[[quoteright:301:[[Creator/HideakiAnno http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/no_bloody_clue_anno_969.jpg]]]]

->'''Alan Schneider:''' Who or what is "Godot"?\\
'''Samuel Beckett:''' If I knew, I would have said so in the play.
->-- Interview before the first American production of ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''.

[[SelfDemonstratingArticle What is this trivia page about? No comment]].

Joy of joys, the authors of your favorite series are [[WordOfGod answering the fan's questions]]! Now's your chance to finally get some closure on [[SeriousBusiness pressing continuity issues]]! So you walk up and ask, "Was Bob really a [[RoboticReveal robot]]?"

Their answers? "I dunno." "No comment."

Congratulations. Instead of an answer, you just got the Shrug of God.

Before you get angry at them for being evasive, remember that they may have a reason for their ambiguity. Maybe:
# It's an ongoing series, and the question will be answered in an upcoming episode.
# It's an ongoing series, and while there are no immediate plans to answer the question in an upcoming episode, the author wants to leave their options open for addressing it at some point in the future.
# The series isn't running at the moment, but could be continued or spun off from in the future, and the author wants to leave their options open.
# The plot point in question was ''supposed'' to be [[NoEnding ambiguous]] or [[MindScrew senseless]]. The fans are supposed to come up with [[EpilepticTrees their]] [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory own]] [[WildMassGuessing answers]]. ''[[TheWalrusWasPaul Sheesh]].''
# The author doesn't want to say anything because the answer is actually hidden within the work and they want the fans to be attentive and uncover it for themselves (or don't feel that they should have to just give up the secret willy-nilly considering all the hard work they did to cleverly-interweave it into the narrative). Can overlap with # 4 but differs from it in that a definitive answer to the question ''does'' actually exist.
# The possible answers to the question have sparked much [[FlameWar debate]] amongst the fandom, and the author realizes that coming down on either side will provoke a [[BrokenBase backlash]].
# The question is about some detail completely tangential to the story, which the author had never considered. Sure, it would be cool if the author would just make up answers on the spot to questions about [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters supporting character #23's]] favorite pizza topping, but you can hardly blame the author who doesn't.
# The creator thinks ambiguity feels realistic; after all, RealLife isn't perfectly neat and organized with no mysteries.
# The creators firmly believe in the DeathOfTheAuthor theory and don't feel their interpretations are any more valid than anyone else's.
# The writer honestly doesn't remember anymore what he was thinking when he wrote that particular bit.
# The question is (and it ''[[FreudWasRight frequently]]'' is), "So what were Alice and Bob ''really'' doing [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar while off-camera]] after that {{UST}}-filled scene?", and the writer can't answer truthfully without MoralGuardians (or worse, {{shipp|ing}}ers) screaming for their head on the chopping block.
# The writer is just [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants making it up as they go]] and honestly has no more idea what's going on than any of the viewers.
# The writer actually dislikes meticulous FanWank and its older brother, [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic overzealous, full-time, academic literary analysis]], whether or not it is related to his works.
# The writer is trying to enforce a FanworkBan and thinks the information would be more useful to fanfic authors than to anyone else.
# The question has religious implications that the authors would really rather avoid. ("Does God actually exist in [[FantasyKitchenSink this setting]]?", for example.)
# The author [[OldShame wishes that he never wrote whatever the question pertains to]], and would rather just [[CanonDiscontinuity pretend it never happened]].
# [[RuleOfFunny It's funnier]] [[NoodleIncident that way]].
# [[RuleOfScary It's scarier]] [[NothingIsScarier that way.]]
# The writers [[TeasingCreator just like being contrary]] and [[TrollingCreator watching their fans squirm.]]

Not to be confused with FlipFlopOfGod, where the author has a definite answer which has ''changed'' over time.

Contrast with the HandWave, and "AWizardDidIt", which are given in response to questions about {{Plot Hole}}s or the workings of a story's {{Phlebotinum}}. In contrast, the Shrug of God is given in response to more mundane questions: questions that should have a simple, straightforward answer. Don't mistake it with AscendedFanon which, while it may come with a shrug from the creator, is quite different: AscendedFanon is when the creator accepts, for any reason, the explanations offered by fandom to questions raised by that author's work. The shrug comes when the author refuses to take a stand about either those questions or any possible answer to them.

In other words, if the question is "How does this work?" and the answer is "Beats me," then it's a HandWave. If the question is "What happened?" and the answer is "Beats me", it's the Shrug of God. If the answer is "Magic" then changed later on to "Science", it's FlipFlopOfGod.

When the author insists on [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot quashing]] a theory, see {{Jossed}}, which is the opposite. When the author explains but in supplementary material see AllThereInTheManual. For those stories that are deliberately ambiguous, see NoEnding and RiddleForTheAges.

In lieu of a definitive WordOfGod, someone connected to the production may chime in with the WordOfSaintPaul, or anyone with sufficient credibility may offer up the WordOfDante.

The inverse of AscendedFanon. Compare NoodleIncident. See also TheWalrusWasPaul, LooseCanon.

See also BellisariosMaxim and the MST3KMantra.

Not to be confused with ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', which, while wordy at times, lets you know what Creator/AynRand thinks of a lot of things in no uncertain terms. In any case, [[GreekMythology Atlas]] was a ''Titan''.

[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t348e24vDyA Now comes with didactic audio-visual summary!]]

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* When asked if [[spoiler:Spike]] of ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' actually died, Shinichiro Watanabe said he didn't know and jokingly said there could be a sequel. It's anyone's guess whether it's for the fourth, fifth, or both reasons.
** By contrast, Watanabe has also answered questions asked by those who seemed to assume [[spoiler:Spike]] must be dead with something to the effect of "Did you see him die? I didn't, he seemed like he was seriously lacking some sleep."
* It's easier to pull out the tongue of a live lion than it is to get a straight answer on ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' symbolism from KunihikoIkuhara. "[[http://uranime.nekomusume.net/misc/ikuhara_interview.iphtml Miki keeps timing things because his watch contains the secret of the universe]]".
** "I wanted to turn a cute girl into a car".
* The people from Creator/SevenArcs will answer anything you ask about ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''... unless if it's "[[LesYay Are Nanoha and Fate]] [[{{Shipping}} in love with each other?]]", then they go all coy and skirt around the question.
* Creator/HideakiAnno is brilliant at this. He directed ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', and completely refuses to explain anything regarding the last two episodes.
** The mantra "I don't know. FanWank something" (pictured above) [[MemeticMutation tends to pop up]] along with a picture of Anno, whenever the fandom discuss the more ambiguous parts of the series.
* In the interviews for ''Manga/DeathNote How to Read 13'', Ohba and Obata left the answers to several questions (mainly about the ending) for the reader to decide.
-->"''Death Note'' is about readers coming to their own conclusions. Sorry."
** Also going for the numbers over heads which could tell how long that person had to live, but only {{shinigami}} understood. It was said there was a complicated math equation, but it was forgotten.
* [[YoshiyukiTomino Yoshiyuki]] "(no longer) KillEmAll" [[YoshiyukiTomino Tomino]] is perhaps the ''granddaddy'' of shrugging Gods. On many oft questioned significant story elements, particularly dealing with the endings to his many series, he steadfastly refuses to give answers, as he truly does want the people watching the show to [[WildMassGuessing create their own idea of how the story ended]]. He wasn't likely thinking of FanFiction, but you still won't get straight answers from him as to Amuro and Char's fate in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Char's Counterattack]]'', or whether Loran Cehack and his [[{{Shipping}} eventual partner]] are in a married kind of love or if it's a caregiver/friend thing.
** The Amuro and Char issue only really holds true for the anime; in ''Beltorchika's Children'', Tomino's intended version of the story, [[spoiler:they're clearly stated to be dead]]. The ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' novels implied that [[spoiler:they AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence, as evidenced by Barnarge hearing their voices when the Unicorn's psycoframe overloads]]; however, the anime adaptation of ''Unicorn'' has already diverged from the novels' plot in some significant ways, so this may not hold true when the final episode is released.
* Creator/YoshitoshiABe won't answer many questions about ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'' because he wants people to draw their own conclusions and make their own interpretations about the series.
* Akira Toriyama is particularly bad at this, to the point where a recurring ''Manga/DragonBall'' character simply disappears and his only explanation was that he forgot about her.
* The makers of ''Anime/{{Noir}}'' keep very quiet about what the [[spoiler:two gunshots]] at the end mean, so the fans are still in the dark about the important question whether [[spoiler:the main characters live or not]].
* RumikoTakahashi's famous reply to being asked (probably not for the first time ''that day'') whether or not Manga/{{Ranma|OneHalf}} could get pregnant in female form: "I don't think about such things, and neither should you."
** In fan circles, a "pregnant Ranma" is something that is better left unanswered. TheOtherWiki once had an article on the phrase, but it's no longer up. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, a snapshot of that page is [[http://web.archive.org/web/00000000000000/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnant_Ranma_problem here.]]
** Doesn't stop a multitude of fanfics about it, of course. And even more about her getting a period.
** Given the usual method by which a woman becomes pregnant, the "dodging MoralGuardians and Shippers" reason comes into play as well.
* When asked if the ending of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' was meant to be [[HappilyEverAfter happy]] or [[DownerEnding sad]], director and co-creator Goro Taniguchi's response was "Decide for yourself." Though rather than a shrug, this may simply be him acknowledging that everyone has a different opinion and not trying to force his beliefs upon the fanbase.
** In regards to [[spoiler:Lelouch's apparent death at the end]], however, this trope was averted; in several post-series interviews, other staff members have indicated that [[spoiler:he's really dead]]. Still, during the broadcast the official website had claimed that [[spoiler:Nunnally died during the Tokyo disaster in order to keep her eventual return surprising]] and Sunrise itself has [[http://www.sankakucomplex.com/wp-content/gallery/misc-images-xiii/img_1032045_22102323_0.jpg shown]] that they might well prefer to tease fans like us and let everyone duke it out...at least until a sequel is made and the question is finally answered once and for all.
*** The exact phrasing was something along the lines of "[[spoiler: [His (Lelouch's) death] was the price he had to pay for a peaceful world.]]" And, depending on your interpretation, ''that'' can still be taken to mean anything.
* Eiichiro Oda, creator of ''Manga/OnePiece'', usually answers ''everything'' [[WordOfGod straight]], except for a few things; as open as he is, even he has dodged the occasional question, such as what Shanks and Gold Roger's bounties are, and [[UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny who would win in a fight between Zoro and Sanji]].
** He's also not very good about indicating character age, or how much time has passed (it gives the story a mythical quality). [[ItJustBugsMe but it's been known to bug some people.]]
* The creator of the ''{{Slayers}}'' novels, Hajime Kanzaka, is infuriatingly bad at this, and unlike the other examples on this page, it's often unintentional when he flubs his facts in interviews. Just go read one; half of his responses end in "I think."
* Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', said even he wasn't even sure what [[ViewerGenderConfusion gender]] [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/naruto/images/0/0c/7tails.jpg Fu]], the [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/naruto/images/6/6a/Seven-Tails_%26_Fuu.jpg Seven-Tailed Horned Beetle]] jinchūriki, is (was?) in one of the fanbooks. By the time Fu is later seen in the manga proper, he'd decided Fu was [[spoiler:a girl]].
* Creator/NaokoTakeuchi, creator of ''Manga/SailorMoon'' fame has said this of the inquiry as to who Sailor Cosmos really is: "It's complicated". A [[BrokenBase fan debate]] has risen from the comment that she is "the ultimate form of Sailor Moon" and her connection to Usagi.
* The mangaka of ''Manga/SoulEater'' has been asked countless times by fans "What is [[AmbiguousGender Crona's gender?]]" His answer was basically "Don't know, don't care."
* ''SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' franchise main man Shōji Kawamori ''explains nothing''. He gets worse about it with each new series.
** ''MacrossPlus''? Wait, which version actually happened? Movie Edition or OVA Edition? [[MathematiciansAnswer Yes]].
** ''MacrossSeven''? What? You thought [[spoiler:the LoveTriangle]] should have been resolved? Well I don't know if it was.
** ''MacrossZero''? Just what the hell ''was'' that ending? No one knows.
** ''MacrossFrontier''? While he may have been a little more forthcoming about the [[LoveTriangle three principles and their fates]], we now have the result that [[spoiler: Michel and Brera are ''both'' still alive. [[ContinuitySnarl Despite each having died in a separate, mutually exclusive continuity]].]]
* ''AxisPowersHetalia'': When asked what gender New Zealand was, creator Himaruya had the character reply "Which do you think I am?" The series has made use of gender confusion for running jokes before, so it's very possible he's just setting another one up.
** Also, Himaruya tends to avoid directly answering questions as to whether or not Germany is really the Holy Roman Empire.
* Kotetsu T. Kaburagi's age appears to be something that will always remain a mystery for ''TigerAndBunny'' fans. First it was 37. Then it was somewhere between 32 and 36. Then 39. Finally, Ozaki said his age is something that has been left up to the viewers to determine...
** As it turns out, whether or not Kotetsu and Barnaby are HeterosexualLifePartners or [[YaoiGuys Totally Not Heterosexual Life Partners]] is ''also'' up to viewer interpretation. In other words, it's the [[WordOfGay Shrug Of Gay.]] The viewers are also asked to "use their imagination".
* The [[AllThereInTheManual translated guidebook interviews]] of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' reveal that writer Gen Urobuchi didn't care about giving families to anyone other than Madoka, leaving Homura's family situation very ambiguous. It's completely unknown if she lives by herself or not.
** He also left the design of the witches to [[DerangedAnimation Gekidan InuCurry]], meaning that he's probably not the person to ask if you wanted to know [[spoiler: what sort of {{Magical Girl}}s they were]].
** Urobuchi has invoked DeathOfTheAuthor when it comes to TheStinger, saying it's fine for fans to create their own interpretations.
*** In another interview, he has stated he has no idea where [[spoiler: the wings]] came from, being added by the aforementioned [=InuCurry=]. He then said in that same interview that additions from the animation staff [[SequelHook made it easier for him to write future stories]], suggesting that an answer may be coming.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'''s creator Isayama Hajime has a tendency to [[TrollingCreator troll fans]] and often responds to requests for information with a shrug or vague answer that clarifies absolutely nothing.
** Infamously, [[AmbiguousGender Hange's gender]] was first questioned by a fan that thought the character was female but looked "manly" sometimes. In response, Isayama stated he wouldn't answer. At the beginning of 2014, he finally declared......that it doesn't matter and fans are free to determine the character's gender as they want. He then invited fans to decide the gender of ''any character'' as they please.
** Levi's age is defined vaguely as [[OlderThanTheyLook older than he looks]].
** He's rumored to have invited fans to consider any and all pairings potential canon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Fans will never stop asking about the newly formed [[Franchise/TheDCU multiverse]], or when [[ComicBook/TheFlash Bart Allen]] and/or Superboy will come BackFromTheDead.
** Of course, the ''real'' answer to the Superboy question is "About six months after the Siegel lawsuit is settled."
** And now that both did, that question is settled.
* Devin Grayson, writer of ''{{Nightwing}}'' #93 where the title character is implied to have been raped by a female cohort during a HeroicBSOD, evaded the question when asked to confirm what happened beyond it being [[http://www.comicboards.com/devin.php "nonconsensual"]]. This is an irritating example, because the script for the issue does directly say that he was being raped. (This may have something to do with the female cohort in question being suspected by many of being her AuthorAvatar[=/=]MarySue.)
* Tom Brevoort has been mum about the plot inconsistencies regarding Mockingbird's return from "the dead" in ''SecretInvasion''. ''Invasion'' established that Mockingbird had never really died in the first place, despite the fact that there were at least one or two previous stories that showed her in the afterlife. Brevoort's stance was that so few people remembered those stories to begin with, that it really wasn't worth the effort to try and reconcile the [[PlotHole Plot Holes]].
** Jim McCann's New Avengers: The Reunion and Hawkeye & Mockingbird partially answered this -- the Skrull posing as Mockingbird honestly had no idea that she wasn't Mockingbird, and went as far as to die for the people she cared about, making it not too much of a stretch that the Skrull kepts Mockingbird's appearance in the afterlife.
* When it comes to ''StarWars'', John Jackson Miller, the writer of the ''ComicBook/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' comics, was practically this trope personified throughout the series' run, although it was almost always for the first reason. He refused to confirm various future [[TheUntwist untwists]], one of which was confirmed in a reference book before it got anywhere close to being confirmed in the comic itself. And when asked about "the Rohlan/Demagol thing", namely the theory that "Rohlan" has been Demagol in disguise since issue 14, he said [[http://qdb.lucidfox.org/quotes/view/2924 this]]:
-->"The Rohlan/Demagol Thing is a fusion jazz act that worked many of the clubs on Mandalore until a dispute over a recording contract broke up the duo. However, their early recordings remain popular and one was recently used as the background music for a series of Holofeed apparel commercials."
* The writers of the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse seem adamant against revealing anything about the origins of all these kids running around with [[ParentalAbandonment no parents]] (Donald's nephews, Daisy's nieces, Goldie's granddaughter...) Since acting like you're hiding something leads others to believe you have something to hide, fans are left to assume the worst.
** For the most part, at least - Don Rosa introduced both DonaldDuck's mother and sister and Scrooge's parents, and Scrooge has two sisters, a brother and a half-brother making regular appearances. His mother got around.
*** It should be noted that the said brother and half-brother don't exist in the same continuity as the two sisters. There are different interpretations in the absence of actual canon, even by the current writers.
* DonRosa can neither confirm nor deny [[DidTheyOrDidntThey "what happened that night"]] in ''The Prisoner of White Agony Creek'' (Chapter 8B of ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck''), asserting it's "for each of us duck fans to imagine in our own minds. I have my own idea, but after all, this is a Disney comic!"
* Leaving aside one storyline that everyone seems to be ignoring, SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker has never had any backstory that was not told by the Joker himself. In ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'', a backstory is told which initially appears to be definitive, but the Joker later says, "Something like that happened to me. I'm not quite sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I'm going to have a past, I'd rather it be [[MultipleChoicePast multiple choice]]." His PreCrisis backstory of having previously been a gang leader called the Red Hood has mostly been maintained (DependingOnTheWriter), but the backstory of the man who became the Red Hood has never been independently revealed.
* After he took over the ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog comic, Ian Flynn took this attitude with the WordOfGay the previous writer gave for Rotor Walrus, neither confirming nor denying it and eventually calling the whole thing "irrelevant".
* In Giant-Sized X-Men, there's a little blurb on the side of one panel explaining that Scott Summers' eye beams are kept in check by ruby quartz glasses. How does ruby quartz keep them back? Well, they'll tell you when they think of something.
** The ruby quartz thing was established back in the 60's. The doctor that examined Cyclops himself basically said "I don't know why ruby quartz works. It just does."
* When ''{{Bone}}'' was completed and a fan asked Jeff Smith what the Crown of Horns actually ''was'', Smith basically said that he couldn't give a definitive answer and that the fan would have to figure it out for himself, implying the reason for his secrecy is either the 4th, 8th, or 19th reason.
* ''ComicBook/TransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'' ends leaving it ambiguous if [[spoiler: Prowl destroyed the data slug or not.]] Niether of the writers would say if Prowl did or didn't and admitted that they hadn't thought of an answer, choosing to leave it up to the reader to decide. Either choice completely changes both the ending and how Prowl is perceived as a character. Later, Mike Costa would reveal the answer in the ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW Transformers]]'' ongoing: [[spoiler: Prowl did ''not'' destroy the slug.]]
* Dave Sim refuses to state for certain what's happening in the very ending of ''Cerebus The Aardvark''. [[spoiler: Is Cerebus going to Hell like he seems to think or is he just letting his personal guilt get him worried over nothing? The answer is left for the reader to decide. Not only that but it's never explicitly stated whether anyone will find that manuscript that Cerebus wrote...]]
** Yes it was. Cerebus: "Cerebus just has to remember where he hid it or nobody's going to be reading the New Booke of Cerebus." Dave: "Until two thousand years from now when this part of the Sanctuary is torn down to make room for a shopping mall." The consequences may be ambiguous, but it will be found, and it will be read.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Fanfiction author [[http://www.fanfiction.net/~incendiarist Incendiarist]] does this constantly. It probably overlaps with DeathOfTheAuthor a bit, too.
--> I don't know anything any more than you do. Those two characters I never named? I don't know who they are. Why do you think I never named them?
* In the MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha fanfic, MGLNCrisis, [[spoiler:Fate's familiar, Arf]] sacrifices herself, but is brought back later while struggling to remember much of her life before. The author leaves it open as to whether she came back, or was recreated with her memories intact.
* The author behind ''Fanfic/{{Renegade}}'' frequently shrugs when someone in a discussion thread asks for details, like how GDI powerplants work or the yields for prototype ion cannons being developed by other species. He alternates between non-sequiters, {{Mathematicians Answer}}s, ambiguous images of a smirking [[WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}} David Xanatos]], or just outright saying something along the lines of "Really, I don't know because that's irrelevant to the story anyway."
* One reader of ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'' asked the author whether they considered [[TheCaligula Sullamander]] to be a CompleteMonster (actually using the term) and only received a "maybe". Of course, the author admitted that their own opinion might be affected by the insider knowledge that [[spoiler: [[{{Foreshadowing}} someone worse is coming]]]], which makes Sullamander look better.
** The author also [[AllThereInTheManual mentioned]] that, since she was born the same year the other died, Clover might be the reincarnation of Wind Whistler, making her story with Hurricane a ReincarnationRomance, but left it up to the audience if the idea is canon or not.
* When asked if TheVerse of {{Creator/Swing123}} and his ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' fanfics had a name, {{Creator/garfieldodie}} responded with "we don't really think of it like that."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The Joker in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' tells two entirely different stories as to how he got those scars (and started to tell a third), all of which are probably lies. Creator/ChristopherNolan not only didn't comment on them, he said Joker has ''no backstory at all''. This is in keeping with the comics.
* The contents of the suitcase from ''Film/PulpFiction'' are an example. It was originally supposed to be diamonds, but then [[Creator/QuentinTarantino Tarantino]] changed his mind and said it's basically supposed to be "whatever [[MacGuffin seems most valuable to the viewer and can fit in a suitcase]]". He's regretted putting the yellow glow in the briefcase, because it seems to be a clue to a question that never had an answer.
** According to Creator/SamuelLJackson, it contained [[spoiler: [[MathematiciansAnswer six heavy-ass batteries and three lights]] ]].
* Paul Thomas Anderson often responds with these when asked about the meaning of different things in ''{{Magnolia}}'', claiming he doesn't remember what he was thinking at the time.
* "If you understood ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' completely, we failed. We wanted to [[MindScrew raise more questions than we answered]]." -- ArthurCClarke
* Anything by DavidLynch. Lynch is so adamant about leaving his work open to interpretation that he won't even explain it to his actors. So, don't bother asking them, either. Although, Naomi Watts did give an insightful comment regarding ''Film/MulhollandDrive'': something to the effect that when a person is dreaming, they create every person, event, and object in that dream. This is why Lynch fandom obsesses over details such as room decorations. They know that Lynch, with the detail-orientedness of the painter he is, will have a meaning for every character and object in his characters' imaginary worlds, and that he uses these meanings to advance his story in place of a traditional plot.
** Lynch has said that sometimes a fascinating image pops into his mind and he decides to film that, without bothering to figure out first how it might fit the narrative. So he might not even know the meaning of something himself.
* In response to questions of whether or not the Human Project really existed and if they were able to create a cure to the mass infertility after the ending of ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'', the staff merely responded that the answer depended wholly on where you lie on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
* Creator/TheCoenBrothers refuse to answer any questions regarding ''Film/BartonFink'', and never talk about the film on their own. Bringing it up to them, famously, will usually put them in fits of stifled laughter.
* Creator/JohnCarpenter and Creator/KurtRussell come to the conclusion that some of the issues in ''Film/TheThing1982'' may be either best left unsolved, or are unsolvable (and that thinking about some of them too hard may drive a person insane, due to there being no knowable solution), during the commentary for the DVD. Carpenter once told a fan that she was supposed to use her imagination and decide an ending for herself. The fan griped, "Oh, I ''hate'' that."
* Invoked by Creator/ClintEastwood. He had always intended that the mysterious stranger in ''HighPlainsDrifter'' was the murdered sheriff's brother, but he liked the fan theories about who or what he was so much that he went on to make ''Film/PaleRider'' and deliberately avoid any clues as to the preacher's true identity.
* The ''entire plot'' of the French film ''La Moustache'' is uncertain, according to the scriptwriter / director. Basically, the main question is whether the main character's reality keeps changing and he's [[RippleEffectProofMemory the only one who remembers the way things used to be]], or whether [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness he's simply insane]], with the second question being which scenes are "real" and which are hallucinations. The writer / director has admitted that he didn't even bother coming up with answers to any of that--he just had an idea and filmed it.
* Tim Allen's character in ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' does this for his in-universe TV show.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan hasn't had much to say about various interpretations of ''Film/{{Inception}}'' since its release, but costume designer Jeffrey Kurland and actor Dileep Rao (Yusuf) have both weighed in on their views of the ending. Nolan in general doesn't comment too directly to fan theories and canon. In fact, he's admitted that he's highly amused that people keep constantly asking him questions about the ending even though he has no intention of answering them.
* In the ending of ''Film/{{Memento}}'', [[spoiler: Was Teddy lying? or telling the truth?]]. Christopher Nolan has never said either way, and more confusingly, the DVD commentary for the movie actually has three endings, one that says one version is true, another that says another version is true, and a third that does not say either way.
* ''Film/TotalRecall1990''. Are the events in the movie all just part of Quaid's Ego Trip, or is it real? The director has stated that both interpretations of the film fit the facts, and refuses to say which is the truth.
* In the commentary for ''{{Zardoz}}'', John Boorman, who produced, directed and '''wrote''' this MindScrew of a movie, admits he has no clue what's going on or what he was thinking (or most likely, ingesting) at different points.
* In WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda, it's not clear what happened to [[spoiler: Tai Lung]] at the end. Did he die? Was he seriously incapacitated and sent back to prison? [[WildMassGuessing Was he teleported to another part of the world]]? Well, if you listen to the commentary by the directors... they don't know either.
** Ditto for the apparent death of [[spoiler:[[TheDragon Boss Wolf]]]] in the sequel.
* Between ''TheMuppetsTakeManhattan'' and ''Film/TheMuppets'' The Henson Company/Muppet Studios refused to comment about whether Kermit and Piggy were actually married at the end of ''Manhattan''. The characters commented about it all the time; they just disagreed. The facts are these:
# The minister, Reverend Dr Cyril Jenkins, is indeed a real minister.
# Kermit, when interviewed afterward, always insisted that they weren't really married; it was just a movie.
# Piggy, when interviewed afterward, would coyly say that Kermit "preferred to keep their privacy."\\
\\
So it's impossible to tell for sure either way. They ''could'' be married, but simply having a real minister doesn't automatically make the marriage valid, even if Piggy had all the documentation set up. Kermit could challenge the marriage under the grounds of false pretense, and given that he was expecting Gonzo to act as the minister, it would almost certainly be successful.
** ''Film/TheMuppets'' strongly implies that the marriage did go through, [[spoiler: but they later split up]].
* ''Film/HalloweenTheCurseOfMichaelMyers'' - the one with all the weird occult stuff - gets even more incomprehensible with its final shot. [[spoiler: After Dr. Loomis disappears back into the sanitarium and our heroes drive off, we hear Loomis' scream and see Michael's mask on the floor next to a syringe. Cut to a jack-o-lantern with the flame inside blowing out. Roll credits.]] Interviews with the writer have revealed that it was the last night of reshoots (after the original ending had tanked with test audiences), they were making things up as they went, and they ran out of time so they [[spoiler: just threw a couple of props on the floor and filmed them hoping the audience would assume it signified something mysterious.]]
* The Wachowskis have refused to discuss any of the more ambiguous moments of ''The Matrix'' trilogy (like what's going on with Neo and the Matrix at the Ωend of the third film) because they prefer for the fans to make their own interpretations.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Creator/GeorgeLucas officially knows nothing about any of Yoda's backstory or history, despite having crafted elaborate backstories for basically every other character in the series (even ones with less than a minute of screentime) through the ExpandedUniverse. What's his species? They're officially known as [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yoda%27s_species "Yoda's species"]]. Where did they come from? Nobody knows. How did Yoda end up as the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order? Nobody knows. Why is every known member of his species a Jedi? ''Nobody knows.''
** In order to avoid having to tie the ''Star Wars'' universe into the real world, no one connected to the franchise has ever given a definitive answer on the human race's planet of origin. We know that humans are the most numerous species in the ''Star Wars'' galaxy, and it's been established that they aren't indigenous to most of the planets on which they're the primary species, but where they originally came from is anyone's guess.
*** Incidentally, some elements of the original trilogy's world-building (most notably [[{{Ecumenopolis}} Coruscant]]) were inspired by Isaac Asimov's Literature/FoundationTrilogy, where the question of humanity's planet of origin is a mystery in-universe and eventually becomes a plot point.
* ''Film/StarTrek'': In the DVD commentary, director Creator/JJAbrams really doesn't have an answer as to whether the policeman who pursues young Kirk was meant to be a robot or not.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'': When asked by fans about Queen Elsa's sexual orientation, the film's writer and co-director Jennifer Lee said that it was best left unsaid.
* ''Film/GroundhogDay'': How long was Phil Connors trapped in the GroundhogDayLoop? It depends on who you ask. Creator/BillMurray guesses 10 years, while writer/director Creator/HaroldRamis guessed ''10,000'' years.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Daniel Handler, author of ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents''. Because he uses a pseudonym (Lemony Snicket), he can pass it off as an excuse not to say anything about his work in public appearances, since Lemony's the one with the answers and he's just an "humble representative." Since the series ended with a KudzuPlot, many mysteries unsolved and loose ends, it's particularly jarring.
* Of the famously ambiguous scene in the Marabar caves in ''A Passage to India'', E.M Forster said, "In the cave it is ''either'' a man, ''or'' the supernatural, ''or'' an illusion. If I say, it becomes whatever the answer a different book. And even if I know! My writing mind is therefore a blur here, i.e, I will it to remain a blur."
* When asked whether Lyra and Will from ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' had become lovers at twelve or thirteen or however old they are, Creator/PhilipPullman said something like, "I wasn't going to look and neither should anyone else." Pullman also has no answer as to why a few people in Lyra's world have daemons that are their own sex, or when exactly the daemon appears - during birth or after.
** He used AscendedFanon, though, when someone asked if a same-sexed daemon meant the person was gay. He said he'd never thought of that and it was as good an explanation as any. He also said it could mean second sight or something.
* The most notorious mystery in the ''[[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Wheel of Time]]'' series is: Who killed Asmodean? Every time Robert Jordan was asked, he refused to answer, assuring the readers that they should have figured it out already (although this is not clear at all).
** "[[http://edition.cnn.com/chat/transcripts/2000/12/12/jordan/ The reason I won't tell people though is that I am enjoying watching them squirm entirely too much. It's probably bad for me.]]"
*** And [[AuthorExistenceFailure now he's dead]]. Take heed, writers -- he might well have been right.
** However, he also [[{{Jossed}} shot several theories out of the sky.]] The good news: The answer was in the notes he left and will be in [[strike:Book 12]] Books [[strike:12,]] 13, or 14.
*** In the end, the true culprit was only ''explicitly'' revealed the ''[[AllThereInTheManual glossary]]'' of ''Towers of Midnight'', the thirteenth book. However, the reveal is implied in dialogue in the book itself.
** Jordan had a term invented specifically for this use-whenever he was asked a question which he thought would spoiler things, his response would be RAFO (Read And Find Out). "Who killed Asmodean?" "RAFO." Thus creating the MemeticBadass known only as RAFO.
*** Creator/BrandonSanderson who was tapped to finish the series has now inherited the expression and uses it when asked about things in his own works.
* When asked whether the [[Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy Lord Ruler]] had used hemalurgy on himself, Creator/BrandonSanderson said he was planning to write more about him in the future and handed out a RAFO card.
* Creator/JKRowling used to do this a great deal before all the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books were released, but most of the questions she didn't answer would have spoiled the later books, so she had to be very careful with what she said about them, and in some cases, she worried about seemingly innocuous questions where even refusing to reveal the answer could spoil the surprise, e.g. if someone were to ask [[spoiler:what Dumbledore's wand was made of]]. Fortunately, no one did.
** She also refused to reveal the identities of the {{Official Couple}}s for years for fear of fan backlash (because Pottershipping is SeriousBusiness).
** The Shrug has also been applied to the entire chapter "King's Cross", which, according to Jo, could be interpreted as reality or simply "Reality inside Harry's head"- but why on Earth should that mean it was not real?
** She never did say what that spell was that Dumbledore was trying to cast on Voldemort during their duel that made Voldy's eyes narrow suspiciously. And now we may very well never find out.
*** That had little to do with the actual spell, but Voldemort was beginning to realize [[spoiler: Dumbledore wasn't trying to kill him, so Dumbledore must have known something was up.]]
** She will also never reveal how far [[spoiler:Dumbledore and Grindewald's relationship went - were they ever an actual couple?]] or what on Earth did Aberforth do [[NoodleIncident with that goat]]. She is waiting for the DevelopmentHell encyclopedia to reveal what exactly Voldemort did to get his rudimentary body before the beginning of ''Goblet'' (this because it horrified her editor when Jo told her).
** Rowling has also gone back and forth with both her opinion over the Harry/Hermione pairing. One minute she says it could've gone one way or another and the next she states Harry and Hermione are completely incompatible.
*** Of course, it could well be both. It's not like being completely incompatible necessarily stops people from trying anyway.
* In ''Literature/TheScarletLetter,'' Hawthorne is usually an omniscient narrator, knowing the deeds, words, and innermost thoughts and feelings of many different characters. But at one point, his omniscience falters, and he says that one woman is rumored to be a witch, without confirming whether she is or isn't.
** Well, if she isn't, she sure does use a lot of weird metaphors. She even invites Hester into the forest to dance with TheDevil.
* In Lewis Carroll's ''Literature/TheHuntingOfTheSnark'', all the characters' names start with the letter B. When Carroll was asked why this was the case, he replied, "Why not?"
* Tom Bombadil from ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''. To a reader that asked him who or what he really was, Creator/JRRTolkien wrote:
-->''Even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally).''
** He did, however, go on record as saying it is not {{God}}, even if some evidence pointed to it. (Indeed, some of his co-religionists argued the "He is" line about Tom was blasphemous for being too similar.)
** It is also never revealed whether or not Shelob died of the wounds Sam inflicted on her, of if she was later killed in the eruption of Mount Doom.
* This is the entire point of the story ''The Lady or the Tiger?'' by Frank Stockton, as well as its sequel, ''The Discourager of Hesitancy''. Stockton was once at a party where, in an attempt to get a straight answer out of him, the host(s) served two kinds of ice cream: one in the shape of a lady, the other in the shape of a tiger. They asked which he would prefer. Stockton said, "I'll have a bit of both."
* In ''Literature/TheBigSleep'' by Creator/RaymondChandler, the murder of Owen Taylor is never explained. When the book was being filmed, the director asked Chandler who killed Taylor; Chandler said that he didn't know either, so it was left unexplained in the movie as well.
** Legend suggests that the lack of a solution was an error on Chandler's part, which he acknowledged in during the above conversation. He just forgot to tie that detail up.
** Legend may be overstating the case, though: The evidence in the book does wind up pointing in a specific direction, it's just never pinned down with a definitive proof.
* George R.R. Martin is very fond of doing this, either because he hasn't thought out the details of a particular question, or because it's related to future events in the series. The most common shrug is the one that comes after any question about Jon Snow's parentage in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''.
* One early ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' book contains a statement by Terry Pratchett that there is no map of the Disc, because "you can't map a sense of humor." [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Discworld_Mapp Then he made one anyway.]]
** However, the map ''was'' supposedly written by the very CMOT Dibbler itself. That alone should raise questions of accuracy.
** And he's also said the Disc has [[AlternateHistory alternate pasts]]. God only knows which one the map is showing.
** In one of his forewords he said that the book contained no map but readers should feel free to draw one if they wanted to. A reader named Stephen Briggs took him at his word, which is how the various Discworld maps ended up being drawn. In the forewords to the maps Pratchett expresses surprise that places he made up for the sake of a joke and then forgot about fit together so neatly.
** It should also be mentioned that Pratchett did say continents are found and lost on even the best-run worlds, so it's possible that the Disc itself changes enough to make maps of it a futile measure at best. The country of Chimeria is shown on the map, despite the ''Companion'' stating that it's a "brigadoon", and has wandered off somewhere.
* Literature/CiaphasCain--'''HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!'''--was originally inspired by the idea of a Literature/{{Flashman}} {{Expy}}. However, the (in-story) editor of his memoirs has said that he doesn't give himself enough credit. Creator/SandyMitchell admits to not knowing himself whether Cain deserves more credit than he is prepared to give himself.
* In the prologue of Margaret Craven's ''I Heard An Owl Call My Name'', a doctor explains to a bishop that a newly ordained priest is terminally ill: a few active years left, then a few as an invalid. The priest dies during the novel, in an accident. Craven has said she doesn't know what he had.
* An interviewer asked W. M. Thackeray if [[spoiler:Becky kills Jos]] in ''Literature/VanityFair.'' Thackeray cheerfully admitted that he hadn't a clue.
** Though one of Thackeray's own illustrations, not included in every edition of the novel, these days, shows Becky hiding behind a curtain, holding what appears to be a bottle of poison.
* Lois Lowry has refused to explain the GainaxEnding of ''Literature/TheGiver''. The two main schools of thought are that [[spoiler:Jonas escapes]] or that the final vision is a [[spoiler:DyingDream as he freezes to death.]] The sequels, however, imply that he [[spoiler:survives]].
** This was upgraded to WordOfGod at author [=Q&A=] of the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. After asking if anyone had any questions, Lowry added, [[spoiler:"Jonas is alive, by the way. You don't have to ask that one."]]
** Considering that [[spoiler: Jonas is alive and an adult in ''The Giver'''s companion book ''Messenger'']] this should come as no shock to anyone who's read all three books.
* When Gregory Maguire is asked about Glinda and Elphaba's relationship in Wicked he says that there is 'something going on' between them, but refuses to state what.
* Creator/GlenCook, in an interview concerning his series ''The Instrumentalities of the Night'', was asked how certain character and place names should be pronounced. For example, the main character is named Else Tage. Is the final "e" in either or both names silent? His response was essentially that the reader had his blessing to pronounce all names any way that seemed to the reader to make sense.
* Victoria Holmes, [[ErinHunter one of the authors]] of ''Literature/WarriorCats'', does this a lot. When asked for spoilers, she usually responds, "Do you think I'll tell you that?" And when asked about the plot of ''Yellowfang's Secret'', she replied, "Yellowfang will be in it. She will have a secret. Bad things will happen."
* Jim Butcher, author of Literature/TheDresdenFiles and Literature/CodexAlera series, does book signings and fan events fairly frequently, and often reserves time for a Q&A section. However, when he is asked a question which he considers to be too spoilerific, he has developed a habit of saying "I'm not gonna tell you," in a singsong voice.
* As the [[TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles RPG for]] ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' is written by the same author as the books, much of the information vis-a-vis powers and current status of certain characters can likely be considered WordOfGod. But since it's also written in-character by Dresden and a friend of his, some things they just don't know, and those things are generally marked as "speculation" on their parts that might be true, or might be completely off base.
** Jim Butcher did '''''NOT''''' write the Dresden Files RPG. He wrote the short story that accompanies it, he approved things, but he did not write the game.
* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels: You can contact FM on her website and ask her questions about her work and offer opinions, but don't be surprised if you get this response: "To answer your questions>>>>> I write what I do because I can. This is fiction. If you don't like my writing why did you continue to read the series? Oh, that's right, because they were entertaining. I rest my case. Characters are human just like the rest of us mortals. Again, this is fiction. I make it a point to never defend my writing because . . . I write fiction. Fiction is make believe, in other words, it's whatever the author wants to make it. Thank you for taking the time to write and offer your opinions and your insight. FM". Well, you have to respect a writer who gives this as a response!
* Libba Bray does this with the Literature/GemmaDoyle trilogy. According to her, "[[http://libba-bray.livejournal.com/27836.html It will be YOUR job to assign futures to Gemma and her friends, to imagine what roads they travel, what adventures they might have next, whether they find love and success and contentment, and if they do, to imagine what forms that happiness takes]]." A more specific example is when asked if Gemma and Kartik [[spoiler: [[DidTheyOrDidntThey had sex]] in the realms]], she said that it's up to interpretation.
* Creator/DavidWeber's signature "Tum, te, tum, te, tum" non-answer anytime a type 1/2 comes up in the forums.
* In ''Literature/SoLongAndThanksForAllTheFish'', prior to giving Arthur an on-page sex life, Creator/DouglasAdams says many people have asked the questions "Did Arthur ever get anywhere with Trillian?" and "What happened after he met that Golofrinchian woman in ''Literature/TheRestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse''?" The answers turn out to be "Mind your own business" and "The book ended".
* John Green has repeatedly told readers that he “has no more idea than you do” what goes on outside the written content of the book. He especially started getting a lot of questions after ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'', rather humorously, since his characters in the book run into a situation similar to that of Green’s fans.
* Creator/JonathanFranzen has stated in interviews that he wants readers to come to their own conclusions regarding ''{{Freedom}}'' and has refused to answer any questions about his intent with regard to the title, his personal definition of the word, etc.
* When Creator/JohnScalzi was writing ''The Android's Dream'', he realized he'd managed to go several pages without identifying the gender of the character Sam. Since he'd also happened to use a unisex name, he decided to [[AmbiguousGender keep it up through the whole book]], and now maintains that even he doesn't know whether Sam is a man, a woman, or intersex, and consequently whether his/her relationship with Archie is gay or straight. He even advises people to read through the book three times, imagining Sam as all three, to decide which works best for them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The stinger at the very end of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Last of the Time Lords" has its official Shrug Of God. It's apparently a generic SequelHook, no strings attached. Director's commentary is "It was in, it was out, it was in, it was out."
** Ironically, it turned out to be Davies who picked up on the stinger for "The End of Time" (''The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter'' makes it clear there was no long-term plan involved).
** When asked whether the Eighth Doctor's revelation that he's half-human on his mother's side is still valid, Creator/StevenMoffat gave a response to the effect of, "Well, he certainly said that, didn't he?" And as Moffat's characters often say, "Rule one: The Doctor lies."
*** Moffat also openly endorses lying to the fans if it helps to keep the mystery of the story. A good percentage of questions levelled at him will be met with vague answers for a variety of reasons. Just the only reason you ''can't'' give for this is that he's [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants making it up as he goes]].
* The producer of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' "encourages" multiple interpretations of the ending.
* David Chase was very tight-lipped about the ambiguous ending of ''Series/TheSopranos''.
** He eventually admitted it was for reason five. He simply couldn't have any kind of definitive finality without it being over-analyzed to death.
* Cuse and Lindelof of ''Series/{{Lost}}''.
** Well, in case enough wasn't said, there are occasional things fans want to know that the show runners don't consider interesting or important. Some they have mentioned in podcasts include how Kelvin got to the island and what happened to Sun's dog. At other times, they'll read the fan question, but avoid answering it, then comment on how they dodged the question (this usually means, "Yes, that's important, and will be revealed on the show, possibly soon.")
* ''Reunion'' was planned such that each episode would take place in one year in the lives of six friends, covering the span from their high school graduation to their 20-year reunion. Tying the series together was the mystery of the murder of one of the friends. Unfortunately (at least for the show's few fans), it was cancelled with only nine episodes having been aired. When the show's creators were pressed in interviews for details on how the show would have played out, they admitted that they hadn't decided who the murderer was.
* GeneRoddenberry and the characters themselves in ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' rather famously and elaborately shrugged when asked about the specifics of Kirk and Spock's relationship. [[SlashFic Fanwank]] has ensued for the last forty years.
** ''Weeell'' ... Gene's {{Novelisation}} of ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'' has Spock use a Vulcan word that ''could'' mean "lover" (and could also mean "[[HeterosexualLifePartners close friend]]") to describe Kirk. But then follows it up with a lengthy footnote by Kirk that essentially says "HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday".
* In the popular crossover between ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' and ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', fans got a massive shrug regarding the discontinuity in Klingon makeup when Mr. Worf, a late series ridge-headed Klingon sits at a bar with early series guys in gold lame and dark makeup (all the Original Series could afford to create an alien species). When asked by his fellow crewmates to explain how Klingons from different time frames could possibly look so different, even floating numerous explanations popular in fanon for decades, Worf merely replies "We do not discuss it with outsider". The Deep Space Nine writers stated that they had no intention of canonising an answer because all the options sounded trite to them when everyone knew it was just down to budget and costume developments and felt a comedic acknowledgement that left fans to speculate freely would be more fun for the fandom. Years, later the ''StarTrekEnterprise'' writers decided to canonise the plot ideas the Deep Space Nine staff had dismissed.
* A deleted scene from ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' features Helo confessing to Adama that he was responsible for stopping the humans' chance to wipe out the Cylons with a virus. Adama's knowledge or lack thereof is a pretty significant part of the relationship between the two characters, yet Ronald D. Moore has never given an answer on whether the scene should be considered to have actually "happened".
** Then again, this has been Moore's general response to just about every extra-canonical theory thrown his way with the lone exception of the "Starbuck's dad is [[TheGhost Daniel/Number Seven]]" theory. That's the only thing he's come out an acknowledged was an outright AssPull because the writers had fraked up the Cylon model numbering system and needed to explain their way out of the logic trap.
* Mostly averted by ''Series/BabylonFive'' creator Creator/JMichaelStraczynski, who was among the first TV show producers to consistently interact with fans and answer any of their questions, with the exception of things that would spoil future plot points; on some occasions, he even flat-out lied to avoid spoilers. This was made possible due to his having planned out in advance not only the entire five year run of the series, but the thousand years before and after that period. However, there are still some plot points he refuses to explain, in case he gets a chance to use them in a spin-off. A case in point is Delenn's toast to the disgraced Lennier in the series finale among toasts to the dead; all we get on the commentary is "That's a very sad story, and maybe I'll tell it someday."
** Then there's the coin flip that was used to determine of Londo or G'Kar would be the bad guy. [[GreyAndGreyMorality No one will say who won.]]
* It seems someone [[labelnote:*]]JossWhedon JossWhedon JossWhedon[[/labelnote]] has convinced Morena Baccarin to avoid answering any questions on [[Series/{{Firefly}} Inara Serra's]] preoccupation with aging. Not trying to start a rumor or anything...
** Also, remember in the pilot episode, when it looks like the Reavers might board the ship, and Inara has a syringe in her hand? All Joss will say is that it was ''not'' a suicide shot.
*** Tim Minear revealed in a closed-door discussion that [[spoiler:the contents of the syringe would kill anybody that tried to rape her.]]
** Also on the topic of Joss, he was asked at Comic-Con who would win a fight between [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy Summers]] and [[Series/{{Firefly}} River Tam]]. He proceeded to state the pros of each one and then trailed off.
*** On Cambridge Forum, though, he had the audience vote on it. River won.
*** Please, it is obvious who the winner of this fight would be: [[CatFight the viewing public]]!
** According to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTxGOi9coWQ Morena]], [[spoiler:Inara was in fact dying of some sort of illness. It seems none of the cast knew what it was or why (presumably the series was canceled before they could explore that any more).]]
* The staff writers who maintain the ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' blog "Behind the Eclipse" do this a lot. One shrug that inspired particular fan rage was when they were asked [[spoiler:how Nathan Petrelli ''came back to life'' after being pronounced dead in the Season 3 premiere]], and the answer was, "He just got lucky. People can survive shootings all the time. It happens."
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' creator John Rogers' blog, a fan asked if antagonist Sterling joining Interpol meant that he would have an in-universe TV show about his crimefighting with a British actor playing him ("I'm thinking Eccleston"). The response: [[AscendedFanon "Consider it canon."]]
* DanSchneider, the creator of ''Series/ICarly'' follows this trope to a fault, with years worth of examples of him following Type 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 15 and 17. Mostly because of Shipping. Ask him anything about shipping, it'll be a miracle if you get a straight answer.
* In the universe of Warehouse13, KingArthur did indeed exist and pull a sword from a stone (using an artifact, of course). Artie explicitly says, however, that Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table were legends. When asked about the HolyGrail, however, he refused to comment.
* Two pricing games on ''ThePriceIsRight'' (Check Game and Credit Card) have been "withdrawn". Although neither game has been played in years, the staff has not officially declared either game retired — but then again, they're also making no claims of either game coming back. So as far as they're concerned, both games may or may not be retired.
* The producers of ''{{Smallville}}'' has been vague about a number of things, including whether [[EvilTwin Bizarro]] is really [[ComicBookDeath dead]]. As in, ''[[KilledOffForReal dead]]'' dead. They also confirmed that they had no idea what DoctorFate meant when he said Chloe Sullivan walks the same path as he.
* In regards to the true nature of [[HideYourLesbians Xena and Gabrielle's relationship]] on ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' LucyLawless herself has said publically that she is "undecided".
* How Finn died in ''{{Glee}}'' when {{The Character Died With Him}}. The closest we get is Kurt saying how he died doesn't matter next to how he lived.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Bobbie Gentry has stated she doesn't know why Billie Joe [=McCallister=] jumped off the Tallahassee bridge, the central mystery of her hit single "Ode to Billie Joe."
* Paul Simon's song "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" contains the line "What your momma saw/it was against the law". Simon has claimed he has no idea what it was the momma saw, other than it was probably something sexual.
* The straightest answer to the question "What does "American Pie" mean?" that anyone has gotten out of DonMcLean is "It means I never have to work again." More seriously, he claims "songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence." and "They’re beyond analysis. They’re poetry."
* BobDylan, upon being asked what his songs are about, replied "[[WhatsAHenway Some are about three minutes, some are about five minutes]]".
* Music/DragonForce tends to take this approach to questions about their songs' meanings. Depending on which member you ask, the answer will lie somewhere between [[TheWalrusWasPaul "It's more fun if you interpret them for yourself"]] and [[WordSaladLyrics "They don't mean anything"]].
* TomLehrer has said that the line in "My Home Town" that he "censors" ("That fellow was no fool/Who taught our Sunday school/And neither was our kindly Parson Brown/...['I guess I'd better leave this line out just to be on the safe side' or 'We're recording tonight so I'll have to leave this line out']/In my home town") did not actually exist; he simply could not think of a line that was funnier than saying that he wasn't allowed to say it. Presumably either Parson Brown or the Sunday school teacher (or both) did ''something''...
* What does WASP's name stand for? In one interview, Blackie Lawless responded "[[FunWithAcronyms We Ain't Sure, Pal.]]" One of their early singles was released with the words "We Are Sick People" scratched into the innermost part of the vinyl. Which is true? We are still pondering...
* Ric Ocasek of Music/TheCars once said in an interview about his notoriously cryptic lyrics: "I'm not going to destroy your dream...the lyrics mean whatever you want them to mean. And I'll agree with you."
* The Arcade Fire song "Neighborhood #2 (Power Out)", already kind of [[MindScrew trippy]], ends with the lines "Is it a dream, is it a lie? I think I'll let you decide."
* "Girl" by Music/{{Beck}} has a hard to decipher word in between "My" and "Girl" during the chorus. Is it Summer? Sun-eyed? Cyanide? In the lyric book it says "My ... girl".
* A Japanology lecturer on the university of Vienna was asked to translate some J-Pop song lyrics into German for CD-releases in Germany and Austria. Upon asking the Pop-groups in question for an explanation of the intended meaning of the used Te-Form Verbs in the songs (Te-Form Verbs can take on several meanings based on context), he got several Shrugs of God in a row, usually accompanied by something to the effect of "If you say so, that's probably what it means".
** Along the same vein, Gackt refuses to explain what ''Papa Lapped a Pap Lopped'' means. His only answer so far has been that English-speakers should understand what it means.
* The meaning of the Eagles' "Hotel California" has remained ambiguous even after multiple band interviews on the subject. At best, the song is usually just said to be about "the 70s."
** Something bout the rock star lifestyle, something about cocaine addiction, something about Satanism. Or live-action roleplaying. Or fad diets.
* "People are always asking me what my lyrics mean. Well I say what any decent poet would say if you dared ask him to analyse his work: if you see it, darling, then it's there."- [[{{Queen}} Freddie Mercury]]
* SoundHorizon is built upon creating elaborate {{Rock Opera}}s with complicated {{Jigsaw Puzzle Plot}}s with ridiculous quantities of multi-lingual wordplay and then watching all the fans try to figure out what in the holy hell it means while refusing to explain any of it. The official statement is that Revo doesn't want to force one interpretation on the audience when WildMassGuessing is half the fun of being in the fandom. The fandom's stance is that [[TeasingCreator their brainpain]] [[TrollingCreator amuses him.]]
* Despite being the song's writer, [[{{Oasis}} Noel Gallagher]] of Oasis has no idea what "Champagne Supernova" is about. His words:
-->"I don’t fucking know. But are you telling me, when you’ve got 60,000 people singing it, they don’t know what it means? It means something different to every one of them."
* In his commentary for the Music/LemonDemon song "Subtle Oddities" Neil Cicierega says, "I think this song is about a haunted house. Someone once said that it was about God. Sure, why not? That makes about as much sense."
* The song "Lurker" by Music/{{Genesis}} ends with a riddle. When asked what the answer was in an interview, Tony Banks, who wrote the song, had this to say "I'm afraid to say really that there is no real solution. You can search for your own one if you like. It was a bit of a joke. When I was writing it I honestly didn't really have a specific idea in mind. If you can find out what the answer is, perhaps you can tell me!"
* Music/{{Devourment}} released a compilation album titled ''1.3.8.'' back in 2000, and fans have been trying to figure out just what the hell the significance of that number is ever since. Mike Majewski's usual response to the question has generally been something along the lines of "I don't even remember" or "it doesn't mean anything", but more sarcastic answers have been given, namely "one dollar, three tacos, eight hours on the shitter". The most common fan hypothesis is that it's North Texas police code for grave robbery or vandalism, but this has neither been confirmed nor denied by anyone in the band.[[note]]In most states, 138 is code for drunk and disorderly conduct, which ''could'' be a self-deprecatory jab, but police code isn't universal and often does vary from state to state. Take it as you will.[[/note]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'': What is Hobbes' true nature? A magical stuffed animal that comes to life when Calvin is around? A figment of Calvin's imagination? Bill Watterson isn't sure himself.
** In the Tenth Anniversary Collection, Watterson would only state that Hobbes is a comment on the subjective nature of reality; Calvin sees him differently from everyone else.
** This is reportedly the reason Watterson would not allow a stuffed toy Hobbes to be manufactured (that, and his loathing of merchandising). He felt it would answer the question as to whether or not Hobbes was just a stuffed toy.
** Other interviewers have occasionally tried to trap Watterson with a gotcha question highlighting specific instances in the strip in which Hobbes does seem to be a) either completely real or b) either completely imaginary. For example [[http://ignatz.brinkster.net/ccomicsjournal.html this one]] where the interviewer asks how Hobbes could tie Calvin to a chair and then be discovered in that state by his father, who is not ordinarily able to see evidence of Hobbes being "alive." Watterson simply answered ambiguously that he liked the intellectual tension created by "two versions of reality that do not mix."
** In the ''Tenth Anniversary Collection'', Watterson states that "''Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie'' (like the 'NoodleIncident' I've referred to in several strips) is left to the reader's imagination, where it's sure to be more outrageous."
** Readers will search in vain for any explanation of the rules to CalvinBall... but that's really no accident. Watterson established clearly that you make up the rules of CalvinBall as you go.
* ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' creator Stephan Pastis says that he has never come up with a definite answer for what the crocodiles' accent ("Hullo, zeeba neighba") is supposed to be.
** He did give an answer to that question. The Crocodiles are speaking "Crocese".
*** Kind of undermined by the comic itself, where it is pretty much established that, of all the Crocs we meet, it is only Larry, Bob and a few others who speak like that. Larrys wife, son and parents all speak english without any visible accent.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' fuelled all kinds of theories about ''why'' 42 was the answer to WMG/TheUltimateQuestionOfLifeTheUniverseAndEverything, until Douglas Adams [[http://www.vacic.org/photo/42/index.html stated on alt.fan.douglas-adams]] that [[RuleOfFunny it was just a joke]]:
-->"The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do' I typed it out. End of story."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Many fans of the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign setting ''{{Eberron}}'' frequently ask questions such as "What happened to destroy Cyre and create the Mournland?" no matter how many times such things are said to explicitly be points of Canon Uncertainty And Doubt. The answer is deliberately left out, so [[GameMaster DMs]] can provide their own and easily work those events into their own plotline.
** Additionally, a similar question involving the ''{{Planescape}}'' campaign setting is one regarding the true nature of Sigil's ruler/guardian, the Lady of Pain. A straight answer has never been given, other than a novel hinting that she has ties to the Greek pantheon of gods. The most direct answer simply states that she was inspired by the title character of Algernon Swinburne's poem "Dolores".
*** Incidentally, unlike the ''{{Eberron}}'' scenario, which it's stated explicitly that it is the [[GameMaster DMs]] call to provide an explanation for the various mysteries, ''Planescape'' encouraged [[GameMaster DMs]] to leave such questions regarding the Lady of Pain and various other multiversal engimas deliberately unanswered, to maintain the setting's particular ethos.
** Similarly, the nature and identity of ''{{Ravenloft}}'''s Dark Powers are usually kept mysterious.
*** While some fans reject the 3rd edition ''Ravenloft'' products, they did provide a satisfactory answer: the Dark Powers have no canonical true nature, and [=DMs=] should do whatever they want with no worries.
* Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games (the creators of ''{{GURPS}}'') has been known to answer obscure questions about his games with "Fnord." (A reference to the ''{{Illuminatus}}'' trilogy, which has often gotten {{Shout Out}}s in SJG products.)
** Given the sensitive nature of the subject matter (religion) in the ''TabletopGame/InNomine'' roleplaying game from Steve Jackson Games, many topics are what the Line Editor officially refers to as matters of "Canon Doubt and Uncertainty". Each individual DM is supposed to come up with their own answers to such questions as 'Was Jesus Christ really the Son of God?', and the official game material has never and will never address the issue directly.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': So, what's up with the two missing Primarchs? WordOfGod is, of course, "No comment."
** Also, who the hell is Cypher and what is he up to?
** This is essentially Games Workshop's company policy about canon.
* Perhaps as a reaction to the increasingly unwieldy {{Metaplot}} of its [[OldWorldOfDarkness predecessor]], the NewWorldOfDarkness ''loves'' this, repeatedly emphasizing the [[{{Gamemaster}} Storyteller's]] opinion as the ultimate arbiter of what is canon and not.
** One noted example in the ''New Orleans: City of the Damned'' supplement is that Donovan, the Prince's Sheriff, is concealing his identity and that it would be disastrous if his true identity were made known. About the only information the book gives about his past is that he was Embraced in 1865.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* John Patrick Shanley won't reveal whether, in his play ''Theatre/{{Doubt}}'', [[spoiler:the priest molested the children or not]]. The point of the play is the investigation. He has, however, noted that he has decided on an answer and told the actors playing Father Flynn, although nobody else.
* Creator/WSGilbert, when asked about whether or not Jack Point is dead (the libretto says that he "falls insensible") at the end of ''Theatre/TheYeomenOfTheGuard'', said: "The fate of Jack Point is in the hands of the audience, who may please themselves whether he lives or dies." (However, he [[FlipFlopOfGod was also reported as having said]] "Jack Point should die" when asked if it was all right to treat Point as dead.)
* Samuel Beckett, when asked what, exactly, ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot'' even meant responded "What do you think?" And then, on being given the interviewer's analysis, "Hmmm, interesting." And that is all.
** Beckett did, however, deny a persistent piece of {{Fanon}} that persists in studies of the play. "If I meant Godot to be God, I would have simply called him God." Though, to complicate matters, at another point he did claim that his subconscious does things without him at times. All in all, "If I knew who Godot was, I would have said so in the play."
* Creator/HenrikIbsen's play ''Ghosts'' ends with one main character [[spoiler:deciding whether or not to kill her son.]] Ibsen refused to state what she chose, saying it was too important of a question.
* A lot of people have asked StephenSondheim what the giant's wife from the second act of IntoTheWoods represents in real life (global warming, AIDS, etc.). Sondheim's response: "To James [Lapine] and me, it is a giant. Enough said."

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Greg Farshtey, writer of most of the ''{{Bionicle}}'' media, occasionally does this in a very DeadpanSnarker -ish fashion.
-->'''Fan''': This is a bit of a nitpick, but in Federation of Fear, Tren Krom is described as having yellow eyes. But in The Mutran Chronicles, and on his BS01 entry, he is said to have little more than holes laid into his skull for eyes. Which one is the accurate description?
--> '''Greg''': You're right. It is a nitpick.
** He also refuses to discuss how new Matoran are made, basically telling fans to think it up themselves. He does this to keep a feeling of mystique to the setting and avoid the {{Squick}} that would probably come with an explanation about it. Though it may also have something with the NoHuggingNoKissing rule Bionicle seems to operate on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* What is The Secret of VideoGame/MonkeyIsland©? answer: [[spoiler:"Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!"]]
** "Only [=LeChuck=] knows. And he's an evil insane nightmarish murderous revenge-obsessed undead horror, so good luck getting an honest answer out of ''him''."
** This one was given a canonical answer in ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'', which established that the island contains [[spoiler:a giant robot monkey,]] but this sequel was created by a different production team to the one that set the question. Original creator Ron Gilbert has his own answer, but remains disinclined to tell anyone.
** Probably the intended original answer was that Monkey Island contains a portal to the underworld (under a giant monkey head), which Guybrush discovers near the end, and is pretty staggering as secrets go. It just wasn't positively identified as such in-game.
* "Team Silent, Team Silent, which one of the endings to ''SilentHill'' is canon?" "They're all canon." "[[{{NyoronChuruya-san}} Nyoro~n]]."
* "[[http://rare.co.uk/extras/scribes/9may08/index.html Please, no more]]. It is 9:27pm, I'm trying to work on ''[[{{Banjo-Kazooie}} Banjo]]'' and you keep asking me questions about supporting characters in [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry games I designed nearly 15 years ago]]."
* The ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' dev team is ''frustratingly notorious'' for this. Every interview they have will always have at least one question with an ambiguous answer that's as vague as possible. '''Always.''' It's not so bad to want your MMO to have some mysteries, but trying to have your game as GuideDangIt as possible with things that hundreds of thousands of players haven't figured out for 4+ years is something else entirely.
** The "you wish it was only NintendoHard" boss Absolute Virtue is featured in a developer-made video showing unimaginably vague "hints" for beating it. Every single frame of the video has been scrutinized and subjected to dizzying heights of WildMassGuessing. To this day, nobody knows what the developers were trying to convey.
*** It has been figured out that the developers were trying to show that matching AV's two hours with your own locks them. He remains unbeatable because the video didn't show/was unclear on how to stop him from spamming meteor and killing everyone once his health drops below a certain point.
** When asked what the pop condition was for Almighty Apkallu (a monster who has only ever been seen a handful of times) they initially shrugged saying that they didn't remember that monster. Later they responded with the vague hints of "First of all, luck plays a big role in whether he appears or not" and "He doesn't like being left alone, and will wander off if no one is around to keep him company."
** A similar issue currently exists in VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII regarding Sephiroth and Jenova's exact relationship (as in, which one was dominant). Although the Ultimania guide mentioned that Sephiroth was in control of Jenova, ''Dissidia 012's'' museum bio for Sephiroth, specifically the section detailing his appearance in VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII, stated that he, upon returning, was "an agent of Jenova's will", which would imply that Jenova was in fact the dominant one.
* When asked how VideoGame/{{Kirby}} got his name, Masahiro Sakurai says he doesn't remember.
** Kirby was either named after the lawyer who defended VideoGame/DonkeyKong from [[Film/KingKong Universal's copyright infringement lawsuit]] or the Kirby vacuum company. And Kirby's shape was a placeholder that wound up being [[ThrowItIn Thrown In]] when they couldn't think up a good form for him. [[OrSoIHeard Supposedly.]]
* Bungie Studios, the creators of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'', deliberately dodge many questions by the fandom, because they prefer to let the fans answer the questions and come up with the theories themselves.
** "How do Grunts reproduce?" "''[[{{Squick}} Frantically]]''."
* What happened 10 years ago, during the War? Why did the scientists come to the island? And what the hell is Balrog? These are just a few of the questions that all ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' fans wish to have answers to. Yet all Pixel-san says is "I leave it to the player's imagination".
** On an interview about [[UpdatedRerelease the Wii version]] though, he answered one of the questions: [[spoiler: Balrog's design was based on ''soap'']].
* Much like in the ''Cave Story'' example, the setting of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is basically ''made'' of this trope. The creator has repeatedly mentioned he wants people to fill in the blanks themselves. Heck, even the [[AllThereInTheManual manuals]] are, in universe, written by {{Unreliable Narrator}}s who write based on hearsay, so not even the official books have much honest, set in stone WordOfGod. Of course, this only [[WildMassGuessing spurs]] [[EpilepticTrees the fans]] [[FanWank further]].
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic 2'', it's strongly hinted at that [[spoiler:Kreia is Arren Kae, Brianna's mother]]. If this is news to anyone, check out Scorchy's post [[http://lparchive.org/Knights-of-the-Old-Republic-II/Update%2058/ here]]. Still, the writer Chris Avellone's response to a question on this was "Can't comment, but good catch. Sorry."
** Anyone that's read [=MCAs=] ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' Bibles would recognise "good catch" as his standard response to a coincidence or minor detail pointed out by a fan that he actually likes the implications of.
* In the RPG ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' this is how the creators reacted to the question of whether [[spoiler:the main character, Luke, survives or not]]. Cue endless debates on the subject.
* Every single time Testuya Nomura is asked about when ''KingdomHearts 3'' will be announced, it usually results in this. Like in this interview concerning ''Birth By Sleep'':
-->'''Interviewer''': Do you think people will want to replay the first title after clearing this one?
-->'''Nomura''': Hmmm, I think there are a lot of puzzling elements, so maybe they'll want to play the next game... and there'll be a secret movie too.
-->'''Interviewer''': The next game!? Do you mean "III"!?
-->'''Nomura''': The next game will be the next game (laughs)
** And on the subject of ''KingdomHearts'', according to the Ultimania, [[spoiler:Roxas "may or may not" have had Ventus's heart.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life}}'''s writer, Marc Laidlaw, remains very careful not to make any crucial statements about some of the fuzzier parts of the series' continuity. He does not only hold this attitude towards the Gearbox expansions, but also towards Valve's games as well.
-->[[http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=114535 The whole issue of canon is something the fans came up with. I guess you will be able to identify as canon those story elements we continue to build on and develop and mention repeatedly as the story progresses. Others might fall by the wayside once they've served their purpose. Couldn't you say the same of us all?]]
* The ''{{Freespace}}'' series was never completed, and Volition have said perhaps two things about the story and where it was going to go, which actually raised more questions than they answered. Cue the EpilepticTrees.
** In a much-anticipated 2011 interview with the fanbase (more than 10 years after the last game was released), lead writer Jason Scott did reveal a few details about what was planned for the future games. However, he did so in such a vague manner that he simply fuelled further speculation.
* In regards to whether or not [[VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories Adell]]'s [[spoiler:ears are pointed like other demons]], the creators of ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' responded only that "there's nothing special about them." Nobody's quite sure if they meant that they're normal [[spoiler:human ears]] or normal [[spoiler:demon ears]].
* For several years, fans have always asked Valve how the entire ZombieApocalypse started for the ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' series, but an answer has yet to be produced since Valve wants fans to come up with their own theories instead of always being spoon fed information.
** Fans are also demanding to know what happens to the VideoGame/Left4Dead2 survivors after they are saved by the military at the end of The Parish campaign since the military was killing carriers of the virus and it was confirmed that the survivors are also carriers. Valve has yet to say anything on the subject.
* [[http://www.bgemyth.net/?page=plus_d_infos/creation_du_jeu/interview_jacques_exertier/interview_jacques_exertier.php An interview]] with one of the primary writers of ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' gave fans an opportunity to ask their many tickling questions about the game. One, with regard to character names, was "What does 'Double H' stand for?" Answer? They don't know. It ''probably'' comes from his initials... maybe.
* The ''Videogame/EverQuestII'' developers are infamous for doing this. So much so, that ''not'' giving a straight answer one way or another has frustrated many a customer into cancelling their accounts because of the sheer unpredictability of where the game was heading in terms of both story and gameplay mechanics.
* At the end of ''Videogame/GrandTheftAutoIII'', SilentProtagonist Claude has just rescued his annoying and motormouthed girlfriend Maria. The screen fades to the credits-on-black but Maria keeps on talking, and [[spoiler:a single gunshot is heard, and she quits talking]]. Rockstar's official response to fan questions about what actually happened is [[spoiler:"certainly gun shots were fired but nobody is sure as to exactly what happened."]]
* The character SelfDemonstrating/CrankyKong in the ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' series. While no one questions that he's supposed to be the original Donkey Kong, Rare has flip-flopped on the issue on whether he's Donkey Kong's father or grandfather (meaning either modern DK is Donkey Kong Junior or his son). While more sources say grandfather, they did try to remain consistent during the production of ''DonkeyKong64'', leading the writers to state on their website to ignore instances of their previous mistake. Since this was the last Donkey Kong game they developed, this attempt at WordOfGod has gone unnoticed. (There's also the argument that Rare themselves was never meant to be taken seriously, as they have a history of making jokes about these sorts of questions.)
** Even more confusing, Retro Studies has implied at least once that THEIR Cranky Kong [[spoiler: might be Rare's Donkey Kong.]]
* The first ''RuneFactory'' game's ending is the best example. After saving the day it reveals that [[spoiler:the merchant Ivan]] is actually a relative of the king who was searching for his long lost brother [[spoiler:which would be you.]] In an interview it's actually ''stated'' that both characters are related to the king, but it never says if they're related to one another. It still just strongly hints too it.
** Other examples from the same interview is that Iris is not a vampire and probably not a purebred of whatever her species then is, No one knows where the Saint-Coquilles money comes from, and Sharron is "probably not human." (Note that there is no indication of that last one anywhere in game.)
* Creator/ValveSoftware's [[TrollingCreator refusal]] to reveal the gender of the Pyro in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has become a RunningGag in both the fandom and [[AscendedMeme the game itself]].
-->'''Scout:''' He's not here, is she?
* Mortis Ghost, ''Videogame/{{OFF}}'''s creator, prefers to let everyone come up with their own explanations to whatever just happened in the game rather than say so himself. Considering [[MindScrew what sort of game we're talking about]], that's a lot of speculation to be done.
* For nearly a decade, fans and video game journalists alike have been begging Creator/SquareEnix for a confirmed release date on ''Versus XIII'' in their ''Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy'' saga, helmed by ''FF XIII''. Square pulled a Valve by giving extremely vague answers that never addressed the questions, and even after very recently making clear with its trailer that ''Versus XIII'' is now ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'', still have yet to give a proper release date.
* ''VideoGame/TheHalloweenHack''
** There were several hints in the game that Varik was supposed to be [[spoiler: (a future?) Ness. The game calls you "Giygas slayer" at times, and people mistake you for Ness a lot. Radiation said that it just started with him "wanting to look lazy" by not editing Ness's death sprite, but then decided to keep going, since Ness and Varik are both blank, mute heroes.]] He said it's up to you to decide if they really are the same person.
** There was also hints that [[spoiler: Varik's intrusion upon Dr. Andonuts' Magicant was corrupting it, since there were places and people only Varik/Ness would remember. Radiation also said this just sort of happened.]]
* This is the ultimate reaction towards Poison's AmbiguousGender in ''VideoGame/FinalFight''; she started out as a [=MtF=] {{transsexual}} [[ShesAManInJapan in Japan]], became a natural woman in the early Americanised games, and finally the creators shrugging their shoulders as to whether she is (and, if so, whether she's pre- or post-gender reassignment surgery) or isn't a transwoman.
* [=ATMOS=], developers of ''[[VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Escape Velocity: Nova]]'', would often respond to questions regarding some of the more mysterious elements of the game universe with a simple "*Cryptic grin*".
* To this day, Capcom refuses to give a straight answer on which ending in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' is close to canon and only said "everyone made it out alive". The game lets you only play as one of two characters and both characters have their own partner characters. However, your character will never meet the partner of the other character and they are never addressed in the scenario. This implies that the missing character is dead, yet WordOfGod says everyone made it out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The writer of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', Ryukishi07, has made it clear that he will never reveal what really happened on the real Rokkenjima. Though he has said that he knows what really happened (fitting with reason 16 above), it also fits with one of the themes of the series, namely about truth (and the subjectivity of it) which says that the readers has to figure it out themselves and create their own truth. He's mentioned that some people on the internet have actually managed to figure out what happened.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Tom Siddell of ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' is usually very helpful about providing answers, no matter how pointless or obscure. But when future plot points or very specific questions about numbers or lengths of time come up, Mr. Siddell proves a master of answering questions [[MathematiciansAnswer without actually answering the questions]].
-->'''Fan:''' When exactly are our heroines' birthdays?\\
'''Tom:''' [[http://gunnerkrigg.proboards75.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=40&page=8#1178001262 At some point during the year.]]
* T Campbell, creator of ''Webcomic/PennyAndAggie'', is as notorious as Tom for answers like these, although usually responding to fans who should have known better. One noteworthy Shrug Of God is that he refuses to reveal whether the ''Series/HermansHead'' storyline "20 2020 Pennies" was a dream or an actual plane of existence -- which wouldn't be so bad, except that he ''[[WordOfGod did]]'' say the versions of Penny and Aggie featured there were bisexual and lesbian, respectively.
* Maritza Campos of ''Webcomic/CollegeRoomiesFromHell'' is famous for answering fan questions with a smile and a "Maaaybe..."
* Interestingly, Dave of ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' rarely answers questions about his own comic, more likely, someone on the [=BnG=] forum gets there first, leading to a huge discussion on the meaning of life, which Dave leaves alone (in most cases).
** Any questions about plotholes are actually taboo in the [=BnG=] community.
*** That's because there are no plotholes. Even the ones you think you see, even the ones you ''know'' you see, are not plotholes.
* ''Webcomic/CityOfReality'''s author has [[http://www.cityofreality.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=37#p200 deliberately]] left the ages of his {{Kid Hero}}es ambiguous, to avoid writing himself into any {{Plot Hole}}s or {{Relationship Writing Fumble}}s.
* ''GamingGuardians'' creator Graveyard Greg often replied to such questions with his signature sinister laugh: Heh heh heh.
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' runs into a lot of this; part of it is that since Rachel works a lot of stuff in advance, she KNOWS what's going to come out a few months later (and will refuse to comment), and part of is that early on, Rachel often said too MUCH in the forums or elsewhere, leading to the ruling that "[[FlipFlopOfGod If it's not in the comics or at least on the main website itself, it ain't canon. Don't trust it.]]"
** "[[NoodleIncident No, I don't know what Riding Sidesaddle is.]]"
* Since sex is never actually depicted in ''Webcomic/OutThere'', Monroe states in his blog that it's up to the reader to decide how far things go.
-->What I’ve tried to do with ''Out There'' is have it both ways. Whichever way you think it oughta be, you win. If you think that Miriam and Chuck should have had sex, and Araceli and Rod should have had sex, and Sherry and Steven ''must'' have had sex, then okay—they had sex. Everyone who you think should have had sex with whoever they should have had sex with, ''did''. You just didn’t see it. If, on the other hand, it makes you happier to think that Miriam and Chuck made out a lot but stopped before things got too out of hand, then that’s cool too—there’s nothing in the strip that proves otherwise. Winners everywhere.
* In ''Webcomic/ALoonaticsTale'', Rick and Becky have so much material prepared that they can answer almost any question you have about the series. Unfortunately, so much of the material will be important to the plot of a later story (often one that they won't even get to start working on for ''years''), that the question isn't ''can'' they answer your particular question, but ''will'' they.
* The author of ''Webcomic/IWasKidnappedByLesbianPiratesFromOuterSpace'' has explained that humans, including her, cannot understand the sixth sense provided by the aliens' antennae.
* Chris Hastings, author of ''WebComic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' has explained that he doesn't know how The Robster (a tricky lobster man) puts his suit on over his claws.
* ''Webcomic/TheDreadful'' Christmas Special, in which Kit kills the grinch with an overdose of cheer, is confirmed as canon on the author's twitter. He does not know when or where it happens however.
* AndrewHussie is usually ready to answer questions about specific events within ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', but there are several subjects which he simply doesn't care enough about to resolve. The details of the dead members of [[GangOfHats The Felt]] is the most persistently shrugged line of questioning. (He eventually answered it once they appeared in the story).
** Some things previously shrugged:
*** Troll anatomy (usually questions about this are answered with jokes, or pointing out that the asker is asking about the genitalia of 13 year olds).
*** How Troll sex works ("Do they vomit their genetic material?" "Sure, that sounds weird enough").
*** Whether any given character is good or evil.
*** The nature of Skaia.
* So far, the author of ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' has refused to answer any questions about the identity of the father of Mel'arnach and Kel'noz Val'Sarghress. This has led to lots of speculation among fans about who he might be, since the last time a question of parentage was met with a Shrug Of God the eventually revealed answer [[ShockingSwerve surprised everyone]].
** He's also stated that he doesn't think it matters if Shimi'lande and Vala'drielle are still sisters, as was stated in early character material.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' being hosted on Deviant Art has a comment section, which is a perfect place to seek informed and detailed answers to your questions, up to and including [[TheProducerThinksOfEverything how much money are in the character's bank accounts.]] But certain questions?
--> "''What is Anne's natural hair colour?''"
--> "''dunno''"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* None of the editors on ''OrionsArm'' will ''ever'' answer certain questions about certain setting elements. Are the Dawn Hunters real? Why did the previous galactic empires all up and disappear? "The last--" What did they find at the Hedrile? Where, exactly, does the Fargate lead? Which of the higher Archailects actually exist? Is the universe just another Bottle Universe? Are the Amalgamation Terragen or Xeno? This is in keeping with the setting; since certain things, particularly those involving the Archailects themselves, are deemed to be ultimately impossible to explain in terms that we mere humans can grasp with our tiny organic brains.
* The official policy of ''TheSalvationWar'' is that, as far as possible, everything that happens has some kind of rational, scientific explanation. In some cases, the divergence between the demands of mythology and what is scientifically plausible is so great that it cannot be bridged. To get around this (and to give the Angels and Daemons some hope of surviving the massed human firepower being thrown at them), it is stipulated that the laws of physics on Earth and in Heaven/Hell are slightly different. This results in the characters saying they have no idea why this thing is happening, so they're just going to accept that it does for now. This is, of course, the scientific method at work "we don't understand it but we'll study it until we do." Meanwhile, the engineering method of finding an empirical solution by trial and error is used to create a work-around. In some cases, these shrugs are actually puzzles that are solved later in the story line.
* Many of the senior writers and editors of the Wiki/SCPFoundation never give straight answers about the details and inner workings of the Foundation and the [=SCPs=] it contains. The stock reply to lore questions usually is to figure it out for yourself. Or that there is no canon:
-->'''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=utbmk5kxkkqah7d8k16jx7su&page=9#202 Dr. Gears:]]''' At the end of the day, people can call it canon, non-cannon, brilliant, and stupid, and be right and wrong all at the same time. When dealing with the SCP, you have to understand that we took Canon out behind the barn and shot it in the head a long, long time ago.
* Burnie Burns, the creator and writer of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', is generally willing to clarify anything about the series. Ask him about [[HiddenDepths Tex]], though, and he instantly shuts up. He also enjoys leaving smaller plot threads hanging for the [[WildMassGuessing wild mass guessers]] in the forums.
* Lanzer, admin of GaiaOnline, does this a lot in the weekly open interview sessions.
* [[TeasingCreator afroakuma]] seems to do this with roughly half the questions he gets in the VoteUpACampaignSetting discussion threads. More often than not, he appears to do it ForTheEvulz; certain questions have been noted by him to be unanswerable for valid(ish) reasons, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Supposedly WordOfGod says that [[spoiler:Azula]] ''could'' eventually [[spoiler:regain her sanity and/or redeem herself]], but didn't say if she actually ''will''. This was likely because a definite "yes" would feel cheap, but a definite "no" would seem rather harsh.
** There's also the above quote, which was in response to asking Michael Dante [=DiMartino=] why he removed a scene in the GrandFinale of [[spoiler:Zuko reuniting with his mother.]] They have since said that [[SequelHook it's a story that needs to be told properly...]]
** Before that, they gave a rather playful shrug when a fan asked about the name of the previous airbender Avatar who appeared in a flashback. Their answer was "Susan?" She was eventually revealed to be named Yangchen.
** One of the storyboard artists did an unofficial sequel/side story (in webcomic format) which propounds that [[spoiler:Azula ''does'' eventually regain at least some measure of sanity]]. No word on whether any of it is actually canon.
** The tie-in comics published after the show ends ties up a lot of loose ends what happened to [[spoiler: Zuko's mother]] and we see more of Azula trying to pull herself together.
* Glen Murakami of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' fame is (in)famous for not caring about the finer points that get the {{Fandom}} up in arms. The Shrug Of God is the official answer to ''anything'' related to whether or not it's in continuity with the other Franchise/{{DCAU}} cartoons, anything to do with the characters' origins or out-of-costume lives (most famously, which Robin it is), and pretty much anything not detailed onscreen. General fan consensus is that ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' isn't part of the [=DCAU=] and Robin is Dick Grayson, but ThePowersThatBe have never answered yes or no, [[TheyJustDidntCare not considering these things to be important]].
** David Slack, a writer for the show, disagrees, having stated that the Robin we see is Dick Grayson.
** Admittedly all evidence in the show clearly points to Robin being Dick Grayson. The relationship with Starfire, the scene with two trapeze artists falling to their doom when Raven mind searches him, and the fact that the series is based off the 80's incarnation of Teen Titans.
*** Also, "Larry," the impish Robin from another dimension, said his real name was [[SdrawkcabName Nosyarg Kcid]] or "Dick Grayson" backwards.
*** And his becoming Nightwing in an alternate future.
*** The comic book version of the show (called ''ComicBook/TeenTitansGo''), which continued past the show's end, later confirmed that this Robin was indeed Dick Grayson, as we see Robin without the mask for the first time, and Starfire refers to him as Dick.
* GregWeisman, writer of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', can go into this territory. Admittedly, he's already revealed much of what would've (and may yet eventually) happen had the story been allowed to continue. So now fans wind up asking questions that get the simple answer of "I'm not going to answer that at this time" or some variant thereof. Man's gotta keep some secrets.
** When ever asked about the color of a character that has yet appeared in the show or comics, Greg refuses to answer because he is color blind and needs help with the coloring choice of his characters.
** Weisman is very fond of answering with "No comment" when asked about specific elements relating to the world of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice''. Oftentimes, it appears that he does so in order to avoid potential spoilers about future episodes.
* ''TransformersAnimated'': After Starscream found out [[MesACrowd each of his clones was part of his personality]], he asked his OppositeSexClone what she represented and she responded "[[YouDoNOTWantToKnow Don't ask!]]" When someone put the same question to lead character designer Derrick J. Wyatt on [[http://community.livejournal.com/tf_animated/271043.html an online Q&A session]] he responded "[[{{Squick}} I try not to think about that one!]]" He also said that she has a name, but wouldn't say anything beyond it not being Susan, Dirge, Nightbird, Laserbeak, or Laserwave.
** And her name was confirmed at Botcon 2009: [[spoiler:Slipstream]].
** In a much different version of this, Marty Isenberg said they have no idea the significance of Professor Sumdac's name being "Cadmus" backwards as it was decided before they got involved.
** More recently, Wyatt has refused to answer questions about [[spoiler:how Sari's protoform appeared in Isaac's lab]]. If that story is going to be told, it's going to be in some form of new Animated fiction.
* Bob Schooley, co-creator of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', [[http://ronstoppable.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=genkp&thread=12815&page=4 has stated at the fandom's most popular forum]] that [[DeathOfTheAuthor there isn't one "right" answer to most of the fans' questions, as the series belongs to the fans to spin any way they want]].
* This was done by the creators of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' for a subplot that seemed to be unambiguous in canon. According to Doc Hammer, the writers still haven't decided if [[spoiler:Myra is the boys' birth mother]].
** They've openly admitted that they don't plan anything, so chances are if it hasn't been written into an episode, they don't know the answers any more than the fans.
** It happened again between Seasons 3 and 4 regarding the purpose of the ORB. This, however, was eventually answered in Season 4's "The Revenge Society" - [[spoiler:the ORB is useless, because instead of killing Lloyd Venture to prevent its use, his bodyguard Sandow broke it instead. In the commentary for the scene where this is finally revealed, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer took great joy in answering the questions in such a way.]]
* The creators of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' claim that the title characters have [[VagueAge no definitive age]] (despite being nine in the pilot), just that they are "less than fifteen." They did this after making seeing how well different age groups all identified with them.
** Likewise they won't bother answering questions about Ferb's MissingMom or Phineas's DisappearedDad; they would rather fans just focus on the Flynn-Fletchers as a happy blended family. Fans speculate, however, that the episode "What Do It Do?" ''may'' have been meant to [[DisprovenByCanon Joss]] the fan theory that [[spoiler:[[MadScientist Doofenshmirtz]]]] is Phineas' father, as he mentions having met Linda only once years before Phineas could have been born.
*** [[spoiler: It's not Doof,]] [[WordOfGod they said so in an interview]]. Not that this stops fanfic writers from making him so; you wouldn't believe how many stories there are that use this.
* Creator/JohnKricfalusi, creator of ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow,'' apparently answered the question of whether Ren and Stimpy were gay with "I don't know, it's none of my business."
** Of course, then ''Adult Party Cartoon'' made them out-and-out gay, but most people exposed to that show throw it out of continuity...
** On the ''Adult Party Cartoon'' DVD, John K. states that Ren & Stimpy's sexuality varies from episode to episode. Hey, I'll buy it. The show ran on NegativeContinuity from day one.
* One question ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' fans wondered was whether the other Griffins could understand what Stewie was saying. When asked this question (on the early season [=DVDs=]), creator SethMacFarlane replied, "Well, Brian can understand him." Later episodes have indicated that they do, in fact, understand him, they just disregard him.
** Chris also seems to understand him just fine. The topic has also been [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] several times.
* The question of "Who is Mysterion?" from the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "The Coon". Trey Parker and Matt Stone flat-out stated that they don't know who Mysterion is, and that there is no specific character who they intended Mysterion to be. Fans continued to debate the issue and presented evidence backing up various theories, until the issue was finally revisited in the three-part "Coon And Friends" Trilogy. (In case you're wondering, [[spoiler:it's [[TheyKilledKenny Kenny]]]].)
* Edward Kay has been this way about a few aspects of ''{{Jimmy Two-Shoes}}'', such as the characters' ages, the full extent of Lucius' powers, and if [[ShipTease Jimmy and Heloise are getting together]].
* Lauren Faust, the producer of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', likes to occasionally answer questions about the show in her DeviantArt comments page. Several times, though, she has refused to answer questions, saying that she has an idea of the answer, but doesn't want to tie herself down to any particular position when a different answer might come up later as a plot point, and sometimes the process of writing produces more interesting answers than trying to figure it out ahead of time. Other times, she's mentioned that she simply doesn't have an answer because it's not really something she goes out of her way to think about.
--> '''Lauren''': "We don't hammer logic that hard on this show."
** Now that GodDoesNotOwnThisWorld, her responses have migrated to "My theory is X, but I don't know how the current show runners will handle that.".
** One user asked Jayson Thiessen whether or not Tirek from the Season 4 [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 fin]][[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 ale]] was the Pony of Shadows from [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E3CastleManeia "Castle Mane-ia"]]. [[https://twitter.com/goldenrusset/status/465223414631116800 His response?]]
--->'''Jayson Thiessen:''' hehe
* In an old ''{{Simpsons}}'' magazine, an avid fan wrote a highly detailed analysis of the (then mostly unexplored) question of [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield which state Springfield is in]]. After ultimately eliminating all 50 states, he asked Matt Groening for the answer. His response? "Springfield exists in a state of confusion, but mostly it's a state of mind."
** One commentary explains that Groening came up with the name under the impression that it was the most used city name in America, but later found out it's actually Riverside. This gives him an idea for an episode where the Simpsons move to one of those Riversides.
** Upgraded to WordOfGod--after [[LongRunner more than twenty years]], Springfield has finally been revealed to be in the state of [[spoiler: [[http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/04/10/impsons-creator-real-springfield-is-in-oregon/ Oregon]].]] YMMV on how wise a decision it was to make it official...
*** Groening has since gone on record to say that while he loosely based it on [[spoiler: Springfield, Oregon]], that does not necessarily mean it is its location in the show. "The true location of Springfield is in any state but yours." In other words, we're back to square one... Unless you believe David Silverman, who directed the most episodes of the series and has stated that Springfield is in [[spoiler: the fictional state of North Takoma]].
*** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' revealed that it's nowhere. Flanders says that the four boarder states of Springfield are Ohio, Nevada, Maine and Kentucky. No state like that exists and if one did it'd have to be huge.
** Let's not forget that "West Springfield" is three times the size of Texas. Not the city or state, the desert area outside the city. So if this is true then yes, in their universe, Oregon (?) is a colossal mega-state which takes up a majority of the landmass of North America. Seems legit.
* This Trope came in response to ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' fans wondering about the ship teasing in "What Was Missing". Namely [[HoYay Marceline/Bubblegum]]. Storyboarder Rebecca Sugar, who co-wrote the episode, also told a fan who asked above the nature of the duo's past relationship that "I don't think it's any of your business."
** Really ''Adventure Time'' seems to run on this trope ''period''. The creators bounce back and forth between explaining things perfectly and this trope. Asking Pen Ward about the above implied relationship between Bubblegum and Marceline usally gets reponses that boil down to "figure it out yourself". Adam Muto once when asked about the mind control worms at the end of "Evicted" responded with this:
-->'''Adam Muto''': That's a very good question. He's actually- [[MindControl WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWO!!!]]
* When asked if [[MickeyMouse Mickey]] and [[MinnieMouse Minnie]] are married or not, Creator/WaltDisney said they are married, but sometimes [[AnimatedActors play an unmarried couple]].
[[/folder]]
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