Fandom-Specific Plot

Fanfic is rife with tropes and Memetic Mutation. Some plots are so embedded in the collective consciousness of netizens everywhere that no fandom is complete without them, despite general disdain for them—Mr. Seahorse, for example, or Gender Bender—or even their relevance to the source material, such as Aliens Made Them Do It.

This trope comes in two general flavors:
  • One: Universal plots that are unusually popular within a particular fandom or pairing, for whatever reason.
  • Two: Plots which only work within a particular fandom or pairing and are incredibly common there.

As with everything to do with fanfiction, Sturgeon's Law applies.

Sailor Earth, Obvious Crossover Method, Fuku Fic and The Ship's Motor are subtropes. Compare Common Crossover. See also Fanfic Fuel.

Fandoms with their own pages:


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  • Watchmen has Rorschach being sent to the future or an Alternate Universe.
  • Spider-Man has One More Day Fix Fic (usually involving either Peter or MJ fighting off Mephisto in an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny). Fics where MJ, Gwen or a Mary Sue get powers (usually spider-related) are fairly common too. Of course, then we got Spider-Gwen...
  • Spider-Man, or really any comic book character, Ultimate Universe-style retellings of the series.
  • There are a lot of Calvin and Hobbes stories concerning what Calvin is like as a teenager or adult. Either he has to deal with not having Hobbes around, or Hobbes is still around but his relationship with Calvin has changed due to Calvin's growing up. Occasionally, Hobbes ends up being passed down to one of Calvin's own eventual children.
  • Teen Titans has a lot of Next Generation stories and fanart, with the Titans' own children growing up to be Titans themselves. The characters typically included are Damian Wayne, Lian Harper, Iris West, Milagro Reyes (Blue Beetle's little sister; a Running Gag is that her life's ambition is to become a Green Lantern), and sometimes Ma'ri Grayson/Nightstar, Nightwing and Starfire's daughter in the Kingdom Come reality who is not yet born in the main one.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Labyrinth fic tends to have a few main flavors: A) Sarah will get wished away by Toby/her parents/her roommate/etc. putting her in Jareth's clutches or running the Labyrinth again. B) Jareth with get all possessive and try to whisk Sarah away as his 'bride'. C) Either Jareth or Sarah is in Big Trouble and the other has to help him/her out. Romance Ensues from all these 99% of the time, and they are handled with varying degrees of subtlety.
    • Other common fic plots include "Jareth is in trouble with the Fae Courts because he let someone succeed at running the Labyrinth", "original female character wishes her child/sibling/self away and winds up being romanced by Jareth", or an adaptation of Ashe Ryder's Roommates comics.
  • The Hangover fics have a very high tendency to have a previously unmentioned sister or female cousin of one of the four guys (usually Doug) join up with them and get involved with Alan, or more rarely Stu or Phil.
  • In fanfic for Star Trek XI, the idea that Kirk received some of Spock Prime's memories of his friendship (or "friendship") with Kirk Prime during the mindmeld on Delta Vega is particularly common — especially among Kirk/Spock shippers.
    • It is also commonly assumed that Gaila survived.
  • TRON fanficcers have all got their own guesses about what happens to the title character after his involuntary dunk in the Sea of Simulation. Other very common plotlines involve getting Flynn back to analog after being trapped in the digital world for 20 years, and scenarios where Alan is brought to The Grid to repair his damaged software. Some fic goes into Sam's other "pranks" on Encom. Others try to figure out how Quorra's going to adjust to analog. Plenty of fanfic guesses about what happened to Yori (if you ship Tron/Yori, she's alive. If you write slash, she's de-rezzed), or the cast of TRON: Uprising (which had a Bolivian Army Ending). Patchwork Fic with the "other sequel" isn't uncommon, either.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe fics:
    • You get lots of Loki redemption fics. Usually forced as his punishment for the events of The Avengers — a vast majority involve Loki being forced to live with the Avengers (who mistrust and/or are hateful towards with him) in order to learn humility.
    • It is also almost guaranteed that unless some sort of AU/bashing is involved, all of the Avengers will be living together full-time in Stark Tower.
    • Loki getting pregnant is so common, fics are often labeled "Lokipreg" or "Lpreg" instead of just mpreg. He may be a contender for most knocked-up male character in fandom. It helps that Loki getting pregnant is actually canon in Norse Mythology (not that Myth!Loki ever gets pregnant as a male, though); he's the mother of Sleipnir the eight-legged horse.
    • And if you ship Clint×Natasha, you've probably written something about Budapest. Any fic revolving around the members of Strike Team Delta (Clint, Natasha, and Coulson) is likely to have some references to Budapest. It's also common for Budapest to be the place where Clint initially recruited and/or encountered Natasha.
    • After Captain America: The Winter Soldier, many stories have been focused on Steve trying to rehabilitate a broken Winter Soldier/Bucky, who is sometimes seen suffering from PTSD, guilt or other type of mental issue due to his brainwashed, mistreatment, and assassination orders by HYDRA.
    • Also common are fics where a teen aged girl who is either a S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit from a young age or has super powers and a mysterious past ends up joining the team and living in the Tower.
  • Fix Fics that change the ending of X-Men: First Class so that Xavier and Magneto never become estranged and/or Xavier is never paralyzed are ubiquitous in the fandom.
  • Star Wars fanfiction is particularly notable for its time travel fics, where characters from the original trilogy era (usually Luke, but sometimes Leia; never Han) inexplicably travel in time to the prequel era and warn their parents/Yoda/everyone about what Palps is and what is he up to. Time travel, Sith alchemy, or other means can also be used to cross eras, like bringing Knights of the Old Republic cheacters into the film eras.
    • Another stock plot of Star Wars fanfics is Dark Luke/Dark Leia/both. In this case, either or both of the children was not hidden particularly well from daddy, or not at all, and is educated as a darksider.
    • "What If" scenearios also very common. What if Qui-Gon Jinn lived to train Anakin? What if Ashoka Tano accepted Jedi knighthood? What if Anakin was stuck in traffic and came too late to intervene in Palpatine's arrest? What if Padme lived?
  • Stand by Me fics tend to have about four plots that get recycled over and over again: A) A girl moves to Castle Rock, meets the boys and the Cobras, and falls in love with Chris/Teddy/Ace/Eyeball. B) Retelling the Ray Brower trip with a girl accompanying the boys (Usually the fifth members of the gang the authors add and pretends was always there), and said girl eventually falls in love with Chris. C) A girl in the boys' gang, that Chris has known his whole life, and they're best friends and they fall in love with each other. And D) Gordie and Chris realize their feelings for each other are now starting to go beyond friendship. If you haven't guess, Chris gets laid = 99% of Stand By Me fanfiction right there.
  • For The Matrix, some post-Revolutions fics involve Neo and/or Trinity being brought back to life. Other plots include character backstories, or a Sailor Earth type of character joining the Neb.
  • Easily a good portion of Kingsman: The Secret Service fanfic have this plot point: Valentine is a lousy shot and Harry, aka Galahad, is still alive. Often this goes hand in hand with another plot point: Harry becomes the new Arthur. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight since a poster for the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle hints that Harry's alive after all.
  • Jurassic World:
    • Before the film even came out, fans started writing fanfics about Owen's relationship with his Velociraptors. Adorableness typically ensued.
    • After the film's release, stories about Claire and Owen dealing with the aftermath of the titular park's possible closure became very common.
    • Stories about Zach and Gray comforting each other over the incident. And the odd "Gray gets hurt on the island" AU, usually in stories that basically ask "What If? the Indominus rex clawed Gray's leg instead of his bag?"
    • Because of the epic climax, it's common to see continuation stories wherein Blue (the only surviving raptor) befriends the Tyrannosaurus rex and sometimes the Mosasaurus.
    • There are quite a few stories where Owen (or someone else) gets turned into a dinosaur (usually a Velociraptor) due to magic or super science.
  • Pretty much all of the few fanfics for The Children's Hour are of the Fix Fic variety, interrupting Martha's suicide and pairing up Karen and Martha.
  • Due to the Spin-Offspring nature of the series, many Descendants fanfics revolve around children of random Disney characters interacting with the existing cast.
  • Ghostbusters (2016) fans who ship Erin/Holtzmann are very fond of writing stories in which Erin is a previously straight-identifying woman who gradually realises she's a lesbian / bi when faced with Holtzmann. They're also fond of Everyone Can See It (with Except Them being an optional extra) and "five times they did something shippy without realising" style fics.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the more popular subjects for WMGs in Warhammer 40,000 is "What happens when the God Emperor dies?". Theories range from hopeful (now no longer tied to the physical realm, He can finally confront, and defeat, the Ruinous Powers on their own turf) to even worse than 40K already is (the Emperor provides the sole means of semi-reliable FTL transit; without Him, planets are completely cut off from each other, even in the same system) to completely changing the setting (the Emperor was very much an atheist in life, and likely will not appreciate the "God" part of God Emperor).

  • In the My Little Pony fandom more than a few pre-G4 fanworks (usually G1 material) revolve around winged unicorns. Until G4 introduced alicorns there weren't any canon ones outside of My Little Pony Tales. Thus many OCs were secretly winged unicorns hiding as non-unipeg.

    Web Original 
  • Red vs. Blue fics all seem to be about a hitherto unknown Freelancer, someone new joining the Blood Gulch crew, or a hitherto unknown AI. Sometimes all three at once.
  • Many Worm fanfics give the main character a different set of powers. This is also an Obvious Crossover Method.
    • What if Taylor joined the Wards?
    • After the canon story ended, Taylor tries to settle down and live a normal life, only for epic adventures to drag her back into vigilantism. These stories usually involve Taylor reclaiming her old powers or somehow getting new ones.
  • Perhaps one of the most common Welcome to Night Vale fanfics is "Carlos takes Cecil to meet his family". Expect varying levels of culture shock, homophobia and fluff.
    • Another popular one is that Cecil isn't human in some way, and is terrified of how Carlos will react. Carlos, for his part, is totally fine with it. The smut is optional; the fluff is not.
  • Vocaloid has the inexplicable popular 'Len is the school playboy and Rin is either: A: bullied, B: nerdy, often in a way that seems suspiciously similar to the author or C: Tsundere. Len takes a bet to date her.
  • RWBY:
  • Nyan~ Neko Sugar Girls fanworks dealing with Koneko-chan secretly being in love with Raku-chan became ever present after the final episode.