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Serendipity Writes the Plot

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"If you're wondering how and why Metal Gear's developers, Konami, decided to make a stealth game, the answer is that they didn't. Metal Gear was originally intended to be an action title that would have been largely indistinguishable from all the other action games out there. But the computer they were developing the game for, the MSX2, wasn't able to handle more than a few enemies and bullets on screen at a time without crashing. Making an action game on the MSX2 would be like trying to win a street race in your grandma's PT Cruiser."

A plot detail, or even the entire plot, is formed due to a technical difficulty in real life. Perhaps budget cuts prevented a certain aspect of the work from being filmed/programmed/drawn, or perhaps at the time, technology wasn't advanced enough, or some other limitation to creating the feature existed. Whatever the reason, the creators are forced to compensate and alter the plot to accommodate the limitation.

This is an interesting trope in the development of works. If it is done right, it can lead to an interesting plot, iconic appearance, and/or an interesting feature of the work itself that would have never been achieved had the creators had the means to go with their original plans. If it comes out badly though, it will just give the work a very cheap look.

In films, this is usually the cause of Obscured Special Effects. In video games, this can sometimes go hand in hand with Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence, as this trope is usually a reason for it, and is also usually used to justify Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed.

A Sub-Trope of Real Life Writes the Plot. Related to Reality Subtext and What Could Have Been. Compare Accidental Art, Ascended Glitch, Throw It In.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • Coca-Cola:
    • The company's first television ad with newly signed spokesperson Jordan Spieth was intended to feature the golfer enjoying a Coke on the golf course during a hot day. However, the day the commercial was being shot, it began to pour rain and would not let up. This forced the creators to change the ad concept on the fly. The new ad? Spieth trying to pass time while waiting for the rain to let up so he can film a Coke commercial.
    • The famous ads featuring polar bears were originally created as part of a marketing strategy aimed at selling more Coca-Cola during the Winter months (when soda sales generally decline due to colder temperatures), but they were so well-received that the polar bears were made into the company's year-round mascots. The ads featuring Santa Claus were created for exactly the same reason, and proved to be so popular that they're credited with helping to codify the popular image of Santa.
  • The green M&M from the M&M's ads was originally going to wear high-heeled shoes, but it was scrapped due to technical issues at the time, so she wore go-go boots instead. Later ads have her (and other female-based M&M characters like Ms. Brown) wear regular high-heeled shoes when the technology made it possible.
  • The infamously strange Wilkins Coffee commercials arose from the fact that the ads were meant to be ten seconds long, not counting the product shot at the end. What was more, Jim Henson supposedly didn't like coffee much. His ultimate conclusion to "how would you convince me to drink coffee in under ten seconds?" was "threaten me with bodily injury", and so the commercial's main gag of Wilkins trying to kill or seriously harm Wontkins for not liking the coffee and that he'll do the same to the audience was born.
  • When Nolan Bushnell was developing his idea for a combination pizzeria/arcade/vaudeville theater chain, he went to a trade show and saw what he believed was a coyote mascot costume, which he purchased on the spot. When the costume arrived at his door, it turned out to be a rat instead of the expected coyote. Bushnell decided to keep the costume and use it to design the mascot of his chain, ultimately resulting in Chuck E. Cheese.
  • The GEICO gecko came to be from a Screen Writers Guild strike in 1999. The strike cut them short of human actors, so the company created a gecko character to star in one of their commercials. The character stuck and has been their mascot ever since.
  • Jimmy Nail agreed to feature in a series of adverts for Hutton's Sausages in New Zealand during the late 1980s. As with Coca-Cola above, the first advert was rained out when filming started, so Nail being Nail, still made the most of it.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Some of the more infamous aspects of Hentai owe themselves due to Japanese laws forbidding showing genitals or (until the mid-1990s) pubic hair, causing artists to have to come up with ways to get around the regulations.
  • Death Note: Higuchi was selected to be the third Kira based on a process of elimination - once Mido and Takahashi were established as Red Herrings and Shimura was deemed to not have the right personality, Ohba picked Higuchi to be Kira based on Obata's remaining designs for the Yotsuba Eight.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Yajirobe was originally created simply because Krillin was dead during the King Piccolo arc (he got better), and Krillin's voice actor, Mayumi Tanaka, might be out of work for that whole period otherwise. So when Yajirobe appeared, the manga made sure to have characters point out that Yajirobe sounds a lot like Krillin, meaning Tanaka would still have a character to voice. It is perhaps no coincidence that Yajirobe basically vanished once Krillin came back.
    • While Akira Toriyama had the idea for the Super Saiyan transformation for a while, it wasn't until Goku attained it that he figured out what it would look like. Famously, he chose to turn his hair blonde, mainly so that he and his assistant wouldn't have to ink in Goku's normally black hair. This also resulted in a bit of discontinuity with the Non-Serial Movie Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, which depicts Goku's Super Saiyan form as having black hair and a red aura as a result of being released before Toriyama himself had decided on this look but after he had started planning on introducing it soon.
  • Heavy spoilers for Fate/Apocrypha: Shirou Kotomine was created for various reasons such as being a foil to Jeanne d'Arc. His true identity is Shirou Tokisada Amakusa. The fact that he shares the same first name as the protagonist of a previous work in the franchise was a very happy accident.
  • How did the production team of apocalyptic mecha anime Neon Genesis Evangelion get around sudden budget issues during their Grand Finale? The show had flirted with postmodernism and surrealism throughout; the end of the show went fully into it as reality itself broke down. Conveniently, this meant they could use a lot of clips and stripped down animation, along with Leave the Camera Running being abused at some notable points. The fan reaction was mixed enough that a new finale was created once the budget was available... but that's another story entirely.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena had most of its signature elements arise from the fact that the show had No Budget. The heavy focus on dialogue, the Once per Episode shadow-puppet sequences, the long shots of silence, and the heavy use of Stock FootageExamples  all contributed to make a series that at times seemed to have about ten minutes of unique animation per 23-minute episode. There were also multiple Clip Shows despite the show running only 39 episodes, some of which, unusually, contained very significant character development. This forced the show to focus on character interaction, and created the oddly ritualistic feel to its conflicts (the chanting doesn't hurt).

    Comic Books 
  • The spin-off comic series for Avatar: The Last Airbender had this regarding the character Azula. As we remember in the series finale, she went brokebrained to put it lightly. One of the lingering fan questions was wondering what did and would happen to her: would she be redeemed or would she stay a villain? According to Smoke and Shadow, the writers got tons of mail from fans either demanding that Azula be redeemed or angrily rejecting the suggestion and saw both sides of that debate as having surprisingly good reasons which left the team in a bit of a stalemate. As such, the character is still fighting with her Split Personality, and Zuko lampshades it by telling his mother that he doesn't even know what it would mean for Azula to be happy.
  • In the Fall of 1963, the publishers at Marvel Comics wound up with a gap in their printing schedule after Daredevil #1 ran into delays, so they asked Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to come up with a replacement on the fly. Since they didn't have time to create a completely original character from scratch, they did the next best thing and made a crossover story about five pre-established superheroes from their anthology books battling a pre-established supervillain. In the resulting comic book, the rich playboy with the robotic suit from Tales of Suspense met the super-scientist with shrinking powers (and his girlfriend) from Tales to Astonish, the hammer-wielding Viking god from Journey into Mystery, and the radioactive monster from the recently canceled series The Incredible Hulk, and they all teamed up to fight the Viking god's evil brother. They needed a snappy title, so they named it after a popular spy series that was on TV at the time. Against all odds, audiences loved it—and The Avengers has been one of Marvel's flagship titles ever since.
  • DC Comics:
  • Many plot points in Geoff Johns' Green Lantern run were influenced by major changes introduced during the Ron Marz and Judd Winick eras, which Johns had to reimagine in order to bring the series back to its roots. In particular, his run introduced the "emotional entities" Parallax (entity of Fear) and Ion (entity of Willpower) as a cozy Hand Wave for why Hal Jordan seemingly became evil, and why Kyle Rayner briefly gave up his Green Lantern identity. Originally, "Parallax" was an identity adopted by Hal after his Face–Heel Turn, while "Ion" was an identity adopted by Kyle after he Took a Level in Badass and evolved beyond the need for his ring. In order to return them to Lantern status, Johns "explained" that Parallax and Ion were actually alien entities that possessed them.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • Similar to the Vision, the Hulk was originally colored grey. However, the printing technology of the time kept turning him green. Over time, Stan Lee decided to keep green as the Hulk's signature color.
    • Early in the Hulk's adventures, Lee would frequently alternate between calling the Hulk's Secret Identity "Bob Banner" and "Bruce Banner". When informed of this mistake by fans, Lee decided to establish that Banner's full name was Robert Bruce Banner.
    • As noted above, when Hulk was first introduced in 1962, the writers at Marvel Comics struggled with many aspects of his characterization and visual appearance before eventually settling on his now-iconic portrayal as a misunderstood green-skinned monster with child-like intelligence who appears whenever Bruce Banner gets angry. As a result, in his earliest appearances, the Hulk was a brutish grey-skinned monster with roughly normal intelligence who appeared when the sun went down. Years down the line, the writers decided to explain the discrepancy by retroactively declaring that the "Grey Hulk" was actually a different character from the more iconic "Savage Hulk", and his consciousness came from a different aspect of Bruce Banner's shattered psyche. Later, other writers further explored this aspect of the character by toying with the idea that there are even more incarnations of the Hulk, each with its own slightly different personality. This resulted in some of the most popular and acclaimed stories in the character's history, like Planet Hulk (starring his "Green Scar" persona) and Immortal Hulk (starring his "Devil Hulk" persona).
  • Jean Grey's character history is infamously complicated—in large part—because Marvel Comics really wanted to celebrate the X-Men's 25th anniversary by reuniting the five original X-Men in 1988. But by that point, Jean had been famously killed off in The Dark Phoenix Saga in 1980, and Cyclops had moved on with his life and married a woman named Madelyne Pryor (who looked exactly like Jean by a complete coincidence) in 1983. To justify getting Cyclops and Jean back together, the writers "revealed" that Jean never actually died, and Chris Claremont was forced to "reveal" that Madelyne Pryor was actually a clone—and subsequently had her turn evil.
  • She-Hulk and Spider-Woman were both created for legal reasons: Marvel Comics preemptively created female counterparts of the Hulk and Spider-Man so that the producers of The Incredible Hulk and The Amazing Spider-Man (which were both enjoying high ratings on TV at the time) couldn't get out of paying them royalties by inventing their own female counterparts of both characters and making spin-offs about them, as the producers of The Six Million Dollar Man had done with The Bionic Woman. Since the characters weren't required to do much other than exist, the writers were allowed to do more-or-less anything they wanted with both of them, allowing them to become surprise fan-favorites as they developed their own identities and personalities: She-Hulk became a confident and vivacious lawyer known for her fourth wall-breaking sense of humor, while Spider-Woman became a formerly brainwashed spy known for her cloak-and-dagger escapades.
  • Superman:
    • In the early days of the comic, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster decided to give Superman a nemesis who was his complete opposite, so they created a character called "The Ultra-Humanite"; while Superman was strong, handsome, noble, and solved problems with his immense strength, the Ultra-Humanite was a frail, bald-headed Mad Scientist who was wheelchair-bound, but utterly brilliant. Sometime later, illustrator Leo Nowak drew a story that introduced another evil scientist, who had a full head of red hair: Lex Luthor. But thanks to a miscommunication with the writer, Nowak mistakenly drew him bald. Nevertheless, his superiors liked it, and since it would be a tad redundant to have two bald mad scientists fighting Superman, the Ultra-Humanite gained a Body Surf gimmick and slowly got pushed to the sidelines before suffering a Comic Book Death, allowing Luthor to take his place as Superman's archenemy. Even later, when the Ultra-Humanite was brought back in the Silver Age as a more minor villain, the writers further differentiated him from Luthor by using his body-surfing abilities to put him in the body of an enormous albino ape—which has remained his default form ever since.
    • Believe it or not, Superman's signature power—the power of flight—was popularized due to serendipity. In the early days of the comics, he simply had superhuman strength, which he could use to jump incredibly long distances (hence his introduction, "Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!"). When Max and Dave Fleischer first brought Superman to the screen for their Superman Theatrical Cartoons, they initially translated this ability directly into animation, but it was time-consuming and looked awkward. They realized that it was easier and more visually appealing to animate Superman simply striking a dramatic pose and levitating into the air than to animate him going through the motions of crouching, jumping, and landing on the ground. Hence, it was decided that Superman could fly—while he was previously able to fly in radio serials, it was the cartoons that popularized the concept enough to ingrain the image into the comics and the public consciousness.
  • In one issue of the Marvel UK Transformers comics, it was mentioned that the Dinobot Swoop was originally called Divebomb back on Cybertron. This bit of character backstory never reached Hasbro, who eventually named one of the Predacons Divebomb a few years later. Because there were now two Transformers who shared the name Divebomb, the Marvel UK team wrote a story that revealed that Divebomb stole Swoop's original name after he defeated him in combat back on Cybertron.
  • The Vision was originally intended by Roy Thomas to be ghostly white, but he eventually had to settle on red instead because the printing technology of The '60s would have made the page transparent wherever he was drawn.
  • During his time with Marvel Comics, Stan Lee often noted that one of the most difficult parts of writing a superhero story was coming up with a plausible Origin Story that could explain how the heroes got their superpowers. Eventually, he decided to get around this challenge by writing a comic book series about a group of teenagers who simply developed their powers through natural mutations; by explaining that the characters were "Mutants", he didn't think the audience would need any more explanation. But after writing the first few issues of his new series, Lee started to think about the full implications of his premise, and the series began exploring how the people of Earth would really react to the appearance of a bizarre new subspecies of humanity with unpredictable (and often dangerous) superhuman abilities. This aspect of the series eventually became the most popular and widely-known thing about it, and X-Men soon became famous for its frank discussion of prejudice, racism, and social justice.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In Citadel of the Heart, although technically having occurred long prior in MF 217's other works, the Ultimorian Deity Mirror M's name is the result of this trope due to an Old Shame. In the past when the character was first conceived, he was a Bomberman OC who parodied various aspects of Digimon, named Marty based on the author's own name and his at the time very young, very naive mindset. As the result of the desire to keep the character present in his works, Marty's current name of Mirror M exists because he's literally a reflection of his former self; all of the Bomberman elements in his character were removed entirely, with the Digimon references only maintained as to follow a more traditional Bishōnen Line type of trope instead. The M in Mirror M is the sole reminder in his current characterization that his name ever had been Marty in the first place.
  • Coeur Al'Aran:
    • Arc Royale: Chapter 22 of the story is a Breather Episode that largely focuses on Revolutionary's home world, going much further in-depth into his story than most of the other Jaunes ever did. The reason for this was that Coeur had left his notes for the chapter at work over a holiday weekend and couldn't remember what he had planned except for the fact that it was important enough that he couldn't put it off and return to it, so the chapter was padded up to give his followers something rather than just dropping the chapter entirely. Knowing so much about his world gives the inevitable Adam vs. Adam battle far more weight than the average Jaune got, as well as giving Revolutionary's entire arc a strong conclusion.
    • From Beyond (RWBY): Unlike other fics that deal with the end of volume three, this fic basically ignores Salem and concludes immediately after the Battle of Beacon. The main reason was that the fic ended in-between volumes three and four, meaning that Salem had been introduced but nothing was actually known about her; Coeur couldn't go any further in the story without risking an immediate retcon, so he ended it with Cinder running away and the Beacon teams celebrating their victory.
    • Knight of Salem: During one of the early chapters set in Beacon, Coeur accidentally referred to Team JNPR even though Jaune doesn't attend Beacon Academy in the fic. Rather than quietly retcon the error away as he's done before, he instead rolled with it and introduced Juan as a Running Gag.
    • One Good Turn Deserves Another: The finale of the fic was originally going to be far bleaker, including, among other things, Pyrrha dying during the siege of Magnis and Jaune surviving but losing an arm in the process. The fic was being written as volume 3 was wrapping up, and when the finale of that volume featured Yang losing an arm and Pyrrha being murdered by Cinder, Coeur figured the fandom could use a bit more happiness and omitted both plots (though Nora's eye was not spared).
    • Professor Arc: Much like his other stories written while the early volumes were coming out, Coeur had to quietly retcon several pieces of established information as the show revealed more of its backstory, which changed some elements of the plot both going forward and retroactively:
      • Early on, Neo's Semblance was assumed to be teleportation, and some early parts of the story only work with this in mind (such as when she teleports through a locked door). When her true Semblance was revealed (hologram-like illusions that can be used to fake a teleport), Jaune begins taking advantage of that power through a False Flag Operation against Winter Schnee.
      • When Winter first appears, she was assumed to be a member of the SDC and is thus negotiating on their behalf, with a major plot point being Jaune having to secure the funds Beacon needs to pay the SDC for the Vytal Festival's use of Dust. When she later appeared in canon and was revealed to have joined the Atlas Military instead (having willingly abdicated her role in the SDC), the roles were blended and she became the SDC's liaison from within the military, with her SDC affiliation slowly being written out as the fic went on.
      • Unrelated to the show itself, two chapters into the Misenwood arc, Coeur confirmed in a note that the arc would last for around four more chapters. The fic's followers disagreed with that decision so strongly that Coeur streamlined the rest of the arc's events into a single chapter, getting the main characters back to Beacon much faster than originally anticipated.
    • A Rabbit Among Wolves: As Coeur was writing the story of Jaune being sexually assaulted by Elizabeth Tanner, the scene was originally meant to play Double Standard Rape: Female on Male completely straight for comedy. Once he got around to writing it, he realized how disgusting it actually was and switched course to play it for drama instead; the result was Tanner becoming a Knight of Cerebus, the effects of the plot going in a drastically different direction, and Jaune's character development into a genuine force for Faunus rights being accelerated.
    • Relic Of The Future: The fic was begun before volume six, meaning that there was a huge discrepancy between the setting the fic begins with and what canon would later reveal.
      • Salem is dying in the first chapter due to the Relics being combined into a weapon capable of killing her. Volume 6's revelations, which came about halfway through the fic's run, made such a premise impossible - according to the show, bringing the Relics together will summon the Brother Gods for Remnant's final judgment, and Salem specifically wants to bring the Relics together because she thinks doing so will finally kill her. The premise of the fic was too important to the entire story to retcon out, so all of this was tweaked - in the fic, Salem only wants to kill most of humanity so that they won't run out of Dust (which would destroy Remnant), and there's a specific way to bring the Relics together that forges them into a weapon without summoning the Gods in the process.
      • A big part of the reason Jaune accepts Salem's offer early on is that the only remaining Kingdom is Atlas, which is now under Jacques's dictatorial control. Volumes 7 and 8 would then reveal that Atlas is completely destroyed, and just to top it off, Ironwood had descended into madness along the way and killed Jacques. Since Atlas's state is too big to the fic's premise to retcon away, the fic uses Broad Strokes - Ironwood still lost his mind, but Atlas didn't end up falling and Jacques is still alive, both of which are still true when Jaune returns to his original timeline.
      • Additionally, the Fight-Scene Failure between Jaune, Raven, and Hazel is one of Coeur's well-known writing failures, as the fight ends up building up to a lethal showdown only for everyone to survive due to very contrived logic. Coeur admitted that he was not proud of the fight right out of the gate (in fact, his profile had an open poll asking if it should be rewritten for years), but the main reason it ended that way was purely Doylist; all three characters had roles that no other character or OC could fulfill later on in the story, so they all had to survive somehow.
  • There was once a Lucky Star fic called Cries Unheard, about a yakuza plot that involved destroying the girls' lives and driving them to suicide or hikikomori. It was never finished before being deleted, and one of its readers, Economy, was left traumatized from it before eventually wrapping up several of its loose ends himself with THIS IS IT! It is unknown what CU author bloodscorpion4ever's original intentions were, and only others who read CU itself would know if any details would have misaligned between fics, given how long prior it was deleted and that Economy had only read bits and pieces of some chapters while reading others in full. However, the fact that it had died also left room for TII's first act as A Day in the Limelight for the manga-only characters, who rarely get written about in general, and only one of whom appeared in any of Blood's prior-deleted previous stories and a current reboot thereof (as its main villain), in order to fulfill the role of who would first undermine the antagonists successfully.
  • In Grim and Edboys, a remake/unofficial rewrite of Technomaru's The Grim EDventures of Ed, Edd n Eddy, the Kimono sisters are Adapted Out because the author didn't think the fit the style (plus, the Anime references would've gone over a lot of reader's heads). However, because they had a major involvement in the various chapters, and the author found it easier to give some of their lines to other characters rather than rewrite the chapters to have no trace of them, a subplot was added in which the two main villainesses (Eris and Pandora) disguise themselves as ordinary kids (Erissa Kanker and Dora Sanchez).
  • In The Lion of Ivalice, the story serves as both an AU and a massive expansion of the canon Final Fantasy Tactics storyline, this time by having all 13 of the Zodiac Stones possessing people and manifesting as the Lucavi. At first, when the story was still in its early stages, the author was planning to create original Lucavi for the Stones that the game did not use. It was then pointed out by several reviewers that he may as well use the Espers from Final Fantasy XII as the Lucavi, since XII serves as a Prequel in the Lost Age to Tactics. He decided to roll with the idea, which turned out to be massively fortunate because in Part 2 of the fanfic, Meliadoul gets possessed by the Sagittarius Stone, which is the Zodiac Stone she possesses in the canon storyline. In a total stroke of good fortune, the Sagittarius Stone is also one of only two (the other being Ultima) whose zodiac sign corresponds with a female Esper, allowing him to use the female Shemhazai from XII instead of having to create an original monster.
  • In My Wizarding Academia, Natsuo Todoroki was always intended to be a wizard. Then a reader told Emma Iveli that there is a very minor Japanese wizard named Todoroki in canon, giving more depth to the story involving the Todoroki family and magic.
  • Starbound: In Chapter 6, Rokuna mentions finding her bust size embarrassing when Konata comments how well a Cleavage Window would complement her Pimped-Out Dress. Long before the chapter itself was written, author Economy was denied a request to give her one (which he asked for also to complement her hair color, which he changed to brown as his favorite from its original green) when someone was working on a cover image for the story. He did not want to contradict the finished product unnecessarily, and it just so happens that he also has a fetish for embarrassment (also evident from Kagami and Miyuki about their hair being updone against their will, and Mondo when Rokuna presents him and herself in swimsuits to most of their friends a chapter earlier). note 
  • Kazumi is killed off pre-story in Stars Above because Puella Magi Kazumi Magica was still ongoing at the time, and the authors wished to respect whatever plans its writers had for her.
  • The Beatles Real-Person Fic With Strings Attached was conceived in early 1980, and the author always intended to keep it up-to-date. Then John Lennon was assassinated in late 1980, forcing the author to keep the action of that book, and the planned sequels, during the period when he was still alive. Back in the day, she had to constantly explain that no, this book takes place before he died.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
      • The film was chosen as Disney's first feature-length animated film because the story only includes four realistically proportioned human characters (five if you count the Queen's hag form), only two of which need to be onscreen at the same time. This made it considerably easier to produce in the 1930s, when animating realistic human characters was still a relatively new and daring idea. It helped that the titular seven dwarfs could be animated with more exaggerated and cartoonish features, allowing the animators to use the same kinds of techniques that they'd perfected on Disney's earlier short films. Even so, the animators found the Prince considerably difficult to animate, forcing them to drastically cut down his screentime (he was originally going to have a much more prominent role).
      • Dopey was also supposed to speak, but he was made into The Voiceless as nobody could find a suitable voice actor for him.
    • Fantasia was conceived because one of Disney's animated short films went over-budget. The famous sequence "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was originally going to be a standalone Silly Symphonies short, being envisioned as a "comeback" of sorts for Mickey Mouse (whose popularity had declined significantly by 1940). But as the short's animation gradually got more detailed and elaborate, it got so expensive to produce that it couldn't possibly make back its budget as a simple short film. Knowing that a full-length movie could make more money than a short film, Disney reimagined it as part of a feature-length anthology of animated short films, reusing the basic gimmick of a dialogue-free story set to Classical music for each one. note 
    • The original climax of Lilo & Stitch saw the heroes chasing down Gantu in a 747 they steal from a nearby airport. The sequence was completed mere days before 9/11 and the crew decided that showing a plane flying through a city was inappropriate under the circumstances. While trying to work out how to salvage the scene they realized they'd never actually shown how Jumba and Pleakley arrived on Earth. Changing the airplane to a spaceship and adding a short scene of the characters finding the hidden ship meant they could fill this plot hole and keep most of the completed animation from the airplane chase.
    • Frozen: Originally, Elsa was not going to be a heroic character; she was the Snow Queen, who was the antagonist of the original story. However, after the songwriters got to writing Elsa's Villain Song "Let It Go," coupled with Idina Menzel's performance of the song, they realized that the song contained themes too positive for a villain (such as self-empowerment), and that Elsa hadn't actually done anything bad yet, was entirely justified in how she felt to that point, and was deliberately isolating herself to prevent harm. So they re-wrote the story with her as a Classical Anti-Hero Deuteragonist. The drastic change can be seen in a point in the trailer, where Elsa creates a blizzard to stop Anna. This was from an earlier animation test featuring Elsa's old personality. In the film, after "Let It Go," Elsa never deliberately hurts anyone with her powers.
  • Pixar:
    • The animators made their first feature film about toys because the limits of CGI at the time made it hard to realistically depict organic shapes and natural surfaces. As the technology improved, they worked their way up to bugs, then furry/scaly monsters, then fish, then finally human beings. Later films were less restricted by technology, with the main exception of Brave — Merida's incredibly curly hair required Pixar's entire rendering software to be rewritten.
    • Toy Story 2:
      • Owing to the film's ridiculously short turn-around time, the filmmakers decided to use the main character from Geri's Game as the cleaner mainly because they didn't have time to design and model a new character from scratch. He's also voiced by Jonathan Harris, who previously voiced Manny in A Bug's Life, primarily because he liked working with Pixar and wanted to do it again.
      • Most of the trees, grass, and bushes seen throughout the movie were reused assets from A Bug's Life. Since Pixar just so happened to have finished a movie that was set in a huge meadow, it meant they had a lot of foliage built they could reuse, thus allowing for more outdoor scenes than in the first Toy Story.
      • Even more model reusing from A Bug's Life was incorporated in the opening sequence on Zurg's Planet, where Buzz is actually flying over an upscaled version of the Ant Island riverbed. This created an animation error where the rocks weren't transformed with the rest of the model and so were floating in midair. However, the directors thought it made such a cool effect for an alien planet that they asked for it to be kept. The animators not only kept it, but even went back and made the rocks rotate in place to enhance the effect.
    • Most of Mr. Potato Head's dialogue in Toy Story 4 was taken from previously recorded sessions (outtakes, theme park and video game appearances, etc.) and recycled to compensate for voice actor Don Rickles' death. It was even done at the request of the Rickles estate and his widow.
    • The Incredibles is actually a notable aversion, since Brad Bird had originally written it as a live-action work. As such, Pixar had to figure out solutions to a bunch of new problems that would be trivial in live-action, including an entirely human cast, simulating Violet's long hair, a ton of Stuff Blowing Up, and simulating cloth physics. For a specific example, in the scene where Bob realizes his old suit is torn, he figures it out by running his hand through the suit and finding a hole in it. The simulation team balked at this — it's very difficult to render a hand moving through a hole in fabric — and even jokingly asked Brad Bird if Bob could just say that his suit is torn. There is one example that falls under this trope: Edna's "no capes" rule has a reasonable in-universe explanation, but out-of-universe it saved the animators a lot of expensive cloth simulation.
    • Up: Originally, Russel's epic failure of a tent was supposed to just collapse where it stood, but the timing didn't translate well enough from storyboard to animation, so they came up with the much more sadistic (and therefore funnier) gag of one of the misplaced poles launching the tent over a cliff.
    • For Finding Dory, the animators could only fit seven tentacles on Hank's model, rather than the eight an octopus should have. His backstory was rewritten to accomodate for it, with it being presumed that he lost a tentacle in the past.

  • The plot of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth cycle was pretty heavily influenced by Tolkien's struggles to get his early work published. Early in his career, when he was still primarily known for his academic work with linguistics and mythology, Tolkien published a series of original mythic works as a personal scholarly exercise, hoping to flesh out a fictional world where the many fictional languages that he developed could actually have been spoken. Many of those stories would up collected in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth—but since neither work was ever published during his lifetime, he decided to repurpose some of their characters (most notably the sorcerer Gandalf and the Elf king Elrond) when he wrote the much more light-hearted and whimsical fantasy story The Hobbit, which he actually was able to get published. Later, when The Hobbit turned out to be successful enough that his publisher expressed interest in a sequel, he took the opportunity to write a follow-up that incorporated even more characters and concepts from his unpublished mythic stories, resulting in a story that was (by his own admission) much more of a sequel to The Silmarillion than it was to The Hobbit. To tie the two works together, he retroactively "revealed" that Gollum's magical ring from The Hobbit was actually a soul-corrupting Artifact of Doom crafted by Melkor's lieutenant Sauron, which served as a justification for the story's abrupt tonal shift from a light-hearted fairytale to a weighty epic about the battle between Good and Evil. Against all odds, the basic premise of the humble Hobbits saving the world from the forces of Darkness turned out to be one of the most iconic and endearing aspects of the resulting story, and The Lord of the Rings has been a beloved classic of fantasy literature ever since.

  • The songs on Animal Collective's Feels were initially based around a series of looped recordings of member Avey Tare playing a friend's piano: The piano in question hadn't been tuned in years, so the band ended up tuning their instruments to the out-of-tune piano loops, resulting in some unusual guitar sounds. When they decided to also add live piano to the album, they had a professional piano tuner detune the piano they had in studio to match the out-of-tune piano from the recorded loops.
  • Bad Brains were still working on the album I Against I when lead vocalist H.R. was jailed on marijuana distribution charges — the song "Sacred Love" still needed vocals, so at the Record Producer's suggestion, H.R. sang them over the phone, unscrewing the mouthpiece of the telephone to minimize background noise. As a result, the vocals are a bit trebly and distorted, but they managed to make it sound like a deliberate effect.
  • The Beatles examples:
    • The boys had a problem with the recording of "A Day in the Life". The transition between John Lennon and Paul McCartney's parts of the song was initially left blank because they couldn't think of a way to change from one to the other, consisting mainly of a bar count and Mal Evans triggering an alarm clock to mark the beginning of Paul's section. Eventually, they settled on the now-iconic noisy orchestral glissando, but they were unable to remove the alarm clock from the song, and ultimately decided to leave it in. Considering that Paul's section begins with "Woke up, fell out of bed", that ringing alarm clock fits in perfectly.
    • It wasn't looking good for "Strawberry Fields Forever" making it to record at first. They had recorded two versions, in a different key and tempo, but while promising neither was quite the sound they were hoping for. Then George Martin discovered by accident that if one take was slowed down, it wound up in the same key and tempo as the other one. They were able to mix between the two takes and create the song we know and love today.
    • Lennon was drunkenly playing around with the master tape for "Rain" when he decided to play it backward. However, he got confused and only got a portion of it backward. Everyone liked the way that sounded, however, and it was the first use of backward recordings in rock history.
    • Generally speaking, as a band recording in a studio that even by the standards of 1960s technology, was not as advanced as either their peers in England or especially in America note  and were frustrated that, for example, the American-recorded records they loved had far punchier rhythm tracks than the Beatles' records. To compensate, they convinced the Abbey Road staff to muffle Ringo's drum kit and pump up the drums and Paul's Rickenbacker bass guitar with unprecedented levels of compression and limitation by the 1966 Revolver sessions. This sound (and experimentation with Paul's melodic bass playing and Ringo's tom-tom-heavy drumming techniques) proved very influential and paved the way for how bass and drums were recorded even in American studios (as well as The Beatles' music from then on).
    • The folksy, rootsy, acoustical feel of many of the songs which made up The White Album might have much to do with the fact that many of the songs were written by the band members while on a spiritual retreat in Rishikesh, India, written on the acoustic guitars they brought with them. "Dear Prudence" and "Julia" in particular came from lessons in fingerpicking guitar that fellow retreater Donovan taught John Lennon during their stay, and another traveling companion, Mike Love of The Beach Boys, helped Paul write the Beach Boys Affectionate Parody "Back In The U.S.S.R.".
    • Ringo Starr's drumming style was partially to do with the fact that he was a left-handed musician playing on a right-handed kit. This resulted in Ringo's "funny fills", as he was unable to get around the drums in a conventional way, always starting in the "wrong place" (usually from floor tom to overhead toms, instead of the other way around. He also disliked drum solos (although he obliged a short one in "The End" at Paul's request), preferring to play in the service of the song and as part of an ensemble.
  • After losing the tips of his middle and ring finger in an industrial accident, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi tuned his guitar down to make the strings easier to press and bend, resulting in his signature dark and heavy tone and creating Heavy Metal in the process.
  • One of the most popular songs in history, the David Bowie and Queen collaboration "Under Pressure", came into existence only due to an impromptu jam session after Bowie decided to drop in on Queen while they were recording the album Hot Space.
  • Toni Braxton's big break came when she was hired to sing a demo version of "Love Shoulda Brought You Home," intended for Anita Baker for the soundtrack to the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang (1992). Baker loved the song, but she was pregnant at the time and on hiatus from performing, so she suggested they just use Braxton for it. It became her debut single and a star was born.
  • Mariah Carey's duet with Boyz II Men, "One Sweet Day", was recorded while she and the Boyz were at the height of their fame, and they knew it'd be impossible to coordinate their schedules again to film a proper music video at a later date. So instead, they filmed the recording session and made that into the music video. This ultimately worked in their favor. Not only was the song a huge hit, spending 16 weeks at #1, but critics praised the simplistic video for pairing well with the song's selfless message. Since then, filming the recording session has become a popular go-to for serious ballads, conveying the message that the artist is at their most stripped-down and real.
  • The Cult originally intended to work with Record Producer Steve Lillywhite for their 1985 album Love, but due to a miscommunication with their label they ended up in the studio with Steve Brown. Lillywhite would have been a good fit for their early sound, having worked with guitar-based Post-Punk acts like U2 and Siouxsie and the Banshees — on the other hand Brown was known for working with glossy pop acts like Wham!. The pairing worked unexpectedly well — the album and its lead single "She Sells Sanctuary" broke the band into the mainstream, while Brown would also produce their followup Electric, and working with The Cult led to his producing more guitar based acts.
  • Peter Gabriel: Originally, Gabriel wanted "In Your Eyes" to be the last song on So. However, he found that the song sounded better at the beginning of side two, since the needle had more room to vibrate, improving the sound of the song's bass line. On the 2002 remaster, "In Your Eyes" was moved to the end of the album, as per Gabriel's original intentions.
  • Genesis examples:
    • The band developed many of the keyboard and bass guitar techniques and tones that came to define them in the early 1970s such as Mike Rutherford's use of fuzz bass and bass pedals, and Tony Banks' use of distorted electric piano and hand-over-hand fingering technique (as used in the beginning of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway") in the period between the departure of founding lead guitarist Anthony Phillips and the hiring of his replacement, Steve Hackett, as Banks, Rutherford, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins often rehearsed many of the pieces later featured in Nursery Cryme as a bass/drums/keyboards/vocals quartet without an official lead guitarist to fill the traditional role. Even after Hackett's hiring, Rutherford and Banks continued to use these tones and techniques to fill out much of the sound of the band, while Hackett often opted for a textural, subtle approach that blended in the background (almost like a synthesizer at times), at least apart from instances where he was given space to solo or shine. This may also account for the tight musical camaraderie and confidence that the Banks/Collins/Rutherford trio developed when reduced to a trio.
    • As they played bigger venues and audiences by 1970-72, where the PA systems weren't always the best, there was dead air in between many songs as the band spent long periods of time setting their guitars to alternate tunings, loading sounds into (or fixing) the Mellotron and other instruments, and setting up and disassembling props and set pieces. Gabriel also noted, to his consternation, that there were often four musicians onstage either surrounded by equipment or inadvertently looking down at their instruments or effects pedals (often sitting down and/or in shadow) hardly acknowledging the audience in front of them. Gabriel began filling the spaces by telling deadpan, weird, non-sequitur, often unrelated sci-fi or fantasy stories (or surreal comedy sketches with ex-child actor Phil) to keep the audience involved, which led to using masks, costumes and props to illustrate the complex lyrics. The costumes, masks, props, and stories also helped create an image, dry humor and mystique around the band and gave them a shock factor, which led to much publicity and attention they might not have gotten otherwise.
  • Jhariah's Concept Album A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO FAKING YOUR DEATH, despite forming a coherent story, was not intentionally written as one. In March 2020, Jhariah released To Mend the Sun, which had three songs that would end up on BEGINNER'S GUIDE: "PRESSURE BOMB!!!!", "Whose Eye Is It Anyways???", and "To Take for Granted". In early 2020, he began working on more singles because he felt he lost track of his new album: those ended up being "DEBT COLLECTOR", "Flight of the Crows", and "Needed a Change of Pace". Jhariah said that he didn't realize these singles formed a coherent story until later. So when BEGINNER'S GUIDE came out in July 2021, only two more tracks were needed to bring the story together: the Album Intro Track and "BAD LUCK!".
  • In a non-technological side, The Kinks were, like the Beatles, the Who, etc. a burgeoning British Invasion rock band conquering America and the pop charts. However, the band members' intergroup fighting and squabbles onstage did not sit well with the American Musicians' Union, who in 1965 barred them from appearing on stage in America for five years. Faced with physically being prohibited from witnessing American culture or being able to fully promote their music "across the pond", the band deliberately developed a more Anglocentric image and style, concentrating on England, English subject matter and vocabulary, which would influence musicians from Progressive Rock to Britpop to abandon American influences and Americanization and embrace their own roots and identity.
  • The Kinks' shift to a more Anglocentric approach may have lent to Elvis Presley retaining a very American identity, sound, and influence during his career, as the visa troubles his lifetime manager Colonel Tom Parker went through prevented Elvis from being able to tour or travel outside of America (aside from Elvis' stay in Germany when he joined the Army). The Beatles had to meet him by their being invited to Graceland in 1965.
  • Brazilian musician Tim Maia and his band were rehearsing tracks for a new album. Unfortunately, a nearby construction site was making a lot of noise. Their solution: rewrite the tempos so they'd match the pounding of the construction's machinery.
  • Joni Mitchell contracted polio at age nine, and while recovering from polio took up singing, guitar playing and painting (not to mention smoking) through her childhood partly as physical therapy while trying to recover. Due to a weakened hand, she developed alternate tunings to comfortably play guitar, which in turn helped to characterize her sound.
  • On the day Van Morrison was supposed to have his photo taken for the cover of Moondance, he had developed a large pimple on his forehead — the photographer, therefore, used a collage of closeup shots where Van's forehead was out of frame entirely, ending up with something a little more distinctive than a typical Face on the Cover design.
  • Pavement's Pacific Trim is a very short EP featuring only three out of the usual five members and written and recorded in 10 days. The session was originally booked for Silver Jews, but Silver Jews vocalist Paul Barman was unable to make it to the studio - rather than waste the money, they opted to write a few new Pavement songs in-studio and be able to sell the resulting EP on a forthcoming Australian tour.
  • Pepe Deluxé, for their third album, Spare Time Machine, wrote the song "In the Cave" specifically to be performed on the Great Stalacpipe Organ. At the time, said organ was unavailable because it was under repair, so PD decided to delay the recording of "In the Cave", work the song into their next album, and just release Spare Time Machine as it was. The next album was Queen of the Wave, and "In the Cave" wound up dovetailing perfectly with the story of that album.
  • Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar" features guest vocals by Roy Harper because both Roger Waters (who had blown his voice recording "Shine On You Crazy Diamond") and David Gilmour didn't like their own takes. Since Harper was recording in the same studio while the band were making Wish You Were Here, they invited him to sing on the track. Waters went on to regret the decision in hindsight.
  • Starflyer 59's original, melancholic sound was not actually frontman Jason Martin's first choice for a musical style; he wanted to do faster, punk-influenced music. What made Martin slow everything down was the fact that he couldn't sing fast enough for the music he wanted to play.
  • They Might Be Giants have explained that the simpler, staccato sound of their earlier work was due in part to having to write songs for their Dial-A-Song telephone service, which necessitated not only making vocals clearer and stripping down arrangements to sound good over a tinny-sounding 80s telephone, but also prohibited them from playing any long, sustained notes, as doing so would cause the tape on their answering machine to rewind.
  • Iconic pop producer and songwriter Max Martin credits part of his success to the fact that he isn't a native English speaker, meaning that his production style focuses on big hooks and crescendos rather than letting him get bogged down in the lyric writing process.
  • Keith Urban is apparently having a track record for this regarding lead singles:
    • 2013's "Little Bit of Everything" has two examples. The opening riff is played on a ukulele because Urban heard producer Nathan Chapman playing one and asked if he could include it in the song. They also "stuttered" the ukulele riff at Urban's suggestion to mix things up. Also, the bass line is played on synth bass because the first two session bassists that Urban and Chapman contacted were unavailable.
    • On 2015's "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16", Urban played the bass line himself because he was having a hard time getting the scratch track to sound right on acoustic guitar. His original intent was to have the bass line replaced with a session musician, but it remained in the song because he grew to like how it sounded.
  • While "Weird Al" Yankovic was recording Straight Outta Lynwood, he wanted the lead single to be a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", as he liked the contrast between the Gangsta Rap-inspired title and cover of Straight Outta Lynwood and the soft, romantic ballad of "You're Beautiful". When Atlantic Records refused to let him include the parody, he was forced to write a new one to replace it, and came up with "White And Nerdy", a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin'". Suddenly the gangsta rap aesthetic was a perfect fit — and both the album and the single became Yankovic's most commercially successful up to that point.
  • The Who's Pete Townshend developed his signature guitar-smashing quite by accident one night when he was frustrated with the low ceiling at the venue they were playing at.
  • Much of Funk's emphasis on guitars, bass and drums can be traced to James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine", which centered on its rhythm section (including a young Bootsy Collins). The reason it did was because Brown was concerned that his newly-hired band's horn section was too green, so he limited them to a fairly simply hook riff and let the rest of the band carry the song.
  • The original, pre-fame Byrds recording of "You Showed Me" was uptempo, but when Chip Douglas, the producer of The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands introduced The Turtles to the song in the hopes that they would record it, he played in on an old pump organ with a broken bellow, so he could only play the song at a slower speed. This led the band to record the song at a much slower, more ballad-like tempo than the Byrds had recorded it in.
  • The Electric Organ has a history with this:
    • The first electric organs were created for church use, to fit in smaller venues, but despite following the same principles as a pipe organ or harmonium (except using generated sine waves) it didn't seem to catch on with many churches due to how it sounded. note  On the other hand, some blues and rock musicians liked the way it sounded, and purposefully started using it in their recordings.
    • The Leslie Speaker was invented by a technician working for Hammond who wanted to try and make their electric organ sound more like a pipe organ. It didn't catch on with the churches either, but it gave the Hammond Organ its distinctive sound, and many musicians started using it with guitars and other instruments too.
    • Another reason for the popularity of the electric organ, along with synthesisers and electric pianos, was that they had two major advantages over acoustic pianos. They were lighter and less bulky to transport and they didn't need to be carefully miked up. There was no guarantee that the venue could provide a piano, and even if they did, there's no guarantee you could hear it over the rest of the band. Eventually technology developed that solved these issues: good-quality digital pianos, bespoke piano microphones and trucks that were specifically designed for roadies to shift instruments.
  • Similarly, Electric Guitars came into prominance in a similar way.
    • The electric guitar was originally invented to amplify the sound of the acoustic guitar, which was being used in big band arrangements at the time and were being buried by the sound of other instruments. However, electric guitars had their own distinct sound, and early jazz and country musicians began experimenting with using them as lead instruments. When rock and roll came into prominance, the electric guitar quickly became the default instrument of the genre due to how portable and inexpensive they were, with many early models doubling as acoustic guitars thanks to their hollow bodies.
    • The now-common solid-body guitars like the Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster were designed to minimize guitar feedback, as the hollow-body guitar designs of the era were prone to generating a harsh wailing noise at high volumes due to the vibrations of the hollow bodies. By replacing hollow acoustic-style bodies with solid slabs of wood, the vibrations were minimized, leading to many rock musicians adopting solid body guitars.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Puroresu Love Period of All Japan Pro Wrestling came about due to the fact the highly successful style of booking pioneered by Giant Baba became impractical to them when it was taken up by Pro Wrestling NOAH, who had also taken most of All Japan's roster when Mitsuharu Misawa formed it, along with All Japan's television spot, causing AJPW's focus to turn less to impressing the purest fans who would rather watch NOAH anyway and more towards corporate sponsors. For the record, it worked, but when the earliest opportunity came, which happened to be the corporate wing becoming a pain to deal with coincidentally coinciding with NOAH's decline, Jun Akiyama was happy to take All Japan back to its roots.
  • The sudden death of Brodie Lee in December 2020 was a major reason for the Dark Order's transition from a scary cult to a pack of lovable goofballs. Lee (real name Jon Huber) was one of the most respected and genuinely well-liked performers on All Elite Wrestling's roster, and was widely known as a mentor to many of the younger wrestlers in the Dark Order, which he led onscreen as the sinister "Exalted One". Hence, it felt pretty natural when the company put on a heartfelt memorial show where the Dark Order got to be heroes for one night, and it became immediately obvious to the audience that everyone at AEW was in mourning for Lee (including his kayfabe enemies and rivals). After that, it became near-impossible for audiences to root against the Dark Order—especially after they inducted Lee's two young sons into their ranks as honorary members.
  • The WWE had a botch during 2010's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in which The Undertaker got set on fire during his entrance. Despite his upper body's skin peeling from the burns, he wrestled the match anyway, leading to Michael Cole managing to spin the incident as a rage in the Deadman no one had seen before.
  • In WWE, one of the most infamous botches was John Cena and Batista's mutual elimination at the 2005 Royal Rumble. Batista was intended to win cleanly, but he wound up losing balance, sending both men toppling over the top rope and hitting the ground simultaneously. Because of a recent brand split, the referees for Smackdown declared Cena the winner, while Raw's refs sided with Batista, keeping the fans placated while Vince McMahon stormed down the ramp to restart their portion of the bout.
  • After being told by a promoter that there could only be one women's match a card, Monterrey area businessman Luciano García decided to start a Lucha Libre enterprise with cards featuring nothing but women's matches. Luchadoras were in short supply due to the fact established promoters were actively blocking them from working for his new promotion, leading García to look North of the border for talent and promote several international bouts between competitors from Mexico, USA, and Canada. While Lucha Libre Femenil would eventually kick its foreign dependence through healthy relationships with other area enterprises it won over, local rosters full of new luchadoras who could stand on their own, booking luchadoras from all around Mexico and coverage from TV Azteca, the occasional Canada\USA vs match had become tradition.
  • According to most accounts, Adam Page and The Dark Order unexpectedly lost their dramatic 10-man tag-team match with Kenny Omega and The Elite in July 2021 because Page and his wife were expecting a baby at the time, and Page was planning to go on paternity leave. The match was supposed to determine whether Page would get to challenge his former mentor Omega for the World Championship at All Out that Summer, which was near-universally expected to be the climax to Page and Omega's long-simmering feud—but Page knew that appearing at All Out and becoming World Champion would have forced him to spend too much time away from his wife and his newborn child. This made it all the more gut-wrenching when Page lost the 10-man match, but also made it all the more cathartic when he unexpectedly returned two months later and actually did score a shot at the championship in a 7-man ladder match on AEW Dynamite.
  • The SHIMMER Title belts doubling as Ring of Honor's Women's titles and the joint academy the two promotions ran was the result of a fairly high roster crossover, with at least a half dozen wrestlers, a trainer and commentator between them as well as the fact ROH was selling the products of other promotions anyway to stay afloat since the 2004 RF Video scandal cost them their distributor. Whatever the cons, ROH no longer needed to sell other promotion's products after they were purchased by Sinclair Broadcast Group and SHIMMER was no longer sharing profits on DVD sales, which saw the collaboration between the two decreasing significantly.
  • The Spot Monkey style of Wrestling Society X obscured the fact much of the roster were veterans whose prior work revealed they did, in fact, know their Wrestling Psychology. Between a thirty-minute time slot that was further reduced by MTV's need for a musical guest and working against executives who were more interested in stunts and explosions than wrestling, the wrestlers basically needed to do everything they could as quickly as they could.
  • In 1993, WCW and SMW entered a partnership that was to include an angle where the former would be invaded by the later. However, WCW's executives were so offended by the trash talk used by the Smokey Mountain owner Jim Cornette that they abrogated the deal before the angle could take hold. Around the same time the UWFi invasion of NJPW became one of the most financially successful feuds of all time (at UWFi's expense), which meant WCW was ready to try the invasion angle again in 1996. By then Smokey Mountain Wrestling had closed down though, so rather than find another promotion WCW simply had three men attempt a hostile show takeover instead, resulting in one of the most imitated pro wrestling angles of all time, the nWo.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Many of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation shows (Supercar, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, etc.) made use of characters piloting vehicles as the marionettes were limited in their movement, and showing them walking around everywhere would look too silly.
  • The Swedish Chef is now canonically considered married, because during a guest appearance on America's Got Talent, Steve Whitmire, who was portraying the chef's hands, forgot to take off his wedding ring. Realizing they'd inadvertently set a precedent, they had the chef wear a ring on subsequent TV appearances and in merchandise.

  • The Archers: Robert Snell's actor was also employed for many years as a GP doctor, fitting Archers recordings around his surgery's schedules. When he couldn't make it, his character's wife would instead shout questions into the 'offstage' room he was supposedly sat in, and then complain that her husband couldn't hear her. Either that, or he would be constantly busy with his in-universe amateur dramatics.

  • American football:
    • Some historians believe the rule to stop the clock on an incomplete forward pass in American football came because, in the early days of the sport, games had only one ball and an old man for the official, necessitating the stoppage while the ball was retrieved.
    • For the longest time in the NFL, the goals were on the goal line rather than the end line. This was supposedly done when the championship game was moved to an indoor arena one year and there wasn't enough space to put the goals on the end lines.
    • The famed West Coast offense came about because Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Greg Cook tore his rotator cuff in his rookie year and was unable to play after. Desperate, the team traded for Virgil Carter, a quarterback with limited arm strength but good accuracy, and then-quarterbacks coach Bill Walsh was tasked with designing an offense that could get the most out of him. Thus, Walsh modified the vertical offense he'd learned with the Raiders to emphasize short passes and horizontal routes, and thus the West Coast offense got its start.
  • The baseball rule that the first two foul balls are strikes came about at least in part because the supply of balls was limited and the balls were not as tough as they have become since, so by the end of the game the balls were often battered into irregular shapes, to the delight of hitters and the consternation of pitchers.note 
  • James Naismith, a physical education professor at International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (the YMCA today) was looking for a pair of boxes for the game that he had just recently invented. When he asked a worker at the Y for some boxes, he was told that they didn't have any, but he did have some old peach baskets lying around that could be of some use. The rest is history.
    • A few years later in 1930 Montevideo, YMCA teacher wanted to play football but he only had the YMCA's basketball court. So he invented a way to play Football indoor, adapted the rules for the new space and Futsal would become one the most played sports in South America and then the world.
  • The reason why ice hockey games have three periods of twenty minutes is that the old format (two halves of thirty minutes) caused the ice to become so rutted and snowy from the players' prolonged skating that it negatively impacted puck play in the final minutes of the half. Changing the game to three periods gave the maintenance crew a second chance to clean up the ice and ensure consistent play.

  • The Classical Unities, a concept supposedly created by Aristotle, was nigh-on ubiquitous in theatrical discussion until the 1800s—according to its proponents, Aristotle claimed that all dramatic plays should focus on a singular plot thread, keep the story confined to a single place, and resolve the plot within a day. Its proponents argued that by limiting the action to a small scope, this created a true reflection of reality, without the narrative needing to jump around or distract the viewer—and for centuries, a play that did not follow the Unities was seen as a failure on the part of the playwright. Part of the reason it became a Discredited Trope, and swiftly a Forgotten Trope as well, was that other historians realized that Aristotle was actually talking about this trope; it was never actually a rule so much as a budget limitation that forced many playwrights to keep the action relatively low-key, as opposed to epic poems that didn't suffer those limitations.
  • The German language developed a written standard (againnote ) during the time of Martin Luther, because his bible translation became widely read and, thanks to the printing press, relatively common for families to own. However, until well into the 19th century, most Germans simply spoke their native dialect even if they were familiar with the written form. Traces of this can be seen as late as Faust, which famously has a rhyme that does not work in standard German but works in Goethe's native Hessian. However, theater people understandably wanted productions to sound the same whether they'd be staged in Weimar or Hamburg, Vienna or Königsberg and as they did not want to rely on simple convergence of the dialects of diverse casts (then as now theater-folk often got around quite a bit in search of a job), they came up with a mandated standard, the "Bühnenaussprache". While it was in general oriented on North German conventions for pronouncing the written German language (Northern Germany at the time was still largely bilingual with Low German as the language of everyday life and some areas were even trilingual with Danish or Frisian thrown into the mix), but some choices were made due to acoustics — for example the "r" was to be rolled with the tip of the tongue and the common suffix -ig was to be pronounced with a voiceless palatal fricative to be easier to understand on the "cheap seats" in an era without microphones. Given that this standard of pronunciation is the one radio hosts and newscasters go for when not making a deliberate choice to speak local dialect and that it has changed very little since its inception, room acoustics of early 19th century theaters had quite an impact on the German language.
  • The difficulty that first faced George Burns and Gracie Allen was that in their double act, he was supposed to be the comedian and she was supposed to be the straight woman, but she was getting the laughs. Burns decided to fix the problem by becoming the comic foil and letting her be the comic. Allen thus became the quintessential Cloud Cuckoo Lander and the act became a roaring success, going through Vaudeville, radio, and eventually television. It only ended when Allen retired from show business.
  • Parade: In the original production, "Rumblin' and a Rollin" had not been written, and thus, as Jason Robert Brown describes it, the show didn't have much of a "black voice" - however, ensemble member Angela Lockett gave such strong reactions to the scenes she was in with only her face that the producers wanted to know what her character was thinking about everything. Thus, an additional song was written to open act II so that new characters Angela and Riley can give their thoughts on the proceedings. To continue this influence, later productions then added Minnie, the Franks' black housekeeper, to the story.
  • Hamilton: During "The Reynolds Pamphlet", Thomas Jefferson traditionally hands a copy of said pamphlet to the orchestra conductor. When the show was peformed at the Adrienne Arsht Center the orchestra pit was too far away from the stage to make the joke work. The solution was to have the conductor reveal they already have a copy of the pamphlet which they wave in the air. This version was adopted for other venues where Jefferson can't reach the orchestra.
  • In the 2022 edition of Halloween Horror Nights at Orlando, there was a plan for a house based on Evil Dead, which was unfortunately cancelled. Its replacement, Hellblock Horror, was designed to be relatively quick to develop to make up for lost time. The main impact of this is that the "prison for extradimensional monsters" concept of the house came about so the designers could reuse a bunch of existing props and costumes without needing to worry too much about stylistic consistency.
  • Due to difficulties with getting the microphone to work, the costume designers of The Phantom of the Opera redesigned the mask from the full-face mask described in the book to a mask that covered up only half the actor's face. The resulting Fashionable Asymmetry has become the iconic design for the character, and leaked into just about every piece of media involving the Phantom. (This is also why the play's advertisement materials depict a very different-looking mask design.)

    Theme Parks 
  • One thing that's noticeable about the various B&M versions of Batman: The Ride is just how compact the ride layout is. This is because the original version at Six Flags Great America was replacing Tidal Wave, an Anton Schwarzkopf shuttle loop coaster, and had to be specifically designed to fit into the long and very skinny footprint of Tidal Wave's space in Yankee Harbor.
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is much bigger than its façade appears — so big that it had to be built on the other side of the park's berm. Because of this, they needed to find a way to discreetly move guests underground, below the railroad, without breaking the immersion. The result was the Stretching Room. It's essentially just an elaborate elevator, yet it's one of the ride's most iconic scenes. In Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, where they weren't wanting for space, the room isn't an elevator, but the gag was so integral to the ride that they kept the effect by raising the ceiling instead.
    • Splash Mountain is (somewhat infamously) themed after Song of the South, with Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Bear, and Br'er Fox featured prominently. So why did Disney base one of their most popular and iconic rides on a mostly obscure and unpopular movie that they otherwise try to pretend never existed? Because they needed to repurpose the Funny Animal animatronics from America Sings after that attraction was closed down due to poor attendance. America Sings (a musical attraction created for the US Bicentennial featuring American folk songs) had a whole section featuring anthropomorphic animals dressed like stereotypical Southerners and singing traditional songs from the American South, which — thanks to being designed by veteran Disney animator Marc Davis — happened to resemble the character designs originally seen in Song of the South, making it a snap to recycle the props.
  • The original Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Over Georgia features tunnels and was designed to take advantage of the hilly terrain. This layout would be reused for the clones at Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Great Adventure that opened the following year, but those two don't feature the near misses with the terrain that the Georgia version has because they were built on old parking lot areas.

  • The entire existence of Battlecat in Masters of the Universe happened because Mattel had very little budget left to afford a proper vehicle or mount. However, they did have access to animal molds, including a tiger mold from the Big Jim line. Since Big Jim was about twice the scale of the Masters of the Universe line, this resulted in a horse-sized tiger compared to the other action figures, which the team judged a fairly fitting mount when given a saddle and a new paint job to hide the fact that it was just a tiger.

    Web Animation 
  • Link VS Cloud was the first episode of DEATH BATTLE! to be done in 3D. However, this was less a stylistic choice and more practical, as the majority of Link's available 2D sprites were in a Top-Down View, which would've been unusual for a Death Battle since they are often similar to a 2D fighting game in appearance — meanwhile Cloud, whose debut game was 3D, had very few 2D sprites to begin with, amounting to cameos in other games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories that weren't suited for the show's needs.
  • Overly Sarcastic Productions had its earlier summaries of classic works use footage of film and stage versions of various works to form the visuals. However, when making a video on The Iliad, Red found that there simply didn't exist any particularly good adaptations for her to use for footage, with nearly all existing ones being heavily altered. Consequently, she decided to simply draw one, conveying the events of the epic through cute-looking sketches. This turned out far more popular than the prior method, and Red's artwork became a major part of the channel as a result, with nearly all future videos made by Red (and some by Blue) involving it in some way.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers: In the blooper "Shell Shocked", Bowser loses his shell, which is represented by his body being retextured to replace the shell with his yellow skin. However, as it was impossible to remove the shell's spikes from his model altogether, they were instead retextured into ice cream cones and Hand Waved as Bowser gluing them on to make himself look scarier.
  • Water-Human has one of its characters, a giant beetle, become small in later episodes, which is explained by a Hand Wave. To create his original incarnation, the author used a cheat code that makes all the non-player characters large, so it would be impossible to have the large Large Beetle in one shot with normal-sized characters.
  • Zero Punctuation:
    • Yahtzee declared that older horror games are more frightening than the newer ones, because the older games had to have "fog" due to technical limitations, and the monsters weren't as well fleshed out, leaving the details up to the viewer's imagination. And when it's up to your subconscious, it's always scarier.
      Yahtzee: This was part of Silent Hill from the beginning. Konami wanted to make a full-3D survival horror game, but since they were making it on the PS1 they had to wind back the draw distance to about six inches and make up a story about supernatural fog. Result: instantly iconic horror, and by following the same principle, Silent Hill 2 still looks fantastic despite the PS2's datedness.
    • This was part of a column he wrote about several "rules" game developers should follow, one of which was something like "Thou Shalt Always Embrace One's Limitations", which is this trope in a nutshell.
    • He also thought that Driver: San Francisco was all the better for explaining the body-jumping mechanic and all Acceptable Breaks from Reality as part of Tanner's Adventures in Comaland. When a chase ends with the target escaping out of the gameworld's limit, the game hangs a lampshade on with Tanner having to make excuses for losing him without saying "He went past the edge of my dreamworld".
    • More directly, the show Zero Punctuation itself came about because of this trope. Yahtzee wanted to do some video-style Lets Plays, but lacked video capture equipment and software and wanted to do it on the cheap. So he decided to record his voice and draw a few doodles in MS Paint and compose it together into a video. After two videos someone from The Escapist saw his stuff, found it amusing, and offered him a deal. The rest is history.
  • Red vs. Blue has plenty of this thanks to the limitations of Halo machinima:
    • Caboose gained a Mark V helmet because his blue armor looked too similar to Church's cobalt armor in Halo 3 and he kept it ever since because it fit with his personality.
    • Grif lost the Grifshot and Caboose his aforementioned Mark V helmet in Season 11 because neither was in Halo 4. When Bungie re-added the Mark V helmet to the game, they added a subplot where Washington gifts him the helmet as a peace offering, and the Grifshot eventually reappeared in fully CGI sequences later on in the story arc (though Grif loses it again when the story shifts to Halo 5: Guardians's engine).

  • The webcomic Bob and George is made of this trope.
    • Originally the comic was supposed to be a hand-drawn comic about teenage superheroes. The Mega Man sprite comics were originally just filler material. However, the author, Dave Anez, was a self-admitted lousy artist and the hand-drawn comic wouldn't pan out. After trying and failing multiple times he gave up. By then the "filler" sprite comic had become so popular that it became the main comic and a storyline was written to bring the title characters into the plot. Subsequent storylines would frequently change direction in order to fill in plot holes.
    • Bob and George were introduced to the sprite strip due to an accident; after a scene where the Author chases Mega Man, every other cast member gathers in the same room. Since the Author copypasted the sprites from a set of previous strips, he put in the Author twice. So he introduced a pair of impostors running around, and the rest is history.
    • Another prominent example is the existence of the Helmeted Author. Originally it was meant to be the normal Author character who was now wearing a helmet because it was impossible to render a helmetless sprite in certain positions. However, Dave later accidentally put both the normal and Helmeted Author sprites in one holiday comic. As a result, the Helmeted Author went on to become not only a separate character but a major recurring villain.
    • During the third game parody, the Author planned for George to inadvertently give Dr. Wily the idea for Doc Robot. However, a month earlier, Dr. Wily already mentioned that he built one. The Author soon realized his mistake, and closed the plot hole by giving Dr. Wily several robotic clones; the one who said he built Doc Robot was the real one, and George gave the clone the idea for Doc Robot. Several years later, Dr. Wily's robot doubles comes in handy after Bob claims to have killed Dr. Wily; Bob killed one of the doubles instead.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the reason for Azure City's World of Technicolor Hair came from the author realizing black hair would cause certain body parts (such as hands or mouths, which are also colored black) to disappear when overlapping, which is why most of the citizens have funny hair colors.

    Web Original 
  • The author of the Chaos Timeline originally had planned to call the internet of this world "Weltnetz" but found out that German neo-Nazis use this term already for the existing internet, so he changed it to "Weltsystem".
  • From The Furious D Show, a blog about pop culture and the business behind it, Hollywood Babble On & On #528: The Curse of the Dark Castle.
    I think it was Stephen King who said that horror has to be cheap because big budgets require big explanations. If a company is spending tens of millions of dollars on special effects, a filmmaker is compelled to show the entire monster in loving detail. That kills the mystery, and with it, the horror. It's actually better to cheap out, because then the filmmakers have to use darkness, and mystery to hide the fact that they're made of rubber and string, hence escalating the potential for horror.

    Web Videos 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the Atari 5200 is just him struggling to hook the thing up and get it to work, and constantly running into problems like faulty hookups, faulty controllers, lugging the heavy 5200 around the room, and even being scammed by a fake replacement controller he bought online. He never actually plays a game, because these were all real issues that he had trying to film the video for real and ultimately made that the focus of the episode since it already effectively illustrated the issues that made the console so unpopular (namely, its terrible form factor, frail controllers, and being the followup to a much more approachable machine).
  • Board James: Behind the scenes, James Rolfe once mentioned not being able to find the original commercial for Tornado Rex online, and eventually finding its song inferior to the one he and his buddies thought up instead when he did find it.
  • Played for Laughs in JonTron's BUYING DUMB THINGS ONLINE video when he's brought a package by Amazon that is a shamelessly bad special effect and obviously being held up by strings with drone sound effects. Jon wastes no time poking fun at how they actually did try to use the drone for real to disastrous results:
    Jon: Oh hey there Mr. Postman Drone! The special effect that absolutely nothing went wrong with!
    (Cut to chaotic footage of the drone actually carrying the box, crashing and smashing apart over the caption (EXPENSIVE MISTAKE SOUNDS) while various people yell "No!")
    Jon: Don't do anything crazy like almost kill my crew again!
    (Cut to more footage of the actual drone crashing)
  • A music editor decided to make the turrets from Portal sing. Some parts of the song didn't work out well, so the editor made a story about this crazy person who blew up Aperture Science Enrichment Center before he could finish. Watch it here!
  • RedLetterMedia: Discussed. They call it "shooting the rodeo". If you're a No Budget filmmaker, just go to whatever local event your small town is holding and film there for some instant production value.
  • The Running Gag of Tallales missing his hat in every episode past the third of World's Greatest Adventures was due to, well, losing the prop.
  • Marble Hornets' take on the Slender Man Mythos was heavily constrained by the filmmakers' shoestring budget, which influenced many of their creative decisions. Most notably, "The Operator" doesn't have Slender Man's iconic tendrils, instead simply causing everyone in his presence to become deathly ill—which is a lot easier to realize on the cheap. His ability to cause electronic devices to malfunction in his presence also gave the filmmakers a convenient excuse to keep him out of sight at nearly all times (since he causes camera distortion whenever anyone tries to catch him on film), which also helped them conceal their limited effects budget.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars:
    • The series was an entirely CGI program, which made it quite expensive. As a result, it had a smaller cast than other Transformers shows, leading to a stronger focus on the characterization of the existing characters. It also ended up taking place on prehistoric Earth, which likely saved a mountain of cash on rendering actual humans and man-made locales.
    • Early on, the show's story editors found Waspinator's character problematic because his buzzing, drawn-out speaking pattern wasted precious screentime. Their solution was to kill him in every episode (so that he couldn't talk). The running gag became very popular with both the fans and writers, to the point of entirely defining Waspinator's character and sparing him from being permanently killed off at Hasbro's insistence.
    • While writing the second season, the writers realized they'd have to kill off a lot of characters if they wanted to make room for new ones (due to the above CGI issue). This resulted in four very abrupt demises (Tigatron, Airazor, Scorponok, Terrorsaur) to make way for the Fuzors and Rampage. What was more, this made the writers aware that an order could come down at any moment to introduce more characters. Because of this, they resolved to kill off a character through an actual meaningful arc and buildup (Dinobot), giving the show one of its most famous moments.
    • The third season opens with the crashed Axalon being destroyed and falling into the sea, forcing the main characters to build a new base in the newly-unearthed Ark and spend much of the following season trying to salvage as much as possible from the Axalon. Why did this happen? Because Optimus Primal just got a new body... a very, very large new body. Now that he was about twice his original height, he simply couldn't fit inside the Axalon anymore, necessitating a relocation to a larger base.
  • The first season of Beast Machines had only enough budget for five Maximals characters and four Vehicons, which seriously threatened the villain's intimidation factor by having them outnumbered. Writer Robert Skir's solution was to introduce the Vehicon Drones, mass-produced clones who forced the heroes to lay low and be on the run.
  • The creative staff of Bob's Burgers initially planned on the eldest of the three Belcher children being a boy, but decided to change the character to a girl (possibly for greater gender diversity) at some point in pre-production. By that point, however, actor Dan Mintz had already been cast in the role, and they didn't want to recast it—resulting in Tina Belcher being a teenage girl with the voice of an adult man. Tina's distinctive deep and monotone voice (which fit perfectly with her social awkwardness) became one of her defining traits, and went a long way toward making her the show's Breakout Character.
  • After Goofy's voice actor Pinto Colvig left the Disney studio in the late 1930s, the film-makers needed to come up with a quick solution to hide the character's voicelessness before finding a replacement. They did this by creating an entire series around a world of mute Goofy look-alikes performing everyday tasks, while a narrator (voiced by John McLeish) explained what the characters were doing to the audience. The How to... shorts went on to become the most famous of all the Goofy series and continued even after Colvig returned to voice the character in the mid-1940s.
  • Gravity Falls was a very high-concept show since its inception, but because of its creator's inexperience with running a TV series and his doubts over its longevity, he chose to keep the first season focused specifically between Mabel and Dipper's relationship while side characters and the over-arcing plot were kept downplayed. While this did benefit the show in the long run, it still led to criticism towards many of the side characters (specifically Soos and Wendy) who many viewers felt were uninteresting or lacked proper development. note 
  • Gumby's distinctively large feet came about because they made him easier to stay upright, a real boon in the tedious medium of Stop Motion Animation.
  • The works of Jay Ward (Crusader Rabbit, Dudley Do-Right, Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, etc.) got much of their distinctive style of humor from budgetary constraints: due to their Limited Animation, they could only include so much slapstick and visual humor, often forcing them to rely much more heavily on verbal humor than many other cartoons of their era. This proved to be a strong influence on the trademark rapid-fire, pun-filled comedic dialogue that turned so many Jay Ward shows into beloved classics.
  • Mike Judge originally envisioned King of the Hill as a spinoff of his breakout hit Beavis and Butt-Head centered on Beavis and Butthead's crotchety neighbor Tom Anderson. But when he had to scrap this idea due to legal issues (the show was picked up by the Fox network, which didn't own the rights to Beavis and Butthead), he was obliged to retool Tom Anderson into Hank Hill, and moved the show's setting from New Mexico to Texas. For a while, though, he still held out hope that he'd be able to set the two shows in the same universe, and eventually wanted to reveal that Hank was actually Tom's son. But when this proved to be unfeasible for exactly the same reason, he was forced to create Hank's father as a completely original character—resulting in the introduction of Cotton Hill, widely considered to be one of the show's most interesting and memorable characters.
  • In The Legend of Korra, the budget for the fourth book was cut by an amount equal to a fully animated episode. To fill the need for the thirteenth episode, the main developing team was forced to choose between firing most of the show's crew weeks earlier than planned or creating a Clip Show. They obviously chose the Clip Show over firing their friends and tried to emulate the feeling of the prior show's "The Ember Island Players".
  • My Little Pony:
  • Popeye: According to Animation historian Thad Komorowski King Features Syndicate charged Paramount Pictures a fee for the use of each individual Thimble Theater character. This explains why the majority of Popeye cartoons from both Fleischer and Famous Studios mainly only utilized Popeye, Olive and Bluto. Oftentimes Bluto look-alikes were used for antagonists to avoid paying a fee to use the actual Bluto character, i.e. Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor. It also explains why Wimpy, Swee'Pea and Poopdeck Pappy were largely phased out when Famous Studios was formed.
  • ReBoot was the first ever 3D animated series. Mainframe knew the technical limitations it was under and instead of trying to hide the fact that the software was still rather primitive, the company set the series within a computer, explaining why everything was so pristine and polygonal. This also allowed for several computer-based jokes to get through, as well as reusing character models and assets (even from other shows).
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series is unique among Spider-Man adaptations for introducing the villain the Hobgoblin before the Green Goblin. This decision was made by the first showrunner, who was fired before the show started airing. His replacement, John Semper, hated this decision, but was forced to go along with it because an expensive tie-in toy line featuring the Hobgoblin was already in production. An unintentional effect of this is that Semper and the other writers were initially unsure if they'd ever be able to depict Norman Osborn as Spider-Man's nemesis, so they wrote him considerably more well-rounded and sympathetic than past versions. And Osborn's transformation into the Green Goblin in season 3 (after Semper finally got the okay to use the character) is all the more tragic and shocking as a result.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • During Season 3 and 4, Freddie Prinze Jr. was undergoing neck surgery, resulting in Kanan having less screentime to allow him to recover.
    • Jacen's eye-color was supposed to be the same as Kanan's, but the animators mistakenly gave him Dume's instead. In a poetic way, it still works given that Dume is a part of Kanan through Force shenanigans.
  • Since the famous 1987 animated adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was aimed at a considerably younger audience than the original underground comic books, many elements of the story had to be reworked to be more age-appropriate. One of the biggest examples was Splinter's backstory: in the comics, he was originally Hamato Yoshi's pet rat who witnessed Yoshi's murder at the hands of Oroku Saki, and he became a master of ninjutsu by mimicking Yoshi's movements as he watched him from his cage; but since the cartoon couldn't depict death, the showrunners rewrote Splinter's origin so that he actually was Hamato Yoshi. Instead of killing Yoshi, Oroku Saki gets him exiled from Japan by framing him for a plot to murder his sensei, forcing him to live in the sewers of New York, where he eventually gets mutated by mutagenic ooze along with the Turtles. note  This had the unintentional side-effect of making Splinter's enmity with the Shredder much more personal, since the two of them were former friends with a years-long blood feud. While reverted for the '03 cartoon, this idea was well-received enough that it was later reused in numerous other versions—including the IDW comic book (where Splinter and the Turtles are the reincarnations of Yoshi and his four sons) and the 2012 series (where the Turtles outright take the "Hamato" family name).
  • VeggieTales came into being because the creators were limited to armless, legless, hairless characters thanks to rudimentary CGI. Phil Vischer's first choice was an anthropomorphic candy bar, but his wife suggested parents would appreciate a hero who promoted healthier eating habits; hence the talking fruits and vegetables.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Writing Around Limitations


Lack of Clarity

MatPat brings up that one of the secrets to the Analog Horror genre's success is establishing something to be afraid of but never showing the audience what exactly it is, allowing them to fill in the blanks. He cites the Cthulhu Mythos and Jaws as examples, especially the latter given how it was unintentional.

How well does it match the trope?

4.47 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / NothingIsScarier

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