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Despite the existence of posters, two of these movies were never made.

Stradleyism: The act of dismissing an element of Canon altogether on grounds of it being "stupid", without taking the effort to do something interesting with it.
—Thefourdotelipsis, Wookieepedia, on Dark Horse Comics writer Randy Stradley

As the Fanon Discontinuity trope shows, there are certain elements in Canon works that fans don't want to remember, because they're viewed as stupid, unpopular, or just plain don't make sense within that universe. If their complaints are loud enough, and if the writers agree, this can lead to the offending element being written out of Canon altogether.

One of the meta-causes of Alternate Universe.

Sometimes the discontinuity is more subtle, such as a single line of dialogue or the specifics of an event. Besides those things, everything else is in Canon. When that happens they are treating it in Broad Strokes. Note that this trope has to do with the creators putting something out of continuity. For when fans do it, see Fanon Discontinuity.

See also Continuity Reboot, Alternative Continuity, Broad Strokes, Disowned Adaptation. Old Shame works usually get this treatment. The opposite of Ret Canon and its descendant tropes. See Cutting Off the Branches for when all but one ending of a game with Multiple Endings become Discontinuity.

If the writers lampshade a Discontinuity, either canonical or just something the fans want to be discontinued, then that's Discontinuity Nod.

Examples of Canon Dis Continuity include:

Anime & Manga

  • The last hundred or so pages of Battle Angel Alita are ignored by the renewed Battle Angel Alita: Last Order; originally intended as an adaptation of the last level of the game of the comic, it has spiraled into a second story longer than the original that is still ongoing. It should be noted that in this case, the original ending was an effort to avoid Author Existence Failure. After he got better instead, he decided to do it right.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water's director Hideaki Anno created a compilation of the series called "The Nautilus Story", which deletes much of the island/Africa continuity (episodes 23-34).
  • Dragon Ball Online ignores Dragon Ball GT and even certain elements (read: Filler) in the rest of the Dragon Ball anime. This is likely a result of Akira Toriyama having creative contribution to the series, as well as the fact that it's based on the original manga.
    • Dragon Ball Online itself suffers from this trope to some extent, including the Unfortunate Implications that Goku and Vegeta must have Really Got Around for so many humans being able to access Super Saiyan
      • OR... considering one becomes a Super Saiya-jin by making a wish on the Dragon Balls, they didn't have to.
  • The animated version of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle contains a discontinuity with the "Tokyo Revelations" OAVs ignoring the last filler arc from the broadcast series and picking up right after the escape from the Rekort library.
  • Macross II has been officially been shunted off into its own private universe. Aspects of the original Macross TV series and the movie Do You Remember Love are taken in Broad Strokes in later Macross series.
    • A good portion of this stems from the fact that Macross II was not a Studio Nue production—Bandai wanted something for a tenth-anniversary celebration in 1992, and when it seemed that Shoji Kawamori's cooperation was not forthcoming, came up with the story themselves. Of the original production staff, only Haruhiko Mikimoto actually worked on Macross II.
  • Nothing from the Sun Wukong arc of Shamo has been mentioned once in subsequent chapters. The arc that followed it was a flashback arc that followed a different character, and when the series finally came back to protagonist Ryo Narushima he had become a washed-up prize fighter, as opposed to the near demi-god he was at the end of the Sun Wukong arc.
  • The second Digimon Tamers movie is mostly about a Digimon attacking on Ruki's birthday and mind-controlling her with a song she used to sing with her father. It also seemed to latch on to the idea planted in the final episode that the Tamers could use the portal Takato found in Guilmon's house to reunite with their partners. It was written and produced without the input of the head writers, however, and a CD drama released later reveals that the kids had yet to reunite with their partners even a year later; the story is about them sending messages to the Digital World that their partners might stumble upon one day. (One of the writers speaks highly of the movie on his website, however, and the drama has a scene of Ruki humming the song from the movie.)
  • While the writers of the Naruto Anime largely restricted themselves to creating new villages and countries for Filler arcs, leaving the major names alone for future Manga expansion, one blaring example of this emerged: Mission - Protect the Waterfall Village OVA. As portrayed in the OVA, Waterfall Village is so small that a dozen men can effectively seize control of the entire village and their leader is a spineless teenager. Yet a later anime arc implied the village was highly aggressive and prone to launching border attacks on larger countries. And if that wasn't enough, Word of God is that the village had the third-most powerful bijuu under their control.
  • The Gundam franchise has Gaia Gear, a novel written by franchise creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, set 110 years after Chars Counterattack and focusing on a literal Char Clone. The later Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and Victory Gundam, also written by Tomino, push Gaia Gear into discontinuity by contradicting elements of its backstory. As far as Sunrise is concerned, any Gundam work not animated doesn't count, no matter how well it cleaves to canon - even so, that hasn't stopped them from animating the popular Gundam Unicorn novels, retroactively making them canon, despite being set before series that predate it by as much as 16 years.
  • Not only was Episode 4 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann cut out of the manga, but the Episode 5 Opening Narration even refrained from using clips from that episode!
  • Nobuhiro Watsuki disowned the Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen OAV's because they were done without his consultation and had a Downer Ending, which he felt it was against his intentions and desires regarding Kenshin and Kaoru. So far, the ongoing Hokkaido arc has zero allusions to anything Seisouhen-related either

Comic Books

  • Lampshaded in the Grant Morrison run on Animal Man - Animal Man meets the previous version of himself from another continuity during a peyote trip. The same storyline has him meet Grant Morrison later in the series, at which point Morrison explains that the continuity differences come from different writers writing the same character for different comics. It also features a character - Psycho Pirate - who remembers all the alternate continuities that have ever existed, and goes crazy as a result.
  • The Gargoyles comic, written by the series' original head writer and officially promoted by Disney, ignores the third season, save for the first episode, which it largely retells with the first two issues.
  • This seems to happen to Spider-Man often:
    • One series written out of continuity was Spider-Man: Chapter One, which ineptly updated several bits of Spider-Man's origin; for instance, the Sandman and Norman Osborn were now related, as a way to explain their similar-looking hair.
    • In the one-shot The Osborn Journal, Norman Osborn claimed in his private journal to have had nothing to do with Aunt May's death in Amazing Spider-Man #400. Two years later, it's revealed he kidnapped her and had an actress fake her death, with no mention of his earlier claim otherwise. Marvel's Spider Girl comic, however, sticks to the Journal's perspective rather soundly, and the real May Parker is said to have been the one who died in Issue 400.
    • Marvel's vague statements either took Trouble out of continuity or implied that it never was in continuity. This series depicted Peter's Aunt May as an unwed teenager and implied she was really his mother.
    • Mark Millar ultimately tried to salvage Trouble as canon in the last issue, trying to establish it as taking place in the Ultimate Marvel Universe via having reference be made to the Ultimate Marvel version of Bucky Barnes (who survived the war and became a famous writer). However, no one else has bothered to pick up on it and it's still pretty much a stand-alone story.
    • Either way, Trouble puts itself out of continuity through Writers Cannot Do Math: if May was a teenager when Peter was born, how is it that she's in her sixties (616 Universe) or fifties (Ultimate Universe) fifteen years later?
  • The writers of the Disney Adventure Power Rangers SPD comic conveniently Retcon the reasons behind A-Squad's defection, turning it into Mind Control instead of a voluntary Face Heel Turn.
  • The infamous "25 Years Later" arc of the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog series depicted two different alternate futures for Mobius, one of which was ironically created as a result of attempts to change the other. Neither one was mentioned again after the arc ended. Even more egregiously, the character of Lara-Su, Knuckles' and Julie-Su's future daughter and a major player in the arc, vanished along with it, even though her character was introduced in yet another alternate future story written before "25 Years Later".
    • The "X Years Later" timeline was revisited in a Sonic Universe story, while a later one featured the alternate version of Lara-Su (who was a separate person from the one who appeared in "25 Years Later".
  • Jon Sable Freelance: Creator Mike Grell's later uses of Jon Sable have ignored the 27 issues of Sable written by Marv Wolfman.
  • In the finale of The New Titans, Starfire is revealed to be pregnant. It's never mentioned again.
  • A storyline in Justice League Europe revealed that Doctor Light's Ice Queen behavior was the result of chemicals in a popular soda she enjoyed drinking, leading to the character becoming more personable once she kicked her habit. This was completely ignored by later writers, who brought back her rude, condescending personality with no real explanation.
  • The third volume of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book, published by Image Comics as the official continuation to the Mirage-produced series, was completely ignored when TMNT co-creator Peter Laird returned to write volume 4.
  • In the rebooted series The Hulk, an angry response to writer/artist John Byrne's reboot of the title character, particularly his "Man of Steeling" of the Hulk in Annual #1, was responded to in the title's letters page by something along the lines of, "When you not like what happen, do what Hulk do: Pretend it never happened." Thus, the six issues and an annual were simply removed out of existence.
    • During Peter David's "Tempest Fugit" storyline, one line discontinuitized the entirety of previous writer Bruce Jones' 42 issue run.
  • A particularly brutal version happened in the first issue of the ClanDestine/X-Men mini-series. In one line of dialog, Alan Davis (Clan Destine's creator and artist/writer on the original Clan mini) rendered the entire second half of the original mini (i.e. The Issues He Didn't Write) as All Just a Dream.
  • The 2006 series of The Warlord has been largely ignored in The DCU continuity. With the 2009 series continuing the original series, it seems the 2006 series has slipt completely into the realm of Canon Dis Continuity.
    • And Mike Grell's 1992 mini-series off-handedly dismissed the death of Tara which occurred in issues after Grell left the original series.
    • And the new series seems to ignore Mariah's decision to willingly partner herself with a man who physically abused her. Grell has restored her to her original Action Girl Adventurer Archaeologist persona.
  • Countdown to Final Crisis was almost discontinuity. Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers led into Final Crisis but Countdown did not. However, Morrison (who also wrote Final Crisis) was forced to cave in and acknowledge Countdown via a time loop scenario: Darkseid wasn't killed at the end of Countdown but thrown backwards in time and possessed the mobster who would become Boss Dark Seid, resurrecting his minions in human bodies and consolidating his power base while waiting for his "death" so that he could kill his son and bring the corrupted-by-regular-Darkseid Mary Marvel into his inner circle.
    • Alternatively, Darkseid fell backwards through time after the events of Jim Starlin's Death of the New Gods... but Morrison has stated that the true final war of the New Gods was fought on a higher plane than mere mortals could comprehend, and that both Countdown and DoTNG were merely the mortal characters'/writers'/artists' hopelessly limited, three-dimensional perception of what really happened.
  • Years before the Continuity Snarl of Hawkman, there was a story, in the original Silver Age 1960s Hawkman series, which threatened to reveal Carter Hall's identity as Hawkman. He ended up protecting his identity but publicly revealing that he's a space alien. Needless to say, this was ignored later.
  • An odd example is Sovereign Seven, a team of humanoid aliens created by Chris Claremont for DC Comics. They were part of the Genesis Crisis Crossover, and at one point Power Girl became a member of the team. And then, in the final issue, it turned out they were entirely fictional within the DCU. This appears to have been for the opposite reason to most Canon Dis Continuity; Claremont wanted to separate his (creator-owned) characters from The Verse once his book was cancelled.
  • New Avengers: Illuminati #3 has been treated as such, due to the sheer level of Critical Research Failure on the part of Bendis regarding the original Secret Wars series and Beyonder.
  • The 1990s Metal Men miniseries reveals that they are actually human minds in robot bodies and has Will Magnus become Veridium, a Metal Man based on a fictional metal. This change was not well received and quietely dropped from continuity, along with the Metal Men themselves. When Magnus appears as one of the main characters of 52 he refers to the '90's series as hallucinations resulting from a psychotic break, and now takes regular anti-depressants to help keep his mind in one piece.
  • The "Life and Death of Johnny Alpha" story in Strontium Dog has explicitly relegated all of Peter Hogan's stories to the realm of In-Universe Fanfic. Garth Ennis' contributions seem to have actually happened.
  • DC Comics has a series of books entitled The Greatest Stories Ever Told, each featuring one character or theme. A Batman volume came out in the late 80s, followed by a volume 2 in the early 90s. V2 was released opposite Batman Returns, and features all Catwoman and Penguin stories. Decades later, DC revived its Greatest Stories series, reprinting the first Batman volume . . . and produced an entirely new Greatest Batman Stories Volume 2, shoving the previous V2 into no-man's land. (By amusing coincidence, the first volume of Batman stories was the second Greatest Stories volume overall (after Superman), and thus had Greatest Stories Volume Two on the spine. So, at a casual glance, all three different books appear to be "Volume Two" of the same series.)
  • DC ran an event called Origins & Omens, which had each book featuring an ominous short story hinting at future plots. The Teen Titans story featured several major revealtions, such as Blue Beetle kissing Wonder Girl, Sun Girl becoming pregnant with Inertia's child, and Kid Devil being turned into a withered husk. With the exception of Static joining the team, literally all of these plot points were ignored.
  • Devil's Due Publishing's entire seven-year run of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (including numerous side titles), intended to be a continuation of the original Marvel storyline, was segregated to its own continuity after IDW Publishing took away the comic book rights from DDP. IDW now publishes its own continuation of the Marvel run (penned by its original writer Larry Hama), reprinting the Devil's Due run under the title of G.I. Joe: Disavowed.
  • Orson Scott Card's Ultimate Iron Man revamps Tony Stark in a way that was ignored by every other comic featuring Ultimate Iron Man, creating Continuity Snarl. Mark Millar explained it as that Ultimate Iron Man is a Show Within a Show in the Ultimate Universe.
  • At one point in X Men, the lineup at the time were killed and resurrected, making them invisible to cameras, and this is treated treated almost as a second mutant power in the next few dozen issues. When Chris Claremont left, however, this was completely forgotten, and the lineup at the time - which includes Wolverine, of all people - are seen on camera without comment from then on. His run in 2000 makes a brief mention of this fact with Rogue, but this only serves to muddy the waters further - where it's been mentioned at all, it's explained as a side effect of the Siege Perilous, except that Wolverine and Longshot never went through it, and Rogue did.
  • Nextwave is probably the oddest example of this trope ever made. Officially, it is Canon Dis Continuity, but most fans (and quite a few writers!) treats the act of making it discontinuity as a discontinuity in and by itself. This has caused some of the lunacy contained within the series (mainly the parts containing Aaron Stack and the other team members) to spill into the Marvel mainstream.
  • Secret Invasion ignored the X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl mini-series, where the Avengers member Mockingbird appeared in the afterlife. Invasion established that Mockingbird had never really died in the first place, making the series moot. However, the series' artist Nick Dragotta did later imply the events of the series were somehow still canon when discussing the new Miss America he created for the Vengeance mini-series, making the Dead Girl's canonicity difficult to determine.


  • Superman Returns ignores Superman III and Superman IV (and Supergirl), instead having Superman leave for five years at some point after Superman II.
  • Rocky Balboa ignores the premise of Rocky V; as Rocky considers coming out of retirement in the sixth movie, the another-punch-could-kill-him brain injury that keeps him out of the ring in the fifth movie is never mentioned. Word of God has it that in the years since that diagnosis was made, medical science has advanced enough to more accurately treat and/or diagnose the kind of injury Rocky had, leading the doctors to discover that it was less of a danger than was originally feared.
  • The Godzilla franchise is particularly infamous for this. Pay close attention here: The Return of Godzilla (also known as Godzilla 1985) ignored every Godzilla movie except the 1954 original. The Heisei Era movies after The Return Of Godzilla create a new timeline that is very tightly interwoven, with a largely recurring main cast and developing plotlines from movie to movie. The "ignore every previous movie except the 1954 original" reset button was pushed again four movies in a row: Godzilla 2000, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, and Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. The next movie, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., was a sequel to the previous film, but the next film after that, Godzilla: Final Wars, has an ambiguous continuity that could fit anywhere or nowhere in the series. Vs. Megaguirus, GMK and Final Wars all treat the American Zilla as canon...but have no relation to each other!
  • Highlander is one of the most retconned canons in existence. Almost all iterations of the franchise accept the original movie as canon, with a few various retcons, but tend to ignore each other:
    • The second movie retcons when MacLeod and Ramirez first met, now taking place on an alien planet.
      • The updated version of the second movie re-retcons when MacLeod and Ramirez first met, now taking place on Earth, but in the distant past.
    • The TV series ignores the second movie, and retcons the ending of the first.
    • The cartoon TV series accepts some of the flashback stuff from the first movie (there are immortals, two of them are Connor and Ramirez) and ignores everything else, including the bits of the first movie set in 1980s New York.
    • The third movie ignores the TV series and the second movie.
    • The fourth and fifth movies follows the TV series' continuity, while ignoring the second and third movies.
    • And the fifth movie has been retconned into All Just a Dream via Word of God
  • The second and third installments of the Sleepaway Camp series were rendered non-canon by Return to Sleepaway Camp.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service might be taken as ignoring You Only Live Twice, so far as it shows James Bond and Blofeld meeting face-to-face for apparently the first time (neither recognises the other) when they had already met in the previous film. Of course, both were played by different actors, but in-universe that's no excuse.
  • Halloween H 20, the seventh film in the franchise, completely ignores the fourth, fifth, and sixth films.
    • The 2018 Halloween movie ignores all movies except the first one.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show creator Richard O'Brien almost immediately disowned the semi-sequel Shock Treatment, as did the director of both films, Jim Sharman. (Richard has stated that Shock Treatment, originally written as a strict RHPS sequel but soon to evolve into a completely different film, was a mere abortion.) Richard would eventually write both a movie script (Revenge of the Old Queen) and a stage musical (Rocky Horror: The Second Coming) that wiped the events of Shock Treatment out of the canon entirely. However, neither were produced.
  • Predators ignores the events of the two Alien vs. Predator movies and is instead a direct sequel to Predator 2.
    • Word of God says it ignores Predator 2 as well. In fact, Word of God is the only confirmation we get that this trope is even in effect. The actual film doesn't really contradict the others in any discernible way.
      • Director Nimrod Antal said in an interview said that it was mostly just the Alien vs Predator movies they were dismissing, but that Predator 2 was closer to the original, so Predator 2 wasn't being ignored the same way the AVP ones were.
      • It's not so much as Canon Discontinuity as it is just not be able to or not wanting to continue the story of the Alien vs Predator movies. The thing is that with the Predator franchise has a understandable reason as to why the aliens are never discovered. They have cloaking technology and have tons of survival experience in order to be undetected as well as heat seeking technology, laser guns, and bombs to ensure there's no survivors. Aliens while dangerous don't really have such luck. To be honest the only reason that the Xenomorphs have been pretty discovered and exterminated by now is that almost every movie in the Alien franchise takes place in the future, the only people who seem to know about them is one random company that outright let's their employees get slaughtered, and the only survivors to tell anybody about the Xenomorphs are mercenary's who probably wouldn't be trusted any way. To put it simple any Alien vs Predator movie is doomed to either kill off everyone or only have a few survivors that every thinks are crazy and as such making it almost impossible to ever really mention the Alien vs Predator movie due to having to maintain the Status Quo of the movies that take place in the future.
    • The Predator sets in stone that ONLY the first Predator film, Predator 2 and Predators are canon, with everything else (including the Expanded Universe) being removed from canon.
    • Likewise, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant set in stone that the Alien vs. Predator movies and the Alien Expanded Universe aren't canon anymore, meaning Alien and Predator are back to being separate franchises rather than a single Shared Universe. This also rerails several characters from both franchises by abandoning what the Expanded Universe and the Alien vs. Predator movies did to them (ie. Predators are back to their original characterization as Egomaniac Hunter Blood Knights, and the Weyland Corporation is back to its original amoral depiction)
  • Universal Soldier has had numerous sequels with numerous instances of installments ignoring other installments. The first film was followed by two sequels, Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business, which were ignored by the next film, Universal Soldier: The Return. The next film, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, ignored every previous movie except the first.
  • The third and fourth Pumpkinheads ignore the second, which was tenuously connected to the original anyway.
  • The Jaws franchise ignored Jaws 3-D when creating the sequel, Jaws: The Revenge. The tagline even said Jaws: The Revenge was the final installment in the trilogy.
  • When the rights to the Deep Throat series were bought out, the company made Deep Throat II in 1987, completely ignoring the Deep Throat Part II in 1974.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 film Boggy Creek 2 The Legend Continues is a curious case of this; Charles B. Pierce produced and directed the original The Legend of Boggy Creek, a documentary/dramatic re-enactment about an actual rural legend of a sasquatch-like creature living in the backwoods of Fouke, Arkansas. The studio that owned the film tried to cash in on its popularity and made a full-on fictional sequel, Return to Boggy Creek, without the involvement of Charles B. Pierce. Charles B. Pierce then, out of spite, made his own sequel, completely ignoring the events of Return, combining a fictional narrative about a college nature trip with more dramatic re-enactments of alleged sightings of the creature.
  • Other than its title, Exorcist III completely pretends Exorcist II: The Heretic never happened.
  • Stanley Kubrick was so embarrassed by his first film, Fear and Desire, that he reportedly bought up any print he could find and burned it. A few do survive, but they are rarely shown.
  • Transformers: The Last Knight invalidates nearly all of the Expanded Universe material produced for the Bayverse.
  • Zombieland: Double Tap ignores the Amazon TV show.


  • Zorro: at the end of The Curse of Capistrano, the main villain was dead, and Zorro publicly unmasked, revealing his identity to everyone. By the third book, neither of those events had ever happened.
  • The issue of Lord Soth from the Dragonlance novels, represents perhaps the unholy lovechild of Canon Discontinuity and Executive Meddling. In the novel Knight of the Black Rose, TSR took the famous Dragonlance character into Ravenloft, where he became a Dark Lord. This did not sit well with one of the original authors of the Dragonlance series, Mr. Tracy Hickman who, according to rumor, demanded that TSR/Wizards of the Coast Retcon Soth's trip to Ravenloft, and killed off the character for good measure.
    • It's better than that. Before dying, he repents of his crimes, regains his honor, and swears an oath to pursue redemption in his afterlife. This is a giant flaming Take That against ever putting him in Ravenloft, as one of its conceits is that some people are simply so evil that they're beyond redemption - and its Dark Lords are those people.
  • The rules for thought-speak in Animorphs are as follows: only Andalites (and Mercora, in Megamorphs #2) can use it in their natural form, it can be used in any morph including human, and anyone, of any species, morphed or not, can "hear" it. Events contradicting the first two before KAA settled on the rules are Canon Dis Continuity.
  • The Posleen War Series novel The Hero, by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo, was declared non-canon, after the publishing of Tom Kratman and John Ringo's Watch on the Rhine. (John Ringo is mentioned only because his name's on the cover. Other than okaying the story outlines from the other authors, he was uninvolved in any Posleen novels not written by him solo.)
  • The Red Dwarf book series starts with two novels, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better Than Life, written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (working collaboratively under the pen name "Grant Naylor"). After that, Naylor wrote the novel Last Human and Grant wrote the novel Backwards—both of these act as the third novel in the series, in Canon Discontinuity with each other.
  • The Worthing Saga has multiple levels of Canon Dis Continuity. The actual "canon" consists primarily of the full-length novel. The stories included in the back of a recent edition came first, but Card didn't have them on hand when writing the novel, so a lot of the details differ, and he essentially made them an Alternate Universe. The stories not included are all so awful that he wouldn't even discuss them.
  • For a while, it was common for Clive Cussler's NUMA Series novels to end in sweeping global changes... that were promptly ignored by later novels in the series. These endings have included such things as the creation of a perfect "Star Wars" weapon system that would make nuclear war impossible, and—a particularly egregious example—the President using a forgotten treaty recovered from a buried train wreck to merge the United States and Canada into "The United States of Canada".
    • Actually, if you check the maps in the books (and one or two of the later odd references here or there) the Canada thing stays canon. It's just really almost never explicitly mentioned. If you've got the right hardcovers though it can occasionally be found on some of the maps. No idea whether it's still really canon, but it was referenced in at least one other book. Of course, aside from keeping track of Dirk's car collection the series as a whole isn't really that big on continuity. What with the Deus Ex Machina of the Author Avatar it's almost Magical Realism.
  • The Known Space short story "A Darker Geometry" was declared non-canon shortly after it was published. Also, the canonical description of being inside a stasis field when it is activated is a single-word paragraph reading Discontinuity.
  • Plato in The Republic, when discussing censoring stories, starts with the necessity of censoring out all myths that attribute evil behavior to the gods.
  • When finishing The Dark Tower series, Stephen King himself stated right before the very end that fans could just stop reading here if they so wished, and simply be happy with the fact that Roland reached the Dark Tower and finally entered it. What follows is rather cruel, after all.

Live Action TV

  • Battlestar Galactica 1980, the Contested Sequel of the original Battlestar Galactica Classic, was long considered mostly non-canonical by fans. When the franchise had its Continuity Reboot in the 2000s, several novels and comics set in the original continuity were released. Those works made it official that the events of Battlestar Galactica 1980 never happened.
  • George Lucas has publicly said that the The Star Wars Holiday Special does not form part of the Star Wars canon.
    • This is not surprising, as technically, as far as George Lucas is concerned, only the six movies are actually in the official Star Wars canon. Everything else, even if made by Lucasfilm, is subject to being superseded by the movies. On the other hand, he also said he would love to smash every extant copy of said "Holiday special" with a sledgehammer given half a chance...
    • Greedo shooting first is another example, as Lucas has implied through burying the original theatrical versions in his vaults that the Special Edition second version (he and Han shoot at almost the same time) is now the official version of the event.
  • Many Xena: Warrior Princess fans do not officially consider the two-part "Friend In Need" arc to be the finale, and neither do the writers of the Xena comics. The Dark Xena arc is basically a Fix Fic - constructing a story to undo the finale and other events (such as the death of the Olympian gods).
    • Not only do the comics state that the finale cannot be canon, the show itself makes the events of the final episode dubious at best, since it finished with Xena's soul trapped on Earth as an intangible, invisible ghost. Meanwhile, several episodes throughout the show's run state that Xena and Gabrielle return, reincarnate and generally stick around one way or another forever.
  • One episode of Star Trek Voyager, "Pathfinder", features the EMH reading-off Lieutenant Barclay's lengthy medical history, including such ailments as transporter psychosis, holo-addiction and hypochondria. At no point does he mention "Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome," the "de-evolutionary" disease from the Star Trek the Next Generation episode "Genesis", even though it's named after him! Note, though, that this isn't quite the same as saying it never happened.
    • Star Trek the Animated Series was largely deemed non-canon by Paramount for decades, even though writers referenced events from the show and managed to force select elements (most notably the episode "Yesteryear", which told of Spock's childhood) into canon if only because of their popularity with fans. While the Expanded Universe novels got away with referencing the cartoons, in 1989 Paramount put into its contract with DC Comics that writers could not use or reference the cartoon, much to writer Peter David's horror. Ultimately, to promote the cartoons getting a DVD release, Paramount did a fan poll to decide once and for all the canon status of the cartoon, with fans voting overwhelming to make the company finally acknowledge it as part of the show's official continuity.
      • There is at least one line of dialogue which directly contradicts events of The Animated Series. In the Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", Dax mentions that Klingon Captain Koloth had always regretted not facing Kirk in battle, even though Kirk and Koloth exchanged fire in the Star Trek the Animated Series episode "More Tribbles, More Troubles".
      • This is parodied in Star Trek: The Complete(ly Useless) Encyclopedia, which occasionally takes the tack that the animated series is the canon, and the live-action sections of the Star Trek universe should be judged purely on their accuracy to it.
    • In "Day of Honor", Paris notes that he's never navigated in transwarp before, thus completely disavowing any knowledge of the episode "Threshold", where he did... and he and Janeway were turned into weird sentient amphibians for their troubles.
  • Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation was one of the inspirations for a whole Retcon of the franchise. The producers even reassured fans that Venus de Milo, outside of history books of the series, would never, ever, ever be mentioned again.
    • The disowning is further pronounced in Turtles Forever, where The Next Mutation (as well as other TMNT oddities best left in the depths of obscurity such as Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and the musical) is missing from 2003 Shredder's slideshow of The Multiverse (and just for kicks, even the ridiculously absurd anime OVA is acknowledged in that same scene). Production-wise, this can be explained away by rights issues, but everyone knows no one wanted to dredge up those continuities again.
  • In Charmed, in the episode "All Hell Breaks Loose", the supernatural is exposed to the general public when the Charmed Ones fight a demon before a news crew, causing a chain of events that ends up in Prue's death. However, the episode "Forget Me... Not", introduces the Cleaners, magical beings tasked with "cleaning" such exposures.
    • However, thanks to time travel, that exposure no longer happened. Maybe that's what the Cleaners intended all along, and the Charmed Ones just didn't see them.
    • Also, in the episode "Morality Bites", the sisters learn that their mission is to protect innocents, not punish the "guilty" and take justice into their own hands. However in the episode "Hyde School Reunion", in order to save Phoebe and Chris, Phoebe and Paige glamour Rick Gittridge, a petty criminal, and deliberately get him killed by a group of demons.
    • Chris comes back from the future in order to keep Paige from dying. And yet, for the entire season he is featured in he refers to future Paige many times as if he knew her, despite not having even been conceived when she "died."
      • The event that would have killed Paige was the Titans, in the first episode where Chris appeared. So one of the first things Chris did was to change that part of his future, and apparently this is an aversion of Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: His memories changed to reflect his new future that includes Paige.
        • it's also possible that Chris was simply lying about Paige's death and just chose to appear during the Titans crisis because it seemed serious enough to be a believable reason for his time travel.
  • NBC has repeatedly ignored the existence of the aborted 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live. In the season-by-season Best Of series, this was the only one skipped, with "The Best of 1980" containing material from the last episodes featuring the original cast. The 15th and 25th Anniversary specials ignored it, save for clips of its musical guests; and in fact, the 25th Anniversary special's opening titles contained a cast photo from every season EXCEPT that one. (Each photo on the film strip is even labeled with the year - 1979 and 1981 have nothing between them.) Additionally, the late-night 'Classic SNL' reruns that ran for several years only aired a single episode from this season, and due to NBC's coverage of the Pope's death, many areas never saw it.
    • NBC did redeem themselves slightly, however; after the death of Charles Rocket, a clip of one of his Weekend Update jokes was edited into a DVD reissue of the 25th Anniversary special.
  • Game Shows. Yes, game shows. Although rare, there's a few games that have retconned their histories:
    • Wheel of Fortune, despite running five days a week since 1975 with Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford, seems intent on putting forth the deception that it began in 1981 (or 1983) with Pat Sajak and Vanna White. This may be due to Woolery leaving after salary disputed with creator Merv Griffin (he wanted $500,000, Merv offered $400,000). To use the collage at the top of this page as an allegory, the first two images are the Edd Byrnes pilots (taped August 28, 1974), the last image is the show's syndicated run (which began in 1983), and the other two are everything that says anybody else ever participated on the program. The show's official website is the only time this "rule" is broken, and then only once to slap you with a lifetime ban if you've ever been a contestant...which includes the super-cheap children's spinoff Wheel 2000.
      • They also seemed intent to, in Season 28, erase any idea that they taped out of order after Charlie O'Donnell died. He had done another eight weeks, all of which were dubbed over by various substitutes. In Summer 2011, the substitute-announcer episodes were dubbed over by the just-hired Jim Thornton.
    • The Price Is Right has several examples of omitting its history. Long-time host Bob Barker has absolutely refused to allow episodes where fur coats and other products made primarily from animal carcasses were awarded as prizes. More recently, he vetoed episodes featuring ex-model Holly Hallstrom (more than 2,000 episodes from 1977–95) with explanations varying, although Barker and Hallstrom had a hostile relationship at least during the later years. Moreover, when a reporter from USA Today attempted to bring up the best-known models (Hallstrom, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson, and Kathleen Bradley), Barker interrupted and demanded the subject be changed, saying that "They're disgusting. I don't even want to talk about them."
      • Barker also refuses to discuss or even acknowledge longtime announcer Rod Roddy; as such, the only true classic star Barker has praise for is announcer Johnny Olson (who died in October 1985 and was replaced by Roddy in February 1986).
      • And don't even ask how Dennis James, who hosted a weekly nighttime version alongside the daytime show for its first five years, falls into this. Most episodes contained furs, but GSN refused to show the remainder and only pulled out a daytime substitution from December 25, 1974 after he died in 1997.
    • The 1980s version of Break The Bank, which aired in syndication. The first 13 weeks (a quizzer where couples earned seconds to be used in silly stunts to earn Bank Cards to possibly break the Bank) were hosted by veteran game show host Gene Rayburn, who got into arguments with the producers because they thought he shouldn't be joking around during their serious and suspenseful show (no, seriously). Rather than do something about it, they fired Gene and brought in Joe Farago; a few weeks later, they dropped the stunts in favor of a $2,000 front-game goal and a Master Puzzle. Only the Farago's tenure was rerun, with no mention of Rayburn or acknowledgement that he had ever hosted in any future airings. (It's unclear how much, if anything, Rayburn had with his shows not being rerun.)
    • For the longest time, the producers of Press Your Luck would not allow either of the two episodes featuring Michael Larson to air in syndication. The only indication that he'd even been on the show was the re-randomization of the board patterns (cued with a slightly higher "spinning" soundtrack).
  • A rare Tokusatsu example in Kamen Rider Decade, whose final episode ended on a cliffhanger and a trailer for a conclusion movie. Said movie would contain absolutely NO footage from that trailer and only a select few of the concepts it implied. Fans were livid, and a group of Japanese parents (akin to the PTA) complained that the last episode was just a half-hour advertisement for the movie, which did nothing to resolve the dangling plot points, making both of them a giant money grab. Only several months later with the Director's Cut version of the movie would we be given only a select few snippets from that trailer added into a dream sequence near the film's start, showing the fans to more or less ignore that trailer. There was also a slightly smaller change within reruns of the last two episodes. Characters were removed from specific shots, stock footage was used, and dialogue was added in order to fit better with how the aforementioned conclusion movie started out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer mostly ignored the movie it was based off of. The only real references to it are that Buffy was kicked out and the whole Watcher/Slayer relationship. Worth noting is no mention of Pike and only a brief mention/scene of Merrick being her first Watcher (who looks extremely different from Donald Sutherland) in a late Season 2 episode.
    • Technically the series isn't based on the movie, but on the script (written by Joss) the movie was based on.
  • The Big Finish version of The Tomorrow People includes a list of homo superiors who died when their powers first manifested. This turns out to include the characters from the 1990s Revival.
  • After Saban re-acquired Power Rangers, executive producer Johnathan Tzachor made a post on the official message boards saying that he considered every season made by Disney (from Ninja Storm through RPM) non-canon.
    • On a related note, Saban has said that RPM is non-canon until they need to reference it or do a crossover, at which point it will become canon. This is easier to understand than the above, since RPM is an After the End series that implies a cruel fate for at least one past Ranger.
      • When RPM WAS referenced in Power Rangers Samurai, it was explained as being an alternate universe(this is shown by only a villain and the RPM Red Ranger appearing in said series.)
      • This has seemingly been thrown out, since there's word that the 20th anniversary will include a Legend War battle that features every single Power Rangers team, including the Disney ones.
  • The Zat gun on Stargate SG-1 may be an example of this. Early on it was said that "one shot stuns, two shots kill, and three shots disintegrate." They used it a few times until they realized it was just too convenient. This was later self-parodied in "Wormhole X-treme!" with one of the writers saying: "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
    • More over the difference between the show and the movie is extreme. Ra goes from being the last of his kind to the leader of the Goa'uld System Lords. Abydos is also moved into the Milkway from another Galaxy. The Jaffa are invented and Ra's species made into the Goa'uld. The way the Stargate functions is also considerably different in the movie than in the show.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The family goes to see a psychologist, then leaves, then John comes back several times, then Sarah comes back, then Sarah comes back in another episode and the psychologist says that after the first time he never saw them again. All in Season 2.
  • This existed between the Highlander movies and series to the point of Continuity Snarls at times.
  • CSI has a problem with this in multiple shows.
    • In one original series episode, Sara was stated to have a brother. In a season 12 episode, she refers to being an only child.
    • Official info on the CBS character bios was changed and/or ignored. The bios had Catherine being born in Bozemon,Montana (probably recycled and given to NY's Lindsay) and Grissom's father being involved in smuggling.
    • In CSI: NYMac says he used to sit with his wife in the hospital, indicating a likely original intent to have Claire found, then die of her injuries after 9/11. But later, he says she was never found when talking to his stepson, Reed.
    • The famous "Danny was from a family of cops" stuff-the producers retconned by saying 'extended family' but many still don't buy it.


  • The Divine Comedy's first album, Fanfare For The Comic Muse, is very firmly in the Canon Dis Continuity bin; it's been long deleted, and nobody - least of all Neil Hannon - seems to want it rereleased.
    • Other musicians who do their best to pretend their first albums don't exist include Tori Amos and Genesis. Y Kant Tori Read, like Fanfare, is long deleted, and From Genesis to Revelation probably would be if anyone from Genesis had their way, but they don't own the rights to it, their then-manager does.
      • Genesis also likes to pretend that the widely panned album Calling All Stations (featuring Ray Wilson on lead vocals) never happened either. No songs from that album were included on the 2006-2007 reunion tour.
  • Another musician to do this is David Bowie, who never includes his first self-titled album (his second self-titled album was later renamed "Space Oddity") in his discography.
    • His early novelty song "The Laughing Gnome" is generally acknowledged as something that should not and should have never existed. When fans voted for him to play it in a concert, he scrapped the poll altogether.
    • Never Let Me Down (1987) is not only often considered his worst canonical album, but one song on it — "Too Dizzy"—was dropped from reissues.
  • Eminem's debut album, Infinite, was a complete commercial failure, and has never been reissued. The songs featured a very young Eminem performing in smooth R&B styles he would never revisit, and none of the material has reappeared in any form. (While his second release, The Slim Shady EP, has also never been reissued, most of the material was either repeated or remade for The Slim Shady LP.)
  • Both Alanis Morissette and Bjork have embarrassing early albums they don't acknowledge as part of their discography; Björk's was an LP of covers recorded when she was a child, while Alanis' were teen pop which won her fame in Canada but failed to chart in the US.
  • The Doors have never reissued their two post-Morrison albums, Other Voices and Full Circle, even in the supposed Complete Studio Recordings boxed set. These have allegedly only seen CD release in Russia, and those discs are very likely unauthorized.
  • Both the fans and Helloween themselves agree that there's no such thing as Chameleon in their discography. It was the last album with Michael Kiske on vocals, and the most Lighter and Softer of them all. Nowadays Pink Bubbles Go Ape has fallen into Canon Dis Continuity as well, despite that the band played some of that album's songs, like "Mankind" and "The Chance".
  • While The Final Cut still exists in the mind of Roger Waters (who still performs its material live), the album was shunned by the other members of Pink Floyd, who had very little input in the disc. David Gilmour in particular was disgusted that Roger would not only fashion a new album out of rejects from The Wall, but have the nerve to credit Pink Floyd as mere sidemen on his 'requiem for the post-war dream.'
  • For Pantera and their fans, their first album was 1990's Cowboys From Hell, ignoring the previous 4 albums a.k.a. their hard rock/glam era.
  • The second verse of the British national anthem, "God Save The Queen" is now discarded as it is deemed too belligerent:

 O Lord our God arise,

Scatter her enemies

And make them fall.

Confound their politics,

Frustrate their knavish tricks,

On Thee our hopes we fix,

God save us all.

    • The very dated verse six, which makes reference to George Wade and his "rebellious Scots to crush" has also proved worthy of omitting, for obvious reasons.
  • Similarly, only the third verse of "Deutschlandlied" is part of the German national anthem. Verse 1 was already being questioned for its apparent belligerence and imperialism before it was co-opted by the Nazis. Verse 2 is jingoistic self-aggrandizement that is... a bit awkward now, to say the least. Verse 4 was a Nazi invention, so... yeah.
    • Although this is a result of misinterpretation. The Deutschlandlied was originally written at a time when Germany was still divided into numerous little fiefdoms. "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" ("Germany, Germany above all") was intended as a rallying cry for uniting the small states and setting aside local squabbles in favor of creating a German nation.
  • The third stanza of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is often omitted in official renderings, because it mocks the British military as "hirelings and slaves". Of course, Britain is now a key ally of the USA, making the verse very outdated.
  • Both Metallica and Megadeth will generally pretend that the eighth album in each of their discographies, St. Anger and Risk, don't exist. "Generally" is a key word: the material is rarely, if ever, performed in current concerts, but both bands will admit to the albums' existence if pressed hard enough.
  • Devo has generally ignored the entire Enigma Records discography, and their last Warner Brothers album, "Shout". While they acknowledge their existence, good luck hoping for a re-release, or hearing anything from it performed live again.
  • Ozzy Osbourne has deleted the live albums Speak of the Devil, Just Say Ozzy, Live and Loud and even the studio album The Ultimate Sin from his catalog, and they are no longer being made. The reasoning for the live albums being erased might have something to do with Ozzy often being criticized for having a large amount of Greatest Hits and Live Albums (9 studio albums of original material compared to a total of 10 compilation/live albums, not counting work with Black Sabbath), but the deletion of The Ultimate Sin most likely has something to do with the legal troubles with a former band member over songwriting credits.
    • At the time it was released (1982) Ozzy made no bones in interviews about hating Speak of the Devil passionately. He did it only because he was contractually obligated to do a double live album with a lot of Sabbath classics at the time (and the shows in question were recorded mostly after Randy Rhoads' sudden death, not a good time for Ozzy). Of course, it helped him out a lot because his versions were a lot better than what his former bandmates served up on Live Evil. It's not a great surprise that as soon as he could put it out of print, he did so.
  • The Goo Goo Dolls started as a hardcore punk band before switching to ballady pop-rock, a move that brought them great commercial success. They no longer perform/discuss the old material for obvious reasons. Their 1987 debut First Release has been out of print since...1987, and when asked what the chances of them ever play the old punky material again were, they said "take the highest number you can think of and multiply it by three".
  • Squeeze, the final album by The Velvet Underground, was never reissued to CD or MP 3 format and has been out of print on vinyl since the early 80s. It also sounds very unlike anything else by The Velvet Underground due to the absence of Lou Reed or anyone else associated with the band aside from Doug Yule. It is also the only album left out of the otherwise retrospective compilation Peel Slowly and See.
    • In fact, the only reason anyone tried to call it canon in the first place was Executive Meddling. Doug Yule wanted to release Squeeze as a solo album.
  • Judas Priest seems to have all but forgotten about the era of Tim "Ripper" Owens now that Rob Halford is back.
  • Van Halen III, the group's only album with Gary Cherone is not mentioned on VH's offical website nor do songs from it appear on any Greatest Hits Album.
  • Paul McCartney clearly considers The Beatles album Let It Be to be this, while John Lennon didn't (George and Ringo were either apparently neutral or didn't make their views on the subject known). The reason for this essentially stems from Creative Differences; the album was recorded during a period of tension between the band, and the recordings were shunted aside until producer Phil Spector was brought in to sort them out and make something presentable of them. However, either through oversight or spite no one actually let McCartney know what was going on, so while Lennon was satisfied McCartney was horrified to hear what had been done to his original songs (especially "The Long and Winding Road") without his knowledge or permission.Let It Be... Naked, released over thirty years after, is generally considered an attempt by McCartney to replace the original.
    • Not only that, but the American Beatles albums are also ignored, with the occasional exception of Meet The Beatles.
  • Since it was the only Yes album made without him, Jon Anderson refuses to perform any material from Drama live.
  • The KLF did this to their entire back catalog when they left the music business in 1992. Well, specifically they pulled all of their albums out of print to make it clear that their retirement wasn't just a stunt to sell more of their back catalog.
  • Robyn Hitchcock disowned his second album Groovy Decay: He pulled it out of print a few years after it's release and replaced it with Groovy Decoy, which featured the original versions of four Groovy Decay songs but mostly consisted of demos from the same period. The original Groovy Decay album can still be found in it's entirety on the box set Gravy Deco though, and the album even got a 2007 remastered re-release with bonus tracks, although it was only released as a digital download.
  • The Bob Dylan album Dylan was released without his approval by Columbia after he jumped ship for Asylum Records, pieced together from some dubious outtakes. After he returned to Columbia several years later, it was quietly buried and largely has remained so ever since.
  • Scooter have all but ignored their first single Vallée Des Larmes. HP Baxxter introduced his signature rapping/singing style on their second single Hyper Hyper, which was successful. Vallée Des Larmes was not included on an album and its only recognition by the band since is the inclusion of a Remixed version on the 1998 compilation Rough And Tough And Dangerous. It appears on the bonus disc, as the remix was a B Side. The reason for them ignoring Vallée is because it's an instrumental, it wasn't successful and it was recorded at a time when Scooter were meant to be a one off project. Its main B Side Cosmos appears on the band's first album And The Beat Goes On, however.
    • It would appear that HP and Rick spent years pretending their Depeche Mode inspired pre-Scooter band Celebrate The Nun never existed...but in recent years they have acknowledged the influence they had on Scooter and the band have done the odd darkwave inspired song since. They have admitted that it was more financially viable playing Scooter's style of music.
      • Scooter have pretty much buried their album Sheffield, it's definitely the Oddball in the Series and they aren't fond of its lead single I'm Your Pusher. The second single from the album, She's The Sun, is widely regarded as one of the band's best songs, but it doesn't really fit in with their repetoire these days. No tracks from the album were included on the UK version of their Push The Beat For This Jam compilation, but they have been on all others.
  • Neither of the two original videos for Madonna's first single "Holiday", which featured the pre-MTV, pre-Lucky Star singer dancing in a production studio (featuring an observer dressed in a nightgown in the background), have been included on any of her official video releases. This included 2009's Celebration DVD collection, which collected almost every other music video she ever released (including a live performance of "Holiday", shot at the same time as the videos). Notably, both versions featured poor production values.
    • In the same vein, the original music video for "True Blue" (which didn't feature Madonna in it) has never been acknowledged either, due to it being helmed by an amateur director who won an MTV "Make My Video" contest in 1984. Madonna has also refused to play the song at most of her concerts, as the song was written about her (abusive) ex-husband Sean Penn, after they divorced in the 90's.
  • The second album by Bad Religion, Into The Unknown, actually got better reviews than their first album, but was rejected by fans because it explored prog-rock influences and piano melodies. After selling poorly, it was ignored in the discography for years, only being reissued 27 years later (in vinyl only) as part of a box set.


  • A couple of things from the Bionicle storyline:
    • The Toa Mata's fight with their Shadow Toa clones from the first book is now considered non-canon. Word of God says he prefers his own version, in which the Toa defeat their own clones, rather than each-other's.
      • This isn't the only instance of the official novels' content being ignored in favor of another variation of the same scene. Take the Toa's climatic first battle against the Makuta and the fight against the Manas crabs that lead up to it. In the very first book, Tale of the Toa, the Toa in their Kaita mode defeat two Manas using trickery and their own Elemental Powers. In the Mata Nui On-Line Game, they defeat a horde of Manas by spectacularly destroying their energy towers. Then, still in the game, they go on to participate in an epic clash with the Makuta. In the book, they just walk out of the cave after dealing with the Manas, and Makuta never appears. Guess which is canon nowadays?
    • The introduction of the movie The Legend Reborn. It has so many things that clash with the storyline's continuity, whether established previously or afterwards, they simply chose to ignore it. That is not to say the events themselves didn't happen. They just happened in a way that contradicts the movie's visuals (like Mata Nui's island is shown being covered with lush jungles when according to canon, it was a barren wasteland).
    • A couple of things from the on-line clips and the first movie trilogy also get ignored, most infamously the shipping scenes, as there came to be a No Hugging, No Kissing rule.
    • Taxi crabs were also considered dis-canonized for years because the writer didn't like the joke. They have slowly drifted back into canon territory, though.
  • This is essentially what a marriage annulment amounts to. In a divorce, a marriage is officially declared to be over; when a marriage is annulled, however, it is considered never to have been a valid marriage in the first place. In times when divorces were significantly harder to get, many people would find a reason for an annulment.
    • The annulment/divorce distinction is a specific manifestation of a greater issue in contract law: some contracts can be declared void, i.e., considered to have never been formed, for reasons such as misrepresentation, one party being a minor who did not get adult consent, among other things, while other contracts are "voidable"—they were valid contracts up to a point where one party's behavior rendered them void.
  • Coca-Cola's official history at its website doesn't mention New Coke at all. Nor does its corporate museum.
  • When former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on charges of sexually molesting teenage boys, students at Penn State painted him out of a mural showing all the present and past coaches of the football team, replacing him with a blue ribbon.
  • Neither Benedict Arnold's name nor his face appear on memorials to him at the site of the Battle of Saratoga or on the formal roll of past commandants of West Point at the U.S. Military Academy (only the date, 1780, appears where his name would be), since despite real military accomplishments that twice saved the Continental Army's bacon during the American Revolutionary War, he is remembered today primarily for selling out to the British.

Professional Wrestling

  • Do you remember the time Rey Mysterio, Jr. was unmasked in WCW? WWE doesn't. This is probably for the best, though, as most feel he should have never been unmasked to begin with.
    • In fact, this is in part why he's simply called "Rey Mysterio" in WWE: Rey Jr. and the original Rey Misterio found a way around the strict rules in Mexico regarding luchadores losing their masks (if they lose it, they can't put it back on) - while Rey Misterio Jr. had been unmasked, Rey Misterio (the original) had not. The original Misterio gave Rey Jr. permission to use "Rey Mysterio" (minus the "Jr."), and Rey's mask was back on - this time, for good.
    • They also changed the "I" to a "Y" though that may have been WWE's move, as they took a similar naming theme with Chyna and Rhyno.
  • Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time at Summerslam 2004, but it's the damnedest thing... I can't seem to remember whom he won it from...
    • I think it might have been Hardcore Holly, but I don't really remember.
    • I remember when The Big Show won the Royal Rumble that year, yet he still had no clue until he fell out of the ring. And for some reason he gave up his title shot and chose to defend his United States Championship.
    • And at Wrestlemania 20, Triple H wrestled Shawn Michaels. In the end, Triple H choked on something, the match ended in a no contest, and that was the night the World Heavyweight Championship would be vacated for four months.
      • And then there was this succession of guys who came out to claim the vacated WHC, but in the end they wound up jobbing to...the air.
  • Averted with the "Katie Vick incident." Everybody supposedly wants to forget it, but to this day the characters can't seem to resist bringing it up from time to time. Probably because it's just so damn funny to do so.
  • Prior to the advent of the internet and on-line professional wrestling journalism, the World Wrestling Federation regularly ignored (at least on terrestrial TV, and to a lesser extent cable and pay-per-view) its vast history prior to Hulk Hogan winning the WWF Championship in 1984.
    • Perhaps the most outrageous example of this is the story of The Fabulous Moolah. She lost and regained the Women's Championship four times between 1956 and 1984, but once the Hulk Hogan era began, those four other reigns were expunged from WWE history and Moolah was billed as holding the Women's title continuously for 28 years! What is interesting here is that if WWE did recognize those four other reigns, Moolah's total number of runs with the title would be eight rather than four - thus breaking the record of the "official" holder of most title reigns, Trish Stratus (with seven). Either way, Moolah often held on to her title for years.
  • Andre the Giant, one of professional wrestling's best-known stars, had been billed as "being undefeated for 15 years" (prior to WrestleMania III, although he had actually suffered a handful of losses. While most of the "Ls" were disqualification or countout losses, Andre was known to be pinned at least once (by Canek, during a match in Mexico) during the 15-year span. Moreover, claims were also made that Andre had never been slammed, although this was not true; one of the rare wrestlers who got to slam the big guy was a young Hulk Hogan, some 6 1/2 years before WrestleMania III.
  • Kayfabe example: on the April 17, 2000 edition of Raw, Chris Jericho upset Triple H and won the WWF Championship, but Triple H - then running the show alongside his wife Stephanie McMahon - promised referee Earl Hebner that he would never touch him again while he was under contract if he reversed the decision. Hebner did just that, turning the WWF Championship back over to Trips and striking the match from the records; Trips rewarded Hebner by firing him and nailing the Pedigree. To this day, the official WWE records do not acknowledge Jericho's victory on that night.
    • Real Life example: According to the "official" WWE title history, Bob Backlund defeated "Superstar" Billy Graham for the WWWF Championship in February 1978, and lost it to The Iron Sheik in December 1983. However, in November of 1979, at a cross-promotional show in Japan, Antonio Inoki defeated Backlund cleanly for the title, and was announced and promoted at NWF (National Wrestling Federation, a subsidiary of the NWA) shows as being the WWWF Champion. He lost it back to Backlund a week later in December. Since the WWWF never authorized this title change, they never acknowledged Inoki as being their first/only Asian world champion (Yokozuna may have been billed from Japan, but he was actually a Pacific Islander).
      • Similarly, The Rockers won the WWF Tag-Team Championship from The Hart Foundation on the November 23rd 1990 edition of The Main Event. However, due to a ring rope malfunction during the match in the second fall, the title change was stricken. The Rockers never won the titles again.
  • Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels were engaged in a bitter feud throughout the summer and fall of 2008 that reached a boiling point after Jericho "accidentally" punched Michaels's wife in the face. Furious, Michaels challenged Jericho to an "Unsanctioned Match" wherein WWE would exempt itself from any responsibility for acts of violence inflicted by the participants on each other. At the Unforgiven pay-per-view event of that year, Michaels beat Jericho into unconsciousness and the referee had to stop the fight entirely to keep Jericho from getting killed. Meanwhile, backstage, Randy Orton punted World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk in the head, leaving Punk unable to defend his title in the RAW Championship Scramble Match that was to take place later that evening. So RAW General Manager Mike Adamle had no choice but to name a substitute for the five-man title match - and the man he chose was Chris Jericho, despite the fact that Jericho had just barely recovered from the assault by Michaels and could barely walk. Just before the Championship Scramble Match's clock ran out, Jericho simply covered a knocked-out Kane for a three-count and became the new World Heavyweight Champion. The next night on RAW, Jericho came down to the ring and declared that since the Unsanctioned Match had not been officially recognized by WWE, it had "never happened." This despite the fact that he had only moments earlier stripped off his shirt so that the audience could see the large red welts on his upper body from where Micheals had whipped him.
  • One of the most irritating nights in modern professional wrestling history had to be January 1, 2007, when then-WWE Champion John Cena was actually pinned by Kevin Federline! (Long story....) Sure, Federline needed help from Umaga to do so. But even Cena-haters would probably love to expunge the memory of that night from their minds.
  • What is this "WWF" you speak of? You mean the World Wildlife Foundation? Everyone knows WWE has always been called WWE. Though for a while it stood for "World Wrestling Federation" for some reason. And there was this weird era in the late 90's to early 2000's where WWE changed it's logo to a white and red blur. Wonder what that was about.[1]

Tabletop Games

  • Fans of Paranoia like to pretend that the much-maligned Paranoia Fifth Edition doesn't exist. In fact, the writers of the most recent edition (Paranoia XP from Mongoose Publishing) have declared the Fifth Edition an "un-product" (rather appropriate for a darkly humorous game about a dystopia).
    • The Computer is also adamant in assuring all Citizens that it has never Crashed, and that all events surrounding the Crash are malignant rumors concocted by Commie Mutant Traitors. And paying any attention to rumors is, of course, treason.
      • As is spreading them, comrade.
  • When White Wolf screwed up with the Old World of Darkness, they'd often try to correct the biggest disasters by destroying all involved and making sure they would not rise from the ashes. Examples:
    • Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand for Vampire: The Masquerade, which "revealed" that most vampires were possessed by evil spirits, and featured a "liberated" group called the True Black Hand that fought against them. By the time Third Edition came up, said group was wiped out entirely after it was revealed that they'd gotten everything wrong.
    • Samuel Haight started off as a villainous NPC for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, a disgruntled Kinfolk who ended up killing five werewolves so that he could become one in a blasphemous ritual. This was good. Then he got his hands on an artifact that let him use Awakened magic. This was bad. Then he became a ghoul and started learning vampiric Disciplines. This was worse. Finally, a book came out devoted entirely to killing him, and the minute his soul arrived in the afterlife, it was taken and forged into an ashtray.
    • In first edition WOD, a vampire could make other vampires of both animals and werewolves. Second edition WOD plainly admits that the former ("vampire dogs") is stupid and the latter hybrid overpowered, so disallows both.
      • It doesn't so much disallow the vampire-werewolf as making it certain death for the werewolf and, if it doesn't die immediately, then certain death for everyone around it including the vampire who embraced it first.
  • GURPS Traveller disavows the Rebellion (from MegaTraveller) and the Virus (from Traveller: The New Era). Other recent Traveller products keep the Rebellion and ditch the Virus, or keep both (fans and players are similarly split; see Broken Base).
    • Well, it doesn't so much disavow the Rebellion as present a Traveller Elseworlds where it failed. An obscure mention in the GURPS Traveller core sourcebook reveals that Archduke Dulinor died in a 'shuttle crash' on his way down to Sylea's planetary surface, the day he was to have his fateful audience with the Emperor. It isn't explicitly said that the shuttle crashed because an Imperial black ops squad put several kilos of high explosive in the engine, but its kinda hinted. The accompanying sidebar explicitly says 'We're doing an alternate-universe Traveller, not the main one'.
  • Writers for TSR went so far as to mention explicitly in a reboot continuity guide for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons that Greyhawk Ruins was to be considered the official version of Castle Greyhawk and not the pretty dated and unfunny parody module Castle Greyhawk.
  • Because no one's entirely sure if the Chaos God Malal from Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 is owned by Games Workshop or the comic book author who introduced him to the franchise, GW dropped all mention of him from their gamebooks to be on the safe side.
    • GW might not mention Malal by name, but he still gets a few references. For example there's a Chaos Space Marine warband called "Sons of Malice" that wears Malal's colours and the rulebook for the spinoff game Inquisitor includes a weapon very similar to the ones champions of Malal use in the list of daemon weapons.
      • He also appears in one of the short story collections GW released, though he is know as "Malice" there.
    • Speaking of Warhammer 40000, the Squats have been stricken from all records due to a shift towards a "more serious" direction. Current canon is that did exist, but only just long enough to be entirely eaten by Tyranids.
      • Black Library author Dan Abnett has some fun with this in his Ravenor series. When Sholto Unwerth reveals his Squat ancestry, Ravenor says that he's never heard of them, and Sholto notes that most people think they were just a myth.
    • By the third edition, the Star Child and attendant background elements introduced in Slaves to Darkness had been officially stricken, with a note in the corebook that the "Star Child cult" was a minor Tzeentchian cult that had been obliterated.
      • For those unfamiliar; the Star Child belief was that, basically, The Emperor of Mankind was the reincarnated gestalt of a thousand pre-Chaos Gods human psykers and that, when he was struck down by Horus, all of his compassion, hope, love, and other positive elements of self were cast into the Warp to become a gestating nascent god, the so-called Star Child. A secret conspiracy of ex-daemonhosts (people who had been possessed by daemons, but then cast them out, often through the aid of the Eldar) called the Illuminati were working to find the Sensei, immortal, sterile offspring of the Emperor of whom the Emperor himself was ignorant in hopes that by gathering them all and sacrificing them the Star Child could be infused with the power to awaken as a new God-Emperor to rule mankind.
  • Karona meeting Yawgmoth, apparently still alive, in the Scourge novel has been Retconned as having been an impostor.
  • ALL of the Eberron Tie In Novels are considered non-canon.
  • Exalted has Scroll of the Monk, a much-maligned product and Old Shame of writer Dean Shomshak. The Ink Monkeys have gone on record as saying it does not exist beyond an example of not reading the rules before making a book.
    • Zeal is probably the most memetic example in the fandom; it was widely panned before Errata Team Prime finally canned it.
  • The Ravenloft novel Lord of the Necropolis has been sealed in the earth below canonicity with an Imprisonment spell for the rest of time for breaking the first rule of the Demiplane of Dread - you do not reveal the nature of the Dark Powers.

Video Games

  • Epic Mickey deliberately ignores the fact that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit still appeared in cartoons for many years after Disney lost him. This may be justified by that the Disney and Lantz Oswald are treated as two seperate chaarcters, but there isn't even an implication given that Ozzie starred in more shorts after Walt lost him.
  • Satoru Iwata declared that the true "current" state of the Star Fox series is either after Star Fox Assault or somewhere before Star Fox Command. More than likely to be the former than the latter, if current information is any credible, as whilst the appearances of the cast in Super Smash Bros Brawl do make some slight reference of certain of Command's plotlines, they otherwise seem to resemble and behave like their appearances in Assault far more. Specifically, Fox McCloud and Krystal's relationship problems from Command are alluded to in their profiles, but otherwise they're still together and Krystal is still a member of Star Fox (as opposed to joining Star Wolf), Panther Caruso does not speak in third person and the ships are all pre-Command.
  • Epic has admitted that Unreal Tournament 2003 is not a complete game, first by refining the original game into Unreal Tournament 2004 with many of the previously missing features and offering a rebate to 2003 owners who bought 2004, then by numbering the sequels Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament III. Strangely enough, the backstory of 2004 doesn't override that of 2003, claiming that every event of 2003 happened. (Such as Malcolm being defeated by Gorge) The same can't be said for the original Unreal Championship.
  • After Singletrac died, 989 Studios took over the Twisted Metal series and produced the third and fourth games. Once Incognito Entertainment (a studio consisting largely of Singletrac employees) regained the rights to the series, they made Twisted Metal Black, which was much Darker and Edgier than the original two games and set in its own continuity. The only PSP entry in the franchise so far, Head-On, is set after the second game and ignores the 989 entries. The post-989 entries were much better received, anyway. This to the point that "Head-On" is considered by fans to be the "true" Twisted Metal 3.
  • All the Castlevania games (barring the parody game Kid Dracula) were part of the canon in some form or another until Koji Igarashi (the director of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) took over the series as producer during the development of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, removing the two Nintendo 64 installments, Legends, and Circle of the Moon from the official timeline. Igarashi clarified that the N64 games and Circle of the Moon were still canonical, but were demoted to "side-story" status. Castlevania Legends on the other hand, was officially retconned out of the series' continuity and is now regarded as an alternate universe story. This was likely due to the implication at the end that Alucard fathered Sonia Belmont's child, thereby making all future Belmonts into descendants of Dracula. Although, if that is the case, it makes it a very self-defeating retcon—when Alucard was only implied to be the child's father, the execs had some wiggle room, whereas as striking it out of canon so vehemently does a very good job of confirming fan's suspicions that Alucard is the child's father—as otherwise, why even bother with it?
  • Capcom has all but said that Devil May Cry 2 doesn't exist—for instance, Dante is a playable character in Viewtiful Joe for comedic reasons, and he outright says "I don't remember that" when Alastor references the events of Devil May Cry 2.
    • To further illustrate how much Capcom denies DMC2, the game after it, DMC3, is a prequel to the series - About as far from the events of the second game that one could get from without acknowledging it.
      • And DMC4 is set years after DMC1, yet still before anything to do with DMC2. They're really going out of their way to avoid that one.
  • This happened to both a good chunk of Fallout 2 and almost all of Fallout Tactics. The former for the reasons stated below, the latter because many of the elements contradict the original game. On the other hand, Bethesda seems to have the position that it's valid if it doesn't contradict anything, in relation to 2, and events are canon, details are not, regarding Tactics. Specifically, when asked about Super Mutants, a Brotherhood Scribe lists fighting them on the West Coast and then near Chicago.
  • On the subject of Bethesda, suddenly realizing that multiple endings of the second game in The Elder Scrolls series would have been a great idea for the end of a series, they averted this trope fully by declaring all SIX endings canon. It's now listed in Canon as the Warp in the West, transforming 44 quarreling city-states into five loyal countries literally overnight.
  • In the late 90's, Konami farmed out the development of two Contra sequels to Hungarian developer Appaloosa (best known for the Ecco the Dolphin series). Contra: Legacy of War for the PS1 and Saturn in 1996, and C: The Contra Adventure for the PS1 in 1998. Neither game were that well-received by fans and critics alike. In fact, Konami even canceled plans to release a Japanese version of Legacy of War. In 2002, Konami commissioned Nobuya Nakazato (director of Contra III and Hard Corps) to develop the PS2 sequel, Contra: Shattered Soldier. The unlockable timeline of the game mentions all of the past Contra games, with the notable omissions of Legacy of War and Contra Adventure (and Contra Force, but that was just a Dolled-Up Installment to begin with). As a side-effect, the English localization of Shattered Soldier also followed the original Japanese timeline instead of the alternate American timeline, which had the earlier games set in the present instead of the future, and Bill and Lance replaced with their "descendants" Jimbo and Sully in Contra III.
  • When the NES port of Metal Gear 1987 proved to be successful, Konami commissioned one of their teams to developed a sequel for the American and European market titled Snakes Revenge. This sequel was made without Hideo Kojima's involvement and when he was told about it, he decided to make his own sequel for the Japanese MSX2 titled Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake. The Metal Gear Solid series follows the storyline from Metal Gear 2 rather than Snake's Revenge.
  • Monolith Productions chose to ignore the two F.E.A.R. expansion packs (which were made by a different company) when they started development on the game's real sequel.
  • Halo's continuity policy directly addresses this; new material automatically overrides old material in the event of a contradiction, while the games override the books, which in turn override promotional materials like the "Believe" ad campaign.
  • Myst is a little more complicated, as it involves multiple Literary Agent Hypothesis. The first two books (Atrus, Catherine) do not mention the D'ni society as having slaves, just a caste system. Book of D'ni makes it explicit that slavery is repugnant to D'ni society. Then Uru came out, with the storyline's finale in Myst V... Again, it seems the author of the books "based" his writings on Catherine's journals, which dismiss the clear slavery of the Bahro, for never entirely cleared reasons. As for Book of D'ni, well, people long gave up making sense of it.
    • That's far from the only Canon Dis Continuity in the Mystiverse. Prison books? Prison Ages? Your guess is as good as Dr. Watson's!
  • Nintendo has outright stated that The Legend of Zelda CDI Games games never happened. This is taken to such an extreme that an issue of Nintendo Power describes The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks as the first game which Zelda is a (semi)playable character. She was fully playable in two CDI games.
  • The premise of Super Mario Bros 2, with its All Just a Dream ending has been entirely ignored by the Mario canon, since all of its supposedly "wacky dream characters" (who were not Mario characters at the time, see Doki Doki Panic) have since been shown to be residents of the normal Mario universe. It's also notable that for a franchise that enjoys reviving old premises from long-ago titles, no characters, settings, or items from the two Game Boy titles, other than Wario and Princess Daisy, have been used in subsequent games.
  • When British game publisher U.S. Gold got the license to produce ports of Strider for home computers in Europe, they took the liberty of producing an exclusive-sequel titled Strider II, which was later remade for the Sega Genesis and Game Gear and released in America under the title of Journey From Darkness: Strider Returns. Capcom later got to make an arcade/PS1 sequel titled Strider 2, which completely ignored U.S. Gold's own sequel.
  • A variation that didn't have anything to do with quality occurs in the God of War franchise. In the first game, in an unlockable video the protagonist, Kratos, visits his mother and learns that Zeus was his father. He's not happy to learn this, and plans to take vengeance on Zeus somewhere along the line. Yet in the second game, as Kratos is holding a dying Athena, Athena reveals to him that he is Zeus' son, which Kratos is surprised to hear, but declares that he "has no father". The director of the game acknowledged this error in the extras, and states that he was disappointed that they revealed it in the first game, because he finds it more fitting for it to be dropped on Kratos after he is denied his vengeance. He openly said that he doesn't care about the error.
  • The creators of the Star Control series have made it clear that Star Control 3, which was made without their input and was met with overwhelming fan backlash, never happened. So no, the Precursors are not cows.
    • Word of God has revealed that some of the things in it are what the creators had intended to do if they'd gotten to make their own sequel, though—such as the part about the Mycon actually being biological terraformers created by the Precursors whose programming has become distorted into a bizarre religion.
  • Homeworld fans are still trying to figure out if outsourced midquel Cataclysm is canon or not, the Homeworld 2 dev-team being somewhat non-committal on the subject and some of its technological advances showing up in the sequel but not others. And it's not clear if the MacGuffin made of Forgotten Phlebotinum that appears in the sequel, whose nature flatly contradicts the first game's manual, is a clumsy retcon or a result of the new creative team not bothering to read the fluff.
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 seems to ignore Red Alert 2's Expansion Pack, Yuri's Revenge; The third game's starting cinematic starts with the Soviet Union defeated while both of YR's endings had them surviving (conquering the world in the Soviet one, teaming up with the allies to take down Yuri in the Allied one).
    • Red Alert 3 takes place in an alternate Red Alert setting. The very intro movie explains this. RA3 says that a time machine was used by the Soviets at the end of RA2, to destroy Albert Einstein and prevent the allies from developing several key technologies. Nevertheless, FutureTech creates very similar technologies anyway but because of the change in timelines, the Empire of the Rising Sun exists in RA3 when it wasn't supposed to exist at all in the previous timeline (this is in fact part of the last 4 missions in the Empire of the Rising Sun campaign).
      • BUT the intro movie begins with the Soviets in grave danger, which is why they use the time machine to kill Einstein. So, the contradiction stands, although it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that another war occurred after Yuri's Revenge. Besides, this is a series with towers that shoot lightning, mind-controlled giant squids, and man-cannons that shoot parachuting armored war bears.
      • It's possible that Red Alert 3 never was the same continuity. It was already an alternate universe of Red Alert in the first place, and the time travel just made it even more different.
      • Discontinuity becomes trickier when time-travel is around, but the original canon was that Red Alert was a prequel to the Tiberian series. That worked well up until Red Alert 2, when fans had to resort to tricks like suggesting the Tiberian timeline developed from the Soviet ending in RA1 or theorising further time-travel down the line to make sense of it. By Red Alert 3, the continuities were officially split.
  • World of Warcraft ignores most of what is said in the Warcraft tabletop game. Especially considering Whitewolf and Blizzard Entertainment broke off ties. This is something of a rarity for Blizzard, who have a history of standing by licensed works and their storyline elements.
    • That said, any time something happens in WoW that directly contradicts established canon in the RTS games takes precedence, often stated as being "ongoing shifts in artistic leaning" or the like. Certainly not because they just forgot the old story and never went back to check on it before finalizing the new info. Even when one of the writers specifically states that to be the case. See: the entire backstory of the Draenei: Originally, the Eredar were one of the races that corrupted Sargeras; now, Sargeras was already corrupted by the Nathrezim by the time he got to them, and he corrupted them, with the Draenei being that faction of the Eredar who resisted his corruption.
    • Now the RPG is completely considered uncanon, with exception of information used from the RPG in canon.
  • A rather odd case for Banpresto's Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Original Generation (OG1) lets players choose between Ryusei Date and Kyosuke Nanbu, whose stories co-exist with one another for the first half of the game. It's only until the second half events unfold differently for either character. Come Original Generation 2 (OG2), events state only Ryusei's second half of OG1 happened; Kyosuke's second half is never mentioned at all. While this drops loads of Foreshadowing from Kyosuke's second half of OG1, fans were quick enough to deduce Banpresto did this to show that OG1 was never meant to be played in favour for Kyosuke, but the sequel was, since the game was primarly focused on his story from Super Robot Wars Impact.
    • Strangely enough, Kai Kitamura seems to know the other members of the cast very well, even though he's a permanent character in Kyosuke's route.
    • Ironically, to celebrate SRW's 15th anniversary, Banpresto released Original Generations (OGs), a Video Game Remake on the Play Station 2 of both GBA games, which sets itself as Canon Dis Continuity by rehashing the storyline to include Early Bird Cameoes, new Humongous Mecha, the cast of Super Robot Wars Reversal, new characters and a major personality change to Axel Almer.
  • Oddest case ever: Leisure Suit Larry 4. It doesn't exist. It's not just non-canon, it was never made. Yes, Al Lowe jumped from 3 straight to 5.
    • This works itself into the plot of Larry 5 interestingly: Because the 4th game was never released, both player characters have no recollection of what happened after Larry 3. The actual in-game explaination is that the Big Bad, Julius Bigg, stole the master floppies for himself before release. Patti is the first to realize this after he catches Julius humming the love theme from Larry 4, which she wrote herself, knowing that he must have stolen the floppies if he knows the melody.
    • The lack of Leisure Suit Larry 4 even became a plot point in Space Quest 4. Vohaul had corrupted the master disks and used them to take over Xenon.
      • The real-life explanation is, of course, that they couldn't think of a good way to get a sequel out of Larry 3's happy ending, so they just did a sequel anyway and made the continuity errors it produces part of the plot.
        • The story goes that Al Lowe, the creator of Leisure Suit Larry, had sworn that there would never be a LSL 4... before agreeing to make another Larry game. To keep his oath, he made Larry 5 and simply had the characters reference Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies, a title that exists in the game's plot, but not in the real world. The cleanup for the plot from LSL 3 was an added bonus.
  • Another Sierra example is that the widely-derided King's Quest Mask of Eternity has never shown up on any of the compelation CDs of the series and has only since been re-released on Good Old Games.
  • After a whiny princess kissed a hedgehog back to life in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, the entire game erased itself from continuity via temporal retcon. A bit Hilarious in Hindsight, too: after firing the writers, SEGA wisely decided to pretend the entire game never happened, as well.
    • This is made confusing because, despite the game being ERASED FROM TIME, it still appears in Sonic Generations! And Sega has yet to comment.
  • Legend of Mana, originally marketed as "Seiken Densetsu 4" (and possibly a direct sequel to Seiken Densetsu 3), is now not considered by Square-Enix to be part of the main World of Mana continuity.
    • Its Japanese name is "Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana" (there is no 4), which means that everybody assumed that this was the 4th game in the main series.
    • Switching up the elements (replacing Moon with Metal) probably didn't help it much.
  • Touhou is an interesting example. The first five games were made for the PC-98. The rest of the series is for Windows. The Windows games make very few references to the PC-98 games, and what little that carried over is greatly changed. The fanbase is split on whether or not this trope has taken effect, somewhat exacerbated by ZUN only saying that we could ignore the PC-98 games when questioned about them instead of anything stronger.
  • Radical Dreamers, the text-based first sequel to Chrono Trigger (and Japan-only) was completely thrown out of series continuity by the later PS 1 sequel Chrono Cross, which was also something of a remake of Radical Dreamers. The events of that game are thrown into an alternate reality... or something. Series creator Masato Kato originally had much greater plans for Radical Dreamers but the entire game was rushed. Chrono Cross was his way of finishing off his original planned story.
    • and the characters of Trigger, whilst he was at it
  • In a cross-medium example, all Aliens vs. Predator games seem to ignore the existence of Alien: Resurrection by depicting xenomorph encounters, Weyland-Yutani xenomorph research facilities, and at least two completely infested planets known to Company executives at a time when the species is supposed to be extinct in known space. The latest game, however, acknowledges one of the Alien vs. Predator films; however, it ignores all previous games.
  • While not entirely declaring them non-canon, Yoshio Sakamoto said that he did not take the plots of the Metroid Prime games into consideration in the making of Metroid: Other M. This leads to some weirdness when Samus mentions that this is the first time she's undertaken a mission alongside the Federation when she already did that in Metroid Prime 3. However, these are minor plot holes in a series riddled with them. The fact that the Prime sub-series was American-made and told its own story instead of furthering the plot of the Japanese games may have had something to do with this.
  • Mortal Kombat 2 ended with Shao Khan being rather spectacularly blasted to chunks (which, among other things, allowed Sonya Blade and Kano to escape back to Earth, so it had to have happened.) Mortal Kombat 3 began with Shao Khan alive and still ruling the Outworld with an iron fist. No one at Midway has even attempted to explain this.. . . and surely never will since from 2011 onwards, the games (starting with the one known as Mortal Kombat 9) are actually a Continuity Reboot. Plot wise they're based on a Cosmic Retcon at the hands of Raiden, and thus previous games are still canon. . . and the game itself picks up directly where Armageddon left off, so its pretty up-front about this fact. The apparent contradictions of things like Quan-Chi being present so early in the story can be justified by another Cosmic Retcon at the hands of Shinnok, who invoked Fighting a Shadow for Armageddon and thus, unlike every other character apart from Shao Kahn, managed to avoid being killed. 9 ends with Shinnok revealing he masterminded everything, but X implies and 11 confirms that there's another mastermind, Shinnok's mother Kronika.
  • In 1993, Nihon Falcom commissioned two separate companies to developed their own versions of the fourth Ys game. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun was released by Tonkin House for the Super Famicom, while Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys was released by Hudson Soft for the Turbo Grafx 16 Super CD (a third version was also planned for the Mega Drive, but it was never released). Ys V was later developed by Falcom and exclusively for the SFC, and all the later Ys sequels followed the SFC games. The 2005 Play Station 2 remake of Ys IV was even based on the SFC version.
  • Bomberman: Act Zero is not a part of the main Bomberman continuity, both on account of it being a radical departure from the series' light-hearted mood and from it being a rather terrible game on its own.
  • The Duke Nukem games "Time to Kill" and "Land of the Babes", for the original Playstation, while decent in their own right, aren't regarded as canon. The fact that they were made by different developers probably has something to do with that. Neither is the N64-exclusive installment Zero Hour, supposedly.
  • Soldier of Fortune: Payback was produced by a low-budget developer, seemingly with a Game Maker program, disregards the characters and story of the previous games.
  • When it first came out in 2003, Tron 2.0 was supposed to be the official sequel to the movie Tron, since it seemed almost certain that Disney would never make a second film. Seven years later, when they actually did release another movie, the continuity differences between Tron: Legacy and 2.0 proved irreconcilable, so 2.0 was rendered non-canon.
  • It's a general rule within Pokémon that the canon game is the third game (Blue, Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, etc). If a previous game is referenced to it's always the third game, which is a mixture of the original two with changes.
    • Pokémon Yellow seems to be the only exception, as there are plenty of hints in G/S/C that R/G/B are the canonical Generation I games rather than Yellow: G/S/C's Cerulean City featuring the house of man who trades Pokémon in in R/G/B rather than its Yellow counterpart with the girl who gives the player Bulbasaur (and even the man himself), the Yellow-exclusive house in Route 19 being absent, or Blue's party being based on that of R/G/B rather than Yellow.

Web Comics

  • Lampshaded in Narbonic here and here, where the "two foremost experts in comic-book continuity" explain away all plot discrepancies.
  • In Erfworld, the magic school of Deletionism was recently replaced by "Retconjuration" in order to explain how a change was retroactively made to a character's special ability. Therefore, Deletionism has never existed.
  • In an early episode of The Order of the Stick, Roy's ghostly father mentions that Xykon killed his master Fyron and his master's son. When these events are depicted in Start of Darkness, no mention of the son is made.
    • It's more confusing than that. Start of Darkness was released before strip #434, which has Roy mention Master Fyron's son again.
    • It's speculated by some fans that Fyron's son was killed off panel.
  • Eight Bit Theater: Thief's ninja costume was never red.
    • In conext, the outfit was red for the greater majority of one strip. Black Mage lampshaded the color change the following strip while he was descending into his standard state of being pissed off.

 Black Mage: *To Red Mage* You suck. *To Fighter* You suck. *To Thief* And you were wearing red a second ago!

Thief: No I wasn't. Besides, what kind of ninja wears bright red?

Black Mage: Ha! I never said it was bright red!

Thief: Neither did I.

Black Mage: Ghk!

  • A Loonatics Tale "Job Hunting" never happened; what we see is a version which was severely neutered to make it acceptable for use in a school assignment. The artist is in the process of drawing "Rehired", the canon version of the story.
    • Rick and Becky actually use it as a barometer for what does and doesn't constitute valid criticism; anyone who says they thought the original "Job Hunting" was good, isn't going to be any good to them if they need an editor.
  • The Second Eaton arc in Shortpacked! never happened. You just imagined it. Now let's never speak about your crazy, drug-fueled hallucination again.
  • There's an in universe example in Our Little Adventure with The Lady of Fate and Fortune. The creation of the Magicant caused so much turmoil and greed that the other gods decided to revoke the Fortune Lady's god status and banish her.

Web Original

  • Serris says that the rebooted Furtopia RP is not part of the Darwin's Soldiers canon and it never will be.
  • In perhaps the only example of this happening in-universe, the characters of PRIMARCHS delete 80 chapters of their own story in order to defeat the Plot Hole.
  • A weird example is Raocow, who in many of his old videos would always say "That was a demo" whenever he made a mistake and immediately fix it using rewinds or savestates. He has recently stopped using savestates as much, to the point that he sometimes subverts it by saying "That totally happened" when he screws up.
  • Weirdly subverted in The Church of Blow, where the protagonist of the second series is an actor trying to make a viral youtube video. Then he starred in the Real Life viral video "Youtube is my Life", which the character is certain does not exist.
  • Sometimes occurs, oddly enough, in Survival of the Fittest. Sometimes a mod or handler declares a scene (mostly in pre-game or a character's backstory) as non-canon, for whatever reason. Two examples of scenes declared non-canon by a mod include a thread in v1 where a rejected character actually showed up on the island and randomly killed someone, and a scene in v4 pre-game where a character was prostituting herself out for drugs, with the other character having an implausible amount of drugs on him.
  • A small group of administrators at Wikipedia have "oversight" abilities, allowing them to restrict the contents of a past edit so that only other administrators, or other oversighters, can see what was removed (usually for libel or privacy reasons). In extreme cases, oversighters can remove the edit from the history, so that only they can tell it was even made in the first place

Western Animation

  • According to Word of God the Ben 10 episodes set in the future are not canon, as they portray Kevin as an unrepentant villain, but in Alien Force, he is a redeemed good guy. Also, the pop-up edition of the episode "Goodbye And Good Riddance" states that the episode is not canon and that the real story of Ben's return to Bellwood is the live action film "Race Against Time." However Ultimate Alien turns "Race Against Time" into an Alternate Universe and Omniverse would later bring back the original Ben 10,000, pulling this on UA's version of Ben's future, explaining Kevin being a villain as a repeat of him absorbing too much energy like he did in Ultimate Alien.
  • The Heavy Gear animated series is considered by Word of God to be an entertainment broadcast similar to professional wrestling within the Heavy Gear universe, and thus not representative of how things work in the "real" Heavy Gear universe.
  • It seems everything Disney made before Steamboat Willie is considered discontinuity as Pete, Mickey, and Minnie Mouse are all labeled as having debuted in it. Pete actually first appeared three years earlier in an Alice Comedy cartoon called Alice Solves the Puzzle, while the other two mice debuted earlier in 1928 in Plane Crazy. Of course considering that their first cartoon featured Attempted Rape by the world’s biggest and most kid-friendly icon, it makes sense Disney does not talk about it.
    • Technically, though Plane Crazy was made before Steamboat Willie, the latter cartoon was released first, with the originally silent Plane Crazy being released after (with an added soundtrack).
    • The Disney Princess roster varies significantly, tending to eliminate princesses from less popular movies. This shows up in merchandise and tie-in books. Most notably, Princess Eilonwy and Kida are never included. One book specifically mentions that Arial is the only princess from an underwater kingdom. IMDB calls Tangled the first PG-rated Disney princess movie, despite both The Black Cauldron and Atlantis: The Lost Empire being rated PG.
      • And do you want to know which characters from those respective movies ended up in the merchandise instead? The villains!
      • Also, Roark's death at the end of Atlantis is often considered by fans of that film as a Take That to Disney's definition of "princess": Near the end of the film, the King of Atlantis, while on his deathbed, actually states that the Atlantean Crystal (which was stolen by Roark, shortly after he kills the King) can and will only accept those of Royal Blood. Since Roark is not only the film's Big Bad but is also not royalty, the Crystal ultimately kills him by first turning him into a nightmarish crystal ice monster, then vaporizing him with his own blimp's propellers. Ironic, given the fact that Disney still sees him (and to a much lesser extent, Helga) as an official Disney Villain...
    • They seem to be giving their older TV cartoons this treatment too. The book Disney Dossiers fails to mention most of the details about the feature characters established in their TV spin-offs or sequels (examples being Aladdin having a father, Kuzco having a significant other, Timon's surname, and Scar's birth name). But then again, maybe the writer just Did Not Do the Research...
    • A Disney Princess coloring book about Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding also for some reason ignored the events of the film's sequels. One, is that Iago the parrot isn't attending the wedding at all (at the end of The Return of Jafar, Iago actually converted to the side of good), and two, Jasmine's wedding dress for some reason, looks absolutely nothing like the one she wore in King of Thieves at all!
    • On that note, according to the John Lasseter and Ed Catmull-run Disney Animation Studios, everything Pooh-related released after The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and before the 2011 Winnie the Pooh film isn't canon. That means no Pooh's Grand Adventure, no Book Of Pooh, no The Tigger Movie, no Piglet's Big Movie, no Pooh's Heffalump Movie, no Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie, and no My Friends Tigger and Pooh... so pretty much everything released during Pooh's Cash Cow Franchise days (which makes up a majority of the Pooh media) is no longer canon. It's a pretty gutsy move on Lasseter and Catmull's part, but then again these were the guys who stopped production on Disney's direct-to video sequels so it's pretty clear that they believe Disney should be Doing It for the Art rather than going after easy money.
  • It's likely that the writers for the 3rd An American Tail movie, The Treasure of Manhattan Island, were trying to cause canon discontinuity for Fievel Goes West when they had Fievel say that he had a dream where the family moved out west. The difference here is that the discontinuity had nothing to do with fan opinion, and it in fact angered a lot of fans.
  • The much-reviled The Simpsons episode "The Principal and The Pauper", where it's revealed that Principal Skinner is in fact a former street punk pulling a Dead Person Impersonation of the real Seymour Skinner, has been marked as non-canon by the writers. A later episode blatantly contradicts it by showing the familiar Seymour as a baby in Agnes Skinner's womb. Essentially, Principal Skinner is definitely the genuine article - except on the very few occasions when the episode is referred to for the sake of a joke.
    • Lampshaded in the episode "Behind the Laughter", where it turns out that "The Principal and the Pauper" was written during a period of the show where the Simpsons had a massive falling out and couldn't stand to be around each other. As a result, they were forced to resort to "increasingly nonsensical plots and storylines" to keep the show going. Cue Skinner announcing he's an imposter.
    • Notably, the episode itself "justifies" its own Canon Dis Continuity—right before the end credits, the judge explicitly declares that no one must ever mention the episode's events again, and act as if it had never happened, "on penalty of torture!" (Cue cheers from the crowd). On the DVD commentary, Ken Keeler, writer of the episode, complains that a couple of sequences that made this point even more obvious - that this was a non-canon episode about how preciously some people can take their relationships with TV characters - were cut for time, though he claims to no longer remember how they went. (Keeler also believes this episode is his best work out of everything he has ever written for TV, which does include the much more popular Simpsons episodes "Two Bad Neighbors" & "Brother From Another Series", plus "Time Keeps on Slippin'" & "Godfellas" for Futurama.)
    • On the other hand, a later episode had Skinner accuse Lisa of dishonesty, to which Lisa responded by calling him "Mr. Tanzarian" to point out his hypocrisy—Tanzarian being Skinner's real name according to "The Principal and the Pauper."
  • In Transformers Generation 1, the Big Bad Unicron was revealed in season three to have been a Gone Horribly Right experiment by an alien Mad Scientist named "Primacron"—his intent was that Unicron would devour all life in the universe, and then Primacron could repopulate the universe with lifeforms of his own creation and design. All subsequent iterations of Transformers have stuck with the idea of Unicron as a Satanic Eldritch Abomination, a concept from the Marvel Transformers comics.
  • Jonny Quest: Lance Falk, a writer on The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, has argued fervently against the canonicity of the 1980s series and movies.
    • It was official policy for the writers of the second season of TRA that everything that came between them and the original series was not canon.
  • It seems that The Flintstones have discontinued, or tried to discontinue, their "Older Pebbles and Bam-Bam" related media.
  • At the end of all of the Cars Toons series of Pixar Shorts, it's heavily implied that all of Mater's stories are indeed canon, as a character or a plot element shows up in person instead, much to Lightning McQueen's dismay. However, one short in the series isn't canon at all. Guess which one is it!
  • Blue's Clues & You! ignores the events of the original series episode The Legend of the Blue Puppy and every episode after that, as well as the Blue's Room spin-off.
  1. To be fair, there are legal reasons why WWE has to pretend it was never called WWF.