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The Artifact

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"Every time the TARDIS materializes in a new location, within the first nanosecond of landing it analyzes its surroundings, calculates a twelve-dimensional data map of everything within a thousand mile radius and determines which outer shell would blend in better with the environment... and then it disguises itself as a police telephone box from 1963."

Sometimes, a character or gimmick seems to no longer fit with the mood or design of a story according to a writer, but is kept because there seems to be no way for the writer to get rid of them without causing some serious disruption (unrelated to Retcons).

Sometimes it's due to being tied in closely to the mythos or that The Artifact has just been around so long that removing it seems like overstepping bounds. And if it's due to pure fan popularity, the producers probably aren't going to push it out in any case for no reason.

The general way to solve this problem is to avoid it, or rather, them. You can bet anyone considered The Artifact is going to be politely skipped over by the writer whenever they can, although this can get shaky if the audience is seasoned to expect them around.

A common example of this trope is when a story has a point of view character who's "the new kid in town" and learns about the setting along with the audience. It's inevitable that they'll get used to things before long, and if they don't settle into a new role or have something unique about them, they risk being outshone by the ensemble cast.


Very common in webcomics and print comics with a rotating circle of writers. Less common on television given the emphasis on demographics and ratings, although Filler occasionally trots out old premises.

Occasionally this is caught early enough, though in Long-Runners this results in an odd Bleached Underpants situation within a series, usually from Author Appeal tastes.

Compare Grandfather Clause, where something cliché or inappropriate is retained because of tradition. Contrast Canon Immigrant, Pinball Protagonist, Breakout Character, Creator's Pet. See also Artifact Title and Artifact Name. See Network Decay when this happens to an entire channel. On occasion The Artifact (or something the writers think is only an artifact) will be done away with but then missed and brought back in a different form as a Replacement Artifact; if The Artifact is restructured to fit in with current sensibilities, it's Reimagining the Artifact. When changes to a story or franchise ARE made after some early ideas don't quite fit development of the concept, that's Early Installment Weirdness. Artifacts in long-running adaptations are sometimes due to Early Adaptation Weirdness.


This trope has nothing to do with magical items or similar ancient objects of power; for that, see Artifact of Power. Has no relation to the videogame of the same name.

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  • The good-kind-of-bad jingle singer (Dave Bickler of Survivor) in Bud Light's Real Men of Genius campaign made for a better gag when the ads started out and he was singing about Real American Heroes. The latter concept was phased out after 9/11, when making light of "American heroes" started to seem a bit more questionable in taste. It's still a good gag, just minus a little... significance.
  • Erin Esurance, of the Esurance ads.
    • During her run, the ad campaign ditched the whole espionage/Action Girl angle in favor of more traditional type spots. She stuck around for awhile.
    • The next campaign switched the setting to a fictional Esurance office. She was reduced to a poster in the halls.
    • After that, Esurance partnered with Allstate, and all references to past advertisements, Erin included, disappeared.
  • Magic the Dog in Old Navy's first commercials was a fashion designer, with fashion columnist Carrie Donovan (old lady with glasses) talking about his great work in the field of fashion. After the first few commercials, the idea was dropped, and for several years the brand produced generic commercials, but still featuring Magic (just as a dog) and Carrie Donovan (just as an old lady with glasses).
  • Early commercials for Capital One represented credit card debt as rampaging hordes of barbarians, which only a Capital One card could drive away. Now their commercials are about barbarians getting along in the modern world using Capital One cards.
    • It helps that the barbarians have been remade into fun-loving guys after a good time. Usually.
    • Capital One's original selling point was that they charged a lower APR than the competition. When they raised their rates during the late-Oughties credit crunch, they had no choice but to re-tool the characters.
    • Parodied in this Onion article, where it turns out that "no one at Capital One can remember why it put Vikings in its ads".
  • A few years ago, Charmin toilet paper ran an animated spot about bears taking the product with them into the woods. The bears have since become the center of their own campaign, but because they also live in houses, there is no connection to the original joke.
  • Duke the talking dog from the Bush's Baked Beans commercials. Originally, the joke was that company spokesman Jay Bush had told the secret family bean recipe to his dog Duke, naturally expecting the animal to keep quiet—but it turned out the dog could actually talk, and wanted to sell the recipe! Nowadays, the commercials for the most part inexplicably feature Jay Bush hanging out with this dog that just happens to talk. They seem to be going back with the original gimmick in a more recent commercial, though. [1]
  • used to have commercials where customers would ask a shady car salesman to "show [them] the Carfax", to which the salesman would instead show them something like the "car mats" or a puppet of a "Car Fox". The latter is now Carfax's mascot.
  • The GEICO Gecko started out as a joke in which a customer calls him, to which he responds "You want Geico, not Gecko." Now he's one of the company's mascots.
    • He's also vaguely Australian (or perhaps lower-class British) now, despite being voiced by Kelsey Grammer (a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands) in the original.
    • They introduced a talking pig character with a commercial that asked, "Can switching to Geico save you fifteen or more on car insurance? Did the little piggy go wee wee wee all the home?", then showed a pig hanging out a car window shouting "Wee!". Now they've got the pig in normal situations, using the Geico phone app.
    • The same happened with the Geico cavemen. The original few ads were about fully culturally assimilated modern cavemen being rightly offended by the Geico slogan "so easy a caveman can do it" and making a public stink over it, but they pretty quickly morphed into random skits with the caveman characters.
  • Clearnet, a former Canadian telecom, had an innovative marketing campaign which featured music, animals, images of equipment, some printed words, and nothing else. Telus kept that approach, and has done quite well with it since. Most people have forgotten Clearnet.
  • Carl's Jr introduced a new burger in 2001 called the Six-Dollar Burger which was supposed to emulate the type of a burger that would be served at a fancy sit-down restaurant for six dollars or more at the ironically much cheaper price of only $3-$4 including tax. In fact its entire advertising campaign featured them building a fake gourmet restaurant and serving the burger for upwards of $14 to rave reviews from customers. However thanks to inflation and dozens of pricier variations the Six-Dollar Burger since 2010 now costs over six dollars for the base burger and up to seven or eight dollars for the more complicated variations so the name now can be considered completely unironic.
  • During the 90s, Coca-Cola put in a major advertising campaign for Sprite to try and brand it as a cool, hip, and urban drink. The commercials featured lots of tough-looking black guys playing street basketball and then drinking Sprite to cool off. As part of the campaign they added a textured grip to Sprite bottles, so that the bottles would be easier to hang onto while you were playing street b-ball. However, even though the advertising campaign has long since ended, the bottles still have the textured grip on them.
  • McDonald's:
    • Ronald McDonald has been largely retired from the restaurant chain's advertising in the US, mainly due to pressure from nutrition advocates concerned about peddling unhealthy fast food to children (to say nothing of a general trend in pop culture of clowns being perceived as creepy rather than funny). However, his name is still present in the company's network of children's charities (Ronald McDonald House), he still routinely appears (both in person and as a balloon) in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and his image can still be seen in the kids' playset areas in some restaurants (although these are being phased out as well).
    • Mac Tonight's whole gimmick when he was first introduced was that he was a lounge crooner sitting at a (flying) piano singing McDonald's-themed lyrics to the tune of "Mack the Knife", specifically modeled after Bobby Darin (the artist most associated with the song). Then Darin's son Dodd Mitchell Darin filed a lawsuit against McDonald's telling them to stop using the tune in their commercials, claiming it infringed copyright. As a result, Mac was relegated to being just kinda... there (occasionally playing a saxophone, or — in the case of a 2007 Singapore commercial — singing a totally different song), and the company, realizing he was next to useless without his song, quietly retired him, and began scrubbing out more of him when right-wing supporters made an offensive meme renaming him to "Moon Man".
  • "Pizza! Pizza!", the slogan of the pizzeria chain Little Caesars, originally referred to their offer of two pizzas (in one giant, unwieldy rectangular box) for a comparable price to one pizza from a competitor. Despite having dropped this offer in the '90s in favor of other things like focusing on their Hot 'N Ready Pizza (a large pepperoni that's ready to be carried out within five minutes of ordering), the slogan remains.
  • Toucan Sam, the mascot of Froot Loops, was given three different-colored tail feathers and three stripes on his beak to represent the three original Froot Loops colors. When other colors were added later, he kept his color scheme even though the meaning no longer fits.
  • The premise of the first few Compare the Meerkat adverts was that their protagonist, Aleksandr, was fed up with his meercat comparison website being confused with the actual product being sold (the insurance comparison site Compare The Market), and was running advertisements to make sure people went to the right URL. When this advertising campaign became a massive hit, Aleksandr and his friends became the stars of every subsequent Compare The Market ad, with the original joke about the 'market vs. meercat' confusion being all but abandoned.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy:
    • The comic had a Dork Age in the 1960s involving space travel, wherein Junior married Moon Maid and they had a daughter, Honey Moon. Moon Maid later got Killed Off for Real, but Honey is still around. It's simply never mentioned anymore that her cute little pigtails are there to hide the antennae she inherited from Mom.
    • Dick Tracy's signature two-way wrist radio, which would have been a technological marvel in its day, would now get nothing more than a shrug in the modern day era of cell phones. It still exists due to being such an integral iconic item to the character.
  • Dilbert:
    • Lampshaded repeatedly: if Bob the Dinosaur ever shows up, it's pretty much just to point out that he no longer has a purpose, after the comic's shift to office humor. But then, this applies to just about all its non-work characters, including Phil (who only makes an appearance once in a blue moon anyway), Ratbert, and even Dogbert.
    • Dogbert still appears frequently, having made the transition to office humor quite well because he is the personification of how Scott Adams would like to act if he could get away with it. However, the fact that he is a dog and Dilbert's pet is almost entirely inconsequential.
    • In a broader sense, as the focus of the strip moved from puns, outlandish stories and character-based humor and more toward office observational comedy, removing characters was probably necessary to simplify things to the "incompetent boss/long-suffering, snarky employees" formula. Adams has been filling the void partially with one-off gag characters for some time now, however. Also, some new regular characters were created after the switch to office humor, including Asok, Carol, and Tina.
    • Bob had a place in the office during the runup to Y2K: he was a COBOL programmer brought back from retirement to upgrade older computer systems in the company from two- to four-digit year fields so that all hell wouldn't break loose when they went from "99" to "00".
  • Peanuts: Shermy, Patty and Violet. Schulz intended for them all to have been foils for Charlie Brown in different ways, but as other characters developed and Lucy became his primary foil they became increasingly unnecessary.
    • Shermy, who spoke the first line in the strip, was the first to suffer. His original role was to be better than Charlie Brown at everything Charlie Brown loved to do; as early as the late 1950s his appearances become rare and he has only one line in A Charlie Brown Christmas (which was kind of Lampshade Hanging; he laments that in every Christmas play, he's always cast as a boring shepherd). He last appeared in 1969 and was last mentioned in 1977. Schulz didn't mind getting rid of him as he said he was basically down to using Shermy when he needed a character with almost no personality. And he didn't like Shermy's haircut, either.
    • Patty (not to be confused with Peppermint Patty), originally the mother hen and Alpha Bitch, diminished as Lucy took over most of her role. She last appeared in a speaking part in 1976, with occasional cameos thereafter. When You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown was revived on Broadway in late 1990s, her role was rewritten to be Sally instead, as most modern audiences would not have been familiar with the character.
    • On that note, Peppermint Patty's name was to avoid One Steve Limit-style confusion with the original Patty. When she was phased out, the much more popular Peppermint Patty became Only Known by Their Nickname for no real reason.
    • Violet managed to remain a semi-used character until around 1984. By that time not only had Lucy become the strip's dominant female character, Peppermint Patty and Marcie had also arrived and established themselves. Still, her and Patty managed to remain background characters until the almost the end, with their final appearances being together in a 1997 strip about two years before it ended.
    • Linus never completely gave up his Security Blanket, but by the end of the strip Schulz only drew him carrying it if it was setup for a specific joke.
  • As a genre, newspaper comics themselves are almost an Artifact. In previous decades, popular strips like Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Cathy, For Better or for Worse, The Far Side and The Family Circus appeared in thousands of newspapers and reached millions of readers, with newspapers publishing full-color pullouts for Sunday comics. Now, however, almost all of the popular strips have ended, newspapers are increasingly cash-strapped and looking for ways to cut costs, and Webcomics have become a popular alternative. Newspapers have drastically cut back on the number of comic strips they run, and many have dropped the Sunday comics altogether, to the point where they seem to run comics more out of tradition than anything else. This was Lampshaded by Bill Watterson as early as 1995, when he wrote about how the lack of newspaper competition meant that the surviving newspapers would only purchase the most popular strips. As a result, the big strips would get huge, while the smaller newspapers, in Watterson's words, "play musical chairs and vanish."
  • The famous morse code message in Spy vs. Spy's title panel, which spells out "BY PROHÍAS", was iconic enough that it was kept after the strip's original creator, Antonio Prohías, retired in 1987 and passed it on to other contributors. The strip's fifth artist, Peter Kuper, has kept it since taking over in 1997.
  • Foxtrot usually is very good at keeping its pop culture references current; although one that stands out is the family's iFruit computer, based on the original 1998 iteration of the iMac. The family kept this version long after that style had become archaic by home computing standards. It was phased out eventually, though — a November 2011 strip lampshaded that it had been gone for a while when Jason pulled it out for old times' sake while mourning Steve Jobs.
  • Blondie:
    • It has been fairly good in modern times about updating the characters, home appliances and situations; however, Dagwood's iconic bathtub remains a 1930/40s style standalone non-drain basin (sans shower head), which would look odd in any modern house. note 
    • The family's hairstyles are all ridiculously out of fashion, staying the same since they were created.
      • Dagwood's strange hairdo reflects the early 30s male trend when it was fashionable to have the hair as flattened as possible against the head with brilliantine or pomade. The unruly streaks of hair were meant to show how when Dagwood was stressed, some locks of hair around his temples would become loose but still kept stiff. When his son Alex was born, he just "inherited" his father's hair.
      • Blondie herself is still using her old flapper hair style, although it's not as confusing for people who didn't read the strip from the very beginning.
    • Dagwood's single button appears to actually have been a shirt stud, worn in the early 20th century by upper class men at dinner occasions. This reflected Dagwood's former social status.
  • Beetle Bailey has often updated with the times, starting in the '70s by slowly adding diversity to the cast that was previously all white and male, adding a tech character in, and even calling out General Halftrack's lecherous ways following the Tailhook Scandal and Clarence Thomas hearings. However, the uniforms are woefully out of date (still sporting solid olive drab that went away in the early '70s in favor of camo patterns) as well as old-style open Jeeps, '50s era rifles, and tanks more resembling those from the '50s than modern ones.
  • The dad in Curtis still hates rap and hip-hop music and pines for old R&B and soul; in the modern times a man of his age would have grown up with N.W.A and Snoop Dogg.
  • Zits:
    • Similarly to the above, the parents are still portrayed as Baby Boomers. It's becoming increasingly unlikely people of their age would have biological teenage sons, if not impossible.
    • Jeremy still rocks grunge-era clothes from his introduction in the '90s.
  • An attempted aversion exists in The Family Circus. Jeff Keane took over after his father's death, and seems to recycle a lot of the older strips from the 80s, removing outdated stuff via (apparently) photoshop. However, it leads to some oddness, such as the kids watching a modern flat screen TV sitting on the floor or Ma Keane having odd blank spots around her head (where her 50s era hair curls are whited out).
  • Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: Originally started out as Take Barney Google for Instance in 1919, renamed Barney Google and Spark Plug in 1922, and in 1934, Barney met Snuffy Smith, and from that point onwards, the strip was renamed "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith". The strip's focus eventually shifted to Snuffy and his family and neighbors in Hootin' Holler. Nevertheless, even though the strip is titled "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith", Mr. Google was absent from the strip from 1954 to 1997, and started re-appearing more frequently in 2012.
  • The classic Swedish comic 91:an Karlsson is about an army private going through basic training, in a similar style of Beetle Bailey. Having started in 1932, all soldier characters originally wore the traditional blue uniform with gold buttons. As uniform standards changed over the decades, several characters were changed... but not Karlsson, who even now in the 21st century still wears his anachronistic blue uniform. (The rest of the cast wears 40's era gray uniforms, possibly because they're easier to draw. Real-life swedish soldiers wear green camo.)
  • Bloom County was originally about the travails of Major Bloom, his grandson Milo, and the other residences of the Bloom Boarding House. The aspect of the Blooms owning the house was dropped after a while, standout ensemble characters like Binkley and Opus started to take prominence, and the elder Blooms and earlier boarding house residents were dropped after a year or two. By the end of the original strip in 1989, Milo was the only character that remained from the beginning of the strip, and we never did get a good idea of who owned the house.
  • Originally in Garfield, many of the strips featured interplay between Jon and his housemate Lyman, who owned Odie. But as the dynamic between Garfield and Jon grew stronger, and as other people such as Jon's family and Dr. Liz entered the strip, Lyman's role in the strip became superfluous and he was gradually phased out entirely.

    Fan Works 
  • In-Universe in The Calvin, Hobbes, and Paine Show — after Miss Wormwood leaves the show, all school-related stories were phased out, but Principal Spittle was still around. Calvin mentions that he ended up being rather awkwardly shoehorned into some of the stories.
  • It's common for fanon to evolve over time and be displaced by newer fanon. In these cases, often elements of older fanon will still exist in some form. For example, the background pony in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic dubbed Derpy Hooves was written as Inspirationally Disadvantaged in early fanworks, such as Today, Tomorrow, and Forever. She couldn't speak properly and her name for her daughter Dinky was "Muffin". Eventually, fan portrayals changed to her being The Ditz instead of having a speech disorder. She still usually uses "Muffin" as an Affectionate Nickname for Dinky.
  • Willow in My Immortal is originally introduced as Ebony's best friend. After a gothicized Hermione ("B'loody Mary Smith") is introduced, she takes over this role and Willow becomes increasingly Out of Focus.
    • Depending on how one interprets My Immortal, Willow's role is even odder. According to Tara in the author's notes, Willow is based on the story's real-life editor and beta reader, Raven. Much of the early chapters involve the interplay between the two, culminating in them having a falling-out over a poster. Under the interpretation that the story is a Troll Fic, one could assume that the writer realized that few people were following the story for the drama between Raven and Tara, and so downplayed her role to focus more on the Canon Defilement and Rouge Angles of Satin for which the story is known.
  • Henry and June in The Pokémon Squad. Among the many characters that were written out of the series during its long run, the two remain as prominent as ever, even after the mass exodus of most of the non-Pokémon characters. In a similar vein, the members of the Yaoi House (most of whom aren't from Pokémon either, save for Harley and Drew) also avoided being written out of the series.

    Films — Animation 
  • Much of The Emperor's New Groove was decided upon when the film was going to be a more dramatic story, called Kingdom of the Sun, with significant ties to mythology and a traditionally-Disney tone. Later in its development, it was converted and rewritten into a wacky buddy comedy, which led to a few elements now being out-of-place or feeling a bit odd, such as the rather melodramatic Award-Bait Song. The pre-Colombian Inca setting in particular is a Purely Aesthetic Era, with its only relevance being that Kuzco turns into a llama.
  • Many Disney Direct to Video sequels bring every character back from the theatrical films regardless of whether they have anything to do. The Genie in the Aladdin sequels and TV series is probably the biggest one. After the first film, his arc is completely done, his abilities (even after being heavily nerfed) are a massive Story-Breaker Power, and he's an Ink-Suit Actor for an actor who only came back for one movie, but he was so important and popular that it's just not Aladdin without him. He's in every movie and every episode, but he usually just has a Hand Wave explaining why he can't just solve the plot, and then does comic relief. He even still has his gold bracers, despite the fact that they vanished at the end of the movie to show his freedom, because they're iconic to his character design and it'd look boring without them. (He actually gets asked about this in Aladdin: The Series, and replies that "The only thing I'm a slave to is to fashion!")
  • The full version of the song "Great Big World" from Hoodwinked! contains the phrase "goodies make the woods go 'round", which was clearly meant to be Arc Words: an earlier draft of the film used a song named "Woods Go Round" instead, the whole line gets a Call-Back in the Villain Song, and before that, Red points out the importance of her delivery job by saying "Woods don't go 'round by themselves." But that entire verse of the song (along with parts of two others) was cut by the producers for alleged pacing reasons, turning the aforementioned comment into a complete non sequitur.
  • Much of Frozen was rewritten to turn Elsa from the villain into a deutragonist after it was realized that her Villain Song was entirely too sympathetic. As a result, some pre-rewrite aspects seem out of place or confusing - in particular, the lyrics to Let it Go, while emotionally resonant with her arc, do not factually match it save as a form of lying to herself, and Beware the Frozen Heart now foreshadows an entirely different movie, as it hews much closer to the Hans Christen Andersen story in its foreshadowing than the rest of the movie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Kevin was the second lead of the film American Pie after Jim, but thanks to the breakout characters of Finch and, particularly, Stifler, by the time the third film (American Wedding) rolled around there was really nothing for him to do, especially since his love interest Tara Reid wasn't even in the movie. But because he was Jim's best friend it would've been strange for him not to be in the wedding party so he was basically just around to stand there and hardly say anything.
  • The writers of Back to the Future Part II were stuck with the fact they had put Marty's girlfriend in the car with Doc at the end of the first movie, thus forcing them to write her into the sequel. They said that, if they had actually planned on a sequel, they never would have put her in there. They did, however, find a way to write her back out again until the very end of Part III.
  • There is no real need for Andromeda to appear in the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans given she has lost her role as love interest to Perseus and her city has already done more than enough to anger the gods even without her mother's hubris in proclaiming her beauty. She only seems to have been retained at all because Perseus rescuing Andromeda is such a big part of the original myth. Andromeda is shown handing out food to the poor people in the city, so at least she is useful in-universe. It's also worth noting that she was Perseus's love interest in the original cut of the film (with Io and Perseus simply being Like Brother and Sister) and had much more screen time which ended up being cut as a result of Executive Meddling. See this alternate ending. The sequel pairs them romantically at last.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • An interesting example: Arwen wasn't super-prominent in the books, barely more than a One-Scene Wonder (two-scenes to be exact), but Liv Tyler was high-profile enough that filmmakers felt it would be pragmatic to expand her role, turning Arwen into something of a Composite Character of her and Glorfindel. She got third billing, too. However, as the films went on, they (rightly) felt they would do well to stick to Tolkien and focus on the main plot, and the films were pretty much successful enough to not bother with pleasing focus research. As a result, Arwen's appearances in The Return of the King are essentially cameos. In the books, Arwen was a late addition who took Éowyn's place as Aragorn's love interest when Tolkien decided to ship Éowyn with Faramir instead, and she only appears in two scenes: a banquet in Rivendell, and then her wedding. She is mentioned on the sly a few times later, but her story is almost exclusively part of Aragorn's backstory, found in the appendices. (Most of her film scenes were originally part of the appendices and moved to the main story.)
    • The same principle happened to Cate Blanchett's Galadriel, but to a lesser degree because she is already way more prominent than Arwen. Apart from the Lothlórien chapters (which take up a sizable chunk of The Fellowship of the Ring), Galadriel gets mentioned again from time to time, and she shows up at the very end. The appendices give more information about her, including an Offscreen Moment of Awesome where she (and her husband) led an elven army to destroy one of Sauron's main fortresses in the North while the main characters were fighting their own battles to the East. For the films, Blanchett was given more lines and scenes throughout the trilogy.
    • Legolas and Gimli ended up as this by the time of The Return of the King. They don't really have anything much to do in the narrative aside from be Aragorn's retainers, and they're the only wood-elf or dwarf among the cast, which leaves them even less chance to shine. While all the other members of the Fellowship get at least some kind of arc, their only real plot is the two of them developing into Bash Brothers of each other. But because Legolas and Gimli were founding members of the Fellowship, they got to stick around, even if their only purpose was representing other Middle-Earth races and murdering lots and lots of orcs.
  • Although the film of Runaway Jury involves gun politics, the original novel was about a tobacco company on trial. Nevertheless, the movie still contains a number of references to the pros and cons of smoking (e.g. The Protagonist telling a neighbor that he should quit), which are a leftover from the source material.
  • Star Wars:
    • C-3PO was hit badly with this in films after Return of the Jedi. Already something of a humorous Load in the original trilogy, his limited versatility to the plot increased even further in the prequels and sequels, where his roles as a translator (which never happens to be needed when he's around), comic relief (a job now shared with other characters), and a companion to R2-D2 (who is frequently separated from him) are utterly sidestepped. For the most part, his role in each film from The Phantom Menace to The Last Jedi has been mostly to stand around and make a few comments on events, yet he keeps being brought back, since he is one of the franchise's most recognizable characters, one of the only few who can easily be brought back no matter how long has passed in-universe (being that he's a droid), and the only one to be played by the same actor in every movie (Anthony Daniels). He finally had a meatier role again in The Rise of Skywalker, where his knowledge of obscure languages and emotional connection to the main characters are utilized once more.
    • Jar Jar Binks, one of the main characters of The Phantom Menace, was relegated to a background role in the second two films of the prequel trilogy, speaking only a few lines and clearly only present because it would be strange if he was completely missing, in a case of Shoo Out the New Guy.
    • General Grievous's design originated from a period when George Lucas was still thinking over what his character should be, with the only initial idea being that he was some manner of cyborg working for the villains to serve as a foreshadowing of Vader. Both the character designers and the other creators at the time ran with the idea, making him a Hero Killer Tragic Villain and giving him a highly intimidating look. Lucas, however, famously ran with the exact opposite idea, making Grievous a much more incompetent, cowardly, and borderline comical villain whose attitude is mostly one of inflated ego. At this point, though, Grievous had appeared too often in Clone Wars-era projects to change his design, leading to a borderline Dastardly Whiplash character who still has the appearance of a nightmarish mecha-skeleton monster.
    • George Lucas deliberately averted this with Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. He was originally going to survive his encounter with Darth Vader on the Death Star, but with crippling injuries, and spend the rest of the film as an invalid, giving advice from the sidelines. However, he realized that this would just slow the action down and get in the way, and at the suggestion of his wife and editor Marcia, rewrote the script to kill Obi-Wan off, not that long before the fight sequence was due to be shot. This would lead to the creation of Yoda as a replacement character to help Luke with his training in The Empire Strikes Back, and it may also be where the "force ghost" concept came from — as an alternative method of dispensing said advice.
    • In the Special Edition rerelease of the original Star Wars, Lucas (somewhat infamously) used CGI to re-insert a previously deleted scene of Han Solo meeting with Jabba the Hutt in the Mos Eisley Cantina, which was cut from the original theatrical cut of the film. The dialogue in that scene includes the line "Jabba, you're a wonderful human being!", which was pretty clearly a holdover from an early version of the film where Jabba was a human gangster played by actor Declan Mulholland.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, which are PG, they can't exactly show the Ninja Turtles slicing and dicing their opponents. However, Leonardo's katanas are so iconic to him that he can't have any other weapon. For that reason, he uses his swords only for Flynning and actually hits his opponents with his hands and feet.
  • Vesper Lynd's name in Casino Royale (2006). Her name is a play on "West Berlin", as her loyalties were split down the middle like how Berlin was split by the Soviet-built wall in much of the Cold War.
    • Also the recipe given for the "Vesper Martini" in the film is the one from the book. However, several of the ingredients have been reformulated in the decades since. Using that recipe would result in a different taste today. Alternate recipes exist to recapture the original flavor.
    • Bond himself would make an incredibly terrible spy today. However, when he was introduced in 1952, British spies were notoriously heavy partiers. Ian Fleming himself based Bond's actions on himself and people he'd worked with. The only reason why Bond's eccentricity remains is it is such a large part of the draw of the character. Removing it would essentially render the character one note.
  • Star Trek has an interesting meta-example with Chekhov's portrayal. In the original series, Walter Koenig's hilariously bad Russian accent ("Keptin! Enemy wessel approaching!") was one of the most memorable things about his performance, and it rapidly became the character's trademark. In the 2009 version, Chekhov is played by the Russian-born Anton Yelchin, who actually speaks fluent Russian, and is fully capable of speaking in a convincing Russian accent. He doesn't, of course, since everybody knows that Chekhov just wouldn't be Chekhov without that cheesy accent.note 
  • Joyce in the film adaptation of Arrowsmith. In the book she's his second wife, and her high-society lifestyle distracts Martin Arrowsmith from his research. The film did not include that storyline, so in the movie, Joyce is just kind of there in the last third of the film, not doing anything to affect the plot.
  • Godzilla:
    • The 1998 Godzilla gives an example of trying to maintain an iconic element of the franchise that simply ends up looking half-assed. Godzilla's fire breath has gone through many iterations, from a vaporous spray to a plasma beam, but has always been present. But in this film, in an attempt to make it look more grounded, the monster roars at some cars that explode and briefly make it look like it's breathing fire. This ended up being just another of the fans' many complaints about how the film is In Name Only in the Godzilla franchise.
    • In a number of Japanese films, mainly those from the late '60s and early '70s, as Godzilla became a popular and at times even heroic brand mascot, his origin and thematic ties to nuclear weaponry and war were reduced to mere holdovers from his heyday. He turned into more of a giant dragon-like creature with unique powers rather than a reminder of humanity's hubris and misused science. His rugged skin texture (a reference to the scars seen on the bodies of radiation victims) and breath ability (a nod to atomic energy) are so strongly tied to him that they keep getting adapted even into media that give him different origins. For instance, his atomic breath can be depicted as mere fire or an electromagnetic discharge. His original rubber suit design is also so iconic, even films utilizing CGI have kept elements of it.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a weird example. Megan Fox played Mikaela Banes, the female human deuteragonist of the first two movies. She's skilled with cars and mechanics, and this would be her defining part of her personality. However, Fox was fired from the movies after comparing Michael Bay to Adolf Hitler in an interview. In her place was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Sam's Replacement Goldfish, Carly Brooks-Spencer. Despite being a completely different character, aspects of Mikaela were integrated into her role. Namely, she works at a car dealership, and holds a very high position despite the fact that there is nothing indicating that she's good with cars. This is because Mikaela was originally supposed to return, with her removal and Carly's addition being a very late re-write to the script, so the writers had no choice but to keep her job the same as Mikaela's. If Mikaela had the job, it would've made perfect sense. With Carly, the only justification is that her boss likes her.
  • Movies in The View Askewniverse often end with a Sequel Hook stating "Jay and Silent Bob will return." In Clerks, the next movie is said to be Dogma. Chasing Amy ends with "Jay and Silent Bob will return in "Dogma" ... (promise)", as Dogma ended up being the third sequel. Dogma ends with "Jay and Silent Bob will return in "Clerks 2: Hardly Clerkin'", which ended up being released after Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and was simply titled Clerks II.
  • When X-Men: First Class came out in 2011, it made perfect sense to make it a period piece set in the 1960s, since the movie was explicitly meant as a prequel to the original X-Men. Ditto for its sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was a 1970s period piece. However, considering Days of Future Past ended with Wolverine changing the past to prevent the Sentinels' rise and undoing the events of the first three movies, it can seem a bit odd that X-Men: Apocalypse was a 1980s period piece, considering it was effectively a prequel to a movie that never happened. By that point, it seems that the filmmakers just kept up the retro setting because the previous two films had it, rather than because it made narrative sense, even featuring teenage characters who would have originally been infants or young children at that time. The problems of the retro setting are really obvious by the time of Dark Phoenix, which is intended to take place in the 90s despite the characters in no way looking like they'd aged thirty years between then and First Class, much less like they'd resemble the cast of X-Men in about a decade.
  • Maleficent keeps the Christening scene from the original Sleeping Beauty intact, with Maleficent interrupting the ceremony before the third fairy can grant Aurora a blessing. In the original, the Christening was an important plot point: since Maleficent put a curse on Aurora before the third fairy blessed her, the fairy was able to use her blessing to soften the curse so that Aurora would fall into a deep sleep instead of dying. But in Maleficent, the curse is intended to lull Aurora into a deep sleep from the beginning, and it never gets softened — so the Christening effectively serves no purpose in the story.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean's Will Turner. He was the proper protagonist for Curse of the Black Pearl as originally written, but then Johnny Depp (appropriately) hijacked the show and turned it into a rollicking pirate yarn full of plenty of zany antics and double-crossing. The problem is that this left the clean-cut protagonist without any particular role in the film except as a Living MacGuffin and as the guy who gets the girl. In the followup movies, he's given a personal connection with Davy Jones through his father, and... that's about it. He doesn't even make for a good Foil to Jack Sparrow, because his classically heroic characterization keeps him from fully participating in the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder that permeates the rest of the cast.
  • The film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novel Appointment with Death retains the famous opening sentence, "You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" but because the rest of the plot is so drastically different from the book, it becomes largely irrelevant.
  • In Mark of the Vampire, Count Mora the vampire is observed to have a ghastly wound on his right temple. This is never explained. The explanation is that in the backstory he shot himself, which is how he became a vampire. That bit was in the 20 minutes cut from the film before the theatrical release, so in the movie Bela Lugosi goes around with a huge bloodstain on the side of his head for no reason.
  • Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch: There's some strong evidence that the movie was originally going to be a vampire movie due to all the traditional vampire-killing methods being applied to werewolves, their leader being a woman who stays alive by sucking the youth out of people, it taking place in Transylvania and so on.
  • The New Adventures of Tarzan: The original story for this Film Serial was a spy plot with Ula Vale being a secret agent code-named "Operator No. 17" who was seeking the formula for the explosive. The series was extensively re-written after production had already started, and the spy plot was dropped, but Vale is still seen in disguise a couple of times, and the last episode is still titled "Operator No. 17".
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • In the Sam Raimi films, Peter Parker's web-shooting abilities are reimagined as an inherent part of his superpowers, unlike in the comics. But whenever he fires his webs, he still presses his middle and ring finger to his palm to activate them. In the comics, he did that because the triggers for his wrist-mounted "web-shooters" were concealed in the palms of his gloves. Some people might wonder why he still does it in the movies, since his webbing is a bodily function that should come as naturally as breathing or blinking. Presumably, the filmmakers figured that it just wouldn't be a Spider-Man film without the iconic "Spider-Man" hand gesture.
    • Similarly: Peter's interest in science carries over from the comics, despite not being a central part of the premise anymore. In the comics, he was depicted as a brilliant inventor and chemist, and he fought crime with homemade gadgets—most notably his homemade "web-shooters", which were fueled by a "web fluid" that he synthesized in his home laboratory—in addition to having superpowers. For simplicity's sake, the movie depicts web-shooting as one of Peter's powers, leaving his interest in science as a random character trait that never really affects the plot (other than giving him a plausible reason to bond with Norman Osborn and Otto Octavius before their transformations). Most glaringly: he's depicted as a science major at his university, but he never makes any effort to get a job in a scientific field, and only ever works as a newspaper photographer and a pizza deliveryman.
  • When RENT was adapted into a feature film in 2005, director Chris Columbus chose to put the play's Signature Song "Seasons of Love" in the very first scene, presumably because it was an iconic tune that most people in the audience would recognize. This also meant that the song effectively served no purpose anymore: the lyrics explicitly reference the passing of a single year (hence "525,600 minutes...") because the song was originally performed after intermission, and referred to the year-long Time Skip between the first and second acts. In the movie, only a week passes between acts—from Christmas Eve/Day to New Year's—while the second act spans the entire year that follows. This means that technically, the only appropriate place to put the song is at the very end of the film.
  • Watchmen changes the graphic novel's Twist Ending so that the Big Bad's plot involves destroying the world's major cities with a series of explosions instead of creating a genetically engineered monster to wreak havoc in New York. But the movie keeps Ozymandias' Cool Pet Bubastis, a bizarre-looking feline creature who clearly wasn't born through natural means. The book explains that Bubastis is a genetically engineered hybrid species of lynx tailor-made by Ozymandias himself, and she serves as Foreshadowing for The Reveal that Veidt has cracked the secrets of genetic engineering, and can create his own artificial hybrid creatures. But since this plot point doesn't come up in the movie, Bubastis has no real reason to exist, and she seems oddly incongruous amidst the movie's (mostly) grounded realism.
  • Dumbo (2019) turns the famous "Pink Elephants on Parade" musical number into this, as many critics noted. While it's best known as an extended hallucination sequence, it was also an important plot point in the original; it occurs after Dumbo and Timothy accidentally get drunk on champagne, leading to Dumbo waking up in a tree and discovering that he has the ability to fly. In the remake, Dumbo takes his first flight relatively early in the movie (instead of in the climactic final scene), and the climax instead revolves around Dumbo's friends rescuing him from a rival circus. But the filmmakers apparently felt that "Pink Elephants on Parade" was much too iconic to cut, so they reimagined it as a real act put on by the circus performers — and they cut all references to alcohol.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • There's a brief bit where something sticky gets stuck to Sonic's glove. No-one thinks of just taking the glove off, suggesting it's a remnant from the time his design was still bare-handed.
    • Compared to the stylized, game-accurate designs of Sonic, the Echidnas, and Tails, Longclaw looks like a realistic owl, suggesting that this design was meant to coincide with Sonic's original look.
  • Fantastic Four (2015) has Johnny flippantly refer to Dr. Doom with "check out Dr. Doom over here", and has Dr. Doom later correct Sue that "There is no Victor, only Doom". These lines seem a little strange because that is in fact his name, but make sense when you know the film was originally going to call him Victor Domashev. Likely Johnny was giving him a mocking nickname because of his pessimism and he took it as an Appropriated Appelation, but when they changed his name to the comic version due to fan backlash these lines became awkward remnants of a previous script that no-one ended up removing.
  • Zombieland has the rather odd "Zombie Kill of the Week" gag, which, while not an outright continuity error, has a very different style to most of the rest of the film (it's the only scene to have an omniscient narrator, for one, despite being narrated by the main character), and certainly feels like it should be a Running Gag, but isn't. Turns out Zombieland started life as a pitch for a Pilot Movie that would be turned into a TV series, and "Zombie Kill of the Week" would have been its Once per Episode gag.
  • Natalie in Home Alone 4 ended up as this in the final product. She plays as the Rich Bitch marrying Kevin's father, Peter, which gets in the way of Kevin's estranged mother, Kate, getting back together with him. The thing that throws this off is that unlike the typical "getting rid of the evil step-parent" cliche, Natalie isn't really all that much of a Rich Bitch and actually treats Kevin as a proper stepmother, but throughout the movie looks like she gets constantly screwed over for no justified reasoninvoked. That's because in the original script, Peter actually ended up with Natalie in the end, but was changed at the last second for him to get back together with Kate. The result is the movie's writing making it look like Natalie would actually be the perfect mother for the family as this was what the film was originally intending, yet it gets completely flipped on its head in the end due to the rewrite.
  • In The Suicide Squad, some have pointed out that Bloodsport is way too similar to Deadshot from the previous film; having strikingly similar skills with guns, and even the same background motivation regarding a daughter that they want to take care of. This is because the original plan was for Idris Elba to just flat out replace Will Smith as the actor for Deadshot. However, it was decided midway through development that Elba will be his own new character just to leave the door open in case Smith ever decides that he wants to return. Despite said change, many of Deadshot's character traits remained on Bloodsport.
  • Tommy Wiseau's The Room got its title because it was originally written as a stage play set entirely in a single room in Johnny and Lisa's apartment (a fairly common technique in theatre that eliminates the need for scene changes). When Wiseau chose to make it a feature film instead, he broadened the setting considerably, with scenes taking place in numerous rooms in the apartment (as well as an alleyway, a rooftop, a café, a park...), none of them portrayed as particularly significant. This left many viewers scratching their heads wondering which "room" was supposed to be the one in the title.note 
  • The original theatrical cut of The Butterfly Effect includes a moment where Evan's mother mentions having two stillbirths before Evan was born. This line is a holdover from an earlier cut of the film, where it was supposed to foreshadow the ending—where Evan goes back in time to commit suicide in his mother's womb (the implication being that his two stillborn siblings did the same). But when the ending was changed, the line was rendered meaningless. The Director's Cut restored the original ending, putting the line back in its original context.

  • English-language law has a great many oddly redundant phrases — "to have and to hold", "aid and abet", "goods and chattels", "cease and desist", and many more. This dates all the way back to the aftermath of the Norman Conquest when the Norman ruling class spoke French and English commoners still spoke English, so terms from Latin/French and English were both used to help everybody understand. These phrases are called "legal doublets".
  • The criminal law of Finland still starts with the words (roughly translated) "We, Alexander the Third, with the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of Russia, Tzar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc. etc. etc. decree that..." and so on and so forth, even though Finland has not been under Russian rule since 1917, and a quite significant portion of the law has changed since. There are still some statutes in Finnish law from as back as 1734 and that have been completely obsolete for hundreds of years, but have still not been removed. These laws mandate, among other things, what types of plants each household must cultivate every year, and set fines in Thalers (a monetary unit that hasn't been in use in Finland since about 1860).
  • Since the Constitution of the United States cannot be changed, only amended, the 18th amendment still establishes the prohibition of alcohol (repealed by the 21st amendment).
    • There are several other such artifacts, such as original system of selecting the Presidential runner-up as Vice President (replaced by the 12th Amendment). One of the compromises between the free and slave states had a built-in deadline that turned it into an artifact (importation of slaves was protected until 1808; it was banned by law as soon as this clause expired). Many printings of the Constitution will cross out, gray out, or otherwise indicate sections that have been superseded by later amendments.
    • There's nothing in the Constitution requiring this to be so, but when the first few amendments were adopted it was consciously decided that they would stand on their own rather than changing the original text piecemeal.
  • Pretty much anything associated with judicial dress in the English-speaking world. Black robes were originally worn as a gesture of mourning for Queen Anne, wigs as a sign of 17th century aristocratic fashion (or, in the colonies, English political domination).
  • British Laws:
    • The British aristocratic titles (Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, Baron, Lord of Parliament) all originate from a feudal system where they were clearly distinct political offices with clear responsibilities and powers: Dukes were high-ranking nobles with vast holdings generally expected to lead the King's armies and advise the monarch; earls were the regional lords of counties; marquesses were more-important earls whose counties were on the borders and therefore had more responsibilities, since they were expected to defend the realm from foreign attack; viscounts were generally related to earls (second sons and so forth) and held smaller holdings; barons were your typical local lords; Lords of Parliament were Scottish nobles without other titles but entitled to sit in the Scots Parliament. As the centuries went on, this diminished to all the ranks of peerage having the same effective function — granting their holder a seat in the House of Lords. As of 1997, they don't even do that any more, but the titles still legally exist.
    • Similarly, members of the House of Lords cannot vote in elections for the House of Commons. As most Lords are affiliated to a particular party, this rule obviously isn't because of neutrality, so why's it there? Because the Lords and Commons originally represented different strata of society. All aristocrats were automatically in the House of Lords anyway, so why did they need to be represented in the Commons?
  • Multiple kings continued to style themselves rules of territories they didn't rule for a reason or the other.
    • For example, British monarchs continued to style themselves King/Queen of France, among their other titles, centuries after the French recaptured Calais in 1559. George III finally discontinued the title in 1801.
    • To this day the British monarch is styled "Duke of Normandy" in the Channel Islands, more than eight centuries after Normandy was conquered by France.
    • The last King of Italy styled himself, among other things, King of Cyprusnote , Jerusalem note , and Armenianote , duke of Savoynote , prince of Montmélian with Arbin and Francinnote , Count of Genevanote  and Prince and Perpetual Vicary of the Holy Roman Empire, just to point out the strangest.
    • Some Kings of France styled themselves Emperors of Constantinople (Charles VIII had bought the title from the last descendant of the Byzantine Emperors, and his successors continued to use it until Charles IX renounced to it in 1566).
  • French laws:
    • Even though Algeria has been independent since 1962, for quite some time afterwards, the French President was still allowed to declare the state of emergency on the Algerian territory.
    • Some laws dealt with redacting the death certificate of an executed convict or placed capital decrees among the rulings' priority for Supreme Court's review, even though the death penalty was abolished in 1981.
    • Some outdated dispositions about hard labor, abolished in 1960, had also remained on the books until about fifty years afterwards.
    • Some condominiums' bylaws, adopted under the Vichy Regime, still prohibit selling to Jews; this could be considered a double example of this trope since the statutes which these bylaws cite for defining a Jew have been abrogated and the bylaws themselves are nullified by later anti-discrimination statutes.
    • Officially, Parisian women were not permitted to wear trousers until 2013. The law had long since ceased to be enforced before that, of course.
  • Some unconstitutional statutes in state Codes of the USA have still not been repealed.
  • The possibility of appealing a ruling of the High Court of Australia to the Privy Council has been effectively nullified by the refusal of the High Court to give the leave needed.
  • The constitution of the German state of Hesse still includes the death penalty as a possible means of punishment. However, since the death penalty in Germany was abolished on federal level, and federal law trumps state law, this has effectively no meaning.
  • Almost all laws passed in West Germany before 1990 have a sentence (usually near the beginning or end) about its implementation in West Berlin being subject to approval of the West Berlin assembly. West Berlin was de jure not subject to federal German law although it was de facto treated very similarly to any other part of Germany, however the Allies would not allow laws to enter into force in West Berlin without being passed by West Berlin authorities. Similarly West Berlin did not have any federal MPs instead sending non-voting delegates chosen by the city parliament to Bonn. Of course upon reunification those statues became pointless and were left out of new laws, but they were usually not removed from laws already in force.
  • The entirety of the Portuguese Commercial Code! It was first published in 1833 and had a major revision in 1888, making it the last of the Portuguese legal codes still binding (all the others were approved during the second half of the 20th Century, substituting the older ones). Although many articles have been revised or outright repealed, it still stands in all its antiquated glory - and it shows! Mentions to the "Kingdom [of Portugal] and its domains" (Portugal has been a Republic since 1910, and lost its "dominions" in 1975, except for one in 1961 and another in 1999) and to its King Charles I "by the Grace of God" (Portugal has officially been secular since 1910), 19th-Century language weird to any modern Portuguese speaker, and no mention of air transportation as a commercial activity (it has to be considered so by analogy from land and sea transport).
  • The Weimar Constitution of 1919 (the constitution of the Weimar Republic) while effectively dead with the Nazi takeover in 1933 has never been formally put out of effect and in fact, the Grundgesetz explicitly lists a number of articles of the Weimar Constitution that are still in force. However, wherever newer federal law or the Grundgesetz contradicts the Weimar Constitution, Weimar Constitution rules are inapplicable.
  • Namibia was a strange case of this after World War II (WWII). South Africa conquered then-German South-West Africa during World War I and, after that, kept the territory (now plain South-West Africa) as a League of Nations (LON) mandate. But, after WWII, when the LON got replaced by the United Nations (UN), all former mandates became UN trust territories overseen by the UN Trusteeship Council. Except one, that is: as South Africa refused to do the conversion, Namibia became the lone LON mandate overseen by the UN General Assembly (as successor to the LON Assembly). Ultimately an anti-Apartheid UN simply cancelled the whole bizarre shebang in 1966 and then Namibia became a plane illegally occupied territory until 1990.

  • Jose's character in Fifty Shades of Grey. Jose was Jacob Black in the original fanfiction, serving as the heroine's years' long friend who has an unrequited crush on her. Unlike Jacob though, Jose doesn't go on to become a major romantic rival to Christian for Ana's affections and barely has any relevance to the plot after the first book (all he does in the second is invite Ana to his photo unveiling where she meets up with Christian again). He could be cut from the story altogether and it wouldn't make much difference to the plot and characters, but he's presumably kept around because it would be weird for Ana to stop talking to one of her closest friends.
  • Harry Potter
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the House Cup championship was such Serious Business that Harry, Hermione and Neville became the most unpopular kids in school after losing Gryffindor a hundred and fifty points and the awarding of the Cup was important enough to almost be a second climax. Later in the series the House Cup is barely mentioned, especially from the fourth book on, when School Tropes are dropped in favour of the high-stakes war against Voldemort. Yet points are still regularly given and taken throughout the later books, long past the point when the Cup they matter for is given any significance, and our heroes are still bothered by things like Snape unfairly taking points from Gryffindor.
    • Quidditch also stopped being important after the third book. The next three books kept creating reasons for Harry to no longer play (having matches cancelled for the Triwizard Tournament in Book 4, having Umbridge temporarily ban Harry from the team in Book 5, and having Harry on the sidelines due to injuries in Book 6) since it could not be outright ignored.
    • Privet Drive's primary role in the story was being the place Harry lived during the summer, and the Dursleys were to act as his guardians and provide conflict through their intolerance and abusiveness. This was because of a protective spell that made Privet Drive the only place he could never be attacked by Voldemort's servants. When the Burrow was introduced in the second book and Number 12 Grimmauld Place was introduced in the fifth, there were now two other locations to fill the role, full of interesting setpieces and plot-relevant characters who actually liked Harry, in comparison to the rather dull, irrelevant, and unlikeable Dursleys. The protection charm didn't really work as a reason when both the Burrow and Grimmauld Place had their own defenses, not to mention actual wizards (and the protection was effectively nullified by Voldemort in the fourth book anyway). Despite this, every book still ends with Harry going home to the Dursleys... and then the next begins by contriving a new reason for Harry to go to the Burrow or Grimmauld Place or some other magical location within the first three chapters. In the sixth book, exactly one chapter is spent at the Dursleys, and it's even mentioned that Harry has spent less than a month there since the last book ended.
  • Over the years, the H.I.V.E. Series has gotten much darker, but Block and Tackle continue to appear. When there is a genuine need for some generic mooks, it's always those two, but otherwise they tend to have simple cameos in every volume.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • Applies to Zaphod Beeblebrox after he fulfills his self imposed mission. He makes a fairly small appearance in Life, the Universe and Everything and was then completely absent, with only one or two mentions, until And Another Thing.... The radio version of Mostly Harmless (made after Douglas Adams' death) felt compelled to bring him back anyway.
    • Ford Prefect's name. The joke is not only lost entirely on American audiences, but modern British audiences as well, as the Ford Prefect car that was once so popular in Britain had been out of production for some time even before the radio show debuted and is now long-forgotten by anyone except classic car aficionados. (The joke was that Ford, when coming to Earth, had mistaken cars for Earth's dominant life form due to insufficient research.) The German version fixes this by calling the character "Ford Escort", while all other versions keep his name the same. The US film got around the problem by showing Ford and Arthur's first meeting (Ford steps into the street to greet an oncoming car — which is indeed a Ford Prefect—and Arthur tackles him just in time) and having Ford tell Arthur what he was doing and why, specifically pointing out his unusual name.
  • Roran in Inheritance Cycle. In the second book he takes the role of Deuteragonist, having an action-adventure plot thread when The Empire attacks his village, a much needed constrast to Eragons rather slow paced learning focused plot. Roran rallies the villagers to fight back, and the entire village goes off on a quest to join La Résistance in a story arc that is commonly considered one of the best parts of the entire series, if not outright the best. However after joining the resitance and rescuing Katrina early in Brisingr, Roran was left with his character arc basically finished and essential nothing to do in the greater arc of the story, being just a Badass Normal. Roran chapters in the final two books consisted solely of occasional relationship development and assorted rebellion missions that help cement his reputation as a stone-cold badass but are completely irrelevant Filler to the overaching plot.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Hobbit was not intended to be a part of the same continuity as Tolkien's larger works, creating a lot of Early Installment Weirdness. Much of this was changed in rewrites, such as mentions of China or trains or Gollum giving Bilbo the Ring, but hobbits themselves still feel rather out-of-place in the overall world. They don't have any kind of real origin, even in The Silmarillion, their general rural England-esque aesthetic and lifestyle is very off from the Dark Ages feel of the rest of Middle-Earth, and even their names tend to sound rather more folksy and familiar, which Tolkien had to explain as a Translation Convention. But of course, since hobbits had been how the world was introduced to Middle-Earth, he couldn't simply drop them.
    • The Lord of the Rings was originally intended to be a fairly close sequel to The Hobbit in terms of its tone and storytelling, but as Tolkien got more into it, he started giving it its own voice. Nonetheless, elements from early drafts of the book that feel very Hobbit-y but not so much Lord of the Rings-y stuck around in the final version, especially in the first half of Fellowship. Tom Bombadil is only the most famous of these; one scene involves a fox that has an extended internal monologue and never appears again.
  • In the Redwall series, the Abbey of Redwall itself became an artifact. Author Brian Jacques made a decision to deliberately remove as many religious elements of the series as he could. However, in the original Redwall novel, the Abbey had explicitly been a monastic order of mice who normally lived in isolation - one of the plot points of the story was that the Abbey, being the only defensible building in the area, allowed all the residents of the area refuge due to an invading army. Redwall Abbey was reworked into a commune where all were welcome, but many of the inhabitants continued wearing robes and referring to each other as Brother or Sister, and the leader of the Abbey continued to be called an Abbot (or Abbotess).
  • Second Prize's presence at the climatic drug deal in Trainspotting is this in later books, due to the Big Four (Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie) receiving the most limelight, and Second Prize's absence from the film adaptation. In both Porno and Dead Men's Trousers he is little more than an afterthought or mild obstacle for Renton, only interacting with him once in each book and barely figuring into the plot otherwise.
  • At one point, Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 Alternate History was reportedly supposed to feature the United States losing World War I and becoming a fascist state analogous to Nazi Germany; somewhere along the line, Turtledove changed his mind and decided to have the Confederate States fall to fascism instead. Despite this, the series was left with multiple US characters who were strongly implied to be American versions of historical figures from 1930s Germany—most notably Flora Hamburger (Rosa Luxemburg), Irving Morrell (Erwin Rommel), and Abner Dowlingnote . Narrowly averted with Gordon McSweeny, who was strongly implied to be a future bigoted demagogue in the vein of Adolf Hitler himself; he ended up abruptly killed off in World War I, since he wouldn't have had much to do after the war.

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give It Away" was a hit, and so has been played live every gig since its introduction, regardless of whether it fits with the set list or not (it's dirty funk and their later music has been more in an alternative rock/ballad vein).
    • "Under the Bridge" and "Otherside" were written during different bad times in Anthony Kiedis' life, but were hit singles, so they have to play them live even if they aren't representative of those time periods. The album One Hot Minute was written during bad times in the band members' lives, but oddly, the one track they still occasionally play from it is the most negative song of the whole album, Flea's solo song "Pea".
    • "Right on Time" and "Throw Away Your Television" were present in almost every set list from when they were introduced until being only occasionally played this tour. They were artifacts because they were album tracks from the albums that were being promoted at the time (Californication and By the Way).
      • The funk-oriented bassist Flea and the hard rock drummer Chad Smith seem out of place in the band's alternative rock period which has mostly been written by Anthony Kiedis and John Frusciante (since replaced by Josh Klinghoffer). The band have reintroduced a lot of older tracks in their set list since, so that might be changing.
  • Until Genesis had enough hits to throw away a lot of their earlier epics, progressive pieces such as "Supper's Ready", "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", "Squonk", "Dance On A Volcano" and "The Cinema Show", which were still played even as late as 1986, often clashed considerably with the new sound, style and line-up changes of the band in The '80s, to the point where they could be seen as artifacts in the set list.
    • A similar effect happened with the Trevor Rabin-era line-up of Yes, who had to share catchy, post-modern, commercial, MTV-approved '80s pop hits like "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" in their set lists with early progressive epics like "Heart Of The Sunrise" and "Your Move/All Good People" from The '70s.
  • Despite several centuries of independence from Spain, the Dutch national anthem still contains a statement of loyalty to the Spanish king.
  • Russia's current national anthem has the same tune as the Soviet Union's but with different lyrics.
  • Oddly enough, the horn section that the band Chicago was originally built around became a bit of an artifact in The '80s as the band's style shifted from progressive rock/jazz outfit to a smoother, poppier, more keyboard-centered AOR/MOR band. The horns seemed to be used very sparingly, and in the background of their hits, when used at all.
    • A similar situation would be narrowly averted with Electric Light Orchestra. A side project of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne of The Move, originally, until The Move's split, the band was made with the intention of crossbreeding the sound of an electric rock group with the sound of a string section (orchestra) used as an integral part of the groupnote ; the band's name was a pun on the electric light bulb and BBC Light Orchestra. Even after the departure of Roy Wood from the band after their debut album, and the group's eventual Genre Shift into pop (and at one point, disco), they continued to use string arrangements and Beatleseque elements prominently in the group sound; the official string-playing members of the band had less and less to do in the studio after 1974's Eldorado due to Lynne wanting more elaborate string parts. By the group's 1981 album, the New Wave-inspired, synth-heavy Time, the group had jettisoned strings almost entirely in favor of a synth-pop sound, using only a few string players or studio string parts through The '80s; Time, however, acknowledged this by shortening the group name to its Fan Nickname, ELO, officially. 2001's Zoom had little or no strings on it, either, yet the (canceled) 2001 tour note  was to have used new string players alongside the rock players.
  • Black Sabbath intended to title their second album War Pigs, but it got changed to Paranoid instead due to the popularity of the song with the same title. The rest of the artwork remained unchanged, though, and the war pig on the album cover makes very little sense.
  • New Radicals song 'Flowers' from "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" is a double one. It includes the line "It's '97, why aren't things wild?" - however, their album was only released in late 1998, and the majority of people first heard it in 1999 (as the single "You Get What You Give" was only released then). It's explained by the fact that work on the album began in 1995, and Gregg Alexander was such a perfectionist that it was delayed until he was fully happy with it.
  • Linkin Park
    • They have this with the rap aspect of their sound. In the first two nu metal-influenced albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora, it made perfect sense. After they moved on, they downplayed its presence, removing it from most songs, but not entirely. Minutes to Midnight, in the midst of all the Arena Rock, had several rap songs that felt out of place, while A Thousand Suns was progressive space rock with the occasional industrial hip-hop song. It's hard to imagine any other band putting in random rap if they had just started out with either of those albums. Their later material afterwards was more rap-oriented however, which may mean this may no longer be the case.
    • Speaking of their nu metal material, despite trying to distance themselves from the genre and even disowning it, they still have to play the material from their first two albums at every live show completely intact. No matter how at odds their old songs are with what they're trying to do, they remain. Examples include "In the End", "Papercut", "Faint", "Numb", "From the Inside", "Points of Authority", "Crawling", and "One Step Closer". The latter is an especially interesting case, because Chester actually said it was his least favorite song, yet it remains a concert staple. However, "Crawling" has in fact been slowly phased out in the '10s (especially after they learned of its memetic reputation for mocking wangst).
  • Before the concept of 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields came into place, Stephin Merritt just knew he wanted to write a long album of songs about love, and at one point had the idea that it would be a double album with 26 songs, one for every letter of the alphabet. "Xylophone Track" and "Zebra" were specifically written with this idea in mind, since "X" and "Z" otherwise don't start a lot of other words in the English language, and were kept as the last two songs on the album. "Absolutely Cuckoo" being the first song on the first disc might also have something to do with the original alphabetical concept.
  • Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" tends to stick out like a sore thumb whenever he includes it in a concert (not that he plays it often) - very few of his songs are as drenched in '80s synth, and most of the other songs are heavily piano-based, have synth parts that are less distracting ("Pressure"), or are so iconic that he can't really leave them out ("The Entertainer").
    • "Captain Jack" is this on the odd occasion that it's performed, since it's one of his earlier works and he's slightly embarrassed by the more juvenile lyrics (such as the masturbation references).
  • Captain Beefheart's "Run Paint Run Run" (from Doc At The Radar Station) was an outtake from his previous album "Shiny Beast [Bat Chain Puller]", albeit with a new vocal track. This is evident because the track features trombone, an instrument only used on "Shiny Beast" while Bruce Fowler was in the band.
  • "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "The Dance" are slicker ballads that stand out compared to the rest of Garth Brooks' discography, but they remain in his setlist due to their enduring popularity.
  • Likewise with "How Forever Feels" and "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy", very early hits for Kenny Chesney that predate his arena rock-meets-beach bum sound that he's largely hand since the Turn of the Millennium. They stick out greatly in his setlist, but remain due to their enduring popularity.

    Myths and Religion 
  • Arthurian Legend: Morgan(a) "le Fay," which means "the fairy." In the earliest stories she was a wholly benevolent fairy queen whose main role is to take Arthur to Avalon for healing. Later legends reworked her into Arthur's human half-sister (and also usually evil), but her "le Fay" title lingers on, possibly because "Morgan" is still too common to use on its own. Some modern writers try to explain it, but usually don't.
  • The Qur'an contains several verses that are seemingly contradicted by others. This is because the book was written throughout a period of 23 years, to adapt with the changing political and social climate of the era. Generally, the verses written later supersede the older ones, although since the Qur'an is ordered anachronistically, it can be hard to tell which verse came out first. The Arabic designation for this is naskh (abrogation).
    • By far the most controversial of this is the so-called "sword verse" (QS 9:5), which justifies the killing of mushrikun (Arab polytheists) if they refuse to convert as a worship to God, a statement that is diametrically opposed to a hundred other verses elsewhere, as they preach tolerance, forgiveness, and patience towards the mushrikun. This verse was written when the Caliphate had become the most powerful state in Arabia, so the Muslims had more leeway in enforcing state policy compared to the time when they were a persecuted minority in Mecca. Both medieval and modern religious scholars have no problem accepting the fact that the verse abrogates the others, as the issue is no longer applicable today (the Arab polytheists having been extinct for more than a thousand years), so they regard the law as an Artifact by itself. The real controversy is that certain... people believe that the law is not an Artifact, and the mushrikun don't just refer to Arab polytheists but to non-Muslims in general, which means that there are still targets available.
    • Abstinence from intoxicants (i.e., alcohol) is a law that is chronologically introduced very late to the book. Heaven is said to contain a wine river (52:23), which is rather weird if Muslims are always prohibited from drinking it. 2:219 merely discourages Muslims from drinking intoxicants, while 4:43 forbids being intoxicated during prayer. It isn't until 5:90 that intoxicants are forbidden from being drunk in any capacity.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 132 still allows for "plural marriage", even though current LDS policy, since the 1890 and 1904 Manifestos (indeed, the former is included as Official Declaration 1), is to ban the celebration of new such unions and to excommunicate those engaging in such unions or merely advocate for such.
    • Even before 1890, D&C 132 was thought to conflict with 101 of 1835 edition, which contains anti-polygamy statements. Section 101 ended up being removed on 1876.

  • Although Lights... Camera... Action! revolves around completing an action movie, the game also constains numerous references to playing cards, and players must assemble poker hands for extra bonuses. Word of God is that the game was originally designed with a card game theme, which was changed to movie-making midway through production.

  • The medium name itself is The Artifact. The term, "podcast," is named after the Apple iPod, the device on which the medium first made inroads. However, podcasts didn't really take off as a cultural force until after iPods—where episodes had to be downloaded on a separate machine and loaded onto the iPod manually—had been made obsolete by smartphones that could manage podcast downloads automatically.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:
    • The narrator, who originally had No Name Given, has been canonically named "Cecil" since "The Phone Call" midway through the first season, but the credits still only call him "The Voice of Night Vale". His Desert Bluffs counterpart is also called "The Voice of Desert Bluffs" in the credits, despite having been canonically named "Kevin" since his first appearance.
    • Cecil's name, and the names of Kevin, Lauren, and Maureen, are an artifact of a New York theater group, the Neo-Futurists, whose performers tend to work exclusively under their real names. Many members of Night Vale's cast and crew originated from that scene, and few stopped to double-guess the wisdom of making everyone The Danza until it started causing confusion in fandom. (Cecil the character was given the full name "Cecil Gershwin Palmer" to alleviate the stress the conflation of character and self was creating for Cecil Baldwin.) Characters who had previously only been mentioned suddenly getting voice actors, most of whom didn't share the names of their pre-existing characters, also made the ones that did stand out more.
  • For the first two seasons of Mission To Zyxx Pleck has a title (Ambassador, then Emissary) and a job. In the third season he has a mission to fulfill a Zima prophecy. For the fourth season he is without official duties or a life purpose; he's just along for the ride.

    Print Media 
  • Though the only unhealthy thing about fat per se is that it has nine calories per gram as opposed to four with protein and carbohydrate (though fat is actually essential for vital functions, and is more filling than carbohydrate), women's magazines and health magazines regularly list both calories and fat.
  • Nintendo Power: For a long time, the mail section listed what state a reader sent their letter from, or read "via the Internet" if they sent it through email. Eventually the letters all redundantly read "via the Internet", but this tidbit was never taken out until the eventual US takeover.
  • Back in the 1950's, MAD had actual "departments" for comics and other stuff. Nowadays, "such-and-such department" might as well just be "such-and-such", given that each article just has its own snarky intro line.
  • "Lad mags" have been on a massive decline since the 2000's, because The Internet Is for Porn, letting viewers see as much naked naughtiness as they desire without having to awkwardly buy magazines from newstands and finding a non-embarrassing place to store it.

    Software and Technology 
  • Emoji:
    • Emoji were originally designed for Japanese pager users in 1999, with sponsorship from the Japanese ticketing firm Pia. This explains the inclusion of "Soon with Rightwards Arrow Above" (🔜), "On with Exclamation Mark with Left Right Arrow Above" (🔛), "Top with Upwards Arrow Above" (🔝) and "Back with Leftwards Arrow Above" (🔙) — these glyphs had been developed as part of an automated notification system for Pia customers, with the idea being that they could receive text messages reminding them that a ticketed event was popular, about to begin, already started, or informing them that they had missed it. The emoji can't be removed, because doing so would wreck the Unicode system that makes them work.
    • Several other unusual symbol choices trace their history back to the design intention to use them as automated notification systems. The sun ☀, cloud ☁, umbrella ☂, lightning bolt 🌩, cyclone 🌀, snowman ⛄ and moon phases 🌕🌓🌑 were intended for use by for weather forecast services and tide alerts; the ships 🚢 and planes ✈🛫🛬 for arrival and departure notifications; the astrological symbols ♌ and blood type icons 🅰🅱 for fortune-telling services.
    • The "Pager" (📟) emoji makes perfect sense as a basic telecommunication symbol for a system designed for pagers in 1999, but there is no way it would have been included had the format been designed at any time after about 2002 at the absolute latest. As the system only became popular in the West after its inclusion on the iPhone in 2011, many users aren't even sure what the little device is supposed to be...
  • Even as of late 2018, the image of the 3.5" floppy diskette continues to be an ubiquitous symbol of saving data in countless programs when many machines don't even support physical media any longer, let alone the "whopping" 1.44 MB of storage a 3.5" diskette could provide, so kids who have never even laid eyes on a real floppy disk will still know that weird square-shaped symbol with two smaller rectangles in it will represent saving. There have even been a few infamous examples of kids mistaking a floppy disk for a "3D-printed save icon."
  • Installation programs for Windows software can still ask if the user wants to add a shortcut to Quick Launch, even years after Windows 7 got rid of it and replaced it with pinning applications to the taskbar. These installers will usually not compensate by pinning the program to the taskbar.
  • Mouse Pads were created to compensate for the earliest form of computer mice which used a ball, as the ball struggled to grab traction — the soft rubber under fabric gave the surface some give and traction, which greatly improved performance. When optical mice were invented, the earliest forms of them actually required a specially-designed mouse pad (that is, specially designed for each model) to reflect the light back up at their sensor in order to function at all. Nowadays an optical mouse will operate on basically anything without issue, so all a mouse pad really does is limit movement, get in the way, and occasionally rob it of traction if it slips, and yet mouse pads continue to be very popular even to this day purely for aesthetic purposes.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers, an American basketball team, originally played in Minnesota, which actually has, you know, lakes. The name makes absolutely no sense in Los Angeles, but has been around so long that it's not changing.
  • The Utah Jazz, also an NBA team. This team originated in New Orleans, the home of jazz music. Utah? Not so much.
    • Ironically, after the Jazz left the Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans, keeping the Hornets name (earned from Charlotte's nickname, "Hornet's Nest"). The name isn't completely out of place like some of the others, but it's still humorous that New Orleans is on the giving and receiving end of this trope.
      • To turn it around straight again, their team colors are still UNC baby blue and white.
      • The New Orleans franchise has since changed its name to the Pelicans (after the Louisiana state flag), starting with the 2013-14 season. The new Charlotte team, the Bobcats, then announced they would rename themselves Hornets the following season. A deal between the NBA, Pelicans, and Hornets also saw the Pelicans transfer their Charlotte history to the current Hornets.
  • In the English football (soccer) league, London-based Wimbledon FC, nicknamed 'The Dons' were in financial crisis, which their owners decided to 'solve' by moving them to Milton Keynes, a town over 70 miles away, 2004. Unlike in the US where teams moving is common, this is completely unheard of in English football and it was denounced by virtually everyone. The fans of the original team set up their own club, AFC Wimbledon, while the now-Milton-Keynes-based team was told they couldn't call themselves 'Wimbledon' any more, so they changed to 'Milton Keynes Dons', with the last word representing the original nickname. After years of negotiation, it's now been accepted by both sides that AFC Wimbledon are the legitimate successor team to Wimbledon FC, whereas MK Dons are just a team that started in 2004. However, the suffix 'Dons' still remains.
  • In an example of one of these ultimately being changed, in the NFL, when the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee they kept the Oilers name for a bit, but finally changed to Titans, a name that doesn't scream Tennessee, but at least isn't a nonsensical reference to another region like the Oilers. Also, they had to keep the Oilers name while in Tennessee for a year or two to keep ownership of the trademark.
  • American football has a scoring play known as the drop kick, in which a player can, during play, bounce the ball off the ground and then kick it between the goalposts for a field goal or an extra point. Drop kicks have been obsolete for decades due to changes in play style and the football being made more pointed in shape to accommodate the passing game, but were never actually removed from the rule book. Cue a Miami Dolphins/New England Patriots game and consternation when Patriots backup quarterback Doug Flutie scored the first drop kick in over 60 years (it was a thank-you to coach Bill Belichick, and also Flutie's final NFL game, as he was retiring at the end of that season). Most NFL fans were unaware that the drop kick even existed.
    • Likewise, the fair catch kick. A ridiculously rare and obscure play that's only been used a handful of times in the past several decades. It takes place when a team receives a punt or kickoff and signals for a fair catch or otherwise does not return it. From the spot of the ball, rather than run a regular offensive series, the possessing team can attempt a free kick, so called because the opposing team cannot attempt to block it. The kicker and the ball spotter are the only two players involved in the play, with the kicker being allowed to take his sweet time in lining up his kick. In effect, this type of free kick plays like a normal kickoff, only with a spotter holding the ball rather then it being kicked from a tee. The kicker is aiming the ball for the uprights and if successful, his team receives three points like a field goal. Naturally, because even horrible punts and kickoffs are likely to push the ball well into the receiving team's territory, the circumstances where a free kick would be viable are rare in the extreme. A vast majority of recorded attempts took place in the final seconds of the half; since the opposing team can field the kick if it misses (and they almost always do), this leaves them no opportunity to run their own plays before time expires. Thus, the free kick serves mostly as a fun and arcane way to run out the clock with a somewhat safer result than throwing up a Hail Mary and risking an interception return they aren't prepared to guard against.
  • Ice Hockey, being somewhat of a lesser-tier professional sport in most places, tends to maintain a lot of Artifacts that people either hold up as proof that hockey is the best game ever, or people hold up as proof that the sport is backward compared to other, more popular sports:
    • The NHL instituted one point for an overtime loss starting in the 1999-2000 season, with the intention being that teams would play for a win in overtime for the extra point, instead of previous seasons where teams played defensively to keep the point they'd get in the event of a tie. After the 2004-2005 lockout, regular season games ended in a shootout if overtime kept the game tied, abolishing tie games, making the "loser point" useless and recreating the same problem that the point tried to fix: now teams that are tied at the end of the third period will play defensively in order to force a shootout, which they perceive to be easier to win.
  • The Ultimate Fighting Championship name is an artifact relating to its origin as a tournament (the winner of each PPV would become the ultimate fighting champion) and before the term Mixed Martial Arts was coined. Now with no tournaments, multiple titles and many cards with no championships at stake, the term is mostly meaningless. When Zuffa bought out UFC from Semaphore Entertainment Group, they essentially only wanted the initials because they had brand value.
  • In golf, woods are a type of club with a longer shaft and larger head than irons, but they were so named because the heads were formerly made out of a hard wood. In recent decades almost all have been made out of metal, but the most professional of golfers still call them woods.
  • While most national soccer team kits use the colors of the national flag, the German kit is black and white, and the Italian kit is all or mostly blue. This is because black and white, on the one hand, and blue, on the other, were the heraldic colors of the royal houses of Hohenzollern and Savoy, which reigned in Germany and Italy, respectively, before these countries became republics in 1919 and 1946. Meanwhile, the Russian national team still uses the same dark red kit with a few golden details design used by the Soviet Union, despite the USSR's dissolution in 1991 (FIFA recognizes the Russian team as heir of the Soviet team and attributes the latter's historical statistics to the former). Changing the kit's design would be unthinkable in the case of Italy, whose national team is well known by its nickname Gli Azzurri ("The Blue Ones"). However, alternate designs for Russia and Germany exist with the away kit of Germany often green to invoke their football association. Even the uniforms for some other sports follow this convention. American Football (for which both Germany and Italy have relatively successful national teams) is a mixed bag, with a blue wearing Italian team and a red-black-gold German team.
  • England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own national soccer teams mostly because the sport was invented in England and the rules to "Association Football" (the official name of the sport) were drawn up in England. The first "international" match was between England and Scotland, mainly because it was the only two places of nation size and shape that could field anything approaching two teams of equal talent. This even screws up the Olympic Games, as only the 2012 games in London had agreements for a Great Britain team, otherwise spots earned by England are reassigned due to the other three nations deciding not to collaborate.
  • Rugby also has some teams that represent countries that don't exist any more, have never existed or are at best political projects. One of the more famous is a United Ireland team (including players from the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland), but there is also a "West Indies" team.
  • The West Indies team in rugby is only a side created for special events. On the other hand, the West Indies is one of the 12 Test cricket "nations" (teams that play at the highest international level). In fairness, most of the former and current British possessions that make up the West Indies cricket side had been briefly united politically as the West Indies Federation.
  • The Cleveland Indians' traditional mascot, Chief Wahoo, remains a somewhat controversial one. Due to objections raised over the cartoonish depiction of an American Indian warrior, the Chief is no longer used as silly animated character for rallying fans during games. His image is still used as an emblem on merchandise, but the logo itself was relegated to alternate status in 2014 and dropped entirely in 2019, and the "Indians" name itself was retired after the 2021 season, replaced by Guardians.
  • Also on Native Americans, the Philadelphia Warriors were named for indigenous combatants, and featured them in their logo even after the move to San Francisco. However, they have since 1969 dropped Native American imagery in lieu of Californian themes, eventually changing the franchise name to Golden State Warriors. The only time a warrior has been featured ever since was their superhero mascot "Thunder" (retired once a team of the same name emerged in 2008).

    Tabletop Games 
  • In general, the backs of long-running Collectible Card Games often become this as the game and/or its publisher undergo a rebranding. Since updating the artwork on the back of the card could potentially allow a player to distinguish between them while face-down, they keep the now outdated logos or artwork years if not decades after they were phased out, as the alternative would be to require players to use sleeves with opaque backings if they want to use cards from different sets.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Ability scores ranging from 3-18 (or more). In Second edition, an ability check was made by rolling a D20 and trying to roll less than your ability score. In addition, there were mechanical differences that made each point of an ability score matter rather than having breaks at every even number. In Third and beyond, ability scores must be converted to an ability modifier, which is the pertinent information. One could transform a stat line into something like: Str +2, Dx +1, etc. (True 20 and Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition, based on d20 Open Content, did just that). Almost no mechanics would be changed, and most of those would be simplified, and modifying creatures or changing sizes would be a cinch. This sort of statline is quite common in other games.
    • A lot of player races that were converted from old editions suffer from this. Thri-Kreen make a good example. Originally from the much-loved Dark Sun campaign setting of second edition, third edition's Psionics Handbook tried to convert them to the then-current ruleset. The end result had a level adjustment of +2 (meaning Thri-Kreen characters are 2 levels lower than other characters, at all times) and 2 racial hit dice (their first 2 levels have no class features), Psionic power points (with a penalty to the stats Psionic casting uses, and a Thri-Kreen's 4 dead levels make them useless as a Psionic caster), and five natural attacks (which, due to the aforementioned 4 dead levels and the penalty required to attack with all of them, means it will just flail ineffectually with all four limbs and bite). The end result was a race that pulled in too many different directions to be good at any one thing (in comparison to other races that occasionally stray into Crippling Overspecialization territory), and was largely ignored.
    • Driders ended up with a case of this in the transition to 3E — as originally designed, it was a punishment for failing because while the transformed drow did indeed got awesome powers and a body themed to their goddess, they then got stuck at that level of power (a valid reason for drow to look down on them, given their Social Darwinist tendencies), since driders (unlike drow) couldn't get class levels. 3E brought in rules for giving class levels to monsters, yet settings that had been written before kept the drider punishment and drow looking down on them as there'd been too many references to it to smoothly retcon it out.
    • The name "fighter" seems oddly doofy for a combat class, which is because it's from the days when there were only a few classes. The original name was "fighting-man", used to refer to infantry, which was shortened to "fighter." Fighters in those days were simply intended to represent any character who fought with weapons, from soldiers to cavaliers to swashbucklers to generals to berserkers (to the point of changing name as they levelled up in some versions, capping out at "Lord"). Later on, most of these archetypes became represented by their own classes or archetypes, leaving the fighter looking and sounding oddly generic. Nonetheless, the name's stuck around in favor of, say, "warrior", because it's become too associated with the class to drop it.
    • An unfortunate one in 3rd was the monk and paladin. Originally, the classes required very high stats all around to take levels in (paladins, for instance, required a Charisma of at least 17), but offered useful abilities that keyed off all those stats. 3rd removed stat requirements for classes, but the monk and paladin continued having most of their abilities key off lots of stats, making them notoriously difficult to use due to requiring every stat to be good.
    • This trope hit a lot of multiclass characters that were converted to 3.x rules early on. Dual-classing or multiclassing in 2nd Edition worked very differently; a fighter 6/wizard 6 would be about on par with a 9th-level character, since taking multiple lower levels in fighter required less XP than taking a higher level in wizard, and they stayed close enough to the curve to be passable at both. In 3.x, it costs the same amount of XP to take the next level regardless of what class you're taking it in, so that same character was now considered 12th level, and completely abysmal at both their skillsets. This led to a lot of major NPCs, particularly from Forgotten Realms, being incredibly weak for their supposed level; Storm Silverhand was notoriously a CR 32 character whose strongest ability was casting sorcerer spells a single-classed character got twenty levels ago. Eventually, the designers realized this, and introduced Prestige Classes like the eldritch knight or arcane trickster to get the old "sort of good at two things" feel.
    • The orc afterlife is still the Lawful-leaning-Evil Acheron, even after orcs and their god Gruumsh were reflavored as Chaotic Evil. The idea still sorta works, though, as it means the orc afterlife is a perpetual battlefield. Similarly, halflings retain the Lawful Good goddess of plenty, fertility, and the home, Yondalla, as their generic deity, even after being retooled away from their roots of being barely-concealed Tolkien hobbits and made into nomadic True Neutral thieves.
    • Druids, Paladins, and Monks got hit with a mild version of this. Post-4th Edition rules remove alignment restrictions on classes, but the descriptions of each class in the Player's Handbook are clearly written with the idea that Druids are always neutral, Monks are always Lawful, and Paladins are always Lawful Good. The Oath of Tyranny paladin variant is also interesting in this regard, as in earlier editions "fallen paladin"-type classes had to be evil, but the Paladin of Tyranny is fully capable of being Good despite their powers and flavor being clearly malevolent. The Oathbreaker Paladin is the one exception to this, as they're explicitly required to be evil and lose their Oathbreaker abilities if they become non-evil, even if they don't get redeemed.
    • 4th and 5th editions de-emphasize the Character Alignment system to a roleplaying guide with almost no in-game mechanical component. Previous editions have alignment restrictions on some Character Classes and many alignment-dependent effects (such as Smite Evil and Detect Evil); these are either removed entirely or revised to affect entities like Celestials, Fiends, and Undead instead of targeting alignments.
    • The small reptilian monster known as the "pseudodragon" really ought to be given a new name (stingdrake?), as its official one hasn't made sense for decades. At the time of its debut, in the 1st Edition Monster Manual, it was the only creature to look like a proper dragon - four legs plus wings, single dragon head - that wasn't one of the classic ten types, so tagging it a "false" dragon seemed reasonable enough. But loads of other dragon-types besides the "true" ten - some, like the faerie dragon or the smaller drakes, every bit as puny in comparison to the "true" dragons as the pseudodragon - have since been introduced, making it hard to explain why this particular one should be singled out as "pseudo-". And the game boasts plenty of other vaguely-draconic-looking critters (behir, dragonne, fire lizard) that could equally merit the "false dragon" title... the more so, as the official pseudodragon has been treated as a paid-in-full member of the Dragon creature type, mechanics-wise, since 3e.
    • In the Forgotten Realms setting, the drow city of Menzoberranzan uses a giant rock called Narbondel to measure time by heating it and letting it cool; this was added to the story when the drow saw via infravision, allowing them to see heat signatures. However, infravision was removed from the game years ago, and replaced with darkvision, that allowed people to see in perfect darkness, only in greyscale. Narbondel remains and continues to function as a clock tower, even though it's not exactly clear how the drow see it heat and cool.
    • Half-orcs became this once character alignment was de-emphasized and orcs were no longer Always Chaotic Evil. In the old days of D&D, full-blooded orcs were a purely antagonistic race. Half-orcs were the products of war crimes, but their human blood meant they had the capacity for good. Since everything described here reeks of Unfortunate Implications, half-orcs were given numerous revisions over the years to make their background less dependent on rape, and full orcs were presented with non-evil options as well, meaning they could theoretically be player characters themselves. Still, half-orcs had been one of the default races since the start of the game; it'd be impossible to remove them or even replace them with full orcs without causing an outcry.
  • Exalted was originally written as a pre-history for the Old World of Darkness; strong hints of this remained all throughout 1st edition, until that train of thought was pretty much abandoned for 2nd edition. This is why the 1st edition Lunars took more than a few elements from the Garou (much to the displeasure of fans), Sidereals occasionally had to deal with Paradox, and the Underworld was ruled by Deathlords and the Neverborn, who were paradoxically called "Malfeans" as well when Malfeas was a Yozi instead.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The back of the cards. The "Deckmaster" on the back of the cards was originally used to denote that Magic was the first of a series of games with that title (two others carried the "Deckmaster" theme: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and Netrunner); it no longer has any real relevance, but is kept to prevent people from being able to easily tell information about the card from just the back. Likewise, the word "Magic" remains blue on the card back despite it having been changed to yellow, and later replaced by an entirely different logo, everywhere else.
    • Protection and regeneration. The rules for both mechanics are far messier than anything that would be approved today and there are small nuances that can trip up even experienced players (such as a creature leaving combat when it regenerates). However, both have a very strong flavor behind them as well as two decades of history keeping them in the game.
    • The upkeep step. There are still plenty of cards that use it, as it's useful to have a time for things to trigger at the beginning of the turn, but it's long since lost its original purpose note , leaving it with a name that doesn't make any sense.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Spell cards made a lot more sense back when it was focused mostly on fantasy elements with a pinch of science fiction instead of the other way around.
    • Likewise the term "Tribute" would seem extremely out of place nowadays. This is averted in the OCG, where it is called advance summon instead.
    • The term "monster" can still describe a lot of cards, but even before the game was properly a game, there were plenty of cards that looked basically human or humanoid, along with cards that were downright cute (and not in an Ugly Cute way; straight-up puppies). In the very early days, the cards had a very grotesque bent to them, which made the term fitting, but now, even inhuman cards tend towards a far sleeker appearance that hardly calls to mind a monster.
    • This affects certain playstyles and gimmicks, which fall Out of Focus due to the design and marketing team losing interest in them. Up until the release of the actually-decent Gishkis, sets were still seeing fairly occasional releases of Ritual Monsters even though there had only ever been one meta Ritual deck and the mechanic itself was badly outdated, simply because they were a unique card type and they therefore deserved a little extra support. This also afflicted the Synchro type during the ZEXAL era and Pendulums during the VRAINS era.
    • A number of cards to debut in the anime were altered for the card game, leading to oddities when they bore vestiges of their anime functionality.
      • Both Multiply and Elegant Egotist in the anime and manga could explicitly be used on a wide variety of cards (Multiply on any monster with under 500 ATK, Elegant Egotist on any monster period), with their users just having a preference for Kuriboh and Harpie Lady, respectively. The card game changed them to only work on those cards, but didn't change their rather generic-looking artwork or names that don't suggest the card they're based on.
      • Fake Explosion in the anime could summon any level 5 monster; hence, the artwork shows Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, who is level 5. In the card game, this was changed to it being only able to summon the card it was used to summon in the anime, that being Summon Reactor - SK. This leads to the card depicting a monster that has nothing to do with its effect, rather than the card it's designed to help.
    • Toons originated from a period when the game was still in a very experimental phase and was uncertain for how to handle certain subcategories of cards that are designed to be used together. Consequently, on top of giving all Toons the term "Toon" in the name (i.e. Toon Mermaid, Toon Summoned Skull), they also made Toon a special classification of monster listed in the rulebook, with the term being listed in the same line as their typing (previously, this was reserved to Flip monsters, which are truly universal and generic in how they function). Later on in the game's history with Gravekeepers, the designers decided that simply sharing a part of their names was enough to designate an archetype, and every archetype since has followed suit, with those special classifications only being handed out for generic mechanics spread out across many archetypes (i.e. Geminis, Unions, Tuners). This leaves Toon in a weird place of being both an archetype and a special category of monster, even though this has very little effect on how they actually function and almost nothing would change if they ditched the special category and made Toons a regular archetype. This is also worth noting in that Toons do not actually have a universal function that can be defined in a rulebook—while all Flip Monsters truly function the same, newer Toons have noticeably different and more powerful effects than older ones.
    • Certain cards got a Dub Name Change that led to problems with later archetypes, forcing the name to be changed back. For instance, "Oscillo Hero #2" had to be renamed back to "Wattkid", because its Japanese name put it in the Watt archetype. However, some cards have ended up keeping their changed names regardless. Most notably, Summoned Skull's Japanese name (Summoned Demon) puts it in the Archfiend (Demon) archetype, but it hasn't had its name changed into "Summoned Archfiend" or "Skull Archfiend" (like its upgraded versions) because it's an iconic card, showing up frequently in the anime and the real game, and therefore people would be annoyed if it got changed. Modern reprints of Summoned Skull give it a special line of text explaining that it counts as an Archfiend, even though it's a Normal Monster and shouldn't have any special text to begin with.
  • Clue:
    • It's a game about logic and deduction with very little reason for having a die-roll to move around the board - in fact, different editions of the game change the numbers of squares between various rooms for no apparent reason. The game plays more smoothly and less frustratingly when you allow players to automatically move to a neighbouring room, but it has a die-roll to move because it was a standard element of board games at the time.
    • The characters' famous color-themed names ("Mr. Green", "Miss Scarlet", "Professor Plum", "Colonel Mustard", etc.) began as a cheeky nod to the fact that the game pieces were originally just color-coded plastic chess pawns. But as the game has become more popular and widely played, many modern editions have featured individually designed mini-figurines or stand-up cards for the characters, rendering the color-themed names less meaningful—but they're far too iconic to cut out.
  • Initially, Cardfight!! Vanguard allowed any number of different clans in a deck. At the same time, they wanted to encourage your deck sticking to a single theme, so many skills had riders that allowed them to only work with specific clans. One of these skills was the keyword Forerunner, which appeared on every Grade 0 intended to be a starting Vanguard. Eventually Clan Fight was instigated as the standard format, officially limiting you to only one clan per deck. At that point, they stopped restricting skills by clan (since there was no point), but the reminder text for Forerunner still said that it only works when another unit of the same clan Rides it, years after it stopped mattering.
  • Warhammer 40,000 started life as a simple, tongue-in-cheek conversion of "Warhammer Fantasy IN SPACE!", and as such, featured a lot of counterparts to ideas and factions that are prominent in Fantasy. While the main groups (the Empire becoming the Imperium, the Warriors of Chaos becoming the Chaos Space Marines, the High and Dark Elves becoming the Craftworld and Dark Eldar, the Orcs becoming the Orks, etc) stayed pretty ironclad, a number of factions ported from Fantasy failed to ever really break out and have mostly languished in the back of the setting since. Groups like Ogryns, Beastmen, and Ratlings are essentially just a handful of troops usable by Imperial Guard players, and as the Imperium's extreme xenophobia has become more prevalent, it's harder to imagine them sticking around. Squats were a particularly notorious case, in that Games Workshop decided to avert this trope by simply ceasing publication of them and removing them from the model range, but this created such a significant backlash (and Squats would go on to creep back into canon anyway) that it's unlikely they'll ever try something on that scale again.
    • The greatest example of The Artifact is the very name of the game: In Warhammer Fantasy, the game is named after THE titular Warhammer, Ghal Maraz, which is the weapon of the Emperor. In Warhammer 40000 there is no such weapon, The Emperor even used a sword as his main weapon!
  • The "full house" hand in poker comes from the early days of the game, where it described the fact that it was the only named hand that required all five cards in the hand (some versions even simply call it "full hand"), that being three of one card and two of another. This put it in opposition with pairs, three of a kind, and four of a kind, which max out at requiring four cards in the hand. Later on, the straight, flush, and straight flush were added to the game, which also require all five cards to meet a certain requirement, meaning the full house is no longer unique in that regard. Nonetheless, the name sticks around because it's too ingrained in the game, and there's no real alternative.


    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • A lot of things exist because they were based on tropes that were popular in 1955, when Disneyland was built. Over time, they have become "the way Disneyland is", and therefore new international parks get the same lands and attractions.
      • Main Street, USA was built on the Lost and Greatest Generations' (and, especially, Walt Disney's personal) nostalgia for the 1890s/1900s.
      • Adventureland and exotica/Tiki culture, as well as nature documentaries (including Disney's own True-Life Adventures series).
      • Frontierland and westerns, which are much less common since the mid-1950s.
      • Fantasyland and Tomorrowland have largely escaped this because the tropes they're based on, Disney's animated films and sci-fi, are still popular. However, Tomorrowland has had a few brushes with this too, mostly regarding Technology Marches On.
    • Liberty Square at Disney World's Magic Kingdom and the America Sings attraction in Disneyland's Tomorrowland were opened in 1971 and 1974 (respectively) in preparation for the United States' Bicentennial celebration in 1976. They both lasted well beyond that — America Sings didn't close until 1988 and Liberty Square is still open to this day. This is likely due to the expense of building all the animatronics involved, and the impracticality of discarding them. Especially at the Hall of Presidents, which probably houses the most expensive collection of animatronics ever assembled. And they're not easy to repurpose; their Donald Trump looks like Hillary Clinton in a cheap mask because that's exactly what he is.
    • The Disney World version of Fantasmic! has an elaborate sequence based on Pocahontas, which seems rather dated, seeing as the film was not a big hit. The Disneyland version, which uses Peter Pan, has aged much better. That has since been replaced with a Pirates of the Caribbean segment, although time will tell how well that ages (despite the commercial and critical failure of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales just months before the segment launched in 2017, the franchise has remained popular worldwide; indeed, the segment launched a full 14 years after the release of the first film).
    • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland is an odd choice for one of just five dark rides in Fantasyland, considering that the other four are based on Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan, all of which have remained staples of the Disney Animation Canon. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, meanwhile, is a largely unknown package of two short films that only semi-serious Disney buffs will remember. Nonetheless, fans were upset when it was replaced in Walt Disney World with the more popular Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
    • Disney's Hollywood Studios has opened guard gates littered (seemingly) randomly around the park. These are a holdover from when the park doubled as a working studio, and were meant to signify to the guests that they were leaving the "onstage" area (which featured the rides) and were entering the "backstage" area (where the studio tours were performed). In October of 2014 the last of these tours closed permanently (the Backlot Tram Tour), and so all the guard gates do now is signify that guests are entering a somewhat more sparse area than the area they were just in.
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park was originally intended to include a section called Beastly Kingdom (where Camp Minnie Mickey is today), which would have been themed around fantasy creatures. The idea was scrapped early on due to multiple factors, but a dragon still appears in the park's logo.
    • Any remaining California aspects of Disney California Adventure are quickly becoming this. When the California themed-park opened, it was largely panned by guests because who would want to go to a theme park version of the state they're currently in? Through the addition of A Bug's Land (now the site of Avengers Campus), Cars Land, the conversion of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier, the change of Soarin' Over California to Soarin' Around the World to match the Walt Disney World version, and the conversion of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, almost all traces of the park's original California heritage have been removed. The parts that do remain — Hollywood Studios, Grizzly Peak, and so on — stick out like a sore thumb in comparison.
    • On a similar note, the fact that A Bug's Life did well enough to warrant an entire land devoted to it was a surprise to many Disney fans. When it opened in 2002, California Adventure needed as many good attractions as possible to justify its existence, and A Bug's Land did the trick, with 4-D film It's Tough To Be a Bug! being the land's headline attraction for guests. Shortly before the land's closure in 2018 however, between Mission: Breakout! and the entirety of Cars Land, A Bug's Land had fallen to the wayside for people who weren't families with small children (who most of the land's rides were aimed at anyway) or people looking for the Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass that was located there.
    • EPCOT was originally a planned futuristic city designed by Walt Disney himself. It stood for "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." A World's Fair-esque theme park was built to be at its centerpiece, and accordingly named EPCOT Center, but the rest of the city was ultimately canned and the land was repurposed for additional parks. In 1994, the name was changed to simply Epcot, note the capitalization, and more recently even the World's Fair theme has been pushed aside in favor of incorporating yet more attractions themed around Disney properties.
      • The original EPCOT plan is also why Walt Disney World is so ungodly huge, by the way, and why Epcot is located such a ridiculous distance away from the Magic Kingdom, which was meant to be so far from the city as to not be visible from it.
    • Star Tours was added to Disneyland's Tomorrowland in 1987, but it now appears misplaced due to the introduction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019, which included several other Star Wars-themed attractions. The Star Tours at Walt Disney World is located in Hollywood Studios like Galaxy's Edge, but remains in the Echo Lake section of the park, which is a considerable amount of distance away from the other Star Wars attractions.
  • Six Flags is the name of a string of theme parks from California to Massachusetts. The six flags are the "six flags of Texas," which have flown over it at various times in its history; the original park is near Dallas. The flags are the Spanish, French, Mexican, Texan (from its time as an independent nation), American, and Confederate. Now that the franchise is in other states, the six flags are simply shown in silhouette, as a brand logo. One reason this makes sense is because displaying the Confederate flag is a major controversy in American culture. One could argue that the flag is being used in a purely factual historical context, but one can't fault the company for wanting to steer clear of the controversy. However, there is a whole other can of Fridge Logic involved with the confederate flag, given that the Confederacy had three official flag designs during its existence and it is hard to establish which of them actually flew over Texas and what that would make of the "six flags" that gave the name. In addition to that, the flag commonly known as the "Confederate Flag" was not one of those three. (Though the latter two designs included it in the upper left corner with the rest being white or white with a red horizontal strip respectively)
    • The Magic Flyer kiddie coaster at Magic Mountain is probably one of the oldest coasters in the park (It first moved to the park in 1971, but was first built for Bevely Park in 1946) and been numerous rethemeings. During the 2007-2008 off-season, it was given a Thomas & Friends theme and named Percy's Railway. To fit this, the first car was made to resemble Percy. In 2010, Six Flags lost the Thomas license and the ride was given a generic train theme. As a result, the Percy car was kept, with largly the same paint applications, though the face has been removed.
  • Originally, each of the tracks at Dueling Dragons, a dual roller coaster at Islands of Adventure, was designed to mirror the other so that there would be several near-miss encounters between the two coasters; the ride was even programmed to make certain calculations to ensure optimal timing. However, after a few accidents (possibly involving objects flying from people's pockets and hitting others), Universal made the decision to permanently end the practice of launching the coasters simultaneously, thus getting rid of the near-miss encounters that used to be the ride's main selling point, and thus rendering the design aspect of it completely without purpose. (Also, the ride changed its name to Dragon Challenge after it was co-opted into Harry Potter, thus averting an Artifact Title.)
  • Theme Parks in general being associated with Monorails is explained by the era the first Disney parks opened. Back then Monorails were seen as futuristic and some kind of urban transport panacea. That idea now seems quaint, but as Disney had built monorails Theme Parks around the world decided to Follow the Leader. Even fictional theme parks such as Nuka-World will feature them. However, the two biggest disadvantages of monorails are not a major problem for theme parks: They are usually proprietary systems making them difficult to link across city lines (not a problem as no theme park will ever link with a theme park of a different company) and switching is a major headache if it is possible at all (not a problem as most lines are or can be designed as a simple loop).
  • Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure still prominently features multiple characters, rides and attractions drawn from Marvel Comics—even though Marvel has been owned by Universal's sworn rivals, Disney, since 2009. Thanks to a peculiar legal loophole, they still retain the theme park rights to several Marvel characters, while Disney owns the characters themselves, meaning that they're forced to pay their biggest competitor in order to keep the characters in the park. While this might seem pretty self-defeating, they can't exactly remove Marvel Superheroes Island overnight, since that would leave a gaping hole in the park.
    • The same is true of Springfield as well, following Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox in 2019 giving them ownership over The Simpsons. Unlike with Marvel however Universal's deal with The Simpsons is not in perpetuity, and is set to expire in 2028.

  • Collector-aimed toylines based on originally kiddie properties often have vestiges of their original gimmicks and play patterns, even though they're aimed at an audience that generally abhors them. A good example is Masters of the Universe Classics Hurricane Hordak, an updated version of a figure that had a gear-driven spinning gimmick. The modern toy lacks this spinning gimmick entirely (as it would compromise the arm and chest poseability), but still has a big red immobile gear molded into the figure's back, even though the gear no longer does anything.
  • Transformers:
    • Since the days of Beast Wars, it's utilized the "size class" system by which toys are designed to fit into certain price points depending on size. One of the oddities of the size class, however, is the term "Deluxe" - it refers to the six-inch scale, and it's by far the most common one, with the majority of figures in nearly any modern line being Deluxes. This might seem a little odd, since "deluxe" usually means something particularly good, rather than the baseline, as Deluxe figures seem to be. This is because in the Beast Wars days, the Deluxe size was the second smallest size, beat out by the 4-inch Basic size, which was intended as the baseline. However, the Deluxe class turned out to be the more popular size, and the Basic class, by 2006, was phased out in favor of the pocket-size Legends or gimmick designs like Real Gear Robots or Activators, leaving Deluxe to be the "standard" size. When the four-inch scale returned in 2009, it was in the form of the fairly uncommon Scouts, even in name reinforcing the Deluxe's dominance.
    • The phenomena of "fake kibble" is a pretty consistent one in modern days. Whenever a character gets a redesign, it'll usually have the same vehicle kibble (the parts of the alt-mode that don't wind up tucked away into the robot) as their original design. This even happens when the character's vehicle mode doesn't have the parts necessary to recreate the original kibble. For instance, Optimus Prime's original design had the front of a flat-nosed truck becoming his chest, so he wound up with a truck grille for the abs and the windshield going on his pecs. Modern-day Optimuses usually have longnose modes that can't really do this, but instead pull a random truck grille and windshield from inside them to duplicate the original design.
      • Megatron is the king of this phenomenon. His original toy turned into a pistol, and most of his design is steeped in that altmode: his silver color scheme is the gun's metal, his black, curved, prominent shins are the grip, his Arm Cannon is the scope, his wide chestplate is part of the slide, his shoulders have protrusions that become the hammer, and even his signature helmet was originally the gun's tang. But for a variety of reasons—Megatron being able to shrink to handheld size raises questions, the main villain turning into a gun for someone else to use is silly, and it puts him at the mercy of safety laws that are very opposed to any toy that can be mistaken for a real firearmvery few Megatron toys turn into pistols, and only two since the original were meant for mass-market. But since Transformers: Animated, nearly every new Megatron design features some or all of these elements, even if he turns into something that shouldn't warrant most or any of them.
    • Early toys in the line were repurposed from Japanese toylines that often left them with oddly vestigial features. The Autobot cars and Decepticon jets were designed as piloted mechs rather than sentient robots and therefore had opening cockpits meant to seat drivers, despite no drivers coming with the toys. There was also a large number of toys that used to have firing missiles or projectiles, but the springs in their mechanisms were removed due to them being overpowered and firing tiny fast-moving missiles, making them an active safety hazard. You therefore had a lot of figures that had a weapon, a missile that fits into that weapon, and a switch on the weapon that... does nothing.
    • Optimus's trailer has largely become this—it's an iconic part of his vehicle mode design, but it's also a gray box larger than Optimus himself with very little actual play value aside from folding out a rather dinky turret or containing the equally irrelevant Roller. The animators famously had so much trouble with it that they just had it vanish offscreen whenever he wasn't in truck mode. Later designs tend to struggle with the challenge of whether to try to make the trailer exciting or just leave it out altogether, and high-grade Masterpieces or Masterpiece-alikes pretty much resign themselves to doubling their prices to budget the thing in.
    • Overhaul in Transformers Cybertron was originally going to be named "Trailbreaker", but this didn't go through because the name couldn't be trademarked. However, his upgraded form still ended up being named "Leobreaker", despite the name now being totally incongruous. Reportedly, the designers decided to just roll with Leobreaker as a name because they couldn't think of a better alternative ("Leohaul" just sounds weird).
  • When the first Avengers movie came out in 2012, the toy line from Hasbro included a Skrull soldier despite no Skrulls appearing in the first movie. It turns out that the Skrull was from a loosely-connected Avengers video game that THQ was producing that ended up being cancelled.
    • The franchise's signature masks existed because of an action gimmick. The masks were easy to pop off, pretty much every set in the first year had at least one mask somewhere, and every toy had some kind of motion feature (swinging arms, snapping jaws). The idea — the characters fought by knocking each other's masks off — was pretty obvious. Even toys without masks had either some compatibility with the gimmick (Bohrok krana could fasten over a mask slot) or a similar function (Rakhshi popping open when their heads were struck). And to cap it off, masks made for good collectibles, and obtaining a set of masks was usually relevant to the storyline. When the Metru Nui arc began, the masks were redesigned to be impossible to easily knock off to improve the toy's stability, and they were only relevant in the storyline as a way to give the characters some extra powers or the occasional overpowered MacGuffin. Not long after, the motion features went the way of the dodo as well. By that point, though, the masks had become so ingrained in the setting that it was impossible to not have primary characters without masks.
    • Gear-activated arm-swinging functions lost their original purpose of knocking off masks concurrently with the masks' redesign around 2003, but it took until 2006 for Lego to phase these features out completely. As the models began focusing more on form and articulation than function, many of the toys released between those years were stuck in an awkward middle-point of being well articulated in some points but having floppy arms with limited movement.
    • The franchise was heavily based on the real-world Maori mythology and language, which nearly lead to a lawsuit in 2001 when Maori activists accused LEGO of misusing their culture. Almost all of the Maori elements were toned down or removed, but it took until 2004 for the general "tribal islander" motif itself to vanish. The rest of the franchise was more generic science fantasy, which LEGO had actually planned for since the start, but tribal culture, legends and prophecies were such signature aspects of the brand that they were still alluded to in later years, and the 2015 reboot brought them back in full.
    • Similarly, the constant use of primitive or low tech settings and mixing nature with technology in the franchise's expanded universe. The fact that the original characters (seemingly high tech robotic beings) lived a tribal lifestyle on a tropical island made sense: it wasn't their actual home, they had merely evacuated there from their true place of origin, a giant space robot that had crashed on a planet. Settings introduced later kept up this trend of contrasting high with low tech, with somewhat forced but relatively sensible justifications: these places were either also outside the robot or inside its damaged parts where nature had intruded on an otherwise mechanical world. Other lands within the robot, introduced in side stories, had no real reason not to be all futuristic and fully industrial. After all, why would a giant robot be full of jungles, deserts, seas or swamps? But juxtaposing nature with tech and showing robotic people living on islands was Bionicle's "thing", so the writers kept on adding more and more primitive islands to the story even if it made little thematic or narrative sense.
    • While the play features of most early sets involved simply knocking off each other's masks, the 2001 set Muaka & Kane-Ra took this idea further and had models that lost limbs once their connectors were removed during play. It later turned out this rather morbid play gimmick was a carryover from a bizarre early concept for Bionicle, "Bone-Heads of Voodoo Island", which would have featured dismemberment and other bodily violence. All other models were scrapped or heavily reimagined, but one prototype toy only received minimal alterations and became Bionicle's Muaka & Kane-Ra set.
    • The 2006 Toa Inika were envisioned with glow-in-the-dark heads, and their blank, faceless heads and bizarre organic masks with large eye and mouth holes reflected this design choice. Yet, the toys' heads were cast out of regular, non-fluorescent green and white plastic that rendered their drastically unorthodox designs moot. The glowing heads even made it into the books, explaining that the reason the Inika had no faces under their masks was because of the intense shine that the toys ended up lacking.
    • Popping off masks came back as a gimmick for BIONICLE (2015)'s first year. Lego later redesigned back of the toys' heads as they no longer wanted to advertise this function, but the masks' connection points were unchanged due to budgetary reasons, inadvertently carrying over the gimmick (or a less functional version thereof) to another year's worth of toys.
  • Japanese high-end toymaker Revoltech made their mark for their "revolver joint" setup, a rather sophisticated if bulky joint design for the era that allowed for both decent range of movement and solidity when holding poses. In their early days, one could count on nearly every joint in a figure to be a revolver joint. Nowadays, the revolver joint is considered somewhat outdated, as other designs allow for similar traits without the conspicuous spherical bulges it creates, but Revoltech still puts at least one revolver joint in every figure, even if it's a place where the joint's advantages aren't important.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Pom Pom was meant to be Homestar's sidekick when the cartoon was still primarily sports-based, easily the number two character in early cartoons, behind Homestar himself. As the cartoon shifted away from sports and more toward Strong Bad and pop culture, Pom Pom became more and more superfluous, now being one of the rarest of the twelve central characters. Probably doesn't help that he's the straight man with few quirks or flaws in a cartoon where much quirkier characters Strong Bad, Strong Sad, Marzipan, Bubs, and occasionally even Homestar himself can all play the straight man role as necessary, nor that he can't talk in anything besides bubble sounds. Most of his recent appearances make his lack of comedic traits or flaws the joke.
    • Coach Z has also gone through this a little bit; as his name implies, he was intended to be a coach for Homestar and the rest. Unlike Pom Pom, Coach Z quickly diversified his output, with him moving from a coach to a creepy, depressing, poorly-rapping, and dubiously sane loser who coincidentally lives in the gym locker rooms. That said, he's still called Coach Z, and is implied to still do coaching; we just almost never see him doing it.
    • Senor Cardgage's design originates from his first appearance, which was about Strong Bad imagining what he would be like if he wasn't "cool", and therefore he looks like Strong Bad as a lanky middle-aged creep - only for the ending to reveal that Strong Bad was describing a real person whom Strong Bad inexplicably admires. Even that video only confirms that Senor Cardgage really does look like that in an Easter Egg. Aside from that relationship, the two have nothing in common, so there's really no reason for Cardgage to look like Strong Bad other than the premise of the video in which he was introduced.
  • SMG4: The series started out as Machinimas of Super Mario 64 and featured characters from the Super Mario series as the cast, but then as the series progressed more and more non-Mario and even Original Characters were added to the cast, Garry's Mod is used more prominently than SM64, and heck, a lot of the Mario characters have been Demoted to Extra. There's a reason why the series no longer goes by the name of Super Mario 64 Bloopers.
  • hololive was introduced as a Virtual Youtuber Idol Singer group who also occasionally streamed video games. As their gaming streams gained popularity, however, parent company Cover decided to introduce a group called "hololive GAMERS" who would primarily stream games (with 1st generation member Fubuki Shirakami being brought on as a member of GAMERS due to her particular knack for gaming). Since then, however, hololive's game streams have easily equaled, if not eclipsed, the idol singer angle in international popularity, such that the "GAMERS" label has become redundant, remaining largely to differentiate Fubuki, Korone Inugami, Okayu Nekomata, and Mio Ookami's group from the other generations.

  • Occasionally mentioned by the Penny Arcade creators who, while enjoying the character DIV, admit that the DIVX format's failure condemns the character's basis to increasing obscurity.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the author has been quoted to no longer enjoy several of the earlier gags, especially the hammers. Hammers were sacrificed for good, in exchange for a handful of Character Development, setting development and plot points.
    • The level of fanservice has also dropped off significantly since the author started expressing guilt over objectifying women in the earlier strips. Tedd and Ellen still have their transformation rays, but they almost never see use.
      • Now averted in the cases of fanservice and transformation; see Elliot's date with Ashley and subsequent scenes in the car park and woods. See also Goonmanji in EGS:NP, which is out of continuity but it's rather interesting to see the characters themselves getting comfortable with transformations and skimpy clothes.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Once the central premise of the comic, the constant parodies of the Dungeons & Dragons rules have essentially vanished, only being occasionally dragged back in to keep longtime fans happy. The author has stated in his commentaries to one of his books that he basically has nothing else to say about the rules and is concentrating on telling a good story now.
    • The peculiar way that the Demon Roaches speak (text without a bubble, just a connector) was also used for when characters would make side comments. However, this was phased out entirely with Book 3, and now the Demon Roaches are the only characters who speak this way.
  • Even though Fred finds ways to keep him important to the plot, pretty much anything involving Largo from MegaTokyo has felt like this ever since Rodney Caston was forced out of the creative partnership.
  • Choo-Choo Bear has faded into the shadows of Something*Positive; right now almost all of his appearances are as the snooty Q&A cat. (Randy Milholland was always determined to limit his appearances for fear overusing him, though.) He did become more active for a time as a result of an extended crossover with Girls with Slingshots.
  • Spark from Dominic Deegan dates back to the strip's early Gag Per Day days. He has adapted better than most artifacts do, but he still feels out of place in the post-Cerebus Syndrome Deeganverse. And he can completely vanish from stories entirely without warning for nearly years at a time, only to occasionally make appearances to reference an old running gag.
  • This Is Not Fiction: The original premise of the comic was Julian trying to find his Celebrity Crush Sidney Morgan accompanied by Landon and Isaiah. Particularly, after Landon and Julian get arrested, the series goes into Cerebus Syndrome and the main focus of the plot becomes Julian and Landon's Will They or Won't They?. Eventually, Isaiah recognizes that Julian is not really all that interested in Sidney Morgan anymore and that their latest adventures were pretty much using Sidney Morgan as an excuse to hang around with his friends.
  • Homestuck has a lot of these, mainly due to how quickly the narrative evolves:
    • Sylladices once played a major role in the story (the first third or so of Act One consisted entirely of John messing around with his sylladex), but are now rarely ever given much thought, the exception being the late-Act Five subplot with Liv Tyler and the Courtyard Droll handling John's Wallet Modus and its contents. A similar fate has befallen punch card alchemy; the process became significantly more streamlined when Dave figured out how to upgrade the equipment, so much of the messing-around John needed to do with it early on promptly became irrelevant. Act 6 brought those things back into play for a short time before putting them on the sidelines again around Act 6 Act 5.
    • Viz Media's rebranding MS Paint Adventures to still keeps around references to the old website name. The "comics" section lists the preceding comics as "Other MS Paint Adventures", which itself is an Artifact from the time before Problem Sleuth and Homestuck made it big when Hussie concepted it as a site to host his various adventure stories.
  • In Least I Could Do, the character Jon originally served as Rayne's foil, being the Only Sane Man who reined in Rayne's zanier impulses. The character fell out of use as the author Ryan Sohmer found himself growing distant from Jon's inspiration, and a new character based on another friend of Sohmer's (Noel) took over the role of Rayne's wingman. Eventually Sohmer acknowledged this by writing a story arc where Rayne and Jon patch up their friendship, and with Noel's marriage and child Jon has started coming back into the forefront.
    • Thankfully Noel hasn't really ever suffered from Replacement Scrappy Syndrome, in that he's notably different from Jon - Jon is the Only Sane Man who may or may not suffer ulcers from dealing with Rayne; Noel is a Deadpan Snarker who's more than happy to accompany Rayne on his adventures, and only stops Rayne before he's going to do something TOO stupid.
  • Nuzlocke Comics has undergone an unbelievable amount of Art Evolution from its early days, but Ruby, the main character, is still drawn in a fairly cartoony style. It's a bit jarring to look at the fairly realistic but stylized cast, then see Ruby's almost Gonk-like proportions; one comic even features a Fandom Nod cameo from Hale, who was also based on RSE's male character and gets a more in-line look. The comic largely skirts around this by playing up Ruby's Idiot Hero tendencies.
  • A constant fear for the creator of Dumbing of Age. Due to the sliding timescale that will keep the characters in their freshman year forever but always in modern times, any specific reference to technology or pop culture has the ability to become this. Amber and Danny playing Mario Kart on DS/3DS/2DS will seem quaint in 10 years (although Mario Kart will most likely still exist in some form). An early strip had many students list their favorite movies (in the collection commentary, Willis points out that it will seem strange years from now that all these 18-year-olds love classic movies), something he tries to avoid when at all possible (Amber's World of Warcraft-esque MMORPG is never named, conversations about Transformers are kept as generic as possible, citing names like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee).
  • The dinosaurs in Dinosaur Comics are far too big compared to the house, car, and woman, and not much less out of scale compared to one another. Ryan North has admitted that this is because when he started the comic, he didn't know how big dinosaurs were. But because the comic's central gimmick is that the art never changes, he can never fix it. (One fan has attempted to explain away the problem by suggesting that some objects are merely closer to the camera than others.)
  • Tower of God has this regarding a few character designs. Early on, SIU was a lot more creative when it came to designing the characters for the series where it seemed like people could appear as anything from basic humans, to monsterous humanoids and animals, or even giant blobs. As the series went on however, that creativity was dropped, and newly introduced characters end up only with designs that are really human-like. This makes characters with animal features, such as the alligator humanoid, Rak, and the lizard humanoid, Anak, start to look really out-of-place in later chapters as they're usually completely surrounded by humans as that's all SIU mostly tends to design nowadays. Basically, the designs of Rak and Anak are leftover from a time where SIU was a lot more creative when it came to designing his characters.

    Web Original 
  • TV Tropes:
    • Many pages end with some odd-looking markup <<|ThatLooksLikeThis|>>. This is the old index markup, which has been unneeded for several years now. There's also usually a line ruler (----) separating the examples from the indices — this was never strictly necessary, but under the old indexing system was generally considered good practice.
    • The "deadpan" in Deadpan Snarker. Due to Trope Decay, a deadpan delivery is no longer part of the trope.
    • The wiki has generally tried to move away from Trope Names that reference a specific character, but some have stuck around due to the simple fact that a lot of sub-tropes have been named in reference to them. For instance, The Scrappy, The Starscream, Xanatos Gambit, and Cerebus Syndrome: the first two are meaningless if you aren't overly familiar with Scooby-Doo and Transformers, and the latter two are rather confusing references to a pair of relatively obscure series (Gargoyles and Cerebus the Aardvark), but they've stuck around nonetheless, and aren't likely to get renamed any time soon. Conversely, Awesome Moment of Crowning references a trope name that did get changed, "Crowning Moment of Awesome", which got renamed to just Moment of Awesome due to Trope Decay.
    • Thanks to people forgetting that Examples Are Not Recent, there's an awful lot of examples on the website about decade-old events that are written as if they just happened.
    • The page for MacGuffin was redefined to be in line with Alfred Hitchcock's original definition of the term: that is to say, an interchangeable plot device that has no important properties beyond being desirable. Despite this, various pages (Clingy MacGuffin, Living MacGuffin, Dismantled MacGuffin) were created back when the definition was simply "plot device that people want," and the tropes themselves often break the definition (for instance, representing entire characters who have active roles in the plot). They keep their names mostly because the broader definition is sufficient to get across the idea of what they are.
    • The Trope Repair Shop was once simply called "Rename a Trope." This is why the link to the forum says "topic=rename" even though the TRS is used for actions besides renaming.
    • A long time ago there was a tendency to make trope names humorous, usually at the expense of clarity. For example, Selective Enforcement used to be called Flaming Cobra Sugar Cellar after a gag on The Simpsons. Most of the goofily named tropes were renamed, but a couple of them, e.g. Stupid Jetpack Hitler, were clear enough and are still kicking around.
  • The SCP Foundation has old articles (some of which are about literal artifacts) which are kept and/or not rewritten because they're old, popular, and not influential — sometimes to the chagrin of users, who lament that "we're stuck with X forever". Also, the Laser-Guided Amnesia drugs were first written "amnesiacs", despite the term referring to amnesia victims, not inducers. Most didn't correct to the proper word, "Amnestics".
  • Youtube:
    • As of January 2019, the site removed annotations. Many old videos that require annotations tend to be formatted with stuff like "click here" in their videos, usually as boxes, which are practically unclickable and empty now.
    • The "dislike comment" button has no functionality whatsoever. It did back in the day, and comments could even gain visibly negative likes, but nowadays, it doesn't even have any code behind it. Most large websites avoid anything that allows a person to show non-positive engagement with another person's posts or comments—Youtube predates that era, but hasn't gotten rid of disliking comments, perhaps because people still dislike comments as a way to pointlessly vent.

    Web Videos 
  • Sofie Liv and the formerly-eponymous Red Suitcase of the Red Suitcase Adventures, so much so she re-branded the show as Movie Dorkness.
  • P. Monkey, the purple monkey puppet Companion Cube from lonelygirl15, appeared frequently in early episodes, but appeared less and less as the series became darker and more plot driven. By the last series, she appeared occasionally, probably because fans like her, but had no effect on the overall plot.
  • Initially, totheark's response videos from Marble Hornets mostly existed to creepily suggest that Jay might be in for more than just documenting an Apocalyptic Log, but since this was revealed in mid-to-late Season 1, the focus has completely shifted from the student film to Jay's own Paranormal Investigation of all of the forces that are controlling his life and what is happening to everyone involved with The Operator, totheark's original purpose has been nullified. While totheark is still a very important character and his identity is still a driving plot point, his Once an Episode responses have little to no point other than to taunt Jay, besides the occasional Wham Episode which he usually hijacks the main Marble Hornets YouTube channel to deliver.
  • Since The Heroic Review is made up of cast members and creatures who work on the audio play The Heroic Tale of Heroically Heroic Heroes, the first few episodes had each cast member mentioning the role they play in their introduction. This was phased out pretty quickly in favor of just a general greeting from each panelist at the start of the episode.
  • Popular YouTube comedian Richard "The Dick" Coughlan has continued to end his videos with the catch phrase "May God be less," even though his videos haven't focused on atheism vs. religion for the better part of a decade, and much of the hard-core YouTube atheist community despises him for his general belief that people can be irrational and hateful with or without religion.
  • The YouTube review series Spectrum Pulse maintained the line "We talk about music, movies, art and culture", despite having essentially given up on discussing anything but music, for several years. Lampshaded in Mark Grondin's crossover with The Double Agent, where Ethan tells him to stop lying to himself; Mark responded by saying that it wasn't a lie any more, and showed off the YouTube thumbnail for his review of Deadpool (2016).
  • The Slender Man and his facelessness. He actually wasn't initially conceptualized that way — he did have a face in the early days of the mythos, but it was impossible to describe because everyone who looked at it saw something different. The reason his photographs involved him being minus a face was because this effect didn't work on cameras.
  • The Happy Video Game Nerd: Inverted. As part of being the inverse of AVGN, he drank wine instead of beer. When he stopped drinking wine and realized that almost nobody realized this, he decided to retire the title of Happy Video Game Nerd. Currently, he's Stop Skeletons From Fighting.
  • The Nostalgia Critic originally used this title because he reviewed things that, well, are nostalgic. Specifically, he was originally reluctant to review anything past 2000, and often made excuses for it like being pressured into reviewing Battlefield Earth for his 100th episode or having his future self take him in a DeLorean to a time period where The Room was old enough to be nostalgic. He's long since gone on to review newer content, and even regularly reviews brand new films, but has kept the name.
  • Initially, Bum Reviews served as a way for Doug to review movies that had recently come out in theaters without having to rely on clips. As time went on, he eventually started doing vlogs where he gave his honest opinions on recent films he just saw, sometimes without making an accompanying Bum Review. By the time Doug started doing clipless reviews of films still in theaters as the Nostalgia Critic, Chester's role was now completely superfluous and he was relegated to a minor bit character in the Critic's videos.
  • The first few CinemaSins videos had time limits (some as short as two minutes), but after their first year, the videos ran for as long as deemed necessary to nitpick every problem with the film. Nonetheless, every video is still introduced with "Everything Wrong With (Film Name) in X Minutes or Less".
  • Joueur du Grenier: The intro sequence was shot in Fred's old room, back when the show was just getting started. Both the quality of the image and the special effect of the show are now much better than they where back then since they have more experience and better equipment, and the intro doesn't include the many elements that where introduced over the years. Even Joueur du Grenier doesn't look like he does in the opening since Fred have lost a lot of Weight a few years ago. Lampshaded in a 2015 video, when the New year resolution of getting a new opening sequence is met with a HA HA HA—No reaction.
  • History Matters started out as Ten Minute History, with the aim of explaining historical periods in ten minute videos. After a few years the format got a Retool to the current channel, which answers historical questions in short three to four minute videos. Despite no longer sticking to a specific time limit for each video, the channel's logo is still a sand timer as a nod to the original concept.

Alternative Title(s): The Artefact