Follow TV Tropes

This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.


Ascended Fanon

Go To

"Do to them what you do to us at times like that. [...] Tell them what you're doing but not why. Then let them speculate. Listen to them as they speculate. When they come up with an idea you really, really like, tell them, 'You finally guessed right. That was my reasoning all along."'
Hobbie Klivian, Starfighters of Adumar

This is when Fanon is promoted to canonicity; whether it's officially shown in a canonical work is another matter, as it may "only" reach the status of Word of God. This happens when the creators see some theory brought up by a fan, usually something that the creators haven't thought heavily about or planned beforehand, but rather than Joss it into oblivion, see no harm in officially accepting it as part of the work. This is much more common in fanfiction and Webcomics, which often aren't planned from the start. Small doujin companies are also (in)famous for this sort of thing, as their characters are designed and occasionally modified accordingly to appeal to their fanbase. However, this sort of thing can get creators in trouble if the person who came up with the fanon accuses them of plagiarism — one of the reasons why many companies forbid people working for them from reading unsolicited fan-ideas and fanfiction.

Compare with I Knew It! (when the fan explanation happens to match the one planned all along), Ascended Fancast (when a fancast actually gets the role), Ascended Meme (when this happens to memes), Word of Dante (the creators didn't confirm it, but some other perceived authority popularized it), Canon Immigrant (when elements of an officially licensed non-canonical source find their way into the official canonicity), Official Fan-Submitted Content, Approval of God (when a creator likes a fan work/theory but doesn't make it canonical). When it's built into the story, it's Schrödinger's Gun. You could argue this is the creators' decision to Throw It In!. When it happens as a result of a mistake or error (mostly in video games) it's an Ascended Glitch, and in the case of a translational error that fans like, a Good Bad Translation.

Contrast Jossed (when fan theories are explicitly debunked by Word of God or canonical events), Beam Me Up, Scotty! (when a phrase that's well-known was never uttered in the canon). Inverse of Shrug of God (when the creator(s) refuses to give a concrete answer) and Outdated by Canon (when a later element or explanation in canon outright contradicts the popular fanon of the time).

When this happens between fictional characters, it's a Sure, Let's Go with That. If a particular work has a long and continuous run, fanon may be promoted to canonicity because a Promoted Fanboy is now calling all the shots.

Ascended Fan Nickname is a Sub-Trope where a Fan Nickname becomes an In-Series Nickname.

Ascended House Rules is a related gaming trope, for cases where a fan House Rule later becomes an official rule of the game.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: The 3D maneuvering soldier with afterimage effects in the anime's first Title Sequence actually wasn't supposed to be Jean, but rather a generic soldier representing humanity. However, given the number of people claiming it to be Jean, the production staff has acknowledged it as so.
  • Battle Angel Alita: Last Order accepted a few fan-submitted characters into the ZOTT tournament.
  • Code Geass: During the first season, fans joked that Lelouch's maid Sayoko was secretly a ninja, explaining the occasional flashes of competence seen behind her quiet exterior. Between seasons the staff acknowledged the joke, and in R2 it's revealed that she is in fact the heiress to the Shinozaki ninja clan.
  • From Death Note, L's knowledge of capoeira. Originally, that was simply put in because the writer was thinking of ways that one could fight while handcuffed to their opponent. But then some fans pointed out that it looked like capoeira, and eventually in Another Note, it became canonical that L has some knowledge of that particular martial art. Though the canonical status of Another Note is hotly debated. It's mentioned in the manga reference How To Read, but isn't by the original mangaka, and several things in it appear to either be outrageously untrue (such as the third World War having happened in a world mostly similar to our own) or otherwise clearly inconsistent with the anime and manga canons.
  • In Digimon Tamers, fans mentioned to the writer Chiaki Konaka, that clearly the character of Alice was a ghost. Konaka originally didn't intend this when he wrote it but when he looked back; admits that's a very possible theory on his webpage.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Some of the Super Saiyan forms and names of the villains were fan nicknames. Perhaps most obvious was "Super Saiyan Blue" from Resurrection 'F', which is officially termed "Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan." Fans decided that was too much of a mouthful. Later in Dragon Ball Super, Goku acknowledges the name length and "Super Saiyan Blue" is used officially from then on (though most official merchandise and video games still designate the form as SSGSS as opposed to SSB).
    • Fanfiction gives Vegeta enough long-lost siblings to populate a galaxy (and then some). The 2008 special went ahead and ran with that premise, but Jossed all of the usual traits associated with them (with Tarble being a weakling instead of a Copycat Sue).
    • From fan parody Dragon Ball Z Abridged to Dragon Ball Z Kai: Nappa hates the media.
    • Freeza's race are widely known as "Frost Demons" among the fandom, due to the fact that all of the members seen have names related to cold temperatures. In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Cell refers to them using this name.
    • From Dragon Ball Super's English dub, the Top God Zeno is referred to as "The Omni-King", a term first used by fansubbers as a rough translation of the title "Zen'O" (literally, "All-King").
    • Fans had long speculated that the reason Goten and Trunks were able to become Super Saiyans at such a young age was because their fathers had already achieved the transformation by the time the two were conceived. Akira Toriyama later declared in an interview that this is indeed the case, saying that there are "S-Cells" in a Saiyan's body that multiply greatly once a Saiyan has achieved Super Saiyan, and this gets passed on to their children. The more S-Cells a Saiyan has, the easier it is for them to make the jump to Super Saiyan.
    • The color of Broly's hair and Battle Aura in his Legendary Super Saiyan form appears to be a case of this. The green tint seen is suggested to be a side effect of the slave crown Paragus placed on Broly in order to keep him in line, which was also seen with how his regular Super Saiyan form has blue/purple-tinted hair. Notably, Broly has the usual golden glow and hair near the end of The Legendary Super Saiyan and throughout the entirety of Second Coming. However, since most of Broly's subsequent appearances in Dragon Ball media used his original design, fans came to associate the green hair and aura with Broly's unique Super Saiyan transformation. Various What If? transformations in other media (such as Super Saiyan 3 Broly in Raging Blast), his Alternate Universe Distaff Counterpart Kale in Super, and Broly's own reintroduction to the series would all follow suit, with the latter having Broly first turn into a regular Super Saiyan but then gain the "usual" traits after powering up further. It should be noted, however, that both versions of Broly do possess naturally green ki, and Super's reimagining of the character has a Great Ape-based "Wrathful" form that also features a green Battle Aura.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • The grouping of France, Spain, and Prussia, called the Bad Touch/Friends Trio, started as fanon based on their appearance together in The War of Austrian Succession. It eventually ended up approved by the author, with them appearing in sketches together, in an omake of Prussia's cleaning game and even getting an Image Song together.
    • The Magic Trio is a fanon grouping of England, Romania, and Norway based on them being the only characters capable of magic. As of Season 5, Episode 2, the Magic Club is shown to consist of two of these three, England and Romania.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Manga readers noticed that the location that Gojo and Geto have their falling-out at is Shinjuku's Memory Lane. Specifically, based on the surroundings drawn, they would be in front of a KFC. This is canonized in the anime where the two are drawn in front of a "KIC".
  • The authors of Kinnikuman routinely adapted fan suggested characters into the story, both minor and major.
  • Same goes for Kongoh Bancho, where several fan characters have gone on to become both minor and major antagonists.
  • In June 2020, a Disney Tsum Tsum-based (and released) side story of Lilo & Stitch spin-off manga Stitch & the Samurai finally established Leroy from Leroy & Stitch as being Experiment 629. In his original appearance, Leroy was only given a name, not a number. Disney tried to designate him as Experiment 628 in some Japanese and Disneyland Paris merchandise, but most fans did not accept this because the pod of an Experiment 628 appeared in Lilo & Stitch: The Series, while Leroy was newly created in his debut. As a result, fans established him as Experiment 629 instead for years before Stitch & the Samurai came along, including on fan wikis.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Naruto:
    • Certain fanfics have the idea of a Government Conspiracy that is antagonistic towards Naruto, often with Danzo as the leader. In the story Itachi Shinden: Book of Dark Night, it is revealed that Danzo actually leaked the knowledge that Naruto hosts the Nine-Tails, to instigate hatred against him.
    • In Part I "Naruto", we learn that Naruto has a massive apartment with a kitchen, study, bathroom, and home gym. None of this makes it into the anime.
    • Konohamaru and Hanabi have been a popular ship since Part I of Naruto, despite never interacting, due to the Generation Xerox element on NaruHina fans' part. In Boruto, they're shown bonding over their shared love of Boruto (Hanabi's nephew and Konohamaru's student). Hanabi is close enough with Konohamaru to be on friendly terms with him and call him "senpai."
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Many fans speculated that the members of SEELE had uploaded their minds into computers once they started to appear as black monoliths instead of human holograms. There was nothing in the series to support this, and End of Evangelion proved the theory false by showing Keel Lorenz still quite human. However, this was made canonical in the Rebuild of Evangelion remake movies, as proven in the third movie.
    • A lot of fans assumed that Shinji was a Supreme Chef, which 2.0 wholeheartedly endorsed.
  • One Piece:
    • The author has a question and answer column, but half of the time when someone asks about a fact he'll agree with any reasonable guess the writer makes (for instance several of the main characters' birthdays).
      Fan: Chopper's birthday should be December 24th!
      Oda: Okay.
    • At one point, a fan noted that one of the villains of the show, Rob Lucci, had a name that that could be interpreted as "To rob the light" based on the (inaccurate) fact that Lucci is the Italian word for light. Oda's response was to the general effect of:
      "You know me. I'm the guy who comes up with the deep meaningful names. Yep. In fact, "Rob Lucci" even means "steal the light," or SO I HEAR (had no idea)."
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • It was always a fan theory that Pikachu's Power Level restarted whenever Ash started a new journey. The producers noticed, and finally pulled an actual plot device in the Best Wishes! series by having Zekrom zap Pikachu of all its electricity right as Ash gets off the plane that brought him to Unova.
    • After the end of Pokémon the Series: XY saw Serena travel to Hoenn, several fan stories were written that she would meet May, another of Ash's former companions and fellow Eeveelution Trainer, and the two would become fast friends. Fast forward to Pokémon Journeys: The Series Episode 132, and the two are indeed seen performing together.
  • Despite Puella Magi Madoka Magica only having the witch Charlotte appear for one episode as a Monster of the Week, onscreen for perhaps a minute tops to kill a main character before being killed herself, she is hugely popular in the fandom. She's often depicted in fanart alongside Mami Tomoe, the one she killed, and acted as a sort of Team Pet in many cases. The writers apparently took heed: cue Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, and Charlotte, or Bebe as she was called in-movie, filled just that role. We even got to learn what she looked like before she witched out, too. It also looked at another popular thing that people take as fanon: Madoka and Homura reuniting, namely with Madoka returning to the real world. However, the writers showed just how horrifying that concept can become when the person in charge of the reuniting was so heartbroken with the former's absence in the first place that they'll ensure they will never leave again.
  • Reborn! (2004): "Hibird" was the fan nickname for Hibari's unnamed pet bird. Upon hearing this, Akira Amano just made it canonical, finding the nickname cute.
  • This is weaponized by Altair in Re:CREATORS, who is capable of using powers fans thought up over the years for her due to having no strict canon since her author died before she could write one. Altair's appearance in Elimination Chamber Festival has her use this fact to its fullest, making it a case of this trope to the in-universe audience.
  • Prior to the Animated Adaptation, Kazuya Minekura, the author of Saiyuki, wrote down in Cho Hakkai's character profile "voiced by Akira Ishida" as a joke, not expecting to be taken seriously, and was pleasantly surprised that her casting suggestion was accepted.
  • In the video game continuity of Sword Art Online, specifically in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, this happens. See, one common nickname for a gender-bent Kirito in fanfics (or sometimes used to refer to his very feminine GGO avatar) is Kiriko. In Fatal Bullet's Kirito Mode, in order to try to blend in, Kirito uses an alternate account when entering the BoB tournament (which has the appearance of his canonical GGO avatar). Said account's name? You guessed it: "Kiriko."
  • The opening scene of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was what the last story arc was originally planned to be like, but re-writes ended up making it a total mystery. When the staff was asked the fan-theory that the opening was an Alternate Continuity where Simon ignores the Anti-Spiral's plea to stop overusing spiral power and the scene is right before he causes the Spiral Nemesis their response was, reportedly, "Sure, why not?"

    Comic Books 
  • The Adventure Zone: Prior to the graphic novel, the characters actually had no canonical appearances, with widely agreed-upon fan interpretations dominating fanart. However, in adapting a purely audio medium as a graphic novel, the artist took many, many cues for their designs from those popular depictions, creating designs that practically mirrored them.
  • A-Force #1 uses the popular Tumblr meme "She's beauty, she's grace, she'll punch you in the face" to describe Miss America. The meme is used to describe various female characters, but Miss America is a frequent subject of it.
  • When Animal Man meets his writer, Grant Morrison, the latter expressed regret that he didn't have time to use a few ideas some of the fans suggested (it was his last issue), namely to have Buddy fight animal-themed villains and his polar opposite, who finds pleasure in animal cruelty. To make up for that Morrison makes them both materialize out of thin air and attack Animal Man, while he is thanking everybody he worked with on the series. He also mentioned that Buddy is what writers wants him to be, so if they'll decide to make him eat meat, he will. Next writer on the series decided to play with that and wrote a story where Buddy copies the abilities of a lion, is overcome by its instincts and tries to eat a gazelle.
  • Due to his normal disgust for girls, fans of Archie Comics have speculated whether that Jughead is either gay or asexual. The reboot has confirmed that he is asexual.
  • In actual continuity, the character Midnighter from The Authority very, very rarely removed his mask, which covered his hair. Due to this, the few times he did take it off, his hair color kept changing because the colorists didn't know what color it actually was, it ranged from blond to black and everything in-between, except red. Fanfic writers decided that he dyed his hair, which was naturally red, to explain away the constantly changing hair colors. This was later made actual canonicity in an issue of Stormwatch: Team Achilles.
  • After The Avengers (2012) came out, fans coined the term "Science Bros." to describe the friendship between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. The term was later used in solicitations for the Avengers Assemble comic book before officially making its way into canonicity in Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man #1.
  • Batman:
    • The return of Stephanie Brown used the retcon that Leslie Thompkins had not killed Steph as we were led to believe, but rather faked her death and dragged her off to hide out in Africa with her where she'd be safe from psychos in costumes. Decide for yourself whether this was simply the most obvious fix, or whether the legion of forum threads and fix-it fanfics using this exact scenario during the intervening years of her death inspired DC.
    • There was a lot of controversy and in-fighting (some of it racial in nature) in the Batgirl fandom when Cassandra Cain (an Asian-American) was replaced by Stephanie Brown (a white blonde), and again when Steph was replaced herself when the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, returned. A common compromise in fan works was to feature all three Batgirls in a sort of "Batgirl Inc." or "Team Batgirl" grouping, and DC eventually instituted a similar idea with the League of Batgirls in the Future's End tie-in to Gail Simone's Batgirl (2011) run. The idea finally became canon in current continuity in the 2022 Batgirls series, which stars all three.
  • This was the exact reason we have the explanation for the origin of Captain America's legendary shield. A fan by the name of "Fred Janssen" wrote in to the 60s-era Captain America comic with a theory involving Dr. Myron McClain and his work with Adamantium and Vibranium, the fictional super alloys in the Marvel Universe. Marvel liked the idea so much that, with a bit of altering, they took it and ran with it!
  • Captain Marvel: Fans of Carol Danvers usually call themselves "The Carol Corps", a name which has taken off and been used to describe them in a lot of news media coverage surrounding the character. Secret Wars (2015) introduced a book called Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, which features the Carol Corps as a band of female soldiers who assist Captain Marvel.
  • The Fan Nickname "Clor" for the clone of Thor from Civil War (2006) got used in the recap page of Ant-Man and The Wasp, which was from Eric O'Grady's perspective. Officially though, the character's name is Ragnarok.
  • The Disney/Boom Comics Darkwing Duck series reveals that DW had been receiving a stipend from the S.H.U.S.H. agency — one of the more popular theories as to how he could be Darkwing and lead a family life as Drake Mallard with no apparent job.
  • The ending of the Tenth Doctor's Year Three in Doctor Who (Titan) has Nick Abadzis directly canonizing (at least as far as the comic is concerned) the common fanon among "Rose was the greatest companion ever" fans that the Moment actually was BadWolf Rose instead of just copying her appearance as A Form You Are Comfortable With.
  • Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles depicts Snagglepuss as gay. Snagglepuss was Camp Straight, but a common interpretation was that he was Camp Gay.
  • Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons canonizes the Fan Nickname for the Giant Octopus, Oodako (literally just the romaji reading of the Japanese words for "giant octopus", 大ダコ).
  • Jem and the Holograms (IDW):
    • Kimber and Stormer were always a popular pairing in Jem, with fans claiming there was some serious Les Yay between them. The 2015 IDW comic Continuity Reboot acknowleges this by making them an outright lesbian couple.
    • In many fanfics Mary "Stormer" Phillips is the Token Religious Teammate of her group. She's either Christian or treated as a Nice Jewish Girl. Word of God (Sophie Campbell, who redesigned the characters) is that Stormer is half-Israeli, though it's never mentioned if she's Jewish or not.
  • Kamala Khan and Robbie Reyes became something of a Fan-Preferred Couple despite never having met on-panel. The one-shot Secret Love features some serious Ship Tease between the two teens during the events of Secret Wars, and Felipe Smith has stated that he was partially inspired by all the fan art of the two he kept seeing on Tumblr.
  • Kingdom Come: It was speculated among fans that a hero called "Brainiac's Daughter" was daughter of "old-time Legion of Super-Heroes' lovebirds Supergirl and Brainiac 5." Artist Alex Ross has admitted he did not think of an origin while designing the character, but he likes that fan theory, so it is now canonical.
  • There was fan speculation for years that Element Lad from the Legion Of Superheroes was gay, mostly due to his pink costume. It wasn't until 1992 that he was confirmed to be bisexual.
  • Marvel Comics would often get reader mail that would try to explain away some of the continuity or logical fallacies in the stories. A sufficiently clever explanation would win the fan a "No Prize." When some apparently-not-so-clever fans started writing in asking when they would receive their No Prize, Marvel responded to them by mailing them... an empty envelope. Sadly, this practice has fallen to the wayside, though oddly, the empty "No Prize" envelope is considered of some value by the more hardcore fans.
  • It was a fan theory that the Marvel Universe is called Earth-616 because Fantastic Four #1 (the first Marvel Universe comic) came out in 1961 in month 6. Neither the explanation nor the date of FF #1 is actually true, but in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, other universes were numbered based on their first appearances and using this scheme.
  • My Little Pony (Generation 4):
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): The 9th issue uses a Funny Background Event to make canonical the popular fanon about Time Turner being actually the Doctor (by making him open his fob watch and recover his memories), plus making his relationship with Derpy Hooves canonical, even if she doesn't know him yet.
    • While covers for the IDW comics had often put the spotlight on popular background characters and fan-characterizations, the pages of the My Little Pony Micro Series gave Derpy Hooves a letter carrier uniform and a mail bag.
    • There was a lot of Fanon that Sombra's horn fragment left after his destruction in The Crystal Empire contained his soul/power/something that would leave it a threat. This is shown to be so in My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic.
  • Nova: For years, a common in-joke among Marvel fans was to call the original Nova "Dick Rider" instead of Richard Rider. In AXIS, Spider-Man referenced the Unfortunate Names by saying "There's a joke in there if you think on it" while telling the new Nova of his predecessor.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws: Arsenal calls Red Hood by his Fan Nickname "Jaybird." Red Hood is not pleased.
  • The second Snowpiercer comic, "The Explorers", presents a lot of Fanfic Fuel by confirming the existence of more than one Snowpiercer — a somewhat common interpretation of Snowpiercer is that the movie takes place on one such Snowpiercer. Terminus, a third comic long after the eighties adaptation manages to confirm that there were as many as ten Snowpiercer trains roaming the Earth, and that yes, the one in the film was one such train, that scene when Yona appears and recounts the ending.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW):
    • Characters Dr. Starline, Surge the Tenrec, and Kit the Fennec are loosely based on glitched character palettes from the Genesis and 32X games that fans often treat as O.C. Stand-Ins—respectively, "Wechnia" from Knuckles Chaotix, "Ashura" from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and a blue Knuckles (that the game considers to be Tails) from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
    • One comic features a small brick house as a background detail that bears a strong resemblance to one from the fan game Sonic Robo Blast 2. This may very well have been intentional, as Aaron Hammerstrom, one of that issue's artists, had previously been active in the fan game's community.
    • Sonic calling Amy "Ames" was a common Fanon, the comic makes it official.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Sins Past reveals that at some point, Gwen Stacy slept with Norman Osborn, without revealing when or why. Fandom VIP J.R. "Madgoblin" Fettinger pored through his back issues and came up with his own theory: after Osborn had saved her father from the Kingpin, and when she was currently on the outs with Peter, maybe she had gone to thank him, and one thing led to another. After posting this theory on on his website, some of Marvel's writers found it and decided that it worked, so they canonized it.
    • When Spider-Verse was revealed, one of the things they showed off was a picture of an AU Gwen Stacy in her own Spider gear. Fans referred to her as "Spider-Gwen" to differentiate her from all of the other Spider-Women. When it was announced that she'd get her own series, Spider-Gwen ended up being the title. note 
  • Star Trek: Early Voyages: It has been a popular assumption in Star Trek fandom for many years that Spock was the first Vulcan to join Starfleet but this was never mentioned in either Star Trek: The Original Series or the films. "Flesh of My Flesh" incorporates it into the canon of Early Voyages.
  • Superman:
    • The Immortal Superman, the Man of Steel is asked not to fly into the past or future for the next 24 hours to avoid disrupting a military experiment. No sooner has he agreed this than Superman receives an urgent distress call from the year 101,970. Instead of simply waiting until the next day before setting off, Superman uses a defective time-bubble belonging to the Legion. It takes him to his destination, but the defect causes him to age every year along the way, leaving him trapped in the future and over a hundred thousand years old. The point that Superman could have waited until the next day before time-travelling was raised in the letter column, with the editor readily accepting the reader's suggestion that Superman had not been thinking straight due to the effects of Red Kryptonite.
    • In The Last Days of Superman, Supergirl time-travels to Krypton and she does not lose her powers somehow. How could she get back from her homeworld despite it being under a red sun? The question was answered in the letter column of Superman (Volume 1) #158, two issues later. A reader by the name of E. Nelson Bridwell —who would later become editor of several Superman books — suggested an explanation, and editor Mort Weisinger instantly declared it canonical:
      E. Nelson Bridwell: "In Superboy #81, the Boy of Steel encountered a type of Red Kryptonite which restored his super powers when he had lost them on a Krypton-like planet with a red sun. It is quite plausible to assume that he brought it to Earth and when he grew up to become Superman deposited it in his Fortress of Solitude. Then when Supergirl found it necessary to make her time trip back to Krypton, she prepared for her journey by taking a chunk of the Red K with her, in the friction proof pouch of her cape. Thus, when it was time for her to return, exposure to this variety of Red K gave her the needed super-powers to take off, correct?"
      Mort Weisinger: "Correct! However, this type of Red K can never again work on her..."
  • Transformers:
    • When popular fan writer James Roberts became an official writer, he brought along a bunch of fan concepts he and his writing colleagues in the Transmasters group created. Examples include the concepts of forged and constructed cold, facilities like the Institute and Delphi, Star Saber being a Knight Templar, Wheeljack having friends who joined the Decepticons, and fan characters Rung, Fulcrum, and Ammo.
    • Ravage in Transformers: Shattered Glass was originally invented by Dave Willis to star in a couple of Shortpacked! strips, and later got Facebook and Twitter pages as a joke. He ended up so popular that the writers incorporated him into the real comic. He's also basically become the mascot for the Transformers Wiki fansite.
  • Venom:
    • The five Life Foundation symbiotes that appeared in the various Venom miniseries in the '90s were never actually given names in the comics. Most were referred to simply by their host names while one, Donna Diego, was simply called the Female Symbiote. The Female Symbiote and another one got the names Scream and Lasher for a toy line while another symbiote in the line (though not from the comics) was called Riot; the other two had no names but were referred to by fans as Agony and Phage. Scream became canonical during a handbook released around the time of the Back in Black storyline in the mid-2000s while it wouldn't be until 2011's Carnage USA miniseries that officially gave the fan names to the other ones as well.
    • When Flash Thompson gained a hold of the Venom symbiote, the fact that he was acting in a spy-like manner and a soldier would lead fans to call him "Agent Venom". When Flash joined the Secret Avengers, the name became canonical.
  • Watchmen: The fate of Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis has been a source of speculation owing to a couple resembling the two appearing on panel (and in focus) after their supposed demises. Dave Gibbons stated it wasn't intentional, but was far too good of a theory to refute.
  • Wonder Woman: In continuities where Wonder Woman is not a clay figure brought to life, her father traditionally remained unnamed and entirely unimportant given she was created specifically as a hero that shows what women can accomplish with the support of other women without the interference of men. Fans speculated for years that he had to be Hercules given that he's the only character Hippolyta consistently has a past with. In The Contest arc of Wonder Woman (1987) Diana confronts her mother asking if she was conceived during Hippolyta and Hercules' fling right before Herc betrayed the Amazons and her mother is upset, but doesn't refute the claim. Grant Morrison made this canonical for the Diana of Wonder Woman: Earth One in 2016.
  • X-Men:
    • In All-New X-Men #40, the younger Jean Grey confirms to a young Bobby Drake that he is indeed gay as per the longstanding fan theory based off of his general lack of romantic success. Uncanny X-Men #600 ultimately reveals that this is also true of the modern-day Bobby Drake.
    • The 2024 one-shot X-Men Blue: Origins finally makes the Fan-Preferred Cut Content of Mystique and Destiny being Nightcrawler's biological parents by way of Mystique turning into a man to impregnate her girlfriend destiny canonical, as fans had never liked either Nightcrawler's original human father, Baron Christian Wagner, nor his retconned true father, the demon/demon-like mutant, Azazel.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert:
    • Without meaning to, Scott Adams made Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light, look similar to Dilbert's boss. A reader asked if they were brothers, and Adams decided to indicate as much in a mini-arc.
    • When Adams wrote a week-long series involving a cat character that he didn't intend to use again, he got a flood of fan emails not only wanting to see more of the cat, but all calling him "Catbert" even though Adams never named him. Adams himself said "When a group of fans spontaneously and unanimously name a character for you, it's a good idea to keep him."
  • While it means it'd be harder to make new Garfield Minus Garfield comics, Jim Davis addressed its concerns about Jon slowly going mad from loneliness in the actual Garfield strips, including making him and Liz an item.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): The idea of Ren Serizawa — who here has Adaptational Heroism — in this fic joining Apex Cybernetics as a spy, instead of being a willing part like he was in Godzilla vs. Kong was originally suggested on the author's Tumblr, where it gained further support from other users before it ultimately got incorporated into the story.
  • A fan omake for Advice and Trust detailing the collapse of FAR civilization and the history of Adam and Lilith as Star-Crossed Lovers who Cannot Spit It Out was added verbatim during the fight against Arael when Rei ended up accessing Lilith's memories.
  • Downplayed with The Calvinverse; the name was originally derived from its trope page (when asked about it, one of the authors responded with a Shrug of God). The same person acknowledged it near the end of the author's notes for the final chapter of Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • A Darker Path draws extensively on reader suggestions, including basing In-Universe forum posters on real commenters, and sometimes incorporating entire (adjusted) scenes from omakes. Even the protagonist's signature weapon was originally a reader idea.
  • A fanfiction author wrote how Grim and Mandy ended up getting married in Grim Tales from Down Below, and Bleedman added the whole thing in. Both this and the Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi feature quite a lot of this, with one of the most notable early instances being the addition of the Rowdyruff Boys.
  • Several small aspects of the Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality revised canon were proposed by posters to the author's blog; for instance, the distribution of Stable Time Loop-inducing Time Machines to students in order to deal with their class schedules is, canonically, due to wizards looking at the hard problem of writing a conflict-minimizing schedule given classes and requesting students and brute-forcing it with magic. Yudkowsky establishes early on that wizarding math basically stops at trigonometry. Presumably, you have a lot less incentive to learning how to work within the laws of the causality when you can just ignore them.
  • The author of Intercom has on several occasions drawn inspiration from her own work's TV Tropes pages.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's Morph Weapons were named Altair and Vega after being proposed on its WMG page.
  • Nobody Dies is particularly notable for going meta, with multiple fan fictions of it. A few of them, like The Kei Files and The Story of Nerv-Alaska, were canonized and referenced in the main material. Sometimes it also happens just from the discussion threads:
    Poster: Also, Colbert in a high-ranked American government office would SO explain Go-kun's original AI.
    Gregg: It's canon in my book! [sic]
President Colbert later makes an appearance in the story.
  • In Paper Mario X 2, Spike wonders whether Sonic's middle name is "the" (and eventually Sonic confirms it himself). In Sonic Boom, Knuckles wonders if Sonic's middle name is "the." Keep in mind that PMX2 came out over five years before Sonic Boom.
  • Past Sins:
  • Someone in the chat watching the Pokémon Tabletop Utopus Region stream suggested calling the Caterpie-sized Giratina the party had befriended 'Chibitina'. The players immediately leapt on board with this and it is still referred to by that name 200 episodes later.
  • The Pokéumans fan series then developed fan series of its own following its particular idea, which had plenty of scope in it. Certain concepts and terms used in the spin-offs made it into the original Pokéumans, from simple things like the term "Extinctionists" to The Board of Dream Messengers, in the wake of the ridiculous number of protagonists with a Spirit Advisor which is now a community-wide concept.
  • Two of Jakayrta's stories in the Poké Wars universe are regarded as canonical by Cornova himself.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Some reviewers took to calling the Dark World version of Applebloom "Saint Applebloom" due to her characterization in that timeline. Eventually, this is shown to be how the Apple/Pie family refer to her.
    • One piece of Recursive Fanfiction gave Discord the full name of Discordance Apophis Typhon. This was eventually made canonical, with Typhon becoming the surname for all the draconnequi.
    • Numerous recursive fanfics have declared part of the established multiverse.
    • This piece of fan art (a sequel to a certain scene in Dark World) was eventually inserted into the fic.
    • Alexwarlorn noted that despite describing Pandora with a fox's tail, fan art kept showing her with a lion's tail instead. Eventually, he had Discord comment that Pandora went through a phase where she replaced her lion tail with a fox's for a while before going back.
    • The Nameless Passenger in Dark World is eventually revealed to be an evolution of Nightmare Purgatory from the "Fading Futures" Recursive Fanfiction.
  • "Uncyclopedia (which is online encyclopedia like Wikipedia) said I was writing story called Quarter-Life: Halfway To Destruction and don't know where come but I decide to write anyway."
  • The Raven's Plan:
    • Commentators took to referring to the rock that Edmure used to kill Black Walder Frey with as "the Tully Rock of Doom". Several chapters later, Tyrion notes that people in-universe have started calling it that.
    • One commentator took it a step further, writing lyrics for a song called Rock of Doom, which ended up incorporated into the story.
  • To Fuel The Guttering Flame: After Chapter 12, readers noticed that Bludgeon's text (which was black with white highlighting around it, as a reference to IDW!Bludgeon's black text boxes) showed up in the quote boxes as long empty quotes. One of the readers noted it seemed like an effect that could happen to actual Transformer memories in-story. Cue Chapter 22, where Catalyst notices Bludgeon is invisible to all of her sensors except her primary optics.
  • Skyhold Academy Yearbook has an In-Universe example: students Rory and Jim write Real-Person Fic about their teachers at the eponymous school. They submit one of their stories for a writing assignment, and Varric finds it so hilarious that he reads it out loud to the other teachers, two of whom are the subjects of the story's romantic plot. Something their fictionalized selves do in the story amuses them so much that they start doing it for real, later leading Rory to comment, "Our fanon is canon." [sic]
  • This fan-made Credits Medley to Sonic Generations: Friendship Is Timeless was picked up by the author and used in the final chapter of the story proper.
  • Luigi's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Crusade has him firing elemental blasts from the Poltergust 3000. A similar Final Smash ended up becoming Luigi's Final Smash in the actual Super Smash Bros. games starting with the 3DS and Wii U installments.
  • In the original version of Star-Crossed Crusaders (which also adapated JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The 7th Stand User), the climax reveals that Jotaro's future is the same until where Stone Ocean should have taken place, much to Vins' confusion. This is followed by how The Path to Heaven is missing from Dio's diary, ultimately revealing it's because of Made In Heaven's collapse, and Pucci no longer exists. This is one interpretation of Stone Ocean's Reset Button Ending, since what happened to the rest of the cast was left unclear in the manga. The anime would then provide some clarity that adds up with this interpretation in its final credits sequence, which the fanfic predates by 5 years.
  • A reviewer proposed during the St. Galleria arc of The Tainted Grimoire to have Luso get Parivir clothing when he actually becomes a Parivir. The author worked this into the story in Chapter 65.
  • Not only were several fan suggestions incorporated into Dangerverse, but also several fans (and their preferred canon significant other) included in the stories.

    Films — Animation 
  • While The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo only had 11 of the 13 ghosts from the Chest of Demons recaptured in the series' run due to no ghosts being recaptured in the first episode and the ship captain from "Ship of Ghouls" not being explicitly identified as one of the 13 ghosts, it was common speculation among fans that the ship captain from "Ship of Ghouls" counted as a ghost from the Chest of Demons. Tim Sheridan, the writer of the direct-to-DVD film Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost, stated in a tweet that he counted 12 ghosts being recaptured with "Ship of Ghouls" included, which suggests that the ship captain being one of the 13 ghosts is now canonical.
  • A video game called The D Show stated that the Beast from Beauty and the Beast was named "Adam." Disney ignored it for years but eventually came along to it. A plaque at Walt Disney World states his name is Adam and the live-action remake has him as "Adam" as well.
  • Frozen (2013): A fan sent Jennifer Lee a tweet saying that the fans had been calling Hans' horse "Lemon". She liked the idea and named the horse the Norwegian equivalent, "Sitron".
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: The concept of the Light Fury, a white female version of the Night Fury to be Toothless's mate, is taken directly from the fandom, although they did make her an entirely separate species instead of being a female Night Fury like the most common fandom variation.
  • The LEGO Movie features several characters referring to LEGO pieces by their Fan Nicknames, such as a 3063 Brick, Round Corner 2x2 being called a "macaroni brick."
  • Leroy & Stitch: In this film finale to Lilo & Stitch: The Series, the titular Leroy was named by Dr. Hämsterviel but not given a proper experiment number by anyone. Most fans (as well as wikis) numbered him 629 since Jumba made 627 (as Gantu pointed out in the film) and 628 (which was seen only as a pod in 627's episode).note  Eventually, his number was finally established to be 629 in June 2020 through a two-part side story of Stitch & the Samurai within the Japanese version of Disney Tsum Tsum, although fans in the Anglosphere never got his part of the side story in English and instead got their confirmation through a licensed sticker book in 2021.
  • Fans of The Swan Princess have often assumed that Odette's Missing Mom must have died in childbirth, since she never appears even in the opening scenes when Odette is a baby. In 2023, the second-to-last sequel, The Swan Princess: A Fairytale Beginning, revealed that she did indeed die when Odette was born.
  • In a 2015 interview, Brian Howard and Rich Moore, directors of Zootopia, confirmed a fan theory that Robin Hood (1973) (another Disney animated film exclusively starring anthropomorphic animals) was set within the same universe during the middle ages. Moore brought up that the questioning fan had been the first to propose the idea.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ever since Alien was released, there has been a persistent fan theory that the Xenomorphs were actually biological weapons. The argument goes that the Xenomorph is simply too powerful a predator to have evolved naturally, and there is no ecosystem that could have supported it. Since there was a ship with a bunch of Xenomorph eggs on it, which appeared to have been crewed by a completely different species, the theory went that the pilots of the ship (the so-called Space Jockeys) created the Xenomorphs as a biological weapon to use on their enemies. The ship crashed and the crew was killed when one of the Xenomorphs got loose. Many years later, Prometheus confirmed most of this.
  • When an aficionado asked the creator of the Na'vi language from Avatar if the word for "star" (tanhì; pl. sanhì) also was used for the Na'vi bioluminescent freckles, he said, "Sure, why not?"
  • The Dark Knight doesn't reveal The Joker's true origin, but that hasn't stopped fans from trying to Wild Mass Guess it. The most popular one is that he was formerly a soldier before turning to crime, which would explain his proficiency with military-grade weapons (most notably a rocket launcher) and his targeting of government bureacrats like Harvey Dent. This theory was mentioned in The Dark Night Manual, a promotional book released to promote The Dark Knight Rises, as a possible origin for the Joker.
  • DC Extended Universe: The idea that Calvin Swanwick (Harry Lennix) was secretly the Martian Manhunter originally started as a fan theory all the way back to Man of Steel. Zack Snyder liked it enough to canonize it in Zack Snyder's Justice League.
  • After discussing a fan theory that Get Out (2017) was a sequel to Being John Malkovich with Catherine Keener playing the same character in both movies, directors Spike Jonze and Jordan Peele decided it was canonical.
  • Godzilla's original Japanese name, Gojira, is generally accepted to be a portmanteau of the Japanese words for "gorilla" (gorira) and "whale" (kujira). So....GorillaWhale! Americans decided "God Lizard" was a better name. While the Japanese still call him "Gojira", Shin Godzilla makes a side comment that the name means "Incarnation of God" and some characters in the Japanese movie use the name "Godzilla" as well.
    • For years, fans referred to Mothra as "Queen of the Monsters" due to her participating in the second-highest number of films of all Toho kaiju. Come the MonsterVerse, and this title becomes her main Red Baron.
  • The very last scene of The Grifters is a distant shot of Anjelica Huston's character driving away down a dark street. Just before the Fade to Black, a man dressed similarly to John Cusack's character runs across the street. When someone asked the producer, Martin Scorsese, if it was Cusack's character, he reportedly replied, "Sure, why not?" In actuality, it was just some random civilian who wasn't supposed to be in the shot.
  • Harry Potter:
  • A throwaway line in Home Sweet Home Alone reveals that an adult Kevin McCallister now runs a home security company, confirming a popular theory that Kevin eventually put his experience fighting the Wet Bandits to good use by designing home security systems.
  • The Fan-Preferred Couple of Haymitch/Effie in The Hunger Games was popular enough to get it more than a passing nod in the movie versions, becoming particularly evident in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2, where the Ship Tease becomes too obvious to be anything but intentional and eventually leads to a hinted-at Relationship Upgrade. It probably didn't hurt that Elizabeth Banks was one of the fans in question.
  • Rio from Jem was considered Latino by fans despite the official consensus being that it's unintentional. The 2015 live-action adaptation has a Latino actor play him.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring features an elf in the Council of Elrond scene who is literally onscreen for three seconds, says nothing, and indeed is barely noticeable standing behind Legolas. But fans, being fans, latched on to this character (played by Bret MacKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame) and formed stories and relationships around him, bestowing upon him the name "Figwit" (an acronym for "Frodo is great... who is that?!"). So big was his fanbase that he was brought back for The Return of the King, actually given a couple of lines, and—though officially credited as "Elf Escort" — is called "Figwit" in the filmmakers' DVD commentary. Canonization was complete when MacKenzie's character appeared in The Hobbit, this time named onscreen as Lindir ("the singer").
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • On April 18, 2017, Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige confirmed that all of the Stan Lee cameos in Marvel movies and TV shows are related, which was later reiterated when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 revealed that he is an informant for the Watchers. This was a nod to the popular fan theory that Stan Lee was really Uatu the Watcher, with James Gunn even saying he got the idea to have Stan working for the Watchers from message boards.
    • On June 26, 2017, both Feige and Tom Holland confirmed another popular fan theory, that the kid in the toy Iron Man helmet whom Tony saved from one of Justin Hammer's out of control military drones in Iron Man 2 was in fact Peter Parker.
  • The Phantasm "phandom" has long used term "Sentinel Spheres" to refer to the silver spheres. They are occasionally referred to as such by Don Coscarelli during the DVD commentaries as well, suggesting that he's adopted this term for them.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End featured one of these when Keith Richards was written into the film as Captain Teague, Keeper of the Code and Jack Sparrow's father after, as Terry Rossio put it, "the world collectively woke up one day and decided that Keith Richards was going to be in these films." This was likely due to Johnny Depp discussing it in interviews, since Richards was an influence on Depp's portrayal of Jack Sparrow.
    • In the same film, Barbossa's first name is "Hector", an idea that was worked out privately with Depp and Rush while filming Curse of the Black Pearl, and caught on with fans after Depp mentioned it in the DVD commentary.
    • Lt. Theodore Groves, played by Greg Ellis, was just "Groves" in the first movie, but fans took a shine to him and gave him a first name and a backstory, much to the actor's surprise and delight, and the creators were onboard.
  • The official Puppet Master comic book series confirms that Andre Toulon's villainous actions in Puppet Master II were the result of him Coming Back Wrong after his resurrection—which had long been a popular fan theory about why his characterization in that film differs so strongly from how he's portrayed in the prequels.
  • The ending of Saw 3D in which Dr. Gordon is revealed to have been acting as an accomplice to Jigsaw ever since escaping his trap at the end of Saw was a long-standing fan theory before finally being written into canonicity.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek (2009) canonizes Uhura's first name of Nyota; it was assigned by either William Rotsler or Vonda N. McIntyre, depending on who you ask, and endorsed by Nichelle Nichols and Gene Roddenberry, to the point where it was in general use for decades but simply had never managed to make it into a canon production. The same movie canonized the names George and Winona for James T. Kirk's parents, coined in a novel by McIntyre.
    • Star Trek VI finally made official Sulu's personal name of Hikaru, which also originated in a McIntyre novel a decade earlier.
    • Kirk being from Iowa was fanon before Star Trek IV. Someone told Nicholas Meyer, who was one of the film's writers, that Kirk was from Iowa. Consequently, it ended up in the film and became canonical.
  • Star Wars:
    • Boba Fett has maybe 20 minutes total screen time in the original trilogy and gets knocked into a pit by a blind guy, but has been written about so much in the Expanded Universe that George Lucas himself has promoted him clawing his way out of the Sarlacc to canonicity with little more than "sure, why not?" It had reached the level of fanon that Boba Fett's armor was the type worn by the predecessors of the Imperial Stormtroopers during the Clone Wars (this was based on a statement in the novelizations, which said the armor dated back to the Clone Wars). This ended up being excruciatingly close to the truth — the Clone Troopers' original armor was a mass-produced version of Jango Fett's armor without most of his cool gizmos.
    • Long before The Force Awakens, the name Captain Phasma existed way before Disney registered the trademark for the name, in the fan fiction Tarkin's Fist published in 2009, Phasma was the 10-year-old daughter of an Imperial Admiral. Her name was eventually adopted by Lucasfilm for the commander of the First Order Stormtroopers, and she was geared with a chrome Stormtrooper armor originally designed for Kylo Ren.
    • For years, the nature of the Death Star's Weaksauce Weakness — that a space station the size of a moon could be instantly destroyed if a pair of small projectiles could fly down a small exhaust port and trigger a chain reaction — was simply so specific that some fans theorized that the design flaw was deliberately engineered. Rogue One makes it a plot point by having Galen Erso, one of the key architects of the weapon, create that hidden weakness. He did because he believed that the Empire would never discover it, and was aware that, unlike his colleagues, the weapon would be used frequently under the Emperor's rule. It's only thanks to the mission to retrieve the plans that the Rebel Alliance ultimately succeeds.
    • On the subject of the Death Star, many fans have wondered why the Emperor didn’t instead build a massive fleet of Star Destroyers with the resources it took to create one Death Star. Years later, The Rise of Skywalker has Palpatine return from the grave and do exactly that, with an added bonus of each ship being equipped with a planet-destroying laser of their own.
    • Solo officially canonizes a popular fan theory about Han Solo's famous Kessel Run. For years, seemingly every Star Wars fan had their own favorite explanation for why Han bragged about making the Kessel Run "in less than twelve parsecs" in A New Hope, since a parsec is a unit of distance rather than time. Some believed that it was an intentional error, meant to demonstrate that Han was just talking out of his ass; others believed that he was surreptitiously testing Luke and Obi-Wan's knowledge of space travel, and wanted to see if they would correct him; others believed that he was bragging about the Millennium Falcon's navigational capabilities, referring to the specific route that he took through the Kessel system that only a fast ship would be able to make safelynote . The last explanation was incorporated into the film as a major plot point: Han once took a particularly dangerous shortcut through the Maw Cluster while smuggling valuable cargo from Kessel, allowing him to complete the run in a much shorter distance than normal. It also incorporates the "talking out of his ass" theory by Han insisting to skeptical onlookers that it's twelve parsecs "if you round down".
    • Solo also confirmed the popular theory that Vader's famous theme tune "The Imperial March" is an in-universe military anthem used by the Galactic Empire (though this had already been done in Star Wars Rebels). Sure enough, it can be heard playing in the Imperial recruitment video that Han watches in the opening scene in the Corellia spaceport.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), the Turtles and their outfits look very similar to popular aspects of the “realistic fan art" in the fandom look, especially Raphael's clothing.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • In Transformers (2007), a very common fan theory was that Starscream was among the F-22s that fire on Megatron in the climax. The producers haven't said definitely that it's canonical, but their stance so far has been "Sure, why not?" The tie-in comic The Reign of Starscream acknowledged this by having Starscream consider it, but decide not to. In the sequel, after Megatron is revived with the help of Scalpel, he accuses Starscream of this while beating him with his own severed arm. Starscream responds in a way that leaves it uncertain.
    • When one of the writers was answering fans' questions in a forum topic on the movie's website, he was asked how Bumblebee was suddenly able to speak at the end of the movie. His answer was that the healing laser Ratchet used earlier in the movie had repaired Bumblebee's vocal processor. When another fan suggested that Bumblebee was healed by the AllSpark, which was clearly shown to heal another damaged Transformer earlier in the movie, the writer admitted that this explanation made more sense than his answer.
    • A lot of fanfics center on the idea that Bumblebee was raised by the Autobots with Optimus himself usually being his central parental figure. In Transformers: Age of Extinction, Optimus confirms he raised Bumblebee when discussing moody teens with Cade.

  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:
    • Countless fanfiction stories from the 2010s (The End of the World, The Victors Project, Johanna Mason: They Will Never See Me Cry, We Must Be Killers, Cheating Death: Those That Lived, Checkmate (Anla'Shok), etc.) imagine that the mentors for the Hunger Games gather together in an official building to watch the Games and mingle with each other, even though it is never said in the original trilogy. This story has the mentors watching the Games together and working out of the same building.
    • While the original trilogy never actually says when 1, 2, and 4 became Career districts, many fanfiction stories assume that they produced some of the first victors and either were Careers from the start or had a leg up at becoming Careers. This story mentions that 1 and 2 tend to have an advantage even at this early point in the Games, and the District 4 tributes in this story are part of a proto-Career alliance.
    • Multiple fanfiction stories went with the idea that the Hunger Games originally had one low-tech arena that was used for the first several Games, and that is the case here.
    • In the vast majority of The Hunger Games fanfics before this book, District 12's first victor was never around long enough to mentor Haymitch in the 3rd Quarter Quell, and Lucy flees into the wilderness within a year of her victory in this story as well.
  • In the Cradle series, the Sword Sage's real name is unknown for much of the series, and the fandom took to calling him "Tim" (likely referencing Monty Python's famous wizard). Wintersteel's prologue reveals that his name is "Timaeus Adama".
  • In the Discworld series the fans tended to picture Sam Vimes as being a bit like a shabbier-dressed Clint Eastwood while author Terry Pratchett saw him as being more like Pete Postlethwaite. When Paul Kidby became the cover artist for the series, he used both inspirations to create his version of Vimes.
  • In the Goosebumps "Night of the Living Dummy" sub-series, Slappy the Demonic Dummy is brought to life by reciting the incantation "Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano." In the TV series adaptation of the book "Night of the Living Dummy II" (aired in 1996), Slappy taunts the protagonist by telling her, "You read the magic words. Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano. You and I are one now." There's nothing in context indicating the last sentence was meant to be an English translation of the preceding one, and no episode, book, Word of God, etc. ever confirmed it was supposed to be, but whether due to a sincere misreading of the line or an intentional Sure, Let's Go with That, the fandom decided that the incantation literally means "You and I are one now" in a fictional language. The first official material ever to state the incantation means "You and I are one now" was a promotional booklet released for the film adaptation in 2015 (where Slappy says it to the reader).
  • Harry Potter:
    • After The Film of the Book made "I shouldn't 'ave said that!" into Hagrid's catchphrase, it became one in the books as well.
    • When it was brought to Rowling's attention that Marcus Flint seemed to have repeated a year, her response was "Either I made a mistake or he failed his exams and repeated a year. I think I prefer Marcus making the mistake."note 
    • Near the end of Deathly Hallows, a singing Peeves uses the name "Voldy" to refer to Voldemort. The fandom invented this dismissive name: Rowling said on her official site that she "thought it was very amusing when [she] found a chat room full of people calling him 'Voldy'." Examples of other terms that originated in fandom discussions, later to be adopted by Rowling herself and used in the last two books, include DADA (for Defense against the Dark Arts), the Trio (for Harry, Ron and Hermione) and the Marauders (for Peter Pettigrew, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and James Potter; note that although their Marauder's Map is introduced by Rowling in Book Three, they were first collectively called "the Marauders" by the fans).
    • Lupin's facial scars, which are never described in the books, appeared in fanart before his appearance in the third movie.
  • In the Honor Harrington series, the names "podnought" and "SD(P)" for missile pod-laying superdreadnoughts were originally Fan Nicknames used on David Weber's web forum. They got made official.
  • Philip Pullman was once asked why certain minor characters in His Dark Materials have daemons who are the same gender as they are (most people have daemons of opposite gender and the narrative says so). When his questioner asked if it meant that those characters were gay, he basically said "sure, why not" — he had never actually come up with a reason for it.
  • Peter Goldworthy's Maestro features a piano teacher/virtuoso living in Darwin, Australia, having fled the Nazis from his native Vienna. As Maestro is a high-school study favorite in Australia, it spawned a classroom theory that this was intentional on the part of the author: Having fled from Der Wien in Austria to Darwin in Australia was a metaphor showing that the maestro had never really come to terms emotionally with his forced migration. On part of a speaking tour, one high school student finally got to put this theory to the author, and ask if it was true. Peter Goldworthy's memorable response: "It is now." (Unfortunately for this theory, "Der Wien" is ungrammatical in German — "der" indicates male gender, while the city is grammatically neuter (das Wien) and the small river for which it was originally named is female (die Wien).)
  • My Little Pony (Generation 4):
  • Occasionally happens with the works of Tamora Pierce (Tortall Universe and Circle of Magic) when talking to her fans on fora or blog posts. For example, one reader said that naturally Delia of Eldorne's tower prison would include magical barriers. Pierce's reply? "Oooh, yes!"
  • The Trakata lightsaber combat, Star Wars fanon made canonical by Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook.
  • Armistead Maupin had already named his Tales of the City secretly transsexual character Anna Madrigal when a fan pointed out that this name was an anagram for “a man and a girl”. He later had Anna claim that she had chosen her new name specifically to give this "clue".
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Someone suggested on the Facebook of the authors that there should be a Super Edition about Yellowfang. A few months later, they announced that the next Super Edition would be called Yellowfang's Secret.
    • Dawn of the Clans, the Fan Nickname for the fifth arc, became the series' official title.
    • Though it hadn't been said at all in the books, the fandom generally suspected that Deadfoot was Crowfeather's father, due to their similar coloration and the fact that Deadfoot was the one who suggested Crowfeather for the prophecy. Vicky later confirmed it as canonical.
  • Xanth:
    • Prince Dolph (who is not yet eighteen) manages to find himself engaged to two different women, both of whom have to marry him Because Destiny Says So; one, Nada Naga, because of a prophecy, and the other, Electra, because she's under a curse that will kill her if Dolph doesn't do it. Obviously, he can't marry them both (though Dolph doesn't understand why not), and to make matters worse, Dolph is enamored of Nada and lukewarm towards Elektra, while Nada is indifferent to him but Elektra loves him with all her heart. Piers Anthony's originally planned resolution, which Magician Grey Murphy gives them as the official 'solution' to their problem, is that Dolph must marry Electra, divorce her the next day, and marry Nada (using various love potions to make things easier). However, a reader spotted a loophole in the prophecy — to "marry" someone can also mean to perform their wedding ceremony. After reading this fan's letter, Piers Anthony quickly rewrote the ending, and Dolph and Electra get to remain Happily Married.
    • It would be remiss to mention Xanth Fanon and not mention the puns, which are a form of Ascended Fanon all of their own. Early in the series, a few puns worked their way into the stories. A few young readers sent in pun suggestions, which Piers Anthony included in the next novel in the series and mentioned the readers by name in the author notes. Now Xanth is known for being full of these puns, which have directly and completely shaped the world, taking it from a rather static fantasy world to something decidedly more, and Piers Anthony is now known for his ungodly huge (chapter-sized) author notes thanking every single reader for every single pun he uses. To the point where he has spent the last several books asking his readers to ease off. He's repeatedly said the books would be much easier to write if the readers stopped trying to help him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Coulson's death in The Avengers (2012) was being undone in fanfic as soon as the movie came out. Subsequently, Agents not only establishes that he's alive, he's the lead character of the series, and ABC even borrowed the fandom's "#CoulsonLives" slogan as part of their advertising campaign. The film itself arguably laid the groundwork for the character's survival, however, so how much was planned in advance and how much is this trope is open to some debate.
    • Before Season 2, a lot of comic fans have written fanfics that included the comic book character Mockingbird, often depicting her as good friends with Coulson. Once she appeared, everything checked out.
  • Babylon 5: In the episode "Shadow Dancing", a ritual (one of the 333 Minbari marriage rituals) is mentioned whereby Delenn must watch Sheridan while he is sleeping in order to see his "True Face". A Usenet user commented "So a man's true face is all mushed up against the pillow and drooling?". A few months later, this is referenced in the episode "Atonement" by Sheridan when the ritual is performed.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), Leah Cairns (who played the pilot Racetrack) famously started integrating Unresolved Sexual Tension with Helo into her character after she discovered a piece of Helo/Racetrack fanfiction (in which the pilot attempted to seduce Helo and failed) and read it out loud at a cast party.
  • The characters Cecily and Halfrek in Buffy the Vampire Slayer weren't supposed to have anything to do with each other either than both being played by Kali Rocha, but after many fans theorized that Halfrek (a demon) could have been undercover as Cecily, the writers made a small reference to it, and got its own story in one of the comics.
    • During the course of the show, Dawn's middle name was never revealed. An early Buffy fanfic writer decided that her middle name was "Marie", and this "fact" quickly spread to the point that most Buffy stories out there that mentions Dawn's middle name at all has it be "Marie." During a Q&A, one fan asked Joss Whedon if it was true that Dawn's middle name was "Marie" and he sort of shrugged and said, "Sure, we'll go with that. Dawn Marie Summers." He then made a hand movement that was vaguely like crossing one's self and said, "Pax vobiscum, it's official. Her middle name is Marie."
  • Charmed fans were convinced that Piper's unnamed third child from the finale would be named Melinda, after the daughter she had in the future in "Morality Bites". This is despite Piper mentioning that, when she thought Wyatt was going to be a girl, she had planned to use the name Prudence instead. The Season 9 comics gave the child the name Melinda, making this canonical.
  • Cobra Kai, the Sequel Series to The Karate Kid, takes the "Daniel was the real bully" Alternate Character Interpretation as its main premise and runs with it.
  • In Community, the overwhelming fan response to the semi-accidental Jeff/Annie pairing seems to have influenced writers to have Jeff/Annie make out in the season 1 finale.
  • A rather startlingly major example with Dawson's Creek: Dawson and Joey were originally supposed to be the Official Couple who ended up together long-term, with Pacey as merely a funny Reckless Sidekick. However, Joey and Pacey eventually became the Fan-Preferred Couple to a strong degree, and as a result, they end up together in the series finale.
  • In the Desperate Housewives Season 5 finale, Mike gets married to a woman whose identity isn't revealed. The woman was supposed to be Katherine, but because of insistent fans, plans were redrawn and Susan became the bride.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Season 6B theory first came into wide circulation via the nonfiction book The Discontinuity Guide, written by fans-turned-pros Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping; the BBC would later adapt this into an episode guide on their official website. The theory argues that the Second Doctor continued adventuring in some capacity after he was captured by the Time Lords but before he regenerated at the end of Season 6. The theory was used to plug up continuity holes in some multi-Doctor stories, and has been used in Expanded Universe stories such as the Past Doctor Adventures novel World Game by Terrance Dicks, which takes place entirely during this phase of the Doctor's life.
    • Eve Myles' characters Gwyneth and Gwen Cooper were originally meant not to have any relationship to one another, but fans continued to speculate about it. The Series 4 finale briefly "explains" the resemblance as "spatial-genetic multiplicity": in layman's terms, the Cardiff Rift copied Gwyneth's appearance onto Gwen.)
    • "The Doctor's Wife" confirms three whopping big theories that had been around for decades. Yes, Time Lords can change sex when they regenerate. Yes, the TARDIS' unreliability in taking the Doctor where he wants to go is deliberate on its part. And finally, yes, Doctor/TARDIS is canonical. Thank you, Neil Gaiman.
    • Part of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech in "A Good Man Goes to War" sees then-current executive producer Steven Moffat saying "Sure, why not?" to his past 90s fan self.
    • Moffat had earlier ascended into canonicity, in "The Girl in the Fireplace", his theory that the reason why the Doctor refuses to give his true name to anyone, even to his companions, the people he loves and trusts most in the whole universe, is because there is a dark secret behind it that he can never share. This later became a plotline at the end of Series 6, when it's revealed that the reason the Silence are so eager to kill the Doctor is to prevent the Question being answered; the oldest Question in the universe, hidden in plain sight... "Doctor Who?!".
    • In "Asylum of the Daleks", Moffat incorporated a full-size model Dalek that Russell T Davies had made as a fan, thus bringing it into the canon.
    • Ever since "Blink", fans have wondered if a Weeping Angel would be frozen if it saw its own reflection in a mirror. Six years later, a vignette in "The Time of the Doctor" confirmed the theory.
    • "Flatline": After much speculation by fans and conflicting claims during previous eras, the Doctor explicitly states that the TARDIS can adjust the effective mass of its materialised casing, and that it doesn't weigh the same as all of its internal contents (agreeing with fan arguments that, if it did, it would crack the crust of the planet).
    • The Thirteenth Doctor confirmed a longstanding fanon theory that the Doctor could regenerate into a woman. It was of course established prior with Missy and Kenossium that Time Lords can regenerate into Time Ladies, but Twelve regenerating into Thirteen finally confirmed it.
    • Fans were shipping the Thirteenth Doctor and her companion Yasmin "Yaz" Khan. Yaz admitted her feelings in Eve of the Daleks, and the following month at the Gallifrey One convention, it was revealed that this wasn't the original plan, but they went with it after Jodie Whittaker told showrunner Chris Chibnall about the popularity of the ship.
    • The "support group" scene at the end of "The Power of the Doctor" canonises the very common fanon that most or all of the Doctor's former "contemporary Earth" companions are quietly in touch with one another.
  • Fallout
    • The series introduces the popular fan theory about the Vault Boy, the mascot of Vault-Tec, and his iconic thumbs-up pose, stemming from a (literal) rule of thumb regarding using your thumb to judge the distance of a nuclear explosion: if your thumb covers the mushroom cloud, run for the hills; but if the mushroom cloud is bigger than your thumb, don't bother running.note  The series also reveals that Cooper Howard, the actor who portrayed the Vault Boy in Vault-Tec's advertisements, threw it in.
    • The series also confirms a long-standing fan theory about the cause of the Great War: Vault-Tec started it by dropping the first nuke.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • While the term "warg" (a noun meaning "one who can psychically control animals") is used throughout the books, the act of doing so is consistently called "slipping your skin" or "entering" the animal. The verb form, "warging", was a common shorthand in the fandom for years before it finally showed up on the HBO series.
    • A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons feature a mysterious character named Coldhands, an undead Wight who has somehow retained his free will. Many fans believed him to be none other than Benjen Stark, a member of the Night's Watch who disappeared early in the story. Author George R. R. Martin eventually Jossed this, but the character's debut in the TV series makes it clear that — at least in the show continuity — the two are one and the same.
    • The survival of Sandor Clegane. In the novels there's a hooded gravedigger at a monastery that fans believe is Sandor.
    • The idea that the Targaryens are naturally Immune to Fire due to their Valyrian ancestry (making Daenerys' statement "Fire cannot kill a dragon" literal rather than metaphorical) was a popular bit of fanon for many years before the show came out, despite George R. R. Martin stating that it wasn't true: while Dany does survive the blaze that awakens her dragons, that was only intended to be a one-time deal (she was protected by the magic that awoke them). Nonetheless, Game of Thrones makes it canon: in the show's continuity, Dany apparently is impervious to fire, as seen when she survives the burning of the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen in Season 6.
  • Glee:
    • In order, there's Finn's mom and Kurt's dad getting together, Rachel and Puck hook up once again (as well as the Ascended Meme that is Puckleberry) and Artie finally having a dance number.
    • Santana and Brittany's Relationship Upgrade, which started out as a fanon theory before becoming an inside joke for the fandom and then a full-blown storyline.
    • "Heart" gives us two more in Sugar and Rory as well as Karofsky being in love with Kurt.
  • The city where the North American half of Highlander takes place in was officially named Seacouver after fans began using the name to refer to the previously unnamed city.
  • In Kamen Rider Gaim, there was a rumor that Takatora would defeat Mitsuzane and claim his Melon Energy Lock Seed and Genesis Core, becoming Jimber Melon Arms (a form which was previously unseen in the show). While in actuality Mitsuzane won the fight and the form remained unused, it finally made its appearance in a sequel book, used by Takatora as rumored.
  • Lost:
    • The unnamed bearded man who kidnapped Walt in Season 1 was given the nickname "Mr. Friendly" by the writers (because of his polite demeanor), a nickname which caught on with fans. Even after his name was revealed as Tom, press releases continued calling him Mr. Friendly. At Comic-Con 2010, the writers just shrugged their shoulders and gave the character's official full name as "Tom Friendly".
    • Another instance also involves Tom: at one point he mentioned that Kate, the show's most desired woman, was "not his type". Immediately fans began a running joke that he was gay. The actor heard about it and liked it, and started playing Tom that way (albeit subtly). Eventually the writers put it in the script.
  • In a host segment of the Jungle Goddess Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, Joel introduces the bots as Jackie Gleason did with his fellow cast members at the end of every episode of The Honeymooners, prompting him to introduce Crow as "Art Crow!" (a reference to Art Carney). A child fan of the show missed the reference and sent Best Brains a drawing of the cast labelling Crow as "Art" under the impression that that was his actual name. The letter was shown on the show, and ever since Crow was occasionally called "Art" (usually by Pearl Forrester) as a Running Gag.
    • This even ended up being ascended into another show. In the series Other Space, Joel Hodgson plays Zalian Fletcher, ship's engineer, and Trace Beaulieu, original voice of Crow, voices Zalian's robot pal, named A.R.T.
  • On NCIS, fans were absolutely floored when the writers decided to take two or three of the most popular Fandom Specific Plots in the Tiva fandom and make them canon in the season 13 finale. In season 11, Tony and Ziva have a vague Relationship Upgrade after she leaves NCIS and returns to Israel, where he tracks her down but she declines to return to the US with him. Following that, the most predominent fanfiction trend involved Ziva finding out she was pregnant with Tony's child after he left, usually a daughter, named Tali after her deceased sister. This trend was so common it was almost considered cliche. In "Family First," that is exactly what happens, right down to the secret child being a girl named Tali. The response from the fandom was half "wow, I can't believe they went there" and half "hey, I've read this fic."
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • The show used some Fanon from Frozen (2013) — where fans believed that The Snow Queen from the original story existed in the same universe as a separate character. Other Fanon said that she was related to Elsa in some way. Once Upon A Time's fourth season used both ideas, with both Elsa and the Snow Queen appearing. And the Snow Queen is quickly revealed to have been Elsa's aunt.
    • Fanfiction had been shipping Mulan and Aurora due to the amount of Les Yay in their episodes. A few months later it was revealed that Mulan actually is in love with Aurora (though the latter doesn't know and is Happily Married to Philip).
  • Power Rangers:
    • The tendency of the fandom to refer to the Power Coins by their totem animal rather than their color has absolutely no basis in the series itself, and its earliest known use was in the fanfics of Fandom VIP Joe Rovang. However, as this caused a great deal of confusion when discussing different sets of coins with the same color, his precedent was followed above the show's. This is particularly apparent when Disney's official site for PR used "Dragon Coin" for the Green Ranger's Power Coin, as Rov did, rather than "Dragonzord Coin" as the morphing call used in every episode featuring the Green Ranger would imply.
    • As it only originated in obscure production documents from Saban Entertainment, Billy's surname of "Cranston" was known mostly by fans. When Disney later culled the knowledge of these fans to construct their official site, they just ran with it. This also led to the Ascended Fanon status of Jen and Katie's surnames from Power Rangers Time Force.
    • In Power Rangers S.P.D., among the A-Squad members, only Charlie was actually named, so the fans made up names for the other four and the creators agreed, even though the names themselves were never mentioned on-screen.
    • The evil-negating energy released by Zordon's sacrifice at the end of In Space was dubbed by fans "the Z-Wave". It wasn't until the 30th anniversary special Once and Always that it was referred to as such in canon.
  • In The School Nurse Files, the director agreed with a fan theory that Kang-sun changed how the jellies look to Eun-young.
  • Scrubs:
    • Neil Flynn was reportedly asked if J.D.'s inexplicable crippling fear of pennies stemmed from the infamous "penny in the door" that began the perpetual feud with Flynn's Janitor. His response: "I have no idea who you are or where you come from, but sure, why not?"
    • The character "The Todd" originally had no last name. That was, until a fan noticed that he was wearing a nametag with the name Quinlan. This was just a random prop, but thanks to this fan he is officially Dr. Quinlan.
  • In the Smallville episode "Hex", Chloe's lampshade-heavy summary of some of the bad "development" she got is suspiciously similar to some fan's negative take on it.
  • With regard to the end of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, writer Steven DeKnight has said in an interview that so many fans tweeted him that survivors Agron and Nasir are going to own a goat farm and live happily ever after, that this is now his head-canon as well.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter were originally not intended to have romantic feelings for each other. Only when the fans began the Jack/Sam ship did the show writers realize that, indeed, the chemistry was there, and began working this into their story. Whether or not it was actually to the benefit of said story, though, is another question.
    • The well-known, but largely insignificant, character of Walter Heriman got his name through a combination of this and Throw It In!. He originally had no name at all in the script and was never addressed by name on screen, but in an early episode when General Hammond referred to him as "Airman" (a member of the Air Force) fans misheard it as Heriman and took it to be his last name, the writers caught on and it soon became official. His first name came courtesy of Richard Dean Anderson throwing it in as an ad-lib in the middle of a shoot, someone on the set said "uh, that's not his name" to which Anderson replied "it is now" and so it came to be.
      • Was there any Radar O'Reilly connection? There was a strong vibe there... (It's also unclear from canonicity if his first or last name should be Walter, since you'd expect a General not to call a very junior aide by his given name.)
  • Star Trek:
    • The Klingons' gaining forehead ridges between the original series and the movies and later series has long been a subject of fan speculation. In a question and answer session at a Star Trek convention just after Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released, James Doohan (Scotty) joked that the ridges were from all the tribbles he beamed to the Klingon ship in The Trouble with Tribbles. In the Deep Space 9 Time Travel episode "Trials and Tribble-Ations", two popular fan theories, including the tribble theory, are brought up by two non-Klingon characters, but are told by Worf that Klingons don't discuss the situation with outsiders. Odo seems to accept the tribble theory, joking about the great tribble hunt.. Eventually, the prequel series Enterprise, which had ridged Klingons, had to tackle not just the "how'd Klingons get ridges?" question, but "how'd Klingons lose their ridges and then get them back?" A multi-part episode shows it happening in a way that actually incorporates both theories. Another Fanon theory, which hasn't been endorsed by the powers that be yet, is that they underwent cosmetic surgery in between TOS and DS9. The real reason, which is not hidden, was the low budget of the original series, which was not intended to be so big. They seemed to have shot themselves in the foot by having Kor, Kang, and Koloth from the original series show up in Deep Space Nine as modern Klingons but the novel "Rules of Engagement" explained that away: the genetic engineering had been reversed. That and the in-series canon explains why the Enterprise Klingons do not look more like the TOS Klingons. This is probably why the deleted scenes from the Star Trek (2009) film show Klingons on Rura Penthe wearing masks. However, ridged Klingons do appear onscreen in Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, but smooth-faced ones don't, so the whole thing has basically become a Continuity Snarl at this point.
    • "Future Guy"'s name in Star Trek: Enterprise came from fans on the internet, and eventually the producers of Enterprise used it as the character's actual name in the script.
    • In the pilot episode of Star Trek: Picard, a Betazoid logo created by a fan for the 2007 fan-work called "Birth of the Federation 2" showed up on a Betazoid trophy in Picard's storage, thus becoming canonical.
    • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds:
  • In the final season of Supernatural, the show made incredibly popular fanfiction pairing Destiel half-canonical, having Castiel declare his love for Dean before being dragged to the Empty even though the show had outright made fun of the concept in previous seasons and often treated slash shippers as a Running Gag. Be aware, though: Cas is an angel, so it may not mean what the fanon writers want it to mean.
  • Torchwood:
    • After thousands of fan fiction stories, Ianto Jones now makes the best cup of coffee in the world, to the extent that it's one of the reasons he got a job at Torchwood in the first place.
    • The name for Torchwood's pet pterodactyl, "Myfanwy", started as an off-screen joke by cast and crew but made it onto the extra-textual website canon if not the show itself. Though a few years later she has been referenced by name in a Big Finish audio. (She is now insured against everything that can happen to a pet dinosaur.)
  • Ugly Betty:
    • A whopper in the first season: "The Masked Woman" who appeared frequently early on was strongly implied to be Fey Sommers, presumed dead after a car crash. She even made occasional appearances at her grave site and the Mode offices as part of a scheme to drive Bradford Meade insane and/or land him in jail. Thanks to rampant fan speculation, "The Masked Woman" was instead revealed to be Alexis Meade, presumed-dead son of Bradford and Claire, who faked his death and underwent a sex change after Bradford disowned him for wanting to be a woman. She came back to rub it in.
    • To a lesser extent, Daniel's realization of his romantic feelings toward Betty in the series finale was a Shrug of God to very vocal shippers who had boycotted the show after creator Silvio Horta declared that Daniel and Betty would never be paired as a couple.
  • In The Umbrella Academy fans believed Vanya to be either gay or bisexual despite only having a male love interest in the first season, no doubt in part by her portrayal by Elliot Page. Come season two, she gains a female love interest.
  • On The Vampire Diaries, Caroline and Klaus's budding relationship seems to be a result of an almost Crack Pairing that was popular in fanfiction.
  • In Watchmen (2019), the long-standing fan theory that Hooded Justice faked his death is given a nod in the Show Within a Show American Hero Story, which posits that "Rolf Muller" was an imposter, and the real Hooded Justice went into hiding during the Red Scare. And then the series gives its own little twist: Hooded Justice was actually a bisexual Black police officer named William Reeves, who concealed his ethnicity using the hood and makeup during his superhero career and then just abandoned the hood and makeup when he retired, allowing him to live anonymously for decades.
  • The X-Files writers started hinting about Mulder's porn obsession after it became popular with the fans.
  • Young Sheldon apparently used a fan theory about a controversial story as a retcon to save a character. George was supposed to cheat on Mary with Sheldon catching him while home on Spring Break. Instead, Mary cosplays as a German barmaid for George and Sheldon ends up seeing that.

  • The Beatles:
    • Their tenth studio album is officially named The Beatles, but to help distinguish the name from the band itself, fans took its Minimalistic Cover Art and used it to create the name The White Album. The actual members of the Beatles would take to adopting the fan nickname for the album themselves in press talks later down the line, as it rolled off the tongue easily and was a good naming distinction.
    • In "Come Together", the line "Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease" was originally supposed to be "Hold you in his arms yeah" but it was so commonly misheard that the Blue Album had the former on its inner sleeve, and John Lennon liked the former lyric more and so all of the covers of the song have the words "his armchair".
  • Jackson Browne's Self-Titled Album had a cover design styled after a water bag, with the words "Saturate Before Using" on it. Fans began to refer to the album as if that was the title. When it was issued on CD, "Saturate Before Using" was printed on the label and the spine, making it the title.
  • Elvis Costello's "Less Than Zero" was basically a Take That! to English politician Oswald Mosley, but American listeners who'd never heard of Mosley tended to think the "Mr. Oswald" referred to in the lyrics was John F. Kennedy's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. So when Costello first toured the US and Canada, he started playing a version with substantially rewritten verses that were in fact about Kennedy's assassination. The "Dallas Version" of the song can be heard on Costello's live album Live at the El Mocambo, recorded in Toronto in 1978.
  • In "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the actual lyric is "There's a bad moon on the rise," but it was often misheard as "There's a bathroom on the right." John Fogerty has been known to sing this line in live performances of "Bad Moon Rising."
  • Some fans of Custard mistook the "D" in the band's signature typeface for an "O", which led the band to credit themselves as Custaro in some of their album artwork.
  • Eurodance group DCX decided to rework an anime illustration for single covers of two remixes of their song "Flying High" after a video that featured a known Nightcore remix of their song used that very same picture.
  • On March 18, 2012, Deadmau5 produced the instrumental track of "The Veldt" on his live stream, posting it to Soundcloud. The next day, he found a vocal track for the song on Twitter, created by Chris James. Pensive at first, he nonetheless listened to it. He was so impressed by the track, how it completely fit the theme of the song, that he made it the official vocal track, earning it a place on "The Veldt EP" and ">album title goes here<."
  • Devo's "Whip It" was originally meant to be an inspirational song addressed to President Jimmy Carter. Naturally, though, people thought it was an Obligatory Bondage Song or about masturbation. This amused them, and they kind of enforced the first interpretation with the music video.
    Jerry Casale: "We didn't want to ruin it and tell them the truth, because they just wouldn't get off on the truth."
  • Around 2010-2011 there were several rumors that Drake and Nicki Minaj were dating or secretly married. They ran with this, and in Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" video, they get married. Drake also mentions it in one line of his song "Miss Me", "I love Nicki Minaj/I told her I'd admit it/I hope one day we get married just to say we fucking did it".
  • After the chorus of Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene" was famously misheard as "I'm a little man, and I'm also evil, also into cats," friend of FOB member Pete Wentz and frontman of Cobra Starship Gabe Saporta made a YouTube video where he showed off a fake tattoo of a cat and said he got it because he was "also into cats."
  • Peter Gabriel released four Self-Title Albums between 1977 and 1982. To differentiate them, fans gave them nicknames based on their cover art: Car, Scratch, Melt and Security (its U.S. title bestowed by Gabriel's then-U.S. label, Geffen Records). Gabriel's reissues from 2002 onwards referred to the albums by those titles.
  • "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix; the lyric "excuse me while I kiss the sky" was so commonly heard as "excuse me while I kiss this guy," that Hendrix changed it. He was also known to point and kiss in the direction of a guy (usually his tour manager) immediately after singing the line.
  • After the release of Paul McCartney's album Memory Almost Full, it quickly got around that the title was an anagram: "For my soulmate LLM [his deceased wife's initials]". He responded to inquiries about it in an interview:
    I must say, someone told me [about the anagram], and I think it's a complete mystery, because it's so complete. There does appear to be an anagram in the title. And it's a mystery. It was not intentional. But you know, I like those things, when things happen like that. It's kind of spooky. When I heard about that, I thought, "Should I just sort of say, 'I didn't know about it,'" or should I say, 'Some things are best left as a mystery,' and smile enigmatically?" So that's tending to be my reply.
  • Meat Puppets' debut EP officially had No Title, with the band's name being the only text on the cover. Fans started calling it In A Car after the first song on the album, in order to prevent confusion with the Self-Titled Album. Now In A Car is considered the proper title, as band members have called it that and it appears under that title in most discography listings.
  • A possibly apocryphal story has it that National Velvet originally wrote their song "Sex Gorilla" as "Sarsaparilla", but after the song made its live debut, a fan told them how much they enjoyed that "Sex Gorilla" song, and they were amused enough by the mondegreen that they altered the title and lyrics accordingly.
  • Nirvana ended up using the song title "Verse Chorus Verse" twice: Once for an unreleased but heavily bootlegged outtake, and a second time for their contribution to the No Alternative benefit album note . To differentiate between the two, fans started calling the latter "Sappy", which was a known Working Title. The 2004 rarities box set With the Lights Out included both songs, with the No Alternative contribution officially listed as "Sappy".
  • After The Owl House fandom latched onto the song "Little Miss Perfect" as an unofficial anthem for Amity's feelings for Luz, the song's composer Joriah Kwame wrote a sequel song called "Ordinary" that was specifically supposed to be from Luz's perspective.
  • The song "Alive" by Pearl Jam, wherein the lyrics are about a widowed woman who grows sexually attracted to her son because he looks just like his deceased father, a textbook example of Lyrical Dissonance. This hasn't stopped fans from embracing it as an anthem of celebrating life. Eddie Vedder, having written the song partly from his own experience, gradually found that what he saw as the "curse" of the song had been lifted by fans' more uplifting interpretation.
  • Radiohead read a reviewer's description of an early live performance of the then-unreleased "15 Step" which compared it favorably to Aphex Twin among other things and decided to tweak it to make it sound even more like what the reviewer was describing.
  • Michael Stipe had a tendency to sing indistinctly on the early R.E.M. albums, which never contained lyrics in the liner notes, leading to many fan theories as to the true lyrics. "Sitting Still" from Murmur contains the line "We could gather, throw a fit." When one fan told Stipe he had thought it was "We could gather through our fear", Stipe told him "No, but that sounds great. I might use that. It's probably far superior to what I wrote, actually."
  • Starflyer 59's first two albums were both officially self-titled. Fans distinguished them by referring to them as Silver and Gold (after their respective monochromatic covers). Tooth & Nail Records made these nicknames official by rereleasing the albums with bonus tracks under the titles Silver: Expanded Edition and Gold: Expanded Edition.
  • The extended fan remix of Mariya Takeuchi's "Plastic Love" that launched the song to international fame on YouTube in 2017 was officially released as a Record Store Day-exclusive 12" single in 2021, complete with the "Sweetest Music" cover art.
  • In They Might Be Giants' song "Ana Ng" the line "Where the world goes by like the humid air" is often misheard as "Where the world goes by like the human hair." They occasionally sing the mondegreen instead of the original line live.
  • Tom Lehrer never actually specified what "it" in "I Got It From Agnes" was. Some form of STD was always a possibility (and fit very well along side the rest of Lehrer's ouvre) but the AIDS epidemic in the US made that interpretation ubiquitous. Lehrer chose to roll with it.
  • Twisted Sister's "We're not gonna take it" has always been "Huevos con aceite" ("Eggs with oil") in Spanish-speaking countries. Dee Snider always sings it that way for Spanish audiences.
  • Vocaloid:
    • Crypton's Rin and Len Kagamine were originally supposed to be mirror personalities of each other, but fans interpreted them as twins. Crypton responded accordingly by making their description ambiguous.
    • Haku Yowane and Neru Akita are fan-created Vocaloids that have been acknowledged by Crypton as semi-official, to the point that they've made regular appearances in Miku's rhythm game series, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA.
    • flower's V4 boxart, depicting her with masculine clothes and a short haircut, was based off a piece of Rule 63 fanart inspired by her Tomboyish Voice.
  • A statue of Frank Zappa in Vilnius, Lithuania, basically has this as its backstory.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fics posted to the Muppets fansite Muppet Central have long tended to portray Robin the Frog's parents as divorced, after a 2005 fic handled the subject with special poignancy and sensitivity. The Muppets (2015) eventually canonized their split in the episode "Little Green Lie".

  • Because Ruby Quest was an interactive story on 4chan, anybody could post anything in the thread. The author, Weaver, tooks several bizzare suggestions seriously, including putting a severed hand up a pneumatic tube — "there it goes..." and blending several other body parts into a GODAWFUL SMOOTHIE. (This last one may be what pushed Red over the edge.) Besides the inevitable trolls, there were quite a few pieces of original fanart. The author included several visual items, including a sort of trident spear tied to a longer handle broken off something else, carried by Ace, as well as the visual design of the mutated doctor Filbert.
  • A popular joke among the handlers on Survival of the Fittest during V4 was that characters who went inactive were fed to the inactivity bear. Then Megan Nelson went two weeks without a post, the admins dropped her into a cave, a scream was heard, and the rest is history. The bear's name is Kenny, by the way.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech canonized the fan-character Randolph P. Checkers, the beloved "mercenary professor" persona of Tex of the Black Pants Legion, most known for his highly popular series of Tex Talks Battletech lore videos. He is officially recognized as an in-universe character in the BattleTech Expanded Universe novel Children of Kerensky via a prologue delivered by Dr. Checkers himself.
  • Dungeons & Dragons kobolds. Originally, they were seen as the creatures goblins made fun of; weak monsters barely fit to be XP fodder. Then came the legend of Tucker's Kobolds, which turned the small and weak creatures into nightmarish Trap Masters who fought smart, fought dirty, and employed every possible tool in the box to make sure no adventurer made it out of their warrens alive. The kobolds made their way into a Dragon article, and kobolds' skill with traps and ruthlessly Lawful Evil cowardice and scheming made it into Monster Manuals forever afterward.
  • One very popular fan theory about the Eberron setting is that the cause of the event known as the Day of Mourning, in which the nation of Cyre was destroyed by a Fantastic Nuke in the form of a strange mist of unknown origin, is that Cyre was actually taken by the mists into the Ravenloft setting. This is one of the mysteries of Eberron that the creator has said will never be given a canonical answer because it is meant to be left to the DM to decide what the truth is. However, possibly as a reference to this theory, the book Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft confirms that a small part of Cyre really was taken into the Ravenloft setting on the Day of Mourning.
  • Exalted:
    • In an accidental case of Ascended Fanon, it was a common fan belief that the Three Spheres Cataclysm destroyed 90% of reality; one writer confused this for canonicity, wrote it into "Dreams of the First Age", and has been apologising for it ever since.
    • In a less accidental and more awesome example, the authors at White Wolf added "Elegant Nova of Progression" to the list of canonical Alchemical Exalts when they published Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • MTG had an entire wing of its design inspired by this. Early on, players came up with the idea of "Limited," a way to play where each player brought a small amount of unopened booster packs instead of a deck. Each player would build a deck that 2/3 the normal size out of these cards and then play each other. This proved to be so popular that sets began to be designed with Limited in mind starting with 1996's Mirage expansion. Limited is now divided into multiple formats and is a part of nearly every major tournament. In fact, most new collectible card games include some form of Limited straight from the get-go.
    • Similarly, the format/alternate game type known as EDH/Commander. Originally invented by Judges waiting for events to get started, the game is notable for its extra rules, both in deck constructionnote , and in game play note , as well as its focus on multiplayer; games with 4-6 players are common. It's since exploded in popularitynote  to the point that it's theorized that it's the most played format in the entire game.
  • Traveller has, through its multi-decade run, collected a wide variety of officially published interesting places to visit, distributed over a span of space that takes years to cross even with the fastest ships in the setting. Travellermap started as an unofficial compilation of all these places. As of Mongoose Publishing's second edition, specifically the Great Rift books, this is not only canonical, but a thing that actually exists in-universe: a "widely distributed" "astronavigational database" written for travellers (read: for Player Characters) by the Travellers' Aid Society. The (less canonical) edges of the map are still being explored, so naturally they are updated over time. All discrepancies are explained: scientific anomalies (especially in areas with no habitable planets) are left off because that is not the target audience for the map, military secrets are not available to the mappers, conflicts with prior published charts are things the mappers are no longer sure were there in the first place, and so on.
  • Warhammer
    • In the Storm of Chaos campaign, the members of an Orc fansite and forum (Da Warpath) were getting increasingly annoyed (and increasingly vocal) about being sidelined in the campaign background. Some members were also writing background pieces and fan rules, such as DEMOLISHER, one of the Orc Warbosses, falling off a bridge on his boar and the use of the Squigcannon of Gork. Then some of the later campaign newsletters came out, with references to an Orc Warboss falling off a bridge on a boar and squig-firing cannon... And the campaign ended up with the Orcs ultimately winning.
    • An edition update made the "rolling double 1s on a Leadership test means an automatic pass, regardless of modifiers" house rule an official rule, and White Dwarf magazine explicitly stated this was because the house rule was so common most players assumed it was official anyway. (It had always been a rule in Warhammer 40,000.)
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Some of the results of the major Games Worskshop tournaments dictate canonical events. This is part of the explanation behind the results of the Tyranid invasion of Macragge.
    • In the Eye of Terror campaign, three Disorder players advised other players where best to attack. They called themselves the Triad. The next campaign newsletter detailed the lore of what happened, especially the Galactic Conqueror... and his advisors, the "mysterious group known only as the Triad." Another fan, on the Tau Empire Third Stage Expansion front, posted messages as "Sa'Caea Sally", a human sympathizer urging the citizens of the Imperium to join the Tau. This also got a mention in the newsletter, and in the 4th Edition Codex.
    • There was also one particular Order player, Canoness Astra, who had a Sisters of Battle army that coordinated the defense for one of the sectors of the war and got special mention in the game newsletters and in the summary at the end of the war.
    • During a campaign the Orks were expected to try to hinder the Tau expansion. Unfortunately for the Imperium the Ork players were unhappy about being shafted like that, and instead banded together to start the 'Green Kroosade' which wound up with them sacking an Imperial Forge World. 'The Green Kroosade' was mentioned in name in official articles after the Eye of Terror.
    • In the Medusa V campaign, Dark Eldar leader No'Akei (herself an Ascended Extra from a White Dwarf battle report) suffered a Bolivian Army Ending in the campaign wrap up, specifically because so many of the Dark Eldar players had wanted to betray her.
    • Similarly, the Obelisks of Galahar that became central to the Craftworld Eldar objective were originally the creation of a player called Sabbad. Also, no fewer than 3 fan craftworlds (Tyriande, Vassiera, and Reia-Hal) were promoted to canonicity in the campaign summary.
    • There are multiple (probable) references to the fanfic Love Can Bloom in one of the Dark Heresy sourcebooks. Among others: LIIVI, the Vindicare Assassin, speaking a quote straight out of the Dawn of War game, and one of the chapters depicts a Vindicare stalking an Eldar Farseer.
    • Another fan-made character, adept Castus Grendel of The Guy Who Cried Grendel (originally a character in somebody's Dark Heresy game who, despite having no combat skills, managed with some lucky rolls to defeat several Daemons, an Ork warboss and assorted other big nasties) is referenced in one of the sourcebooks.
    • And another one: Fan character Alice Boone of The Ragged Edges was a low-grade psyker who was saved from sacrifice at the Golden Throne by her status as a governor's daughter, and was transferred into the Ordo Xenos. A sourcebook mentions a piece of Imperial folklore that follows this word for word, and features a quote on the same page from "The Boons of St. Alys."
    • Commissar Dan is apparently canonized and still ordering his soldiers to make frontline charges with Basilisks in the Only War sourcebook; though his infamous "charge, you pig-fuckers" battlecry is tragically cut short.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game has had various 'Master Rules', the official rulebook that comes in the OCG which changes the gameplay slightly and explains the new game mechanics. The first three were Master Rule, Master Rule 2, and Master Rule 3. The next two were the New Master Rule and Master Rule Revision April 2020 — but, for convenience sake, the Oddly Named Sequels are simply called Master Rules 4 and 5. Then, in the lead up to the latter, official side events official referred to it as Master Rule 5.
  • Cyberpunk RED: Youtuber Seth Skorkowsky told a famous story about a clever plan Gone Horribly Right in his Cyberpunk 2020 days. His players were on a mission to rescue a rich kid from a minor gang holed up in an old warehouse in the Combat Zone. They spot a "For Sale" sign and call the realtor to set up a showing. Freezing up for a name, Seth blurted out "Scott Brown." Scott Brown is a perfectly normal real world realtor in Seth's native Texas. The players figure while the punks are being told to clear out, they can snatch the kid and get him home. The realtor arrived and proceeded to beat homeless people, then wave around a hand canon while blasting punks and shouting, "Scott Brown, m***'s, get the f*** out! I got a showin'!" Their simple rescue now is an active shooter scenario. Sure enough, Seth's story goes viral, and by the time of Cyberpunk RED, Scott Brown is a little Easter Egg in Night City's scream sheets. Apparently Scott Brown is hard core in the Cyberpunk universe.
    • The Scott Brown company has seen the video and they seem to think it's hilarious. They have no ill will towards Seth's story.

  • Be More Chill:
    • In the initial Two River production in 2015, Michael's sexuality is left ambiguous. Because of that as well as the lack of a Two River bootleg allowing for more room for interpretation, many fans at the time headcanoned Michael as being gay, and often portrayed him as wearing an LGBT flag patch on his jacket. The LGBT flag patch was made official in the 2018 Off-Broadway run and the story hints more at him being gay now. Official productions from here on keep this, making it canonical.
    • Fans came to the consensus that Rich used to have a lisp before his Squip made him work past it. This never received any nod in the Off-Broadway run, but it became canonical once it moved to Broadway - at the end of the show, once the Squip is gone forever, he has a lisp again.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • The names of the Hitchhiking Ghosts at The Haunted Mansion (Gus, Ezra, and Phinneas) were thought up by Cast Members, and eventually became popular enough in Fanon that it was semi-officially adopted.
    • Another Mansion example. For years, fans thought that a small circle of metal embedded in a brick outside the ride's exit was either Master Gracey's or the Bride's wedding ring, which was thrown from the attic window (in Gracey's case, he tossed it before committing suicide, while the Bride was said to have hurled the ring out of grief for losing her husband). The real explanation was far more mundane—the metal was the remnant of an old post used to keep guests in a line—but the theory became so pervasive that when the Mansion's queue got a massive remake, the Imagineers included a small wedding ring hidden in one of the bricks.
    • Heck, even the main character's name is a bit of Ascended Fanon. One of the joke tombstones in the queue reads "Master Gracey, Laid to Rest—No Mourning Please at His Request." Riders began to assume that this "Master Gracey" was the "master" of the house, and quickly began ascribing him every role, from the Rapid Aging man in the foyer's painting to the "Ghost Host" to the hanging corpse in the Portrait Room. None of these were the case (in fact, the term "master" was used by the servants of a household to refer to every male but the owner/patriarch, who was simply called "Sir"; the owner's official title would probably be "Lord"), but as before, Disney eventually canonized the term in both the 2003 movie and a series of comics based on the ride.

    • A previously unnamed team of heroes, with mostly unnamed members, was used to explain a bizarre similarity in names. The volcano that housed Ta-Koro and the Makuta's lair were called Mangai and Mangaia, respectively. A fan had the idea that the aforementioned team be called the Toa Mangai, Mangai meaning protector, with the volcano being named after them. Mangaia would then be an archaic version of the same word, the lair being named that before Teridax's Face–Heel Turn. This led to many of Mata Nui's locations being retconned into being named after fallen friends of the Turaga/Toa Metru.
    • A higher-profile example is that a group called the Piraka used turrets called Nektann, and when another member of their race showed up in a story, a fan suggested "Hey, maybe the turrets were named after him?" The writer was like, "Okay," and wrote the newly-christened Nektann into a web story to make it official. A couple years later, it was promoted to the toyline when Lego made a new Piraka toy that didn't match any of the existing characters, so it was decided that it would be Nektann.
    • This phenomenon has elevated to such heights that the fans have formed an official Story Squad that let people vote for whichever idea they would have liked to make canonical. If the "Aye"s outweighed the "Nay"s, the proposals were taken to official story writer Greg Farshtey, who then approved them, but only if they were to his liking. As with many things, this upset a number of fans, since the majority of voters also had a "Sure, why not?" attitude.
    • Later on, Farshtey was denied access of fansites, so fans began dumping canonization requests at him through other means. This means that, even though the original BIONICLE storyline and universe has been abandoned for years, new ideas, concepts, names and retcons are still carelessly added to it in an unrelenting pace, and without the consent of the larger fan-base. Basically, it's a canonization free-for-all — no matter how pointless or how many long-time fans it might upset, if a fan idea has any sort of basis in the established canon, it has a good chance of becoming canonical itself.
    • Although Farshtey is no longer a Lego employee, he returned to declaring various fan creations canonical in 2020 when the TTV Forums began fan contests to design various Toyless Toyline Character's missing from the original series, first via Lego creations then finally finalizing an official design via an art piece. Considering the Bionicle fandom is mostly adults now, the contests offered some stunning builds and art pieces, even resulting in custom 3D printed parts. Although the contests would mostly be remembered for the memetic near victory of Hoseryx, a commedically low effort figure that nearly won the first contest.
  • In Masters of the Universe the race of the pre-accident Skeletor blue elf Keldor is known as "Gar" and has been officially referenced as such in the Classics toyline bios. This is because in the 2002 MYP Cartoon series there is an island called Anwat Gar. This is a clever play on the name of the Asian city of Angor Wat. The only resident of Anwat Gar is Sy Klone, a character based on the vintage toy that happens to have a blue face. So it is reasoned by the fans that Sy Klone must be a blue elf (by virtue of his skin color) like Keldor. And wouldn't "Gar" be an obvious name for the race, since it could be reasoned that Anwat Gar sounds kinda like it could be a foreign term for "City of Gar" or something like that? After years of common usage by fans on fansites, etc, Mattel decided "sure, why not?" This extends to the point that the modern DC comic series depicts Gar military uniforms looking almost identical to Sy-Klone's outfit.
  • Star Wars fans pleaded and petitioned for years with Kenner to make a Slave Leia (Leia in the metal bikini from Return of the Jedi) action figure; such a figure was #1 on Wizard magazines Top Ten Most Requested Action Figures for months. Eventually, Kenner did indeed create one. (It caused some controversy among Moral Guardians until Carrie Fisher herself set them straight by reminding everyone that Leia had been captured by a "giant slug" who forced her to wear it until she used the chain to strangle him.)
  • Transformers:
    • This appears to be pretty much what happened to the toyline-only Beast Wars character Sonar. Due to a gender-neutral bio, they were eventually labeled female by fans, and then it appeared in the official BotCon comics, and everything else followed suit.
      • The original toy of Rhinox came with what was intended as a spinning melee weapon. However, the show retooled it into a gun, which fans dubbed the "Kickass Chaingun of Doom." When the toy was rereleased for the series' 10th anniversary, the name (minus the "kickass" part, for obvious reasons) made it onto the box art.
    • Decepticons who turn into planes are referred to as Seekers. This term was possibly invented by the fandom and got adopted as the official term, but there are still questions over whether an old catalog advertisement citing them as "Decepticon Seekers" influenced the use of the term years later.
    • The official Universe bio on Ratchet ascends his typical fanon interpretation as a cranky old doctor (at odds with his original G1 bio which notes that his love of partying interfered with his duties), while Wheeljack's Generations bio makes reference to his lab exploding on a regular basis—something not indicated in his original G1 bio, but a popular event in G1 fanfiction.
    • In Transformers (2007)'s movie tie-in comic, a reader emailed in-character as their neutral fan-character and flirted with Barricade, asking to play "Bad cop bad-cop-pretending-to-be-good-cop." He flirted back. It is now pretty much canonical that Barricade likes chicks.

    Visual Novels 
  • Several publishers specializing in localizing visual novels, notably MangaGamer and Sekai Project, have used Fan Translations for their releases.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss:
    • Starting with Blitzo in the second episode, characters in the show have been referring to Moxxie and Millie as M&M, which is a popular ship name for them.
    • If you include the Loose Canon nature of the character Instagrams as fanon, then Blitzo's love of horses and collecting of Pony figures counts.
  • Homestar Runner: The creators admit that they refer to the Homestar Runner Wiki often, due to its "wonderfully terrifying exhaustiveness" simplifying their workload immensely. As such, the wiki is essentially considered canonical, as far as that applies for WidgetSeries such a series. As an example: the wiki insisted on referring to the "Everybody to the Limit" robot as the "Visor Robot" in spite of the character having been referred to as the "Fhqwhgads Robot" by the site itself. The fanon name was later mistaken as canonical by the creators themselves, and was eventually adopted as its official name in-universe.
  • RWBY:
    • Fans of the show took the show-wide colour-theme-naming and ran with it to produce shipping names based on each character's theme colour. In Volume 2, Ruby introduces tag-team combination attack moves, listing each pair involved in the relevant tactic by their shipping name, including Bumblebee (Yang (Yellow) and Blake (Black)) and Freezerburn (Weiss (white and uses Ice Powers) and Yang (Yellow and is associated with fire)). In Volume 3, Jaune unsuccessfully attempts to convince his team to use combination attacks that are also named after fandom pairing names, such as Arcos (Jaune and Pyrrha's surnames (Arc + "os" from Nikos)) and Flower Power (Ren, whose symbol is a flower, and Nora, who is based on Thor and therefore is the show's power-house fighter)).
    • Volume 3 ends with Ruby, Jaune, Ren and Nora joining forces to travel across the continent of Anima together, searching for answers to who the villains are and what their plans are. In Huntsman Academies, students work and graduate together as a team of four, with a colour-themed team name that is bestowed by the headmaster. As the four students came from two different teams, the fandom debated what new team name they should have for the future Volume 4 and settled on two possible options, with associated pros and cons: Team JNRR (Junior) or Team RNJR (Ranger). The creators were already calling them Team RNJR during production, but they acknowledged the fandom debate in the first episode of Volume 4, which opened to Ren, Nora and Jaune arguing about whether to call themselves Team JNRR or RNJR. Team JNRR initially wins due to Nora and Jaune favouring it, until Jaune decides it doesn't work when spoken aloud, making Team RNJR the default. At the end of Volume 5, Ruby officially calls them Team RNJR.
    • A Reddit Q&A held after the end of Volume 5 included a question about whether or not Qrow's weapon had a name. The creators admitted that the weapon didn't have a name until they spotted the fanon name "Harbinger"; they liked it enough to adopt it as the weapon's official name. Although the fanon name gained popularity due to crows being considered harbingers of misfortune and death, the creators only stated they adopted the name because they liked it.
  • At least one of the people behind SMG4 has stated that he is always looking for fan-made creations in the show's universe and looks for ways to incorporate those creations into episodes of the show in a seamless way. Needless to say, the people who made them are always super stoked when the stuff they made gets included in the show.

  • The city in .Memoria was introduced by having one of the guards assume that Nyroti's Easy Amnesia was because he was really wasted the night before and telling him "welcome to the Afterparty" as we get a view of the city for the first time. Naturally, the fans unanimously decided that "Afterparty" was the name of the city. It stuck.
  • In Awful Hospital, the author decided to make Joe and Flair an official item after seeing fan speculation about it and deciding it made sense with Joe jumping on any excuse to be miserable and hate others for it, and Flair's lust for power.
  • The Wild West-themed robot bounty hunter chasing Blade Bunny was given the Fan Nickname of the Chrome Cowboy. Some time later the author admitted they'd Got Me Doing It and the name was accepted as being as good as any. Made fully canonical in the title of his backstory.
  • Bob and George:
  • Among the many submitted fanfics posted on the website of The Class Menagerie by the comic's creator, there was one where character Mike Hopkins (a kangaroo) is revealed to be gay, pairs up with a wolf boyfriend and comes out. This became canonical in the penultimate story arc before the comic finished: Mike, previously undeclared, admits that he is gay, and the arc ends with him running into a hunky wolf in circumstances identical to those in the fanfic.
  • Cucumber Quest has Almond being ambidextrous.
  • Darths & Droids:
    • This has happened pretty consistently over the run of the series, especially where Sally is concerned. As another player's little sister (and being much younger than the rest of the group), nobody really wants to squash her creativity so they let her do some world-building — for example, the entire Gungan race, their bubble-city home, and the two-headed podrace announcer. Generally, if something just plain weird happened in the movies, it's probably Sally's idea in D&D. This page shows where the midi-chlorians came from, and then it's Jim's turn.
    • The fanfic Vermilion Coyote has Sally playing Kylo Ren, in an AU story in which Kylo Ren didn't turn to the Dark Side. It has now been confirmed that Sally is playing Kylo Ren — but in (something resembling) the film version.
  • In the case of The Dragon Doctors, this happened on TV Tropes (including a link to this page). A fan theory was posted on the comic's Wild Mass Guessing page about the delay between Tanica tearing out her life force and her beginning to wither and die in Chapter 13 — that she was being kept alive by the seed's life force — to which the author replied:note 
    Speedball: Sure, why not? It all makes sense to me, and I did mention how the seed's life force had merged with Tanica's. I was more going for Rule of Drama on the timing for when she started visibly rotting, but this works too.
  • El Goonish Shive:
  • Freefall:
    • Nickel's new legs.
    • When someone asked Mark Stanley what the FTL drive in his 'verse as called, he said "Dave." A fan suggested that this was a tongue-in-cheek acronym for "Dangerous and Very Expensive", and Mark promptly declared it canonical.
    • Stanley also included a Shout-Out to a popular Freefall fanfic. The fic featured another Bowman's wolf, Donna Morris, working as a hospital volunteer and hoping to become a nurse; Donna's name and occupation were made canonical in a casual remark by Doctor Bowman.
  • Girl Genius:
  • In one battle scene of Goblins, there was one goblin (who was somewhat fatter than the others) the fans named "Joe Chubbs", and started writing legends of him. While the author usually doesn't let himself be influenced by the fans, he decided to draw that goblin in other scenes, one of them featuring him as the only character for a few panels.
  • Homestuck: The MS Paint Adventures comics prior to Homestuck ran on user inputs, so the heavy influence of fan suggestions is a natural extension of that. Examples include:
    • "Mutie", a Fan Nickname given to the mutant kitten Rose found, became the actual nickname that Rose later gave it (short for "Vodka Mutini".)
    • Most of Grandpa Harley's collections, the Peregrine Mendicant's gender, Lord English being an Ultima Shout-Out and Dave being a redhead (the characters are drawn with black-and-white heads, even though their backgrounds and outfits are in color) were all fandom ideas originally. Hussie changed his mind on that last one, having said that logically Dave and Rose should have the same hair color. Since most fans don't agree with Rose being a redhead, they eventually mostly decided on either blonde or just blank white hair. Sometimes Dave gets strawberry blonde hair as a compromise.
    • The name of Tavros's Lusus was confirmed to be "Tinkerbull", the Fan Nickname it had had all along, and the species of Karkat's Lusus in the post-Scratch universe is referred to as "crabdad", another Fan Nickname.
    • The canonization of Gamzee having red feelings for Tavros, a Ho Yay Fan-Preferred Couple based on a single interaction. note 
    • After the mysterious villain Lord English was finally revealed, someone made fanart of him in the style of a classic monster movie poster. Then Jake English was introduced, and the walls of his room were completely covered in movie posters—and that Lord English fanart was one of the posters.
    • On his tumblr, Andrew Hussie (facetiously, we hope) declared that all fantrolls, ever, are now canonical.
      Q: Will another 12 alternate trolls be introduced?
      AH: ...How about if I introduce 10,000 new trolls? Watch this.
      I hereby declare all of your fantrolls to be canonical.
      Yes, even the shitty ones.
    • Many of the Dancestors are parodies of how the original trolls are written in fanfiction.
    • On this post in the forum, Hussie suggested that the Troll Empress could have survived the Vast Glub. The very next post in response? "In before she's recruited by Lord English as well." About a year later, that's exactly what happened. It's even funnier when a later post on that page discusses this trope.
    • While Hussie is very fond of taking interesting fan theories and canonizing them, he is still a Trolling Creator, and just because a theory becomes canonical that doesn't mean it's going to happen in a way anyone expects. Case in point: UU. By Act 6 Act 3, the theory that she wasn't actually a troll but just someone cosplaying was quite widespread, and no one was too surprised when it became canonical. What was surprising was the fact that she was revealed to not be a human, either, but a completely different species that was not revealed until that update. Well played, Hussie.
    • The many sprites in the Ministrife were drawn by a fan with apparently pretty broad discretion, and so they included a number of nods to the fandom, particularly the canonization of the popular fanon that, under his helmet, Mituna has dandelion hair — thick, Messy Hair that covers his eyes.
    • The popular fan adventure Promstuck contains a gag where Vriska shows John a spiral notebook containing her drawings, which she has Blingeed. John wonders how she was able to Blingee a spiral notebook. Much later on, in Homestuck, there is a scene where the Condesce gives Roxy a binder which is covered with gaudy animated gifs (some of them of the ICP), and Roxy wonders how she was 'able to get the clowns to dance'.
    • One page of the comic showed Karkat drawn at a very low resolution in such a way that made it look to some like he was wearing a pair of pants that went all the way up to his chest. People thought that was hilarious and began drawing him in that same way. Flash forward to when we learn about Karkat's ancestor, who is described as wearing "Righteous Leggings." Another troll says that she made his pre-scratch dancestor Kankri a red sweater because she couldn't bare to look at his ridiculous pants any longer.
    • One of the early oddities of the fandom was a popular joke going around that Shrek was Eridan's father. There was fan art of it everywhere. Eventually the fandom moved on to newer memes and completely forgot about it. Years later, in one of the most important flashes in the entire comic, at around the 10:58 mark, you can see a doomed Eridan riding on the shoulders of his loving lusus Shrek, eating cotton candy. This is also the only time Eridan smiles in canonicity.
    • At one point early in Act 6, Jane is shown to be in possession of a Detective Pony book which her friend Dirk has humorously defaced, with only a couple pages shown to the reader. One enterprising fan took it upon themselves to write a full version of the story, which gained a substantial following and many imitators, in particular the signature "meme rant". Years later, the comic's official follow-up, Homestuck: Beyond Canon would officially make this version of the story canonical, with Terezi even directly quoting the iconic line "Remember Longcat, Jane?"
  • A similar thing happens in Looking for Group, where a small girl zombie featured in a few strips gained a fandom and name of "Kalima", after the Kali god. When questioned on this at a convention, the artist Lar said (paraphrased) "Well, I guess if that many people say it, it must be true."
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • At least at one point, Rich invoked this trope to cut off rampant speculation (with the implication of, "I didn't elaborate on this more than was necessary for the story, so this is as good as any explanation"):
    MReav: I assumed the strong winds were magical in nature, and when the pyramid blew up, it rendered the magic that generated them useless.
    The Giant: Sure.
    MReav: Is that the sure of "That's exactly how I planned it" or "That's exactly how I planned it and that's the story I'm sticking with!" ;)
    jhunter_d: That's the sure of "A wizard did it. There."
  • Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho are commonly confused for actual avatars of its two designers, fueling a common joke that artists will never draw characters who actually look like them. Both real life creators mention this was never their intention; very early strips even give the characters different names, and in podcasts they talk about them as distinct people. Eventually they got tired of correcting people and decided to roll with it, incorporating more of their personalities into the characters, though at this point any real similarities are The Artifact. Mike got the same Pac-Man tattoo Gabe had, because the fans always asked to see it, and also caricatured both of them for the sake of an iPad 3 resolution joke.
  • In Precocious, Yvette's hobby was meant to be nothing more than doll-making, but people in the comments thought of voodoo dolls, and after a while, she started trying to collect locks of hair.
  • A guest comic in Questionable Content riffed on the idea that smelling different kinds of tea give Bubbles visions of different mythological equines, by showing Assam tea giving her a vision of a heavily sexualised unicorn-Faye. A couple of months later, a canonical strip had robot police officer Basilisk embarrassed by buying Assam, and even more so when Emily (a human) says "Assam smells like a sexy unicorn man to me! Isn't that weird?" While it's not canonical that Bubbbles has tried Assam, the effects apparently are.
  • Rusty and Co.:
    • In the 4th level, a fan dubbed the recently-introduced female elf band the "Pixie Chicks". The author, Mike, liked it so much he decided to "roll with it" and make it their official name. Check the comments section here.
    • Fans refering to "Yuan-Tiffany" gave the yuan-ti her name, though she was Retconned to Y.T. the lamia for legal reasons.
    • The hipster vampire siblings got their too-obscure-to-pronounce names by popular consensus, and their insulting nicknames Ezra and Koenig from the least popular (and therefore most fashionable) suggestion.
  • Sleepless Domain: Early on, fans took to calling the story's shadowy antagonist "Goops", after her vaguely Blob Monster-esque appearence; as she was never given an official name, the fan name stuck. Eventually, when the characters are dicussing what exactly this entity might be, Bud suggests giving her a dumb nickname like "Goops" to make her seem less scary.
  • Terinu's author, Peta Hewitt, borrowed the title of the "Department of Social Harmony" the Doublespeak name for the Varn Dominion's secret police/propaganda division, from a reader's fanfic, along with the idea that the Earth was beaten using a giant tractor/pressor beam to induce earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • The Wotch: Compare the first canonical appearance of the character Anibelle with the second. Now consider this non-canonical filler done by a guest artist in between those two appearances. Yeah, exactly.
  • David Willis has taken to saying "Sure, why not?" on his Formspring page and tumblr in response to frivolous questions such as "In DOA, will Ruth be breaking anybody in half?", "Does Dina read Dinosaur Comics?", and "Could you stop answering so many questions "Sure, why not?"

    Web Original 
  • For the Chaos Timeline: Some fan suggested that the head of the Socialist part of Germany should have the title "Oberster Politischer Kommissar", which became canonical.
  • Gaia Online introduced a pair of Rich Bitch twins named the Von Helson Sisters to serve as rivals for the resident Megalomaniac during a storyline in 2005. Fans speculated that since the name "Von Helson" sounded a lot like "Van Helsing", coupled with the fact that the twins had an apparently dead father named Vladmir, about half the website jumped to the conclusion that they were actually Vampires. In 2007, Gaia rolled with this and used it both as an opportunity to fill in numerous plot holes, and a chance to play off the predominately female fanbase's Twilight obsession. (The massive Vampire Stake Fest that followed more than made up for that, though.)

    Web Videos 
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall, Dr. Insano's parallel universe alternate (played by Linkara) was originally just going to be another version of Dr. Insano. However, the fans latched onto the name "Dr. Linksano" and Linkara just went with it. Ditto for them assuming Cable's gun was a literal Chekhov's Gun.
  • Thanks to Ships That Pass in the Night, The Nostalgia Critic and Ask That Guy with the Glasses were deemed incestuous twins. In a later episode of Ask That Guy, the being related part was made canonical.
  • raocow sometimes lapses into "chipmunk time" during his Let's Plays (in order to squeeze more content into the run-time of a particular video, which in the past was restricted to the neighborhood of 10 or so minutes), meaning that he undercranks the footage so that he sounds like a chipmunk, and often treats "chipmunk Raocow" as a separate character. After a fan artist on YouTube named roo525 dubbed Chipmunk Raocow "Chibi-Cow", Raocow himself started calling his chipmunk form "Chibi-Cow" as well.
  • The Spoony Experiment: In his review of the Ultima fantasy series, Spoony is a little more than puzzled by the transition to blasting spaceships out of the sky in the first game, then, much later in the series, mentions the idea that they're the alien Kilrathi from sci-fi shooter Wing Commander based on an Easter Egg cameo from a downed ship in a field... which the creator of the series admits in an interview is a very good rationalization "so I'll go with that."
  • Due to his being built up as an unstoppable god of destruction (as well as a few other similarities), fans believed that Dumplin from Team Four Star's Let's Play of Dragon Ball Xenoverse was actually a young Mr. Popo. Lanipator confirmed that this was the case in the 32nd episode.
  • WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.: The very end of "Anomaly PSA (2000)", in which a scared child watches a glitched-out Nickelodeon bumper while crying for their mother, was inspired by this piece of fanart posted to Twitter.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Catfish", Gumball says searching his name in the internet resulted in him finding fan art of himself, which are based on real ones.
  • Arthur: Fans analyzed Nigel Ratburn's stereotypically effeminate mannerisms and hobbies and spent decades buzzing about the possibility of his being gay before he married a man in Season 22.
  • Adventure Time:
    • A viewer's Fan Art character, Me-Mow the tiny cat assassin, was introduced to the Land of Ooo in her own self-titled episode.
    • Being the two oldest characters in the show, it was a fanon idea that Marceline and the Ice King had known each other in the past. Cue "I Remember You" where it's revealed they knew each other more than anyone guessed. The story was continued in "Simon and Marcy".
    • Ever since "What Was Missing" the idea that Marceline and Bubblegum used to date swiftly became a fixture in the fandom. After years of the staff refusing to comment, Olivia Olsen, Marceline's voice actress, confirmed that this was the case. Not QUITE canonical, but Word of Saint Paul anyway. As of the finale, them being a couple has been officially canonized.
  • Happened accidentally in Ben 10 multiple times. 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 Ben 10: Omniverse. This happened so many times the wiki itself had to make a list of additions and errors it was responsible for.
  • The name "Lyoko-Warriors" ("Lyoko-guerriers" in french) was invented by the Code Lyoko fans to refer to the protagonist team, who had no specific name in the first two seasons. The term was eventually made canonical starting with Season 3.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • The parody "Jingle bells, Batman smells" has been circulating since the 1970s. In 1992, the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Christmas With the Joker" had (who else?) The Joker singing the parody. And in Justice League, when the founding members (except Batman) agreed to be arrested because of an accident involving a giant laser, one of the officers asks where Batman is. The Flash says "Running late. The Batmobile, it lost a wheel. The Joker got away. That's what I heard."
    • Also in Justice League, the entire flirting between Batman and Wonder Woman came because of a scene in Gorilla Grodd's introduction episode, in which Batman, believing Wonder Woman was crushed by rubble, started digging with his hands. After escaping by herself, she saw Batman's hands covered in dirt and gave him a gratitude kiss in the cheek. Batman blushed at this, and fans believed there was something between them. While it was not the case at the time, the writers liked the idea and put it into the show.
  • Final Space: When asked about the name of the woman hitting on Tribore, Olan Rogers replied that he never thought of a name for her but decided to jokingly call her "Shannon Thunder" after her voice actress and the name of the fan asking the question. That name soon became catchy as other fans started to refer to Shannon by that name and it officially became canonical in "The Closer You Get".
  • Gravity Falls: When Alex Hirsch was asked on Twitter whether Ford had extra toes in addition to his extra fingers, he responded with "Eh, sure. Why not?"
  • Hazbin Hotel: A lot of fan work spawned from the fandom in the four years between the web pilot and the series premiere, and the show proper references some of them:
    • In Episode 2, Vox storming into his command center at the onset of "Stayed Gone" references the opening of this fanmade Vox music video short.
    • The fandom-wide portrayal of Husk purring like a cat becomes canonized in the show's BDSM club scene in the third episode.
    • Lucifer's canon reaction to being introduced to Vaggie and learning of Charlie's sexuality is a more flustered version of his reaction in this fan comic.
  • Invader Zim:
    • Fans assumed that Dib and Gaz's last name was "Membrane", since their dad is Professor Membrane. At the time, Word of God said that Membrane was actually the professor's first name. The comic continuation, however, just makes Dib's surname "Membrane", which the show itself went with as well in the movie Enter the Florpus.
    • Another example from the movie — for years, one of the most common plots in Invader Zim fanfics was Zim learning his mission is a lie and falling into a depression over it. The movie ended up using this for a key part of its plot.
  • Many fans of Kim Possible theorized that the first name of Kim's brain surgeon mother, Dr. Possible, was "Anne", because it was Kim's middle name, and her father Dr. James Timothy Possible, extrapolated from his sons Jim and Tim. The Series Fauxnale So The Drama named Kim's father thus, and the second named Anne in the series' two-part finale. To make this work, one must mention that the creators would occasionally visit fan forums.
  • Many fans liked to consider Kya from The Legend of Korra gay or asexual. Her queerness was confirmed in the post-series comics.
  • The Loud House:
    • "L is for Love" confirms the long-held fan theory of Luna being LGBTQ; to be exact, she is Bisexual.
    • Chandler McCann being Lincoln's personal bully was something that was mostly restricted to earlier fics. The character first appeared in "The Waiting Game", and for a long time that was his only major episode. While the episode depicted him as just a generic jerk and freeloader, lots of fanfic writers subjected him to the Ron the Death Eater treatment and turned him into a full blown bully who has it out for Lincoln personally. This combined with a failed attempt to redeem the character in Season 3's "Jeers for Fears" led to the writers following suit and actually making Chandler a bully to Lincoln, starting with Season 5's "Schooled".
    • Ronnie Anne and Lincoln have become a popular ship in the fandom, with fans using the Portmanteau Couple Name "Ronniecoln". In The Casagrandes Movie, Ronnie Anne has a playlist on her phone titled "Ronniecoln".
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Fan art frequently features akumatized version of Ladybug and Chat Noir, nicknamed Miss Fortune and Chat Blanc, respectively. Now, the Season 3 episode list reveals an episode titled "Chat Blanc", with a brief synopsis mentioning Ladybug fighting an akumatized Chat Noir.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • A DJ unicorn was on screen for a total of five seconds in the episode "Suited for Success". She became popular with the fanbase all the same. A meme circulated of making YouTube videos with her head-bobbing looped over various house, techno and electronic music tracks, calling her "DJ-P0N3" (in reference to deadmau5). The Hub's extended "Equestria Girls" trailer, a rewrite of Katy Perry's "California Girls", addressed the pony as DJ-P0N3, pronouncing it 'pone-three' to prove the reference. The song also used the Fan Community Nickname "brony" to refer to older male fans of the show. DJ-PON3 later made it into the toy line (and eventually, the show itself) under this name.
    • In "Over a Barrel", Fluttershy mentions how she'd like to be a tree, which became a meme. In the Season 2 episode "Hurricane Fluttershy", she tries to get out of going to the big pegasus meeting by disguising herself as a tree.
    • A gray background pony with a blonde mane had her eyes crossed and her face scrunched up in one scene of the pilot.note  Fans quickly noticed and nicknamed this pony "Derpy Hooves". She quickly started getting scripted appearances, complete with crossed eyes. In the second season episode "The Last Roundup", both her name and the fanon personality (a klutzy but friendly mare) were briefly made canonical. She was made into a "Fashion Style"-sized toy as a 2012 San Diego Comic Con-exclusive, her box decorated with muffins (an obsessive fixation on muffins being one of the most pervasive aspects of her fanon personality). She also made it into the second Fan Favorites set of normal-sized toys, with her name replaced by a muffin symbol. She's seen wearing a bag with a muffin clip on it when shopping in "Putting Your Hoof Down", then showed up twice in Equestria Girls both times holding a muffin. Also, while the comics had referenced it, it wasn't until "To Where And Back Again, Part 1" that show confirmed her job as a mailmare.
      • At this point, the only part of her fanon characterization to not make it into the show is her being the mother of Dinky, a background filly with a similar color scheme.
    • One of the background ponies with a lyre cutie mark was dubbed "Lyra" by the fans. When the fourth wave of blind bag toys were released, the pony with the same coloration and cutie mark was officially named "Heartstrings". The fans compromised by making "Heartstrings" her surname, and when the fifth wave of blind bag toys rolled around, the character was officially referred to as "Lyra Heartstrings".
    • Lyra and another background pony, Bon Bon (or "Sweetie Drops", once trademark loss required that the name, seen in her earlier merchandise, be changed — though not the Gameloft game, strangely), were frequently paired together in crowd shots due to how their color schemes matched up, leading the fans to believe that the two are either inseparable best friends or romantic partners. So influential was this fan-interpretation that the Lyra/Bon Bon pairing is the most widely accepted ship of the entire show by a long shot). The famous 2011 Comic Con poster intentionally placed the two next to each other as a nod to this (and next year's Season 2 poster did likewise), and in Season 2 they were allotted their own Funny Background Events in "Secret of My Excess" and "Putting Your Hoof Down". Furthermore, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks has their human counterparts performing a duet in the Battle of the Bands. The Lower-Deck Episode shows them as inseparable best friends with a ton of Ship Tease, and a few episodes since have also given them Ship Tease moments that are much more blatant than the subtler ones from season three. Finally, in the episode "The Big Mac Question," the two of them engage in a simultaneous marriage proposal in a Meaningful Background Event, giving the two of them a Relationship Upgrade and making them into a canonical Official Couple.
    • A similar case to Lyra's aforementioned renaming happened to minor antagonist Trixie. One of the blind bag glitter ponies bearing Trixie's color scheme and cutie mark was named "Lulamoon", presumably because the name Trixie couldn't be trademarked. Fans took it as either a last name or a stage name. The fifth wave of blind bags went with the former.
    • The official pony trading cards refer to the mayor of Ponyville as "Mayor Mare", a Fan Nickname that had been used by the fans since the character's introduction.
    • On the same card as Mayor Mare, the David Tennant-esque pony referred to by fans as Doctor Whooves was given a name and background that tied into the fanon circulating around him: Time Turner, Ponyville's official timekeeper, responsible for maintaining the town clocks, running the timer for competitions, and all other things "timey-wimey".note  And then in the official IDW comic book, he found his fob watch and got his memories back. He was later officially named Dr. Hooves (as with Trixie, the omission of the W at the beginning was almost certainly due to copyright/trademark anxiety), and played with the view that he's The Doctor regenerated as a pony (heck, they were even going to have David Tennant voice him). For what it's worth, given there was a point about it before the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special shown in theaters, the BBC are totally fine with it.
    • Speaking of the cards, they also put fan-favorite pairing (platonic or otherwise) Octavia and Vinyl Scratch/DJ-PON3 on one, despite the two never sharing an episode prior to "Bloom and Gloom" (and that was All Just a Dream). As with Lyra and Bon Bon, Tavi and DJ get a major nod to their fan relationship in "Slice of Life": they live together, and their house is painted and decorated one way on one side and quite differently on the other, divided right down the middle in a way that brings to mind the This Is My Side arguments seen in many a cartoon (hinting at a clash between their styles, though we don't see it in the same way as they do fanfics — in fact, Octavia asks Vinyl to help spice up her version of the wedding march.)
    • One of the more bizarre examples of a Fan Nickname being made official was a sea serpent from the two-part pilot given the non-sequitur name "Steven Magnet" for his toy figure. The name originally came from, of all things, a screenshot of the character with the YouTube Automatic Caption "steven magnet" below him (YouTube captions tend to be hilariously wrong and nonsensical at times).
    • Fan-art often portrayed Wonderbolt stallion Soarin as having exact same cutie mark as he does with his flight suit on. This eventually became canonical in the Season 2 finale where he can briefly be seen without it. However, he receives a new cutie mark in Season 4.
    • The Artifact of Doom from Season 3's "Magic Duel" is called the "Alicorn Amulet", referencing the fan name for Winged Unicorns like Celestia and Luna. This was later confirmed by the Season 3 finale, which uses the term "alicorn" to refer to such winged unicorns.
    • "Sleepless in Ponyville" rendered two long-standing fan theories canonical: the first being that Scootaloo views Rainbow Dash as a big sister figure, and the second being that Luna is a Dream Walker who protects people from nightmares.
    • Fans had repeatedly commented on how young pegasus pony Scootaloo never flies on-screen, some wondering if she could at all. In second-season episode "Ponyville Confidential", a nod was made to this where she frantically flaps her wings while falling out of a tree, but still lands in the mud. Eventually, "Sleepless in Ponyville" shows her in real danger due to not being able to fly. Yet it was left ambiguous whether there was anything medically wrong with her wings, or whether she was just having trouble learning to fly (Lauren Faust once responded to a fan's inquiry stating that Scootaloo "hadn't figured it out yet". This did not, however, stop a good number of fans from holding her up as a role model for people with disabilities. The fourth-season episode "Flight to the Finish" used her for what appeared to be a disability-related Aesopnote , but explicitly left it open as to whether she'd eventually fly. Five seasons later, "Growing Up is Hard to Do" showed her adult body with foal-size wings. A few days after it first aired, one of the staff confirmed that that was indeed meant to indicate an actual disability, but included the line "Fans are welcome to interpret things how they like." note 
    • In the Season 3 premiere, the villain King Sombra has shown the ability to spread his corrupting influence through severed fragments of his horn. When he was destroyed by the Crystal Heart, his horn could be seen flying out of the detonation, giving rise to the popular speculation that he could regenerate his body from his horn despite claims by Word of God that Sombra was Killed Off for Real. His official trading card has come out mentions that his horn's survival could lead to the possibility of an eventual return from him. King Sombra did eventually return in the Season 9 premiere, but it had nothing to do with his horn. Even then, he was vaporized completely after his resurrection, meaning Sombra is Deader than Dead now.
    • "Castle Mane-ia" introduces the idea of a Pony of Shadows formed from remnants of Nightmare Moon when she was banished to the moon. The origin is different, but this is very similar to the notion of the "Blessing" and the creation of Nyx in Past Sins.
    • "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 1":
      • Tirac's name is changed to Tirek, a common fanmade spelling.
      • Ever since it was first mentioned in "It's About Time", Tartarus became subject to fanfics about one (if not all) of the monsters imprisoned there breaking free. In this episode, our villain does just that.
      • "Alicorn Princess Discord". Thanks, M.A. Larson!
      • Earth Ponies being stronger than the other two tribes was a piece of fanon so common that it was near-universally accepted. There had always been things such as only earth ponies plowing snow in "Winter Wrap Up", or Cheerilee and Ms. Peachbottom's epic Juggernaut moments in "Hearts and Hooves Day" and "Games Ponies Play", respectively, and Big Mac and Maud's Running Gag of insane Super-Strength. Celestia confirms this as canonical when she mentions that "without their strength" (drained by Tirek) they would not be able to tend the land.
    • Several fan works portrayed Octavia Melody and Vinyl Scratch/DJ-PON3 as roommates. The Lower-Deck Episode "Slice of Life" made that official by showing them sharing the same house. Also, it established that Octavia speaks with a British accent.
    • In the episode "Scare Master", Fluttershy has pony versions of various anime characters hanging from her ceiling, leading to some fans thinking she's an anime fan. A trading card makes reference to this, even mentioning a few other well known anime characters as well. An issue in the official MLP comic series even depicts her as an artist with a booth at an anime convention.
    • One of the most direct examples would have to be "Keep Calm and Flutter On", whose basic premise was created by one of the fans, who then worked with Meghan on the script.
    • Fans had mused over the possibility that not all of the Pinkie clones from "Too Many Pinkie Pies" were found. When Pinkie alludes to this episode in "The Saddle Row Review", we see one of the clones looking over her shoulder.
    • The seventeenth wave of blind bags in 2016 finally made the fan nickname "Cloud Kicker" official for the blonde-maned lavender pegasus.
    • The changelings being true bug ponies with a hive, being born as grubs, etc. All made canonical via Thorax's flashback in "The Times They Are A Changeling" and delved deeper into during the finale, "To Where and Back Again (Part 2)"
    • Hippogriff Original Characters and shippings between ponies and griffons are reasonably common in the fandom. Hippogriffs were formally introduced in My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), and hippogriff characters were introduced to the show proper in season eight. (They clearly aren't what you get when a pony and a griffon love each other very much, though.)
    • Similarly, Kirin are now a thing, though they're not dragon/pony offspring.
    • Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich is a popular ship because of their similarities and excellent chemistry. The Distant Finale "The Last Problem" reveals that they got married and had a son together.
    • Fanfictions and fanart often gave Celestia an evil alter ego similar to Nightmare Moon. The name of this character varies, but popular versions include Nightmare Sun or something involving "Daybreak." The season 7 episode "A Royal Problem" had Celestia encounter Daybreaker in a nightmare scape.
    • Many fanfics featured the G1 villain Grogar in varying capacities. Come Season 9, and we learn that Grogar does exist in the G4 continuity, although the version we see turns out to be Discord in disguise as part of a False Flag Operation, meaning the real Grogar is likely still out there somewhere.
  • It was a popular Fanon theory for Phineas and Ferb that Ginger, the Asian Fireside Girl, was Stacy's little sister (probably due to there not being too many other Asian people in Danville). The season 4 premiere "For Your Ice Only" officially made this the case.
  • A popular headcanon among Rugrats fans was that Phil and Lil's parents, Betty and Howard, were a closeted lesbian and gay man married to each other. The 2021 reboot made Betty an out lesbian single mother, while so far writing Howard out.
  • In the original Scooby-Doo there was no evidence supporting anything but typical friendship between cast members, but this didn't stop the wide portrayals of certain characters as Implied Love Interests, mainly Fred and Daphne in the late 60s and early 70s, and then in contrast between Daphne and Shaggy in the 80s. But at no point was any of the franchise really presenting love interests until Shaggy's tussles in the Superstars 10 films. From then on the general stance became Will They or Won't They?, and by Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated such relationship hints became a part of the plot. And Scooby Doo Stage Fright turns it back into a subplot and throws it back to Will They or Won't They? in the very next film.
  • A theory among The Simpsons was Sideshow Bob's up-and-down bouts of mania being attributed to a heart condition. This ended up becoming a plot point of sorts in a Season 19 episode, where a vial of his nitroglycerin medication is thrown out a window and he subsequently "dies".
  • South Park:
  • When The Spectacular Spider-Man's Greg Weisman was asked if Kraven used his pet lion's DNA for his own hybrid transformation, he basically said "Sure, why not?"
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • Upon his introduction into the show early in Season 2, fans took note of Captain Rex's resemblance to one of the members of the Rebel strike team in Return of the Jedi and decided that was him. When he heard about the theory, Dave Filoni took a liking to it — and at Celebration 2017, designs for a new outfit Rex was getting in season 4 were revealed that bore a strong resemblance to the clothing of that rebel soldier... However, they ultimately didn't go through with it.
    • The episode "Empire Day" establishes that the Imperial March is the Empire's national anthem.
  • Star Wars Resistance has Neeku and Kaz infiltrate a First Order fuel depot wearing gray uniforms with orange safety vests. This is the same uniform Adam Driver wore in Saturday Night Live's Star Wars parody of Undercover Boss when Kylo Ren went undercover as a First Order radar technician.
  • While most fanon for Superjail! remains only that, the concept of Lord Stingray being yellow-skinned seems to have been referenced by the colorists for the Season 4 premiere (though he was previously visually implied to be a generic white guy). The yellow skin used by fan artists was either utilized to depict him as a mutant, or used as a placeholder color due to him not having been seen outside his uniform at the time.
  • Word of God is that Raven and Beast Boy from Teen Titans (2003) were supposed to be Like Brother and Sister and wouldn't work well together. Despite this, it is one of the biggest Fan-Preferred Couples in western animation and it is widely considered fanon, with many fan works depicting at least a one-sided crush between the two. The Denser and Wackier Teen Titans Go! completely embraces the idea, however. Beast Boy openly flirts with Raven, Raven has a canonical crush on him, and they've had a few episodes focused on them. Beast Boy's canonical love interest Terra pops up, but has been given an Adaptational Villainy treatment to be more in-line with her comic version: originally loathing and exploiting him but eventually warming up to him. Still, she is the "Betty" to Raven's "Veronica" and BBRae is given much more Ship Tease.
    • A fan nickname for Teen Titans Go! that was usually used in a negative manner was Toddler Titans, which was popularized by reviewer The Mysterious Mr. Enter. This would wind up being used as the name of a Season 6 episode that parodies preschool shows utilizing Fake Interactivity.
  • In Total Drama Action, a recurring intern attracted attention and, because someone thought he looked a bit like Billy Idol, was nicknamed "Billy the Intern". Not only does he appear a lot more in the third season, the show's official blog refers to him as "Billy".
  • Transformers:
    • The Predacons' ship in Beast Wars was unnamed, but Terrorsaur once told Cheetor "Welcome to The Dark Side" when he ended up on the ship. Though he was just being theatric, fan use of the name led to the name being used for the BotCon 2006 (convention run by the officially Hasbro-licensed fan club) exclusive toys and the accompanying comic book (as Darksyde), and thus the official name.
    • Rhinox's chainguns, most famously used in the first season episode Chain of Command. The unofficial name given to them by the fandom was "Chainguns O' DOOM" and the phrase eventually appeared on Rhinox's bio cards in later toy releases.
    • For Transformers: Animated, Marty Isenberg liked the Fan Nickname for Lugnut's exploding-rocket-fist-thing ("Punch of Kill Everything") so much he had the name used in the fourth issue of the comics. Supposedly, he tried to use it in the show, but Never Say "Die" reared its ugly head, and no other word really worked there (with the possible exception of "Krush") to make it abbreviate to POKE.
    • The POKE appears again, with its proper name and everything, in Transformers: War for Cybertron; a special move damage upgrade for the Soldier class is called "POKE Alpha", and one of the Leader class's killstreak rewards is the "POKE 2.0", a temporary one-hit-kill melee attack that, when equipped, will prompt the announcer to say, "Punch of Kill Everything equipped!".
    • Many fan terms from Transformers: Generation 1 became officially canonical over the years. The term "Seekers" for the Decepticon jets (taken from of all things, a toy flyer from 1984), "gestalt" as a catch-all term for combiners (much better than their at-the-time only canonical name from the comics, "fusilateral quintocombiners") and the concept of subspace to explain size changes, suddenly appearing weapons and trailers, etc. have all popped up in official stories.
    • In Transformers: Prime, Breakdown and Knock Out were shipped together a whole bunch after their debut. They never managed to get together in the show but appeared as a couple in The Transformers: Windblade.
    • Another Transformers: Prime example, "Steve/ST3V3 The Vehicon" was a nickname given to particularly unlucky vehicons across the course of the show. In the comics for Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015), a vehicon by this name makes an appearance, it being explained he suffered cranial damage which made him forget his numerical assignment and he found the name "Steve" on a bilboard. It had a pleasing tone.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sure Why Not, Promoted Fanon


Melodie's Tale

One of the campers happens to share a story which happens to tease the fanon of Wander's species as well as his origins.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / AscendedFanon

Media sources: