A kind of Fanservice
where the presence of a particular gimmick or kink is so widespread and prominent that it is interpreted as a specific reason the creator actually produced the work. Often, this can overlap with a certain philosophy the author espouses; for instance, an "enlightened culture"
in The Future
may have no nudity taboo
, or may have everyone bisexual
, remove all body hair at birth, et cetera. Deliberately satirical or political stories often invoke associated Take That
Author Appeal is perhaps the single leading cause of Mary Sue
characters and Mega Crossover
settings. Beyond just being written from the ground up to appeal to the author's baser interests, most writers can't help but to then derail the storyline and other characters to facilitate the character; that's the line where Author Appeal gets out of hand.
Interestingly, with careful
handling Author Appeal can still remain subtext which may not be detected until much later. On the flipside, an audience who enjoys a work specifically because
of Author Appeal can be easy to produce work for
, if the rarity of such works sufficiently balances out any faults with the work itself. Sometimes Author Appeal nets you not only people with similar interests, but people on the receiving end of those interests who may be flattered to be an object of an author's/fandom's affection.
, Author Tract
, Writer on Board
, Filibuster Freefall
, and Mary Suetopia
. Inversion of Author Phobia
, in which the creator uses their personal dread in a work. Contrast Playing to the Fetishes (the former name for Fanservice) when it seems like the author is acting out a personal fetish but is in fact just playing to a niche demographic. Very common in Fan Fiction
If a writer's early work contains obvious Author Appeal, and their later work doesn't, this may overlap with Old Shame
are often this.
See also Write What You Know
, which can be similar to and overlap with Author Appeal, but is when the author writes about something because they know about it rather than any particular personal attraction.
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anonymous/unattributed/collaborative works, episodes, misc.
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, veteran Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks' contributions began to display a rather alarming tendency to have the Doctor's female companions threatened with being raped upon being captured by the villains. Nothing ever happened, of course, but it's frequent presence in his works began to get more than a bit unsettling. The Doctor even makes a rape joke in the theatrical play Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure.
- Lloyd Rose, who has written various stories in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, likes to portray the Doctor as The Woobie. A lot. He gets injured (or otherwise suffers), in various nasty ways in at least three of her stories: City of the Dead, Camera Obscura, and Caerdroia. Really nasty. Also, there's often quite a bit of Foe Yay, almost always between the Doctor and characters who pose an immediate, physical threat to him. Looks like there's a bit of a sadomasochism kink there.
- Jim Mortimore and Body Horror, specifically dealing with full-body infections leading to transformation. At one point he does it to the entirety of Asia.
- The creator of Evangelion 303 really likes airplanes and redheads. His doujin and his page are devoted to pics of Asuka and airship models.
- ThatPersonYouMightKnow of The Lion King Adventures fame employs Slap Stick and manic game show characters—such as the Interceptor—in all of his works.
- Slightly Altered has Buwaro sing Hikari from Kingdom Hearts in one scene. The fact that there are also numerous references to that game, including "C'mon, lazy bum! Wake up!" being a recurring phrase, as well as Ortimor's line "It is I, Anton, seeker of thy heart!" further indicate this.
- This is the very reason for "Linkin Park Z" (i.e., Dragon Ball Z music videos set to Linkin Park songs), despite the fact that most Linkin Park songs are relatively dark and brooding and have little to do with the more cheerful and combat-oriented Dragon Ball sagas.
- There was a fic where Rei Ayanami revealed her love of Dungeons & Dragons. After that the whole thing dissolved into an Author Tract about how people can't appreciate modern fantasy.
- Neon Exodus Evangelion is a Neon Genesis Evangelion Mega Crossover, whose authors were also clearly into New England college life, antiauthoritarianism, motorcycles, the Titanic and the UK. But not, however, anything the original creators of Eva had done with the themes and characterization.
- Shinji And Warhammer 40 K has one Author Appeal element, but it's right there in the title, and used with style.
- There is one Tenchi Muyo! fanfic where Tenchi and his crew gave in willingly to Kagato because he threatened them with country music.
- Another Tenchi Muyo! example was alien princess Ayeka listening to the 1997 song "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks (real subtle there) despite the fact that she had never been to Earth, and the song wouldn't be written for 700 years.
- Knight Of Lolicon: In addition to the premise, at some point the writer must have just felt like throwing in obscure anime that only fellow otakus were likely to have seen, and made the fic nigh-unreadable to anyone who isn't familiar with Magical Girl and Shoujo series targeted towards young girls. There are also a lot of Shout Outs towards things that make little sense in context.
- Kalash93 loves Gratuitous Foreign Language, Gun Porn, dark backstories, world building, head coverings, and things influenced by Russia, especially its military.
- In pretty much every one of his stories where he mentions firearms, expect at least one to be of Soviet or Russian origin. He has a real thing for Kalashnikovs, often equipping the protagonist with one. He also has distaste for AR family (M16/M4 & derivates) weapons, which often end up in the hands of villains.
- Kalash really likes his military uniforms and equipment, especially camouflage uniforms and whatever else a character may be wearing. He is especially fond of eastern bloc uniforms and gear, often naming exact models and describing such things in vivid detail.
- He also seems to like making his protagonists ShellShockedVeterans to one extent or another. Given how much verisimilitude goes into the stories featuring actual combat, one starts to wonder if there's an element of Write What You Know to this. He certainly wouldn't be the first combat veteran to become a brony as a form of self-therapy.
- Nyoron Churuya-san (a Haruhi Suzumiya gag manga) is largely based on Churuya's desire for smoked cheese — which exists because the author really likes smoked cheese.
- Decks Fall Everyone Dies: the Yu-Gi-Oh! characters with their Abridged Series personalities in the plot of Moulin Rouge! with whatever songs the author wants to parody.
- The Darker Knight is a Batman Troll Fic in which Batman saves random celebrities and rock bands and fights against a zombie apocalypse with characters from other comics, cartoons, and movies. Hilarity Ensues.
- One AU High School Musical fanfic had Gabriella and Troy share a mutual dislike of eggs. To say nothing of the setting, namely casting Gabriella as a well-off Jew and Troy as one of the Hilterjüngen in Nazi Germany. Luckily, the author canceled the fic after coming back from a long hiatus and realizing that it was kind of terrible.
- Harry Potter fans (among others) call these elements "pepperjack cheese", or just "pepperjack", after a Harry Potter fanfic in which Hermione expresses a fondness for pepper jack cheese, a mild cheese with jalapeńo peppers that's popular in parts of the United States but unknown everywhere else. England is part of "everywhere else", and it's nigh-impossible to obtain there.note The author boldly stated in her notes that Hermione liked it now because she (the author) liked it. It was such a blatant example that it soon became shorthand for "the characters must like what I like!"
- Oddly enough, from around 2007 or so it became possible to find something at least vaguely similar to pepperjack cheese in Asda, a British supermarket chain that is now owned by Wal-Mart. Make of this what you will.
- The most infamous example of a 'pepperjack' fic would probably be My Immortal. EVERY sympathetic character is a goff who likes emo bands and wearing Hot Topic. Oh, and all the guys are bisexual.
- Musical choices are a very common element. Fanfic writers will often put Hogwarts students (even pureblood wizards like Draco) in shirts advertising moody American Muggle bands that hadn't even been formed at the corresponding timeline.
- Then there's Hermione's Talent, in which Neville raps (!) among many, many other violations of canon. In the Spiritual Successor Karaoke Night, Draco Malfoy of all people is the rapping one.
- A Drizzt Do'Urden fanfic that was slightly more nuanced than the standard. Catti-brie wanted to try bondage, and while Drizzt is at first interested, being from a society that is controlled by a frothing boot-on-the-neck abusive matriarchy, he started freaking out. He got used to it in the end, though.
- Fics in which the characters eat the author's favourite meal are quite common, and often not particularly problematic, but see the above mention of Pepper-Jack Cheese - it doesn't work when the food is not accessible or there would be other reasons for the characters not to eat it. For example, there was once a Lord of the Rings fic which featured the elves making a pizza.
- A curious Star Trek: The Next Generation/Battlestar Galactica (original) crossover fanfic had this as the climax, with a Mary Sue Enterprise crewman precipitating the rapture with a piano recital. It took a good chunk of both series humans (save for a befuddled Picard, musing on whether he could find faith), and some Cylons, which were revealed to be lizards in silver armor. (This last is a reference to the little-known novelization of the original pilot movie, which was adapted from an early script that predated the Executive Meddling which turned the Cylons into robots in the first place.)
- An author has produced a few short Doctor Who Meta Fics in which Ninth and Tenth join the Eleventh Hatedom, and lambast him whenever he enters This Time Round.
- There's also a Doctor Who/The Prisoner crossover fic. The "new Number Two" convention from The Prisoner is compared to Time Lord regeneration, which provides the sole hook for combining the two series. It's very weird.
- And then there's the Fan Verse of Rich's ComixBlog that includes characters from Forever Knight and Jem becoming companions of the Doctor.
- An otherwise well-written Babylon 5/Battlestar Galactica (revival) crossover seemed to indicate that NCAA basketball was a major obsession of the Earth Alliance.
- With Strings Attached is what happened when the then 15-year-old writer got into The Beatles and Dungeons & Dragons simultaneously, though the final product (which she finished when she was 44) went far, far beyond anything as simple as D&D.
- Peptuck, the author of the Command & Conquer story Tiberium Wars (no, not the official novelization) is clearly a big fan of Warhammer 40,000, especially Gaunt's Ghosts, and this shows up in his portrayal of Nod which definitely has elements of the Imperial Guard and Space Marines. Plus all the other subtler Shout Outs (and not just to Warhammer 40,000). He even specifically referenced Gaunt's Ghosts in his notes, and the GDI 4th Recon Battalion are the Ghosts in all but name.
- The same author is also a fan of Summer Glau, as shown by some of his other fics, particularly Forward, where River is the primary character.
- Another thing he is a big fan of is military hardware in general, and infantry kit in particular. Many of his stories, particularly Tiberium Wars, Forward, Renegade, and Harbinger place a lot of emphasis on realistic infantry movement, equipment, and tactics. The narrative in these stories often takes pains to show characters properly using sights, checking and securing gear, covering one another while moving, and proper room-clearing.
- The fanfic Return to Atlantica, besides being a terrifying behemoth (one chapter, one hundred and sixty-six thousand, two hundred and eighteen words), contains everything from Pokémon to The Little Mermaid to Spyro the Dragon to Super Mario Bros.
- A fan of the Legacy of Kain series starts pulling the characters out of the video games. Since they are in the "Real World," they can watch movies and play video games, including their own. Due to the nature of the magic involved, the characters will occasionally run into characters like Dante from Devil May Cry and Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. Razzy Plush, Sequel to Razzy Plush, and Plus Kain: The Convention Adventure.
- A Daria fic, in which shy, insecure Stacy Rowe, who is obsessed with being popular and liked by others was also secretly a fan of the Dead Milkmen. More inexplicable references to and cameos by bands that it was clear the author loved followed.
- The two authors of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series make alot of Shout Outs to shows they like (also indicated by their other fics):
- Another Daria fic shows Daria's parents as loving and completely indulgent to the disgustingly spoiled Quinn, while Daria is neglected to the point of emotional abuse. When Daria asks for an upgrade to her creaky aging Apple computer, her parents respond by buying Quinn the very latest and best IBM-clone computer. The writer's preference could not have been more obvious if she'd added "Written on an Apple" to every paragraph.
- In Camp Nightmare, Calvin and Hobbes listen to Nickelback in the staff bathroom.
- The writings of Crossoverpairinglover feature many atheists, such as Taisune and the Altered World Serverus Snape, which the author hints at being. He also has a tendency to make magical people idiots, this being due to them being stuck to the past while he is a self expressed liberal.
- The author of the infamous Rose Potter fan fic seems to have a thing for naked women; specifically their breasts and nether regions, which are invariably the first things mentioned whenever a naked woman is seen, and always described in exactly the same way.
- Total Drama Island, by Gilbert and Sullivan owes its very existence to this trope. The author is a fan of both the Total Drama series and the Gilbert and Sullivan series of light operas, and his whole purpose in combining them was to introduce to one people who are familiar with the other.
- In The Legend of Total Drama Island, Cody (who bears more than a passing resemblance to the author at that age) is the go-to character for allusions to two of the author's favorite entertainment franchises, Star Trek and Monty Python.
- In A New Order, a Sailor Moon fic, Usagi is a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion. There's also a more meta example: Sailor Uranus is the author's least favorite character and, despite her being a powerful fighter, her first fight ends with her near death while the other senshi are relatively unharmed.
- Starbound, a Lucky Star fanfic, has two core points: the long-haired characters' hair done up into beehives, and an attempt to be the next Earthbound. The former is even more noteworthy than the latter, because the fic has been written by the same person who commissions for other long-haired female characters w/ their hair updone, created a five-girl band of magical girls known as the Beehive Brigade (whom he also commissions for pictures of), and even runs a group known as The Beehive, which is all about that trope.
- By his own admission, the author of the Earth - 2706 verse is very attracted to women who wear Converse high-top sneakers or do tap and ballet dancing, and has worked these traits into both the girlfriend of the male protagonist of one of the series and the female protagonist of the other. The author also has a deep love for obscure, second-string heroes and villains, and elevates them to take center stage in the series while pushing the A-listers to guest star status.
- Played Up to Eleven and parodied in Alone by Monica Gilbey Bieber, which features a Self Insert who is a ridiculously wealthy world-famous architect and bestselling writer who has met and befriended various celebrities and rock stars. The story vividly describes how successful he is and how he is living the dream, including paragraphs worth of the author telling the readers about his architecture firm, luxury penthouse, black Lamborghini with personal chauffeur and butler, and black Persian cat named Cruciö. He also explicitly states his musical taste in-story. However, James (the character) surprisingly isn't really a Gary Stu, and the fic manages to subvert the trope as well by stating that James is still short-statured and single at thirty years old. He also exposes some of his own character flaws in-story.
- The author of Pokémon: The Great Adventure really likes music. Most battle scenes have a battle theme that is very often taken from Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts (though there are exceptions) and nearly each chapter has a song at the beginning. Bryan Adams, Owl City, Toto, various James Bond themes and especially Phil Collins seem to be her main preferences.
- Green Phantom Queen of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades loves Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead for some very odd reason: the two boys who were with Mei are nicknamed "Ros" and "Guil" two chapters of Tears to Shed are named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (along with appropriate quotes from the play), and Jun quotes some lines from the play in one chapter of Month of Sundays.
- Cori Falls is a huge fan of the fantasy genre and certain rock groups, and it shows in the way she not only incorporates elements of them into her stories but also makes the characters fans of them.
- The Captain Of The Virtual Console says that video games are awesome, and should be treated with respect and remembered.
- Yogui likes crude penises as background jokes. This can be seen in the Something series and any of his contest entries.
- Supercrossover military fanfiction The Terminators Army Of Legend series obviously contains some author appeal within it, especially considering its protagonist, Alex Vaughn, is effectively an idealized version of the author, minus the Mary Sue characteristics. For example, Alex and Alpha Company will often play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or Halo: Reach multiplayer between missions. While Alex and Terrias both enjoy Dark Souls.
- Sonic X: Dark Chaos runs with huge amounts of graphic violence, dark science fantasy, and Rule of Cool - in a story about Sonic the Hedgehog of all things. Why? Because the author loves violent action movies, video games, science fantasy (especially Warhammer 40000) and Rule of Cool. He admits that he incorporated tons of Shout Outs and concepts into the story specifically because he thought it would make the setting more cool and action-packed.
- The writer of Origin Story is a self-admitted fan of theme parks, and the Disney theme parks in particular. One entire chapter of the story is set in Disneyland, while visits to theme parks are mentioned off-handedly in other chapters.