Transplanted Character Fic
aka: Cookie Cutter Fic

"Odd. I didn't think we sporked stories from Fiction Press. I mean, this must be from Fiction Press if it's an original story, and it must be an original story, because it has nothing in common with any existing fandom I've heard or seen. Weird coincidence how two of the characters have names from the Harry Potter series."
beacon80, pottersues

This is an Alternate Universe Fic in which the setting and premise of the original are changed completely, and so only the characters are the same. Sometimes it can lead to an effect like an original fic with the characters from another story pasted in. In fact, sometimes this may be done deliberately: an original story tends to get a lot less views than a fanfic for a popular series, so why not just change your characters' names to increase the readership a tenfold?

Not necessarily a Genre Shift. It can result in a comedy suddenly set in a Sci-Fi setting, or an action series having its character shoved into a high school drama. Superpowered characters may be Brought Down to Normal or unpowered characters may be given new powers.

Compare to Dolled-Up Installment which can have similar results (canon characters seeming out of place in a story) for different reasons. Fanfic authors often want to write about their favorite characters doing something else, where installments may be forced to add/change characters to sell an existing story.

See also Fusion Fic, Film Fic, Period Fic. Often the result of a Universal-Adaptor Cast.


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     Fan Fiction  

  • The grammatically-broken (and now lost) Warhammer 40000 Trouble, when the author suddenly turns To Love-Ru's Unlucky Everydude Chick Magnet into a scheming Magnificent Bastard who's also Properly Paranoid, then adds Warhammer 40,000 just to cement his point. The catch? Considering how the harem story started... Deconstruction ensues. Oh, and his Bromantic Foil is a hardcore fan of W40K.
  • One example is the Lust Over Pendle series of Harry Potter fanfiction by A.J. Hall, a series of suspense/mystery novels using Draco and Neville as a couple solving mysteries, effectively turning them into The Hardy Boys. Magic is hardly mentioned at all, everyone constantly interacts with Muggles and one climax features a "magical" nuclear device that doesn't seem very magical at all. In other words, if you changed the name and dropped what little premise of magic actually included in the story, you'd have a pretty good original novel. With the premise sticking halfway to it, readers keep on forgetting that this is supposed to be a Harry Potter fanfiction even with the names used.
  • Blood of Beauty is a Sonic the Hedgehog Paranormal Romance fanfic, in which the only things related to Sonic are the characters (in their appearances and personalities, as their backstories are changed). It takes place in 1880s America and focuses on Shadow the Hedgehog, a vampire hedgehog living in a vampire village deep in a cavern. He then falls in love with Blaze the Cat, a wealthy mortal living in the outside world.
  • A vast, vast majority of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing fanfiction consists of taking the Gundam Pilots and plopping them into a completely different setting just to facilitate them getting hot and heavy with each other. The number of fics actually dealing with the plot and events of the series, let alone set in the After Colony universe, is a definite minority. Die for Our Ship and Wimpification take care of most of the rest of the canon.
  • How I Became Yours, full stop. The fact that the writer tries to pass off the Disney-esque setting as the one from the show just makes it more jarring.
  • Pretty much any fic with Fire Emblem's Marth turns him into a Possession Sue due to the Fangirl author not playing Shadow Dragon or even doing any research. Roy and Ike suffer from this as well, but it's not as bad.
  • Twilight fanfiction often suffers from this, with writers sticking Twilight names into stories about everything from a Hollywood movie set to the Titanic. Most of these stories also take place in a world where vampires do not exist, oddly enough. Indeed, it's become almost commonplace for authors of well-reviewed all-human fics to pull their stories and remove the vestigial Twilight references in hopes of publishing the stories as original fiction.
    • To put this in context, of the top twenty Twilight fanfics on, nineteen involve no vampires.
  • The Simpsons has plenty of Transplanted Character Fic. Examples include Our Stay With Sideshow (which made the Simpsons kids WW2 evacuees), Maid in Springfield (which aged some of the kid characters up and made them the staff of a New York hotel) and Dystopia (which was set in a Bad Future).
  • This trope is particularly popular in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom, and comes in several flavors to boot. Even in the Fandom's earliest days it was popular to plop the cast into strange settings, like Earth. Then Human in Equestria fics started appearing and were for a brief time loved by the fandom, until they became excuses for Mary Sue-esque self inserts. To rectify this issue, many authors starting putting in various Crossover characters and keeping with the Human in Equestria theme. In a strange version of this Trope, the main cast might not play an incredibly important role if they play one at all, with our transplanted Heros only dealing with living in a world of horses. Instead the Crossover Character will bunk down with an OC or a background Pony, so an MLP fic without any major MLP characters. Today most readers don't read Human in Equestria fics unless they star a Video Game character, a War Hero, or an Astronaut as the human (because Astronauts and War Heros are Cool).
  • Not even The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is immune.
  • Many BIONICLE comedy fanfics feature the characters going to high school or opening a resturant/hotel together.
  • A lot of Redwall fic is original furry fiction put on the fanfic sites to get more reviews. Soulless Shell is a prime example, with the only connection to the Redwall universe being that rats and the other vermin are the evil races. Main character Leif has the ability to shoot laser beams, teleport and turn into a demon, while no magical powers exist in the Redwall universe.
  • There's one Star Wars fanfic that involves a girl from Earth (in which Star Wars does exist) finding out that she's actually a Jedi after her parents die in a car crash, so she's taken to Coruscant to be trained as a Jedi. She befriends Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and later takes them to Earth where Anakin finds out that he will become Darth Vader by looking at the box for the Revenge of the Sith Xbox game. The author later revealed that it was actually an original story that she was writing and attempting to get published about a school for magic.
  • A disturbing number of Pokémon shipping fics include absolutely no Pokemon, even in passing mention, background, or setting. Note that this completely undermines the entire point and title of the franchise. A similar problem is omnipresent to a certain degree in Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Bakugan.
  • Popular series Kingdom Hearts gets this very often. Most of the stories on's front page for it will usually be nothing about the game at all, with practically every character being in an Alternate Universe setting, acting little to nothing like themselves...and gay.
  • Gears And Springs by superstarultra, a Haruhi Suzumiya AU fic in a setting without any supernatural elements or anything to connect it to the source material aside from the character names. Basically, the fic is about a human Yuki who builds a sentient, robotic Ryoko that kills all of Yuki's friends in horrible ways, and Yuki herself is Driven to Suicide.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia fandom, the fics that fall into this trope the most frequently are...not the human AU ones, the majority of which actually at least try to keep the characters IC and their relationships reminiscent of their canon ones, even in High School A.U. (which was actually originated by the author himself!). No, the fics that most often invoke this trope are the ones that do keep the "characters are Anthropomorphic Personifications of nations" premise...but completely rewrite the characters' personalities (often for the worse) for the sake of "historical accuracy" (i.e. "fitting the fanwriters' own ideas about history, even if they directly contradict established APH canon" or even "using 'history' as an excuse to make a character Die for Our Ship or become Ron the Death Eater"), to the point where the characters are essentially national Anthropomorphic Personifications that were created by someone other than the series' author.
    • The most prominent examples of this are the Dark Fics All He Ever Wanted and The Chosen End. It isn't even subjective opinion; the authors themselves have admitted that their fics' characterizations don't match up with the canon ones. In AHEW's case, one of the authors later admitted that they began writing the fic when they didn't have a good grasp on the Hetalia characters and that their characterization of Prussia in particular turned out to not match up with Hetalia canon at all. In TCE's case, the author went on record saying that she wrote the characters differently from canon and even once outright said that she would hate England solely because he was in love with America (and hence a threat to Russia/America, the fic's main pairing) if she wasn't able to pair him out of the way with France...and even with that modifier, you can still sense her dislike of England at various parts of the fic.
    • Although, some human AU fics do qualify as victims of this trope. Birdie and the Beast, a Prussia/Canada Beauty and the Beast Film Fic, is basically a transcript of the movie with the names swapped and changed details, along with the changing of Denmark to be Gaston.
    • Keep in mind also that Tropes Are Not Bad as well in that there are also a good deal of fics out there (whether the human or personified AU kind) which manage to pull this off fairly well at least. Grey Skies Over London for instance keeps America and England's personalities intact while building over them as the Alternate History surrounding them changes even further.
  • There are several AU fics which depict non-human characters as humans. Most of these depict those characters as high school students.
  • While The Return is very well written and interesting, it has almost nothing whatsoever to do with its ostensible sources, Ranma ˝ and Sailor Moon. The Ranma elements suffer from changed setting and skillset, and all the characters' personalities being utterly destroyed and transformed into something other in-story, while the Sailor Moon characters come out with personalities and abilities more or less intact, but story tone so dark as to make it almost unrecognizable.
  • Similarly, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is a great story, but Ranma's been drastically changed by having almost literally been through hell, and the 'parallel' universe that the Sailor Moon characters are from is a dark Urban Fantasy complete with gods, mages, vampires, werewolves, and airships, with only lingering archetypal resemblances to the source material.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: The Altimate Rewrite is not so much an attempt at passing an original story off as a fanfic as it is the writer's attempt to improve on the original by making extensive changes to just about every element of the game's setting, characters, and plot. The result is, in any case, very far removed from its source material.
  • InuYasha fandom has produced a lot of High School A.U. stories in which the non-human, half-human, and spiritually gifted human characters that frequently have somewhat greusome fights to the death with various forces become perfectly ordinary high school students with the typical concerns and problems of such students.
  • The Homestuck fandom has spun off all sorts of bizarre AUs with little resemblance to the original other than the names and descriptions of characters. High school, noir, asylum, cop drama, you name it. A particularly bizarre example would be Homestuck High, which turns rapidly from a High School A.U. into a mishmash of battling demons and terrible porn.
    • One popular fanfic pitted John as a Humongous Mecha pilot against the rude alien child soldier Karkat in a setting inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion; another popular AU used by many different authors makes the trolls into a cute pet race owned by the humans.
  • The entire 'uberfic' movement within the Xena fandom quite often (but not always) even did away with the names of the canon characters, and simply wrote original fiction with characters who archetypally resembled Xena and Gabrielle. Many of these stories did go on to be published as small-press fiction. If you encounter a lesbian romance that features a strong dark-haired woman with a painful past and an innocent blonde who believes in helping others and has had an unsatisfying relationship with an ex-or-dead husband, you've probably found an Uber.
  • The Pokémon fanfic author StaraptorEmpoleon is infamous for taking this trope to its logical extreme: it's not uncommon for her to change everything about the Pokémon characters, often up to and including their names, to the point that it often seems like the only thing they have that's connected to their canon selves is their star pokemon (if that)!
  • Overwhelmingly common in Cardcaptor Sakura fanfiction. Many fic summaries boil down to "Sakura is X, Syaoran is Y, Z happens, will love result?". Several authors have admitted to not reading or watching more than an episode of the canon, basing their fics primarily on other fics.
  • No Hoper which throws Light Yagami into the The House of Night universe.
  • Quite a few The Lion King "crossovers" are like this. The author simply takes the characters from another show or movie and have them run through the Lion King plot. In fact, many (if not all) Disney fanmake fics are like this.
  • A Happy Dream zigzags this. The core premise of the original series (magical girls and witches) aren't real... but they are the subject of a ton of Mythology Gags, culminating in a circus resembling Walpurgisnacht and staffed by humanized versions of the witches. The characters also go back and forth in terms of characterization; Homura in particular seems to be something of an unusual synthesis of her two personalities in the original.
  • Touhou doujin. An example: a doujin that takes place in normal world, the main character is Youmu, and she is doing some errand for her landlady(?) Yuyuko. In doing so, she meets a lot of Touhou characters doing normal things that normal people do. For example, Eirin is running a drug store. The doujin would have made a very poignant philosophical discourse about the impermanent nature of everything. (In Japanese, they call this mono no aware.) It should be noted that this is almost a majority of Touhou doujinshi.
    • This doesn't just apply to text and manga-based fanfiction, either. There is at least one game where Reimu is a spy in a Cyber Punk-themed outside world, without magic, and acts similar to Solid Snake and other characters from Metal Gear.
  • Sailor Moon fandom triggered rants about the frequency of the UsaMamo AU Romance, transplanting the characters into cookie-cutter romance novel situations.
  • Origin Story is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Power Girl crossover, and yet it takes place in the Marvel Universe.
  • Maleficent fanfics are often transplanted character fics. As the film is a fairytale, this works better than with most other settings; fairytales being more about the interactions between characters than about the setting. Stefan does something horrible to Maleficent? No problem, as the original incident was meant to be a rape metaphor anyway. Maleficent saves Diaval, which causes him to become her servant? Just make him jobless and broke, so she can give him a job. And so on. The only plot element that gets dropped in the transplantation is usually the curse, as that doesn't really work in the real world. However, there are exceptions; Your Servant, Mistress includes the curse as some angry words spoken by a deeply hurt woman - it remains to be seen whether there'll be a placebo effect or self-fulfilling prophecy. And of course there are also fics that transplant the characters into a different magical universe.
  • The Naruto fanfic Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox has none of the mystical jutsu, summoning magic, tailed beasts, and other ninja elements of the canon series, instead putting the characters in a (mostly) High School A.U. where the only elements that are truly outlandish are the rampage by the Nine Terrors in the backstory, the secret-agent aspects that appear midway through the story, and the fighting against a criminal syndicate by the teenage protagonists, not to mention the artificial intelligence the Terrors were scientifically imbued with.
  • Web Animation commonly does this as a joke and/or a sort of animation test; both on YouTube and Newgrounds, taking the audio from a scene in a movie or TV show and animating it with characters from a video game is rather popular. For one example: "Robot Hell" from the Futurama episode "Hell is Other Robots", redone on YouTube using the Team Fortress 2 mercs.
  • Red is an interesting case which takes the characters (roughly) from Naruto, the start of the plot outline and Marcus Zusak's uniquely idiosyncratic writing style from The Book Thief, smashes them together into a more or less original setting that is neither one nor the other, and heads off in a original direction. Sakura stands in for Liesel, Naruto for Rudy, Sasuke for Max and so on, Konoha is not a village of ninjas but a country resembling WWII-era Germany, and Germans and Jews are replaced by 'Leaves' and 'Reds'. The result is certainly unique.


  • Alphaville is a science fiction film set at some point in the future, starring Lemmy Caution, a character from a series of 1950s detective films.


  • The wildly-successful Fifty Shades of Grey erotic romance trilogy was ascended from a Twilight Transplanted Character Fic called "Master of the Universe", with Ana originally being Bella, and Christian originally being Edward.

     Live-Action Television  

  • Some versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Parody.
  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Sub Rosa" was initially pitched by a freelance writer, later developed into a story credit by Jeri Taylor and a teleplay by Brannon Braga. Many felt the final product was basically the Anne Rice novel The Witching Hour - only with Doctor Crusher and a Techno Babble "ghost." Taylor denied Rice's novel as the inspiration, instead saying they were simply doing an homage to The Innocents movie and utilizing various gothic tropes.

     Western Animation  

Alternative Title(s): Cookie Cutter Fic