Canon Events: The Latest Relatable Social Media Trend

The canon event trend is especially prominent on TikTok

If you have been on social media, especially TikTok, in the past month, you may have seen someone share about a canon event. No, this has nothing to do with shooting a projectile from a cannon (although that would be awesome). Instead, a canon event refers to an experience in a person's life that has significantly transformed them in some way. It could be something amazing (like a dream job promotion), something painfully cringe (like a middle school embarrassment), or something tragic (like the sudden loss of a loved one).

Origin of canon event

The canon event TikTok trend comes from the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse movie recently released in June 2023. One of the film's themes highlights the importance of events (no matter how good or bad) in molding a hero into their destiny. For example, Spider-Man fans know how transformative [spoiler alert] losing Uncle Ben was for Peter Parker. If you take away that tragic event, you may spare Peter from heartache but rob him of an experience that transformed him into the hero he became as Spider-Man. These events are essential to the hero's story arc, aka their canon (thus the "canon event" name), and it would be catastrophic to remove them.

Use on social media

Since Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was a smash hit at the box office, it has influenced the culture, as blockbusters do. After seeing the movie, people (mainly Gen Zers) began sharing stories of their canon events on social media. Subsequently, the term went viral, especially on TikTok, with many of the stories people share being an embarrassing fail (by them or someone else) that is not only funny but also an opportunity to grow.

For example, a TikToker may post a video of their younger tween sister doing something painfully cringeworthy (that she will later regret and learn from) and comment, "Although I want to intervene, I can't. It's her canon event." Or, someone on Twitter may post a picture of themselves wearing an unflattering outfit when they were a kid with the caption, "#canonevent."

Younger sibling's canon event

Some people may also use canon event to refer to something they are about to do that they know are probably unwise but will do anyway. For example, a person may post about a romantic decision they know is foolish but take solace in knowing it will be a canon event.

TikToker about to regret a canon event

Since the trend has become so popular, a TikTok filter was created to predict people's canon events. The filter has led TikTokers to share their humorous reactions to events like "Getting rich," "Peeing your pants," or "Meeting the 'one.'"

TikToker using the canon event filter

While we've all had canon events and will continue to have them, it's unclear how long "canon event" will remain a trending slang term. After all, most social media trends, especially TikTok ones, come and go in the blink of an eye. However, this article will now be your canon event in understanding the meaning of the slang term: canon event. See what we did there?

Reaction after realizing reading this article is a canon event