The Explanation of Head Canon

Head Canon occurs when you see something in popular culture, and for lack of a plausible explanation (coincidence, accident, etc.), you invent a logic that purports to clarify everything. In other words, for you, this makes sense. It might be the equivalent of three left turns to make a right, but it still makes sense.

Some of these “Head Canon” iterations are the equivalent of “urban legends,” such as claiming that the Beatles left coded messages and visual clues on their album covers to let the “true fans” know that Paul McCartney died in an automobile crash, and a replacement Beatle (William Shears) was plucked from a look-a-like contest to replace him in the lineup. Or the one where 1960’s editions of Playboy magazine contained little stars next to the magazine’s cover title – with the stars equaling the number of times Hugh Hefner had coitus with that month’s centerfold.

Something doesn’t make sense? Something seems out of place? You can come up with your own “head canon,” and it will all be clear.

  • My head canon with all of the James Bond movies is that, even with different actors in the role of 007, every single one of them ties together. How? Simple. “James Bond” is a code name, just like “007” is a code name. Whoever the person is who assumes the role of the British secret agent, he casts away his prior life and existence, including his old name. He is now a British superspy, using the name “James Bond” as his honorific. Confirmation? In the movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, after a brutal fight on the beach, James Bond (now played by actor George Lazenby), quips, “That never happened to the other fella,” ostensibly meaning the other “Bond” persona. You know, the one who returned in “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Never Say Never Again,” as 007’s are known to do.
  • The entire run of Grease movies – the 1978 musical, its awful sequel, and an upcoming Netflix series involving the Pink Ladies – can be explained as the final death moments of the character Sandy. In the first few minutes of the first movie, she’s frolicking on the beach with Danny Zuko; at some point, she goes into the water, and can’t get out – and she drowns. Everything from that moment on – the animated credits, the dance numbers, the car driving up to the sky – all took place in those final life moments as rescuers pulled her lifeless body out of the ocean. Yeah, now you’re watching this and you’re thinking, “Hey, wait a minute, that kinda makes sense…”
  • All four of the Mad Max movies – Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Beyond Thunderdome and Fury Road – are actually stories told hundreds of hears in the future FROM the original stories. They’re told as stories by a future society that survived the droughts and the wars and the battles, and are now shared by these tribes. They’re almost like the Gospels of the New Testament, where the same stories are told with different wordings and outcomes and meanings. It also explains why the same actor may be playing two entirely different characters (the same actor in Mad Max as the Toecutter is also Immortan Joe in Fury Road).
  • Richie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost are the same exact person. Richie Rich was billed as the “poor little rich kid” who lived in complete opulence, but upon his death, he wanders the world as a spiritual entity, hoping to find that one thing that eluded him in the living world – friendship.
  • I’m arguing that the Neighborhood of Make-Believe was the real TV show, and that Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was the fantasy program. I mean, what would you believe is more realistic? A man who walks into a small, two-room home, takes off his shoes, puts on sneakers, feeds the fish, and plays with a toy trolley car – or a land with a kind but pontificatious ruler, an owl and a pussycat sharing a split-level tree, a tiger cub living in a handless clock, and a museum director with a boomerang toomerang soomerang? I mean, honestly, the choice should be easy.

There we are. That’s my head canon for various TV shows and whatnot. Feel free to add your own, if you like. Or just expound on the ones I posted. I’m fine with that as well.