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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 20:26, 5 December 2012

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki! We already have Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". comic explanations!

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The nice thing about headcannnons is that it's really easy to get other people to believe in them.
Title text: The nice thing about headcannnons is that it's really easy to get other people to believe in them.


A canon describes a set of works that are collectively recognized as having authenticity. Although a work's definitive canon is determined by its creators, with authors borrowing elements from works that are not their own, there are many alternate canons, or universes, that can exist for a set of fictional characters or settings. The term is derived from canon which means the rule by which things are judged or authenticated. Fans often develop canons around things that they think the author should have done, such as romantic pairings or answers to questions officially left unexplained. If a reader of a work of fiction develops their own theories that are inconsistent with the original work or attempts to explain details that the story doesn't address, this is referred to as headcanon. For a reader with headcanon, the rules that determine the authenticity of the work only exist in said readers head, and do not necessarily reflect the authors intent or consensus.

For instance, in the Star Trek universe, a character named Quark owns a bar on the space station Deep Space Nine. This is canon; that is, Quark's bar is shown in official Star Trek media. If, however, a fan speculated that Quark was not driven out of business by the station's food replicators by importing replicator patterns of exotic foods unlikely to be found in standard Starfleet replicators, that would be headcanon but not canon (since the theory was developed without input or sanction from Star Trek's creators).

A cannon is an explosive-based projectile weapon.

In this case the headcannon is literally a cannon on Black Hat's head which he uses to interrupt Cueball on the computer. While the more esoteric headcanons are easy to ignore, it is decidedly more difficult to not notice or believe the existence of a cannon strapped to someone's head.

This comic also shows Cueball being once again distracted from his work in a manner similar to 1388: Subduction License.

Title Text

The title text is a pun on the homophones "canon" and "cannon". Randall addresses both homophones in the title text by putting three consecutive "n"s in "headcannnon".


[Black Hat walks in.]
Black Hat: New headcannon:
[Cueball is sitting at his desk, using his computer.]
Cueball: Yeah?
[Black Hat lifts his hat, revealing his "headcannon": a tiny cannon on the top of his head. The headcannon fires and blows up Cueball's desk, the explosion throwing Cueball backwards.]
Headcannon: BOOM
Cueball: AUGH!

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