A fan gets Jossed when the elaborate Epileptic Trees
that they've lovingly built upon canonical elements is abruptly disproved by further canon or by the Word of God
. Named after Joss Whedon
; Buffy the Vampire Slayer
was notorious for this. Fans would come up with detailed and elaborate theories or plots during summer hiatuses, most of which got completely thrown out within three episodes of the new season.
May lead to Fanon Discontinuity
when disgruntled fans prefer their own fanon
over the canon. In extreme cases
, critics and fans may invoke Death of the Author
to preserve their interpretation of events.
Note that in some circles, the term "Jossed" refers to a gutwrenching main character death
, which Whedon is also famous for. This definition entered the populace when during a Q&A session at an Australian university, a young Aussie girl noted his tendency to do horrible things to on-screen couples, and to much laughter, said "We call it getting 'Jossed'". Other sources also use this term as "shocking plot twist." This trope deals only with the "classic" definition.
This trope has two opposites: I Knew It
, where the fan theory is proven to be true by a twist that was planned all along, and Ascended Fanon
, where the author decides to promote some fanon elements to canon status. The inverse of this trope is Shrug of God
, where the author refuses to say that one answer is more "correct" than another.
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Anime & Manga
- The new OVA-verse Tenchi Muyo! installments jossed many of the assumptions the fanbase had come to hold dear — for instance, that Tenchi's Bumbling Dad Nobuyuki was a Muggle, instead of being in on the Masquerade with Katsuhito/Yosho. Fans tend to ignore the new installment, but usually not because of the Jossing.
- Pokémon's been particularly vulnerable to Jossing in the DP seasons: "Ash will get Buizel" (Dawn does, but Ash does trade for it later), "Ash will get Hippopotas" (nobody does), "Ash will get Shieldon" (same), "Paul is a starting trainer (he's been a trainer as long as Ash has)".
- Probably one of the biggest josses for the fandom was the episode that finally revealed once and for all that Pikachu is male, shooting down a lot of fans who assumed the opposite. Besides, Pikachu's tail never had an indentation, so it can be assumed it was male from the beginning.note
- A BW episode officially confirmed that Pokemon in the anime can only learn 4 moves total (despite the fact that they are frequently shown to use more than four moves in a single battle).
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch:
- Caren, Noel and Coco, upon their return in the middle of season two, will get their own plot arc and be important again. (Jossed by the first episode in which they reappear, in which it is blatantly pointed out that they can't defeat a member of the new Quirky Miniboss Squad to themselves, and have to go be comic relief. They do, however, get a brief shining moment in the manga.)
- Lucia and Kaito will get a duet. (Became more and more likely when an extra song called "Birth of Love" was announced on the album. Then it was used in the show... as a new Seira song.)
- The Great One is Michal. (Jossed by the episode with Rihito's concert.)
- In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, almost all the fans were certain that Syaoran was the same Syaoran as in Cardcaptor Sakura, coming off as slightly reluctant to woo his obvious crush because he was already committed to her Alternate Universe-equivalent. Turns out, he isn't CCS Syaoran, but the son of an alternate universe version of CCS Syaoran, using his dad's name and abilities. He's been romancing an alternate universe clone of his mom, and was always known about it. Cue the Abandon Shipping of a canon pairing by a decent chunk of the fanbase. This has actually been even further Jossed, in that the theories spawned by finding out who his parents basically are were all wrong. The second Syaoran is actually the son of the clones reincarnated as opposed to the CCS couple, which has quite broken a lot of brains.
- In Code Geass, the popular fan theory that Lelouch faked his death at the end of the series has been Jossed in a few official materials released after the ending, as well as in interviews with the staff and cast members that seem to suggest he's he's dead for real. The Official Guide Book mentions this 5 times, and the special edition DVD replaces the entire last scene (which sparked the fan theory in the first place) with a monologue by C.C that clearly indicates that Lelouch is dead. However, some arguments are still ongoing as to how any or all of these elements should be interpreted, whether they are actually authoritative or just part of the in-universe "official history" that might not match the possibly hidden truth of a plan already based on lies and deceit. Another example would be how a select few in the fandom continued to insist that Britannian Prince Clovis should rise from the dead. Or at least wind up alive after all as a Geass-possessing Big Bad of some sort. Theories of Nunnally having either dark intentions or a split personality were also fairly popular in fan circles during the broadcast. But neither of these speculations came to pass.
- One Piece: Boa Hancock being Luffy's mom was a pretty popular theory for a while, even though its only basis was that they sorta looked alike. (in a manga story where young-ish characters kind of look alike anyway.) It got Jossed when she fell in love with him. This example is probably going to go down in history because of how obsessed fandom was with this theory at some point despite the utter lack of real evidence. Pretty embarrassing for a lot of people in retrospect. Word of God has also soundly jossed many theories surrounding Tashigi, including her being blood related to Kuina or her being Kuina brought back to life. Their being twins was an especially popular fandom theory for years, which is why it hasn't quite died yet despite said Word of God and a side story that explicitly showed that Kuina was an only child.
- Hellsing. The true species of the Major ( he's a cyborg) was only introduced in the last chapters, and before that he was considered either a vampire or some weird magical human. And then of course in the aforementioned last chapters, almost everybody died.
- Naruto Jossed a bunch of theories involving Akatsuki members Itachi, Pain, and Tobi when it turned out that Itachi was a good guy, Pain's true identity is Nagato, and Tobi is both Obito Uchiha and Akatsuki's true leader. Chapter 474 finally Jossed the theory of Danzo being Tobi by merit of them facing off against each other.
- A lot of theories about the bijuu were Jossed with the revelation that they were split from the Ten Tails by the Sage of the Six Paths, and again with the reveal that a bijuu will "die," but reform later if its host is killed. And Naruto's mother Kushina being the previous Kyuubi jinchuuriki.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn! to an extent too because there was Ryohei/Kyoko, Ryohei/Colonello, Ryohei/whoever the hell people liked pairing with him but Amano Jossed everyone by pretty much canoning Ryohei/Hana but saying that'll probably end with a Ship War. Not that many people gave a crap about Ryohei anyway. Amano likes Jossing people a lot seeing as most of her plot points descend from random possibly LSD caused ideas. Or so it would seem...
- Tsuna's box animal was also up for debate for a long time until it was pretty much canon'd going against pretty much everyone's ideas.
- The 6 real funeral wreaths did anyone honestly guess that Kikyo is the CLOUD guardian???
- In Bleach:
- There used to be a theory that Ichigo wasn't special until Rukia transferred her power to him. This was despite him having the power to see spirits since birth. However, the theory was jossed when the Shattered Shaft training stating categorically that Ichigo had possessed shinigami power since birth that had been locked away until Rukia's power nudged it awake.
- Kubo Tite finally jossed a theory that was very popular with parts of the fandom who believed Ichigo looked like Kaien because he was Kaien's reincarnation. Parts of the fandom believed the theory was jossed when it was learned that Metastacia was consumed by Aaroniero and with it, Kaien's soul. However, Aaroniero actually consumed Kaien's spiritual body, not his soul. The theory was actually jossed when it was revealed Ichigo is Kaien's cousin via his father who is Kaien's uncle, leading to an I Knew It from other parts of the fandom that had never believed the reincarnation theory but had believed Ichigo was related to the Shiba family by blood. The fate of Kaien's actual soul is currently unknown.
- The theory that Isshin used to be a member of the Royal Guard has finally been jossed. In another jossed and I Knew It situation, the theory was that Isshin had been, at different times, both the former tenth division captain and an ex-member of the Royal Guard. He wasn't Royal Guard, but he was the former tenth division captain, and it turns out his family is responsible for the Royal Guard's ability to travel between the Royal Realm and Soul Society... so he wasn't a member, but his family was connected.
- An argument has existed within the fandom for years over whether Urahara placed the Hougyoku inside Rukia's body after Chapter 1 when he gave her the special gigai or Urahara placed the Hougyoku inside her years before the start of the story. One of the databooks eventually reveals that Urahara placed it inside her after Chapter 1 when she's given the special gigai. This is another example of a reveal that is both a jossed and an I Knew It example at the same time.
- During Turn Back the Pendulum's flashback arc, there was a theory in part of the fandom that Aizen was ultimately an Anti-Hero who teamed up with Urahara and the Vizards, especially after the existence of Maggot's Nest was introduced. Unsurprisingly, this theory was jossed when it was confirmed that Aizen was indeed the Big Bad he'd always been.
- Hunter × Hunter has dropped a Bridget on many fans of both genders in the form of the Databook. First there was Kurapika, then Karuto, and then there was the whole business of Pitou's gender.
- Black Jack: Osamu Tezuka did a second story about Kei/Megumi apparently solely to Joss speculation that she'd spontaneously turned into a man after her hysterectomy and loss of ovaries.
- Pretty Cure has had a good few of these:
- Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star: Some fans believed that Nagisa and Honoka would mentor Saki and Mai, until the two series were cemented as strict alternate continuities. A much crackier theory posited that the girls would eventually fight EVIL BREAD, due to the Hyuuga family's bakery job. Bread was one of the few inanimate objects of any significance that were never turned into a monster during the series.
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5: Masuko Mika was thought to be a potential Sixth Ranger by the fanbase for a time, but never made it past comic relief, for the most part. The aforementioned slot ended up going to Milk come next series.
- Fresh Pretty Cure!: A good number of fans suspected Kaoru-chan, the girls' mysteriously savvy donut vendor friend of being the Kingdom of Sweet's Elder Tiramisu in human form, a theory that more or less went up in smoke around episode 29. Before that, parts of the fanbase insisted that Setsuna, thought to be the unrevealed Cure Passion was either too obvious a candidate for the position, too awesome as a villain, or both; hence, the Akarun was going to be granted to some new girl we'd never met around mid-season, tradition be damned. It went to Setsuna.
- HeartCatch Pretty Cure!: Tsukikage Yuri/Cure Moonlight was thought to be either dead, captured, or free but smacked with Laser-Guided Amnesia until episode 8, when she was shown to be alive and in full possession of her memories. The Dark Pretty Cure was also thought to be Moonlight's former partner, Cure Sunshine, until Moonlight was cemented as working alone and Sunshine turned up as a brand new Cure.
- Suite Pretty Cure ♪: Siren was suspected to be Cure Muse by a good portion of the fandom. The fact that Siren defected from the villains' side and started showing some suspicious behavior right before Muse debuted appeared to clinch this...until both characters appeared in the same scene in episode 13.
- Smile Pretty Cure!: Because there were seven gems on the Smile Compact and five Cures, fans guessed that two more heroines would be added during the series. However, no characters were even set up to become new Cures, and the team remains a fixed Five-Man Band.
- A popular theory in Nabari No Ou fandom was that the kitten Yukimi found and named Yoite was Yoite's reincarnation. It was completely jossed in the final chapter when Yoite shows up again and Yukimi goes out of his way to rename the cat "Yoi".
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds fandom it was a popular theory that Z-ONE's true identity was Yusei from the ruined future. Episode 148 even went on a big tease with showing Z-ONE having the same face as Yusei. But instead he turned out to be a random scientist in the future who had genetically modified his body to have Yusei's exact appearance, sans part of the head. Fans were not happy about this.
- Depending on how much you value Word of God, Dragon Ball Minus does this to a variety of fan theories and knowledge held for the better part of 20 years, plus completely changing the Bardock story as we know it (though it was anime-only anyway).
- The final ending of the Non-Serial Movie version of Macross Frontier left most of the fanbase believing (and a warning for fans of the show, this spoiler text is the Mother Of All Spoilers as far as you're concerned) Alto was dead, Sheryl stayed in a coma, and they were basically Together in Death. An interview with Kawamori Jossed this: Alto survived, Sheryl woke up, Happy Ending.
- In the end of the first Non-Serial Movie for Slayers, the ancestor of one of the heroes is able to get together with the elf girl he's in love with because of the Time Travel plot Lina creates. However, the creator of the Light Novel series (and the entire franchise) spoke in an interview that the elf and the human ancestor, in the end, didn't wind up together because of the implications of a disturbing Mayfly-December Romance...as in, because elves in this franchise age at half the speed that humans do, then the girl would still be considered a child while the human grows into manhood.
- Initially, Zelgadiss speculates whether the priest Rezo is his grandfather or great-grandfather (as he's old to the point that Zelgadiss cannot clearly pinpoint how they're related) and Kanzaka confirmed that he's three generations removed in another interview. However, when the anime was first translated, a mishap caused the fandom to believe that Rezo was both, leaving rumors of incest running amok in Zelgadiss' family. One wouldn't gain the contrary evidence unless they either found a translation of the interviews or read the first translated novel (which used the correct implication).
- A great deal of Fairy Tail fanficcers liked (and still like) to claim that Natsu and the rest of the guild would begin to ignore Lucy for some reason when Lisanna was revealed to still be alive. 60+ chapters later, Natsu and Lucy's bond is stronger than ever, and he and Lisanna have said perhaps four or five sentences to each other. And Lisanna isn't jealous at all for this. In fact, the anime plays her up as a Shipper on Deck for Natsu and Lucy. In another case, over half the theories as to what Natsu's relation to Zeref might be or what happened with the dragons all revolve around the idea that Natsu and possibly Gajeel are several hundred years old. The idea is based around the fact that neither of them could pass through a barrier that was supposed to only block those who were stone statues or over 80, so it looks like a pretty sound support. Except that the author came out and stated that the two of them aren't over 80. Unfortunately, since the majority of fans don't actually buy the official volumes, most don't read it, and still make guesses based around an already jossed theory.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, though the director Hideaki Anno prefers a Shrug of God stance towards fan theories and outright asks the audience to find their own answers, the creative team behind the series has been known to occasionally speak out against a few of them.
- There was rampant speculation over which episodes of the series the third Rebuild of Evangelion film would adapt and what changes would be made. The movie then rendered most fan theories moot when it was revealed that it took place after a 14 year Time Skip and told a completely original story.
- A theory that is common among Evangelion fans is that Shinji is intended as a mocking satire of Evangelion's audience. According to character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Shinji is actually an Author Avatar for director Hideaki Anno, who at the time of Shinji's creation was suffering from many of the same issues as Shinji does.
- Hideaki Anno also outright stated that Misato didn't shot Kaji, and that the assassination was carried out by a random Mook.
- When word came out about a Prototype Psycho Gundam MSV by mecha designer Kunio Okawara piloted by a boy named Gil Ratockie, the younger brother of Miharu Ratokie from the original series, who had been turned into an Artificial Newtype and renamed Three Murasame, it was generally assumed that the enigmatic Four Murasame was actually their younger sister, Millie. Then the tie-in novel Four's Story: And To A Soldier... was published, thoroughly demolishing the theory as it reveals that Four, whose real name is conspicuously absent, is a girl who was orphaned in the colony drop at the end of Gundam 0083 rather than during the One Year War like the Ratokie siblings. Furthermore, while Millie was one of the test subjects in the early projects to convert normal humans in Artificial Newtypes, it's also mentioned that the poor girl didn't survive the process in itself. What's more, Gil/Three, who is a major character in the novel, is presented as something of a love interest for Four.
- Though many Fullmetal Alchemist fans interpret Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye's relationship as romantic, in the post-show cast party omake, she directly thanks the show's creators for not making them a couple.
- When Inazuma Eleven was still running it's original series, there was a rather well believed fan theory that the super-dimensional aspects to the soccer were actually just symbolic representations of what the moves seemed like, and that in actuality, there was no super dimensional aspect at all. Such as Fire Tornado not actually involving jumping into the air and forming a vortex of fire, and Majin the Hand not actually involving summoning a majin to stop the ball, but that this is just used to represent how powerful the moves appear to the characters. There was nothing that directly contradicted this theory in most of the original series, and there were a few things that seemed to support it. But then it gets completely killed with GO which introduces the aspect of keshin summoning, something that's obviously and blatantly super dimensional. Then Chrono Stone smashes it even further by having mixi-max; where you transport auras between people, as a very real thing. Not only that, but in the GO trilogy, there's a number of moments where hissatsus are used for things outside of just soccer, where it wouldn't make any sense if someone really was just using normal soccer moves.
- Apparently there was some fanfic of the then-fictional board game "Escape from Zyzzlvaria" invented for a 2002 MIT Mystery Hunt puzzle, written when it was announced the board game would be defictionalized for the 2009 Hunt. When game character "Captain Blastoid" first appeared in the flesh, played by Jennifer Braun, the fic about a male Blastoid was suddenly a Gender Flip.
- Due to a certain house rule becoming so prevalent that many people don't actually realize that it isn't an official rule, the instructions for most modern Monopoly sets specify that nothing at all happens when you land on Free Parking.
- There was some speculation that Grant Morrison's second volume of Batman, Incorporated would be ignoring the DC reboot, and that it would be the last book taking place in the "classic" DC Universe. This lead to even wilder rumors that Morrison had threatened to walk away from DC if they forced him to "submit" to the new continuity. This was revealed to be complete nonsense when Morrison killed off Damian Wayne, an event that had massive repercussions throughout the reboot Batman titles (even acting like a bit of a Bat Family Crossover).
Films — Live Action
- Prior to the release of the Star Wars prequels, it was widely accepted by fans that the Clone Wars were fought by the Republic against an army or armies of clones (after all, wars are usually named according to who the victor fought against, rather than by the nature of the victor's army), and that the Clone Wars happened well before the Empire formed. When the Essential Guides (compendiums of movie and EU knowledge) were revised and republished starting after the release of Episode II, a lot of time was spent retconning the previous versions of the Guides, often with the excuse that in the wake of the Empire's rise, much information was lost or destroyed, and there were some rogue clones.
- Much of Boba Fett's EU history was tossed out in the Prequels as well. There is no mention of Mandalorians, and Fett winds up being a clone of his "father". In all fairness, he had, in-universe, cultivated multiple pasts for himself to increase his mystique.
- New EU sources show that Boba's father Jango was in fact a Mandalorian, and also that some of the erroneous information about Boba's past was actually from Jango's life. Other parts come from Boba using Jango's late mentor's name as an alias during his early life, and from a rogue Clone Trooper (who would of course look exactly like Boba under the helmet) being mistaken for him.
- Jedi family life! And then the movie implies celibacy, but Lucas Josses that again with a statement in an interview that the Jedi have casual sex and only casual sex.
- There are also some Jedi that, due to the nature of their species, are allowed to have offspring, so long as they avoid personal attachment (such as Ki-Adi-Mundi).
- Even back in the days of the original trilogy, there was much fan speculation going around, which was then Jossed by the second and third movies. A somewhat infamous example of this happening to official media is the novel Splinter Of The Minds Eye, which was published only a year after the first movie when the possibility of any film sequels was still uncertain. As a result, it has a number of things which may not directly contradict later movies, but at least they are pretty weird when you consider later plot developments.
- In Star Wars, the term "Star Destroyer" led to some fan speculation that because they are called Star Destroyers, that meant they were destroyer-class vessels, even though they have also been referred to as cruisers, battleships, and dreadnoughts as well, and Darth Vader referred to the Executor as his Star Destroyer in ESB. Eventually, in Starships of the Galaxy Saga Edition, there was a note in the Super Star Destroyer section establishing that Star Destroyer is not really a class of ship in the traditional sense so much as a design philosophy (lots of guns and a dagger shape to be able to point all those guns forward), and that Star Destroyer is meant to be capitalized as to distinguish it from star cruisers, star dreadnoughts, and actual destroyer-class vessels that happen to be starships.
- After Revenge of the Sith came out, a common theory (usually in refutation to the claim that it was a "plot hole" that the Jedi prophecy that Anakin would bring balance to the Force kind of went south on them) was that Anakin did "bring balance to the Force" by killing so many Jedi until there were only two left (Yoda and Obi-Wan) to match the only two Sith. In other words, the Jedi failed to notice that the Light Side was actually stronger than the Dark Side, so "bringing balance to the Force" would be a bad thing from their point of view. Lucas later clarified that, no, "bringing balance to the Force" really did mean killing all the Sith (because they were causing the imbalance in the Force), which Anakin did at the end of Return of the Jedi.
- Back in the 'Zine days, Yoda's enigmatic "There is another" during The Empire Strikes Back was widely interpreted as referencing Lando: this was partly due to the way the film was cut. His "superhuman" interpersonal abilities and cape also factored into the theories. The actual character was brought up a few times, but almost universally shot down. And of course, the popular Luke/Leia ship also got rather emphatically sunk in '83..
- The promotional campaign leading up to the release of Cloverfield was more or less intended to produce Epileptic Trees of all varieties, which it did. Fan speculation identified the monster, unseen in trailers, to be any number of previously established beings—Cthulhu, Godzilla, Voltron, Donkey Kong Jesus Riding on a Puff of Smoke—instead of what it actually was, an immature sea creature that was awakened from dormancy from a falling satellite and became huge after exposure to a soft drink additive. This is not spelled out in the movie, but it's All There in the Manual. Probably...
- It is likely that David Lynch's reluctance to confirm or deny anything about the ambiguous aspects of his work is to avoid offending his fans in this way.
- He has also admitted that sometimes he simply films things that pop into his mind and seem interesting, and doesn't worry so much about explaining them.
- It was taken as gospel that the Audi 8 Decepticon in the Transformers Film Series was a reformatted Barricade. However, he was later revealed as Sideways.
- For many years (and explicitly stated in the original, parody version of Casino Royale (1967)) there were fan theories that the name James Bond was a pseudonym used by the agent in question, and passed down to his successor upon the previous 007's death or retirement. This was conclusively disproven in Skyfall when Bond visits the graves of his parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond, and is referred to by the family gamekeeper (who has known him all his life but doesn't know what he does for a living) as "James". Although it should be noted that the Daniel Craig installments in the series exist in their own canon separate from the others. So the theory may still be valid for the 20 Bond films which preceded ''Casino Royale.
- Except where it's not. For Your Eyes Only makes it pretty explicit that Roger Moore's Bond is at least the same Bond as Lazenby's, when he visits the grave of his wife, Tracy Bond, and finally kills an unnamed Blofeld. There's no such direct connection with Connery's Bond, but that Roaring Rampage of Revenge at the beginning of Diamonds Are Forever had to start somewhere. Of course, Lazenby's Bond famously referred to Connery's Bond as 'the other fellow' when he first appeared. It's clearly a fourth-wall-breaking joke, mind. Oddly enough, the director of Die Another Day supports the theory.
- Miss Moneypenny's first name was not stated in any of the novels or films, and a lot of fans took to "Jane" after the publication of Samantha Weinberg's The Moneypenny Diaries, if for no other reason that it was the only option presented. Skyfall, however, establishes "Eve" as the first name of at least that film's Moneypenny.
- A popular MCU theory was that the redheaded S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Amanda Righetti portrayed in Captain America was Sharon Carter. This was shot down when it was announced that Emily VanCamp would be playing Carter in the sequel.
- A common theory many fans had regarding Captain America: The Winter Soldier was that Alexander Pierce was actually the Red Skull in disguise with The Nth Doctor effect applied to explain Hugo Weaving's absence, as Weaving stated he wouldn't be return for any sequels. It also made sense as the Skull had pulled this type of trick more than once in the comics to cheat death, which also caused him to change appearances. However, while Pierce did turn out to be Evil All Along, he was acting entirely on his own.
- For a while, it was popular fanon that the "cellist" girlfriend Agent Coulson mentioned in The Avengers was Wanda Maximoff, apparently based on the misconception that Wanda was a cellist in the comics. This was revealed to be untrue when the actual cellist showed up in an episode of Agents Of SHIELD.
- A very popular fan theory was that Loki had been Brainwashed by Thanos between the events of Thor and The Avengers, explaining the alleged Villain Decay some felt he suffered from in the latter film. Thor: The Dark World however makes no mention of any sort of brainwashing, and Loki never once tries to justify his actions by claiming to have been a victim.
- Thor: The Dark World also Josses the popular fan assumption that MCU Loki is a physical shapeshifter. In the movie, his shapeshifting is achieved with illusion. No, this Loki did not give birth to a horse.
- Many theories about Harry Potter have been repeatedly Jossed with the release of each successive book, with The Deathly Hallows Jossing the most.
- Numerous Fan Fics featuring a female Blaise Zabini got Jossed when The Half-Blood Prince was released.
- After the release of Deathly Hallows, a rapid succession of ship-related Jossings ensued when Word of God informed the eager fans that three of their beloved characters ended up with love interests who were not even introduced in the series. This earned a fan nickname of its own: "Getting Rolfed," named after Luna's husband who was introduced in this way.
- Also after Deathly Hallows, Rowling even managed to Joss the fanfiction writers who speculated about Dumbledore, particularly his romantic feelings. Given the many bizarre ideas written about him, stunning the fan base with the news he was: 1) gay all along; and 2) smart enough to keep it in his pants and out of the Quibbler was actually the nicest way in the world to snap back at the ficcers. The large section of the fanbase who were convinced that Dumbledore wasn't really dead got Jossed, with Jo stating outright that the one thing magic absolutely 'cannot' do is bring people back from the dead.
- A persistent one was Harry Potter and the Green Flame Torch, a meme originating in a continuation fanfic on the Harry Potter Connection which spread across the internet. J.K. Rowling herself memorably sporked the speculation but even today "Green Flame Torch" turns up 86 hits on Fanfiction Dot Net.
- One of the most popular theories was Sirius being gay, due to his Ho Yay friendship with Lupin (and, according to the Yaoi Fangirls, the rest of Marauders). When he was pretty much proven as straight by Deathly Hallowsnote , the fans immediately started claiming he might have been bisexual, despite their previous insistence that he only liked men, just men, no girls in the picture, really.
- During the Three-Year Summer, one of the few facts known for sure about Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix was that Arabella Figg, Harry's apparently Muggle babysitter from the first book, would turn out to be more than she appeared. Naturally, fanfiction assumed that she would play a big part in the story, portraying her usually as a badass Cool Old Lady who becomes the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Some fanfics even Hand Waved her old age, making her a hot Action Girl in a magical disguise. When Phoenix actually came out, it was revealed in the first two chapters that she was a Muggle Born of Mages whom Dumbledore had assigned to keep an eye on Harry. She had a very minor role in the book and was very different in personality from what fans had expected, being a Cloudcuckoolander Maiden Aunt type. In any case, the fanon version of Arabella died a quick death after that.
- The Wheel of Time:
- The most popular theory was that the Forsaken Demandred was in disguise as Mazrim Taim, the false Dragon who knew how to test to see if a man could channel. There were also other hints that compared the two, but the whole thing was Jossed when Robert Jordan blankly stated that Mazrim Taim was not Demandred. Jordan was notorious for refusing to give straight answers, reputedly because he was amused by the rabid fan discussions on some of the more hotly debated topics. Even this Word of God Jossing came only after fairly extensive evidence against the Taimandred theory was published in Book 9 - it wasn't enough to convince some.
- Every now and then a new reader will connect the dots and come up with the Taimandred theory on their own, prompting agonized groans from every Wo T forum on the web.
- The final book puts paid to any and all speculation on the subject, something Brandon Sanderson had said he was quite keen on doing for various theories and mysteries when he took over after Jordan's [[Author Existence Failure]] (see also, "who killed Asmodean", one of the things Jordan found too amusing to provide an answer for).
- In the Dragaera series, a popular fan theory was that Kragar was actually legendary assassin Mario Greymist, even though the author Steven Brust insisted something like "no one is anyone else" which isn't actually true since Sethra Lavode and Kiera the Thief are one and the same. This was jossed in Dzur where Mario makes an appearance.
- In a more trivial example, a popular belief that pigs either didn't exist on Dragaera, or were referred to as "kethna", got shot down in Athyra.
- In the latter sense of the word, George R. R. Martin is particularly infamous in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series for destroying any happy relationships and suddenly and without warning killing off random good/light-grey characters.
- In the first book, he destroys Danaerys Targaryen's first ever happy period by killing off her "Sun-and-Stars," Khal Drogo. Also in the first book, he kills Eddard Stark with absolutely no warning.
- He continues, deciding to blow up Tyrion's relationship with Shae, goes back in time to reveal that Tyrion's wife, supposedly a whore hired to pop his cherry by his brother, genuinely did love him, knocks off about half of the good guys at the Red Wedding, teased that Davos Seaworth was executed before revealing it to be untrue, has Jeor Mormont murdered, kills off Jon Snow's love interest, kills Qhorin Halfhand, and deliberately leaves fans in a state of agony over whether Jon Snow is dead. It's a big list.
- In an example of intermedium Jossing, fans built a lot of theories around Robbs wife escaping Red Wedding and possibility of her being either pregnant or a mole. In the TV series Red Wedding starts with Talisa stabbed repeatedly in the stomach disproving all the theories about her being a Chekhov M.I.A..
- Older Than Steam: Between publication of Book I and Book II of Don Quixote, several novels written by another author featuring the title character were published. In Book II, Cervantes specifically referred to the non-canonical books as being false, going so far as to have the characters in the novel read these alternate stories and deride them as ludicrous inaccuracies.
- After the early books in the Twilight series, many fans were asking about the idea of vampire babies, and Stephenie Meyer apparently Jossed this by saying that vampires couldn't get pregnant. Cue outraged claims of outright lies when Breaking Dawn came out and Edward gets Bella pregnant...at which point Meyer calmly points out that her Exact Words were that vampires couldn't get pregnant, and that she had never outright addressed the concept of a male vampire impregnating a human female, instead relying on the fans' own assumptions to keep that plot detail a secret until she was ready to reveal it — turning this into an I Knew It.
- Fans of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy tried to find hidden meaning in the fact that the Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything was "42" while the Ultimate Question was "What do you get when you multiply six by nine?". Some observed that, in Base 13, 6 x 9 is 42. Adams famously responded "I don't write jokes in Base 13". In the same vein, attempts to assign deeper meaning to the number 42 in the first place were Jossed when he said he pretty much picked the number at random, decided it sounded good, and went with it.
- However, Stephen Fry stated, possibly jokingly, "Douglas told me in the strictest confidence exactly why 42. The answer is fascinating, extraordinary and, when you think hard about it, completely obvious. Nonetheless amazing for that. Remarkable really. But sadly I cannot share it with anyone and the secret must go with me to the grave. Pity, because it explains so much beyond the books. It really does explain the secret of life, the universe, and everything."
- According to a famous anecdote, Hungarian poet János Arany once came across the notes a teacher had written about his poems. After reading the phrase "The poet is trying to say..." for the umpteenth time, Arany succinctly wrote on the margin: "The hell I was."
- According to Isaac Asimov, when he was in school taking a course on modern literature, a man stood up at the back of the class and to the instructor loudly proclaimed: "That's not at all what was written!" When the teacher asked who the man was, he got the reply: "I'm the author," to which the instructor succinctly answered: "Then your opinion is really irrelevant here." Asimov accepted this in good grace.
- During a radio discussion of the popular young children's book The Tiger Who Came To Tea the participants suggested their theories of what the tiger represented - the intrusion of danger into the comfortable world of childhood, that sort of thing. When the author came on she said no, it was just a silly story about a tiger.
- Many EU Star Trek novels were Jossed by new movies and the Enterprise series. One memorable example is Star Trek: Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, which was written mostly from the viewpoint of Zefram Cochrane, as well as Kirk and Picard. For one thing, he's much less of a jerk in this book than in First Contact. The book even included the origin of the Starfleet symbol (a sketch of a warp field by Cochrane). In the book, Cochrane's flight happens before World War III, which he waits out on Alpha Centauri, while Colonel Greene and his Nazi-like troops attempt to exterminate all non-Optimals. A well-written, emotional novel, casually brushed off in favor of something with the Borg.
- That origin for the Starfleet symbol was Jossed in the original series. At that time, each ship had its own symbol. That symbol of the Enterprise became applied to all of Starfleet because the Enterprise became by far the most eminent ship in the fleet.
- William Shatner's own novels dealing with the Mirror Universe had the origin of the split Jossed by the "In the Mirror, Darkly" episode. This one actually followed the First Contact movie with Cochrane flipping a coin to decide on whether to tell the Vulcans about the Borg. In the Trek 'verse, he doesn't. In the Mirror Universe, he does. They believe him and form a more militaristic union to prepare. It goes downhill from there.
- This happens frequently in The Dresden Files fandom, either due to new books or Word of God, and is referred to as "being Butchered."
- Ray Bradbury has said of Fahrenheit 451 that, despite the interpretation of nearly everyone, ever, the novel is not about censorship, but the role of television in destroying interest in literature. He walked out of a class at UCLA where the students insisted that the popular interpretation was correct.
- Among the Warrior Cats fandom, there was a popular theory that Pinestar was the father of Firestar. However, it was jossed on the author's Facebook. Although it doesn't stop people from coming up with the theory...
- In the final book of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a major plot point involves the titular character obtaining the Curse of Achilles which includes one vulnerable spot that feels like a thousand volts of electricity arcing through his body when touched. Don't think for a second that shippers didn't pick up on and make good use of this, all of which got thrown out the window in the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, when Percy promptly loses the Curse in the second chapter of the first book that he actually appears in.
- In 1893 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem, and John Kendrick Bangs took this opportunity to write In Pursuit of the House-boat (1897), a fantasy novel in which the detective goes to the afterlife and meets a bunch of famous historical figures. But this fanciful tale of Holmes' post-mortem adventures was rudely jossed when Conan Doyle revealed, in 1903, that the detective had never really gone over the waterfall after all.
- A fictional, Older Than Feudalism example: In Lucian's True History, the narrator gets to the Isles of the Blest, and meets, among others, Homer. Homer tells him that everyone's wrong about where he's from (he's actually Babylonian) and that all the lines bracketed as not really Homeric by scholars are, in fact, his. Then the narrator asks why he began the Iliad with the word menis [wrath]: "and he said it came to him that way, without his intending anything." All this was pretty clearly meant to make fun of the various theories held by scholars at the time.
- In the Alex Rider series, many readers believed Alex to have died at the end of Scorpia, but there are four books following that. Also, author Anthony Horowitz stated that a major character who had appeared in all the books so far would die in the final book Scorpia Rising. Readers are led to believe that it's Smithers, when really it's Alex's housekeeper Jack Starbright who dies.
- The last book of the Origami Yoda series Jossed the fan theory that Harvey likes Amy.
Live Action TV
- How I Met Your Mother. In the episode "Legendaddy", it's revealed that Barney has a step-sister in college. Combined with the knowledge that The Mother was in college (at the end of season 4) and would meet Ted at Barney's wedding, it quickly became a popular and very plausible theory that The Mother was her. However, in Ring Up, Ted actually does date her, but they break up since she was too young (only 20).
- This, in turn, led to an Epileptic Trees theory that she actually was The Mother, since at the time of the wedding she'd be 21. Which actually would give a rationale for why it took 9 years for Ted to meet her: at the start of season 1, she was only 12.
- Any idea that the new Doctor Who series was a reboot (or that the film was considered discontinuity, making Eccleston the real Eighth Doctor, Tennant the Ninth and so on) was immediately thrown out once Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 appeared and Tennant's Doctor mentions regenerating "half a dozen times" in the same episode. In several episodes, starting with 2007's "Human Nature", McGann's Doctor's face explicitly appears on screen.
- Who fans are used to being Jossed by now; the new series in particular takes a perverse pleasure in contradicting Fanon without violating any actual Canon. The Doctor's references to his family in "The Empty Child", "The Doctor's Daughter", "Fear Her" and "Smith and Jones" have evoked particular Jossing. Even though his granddaughter Susan is introduced in the very first episode of the entire show, many fans maintained that the Doctor was asexual in some way. In one of the Big Finish Doctor Who audios, the Doctor clearly and unequivocally says that he has never been a father, but (a) that's not part of the TV show, (b) the Doctor lies pretty often and (c) the MST3K Mantra is recommended with the sheer amount of writers the show has.
- The Doctor's "you've been watching too much TV" reaction in "The Sound of Drums" to Martha's suggestion that the Master could be his brother is a particularly self-aware example, because the fandom had been throwing that idea around for years (although if the TV movie had been picked up for a series, that WAS their plan).
- Before The End of Time, many fanfics were written to undo the Fate Worse Than Death forced upon Donna Noble. At the end of Part I it appeared as if she was beginning to remember her time with the Doctor, but this is resolved by the Doctor putting some sort of 'release-valve' in her mind to protect her, and she spends most of Part II unconscious. She never does remember (and apparently there is absolutely nothing that can be done by anyone ever to help her), and now never will since it has been confirmed that her story is over and will never appear in the series again. In effect, everything she was is Deader Than Dead. Number of fanfics Jossed: Too many to number, and they are still being written.
- The appearance of John Hurt as the Doctor's regeneration during the Time War led to many fans thinking that he was an older version of McGann's Eighth Doctor. This fan theory was thrown out the window in the short "Night of the Doctor which brought back McGann as the Eighth Doctor and showed how he regenerated into the Doctor from the Time-War.
- There's also the theory that the Daleks can't climb stairs.
- Jossed for the first time in "Remembrance of the Daleks," when we first see a Dalek flying up a flight of stairs.
- Jossed again in "Dalek," when a guy climbs a flight of stairs and taunts his Dalek pursuer under the assumption that the Dalek can't get him. Then the Dalek says, "ELEVATE," and floats off the ground...
- And originally Jossed back in 1965 in "The Chase". We don't see Daleks in the act of climbing stairs, but we do see some upstairs from the spot where their time machine landed.
- The creators of LOST have specifically shot down the fan theory that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are actually all dead and in a kind of purgatory, despite the belief that this was the only explanation that actually made Season One make any kind of sense. Lingering hopes of this being true have been thoroughly Jossed as the fourth and sixth seasons actually does allow several of the main characters to escape the island and return to the real world. Although in either a Take That or a Shout-Out, one of those returnees "now" holds the theory that he and the other "Oceanic 6" are in fact dead.
- Richard hangs a Lampshade on this in "Ab Aeterno", declaring that he, at least, considers the island to be Hell.
- As a lampshade hanging, in season 6, the ghost of Michael reveals to Hurley that the island actually does serve as an instance of purgatory for people who have committed atrocious acts while on the island. The series finale reveals that the Alternate Timeline Los Angeles where the plane didn't crash is really some kind of purgatory.
- After years of some of the most elaborate fan theories to grace modern television, The Island is... just an island. For the most part, anyway.
- Star Trek: Enterprise. Nearly every episode went against some bit of fanon, but careful examination reveals the writers never went against canon, with near Magnificent Bastard precision (with the exception of cloaking devices appearing much earlier than previously established).
- For example, several well-known alien species encountered in Enterprise had originally received first contact later in the chronology. The dialogue carefully avoided mentioning the species by name to keep canon intact.
- When T'Pol becomes an officer in Starfleet towards the end of the series, many fans cried foul claiming the original Star Trek series established that Spock was the first Vulcan to serve in Starfleet... Until some enterprising (heh) fans took time to watch the entire run of the original series on DVD only to confirm no such reference was ever made on screen, and since Paramount and Gene Roddenberry proclaimed EU sources non-canon, any references to Spock being the first in the novels and other media don't count.
- The portrayal of Vulcans in general was perhaps the single biggest source of outrage: some fans took it extremely poorly that Vulcans were portrayed as arrogant, duplicitous, and generally not all that noble, despite the fact that the Vulcans previously seen in the original series, except for Spock and Sarek, showed these same traits. And even Spock and Sarek demonstrated an irrational years-long grudge. In particular, the fans who objected to the portrayal of Vulcans in this series apparently never watched, or had forgotten about, the TOS episode "Amok Time", in which T'Pau (one of the most eminent Vulcans, though her exact position is never stated; she's said to have been the only person ever to decline a seat on the Federation Council) makes statements about Terrans that could very easily be construed to be racist, and T'Pring hatches a plot with her lover Stonn to get Spock killed by challenging the marriage. Not very nice people by any reasonable standard. Spock himself states on several occasions that one reason Vulcans place so much of a premium on logic and strict emotional control is that their emotions and passions are far stronger and harsher than humans, and it's canon that Vulcan civilization was very nearly destroyed centuries ago in wars that were worse than anything Earth ever experienced, even World War III itself. And the objectors are ignoring the example of the Romulans, who are basically the descendants of Vulcans who refused to accept Sarek's philosophies and struck out to greener pastures offworld instead in order to preserve their original civilization, both the good and the bad.
- One particular example works off both definitions: Trip's death in "These are the Voyages..." By that time there was already a novel written with Trip as an old man, meeting a young James Kirk, and mentoring the designer of the Constitution class starship. The event in question was also equally reviled by the fanbase, Trip being one of the most beloved characters in the series. While considered Non-Canon by all TPTB, the later ENT novels (The Good that Men Do through The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm) brought Trip back, turning his death into a Heroic Sacrifice, to work behind the scenes to sabotage the Romulan efforts to create a Warp 7 stardrive.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation did this as well:
- Between the end of the Original Series in 1969 and the airing of TNG in 1987, the only 'official' stories that came out were the four Star Trek movies. Because demand for Trek remained high, a good number of novels and RPG material were published, and assumed to be canon (or at least close to it,) by the fans. Apparently, Gene Roddenberry was frustrated that creative control had effectively been taken away from him (both in most of the films and the fiction,) and when he re-asserted creative control at the beginning of TNG, he deliberately ignored the corpus of work that had been done and took things in a different direction with TNG. The strange thing is that Roddenberry added The Animated Series to his non-canon list, even though he was involved in its production, it had all of the original cast except Chekov, shared story editors, screenwriters, and directors with the live-action series, and even has the same guest stars.
- Some fans had a theory that the episode Yesterday's Enterprise actually took place in the Mirror Universe, where Goatee!Spock had received knowledge of the Federation from Prime universe Kirk, and had reformed the Terran Empire into the Federation, complete with Federation ideals and history, and that the resulting war with the Klingons was due to the softening of the former Empire, which they would eventually lose, leading to the events in the Mirror Universe on Deep Space Nine.
- In Heroes, it was something of a no brainer (so to speak) that Sylar ate the brains of his victims. He makes frequent use of Evil Tastes Good dialogue, and Word of God itself stated that he was originally supposed to eat the brains, but they couldn't figure out a way to show it on-screen without being silly. And yet brain-eating is explicitly Jossed in a very funny scene in the first episode of Season 3.
Claire: Are you going to eat it?
Sylar: Eat your brain? Claire, that's disgusting!
- This occasionally happens in Power Rangers. The problem is that much of the info comes from casting scripts or pre-season profiles; this info has been repeatedly wrong and/or changed when the show begins airing since 2002, but the fans keep using it as source material for fic.
- The biggest example would probably be majority of the older fanbase (those aware of the Sentai source shows) assuming that Tensou Sentai Goseiger would be skipped over to adapt Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, only to be surprised with the announcement of Power Rangers Megaforce, which is a Goseiger adaptation. And then they really got hit in the face with the reveal that the second half of Megaforce would be a joint Goseiger and Gokaiger adaptation.
- The theory that Chloe might change her name to become "Lois Lane" later in life was pretty thoroughly Jossed when the actual Lois Lane showed up in season 4 (and several times afterwards by Word of God).
- When Jor-El's voice began telling Clark that it was his destiny to rule the people of Earth with strength, fans believed either General Zod was Clark's biological father, or that Zod had somehow intercepted the ship and placed a message inside. This was jossed by the powers that be who assured fans that Jor-El was still Clark's father.
- In the 2003 remake of Battlestar Galactica, one episode revealed that there was originally a number 7 Cylon named Daniel, but Cavil destroyed them all. The fanbase went wild with Epileptic Trees over this, saying that Daniel was Starbuck's father, Starbuck herself, any or all of the imaginary friends, the thirteenth lord of Kobol, etc. Then Word of God said that no, Daniel is not Starbuck's father, will not play any part in the finale, and was only created to explain why there was no number 7, while adding to Cavil's evil backstory to boot.
- A better one is what is going on with the apparently non-sensical numbering scheme for the models? There are supposed to be twelve all together, the unique five (who became known as the Final Five, despite existing before the seven) who came from the wreck of Earth and the seven they helped the machine Cylons create. Despite this, the models created with the machine Cylons are known to include Model One AND Model Nine.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Directed by Joss Whedon, this is the fandom reaction to the season 5 revelation that Drusilla sired Spike. Until this point, it was assumed that Angelus siring Spike was canon (what with Spike outright referring to Angel as his sire at least twice); suddenly almost all existing Fanged Four and Angel/Spike fics were 'Jossed'. The explanation is that "sire" can refer to any vampiric ancestor, not just the direct one. Angel sired Drusilla, so is Spike's sire - and did indeed have a mentor relationship with him, which isn't always the case.
- In season seven it looks like Faith slept with Spike. When Harmony introduces herself in the Season 9 comics however Faith offers these words:
"I love that I'm supposed to be the slutty one when everyone but me has nailed Spike."
- A popular fan theory about Firefly's Shepherd Book was that he had spent time as an Operative. This has been Jossed by the Shepherd's Tale comic, which reveals that he was at one point high-ranking Alliance commander, but was working as a spy for the Browncoats the whole time. Before that he was a streetkid named Henry Evans, who joined the Independent movement to get off his homeworld, stealing his identity from the real Book, whom he killed and impersonated to infiltrate the Alliance.
- The Skins fan theory that Effy was going to be the character who died at the end of Series 4, her mental illness Driving Her To Suicide. Instead, it was Freddie, in a plot twist so ridiculous it could have come straight out of the Whedon playbook.
- This occasionally happens with NCIS.
- In early seasons, it was a widely accepted theory that Tony's father was an abusive alcoholic, based on Tony saying that his father "was too drunk to hurt anyone" while undercover in a Season 2 episode. This was jossed by the appearance of Tony Sr. in Season 7, in which he was shown to be neglectful but very clearly not abusive or in any way violent.
- Quite a few fanfictions were jossed by the Season 10 episode "You Better Watch Out" when it was explicitly stated that Ziva had never been to Tony's apartment, nor any other woman for that matter. It is possible that this was intended to show the significance of her staying at his apartment two episodes later as a precaution after her father was assassinated.
- The theory of McGee having a dead mother was well on its way to becoming accepted fanon in seasons nine and ten, mostly because that seemed to be the trend on the show - Tony, Ziva, Gibbs, and Abby have all lost their mothers. The idea was jossed in the latter half of Season 10 when it is mentioned in an episode that this character's mother is very much alive and well.
- Supernatural. Throughout the entirety of Season 3, fans were convinced Sam and Dean would find a way to free Dean from his deal. They didn't.
- There are several examples of this in Supernatural, most often accompanied by a fan cry of 'I can't believe they actually went there!'. See Sam sleeping with Ruby and drinking her blood (both heavily debated, but many fans were convinced he Would Never) Sam breaking the final seal and defeating Lucifer, Dean not saying 'yes' to Michael, Sam saying 'yes' to Lucifer, and the list goes on.... Especially notable as Supernatural frequently managed to create some spectacular fandom explosions whenever they Jossed the fans.
- Throughout much of S5 many fans believed pagan gods might ally themselves with - or in some way offer assistance to - the Winchesters. This was Jossed not once, but twice, first with Paris Hilton's self-obsessed forest god, and then with the council of pagan gods who determined the best way to avert the apocalypse would be to kill the Winchesters. On the other hand, fans were vindicated in believing the Trickster/Gabriel would become an ally, they just never quite guessed how it would work out.
- Life on Mars: A very popular theory regarding the last episode, which was even embraced by John Simm himself, was that Sam never actually woke up from his coma, and his return to the "real world" was a hallucination, which is why he didn't feel anything there. This is however jossed by the first episode of Ashes to Ashes which reveals that he did indeed wake up and committed suicide a few days later. Strangely enough, Ashes to Ashes actually did this with Alex in the beginning of the third season, where her imagined awakening in the real world later turned out to actually be her dying.
- John Lennon had repeatedly denied that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" had anything to do with LSD, despite him having LSD experiences and writing "She Said She Said" beforehand about a bad trip. According to Lennon, he was not aware of the LSD abbreviation at the time, had only heard the substance referred to as "acid," and was inspired by a painting that his son Julian made in school of his classmate Lucy O'Donnell. His son and Lucy also confirmed this answer. However, the explanation didn't deter his fans, and Paul McCartney has refuted John's statements.
- Another drug related one: Peter Yarrow denied that his song "Puff the Magic Dragon" was about smoking marijuana, and that it "never had any meaning other than the obvious one": the "loss of innocence in children."
- George Bernard Shaw was so sick of all the people who felt Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins from Pygmalion should've ended up together, that he wrote an entire essay on why Eliza and Henry could never be together; and in the original play she marries Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Nevertheless, in its film adaptation, and in the musical My Fair Lady, (both the stage version and the film), ended with Eliza and Henry possibly together.
- Any popular fan theory on Umineko: When They Cry usually gets Jossed the very next episode, or is confirmed the next episode. The reason for this is that Ryukishi07 often looked at online forums to find out the current popular theories, just to have them either confirmed, played with or flat out crushed in the next episode. The manga also confirms or denies things that were left ambiguous in the visual novels; for example, the Rosatrice theory (a theory that was growing in popularity with the English-speaking fandom) was jossed entirely by the EP8 manga, which confirmed beyond a doubt that Beatrice, Shannon and Kanon are all the same person, Sayo Yasuda.
- A lot of English-speaking Hatoful Boyfriend fans theorised that Nageki was actually a human, but his ghost had taken the form of a mourning dove for totemic-type reasons, hence his confusion over what and who he is, and why Hiyoko is surprised to see a mourning dove in Japan. He also talks a lot about being bullied and tells Hiyoko that if you want to kill yourself, jumping out of the library window is a good way to go, implying he committed suicide because of bullying by jumping out of the window. In the full version, it's confirmed that he really was a bird, and the way in which he died and his reason for killing himself is explored in detail and something no-one could have predicted.
- Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors ends with a shot of the characters driving through the Nevada Desert when they notice a woman who seems to bare a resemblance to "All-Ice", shortened to "Alice" by some, the apparent Egyptian mummy who according to legend has Ice-9 in instead of water in her body, hitch-hiking. Junpei notes that he 'recognizes' the woman, then the game abruptly ends. Earlier in the game, the characters had already found a coffin where "All-Ice" was supposed to have been hidden, only to find it empty, concluding the entire thing to be a myth, so this ending just opened more questions. This lead to loads of confused players, but also a pile of theories. Especially when the sequel, Virtue's Last Reward, seemed to have a character called "Alice" who resembles All-Ice in looks. The most consistent theory was that "All-Ice" had somehow gotten out of her coffin and unfrozen. Then the sequel actually came out, and the entire thing turned out to just be a coincidence: A government agent called Alice, who happened to resemble All-Ice in many ways, just happened to have been tracking terrorists to somewhere in the Nevada desert, and happened upon the characters as they drove. Just to add insult to injury, the game doesn't just joss it with new facts; it straight out kills the the theory with Alice herself calling anyone who believes in the fact she actually had Ice-9 in her body and is an ancient mummy a complete idiot.
- In Abstract Gender, many fan theories to the big conspiracy involved William Montgomery being somehow linked to the scientists. This was completely thrown out during the seventh and final chapter "Gods" where he gets transformed too, complete with a mind wipe and new personality as well.
- In the Gunnerkrigg Court fandom, the two most popular theories about the identity of the third girl from the photo (that she's a relative of Gamma's, and that she's a young Jones) were immediately Jossed by the author on the forum. Since most of the fans don't hang out on the forum, these theories remained popular, until The Rant below this page put them to rest in the bluntest way possible. Also parodied in the rant on this page. The first three theories that Tom facetiously shot down were Shout Outs to to actual Epileptic Trees from the fandom.
- He has taken this to a whole new level by having Renard Joss a theory that Jones was a robot in comic on this page. When the theory refused to die, Jones herself stated she was not a Robot on this page. The rant on that last one also includes a shirt design Jossing the theory yet again.
- Rich Burlew, the author of The Order of the Stick, tends to do this with many fan theories, such as Miko being zombified by Xykon, the results of a misfired poison arrow, and whether Belkar's prophecy had come true. From the FAQ:
"In fact, I try not to read anything where people suggest upcoming plot ideas because I hate it when people guess what is going to happen. I feel the uncontrollable urge to change what happens, just to prove them wrong. Petty? Probably."
- The popular fan theory that the world of The Order of the Stick was an actual campaign was Jossed in strip # 606.
Shojo: No, the wisdom is simply this: Play the game.
Belkar: Uh, OK, but I thought we weren't actually representing a game campaign, we were just living in a world where the laws of...
Shojo: (while he and Belkar are playing Dungeons & Dragons) Not this game!
Belkar: Oh, whew!
- A Double Subversion of Jossing occurred with the theory that Elan's father is Lord Tyrinar, the warlord who had Haley's father imprisoned. The first strips where Tarquin appeared had him as a general who'd lost his empire long before; but it was eventually revealed that he was the man behind the throne of an empire that had gone through several figurehead rulers and names – including Tyrinaria – and Ian Starshine was one of the prisoners Roy befriended in the Empire's prisons. Tyrinar turned out to be just one of the figureheads, and dead in the present time of the comic.
- El Goonish Shive author Dan Shive has done this too many times to count.
- The author of Keychain of Creation has a neat way about handling this. He insists, constantly, that every single epileptic tree is completely true, as sincerely as possible — no matter what context: IM, forum, in actual discussion... He insists they are always correct, so that in the end, everyone, including him, is proven wrong.
- Done spectacularly in 8-Bit Theater. Following Black Belt's death in, many fans clamored for his return and pointed out that this could be accomplished by de-petrifying his doppleganger which was turned to stone way back near the start of the series. Clevinger responded by having White Mage attempt exactly that, and botch it horribly. The page where this happens is even titled, "Now Shut Up".
- The Metal Gear Solid webcomic The Last Days of FOXHOUND has been so thoroughly and consistently Jossed — after each new game release since the series began — about so many things, from the manner in which one character lost an eye to his very state of existence — necessitating massive, unconvincing retcons that even the characters find sketchy. The author is aware of this phenomenom. In one of his last blog posts, he says "if I'm lucky, I can be done before MGS4 is released and my entire backstory is contradicted. Again". He was, and it was. Again. What's even more ironic is that the comic ended just under two weeks before MGS4's release.
- Despite attempts to reasonably, albeit comically, tie into the storyline of Half-Life, the comic Concerned was pre-Jossed when their depiction of the elivery of the Xen Borderworld sample was already undone by Half-Life: Decay.
- Randy Milholland seems to love to do this to his fans in Something Positive. In fact, it could be said the only thing more enjoyable to him than not giving the fans what they want is giving them what they explicitly don't. "Dont Give Him Any Ideas" is uttered regularly on feed commentaries.
- An example: Pepito was originally going to live through the "insane catgirl massacre" storyline. Then somebody sent Milholland a letter saying he wasn't "allowed" to kill any of the characters. "Not even Pepito."
- Note that the insane catgirls are the in-universe personifications of possessive, loony Fan Dumb. Having that dead character killed off by a fictionalized variant of the exact type of person who trying to save him is delicious, delicious irony. (Or something similar.)
- While Andrew Hussie of MS Paint Adventures is usually very permissive of off-the-wall speculation, he sometimes feels the need to correct egregiously wrong interpretations. For instance, he has made it very clear that, in Homestuck, Jade's Grampa was Dead All Along, Kanaya prefers the ladies, and, most of all, WV IS NOT AN IMP.
- When the Alpha Kids were first introduced there was a lot of speculation about what then unnamed Dirk and Roxy's personalities would be. The most common theory for Roxy was that she would be a scenester-esque Hard-Drinking Party Girl. Even more popularly, Dirk was theorised to be a loser anime fanboy with the Fan Nickname "Weeabro". Roxy's character turned out to be pretty close, though only on a superficial level as Roxy is also a passionate scientist and very kind friend. Dirk's did not, and Andrew expressed great distaste for the theory.
- Homestuck's Jossed WMG pages are far bigger than the confirmed and active theory pages; so much so there are multiple pages because all of them on one page was breaking browsers. This is pretty much because Hussie encourages a lot of speculation.
- Here's an actual example of Joss jossing something: less than a week after fans announced the Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog prequel "Horrible Turn", Joss announced a prequel comic book that appears to be covering the same topics (meeting Captain Hammer, turning evil, etc.).
- For a while, it was thought that the anthropomorphic animals in Darwin's Soldiers were originally humans turned into animals via advanced technology. Word of God states that the anthropomorphic animals were merely "there" alongside humans.
- Common fan theories insinuate that Bonkers was created as a substitute for a Roger Rabbit cartoon that was never made due to legal and copyright issues surrounding Roger. Greg Weisman, who helped develop Bonkers and other other notable Disney shows, says that Bonkers was certainly inspired by Roger, but Disney never had any plans to make a Roger Rabbit cartoon at any point.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Jet is still alive — Jossed by Word of God.
- Smellerbee and Longshot died — Jossed by the sequel comic The Promise.
- Suki is dead — Jossed by "The Boiling Rock".
- Zuko's mother died in childbirth ("... I was lucky to be born.") — Jossed by "Zuko Alone".
- The Legend of Korra:
- Amon is Koh the Face Stealer — Jossed by season one finale: Amon is a human.
- Amon is a firebender who killed his parents — Jossed by season one finale: Amon is a waterbender, his abusive father died in different circumstances, and we don't know about his mother.
- Dungeons & Dragons: All widely accepted Epileptic Trees jossed with the release of the script of the unaired finale. The kids did not die in a rollercoaster crash, they are not in Hell, and Dungeon Master is not Satan.
- During the first two seasons, the Transformers Animated fandom came up with a number of theories as to the isolated, motherless Sari's actual identity, the most popular being some variation of Sari actually being a robot or cyborg created by Professor Sumdac, possibly made by reverse-engineering Megatron. During the second season finale, Sari injured her elbow, revealing circuitry underneath her skin, which seemed to support this idea. However, while the theory was right about Sari's true nature, it wasn't entirely correct about her origins. Sari wasn't constructed by Sumdac or made from Megatron's parts, she was a technorganic protoform created by the Allspark using Sumdac's DNA.
- Also that Ironhide was The Mole, which came up in the first case becauseof a screwup involving faction symbols.
- Literally hundreds of Teen Titans fanfics about Terra's resurrection were written in the interim between the end of season two and the series finale "Things Change". When it was revealed that Terra is alive as a schoolgirl who may or may not remember everything that happened to her in season two, and just wants to live as a normal girl, 99.9% of these fanfics were Jossed. Fans were left with two choices for future Terra resurrection Fan Fic: write according to the new, official continuity, or ignore the last episode entirely and write Fix Fic about how Terra should have been resurrected.
- A lot of fanfiction for The Secret Saturdays has now been Jossed because we now know the reason behind Zak's cryptid powers he has cryptid powers because he's Kur. Also, most fanfictions related to the actual plot of the show have been Jossed because of the end of the latest episode when we find out that Zak is Kur, which resolved the story arc with a surprise ending.
- Due to having so much Word of God around, this has happened many times in regard to Gargoyles on issues such as gargoyle customs and breeding habits, Elisa and Goliath's ability to reproduce, Lexington's sexuality, Katana's physical appearance, etc. Looking at older fanfics can sometimes be a very strange experience...
- After seeing Captain Marvel appear in Justice League Unlimited, supporting Lex Luthor's presidential campaign, and then giving a bone chilling speech to his fellow leaguers, many fans of the show believed he would return as an unwitting tool of Luthor. This was jossed by...well, him not coming back.
- Due to the creators of Phineas and Ferb refusal to discuss it, there are many theories regarding the whereabouts of the original parents of the characters, including the popular one that Doofenshmirtz is Phineas' father. In the episode "What Do it Do?" it was shown that Doof did go on one date with Linda Flynn, but they never went out again (although she supposedly was what convinced him to conquer the Tri-State Area). In a New York Times P&F panel, Dan and Jeff addressed one of those points, finally stating that, no, Doof is not Phineas' father.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- For a couple of weeks, it was fanon among fans that Scootaloo was the sister of Rainbow Dash. It made a bit of sense: Scoot is part of a Power Trio, and the two other members are younger sisters of members of the main cast. Since Scootaloo is a pegasus, and it had already been established that she was not Fluttershy's sister, that left Dash as the only other potential sister (and the two have similar personalities and even looks). Creator Lauren Faust, though, insisted on her blog that Dash and Scootaloo are not related at all, though she hinted that they will form a friendship in the near future and it quickly became clear in subsequent episodes that Scootaloo idolizes Rainbow Dash.
- It has also been confirmed that Pinkie Pie was not meant to be a Fourth Wall Observer, and that all the times she looked into the camera were animation mistakes where she was actually looking at someone else. The ability to break the fourth wall was never discussed by the writers, at least during meetings. However, this does not account for the times she directly communicated her excitement to the audience at the end of the second episode or physically interacting with the Iris Out (seen here) at the end of "Over a Barrel." (Also, subsequent instances of apparent Breaking the Fourth Wall may indicate that the ongoing popularity within the fandom of interpreting Pinkie Pie as being aware of the fourth wall may well have led to the production team choosing to adopt this stance themselves.)
- Princess Luna's return and subsequent official characterization has invalidated a great deal of fan interpretation. Most fan writers and artists nailed her social awkwardness, but few guessed she'd be just as hammy as Nightmare Moon.
- She also demonstrates a bit of a prankster streak, something usually attributed to Celestia (or Trollestia) in fics involving the two - often with Luna as the Butt Monkey. Of course, we still haven't seen the two directly talk to each other (minus their brief reconciliation at the beginning of Season 1 and a handful of one-sided exchanges in "A Canterlot Wedding"), so fan theories on how they'd interact in day-to-day situations currently remain safe.
- The first week of November, 2011 had significant amounts of Fanon Jossed. First, a new blind bag wave was released which contains mostly background ponies from the show. None of the five whose toy names had become well-known had their Fan Nicknames, which caused heated debates about which names to call them by - the old and established Fan Nicknames or the brand-new toy names whose likes have been rendered obsolete by Canon in two other blind bag ponies' cases. The good news for them is that the later waves of blind bags stated those official names as second names, making some fan interpretations canon. For example, fan name "Lyra" + old official name "Heartstrings" = new official name "Lyra Heartstrings."
- Lauren Faust once revealed more of the actual backstory of Nightmare Moon, and how she was banished, on her DeviantArt page. (Unfortunately, it was in the page-comments section, and has long since scrolled off.) Much of it invalidates the common fanon interpretation of Luna as basically the victim of Celestia in the whole affair. Different from many other forms of Jossing in that Faust pointed out that since it was never stated in the show, it isn't really canon, and it was perfectly possible for the current crew to contradict it. Later, the two-part episode "Princess Twilight Sparkle" made the Jossing fully canonical.
- Fanon usually presents Luna and Celestia as the only "alicorns" in Equestria. "A Canterlot Wedding" revolves around Twilight's older brother getting married to Celestia's niece, an alicorn. She was apparently not originally designed as such when Lauren Faust worked on the story.
- The popular background pony DJ Pon-3's eyes have been almost universally depicted as red in fanon, but a tiny split-second shot in "A Canterlot Wedding" showed them as being magenta. Fans of her red eyes look quickly scrambled to offer justifications such as; the light making them look different (the split-second in question in which her eyes are revealed took place in shadow), to wearing contacts, to having magical eyes that can change color depending on which one she thinks looks coolest on the given day.
- However, due to another quick shot of her eyes in the episode "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" and a much longer shot of them in Equestria Girls, the idea that her eyes are red has been pretty much jossed.
- Spitfire, captain of the Wonderbolts, commonly had her previously unrevealed cutie mark drawn by fans as a lightning bolt similar to the one that appears on her flight suit, but mixed with a dash of flames at the top of it (seen here. "Wonderbolt Academy" officially revealed it as more of a set of flames worming a wing-like image, possibly representing that of a phoenix (as can be seen here.
- After the release of a toyline putting special focus on a particular unicorn named Sunset Shimmer, fan speculation arose that she would be taking Twilight Sparkle's place in the series after Twilight became an alicorn at the end of the third season. Writer Megan McCarthy later stated in a tweet that Sunset Shimmer was a toyline-exclusive character and would not be appearing in the series (She appears as the main antagonist of the movie Equestria Girls, but this will most likely be her only appearance outside of the toys).
- The author of the Daring Do books have long been believed to be Twilight's mother, Twilight Velvet; her blind bag card says she's a writer, and her appearance in the IDW comic reveals several writing awards. However, the fourth season reveals that the books are written by the reclusive A.K. Yearling. Who also happens to be Daring Do, an adventurer archaeologist; the books are based on real events.
- In Inspiration Manifestation, finally seeing him without his straw hat, the fans now know for sure that Rarity's father is a unicorn, and not an Earth pony as many had believed. (Though this was previously revealed in the Elements of Harmony guidebook.)
- It was part of the collective headcanon that ages ago, before they were as powerful as they are now, Celestia had pink hair instead of her rainbow mane (as seen in various old depictions of the sisters, including the book seen in this two parter) and Luna looked like her season one self (as per Lauren Faust's explaining the redesign by saying it was because right after being purified her magic was at its lowest). Well in Twilight's Kingdom Part 1, when the princesses explicitly lend all of their magic to Twilight, the only change to their designs is that their manes are no longer blowing in a nonexistent wind. This makes nonsensical oddities out of Luna's earlier design (why did she look that way after purification, then?) and Celestia's depiction in books and tapestries (if she never really looked like that, is every pony ever to draw her colorblind?) but hey, every show has a Headscratchers page for a reason. However, it could be that donating all their Alicorn magic does not stop them from being Alicorns, as indicated by Cadence remaining one.
- It was surprising to see in Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, that the black patches on Luna's rump are part of her coat, not her cutie mark.
- A common Alternate Character Interpretation of Celestia was nicknamed "Trollestia," after it was revealed in-canon that Celestia plays some good-natured pranks. This extended so far as to give her Ron the Death Eater tendencies in fanworks, up to and including treating Twilight terribly and ruling as a tyrannical dictator. Much of this revolved around the idea that Celestia could have solved lots of problems in Equestria, but did nothing. An issue of the IDW comic Jossed this idea, with Celestia saying that it's true that there were a lot of problems that she could have solved without Twilight's help, but Celestia does it because it's how Twilight will best learn.
- Fans swore Family Guy Presents: Laugh It Up, Fuzzball used Rotoscoping for certain scenes from the Star Wars movies, but the people who made it insisted they just were really precise about recreating the scenes.
- KaBlam!. Word of God says that Henry and June are only like brother and sister and neither have feelings for each other in any direction, which breaks the fanon that's been going on since the show premiered.
- After the South Park episode "You're Getting Old" aired, many fans speculated that series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were suffering from Creator Breakdown, but when asked on the matter, Trey and Matt replied that fans "took the episode too seriously" and denied being unhappy with the show.
- A hugely popular theory among Young Justice fans was that The Flash would pull a Heroic Sacrifice in the Season 2 finale, acting as a nod to his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. A Flash did indeed end up dying in this manner...except it was Kid Flash!
- There were quite the fans that readily assumed that the Superjail season 3 premiere "Stingstress" would resolve the Ultraprison takeover in either having everyone fight it out, or that it would have the Warden and the Mistress become an Official Couple and triumph over the Lord Stingray/Mistress pairing. The reality? The episode was mostly built on a Time Skip from the end of season 2 showing the disastrous effects of an integrated jail with no real huge bloodbaths (aside from a brief bathroom brawl), and the Warden/Mistress expectations were sunk when the Warden had no clue how to have sex with the Mistress, leaving Alice to settle the matter instead.
- The idea of Jailbot coming to save the day in the above mentioned episode was based off The Stinger to the season 2 finale that preceded it (Jailbot repairing himself and rushing back to the jail). However, it too was debunked when it was revealed that Jailbot did arrive back to the jail... just several months too late to do anything helpful, and he instantly got threatened by Nova.
- Gary's increased prominence in season 3 lead to lots of fan theories that he'd be the Big Bad for the finale, and that he was clearly up to something. Not such the case, especially with the plot of "Burn Stoolie Burn" being more about Warden and Ash ruining everything, although his vocal cords did wind up possessing the Peedee puppet in the episode BEFORE the finale, leading to another plot point to be resumed in season 4.
- Due to the minor amount of continuity and follow-through in season 3 ("Stingstress" being a resolution to "Vacation", the Rat plot in "Uh Oh It's Magic" and "Planet Radio"), the ending of "The Trouble with Triples", rather than being taken as a simple Gainax Ending, had some amount of fans believing that it was another plot point to be resolved, what with the Twins being forcibly taken back to their world. Not quite the case when the Twins were back in the following episode. The writers even ridiculed the fans who thought it would actually be continued, pointing out that several endings were only meant as gags and never meant to be resolved. Although there is also the tease that due to said reactions, that it may be revisited in season 4 (with there already being speculation if the episode will be a Take That to the fans that missed the point).
- It was a bit of a meme to depict Lord Stingray as a yellow mutant creature when out of his suit, due to a roleplayer insisting on it being his real appearance. After "Stingstress" revealed him to be a human man (though without removing his mask, and Christy Karacas asking fans if they were really "sure" if he was human), "Beast Ray" died down a little, but is still seen in occasional fanworks.
- TaleSpin. There are several episodes which do not include Higher For Hire or Kit, and are Baloo and Louie having adventures on their own. this lead to a fan theory that these episodes were from an earlier version of the show, and Kit and Higher For Fire were added as retooling. However once things like the series bible, and the episodes production numbers became public, this was quickly squashed. In fact the very first episode written and produced was "I Only Have Ice For You", in which Rebecca tried to get her pilot's license, revolved heavily around Higher for Hire.
- Looney Tunes. For a while, it was speculated among fans that the reason for the reviled pairing of Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales was that, in the mid-1960's (see: Fall of the Studio System), the moviegoing public was largely reduced to the American Southwest. Daffy and Speedy (along with Bugs Bunny) were the two most popular Looney Tunes characters there, so naturally Warner Brothers wanted to produce more cartoons with them. Meanwhile, due to budget constraints, it was decided that the most logical thing to do was to pair the two characters together. While the second half of this theory (that they were paired together for financial reasons) is correct, the first part was debunked by renowned animation historian Jerry Beck around 2005-ish. The reason why so many cartoons featuring the two characters were made was because television distributors were demanding more cartoons with them, not because of a segmented moviegoing audience.
- Gravity Falls: "Society of the Blind Eye" ends a popular fan theory that even seemed to have a leak image confirming it. McGucket did not write the journals, but he was involved with the true author before he overused a mind eraser and went insane.
- Real Life does this to you all the time. Note on this Wiki Science, Technology, History, and Society Marching On.
- Various end of the world theories have been thoroghouly jossed by our continued existence.
- The Y2K bug did not cause a catastrophic collapse to society by cripping our computer infrastructure.
- The Mayan calendar did not predicting that the world would end December 2012.
- Various interpretations of Nostradamus's writings have theorized world-end dates; so far, all jossed.
- Many, many Conspiracy Theories in general are jossed as predicted results of whatever Epileptic Tree you followed down the rabbit hole refuses to materialize.
- Throughout the 20th century, the idea that space travel would become common by X date. Some predicted it as early as the 50s. As History Marches On, and the actual logistics of it are more known, it's becoming more and more of a discredited trope. Flying cars also.
- Sports betting and stock market speculations get thoroughly jossed constantly, leading many to financial ruin.