Fanfiction is a popular medium, and thanks to the nature of Sturgeon's Law, some of it can indeed be quite good to read. And some of that fanfiction may actually become so interesting to some readers, that those readers are inspired to write fanfiction based on those stories, despite the fact (or perhaps because of it, in some cases) that the original story is fanfiction in and of itself… This is Recursive Fanfiction. Care should be taken with this trope, as the story that said fanfic is based on must be a fanfiction as well. If the fiction that it is based on is not itself based on another work of fiction, then that’s a normal Fan Fic, and not this trope. Or, schematically: Original fiction → regular fanfiction → Recursive Fanfiction → still Recursive Fanfiction, but of a higher (deeper?) level. Not to be confused with Meta Fic. When fan fiction spawns enough recursive fan fiction set in the same continuity, a Fan Verse is born.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Nobody Dies has several sidestories written by both the author and others, including Six AIs, One Continent and The Kei Files.
- Kyon: Big Damn Hero has Traveller.
- Meet The Suzumiyas has ''The Observations of Damon Rizuela, written with permission from JonBob0008.
- Eva-R has Evangelion: Redemption.
- The Death Note fandom has at least two fanfics that inspire recursive fanfiction:
- Poison Apple by Robin Rocks and Narroch has five: Human, Doom, My love, The End and Broken Fairytale.
- PITCH by uberneko-zero has two: A Different Shade of Pitch and Lips.
- True Elision very recently inspired a Kink Meme fill: The End which in turn got its own sequel Heart. Ironically, the first two are yaoi and the last one is Het.
- Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami has inspired several fan sequels: Returning of D'ark, Light and Dark DEUX, SAD GOODBYES, and a Round Robin post game.
- The Finale of the Ultimate Meta Mega Crossover technically counts, since it contains references to at least three different fanfics ("Thousand Shinji", "Shinji and Warhammer 40,000", and "Once More With Feeling"). However, it's more notable for being infinitely self recursive.
- Shadow League is a fanfic based off the infamous Dark Fic Pokemon Master, amongst countless others.
- Say what you will about the infamous Axis Powers Hetalia "Economic Crisis Gangbang" Kink Meme fill and its content, but it proved popular enough to spawn a plethora of spinoffs about America's PTSD after the event, what would have happened if the other nations had mistaken Canada for America or if America had actually put his Super Strength to good use or chewed out the other nations for their heartlessness, a consensual or at least less disturbing version of it, etc.
- The Tear Jerker ending of the US/UK doujin Silencer affected some readers enough to write/draw Fix Fic for it.
- The infamous Gorn fic Debt has a recursive parody fanfic written by its own authors, in which the first chapter is rewritten as a cosplay game Gone Horribly Wrong in which the China cosplayer turns out to be a psychopath and breaks out the knives. Taking this as an implication that the writers wouldn't mind it being parodied (particularly since they expressed pride that the original Debt nearly ended up on the So Bad, It's Horrible page), someone made a fanart piece depicting China confronting his Villain Sue replacement (not work safe for swearing, blood, and suggested extreme violence).
- Not to mention all the fanfics on what the ending could've been for Heta Oni...
- Human Curiosity has a prequel fic, What Curiosity Brings, which is being written with permission by the original fanfiction's author.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami has spawned several of these (though most of them are short one-shots).
- In Flight has spawned several spin-offs, most notably The Emiya Clan.
- The Dirty Pair fanfic I Am One by Sean Gaffney is a followup to Larry Mann's influential story Experiment 101-E. (The story covers the same basic ground as the sequel Mann co-wrote with Ryan Matthews, Reunions, but goes in a different direction.) Gaffney's sequel to I Am One, Won't Get Fooled Again, raises the stakes on this trope by including several other authors' Dirty Pair original characters as cameos (along with the multiple crossover characters).
- Boy Scouts ˝ is a Ranma ˝ Elsewhere Fic centering on a group of Self Insert characters from Massachusetts. When three acquaintances of the creator of Boy Scouts ˝ were given cameo appearances in one story, one of those acquaintances began a spinoff series called Perspectives.
- Game Theory served as a large inspiration for Ragazza Magica Renza Veneti, a crossover with Puella Magi Madoka Magica, though more in the way of setting than plot.
- To the Stars, a Puella Magi Madoka Magica/Hard Sci-Fi mashup set several centuries after the end of the series, has several fanfictions based on the fic's universe, which were integrated into the story canon:
- The biggest one, Solemnis (and its sequel, Sodales) set a few years before the beginning of the main fic story, following an average Magical Girl as she contracts and through her military training and first battles.
- Puppets, a spin-off set in a rogue colony hidden from everyone, following a Magical Girl's journey to free her world from its tyrannical regime.
- Those Who Take The Sword, set during WWI, involving Clarisse Von Rossum, immortal Magical Girl historian and explorer and part of the supporting cast from the main story.
- It also spawned a couple of non-canon crossover fics, such as Reaching for Eternity (crossover with Minami-ke) or L'Effecto Magico (crossover with Mass Effect)
- The Private Diary Of Elizabeth Quatermain apparently has several.
- The Lost in Time Series has one called Lost in Time: Destiny.
- The well-known How to Train Your Dragon fanfiction Hitchups got one, a oneshot based off the story with the author's permission called The Elder's Prediction.
- This occurs at least three times in The Lion King fandom:
- The Lion King Adventures is the most famous example, with no shortage of fan fiction being made by the fans. Even the spin-offs have fanfics.
- "Chronicles of the Pridelands" invented the character Tanabi, Simba’s son. Nearly every TLK fan began using the character in their own Next Gen Fics. His popularity soon declined though, due to the release of the semi-official Six New Adventure book series, which gave Simba a different son, Kopa. The release of the second film with the arrival of Kiara made all but the oldest fans forget Tanabi.
- Joanna-TLK’s fancomic continues on from the last chapter of Savu0211’s fancomic, which by then, had almost nothing to do with the original films.
- Project Horizons by Somber — a Recursive Fanfiction for the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic/Fallout crossover fanfiction Fallout: Equestria by Kkat — has already spawned fanfiction of its own.
- Drunkard's Walk has inspired a number of fanfics, collectively known as The Drunkard's Stagger.
- Edventure of the Thousand-Year Door has As This Train Goes, a What If? fic asking what would happen if Sarah was the legendary hero and if Edd and the others weren't charged of collecting the Crystal Stars. Sadly, it's a Dead Fic.
- Turnabout Storm:
- Invoked for the "Wright a Bad Ending" contest, where fans were invited to write what would have happened if no one had shown up to save the day when everything seemed lost.
- Many fan works based on the series have been made, including a cancelled spin-off, an unofficial novelization that adds an Interspecies Romance subplot, and several Fan Sequels.
- The Mega Crossover Fan Webcomic Roommates has a whole Expanded Universe worth of fanfiction based on it called the Buildingverse. With five separate spin-offs (Girls Next Door, Down the Street, Superintendent, Meanwhile Upstairs and Only A Dream) having trope pages and if we wanted to be perfectly precise Down the Street is a Girls Next Door fancomic.
- To make things even more complicated a lot of these works add even more Crossovers or take characters / concepts from yet other fanfiction creating a Tangled Family Tree that rivals the magical people'snote .
- And then there's the fact that Roommates sometimes uses ideas and OCs from Girls Next Door (and its other spin-offs), to the point where they could almost be considered fanfics for each other.
- To make it "clearer" a flowchart of the relationship between the three main troped ones (misses Meanwhile Upstairs and Only A Dream also adding all would be bad for sanity) and the world here◊. Block arrow main relationship, normal arrow other influence / ascended fannon / etc..
- Better Living Through Science And Ponies spawned a Chapter 4.5.
- There is now A Trusted Friend in Science and Ponies, which is a direct sequel.
- The Infinite Loops loves to play with fan concepts, having loopers discover a variant of their own reality based on fanon and a few fanfics. The My Little Pony loops even bring Nyx into the cast, and Twilight flat out states they do not talk about the bureau.
- Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles has a spin-off, Ace Combat: Gryphon Wings, which takes place ten months after The Equestrian War and serves as a tie-in between the two main stories.
- The Thor / Being Human fanfiction series, Housemates, has a few spin-offs. The first is Clean: a Housemates series story by flutterflap, is a rewrite Series 2 of Being Human in the "Housemates universe". Another is the one-shot The Morning After by Mikkeneko.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has not only inspired its own fanfics, such as Once Upon a Tower and Nightmares of Azkaban, but "Rational" fics have become a kind of sub-genre. The epilog was purposely delayed a year to allow sequel fics time to get established, and examples like Ginny Weasley and the Sealed Intelligence started popping up in less than a week.
- The most famous Rational fic beside Methods, Luminosity, has spawned several fan short stories.
- The large Harry Potter projects The Shoebox Project, Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness and the Dangerverse have their own fanfic.
- All the sequels to My Immortal.
- Fanfic for Wicked is recursive, since the book is a derivative work (like fanfic, but it's legal to publish) of The Wizard of Oz. And fanfic for the musical would be...fanfic for a musical based on a book based on a movie based on a book.
- Harry Potter And The Nightmares Of Futures Past has inspired G for Ginevra.
- The Harry Potter fanfic Make a Wish was the inspiration for Terminal Justice.
Live Action TV
- There are quite a few stories written by authors other than the original CP Coulter that use original characters from the Glee fanfic Dalton.
- The Harmonverse, a series of Glee fanfics centred around the Original Character of Jack Harmon. It includes four ongoing novelizations of Glee and over 40 stories altogether.
- The Contract has ended up spawning a number of other fanfics, forming a world known as the Contractverse. They include:
- Lifeline, a companion piece to The Contract.
- Exigencies, a Continuation Fic for The Contract.
- Recovery, Where the Rails Converge, and A Gentle Knock at the Door, all separate sequels to Exigencies.
- PATIENT, a sequel to A Gentle Knock At The Door.
- Creepy Pencil Story, a short "What-If" story,
- Pencils are Dangerous, a sequel series to Creepy Pencil Story.
- The Kindness of Strangers, a oneshot addition to Pencils are Dangerous.
- Two Two One Bravo Baker, a military AU of the Sherlock universe, has spawned its own works of fanart and fanfic.
- The Mighty Boosh fandom has several rather famous fanfictions, notably Stockholm Syndrome, that were so popular that they spawned countless fanfictions based on it from other authors. The number of fanfictions and fanarts based on Stockholm Syndrome ballooned after it was revealed Noel Fielding himself was a fan of the fanfiction and inserted references to it into a live performance.
- DianeCastle's The Secret Return Of Alex Mack has spawned fifteen recursive fanfics, thanks in part to its epic length and regular updates, including two heartfelt tributes to Pyre after her Heroic Sacrifice in chapter 219.
- There's been at least one doujin based on PatchCon! Defend the Library!.
- Poké Wars has spawned at least twelve fics based on Cornova's world.
- The Portal fandom is involved in a rather complex graph◊ of Recursive Fanfiction. From top to bottom:
- Homestuck; Portal; Team Fortress 2
- Portal mods
- Portal: The 4th Millennium; ITS MY LIFE! & TEEN FORTRESS 2
- The Inevitable Sunset: An Impossible Continuation; Skepkitty's MSTs; MarissaxChell & Portla 3 (Lost Forever)
- HIT THE BERSERK BUTTON! MSTs
- And that's only counting 2011. 2012 brought us fictional Horrible Fanfictions and Portal: The 4th Millennium: The Trollfic Edition.
- Kynrind's Capture is one based on the Porn with Plot Warcraft fic, Ethereum Gladiator.
- Subverted with Morphic, where a new author was supposedly going to write his own sequel to the original fic... only it turns out the whole thing was planned out ahead of time by the original author as part of an elaborate April Fool's prank.
- The Oolite project is a Fan Remake of Elite, so all Oolite fan works are essentially Elite fan works by proxy. Additionally, the game is also highly moddable; well-received Oolite Expansion Packs inspire authors to incorporate their features into their fics, and new ideas from fanfic writers in turn inspire new OXPS. Furthermore, developers and community regulars frequently include versions of one another's in-game personas in their own fan works.
- Hang around an active Game Mod community long enough and eventually you'll start seeing mods of mods.
- Homestuck out the wastechute. Fans will create alternate universes, the alternate universes will become popular, people will write fanfics set in the alternative universes... and then there's the fanart of alternative universes.
- The Grand Battle is the most notorious in having fanart and other fan stuff based on itself.
- There is genderbent fanart of a cosplay of a fanart of a memetic guy that randomly got into a picture of cosplay.
- Unwanted Free Ugly Troll gets one in Loophole.
- There is a whole community of people writing fanfiction based on Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
- Vaguely Recalling JoJo
- Much, if not most, of the fanworks in the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared fandom are based on a particular piece of fanart depicting the Clock and the Notepad in humanoid form, and center around their flanderized fanon personalities, which really have nothing much to do with the original videos.
- Adventure Time has an In-Universe example. Ice King wrote a Rule 63 fanfic of the show, in the episode "Fionna and Cake." The episode "Bad Little Boy" has Marceline then writing her own continuation of it. Followed by LSP in "The Prince Who Wanted Everything".
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, due to the inescapable hold over the Internet it had for a while, has had several of these:
- There's the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Conversion Bureau, which has spawned tons of fics set in the same setting or a variant thereof; no wonder, since it is a very convenient setting for Wish Fulfillment and satisfying one's desire to live in the story. Its misanthropic tone has, however, spawned responses like The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone. Notably, another Anti-Conversion Bureau fanfic titled The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum has spawned its own universe, with several tropers among the authors.
- Fallout: Equestria has a number of sub-fics. Though that's understating the case: "a number of sub-fics" means over 200 of them. The most notable is Project Horizons, which has even spawned fanfic of its own.
- Cupcakes has several alternate ending fanfics written, and a few sequels.
- FiveScoreDividedByFour has tons.
- Progress, focused on Princess Luna adjusting to the changes in Equestrian society over the last thousand years, has inspired Luna Vs. Videogames, Celestia vs. Time, and the NSFW Luna Vs. Threesome.
- Luna having an abacus is mentioned in several otherwise unrelated fics.
- Silent Ponyville has gone on to spawn at least three different fanon continuities, some of which have had a significant influence on the central continuity. Also has a DeviantART group with plenty of fanon works.
- The Pony POV Series has spawned another Discorded Ponies Series fanfic and The Letters To Ponies series.
- Xenophilia has gone on to spawn a significantly large number of other recursive stories.
- Also, Story of the Blanks is referenced as a real occurence in a lot of fanfiction.
- A couple of fics are set after Past Sins, though it's usually just an excuse to use Nyx without being a direct sequel to the story. Reality Checks Nyxverse is very much a sequel.
- Each chapter of The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments is set in the universe of a different pony fanfic. Stories covered so far include Of Mares And Magic, Nightmares Don't Last Forever, The Light Never Goes Out, On a Cross and Arrow, Fallout: Equestria - Pink Eyes, The Best Night Ever and The Immortal Game, and the second April Fools episode takes a turn through several of the author's own other stories. Furthermore, This Platinum Crown (the sequel to The Best Night Ever) is said to treat the events of that chapter as canon.
- Friendship Is Optimal has a group, “The Optimalverse”, for its fanfiction. Several stories also have their own pages, including Friendship Is Optimal Always Say No, Friendship Is Optimal Caelum Est Conterrens, Friendship Is Optimal The Law Offices Of Artemis Stella And Beat and Let's Play: Equestria Online!.
- The Life And Times Of A Winning Pony has its own group to handle spinoffs and derivative works.
- And Hard Reset picked up a fanfic picking up ... um ... somewhere in the mess. Hard Reset 2: Reset Harder splits off on the premise that why should Twilight be the only one who gets the Groundhog Day treatment?
- Topping everything off, we have fanfics about the canon in-universe fanfic that the canon Rainbow Dash was writing in Spike At Your Service.
- Crisis Of Infinite Twilights is a rare one that is a recursive fanfiction that has also created Recursive Fanfictions.
- The story itself includes appears of Faithand Doubt Faith and Abstract Twilight, Nyx, and Lunaverse Twilight.
- It has also caused the creation of several other fics, including ones based on Twiley and Green Lantern Twilight.
- All-American Girl likewise has its own group, with a handful of third-party stories set in its universe.
- The Demesne Of The Reluctant Twilight Sparkle, in addition to being inspired by the denouement of The Princess of Books (with which it is not otherwise in continuity), spawned The Quiet Equestrian, which expands on the civil war subplot.
- The Daria fanfic God Save The Esteem has spawned a prequel, Moving Pictures, as well as numerous other stories up to and including the obligatory lesbian Slash Fic.
- They both started being written at around the same time, so it's more likely that it's two different, but similar series that ended up sharing their continuity.
- The Kim Possible fanfic A Small Possibility, with the author's given permission, has spawned many a Kim/Shego fanfic featuring their spawn from the original, Kasy Ann and Sheki Go.
- The fanfic Strays, hosted in the Young Justice Kink Meme, has several future-fics set to it and attached its thread despite the story still being in its early stages and in the process of being fleshed out. There is also fanart for it, featuring the costume designs for the Batkids' new hero identities.
- This Superjail! one-shot fic is actually a sequel/epilogue to Fix You, written with the original author's given permission of course.
- Phineas and Ferb fandom has a Next Gen Fic pairing that many people have taken to writing fanfic for, Thomas Fletcher (son of Ferb and Vanessa) and Marie Garcia-Shapiro Flynn (daughter of Phineas and Isabella). They have their own Portmanteau Couple Name (Thomarie) and a ton of art for them on DeviantArt. There's even artwork of them signed by the Latin-American voice actors for the show.
- In the Goof Troop fandom, there are several stories based on one fan's extensive mythos surrounding an Alternative Character Interpretation of Bradley Uppercrust's backstory (specifically one that makes him a Jerkass Woobie); Turning Back Time is one such story that seems to be better-known than anything the original author did.