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God Never Said That
"I really didn't say everything I said."
— The subtitle of a book by Yogi Berra

Sometimes, creators say stuff about important gaps in canon.

Sometimes, creators say stuff about important gaps in the canon, but they change their mind afterwards.

Sometimes, people close to the creator say stuff about important gaps in the canon.

Sometimes, fans make stuff up to fill in important gaps in canon, and the result can even end up being taken as the next best thing to canon.

Sometimes, people just make stuff up, and falsely attribute it to the creators, or the original canon (sometimes unintentionally).

This is about that fifth one.

Differs from Beam Me Up, Scotty! in that Beam Me Up, Scotty! is about things not said or done by the characters. This is about things not said or done by the creators. Compare Urban Legend of Zelda, which propagates itself by similar means.

This is occasionally what happens when the line between Fanon and Canon is blurred.

Note that while God's words can fall victim to this trope, it also applies to human authors who are gods of the worlds they create.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • A mistranslation of a line in the Pokémon episode "Bye Bye Butterfree" led to the mistaken belief that it was canon that Butterfree die after they mate.
  • This was pretty common during the airing of Gundam Seed Destiny as an interview from Fukuda was altered, leaving many a fan to actually think that the director actually believed that Chairman Durandal was right for his actions in the last episodes.
    • Another was Gundam Seed Destiny's infamous Morosawa interview, which was also a fake. This was caught by a forum administrator when they looked for the original article. By that time, not many people were interested in SEED anymore.
  • Happens quite a bit in Ranma ˝, partially thanks to its age and its copious amount of Fanon. Three of the most common "falsely canonical" statements are:
    • "The Jusenkyo Guide took Ranma and Genma to Joketsuzoku to investigate a cure": He didn't. No reason why he took them there is ever given, though the fact that the two are in China to train and the fact that the village is full of martial artists, plus the fact he is doing the tour-guide routine when they reach the place, may indicate he took them there per request after Jusenkyo turned out to be such a flop for training.
    • "Happosai/Nabiki is a Complete Monster": Rumiko Takahashi has never said anything about their villain status; the most that happened was that she once reported in an interview that being a Karma Houdini is what makes Nabiki funny and has called her nothing more than "a greedy girl with an impure heart". She also thrice drew non-canonical pieces of artwork showing Nabiki in a stereotypical "devil suit".
    • "There is no cure for Jusenkyo": Takahashi has, in fact, stated that the water of Nanniichuan will undo a Jusenkyo curse for Ranma or any of the other cursed men, and showed a temporary version of Nanniichuan curing him and Genma for its duration. This likely came from the fact that nobody ever managed to get their hands on Nanniichuan water and use it (which can actually be explained quite easily as Status Quo Is God), and the fact a minor villain managed to use Jusenkyo to create a Mix-and-Match Critters curse (though he was one to begin with).
  • There's a rumor in the Digimon Adventure 02 fandom that not only did the couples of Ken/Miyako and Yamato/Sora end up married, but they originally slated Mimi/Koushiro and Takeru/Hikari for marriage as well. Since the ending was ambiguous many fans like to make that as an excuse to ship them stating that "technically, they got married". In fact the rumor was started by a fansite, and since every single All There in the Manual extra material has been leaked in every possible place and nobody can get a copy of the "interview" saying so, it's most likely false. (Especially since Mimi/Koushiro is particularly illogical given that the most screen time they had within four feet of each other was in only one minor episode.)
    • Another bit of fanon is that Yamato and Sora were divorced. Many a fan were certain they'd heard it mentioned on the original episode, but the facts turned out to be false.
      • While there is no evidence that Yamato and Sora were ever married, the Distant Finale of Adventure 02 claims that Ken and Miyako did wind up being married. Thus the idea that Ken/Miyako was never stated to happen ended up being false, instead of the idea of their eventual marriage being false.
      • In addition, it's sometimes said that the Show Within a Show in Digimon Tamers was explicitly said to not be Digimon Adventure or its sequel...except the only thing Konaka actually said on the subject was that he wasn't going to tie the two continuities together or have characters from Adventure interact with the Tamers characters for the sake of fanservice. Further materials released after Tamers actually go as far to imply that it was, after all, Adventure and Adventure 02.
  • One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda is frequently claimed by fans to have said a great many things that he never actually said. He really does give regular Word of God answers to fan questions, but not in a language that most English-speaking fans can read, but even if he they could, some of his answers are crazy even by One Piece standards. Some of them are clearly jokes (for example, claiming that Chopper eating four Rumble Balls within six hours results in Oda turning into an uncontrollable monster), but sometimes it's impossible to tell.
  • Once, a Troll posted an interview on The Image Board That Shall Not Be Named, supposedly by the director of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, in which he claimed that the series was made on a dare in order to prove that any poorly-written piece of trash would succeed as long as the cast was packed full of Bishōnen. Obviously, this was fake, but it didn't stop the Hatedom from giving out triumphant cries of "I Knew It!".
  • There's currently a faked Bokurano novel translation circulating the 'net, which was actually based off a wildly canon-divergent fanfic which includes, among other things, Waku as the Dead Man Writing who narrates the story. It took in a fair few tropers on this very site, so watch out for that.
  • In the Macross Frontier fandom, former BNF Shaloom made multiple fake interviews by a supposed writer of the series, Hiroshi Ohnogi (who did work in the Macross metaseries... but not in Frontier itself, though there were some Shout outs to stuff he did for Macross Zero). They also referred frequently to series's creator Shoji Kawamori, but in a pretty... bad light. Everyone believed him until someone actually went searching for the interviews in question. Here is the Macross World FAQ on the whole deal.
  • The Axis Powers Hetalia fandom has numerous instances of this, often as a result of fans mistranslating/misinterpreting the source material and Word of God. The most infamous examples are Sweden's "grunting speech" (in canon he speaks with a Tohoku Regional Accent which was mistranslated and consequently Bowdlerized by fandom into grunting and mumbling), and America's Idiot Hero behavior being a case of Obfuscating Stupidity (what Word of God actually said was that America could read the atmosphere if he cared, but he doesn't).
    • There was also the claim that the to-be-created fifth season of Hetalia would make certain pairings, like US/UK, canon. Nothing was said by Word of God on this, and it was apparently just started up by fans.
  • Many fans of Dragon Ball Z believe that the creator, Akira Toriyama, had once stated he planned to end the series at the Freeza arc, yet he has never once stated this. He has also never said anything about Broli, since as a movie character, Toriyama's only involvement was creating his base-form design. That hasn't stopped Broli fans from claiming Toriyama has said he was "the strongest" in one place or another, even fabricating "interviews" out of whole cloth to "prove" their point. Likewise, Toriyama has never gone on record stating a dislike of Dragon Ball GT, and was actually rather positive about it while it was on the air in Japan. The only Dragon Ball property he has gone record stating his dislike for is Dragonball Evolution, and he is hardly alone in that.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Word of God stated that Mami Tomoe's wish was "to connect to life" - as in remain connected to her own life because she was going to die. Editors on this very wiki seemed to think it actually meant "connecting other lives" and stated that Mami had lied about her wish in the anime.
    • Some people are quick to say that Gen Urobuchi changed the ending to Rebellion to be more open-ended for the executives and that he hated it. Not true. He did say someone's gonna hate it, but that the people hating it would be the fanbase. As for the ending, it actually came up before Gen even wrote the script (He did considered an ending with more closure, but the problem was less meddling and more 'where do I go from there?' and that the idea to change the ending actually came from a co-worker.
  • According to several fans in the Soul Eater fandom, it is official that Crona is male. This claim is based on the Funimation dub of the anime and Yen Press translation of the manga, both which use male pronouns. So that should mean that Atsushi Ohkubo intended for Crona to be male in the first place, right? Wrong- official translators admitted that they only used male pronouns because they didn't want to insult Crona by using "it" or "they". Ohkubo hasn't settled on a gender for Crona, and probably never will.
  • In Manga/Naruto:
    • Masashi Kishimoto is often mentioned as having said that Sasuke is his favorite character, particularly by people who think he's a Creator's Pet with too much screentime. He actually said Sasuke is his favorite character to draw.
    • During mid-2014, persistent rumors circulated about how Kishimoto had stated that the manga would end in 2014; in truth, he did say that the manga was nearing completion and was in its final arc, but didn't put forward a concrete deadline.
  • Fans flew into a panic when a magazine article stated that Doki Doki Pretty Cure would end in December, a whole month earlier than usual.note  The director of the series went onto his Twitter that very day and reassured fans that it was still committed to a full 49 episode series.
  • Happens quite a bit in the mess that is the Sailor Moon fandom. "But Naoko said this!" and "Naoko said that!", it's rarely true. Series creator, Naoko Takeuchi rarely gives interviews or even makes public appearances, and fans very rarely interact with her. There are many fan misconceptions that range from her hating the 90s anime adaptation to regretting creating the series at all. There's also the long standing rumor that she prevented the final season of the anime from making it over to the states out of fear of how they would treat it. None of these are true, although supposedly she did have some issues with the original anime, there's no evidence that she outright hated it.

    Films — Animation 
  • As the Roger Rabbit of video games, Wreck-It Ralph has a ton of cameos from real video game characters. A number of Nintendo-owned characters and references show up, but Mario himself didn't get a direct cameo. A rumor spread like wildfire that Mario didn't get in because Nintendo demanded too much money, and that the director said so. As it turns out, this is patently false. In a video interview (around 15:30) with FirstShowing.net, director Rich Moore debunks the rumor, positing that it grew out of a joke John C. Reilly made at Comic-Con when he said "Luigi wants more money than Mario."

    Comics 
  • Ultimate Spider-Man editor Axel Alonso fell victim to this when, addressing the controversy of the new lead Miles Morales, stated that maybe one day a gay character can even be introduced without it causing an uproar. This caused mass speculation that Miles Morales was going to be both mixed and gay, and that his best friend Ganke was going to be his love interest. This had to be debunked multiple times just because one quote got taken out of context.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gene Roddenberry has been cited as declaring one Star Trek movie or another as Canon Discontinuity. The closest he got was disapproval with most any movie that wasn't Star Trek: The Motion Picture and calling Star Trek V: The Final Frontier's canonicity "uncertain".
  • George Lucas has occasionally, and admittedly, changed his mind about some things about the Star Wars saga (which, let's be fair, is a saga that has gone on for several decades), but he has gained a largely unfair reputation of shifting his ground willy nilly about every topic under the sun which is based on a combination of misquotes, false rumors, and misunderstandings of things he actually did say. For example, it is commonly asserted that he made Greedo shoot first because it "matched his original intentions" and he didn't want Han to be a poor role model for kids, but the actual reason he changed the scene was because the MPAA threatened the film with a PG-13 rating if he didn't (when the original Star Wars debuted, the PG-13 rating was not in existence and PG films had more leeway). There is a well known photo of him in a "Han shot first" shirt to confirm his agreement with the fans, though if that was his intention, he shouldn't make the claim that the re-releases were his vision as originally intended.
    • There have been claims that George Lucas is all over the place with regard to the canonicity of the Star Wars Expanded Universe alternating between calling it canon and not. Actually, he's been pretty consistent in calling it a alternate universe.
    • Lucas supposedly changes his position on how many movies there were originally supposed to be every other week. The official position is that, at his most ambitious, he wanted twelve, but, realizing it was unfeasable, decided on nine. At some point very early into the original trilogy he realized that he did not want to make nine movies, and incorporated the sequel trilogy into Return of the Jedi. In interviews he refers to his planning process in all its stages, leading to the confusion.

    Jokes 
  • Reportedly Josef Stalin was once asked, at one of his conferences (Yalta or Potsdam) with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, how he knew that he would become ruler of the Soviet Union. Stalin says that God came to him in a vision and told him so (let's forget he was a staunch atheist for the purpose of the joke). FDR turns to Stalin, and says, "Now wait a minute Joe, I never said any such thing!"

    Literature 
  • Plenty in the Harry Potter fandom:
    • There used to be a rumor about a gratuitous sex scene in the last book. Everyone heard that rumor (from everyone else), and all the sources claimed to have heard it straight from the author. A video on The Onion about Rowling including a date rape in an upcoming Potter book may have had something to do with the rumor.
    • It was rumored that Rowling had confirmed Harry Potter and the Green Flame Torch / Pillar of Storge / Fortress of Shadows as the title of books six/seven. She responded by suggesting Harry Potter and The Toenail of Icklibogg.
    J.K: I am trying very hard not to feel offended that anyone thought this was possible. 'Storgé', for crying out loud. Come on, people, get a grip.
    • There was an article Harry/Hermione shippers would sometimes cite which claimed Rowling had said Harry would develop "more of an interest in pal Hermione" in book 5. Nobody was able to trace this to an actual interview, and it ended up being Jossed. More information here.
    • Rowling never said that she may have subconsciously let the name "Harry Potter" from the Troll series seep into her story, regardless of what Phelous or any number of other people may tell you. What she actually said is that she took the name "Potter" from a family she was friends with as a child, and "Harry" simply because she has always loved that name.
    • There's a quote floating around on the Internet which confirms the fanon belief that Nagini is the snake Harry set free from the zoo, specifically "Yes, it’s rather funny, really, that next to no one realized the snake that Harry set free in Philosopher's Stone turned out to be Voldemort's final Horcrux, Nagini." It never happened. There's also a scientific hole in the theory, incidentally. Harry set a boa constrictor loose, which in the movies, was a python. Neither one is venomous or has fangs. Nagini is and does.
    • There are persistent rumors that Rowling said "In a fight between a wizard and a muggle with a shotgun, the muggle will win every time." This quote has never been traced, and whether muggles or wizards would win is a continuing debate.
    • Rose/Scorpius Shippers will often claim that Rowling has confirmed that Rose and Scorpius eventually ended up together. She hasn't.
    • A really old one that people love to misquote, but Rowling never actually said that people were delusional if they ship H/Hr, that was the owner of Muggle.net.
  • Many Twilight fans have claimed that Stephenie Meyer ruled out vampires being able to have children. Meyer herself claims she only said that female vampires couldn't have children but got misinterpreted.
    • She did, however, say that all fluids in a vampire's body turn to "venom," later redacting this to all fluids except semen
  • Due to the complicated mess that resulted in the wake of L. Sprague de Camp's additions to the Conan the Barbarian mythos, many things which were introduced with De Camp or others are mistakenly attributed to Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan. Some of these include:
    • The idea that Howard said Conan and the Hiberno-Norman warrior Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, who is stated to be 6'2" and 210lbs, were "physical doubles." This myth is even referenced on The Other Wiki. Not only is this very interesting factoid completely absent from Howard's letters, notes and stories, but the very numbers are incorrect—Cormac is a fraction of an inch over 6 feet, and 200lbs.
    • Howard's Hyborian Age is often placed in 10,000 BC, give or take a millennium or two, as established by L. Sprague De Camp in the later Conan novels and stories. In fact, Howard never dated the Hyborian Age at all, but he did date the Thurian Age (the time period of his other barbarian king Kull of Atlantis) as 100,000 BC. Calculating the centuries that pass in the "Hyborian Age" essay, one can place the age of Conan in any period from 90,000 BC to 10,000 BC.
  • Though the Dragonriders of Pern fandom mostly believes in the veracity of Anne McCaffrey's infamous "Tent Peg" interview (in which she states that anal penetration will instantly turn a man gay, by way of explaining how riders of green and blue dragons can all be gay), there's no actual evidence that it's more than an internet legend. She did, however, espouse similar, if much much milder ideas in her "Renewable Air Force" essay—in which she says green dragons tend to pick males with more feminine personalities and blues tend to pick Straight and Manly Gays.
  • Happens all too frequently in the Warrior Cats fandom:
    • Often people in the fandom claimed that author Victoria Holmes said that Brambleclaw would not succeed Firestar as ThunderClan leader. In reality, she said that the leader after Firestar "might be unexpected", and noted later that her editor made her change who the leader would be.
    • She is also cited as saying that Ivypool and Bumblestripe would hook up, when she actually told a fan that they could support whatever shipping they wanted to.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There was a hoax in the Power Rangers fandom that there was a series of shorts that only aired in Australia, supposedly titled "Scorpion Rain", that better connected the events of Power Rangers Zeo to Power Rangers Turbo.
    • One of the people who worked on the "Scorpion Rain" hoax later went on to become a writer for the show itself. He wrote the 10th anniversary episode "Forever Red", loosely hinting at events that took place in the "Scorpion Rain" hoax. In essence he made events analogous to Scorpion Rain canon within the show.
  • The producers of LOST never said that the show would never have time travel. They once said that the then-ongoing Season Two had no time travel — and it didn't — but never that there would never be time travel. Additionally, they never stated that there was one huge clue left in the pilot — in fact, they explicitly said there wasn't, and the last one to be made significant was the single white tennis shoe Jack found. Yet this is repeated to this day.
    • In an example of "Word of Mistaken God," an excellent way to see if someone is making something up about a producer comment is to see if they attribute it to J.J. Abrams, who has had little involvement in the series since season 1, helping to set it up, write and direct the pilot, and contributing to only a very few episodes since (the last being in S3).

    Newspapers 
  • L'Osservatore Romano—a perpetual source. Just because the newspaper of the Papal States pans Avatar does not mean that The Vatican condemns it. It's just a newspaper.

    Religion 
  • This actually happens quite frequently in The Bible, as numerous (mis)translations over centuries and additional Word of Dante have turned accidents into traditions.
    • For example, Moses is referred to as having rays of light, not horns, emanating from his face; the forbidden fruit is never identified as an apple; Joseph's coat may have been "richly ornamented" or "of many colors" depending on the translation; the sea creature which swallowed Jonah was never specified to be a whale or fish (such distinctions not having been established yet). Likewise, poems like Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost have influenced a great many Christians into believing things about Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and the battle between good and evil on which the Bible never actually elaborates.
    • The sea creature that swallowed Jonah is expressly called a דג גדול - a big fish. However, as noted above, at the time whales were generally considered to be just a large kind of fish; the distinction between whales (which are mammals) and fish wouldn't be made for several centuries yet.
    • The Ten Commandments themselves. Aside from slight differences in dividing up the commandments between the original Hebrew and subsequent Christian versions, there are a few cases where people have deliberately tried to mistranslate or misread earlier versions, such as with the Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill." The original word used in the Hebrew version, רצח (r-ṣ-ḥ), clearly means just murder of the premeditated kind, as in "lie in wait for innocent blood" and the like. (Elsewhere, the command is that murderers and other criminals are to be executed, and accidental killings are not to be punished.) Capital punishment and war are clearly not breaches of this Commandment
    • And "taking God's name in vain" is a rather sparse translation. It more literally means something like "You are not to take God's name up for nothingness" i.e. don't go using it casually to back up worthless and dubious claims, or claiming God as an ally in some scheme you're trying to pull. (This means you especially, politicians!)
    • Go look for the sentence "God helps those who help themselves" in the Bible. Nope, it's not there. Aesop originally coined the idea in a fable about Hercules, and the present wording comes from Ben Franklin, neither of whom were Christians (although Franklin was raised one and converted to Anglicanism on his death bed, he was a Deist when writing that). There's a list of such sayings wrongly attributed to the Bible.
    • The New Testament provides an example recounted within the Gospels; God gave a number of general rules, but by Jesus' time these had been analyzed and quantified into strict rules by the Pharisees. When the Pharisees tried to call Jesus on his "rule breaking", he often explained that they had over-analyzed the letter of the law and missed the spirit completely. For example, at one point Jesus is accused of violating the ban on working on the Sabbath by healing someone; Jesus explains that while the Sabbath is a day of rest, it is never against God's law to help another person or to show mercy to them.
    • Despite the common interpretation, not once in the Bible does it mention that the angels sent down to Earth (e.g. Gabriel) have wings. Indeed the descriptions of them are often vague at best, describing them only by what they wore or being surrounded by bright light. The ones that are described as having wings have multiple pairs and some have eyes on their wings too... others are far closer to Eldritch Abominations. There's a set of angels in Ezekiel, for example, who take the form of "topaz wheels made of eyes", who may or may not act as Soul Jars for even stronger angels! The Winged Humanoids we know and love are a creation of Medieval European art (Rule of Cool was around even then).
      • Also, there is ambiguity about the term 'angel' itself. Occasionally it is used almost interchangeably with God himself (perhaps similar to 'avatar').note  And the more... colorful descriptions tend to use other words, such as 'seraph'. Also these descriptions take place solely in heavenly visions and revelations, and whether they are to be taken literally is highly debatable.
      • 'Angel' has such a feminine connotation in modern English, despite the fact that the only times angels have a specified gender in the Bible, it is male, and the fact that angels are typically protrayed doing very... shall we say "masculine" things (leveling cities, destroying armies, etc.).
    • Much of the conception of the Apocalypse is based on the commentaries contained in the Scofield Reference Bible. So you get ideas such as the Jews returning to Israel and expelling all non-Jews as required for Jesus to come back. Much of it was reinterpreted by televangelists, and it all went well, until America sided with Iraq (Babylon) against Iran (Persia) because America Wins the War. The Great Politics Mess-Up should've discredited it altogether, but like all memes, it won't die. Also found in the Scofield was James Ussher's chronology of the Universe, which dates Creation to the 22 of October 4004 BC. Which is still what Young Earth Creationists believe.
    • A common mistranslation of Deuteronomy 23:17 forbids women from becoming prostitutes and men from becoming "sodomites." The verse actually forbids both Israelite men and women from becoming cult prostitutes; the same word is applied to both sexes (in feminine and masculine forms).
    • Another common misconception is that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for homosexuality (hence the word "sodomy"), when it in fact it was for their hostility to outsiders; the only reason their homosexuality was even mentioned was as a descriptor for an attempted rape.
  • One important blessing of the Jewish Shaharit (morning) Service thanks God for giving "(something) the ability to distinguish day from night." In one Reform prayerbook, the "something" is translated as the mind. In one Orthodox prayerbook, the "something" is translated as the heart. In reality, it is an ancient Hebrew word for rooster, the alarm clock of the pre-Industrial era.
  • Due to the meaning of the word evolving over time, it is likely that the prohibition against cooking a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk originally banned cooking the kid in its mother's fat. That's right, to the ancient Israelites, there may not have been anything wrong with a cheeseburger. Unless it was fried.
    • Poultry was declared meat in the rabbinical era, some time after the above line was interpreted to mean "don't mix dairy products and meat." Initially it was pareve (food that can be eaten with either milk or meat) like fish still is because birds don't nurse their young. The issue comes up frequently because kids, when learning the above line, start asking Kids Say the Darnedest Things-esque questions about how one milks a chicken.
  • According to book 9 of The Dresden Files, "Suffer not a witch to live" from Exodus is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word that gets translated as "witch" means something akin to sorceress. The use of the word "witch" and the accompanying implication that some such separate race of magical people exists, is an invention of the King James Version.
  • The continuous argument of the creation of earth and life by God being completed in 6 Days (popularized as 7 Days). For many, religious or not, this has been interpreted as meaning: 24 hours for each day in a humans grasp of time.
  • The wise men in the New Testament are never given names, and there isn't even a mention of how many there are. All that's mentioned is what gifts they brought, but it could just as easily been five men carrying three gold things, two things of frankincense, and one thing of myrrh, as it could have been three wise men each carrying one gift.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • During the Adventurers' Island Story Arc in Dino Attack RPG, PeabodySam was careful to never confirm OOC which temple was actually the Maelstrom Temple, deliberately invoking this trope to keep his fellow players from guessing his true intentions until The Reveal.
  • Within We Are All Pokémon Trainers there have been many instances of claims being made regarding statements about the WAAPTverse that have turned out to have never been said.

    Video Games 
  • Touhou relies almost entirely on the Literary Agent Hypothesis and Unreliable Narrators for storytelling (the various mutually-contradictory routes in the games are all canon simultaneously and the Universe Compendiums are in-verse documents) and the Shrug of God is rampant, so when ZUN does deem it necessary to deliver something definitive it is given enormous weight, and inevitably this trope tends to occur:
    • Probably the most wide-spread and believed example is ZUN outright forbidding any Anime of the Game from being made; what he actually said was if any anime was made (say, Musou Kakyou: A Summer Day's Dream) that the creators make it obvious that it is a fan-made endeavor and is not at all official.
    • Similarly, it is generally accepted that the reason ZUN won't give permission for an official Touhou anime is because he doesn't want Adaptation Displacement to occur, which would almost certainly happen given that the actual games, despite the popularity of Touhou as a phenomenon, is still an obscure shmup series. ZUN hasn't yet explained this refusal.
    • Many fans (including this wiki) think that ZUN confirmed the names of Daiyousei and Koakuma, two background characters for whom fans invented names and personalities. What he said was that "Daiyousei" and "Koakuma" are the names of specific types of youkai, of which those two are members, and said nothing about the names of the individuals.
  • Misquoted and falsified information prior to a game's launch can easily persuade people. For example, a rumor was started in the months leading up to the launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution that it would only be five hours long. The game is actually said to be over twenty five hours long.
  • Mario and Luigi being from Brooklyn is often attributed to Shigeru Miyamoto, but it began in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. (Indeed, the first Mario game with an actual plot depicted the Mario Bros. as being from the Mushroom Kingdom - and twins, at that). Miyamoto also did not give them their last name of Mario (again, the cartoon did - the movies, commonly cited as the source for this, came later), and indeed has officially come out and said that it is not their name, even though no other name makes sense (why else would they be the Mario Bros.?). Then again, Miyamoto also did not give them their first names, either - "Mario" was borrowed from Nintendo of America's then-landlord, Mario Segale (along with their Italian heritage), and "Luigi" apparently came from a (now-defunct) Seattle-area pizzeria called "Mario and Luigi's".
  • Before Halo Wars, Halo fanon had claimed that the armor worn by Arbiters was the same exact suit that it had been through history, the successor receiving it after his predecessor had died. However, the Arbiter of Halo Wars (Ripa 'Moramee) was killed and pushed down a chasm before his body was destroyed in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Henceforth, that meant the armor had been destroyed with it. Fans were annoyed, but it was later pointed out that since the Arbiter is intended to be sent on suicide missions, there would have been many cases where the armor was destroyed and/or impossible to recover. Also, Ripa 'Moramee was also considerably larger than the average Sangheili (aka Elite). He would have had to have armor that fit his larger body better than smaller Arbiters like Thel 'Vadam of the original trilogy. Part of the original confusion also came from the fact that the Arbiter armor is less advanced than standard Sangheili armor. However, given that the Arbiter rank by the time of the Human-Covenant War is given only to disgraced but badass Elites for the expressed purpose of making them die on important suicide missions, the inferiority of Arbiter armor is likely there to remind the wearer of his disgrace.
  • Fans have wondered why the Evokers of Persona 3 - devices used to summon one's Persona in this game, and purely for symbolic effect in Persona 4 Arena - are shaped like guns, which one "shoots" into one's head. Based on a scene in the game's Playable Epilogue "The Answer," an explanation began making the rounds among fans that they were designed that way in order to convince Akihiko to become her first official recruit into the fight against the Shadows, either by appealing to his self-destructive tendencies or just purely on the basis of Rule of Cool. This is false: as stated in an interview with Producer & Director Katsura Hashino in Persona 3 Official Design Works, the Evokers were shaped like guns because the act of putting a gun to one's head and pulling the trigger creates a visceral response similar to playing Russian Roulette, testing the Persona user's resolve every single time they use the Evoker. The cutscene in The Answer states only that Mitsuru chose her approach to catch Akihiko's attention; this statement is not in any way related to the subject of the design of the Evokers, which had already been determined long beforehand.
  • In Persona 4, Troy Baker, the voice actor of Kanji Tatsumi, revealed during a con that he was instructed by his voice acting director to act as if Kanji was actually gay. When he shared this info, he also offered his own interpretation that he felt Kanji was gay as well. This is often used as proof of Kanji's orientation despite the actual Word of God stating that Kanji's orientation is up to the interpretation of the player.
  • Street Fighter canon has several examples:
    • The live-action film and cartoon, aside of combining Blanka and Charlie into Carlos "Charlie" Blanka, assigned first and last names and titles to characters who didn't have them normally (i.e. Ryu Hoshi, Chun-Li Zang/Xiang, William F. Guile, Dr. Dhalsim, Victor Sagat, etc.), which are sometimes misattributed to the characters in other canon. The same could be said of Chun-Li's father, whose name has never been revealed, but is given as Dorai/Dourai in Street Fighter II V (the same anime also gave Vega/Balrog/Claw a surname, Fabio la Cerda; Claw was not given a surname in the film and the US cartoon).
    • Cammy is often claimed to have been Bison's lover before her Laser-Guided Amnesia. However, this was due to a false translation. In the original canon, she was his Opposite-Sex Clone. Nowadays, fans like to run with BOTH versions.
    • Akuma's ultimate attack, the Raging Demon (Shun Goku Satsu or "Instant Hell Murder" in original Japanese) is often touted as an attack in which Akuma grabs his opponent and sends them to Hell where demons do all sorts of unspeakable things to them while the screen briefly cuts to black and the sounds of dozens of heavy blows are heard. This is often claimed to have been stated in a "Japanese sourcebook" or stated by "Capcom executives", but no copies of said book have been found and no one can pinpoint exactly where this information came from. It's just as likely that the attack involves Akuma attacking the enemy many, many times at Super Speed and the black-out is simply to let your imagination fill in the blanks.
  • Thanks to the rather vehement Broken Base surrounding Metroid: Other M, it has been persistently reported that Yoshio Sakamoto declared the Metroid Prime games to be Canon Discontinuity, a talking point that frequently factors into arguments that he is taking Metroid down the wrong path. In reality, he has said that he considers them to be fully canonical side-stories; the closest any statement has come to declaring the Prime games non-canon is him admitting he didn't specifically factor them into the plot of Other M.
    • ...which turned into a No, Except Yes moment when his canon for Other M turned out to be largely incompatible with the Prime series.
  • Satoru Iwata went into this twice:
    • When he said in early 2013 that reaching a certain operating income target for Nintendo's profits in that fiscal year was a commitment of his, it somehow got broadly reported that he was promising to resign if the goal was not reached (which it wasn't). He had to directly refute the resignation rumor during a shareholder's meeting later that June.
    • In early 2014 there was a lot of rumors that Nintendo would go under, cancel support for the Wii U home console and then go mobile. Iwata addressed all these points in a shareholder meeting at the end of February: specifically stating that they would NOT happen.
  • Considering the headaches trying to figure out the timeline of the Legend of Zelda games, it was almost inevitable that one timeline or another would emerge in popular consensus as "official" and "verified". It was rarely stated who did the supposed verification, and flew in the face of several creators (including Shigeru Miyamoto himself) explicitly saying there WAS no official timeline except for those cases where a game was an explicit sequel to another (i.e. The Adventure of Link to the original game, Majora's Mask taking place in the future of kid-link from Ocarina of Time). At most, there was a "general chronology", flexible enough and with no dating system to allow them to put any new game they want anywhere in the timeline without screwing it up. Then, finally, in 2011, an actual official timeline came out that will settle all debates regarding the games released up to that point.

    Western Animation 
  • The Invader Zim fandom seems quite prone to this, possibly especially because the show has been canceled for quite some time now (2001) and many of its fans were in primary school then and only teenagers now. Some things are attributed to Jhonen Vasquez that were actually said by Steve Ressel or Eric Truehart, and then there's a lot of things that weren't said anywhere except perhaps in some particularly influential fanfic. Dib being an artificial creation of Professor Membrane's is an example of the former, Zim being "16 in Irken years" is an example of the latter.
    • Many fans also claim that Jhonen hated the show and that he "would never work in animation ever again." However, he makes himself makes appearances at conventions, and has even admitted on his blog that he enjoyed working on the show, and actually got a lot of leeway of content, (the only real Executive Meddling was not allowing deaths and planned future episodes of Zim travelling all over space.
  • Two meta-examples in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Lauren Faust never planned to have any major over-arcing plots for the show: the intention was always an episodic comedy/adventure.
    • Apparently inverted/subverted (as in, "God Never Said She Didn't Say That") in regards to the notion that Faust hated the earlier My Little Pony shows: What she has certainly said is that she never liked cartoons based on girls' toys, but that she loved the original toys. Possibly people have got confused over the statement that "She hated/didn't hate G1," which could refer to either.
    • Lauren Faust was particularly susceptible to this trope during her time with the show, it seems. Late during her tenure as the show's executive producer, when asked about the popular background character Derpy Hooves, she said there was an unseen character in an upcoming episode by the name of Ditzy Doo, and the name might at some point be applied to the character. What fans failed to notice was that she was just speculating at this, and didn't actually have any plans to use that name for the character. Furthermore, the fans seemed to blind themselves to the fact that, while she speculated on that, in the very same post she said that if the fans liked Derpy, then the name would remain Derpy. This has caused a bit of a Broken Base about which name was "canon" or "better", that persists to this day.
      • This wasn't helped any when Amy Keating Rogers made a statement about the Season 2 episode The Last Roundup, in which she claimed they originally were going to use the name Ditzy Doo for the character's comic bit near the beginning of the episode, before being asked to change it to Derpy. Of course, the reasoning for this is likely because the episode was being written right around the time Lauren had originally speculated on using that name for that character, before the production team really adopted the name of Derpy Hooves.
  • Despite what an Adventure Time behind-the-scenes video (that was quickly taken down) implied, Marceline and Bubblegum were never romantically involved in canon. Even the video in question only raised it as a question rather than stating it as a fact.
  • Young Justice creator Greg Weisman interacts quite a bit with fans, and naturally gets misunderstood from time to time. One of the most persistent examples: he stated that there would be deaths in season one, and that not even the main characters were safe. This is often misquoted as him saying that a main character definitely would die in season one, with fans speculating who it would be.
    • The show Bonkers (which Greg had a hand in) was thought to be a Roger Rabbit TV series, with Bonkers being an expy of Roger due to copyright issues. Greg has repeatedly pointed out that while Roger Rabbit was an inspiration, it was just that.

    Multiple Media 
  • Greg Farshtey actively invokes this in the BIONICLE fanbase, as he's been known to "confirm" or "reject" plausible theories in order to throw fans off the trail of his actual plans; and when called on it would point out the Exact Words in his original statements.
  • Unfortunately true for the Nasuverse, due to the large amount of untranslated extra materials leading to certain fans making up plausible theories and passing them off as truths.

    Real Life 
  • Happens quite often to the US Constitution, to the point that one of the major debates of American legal philosophy concentrates on what was or was not the "original intent" of the Founders who wrote it. The fact that the text itself is available to anyone doesn't stop blatant lies about the document entering the public discourse, with people often surprised when someone reads the actual text aloud. "Original intent" is a logical fallacy. The problem comes from a difference in opinion over whether one should interpret the document to the letter or based on context including other relevant documentation. The job of this interpretation is up to the Judicial Branch.
    • The Onion quite brilliantly satirized the phenomenon with "Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be"
    • The constitution itself is notable for defending slaverynote , so the more, ahem, "creative" politicians saying that the Founding Fathers banned slavery is hilarious. The Constitution did, however, show a clear intent to ban the slave trade in 1808. Article 1, Section 9: "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person." i.e. the slave trade would not be banned until 1808, but it could be taxed before that. And the slave trade was indeed banned in 1808, on schedule. However, unlike in other slaveholding countries, banning the importation of slaves did not lead to slavery dying out as the slaves did; the slavers were able to make do with domestically born slaves. Related to this: it was the slaveowners who wanted slaves counted as full persons in the Census, and abolitionists who wanted them not counted at all (slavers wanted their slaves' extra voting powernote  to inflate their representation in congress and the electoral college, while the abolitionists wanted to deny them that; the slave being worth three-fifth of a freeman was a compromise).
    • Another issue one must consider is that in the 1780's, most people thought American slavery was a dying institution as it was becoming somewhat impractical. All but the most strict abolitionists (and those were few at that time) were comfortable with the constitution's recognition of slavery as they assumed that slavery would automatically eliminate itself within the next few decades. What these people didn't anticipate was Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793, which enabled the large-scale cultivation of cotton and the revitalization and expansion of slavery in the South during the first half of the 1800's.
    • A major source of the problem is that people who claim to have a perfect understanding of "the Founders' original intent" tend to portray the Founders as a Hive Mind, when in fact they were just as divided in their opinions as any other body of politicians. The Constitution was the result of 4 months of extensive debate and compromise until they came up with something everybody present was willing to sign their name to. Nobody got everything they wanted, and afterward there continued to be disagreement among the Founders as to what many sections actually meant. And the fact that both Congress and the Supreme Court were full of people involved in writing the Constitution didn't stop some early laws from being overturned as unconstitutional.
      • There was little to no disagreement over what the words meant. The disagreement was over which words to include. Once the articles had been adopted, their meaning was considered by most people to be fairly unambiguous.
    • The Constitution also goes against the left as well, as it is not written in the Constitution itself that there is a "separation of church and state". Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter that the Establishment Clause is intended to "erect a wall of separation between church and state", which is where we get that particular phrasing.
      • Regardless of what the Founders themselves may have believed or not believed, they knew they'd have a hard time selling an official state religion to their constituency, many of whom were descended from people who emigrated from Britain to escape just exactly that, where the Sovereign of the United Kingdom was also de jure Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and were not anxious to repeat it, thank you very much. And that's the group the Establishment Clause was intended to pacify.
  • Law in general, especially older law codes that may not have changed despite years or centuries of interpretation, misinterpretation, reinterpretation, scholarly pontificating, simple copy errors...and that's just on the stuff that stays the same.
  • Since Everyone Is Satan in Hell, Charles Darwin gets this a lot. Oftentimes, things that Häckel or Huxley said are attributed to Darwin. Huxley being especially notable, having earned the name "Darwin's Bulldog" vociferously defending evolution, because Darwin was too shy and too afraid to defend his theory himself.
    • The big one is that Darwin didn't use the word "evolution" (a misnomer that has caused problems) to refer to the process he explained, though "evolved" is the last word of his book. He called it "descent with modification".
    • Social Darwinism even has his name tacked on it, even though he was dismayed by his theories being misused in social context, in extremely unscientific ways. Even today people from both sides talk about eugenics like Darwin had anything to do with the practice, which he in fact opposed.
      • When the idea of intentional "improvement" of humanity through selective breeding was first brought up (the term eugenics had yet to be coined), Darwin referred to it as "utopian" (as in impractical or unrealistic).
  • If you read a quote on the Internet, particularly if you see said quote on Facebook, there's a very real probability that it will be attributed to the wrong person. There is a list of stupid quotes from a politician that has been attributed as though every one of those quotes came from, depending on the source, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush, John McCain or Barack Obama. It's literally the same list. Who knows if any of them ever actually said any of it. Even funnier is when you know the quote cannot possibly belong to the person it's attributed to, such as Marilyn Monroe supposedly stating that it's sweet when men save your texts so that he can read them later, or a political rant called "I'm 83 and Tired" that ostensibly was written by Bill Cosby when Cosby himself was only 75 (he's still not 83 as of today). As Weird Al says in "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me": "By the way, your quotes from George Carlin aren't really George Carlin."

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