That's The Matrix
they're talking about, in case you were wondering.
Fanon ("Fan Canon") Discontinuity is the act of fans mentally writing out certain events in a show's continuity which don't sit well, no matter if it's a single episode, a season-length arc
, an entire season or even an entire series
. If a plot or ending
rubs one the wrong way severely enough, fandom can just decide that the offending events never happened. On the series level, events may fall under Discontinuity because the show is perceived to suck at that point
or decline too far in quality
. Events also get "discontinued" for particularly screwing up the characters or setting, and a show that starts to suck will end up screwing things up eventually anyway.
In effect, Fanon Discontinuity is the opposite of fanon
(and not unrelated, either: a great amount of Fanon Discontinuity has resulted from violations of fanon). While extremely negative audience reactions may lead to an offending storyline being officially removed from canon
in response, Fanon Discontinuity specifically refers to when fans
disregard a storyline regardless
of the creators' opinion on it.
In moviedom, Sequelitis
is the most common cause of Fanon Discontinuity. It's very common to hear fans of a popular movie series disavow all sequels beyond a certain point, typically the first or second movie. For example, the unofficial slogan of the Highlander
fandom is, "There Should Have Been Only One" (a play on the franchise's famous quote of "There Can Be Only One
," in case you're wondering). Fanon Discontinuity also tends to arise when an audience has been dealt a particularly bad Wall Banger
Doing this can be quite easy if the hated storylines are the last ever made and it's easy to pretend that the real ending was in the good ones, but if more episodes/installments are made and these are loved and canon-worthy, again it's easy to do that if the hated ones can easily be written out without any loss to the good stories, but it's very hard to do this when the loved storylines keep making references to the previous hated storylines and solidifying them as canon, even when they do admit that they really sucked.
It should be noted that this can be justified in cases of Running the Asylum
, as it's clear the people in charge are largely trying to impose their own fanon
Sometimes discontinuity comes from not liking a very specific element while still enjoying everything else. When this happens, you've applied Broad Strokes
to the canon
. Not to be confused with Negative Continuity
One of the meta-causes of Alternate Universe
If the questionable elements are written out of canon by the creators themselves
, then said elements entered in Canon Discontinuity
territory, or, luckily, are given a Discontinuity Nod
. If the creator just bashes it, then it's Creator Backlash
. If, on the other hand, the controversial element is somehow reworked into being tolerable or even popular, it's been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
. See also They Changed It, Now It Sucks
and Let Us Never Speak of This Again
Note: This is highly subjective, more based on the fandom rather than the event itself. The visceral response to fanon discontinuity can baffle other fans who don't take the event as seriously, or even like the event. Please only post examples of the fandom as a whole disregarding an event. Also, using this as a pothole is generally rather rude, so please don't do it unless you want to use Canon Discontinuity instead.