Or "BNF" for short. A Big Name Fan is someone who, while not officially
associated with the company that produces a given series — say, for the purposes of this article, Star Wars
— is still widely known in the Star Wars
fan community, and possibly by the producers of Star Wars
Maybe the BNF created a fan website that has become the
source for information on Star Wars
. Maybe they created a Star Wars Fanfic
or other amateur Derivative Work
that is so well-done everyone
in the fandom has seen it. Maybe they just got posted on YouTube waving a lightsaber around like a spastic monkey. (Most BNFs are known for more positive things.) Regardless, everyone in the fandom now knows their name... or at least their Internet handle.
This can get a little weird for some BNFs, who often still think of themselves as "just another fan." Some will let it go to their heads (even before they've truly hit the big time
), some will freak out, some will just take it in stride.
It's arguable where the line is between Big Name Fan and just plain fan is, of course. However, when they're invited to speak at a Star Wars
convention, or hired by Lucasfilm
to continue what they were already doing for free, any doubt that they've become a Big Name Fan goes out the window.
The recognition is great, but remember that Celebrity Is Overrated
: BNFs are easy targets, and are often singled out for torment by jealous fans. This may extend to their friends. Thankfully, the anonymity factor helps their life from getting too
crazy: the vast majority of BNFs today did whatever they became famous for on the Internet while older ones did so through fanzines and mail, so their faces (and/or real names) are often unknown to most, making them indeed just another fan in the real world (even if they're gods on the Net).
Not to be confused with BMF
, nor a Big Name / Important Person who turns out to be a Fan - otherwise known as One of Us
. Compare/contrast with Promoted Fanboy
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Captain Osaka on deviantART to the Gurren Lagann fandom. Gained massive reputation for producing the DOUBLE K comic, which is the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann cast thrown into a Buddy Cop Show.
- Sakky, Sakura, or Sailor Astera is probably one of the more well known fan character creators in the Sailor Moon fandom.
- Brad DeMoss, one of the pioneers of the Fan Vid concept. His biggest claim to fame is his "Evangelion Episode One" video (Neon Genesis Evangelion clips to the Star Wars Episode One trailer sound), which got notice and approval from both Lucasfilm and Gainax. He regularly co-hosts the Masquerade event at AnimeExpo.
- Mark Simmons, maintainer of the now-defunct Gundam Project website, ended up getting hired to assist with the English-language adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam.
- He even got a minor character in Gundam SEED named after him.
- And protagonist of G-Saviour is Mark Curran who has sidekick call Simmons.
- Of similar note is his ocassional work partner, Keith Rhee. Rhee originally started the Gundam Project site and later maintained Bandai's own Gundam Official site for a number of years.
- The crew of Dattebayo, though technically operating illegally, have been in good relations with Viz Media for quite some time — so much so, that, when Viz began releasing their own subs shortly after Japanese broadcast, rather than ruin that relationship, they chose to stop subbing Naruto rather than force Viz to send them a C&D letter.
- Giovanna and Yasha of Empty Movement have kept alive Revolutionary Girl Utena fandom for years and were responsible for a revival of that fandom over the last three years when they opened a forum.
- Alan Harnum is considered the writer of Utena fanfiction. His unfinished opus is almost considered required reading in Utena fandom.
- LittleKuriboh is one of the few Big Name Fans who has made a big name for himself outside the fandom in question.
- In fandom he's pretty much a hero and a saint.
- And 4Kids has been known to express their enjoyment as well.
- Chris Sabat is good friends with him and his team, although he recently stated that he hopes they use their great talent for original work someday.
- Slifertheskydragon is considered by most fans to be the best and most prolific artist in the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom. She also hosts fan activities, fan panels and is on first name basis with most of the Japanese and English production staff.
- In March 2011, a card signed by Slifertheskydragon sold on ebay for 750 dollars in a charity auction.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, according to The Other Wiki, has several authoritative fan commentators, such as Taliesin Jaffe (from the End of Eva DVD commentary, who FUNimation now turns to as their "Eva Expert" for Rebuild of Evangelion) and Sean McCoy (from the ADV Platinum DVD commentary, who now regularly runs Eva panels at Fanime Con ).
- Cristina Valenzuela a.k.a. CristinaVee is a newcomer in the dubbing industry, but even before that, she caught the eyes of Bang! Zoom Entertainment with her dubbing talents at a convention.
- Satashi in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fandom, on FF.net, Animesuki, and the Nanofate.us fora.
- Ai No Kusabi has Kira Takenouchi know for her Taming Riki fan fiction and other original yaoi works.
- Digimon has Chris McFeely, who operated the Digimon Encyclopedia back in the early 2000's.
- Similar to McFeely, Grace Anderson, known commonly as "Megchan", was not only the official translator for the first four seasons of Digimon, but also ran a now-defunct fan site called Megchan's Digimon Sekai where she provided overseas fans access to Japanese material and translated updates as the shows were coming out in Japan.
- With Cartoon Network's Toonami block revived in 2012, a few fans have become so excited and vocal that Williams Street noticed them and have used their work on several occasions. Amateur rapper Richie Branson wrote several raps on Toonami's return and on shows they aired, the first of which the staff used to kick off the first broadcast on TV in May! Many songs used in the TV bumps are by fans of the block.
- Linkara is this for Gail Simone and the fan favorite series 52.
- Daredevil fan Kuljit Mithra, creator of the website Manwithoutfear.com. The site is considered the best archive of information on the comic book character, to the extent that writers of the Daredevil title routinely consult it for research, and Brian Micheal Bendis thanked Mithra in the afterword of his last issue as a writer for Daredevil. Mithra & Manwithoutfear.com, along with Philipp Lenssen & Coverbrowser.com are given special thanks for providing the cover gallery at the end of Daredevil's 500th issue.
- DC Comics historian John "Mikishawm" Wells is a Big Name Fan, having written the text pieces for collections such as Crisis on Infinite Earths Absolute Edition, and even getting mentioned in Kurt Busiek's Power Company, where Wells & Schaum is a research organization providing information on metahumans.
- In Spider-Girl, a temporary love interest for the main character, Chris Jarkoer, was named after a fan, Jarkover.
- Dave Campbell, who writes the blog Dave's Long Box, ("I'm going to review my comic book collection and you're going to like it!") got to write handbook bios for the Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe.
- Crossing over into the Anime/Manga section, anime voice actor Sonny Strait was once a writing, drawing and inking intern for the creator of ElfQuest and pushed her a bit back into the comic circle.
- Jess Nevins, whose various comic annotations not only lead him to literally writing the manual for each volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen but also backup work in Ed Brubraker's Incognito.
- Peter Sanderson, a comic book historian whose research work has been used by both DC and Marvel since the 80s. He's an academic in the field of comics and has written a long-running column.
- After an entry of The Far Side referred to Jane Goodall as a tramp, Gary Larson received a letter that threatened a lawsuit. After some complicated legal issues, it finally turned out that Goodall herself loved the cartoon and was completely unaware of any of what had happened, which quickly cleared everything up. In fact, the Jane Goodall Institute now has a licensing deal, and T-shirts featuring the "Jane Goodall Tramp" cartoon became one of the hottest sellers.
- Derrick Bang has held this role in the Peanuts fandom since the early '90s. After amassing a complete collection of strips by going through microfilms of old newspapers, he wrote a lengthy FAQ for the Peanuts newsgroup, then expanded that into a website and a book (50 Years of Happiness), both with the cooperation of Charles M. Schulz himself. Since then he's written several other Peanuts-related books and does freelance work for the Schulz organization.
- A Don Martin strip in an issue of MAD showed Wayne Gretzky in a dentist's chair with his dentist informing him a tooth had to be removed. The next frame shows the dentist preparing to slap shot a puck at Mr. Gretzky's mouth. Wayne Gretzky wrote Mad, telling them that he was a long-time fan and actually requesting a poster-sized print of the strip to give to his dentist (whom he assured them used somewhat more modern techniques). It's one of the few Letters to the Editor that the Mad editorial staff didn't thoroughly mock when reprinted.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars
- Ryan vs. Dorkman is a well-known fan video that uses skillful choreography and special effects to create a live-action lightsaber duel. After overwhelming fan response, Ryan and "Dorkman" proceeded to film a rematch, this time with a score composed (for free!) by film composers Gordy Haab and Kyle Newmaster. The fact that the lightsaber fights is better than the ones in the movies... they deserve it. Even better? They were helping with the movie fights, and this is the stuff that they were not allowed to do!
- Speaking of Star Wars, SuperShadow, known for being the one guy you should never ever believe. The irony being that he was right about the female Exile, so idiots edit Wookieepedia to say the Jedi Exile is male. Yeah.
- Albin Johnson, founder of the 501st Legion, eventually had his organization worked into Star Wars canon: Darth Vader's personal platoon is named the 501st.
- Ernie Fosselus acted and directed one of the best parody films of Star Wars ever made, the 22-minute long Hardware Wars. I believe George Lucas liked it so much he had 20th Century Fox pay Fosselus to allow them to include the short on the DVD of Star Wars.
- Bill "Jettman" Ramey, founder of the "Batman on Film" website and forum, is pretty well known to a good number of people in the online Batman and Superhero fandom.
- Sal Piro became a BNF for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, using Audience Participation to make the movie a cult classic.
- Several examples in the Harry Potter fandom:
- Cassandra (Cassie) Claire, known for popularizing (if not in fact creating) a certain characterization of Draco Malfoy, and for plagiarizing most of her well known fic in that fandom. Parlayed her pre-existing fan-base into a publishing deal for her original fiction.
- Melissa Anelli, webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron. Like Emerson, she was invited to interview J.K. Rowling, managed to get an interview with Rowling on PotterCast, got a foreward written by Rowling in her Harry: A History book and is often called on by the media to talk about the series. She is also a senior creative consultant on Pottermore, a project officially endorsed by Rowling.
- How about Steve Vander Ark of The Harry Potter Lexicon? The Lexicon was one of the websites J. K. Rowling favored in the Harry Potter fandom, until they decided to publish a book based on the website that was almost entirely her own words...
- John Noe of PotterCast/The Leaky Cauldron is also a bit of a BNF, since he had the character of John Dawlish named after him.
- Makani is one of the most famous Harry Potter fanartists. Her art is used in The Leaky Cauldron as a kind of "official" image for HP characters, and her take on the Malfoy family is source of much fanon.
- Neil Cicierega is especially well known for his Potter Puppet Pals series.
- Emerson Spartz, creator of Mugglenet, deffinitely qualifies for this, as he has interviewed J. K. Rowling and he was one of the writers involved in two HP-based books, both of which were best-sellers.
- At least among the Marauders Era fanbase, The Shoebox Project is often accepted as the definitive fanfiction for the four friends. The writers, LiveJournal users ladyjaida and dorkorific are respected and revered among the fandom.
- ladyjaida, real name Jaida Jones, moved on to cowrite the book Havemercy. And now she has her own fandom. Ninety percent of Havemercy fangirls started as Shoebox fangirls, and they're an insanely loyal bunch.
- Harry and the Potters, anyone? Draco and the Malfoys? Whoever heard of making rockbands off books, really...
- Also, the musical theatre group the Starkids, who made the Affectionate Parody A Very Potter Musical. The guy who played Harry Potter (Darren Criss) is actually a mainstream actor now, what with his role on Glee, and Ron Weasley recently made an appearance as a background dancer.
- John Granger aka the Hogwarts Professor could count. He's written several books on the series and currently hosts Mugglenet Acadamia which dissects different aspects of the series. He also previously hosted the Pottercast recurring segment, Potter Pundits which does the same thing.
- Subverted with Eliezer Yudkowsky. Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality has a strong following, but one which arguably contains more non-fans of Harry Potter than fans. Considering it's a Deconstruction Fic, this is perhaps to be expected. As a result, Methods of Rationality seems to have its own mini-fandom which exists outside of the regular Harry Potter fandom.
- A particularly infamous case was Ms. Scribe, who managed to engineer her rise to BNF status via an army of over thirty carefully fleshed-out Sock Puppets, primarily by strategically igniting friction and flame wars between various Harry Potter communities. It all came crashing down after a massive Watergate-style investigation.
- Stephen Briggs has worked with Terry Pratchett on Discworld maps and other supplemental materials, narrates several audiobooks, and has written all of the stage adaptations of the books and played the role of Lord Vetinari in all of them. (That counts as fan activity because its strictly am-dram.) And he's part of the conventions.
- Although not as big a part as current convention organiser John Hicks, who was previously the Head of Productions, and has also been responsible for Discworld amateur dramatics, but is now better known as the black-robed and skull-ringed Dr Hix of Unseen University's Department of Post-Mortem Communications.
- In fact, Discworld has many Big Name Fans, since it's a relatively small fandom (the books are runaway bestsellers, but many of the fans aren't the sort of people who do "fannish" things; they just like the books). And since the merch is mostly on the cottage-industry, I've-got-a-good-idea-how-does-Pterry-feel? level, the difference between being a Big Name Fan and being part of The Discworld Industry is downright fractal.
- Blizzardclaw (or "Blizz"), owner of the largest Warrior Cats fansite. She has been personally invited to two events by the author/editor of the series by name, once via the series' official e-mail newsletter.
- In the words of Nuttymadam3575: UHHMAAAAAZING BOOOOOOOOOOOOK!
- In The Lord of the Rings fandom, Michael Martinez is one of the most prolific scholars and trivia buffs, with several books and countless articles under his belt. (He is also, incidentally, the owner of a large Xena: Warrior Princess website as well.)
- Also Stephen Colbert who was invited to the filming of the Hobbit and beat the cast and crew in a Tolkien trivia contest.
- Michael Macauley, webmaster of Shurtugal.com, the #1 Inheritance Cycle fansite. The site get's heavy input form the series' author Christopher Paolini with monthy Q&A sesions from him. Palolini even put some of his imput in Macauley's book The Inheritance Almanac.
- For some years, M.J. Simpson was the leading expert and go-to guy on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Douglas Adams generally, but hated the movie so much that he became disillusioned and refused to do it anymore.
- Elio and Linda, the owners of Westeros.org are this for the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom, and actually help GRRM with keeping details straight.
- For Supernatural the character Jamie in the season 4 episode Monster Movie was named for a sick fan.
- Tracy went from a fan who writes Dean/Castiel fic and likes Misha Collins, to meeting Misha and having a milkshake with him, having her friends asked where she was when she wasn't at a convention and running the charity The Random Act which Misha's minions created.
- Madison from the same fandom also somewhat fits this; she had tea with Misha Collins and has arguably one of the best known blogs in the fandom.
- Melissa Good is a critically acclaimed Fan Fic writer in the Xena: Warrior Princess fandom. So critically acclaimed, in fact, that the producers of the show asked her to write several episodes for the sixth season of the show.
- Producer David Eick, during commentary on his later show Battlestar Galactica, while not mentioning names specifically, reflected back on the Xena years, and explained that at the time in the mid-1990s, "fan reaction from the Internet" was a very new thing. The show's staff got very excited about going online and reading the real-time reactions of fans. The problem was, because this was so new and shiny to them, they had no real concept of how to contextualize or frame what they were reading: internet fans are the most obsessive, and you kind of need to read through a lot of it, or "professional reviews" to get even a basic feel of what the "reaction" was. But because "the Internet" was so new at the time, they'd basically just go online and read through major fanfiction hubs without much of a sense of "cognitive dissonance" like "maybe these are just obsessed niche fans". As Eick explained, in the later seasons this resulted in them pandering on a massive scale, doing all sorts of things the online fans they encountered suggested...and it actually turned a lot of the casual viewers away. It's open to interpretation how "good" these episodes were, but they really weren't as "accessible".
- Bjo Trimble and her husband John are BN Fs for the Star Trek franchise, having driven the letter-writing campaign that spared the original series from cancellation before its third season. It's believed that the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation named the Bajorans in her honor.
- She also authored the original Star Trek Concordance that was the definitive reference work for many years.
- Paula Smith, author of the parody fanfic A Trekkie's Tale and inventor of the term Mary Sue.
- The Kirk/Spock fandom itself has a few:
- Killashandra (aka Killa or Killabeez) — wrote some of the most beautiful fic ever written on the pairing, as well as the ship manifesto for the same. Her story "Surrender" is considered the finest exploration of D/s and dubcon in the fandom, and "Turning Point" was the first K/S fanfic ever posted online.
- Diane Marchant — wrote the very first K/S fanfic, "A Fragment Out of Time". (Note that this was not only the very first K/S fic but the very first Slash Fic, published in 1974.)
- Leslie Fish — wrote the second ever K/S fanfic, "Shelter", which likely inspired the "Kirk and Spock in a cave" cliche. She's also quite well known for her Filk Songs.
- Ian Marter, who played the character of Harry Sullivan on Doctor Who, also wrote several novels based on the series.
- Ian Levine is also well known amongst fandom. As well as his efforts to locate missing stories, he also briefly worked on the show as an unofficial fan continuity advisor.
- Jean-Marc Lofficier, author of Universe Concordances The Doctor Who Programme Guide, The Terrestrial Index and The Universal Databank.
- Before he became a Promoted Fanboy as the official voice of the Daleks and Cybermen, Nick Briggs was well known for writing and starring in some fanvids and audios during the cancellation. To the extent that his portrayal of the Doctor appeared in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip as a possible future self.
- The most famous fan of Doctor Who is Queen Elizabeth II. Fans don't get much more big-name than that.
- Lawrence Miles, a Doctor Who fan who wrote some spin-off novels in the 90s, failed to get a writing job on the revived series. However, he still has a devoted following of "fans" who read the poorly-thought-out and transparently bitter screeds he publishes after every new episode.
- A few Power Rangers BNFs have had shout-outs as well:
- Derik Smith: Monster of the Week named Kired
- Joe Rovang: Monster of the Week named Rofang
- Jason Takach: Monster of the Week named Takach
- Jesse Lee Herndon (better known as SirSTACK) — Herndon Laboratories
- Chris Funaro: Funaro Maximum Security Prison
- And don't forget Amit Bhaumik. He was the webmaster of an extensive, detailed and now defunct Power Rangers information database called the "Online Archives". He was one mind behind the (in)famous Scorpion Rain hoax. And he became story editor of Wild Force and worked on that season's two crossover eps. He currently works as a "consultant" on the latest series Power Rangers (Super) Samurai, and co-wrote two of the series clip shows. Unfortunatly, Chris Funaro revealed that the two had had a bitter falling out (Amit understandably loves Samurai, Chris does not)
- Linkara probably counts, especially considering he got invited as a guest to PowerMorphicon.
- For the Show's 20th Anniversary Saban created the Super Fan Power Force and invited fans to apply to help participate in the promotion of the 20th anniversary. Since slots were extremely limited to 20, you pretty much had to be a Big Name Fan to get in, with the application asking for what sites the applicants were involved with and other credentials, many fans need not to have applied. Amongst those picked were Linkara, Fury Diamond, Darkblaze, Lavender Ranger, Linear Ranger, and Power Morphicon to name a few.
- In a bit of a reversal, Wil Wheaton is now arguably in this category: he's most popular for his blogging and being "just a geek" as he puts it, and he regularly associates with Gabe and Tycho, his fellow Big Name Fans from Penny Arcade. Whether you consider this a promotion, demotion, or something in between probably depends on how harshly you dislike his previous claim to "fame" as Wesley Crusher.
- But don't forget! Wil Wheaton disliked Wesley, too.
- The Lipp Sisters (Deborah and Roberta Lipp) are this for Mad Men—they were even invited to sit in the VIP section (directly behind Elisabeth Moss and January Jones) at the Season 4 Premiere in Times Square, pictures of which including them can be seen here.
- For the Sherlock fandom, we have Angrybeige
- Larry Williams, who decided to just make a Youtube video reviewing the first episode of Game of Thrones, not being familiar at all with A Song of Ice and Fire. This soon expanded into reviews for every episode, with his emotional ranting about his love for the show and rabid defense of his favorite characters earning him a ton of new subscribers and eventually the attention of the people behind the show, who even sent him a poster signed by the producers and Sean Bean.
- Cher, apparently, was a big fan of The X-Files. The episode "Post Modern Prometheus" revolves around a monster who has a huge Cher obsession. The part of Cher was written for Cher herself, but she declined as she thought her appearance would be tacky.
- Star Trek fandom has a long history of ascended fans but among their big name fans would be the crew of the fan produced web series Star Trek: New Voyages who not only have props from the original show in their own set but have had appearances from multiple former cast members of the original series with Walter Koenig and George Takei playing major roles in two of their episodes (playing aged versions of their own characters.)
- The Price Is Right has Marc Green and John Sly, founders of Price fan forum golden-road.net. The forum was once so popular that several staff members posted there, even former producer Roger Dobkowitz.
- DJ John Peel's love of The Fall, which spanned decades and basically ensured the band's place in cult music canon.
- meathead is the most prominent "Nine Inch Nails" humour guy, and he makes rather poorly-animated (though really funny) Flash cartoons... one of which found its way onto the official NIN website.
- Wayne Studer, Ph.D. has pretty much the most detailed Pet Shop Boys fansite in existence. He's appeared in one of the documentaries about them, and his "On This Date..." feature has been incorporated into the front page of their official site.
- OFF! has Anthony Kiedis as a fan of their work. He once wore an OFF! hat during his music video for the Adventures of Raindance Maggie.
- Sasha Grey, while not building her name on being such (she is far better known as a star in... a certain genre of film...), is the foremost known fan of US avant-garde band Scissor Shock. It doesn't help that she's also an established avant-gardist who, at one point, even guest-starred on a Current 93 album.
- Speaking of Current 93, Andrew W.K. sat in on bass for one of their tours, to surprisingly little fanfare. He is also a devoted fan of American horror author Thomas Ligotti.
- Chinen Yuri is, without a doubt, hands down, the biggest Arashi/Ohno fan ever. It probably helps that he's in the same company as the group as they inspired him to become an idol himself.
- Disturbedpedia has attained this status within Disturbed's fanbase for archiving nearly every single video about the band on their YouTube channel, including some very rare material that can't be found anywhere else.
- Space fandom had Pab UK and Eiteews, aka Paul and Donna, who ran Spacetheband. There's also Billy Cook, who is responsible for making Love You More Than Football, the 'lost' third album, available to fans.
- Faith No More has Lady Gaga as a fan of their's, they did a cover of her song, "Poker face," and Lady Gaga tweeted that she could die a happy woman because of that.
- Omi has gained fame in the X Japan fandom for her fancomics based on Yoshiki Hayashi's (and occasionally other fans') Twitter postings.
- Aron Carter, and Amy Poehler for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony if you believe that.
- Bitter Ruin has Stephen Fry and Tim Minchin for fans.
- Devo can count Korn as fans to the point that Korn considers itself Devo's Spiritual Successor. Devo in turn are fans of Kraftwerk.
- ECW had a core group of superfans, known as "Club ECW", who seemed to appear in choice seats in the audience of their shows week after week. Some of them became known by Fan Nicknames due to their distinctive appearances ("Sign Guy" always had a witty sign, "Hat Guy" always wore a straw hat and Hawaiian shirt, "Faith No More Guy" bore a stunning resemblance to the guitarist from Faith No More, etc.). Eventually, ECW staffers started reserving the best seats in the house for these fans. Five years after ECW shut down, their special status was still honored for the official ECW reunion show, ECW One Night Stand, as well as the unofficial one, Hardcore Homecoming.
- Perhaps the biggest Big Name Fan in Professional Wrestling, however, is Dave Meltzer, author and publisher of the The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the original Smart Mark newsletter. Others include Wade Keller (of the Pro Wrestling Torch, another popular newsletter), Bob Ryder (who made the transition from BNF to wrestling insider when he took a job with WCW), Scott Keith, Christopher Robin Zimmerman, and Chris Hyatte. Unlike most other entertainment companies, wrestling promotions (with the exceptions of the aforementioned ECW and Ring of Honor) tend to hate those BNFs who write on the subject with a passion, since they have a distinct tendency to pull back the curtain on Kayfabe (the late promoter Herb Abrams went so far as to feature a wrestler named Davey "The Observer" Meltzer on his UWF tv program; needless to say, "Meltzer" suffered defeat and humiliation). RD Reynolds and Blade Braxton of Wrestle Crap also have a fairly large online following, although both have been involved in independent pro wrestling, and they also tend to take a comically self-deprecating view of their importance as BNFs (Blade's insistence that he had a brief affair with Amy "Lita" Dumas after meeting her once at a car show, for example).
- Finally, there are Bill And Doug (AKA RVDTito4Life of YouTube fame, and rival of Kent Jones), who were hired by TNA to become the hosts of the online show, TNA Addicts.
- Jae, the guy who ran what was the only English language Dragon Gate website, was enlisted by the promotion to help set up their first tour of the United States. In an interview, he told a short story about how CIMA, the promotion's top draw, called him at 2 a.m. one night.
- Spike Lee is a well known (and extremely vocal) fan of the New York Knicks. He is a common sight at Knicks games, and even started a feud with the rival Indiana Pacers team (and in particular, their star player, Reggie Miller) during the 1994 playoff series between the two teams. Said feud was the subject of "Winning Time," one of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries.
- Jack Nicholson is as much a fixture at Laker home games as the yellow color scheme and championship banners themselves, to the point where he schedules his movies around them so as to not miss a game.
- Stephen Fry is a very big fan of the Norwich City football team, to the point of being on the board of directors.
- John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood anyone...
- Virtually every NFL team has a signature fan who is frequently shown in advertisements. Some of them were even inducted into the actual Pro Football Hall of Fame. Examples include:
- With the development of the Master List of Limitations, as well as the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Jack Butler became this for the Champions/Hero System community.
- It is generally agreed that Surbrook's Stuff, maintained by Michael Surbrook, is the go-to site for Champions/Hero System gamers needing character sheets for, well, just about anything.
- Brian R. James (known at one time as "Iakhovas" online) counts as one for the Forgotten Realms fandom, since the higher-ups at Wizards of the Coast were so impressed by his compilation of names, dates, and facts regarding the Realms into a 100-page PDF history tool that he was approached for permission and eventually tapped to have his work fleshed out, illustrated, and added to by numerous well-known writers including Eric Boyd, George Krashos, and Ed Greenwood himself to become the Grand History of the Realms.
- The Phantom of the Opera fan Christine Daaé is now largely known for having legally changed her name to that of the show's heroine, but in the 1990s ran an international fanzine and founded most of the early Phantom discussion forums on the internet, including Phantom of the Opera.com She has represented the fandom on radio, television, and in the press. Her public dislike of Andrew Lloyd Webber sometimes made her a controversial figure. She has refused to confirm or deny rumors of relationships with two The Phantom of the Opera actors.
- The Halloween Horror Nights fandom of Universal Studios Orlando has a number of big names: Dr. Raymond Holmes, Nightshade, WESKER 69, and jwfearman among many others. These people are often known throughout the multiple sites (originally one, HHN Vault, until it shut down) and have had their names hidden on the website or in the event props and scenery as easter eggs.
- Rooster Teeth Productions, the creators of the Red vs. Blue Machinima. Rooster Teeth has been since commissioned by Microsoft to do advertisements, and high-definition copies of Red Vs. Blue are sold in the X-Box Live Marketplace and in many game stores. A custom gametype they created, Grifball, got playlists in Halo 3 and Reach, and is being updated and expanded upon in Halo 4.
- Randall Glass, creator of the "Halo Physics Experiment", better known as the Warthog Jump, became immensely popular for a time. He even got into the credits of Halo 2 under the "Special Thanks" section.
- Both the cast of Red vs. Blue and Randall Glass made it into a special "Tribute vault" in Halo: Reach, along with several other groups of fans.
- Tehnoobshow, who started out with a few videos about a stereotypical noob, eventually became this to Runescape, even being commissioned by Jagex to work on the videos to open their machinima contests.
- In the early to mid-nineties, a fair number of famous and semi-famous Doom mapmakers wound up being engaged as official level designers for actual developers. The first was Tim Willits, Doom enthusiast and mapmaker assimilated by id in the mid-nineties, his most notable work being The Ultimate Doom, Doom 3 and the entire Quake series. He later ascended even further to become the lead designer and current co-owner of the company.
- Of note in the EarthBound fandom is Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin, a professional translator working for Funimation and lead/sole translator of the MOTHER 3 and MOTHER 1+2 Fan Translation projects, getting lots of love from both fans and the game industry for his virtually Herculean efforts in the case of the former. These days, he runs VideoGame/EarthBound Central, a personal blog dedicated to exploring the minutiae of EarthBound, new finds in the games, developments for the series, theorising about why everyone's so reluctant to rerelease them, translation changes, and occasionally talking about what creator Shigesato Itoi is up to these days.
- On a more traditional level, there's Benjamin "Katon" Carignan, one of the masterminds between three well-renowned fan radio plays and is the most consistently popular radio DJ for STARMEN.net's internet radio station, Radio PSI. He is one of the few BNFs that is incredibly humble about his popularity and is often surprised at the reactions he gets after contacting people.
- From the Warcraft and World of Warcraft series:
- Xaran Alamas, the owner of a large Warcraft III fansite back in the day and later the runner of a semi-official World of Warcraft "lore question and answers" thread at the fora. He is also reputedly a cyber-friend with Chris Metzen, the leader of the series' creative division. In WoW's second expansion pack, he got an NPC named after him.
- Not to mention Skosiris, the founder of THE site for any World of Warcraft information, Wowhead. He is well known enough for Blizzard to name an NPC after him. They got the race wrong (Skorisis' main is an Orc as opposed to the Blood Elf NPC), but admittedly a Blood Elf make better Loremasters...
- Same goes for Breanni, founder of a site categorizing minipets in World of Warcraft who also gets referenced ingame as a minipet vendor, and the NPC IS a gnome.
- Many other fans have received items named after them. As examples, Aldriana's Gloves of Secrecy are named for the famous rogue theory-crafter on the Elitist Jerks website, Phaedra's Vestments of the Sprouting Seed are named for a woman who ran a popular blog about resto druids (and who was pregnant at the time the item debuted), and Blockade's Lost Shield is named for a dwarf warrior on the Barthilas server with an infamously large collection of tier sets and shields.
- Ahab Wheathoof, a tauren farmer with a simple quest in Mulgore, was designed and voiced by Ezra Chatterton, who was brought to Blizzard's offices by the Make-A-Wish foundation.
- There's also Boubille, creator of MMO-Champion, the World of Warcraft news and data mining site where most people get their information on upcoming patches way before Blizzard ever announces anything, and it's also a great compilation of developer posts.
- From the StarCraft series:
- Arguably every pro-level player, both in and out of Korea.
- Amateur commentators like Mike "Husky Starcraft" Lamond, Sean "Day9" Plott (himself a former pro-level player), and a slew of others are regularly hired by Blizzard and other pro-level game leagues to commentate the games.
- Blizzard's generally extensive engagement with their fans has produced a lot of these. Tournament Play masters aside, many independent commentators achieved internet stardom by doing After Action Reports and How To guides on the Starcraft series and World of Warcraft, and were eventually brought on by Blizzard in some official capacity or another.
- The Pokémon fandom is pretty much split into three, and accordingly the heads of said ways are Big Name Fans:
- "Serebii" (real name Joe Merrick, ironically provided by a page about him on rival Bulbapedia. No relation to aintitcool's Joeseph Merrick as far as we know) hosts one of the two most well-known Pokémon sites, the self-titled Serebii.net, and has been known to appear on other Pokémon-related forums, as well as on Star Trek-related forums under the name of Captain Joe. His attitude regarding other Pokémon websites and a few allegations of plagiarism (though unsubstantiated in recent years), bullying and looking to pick fights (even with other fandoms!) have given him his own personal Broken Base amongst Pokémon fans. His animosity with Bulbagarden and PokéBeach in particular is near-legendary, though he still frequents both sites.
- "Archaic" (real name Liam Pomfret) is webmaster of the other big-name Pokémon site, Bulbagarden.net. He's one of the oldest BNFs in the fandom, having first made a name for himself back in 2000-2002, primarily as a leader or spokesman for the Pokémon shippers community (which got him top billing for Ship-to-Ship Combat here); a role in which he managed to turn the entire staff of Pokémasters, then one of the major forums, against shippers. He later worked for Serebii as his right hand man, but left to (re)establish Bulbagarden, incidentally creating a conflict between the two communities that is still ongoing many years later. The initial relaunch of Bulbagarden is most charitably described as achieving somewhat underwhelming results, but after several years of the website struggling, Archaic added a wiki to the site, which quickly grew into Bulbapedia; he later led the effort to expand into the collaborative Nintendo wiki network NIWA.
- "Water Pokémon Master" (real name Jon Sahagian; thanks to The Other Wiki for this info) of TCG website PokéBeach.com is another well-known website in the fan community. His devotion to the franchise has allowed him to interview the previous director of the Pokémon animé, Masamitsu Hidaka, and he is the only foreigner to have seen an early screening of the 12th Pokémon movie in Japan. His site has also been featured in several TCG magazines around the world. He is known to be in contact with internal Pokémon officials, even to the point where he can pick up the phone and call them to confirm rumors and stories. He is also a little infamous with some people at The Pokémon Company International for posting early scans of TCG sets several weeks before they are released.
- In Fall From Heaven, Magister Cultuum fills this role, to the point of having a Great Sage named after him, an being quickly know to everyone on the Forums.
- Kirby M too, owner of Walfas, a Touhou-related site. Worked on Maikaze's Touhou anime, although that too was fanmade...
- For that matter, IOSYS, makers of the most notable Touhou song remixes.
- Pikmin Link is possibly the biggest BNF in the Zelda fandom. Being a cosplayer, even a particularly good one, is not usually enough to earn such a title. However, Pikmin Link's cosplay reached the attention of Nintendo executives, who recruited her to portray Link at the official release of The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess, and the costume she wore has been retired and is kept under glass. That's because it was signed by Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
- Clyde Mandelin, aka Tomato, is a big name in the Fan Translation "scene". Having worked on high-profile projects like Bahamut Lagoon, Star Ocean, and Mother3, he's parlayed his skills into a full-time translation position, and has been mentioned by famed translator Ted Woolsey in an interview.
- Gideon Zhi, of Aeon Genesis, has released far more Fan Translations than any other group, and his work is almost inevitably featured in any articles about the subject.
- While he was more associated with the Saturday morning cartoon and the comics based on them, Dan Drazen was a big name in Sonic the Hedgehog fandom for a while. He's apparently into Care Bears now. Huh.
- Team Fortress 2 is a perfect example of this trope. It went from a Quake mod to one of the premier "Steam" titles in the Orange Box collection. Within the game, a few high quality player-made maps have been honorarily canonized as official.
- Also in the Team Fortress 2 fandom are fans known for producing high-quality fanwork. Among them:
- Chemical Alia for her work on the Female Medic and Heavy reskins.
- Makani for designing what eventually became the official design for the Administrator.
- Cat Bountry for writing what could be the best and well-known fanfics in the fandom, including Respawn Of The Dead.
- Anthony Burch from Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? was offered, and accepted, a job a Gearbox because of how funny Hey Ash was.
- Irma 'Aimo' Ahmed is well-known in various BioWare fandoms, but perhaps she's best known these days for her fan works for Dragon Age. She even got to do a comic based on a deleted scene (spoiler warning in the link) with the head writer for the game.
- Also well known to BioWare's fandom, particularly the Mass Effect fanbase, is Holly Conrad. A costume maker and prop maker, Conrad started gaining notoriety when she and her studio, Crabcat Industries, showed off a series of Mass Effect cosplays at Comic-Con 2010. By that time a year later Conrad had been commissioned by Bioware to make costumes for their live broadcast during Comic-Con 2011, make props and costumes for Mass Effect 3's live-action trailer and she's become a symbol for FemShep within the fandom.
- Similarly, one of Crabcat's co-founders, Jessica Merizan, has since been hired by Bioware as the company's Community Manager.
- Zeality is known for running the Chrono Compendium, the biggest Chrono series website. Recently he was featured in an article about his role in the community.
- James Rolfe, aka The Angry Video Game Nerd, is practically a celebrity in the online movies and video games fandom.
- Zan is the number #1 public figure for the Mega Man series; known for his extensive canonical knowledge, keen analysis and immense dedication. For example, he built extremely detailed and comprehensive timelines for EVERY Mega Man game there is to date. Some of the more well-read and complete timelines involve the the Zero series, the X series and the Legend Series. Obviously, the timelines are not spoiler-friendly.
- Fan Film creators Beat Down Boogie became BN Fs because of their ongoing mashup of Modern Warfare and Metal Gear Solid called Modern War Gear Solid.
- The Portal fandom has Forte. Her human versions of the personality cores (especially her Wheatley design) are some of (if not the) most widely used in the fandom. Quite a few people even ship her with Wheatley.
- In Achron, Shadowfury333 fills this role. He's become a sort of unoffocial game commentator, casting replays and live games, as well as making a large number of maps and special additions (such as observers) through modding the game.
- Fire Emblem has Vincent ASM, owner of Serenes Forest, the largest and most complete Fire Emblem site. The End also rose to this level when he translated the Hasha no Tsurugi manga.
- David Goldfarb, an ex-developer from DICE who helped with the production of the Battlefield series, is a huge fan of films that involve bank robberies and similar heists and had been wanting to produce a game in that genre for years. After David left DICE, he joined Overkill Software, the makers of PAYDAY The Heist, and is now helping the studio produce the sequel.
- The writer of Irregular Webcomic! attracted the attention of Jane Goodall (a character in the comic and one of his heroes) to the point that he eventually had an interview with her that was posted in the comic. It wasn't fully apparent if she was a fan of the comic, however.
- Homestuck's writer/artist Andrew Hussie featured a couple of Shout Outs to Dante Basco's character 'Rufio' from Hook. Naturally, the fandom told him about this, and he's now on Act 6.
- Linkara has among his fans Gail Simone (a fan of his comic reviews) and a Super Sentai suit actress (a fan of History of Power Rangers).
- When Doug Walker made contact with Animaniacs creator Tom Ruegger, he was surprised to find out that Ruegger was a fan of Walker's own show The Nostalgia Critic.
- Within the TGWTG fandom itself, Rants, the admin of the TGWTG secrets blog has been making a name for himself. His popularity varies from person to person however.
- Rooster Teeth makes this list again. Before he joined the company, Monty Oum was a fan of RT. Yes, ''that'' Monty.
- Rooster Teeth regularly hires fans doing something really cool on their website.
- Chris Hardwick of TheNerdistPodcast, started out as a (very well connected)interdisciplinary geekdom BNF, but is now a Ascended Fanboy (working for BBC America and Comic Con) and a cultural institution onto himself.
- There are two in the Avatar The Last Airbender fandom:
- "Megafan" Kimberly Miranda aka Isaia, one of the very first Avatar fan artists on deviantART. Her account now has over a million views and her artwork is often shown in magazines for the show. Her "It's Avatarded" satire comics are responsible for the Fan Community Nickname.
- Johane Matte aka Rufftoon, also on Deviant Art, earned one million pageviews in almost half the time that Isaia did. She was later hired as a storyboard artist for the show and provided illustrations for the Avatar-dedicated Nick Mag.
- Several Transformers fans had Shout Outs made to them in Beast Wars, but the most famous must be Ben Yee, a Transformers site owner who actually was given credits props as a consultant on the show.
- Another Big Transformers Fan might be Chris Ho, AKA Internet Personality Vangelus, having served as the voice of Transformers: TransTech Shockwave and having fan art drawn of him by Derrick J. Wyatt.
- Monzo also deserves mention, having helped Hasbro determine the copyright status of several Transformer-names. His name appears as Universe Onslaught's serial number, along with his birth date.
- Mark Moore was/is an infamous Captain N fan, notable for his "Season 4" (Through 8) fanfic continuation of the original cartoon series.
- Code Lyoko
- Thunderbird3, or TB3, is apparently on speaking terms with the creators and even made a documentary with interviews of the cast and crew. For the fairly small English-speaking fanbase, this was a big thing.
- SearchingLyoko, founder of Code Lyoko United and a well known member on Lyoko Freak and Code Lyoko Evolved, communicates with MoonScoop quite regularly and was quite possibly a major factor in the creation of Code Lyoko Evolution.
- ReBoot forum There are a few members who are in on the entire plot of the revival webcomic and/or regularly correspond with higher-ups among the revival. The comic's writer himself is also a member, and regularly interacts with the members to get their input.
- Most Danny Phantom fans are aware of Neo Yi. What most people know her for is her excellent fan comic Chess Piece but really, it's nearly impossible to explore the fandom (specifically on deviantART) without learning about her eventually. Others include Firefury Amahira, Tavalya Ra, The Alchemist's Muse and Esme Phantom, all of which are very well known around the community.
- The Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go fandom has Netbug009, she will deny this but we all know it's true... Though her Status as a BNF may be the result of the fact that it's a small Fandom and she's the one currently running the only active fan-forum Monkey See Monkey Fu.
- There were some others back in the day, but most of them have moved on.
- While not still actively in the fandom, if you didn't know about Sora-Mito's fanart back in the day, you had either been hiding under a Shuggazoomian rock or had seen it without realizing it. (Quite a few people took it for their own websites without permission or credit.)
- Then there was ii, who was the head Admin on MSMF for a while and went through SEVERAL Usernames in his time. Oh yea, he was also one of the few boys in the Fandom which certanly helped his case...
- Total Drama Island has Winter-Rae, a notorious Crack Pairing writer, and Kobold Necromancer, who has written the extremely popular Total Drama Comeback series as a spin-off second and third season. If you know anything about Total Drama, you've read their works.
- Don't forget Courtney Garcia AKA CIT Princess! A very popular TDI artist on Deviantart, who is well known for her outstanding cosplays of Courtney (the character) and live action reenactments of her scenes from the Total Drama series. She became even more well known after winning Halloween Contest sponsored by the offical Total Drama Island Blog in 2009. She's even hung out with Chris Potenza himself for a convention and still keeps in contact with him. Seems this as big as a fan can get!
- Heidi "Lady Niko" Rekell has been the unofficial administrator, and "go to" person for Galaxy Rangers. She worked closely with Kosh when it came to the DVD release.
- KaBlam!! fans most likely will know Princess June (AKA Kablamoid96 or June the KaBlamoid), who created the most music videos on YouTube for the show, a fanfic writer, a fanart artist, and created the first message board for the show. She's one of the reasons why the cult following is getting bigger. Not to mention she knows Mo Willems, the creator of The Off-Beats.
- And of course, there's another fanfic/fanart KaBlamoid who all the fans should know...Ka Blamoid 4 Life!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Shaun Scotellaro (more commonly known as Sethisto), who runs one of the biggest fandom hub websites tied to the show: Equestria Daily. The site is notable enough that it's received exclusive content from The Hub (the Equestria Girls advert), and Sethisto has been interviewed for Wired's article about the show.
- Other well-known people are the co-moderators of Equestria Daily, such as Cereal Velocity, Phoe, and Calpain. Authors are fairly well-known too, such as Kkat, the author of the (literally) epic-length fanfic, Fallout Equestria.
- There's also BaldDumboRat, who (at least when it comes to fanon) is considered THE voice for Derpy Hooves.
- My Little Pony also has Barack Obama, Jack Black, Weird Al, Lady Gaga, Gabe Newell, Robert Pattinson, Seth Green, Bill Clinton, Stephen Colbert (maybe), and many others as fans of theirs.
- John De Lancie, after voicing Discord in the season 2 premiere, has become one and is in fact planning a documentary to put a positive spin on the Brony fandom after seeing how disrespectful the national news portrays them.
- The Living Tombstone, Wooden Toaster, and many other Brony musicians are world-famous for what they do.
- Daria has a few, including Kara Wild who actually managed to score interviews with showrunners Glenn Eichler & Anne Bernstein. Novelist and Dungeons & Dragons game designer Roger E. "The Angst Guy" Moore is also a major fixture within the fandom and is (in)famous for creating some of the most competently written & heart wrenching Dark Fic known to man.
- Jimmy Neutron has Mara S (or acaciathorn, if you want to use her deviantart account handle). She founded and currently runs the longest-running JN fansite on the net. Plus, she wrote a truly incredible, book-length fanfiction called 'The Other Side Of Tomorrow', complete with chapter illustrations and its own fandom. If you've participated in any JN fandom on the net, chances are you've run into Mara or her works at some point.
- Gravity Falls has a dedicated fandom - The Fallers- and the most well known faller is certainly Adam Warrock. Adam was already quite famous online because of the rap songs he created and uploaded to YouTube.When he made a rap about Gravity Falls using the theme song as the beat, the video became so popular in the fandom, to the point the show's creator tweeted him and called him "the greatest man who ever lived". Now Adam, among with another fan, Chris Haley, hosts a podcast about the show, "The Gravity Falls Gossiper", in which the show's creator has already guest starred.
- Deviantartists DJCoulz and DJ88 are well known across The Lion King fandom for pioneering many of the most popular ideas across the fandom. The former's version of Ahadi and Uru (Mufasa and Scar's parents) has been copied by nearly every other fan. The latter is most famous for giving Zira an abusive father and giving characters from a series of books and comics more vibrant "movie" colors. They're some of the best artists in the fandom.
- Kappa Mikey fans know of Lizzy Silvas, aka Kappa Lizzy who was actually drawn into an episode of Kappa Mikey from winning a fan contest and did her own voice-over. She attended conventions and even inspired other fans to nickname themselves. Kappa Lizzy is also well known by SEGA for playing the Sonic The Hedehog video games, watching the shows & reading the comics during her years of recovering from a brain tumor when she was a child.