4. We get the word "doctor" from Doctor Who

doctor who

For those who aren't familiar, or more likely are intentionally avoiding the show to spite their friends who won't stop recommending it, Doctor Who stars a humanoid alien capable of travel through time and space. Being over nine centuries old, The Doctor is older than most uses for the term "doctor," least of all modern medicine. So what did they call The Doctor before doctors? Well, The Doctor.

In an episode from 2011, Doc's companion River Song laid it all out while giving an inspiring/disappointing lecture to the title character.

doctor who

Because of his various adventures and do-goodery throughout time, all sorts of beings (humans and otherwise) grew to associate the word "doctor" with the admirable qualities of THE Doctor.

So wait, this in the show, so where's the fan theory? We actually have to look to the the past. On a message board in 1995, that dark internet period where everyone was using those AOL discs for unlimited free trials, one Doctor Who fan posted his theory for all to see.

Steven Moffat (100043.121@CompuServe.COM) wrote:
: Here's a particularly stupid theory.  If we take "The Doctor" to 
: be the Doctor's name - even if it is in the form of a title no 
: doubt meaning something deep and Gallifreyan - perhaps our 
: earthly use of the word "doctor" meaning healer or wise man is 
: direct result of the Doctor's multiple interventions in our 
: history as a healer and wise man.  In other words, we got it from 
: him.  This is a very silly idea and I'm consequently rather proud 
: of it.

If "Steven Moffat" sounds familiar, it should -- he's the current showrunner for Doctor Who. Moffat was a big fan from back in the day, and when he got the reins he jumped at the chance to make his own fan theory into canon. It's kind of cheating, as far as officially endorsed fan theories, but that's what makes it so awesome.

 

3. The Genie is the narrator of Aladdin

genie aladdin

There are plenty of wild theories about Aladdin out there, the most popular of which might be that the movie takes place in an apocalyptic wasteland. Whereas that theory gained traction mostly based on Robin Williams' wacky behind-the-scenes improvisations and impersonations, not all fan-imagined canon is so far from what the filmmakers intended. 

In particular, one fan theory focuses on the merchant that opens the film. Remember him? He's the one that sings "Arabian Nights," the same guy who tries to sell the lamp the audience by weaving a fantastical tale. 

merchant aladdin

Some of the more cynical speculation posits that this guy completely made up the entire story of Aladdin just to sell you a crappy lamp; it sort of makes sense, since he seemed pretty desperate after he broke his combination hookah and coffeemaker. But the more optimistic theorists think that this merchant is actually the Genie, telling you the story of his past. It makes a stupid amount of sense, especially considering Robin Williams voices both characters. Maybe Genie is just looking for an excuse to tell his story while keeping his genie-ness a secret.

It's not so far-fetched an idea after all, since it was confirmed by Ron Clements, the co-director of Aladdin. At an event for the special Blu-ray release, Clements mentioned that he had seen this particular theory floating around online, and that it was in fact true. Apparently there was originally supposed to be an ending that included the merchant revealing himself as the Genie, but it didn't pan out.

We should have seen it all along in the first place -- after all, the merchant and the Genie are the only two characters who have four fingers instead of the human standard of five. Go ahead and look at those pictures and count the digits, and tell us you didn't just enter a whole new world.