"You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway."
A notable bunch of audience members outside of the intended (i.e., marketed) demographic.
This is very frequent when it comes to Western Animation
that manages to overcome the Animation Age Ghetto
and feature subtle humor that's often over the heads of youngsters
. Then of course, there's the simple fact that despite the increasing presence of adult-oriented animation, there's still a severe lack of cartoons specifically directed towards teenagers. As a result, teens who are still into animation have no choice but to tack onto the viewership of one or the other.
A very noticeable instance of this occurs in the anime fansub community. Digital recorders/encoders, which effectively remove the timeslot and language constraints to a program, make it accessible to anyone, and the series audience is largely drawn only by the perceived quality of the show itself. For this reason, a show packed with girls
is enough like "a show packed with girls
" that may be enjoyed by the same fan, even if that fan is wildly different than the 'original' one. This likewise holds with male characters, who are often deliberately drawn as pretty boys
in order to attract fangirls who were reading similar stories anyway (e.g., Bishonen Jump Syndrome
, because Shonen Jump
was infamous for it). Sometimes this is taken a step further and you get a Selective Squick
-cleansed rough adaptation of the premise
marketed directly to them
It is also common for a popular franchise that is marketed towards children
to gain an older fanbase if it's been around for a while
; many of these older fans enjoyed it when they were young and simply never outgrew it. The companies making such shows may give little nods
to the older fans (and sometimes even make new installments that cater exclusively to older fans).
Some fans, perhaps because of these nods, seem not to realize that these popular kids' series are still made mainly for kids, and that doesn't change just because the older viewers are not kids anymore. Unfortunately, fans like these may cause negative stereotypes about nerd fanbases.
A large portion of the periphery demographic also comes since media classifications are very often ignored and media intended for mature audiences (like First-Person Shooter
games) also attracts teens and preteen audience.
Can also be due to many demographics simply having wider ranges of interest than they're given credit for.
Series with strong marketing sense usually profit from being at least slightly aware of these fans, if not outright creating Multiple Demographic Appeal
. Unfortunately, this creates the danger of an annoying Periphery Demographic being viewed as a Misaimed Fandom
, if not outright Fan Dumb
Also some fans within a show's main demographic, may consider the work in question a guilty pleasure.
This Cracked article gives you a good sample of what you can expect from this trope
When the Periphery Demographic is in another country, then you've got Germans Love David Hasselhoff
. For specific example of Periphery Demographics, see Estrogen Brigade
and Testosterone Brigade
. If a fandom forms around media that was not intended for entertainment purposes in the first place, it's Fun for Some
. Contrast Periphery Hatedom
. Not to be confused with fans of Periphery
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- Ore Imo
- Central to the premise. Kirino, a 14-year old girl, loves playing little sister-themed H-Games due to liking the incredibly cute character designs.
- Kirino is also a fan of Stardust Witch Meruru, a Magical Girl anime that is aimed at little girls and that has a huge fanbase of grown men.
- In one of the episodes of Vicky the Viking, the protagonist's father secretly listened to a children's story about a girl since he found it very touching.
- Konata, the Otaku Surrogate from Lucky Star, is another underaged female anime character fond of Eroges aimed at an adult male demographic
- You could say this is an important plot point in Super Dimension Fortress Macross and its Robotech adaptation: the reason many of the Zentraedi defect (the turning point in the war) is because of their exposure to human culture... including the fact that many of them are Minmay fans. (Also inverted, given that her songs basically turn into psychological warfare when used on unexposed Zentraedi...)
- In Love And Rockets, Doralis's kids' show develops a big adult male Periphery Demographic purely because of how hot she is. Then subverted when, after her lesbianism is publicly revealed, the channel tries to continue it virtually unchanged in a late-night time slot as an adult show and discovers that the Periphery Demographic isn't big enough to sustain it.
- UHF uses this in-universe. Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse, a typical Saturday morning kid's show, ends up with much more than kids wanting to see it.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Rowley, a middle schooler who's 11 at the youngest, goes to Europe in Rodrick Rules, and gets hooked on an Idol Singer named Joshie who Greg points out is for 6-year-old girls; but is rebuffed by Rowley when he tells him this. The same book also has Rowley get Dino-Blazer toys and enjoy them.
- In U.S. Acres, Booker and Shelldon, two baby chicks, watch a children's show featuring a clown as the main character. In an earlier comic, we see Filbert The Worm watching the same show. Filbert is an adult worm, so how could he be watching a kids' show?
- The Onion News Network has made fun of the phenomenon for a few times.
- Rugrats: In one of the episodes, the whole family goes to the movies to watch the latest "Dummi Bears" movie. The children (and grandpa) lose interest quickly, while the rest of the adults become enraptured.
- In another episode, they go to see a Reptar On Ice show (with a very cheesy Romantic Plot Tumor). The kids go off in search of Reptar, Didi and Stu fall asleep, and Grandpa actually gets into it.
- In yet another episode, Mafia boss Jack Montello is revealed to be an obsessed Dummi Bears fan.
- Following into All Grown Up!, it is shown in one episode that Kimi (now 10-11) still enjoys watching the Dummi Bears, and is terrified at the thought of anyone finding out.
- An episode of Arthur revolved around Arthur (who is in the third grade and eight years old) being both thrilled that Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fame was going to visit the family and terrified that his classmates would make fun of him for still loving a "baby show". It turns out that the classmates also all still love the show.
- Another episode showed Arthur developing an interest in the trippy children's show Love Ducks, and enduring the mockery of his classmates. However, they soon watched Love Ducks, and ended up liking it as well.
- Phineas and Ferb has Candace, who is 15 years old and a fan of "Ducky Momo" (shown in a later episode to be roughly equivalent to Dora the Explorer). She even gets a touching song dedicated to her love of it and the fact that other people can't understand why a teenager likes it. By the end of episode— "Nerds of a Feather"— she's found out and realizes that it's not too big a deal to like something outside of her age range. Rather amusing, since Phineas and Ferb has been listed under real world examples of this trope.
- In Kim Possible, Cuddle Buddies are a Wuzzles/Beanie Baby knock-off that attracts the attention of then 15 year old Kim as well as the 30 something villain DNAmy. As Kim gets older, 17-18 by the shows end, it's implied she hasn't grown out of them.
- A very rare variety is mentioned at one point, implying that the manufacturer is marketing to adult collectors as well as children.
- On Regular Show, an 80s band called Fist Pump, who cater more to children, was shown to have an audience almost entirely of adults. Given the show's own audience, it might be an in-joke.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight accidentally brainwashes half the town into being obsessed with her old "Miss Smarty Pants" doll in a desperate attempt to come up with something for her weekly friendship report to Princess Celestia. Even after the magic is dispelled, Big Macintosh seems oddly obsessed with the doll... Doubles as a Fandom Nod since the doll, like My Little Pony toys in general, was girl-oriented intended (and like most bronies, Big Mac is male).
- In Foxtrot, both Jason and Paige clashed over the The Lord of the Rings movies. He went because it was The Lord Of The Rings, she went because of... Orlando Bloom.
- Fairly OddParents: When first introduced, Chip Skylark's fans were exclusively teenage girls..."and Timmy Turner's Dad."
- In the Bob's Burgers episode "The Equestranauts", Tina is a fan of the eponymous magical talking horse adventures show, and she and her dad are equally surprised to find there's a massive following of adult male fans who call themselves "Equest-icles".
- In the Gravity Falls episode "The Inconveniencing", Grunkle Stan gets stuck watching a drama on the Black-and-White Period-Piece Old-Lady Boring Movie Channel called "The Duchess Approves", but ends up really getting into it.
Stan: It's just like my life... in a way.
- In The Simpsons, when temporarily put in charge of a kindergarden class Professor Frink turns out to be one of these for those colourful "ball popper" push toys that are usually aimed at toddlers, to the extent that he refuses to let the children play with it. It's the compression and expansion of the longitudinal waves that appeals to him. And the colours.
Professor Frink: No, you can't play with it. You won't enjoy it on as many levels as I do.
Real Life Examples:
- The Marvel Transformers Generation 1 comic would occasionally get letters from parents who admitted to reading their kids' comics after dropping the young 'uns off at school. One wonders how the kids would feel if their friends happened to read that letter.
- For a line marketed mostly to 5-12 year old boys, the Marvel Adventures comics have a pretty decently-sized internet fanbase of mostly adults. This can be attributed almost entirely to the fact that the comics are both A) excellently written, and B) Fun.
- Chick Tracts may or may not be an example — their target demographic is evangelical Christians, but said Christians are supposed to use them as witnessing tools to convert non-Christians... the very people who are the biggest "fans" of the tracts — but for other reasons.
- Even among Christians these tracts have gained notoriety. Mainly the only churches still using them are isolated rural community churches who believe any contradictory statements to those made by Jack Chick must be Satanic lies. Even the provably false stuff like what your average Dungeons & Dragons game looks like.
- The Disney Ducks have traditionally been aimed at children. however, PKNA gained a decent college-age fanbase.
- In Germany the Disney Ducks (or at least Lustiges Tashenbuch) are popular by any demographic. This is due to the way comic book writing is handled there. Anyone could write for the comic series, with almost no rules as to what the content should be. This is why you could get some very traditional kiddy fare coupled with detective stories, romance, superhero stories and detailed metafictional stories about the economy in one and the same comic compilation (though the stories in general would have the same protagonist).
- Unintentionally invoked by Jhonen Vasquez. Kids who loved Invader Zim, would eventually look for other things created by Vasquez. Unfortunately, these other things included a series about a homicidal maniac. Somehow, the title still didn't deter kids from reading it. Disastrous results occurred.
- Tons of people who used Windows XP Professional edition were home users, instead of business users as originally intended. This one can be blamed on Technology Marches On. In the early years, there were software houses that released software that outright refused to install if it detected that the version of Windows installed was not XP Professional (IBM with Rational Rose and DataStage comes to mind). Yes, there are people who take their work home, particularly if there's a looming deadline and they're not allowed to stay at the office overnight, and there are companies evil enough to not provide a laptop to the employee if they need to take their work home. Later, when multi-core CPUs hit the market, it was discovered that Windows XP Home was crippled to the point where it supported only one core in one CPU, nothing more. As far as Windows XP is concerned, each core is a separate CPU. Sure, Device Manager shows two CPUs on a dual core machine, but Task Manager shows only one CPU, and does not provide any options to map CPU affinity.
- Another important advantage of Windows XP Professional is that it has a very good DOS-Compatibility. So you can use it both for doing serious things like writing Programs or control selfmade Aardware and connect to the internet without having to reboot or use another computer simultaneously. (In the Future one could also connect to the Internet with FreeDOS but its currently quite buggy.) As long you are Administrator, you can access most Hardware directly, without access violations. This is also important for some commercial Devices for burning PROMS or Microcontrollers because they also use the COM-Port directly (and don't support Linux). Further you can redirect Datastreams to COM and LPT ports, bypassing the Windows Printer Driver. This is very useful if one writes Programs and wants to print several Headers (*.H,*.ASH,...) on the same piece of Paper or have an endless Paper Pinprinter. The Windows Printer Driver adds always Pagefeeds so one would waste plenty paper using it. Under Windows XP Professional you can simply send Data to ports with Commands like "TYPE VGA.ASH >LPT 1". The only annoying thing is that Windows XP doesn't recon the \\DEV\\ Directory (as opposed to true DOSes).
- Because Windows ME was such a horribly buggy operating system, a lot of home users settled for Windows 2000 instead, which was similarly intended for business users.
- Adobe Photoshop was originally targeted at the professional market segment only and was priced accordingly. But the vast number of home users pirating it for private use, like Fauxtivational Poster, made Adobe realize this marked potential and led to the release of the much more affordable Photoshop Elements line.
- There is a recent trend for General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPU) aka tricking video chips into performing calculations on data other than images. Technology which was originally designed solely to create cool graphics for video gamers now becomes interesting for use in systems which usually don't even have video output, like high performance supercomputing clusters.
- The basic idea has been around a for quite a while: there were people writing number-crunching programs to run on the graphics hardware of Evans & Sutherland graphical workstations at least as far back as the 1980s, because it was much faster than doing the same thing on the CPU, especially for tasks that parallelized well. The only thing that's "recent" is that the technique became more or less common knowledge.
- UNIX-based OSes are often seen as intended for programmers and other geeks who have in-depth knowledge of how to use them, but are gaining in popularity among casual users who simply want an alternative to Microsoft and Apple, or for ideological reasons (FLOSS).
- Mac OS X (along with iOS) is in fact UNIX-based. It's more or less a front-end for the Darwin OS, which is itself a descendent of both UNIX and Free BSD. Also, from the perspective of the console, the filesystem and command structure of Mac OS X is obviously UNIX. While Darwin is largely open source, proprietary UNIX distributions do exist (i.e. HP-UX, pre-2005 Solaris). In any case, starting with Mac in particular can be a good way to ascend from casual userdom to geek level. While Mac OS X is intended for nontechnical users, a number of programmers have adopted it because of the previously mentioned UNIX underpinnings.
- In fact all Usages of Linux on PCs or embedded Systems are cases of periphery demographics, because Linux was initially intended as a Unix Clone and Unix only ran on large Computers like mainframes and servers (Homecomputers used CP\\M or DOS). But Technology Marches On and now every PC with an 80386 or higher and other microprocessors which support some kind of protected mode can run Linux or Linux-ports.
- Windows Movie Maker 2.6 is available for download on Microsoft's website, and is meant for people whose computers couldn't support 6.0, the version that came with Vista. However, there are Vista and 7 users who downloaded it because 2.6 is the version that came with XP, and they prefer it over Movie Maker 6.0 and Windows Live Movie Maker.
- Because scripting languages are relatively easy to code for, they often attract people who don't have traditional computer science backgrounds.
- Animal House might just be the trope codifier. The film was originally made for grown up Baby Boomers who were part of the whole Youth Counterculture movement of the 60's. Low and behold, the film's biggest fans turned out to be high school and college students, while many of the adults it was marketed at were turned off by its raunchiness.
- Gangster films might be an even earlier example. They are hugely popular with urban blacks, despite featuring white protagonists almost exclusively.
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was intended for teenage fanboys to get introduced to G.I. Joe and not-so-teenage fanboys to reminisce about one of their favorite cartoons from their childhood. Oddly, a good chunk of the money it made came from Christopher Eccleston's Estrogen Brigade.
- A special on The Terminator pointed out that the original movie unexpectedly attracted a sizable female audience who connected with the action movie's underlying love story.
- Die Hard, similarly, also has a pretty sizeable female audience due to John McClane's sex appeal and the underlying romantic plot.
- As did the the live-action Transformers movie. Chicks really love the cars.
- Fight Club, despite being as manly as movies can possibly get, has a large female following (probably due in no small part to Brad Pitt's sex appeal).
- Star Wars is a story about The Hero fighting The Empire IN SPACE, and clearly aimed at the Sci Fi crowd. It ended up appealing to, in one way or another, absolutely everyone.
- The Avengers was initially aimed at comic book fans. When its success became apparent, it was marketed as a movie for the entire family.
- While Michael Moore's 1989 documentary Roger And Me hardly painted GM in a positive light, it became really popular within the corporation due to its humorous and buffoon-like portrayal of GM's then-CEO Roger Smith. By the time of the film's release in the Christmas season of 1989, GM was losing significant amounts of money and market share, leading many employees and executives to become disillusioned with Smith's leadership.
- Quite a few children enjoy The Dark Knight Saga just because Batman is popular with kids to begin with. This resulted in a real-life Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Christian Bale visited a five-year-old cancer patient whose dream was to meet the real Batman.
- The Burton/Schumacher Batman films were also made for adults. Well, at least the 1989 original was - but kids wound up loving it anyway, PG-13 rating and all. Kim Basinger even remarked that for years afterwards she couldn't go anywhere children were present without being recognized as Vicki Vale. This had pretty grim consequences when it came to Batman Returns: Warner Brothers simply ran with their Periphery Demographic and outright marketed the movie toward children. Big mistake.
- Tyler Perry's movies are pretty popular with white Southerners, probably due to the Christian values promoted. Surprising because his target demographic is black church-going types.
- Superbad was mainly targeted toward the 20-37-year old people who remember what high school was like, but it has also gained many 14-18-year old fans who enjoy the movie for its crazy and naughty humor, and the characters.
- Ratatouille, as noted by The Onion AV Club, has gained a cult following among all artists because it is the best at showing what actually creating art feels like.
- It also gained recognition from critics as one of the only movies that, well... justifies the existence of critics.
- How to Train Your Dragon, a children's movie, has a big teenage/twentysomething following on sites like deviantART, mostly due to its clever humor and emotional depth.
- As noted in the page quote, while Disney Animated Canon films specifically target family audiences, they're made in such a way that they can be enjoyed by anyone. However, there are a few more specific examples.
- While flops on their initial release, Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland saw a massive resurgence in the late 1960s/early 1970s when they became popular with college-aged hippies and stoners. Rather than steering away from that rather family-unfriendly demographic, Disney actually responded by re-releasing both films into theaters and advertising them with psychedelic trailers and posters. Though criticized at the time, this plan ended up working out incredibly well for Disney: it not only helped them recoup their losses on both films, but it also helped Disney become more accepted by younger baby boomers, a subset who up until that point had been rather dismissive of the studio. When the baby boomers grew up and had families of their own, they showed their own kids Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland alongside more popular Disney movies, resulting in both movies achieving "classic" status by the late 1980s.
- Robin Hood, The Rescuers and The Great Mouse Detective were on their initial release (and to this day still are) very popular films within the Furry community.
- Inverted for Wreck-It Ralph. Although mainly targeted towards traditional family audiences like the rest of the Disney Animated Canon, it was also made specifically to appeal to the retro-gaming crowd. Ditto with Big Hero 6 and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Maleficent was intended to be for children, but the rather dark theme, together with Angelina Jolie cast as the main character resulted in quite a large adult fanbase.
- Disney had so little faith in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was darker in style than its usual fare, that it opted to release the film under its Touchstone Pictures label. Not only was the film unexpectedly popular, but it managed to reach a demographic that Disney barely even knew existed - Goth teens.
- Although Paddington was made for children, there are a lot of adults fans who grew up with the character and love the film as well.
- Emmanuelle is an erotic film based on an erotic novel by a woman, Emmanuelle Arsan. Despite that the movie was marketed mostly towards a male audience until the makers found out a lot of women came to see the picture, albeit more because of the camp value.
- The Wizard of Oz has become a camp classic in the gay community to people who see "Over The Rainbow" as some sort of Pep Talk Song.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey was released and advertised as a sciencefiction movie, yet became incredibly popular with hippies for its trippy visuals and especially the psychedelic Star Trip scene.
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) became incredibly popular within the Punk Rock community, a subculture that didn't even exist yet when this film was made.
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is considered by many to be far too dark and depressing for children. It's essentially a dark comedy about different ways the author can torment children and the unusual ways supporting characters can be killed.
- Harry Potter. The original series was intended for children and adolescents, but the series quickly caught on with adults as well. Different covers were created specifically to market the books toward adults. However, the author JK Rowling designed the series specifically to avoid alienating fans who had grown up by the time the it was completed. Each book grows progressively more mature, "growing up" with the reader.
- Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is both a children's story and an allegorical discourse on various complex issues of science and philosophy.
- The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer, aimed at teenage girls, have a significant overlap with the romance novel demographic of middle-aged women. And the Hatedom continues to buy books just so they can mock them
- It also has a huge gay fanbase. Many on the internet speculate that if Jacob and Edward had been the couple of the series instead, it would've been far more interesting.
- Everyone who reads Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a Periphery Demographic according to either the author (who planned it as a The Wonder Years-type nostalgia trip for adults) or the publisher (whose idea it was to market it as a kids' book).
- The Hunger Games is an interesting example of what happens when you ignore the periphery demographic. Marketed as a gritty dystopia, its romantic subplot attracted a large number of young female fans (particularly after Stephenie Meyer endorsed the series.) When the final book dropped most of the romance to focus in on the dystopian elements, fans still bought it - they just complained about it on the internet. Now, the franchise's female fan base is much larger than its male one.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians has a very large fanbase of older fans of high school and college age (as well as librarians and parents) who picked up the series and stuck with it not only for its clever humor and being based on the idea of the Mythology Gag, but also because of it's surprisingly deep character development and realistic responses to certain situations. It's a rare mixture of regular young teen action/adventure novels mixed with older demographic drama.
- Warrior Cats is aimed at 10 year-olds, but the average age of a member of the fandomnote is 18.
- Since their creation in the late 1920's, it's always been a given that Nancy Drew is "for girls" and the The Hardy Boys are "for boys." However, since there is very little difference between the series besides the names of the main characters, the two fandoms have a large amount of overlap (in fact, Nancy was actually created because so many girls read the Hardy Boys, they saw a large untapped market.) Nowadays, there's also a large periphery of older fans who read for nostalgia as well.
- The vast majority of the remaining Animorphs fandom consists of adults who read the series as kids back in the '90's.
- Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss is an extremely popular gift to give kids upon graduating high school.
- It seems unlikely that Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables expecting it to garner a large fanbase of teenaged and twentysomething women.
- The Hank the Cowdog series was originally written with adults (particularly those who had worked on ranches) in mind. The books became incredibly popular with children.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of the most-read books by American servicemen in World War II.
- The free automobile magazines Auto Exchange and Auto Freeway (which competed with one another) are extremely popular amongst both automobile enthusiasts and graphic designers.
- Taylor Swift seems to have a large following of young adult males, despite being marketed to teenage girls.
- They Might Be Giants started out aiming at two separate audiences: New York hipsters and college-age alternative rock fans. But from the beginning, they've always managed to attract a huge cult following among teens. Then, when their original fans got older and started playing TMBG to their kids, the band was surprised to discover that they had a lot preteen fans too. Since then, they've started doing child-oriented work (albums, DVDs, kids-only concerts, even some stuff for Disney) alongside their usual stuff. However, they've made a point of making their children's music accessible to their adult fans too.
- The Beatles gained a large crop of child fans with the animated movie Yellow Submarine, an inversion of the usual Animation Age Ghetto situation. In fact, George Harrison claimed that was how his own son came to know of the Beatles, since Harrison hadn't yet informed his son that he'd been in one of the most popular bands of all time.
- The Beatles' more innocent and silly songs have also been frequently recorded specifically as children's songs. "Octopus' Garden" is a major target, as is the iconic "Yellow Submarine" song itself.
- Before Michael Jackson's death, his "This Is It" concerts were stated to be an oldies act by the news media who expected mostly people in their 40s and up to be buying tickets. However, most of the people who actually bought tickets to the concerts were people in their 20s who became fans long after Michael's heyday. In fact, Michael kept a relatively young audience, especially females, throughout his entire solo career. Which is very rare for an older act.
- Madonna is another example. She is marketed towards a female audience, but her biggest market is largely in the gay community. Also, like Michael, since she changes her format and looks every five or so years, she constantly has a fresh audience to perform for.
- Cher is also inordinately popular with gay men, as is Barbra Streisand.
- Lady Gaga may be considered the Gay Icon of The Oughties and New Tens.
- Gaga is also quite popular with middle aged women and mothers, no doubt due to her heavy Madonna influence.
- Many fans in the western side of the world inexplicably fail to realize that Hello! Project fandom is meant to include both ninth-grade girls and college-age guys.
- Emilie Autumn, despite probably, along with Otep, being the closest thing to riot grrrl today, has a rather large male fanbase.(according to a survey, as much as 60% of her fans were male). She has acknowledged this, calling them her "Asylum Boys".
- For most of the 1980s and 1990s, Johnny Cash was thought by most country music executives to be washed up and incapable of attracting younger fans. Then he hooked up with producer Rick Rubin for a series of recordings featuring covers of artists such as Nine Inch Nails in classic Johnny Cash style. These were a huge success with young Alternative Rock fans, revitalizing Cash's career.
- In general, Johnny Cash has long been the one exception for people who say they don't like country.
- Green and Purple, a weed-themed parody of Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow", has attracted a lot of /v/ users due to the two colors' memetic status on there, thanks to a NSFW Dragonball porn GIF.
- Hippies and stoners like to read the song "Puff the Magic Dragon" as a metaphor about getting high, rather than the obvious story about childhood imagination and growing up. The writers of the song have made it very clear that it's not about drugs.
- A lot of fans of rave music have no interest in going to a club, they enjoy it for its energy. Particularly amongst fans of metal and punk. As a result there are a lot of bands who cross over metal and dance music, and their fanbases are similarly entwined.
- Rapper Too $hort's music is made up of stories about pimps and hoes. But you would be shocked to know that he has a disturbingly large racially diverse female fan base.
- Many of Otaku band (or Gaijin-Rock, as they dub themselves) Area 11's fans are just viewers of the Yogscast, due to two of their members, Sparkles* and Alex Parvis, being members of the network and providing music for the main channel, and not necessarily fans of anime, although a few fans have since gone on to become fans of anime as a result of this band. It helps that they are subtle enough with some of their references and the Gratuitous Japanese isn't too OTT.
- Avenged Sevenfold has a surprisingly large female fanbase. Probably because their music, despite its fierce nature, generally averts the Rated M for Manly trope. Opting to, instead, follow the "sensitive tough guy" model of most post-grunge bands.
- Heavy Metal was originally intended to appeal to working-class, male teenagers and young adults - especially if they were heavily disillusioned with life and taking drugs. How ironic, then, that metal eventually developed a huge middle-class fanbase, and became almost as popular with girls as it was with boys.
- One of the earliest metal bands, Blue Oyster Cult, provides a very good example of how the genre managed to branch out. BOC originally meant to appeal to three specific demographics: intellectuals, hippies, and kids who wanted to shock their parents. They were very surprised in the mid-1970s to find that their albums were being snapped up by pop-music fans, and adjusted their sound accordingly. By the early '80s, they were practically a New Wave/synthpop band.
- On the other hand, harder genres like Death Metal, Black Metal and more extreme Thrash Metal (ie. harder than Metallica or Megadeth) have a very large male to female fandom ratio. At least, in the United States.
- Hip Hop has a surprisingly strong following among indie rock fans. The hipster tastemaker Pitchfork features as much hip-hop and R&B as much as it does indie rock.
- Lorde is much more respected by adults, especially men, than most teenage singers. Likely due to her being Darker and Edgier than most people her age, and having a singing voice that's actually good.
- Thousand Foot Krutch, despite being a Christian Rock group, have a substantial number of non-Christian and atheist fans. It's gotten to the point where every odd comment is "I don't believe in God but this music is awesome, shut up about religion and rock out" on most of their YouTube videos.
- Skillet have amassed a large fanbase throughout their career. What's particularly impressive is that of these fans, many are not Christian, and of the non-Christian fans, many are agnostic or atheist outright.
- The Far Side gained a substantial following among biologists and other scientists, most particularly for cartoonist Gary Larson's humorous yet accurate depictions of anthropomorphic animals. Larson, himself a wilderness buff, was especially gratified by this, especially when one of his fans arranged to have a species of chewing louse named after him.
- And as a further Shout-Out, when a paleontologist realized that no scientist had ever actually given a name to the bunch of bone spikes on a stegosaur's tail, he proceeded to start using the name given to them by the one guy who had thought about it: thus the growing usage of thagomizer in the paleontological community.
- Following one cartoon that involved a female chimp accusing a male chimp of "hanging around with that Goodall tramp", Larson got a bunch of hate-mail from people who resented the implication on Jane Goodall's behalf - and a letter from Goodall herself telling him that she thought the cartoon was hilarious and that she was honored to have been featured. Goodall, who was a long time fan of The Far Side enjoyed the cartoon so much that she invited Larson to her nature reserve in Tanzania and wrote the preface for a collection of Far Side comics that included the cartoon. Her institute also recently began selling a T-shirt with that same cartoon on it.
- And in the first known instance of interspecies Periphery Hatedom, Frodo, Goodall's alpha male chimp, proceeded to beat the snot out of poor Gary Larson. Jane Goodall recounted the experience in the preface she wrote to one of the Far Side collections.
- Baby Blues, a domestic family strip which has always had at least one baby in it, is supposedly popular among loads of baby-less fans… even teenage girls.
- Cirqus Voltaire is somewhat polarizing to most players, but it has a very enthusiastic following within the gay community. Designer John Popadiuk guesses they like the "happy music and bright colors".
- Time Fantasy was developed for all-age play in family fun centers, but test machines ended up attracting an older audience, as parents were playing it while their children played the ticket-vending games.
- Cabin Pressure is a fairly gentle and traditional Radio 4 comedy, Radio 4's audience being memetically middle-aged, middle-class and terribly English. Presumably thanks to the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch in the cast (as well as the program being good enough to sustain a devoted following), the show has attracted quite a fandom on the notably international, all-comers, young people jamboree that is Tumblr.
- Australian radio station TripleJ has a large one. Though intended to cater to Australian youth 18-34, many of its most vocal listeners grew up with the station and its music. This can lead to plenty of Nostalgia Filter and constant whining over the year's Hottest 100, leading to the saying, "If you don't enjoy TripleJ anymore, you're too old!"
- The Internet and The New Tens gave them another one: non-Australians. Early in the last decade, votes for the Hottest 100 ranged in the hundreds of thousands. Starting in 2009, the total was around a billion, or about 'one-seventh of the Earth's population!!. Hottest 100 parties are now thrown all over the world. Not bad for an indie music station!
- Transformers is the absolute king of this. About 10% - 20% of toys are sold to adult collectors. Hasbro and Takara Tomy are only too pleased to appeal to these people, with homage-tastic toys, G1-centric comics, and general love. Plus, we have Transformers Animated, master of the Mythology Gag and much loved among fans for its own merits.
- While Transformers may be the king, it's fair to say that My Little Pony has become this trope's queen. The kicker to its demographic, however, came much later, beginning with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic developing the rather unexpected "brony" fandom. These fans praise the cartoon for many reasons, ranging from quality animation, to well-developed characters, to great pop culture Shout Outs, and even the domination of the internet by pony memes. Much of the fandom for this show built its foundations on the internet, and many view the episodes on livestreams, YouTube, or download them via torrents. Some have chosen to support Hasbro's show with their hard earned cash to make up for their effective piracy of the show (which Hasbro doesn't seem to mind about, generally allowing episodes to be posted online without penalty, as long as it's TV rips from The Hub). Others genuinely are into it for collecting. Regardless of the reasons though, an increasing number of these brony fans have taken to browsing the pink aisle in their local department stores.
- Some bronies buy custom toys from other bronies. The work put into these can be staggeringly amazing, and some sell on eBay for thousands of dollars.
- Though it is worth noting that some official merchandise actually spits in the face of this trope, with Hasbro actually changing elements of the show in order to sell their products better with young girls. One such change was altering Princess Celestia's color from white◊ to pink◊, much to many bronies' chagrin.
- And then the periphery demographic grew so large that Hasbro released a new series of toys that is quite obviously built to appeal to them, including a non-pink Celestia and toy versions of fan favorites Trixie, Zecora (which is made with glow in the dark material), DJ PON-3, and Lyra. To say that the fans were happy is a massive understatement.
- And in the summer of 2012, Derpy Hooves got her own toy as the San Diego Comic-Con's ""2012 Special Edition Pony." It became one of the fastest selling My Little Pony toys ever as it sold out at the Comic-Con and online.
- NOTE: The average viewer to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic actually is a brony. Yes, the periphery demographic massively outnumbers the intended demographic. Not really surprising, seeing as there are roughly 10 million bronies in the United States alone.
- In the world of toys, there's LEGO. While the iconic building bricks are marketed to kids, there's a number of adults who make a hobby of them as well. LEGO has seemed to thoroughly embrace this demographic; scale LEGO models and the people who design and build them are showcased in the Legoland theme parks, and there's a downloadable program for home model design and purchase. And then there's the LEGO themes with nostalgia value, like Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones. Even the in-house BIONICLE line has its own Periphery Demographic. And then there's a host of online webcomics using LEGO, such as Irregular Webcomic!.
- LEGO itself may be a sort of double-inversion, as the toys were originally intended as architectural tools to allow, well, architects to rough out a model of a prospective building in 3D in a rapid and efficient manner. To this day they're still used as this, and LEGO has even spun-off a corporate consulting division which uses LEGO bricks to help solve problems in similar ways. This went full circle when LEGO started its Architecture line, LEGO sets for architectually famous buildings.
- Being an adult also has its advantages. For one thing, it's actually affordable to you, and adults have the skills to engineer much more complex sets (check out the author's creations here at Reasonably Clever, home of the famous LEGO Minimizer).
- LEGO Mindworks has become popular as of late with early robotics engineering prototyping, lower level university mechanical engineering courses, and AI with robots (which hack out the default Mindworks instruction system for something more suitable like ROS).
- If that wasn't enough, The LEGO Movie actually made this a plot point. They also do Shout Outs to BIONICLE and Fubuland, two sets that ended before most kids nowadays were born.
- A line of merchandise called 151 was released in Japan. What are they? Artistic Pokémon products for the series' large young adult fanbase, many of whom became fans when they themselves were children. As the name implies, it focuses on the first-generation Pokémon that the older fans started with.
- American Girl, despite being a company aimed at girls between the ages of 8 and 12 mostly, has a very large fanbase of adult women, usually middle-aged or older with either children outside of the target age or no children of their own. There are at least three popular adult collector forums (with thousands of members each) and most of the secondary market is fueled by the demand from adult collectors.
- If you go to a Barbie convention, you will not find many people there who are too young to buy the dolls with their own money, and only about half of them will be female.
- Even specific toys can get this. A Hot Wheels radar gun has become remarkably popular among geeks, presumably because it's cheap, durable enough to stand up to kids, and one of the few radar guns you can buy in the toy section of any store.
- There are internet forums dedicated to Webkinz collecting. Almost none of the members are in the target demographic of children.
- Many action figure lines get this, either due to nostalgia or the company willingly trying to appeal to the collector market. The most well known examples are the aforementioned Transformers, Tamashii Nation's sublines (SH Figuarts, Robot Spirits, Super Robot Chogokin, Ultra-Act, D-Arts and the like) and Marvel Legends, one of the first figure lines made to appeal to adult collectors for usually excellent sculpts and hyper-articulation.
- Beanie Babies, originally made for children like nearly every other plush toy, were insanely popular among adult collectors in the latter half of The Nineties. The collector's market was absolutely ludicrous, with many housewives paying thousands of dollars just to get some obscure, retired Beanie or a rare variant. (For instance, the dark-blue variant of Peanut the Elephant once fetched $5,000 — compare to the roughly $5 that probably even most kids could afford for the more common ones.) There was also a sub-market of collector related paraphernalia, such as special plastic boxes to protect the Beanies themselves, clamshells for their tags, entire books and magazines dedicated to the fandom, et cetera.
- Plastic model construction kits have gone in and out of fashion, but are currently undergoing something of a renaissance. Old established firms like Airfix still consider their primary demographic is adolescent boys, but enough adult males still enjoy constructing the kits to a high professional standard - generally affluent older males who grew up with Airfix, Revell, et c, and who now have disposable income for buying models and accessories. "Simple" kits marketed at the young now rub shoulders with insanely detailed models of fearsome complexity marketed with older people in mind who can afford to invest more time and experience.
I doubt this page will appeal to people outside of the target demographic.
I doubt it will appeal to people inside
of the target demographic!