Fanon is a fact or ongoing situation related to a television program, book, movie, or video game that has been used so much by fan writers or among the fandom that it has been more or less established as having happened in the fictional world, but which does not appear in any official work from the original authors, scriptwriters or producers. The term is a play on the word canon.

The term is sometimes used pejoratively by purists to refer to such explanations as faulty or illogical given the nature of a story, or "common lore" copied amongst fans, especially in webpage proliferation, that actually contradicts a simpler explanation that was even alluded to in canon. This is especially common for foreign works, resulting when they are mistranslated or when backstory and exposition elsewhere in a work has not been ported over (for example, manga that was associated with a commercial anime, but of which only one has been translated).

Fanon is sometimes well known by creators and may even be accepted as true (or at least as reasonable an explanation as any) to something they have not explicitly explained. On the other hand, some creators of serial works introduce facts in subsequent installments of their work which invalidate specific fanon.

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