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Fan Flattering

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You're so much better and you're so different,
you don't believe in what they do.
I know you are one of us.
Blutengel, "Angels of the Dark"

This is about a work making a claim that its fans are better than other people. It's beside the point whether the author actually believes this, whether the author actually expects the fans to believe it, and whether the fans actually believe it: These three issues are separate from this trope as well as from one another. When the author doesn't believe the message but chose to do it anyway, it sometimes takes the form of an ironic Backhanded Compliment.

Compare Pandering to the Base, The Player Is the Most Important Resource.

Inverted accidentally with This Loser Is You, and deliberately with Take That, Audience! and You Bastard!.


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    Comic Books 
  • Chick Tracts: Those who read the tracts and agree with them go to heaven. All Christians who disagree with the tracts (most Christians), as well as all non-Christians, go to hell.
  • Stan Lee often plays with this in his addresses to Marvel Comics readers as "True Believers!"
  • 2000 AD editorials often have Tharg the Mighty praising the readers for being able to handle a level of Thrill-Power that most people can't.

  • The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: The book claims that followers of pastafari don't consider themselves superior, since they aren't self-righteous bastards like everyone else... wait, what?
  • In the acknowledgements for Twilight: Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer states that "I firmly believe that my fans are the most attractive, intelligent, exciting, and dedicated fans in the whole world."

    Live Action TV 
  • Community: In an interview, Joel McHale said "We have the best, most attractive and intelligent fans in the world."

  • Alabama – "The Fans," a 1986 album track on the group's first Greatest Hits album, a heartfelt "thank you" to the fans that made them country music's top musical act of the 1980s.
  • One of the best examples of the Bubblegum Pop era is one the Backstreet Boys' most well-known songs, "Larger Than Life"; despite the video having been some trippy space opera theme, the song itself is nothing more than one gigantic Shout-Out to their fans. For example, this is the chorus... in its entirety: All you people, can't you see, can't you see / How your love's affecting our reality? / Every time we're down / You can make it right / And that makes you larger than life. The opening verse even all but apologizes for being completely terrified when girls went screaming after them.
  • Jackson Browne – "The Load Out/Stay," the 9-minute magnus opus whose first part – "The Load Out" – includes at its end a special Shout-Out to the fans who help make life easier and worth the months on the road for him, his band, crew of roadies and everyone else in his entourage. The song bridges into "Stay" (a slightly reworded cover of the old Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs song), where Browne wishes that incredible live concert shows such as the one he was at (when he originally recorded the song, live in concert, in late 1977) could last forever ... all because of the fans.
  • Lady Gaga arguably has a bit of this in "Born This Way"; possibly a bit of a Justified Trope in that case though, as the song is about accepting yourself for who you are instead of trying to conform to society's restrictive ideals. Definitely Played Straight in her Monster Ball tour though, and probably genuinely meant, when she declared the event was to be a celebration of, basically, all of them being freaks together.
  • Manowar: Several lyrics claim that Man O War fans are better than other people, more metal than other people. Wimps and posers, leave the hall.
  • Buck Owens: His 1967 single "It Takes People Like You To Make People Like Me." In a twist of irony, the song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles chart in January 1968, his first A-sided hit in more than four years to fail to reach No. 1 note .
  • Blutengel: Our goths are better, obviously. See page quote.
  • X Japan: The Shout-Out to fans in the band's song "X", "You know you are the best!"
  • Rascal Flatts does it in "Here's to You":
    It's the girls in the front row singin'
    It's the boys with the wheels that bring them
    Its lighters in the air and you guys up there
    You're the heart and soul and the reason we do what we do
    Here's to you.
  • To celebrate the first ten years of being together, ABBA re-released "Thank You For The Music" to thank the fans for sticking by them (which was rather jarring considering that the band eventually dissolved out of the public eye and they never performed or made new music again.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Hackmaster 4th Edition
    • In the introduction to the Player's Handbook it says "...the fact that you've chosen to pick a copy of HackMaster speaks well of you." and says of Hackmaster players "We're not ordinary — we're Extraordinary.''
    • The introduction to the Game Master's Guide praises the reader's "spirit, drive and determination to rise to the challenge."
  • Dangerous Journeys/Mythus system
    • Journeys magazine issue 2. Gary Gygax wrote the following in an article:
      What is in this column, however, is in one sense privileged. It is assumed that the readers are all special, more knowledgeable, in some measure because they are readers.
      You, wise reader, on the other hand, are knowledgeable, so further instruction and advice can be given and properly acted upon...with your high degree of acumen...
    • Mythic Masters magazine.
      • In one issue, an article entitled "Support Your Chosen Game System" written by Gary Gygax said that the Dangerous Journeys system was "...for the discerning and dedicated roleplayer..." - i.e. the person who was a fan of the game because they were reading a magazine devoted to it.
      • In his "The Town Crier's Gone Mad" editorials, Gary Gygax would often praise the fans of the game to flatter them. For example, in Issue #5 he included comments such as "you who have recognized the radical new nature of the system are the avant garde.", "elite intellects able to grasp the concept and understand the infinite scope offered." and "Don't expect others to have the same insight and understanding you possess."
  • Tales from the Floating Vagabond adventure Weirder Tales...a Space Opera. The work starts off with the following: "If you are reading this, then you have most likely purchased this module, thus proving yourself a gamer of discriminating good taste. No doubt you are a snappy dresser, a witty conversationalist and a mean cribbage player."
  • Dungeons And Dragons Third Edition supplement The Mother of All Treasure Tables. The introduction tells the reader "We congratulate you on your obvious great wisdom and excellent taste."

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Flattering The Fans