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Spoilers for RWBY follow. You have been warned.

Non-Crossovers

  • Prequels focusing on Team STRQ are very common, usually focusing on the team during their years at Beacon leading up to Raven's departure and Summer's death.
  • Plenty of fanfics like to focus on having Jaune Arc be the protagonist, typically making him more badass and/or making him a Chick Magnet in the process.
  • Alternatively, Jaune's romantic obliviousness will be ramped up alongside all the other characters falling in love with him, resulting in conversations with hilarious misunderstandings.
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  • Stories focused on OCs tend to either have an entire other team join Beacon, or if just a singular character, have Ozpin find Jaune's forged transcripts and kick him out, making room.
  • Fics where the characters form different teams than in canon.
  • Fics where Weiss is forced into an Arranged Marriage by her abusive father, prompting a lot of tears and romantic angst with whoever her love interest happens to be (usually Ruby). note 
  • Yang and Ruby being revealed as biological cousins instead of half-sisters, with Qrow as Ruby's birth father. Alternatively, fics revolving around the Family Relationship Switcheroo itself, without either of them knowing.note 
  • Ruby being betrayed by her loved ones, leaving, and joining sides with someone else.
  • After Roman was eaten by a Grimm in a fight with Ruby, many fanfics have Neo going after Ruby in revenge. As of volume 6, Neo canonically is out for revenge, though her first target was Cinder instead of Ruby.
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    • While on the topic on the Betrayal Fic. Some other characters besides Ruby can be as prominent to this. The RWBY team as a whole can be subjected to the Betrayal Fic (wheter be one of them or the whole team). Also same goes for Jaune Arc, leader of Team JNPR, though equally/more than prominent as Ruby Betrayal Fanfics.
  • There are many Peggy Sue fanfics themed around stopping Pyrrha's death in Volume 3.
    • More generally, Peggy Sue fics where a character (usually an older Jaune or Ruby) comes back to prevent a Bad Future where Salem won. Depending on the fic, they got to the past (i.e., the show sometime before Volume 3) intentionally and with a plan already in mind or accidentally stumbled upon a method of time travelnote  and decide to just roll with it.
  • Yang and/or Ruby suffering from Half-Sibling Angst.
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  • Role reversal stories are common, the most common ideas being Ruby serving Salem, Yang being part of the Branwen tribe, Weiss being a more subservient heiress to Jacques, and Blake having never left the White Fang or Adam.
  • Either Ruby or Yang being killed, prompting the existing sibling to look for revenge (often in a self-destructive manner).
  • Either the White Fang or Adam specifically going after Weiss. This is especially common in both Ruby/Weiss and Blake/Weiss pairings.
  • Quite a few fics revolve around the idea of Cinder and Pyrrha having to share a body after Cinder kills Pyrrha. Sometimes Amber is involved as well.
  • Accidental Marriage fics wherein Jaune and one of the female cast end up getting drunk one night, and wake up the following day from the subsequent blackout having somehow gotten married. These fics appropriately tend have "Drunken Marriage" somewhere in the title, and are naturally comedic (or least lighthearted) in tone. Bonus points if the wedding night resulted in a pregnancy.
  • A concept that saw a spike in popularity after Weiss Reacts is where the cast will be put in a theater setting to "watch" themselves be put in different scenarios based on existing works and comment on it, a'la Mystery Science Theater 3000. With a few exceptions, Jaune serves as the lead in these vignittes (and to that end, won't be in the audience).
  • The idea of Faunus having "mating cycles" and going into heat pops up a lot. While actual heatfics are almost exclusively porn (though with some notable exceptions), references to the phenomenon are common in other fics.
  • Winter having an unplanned pregnancy with either Qrow or Ironwood.
  • A Coming-Out Story where a character is transgender. Ruby, Blake, Jaune, Pyrrha, Nora, Qrow, and Oscar are the most common characters used.
  • Weiss suffering from A-Cup Angst.
  • Upon their first meeting, Weiss tries to get Pyrrha to team up with her, rightfully seeing the championship fighter as one of the strongest of the prospective students. Many fans take it that Weiss is romantically interested in Pyrrha, even though she never bothers Pyrrha again after the teams are formed. A few fanworks take it even further and portray said interest as obsessive.
  • Emerald, being based off of Aladdin, will steal the Relic of Knowledge and ask Jinn the final question. A common theory for this is that Emerald will ask Jinn about Cinder and whether she actually cares for Emerald.
  • Salem resurrecting Pyrrha as a humanoid Grimm. Shows up in fanart more than fanfic, but it's still a popular idea.
  • Qrow suffering from withdrawal after Going Cold Turkey.
  • Stories with Oscar or another character somehow traveling back in time to before the fall of Beacon have become common.
  • Jaune/Ruby and Sun/Ruby fan-works joking about how similar the boy is to Ruby's father Taiyang. Jaune/Yang fics are more rare (and Sun/Yang fics very rare), but the comparison to Taiyang is still often brought up.
  • A character having a Child by Rape with a villain. This is especially common with Adam and either Weiss, Blake, or Ruby.
  • Since Jaune's Semblance was unknown for so long, many fics center on a hypothetical one, which is usually ridiculously overpowered and often creates the whole plot (especially common with time travel Semblances). After his Semblance was revealed in canon, these fics died down, but they still do happen.
  • Fics about Cinder getting rescued from the Glass Unicorn by some character or other, or sticking it out and actually getting to be a Huntress, sprung up like wildfire after the episode Midnight aired.

Alternate Universes

  • In relation to the above point about Jaune Arc, many AU fics will have Jaune stumble into the AU factor and be a Naïve Newcomer to learn about what's different.
  • Jaune AU fics often have Jaune never getting into Beacon in the first place due to the school rejecting his forged transcripts.
  • AU fics where [Character X] is a Faunus either openly or secretly. Ruby being a wolf faunus, Yang being a lion or dragon faunus, Weiss being a deer or bird faunus, Cardin being any type of faunus, or Jaune having rabbit faunus blood are especially common. Alternatively, AU fics where Blake isn't a Faunus.
    • "Weiss is a Faunus" fics often have the additional twist of her father Jacques also secretly being a Faunus, making him an interesting example of You Are What You Hate.
  • There are many AUs, including normal High School AUs, that involve the characters deciding not to become Huntsmen.
  • AUs where Yang joins the criminal underbelly in search of Raven. This usually involves her teaming up with Neo and Roman, though Junior and the twins might also be her allies.
  • Adopted Ruby AUs, wherein Ruby ends up separated from her family at a young age, either by circumstance or choice, and gets adopted by one of the villain characters (usually Roman) or an OC created by the author.
  • Medieval/Renaissance fics where Weiss is an actual princess. Often will involve the Faunus being enslaved, with Blake having been a slave at one point.
  • Stories featuring the core characters (and maybe a few supporting characters) as being LGBT. Some will take this a few steps further, and have it where you could count the amount of non-LGBT characters on one hand.
  • A lot of fans depict Taiyang, Summer, and Raven's love triangle as a polyamorous relationship, either in the past or in Alternate Universes where Raven didn't leave.
  • AUs where Jaune dies instead of Pyrrha.
  • Bodyguard AU Weiss/Yang fanfics.
  • Betrayal Fics where Jaune is ostracized after he gets kicked out of Beacon.

Crossovers

  • Crossovers where a character gains the titular powerset from The Gamer are also very common. Bonus points if the said character is an OC or Jaune Arc.
  • An entire sub-section of fics can be dedicated to crossovers with Final Fantasy XV, with the main party entering Beacon and Ruby being a Childhood Friend of Noctis (whether they become more than that or remain steadfast best friends varies on the story). The fics often justify the crossover by having Remnant and Eos be the same world with displaced times (usually resulting in Remnant being Eos several years into the future), or with both of them co-existing at the same time.
  • Crossovers with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure will usually give a fair amount of focus to Yang (even if she's not the main character). If the crossover is based around Part 5, Blake will get more focus.
  • Crossing over with franchises that have an 'academy' or 'school' theme (My Hero Academia, Persona 5 or Harry Potter) will often merge Beacon Academy with the other famous school. If not, it will use the New Transfer Student trope to introduce a character to Beacon, or to introduce Team RWBY to the other school.
  • Any crossover that involves one of the other franchises in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, will make plenty of Mythology Gags to the game. However, BlazBlue and Persona tend to have the most crossovers with RWBY due to how the former has many similarities to RWBY, and the latter having a school setting.
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