Fandom Berserk Button
aka: Nerd Rage

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dbe_9465.jpg

In every community for every series, there are common mistakes. Someone could use the wrong spelling of a character's name, or think that the title referred to the main character, or insist on spreading a rumor about the plot until everyone believes it, or pigeon-holing fans into negative stereotypes.

Sometimes, it goes further than just "dislike", though. Sometimes it crosses into Berserk Button territory; and the reaction is disproportionate rage at the offender.

Notice: Remember, it's just a show, you should really just relax. Acting out on such relatively minor things will make you look petty at best.

See Also: Cowboy BeBop at His Computer (when media gets the facts wrong), Fandom Heresy, I Am Not Shazam, Internet Backdraft, Refrain from Assuming (when a song title is different from its lyrics), Serious Business, Flame Bait, and Broken Base.


Examples

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    Comic Books 
  • There's sometimes confusion about whether it's Watchmen or "The Watchmen". This provoked a lot of fan-rage when the movie came out, especially because "watchmen" was an Arc Word in the comic, and became the name of a superhero team in the movie. (In the comic, Captain Metropolis's team is called "The Crimebusters".)
  • This sometimes happens regarding Lex Luthor's name in Superman media, particularly Justice League Unlimited. A talk show host interviewing Luthor, who happens to be running for President at the time, pronounces it Luther, while in another episode Superman gets it right by forcing the 'thor' part. It's also hard to shake Ned Beatty's unforgettable Brooklynite rendition in Superman: The Movie, "Mistah Loo-Toah!"
    • Calling Superman "boring" and "overpowered" is a great way to piss off fans of the Man of Steel. Especially if you're someone who's never actually read a Superman story in your life (which is usually the case). Sure, bad writers can make Supes seem uninteresting, but there have been tons of entertaining Superman stories over the years that prove the character isn't inherently boring. As for the overpowered complaint, this could also be attributed to sub-par writing, as this could easily be avoided by either increasing the threat level or not focusing on fighting in the story. Also, there are MANY characters that are as powerful or even more powerful than Superman that never seem to get any flack for being too powerful.
  • Supergirl:
    • Don't mention Matrix within hearing range of Kara Zor-El's fans, don't suggest that Post-Crisis Linda Danvers was unworthy of the Supergirl mantle and never, ever, bring Cir-El up. And for the God's sake, don't ask "Who is better: Supergirl or Power Girl?"
    • Joe Kelly's run and anything related to H'El are widely considered Dork Ages. Professing love for them or judging Supergirl based on them will get you lynched.
    • Even though it was repealed back in 2004, DC's "Superman must be the only survivor from Krypton" edict is a hot button for Superman and especially Supergirl fans.
  • Making character calls about the modern versions of DC superheroes by using evidence from before Crisis on Infinite Earths (unless you're talking about a large number of specific characters who died during/weren't rewritten by the event) is a great way to get everyone on the forum to laugh their asses off. A big example is citing that Batman uses guns and kills, things that were phased out incredibly quickly are very obviously not canon.
    • Also, mixing up which of said rewritten characters had their pasts completely wiped, which ones were rebooted in a modern setting, and which ones had their continuity subjected to Broad Strokes, and how broad those strokes are for each character and each past event, will earn you just as much ridicule. Yes, keeping up with comic continuity is widely known to be a bitch, but this is widely considered basic knowledge that comes right after figuring out which characters belong to Marvel and which to DC.
  • Batman has Ra's Al Ghul. According to Denny O'Neil, his name was originally meant to be pronounced 'Raesh'. While the phrase "head of the demon" does indeed translate into "ra's al-ghuul" in real arabic (suggesting the character's name is NOT supposed to consist of a made-up language), the pronounciation does not contain the sounds "i" or "sh". In Batman Begins it's pronounced 'Rahs', which is much closer to the actual pronounciation. Still, pronouncing it in any way other than 'Raesh' will attract much ire from fans. In Batman Beyond, Terry is "corrected" by Talia actually Ra's after pronouncing it "Rahs".
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • In regards to Mirage Comics-based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or the early IDW issues), asking why all of the Turtles are wearing red, or "why they're all Raph", or any indication that their original bandana color is weird and foreign.
    • Likewise, mixing up the Turtles' names, or calling something that's not even one of their names ("Galileo", "Yoda", etc.)
    • One's preference for or against Venus, the female Turtle from the short-lived live-action series, is also a way to set off loaded guns in any given room/board of Turtles fans, especially if creator Peter Laird is in the room with them.
    • Raph and Mikey tend to get their shortened names spelled wrong - as "Ralph" and "Mickey".
  • Wonder Woman:
    • WW or the Amazons being depicted as Straw Feminists. Also, the Amazons getting massacred, yet again. The lack of adaptations involving Wonder Woman is an incredibly sore topic since at least the mid '90s. It doesn't help that every other hero - from Green Lantern to the Flash - seem to be getting adaptations.
    • Invoking any scene written by Geoff Johns is also one. It's not even like Wondy fans hate him and all his work; it's just acknowledged, even by non-Wonder Woman DC fans and Geoff Johns' own fanbase, that he can't write her for crap.
  • A general one for DC Comics fans, but a major one for fans of the character himself, is to call Aquaman useless. The guy has numerous powers beyond just talking to fish and is more than just his Superfriends incarnation. Making these jokes means you're basically admitting you don't read DC comics or are a Know-Nothing Know-It-All when it comes to Aquaman.
  • Batman
    • "So why doesn't he just kill the Joker?" This has been such a sticky subject for fans that comic writers and even the Batman: Arkham Series have adapted this topic.
    • Similarly, "isn't Batman just as crazy as his villains?"
    • People who say they want a relationship like the Joker and Harley is enough to irk Batman fans, who will usually be quick to point out how their relationship is by no means, a healthy one.
  • For fans of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, featuring Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge, particularly old-school fans of Carl Barks' work: Referring to the comics as "DuckTales comics" or primarily associating characters like Scrooge, Gyro or the Beagle Boys with DuckTales is a sure recipe for a fan rant.
  • Ant-Man:
    • Want to piss off Marvel Comics fans, especially Ant-Man fans? Call Hank Pym a wifebeater. Given how grossly such a statement oversimplifies the incident in question and the fact that neither the writers nor the haters ever shut up about it, this is rather understandable.
    • Similar to the Aquaman example above, saying that Ant-Man is a loser with lame powers is a good way to piss Marvel fans off. The guy has spent over 30 years proving that he's badass enough to be an Avenger and "Ant-Man sucks" jokes stopped being funny to fans in the 80s.
  • One that applies to a lot of the DC fanbase but also specifically for the Flash fanbase is saying Superman is faster than any Flash that's not Jay Garrick. Not that people didn't have fun with the stories where that was a plot point, it's just acknowledged that having the Flash be faster than Superman is just better for the Justice League's dynamic, as well as making Superman less overpowered.
  • Also for the Flash fanbase, bringing up Bart Allen's time as the Flash IV. Nobody, from general Flash fans to Bart's own fans, looks fondly upon that era.
    • For Bart fans, bringing up Bar Torr, his New 52 incarnation, is not a good idea.
  • Saying to fans of non-superhero comics that non-cape comics aren't "real" comics. Similarly, instantly thinking "comic book" is synonymous with "superhero"; just because one is the dominant genre in a medium, it doesn't mean it's all they are. This is often due to Values Dissonance; America mostly favors superhero comics while other countries favor other genres.
  • When it comes to Legacy Characters, acting like the most popular one is the only person who has had the title annoys fans to bits. Robin and Batgirl fans especially hate this, not to mention fans of The Flash.
  • Much like their friend Ant-Man, fans of Hawkeye don't take kindly to people calling them useless. Thanks to being Overshadowed by Awesome (especially in the movies) and some less than decent appearances, Hawkeye is often dismissed as the lamest Avenger with accusations of him being useless, which fans of the comics do not take kindly to. Worse is how some writers have picked up on this and tried to canonise the Memetic Loser aspect, something his fans have not taken kindly to.
  • For Spider-Man, professing fondness for the story One More Day will get you lynched.

    Computing 
  • The editor of one early (late 1970s) British computer magazine persistently claimed that the difference between compilers and interpreters was "academic", even in the face of corrections from knowledgeable readers, until one month he learned the hard way just how wrong he was, by wasting three pages of the mag on a worthless hex-dump of the workspace of a BASIC interpreter. The mag didn't last very much longer after that issue.

    Fan Works 
  • Crossing over a franchise into ponies with a fanfic is a pretty good way to end up with some flak at some point or another from a very few fans. Sometimes even the mention of the show can cause a flame war around the wrong people.
    • Similarly, crossing over anything with Total Drama, simply due to people being sick of seeing more of the same, especially when its with the same fandom over and over (The Ed, Edd n Eddy Fanon Wiki has a template header specifically for Total Drama crossovers). Surprisingly it doesn't happen as often with MLP, the most well-known example being Total Drama Equestria, although certainly not the first story like it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Just go on any board where anyone is talking about Coraline and refer to it as a Tim Burton movie. To be fair, however, it can be argued that this is not their fault, considering that all of the advertising proclaimed "From Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas." Many people think Burton directed that film, but he actually only produced it and worked on its story.

  • Mistaking a CGI Disney film like Wreck-It Ralph or Bolt for a Disney-Pixar film is not wise around animation fans. In particular, Planes is a spinoff created by Disney Toon Studios (mostly known for their direct-to-video sequels, prequels, and midquels) and is not a Pixar movie - but it doesn't stop many people from mistakenly blaming Pixar for it.
  • Anastasia is not a Disney movie (though there is a red-headed Disney character named Anastasia).
  • Don Bluth worked at Disney for a while in the 70s, which includes working on the short The Small One. However, call a post-departure Don Bluth movie a Disney movie when there are Don Bluth fans around. You'll be sure to irk someone.
  • Calling all animated films as only for little kids is sure to spark some kind of backlash, as plenty of animated films are rather mature. It is a medium, not a genre after all. Calling The Lion King a little kids' film that nobody should cry at is a surefire way to elicit a reaction along the lines of "Have you even seen the film?".
  • Frozen:
    • Don't call Elsa "Princess Elsa". Aside from the beginning of the film where she is a princess (though never referred to as such), she is Queen Elsa, and making the mistake of calling her "Princess" will cause backlash.
    • Don't call her a villain either. Yes, she was originally written as one and maybe some of her actions are questionable, even if they're accidents, but the fandom will not take kindly to Elsa being called a villain.
    • Confusing her with Rosalina isn't a good idea either.
    • An easy way to get a rise out of Frozen fans is to say Anna is a ripoff of Rapunzel and Disney can't design female characters anymore. Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6 faces similar debates.
    • Anna is not a ginger. She has strawberry blonde hair.
    • Merely suggesting that you think Hans isn't all that bad, or at least has redeemable qualities, will send many members of the fandom into a tizzy. This has caused quite a rift between his fans and the rest of the Frozen fandom.
    • Since there are a number of people that despise the movie itself, mentioning Frozen as a whole can be a berserk button outside of the movie's fandom, especially since Disney focuses mostly on this movie and pays little to no attention to its other movies (special mention goes to other 2010s releases such as Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and fellow Princess movie Moana).
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • Fans can get pretty heated over shipping Po and Tigress and are likely to rip you a new one if you dare say you don't support the pairing.
    • Stating an opinion on who you thought the best Big Bad was is also not recommended.
    • As is making any reference to Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness that isn't complete disdain.
  • Mentioning Foodfight! is a great way to piss people off. Saying anything about the movie that isn't negative will likely get food thrown at you.
  • Imply you think Gothel from Tangled loved Rapunzel, even a little. It's Flame Bait incarnate and will cause lengthy discussions of Abusive Parents and how she loved Rapunzel like an object.
  • Despicable Me/Minions: Telling Despicable Me fans and non-fans alike that you still like the Minions and think they're the best part of the movies or merely mentioning them will give you a bad rap, as Hype Backlash and It's Popular, Now It Sucks has hit the little critters like a semi-truck.
  • Zootopia:
    • There's no denying that the movie has amassed a large Furry Fandom, but saying that's all it's good for and/or that said Furry Fandom is the only group who will enjoy it is seen as extremely ignorant by the majority of the internet and will earn you a swift rebuttal.
    • In a similar vein, claiming that the movie is clearly an allegory for any particular group or issue, especially if you then say that it got it "wrong", will result in a multitude of fans either pointing out that the movie is supposed to be applicable rather than allegorical (if you're lucky) or responding with their own, no-less-debatable interpretations.
  • Try going to a Beauty and the Beast message board, and claim that Belle was victim of Stockholm Syndrome. Good luck making it out alive.
  • Telling fans of Prydain Chronicles that you prefer the Disney animated version of the Black Cauldron will probably not go well.

    Food and Drink 
  • Pouring soy sauce on rice is a huge example of this amongst many people who eat it. In some countries, it's acceptable, but beware if you do it in a country where rice is a major food staple, such as China or Japan. In Japan, do not add anything to your food. It’s an insult to the cook.
  • At the restaurant "Father's Office", no ketchup is served whatsoever, despite being a hamburger restaurant, because the head chef, Yang Soon, loathes ketchup's very existence. Fries are served with garlic aioli. Ketchup is confiscated if smuggled in.
  • Ordering steak well-done will give many chefs and foodies an aneurysm, and not the funny kind.
    • Snobby foodies, sure, but not all chefs. Chefs who are also restaurateurs (ie. deal with costings as well as cooking) adore people who eat well-done steak, because meat is expensive and it's very difficult to tell if steak that's been cooked well-done is fresh or not. So if you like well-done steak, don't worry, the chef doesn't look down on you... s/he's grateful because nobody but you will eat week-old steak without complaining.

    History 
  • Simplifying basically any event in history for whatever means will usually get you flamed by history enthusiasts, especially those in the know. Expect the flames to be white-hot if you have an agenda behind giving half-informed history info as "fact."
  • Confusing any of the major Central-and-South American empires with one another will probably result in a history aficionado doing their best impression of the infamous "tearing the still-beating heart from the chest" blood ritual on you.
  • When talking about Scottish history to a learned person, do not bring up Braveheart in any context other than a negative one. Then everyone can have a nice eye-rolling session and move on with the discussion.
  • Don't deny the Holocaust happened. Just don't do it. People will hate you, and they'll be right to hate you.
    • On a related matter, don't say that six million people died in the Holocaust unless you are specifically referring to the Jewish death count. If you are talking about the total death count, the correct number is twelve million. This can be a very touchy subject to people who belong to the various non-Jewish groups the Nazis tried to exterminate.
    • Interesting fact: in several countries it's outright illegal to claim such, and people can and have been successfully prosecuted for it.
    • For the very same reasons, never say that the Rape of Nanking (or any other Japanese WWII war crime) never happened. Speculation over the amount of casualties is fair game, just don't deny their existence.
  • Also, do not claim World War Two was won by your country only and the other Allies were just a sideshow, no matter what country you live in. This berserk button keeps being pushed by Americans and Russians alike, but Russians and other post-Soviets have it worse: The USSR was first allied with the Third Reich since 1939, and conquered half of Central Europe, before being forced to switch sides in 1941, and fighting against the Reich for the remainder of the war. It should be emphasized that the Eastern Front became the largest meat grinder in history of war.
  • Say either British North America or the United States won the war of 1812 and you'll start a complete havoc between history buffs attacking you for simplifying the event and from sensitive patriotic folks unwilling to accept that their country lost the conflict. If you're really eager to anger some people, insinuate that it (or any part of the American Revolutionary War) was nothing more than a proxy war between Britain and France and the arguing will go nuclear.
  • US history, 1860-1865 (from the secession of South Carolina to Appomattox). By now you can probably get away with calling it "the American Civil War" and be fairly confident that anyone who "corrects" you is a nutjob or pretending to be (alternatives include "The War Between the States" which, while pro-Confederate, is semi-neutral, and "The War of Northern Aggression" and "Treason in Defence of Slavery", which are unabashedly partisan). If you say that it was about slavery (or, alternatively, that it was about "States' Rights"), you should still be prepared for arguments even a century and a half later.
  • 1768, May the 15th: the Republic of Genoa yields the isle of Corsica to the Kingdom of France. 1769, August the 15th: birth of Napoleone di Buonaparte. 1779, May the 15th: Napoleon Bonaparte joins the Military School of Brienne, in Northeastern France. So yes people, Napoleon was French, not "Corsican" or "Italian"; saying that to a Frenchman's face is akin to telling an American that because he was born in the British colony of Virginia, George Washington isn't "really" American.
  • Go to a Medieval aficionado/scholar and try talking to him about "The Dark Ages", or anything likewise. If you're lucky, you'll get a week-long lecture about the cultural, intellectual and social transformations that took place in those thousand years of history; if you're not, you'll get a longsword shoved in the face.
  • Claiming that Christopher Columbus was trying to prove the Earth is round and nobody would fund him because they thought he would fall off the edge will at best get an exasperated lecture about how Columbus was really just a lucky idiot. The book that originally made the claim that he was trying to prove the Earth is round was a work of historical fiction written specifically to mock people who refused to accept the theory of evolution, but the guy who wrote the school textbooks in the fifties and sixties missed that part. The shape of the Earth has been known since about the fifth century B.C. The real reason no one would fund Columbus was because he grossly underestimated the size of the Earth (Columbus has no excuse for that either, since the circumference of the Earth was calculated not very long after the shape was confirmed). Nearly everyone Columbus sought out to fund his voyage was smart enough to realize that his logistics would have his ship run out of food and drinkable water at about the halfway point, which is exactly what happened. It was just sheer dumb luck that there happened to be two large, previously unknown landmasses at that exact point.
    • Claiming that Columbus discovered the Americas should result in people pointing out that the Americas were already inhabited when he arrived, and even if they're only counting Europeans finding the place, the Norse unquestionably beat him by about 500 years and there's some evidence Basque, Portuguese and English fishermen were operating out of Newfoundland before his trip. And don't even think about associating him with the U.S., since Columbus never even saw any of the territory that would later make up that country.
  • It's "April Fools'" (with the apostrophe after the "s"), not "April Fool's" (with the apostrophe before the "s") or "April Fools" (with no apostrophe at all).

    Literature 
  • In one series of Harry Turtledove books (known, alternatively, as TL-191 or the Southern Victory series), a Confederacy that survives into the 20th century is taken over by the dictator Jake Featherston, who is a Hitler analog. For some reason, people insist on misspelling it as "Featherstone". This really pisses off fans, but what really got people mad was when the misspelling appeared on the freakin' dustjacket of one of the books.
  • Referring to any of the books of the Inheritance Cycle as a "brick" can actually get you in trouble with the staff in some quarters. But in other places, even on fansites, the staff call them "bricks" too, but used as a term of affection rather than, well, ridicule and scorn.
    • Because of this, haters of the series refer to them as 'bricks' wherever possible.
  • Older Than Radio: In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein constructs and brings to life his Creature or, if you prefer, Monster. The Creature itself is never named. Thanks to many films, comics and stage plays running the whole gamut of quality, people have been using the term "Frankenstein" to refer to his Creature (and being criticized for it) since the 19th century.
    • To the point that using "Frankenstein" without clarifying immediately makes people think that you're erroneously referring to the monster! For example, Monster High got called out on this when it first came out and still does. It's a weird situation, because Frankie is indeed the daughter of the Monster and his Bride, but the Monster learned mad science from his creator, and in turn created his daughter.
  • Some fans of that lady who wrote the Pern books are rather grumpy about "McCaffery", probably because her last name was "McCaffrey".
  • Similarly, some fans of J. R. R. Tolkien are grumpy about spelling his surname "Tolkein" or pronouncing it "Tol-kin", "Tol-kyen" or "Tolky-yen" rather than "Tol-Keen". And even spelling "Middle-earth" as "Middle-Earth" in extreme cases.
    • Referring to The Lord of the Rings as a trilogy.
    • Whenever someone mispronounces Smaug's name, usually gets this reaction. The correct way is "sm-ow-g", not "smog". Ditto Sauron (first syllable rhymes with "sour," not "soar") or any proper name beginning with the letter C (always a hard-c or "k" sound, never a soft-c or "s" sound) (e.g. Cirdan or Celebrimbor).
    • Whatever you do, do not suggest you enjoyed the movies better, or that you don't like the more florid prose and poetic dialogue Tolkien used. Absolutely don't mention that you only read the books after seeing the movies, and fear for your life if you mention that you've only seen the movies. Perhaps it's best if you say nothing at all of the movies, Peregrin Took.
    • And never bring up the question "If the Eagles could fly them out and they're in Gondor an hour later, why couldn't they have flown them in, saves all that hazardous trekking for weeks." Hardcore LOTR fans do not like this.
  • Many of the fans of the Warrior Cats series will scream (or at least groan) should you make the mistake of not capitalizing the word "Clan". There are four Clans (five if you count SkyClan). The main characters are in ThunderClan. Their ancestors are StarClan. And don't you dare suggest otherwise. Perhaps justified in that this is pounded into your brain for over twenty books, and not bothering with grammar rules automatically gets you labeled as an idiot on the major forum.
    • Not to mention capitalizing the second part of a cat's name; it's Firestar, not FireStar.
    • Tread carefully aroumd Hollyleaf and Ashfur.
  • In the world of Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark, if your snarknote  happens to be a boojum, "you will softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again." Not "softly and silently". This did cause arguments way back then, with one fan, Snarkophilius Snobbs, becoming infamous for persisting with this misquote.
    • In the presence of hardcore Carrollians, never refer to the Hatter as the Mad Hatter, or to the Jabberwock as the Jabberwocky.
    • Even more than the above, though, for the love of life don't claim Carroll was a pedophile, repressed or otherwise. Or on drugs. Given the nature of most Carrollians, though, you're less likely to get flamed and more likely to be firmly sat down for a Wall of Text essay on how whichever myth you claimed as truth came to be, and a healthy helping of evidence debunking it.
    • The above also applies to J.M. Barrie, who has been on the record as Not A Pedophile since around the time of his death.
  • Harry Potter fandom is large and diverse enough that almost anything is acceptable in some circles, but in general the following rules hold:
    • Electric technology at Hogwarts isn't permissible in any dose. Things that work electronically, like anything that runs on batteries, do not work. Things that work mechanically, such as Harry's watch, are okay.
    • Hermione's name is Hermione. Unless you're Grawp or Viktor. There are absolutely no other exceptions. "Hermy" is an elf from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • Cthulhu Mythos:
    • The eponymous entity Cthulhu has a name that will never have an agreed pronunciation (especially since Lovecraft himself used no fewer than three different pronunciations depending on when you asked him, and even then he insisted that these were merely about as close as a human mouth could get to the real pronunciation), and each pronunciation has a following that will ridicule and shun those who pronounce it differently.
      • In many forums, it's a bad idea to simply mention Cthulhu. Given his surprising popularity, and the sheer amount of people who don't know Lovecraft's name yet own a Cthulhu mug, talking about the God around fans of the writer is a death sentence (especially if you don't actually know what Cthulhu does). To a lesser extent, mentioning "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" can lead to similar results, due to the ridiculous amount of adaptions of the writing.
    • Even worse are the discussions in fandom what the Elder Sign looks like - a star or a tree. Problem is that in different stories it is described as either. Mocked in the musical A Shoggoth on the Roof where in the opening a fight breaks out over this question. 'Star!' — 'Tree!' — 'Star!' — 'Tree!'...
    • For the sake of your sanity, do not discuss Lovecraft's less than savory subtext concerning ethnic minorities in his works. Half the fanbase will unabashedly apologize for or ignore the bigotry, the other half will start bashing on the bigotry in general. And it always, always leads to a debate on whether or not Lovecraft was actually a good author or not.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves is a valet, not a butler. Not that you can exactly be blamed for making the mistake, since it even occurs on book jackets.
    • That he can and has acted as a butler (one book has him as one for a temporary stint) confuses the matter further.
  • Ahem, sparkly vampires in Twilight.
    • Unless you're on a fan site (or at least somewhere that has fans to back you up) it's probably for the best that you don't mention being a fan of the series due to its very vocal Hatedom and Fan Haters. Even if you're not an obsessive fangirl/fanboy, a good chunk of haters will view you as one.
    • Insulting the franchise, whether or not it's opinion-based, is Nutty Madam's berserk button. She will flip if anything critical is said against it and will fire back any insults she can. Calling out Stephen King is what made her infamous on YouTube.
  • While not likely to get you flamed, referring to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series as "Game of Thrones" (the title of the HBO show based on the series which takes its name from the first book) is a good indicator of what kind of fan you are.
    • Also, don't refer to Asha as Yara unless you want to be laughed at. Also, it's Jon, not John; Robb, not Rob; Grey Wind, not Greywind; and Shaggydog, not Shaggy Dog.
    • Daenerys has several. Her name is Daenerys, not Danaerys; some people make this mistake because her father was Aerys. She is nicknamed Dany, not Danny or Dani. And "Khaleesi" is one of her titles, but should never be treated as if it's her actual name.
    • As it diverges further and further from the main books and warps certain characters *cough*Ramsay and Stannis*cough* mentioning certain aspects of the TV series can bring the seven hells down on your head.
  • Don Rumata from Hard to Be a God is not a Progressor, and don't refer to him as a Progressor in the presence of Strugatsky Brothers fan.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, even mentioning Mandalorians as having a philosophical point is a good way of inducing vitriolic backlash (or terrible debates) in some circles. Also, saying anything negative about Timothy Zahn is considered absolute Fandom Heresy, and will get you blacklisted faster than you can say "Mara Jade".
    • At least before the Disney buyout. Attitudes started shifting on Zahn when he started writing for the Disney canon, and now many EU fans tend to view him as a sellout and a traitor for not sticking up for the canon he helped create.
    • Don't tell a fan of the Expanded Universe that it's no longer canon (or never was canon) to Star Wars, as they happen to be quite sore about Disney's decision to nix it.
    • Don't bring up Callista around Mara/Luke fans. It won't end well. Ditto bringing up Mara's demise.
  • Any fan of The Hunger Games will not take kindly to comparisons with Battle Royale. Likewise, don't make the mistake of referring to Catching Fire and Mockingjay as Hunger Games 2 and Hunger Games 3, or calling Peeta Mellark Peter! And for the sake of whatever you hold holy, don't compare it to Twilight.
    • The latter point holds for Harry Potter as well.
  • Fans of Tess of the d'Urbervilles tend to go ballistic over the way the book was treated in Fifty Shades of Grey. It is not recommended to ever try to present the way EL James understood Tess as correct.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen was written by Steven Erikson, not Steve Erickson, Stephen Erickson, or even Erik Stevenson. Have the decency to take a look at the cover, especially when you're claiming he cannot write, as most people who misspell the name are wont to do.
  • Terry Pratchett fans love discussing the many references and homages in his work, especially the Discworld novels. Using a phrase such as "nicked this bit from..." is another matter, and may result in irony being deployed, especially if you're talking about a work that actually postdates Discworld, or a concept that existed in many forms before Sir Terry used it. If it's Harry Potter, just stop now.
  • Percy Jackson has a couple.
    • Calling it a rip off of Harry Potter.
    • Mentioning the ship Perachel in a positive way is bound to get you killed. Actually, shipping Percy with just about anyone except Annabeth isn't a good idea.
    • Want to die? Go into a crowd of Percy Jackson fans and say Octavian was a good character.

    Pinball 
  • Don't call it "tilting" instead of "nudging". Pinball enthusiasts will remind you that "tilting" is what happens when you excessively nudge the table and void your current ball as a result.
  • The greatest offensive statement to a pinhead is to say that video games are better. Virtual pinball gets a free pass, however. The animosity from video games displacing pinball machines at arcades continues to run pretty deep, even after arcades have become niche.
  • Another is to claim that Gottlieb (from the mid-80s and onwards), Data East, or Sega is your favorite manufacturer. The true way consists strictly of Bally-Williams, Stern, Jersey Jack, and whatever new startup has appeared since 2012. Even then, there is plenty of in-fighting among them, and directly stating any particular company is the best will cause flame wars.
  • Saying anything positive about Popeye Saves the Earth will create quite the backlash. This machine is so infamous among pinball fans that it's memetically bad, the pinball counterpart to Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The same goes for South Park, but this is not quite as extreme as it's consistently a hit with people who don't normally play pinball, and the pinheads grudgingly accept that.
  • Inversely, saying anything negative about Medieval Madness, The Twilight Zone, Monster Bash, or AC/DC (the Limited and Premium Editions, at least) may get you kicked out of some communities.
  • Any mention of pinball diminishing in cultural relevance will bring forth outspoken fans who believe that pinball is beginning another Golden Age. It IS increasing in popularity, but it hasn't taken the world by storm.
  • Selling a pinball machine for way above the market price can get you a lot of flak from pinheads alike. And if you especially happen to do this on the Pinside Forums (which have gained infamy for their toxicity), then expect your "for sale" ad to escalate into an ugly Flame War.

    Science 
  • Some physicists and mathematicians hate when you mispronounce "Euler", and saying it as "you-ler"note  will earn you the ire from anyone who generally knows who he was.
  • Many people refuse to accept the notion that Pluto is no longer a planet, especially since it hasn't been destroyed like Alderaan. In other circles, (mostly confined to those who have studied astronomy) insisting that Pluto is still a planet will likely prompt an extended rant about how its just the largest of thousands of similar objects and isn't even the first planet to be demoted for that reason.
  • Paleobiology fans will not react well if you say that pterosaurs and dinosaurs are one and the same.
    • Whining about how the paleontological discoveries of the last several decades have "ruined your childhood" (namely the fact that at least certain theropods, and quite possibly most dinosaurs in general, had feathers or feather-like integument of some form) is an even more surefire way to earn you a punch in the face.
  • Domesticated ferrets are not rodents, are not omnivorous, and are not wild animals. Don't confuse them with Black-footed Ferrets. One former NYC mayor infamously bugged a lot of ferret owners when he mocked them for protesting against ferret laws, calling them rodents and other negative things, which causes him to be Flame Bait even twenty years later.
  • Never refer to a hypothesis as a 'Theory' unless you want countless scientists telling you how a hypothesis is 'A question based on observations that is able to be tested', while a Theory is 'a well-substantiated, unifying explanation for a set of verified, proven hypotheses.'
  • In Brazil, it is not a good idea to state that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. If you ask a Brazilian, they will tell you that it is Alberto Santos-Dumont.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • D&D has demons and devils. Many, many fans commonly mistake the two (which isn't really helped by the fact that the earliest editions just had demons, but no devils) and nearly just as many are really anal about fans who can't get it right. And when you throw in the fact that the most common kind of both demons and devils have more specific names (Tanar'ri and Baatezu respectively), it all just gets very messy, very fast. Plus other kinds like obyrith and archdevils that more pure-blooded fans know about.
    • Part of this comes from the fact that, in many versions of the game, demons and devils DO have objective differences based on Alignment: while both are always Evil, Demons are characterized as always Chaotic, Devils are always Lawful. This extends to other celestial beings like Angels, Archons, Devas, Asuras, etc., where it is less defined.
    • Furthermore, if you don't want to start an edition war, do not use past and present tenses to describe changes between 3.5 and 4th edition, e.g., "there is no lawful evil alignment anymore". And please, for the love of Pelor, DO NOT claim that one edition is objectively better unless you want to get flamed to the Nine Hells and back.
    • Misspelling "rogue" as "rouge" will get you flamed in most online fora.
    • Every edition of the game has had a major revision about halfway through in order to, depending on who you ask, fix balance issues or sell more books. The revision of third edition is officially called 3.5. The revision of second edition ("Player's Options") is frequently called 2.5 and that's no big deal. However, calling the revision of fourth edition ("Essentials") "4.5" is a berserk button among fans of that edition.
    • Since the rise of the OSR (Old School Renaissance/Revival) breathing a word about liking 4th Edition will get your ass handed to you.
    • Asking to play a Kender will get you one of two reactions. If the group you're with actually intends of playing a Dragonlance game, where they originated, you will be sternly told "no". Otherwise, they will probably try to lynch you. This is because Kender have the dubious honor of being one of the few playable races in D&D to become The Scrappy, as their racial backstory and lore paints them as Chaotic Stupid sticky-fingered troublemaking nuisances, with full "character accuracy!" justification to be disruptive to the party, and then glosses them over by painting them as a race that is supposed to be "loved and cherished by all goodly races".
    • Besides the usual bitterly opposing sides in regards to the Faction War in Planescape, asking to play a member of some Factions, such as the Chaotic Stupid Xaositects, will get you immediately booted from the table.
  • Paranoia. Even in the game world itself, referring to The Computer as "the Computer" or, worse, "the computer" can get you a summary execution. "Friend Computer" will do.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Demon is an acceptable vernacular, though the preferred word is Daemon. Lord help you if you get the A and the E confused.
    • Space Marines armies aren't "pretty much all the same". There are myriad differences between the named codices, much less the various ways the plain Space Marines codex is interpreted by both players and in-universe Marine leaders.
    • Every army in Codex: Space Marines isn't "pretty much Ultramarines". Depending on who you ask this is either Ultramarines propaganda, or egregious and atrocious canon manipulation by Matt Ward.
    • The Ultramarines themselves are polarizing. Even before Ward changed the fluff to make them the "default" loyalist army they were scorned by non-Ultramarine players because they were GW's poster boy army. However Ward's comments that every Space Marine chapter secretly looked up to the Ultramarines and beheld their primarch Roboute Guilliman as their "spiritual liege" whom they all aspired to emulate really set the Ultramarines hate to a new level. Bringing up the Ultramarines won't get you into trouble in and of itself, but mentioning the title "spiritual liege" will. Especially from a Space Wolves, Black Templars, Imperial Fists or Blood Angels player; who hold their primarchs in equally high regard.
    • Matt Ward himself is a lightning rod that will get you at least a warning on just about any 40k forum; the name itself is all but guaranteed to start a flame war.
    • Robin Cruddace less so, but he is still fairly reviled. He's notorious for giving armies No Holds Barred Beatdowns with the Nerf bat. The worst case is the Tyranids in 6th, an army that already was quite mediocre and really could've used a boost; he only removed all their best units and replaced them with... nothing, making them absolutely bottom tier and borderline unplayable. To add insult to injury, he filled the pages with stories of crushing Tyranid defeats in their own book. He then gimped the Sisters of Battle in much the same way, by removing the few units that still made them competitive. He also possibly wrote the 7E Dark Eldar codex that removed flickerfields and most of the (very cool) special characters. Not to mention the undercurrent of blatant favouritism he gives to Imperium factions and especially tanks (he plays Imperial Guard in real life, can you tell?) - their 5E codex gave us vehicles in squads, melta veteran spam, artillery spam, Hydra flak tanks shredding Eldar armies everywhere, and the infamous "leaf blower" list which involved taking Daemon Hunter allies and named because with how quickly it wiped out your opponents' models from the board, you may as well have just brought a literal leaf blower and pointed it at the table.
    • C.S. Goto is almost universally hated to almost Ward levels by the fans too. Known for taking a...let's call it "very liberal" approach with writing for 40k, he's known for giving everyone and their mother multi-lasers when they're strictly unique to the Astra Militarum, completely inaccurate portrayal of long-standing conventions of the 40k universe such as the idea that a marine in terminator armor can do a back flip, and what is either a bizarre hatred for or lack of caring for the Eldar portraying them as incompetent or seeing to it they suffer in the things he writes. Add to that the fact that he's on record having said something to the extent of 'My form of canon is just as valid as anyone else's. Warhammer nerds need to get out of their mother's basements and do something with their life before they start criticizing others' and you've got a recipe for some very very intense hatred.
    • Blood Angels and Dark Angels are very different armies; do not confuse them.
      • On a similar note, one of the fastest way of pissing off a Blood Angels fan is by saying "You painted your Blood Ravens wrong".
    • Do not call an individual unit selected from Codex: Black Templars a singular "Black Templar". You can call them by their unit names when all else fails. You can also call them an Initiate or a Crusader.
    • They're Orks. "Orcs & Goblins" are in the other Warhammer game (see below). The K is important, especially to Ork players, who have been known to hound people til they leave a forum for making this mistake.
      • Speaking of Orks, the "g" in "WAAAGH!" is silent. If you forget that, then fans might call one on you.
    • Do not call armies fielded from Codex: Space Marines "vanilla" or "generic" Space Marines without knowing your opponent really well. Many Space Marine players take offense to both terms. This has largely crossed into dead horse territory with the 6th edition codex folding many chapters into the book and creating "Chapter Tactics". Now it's very common to ask a Space Marines player what chapter he's representing since the chapter tactics are a very important part of the metagame. Add in the litany of supplements released for chapters (Iron Hands, Imperial Fists, etc.) and pretty much nobody gets slapped with the "vanilla" label... except the Smurfs.
    • Ultramarines players, for the most part, hate being called "Smurfs". The Smurf moniker came about because of the blue armor Ultramarines wear, and the fact that Ultramarines are over-represented in fluff, artwork and special characters since they are the flagship Space Marines chapter. A simple look through the 6th Edition codex reveals five special characters for the Ultras, while no other chapter has more than 2.
    • Most non-Ultramarine players dislike the chapter to some extent, running the gamut from "a little" to "blind seething hatred". Current "most hated" GW developer Matt Ward claims them as his army and (seems to) favor them in codices and rules, while rewriting fluff he doesn't like and (allegedly) saddling armies he doesn't like with noncompetitive codices (like the Sisters of Battle). This all feeds the vitriol the chapter gets in fan communities.
    • They're not the trademark-friendly "Astra Militarum", they are the fan-favourite Imperial Guard. Likewise, they're not "Aeldari", "Drukhari" and "T'au", they are the Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tau.
    • Don't use "Real Warhammer" or "Original Warhammer" to indicate that you mean Warhammer to a 40k player. Also don't call it just "Warhammer" and assume they know what you mean. 40k-exclusive players consider 40k Real Warhammer. The accepted terms of distinction are "Fantasy" and "40k". You can also call Fantasy "Classic". Also bear in mind, a considerable population plays both.
  • Warhammer
    • Don't called Dwarfs "Dwarves." The former is the plural in Warhammer Fantasy, the latter is the plural in The Lord of the Rings. Hilariously, Tolkien actually admitted in his lifetime that he wanted the pluralization to be 'dwarfs', but thanks to his editor erroneously seeing it as an error, it was changed to Dwarves, which Tolkien then kept as 'a private piece of bad grammar'. (He would have preferred 'dwarrows' anyway.)
    • Similar to the above, don't call 40k "Real" Warhammer in front of a fantasy player. To a Fantasy-only player, this is the "Real" Warhammer. There are many things they do not like about 40k and vice versa. Just about the only term you can use to a Fantasy player is "40k". "Fantasy", "Regular" and "Classic" are all accepted terms when referring to this game. The official terms used in all published materials are simply "Warhammer" and "Warhammer 40,000" — to many purists with a bent for officialdom any term like "real", "original", "fantasy" or "classic" is inappropriate (though "40k" works as a shorthand) — it's not "Warhammer Fantasy", it's just "Warhammer", because that's what it says in the books, Sigmar be damned! Also bear in mind, a good number of people play both. The book of the third edition of the game (1987-1992) did have a strapline added — "Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles" (the first edition of 40k was released alongside Warhammer 3rd edition, so this was probably to help distinguish them), but no other edition has ever carried this line. As such there was a brief period during the late eighties and early nineties when the official term was "Warhammer Fantasy Battle", but that has not been the case for two decades.
    • Don't mention Age of Sigmar to a Fantasy player. If you want your death to be particularly brutal, say that you actually like it.
      • To wit: Games Workshop killed off their 30 year old Fantasy franchise in an incredibly petty, mean-spirited and badly written manner, in order to launch their new Age of Sigmar line. Age of Sigmar was universally derided due to its poor rules, lazy setting and changing the names of everything so they could be copyrighted. Fantasy fans were outraged that their beloved game had been defiled in such a terrible way. Admitting you like the game will make people assume you're either an idiot who can't play a 'proper' wargame, or a GW fanboy who will buy any old crap the company produces.
  • BattleTech Clan fans don't like it when you call the Timber Wolf and Summoner their Inner Sphere names MadCat and Thor. Less you want to be called a "Freebirth Stravag".
    • In fact, the following list of topics have caused a bit of drama on the official for a at one point or another:
      • Land-Air Mechs note 
      • The Unseen note  However, this is no longer the case, apparently, as the recent redesigns have been well received by everyone[[/note.
      • Support for different eras note 
      • ilClan note 
  • The very existence of the Clans note 
  • Saying you prefer Traditional Format (that is, simply limiting the number of Game Breakers allowed rather than outright banning their use as in the official Advanced Format) is a bad idea at Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments
  • Never ask a WARMACHINE player if they're playing Warhammer. Just... don't.
  • Saying that Yu-Gi-Oh! is more balanced than Magic: The Gathering or that its tournament formats are better because they release a Banned/Limited List update every 6 months (as opposed to every 3 months for Magic), is a good way to have MTG players bite your head clean off.note 
  • Old World of Darkness
    • Changeling: The Dreaming: Go ahead, tell a fan of Changeling that their favorite game is like a light hearted play date, it'll be fine.

    Theatre 
  • Mention to any member of The Phantom of the Opera "phandom" how much you loved the 2004 movie version, and you're likely to get both flamed and spammed with YouTube links to "better performances".
    • On a related note, saying the story is set in 1870 is a good way to get a long talk about the Franco-Prussian War, the Commune of Paris, and Critical Research Failure in general.
    • Additionally, any mention of complete and total love for the sequel Love Never Dies will get you ostracized and/or ridiculed.
    • Since the fandom is predominantly Erik/Christine shippers, stating that you ship Raoul/Christine will earn unholy ire. There have been cases of E/C shippers attacking R/C shippers with "The Phantom is a total cinnamon roll," and "Christine is an ungrateful bitch."
  • Les Misérables:
    • Inspector Javert is not just a villain.
    • In some circles, serious love for Éponine will earn you the ire of fans who assume you only like her because of her place in the love triangle and because you're probably a teenage girl.
    • And God help those who haven't read the book and aren't intending to - many fans see reading Hugo's thousand-page tome as the only true way to experience the story, and will tell you so until you agree with them.
    • You saw the movie and thought, contrary to all the hate piled on him, that Russell Crowe did not in fact ruin the whole experience? Stay on your guard. Similarly, it's probably not a good idea to express fondness for Nick Jonas as Marius in the 25th anniversary concert.
    • Enjolras' flippant comment in the book and 2012 movie notwithstanding, the story does not take place during the French Revolution. The barricade scenes are during the June Rebellion, over forty years after the French Revolution.
  • Saying anything positive about Andrew Lloyd Webber at all is guaranteed to get you flamed to death by someone. Conversely, saying anything negative about Stephen Sondheim will produce the same effect, probably from the exact same people.
  • Claiming that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon didn't write all those plays. It's excusable if you suggest that John Fletcher collaborated on a few of them, though (since there's documented evidence that they worked together on The Two Noble Kinsmen and the lost Cardenio, and probably Henry VIII as well).
  • Saying that you're a fan of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street having only seen the movie. Or worse, not realising that it is anything other than a movie. Also, the main characters' names are spelt "Sweeney Todd" (three E's, two D's) and "Lovett" (not Lovet, Lovette, Lovatt etc). This is incredibly common online, and drives some fans to Epiphany-level rage.
  • In the world of Opera Fandom (yes, there is an Opera Fandom) there are numerous mistakes that outsiders/newcomers can make. And don't think that just because the Opera crowd is metaphorically monocled and top-hatted that their fury is less passionate than the most devoted Trekkies or Whovians.
    • Do not ever ever refer to The Phantom of the Opera as an opera in front of an opera fan. The fact that the word 'opera' is in the title does not make it one. It is a musical. A Broadway production. The same thing goes for Les Misérables and other such works. Don't call them operas in front of your opera-loving friends... unless you hate them and want to end the friendship, of course.
    • There is a similar problem with singers. By all means, love your Sarah Brightman and Il Divo CDs. But do not call them opera singers. Do not tell opera fans that you like Katherine Jenkins' version of the Habanera the best. Singers like these may sound 'operatic' to non-opera fans, but they are NOT opera singers. They are classical crossover singers, and to actual Opera fans, they are hair-rippingly maddening. Especially because many of them have neither the vocal type nor the skill to sing the opera snippets they choose properly. If you know an opera fan, please do not make them sit through Jackie Evancho, Paul Potts, or any of the other Talent Show 'opera' singers. You will drive them crazier than Lucia di Lammermoor.
    • Opera fans will also take umbrage at the stereotype of a fat, ugly woman in a horned helmet. Many, if not most opera chanteuses are neither fat, nor ugly. Some are downright gorgeous.
    • Another stereotype is that opera is just a bunch of controlled screaming. If you say this, even jokingly, to an opera fan, you will be pulverized and forced to listen to their entire playlist until you concede defeat and tell them that opera is beautiful. To be honest though, how could anyone call this screaming? Or this?
  • For the love of all that is holy, make sure you know what board you're on before you announce your favorite Elphaba in the Wicked fandom. The wrong answer in the wrong place will see you incinerated in a flash.

    Toys 
  • Transformers:
    • There was an IRC chat back in the mid 90s where the admin would kickban any user who referred a particular character by any name other than "Dezaras". "Deathsaurus" was forbidden, "Deaths-R-Us" was right out, and "Death Czarus?" Well, you know the drill.
    • So who's the blue robot, Frenzy or Rumble? This question, when ask, will prompt other fans either saying "You had to go there, didn't you?" or straight-out causing flame wars.
    • The issue of third-party Transformers toys have become this and have effectively split the fandom into two camps; the one that sees them as being on the same level of dollar store knock-offs (despite costing vastly more and being of infinitely higher quality), one that believes they are the only way of getting fan favorite characters/alt modes since Hasbro/Takara doesn't care about adult fans (The Generations/Masterpiece line and recent G1 reissues not withstanding). A more recent camp has emerged who see them as redundant and potentially damaging to the brand, now that Hasbro seems to be putting more emphasis on the original series characters; many in this camp see the third party figures as overpriced and flimsy, with the main complaint being that actually playing with third party toys makes them wear out a lot faster. Third-party accessories, on the other hand, are more-or-less tolerated by everyone.
    • Saying anything negative about the classic Generation 1 toyline and its associated media is bound to enrage a lot of folks who loved it as a kid, and even expressing enjoyment or approval of a later incarnation of the franchise can result in angry remarks about how G1 is the only version worth mentioning.
    • On the flipside, being a fan of only the original toys, cartoon, or comic is likely to get you labeled a GEEWUN fanboy, especially after the very successful Generations toyline introduced new toys of old characters with better articulation and durability in comparison. This is even if you are mostly indifferent or even supportive but still focusing mainly on the originals for your personal collection.
  • As Gabe discovered, LEGO fans are all too ready to point out that the plural of LEGO is LEGO.
    • Funnily enough, this rule gets broken in the first LEGO Island game when DJ Radio delivers the headline "LEGOs in SPACE!".note 
    • The LEGO Group used to specifically make the point on the packaging that they should be called "LEGO bricks or toys" and not "LEGOs". They were worried about their trademark becoming genericized, as happened to, say, aspirin, escalator, and linoleum.
    • Just try referring to either of the original villains from LEGO Adventurers as "Sam Sinister" and watch the FlameWars erupt.note 
    • Try calling Legends of Chima a rip-off of ThunderCats (2011) in the presence of the former's fans. Expect them to spit on you for assuming so simply because the main protagonists and their races in both series look similar. On the opposite end, ThunderCats fans will refuse to believe that it isn't a rip-off, primarily because of it being released on the heels of the latter's cancellation.
    • Mixels fans are very sore about people disregarding the cartoon as pointless and have deep issues with Copy Cat Sue characters, which are unfortunately abundant in the fandom. Also, do not bring up the Jawg and Gobba leadership issue...or argue about tribe leaders in general.
    • Don't bring up the love triangle in Ninjago between Nya, Jay, and Cole. Just don't. Likewise, don't ever mention that you believe shipping Lloyd with older characters (especially Kai) is okay on Tumblr.
  • Calling Toa or Matoran "BIONICLEs" will result in a massive Internet Backdraft. Pluralizing the title will get you obliterated. Don't even think about calling them "Bionicles."
    • Also, there is a reason why BIONICLE is not under the LEGO section in this folder. Do not refer to BIONICLE as "that LEGO story" or otherwise try and imply that it is "just a story used to sell toys".
  • Some ball-jointed doll owners get in quite a tizzy over Monster High dolls.
  • For Monster High itself, it's unwise to say that the reboot is better or even perfect in comparison to G1 of Monster High.
  • My Little Pony:
    • Stallions have always existed in the series, with the only exception being G3 (2003-2009). Despite this people often say that the franchise, especially G1, is female only and it pisses fans off.
    • G2 never had a cartoon. My Little Pony Tales is G1. The gens are based off the toys, not how many cartoons are released.

    Universities and Colleges 
  • Auburn University's sports teams are the Tigers, not the Eagles or the War Eagles. "War Eagle" is a cheer that Auburn uses, and the name of its fight song, but it has nothing to do with the team itself. The school itself even has a webpage pointing this out, and explains the Urban Legends and other stories about where the term is believed to have come from.
  • And while we're on the subject of the SEC West: it's Ole Miss and LSU, not "Mississippi" or "Louisiana State". If you want to be excessively formal while talking about the educational institutions themselves, you can say "University of Mississippi" and "Louisiana State University", but in any other context - especially sports - you use the nicknames.
  • Fans of Stanford University's sports teams will not hesitate to loudly and frequently remind you that their team is the Stanford Cardinal, not the Cardinals. That is, they are Cardinal, the shade of red, not Cardinals, the birds (or Catholic leaders). Gods help you if you suggest that their mascot is a cardinal.note 
  • It's Johns Hopkins University. As in, both words end in the letter s. Not "John Hopkins", and definitely not "John Hopkin." The founder's parents decided to name him "Johns" (after his mother's family name) rather than "John." It's led to over a century of irritated students and alumni correcting people who can't possibly believe that it would be "Johns", even people who really should know better (like long-time Baltimore residents). Also, while the medical school is the most famous part of Hopkins, it offers areas of study as varied as any other top research university. Assuming that everyone who attends Hopkins is studying to become a doctor is a great way to irritate the majority who are not.
    • Similarly, pronouncing the H in "Amherst, Massachusetts" will mark you as an outsider to any Amherst student or townie. Also, assuming that an Amherst College student means UMass when s/he says s/he went to "Amherst" will not endear you to him/her.
  • Do not refer to Maize as yellow in the context of the University of Michigan's color (unless you are singing the alma mater, which is actually called "The Yellow and Blue"). Likewise, do not refer to Rutgers' scarlet or Harvard's and Alabama's crimson as red.
  • If you're in Britain, don't call University "College". College is an alternative to Sixth Form that many British teenagers do, or one of the institutions that make up Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Or a further education college, a category which includes but is not limited to sixth-form colleges.
    • The British university system was reformed in the 1990's and institutions perceived as being at a lower status/academic level, the old polytechnics and some of the larger tech colleges, were allowed to step up and recharter as new universities. These institutions remain sensitive about their origins and the perceived snobbery of those who still persist in thinking of them as somehow "inferior" and not real universities. Anyone who, for instance, refers to Manchester Metropolitan University as "Oh, you mean the Poly?" or Owain Glyndwr University of Wrexham as "Ah, the tech college on Mold Road?" is risking pressing a berserk button, and accusations that they're being snooty and superior. Any reference to "Clown Colleges" can be fighting talk in some quarters.
    • A similar tradition also applies to universities in Hong Kong, with universities being institutes for Bachelor Degrees, and colleges (or technically, community colleges) being institutes for Associate Degrees and High Diploma.
    • The Oxford college that has a cathedral is called Christ Church, not Christ Church College.
  • The University of North Carolina and Duke University are known to be rivals among those who live near them or know enough about them. Bringing up Duke while on Carolina's campus (or vice versa), or worse, walking on either campus sporting the opposite college's apparel will often result in even the nicest of people getting cross at you, or at least picking on you about it. And if you try to bring North Carolina State University into the fray, then all hell is guaranteed to break loose.
  • New York University's mascot is a Bobcat. Their sports teams, however, are the 'Violets.' Calling the teams 'the Bobcats' is a surefire way to identify someone as an incoming freshman or non-NYU student, and draw ire from current students and alumni.
  • NEVER insult Brandeis University's castle. Your fellow students will take you to the highest tower and drop-kick you into Boston.
    • However, given that much of it is now being torn down (because it was very badly designed), this is less of an issue.

    Visual Novels 
  • Say that visual novels are just video games and aren't unique enough to be considered a different medium. Some fans will just shrug and move on, but most will rip your throat out. However, there are VN fans who resent being categorized as different because it means they're "not real games", so it ends up being a case of Internet Backdraft either way.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Go ahead and say that Apollo is better than Phoenix on a Ace Attorney forum. Or the other way around for that matter. You'll get a front seat to a flame war between Phoenix and Apollo fans.
    • Likewise, saying that your favorite game in the series is any other then the first or third ones will get you completely torn apart with rage by people who are insistent that their opinion is the only valid one.
    • Don't go onto a forum and say you did not find the last cases of the games (1-5 (or 1-4), 2-4, 3-5, 4-4, 5-5, and 6-5) to be that great; especially not 2-4. People will kill you, except maybe 4-4... unless you managed to gain the attention of an Apollo Fan.
    • Try to stay away from saying anything positive about 2-3. You might be able to get away with saying you felt it was a good concept executed poorly or that some of the characters like Acro and Regina were misused.
  • Don't tell any Key/Visual Arts fan that the characters are lolis. Don't even comment that they look like kids — unless the character is specifically pointed out in canon to look young, like Ayu or Kud — and especially don't say that their canon ages are "just a number tacked on so you don't get arrested". In keeping with the aforementioned Artistic Age, all the haremettes are in high school, often late high school, and so are the protagonists. The fans are really tired of hearing it.
  • Expressing squick and revulsion at Katawa Shoujo for featuring a Themed Harem of Disabled Love Interests. No, it's not a Dead Baby Comedy, even if the source material (a set of joke character designs which the game strongly departed from) is, and the thought that it has to be is in itself pretty offensive, considering that viewing disabled people as nonsexual beings and anyone who would be interested in them as predatory is a major problem in society as it is.
  • With the exception of Carnival Phantasm, Fate/Zero (and now the Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works series by the same studio) and the Kara no Kyoukai movies, never mention any of the Nasuverse anime. Ever.
  • DRAMAtical Murder: Unless you have a death wish, do not bring up the topic of Mink's route and whether or not Aoba was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. No matter which side of the argument you're on, it won't be pretty. This has lessened since the release of Re:Connect, which expanded upon Mink's character and motivations, but his route is still very controversial.
    • Another one is the 'you fuck the dog!' joke. Newer fans (and non-fans) will probably laugh, but longtime fans will send death glares your way. Some fans find it especially frustrating because a number of people outside of the fandom have taken the joke seriously and think that the visual novel actually contains bestiality note .
    • Saying something along the lines of "I've been playing this thing for several hours now, where's all the yaoi sex?" will get you worse glares. DRAMAtical Murder is a BL game, but there aren't any explicit scenes until the latter half of the story (near the ending in most routes), so needless to say, they aren't a major part of the game. A lot of people start playing purely to watch the H-scenes, completely ignoring the actual plotline and dumbing down the characters, to the ire of fans.
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors fans get pretty annoyed when people call the game the "video game version of Saw", which is a rather bad berserk button to have when this is pretty much what every professional reviewer who reviewed the game said. Hardcore fans however will point out that "999 is much more original than Saw" and that "if you actually pay attention to the game's entire plot, it's actually nothing like Saw". In actual fact, the game was heavily inspired, not by Saw, but by Eastern horror movies, in which the theme is less about sadistic people inducing violence, and more about sadisticly inducing fear. The theme of the game, going through a game involving puzzle filled rooms, has been compared to Saw, but as fans are quick to point out, the actual puzzles and entire set up for why they exist in the first place is nothing like it. The same goes for its sequel Virtue's Last Reward.
    • Also, please don't say in front of 999/VLR that you find the plot incredibly unrealistic and therefore bad. You'll get a huge speech about how everything is actually given an actual real life, scientific/theoretical, well explained explanation and that if you think the plot's unrealistic it means you mustn't have paid any attention to these parts. Not to mention that saying you find the plot "poorly put together", or that the writers "didn't care", is a BAD no-no, since fans will be quick to point out that everything slots together so well and folds so neatly into place that writing such a complex plot would take amazing levels of care and attention to detail.
  • Dumbing down Higurashi: When They Cry by describing it as the "killer lolis" series is a thorn in the side of many fans. Talking about how you only like the gorn and horror aspects, ignoring the tragedy behind it all, is even worse.
  • For the Sakura series of games created by Winged Cloud, speaking positively about the competence of any of the male protagonists (especially Seiji from Sakura Beach) is not recommended. However, it may be acceptable when it comes to ones from the more recent games (such as Akira from Sakura Agent).

    Web Comics 
  • Check, Please! fans are not very welcoming of fanworks depicting Jack breaking up with Bitty to be with Kent. Doing that will trigger at the very least a very passive-aggressive comment of people asking "who hurt you?". This is specially enraging to people since Jack and Kent past relationship is implied to be rather unhealthy to both: Jack only saw it as a hook up and Kent is still very much hung up on him, though it's still a Broken Base. It's particularly offensive to fans if Bitty receives a Die for Our Ship treatment.
    • Overall, fanworks of Bitty and Jack breaking up and not getting back together are not well received.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Big Bad Xykon has to deal not just with random members of the community, but even characters in the comic spelling his name wrong (with a Z). He can even tell when you misspell it in a speech balloon. And he will kill you for it.
    • Not a name-related issue, but speculating on the comic's frequent Schedule Slip on the fora is grounds for having your post locked and receiving an infraction.
  • On the fora of Looking for Group, anyone ignorant enough to post anything even hinting that they think the comic is a World of Warcraft story happening in Azeroth will get beaten up, crucified, eaten and shot, in that order. Despite the fact that the comic started as a Warcraft parody (though only for a very brief period) and incredibly obviously took significant inspiration from the games.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: The third girl from the photo is not Jones, and she is not related to Gamma in any way. Fans continued to speculate to the contrary, even though Tom Jossed those theories, within hours of their first proposal, then put a note to that effect below the comic. At one point, a forum regular who should have known better suggested that this speculation should be a ban-worthy offense. This specific line of Wild Mass Guessing seems to have stopped now that it's been unambiguously confirmed in-comic that the photo girl and Jones are different people.
  • Dreamkeepers fans are usually pretty torn when it comes to pronouncing Namah's name. Some people say NAA-MUH, while others believe it to be NAY-MUH and refuse to back down in their opinions.
  • Las Lindas author Soul Kat has a big Berserk Button related to this trope due to so many people screwing up Davin Preacher's name, instead calling him Devin.
  • Loldwell.com features a number of comic strips themed around different iterations of the concept: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Homestuck
  • Heartcore's author has had a very bad history with the website Fireball20XL and its webmaster, Bryon "Psyguy" Beaubien. If you try to defend him in the presence of her and/or her fans, start praying, though it will help you not.
  • It's not a good idea to bring up Sonichu (or its author Chris-chan). At all.
  • Referring to a Korean or Chinese webtoon as a "manga". You'll get away with calling them a "manhwa" or "manhua", but calling them "manga" annoys both manga fans and webtoon fans.

    Web Original 
  • Don't speculate on the Homestar Runner wiki. Don't forget to sign your posts. And for your own sake, if you don't want a month long banning, never mention their Schedule Slip.
  • Do not talk about Mallard Fillmore at The Comics Curmudgeon. As in, you'll be banned for it because it only ever causes arguments.
  • At TFWiki.net the quickest and easiest way to prevent anyone from caring about your opinion is to object to the use of humorous image captions.
  • The Slender Man:
    • Being mistaken about the origin of the mythos. No, it was not originally a Creepypasta, although many Creepypastas involving him have been written since his creation. No, Marble Hornets did not create him, though they are the primary reason as to his popularity,note  and neither did Slender. The Slender Man was created in Something Awful forum thread.
    • Referring to the main creature as just Slender. This occurs most often with fans who were introduced to the mythos through the game of that name.
    • Calling the creature Slenderman likewise draws ire from some fans. Referring to him as Slender Man as if it's his name is similarly a point of agitation. THE Slender Man is just a description of his appearance — a tall, gaunt being that looks vaguely like a man.
    • There is a very real possibility of Marble Hornets fans hunting you down to bash you over the head with a lump of concrete if you say anything along the lines of "I love Masky, he's my favorite creepypasta!" Masky is not from a creepypasta, his identity is no longer mysterious, and you will be laughed at for thinking it is. Ditto referring to proxies anywhere in the mythos as "Maskies", or saying that his fellow character Hoody is from a creepypasta.
    • For that matter, calling Hoody or Masky "proxies" will get you treated to a nice lengthy explanation of how the term wasn't used in Marble Hornets and neither should be considered as such. Your best bet is to only use the term "proxy" when talking about Dark Harvest (the series from which the term originated) or Tribe Twelve.
  • Some YouTube rhythm gaming videos use music that is coincidentally available in the AudioSwap gallery. Just try and mention AudioSwap in the comments.
  • If you join the SCP Foundation, do yourself a favor and peruse the site (which, admittedly, is very large) for a while before putting up new SCP entries; while certain community standards are arguably too high or too picky, anything that's flagrantly awful just as a piece of "creative writing", never mind the tone of the site, will typically get long, line-by-line breakdowns of everything you did wrong. Repeat offenses (or shotgunning multiple horrid entries at once) may or may not get you kicked off the site, depending on your personal attitude. For really entertaining discussions, however, just try to say how SCP-173 is a rip-off of the Weeping Angels, or why your impossibly amazing self-insert humanoid SCP/Researcher deserves to be all over the site, or how this new thing would really actually easily be able to kill SCP-682. Enjoy your time as a D-class.
    • Also, don't call it "SPC". That stands for "Shark-Punching Center".
    • Don't mention Dr. Bright around SCP fans on LiveJournal, InsaneJournal, or DreamWidth—reactions will range from white-hot rage to tired resignation about what his writer did to get so many people angry.
    • Never ever mention the "lolFoundation" era, which was characterized by "wacky" SCPs, most of which have been edited to be more horror-themed or deleted outright.
  • One of the variants of "Rule #1 of Tumblr"—as if taking a page from Fight Club—is to never mention Tumblr outside of Tumblr itself. Though Tumblr is fairly well-known at this point, making this "rule" a Discredited Meme.
    • Also, tread very carefully when tagging your posts; people tracking those tags will probably get on your case if you say bad things about the subjects of the tags. This can catch some users off-guard as some use tags as blog organization and may not be aware that what they're doing is stirring up an Internet Backdraft. (A way to avoid this is to stuff the first five tags with nonsense tags, then put the relevant tags after those; if a particular tag is the 6th or higher tag on a post, the post will not appear when searching for that tag.)
  • Fans of Demo Reel do not like to be reminded of The Review Must Go On and by extension, the post-un-cancellation Nostalgia Critic videos.
  • Asking "what if Operation Sealion had been successful" or even mentioning the "Unmentionable Sea Mammal" in a non-ironic way on AlternateHistory.com is sure to end in much banging of heads against walls in frustration at the prospect of having to explain to yet another noob just why it could not, under any circumstances, have worked.
  • Are you an upcoming YouTube ranter that somehow hates his fanbase and wants to turn them into your most fervent hatedom? If you are then there is only one thing you should do, and that is censoring or even outright deleting other people's opinions.
  • thetoptens.com does have a few of them.
    • Justin Bieber tends to erupt a lot of discussion. On most "worst music" lists he will be at the top, which most people find ok (one of the reasons people love the site is after all because its a place where they can hate on him without consequence). Telling something positive about him on this site can cause a flood of haters to come at you like if you were a magnet.
    • A list looking like ("X at Y school") will usually turn into a demand to remove the list from the site by the users, which the site will do. Special treatment has to go to "Rockland District Middle School", which to this day attracts hatred on the site.
    • Bashing on users will not go well at all. Many users of the site get fed up with all the Britgirl and Turkeyasylum bashing (though putting them into weird situations is mostly OK). Heaven forbid you especially if you somehow need to write a Puga abuse story on one of them.
  • Death Battle: Since this is a web series that has fan-favorite characters fight to death, hurt feelings about who will win was inevitable. Some fights, however, are more bitter than others:
    • For Superman vs Goku, don't tell a Dragon Ball fan that Superman deserved both wins or else Saiyan-sized flames will erupt. Don't even try explaining Death Battle's logic on how Superman will always win against Goku.
    • The second Superman vs. Goku manages to hurt even more feelings, this time from both sides of the fandom. Not only did Superman beat Goku again, he did it more easily despite Goku having two major power-ups since their last fight. The reason: Superman is always holding back and he has unlimited power. Dragon Ball fans call this a cop-out since ScrewAttack didn't want to do anymore Superman videos, and Superman fans (specifically the comic book Superman fans, along with the DC fandom) were mad since there are several characters in the DCU who are stronger than Superman and it reinforces the idea that Superman is a boring God-Mode Sue that the fandom have been fighting against for years. It also goes against DC's own official word that Superman, while extremely powerful, does have limits. Dragon Ball fans were also pissed that Goku said that he didn't want to surpass Superman since then there would be no one for him to surpass afterwards, which Goku doesn't cares about in canon. This subject actually became more bitter after Dragon Ball Super aired only a couple weeks after the battle and shows Goku having feats that rival or surpass Superman. Death Battle refuses a round 3 since Superman will always win regardless of how powerful Goku becomes because he has 'no limits'.
    • Majin Buu vs. Kirby fight is also a sore subject in the Dragon Ball fandom. Many expected Buu to easily cakewalk Kirby since Buu has one of the most broken powersets in the series. When Buu actually lost the fandom declared Death Battle to be biased against anime.
    • On the ScrewAttack forums, it's also generally a bad idea to speak positively of "Gaara vs. Toph" as it is generally agreed that the episode's research was flagrantly poor and the person who lost which would be Gaara in this case would actually come out on top pretty handily. "Yang Xiao Long vs. Tifa Lockhart" is also something of a sore talking point there, as pretty much all of the forum's regulars expected Yang to lose horribly and went into meltdown when this wasn't shown to be the case.
    • A pretty universal one is calling the show biased against or for anything or anyone. Fans of the show have heard it so many times it's more likely to make a fan ignore the person than listen to them.
  • The Go Animate users who make "Grounded" videos and the unironic fans of these kind of videos will tear you a new one if you defend the punished, especially if the targets are "baby show" characters such as Caillou or Dora the Explorer and if the level of punishment is over the top. Feeling sorry for "baby show" characters? Preposterous!
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • DO NOT mistake any well-known fan-made character as a canon character. At best, you'll drown in disappointment but at least other fans are willing to simply correct you on that. At worst, you'll be shouted at by the more hostile fans, especially if they don't like the idea of fan characters in general (which also isn't helped by the idea of Truffles's Video Bomb Competition).
    • When it comes to shipping, if you want to ignite a fandom Flame War, try saying that you hate one or more popular shippings (including the ones already featured in the show). While there are some fans that side with you, a shouting match can still occur between either side.
    • Saying that you support The Ants instead of Sniffles can garner yourself an Internet Backdraft. Doubly so if you're a Sniffles hater.
    • For fan character makers out there, it's not really recommended to create a fan character who is either related to Flippy, romantically involved with Flippy or just plain copy-pasting his personality. Fans don't sit well with this, since they're already tired of this character trait.
      • Speaking of fan characters, over-designing them (either appearance-wise, character concept-wise or both) is usually not recommended as fans nowadays don't sit well with this idea as well.
    • During post-TV series era, saying that Flippy has fully gotten over his flip-outs was enough to garner wrath of fans. It didn't help that the next time a flipped-out Flippy appears, it's only in Flaky's imagination ("Without a Hitch"). The fanbase has calmed down since the release of the Love Bite short "On My Mind", which depicts Flippy flipping out.
    • Whenever something popular manages to "snag" many HTF fans away from the fandom, said thing will usually end up being the trigger to the HTF fandom's Berserk Button (most notably, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic; Undertale may count too). It's not recommended to mention those non-HTF things to a HTF fan unless that same fan happens to enjoy both.
    • Character concept-wise, mentioning that the cast is a complete rip-off of Care Bears characters will cause massive Internet Backdraft. Doesn't help that there's one exact case where someone made said comparison and, judging by the disabled comment section, that person succeeded in evoking the HTF fans' wrath.
    • Don't compare the show with Retarded Animal Babies. Just don't.
    • Here's one way to make the fanbase violently explode: Mentioning that you like London Mobile Buddies and HTF is more inferior. LMB has its own explanation in the Web Original section of They Copied It, So It Sucks, so it deserves no further elaboration.
    • On the other side of the fandom, they really don't like it if you strictly stick to the canon rules of the show. They usually label you as a "Fandom Nazi" and tell you that you won't be creative at all if you abide to the canon only. That's right, "Stop Having Fun" Guys accusation in a non-video game fandom!
    • For the more serious fans that have done their research, hearing FatKat being referred to as a permanent part of the cast is their Berserk Button. No, FatKat is not a canon HTF character. No, he's not a fan character either. He's a guest character (for a single HTF Break, mind you) who is simply a HTF version of an animation studio's mascot. Unfortunately, fans still make this error from time to time.
  • For Game Theory, intentionally bringing up any such theory to that franchise's fanbase has a good chance of getting you yelled at, and especially don't ever bring up the "Link is dead in Majora's Mask" theory, or better yet, "Mario is mental".
    • Or much more recently, pretty much of any of the Undertale videos. While MatPat might not've actually thought Sans was actually Ness, the video became a huge source of mockery and anger in places even outside of the Undertale fandom. It somehow got even worse when it was revealed that MatPat was selected to meet the Popenote  and gave him a symbolic gesture of a Steam key for Undertale, for its message on pacifism, which was amongst other gifts that other Youtubers gave him. But because the video explaining this was unclear, most people heard the message "this guy just gave the Pope a video game" and he was even more lambasted by even more people. In the intro to one of his later Undertale videos, MatPat even said that the hate he got from both incidents nearly prevented him from ever making another Undertale video again.
  • RWBY
    • Whether or not the show can be described as an anime can generate a lot of heated debate. It's a western show that borrows very heavily from anime, leading to confusion over its status. Even the show's creators have heard of the argument and try to avoid getting involved.
    • Whether or not the show will ever have LBGT characters can cause friction. The creators originally stated that they're up for it, and would want the characters to discover their sexuality in their own time. So far, no characters have been confirmed to be LBGT, making the subject a sensitive one within the fandom.
  • It's not a good idea to praise Christianu2ber on (ironically) in the comments section of Christianu2ber's videos or make a positive video about him.
  • Unironically mentioning controversial internet singers such as Rebecca Black or Misha (no, not THAT Misha) is sure to cause annoyance.
  • Mentioning "normie" memes such as Cash Me Outside or the mocking SpongeBob meme is sure to cause annoyance in some circles.
  • Don't praise Gligar13vids or any of his videos on YouTube. It will not go well.

    Other 
  • Except those that are for combat, do not call anything tangible a weapon.
  • Do not confuse Iceland with Ireland. Otherwise, Icelanders might throw you in one of the island nation's volcanoes.
  • Try and bring up the Flat Earth theory, or that you believe it. You'll get flamed for sure.


Alternative Title(s): Bannondorf, Gannon Banned, Nerd Rage, Pedantic Fan Rage

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FandomBerserkButton?from=Main.NerdRage