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"This is so non-canon it hurts."
Vegeta, Dragon Ball Z Abridged, "Christmas Tree of Might"

Non-Serial Movie is related to The Movie.

Very popular anime series occasionally spawn not only OVAs, but also theatrical movies. One problem with this is sometimes the movie is being made while the series is still ongoing. While they generally have enough sense not to ignore anything that's happened up to that point, by the time the movie is released a show may have introduced very different facts into canon since the movie began production. This is an especially big concern with very long series which in turn spawn many short movies. On the flipside, while it is possible to set a movie before the current storyline and have it fit into continuity, this results in the movie feeling outdated due to the character having their situations and abilities being So Last Season.


The easy way out of this is to make sure the movie is officially out of continuity. Nonetheless, fans sometimes establish a general sense of when a movie should logically take place, with various degrees of shoehorning. The only real rule is Non Serial movies usually have a "feel" for whatever season they were closely released in, which also helps viewers who don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of a series. Often, the storyline in progress in the series will begin with a certain status quo and end with a new status quo, but the movie will use the status quo during the middle of the storyline. If the series is on the episodic side of Season Fluidity,note  it could be considered Loose Canon so long as there are no contradictory elements. Otherwise, it's as if during the middle of the story, the characters went on vacation during an end-of-the-world crisis.


There are a few bonuses to this technique. The movie is designed so those with only a basic sense of the series can still enjoy it, minimizing the risk of Continuity Lockout. It also allows for creative one shot characters into the story (especially a Filler Villain). The right director can put a creative spin on a series with an otherwise strict concept. And of course lots of gratuitous Big Budget Beef-Up.

A major negative of not being in continuity is it is usually not referred to in the show's later episodes to avoid plot conflicts, nor are they allowed to make major upheavals (e.g., Killed Off for Real) in characters. One way around this is to make the story a backstory, flashback, or prequel. Another is to do a plot that is stylistically similar to the ongoing one but clearly divorced (which may be a What If?). Another complication can arise depending on the original (for a given value of 'original') creators' personal influence in the story, or lack thereof, causing creators to distance their own continuity from the work or admit they aren't concerned about its canon. In extreme or badly-received situations, the fandom may even symbolically reject the work even if it could reasonably fit into canon.


A feature-length Bizarro Episode can also be considered a Non-Serial Movie.

Compare Overtook the Manga, when a storyline is created that really doesn't fit into the main series narrative.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach follows the DBZ pattern of only halfway caring where things fit.
    • The OVA The Sealed Sword Frenzy is set between the Soul Society and Visored/Bount arcs, despite the show stating there was all of one day between said arcs. Also, after Ichigo's battle with Byakuya he was having trouble controlling his inner hollow, and his very next battle he almost went out of control, leaving him weak until his Vizard training. This plot point seems to be put off for as long as they are introducing filler, it seems.
    • The movie Memories of Nobody apparently goes in the same one-day gap. Interestingly, we now know something like this movie happened in canon — there really are Kyogoku (Valleys of Screams) between dimensions, and Ichigo mentions having been to one. But this creates even more problems since the manga's version of Kyogoku isn't much like the movie (for starters, in the movie there's only one).
    • The second and third movies, The DiamondDust Rebellion and Bleach: Fade to Black, both show Ichigo able to use Hollowfication comfortably. The writers probably assumed the Hueco Mundo storyline would end with a restored status quo in which the movies could fit — little did they know Ichigo would lose his powers beating Aizen! This puts a definite endpoint on where the movies can go, and Ichigo is extremely busy in canon the whole time he knows Hollowfication. (Nor can the movies go after Ichigo gets his powers back, since he gets a new outfit at the same time, and Rukia's rank and haircut have also changed by then.)
    • Bleach one-ups most of the examples here by having non-serial arcs in the main anime: the New Third Captain arc, and the Zanpakuto Rebellion arc. They could potentially take place after the Hueco Mundo arc, but that all depends on how that ends in a compatible state. Certain details such as Ichigo's changing mask already put these into question.
      • The New Captain arc lampshades this in the first episode by quite openly saying it happens directly after Ichigo's fight with Grimmjow and that the story will return to that point after this story.
      • In Bleach, whenever the anime started to catch up with the manga there was little choice but to insert a non-serial filler arc, as Kubo tends to write very long story arcs which occur one right after another without any space to fit a filler between them. So from the New Captain filler arc onward it became standard for each filler to be a "yeah, this blatantly isn't canon but enjoy it anyway" affair.
  • Case Closed has gotten one of these per year since a couple years after the show first started airing. Due to the relative scarcity of arc-based stories in the mostly-picaresque TV and manga series, the movies do not usually pose story-based continuity difficulties. They do involve a number of considerably different elements to the main series, however, which sometimes makes it a little hard to reconcile the two.
    • The movies are considerably more action-packed, giving Conan a lot more physical things to do (and putting him in a lot more jeopardy). Over the course of the various movies he has crash-landed a helicopter, rocket-skateboarded the length of an amusement park (including along a roller coaster track), parasailed, jumped a car from the top floor of one skyscraper to the roof of another, been shot at by a helicopter gunship on the roof of the Tokyo Tower, fallen out of and jumped out of a helicopter onto a blimp, and more. His secret identity should have been blown by now from the things other people saw him do alone.
    • The capabilities of his gadgets are always pushed to their logical limit, and then one inch further, so that between the rocket skateboard, the super-kicking shoes, and the bungee suspenders, Conan can practically fly in every movie. In the main series, any single facet of what's combined to achieve this would make the characters present suspicious. In the movies, such concerns are usually completely overtaken by a cascade of insanely high-stakes situations and awesome.
    • Events that take place in the movies may be referenced in other movies, but are never brought up in the TV series. Also, the movies only rarely mention events from the TV series except in general terms. (An exception being the 13th movie, Raven Chaser, which built heavily on earlier Black Organization arcs.)
    • Two more points are also disputed by the fandom: should the Backstory between Kogoro and Eri in the second movie be considered canon? And should Noah's Ark be listed under the people who knew the truth?
    • It does look like the movies may begin lining up more with canon from now on, however. The 2016 movie, Darkest Nightmare, again featured the Black Organization... and the 2017 movie Crimson Love Letter heavily featured Heiji and Kazuha's Childhood Friend Romance, including Heiji's manga Self-Proclaimed Love Interest Momiji Oouka.
  • Digimon is a bit complicated.
    • Digimon Adventure, the first season, has two movies. The first movie actually averts this trope, as it's both a Prequel and was released before the first season aired. The second film was released while the first season was airing. However, it explicitly takes place after the events of Adventure and is referred to in the second season...
    • Digimon Adventure 02 also had two movies released while it was airing. The franchise's third movie is difficult to fit in the canon, but the characters of this movie have a cameo in Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna (and there was a previous appearance in a Drama CD). The franchise's fourth movie was released during the last few episodes of Adventure 02. It takes place after the events of the season (but before the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue) and acts as a direct sequel to the second Adventure movie. Obviously it was never referenced in canon, but nothing has ever said it wasn't canon either. There were a couple of evolutions that could be considered continuity snarls but they can be easily explained.
      • In English speaking countries, the first three movies were dubbed and released together as a Compilation Movie entitled Digmon: The Movie. The dub of Adventure 02 also added references to the third movie (that doesn't exist in the original version).
    • Like its predecessors, Digimon Tamers had two movies released while it was airing. The franchise's fifth movie is referenced in the anime proper when one of its characters appear in the anime. The franchise's sixth movie takes place after the end of the season, but its canonicity has been debated as certain members of the anime's staff were not involved in the movie's creation. Both movies were dubbed in English well after the Tamers dub ended.
    • The Digimon Frontier movie is non-serial but it doesn't actually contradict canon in any way. Again, it was also dubbed into English after the series aired.
    • Digimon X-Evolution, the franchise's eighth movie, is in its own canon and is based off the Digimon Chronicle setting (which didn't have a consistent canon to begin with).
    • Finally, the Digimon Savers movie is non-canon.
    • Averted with Digimon Adventure tri., a series of six movies that are canonical and take place into the Time Skip before 02's Distant Finale. Also averted by Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna, a sequel to the Tri movies.
  • Nearly all the movies based on the Dragon Ball series exist in a bubble, usually retelling previous stories or otherwise heavily borrow plot elements and villains from the concurrent story, and trying to fit most of them into the highly serial manga/anime story creates a number of Plot Holes if not an outright Continuity Snarl. note  Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is an aversion, being canon with the manga in large part due to Akira Toriyama's personal involvement and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is a direct sequel. Battle of Gods was then used as a starting point for the Dragon Ball Super series, overwritting Dragon Ball GT from the canon in the process. The Dragon Ball Xenoverse games consider the vast majority of the films listed below to be alternate timeline(s).
    • The four Dragon Ball movies are completely separate from the show's continuity, retelling the story in Broad Strokes, with the same protagonists and similar situations but unique villains and settings.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone: Takes place shortly before Dragon Ball Z begins, the general story could still fit as Piccolo still has his rivalry with Goku and were unaware of Gohan's power, but Krillin did not meet Gohan until the start of Z, and Piccolo and Goku have a conversation about their weighted clothing near-identical to the one before they fight Raditz. Interestingly, the villain later appeared in the Z anime series proper during a Filler Arc, which appeared to accept the events of this movie in Broad Strokes.
    • Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest: Generally takes on attributes of post-Saiyan Saga/pre-Frieza Saga as Gohan is now trained and Goku utilizes Kaioken and the Spirit Bomb, but Piccolo is still alive.
    • Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might: Similar to World's Strongest, Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu show up alive while Goku uses Kaio-ken and the Spirit Bomb.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug: Implied to take place while Frieza is still alive (King Kai says that Frieza can't (present tense) beat a Super Namekian), but the characters are suddenly on Earth and Goku seemingly goes Super Saiyan but doesn't actually look Super Saiyan note ; in the manga he didn't have the required Power Level to transform until he fought Frieza, due to getting his Zenkai boost from fighting Ginyu.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge: Non-canon to the series, but the least contradictory film in terms of canonicity. Xenoverse 2 implies that while this film didn't happen in the main timeline, Cooler still exists, as Frieza recognizes him when he appears on Namek.
    • Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler: Blends the same Time Skip with Cooler's Revenge but with elements of the early Android Saga. Dende is the new Guardian of Earth (which hadn't yet happened in the manga when the movie came out), meaning Piccolo fused with Kami and should be about as powerful as everyone else. At this time, Goku is a Full Power Super Saiyan along with Gohan. Gohan is older than what he was when everyone fought with the Androids. On top of that, Vegeta can undergo the Super Saiyan 2nd Grade transformation.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!: Is officially supposed to take place during the Imperfect Cell period of the Cell Saga, but no one had any free time as depicted in the film. They went straight to Kami's Lookout after Goku recovered from the heart virus and they took turns training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber in order to face Cell.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan: Takes place during the 10 days before the Cell Games, stated as such in the Japanese version and could theoretically take place then, but both Gohan and Goku are shown in their base forms, whereas they never left their Full Power Super Saiyan State in canon during these days. Ironically, Super decanonized all three of the original Broly films by turning the character into a Canon ImmigrantDragon Ball Super: Broly features a completely rewritten version, separate from the version in the original trilogy. Even before that, there was also the issue of Kale, another character from Super, whose design was a Mythology Gag to Broly: if the movies were canon, it seemed odd that nobody brought up the similarity.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound: Takes place shortly after the Cell Saga, but Future Trunks is still around. That being said, Future Trunks' final canon scene mentioned that he was going back to the past to tell the others of his victory against the Androids. On the other hand, Future Trunks has short hair in his final canonical appearance but has long hair again in Bojack Unbound. There’s also the matter of a dead Goku leaving the afterlife without the help of Uranai Baba to sock Bojack in the face to save Gohan, something that has never been performed in the series proper and contradicts how the afterlife works.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming: Takes place shortly before the Majin Buu Saga kicks into gear, so Gohan should have been unaware that Goten can go Super Saiyan. Goku also did not return to Earth until the World Tournament.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly: Took place during the World Tournament but the Z-Warriors went on to fight Babidi and his crew, plus Goku was still around when the tournament was going on, and at the end, the film shows him back in the Other World.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn: Takes place during the Other World Tournament, retconning in a break during Goku and Pikkon's fight. The tournament itself was supposed to take place shortly after the Cell Saga, but the status quo includes many aspects of the middle of the much later Buu Saga (which had a seven year Time Skip). Goku should not be able to turn SS2 or SS3, Vegeta is dead, Gohan can reach Ultimate Level and Fusion is introduced really early. Goku even mentions Majin Buu to Janemba, but should not have known anything of him until much later.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon: Takes place after the Buu Saga so the basic story holds up, but includes an origin story of the sword Future Trunks used that runs contrary to the prior canon (the sword is mystically powerful and used to defeat a creature that can challenge the SS2 level transformation, the original sword is said to be ordinary and there was no way Future Trunks was powerful enough to defeat that creature).
    • The TV special Bardock: The Father of Goku, while not strictly canon, does fit in with the destruction of Planet Vegeta mentioned in the manga. Bardock gets a cameo in the manga later on, and the Re-Cut series Dragon Ball Z Kai even splices in footage from the Bardock special, including Bardock himself, as part of a prologue in the first episode. However, Akira Toriyama's own interpretation of Bardock in Dragon Ball Minus contradicts Bardock's characterization in the special, showing him sending Kakarot to Earth to protect him rather than dismissing him as weak.
    • The other special, The History of Trunks, is an expansion of a bonus chapter of the manga. Unlike in the special, Teen Trunks is already a Super Saiyan training with Gohan in the manga and in the Future Trunks arc of Dragon Ball Super.
    • Tarble, Vegeta's younger brother from the Jump Super Anime Tour special Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! gets a mention in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, though this was left out when Battle of Gods was adapted as an arc in Dragon Ball Super, only to be mentioned again in the Broly movie. Yeah...
    • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was a new canon of the events following Dragon Ball Z, eliminating the anime-only Dragon Ball GT story. It ends with a Sequel Hook of more powerful enemies for Goku and company to find, and unique for the first time the heroes actually lose. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is a direct sequel, featuring the return of Frieza, and the success of both movies led to the Dragon Ball Super series. Following the conclusion of the Tournament of Power, there'd be another theatrical continuation in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which turns Broly into a Canon Immigrant and builds exclusively on major events of the entire franchise (Bardock, King Vegeta, destruction of the Saiyan homeworld, Frieza's second resurrection in Super).
    • Naturally lampshaded in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Lord Slug kills anyone comparing him to King Piccolo, and Cooler begins to fly off the handle whenever his cunning plans are compared to those of his more-regarded brother.
  • The Fairy Tail movie Phoenix Priestess seems to fit somewhere between the Grand Magic Games arc and the Tartaros arc, ignoring the minor detail of Elfman somehow losing all his bulk from the training he did well beforehand. Seeing how the GMG arc was still ongoing when the movie debuted, however, fans debated how the movie fit in the series at the time because the movie featured the guild back in their old guildhall during the Post-Time Skip setting, which hadn't happened yet in the manga. To make matters more complicated, the titular Canon Foreigner Eclair appears in both a one-shot written by Mashima himself and in Natsu's personal heaven in the sequel series.
  • The original Fist of the North Star movie (the animated one, not the Live-Action Adaptation) roughly qualifies, as it was made while the manga and TV series were both still running in Japan. It doesn't actually introduce any new characters to the story though, but instead retells key events from the first nine or ten collected volumes of the original manga and then changes the order of events and how they transpire in order to tell a more condensed storyline. For example, in the original manga and TV series, Kenshiro and Rei fought against the Fang King in order to save Rei's sister, whereas in the movie the Fang King and his clan are challenged by Raoh and his army for possession of their territory instead.
  • Jewelpet the Movie: Sweets Dance Princess is much like Digimon X-Evolution, in that it has its own canon instead of being connected to any anime season.
  • NONE of the Lupin III movies or specials feature any continuity with any of the five TV series (who barely even bother with continuity with each other), any other film in the series, or even the Manga. It's part of the reason why they work so well though, as they can still feel pretty timeless even with outdated clothing and technology. There's a general sense of Origins Episode era, active period, and retirement (The Castle of Cagliostro mostly), but the creators prefer the flexibility of Mythology Gag to Continuity Porn.
  • Played with for the first two Lyrical Nanoha movies, remakes of the first and second season which are, in-universe, films produced by the TSAB.
  • Macross:
    • Macross Frontier got a movie started after the series ended, but even this trope and Alternate Continuity couldn't fit everything into only a single movie, so they made two: The False Songstress and The Wings of Goodbye.
    • The production team for the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross decided not to go the Compilation Movie route for the inevitable theatrical release (ala Gundam and Yamato) and instead produced a movie (Macross: Do You Remember Love?) that is in a parallel continuity with the TV series, presenting basically the same events as the series, but often in new ways. Word of God says that Do You Remember Love? is itself a movie within the Macross universe, and that the differences between the two are for dramatic purposesnote 
  • Maison Ikkoku: The Movie takes place pretty much in the space of time covered by the commercial break in the last episode of the TV anime series, and has all the voice actors from the TV anime — except that it takes place in the Alternate Continuity of the manga instead of the anime.
  • Averted in Rockman.EXE Stream, the Japan-only third season of Megaman NT Warrior. The Movie "Hikari to Yami No Program" (Program of Light and Shadow) is explicitly referenced once as "the Nebula Gray incident" and in the final episode, Bass finally kills off Invincible Villain Slur using the powers he absorbed from Nebula Gray at the movie's end. It's also where Lan meets Barrel in person for the first time, explaining how he suddenly seems to know him mid series.
  • Seemingly averted for the two (so far) My Hero Academia movies, as the manga's creator Kōhei Horikoshi has a lot of input in them:
    • The first movie, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, is placed at an explicit point in the canon story (between the End of Term Exams and the Training Camp arcs). The manga also had a special tie-in comic showing when All Might lost his master and when he met Melissa Shield (the daughter of his friend and old sidekick David Shield, who is a major player in the movie itself), and the anime's third season adds an extra episode to set up the trip. The movie itself also doesn't contradict any of the plot elements from the main story, although some Fridge Logic does pop up.
    • The second movie, My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising, takes great pains to not contradict the larger ongoing story of the manga, to the point of being set after the manga's most recent completed arc when the anime was easily an entire seasons' worth of content behind.
  • Naruto has had eleven feature films so far, each taking place sometime during the manga's TV adaptation storyline. Of these, only two movies (The Last and Boruto) avert this trope because they are canon with the manga, in large part due to Masashi Kishimoto's personal involvement.
    • Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow (the first movie) happens after Naruto learns Rasengan and before Sasuke's defection, somewhere around the "Land of Tea" filler arc. The other two pre-Time Skip movies can be neatly placed within the infamous 80-week filler season with no difficulty.
    • The first Shippuden movie is most likely set after the "Rescue Gaara arc", the second after the "Sasuke and Sai" arc, and the third following the "Hidan and Kakuzu" arc. There are still some continuity problems though. Kakashi is incapacitated during the "Rescue Garra arc" and doesn't recover until the beginning of the "12 Guardians arc", though he appears in both the first and second Shippuden films in complete health. And the "Hidan and Kakuzu" arc ends with Naruto's arm badly injured, and it doesn't recover until the "Three Tales" arc is already underway. And that arc leads straight into the next arc...
    • The fourth Shippuden film, The Lost Tower, is set sometime in between the death of Jiraiya and Pain's attack on Konoha, with the former even being mentioned by Naruto, despite the fact that in canon Naruto immediately left to train with the toads on Mount Myouboku after learning of his death, and didn't come back to Konoha until Pain's attack had already begun. A flashback also contains various minor continuity errors.
    • The fifth Shippuden film, Blood Prison, is implied to take place after the Turtle Island arc and before the Fourth Shinobi World War arc, given that Naruto already knows Killer Bee. However, canonically speaking, Naruto and Bee don't leave the island until the Fourth Shinobi World War is well underway, making the events of the film impossible to fit into the manga's timeline. There are a number of other continuity errors as well, such as A still having both his hands. Nonetheless, Kakashi Hiden semi-canonized it (likely because its author also wrote the screenplay for Blood Prison), though the film's specific events are implied to have played out somewhat differently in canon (for one thing, they seem to have happened at a far earlier date than what the movie was trying to imply, and Naruto apparently knew all along that his being sent to the prison was an undercover mission). Whether this means something vaguely approximating the events of the other movies is also canon has yet to be revealed.
    • The ninth overall film, Road to Ninja, also takes place in the same time frame as Blood Prison, after the Turtle Island arc and before the Fourth Shinobi World War arc, because Naruto has already "met" his mother Kushina, all of Akatsuki except for Tobi and Zetsu have been defeated, and Tobi hasn't yet gotten his Rinnegan or changed into his new uniform. Again, the film doesn't fit into the canon timeline because it depicts Naruto in Konoha, even though the Fourth Shinobi World War begins while Naruto is still on Turtle Island and Naruto then heads directly to the battlefield without making a stop at Konoha since the bulk of the fighting took place at the Land of Lightning, which is nowhere near Konoha.
    • Averted with the tenth overall film, The Last, because it's the first one in the franchise to be explicitly canon with the manga, since it's the bridge between the penultimate chapter and the Distant Finale, set two years after the manga's conclusion. Masashi Kishimoto was also heavily involved with the film by joining the writing staff as chief story supervisor.
    • Also averted with the eleventh film, Boruto, because it's explicitly canon with the manga, is the direct sequel to The Last, and takes place fifteen years after the manga's conclusion. Masashi Kishimoto was also heavily involved with the film by writing the screenplay and serving as chief production supervisor.
  • One Piece has had several non-serial movies, starting with the OVA "Defeat The Pirate Ganzak!" (which actually predates the TV series), and going on to include ten as of 2010 feature films. At least one of these features a cast list that never existed in continuities.
    • The first movie takes place not long after Usopp joins and the crew have received the Merry Go.
    • Second movie, could say sometime after the Arlong arc as Sanji is with the crew but they haven't entered the Grand Line yet.
    • Third, almost no where to put in canonical wise as the crew has Chopper but not Vivi or Robin. Chopper was introduced when Vivi was in the crew and she remained as such until Robin joined, with a very slim amount of time in between.
    • Fourth movie is put right after the Alabasta arc as Crocodile is mentioned and Luffy's bounty has reached its first increase. The fifth and sixth movies are likely before Skypeia but theres no real indication of it.
    • Seventh movie, before Water 7 as it gives an explanation on the origins of Luffy's Gear 2nd mode.
    • The tenth movie One Piece Film: Strong World is an aversion as it was written by the creator and was actually referenced in a special chapter of the One Piece manga. Its official title even says it is the "One Piece Film". There is a narrow window where the film could take place: it must be after Thriller Bark, where Brooke joins the crew, and before the Sabaody Archipelago arc, which ends with the crew being scattered to different corners of the ocean.
      • The small four episode mini-arc meant to lead up to it is often contested if it canon or not however.
    • The twelth movie, One Piece Film: Z had its creation "overseen" by Oda, however unlike Strong World it is not canon. It was originally intended to be, but Oda just couldn't make it fit into the timeline.
    • One Piece Film: Gold cannot fit anywhere in the manga or anime without continuity problems. The most obvious example being that the crew have their bounties gained during Dressrosa but not those from Whole Cake Island, even though the crew were separated for the entire time between those two events. For extra confusion, the anime added a prequel story arc immediately after Dressrosa.
  • Pokémon tends to zig-zag this trope.
    • The first few movies were explicitly in canon with the series, with Pokémon: The First Movie being built up to within the show and having Mewtwo wipe everyone's memories of the events. Later movies are ambiguous, having the cast forget having seeing the focal Pokémon of that movie, but still referencing locations, items, and occasionally plot points from said films.note  In addition, each film has the same team lineup as the most recent episodes of the time. According to Bulbapedia, most of the movies are considered canon to the series, taking place between the episodes they air, and fulfill the same purpose as Filler, as no Pokémon are caught or evolve/ learn new moves.
    • The fourteenth movie, Pokémon the Movie: Black/White, is the only movie prior to the 20th that is explicitly not canon to the series, as the Episode N arc of the anime states that the heroes haven't met Zekrom and Reshiram. Granted, the movie had two versions that were mutually exclusive, so any attempt to refer to them elsewhere in either anime or movie canon would have required looser Broad Strokes anyway.
    • Pokémon: I Choose You! and Pokémon: The Power of Us are loose, Alternate Continuity retellings of the Indigo League and Johto League seasons of the show, featuring entirely new characters and plot elements.
  • According to the Pretty Cure trope page "most seasons have at least one movie that makes no canonical sense (most of the time) but can't be thrown out because of something really awesome happening in it.
    • There are usually two per year: one is a mega-crossover involving every Precure that has ever appeared against a new Big Bad, who is a rather impersonal manifestation of badness not strongly tied to any of the existing continuities. Another is a movie that features only the characters of that year's Precure series, and the plot is usually strongly tied to those characters. New characters introduced in either movie won't appear in that year's TV series, except as a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo (such as Cure Angie from the Heartcatch movie).
  • Ranma ½ got two of these, both based on anime exclusive storylines. The first one, which revolves around Akane being abducted by a Chinese martial artist who has mistaken her for his fiancee, could be set anywhere after the first five episodes of the 4th season (Ranma uses the Hiryu Shoten Ha to defeat the Big Bad, and all of the series main characters have been introduced). The second one, which has the crew shipwrecked on a tropical island and a bratty young noble kidnapping all of the women to pick a bride from their number, is definitely set after the late 7th season (Ranma and Ryoga use their Ki Manipulation, the Shi-Shi Hokodan and the Moko Takabisha). It also got 9 OVAs, one of which was released in Japan as a third movie- of these, three were anime specific (one Christmas story, one two parter), and the other six were adaptations of manga stories that came out after the anime series was cancelled.
  • Sailor Moon has three non-serial movies tied to three of its five seasons with various degrees of success (though they do have a common problem of the current season's regular villains apparently deciding to take a short break).
    • The Sailor Moon R movie includes the main cast up to the later part of the second season, but has no trace of the main couple's breakup, ignorance of anyone's secret identity, no hint at Chibiusa's unusual origin, and both even take place during a different literal season of the year. In addition, a prominent flashback between two characters seems to contradict the age gap originally created by the show. Interestingly, this isn't a gaffe from adaptation troubles, as this was the only movie *not* initially from the manga nor with heavy involvement of the creator, Naoko Takeuchi. Despite this, it's regarded as the series' most popular movie.
    • The Sailor Moon S movie is based on a manga side story, partially explaining the difficulty of fitting it into the anime version cleanly, creating a mix of both. Sailor Moon still has the seasonal MacGuffin she'll eventually lose, but also has a formerly dead ally casually appear without comment on a suddenly much more amicable version of the secondary team.
    • Sailor Moon SuperS likewise involves a manga story adaptation with minor compromises to anime continuity, such as a character getting their upgraded weapon from the show but also completely ignoring the apparent sabbatical taken by the Outer Senshi, whose reintroduction in the show wouldn't come up till a season later.
  • Sgt. Frog has five movies, in addition to several shorts. The shorts are all clearly in continuity, and three later movies have received small references from the tv show. In addition, the first three movies are all part of a clear trilogy of sorts, with direct references to past events, so they're presumably all in continuity. Yet, their specific timeline isn't known in relation to the series' episodes and there are references to events and recurring mechas in the movies that never appear in the tv show. They all can roughly fit after each season, starting with the second one especially obvious for the third movie, which introduces new looks for the human cast which are carried over to the fifth season, but there's no actual official placement for them.
  • Slayers has five movies; four of them, along with six OVA episodes, are adaptations of the Slayers Special novels, which is a prequel series to the main novel line. According to the movie director, the Slayers Excellent OVA is chronologically the first, with four of the five movies and the Slayers Special OVA following it, though without any given order. The fifth movie, Slayers Premium, is the only movie set during the tv series, but it's a conundrum as to where it fits (fan interpretation has placed it after the second season of the anime and before the third).
    • Premium takes this up by being subjected to Continuity Snarl; a radio drama that details what happened before and after the movie stated that it had been five years since the protagonists had gathered together, yet it's made clear in the tv series that each season is set from several months to one year after each.
  • A theatrical film for Trigun (titled Trigun: Badlands Rumble) was released about a decade after the anime series, apparently taking place sometime during the more light-hearted portion of the series, and is basically a side story (much like the earlier episodes) about Vash and friends encountering a fearsome bandit in an Adventure Town.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! had Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, which has an altered version of canon post-Battle City and pre-Millennium World, and a spinoff season, Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, taking place between the KC Grand Prix and the Millennium World. There was also a non-serial manga spinoff of the original series, Yu-Gi-Oh! R, taking place after Battle City.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time averts this. Paradox cameoes in 5Ds, and Jaden is picked up from a point in time after his series ended. Fitting Yugi and Pegasus into the mix is a bit harder, but there were several small timeskips between Yu-Gi-Oh's original arcs during which these events could have happened.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions takes place after the manga, but also retains the anime's designs and characterizations, leading to a Broad Strokes universe similar to the Yu-Gi-Oh video games. The dub is canon to the TV series, using the English dub names for the sake of familiarity.
  • YuYu Hakusho: The Movie gave some mild character introduction and didn't have any impact on the main plot. Which was a good thing for anime fans outside Japan, the movie was licensed a few years before the actual TV series.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie was an example of a Non-Serial Movie with a Big Budget Beef-Up to go along with it; specifically, all of the cheap sets and spandex costumes (not to mention the stock footage) were replaced with expensive, high quality sets and plasticized, form-fitting body armor, respectively. The film's plot was also a change from the series' norm at the time. The movie's lead villain, Ivan Ooze, was never seen in the series either. The movie is not part of the series canon, since it basically tells the same story as the third-season premiere multiparter (Rangers lose old powers, must earn new ninja-based powers), but with major changes (for instance, the Rangers get their ninja powers from the scantily clad Dulcea of the planet Phaedos rather than the robotic Ninjor, and the new villain is Ivan Ooze rather than Rito Revolto).
  • Most Heisei era Kamen Rider series have had a Non-Serial Movie. There are exceptions, however.
    • Agito: Project G4 isn't an Alternate Continuity, though it's difficult to place within the TV series continuity, leaving it up to Fanon to shoehorn the movie in.
    • Ryuki: Both the movie and TV special present wildly contradictory events (and the TV special in fact had two alternate endings, which viewers could vote for via telephone). However, every version of events is considered canon since Word of God revealed that Shiro Kanzaki repeatedly hit the Reset Button trying to Set Right What Once Went Wrong; each version of the story happened in some timeline, but the TV series is the final iteration since he was convinced to give up.
    • Faiz and Blade's movies are Alternate Continuity epilogues based on the question "What If? the series ended differently?".
    • Hibiki: A particularly odd case. It shows Hibiki gaining his Sword of Plot Advancement and Super Mode in a different way than in the TV series; however, every part of the movie except this is meant to be canon.
    • Kabuto: God Speed Love is an Alternate Universe version of the TV series where the Shibuya meteor was even worse and reduced the world to a post-apocalyptic wasteland; it ends with Hyper Kabuto altering history by breaking part of the meteor, lessening the impact and bringing the TV series into existence through the Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • Den-O: The show actually incorporates the first movie into the storyline such that the movie forms the fourth of a five-part Story Arc, making it an aversion. The second and third movies play the trope straight, due to the unexplained presence of Zeronos and no continuity between them. It gets even more confusing with the fourth movie and the 2010 trilogy, which may or may not be canon to the television series (their setting is in fact the Den-O Alternate Universe visited by Kamen Rider Decade, thus their canonicity is definite to Decade but questionable to the main Den-O universe; the Den-O AU was the least different of the Decade AUs, so it's possible they're one and the same).
    • Kiva: King of Demon World Castle outright contradicts the show's continuity in so many ways that it's impossible for it to be placed in the show's timeline.
    • Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker is canon to the series, but placing it is somewhat difficult as the show has no evident moment bridging to it in a series where the end of each episode sets up the next; it seemed non-canon at first because of the clear lack of anywhere it could fit. Movie Wars 2010 serves as Decade's Grand Finale; it also confirms the first movie's canonicity through the presence of Dr. Shinigami, referencing the previous film's events, as the Big Bad. On that note, Movie Wars 2010 ends with the protagonists have nothing more to do than travelling across the multiverse, making any Decade character appearances henceforth self-contained episodic affairs.
    • Double: Averted for all films. Scenes from Begins Night appear in the first episode as part of a Cold Open, and it tells part of the backstory in Flash Back, but the actual present-day events seem to take place between episodes 14 and 15 due to the movie's story being Foreshadowed in 13-14 and the presence of the Fang Memory in 15. Forever A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate takes place quite pointedly between episodes 44 and 45, since the former ends with the T2 Gaia Memories being transported, and the latter begins with Futo Tower being repaired following the final battle between Double and Eternal. Movie War Core serves as the backstory of Posthumous Character Kamen Rider Skull; however, being canon to Double ends up causing problems for...
    • OOO: Movie War Core has many contradictions with the show. It could have been easily written off as a non-serial movie if it weren't for Double's canonical involvement above. OOO, Den-O, All Riders: Let's Go Kamen Riders is flat-out non-canon because the time travel chaos ends up creating about quite a few dystopian alternate timelines without snapping back to the original, canon OOO timeline after the Big Bad is killed. On the other hand, 21 Core Medals, though stated to be in canon, is hard to place - also, the Greeed loan Eiji some of their Medals to fight the Big Bad and there's never any indication that he returned them - and Movie War Megamax and Heisei Generations FINAL are set after the series, with the former having Ankh dead and the non-existence of the Core Medals... and how both those things might change and the latter being about how both those things will change.
    • Fourze: Averted in Megamax, which introduced Rocket States and the Virgo Zodiarts, and first revealed that Gamou is working with Foundation X, all of which are quite important to the series. Movie Wars Ultimatum (which affirms the canonicity of Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Everyone, Space Is Here! with the appearance of a character who otherwise only appeared in that movie) takes place five years post-series, with the post-series continuity respected in both Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z and Heisei Generations FINAL, the latter actually being made five years after Fourze ended.
    • Wizard: There are no references to Movie Wars Ultimatum or Wizard in Magic Land in the series proper. With Ultimatum not contradicting TV canon, it can be easily interpreted as Filler with no ramifications on the greater plot. For Magic Land, reality was altered to create the very different universe of the film, which is fixed by the end. The bulk of the film is similar to the previous decade's What If? stories, but it all still happened for Haruto, if no one else. The movies make references to each other, though: in Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle, Wizard has the Eleventh Hour Super Power ring that he pulled out of nowhere in Magic Land. However, there is a possible humorous Continuity Nod to Ultimatum in Wizard's Hyper Battle DVD: in Ultimatum, Haruto went into an unknown person's Underworld, fell for the beautiful young woman he met there, and was utterly horrified when it turned out to be the Donut Shop Owner (who says he was mistaken for a girl when he was younger); in the Hyper Battle DVD, when Haruto sees that the Owner has fallen into despair, his immediate response is Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, which could be attributed to the events of the film.
    • Gaim: The series is pretty weird about this. To begin with, Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle is never referenced in Gaim's series... but it does reference his Early-Bird Cameo in the last two episodes of Wizard. (In fact, Wizard reclaims a ring that he gave away in those episodes). As for the others, Gaim tends to acknowledge movies with plot-interrupting movie tie-in episodes that are never brought up again. For example, after Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai premiered, Gaim got a crossover special with Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger that tied into the movie. Neither the movie nor the special are ever brought up in Gaim's series. Then there's The Great Soccer Match! The Golden Fruit Cup!. It's got a tie-in episode, but as for its events, reality is altered to create the world it takes place in, and the characters lose their memories of it after, making it something that you could ignore... until the final episode features the Big Bad of the movie as its stand alone antagonist.
      • The Gaim movies take advantage of the fact that ours isn't the only world to face the threat of Helheim to keep movies, team-ups, and specials out of the way of a tightly-plotted, self-contained series. If you're not inclined to watch the movies, you can just know that between episode x and y, they went through a Crack to somewhere in the multiverse, did stuff that won't matter to Earth's invasion by Helheim, and came back. At least, until the last Rider turns out to be Kogane possessing a woman.
    • Drive: Averted for all films thanks to the series' premise. There are exactly 108 Roidmudes, so every Roidmude kill in the movies is accounted for in the series. Even Super Hero Taisen GP Kamen Rider 3, which largely takes place in a Roidmude-less Alternate Timeline that gets negated at the end has a Roidmude kill in the real timeline (Roidmude 102, to be precise.). Interestingly, it ends with a cliffhanger that clashes severely with the rest of Drive, but the web miniseries Kamen Rider 4, which serves as the epilogue of Kamen Rider 3, sees it resolved, restoring Drive's status quo for good so that the series can continue. As such, as non-canon as the movie looked, it all fits!
    • Ghost: Averted for some films, played straight with others. Ghost's cameo in Surprise Future is canon, although it's a little confusing how he has the Newton eyecon, when his cameo in the last episode of Drive is definitively canon as well and is where Takeru gets the Newton Eyecon. Super Movie War Genesis is non-canon, due to contradicting massively with later plot developments, and making little sense with relation to Drive's timeline. The Summer film is confirmed canon due to Takeru recognising Dark Ghost's suit when the Sage later uses it. Kamen Rider 1 seems to be mainly filler, but it acknowledges the Rider Eyecon shorts, whose side characters later turn up in the show's endgame, probably making that canon too. And, finally, Ghost's two post-series crossovers are both canon, as they reference each other and the events of the show, as well as the Spectre Rebirth film.
    • Ex-Aid: Averted for all films in relation to each other, although the events of the films are rarely if ever touched on in the show other than Heisei Generations, which sets up part of a major story element, and True Ending, which acts as the show's equivalent of a Bonus Dungeon, is set up in the TV series as an impending threat and uses its timeline placement to make Kamen Rider Build's Early-Bird Cameo - which would otherwise be mere advertising with little narrative effects on the incumbent Rider's plot - into an Ex-Aid status quo-changing Sequel Hook for Heisei Generations FINAL. Nothing about the other movies directly contradicts the show's canon other than some characters using extra Gashats, typically based off licensed products like Galaxian or Pac-Man, that they never bring out in the show.
    • Build: Averted for all films. The events of Heisei Generations FINAL tie back into the series in at least two places: In the movie Build gains the Phoenix and Robot Fullbottles and loses them soon after; in the series it turns out that they were stolen by agents of Hokuto in order to create Kamen Rider Grease. About halfway through the series, Seito gets involved in the war and it turns out that they're using the Kaiser technology invented by the movie's Big Bad (read: they repainted and reused suits from the movie, but acknowledged it In-Universe). Be The One explicitly occurs between Episodes 45 and 46 (complete with a lead-in hook like Double above) and the film's villains claim that they were there all along and helped engineer some of the most critical elements of the series, including the death of Banjou's girlfriend Kasumi and erasing Takumi Katsuragi's memory and turning him into Sento Kiryu to serve as their puppet. Additionally, during the Early-Bird Cameo for Kamen Rider Zi-O at the end of the movie, Sento recognizes Ex-Aid, re-confirming Heisei Generations FINAL's claim to canon.
    • Zi-O: Heisei Generations Forever is explicitly stated by Word of God on Twitter to be Broad Strokes - on one hand, the movie is unreconciliable with Zi-O's Den-O arc about the first meeting of the Zi-O and Den-O casts and with New World: Cross-Z on the Build side of things about the nascita crew regaining their memories of Build's old world; on the other hand, Zi-O gains the Kuuga and Double Ridewatches in the movie, which will pay off in said Den-O arc. Over Quartzer takes places in an Alternate Ending to the TV series after Episode 43. However, it still counts as canon as the main villains did pull a Reset Button in the end, the show does mention that they encounter Go Shijima at some point as well as Sougo obtained the Drive Ridewatch in his timeline, allowing the ending of the show to happen, and Zero-One's Early-Bird Cameo is an important plot point for the next movie.
    • Zero-One: Reiwa the First Generation takes place in an alternate timeline. The movie addresses Zero-One's previous cameo as the reason for his Ripple Effect-Proof Memory and explores the backstory of the World of Zero-One, solidifying Over Quartzer as canon. The Stinger shows the appearance of Thouser which places the movie somewhere between the first and second arc.
    • Also, the Movie Wars films in general have many similar canon elements, not the least of which is the previous Rider recognizing the current one due to his Early-Bird Cameo in the previous Rider's Summer movie. There are also a number of Continuity Nods; in Movie Wars Core, when Eiji saves Akiko from some falling debris, Shotaro says "That's another one I owe you, OOO", referring to Eiji's cameo in Forever A to Z; later in Movie Wars Megamax, when Shotaro offers to hold off Foundation X's baddies and Eiji protests, Shotaro responds that he's finally repaying the debts he owes Eiji for all his help. Additionally, the previous Rider's portion of a Movie Wars film is generally considered canon, due to its being a Post-Script Story or in some cases (like Decade's) the story's Grand Finale. However, the current rider's portion may or may not be referenced.
  • Super Sentai movies are different - they're hard to place in show continuity, typically don't touch the series' plot, and are rarely referenced thereafter, but they're almost never contradictory, unlike the turn-of-the-century Kamen Rider movies that were What If? stories from the get-go.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger - The evil Palette Swap mecha from the movie makes a brief appearance near the end of the series. There's also a Running Gag of mentioning Abarangers's curry house in teamups if that teamup doesn't have at least one Abaranger character appearingnote , suggesting every Sentai succeeding the Abarangers has at least someone who has it as a favorite hangout; you won't see evidence of this in their series.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger's, however, has Samurai World mentioned often, and Retsutaka and Engine Daishogun return.
    • Strangely, in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, Tricondor is recognized by the team because of the movie's events, but there doesn't seem to be any reason for Oboro to have made a machine that looks exactly like the first Tricondor.
    • The two Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger team-up movies are canon. The first one (with Tensou Sentai Goseiger), set between episodes 16 and 17, sees the Gokaigers unlocking 11 Ranger powers at once and and while the events of the second one (with Space Sheriff Gavan) are not referenced in the show itself, the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Early-Bird Cameo scene is pretty much a foreshadowing of Basco's final and most nefarious move against the Gokaigers in episodes 47/48, setting the movie before that two-parter.
      • Gokaiger also includes numerous references to previous movies in its series, with identical relatives of previous team-up villains appearing. Episode 40 even shows their Early-Bird Cameo in the Shinkenger-Goseiger teamup in context (how'd they have their suit-changing gimmick, gained from the lost powers of all past sentai, while Shinken and Gosei were active? The short version is, Time Travel was involved.)
    • At first it seems like the Juken Sentai Gekiranger movie was this with its special combination "Geki Rin Tohja," a mecha formation made from the show's first mecha and the 2 mechs of the "evil" Rin Juken users Rio and Mele but in episode 33, when the first 3 Gekirangers along with Rio and Mele get stuck in the past, they have to fight a giant monster; Rio suggests using Geki Rin Tohja, making the movie canon. Then later they use Geki Rin Tohja Wolf.
    • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger's movies don't get mentioned in the series, but do mention each other — an Algolian (the summer movie villains) is involved in the Dekaranger vs. Magiranger teamup.
    • On the case of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, Ene-tan and the Megazord Epsilon from the summer movie and the Megazord Omega from the Gokaiger team-up returned in the show after their movie debuts.
    • The events of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger's summer movie are shown in flashback in episode 29 of the series and later explicitly followed up on in episode 39. Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger Vs Kyoryuger The Movie fulfills a plot point mentioned only in the finale: The appearance of the villain behind the Deboss Army, whose existence Deboss revealed to Daigo during the final battle.
    • Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger's movies don't get mentioned in the series, but they do share a common plot element in the Galaxy Line, a cosmic analogue to the Rainbow Line.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger does have the appearance of Hyper Shinken Red and the Kyoryu Origami in the TV show, a form and weapon that originally debuted in the The Fateful War movie.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The two Dalek films made in the 1960s, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. are completely out of continuity with the TV show Doctor Who, and deliberately so: the cast is completely different, the lead is a human scientist called Who, and only the basic design of the Daleks is carried over. The fact that the plots were adaptations of TV stories cements their non-canon status. Averted with the 1996 film, which was intended to be a bridge between the 1963-89 run and a planned revival which wound up in Development Hell for various reasons until the BBC renewed the series in 2005, and is as canon inasmuch as Doctor Who has a canon (the Eighth Doctor occasionally makes appearances in flashbacks).
    • The revived series took a Broad Strokes approach to the '96 movie: the Eighth Doctor was repeatedly shown in flashbacks before making an in-person appearance in an online episode, and when the Master returned, we (uncharacteristically, actually) got a real explanation for his resurrection (which of course would be unneeded if he was last seen alive, meaning his death in that movie - and thus the rest of it - likely still happened.) The points that really stick in the fans' craw have so far not been carried over - one season finale outright states that a Time Lord Half-Human Hybrid is impossible, which blows "I'm half human on my mother's side" right out of the water. A later finale suggested it might not be off the cards after all, but avoided saying anything definite.
  • Inverted and subverted with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which the films are the prime continuity, and the spinoff shows are, in a sense, Non-Serial Series. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Jessica Jones (2015), Daredevil and so forth are officially part of the MCU, and repeatedly confirmed to be so. At the same time, however, the events of television productions have almost no impact on the direction of the films and their Myth Arc. This has caused significant friction between the two studios, especially as the films can upset the status quo of the world at any time, and the showrunners are often left scrambling to keep up.note  Meanwhile, it's been made clear numerous times that the films have no intent on using or referencing developments from the television side of things.note  Avengers: Endgame marks the first time the series are acknowledged, however briefly, as Edwin Jarvis (previously only a secondary protagonist in Agent Carter) gets to make a short cameo.
  • In the Loop takes place in a separate but very similar universe to The Thick of It. Most of the cast from the show is present, making it something between this and Alternate Universe. It does this so that it can tackle something beyond the time period of the show (Namely, The War on Terror) and so it can have a character cross the Moral Event Horizon without making him completely unsympathetic on the show.
  • Star Trek (2009) and its sequels are set in an alternate continuity from the rest of the shows and movies in the Star Trek franchise. Interestingly, the two universes are connected. The movie verse was created by a man from the main continuity travelling back and splitting the timeline.
  • The Next Step, a Canadian Dramedy Mockumentary has a two-part Yet Another Christmas Carol Christmas Episode that aired in December 2019 as part of Season 7. Although it makes Continuity Nods to the series, with many an occurrence of The Bus Came Back, it's also hard to fit into the official timeline for several reasons:
    • Since the time span between Season 6 and Season 7 is a few days, it makes little sense that The Next Step Dance Studio would celebrate Christmas in April. Seeing as Kingston, Ozzy, Summer, Kenzie and Finn are present and Noah and Jacquie are absent, it cannot be set after Season 4, which would chronologically make the most sense in time. Therefore, these episodes are likely set out of the show's timeline, like the Halloween special.
    • If the episodes are set within the regular timeline of the show, then, due to Amy's presence and Michelle saying in a later episode that she had not seen Emily since she informed her that she would not be buying the studio with her, these special episodes would be set between "The Return of Amy" and "We Need to Talk".
    • In Season 4, a reference is made to the 30th anniversary of The Next Step Dance Studio's opening, but as the episode "Only You" in that season referred to the first dance captain technically being in 1984, it should be the 33rd anniversary, but it is never actually confirmed that The Next Step was an established business at this point, meaning that before the studio was officially founded, it may have still existed as a dance education facility that made use of a dance captain.
    • Although part of Season 7, it's Loose Canon at best, if not Schrödinger's Canon, but Word of God on its canonicity from Frank van Keeken the creator of the series has never been mentioned.

    Web Original 
  • TVTome Adventures: The Movie is actually a subversion of this. It has all the hallmarks of a Non-Serial Movie: The heroes fight against Filler Villains, it has no effect on the plot, the events are (seemingly) never mentioned again, etc. Unlike most Non-Serial Movies, things such as Giga attacking them, references to the X-Games, and Zetto still running around doing whatever he wants instead of being under arrest make it clear when it takes place: right between the X-Games and Infiltration Arcs. There is, however, one far more important difference: The Filler Villain is defeated by Alpha and Zetto Fusing together to form "Alphazet." This is never mentioned again... Until the Season 3 Finale where, with no warning whatsoever, Alpha and Zetto do it again to save the day. Oh, and that Filler Villain? Turns out that he was (Probably) one of the super-intelligent viruses made by the Big Bad.
  • Parodied in this skit from ProZD, where a crossover movie between Chairem Anime and King Dragon is declared non-canon and Archibald is confused.

    Western Animation 
  • The original Ben 10 series and Alien Force each received live-action films. The first was originally firmly within this trope, with its events being non-canon until the franchise introduced The Multiverse, which depicts the "Race Against Time" as having happened in one of many alternate timelines. Meanwhile, the second live-action film was always considered canon, as the events of the film have repercussions in later episodes, despite it having numerous inconsistencies with the show.note 
    • The What If? episodes of the original cartoon also exist under this multiverse framework, with the Gwen of one of them playing a role in a later story arc.
  • An interesting variation: the movie Penguins of Madagascar does not take place in the continuity of The Penguins of Madagascar TV show, but rather in the continuity of the Madagascar film series, which the show was spun off from.
  • The second Winx Club movie, Magical Adventure. While the first movie, The Secret of the Lost Kingdom, was firmly within the show's continuity (taking place just after Season 3 and concluding the then-Myth Arc concerning Bloom's missing birth parents), Magical Adventure ignores much of Season 4 despite releasing after it (lack of Roxy, Nabu being alive, etc.). The fandom has come to agree that the film makes much more sense continuity-wise if you imagine the girls are in their third season Enchantix outfits as opposed to their fourth season Believix ones.
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie is not in the same continuity with either the Ninjago TV series OR toy line; it is instead a spinoff of The LEGO Movie. However, it takes inspiration from the source's plot points and puts a new spin on them, such as Lloyd's relationship with his father and the robotic aspects of Zane.
  • In spite of sharing some characters, Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw is a separate canon from Pound Puppies (1980s). The most notable discrepancies include the Puppy Pound being run by Tammy and Jeff instead of Holly or Katrina Stoneheart and the film using a different art style and different character designs from the Hanna-Barbera show.
  • The Raccoons had four TV Movie specials:
    • The Christmas Raccoons: Officially, the First Appearance of Bert Raccoon and his family, and although it's treated as the pilot episode, it seems to contradict the actual series by having the humans (Julie and Tommy) meet the Raccoons, although this is taken in Broad Strokes for the show itself.
    • The Raccoons On Ice: A Christmas Episode, and it's Loose Canon if anything as characterization of the major characters is very close to the series itself.
    • The Raccoons And The Lost Star: Again, of uncertain canonicity but possibly outside the show's core timeline, yet doesn't seem to contradict anything outright.
    • The Raccoons: Let's Dance! is a Lighter and Softer Musical Episode that was Direct to Video, much like an OVA, yet did get some TV airings.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, of all things, is one of these. It was written as the finale for the show, but as the franchise was hitting peak popularity at the time, Nickelodeon kept the series going instead of ending it. Future episodes would not reflect the movie's ending, where SpongeBob gets a promotion to manager at a second Krusty Krab location and Plankton ends up in jail. Stephen Hillenburg considered it to still be the canonical ending of the series and handwaved any issues by declaring that all future episodes (and even other films) are set before the movie. An imperfect fix, but Spongebob isn’t exactly a series with strong continuity anyway.


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