When the creator of the work has something to say about said work, the audience often deems their word as something that follows the canon.
Sometimes, however, it's not the case - what the creator said and what's shown in the work are different.
What could that mean?
- If Word of God comes later...
- If the contradicting canonical facts come later...
Compare Death of the Author, a belief that the writers have as much of an idea as the audience about the story and thus the writers' interpretation of the story are no more (or less) valid than the audience's, Voodoo Shark, which is when an explanation just causes more confusion, Negative Continuity, and Schrödinger's Canon. This trope often causes a Fan-Disliked Explanation.
- Vampire Knight: One of the main characters, Kaname, is given a flashback with a woman that he's eventually shown kissing. The author came out a while later and said that he only saw the woman as a mother figure, which naturally had many fans raising an eyebrow.
- Word of God is that the original intention was for it to take place in an Earth where aliens (Pokémon) have displaced all the animals. This is supported by the Broad Strokes novelization Pocket Monsters: The Animation and by some early Kanto episodes (namely, the Mt. Moon one). Word of God is also that the third movie's plot was originally meant to be about a dinosaur getting revived and no one knowing what dinosaurs are, because Pokémon have replaced all the animals. Despite this, early Kanto media clearly show that fish, bugs, and even non-human mammals such as cows and dogs exist (or at least "existed") in the anime.
- Word of God is that Misty and Ash are completely platonic. Despite this, they do have Ship Tease even in Japanese episodes. At the minimum, it's implied that Misty likes Ash while, Ash being Ash, is Oblivious to Love.
- In what is likely due to a Relationship Writing Fumble, as per Word of God, Lelouch's and CC's feelings in Code Geass are platonic and CC's feelings for Lelouch are even called maternal. The two have too much Ship Tease for their relationship to be strictly familial.
- One of the writers for Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog said that Sonic's name is a nickname to hide his Preppy Name, Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog. No other writer has officially used this idea, one writer said that he legally changed his name off-screen, and in-series Sonic's real name is treated as "Sonic" (no Species Surname, Only One Name).
- Aladdin's Forgotten Framing Device was originally planned to end by revealing the merchant was Genie (which was implied by several things, such as them sharing voice actors and Four-Fingered Hands). The co-directors eventually stated this was still canon, either unaware of or ignoring the end of Aladdin and the King of Thieves, which finally goes back to the merchant and shows him as a character separate from Genie.
- Don Hahn, one of the producers of The Lion King, said that despite what they say in the movie, Scar and Mufasa aren't biological brothers, since Real Life lion prides with more than two males rarely have them related (which is actually not entirely true). Director Rob Minkoff, meanwhile, claims that Hahn is wrong and Mufasa and Scar are actual biological brothers. Applying Real Life pride dynamics to a setting where lions have a hereditary monarchy is a bit dodgy anyway.
- James Cameron stated in an interview that Skynet sent the T-1000 back inside a "flesh sac" to get around the "nothing dead will travel through time" rule of time travel. Not only is this a Voodoo Shark which begs the question of why Skynet didn't send anything else like weapons or supplies inside the sac, but it also contradicts every single other piece of Terminator media which comes later — which state that mimetic polyalloy is just good enough to simulate flesh.
- Cameron also stated that Skynet sent the T-1000 after realizing that the original Terminator failed in 1984. This contradicts several time travel rules established throughout the franchise, including raising the question of how Skynet would know that a Terminator failed.
- And lastly, behind-the-scenes footage shows Cameron telling Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick that the battle between the T-800 and T-1000 was the first time that any Terminators had fought each other. This information never appears in the film and contradicts several other sources which state that reprogrammed Terminators fighting for the resistance was a common occurrence - so common that the machines created various ways to counter it.
- Blade Runner: Director Ridley Scott has repeatedly claimed Harrison Ford's character, Rick Deckard, is a replicant but has not realized that he is one even though there is nothing in the film nor script* to explicitly or implicitly indicate so. Deckard being a replicant would actually create several potential plot holes: Replicants have a set lifespan of five years, and Deckard's recollections and familiarity with his hometown suggest he has been alive for well longer. Being a replicant would also have required Deckard to have fled from the colony, lost his memory of being a replicant, and became a Blade Runner in 2-3 months at the longest. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 leaves Deckard's true nature ambiguous.
- The writer of the first The Lion King: Six New Adventures book has stated that it is a prequel to The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. While fanon has Kopa as Kiara's missing/deceased older brother, canon has yet to acknowledge him. Kiara is Simba and Nala's firstborn according to the sequel and The Lion Guard, though in truth both Kopa and Kiara are Canon Foreigners as Disney doesn't acknowledge direct-to-video sequels or licensed books as canon.
- Warrior Cats: Word of God is that Willowpelt and Patchpelt are Graystripe's parents. The problem is that they're half-siblings. The series occasionally ships distant relatives together but not close ones, especially siblings. It was clearly accidental, and in-series they haven't been depicted as mates.
- J.K. Rowling's Word of God concerning Professor Quirrel (Voldemort's main henchman in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) is grossly inconsistent with the book.
- Firstly, Rowling mentions that Quirrel was made fun of at school for his stutter. In the book, Quirrel's stutter was implied to be an Obfuscating Disability, since he drops it as soon as he reveals his true colors; even if the stutter was genuine, he'd reportedly gained it "a few years ago" after confronting Hags, and didn't have it as a child.
- Secondly, she says that Voldemort possessed Quirrel as soon as the two met. Although the Dark Lord was certainly the boss of old Quirinus from day one, he only began directly possessing him as a way to "keep a closer watch" on Quirrel after his failure to rob Gringotts Bank. Indeed, Quirrel and Harry couldn't have shaken hands earlier that day if Quirrel was already possessed then.
- A lot of the controversies over Starship Troopers are exacerbated by fans believing that things Robert A. Heinlein subsequently said about the novel's world-building in interviews and essays are contradicted by the actual content of the novel, in particular as to whether any form of public service can qualify you to vote or whether it has to be front-line military service.
- Toby Fox, creator of Undertale, has said that Sans is too lazy to date anybody. Buts Sans said in-game that he's not actually lazy, and it's all but directly stated that he's depressed and overworked.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Series Bible says that there are two continuties: "Sonic's World" without humans and "Earth" with humans. The games themselves however don't support this, with even Sonic Forces' official prequel comic and Sonic Heroes having Call Backs to previous human-related games.
- Danny Phantom:
- The creator, Butch Hartman, insists that ghosts are not actually ghosts, that they are a ghost-like species that takes on the memories and appearances of dead people. While the show has one throwaway line in this regard, overwhelming evidence otherwise in-series establish that (at least most) ghosts are deceased humans.
- Hartman has stated that Ember is in her twenties despite the fact she looks and acts like a teen rebel. She is even called a teenager in her debut episode. This was likely used to try and dissuade fans from shipping Danny with her.
- According to one of the animators, Ember's death goes as follows: she was a friendless social outcast who was asked out on a date by a boy as a prank. He never showed up despite her spending hours waiting. She ended up dying when her house mysteriously caught on fire and she was too exhausted to wake up. This goes against her Villain Song "Remember". In it, Ember clearly sings "to you I did surrender/3 weeks you didn't call", showing that there was a large gap between whatever happened to her with the boy and her death. It also doesn't explain why fire is so important to Ember if she just died in an accidental one. The most popular theory amongst fans is that the "official" explanation is just a cover-up because the original song contains themes too mature for the show, such as one-night stands and possibly suicide.
- Gravity Falls: According to Alex Hirsch in episode commentary for "Boyz Crazy", the show does not take place on 2012 (when it began airing), or any specific year. However, it's clearly set in 2012; the June calendary from "Summerween" is the one from 2012, "Into the Bunker" sets the year as being before 2015, and 1982 is stated to be thirty years before the events of the series.
- Several things from the Jem Series Bible are ignored in the series itself. For example Clash and Video were supposed to be born on the same day according to the Series Bible, but the series shows that Video was already a toddler when Clash was born.
- The various writers of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are happy enough to answer fan questions about the show, but they're pretty upfront about the fact that the show is the only real canon—and anything they say might be overruled by future episodes. In particular things that Lauren Faust, the creator, say are often ignored by the series as she stopped being involved with it after season 2. Examples include:
- Word of God has stated that, if Nightmare Moon had won in the series premiere, then her eternal night would have resulted in all plants and animals dying. Later, the season 5 finale "The Cutie Re-Mark" shows a Bad Future where Nightmare Moon did win and has ruled for years, but with no negative effect on the environment.
- According to Faust, the reason for Luna's season one design (or "Woona" as fans call her) was that she lacked most of her magic at the time. She has said it was an on-the-spot explanation and that the writers could explain it some other way. Thus far, no writer has tried to, with the IDW comics randomly using her original design at different points, but the show appears to keep to Faust's logic.
- In season 1, one of the writers stated that all hooved animals were Civilized Animals. The show itself hasn't seemed to take note of this. While the IDW comics featured sentient deer and there were once plans for an episode featuring deer, the show itself ultimately presents them as just another animal. Pigs and giraffes are also Nearly Normal Animals as well. The rule seems to be less "all hooved animals, and several mythological creatures, are sentient" and more "all equine, and several mythological creatures, are sentient".
- Faust has stated that, in her opinion, Celestia raised Spike growing up, not Twilight. She however said this after resigning from the show and notes that it is thus little more than a semi-official headcanon. Spike's backstory has never been delved into much, but while we've never been presented presented Celestia's bond with Spike as mother/son, several episodes have implied that Twilight raised Spike and that he's the closest thing he has to a mother.
- Lauren Faust has suggested that Luna is still growing and is physically a teenager. The series itself treats Luna as a full-grown adult.
- Word of God is that Lincoln from The Loud House is not naturally white haired. Photos from his infancy however depict him with white hair, not brown or blond like the rest of his family.
- Former supervising director for Steven Universe Ian Jones-Quartey stated on Something Awful that "Steven was never 12 onscreen". This contradicts the timeline evident in the actual show, where summer begins halfway into the first season, fall and winter pass in the second half, and it's the next summer by Steven's 14th birthday. There were even two annual Beach-a-Paloozas in the meantime.
- One of the main writers from W.I.T.C.H. has stated that Irma is a lesbian. Even considering this was a Disney cartoon in the mid-2000s, Irma shown no sign of romantic interest in other girls, and had male love interests. It's unknown whether he meant that she's bisexual, a strong closet case, or she hasn't realized her sexuality yet.
- According to writer Tad Stones, DuckTales (1987) and Darkwing Duck don't have a true Shared Universe, and the characters in both are actually different versions thereof. However, while it might be taken as explaining some aspects, it raises questions given that the Darkwing cartoon and the comics of both series seem to imply they take place in the same world.
- Word of God is that Plank from Ed, Edd n Eddy is just a normal piece of wood. The series itself presents him as doing things that a block of wood couldn't do on its own.