Fanon is a so-called "fact" that a fan thinks is true, but for which there is no direct evidence in any official material. A piece of fanon may be a belief held by just a single fan, or a belief, which may be widespread due to having been discussed and picked up by other fans. Some fanon is based on misinterpretations of canon — particularly, dodgy translations of foreign sources — and some is simply stuff fans made up. While fanon originates with fans rather than the official canon of the Transformers multiverse, it sometimes becomes incorporated into the canon if the writers use a retcon or otherwise establish the fans' interpretation in official fiction. This frequently happens when the source material has not explored or intended to have an answer the particular concept at that point in time, which is how most fanon gains appeal.
Misuse of the term has broadened the word's definition (among some) to include fan-characters and fan-fiction. (See "Transfanon Wiki" link below.) The difference is that fan-fiction is a non-official product built on canon, while fanon is an "interpretation" of existing canon.
Fanon terms or ideas that later became canon:
- "Gestalt" as a term for combiners
- The name of the Predacon ship being the Darkside or Darksyde.
- The Armada beast redecoes being Unicron's "horsemen".
- "Herald of Unicron" (though only used once)
Fanon terms or ideas that never became canon:
- Dion having been rebuilt into somebody "important"
Fanon and this wiki
Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki generally tries to avoid including fanon, until it becomes so widespread that excluding it is quixotic. Even then, however, fanon should be clearly marked as such.