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."
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!.
Works that use this trope as their main premise (organized by medium of original work):
- In 2010, car manufacturer Dodge aired a commercial for their Tent Event that had the announcer (Michael C. Hall) say, "This event could not be more amazing." Then a monkey in a jumpsuit appears and the narrator says, "Oh, wait, there's a monkey." The monkey walks up to a Plunger Detonator and fires off some confetti, and the narrator adds, "I stand corrected." Dodge was contacted by PETA and Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest criticizing the use of the monkey in their advert, so they responded with the most tongue-in-cheek way possible: the commercial was re-aired with the monkey removed, leaving just a walking jumpsuit, which the narrator nonchalantly dubs an invisible monkey. The commercial's last line was also changed from, "I stand corrected," to, "Unbelievable," acknowledging how nonsensical the ending had become.
- Garfield Minus Garfield is almost certainly the Trope Maker, or at least the Trope Codifier.
- Square Root of Minus Garfield parodies it frequently, by having other characters be removed or the idea applied to other comics. Most notably, one strip contained the removal of every single recurring character.
- There have also been several Animated/Live Action Adaptations of the comic by editing various adaptations of Garfield: The thanksgiving special, the Christmas special, Garfield and Friends, the live-action movies, and Lasagna Cat
- Peanuts Minus Snoopy
- One arc of Pearls Before Swine had Rat discovering Garfield Minus Garfield and applying the same concept to his own comic with "Pearls Without Pig".
- 3eanuts is essentially "Peanuts minus The Punch Line".
- A musical version: What if some of John Williams' scores were removed from famous movies?
- In the comics, the Mystery Men were a backup group for a superhero called the Flaming Carrot but he was considered too bizarre to film and a Mystery Men movie was made without him.
- The 1997 Justice League of America Made For Tv Movie omitted the Justice League's three core characters: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
- We Are Number One but Robbie has Schizophrenia is this for LazyTown.
- Thanks to Executive Meddling, later seasons of Smallville were basically Superman without Superman. Due to the No Flights, No Tights rule, Clark Kent lived in Metropolis and fought crime with no costume or codename.
- Due to Roseanne Barr getting the Roseanne revival cancelled with her racist tweets, there are plans to bring it back as The Connors. Focusing on the rest of the family without Roseanne.
- Gazorpazorpfield minus Gazorpazorpfield
- Inspector Gadget Minus Gadget
- Nickelodeon promoted the SpongeBob SquarePants special "WhoBob WhatPants" by making the original online shorts What if Spongebob was gone?, which rather than edit old footage, took common scenarios from the show and shows how they would play out without him.
- "Life without ponies would just be... empty."
- Stu Making Chocolate Pudding at 4 in the Morning Minus DiDi and Angelica
- SpongeBob Minus SpongeBob