Wrong Genre Savvy / Fan Fic

  • The Writing On The Wall features Adventurer Archaeologist Daring Do exploring an Ancient Tomb surrounded by metal thorns, with a room full of writing in dozens of long-lost languages. Daring Do believes that the eponymous writing is the same as in every other such edifice she has explored: nothing more than false warnings of a curse intended to scare away superstitious tomb robbers. She is absolutely right that the message is intended to scare away tomb robbers (and everyone else, for that matter). Unfortunately for her, she's wrong about the message being false, and and about the building being a tomb. It's actually an entirely serious warning, and the curse is real, though it's not magical- it's radioactivity. She's not in an adventure story, but a Horror story, and what is inside the building is genuinely dangerous to her.
  • The Pokémon Fan Fic Latias' Journey features an RPG Episode where at one point they get quizzed by a skeleton, and this happens:
    Phanphy: Wait! I saw this on TV once! I know the answer! Is it a Hoennese Swellow or an Orrean Swellow?
    Skeleton: HOENNESE.
    Phanphy: No, you were supposed to say you didn't know, then fall off a cliff.
    Skeleton: YOU WATCH TOO MUCH TV.
  • It's still not entirely certain who's right Genre Savvy in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, but we know Draco isn't the Chessmaster he thinks he is, and Hermione does not in fact seem to be in a romantic comedy. Smart money's on Dumbledore's being wrong that it's a fantasy, and Harry may not actually be right that it's sci-fi (at least not the sort of sci-fi he thinks it is.) When it all shakes out, Dumbledore won by a whisker, having based his entire strategy on a number of accurate prophecies, so he was arguably correct. Harry was almost certainly wrong, but in a way that let him beat Voldemort in the end. Quirrel was... about 90% Genre Savvy, 5% Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, and 5% blindsided by multiple outside context problems. Hermione was wrong, dead wrong... except Harry brought her back from the dead anyway, which is how romance stories work.
  • Otaku Three, Eva Revolution by Jared "Skysaber" Ornstead features a protagonist who deliberately uses Wrong Genre Savvy (along with a lot of information no one else has and a good dose of Mary Sue-ishness) as a weapon to un-deconstruct the Humongous Mecha genre in a Neon Genesis Evangelion timeline.
  • We Just Want to Help You by Jeanne Hedge is a fic where a random fan of Bubblegum Crisis finds herself in the Tokyo of 2035, hurries over to offer to help Ms. Stingray... and gets tranqed and sent to the loony bin when it turns out she's not actually in Bubblegum Crisis, but a relatively close (but significantly divergent) Alternate Dimension.
  • In the Glee fic Hunting The Unicorn, the Warblers call Kurt and Blaine a fairy tale couple when they're a Deconstruction of one.
  • In the Firefly fanfic Forward, a pirate gang that attacks Serenity includes an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who, upon seeing River, thinks that she is the Worthy Opponent suitable to test his skills against, like in most martial arts stories. His mistake becomes apparent when River shoots him twice in the head.
  • In With Strings Attached, in the second part of the Vasyn quest, the four find themselves in what they think is a hollow world/spaceship a la "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". Given what they've already been through, this doesn't scare them, and they figure they know how to proceed. And then they find out they've actually been shrunk and put into a science experiment in someone's basement. That scares them.
  • Team 9 in Imperfect Metamorphosis not only think they're the main characters, but also that they can use The Power of Friendship to help the team member caught in the centre of all the chaos. Unfortunately, this is a Dark Fic filled with Gambit Pileups and Xanatos Speed Chess between ruthless Manipulative Bastards, and their ignorance allows them to be manipulated by and put in the line of fire of two different Eldritch Abominations. Maybe it was a bad idea to make Cirno their leader.
  • In Game Theory (Fan Fic), Nanoha seems to think that she's in a standard magical girl show, that she can win fights by implementing crazy plans and improvising new spells without understanding how the magic works, and that it's okay to risk putting a lot of people in danger for the sake of one person. This is not the case.
  • In the Ben 10 Fan Fic Hero High series, Ben seems to think of himself as a comic book hero who will defeat the bad guy and save the world. Instead he helps the bad guy to save the world and said guy gets off Scott free from his crimes. Also many of the Original Characters seemed to be driven to show Ben that he has a case of Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • In the A Certain Magical Index fic Wintertime, when Kagun Kihara accidentally walks in on Marian Slingeneyer bathing in a lake, he steals her clothes, thinking this will give him power over her. She coldly informs him that she is a Dvergr, not a swan maiden or selkie. He was lucky she decided not to kill him.
  • Naruto:Asunder: Minato and Kushina seem to be under the impression that just because they're back in 15 year-old Naruto's life, they can be a family again and The Power of Love can absolve them for sealing a demon in him and making him an orphan. Naruto's response is as you'd expect from any normal person. In his words:
    "What's the point of having me if you both were going to sacrifice me anyway! You know what, I made it 15 years without you and I definitely don't need you now. I want nothing to do with you."
  • In the Harry Potter Peggy Sue From the Flame to the Spark we have a side character who thinks he is the protagonist of a superhero comicbook. He really, really isn't.
  • In Perfection Is Overrated, Midori, like in Mai-HiME, realizes that the conflict the Himes are involved with is not quite like the animes she's used to, although she learns to adjust, and mostly keeps her team together. The SUEs are largely driven by the belief that everything will go their way just like in fics in which they are the main character, not realizing that their actions are considered unreasonable and immoral by most people's standards, or that they will lead to their downfall.
  • Kyoko in the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Fan Fic Have Your Cake And Eat It, after dying and going to the the afterlife for magical girls created by Madoka, makes the assumption that like in the anime series she's from, their is a more sinister meaning behind this seemingly innocent realm. Normally she'd be right, except she didn't realize she originated from a series where it is possible for idealism to win out, which is the line of thinking the Fan Fic is based around and as such, there is no sinister scheme behind anything.
  • In Hivefled, Lereal thinks that when Karkat and the trolls arrive, it's a clear sign that since the descendants of major rebels have arrived, it's time to take on the oppressors. And to be fair, there are a lot of stories where that would be true, but unfortunately, Lereal hasn't realised that it's not his story, it's Gamzee's, and the Sufferist rebellion is merely a backdrop- and so when Lereal takes the cultists to rise up against the oppressors, they all get slaughtered horribly, excepting one ship of mutineers and Karkat's ship.
  • When Dave arrives at St Lobaf in Brainbent, he acts as though he's in some kind of political drama or crime show- having been removed from his home because it was a terrible place to raise a child and his brother was a very unfit parent, he refuses to say anything, believing that if he talks about his life, it will be used against his brother in the upcoming hearing. After a while, he realises that he's in a dramedy, and more specifically, the hospital is genuinely trying to help him.
  • RE-TAKE: Shinji assumes he's in a Peggy Sue Fix Fic where most of the Evangelion series was All Just a Dream that showed him the future and his knowledge of the future can easily prevent all the problems that occurred in the regular series. He's dead wrong, as his actions to save Asuka lead to Rei committing suicide. Later he finds that what he saw was no dream, it was real memories and his actually possessing the Shinji of an alternate timeline without realizing it.
  • In Harry Potter and the Natural 20, Milo, a young wizard and adventurer from Dungeons & Dragons, is sent to the Harry Potter verse. Despite the different rules of magic and society, he treats everything as if he were still on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and always expects everything to follow Dungeons & Dragons rules. He thinks Cornelius Fudge is The Archmage just because he is the leader of the wizards when he is really an elected official and a doofus.
  • Homestuck:
    • In Our Queen Has Met Her Doom, Eridan thinks himself the protagonist of an old-fashioned romance novel: that he's the brave warrior who wins the beautiful princess's hand, that she will forgive him anything because she loves him, and that his romantic rival is villainous and pathetic. He couldn't be more wrong.
    You saw parades and portraits and grand balls and grand battles and a beautiful love and a history that would last forever, but what you got was a chainsaw to the torso.
    She laughed, and the world trembled. "My poor darlings, poor things. You sought to slaughter my monster, my mother. For I am what she is."
  • Many, many times in the First Try Series
    • Sasuke assumes that Naruto was Obfuscating Stupidity all his time at the Academy. He recalls how many of Naruto's pranks and failures at the Academy would take out Chunin and that Naruto would say he was "joking" and assumes that Naruto graduated the first chance he got. He is wrong, as Naruto was genuinely joking and passed on accident.
    • Sakura assumes Naruto killed Iwa Genin simply because they prevented him becoming a Chunin when they in fact maimed and/or killed his teammates and is under the impression Naruto is due for a psychotic break due to his extreme irritability, restlessness and snappishness when he is forced to work with her and Sasuke. Naruto is irritable and snappish because he forced to work with people he hatesnote  and is held back from promotion until they can catch up or until he gets the first chance to ditch them.
    • Mizuko Sanbashi, a Kiri nin who was a proctor for the Kiri Chunin Exams was able to deduce with limited evidence that Naruto was the Kyuubi Jinchuriki, but believes that Naruto's parents died protecting him from the Yondaime to stop him from taking their son. In First Try: Team Tetsuo, he believes that Naruto and his team were on a mission to get rid of an upstart ninja village (rather than stumbling into the scenario), covering it up by hiring Zabuza and his cohorts.
    • All the villages assume when Sarutobi is enacting an education reform and allowing past Genin-candidates to retake the exam that Konoha is re-militarizing and that he figured out their plans.
  • Sonic and friends in Sonic X: Dark Chaos go off into space expecting a wild adventure to get the Chaos Emeralds back and stop Tsali. It isn't until later that they realize just how messed up the galaxy really is and how much they are outmatched.
  • Ra's Al Ghul is the only one to realize a connection between Alexander Harris and The Leviathan in A Spark of Genius. After realizing that Sparkbucks coffee (a franchise that supplies 100% of the world's coffee products and over 90% of the world's caffeine) is run out of a small Montana town that Xander owns and uses the same teleporter technology as The Leviathan to transport it's goods, he naturally assumes that Xander is funding The Leviathan in exchange for using his teleporter technology. In reality, Xander, The Leviathan, and the Grey Knight (allegedly The Leviathan's demon hunting cousin) are all the same person.
  • In a thematically appropriate work like SCP Foundation or canon X-COM, Dr. Vahlen's assumption that the adorable, powerful alien is out to eat your face would be correct, and her hostility and paranoia would be justified. But Stardust is not canon X-COM, and Twilight Sparkle is a genuinely friendly alien.
  • The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum's depiction of the Human Liberation Front seems to have escaped from Warhammer 40,000 or X-COM; it believes firstly that mankind must show no mercy in the Hopeless War with the invading ponies, and secondly that human ingenuity will eventually save the day, with anyone who dares collaborate with the aliens being a Black Shirt and Category Traitor. In truth, it's nothing like that; while the setting is far from sunshine and rainbows, neither is it immutably, hopelessly unsalvageable. The other La Résistance group, the Ponies For Human Life, which is a group made up of official military and Equestrian defectors, is actually doing far better than the HLF's own dogmatic, extremist, xenophobic methods, and they're using both magic and human technology in the fight against the Solar Empire.
    • There's also the character of Inkwell from the Calm Before the Storm side story. He starts off as an aspiring Intrepid Reporter who thinks his work with the Ponies for the Ethical Treatment of Newfoals (PETN) will make him into some kind of brave whistleblower that will bring about change and better living conditions to the newfoals living in the Solar Empire. But not only does he discover that the real picture is far murkier (namely that the newfoals aren't being abused so much as TCB!Equestria is very dreadfully unprepared to support such an enormous population boom, and to say nothing of how the newfoals are the definition of Extreme Doormats and what the potion does to their minds), but that the Solar Empire is taking pages from Literature/{{1984}} and does not take kindly to people asking too many questions.
    • The PETN as a whole seems to think that they're in a straight Conversion Bureau story. Their leader Fleur De Lis genuinely believes that the Solar Empire is a flawed-yet-mostly good society like Canon!Equestria, and that Newfoals are sapient beings being mistreated by native ponies because of prejudice. In reality, the Solar Empire is, well, The Empire and Newfoals are Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul to the extreme, to the point where they're nothing much more than Technically Living Zombies programmed to be fanatics for Queen Celestia's cause. She learns better when her newfoal servants discover that her husband Fancy Pants is a member of the PHL. Not only do they kill him, they attempt to abort Fleur's unborn foal because it's the child of a "betrayer".
  • Rei and maybe the Scouts are like this in the Code Mars Trilogy. When Rei arrives, she believes Lelouch or Zero is the new Ultimate Evil with the Black Knights as his horde of minions to do his bidding. It makes sense due to the dark themes the original Sailor Moon villains had and Black Knight's structure being similar to those same groups. Too bad, this isn't Sailor Moon. It takes her to unconsciously agree with Zero on many occasions, get pulled in as a Double Agent for Kyoto, explore the morality of the two sides, realizes the REAL better of those same sides, and suffer great trauma along the way to let her know that she's wrong. The other Scouts suffer similar fates.
  • Johnny Joestar in A Different Kind Of Truth. Despite all of the Genre Savvy Johnny shows in combat, when it comes too the overall themes of the Persona-verse he couldn't be more wrong. He seems to think he's in a Dark Age comic book when in Persona 4 Rousseau Was Right is in effect nine times out of ten.
  • Deal with a Devil: Lash makes several mistakes when teaching Harry Potter about magic and other species because she wrongly assumes she's still in the Dresdenverse rather than an entirely new world.
  • The Greatest Generation: Similar to Rossiu, Admiral Shimada's mistake was doing the realistic, tactically sound thing of retreating his beleaguered force rather than staying the course and believing that Yvonne's Million-to-One Chance hope of the Abyssals Failing enough Spot Checks to let Yamato sneak up on them would actually come to pass.
  • In the The Legend of Korra fanfic Book Five: Legends, Temuji believes he can resurrect the dead like he’s in some sort of Mary Shelly novel. He doesn’t succeed. Word of God is that he was never meant to, and that the World of Avatar (in this particular fanfic at least) doesn’t work like that.
  • In the Lord of the Rings fanfic The Game of the Gods every Sue created by Morgoth is this. They tend to die horribly.
  • This Bites!: Cross is completely wrong about what's going to happen on Omatsuri Island due to never seeing the film in question.
    • Captain Sharinguru believes he's a comicbook superhero when he's actually a minor villain. As Conis points out, everyone's the hero of their own story.