What is Retconning?
Retroactive continuity, often called a "retcon" is a change to the official canon of the story that revises, or sometimes even outright contradicts an earlier established rule or plot point. Because Fairly OddParents has been running for over a decade and has different writers behind each episode it is inevitable that some things in the plot will conflict with each other, so it is important to remember to distinguish between what is an actual retcon and what is a simple mistake in plot.
Examples of Retcons
- The circumstances of how Timmy was first babysat by Vicky and how he first got Cosmo and Wanda was changed in the movie Abracatastrophe from what happened in the pilot episode.
- The reason for Vicky's meanness has been changed several times. In one episode she had a rough childhood. Another episode shows that her niceness emotion in her brain "never showed up" for work. An evil bug up her butt has also been said to be the cause. The preview to an upcoming episode reveals that Vicky's heart is two sizes too small like the Grinch and she just needed a friend.
- Trixie's hidden tomboy side was only explored in one early episode, later episodes have since shown her as uninterested in boy things. Her mother is almost nowhere to be seen despite being mentioned in the first episode Trixie was in.
- Exactly when the last fairy baby was born before Poof has been contradicted, with some episodes saying Cosmo, while other episodes show fairies clearly younger than Cosmo and older than Poof.
- Characters introduced in comics or video games, such as Vicky's mother Nicky or the King and Queen of Fairy World, rarely survive transition into the actual canon.
- Any developments in relationships between non-official couples, particularly involving Timmy, Tootie, and Trixie, are almost guaranteed to be reset between episodes.
These are all fine examples of a retcon. Some things in the show may appear to be retconned, only to be reused in a later episode. These are not retcons, but rather mistakes in continuity. For instance, many of Da Rules are ignored or only brought up when relevant to the plot. An example being, Timmy was able to wish boys and girls apart in Lovestruck! despite this interfering with true love, a rule that frequently prevents him from making or unmaking wishes.