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* Everybody knows that Creator/WilliamShakespeare's Sonnet 18 (''"Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?"'') is the ultimate love poem, addressed by a man to his female lover. Actually, it's much more likely that the poem was addressed to a ''man'', and intended to describe [[HeterosexualLifePartners platonic friendship]]. The first 126 of Shakespeare's sonnets are generally believed to be part of a cycle, intended to be addressed to a nameless young man known only as "The Fair Youth". It's the remaining 28 sonnets (127-154, addressed to a nameless woman generally known as "The Dark Lady") that are explicitly romantic and sexual in nature.


** Also, it's common knowledge that Gimli was a comic relief-type character, but this is only true in the movies. In the book, he was an honourable, wise and stalwart warrior, though he did have a short temper which led to a few difficult situations, and some DeadpanSnarker moments.

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** Also, it's common knowledge that Gimli was a comic relief-type character, but [[AdaptationalComicRelief this is only true in the movies.movies]]. In the book, he was an honourable, wise and stalwart warrior, though he did have a short temper which led to a few difficult situations, and some DeadpanSnarker moments.


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** No the creature from ''Literature/{{Jabberwocky}}'' isn't called "the Jabberwocky". It's called the Jabberwock (no "y").


** Everybody knows that "The new teacher at Hogwarts is always evil". Except they're not. There's [[OncePerEpisode always a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in every book]], since nobody has ever been able to keep the job for more than a year. But of the seven professors who take the position over the course of the series, only four ([[spoiler:Professor Quirrell]], [[spoiler:Professor Moody]], Professor Umbridge, and Amycus Carrow) would really qualify as "evil". And even then, [[spoiler:Quirrel]] ''isn't'' a new teacher (he was a Muggle Studies professor before Harry's first year), [[spoiler:Moody]] turns out to be an impostor, and Umbridge is an ObstructiveBureaucrat who [[spoiler:doesn't outright join the Death Eaters until they take over Britain]].

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** Everybody knows that "The new teacher at Hogwarts is always evil". Except they're not. There's [[OncePerEpisode always a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in every book]], since nobody has ever been able to keep the job for more than a year. But of the seven professors who take the position over the course of the series, only four ([[spoiler:Professor Quirrell]], [[spoiler:Professor Moody]], Professor Umbridge, and Amycus Carrow) would really qualify as "evil". And even then, [[spoiler:Quirrel]] ''isn't'' a new teacher (he was a Muggle Studies professor before Harry's first year), [[spoiler:Moody]] turns out to be an impostor, and Umbridge is an ObstructiveBureaucrat who [[spoiler:doesn't outright join the Death Eaters until they take over Britain]].Britain]], and Carrow never actually taught Harry.

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* Nonfiction example: Everyone knows ''UsefulNotes/CharlesDarwin''s famous book ''On The Origin Of Species'' is about human evolution, right? Wrong, the book is mainly about animals evolving and how different species formed. It wasn't until he wrote ''The Descent Of Man'' 12 years later that he brought up the idea of human evolution.


* ''Literature/{{It}}'': Everyone "knows" the titular EldritchAbomination's true form is that of a GiantSpider. But in reality, that's just the closest approximation [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm a human being is able to comprehend]]. And that's only IT's true form in the Losers Club's universe. In its home universe, the true form of IT is something far more brain-melting that humans generally percieve as a pulsating mass of orange light.

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* ''Literature/{{It}}'': Everyone "knows" the titular EldritchAbomination's true form is that of a GiantSpider. But in reality, that's just the closest approximation [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm a human being is able to comprehend]]. And that's only IT's true form in the Losers Club's universe. In its home universe, the true form of IT is something far more brain-melting that humans generally percieve perceived as a pulsating mass of orange light.

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* ''Literature/{{It}}'': Everyone "knows" the titular EldritchAbomination's true form is that of a GiantSpider. But in reality, that's just the closest approximation [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm a human being is able to comprehend]]. And that's only IT's true form in the Losers Club's universe. In its home universe, the true form of IT is something far more brain-melting that humans generally percieve as a pulsating mass of orange light.


** Many people are still under the impression that Carroll was either on drugs or a child molester. Carroll was an incredibly stuffy cleric who didn't even drink, let alone do recreational drugs. The madcap imagery Also, while he did enjoy the company of children -- including painting and photographing them -- that wasn't considered especially odd, 19th Century England being positively ''obsessed'' with children and childhood.

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** Many people are still under the impression that Carroll was either on drugs or a drug user and/or child molester. Carroll was in fact an incredibly stuffy cleric who [[TheTeetotaler didn't even drink, drink]], let alone do recreational drugs. The madcap imagery was not drug-inspired, and a good deal of it is meant to be symbolic and/or metaphorical. Also, while [[FriendToAllChildren he did enjoy the company of children children]] -- including painting and photographing them -- that wasn't considered especially odd, 19th Century England being positively ''obsessed'' with children and childhood.



** Contrary to popular belief, Carroll never actually referred to the Hatter as the Mad Hatter, only the Hatter. And the Queen of Hearts and Red Queen are not the same person (though film adaptations frequently merge them). Referring to the Hatter as the Mad Hatter would be [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment redundant]], as the Cheshire Cat points out that everyone in Wonderland, including Alice herself, is mad.

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** Contrary to popular belief, Carroll never actually referred to the Hatter as the Mad Hatter, only the Hatter. And the Queen of Hearts and Red Queen are not the same person (though film adaptations frequently [[CompositeCharacter merge them).them]]). Referring to the Hatter as the Mad Hatter would be [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment redundant]], as the Cheshire Cat points out that everyone in Wonderland, including Alice herself, is mad.


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** Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is a skilled and experienced VampireHunter, right? Not in the original book. He's just a scholar with a good deal of folkloric knowledge that makes him suspect Lucy Westenra might be suffering from vampire attacks. Moreover, it's heavily implied that he doesn't actually have any prior experience with vampires before coming to London.


** Many people are still under the impression that Carroll was either on drugs or a child molester.

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** Many people are still under the impression that Carroll was either on drugs or a child molester. Carroll was an incredibly stuffy cleric who didn't even drink, let alone do recreational drugs. The madcap imagery Also, while he did enjoy the company of children -- including painting and photographing them -- that wasn't considered especially odd, 19th Century England being positively ''obsessed'' with children and childhood.


** Speaking of Watson, most people generally picture him as an older, plumper man than Holmes, unattractive, boorish, clumsy and doltish. This is partly due to how many films portrayed him (the BBC versions from the 80's and 90's were the first to break this mold, and even they depicted Watson as significantly older than Holmes) and partly because Holmes usually had to explain how he deduced things to Watson. In reality, Watson was an Army surgeon of above-average intelligence who simply, like most other characters, was not Sherlock Holmes. He also was of an age with Holmes, and was probably the more attractive of the two. Oddly enough, Guy Ritchie's films with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law probably come closest to accurately portraying the pair as written by Doyle. Some will argue for ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSherlockHolmesAndDoctorWatson'', of course.

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** Speaking of Watson, most people generally picture him as an older, plumper man than Holmes, unattractive, boorish, clumsy and doltish. This is partly due to how many films portrayed him (the BBC versions from the 80's 80s and 90's 90s were the first to break this mold, and even they depicted Watson as significantly older than Holmes) and partly because Holmes usually had to explain how he deduced things to Watson. In reality, Watson was an Army surgeon of above-average intelligence who simply, like most other characters, was not Sherlock Holmes. He also was of an age with Holmes, and was probably the more attractive of the two. Oddly enough, Guy Ritchie's films with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law probably come closest to accurately portraying the pair as written by Doyle. Some will argue for ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSherlockHolmesAndDoctorWatson'', of course.



** Common knowledge says that Middle-Earth is a fantasy world. It's not. The books are set on Earth in the distant past (about 6,000 years ago, by Tolkien's reckoning) and purport to detail heroic deeds from Germanic mythology, ala the Edda or Beowulf.

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** Common knowledge says that Middle-Earth is a fantasy world. It's not. The books are set on Earth in the distant past (about 6,000 years ago, by Tolkien's reckoning) and purport to detail heroic deeds from Germanic mythology, ala a la the Edda or Beowulf.

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* ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' is often described as the story of four musketeers... While it indeed is the story of a group of four men, this forgets that d'Artagnan only becomes a musketeer at the very end of the novel.


** Another common misconception is that Christine was only fifteen in the original book. This stems from a mistranslation of a line saying that her heart was as pure as a fifteen year old's. Textual evidence points to her real age being twenty.

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** Another common misconception is that Christine was only fifteen in the original book. This stems from a mistranslation of a line saying that her heart was as pure as a fifteen year old's. Textual evidence points to her real age being about twenty.


* ''Franchise/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. It's commonly known that the Phantom was a normal, and probably handsome, man until he was burned and disfigured in a fire and ran away from society to live underground and "haunt" the opera house. This actually comes from later film adaptations. In the original book, the Phantom was a man who was born with a disfigured face and had never lived a normal life.

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* ''Franchise/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. ''Franchise/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'':
**
It's commonly known that the Phantom was a normal, and probably handsome, man until he was burned and disfigured in a fire and ran away from society to live underground and "haunt" the opera house. This actually comes from later film adaptations. In the original book, the Phantom was a man who was born with a disfigured face and had never lived a normal life.life.
** Another common misconception is that Christine was only fifteen in the original book. This stems from a mistranslation of a line saying that her heart was as pure as a fifteen year old's. Textual evidence points to her real age being twenty.


** The title character of ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' is telekinetic, not pyrokinetic. She never created fire using only her mind, she just managed to start a fire at her school by telekinetically turning on the sprinklers in the gym and ripping apart the wiring in some nearby machinery. The confusion likely stems from people confusing Carrie with the little girl from ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'', whose pyrokinesis is her main psychic power. Both books were by Creator/StephenKing, and both were about young psychic girls blamelessly victimized by others.

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** The title character of ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' is telekinetic, [[MindOverMatter telekinetic]], not pyrokinetic.[[PlayingWithFire pyrokinetic]]. She never created fire using only her mind, she just managed to start a fire at her school by telekinetically turning on the sprinklers in the gym and ripping apart the wiring in some nearby machinery. The confusion likely stems from people confusing Carrie with the little girl from ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'', whose pyrokinesis is her main psychic power. Both books were by Creator/StephenKing, and both were about young psychic girls blamelessly victimized by others.



** The count is not a clean-shaven, devilishly handsome seducer the way Creator/BelaLugosi and Creator/ChristopherLee portrayed him; he's a hairy, ugly old man who gets younger, but not handsomer, when he drinks blood.

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** The count is not a clean-shaven, [[VampiresAreSexGods devilishly handsome seducer seducer]] the way Creator/BelaLugosi and Creator/ChristopherLee portrayed him; he's a hairy, ugly old man who gets younger, but not handsomer, when he drinks blood.



* It has become very common for people to believe that Literature/PaddingtonBear is a spectacled bear, but he's never identified as such in canon. In real life, spectacled bears ''are'' the only species native to Paddington's home country of Peru, and the common belief seems to stem from well-meaning efforts to raise awareness of spectacled bear conservation by linking them to fiction's most famous Peruvian bear. But it's unlikely that Michael Bond actually had ''any'' particular species in mind, considering that Paddington was originally going to hail from Africa (which doesn't have native bears at all) and changing it to Peru was a compromise - even then, there seems to be no particular reason why he picked Peru except that it simply sounded good. Paddington's appearance (which is mainly down to original illustrator Peggy Fortnum, but approved by Bond) more closely resembles a juvenile brown bear. He's not canonically a brown bear either, though... he's just a bear.

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* It has become very common for people to believe that Literature/PaddingtonBear is a spectacled bear, but he's never identified as such in canon. In real life, spectacled bears ''are'' the only species native to Paddington's home country of Peru, UsefulNotes/{{Peru}}, and the common belief seems to stem from well-meaning efforts to raise awareness of spectacled bear conservation by linking them to fiction's most famous Peruvian bear. But it's unlikely that Michael Bond actually had ''any'' particular species in mind, considering that Paddington was originally going to hail from Africa (which doesn't have native bears at all) and changing it to Peru was a compromise - even then, there seems to be no particular reason why he picked Peru except that it simply sounded good. Paddington's appearance (which is mainly down to original illustrator Peggy Fortnum, but approved by Bond) more closely resembles a juvenile brown bear. He's not canonically a brown bear either, though... he's just a bear.

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** The fortress where King Théoden and the Rohirrim fought the armies of Isengard is called Helm's Deep, right? Actually, it's called the Hornburg. Helm's Deep is the name of the valley where it was built.


** Everyone "knows" the monster was brought to life with {{lightning|CanDoAnything}}, or at least electricity. Except the novel specifically avoids saying how it was done[[note]]The story is being told from Victor's perspective after the facts, and he states that he does not want anyone to follow in his footsteps, so he's rather vague about the exact process he used[[/note]]. There is a mention of Victor Frankenstein being fascinated by the effects of a lightning strike earlier, but that's it.

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** Everyone "knows" the monster was brought to life with {{lightning|CanDoAnything}}, or at least electricity. Except the novel specifically avoids saying how it was done[[note]]The story is being told from Victor's perspective after the facts, and he states that he does not want anyone to follow in his footsteps, so he's [[AndSomeOtherStuff rather vague about the exact process process]] he used[[/note]]. There is a mention of Victor Frankenstein being fascinated by the effects of a lightning strike earlier, but that's it.

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