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Alternate Universe Fic
aka: Divergence Fic

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All fanfic is arguably an Alternate Continuity, since the audience can assume it intends to follow Canon to a specific point, then branch off. Indeed, the only major fic types that don't branch off are post series Continuation fics and those written to fit neatly into canon, as they don't disrupt the continuity. However, labeling something an AU Fic sometimes has a different implication, where one fundamental aspect of the series is completely overhauled from its point of origin.


The standards for how much is fundamental to the series vary by fandom and by time of writing, but the fic types that are usually considered AU are the following:

  • Contextual Reassignment: When the fundamental aspect that is changed is the world itself. Overt changes in the universe rules and World Building constitute the most universally accepted meaning of AU. Thus, the fan equivalent to an Elseworld. However, there's a lot less tolerance of altering personalities and abilities. These come in two main forms:
    • Familiar Contextual Reassignment: When the characters are taken out of their world and placed in a setting that is fairly familiar to the author and readers - the High School A.U. is especially common, putting characters who would not have met or even existed for years in close proximity during teenage years.
    • Unfamiliar Contextual Reassignment: When the characters are taken out of their world and placed in a setting much more unfamiliar to the author or the reader - for example prison, a Nazi Death Camp, Normandy 1066, or possibly Mars. This is often called a Transplanted Character Fic. Historic examples are Period Fic.
  • What If?: For lesser changes, there are the What Ifs about major events in the series - how 'major' counts as 'major' is debatable. There are two common forms of this.
    • Alternate History: Where the author takes one point of time, one event in the universe and changes the outcome of it radically, such as an important decision, or who won an important fight, and continues from that point. Sometimes called a Divergence Fic.
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    • Character Facets: The author speculates on what would happen if a single facet of a character's environment was different about them, or may blatantly ignore a Word of God statement, for example, what if a character was blind, or had a little brother in the show right from the start.
  • Continuation: There are also the Continuation fics written before the series has finished, which are rendered AU when new episodes in canon contradict the events of the fic. This is more of an Alternate Continuity, as the opening paragraph mentions, but tends to be considered AU too. Retrospectively, these fics become the What If? variation mentioned above, but are written from a different stance. (Harry Potter ficdom was particularly prone to these until after the publication of Deathly Hallows.)

Full-blown AU fic is tricky, as it should require a fair notion of the original series itself, making it harder to read for some casual fans. There's also the major danger of the Transplanted Character Fic, because if you change the plot too much the story's not so much a Fan Fic as an original story with familiar names. On the plus side, rookie fans who might suffer from Continuity Lockout in the canon series because they only found it after it became established may be able to enjoy AU fics, particularly if they actually explain a lot of the universe and don't assume that you know all the important things already. Trying to follow Buffy the Vampire Slayer when you first start watching in its sixth season, with all the Character Development that's taken place up to that point, is a lot harder than cutting your teeth on an AU fic that starts out with the Scoobies in high school and doesn't require any advance knowledge of the setting.


See High School A.U., Coffee Shop AU Fic, and Soulmate AU Fic for particularly common variants. Contrast Elsewhere Fic and Pseudocanonical Fic. Some Fix Fic may take the form of this. See Universal-Adaptor Cast for when the work itself regularly does this. Other types, such as Mary Sue and Crossover fics, are arguably AU too, but don't get counted as such.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Other is a D.Gray-Man Fan Fiction in which Allen wakes up in an alternate world where the Noahs and the Exorcists are close allies. In addition, in this world he's only 12 years old...?
  • Honor Trip is an extensive Dragonball Z fanfiction that chronicles an alternate universe where Cell becomes a hero, & makes amends for his previous deeds.
  • My Little Pony Bizarre Adventures is a My Little Pony, Jojos Bizarre Adventure styled universe where colorful ponies fight with psychic powers called stand to reclaim the Red Stone of Aja.
  • Downfall is a Bleach continuity where Aizen never was the villain, instead Unohana, you know... Team Mom... is the Big Bad. Kyoraku and Ukitake follow her. Nel is Primera. Gin and Ran are Soul Society's resident experts on relationships. Rukia dies.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • HERZ is both an Alternate History and a Continuation Evangelion fic. Third Impact was avoided when Rei chose helping Shinji to get into his giant robot and he hurried to help Asuka, and the proper story begins twelve years after, following the main characters' lives as they face new challenges in a changed world.
    • Evangelion 303: This fic takes the Evangelion characters and places them in an universe similar to the real world where Second Impact did not happen and there is not giant robots or alien monsters. Seele is a secret society that has been manipulating world politics during centuries and has been trying to undermine America’s influence throughout the world. To try to avert Seele's ultimate plan to deal with the USA -named Third Impact-, the USA and Japanese governments put in motion the Black Project Evangelion. As a result of this, Nerv is located in America, the Children are at least twenty-year-old, they pilot war planes instead of Super Robots, and Rei and Kaworu are not Angels.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion R is one example of such a fic, diverging from the canonical timeline at the end of Episode 24 and beginning of the End of Evangelion. Essentially, Gendo anticipates Seele's attack, decides he's not ready for it, and begins a major reconstruction of Tokyo-3 in order to make himself a public hero that is temporarily untouchable. In retaliation, Seele builds a bunch of faux Angels for the purpose of attacking Nerv and initiating Third Impact in a more plausibly deniable way, while also recruiting another human-like Angel (ala Kaworu) to help them. Also, Shinji gets better. As does Asuka. And Rei. And everyone else. Well, almost.
    • RETAKE is perhaps the most popular example amongst the Evangelion fandom. Here, Shinji has a dream which he realizes prophesies the events of End of Evangelion, and resolves to make better choices in order to avoid the bleak outcome of that story. He ends up getting engaged to Asuka and fathering her child. He also learns that it is he — not Kaworu — who is the final Angel, and that his unborn child is half-Angel because of this. While Gendo tries to make Shinji reach his Despair Event Horizon by seemingly letting Asuka die in an Angel attack, Shinji manages to not be as selfish as he was in the original story and defeats the Angels and SEELE without triggering Third Impact. He and Asuka eventually rekindle their romance and live happily ever after.
  • Gregg "Metroanime" Sharp's The Bet is a cycle of stories based around a competition by a group of gods, demons, spirits and the occasional mortal to see who can make the biggest change in one of several "standard" timelines (the canon versions of Ranma ½, Tenchi Muyo!, and Sailor Moon among others) with the smallest alteration. Each entry in "The Bet" is a small Alternate Universe Fic. The Bet inspired many contributors and imitators, and turned Alternate Universe Fics into sort of a cottage industry for Sharp.
  • Naruto:
    • A Fox in Tokyo by Doghead Thirteen is one for Naruto, where the main change is that it's set in the author's Mega Crossover Top Dog universe, which includes a modern-day Tokyo where Nerima is a separate country owned and ruled by Soun Tendo, who is a werewolf. Needs to be seen to be believed.
    • Déjà vu no Jutsu: Someone with military experience and a like for the Naruto series ends up in Minato and Kushina's generation. Cue events drastically altering the Naruto universe to the point where canon is truly and completely dead Danzo and Orochimaru are dead long before the "canon" timeline even begins. Also, world-building and plot-hole filling abounds.
    • Team 8: Something (currently a Noodle Incident) happens in Kurenai's past, and when she is tapped to train a genin team, she goes out of her way to request a specific newly-graduated ninja: Naruto Uzumaki. He thus ends up taking Kiba's place on Team 8 (becoming the teammate of Hinata Hyuga and Shino Aburame), while Kiba goes to take his place on Team 7.
    • Dance Of The Dog God is a Naruto fic where, instead of embracing the rules after his father dies, Kakashi ends up leaving the village, and Team 7 instead ends up training under Obito.
    • Princess of Konoha is a Naruto fanfic in which the Hyuuga Clan is far more prominent and influential in Konoha than it is in canon.
    • Son of the Sannin explores how things could have gone if Jiraiya and Tsunade had chosen to raise Naruto, and stayed around Konoha during those years he grew up. The story then goes on to explore many What If? scenarios such as the Uchiha clan pulling off their planned coup d'etat.
    • The Shy Demon and the Brash Heir is a personality swap fic where Naruto became a Shrinking Violet because he's constantly bullied while Hinata became a loud prankster as a way to deal with the stress of being the Hyuuga heir.
    • White Eyes is a fic where Neji kills every Hyūga sans Hinata in order to appease the Uchiha from pulling off their coup, as opposed to Itachi killing off members of the Uchiha clan. This results in Hinata to be an avenger while Sasuke doesn't.
  • YuGiOh Revolution Gathering: A YuGiOh fic where we join a new group of heroes and as one young boy continues his quest to reclaims something he lost.
  • Code Geass:
    • For Code Geass, a major point of divergence from the anime's original plot is explored in Code Geass: Lelouch of Britannia, where the author explores the What If? scenario where Lelouch is not banished from the court, and grows up in Pendragon. The answer? Quite a bit, but with some interesting parallels to the original timeline.
    • The Code Geass fic Mosaic takes place in a world where Britannia prefers to expand its power and influence through marriage rather than conquest, Suzaku is The Emperor of Japan, and China made a failed attempt to seize control of the island nation.
    • Of Monsters and Men is a Code Geass fanfic where Nunnally was one of the hostages in episode 8. This allows her to reunite with Euphemia earlier than in canon.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Road You Choose deviates from the Pokémon anime canon during the movie The Mystery of Mew. The author adds in elements from both the games and the Adventures manga and meshes them together into her own version of past events, as well as playing a part in future adverts as well.
    • Pokémon: The Great Adventure by Elia 41. By a dark and stormy night, young Ash meets a wounded man. Five years later, the two travel across Kanto to challenge the Leagues. Awesomeness ensues.
    • In Symbiosis, Ash's parents are murdered by a mysterious organization at young age. With the help of his father's Mareep, Ash escapes into Viridian Forest and is raised a wild Weedle.
    • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has a Peggy Sue premise, with Ash being sent back to the past to prevent the collapse of the reality, while still retaining his experience and memories. However, the transition creates a completely new timeline, and once the story gets going, events begin to play in a very different way to the canon anime.
    • The Road to be a Pokemon Master is a rewrite of the anime in which Serena moved to Pallet Town several years before the start of the series, and she and Ash begin their Pokemon journey together. It does feature other changes unrelated to this one, most of them being bringing elements from the games the anime left out.
    • A New Chance Series is a Pokémon fanfic where Latios, with Ash's help, survives the events of the fifth movie. Out of gratitude, he and his sister Latias join his team, first in the final part of Johto, and then to Hoenn.
    • Essence is an AU where Ash wakes up early and gets a Growlithe starter.
  • A Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic called Son Of Apophis. All the character's Yamis become older brothers, with the exception of Bakura, who's an older cousin that is secretly a half-brother. Card games still exist, and it's implied that Yami is still the champion of them, but the tournaments seem to have never taken place. Yami Marik is no where near as psychotic or violent as he is in the actual manga (though he used to be, years ago) and Marik was crippled by his father.
  • The Princess and the Dragon is another Yu-Gi-Oh! fic, set in a fantasy universe. Mai is a princess. Yugi is a wizard. Blue Eyes White Dragons are real and Kaiba is the master of them. The Millennium Items still exist (although they are called Shadow Items collectively), and the yamis can all take solid forms. The list goes on.
  • Soul Eater:
    • It takes place in a new cyberpunk/gothic setting, but Soul Eater has an AU by Ryo Hoshi called Shadows On The Walls, which has a very strange mix of People In Jars, Lotus Eater Machine, and features some familiar faces traveling as a band...and has the Cargo Ship of Soul Eater Evans and booze. Oh, right, and Maka is a prostitute and Noah does what he does best.
    • Another one for Soul Eater would be A Soul's Songbook, which is a result of a single What If? involving a switch in who won a battle nearly a thousand years before the start of the canon that ends up turning it into a Crapsack World run by the Big Bad of the canon, with, among other things, a rare example of Crystal Dragon Jesus sharing a world with Real Jesus...and the Eldritch Abomination cult.
  • Death Note:
    • Genius Is A Curse, a Death Note Dark Fic, where Ryuk never drops his Death Note, and Light never becomes Kira, and thus has nothing to alleviate his sheer boredom with. Deals with clinical depression.
    • By the same author as Genius is a Curse, a more extreme example of AU. It's Just A Game. The page description: "It's 2016 & Light is bored to death. Ryuk offers him the Death Note, a program that lets him wreak havoc anonymously in a virtual world. L pursues this Kira, but when real people start dying, the line between fantasy and reality blurs beyond recognition." L works for Wammy House, the software company making the game, and Ryuk is a disillusioned game programmer they fired. Seems to toy with Your Mind Makes It Real.
    • In A Subtle Kind is a fic where Misa and Matt's roles in the Death Note universe are swapped.
  • NIGHTWALKER: STRANGE PATHS basically retells the anime story. The only differences are that Riho is a 140 year old vampire and Shido starts out as an ordinary human detective.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Fullmetal Alchemist Threads Of Time focuses on the notion of Alphonse attaching Edward's soul to a suit of armor, and Alphonse obtaining automail limbs.
    • The Tiesverse is a Fan Verse that deviates after Fullmetal Alchemist ends. The Conqueror of Shamballa never happened and Edward still lives in England two years post-series. Noah (spelled "Noa") is still around but she meets Ed after saving him from Envy. In Tiesverse, homunculus who cross the Gate become vampires. Noa saves Edward from being killed by Envy and turns him into a dhampyr like herself. Together, they hunt vampires.
    • Son of the Desert is a Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic that asks what if the Elrics were Ishvalan? The story details Trisha growing up in her village in Ishval and how she won over Hohenheim, how the Ishvalan genocide affected the Elric brothers' childhood and their dealings with the military.
  • ZeonQuest is a Gundam AU fic focusing on how one soldier has managed to already permanently alter the Universal Century.
  • Freefall is a real-world AU crossover fic of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- and ×××HOLiC, among many other CLAMP works, that has no magic, time-travel or monsters- and yet manages to be just as complex and involved as the original canon.
  • Nerima Magistra Nelly Magi is a retelling of Mahou Sensei Negima! with every character's gender reversed.
  • Though a Bird Can't Fly, That Doesn't Mean It Never Will is a One Piece "What If?" fic in which Zoro's childhood rival Kuina is blinded instead of killed in her tragic accident. She grows up to be a Blind Weapon Master who ends up joining the Marines in order to track down Zoro and find out why he's become a pirate.
  • Given the nature of Axis Powers Hetalia and the liberal use of AUs by Himaruya himself, it's no surprise that there are a good deal of them:
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Game Theory is a Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fanfic in which Precia didn't go completely insane. Although still obsessed with reviving Alicia, she is a great deal more practical in her methods. This has numerous consequences that all follow logically from that divergence, which slowly build up until the plot goes spectacularly Off the Rails when Nanoha decides to help Precia.
    • The universe itself has also been tweaked somewhat, as the authors of the story have greatly expanded on the background, and altered several details that weren't internally consistent in the original work, which makes for a smoother narrative flow.
      • And the author also wrote a short AU called Another Way.
    • Graceful Degradation is a Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fanfic where the TSAB is prevented from getting involved in the Jewel Seeds incident due to the Arthra getting damaged when Precia moves the Garden of Time while they were in the same relative proximity of it. Events then start to rapidly change from that such as Nanoha fighting Precia Testarossa herself, and then goes completely Off the Rails when the Wolkenritter appear five weeks sooner than in canon.
  • Life After Hayate is an Alternate History of Lyrical Nanoha where Nanoha's canonical injury between A's and StrikerS does not happen; instead, she is replaced by Hayate Yagami, who is killed and passes the Wolkenritter to Chrono Harlaown with her dying breaths.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Puella Magi Yuuko Magica is a Puella Magi Madoka Magica fanfic in which the world-changing wish that Madoka created is something along the lines of "I want us to no longer be slaves to the Incubators", so now magic is rampant within her world. However, the magic is hidden from Muggles of course. It's supposed to be a prequel to a seemingly unrelated fic, though. At least Madoka gets to be a Little Miss Badass in this.
    • There's also Busou Shoujo Madoka ☆ Mafia, a doujin series which involves the girls of Madoka in a mafia setting, with Madoka herself as the Badass Adorable boss of her syndicate and the other girls as her enforcers.
  • While the Tamers Forever Series mostly maintains the same continuity as the canon Digimon series, it does Retcon the epilogue of 02, as well as the events of Runaway Locomon
  • Honest Hearts by dan-heron turns Mato and Yomi's lovers quarrel into the lid on an even bigger can of worms
  • Twilight Pretty Cure is a Pretty Cure AU. While inspired by the canon series in various ways, it takes more of a serious approach in addressing issues like the evils of bullying, discrimination, child abuse, etc. But it still keeps the "hope within darkness" theme that most Pretty Cure anime have.
  • A Brief History of Histories switches around the backstories of each of the sailor senshi and explores how this impacts their characters.
  • Alabaster Orchestra is a Bleach fanfiction which portrays the Vandenreich more ambiguously and diverges with Ichigo being captured after the invasion of the Soul Society, purged of his Shinigami side, and finally becoming a Stern Ritter of his own free will.
  • Light of the Snow Red Village is a Rurouni Kenshin What If? that answers the question "What if Kenshin and Tomoe had a daughter?"
  • Lum Sum Purple is a Urusei Yatsura and Ranma ½ crossover where Shampoo is the one chosen as Lum's opponent, and ends up accidentally married to her.
  • A Goddess Comes to Call is a Bubblegum Crisis and Ah! My Goddess crossover, where, instead of wishing that Belldandy would stay with him forever, Keiichi wishes for the perfect girl for him, and ends up with Chihiro. Fifty years later, Linna accidentally dials the Goddess helpline and summons Belldandy, then proceeds to accidentally wish that she had a goddess like Belldandy around all the time.
  • The Giant Has A Giant Mouth is a two part One Piece fic that starts by asking what would happen if Luffy was completely taken out of the story and Aphelandra, one of the many women on Amazon Lily, became the protagonist instead.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Love to Skate! is set in a world where Ataru WASN'T the one chosen to be Lum's opponent in that fateful game of tag. Among other things, there's no Defeat by Modesty (Lum lets Sora, the Original Character who replaces Ataru, win after he saves her from a nasty fall), and the Accidental Proposal occurs when Ataru goads him into rhetorically asking if he should propose, and it's taken out of context. Also, it's set in The New '10s, Sora and Ten get on better than Ten and Ataru do, and Kurama is more willing to accept Sora as he is instead of trying to change him (mainly because he isn't a pervert, and his resultant harem is genuinely an Unwanted Harem).
  • The Goddess and the Sky has the wish that should have gone to Keiichi going to Sora instead, who proceeds to accidentally wish that Belldandy would marry her. As a result, Keiichi isn't kicked out of his dormitory, gets an angel named Malaika and is Ship Teased with Sayoko, while Sora and Belldandy are forced to leave as their dormitory room is only supposed to have one occupant and end up renting a haunted apartment occupied by Erdgeist, an Earth Spirit Third Class.
  • Magic Spells is set in a world where Wizardmon is Hikari's partner instead of Gatomon. Also, Stingmon is part of Myotismon's army, and Kouichi Kimura exists in the same world as the Adventure team.
  • Angel Hearts is a Digimon Adventure fanfic where Wizardmon manages to survive his Heroic Sacrifice thanks to Gennai, and joins the Digidestined in destroying Myotismon.
  • KeySeeker and its sequel takes place in a world where Ken Ichijoji ran away to the Digital World as a child, and now serves as the Digital Paladin, guardian of the Digital World.
  • A Certain Unknown Level 0: It's a A Certain Magical Index fanfic. While Mr Question Mark does try to incorporate most of the revelations revealed by retconning his story to fit, other elements came too late and had to be left out, such as Shokuhoku knowing Touma before the events of the series; Kamisato Kakeru and his faction along with the Anti-Art Attachment being deliberately ignored.
  • A Clean Slate is a Ranma ½ fanfic in which Ranma loses the challenge in the Amazon village, and inducted into the tribe as an Amazon.
  • The Cardinal King series is set in a world where Mamoru is the Henshin Hero instead of Usagi.
  • Adventures in Womanhood is a Ranma ½ fanfic in which the springs of Jusenkyo are permanent Ranma goes to the Amazons for help adjusting to her body leaving her panda father with the guide. She fights Shampoo for a place in the village and gets training in the amazons ways and fighting. Another elder hates outsiders and plans to kill Ranma but Ranma beats her and her traitorous plans are discovered. Ranma goes home to meet her mother and is accepted. She goes to Furinkan and becomes friends with Akane and quickly agrees to train her.
  • Contract Labor is a Love Hina fanfic set in a world where Keitaro ISN'T an Extreme Doormat. Also, Motoko, Su, Shinobu and Sarah are older than they are in canon, and Nyamo-Chan becomes a tenant at Hinata House alongside the other girls.
  • Love Hina: Like It Could Have Been diverges from canon when Keitaro runs into Haruka before entering the Hinata Inn and learns of the games Granny Hina is playing. When the girls refuse to accept him as manager, he simply leaves, and the girls are stuck with all the chores and maintenance he would have done.
  • This is the key to Victory is set in a world where Ryuunosuke is chosen as Lum's opponent in the tag game, and ends up making an Accidental Proposal when Lum misinterprets her declaration that she will never let Lum go (before she can grab the Oni's horns) as a marriage proposal.
  • I'll Be Seeing You is set in a world where Keitaro is blind, and Shinobu is slightly older than in canon.
  • Dominoes is the Detective Conan cast in the world of morally ambiguous Superheroes, with Shinichi as a reporter, Yusaku as an Expy of Batman, and Ran, Aoko, Kazuha, Hattori, and Hakuba as Expies of the Teen Titans. And Kaito sees himself as their Hero Antagonist, of course.
  • Ah! My Valkyrie! revolves around Lind being asked to fill in for Belldandy, and thus being the one to grant Keiichi's wish of having a goddess to stay with him forever.
  • In The Circle Of Elemental Arms is an Ouran High School Host Club set in a world where Elemental Powers exist.
  • The PicoDevimon, Chosen Digimon of Light series is set in a world where DemiDevimon is Hikari's partner instead of Gatomon.

    Comic Books 

     Crossovers — Multiple Media 
  • Teenage Jinchuriki Shinobi is a two way:
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): Continuation fic, taking place after the event of the Back to the Sewer season.
    • Naruto: Alternate History. While the events of the former was mostly completed, the events here start off with a younger Naruto who hasn't even started his training at the academy, Sasuke being kinder and having a younger cousin that survived the Uchiha massacre, and Hinata's love being noticed and repayed.
  • The Star Trek vs Star Wars fic Starcrossed is also a Star Wars Alternate Universe fic, positing a timeline where Luke Skywalker surrenders to Vader at Bespin and becomes the Sith Lord Darth Nemesis.
  • Code: Half Demon is the crossover variety that is based on canon of both series. So one could say it is the clash of canons that become fanons.
  • King of the Monsters is one for Pacific Rim. In it, Godzilla appears in 1954, just like his first film. There are also appearances by Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus during the latter half of the 20th century. In more recent terms for the story, Trespasser's attack is pushed up by a year, and Godzilla reappears in 2018.
  • Event Horizon: Storm of Magic begins on the premise that Westeros, Middle Earth, and the Warhammer Fantasy World are all located on three planets within the same star system. And said star system is also the destination of space colonists from a futuristic Earth...
  • Mass Effect Human Revolution. Any real detail would go deep into spoiler territory, but suffice to say that the history of the galaxy is a vastly, vastly different one from canon even before the Deus Ex-derived bits come in via Humanity entering the galactic scene.
  • The Last Daughter turns Taylor into a Kryptonian and gives her the powers that come with it. This leads to several major changes in Worm canon, such as Taylor saving Emma from the ABB, preventing the horrible things that happen to Taylor in high school.
  • Take the Green and Go revolves around Shego being sent back in time and drowning at Jusenkyo. Many years later, Ranma arrives at Jusenkyo and ends up falling into the spring where she drowned (now called Spring of Drowned Demon Woman). This leads to - among other things - Kim and Ron becoming transfer students at Furinkan High School, Ranma-as-Shego (using the name Shelia Go) becoming a teaching assistant instead of a student, and Ryoga being exposed as P-Chan the moment Akane finds him in pig form.
  • A Man of Iron is set in a world where Tony Stark is the cousin of Ned Stark.
  • Love Hina Double Trouble is set in a world where Keitaro is Philip's partner instead of Shotaro.
  • The Vampire of Steel is set in a world where Supergirl survived the Crisis on Infinite Earths and teams up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • A Force of Four: The Golden Age DC universe isn't destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Power Girl becomes the Earth's protector after her cousin's death.
  • The whole premise of Rick and Morty New Drama Adventures is an alternate universe that combines Rick and Morty and the Total Drama series. Characters from both shows make up the primary and supporting casts.
  • Siblings Of Doom (The Loud House and Invader Zim) Where the Loud family's house was destroyed by the tornado in “Homespun" rather than surviving it, forcing them to move to a new home.
  • The Mermaid And The Genie is set in a world where Genie was the one to grant Ariel's wish to be human instead of Ursula.

     Film — Animated 
  • The Rise of the Guardians fanfic Zastruga has Pitch Black taking Jack Frost in as a ward and protege shortly after his creation as a spirit. The story explores what effects this would have on the plot and character relationships once the movie rolls around.
  • The Lion King:
    • The Lion King Adventures is a famous example of this, focusing on an alternate childhood of Simba and Nala where they fight villains and fall in love.
    • In Letting Go Of Hate, Kiara saves Zira from falling and tries to help redeem her.
  • The Dreamworks film Megamind has become the focus of a lot of Alternate Universes. Most famously are Knocked Up, Fate, Stakes and Leather (and its sequel), Metro Cover and Bad To Be Good. The High School A.U. appears to be the most popular.
  • A Piece of Rebellion spins off from The LEGO Movie by having Emmet report what he witnessed instead of investigating himself. As a result, Good Cop/Bad Cop ends up accidentally being labeled the Special and considered a traitor by his boss.
  • Somos Familia: an Alternate History fic for Coco. After all, taking something as fundamental as the incident that formed the identity of the Riveras for 5 generations and reversing it? Yeah you better believe this is an alternate history fic.
  • The Berserkers Bride has Hiccup as a woman and married off to Dagur in a political marriage.
  • Frozen:
    • Darkness Burning is a fanfic where Elsa and Anna's parents came back from their trip unscathed. This results in vastly different lives for the sisters, as well as Elsa's depression worsening with time.
    • Kingdom Of Isolation is an AU on the ending of Frozen where Anna is shattered by the sword. Elsa retreats into her own world while Arendelle freezes outside. Kristoff has to kill her in order to unfreeze the country.
  • Shen Vs Kai is a Kung Fu Panda fic where the Big Bad of the third film gets released too early and ends up coming into conflict with the Big Bad of the second film, derailing the plot massively.

     Film — Live-Action 
  • The Dark Angel, a Hellraiser fanfic that takes a look at an unintentional superhero.
  • Heroes and Demons is an AU of Iron Man. What if Pepper never met Tony until way after he got kidnapped in Afganistan? It involves mixing in elements from comics but really fleshed out the world without Iron Man.
  • Mike Wong's Conquest applies an alternate continuity to post-movie Star Wars in order to make the story work. Here, Darth Caedus kills Luke and reforms the Empire, and also brings Jaina Solo to the Dark Side.
  • There's a 30 Day AU Challenge on Tumblr, in which people have to write a specific AU for a fandom each day. Here's one for Star Trek (2009).
  • Flight of the Condor is essentially "The City on the Edge of Forever" set in the timeline of the Star Trek (2009) film.
  • Ouroboros has multiple universes- and so far, the Wake Verse and Gambit Verse are 'What If Anakin Skywalker went to the OT timeline in the middle of a battle and was replaced by Darth Vader for two months' and 'What If the hyperdrive wasn't cracked in Episode I' respectively.
  • The Minkiad - Halfway through working on Lives of Genius, the status of both that and Unhappy In Its Own Way were changed to Alternate Universe for two reasons: 1) Because how Jennifer is portrayed in the series’ official canon is very different from the way she is portrayed in the fic, and 2) Because Farkle’s suicide attempt preceded many of the episodes many of the canon events were altered accordingly to fit those events into the fics’ storylines.
    Among the changes are: Jennifer Bassett is not as nice as she is in the canon; instead, she is more of an abusive manipulative bitch, in keeping with her portrayal in Boy Meets World; motives for the creations of Farkle, Riley, and Maya's other identities in Girl Meets Yearbook; different pairings caused by the events of the fic; both Farkle and Maya are revealed to be abused children; Minkus loses his money earlier on because of his divorce and dismissal from Minkus International,
  • Fire and Ice, inspired by the film Man of Steel, is an AU fanfic with a Lois/Zod pairing...except they aren't called Lois or Zod, live in a universe free of superpowers or extraordinary events, and Superman is not even mentioned once. Basically it is a story about a pert, pretty redhead who once was in love with a handsome journalist falling in love with an uncompromising, pug-nosed giant of a man.
  • Reversed Destinies is set in a world where Luke Skywalker is Prince Luke Organa, while Leia is Leia Amidala Skywalker and raised by Owen and Beru.
  • The Blackened Mantle is a Star Wars Prequel edit set in an AU where Grievous is a rebuilt Darth Maul.
  • The Motion Practice series takes Marvel characters — primarily the Marvel Cinematic Universe versions of the Avengers and SHIELD — and places them in a mundane Law Procedural setting. Nick Fury is District Attorney in the fictional Suffolk County, somewhere in the Midwest, with Maria Hill, Phil Coulson, and the Avengers as his assistants, and various other familiar faces as interns and staffers. Loki Laufeyson is that one defense lawyer who will stop at nothing to get his rich clients acquitted.
  • You Are My Sunshine is a Marvel Cinematic Universe fanfiction in which Peter Parker is Tony Stark's biological son.

  • Luminosity's laconic page says it all: Twilight with a rational Bella. And then the story just goes from there...
  • Deaths Child is a fanfic about what would happen if Lily Potter was Death's one day in the life for the century
  • The Event Titled Fan Fic Ned Stark Lives: Lord Eddard Stark is saved from execution by Varys and is allowed to take the black like originally planned, completely changing the course of events in the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Worldwar: War of Equals is of the What If? variety. The description and the very first chapter make it clear that the Canon series had happened in another universe.
  • CyberDineDreams is a completely alternate universe of Perri Rhoades' Spectral Shadows. It's also a CrossOver with the cast from the original story and the fanfic author's characters, the idea being that all the characters live together in the same large world.
  • Weasley Girl is a Gender Flip story for the Harry Potter series and an answer to all the "What if Harry Potter was a girl?" stories out there: In this universe Ron Weasley was born a girl. This makes for a very different Weasley family dynamic, which again means the plot develops very differently from canon.
  • Cashelmara by Susan Howatch is essentially the reign and fall of Edward II set in Victorian Britain, with some I and III on either end.
  • Wearing Robert's Crown: Events diverge from canon during Robert's Rebellion - specifically from Robert's arrival at the Red Keep after the sack of King's Landing. Kingdoms rise and fall as the game of thrones plays out and winter approaches.
  • The Lord of the Rings fanfics Growing Up, Taking Care and Departure's Eve all take place in a world where Frodo has a daughter named Primula.
  • Dancing With My Punchlines examines the drama and conflict of The Silmarillion in a modern context
  • As Dreams Are Made On owes a great deal to the Twilight novels, but starts from the premise of Jasper, Alice and Leah all being gay and ripples out from there. The presence of a protagonist with knowledge of the books and films introduces further changes, and things get stranger and significantly more alternate as time goes on.
  • This seems to be a common theme in Worm fanfiction:
    • Bird takes several obscure characters and elements of the world (such as the asylum for parahumans, Burnscar and Labyrinth) and builds Taylor's story around them being her first experiences as a cape.
    • Cenotaph is an AU where Taylor didn't give Armsmaster a real answer following the pivotal first meeting with the Undersiders. The result is... well...
    • Propagation features a universe in which Eden transferred the core of her powers to Taylor, as a final effort to perpetuate the life cycle of her race.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • In Fire and Shadow. Rusty is taken in by ShadowClan instead of ThunderClan. The fic features parallel events to what happened in canon. For example, Firefang falls for both a young cat named Nightpaw as well as Mistyfoot, an older, forbidden cat from RiverClan, similar to how Fireheart was torn between his fellow Clanmate Sandpaw and the older, forbidden (because she's a celibate Medicinecat) Spottedleaf. Instead of Fireheart apprenticing his obliviously adopted kittypet-born nephew Cloudpaw, Firefang apprentices an obliviously adopted WindClan-born cat named Gorsepaw.
    • clementine is a Warriors fic where Squirrelflight tells her mate Brambleclaw that her sister Leafpool is pregnant and they're doing a Family Relationship Switcheroo. Brambleclaw agrees, averting the canonical problem where he's left in the dark until the kits are adults. He knows all along that his children are adopted.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Better Angels is a For Want of a Nail fic about Shane Walsh taking over the leader role from Rick Grimes and how his actions would affect the group when they arrive at The Prison.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • The Retrograde series by Ltlj. Its main premise is that the Daedalus did not reach Atlantis in time, but rather, the shadowy bad guys of the NID sent the Iapetus to destroy Atlantis first.
    • Out Of Bounds by Icarus (figure skating AU)
    • Written By The Victors by Speranza (secession AU)
    • Take Clothes Off As Directed by Helen (D/s AU).
  • There is an entire genre of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfics called "Halloween fics," set during the events of the season 2 episode "Halloween". They're mainly CrossOver fics. They are all based on the premise, "What if so-and-so had dressed up as such-and-such on the Halloween Ethan Rayne came to town, and there was some sort of lasting effect?" There are actually a bunch of really good fanfics that come out of this genre, particularly Scribbler's "Jedi Harris", in which Xander had dressed up as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan MacGregor's version) instead of a generic soldier.
    • There is another genre of fic that involves Faith returning to Sunnydale between seasons 5 and 6 after Buffy's death instead of her canonical return in Season Seven. It's most often used in Buffy/Faith fics, but other pairings do pop up from time to time.
  • There are several AU NCIS fanfics where Caitlin Todd does not die and is still a member of NCIS alongside Ziva, more often than not in a relationship with her, like the work here.
  • Take My Hand is an AU LOST fanfic where the Others, rather than hostile natives, are soldiers running a tyrannical government led by Ben. The whole story is full of nods to the original continuity, while maintaining the mood and atmosphere of classic dystopian fiction.
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries has Blood Circles, where magic works, Joe Hardy is psychically gifted, and Orrin Thatcher from the "Voodoo Doll" episode is a real serial-killer/magic-user using death and blood to raise power. The tale crosses into Dark Fic territory, but keeps the sense of humor prevalent in the show and stays mostly in the show's continuity.
  • The fanfic What if Jim Accepted the Job at Corporate? takes place at the end of season 3 and asks the titular question.
  • These kind of fics are popular in the Supernatural fandom, most of which take place in the alternate universe presented in the season 5 episode "The End" (those that do are known as End!Verse fics).
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has The Long War which takes place in an an alternate universe that seems to diverge from canon seven years before the Cylon return with brutal Colonial civil war. The effect seems to be a serious up-arming of the colonial navy and a darkening of its attitude towards warfare, enabling enough damage to the Cylons and enough surviving ships to make a guerrilla war plausible.
  • Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. Kamen Rider Fourze going Darker and Edgier with Gentaro going against friendship and wanting nothing more to kill the people who "left him to die". Did I mention that there's seven Kamen Rider shows that got dragged into this mess?
  • Reimagined Enterprise is a Continuity Reboot of Star Trek: Enterprise. Its continuing mission: To address issues fans had with the writing and characterization, to rewrite ENT into something that fits better into later canon, and to still produce something recognizably similar to what has gone before.
  • The Mysterious Case of Neelix's Lungs is a rewrite of Star Trek: Voyager where the Caretaker captured Gul Evek's ship Vetar in addition to the Val Jean. Another major change is that Chakotay and Janeway were both killed in the transit to the Delta Quadrant. Command of Voyager then fell to the helmsman Veronica Stadi, who was killed in the canon show.
  • Law & Order: UK. The vast majority of fanfics, typically picking up after Series 1, cash in on the sexual tension between Matt and Alesha and pair them — they begin dating at the beginning of one long-running collection of stories and are Happily Married and expecting their second child as of the most recent one.
    • Additionally, most of those that focus on his shooting have him recovering from his injuries.
  • A late-90's ER fic, titled "Dreams That You Dare To Dream", copied the format of Sliders, placing five of the show's main characters in timelines that altered key points in the show's storylines — Carol did die from her overdose, Susan didn't move to Phoenix, etc. Another, titled "Countdown", set on New Year's Eve 1999, did the same thing, but only focused on one character, Kerry Weaver.
  • Doctor Who has So You Arent As Human As You Thought You Were which is an AU where The Doctor uses a chameleon Arc in contemporary Britain and is friends with Donna Noble via university.
  • Harboured & Encompassed (Horatio Hornblower fic) has familiar contextual reassignment as it is a Modern AU Library fic. The characters who are young officers in the Royal Navy from Napoleonic wars in canon are re-imagined as students of naval history and one of them is an aspiring actor who has just been cast as an officer of the British Royal Navy in a period piece.


     Professional Wrestling 
  • Scott Keith's World Hero Federation fics, and the countless verses inspired by them, cast professional wrestlers as superheroes. Maybe it's the spandex...
  • One wrestling crossover is this epic series, written in the late 90's, called Wrestle Trek. Yes, that means what you think it means.
  • A recurring column on WrestleCrap is "Rewriting the Book," which explores scenarios in Professional Wrestling's past storylines (e.g.: Ted DiBiase once offered to buy the WWE World Heavyweight Championship off of Hulk Hogan for one million dollars. In the RTB story, Hogan accepts the payoff).

     Tabletop Games 
  • The Odyssey, an Exalted fanfic, is notable for both its quality and the fact that the point of divergence has not yet become apparent. (Something happened to the Fivescore Fellowship, though.)
  • The Warhammer 40,000 universe, courtesy of the Bolter and Chainsword forum, has a variation of the canon universes Horus Heresy entitled The Dornian Heresy. Essentially it explores the setting replacing the main antagonist with the titular brother - Rogal Dorn. Still a work in progress.
    • Also of note is a separate attempt, from the same forum, to replace the main antagonist of the Horus Heresy with another of his brothers - Roboute Guilliman.
  • Actually a game mechanic in Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder. A number of the cards are said to be from one of Twilight's more unusual experiments...

  • Not Completely, Altogether Here has many of the same events as in Wicked canon. Glinda and Elphaba start off as enemies, become friends, run off together to see the Wizard together, etc, etc. There's one major difference: Elphaba began one year later than she did in canon. This caused Galinda to hang around her Girl Posse more, which led Galinda to attempting to prank Dr. Dillamond during a sleepover with her friends, and ultimately ended in Galinda being killed when she catches Morrible murdering Dr. Dillamond. Galinda spends the entirety of the fanfic as a specter. Then she meets her roommate and love interest Elphaba Thropp.

     Video Games 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The infamous Hammer Brother takes place in a Mario AU set on Earth.
    • The Super Mario Bros My Pain, My Thrill is an AU where Bowser and Peach were once in a Secret Relationship that resulted in Bowser Jr. Bowser is also the Koopalings' uncle instead of either being their father or being completely unrelated.
  • Pokémon:
    • Boundaries is a Pokemon story that takes place in the US Midwest of all places.
    • OverUsed is set after the events of the Pokemon games, and involves an OC veteran trainer and his adventure after meeting a mysterious girl with a Mew companion. It changes several rules of the world and follows different battle tactics compared to the anime or video games.
    • Welcome To The World Of Pokemon is a collection of Alternate Continuity fics for the main series Pokémon games. The story follows the main heroes, giving them character traits, changing elements of the original story, changes the heroes' path through the game, or a mixture of the three, depending on which story is being considered.
    • Chrysanthemums is a Pokémon Dark Fic where the Shadow Triad are the Striation Trio. There are various little differences, such as the brothers only becoming gym leaders after Ghetsis is arrested.
  • One troper is working on a Valkyria Chronicles/ Real Life double AU, called Battlefield Gallia. It's still early in the war (November 1940, Operation Sea Lion), but World War II as we know it will take place in some shape, albeit in really mutated form. As of yet, Gallia mostly resembles Poland, and we all know who won there.
  • And The Meek Shall Inherit The Galaxy: Instead of turians, humanity meets the quarians first, with the entire Mass Effect Universe drastically altering as a result.
  • Haunted House is an AU of Final Fantasy VII, in which Sephiroth, Zack, and Cloud decide to explore the abandoned Shinra Mansion in Neibelheim the night before they're supposed to investigate the Mako reactor. They find the coffin containing Vincent Valentine and rescue him. He manages to help prevent Sephiroth's canonical Start of Darkness, and from their the story follows Sephiroth, Zack, Cloud, and Vincent as they begin to investigate all of Shinra's dirty secrets, paving the way for an all out civil war within Shinra.
  • Renegade is a crossover fic that explores how differently the Mass Effect universe would be if elements of the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series universe were worked into the continuity, notably being that GDI replaces the Systems Alliance and has enough military prowess to remain independent of the Citadel.
  • Harbinger, by the same author, fuses the Mass Effect setting with FEAR, hinting at the ramifications of a Mass Effect setting where organics begin manifesting a wide range of Psychic Powers and sanity is an optional part of such abilities.
  • Devil May Cry's Dante being Nero's father in "Like Father, Like Son" (Which, hell, might even be canon, but the generally accepted theory is Vergil). Sink-or-Swim Fatherhood hijinks ensue.
  • Coffee, Black is a Dragon Age II fanfic which takes place in modern America. It is written through Garrett Hawke's point of view, while he works in a coffee shop and is practically hypnotized by a mysterious tattoo-covered hipster named Fen. It can be read here. (Warning: as it was originally inspired by a prompt from a Kink Meme, it gets VERY steamy later on.)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Renegade Reinterpretations is set in a Mass Effect universe where the Batarians found humanity first and the latter didn't have the lightning-fast tech advancement of canon. The result is a much less nice humanity.
  • The majority of Touhou fanfic falls into this category due to the lack of information from ZUN on just how Gensokyo works. Even fics that apparently take into account all the details released at the time of their writing tend to be Jossed by new canon and deuterocanon. This may be about to change due to the increasing attention given to world building in official material, but then again ZUN has contradicted himself and retconned certain things on more than one occasion.
    • One of the perhaps most well known of these is the Days Woven With Illusion series by Gensoukoumuten, detailing an alternate version of Gensoyou where the barrier was never needed, with magic and science evolving side by side.
  • Uplifted is set in a universe where a desperate Quarian fleet decided to uplift humanity circa 1942 in order to utilize them as foot soldiers and retake Rannoch. However, contrary to what most people would expect, they choose to ally themselves with the fascists. The choice is logical given what the Quarians intentions for humanity. The epilogue strongly implies the war results in a stalemate. The author is planning a trilogy. A fair warning though: the main characters are Nazis, and the author has no problem displaying their attitudes. Unique in that it avoids depicting all Nazis as evil mass murderers, but makes clear how reprehensible the regime is, as the Quarians slowly realize just who their allies are. The author certainly doesn't downplay how reprehensible the Quarians find their erstwhile allies actions.
  • Mega Man Reawakened is in a separate universe from the games and animated adaptations.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Third Epic is an AU for Kingdom Hearts, which begins about a year after KH2 and follows the KH crew on a Darker and Edgier journey to defeat the Dark Empire, an enemy much more powerful than the Heartless or Nobodies. Also counts as a Crossover due to the high number of anime that get their own worlds/realms.
  • Ordinary Human Spectre is a crossover AU between Touhou and Mass Effect, revolving around replacing Commander Shepard with Marisa Kirisame, and integrating the Touhou universe into the Mass Effect one (Gensokyo is an Alliance military base, Youkai are genetically modified humans, Patchouli Knowledge works for the Shadow Broker, etc.). It goes Off the Rails pretty quickly.
  • For Tomorrow We Die is an Alternate Continuity fic for Mass Effect which picks up immediately at the conclusion of Mass Effect 2. Written well before the release of Mass Effect 3, the events of the story prevent the events of the third game from happening at all.
  • The Legend Of Cynder Series is based off the simple question 'what if Ignitus had grabbed Cynder's egg during the raid instead of Spyro's?', in addition to generally expanding upon the universe of The Legend of Spyro. It also asks the question 'What if the apes had grabbed Spyro's egg instead of Cynder's?
  • Fire Emblem Awakening: Invisible Ties is described by its author as a "hybrid" between an AU and adaptation of Fire Emblem Awakening.
  • Living at Freddy's is a Five Nights at Freddy's fanfic in which Mike, instead of dying after being caught by the animatronics, is forced to live with them.
  • Bonds Left Unbroken is based in a Professor Layton AU where Desmond and Hershel are adopted together, rather than being separated.
  • Hotspring Souls! is a Soulsborne (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II, and Bloodborne) crossover comedy fic that plays with the idea of the games' protagonists having a weekend vacation at an inn/hotspring in the countryside.
  • A vast number of Undertale AUs have sprung up on Tumblr, including (but not limited to):
    • Underswap, in which various major and minor character switch personality and position (for example, Papyrus is a slacker while Sans is the enthusiastic one). Not to be confused with Storyshift, an AU where characters swap roles but largely retain their personalities.
    • Underfell, a Darker and Edgier fic in which all characters switch morality, where the monsters are out to kill the Fallen Human and Flowey is trying to help them.
    • Littletale, where the monster characters are kids around the age of the Fallen Human. Not to be confused with Baby Bones, an AU that focuses on young Sans playing Parental Substitute to an infant Papyrus.
    • Undersail (AKA Plundertale), a nautical/pirate-themed AU where the monsters were banished to the bottom of the sea.
    • Outertale, a sci-fi AU where the monsters were banished to outer space rather than the Underground.
    • Mafiatale/Undermafia, an AU where the monsters have the personalities of mobsters from The Roaring '20s.
    • Dancetale, an AU where dancing is Serious Business to the monsters, used for both communication and combat. Each of the monsters is associated with a style of dancing (Undyne with capoiera, Papyrus with Latin dancing, and so on).
    • Underfresh, a tongue-in-cheek AU where the characters are given Totally Radical personalities and designs inspired by The '90s.
    • PTA Undertale, somewhere between an AU and a Continutation Fic where the Undertale monsters, on Frisk's behalf as their collective guardians, interact with a PTA run by a hostile-to-monsters Heteronormative Crusader mother (usually named Helen, in association with the "Fight Me, Helen" meme). Hilarity ensues. (Rather unusually, sometimes PTA Undertale is combined with another AU, such as Underfell or Underswap.)
    • Baby Blasters, an off shoot of the Gasterblaster AU, where young Sans and Papyrus can change shape to resemble the Gasterblaster weapons, with the flagship fic being Trust, as well as a thriving Tumblr Community.
    • Glitchtale is a Web Animation AU series for Undertale centering around the idea of Frisk resetting the timeline so much that what should be impossible starts happening, such as Frisk performing a Fusion Dance with Sans.
  • A Dreamer Reborn is an AU series supporting Undertale. It tells the story of what might happen if Frisk sacrifices himself to save Asriel Dreemurr, and allow him to keep his true form.
  • A New Hope is a Final Fantasy VII drama fic which places the main characters of Final Fantasy VII into the real world, and completely changes the relationships, personalities, and backstories of the main characters. Namely, Cloud is forced to participate in an arena after his father Sephiroth (yes, you got that right) kidnaps him after killing his mother; Aerith is Squall/Leon's younger sister; Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo own and operate an orphanage; and Zack is a sexual predator that tried to rape Aerith on two separate occasions.
  • The Twice Upon An Age series is a retelling of Dragon Age: Inquisition in which both male Lavellan and female Trevelyan ended up with the Anchor and must share the duties of being the Herald of Andraste. As a result (direct or otherwise) of this aberration from canon, a number of other things end up being quite different. Among the changes: the Inquisition is able to recruit both the mages and the Templars, resulting in both Samson and Calpernia leading forces against them in the name of the Elder One. Samson and Calpernia are not working together, however; rather, they're rivals for the Elder One's favor, and he plays them against each other. Other changes include the ball in Halamshiral being resolved in a way not technically possible in the game, and the Inquisition's inner circle receiving an additional member late in the story, when Bethany Hawke comes to Skyhold.
  • New Vegas: Sheason's Story a retelling/novelization AU of Fallout: New Vegas where the Sheason Fisher is the Courier and must survive long enough to take revenge on the man who shot him and left him for dead. This is Sheason's Story.
  • Offspring is a For Want of a Nail The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fic where Mipha proposed to Link early and he accepted. The two were married in secret and had children together. After the amnesiac Link wakes up, he's surprised to find out he has now-adult children.
  • Bait and Switch (STO) is based on the pre-season 8 version of Star Trek Online's Federation storyline, but changes the Borg attack at Vega IX to happen in 2407 to allow for a slightly more realistic promotion rate for Captain Kanril Eleya. Later stories in the continuity diverge further (The Wrong Reflection is an Adaptation Expansion of the now-removed mission "The Other Side", moved to 2410 and taking place after the Undine attack on Earth), largely due to author frustration at the official storyline (which came to a head at the Iconian War, with the authors dumping the Time Travel angle and ending the war wildly differently).
  • The War of the Masters is based on Star Trek Online, with canon events spread out over a larger number of years and incorporating new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Powered Armor, and quantum entanglement communication. It also includes a race of Eldritch Abominations and substantial plots that have nothing to do with game canon, such as an arc involving a group of colonies seceding from the Federation due to government corruption and mismanagement.
  • you can only use your own is based on Undertale, exploring what would've happened if Chara's suicide gambit had failed.
  • The Life Is Strange fanfic Bloom makes two major alterations to canon: Max is a trans girl and the game's Big Bad, Mark Jefferson, is Adapted Out. This second change has a lot of effects, most notably that Rachel Amber is alive.
  • In the Harvest Moon DS Cute AU Storm Clouds And Grey Skies, Claire lives in Mineral Town instead of Forget-me-not Valley. She meets Leia in the ocean, not in Darryl's house.

     Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • A Complete Turnabout takes place in an Alternate Universe where the DL-6 incident never happened, with the twist that the main character is Canon!Phoenix, trusted into Alternate!Phoenix' life for reasons yet to be revealed.
    • Dirty Sympathy is a Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney fanfic based on the premise that Daryan Crescend didn't kill Romain LeTouse and Kristoph didn't kill Shadi Enigmar, they were both framed by Klavier and Apollo. They both have their reasons for doing so.
    • Ace Attorney: Shattered Glass is an Ace Attorney fan game where the majority of defense attorneys and prosecutors have switched roles. Winston Payne is still a prosecutor though.
    • Somebody That I Used To Know is a fanfic that works on the premise that Matt Engarde and Juan Corrida were originally long time friends and lovers, instead of being bitter rivals, until something went terribly wrong, and that Juan Corrida and Celeste Inpax didn't REALLY break up, and her death wasn't actually a suicide. An odd example in that, in the end, this story COULD fit in line with actual canon, as only three characters in the entire story are really privy to the alternate events. And given that two of them are Doomed by Canon, and the third would never bother to set the record straight...
    • The Empty Turnabout is one of Dual Destinies. Here, Athena Cykes is not part of the Wright Anything Agency but instead an up-and-coming defense attorney who's pretty famous thanks to Apollo's defense when she was put on trial six months earlier. With the prologue twist that Athena was actually guilty, as Apollo finds out just before the Not Guilty verdict. There's also the fact that Courtroom No. 4 wasn't bombed, but instead it was destroyed in an earthquake.
  • Mean Time To Breakdown diverges from Katawa Shoujo by making Iwanako the one with arrhythmia, suffering a heart attack after a botched Love Confession.

  • An Epic Comic is an odd example, the characters are the same from their original franchise, it's that ??? has seen an alternate universe his writers made as canon to the franchise that insults him greatly for what they do to him.
  • Slightly Damned:
    • Blizzard Storm is an AU that diverges from canon via a mix of Alternate Universe Fic and Trapped in Another World via the introduction of an original character from our world and the revival of a popular character.
    • A Different Medius changes just about everything by ending the Great War several millennia early, and stranding angels and demons on Medius. Things like Buwaro being adopted by Azurai and Iratu, being much smarter and a badass, not needing a needing a Star Pendant, instead owning a star-shaped pendant serving a completely different purpose, and Samantha and Toby being Buwaro's best friends are among the less drastic ones. Rhea, oddly, is absent.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name has several well-loved and widely played with AUs:
    • Dead Of Night is a swapped 'verse, with zombie!Hanna, Unzombie, vampire!Worth, human!Conrad, and so on. Pairings are Conrad/Worth and platonic Hanna/Unzombie. Has coverart, Chapter illustration, and assorted other comics and art.
    • The Punk AU has... well, a brash and outlandishly dressed Hanna, with Unzombie as a police officer he ends up working with. sometimes slash, sometimes pre-slash or friendship.:
      • This is the journal post that started it.
      • Here is a collection of Punk AU fanfic.
    • Then there's the obligatory post-apocalyptic dystopian AU, Lightwaves.
  • Homestuck:

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • An, Ann and Anny is an Ed, Edd n Eddy AU fic where every member of the original cast is of the opposite sex. It was created by the author of Ed, Edd n Eddy Highschool, who has also created several other Alternate Universes, like for instance, one where every character of the original cast (except Rolf) is an alien.
  • AKK's "Raumjager" for Galaxy Rangers uses a timeline where Nazi Germany not only won, but has gone on to conquer the galaxy, and the normally persecuted Shane is now considered a paragon of the ubermenchen ideal... scarier when you remember that the writer is German herself. She also wrote "If Only," where Niko wishes the tragedy that brought the Rangers together never happened.
  • A:TLAR is a full-on AU reboot of the Avatar: The Last Airbender storyline.
  • Pirates Versus Privates takes almost every Disney canon there is and smashes them together, though it focuses the most on the Sensational Six.
  • The Fanfic Accident: Month One is pretty much another take on the universe with the same mechanics but different outcomes. It could be considered an AU reboot if you look at it that way.
  • The Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction Embers by Vathara. Starting initially as a smaller one shot, it deals with what could have happened had Zuko and his Uncle had just slightly differing thoughts after the Siege of the North Pole, with an astounding amount of cultural and historical research put into this retelling.
  • For Teen Titans, "Northern Star" and "Apprentice" are two examples of the Apprentice AU theme that is popular amongst TT fanfiction - the idea of "What if Robin had stayed as Slade's apprentice?"
  • For The Simpsons there is The Thompsons which has the idea of "What if Homer and Marge were not the parents of Bart, Lisa and Maggie?"
  • Burning Black's entire premise rests on the idea that, six weeks after School's Out: The Musical, Timmy Turner died falling from a jungle gym at school. The stories themselves take place four years after Timmy's death in a heavily affected Dimmsdale.
  • Queen of All Oni is a Jackie Chan Adventures story that diverges at the beginning of Season 4, with the premise that instead of releasing Tarakudo, Daolon Wong's attempt to summon the Shadowkhan instead reawakens Jade's Superpowered Evil Side, the Queen of the Shadowkhan.
    • Jewel of Darkness, by the same author, is a Teen Titans fic that is built on the premise that Raven was banished from Azarath when her powers first awakened as child, rather than later in her life. She is then found on the streets by Slade, who raises her as his child and apprentice.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has quite a few examples:
    • The Lunaverse is a Shared Universe of MLP:FiM fanfics, where Princess Celestia became evil instead of Luna, with a new set of main characters based on background and side characters while the original main cast is flipped into minor roles.
    • The Dashverse is based on the simple premise that rather than being in Canterlot on the day that the Mane Six got their cutie marks, Princess Celestia was instead in Cloudsdale, and ended up taking on Rainbow Dash as her student instead of Twilight Sparkle.
    • Night's Favored Child diverges from canon during the battle between Celestia and Nightmare Moon a thousand years ago. In this fic's universe, Nightmare Moon won, brought about eternal night (and found a way to avert the negative aspects of it), erased Celestia from the history books, and turned Equestria into her personal empire.
    • The Powers of Harmony is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic story that borders on being an outright Alternate Continuity — aside from the Mane Cast having met and befriended Zecora, everything after the series pilot is ignored in favor of the story's timeline and take on events. That said, elements of canon (characters, backstories, events) are incorporated or alluded to when necessary.
    • Life in Manehattan is another MLP AU fic. This one diverges from canon when the Elements of Harmony are discovered some time before the pilot by Honey Do aka Daring Do and moved to a museum in Manehattan. Because of that, Celestia chooses that city for the Summer Sun Celebration, and it is there that Twilight goes and befriends different ponies to be the bearers of the Elements.
    • Chains is an MLP AU that actually plays very similar to the MLP canon, but with one major twist that the fanfic has centered around; humans exist and were made a Slave Race by the Equestrians.
    • The Junior Gala series created by DeviantArt users, Kaemantis and Bizerbit is set in an Alternate Universe. Some of the changes made in the JG 'verse consist of character ages, certain events, etc.
    • Lunaverse alum GrassAndClouds2 has started his own AU Shared Universe of MLP fics, The Cadanceverse. The premise of this one is that both Celestia and Luna were corrupted, forcing Cadance (a golem created to serve as their intermediary) to use the Elements of Harmony to seal them both away, before taking over Equestria herself.
    • Warren Hutch (author of Windfall and Earth and Sky) wrote The White Mare, which takes place in an Equestria where Princess Celestia went into self-imposed exile after banishing Nightmare Moon. She subsequently became Shrouded in Myth, her only real friend a certain yellow-and-pink pegasus... This means that, among other things, modern Equestria is a republic, there is no Ponyvillenote , and the Mane Six are different in many ways (Fluttershy is more assertive, Rarity is a gem prospector, and Applejack is a travelling seed-and-flower salespony with a Manehattan accent) though ultimately recognizable as themselves.
    • This Platinum Crown is a notable example, with somewhat darker reimaginings of episodes, badass battle couples, while keeping the main themes of the show, while keeping the main theme of the show- Friendship is Magic.
    • Harmony's Warriors is a contextual reassignment Crossover fanfic of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Universe to make it more resemble the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's rather expansive, clocking in at five full-length stories (three of which are still in progress), and two anthologies, with even more planned.
    • The Rock Farmer's Daughters takes place in a universe where Pinkie missed the Rainboom (and a different mare is the Element of Laughter, though it's never mentioned), its main focus being how it'd affect Cheese Sandwich and his destiny, ultimately leading to him working on the Pie Rock Farm and getting to know the Pie Family.
    • Stallions of Harmony Verse re-imagines the pilot where Blueblood and Shining Armor were both sent to Ponyville instead of Twilight for the Summer Sun Celebration.
    • ''Twilight Sparkle of the Royal Guard is an AU where Shining Armor encourages Twilight to join the Royal Guard.
    • Equestria Divided is, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic meets Game of Thrones: the strategy game
  • The Story Of Twilight Glow: Twilight Sparkle was instead born an Earth Pony. As a result, Moondancer became the Element of Harmony, and she fails to stop Nightmare Moon, allowing her to take power.
  • Gravity Falls has inspired a number of these, some of which have become popular enough to achieve Fan Verse status:
    • Transcendence AU is a Gravity Falls fanfic that spiraled out of control, based on an event where Dipper fused with Bill's demonic energy and the barriers keeping the weird stuff in Gravity Falls all came down. Now the whole world's like that.
    • Reverse Falls is an AU where Lil' Gideon and Pacifica Southeast are the heroes, with Dipper and Mabel as a pair of Creepy Twins antagonists
    • Monster Falls sees the citizens of Gravity Falls being turned into assorted monsters from folklore and mythology, usually featuring Dipper as a deer-centaur, Mabel as a mermaid, Grunkle Stan as a gargoyle, Soos as a clay homunculus, Wendy as a werewolf, and so on.
    • Gravity Rises swaps most of the personalities and roles of the characters within pairs. Mabel becomes the curious, scientific one (Pine Tree), while Dipper takes on the role of the happy-go-lucky twin (Shooting Star). The two fight against the psychic Pacifica Gleeful (or Pleasure, depending on the version) and rich jerk Gideon Northwest.
    • Relativity Falls swaps the ages and roles of the main cast around: here, young Stanley and Stanford Pines are spending the summer in Gravity Falls with their "Grauntie" Mabel, investigating the supernatural with Maria Ramirez (a young version of Soos' Abuelita) and a teenage version of "Manly Dan" Corduroy.
    • Reunion Falls revolves around Dipper and Mabel being separated at birth, and the adventure that ensues when Mabel heads up to Gravity Falls to reunite with Dipper. It also features the Mystery Twins as transgender (Mabel was assigned male at birth and Dipper was assigned female at birth), an increased role in the story for Mabel's friends Candy and Grenda, and Mabel x Pacifica as a couple.
    • Gravity Key transplants the action of the show from the Pacific Northwest to the Florida Keys.
    • Fight Falls is a darkly-humorous AU where Dipper and Mabel are a pair of scrappy, hot-headed delinquents who beat the crap out of any monster who threatens them or their friends.
    • Human Journals features the three Journals written by Stanford Pines as human (or, at least, humanoid) brothers named Eins, Zwei, and Drei, who either became the Journals by magic or had their contents tattooed onto them by the Author.
    • Anti Gravity swaps the ages of characters much like Relativity Falls, but this time Wendy and Soos are twelve, Dipper, Mabel, and Pacifica are fifteen, and Stan is the same.
    • Thicc Falls initially started as a simple joke about adult!Pacifica (here having the nickname "Thiccifica") having wide hips, before being developed into an au featuring aged up versions of Dipper (nicknamed "Big Dipper"), Mabel (nicknamed "Maboobs"), Wendy ("Chill Corduroy"), Grenda ("Giant Grenda") and Candy ("Kawaii Kandy") as well. He not only later made designs for the Reverse Falls AU as well, but later expanded into it's own universe (appropriately called the Thicc-Verse) with shows like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, The Loud House and Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil. Booru here (Warning: NSFW)
  • While primarily set in the universe of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Vengeance of the Foot Clan and its sequels also incorporate characters from other incarnations of the TMNT franchise, such as Kitsune from the IDW Publishing comics, Max Winters from the 2012 film, and Eric Sacks from the 2014 film.
  • Total Drama has a few.
    • In Change Of Plans Instead of flirting with Tyler in The Ex-Files, Courtney decides the better move is flirting with Cody. Things only branch off more from there.
    • A Codette World Tour In this story's universe, Bridgette and Geoff's relationship never recovered after Geoff started becoming a jerk, resulting in their breakup before Total Drama World Tour. The team rosters are also different due to a couple of small changes in the setup.
    • Courtneys Crusade For Redemption As the description says, Courtney travels back to her younger 'All Stars' body to compete again and try to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
    • The Doctor Will See You Now As the summary says, this story branches off from the official continuity of Total Drama World Tour after the episode “I See London…” Everything that happened in that episode and before in the season still occurred, but there are subtle differences between this story and the official canon in certain areas moving beyond it. Courtney isn’t instantly suspicious of Gwen attempting to take Duncan from her. Gwen attempts to (weakly) defend her actions in her confessional where she expresses guilt over betraying Courtney’s trust. And the Goth attempts to end the budding relationship with Duncan until the season is over and he officially breaks up with Courtney.
    • The Legend of Total Drama Island The story is a reimagining of Total Drama's first season, so perforce none of the show's canon events are directly acknowledged.
    • Love Aint Easy Its Ezzy This fic gives us an idea of what might have happened if nothing came of Courtney's gripes about not being in the second season and how far Justin's manipulations could take him in the show without Courtney suing her way on.
    • Monster Chronicles This series is story branches off from both Total Drama World Tour and Total Drama All-Stars. In Total Drama World Tour in this story's universe, Duncan and Gwen kissing behind Courtney back has unexpected consequences when a supernatural serial killer, Cedric von Túfeice takes over Cody's body. Now the contestants are now in more danger than ever before, with a serial killer joining the game and threatening their lives. In Total Drama All-Stars in this story's universe, Total Drama All-Stars take place two years after Total Drama World Tour. 16 more contestants have been added and they are now competing for a prize of 1 billion dollars. Other changes from the events caused by the previous story are shown with Duncan and Gwen broken up, but deciding to remind friends, Cody and Duncan becoming friends, Lindsay not being in this season because of her having a baby with Tyler, and Mal being more dangerous because of his connection to Cedric von Túfeice
    • Random Drama Series The series is what the canon series could've been like if everyone's debut season was switched around as well as adding a few extras.
    • Second Chance At Love Unique for the author’s stories, this one takes place in an alternate continuity from the show. Mostly this is shown in the events of World Tour, but many of the bits referring to Action also tell of different events. The biggest changes to the overall seasons are Harold beating Duncan at the finale of Action, and Heather winning after beating Alejandro during World Tour’s finale. The greater difference lie in which couples formed in this version of events. Outside of Gwen/Duncan (which is ended by the story’s end), none of the official canon couples are present. By the time the story begins, the couples are: Harold/Heather, Tyler/Eva, Noah/Bridgette, Geoff/Izzy, DJ/Courtney, Justin/Katie, Owen/Sadie, and Ezekiel/Beth. By the end of the story, its implied Gwen will hook up with Trent.
    • ATDA Love Triangle With Betty Cody And Gwenny: Basically showing how Season 2 would be if Geoff's corruption wasn't stopped; the story also focuses on the off-screen action, with the characters that didn't compete or were eliminated already.
    • Three Tests Of Valor: A story set during the 'Island' season, with Lindsay and Harold falling in love with each other instead of with Tyler and Leshawna, respectively.
    • Total Drama: Cody's Redemption: The description says it all. Cody travels back to his sixteen-year-old body and competes for a second time on Total Drama Island. Because of his knowledge of the whole season, he’ll be changing things up from what originally happened into a new timeline.
    • Total Drama What If Series The Revenge Of The Island and Pahkitew Island cast are switched to the first season.
    • Total Shuffled Island Series The series is what the canon series could've been like if everyone's debut season was switched around.
    • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread In this story, Total Drama ended after the third season. Cody and Heather go to the same high school. After a few months they start a relationship. When they graduated from high school, they go to college. Were they meet people who were in Total Drama: Revenge Of The Island and Total Drama Pahkitew Island in canon.
  • Steven Universe has a few:
    • Opal, Sapphire, Ruby, and STEVEN! takes place in a universe where Opal is the permafusion instead of Garnet.
    • Both Connie Parallel and Buck Dewniverse are stories where Steven ISN'T the human-Gem hybrid.
    • A common theme is the "Momswap AU", where Steven is being raised by the Homeworld Gems (specifically Lapis, Peridot, and Jasper) instead of the Crystal Gems. Here is one of the better ones.
    • Revelations revolves around Steven admitting that he isn't Rose Quartz at the trial, and the consequences.
  • A few The Loud House fanfics of this nature exist:
    • Meeting a Loud is one set in a world where Lincoln is a foster child sent to live with the Louds.
    • "Ageswap" universes (where ages and birth orders of the Loud siblings been swapped around) are common: Loud House: A Family Together is one where Lincoln is the eldest Loud sibling at age 20 who ran away from home and went missing for 9 years before finally returning. Another is Flip the Lid, in which Lincoln finds himself in a world where the birth order of his sisters is reversed.
    • And of course, universes where the Loud sisters are instead the Loud brothers are also extremely common. Ones where Lincoln is a girl named Linka are more popular.
    • Due to the series mainly taking place in 2016 (and all its trappings), many Period Fics have been made. The most popular ones being set from the 1930s to the 1990s.
    • Fics where the Loud siblings are not related are also popular, due to removing the Squick factor that Loudcest fics usually have.
  • Tales from the Other Railway is one for Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • Odd Couple, for Transformers Animated. It originally centered around Prowl and Lockdown, but eventually became so fleshed out that an entire other story set called Odd Moments was put up to show peeks into everyone else's stories.
  • Suddenly is a Transformers: Prime fanfic set in the Transformers: Shattered Glass Mirror Universe. In addition to the morality swap, Jasper is a dictatorship run by the Autobots; Sierra is the third member of the human trio (Raf doesn't show up until much later); Miko is deaf and speaks via sign-language; and the biggest change of all is that June is adopted by the Decepticons when she is a kindergartner, so Jack is raised as a Decepticon.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them revolves around Swoop gaining the Matrix of Leadership via an accident and becoming Pterodactus Prime, the new leader of the Autobots.
  • Domestic Electronics is set in a world where Transformers are tiny man-made (but still sentient) robots that turn into personal electronics, small appliances, etc, as opposed to giant sentient robots from another world.
  • Swarm is a Transformers Animated fanfic where Wasp is a hornet and Bumblebee is (ironically) a honeybee who - despite being male - is capable of becoming a queen and laying eggs.
  • Voltron Duality is a Voltron: Legendary Defender AU where Matt was the one to crash land on Earth instead of Shiro.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil
    • The Earth Adventures of MonStar! is set in a scenario where Toffee is Star's father instead of River and Marco is Star's betrothed instead of just her friend and potential love interest.
    • The Royal Protector has Star sent to St. Olga's instead of being sent to Earth, developing a Split Personality due to the abuse and brainwashing at the boarding school, and escaping two years later during an assassination attempt by Toffee's minions. Meanwhile, Marco became close friends with Janna and Oscar, as he was assigned to be a student mentor to them instead. Star and Marco end up meeting due to the former using a Summon Everyman Hero spell to save herself from the aforementioned assassins.
    • Janna vs. the Forces of Evil has the Magic Book of Spells come to Earth by itself, with Star having mysteriously disappeared when Toffee (inhabiting Ludo's body) took control of Mewni. Janna finds the book in a dumpster and learns how to wield actual magic, quickly proving to have a natural talent for it. She and Marco start hanging out because he's worried about such a powerful tome being in the hands of Janna of all people, but they soon become best friends who find themselves dragged into the ongoing conflict against Toffee and the search for Star.
  • Symphony of Angels is a Gargoyles fanfic where Demona DIDN'T betray Macbeth in 1057 A.D, but things went south anyway.
  • Captain Underpants AU - He Didn't Leave Us is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - an AU where Mr. Krupp didn't lose his powers, and kept in touch with Harold and George as they grew up.
  • Unstable Equilibrium revolves around an alternate universe of The Legend of Korra where Asami falls for Korra, not Mako. Unfortunately, Asami has one major issue: she's also an Equalist. The story is For Want of a Nail fic where Hiroshi was the one that was killed by firebenders, not Yasuko.
  • Deception Unveiled is an AU that diverges from Jem during "Glitter and Gold". Jerrica decides to tell her boyfriend Rio that she's Jem.
  • This Is Home is a Nicktoons fic where many of the Nicktoons characters live together at a foster house, with human versions of Cosmo and Wanda being the parents.
  • Wild Under the Golden Stars is a Transformers Animated fic where Optimus was sentenced to empurata after the the incident on Archa Seven.

Alternative Title(s): Alt Fic, Divergence Fic, AU Fic


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