Ascended Fanon

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
"Do to them what you do to us at times like that. [...] Tell them what you're doing but not why. Then let them speculate. Listen to them as they speculate. When they come up with an idea you really, really like, tell them 'You finally guessed right. That was my reasoning all along."'
Hobbie Klivian, X Wing Series

The case of the fan's explanations becoming Canon.

Fanon is "promoted" to Canon mainly because the theme or subject of the fanon had not been planned out by the author beforehand. Whether it's officially shown in a canon work is another matter, but most of the time the author sees some minutiae they hadn't thought too much of themselves as a decent enough explanation that they don't mind and don't want to joss it into oblivion. This is much more common in amateur works, such as Fanfic and Web Comics, which often aren't planned from the start.

Small Doujin companies are infamous for this sort of thing, as their characters are designed and occasionally modified accordingly to appeal to their fanbase.

If a particular work has a long and continuous run, fanon may be promoted to canon because a Promoted Fanboy is now calling all the shots. Longer running works, especially Shared Universes and/or those that entered the Show of Theseus stage, may have commonly accepted fanon canonized by accident as a result of the creators not realizing something wasn't official.

When this happens between fictional characters, it's a Sure, Let's Go with That. When it's built into the story, it's Schrödinger's Gun. You could argue this is the creators' decision to Throw It In.

Compare with I Knew It! (where the crazy fan explanation happens to match the one the author had planned all along), Ascended Meme (where this happens to memes), Word of Dante (where fans believe the fan explanation is from the author but it's bnot), Canon Immigrant (when elements of an officially licensed non-canon/Expanded Universe source find their way into official canon), Beam Me Up, Scotty (where the phrase that's well known was never uttered in canon), Official Fan-Submitted Content, Approval of God (where a creator likes a fan work but doesn't make it into canon).

Contrast Jossed (when popular fan theories are explicitly sunk by Word of God or onscreen events).

Inverse of "Shrug of God". This is the screenwriter's version of Schrödinger's Gun. Compare Writing by the Seat of Your Pants, when the author takes suggestions from himself as he goes along.

Examples of Ascended Fanon include:

Anime and Manga

  • The author of One Piece has a question and answer column, but half of the time when someone asks about a fact he'll agree with any reasonable guess the writer makes (for instance several of the main characters' birthdays).

Fan: "Chopper's birthday should be December 24th."
Odacchi: "Okay."

    • At one point, a fan noted that one of the villians of the show, Rob Lucci, had a name that that could be interpreted as "To rob the light" based on the (inaccurate) fact that Lucci is the Italian word for light. Oda's response was to the general effect of:

"You know me. I'm the guy who comes up with the deep meaningful names. Yep. In fact, "Rob Lucci" even means "steal the light," or SO I HEAR (had no idea)."

  • The authors of Kinnikuman routinely adapted fan suggested characters into the story, both minor and major.
    • Same goes for Kongoh Bancho, where several fan-characters have gone on to become both minor and major antagonists.
  • During the first season, fans of Code Geass joked that Lelouch's maid Sayoko was secretly a ninja, explaining the occasional flashes of competence seen behind her quiet exterior. Between seasons the staff acknowledged the joke, and in R2 it's revealed that she is in fact the heiress to the Shinozaki ninja clan.
    • Denied by herself, though. She's an "SP". Which is to say, while she practices ninja martial arts, from assuming the identity of other people, and using throwing knives with deadly accuracy... She doesn't assassinate people or spy on anyone, she's just Lelouch and Nunnally's bodyguard. Or as the Japanese say, an SP or Security Police.
    • Somebody made a gag comic in which the Emperor delivers a speech about breasts.[1] Norio Wakamoto, the Emperor's voice actor, made a Gag Dub of said speech word for word.
  • The author of Saiyuki, previous to the Animated Adaptation, wrote down in Cho Hakkai's character profile "voiced by Akira Ishida" as a joke, not expecting to be taken seriously, and was pleasantly surprised that her casting suggestion was accepted.
  • Dragon Ball fanfiction has given Vegeta enough long-lost siblings to populate a galaxy (and then some). The 2008 special went ahead and ran with that premise.
  • The opening scene of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was what the last story arc was originally planned to be like, but re-writes ended up making it a total mystery. When the staff was asked the fan-theory that the opening was an Alternate Continuity where Simon ignores the Anti-Spiral's plea to stop overusing spiral power and the scene is right before he causes the Spiral Nemesis this was reportedly their response.
  • In Digimon Tamers, fans mentioned to the writer Chiaki J. Konaka, that clearly the character of Alice was a ghost. Konaka originally didn't intend this when he wrote it but when he looked back; admits that's a very possible theory on his webpage.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn: "Hibird" was the fan nickname for Hibari's unnamed pet bird. Upon hearing this, Akira Amano just made it canon, finding the nickname cute.


Comic Books

  • Marvel Comics would often get reader mail that would try to explain away some of the continuity or logical fallacies in the stories. A sufficiently clever explanation would win the fan a "No Prize". When some apparently-not-so-clever fans started writing in asking when they would receive their No Prize, Marvel responded to them by mailing them... an empty envelope. Sadly, this practice has fallen to the wayside, though oddly, the empty "No Prize" envelope is considered of some value by the more hardcore fans.
  • The return of Stephanie Brown to the Batman universe used the Retcon that Leslie Thompkins had not basically killed Steph as we were led to believe, but rather faked her death and dragged her off to hide out in Africa with her where she'd be safe from psychos in costumes. Decide for yourself whether this was simply the most obvious fix, or whether the legion of forum threads and fix-it fanfics using this exact scenario during the intervening years of her death inspired DC.
  • Ravage in Transformers: Shattered Glass was originally invented by Dave Willis to star in a couple of Shortpacked strips, and later got Facebook and Twitter pages as a joke. He ended up so popular that the writers incorporated him into the real comic.
  • The Disney/Boom Comics Darkwing Duck series reveals that DW had been receiving a stipend from the S.H.U.S.H. agency—one of the more popular theories as to how he could be Darkwing and lead a family life as Drake Mallard with no apparent job.
  • The Fan Nickname "Clor" for the clone of Thor from Civil War got used in the recap page of Ant-Man and the Wasp, which is from current Ant-Man Eric O'Grad's POV. Officially though, the character's name is Ragnarok.
  • When Animal Man meets his writer, Grant Morrison, the latter expressed regret that he didn't have time to use a few ideas some of the fans suggested (it was his last issue), namely to have Buddy fight animal-themed villains and his polar opposite, a Complete Monster who finds pleasure in animal cruelty. To make up for that Morrison makes them both materialize out of thin air and attack Animal Man, while he is thanking everybody he worked with on the series. On the related note, he also mentioned that Buddy is what writers wants him to be, so if they'll decide to make him eat meat, he will. Next writer on the series decided to play with that and wrote a story where Buddy copies the abilities of a lion, its overcome by its instincts and tries to eat a gazelle.
  • This was the exact reason we have the explanation for the origin of Captain America's legendary shield. A fan by the name of "Fred Janssen" wrote in to the 60's-era Captain America comic with a theory involving Dr. Myron McClain and his work with Adamantium and Vibranium, the fictional super alloys in the Marvel Universe. Marvel liked the idea so much that, with a bit of altering, they took it and ran with it!
  • The controversial Spider-Man story Sins Past revealed that in the past, Gwen Stacy slept with Norman Osborn, without revealing when or why. Big Name Fan J.R. "Madgoblin" Fettinger pored through his back issues and found a time when it could have happened and a reason why she might have done so at that point in time; namely, that Osborn had saved her father from the Kingpin, she had gone to see him to thank him, and one thing led to another. After posting this theory on his website, here, some of Marvel's writers found it and decided it worked, so they canonized it.
  • It was a fan theory that the Marvel Universe is called Earth-616 because Fantastic Four #1 (the first Marvel Universe comic) came out in 1961 in month 6. Neither the explanation nor the date of FF 1 is actually true, but in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe other universes were numbered based on their first appearances and using this scheme.


Fan Works

Poster: "So, given Unit 05's original personality, I would not be surprised if Stephen Colbert was the President of the United States in this story."
Gregg: "It's canon in my book!" (President Colbert later makes an appearance in the story.)


Film

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End featured one of these when Keith Richards was written into the film as Captain Teague, Keeper of the Code and Jack Sparrow's father after, as Terry Rossio put it, "the world collectively woke up one day and decided that Keith Richards was going to be in these films." This was likely due to Johnny Depp discussing it in interviews, since he was an influence of Depp's portrayal of Jack Sparrow.
    • It happened again in the same film with Barbossa's first name becoming "Hector", an idea that was worked out privately with Depp and Rush while filming Curse of the Black Pearl, and caught on with fans after Depp mentioned it in the DVD's commentary.
    • Also happened with the minor character of Lt. Theodore Groves, played by Greg Ellis—he was just "Groves" in the first movie, but fans took a shine to him and gave him a first name and a backstory, much to the actor's surprise and delight, and the creators were onboard.
  • In Transformers (2007), a very common fan theory was that Starscream was among the F-22s that fire on Megatron in the climax. The producers haven't said definitely that it's canon, but their stance so far has been "Sure, why not?"
    • The tie-in comic The Reign of Starscream acknowledged this by having Starscream consider it, but decide not to.
    • When one of the writers was answering fans' questions in a forum topic on the movie's website, he was asked how Bumblebee was suddenly able to speak at the end of the movie. His answer was that the healing laser Ratchet used earlier in the movie had repaired Bumblebee's vocal processor. When another fan suggested that Bumblebee was healed by the Allspark, which was clearly shown to heal another damaged Transformer earlier in the movie, the writer admitted that that explanation did make more sense than his answer.
  • Star Trek canonizes Uhura's first name of Nyota, which was actually invented by fan William Rotsler and endorsed by Nichelle Nichols, and had been generally adopted for years. Though, technically it's only known to be her name in the alternate timeline of the movie, not the original one...
    • The same movie canonized the names George and Winona for James T. Kirk's parents, coined in a novel by Vonda McIntyre.
    • Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country finally made official Sulu's personal name of Hikaru, which was the most popular one used since Vonda McIntyre gave it to him in another novel a decade earlier.
    • Kirk being from Iowa was fanon before Star Trek IV the Voyage Home. Someone told Nicholas Meyer, who was one of the film's writers, that Kirk was from Iowa. Consequently, it ended up in the film and became canon.
  • Boba Fett from Star Wars has maybe 20 minutes total screen time in the original trilogy, gets knocked into a pit by a blind guy, but has been written about so much in the Expanded Universe to the point where George Lucas himself has promoted him clawing his way out of the Sarlacc to canon with little more than "sure, why not?"
    • His page on the Wookiepedia.
    • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn created the name "Coruscant" for the galactic capital planet, which had previously been called simply "Imperial Center". When Lucas decided to portray the planet in the prequel trilogy, he was presuaded to use the name "Coruscant".
      • It was also used in other Expanded Universe titles, such as the Illustrated Guide to the Star Wars Galaxy and Essential Guide to Planets and Moons. Its name of Imperial Center was explained as a case of Please Select New City Name.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings features an Elf in the Council of Elrond scene who is literally onscreen for 3 seconds, says nothing and is barely noticeable standing behind Legolas. But fans, being fans, latched on to this character (played by Bret MacKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame) and formed stories and relationships around him, bestowing upon him the name "Figwit" (an acronym for "Frodo is great... who is that?!"). So big was his fanbase that he was brought back for Return of the King, actually given a couple of lines and in the commentary is referred to as "Figwit" by the filmmakers.
    • He's even in the credits as "Figwit". And he had his own card in the Lot R TCG, under Figwit.
  • The Phantasm "phandom" has long used term "Sentinel Spheres" to refer to the silver spheres. They are occasionally referred to as such by Don Coscarelli during the DVD commentaries as well, suggesting that he's adopted this term for them.
  • When an aficionado asked the creator of the Na'vi language from Avatar if the word for 'star' (tanhì; pl. sanhì) also was used for the Na'vi bioluminescent freckles, he said sure, why not.
  • The very last scene of The Grifters is a distant shot of Anjelica Huston's character driving away down a dark street. Just before the Fade to Black, a man dressed similarly to John Cusack's character runs across the street. When someone asked the producer, Martin Scorsese, if it was Cusack's character, he reportedly replied, "Sure, Why Not?" In actuality, it was just some random civilian who wasn't supposed to be in the shot.
  • Subverted in The Birds in classic Hitch style. Suzanne Pleshette, who played Annie, suggested for her character's death that her ear should be found half torn off and bloody. Hitchcock sent her to the makeup department to let them make her ear look like that, but when filming the actual scene placed her body with her other side facing the camera so that the viewer never sees the torn off ear.
  • There was a popular fan theory that the little boy in an Iron Man mask from Iron Man 2 was a young Peter Parker. Tom Holland, who was cast as Parker when Spider-Man was brought back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, heard about this, he liked the idea so much he convinced Spider-Man: Homecoming producer (and Marvel Studios president) Kevin Feige to let him declare this to be Canon.


Literature

  • In Piers Anthony's Xanth series, Prince Dolph (who is still a child) manages to find himself engaged to two different women, both of whom have to marry him Because Destiny Says So; one, Nada Naga, because of a prophecy, and the other, Electra, because she's under a curse that will kill her if Dolph doesn't go through with the marriage. Obviously, he can't marry them both (though Dolph doesn't understand why not), and to make matters worse, although Dolph prefers Nada, she would much rather be Just Friends, while Electra really does love him (even if it's magically compelled). Piers Anthony's originally planned resolution, to occur in a later book in the series, was to have him marry Electra, divorce her one day later, and then marry Nada, who will get around the whole "not in love" thing by voluntarily drinking a Love Potion. However, a reader spotted a loophole in the prophecy—to "marry" someone can also mean to perform their wedding ceremony. After reading this fan's letter, Piers Anthony quickly rewrote the ending, and Dolph and Electra lived Happily Ever After.
    • Anthony has openly allowed the Xanth fandom to run the asylum through write-in submissions for years, so there are many other examples of readers' suggestions becoming Canon.
    • It would be remiss to mention Xanth Fanon and not mention the puns, which are a form of Ascended Fanon all of their own. Early in the Xanth series, a few puns worked their way into the stories. A few young readers sent in pun suggestions, which Piers Anthony included in the next novel in the series and mentioned the readers by name in the author notes. Now Xanth is known for being full of these puns, which have directly and completely shaped the world, taking it from a rather static fantasy world to something decidedly more, and Piers Anthony is now known for his ungodly huge (chapter-sized) author notes thanking every single reader for every single pun he uses.
      • To the point where he has spent the last several books asking his readers to ease off. He's repeatedly said the books would be much easier to write if the readers stopped trying to help him.
  • In later Harry Potter books, after The Film of the Book made "I shouldn't 'ave said that!" into Hagrid's Catch Phrase, it then became one in the books as well.
    • This has also been used for more minor errors, like when it was brought to her attention that Marcus Flint seemed to have repeated a year. Her response: "Either I made a mistake or he failed his exams and repeated a year. I think I prefer Marcus making the mistake."
    • Near the end of Deathly Hallows, a singing Peeves uses the name "Voldy" to refer to Voldemort. The fandom invented this dismissive name: Rowling said on her official site that she "thought it was very amusing when [she] found a chat room full of people calling him 'Voldy'."
    • Lupin's facial scars, which are never described in the books, have supposedly been appearing in fanart before his appearance in the third Harry Potter movie.
    • Big time Harry Potter fan John Noe is a huge fan of the Auror Dawlish, who despite getting O's in all his O.W.L.s can be bewitched and hexed by everyone including Neville's grandmother. Dawlish doesn't have a first name, and when Noe interviewed J.K. Rowling, she decided to give him the first name John, being named after John Noe.
    • An interesting shipping example in Harry Potter. About the time Deathly Hallows (the book) came out, Word of God confirmed that Neville Longbottom marries Hufflepuff and future landlady of the Leaky Calderon Hannah Abbott, while Luna goes on to marry Rolf Scamander, grandson of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them author Newt Scamander. But in the Film Of the Book, Neville runs off to confess his love to Luna in the middle of the battle, and in their last shot, they're sitting next to each other smiling.
    • It's unknown whether it's this trope or I Knew It!, but The Draco Trilogy popularized "Malfoy Manor" as the name of Draco Malfoy's family home. Seven years later, the name was used in Deathly Hallows.
  • The case of how Terry Pratchett came up with Hersheba in Discworld. "Say Djelibeybi OUT LOUD. I must have had twenty letters (and one or two emails) from people who didn't twig until the third time round... Oh god...do they have them in the US? Should it have been called Emmenemms, or Hersheba... Hmm, Hersheba... Could USE that, yes, little country near Ephebe..."
  • The Trakata lightsaber combat, Star Wars fanon made canon by Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook.
  • Philip Pullman was once asked why certain minor characters in His Dark Materials have daemons who are the same gender as they are (most people have daemons of opposite gender and the narrative says so). When his questioner asked if it meant that those characters were gay, he basically said "sure, why not"—he had never actually been able to come up with a reason for it.
  • Peter Goldworthy's Maestro features a piano teacher/virtuoso living in Darwin, Australia; having fled the Nazis from his native Vienna. As Maestro is a high-school study favorite in Australia, it spawned a classroom theory that this was intentional on the part of the author: Having fled from Der Wien in Austria to Darwin in Australia was a metaphor showing that the maestro had never really come to terms emotionally with his forced migration. On part of a speaking tour, one high school student finally got to put this theory to the author, and ask if it was true. Peter Goldworthy's memorable response: "It is now."
  • Armistead Maupin had already named his Tales of the City secretly transsexual character Anna Madrigal when a fan pointed out that this name was an anagram for “a man and a girl”. He later had Anna claim that she had chosen her post-op new name specifically to give this "clue".
  • Someone suggested on the facebook of the author of Warrior Cats that there should be a Super Edition about Yellowfang. A few months later, she announced that the next Super Edition would be called Yellowfang's Secret.


Live Action TV

  • In Star Trek, the Klingons' gaining forehead ridges between the original series and the movies and later series has long been a subject of fan speculation. In the Deep Space 9 Time Travel episode "Trials and Tribble-Ations", two popular fan theories are brought up by two non-Klingon characters, but are told by Worf that Klingons don't discuss the situation with outsiders. Eventually, the prequel series Enterprise, which had ridged Klingons, had to tackle not just the "how'd Klingons get ridges?" question, but "how'd Klingons lose their ridges and then get them back?" A multi-part episode shows it happening in a way that actually incorporates both theories.
    • They shot themselves in the foot by having Kor, Kang, and Koloth from the original series show up in Deep Space Nine as modern Klingons.
      • The Fanon theory, which hasn't been endorsed by the powers that be yet, is that they underwent cosmetic surgery in between TOS and DS9.
      • And by not having the Enterprise Klingons look more like the TOS Klingons, which would have simplified the problem.
    • The real reason, which is not hidden, was the low budget of the original series, which was not intended to be so big.
  • The popular Doctor Who fan theory about a series of unaired adventures known as "season 6B" (essentially, that the Second Doctor continued adventuring in some capacity after he was captured but before regenerating at the end of season 6) that is used to plug up continuity holes has been used in some of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe media.
    • Eve Myles' characters Gwyneth and Gwen Cooper were originally meant not to have any relationship to one another, but fans continued to speculate about it. The Series 4 finale briefly "explains" the resemblance as "spatial-genetic multiplicity".
    • Part of the "The Reason You Suck" Speech in "A Good Man Goes to War" sees current executive producer Steven Moffat saying "Sure, why not? to... his past 90s fan self.
    • Fans had long speculated about the possibility of Time Lords regenerating into the opposite sex. In "The Doctor's Wife", a comment by the Doctor regarding the Corsair's past regenerations brings it solidly into canon.
      • The same episode also confirms several fan theories about the TARDIS and her relationship to the Doctor not least that the TARDIS actually is a 'she' (Well, not exactly - it's transferred into a female body, and it apparently has a thing about Rory, but it' doesn't necessarily have a gender), including the popular idea that her unreliability in taking the Doctor where he wants to go is not just due to unreliability, but also because she is taking him to where he is needed or needs to go.
  • After thousands of Torchwood fan fiction stories, Ianto Jones now makes the best cup of coffee in the world, to the extent that it's one of the reasons he got a job at Torchwood in the first place.
    • The name for Torchwood's pet pterodactyl, "Myfanwy", started as an off-screen joke by cast and crew but made it onto the extra-textual website canon if not the show itself.
  • The tendency of Power Rangers fandom to refer to the Power Coins by their totem animal rather than their color has absolutely no basis in the series itself, and its earliest known use was in the fanfics of Joe Rovang. However, as this caused a great deal of confusion when discussing different sets of coins with the same color, his precedent was followed above the show's. This is particularly apparent when Disney's official site for PR uses "Dragon Coin" for the Green Ranger's Power Coin, as Rov did, rather than "Dragonzord Coin" as the morphing call used in every episode featuring the Green Ranger would imply.
    • As it only originated in obscure production documents from Saban Entertainment, Billy's surname of "Cranston" was known mostly by fans and not even staff members of the series. When Disney later culled the knowledge of those selfsame fans to construct their official site they just ran with it. This also led to the Ascended Fanon status of Jen and Katie's surnames from Power Rangers Time Force.
    • In Power Rangers SPD, among the A-Squad members, only Charlie was actually named, so the fans made up names for the other four and the creators agreed, even though the names themselves were never mentioned on-screen.
  • Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter of Stargate SG-1 were originally not intended to have romantic feelings for each other. Only when the fans began the Jack/Sam ship did the show writers realize that, indeed, the chemistry was there, and began working this into their story. Whether or not it was actually to the benefit of said story, though, is another question.
  • A version of this is said to have happened on Friends. Chandler and Monica were not originally intended to be a couple, but after a few (quite innocent) hints at flirtation between the two characters, a large Shipping fanbase grew sometime during the third season. The two characters had a one-night-stand in the fourth season and ended up marrying.
    • Bigger than that! Some interviews have stated that the original "big coupling" of the series was originally intended to be Monica and Joey (referenced later in an episode where Monica admitted that when she slept with Chandler the first time, she was looking for Joey). However, fan response to the slight detail that Ross was attracted to Rachel in school resulted in the largest arc of the entire series.
      • Given that Ross confessing his crush and Rachel agreeing to go out with him sometime took place in the pilot, it seems dubious that their arc was entirely fan-driven.
  • The unnamed bearded man who kidnapped Walt in season 1 of Lost was given the nickname "Mr. Friendly" by the writers (because of his polite demeanor), a nickname which caught on with fans. Even after his name was revealed as Tom, press releases continued calling him Mr. Friendly. At Comic-Con 2010, the Lost writers just shrugged their shoulders and gave the character's official full name as "Tom Friendly".
    • Another instance also involves Tom: at one point he mentioned that Kate, the show's most desired woman, was "not his type". Immediately fans began a running joke that he was gay. The actor heard about it and liked it, and started playing Tom that way (albeit subtly). Eventually the writers even put it in the script.
  • The characters Cecily and Halfrek in Buffy the Vampire Slayer weren't supposed to have anything to do with each other other than both being played by Kali Rocha, but after many fans theorized that Halfrek (a demon) could have been undercover as Cecily, the writers made a small referrence to it, and got its own story in one of the comics.
  • Happening quite a lot lately in Glee. In order, there's Finn's mom and Kurt's dad getting together, Rachel and Puck hook up once again (as well as the Ascended Meme that is Puckleberry) and Artie finally having a dance number.
    • And then there's Santana and Brittany's Relationship Upgrade, which started out as a Fanon theory before proceeding to inside joke for the fandom and then to a full-blown storyline.
    • "Heart" gives us two more in Sugar and Rory as well as Karofsky being in love with Kurt
  • In Community, the overwhelming fan response to the semi-accidental Jeff/Annie pairing seems to have influenced writers to have Jeff/Annie make out in the season 1 finale.
  • In Law and Order Special Victims Unit, the Les Yay between Alex and Olivia was originally unintentional. Neal Baer, the executive producer, read about the Fan Yay fanbase that was developing about them, and worked it in, giving them more scenes together and more hints that they might be discreetly together. To the point where even Stephanie March (Alex's actor) has said that it is possible that they are just very quietly in love, it being a Law and Order and all.
  • In Desperate Housewives season five finale Mike gets married to a woman, whose identity isn't revealed. The woman was supposed to be Katherine, but because of insisting fans plans were remade and Susan became the bride.
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Shadow Dancing", a ritual (one of the 333 Minbari marriage rituals) is mentioned whereby Delenn must watch Sheridan while he is sleeping in order to see his "True Face." A Usenet user commented "So a man's true face is all mushed up against the pillow and drooling?". A few months later, this is referenced in the episode "Atonement" by Sheridan when the ritual is performed.
    • Zack's comments about his uniform not fitting properly were taken verbatim from his actor's complaints (which he was astonished JMS knew about). Similarly, actor Bil Mumy was the one who decided that Lennier (whom he played) was in love with Delenn, and sold JMS on the idea of making it canon.
  • In a host segment of the Jungle Goddess Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, Joel introduces the bots as Jackie Gleason did with his fellow cast members at the end of every episode of The Honeymooners, prompting him to introduce Crow as "Art Crow!" (a reference to Art Carney). A child fan of the show missed the reference and sent Best Brains a drawing of the cast labelling Crow as "Art" under the impression that that was his actual name. The letter was shown on the show and ever since Crow was occasionally called "Art" (usually by Pearl Forrester) as a Running Gag.
  • A rather startlingly large example with Dawson's Creek: Dawson and Joey were originally supposed to be the Official Couple who ended up together long-term, with Pacey as merely a funny Reckless Sidekick. However, Joey and Pacey eventually became the Fan-Preferred Couple to a strong degree, and as a result, they end up together in the series finale.
  • Neil Flynn of Scrubs was reportedly asked if J.D.'s inexplicable crippling fear of pennies stemmed from the infamous "penny in the door" that began the perpetual feud with Flynn's Janitor. His response: "I have no idea who you are or where you come from, but sure, why not?"
    • The character "The Todd" originally had no last name. That was until a fan noticed that he was wearing a nametag with the name Quinlan. This was just a random prop, but thanks to this fan he is official Dr. Quinlan.
  • On The Vampire Diaries, Caroline and Klaus's budding relationship seems to be a result of an almost Crack Pairing that was popular in fanfiction.
  • The city the North American half of Highlander takes place in was officially named Seacouver after fans began using the name to refer to the previously unnamed city.


Music

  • The song "Alive" by Pearl Jam, wherein the lyrics are about a widowed woman who grows sexually attracted to her son because he looks just like his deceased father, a textbook example of Lyrical Dissonance. This hasn't stopped fans from embracing it as an anthem of celebrating life. Eddie Vedder, having written the song partly from his own experience, gradually found that what he saw as the "curse" of the song had been lifted by fans' more uplifting interpretation.
  • "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix; the lyric "excuse me while I kiss the sky" was so commonly heard as "excuse me while I kiss this guy," that Hendrix changed it. He was also known to point and kiss in the direction of a guy (usually his tour manager) immediately after singing the line.
    • This is the same case with "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The actual lyric is "There's a bad moon on the rise," but it was often misheard as "There's a bathroom on the right." John Fogerty has been known to sing this line in live performances of "Bad Moon Rising."
    • Likewise, in They Might Be Giants' song "Ana Ng" the line "Where the world goes by like the humid air" is often misheard as "Where the world goes by like the human hair." They occasionally sing the mondegreen instead of the original line live.
    • Also "Come Together" by The Beatles the line "Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease" was originaly supposed to be "Hold you in his arms yeah" but it was so commonly misheard that the Blue Album had the former on its inner sleeve, and John Lennon liked the former lyric more and so all of the covers of the song has the words "his armchair".
  • Music software, but music nonetheless. Crypton's Rin and Len Kagamine Vocaloids were originally supposed to be mirror personalities of each other, but fans interpreted them as twins. Crypton responded accordingly.
    • Also Haku Yowane and Neru Akita, fan-created Vocaloids that have been acknowledged by Crypton as semi-official, to the point that they're making an appearance in Miku's game, Project Diva.
  • A statue of Frank Zappa in Vilnius, Lithuania, basically has this as its backstory.
  • Devo's "Whip It" was originally meant to be a inspirational song addressed to President Jimmy Carter. Naturally, though, people thought it was an Obligatory Bondage Song or about A Date with Rosie Palms. This amused them, and they kind of enforced the first interpretation with the music video.

Jerry Casale: "We didn't want to ruin it and tell them the truth, because they just wouldn't get off on the truth."

  • After the chorus of Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene" was famously misheard as "I'm a little man, and I'm also evil, also into cats," friend of FOB member Pete Wentz and frontman of Cobra Starship Gabe Saporta made a Youtube video where he showed off a fake tattoo of a cat and said he got it because he was "also into cats."


Newspaper Comics

  • Without meaning to, Scott Adams made Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light, look similar to Dilbert's boss. A reader asked if they were brothers, and Adams decided to indicate as much in a mini-arc.
    • When Adams wrote a week-long series involving a cat character that he didn't intend to use again, he got a flood of fan emails not only wanting to see more of the cat, but all calling him "Catbert" even though Adams never named him. Adams himself said "When a group of fans spontaneously and unanimously name a character for you, it's a good idea to keep him."


Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40,000 / WH40RPG
    • Tthe Obelisks of Galahar that became central to the Craftworld Eldar objective were originally the creation of a player called Sabbad. Also, no fewer than 3 fan craftworlds (Tyriande, Vassiera, and Reia-Hal) were promoted to canon in the campaign summary.
    • There are also multiple (probable) nods to the fanfic Love Can Bloom in one of the Dark Heresy sourcebooks. Among others: LIIVI, the Vindicare Assassin, speaking a quote straight out of the game in Dark Heresy: Ascension. One of the chapters even depicts a Vindicare stalking an Eldar Farseer.
      • Another fan-made character, adept Castus Grendel from Dark Heresy game logs The Guy Who Cried Grendel who, despite having neither good strength nor combat skills, managed with some lucky rolls to defeat several Daemons, an Ork warboss and assorted other big nasties). Referenced in Radical's Handbook (in the part chosen for preview, at that), along with some exploits and companions. Knowledge is Power also mentions some Adept Grendel working for Malleus in the same area, but says he's a psyker.
  • In the Warhammer Fantasy Battle Storm of Chaos campaign, the members of an Orc fansite and forum (Da Warpath) were getting increasingly annoyed (and increasingly vocal) about being sidelined in the campaign background. Some members were also writing background pieces and fan rules, such as Da Demolisher, one of the Orc Warbosses, falling off a bridge on his boar and the use of the Squigcannon of Gork. Then some of the later campaign newsletters came out, with references to an Orc Warboss falling off a bridge on a boar and squig-firing cannon...
  • Heck, any Game Masters worth their salt under any system turn on their listening ears when their players enter a Wild Mass Guessing phase or burn the carefully-crafted plot down, at which point it usually overlaps with Throw It In. It makes the players feel smart.
    • And if they burn down your carefully crafted plot, this is a really easy way to construct a new one: let your players do it for you!
  • Exalted actually had an accidental case of Ascended Fanon. It was a common fan belief that the Three Spheres Cataclysm destroyed 90% of reality; one writer confused this for canon, wrote it into "Dreams of the First Age", and has been apologising for it ever since.


Theme Parks

  • The names of the Hitchhiking Ghosts at The Haunted Mansion at Disney Theme Parks (Gus, Ezra, and Phinneas) were thought up by Cast Members, and eventually became popular enough in Fanon that it was semi-officially adopted.


Toys

  • In Bionicle, a previously unnamed team of heroes, with mostly unnamed members, was used to explain a bizarre similarity in names. A volcano that housed the fire village and the Big Bad's lair were called Mangai and Mangaia, respectively. A fan had the idea that the aforementioned team be called the Toa Mangai, Mangai meaning protector, with the volcano being named after them. Mangaia would then be an archaic version of the same word, the lair being named that before the Big Bad's Face Heel Turn. This led to many of the island's locations being retconned into the names of fallen friends of the village leaders.
    • It's actually semi-common, as the head writer is pretty active in the fanbase. A higher-profile example is that a group called the Piraka used turrets called Nektann, and when another member of their race showed up in a story, a fan suggested "Hey, maybe the turrets were named after him?" The writer was like, "Okay", and wrote the newly-christened Nektann into a web story to make it official. A couple years later, it was promoted to the toyline when Lego made a new Piraka toy that didn't match any of the existing characters, so it was decided that it would be Nektann.
    • This phenomenon has elevated to such heights that the fans have formed an official Story Squad that lets people vote for whichever new idea they would like to make canon. If the "Aye"s outweigh the "Nay"s, the proposals are taken to official story writer Greg Farshtey, who then approves them, but only if they are to his liking. As with many things, this upsets a number of fans, since the majority of voters also have a "Sure, why not?" attitude.
  • This appears to be pretty much what happened to the toyline-only Beast Wars character Sonar. Due to a gender-neutral bio, it was eventually labeled female by fans, and then it appeared in the official BotCon comics, and everything else followed suit.
  • Another Transformers example is the fact that Decepticons who turn into planes are referred to as Seekers. This term was possibly invented by the fandom and got adopted as the official term, but there are still questions over whether an old catalog advertisement citing them as "Decepticon Seekers" influenced the use of the term years later.
  • In Masters of the Universe the race of the pre-accident Skeletor blue elf Keldor is known as "Gar" and has been officially refrenced as such in the Classics toyline bios. This is because in the 2002 MYP Cartoon series there is an island called Anwat Gar. This is a clever play on the name of the asian city of Angor Wat. The only resident of Anwat Gar is Sy Klone, a character based on the vintage toy that happens to have a blue face. So it is reasoned by the fans that Sy Klone must be a blue elf, (by virtue of his skin colour) like Keldor. And wouldnt "Gar" be an obvious name for the race, since it could be reasoned that Anwat Gar sounds kinda like it could be a foreign term for "City of Gar" or something like that? After years of common usage by fans on fansites, ect, Mattel decided "sure, why not?"


Video Games

  • The entire Grand Theft Auto franchise came from this trope. Originally, the game was supposed to be a racing game, and the cops would pull people over. When the game was tested, a bug in the AI cop logic made the cops extremely aggressive. Testers ignored the race goals and started trying to challenge the cops. The games developer saw this and Grand Theft Auto was born from their "Sure, why not?" moment.
    • A moment that some say was for the worse in terms of the gaming word...However your opinion WILL be different here depending on your views.
  • Sometimes developers can do this to themselves. In the Hard Rain campaign of Left 4 Dead 2, the players must navigate an abandoned sugar refinery. During development, Valve found that there were an unusually high number of Witches spawning in the zone. They like the glitch, and made it canon that Witches are attracted to the scent of sugar.
    • Similarly, during the development of Half Life 2: Episode 1, a small joke ended up in the game due to a glitch. During a scene where the player and Alyx are about to be thrown over a chasm by Dog, Alyx reassures the player by saying that, as a robot, he has done the math. Then she quietly asks him if he has done the math. During playtesting, right after she had said it, a glitch caused Dog's head to shake. The playtester assumed this was supposed to happen and laughed at the perceived joke. Valve quickly made that not a glitch.
      • Not a glitch. Dog's idle animation is for him to shake his head, and it timed perfectly with the question.
  • The DS originally stood for "Developer's System", as units released at that time were purely for developers to use in their production process (the intended name for the final market product being "Nintendo Nitro".) The press kept insisting it stood for "Dual Screen", so Nintendo- realising that they were already getting brand-name recognition from it- just made DS the official name.
    • Another theory: the name "Developer's System" only came about because of a misinterpretation of what was said in an interview about how easy the DS was to develop for, but the internet took the quote and ran with it until suddenly it became the name many people thought DS originally stood for.
    • This happened AGAIN with the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo released a statement saying it would not be called the 3DS when it launched, but it got so much publicity as the 3DS that they released it under that name anyway.
  • Although Betrayal at Krondor, an RPG based on The Riftwar Cycle, was produced and made with Feist's blessings and under his watchful eye, the in-game texts and the story itself were in fact not written by him, as the common misconception is. Neal Hallford takes the credit for coming up with the story, which was later canonised by Feist in a Novelization.
  • ZUN, creator of Touhou, is notorious for this, being both highly aware of the gargantuan fandom that has arisen around the games as well as equally willing to add things he likes. Probably the most famous examples both involve characters from The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Hong Meiling and two unnamed mid-bosses:
    • For the former, for a long time fans could never decide what Hong's name was, as it could be read as either Japanese or Mandarin, so they decided to call her China. At the same time that ZUN confirmed her name was actually Hong Meiling, he also said he calls her China as well, and the name remains popular.
    • For the latter, the mid-bosses of Stage 2 and Stage 4 were never identified despite their unique sprites, with no dialogue, character profiles or even names, and after they became disproportionately popular they were given the Fan Nicknames Daiyousei (big/great fairy) and Koakuma (little devil) respectively. ZUN then used those names himself when referring to them, though he said that they were the names of types of youkai and not those individuals specifically. This one is mostly ignored however, as the personalities he described them as possessing (impetuous, selfish and mischievous like most low-level youkai) was completely antithetical to the ones fans had devised.
  • Fans of Chrono Trigger still aren't sure whether the DS version's reveal that Dalton was the one responsible for the Porre rebellion that may or may not have killed Crono and Marle prior to Chrono Cross is this, "I Knew It!," or a Promoted Fanboy's canonization of his preferred theory.
    • Actually saying whether Crono or Marle are actually dead would make Cross a lot less of a Mind Screw.
  • When Real Bout Fatal Fury Special first appeared, fans dubbed the True Final Boss version of Geese Howard that was found in the game as "Nightmare Geese", due to the fact that you not only fight him in a nightmarish version of his stage, but he literally IS a nightmare due to his overpowered moves and naturally aggressive AI to go with it. When The King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 was released, SNK adapted the moniker of Nightmare Geese to the form of Geese that appeared in that game, and the meaning of the term was changed to mean any form of Geese that is canonically dead.
  • Mortal Kombat games would develop new kinds of fatalities based on false rumors of their existence in earlier chapters.
    • This also led to the creation of the character Ermac, despite messages in the second game which Midway used to deny his existence.
      • Meat, Blaze and Skarlet have a similar story.
    • The revelation of Noob Saibot being the specter form of the original Sub-Zero from MK1 was actually the result of a Midway employee taking suggestions from a fan.
  • Dragon Quest's Yūji Horii explained that the "Zenithia" trilogy (Games 4-6) was never intended: "Each Dragon Quest title represents a fresh start and a new story, so I don't see too much of a connection between the games in the series. I guess it could be said that the imagination of players has brought the titles together in a certain fashion." Judging by some of the commentary and bookshelves in the DS Video Game Remake, they've gone "Why not?"
    • There is also the case of the first game's villain, the Dragonlord. He goes down pretty quickly in the Japanese version; but then his pet Superdragon attacks you. The western translation had him turning into this final form. Later depictions in Dragon Quest Monsters and Dragon Quest IX have this be the Dragonlord's true form.
    • In an inverse "developers doing it to themselves" crossed with PAL Bonus and some psuedo-Recursive Import, the English localizations of the games tend to have this effect on the later Japanese rereleases. Much like the Dragonlord example, games that come West get a graphics/sprite overhaul that is usually ported back to Japanese rereleases, with a very specific case of this being Dragon Quest III giving Ortega a proper sprite and a proper opening sequence.
  • Team Fortress 2 fans have suspected every major class update of being the Spy update since Goldrush, on the assumption that Valve would "disguise" it as another class's update (since, after all, that's exactly what the Spy does). That's exactly what they ended up doing.
    • To the Sniper, the backstab target. He then hijacks it back, by throwing a jar of piss on the Spy.
    • The Soldier/Demoman update included a brief comic that revealed several things about the Announcer. First, judging by the page URLs, she's really called the Administrator; second, as fans have long suspected, she serves as announcer for both teams; third, she controls access to the players' unlockable weapons; and fourth, she looks almost exactly like the best-known fan art of her (Valve actually got the original artist's permission to use the character).
    • Pretty much Valve's official policy for Team Fortress 2. Several of the unlockable items come from fan ideas (Bonk! and the Equalizer to name two) and there have been several nods to fan works (this fan-art of the Announcer is now almost canon, simply replace the jacket with a purple one. Also the Sniper's campervan features a bumper sticker mentioning the Swordvan). There is now even a page on the TF website to contribute your own unlockable items.
    • The day before the Sniper/Spy update was released, a user on the Steam Forums posted on how they hoped that the Pyro could light the Sniper's arrows. Valve rushed to add this to the update.
  • The long used Pokémon fan term "Eeveelution" (for the many different evolved forms of Eevee) appears in the second Pokémon Ranger title. While a previous use existed in the TCG (as a deck name), it was the first "in universe" use.
  • The story behind the abbreviation for Blue Mage in Final Fantasy XI is as follows:

1up.com: First, what is the abbreviation of the Blue Mages -- will it be "BLU?"
Hiromichi Tanaka: Thanks, the check's in the mail. We're going to borrow your abbreviation. We didn't have one yet. [laughs]

  • Kamek, the Magikoopa master from Super Mario Bros., has been retroactively established as being in some of the games that featured a Magikoopa since his first appearance in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Yoshi's Safari featured an unnamed Magikoopa as a boss, now he's Kamek's first official appearance. Some appearances by a singular Magikoopa have also been considered Kamek appearances: the Magikoopa who teaches Bowser how to use his abilities and cares for the injured Koopa King in Bowser's Inside Story; the Magikoopa who blasted Mario away from Peach's Castle in Super Mario Galaxy (confirmed by an official trading card); the Magikoopa who was going to be in Mario Kart 64 but was replaced by Donkey Kong; and a Magikoopa who informed Kammy Koopa of Peach's abduction in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The Magikoopa the party fights in Bowser's Keep in Super Mario RPG was intended to be Kamek, which is made more clear by his Japanese Psychopath message, which reads "The baby from that time!?" He's called Kamezard in the Japanese version of the game.
    • More of a case of Did Not Do the Research on Nintendo of America's part. In Japan, "Kamek" is a single character (or species in some games) with minions called Kokameks (Toadies in English). This distinction has for the most part been preserved in non-English translations.
      • Alternatively, this could be considered as an attempt by the localisers to add some internal logic to the series, given the confused nature of Kamek/Magikoopa appearances between Mario games.
  • Whether or not it was intended, some fans of Super Robot Wars believe someone in Banpresto pitched an idea to the staff to compile all their in-house Original Generation characters, Humongous Mecha and storylines from previous games into a new sub-series for the franchise, rather than go with formula and pay the licensing fees for Gundam, Mazinger Z and Getter Robo for another crossover like the last game. Sure enough, Super Robot Wars Original Generation was the result, expanding into two titles for the Game Boy Advance, a Video Game Remake for the PlayStation 2 (with a follow-up sequel), various manga, two animated adaptations, tons of model kits and three Gaiden Games spun off of this new sub-series.
  • Several Abomination units in World of Warcraft have a Scourge Hook ability, that allows them to reel enemies in with their hooks. Abominations in Warcraft 3 did have hooks, but the ability to pull enemies in was originally an ability for an Abomination hero in the popular custom map Defense of the Ancients.
    • Chris Metzen confirmed in a WoW Magazine interview that Bolvar being alive and his expanded role to that of the Lich King was due to the forum speculation about him.
  • At the beginning of the Backyard Sports series, Pablo was just a normal (though often overpowered) character. When the programmers found out about his Memetic Badass status, they put a huge stained glass window of him in Backyard Skateboarding.
  • Occasionally, on the Billy vs. SNAKEMAN forums, someone speculates/jokes about some part of the game world and the game's creator responds "hahaha, that's awesome, and it is now true." (Actual quote of one of those times)
  • On The Consumer's edition Soundrack of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, you'll find the Vocal Version of Bang Shishigami's Theme, Gale, as sung by the Japanese man who voices Bang himself. It was originally Fan Made by the same guy who did Okkusenman.
  • Rumor has it that Rouge the Bat from Sonic Adventure 2 was originally created by a fan. A female fan, nonetheless. Unfortunately, this does nothing to help the problem of "Sonic recolors".
    • On a more related note, the fan use of the name Werehog was so commonplace in both the English and Japanese fandom, that SEGA actually made it its official name (similarly, WereSonic was used to describe the character in the Wii/PS2 version on several occasions).
  • Bob the Snail from Maple Story. For unknown reasons a single level 1 snail, the weakest enemy in the game, would randomly spawn in Drake's Meal Table, a high-level map, right along side level 50+ drakes and other powerful monsters. Fans named the snail Bob and came up with various lore including that he is older than Grendel the Really Old, and that he is actually a hero who protects the world from the drakes. Many of these theories have been stated to be completely true and Bob is now an official boss enemy. Unfortunately, hero or not you still have to kill him for a number of quests.
  • In the Street Fighter series, Guile's military buddy and mentor was originally known by two names: "Nash" in the Japanese versions and "Charlie" in the overseas releases. Certain fans however, liked to render his full name as Charlie Nash (most likely influenced by the live-action Street Fighter film, where Charlie and Blanka were combined into one character named "Charlie Blanka"), a full name which was even adapted into UDON's comic adaptation. In Street Fighter IV, the designers apparently decided to just go with this as Guile can be seen looking at a dog tag that reads "Charlie Nash" (which was likely done to avoid drawing two different versions of the same scene).
    • This one originates in the UDON comic. El Fuerte is introduced picking a fight with T. Hawk, only for the two of them to recognize each other as childhood pals. In Super Street Fighter IV, El Fuerte's got a special intro vid against T. Hawk where he mentions that they're friends but haven't seen each other in a while.
  • Despite BioWare's initial fears, Tali'Zorah and Garrus' popularity from the game Mass Effect exploded and fans demanded they became romance options. BioWare said "sure, why not?" Garrus even invokes the trope during his Relationship Upgrade with Shepard, musing over her interest in him before figuring "Why the hell not?".
  • In the manual for Wing Commander Arena, many of the fighter designations are lifted from those given to craft that previously had no alphanumerical designation, in fan mods.
  • Wild rumors spread, for no apparent reason, of a Secret Cow Level in Diablo. There wasn't one. Blizzard, taking it all in good fun, made "thereisnocowlevel" a cheat code in StarCraft... and then put a Secret Cow Level in Diablo II.
  • In Harvest Moon several names are considered fanon, and most have been not used officially. However, two typical fanon names for the male protagonist are Jack and Pete; Jack became the official name of the protagonist for Save the Homeland and Hero of Leaf Valley games. In a spin-off example, the series Puzzle De Harvest Moon refers to the previously unnamed male protagonist(s) from the original through GBC 2 series as Pete (the names weren't official until GBC 3 and on up).
  • The parody fan game Merry Gear Solid 2 made a joke that Snake still believed in Santa Claus. In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, it's revealed that Snake still believes in Santa Claus. There's no indication from Hideo Kojima as to whether or not he's played Merry Gear Solid, but considering he confesses to looking at fanart and following cosplayers of his own series, it's not too much of a stretch.
  • The in-universe explanation for how the "Girl Power" system works in Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica was a fan-theory that gained approval from series' creator Akira Tsuchiya.
  • in the sound novel Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode 5, Battler learns the truth of Beatrice's games and becomes the Endless Sorcerer. Fans started depicting him wearing a cape similar to Kinzo's to signify his ascension from mere human player to Game Master, and when Episode 6 rolled around, the creator made the fan design official.
  • In Cave Story, it's stated once that the player character's hat has something written on it, but what this writing says is never revealed. When concept art of the beta version was released, fans noted that the protagonist's hat said "Curly Brace"—which was the character's name at that point in development. While, in the finished game the protagonist's name is something different—and Curly Brace is instead the name of an important Guest Star Party Member—fans insisted that his hat still said "Curly Brace" in the finished game. Daisuke Amaya eventually gave his blessing to that particular theory.
  • Roleplayers in EVE Online, having noticed that Caldari names looked like a cross between Finnish and Japanese, created a Caldari language inspired by these two languages (and the few words already mentioned in official sources). The Arek'Jaalan event, whose main character—played by an actor from CCP's staff—is a Caldari scientist who defected to a Minmatar corporation, is named after said character's ship—which means "to make dissidents" in the Lonetrek dialect, also invented by players.
  • Fans of Halo compiled info on the series in a Halo wiki online. While wikis are good, they're not perfect. When the official Halo Encyclopedia was released, it was clear that it had copied material directly from the wiki because it duplicated some of its errors and flawed ways of presenting information. As the Encyclopedia is supposed to be canon, the errors are errors no longer.
    • Not always. Several bits of fanon that had snuck into the pages, such a faction called "the United Rebel Front", or clear errors like the fleet at Reach being 750 ships instead of 314 and there being a First and Second Battle of Earth, were discarded later on the wiki despite being in the Encyclopedia because they were recognized as mistakes.
  • Several gameplay-expanding functions in Fallout: New Vegas, such as the weapon modifications (which allow you to fit certain weapons with scopes, sights and expanded magazines), were directly adapted from fanmade game modules for Fallout 3. Interestingly, while the NV modificationss only worked for a few of the weapons, the original designer went on to make another module for NV that provided a full three improvements for every weapon in the game. Including the DLCs and some more popular modules.
    • Fallout3's Keychain likely drew inspiration from Oblivion's Keychain mod. Before Oblivion's misc. items were all in one place and players would have to scroll through hundreds of keys to get to other misc. items whereas the keychain grouped the keys into one place
      • Skyrim abandoned the keychain in name but there is a section just for keys.
  • Minecraft had beta 1.8 leaked to the public early by mistake. Instead of trying to rectify the problem, Mojang decided to have pre-release versions of the next update revealed to the public from now on in the form of "snapshots". The results were twofold: players can get a sneak peek at new features and bug fixes while Mojang gets feedback from the players about the snapshot so they can fix whatever bugs there are before making the snapshot official.
  • Valve Corporation just unleashed a massive bit of ascended fanon with a new Portal 2 DLC. According to the DLC's story, in the Portal canon there are an infinite number of Alternate Universe versions of Aperture Science, each one being different in some way. This means ALL fanfics, fanon, and other fan creations are now canon within the greater Half-Life/Portal continuity via this multiverse.


Web Comics

  • Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho are commonly confused for actual avatars of its two designers, fueling a common joke that artists will never draw characters who actually look like them. Both real life creators mention this was never their intention; very early strips even give the characters different names, and in podcasts they talk about them as distinct people. Eventually they got tired of correcting people and decided to roll with it, incorporating more of their personalities into the characters, though at this point any real similarities are The Artifact.
    • Mike got the same Pac-Man tattoo Gabe had, because the fans always asked to see it.
    • He also recently caricatured both of them for the sake of an iPad 3 resolution joke.
  • Many fans claim that Order of the Stick's author originally intended Vaarsuvius to have a specific gender, but deliberately made it ambiguous after a few fans started bickering about V's gender early on. The author confirmed this in the first compilation book.
    • However, that same author hates fan speculation, because if the fans guess what he was intending it makes him want to change it. As a result, he reads very little of the posts on his own message board, so as to avoid seeing such speculations.
  • Mega Man's Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass behavior in Bob and George was originally just an unexplained joke. Then some continuity-minded fans noticed that an earlier strip gave a surprisingly plausible reason for this behavior, and Dave Anez ran with it.
    • A less important detail, mentioned here, was that Bob's scarf was burned and tattered, due to his suit being a scorched Proto Man costume.
    • Dave Anez's entire MO was "Do what's funny on the spot, come up with an explanation later," so a large portion of the comic runs on this trope.
  • This page of Darths and Droids shows the process in action. So that's where the midi-chlorians came from.
    • This actually happens constantly over the run of the series, with the DM playing along with Sally's suggestions for various things in the game world (including the entire Gungan race, their home, and the two-headed podrace announcer, among other things).
      • Basically, if something just plain weird happened in the movies, it's probably Sally's idea in D&D.
    • Then it's Jim's turn...
  • Terinu's author, Peta Hewitt, borrowed the title of the "Department of Social Harmony" the Double-Speak name for the Varn Dominion's secret police/propaganda division, from a reader's fanfic, along with the idea that the Earth was beaten using a giant tractor/pressor beam to induce earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • The Wotch: Compare the first canon appearance of the character Anibelle with the second. Now consider this non-canon filler done by a guest artist in between those two appearances. Yeah, exactly.
  • Among the many submitted fanfics posted on the website of The Class Menagerie by the comic's creator, there was one where character Mike Hopkins (a kangaroo) is revealed to be gay, pairs up with a wolf boyfriend and comes out. This became canon in the penultimate story arc before the comic finished: Mike, previously undeclared, admits that he is gay, and the arc ends with him running into a hunky wolf in circumstances identical to those in the Fanfic.
  • Averted in Sluggy Freelance. After one close call, the author refuses to read any fan speculation. All spec is banished to another forum section that he never looks at.
  • Girl Genius author Phil Foglio gave the response "sure, why not?" to a question about whether Othar's Twitter was canonical.
  • Given its unique fan-driven command system, the MS Paint Adventures series Homestuck technically runs off of this trope. However, a more specific example is when "Mutie", a Fan Nickname given to the mutant kitten Rose found, became the actual nickname that Rose later gave it (short for "Vodka Mutini".)
    • Other examples include most of Grandpa Harley's collections, the Peregrine Mendicant's gender, Lord English being an Ultima Shout-Out and Dave's being a redhead (the characters are drawn with black-and-white heads, even though their backgrounds and outfits are in color).
      • He changed his mind on that last one, having said that logically Dave and Rose should have the same hair color. Since most fans don't agree with Rose being a redhead, they eventually mostly decided on either blonde or just blank white hair. Sometimes Dave gets strawberry blonde hair as a compromise.
    • More recently, the name of Tavros's Lusus was confirmed to be "Tinkerbull", the Fan Nickname it had had all along.
      • Even more recently, the species of Karkat's Lusus in the post-Scratch universe is referred to as "crabdad", another Fan Nickname.
    • The forum is chock full of WMGs and some not-so-wild-MGs. The author just goes through and harvests his favorites, now that the suggestion box is shut and only opens for naming characters- and even then the comic may not have any charactrs left to name.
    • The canonisation of Gamzee having red feelings for Tavros, a Ho Yay Fan-Preferred Couple based on a single interaction, probably qualifies as this.
    • After the mysterious villain Lord English was finally revealed, someone made fanart of him in the style of a classic monster movie poster. Then Jake English was introduced, and the walls of his room were completely covered in movie posters—and that Lord English fanart was one of the posters.
    • On his tumblr, Andrew Hussie (facetiously, we hope) declared that all fantrolls, ever, are now canon.

Q: Will another 12 alternate trolls be introduced?
AH: ... How about if I introduce 10,000 new trolls? Watch this.
I hereby declare all of your fantrolls to be canon.
Yes, even the shitty ones.

    • On this post in the forum, Hussie suggested that the Troll Empress could have survived the Vast Glub. The very next post in response? "In before she's recruited by Lord English as well." About a year later, that's exactly what happened. It's even funnier when a later post on that page discusses this trope.
  • Freefall has Nickel's new legs.
  • In one of the Q&A strips of El Goonish Shive, the author acknowledges a fan-made timeline for the series and declares in the commentary that he considers it canon.
  • In one battle scene of Goblins, there was one goblin (who was somewhat fatter than the others) the fans named "Joe Chubbs", and started writing legends of him. While the author usually doesn't let himself be influenced by the fans, he decided to draw that goblin in other scenes, one of them featuring him as the only character for a few panels.
    • A similar thing happens in Looking for Group, where a small girl zombie featured in a few strips gained a fandom and name of "Kalima", after the Kali god. When questioned on this at a convention, the artist Lar said (paraphrased) "Well, I guess if that many people say it, it must be true."
  • David Willis has taken to saying this on his Formspring page in response to frivolous questions such as "In DOA, will Ruth be breaking anybody in half?", "Does Dina read Dinosaur Comics?", and "Could you stop answering so many questions "Sure, why not?""
  • Similar to the Transformers example below, the city in .Memoria was introduced by having one of the guards assume that Nyroti's Easy Amnesia was because he was really wasted the night before and telling him "welcome to the Afterparty" as we get a view of the city for the first time. Naturally, the fans unanimously decided that "Afterparty" was the name of the city. It stuck.
  • In the 4th level of Rusty and Co., a fan dubbed the recently-introduced female elf band the "Pixie Chicks". The author, Mike, liked it so much he decided to "roll with it" and make it their official name. Check the comments section here.
  • Cucumber Quest has Almond being ambidextrous.


Web Original

  • Because Ruby Quest was an interactive story on an Image Board, anybody could post anything in the thread. The author, Weaver, tooks several bizzare suggestions seriously, including putting a severed hand up a pneumatic tube - "there it goes..." and blending several other body parts into a GODAWFUL SMOOTHIE. (This last may be what pushed Red over the edge.) Besides the inevitable trolls, there were quite a few pieces of original fanart. The author included several visual items, including a sort of trident spear tied to a longer handle broken off something else, carried by Ace, as well as the visual design of the mutated doctor Filbert.
  • Gaia Online introduced a pair of Rich Bitch twins named the Von Helson Sisters to serve as rivals for the resident Megalomaniac during a storyline in 2005. Fans speculated that since the name "Von Helson" sounded a lot like "Van Helsing", coupled with the fact that the twins had an apparently dead father named Vladmir, about half the website jumped to the conclusion that they were actually Vampires. In 2007, Gaia rolled with this and used it both as an opportunity to fill in numerous plot holes, and a chance to play off the predominately female fanbase's Twilight obsession (The massive Vampire Stake Fest that followed more than made up for that though).
  • Homestar Runner: Homestar Runner Wiki insisted on referring to the "Everybody to the Limit" robot as the "Visor Robot" in spite of the character having been referred to as the "Fhqwhgads Robot" by the site itself. The fanon name was later mistaken as canon by the creators of Homestar Runner themselves, and as such arguably ascended to canon status.
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall, Dr. Insano's parallel universe alternate (played by Linkara) was originally just going to be another version of Dr. Insano. However, the fans latched onto the name "Dr. Linksano" and Linkara just went with it.
    • Ditto for them assuming Cable's gun was a literal Chekhov's Gun.
  • A popular joke among the handlers on Survival of the Fittest during V4 was that characters who went inactive were fed to the inactivity bear. Then Megan Nelson went two weeks without a post, the admins dropped her into a cave, a scream was heard, and the rest is history. The bear's name is Kenny, by the way.
  • For the Chaos Timeline: Some fan suggested that the head of the Socialist part of Germany should have the title "Oberster Politischer Kommissar", which became canon.


Western Animation

  • The Predacons' ship in Transformers: Beast Wars was unnamed, but Terrorsaur once told Cheetor "Welcome to The Dark Side" when he ended up on the ship. Though he was just being theatric, fan use of the name led to the name being used for the Bot Con 2006 (convention run by the officially Hasbro-licensed fan club) exclusive toys and the accompanying comic book (as Darksyde), and thus the official name.
    • Similarly, Marty Isenberg like the Fan Nickname for Lugnut's exploding-rocket-fist-thing ("Punch of Kill Everything") so much he had the name used in the fourth issue of the comics.
      • Supposedly, he tried to use it in the show, but Never Say "Die" reared its ugly head, and no other word really worked there (with the possible exception of "Krush") to make it abbreviate to POKE.
      • The POKE appears again, with its proper name and everything, in Transformers: War for Cybertron; a special move damage upgrade for the Soldier class is called "POKE Alpha", and one of the Leader class's killstreak rewards is the "POKE 2.0", a temporary one-hit-kill melee attack that, when equipped, will prompt the announcer to say, "Punch of Kill Everything equipped!".
  • Many fans of Kim Possible theorised that the first name of Kim's brain surgeon mother, Dr. Possible, was "Anne", because it was Kim's middle name, and her father Dr. James Timothy Possible, extrapolated from his sons Jim and Tim. The first finale So The Drama named Kim father thus, and the second named Anne in the series' two-part finale. Of course, to make this work, one must mention that the creators would occasionally visit fan forums.
    • This is further supported by the finale having a overt reference to fanfic.
  • The parody "Jingle bells, Batman smells" has been circulating since the 1970s. In 1992, the Batman the Animated Series episode "Christmas With The Joker" had (who else?) The Joker singing the parody.
    • In Justice League, when the founding members (except Batman) agreed to be arrested because of an accident involving a giant laser, one of the officers asks where Batman is. The Flash says "Running late. The Batmobile, it lost a wheel. The Joker got away. That's what I heard."
    • Also in Justice League, the entire flirting between Batman and Wonder Woman came because of a scene in Gorilla Grodd's introduction episode, in which Batman, believing Wonder Woman was crushed by rubble, started digging with his hands. After escaping by herself, she saw Batman's hands covered in dirt and gave him a gratitude kiss in the cheek. Batman blushed at this, and fans got crazy, believing there was something between them. While it was not the case at the time, the writers liked the idea and put it into the show.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man's Greg Weisman does it here.
  • The DJ pony in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is on screen for a total of five seconds, but became popular with the fanbase due to her striking design and cool job. A meme circulated of making YouTube videos with her head-bobbing loop over various house, techno and electronic music tracks, calling her "DJ-P0N3" (in reference to Deadmau5). The Hub's extended trailer, a rewrite of Katy Perry's "California Girls" called "Equestria Girls" (and sung by Pinkie Pie's canonical singing voice actress!), addressed the pony as DJ-P0N3, pronouncing it 'pon three' to prove the reference. The song also used the Fandom Nickname 'brony' to refer to male fans of the show.
    • In one episode, Fluttershy mentions how she'd like to be a tree, which became a meme (Fluttershy is a tree). In the Season 2 episode Hurricane Fluttershy she disguises herself... as a tree.
    • A gray cross-eyed pony seen in backgrounds and crowd cameos for a few seconds in several episodes was rapidly nicknamed "Derpy Hooves" (said nickname made canon by Hasbro) by fans and was confirmed to be a full character for the second season - now with lines!
      • She was actually named just from being seen cross-eyed in the background of the first episode (due to a mistake in the flash animation). Her later background appearances were made cross-eyed only after the show's creators heard about the Fanon Nickname.
      • And then they made her name and the fanon personality (a klutzy, but friendly, mare) canon in "The Last Roundup".
      • The name, however, has been removed in later versions of the show, such as the episode available on iTunes. The author explained that she didn't know how pejorative the word "derpy" was. (She was also revoiced; her voice actress explained that she didn't know the character was supposed to be female.) There was Internet Drama about the whole affair.
      • Since reversed - Derpy gets an extensive appearance in season 5's "Slice of Life" and a new voice -- that just happens to match her single most popular fan-portrayal voice (the one used in 'Dr. Whooves and Assistant'). And to make it even more obvious, in that episode she helps Dr. Whooves putter around in his lab.[2]
    • Faust, and a few other members of the production teams often around places where fans congregate, paying attention to what people are saying so that they can drop clever references to peoples' mad theories into episodes.
    • One of the background ponies with a lyre cutie mark was dubbed "Lyra" by the fans. When the 4th wave of blind bag toys were released, the pony with the same coloration and cutie mark was officially named "Heartstrings". The fans compromised by making "Heartstrings" her surname, and when the 5th wave of blind bag toys rolled around, the character was official referred to as "Lyra Heartstrings".
      • Something similar happened to minor antagonist Trixie. One of the blind bag glitter ponies bearing Trixie's mark was called Lulamoon. Fans took it as either a last name or a stage name. The 5th wave of went with the former.
      • Likewise with Lyra's best friend, who had been nicknamed 'Bon-Bon' by the fandom virtually from her first appearance. Then the blind bag toys revealed that said pony was called 'Sweetie Drops'. And then season 5 revealed that Secret Agent Sweetie Drops had been living in Ponyville undercover... under the alias of "Bon-Bon".
    • Fan art often portrayed Wonderbolt stallion Soarin to have the exact same cutie mark as he does with his flight suit on. This eventually became canon in the season 2 finale where he can briefly be seen without it.
  • The makers of Adventure Time took a viewer's Fan Art character, Me-Mow the tiny cat assassin, and introduced her to the Land of Ooo in her own self-titled episode.
  1. A parody rewrite of his funeral speech for Clovis from episode 4
  2. On the other hand, the credits reveal that the character is apparently named 'Muffin' now, although her name is never actually used on-screen and the fanbase continues to call her Derpy/Ditzy.