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As proven by a talking fourth-wall-breaking squirrel.

"The late James F. Bowman was writing a serial tale for a weekly paper in collaboration with a genius whose name has not come down to us. They wrote, not jointly but alternately, Bowman supplying the installment for one week, his friend for the next, and so on, world without end, they hoped. Unfortunately they quarreled, and one Monday morning when Bowman read the paper to prepare himself for his task, he found his work cut out for him in a way to surprise and pain him. His collaborator had embarked every character of the narrative on a ship and sunk them all in the deepest part of the Atlantic."

Originally referenced in Running the Asylum, this trope refers to infighting within the official ranks of a shared-universe franchise, where creative teams will take potshots at each other, using their own stories to undercut, contradict, Retcon, or just plain insult the work of their rivals. Because these are official stories, each volley becomes entrenched in the overall setting.

If the shots just end up tangling the Canon up, then a Continuity Snarl can be the result. Sometimes, the mess results in a Crisis Crossover — which will inevitably become the target of later writers Armed With Canon.

Examples of the Crisis Crossover are active volleys of Canon-fire, as different factions within the companies have a tug-of-war over the "New Direction".

This isn't necessarily bad, often resulting in an Author's Saving Throw. However, in many cases this can give the audience the feeling that they are not witnessing a story, but a vicious argument between various lunatics who are using fictional characters to dress up their shouting at each other. When combined with Fan Wank, this can make the effect even worse, as this often suggests that the story exists solely for one creator to grind an axe with another.

Ship-to-Ship Combat is occasionally a cause. A lesser shade is Depending on the Writer.

Messing with other authors' characters in a large Shared Universe is a potential Flame Bait and may be off-limits as impolite and sometimes prohibited outright: it's almost someone's Player Character, and in settings made for RPG it sometimes is. Conversely, simply asking the original author before using "their" characters in canonical material is a nice and continuity-enhancing practice. Of course, there's a precarious balance between counterproductive doting over prominent characters by their authors or derailing these characters (and royally vexing their authors) without any good reason by Executive Meddling or another author missing the whole point somewhere.

If fans are the ones doing this, it's a Fix Fic. Has nothing to do with Arm Cannons. note 


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach: While the TV series lasted, the anime staff (and especially the character designer, Masashi Kudo) were fans of Ichigo/Rukia rather than Ichigo/Orihime, and took every opportunity to play up their ship's teasing moments (to the point of inserting a whole filler episode dedicated to Ichigo and Rukia Ship Tease), while downplaying or outright removing any Ichigo/Orihime subtext they could get away with. On the other hand, Tite Kubo clearly and firmly stated that Ichigo and Rukia were the not love interests to one another, kept giving Ship Tease to Ichigo and Orihime plus Renji and Rukia, and ultimately made them the official couples at the end of the manga.
  • Digimon Tamers went through this with the series' ending. The epilogue movie Runaway Locomon established that The Magic Comes Back and was directed by Tetsuharu Nakamura and written by Hiro Masaki, who were (respectively) an assistant director and a regular writer of the main series. However, chief writer Chiaki Konaka declared it to be a Non-Serial Movie with his Happy Ending Override drama CD which cemented that the kids weren't reunited with their mons... until the sequels in 2018 and 2021. Although to be fair, Konaka wasn't trying to undercut their work and went on record to say he approved of them retaining the tone of the series as well as expanding on Rika's family life.
  • Elfen Lied had the anime team fighting a shipping war with the manga. In the manga, Lucy dies and Kouta gets with Yuka. In the anime, Kouta/Yuka is played down a bit while Kouta/Lucy is played up, and while the ending is ambiguous, it's implied that Lucy survives the Bolivian Army Ending and returns to Kouta. Of course, since it was Cut Short, the Love Triangle is never formally resolved in the anime.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had a bit of a shipping war among the staff, where the NanoYuuno shippers ran the Sound Stages and tried to torpedo the NanoFate ship by having Nanoha and Hayate suggest that Fate was trying to distance herself from being Vivio's other mother. In ViVid, Vivio kept seeing Fate as her other mother, and Fate once referred to herself as "Fate-mama" while speaking with Vivio. In fact, during ViVid chapter 77, Vivio explicitly says that she has two mothers and that "[the three of them are] a totally normal family" when explaining her family situation to another character.
    • Fate's family is specifically shown to be Erio and Caro, lacking Nanoha and Vivio, so the debate rages on. Then again, while Vivio suggests that she should give Fate and her children some space while they spend time as a family, Fate, Erio and Caro think doing so is unnecessary.
    • While it wouldn't have helped in the manga, the Nanoha and Yuuno shippers can't have been bolstered by the fact that when Fate and Nanoha's voice actresses armed themselves with canons, it was to come down squarely on the side of NanoFate.
    • Word of Gay from this article has the two VAs mentioning that in 10 years, Nanoha will be a housewife for Fate. The original writer, Tsuzuki, also says Vivio "frequently keeps in contact with Fate-mama, as often as contacting the father who works away from home, with a communication tool."
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, has Nanoha's friends implying she's head-over-heels for Fate from the first time they meet. ("Fate was like Nanoha's prince!") Yuuno is just a pet ferret in this continuity, which makes him not even a threat to the NanoFate ship.
    • In chapter 15 of the INNOCENT sequel manga Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENTS, Vivio and Einhart are also present in the INNOCENT continuity. Vivio, in particular, is revealed to be Fate and Nanoha's daughter from the future in this continuity. However, there's an added twist to this: Einhart heavily implies that Vivio is Nanoha and Fate's actual biological child in the INNOCENT universe when she stops Vivio from revealing that she's Nanoha and Fate's daughter because it might cause a time paradox.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and its direct sequel Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative are continuity pieces made by fans who'd been around since the original Mobile Suit Gundam, and it wears its creators' biases on its sleeves. In particular, the Earth Federation, which never had squeaky-clean morals, was portrayed as far more villainous than usual and their dominance over space as wrong through the Laplace's Box plot, and some of the actions of beloved villain Haman Karn from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ were retroactively cast in a more benevolent light. Notably, the adaptations (which had heavy involvement from series creator and former marxist Yoshiyuki Tomino) took pains to soften the biases of the official Gundam novel that they were adapted from, which was written by a far-right Japanese nationalist who sympathized with the original show's villains as an allegory for Imperial Japan (which they were, and why they were the villains).
  • The anime version of Naruto tended to add a lot of Ship Tease for pretty much any pairing, but one writer in particular, Yuka Miyata, was known for this. She was responsible for most of the major Naruto/Sakura moments in filler, including episodes where Naruto states that he loves and would always love Sakura, when in the manga, Word of God confirmed that Naruto's feelings were just a crush and nothing else/more, and where Sakura implies that she doesn't love Sasuke anymore and is instead falling for Naruto, when in the manga, her feelings for Sasuke never wavered and even resulted in marriage, and Sakura cared for Naruto like a brother and nothing less/more. Miyata also wrote the NaruSaku-filled movie Road to Ninja. When Masashi Kishimoto mentioned in an interview after the end of the series that certain female writers for the anime tried to convince him to go with Naruto/Sakura, many fans believed he was referring to Miyata.
  • Takeshi Shudō seemed to be planning a Downer Ending for Pokémon: The Series involving an old Ash. Due to Shudo's death, this ended up not happening as the anime ended in 2023 with a happy (if open-ended) ending after over 26 years. But the script isn't the only thing they argue about. 4Kids Entertainment liked PokéShipping and supported it, but Shudo reportedly wasn't a fan.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion, screenwriter Yoji Enokido argued that Rei Ayanami should survive the end of the second movie, despite dying in the source material. However, at least one of the films' directors wanted to give their replacement, another Rei, more Character Development in this adaptation, so the third movie reveals that said character died after all. (Well, more or less.)
  • Sailor Moon: One of the directors of the original anime, Kunihiko Ikuhara, hated Mamoru because he found the character bland. So while in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal Tuxedo Mask is a fairly competent fighter in his own right and has some abilities, in the anime he just shows up at a few opportune moments, throws roses, and leaves, and otherwise has no abilities of note. His screentime is also cut. The anime staff also played up the Usagi/Rei ship, but were eventually forced to relent. In Sailor Stars, Seiya all but replaced Mamoru as Usagi's love interest, though the anime still ends with Usagi and Mamoru as love interests.
  • YuYu Hakusho has a case here. In an interview, Yoshihiro Togashi stated that he hadn't intended Hiei+Kurama as a canonical couple. The problem, of course, is that several of the anime's artists liked the pairing and drew official art for the anime that hinted otherwise.

    Films — Animation 
  • The sequels to An American Tail had this bad, as each sequel save for the final one seems to hate the movie that came before it. Fievel Goes West, the Lighter and Softer first sequel, which Don Bluth wasn't involved with, appears to take a few thinly-veiled jabs at the first movie, such as Tanya getting tomatoes thrown at her for singing "Somewhere Out There", New York City turning out to be a Crapsack World, the Mouskewitzes living in poverty and having failed to achieve The American Dream, and in general carried itself as if Lighter and Softer equaled better. Then the third movie came along, with yet another different team of writers. Fievel wasn't out west anymore, but in New York, and the writers decided to throw in a Wham Line about Fievel having a dream where he moved out west, implying that the second movie is now Canon Discontinuity. They then proceeded to erase the Love Interest of Tony Toponi from the first film and pair him with their new character, and make a Discontinuity Nod later on where Tiger accidentally barks like a dog (as he had in Fievel Goes West). And while it's debatable whether or not there was enough time between the films for the writers to really gauge the audience reaction to the third film, it may have been no accident that the fourth and final film, The Mystery Of The Night Monster, backtracks on a lot of this and chooses instead to be as stand-alone as possible.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Deadpool 2: During the end, after Wade uses Cable's time-travel device to give Vanessa's killer a cream cheese spreader in the brain, his other stops include 2009 for the Weapon X Deadpool entrance scene from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, that movie's version of the character notorious for not being well-received. A bullet in Weapon X's head cleans up the timeline.
  • The Kamen Rider movie Kamen Rider Taisen had the Showa Riders, led by the original, Takeshi Hongo, engage in Let's You and Him Fight against the Heisei Riders, declaring that they didn't agree with the new generation's methods and that they don't consider them worthy of the Kamen Rider name. Hiroshi Fujioka, Hongo's actor, was so displeased by this portrayal of his character that he co-authored another movie in which Hongo is much nicer and greatly respects all the Riders who came after him.
    • Some fans interpret the portrayal of the Showa Riders as a Take That! to a part of the fandom that constantly complains about everything related to the Heisei Era, declaring every single new installment proof that the franchise is Ruined FOREVER. The movie makes much more sense when you see it as an allegory for a Broken Base rather than the characters themselves slugging it out over in-universe disagreements.

  • Various writers in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe had different ideas of how the various lines fitted together. Mostly this didn't affect the stories themselves.
    • Lawrence Miles began referring to "bottle universes" in both his Doctorless Bernice Summerfield New Adventures and his Eighth Doctor Adventures, with the strong implication that the bottle universe in one series was the Alternate Continuity of the other. This didn't stop other writers continuing to assume there was a single continuity. And then some of them went on to reinterpret the "bottle universe" theory as a Klein bottle; the universe in the bottle is the universe holding the bottle.
    • From the Big Finish Doctor Who audio line: initially, it seemed their Eighth Doctor line tied into the EDAs, such as a reference to novel companion Sam. This went on until it was suddenly explicitly stated that a lot of the novels never took place in the main timeline, with the Doctor seeing the different ranges as different timelines. Then they introduced their own companion called Sam, but also proceeded to include Fitz in the audios. That said, writers have apparently had no problem bringing monsters and characters from the books over to the audios or vice-versa.
    • The New Series Adventures novel At Childhood's End strongly implies that none of the third-party Doctor Who lines featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace are real in NSA continuity, with Ace being given a vision of several could-have-happened-but-didn't timelines that resemble the New Adventures, the DWM comics, the Big Finish audios, etc. (And then, a couple of years later, the TV episode "The Power of the Doctor" implies that At Childhood's End never happened in TV continuity — which was probably less a case of it being deliberately retconned than of the showrunner at the time simply doing his own thing regardless of whether it matched the Expanded Universe.)
    • Gareth Roberts, who is famous for disliking Season 18, wrote one of his Creator Thumbprint Season 17 pastiche Fourth Doctor stories to finish off the Doctor Who Missing Adventures line. For most of the book it's a goofy romp, until the Bolivian Army Ending in which the Doctor is forced to pull a TARDIS emergency switch (the one that got him into the Land of Fiction in "The Mind Robber") that will kick him out of his dimension, but that Romana is scared might make them 'fictional characters and not real people'. He kisses her and they both pull the switch together, and the book ends. It's left open enough to draw your own conclusions, but the book is fairly notorious for making all of Season 18 (and everything afterwards) just a fictional construct.
    • A flashback story in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip depicted the First Doctor, while still a Time Lord on Gallifrey, having a major ethical conflict with another Time Lord who up until then had been his friend, named "Magnus", with strong innuendo that Magnus would later become the Master and that this was his Start of Darkness. Gary Russell, who had edited the magazine at that point, later decided that he didn't like this and established in his Past Doctor Adventures novel Divided Loyalties that Magnus was actually the War Chief.
    • The DWM comic strip was also in continuity with the New Adventures for much of the 1990s, until they suddenly decided to announce they weren't by killing Ace. Then later on, during the Tenth Doctor's era, they did a story that followed up on a New Adventures tie-in story.
    • Speaking of the DWM strip and the books, the strip did a Delgado Master regeneration which differed from the one in the Eighth Doctor Adventures by John Peel.
  • Another well-known case from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe is the... controversial Eighth Doctor novel War of the Daleks by major Dalek fan John Peel note , who had long been angry about the way Davros overshadowed the Daleks in later classic series TV stories. He used the novel to introduce a wildly complicated Retcon in which literally every major Dalek-related plot development from "Destiny of the Daleks" to "Remembrance of the Daleks" had been deliberately faked by the Daleks note  as part of a Batman Gambit to make the Doctor and Davros fight each other so that the Daleks could do their thing elsewhere without impediment. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view of this whole mess), Peel's novel was not particularly well-received or well-regarded, thus making it much easier for later writers to quietly ignore or overrule pretty much everything in the story.
    • An unpublished epilogue to the final Doctor Who New Adventures novel, The Dying Days, would have had a far-future Doctor, having seen the definite final end of the Daleks, give a eulogy in which he describes how they came back from their past defeats, including "I destroyed their homeworld and they simply claimed the computer records had been doctored". Among the reasons Virgin cut this scene was that they felt it unfair to "unretcon" War of the Daleks before it was even published.
  • Appropriately enough, Star Wars Legends contained a never-ending series of canonical combat:
    • The early Legends novels contained a great deal of authorial tussling over who Luke's Designated Love Interest was supposed to be. A lot of tussling.
    • Jaina Solo was the target of the next bout of Ship-to-Ship Combat, which Dark Horse Comics seem to have "won" by heavily implying that she founded an imperial dynasty with their favoured suitor. Dark Horse had a distinct advantage in this battle: their series Star Wars: Legacy is the chronological final story of the Legends timeline, set a century in the then-concurrently released novels' future. While the Del Rey authors were writing about what was happening, Dark Horse got to dictate what would happen. The Del Rey authors seem to have conceded this battle, as they wrote her as being married to the guy who founded the dynasty depicted in Legacy.
    • Karen Traviss became infamous for her Clone Wars novels, which apparently considered Mandalorians and Mandalorian-worshipping clone troopers (which, until late, were all of them) vastly superior to Jedi. This was mostly ignored by other writers...
      • Until a major canon arms race between Traviss and Troy Denning, which started in Legacy of the Force, then spilled over into the Republic Commando Series and Fate of the Jedi. Traviss and Denning clashed hard over their depictions of Jedi and Mandalorians with several books' worth of jabs at each other's characters, until in Legacy of the Force: Invincible, Denning had Mandalore nanovirus-bombed specifically to kill off Boba Fett's family, and even that was countered in Traviss' Imperial Commando: 501st, which denied that a nanovirus could be accurate enough to wipe out her characters. Traviss has since left writing Star Wars for various reasons (including financial and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a higher priority canonical source over her writings, arming itself with canonicity over the Mandalorian issue in its second season, though Star Wars: The Essential Atlas and Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare introduced retcons that reconciled Traviss' interpretations of the Mandalorians with the show's, and sure enough the pacifist Mandalorian government that Traviss was so offended by in The Clone Wars was overthrown by traditionalist Mandalorian warriors in the very next season).
    • Curtis Saxton, originally a Promoted Fanboy, wrote a lot of data in several technical manuals for Legends. Unfortunately, he has been accused of trying to rewrite Star Wars to help the pro-Star Wars side of the Star Wars vs. Star Trek Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny online debates curbstomp the Trekkies, and as such gave hugely inflated numbers for pretty much everything. He and his fans argue that it is simply a consequence of what is shown onscreen. The acceleration needed to get to orbit as fast as is shown in Star Wars requires the ability to produce insane levels of firepower, as well as being consistent with what the Death Star does. Though the problem is that this is wholly inconsistent with what is observed in the rest of canonicity. Troop numbers are particularly problematic. He established that the Separatists have quintillions of droids based on the industrial potential shown by the Death Star. Given that the Attack of the Clones movie novelization, a higher canonical source than Saxton's manuals, implied that the "million more well on the way" was a million clone warriors, he had given the Separatists more than a trillion droids for every clone the other side had—then again, much of the reason Saxton made the argument to begin with was that a million clones being treated as a powerful fighting force in a galaxy where one faction treated "ten thousand star systems" as a minor detail in the same film is pretty ludicrous in itself (though the novelizations also established the Republic had a hundred thousand worlds, tens of thousands of star systems and trillions of commonfolk, so the droid numbers still ran into other issues).
      • Some of the work done by Gary Sarli comes across as him trying to fix some of the inconsistencies Saxton introduced, if only by returning details to their original definitions.
      • One particularly odd case was that in a Revenge of the Sith technical manual, Saxton described the main turbolaser cannons of the Venator-class Star Destroyers as having precision accuracy out to a range of 4 light-minutes — considerably in excess of the maximum range given for even the Death Star superlaser in previous official sources.note 
    • Gary Sarli once explained that when contradictions arose (which would be inevitable given the scope of Star Wars at the time), authors were supposed to do their best to come up with creative explanations that reconciled both sides (George Lucas was not bound by this limitation). Whether the authors could rise to the occasion or fall to the worst aspects of this trope depended on the quality of the writer. However, it would explain why so many authors would address other works instead of ignoring them.
    • The whole resurrection of the Emperor in Dark Empire pissed off most of the Legends stable of novel authors. Timothy Zahn refused all attempts to tie in his Thrawn Trilogy with the Dark Empire comic book; then, after it was done, he had Mara Jade make an offhand comment about how she privately believed the reborn Palpatine to just be a fake.
    • Michael Stackpole's I, Jedi was written at the same time as Hand of Thrawn, with deliberate Shout Outs between the two, and did a similar Armed With Canon attack on the Jedi Academy Trilogy (inserting Corran Horn in it and having him repeatedly point out how Kyp Durron is getting away with mass murder, people are being idiots, and the plot makes no sense). Some consider it a Fix Fic, others object to how the "fix" involved making Corran instrumental in all the students' battles to protect Luke from the spirit of Exar Kun up to and including giving them the plan for their final confrontation with Kun, so that even some of the people who are otherwise fans of Corran Horn have labeled him as too OP in his book (Stackpole might have even realized that himself late in the writing, since Corran is significantly less infallible in the second half of the book, and even after realizing his mistakes still needs Luke to bail him out).
    • An earlier example is Aaron Allston's run on X-Wing, which retconned the cartoonish, stupid Imperial villains of The Courtship of Princess Leia as skillful Intelligence-trained types who project the stereotype as an act to make their enemies underestimate them. And Starfighters of Adumar has Wedge break up with the scientist who built the Death Star, who he'd hooked up with in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and fall for an old flame who'd been in a relationship with him for years in the X-Wing Series. Basically, Zahn, Stackpole and Allston had a three-way collaboration going to fix the shortcomings they saw in the Anderson/Hambly era of Legends.
    • With Revan, Drew Karpyshyn messed with several aspects of the Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Its party members aren't even mentioned by name outside of a reference to Kreia as "Darth Traya", whose teachings about the Force and the Jedi are clearly the work of the dark side. The Exile can't recognize Force-consuming abilities even though she's fought Darth Nihilus before, and she's given the questionable Canon Name Meetra Surik.
    • This got so bad that when Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, one of the first things they did was declare everything above non-canonical. They've since worked on building up a new expanded canon and are keeping tight control to prevent stuff like it from happening again. Elements from Legends have been brought back into canonicity (Boba Fett surviving the Sarlacc pit, Star Wars: Tarkin making most of Darth Plagueis canonical again, etc.), but often in a Broad Strokes manner that sidesteps all the pissing matches between the old EU writers. For instance, a lot of Karen Traviss' ideas about Mandalorian culture are still canonical, but with a number of changes. However, fans have noticed some contradiction already with Disney’s books and films, and one of the producers has been quoted as saying there is no firm canon.
  • In the Whateley Universe, the first several Phase novels were written years (in real time) after the first stories for the other main characters came out: the Canon Cabal finally found someone new to write the stories. The new author retconned a bunch of small moments that she deemed 'out of character' for Phase. So far, these are still standing. This is presumably because Diane's Phase has an incredibly different background, a much more focused power. There were also attempts to keep the retcons small, and still match with continuity. (Which led to fun with Phase forgetting 'his' utility belt.)
  • In the Land of Oz book series, a series with forty canonical books and hundreds of unofficial books written since the series ended, thanks to most of the books now being public domain, this was bound to happen. L. Frank Baum, creator of the series, was no stickler for continuity himself, and would often change things up on the fly. This left a tough job for Ruth Plumly Thompson, the author commissioned by the publisher to continue the series after Baum's death. She saw fit to give the Scarecrow her own origin story (Baum never explained why he was alive), which a lot of fans didn't like, and introduced many of her own characters, ballooning the cast. After she quit, the longtime illustrator of the series John R. Neill wrote some books for the series, and things got, well, strange; for instance one book has the Wizard try to introduce cars to Oz, and another involves an attempt to bring democracy to Oz and hold an election. Most fans agree his additions didn’t jive well with what Baum and Thompson had established. The next author, Jack Snow, did a Retcon of Thompson's and Neill's additions to the series and continued it going solely off of Baum's canon (Thompson, reportedly, was actually okay with this, not wanting another author using her characters). The authors after Snow mainly did this as well, while also ignoring Snow's contributions. Modern unofficial Oz books (the ones that at least try to follow canonicity, anyway) will either take everything as canonical (and have to do mental gymnastics to make the Continuity Snarl make sense), or just Baum's work.
  • Arthurian Legend is in the public domain, so naturally a lot of authors have published their own takes on it. Even the Thomas Malory adaptation that most modern adaptations are based off of had to cut contradictory or irrelevant parts of the source material. That's what happens when you compress multiple legends into one story and can't just go by one copyrighted canon. When one bard tells the legend as a tragedy and another tells it as ye olde action movie, how do you decide which version to keep?
    • A particularly common trend: a writer introduces a new character, who is Arthur's actual best knight, and will often pass some sort of test to prove it, while whomever the last writer claimed was the best knight is both less competent and less pleasant than he used to be. The result is that OG "best knights" like Kay and Gawain are very Depending on the Writer, while about a half dozen other characters have fulfilled competing prophecies to prove that they're the best.
  • The Star Trek: Discovery novel Dead Endless features an Alternate Universe Discovery, which Dr Culber encounters while trapped in the mycelial network at the end of the first season. Burnham is the captain, with Saru as her loyal first officer, Stamets is much nicer, if still a bit arrogant, Landry and Georgiou are still alive, and there is no Klingon war. It's eventually established that this is because Burnham followed regulations during the first episode. In other words, the decision that the series presented as the only viable option in the circumstances, for which she was unfairly punished, is demonstrated to be the event that made everything worse for everyone.
  • Shared world anthologies were a big thing in fantasy and science fiction literature from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The longer a particular series lasted, the greater the chance of rival creators in the same series starting taking potshots at each other (Thieves' World had plenty of mean-spirited "my character humiliates your character" moments). When George R. R. Martin started Wild Cards, he was very aware of the problem, because he and assistant editor Melinda Snodgrass created an entire legal framework for their writers to prohibit this sort of unpleasantness. To wit, whenever you want to use another writer's character and concepts in your story, you need that writer express permission and the original writer has veto power over every little detail in how their characters are used. In practice, this encouraged close cooperation instead of competitiviness. With 30+ novels published, Wild Cards is the last man standing in the genre of original shared worlds, and has never suffered from this issue.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Community does this a bunch of times, the reasons for which all center on the removal of the original creator — Dan Harmon — in the fourth season. When Harmon later picked up the show again, he was not too pleased with many of the decisions made in the fourth season.
    • This is made clear in season six, not very subtly — when Chang 'farts during the fourth one'. It's explained as an inside joke.
  • When Dallas pulled its infamous All Just a Dream plot with Bobby Ewing stepping out of the shower, the producers of the show's Spin-Off Knots Landing were hacked off as they had already based a number of plot developments on Bobby's death (Gary mourning his brother's death, Gary's ex-wife Valene naming one of her twins after her deceased brother-in-law). In the end, Bobby Ewing remained dead on Knots Landing and the show essentially parted ways with its parent. Think of a Gecko Ending, but in the middle.
  • General Doctor Who: The question of how many lives the Doctor has had is a vexed one. A cut line in the script for "The Power of the Daleks" would have established the Doctor had been 'renewed' before, but in the event "The Three Doctors" declared William Hartnell's Doctor had been the first. Robert Holmes and Philip Hinchcliffe contested this during their era, revealing the Doctor had had at least eight incarnations before Hartnell in "The Brain of Morbius". Eric Saward's tenure as script editor firmly pinned down Hartnell's Doctor as the first incarnation in "Mawdryn Undead" and "The Five Doctors", glossing over the Morbius incarnations (official episode guides came up with explanations, but nothing on-screen addressed it). Chris Chibnall's era stated in "The Timeless Children" that the Doctor had had innumerable lives stretching back to the dawn of Time Lord civilisation, including the Morbius incarnations, which had been sealed from Hartnell's Doctor's memory and concealed in the Time Lords' records.
  • Classic Doctor Who:
  • New Doctor Who:
    • The status of Gallifrey in the series has bounded back and forth quite a bit as a result of the three showrunners of the new series having considerable disagreements regarding it. Upon its premiere in 2005, Russell T. Davies set the tone for the new series by having the second episode reveal that Gallifrey was destroyed off-screen as a result of the Last Great Time War, to provide the Doctor with some Turn of the Millennium-appropriate angst and remove the complexities of Gallifreyan society and politics that had started to bog down the Time Lords' portrayal in the classic Series. Come "The Day of the Doctor" in 2013, and Steven Moffat would reveal that Gallifrey actually wasn't destroyed, but was instead hidden away in a pocket dimension, with the Doctor even revisiting the planet in "Hell Bent" two seasons later; Moffat heavily disliked Davies' decision to destroy Gallifrey by then, and many viewers were starting to agree that the whole idea of the Doctor being the Last of His Kind was getting stretched out to the point of exhaustion. However, Chris Chibnall would then throw his own middle finger to Moffat's middle finger and have the Master destroy Gallifrey off-screen in 2020's "Spyfall". Then in "The Timeless Children" it was additionally revealed that he'd turned all the Time Lords' corpses into Cybermen, and they were then apparently destroyed by a bomb. On the flip side, the eponymous Timeless Child adds on some heavy complexities to Gallifreyan society and politics. The only question now at this point is how long it'll be before a future showrunner decides to revive Gallifrey yet again to spite Chibnall; given Chibnall's successor is Russell T Davies, it'll probably be a while.
      • That said, both Davies and Chibnall have provided ways for Time Lords to survive Gallifrey's destructions (and Moffat had some chased off Gallifrey before Chibnall destroyed it again), so bringing some of them back is comparatively easy; the issue is whether to have Time Lord civilisation around.
    • Russell T. Davies delivered a big one to the fates of TV companions in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe during The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of the Doctor": it's revealed that Liz Shaw was busy working on the Moon, retconning her extremely unpleasant death in one of the Doctor Who New Adventures, and that Jo Grant's still Happily Married to the man she gave up being a Companion for, contradicting her divorce in the Eighth Doctor Adventures.
      • At the end of the second part, Sarah Jane reveals she's been keeping tabs on other former Companions and mentions some of the things they've done since leaving the Doctor. When she mentions what's happened to Ace, it contradicts both of her previously published (and already contradictory) fates in the New Adventures and Doctor Who Magazine (See the Literature folder above). Of course, like many other examples on this page, something would be contradicted, no matter what; just do like many fans would and pick your favorite...
      • A minor example from the same scene was that Ace was also confirmed by Big Finish to be training as a Time Lord on Gallifrey, who would later go extinct. But there is still a chance she was overlooked (being human in origin) by the Doctor and retired in London.
    • Defied by Davies and Moffat on the origins of the Twelfth Doctor's face, as he resembled a dude from Pompeii. They could both write their own ways on how it happened, but both brainstormed a good idea for an explanation in "The Girl Who Died".
    • Moffat produced one of the most aggressive examples of this in the whole history of the franchise (which has many previous ones) with the ending of "Face the Raven"/"Heaven Sent"/"Hell Bent", which gets right in the face of both Davies as writer and the Tenth Doctor in-universe for giving someone Laser-Guided Amnesia to save their life at the end of "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End". Moffat gave yet another condemnation of the Doctor's initial impulse to mind-wipe someone in the first episode of the next season, "The Pilot". Come "Spyfall", the Gallifrey stuff up above isn't the only thing Chibnall contested about Moffat's writing: The Thirteenth Doctor has gone back to mind-wiping allies for their greater good with no qualms.
    • "Hell Bent" also specifically shows a white male Time Lord getting shot and regenerating on-screen into a black woman, hammering home that both Race Lift and Gender Bender possibilities are canonical after previous Moffat-era episodes had established them occurring separately.
  • On House, the friendship between House and Wilson had such intense Ho Yay overtones that writer Doris Egan couldn't resist writing just a bit more of it each episode, but the other writers weren't on board and kept downgrading Egan's Relationship Upgrade moments again. Showrunner David Shore had to Word of God nix the canonical likelihood of House and Wilson becoming a couple in a semi-famous interview with TV critic Mo Ryan, after Doris Egan's writing on the "Amber" Story Arc made the subtext nearly text.
  • There were at least 46 writers for Smallville. Apparent lack of coordination made the show seem to have a very split personality, with wildly clashing tones, contradictory characterisation, and horrendous amounts of Continuity Snarl, and even the writers themselves engaged in their own Ship-to-Ship Combat or promoted their own favourite characters.
  • Star Trek: Picard had an on-screen dismissal of one of the most controversial parts of Star Trek: Nemesis, where Data is killed off but it is then hinted that some of his memories may have been installed into his inferior prototype "B-4". In the second episode of Picard, we are shown B-4's deactivated and dismembered body in storage at the Daystrom Institute, and Dr. Jurati tells Picard that the memory transfer could never have worked because of B-4's inferior positronic brain and that "B-4 wasn't much like Data at all".

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE had many writers come and go, with most of the written story being penned by Greg Farshtey, who had his own ideas about canon.
    • The climax of the 2001 story was meant to be told in a video game. When the game was cancelled, the Mata Nui Online Game established its own version of the ending, in which the Toa in their combined forms battled a horde of Manas crab monsters and face the Makuta. The Shadow Toa didn't appear. In the 2003 book Tale of the Toa, Cathy A. Hapka reinterpreted the story, making the Toa only face two Manas and ignoring the battle with the Makuta in favor of introducing the Shadow Toa. The originally planned but unpublished climax had the Toa "absorb" their respective shadow duplicates, accepting that evil is a part of them. Hapka's book had the Toa destroy each other's duplicates. In the 2005 Encyclopedia, Farshtey took elements from all three versions and retconned Hapka's book, canonizing that the Toa fought two Manas, battled and absorbed the Shadow Toa, then clashed with the Makuta.
    • Templar Studios' web content and the first three Direct to Video movies occasionally alluded to romances. The Hewkii-Macku ship was pushed by website manager Leah Weston Kaae, while the Jaller-Hahli pairing was also implied in the Mask of Light movie. Farshtey held onto a No Hugging, No Kissing rule to avoid dealing with implications of robot romance in a children's franchise, dismissing most examples of love as non-canon. Sidorak's engagement to Roodaka in Web of Shadows, which was integral to the plot, was written off as merely a political alliance. Oddly, Matau's affection to Nokama from Legends of Metru Nui was also referenced in Greg's writings, but he denied it was a romance, despite the scriptwriters' intent.
  • Fate/stay night attempts to give King Arthur a happier death than she had in canon while still respecting canonical events. Basically, as she lies dying, Outside Context Magic whisks her away to a future time where she works through her trauma with a cute OC, enjoys exotic food, and fights battles that are totally awesome and not morally gray in the least. When the time comes, she returns to her previous life, content in the knowledge that idealism will always triumph. The part of the game that focuses on her, regardless of a few gory moments, reads like the Breather Episode that Arthurian legend never had.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Happens occasionally in novels of Dungeons & Dragons settings — both sourcebooks and novels. Large shared worlds can be hard to keep in line even if trying hard.
    • When Weis & Hickman returned to write the further adventures of the Dragonlance Companions and their progeny, the Heroes and Preludes novels that other authors had written were considered non-canonical and retconned into "legends or folktales" of the Companions. To be fair to Weis & Hickman, while most of the Heroes and Preludes books were decent stand-alone fantasy novels in their own right, almost none of them lined up with established canonicity.
      • Margaret Weis was so upset with Ravenloft taking her Death Knight Lord Soth that she turned him human and killed him, just so nobody else could have him.
    • Forgotten Realms arc The Time of Troubles had a few Take That! potshots until things settled down.
      • On the other hand, for example, Lisa Smedman repeatedly fails very basic research. While the matter of unclaimed dead in Necessary Sacrifices in itself may be mostly explained away, the later incident with the death of Qilué Veladorn looks especially weird: one can't know this character without noticing that her origin is unusual, and the circumstances of her birth show what exactly happens in such cases. And 'wall of force' (Extinction) is, obviously, a solid barrier and thus keeps out bad odors and animated weapons — just like it blocks breath weapons and everything else.
      • The "official" Forgotten Realms fan site Candlekeep has many authors answering questions on the forum. This repeatedly demonstrates the struggles and problems with continuity in the most detailed of massive shared worlds, and just how tricky upkeeping it can be. You usually can't write about other people's characters except as a cameo with permission. Elaine Cunningham, as one of the most cautious Realms authors, frequently emphasizes it, and even she accidentally "shanghaied" Elaith: a short sourcebook entry turned out to be a character from the campaign of Ed Greenwood, who fortunately had a similar view of the elf and "let her run with" him.
      • Everything Ed Greenwood writes is canon. However, a lot of his views about how much of a Free-Love Future Faerun is (such as embracing incestuous relationships) are not well-received by other writers or by Wizards of the Coast, and they usually ignore it and never mention it in sourcebooks or other novels.
    • It's said that the same thing happened with the first "Castle Greyhawk" module, which was seen as a massive Take That! against the then-departing Gary Gygax (who had created Castle Greyhawk and was never able to release it properly while at TSR). It cheesed off enough people that TSR ordered a few years later "Greyhawk Ruins", which was a deadly serious (and just plain deadly) version of the location. Players (and even TSR itself) later declared "Ruins" to be the official version, leaving Castle Greyhawk as a rarely spoken-of joke module.
  • Warhammer 40,000 is infamous for retcons and loose canonicity, but one example in particular stands out: in the 4th Edition of Codex: Space Marines, the Ultramarines are presented as well-trained, well-rounded warrior monks who prize getting the mission done effectively above anything else, and aren't necessarily better than any other chapter. The 5th Edition codex spins the Ultramarines as the shining paragons of what it means to be a Space Marine, so that even other First Founding chapters consider the Ultramarines' leader to be their "spiritual liege," and divides the thousand or so Space Marine chapters into three categories: the Ultramarines and their successors, those who aren't true-blooded Ultramarine descendents but who nevertheless aspire to live up to their example, and a handful of deviant chapters who are fated to be marginalized in favor of Ultramarine successors. This has led to an undeclared edit war between Graham McNeill and Matt Ward, the authors of these two codices. McNeil writes the Ultramarines novels and tries to tone down their Sue-ishness, while whenever Ward writes a codex for an army he'll try to work in something that retcons McNeil's attempts to rein him in.
    • While the retcon war with McNeil is the most infamous, Ward's disregard for the established canon has begun causing more conflicts with authors. Anthony Reynolds, author of the Word Bearers series, apparently didn't take the retconing of his trilogy well thanks to Ward completely rewriting the Necron race. Reynolds promptly wrote the protagonist of that series into the Horus Heresy, giving him and by extension his trilogy a much stronger connection to the canon, and as an added bonus had him making a mockery of the Ultramarines' abilities. Similarly several authors such as Sandy Mitchell and Ben Counter have apparently taken to sticking to all pre-Ward canonicity and avoiding the forces he re-writes.
    • Similarly, the Horus Heresy writers are doing everything in their power to canonize their story of what happened to Vulkan, Primarch of the Salamanders. They are contradicted constantly by everyone else. Ironically enough, in creating their story they had to retcon Matt Ward's version, which was restored in full later by Robin Cruddace seemingly by accident.
    • Ironically, or appropriately, the many attempts to establish or retcon the history of the Alpha Legion and its actions during the Horus Heresy are one and all entirely in character for the legion whom nobody knows much of anything about. Given that most inconsistencies and contradictions in the Warhammer 40,000 universe are explained away as a combination of being propaganda and misinformation, the fact that Word of God ended up unintentionally doing this themselves in regards to a legion that takes that as its MO is a bit of accidental fridge brilliance.

  • The equivalent behaviour between improvisers in theatre or theatre sport is called "blocking". This is not the only use of that word in theatre jargon, though.
    • Michael Scott of The Office gives a great in-universe example of this theatre variant. Inevitably, his characters end up pulling guns and shooting everyone dead before the scene can take off.

    Video Games 
  • BioShock Infinite: With the release of Burial at Sea - Episode 2, head writer Ken Levine decided to disband Irrational Games and feared Take-Two Interactive would continue the BioShock series without his involvement. To dissuade this, he had Elizabeth die with explicit confirmation that she was the absolute final Elizabeth and that there were no other copies of her left throughout the multiverse. By killing off the main game's extremely popular heroine, he succeeded in keeping the series from having any new games for nearly a decade, with another one only being announced to be in-development seven years later.
  • The tension between Bungie and their higher-ups at Microsoft's video game division over the Halo Expanded Universe was somewhat infamous; the former wanted the games to tell standalone stories and looked at the largely Microsoft-managed novels as something which betrayed that. Bungie's Halo: Reach largely ignores and retcons the events depicted in the novels Halo: The Fall of Reach and to a lesser extent Halo: First Strike in an attempt to depict their version of the Battle of Reach. Such changes include extending the battle to take place over a month and a half instead of just one day, and placing Cortana in Dr. Halsey's SWORD Base lab instead of in orbit preparing for Operation: RED FLAG. After gaining stewardship of the franchise, 343 Industries, who prefer having all narrative Halo media connected into a vast lore, would go to great lengths to unify the disparate interpretations of the Battle of Reach, even starting with Dr. Halsey's journal (included as Feelies in the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition of Reach) which was primarily written by the author of the aforementioned books, Eric Nylund. It's largely successful, but the "solution" still relies on things such as most of the UNSC and Reach's civilian populace being unaware of or downplaying the Covenant invasion until several weeks into it, much of the Covenant seen throughout Reach being a small vanguard awaiting the arrival of the much bigger fleet seen in The Fall of Reach, and in regards to the above spoiler, Cortana being split into two halves so that she can simultaneously work with Halsey on Reach and with the Pillar of Autumn in orbit.
  • League of Legends has has its share of shipping wars between staff members:
    • In the old lore, Ezreal and Lux were implied to be love interests. Come the lore overhaul in 2014, Ezreal was given a one-sided crush on Lux, but Lux became ignorant of his existence. Writers for the Alternate Universe skin lores seemed to revolt, as in not one, but two subsequent alternate universes (Battle Academia and Star Guardian) the pair were given much firmer Official Couple status.
    • A Riot writer once said they liked the Jarvan IV/Quinn ship, seemingly sinking the fan-preferred Jarvan IV/Shyvana and Quinn/Talon ships. The writers of the Lux comic not only threw this out the window, but very heavily implied Jarvan IV is in love with Shyvana. Jarvan IV/Shyvana was further teased in the Star Guardian universe, with Senna shipping the two. The writers of The Mageseeker then promoted the Jarvan IV/Shyvana ship to unambiguous canon.
    • Writer Runaan stated she always meant to have Graves and Twisted Fate be a married couple. Riot staff at the time refused to give the go-ahead on a gay couple for years, and the Sentinels of Light event attempted to pair Graves and Vayne together. When the event was received poorly by fansnote , Riot relented and instead chose to establish Graves and Twisted Fate as a couple with the short story The Boys and Bombollini.
  • Soul Series:
    • Daishi Odashima, the director of Soulcalibur V, made many changes to the lore that he felt were needed to reboot and push the series going forward. This resulted in the 17-year Time Skip that cut out many of the most popular characters and replaced them with a new generation, while having the old cast Put on a Bus, retired, or Killed Off for Real. This was what he felt the series should be.
    • In a twist of fate, years after Odashima left Project Soul, his eventual successor Motohiro Okubo in turn did this to him. Not only did Soulcalibur VI undo all the effects of V by means of a Continuity Reboot (the game is an alternate and expanded retelling of the original Soulcalibur), but Okubo also revisited the idea of Cassandra being trapped in Astral Chaos. Originally, it was to have her Put on a Bus, but Okubo decided to have her be instrumental to undoing the setting of V by way of having her inform the new timeline's Cassandra of V being a Bad Future in order for the younger Cassandra to prevent it from coming about. In other words, using Odashima's canon to erase his own canon.
  • Masahiro Sakurai, the director of Super Smash Bros., has acknowledged a number of times that he prefers Bowser from Super Mario as a bestial terror rather than the Boisterous Bruiser Anti-Villain he tends to be portrayed as in most modern Mario games. This is usually interpreted to be the reason why the Bowser in Smash Bros. is voiced by computer-generated Godzilla-like noises rather than his regular Mario voice actor Kenny James, and has an aggressive fighting style based on sheer physical muscle with no incorporation of the wacky technology or magic powers he tends to use in his home series. As an extension of this, Giga Bowser is based on how he pictured Bowser's appearance based on the character's original NES sprite.
  • Jay Pinkerton of the Team Fortress 2 lore writers has been trying to pull a Word of Gay on Miss Pauling. Unfortunately for him, Valve doesn't seem to agree with him, and has her alternating between being completely asexual and having Ship Tease with Scout.
  • When it comes to World of Warcraft, Blizzard and White Wolf (who made Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game) have butted heads enough that Blizzard has declared the RPG series to be unilaterally non-canonical.
    • White Wolf adopts a noticeably pro-Alliance standpoint, with little good to say about non-human or non-attractive races. Blizzard always treated the Alterac Valley conflict between orcs and dwarves as ambiguous, but White Wolf declared that the dwarves were the rightful owners of the valley and the orcs bloodthirsty invaders who deserved death for daring to intrude on Alliance lands. Humorously, some fans now complain that Blizzard has taken on a distinctly pro-Horde bias.
    • There's also a whole list of cases where White Wolf took a distinctly different stance than Blizzard. They considered the Warcraft setting to revolve around the conflict between arcane and divine magic, thought that all undead were free-willed, suggested that the Blood Elves were only a small magic-obsessed faction of the survivors of Quel'thalas, and that Illidan was trying to become the new Lich King to conquer Azeroth. Some of these were from pre-World of Warcraft sourcebooks, others don't have that excuse. There are also excuses like the blood elves being minor antagonists before TBC made them a playable race, with all the inclusion that entails, but the RPG books stayed what they were.
    • That said, there have been some sources of Ret-Canons from the White Wolf books, such as the note that Darkspear and Revantusk Troll tribes are more open to female independence due to their inclusion in the Horde.
    • A shipping example from the games themselves: Chris Metzen, one of the most prominent writers, hates the very popular Thrall/Jaina ship with an almighty passion, due to Thrall essentially being his Creator's Pet. He hated it so much that he used the Cataclysm expansion as an excuse to firmly sink this popular ship by introducing a Satellite Love Interest in the character of Aggra, involving the derailment of a major questline just so the player can watch her and Thrall get married. The odd/funny bit is that Metzen also wrote during Warcraft III, and voiced Thrall during that time — meaning the very ship he so despised was crafted from his material in the first place. One wonders how he didn't notice it earlier...

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • In Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?, Ashly asks her brother Anthony about what it's like being the writer for Borderlands 2. The skit has him realize that whatever he writes into the game becomes canonical to the series.
    Ashly!Anthony: I can create universes with my motherfucking mind!

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10:
    • It remains a point of debate regarding the Classic Timeline whether Ben's Future Badass self Ben 10,000 as seen in the eponymous episode is from his own future or an Alternate Timeline thanks to multiple contradictions, such as the episode stating that Grandpa Max's birthday cake was a major factor in whether that future came to pass and Kevin's Heel–Face Turn in later installments being in stark opposition to him being a villain in that episode. The showrunners of Omniverse insisted that it was Ben's inevitable future, and as such, the series devotes a number of episodes to setup said future, including bringing back a character that hadn't been seen in years as his main love interest. However, others have their own takes: Dwayne McDuffie (showrunner of Alien Force and Ultimate Alien) and Matt Wayne (longtime series writer) believed that the timeline diverged after the events of that original episode; meanwhile, Duncan Rouleau (one of the franchise's creators) has no strong feelings on the matter. Due to the logical inconsistencies, the Ben 10 Wiki and the fandom at large side with McDuffie and Wayne.
    • Speaking of Kevin, he's another point of contention with the canon changes between Classic, UAF and Omniverse. The original version of the character introduced in the episode "Kevin 11" was left purposely ambiguous as to how he gained his absorption powers, with Alien Force later stating that he was a Human/Osmosian hybrid. Omniverse however retconned this, not only saying that Kevin was actually 100% human (albeit a mutant), but that Osmosians as a species don't even exist and that any evidence to the contrary was just false memories implanted by Cervantes and the Rooters, causing many a Continuity Snarl and Broken Base. It wouldn't have been as big a controversy if not for the fact that Omniverse's showrunners (the late Derrick J. Wyatt in particular) claimed that it was Man of Action's plan for Kevin all along in spite of the fact that it wasn't.
    • A lot of this stemmed from Ascended Fanon. As a consequence of the show's Long Runner nature with creators rotating in and out, new writers would rely on wikis for keeping the lore straight. Problem was, back in the day the wiki wasn't as heavily moderated resulting in vandalized pages being made canon in Omniverse. This happened so many times the wiki itself had to make a list of additions and errors it was responsible for.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy/Tootie shippers have a live-action movie which shows them getting together as adults. Whether or not the movie is canonical is hotly contested by other FOP fans, who do not like the live-action movie for various reasons, including Timmy's status as a 23-year-old 5th grader who refuses to grow up. What makes things even more confusing is that the live-action movie was written by Butch Hartman and Scott Fellows (creator and longtime writer, respectively), and there are other FOP films that suggest different futures for the character. Butch Hartman would later settle this debate and clarify that the live-action films are set in an Alternate Continuity as opposed to being in the show's canon.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show had an episode called "Reverend Jack Cheese", which took potshots at the show's creator John Kricfalusi, who had been fired from the show when that episode was made.
  • Star Wars:
    • A minor case in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Dave Filoni deliberately gave Darth Bane a cameo in the final episode to ensure the character (who he was a fan of) would remain canonical after Lucasfilm announced their plans to de-canonize Star Wars Legends.
    • The same team set to this with gusto in Star Wars Rebels, happily bringing in everything they liked about Legends in their preferred versions (such as a version of Mandalorians that combined the previous conflicting portrayals). This got recursive when Timothy Zhan did a novel covering the new backstory for Thrawn, and promptly established that an out of character moment of Offscreen Villainy mentioned at his introduction was actually done by the resident Hate Sink.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) crossover Finale Movie Turtles Forever, the writers, while throwing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) a bone every now and then, went out of their way to make every '87 character silly and incompetent relative to the serious 2003 cast and their deadly combat skills. When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) had crossovers with the 1987 Turtles, they still took a few potshots at the older versions of the Turtles, but made the '87 characters more competent.Example  They had the original voice actors as well, which may have been one reason for giving the '87 Turtles more respect (along with fan complaints). The first 2012 series crossover also covers many similar plot beats to Turtles Forever, but Peter DiCicco denied that the crossover overrode Turtles Forever, saying that the 1987 characters in the 2012 series are instead from another universe.
  • Transformers. All of it. It's so diverse with multiple canons and universes that just about ANY viewpoint can be backed up with evidence from somewhere, be it the cartoons, comics, anime, manga, radio plays, novels, movies or toys. It doesn't help that the fandom is one of the most diverse and self-antagonistic groups on the internet (response to anything new is almost overwhelmingly negative) so you have thousands of fanboys and girls arming themselves with canonicity to push their point.