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Synonyms: personal canon, head canon, head-cannon, headcannon
See also: fanon, canon
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Headcanon (or head canon, head-canon) is a fan's personal, idiosyncratic interpretation of canon, such as the backstory of a character, or the nature of relationships between characters.

This can be affected both by professional tranformative works, such as art, movies and audiobooks, and by fanworks such as fanart, fanfiction, cosplay, manips, vids and podfic.

Headcanon may represent a teasing out of subtext present in the canon, or it may directly contradict canon. If other fans share this interpretation, it may become fanon.

Headcanon became a popular term online in 2010, though usage on livejournal goes back to at least 2007, with a shared meme "Headcanon is love?".

The phrase "Headcanon accepted!" is sometimes used to indicate you've adopted another fan's headcanon as your own.

On Tumblr, there are numerous submission-based blogs for headcanons, usually named along the lines of "[X] of the Day" or "Your Fave is [X]", where X is an attribute or umbrella term. For example Lesbian of the Day, Your Fave Loves Pineapple Pizza, All Your Faves are Hufflepuffs, Neurodivergent & LGBT Character of the Day, etc.

External Links

XKCD comic on headcanon vs. headcannon

Headcanon is affected by the frequent auditory/orthographic confusion between canon and cannon.

XKCD comic #1401, week of August 4, 2014.[1]
Title text: The nice thing about headcannnons is that it's really easy to get other people to believe in them.

Further Reading


  1. XKCD headcannon comic #1401 Comic transcript:
    Black hat guy is walking. Black hat guy: New headcannon:
    A figure sits behind a desk with a computer on it. Figure: Yeah?
    Black hat guy has raised his hat, revealing a cannon that shoots the seated figure.
    The desk explodes and the figure is engulfed in smoke. BOOM
    Figure: Augh!