Fan Wank

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The eternal temptation...
These two methods clearly do not agree with one another, which means one of two things: either I'm terribly over-analyzing the content of the illustrations of a beloved children's book, or the bunny's bedroom is moving at extremely high velocity relative to the earth, so that relativistic time dilation makes the six-minute rise of the moon appear to take an hour and ten minutes. Calculating the necessary velocity is left as an exercise for the interested reader.[1]

The other reason you should use protection when reading Fanfic.

Fanfic comes in many varieties, but many stories fall into the major categories of "more of the Same" (also called "Original Flavour"), which attempts to tell a new story using the setup and style of its source material, and "Mythos Building", which tries to cement the writer's personal theories into the pseudocanon of the source (and usually getting a Sue laid in the process). The latter tend to be more memorable, but at a price.

Many of the fan theories which make their way into Fanfic seek to "fix" something the writer believes to be wrong with the source. The fans usually put a lot more thought into this than the show's writers ever did (though show writers have gotten a lot more attentive in recent years, primarily because of the growth of this kind of fan activity). They often come up with answers to questions that either make not a whit of difference in the end, or are more fun without an answer than with.

Naturally, these theories often venture way out into fantasyland. When the theory makes you say, "Oh come on!", the fanfic author has stepped over the line into Fan Wank.

When the show itself canonizes such a theory, it's a Retcon or a Revision or one of the two varieties of Continuity Porn. When a fan does, it's Fan Wank. Note, however, that Retcon is a value-neutral word, while fanwank definitely carries a connotation of crap. On the other hand, theories that get popular can become Fanon.

The etymology of 'wank' shows that it means 'indulgence', particularly any kind of major self-indulgence. Not surprisingly, this leads to it being British slang for masturbation, though it's mostly just their own egos that such writers are stroking. Mostly. The term was coined by Doctor Who fan and Doctor Who Expanded Universe writer Craig Hinton, who was no stranger to it himself, and applied it to his own work.

Particular common triggers for fanwank include:

Compare with Epileptic Trees, Continuity Porn (the Canon variety of this), and of course, the TV Tropes Wild Mass Guessing. Shrug of God and (even more so) Sure Why Not will, at least in theory, validate Fan Wank theories.

See also Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, an entire trope driven by Fan Wank.

Examples of Fan Wank include:

Anime and Manga

  • Code Geass gets a lot of it even ignoring the shipping and endless debates about whether X character is a tragic hero / heartless villain / something else entirely. A good portion comes from all the questions left unanswered by the staff either by choice or as a result of being Screwed by the Network. This includes things like C.C.'s real name, the true nature of Geass, the origin of Suzaku's superhuman abilities (and their suggested connection to Geass), the true fate of Kallen's supposedly dead brother Naoto and countless other potential topics.
  • What gender the main character's Pokémon are in the anime.
    • How old starting Pokémon trainers should be.
  • Ranma ½ is notorious among the fans for having an open ending. This leads shippers to writing piles upon piles of fanfiction hooking up the main characters with each other, especially Ranma with someone who isn't Akane Tendo, despite Ranma/Akane being the series' Official Couple. The Ship-to-Ship Combat that developed between various factions was bloody - in fact, this very entry was changed to stop a Flame War from starting.
    • The exact laws and origins of the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo—how much water is needed to trigger a transformation, what the exact temperature is (and whether it's an absolute or relative measure,) how much of your body has to be splashed, what sort of liquids would qualify, why drinking doesn't trigger it, whether the original victim drowned to death or was merely submerged (thanks to an early translation error and the Guide's insistence that the stories are all "tragic,") whether the springs confer any aspect of the original creature's personality (thanks to Filler from the anime and Rouge,) and whether the curses are age-specific (female Ranma growing up normally, but P-chan and Rakkyousai remaining as a piglet and a young child, respectively).
      • Another common fan wank on the Jusenkyo Curses is adding the secondary effect of actively attempting to induce the transformation rather than simply making it possible. Typically by making the victim a water magnet and invoking Contrived Coincidence to wet the victim if they haven't changed for too long. This idea is often used either (or both) to do in the Rule of Funny explanation of where the convenient buckets/thrown water comes from in more deconstructive works, or to explain why Ranma gaining partial control over his curse doesn't simply turn into an effective cure due to the canonical Aversion of the Second Law of Gender Bending: even if the water trigger of his curse is removed, and replaced with a voluntary mental triggering or other far more controllable trigger, the curse still forces Ranma to spend some time in his cursed form.
      • A gag scene in the Herb saga led to one of Ranma 1/2s most enduring fan wanks. In the story, Herb mentions he hates female Ranma because she resembles a monkey he threw into the Spring of Drowned Girl - a monkey, who in turn caused him to be cursed. As a result, the idea spread that anyone who falls into the Spring of Drowned Girl ends up looking like the original girl who drowned there. There are huge fanfic sagas dedicated to telling the back story of this drowned girl who looks exactly like female Ranma. Clones of female Ranma have been created by throwing other characters into the spring. It's also been used as an explanation for why female Ranma has red hair. Never mind that Herb in his cursed form looks nothing like Ranma's female form. The creation of the Spring of Drowned Akane, introduced into the manga long after this piece of fan wank was created, just made matters even worse.
    • Psychological diagnoses of the cast's various mental issues, often interpreting them as actual illnesses or neuroses.
    • And the biggest Fan Wank of all: whether Ranma could get pregnant. Often followed up by what would happen if a pregnant Ranma turned back into a man. Word of God says "I don't want to think about that and neither should you."
    • Some fans wonder if maybe Happosai deliberately drank the Nanniichuan water that was supposed to be Ranma's cure in the final manga chapters, as it's a bit hard to mistake spring water for sake on first taste and Happosai is both extremely selfish and fixated on Ranma's sexy female body.
  • Sailor Moon fanwank has an Epileptic Trees theory which suggests that Sailor Pluto is deliberately engineering a timeline where 95% of the Earth's population is killed off in a thousand-year glaciation period in order to produce Crystal Tokyo. At no point does the anime ever say anything along the lines of 95% of the population dying in a disaster. The anime notes that Usagi awoke a frozen world from slumber in the 30th century and ascended, whereas in the manga, there was no disaster at all and the utopia evolved naturally. So the entire theory is Fan Wank piled upon Fan Wank.
    • Sailors Uranus and Neptune are lesbian lovers. Fans more familiar with the censored English dub are often uncomfortable with this and have produced multiple stories that usually involve Uranus becoming a man or being a man in a former life and getting this "corrected", usually by magic. This was not helped by the bizarre Save Our Sailors website promoting the idea of a male "Prince of Uranus" being accidentally reincarnated as a female Sailor Uranus as canon. In their eyes, that removed the homosexuality of the pair.
  • The so-called Turn A Bang theory from the Gundamverse. After a scene in Turn A Gundam depicting a period of history that was made up of clips from various other Gundam shows—shows that were originally toted as alternate universes—fans began trying to construct a timeline that would justify having all the shows in a single universe.
  • Naruto fanfiction is very nearly the most written anime fanfiction on ffnet. More than half is yaoi....this is not a place for opinions, so that shall be left alone....The points that really fit this trope were things that Kishimoto decided to wait to reveal: the name of the Fourth... Fans thought his name was "Arashi ___" with the common idea being "Arashi Uzumaki" because everyone thought he was Naruto's father. In truth, his name is Minato Namikaze, his actual situation (reincarnated as Naruto after sealing the Kyuubi in himself?), village laws (the idea of "Clan Restoration Act" for a dieing clan), the concept of a council (sometimes split into a Shinobi Council and a Civilian Council), shipping of characters, Naruto's mother, bloodlines, members of Akatsuki, and even now, there is plenty to speculate about, like whether or not Madara is actually immortal....this could go on for a very long time, so it stops here.
  • Never has an anime inspired more Fan Wank and Epileptic Trees than Neon Genesis Evangelion - a practical inevitability when you consider just how weird the story is, the sheer number of things that go unexplained, and the fact that the creators keep invoking post-modernism and refuse to explain any of it! Faced with this insanity, fans have proceeded to Fan Wank all over everything, theorizing that Yui Ikari was the mastermind behind everything, that Unit-00 kept going berserk because Naoko Akagi was the soul inside it, whether or not Rei is technically related to Shinji, whether or not Rei as an Angel/Human hybrid can have children, that Misato was the one who shot Kaji, and that only children can sync with the Eva because it's fueled by teenage angst to name just a few.

Comic Books

  • V from V for Vendetta's gender. It's pure fan wank in both the graphic novel and film that V, a person consistently referred to in both the novel and movie as "he" and "the man from room five" is Valerie, a female character we only see in flashback, presumably after some serious surgery.
  • When a mini-series pitted roughly-analogous Marvel and DC characters against each other with the winners determined by fan vote, Wolverine unsurprisingly got more votes than Lobo. Since even comic book artists don't have enough imagination to figure out how Wolverine could actually beat someone who's fought Superman to a standstill (and this was back when Wolverine just healed pretty fast, and wasn't functionally immortal ... but Lobo was) the fight took place entirely offscreen, which lead to a common fan explanation that Wolverine bribed Lobo to take a dive.
    • Later made canon in an issue of Lobo. Except it was implied that Professor X paid Lobo to take the dive as to spare Wolverine's ego and reputation.


  • The ending of Inception was intended to be an open ending, with the viewer left to decide if it was a dream or real. This has not stopped fans from finding "evidence" that suggests the director intended it to be one or the other.
  • Due to its rather simplistic storyline, Enchanted fans have been left with the task of interpreting several plot threads left at the end, including the rhyme and reason behind Edward and Nancy's last-minute hookup and how someone as naive as Giselle would react when she learns about sex.
  • In-universe fans of Galaxy Quest have constructed a whole map of the ship and worked out explanations for everything on it - which pays off when the actors need that kind of knowledge aboard the real ship.
  • Events in The Matrix sequels. The plot is so impenetrable that it has actually spawned a cottage industry of books seeking to explain it. The content of these books ranges from cutting-edge philosophy to some nonsense about space lizards, suggesting that Lovecraftian madness awaits any mortal who should happen to solve the mystery.
  • The Star Wars franchise is rife with fan explanations and justifications. For example,:
    • There are at least three theories as to why Han said the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in "less than 12 parsecs".
      • The Kessel Run involves ferrying goods between two ships moving away from each other. The faster a ship, the less distance it has to travel to catch up.
      • The Kessel Run involves navigating through or around a dangerous asteroid field. Less maneuverable ships have to take a long, circuitous route around the most dangerous areas; better ships can take a shorter path right through the dangerous middle.
      • Han was testing Luke and Ben, to see if they would correct him, thus proving they knew a thing or two about space travel. Luke didn't catch the mistake, and Ben was fine with Han thinking they were both rubes. The original script had Han making inaccurate boasts and "Ben reacts to Solo's stupid attempt to impress them with obvious misinformation."
      • The official story as set down in the Han Solo Trilogy is that the Kessel run is dangerously close to a black hole and the closer you're able to fly to the black hole the shorter the distance and the faster the run. This was a major Fan Wank before it was retconned into the actual story.
      • This was later retconned in the novelization of the film credited to George Lucas (although written by Alan Dean Foster), where Han states that the ship made the run in less than 12 "standard time units".
    • Luke uses the Force to choke a Gammorean in Return of the Jedi ... but isn't that using the Dark Side of the Force? Not if he only used the Jedi Mind Trick to make the Gammorean think he was choking! Or maybe it's only considered truly dark if you use the Force choke with intent to kill someone, as opposed to just staggering them.
      • Plus it would make sense if he was using dark forces powers here. Luke in this film is already on the edge of the dark side and comes very close, so it makes sense for him to use forces that aren't completely kosher.
      • In the RPG, the ability to choke someone with the Force is now considered a Neutral power, rather than specifically drawing on the Dark Side.
    • All Force users have high Midichlorian counts!? They have to have meant to say that Midichlorians are attracted to high concentrations of the Force; they're a result of Force use, not the cause, right? RIGHT!?
      • Alternately, the ability to use the Force could be the result of a genetic kink, and Midichlorians are proteins produced as a by-product. This may be a case of You Fail Biology Forever, but it's better explanation than the one in the prequel trilogy, right? And as a bonus, it explains why Force-sensitivity can be inherited and why there aren't all that many Jedi even at the height of the Old Republic (Jedi aren't supposed to have families, and the chance of the genetic kink occurring spontaneously would be low enough that it'd be rare even with the population of a galaxy to choose from).
    • The Jedi thought "bringing balance to the Force" was a good thing, but it actually meant that Anakin would kill all but two Jedi, so there'd be the same number of Jedi as Sith. (Never mind that Word of God says "bringing balance to the Force" meant destroying the Sith, and Anakin just did it much later than the Jedi expected.)
    • Why didn't Chewie get a medal at the end of A New Hope? You see, Wookiees don't believe in medals and awards. The Rebels wanted to give him one, but he refused. So instead they made a contribution to his family back on Kashyyyk.


  • Discworld fandom's big issues:-
    • Havelock Vetinari's sexuality - which way does he bend? (To extrapolate from the canon that the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork is naturally self-sufficient, austere and celibate is way too boring.)
      • If Vetinari is gay, which recurring male characters would he get off with?
    • In the unlikely but rescuable situation of Vetinari being straight, which female characters would he seek to have a scene with? - averted in later books which refer to a generally rumoured past relationship with Lady Margolotta, which survives in some form to the present continuity.
    • The girls in the Monstrous Regiment's Last Detail. Gay or what? And who in this troupe of military lesbians is doing what to whom and with what implements?
    • Susan Sto Helit and Jonathan Teatime. Given time, or an alternative universe, would they have got it on?
    • On a more intellectual level, the issue of the much-mangled and twisted Discworld timeline - which was eventually explained in universe as the History Monks having to repair the timeline, twice, after some idiot human broke it into little pieces.
  • The big issue in The Lord of the Rings fandom (and quite possibly the fanwank debate to rule them all) is the question of whether or not the Balrog had wings. Other, smaller debates include whether or not Tolkien's elves have Pointed Ears and what color Legolas' hair was in the book.
    • Or the true nature of Tom Bombadil - was he a random nature spirit, or the avatar of the world?
    • As well, why didn't anyone think to ask the Eagles to simply fly the ring to Mount Doom. Clearly the Eagles are on the "good side" and have the capability of flying to Mordor as they do so during the battle at the Black Gate near the end of Return of the King.
      • They would've been corrupted by the Ring, killed Frodo, and just flown down and taken it for themselves.
      • Mordor had aerial units that would've fought the eagles, such as the Nazgul-steeds.
        • The scene on Amon Hen is canon support for the idea that you do not want to give the Eye of Sauron line-of-sight to you if you are the Ring-Bearer by, oh, standing in a high place with an unobstructed view. Being in the air would presumably be even worse.
      • Also, it's established that the Eagles don't answer to Men, they come voluntarily when they're really needed, or owe Gandalf a favour, but otherwise they stay out of things. Fan Wank denied?
      • Like Gandalf, the Eagles are agents of the Valar, and forbidden to resolve issues through their own power.
      • It would have be a hella short series if they had.
  • Ever since the first Sherlock Holmes stories were published, many learned writers were trying to figure out why Dr Watson's old war wound was in the shoulder in A Study In Scarlet and in the leg in The Sign of Four. Answers ranged from "He was actually shot in the buttocks and was too embarrassed to say this" to "He was shot on two separate occasions." There's an organization called The Baker Street Irregulars (it's been around since the 1930's) who devote a great deal of time and effort to filling in all the gaps and resolving all the discrepancies they can, including "Exactly where was 221B Baker Street?" "Why was Dr Watson sometimes James and sometimes John?" and "Was Holmes' dressing-gown purple or mouse-coloured?" Some of these essays have been published in the book 17 Steps To Baker street"
    • ... Wait, Holmes couldn't possibly have owned two dressing gowns in two different colours over x number of years?
    • Interestingly enough, the James / John discord was made fun of in the film "Young Sherlock Holmes" and the Leg/Arm discord was made fun of in the BBC's modern reboot "Sherlock", in the first episode "A Study in Pink" where Watson limps as though he were shot in the leg, but the limp is in fact a psychosomatic reaction to the real wound in his shoulder.
  • Much of Star Wars EU, ESPECIALLY post-EII ICS, is this; thought not only technical details are wanked up - Force powers are too.

Live Action TV

  • The backstory of the main character in Doctor Who, specifically:
    • Retconning away the revelation of the Doctor's half-human lineage from the 1996 Made for TV Movie.[2]
    • Explaining how the Doctor has a granddaughter in light of the unjustified insistence by the fans that no character on the show (and most especially not the Doctor) can ever, ever, do the thing one needs to do in order to produce a parent for one's granddaughter.
    • Season 6B.
    • One Doctor Who website actually features "Plugging the Holes: Fan-Wank Explanations for Continuity Errors" in the novels.
    • The Dalek vs. Cybermen battle of Army of Ghosts and Doomsday.
    • The Eleventh Doctor is a Fan Wank magnet due to him being a mix of several addictive tropes, such as Fetish Fuel, The Woobie, and Estrogen Brigade Bait. To make matters more extreme, Eleven is subject to Continuity Porn from several writers, and Eleven's characterization is filled with seeming contradictions and dualities.
  • Kamen Rider Decade is a short television series that crosses over into alternate universes of the nine Kamen Rider shows that preceeded it and then brings back the leads for ALL of the shows in All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker (albeit as Fake Shemps; one of the few who isn't a Shemp is an Early-Bird Cameo) with numerous references abound, especially for Kamen Rider Den-O. It's fanwank to the nth degree.
  • The Klingon Forehead Problem in Star Trek - Klingons from the original series had smooth foreheads, while in every other work, they have ridges. Roddenberry initially said Klingons always had the ridges but TOS just lacked the makeup budget to show them, while it was later acknowledged in Deep Space Nine as their having had smooth foreheads when the crew meet 23rd-century Klingons. In Star Trek: Enterprise, this retcon was given a canon explanation as Genetic Engineering Gone Horribly Wrong resulting in a virus that infected a significant proportion of the population.[3] Before this became the canon explanation, there were various fan theories such as cosmetic surgery to pass as other species for covert operations, to being a single group not representative of their species as a whole.
  • iCarly: Copious amounts related to shipping. One large pro-Seddie group interpret any form of communication or interaction as supporting their ship.
    • The "Seddie is going to happen because Dan said so" shippers. See Shrug of God for why they can never actually back their claim up with any evidence.
  • In Stargate fandom, one of the most obvious and yet never directly addressed questions is why all the aliens speak English. Various theories have emerged, the most popular being that the stargates themselves act as translators.
    • Though at some point the producers do mention that they elected to ignore the language barrier for the sake of efficiency and a less contrived feel.
  • The penchant Skins has for ambiguous series endings leads to lots of this.
  • How I Met Your Mother is specifically designed to spawn this, with fans spending pages of threads on Television Without Pity and other sites guessing who the mother is, how the many events Future!Ted says are important to the story with factor into the story of the mother, what is the significance and context of many orphaned, Noodle Incident-like flashforwards that Future!Ted promises to explain later and how they will fit into the future storyarcs. There has also been constant wank trying to justify how one of Ted's previous girlfriends might be the mother, as well as speculation about how Ted will meet the Mother (it was finally revealed that he met her at Barney's wedding), and theories about what the goat in Ted's bathroom on his birthday was about (it was part of a multi-sided Kudzu Plot and wound up putting Ted in the hospital) and the most recent topic of wank is who Barney's bride is from the flashforward to his wedding (the main argument is between Robin or a new love interest), and what the reason for the Mother's presence there is.

Tabletop Games

  • The Dungeonomicon is a pretty massive Fan Wank trying to justify (among many other things) the economics, social structures and fantastic locales of D&D.
  • A common form of Fan Wank in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition is "refluffling," or using the mechanics of a power as written but changing the explanation of how the power works to better fit a character concept. It's commonly done with characters using the Martial (non-magical, weapons and skill-based) power source, to explain how someone with no magical powers can turn invisible (you see, he's really just hiding so well he'd might as well be invisible), control an enemy's actions (you're not making them jump off a cliff, you're staggering them, and it's just dumb luck that they happen to stagger 20 feet straight toward a cliff edge), etc.
    • Recently officially sanctioned on the D&D website; there was an Insider article both describing the practice an encouraging it.
    • Earlier than this, it was specifically mentioned as something that should be done with Warlock powers so that they fit your character's contract, and used to explain why the contract labels for powers were dropped after the Player's Handbook—the labels led people to an attitude that they could only pick appropriately-labeled powers for their warlock, when they had only been intended as a guide and if you really wanted a power that wasn't appropriately labeled, you could just change the fluff to match.

Video Games

  • Why, exactly, we have never seen a male Mithra in Final Fantasy XI. The official explanation for a lack of male Mithra PCs was originally simply that they're unadventurous and so never leave home, to the consternation of those who are uncomfortable with the concept of the Non-Action Guy or just of not being able to play a cute catboy. With the release of the first expansion, we see our first truly wholly Mithra town and still no men (due to early fears of running into the PS2's technical limitations), the explanation was elaborated as the slightly less plausible "they never leave the Mithra homeland" without clarifying that Kazham wasn't it, and thus the Fan Wank engine got the push start it needed. The most popular fan explanation is that they're too rare for use as anything but dedicated breeding stock, and what man would complain about that job, up to and including being chained up in the shadows? Wings of the Goddess does finally show one male Mithra in a cutscene (clothed, no less), but this may be too little, too late. Similar questions exist for the "all-female" Viera race found in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII and other Ivalice - bound games.
  • The Legend of Zelda series is inspiring quite a bit of timeline fanwankery. Also, the Shipping Industry is quite profitable in that area. There's a huge debate about Link/Zelda or Link/Midna.
    • The many, many, many efforts to make a coherent timeline out of the series. Furthering this endless Fan Wank is the infuriating fact that Aonuma and Miyamoto have confirmed the existence of a timeline, and made the placement of a few games Word of God, but refuse to reveal the document itself to anyone not working with the games.
    • The epic Shiek question: Is Shiek just Zelda crossdressing or did she actually use magic to turn herself male? That one should have been resolved through Word of God- Shiek is, officially, canonically, absolutely a Wholesome Crossdresser. But, for various reasons, some fans simply refuse to accept this as canon.
    • The theory that Ocarina of Time split the timeline in two started out as fanwank, until it was confirmed by Word of God. Happened the same with the fact that Link and Zelda are different people in most of the games. The Wind Waker settled it... just to open up a new fanwanky question: Which exactly is the relationship between them? Descendants? Reincarnations? Both? Different people altogether?
  • Kingdom Hearts has enough fan wank going about Nobodies and all associated mind screws that they've caused multiple spoogenamis.
    • The Another Side, Another Story special ending from the first game deserves a special mention. The quantity of Fan Wank that single video originated rivaled all the Lost and Zelda timeline theories.
    • The thing about Kingdom Hearts is that there is an abundance of rules and guidelines within out-of-the-way sources or bits of dialogue in-game. After the first six games, there was enough canonical information to demystify many of the more confusing parts of the series. It's just that there are a lot of seemingly arbitrary rules that can be hard to keep track of, even if they do make things make sense. Hence, fan-wank.
  • A particular Fan Wank from the Koopaling fansite Lemmy's Land considered Bowser Jr. to be Baby Ludwig Von Koopa under a different name and appearance, which was finally Jossed with New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
    • Many people on Lemmy's Land have a distaste for Bowser Jr., thinking that he was the reason the Koopalings were thrown from the spotlight for such a long time.
  • In the Pokémon Gold and Silver games, whether Raikou, Entei, and Suicune are cats, dogs, or whatever. Many forums moderators decided that people are free to call them whatever, but if there's any argument they are "officially" the three legendary gerbils.
  • This is what happens when you base an extremely popular FPS on an Excuse Plot. Fans of Team Fortress 2 have been going mad over various details about the world of the game: the characters' background, the in-universe mechanics (respawn or replace?), etc. However, Valve is slowly giving the players breadcrumbs through comics and videos.
  • The Silent Hill series by it's nature encourages this in their Fandom; GameFAQs is filled with exhaustive plot and character analyses. A sure way to troll any fan forum is to cut down Epileptic Trees with the insistence that it's all just deliberately Invoked Mind Screw on Konami's part.
  • The popular Assassin's Creed Brotherhood fan theory of Cesare Borgia being the creator or inspiration for Abstergo Industries... because he said the word "cleanse" once.
  • The ending of Mass Effect 3 has inspired Fan Wank that is enveloping the entire series. This is one of the reasons that Bioware is releasing an extended ending DLC.
  • Some fans of the Ninja Gaiden series try to fit in the events of the original arcade game (which is largely unconnected to the NES version and its later sequels, save for a few superficial similarities) into the continuity of the later console games by claiming that the two player characters (a pair of ninjas, one in blue and another one in red) are actually Ryu Hayabusa and his father Joe (or Ken, depending on the version) undergoing a mission that they went through before the events of the Xbox and NES games (despite the fact that the player characters in the arcade version were never given identities).

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Shego's plasma power in Kim Possible: if she can blast through metal, why didn't she burn up a cheerleader? (Besides the most popular answer.)
  • There was a Transformers fan-author named Stormcloud, who seemed bound and determined to use every Beast Wars character not in the show in his 'fics. The end result was fight scenes that were so step-by-step and plotted out that they resembled a pre-publishing RA Salvatore, with character names made up of bad animal puns.
    • Go to the YouTube clip about the creation of the Transformers taken directly from the G1 cartoon it came from. Behold the number of comic fans trying to explain to innocent viewers how it fits into the Transformer God Primus origin from the comics, despite the fact the G1 Transformers cartoon made no reference to Primus, and as far as the TV producers were concerned, this was the intended origin for the show.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot never got a "true ending" and left a LOT of things unexplained by the creators, prompting a lot of fanwank about the purpose of the villains, where they came from, why they do the things they do and what drives them. Some people have their own little universe where everything is explained.
  • A rather interesting example occurred with Batman Beyond. Fans theorized that Terry and Matt's lack of resemblence to their father, specifically their black hair, genetically improbable given their parents' hair colors (red and brown respectively for Mary and Warren), had a role in the divorce. Flash forward to the Justice League Unlimited Fully-Absorbed Finale "Epilogue," and guess what? Bruce Wayne is revealed to have been the boys' biological father, with Warren's genetic material having been, unbeknownst to anyone but CADMUS, overwritten with his. According to the series' writers, this decision was influenced by the realization of said improbability.
  • Aside from the two Care Bears movie continuities, as the Headscratchers mentioned, what happened to Dark Heart after he turned human, and for that matter, why did he attack them, why did he care about a girl that saved his life once? What was his backstory, and speaking of which, the backstory of all of the villains and the pre-Wishing Star bears and cousins?
  1. It's 0.9963 c, or roughly 668 million miles per hour.
  2. River Song said it best: "Rule One: The Doctor lies."
  3. Going into non-canon works, this was shown in Star Trek Online to have been cured some time in the late 23rd century by an unaffected Half-Human Hybrid from the 24th/25th century in a Stable Time Loop.