This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.
"Do to them what you do to us at times like that. [...] Tell them what you're doing but not why. Then let them speculate. Listen to them as they speculate. When they come up with an idea you really, really like, tell them 'You finally guessed right. That was my reasoning all along."'
The case of the fans' explanations becoming Canon.
Fanon is "promoted" to Canon mainly because the theme or subject of the fanon had not been planned out by the author beforehand. Whether it's officially shown in a canon work is another matter, but most of the time the author sees some minutiae they hadn't thought too much of themselves as a decent enough explanation that they don't mind and don't want to joss it into oblivion. This is much more common in works, such as fanfic and webcomics, which often aren't planned from the start.
Small Doujin companies are infamous for this sort of thing, as their characters are designed and occasionally modified accordingly to appeal to their fanbase.
If a particular work has a long and continuous run, fanon may be promoted to canon because a Promoted Fanboy is now calling all the shots.
When this happens between fictional characters, it's a Sure, Let's Go with That. When it's built into the story, it's Schrödinger's Gun. You could argue this is the creators' decision to Throw It In.
Compare with I Knew It (where the crazy fan explanation happens to match the one the author had planned all along), Ascended Meme (where this happens to memes), Word of Dante, Canon Immigrant (when elements of an officially licensed non-canon source find their way into official canon), Beam Me Up, Scotty! (where the phrase that's well known was never uttered in canon), Official Fan-Submitted Content, Approval of God (where a creator likes a fan work but doesn't make it into canon).
Contrast Jossed (when popular fan theories are explicitly sunk by Word of God or onscreen events).
Inverse of "Shrug of God". This is the screenwriter's version of Schrödinger's Gun. Compare Writing by the Seat of Your Pants, when the author takes suggestions from himself as he goes along.
Originally named "Sure, Why Not?"
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The author of One Piece has a question and answer column, but half of the time when someone asks about a fact he'll agree with any reasonable guess the writer makes (for instance several of the main characters' birthdays).
Fan: "Chopper's birthday should be December 23rd."
He even accepts a suggestion for his own birthday.
At one point, a fan noted that one of the villains of the show, Rob Lucci, had a name that that could be interpreted as "To rob the light" based on the (inaccurate) fact that Lucci is the Italian word for light. Oda's response was to the general effect of:
"You know me. I'm the guy who comes up with the deep meaningful names. Yep. In fact, "Rob Lucci" even means "steal the light," or SO I HEAR (had no idea)."
The authors of Kinnikuman routinely adapted fan suggested characters into the story, both minor and major.
Same goes for Kongoh Bancho, where several fan-characters have gone on to become both minor and major antagonists.
During the first season, fans of Code Geass joked that Lelouch's maid Sayoko was secretly a ninja, explaining the occasional flashes of competence seen behind her quiet exterior. Between seasons the staff acknowledged the joke, and in R2 it's revealed that she is in fact the heiress to the Shinozaki ninja clan.
Denied by herself, though. She's an "SP". Which is to say, while she practices ninja martial arts, from assuming the identity of other people, and using throwing knives with deadly accuracy... She doesn't assassinate people or spy on anyone, she's just Lelouch and Nunnally's bodyguard. Or as the Japanese say, an SP or Security Police.
Somebody made a gag comic in which the Emperor delivers a speech about breastsnote A parody rewrite of his funeral speech for Clovis from episode 4. Norio Wakamoto, the Emperor's voice actor, made a Gag Dub of said speech word for word.
The author of Saiyuki, previous to the Animated Adaptation, wrote down in ChoHakkai's character profile "voiced by Akira Ishida" as a joke, not expecting to be taken seriously, and was pleasantly surprised that her casting suggestion was accepted.
Some of the Super Saiyan forms and names of the villains from Dragon Ball Z were actually fan nicknames.
Dragon Ball fanfiction has given Vegeta enough long-lost siblings to populate a galaxy (and then some). The 2008 special went ahead and ran with that premise.
In Digimon Tamers, fans mentioned to the writer Chiaki Konaka, that clearly the character of Alice was a ghost. Konaka originally didn't intend this when he wrote it but when he looked back; admits that's a very possible theory on his webpage.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: "Hibird" was the fan nickname for Hibari's unnamed pet bird. Upon hearing this, Akira Amano just made it canon, finding the nickname cute.
This is actually the case for L's capoeira skills in Death Note. The artist said that he wasn't trying to emulate capoeira, he was just trying to think of the best way for L to counterattack in the relevant scene. Nonetheless, he was happy that he had added a little bit to L's character, even without meaning to.
In Axis Powers Hetalia, the grouping of France, Spain and Prussia, called the Bad Touch/Friends Trio, started as fanon based on their appearance together in The War of Austrian Succession. It eventually ended up approved by the author, with them appearing in sketches together, in an omake of Prussia's cleaning game and even getting an Image Song together.
The Magic Trio is a fanon grouping of England, Romania, and Norway based on them being the only characters capable of magic. As of Season 5 Episode 2, the Magic Club is shown to consist of two of these three, England and Romania.
Arisa's fire-wielding avatar started out as a fan depiction of what she would look like as a Magical Girl.
In Pokémon, it was always a fan theory that Pikachu's Power Level restarted whenever Ash started a new journey. The producers noticed, and finally pulled an actual plot device in the Best Wishes series by having Zekrom zap Pikachu of all its electricity right as Ash gets off the boat that brought him to Unova.
Back when Neon Genesis Evangelion came out, many fans speculated that the members of SEELE had uploaded their minds into computers once they started to appear as black monoliths instead of human holograms. There was nothing in the series to support this, and End of Evangelion proved the theory false by showing Keel Lorenz still quite human. However, this was made canon in the Rebuild of Evangelion remake movies, as proven in the third movie.
A lot of fans assumed that Shinji was a Supreme Chef, which 2.0 wholeheartedly endorsed.
Marvel Comics would often get reader mail that would try to explain away some of the continuity or logical fallacies in the stories. A sufficiently clever explanation would win the fan a "No Prize". When some apparently-not-so-clever fans started writing in asking when they would receive their No Prize, Marvel responded to them by mailing them... an empty envelope. Sadly, this practice has fallen to the wayside, though oddly, the empty "No Prize" envelope is considered of some value by the more hardcore fans.
It was a fan theory that the Marvel Universe is called Earth-616 because Fantastic Four #1 (the first Marvel Universe comic) came out in 1961 in month 6. Neither the explanation nor the date of FF 1 is actually true, but in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe other universes were numbered based on their first appearances and using this scheme.
The return of Stephanie Brown to the Batman universe used the retcon that Leslie Thompkins had not basically killed Steph as we were led to believe, but rather faked her death and dragged her off to hide out in Africa with her where she'd be safe from psychos in costumes. Decide for yourself whether this was simply the most obvious fix, or whether the legion of forum threads and fix-it fanfics using this exact scenario during the intervening years of her death inspired DC.
The Disney/Boom Comics Darkwing Duck series reveals that DW had been receiving a stipend from the S.H.U.S.H. agency—one of the more popular theories as to how he could be Darkwing and lead a family life as Drake Mallard with no apparent job.
The Fan Nickname "Clor" for the clone of Thor from Civil War got used in the recap page of Ant-Man and The Wasp, which was from Eric O'Grady's perspective. Officially though, the character's name is Ragnarok.
When Animal Man meets his writer, Grant Morrison, the latter expressed regret that he didn't have time to use a few ideas some of the fans suggested (it was his last issue), namely to have Buddy fight animal-themed villains and his polar opposite, who finds pleasure in animal cruelty. To make up for that Morrison makes them both materialize out of thin air and attack Animal Man, while he is thanking everybody he worked with on the series. He also mentioned that Buddy is what writers wants him to be, so if they'll decide to make him eat meat, he will. Next writer on the series decided to play with that and wrote a story where Buddy copies the abilities of a lion, its overcome by its instincts and tries to eat a gazelle.
Likewise, there was fan speculation for years that Element Lad from the Legion Of Superheroes was gay, mostly due to his pink costume. It wasn't until 1992 that he was confirmed to be bisexual.
This was the exact reason we have the explanation for the origin of Captain America's legendary shield. A fan by the name of "Fred Janssen" wrote in to the 60's-era Captain America comic with a theory involving Dr. Myron McClain and his work with Adamantium and Vibranium, the fictional super alloys in the Marvel Universe. Marvel liked the idea so much that, with a bit of altering, they took it and ran with it!
The controversial Spider-Man story Sins Past revealed that in the past, Gwen Stacy slept with Norman Osborn, without revealing when or why. Big Name Fan J.R. "Madgoblin" Fettinger pored through his back issues and found a time when it could have happened and a reason why she might have done so at that point in time; namely, that Osborn had saved her father from the Kingpin, she had gone to see him to thank him, and one thing led to another. After posting this theory on his website, here, some of Marvel's writers found it and decided it worked, so they canonized it.
The 9th issue of the main collection used a Funny Background Event to make canon the popular fanon about Time Turner being actually the Doctor (by making him open his fob watch and recover his memories) plus making his relationship with Derpy Hooves canon even if she doesn't knows him yet.
In actual continuity, the character Midnighter from The Authority very, very rarely removed his mask, which covered his hair. Due to this, the few times he did take it off, his hair color kept changing because the colorists didn't know what color it actually was, it ranged from blond to black and everything in between, except red. Fanfic writers decided that he dyed his hair, which was naturally red, to explain away the constantly changing hair colors. This was later made actual canon in an issue of Stormwatch: Team Achilles.
The five Life Foundation symbiotes that appeared in the various Venom miniseries in the '90s were never actually given names in the comics. Most were referred to simply by their host names while one, Donna Diego, was simply called the Female Symbiote. The Female Symbiote and another one got the names Scream and Lasher for a toy line while another symbiote in the line (though not from the comics) was called Riot; the other two had no names but were referred to by fans as Agony and Phage. Scream became canon during a handbook released around the time of the Back in Black storyline in the mid-2000s while it wouldn't be until 2011's Carnage USA miniseries that officially gave the fan names to the other ones as well.
Several small aspects of the revised canon of Methods Of Rationality were proposed by posters to the author's blog; for instance, the distribution of Stable Time Loop-inducing Time Machines to students in order to deal with their class schedules is, canonically, due to wizards looking at the hard problem of writing a conflict-minimizing schedule given classes and requesting students and brute-forcing it with magic.
Because they've never heard of event-scheduling being a textbook application of greedy algorithms?
Because they've never heard of algorithms, period. Yudkowsky establishes early on wizarding math basically stops at trigonometry. Presumably, you have a lot less incentive to learning how to work within the laws of the causality when you can just ignore them.
A reviewer proposed during the St. Galleria arc of The Tainted Grimoire to have Luso get Parivir clothing when he actually becomes a Parivir. The author worked this into the story in Chapter 65.
Some reviewers of the Pony POV Series took to calling the Dark World version of Applebloom "Saint Applebloom" due to her characterization in that timeline. Eventually, this is shown to be how the Apple/Pie family refer to her.
One piece of Recursive Fanfiction gave Discord the full name of Discordance Apophis Typhon. This was eventually made canon, with Typhon becoming the surname for all the draconnequi.
There are also the numerous other recursive fanfics that have declared part of the established multiverse.
This piece of fanart (a sequel to a certain scene in Dark World) was eventually inserted into the fic.
Alexwarlorn noted that despite describing Pandora with a fox's tail, fanart kept showing her with a lion's tail instead. Eventually, he had Discord comment that Pandora went through a phase where she replaced her lion tail with a fox's for a while before going back.
The Pokeumans fan series then developed fan series of its own following its particular idea, which had plenty of scope in it. Certain concepts and terms used in the spin-offs made it into the original Pokeumans, from simple things like the term 'Extinctionists' to The Board of Dream Messengers, in the wake of the ridiculously number of protagonists with a Spirit Advisor which is now a community-wide concept.
The ending of Saw: The Final Chapter in which [Dr. Gordon is revealed to have been acting as an accomplice to Jigsaw ever since escaping his trap at the end of Saw 1 was a long standing fan-theory before finally being written into canon.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End featured one of these when Keith Richards was written into the film as Captain Teague, Keeper of the Code and Jack Sparrow's father after, as Terry Rossio put it, "the world collectively woke up one day and decided that Keith Richards was going to be in these films." This was likely due to Johnny Depp discussing it in interviews, since he was an influence of Depp's portrayal of Jack Sparrow.
It happened again in the same film with Barbossa's first name becoming "Hector", an idea that was worked out privately with Depp and Rush while filming Curse of the Black Pearl, and caught on with fans after Depp mentioned it in the DVDs commentary.
Also happened with the minor character of Lt. Theodore Groves, played by Greg Ellis—he was just "Groves" in the first movie, but fans took a shine to him and gave him a first name and a backstory, much to the actor's surprise and delight, and the creators were onboard.
And then he is unceremoniously shot by a Spaniard, while waving the Union Jack at the Fountain of Youth.
At least they made a note of that man's bravery.
In Transformers (2007), a very common fan theory was that Starscream was among the F-22s that fire on Megatron in the climax. The producers haven't said definitely that it's canon, but their stance so far has been "Sure, why not?"
The tie-in comic The Reign of Starscream acknowledged this by having Starscream consider it, but decide not to.
When one of the writers was answering fans' questions in a forum topic on the movie's website, he was asked how Bumblebee was suddenly able to speak at the end of the movie. His answer was that the healing laser Ratchet used earlier in the movie had repaired Bumblebee's vocal processor. When another fan suggested that Bumblebee was healed by the Allspark, which was clearly shown to heal another damaged Transformer earlier in the movie, the writer admitted that that explanation did make more sense than his answer.
Star Trek canonizes Uhura's first name of Nyota, which was actually invented by fan William Rotsler and endorsed by Nichelle Nichols, and had been generally adopted for years. Though, technically it's only known to be her name in the alternate timeline of the movie, not the original one...
The same movie canonized the names George and Winona for James T. Kirk's parents, coined in a novel by Vonda McIntyre.
Star Trek VI finally made official Sulu's personal name of Hikaru, which was the most popular one used since Vonda McIntyre gave it to him in another novel a decade earlier.
Kirk being from Iowa was fanon before Star Trek IV. Someone told Nicholas Meyer, who was one of the film's writers, that Kirk was from Iowa. Consequently, it ended up in the film and became canon.
BobaFett from Star Wars has maybe 20 minutes total screen time in the original trilogy, gets knocked into a pit by a blind guy, but has been written about so much in the Expanded Universe that George Lucashimself has promoted him clawing his way out of the Sarlacc to canon with little more than "sure, why not?"
It had reached the level of fanon that Boba Fett's armor was the type worn by the predecessors of the Imperial Stormtroopers during the Clone Wars (this was based on a statement in the novelizations, which said the armor dated back to the Clone Wars). This ended up being excruciatingly close to the truth (the Clone Troopers original armor was a mass-produced version of Jango Fett's armor without most of his cool gizmos.)
In The Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn created the name "Coruscant" for the galactic capital planet, which had previously been called simply "Imperial Center". When Lucas decided to portray the planet in the prequel trilogy, he was persuaded to use the name "Coruscant".
It was also used in other Expanded Universe titles, such as the Illustrated Guide to the Star Wars Galaxy and Essential Guide to Planets and Moons. Its name of Imperial Center was explained as a case of Please Select New City Name.
The Star Wars Expanded Universe also gave other things to the prequel trilogy such as double ended lightsabers and and certain vehicles that were mentioned as being used in the Clone Wars.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring features an elf in the Council of Elrond scene who is literally onscreen for 3 seconds, says nothing, and indeed is barely noticeable standing behind Legolas. But fans, being fans, latched on to this character (played by Bret MacKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame) and formed stories and relationships around him, bestowing upon him the name "Figwit" (an acronym for "Frodo is great... who is that?!"). So big was his fanbase that he was brought back for Return of the King, actually given a couple of lines, and in the commentary is referred to as "Figwit" by the filmmakers. (MacKenzie was credited as "Elf Escort".) Canonization was complete when MacKenzie's character appeared in The Hobbit, this time named on-screen as Lindir ("the singer").
The Phantasm "phandom" has long used term "Sentinel Spheres" to refer to the silver spheres. They are occasionally referred to as such by Don Coscarelli during the DVD commentaries as well, suggesting that he's adopted this term for them.
When an aficionado asked the creator of the Na'vi language from Avatar if the word for 'star' (tanhě; pl. sanhě) also was used for the Na'vi bioluminescent freckles, he said sure, why not.
The very last scene of The Grifters is a distant shot of Anjelica Huston's character driving away down a dark street. Just before the Fade to Black, a man dressed similarly to John Cusack's character runs across the street. When someone asked the producer, Martin Scorsese, if it was Cusack's character, he reportedly replied, "Sure, Why Not?" In actuality, it was just some random civilian who wasn't supposed to be in the shot.
The LEGO Movie features several characters referring to LEGO pieces by their FanNicknames, such as a 3063 Brick, Round Corner 2x2 being called a "macaroni brick".
This has also been used for more minor errors, like when it was brought to her attention that Marcus Flint seemed to have repeated a year. Her response: "Either I made a mistake or he failed his exams and repeated a year. I think I prefer Marcus making the mistake."
Near the end of Deathly Hallows, a singing Peeves uses the name "Voldy" to refer to Voldemort. The fandom invented this dismissive name: Rowling said on her official site that she "thought it was very amusing when [she] found a chat room full of people calling him 'Voldy'."
Lupin's facial scars, which are never described in the books, have supposedly been appearing in fanart before his appearance in the third Harry Potter movie.
An interesting shipping example in Harry Potter. About the time Deathly Hallows (the book) came out, Word of God confirmed that Neville Longbottom marries Hufflepuff and future landlady of the Leaky Calderon Hannah Abbott, while Luna goes on to marry Rolf Scamander, grandson of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them author Newt Scamander. But in the Film Of the Book, Neville runs off to confess his love to Luna in the middle of the battle, and in their last shot, they're sitting next to each other smiling. When asked about this pairing by fans, JK said that she honestly never considered pairing them off.
It's unknown whether it's this trope or I Knew It, but The Draco Trilogy popularized "Malfoy Manor" as the name of Draco Malfoy's family home. Seven years later, the name was used in Deathly Hallows.
It's possible that James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew referring to themselves as "The Marauders" is this, as the nickname first appeared in the third book on the map as the "Marauder's map" rather than the "Marauders' map."
Philip Pullman was once asked why certain minor characters in His Dark Materials have daemons who are the same gender as they are (most people have daemons of opposite gender and the narrative says so). When his questioner asked if it meant that those characters were gay, he basically said "sure, why not" — he had never actually been able to come up with a reason for it.
Peter Goldworthy's Maestro features a piano teacher/virtuoso living in Darwin, Australia; having fled the Nazis from his native Vienna. As Maestro is a high-school study favorite in Australia, it spawned a classroom theory that this was intentional on the part of the author: Having fled from Der Wien in Austria to Darwin in Australia was a metaphor showing that the maestro had never really come to terms emotionally with his forced migration. On part of a speaking tour, one high school student finally got to put this theory to the author, and ask if it was true. Peter Goldworthy's memorable response: "It is now."
Which is slightly odd, considering that Wien is a city's name and has no pronoun. You would never, ever catch a German speaker saying "der Wien", just like no English speaker would ever say "the London". Also cities are grammatically neuter in gender in German, so if anything it should be "das Wien". And let's not get into that a dative should have been used here, "aus dem Wien".
The Trakata lightsaber combat, Star Wars fanon made canon by Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook.
Armistead Maupin had already named his Tales of the City secretly transsexual character Anna Madrigal when a fan pointed out that this name was an anagram for “a man and a girl”. He later had Anna claim that she had chosen her post-op new name specifically to give this "clue".
Someone suggested on the facebook of the author of Warrior Cats that there should be a SuperEdition about Yellowfang. A few months later, she announced that the next Super Edition would be called Yellowfang's Secret.
In addition, when Smokepaw fell off a cliff during the Great Journey, one fan wrote a fanfiction in which he survives the fall and returns to his clan. A few books later in the Warriors series, he is listed in the Shadowclan allegiances as Smokefoot, a warrior.
In Piers Anthony's Xanth series, Prince Dolph (who is still a child) manages to find himself engaged to two different women, both of whom have to marry him Because Destiny Says So; one, Nada Naga, because of a prophecy, and the other, Electra, because she's under a curse that will kill her if Dolph doesn't go through with the marriage. Obviously, he can't marry them both (though Dolph doesn't understand why not), and to make matters worse, although Dolph prefers Nada, she would much rather be Just Friends, while Electra really does love him (even if it's magically compelled). Piers Anthony's originally planned resolution, to occur in a later book in the series, was to have him marry Electra, divorce her one day later, and then marry Nada, who will get around the whole "not in love" thing by voluntarily drinking a Love Potion. However, a reader spotted a loophole in the prophecy — to "marry" someone can also mean to perform their wedding ceremony. After reading this fan's letter, Piers Anthony quickly rewrote the ending, and Dolph and Electra lived Happily Ever After.
Anthony has openly allowed the Xanth fandom to run the asylum through write-in submissions for years, so there are many other examples of readers' suggestions becoming canon.
It would be remiss to mention Xanth Fanon and not mention the puns, which are a form of Ascended Fanon all of their own. Early in the Xanth series, a few puns worked their way into the stories. A few young readers sent in pun suggestions, which Piers Anthony included in the next novel in the series and mentioned the readers by name in the author notes. Now Xanth is known for being full of these puns, which have directly and completely shaped the world, taking it from a rather static fantasy world to something decidedly more, and Piers Anthony is now known for his ungodly huge (chapter-sized) author notes thanking every single reader for every single pun he uses.
To the point where he has spent the last several books asking his readers to ease off. He's repeatedly said the books would be much easier to write if the readers stopped trying to help him.
The Klingons' gaining forehead ridges between the original series and the movies and later series has long been a subject of fan speculation. In the Deep Space 9Time Travel episode "Trials and Tribble-Ations", two popular fan theories are brought up by two non-Klingon characters, but are told by Worf that Klingons don't discuss the situation with outsiders. Eventually, the prequel series Enterprise, which had ridged Klingons, had to tackle not just the "how'd Klingons get ridges?" question, but "how'd Klingons lose their ridges and then get them back?" A multi-part episode shows it happening in a way that actually incorporates both theories. Another Fanon theory, which hasn't been endorsed by the powers that be yet, is that they underwent cosmetic surgery in between TOS and DS9. The real reason, which is not hidden, was the low budget of the original series, which was not intended to be so big. They shot themselves in the foot by having Kor, Kang, and Koloth from the original series show up in Deep Space Nine as modern Klingons. And by not having the Enterprise Klingons look more like the TOS Klingons, which would have simplified the problem. This is probably why the deleted scenes from the rebooted Star Trek film show Klingons on Rura Penthe wearing masks. However, even the Enterprise explanation doesn't say that all Klingons lost their ridges. Apparently, only the ridgeless ones were allowed in the fleet, but there's no reason why prison guards couldn't have ridges.
"Future Guy"'s name in Star Trek: Enterprise came from a written review of "Broken Bow" by Trek commentator Chuck Sonnenburg (SF Debris). Eventually, fans started using it to refer to the humanoid figure and eventually, the producers of Enterprise used it as the character's actual name in the script. In his video review of "Broken Bow" years later, Chuck commented how it pains him that what should have been the Big Bad of the series ended up taking a name derived from sarcasm, another sign of how the Temporal Cold War was poorly plotted and poorly planned.
The popular Doctor Who fan theory about a series of unaired adventures known as "season 6B" (essentially, that the Second Doctor continued adventuring in some capacity after he was captured but before regenerating at the end of season 6) that is used to plug up continuity holes has been used in some of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe media.
Eve Myles' characters Gwyneth and Gwen Cooper were originally meant not to have any relationship to one another, but fans continued to speculate about it. The Series 4 finale briefly "explains" the resemblance as "spatial-genetic multiplicity".
Moffat had earlier ascended into canon, in "The Girl in the Fireplace", his theory that the reason why the Doctor refuses to give his true name to anyone, even to his companions, the people he loves and trusts most in the whole universe, is because there is a dark secret behind it that he can never share. This later became a plotline at the end of Series 6, when its revealed that the reason Silence are so eager to kill the Doctor is to prevent the Question being answered; the oldest Question in the universe, hidden in plain sight... "Doctor Who?!".
Fans had long speculated about the possibility of Time Lords regenerating into the opposite sex. In "The Doctor's Wife", a comment by the Doctor regarding the Corsair's past regenerations brings it solidly into canon.
The same episode also confirms several fan theories about the TARDIS and her relationship to the Doctor not least that the TARDIS actually is a 'she', including the popular idea that her unreliability in taking the Doctor where he wants to go is not just due to unreliability, but also because she is taking him to where he is needed or needs to go.
There is also "Asylum of the Daleks" where Moffat incorporated a full size model Dalek that Russell T Davies had made as a fan, thus bringing it into the canon.
After thousands of Torchwood fan fiction stories, Ianto Jones now makes the best cup of coffee in the world, to the extent that it's one of the reasons he got a job at Torchwood in the first place.
The name for Torchwood's pet pterodactyl, "Myfanwy", started as an off-screen joke by cast and crew but made it onto the extra-textual website canon if not the show itself.
The tendency of Power Rangers fandom to refer to the Power Coins by their totem animal rather than their color has absolutely no basis in the series itself, and its earliest known use was in the fanfics of Joe Rovang. However, as this caused a great deal of confusion when discussing different sets of coins with the same color, his precedent was followed above the show's. This is particularly apparent when Disney's official site for PR uses "Dragon Coin" for the Green Ranger's Power Coin, as Rov did, rather than "Dragonzord Coin" as the morphing call used in every episode featuring the Green Ranger would imply.
As it only originated in obscure production documents from Saban Entertainment, Billy's surname of "Cranston" was known mostly by fans and not even staff members of the series. When Disney later culled the knowledge of those selfsame fans to construct their official site they just ran with it. This also led to the Ascended Fanon status of Jen and Katie's surnames from Power Rangers Time Force.
In Power Rangers S.P.D., among the A-Squad members, only Charlie was actually named, so the fans made up names for the other four and the creators agreed, even though the names themselves were never mentioned on-screen.
Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter of Stargate SG-1 were originally not intended to have romantic feelings for each other. Only when the fans began the Jack/Sam ship did the show writers realize that, indeed, the chemistry was there, and began working this into their story. Whether or not it was actually to the benefit of said story, though, is another question.
Friends: in the DVD Commentary, one producer admitted she'd had ideas for Chandler and Monica for several years (as a brief fling) but it never seemed quite right to introduce it until the fourth season finale occurred and it was slipped into that episode. The producers still viewed it as being a brief fling that fizzled out quickly, but the fandom responded so strongly to the actors chemistry with each other that the producers decided to make it a lasting relationship involving marriage and children.
The unnamed bearded man who kidnapped Walt in season 1 of LOST was given the nickname "Mr. Friendly" by the writers (because of his polite demeanor), a nickname which caught on with fans. Even after his name was revealed as Tom, press releases continued calling him Mr. Friendly. At Comic-Con 2010, the Lost writers just shrugged their shoulders and gave the character's official full name as "Tom Friendly".
Another instance also involves Tom: at one point he mentioned that Kate, the show's most desired woman, was "not his type". Immediately fans began a running joke that he was gay. The actor heard about it and liked it, and started playing Tom that way (albeit subtly). Eventually the writers even put it in the script.
The characters Cecily and Halfrek in Buffy the Vampire Slayer weren't supposed to have anything to do with each other other than both being played by Kali Rocha, but after many fans theorized that Halfrek (a demon) could have been undercover as Cecily, the writers made a small reference to it, and got its own story in one of the comics.
Happening quite a lot lately in Glee. In order, there's Finn's mom and Kurt's dad getting together, Rachel and Puck hook up once again (as well as the Ascended Meme that is Puckleberry) and Artie finally having a dance number.
And then there's Santana and Brittany's Relationship Upgrade, which started out as a Fanon theory before proceeding to inside joke for the fandom and then to a full-blown storyline.
"Heart" gives us two more in Sugar and Rory as well as Karofsky being in love with Kurt
In Community, the overwhelming fan response to the semi-accidental Jeff/Annie pairing seems to have influenced writers to have Jeff/Annie make out in the season 1 finale.
In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the Les Yay between Alex and Olivia was originally unintentional. Neal Baer, the executive producer, read about the LGBT Fanbase that was developing about them, and worked it in, giving them more scenes together and more hints that they might be discreetly together. To the point where even Stephanie March (Alex's actor) has said that it is possible that they are just very quietly in love, it being a Law & Order and all.
In Desperate Housewives season five finale Mike gets married to a woman, whose identity isn't revealed. The woman was supposed to be Katherine, but because of insisting fans plans were remade and Susan became the bride.
In the episode "Shadow Dancing", a ritual (one of the 333 Minbari marriage rituals) is mentioned whereby Delenn must watch Sheridan while he is sleeping in order to see his "True Face." A Usenet user commented "So a man's true face is all mushed up against the pillow and drooling?". A few months later, this is referenced in the episode "Atonement" by Sheridan when the ritual is performed.
Zack's comments about his uniform not fitting properly were taken verbatim from his actor's complaints (which he was astonished JMS knew about). Similarly, actor Bil Mumy was the one who decided that Lennier (whom he played) was in love with Delenn, and sold JMS on the idea of making it canon.
In a host segment of the Jungle GoddessMystery Science Theater 3000 episode, Joel introduces the bots as Jackie Gleason did with his fellow cast members at the end of every episode of The Honeymooners, prompting him to introduce Crow as "Art Crow!" (a reference to Art Carney). A child fan of the show missed the reference and sent Best Brains a drawing of the cast labelling Crow as "Art" under the impression that that was his actual name. The letter was shown on the show and ever since Crow was occasionally called "Art" (usually by Pearl Forrester) as a Running Gag.
Neil Flynn of Scrubs was reportedly asked if J.D.'s inexplicable crippling fear of pennies stemmed from the infamous "penny in the door" that began the perpetual feud with Flynn's Janitor. His response: "I have no idea who you are or where you come from, but sure, why not?"
The character "The Todd" originally had no last name. That was until a fan noticed that he was wearing a nametag with the name Quinlan. This was just a random prop, but thanks to this fan he is official Dr. Quinlan.
With regard to the end of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, writer Steven DeKnight has said in an interview that so many fans tweeted him that survivors Agron and Nasir are going to own a goat farm and live happily ever after, that this is now his head-canon as well.
Coulson's death in The Avengers was being undone in fanfic as soon as the movie came out. Subsequently, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. not only establishes that he's alive, he's the lead character of the series, and ABC even borrowed the fandom's "#Coulson Lives" slogan as part of their advertising campaign. The film itself arguably laid the groundwork for the character's survival, however, so how much was planned in advance and how much is this trope is open to some debate.
The first season of Game of Thrones gave us Shae who refused to tell Tyrion where she was from, only telling him that she was "Foreign". The actress that played her is German and used her natural accent. The second season introduced the master assassin Jaqen H'Gar who's actor also was german, using his natural accccent — only this time there was a plot point that he was an assassin from the City State of Lorath. Cue a Point late in the season where Cersei pegged that Shae was Lorathi based on her accent.
Ugly Betty had a whopper in its first season. "The Masked Woman" who appeared frequently early on was strongly implied to be Fey Sommers, presumed dead after a car crash. She even made occasional appearances at her grave site and the Mode offices as part of a scheme to drive Bradford Meade insane and/or land him in jail. Thanks to rampant fan speculation, "The Masked Woman" was instead revealed to be Alexis Meade, presumed-dead son of Bradford and Claire, who faked his death and underwent a sex change after Bradford disowned him for wanting to be a woman. She came back to rub it in.
And, to a lesser extent, Daniel's realization of his romantic feelings toward Betty in the series finale was a Shrug of God to very vocal shippers who had boycotted the show after creator Silvio Horta declared that Daniel and Betty would never be paired as a couple.
The song "Alive" by Pearl Jam, wherein the lyrics are about a widowed woman who grows sexually attracted to her son because he looks just like his deceased father, a textbook example of Lyrical Dissonance. This hasn't stopped fans from embracing it as an anthem of celebrating life. Eddie Vedder, having written the song partly from his own experience, gradually found that what he saw as the "curse" of the song had been lifted by fans' more uplifting interpretation.
"Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix; the lyric "excuse me while I kiss the sky" was so commonly heard as "excuse me while I kiss this guy," that Hendrix changed it. He was also known to point and kiss in the direction of a guy (usually his tour manager) immediately after singing the line.
This is the same case with "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The actual lyric is "There's a bad moon on the rise," but it was often misheard as "There's a bathroom on the right." John Fogerty has been known to sing this line in live performances of "Bad Moon Rising."
Likewise, in They Might Be Giants' song "Ana Ng" the line "Where the world goes by like the humid air" is often misheard as "Where the world goes by like the human hair." They occasionally sing the mondegreen instead of the original line live.
Also "Come Together" by The Beatles the line "Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease" was originaly supposed to be "Hold you in his arms yeah" but it was so commonly misheard that the Blue Album had the former on its inner sleeve, and John Lennon liked the former lyric more and so all of the covers of the song has the words "his armchair".
Also Twisted Sister´s "We´re not gonna take it" has always been "Huevos con aceite" ("Eggs with oil") in Spanish-speaking countries. Dee Snider always sings it that way for Spanish audiences.
Music software, but music nonetheless. Crypton's Rin and Len Kagamine Vocaloids were originally supposed to be mirror personalities of each other, but fans interpreted them as twins. Crypton responded accordingly.
Also Haku Yowane and Neru Akita, fan-created Vocaloids that have been acknowledged by Crypton as semi-official, to the point that they're making an appearance in Miku's game, Project Diva.
Jerry Casale: "We didn't want to ruin it and tell them the truth, because they just wouldn't get off on the truth."
After the chorus of Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene" was famously misheard as "I'm a little man, and I'm also evil, also into cats," friend of FOB member Pete Wentz and frontman of Cobra Starship Gabe Saporta made a Youtube video where he showed off a fake tattoo of a cat and said he got it because he was "also into cats."
Starflyer 59's first two albums were both officially self-titled. Fans distinguished them by referring to them as Silver and Gold (after their respective monochromatic covers). Tooth & Nail Records made these nicknames official by rereleasing the albums with bonus tracks under the titles Silver: Expanded Edition and Gold: Expanded Edition.
After the release of Paul McCartney's album Memory Almost Full, it quickly got around that the title was an anagram: "For my soulmate LMM [his deceased wife's initials]". He responded to inquiries about it in an interview:
Elvis Costello's "Less Than Zero" was basically a Take That to English politician Oswald Mosley, but American listeners who'd never heard of Mosley tended to think the "Mr. Oswald" referred to in the lyrics was John F. Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. So when Elvis Costello first toured the US, he started playing a version with substantially rewritten verses that were in fact about Kennedy's assassination.
On March 18, 2012, Deadmau5 produced the instrumental track of "The Veldt" on his live stream, posting it to Soundcloud. The next day, he found a vocal track for the song on Twitter, created by Chris James. Pensive at first, he nonetheless listened to it. He was so impressed by the track, how it completely fit the theme of the song, that he made it the official vocal track, earning it a place on "The Veldt EP" and ">album title goes here<."
Around 2010-2011 there were several rumors that Drake and Nicki Minaj were dating or secretly married. They ran with this, and in Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" video, they get married. Drake also mentions it in one line of his song "Miss Me", "I love Nicki Minaj/I told her I'd admit it/I hope one day we get married just to say we fucking did it".
Without meaning to, Scott Adams made Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light, look similar to Dilbert's boss. A reader asked if they were brothers, and Adams decided to indicate as much in a mini-arc.
When Adams wrote a week-long series involving a cat character that he didn't intend to use again, he got a flood of fan emails not only wanting to see more of the cat, but all calling him "Catbert" even though Adams never named him. Adams himself said "When a group of fans spontaneously and unanimously name a character for you, it's a good idea to keep him."
Warhammer 40,000 had the Eye of Terror campaign, where three Disorder players advised other players where best to attack. They called themselves the Triad. The next campaign newsletter detailed the lore of what happened, especially the Galactic Conqueror... and his advisers, the "mysterious group known only as the Triad." Another fan, on the Tau Empire Third Stage Expansion front, posted messages as "Sa'Caea Sally", a human sympathizer urging the citizens of the Imperium to join the Tau. This also got a mention in the newsletter. In the 4th Edition Codex, too.
There was also one particular Order player, Canoness Astra, who had a Sisters of Battle army that coordinated the defense for one of the sectors of the war and got special mention in the game newsletters and in the summary at the end of the war.
The Orks also got into this as well. During the campaign they were expected to try to hinder the Tau expansion. Unfortunately for the Imperium the Ork players were unhappy about being shafted like that, and instead banded together to start the 'Green Kroosade' which wound up with them sacking an Imperial Forge World. 'The Green Kroosade' was mentioned in name in official articles after the Eye of Terror.
In the Medusa V campaign, Dark Eldar leader No'Akei (herself an Ascended Extra from a White Dwarf battle report) suffered a Bolivian Army Ending in the campaign wrap up, specifically because so many of the Dark Eldar players had wanted to betray her.
Similarly, the Obelisks of Galahar that became central to the Craftworld Eldar objective were originally the creation of a player called Sabbad. Also, no fewer than 3 fan craftworlds (Tyriande, Vassiera, and Reia-Hal) were promoted to canon in the campaign summary.
There are also multiple (probable) nods◊ to the fanfic, Love Can Bloom, in one of the Dark Heresy sourcebooks. Among others: LIIVI, the Vindicare Assassin, speaking a quote straight out of the game. One of the chapters even depicts a Vindicare stalking an Eldar Farseer.
Another fan-made character, adept Castus Grendel (originally a character in somebody's Dark Heresy game who, despite having no combat skills, managed with some lucky rolls to defeat several Daemons, an Ork warboss and assorted other big nasties) is also referenced◊ in one of the sourcebooks.
And another one: Fan character Alice Boone was a low-grade psyker who was saved from the Golden Throne by her status as a governor's daughter, and was transferred into the Ordo Xenos. A sourcebook◊ mentions a piece of Imperial folklore that follows this word for word, and features a quote on the same page from "The Boons of St. Alys."
Arguably, this is deliberate, because some of the results of the major Games Worskshop tournaments actually dictated canon events. This is part of the explanation behind the results of the Tyranid invasion of Macragge.
In the Warhammer Storm of Chaos campaign, the members of an Orc fansite and forum (Da Warpath) were getting increasingly annoyed (and increasingly vocal) about being sidelined in the campaign background. Some members were also writing background pieces and fan rules, such as DEMOLISHER, one of the Orc Warbosses, falling off a bridge on his boar and the use of the Squigcannon of Gork. Then some of the later campaign newsletters came out, with references to an Orc Warboss falling off a bridge on a boar and squig-firing cannon...
Heck, any Game Masters worth their salt under any system turn on their listening ears when their players enter a Wild Mass Guessing phase or burn the carefully-crafted plot down, at which point it usually overlaps with Throw It In. It makes the players feel smart.
And if they burn down your carefully crafted plot, this is a really easy way to construct a new one: let your players do it for you!
Exalted actually had an accidental case of Ascended Fanon. It was a common fan belief that the Three Spheres Cataclysm destroyed 90% of reality; one writer confused this for canon, wrote it into "Dreams of the First Age", and has been apologising for it ever since.
In a less accidental and more awesome example, the authors at White Wolf added "Elegant Nova of Progression" to the list of canonical Alchemical Exalts when they published Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals.
The names of the Hitchhiking Ghosts at The Haunted Mansion at Disney Theme Parks (Gus, Ezra, and Phinneas) were thought up by Cast Members, and eventually became popular enough in fanon that it was semi-officially adopted.
In BIONICLE, a previously unnamed team of heroes, with mostly unnamed members, was used to explain a bizarre similarity in names. A volcano that housed the fire village and the Big Bad's lair were called Mangai and Mangaia, respectively. A fan had the idea that the aforementioned team be called the Toa Mangai, Mangai meaning protector, with the volcano being named after them. Mangaia would then be an archaic version of the same word, the lair being named that before the Big Bad's Face-Heel Turn. This led to many of the island's locations being retconned into the names of fallen friends of the village leaders.
It's actually semi-common, as the head writer is pretty active in the fanbase. A higher-profile example is that a group called the Piraka used turrets called Nektann, and when another member of their race showed up in a story, a fan suggested "Hey, maybe the turrets were named after him?" The writer was like, "Okay", and wrote the newly-christened Nektann into a web story to make it official. A couple years later, it was promoted to the toyline when Lego made a new Piraka toy that didn't match any of the existing characters, so it was decided that it would be Nektann.
This phenomenon has elevated to such heights that the fans have formed an official Story Squad that lets people vote for whichever new idea they would like to make canon. If the "Aye"s outweigh the "Nay"s, the proposals are taken to official story writer Greg Farshtey, who then approves them, but only if they are to his liking. As with many things, this upsets a number of fans, since the majority of voters also have a "Sure, why not?" attitude.
This appears to be pretty much what happened to the toyline-only Beast Wars character Sonar. Due to a gender-neutral bio, it was eventually labeled female by fans, and then it appeared in the official BotCon comics, and everything else followed suit.
The original toy of Rhinox came with what was intended as a spinning melee weapon. However, the show retooled it into a gun, which fans dubbed the "Kickass Chaingun of Doom." When the toy was rereleased for the series' 10th anniversary, the name (minus the "kickass" part, for obvious reasons) made it onto the box art.
Another Transformers example is the fact that Decepticons who turn into planes are referred to as Seekers. This term was possibly invented by the fandom and got adopted as the official term, but there are still questions over whether an old catalog advertisement citing them as "Decepticon Seekers" influenced the use of the term years later.
More Transformers fun with the Universe and Generations releases of Ratchet and Wheeljack, respectively. The official Universe bio on Ratchet ascends his typical fanon interpretation as a cranky old doctor (at odds with his original G1 bio which notes that his love of partying interfered with his duties), while Wheeljack's Generations bio makes reference to his lab exploding on a regular basis—something not indicated in his original G1 bio, but a popular event in G1 fanfiction.
In Masters of the Universe the race of the pre-accident Skeletor blue elf Keldor is known as "Gar" and has been officially refrenced as such in the Classics toyline bios. This is because in the 2002 MYP Cartoon series there is an island called Anwat Gar. This is a clever play on the name of the asian city of Angor Wat. The only resident of Anwat Gar is Sy Klone, a character based on the vintage toy that happens to have a blue face. So it is reasoned by the fans that Sy Klone must be a blue elf, (by virtue of his skin colour) like Keldor. And wouldn't "Gar" be an obvious name for the race, since it could be reasoned that Anwat Gar sounds kinda like it could be a foreign term for "City of Gar" or something like that? After years of common usage by fans on fansites, ect, Mattel decided "sure, why not?"
Sometimes developers can do this to themselves. In the Hard Rain campaign of Left 4 Dead 2, the players must navigate an abandoned sugar refinery. During development, Valve found that there were an unusually high number of Witches spawning in the zone. They like the glitch, and made it canon that Witches are attracted to the scent of sugar.
Similarly, during the development of Half-Life 2: Episode One, a small joke ended up in the game due to a glitch. During a scene where the player and Alyx are about to be thrown over a chasm by Dog, Alyx reassures the player by saying that, as a robot, he has done the math. Then she quietly asks him if he has done the math. During playtesting, right after she had said it, Dog, as part of his idle animation, shook his head. The playtester assumed this was supposed to happen and laughed at the perceived joke, and Valve made it an intentional reaction.
The DS originally stood for "Developer's System", as units released at that time were purely for developers to use in their production process (the intended name for the final market product being "Nintendo Nitro".) The press kept insisting it stood for "Dual Screen", so Nintendo- realising that they were already getting brand-name recognition from it- just made DS the official name.
Another theory: the name "Developer's System" only came about because of a misinterpretation of what was said in an interview about how easy the DS was to develop for, but the internet took the quote and ran with it until suddenly it became the name many people thought DS originally stood for.
This happened AGAIN with the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo released a statement saying it would not be called the 3DS when it launched, but it got so much publicity as the 3DS that they released it under that name anyway.
Although Betrayal at Krondor, an RPG based on The Riftwar Cycle, was produced and made with Feist's blessings and under his watchful eye, the in-game texts and the story itself were in fact not written by him, as the common misconception is. Neal Hallford takes the credit for coming up with the story, which was later canonised by Feist in a Novelization.
In the Dance Central forum people started calling a user a member of DCI. Guess who do you work for in DC 3
ZUN, creator of Touhou, is notorious for this, being both highly aware of the gargantuan fandom that has arisen around the games as well as equally willing to add things he likes. Probably the most famous examples both involve characters from The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Hong Meiling and two unnamed mid-bosses:
For the former, for a long time fans could never decide what Chinese Girl Hong's name was, as it could be read as either Japanese (Kurenai Misuzu) or Mandarin (Hong Meiling), so they decided to just call her China. At the same time that ZUN confirmed her name was actually Hong Meiling, he also said he calls her China as well, and the name remains popular.
For the latter, the mid-bosses of Stage 2 and Stage 4 were never identified despite their unique sprites, with no dialogue, character profiles or even names, and after they became disproportionately popular they were given the Fan Nicknames Daiyousei (big/great fairy) and Koakuma (little devil) respectively. ZUN then used those names himself when referring to them, though he said that they were the names of types of youkai and not those individuals specifically. This one is mostly ignored however, as the personalities he described them as possessing (impetuous, selfish and mischievous like most low-level youkai) was completely antithetical to the ones fans had devised.
Keine being a teacher who uses headbutts as punishments also appears to be an example of this.
Double Dealing Character's stage 2 boss Sekibanki's head becomes something that seems pulled out of a fandom meme, the "Yukkuri shiteite ne!" heads.
Actually saying whether Crono or Marle are actually dead would make Cross a lot less of a Mind Screw.
The final boss of Art of Fighting was dubbed "Mr. Karate" by fans. SNK would later adopt this as the name of Takuma Sakazaki's alternate persona.
When Real Bout Fatal Fury Special first appeared, fans dubbed the True Final Boss version of Geese Howard that was found in the game as "Nightmare Geese", due to the fact that you not only fight him in a nightmarish version of his stage, but he literally IS a nightmare due to his overpowered moves and naturally aggressive AI to go with it. When The King of FightersMaximum Impact 2 was released, SNK adapted the moniker of Nightmare Geese to the form of Geese that appeared in that game, and the meaning of the term was changed to mean any form of Geese that is canonically dead.
Similarly, in The King of Fighters it was speculated that, in adition of knowing Terry and Andy's dad Jeff, Takuma knew Kyo's father Saisyu. This would become canon later.
Also, in the early KOF games lots of people shipped Athena Asamiya with Kyo Kusanagi, to the point that it was rumored Athena canonically crushed on him (to the exasperation of a certain BNF from said early times). Later, sources like the 98 and 2000 CD dramas as well as the semi-canon KOF: KYO franchise hinted that Athena held a passing fancy for Kyo, but she kept it to herself since Kyo already had a girlfriend named Yuki and she was a good friend of Athena too.
Mortal Kombat games would develop new kinds of fatalities based on false rumors of their existence in earlier chapters.
This also led to the creation of the character Ermac, despite messages in the second game which Midway used to deny his existence.
Meat, Blaze and Skarlet have a similar story.
As does Rain, who was originally placed in the UMK3 attract mode as a Red Herring.
Also, the common untrue rumor that there was a Stage Fatality that let you feed your opponent to the demonic trees in the Living Forest led to the developers actually making it a real Stage Fatality in MK9.
The revelation of Noob Saibot being the specter form of the original Sub-Zero from MK1 was actually the result of a Midway employee taking suggestions from a fan.
Dragon Quest's Yūji Horii explained that the "Zenithia" trilogy (Games 4-6) was never intended: "Each Dragon Quest title represents a fresh start and a new story, so I don't see too much of a connection between the games in the series. I guess it could be said that the imagination of players has brought the titles together in a certain fashion." Judging by some of the commentary and bookshelves in the DS Video Game Remake, they've gone "Why not?"
In an inverse "developers doing it to themselves" crossed with PAL Bonus and some pseudo-Recursive Import, the English localizations of the games tend to have this effect on the later Japanese rereleases. Much like the Dragonlord example, games that come West get a graphics/sprite overhaul that is usually ported back to Japanese rereleases, with a very specific case of this being Dragon Quest III giving Ortega a proper sprite and a proper opening sequence.
The Soldier/Demoman update included a brief comic that revealed several things about the Announcer. First, judging by the page URLs, she's really called the Administrator; second, as fans have long suspected, she serves as announcer for both teams; third, she controls access to the players' unlockable weapons; and fourth, she looks almost exactly like the best-known fan art of her (Valve actually got the original artist's permission to use the character).
The day before the Sniper/Spy update was released, a user on the Steam Forums posted on how they hoped that the Pyro could light the Sniper's arrows. Valve rushed to add this to the update.
In the 2012 Halloween event, the boss Merasmus will sometimes will sometimes disguise himself as a random prop, similarly to the Prop Hunt game mod.
The long used Pokémon fan term "Eeveelution" (for the many different evolved forms of Eevee) appears in the second Pokémon Ranger title. While a previous use existed in the TCG (as a deck name), it was the first "in universe" use.
Luvdisc's uselessness has been acknowledged in X & Y as it is one of only two Pokémon that can be caught with the Old Rod. The other being Magikarp.
The pronunciation of the name "Pokémon" was originally said as "Pock-ay-mon" in the anime, but the theme tune said "Poke-ay-mon". The usual fan pronounciation is either "Poke-ay-mon" or "Poke-uh-mon", and these are so widespread that Nintendo accepted them as correct.
1up.com: First, what is the abbreviation of the Blue Mages — will it be "BLU?" Hiromichi Tanaka: Thanks, the check's in the mail. We're going to borrow your abbreviation. We didn't have one yet. [laughs]
Kamek, the Magikoopa master from Super Mario Bros., has been retroactively established as being in some of the games that featured a Magikoopa since his first appearance in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Yoshi's Safari featured an unnamed Magikoopa as a boss; now he's Kamek's first official appearance. Some appearances by a singular Magikoopa have also been considered Kamek appearances: the Magikoopa who teaches Bowser how to use his abilities and cares for the injured Koopa King in Bowser's Inside Story; the Magikoopa who blasted Mario away from Peach's Castle in Super Mario Galaxy (confirmed by an official trading card◊); the Magikoopa who was going to be in Mario Kart 64 but was replaced by Donkey Kong; and a Magikoopa who informed Kammy Koopa of Peach's abduction in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The Magikoopa the party fights in Bowser's Keep in Super Mario RPG was intended to be Kamek, which is made more clear by his Japanese Psychopath message, which reads "The baby from that time!?" He's called Kamezard in the Japanese version of the game.
In Japan, "Kamek" is a single character (or species in some games) with minions called Kokameks (Toadies in English). This distinction has for the most part been preserved in non-English translations.
Alternatively, this could be considered as an attempt by the localisers to add some internal logic to the series, given the confused nature of Kamek/Magikoopa appearances between Mario games.
Several Abomination units in World of Warcraft have a Scourge Hook ability, that allows them to reel enemies in with their hooks. Abominations in Warcraft 3 did have hooks, but the ability to pull enemies in was originally an ability for an Abomination hero in the popular custom map Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars.
Chris Metzen confirmed in a World of Warcraft Magazine interview that Bolvar being alive and his expanded role to that of the Lich King was due to the forum speculation about him.
The original speculation started after players overheard Alexstrasza saying that we aren't supposed to know what happened to him. That line was in draconic, and shouldn't have been understandable to normal players, except that some characters were flagged as speaking draconic due to a bug, allowing them to see the text in English.
At the beginning of the Backyard Sports series, Pablo was just a normal (though often overpowered) character. When the programmers found out about his Memetic Badass status, they put a huge stained glass window of him in Backyard Skateboarding.
On a more related note, the fan use of the name Werehog was so commonplace in both the English and Japanese fandom, that SEGA actually made it its official name (similarly, WereSonic was used to describe the character in the Wii/PS2 version on several occasions).
Sonic Lost World bears a pretty strong, but coincidental, look to the canceled Sonic Xtreme. Sega of Japan seems to be dismissing these comparisons, but Sega of America seems to welcome them.
Bob the Snail from MapleStory. For unknown reasons a single level 1 snail, the weakest enemy in the game, would randomly spawn in Drake's Meal Table, a high-level map, right along side level 50+ drakes and other powerful monsters. Fans named the snail Bob and came up with various lore including that he is older than Grendel the Really Old, and that he is actually a hero who protects the world from the drakes. Many of these theories have been stated to be completely true and Bob is now an official boss enemy. Unfortunately, hero or not you still have to kill him for a number of quests.
In the Street Fighter series, Guile's military buddy and mentor was originally known by two names: "Nash" in the Japanese versions and "Charlie" in the overseas releases. Many fans however, liked to render his full name as Charlie Nash (most likely influenced by the live-action Street Fighter film, where Charlie and Blanka were combined into one character named Carlos "Charlie" Blanka), a full name which was even adapted into UDON's comic adaptation. In Street Fighter IV, the designers apparently decided to just go with this as Guile can be seen looking at a dog tag that reads "Charlie Nash" (which was likely done to avoid drawing two different versions of the same scene).
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 allows Jun to transform into Unknown, confirming fan theories that they are the same person. This only applies in the Tag universe as they have a separate continuity from the main series.
Despite BioWare's initial fears, Tali'Zorah and Garrus' popularity from the game Mass Effect exploded and fans demanded they became romance options. BioWare said "sure, why not?" Garrus even invokes the trope during his Relationship Upgrade with Shepard, musing over her interest in him before figuring "Why the hell not?".
Due to both Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale being Canadian, this lead to a popular theory among fans that Commander Shepard is of Canadian descent. Bioware seemingly confirmed this with a Fandom Nod in the third game, where if FemShep decides to romance Samantha Traynor, one conversation has Shepard defend Vancouver as being just as romantic as Paris or Tokyo.
This might have been hinted at even before Mass Effect 3. In Mass Effect 2, one of the bonus downloads was Shepard's Blood Dragon armor (to promote Dragon Age II). Apparently it was signed by the Edmonton Blood Dragons - although this could just be a development in-joke, as Bioware was founded in Edmonton.
A few months after Mass Effect 3 came out, someone made a slide of cocktails named after and inspired by the different squadmates. In the Citadel DLC, Traynor makes them at a party.
The fans also felt that Kaidan had a lot of Ho Yay with a male Shepard, although it's unclear whether they were deliberately planning on making him romanceable and cut that content or if it was just an artifact of Bioware's recording process. Cut to 3 and Kaidan becomes an acceptable romantic partner for both male and female Shepards.
In the manual for Wing Commander Arena, many of the fighter designations are lifted from those given to craft that previously had no alphanumerical designation, in fan mods.
Wild rumors spread, for no apparent reason, of a Secret Cow Level in Diablo. There wasn't one. Blizzard, taking it all in good fun, made "thereisnocowlevel" a cheat code in Starcraft... and then put a Secret Cow Level in Diablo II.
In Harvest Moon several names are considered fanon, and most have been not used officially. However, two typical fanon names for the male protagonist are Jack and Pete; Jack became the official name of the protagonist for Save the Homeland and Hero of Leaf Valley games. In a spin-off example, the series Puzzle De Harvest Moon refers to the previously unnamed male protagonist(s) from the original through GBC 2 series as Pete (the names weren't official until GBC 3 and on up).
The parody fan game Merry Gear Solid 2 made a joke that Snake still believed in Santa Claus. In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, it's revealed that Snake still believes in Santa Claus. There's no indication from Hideo Kojima as to whether or not he's played Merry Gear Solid, but considering he confesses to looking at fanart and following cosplayers of his own series, it's not too much of a stretch.
In Cave Story, it's stated once that the player character's hat has something written on it, but what this writing says is never revealed. When concept art of the beta version was released, fans noted that the protagonist's hat said "Curly Brace"—which was the character's name at that point in development. While, in the finished game the protagonist's name is something different—and Curly Brace is instead the name of an important Guest Star Party Member—fans insisted that his hat still said "Curly Brace" in the finished game. Daisuke Amaya eventually gave his blessing to that particular theory.
Roleplayers in EVE Online, having noticed that Caldari names looked like a cross between Finnish and Japanese, created a Caldari language inspired by these two languages (and the few words already mentioned in official sources). The Arek'Jaalan event, whose main character — played by an actor from CCP's staff — is a Caldari scientist who defected to a Minmatar corporation, is named after said character's ship — which means "to make dissidents" in the Lonetrek dialect, also invented by players. Other roleplayer fanon to dribble into official articles or events includes discontent among the Intaki (a founding Gallente Federation member) over cultural assimilation and poor security in their home region with nods to player-originated "Intaki Seperatist" movements.
Fans of Halo compiled info on the series in a Halowiki online. While wikis are good, they're not perfect. When the official Halo Encyclopedia was released, it was clear that it had copied material directly from the wiki because it duplicated some of its errors and flawed ways of presenting information. As the Encyclopedia is supposed to be canon, the errors are errors no longer.
Not always. Several bits of fanon that had snuck into the pages, such a faction called "the United Rebel Front", or clear errors like the fleet at Reach being 750 ships instead of 314 and there being a First and Second Battle of Earth, were discarded later on the wiki despite being in the Encyclopedia because they were recognized as mistakes.
Several gameplay-expanding functions in Fallout: New Vegas, such as the weapon modifications (which allow you to fit certain weapons with scopes, sights and expanded magazines), were directly adapted from fanmade game modules for Fallout 3. Interestingly, while the NV modifications only worked for a few of the weapons, the original designer went on to make another module for NV that provided a full three improvements for every weapon in the game. Including the DLCs and some more popular modules.
The Scorched Sierra Power Armor first appeared in a PC mod, before the developers officially added it in the Lonesome Road DLC.
Fallout 3's Keychain likely drew inspiration from Oblivion's Keychain mod. Oblivion's miscellaneous items previously were all in one place, and players would have to scroll through hundreds of keys to get to other miscellaneous items, whereas the keychain grouped the keys into one place.
Skyrim abandoned the keychain in name but there is a section just for keys.
The .223 pistol in Fallout 1 and 2 was nicknamed "That Gun" by fans. Fallout: New Vegas has a unique 5.56mm pistol also named That Gun.
A mod added the dialogue option "Two Bears High-Fiving" for the last image in Doc Mitchell's Inkblot Test. The Honest Hearts DLC has a tribal named Two Bears High-Fiving as a Wild Wasteland encounter.
Minecraft had beta 1.8 leaked to the public early by mistake. Instead of trying to rectify the problem, Mojang decided to have pre-release versions of the next update revealed to the public from now on in the form of "snapshots". The results were twofold: players can get a sneak peek at new features and bug fixes while Mojang gets feedback from the players about the snapshot so they can fix whatever bugs there are before making the snapshot official.
Valve unleashed a massive bit of ascended fanon with a new Portal 2 DLC. According to the DLC's story, in the Portal canon there are an infinite number of Alternate Universe versions of Aperture Science, each one being different in some way. This means ALL fanfics, fanon, and other fan creations are now canon within the greater Half-Life/Portal continuity via this multiverse.
If you think about, it's even greater than that. All fan works set in the Half-Life and Portal universe are true. Therefore, all crossovers are true, and therefore, this rule also applies to all universes to cross over into the Half-Life and Portal Universe. All universes that crossover with these universes are therefore, also also follow this rule. This, of course, continues to apply no matter how far down you go. There is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover fanfic with Half-Life 2. Therefore, everything to crossover with Buffy now is under this rule. This would include such works as NCIS, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Stargate, Firefly and the Haruhi Suzumiya universe. In other words, just about every universe is now under this rule.
beatmania IIDX was originally titled "beatmania II", with a significantly more extravagant "deluxe" version of the arcade cabinet labeled "beatmania II DX". The DX cabinets were much more popular, to the point that Konami gave up on producing the non-DX cabinets. Combine that with the way the "II" and "DX" were close together on the logo, and everybody started calling the game "beatmania IIDX". It has since become the official name for the series.
Another example is the Sudden+ option. Initially, some players would put a drape a towel over the screen to cover part of the note lanes, in order to force themselves to focus on only the most imminent notes. (There was already a "Sudden" option, which would cause notes to be invisible until about halfway down the screen, but it wasn't adjustable whereas a towel was.) This led to the introduction of Sudden+, which puts a static "Lane Cover" image on the screen covering just the top portion of the lane, and each player can individually adjust how much of the lane it covers. The image itself is also selectable from a few dozen options, most of which are based on songs in the game, but as of IIDX 19: Lincle, one of them is a towel.
Fuka: Yeah right. I bet you just want a nickname too. Okay then, I'll call you Fenfen.
Delta Max from Dance Dance Revolution Universe 3 was originally a fan remix for Stepmania; after the author won a contest to get one of his song's in Ultimix 2, he was able to get more songs into DDR and one into beatmania IIDX.
The boss song for DDR Extreme was originally rumored to be a 400 BPM song titled "Max To the XX Ximum". There was a Stepmania fan remix with this title using sped-up segments from "Max 300", "Legend of MAX", and "Max Resurrexxion", another fan remix. Then came DDR Supernova with an official 400 BPM boss song titled "Fascination MAXX".
Myst was rumored to have a fifth age accessible in its Playable Epilogue. In the realMyst remake, the fifth age (Rime) became reality.
X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude both have content that originated in fan mods for the previous game, as many modders have been hired by EGOSOFT. Many of the (non-missile) frigates, OTAS ships, AGI Task Force ships, and the ship boarding system featured in X3TC originated in the Xtended mod for X3: Reunion, albeit less polished. In X3: Albion Prelude, most of the new ship content originated in the Xtended Terran Conflict mod - the TP+ Yacht ship class, Frigate-class carriers, and TS+ Heavy Transporters. EGOSOFT also wanted to use the new race-unique station setsnote In the base game, all of the Commonwealth races use the Argon station set for their factories; only the Terrans have their own (complete) station set featured in Xtended TC, but were politely turned down as it would have made the mod largely redundant. The 3.0 content update for Albion Prelude was made almost entirely by fan modders, and was released as an official update.
While Borderlands was in development, the Siren Lilith looked radically different from her final character design. After she was given a full makeover, her previous appearance- including the signature Siren tattoos- were given to an antagonist, Commandant Steele. Fanon insisted that Steele was a Siren as well, and Gearbox ultimately agreed. Not that it mattered much by the final boss.
The Commodore 64 version of Jet Set Wily 2 was not only a way better version than the original on the ZX Spectrum. It also contained an island which you could visit at a certain time period. The creator of the port said that he added it due to ongoing rumours of the fanbase about its possible existence.
Worlds of Power were a series of novelizations of several classic NES games, which usually took some fairly extensive liberties with the original plots. As such, most of the books are completely ignored by the actual video game continuities (i.e. Metal Gear, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, etc.). However some of the elements from the novel of Blaster Master were incorporated in the PS1 sequel, Blasting Again, making it the only Worlds of Power novelization to be considered canon.
In the first of BioWare's Baldur's Gate trilogy, it was common practice for players to dual-class Imoen, a female human thief, into being a thief/mage, since she qualified for it and it was actually a pretty good choice. In the second game, Imoen's class was officially changed to dual-classed thief/mage.
The final version of Jinsei Owata no Daibouken has a crossover with I Wanna Be the Guy for its last stage.
Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho are commonly confused for actual avatars of its two designers, fueling a common joke that artists will never draw characters who actually look like them. Both real life creators mention this was never their intention; very early strips even give the characters different names, and in podcasts they talk about them as distinct people. Eventually they got tired of correcting people and decided to roll with it, incorporating more of their personalities into the characters, though at this point any real similarities are The Artifact.
Mike got the same Pac-Man tattoo Gabe had, because the fans always asked to see it.
Many fans claim that The Order of the Stick's author originally intended Vaarsuvius to have a specific gender, but deliberately made itambiguous after a few fans started bickering about V's gender early on. The author confirmed this in the first compilation book.
However, that same author hates fan speculation, because if the fans guess what he was intending it makes him want to change it. As a result, he reads very little of the posts on his own message board, so as to avoid seeing such speculations.
At least one point, Rich actually invoked this trope to cut off rampant speculation (with the implication of, "I didn't elaborate on this more than was necessary for the story, so this is as good as any explanation"):
MReav: I assumed the strong winds were magical in nature, and when the pyramid blew up, it rendered the magic that generated them useless.
The Giant: Sure.
MReav: Is that the sure of "That's exactly how I planned it" or "That's exactly how I planned it and that's the story I'm sticking with!" ;)
This happens pretty consistently over the run of the series, especially where Sally is concerned. As another player's little sister (and being much younger than the rest of the group), nobody really wants to squash her creativity so they let her do some world-building — for example, the entire Gungan race, their bubble-city home, and the two-headed podrace announcer. Generally, if something just plain weird happened in the movies, it's probably Sally's idea in D&D.
Terinu's author, Peta Hewitt, borrowed the title of the "Department of Social Harmony" the Doublespeak name for the Varn Dominion's secret police/propaganda division, from a reader's fanfic, along with the idea that the Earth was beaten using a giant tractor/pressor beam to induce earthquakes and tsunamis.
Among the many submitted fanfics posted on the website of The Class Menagerie by the comic's creator, there was one where character Mike Hopkins (a kangaroo) is revealed to be gay, pairs up with a wolf boyfriend and comes out. This became canon in the penultimate story arc before the comic finished: Mike, previously undeclared, admits that he is gay, and the arc ends with him running into a hunky wolf in circumstances identical to those in the fanfic.
Averted in Sluggy Freelance. After one close call, the author refuses to read any fan speculation. All spec is banished to another forum section that he never looks at.
He changed his mind on that last one, having said that logically Dave and Rose should have the same hair color. Since most fans don't agree with Rose being a redhead, they eventually mostly decided on either blonde or just blank white hair. Sometimes Dave gets strawberry blonde hair as a compromise.
More recently, the name of Tavros's Lusus was confirmed to be "Tinkerbull", the Fan Nickname it had had all along.
Even more recently, the species of Karkat's Lusus in the post-Scratch universe is referred to as "crabdad", another Fan Nickname.
The forum is chock full of WMGs and some not-so-wild-MGs. The author just goes through and harvests his favorites, now that the suggestion box is shut and only opens for naming characters- and even then the comic may not have any charactrs left to name.
After the mysterious villain Lord English was finally revealed, someone made fanart of him in the style of a classic monster movie poster. Then Jake English was introduced, and the walls of his room were completely covered in movie posters—and that Lord English fanart was one of the posters.
On his tumblr, Andrew Hussie (facetiously, we hope) declared that all fantrolls, ever, are now canon.
Q: Will another 12 alternate trolls be introduced? AH: ... How about if I introduce 10,000 new trolls? Watch this. I hereby declare all of your fantrolls to be canon. Yes, even the shitty ones.
This is yet another example of Hussie's mastery of trolling. Remember, all the trolls besides the surviving members of the twelve died. So, yes, your OC is dead.
On this post in the forum, Hussie suggested that the Troll Empress could have survived the Vast Glub. The very next post in response? "In before she's recruited by Lord English as well." About a year later, that's exactly what happened. It's even funnier when a later post on that page discusses this trope.
However, while Hussie is very fond of taking interesting fan theories and canonising them, he is still a Trolling Creator, and just because a theory becomes canon that doesn't mean it's going to happen in a way anyone expects. Case in point: UU. By Act 6 Act 3, the theory that she wasn't actually a troll but just someone cosplaying was quite widespread, and no-one was too surprised when it became canon. What was surprising was the fact that she was revealed to not be a human, either, but a completely different species that was not revealed until that update. Well played, Hussie.
The many sprites in the Ministrife were drawn by a fan with apparently pretty broad discretion, and so they included a number of nods to the fandom, particularly the canonisation of the popular fanon that, under his helmet, Mituna has dandelion hair - thick, Messy Hair that covers his eyes.
The popular fan adventure Promstuck contains a gag where Vriska shows John a spiral notebook containing her drawings, which she has Blingeed. John wonders how she was able to Blingee a spiral notebook. Much later on, in Homestuck, there is a scene where the Condesce gives Roxy a binder which is covered with gaudy animated gifs (some of them of the ICP), and Roxy wonders how she was 'able to get the clowns to dance'.
When someone asked Mark Stanley what the FTL drive in his 'verse as called, he said "Dave." A fan suggested that this was a tongue-in-cheek acronym for "Dangerous and Very Expensive", and Mark promptly declared it canon.
Mark also included a Shout-Out to a popular Freefall fanfic. The fic featured another Bowman's wolf, Donna Morris, working as a hospital volunteer and hoping to become a nurse; Donna's name and occupation were made canon in a casual remark by Doctor Bowman.
In one battle scene of Goblins, there was one goblin (who was somewhat fatter than the others) the fans named "Joe Chubbs", and started writing legends of him. While the author usually doesn't let himself be influenced by the fans, he decided to draw that goblin in other scenes, one of them featuring him as the only character for a few panels.
A similar thing happens in Looking for Group, where a small girl zombie featured in a few strips gained a fandom and name of "Kalima", after the Kali god. When questioned on this at a convention, the artist Lar said (paraphrased) "Well, I guess if that many people say it, it must be true."
Similar to the Transformers example below, the city in .Memoria was introduced by having one of the guards assume that Nyroti's Easy Amnesia was because he was really wasted the night before and telling him "welcome to the Afterparty" as we get a view of the city for the first time. Naturally, the fans unanimously decided that "Afterparty" was the name of the city. It stuck.
In the 4th level of Rusty and Co.., a fan dubbed the recently-introduced female elf band the "Pixie Chicks". The author, Mike, liked it so much he decided to "roll with it" and make it their official name. Check the comments section here.
Similarly, fans refering to "Yuan-Tiffany" gave the yuan-ti her name.
Because Ruby Quest was an interactive story on an imageboard, anybody could post anything in the thread. The author, Weaver, tooks several bizzare suggestions seriously, including putting a severed hand up a pneumatic tube - "there it goes..." and blending several other body parts into a GODAWFUL SMOOTHIE. (This last may be what pushed Red over the edge.) Besides the inevitable trolls, there were quite a few pieces of original fanart. The author included several visual items, including a sort of trident spear tied to a longer handle broken off something else, carried by Ace, as well as the visual design of the mutated doctor Filbert.
Gaia Online introduced a pair of Rich Bitch twins named the Von Helson Sisters to serve as rivals for the resident Megalomaniac during a storyline in 2005. Fans speculated that since the name "Von Helson" sounded a lot like "Van Helsing", coupled with the fact that the twins had an apparently dead father named Vladmir, about half the website jumped to the conclusion that they were actually Vampires. In 2007, Gaia rolled with this and used it both as an opportunity to fill in numerous plot holes, and a chance to play off the predominately female fanbase's Twilight obsession (The massive Vampire Stake Fest that followed more than made up for that though).
Homestar Runner: Homestar Runner Wiki insisted on referring to the "Everybody to the Limit" robot as the "Visor Robot" in spite of the character having been referred to as the "Fhqwhgads Robot" by the site itself. The fanon name was later mistaken as canon by the creators of Homestar Runner themselves, and as such arguably ascended to canon status.
In Atop the Fourth Wall, Dr. Insano's parallel universe alternate (played by Linkara) was originally just going to be another version of Dr. Insano. However, the fans latched onto the name "Dr. Linksano" and Linkara just went with it.
A popular joke among the handlers on Survival of the Fittest during V4 was that characters who went inactive were fed to the inactivity bear. Then Megan Nelson went two weeks without a post, the admins dropped her into a cave, a scream was heard, and the rest is history. The bear's name is Kenny, by the way.
For the Chaos Timeline: Some fan suggested that the head of the Socialist part of Germany should have the title "Oberster Politischer Kommissar", which became canon.
The Predacons' ship in Transformers: Beast Wars was unnamed, but Terrorsaur once told Cheetor "Welcome to The Dark Side" when he ended up on the ship. Though he was just being theatric, fan use of the name led to the name being used for the Bot Con 2006 (convention run by the officially Hasbro-licensed fan club) exclusive toys and the accompanying comic book (as Darksyde), and thus the official name.
Rhinox's chainguns, most famously used in the first season episode Chain of Command. The unofficial name given to them by the fandom was "Chainguns O' DOOM" and the phrase eventually appeared on Rhinox's bio cards in later toy releases.
Similarly, Marty Isenberg like the Fan Nickname for Lugnut's exploding-rocket-fist-thing ("Punch of Kill Everything") so much he had the name used in the fourth issue of the comics.
Supposedly, he tried to use it in the show, but Never Say "Die" reared its ugly head, and no other word really worked there (with the possible exception of "Krush") to make it abbreviate to POKE.
The POKE appears again, with its proper name and everything, in Transformers: War for Cybertron; a special move damage upgrade for the Soldier class is called "POKE Alpha", and one of the Leader class's killstreak rewards is the "POKE 2.0", a temporary one-hit-kill melee attack that, when equipped, will prompt the announcer to say, "Punch of Kill Everything equipped!".
Many fan terms from G1 Transformers became official canon over the years. The term "Seekers" for the Decepticon jets (taken from of all things, a toy flyer from 1984), "gestalt" as a catch-all term for combiners (much better than their at-the-time only canon name from the comcis "fusilateral quintocombiners") and the concept of subspace to explain size changes, suddenly appearing weapons and trailers, etc. have all popped up in official stories.
Many fans of Kim Possible theorised that the first name of Kim's brain surgeon mother, Dr. Possible, was "Anne", because it was Kim's middle name, and her father Dr. James Timothy Possible, extrapolated from his sons Jim and Tim. The first finale So The Drama named Kim's father thus, and the second named Anne in the series' two-part finale. Of course, to make this work, one must mention that the creators would occasionally visit fan forums.
This is further supported by the finale having a overt reference to a fanfic.
In Justice League, when the founding members (except Batman) agreed to be arrested because of an accident involving a giant laser, one of the officers asks where Batman is. The Flash says "Running late. The Batmobile, it lost a wheel. The Joker got away. That's what I heard."
Also in Justice League, the entire flirting between Batman and Wonder Woman came because of a scene in Gorilla Grodd's introduction episode, in which Batman, believing Wonder Woman was crushed by rubble, started digging with his hands. After escaping by herself, she saw Batman's hands covered in dirt and gave him a gratitude kiss in the cheek. Batman blushed at this, and fans got crazy, believing there was something between them. While it was not the case at the time, the writers liked the idea and put it into the show. Then again, nothing actually happens.
In "Over a Barrel," Fluttershy mentions how she'd like to be a tree, which became a meme ("Fluttershy is/deeply wishes to be a tree"). In the Season 2 episode "Hurricane Fluttershy," she tries to get out of going to the big pegasus meeting by disguising herself... as a tree.
A gray cross-eyed pony seen in backgrounds and crowd cameos for a few seconds in several episodes was rapidly nicknamed "Derpy Hooves" (said nickname made canon by Hasbro) by fans and was confirmed to be a full character for the second season - now with lines!
She was actually named just from being seen cross-eyed in the background of the first episode (due to a mistake in the Flash animation). Her later background appearances were made cross-eyed only after the show's creators heard about the Fanon Nickname.
And then they made her name and the fanon personality (a klutzy but friendly mare) canon in "The Last Roundup".
The name, however, has been removed in a subsequent edit of the episode, such as the episode available on iTunes. The author explained that she didn't know how pejorative the word "derpy" was considered by some. (She was also revoiced; her voice actress explained that she didn't know the character was supposed to be female.) There was much Internet Drama about the whole affair. Thankfully, the original version is still on the DVD releases.
Despite the Derpy controvery, she was made into a "Fashion Style"-sized toy as a 2012 San Diego Comic Con-exclusive. Her box was decorated with muffins (a borderline-psychotic fixation on muffins being one of the most pervasive aspects of her fanon personality).
Speaking of muffins, she's seen wearing a bag with a muffin clip on it when shopping in "Putting You Hoof Down."
Lauren Faust and a few other members of the production teams often lurk around places where fans congregate, paying attention to what people are saying so that they can drop clever references to peoples' mad theories into episodes.
One of the background ponies with a lyre cutie mark was dubbed "Lyra" by the fans. When the fourth wave of blind bag toys were released, the pony with the same coloration and cutie mark was officially named "Heartstrings". The fans compromised by making "Heartstrings" her surname, and when the fifth wave of blind bag toys rolled around, the character was officially referred to as "Lyra Heartstrings."
Lyra and another background pony named Bon Bon were frequently paired together in crowd shots due to how their color schemes matched up (most conspicuously in "Swarm of the Century," where they have lunch together but are interrupted by a hungryparasprite), leading the fans to believe that the two are either inseparable best friends or romantic partners (so influential is this fan-interpretation that the Lyra/Bon Bon pairing is the most widely accepted ship of the entire show by a long shot). Not only did the famous 2011 Comic Con poster intentionally placed the two next to each other as a nod to this (and next year's Season 2 poster did likewise), but in Season 2, they were allotted their own Funny Background Events in "Secret of My Excess" and "Putting Your Hoof Down" (both of which were filled with Ship Tease, no less).
Yet another reason behind Lyra's popularity comes from "Dragonshy," where she is seen sitting upright on a bench like a human, despite another pony right beside her sitting the way you'd expect a pony to sit. The fans took this to mean that Lyra is obsessed with humans and desperately wants to be like them; the desire for hands or fingers is one of the most popular expressions of this obsession in fan works. In one shot of "Putting Your Hoof Down," she is seen reaching toward a cup with an annoyed expression on her face, as though wishing she had fingers to grasp it with.
A similar case to Lyra's aforementioned renaming happened to minor antagonist Trixie. One of the blind bag glitter ponies bearing Trixie's color scheme and cutie mark was named "Lulamoon," presumably because the name Trixie couldn't be copyrighted. Fans took it as either a last name or a stage name. The fifth wave of blind bags went with the former.
Similarly, the official pony trading cards refer to the mayor of Ponyville as "Mayor Mare", a Fan Nickname that had been used by the fans since the character's introduction.
On the same card as Mayor Mare, the David Tennant-esque pony referred to by fans as Doctor Whooves was given a name and background that tied into the fanon circulating around him: Time Turner, Ponyville's official timekeeper, responsible for maintaining the town clocks, running the timer for competitions, and all other things "timey-wimey".note (Yes, that last part is an explicit Doctor WhoShout-Out, and they actually put it on the card.)
He was later officially named Dr. Hooves (as with Trixie, the omission of the W at the beginning was almost certainly due to copyright anxiety).
Speaking of the cards, they also put fan-favorite pairing (platonic or otherwise) Octavia and Vinyl Scratch/DJ-Pon3 on one, despite the two never sharing an episode.
One of the more bizarre examples of a Fan Nickname being made official was a sea serpent from the two-part pilot given the non-sequitur name "Steven Magnet" for his toy figure. The name originally came from, of all things, a screenshot of the character with the YouTube Automatic Caption "steven magnet" below him (YouTube captions tend to be hilariously wrong and nonsensical at times).
Fan art often portrayed Wonderbolt stallion Soarin as having exact same cutie mark as he does with his flight suit on. This eventually became canon in the season 2 finale where he can briefly be seen without it.
The Artifact of Doom from Season 3's "Magic Duel" is called the "Alicorn Amulet", referencing the fan name for winged unicorns like Celestia and Luna.
Later confirmed by the season 3 finale, which uses the term to refer to winged unicorns.
"Sleepless in Ponyville" rendered two long-standing fan theories canon: the first being that Scootaloo views Rainbow Dash as a big sister figure, and the second being that Luna is a Dream Walker.
King Sombra's official trading card mentions the possibility that he could have survived being turned into crystal and shattered via his horn.
"Castle Mane-ia" introduces the idea of a Pony of Shadows formed from remnants of Nightmare Moon when she was banished to the moon. The origin is different, but this is very similar to the notion of the "Blessing" and the creation of Nyx in Past Sins.
The makers of Adventure Time took a viewer's Fan-Art character, Me-Mow the tiny cat assassin, and introduced her to the Land of Ooo in her own self-titled episode.
The name "Lyoko-Warriors" ("Lyoko-guerriers" in french) was invented by the Code Lyoko fans to refer to the protagonist team, who had no specific name in the first two seasons. The term was eventually made Canon starting with season 3.
It was a popular Fanon theory for Phineas and Ferb that Ginger, the Asian Fireside Girl, was Stacy's little sister (probably due to there not being too many other Asians in Danville). The season 4 premiere "For Your Ice Only" officially made this the case.
While most fanon for Superjail! remains only that, the concept of Lord Stingray being yellow-skinned seems to have been referenced by the colorists for the season 4 premiere (though he was previously visually implied to be a generic white guy). The yellow skin used by fanartists was either utilized to depict him as a mutant, or used as a placeholder color due to him not having been seen outside his uniform at the time.
A theory among Sideshow Bob fans and explored in Fan Fiction was his up-and-down bouts of mania being attributed to a heart condition. This ended up becoming a plot point of sorts in a Season 19 episode, where a vial of his nitroglycerin medication is thrown out a window and he subsequently "dies".
In Total Drama Action, a recurring intern attracted attention and, because someone thought he looked a bit like Billy Idol, was nicknamed "Billy the Intern." Not only does he appear a lot more in the third season, the show's official blog refers to him as "Billy."
In the original Scooby-Doo there was no evidence supporting anything but typical friendship between Daphne and Fred but everyone who watched the show assumed otherwise; it didn't help that there were rumors of them doing illicit things when the gang split up. Nowadays it's unheard of for series not to milk the tension between them, making it anywhere from an explicit Will They or Won't They? to Implied Love Interest's.
Similarly for years fans speculated that Velma and Shaggy were love interests in the original series. Nothing became of them for decades until Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated made them a couple. Now, whether this was good or not is a question even amongst shippers.