A so-called „canon event“ usually refers to a very specific event in a fictional story and is derived from the „canonical“ or „official continuum“. This is a technical term from the narrative world of films, books, comics and video games. In the course of the last few months, however, a completely different meaning of „canon event“ has become established on the social media platform called TikTok. In short, „canon events“ are important events in a person’s life over which they have no influence, or which they have to let happen so as not to have a negative impact on the future.
Anyone who shoots a „Canon Event“ TikTok video dives into a fictitious world and depicts earlier events in his life, filming them in third-person view, so to speak. At the same time, the later ego represents the main character, who views himself from the outside.
Since „canon events“ sometimes cause a lot of confusion, this new TikTok trend will be explained in more detail below. In addition to a comprehensive definition of the term, all the characteristics and examples of „Canon Events“ will also be shown.
Definition of „Canon Event“
The term „Canon Event“ is composed of the two nouns „canon“ (meaning „rule“, „guideline“ or „principle“) and „event“ (meaning „event“, „incident“ or „incident“). Combined, „canon event“ would therefore roughly translate as „guiding event“ or „guiding incident“.
This refers to a situation or an event that has a major impact on the further course of life or a story. Only the smallest change in the event in question would cause the future to take a completely different direction. Thus, it is not advisable to influence these events from the outside. So they have to happen.
In the course of „Canon Events“, TikTokers undertake a fictitious journey into another person’s own past or present life and view the situation in question as an outside spectator. Regardless of how good or bad this situation may seem from the outside, the person is not allowed to intervene to change it. Instead, the sobering comment follows, „This is a canon event.“
Word origin and meaning of „Canon Event“
The word „canon event“ has been around in the storytelling world for much longer and represents a technical term for certain key events or scenes. However, in conjunction with TikTok, the „Canon Events“ trend has only emerged within the past year or two. Initially initiated for entertainment purposes and no real reason, this trend quickly spread virally and more and more TikTok users recorded their own „Canon Event“ videos.
Those who shoot a „Canon Event“ video usually deal with their own key scenes in life or those of fictional characters. In doing so, they undertake a fictitious journey through time and switch to a third-person view. The „Canon Events“ videos are not meant seriously and serve to amuse or entertain.
Characteristics of a „Canon Event“
A „Canon Event“ video usually has the following characteristics:
- A fictional scene is re-enacted
- A main character appears as a viewer of this scene
- The main character soberingly agrees „This is a canon event“
- Or a writing with the above (or similar) wording appears
- The scene ends abruptly (with the main character leaving the scene)
Examples for „Canon Events“
By now, there are a lot of variations for the popular „Canon Events“ videos on TikTok. These are particularly fond of addressing the following areas:
- Difficult moments in one’s own life (or of other people)
- Embarrassing situations
- Played time travel
In the following subsections, the above examples will be explained in more detail.
Difficult moments in life
Difficult moments in one’s own life or in the life of others are, among others, starting school, the first love affair, graduation, the first job, first experiences with a certain hobby. Dramatic events, such as the loss of loved ones or accidents, are also considered to be difficult moments.
Embarrassing situations also provide material for „Canon Events“ videos. For example, scenes in which the people involved were drunk, misbehaved or otherwise made fun of others. Viewing these situations from the outside causes shame, and at the same time helplessness, since nothing can be changed afterwards (or rather, nothing should be changed!).
Played time travel
„Canon Events“ videos often thematize a fictitious time travel into one’s own past or that of another person or group of people. Therefore, natural disasters or accidents or murder can also be used as content of „Canon Events“. In the videos, the main character travels into the past and only briefly watches the scene in question. After that, he switches back to the present.
Canon Event TikTok Filter
Possible Canon Events:
- Banned from TikTok
- Becoming an egirl
- Being super cringe
- Blacking out
- Cheated on
- Dating an Egirl
- Dating someone cringe
- Falling off
- Failing an exam
- Favourite artist gets cancelled
- Fumbling a 10/10
- Getting a new pet
- Getting pulled over
- Getting Rich
- Having a bad breakup
- Having an emo phase
- Hitting the gym
- Kicked out your friend group
- Losing your phone
- Meeting „The One“
- Missing your alarm
- Moving in with your friend
- Peeing your pants
- Shaving your Head
Criticisms of „Canon Events“
„Canon Events“ as such are always heavily criticized, as they mean certain restrictions in terms of creative freedom as well as diversity in the narrative world. In the context of the social media platform TikTok, a certain helplessness and disempowerment is thus propagated, to which one sees oneself at the mercy and must accept this as it is. Canon events“ would make sense in themselves, but they would be an obstacle to personal responsibility and proactivity. Another criticism is that the „Canon Events“ trend on TikTok is yet another pointless trend among young users that adds no value to society. Besides, this would not be understood by older target groups anyway.
Conclusion on the subject of the „Canon Event“
In summary, „Canon Events“ are trendy videos on TikTok that depict key scenes or events in one’s own life or that of others. In these videos, the TikToker appears in third-person view and comments on them (among other things with „This is a canon event“). The user then has to watch powerlessly and cannot (or is not allowed to) change anything in order not to provoke any unexpected effects on his own future.
The terms „milestones“ and „turning points“ are related to the term „canon event“. While „milestones“ represent important events or achievements in life, projects or temporal processes, „turning points“ mark abrupt changes in the same. Therefore, „Canon Events“ could alternatively be called „Turning Points“, but also „Milestones“ in one’s own life or that of other persons or groups.