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.


Writer Conflicts With Canon

Go To

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...
    • The author might have forgotten about what actually happened in the story.
    • The author is aiming for a Retcon or Broad Strokes, especially if there's more than one author or if the story writer changes (in which case it's related to Running the Asylum and Armed with Canon).
  • If the contradicting canonical facts come later...

This is often why God may opt to be ambiguous instead. Depending on the case, this may lead to Canon Discontinuity or Author's Saving Throw.

Compare with 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 is no more (or less) valid than the audience's), Voodoo Shark (when an explanation just causes more confusion), Negative Continuity or Schrödinger's Canon. This trope often causes a Fan-Disliked Explanation.

Please be particular when citing these claims. If second-hand accounts of authorial intent blatantly conflict canon, there's a good chance the author never said that at all.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • Writer Takeshi Shudo claimed 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). Shudo also said 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, dogs, and other regular animals exist in the anime. Shudo would later attempt to Hand Wave this as "errors" made by the animators, but regular animals continued to appear after he did so, going all the way up to the Sun and Moon 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.
  • Ranma ½: Rumiko Takahashi (in)famously replied to the "Pregnant Ranma" problem by saying "I don't think about that, and neither should you." She then went on to write the Musk Dynasty storyline, where it's learned that animals cursed in the same spring as Ranma were subjected to Shapeshifter Mode Lock, taken as wives, and bore children. This answered the first half of the question ("What if Ranma got pregnant...?") and, indirectly, answers what would be needed to avoid the second half ("...and then changed back to a guy?")
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho Yusuke left for demon world on what he stated to be his birthday, and that Kurama left 2 months later in July suggesting Yusuke's birthday to be sometime in May. However, Togashi later claimed that Yusuke's birthday was March 26th, making it impossible for Kurama to have left in July as he said.

    Comic Books 
  • It was initially said Identity Crisis was still canon to New 52, despite a lot of it no longer being possible. Later, in The Button (a Rebirth story), Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne actually witness a scene from it when running through the time stream and don't remember it.
  • Jim Shooter, the writer of The Avengers, Vol. 1, #213, has repeatedly claimed that the infamous slap of The Wasp by Yellowjacket was intended to be due to Hank gesturing wildly and smacking Jan by accident and it was Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, who turned it into the slap. However, a number of factors suggest otherwise, including their relationship deteriorating in the issues prior, Thor noticing the black eye Jan sported and commenting on it, the fact that this led to Jan divorcing Hank, and Hall said that Shooter never complained about it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Terminator:
    • 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 raises 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 become a Blade Runner in 2-3 months at the longest. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 leaves Deckard's true nature ambiguous.
  • After Thor: The Dark World, both Anthony Hopkins and director Alan Taylor confirmed that the ending was meant to indicate that Odin had been murdered and replaced by Loki offscreen. Odin would later return, alive and well, for Thor: Ragnarok.
  • The Rise of Skywalker establishes that Snoke was actually a failed clone created by Palpatine, with several other Snokes visible in vats on Exegol. This directly contradicts previous declarations that Snoke had been around for many decades, and that Palpatine only learned about his existence shortly before his death at the end of Return of the Jedi .

  • 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 full-siblings from different litters. The series occasionally ships distant relatives together but not close ones, especially siblings. It was clearly accidental, in-series they haven't been depicted as mates, and Graystripe's father is unknown.
    • Several characters have parentages that are confirmed by the writers but aren't mentioned in the text. This leads to oddities with canon, such as Sandstorm not reacting to her father Redtail's death in the first book and no one treating Sandstorm as Ashfur's half-sister through Brindleface.
    • Kate Cary has gone on record stating that Dovewing's eyes are blue, and to her, always would be. The sixth arc claims that they're green. Of course, this series has never been very consistent with eye and pelt colors, and Dovewing's eyes have changed colors a number of times beforehand. Plus, her official artwork doesn't help matters. The issue has led to many a Flame War.
  • J. K. Rowling's Word of God concerning Professor Quirrell (Voldemort's main henchman in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) is grossly inconsistent with the book.
    • Firstly, Rowling mentions that Quirrell was made fun of at school for his stutter. In the book, his 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 Quirrell as soon as the two met. Although the Dark Lord was certainly the boss of Quirrell from day one, he only began directly possessing him as a way to "keep a closer watch" after his failure to rob Gringotts Bank. Indeed, Quirrell and Harry couldn't have shaken hands earlier that day if the former 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.
  • When asked about the age of Parian in Worm, writer Wildbow said she was probably 21, because she was midway through her fashion degree after having spent several years working on an engineering degree. In-story, a Stalker with a Crush being the only classmate she spoke to led her to switch out after months. To be fair to Wildbow, when he gave that answer he said he wasn't sure on her age.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts: Originally, Tetsuya Nomura stated that Nobodies don't age. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep shows some of Organization XIII ten years before Kingdom Hearts II. Although they would be Nobodies for nine of the next ten years, they look significantly more than one year younger.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Takashi Iizuka's explanation for the lack of humans in certain games, such as Sonic Forces, is due to Sonic and his friends living on a World of Funny Animals. They sometimes world-hop to a human-populated world whenever they wish. This idea, however, muddles up a lot of what was depicted in previous games. For example, Adventure clearly has Amy living in Station Square (with a NPC even mentioning she has an apartment there), both Knuckles and Tails live nearby Station Square in Adventure, and Shadow's entire backstory was that he was created by humans in Adventure 2. There are no mentions of the characters going between dimensions in-series and multiple games (including Sonic Battle and the two Sonic Adventure games) heavily imply that they live on Earth. The most damning evidence against this is the fact that Adventure (where this "split" allegedly dates back to according to internal documents at Sega) clearly showed Angel Island being in the human world (which also implies that Sonic 3 and Sonic Advance took place there too).
    • Another of Iizuka's controversial claims is that the reason the moon seems fine in later games despite Eggman blasting it with the Eclipse Cannon in Sonic Adventure 2 is that we're only seeing "the good side." Already a shoddy explanation to begin with, later games have shown the moon from several angles that are clearly not destroyed. It would have been easier to just claim the moon was fixed somehow or even adapted Sonic X's take on events (where Eggman uses machinery to replace the missing half of the moon) as canon.
  • The information from the Shadaloo Combat Research Institute profiles on the Street Fighter V Character Encyclopedia website raises a number of questions, such as the suggestion that Unknown Soldier Red from Forgotten Worlds is Two P from Final Fight, or that characters from different Street Fighter adaptations and Street Fighter 2010 are in a shared continuity.
  • A revised timeline for The Legend of Zelda states that the Oracle games take place after Link's Awakening, not before. But the Golden Ending of those games showed Link setting sail on a raft, heavily implying they are direct prequels to Link's Awakening. The two sources for this timeline, and Zelda Encyclopedia, are notorious for being sloppy and fallacious, with the latter even conflicting with itself whether it's the same Link between these games (Japanese version says it's not, English version says it is).
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom:
    • The creator, Butch Hartman, insists that "ghosts" are not deceased people, but a species of spirits that takes on the memories and appearances of dead people. While the show has one throwaway line in this regard, overwhelming in-series evidence otherwise establish that (at least most) ghosts are deceased humans.
    • Hartman has stated that Ember is in her twenties, despite her being called a teenager in her debut episode.
  • Gravity Falls: In the episode commentary for "Boyz Crazy", Alex Hirsch says the show does not take place in any specific year. However, there are numerous in-show details that specifically set it in 2012 (the year it first started airing): the June calendar from "Summerween" is the one from 2012 while the Author is shown or stated to have disappeared thirty years ago and in 1982 (it's the year on his calendar from "Carpet Diem" and map in "Into the Bunker", and the year McGucket said he can't remember anything before).
  • 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 — or at least what little of it is seen during Twilight's very brief stay there.
    • According to Faust, the reason for Luna's season one design, which is markedly different from her appearance in other episodes, 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, and the show featuring Luna with little-to-no magic but keeping her redesign and ethereal mane.
    • 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, aside from reindeer. Pigs and giraffes are also Nearly Normal Animals as well. The rule seems to be less "all hooved animals, and several mythological creatures, are sapient" and more "all equine and bovine, and several mythological creatures, are sapient".
    • 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 Celestia's bond with Spike as mother/son, several episodes have implied that Twilight raised Spike and that she's the closest thing he has to a mother, with "Sparkle's Seven" showing that Spike was raised alongside Twilight as her adopted brother.
    • Lauren Faust has suggested that Luna is still growing and is physically a teenager. The series itself treats Luna as a full-grown adult.
    • The official word after Twilight's ascension was that the title of Princess (and the alicornhood it entails) was a merit-based one in Equestria, being granted based on great deeds rather than based on royal blood. This explanation was seemingly abandoned by the introduction of the alicorn-by-birth Princess Flurry Heart, although her existence is treated as an impossibility by characters in-universe, and ultimately never explained.
    • Meghan McCarthy once stated that "Twilight will not outlive her friends." This is contradicted in the Grand Finale where Twilight has grown to the same stature as Celestia and appears to have become The Ageless while her friends have visibly aged.
  • Word of God is that Lincoln from The Loud House is not naturally white-haired. Photos and flashbacks from his younger days, including infancy, however, always depict him with white hair, not brown or blond like the rest of his family.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Former supervising director Ian Jones-Quartey stated on Something Awful that "Steven was never 12 onscreen". This contradicts the timeline evident in the actual show, where one summer begins, fall and winter pass, and it's the next summer by Steven's 14th birthday. There were even two annual Beach-a-Paloozas in the meantime.
    • While on the show's podcast, the co-head writers concluded Lapis did not take all the Earth's oceans in "Ocean Gem", just in the area around Beach City. However, that raises the question of why the surrounding water didn't flow in, and several shots in the episode from space appear to show the planet with no oceans. Granted, the whole scenario is bizarre and highly unrealistic no matter how you cut it.
  • 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 showed 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. At one point in the comics, Launchpad (seeing a magical clone of himself) asks if this means he can have one "him" with both Scrooge and Darkwing now, all but blatantly stating that it's a single universe.
  • 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.
  • In the 1990s, when asked, producers involved with The Simpsons would claim Smithers was not generally attracted to men, but just Mr. Burns specifically (the phrase "Burns-sexual" was sometimes used). As the series progressed, this logic was clearly abandoned and Smithers was shown dating and interested in men other than Burns.
  • The South Park writers had said that they wouldn't allow Cartman to murder anyone. This was after Cartman tricked a farmer into killing Scott Tenorman's parents in "Scott Tenorman Must Die". Cartman would later run over numerous people in "Poor and Stupid" and had Cthulhu kill tons of people in the "Coon vs. Coon and Friends". The "Scott Tenorman" and "Coon and Friends" examples might count under Loophole Abuse, as Cartman does not directly kill anyone, but rather arranges for their deaths.
  • Final Space: When asked, series creator Olan Rogers claimed Mooncake to be 5001 years old. However, flashbacks show that Mooncake was created when John Goodspeed closed a breach to Final Space, which can't have been more than 25 to 30 years prior to the events of Season 1 considering John's son Gary, who is 32, was a child when this happened.
    • On a related note, before Gary was explicitely stated to be 32 in the last episode of Season 2, Olan mentioned that he was 30 years old.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: