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Series Minus Series Core

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"What happens if you take Inspector Gadget and totally remove him from his own cartoon? Well, since the cartoon was half Gadget's comic antics and half his niece solving the crime with some help from her pet dog, basically you end up with just the mystery/adventure aspect.
Which is why I watched the cartoon in the first place when I was little. I never found Gadget himself funny or all that entertaining.
Comment by the author, Inspector Gadget minus Gadget

Series Minus Series Core is a kind of work-edition which consist of taking a series and strip it of one (or more) core character(s). Since most series are more-often-than-not character driven, the removal of a key character can change the whole work radically, and that's where the fun of the trope resides.

Think it with the First Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics in mind: if one BIG OBJECT leaves the stage, then plot can progress faster, other characters whose focus might have been diminished may gain greater roles (with new things to explore), and situations might be sweeter or more brutal without our Plucky Comic Relief/Problem Solver.

Characters who suffer from this are always on the main spot, being usually the main character, with roles that range from Plucky Comic Relief (doing something silly every 5 seconds), to Deadpan Snarker (saying something snarky every 5 seconds) to The Ace (solving some problem every 5 seconds). Since they are all very likely to be considered The Scrappy (by at least some of the fandom), these works sometimes (not always) include a huge quota of Take That, Scrappy!.


Named after the Trope Making webcomic Garfield Minus Garfield. It's not uncommon for this series to be named "<Main-character titled series> minus <Main character>".

Depending on the media, it can overlap with Remix Comic, Gag Dub, Gag Sub, The Abridged Series. When it's done by the original producer, it overlaps with Director's Cut.

Compare with It's a Wonderful Plot, in which this happens In-Universe.


Works that use this trope as their main premise (organized by medium of original work):

    open/close all folders 


    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Strips 


    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


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