When Marvel’s “Spiderman: Across The Spiderverse” gave Sony their highest-grossing animated film, it also gave TikTokers their latest trend: building content around canon events. Miles Morales is at the center of the spiderverse in this film and his actions directly impact those around him, including but limited to the other Spiderman characters. For example, if he tried to stop something from happening to himself or a loved one, he would be disrupting the trajectories of everyone else’s lives.

Canon events aren’t only the true happenings that come straight out of the comic books, they’re the moments that happen in our lives for character-building and story flow purposes. If you’re still wondering, “What is a canon event?” let’s break it down. Grab your notebook and your yearbooks. 

How TikTokers Explain Canon Events

In real life, TikTokers have taken the phrase and applied it to their own lives, marking “awkward phases” and “bad breakups” as events that had to happen because “they’re canon”. These events make us who we are today; not always characterized by suffering, because great moments spark growth too. And the growth isn’t singular, as the events themselves are not siloed either.

Others around us can claim growth from these life happenings as well. Imagine getting into a certain college, meeting your “best friends,” and losing contact after graduation only to reconnect later in life and discover that you’ve always loved one another. All of the moments leading up to that one had to happen, just like losing contact and reconnecting. 

Bittersweet, lovely and possibly comical, these moments shape our characters, teach us about ourselves and in the end, protect us from what’s not for us. A little different than “doing it for the plot”, canon events focus on what’s out of our control and how it happens exactly the way it’s supposed to and for the best of everyone involved.

Black Girl TikTok has put their own spin on it, applying canon events to beauty trends and other unserious, but accurate moments of Black girlhood. Many of the videos are lighthearted and fun, even those describing the less fun moments that were communal for so many of us like learning to do our hair or choosing friends wisely. 

Canon Events Teach Us Trust

Canon events even made their way to Twitter, manifesting as “it is what it is,” where users spoke to certain events happening and finding the courage to accept them for what they are. In either case, this idea caused people to think about the unfavorable and magical times in their lives when they knew things were changing but weren’t sure exactly how.

When these canon events happen, we won’t always have the details as to what comes next and how the events may even cause ripple effects in others’ lives. But without needing to know the outcome, based on canon events and other recent phenomena like the “burnt toast theory,” life has assured us time and time again that we control nothing and it will always take care of us.