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"... and yet I also become annoyed whenever the great Homer nods off."
Horace, "Ars Poetica"

Certain facts or events are presented in a series that contradict earlier episodes. May be done intentionally, or incidentally, possibly because Writers Cannot Do Math. Can lead to a Continuity Snarl or Continuity Drift.

A common feature of Long-Runners. Compare Beyond the Impossible, which is about characters breaking the story's internal logic by doing what is physically impossible.

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    Advertising 
  • One of the Somersby apple cider commercials tells the story of how the music was only listened to until lord Somersby accidentally invented dancing. Then in a later commercial featuring young lord Somersby, we can clearly see some people dancing in the background, even thought it is supposed to canonically take place earlier. Given the nature of these commercials, which run on deliberate Anachronism Stew for the sake of Rule of Funny, it can be justified though.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who: In the Fourth Doctor Adventures story "Destination: Nerva", the Fourth Doctor rambles about a "Butler named Butler", a character from an audio drama recorded before "Destination: Nerva" but coming after it in the Doctor's timeline. The line was a Tom Baker adlib, and he didn't really care about such things. Fan Wank of God is that the Negative Space Wedgie was allowing the Doctor to precognate future events.

    Comic Books 

The DCU:

  • Ed Brubaker's run on Catwoman reintroduced Holly Robinson, Selina's room-mate and sex-work protegee from Batman: Year One and Her Sister's Keeper, as her new sidekick. Unfortunately, Holly had previously been killed off, after being given completely different Character Development as a mob wife, in a story from the Action Comics Weekly anthology series. Rather than make any attempt at Retcon, Brubaker simply acknowledged the error in a short Leaning on the Fourth Wall comedy piece included in the Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins one-shot. He admitted both in the piece and in interviews that he simply hadn't known about Holly's death, given the relative obscurity of the comic where it happened. The intervening Zero Hour Cosmic Retcon provides an easy in-universe explanation for fans who really want one.
  • Convergence: There are a number of these scattered throughout the tie-in issues, mostly fairly minor, but they do stand out to those familiar with the time period in question.
    • Captain Marvel is referred to as "Shazam" several times, despite the fact that his name was not changed to Shazam until the New 52.
    • Both pre-Crisis Barry Allen and Jay Garrick refer to the Speed Force, something neither of them should have any knowledge of since the concept wasn't created until the post-Crisis Wally West Flash series. Barry's opponent, Tangent Comics Superman, mentions this.
    • 90s hook-handed Aquaman is pining for Mera, but the two of them were separated and not on good terms at all during that time period.
    • Kyle Rayner's ring talks to him and welcomes him back to the Green Lantern Corps, but the Corps did not exist when he first became a GL, and it rarely spoke to him, if ever. He shouldn't know anything about Qward either, having not encountered the Weaponers that early in his career.
    • Kyle views Hal and Parallax as two separate entities. This is consistent with the Geoff Johns retcon that made Parallax a fear entity that possessed Hal, but before the retcon, Hal was Parallax. Note that the fear entity never appears or is referenced, and Hal's sanity while depowered is consistent with the post-Zero Hour zero issue of Green Lantern, so this may not be a continuity error so much as an attempt to remain mostly consistent with the past while keeping the retcon in mind.
    • The summary of the events of Emerald Twilight is wrong. Hal didn't kill all the other Green Lanterns. He defeated them and took their rings, but he left them enough power to survive. And indeed, most of them turn up later on during Geoff John's run and are collectively known as the Lost Lanterns. Similarly, Hal didn't kill the Guardians either. They pooled their power and put everything they had into Ganthet, who created a ring for Kyle. Hal absorbed all the power of the central power battery into himself.
    • In "Batman and the Outsiders", Commissioner Gordon has red hair. He should have white hair and a white moustache in any pre-Flashpoint appearance, with the exception of stories like Year One that are set in the past.
    • Supergirl is wearing the wrong costume for her death scenes from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Also, her father Zor-El didn't work on the Phantom Zone projector.
    • Matrix is called Kara by Lex.
    • Superwoman of Earth-3 is referred to as Lois Lane by several of her fellow Crime Syndicate members. Pre-Crisis Earth-3 Lois Lane was a separate character from Superwoman.
    • Pre-Crisis Captain Atom is referred to as Nathaniel Adam — the name of the Post Crisis Captain Atom — rather than Allen Adam.
    • Parallax focuses his power through a ring when he kills Deimos. Parallax has internalized the power of the Main Power Battery and doesn't use a ring. The tie-in issues depict this correctly, it's just the main series that gets it wrong.
    • The Legion Of Superheroes that battles Earth-4's Charlton heroes seems to be some weird mix of the post-Zero Hour Legion and the pre-Zero Hour temporal duplicates of the original Legion that wore very similar costumes (Batch SW6, who starred in Legionnaires). It includes the characters from Legionnaires who weren't duplicates of existing characters like Computo and Catspaw, neither of whom appeared in the reboot, but it also includes Timber Wolf and Princess Projectra, neither of whom were in Legionnaires (their SW6 selves were killed during the Dominator war) and both of whom look like their reboot selves (particularly obvious in Jeckie's case, since it means she's a giant snake). Characters who were dead/radically altered by the end of the reboot aren't, and everyone with different costumes in the two versions is wearing the SW6 version. Except Element Lad, who's wearing his pre-Zero Hour adult self's costume.
    • The status quo of the West family is that of the final issues of Wally's own series. This changed dramatically in Flash: Rebirth. The idea that pre-Flashpoint Gotham was taken before Barry's return (i.e. three years before Flashpoint) doesn't jibe with any of the other stories.
    • The beginning of Issue 6 is baffling when it comes to the continuity of the main DCU. You have the Justice League talking to the Justice League United (which formed after Forever Evil). Okay. Telos, the planet, is being transported into the universe, which has drawn attention of several parties. You have the Oracle being from the Superman books, Nix Uotan from The Multiversity, and Darkseid taking notice. That's all fine. But you have Jediah Caul and K'rot from the short-lived Threshold booknote , the Red Lanternsnote , and the freaking Guardians of the Universenote . And Blue Beetle is there too, still stuck in space apparently. It also might have a continuity hiccup with itself, as the Barry Allen that Earth 2 Jay Garrick meets implies he was grabbed after meeting Psycho-Pirate from Crisis On Infinite Earths, which flies in the face of the Barry Allen from his own tie-in, who was taken when he first left the future to say hi to his friends, before he was set on his death course, and was stuck under a dome for a year.
  • The Legion Of Superheroes Final Crisis tie-in Legion of Three Worlds mostly does a good job in keeping track of the Reboot, Threeboot, and Retroboot Legions. However, the flashback to their Forgotten First Meeting is meant to show the Legions as they were in their respective early days, and while it gets most of them right, it shows Reboot Brainiac 5 looking the same as he does in the "present"; short hair, Brainiac-logo forehead disks, and a costume with black sides and a purple front. In the early post-Zero Hour years he had shoulder lenghth hair, no disks, and his costume colours were reversed. And the scene also shows Kid Quantum I and Leviathan, who both died before Brainy got his cosmic makeover in LSH #104.
  • The entire existence of Wonder Girl resulted from such an error. Teen Titans originated as a team-up of the major DC heroes' sidekicks. But it was completely forgotten by the writers that Wonder Girl wasn't Wonder Woman's sidekick, she was Wonder Woman herself as a teenager. When somebody remembered this fact, the retcon to explain it gave the Titans' version of Wonder Girl her own identity as Donna Troy and (eventually) possibly the most convoluted history of any fictional character, ever.''
  • In Brian Michael Bendis' Superman, Daily Planet reporter Robinson Goode used to work for the Star City Sentinel. Problem - in the post-Flashpoint DCU, there is no Star City; it was briefly used as a new name for Seattle in the Green Arrow (Rebirth) storyline "Rise of Star City", but then it reverted back to being Seattle.
  • In the Tales From The Dark Multiverse version of Blackest Night, it's stated that the reason things ended in the original story like they did is because Sinestro shared the White Lantern power — except that's not what happened. What happened in the original story was Nekron ripped it from him and it was Hal who took it and shared it. Likewise, it treats the Black Lantern infection like a typical zombie plague and the members of the Black Lantern Corps as the actual person reanimated when in reality one usually becomes a Black Lantern with an existing member ripping out that person's heart and they're actually a soulless corpse posing as the original, not that person themself reanimated.

Marvel Universe:

  • In an issue of Alpha Flight, speedster Northstar is suffering from a disease since Pestilence, that storyarc's bad guy, kissed him. Problem is, said kiss won't happen until the following issue. (Northstar's illness was originally intended to be AIDS, because, you know all gays have AIDS, and you can get it from a kiss on the forehead).
  • In Peter David's Before the Fantastic Four: Reed Richards, the Egyptian Sphinx is briefly possessed and moves around like a living creature. This ignores previous depictions of the Sphinx as the disguised time ship of Kang, who was disguised as Rama-Tut. In an interview, Peter David said he was aware of the previous stories, but chose to focus on his own depiction for the sake of this story.
  • The original Contest of Champions had its plot resolved by the writer forgetting what hero was on what team! The event had 12 heroes seeking four pieces of an item and the team with the most won. It was down to The Grandmaster's team of Sasquatch, Captain America and Blitzkrieg and The Unknown/Death's team of Storm, Shamrock and Collective Man. It's down to Captain America and Shamrock as they find the piece needed. Cap makes the lunge, but Shamrock's luck powers allow her to snatch it for the win for the Grandmaster... but, wasn't it said that Shamrock was part of The Unknown's team? Yes, the writer and editorial didn't spot this gaff and allowed it to be completed as is. If not, it would have been a tie.
  • Avengers Disassembled:
    • Doctor Strange states near the climax that "there is no such thing as chaos magic." The good doctor has used chaos magic before. Using the terms from the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG, his Arch-Enemy has been a chaos magic master for going on forty years now. Kind of impressive for magic which doesn't exist, right? Then when Scarlet Witch returned to the team during Uncanny Avengers, her abilities were explicitly described as "Chaos Magic" once again.
    • For that matter, the story ignores that the Scarlet Witch already regained her memories of her children, whereas the story treats it as a recent development as an excuse for her to go crazy.
  • When the heroes who were presumed killed by Onslaught returned at the end of Heroes Reborn, She-Hulk and The Inhumans were among those who made the jump back to the normal Marvel Universe—despite She-Hulk not fighting Onslaught and Crystal being the only one of the Inhumans who did.
  • Stan Lee wasn't good at remembering names. In some early issues of Incredible Hulk that he wrote, the protagonist Bruce Banner was suddenly called "Bob Banner". Lee handwaved the error by revealing that his full name is Robert Bruce Banner.
    • This one is better remembered than it should be because subsequent Marvel writers, particularly in the editorial Dork Age of the 70s, liked to cite it as a "nobody's perfect" precedent when fan letters called them out on their own heinous continuity errors. Marv Wolfman was probably the worst about this; he pre-emptively invoked it in an editor's note attached to a Dracula comic that he knew was going to tie the timeline of The Tomb of Dracula into a Gordian Knot.
  • Marvel's Legion of Monsters vol. 2 by Dennis Hopeless and Juan Doe completely depends on continuity errors for its story to work:
    • The plot hinges on the fact that Morbius was supposedly never bitten before; being bitten by a monster in Monster Metropolis started the spread of the virus that lay dormant in his blood. But he was in fact bitten before, by the vampire Hannibal King, no less.
    • In the flashbacks that take place in 1973 Morbius is shown surprised by the existence of pacifist vampires, but by that time he didn't even believe vampires or the supernatural existed at all, thinking they were fictional. The same goes for Dracula, who the flashbacks show he met.
    • The 1973 flashbacks make it seem Morbius had been a vampire for several years by that point and had been trying to cure himself for a long time, even though he was only introduced a year and a half before (in October 1971). The only way this can be explained is if Morbius became a vampire somewhere in the '60s, but this only further enhances the problem (see the Legion of Monsters entry on the Comic-Book Time page for more explanation on this).
    • Morbius is wrongfully described as "an MD with expertise in supernatural medicine". In a 1986 comic—which takes place later in the continuity—he explicitly says the supernatural remains outside his area of expertise.
  • The Marvel 1602 "Fantastick Four" sequel miniseries has Shakespeare get inspired by a lady when she yells "And damned be he who first cries 'hold, enow!'", causing him to start looking for a pen, and culminating in her forming a relationship with Shakespeare and writing his plays for him. All well and good as history goes in these comics, given that in the continuity in question continental North America is overrun by dinosaurs, but it does have one minor problem. The line in question had already been written into Macbeth in-universe. In fact, it was one of the first lines spoken in the series.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker's middle name has been repeatedly stated as "Benjamin", after his uncle. However, one comic short story co-written by Stan Lee himself has Mary Jane call him "Peter Q. Parker". Peter was also Peter Palmer in at least one early comic.
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four
    • The very first story arc established Reed and Sue as 21 years old when they first became superheroes. Later issues would inexplicably claim they were no older than 18 at the present.
    • The Maker/Reed Richards shows to Falcon how he keeps his intellect always a few steps ahead of The Children by elongating his brain. That shouldn't be possible or even necessary. To elaborate: in the first run of the series, Sue ran some tests on Reed and found out that his organism was completely mutated; he became a worm-like being with just a core, no organs other than that. And later, Sue's mother remarked that Reed was getting smarter by the minute due his mutation. So in the span of a thousand years Reed would be evolving his genius naturally, and there would be no brain for him to elongate. Perhaps he still retains at least a physical brain of some sort and the helmet makes the process of becoming getting smarter more efficient and guided rather than random?
  • The Ultimates: In the first volume, Thor mentions fighting Loki. However, Volume 2 and Ultimate Comics: Thor show that Loki had long been imprisoned in the Room with No Doors and only just escaped in Ultimates 2. This implies that Thor was joking with Nick Fury.
  • Uncanny X-Force is running right into this.
    • The opening page describes Psylocke at age 16, living alone, broke, modeling and nearly going insane when her powers activate. Problem is, Betsy comes from a privileged upbringing, she was an adult charter pilot when her powers began to develop, she wasn't traumatized by them, and oh yeah, she wasn't Asian.
      • This may have been an intentional Retcon to try to do a Canon Discontinuity on the awkwardness of Psylocke being one of Marvel's most prominent ethnically Japanese characters when she was originally white and changed ethnicity due to a body swap.
    • Later in the issue, Storm asks Psylocke if she thinks Bishop is capable of killing a little girl. Literally the last time the X-Men saw him, Bishop had murdered a team of Sentinel pilots, thrown the Sentinels at a group of mutant students, and put a bullet in Professor Xavier's head, all to murder an infant girl. And when that didn't work he seeded the planet with nuclear weapons that are still set to cause an apocalypse in about fifty years' time. However, Psylocke reminds her immediately that he tried to do it before.
  • Wolverine: The Sabretooth that died in Wolverine #55 was a clone, and the real Sabretooth was in hiding. So what was the deal with Wolverine Goes to Hell, where Wolverine beheads Sabretooth's soul and leaves it unable to return to the living?
    • Clones of Sabretooth tend to have their Healing Factor go haywire, hence Mr Sinister not cloning Sabretooth along with the rest of the Marauders. Romulus creates several clones of Sabretooth without mentioning this cloning problem, and we don't know how long they can stay alive.
  • X-Men
    • In X-Men #21, Kwannon, or Revanche, returns in Psylocke's original body, claiming to be the true Elizabeth Braddock, however, Beast and Psylocke refer to her as Revanche before she's introduced herself. Could be handwaved as psychic prescience, but there's no explanation presented in the story.
    • In Uncanny X-Men #178, X-Men #93, and Rogue vol 3, flashbacks show Rogue leaving her family and living with Mystique. While living together, Rogue and Mystique make physical contact, implying her powers had not yet manifested. X-Men Unlimited #4 shows Rogue leaving her family because of her powers activating, sending a boy into a coma, which doesn't explain why she can physically contact Mystique later. In addition, this issue shows the Mississippi River having waterfalls, which are not shown to exist in any other story.
    • Onslaught reveals the X-traitor message that motivated Bishop to travel to the past was created from Professor Xavier becoming Onslaught, however, the wording of the message is different from the original story in order to make the reveal more plausible.
    • The Twelve revisits the The Twelve storyline introduced in X-Factor, but the list of twelve mutants differs from the original story. Possibly handwaved as the Master Mold malfunctioning.
  • X-Men and Excalibur claim Mojo and Rachel Summers are unique beings in the multiverse with no alternate counterparts, though there are stories with alternate versions of Mojo and Rachel Summers.

Other:

  • In the Asterix comics, Obelix's birthday is celebrated in Obelix and Co., just Obelix's. But in Asterix and the Actress, it is revealed that Asterix and Obelix were born on the same day and they celebrate their birthdays together.
  • In one issue of Bone, Rocque Ja cuts off Kingdok's tongue, and it's explicitly stated he can't speak with his tongue missing. Then, in a later issue, Kingdok is able to speak without any explanation given. It's later heavily implied that the Hooded One was giving Kingdok the ability to speak without a tongue, as her brief return to death made his speech near incomprehensible.
  • Fables. This is done as a plot point. It used to be 'John of All Fables' but the 'author' made a typo so the universe created the Loveable Rogue Jack of All Fables. Jack meets John later on. Chaos ensues, which it usually does around Jack.
  • In issue #2 of Pocket God, the pygmies bury Klik when they think he's permanently dead; marking his burial site with a gravestone. However, in issue 14, everyone but Klik is perplexed when they come across some graves; not knowing about burials because they are immortal and never had to bury one of their own.
  • Rivers of London: In volume 4, Detective Stories, minor character PC Purdy from the novel Moon Over Soho is given the first name "John". Unfortunately, in the book his first name was Philip.
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind: One scene has a New Resistance member suggesting Malcolm Reynolds is hiding out on his homeworld, Shadow, with Bea retorting that Mal is too smart to hide at his house. Other material, including the RPG, stated that Shadow was glassed by the Alliance during the Unification War.
  • In The Smurfs, the story The Finance Smurf introduces the money system and the Smurfs are revealed as not knowing what money is at all. This contradicts earlier stories, such as The Egg and the Smurfs where a Smurf makes a wish to become "rich" — and ends with jewels and money as a result — and in Smurf Stories where a Smurf creates a machine that can turn hazelnuts into gold coins and the Smurf tells Papa Smurf he'll use the coins to buy more hazelnuts.
  • The first issue of Comico's 1980's Comic-Book Adaptation of Star Blazers, set after the events of the second season of the TV series, shows Sparks at his post in Engineering. Sparks died at the end of the first season, and his death was an important plot point.
  • In a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic — early in the "City at War" arc — the Foot Soldiers are shown knowing the location of the Turtles' lair since they had apparently "raided it before". This event happened in the first theatrical movie — never in the Mirage comics.
  • Transmetropolitan's resolution famously revolves around a picture taken by a minor character. Unfortunately, said minor character is given the camera long after the event she is supposed to have taken a picture of.
  • Matt Olsen of the W.I.T.C.H. comic series is one of the worst examples of this. When he first appears, he's a student with a thing for guitars, has a grandfather who owns a pet store and is utterly shocked when his girlfriend, Will Vandom, reveals her secret identity as a Guardian. However, come the second chapter of the New Power storyline and it's revealed that he's actually from Kandrakar, knows magic and already KNEW Will and her friends were Guardians. And there's been nothing to try to fix the previously established backgrounds.
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    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts
    • A comic strip from 1959 has Snoopy say that he doesn't have any siblings, yet they appear later in the strip's run (and were mentioned in this 1970 strip). To make matters worse, when he does first meet his siblings in the strip he claims they all speak different languages, which is also later shown to be false. He also started calling Charlie Brown the "round-headed kid" around the late 1960's, even though he called him by his name earlier, although that could be more of Characterization Marches On.
    • Even stranger, the December 5, 1960 comic has Snoopy denying being a beagle.
    • Even though Violet's birthday is apparently June 17th, according to the June 17, 1962 strip, a couple of the 1950's strips hinted her birthday is January 28th: In the February 22, 1951 strip, she said her birthday was last month, and in the January 29, 1955 strip, Charlie Brown said her birthday was yesterday.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin's phone number in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series is first shown to be 555-7186. Five episodes later, it's 555-6846.
  • The Palaververse: The fics are supposed to be able to happen in canon, so "The White Horse" has this, because Sombra should not be around after Luna's banishment.
  • The author's notes in Spirit Of Redemption reveal several Retcons made to previous chapters, usually in regard to character's ages.
  • A wand for Steven: In the first chapter, it is stated that Steven and four gems (Pearl, Amethyst, Ruby and Sapphire) were found by the veil. Later on, Peridot wakes up during the summer before Year 3, making it five gems instead.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: In episode 21, the "Krillin Owned" meter hits 13 when Krillin is unable to look away in time from Burter and Jeice's "Seizure Procedure" technique. It hits 13 again two episodes later, when Krillin is slapped by Captain Ginyu-in-Goku.

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of the first Aladdin film, the Genie loses his cuffs as a result of him being freed by the title character using his third wish. However, in the sequel, he for some reason started to wear cuffs again. The TV series finally lampshaded this in one episode by having Genie say, "The only thing I'm a slave to is fashion!", implying that he wears his cuffs because they look good on him.
  • At the end of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Kida actually gains more tattoos on her face, which could be explained as a sign of her becoming queen; but in the sequel, all of her tattoos save her first one are inexplicably gone.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, in the "Human Again" scene, it’s established the Beast can barely read. In the film’s Interquel Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, he can read just fine. Justified, however, as said scene was released in a special edition of the film which came out in 2002; five years before Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas came out.
  • In Disney's Bambi, Bambi's mother says not one deer has lived half as long as the Great Prince; but in Bambi II, when Bambi is still a fawn, the Great Prince says he was Bambi's age when he met Bambi's mother. However, it has been said that Bambi's mother might have just been exaggerating about the Great Prince's age.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame is contradicted by a few details in its Direct-to-Video sequel:
    • Esmeralda has mysteriously started to wear her gypsy outfit again - although with a pair of shoes, where she was barefoot in the first film. This is despite the fact that all of her clothes were implied to have been destroyed by Frollo at the end of the film, leaving her with only the white dress she was wearing to be burned alive.
    • Similarly, her husband Phoebus mysteriously gains his armor back, despite losing it near the end of the first film.
    • Even more jarring, the little girl who hugged Quasimodo at the end of the first movie is present at the start of the second movie, and hasn't aged at all - even though enough time has passed for Esmeralda and Phoebus to have a young son.
  • The Disney Direct-to-Video film The Lion King 1½ (which is essentially a recap of the first film's events, but from Timon and Pumbaa's point of view) actively contradicts the events of The Lion King (1994) on many levels. On the other hand, given whose points of view this is... Then again, some people have interpreted it as a parody because of how many events it contradicts.
  • A throwaway line in Monsters, Inc. suggests that Mike and Sulley have known each other since elementary school, yet its prequel Monsters University shows them meeting for the first time in college. There was also a promo (seen in Toy Story 2) where Sulley complains Mike was too interested in his elementary school crush to pay attention to geography, and this is why they've chosen the wrong door. Plus, a guide book said they met in kindergarten when Sulley mistook Mike for a chair and briefly sat on him.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh:
    • Piglet's Big Movie recounts how Kanga and Roo first came to the Hundred Acre Woods. Tigger takes part in the event, even though Pooh and the others first met Tigger in Winnie the Pooh & the Blustery Day, in which they already know Kanga and Roo.
    • In the holiday-themed Compilation Movie Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving, Rabbit and the other characters act as though Kessie hasn't been seen in the Hundred Acre Wood since her debut episode in New Adventures "Find Her, Keep Her". However, there actually was another episode ("A Bird in the Hand") in which Kessie returned to the Hundred Acre Wood for a visit. Kessie is also still in her young form when she makes a cameo at the end of the movie despite having grown up by the time of "A Bird in the Hand" (a form she has also been in in all of her subsequent appearances, such as in The Book of Pooh). Maybe Seasons of Giving takes place between "Find Her, Keep Her" and "A Bird in the Hand," but if not, then its an error.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dirty Harry ends with the title character bringing down the Scorpio Killer once and for all... and then, after some quiet reflection, throwing away his badge, a significant event that is naturally not addressed in the sequel Magnum Force. Or, for that matter, the other three sequels.
  • The Halloween films:
    • At the end of the first movie, Michael is shot by Loomis six times, then falls off a covered balcony at the back of the house; this scene is shown again at the start of the sequel — and Loomis shoots Michael seven times (despite only having a six-chamber revolver), sending him flying off an uncovered balcony at the front of the house. Made all the worse when Loomis goes around shouting "I shot him six times!" in the first few minutes of the film.
    • In the original Halloween, the Myers house is a modest two-story home. By the time we get to Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, it's a huge, Gothic-style mansion, and by the time we get to the sixth film, it's back to being a two-story family home that's still completely different from what we've seen in the first two films. At the time these films were made, they were in the same continuity as the first two, so there's no excuse for the discrepancy.
    • In the newest installment, numerous characters refer to the five people Michael kills on that fateful night in 1978. Too bad the official death toll is four: the mechanic, whose jumpsuit Michael stole, along with Laurie's friends Annie and Lynda, and Lynda's boyfriend Bob. It is believed this error comes from early drafts of the script, where Loomis was also killed by Michael that night.
  • Smaug is quite clearly a quadruped in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and then transforms into a wyvern in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Extended Editions of the films replace the original Smaug in An Unexpected Journey with the new one to correct this.
  • The first film where Sidney Poitier played Detective Virgil Tibbs, Oscar-winner In the Heat of the Night, has Virgil say that he's from Philadelphia and he's unmarried. Three years later, in sequel They Call Me Mister Tibbs, Virgil lives in San Francisco (and has for a while, dialogue indicates that he's been with the SFPD for 12 years), and he's married with two school-age children.
  • The third film in The Omen series, Omen III: The Final Conflict, ends with the second coming of a fully-empowered Jesus Christ on Earth, a seemingly important event which is naturally not mentioned once in Omen IV: The Awakening.
  • In The Princess Diaries, Mia's birthday is stated to be after Genovian Independence Day. In the sequel, her birthday is before Genovian Independence Day.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming has a glaring one right at the start, claiming the events in The Avengers (2012) happened 8 years prior. For starters, both movies were made only 5 years apart. And in-universe, Homecoming is set months after Captain America: Civil War, which explicitly says only 4 years have passed since The Avengers.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan recognizes Chekov despite the latter being introduced in the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series. "Space Seed", the episode with Khan, was part of the first season. One theory is that, since Chekov never got a formal introduction episode, he could've been in the lower decks since Day One and been promoted to bridge officer after Khan's banishment. It wouldn't even be the first time someone's shown up on screen out of nowhere and been treated like they were on the show the whole time. Walter Koenig likes to joke that, offscreen, they met when Chekov kept Khan waiting at a restroom, then left him with no toilet paper, hence Khan remembering him.
    • This can be made made more plausible if one opts to sort the viewing order of the show by the stardates, allowing two second-season episodes featuring Chekov, "Catspaw" and "Patterns of Force", to be set before the episode with Khan. That way, clearly Chekov was part of the crew when Khan and his henchmen tried to take over the ship; his fight against them was just not shown.
  • Star Wars:
    • First is the conflicting ages of the Republic given by Obi-Wan and Palpatine. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan establishes that the Jedi have been protecting the Republic for "a thousand generations" (which is anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 years, depending on how you define a "generation"). In Attack of the Clones, Palpatine says that he will not let "this Republic which has stood for a thousand years" fall. Even factoring in the possibility that Obi-Wan may have been exaggerating (which, according to the Expanded Universe, he wasn't), that's a pretty big difference in ages. It's been hand waved since that there was a major reformation and restructuring of the government a thousand years prior to which Palpatine is referring, hence the reference to "this Republic" rather than "the Republic".
    • Another example is Leia remembering her mother as established in Return of the Jedi, only for Padme to die within minutes of Luke and Leia's birth in Revenge of the Sith. There have been attempts to explain this, such as the novelization implying Leia was "trying to take in every detail", or the fan speculation that Leia was mistakenly thinking of her foster mother — but even Leland Chee, the man responsible for sorting the massive and convoluted Star Wars continuity, says that he's stumped.
    • The public perception of the Jedi undergoes a very radical change in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. In the prequel trilogy, the Jedi are very active in galactic politics, including personally fighting in the Clone Wars. But 20 years later, the original films show that they're regarded as little more than a fairy tale. Luke has never heard of them before, and Han dismisses the Force as an "ancient religion", despite Revenge showing his companion Chewbacca fighting droids alongside Yoda. It's possible that a very thorough censorship campaign was conducted by the Empire, but considering that Order 66 (an executive order that suggests Palpatine regarded the Jedi as a serious threat to his power, followed by a speech to the Senate about how dangerous they are) happened within living memory, it's more likely that the writers didn't really consider their previous portrayal in the original trilogy when writing the prequels.
    • The Rise of Skywalker ignores Poe having encountered jumptroopers earlier in Poe Dameron, the destruction of the Lars moisture farm in Darth Vader, and Luke's X-Wing being non-operational in The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: When Raven reminiscences about the original team from X-Men: First Class, she talks about how they were called the "X-Men". However, going by the events of that film, Moira only coined the term "X-Men" after the Cuban Missile Crisis, by which point the team had already broken up and Raven herself had left.

    Franchises 
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: The uncancelled seventh and final season of The Clone Wars contradicts the novel Ahsoka on one detail: in the novel, when Ahsoka abandons her lightsabers on Mandalore as part of a Faking the Dead ploy, the blades are the green and yellow that they were on the TV show. However, the season 7 trailer and footage shown at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April 2019 shows the lightsabers with blue blades when Anakin returns them to her, and in all moments where she's shown using them. The footage indicates that the change in colour is due to Anakin tinkering with the weapons, but that doesn't change the fact that according to the novel, the sabers had their original blade colours when Ahsoka abandoned them at the end of the Siege.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Revenge of the Sith is supposed to be preceded by Star Wars: Clone Wars and Labyrinth of Evil. Both are supposed to take place simultaneously in some coherent order, yet both contain scenes mutually exclusive to each other, necessitating Merging the Branches for both stories to work. Both works were then relegated to the Legends continuity and replaced with Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    • Labyrinth of Evil itself claims that before discovering an image of Darth Sidious within Nute Gunray's mechno-chair, the Jedi believed he was a lie, invented by Dooku to lead Obi-Wan astray on Geonosis in Attack of the Clones, and not mentioned since. But in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, Dooku names Sidious as his master openly to Yoda. Continuity Nods to Dark Rendezvous appear elsewhere in Labyrinth of Evil, yet this discrepancy is not explained.
    • Dac or Mon Calamari? Retconned as Dac being the indigenous name for the planet.
    • The Marvel Star Wars comics introduce us to "your father, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan Kenobi". Also, Obi-Wan has black hair. The actual phrasing was "Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, and the man who carried Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber", certainly implying Anakin and Vader are two different people. In one of the deftest RetCons in the Expanded Universe, an author was able to use a pre-existing Jedi ritual to justify the man carrying the saber as a third, distinct Jedi who had swapped sabers with Anakin at the time.
    • Chewie only having one son when Word of God says Wookiees have multiple births. And six breasts. Considering the nature of Kashyyyk, however, this one might be explained by infant mortality.
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    Mythology 
  • Greek Mythology could have a page to itself, due to its numerous continuity errors and snarls. See the origins of gods.
    • Aphrodite both rose from foam created by Uranus' severed testicles and was born to a mistress of Zeus.
    • Dionysus is both the son of Zeus, and the son of Persephone and Hades.
    • After swallowing the pregnant Metis, Zeus developed an agonizing headache. When Hephaestus split his head open to relieve the pain, Athena sprang forth. She went on to become the most important goddess of her generation, and Zeus took great pride in the fact that he'd "fathered" her all by himself. Hera became jealous and gave birth to a child all by herself, to prove Zeus wasn't the only one who could do it. That child? Hephaestus. Some authors solved this one by having somebody else, like Prometheus or Hermes, split Zeus's head instead, or denied that version of Hephaestus's birth.
  • The Canon of Norse Mythology consists of numerous sources which contradict each other on many points. In particular, the important story of Balder's death exists in two very different versions.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Impact Wrestling gives the name of Dixe Carter's father as Bob (his real name), yet also implies that it is Ethan, as he's the grandfather of Ethan Carter III.
  • On the August 1, 2002 episode of WWE SmackDown, Jamie Noble introduced Nidia to the announce team of Michael Cole and Tazz, saying that they don't mess with Tazz because he's "one of them street thug kind of fellers." The problem is that Tazz was one of Nidia's trainers on WWE Tough Enough, so she already knew what he was like.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons gods:
    • The Demon Queen of Spiders, goddess of the drow, is called Lolth. R.A. Salvatore accidentally spelled her name Lloth when she became a Forgotten Realms character, and the error proliferated to the extent that a rationalization was needed.
    • Juiblex had similar problems, being often misspelled as Jubilex. Since both are Demon Lords it is quite easy to invoke I Have Many Names to justify the differences.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In the novel Rath And Storm, it's briefly mentioned that Hanna's mother Rayne is dead. However, we later find out in Prophecy that she's quite alive. And then she dies in that book.
    • Recent Portuguese cards and documentations are printed in Brazilian Portuguese instead of Portuguese Portuguese, resulting in many unforewarned changes in terminology.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • When "Elemental HERO Burstinatrix" first came out, her flavor text says she's the "only" female member of the "Elemental HEROes" which was true at the time. The English text was corrected later as "first", but the Japanese text hasn't been, even though more female "Elemental HEROes" have been released.
    • Recent Portuguese cards and documentations are printed in Brazilian Portuguese instead of Portuguese Portuguese, resulting in many unexpected changes in names and terminology. Apart from spelling changes (Portuguese activar > Brazilian ativar), there were also term changes (Portuguese Anjo "Angel" > Brazilian Fada "Fairy"; Portuguese jogador "player" > Brazilian duelista "duelist").
    • The Chinese rule book has never been updated to be consistent with printed cards for all their pathetically short run.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE
    • The original intro of the story involves Takua summoning the Toa in their canisters to the island. He got blasted into the sky to witness six metal capsules descending form the "heavens" and landing in the sea, then drifting to the island shores. Later material explained that these canisters had been floating in the ocean for a thousand years before Takua attempted to do this.
    • Another example is what the Order of Mata Nui reported about Karzahni. In their book, they write about how he is amassing an army in his own realm to lead them into battle. When Karzahni reappears in the story, he reveals he's been following the Matoran who later became the Toa Inika ever since they had gotten away from him, so he would've had no time to train any army.
    • When the Rahkshi attack Ta-Koro in the movie Mask of Light, Tahu, the village's protector, boldly shouts "None have breached Ta-Koro's gates before! And none shall this day!" Except that the previous set of baddies, the Bohrok-Kal have broken into the village and defeated Tahu himself, right before the movie's story.
    • Some scenes of the second movie, Legends of Metru Nui, are at odds with the novels' and comics' stories. One of the more notable issues is Matau learning that his blades double as wings. In the movie, everyone is surprised when they activate and save him from plunging to his death, but according to the comics, he has already used them for flight earlier.
    • The comics leading up to the third movie, Web of Shadows, didn't want to spoil Vakama's betrayal, and so showed him leading his team into the Coliseum to clash with the villains. Yet in the movie, we learn that Vakama, having become evil due to the villains' influence, was in the Coliseum the whole time, waiting for his former comrades to try and take him back.
    • The book Tale of the Toa was written without the Mata Nui Online Game in mind (which at the time had been considered non-canonical), but it had some issues of its own. In the comics, the fact that the Rahi beasts have to be defeated by taking off their infected masks is common knowledge from the get-go, but in the book, which was written in accordance with the comics, this is only discovered halfway through. Other parts of the book were later also Retconned to better fit in with the timeline and accommodate the events of the Online Game.
    • The online animations and the book Makuta's Revenge offer differing accounts on which Bohrok-Kal stole which Toa Nuva symbol. Usually the former is seen as more canonical. The mini-comic in the toys' instruction manuals contradict both, making it an example of Advertising-Only Continuity.
    • Makuta's narration in one of the 2003 comics claims he's been hiding for years after his 2001 defeat. Later on, the writer established that the entirety of the 2001-2008 storyline (barring the 2004-2005 flashbacks) took place within the span of a single year. Of course, Makuta might just be Breaking the Fourth Wall here and meant "years" in real-life terms.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Origins, developed by WB Games Montréal (not the original developers from Rocksteady Studios), portrays the first meeting between Joker and Harley Quinn dramatically differently from what's heard from video tapes in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Instead of just another villainous rambling from Joker and slutty responses from Harley Quinn in Asylum, the conversation is quite serious: Joker keeps pondering on his newfound nemesis, Batman, and talks about him as if they're destined for each other, while Harley Quinn, portrayed as being uncharacteristically timid and shy, only gives back minor responses and completely submits to the belief that he was talking about her.
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction reveals Ratchet to be the last of the Lombaxes... but in Going Commando, Angela Cross is one too. Whoops. Apparently, Word of God has said she's a separate but similar species. Regardless, in the prison in Tools of Destruction, they mention "prisoner's of Lombax descent", so Angela could also be half-Lombax. Flip-Flop of God. As of A Crack in Time Angela has been confirmed as a Lombax (apparently females don't have tails).
  • In Street Fighter II, Guile wants revenge on M. Bison for killing his friend Charlie. In Street Fighter IV, he's insistent that Charlie is still alive because (as established in the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series) they Never Found the Body.
  • Ultima has a considerable number.
    • The entire game of Ultima Underworld, which takes place in a dungeon that had been destroyed several games previously.
    • In Ultima IX, the Tapestry of Ages is supposed to depict the previous Ultima games. It is said to have magically painted itself throughout history as the events unfolded, yet no such tapestry can be found in earlier games. The visual depictions are not accurate to the details of each story. The tapestry is meant as a reminder that the Avatar visited Britannia on eight occasions, once for each main entry in the series, ignoring how the Avatar was not on Britannia in Ultima II and Ultima VIII, and remained on Britannia in other games.
  • Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2, and Lightning Returns have terrible in-game continuity, and cross game (they are a successive series of events) continuity, to the point the final game in the trilogy that built off of everything the prior two had happen, has completely different reasons/motivations/developments/explanations/etcetera for events when reflected upon by the characters and the lore of the games themselves. But they still apparently happened the exact same way.
    • Etro is stated to be the goddess of time in XIII-2, but in Lightning Returns and the expanded universe material, her dominion is over the cycle of death, meaning time travel and visions of the future/alternate timelines she made possible in the second game could not have been done by her, and the rest of the series' god entities were either sleeping or dead.
  • On the way to the True Ending of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, the CPU Candidates are promoted to full CPUs. Yet at the beginning of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, the direct sequel, Nepgear introduces herself, Uni, Rom and Ram as CPU Candidates. While there are a few ways to reconcile this (mk2's Good Ending is the canon one, or the immortal goddess CPUs being reinstated after the events of the game), the game doesn't explain it.
  • At the end of the first episode of Life Is Strange, both Max and Chloe are surprised when it suddenly starts to snow.note  The other citizens of Arcadia Bay are also confused about this and like Chloe they act like they've seen something for the first time- but the prequel revealed that the same thing already happended in the summer of 2010 while a wildfire threatened to burm Arcadia Bay. While Max had some reasons to not know about thisnote  the other characters and especially Chloe should've remembered this.
  • Space Quest: The WD40 terminoid in Space Quest V: The Next Mutation is sent to collect on the payment Roger Wilco didn't make for the Gippazoid Novelty Company's Labion Terror Beast Mating Whistle after defeating the Arnoid sent to collect payment in Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon. In that game, Roger defeated the Arnoid, who demanded payment for the whistle from Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge. And in that game, examining the order form shows the whistle is for free, which in later games is never brought up again in-story. The developers admitted it was an oversight, and the Space Quest wiki runs with the idea it's the company's fault for charging for an allegedly free item.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon clearly states dragon eggs only occur once every twelve years. In Spyro: A Hero's Tail you must rescue different dragon eggs despite the fact no one seems to have aged much since the third game, and certainly not twelve years. However, Year Of The Dragon also flies contrary to Spyro the Dragon, where one had to chase thieves with dragon eggs, and while time obviously passed between the games, twelve years seems unlikely.
  • One of the oddest cases of Canon is Resident Evil. In the game you can either play as Jill or Chris: in Jill's story you are aided by Barry, rescue Chris who spends the whole game captured, and there is no sign of Rebecca, while in Chris's story you are aided by Rebecca, rescue Jill who spends the whole game captured, and there is no sign of Barry. However, later games firmly establish that all four of these characters simultaneously explored the mansion together and survived. What this boils down to is there is no way in Resident Evil to actually play what canonically happened in Resident Evil, and the closest you can get to seeing these events unfold is by reading the S.D. Perry novelization which, ironically, is not canon. Deep breath.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis states that Raccoon City was completely blocked off from the outside by the military in order to contain the viral outbreak and supposedly taking place before and after the events of Resident Evil 2 (apparently the entire second game took place while Jill was unconscious from the T-Virus infection). In the game, you can see most of the city is a burning wreck and the entranceway for the RPD is littered with construction equipment while also having two of the main doors inside being barricaded. However, Resident Evil 2 shows the front entrance of the RPD being rather clean as if nothing happened on the property. Not only that, but the opening cut scene shows Leon and Claire entering Raccoon City without any blockades barring their way and most of the city looks abandoned rather than an inferno.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Metroid games since Metroid: Zero Mission have established Samus's Power Suit as something formed and maintained by her will (and being knocked unconsicous causes the suit to dematerialize), and not so much a physical set of armor. This causes problems with the chronologically most recent game, Metroid Fusion — the plot of which hinges on the Power Suit being a physical object that remains around Samus whilst she is unconscious and can be infected by a parasite.
  • Between the first and second Mass Effect games, "thermal clips" were invented to replace the original heat sink system used by all guns. During the same period, mechs became widespread compared to their original limited numbers. This is an issue when rescuing Jacob's father, who was marooned eight years prior to the first game. Despite having been cut off from the galaxy, the planet still has a plentiful supply of thermal clips and mechs.
  • Discussed in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in the "A Criminal Past" DLC when Jensen gets his augmentations back. The game notes that giving him access to the new experimental augs from the main game nine months before he canonically knew they existed constitutes a Plot Hole, and gives you the option to either respect continuity at the cost of a weaker Jensen or accept the plot hole so you can have all of your shiny new toys.
  • In Fallout 2, Myron proudly claims to have invented the addictive drug known as Jet, and if asked, will tell you the story of how it was created, partly by accident, as a result of the Mordinos' efforts to create a potent drug that they could produce in the wasteland. Fallout 4 indicates that the drug had been created before the nuclear war. No canon source has addressed this yet, but Fan Wank notes that it would be perfectly in-character for Myron —a Jerkass and Smug Snake to the nth degree— to reverse-engineer a pre-war drug out of available ingredients and then lie about inventing it to puff up his own reputation.
  • Since Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is a prequel, characters who appear in or have children who appear in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade are Saved by Canon and won't die for real if they fall in battle (though they'll still become unplayable). Rebecca is an exception — despite her son appearing in the previous/next game, if she falls in battle, she dies for real. No explanation is given for this, suggesting that it was simply an oversight.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: Word of God says Grif was the Army's sole draftee, and his resentment of it drives him to be the world's biggest slacker. However, in the first episode, he says he "signed on to fight some aliens."

    Webcomics 
  • In Drowtales an update had a conversation play between two characters implying they had never met before that point, despite the characters having been established as close friends early in the series. This was quickly pointed out by fans and the conversation was edited and corrected.
  • Teahouse has a few inconsistencies over the comic:
    • Claret's hair colour changes from light green to a much darker one.
    • Axis' hair colour changes, his tattoos vanish and his skin tone has become lighter. Seen here, which also notes the sudden change in maid outfits.

    Web Videos 
  • The Chronicles of Jaller: Invoked, Lampshaded and Played for Laughs in "Black Piraka Gets Noticed Part 2."
    Penguin the Penguin: Wait, vasn't there a table zere? And what's zat doing zere?
    Axon: What— Oh! (laughs) Yeah, we don't work very hard with continuity here. Those scenes were filmed months ago.
  • The Nostalgia Critic: IN the anniversary special, To Boldly Flee, one of the main villains, Turrell, blames the Critic for destroying his home planet in his review of Battlefield Earth. Except in that review, a random person offscreen lit a cigarette, which ignited the atmosphere on Turrell's planet, something Turrell himself points out.

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