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 flavours:
- 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
, Obvious Crossover Method
, and The Ship's Motor
are subtropes. Compare Common Crossover
Fandoms with their own pages:
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Anime & Manga
- In 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.
- In The Movie of the first Fullmetal Alchemist 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.
- 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?
- Zero no Tsukaima's basic premise, summoning a familiar from elsewhere, allows for almost anything to replace Saito in a crossover. The Hill of Swords has given the phenomenon some new life, but time will tell how long the trend will last.
- 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. Thankfully, this kind of story eventually lost its popularity and a lot of deconstructions were written.
- 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.
- In Fruits Basket 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Oddly enough, this is most often done by fans of Lucy. People simply writing about Natsu and Lisanna together are rarely as harsh about the potential love triangle.
- The Jigokiller episodes of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman inspired a lot of "let's explore Ken's feelings for Jun" fic.
- 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 has the following formula for shipping fics: Misty, May, Dawn and Blue/Green get together with Ash, Drew, Paul, and Green/Blue, 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.
- 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.
- 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. The former became so common that one story famously deconstructed the idea.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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."
- 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 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.
- The original Kung Fu Panda spawned a ton of fics about redeeming Tai Lung. Once Kung Fu Panda 2 was released, these mostly died out... and were replaced with fics about redeeming Lord Shen. Fics detailing Shen's past are also very common, often using the "sickly albino" part of his backstory that didn't make it into the final script.
- Frozen fics 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.
- The other big one for Frozen comes from an animation cameo of Rapunzel and Eugene from Tangled arriving for the coronation, and the fact that Elsa and Anna's mother looks a lot like Rapunzel's mother, leading to the Fandom Specific Plot of the girls all being cousins.
- Lately, Anna and Kristoff having a child has become popular. Anything from long, epic fics to cutesy oneshots can start in the delivery room.
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, & they are handled with varying degrees of subtlety.
- 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.
- 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.
- In 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 forgive and/or get along with him easily) in order to learn humility. May or may not work.
- 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, he's the mother of Slepnir the eight-legged horse.
- And if you ship Clint/Natasha, you've probably written something about Budapest.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & 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 TheMatrix, 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.
- 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. (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 often sees as repressed or misogynistic.
- The Maximum Ride fandom seems to really like High School AU 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 fanfiction tends to have the usual plot of "One of the greasers finds an unconscious girl in the lot, take her to the Curtis household to heal her, and she brings drama into the boys' lives with her trouble past." 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 feeel 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. The list goes on!
- The Les Misérables 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).
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.
- 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 believies Chandler's Zany Scheme and leaves him. (Which 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".
- 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, unfortunately.
- 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.
- 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 both brothers are introduced; 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.
- 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 'Free to be You and Me'.
- 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 favourite 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 a, 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.
- 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 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 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.
- One of the more popular subjects for WMGs in Warhammer 40K 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).
- 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 relationshio 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.
- Lucina/Severa fics usually involve Lucina recklessly getting herself gravely injured and Severa getting angry at her for it.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Similarly, 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. Or, 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 also 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shiek and Zelda are two different people in Zelda fics
- A fair number of Katawa Shoujo fics involve what happens after Hanako's bad ending, including the possibility of them getting back together and working out their issues.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 fics enjoy getting a lot of drama over Robin taking his sunglasses/mask off to whoever he's being shipped with (not that the Teen Titans fandom is short on that).
- Hurt Comfort Fics involving Wally and his abusive parents, despite Word of God saying they're Good Parents in this continuity.
- The Team - especially Wally and Dick - also get deaged a lot. Usually its either Klarion's or Zatanna's fault.
- FixFics for the last episode are also common.
- The Fairly OddParents has a few fanfics about Norm the Genie falling in love with a female genie master Original Character who treats him right. Each of these have their own unique, slightly weird twist. One of them is a Deconstruction of Genie in a Bottle and perhaps several other tropes. Another has an OC that might be an Expy of Megara. Yet another is a Chobits Fusion Fic (with Product Placement). One is a limerick written by Norm the Genie about a Mary Sue named Rebekah Masters, who is Aladdin's sister, owns a keyblade, has many boyfriends (whatever fictional guys the author finds hot) and lives in the Kingdom Hearts world.
- 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.
- 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, but either or both of them might believe that Kim intended to kill her, at least in that moment of anger.
- 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 fanfic will create Mockumentaries based on VH-1's Behind The Music, recapping the team's adventures. These range from playing it mostly straight to Deconstructive Parody.
- 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.
- Fanfiction for The Penguins of Madagascar often includes some method of 'fixing' Marlene's lapsing into a feral state whenever she leaves the zoo. This tends to go hand-in-hand with her finally learning that the penguins' adventures are real and joining the team, since her ability to participate in adventures would be severely limited otherwise.
- Humanized fics are common too, and Kowalski is almost always responsible.
- 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 fandom: What if Elisa Maza (or any other character) was definitely turned into a Gargoyle?
- And then there's the ton and a half of "Brooklyn Gets A Girlfriend" fics.
- A great many Danny Phantom 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.
- 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 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!