Better Than Canon

"The Apollo Justice you played was a depressing alternate universe. Here's how it really gets started."
Job Hunting, an Ace Attorney fanfic

Most fans just aren't content to accept absolutely everything the canon offers. In fact, visit any forum and you'll find a lot more complaints about pretty much every aspect of the canon than compliments. In some cases this may be warranted. But what can one actually do about these things? Simple: just exercise some "creative re-interpretation".

Better Than Canon refers to when fans (in their minds) start ignoring and/or rewriting the disliked aspects of a fictional canon in order to "improve" upon it. Results may vary.

Tropes invoked in this attitude often include:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Fans' interpretations for a characters' actions and personalities are different from what is apparent in the actual canon.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The fan work takes place in an alternate reality where certain things the fan disliked are changed or absent.
  • The Bus Came Back (popular characters that left due to actor conflicts can return, and the characters can be given closure their actor's exit lacked)
  • Creator's Pet: (see The Scrappy below)
  • Dark Fic: A lighthearted work is given a story with a darker and more serious tone than any of the original, official media regarding it.
  • Death of the Author: School of literary criticism that argues that authorial intent is irrelevant when interpreting literary works. While arguably not a full-fledged example since it doesn't argue for disregarding any of the actual text, it could be considered at least tangentially related. (To name an example from fandom, Death of the Author likely wouldn't argue for disregarding a single word of the seven Harry Potter novels or any of Rowling's other written works in the setting; however, her comments about the setting and characters in interviews would be excised from consideration as canon.)
  • Elsewhere Fic
  • Fanfiction (a good chunk of it in general)
  • Fanfic Magnet
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Fans choose to ship the characters they want to be together, even if the official canon has them hook up with other people instead.
  • Fanon: Fans come up with their own interpretation of details the official canon ignores, glosses over, or doesn't explain in detail.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Fan works deliberately ignore events, episodes, seasons, or even entire spinoffs or Sequel Series that the fan doesn't like.
  • Fix Fic: There are some fics that have the main purpose of changing or removing the tragic and dark aspects, one example being to have deceased characters being Spared by the Adaptation.
  • Hurt/Comfort Fic
  • Loudness War: Sometimes causes fans to create their own versions to mitigate distortion/clipping issues, either by remixing the albums from the stems if they're available or by using declippers or other digital processing if not. (Vinyl rips can also be a source of this, particularly if the CD/digital versions' clipping issues weren't present on the vinyl master.)
  • Patchwork Fic (using characterization or elements from Alternate Continuity to tweak "mainline" continuity)
  • Possession Sue: (rewriting an existing canonical character to fit the author's ideals and/or tastes)
  • The Scrappy: (desire to kill or otherwise just remove the character)
  • Slash Fic (when the characters are straight in canonicity, at least)
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot/They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: (where the fans think that the canon explored the less interesting possibilities of the plot, cast or setting)

When taken too far, may result in Canon Defilement. When some fans get the chance to force this on the official work, it's Running the Asylum and Armed with Canon. If the creator decides it's a good idea as well, it may become Ascended Fanon.

Some of the works on the Fan Fic Recommendations pages might be this.

No examples, please.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BetterThanCanon