Broken Base
"The only question I
Ever thought was hard
Is 'Do I like Kirk
Or do I like Picard?'"
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "White and Nerdy"

A broken base is a civil war among fans of a particular franchise. Almost every franchise has at least some internal conflict among its fanbase, but a truly broken base is characterized by a sustained and exceptionally vicious conflict between two or more large, vocal, and entrenched factions with little or no middle ground to be found between them.

Common causes of a broken base include shipping wars, a large and vocal Periphery Demographic whose priorities are at odds with the main demographic, or a divisive character, sequel, adaptation, or remake.

Contrast Fandom Heresy for a fandom opinion that is near-unanimous to the point where it tends to silence any dissent.

Unrelated to Broken Pedestal.


When adding examples, please keep in mind of the following:
  • It is a sustained conflict that has fans debating a work or subject for a long time after release. Upcoming works cannot be this since such conflicts are considered to be short-lived by definition. Such examples can be placed under Internet Backdraft or Tainted by the Preview.
  • It is a vicious conflict: bringing up the subject will likely result in a huge debate among fans.
  • It has at least two large factions, not merely one Vocal Minority against a Silent Majority. Each side has a noticeable number of supporters. In addition, the fanbase must be large enough to support the factions. An obscure work is less likely to have a broken base than a very famous one or a broad subject.
  • It is divisive: most fans hold a strong opinion on the subject. There is very little middle ground.

All four criteria must be met to qualify. Minor disagreements don't count.

Examples with their own subpages:

  • Doctor Strange: The casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One has been divisive. While many are glad to have a powerful character be portrayed by a female actor, especially one as accomplished as Swinton, others are upset that the original Tibetan version wasn't used, mostly because the MCU had yet to feature a heroic Asian person in the films.note  Co-writer C. Robert Cargill's comments on it being done to prevent the movie from being Banned in China due to a potential positive portrayal of a Tibetan character (which the studio itself later denied) added more controversy. He also didn't help things by accusing all the people upset over it of being "social justice warriors", though he later backpedaled on it and said everyone absolutely has the right to have issues with it.

  • Harry Potter: J. K. Rowling declaring Dumbledore to be gay shortly after the release of the final book is something that everyone in the fanbase has an opinion on, and to this day is a hot topic among the base. The two main camps are those who feel that the character's orientation is fairly well-supported in the text, with the Word of God being merely a confirmation of something that a close reading could have already revealed, versus those who feel that it's either a cheap way for Rowling to drum up conversation about a closed book or to quiet complaints about a lack of gay representation in the series or both.

Alternative Title(s): Film