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:

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Princess Tutu:
    • If you are a fanfic writer, odds are that you have written a story where Fakir makes Ahiru a girl.
    • Princess Tutu ends on a bittersweet note, with Ahiru remaining a duck because it's her true self. Lots of fans were unhappy with that, and that means 90% of fanfiction out there for the series is Fakir turning her back into a girl with storyspinning. No exaggerating. Almost. Every. Single. Fic.
    • A less common but still popular variation is to have Fakir use storyspinning to turn himself into a duck instead.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In The Movie of the first anime, it's shown that everyone in Amestris has an Identical Stranger living in our world, which is on the other side of the Gate. Since only a small handful of characters have their alters depicted in-canon, anyone else is up for grabs for fanfiction writers - and this includes some pretty popular characters who get frequently shipped with the protagonists, like Winry Rockbell and Roy Mustang. Having Ed and/or Al run into and possibly date their alters is a common fanfiction trope.
    • Winry's alter in particular gets a lot of fics. As the series takes place in Germany just as World War 2 is starting to occur, it's not uncommon for Winry to be depicted as a Jewish woman Ed meets. In other fics she is a Replacement Goldfish for Winry to Edward.
    • More than a few fics ignore Alfons' death and have him living alongside Edward and Alphonse. Noah mysteriously gets ignored in many of these.
    • "Winry crosses the gates and gets reunited with Edward and Alphonse" and "The Elric's cross back to their world" fics are a dime a dozen. On a more pessimistic route though are the "Winry/Roy angst about Edward" fics where they have to learn to live without him. Or even worse, not.
    • Fics where the anime characters meet their manga counterparts, or they get transferred to each others universes, occasionally are written.
  • InuYasha has a great amount of hurt/comfort with Rin as the sick person.
  • It's still a common belief that Fushigi Yuugi: Eikoden was a subtle Take That against the sheer amount of "Mary Sue is sucked into the book and becomes the new priestess" fics in the fandom.
  • The future arc means that the Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Kink Meme is filled with age specific pairing fics such as TYL!(10 Years Later)Xanxus with 14!Squalo. Kinda justified with the Adults!Acrobalenos if you want to avoid the Squick.
  • In Love Hina fandom it's not unusual to find a fic in which Su permanently changes into her older form to become a viable love interest for Keitaro.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Fix Fic in which Kamina and/or Nia aren't dead is incredibly common. Justifications tend to be that the series is based on punching physics in the face via sheer manliness anyway, so why not?
  • The Familiar of Zero's basic premise, summoning a familiar from elsewhere, allows for almost anything to replace Saito in a crossover. The Hill of Swords is one such example
  • In the Shugo Chara! fandom, a LOT of fan fics are "Ikuto is the school playboy and has kissed every girl in the school, until the new girl Amu arrives and resists his romantic advances, will they fall in love or not?" and they also usually are roommates.
  • A good 95 percent of The Cat Returns fanfiction has Haru remaining in/returning to the Cat Kingdom, becoming a cat, and marrying Baron, Comically Missing the Point of the original film. More often than not, these stories will pay little regard to Haru's single mother with no other children who is now alone in the world.
  • In Dragon Ball Z fanfics centered around Gohan like to feature him in high school, where Videl tries to expose him as Saiyaman, and, through a bunch of events that never happen in canon, falls for him.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • In the fandom there's the 'wolf of the zodiac' story. A new animal (usually a wolf, cheetah or other 'cool' animal) is added to the Eastern Zodiac. This is almost always a girl.
    • Getting Kyou High On Catnip is very popular.
  • In Aldnoah.Zero fandom has Fix Fic where Inaho instead of shooting Slaine, takes him as a captive, reunites with Princess Asseylum and, depending on the writer, they either became good friends or something else. It's hinted that the Gainax Ending of the first season was a subtle Take That against the sheer amount of these fics.
  • A common plot in K-On! ero-doujinshi is one or more band members having sex in the club room, and somebody else spying and/or walking in on them. Western fanfics frequently use the following plots:
    • The school becomes co-ed so that a male Author Avatar can join the cast.
    • Ritsu becoming sexually irresistable when she takes her headband off.
    • One or more characters' parents disapproves of them being lesbians. (Nobody seems to want to write a scene that actually depicts the characters coming out to disapproving parents: it either happens offscreen, in backstory, or the fic dies before getting to that point.)
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom, a huge amount of Kaiba/Jonouchi fanfiction seems to be about how the mighty Kaiba rescues poor, defenceless Jonouchi from his abusive father, often finding him beaten half to death in a dark alley. He then offers him to live with him "temporarily". You can probably imagine how this one ends. Expect Jonouchi's True Companions to be suspiciously absent.
    • It's rather popular to bring Atem back from the dead (explained or not) for shipping purposes. Generally with Yuugi, but other examples do exist.
    • Even for fics set before the end of the series, normally the "yamis" (dark alternate personalities of Yugi, Marik, and Bakura—two of them are undead Egyptian spirits, while one is actually the result of a mental disorder) are given their own bodies in order to freely interact with other characters. Sometimes this will be explained, but often, no one even acknowledges that it is odd. In the same vein, the original personalities are each called "hikari" as a contrast to their yami, since the words mean light and dark, respectively, in Japanese. ("Yami" is sometimes used in official translations of the original series, but "hikari" is never used.)
    • A common plotline involves the Ryou Bakura/Yami Bakura relationship, nicknamed "tendershipping." The relationship is almost always abusive to the extreme, both physically and emotionally, with Yami Bakura being the perpetrator and Ryou Bakura being a helpless, self-sacrificial victim. It's debatable whether there are hints of this in the original, but others have criticized the plot, since it would be counterintuitive for Yami Bakura to hurt his own host body.
  • It's common in Fairy Tail to see a fanfic where Natsu gives Lucy the boot after Lisanna returns, in order to milk the angst of her being abandoned and realizing she'd only been a replacement as well as create an excuse for her to run off with anyone who isn't a member of the titular guild. It's also not uncommon to see Lucy being shoved aside by Lisanna. Even for a Fandom Specific Plot, this one is baffling on every level: Lucy wasn't a replacement (Team Natsu wasn't a team before her); none of the characters are this callous; the team's usual reason for kicking Lucy off (she's not powerful enough) goes double for Lisanna; and most important, there's no size limit for teams, so nobody needs to get booted!
    • Oddly, while this plot seems like it would clear the way for Natsu/Lisanna, that's usually not the point. Instead, it's used by Lucy fans either to set her up with someone outside the team or to circle back to NaLu after she proves herself. People simply writing about Natsu and Lisanna together are rarely as harsh about the potential love triangle.
    • It should also be noted that Natsu isn't actually with either one of them. Lisanna would be a Childhood Friend Romance if made official, and Lucy gets Ship Tease with everybody, but especially Natsu.
  • The Jigokiller episodes of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman inspired a lot of "let's explore Ken's feelings for Jun" fic.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • What happens when Pride grows up all over again? What if he gets his memories back? What if he doesn't but regains the shadows? What if he gets the shadows and then the memories?
    • Role reversal fanworks where Edward is in the armor and Alphonse is still human pop up.
  • In Petshop Of Horrors, due to the Tear Jerker ending, 90% of the fanfics have Leon finding D after the latter casts him off his boat, and this time D lets him stay.
  • Pokémon:
    • The following formula appears a lot for shipping fics: Misty, May, Dawn and Leaf get together with Ash, Drew, Paul, and Gary, respectively. Insert plot about generic high school drama/alter ego pop idols/secret agents/chosen heroes/and so on in between.
    • Tons of Ash/Misty fics are set up by Team Rocket kidnapping Misty and Ash saving her, leading them to discover their true feelings for each other.
    • Plots where Ash is betrayed by his friends and loved ones and he goes of on his own with only his Pokemon, becoming more powerful and many variants of this premise is surprisingly common.
    • Ash finally becoming a Pokemon Master appears a lot.
    • Fics involving Ash's father and Ash's backstory. Some have him dad abandon his mom, others have him never knowing his dad, and others have Ash admiring his dad. There's also the sub-category of "Ash finds out his dad is Giovanni".
    • "*Enter Pokemon Here* Becomes A Human" fics are not uncommon, especially to work around Interspecies Romance.
    • Jessie reuniting with her Missing Mom Miyamoto is a popular concept in Team Rocket fics. As are Hurt/Comfort and angsty fics related to Miyamoto.
    • Ash becoming a Frontier Brain is a common plot.
  • Girls und Panzer
    • Some fanfics involve males getting involved with tankery in some form or another. This is often the result of Oarai becoming coed, with the reasoning that even if it avoided getting shut down, it still needs financial help, and the boys often pilot World War II-era fighter planes alongside the girls in the tanks. Said males often end up being Gary Stus.
    • Some fanfics involve the Oarai students somehow getting involved in actual war, or ending up in an AU of some sort, possibly during World War II.
    • A few fanfics involve a character (usually Erwin or Yukari) having to leave Oarai for some reason and going to a new school, which may only be just getting started doing tankery.
    • Several fanfics involve Oarai going on to an international tournament.
    • In a similar vein to the fics that include fighter planes, some may have infantry fighting alongside the tanks, with various justifications for how they're supposed to be kept safe without the "carbon lining" the tanks have..
  • The Puella Magi Madoka Magica fandom has Fix Fic where Madoka or Sayaka or both come back from the afterlife so they can romance their old friends, or those old friends enter the afterlife to romance them.
  • Saki fanfiction often has Saki going to a school other than Kiyosumi. Like the example described on the Naruto page in which Naruto gets another team, this is often done when she's shipped with someone from that new school. In a few of those variations, she and her sister Teru are not on bad terms, although their parents may still be separated.
  • In a similar case like in Girls und Panzer, many Queen's Blade fanfics includes male characters participating in the titular tournament, despise the rules forbid men on participating, albeit it's heavily implied that rule is not set in stone, as the ruling queen (or the gods) can change the rules depending of their taste. This is more evident in the animated adaptation, as Aldra, the ruling queen, alter the rules of the tournament just to allow team-battles in the tournament, more specifically between Echidna and Irma vs Alleyne and Nowa.
  • In quite a few Jojos Bizarre Adventure fanfics, Dio ends up successfully bringing Johnathan back to life... somehow... and explores what happens after his revival.
    • There's also a good number of fanfics showing the endless possibilities of a future where one of the major characters who had the misfortune of dying late into the narrative survived their encounters and kept in contact with their Jojo. This includes (but is not limited to): Caesar surviving his battle with Wamuu, Kakyoin not receiving the fatal shot DIO threw at him, Gyro not getting shot by President Valentine,etc. Depending on the Writer, this may or may not lead into shipping.
  • Many Saint Seiya fanfics, especially Spanish-language ones, tends to include Saints or gods from other mythologies besides the Greek or Norse ones, being the main targets the Aztec or Mayan gods, aliens or other gods who didn't get mentioned in the original canon, and sometime the Bronze Saints have to fight against them or with them.
  • In the same way, many Captain Tsubasa fanfics normally feature the Japanese team facing against an all-star team from the best soccer players from Earth, or facing against teams who didn't get mentioned in canon. Or sometimes all the named players from around the world, Tsubasa included, form an all-star team to play against alien soccer teams, sometimes in a Space Jam-esque plot or played in the same way like in canon, except the aliens tends to play dirty. The hilarious part of this is the Korean company Samsung did a short CG film named Galaxy 11 with a very similar premise, but using real soccer players.
  • Many Slam Dunk fanfics tends to put Hanamichi or any other named player getting drafted for the NBA, even if in Real Life it's very difficult for a Japanese basketball player to get noticed by many professional basketball leagues.
  • Kill la Kill:
    • The fandom loves to retell the series with Ryuko and Satsuki swapped, sometimes along with their supporting casts (i.e. Mako is on the Student Council and the Four Devas are rebels against it). The actual show whetted fans' appetites for this when Ryuko was mind-controlled, leading to a fight where the two sisters wore each other's Kamui/ Godrobes.
    • Another popular fanfic idea is "What if Ragyo wasn't a crazy abusive bitch of a mother to Satsuki and Ryuko?". Just a lovely WAFF/ Slice of Life Fic about Satsuki and Ryuko growing up in a normal family, going to a normal school, all that good stuff.
    • Hurt/Comfort fics Satsuki/Ryuko (romantic or platonic) fics where Satsuki is traumatized by her mothers physical, emotional, and sexual abuse instead of seeming apathetic are common.
  • There is a lot of fanfic for Attack on Titan with the characters living in our world, either via reincarnation or modern world AU. High school fics are particularly common.

    Comics 
  • 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 — Animated 
  • The Lion King:
    • Fanfictions will often be about Simba's son from the books, Kopa. Usually it involves him befriending Nuka, falling in love with Vitani, and then being killed by a vengeful Zira, thus leading to the banishment of the Outsiders. About half of these will have Kopa survive and return to the pridelands as an adult.
    • Fics set after Simba's Pride involving a mysterious pack of wandering lions coming across Pride Rock and asking for hospitality and sanctuary for a short time, only for it to be revealed that the leader of the pack is some manner of deposed King, vengeful ally of Scar, renegade from another pride or otherwise opportunistic usurper and Manipulative Bastard who attempts to split the Pride Rock family apart emotionally, then take over the throne himself.
    • Fics about other unused characters, like Nala's baby brother Mheetu, pop up. He's usually killed by Scar but he can also simply grow up and leave the pride.
    • There's a very popular theory that Vitani is Nala's Child by Rape with Scar. Obviously a lot of fanworks revolve around this idea.
    • Several fanworks try to explain who Nala's father is.
  • Fanfiction for The Incredibles is inordinately full of stories where Syndrome returns, kidnaps Violet (her specifically, instead of Jack-Jack like he pledged he would) in order to get his revenge, only for the two to fall in love with each other with either Syndrome turning good or Violet turning evil.
  • The Disney's Hercules fanfiction community has stories introducing Persephone, the Goddess of Spring and the traditional Queen of the Underworld, into what is most often a sequel to the movie. She and Hades always get their mythology canon Happily Married status by the end. The Trope Codifier for most of these was probably Hope Springs Eternal.
    • Given that it is already The Theme Park Version of Greek Mythology, certain parts of the story considered “unsavory” to modern palates (such as Persephone being both Hades’ niece, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and a teenager) are reworked or ignored according to the wishes of the author.
      • "Niece" is actually pretty mild as far as Greek mythology in general goes. If you're already ignoring the fact that her parents are brother and sister, ignoring that she's marrying her uncle is not too much of a stretch.
    • And the whole “abduction and marriage” situation is either turned into more of a mutual decision between the two, for Persephone to escape her My Beloved Smother, or kept intact and made to work with the movie’s interpretation of Hades as a suave villain full of schemes.
    • Persephone herself, though stuck in a couple of background scenes for the movie (pink-skinned, blonde curls, huge petal hat), is nearly always given original looks and personality depending on what the author wants to see or feels fits with Hades’ already established character.
  • Wreck-It Ralph fanfics have quite a few:
    • First there was a ton of "real life gamer gets sucked into the game world" fics
    • "Turbo/King Candy comes back as an evil glitch, and plots revenge only to be redeemed by / falls for Vanellope"
    • "Sugar Rush gets an upgrade, aging Vanellope into an adult so she can be shipped with Ralph."
    • "A new game opens in the arcade, featuring a lonely character who can be a love interest for Ralph."
    • "Another of the same cabinet is added to the arcade." usually involve either 'twins' or the characters memories being wiped.
    • "An arcade cabinet gets shut down" fanfics. It's usually a death fic but sometimes the characters do live in limbo. Even worse are "The entire arcade gets shut down" fics where it's impossible for anyone to survive.
    • "A random karter liked Vanellope and was bullying her in a childish way of expressing it" works are popular. It's usually Taffyta or Rancis.
    • "Vanellope really was a glitch and died at the end"
  • Treasure Planet fanfics seem inordinately fond of direct retellings of the movie, except this time there's a plucky female recruit/stowaway/cabin girl who's a Kindred Spirit to Jim and thus can fall in love with him over the course of the story, if she isn't his sister instead. If not a direct retelling, there are also fics where Jim goes on a voyage that is essentially the same as the voyage to treasure planet, accompanied by a female stowaway who is either essentially Jim's personality from the movie (while Jim can play Older and Wiser) or your average Tsundere so she and Jim can have a Slap-Slap-Kiss romance.
  • The Land Before Time:
    • The fandom seems to love the plot of dragging a kid from the present and befriending Littlefoot and the gang. In fact, any plot that falls anywhere on the Speculative Fiction spectrum, with the fate of the world in Littlefoot and the gang's hands, is common.
    • Having an army of Sharpteeth invading the Great Valley, or having Sharptooth returning for revenge are pretty common too.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
  • Frozen:
    • Fanfics often give Anna fire or summer themed powers as a counterpart to Elsa's ice/winter, mostly because it makes so much symbolic sense given their personalities, provided they didn't decide to give Hans the fire powers instead.
    • The other big one for Frozen comes from an animation cameo of Rapunzel and Eugene from Tangled arriving for the coronation during "For the First Time in Forever" (when Anna is leaving the castle), and the fact that Elsa and Anna's mother looks a lot like Rapunzel's mother (or father depending on who you ask), leading to the Fandom Specific Plot of the girls all being cousins (which itself wouldn't be unrealistic considering that by the start of WWI most of the monarchs of Protestant Europe were at least distant cousins). The movies don't take even place in the same century but that's easily ignored.
    • If Hans is needed to be brought back, it's compulsory that he gets a job in Arendelle's castle first, usually as a servant or a stableboy (lthough one fic had him become one of the guards, and another a sailor). Frozen Fever made this Ascended Fanon, though he is a stable boy at home.
    • Anna and Kristoff having a daughter has become popular. The child typically ends up having her aunt's ice powers, leading to her becoming closer to Elsa, who ends up becoming a Cool Aunt to the child, than Anna. Then Hans, or some other Big Bad (in one case, the baddie was Smaug, generally ends up kidnapping the unfortunate kid, requiring Anna and/or Elsa to go Mama Bear and rescue her. There are also many fanfics where Elsa displays fears of harming the infant and her sister has to soothe her worries.
    • There are literally dozens of Frozen Fan Vids, and even more fanfics and fanart, about "evil Elsa" or "dark Elsa". Much of them are based on the villainous Elsa from earlier scripts however most are hypothetically "What if Elsa was evil?" or "What if Elsa reacted more negatively rather than distraught?" A large majority of the AMVs are crossovers with Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians.
    • "Fire Elsa" is the most popular of the "Elemental Elsa's". It's exactly what it sounds like: Elsa being born with fire powers instead of ice powers. This may or may not include her being born with red or brown eyes, having black hair, being Ambiguously Brown, and/or preferring red clothing.
    • Fanfics delving into why Elsa has ice powers are common. Such theories exist such as it runs in the family, her parents had a run in with The Snow Queen, it actually being a curse, and various other concepts. Word of God states it was due to the planetary alignment during Elsa's birth.
    • There are many fanfics which are nothing but cute familial (or incestuous) fluff between Anna and Elsa that revolve around them sleeping in the same bed. It's usually Elsa's bed. Either sister comforting the other due to nightmares is optional.
    • Crossovers with Pacific Rim or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug have become popular. In the latter, expect Smaug to have been defeated centuries ago by Grand Pabbie and an ancestor of Anna and Elsa and frozen in an ice block, only to be thawed out when Elsa reversed the winter she caused in the first film (expect him to use this in a Breaking Speech). Smaug is also generally made a frost dragon in these stories, instead of a more conventional dragon.
    • Fics about Elsa needing to be married are a dime a dozen, usually involving a prince OC. Or Hans if the writer doesn't want to create a new guy. Similarly, almost every Elsa/Anna fanfic set in the series' canon has to deal with the issue of Elsa needing to get married. Solutions range from neither getting married, to Anna having Kristoff as her Beard and producing a heir, to Elsa getting married for the purpose of producing a heir and keeping up appearances.
    • For whatever reason most horror fics have Anna having died as a child and Elsa being haunted by her, or hallucinating it at the very least.
    • Fics involving a Bad End in some sort. Anna either dies by getting hit by Hans' sword or she freezes to death, while Elsa always gets hit by the sword.
    • There are a very noticeable amount of modern AUs, many of which are college AUs (though the more traditional high school AU isn't rare). Expect them to be a no-magic AU and very frequently a non-related Elsa/Anna fic.
    • Fanfic writers love politics in the Frozen fandom, so many relate to real-world issues Norway faced in the 19th century.
    • Elsa is canonically depressed and has anxiety issues. More than a few fanfics either deal with her being previously or currently suicidal or have her have a history of hurting herself. A common plot in them is Anna finding out.
    • The former king and queen were presumably lost at sea. This has caused several fanfic writers to create stories where they survived and are reunited with their daughters post-Frozen.
  • Not fanfics, per se, but lots of fanart have popped up crossing over Frozen and Kill la Kill, mainly due to the whole "polar-opposite sisters who are actually quite close" thing. Satsuki is Elsa (the older sister, regal, stoic, and cold [at first]) and Ryuko is Anna (the younger sister, passionate, fiery, and seriously determined).
  • Brave and How to Train Your Dragon have a ton of crossovers pairing up Merida and Hiccup. When the sequel was released these largely died out and, since the fact that Elinor and Valka look fairly similar, has spawned a bunch of Fandom-Specific Plots about them being cousins.
  • The Lorax has many a fanfic detailing how Granny Norma came to know the Once-ler, sometimes having them be lovers in their youth. Some of these take it a step further and have Ted come to the realization that the Once-ler is his grandfather.
  • Tangled:
    • Fics revolving around Rapunzel's grief after Gothel's death, and her having difficulties adjusting to her new life as a princess, are common.
    • More than a few Dark Fic's are themed around Rapunzel being immortal due to her powers.
  • Combined with Fix Fic, there's a number of 9 fics where the dead Stitchpunks are brought back to life somehow or other Stichpunks are found, sometimes the two are combined and lead to OCs getting paired with characters like 5 and 6.
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • There's are a lot of fics that work from the basic premise of "Hiccup goes through with running away with Toothless" from the first movie.
    • Similarly, there are a lot of popular fics where instead of Valka who was kidnapped by dragons, it was Hiccup or both.
    • Or what about "various characters are forced to sit down and watch the movie?" Yes, as in the actual movie itself.
  • Most Brave fanfics are crossovers more often than not. The most common of these are with How to Train Your Dragon, Rise of the Guardians, Tangled, or all of the above.

    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.
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • The Sherlock Holmes fandom is peculiarly fond of giving the detective hypothermia.
  • The Dresden Files fandom is really into Gender Bender, particularly of Harry, in an attempt to offset- or at least explore- his sexist tendencies in the early days of the series.(Pairing Female!Harry with Marcone is optional but frequently done, as Harry is heterosexual in canon.)
    • Another massive trend is the Sex Kitten Winter Knight!Harry, taking place in some amorphous time after Harry's become the Winter Knight. They, similarly, offset or explore Harry's canon attitudes on sex (I.E., not having sex with a new partner while still trying to save an old one, not having sex with monsters trying to eat or manipulate you, and not having sex with minors), which parts of the fandom see as repressed or, at times, (for some reason) misogynistic.
  • The Maximum Ride fandom seems to really like High School A.U. stories. Understandable, considering what they have to go through on a constant basis in canon, not understandable in that the one time they actually DID go to school, it didn't end well for them.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Half-blood goes to camp. Half-blood gets amazing powers. Half-blood saves world. Simmer for five minutes. Serves thousands.
    • Probably lifted straight from other fandoms, the demigods/Olympians read through any of the book series or watch the movie. Normally involves a contrived setup.
    • Annabeth goes to Goode High stories are a subgenre of another increasingly prevalent subgenre of High School AU. The latter of which goes through great pains to fiddle with the ages of everyone so it isn't as creepy when normally-10-year-old Nico is in love with 15-but-actually-22-or-so Thalia.
    • Crossovers with the Kane Chronciles are quite common as well
    • Another common plot is having Percy inexplicably kicked out of/leaving camp for any number of reasons, then joining Chaos for revenge. Nine times out of Ten, there will be a Mary Sue in there somewhere.
    • Several fics write the stories of demigod children whose godly parent isn't part of the Olympian gods. What would a child of Nemesis, goddess of revenge, be like? A child of Hypnos, god of sleep and dreams? A child of Hecate, goddess of magic? It helps that the sequel series, Heroes of Olympus does focus more on the other gods.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Baudelaires are sent to live with a new guardian, usually an Original Character, although crossovers exist.
  • Writers for The Silmarillion, specifically Maedhros/Fingon shippers, are practically obligated to write hurt/comfort fic based on Fingon's rescue of Maedhros from Thangorodrim. In all fairness, it's pretty much the last moment in the book for them which isn't utterly tragic.
    • Stories set during the years when Maedhros was Lord of Himring before the Battle of Unnumbered Tears are also very common, usually involving a visit by Fingon on political business.
  • If you happen to be a fanfic writer for The Children of Húrin, it's almost obligatory to compose a Beleg/Túrin hurt/comfort fic at some point in your career. Somewhat justified, though, with canon lines like this one:
    Then at the egging of Androg they left Beleg tied to a tree without food or water... but he said no more to them. When two days and nights had passed in this way they had grown angry and fearful, and most were now ready to slay the Elf. As night drew down they were all gathered about him, and Ulrad brought a brand... but at that moment Túrin returned... and he saw the haggard face of Beleg in the light of the brand. Then he was stricken as with a shaft, and tears long unshed filled his eyes... "Beleg, Beleg!", he cried... at once he cut the bonds from his friend, and Beleg fell forward into his arms... At first he gave heed only to Beleg, and tended him with what skill he had.
  • The Lord of the Rings, because it's more accessible than the above, has far too many Tenth Walker fics, to the point that they were already being parodied by Nine Men And A Little Lady in 2002.
    • Also, fics featuring Faramir or Legolas being abused by their respective fathers are ridiculously common.
    • Also highly popular (so popular that it's lampshaded in nearly every fic involving it) are the 'hunting trip gone wrong' fics. Usually they involve a younger Aragorn and Legolas (who are generally accepted to have known each other before the Council of Elrond), with occasionally Elrohir and Elladan added in, going on some hunting trip or another, being attack by orcs/spiders/assassins/humans/wolves/anything that can do anybody harm, and being incapacitated enough to not be able to return to Rivendell in a timely fashion. Not that all of these fics are bad by any means, most are actually quite well written, but they do tend to be highly common.
    • Legomances were nearly ubiquitous in the early/mid 2000s, where Legolas was paired with an original female character (or sometimes an out-of-character Éowyn or Arwen). Arranged marriages were a common plot point, and the girl was sometimes - though not always - a Tenth Walker. She's almost always shown as being a good fighter regardless of her actual role in society, was always an elf, and often got into a Slap-Slap-Kiss style of relationship with Legolas before actually falling in love.
      • Similarly, Aragorn/Legolas stories that either vilified or completely ignored Arwen were incredibly popular and can still be found on fanfiction sites. Often this involved M Preg or dealing with the prejudices of their families.
    • Many, many The Hobbit fics find a way for Thorin, Fili, and Kili to surive the final battle. Those that don't often involve reunions in Valinor or reincarnation to bring the characters and their love interests back together.
      • A subset of these fics then has The Hobbit cast having to deal with the One ring before or along with the Lot R trilogy characters and events.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Nathaniel comes back to life and/or is in love with Bartimaeus a lot.
  • Good Omens: Poor Crowley gets mistaken for an incubus quite often in fic.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe fics where Grand Admiral Thrawn manages to survive his Bodyguard Betrayal are very common.
  • Fics with characters from another fandom put in Lyra's world of the His Dark Materials trilogy, not necessarily involving any characters from the trilogy, so that the author can demonstrate what shapes they think the characters' daemons would be, overlooking the fact that traveling to that dimension will not necessarily cause your daemon to manifest, but being born there will, so it only works as a whole-cloth Alternate Universe. Not the same as Common Crossover, because any fandom can be plugged into this scenario.
    • The fandom itself is full of Fix Fics about getting Lyra and Will back together again some years after their parting, often through some fourth magical item that the story is named after.
  • Roughly 50% of Narnia fanfiction that doesn't feature a Mary Sue will tackle the so-called "Problem of Susan," either making her out to be The Woobie that got screwed over by Aslan and everyone else, or having her whole family killed in a train crash causes her to realize the Error of Her Ways.
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe fics will generally either have a fifth member, always a girl, joining the original Pevensies or else meeting them once they arrive, where she aids or betrays them regarding the White Witch and Aslan, or else she meets Peter or Edmund during the Golden Age. She may be a fifth sibling, a cousin, a friend, or even a transplant from the 21st century, but it's always a girl.
    • There is also more than enough Susan/Caspian and Lucy/Caspian Shipping to fill two fleets.
  • Tamora Pierce fandom has produced a truly astonishing number of Alanna-goes-to-the-convent fics (in canon, Alanna hated the idea of going to the convent so much that she disguised herself as a boy and learnt how to be a knight instead). Their main purpose seems to be to get her together with Prince Jon, who she dumped in canon.
    • Another common one is for Keladry of Mindelan (who became the first female knight after Alanna) to be kicked out after her probation year as a page and follows her life from there.
  • The Hunger Games has an awful lot of 'Random OC who may or may not be a Mary Sue ends up getting reaped'. Some better writers will play with this by not having the character actually win, but as there are only two possible plot permutations the entire thing ends up horrifically overused.
    • And of course there's plenty of Alternate Universe Fics that ask "What if Rue/Thresh/Cato/Clove/Foxface/Marvel/Glimmer/Boy From District 7/etc. had won?" and explore the rest of the trilogy from that character's point of view (or take the events post 74th Hunger Games in a completely different direction).
    • There's also the "Submit-Your-Own-Tribute" story, in which an author rounds up 24 characters submitted by other THG fans and writes them into the Games.
  • A lot of Darkest Powers fanfiction features werewolf Derek and necromancer Chloe realizing that they are mates. In canon, the only mention of them being mates was made by Liam, who was taunting them. Also, in the main series, the werewolves do have mates... but it's nothing as huge, compelling, or life-changing as it's often made out to be in the DP fanfics. Rather, the only time it's treated as a somewhat big thing is in Personal Demon, when Karl attempts to explain to Hope that the reason he left her is because he was terrified by how completely attracted to her he was (and still is).
  • Warrior Cats:
    • StarClan has a prophecy about a newly born kit. This character fulfills the prophecy, and often ends up becoming Clan leader.
    • One that shows up a lot is the "New Clans" fic. In it, the author creates four new Clans separate from the main Clans and focuses on their adventures.
    • Another type of fic is the "Exiled Clan" fic. The author writes about another exiled Clan, similar to SkyClan.
    • Plenty of authors like to write about what would happen if SkyClan showed up at the lake territory.
    • Fics about what happens after The Last Hope are very common.
    • Writing about the kits of one of the main characters is an approach used often, as this happens in Warriors canon.
  • Goosebumps: Slappy becomes human and ends up having sex with his current owner.
  • "Christine gives birth to Erik's child" and "Christine marries Raoul only to find out he's a complete jerk" are so common in Phantom of the Opera fanfiction that when the musical's sequel Love Never Dies included both plot points, a lot of people rolled their eyes and groaned "What, again?"
  • TheOutsiders
    • A common plot in this fandom is "The Socials jump a random female OC, leaving her beaten and unconscious in the vacant lot. One of the greasers finds the girl, takes her to the Curtis household to heal her, falls in love with her, drama ensues."
    • The gender-flipped version of the previous plot is also prevalent, "One of the greasers is badly beaten after a rumble and a random female OC finds them and nurses them back to health."
    • You also have fics where a girl helps give Darry a life outside of work/Help Sodapop get over Sandy/Help Ponyboy find love after Cherry Valance/becoming a nurturing mother figure for Johnny/"tame" Dally and lead him to the path of good citizenship/Keep Two-Bit in a steady relationship/Make Steve feel like a better person inside.
    • Fics that go "What if the Curtises had a sister? How would that have affected the book?"
    • Girls from the future getting transported into the past (May or may not involve getting sucked into the book/the movie) or the boys getting transported in the future.
    • A Soc girl who is nicer, prettier, and more understanding to greasers than Cherry who thinks the feud between socs and greasers is pointless, and single-handedly brings down the segregation between the two classes.
  • Les Misérables:
    • The fandom is extremely fond of modern AU fics, generally focused on Les Amis as some sort of political activist group, and often turning the ridiculous amounts of Ho Yay in the source material into canon relationships (Enjolras/Grantaire being by far the most popular, followed by Jehan/Courfeyrac).
    • Post-Barricade fics dealing with the survival of one or more of les Amis (besides Marius) are common in non-modern fics as well. Most fics for the fandom also focus on les Amis to the exclusion of the older characters, and stories involving Fantine, Valjean, or Javert that don't involve the latter two in a relationship are extremely rare.
    • Fics that spare Eponine are also very common, and typically take two forms: either she's paired with Marius, sometimes but not always with a corresponding bitchification for Cosette, or she platonically moves in with Marius and Cosette and is paired with one of Les Amis who also survived. These fics also have a tendency to kill off Eponine's much less important sister Azelma instead of her.
    • There is a lot of (usually Valjean/Javert) fic where Javert survives his suicide attempt (often because Valjean prevents it or pulls him out of the river) and then has to figure out how to live with his change of heart/worldview instead.
    • Modern AU writers are fond of making Cosette and Enjolras into siblings. It's especially popular in Valjean/Javert fics, probably because the idea of Javert acting as a father figure to Enjolras is hilarious.
  • Many A Song of Ice and Fire fanfics have Cersei give birth to one of Robert's children. Said children ends up becoming all the good that is missing from Joffrey - and either fights his brother for the throne (which Robert bequeaths to him instead of Joffrey) or ends up inheriting when Joffrey dies.
    • Also popular are fics where Sandor and Sansa aren't separated during the Battle of Blackwater. Either he choses to stay or Sansa flees from King's Landing with him.
    • AUs where Robb married either Margaery Tyrell, Roslin Frey, or an OC instead of Jeyne Westerling.
    • There are many fics detailing Robert's Rebellion, the events leading up to it, and/or the immediate aftermath.
  • There are quite a lot of Haruhi Suzumiya fics out there in which the Data Integration Thought Entity decides to punish Yuki for gaining emotions by deleting her — never mind that the Entity would gain nothing from this and it knows exactly what the consequences would be for itself if it tried — in order for Kyon to go berserk, tell Haruhi that he is John Smith and the other Brigade members are aliens, time travelers and espers, so that Haruhi can become aware of her Reality Warper powers so that the two of them can go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Showy Invincible Hero fashion, rescuing Yuki along the way. If the fanfic writer happens to ship Kyon/Yuki, then it is practically obligatory for them to use this plot at least once, as it is a popular way to get Haruhi out of the picture without resorting to Die for Our Ship.
    • After Disappearance, it was not all that uncommon to see some fanfics about what life had been like had Kyon stayed in the world Yuki had made to give everyone a normal life. This will almost always involve Kyon/Yuki in some way, shape, or form. The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan is basically an official version of this kind of plot.
    • In the Japanese erotic doujinshi community, stories about Haruhi suddenly deciding to make an AV staring the club members themselves are rather popular, as shown in this image.
  • In The Fault in Our Stars, a brief reference to "condomy difficulties" during Their First Time has resulted in a good number of fics where Gus leaves Hazel Someone to Remember Him By.
  • There are a number of Looking for Alaska fics in which, as Miles theorizes in-universe, the title character's death turns out to be her latest and most intricate prank.

    Live Action TV 
  • Fic dealing with Don't Ask, Don't Tell is common in Stargate Verse slash, though there are a few other fandoms where it's possible.
    • And fics dealing with the military's policy against fraternization are also common on the straight side of things, such as Jack/Carter fics.
  • Odds are, any White Collar fic will either have some sort of Ho Yay between Peter and Neal or at least some Neal whumpage. Based on these, it's hard to believe Neal can cross the street without a) breaking something b) getting kidnapped or c) getting some sort of disease of illness that requires Peter and Elizabeth take care of him.
  • Back in 2005/2006, probably a good fifth of all Criminal Minds fic involved Reid being kidnapped and tortured. It was so common that people wrote parodies of it. Then the show itself used that plot, and it became less popular in fanfiction.
  • Heroes: Mohinder/Sylar fans have The Road Trip. It's amazing how much fic there is set in those, what? Three days? Of course, give the nature of their relationship, if they ever secretly had sex, that's when they did it.
    • Fandom also happily took Matt and Mohinder raising a kid together and ran with it.
  • The "Skinner finds out about Mulder's and Scully's relationship" stories in The X-Files fandom. (Which is kind of odd, considering he dropped hints several times in the last two seasons that he already knew about their relationship. Then again, so did everyone else...)
  • Friends has a ton of Season 6 Alternate-Ending fics when Monica believes Chandler's Zany Scheme and leaves him. (Which the audience were led to believe had happened.) They usually involve Chandler going to find her again or falling into deep depression until she comes back.
  • If you write for How I Met Your Mother and you like Barney/Robin, you have written an episode tag to "Benefits" and/or "Sandcastles in the Sand". Almost every fic since the series finale has been a Fix Fic for it.
  • Power Rangers stories that feature Tommy post-Zeo have two options: tackle the reason for the infamous "Dear John" Letter that caused Tommy and Kimberly to break up, or completely ignore it. Fans have since gotten very tired of new stories that choose to tackle it, to the extent that even season 12, Dino Thunder, which brought Tommy back as an active Ranger, completely ignored his romantic past. Stories that feature Kimberly have no choice but to tackle it. An equally captivating problem for the fans is that of Tommy and Kat, as a Flash Forward episode outright shows them as eventually marrying, which makes the lack of any mention of her and of any implication of Tommy's romantic life from Dino Thunder a complicated issue for 'ficcers to address, as most take the earlier episode as gospel truth.
    • There's a common Fan Fic cliche of creating a Mary Sue female ranger who joins the team at a latter date (or inserted in the beginning as a Remember the New Guy fashion) and falls in love with one of the rangers (usually the Red Ranger of the chosen series). As the years went on, it became common to make said Mary Sue related to one of the rangers of the earlier teams (usually Tommy and/or Kim) and have the team fawn all over her and comment on her "ranger heritage" or her "natural talent".
    • There's an increasing number of fics concerning Rangers from a previous series going on trips to scope out the newest team. Sometimes there's only a year apart, sometimes they're members of the original group. A lot of the time they seek out the teams with similar themes, and often they'll dispense advice and brag about how cool the new ranger in their colour is.
  • A subset of Charmed fanfics are known as "Chris revelation fics", which alter how his true identity is revealed, invariably in ways which increase the drama and/or angst level compared to canon. "Almost obligatory" for a writer in the fandom to have written such a story.
    • There's a related subset, often the same fic or a sequel to one of the above, which allows Chris to in some way survive the end of the sixth season.
    • Charmed also has a large subset of fics where Paige meets Prue, whether as a ghost, through some sort of time travel, or in an AU where either Prue didn't die or the sisters found Paige earlier than they did in cannon.
  • If you're a House fan who likes House/Wilson and Dark!Wilson, it's almost obligatory for you to write a post-Wilson's Heart fic where Wilson loses it after Amber's death and takes it out on House, who is either so brain-damaged or so guilty that he doesn't fight back.
  • Fans of The Sarah Jane Adventures like to have an earlier incarnation of the Doctor, usually the third or fourth, although any will do, show up at Sarah Jane's house.
  • With Jeeves and Wooster being such an innocent series, there's a good handful of fics involving Bertie discovering the concept of sexuality.
  • Supernatural:
    • Dean and/or Sam is turned into some kind of monster; one of them isn't a Winchester, so they can be paired safely; a character from another fandom turns out to be their sibling; female equivalents to the brothers are introduced/the brothers are genderswapped, usually because of witches; Dean is also one of the special children.
    • A demon summoning calls forth a character from another fandom who does not behave the way demons in Supernatural usually do. Ex: An attempt to summon "the Morning Star" results in Dawn appearing, dressed up like The Devil for a Halloween party. Or cultists call upon "the Yellow-Eyed Demon" and get Crowley. (No, not the one in the show.)
    • One of the Winchester brothers gets turned into a dog, usually Sam.
    • If you ship Dean/Castiel and are willing to write a sex scene, you've written a fic set after the brothel scene in "Free to be You and Me" or during the overnight time jump in "Heaven Can't Wait".
    • The Impala becomes human, usually now resembling Ian Somerhalder.
    • For some reason, End!verse and Terrible Life!verse mashups (usually featuring Dean Smith or Sam Wesson with either future!Dean, future!Cas, Lucifer, or some combination thereof) are surprisingly common.
    • "Kripke Started It"—a crossover à la the episode "Changing Channels", wherein Sam and Dean get dropped into another TV show—was pretty common for a while.
    • Fics about what happened when the brothers were kids/teens (wee!chester and teen!chester, respectively) are an unending source of angst, as are any fics involving Sam's Stanford years that don't alter the events of the pilot.
    • A/B/O-verse fics, usually with Sam as an alpha and Dean as either an alpha or an omega.
    • On the darker side, Sam as the Boy King of Hell or Dean turning into a demon while in Hell were pretty popular for a while. The season 9 finale spawned a wave of fics involving Sam's demon blood addiction coming back full-force now that Dean's been demonized.
    • AU fic branching off from anywhere in season 4 and 5 focusing on the idea of building up Team Free Will and saving the world that way; the main group is usually Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel, with Bobby and Crowley as backup and Jo, Ellen, Ruby, Charlie, or Balthazar as allies depending on who the author wants to have survived or be redeemed.
    • On a more meta level, writers' room crack involving the No-Homo Intern and Gilbert the Shipper!NSA Agent is rapidly becoming a thing. With a large array of particularly Nice Hats.
  • The Sherlock fandom seems to be becoming fond of Omegaverse (an Alternate Universe rampant with male omegas that have the ability to get pregnant due to periodic heats similar to Mate or Die), usually with the fandom's favorite pairing, Johnlock.
  • Top Gear crack fanon considers the Stig an alien with Reality Warper powers. This means that "the Stig did it" is an incredibly common explanation for wackiness in crackfic. Sometimes Top Gear Dog or May's cat gets the blame.
  • For some reason, any Star Trek: The Original Series Kirk/Spock author worth their salt has written at least one, if not several, fic(s) featuring the duo in a cave. The "Kirk and Spock are in a shuttlecraft together, it crashes on a godforsaken planet, they hide in a cave, and Spock goes into Pon Farr" plot has even become a Dead Horse Trope in the fandom, parodied by Genre Savvy fans with the "rude person" meme.
    • Kirk/Spock fics set immediately after "Amok Time" are extremely common, using the idea that the shock of "killing" Kirk didn't stop Spock's pon farr so much as postpone it. And now that he doesn't have a wife to mate with...
    • The Mary Sue plot. At one time, the term "Mary Sue story" referred to the specific plot parodied by A Trekkie's Tale. This plot was once very common, but is now largely forgotten. The character in the story would be recognized as a Mary Sue by modern standards, but it's much more formulaic and Trek-centric. The 1992 book Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth defines it as follows:
    "Mary Sue is the youngest officer ever to serve on the starship Enterprise. She is a teenager, tall and slim, with clear skin and straight teeth. If she is not blond, Mary Sue is half Vulcan, her ears delicately pointed. But Mary Sue is not just another pretty face. She is usually highly educated, with degrees from universities throughout the known universe in all fields of technical and cultural studies (or an equivalent head of her class in Starfleet Academy). She can mend the Enterprise with a hairpin, save the lives of the crew through wit, courage, and, occasionally, the sacrifice of her virtue. If the formula is strictly followed, Lieutenant Mary Sue dies in the last paragraph of the story, leaving behind a grieving but safe crew and ship."
    (How pervasive is this pattern? Several of the licensed novels have followed it.)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: It's not entirely surprising that many, many Alex/Olivia fics write the missing scene from "Ghost", because the preceding scene deliberately written like that to cheer the shippers up, and then left it nice and ambiguous what it was that they were doing, all by themselves in a hotel room after a meaningful conversation about being someone you're not. Hoo, boy...
  • Merlin:
    • The fandom is very fond of stories that have the title character reveal his magic to Arthur and/or the rest of Camelot, intentionally or otherwise. These are mostly written since the series has Status Quo Is God in full effect in regard to this, until most likely the eventual Grand Finale (nearly everyone who finds out about his magic tend to end up soon Put on a Bus or dead). After the Grand Finale, the number of Fix Fic explodes due to Arthur's death.
    • The fandom is also excessively fond of Modern!AU fic, generally Merlin×Arthur in either high school, university or work depending on the age of the writer. This also exploded after the finale due to Merlin-waited-for-Arthur-for-thousands-of-years becoming canon.
  • Teen Wolf: Human!AU fics are very common. Werewolves don't exist, and the characters are all connected in some other way instead, like attending the same university/working at he same coffee shop/accidentally getting married in Las Vegas. As a nod to the canon werewolves, many Human!AU fics include actual wolves in some way, especially if Human!Derek is a main character in the fic. Sometimes he just mentions that he likes wolves, but quite a few fics have him studying wolf behavior or working with them in some capacity.
    • It's also quite common for fics to have Derek's family still be alive, sometimes because it's actually necessary for the plot, but at least as often simply because dead people are sad. To explain them being alive, the author either just ignores the part of the origin story where Kate set their house on fire and everybody died, or alternatively mentions that she tried to set their house on fire but failed or that she succeeded but everybody managed to get out in time.
    • Increasingly, fans are making a plot point (or entire story) out of revealing the truth about werewolves to Sheriff Stilinski. Expect comments to be made (probably by Stiles) about how Stiles' relationship with his father has been suffering because of the necessary lies.
    • Many stories feature Magic!Stiles or Magic!Lydia (warlock/witch, werecat or werefox, demon, psycic). If it's Stiles, he may have been whining about being a Token Human. If it's Lydia, it will explain her immunity to the Bite.
    • Stories where Stiles cross-dresses have become increasingly popular after it was revealed that he was still in contact with a group of drag queens he briefly encounters in a gay bar a few episodes before.
    • Fics where Derek rebuilds the Hale house are very common.
    • Remember that one single time in Canon when Derek came into Stiles's room through the window? Yeah, the fandom took that one and ran with it. A good 80% of Canon based Sterek fic will feature Derek entering and/or exiting Stiles's room through the window.
  • Sliders: Many many many fanfic authors have written essentially the same Fix Fic for all the changes made from season three onward: after the Season Five ends with a Cliffhanger series finale that never got a continuation, Rembrandt lands on what we've thought was their world since season three, finds out it it's the world where they may or may not have gotten the right Professor, finds they did get the wrong one, gets the original Professor back, figures out how to fix Quinn, and every member of the team who isn't of the original cast settles down or dies horribly depending on how the writer feels about them, and pretty much in precisely that order.
  • Due to the nature of the show itself, Quantum Leap fan fics are Crossovers more often than not. The idea is always to have Sam leap into a fictional character from an entirely different franchise, even if it's a cartoon animal. And since Quantum Leap runs on Hand Wave, there's never a reason why Sam couldn't leap into a particular character, so Quantum Leap can technically be crossed over with anything. In fact, the majority of Quantum Leap fanfics comes from other fandoms.

    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).

    Toys 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • The most common plot in any game fandom where the story is a big selling point will be attempts to novelize the game.
  • Strategy games in general have the After-Action Report, which has its very own page here.
  • Gears of War fandom has a few very predictable plots that closely resemble the following: Girl (almost always a Mary Sue or a Jerk Sue, but always a Tsundere) joins Delta Squad. It turns out she's usually like either an awesome stranded badass or the greatest sniper ever in 70% in cases (the other 30%, she's just a random woman who turns badass the moment she starts tagging along with Baird). Then, she falls in love with Baird, have a brief Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship buildup (sometimes literally), and then ultimately Baird falls in love with her and they have sex.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones fandom is in love with the "Seth and Eirika angst over their social positions and how it affects their love for each other, but end up together anyway because they're soul mates" plot.
    • From the seventh game, we have lots of people writing novelizations that include the tactician, and fans of the Tellius games have written lots of "What if Soren was raised by his parents?" fics.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening has a lot of fics dealing with the female Avatar's role as the Apocalypse Maiden of the plot and how it affects her relationship with Chrom. With the male Avatar it's always about the Time Travel Romance aspect of his relationship with Lucina and the state of her future.
      • A very large number of Chrom/Female Avatar fics involve Sumia tragically dying and Chrom finding the Avatar as his Second Love. This even has some basis in game mechanics, as it's very common for new players to get Sumia killed in her first chapter, and doing so is the easiest way to get Chrom to auto-marry someone else in Chapter 11.
      • Lucina/Severa fics usually involve Lucina recklessly getting herself gravely injured and Severa getting angry at her for it.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • A lot of fic explores what would happen if the Deeprealms didn't exist and the first generation actually raised their children or waited until after the war to have them.
      • Most Camilla/Hinoka fic has the normally brash Hinoka turning into an Adorkable blushing schoolgirl over Camilla. Modern AUs are especially popular for them, too.
      • Leo/Takumi fanfic comes in one of several flavors: 1) Takumi has a nightmare and Leo comforts him, 2) Leo is being physically abused by Garon and Takumi comforts him, 3) massive amounts of unresolved sexual tension and denial of their feelings that culminates in making out or 4) high school AUs involving any combination of the first three.
      • Fics dealing with Leo post-Birthright are becoming very popular, detailing the pain of losing his family and the stress of becoming King of Nohr after Camilla declines the throne. The majority of these are Hurt/Comfort Fic that pair him with Niles.
  • It's a running joke in Metal Gear fandom that everyone has to write at least one "Tankerfic" — a fic about the alluded-to-but-never-elaborated-upon scene in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty where Otacon pulls Snake out of a shipwreck in the middle of a raging storm.
  • ARF (Aeris/Aerith Resurrection Fic) for Final Fantasy VII.
    • Another other one is Cloud becoming a Peggy Sue, joining SOLDIER legitimately and saving Sephiroth.
  • The Mega Man X fandom contains a ton of stories about Dr. Cain completing one final case before either retiring or dying.
  • Mass Effect fandom has quite a few variations of Samara's loyalty mission since the second game came out, but the chief plot of such stories is either 'the love interest voices disapproval with Shepard being the bait' or another character entirely -usually one of the other squaddies- takes Shepard's place instead. Both styles of this plot are commonly seen with the Female Shepard/Male Love Interest combo.
    • A fairly common plot is Shepard having a brother or sister that either joins the group or takes over when the in-game Shepard dies in a battle somehow, despite one background explicitly saying Shepard is an only child and the other two saying that Shepard's entire immediate family is dead.
    • This fandom has a bizarrely large amount of self-insertions who, instead of being a version of the author that exists in the setting, are written as the author being suddenly teleported into the setting by a magical Xbox 360.
    • One common Crossover plot in the fandom is replacing the Human Systems Alliance with another space-capable human civilization. These "replacement" plots almost invariably have a reenactment of the First Contact War with the Turian Hierarchy, even if it makes no logical sense for the turians and humans to be fighting, and often results a gratuitous Curbstomp Battle. For variety, some authors instead use the Batarian Hegemony as the enemy the replacement civilization fights.
    • Although Bioware fandom loves its Bittersweet Endings, there's plenty of fix-it fic allowing Shepard to survive a non-Destruction ending and reunite with their love interest.
  • One type of story that has gained some traction in Dragon Age: Origins fandom is having one or more of the other origins meet up with the Warden character and in some instances, have them join the group. (example: a Dwarven Commoner meets a Human Noble and the dwarf joins The Warden, Alistair, Morrigan and the gang) They may or may not be Grey Wardens.
    • For most of the Origins, there is the annoying issue that Duncan saved the potential Grey Warden from certain or nearly certain death, rendering their mutual presence problematic from a canon point of view.
    • Unsurprisingly, Dragon Age also has lots of Dark Ritual fics and fanart, usually with Alistair as the, uh, second participant and Female!Warden and/or him agonizing over the decision. These range from pure angst to smutty hatesex to conflicted tender lovin' to humiliating performance problems to big happy threesomes. One Big Name Fan fancomic artist, Aimo, even collaborated with the game's head writer on a comic based on a deleted scene where Morrigan herself agonizes about it beforehand.
    • The story of one or more of the potential player characters joining the one the player chose continues with Dragon Age: Inquisition, with the similar problem of explaining how the three potential P Cs who were not chosen survived the Breach.
  • Tales of Symphonia has quite a few fanfics in which Lloyd has a twin sibling — usually a female who, at least initially, serves Cruxis. Cruxis!Lloyd fics are also popular, most starting with Kratos finding Lloyd and returning to Cruxis with him.
  • Similarly, there are many examples of various members of the main party of Tales of the Abyss joining the God-Generals in fanworks. Guy seems to be the most popular character for this since he's initially working for Van, but Jade's quite common as well. It's also more of a fanart phenomenon than anything because of the cool God-General uniforms.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • A common theme for Dimentio/Mimi from Super Paper Mario is him stealing her diary and using the contents to tease her. However, it should be noted that this does stem from a canon incident.
    • A fairly large amount of Bowser/Peach fanworks center around the popular question of just what the heck do they get up to while Mario's busy adventuring to rescue her from Bowser's clutches. Many also portray Peach as taking a motherly role towards Bowser's eight unruly children. However, this once again is based off of a canon incident (that of Bowser Junior being convinced that she's his mom and even calling her "Mama Peach"). It's actually unknown just how the seven older Koopalings feel about Peach, but the image of them looking up to her as their mom is cute nonetheless.
    • There's a significant amount of crossovers based on Paper Mario involving either an original character, the author or just about anyone else becoming one of Mario's partners in the games. Probably because it makes for an easy way to introduce new characters to the game universe.
  • In The Sims fandom, it's incredibly common for a "backstory" type fic to be about Pleasantview and how Bella Goth disappeared. It will involve aliens, because the memory that Bella's husband Mortimer and daughter Cassandra have is that she was abducted by aliens. It also is common for it to involve Dina and Nina Caliente, because they arrived the day before Bella disappeared, and because Dina's late husband is Bella's brother. Another common plotline will be to tie Strangetown in somehow, because of the townie in Strangetown that is named Bella Goth. The one neighborhood that consistently is ignored is Veronaville.
  • A lot of Portal fanfic written after Portal 2 involved Wheatley returning from space or Chell returning to Aperture, even though both are a no-go in the canon.
    • GLaDOS or Wheatley being transferred to android or human bodies for whatever reason — or just making them human and not even bothering with the transfer. This in turn created its own sub-set, with one or both of them being originally human to better facilitate the transfer (note that this is at least partially true for GLaDOS). Most of the time, Humanoid!Wheatley will bear a strong resemblance to Stephen Merchant.
  • If one is to write a Super Robot Wars Fan Fic, the usual standard story will do the following: Write a prologue in the style used by the games (with a list of "Series Represented" almost always included), then the plot will basically proceed with the novelized version of the same type of mecha anime crossover story writing style endemic to the games.
  • Fate/stay night fanfics in which Shirou summons a different Servant are fairly common.
    • Not to mention alternate Grail Wars, or future Grail Wars, especially with Fate/Zero getting an anime adaptation. A new trend is having Servants being sourced from other series.
    • And then there's Empty Shell Shirou being raised by people other than Kiritsugu after the fire and Archer's Mysterious Past.
    • And of course, Zelretch being a Troll and making interdimensional shenanigans happening.
    • There's also the general "Shirou is/replaces <main character of another story>" plotline, again, due to his backstory basically being a blank cheque to be pretty much any male teenage protagonist. Notable examples include Fate: Reach Out and In Flight, where Shirou turns out to be Yu Narukami and Minato Sahashi respectively, and thus gets dragged into their respective plotlines, with Shirou's general personality, skills and existing supporting cast causing major changes.
    • Shirou time traveling back to Medieval Britain to prevent Saber's downfall, and Time Travel Romance have become quite popular.
  • For Persona 3 and Persona 4 fanfics, it's very common to have them a crossover between the two and have the P3 main character(s) being related to Naoto Shirogane. For P3 fics specifically, it's also common to tackle events "post-Seal" where SEES tries to find a way to release the main character from his/her burden.
  • Baten Kaitos has half of all fanfics treating the return of the Guardian Spirit in some form.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, some think that Midna and Link may have made love at some point in the short time they spent together before she shattered the mirror and returned to the Twilight Realm. This always ends up with her becoming pregnant and somehow finding a way back to Link to ultimately be with him and raise their child together.
    • In just about every fic you usually have some OC villain that would pop in then abuse and/or rape Link then Ganondorf swoops in and saves him. Common for fics that has Ganon in a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Zelda struggling to survive her seven years of exile in Ocarina of Time, mostly involving how she became Sheik.
    • Fanworks for the second game are scarce however some of the few that exist deal with the concept of two Zelda's or how the Sleeping Zelda feels about waking up after several centuries.
    • Fans are very curious to what happened to Link after The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Did he ever reunite with Navi? Who does he end up with? With the reveal that Hero's Shade from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the Hero of Time fans have written and drawn multiple ways he lost one of his eyes.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • A fair number of fics involve what happens after Hanako's bad ending, including the possibility of them getting back together and working out their issues.
    • Maybe about 25% of all Katawa Shoujo fics depict what Hisao and Hanako/Emi/Lilly/Shizune/Misha/Kenji are doing after they graduate high school, get married, and maybe start a family.
    • Also, fanfics detailing the lives of the other people in Hisao's homeroom class.
  • There's such a specific Fandom-Specific Plot that occurs so regularly in the The Legend of Spyro fic fandom that there's even a Fan Nickname for lampshading it. Called 'The Post-DotD template', it goes a little like this:
    • A new ancient evil emerges, and Spyro, Cynder, and a ton of OCs (one of them possibly a human turned dragon) must stop it. A long the way, they encounter Flame and Ember who some how managed to survive the temple raid at the start of the first game, and nine times out of ten Ember is derailed into a death eater to make Cynder seem more likeable. While all this is going on, Spyro and Cynder are struggling with their Super Powered Evil Sides while also trying to admit their feelings for one another despite Cynder already admitting her love for Spyro at the end of DotD, with some contrived situation (Usually caused by Ember) breaking them up, only to get back together a few chapters later with little to no problem. Also, double points if Malefor shows up and pulls a Dr. Wily by hijacking the plot.
    • And all that is just the tip of the ice berg. It's impossible to count the number of fics that give Spyro a brother / sister who is also a purple dragon (despite the fact that only one purple dragon is born every ten generations) on both hands. In general, while some of these kinds of fics can turn out to be really good if handled with care, in general the 'Post-DotD template' has become the source of some pretty big Snark Bait in the fandom, though despite that it still refuses to die.
  • In The Elder Scrolls fanfic, the Skyrim protagonist is commonly the descendant of Martin Septim and the Oblivion protagonist.
  • In a similar case like in Girls und Panzer and Queen's Blade, many Senran Kagura fics includes male ninjas fighting alongside the female cast or sometimes falling in love with any of the girls, most of the time with Asuka. Unlike with the examples of both Girls und Panzer and Queen's Blade, there's no rule against male ninjas in the series and in fact, Murasame (Ikaruga's brother) is playable in the second game of the series.
    • Another common plot is also crossing over with another team from other series about ninjas. For obvious reasons, Naruto is the main target for any kind of team-up between ninjas.
  • Team Fortress 2 plots (besides shipping or self-insert stories):
    • "Respawn Malfunction" - can be Played for Laughs or Played for Drama
    • Origin stories - of how the Original Eighteen (or just Nine, if only one team is the focus) got recruited; less common now that peripheral material seems to suggest that in the "canonical" world of Team Fortress 2, there are far fewer mercs than originally thought.
    • Slice of Life - usually with much of the humor around how nobody could be considered even remotely normal.
    • A lot of TF2 Drama Fanfics go like this.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The majority of fics involve the cast living together in a large mansion, with the games being represented as tournaments. These stories usually take a Slice of Life approach, focusing on the interactions between the fighters. The PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale fandom has adopted similar concepts, though they're not nearly as widespread.
    • If you're reading a non-fluffy or non-comedic fic there's a good chance it involves Master Hand transferring people from their universes into a tournament. Just how much the fighters actually enjoy this (anything from some feeling forced to others loving it), along with how violent and gorey the fighting can get (can they get injured, is the fighting toned down similar to a sport, or is it a free-for-all blood bath?), differs from fanwork to fanwork.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Mia Lives. Mia somehow survives the bludgeoning from Redd White, manages to escape, someone comes to her rescue (sometimes doubling as Heroic Sacrifice) and the story progresses as it would other than key events being changed by her presence.
    • Fics about Phoenix's "hobo" years are pretty common, especially shippy ones where Edgeworth returns to find out what's become of his old friend.
    • Thanks to Pearl being a canon Shipper on Deck for Phoenix and Maya, there have been fics where she locks them in a room together until they admit their feelings.
    • Phoenix tries to romance a reluctant Edgeworth, who can't deal with his "unnecessary feelings". These are so common that there was actually a kink meme request wanting to see the roles swapped.
    • The murderers of various cases meet up in jail. The ones most commonly involved in this kind of fic are Godot and Kristoph Gavin.
  • Almost all Splatoon fanfiction deals with an Inkling who's just moved into Inkopolis, usually meeting with some of the shopkeepers and/or an established squad and getting into Turf Wars. Many also include said Inkling reenacting the events of Hero Mode.
  • While Guile fanfics make up a small percentage in the whole Chrono Cross fandom, the majority of the fanfics portray Guile as an incredibly Badass wandering Black Mage. Often, he's either a Challenge Seeker or a Blood Knight, especially if the setting involves Bounty Hunter. Occasionally, manliness may be added. Doesn't matter whether he's Magus or not.
    • Another common one is a Fix Fic, in which it's the game novelization with the assumptions that Guile is indeed Magus.
  • Undertale has a very prominent one in the concept of Genocide Papyrus. Fans really love to ask themselves the question "in an Alternate Universe where Frisk/Chara kills Sans first and confronts Papyrus as the Final Boss of Genocide Run instead, what would happen"? The concept is played in different ways depending on the author, often mixing and matching the different approaches. Sometimes it's played for Rule of Cool, wherein Papyrus shows himself to be Not So Harmless and gives Frisk/Chara the beating of a lifetime, comparable to Sans himself. In other cases the emphasis is on Papyrus' evolution from lovable goof to vengeance-crazed, broken individual. And occasionally the author decides that someone like Papyrus simply could never be as cold and vengeful as Sans was, and has him break down in the middle of battle or being unwilling to hurt the Fallen Child. Like everything else in the Genocide run, all interpretations are liable to be Tear Jerkers.
    • Even in the best ending, you can never really save Asriel Dreemurr, who will eventually revert to being an emotionless flower due to his lack of a soul. Fans have long been entertaining the idea of a "Ultimate Pacifist" ending which would allow Asriel to remain himself. In many cases, this involves Frisk pulling a Heroic Sacrifice and giving their soul to Asriel. Gerson's explanation of Boss Monster parents sharing their soul with their children also inspires many fans to write about Frisk splitting their soul with Asriel.
    • One popular fanfic and fan art setting is the so-called "Floweypot AU", in which Frisk brings Flowey to the surface in a flowerpot, and Flowey ends up living with them and Toriel, grumping at every opportunity. Frisk may attempt to teach Flowey to love again and/or find a way to turn him back to Asriel, overlapping with the above plot.
    • A recurring idea is known as Gasterblaster Sans, where he is overtaken by the power source of the Gaster Blasters he uses in the No Mercy run, putting him through a Baleful Polymorph into a skeletal monster of either canine or reptilian appearance. Or sometimes his head just changes shape. Either way, it's always Played for Drama. Whether he's fully mentally aware himself and in control during the ordeal varies depending on the author. Sometimes Papyrus is put through this plot as well, due to being related to Sans and the implied connection both share with W.D. Gaster.
    • AU's in general are very popular in the Undertale fandom. They run the gamut from cosmetic changes (like Outertale, which is Undertale in space), to character swaps, to human AU's, to Nightmare Fuel AU's. Some of the AU's even have their own blog, and there is also a lot of fanart where characters from the original Undertale or an AU meet characters from another AU. A master list of all the known Undertale AU's can be found here: http://undertaleau.tumblr.com/aumasterlist.
  • Animal Crossing:
    • Many fanworks deconstruct or parody game mechanics. A popular one is what happens when you restart a town. It's often presented as either a memory wipe or the characters worlds being reconstructed from the town up] while the villagers can't do anything.
    • The mayoral assistant Isabelle from New Leaf having a crush on the (usually male) protagonist appears a lot.
  • Similar the the bloodswap examples from Homestuck, there are a lot of Dangan Ronpa fics involving "talentswaps" where the Ultimate titles are swapped between the students. Fics involving a character other than Junko Enoshima being the mastermind behind the killing game, usually Kiyotaka Ishimaru or Makoto Naegi, are also common.

    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.

    Western Animation 
  • The Total Drama fics include a veritable phalanx of stories, called "competition stories", that depict a new season at Camp Wawanakwa (the original venue) or elsewhere. The contestants may be canon characters, original characters, or any combination.
    • Crossovers are fairly common, pulling in characters from other works as contestants.
    • A common theme of Whole Plot References developed, the majority of which involve Twilight (usually using Gwen and Trent or Courtney and Duncan as Bella and Edward, respectively, then later with Gwen and Duncan filling the roles).
    • A lot of fanfics are about a season where reviewers can apply for a spot on the show.
  • Darkwing Duck fanfic writers love fics involving someone helping a woobified Megavolt cure his memory loss, after which he remembers Drake as a friend or some long lost love/relative, causing him to make a Heel–Face Turn (usually playing it all a lot more seriously than the show did). This is prevalent to the extent that even in fics not about that at all that feature Megavolt as a villain, it's not uncommon to see his memory problems played up a lot more, his emotions all over the place and him obviously struggling with an inevitable heel face turn of some kind.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Fic-writers tend to be fond of the "character leaves town for years, only to return much later to the neighborhood and reintroduce their newly mature selves to their old friends". Despite Arnold actually having a ground semi-speculatory semi-canon reason for doing this, this kind of thing usually stars Helga, who always comes back more attractive and more mature, so as to sweep Arnold off his feet.
    • The Jungle Movie, an abandoned Big Damn Movie project where Arnold sets out to find his lost parents in Central America. Not only would this movie result in him finding his parents, but he was also supposed to get a Relationship Upgrade with Helga. Naturally, a lot of fans were anxious to see this project come into realisation, and have made their own versions.
    • Word of God is Lila has darker side. Fanfic writers go with this, either making her secretly troubled and traumatized or mean and bitter.
  • Kick Buttowski shipping fics tend to start with Kick and Kendall agreeing to spend a whole day (or even a whole week) together because of a bet or a dare. Naturally, after some initial bickering, they realize they've fallen in love with each other.
  • Young Justice:
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks fics that make a trilogy out of the movies where the Chipmunks meet one of the classic Universal Horror monsters by having them meet Dracula - to round out Meet Frankenstein having Alvin turn into a monster and Meet The Wolfman having Theodore become a werewolf, these fics typically feature Simon being bitten by a vampire.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • There are a few fanfics about Norm the Genie falling in love with a female genie master Original Character who treats him right.
    • A lot of stories reflect on Cosmo and Wanda's failing relationship, as well as how they met and how their Anti-Fairy counterparts met. There are many fanfics about Anti-Poof's birth.
    • Trixie fans really love referencing "The Boy Who Would Be Queen", be it the way it feels to have to repress her tomboyish side or her and Timantha reuniting.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Pretty much every Drakken/Shego writer has done a piece dealing with the fallout from "Emotion Sickness" (in which emotion-setting "Moodulators" become attached to Kim and Shego, and for most of the episode they're crazy with love for Ron and Drakken, respectively). So have a lot of Kim/Ron fans, of course, but to a lesser extent because they have considerably more canon to work with.
    • A common plotline for writers interested in Kim and Shego (as a couple or otherwise) is to deal with the fallout from the climax of So The Drama, where Kim kicks Shego into a signal tower which zaps her and collapses on top of her. Shego survives just fine in canon, but either or both of them might believe that Kim intended to kill her, at least in that moment of anger. Alternate Universe Fics may have her critically injured or killed, sending Kim into a Heroic BSOD from the realization that may involve her quitting her job, with even more complications possible if Shego is apparently killed only to turn up alive several years later.
    • Fics that deal with Kim's career as an adult are common. What maturing does to her changes from author to author, though it's usually Darker and Edgier than her teen jobs.
  • Two common plotlines in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers fandom are "Eliza's rescue" (at least 4 versions are floating around), and ones where the other three find out about the full extent of the dirty politics and hellish conditions at Wolf Den — usually in the form of some threat to Shane. Queue the Series 5 team making the guilty parties wish they were dealing with Supertroopers.
  • Jem:
    • Fanfiction will create Mockumentaries based on VH-1's Behind The Music, recapping the team's adventures.
    • A common plot is wondering what will happen to the bands in a few years. The series takes place in the late 80s and by the mid 90s genres like grunge and rap replaced 80s pop. Jem and The Holograms almost always breaks up in the early 90s due to the changing music climate, and occasionally personal issues. Fanon is torn on whether The Misfits crash and burn too or if they just keep doing their thing but it's generally considered eventually Stormer will be a solo artist.
    • There are unsurprisingly plenty of fics dealing with Rio or Riot learning Jem is really Jerrica.
    • Plenty of fanfics go into the backstories of The Misfits, whether it's their difficult childhoods or how the band met.
    • Several fics about Stormer becoming a Hologram exist, despite Word of God saying Stormer is loyal to The Misfits.
    • Post-Bands Break Up fics dealing with Kimber's and Stormer's relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic, aren't rare.,
  • Fans of the Mega Man cartoon show often have Proto Man leave Wily, usually by him creating Bass as a replacement. And then Bass isn't seen from again.
    • Other common fic plots involve Wily treating Protoman terribly.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar:
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot has a whole genre of stories about Jenny becoming human somehow, usually to facilitate a relationship with Brad. (Fans never seem to do this if they pair her with Sheldon, for some reason.)
  • Gargoyles:
    • What if Elisa Maza (or any other character) was definitely turned into a Gargoyle?
    • There's the ton and a half of "Brooklyn Gets A Girlfriend" fics.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • A great many fics involve the return of Dark Danny. This is largely due to his immense popularity, the fact that he only appeared in the series once, and that supposedly he was going to return if the series wasn't Screwed by the Network. What he does when he returns varies from story to story: sometimes he gets shipped, other times he gets "redeemed," but he usually goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • 'Reveal fics' where somebody, usually Danny's parents, discover that their son's a ghost are pretty common. There are two main varities. The first usually has Danny having to save his parents' life, exposing himself in the process. The second, notably darker one, has the parents capture his and attempt to dissect/torture/kill him before the reveal is made. Sometimes they only make it during or after the vivisection.
    • As the ghosts are, well, ghosts many fanfics deal with their lives as humans and their premature deaths. Ember in particular has a lot and most of hers are some level of songfic using lyrics from "Remember".
    • There are many Dark Fic's where being a half-ghost takes a mental toll on Danny. This can cause anything from depression, to Self-Harm, or suicidal tendencies.
  • The Adventure Time fandom is overflowing with crossovers in which the usual cast interacts with their gender-flipped counterparts from the "Fionna and Cake" episode. This is despite the fact that "Fionna and Cake" took place in an in-universe Real Person Fic. (Although it could be justified by a hint from Word of God that Fionna and Cake nonetheless exist in an Alternate Universe.) Sometimes the characters meet via magical means, but just as often they act as if their doubles have been around this whole time, and it's especially common for them to be each other's siblings (Fionna is Finn's twin sister, Gumball is Bubblegum's older brother, etc.).
  • Though there aren't many a lot of Care Bears fanfiction involves finding a new or lost member of the care bear family on earth who then moves up to join them and has to integrate into their society, often bringing emotional baggage that has to be sorted out or a new villain that has to be beaten.
  • If a Goof Troop fanfic stars PJ, there is a huge chance he will call the old man out in a way far more active than he ever did on the show, occasionally becoming or threatening to become a Self-Made Orphan. If a story is about Max, it will, depending on his age, deal with his Missing Mom situation or explain what happened between him and Roxanne. Threequels are also a popular story type, as are stories that try to give Bradley Uppercrust III Hidden Depths (based on a somewhat popular Alternative Character Interpretation).
  • Transformers fans have Prowl/Jazz romance. They interacted maybe twice in canon, but damn it, they look cute together!
    • The "human becomes a Transformer through mind transfer into a Cybertronian body" plot, thanks to the Transformers Generation One episode "Autobot Spike." While common, the fandom also looks upon poorly as a plot choice.
    • For Beast Wars, the idea that Maximals and Predacons have "branches" around the world fighting on other contients is also a popular one. The idea is that both ships scattered emergency escape pods across the planet during their crash landing, and is used to place teams in places like Australia or North America, the better to explain the existence of beast modes based on the local wildlife, such as kangaroos or timber wolves.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers:
  • Kids Next Door fics about the kids being decommissioned, usually with them stop being friends afterwards (though Kuki and Wally almost always fall in love somehow which is canon) are incredibly common.
    • The main characters' children time-traveling back from the future is also a fairly common one.
  • The Legend of Korra:
  • There are many Green Lantern: The Animated Series fanfics where Aya is revived by Razer somehow. Many of them involve her turning organic, which in itself is a common fic idea.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Lapis Lazuli joins the Crystal Gems. Peridot and Jasper may or may not follow. Nevermind the fact that besides the Corrupted Gems (who are all depicted as animal-like) and Yellow Diamond (a Greater Scope Villain who is yet to appear), these are the closest things the cartoon has to villains. Though, as of Season 2, the first of the aforementioned gems joining the crew seems to be Peridot, after mouthing off to her superior.
    • The "Mom Swap" AU is somewhat connected to this, essentially being a What If? story having Jasper, Peridot and Lapis join Rose Quartz (and in some fics, she's swapped out with Yellow Diamond) in the battle against Homeworld and raise Steven after her death. The fates of Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl are sometimes, but very rarely elaborated on.
    • There are a good amount of fics that depict life just before Steven's birth, during his birth, and directly afterwards.
    • Gems cannot reproduce biologically but that hasn't stopped fans from creating fanworks where gems can lay eggs that result in baby gems called "gemlings".
    • "Bad Pearl" is very popular in fanart. She's an Alternate Universe version of Pearl where she's a smoker wearing a jacket and jeans. She's pretty much the anti-Pearl— while Pearl is sweet, neurotic, and motherly bad!Pearl is an overall bad influence, though she still has a good heart.
    • Right after the introduction of Blue Pearl and Yellow Pearl many fanworks began discussing the way Homeworld treats pearls. Some are even AUs where Blue Pearl joined the Crystal Gems or where Homeworld pearls begin a rebellion.
  • Gravity Falls
    • There is the "Bill Possession" AU, where thanks to such episodes as "Dreamscaperers" and "Sock Opera", Bill possesses one of the Mystery Crew (Dipper more often than not). If not that, then he'll more commonly have Dipper start working for him after he makes Dipper realize that there's no one he can trust in Gravity Falls.
    • A common one is the "Reverse Pines" AU, where Gideon Gleeful and Pacifica Northwest switch places with Dipper and Mabel, with Gideon visiting Gravity Falls over the summer and Pacifica taking Mabel's place as the fun loving 80s aesthetic girl. The twins take Gideon's place more or less, but they become cold, calculating Creepy Twins. This usually delves heavily into Dark Fic territory, with the twins not being afraid to brutally murder people.
    • After the release of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", fanfics of Dipper and Pacifica falling in love with each other at some point after the episode became pretty common. It helps to know that Pacifica has truly humbled by the end of the episode thanks to Dipper's influence.
    • Before the release of "Not What He Seems" and "A Tale of Two Stans", lots of fics surrounding Grunkle Stan and a brother, also named Stan going around and solving mysteries with a saner Old Man McGucket in their youth were rampant.
  • Arthur fanfic writers enjoy writing about the characters as teenagers in high school (or less so middle school). They often lean towards Dark Fics, sometimes even Troll Fics, and are usually full of shipping.


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