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Whenever source material is adapted, changes will be made for whatever reason (budget, time constraints, changing values, target audience) and sometimes, elements of the story will be dropped. Inevitably, this can be a character. Sometimes even an important one.
Of course it doesn't have to be a character. Sometime it can be part of the backstory, a plot line, an object, or a location. Again, usually the result of a Pragmatic Adaptation.
- When the British novel series Five Children and It had an anime Setting Update as Onegai Samia-don, the eldest daughter Althea did not appear. Instead, a girl named Anne who resembles her becomes the kids' next-door neighbor and a Love Interest for the eldest son Cyril/Sil.
- When GoLion was adapted for English audiences, Voltron cut out Sincline's mother likely due to the Oedipus Complex (long story) and the fact that Sincline being a Child by Rape wasn't something one could really show back then on an American Saturday morning television. To be fair, she does appear in footage but the dialogue in her death scene is completely altered to remove her connection to Daibazaal and Sincline, making her look like a random, if very beautiful, victim that begged for her and her fellow prisoners' lives, then was all but said to have been murdered for defying Zarkon. Sincline's dreams about her are also kept intact but they're redubbed to be dreams about a more mature Allura (again, long story).
- She was featured in the Voltron / Robotech crossover comics, however. Or at least a character named Lora who filled near exactly the same role including a similar death for similar reasons as in GL. (In the main timeline, there are glimpses of another one that has her alive and well)
- Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics pulls this too:
- Brother and Sister omits the evil stepsister.
- There's no Fairy Godmother in Donkeyskin.
- The Iron Stove takes away the second Princess, replacing her with a Hot Witch.
- The Six Swans omits the evil mother-in-law (giving her role to the Wicked Stepmother) and the protagonist only has one baby instead of three.
- The Magic Heart / Donkey Cabbages eliminates the giants and the Wicked Witch's maidservant.
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses is probably called The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes because it only has three princesses, not twelve.
- Several Fruits Basket characters didn't appear in the first anime, though several did show up or are slated to return for the second one. The list includes: Isuzu/Rin, Kureno and Ren Sohma; the Sohmas' head maid, Mayuko Shiraki, Kakeru Manabe, Machi Kuragi, Komaki Nakao, Kimi Todou, etc.
- Sailor Moon:
- In the manga Phobos and Deimos are Sailor Senshi, but in the two anime series they're just normal crows.
- Xenotime and Zeolite from the Super S manga didn't show up in the anime.
- The last arc's Sailors Lethe, Mnemosyne, Heavy Metal Papillion, Phi and Chi didn't appear in the first anime's adaptation of Stars.
- Captain Tsubasa:
- Yukari Nishimoto, Kumi Sugimoto and Maki Akamine didn't appear in the Road to 2002 anime, though the three returned in the Tatakae Dream Team game and the first two showed up in the 2018-2019 series.
- Kouji Kanda hasn't been seen in any anime adaptations.
- Tsubasa's Portuguese teacher Carlos was this until the 2018-2019 anime.
- The anime of Ranma 1/2 omits Hikaru Gosunkugi in the earlier seasons, with some of his role being given to Canon Foreigner Sasuke. Gosunkugi does show up in later seasons, however.
- In Karin, the anime doesn't tackle the later manga arcs. This means characters like the Brownlick and Armash clans, Glark, Sophia Pistis and Yuriya Tachibana don't show up.
- The Dalek Chronicles excluded the Doctor!
- Though Go-Bots features just about every character from the cartoon, albeit heavily reimagined, the Last Engineer and the Master Renegade are nowhere to be found. On a similar note, Vamp is the only one of the Monster GoBots who puts in an appearance.
- Thanks to Executive Meddling, Skoodge and Tak can't be included in the Invader Zim comics.
- Since Command Sheperd is quite literally an OC Stand In, don't expect to see them in any media in the Mass Effect Expanded Universe.
- ROM (IDW) did away with Wraithworld, the planet having been destroyed by the Space Knights long before the series started. Subverted and mixed with Composite Character in Transformers: Unicron. The original Dire Wraith homeworld does technically still exist, it just has a new name: Unicron.
- Despite tons of DC cameos and characters from all over the mythos, Supergirl doesn't appear in Superman Red Son.
- So far in Transformers (2019), there's no sign of the Thirteen Primes. Though an artist stuck in stained glass murals of some of them as an Easter Egg. Likewise, the human race has yet to put in an appearance.
- Per Word of God, Steven *AU*niverse: Ask WhitePearl and Steven (almost!) anything disregards anything post Season 5, specifically Spinel.
- Much of Kara's supporting cast; James Olsen, J'onn J'onzz, Cat Grant; is excluded from The Girl Who Could Knock Out The Hulk and replaced with Marvel counterparts; in these three cases, Daredevil, Nick Fury, and J. Jonah Jameson. Brutally justified in Chapter 32 where Doctor Doom reveals that he abducted Kara from the Phantom Zone and dropped her on the MCU!Earth to take advantage of her Magnetic Heroism.
- The fic is also a Mega Crossover and openly disregards the events of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The former because the plotline was mapped before the film's release and the latter because the author simply hated the book. Delphini does appear but as a demigod.
- Played with in Defenders of the Universe. Katie/Pidge's motivation is still to find her missing family but while she reunites with Matt, when the two explore a Gem colony in Chapter 13, they discover that Sam Holt died trying to help the colonists escape the Galra. As a result, his canon plotlines are unlikely to occur.
This trope lives here.
- Technically all adaptations do this, but Aladdin drops the Genie in the Ring.
- Belle's siblings, including her selfish sisters, are cut from Beauty and the Beast.
- As a result of trying to slam four books into one movie, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie does away with Dr. Diaper and the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space.
- In Ted Hughes' The Iron Man, the climax saw the Iron Man compete against a Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon. In the film, the threat is the Iron Giant himself, the military's attack triggering his defensive, and overkilling, software.
- The Little Mermaid did away with the mermaid's grandmother, the daughters of the air, and the princess from the other kingdom (though Vanessa/Ursula fills in a similar role).
- Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame leaves out a number of characters, including the poet Pierre Gringoire (though Word of God says the Phoebus of the film is a Composite Character of the original book's Phoebus and Gringoire).
- Disney's 1951 animated Alice in Wonderland omits the Duchess, the Duchess' cook, The Frog Footman and the Fish Footman, the Mock Turtle, the Gryphon, and the Mouse who Alice meets along with the Dodo at the Caucus Race.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne aren't among the founding members of the Avengers.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron drops Hank Pym (though he would show up later) from Ultron's backstory. Instead, Ultron was created by Tony Stark, with some help from Bruce Banner, and a unknown amount of variables derived from the Mind Stone. Likewise, Jocasta is also cut from Ultron's story.
- Mistress Death, Adam Warlock, Quasar, She-Hulk, Namor, Starfox, Mephisto (who is a light Composite Character with Ebony Maw), and every Elder of the Universe, bar the Collector, are absent from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. That's not even half the characters who got hit with this. And of course, all those whom Fox owned the rights to, namely the X-Men and Doctor Doom, couldn't appear.
- The films feature the Black Order, who were created long after Infinity Gauntlet, but exclude Supergiant from their ranks.
- Black Panther cuts out T'Challa's main two love interests, Monica Lynn and Storm. The latter was inevitable due to Fox owning the rights to the X-Men films at the time.
- Civil War was a major Crisis Crossover that featured essentially every character in the Marvel Universe. Captain America: Civil War chose to focus on the Avengers, cutting out a lot of characters. Both those that they had the rights to; such as Thor (well a cyborg copy of him), Kate Bishop, Bill Foster, Punisher, and Daredevil; and those that they couldn't use, such as the Fantastic Four. The most notable absence, however, has to be Maria Hill. As her film characterization wouldn't fit with the character's portrayal in the original storyline, most of her role is instead given to Secretary Ross.
- In the cases of Thor and Banner, they were removed from this film expressly so they could be included in Thor: Ragnarok.
- Sergeant Jack Fury is notably absent from the ranks of the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger.
- Uncle Ben does not even get a mention in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Per Word of God, this was done because this is the third Spider-Man reboot in a decade so everyone knows the story now.
- In the Harry Potter films, several characters are dropped entirely (Ludovic "Ludo" Bagman, Winky, Peeves), some were absent at first but later appeared (Charlie Weasley), and some had their early appearances but didn't get their later ones (Nearly-Headless Nick).
- Dobby did appear in the Chamber of Secrets film but was cut from the adaptations of Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, and Half-Blood Prince.
- Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets does away with humanity's mastery of Time Travel. It's really for the best given how convoluted the plot already was.
- The film adaptations of Percy Jackson & the Olympians:
- The Lightning Thief removes Clarisse, Ares, Dionysus, and Kronos! Though Clarisse, Dionysus, and Kronos would appear in the sequel.
- The Sea of Monsters cuts, Tantalus (odd because he'd been cast as Mark Hamill. What happened to his role has never been explained), Oreius and Agrius, Circe, the Party Ponies, and the Laistrygonian Giants. Similarly, there's no mention of Annabeth feeling conflicted about Luke's morality.
- Barring Spock, none of Pike's original crew (Number One, Yeoman Colt, and Dr. Boyce) appear in Star Trek.
- Tom Bombadil is nowhere to be found in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, and certainly not in the adaptation of The Fellowship Of The Ring.
- A number of characters and creatures from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are nowhere to be found in the classic 1939 film.
- The Kalidahs (creatures with heads like tigers and bodies like bears) who menace Dorothy and friends on their way to the Emerald City are excluded, as are the wolves, crows and bees who attack them on their way to the Wicked Witch of the West's castle. The Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects who help the Tinman and the Scarecrow rescue Dorothy, Toto, and the Lion from the Poppy field are also omitted, replaced by Glinda neutralizing the poppies' affects with snow.
- Glinda in the movie is a Composite Character: In the original book, she is the Good Witch of the South and only appears at the end of the book (and then only after Dorothy and friends have to take a journey to the south to see her, rather than her coming to the Emerald City shortly after the Wizard accidentally leaves without Dorothy), and the movie combines Glinda with the Good Witch of the North (who is a separate character in the original book who meets Dorothy on her arrival in Oz but isn't seen again after she leaves Munchkin land).
- The entire journey to the South (which takes place after all conflicts except Dorothy's wish to return to Kansas have been resolved) is omitted in favor of Glinda coming to the Emerald City, and as a result, the giant spider and the Hammerheads who hinder them on the journey are omitted. And so is the Dainty China Country and its population of creatures made from china, who neither help nor hinder Dorothy and her friends.
- Return to Oz leaves out several characters from the two books that are its main basis, The Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. Among them, the Sawhorse, the Wogglebug, Jellia Jamb, General Jinjur, and the Royal Family of Ev. The Princess Mombi of the film is a Composite Character of Mombi from The Land of Oz and Princess Langwidere from Ozma of Oz.
- Madge Undersee, Katniss' Lonely Rich Kid friend from The Hunger Games, disappears from the movies. So is her aunt Mayselee, causing the omission of the story behind Katniss' Mockingjay pin.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen only features seven Primes (referred to as the Dynasty of Primes) instead of the usual Thirteen. Which ones got the cut is unclear but only Prima and the Fallen are confirmed to be among their ranks. Then EU media declared that all Thirteen were there but only seven had the title of "Prime" in their name. So... it's confusing.
- Ten is missing from Arrow's Royal Flush Gang.
- Played with in Riverdale:
- Miss Grundy has seemingly become Younger and Hipper, and Hotter and Sexier, but it's soon revealed that the real Miss Grundy (the elderly music teacher) has been dead for years. The 30 year old on the show stole her identity to hide from her abusive ex-boyfriend.
- Chic, Betty's brother. He appears in the second season but he's soon revealed to be an imposter who knew the real Chic but the show is deliberately ambiguous on whether or not the real Chic is still alive. Season 3 reveals that he is.
- Wonder Woman and Green Lantern never put in appearance in Smallville.
- Coldcast, Bunny, and Vera are missing from the lineup of the Elite in Supergirl.
- Since A Song of Ice and Fire has Loads and Loads of Characters, not all of them made it into the TV series Game of Thrones. A few notable examples include Victarion Greyjoy and Vargo Hoat. The Lady Stoneheart plot thread is one of a number that never happened in the series.
- Naomi Misora is among the characters left out of the live action drama adaptation of Death Note.
- Clara Eynsford-Hill from Pygmalion is excluded from the musical adaptation, My Fair Lady, with some of her lines being given to her brother Freddy.
- Lego Adaptation Games:
- LEGO Marvel Avengers, despite being based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, features the comic book versions of Daredevil, Punisher, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. The development team went out of their way to do away with their overtly dark MCU counterparts likely due to the inevitable tonal clash.
- The Harry Potter games cut out a lot of scenes from the movies; which, as said above, cut out a lot of scenes from the books. The most notable ones to receive the axe are the Yule Ball (in Goblet of Fire) or the Golden Trio's stay at the abandoned 12 Grimmauld Place (after the wedding in Deathly Hallows) and jumping right to the Ministry of Magic to find Salazar Slytherin's locket.
- Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham did away with Lois Lane, opting for the New 52 approach of Superman/Wonder Woman.
- The video game adaptation of Thor: The Dark World does away with Jane Foster and the other humans. Since Jane and the Reality Stone were so vital to the film's plot, the Dark Elves are instead trying to forge Uru weapons.
- Avengers, Assemble!:
- The Soul Stone is dropped the Infinity Stones' lineup... only for it to show up later on in the Shared Universe.
- Amusingly, its predecessor, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, inverted this, having only the Soul Stone (albeit as just a tool used by Adam Warlock) and none of the others.
- Mistress Death is also cut from Thanos's storyline in the second season but she does not show up later.
- Like Captain America: Civil War above, the show's Civil War adaptation features a vastly reduced cast, only about 20 or so heroes at most. Maria Hill is again absent with the Big Bad Obstructive Bureaucrat instead being Truman Marsh or rather Ultron is disguise.
- The Soul Stone is dropped the Infinity Stones' lineup... only for it to show up later on in the Shared Universe.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes's Secret Invasion arc omitted Spider-Woman, dividing her parts between Mockingbird and Black Widow while Elektra was replace by Viper. This is understandable, since Marvel has Loads and Loads of Characters, even the Maximoff twins were dropped as well. This was notable, because Hawkeye joined the Avengers around the same time as them, and Black Panther came much later, and were included as a team members.
- The 1970s Fantastic Four cartoon dropped the Human Torch. Contrary to popular belief, this was not because they feared kids lighting themselves on fire, but due to legal issues given that the Torch was tied up in a solo film which never materialized.
- Arlene doesn't put in an appearance in Garfield and Friends. Apparently the studio executives wanted Jim Davis to alter her cynical personality and he was unwilling to do so, just writing in Penelope to fill Arlene's role.
- Hal Jordan is notably absent as a founding member of the Justice League, and the series has John Stewart instead. He does exist in this 'verse (or did, or will, one can't be sure of the specifics due to time travel) however.
- Several stories from The Railway Series never got adapted into episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine for a variety of reasons meaning that the animated series lacks characters such as Spamcan, Bear, Old Stuck-Up, or the Foreign Engine. Others, like Corvan and Alfred, had their debuts adapted but the budget prevented models of them being made. Flying Scotsman had his debut adapted but, owing to budget, it was a very loose adaptation and he didn't properly appear until the series transitioned into full CGI.
- Until Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Gwen Stacy didn't make an appearance in any of the Spider-Man adaptations. Even the '60s cartoon doesn't include her, despite Gwen's being alive in the comics that were out. Instead, they made her father, George Stacy, as Mary Jane's uncle in a Composite Character way.
- The Street Fighter cartoon takes out Guile's wife and daughter, Julia and Amy. Instead, Guile has a New Old Flame in the local Hot Scientist Lucinda aka Cindy.
- As a result of the concept being done to hell and back over the previous six years, Transformers Animated did away with Primus, the Thirteen Primes, and Unicron.
- When Hasbro made a finalized list of the Thirteen Primes, Logos Prime was cut from the roster when the group was introduced in the Transformers Aligned Universe. Of course, most of the fandom had never heard of this character, so there's no harm done.
- Skywarp is notably missing from the Seekers' lineup in Transformers: Cyberverse. His status as Dumb Muscle was passed onto Thundercracker and his colour scheme seems to have been inherited by Nova Storm. Fellow Seeker Sunstorm is likewise nowhere to be found and no one got his characteristics. Likewise, Grimlock is the only Dinobot to put in an appearance.
- The Netflix adaptation of Trollhunters reimagines Jim's dad as a simple deadbeat who left his family. As a result, Uncle Jack is unlikely to appear. Even more so given the massive directional changes that the Tales of Arcadia verse has taken from the original source material.
- Several characters from GoLion and Voltron did not make it to Voltron: Legendary Defender. The biggest examples include Ryou Shirogane (Takashi/Shiro's younger brother), Romelle and Bandor's older brother Samson/Avok and their father the King of Heracles/Pollux, Raible/Coran's wife Raiza/Leda and son Saint/Garret (and the cyborg/spy who took the son's place), etc. Subverted, though mixed with Adaptation Name Change and Composite Character, in the cases of Hys/Nanny who becomes Lotor's Galra Sadist Teacher governess, Dayak; and Sincline's mother who was the basis for Empress Honerva, who is both Lotor's mother and the younger, uncorrupted Haggar.
- For that matter, Vehicle Voltron doesn't show up until the end of the show, and even then it's only Vehicle Voltron itself, none of the Dairugger XV characters made it in the show.