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"I really didn't say everything I said." [1]
—The subtitle of a book by Yogi Berra

 Reportedly Josef Stalin was once asked at the Potsdam Conference at Malta with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, how he knew that he would become ruler of the Soviet Union. Stalin says that God came to him in a vision and told him so. FDR turns to Stalin, and says, "Now wait a minute Joe, I never said any such thing!"

Sometimes, creators say stuff about important gaps in canon.

Sometimes, people close to the creator say stuff about important gaps in the canon.

Sometimes, fans make stuff up to fill in important gaps in canon, and the result can even end up being taken as the next best thing to canon.

Sometimes, people just make stuff up, and falsely attribute it to the creators, or the original canon (sometimes unintentionally).

This is about that fourth one.

Differs from Beam Me Up, Scotty in that Beam Me Up, Scotty is about things not said or done by the characters. This is about things not said or done by the creators. Compare Urban Legend of Zelda, which propagates itself by similar means.

This is occasionally what happens when the line between Fanon and Canon is blurred.

Note that while God's words can fall victim to this trope, it also applies to human authors who are gods of the worlds they create.

Examples of God Never Said That include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • A mistranslation of a line in the Pokémon episode "Bye Bye Butterfree" led to the mistaken belief that it was canon that Butterfree die after they mate.
  • This was pretty common during the airing of Gundam Seed Destiny as an interview from Fukuda was altered, leaving many a fan to actually think that the director actually believed that Chairman Durandal was right for his actions in the last episodes.
    • Another was Gundam Seed Destiny's infamous Morosawa interview, which was also a fake. This was caught by a forum administrator when they looked for the original article. By that time, not many people were interested in SEED anymore.
  • Happens quite a bit in Ranma ½, partially thanks to its age and its copious amount of Fanon. Three of the most common "falsely canonical" statements are:
    • "The Jusenkyo Guide took Ranma and Genma to Joketsuzoku to investigate a cure": He didn't. No reason why he took them there is ever given, though the fact that the two are in China to train and the fact that the village is full of martial artists, plus the fact he is doing the tour-guide routine when they reach the place, may indicate he took them there per request after Jusenkyo turned out to be such a flop for training.
    • "Happosai/Nabiki is a Complete Monster": Rumiko Takahashi has never said anything about their villain status; the most that happened was that she once reported in an interview that being a Karma Houdini is what makes Nabiki funny and has called her nothing more than "a greedy girl with an impure heart". She also thrice drew non-canonical pieces of artwork showing Nabiki in a stereotypical "devil suit".
    • "There is no cure for Jusenkyo": Takahashi has, in fact, stated that the water of Nanniichuan will undo a Jusenkyo curse for Ranma or any of the other cursed men, and even showed a temporary version of Nanniichuan curing him and Genma for its duration. This likely came from the fact that nobody ever managed to get their hands on Nanniichuan water and use it (which can actually be explained quite easily as Status Quo Is God), and the fact a minor villain managed to use Jusenkyo to create a Mix-and-Match Critters curse (though he was one to begin with).
  • There's a rumor in the Digimon Adventure 02 fandom that not only did the couples of Ken/Miyako and Yamato/Sora end up married, but they originally slated Mimi/Koushiro and Takeru/Hikari for marriage as well. Since the ending was ambiguous many fans like to make that as an excuse to ship them stating that "technically, they got married". In fact the rumor was started by a fansite, and since pretty much every single All There in the Manual extra material has been leaked in every possible place and nobody can get a copy of the "interview" saying so, it's most likely false. (Especially since Mimi/Koushiro is particularly illogical given that the most screen time they had within four feet of each other was in only one minor episode.)
    • Another bit of Fanon is that Yamato and Sora were divorced. Many a fan were certain they'd heard it mentioned on the original episode, but the facts turned out to be false.
      • While there is no evidence that Yamato and Sora were ever married, the Distant Finale of Adventure 02 claims that Ken and Miyako did wind up being married. Thus the idea that Ken/Miyako was never stated to happen ended up being false, instead of the idea of their eventual marriage being false.
  • One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda is frequently claimed by fans to have said a great many things that he never actually said. Not helped by the fact that he really does give regular Word of God answers to fan questions, but not in a language that most English-speaking fans can read.
    • Also not helped by the fact that some of his answers seem crazy even by One Piece standards. Some of them are clearly jokes (for example, claiming that Chopper eating four Rumble Balls within six hours results in Oda turning into an uncontrollable monster), but sometimes it's impossible to tell.
  • Once, a Troll posted an interview on The Image Board That Shall Not Be Named, supposedly by the director of Gundam Wing, in which he claimed that the series was made on a dare in order to prove that any poorly-written piece of trash would succeed as long as the cast was packed full of Bishonen. Obviously, this was fake, but it didn't stop the Hatedom from giving out triumphant cries of "I Knew It!!".
    • In an interview with Animerica, director Masashi Ikeda said that he didn't write the relationship between Heero and Relena as romantic because he "can't write boy-girl relationships" and considered their symbolic relationship more important. Some yaoi fans gleefully seize on this as proof that Heero/Relena is non-Canon, which ignores what Ikeda said after that, which was (paraphrased) "I wouldn't rule out the possibility, though." They also ignore the fact that he said he didn't intend ANY romance at all.
  • There's currently a faked Bokurano novel translation circulating the 'net, which was actually based off a wildly canon-divergent fanfic which includes, among other things, Waku as the Dead Man Writing who narrates the story. It took in a fair few tropers on this very site, so watch out for that.
  • In the Macross Frontier fandom, Shaloom made multiple fake interviews by a supposed writer of the series. Everyone believed him until someone actually went searching for the interviews in question.
  • The Axis Powers Hetalia fandom has numerous instances of this, often as a result of fans mistranslating/misinterpreting the source material and Word of God. The most infamous examples are Sweden's "grunting speech" (in canon he speaks with a Tohoku Regional Accent which was mistranslated and consequently Bowdlerized by fandom into grunting and mumbling), and America's Idiot Hero behavior being a case of Obfuscating Stupidity (what Word of God actually said was that America could read the atmosphere if he cared, but he doesn't).
  • Many fans of Dragon Ball Z believe that the creator, Akira Toriyama, had once stated he planned to end the series at the Freeza arc, yet he has never once stated this. Likewise, he has never gone on record stating a dislike of Dragon Ball GT, and was actually rather positive about it while it was on the air in Japan.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Word of God stated that Mami Tomoe's wish was "to connect to life" - as in remain connected to her own life because she was going to die. Editors on this very wiki seemed to think it actually meant "connecting other lives" and stated that Mami had lied about her wish in the anime.
  • According to several fans in the Soul Eater fandom, it is official that Crona is male. This claim is based on the Funimation dub of the anime and Yen Press translation of the manga, both which use male pronouns. So that should mean that Atsushi Ohkubo intended for Crona to be male in the first place, right? Wrong- official translators admitted that they only used male pronouns because they didn't want to insult Crona by using "it" or "they". Ohkubo hasn't settled on a gender for Crona, and probably never will.
  • Masashi Kishimoto is often mentioned as having said that Sasuke is his favorite character, particularly by people who think he's a Creator's Pet with too much screentime. He actually said Sasuke is his favorite character to draw.


Films -- Live-Action Edit

  • Gene Roddenberry has been cited as declaring one Star Trek movie or another as Canon Dis Continuity. The closest he got was disapproval with most any movie that wasn't Star Trek the Motion Picture and calling Star Trek V the Final Frontier's canonicity "uncertain".
  • George Lucas has occasionally, and admittedly, changed his mind about some things about the Star Wars saga (which, let's be fair, is a saga that has gone on for several decades), but he has gained a largely unfair reputation of shifting his ground willy nilly about every topic under the sun which is based on a combination of misquotes, false rumors, and misunderstandings of things he actually did say. For example, it is commonly asserted that he made Greedo shoot first because it "matched his original intentions" and he didn't want Han to be a poor role model for kids, but the actual reason he changed the scene was because the MPAA threatened the film with a PG-13 rating if he didn't (when the original Star Wars debuted, the PG-13 rating was not in existence and PG films had more leeway). There is a well known photo of him in a "Han shot first" shirt to confirm his agreement with the fans, though, of course, if that was his intention, he shouldn't make the claim that the re-releases were entirely his vision as originally intended.


Literature Edit

  • Plenty in the Harry Potter fandom:
    • There used to be a rumor about a gratuitous sex scene in the last book. Everyone heard that rumor (from everyone else), and all the sources claimed to have heard it straight from the author. Although Ginny's "birthday present" arguably came very close, there was no onscreen sex. A video on The Onion about Rowling including a date rape in an upcoming Potter book may have had something to do with the rumor.
    • It was rumored that Rowling had confirmed Harry Potter and the Green Flame Torch / Pillar of Storge / Fortress of Shadows as the title of books six/seven. She responded by suggesting Harry Potter and The Toenail of Icklibogg.

 J.K: I am trying very hard not to feel offended that anyone thought this was possible. 'Storgé', for crying out loud. Come on, people, get a grip.

    • There was an article Harry/Hermione shippers would sometimes cite which claimed Rowling had said Harry would develop "more of an interest in pal Hermione" in book 5. Nobody was able to trace this to an actual interview, and it ended up being Jossed.
    • Rowling never said that she may have subconsciously let the name "Harry Potter" from the Troll series seep into her story, regardless of what Phelous or any number of other people may tell you. What she actually said is that she took the name "Potter" from a family she was friends with as a child, and "Harry" simply because she has always loved that name.
    • There's a quote floating around on the Internet which confirms the Fanon belief that Nagini is the snake Harry set free from the zoo, specifically "Yes, it’s rather funny, really, that next to no one realized the snake that Harry set free in Philosopher's Stone turned out to be Voldemort's final Horcrux, Nagini." It never happened.
  • Many Twilight fans have claimed that Stephenie Meyer ruled out vampires being able to have children. Meyer herself claims she only said that female vampires couldn't have children but got misinterpreted.
    • She did, however, say that all fluids in a vampire's body turn to "venom," later redacting this to all fluids except semen, so the confusion is understandable.
  • Due to the complicated mess that resulted in the wake of L Sprague De Camp's additions to the Conan the Barbarian mythos, many things which were introduced with De Camp or others are mistakenly attributed to Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan. Some of these include:
    • The idea that Howard said Conan and the Hiberno-Norman warrior Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, who is stated to be 6'2" and 210lbs, were "physical doubles." This myth is even referenced on The Other Wiki. Not only is this very interesting factoid completely absent from Howard's letters, notes and stories, but the very numbers are incorrect--Cormac is a fraction of an inch over 6 feet, and 200lbs.
    • Howard's Hyborian Age is often placed in 10,000 BC, give or take a millennium or two, as established by L. Sprague De Camp in the later Conan novels and stories. In fact, Howard never dated the Hyborian Age at all, but he did date the Thurian Age (the time period of his other barbarian king Kull of Atlantis) as 100,000 BC. Calculating the centuries that pass in the "Hyborian Age" essay, one can place the age of Conan in any period from 90,000 BC to 10,000 BC.
  • Though the Dragonriders of Pern fandom mostly believes in the veracity of Anne McCaffrey's infamous "Tent Peg" interview (in which she states that anal penetration will instantly turn a man gay, by way of explaining how riders of green and blue dragons can pretty much all be gay), there's no actual evidence that it's more than an internet legend. She did, however, espouse similar, if much much milder ideas in her "Renewable Air Force" essay--in which she says green dragons tend to pick males with more feminine personalities and blues tend to pick Straight and Manly Gays.

Live-Action TV Edit

  • There was a hoax in the Power Rangers fandom that there was a series of shorts that only aired in Australia, supposedly titled "Scorpion Rain", that better connected the events of Power Rangers Zeo to Power Rangers Turbo.
    • One of the people who worked on the "Scorpion Rain" hoax later went on to become a writer for the show itself. He wrote the 10th anniversary episode "Forever Red", loosely hinting at events that took place in the "Scorpion Rain" hoax. In essence he made events analogous to Scorpion Rain canon within the show.
  • The producers of Lost never said that the show would never have time travel. They once said that the then ongoing season two had no time travel -- and it didn't -- but never that there would never be time travel. Additionally, they never stated that there was one huge clue left in the pilot -- in fact, they explicitly said there wasn't, and the last one to be made significant was the single white tennis shoe Jack found. Yet this is repeated until today.
    • In an example of "Word of Mistaken God," an excellent way to see if someone is making something up about a producer comment is to see if they attribute it to J.J. Abrams, who has had little involvement in the series since season 1, helping to set it up, write and direct the pilot, and contributing to only a very few episodes since (the last being in S3).


Newspapers Edit

  • L'Osservatore Romano--a perpetual source. Just because the newspaper of the Papal States pans Avatar does not mean that The Vatican condemns it. It's just a newspaper.


Religion Edit

  • This actually happens quite frequently in The Bible, as numerous (mis)translations over centuries have turned accidents into traditions.
    • For example, Moses is referred to as having rays of light, not horns, emanating from his face; the forbidden fruit is never identified as an apple; Joseph's coat is long-sleeved, not multicolored; the creature which swallowed Jonah was never said to be a whale. Likewise, poems like Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost have influenced centuries of Christians into believing things about heaven, hell, purgatory, and the battle between good and evil that the Bible never elaborates on. (Purgatory isn't even mentioned in the Bible!)
    • The Ten Commandments themselves. Aside from slight differences in dividing up the commandments between the original Hebrew and subsequent Christian versions, there are a few cases where people have deliberately tried to mistranslate or misread earlier versions, such as with the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill." The original word used in the Hebrew version, רצח (r-ṣ-ḥ), clearly means just murder.
      • And "taking God's name in vain" is just a confusing mistranslation. It was really about not swearing a false oath.
    • Go look for the sentence "God helps those who help themselves" in the Bible. You've heard it enough times, so it has to be there, right? Give you a hint: it isn't. Aesop originally coined the idea, and the present wording comes from Ben Franklin, neither of whom were Christians (although Franklin was raised one, he grew to be a Deist). There's a list of such sayings misattributed to the Bible.
    • The New Testament provides an example recounted within the Gospels; God gave a number of general rules, but by Jesus' time these had been analyzed and quantified into strict rules by the Pharisees. When the Pharisees tried to call Jesus on his "rulebreaking", he often explained that they had overanalyzed the letter of the law and missed the spirit completely. For example, at one point Jesus is accused of violating the ban on working on the Sabbath by healing someone; Jesus explains that while the Sabbath is a day of rest, it is never against God's law to help another person or to show mercy to them.
      • Though, interestingly enough, it's possible that he wasn't actually "working on the Sabbath" at all. Based on the precise wording of the commandment, modern Judaism considers that "work" in the context of the Sabbath consists of several dozen types of actions that "would be useful in building the Temple of God - healing, miraculous or otherwise, is not one of them (even if some actions that form part of a regular hospitals routine might be.)
        • Jewish tradition as practiced today holds that any commandment can be broken in order to save a life, except for two: No Murder and No False Gods are absolute. Healing on the Sabbath would be permissible if the person in question was very ill, even if work was done as part of the healing process.
      • That said, he was more radical than it might appear; quite often, his "God never said that" was a flat-out retcon in regards to the existing holy writings (even the Ten Commandments) rather than a more accurate interpretation than his opponents' of what they actually said. He acted as if he could directly perceive God's will in different circumstances over any previous commandments. This would make sense by the Christian interpretation that came after his death, of course.
    • Despite the common interpretation, not once in the Bible does it mention that the angels sent down to Earth (i.e. Gabriel) have wings. Indeed the descriptions of them are often vague at best, describing them only by what they wore or being surrounded by bright light. The ones that are described as having wings have multiple pairs and some have eyes on their wings too... others are far closer to Eldritch Abominations (One angel is described as a 'wheel full of eyes') than Winged Humanoids, the latter a creation of Medieval European art (Rule of Cool was around even then).
      • Also, there is ambiguity about the term 'angel' itself. Occasionally it is used almost interchangeably with God himself (perhaps similar to 'avatar'). And the more... colorful descriptions tend to use other words, such as 'seraph'. Also noteworthy is that these descriptions take place solely in heavenly visions and revelations, and whether they are to be taken literally is highly debatable.
      • Another note is how 'angel' has such a feminine connotation in modern English, despite the fact that the only times angels have a specified gender in the Bible, it is male, and the fact that angels are typically protrayed doing very... shall we say "masculine" things (leveling cities, destroying armies, etc.).
    • Much of the conception of the Apocalypse is based on the Scofield Reference Bible. So you get ideas such as the Jews returning to Israel and expelling all non-Jews as required for Jesus to come back. Much of it was reinterpreted by televangelists, and it all went well, until America sided with Iraq (Babylon) against Iran (Persia) because America Wins the War. The Great Politics Mess-Up should've discredited it altogether, but like all memes, it won't die.
  • Let's not forget the controversy over Mary being a "virgin" or just a "young woman."
  • A common mistranslation of Deuteronomy 23:18 forbids women from becoming prostitutes and men from becoming "sodomites." The verse actually forbids both Israelite men and women from becoming cult prostitues; the same word is applied to both sexes (in feminine and masculine forms).
  • One important blessing of the Jewish Shaharit (morning) Service thanks G-d for giving "(something) the ability to distinguish day from night." In one Reform prayerbook, the "something" is translated as the mind. In one Orthodox prayerbook, the "something" is translated as the heart. In reality, it is an ancient Hebrew word for rooster, the alarm clock of the pre-Industrial era.
  • Due to the meaning of the word evolving over time, it is likely that the prohibition against cooking a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk originally banned cooking the kid in its mother's fat. That's right, to the ancient Israelites, there may not have been anything wrong with a cheeseburger. Unless it was fried.
    • On a related note, poultry was declared meat in the rabbinical era, some time after the above line was interpreted to mean "don't mix dairy products and meat." Initially it was pareve (food that can be eaten with either milk or meat) like fish still is because birds don't nurse their young. The issue comes up frequently because kids, when learning the above line, start asking Kids Say the Darnedest Things-esque questions about how one milks a chicken.
  • According to book 9 of The Dresden Files, "Suffer not a witch to live" from Exodus is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word that gets translated as "witch" means something akin to "evil magic user," which is notably distinguished from a good magic user. The use of the word "witch," and the accompanying implication that all magic users are evil and must be killed, is an invention of the King James Version.
    • In reality, there is some debate about the translation of that passage; another translation is "suffer not a poisoner to live".
  • The continuous argument of the creation of earth and life by God being completed in 6 Days (popularized as 7 Days). For many, religious or not, this has been interpreted as meaning: literally 24 hours for each day in a humans grasp of time. The words used in the original language do not make that explicit.


Videogames Edit

  • Oh Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Before the game came out, there were so many "facts" bandied about on speculation boards as being Word of Sakurai. The most common two being that there would be no clones and that there was going to be a third 3rd-party character in the game. Both were thoroughly Jossed when the game came out.
  • Touhou relies almost entirely on the Literary Agent Hypothesis and Unreliable Narrators for storytelling (the various mutually-contradictory routes in the games are all canon simultaneously and the Universe Compendiums are in-verse documents) and the Shrug of God is rampant, so when ZUN does deem it necessary to deliver something definitive it is given enormous weight, and inevitably this trope tends to occur:
    • Probably the most wide-spread and believed example is ZUN outright forbidding any Anime of the Game from being made; what he actually said was if any anime was made (say, Touhou Musou Kakyou) that the creators make it obvious that it is an entirely fan-made endeavor and is not at all official.
    • Similarly, it is generally accepted that the reason ZUN won't give permission for an official Touhou anime is because he doesn't want Adaptation Displacement to occur, which would almost certainly happen given that the actual games, despite the popularity of Touhou as a phenomenon, is still an obscure shmup series. ZUN hasn't yet explained this refusal.
    • Many fans (including this wiki) think that ZUN confirmed the names of Daiyousei and Koakuma, two background characters for whom fans invented names and personalities. What he said was that "Daiyousei" and "Koakuma" are the names of specific types of youkai, of which those two are members, and said nothing about the names of the individuals.
  • Misquoted and falsified information prior to a game's launch can easily persuade people. For example, a rumor was started in the months leading up to the launch of Deus Ex Human Revolution that it would only be five hours long. The game is actually said to be over twenty five hours long.
  • Mario and Luigi being from Brooklyn is often attributed to Miyamoto, but it began in The Super Mario Bros Super Show. (Indeed, the first Mario game with an actual plot depicted the Mario Bros. as being from the Mushroom Kingdom - and twins, at that). Miyamoto also did not give them their last name of Mario (again, the cartoon did - the movies, commonly cited as the source for this, came later), and indeed has officially come out and said that it is not their name, even though no other name makes sense (why else would they be the Mario Bros.?). Then again, Miyamoto also did not give them their first names, either - "Mario" was borrowed from Nintendo of America's then-landlord, Mario Segale (along with their Italian heritage), and "Luigi" apparently came from a (now-defunct) Seattle-area pizzeria called "Mario and Luigi's".
  • Before Halo Wars, Halo fanon had claimed that the armor worn by Arbiters was the same exact suit that it had been through history, the successor receiving it after his predecessor had died. However, the Arbiter of Halo Wars Ripa 'Moramee was killed and pushed down a chasm before his body was destroyed in a Earthshattering Kaboom. Henceforth, that meant the armor had been destroyed with it. Fans were annoyed, but it was later pointed out that since the Arbiter is intended to be sent on suicide missions, there would have been many cases where the armor was destroyed and/or impossible to recover.
    • Not only that, but Ripa 'Moramee was also a considerably larger warrior than the average Sangheili. He would have had to have armor that fit his larger body better than later Arbiters like Thel 'Vadam. Another interesting thing to look at is the "The Duel" section of Halo Legends. When that story takes place, the Arbiter is a position of power and a major leader(if not THE leader) of the Sangheili, and his armor was gold. This means that they had to make a new set of armor to replace the gold one, as the set(s) we always see in (chronologically) future installments is silver.


Western Animation Edit

  • The Invader Zim fandom seems quite prone to this, possibly especially because the show has been canceled for quite some time now (2001) and many of its fans were in primary school then and only teenagers now. Some things are attributed to Jhonen Vasquez that were actually said by Steve Ressel or Eric Truehart, and then there's a lot of things that weren't said anywhere except perhaps in some particularly influential fanfic. Dib being an Artificial Human creation of Professor Membrane's is an example of the former, Zim being "16 in Irken years" is an example of the latter.
  • Two meta-examples in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:
    • Lauren Faust never planned to have any major over-arcing plots for the show: the intention was always an episodic comedy/adventure.
    • Apparently inverted/subverted (as in, "God Never Said She Didn't Say That") in regards to the notion that Faust hated the earlier My Little Pony shows: What she has certainly said is that she never liked cartoons based on girls' toys (without naming names, but...) but, on the other hand, that she loved the original toys. Possibly people have got confused over the statement that "She hated/didn't hate G1," which could refer to either.
    • Lauren Faust was particularly susceptible to this trope during her time with the show, it seems. Late during her tenure as the show's executive producer, when asked about the popular background character Derpy Hooves, she said there was an unseen character in an upcoming episode by the name of Ditzy Doo, and the name might at some point be applied to the character. What fans failed to notice was that she was just speculating at this, and didn't actually have any plans to use that name for the character. Furthermore, the fans seemed to blind themselves to the fact that, while she speculated on that, in the very same post she said that if the fans liked Derpy, then the name would remain Derpy. This has caused a bit of a Broken Base about which name was "canon" or "better", that persists to this day.
      • This wasn't helped any when Amy Keating Rogers made a statement about the Season 2 episode The Last Roundup, in which she claimed they originally were going to use the name Ditzy Doo for the character's comic bit near the beginning of the episode, before being asked to change it to Derpy. Of course, the reasoning for this is likely because the episode was being written right around the time Lauren had originally speculated on using that name for that character, before the production team really adopted the name of Derpy Hooves.
  • Despite what an Adventure Time behind-the-scene video (that was quickly taken down) stated, Marceline and Bubblegum were never romantically involved in canon.
  • Young Justice creator Greg Weisman interacts quite a bit with fans, and naturally gets misunderstood from time to time. One of the most persistent examples: he stated that there would be deaths in season one, and that not even the main characters were safe. This is often misquoted as him saying that a main character definitely would die in season one, with fans speculating who it would be.
    • The show Bonkers (which Greg had a hand in) was thought to be a Roger Rabbit TV series, with Bonkers being an expy of Roger due to copyright issues. Greg has repeatedly pointed out that while Roger Rabbit was an inspiration, it was just that.


Multiple Media Edit

  • Greg Farshtey actively invokes this in the Bionicle fanbase, as he's been known to "confirm" or "reject" plausible theories in order to throw fans off the trail of his actual plans; and when called on it would point out the Exact Words in his original statements.
  • Unfortunately true for the Nasuverse, due to the large amount of untranslated extra materials leading to certain fans making up plausible theories and passing them off as truths.


Real Life Edit

  • Happens quite often to the US Constitution, to the point that one of the major debates of American legal philosophy concentrates on what was or was not the "original intent" of the Founders who wrote it. Of course, the fact that the text itself is available to anyone doesn't stop blatant lies about the document entering the public discourse, with people often surprised when someone reads the actual text aloud.
    • Another claim to debunk constitutional intent is that the Founding Fathers had no way of knowing the circumstances changed in the Modern Age. In fact they wrote reams and reams of correspondence (In the days before typewriters! Or faxes!) to each other for the purpose of putting into posterity their motives and future projections. It turns out civilization hasn't become so sophisticated that a bunch of ancient farts couldn't make accurate predictions about it.
    • The Onion quite brilliantly satirized the phenomenon with "Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be"
    • Of course, the constitution itself is notable for defending slavery[2], so the more, ahem, "creative" politicians saying that the Founding Fathers banned slavery is hilarious.
      • The Constitution did, however, show a clear intent to ban the slave trade in 1808. Article 1, Section 9: "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person." IE, the slave trade would not be banned until 1808, but it could be taxed before that. And the slave trade was indeed banned in 1808, on schedule. However, unlike in other slaveholding countries, banning the importation of slaves did not lead to slavery dying out as the slaves did; the slavers were able to make do with domestically born slaves. Related to this: it was the slaveowners who wanted slaves counted as full persons in the Census, and abolitionists who wanted them not counted at all (slavers wanted their slaves' extra voting power to inflate their representation in congress and the electoral college, while the abolitionists wanted to deny them that; the slave being worth three-fifth of a freeman was a compromise). Look it up.
    • A major source of the problem is that people who claim to have a perfect understanding of "the Founders' original intent" tend to portray the Founders as a Hive Mind, when in fact they were just as divided in their opinions as any other body of politicians. The Constitution was the result of 4 months of extensive debate and compromise until they came up with something everybody present was willing to sign their name to. Nobody got everything they wanted, and even afterward there continued to be disagreement among the Founders as to what many sections actually meant. And the fact that both Congress and the Supreme Court were full of people involved in writing the Constitution didn't stop some early laws from being overturned as unconstitutional.
  • Law in general, especially older law codes that may not have changed despite years or centuries of interpretation, misinterpretation, reinterpretation, scholarly pontificating, simple copy errors...and that's just on the stuff that stays the same. Heaven help you if changes are made...
  • Since Everyone Is Satan in Hell, Charles Darwin gets this a lot. Oftentimes, things that Häckel or Huxley said are attributed to Darwin. Huxley being especially notable, having earned the name "Darwin's Bulldog" vociferously defending evolution, because Darwin was too shy and too afraid to defend his theory himself.
    • The big one is that Darwin didn't use the word Evolution to refer to the process he explained. He used the term Natural Selection. (It IS a misnomer that has caused problems.)
    • Social Darwinism even has his name tacked on it, even though he was dismayed by his theories being misused in social context, in extremely unscientific ways. Even today some people from both sides are talking about eugenics like Darwin had anything to do defending the practice, which he in fact opposed.
      • When the idea of intentional "improvement" of humanity through selective breeding was first brought up (the term eugenics had yet to be coined), Darwin referred to it as "utopian".
    • Likewise, quotes of Darwin rejecting evolution are quite commonly passed around by creationists. The most notable is the claim of his deathbed conversion to a woman called Lady Hope. Darwin's family basically said they had no idea who this crazy woman was, because she had never met Charles.
      • Creationists will often tack on a detail which is certainly touching from their point of view. Darwin's conversion is said to occur when he reads the New Testament for the first time. Such a claim, if made in genuine ignorance, is a Critical Research Failure; Darwin was studying to become a minor official in the Anglican parson and would have fairly thorough knowledge of the text. This claim was not in the original Lady Hope story. The Lady Hope story itself is very contentious and on shaky ground at best. The embellished versions are simply false.
    • Of course the idea that what Darwin said or believes actually matters to the modern theory of evolution is itself a Critical Research Failure (aka the idea he should be able to qualify as an example of this trope)[3]. Anyone who has taken a course in science knows that science is a way to observe the natural world, and anyone who takes a good course in science will tell you opinions of people don't matter, only the facts and what they say about the truth matters. It wouldn't matter if all the Unfortunate Implications were correct and endorsed by Darwin, it wouldn't change the truth of the theory.
      • To give another example, Isaac Newton was a devoutly religious man who also wrote many religious theses. He also believed in alchemy. Creationists use these facts to try and sway people to their view. Rationalists point out that alchemy hasn't stood the test of time like Newton's laws of motion and thermondynamics have, for it's not Newton they believe in, but his laws.

Notes

  1. A clearer phrasing would be "I didn't really say everything I'm quoted as saying," but it lacks the original's Narm Charm
  2. many of the Founders DID want to get rid of slavery, as they knew that it would eventually boil over into a civil war several generations down the line (and, indeed, it did, a good decade before the country's 100th birthday!), but pressuring from the Southern States' representation at the Constitutional Convention made them finally throw up their hands and just let it stay for another generation to handle down the line. It's funny how much politics then can resemble politics now
  3. It is still here because many people don't know any better