During the 1980s, Marvel Comics writers began using a plot device that any Doctor Doom appearance that didn’t fit into their interpretation of the character would be explained away as a Doombot, masquerading as the real deal.  I remember thinking how clever the idea was, but little did my 13-year-old self know what horror awaited us on the other side of the Retcon Chasm.  These days, writers don’t even have to create their own retcon explanations, as we fans will do it for them, leading to a peculiar situation of scurrlious fandom theories being widely believed to be TRUE.  Before Phil Coulson was brought back from the dead to star in his own TV show, many opined that Nick Fury lied about his death in the Avengers film, while Doctor Who has Season 6B (which is, to be honest, a very clever idea that neatly explains continuity issues regarding the Second Doctor’s appearances after his regeneration.)  The worst of all, though, the grand mack-daddy slapfest (and a personal “Berzerk Button”) is the theory that ‘The Prisoner’ answered the question of “Who is Number One?” by claimed that Number Two responded “You are, Number Six”, a theory which never fails to send me into a foaming-at-the-mouth fanboy blood-rage.  Never has any property been so misunderstood and abused over a single punctuation mark, which leads us to today’s retcon-infested query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is quite amused, however, by those who believe that ‘Kill Bill’ is an action film made in the universe of ‘Pulp Fiction,’ starring Mia Wallace, because that’s so Tarentino, asking: What’s your personal most loathed fan theory of all?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Any & all “So & So is really dead/in a coma” theories. I’ve heard it for Adventure Time, Pokemon, Spongebob, Rugrats… name a kids’ show or series, and someone is trying to explain that it’s really a dark look into a troubled young psyche or restless soul. Either way, it smacks of someone trying to justify liking an all-ages property by claiming that it’s secretly suuuuper grown-up and stuff. And I hate that stuff more & more.

      • Stark's Scraps on

        I love Firefly. I love Serenity. People who are just watching it now (and this is going to sound really pretentious and it’s not supposed to but oh well) are going through what a lot of us went through 10 years ago. It sucks that it was cancelled but that magic is long gone in any sort of live action format. Firefly has since become this pendulum of passionate feelings over the past few years as I watch every single person squeeze every single cent out of it that they possibly can.

        If you want more Firefly, go read the comic. It’s fantastic and it’s doing things with those characters that they could never pull off today.

  2. A Song of Ice and Fire has some ridiculous theories, mainly due to the glacial pace of the release schedule. Some are believable (R + L = J) while some are insane (mermen).

    My least favourite was the Extended Universe explanation for George Lucas not knowing what a parsec is, namely that it was Han taking the shortest distance around the Maw for the Kessel Run. It makes me mad because it’s sole purpose is to explain away bad writing. Though, I will admit I did enjoy those young Han Solo novels. They are so trashy hat they are basically published fanfic, which I will rule makes them count as a fan theory.

    • At least they were better (much, MUCH better) than “Courtship of Princess Leia” (which did introduce my favorite planet of the EU, Dathomir, but otherwise was just terrible).

      • Stark's Scraps on

        Oh bad EU is THE WORST! Dark Saber? Not only is the book terrible but go ahead and make a diagram of the destruction of the dark saber and see what you find. ugh just ugh

  3. The idea held by some that the Star Wars expanded universe “has no effect on the film canon”. Quite a bit of material originating in the EU ended up making it’s way to the film canon. It may only be select aspects rather than the entire EU (moreso now with the recent decision to do away with the majority of the existing EU), but it has had some effect on the film canon.

    Also, the theory that “50 Shades of Grey” is good. No. Just no. Unless it is being narrated by George Takei, then it is pretty epic.

  4. Probably more than I can think, but if I hear ‘so-and-so is a Time Lord’ again, I’m going to scream. Dresden Files (I’ve been rereading, so hey) has some really good plausible ones, but some are just inane like certain characters being given an out that doesn’t follow the logic of the character or the series as a whole.

  5. Hannah Jones on

    I once heard that Weeping Angels are actually fallen Time Lords… I’ve no idea why it irks me so much, but it does.

  6. Mr_NES_Dude on

    In a game from 1994 called Earthbound, your characters have to go back in time to kill an alien threat to the human race. Everyone says that your murdering an alien fetus, thus killing him before he was born. This… Is not true. It says specifically, multiple times in the game that you are following that Alien (called Gygas) back in time to his base that was created far into the past…. Boom.

  7. Oldcomicfan on

    That would be the moronic theory that I’ve heard excreted on some podcast somewhere that the “Flintstones” is actually set in a post-apocalyptic post-Jetsons time line…. blah blah blah. When, in fact, Hanna Barbara was just spewing out animation as quickly as they could without any thought to continuity between their various properties. The Flintstones started out as a parody of “The Honeymooner”. Period.

    Well, you asked.

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