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The term canon refers to all aspects of a fictional universe, like the Breeniverse, that are considered official. The canon of lonelygirl15 consists of events, places, people and things that are officially part of the lonelygirl15 storyline.
In traditional media the line between canon material and unofficial material is usually clear. With novels, for example, only those penned by the original author would be considered canon. With television shows, typically only the show itself is considered canon. But with an internet production like lonelygirl15, the issue is more complicated.
The Lonelygirl15 Canon
Initially, only Bree and Daniel and their YouTube accounts were known to be canon. Other parts of the Breeniverse were known to be canon once confirmed via YouTube. For example, Bree mentions her MySpace page on her YouTube page, so it is considered canon. Daniel, however, has never mentioned the Danielbeast MySpace page, and it is not canon.
The Creators of lonelygirl15 have often toyed with whether or not characters are canon. When the characters of Gemma, Jonas, Jules, and Taylor were first introduced, they posted videos just like unofficial spin-offs. But when Bree ackowledged them as characters they became "canon" and all their videos prior to acknowledgement are considered canon as well.
Certain official properties in the Breeniverse are considered canon in a more limited capacity - to the average viewer, "your mileage may vary", and it may only apply to certain timeframes in-universe. This designation mostly pertains to two specific situations:
- The OpAphid ARG, according to the Creators, was a 100% fan-created Alternate Reality Game which they liked so much that it was declared official. With this announcement OpAphid, Tachyon and Brother became canon characters as well. Initially, it was stated that it was not necessary to watch OpAphid videos to follow the lonelygirl15 story. Some fans considered OpAphid characters pseudo-canon. But, after the video Miss Me? the Creators reversed their initial statement and announced it was necessary to watch OpAphid and that the characters and its storyline are canon, but that it is not necessary to play the OpAphid puzzles.
- In April 2007, it was announced that OpAphid creator Glenn Rubenstein had parted ways with the production and elements of the ARG were quietly phased out of the storyline - their absence only noted in a Nikki Bower video. The Tachyon character would be mentioned in passing at the end of LG15: Outbreak following the announcement on August 26th, 2009 that OpAphid could once again be incorporated into the storyline. During this absence, the OpAphid characters were repurposed as a part of a new series called Redearth88 that was not part of the Breeniverse.
- LG15: The Show Is Yours winners LG15: The Last and LG15: Outbreak fall under this category as well, as while they were considered primary canon during their respective runs, their stories will not inform the follow-up show LG15: Anchor Cove. This is due to a number of factors, including the involvement of outside creators as well as large, unpopular narrative and mythology changes that occurred in Outbreak that would have direct impact on the main storyline of LG15. It should also be noted that Masonishappy, the precursor series to Outbreak, was initially produced as a series of fan videos and never had their canon status verified even during Outbreak's run.
Additionally, the character Nikki Bower may lie in this gray area as well. Presented as a viewer of TAAG's video blogs, she was revealed to be played by Alli Danziger, a personal friend of the Creators, but Nikki Bower has stated that while her character is not canon, she does have access to inside information. One of these include clues left by breeiswaiting, an abandoned ARG by the Creators. Nikki Bower has also been known to break the fourth wall, such as when she held a contest to pick a name for Bree's dad - which was later revealed as his canon name - and acknowledged the death of Maddison Atkins.
The characters seen on screen are all considered canon characters. Sometimes the characters interact with fans, like in Bree The Cookie Monster when Bree cooked the recipes of some fans or in Your Decision where GoodGollyItsHolly told Bree and Daniel what to do. These fans are not considered canon because outside of their mention in the lonelygirl15 videos they do not have an ability to influence the storyline.
A number of spin-offs, including Cassieiswatching, Paulmark18, Immant, and Itscassie, have been created around lonelygirl15. Many of these series purport to exist in the Breeniverse. They react to Bree and Daniel as if they are real. They are not, however, considered canon.
Cassieiswatching and Itscassie are both based off of the canon character Cassie. The events in their videos, however, are not an official part of the lonelygirl15 storyline. Similarly, PaulMark18 is based off the canon characters Paul and Andrea. In the case of Cassieiswatching, the Creators explicitly denied responsibility for the videos and said that they are not canon. With other fan fiction series, the Creators have generally not commented either way.