When a piece of art or entertainment is sent out into the world, the world is going to consume it. And immediately, where that creation goes is largely out of the hands of the creator.
For an illustration, look no further than fan fiction and fan theories in chat rooms across the internet.
It seems that if you look hard enough, just about every story told has been probed and supplemented by a fanatical group of followers.
And although we usually can never know whether the creators approve or disapprove, sometimes it doesn't matter. Sometimes the theory is so compelling that we decide to believe it just for the heck of it.
AwkwardJeweler asked, "What fan theory do you 100% accept as true?"
Many theories hinge on one character in particular.
Often based on an overlooked side character or an overlooked aspect of a main character, these theories imbue a once-minor piece of the fictional world with a whole new significance.
"Kevin Malone, if not actually a genius, is certainly much smarter than he lets on in The Office. Clearly he's lazy, and gluttonous, and blah-blah-blah..."
"...but after the merger with Stamford, and its revealed that Martin had served time, Kevin realizes that he needs to give plausible deniability to any sort of financial maleficence that the accountants have been doing, and flanderizes himself in front of the camera."
"Occasionally he slips up and reveals himself to be something a math genius, and has to backtrack, and play it off as some kind of Food-based idiot savant."
"It's how he was able to afford ownership of the bar at the end of the series, I'm sure he made a bit just cashing in all those free drinks, but actually enough to buy a bar? I don't believe it."
A Very Suave Red Herring
"James Bond's primary purpose is to be a distraction to keep attention off the spies who actually spy. Villains and other spies know him, he rarely takes an alias, he makes his presence known early on and keeps messing up operations for the villains..."
"...but other spies have already infiltrated their ranks and work while Bond does as much visible damage as possible to keep the others safe."
More Office Lore
"My own theory that in The Office when Andy proposes to Angela the people playing his parents are different actors because they are literally actors."
"As in he hired them to pose as his 'perfect parents' because his own parents couldn't be bothered to come. The people in the season 9 episode Garden Party are his real parents, who clearly are di**s."
"Ed from Ed Edd n' Eddy is mentally stunted, which is why he's one of the "dumber" characters in the show despite appearing older than the other two Eds (he's about as tall as Kevin and Rolf, who are some of the oldest kids in the cul-de-sac)."
"Also that his parents are abusive to him because of his mental handicap (literally removing the stairs when he was grounded), and his sister's attitude towards him is learned behavior from their parents."
"This is further reinforced by him living in the basement, having non-existent hygiene habits, and 'retreating' into obsession with TV and sci-fi comics.
"In fact, the other two Eds come from troubled homes as well, which is why they're social outcasts in the cul-de-sac. It's been heavily implied that Eddy's parents knew his older brother was physically abusive to him and let it happen."
"Meanwhile, Double D's parents spend zero time with him, and won't even directly communicate with their son, choosing instead to leave him notes for chores instead."
Still a Witch
"Glinda dropped Dorothy's house on the Wicked a Witch of the East, not the tornado, and uses her to gain control of Oz."
"One of the first things Glinda tells Dorothy is that SHE killed the witch. They praise her so she'll accept it, and when the Witch of the West comes along, who killed her sister? Dorothy."
"Glinda then puts the ruby slippers on Dorothy's feet but DOES NOT TELL HER THAT SHE CAN USE THEM TO GO HOME. Instead, she sends Dorothy to Oz in possession of objects that a witch would MURDER her for."
"Dorothy, being forced into a situation where her only salvation is Oz and her worst enemy is the queen inadvertently exposes the Wizard of Oz as a fraud AND murders the Witch of the West."
"Now, who's left to rule Oz? Glinda fu**in' witch of the north. She used Dorothy as an expendable pawn to gain control of Oz without having to leave her bubble. And when Dorothy is done upheaving the two biggest powers in Oz, Glinda sends her home and makes her think it was all a dream"
"The Empire Strikes Back: Admiral Ozzel is a rebel spy."
"Everything Ozzel does in his brief bits of screen time is to the detriment of the Empire. When the probe Droid finds the rebel shield generator, Ozzel tries to dismiss it as smugglers before Piet speaks out of turn and gets Vader involved."
"Later, Ozzel orders the fleet out of hyperspace too quickly, giving the rebels plenty of time to activate the aformentioned shield generator that Ozzel knew about."
"'Clumsy as he is stupid' or Rebel sympathizer who gave is life to give the Alliance as much time to evacuate their base as possible? I side on the latter."
What Could She Possibly See in Bowser?
"Peach is totally into being kidnapped, no one who isn't doesn't have that little security" -- Time-Vault
"Even more than that, she's having an affair with Bowser but doesn't know how to leave Mario. Bowser isn't kidnapping her, she leaves with him."
"That's why every time she gets saved she's like 'oh yay, you saved me again.' " -- Good_Cop_Yes_Donut
Other fan theories are based on glimpsed connections between two fictional worlds that hail from different stories.
These ideas propose that two universes once assumed to be disparate are actually linked quite closely, and the linkage can suggest some pretty diabolical transitions.
"The Jetsons and the Flintstones are living at the same time in a dystopian future where the 'haves' live above the clouds and the 'have nots' are stuck on a wasted Earth."
"The signs include that Flintstones celebrate things like Christmas and other holidays which doesn't make sense and The Great Gazoo alien appears in both series."
Beware of Dancing
"The town from Footloose is the same town from Tremors. The ban on dancing wasn't a puritanical attempt to control the youth."
"The town elders were aware of the graboid threat, and banned dancing out of the fear that it would cause rythmic vibrations waking up the creatures sleeping below the town."
"Kevin Bacon's character in Footloose stayed in the town, growing up to be his character in Tremors, at which point he has to try and contain the danger he inadvertently released."
Lots of Talk About Warps
"Event Horizon is a prequel to the Warhammer 40k universe." -- FeasibleBeaver
"The writer, Phil Eisner, tweeted at one point that he plays 40K, so it was definitely an influence on the script. That's as good as canon for me." -- ch1burashka
"YES. It makes the movie so much more fun in my opinion, they probably show this movie to people to illustrate what happens when you go through the warp without a Gellar Shield." -- waywardhero
And last, some people are all about adding a new lens to experience the story through. They jump on a couple key details and fill in a few more.
The result is a brand new--and convincing--context through which we can experience the story we already know and love.
"The reason each It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode starts with a date and time is because they're all testifying against each other in court." -- BigDirtii
"If this isn't how the show ends I'll be disappointed" -- Jupigorg
"I really hope they see this" -- AndroidDoctorr
Letting Kids Run the Show
"Pokedex entries are written by young trainers. When a professor sends a bunch of ten year olds out into the world to document Pokemon, of course the "research" can't be expected to be professional in the least."
"This is how we end up with the creepy legends of ghost pokemon that might have been passed around as playground rumors, or impossible facts like macargo being hotter than the actual sun."
"There's no reason why out of all the Pokemon professors, one of them couldn't have revised their dex information and correct the tidbit about pidgeot breaking the speed of light or gardevoir creating black holes or blazikens jumping over 30 story buildings."
"It's likely they leave the kids to their own devices without bothering to fact check, and kids, being kids, are going to exaggerate."
Layers and Layers
"The 'real world' in the Matrix movies is just another layer of the Matrix, designed specifically to appeal to people unwilling to conform to the normal Martrix."
"Humans in this outer Matrix have confirmation of their belief that something was wrong, and get to indulge in the fantasy of being a heroic freedom fighter against the faceless evil machines, thus choosing to accept this false reality."
"The anomaly of the One is that he's capable of rejecting both realities, which is the reason why he had powers in the real world."
Not of Sound Mind
"That Loki was controlled by the tesseract more than he let on."
"His eyes glowed multiple times and he shed a tear when Thor tried to talk sense into him."
Where He Came From
"In Disney's Ratatouille, the old lady in the beginning of the movie living in the house next to the river is the food critic, Anton Ego's, mother."
"In the flashback scene where he eats the ratatouille you can see similarities of the house from the beginning, her face and I think the bridge."
Just as Scary
"I 100% believe the two men accompanying the woman in the original 'Blair Witch Project' planned and successfully executed a plan to murder her while they were deep in the woods."
"Too many factors point to good old fashion murder than a supernatural occurrence."
Through Dog Eyes
"The monsters in Courage the Cowardly Dog are regular people but seem monstrous from Courage's perspective (since he's cowardly)."
"Also they live in the middle of nowhere because his owners never take him out so that's how he views the world."
The question that remains is how we're supposed to take these theories.
Are they to be compartmentalized, interpreted as less meaningul than the original source material?
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Don't you love a good myth?
Let's put some of NSFW ones to the test.
RedditorWizzlyG33wanted to hear about what lies need to be exposed when it comes to sex, death and all things over the top in life. They asked:
"If MythBusters had a NSFW episode, what would you want to see on it?"
Oh JamieSeason 1 Love GIF by OutlanderGiphy
"A five second segment where Jamie points at a diagram and says, in complete deadpan, 'This is where the clitoris is.'"
"If they did such an episode, I could see this being in it for sure."
"I want them to purchase every pill they see on the internet that would make their penis bigger and see what happens."
"I think we can call that one BUSTED already. In what version of any world can you imagine there is a simple pill to make your junk more impressive and every dude you know doesn't already have a case of 10000 pills stashed under the bed?"
"Can you actually get an STD from a toilet seat?"
"This is an interesting thing actually. It was a myth deliberately perpetuated to make people less ashamed of asking for STD tests."
"Fun fact: There are multiple STDs that can be dormant (like inactive) for years. Like several years."
"You’d never know you had gotten it. Then something triggers it, maybe an infection or something, and then you start showing symptoms/Can now test positive. So technically a partner from years before could have given it to you and you either think your SO is cheating or haven’t been with anybody in a long time. Either way it’s scary when you think about it."
"Does a person really stay conscious for a few moments after beheading?"
"There was a French physician who tested this in the early 1900s. After a criminal was beheaded he picked up the head and shouted the criminal's name. The guy opened his eyes and made eye contact with the physician over a period of 30 seconds whenever his name was called. Edit: I provided the source in other comments but here it is on the original comment."
Theorieslooking down homer simpson GIFGiphy
"Size correlates to what? Feet? Nose? So many theories."
"I have size 12 feet and a massive nose and huge hands and the little guy is small."
Oh the lies and the rumors and the shade.
More is MoreSeth Meyers Dancing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"They did prove that women with larger breasts will get more tips. Which isn’t really not safe for work, because Kari literally was working at a coffee shop."
"If breast enlargements will help your job would you be able to write them off on your taxes?"
"How deep underwater are you still able to orgasm?"
"Pretty sure there's no lower limit. When you're underwater, your body is under pressure, but for the most part doesn't actually get compressed. Only your air spaces (lungs, sinuses, inner ears) are really subject to compression from ambient water pressure. There can be painful exceptions like air pockets inside a tooth filling, which I do not recommend experiencing."
"Most of your body is water or various solids, which push back on the ambient water pressure. You prostate shouldn't be blocked by water pressure any more than your bladder is. Source: am old scuba diver, I've done all kinds of things a hundred feet underwater. At that depth the ambient pressure is 4 bar, which in olden-tymes units is nearly 60 pounds per square inch. Also: fish do it underwater, doesn't seem to stop them."
"Does pineapple make your semen taste better?"
"Post orgasm clarity: How much better can you solve puzzles or remember something?"
"Well, recently I did a lot of reaction time tests on humanbenchmark.com and while normally I get average of around 140-145, after a good O I consistently got around 130-135, very often getting single clicks close to 120 which almost never happens in other cases. And it's weird because I feel more tired but apparently my reaction time improves for some reason."
Safety FirstSafety Helmet GIF by Just SecondsGiphy
"A take on the top ten OSHA violations list to see if they are as dangerous as they say."
"Safety regulations are written in blood."
Well that is a ton of great suggestions. Let's work on it.
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Many people value solitude, and having time to themselves.
For others though, loneliness can be a crippling feeling.
Having no one to talk to or spend time with can get wearying after an extended amount of time.
Something many people know more than ever after the global pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
But while some people simply succumb to being lonely, others will find ways to help them cope with, if not completely forget, being all alone.
Redditor No_Blackberry_6286 was curious to hear the different ways people have of coping with their loneliness, leading them to ask:
"Reddit, how do you cope with loneliness?"
Make the most with what makes you happy
"I've learned to enjoy my own company and focus on my hobbies."
"Funny enough, this gives me stuff to talk about when I am around people."
Voices in the background
"Listening to people talk on YouTube so I feel less alone in my house."
Millions of friends, just one click away.
"Chat with random people on Reddit."internet computer GIFGiphy
Still figuring it out
"I don't I'm f*cking miserable."- Savathunh
"I don't :("- __MashedPotatoes__·
Get my body movin'
"It makes me feel better about myself and I have something to do alone."- DerpBread69Gym Working Out GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
Who says I need to?
"I love solitude."- Befuddled_GenXer
"I become one with loneliness."- thenewyorkofficesolitude GIFGiphy
Hit the snooze button
"Sleep 12+ hours a day."- RockandRoll682
Instant tension and relief
"Lots of arguing online about sh*t I don't care about at all, just to have some form of social interaction, and get off at least 3 times a day."-
There are very few worse feelings than that of being alone.
But it's also quite remarkable how much doing something that makes you happy, be it ever so simple, can elevate your feelings.
In this day and age of advancement, it's crazy how so many things leave our heads scratching.
Like how in 2022 is such and such still around?
Everyone in New York wondered that for the past decade until they took the final payphone.
I always wonder about companies that still make you send a fax.
Y'all have heard of email right?
RedditorPineapple_WarpDrivewanted to compare notes on why we think certain things and parts of life are not yet obsolete this late in the game of time. They asked:
"It’s 2022, what shouldn’t exist now?"
I feel like the list will be longer than we expect. We are still behind in certain ways.
lazy...Bubble Gum Cartoon GIFGiphy
"People sticking gum on random surfaces instead of at least throwing it towards the trash can a few feet away."
How is this allowed?
"'Convenience' fees to pay bills online."
"Yeah or any 'additional fee' that’s required to buy the product or service. Advertise $100 but then at check out they add in service fee $25, convenience fee $10."
"Always at the last second too, usually right before you enter your credit card info. Wtf? How is this allowed? Just advertise $135 if that’s the price the customer is paying. Should not be allowed to bait a low price and switch with a higher one once the customer is already invested."
Can you hear me now?
"Not being able to get cell service is spots in my own home."
"A friend worked in Africa building homes for the people. He said there were bush men with spears and loin cloths with a cell phone clipped on the side. Middle of nowhere yet reception everywhere."
"Most of Africa skipped land lines altogether and went straight to mobile. In the west, cell phones and mobile internet are a luxury, in less developed regions it's often the only way to communicate."
"Companies that create problems and sell solutions instead of solving existing problems."
"This was the inevitable outcome of an economic system in which only those doing labor are allowed to have food and shelter, yet technology is constantly reducing the amount of labor that is actually necessary."
"We only get money for food if we are seen to be working on problems. Now we're having a shortage of actual problems so we must make artificial ones to keep surviving. If only we had UBI, all of these pointless industries would disappear overnight as no one wants to keep working these jobs they know are pointless."
Hang UpCall Me Hello GIF by IDKGiphy
"I literally had spammers somehow dupe the phone number of my local council, it's scary just how close they can get."
I HATE these SPAM calls. All hours of the day and night. I hate you!
Speed UpInternet Mouse GIF by kotutohumGiphy
"We figured it out. Just that the companies are greedy and keep the money for themselves instead of upgrading infrastructure."
"I know! Whatever happened with the Paperwork Reduction Act?"
"in the U.S. you can reduce your junk mail a lot by going to.DMAChoice.org and OptOutPrescreen.com and filling out the forms for your address. I have reduced my junk mail by about 90% : FTC source"
"Having to spend 3 hours in traffic everyday."
"Because North American cities have over restrictive zoning laws that segregate cities based on type of usage and they build to a very low density and with car-centric development that makes it so everyone has to use a car to get anywhere."
"It's not so easy to just 'find a job closer to home' for example I'll search on Indeed and the closest job in my line of work is like 2hrs away."
"So everything but earth Is round right? (according to flat Earthers) So as some members say it's like a frisbee in space. What if, bear with me... the reason the world will end is because a giant dog will catch us and kill everyone on earth by shaking the frisbee too much and cause floods and crap. Because if so, that's how I wanna die, letting a pupper have some fun with a fisbee."
Grossunderstand john boehner GIFGiphy
"Child beauty pageants."
"If I see a mother make her child do one of those, I WILL judge her."
Can we work on eradicating these things? It's all well past expired.
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It's PRIDE month. It's time to be loud and proud.
Well, every minute of everyday we should be loud and proud.
But this month gives you an extra special buzz.
So in the spirit of learning, we will be taking questions from the class.
I know cisgender straight people still have a lot they don't understand.
What do you need to know?
Redditorhre_nftwanted everyone to feel comfortable enough to be as aloud what they've been waiting to ask a queer person. Safe space for all. They asked:
"What question have you always wanted to ask LGBTQ+ people but didn’t because you don’t want to offend them?"
There is always a good way to ask questions. I don't mind many of them.
I'm Outcoming out gay GIF by AT&T Hello LabGiphy
"What should I say to someone who comes out to me? Saying 'um, OK' or 'that's nice' sounds like I'm dismissing them but trying to ask questions or engage in conversation about it seems intrusive."
"It depends, your response should match their excitement. People that casually weave it into conversation usually don't want confetti and vice versa."
So Many Letters
"I know you guys want to be inclusive and all but I always feel behind on all The letters you add to LGBT, so is it fine I just say 'LGBT+?' This is not meant to not be inclusive, I'm all for LGBT+. But sometimes it gets a bit too many letters for me personally. So will I offend you guys if I only say LGBT+?"
"Lol all the labels I identify with are included in the + and I just say LGBT. I don’t know anybody who has been upset over hearing the shortened version. You’re good to keep using the acronym that you already say."
I Don't Get It...
"What does non-binary mean? I'm from Italy and I've never met someone who came out as non-binary or even transgender. My brother met a guy once and he (my brother) said he looked gender-fluid. Gender-fluid Is the only term used here, nobody talks about non-binary."
"I know that non-binary means that you don't identify with one gender specifically (I guess), but I really really don't get it. I'm bisexual (although I've never gotten in a relationship with a woman) so I always felt like I could relate to most people of the community in one way or another."
"But this is just something I can't seem to understand, also because I've never met someone like that. I know I might never be able to get it because I'm cisgender, but I was wondering if some of you would like to take some time to share their experiences with me so that I can understand you a little bit more."
"I know I can look up the definition of it, but why is 'queer' part of the acronym? Doesn't it encompass 'lesbian' and 'gay?' Is there a nuance I'm missing?"
"One of the unintended benefits of the term 'queer' is that it's a good way of saying 'Not straight, and it's not really important for you to know why or how.'"
Hello ThereArt Peeing GIF by badblueprintsGiphy
"Is it ok to use adjacent urinals/talk at the urinals if you two are dating/ married?"
So far, nothing here seems offensive.
You Like It?Fab 5 Netflix GIF by Queer EyeGiphy
"I wanna ask them every time an LGBTQ+ character appears in fiction, if they felt it was a good representation or not."
"Do asexual people not want sex/don't feel horny, but still get butterflies in their stomach for a person they like? Or does that mean they don't have crushes/attraction in any form?"
"Each person is different but a lot of asexual people still have crushes and can still be in love with people. Asexual people can be in happy and healthy relationships."
"Some asexual people might still find pleasure in sexual activities but they might not focus on sex in life. Not all asexuals are sex repulsed. But some are. There is asexuality and people who are aromantic. Aromantic people don’t feel romantic attraction to people, but might feel sexual attraction. Some people are both asexual and aromantic."
Chosen at Birth
"Why is intersex included when it's a physiological/chromosomal variation and not a sexual/gender orientation? Sorry if I worded it wrong."
"Intersex people often have their gender chosen by their parents at birth and so tend to have experiences very similar to trans people. Often it even has to be corrected later in life with surgeries and hormones. It's the variation from the normal binary gender/presentation of that, which aligns them with the queer community in most cases."
"For non binary folk: I'm having trouble wording what I want to ask, like, why I guess? I identify as a woman but don't fit in with the typical stereotypes or gender roles, but I still consider myself a woman. I don't feel like activities, or behaviors, or clothing or whatever has to have a gender to it, so why specify that you don't identify as man or woman? Idk maybe because it's not something I've struggled with, it's hard to wrap my head around! Either way, I 100% support anyone who identifies any way!"
ExtraGay Hearts GIFGiphy
"Do you have to pay an upgrade fee to go from the LGBTQ membership to the LGBTQ+?"
"Omg dude, you can get it for free with Amazon Prime! You didn't know?"
I Like You
"How do you know you are attracted to the same sex? I personally wanted to know this because I am struggling with my sexuality. I have an attraction to men at least as far as I know. But I am constantly going back and forth with women. And it's been very confusing. So I guess it may be how do you know if you're attracted to anyone?"
Ask all you want. Just be respectful. It's easy...
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