Follow TV Tropes

Following

Dark Fic

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ron_8.png
Left: Ron Stoppable, maybe thinking about ice cream.
Right: Ron trying to walk off a double helping of Eye Scream.

This is probably a bit too dark for Frozen. Oh well, when has that ever stopped me?
— Author's Note on Kingdom of Isolation
Advertisement:

Deliberately writing a serious version of events related from a story which was originally quite lighthearted, "serious" in this case being more bleak, horrific, dark and/or possibly sadistic. Indeed, Dark Fic veritably wallows in (or savors) misery and darkness. This is sometimes satire, based on memes, or just writers flexing their creative muscles and showing us certain canonical elements that have the potential to be Nightmare Fuel. Or maybe the writer just enjoys depressing people with their writing style.

When badly done (especially when the original work was a comedy), it will do nothing but squick readers, who will quickly abandon it. Or it would unfairly ruin their views on certain characters. Or it would be so bad that it would even make them laugh. When well done, though, it can provide an intense and unsettling view of something supposedly familiar. Or it can make people laugh.

Advertisement:

The Fan Fic version of Darker and Edgier. Related to Grimmification. Often the result of Fridge Horror, in which case it is the fandom equivalent of Ascended Fridge Horror.

Contrast with Fix Fic. A Dark Fic may or may not be the end result of a Deconstruction Fic. If the series was already dramatic and dark, it shouldn't really be here (e.g. it's impossible to make a dark fic of The Walking Dead unless you really take it to another level).

Comedies or series on the "idealistic" side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism tend to inspire Dark Fic; similarly, "realistic" or darker stories inspire W.A.F.F. fanfic. Can also be a Dark Parody if it's a Parody Fic.

Usually overlaps with Ron the Death Eater, where a normally good character is depicted as such.


Advertisement:

Example subpages:

Other examples (sorted by medium of origin):

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • It probably won't take long for someone to find a Calvin and Hobbes dark fic, such as Camp Nightmare. Calvin is signed up for a day camp which has a really cheery atmosphere and people dressed like clowns... then Calvin and Hobbes discover a room full of the corpses of partially eaten children and it goes all downhill from there.
    • Tiger Chronicles: Catch 22 Syndrome. In it, after narrowly avoiding summer school in a heavy-handed boot camp, Calvin begins to research this supposed place of reform... only to find a conspiracy devoted to barbaric ideology. Very dark and with heavy themes of child abuse, but beautifully-written.
    • Stripes or Pink is a crossover between Calvin and Hobbes, The Pink Panther, and Nancy Drew. It features elements that are pretty dark for C&H and PP, such as a criminal organization that sends a cold-blooded attacker after Nancy, putting Calvin and the others in danger.
    • Calvin and Hobbes invites a whole category of darkfic, dark cartoons, etc., in which Calvin comes to realize that Hobbes is really a stuffed toy, and the live tiger was a figment of his imagination.
    • In A Special Place to Meet, it's implied that Calvin (who's now a teenager) died in a car crash and his mom put Hobbes on the spot as a memorial, meanwhile Hobbes doesn't know what's going on.
    • In The End of Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin crashes his sled and is never found. Then, six years later, his sister Claire finds him and he's dead.
    • No More Tigers has Calvin failing to imagine Hobbes, then finding out that tigers have gone extinct (not counting zoo tigers).
    • Let's Go Exploring is about Calvin as an adult being suicidal.
  • Arguably, Garfield Minus Garfield. Jon is clearly insane in those, after all...
  • Peanuts:
    • High School probably takes the cake. All the characters are teenagers. Pig-pen gets Violet pregnant. Snoopy gets rabies, kills Woodstock and Linus and infects Sally with the disease. Schroeder is a gay psychopath who kills Lucy, kills the rabid Snoopy, and then admits his love to Linus as he dies. Peppermint Patty and Marcie are lesbians with AIDS. Charlie Brown is emo and commits suicide.
    • The Weapon Brown series is a twisted version of the Peanuts characters All Grown Up in a post-apocalyptic world. Nearly everything that's ever been on the funny pages makes a cameo, but notable major characters are "Chairman Horns" from Dilbert, "Warden King" and The Wizard from The Wizard of Id, "Anne" from Little Orphan Annie, and "Pops" (from Thimble Theatre, but you know him better as Popeye). And then there's CAL-v.1n.

    Crossovers 
  • The Batman/Miraculous Ladybug crossover, Miraculous Knight, tonally hews closer to stuff like the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, the Batman: Arkham Series, the The Dark Knight Trilogy, the DC Extended Universe, and the Ladybug promotional video than Miraculous proper or, say, the DC Animated Universe as people are seriously hurt or even killed over the course of it and doesn't avoid Would Hurt a Child.
  • Reborn, as a crossover between Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Crow, is naturally this.
  • The Love, Simon, Love, Victor, and The Hate U Give fanfic “Twelve Months” is this. It starts with Simon going missing, and his boyfriend, Bram, dealing with the aftermath. It’s revealed Simon was sold into sex trafficking, and is only discovered when he’s brought to the hospital by the Human Traffickers with a STD.
  • Rainbow Noir and its prequel, The Mountains and the Sky, are a pair of philosophical Hitherby Dragons crossover stories between Rainbow Brite and Care Bears that focus on the reveal that Wisp is an Artificial Human, the death of Starlite, the off-screen destruction of Rainbow Land, the introduction of Nihilism Bear, and the creation of a Crapsack World where there is so little color that people will kill each other to get it.
  • When you think about it, DEATH BATTLE! turns the concept of an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny into this because of their rule that every fight has to end in a killing blow. Meaning every hero who shows up will either murder someone, any Thou Shalt Not Kill rule being flat-out removed as stated by the rules, or be murdered themselves. And the series loves to ramp up the brutality of the kills.
  • There's a song called "After Ever After" which parodies several Disney movies and is a dark sequel to all of them: for The Little Mermaid, Ariel is a victim of the BP Oil Spill and several of her friends (including Flounder) have been eaten, for Aladdin, the title character has been abducted, for Beauty and the Beast, Belle is accused of bestiality and being Satan (although she likely didn't have sex with Beast until he turned human anyway), and for Pocahontas, John Smith gave Pocahontas an STD.
  • Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights: A Magical Girl Crisis Crossover in which the universes of Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, the Precure metaseries, Lyrical Nanoha, and Madoka Magica converge, and the main characters are on the losing side of a war to save all reality.
  • Both Dreams and Destiny, as well as another series of the same name written for the author of Destiny, have several Disney Animated Canon films as really being All Just a Dream set either while a main character (usually the main female) is dying or while they are going through their miserable lives.
  • Lost Tales of Fantasia, now with its own page, combines every Disney story (every single one) into a single world, while answering some Fridge Logic questions with Fridge Horror. Why are Peter Pan's ears pointy? Tinker Bell was his mother. She almost died in childbirth due to the size difference, and only survived thanks to the magic flower from Tangled. Why is Captain Hook such a bumbling figure compared to the original works? He's holding back a little because Peter's his son. He only wants to kill Tinker Bell, and only because he's slowly been driven mad by the forces of Hell. By the way, Hell is Wonderland, and the Queen of Hearts is an Eldritch Abomination. Oh, and the story takes place during World War Two. So Hitler has a Villain Song.
  • Jeftoon01 has drawn a series called Twisted Princess wherein various Disney Princesses are portrayed in macabre styles, ranging from creepy to plain horrific. Each drawing has an accompanying short story that details how the princesses came to share such dark fates. He is also working on a similiar set, Twisted Fairies, with descriptions connecting fates of each disney Fairy to a larger Myth Arc. Here y'go.
  • Fairytales is a Disney crossover story that adds a level of grounded realism to the stories and darkens them up as well. For example, Snow White became pregnant at only fourteen and died because her body couldn't handle birth.
  • In the Slash Fic Ariel & Belle, Ariel has developed a prejudice against humans after her harsh treatment from them, Belle spent some time in an asylum as a child while dealing with her grief over her mother's death, and the final confrontation graphically describes Gaston stabbing Ariel before Belle pushes him to his death.
  • Somnium is a Disney Princess take on The Princess Series. It features dark themes including implications of murder, war, and rape. Aurora is a seer on a journey with Mulan and Giselle.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, the "Dark Steel - Kryptics" series of short stories twists popular My Hero Academia fanfic ideas into something horribly wrong.
  • The DC Comics/RWBY fanfic Hunters of Justice plays with this.
  • Where do we even start with Harry Potter and the Berserker? It's a crossover between Harry Potter, a British children's novel series and Berserk, an incredibly violent Japanese seinen (adult) manga. For the Potter side of things, it means plenty of things that the franchise would not even touch as graphic violence, explicit sexual content and some strong language (such as the F-word).
  • Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee:
    • A Zigzagged example, the series is a crossover between Pokémon, Love Live!, Tokimeki Memorial and Twinbee that, while balanced out by Lighter and Softer stories that are similar to Love Live! and TokiMemo proper, especially School Idol Festival/ALL STARS, does have stories/story arcs that are closer to the likes of Pokémon Origins, Pokémon Generations and Pokémon Adventures and the darker moments/backstory of the Pokémon games, since it turns out that the Ultra Beasts do exist and are certainly capable of lots of death and destruction, and have actually destroyed an alternate Knothole Village before! Not to mention that, at least in the "Ideal Hero" Side Story arc (Which is an adaptation/expansion of "The King Returns" from Pokémon Generations.), the PokéLive! version of Eggman is more willing to commit murder to achieve his goals (Just ask PokéLive!Sonic and PokéLive!Natural "N" Harmonia about it.) despite PokéLive!Eggman being just as comedic and over the top at times as his canon counterpart, in addition to Infinite making his debut in "Way of the Naganadel!", and threatening to raze Shizuku Osaka's World as well as the alternate universe that an alternate Mio Kisaragi and an alternate Yoshio Saotome hail from with Ultra Beasts, after a Naganadel he summoned from a wormhole was defeated by Shizuku's Mega Evolved Ampharos, clearly shows that even a School Idol, at least in that continuity, may have to become a Pokémon Trainer to save the world/defend their way of life from villains who wish to destory you or force you to bow to them/praise them!
    • In addition, other dark themes explored across the series are being orphaned while still a child (As the death of Yoko's biological parents can attest to.), Death by Childbirth (A deceased Daisy Wakaouji says hello!), apocalyptic scenarios (The aforementioned destruction of Knothole at the hands of Ultra Beasts, Infinite's threat to raze Shizuku's World and the Earth of an alternate Toki Memoverse using Ultra Beasts, just like Knothole before them and a possible future where only portions of the former Arctic and Antarctic tundra and ice caps are the remaining habitable land for humans caused by Eggman achieving victory against Yoko and her friend Elesis/Ellie during their final battle with the doctor.) and even villains from other universes wishing to rule over any survivors of an armageddon of their own making, as per the goal of the Dark Masters in the "Multidimensional Dark Masters" crossover arc.
  • The Pixar Theory makes the world of Pixar much darker than in the actual films, most notably in the Great Offscreen War, which is not sugarcoated at all.
  • Pokémon Crossing: Fly Me to the Moon: Downplayed. Serious topics do show up in the fic (such as coping with death, family fallouts, gender dysphoria, etc.), but the main plot is relatively lighthearted (three villagers travel the region together.)

    Films — Animation 
  • The The Mitchells vs. the Machines fanfic "Heroic Sacrifice" deals with what would have happened if Katie was killed in the final battle. It also touches on Jade coming from a homophobic family and being deeply in love with Katie.
  • Three Wishes is an Aladdin fic where Jasmine brutally tortures Jafar in revenge for years of physical and sexual abuse.
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • “The Blood Brother” deals with the subject of bigotry and sees Bolt's murderous friend Duke die when he is hit by a truck.
    • “The Survivor” presents Mittens's Backstory living with her abusive owners, who abandon her in a Manhattan alley and later die in a fiery drunk driving car crash.
    • “The Wind” sees Bolt enter into a relationship with his addict girlfriend and nearly get killed in a harrowing dog fight trying to rescue her.
    • “The Seven” presents Bolt's Backstory, in which his mother dies and he and his puppy friends narrowly escape death in an abandoned puppy mill.
  • Consumed is a Cinderella fanfic where Cinderella gets revenge on her step-family. Cue Cinderella getting Anastasia assassinated, having her body fed to her mother and sister (off-screen), and getting both of them put into jail for assumed murder and cannibalism. Drizella opts to kill herself instead of being hanged.
  • The Disney/Pixar movie Coco (plus some things the director has said) has given fans a lot to work with:
    • Many fics delve into the backstories of the adult characters. In particular, many cover what Imelda must have dealt with as a single mother in the 1920s, and even more cover what may have happened to Héctor during the 96 years he was separated from his family (and given the state he's in in the movie, he clearly hasn't had the best time). As for Ernesto... dealing with the fact that he murdered his best friend surely wasn't easy.
    • Other fics taking place post-movie explore the resulting PTSD some characters would likely go through, such as Héctor after learning he was murdered by his best friend, and Miguel after nearly being murdered twice.
  • The reputation The Hunchback of Notre Dame has for being a Darker and Edgier Disney movie makes it one of the few where violent fics feel warranted. One in particular, Justice in Paris, involves Frollo succeeding in stabbing Quasimodo following Esmeralda's Disney Death, only for her to seemingly rise from the dead and take revenge by strangling him to death.
  • Inside Out:
  • The Land Before Time : Rhombus's The Seven Hunters has the premise "What would happen if Littlefoot and his friends were suddenly turned into carnivores?", and plays the premise to logical but horrifying conclusions.
  • Considering how cruel nature is and how dark the films are, it's unsurprising that The Lion King has a lot of these (especially fanart). A popular concept revolves around Zira murdering Simba's and Nala's first cub, Kopa (a semi-official character from books that predate the sequel film), and that being why she was exiled.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
    • So Rot Vie Blut is a grimmified fanfic where Snow White is the murderous step-daughter of Grimhilde.
    • The oneshot Fairest incorporates the Brothers Grimm ending into the plot and plays it for horror. Snow White's torture of her step-mother makes her new husband rethink their marriage.
  • Tangled:
  • Zootopia: I Will Survive is a particularly infamous short comic where Judy ends up pregnant with Nick's child. Judy doesn't want to keep it, mainly citing health reasons and her career, but Nick wants to. This leads into an argument which ends in Nick leaving Judy after she says she isn't changing her stance.
  • Zig-Zagged by The Other Side. The fanfic series as a whole isn't necessarily darker and edgier than the original Trolls: World Tour movie (asides from other fanfics integrated into the multiverse that the second fanfic follows upon), but is full of violence and action compared to the movie's mild use of it. That being said, it still balances its more dramatic moments with much more lighthearted ones.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • The Avengers
      • Margo_Kim's "The Value of Strength" has the premise "what if Steve Rogers is secretly a complete sociopath?" and ruthlessly reinterprets the events of the film and its predecessor and predicts the future actions of the character based on that.
      • In Steve He Saved for Last, Tony flips a coin every New Year's Eve to decide whether to spend the year good or evil. This fic is what happens when he flips evil.
      • Draining the Oasis Dry features a Bruce Banner and Tony Stark who are secretly evil, and, as a couple, are sexually aroused by murdering people in situations where they've ostensibly attempted to SAVE them.
    • The Winter Soldier's capture, brainwashing, and abuse as depicted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier are already pretty dark fare for the franchise, and serve as rich sources of inspiration for writers who'd like to go a bit further than the popular "WS recovery" Fandom-Specific Plot.
      • Chyetirye, the first part of the Ipseity series, focuses not only on the Winter Soldier's torture, but also on sexual abuse inflicted onto him and the resulting Dissociative Identity Disorder.
      • The Alphabet series opens with a seriously mentally ill, nearly nonverbal Winter Soldier who is a heartbreaking flavor of Psychopathic Manchild. He then gets kidnapped by a SHIELD that barely treats him better than his old masters and put to work destroying HYDRA.
      • The Waves Above Us features a severely depressed, suicidal, drug-abusing, and staunchly pro-socialist Steve Rogers and later Bucky Barnes. The fic is deeply cynical, with strong anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian sentiments that spare nothing for Stark Industries, SHIELD, or anybody who stands by them, and it takes a long, hard look at how America and society treats its weakest, and how deeply and thoroughly those systems have failed and abused Steve and Bucky. The story is seriously impressive for managing to convince several readers to genuinely want Steve and/or Bucky to succeed in committing suicide.
  • Lost Causes is a Who Framed Roger Rabbit backstory fic for Jessica Rabbit, which reveals she was created solely for pornography and prostitution, with her consent not mattering because she's a Toon. She faces Fantastic Racism both from other Toons for not being funny and from humans for being a Toon. She falls in loves with Roger because he's the first person who treated her like a person instead of a sex object.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: In the oneshot Labyrinth, Mrs. Bucket feels weird about Willy Wonka, but her family think she's being paranoid. As it turns out, her worries are warranted.
  • In-Universe example in the German movie Harte Jungs (Tough Boys): Axel Stein's character tells some girl at his school of his headcanon about the smurfs, namely that Smurfette must be the village whore. Her reaction: "You've just fucked up my whole childhood!"

    Literature 
  • Bridge to Terabithia: Subverted in the LDD-fanfic, Bridge to Terabithia 2: The Last Time, which has its share of dark themes and storylines (Human trafficking? Substance abuse? Unplanned pregnancy? Attempted female-on-male rape?), but at least it concludes with a happy ending.
  • Neil Gaiman has written a The Chronicles of Narnia darkfic called "The Problem of Susan" about Susan after her siblings are killed so they can stay in Narnia. It also involves White Witch/Aslan sex. He also wrote Snow, Glass, Apples which makes "Snow White" much darker by telling it from the Queen's point of view and making Snow White the villain.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: 25 Years Later is a sequel story set when the characters are adults. It starts with Greg being a miserable adult. He's distant from Manny, his father is dying of lung cancer, and he hasn't talked to Rowley in seven years after a failed love confession.
  • Good Omens:
  • Many, many Harry Potter fanfics. Before book 7, most were of "What if Voldemort wins" variety (Cycle of the Badger, for example). After that, they mostly flesh out the what was happening with the rest of the wizarding world during the book. Also the First War is quite popular.
    • Hogwarts Exposed is something of a Dark Fic, full as it is of rape, pedophilia, torture and bodily functions; the author disagreed with himself as to the extent to which this was intentional.
    • The Padfoot Tragedies series, a "what if" story except the what if in question is "What if Sirius killed himself in his sixth year following years of abuse from his family, pedo!Fenrir Greyback and Hogwarts head girl, and Bastard Boyfriend!Remus? And that meant the Voldemort never fell? And then Sirius somehow comes back from the dead 20 or so years later?"
    • How do you make a magical world even darker? By crossing it over with Hellraiser in "Evil Be Thou My Good". It's actually a bit of a subversion as things end relatively happily... so long as you are Harry or one of his friends. The Dursleys, Death Eaters, Umbridge... yeah, things don't go well for them.
    • The Very Secret Diary, focusing on the relationship between Tom Riddle and Ginny Weasley, is a downplayed example. The Harry Potter books get pretty damn dark, but they don't get this dark until the fifth or sixth book in the series. This story takes place during the second — but, aside from a couple minor details that got Outdated by Canon a few years after the story's publication, it's entirely canon compliant. Part of what makes it so terrifying is that it's 100% plausible that this is what was happening offscreen during the second book.
    • My Immortal, though poorly-written, still counts: Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys (or rather, this fanfic's version of them) all have negative backstories (rape, dead parents, etc), there's lots of self-harm (although apparently the vampires do self-harm just because they're bored without being depressed), and Draco Malfoy commits suicide (although he does it twice and comes back both times.)
  • The A dance of Shadow and Light series by Ocadioan takes the Inheritance Cycle and makes it significantly darker and more brutal. Especially as of Phoenix Fire, where the body count in the first ten chapters alone reach above 250,000.
  • A Shot of the Needful deals with manipulation, alcoholism and sexual abuse... in the Jeeves and Wooster fandom. It doesn't end well.
  • The Lord of the Rings fandom has plenty of these, many involving Elves and Ho Yay. However, one fan fic stands out as being extremely disturbing: And These Pearls That Were Her Eyes. A story based on The Silmarillion segment about the last king and queen of Númenor, it's a dark tragedy about spousal violence and rape. (Not that The Silmarillion isn't pretty dark to begin with.)
    • Some of the "what-if" theories on the Lord of the Rings Youtube Channel Men of the West fit the bill.
      • What if Boromir Had Lived? has Boromir surviving turning the story into a massive Kill 'Em All and the Shire being enslaved by brigands.
      • In What If Gandalf Had Taken the One Ring?, Gandalf takes the One Ring, uses it to painfully torture Saurman. He then becomes an insane dictator, resembling to the council of Elrond a servant of Morgoth. When Elrond tries to separate the ring from Gandalf, Gandalf burns Elrond alive along with the rest of Rivendell. He then breeds his own Orcs and launches an attack on Middle Earth. It ends with him enslaving the Shire and planning to attack Valinor.
      • In What if Saurman Had Claimed the One Ring, Saurman takes the one ring and breaks Gandalf mentally, turns the Nazgul against Sauron. He eventually takes over Middle Earth and is manipulated centuries later by Sauron to release Morgoth from the Void, leading to the Dagor Dagorath.
    • Splint (and its spin-off Freedom's Limits), which explores more of the Orcs' perspective of the War of the Ring and its aftermath. Not that The Lord of the Rings is all rainbows and sunshine, but this fic is most definitely aimed at mature audiences, with a great deal more graphic violence, profanity, sex and moral ambiguity.
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society:
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus have developed a niche fanbase filled with these, mostly due to dark!Percy and his One-Scene Wonder fight with Akhlys. Some, like this one attempt to resolve his inner turmoil, while some, like this one, simply enjoy and explore the theme.
  • Due to its nature, The Phantom of the Opera is rich with possibilities. The Phantom is a Stalker with a Crush, who has been watching a little girl for years as she grows up (hidden behind her mirror, no less), who has a history of assassination and dark magic (among other things), and whom most of the fans still want to see get the girl. Ironically, this goes back to the original interpretation of the character, prior to the musical version, which made the Phantom Lighter and Fluffier.
  • The Temeraire series is not really lighthearted fare as it is, given that it doesn't shy away from showing the horrors of war and child death for the Aerial Corps' cadets and midwingmen, but all of that is contrasted by protagonist William Laurence's unshakably strong moral compass and his friendship with his dragon, the eponymous Temeraire. The fanfic Black Wings, Black Sails removes all of that by separating Laurence and Temeraire, and bringing Laurence to turn to piracy. More than anything else, the fic shows what could happen if William Laurence went bad, with all his strength of conviction, leadership skills, and military experience as a master prize-taking captain behind him. Knowledge of canon, especially of Temeraire and Laurence's unbreakable bond, makes this fic a heart-wrenching affair to behold.
  • Twilight:
    • The Paper Doll Kindergarten. Remember Nessie (or Renesmee Carlie, if you prefer), Bella's super-quick-growing genius vampire baby? Well, Nessie isn't happy. Sadly, this fic is no longer available for whatever reason.
    • "What Dreams May Come", which just applies the "vampire hypnotism" found in so many other works of vampire literature to Twilight, while simultaneously showing Edward in the most creepy possible light. Mind Rape ensues.
    • Nessie inspires a lot of this. There are two companion fics, called "Seven" and "Eighteen" which deal with two possible interpretations of her strange aging.
    • For a look at the horrors of imprinting from the other side, For You I Will {found here) is an incredibly dark work that has Embry imprinting on a vagrant named Melanie Sampson. Everyone promptly accepts it as True Love like in the books... except Melanie is nothing like the other "wolf girls", and starts using the imprinting bond to get away with abusing Embry and getting him to do all sorts of horrific things with her. By the end of the fic, Melanie is forcing Embry to help her brutally sodomize and murder brown-haired women. Jacob and the other werewolves manages to figure this out, but the story ends with Melanie ordering Embry to secretly kill them all, so they can't interfere.
  • Where's Wally?:
    • Searching is a one-shot describing a darkly different interpretation of the Where's Waldo scenes that makes entirely too much sense.
    • What Is Lostadd is a story about an OC named Gabby who has never able to find Waldo due to being red/green colorblind, and when she finally admitted her condition to her class, she was constantly ridiculed. Suffering from anxiety and self-harm because of this, she blames Waldo for it all. When her only friend gives her a magic WW book, they enter it to find Waldo and presumably do something nasty to him. Sadly, it ends there, but the fact that somebody had the idea at all is mind-boggling.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh: Pooh Goes Apeshit (extremely not safe for work, lunch, or your sanity).
  • Worm:
    • Cenotaph both plays this straight... and inverts it. On one hand Taylor's father is murdered by Bakuda and she almost dies on the other, Taylor doesn't spend the first month of her cape career fighting for her life against both sides of the law.
    • Stepping On Worm by the infamous Perfect Lionheart wants to think it's a Fix Fic. But the changes made to the background setting end up creating a far darker and more disturbing world than canon - for one, a notorious supervillain is the power behind the US government - and things just get worse from there.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Apprentice and Pregnant covers Teen Pregnancy more blatantly than the books. It also features rape, suicide, profanity, and other topics the series won't touch.
    • Blood! Rusty AU is a fic where Rusty joined BloodClan instead of ThunderClan. It contains more violence and darker themes than the official books.
    • In Bluefur's Choice there's never-ending bloodshed between the Clans as they fight for territory. The story has an almost Kill 'Em All attitude after it hits the midway point.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family:
  • Arrowverse: Arrow: Rebirth, which does not shy away from vividly describing the darker aspects of criminality in Starling City and the world as a whole.
  • Dad's Army, of all things, gets the bleak and surprisingly plausible Dads Army Fanfic. In short, the worst fear of the Home Guard finally takes place, and the South coast of England is invaded by Nazis. The typically comically inept Home Guard are now tragically incapable of offering any real resistance.
  • Day of the Barney, which depicts Barney the Dinosaur as an evil immortal overlord bent on conquering the world (his first and only successful attempt involves inciting every child in the world into a riot against everyone else), not being afraid to murder in graphic manners while maintaining his sickeningly sweet personality. Oh, and his backstory holds him responsible for killing the dinosaurs, corrupting Caligula, unleashing the Black Plague, rescuing Adolf Hitler and leading Those Wacky Nazis to Anne Frank.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has, among others, The Long War. Rather than chase after the Galactica and search for Earth, the POV fleet decides to remain at the colonies and keep fighting the Cylons. Despite a few victories and poor Cylon tactics, they are slowly suffering from attrition and the Cylons are starting to learn. The fleet's commander is slowly going insane and the overall outlook looks even bleaker than the television series.
  • A Sweater Stitched in Lies is a dark fic of The Cosby Show (yes, really) featuring murder, attempted murder, insanity, meth addiction, domestic and child abuse, and lots of sex. Sondra goes insane after Elvin and the twins are murdered in their home (or she murders them, it's not clear), and everything goes downhill from there, with the family falling to pieces while trying to cope.
  • Doctor Who is almost custom made for this. Even beyond the Doctor being a well-baked angst muffin with psychological scars so deep you can fit entire lost civilisations in them, the legions of vicious, dangerous and destructive aliens and monsters that have been featured, the sheer potential of a vehicle that can appear anywhere in time and space, and a universe that is Always Doomed all combine to contain endless possibilities. Fans have not ignored any of this.
    • On a more subtle note, Psycho Savior, qu'est-ce que c'est? features a pretty dark take on the Ninth Doctor, who was never exactly a sunshiney kind of guy to begin with. Fortunately, the writer never forgets that the Doctor is, in fact, a Big Damn Hero, which keeps the story firmly on the side of pretty damn good.
  • Believe it or not, FanFiction.Net's small cache of Everybody Loves Raymond fanfic consists almost entirely of Dark Fic, which is pretty surprising for a sitcom. There are a couple of fics where Debra cheats on Ray with Robert (including one where the result of this action is both Ray and Amy becoming dark and embittered souls who join forces to plot revenge), one where Marie has a heart attack and the other characters stand around sneering and laughing at her instead of calling an ambulance, and one that features teenaged versions of Ray and Debra as angst-ridden Emo Teens who spend an afternoon cutting themselves.
  • Hunting the Unicorn is a Glee fic that's heavily influenced by The Last Unicorn. It deconstructs Kurt and Blaine's sugary, chaste romance by exposing just what would make them (and especially Blaine) act like they do in the show. According to readers, the effect is heartbreaking.
  • How I Met Your Mother has an entire livejournal community of darkfic — an impressive feat for any fandom, let alone a sitcom. Most of them involve various main characters getting into abusive relationships (either with each other or with one-shot or original characters, but most often Barney/Robin), extreme genre shifts changing the setting from comedy to crime/drama or thriller/horror multichapter stories, or subjecting one or more of of the characters' pasts to a Cerebus Retcon, again, usually involving abuse. idioticonion is one of the fandom's most prolific darkfic writers.
  • iCarly can get some pretty bleak fics:
    • They're usually based on Sam's potentially abusive mother, or the potential for a Sam/Freddie relationship to go horrifically off the rails and end up with Sam physically abusing Freddie (often including rape).
    • In the Carly/Sam fandom, fanfics relating to Sam's behavior pop up, especially self harm (cutting, drugs, alcohol abuse, etc) related ones.
    • In one fic, the gang holds a segment on iCarly where anyone can suggest a website and they'll visit it. Someone links them to various shock sites. Needless to say, the kids are scarred and it doesn't get any better from there. Carly gets severe nosebleeds and nightmares from the trauma, Sam distances herself from her friends and Freddie, already slightly mentally damaged from his mother winds up not only starting to get off on gory and dark imagery like what’s on those shock sites, but also going completely insane! By the end of the story Freddie has killed his own mother, gutted Sam live on stream and committed suicide, Spencer is slightly disabled from a head injury and Carly is left traumatised and completely alone.
  • Laverne & Shirley:
    • K-S-M: Kiss Me is still kind of comedic, but it veers into Black Comedy: one of Lenny's relatives at a party drugs the punch with something that makes women lusty and tipsy, and Laverne drinks it. It wears off, but that's a bit heavy for Laverne and Shirley, and she ends up sick.
    • In A New Beginning, Shirley dies, Laverne is a lot less Hot-Blooded than normal and it's implied that Squiggy is dead too.
    • Weight of the World is about Shirley dying.
    • The Imperfect Man, a psychic apparently predicts Laverne's death and she goes a bit insane and possibly tries to kill herself (but the alternate interpretation is that she thinks she's immune to death now). At the end, she's OK, but Carmine dies.
    • In Always, Laverne is old and dying of cancer.
    • In Milwaukee Terror, a Monster Clown with balloons full of blood stalks the title characters and kills their friends, lying that he'll make them "float". He supposedly kills Laverne and Shirley too, but at the end, they're OK.
    • Somebody to Lean On has Laverne get raped by her boyfriend Mike.
    • Sinners Have Soul has Laverne find Shirley unconscious or dead and bleeding.
    • In Bloody Kisses, Carmine turns into a vampire and kills several people including Laverne's dad. He also turns Shirley into a vampire, who tries to bite Laverne. Eventually, Lenny and Squiggy kill Shirley and Carmine.
    • There's a whole series of AlternateUniverseFics called Bookends. While not all the fanfics are dark, the timeline for the universe highlights some dark stuff, including Laverne's mother dying (canon) of lung cancer (fanon), Renna (a relative of Lenny's) getting a brain injury, six-year-old Laverne having trouble at school from distraction because her mother is unwell and being called a dummy, Laverne's social life being "the pits" a year after the show, Lenny's wife Karen getting post-partum depression, Laverne and Shirley not being as close as before (although that was temporary), Frank dying of a heart attack, Lenny's cat Bosco becoming sick and surviving but later dying anyway (along with a turtle, two frogs, and a dog), a nearly-elderly Laverne having a high-risk pregnancy, Shirley's daughter Eileen becoming an alcoholic and then dying in a car crash, Shirley's parents and Lenny's father dying, Carmine having a (non-lethal) heart attack, Squiggy's sister being suicidal, Sonny dying of a stroke, and finally Laverne finding out that she has low blood sugar.
    • There's a parody of the theme called Laverne and Shirley Lose Everything in a Catastrophic Fire, which has lyrics like "any dream we have cannot come true" and "this time, there's no hope for us".
  • Many M*A*S*H fics focus on Hawkeye Pierce struggling to adjust to life after the war and often end with him being Driven to Suicide. Arguably justifiable, as he always was a little bipolar and had a complete psychological breakdown in the series finale that caused him to be committed to a mental hospital. Fanfic writer Meredith Bronwen Mallory has some disturbingly well-written darkfics on FanFiction.Net. Mostly Slash Fic, but all haunting and brilliant.
  • The infamous Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers fanfiction Agony in Pink, the far-too-long story in which the original Pink Ranger, Kimberly, is kidnapped, raped, tortured and snuffed by Lord Zedd in very graphic fashion. Some believe it caused an "international incident" (if being mentioned as a reason for filtering a site counts as such) and may have been the reason that FanFiction.Net stopped allowing NC-17 stories.
    • Power Rangers in general seems to lend itself to darker fanfiction, though very few as dark as the above. There's a lot of potential darkness in a teenage strike team fighting aliens with the entire world at stake, and almost none of it gets explored on-screen in the TV-Y7 franchise where the heroes (very nearly) always win.
  • Mork & Mindy:
    • The fanfic Together is practically like a soap opera: first Mindy thinks she has a cold...which turns out to be the flu, Lily (the neighbour) gets appendicitis and Mork gets low blood sugar, then when they get better, Mork and Mindy have a falling-out, then when they make up, then Lily deals with an abusive boyfriend named Logan, then Mindy feels sad on Mother's Day because her mother's dead, then Lily gets lonely and dislikes her job, so she quits it, then they think Mork has to leave...but he doesn't...but he gets amnesia...then he goes back to normal but he and Mindy fight again, they make up but Lily gets insecurities...
    • Another Mork and Mindy fanfic that is dark is Goodbye. Basically, Mork gets severely injured in a car accident, then he dies, and seven years later, Mindy goes insane and eventually kills herself.
  • NUMB3RS has Fractured series by Lyl, which has Megan, Don, and Charlie as serial killers who escape an asylum and they go on a killing spree and cause large amounts of damage to the city.
  • There's a popular type of dark fic called JDA in Scrubs fan fiction. In them, JD is often suicidal, abuses drugs, and has cancer in a few of them.
  • Stargate SG-1 has the Eurydice Verse, in which the damage doesn't reset itself after every episode. The author probably thinks the characters should be a lot more screwed up than they appear to be in Canon.
  • Harper's Island has a lot of darkfic based on the Big Bad's plan succeeding.
  • Smallville, being the origin story for The Cape, Superman, was fairly light until Bizarro showed up, and more so after Doomsday entered the picture in season eight, but Dark Fics in the cheerful early seasons is quite common. Crisis, for example, with graphic descriptions of sexual assault, torture, attempted murder and copious amounts of angst.
  • Remember the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with many Enterprises and a reality where "Federation has lost and Borg are everywhere"? Well, there is a fanfic about it here.
    • Speaking of Star Trek, Djinn1 is particularly good at this trope. See: the Original Series stories Dream Until Your Dream Comes True, Banshee, and Witness. There are many more; those are just the exceptionally good (and exceptionally dark) ones.
    • There are also some very dark Star Trek fics and fanart depicting the Mirror Universe. One such fic is Naraht's How To Advance Your Career Through Marriage series — taking the thesis put forward in Diane Duane's TNG Mirror Universe novel Dark Mirror that Mirrorverse Picard was much less... scrupulous about his attraction to Jack Crusher's wife. It focuses on Dr. Crusher's conflict about their undeniably imbalanced, profoundly unhealthy relationship and its impact on her family and well-being, while navigating a perilous Enterprise where assassination as a means of advance in rank is commonplace. (And it turns standard Picard's fondness for Hamlet into a bit of a bleak stealth joke.)
    • In An Enduring Song, Deanna Troi dies and Riker mourns her.
    • Rewiring rewrites the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Wire" as taking place in the twenty-first century, everyone lives in an apartment building, Bashir and Kira work in a pizza restaurant (as part of the Deep Dish Nine universe) and the aliens are humans. In the actual episode, Garak is addicted to an implant in his brain that was meant to make him immune to pain while he was a spy, but in this fic, he's addicted to drugs and his addiction symptoms are much worse.
    • One user has made several Star Trek: Voyager fanfics called The Night X Went Crazy and Killed Everyone, about a character doing just that. They've done it to Neelix, Seven of Nine, and the Doctor, although his is called The Night the Doctor Finally Went Off the Deep End.
    • The Marissa Picard storys [sic] are light-hearted Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfiction centering on one self-insert character. These fanfic stories have attracted some of their own fanfics, including some that are very dark indeed (such as Dark Marrissa #1: The Master Builders and Marrissa Pays Off Karma).
  • Although Supernatural is pretty dark to start with, some fanfics manage to make it worse, usually through a lot of torture and rape. One fic springs instantly to mind when Evil!Sam decides to make Dean his sex slave, mostly through raping the living daylights out of him, all in a world where Hell had taken over. And any fic that takes place in the Alternate Universe shown in "The End", where the Sam and Dean fail to stop The Apocalypse from happening and Sam agrees to be Lucifer's vessel.
  • Victorious:
    • Victorious has Stay, a story about Jade getting raped and Tori helping her deal with the trauma.
    • Things Jade Hates explores Jade's personality. It largely stems from past abuse, namely Parental Incest and emotional abuse by her mother. Jade also Self Harms in the fic.
  • Sweetly Rotten swings between being an example of Rule 34 and this. It's about The Worst Witch, and claims that while the principal Miss Ada Cackle's Evil Twin Agatha was in charge, she sexually assaulted the vice principal Miss Hecate "HB" Hardbroom. The fanfic switches between fetishizing the sexual assault and playing it for drama.

    Music 
  • The Protomen is a dark fic for Mega Man (Classic).
  • Vocaloid has some pretty dark fanfics:
  • Almost all Slash Fic for X Japan is this in some way. For very, very valid Real Life reasons (namely, two of the original band members are dead after lives spent struggling with mental illness and alcohol/drug abuse, one of the three surviving original members spent 12 years in a dangerous Scam Religion before getting out, one is a hardcore alcoholic, and one has had a life of physical and emotional illness and the loss of a parent and a soulmate from self-inflicted deaths). The happiest any fic that is more than a one-shot Plot What Plot story can plausibly get there is Earn Your Happy Ending - and even some of that, when written involving Taiji before 2011, became much more sad.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theatre 
  • Little Shop of Horrors is somewhat dark at times on its own, but somewhere on DeviantArt, some fanfics are, instead of a surreal musical romantic comedy from the 80's based off of a dark comedy from the 60's, quite dark and dramatic, such as Seymour's Nightmare.

    Toys 
  • The original Dino Attack line was just a couple of guys with high-tech vehicles and over-the-top weaponry fighting mutant dinosaurs in a city for no particular reason. Dino Attack RPG manages to take the vague premise and run it into a much Darker and Edgier drama. In the RPG, the mutant dinosaur rampage isn't just affecting a city, but it's a global catastrophe ( planned by the Darkitect). Instead of just four guys, there are over two hundred people fighting to save the planet, many of whom have depressing backstories, psychological issues, and character arcs with tragic consequences. The rest of the story is filled to the brim with death, destruction, genocide, drugs, alcohol, sexism, smoking, homophobia, child abuse, murder, betrayal, and torture, just to name a few. There's even an alternate ending that ends with an Earth-Shattering Kaboom and everybody dying. Did we mention this was based on a LEGO line?
  • My Little Pony had a few of these even predating Friendship Is Magic. While not particularly gory they tend to be darker than the series, dealing with death and averting the usual apathy the ponies have towards danger:
    • In Eternal it's shown that the unicorns are incredibly old and immortal. Unicorns are essential to the balance of the universe, but they view it as a curse that they pass down onto their children.
    • Scars of War is an unfinished fanfic where the ponies of Dream Valley have just finished a traumatic war against another region.

    Web Animation 
  • Murderer's Row is a brutal prison AU fic for Red vs. Blue. There is death, disembowlment, and a terrifying rape scene.
  • RWBY
    • The infamous fanfic Blood Rose is pretty much the embodiment of this trope. Gore, graphic violence, cannibalism, and sexual assault are relatively common (and sometimes take place all at the same time) What makes it even more disturbing is that Ruby, who is easily the most innocent and naive person in the show itself, is generally the one doing all of this. Unlike most fanfics of this degree of violence, though, it actually has a pretty decent plot.
    • RWBY: Dark is a series where Remnant is reimagined as a dystopian wasteland where almost every RWBY hero recieves a hot dose of Adaptational Villainy: Lord Ozpin is the tyrannical ruler of Remnant, Jaune, Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren are his private assassin force, Blake is the leader of the White Fang terrorist organization, Weiss is the corrupt CEO of the Schnee Dust Company, and Ruby is a bloodthirsty, perverted Serial Killer with Yang as her mutilated slave/trophy pet.
    • RWBY: Scars is a dark retelling of RWBY. The general story and characterization is similar to canon, however the world of Remnant is taken more seriously without any of the whimsy of the first two volumes. Grimm are dangerous beasts and many students don't even survive Beacon's initiation, which means many students show signs of PTSD before even graduating. The characters have also more fleshed out backstories, including more clear Abusive Parents on Weiss' part (which leads to Weiss being seriously mentally ill) and Domestic Abuse on Blake's part.
    • Let Us Be Your Poison is a rewrite of RWBY that works it into a "dark fairy-tale". Hunters work as military personnel (not Grimm killers) and the world is overall much darker.
    • The Mind's Eye starts out with Jaune's semblance grants him the power to read minds. It's all fun and games until he tries to read the mind of a Grimm, bringing him face-to-face with a very ticked off Salem. Things quickly go down hill from there.
  • Dark Fics for Eddsworld are pretty common too:
    • "Disfigure", in which the Evil Director Guy from the episode "Spares" starts working with experiments that involve fusing people together. He ends up doing this to Edd, Matt, Tom and Tord and the resulting abomination is implied to kill him for it. Afterward, Paul and Pat sneak into the lab and end up separating the boys, freeing them from their horrible nightmare...only to end up as a conjoined monstrosity themselves. This one is noteworthy in that the author was kind enough to provide pictures of what the fusions looked like on their Deviantart account...let's just say, it isn't pretty...
    • "Nighted Doors" is something of a Character Blog/Alternate Reality Game combo where a mysterious door materializes in the boys' house. After all attempts to get rid of it fail, it starts spooking them something fierce, plaguing them with terrifying nightmares and haunting them with a frightful presence none of them can explain. Ringo seems to just straight up ignore the thing's existence, acting normally for the most part, but keeping her distance when she passes the door's location, like she senses something is off about it. Things only get worse when Matt disappears behind the door and the others have to enter it to rescue him. The interior is exactly what you'd expect it to be, and what's worse, it appears to be toying with them.

    Webcomics 
  • This might be deserving of note for being a dark fic in FanFiction.Net's rather small El Goonish Shive section. The actual comic got hit by Cerebus Syndrome for a while, but ye gods...
  • Homestuck has more than a few dark fics due to the sheer amount of Fridge Horror it has. Most commonly focused on the doomed timelines, but several AUs about a dystopian non-sgrub Alternia, a post-game world where either trolls or humans have enslaved the other species, or just canon continuity stories with a lot of rape, death, Wangst and abuse.
  • CWCollateral: A Tale of the Resistance gives this treatment to the infamous Sonichu, while mixing it with Hate Fic. The story depicts the official comic as propaganda released by the oppresive and incomptent Chandler administration, while following the perspective of the villains, the PVCC, as they struggle against the Electric Hedgehog Pokémon regime.

    Web Original 
  • Given the material, some of the timelines and stories on AlternateHistory.com arguably fall under this in relation to Alternate History. These are generally brutal, Crapsack Worlds ranging from victorious Nazis to nuclear holocaust.
    • One specific example would be A World of Laughter, a World of Tears, which follows the unforeseen consequences of Walt Disney's election into the White House.
    • For All Time is basically what happens when Finagle's Law is applied to history. Here, FDR dies of a stroke two weeks after Pearl Harbor, leaving the far less competent Henry Wallace in charge of the country during World War II. Gone Horribly Wrong doesn't even begin to describe it. Here, the most marginalized and insane figures become prominent leaders, ranging from American President Jim Jones to Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa of France to Andrei Chikatilo becoming premier of the Soviet Union; nations break up, genocides and civil wars happen on a daily basis, and nuclear and chemical weapons become common tools for war.
    • Twilight Of The Red Tsar is about a world where Joseph Stalin survives his stroke. What happens when one of the most evil men in history lives a bit longer? The Dotor's Plot is carried out and escalates into a Second Holocaust that claims the lives over a million Soviet Jews; the Baltic states face a mass ethnic cleansing that nearly depopulates them, the Sino-Soviet Split leads to a war that sees China hit with nuclear and biological weapons, leading to millions of deaths, mass famine, and the worst refugee crisis in history. Things aren't much better outside the eastern bloc, with Egypt falling under control of the Muslim Brotherhood and becoming a poverty-stricken hellhole where 'criminals' are mutilated, tortured or executed in public on a daily basis.
    • Green Antarctica reimagines the southern continent as a habitable landmass, but also an absolute Death World. The wildlife includes giant raping gorillas, fire-breathing ants, acid-spitting eagles, giant platypi that have evolved to be similar to crocodilians, Drop Bears, a small mammal whose bite sends humans into comas, and it's just to name a few. The natives of such a land, the Tsalal, are an enormous and technically advanced civilization, but the brutality of their homeland also brought out the worst aspects of humanity in them: murder, rape, cannibalism, bestiality, necrophilia, torture, Human Sacrifice, you name it and it's probably normalized in at least one of their cultures. They were unaware of the outside world for most of history, until Captain Cook arrives in July 1774...
    Cook: "Truly, ignorance was a gift from God. It would be better for all if the civilized nations never knew such a people existed. But in the knowledge which must come, I can only hope that providence inspires the spirit of man to unite and exterminate these brutes. Yet in my heart, I feel fear, because now they know that we exist..."
  • The fiction blog Hitherby Dragons tries this with many of its entries, spanning from The Smurfs (undergoing the Trail of Tears), to My Little Pony (during the apocalypse), to Glow Worm (as a demon, fighting a doomed battle against worse horrors), to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the heroine dies early on), to stereotypical high school Magical Girl stories (the magical girls are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). In the bittersweet style of Hitherby, some such stories (like the one where Teletubbies are suffering eternal punishment for their sins) turn things around on the reader again and manage to end on an uplifting note, while others do not.
  • Sailor Nothing takes the Sailor Moon style Magical Girl genre and deconstructs it into a realistically horrifying tale similar, yet different to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The story follows a teenage girl who, after jumping at the chance to be a hero, spends most of her time fighting evil rather than making friends, doing well in school, and generally living her life. This is made worse by the fact that it is during high school, so her social reputation is constantly demolished, and that she can never truly quit being a hero.
  • A popular meme on Tumblr involves "genre swap" — i.e., taking carefully-selected screenshots of a particular fandom and arranging them and moderately manipulating their tint, exposure, brightness, etc to make them fit a completely different genre. You've got some dark-to-light — Dexter as a romantic comedy! Breaking Bad as a Rogers and Hammerstein musical ("Albuquerque's Alive With The Sound Of Dealing")! — but others are light-to-dark, such as Glee as a horror film, How I Met Your Mother as a murder mystery (involving the murder of the eponymous mother), or Tangled as a psychological thriller.

    Web Videos 
  • A disturbing amount of That Guy with the Glasses fanfiction is Dark Fic (the other half is Crack Fic), mostly due playing crazy comedy characters for drama and the challenge of still keeping their personalities intact is more fun than it should be.
    • That Guy with the Glasses in Space. If a group of nerdy, fun internet personas becoming broken — but very, very Badass — woobies due to war and experiments isn't dark then we don't know what is.
    • The Hooker Verse doesn't do too badly either in this department, either. The only difference is that it replaces war with, well, the internet personas either whoring themselves out, becoming pimps or paying for said whores.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report