(shortened form of RETroactive CONtinuity; first made popular in the comic book world)

1. (original meaning) Adding information to the back story of a fictional character or world, without invalidating that which had gone before.

2. (more common usage) Adding or altering information regarding the back story of a fictional character or world, regardless of whether the change contradicts what was said before.
1. Although they had previously been shown to have two other sets of parents, the retcon of making Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch the children of Magneto only altered the meaning of past events, not what had happened.

2. Retconning Dawn Summers into "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the fifth season was one of the rare instances where the fact that history has been altered for our characters was recognized in the story, even though the characters all still remembered the "new" versions of events.
by R David Francis July 08, 2003
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Reframing past events to serve a current plot need.
A retcon is an instance of a hand wave.
by flintlocke314 September 11, 2018
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Short for Retroactive Continuity, meaning later added events in a story that contradict an already exisiting chronology and plot, creating paradoxes or illogicisms.

But mainly a stupid, bloated, meaningless neologism created by basement dweller fucktard comic geeks who like to think kiddy stories about flying men in tights with superpowers is a very, very serious topic that needs near scientific jargon to be clearly understood.

And jargon is, as we all now, what idiots use to try and sound intelligent , when they are just refering to very simple ideas (perfect eg : using "concept" to say "idea" : same words, "concept" just sounds smarter).

Used mostly because it sounds like "defcon", and nothing makes an american's dick harder then cool sounding words.

Hence a million retarded military acronyms that sound like they where made up by a twelve year old : this trend is getting so ridiculously rampant that it even has a name : the dreaded BACKRONYM.

It goes like this : come up with a cool souding 5 or 6 letter word (eg WRAITH, VIPER, SPECTER, KAOS...), find words for each letter and try to make sense, eg : FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle).

As for stupid but cool-sounding neologisms, Americans absolutely love this and think it makes them sound edgy, cool and intimidating, the rest of the world just thinks it sounds immature, childish and retarded.
"That wolverine spinoff totally retconned the original comic, I'm so upset I'm gonna hang myself with my xbox controller"
by Spyan September 13, 2018
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1. When an author or publisher decides to vanquish a story element that has long been considered canon or historic to the story line.

Possibly out of neglect to the potential story line the element could have provided, but ultimately was wasted. However it may also be that the plot element or historic piece of the story was highly unpopular, and was erased from the story to appease the target audience.

2. A roiling sea of fire, with litanies of anguish pouring out from the multitude shitsack plot twists condemned to an eternity of torment. Where unholy black mass is held in honor of the retcon devil, and unholy communions of bad plot wafers and poor penmanship wine are served, while millions of little plotline babies scream from the fiery chasms below.
"I hope that Wolverine Origins comic rots in Retcon Hell!" (It obviously hasn't, although the movie and comic versions of his past don't match up...)
by DracArgente August 11, 2010
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