Created By: Koveras on July 5, 2012 Last Edited By: Koveras on July 16, 2012

Trivia: Fandom Life Cycle

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The life cycle of a fandom of a work, franchise, genre, or creator can be roughly subdivided into seven stages:

  • Stage 0a: Obscurity. The work has just began publication and is relatively unknown.
  • Stage 0b: Pre-release hype owed either to the creator's previous fame or to a promotion campaign. The fandom is technically not there yet but the seeds are sown.
  • Stage 1: Relative obscurity. Fans are disjointed and have little communication. Claims of "It Needs More Love" are heard.
  • Stage 2: Fans begin to communicate and form clubs that will become the devoted core of the fandom. Troper Critical Mass is usually reached at this stage. Cult Classics remain here forever.
  • Stage 3: Fandom heads towards mainstream. Hatedom forms as a Vocal Minority, and the fandom is too small to drown them out. Most creators start paying attention to the fandom at this stage.
  • Stage 4: Fandom becomes large and organized. The majority drowns out the hatedom voices. "Normal People" outside of the fandom begin to recognize its object's popularity.
  • Stage 5: The work becomes sufficiently ingrained in contemporary culture for even the people not familiar with it to know a lot about it, technically turning everyone into a fan. Examples: Star Wars, Batman.
  • Stage 6a: Cooldown. The fandom slips back to stage 2 from any of the previous stages, becoming a cult.
  • Stage 6b: Oblivion. The fandom goes back to obscurity from any of the previous stages.
  • Stage X: Reboot. After slipping back to obscurity, the fandom springs back towards mainstream due to external factors.

Note that not every fandom passes through every stage--some stick at the early stages forever.
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • July 9, 2012
  • July 15, 2012
    I have a hat already... does that mean it's good as it is?
  • July 15, 2012
    Stage 3 should be potholed to The Law Of Fan Jackassery.
  • July 15, 2012
    This should probably be Trivia... it's not quite a trope, but it's definitely something.
  • July 15, 2012
  • July 15, 2012
    Hey, whoever that was, don't just remove hats without commenting on the reasons, please.
  • July 15, 2012
    I don't know who removed your hat but keep in mind that they're just guidelines. I'd say you can pretty much publish the trivia as is.
  • July 16, 2012
    ^ Yeah I know they're guidelines but hat removal means someone found a flaw that escaped them at first glance, and I would like to know what it was in order to fix it.