entire history upon release. This is reflected in the official Persona hub's title chronology page: it starts at the original release of 3, and only acknowledges the first two games when the year gets to their respective PSP remakes.
    • The first Megami Tensei game released in North America was the obscure Jack Bros., for the even more obscure Virtual Boy. In fact, the game is so rare, it's the only Virtual Boy game The Angry Video Game Nerd doesn't own, out of his whole North American library of VB games. Apparently it isn't worth Jack shit, either. Quite ironically, in contrast to what the Angry Video Game Nerd has said, it's considered to be the second best Virtual Boy game on the handheld (the best game being Virtual Boy Wario Land) and collectors are willing to pay hefty fee for it (around $200, approximately). He did get his hands on it and updated the review to conclude that it was fine, held back only by being on the Virtual Boy, but never touches on the fact that the Three Jack Brothers are from the SMT series and treats them as their own characters, causing his audience to miss on being exposed to an extensive franchise. (Persona 3 and 4 were just only starting to get more mainstream attention when he released the video.)
  • The Silent Hill franchise now spans eight main games, but the second game is by far the most famous, with memes and parodies based on it frequently showing up in news coverage of later titles to which it has no connection. This even extends to the joke endings of Silent Hill 3, Shattered Memories, and Downpour, all of which feature a cameo appearance from the protagonist of Silent Hill 2 for no real reason.
  • The Sims 2 is more popular than the original (which was extremely popular in its own right), and can sometimes be this. This is despite the glaring "2" on the box and multiple references to the original game. Nowadays there are The Sims 3 players who are totally unaware of the first two...

  • Slashers: The Power Battle is an indie Weapon based Fighting Game that some have heralded as a throwback 2D Fighting games, such as Samurai Shodown, The Last Blade (both by SNK), Guilty Gear, and earlier Street Fighter games (the Street Fighter III set in particular), but almost no one is aware that it is a sequel to the obscure Gameboy Advance title Dual Blades released back in 2002. The fact that Stun Games, the successor entity to the makers of Dual Blades, have not made mention of the original game in advertising Slashers when combined with the original games' aforementioned obscurity certainly plays a role in this case.
  • Sonic Robo Blast 2, a popular 3D freeware game based on Sonic the Hedgehog. You want proof? The original Sonic Robo Blast game doesn't even have a TV Tropes page.
  • While many people are aware of Soulcalibur, even though it was the sequel that had greater prominence and sales, there are a handful that have even heard of Soul Edge/Soul Blade, an Arcade/PlayStation game that precedes the first Soulcalibur. It doesn't help that the all the games afterwards took the Soulcalibur title.
    • The PlayStation version sold well at the time of release (garnering a platinum release), but became overlooked upon the release of Tekken 3.
    • Not only that, but the official name of the series is the Soul series, yet 99% of all video gamers know the series as the "Soulcalibur series".
  • Spec Ops: The Line is known by gamers as a dark Genre Deconstruction of the modern military shooter. Because of this game's breakout nature, few people realize that Spec Ops isn't a new series, but rather a Tactical Shooter series from the late '90s made by future Blacklight Retribution developer Zombie Studios. The series had ended a decade earlier, and had fallen into obscurity despite releasing 8 games within 5 years. At the same time, though, Spec Ops: The Line shares nothing with the earlier Spec Ops games other than the name "Spec Ops" - but then again, even when the earlier games were an ongoing series, they changed developers and publishers multiple times.
  • Spectre VR is one of the most well-known games among the niche group of Macintosh gamers. Almost none of them seem to own the original Spectre. Even GameFAQs, who is quite well-known for showing obscure releases, has no page for the Macintosh version, although a page for the SNES version does exist.
  • Street Fighter, released in 1987, introduced many of the same concepts later used by its sequel Street Fighter II, namely a six-button configuration and command-based special moves, but the game is merely a cult hit due to its stiff controls and lack of any playable character other than Ryu and Ken. The six-button configuration was an afterthought, created as a cheaper alternative for arcade owners who couldn't afford the deluxe cabinet which used two large mechatronic punching pads for each player that determine the strength of the player's attacks based on how hard they're pushed. Street Fighter II refined all the mechanics from the original game, keeping the six-button configuration while adding multiple player characters, essentially giving birth to the fighting game boom of the '90s. Also, everyone knew about the player's special moves in Street Fighter II from the get go because the commands were printed on the instruction card. Because of this, people often forget that Ryu and Ken's three special attacks in the original are secret techniques that the player needed to discover for themselves. The (subsequently unchanged) control sequence was devised so it could be hit on by accident, provoking players to spend lots of time (and credits) trying to find out how the hell they'd done it.
    • Interestingly enough, the exact same thing has happened to II. Ask any hardcore fan for their opinion of The World Warrior, and you'll most likely get a litany of gripes. Horribly unbalanced, tons of cheap tricks (including the infamous "tick throws"), tons of glitches, Guile rules the universe, way too easy to do ridiculous damage, redizzies, infinites, etc. Anyone who just started picking up Street Fighter II would find The World Warrior just about unrecognizable.
    • This was even lampshaded in a gag strip published in the official Street Fighter comic book series, where Joe from the 1987 game argued for his inclusion in Street Fighter V:
      Joe: But you gotta remember me! Joe! I was in the first Street Fighter!
      Interviewer: Oh, you mean Street Fighter II?
      Joe: No! There was one before that!
      Interviewer: Nah... I'm pretty sure SF II was the first one.
  • Summer Carnival shoot 'em ups have a really weird case of this. First of all, Recca might be mistakenly considered a sequel displacement because there was a game that was released year earlier, Spriggan, which keeps the same Summer Carnival brand name. Moreover, the later games in this series, Alzadick and Nexzr, may also be mistakenly considered follow-ups, but in reality... Not only were Recca and the remaining SC games released on different platforms and developed by different teams, they have absolutely nothing in common, save for the genre, the setting and belonging to the same somewhat forgotten gaming event, which is arguably the real example of this trope. Also, have you ever heard about Alzadick having its own sequel on PlayStation 2?
  • Super Hexagon is particularly well-known, but how many people know about the original Hexagon?
  • The Super Mario Bros. series is an unusual example. Most people are cognizant of Mario's adventures in the original Donkey Kong, but the first game where he is billed as a star, Mario Bros. (without the "Super"), is comparatively obscure, though a redone version ended up as "that minigame from Super Mario Bros. 3" and it finds itself often packed in with other games as a minigame. The Mario series didn't take off hard until Super Mario Bros.; this can perhaps best be seen by the fact that "Super Mario" is the default series title, even in games that don't involve Mario growing into his "Super" form.
  • Super Stardust HD and its subsequent sequels on Sony platforms have completely eclipsed the original Amiga games.
  • Taiyou no Shinden Asteka II was released Sequel First in America as Tombs & Treasure, but even in Japan only the second Asteka game was remade, and it was remade twice.
  • By four games into the Tales Series, only Tales of Destiny and Tales of Eternia had ever crossed the Pacific, and those were totally under the radar. Then Namco of America trotted out Tales of Symphonia. Now some people don't even realize the series started before the PS2, let alone back when the Super Famicom was middle-age. This is also prequel first. Symphonia is a sort of origin story to Tales of Phantasia, the first game in the series.
  • Team Fortress 2 is a perfect example, given that the original game is a Quake mod subsequently tweaked by the creators of Half-Life (see Team Fortress Classic). It also came out many years after the original, it's a complete change of tone from the original (the original has a realistic artstyle and a serious tone), and the classes all look completely different than they did in the original.
  • Thunder Force II is far more well-known than its predecessor. It doesn't help that the original Thunder Force lacks the Horizontal Scrolling Shooter action the series is best known for, was released in Japan only on some now-obscure computer platforms, and was never ported to any console system.
  • Time Splitters 2. The first TimeSplitters was not as well known and only saw a PS2 release.
  • The first five games of the Touhou Project series are only available on the long-dead PC-98 machine, making them widely unavailable for many fans, unlike the Windows-based sixth game onwards. It doesn't help that the sixth game itself is when the series found its popularity, and is also a soft reboot of the series story-wise. Many characters introduced in the Windows games would become recurring characters in later works, while the characters from the PC-98 games are all but forgotten. Only four characters are brought over from PC-98 to Windows, two of them being the main characters of the franchise. The only acknowledgement that the first five games exist is that the series keeps its numbering for the games.
  • Tribes is an enormously popular team-based first-person shooter with jetpacks and guns that shoot exploding blue frisbees. The games that Tribes takes its plot and name from are from the Starsiege universe, best known as "that other Real Robot Humongous Mecha game that isn't MechWarrior". It probably doesn't help that the series has one of the most absurd cases of Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo; starting with the title of Metaltech, moving to Earthsiege, Starsiege', and finally Tribes''.
  • While the original Twinbee was released for the arcades in 1985 and had a few straight-to-Famicom sequels, the arcade sequel Detana!! Twinbee is the first one to feature the series' iconic character designs of Shuzilow Ha.
  • The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is the sequel to an obscure Japan-exclusive PC Engine platformer known as Makai Prince Dorabochan.
  • The Ultima series started with Akalabeth, a game which is remembered mainly because it established many tropes that were made far more famous by its sequels.
  • Unreal Tournament is somewhat better known than Unreal.
  • The Korean SRPG The War Of Genesis II not only displaced, but also outright replaces the first game, as it repeats most of the story, embedded into a greater narrative.
  • Wolfenstein 3D, Return to Castle Wolfenstein,, Wolfenstein (2009) and Wolfenstein: The New Order have numerous fans, few of whom recall (or even know about) the original Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein games. Furthermore, the sequel to The New Order is called "Wolfenstein II", despite the fact that it's the ninth game in the series (not including spin-offs Enemy Territory and RPG), and even though The New Order was a soft reboot of sorts, it still followed up on story elements from Return to Castle Wolfenstein (albeit loosely) and the 2009 game.
  • While technically not a sequel, many World of Warcraft players are unaware that three Warcraft RTS games and their expansions came before it. Some players were surprised to learn that WoW was released on the franchise's 10th birthday.
    • Lampshaded by Blizzard's 2007 April Fools joke where they announced the development of three RTS games to cover historical events from before WoW, namely the storylines of the original series.
    • World of Warcraft itself suffers from this to a lesser extent compared to Hearthstone. The two games are completely different genres again, and Hearthstone has its own, bigger audience on mobile. Once again lampshaded in Blizzard's 2016 April Fools joke.
  • Zone of the Enders' success mainly derived from how it drew in fans of Metal Gear Solid with a demo of its high-anticipated sequel it was packaged with, and many consider Zone of the Enders an average game at best. It was successful enough to gain a sequel in 2003, which was a bigger hit with critics and fans of action games alike, so much so that most people forget about the original. This also became the case with the series' HD re-release, with most of the pre-release hype being centered on the second game.
  • While Knights of the Old Republic remains well thought of to this day, it's MMO successor Star Wars: The Old Republic has overshadowed it to the point where people confuse it for the former.
  • Zero Gunner II eclipses the original game in term of recognition, largely because, unlike its predecessor, it actually got an home console release. Tellingly, while the current owners of the Psikyo library bothered to port Zero Gunner II to modern hardware despite lacking the original development ressources, they have expressed no interest in doing likewise with the original game.

    Visual Novels 
  • Steins;Gate is a sequel to Chaos;Head that ended up being far more popular in the West than its predecessor. In addition to Steins;Gate largely being considered a better story overall, one of the biggest reasons for Chaos;Head's comparative lack of popularity is that its anime adaptation is by and large considered to be subpar, even without the source material taken into account. Most visual novels become popular outside of Japan as a result of people enjoying their anime adaptations, so the fact that Steins;Gate's adaptation is generally very well received gives it a major advantage over Chaos;Head in terms of popularity. Also, since Steins;Gate is only connected to Chaos;Head in the first place due to them taking place in the same world, all of the Continuity Nods made to Chaos;Head in Steins;Gate won't be understood by anyone unfamiliar with the former story, and you don't need to read Chaos;Head first in order to understand Steins;Gate at all, most Steins;Gate fans aren't even aware that the two stories are connected in the first place. Further hurting its accessibility is that, as a direct result of the sequel displacement, Steins;Gate is the only visual novel out of the two to have an official translation note . Further cementing this is the fact that Chaos;Child, a thematic sequel with much stronger narrative ties to Chaos;Head also managed to get localized before the original release.
  • Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever. What little attention it gets over the other two is only because of the poster child for More Popular Spin-Off, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and the only reason it gets any attention is due to its sequel OVA - which, unlike the TH2 anime, is suitable for all audiences, although it still doesn't make any sense unless you play the game first.
  • Tsukihime was the first visual novel to be set in the Nasuverse. While it was popular enough to get various adaptations and its own video game, it has since been eclipsed in popularity by its successor, Fate/stay night, which started a multimedia franchise that makes up the majority of the Nasuverse and gained a mainstream recognition that Tsukihime never came close to achieving.

    Web Comics 
  • MS Paint Adventures offers an internal example with Homestuck, which was the fourth MS Paint Advenutre series. Homestuck was a megahit and is probably one of the most popular webcomics of the late 2000's-mid 2010's. Problem Sleuth, Homestuck's immediate predecessor, had a popular run, but it had nowhere near the insane popularity of Homestuck.
  • Hey, kids! Ever heard about Unsound of Mind? No? Well, how about Heartcore? In fact, many of the characters in Heartcore originated from UoM, wich has become the Old Shame of the creator.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • The show is a spin-off of The Tracey Ullman Show, where it began as a series of interstitial shorts airing between other skits. The Simpsons would quickly became a worldwide cultural phenomenon, while these days people only talk about The Tracey Ullman Show when discussing early Simpsons cartoons.
    • In-universe example: in The Simpsons episode "Bye Bye Nerdie", Milhouse comments that the present situation is, "like Speed 2, but with a bus instead of a boat." He later refers to the new girl with no friends as being Babe: Pig in the City.
  • Most people who have seen Santa Bear's High Flying Adventure are usually not aware that it is a sequel to Santa Bear's First Christmas.
  • Adventures in Music Duology: "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" is more well-known than "Melody".

    Real Life 
  • The Apple ][ compared to its predecessor the Apple I, and the Apple Macintosh compared to its predecessor the Apple Lisa. The Apple I's obscurity is not entirely surprising, considering that only 200 were ever made and it was sold only as a build-it-yourself kit that didn't even come with an interface for loading software.
  • World War I for many countries. In spite of being called The Great War, it's far less known than World War II. Beyond trench warfare and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, most people know next to nothing other than that it was the big war that came before World War II. This is less the case in some countries with more active involvement in the war.
  • The United States Constitution was specifically meant to replace the Articles of Confederation, which formed the basis of a very different United States of America. Though it’s well known that America achieved independence in 1776, almost nobody remembers the government that ruled the country between that year and George Washington’s inauguration in 1789, nor that there were several American presidents (of Congress) before Washington, mostly because the position was much less important.
  • The French and Indian War is an obscure and relatively unimportant part of the global Seven Years' War. Except for the fact that it laid important technological, cultural, military and political groundwork for the events which would eventually spiral into The American Revolution barely a decade later, therefore directly leading to the creation of the independent United States (officers on both sides, including the aforementioned George Washington, first gained experience in the French and Indian War). However even in the Americas it's been greatly overshadowed by the War for Independence and remains an obscure and little-mentioned piece of American history.
  • The World Wide Web compared to Usenet and Gopher.
  • Doritos were introduced in 1966, but the Nacho Cheese (debuted in 1972) flavor is now considered the flagship flavor, and Cool Ranch (debuted in 1986) has also overshadowed the original (which is now labeled as Toasted Corn in the few markets that still sell it).
  • Windows 3.1 was the first version of Microsoft Windows to really take off. Windows 1.0 and 2.0 were and are fairly obscure (and, having severe technical limitations, were basically glorified DOS shells), and 3.0 was technically competent but undermarketed compared to 3.1. The 3.1x family (Windows 3.1, 3.11, and Windows for Workgroups) are usually the only 16-bit Windows versions that people remember.
  • Likewise, System 6 was the first family of the Mac OS to take off near the end of The '80s, even though the Mac had been around since 1984 with several system upgrades beforehand. Notably, System 5 was the first to have the ability to run more than one program at a time.
    • The current iteration of macOSnote , first released in 2001, compared to the "classic" Mac OS that Apple produced from 1984 to 2001. Mac OS X brought a much needed complete overhaul to the Mac system software that resulted in a huge growth Apple's popularity and the Mac userbase, so that now a minority of them still remember the classic Mac OS.
  • Many tend to forget that Nazi Germany came after and was inspired by Benito Mussolini and his regime, to the point Mussolini is often described as the protege of Hitler when Hitler actually started out as Mussolini's Loony Fan.
  • Mentions of terrorism in Paris will immediately bring to mind the November 13, 2015 attacks, which have far overshadowed that January's Charlie Hebdo attack in the public consciousness.
  • Most people associate the French Revolution with the activities of the working-class Parisian crowd, and so see the "beginning" of the Revolution as being the Storming of the Bastille by said crowd on 14 July 1789. The increasing radicalisation of French politics since c. 1786 is rarely acknowledged. While most people know of the earlier, more liberal phases, the image of the revolution in many people's minds skews heavily towards the later phases and the zenith of the Parisian radicals' power. Many of the standout events, like the fall of the monarchy and proclamation of the Republic, the executions of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the Terror, the death of Marat, and France being in a state of total war took place in 1792-94, rather than the more liberal 1789-91 period.
  • A form with the Barrett Model 98B bolt-action rifle. It's so named as the B or Bravo — that is, the second letter of the alphabet — because it is the successor to the original Model 98, a semi-auto rifle that was designed about a decade prior but never actually entered production.


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