Writing today's Force Unleashed review, I had a conundrum. I needed a phrase to describe the practice of inserting in-jokey shout outs into a body of work. You know, the type of thing that fans will catch, but everyone else will ignore. More obscure than a simple reference, more in-depth than an in-joke, but a unique kind of thing anyway. Kind of like fanservice, but non-sexual. TV Tropes calls it a Mythology Gag, but that's no fun. There was no simple word, so I'm coining a new one:
Yes, it's a take-off from Fanwank, the process of explaining some perceived plot hole or continuity error with your own fan theory. But since this is more about the writers winking at the audience, I hereby declare it Fanwink!
Spread the word! No pun intended. Use it! Share it! Force it into your lexicon. Let's make this word real!
Fanwink. Work it.