Dub-Induced Plot Hole

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Darien? Serena? I've never heard these names before. What is it that you want?"

Prince Darien, Sailor Moon dub episode "Last Resort"

So you've just translated a story. And you come across a scene in your original source that just doesn't work with the changes you already made. Maybe there's a change in honorifics, or a character whose death you censored has to come Back from the Dead.

What is there to do? Why, completely blow it off, of course! Just pretend the last change you made never happened and translate it completely normally. So what if you just took a two by four to the plot? Who cares if your dialogue doesn't make any sense? Send that script out the door, and let the fans deal with it. If you even assume that the fans are smart enough, particularly given their age, to notice.

Yes, sometimes the guys working on a script, having written themselves into a corner, will completely blow off the changes they already made and start adapting something completely literally, even if the resulting script makes no sense. Sometimes they'll even adapt a cultural custom with zero explanation—and nobody in the show will act surprised. The resulting disconnect creates a big giant plot hole and the only recourse of the fan is to just look up the original version, or just ignore it themselves.

If this is caused through adaptation of another work, it's an Adaptation-Induced Plothole.

Examples of Dub-Induced Plot Hole include:

Anime and Manga

  • The former Trope Namer Sailor Moon regularly fell victim to this, which is not surprising given the amounts of censorship and changes usually done to its foreign adaptations.
    • One particularly infamous instance, referenced in the page quote, occurs in the first season where Mamoru is brainwashed and falls into an Evil Costume Switch version of his alter ego Endymion. For some reason, the English dub decided to keep his past name the same as his reborn name, which got to be very awkward when he didn't recognize the name "Darien" even though he called himself Prince Darien.
      • They did it again when the gang gets transported to Crystal Tokyo by Darien's future self, King Endymion. Apparently, "Endymion" was too hard for the dubbers to pronounce, because he introduces himself to the Senshi with the not-at-all-awkward "Call me... 'King Of The Earth'". Serena, surprisingly, is still referred to as Neo-Queen Serenity here.
      • And when the dub was continued by a different company, one of the later episodes of SuperS finally mentioned the name "Endymion"... except that anyone who was unfamiliar with the original version was not going to know where this name came from all of a sudden.
    • Several plotholes popped up because episode 42, the episode that covered Minako's backstory, was dropped. This episode showed the team desperately searching for an entrance in their area to the Dark Kingdom, as well as establishing that the sun was slowly being covered by sun spots, heralding the return of Queen Metaria. They find the entrance at the end of the episode, leading directly to their first assault in Episode 44. There was also another scene of Mamoru being brainwashed and Metaria actually possessing his body, thus explaining why it was so hard to get through to him when he fought with Sailor Moon in the last episode. Since all of this is missing from the dub, the Sailor Scouts are just running into the Negaverse with no explanation, making one wonder why they didn't do this before considering how just one episode earlier, they were willing to make a Deal with the Devil to get Serena inside. There is no explanation for why Sailor Moon's abilities don't work on Mamoru anymore, though Beryl makes a remark that she put a better spell on him (creating a new plot hole - why didn't she just use that spell from the start?!). There are also numerous shots of the sun in the last episode of the dub (all shots from the combined 45-46) that show the progression of the sun spots. These are left as random, unexplained images in the dub — they never bothered to explain why they were showing images of the sun getting blacked out.
    • Sailor Mercury's death in episode 45 originally showed her breaking the illusion device the DD Girls had been using to attack the Senshi. Because episodes 45-46 were heavily edited to cover up the deaths of the main characters, the dub cut almost the entire sequence, so it appears that the Doom and Gloom Girls inexplicably stop using the illusions that had helped them take out two of the Scouts effortlessly.
    • Another instance cropped up when somebody forgot that the final two episodes of the first season had such alterations made to it. The Japanese version of Episode 46 had a brief scene in the middle of the episode where Mamoru's mental conflict of trying to undo Metaria's brainwashing was shown in his mind as himself in a hospital bed struggling to remember who he was (mirroring his original amnesia over his past before he lost his parents). Usagi, in her school uniform (not as Sailor Moon) appeared and promised she would help him. This scene was, in the dub, used at the end of the episode instead and presented as an event that actually happened, which caused any number of plotholes — such as, why was Darien in the hospital and everyone else from the same fight okay despite everyone suffering grave injury? And how come just one episode later, despite Serena introducing herself to him in the hospital and apparently forming a friendship, do they act like they barely know each other?
    • In the Doom Tree Arc, DiC changed Ali (Allan) and En's (Ann's) backstory so they were affiliated with the Negaverse and knew Queen Beryl (and that it was apparently her who "advised" them to go after Earth), because apparently Viewers are Morons and couldn't accept that two groups of villains are not affiliated. That makes little sense when we learn their actual backstories, but even before that is headscratching - in episode 49 (43 in the dub), Serena shows Darien some pictures of the battle with Beryl to help him regain his memories... and Ann is right next to them. The fact that this mere earthling knows about her acquaintance/workmate/something doesn't really seem to bother her, or come up when she's trying to uncover Sailor Moon's secret identity.

Ail: Queen Beryl was right about Earth.
Ann: Who the f*ck is Queen Beryl?

    • A particularly amusing plothole involves Kaolinite's alias, Kaori. In the dub, when Serena/Usagi visits Dr. Tomoe, she is surprised to see Kaolinite (Kaori Night in the dub) there. In the original, Tomoe says that she is his assistant, Kaori, so Usagi is relieved. In the dub, however, the assistant is also named Kaori Night, prompting Serena to say "I thought she was the evil Kaori Night, but she must be someone else!". Epic Clark Kenting.
    • A smaller example is that in the S season, Amara and Michelle are always calling Usagi "Serena-moon-face-girl", which is not only a stupid insult but it was long before they actually knew Serena was indeed, Sailor Moon.
      • On a related note, the dub tried very hard to rub that "cousins" thing in the audience's face; they did that by having at least one line per episode announcing that (ex. "Oh, she's my cousin, Michelle"; "They're both girls, and cousins too!"). But at least once Kaolinite was the person spouting said line, which makes no sense as Kaolinite couldn't know Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus' identities and, therefore, couldn't know they were related.
    • An epic plot hole comes in the English dub of episode 96 ("Lita Borrows Trouble"). Lita is riding in a car with Amara and Michelle and this comes up:

Lita: How'd you guys meet then?
Michelle: We're cousins. We grew up together. [Lita lets out a shocked expression]
Amara: We've been inseparable since we were born.

    • ...Then comes episode 106 ("Related by Destiny"), when the two are revealed to be cousins who "grew apart". So much for the "inseparable since we were born", huh.
    • In the episode where we find out Hotaru is Sailor Saturn, the dub makes Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aware that Saturn will appear, when they originally weren't. This wasn't a major change by itself, but the dub also stated the Sovereign of Silence would appear when Saturn eclipses the other planets. Not only could Saturn not eclipse all the other planets, but it was Sailor Saturn that was revealed, not the Messiah of Silence. The dub still tried to make it happen, though, which included giving the Monster of the Week additional "magnetic" powers to pull Saturn into position (which wouldn't work anyway, considering the distance from Saturn and the fact that it's a gas giant).
    • The dub's tendency to have Pegasus randomly calling Rini by name (the original had him calling her "Maiden") backfired near the end of the season, ruining a scene where in the Japanese version Helios finally calls her "Chibiusa". The dub had to use "Minimoon" instead, which is not her name—yet her reaction is pretty much the same as in the original.
    • Fisheye, a male villain usually edited in foreign adaptations for certain reasons, inexplicably kept his shirtless reveal scene in the Russian dub — instead, the bystanders' dialogue was changed to call him an uncouth woman. Though, given the overall quality of the Russian SuperS dub, a number of fans actually blame the entire case of Fisheye's gender change on the new translators simply not having done the research rather than censorship (nobody seemed to have problems with Zoisite or Haruka crossdressing before that point, with all the homosexual relationships barely toned down). Notably, it wasn't until a few episodes into the season when it became clear Fisheye was indeed male. (Did we mention that the Starlights occasionally retained men's voices even in the Sailor Senshi forms?)
      • An oddly inverted example happened in the Russian-dubbed filler episode of S involving Tamasaburou. The character in question is known to have been changed into a girl in the English dub, presumably because he crossdressed at the end of the episode. In the Russian dub, Chibiusa identifies the character as a "young man" when she first sees him, but after a proper introduction the character is consistently referred to as female, with no explanation.
      • A much worse case is the Russian dub of the Stars season, where Haruka basically was turned into another Starlight — they gave her a really bad man's voice in civilian form. This, despite the fact that the character was acknowledged as female in S, which was translated by another company. The fact that the change was done to cover up the infamous relationship (left unchanged by the previous translators) is pretty obvious from the dialogue.
    • Because the Swedish network Tv4 didn't want the audience to be confused by Japanese songs, they asked the dubbing company to remove any song - and, when that was impossible, to skip the episode altogether. This led to several plotholes in the R season, the biggest being the Senshi suddenly knowing all about the Black Moon and Crystal Tokyo because we weren't shown episode 68.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Masaya chases Ichigo, who is running away in fear that her Secret Identity has been exposed. He finally stops her by calling her by her first name instead of her last. In the dub, however, he'd always called her by her first name, so she just stops for no apparent reason.
    • And Bu-ling/Pudding/Kikki lives in a shelter now because she can't live alone... until they show an episode with her house. Even though it is explained in the dub by Minto/Mint/Corina that they had made a mistake in thinking that she lives in a shelter, it was still blatantly obvious that the writers only saw a few episodes at a time and didn't sit down and watch the entire show.
  • End of Evangelion has Misato explain her findings on the Second Impact to Shinji when she transports him to Unit-01, saying how humans were spawned from the progenitor entity Lilith. However, she incorrectly states that Adam was also born from Lilith, where Adam and Lilith were actually unrelated, having been two separate progenitor entities that happened to land on the same planet. It's still no easier to grasp the concept, though.
  • In the Sonic X dub, when Robotnik's base explodes as a result of Chaos Control, Amy asks, "What is that?" leading Knuckles to reply, "It used to be Chaos Control.". In the original Japanese, he just says "Chaos Control...". The original is referring to Chaos Control as the power of the emeralds, but the dub seems to use it as the name of Robotnik's base.
    • This mistake pops up again. When Robotnk tries to convince Knuckles that Sonic is evil, during a flashback, he talks about how Sonic attacked, invaded, and destroyed Chaos Control, as his base goes by on screen. The first can be excused by having it be be the effects of a warped/subverted form of Chaos Control, this example makes much less sense.
  • In Digimon Adventure, with their handling of the living situation of Matt and TK (divorced parents, Matt lives with their father, TK with their mother). The first dub mention of this claimed that Matt and TK were "half-brothers". It later changed to them being full brothers whose parents were divorced (correct), but went on to add that Matt lived with their mother and thus TK would live with their father. Come their return to the real world, the inverse was proved to be true.
    • In the first episode of Digimon Adventure's English dub, Mimi says that she's starting to miss her little brother.. Later on when they get home, she is shown to be an only child.
    • The Digimon Adventure 02 dub accidentally turned Joe's two brothers, Shin and Shuu, into Joe's one brother, Jim. After the writing staff were replaced, both brothers appeared in the same scene and no reference was made.
    • The Digimon Adventure 02 dub's "Previously On..." segments referred to Arukenimon by name several episodes before her name was used in the actual episodes, also revealing that she was in fact a Digimon and not a human. The heroes also use her name for a bit before they even met her in person when she told them her name.
    • In Digimon Tamers, when Leomon dies, he tells Jeri that maybe his death was his "destiny". This leads Juri to become traumatized (and somewhat obsessed, after the D-Reaper thing) by the word "destiny". In the dub, Leomon's last line is telling Jeri that she has a lion's heart. Since most of the later episodes were written by different people, Jeri still mentions multiple times "when Leomon told me about how that was his destiny", even though it also repeatedly flashes back to the scene and replays the "lion's heart" quote unmodified. Unless you assume that took place offscreen (which is a pretty cheap way to introduce a plot point), the whole thing was kinda messy.
    • The dub also paved the way to break some future Theme Naming, though they couldn't necessarily have seen it coming at the time. Omegamon, the Jogressed partner of Tai and Matt, was dubbed as "Omnimon" in the second Digimon Adventure film. A couple of years later, Alphamon was introduced (as in "the alpha and the omega"), and both he and Omegamon were added to the Royal Knights group. They appeared together in Digimon World Dawn/Dusk, where in reference to the Theme Naming they were always Finishing Each Other's Sentences. Obviously it makes sense with "Alphamon" and "Omegamon", but with "Alphamon" and "Omnimon"... not so much. Later, in Digimon Xros Wars, Omegamon is partially responsible for enabling Shoutmon to be able to evolve to OmegaShoutmon, who has a clear omega theme going on; it hasn't been dubbed yet, but considering that the name "Omnimon" again breaks the theme naming, it's certainly going to be a bit of a mess unless they revert back to using original names (let's hope they don't try to dub OmegaShoutmon as "OmniShoutmon" or something).
  • The Pokémon anime has Brock(/Takeshi)'s mother running away, which was actually edited up to her death (as 4Kids felt that Brock having both of his parents abandon him was too sad). Since the episode she appears in happens much later in the show (and because 4Kids thought the concept of death was worse than being away for a while), it was pretty much ignored.
    • Let's not forget Ash's 30 Tauros that apparently came out of nowhere!.
    • "And the world will turn to... ash.". The problem is, Latin American viewers don't know enough English to know that Ash Ketchum's first name means "ceniza", prompting the Latin American voices to explain this to the audience. They obviously only got rights to English script through 4Kids.
      • The Finnish dub (also dubbed from the 4Kids version) does the same thing. but the bigger problem was that the prophecy's ambiguity could not be preserved. In Finnish, the world will either become ash, or look to Ash for help and there's no way to construct a sentence that can be read both ways. The dubbers went with "become ash", and acted as though the second meaning was still there.
  • An episode of Ojamajo Doremi 's 4K dub had a random woman at an audition say about Onpu/Ellie's performance, "What a wonderfully talented little girl. I wonder who her mother is." Except that said random woman, in the original, actually is her mom. Clip.
    • That may have been intentional as an attempt to cast said mother as an Attention Whore, e.g. she's basically saying "Who raised this wonderful, talented girl? Clearly someone talented did. Why, wait, that was me!"
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Any scene that uses the dub phrase "Shadow Realm". Especially dubious, given the ways you can apparently get there (having your legs sliced off, falling through a roof, losing all your Life Energy, making a Heroic Sacrifice, etc.) and that it's actually its own separate term within the universe.
    • This was pretty glaring at one point when Kaiba simply HAD to win a duel against Yugi at the top of a castle. He walked to the edge of the cliff and threatened to jump if Yugi played the winning move. 4Kids changed this to Kaiba threatening to be blown off the edge of the roof by a virtual reality explosion—something that is clearly not a threat in the animation itself nor described as a threat before or after this scene in the rest of the series.
      • He says something like "The shock of the blast may make me lose my balance", and, considering that the viewer knows that the holograms used in dueling can't cause any damage, it seems that he's saying that the big scary special effects may shock his delicate constitution and make him fall over. This also creates some issues in Yugi's ensuing Heroic BSOD over Yami Yugi's willingness to attack Kaiba after the threat was made, since, instead of seeming ruthless, Yami Yugi seems like he's calling a particularly stupid bluff.
        • But considering how in the anime the force of a hologram's blow has been well-documented to knock characters over, not to mention make them groan and twitch in pain, it's not that much of a stretch. In some duels, "direct attacks" knock characters back a good ten feet.
      • Although it's entirely possible that he was sort of sarcastically alluding to a threat of jumping, which seems like something a Smug Snake like Kaiba would do. If not this, the holograms (especially with the new system they were using, which was extremely realistic compared to the others, could have blown him back.) It's been shown that the same thing happens, causing peoples hair to be moved as if they were in intense wind when certain things happened during a duel.
    • Kaiba's difficulty in translating The Winged Dragon of Ra's effects certainly qualifies. In the original manga and anime, every character who summons the Winged Dragon has to recite a hieratic text in the process, so Kaiba runs a rapid computer translation effort, in an attempt to figure out what the card does and how to properly use it. In the dub, however, characters summoning the monster simply have to recite a rhyming poem, and Kaiba STILL has to run his desperate translation. There was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it handwave that there was more than just the chant printed on the card, and that extra stuff was what Kaiba was trying to translate.
      • It's implied that what Marik recited was the translated version of the chant which is written in hieratic. Kaiba could have tried to memorize it as Marik was reciting it or record it, but it's not that much of a plot hole.
    • There's also the matter of the name of Yugi's alter-ego. In the original, he was called "Yami no Yugi" (among other nicknames), meaning "Dark Yugi". Some dub media referred to him as the shortened version "Yami Yugi", and the dub itself took "Yami" and treated it as the character's proper name for season two, with several characters using it. This caused problems because the final season has them searching for his true name "Atem". This was also the case in Latin America. His name was always "Yami Yugi". They attempted an Author's Saving Throw and failed miserably by removing all mention of "Yami" as his name in the third season and having them go back to saying they don't know who he really is. In season three he's mostly just called "pharaoh" or "Yugi" for the sake of convenience.
      • Worse was when Yami Yugi first said his name to be "Yami", he also said "I've been called many names. Pharaoh, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yami..." Notice "Pharaoh" as one of the names he gave. Then in the next season, he is shocked to learn that he's the spirit of an ancient pharaoh!
    • There's also the matter of Marik and Yami Marik's motivations. In the manga and original dub, Marik was under the mistaken impression that the Pharaoh had murdered his father which, combined with resentment over having to become a tombkeeper, drove him to attempt to humiliate and kill the Pharaoh. He steals the Egyptian God Cards mostly because he knows the Pharaoh will need them. In the dub, his constant attempts to defeat Yugi are so he can win an unspecified "power of the Pharaoh" (which is apparently held by the God Cards and the Millenium Puzzle) which he can use to take over the world. In the original, Yami Marik (as a Split Personality brought on by Marik's abuse and resentment) has no greater goal then causing as much pain, death and destruction as possible, with a special hatred for the Pharaoh. In the dub... his goal is pretty much exactly the same as Marik's, he's just a bit meaner about achieving it.
    • While it's not as bad as with Blair below, Rebecca's character makes a bit more sense when you realize she's supposed to be twelve and not eight years old.
    • Although ridiculous, 4Kids' death cover ups were usually convincing (as in, "if someone didn't know about the original version, they could be fooled"). There were exceptions though; the most egregious was Alister's (Amelda) little brother's fate. In the original version, he was killed in a war, and so Amelda blamed the Kaiba Corp, who created the tank who killed him, so he's out for revenge. In the dub, his brother was merely "captured" by the KC. Now, that generates a number of questions that are never answered: 1) What would a weapons developing company want with a random boy? (and yes, the possible answers to that question are more creepy than the concept of death); 2) When Seto took over the company and converted it to a game developing one, wouldn't he... y'know... free the kid? 3) If he's merely "captured", why does his ghost still show up in the season finale?.[1] Nothing is really explained, and almost any viewer paying the slightest attention could see through. The same applies to Raphael's suddenly neglectful family.
    • This happens across arcs in the dub. In the dub version of Duelist Kingdom, Dark Bakura says that, on account of Bakura's "betrayal", he's going after Mokuba in order to get a body without a soul to inhabit. In the original, he explains that he wants Mokuba for pretty much the same reason as Pegasus: to get the secret information about Kaiba Corp that Seto had entrusted to Mokuba. This only becomes a problem during the Battle City arc, where Dark Bakura puts himself in danger in order to protect regular Bakura's body. The original clearly implies that he can only use Bakura as his host, while the dub makes his actions pretty nonsensical...though it did provide a lot of fuel for Shipping.
  • Likewise, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has developed to tendency to make dialogue changes while leaving any corresponding original visuals completely unaltered, so this is probably Executive Meddling:
    • The constant rain motif in Ed's flashbacks in the second season is always seen at his father's grave, and thus was edited out. Thus the re-use of the motif in Ed's mental conversation with Saiou while he's duelling him seems a little random.
    • When the cast is sent to the world of Duel Monsters in Season 3, they find out that anyone who loses a duel there dies. However, 4Kids replaced death with a vague description about how the loser was "sent to the stars". This makes the reveal at the end of the season (everyone was trapped in a pocket dimension) basically pointless.
    • Blair's age was lowered from twelve to eight, an age she definitely didn't look—especially when she hit a growth spurt between appearances. An Author's Saving Throw was actually made by not bringing the age up on the second go-round. Didn't work.
    • In the Japanese, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon's attack has always been called "Burst Stream of Destruction." In English, it was instead given the name "White Lightning." Not a big problem, until Judai faces Kaibaman, and he uses the card called Burst Stream of Destruction. In both languages, a mention of the card having the same name as the Blue Eyes' attack is made as Kaibaman uses the card, which seems completely out of the blue in the English translation, since the Blue Eyes' attack is still being called "White Lightning."
      • This only adds trouble when Thief King Bakura of the Millenium World's Diabound is said to have an attack of the exact same name.
    • In Jaden's duel with Viper, his dialogue at one point does not match the actual cards he's fusing and summoning.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has the dub treat Jack's current motorbike and the one he stole from Yusei as one and the same - but they recently showed a flashback to the theft, completely ignoring the fact that the two bikes look nothing alike.
    • Jesse Wheeler. They turned a one-off Mythology Gag into a giant time paradox by explaining the joke and saying that he's cousins with Joey, despite this series taking place far enough in the future for everyone in the first series to be dead.
      • Actually, Word of God says that Ushio of 5Ds is the same Ushio from the manga that bullied Yugi in Highschool... So everyone should actually be alive somewhere.
    • The 5Ds dub also had Rex Goodwin claim to be the fifth Signer, even before his identity had been revealed in the original. It turned out that Rudger Godwin was originally the 5th Signer, and after intentionally losing his duel with Rudger, Rex took Rudger's arm and replaced his artificial arm with it, in effect making him both a Signer and a Dark Signer.
    • Of course, as soon as the Dark Signer arc started, the dub had Rex backpedal and say "I don't know who the fifth Signer is, but..."
    • Not to mention saying that Yusei's mark was the dragon's head (thus ruining the dramatic switch at the end of the season), turning Jack's wings into the left wing (where was the right gonna come from?) and having Godwin talk about how he was gonna use the Crimson Dragon to take over the world! Wait wha-?!
    • The second episode dub has Yusei's True Companions constantly remarking about how some crippling fear of bugs must be making him too scared to fight against his opponent's Insect Deck... all while The Stoic hero is facing said insect monsters as calm, silent and fearless as ever. Yeah...
    • The dub of Episode 26 manages to make a rather MAJOR one right at the start. The beginning of the episode is replaced by their "Now let's get up to speed with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's!" recap. Said beginning of the episode in Japanese shows Red Demon's Dragon destroying Junk Warrior, Yusei's Life Points dropping to 1900 from the attack, and Jack placing 3 cards face down. The English episode starts from after the title card in the Japanese version, making confused viewers wonder where Yusei's monster went to, why he's down a few hundred LP and where Jack's face downs came from.
    • Just recently 4Kids seems to have skipped a few episodes after the Yusei vs. Primo to get right into the 5Ds vs. Ragnarok team duel. Not too big of problem, except that means Jack's Red Nova Dragon has NO explanation behind it and seemingly comes out of nowhere. Not to mention Jack sounds weird with his summoning speech about having a Burning Soul. Whoops. These episodes are available subbed on Hulu, however.
    • 4Kids skipped all of Season 5 (the Ark Cradle) in favor of starting ZEXAL, which means that fans won't learn of Bruno's identity, history and everything that happens in the real final battle. Zone's plot will also be left hanging.
  • From Yu Yu Hakusho. In the Filipino dub, Bishounen Kurama was changed into a girl and called Denise. He was given a female voice actor and everything. This actually worked, up until an episode where Kurama has to take off his shirt. The dubbers handwaved this, saying that Kurama was really a male demon who was only pretending to be female on earth. Oops.
    • Also, Genkai was a man in the dub.
    • The English dub has a few smaller ones:
      • The name "Spirit Wave" is given to two different techniques—the chant used by the Masked Fighter to purify Dr. Ichigaki's brainwashed fighters, and the Reikodan, used by Yusuke against Jin.
      • During Kurama's fight against Ura Urashima, the character's false story is changed from him wanting to repent from a team formed by negative feelings involving the fairy tales they're based off of, to the team forcing him to fight by holding his grandmother hostage. But when he's spilling information to Yoko Kurama, he says "I'm not even Ura Urashima!" It's supposed to be him admitting his entire explanation was false and they were just hired goons, but with the changed story, the line makes no sense.
      • When Yusuke starts his fight against Sensui, he admits that he doesn't really care about the portal to Demon Realm opening or not—all he wants is to fight Yusuke. This is Foreshadowing of his true desire. The dub changes this to him telling Yusuke that he could become just like him. Later, however, Yusuke references the original line, echoing that all he cares about is fighting Sensui.
  • 4Kids managed to cut out about 30% of One Piece during their unfortunate dubbing run, explaining the contradictions via a series of extremely confusing edits (chiefly involving how the crew managed to acquire an important Plot Coupon without actually going through the arc they got it in). Had they continued, the confusion would have only gotten worse, as the missing content returned with a plot-critical vengeance some two hundred plus episodes later.
    • The edits, apart from editing out Laboon and the giant chiefs on Little Garden come back to haunt them earlier than that. They have to almost completely rewrite the Rain Dinners scene after Mr. 3 comes in because they removed Little Garden (including Mr. 3's defeat and Sanji impersonating him while taking a call from Crocodile). In addition, Luffy refusing to take Ms. All Sunday's Eternal Pose to Alabasta is a non-issue, because Vivi somehow happens to have one (rather than Sanji getting one on Little Garden).
    • There are even some edits that cause plot hole right as they happen. They skipped straight from Luffy beating Arlong to the crew leaving Cocoyashi village, leaving no explanation as to why Johnny and Yosaku were gone or why Nami suddenly had a different tattoo (originally there were scenes with them explaining they had to go back to their jobs as bounty hunters and Nami having the Arlong tattoo removed and having the remains of it drawn over to make a pinwheel and tangerine).
    • In the Japanese version of that same Arc, Arlong gives Nami a knife to prove her loyalty by stabbing Usopp. She decides to fake it - she puts her hand in front of Usopp and stabs it, then telling Usopp to pretend to be hit and fall into the lake/pool. In the 4Kids version, through very cheap copy-pasting of scenes, Nami elaborates an impossibly convenient plan with Usopp while preparing to "stab" him: Usopp had to replace Nami's knife with a rubber knife (that he conveniently had with him, and that conveniently looked exactly the same as Arlong's knife), Nami hits him with it, and the rest of the scene is played more or less the same. And in the next episode, Nami's hand is injured, for absolutely no reason.
    • When Funimation got the license to One Piece Cartoon Network forced them to use the same continuity as the 4Kids dub to avoid confusion...apparently they didn't realize how problematic this would become later on. Thankfully(?) they decided to take the show off the air before that could happen.
    • The Funimation adaptation, tragically, falls prey to this as well. When Ms. All-Sunday gives them the eternal pose that they immediately destroy, she says it points to "Nanimoshinai Island," which is also what it says on the pose itself. Laudable use of the original, right? Matches dialogue and text, right? A short arc later, the Strawhat crew is leaving Little Garden and they are stopped by the giant goldfish, Island Eater. The giants of the island, just before they make sushi of the fish, say that as big as the fish is, it's poop is even bigger, and that they once mistook it for an island, called, what was it, "Nothing-at-all Island!" This seems out of nowhere, but if you speak Japanese (or watch the episode in a fansub), you realize that "Nothing-At-All is the literal translation of Nanimoshinai! In an otherwise stellar dub, this little inconsistency takes away an excellent joke.
    • A minor one occurs in the Buggy Arc of the 4kids dub. Zoro calls Nami by name at a point when he would have no reason to know it, as neither she nor Luffy told him.
  • When Naruto defeats Neji in the English dub, he tells Neji that he could never get the shadow clone jutsu right in order to graduate from the academy. This is a mistake; academy students had to perform the clone jutsu to pass, not the shadow clone jutsu. Besides, the shadow clone jutsu is a jonin-level technique, and when he learned it, Naruto complained about it being a harder version of the jutsu he couldn't master.
    • There's a more noticeable one in a filler episode special. Sakura says it's celebrating the show's fourth anniversary, which she also says in the dub... but because the dub aired episodes slightly faster (for a long time there was two episodes a week) it had been just over three years since it began American broadcast.
    • Another minor one occurs during the final battle of the Wave Country Arc: Haku has Naruto and Sasuke trapped in the Demonic Ice Mirrors and turns both of them into living pin cushions. Some of the needles sticking out of their bodies were edited out for the TV version, including all the ones in their necks. However, when Sasuke wakes up from his Disney Death, there's still a scene of his pulling a needle out of his neck.
    • In the german version nobody is allowed to say "tot". Because of this the viewers never learn that Sasuke's clan was killed, which makes his whole character development and motivation non-understandable.
  • In the Spanish dub of Rurouni Kenshin, the translators made some really random changes to the names of characters and places. This includes changing the location of the whole Tokyo Arc to Kyoto, making for some really confusing moments (in the expository voiceover that opens the Steam Locomotive episode, Kaoru's voice actress explains the train run from Tokyo to Yokohama. They proceed to take the train... even though we've been told they were in Kyoto). When later in the series the action moves to Kyoto, they decided to call it "Edo", despite that just being an older name for Tokyo.
    • It's made even more confusing by the fact that they seemed to forget to change the names of the places once in a while, and as a result, when Kaoru and Yahiko leave in the steam boat, they mention they're leaving for Kyoto. Despite supposedly being there already.
    • Also, they changed the names of the little girls from Suzume and Ayame to "Suzi" (pronounced in a weird, distinctively non-Spanish way) and "Yumi". Naturally, later on, they had to rename Yumi Komagata "Ayumi".
    • In the Brazilian dub they had a similar problem, but a little worse: Tokyo, Edo, Kyoto and "Ayoya" (originally Aoi-ya) are used randomly, often being treated as they were same thing (even the last one that isn't even a city).
  • In the fifth episode of Trigun, while running from an entire town population trying to capture him for his bounty, Vash says "until I find this man you're looking for, I have no choice but to keep moving." This response makes no sense in any context, let alone for the fact that Vash is the man they're looking for. What he was supposed to say was more like "Until I find the man I'm looking for," referring to his brother and series Big Bad, Knives.
  • Due to episode shuffling, the Cardcaptors dub of Cardcaptor Sakura had Kero advising Sakura to use Windy, Fly, and Shadow to capture the Watery card because they were her oldest cards. In the actual anime, those were the only cards she had at the time. Even worse, an episode aired earlier showed Sakura as already possessing Watery. Continuity is for losers, yo.
    • The episode with Sakura's Doppelganger had Sakura use her captured Clow Cards to identify its nature. The card symbolizing what it was seeking was The Flower. This was intended to refer to her brother Toya, whose name meant "peach blossom", but his Dub Name Change to Tori meant Sakura somehow deduced this from a mere screenshot of Tori standing among cherry blossoms.
  • The Spanish translation for the Hayate the Combat Butler' manga removes all mentions of White Day (Or of there being a holiday like that) on the White Day Arc, making it go from a standard High School plot to a random "let's return the St. Valentine chocolate for no reason" story. It becomes frustrating when you consider the same translator added a long explanation on Teru Teru Bouzu on another manga... where they get a 2-panel appearance for a quick joke. Those are some strange priorities.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, the game club members often play Old Geezer. The English dub changes this to Old Maid, presumably because Western audiences are more likely to be familiar with the rules. It is unfortunate, then, that an important part of the climax of the second season is a speech about why it's so metaphorically significant that they play Old Geezer rather than Old Maid. One wonders how the dubbers will deal with that if Higurashi Kai is ever brought over.
  • In Pokémon Special, it is far more common to give your Pokemon nicknames. In the first arc of Pokemon Adventures, nicknames were all but ignored. This made a problem in the second arc, as Red's Pikachu, Pika, now with an expanded role, seems to have suddenly gotten one out of nowhere and everyone acted like it always had one. What more, Inconsistent Dub is in full effect, as Red's other Pokémon still aren't called by their nicknames and Yellow keeps switching from using her Pokémon's real names and nicknames. Even Pika.
    • In the first Johto arc of Pokémon Special, Crys is slapped across the face by her mother after breaking down because she can't capture like she used to. Pokemon Adventures changes this to a firm glare, yet leaves in the shocked expressions on the faces of Crys's Pokemon, Crys's shaking and her holding her face a few panels later. It makes no attempt to explain why Kris is holding her cheek after being glared at.
    • Great Balls have a tiny "S" stamped on them, while Ultra Balls have a tiny "H". This is because the items are called "Super" and "Hyper" respectively in the original Japanese games.
    • The day the Sinnoh Trio start their journey together is September 28, the day the Diamond and Pearl games were released in Japan. The Viz translators caught on the reference and changed the date to April 22, the day the games were released in America. Unfortunately, winter is approaching Sinnoh, necessitating the change into the Platinum outfits. Apparently in Sinnoh, it starts snowing in May.
  • Somewere between volumes 4 and 5 of the Tokyopop edition of the Togainu no Chi manga, the translators noticed that the character they'd been calling "Nicole Prumier" was actually supposed to be "Nicole Premier". Since this was plot-relevant, they had to change it midstory.
  • In the first series of Tenchi Muyo! OVAs, Ridiculously Cute Critter Ryo-Ohki is referred to as male in both the dubs and subtitles (no gender-specific pronouns are actually used in the Japanese dialogue, however). In the second series, she acquires a humanoid body which is clearly female, so the dub and subs shift to referring to her as female. There is also a mistake in the early episodes, again in both the dub and subtitles, where Tenchi refers to a woman as "grandma", who is later revealed to be his mother (the audio is not very clear in the scene in question, the woman has grey hair, and given that the Japanese words for "mother" and "grandmother" are very similar-sounding, it's understandable how this error occurred). None of these errors were corrected in later releases of the show, despite the voice cast being hired again to re-record some lines for the censored TV version.
  • While the lists of edits made for the Toonami version of Outlaw Star is extensive, most are understandable (or at least consistent with a Never Say "Die" vibe). However, there's Episode 7 -- "Creeping Evil": near the end of the episode, Gene gets hit in the back by a Pirate's "blaster". Back on board the Outlaw Star, Jim puts his hand on Gene's back and (originally) exclaims "What the hell is this" at the sight of blood on his hand. Lots of it. Only the blood was digitally removed, turning the "Oh shit! Gene's bleeding to death!" moment into "Oh shit! I have a hand!" Equally inexplicably, Jim clearly says "hell". Future reruns changed hell to "heck", but Jim's still freaked out by his palm. No way the folks in charge of the Toonami edit realize how nonsensical the edits worked out.
    • Due to an excessive amount of fanservice and other questionable material they removed an entire Beach Episode from the Toonami episode run (they would have to trim it down to at least 15 minutes in addition to a lot of digital paint). The problem is it involved Gene collecting difficult-to-find caster bullets, including some exceptionally rare ones that nobody knew actually existed. The following episode opens with Gene sorting the shells out and mentioning offhanded how he got them, but the actual Missing Episode doesn't have anything else of note in the overarching plot and it becomes a Noodle Incident with how they acquired a major Chekhov's Gun for the final episodes.
  • Back when Saban's name was still attached to Dragonball Z, great pains were taken to remove any references to the fact that Freeza and his men were killing the Nameks by removing bodies in screen, cutting scenes of the killings as well as one of Gohan burying one village, editing the dialogue to refer to them as though they were still alive and adding random grunts and moans whenever a pile of dead Namekian corpses were on screen. They didn't even bother with the usual "next dimension" excuse; they simply pretended that the Nameks weren't dead. This doesn't become so much of a plot hole until they finally get around to wishing all of those killed by Freeza back to life, but it was still utterly ridiculous.
    • According to the dub of the Android arc, Dr. Gero was the leader of the Red Ribbon Army who Goku had apparently spared long ago and "General" Tao wanted nothing more than world domination. The Red Ribbon Army was led by Commander Red, Goku never met Gero in his childhood and Tao Pai Pai was a mercenary that couldn't care less about world domination. When they later dubbed Dragon Ball, they didn't even attempt to Hand Wave this instead ignoring it completely.
    • How Cell regenerates may be an inversion, as he says in the Japanese version (as he comes back from an admittedly complete incineration) he says a special nerve in his head allows him to regenerate and if that nerve survives he can regenerate completely... the problem here is that in a previous attack made by Goku blew off the upper body (and head) of Cell and he still regenerated. The dub worked around that by having him say he regenerates even if there's but a single cell in his body, because each has a life of their own.
    • The French dub (And all the ones that spawned from it) have this on spades, because of how terrible it was. An example? They never call Vegeta or Freeza by name during a lot of episodes, until they suddenly do and Krillin knows how both of them are called because... he just does. Until then Freeza was "the tyrant" and every other bad guy is "the enemy" (and still are called that for the whole Namek arc). Talk about confusing...
    • The word "Android" was used in place of a more ambiguous Japanese word meaning "artificial human". The English dub initially changed 17 and 18 from human cyborgs to purely machine, but reversed it when they realized that in later episodes, Krillin and 18 had a daughter.
    • One of the more infamous scenes in the early dub involved Vegeta explaining to Goku that his father Bardock, a warrior, was actually "a scientist" and that he was the one who invented the artificial moon a Saiyan can use to transform into Ape form even when an actual moon is not present. When Bardock later appeared in flashback, both FUNimation and the Ocean Group in their respective handling of the show decided to leave that new addition completely unaddressed and instead Vegeta's previous exposition never existed.
  • The dub of Vision of Escaflowne has a character mention in the second episode that Zaibach are the ones attacking Fanelia. However, we aren't supposed to know it's them until episode 3, and even in the dub, everyone's supposed to be surprised when they find out Zaibach did it.
  • Medabots had a couple of these:
    • As Mega Man NT Warrior above, Medabots suffered from an awful reshuffle of episodes. Actually, in the first "season" the company skipped the episodes that it considered uninsteresting, only to insert them as the first episodes of "season 2". The problem here was that in the end of season 1 Ikki and Metabee had only a week before the International Robattle Championship, but it only started 14 episodes after said announcement. The dub could have solved the matter by simply saying that it was delayed, but it didn't.
    • In the same reshuffling, Rokusho shows up in many of the first episodes of "Season 2", regardless of the fact that he had a dramatic goodbye in "Season 1" to find his reason of living. No one seems to be a little surprised to see him again.
    • Two different episodes have Ikki battling a member of the Rubberobo Gang under the latter's true identity. The first match ended up being cut while the second has him mention that they'd already battled once.
    • A more straightforward and non-related to episode shuffling case was Metabee's naming. In the first episode, after getting his Medabot, Ikki named him Metabee. Some 50 episodes later, someone comments that the Medabot responsable for a horrible incident was also named Metabee - then Ikki rushes to the store saying that it was Henry, co-worker in said store, who named Metabee (cue a flashback with altered dialogue).
  • The Scandinavian dubs of Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin contain massive plotholes because a lot of the violence was cut (mostly character deaths), as well as numerous plot-important scenes with no violence whatsoever. The show never was dubbed into English despite many rumors suggesting it would—and likely with similar massive cuts.
    • Most obvious must be the final episode. Here, Akakabuto dies from being shot by Gohei. Gin's father is seen being complety OK all this time, even watching over now dead Akakabuto. Suddenly, he's dying from massive wounds... it was very confusing to watch as a child. Additionally, Ben's voice in the Finnish dub changes early on, and his original voice later makes a comeback as Moss. Also, Smith changes his voice AND sex midway the dub.
  • Transformers has on occasion managed to simultaneously play this trope straight and invert it.
    • In Headmasters, Scorponok manages to blow up both Mars and Cybertron. In the English dub of the final episode, Fortress Maximus mentions that they can rebuild Mars, a line which wasn't in the Japanese version. In Victory, which is set about 15 years later, Earth apparently has a massive mining operation on Mars - but if Mars could be rebuilt, why does nobody ever mention Cybertron?
    • In Galaxy Force, a mysterious black hole appears next to Cybertron and sucks the planet in; however, in later episodes, characters walk around on the surface without difficulty. When it was redubbed into Cybertron, the situation was changed to Cybertron just being perilously close to the black hole. Unfortunately, the translators also decided that the black hole was formed from the death of Unicron at the end of Energon, making Cybertron a sequel, while in the Japanese continuity it was unconnected to any previous series.[2] This meant a lot of canonically dead characters suddenly appeared alive and well (explained as a result of the Unicron Singularity messing with the space-time continuum) and the Autobots not being familiar with combination, despite the fact that this was a frequent occurrence in Energon.
  • The English dub of the Lilo and Stitch Alternate Continuity series Stitch! tries shoehorning it to the original continuity by lines explaining Stitch left out of jealousy of a new boyfriend of Lilo's. What the hell happened to Ohana?
    • Since then, the series has been turned into a full Time Skip series of the franchise, with Lilo having gone to college being responsible for Stitch leaving and the two reuniting years later where Lilo is now a mother with an identical looking child.
  • In the first English adaptation of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, known as Battle of the Planets, the producers were sent episodes of the anime out of their natural order and decided to dub and translate them as they came. However, this method of dubbing produced quite the plot holes, especially when it came time for them to adapt certain other episodes. Whether you watch this version in Sandy Frank's suggested order or the original Gatchaman order, things just do NOT add up either way. Especially if you're Mark's "friend"/mentor/father Colonel Cronus and they can't decide if you're alive, dead, or the circumstances of your death.
    • Saban's attempt at dubbing both Gatchaman sequels as Eagle Riders created its own plot hole: The villain "Mallanox" (originally the female Gel Sadra) was said to be a man and an alien specifically created/summoned by the Big Bad "Cybercon" (Leader X), with their original backstory cut due to the violence involved in it. Then it was said that he was the son of an alien named "Lukan" (originally Gatchaman's Berg Katse) and a human woman. Then as Saban realized that cutting Gel Sadra's backstory was coming back to bite them, they attempted to reinstate it and Hand Wave Mallanox as actually being a woman with simply a manly voice when in costume (and the daughter of a female professor and her husband, the latter who was killed in the ship bombing she was kidnapped in). Then when it came time for Gel Sadra to die and Go Out with a Smile, Saban instead changed the dialogue of the scene to suggest that Cybercon still had control over Mallanox and was transforming him/her for their failure...into the villain of Gatchaman Fighter (Count Egobossler). Who they proceeded to rename Happy Boy.
  • The Hellsing manga says that nobody knows where Church Militant, Alexander Anderson is from. The English anime dub opened a hole by giving him a very obvious Scottish accent (or Northern Irish, to some), making it sound like those who say this have never heard of the places corresponding to those accents.
  • In episode 44 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Bido recognizes the reincarnated Greed by his voice. In the dub, the second Greed has a different voice actor than the first and the two sound almost nothing alike. This could be justified in that Bido recognizes the second Greed through his Ultimate Shield and catchphrase [3]
    • From the ending episode of the 2003 anime version this gem happens. In Funimation's subtitles Al proclaims that Ed "hasn't been dead for long" before attempting to bring him back; in Funimation's subtitle translation, Al says that Ed "isn't dead yet", as his soul has not passed through the Gate. Therefore, what Al does to bring Ed back is not human transmutation, but rather the equivalent of Ed's retrieval and binding of Al's soul back when they transmuted Sloth. The difference in phrasing may seem minor, but considering the series has just spent the past 50 episodes establishing that bringing back the dead is not only a very bad idea, but not even possible, it's a pretty important distinction to make. Misinterpretation of this scene has led some viewers to conclude that the final episode contains a Broken Aesop. Oddly enough, the second part of the same line contains what appears to be a Plot Hole in the subtitle translation, but was fixed in the dub; Al determines that Ed isn't dead yet because "he's still warm", even though it has already been well established that Al is incapable of tactile sensation. In the dub, he says that "there's still some color in his face", which makes more sense. Whether this is an error in Funimation's subtitle translation or an oversight in the original script is unclear.
  • In Yotsuba&!, when Fuuka asks what Yotsuba's adoptive father is, Yotsuba goes and asks him. He says he's a honyakuka, or translator. Yotsuba comes back and calls him a konnyakuka, someone who makes konjac gel. In the ADV Manga version, however, she says he's a "trainspotter". This is all well and good... until 17 chapters later, when Fuuka seems to be under the impression that he knows a lot about konjac for what looks to readers of this English translation to be no apparent reason.
  • The last episode of Hamtaro to be dubbed ("Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games") and aired onto North American television was ACTUALLY a special from at least two seasons ahead of where the series currently was. The special was dubbed to go along with the 2004 Olympics. However this didn't change the fact that there were a TON of new characters that the Ham-Hams just seemed to "know."
  • At the end of the Rescue arc of Bleach, as the three traitor captains escaped to Hueco Mundo, Gin Ichimaru originally apologised to Rangiku Matsumoto for an unspecified reason. In the dub, this was changed into him saying 'maybe next time'. The apology turns out to be very important to Gin's character motivations in a later arc.
    • Before fighting Yumichika, Hisagi tells him "You'll die either way." A few episodes later, he has apparently defeated Yumichika, and when Yumichika insists on resuming the battle, Hisagi tells him he's beaten, and shows no desire to finish him off.
  • Akira of My-HiME is actually, a cross dressing female. This fact isn't revealed until much later in the series. Someone didn't tell the German dubbers this, as they left her with a distinctly male voice, which made the reveal a tad complicated.
  • In the Suzumiya Haruhi anime, according to this comments page of a video, there is a DVD release, so the only way to view every single episode in English is to change the language from Japanese to English.
  • An odd one occurs in Case Closed where FUNimation inserted a line intended to fix an Adaptation-Induced Plothole in the original Detective Conan anime by having Harley (Heiji) tip Jimmy (Shinichi) off about Vodka and Gin's codenames, which Conan somehow knows in the original Japanese version a few episodes later despite never having a chance to learn this. By adding this line, Harley implies that he knows the truth about Jimmy being Conan. However, this line creates a plot hole in Harley's next appearance where he clearly has no idea that Conan is Jimmy until figuring it out during that case.
  • The Disney dub of The Cat Returns has a minor one when Haru confronts the messenger cat about the gifts they've been leaving her. "Don't you cats know anything? I hate mice, I don't eat them! I'm allergic to cat-tails, and catnip does nothing for me!" The "allergic" bit appears to be in reference to Haru waking up sneezing that morning, just before discovering the garden is full of cat-tails. However, she is later seen lying in a field of them in the Cat Kingdom with no effects. Worth noting that the sneezing in the manga and the Japanese release is a Freeze Sneeze, as Haru had fallen asleep uncovered.

Comic Books

  • Tintin comics were translated into English out-of-sequence. Translators altered the dialogue to try to give a sense of continuity to the "new" sequence, leading to problems such as characters the heroes already "knew" being introduced. Also, of course, if the books are placed in proper sequence some of the dialogue just doesn't make any sense.


  • In the Latin American dub of Addams Family Values, the joke about Fester's name meaning "rot" is kept even though his name has been changed to Lucas.
  • In Russian dub of Robocop, the plot-relevant line "You are fired" (which leaves the Big Bad unprotected by the Robocop's directives) was translated as, approximately, "You've got burned up".
    • With enough imagination you can interpret it as "You've been compromised".
  • According to the Hungarian dub of the first The Lord of the Rings movie, Saruman apparently perfected fighting against the Uruk-Hai. The dub contained a handful of such bloopers (not all of which got corrected for the DVD), ditto for the second movie, but by the third, the translator finally got just about everything right.
  • Prince of Space wasn't immune to enemy weapon fire in the original Japanese, but picked this up sometime during the conversion to English. Neatly explains why he keeps dodging, doesn't it?
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a Decepticon attack separates Optimus Prime from his trailer/weapon cache/flight gear. He exasperatedly demands his flight tech back. In the Hungarian dub, however, he calls for a technician. Yet Que, the Autobot technician, is standing right there! And in the final scene of the movie, when he tries to offer an alliance, Megatron calls Optimus Prime Sentinel Prime. This change of names isn't only erroneous, translating the dialog word-for-word would've been enough—since in the original, Megatron just says "Prime". The context made it clear which Prime he was referring to... not the one he had just shot down, but the one he was facing.


  • The Dutch translation of the Death Gate Cycle suffered from this. A few added sentences in the later books serve to explain that the characters have simply been using the wrong words. It doesn't help.
  • The Sword of Truth was translated rather badly to Russian. Here are just the examples from the first book: 1) Kahlan scares away a girl by calmly stating she will "deal" with a certain man she's unaware is her friend. The original has her threatening to skin him. 2) Denna orders Richard to eat from a bowl without his hands because he's her "pet". Except in the translation, the word used means "disciple" or "trainee". 3) The translation claims that Darken Rahl can use the Magic of Orden to rule forever. There are several places where he states he needs Kahlan to have a heir. And then there is the matter of multiple uncoordinated translators...
  • Early Spanish editions of Discworld novels used feminine pronouns for Death, since the corresponding word (La Muerte) is female. When Reaper Man came out and unambiguously identified Death as male, the translators had to do some backpedaling.
  • The French translation of the Warcraft novel Rise of the Horde combines this with Dub Induced Spoilers (even with the Foregone Conclusion); it is hard to understand why the reveal that warlocks are working with demons is surprising anyone when "warlock" is translated as "demoniste".

Live-Action TV

  • The Russian dub of the 2005 season of Doctor Who gave the characters generic Russian voices, but retained the line where Rose asks the Doctor about his Northern accent—even though he sounds perfectly normal.
    • The French dub is the same.
    • Note that the original voices are often heard in Russian dubbing—still, most of the readers wouldn't recognize a Mancunian accent.
    • Technically, most of the Russian dubs, even those with full voice replacement, usually keep the references to the original language and its quirks—under the assumption that the viewers would normally know what the original language of the show is (via the show's title screen, for instance). That the viewers might not know about said quirks, on the other hand...
  • In an episode of ALF, Alf jokes about making a BLT, a bacon, Lucky and Tomato sandwhich. The joke get translated identically in Latin America (where Lucky is called "Suertudo", which obviously doesn't begin with an L), thus ruining the joke.
  • The Philippine dub of Kamen Rider Kabuto removes a scene in the first episode where a pickpocket just barely misses slashing Tendou's throat with a knife. The rest of the scene is unchanged, so Kagami says "You almost got killed!" apparently out of nowhere.
  • The syndicated version of Scrubs will occasionally shave of a piece of the episode for whatever reason. This ranges from the removal of a single line "SUCK IT, BITCH!!" to the removal of an entire climax. So sometimes, His Story will end with Dr. Cox growing closer to JD for literally no reason.
  • In one episode of King of Queens, Carrie tries to get rid of her accent, in order to get a promotion. Viewers of the German dub are now tempted to ask "What accent?", because she speaks perfect Standard German (,like most people in German dubs do). Luckily, the episode is salvaged a bit by the fact that talk (the word treated as representative for Carrie's pronunciation problems) is contained in the German anglicism Small Talk, giving somewhat the impression that Carrie's main problem is specifically the pronunciation of such anglicisms.[4]

Video Games

  • On the subject of Sonic the Hedgehog, the decision of early translators to change Sonic's home world from Earth to Mobius probably didn't seem like much of a stretch at the time (many of the levels in the early games looked more surreal that anything you'd find on Earth anyway). Years later, after Sonic Adventure, Earth started being mentioned by name, humans other than Robotnik/Eggman appeared, and locations took on more realistic elements. Of course, this led to confusion in many fans who grew up with the numerous manuals, comic books, and TV adaptations which placed Sonic on Mobius. Extra lines were also added in Sonic Adventure to explain "Eggman" as a nickname used by Sonic & Co to make fun of him while Dr. Robotnik was his actual name, though the latter games don't seem to bother with this.
    • It's an explanation from the comic, but it can also be applied to the games. When recovering from insanity, Robotnik mentions that he was called Eggman as a tease but he took that name and gave it power, forming the Eggman Empire. This could be referencing Sonic Adventure 2 where he blows up half the moon. Suddenly "Eggman" doesn't seem like much of a joke anymore hm?
    • The US Sonic comic tried to reconcile this by revealing that Mobius WAS Earth...in the future.
    • According to rumors, the original Sonic games were deliberately made with no in-game plot, allowing each region to provide its own backstory in the manual, or other materials, thus avoiding translation difficulty or cultural incompatibilities (since the first Sonic was also designed to crack the Western market). Thus in Japan it was on Earth and in America it was on Mobius. Then Sonic Adventure came around and they changed their minds, resulting in hefty retcons.
    • Sega of America also attempted to merge Amy Rose in Sonic the Hedgehog CD with Princess Sally from the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series by referring to Amy as "Princess Sally" in the American Sonic CD booklet. Did they really think people were stupid enough to think a squirrel and a hedgehog were the same character just because they were both pink and shared a name? Needless to say, this was disconfirmed into infinity by the time Sonic Adventure premiered in the States.
  • Street Fighter II has the infamous quote "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!" With that, gamers everywhere scrambled to find out just who this elusive "Sheng Long" was, which in part inspired Electronic Gaming Monthly to print an April Fool's joke that may have inspired the character of Akuma. The truth is, Ryu was referring to his Rising Dragon Punch: the Cantonese pronunciation of the Shoryu in Shoryuken is "Sheng Long", and the translators at Capcom had assumed it was a person, and not the name of one of Ryu's special techniques.
    • The curious thing about the "Sheng Long" quote was that the actual Japanese version of World Warrior has all of the victory quotes written in kana (kanji was not added to the game's text until Champion Edition), so Shoryūken is written the same way it is pronounced Japanese. Most like the translator based their quote on a written script and not on the actual game's text.
    • In Super Street Fighter II, Cammy's ending in the Japanese version originally revealed that she was an agent of Shadaloo before she lost her memories and joined Delta Red. In the English version, this was changed into M. Bison revealing that Cammy was his lover. This brings up a strange implication when Street Fighter Alpha 3 revealed that Cammy was actually a DNA copy (read: clone) of M. Bison himself, although the GBA port of Super Turbo later featured a revised ending that reflected Cammy's retconned origins.
  • Breath of Fire 2 has an island filled with giant monsters and two cameo characters from the first game. One mention that he has found a weird stone and that when he holds it, he can see his bones through the skin. One of the monster is called the A. Sludge. If you played the Japanese version, you find out that the A. in his name stand for Atomic! While the translation is technically correct, it doesn't explain much of why there are giant monsters on the island.
  • Final Fantasy VI has two very famous examples. Firstly, the more common one: When Celes asks Locke why he saved her in the Japanese Super Nintendo version, he says that he abandoned someone when she needed him. But in the revised Game Boy Advance version he says, "because I’m tired of standing by and doing nothing while I lose the girls I like." Which is it, Square? Either they have the hots for each other or they don't. And the other is a more recently known one through Kotaku. When the party finds Setzer in the second half of the game in SNES, he says that the Empire's made him a rich man, yet in the GBA version he says the Empire's been bad for business.
  • Fire Emblem, aka Rekka no Ken, is a prequel to another game that didn't come out over here. In particular, the game ends on what would appear to be an unexplained cliffhanger that was in fact a setup for the plot of the game that came before it.
    • In the Japanese version, the Tactician's affinity is determined by bloodtype and birth month while the English merely uses month. This leaves the fact that there are units who are twins with differing affinity bizarre.
    • In the 14th game the character Marks (inexplicably renamed to Xander) is stated to be unable to swim multiple times. The translators, for reasons unknown, altered a conversation to list swimming as something he was good at. Note: The official translation for the 14th game is considered so poorly done, and was so clearly awful just from previews, a far more accurate Fan Translation continued despite announcement of an official one.
  • English adaptions of Bonanza Bros.[5] claim the Villain Protagonist thieves are just testing security systems or helping police recover evidence. This doesn't explain why your character appears in prison clothes complete with ball and chain on the game over screen.
  • In Lunar Silver Star Story Complete, Working Designs mistranslated "Mel governs Meribia" as "Mel founded Meribia."
    • Similarly, in Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, one of Ronfar's battle quotes is "Thank God for miracles!" in a world that has a Goddess (Althena), not a God.
  • The American manuals for the NES versions of Contra and Super C (as well as the Game Boy game Operation C) claimed that those games were set in the then-present, while the Japanese versions actually took place in the 27th century. This didn't prove problematic until the opening of Contra III, which clearly established that the game was set in the year 2636. To work around this plot hole, Konami's localization team simply claimed that the main characters in Contra III were not Bill and Lance, but their descendants Jimbo and Sully.
  • The original Persona hits just about every other bad translation trope there is, so it's not surprising it gets this one, too. In the Japanese version, the two young girls in the other world are Mai and Aki... so it's not very surprising that they turn out to be aspects of the mind of party member Maki—as Nanjo points out, it's simple wordplay. In the English-language version, they're now Mae and Maggie, and Maki is Mary—so not only does this previously fairly well-foreshadowed twist suddenly come out of nowhere, but Nate (Nanjo) still gives the explanation that it's simple wordplay even though this no longer makes sense, making him look less "smart and observant" like he's supposed to, and more like a raving lunatic.
  • Shining Force 2 has a scene in which a plot-central prophecy is mistranslated, causing two characters to be referred to with the wrong names. To make things worse, they are referred to with names that already belong to entirely different characters. This causes the prophecy to make no sense in relation to the other games in the series.
  • In the original The Legend of Zelda game, the manual includes the hint that the Pols Voice enemy "hates loud noises". At no point in the localised version of the game does this come into play - it's referencing a trick on the Japanese version, in which Pols Voices could be killed by shouting into the microphone built into the controller. However, when the Famicom was released in the West as the Nintendo Entertainment System, it didn't have the microphone, but the manual was unchanged.
  • In the Japanese version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Maya's Trademark Favorite Food is miso ramen. When the game was localized in America, the setting was changed from vaguely Japan to vaguely America, and Maya's Trademark Favorite Food changed accordingly; she now is a fanatic for hamburgers. For the first three games, this was a fairly harmless change; instead of a favorite ramen stand, they now have a frequented burger joint. The problem came in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, when their favorite ramen stand becomes central to one of the cases and all the characters talk about how much Phoenix and Maya used to visit the ramen stand, making something that was always an element of the Japanese script look like a Retcon in the English script. So, from now on, new works (like the manga) have her down as loving burgers and ramen.
    • Since Maya is repeatedly stated in the games to be a Big Eater, it's still pretty easy to apply the "she loves both burgers and ramen" explanation back to the games. It does still leave a bit of room for confusion, though, since it would have only taken a short line or two in-game to mention something like this.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue had a pretty infamous one. There's an NPC on Cinnabar Island who offers to trade you his Electrode for a Raichu; if you speak to him afterwards he claims "the Raichu you traded me went and evolved!", which of course, isn't possible. This lead to years of wild fan speculation, with many interpreting this line as either "proof" of the existence of the so-called "PokéGods", or as an Early-Bird Cameo of a new Mon to be revealed in an upcoming game. Turns out it was just a translation error - in the Japanese version, the NPC traded you a Graveler for a Kadabra, both Pokémon that evolve by trading, and his line afterwards was meant to be a hint on how to obtain their final forms. For the English release the localizers changed the Pokémon being offered but simply forgot to alter the rest of the dialogue to match.
    • One might wonder why Fearow is the only Pokemon without any visible drills on them that can learn Drill Run. Fearow's original name in Japanese is meant to be a combination of "demon drill" and "demon bird", which is a pun that didn't carry over in translation.
    • Another one: the ability Iron Fist raises the power of punching moves like Fire Punch, Ice Punch, etc. But many players were surprised by the fact that Sucker Punch doesn't get the boost. This is because Sucker Punch is simply called "Surprise Attack" in the Japanese version, which doesn't imply punching at all. (Which makes sense, considering the large number of armless Pokemon that learn it, such as Spiritomb) Conversly, Meteor Mash DOES get the boost, though its English name doesn't imply it being a punching move (though the animation makes it pretty obvious). It's called Comet Punch in the Japanese version, which had to be changed because the localized version already used that name for another move introduced in an earlier generation.
    • A slightly lesser example is the move Heat Wave, a Fire move widely available by way of move tutors to Flying Pokémon. The Japanese name for the move is "Hot Wind", which makes more sense, but the discrepancy here isn't all that significant.
    • And another one. The deliberately useless move introduced in Gen I could be translated as either Splash or Hop. Given that, at the time, it was only learnable by Magikarp, they decided to go with the former. But starting with Gen II, Pokemon like Hoppip and Buneary have been able to learn it. These Pokemon are associated in no way with water, but clearly associated with hopping. Oops. (The fact that it's not a Water-type move should have clued them in from the start, to be honest...)
    • And ano... well, by now I think it's about fair to say the localizers of the earlier games weren't very good at translating move names. The move 'Curse' uniquely works differently for Ghost-types than it does for any other type, essentially making it two moves in one. The Ghost version is a Cast from Hit Points status attack that gradually drains the foe's HP, which makes sense. What may baffle English players is the other version of the move, which boosts the user's Attack and Defense at the cost of Speed. Well, as it turns out, the Japanese name of the move is a pun: Noroi can mean either 'Curse' or 'Slow', and the point of the move is that it's actually both; Ghost-types interpret it as "Curse" while others interpret it as "Slow". Unfortunately, this got completely lost in translation.
    • The Japanese version of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald introduced a move called Firefly Light exclusive to the bug-type Pokemon Volbeat, which makes sense. The English translation team called it Tail Glow, making Western fans wonder why Ampharos (an electric Pokemon with a glowing sphere in its tail) can't learn it. And then in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum the legendary Pokemon Manaphy was able to learn it, which makes sense because it's based on deep-sea animals which typically have bioluminescence as fireflies do, but Western fans were even more puzzled because Manaphy has no tail whatsoever.
  • Cannon Spike, an action shooting game featuring numerous Capcom characters, features an enemy named Fallen Balrog. The name was kept in the overseas versions of the game, despite the fact that he is based on the Street Fighter II character known as Vega in the U.S.
  • Xenoblade X's English "translation" changed every English single word already in English and made several pieces of armor with unique models into pallet swaps (if that) or other armor other ones for no reason whatsoever. They didn't bother touching anything that referenced the stuff they changed though, so the game is full of problems like "Reclaimers" being represented by a logo of a stylized T (The original name was "Testament"), some of the music and mission names talking about "Dolls" (which where changed to "Skels"), and thumbnails for armor showing it with its original appearance. Special mention goes to how the BLADE organization's meaning to remove "Beyond the Logos", not realizing that's what makes it the Xenoblade.
    • The party continually makes references to eating friendly (but slightly annoying) alien Tatsu. In the original this is a joke about his Verbal Tic reminding them of food.[6] 8-4 and Treehouse kept all references to eating Tatsu, but the verbal tic or any explanation of these desires are completely absent.

Western Animation

  • Winx Club was dubbed by 4Kids, and therefore had a few Dub Induced Plot Holes:
    • In one episode, Tecna shot a "Sphere of Truth" at a teacher she thought was evil without any ill effect, but then the teacher turned out to be an evil clone much later (the very kind of thing her spell was supposed to expose). 4Kids never bothered to cover this up at all. It had been originally a plasma sphere, and one can assume that 4K changed it because it was violent. (Here's a video.)
    • A rather extreme example: in S3, Icy supposedly gets a new fire power from the season's Big Bad and boasts about it. Yet just a few minutes later, she attacks Bloom (who has a similar fire power, only more powerful) with nothing but her usual ice attacks. Lather, rinse, repeat for the whole season. So you're thinking that they wasted a perfectly good power, right? But the original version doesn't have Icy boasting about a new power, and the fire was just there for show, so to speak. Clip.
    • Minor example: An angry "Stella" is looking for "her" ring. Bloom comes in, so "Stella" asks Bloom about it. Her response differs: In the original, Bloom is confused at Stella's sudden anger and says "Calm down okay? Let's sit down and talk"; in the 4Kids dub, she says, "You gave it to me last night; you said to keep an eye on it." In either case, her response is met with an attack; understandable in the original, not so much in the dub. And at the end, "Stella" turns out to be Darcy, who seems more likely to just nicely ask Bloom for the ring than randomly attack her. (6:38 in the video)
  • In one episode of DuckTales[context?] , Fenton Crackshell tries to disguise himself as Scrooge. The nephews tell him that he also has to sound like Scrooge. In the original English version, this means of course that Fenton has to imitate a Scottish accent. In the German dub, he starts speaking in a ridiculous undefinable accent, turning this scene into a Non Sequitur Scene. The initial problem responsible for all this is of course, that Scrooge has no accent in the German dub.
  • Latin American's Dub of Gargoyles, while being really, really good; committed one terrible and silly mistake. The gargoyles receive their name in the future, and are named after places of the modern USA (Ex: Bronx). Yet, we see them call themselves BY THOSE NAMES in the flashbacks of the past. Is quite silly seeing someone named Hudson in the year 988 in Scotland.
    • Also, "Demona" is called by that name by the other gargoyles, even when they shouldn't have known humans had named her that.
  • Hungary's dub of Kim Possible suffered from various problems, but the clueless translation was the worst offender. For example, in an early episode, Kim's sitting detention, and one of her mates makes a remark about the nanobot on her nose, thinking it to be a zit. In the dub, he instead asks "You've been busted?", to which the other guy replies "Cheerleaders don't have zits".
  • The English dub of Kaeloo screwed up the main character's sex. She was re-dubbed into a male until the 11th episode in which someone finally called her a she, then proceeded to point it out in an argument over who gets to play the (male) lead in a role playing game. Since that episode, she's been consistently referred to as a she. None of the prior episodes were fixed to reflect this, and the change in gender pronouns is treated as if everyone had always known what equipment she had down there.
  • The Japanese dub of Transformers Animated renamed Bulkhead "Ironhide" to make him more recognizable to the audience of the movie. This caused a problem when the actual Ironhide appeared in the second season, with an appearance actually based on his G1 incarnation. The Japanese dub renamed this Ironhide "Armorhide".
  • In the Russian dub of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Princess Luna", "Nightmare Moon" and "Mare in the Moon" are all translated as "Lunnaya Poni" (Moon Pony), with ensuing hilarity like "You are the Moon PonyMoon Pony!".
    • The Hungarian dub doesn't translate the names, but neither does it bother to translate titles (such as "Mare in the Moon"), leading to a very bizarre dub, where the characters seem to be arbitrarily switching between languages. Promo material explains that "The ponies have beautiful English names", but... what sense does that make?
  • The Japanese dub of South Park removed the episode "A Ladder to Heaven", probably due to cultural sensitivity. However, like the Legend of Dratini example above, this created sort of a problem whenever Cartman would get briefly possessed by Kenny (in the episode, he drank Kenny's ashes after mistaking them for chocolate milk mix).
  • The Mandarin Chinese dub of Peppa Pig translates Granny Pig as Peppa's paternal grandmother (the two words are different in Chinese). There's no explanation of why her attic is full of Mummy Pig's childhood toys.
  • A minor example but in the Miraculous Ladybug episode "The Puppeteer", it initially takes Marinette a minute to recognize The Puppeteer is Manon since she's puppeteering Lady Wifi. Lady Wifi talks with her own voice (if not childishly) and it isn't until she says things only Manon would know that Marinette realizes who it is. This makes no sense in the Italian dub where Puppeteer (i.e. Manon) uses her own voice to talk through the villains (this also applies to Chat Noir later), so the only explanation for Marinette not recognizing Manon immediately is shock.
  1. You could say that his brother had his soul taken by the Oreichalcos, like the rest, but then that doesn't explain why does his spirit literally enters Alister's body soon after
  2. Takara has since declared that Galaxy Force is in continuity with Super Link. It's best not to think too hard about Transformers Continuity
  3. The English manga even has Bido recognize the simlarities between the "condescending laugh" of the first Greed and the second, so he might have recognized him there too.
  4. They even managed to put in a small Woolseyism: In one scene, Spencer's instructions cause a confused Carrie to pronounce talk like tag. In the dubbed version, Carrie pronounces it like the similarly spelled German word Talk ( = talc).
  5. except for the brothers' Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing profile, which reverted to the Japanese backstory
  6. He, and all Nopon, ends every sentence with も. He would often have a sentence that ended in い before the tic is applied, common due to most Japanese adjectives ending in い, and continually say いも (potato)