Selective Squick

The major danger of being a Periphery Demographic is the jarring effect when the story pulls a trope or situation that severely annoys or creeps you out, either knocking you out of the lull or simply reminding you that the major target demographic probably doesn't include you. Meanwhile, this does not seem to bother the other demographic in the least, much to your confusion.

Sometimes it's just that the other fan segment is too old or too young to pick up on specific themes, or are simply so used to such devices that it doesn't bother these 'veterans'. Maybe the wish-fulfillment aspect of the series is just very specific and you're overthinking it to creepier conclusions.

Whatever the reason, be careful if you're new to the genre, because whining about it on the Internet can earn you a sharp dismissal for complaining about a show that's not really for you. This is not to say being a side-fandom is bad, just that it often requires you to take things with a slightly bigger grain of salt.

Occasionally, if a genre becomes popular enough with the side fandom, a premise more or less exclusive to the original one is made just for them, naturally remedying any Selective Squicks ... for them, anyway.

Meta Examples:

  • Male Frontal Nudity, or any form of male nudity really, is the definitive example of this. On this very wiki, count just how many times this is counted as Fan Disservice. Did anyone actually ask female viewers their opinion about male nudity? No. Most denouncers of Male Frontal Nudity believe that it's gross pandering to gay males, because apparently women only watch Chick Flicks and aren't interested in the male body.
    • Another case: Nudity of very young children isn't a big deal in Japan, so fans watching a children's anime like GaoGaiGar might not expect Mamoru arriving on Earth completely nude.
  • Likewise, many male viewers who think Girl-on-Girl Is Hot will quite vocally denounce its brother trope and the women who enjoy it. The reverse can obviously occur as well, but this is more likely to be reaction to percieved double standards, such as love scenes between two women being far more common and explicit than between men.
    • The tropes A Threesome Is Hot and No Bisexuals are closely connected to this. A Threesome Is Hot is only hot is it's 2 girls/1 guy. The 2 guys/1 girl variation is vanishingly rare in comparison because of the above bullet and because it's a female sexual fantasy, not a male one. No Bisexuals purports that bisexuality only exists among women, never among men which, by all accounts, is absolutely not Truth in Television at all.
  • But Not Too Gay. Heterosexual couples can involve themselves in all manner of romantic and sexual scenes, but same-sex relationships tend to be downplayed in mainstream media.
  • Fanservice in video games is a...touchy subject, to say the least. When it's aimed at men, female gamers complain. When it's aimed at women, male gamers complain. And in franchises in which the fanservice is more or less equal-opportunity (SoulCalibur, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, etc.), half the fanbase will inevitably complain about those parts of the game intended as fanservice for the other half.


  • This is part of the reason why a very vocal female Star Control II fan created the Secret Theater. If you can have virtual sex with the gorgeous, humanoid, initially strictly platonic (or so she pretends) Commander Talana, why can't you do the same with Admiral ZEX, who's not attractive by most human standards but is smitten with you immediately? Or, put another way: Talana Squicks almost no one, unless you consider the Unfortunate Implications that she may be sleeping with the captain because he is able to save her people; ZEX is a Squick factory to most fans but a trans-human lust object to others.
  • Gravitation's fantastic soundtrack attracted a lot of fans who'd rather you didn't mention the gay.
  • The (90% female) Western fandom for ×××HOLiC is known to complain about the manga's focus on female characters and the relative lack of focus on the subtext between the male leads, though this becomes rather silly once you realize that in Japan the series is classified as seinen — as in, targeted at young-to-middle-aged men — so of course the focus will be on girls and much less on the subtext between the males.
  • Similarly, the wave of Periphery Demographic Yaoi Fangirls who joined the Mobile Suit Gundam fandom in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing have an intense dislike for Relena and similar characters who "get in the way" of the slash.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: "Having people who are countries: okay. Having them be gay? TOO MUCH!"
  • Cardcaptor Sakura was mostly okay on the relationships until you get to the adult teacher who gets engaged to his fourth-grade (and later fifth-grade) teacher's pet, and this is viewed as healthy (they are in fact the most stable romantic relationship in the whole series).
    • This is CLAMP. Love is love in pretty much any way, according to them.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Kaori Yuki may very well be the queen of Author Appeal. We learn through her different series and short stories about her appreciation for tomboys, cross dressers, androgynous men, nicely endowed women, underage boys, and BDSM. The one thing she's said she thinks is disturbing is Lolicon. Her Lolicon characters so far have been portrayed as fat, old perverts, creepy Otaku, and a college student who attempts rape.
  • A Dance with Rogues, the Neverwinter Nights module. As the page on this wiki says, it's both Darker and Edgier and Hotter and Sexier. It's also very well made, being the mature rather than silly kind of Darker and Edgier (except where that overlaps with the other thing). So you can play it plausibly as an unusually poignant and immersive role-playing experience where you get to experience, not being a generic, powerful game protagonist who's guaranteed to beat any aggressor of your own level, but a lone woman in a dangerous and sexist environment where, initially, even walking the streets is threatening. But then you may find you're not the intended audience after all, because the module likes to feast with sexual situations you may be forced into (not if you're really being molested, presumably because not even the author would like that), and apparently thinks that when you're being harassed at every turn, you'll definitely want your armour to be totally Stripperific.
  • Visual Kei:
    • It's assumed that most fans are either female or men who appreciate or are at the very least not offended by ambiguous gender, male-male Fanservice, and many other things that would send most homophobes into a frothing rage. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, leading to squicked homophobic fans of the genre or the band in question lashing out at not only the fanficcers and fanartists, but occasionally at an innocent comment to "defend the band members' honor", (since in their view honor = straightness) or even at the band itself.
    • The latter variety has actually been made somewhat less common with YouTube and other video sources, by allowing fans to see a band along with hearing it, along with somewhat increased recognition that homophobia and transphobia aren't cool. This sort of reduces the amount of "I can't believe such an ugly gay can play like that-" type of reactions from everyone other than outright Trolls for newer bands...
  • Haruhi Suzumiya's treatment of Mikuru is:
  • Some parody this by adopting an exaggerated Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? stance.
  • Batman Forever and Batman & Robin: The fans threw fits about the Bat-nipple suits, but "nobody" complains about the catsuit in the latter. Well, it doesn't have nipples.
  • Twilight. Some people are creeped out because Edward's 100, some people don't like the abusive undertones, some people don't like that S. Meyer claims to be a feminist when Bella does nothing proactive, and some people put pictures of Edward on the ceiling above their bed.
  • The Buffy/Angel relationship in the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was creepy for the same reasons as the Bella/Edward relationship in Twilight . He's obviously a lot older and more experienced than she is, and-unlike Edward- has also tortured and raped a number of women (albeit in his soulless form). Pretending to be divided on the subject on the morality of about the matter seems a little manipulative and creepy, since he's the one who has had centuries to practice relationships. Also, the whole tortured-soul-who-needs-to-be-rescued-by-romance-and-sex seems like too good way to get naive girls into bed. The old "Anne Rice Routine", as another character described it in-universe.
  • As noted on the Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female page, a popular Double Standard is the idea that the rape of a woman by another woman is not "real" rape, and so it becomes this. Women don't have penises to rape with so it "doesn't count", so regardless of how one might feel about rape scenes in general, female-on-female rape is the exception.
  • For many people, horrific violence at a young age is just fine, but sex is not. For instance, in the setting of Naruto, 12 year olds have to deal with potentially life threatening missions, and can participate in an exam that involves a survival test where people are expected to die (by participants killing each other), followed by a tournament where more people may die. And on passing said exam they'll have to take responsibility for their teammates' lives. Lots of fanfic writers don't seem to find any issue with writing about that, but balk at the idea of the characters having consensual sex (sometimes explicitly made clear in the author's comments) and resort to reaching the timeskip as quickly as possible, or just inexplicably bumping the characters in age. Can be a Justified Trope because of censorship laws in the author's region, or just because the author wants fap material and finds twelve-year-olds unattractive, but the killing being okay is still a bizarre contrast.
    • This occurs even if the characters are adults. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' "Hot Coffee" scandal comes to mind, where hackers on the PC version were able to unlock a mini game where CJ has sex with his girlfriends after being invited inside for "coffee" after a date. Despite the fact that the game's main character is a career criminal who regularly commits acts of theft, vandalism, and murder, Moral Guardians flew into a rage when they found out the adult CJ has consensual sex with his adult lover in a game that was not intended for children in the first place.
  • Foreign Queasine in general - Some foods that are commonplace or only slightly unusual in one culture can be repulsive members of another. For example, Iron Chef fans on both sides of the Pacific can name examples from the various versions of the show.
  • This Not Always Right post.
  • Many male viewers tend to bash bishonen in anime, calling them "gay" , ugly, effeminate or repulsive while not batting an eye at females being tomboyish or having big breasts.
  • That Guy with the Glasses, despite very likely having more straight males watching them, caters to the ever-growing female demographic without regret or shame. This came to a head with The Nostalgia Critic's stripperiffic costume and panty shot in Suburban Knights; while fanboys demanded that one of the women should show her breasts as "compensation", the fangirls were overjoyed and everyone on the commentaries (including Doug) lampshaded the Fanservice aspect.
  • Homestuck:
    • The comic has a large amount of fans into it for its Young Adult Literature elements (an exciting and unpatronising story about drama surrounding a cast of quirky teens) who are alienated by its forays into the Black Comedy and Trolling that characterised Andrew Hussie's earlier work, and are constantly frustrated that the story doesn't take itself seriously enough. Conversely, there are also fans who are into it for the Dark Comedy and Trolling who are put off by the Ship Tease moments, characters becoming increasingly obvious parodies of Homestuck fans, the general level of non-sexual Fanservice, and how the story takes itself far too seriously.
    • On a format level, it attracts many readers in their early teens who are far too young to remember the Adventure Game format that Homestuck pastiches, and these readers have a notoriously terrible time forcing their way through Act 1 (which is mostly about a video game character solving trivial puzzles and failing to operate his inventory).
    • This trope as a phenomenon is spoofed in comic with Mindfang's journal, which is written in a florid style with lots of deviations into a weirdly sexual tone, parodying how weird it is for people who aren't familiar with the tropes of Fan Fic to click on a story that seems interesting and find that even the innocuous scenes are full of Perverse Sexual Lust.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Fan reactions to Rei and Kaworu are interesting. Anno tried to invoke Uncanny Valley with both of them, but they have a major Misaimed Fandom. Generally speaking, male fans find Rei attractive and Kaworu disturbing, and the reverse is true for female fans.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The New Doctor Who deals quite frequently with the love life of the Doctor, as well as casting known gorgeous actors to play him and generally making his character Hotter and Sexier - not that some of the Classic Doctors weren't also quite hot, but most were never allowed to do anything about it. Some fans are inherently put off by the idea of the Doctor being in any way a romantic hero, but the reasons are different: Some people object to it on the grounds that the Doctor is much older and more powerful than any of his love interests ever are, that he constantly throws them into danger, and inevitably abandons them; some LGBT Fanbase elements object to it on the grounds that the reason they like the show so much is that the No Hugging, No Kissing of the Classic series meant the Doctor's sexuality is up for interpretation, or at least not constantly shoved down their throats when they're trying to enjoy the monsters; and some people simply grew up watching the show when they were under ten and feel the character should be under Contractual Purity.
    • A large part of the show's balancing act is trying to keep both child and adults entertained. Both these demographics complain vocally about anything aimed at the other half - a lot of children wish there was less kissing and inscrutable drama, and a lot of adults wish the show was better able to deal with Darker and Edgier material than it currently can. Fortunately, these two groups of fans are generally Not So Different and can bond happily over their love of gore and Dark Comedy.
      • The family show problem was the strongest problem at the time of William Hartnell's tenure, which hadn't quite figured out a formula yet and so veered schizophrenically in tone between stories aimed at younger children (such as "The Chase", "The Celestial Toymaker" and "Planet of the Giants"), stories aimed at older children ("The Web Planet", "The Keys of Marinus"), teenagers ("The Romans", "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", "The Myth Makers") and adults ("The Crusades", "The Massacre", "The Aztecs"). Excited children would tune in hoping for People in Rubber Suits and instead get a very heavy historical about political maneuvering and religious intolerance - while excited adults would tune in hoping for a rich and serious story and instead get a bunch of aliens in incompetent costumes falling over for cheap laughs. This resulted in the show being retooled to focus on pure science fiction with a Monster of the Week formula, with the tone much less variable and focused on creating Multiple Demographic Appeal within the same story rather than between stories - fun monsters for children, strong plots and witty writing for older children, and overarching themes (and Parent Service) for adults. Contemporary newspaper letters pages do contain adults writing in with wishes that Doctor Who was aimed exclusively at them, though...
      • One of the many things that caused Tom Baker's friction with his directors towards the end of his tenure was that he strongly prioritised child fans (his favourites) over adult fans, and would Bowdlerise scripts, insert unscripted physical comedy and cheesy jokes, simplify plotlines, and refuse to accept any questioning about how it would come across to adults. On the plus side, he was an undisputed master of this and most adult fans find his antics very entertaining to watch, even while rolling their eyes over the tone shift.
    • Some groups of adult fans love the clean but dark feel of the show and reject Expanded Universe material with adult content, such as the New Adventures novels and the darker Big Finish stories - a major comment in reviews of Torchwood's first series was that it was at its best doing either good old-fashioned Doctor Who-type stories or absolutely grisly erotic horror stories, but when it combined Doctor Who monsters and tone with a ton of added onscreen sex and swearing it was just embarrassing. Fortunately, the showrunners of Torchwood figured this out and made sure that Season 2 onwards mostly stuck to either extreme of the purity scale.
  • The makers of RWBY were careful to censor out any and all swear words. Even though the plot centers around a fifteen-year-old girl attending military school who regularly slices up monsters like sushi. Even though one of her classmates is an ex-terrorist. And her older sister Groin Attacks someone offscreen. But swear words are just not okay.
    • This is becoming more and more averted with each season, with uncle Qrow letting out an occasional swear when he's on screen in season 3. The series getting consistently darker with each season helps.
  • Game Mods, fanfics or requests to make a cannonicaly straight character bi or gay are generally met with positive reactions. Don't EVER think of making those to make cannonicaly gay character straight if you don't want to receive numerous flames and to be accusd of homophobia or bi erasure.

Alternative Title(s): Double Standard Squick