Seinfeld Is Unfunny / Fan Works
aka: Fan Fiction

  • The Abridged Series phenomenon. When LittleKuriboh debuted Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, the format of re-editing a series into mini-episodes and the style of quirky, self-referential parody were fairly original and amusing, and while Gag Dubs were certainly not anything new, YGOTAS massively popularized them. Nowadays, there are so many imitators that neither the format nor the humor seem innovative anymore, though this mainly goes for the older episodes, as LittleKuriboh has improved his craft since then.
  • Even then, the Gag Dub and Affectionate Parody of many popular series was already a VERY old trope by the time LittleKuriboh started recording his voice over everything. With the advent (and subsequent popularization) of The Abridged Series, old Adobe Flash movies like "Dragon Ball Z in a Nutshell" and "A Mile a Minute Star Wars" (both considered quite popular and humorous, which use many of the tropes that The Abridged Series now use) now seem like imitators... of poorly done abridged series.
  • Evangelion: ReDeath, being the Ur-Example of abridged series, was hit particularly hard by this trope. When it was first released in early 2000, it was quite the phenomenon, being regularly played at anime conventions and spawning numerous memes. Now, its writing and voice acting are considered to be quite dry compared to the works of Team Four Star (the only group whose works still maintain the level of popularity that ReDeath had), and many modern viewers find it hard to believe how big of a phenomenon this 30-minute short film was over a decade ago.
  • This effect can happen a lot with online fanfiction as well; any particularly well-executed fanfic that takes source material in a new direction is likely to spawn a horde of imitators, rapidly turning the original author's new and innovative take on the source material into a tired cliche. With fanfics that are Long-Runners or suffer from Schedule Slip a story can actually go from innovative to cliched before the author is even done writing it. Of course, an outright parody might not do as much harm as expected, since, after all, it's not the real thing.
    • A lot of older fanfic suffers from this, especially in large, well-trafficked forums like Harry Potter, when a fic that invented or popularised a popular piece of fanon is examined in light of what went after.
  • This is a notable problem with many old Redwall fics, particularly The Urthblood Saga, that deals with the theme of "noble vermin". When these fics where written back in the late 90s/early 2000s, the concept of including good foxes, rats and weasels in a story based on a series that is so strictly black-and-white was fresh and challenging. Nowadays however, it's rare to find a fic that doesn't include it, or that plays the Always Chaotic Evil mantra from the official books straight.
  • A vast majority of Ranma ˝ fanfics written after 1998 or so were built almost entirely upon Fanon established in earlier works by notable authors; the absolute worst case of this being the Flanderization of Akane into a brutally violent, abusive raging bitch with a hair trigger and no rationality whatsoever—which was given legitimacy in the very dark The Bitter End, a story which painted a darker picture of the Ranmaverse and reconstructed this portrayal, with a Freudian Excuse, in the process. After TBE, "psychotic Akane" became one of the biggest cliches in Ranma fanfiction.
    • Also, the amusing parody crossover Sailor Ranko spawned an entire subgenre of Ranma fanfiction.
  • The early Total Drama fanfic, Total Drama Comeback popularized extensive reinterpretation of Ezekiel and pairings with no relation to canon, such as Katie/Noah. These elements have since become standard fare in Total Drama fanseasons featuring contestants from the canon rosters.
  • Harry Potter has inspired one of the most prolific fanfic communities ever. As a result, tons of clichés have formed over the years.
  • In the early day of the Fandom many My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fans liked the ideal that Princess Celestia was really evil or at least a Knight Templar. However soon after, fanfics about her being a Hero with Bad Publicity or The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask woobie started showing up. Now Celestia would be no worse than a Harmless Troll.
    • There are numerous cases of fanfics written early in the life of the fandom that were well-known and popular for being the first to utilize certain ideas, and now come across as rather non-notable in light of everything produced since then:
      • Cupcakes was the fist major MLP Dark Fic with copious amounts of Gorn, and was generally considered the most disturbing thing in the fandom when it came out. Ever since then, there have been an awful lot of grimdark imitators that make Cupcakes look mundane in comparison (Example: Sweet Apple Massacre) and now some people don't find it as scary.
      • Fallout: Equestria was the first epic-scale Door Stopper fanfic to gain real popularity in the fandom. Had it been written after the first few seasons, it would have simply been one among many other similar stories.
  • A Trekkie's Tale. Being the source of the term Mary Sue, people who seek the story out may be disappointed to find that it's extremely short, and a quite basic parody. Then you consider that it was written in the early '70s, when even the idea of fanfic itself was in its infancy.
    • The fact that it was parodying the very things that make up Mary Sue characters, which were already becoming common in Star Trek fanfiction back then.
    • Additionally, the concept of a Mary Sue has changed a lot since the seventies - just as storytelling has. Accusations of Canon Sue are far more common in traditional heroes and even of older works in The New '10s as they were in the seventies and eighties.
  • There are a whole raft of Battlestar Galactica/Stargate SG-1 fics out there in which the Colonials are all portrayed as religious fanatic nutjobs who are offended... OFFENDED, I tell you... that the people of Earth don't immediately throw away their false religions and their stupid ideas of freedom and democracy and join with their ancestral brothers in the worship of the Gods of Kobol and step in line with the military dictatorship that runs the 12 Colonies. It all stems back to one rather well-done story that has since been endlessly copied, in which the Colonials are religious, but they aren't quite that level of fanatic.
  • Peter Chimaera in general. Since his debut, many tried to copy his signature style (mostly inspired by the Digimon trilogy and DOOM: Repercussions of Evil), making him seem unoriginal.
  • In the Digimon Adventure 02 fandom, there are stories in which Davis overhears his friends insulting him, driving him to leave them for some time and go on his own adventure. The first story of this kind was "Walkabout" from the early 2000s, but it worked in those times because, as the author pointed out, most stories of the time either bashed Davis or only made him a hero by having him die a valiant death. As time went on, the fandom began treating Davis more normally.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn is often credited as the first major adventure fic of the Spyro the Dragon franchise, be it classic, legend, or otherwise. When it was posted, it was often considered one of the best fics in the archive, trying a lot of things that have never been done before in it. However, in this day and age where "post-DotD template" fics are so common to the point of being major Snark Bait for most people in the fandom, A New Dawn doesn't seem that groundbreaking.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Specific fanfic-related trends suffer from this. Of note are the fan character Ale and more elaborate takes on stories involving this show.
    • Ale, first and foremost, was a fan character so popular, fans tended to mistake her for a canon character. But then more fan characters with her basic template (often female; wears military outfit or, if not, more complex-looking outfit compared to even the fully-clothed canon characters; can flip out like Flippy; often made as a Self Insert to be with Flippy) show up, and the term "Flippy-sue" is coined as a protest against this practice. Her creator later considered her work as an Old Shame and no longer allowed anyone to involve Ale in their HTF fanworks. Even then, the Flippy-sue trend is still going on as part of Sturgeon's Law, which often tires the fans and is usually the main point raised when criticizing the fanbase.
    • The inverse of the above (Flippy-sues in general) also suffers from this. Back then, jumping on the hate bandwagon was considered a "true fan" thing to do. But consider that the Flippy-sue trend won't die anytime soon thanks to Sturgeon's Law. Eventually, even other fans have become sick of Flippy-sue haters as much as or even more so than the fans that made said characters. In their defense, hating on something that's already inevitable in a fandom is pretty much pointless. Expect "Fandom Nazi" argument when it comes to this.
    • Elaborate stories involving HTF. Back then, this was a popular way of expanding the show in fanworks (see (now-retired) zolrac3005's works as a more popular example, which is helped by his ability to apply that to his near-show-perfect Flash animation). It also helps that the show has (almost) negative continuity, allowing fans to have their freedom in developing their own HTF stories. Fan characters are often involved, but back then they were mostly acceptable (Sturgeon's Law is still strong even back then, however). But Cliché Storm and a flood of poorly-made fan characters occurred, causing fans to complain that said stories made the show look In-Name-Only. Nowadays, fans still have their own takes on complex HTF stories, but it's rare for them to get any sort of praise, even the ones that involve exclusively the canon cast.
    • The idea of human fan characters, while the whole concept results in a Broken Base of its own and regardless whether you support the idea or not, has become this ever since Kenn Navarro confirmed that humans don't exist in the world of HTF.
  • Fanfictions of Evangelion in where shinji is a badass upon arriving to Tokyo-3 (Nobody Dies, Shinji And Warhammer 40 K, to name a few) have fallen out of flavor in recent years due to over-saturation, as well as creator apathy in later on, and many rebuttals to this trend by making people realize how such fics miss the point of Evangelion as a story.

Alternative Title(s): Fan Fiction