Real Person Fic
aka: Real Person Shipping
"While browsing livejournal for Sharks icons, I found this multi-part epic about [Evgeni Nabokov] and Joe [Thornton] getting it on. Didn't read much (RPS ain't exactly my cup of tea), but apparently it revolved around the playoffs last year and the two of them comforting each other after the Sharks were eliminated. And by comforting, I mean butt sex."
Also known as Celebrity Fic, this is basically fanfiction based on the real life of one or more celebrities (as opposed to a strictly fictional canon). Just as how people find fantasies and interpretations within their favorite fictional characters, so, too, do they find them in celebrities. Any and all fanfiction tropes can apply (for example, it could decide to base itself around the high school days
of the celebrity, create a Relationship Sue
to vicariously live out a relationship with the person, use them as part of a Hurt/Comfort Fic
, etc.). The possibilities are endless and often just disregard the celebrity's history, personality, etc. in order to facilitate the plot (or, often, just the particular fetishes of the author).
However, it's just as likely that a fic will be relatively accurate, based on knowledge of the celebrity's "real lives" gained from interviews, blogs, tweets, etc. Increased interactivity between actors/bands/whoever and their fans makes it extremely easy for ficcers to include canon details into their work. This avoids factual inaccuracy, although there's probably a fine line between research (good) and stalking (bad).
Also common in this genre is for the celebrity to meet the fictional characters that he or she is famous for playing as. They might either coexist in the same universe (this is a flimsy premise at best) or there's some sort of alternate universe with travel between them.
The final theme which turns up a lot is fics which blur the line between Character Shipping
and Cast Shipping
; depending on the quality of the acting, it's often easy to read real-life relationships between the actors in the emotions their characters portray towards each other on screen. These sorts of fics are often set in and around the filming of the show, to the extent that frequently they're just plain ol' show fics in disguise; the actors will often take on the traits and ideas of their characters and go through similar emotions and experiences. Somebody will tell you that there's some sort of metaphor in there for the duality of the actor and the character
, or something.
There is some level of controversy surrounding this genre. For some people, the mere existence of Real Person Fics — especially lemon
fics — is a case of squick
, while others don't see them as wrong as long as the tone is kept respectful. Then there are those for whom anything goes because it's unlikely the "protagonist" will ever read the fic anyway and will do everything from Character Derailment
to Gender Bending
to unceremoniously killing them off. (That last can sometimes be legally dangerous
Fanfiction.net does not allow Real Person Fics anymore, but that doesn't stop anyone. Most of them are hiding here
The existence and popularity of "Celebrity Pulps
" makes this Older than Television
Compare Historical-Domain Character
Not to be confused with when a Self-Insert Fic
doesn't even bother with an Author Avatar
and the author just puts themselves (and their friends) in.
- Unusually, automobile magazines get this treatment; a small group of fans, inspired by such sites as Yudu.com created their own copies of Auto Express, What Car?, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Auto Exchange (and sometimes) AutoTrader (United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Netherlands) along with its sister publications Top Marques and Truck and Plant Trader.
- However, the lines are blurred; as they tend to be set in fictional towns (Blackburn-on-the-Wolds, anyone??) or with Original Flavour for automobiles (e.g. Renault Laguna 4x4 hatchback - which did not exist ever in 1996). Phone codes are fictional, but it just about falls into this trope given that place-names cannot be copyrighted as they are unable to be under British law. The fans don't tend to promote it openly or share it online in order to keep it legal, and they use Adobe In Design to create their works. This is Doing It for the Art, combined with Alternate History (in many cases Type II or Type III, along with Continuation (both publications are now out of print, for the most part) and some Acceptable Breaks From Canon thrown in for good measure - for what are basically advertising publications (at least the last two anyway). In all, this is an Evolving Trope with magazine fans, graphic designers and automobile fans proving that fan fiction is not just about good writing, but literally Doing It for the Art.
- Although the fandom seems to have died down a little, there were days when The Goth Detectives (the temporary comedy duo of Russell Brand and Noel Fielding) had a nice big fan-following with lots of slash fics to be found.
- That seems to be shrinking in direct proportion to the rise of The Mighty Boosh RPS. (Most of it predictably being Julian Barratt/Noel Fielding, though have been reportings of a Julian/Michael Fielding fic.)
- There are communities devoted to the pairing of Hugh Laurie and his long time comedy partner and best friend, Stephen Fry.
- According to Stephen Fry, during his most recent appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, he was subjected to a reading from one of these fics. It was cut from the broadcast, though.
- Sue Mary somehow believed that Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Merchant were playing themselves in The Tooth Fairy, leading to her story Tooth Fairy 2: Red Dragon Rising using their names for the characters instead of who they portrayed.
- There are metric buttloads of Real Person Fic taking place behind the scenes of The Lord of the Rings. There's a LJ community dedicated to the "Orlijah" pairing (Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood).
- There was an explosion of this, mostly about Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, after High School Musical came out.
- Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine (Kirk and Spock in the new Star Trek) are starting to get a lot of this.
- There's been quite a healthy RDJude (Robert Downey, Jr./Jude Law) community around the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film.
- The A-Team Kink Meme has gotten a good deal of this, especially Liam Neeson/Bradley Cooper, Bradley/Sharlto Copley (called "Coopley"), and a bit of Sharlto/Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
- The Social Network has a steadily growing RPF community, with a large portion of its Kink Meme geared towards it. Because of the nature of the film, there's also some rather interesting layers going on, what with fic about the characters, fic about the actors playing the characters, fic about the real people the characters are based on, and every imaginable combination of crossover therein.
- Following The Runaways, there are several stories between Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as well as the original people they played.
- Sometimes it's hard to distinguish whether some fanfics are Thor/Loki in the character sense or a disguise for Chris Hemsworth/Tom Hiddleston.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki tend to get this a lot.
- And now Misha Collins (who plays Castiel) gets shipped with Jensen all the time, presumably because they're just good-looking.
- Richard/Jared, Richard/Misha, Mark P/Misha, Mark p/Richard, Misha/Jim, Jim/Mark S, JDM/Jim, not as prominent, but known.
- Top Gear slash. A particularly eyebrow-raising example involved Jeremy Clarkson raping Richard Hammond... who then sought comfort in the arms of James May.
- The Daily Show. Which people? All of them. This can get very weird when both Stephen Colbert and the character with the same name end up in the same fic. Which happens more often than you'd think.
- There's a fairly large fanbase for the actors of Merlin, especially Colin/Bradley.
- There's a small but very active fandom for Bandof Brothers fics.
- This is quite popular in the Drake & Josh fandom, usually pairing Drake Bell and Josh, and occasionally Jerry Trainor, who plays Crazy Steve in the Nick series, together. As themselves, usually in the future as musicians and actors.
- People ship David Tennant with John Barrowman, though more ship him with John Simm.
- More than a couple of people ship David and Billie Piper.
- Some people ship David with Catherine Tate, too.
- And while Doctor Who RPS is typically limited to new Who actors, there is floating around on the internet Patrick Troughton/Frazer Hines slash.
- Then there's this story, written in response to David's shocked reaction when he was exposed to Doctor Who slash fic on a British chat show. This RPF story suggests his costars from Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Harry Potter all teased him by showing him that oh, there was so much more than that.
- Actually, David had a rather brilliant comeback himself after hearing the slash fic sample: they'd accidentally found John Barrowman's blog instead.
- Matt Smith/Karen Gillan shippage seems to be thriving thanks to their RL chemistry.
- Matt/Alex Kingston is also heating up.
- In this Mock the Week clip, Frankie Boyle informs Hugh Dennis of some Slash Fic he found featuring the two of them.
- Lily Loveless and Kathryn Prescott exhibited so much chemistry as the (canon) Skins pairing of Naomi and Emily that LilyKat fic is increasingly popular.
- William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have been getting this since the original Star Trek series.
- Aaron Sorkin has figured in several The West Wing parody-fics, mostly in ones devoted to making fun of what happened to the series after he left. And there's a Murder On The Orient Express parody with Aaron as the killer, Amy as Ratchett, and Danny Concannon as Poirot. Check it out here.
- iCarly: Nathan Kress/Miranda Cosgrove (known as Niranda or Mathan) fic has recently become as popular as fic for their on-show couple ship Freddie/Carly.
- Wizards of Waverly Place fans ship actors David Henrie and Selena Gomez.
- Pairing American Idol judges and contestants is also common, especially Saula (Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.) There's even an entire LiveJournal community dedicated to same sex idol/idol fanfiction. (Kris and Adam was probably a field day for them.)
- Lea Michele and Dianna Agron of Glee fame.
- Heather Morris and Naya Rivera get this as well
- Really, you can pick any two Glee actors and somebody out there probably writes fics about it.
- In a rather hilarious scene in the Korean Drama You Are Beautiful, a member of a boyband reads horribly melodramatic RPF of himself slashed with his bandmates.
- Back when ColbertNation.com was made to look like a fansite for The Colbert Report as opposed to the official site, among the "fan-submitted" contents was an intentionally So Bad, It's Good Stephen Colbert x Bill O'Reilly fic. The original page is gone, but the contents have been preserved here.
- Check any section of a popular Disney Channel show or movie (Such as High School Musical and the ones starring Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, or the Jonas Brothers) on Fanfiction.net and you'll find them without much effort
- Big Time Rush, as the main characters are named after themselves, there's a lot of slashing going on with the four boys. Of course, issues with characterization might just mean that the fic in question just got their last names wrong, but mostly, RP Fs are written for setting.
- There is an entire community on FF.N for crossover fics between the canon of Sherlock Holmes and the real-life cast of the Granada series. Jeremy Brett naturally gets the most focus for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that more is known about him than either of his Watsons, David Burke or Edward Hardwicke. However, all three actors interact with their allegedly-fictional counterparts in these crossovers. (Note that not all the stories in the community are true crossovers - some are simply based on Granada's 'verse.)
- 99.99999% of fanfics about The Voice seem to involve Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera falling in love with one another, often with Cee-Lo and Blake trying to be The Matchmaker.
- They're not always easy to find, but there are a number of Mythbusters fanfics. The nature of these stories vary naturally, but often they involve the sort of myths you wouldn't see on the show, like trying to figure out if the Necronomicon is real or testing myths about vampires.
- The Beatles seem to lend themselves quite well to this due to their almost mythical status. This is probably because of their relatively short lived career, leading a lot of fans who want more than just the decade of activity filling in more of what they view should have happened after 1970. It also helps that there are three movies featuring them as themselves, each one goofier than the last.
- Fandom invokes John Lennon's questionable sexuality in 99.9% of the fics with sexuality. Interestingly enough, most of these fics don't include Brian Epstein, their openly gay manager — or, when they do, he's at most Starboarding for Lennon. (The film The Hours And Times is an exception.)
- Poppy Z Brite wrote a speculative piece for Nerve magazine about what would happen if John married Paul McCartney instead of Yoko Ono.
- Perhaps because of his flamboyant nature, people just love to use David Bowie as a character in their fanfiction.
- There is also a fair amount of Bowie on Bowie fanfiction, clearly due to his numerous personas.
- Most Boy Bands are ripe for slashing due to their prepackaged Five-Man Band archetypes.
- * When fanfic writers for The Beatles worked more modern Boy Bands into their fics, things got ugly; even, or maybe especially, those who were tweens thought Boy Bands were necessarily evil. There is one Beatles fic, "Angelic Sins," that attempts to make the group 98 Degrees into villains. (This one also has Metallica as a friendly presence despite kidnapping John Lennon — this was completed before the Napster scandal and St. Anger.)
- The fandoms for NSYNC and Backstreet Boys are largely credited for jumpstarting the idea of using Livejournal as a fandom platform as the site was started right around the time of the height of the bands' careers. These two fanbases are even credited in Fanlore as the being the genesis for many of the major common fandom experiences.
- Bandfics, either involving original characters varying in quality to bandslash. The bandslash ends to be significantly better written than the Sue!fic but significantly less concerned with reality. Quizilla was particularly infamous for "bandfics", starring people from any band that featured a moderately attractive male, from Simple Plan to All Time Low and everything in between.
- Essentially the basis of Pete Wentz's entire career. Both within his own band, Fall Out Boy, and between all of the bands on his label. "Bandom" is practically synonymous with Pete Wentz in said circle.
- There are numerous fanfics of the various members of My Chemical Romance, usually involving bandslash or the band members becoming teachers in the fan's school or something along the lines.
- The cult British indie band The Libertines are probably only remembered now as being the group that brought supermodel-chasing drug-botherer Pete Doherty into the public eye. That band's dissolution hinged on Doherty's fractious (although not gay) relationship with guitarist Carl Barat. The band's self titled (and final) second album cover◊ sees a vacant, mildly distressed Barat cradling a collapsed Doherty.
- Go on YouTube. Now, in the search bar, type in any word that has some sort of relation to love or romance, or could be used as a cliche metaphoric word in a love poem. Now, count how many "Jonas Brothers Love Stories" you find. And it doesn't just have to be a love-related word. Sometimes typing in completely random words like "stairs" and "lunch" will also get you pages of these.
- There is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds slash out there. One wonders if the band knows.
- Gackt, usually slashed with some other J-musician. These include most of guys he's worked with, especially Hyde, Miyavi, Mana, Kami and Masa.
- Japanese rock and metal bands fall under bandslash. Nearly any band will have some. Some bands don't mind the slash, others are... less welcoming. That said, some bands also have a Broken Base even if the band itself doesn't mind the slash, where non-participating fans will loathe the participating fans as "yaoi fangirls" or "gay."
- Adam Lambert is the new focus of the American Idol slash fandom. Out of all the other contestants on the season, he's most often paired with Kris Allen.
- Tarja Turunen/Tuomas Holopainen is surprisingly popular amongst Nightwish fans.
- It's rare, but British indie singers Patrick Wolf and Edward Eke (formerly known as Edward Larrikin) are occasionally shipped together.
- Oh, it gets better. There's an entire Livejournal community devoted to Patrick Wolf fanfics.
- Perhaps due to an unfortunate combination of Bishōnen and I Was Quite a Looker, there does exist Peter Gabriel-era Genesis Slash Fic, usually pairing him with Tony Banks, but sometimes Phil Collins gets a turn as well.
- Tokio Hotel gets this, like from here here and here and here. Tends to mainly be Twincest shipping between Bill and Tom Kaulitz or band member/fan/Author Avatar fics written by younger fans. Proceed with caution.
- Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park have a very close friendship and as a result many a fanfic written about them, they even have a Portmanteau Couple Name of "Bennoda".
- Also, Aerosmith. Most Slash Fic about them is Joe Perry/Steven Tyler, but if you can dream up an Aerocouple, fic for it probably exists.
- Radiohead. Radiohead.
- There's a small but infamous community on the internet that specializes in writing slash fic, termed "cheesecake" after a... prolific fic involving lead singer Thom Yorke and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. doing things to each other with the dessert. Popular pairings include Thom/lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Jonny/bassist and brother Colin Greenwood, and Colin/guitarist Ed O'Brien. Drummer Philip Selway is left out of the equation 99% of the time.
- Rammstein isn't exempt from this either.
- A Girls Aloud RPF was deemed so obscene that the author was arrested and taken to court. This was the first time literature of any kind resulted in an arrest in the UK for more than twenty years.
- The fic in question was the infamous Girls (Scream) Aloud, a Gorn-tastic snuff-fic that rivaled Agony In Pink in utter awfulness.
- Guns 'n' Roses and/or Velvet Revolver RPS is out there, a lot of it being Axl Rose and Slash.
- Rush- yes, the Canadian prog band-also has a fandom with surprising amounts of horny fangirls eager to ship (the typical Rush fan is Always Male). Geddy and Alex, being Heterosexual Life-Partners, are the ones most often shipped.
- Three words: Justin Bieber fanfiction, the most infamous being the Spongebob Squarepants crossover.
- Then there is this Falling In Reverse Slash Fic starring a Self Insert shipped with Ronnie Radke. The fic is actually quite well-written.
- Back in 2004 someone actually published a humorous story in The New Yorker where an unidentified diarist who was obviously Bush confessed to having a mad crush on John Kerry. One only wonders if that author knew of the Kerry/Edwards slash being written on the net at the time.
- The Internet has been lately seeing tons of fics involving Barack Obama, John Mc Cain, and George W. Bush.
- Liberality For All features several famous conservative icons fighting an evil liberal U.N dominated United States.
- Forget about all the photoshops and fanfiction, even the British Newspapers were getting in on the Ho Yay of the 2010 British Parliamentary elections between Conservative David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, respectively. Poor Gordon Brown is pretty much left behind as the Romantic Runner-Up. Clegg's status as Cameron's personal bitch has only gotten worse in Fanon as accusations of him selling out for power pile up. That both attended very posh schools where there supposedly remains a tradition known as 'fagging' for older boys have not helped either.
- It was still present in late 2012, at the halfway mark between elections. 'Cameron and Clegg renew their vows' indeed.
- There was a short sci-fi Alternate History story published in the early-to-mid 1970s which had Ralph Nader be a detective in the literary equivalent of a Film Noir, in a DC utterly corrupted by cheating corporations.
- During the run-up to the 2012 US presidential election, many fanfics on the internet were created about the GOP contenders and Barack Obama, perhaps most frequently about Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. This is made especially entertaining by the fact that the candidates, aside from Obama, generally have a fairly anti-gay record and some have made controversial statements regarding homosexuality.
- One story in particular involved Gingrich/Romney. It crossed the line into parody when the resulting santorum turned into Rick Santorum.
- There is now a whole online community devoted to this... started by a Wonkette columnist, even.
- Though the fic itself is lost to time there exists a list of fanfic that is supposed to be out their on different computers most of which have never found homes on the internet; including a fic described as "Blair and Thatcher couple like stoats on the grave of Nye Bevan".... thanks so very much for that mental image internet, really.
- The debate has been raging for years whether Professional Wrestling fic is RPF or not. It's been around for ages and Henry Jenkins has written essays on it (along with the rest of fandom). At any rate, there seem to be three different versions...first, television-based, in which the stories are about the people in the ring being exactly who they are on the show and the matches and conflict being real. Second, character-based realism, in that the wrestlers are their characters, but the matches and conflict are scripted and all part of the show, and finally, the real-person version which is based off real life. Different writers use different methods, some explicitly only write television-based, others dabble all the way down to RPF. Of course, there's also AU, but that's another trope altogether. Further subgenres include:
- Back in 2001-2003, the biggest and most vocal (and also virtually only) het shippers were the Smoochy Dreamers, Chris Jericho/Stephanie McMahon. Chris/Steph is nothing so much as a kindergardener pulling the pigtails of the girl he likes, and between the boob comments, kissing as gross-out tactic, and his seemingly extensive knowledge of her supposed sexual practices, they were ripe for shipping.
- Then there's the slash. Between the Matt/Jeff Hardy fangirls to the Rock/Steve Austin subset to the Kliqfic, if two men were anywhere within a five-block radius of each other, you can probably find fic about them. If they were tag-team partners, it's almost a certainty.
- Don't even go into the Mary Sue self-inserts (all the long-lost McMahon children, the Lita-Sues, the random "cousins").
- As the quote at the top of the page attests, athletes are no exception to this trope. There is a quite healthy soccer/football slash fandom, there's been a community devoted to fic from the 2004 Athens Olympics that was reactivated for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- It is ridiculously easy to find slash about male figure skaters.
- About eighty-five percent of the 2010 Olympic winter games kink meme centers around Weir, Plushenko, Lysacek, and Lambiel. The rest is Ohno/Celski, Token Straight Couple Scott Moir/Tessa Virtue, a few fics with Shaun White or some other snowboarder, and one curling slash request.
- It got so bad the kink meme ended up divided. Skating had to go to a separate community just to accommodate the volume of skater fic (though that's partially due to a missing mod at the winter games meme).
- Figure skating fandom exploded over this very short video, in which Stéphane Lambiel kisses and then tickles Johnny Weir.
- Oddly though, and this is no doubt due to the fandom dying down in between Winter Olympics, there is very little fic of Johnny Weir and his now husband, Victor Voronov.
- MLB RPF is surprisingly popular. The most common pairings usually involve pitchers and catchers, for obvious reason. Also, the Oakland A's seem to be the most susceptible to being slashed.
- There's also a dedicated hockey RPF fandom. One of the fanfics from that fandom ("Heart In Hand"), in fact, became so popular with non-hockey slash aficionados who didn't recognize the characters' names and assumed that it was original fiction that the author went ahead and revised it into an original fic.
- Women's gymnastics is quite prone to femmeslash. Shippers pounce upon the slightest bit of Les Yay.
- There's a dedicated fandom for Formula One and the fanfics are usually slash fiction; popular pairings are usually between teams (e.g. Button/Hamilton, Webber/Vettel) and it isn't necessarily always between drivers - Christian Horner is probably the most popular non-driver to appear in F1 fanfiction.
- Pairing up Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, the original Wicked protagonists, is quite popular.
- An unhealthy number of people have started shipping Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, the stars of The Phantom of the Opera's 25th anniversary. The fact that Sierra is engaged and Ramin is married doesn't seem to have slowed them down any.
- Hammohamster basically defines this with her fanfic about The Angry Video Game Nerd, The Nostalgia Critic, and The Irate Gamer slash fics.
- She wrote a hateful fanfic about the Fanfic Critic on her livejournal account. The fanfic involved the internet persona brutally killing herself.
- She's also written slash fanfics about political figures like Glenn Beck and Barack Obama (Note: the fanfic is no longer on fanfiction.net anymore. However a review can be found here.)
- The Muggle Cast guys have quite a bit written about them. It is slightly more popular amongst another spin-off podcast that they did, Smart Mouths, but... yeah. There has even been one story written by one of the hosts, though it is pretty much a Dead Fic since she left for Costa Rica.
- There is a disturbing amount of That Guy with the Glasses fanfiction.
- Fandom can't agree on whether it's all RPS or just some of it is. Obviously the fic where people write 'Noah' and 'Lewis' and 'Doug' doing things are RPS. But what about the vast majority of the fics, which use the names 'Spoony,' 'Linkara,' and The Nostalgia Critic and have appearances of the characters Ask That Guy, Mechakara, and Dr. Insano?
- So it gets complicated when it actually is dark Real Person Fic. The Critic getting humiliated, tortured, beheaded, mutilated, gangbanged, snuffed and so on is A-OK, but when the Kink Meme asks for Doug abuse, everyone suddenly gets too scared to post anything.
- It's also a little complicated because of the question who is really a character? Sure Ask That Guy is, the Critic is. Linkara is, same with the Chick. But what about Nash? MarzGurl? Jew Wario? It's like a sliding scale of Alter Ego Acting and the line isn't always clear when you go further down.
- Literotica calls these "Celebrity" fics, and has an entire section devoted to them.
- Youtube-celebrities Charlie McDonnel and Alex Day were quite Squicked to discover that people had been writing slash of them. Charlie made a reaction video as well.
- The majority of Slenderman fanfiction is Everyman HYBRID related. The cast noticed almost immediately and commented that it was both creepy and flattering at the same time.note
- This article amounts to a light erotic piece about Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman. Even better (for people who are into it): it's almost certainly true.