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Fandom-Enraging Misconception

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And no, the Doctor's name isn't "Doctor Who".

In every community for every series, there are common mistakes. Someone could use the wrong spelling of a character's name, or think that the title referred to the main character, or insist on spreading a rumor about the plot until everyone believes it, or pigeon-holing fans into negative stereotypes.

Sometimes, it goes further than just "dislike", though. Sometimes it crosses into Berserk Button territory, and the reaction is disproportionate rage at the offender.

Notice: Remember, it's just a show, you should really just relax. Acting out on such relatively minor things will make you look petty at best.

Subtrope of "Common Knowledge". Compare Cowboy BeBop at His Computer (when media gets the facts wrong), Discredited Meme, Fandom Heresy, I Am Not Shazam, Refrain from Assuming (when a song title is different from its lyrics), Serious Business, and Broken Base.


This Audience Reaction has been subject to some misuse. Fandom-Enraging Misconception is for objective mistakes that annoy fans. Please read the following lists to make sure your example actually qualifies.

    Common Fandom-Enraging Misconceptions 

If you've seen fans get angry when someone does one of these things, chances are it should be added here. Note that this list isn't exhaustive, so even if it's not in there, it might still count. Just make sure it's not in the list of things that don't count.

    Things that do not qualify as Fandom-Enraging Misconceptions 

The following may be confused with objective misconceptions about the work, so please make sure your example does not fall under any of them:

  • Preferring one spelling of a character's name over another when there is no official spelling, or the spelling is inconsistent so nobody knows which is the official one. The same goes for names without official pronunciations.
  • Using a character's translated name instead of the original, or vice versa.
  • Merely mentioning an unpopular fanon theory. Mistaking such a theory for official canon can be a valid example, though, as can believing explicitly Jossed theories.
  • Drawing fanart that makes certain changes to the characters. Even if the changes are potentially controversial or offensive, such as altering a character's ethnicity or body type, adding gore, or invoking Rule 34, they don't count as long as the artist doesn't hold objective misconceptions about the character.
  • Referencing a character with an Ambiguous Gender as either gender, or bringing up gender with a character that dresses as the opposite gender or otherwise has an Ambiguous Gender Identity.
  • Comparing the work to a rival fandom's as long as the facts themselves are right.
  • Something that is ultimately just an opinion. "X sucks" or "X is the best" are and will always be just opinions, no matter how universally accepted or justified. Going against such opinions is a Fandom Heresy.
  • A Fanon Discontinuity, something about the work that is not a misconception but an actual fact. Fandoms are usually embarrased by those ones and try to ignore them, so they get pissed when someone criticizes the work because of them.
  • Disagreeing politically with most fans. Not even if someone's being bigoted against a large portion of the fanbase (such as homophobia for a work with a large LGBT Fanbase). Any misconceptions from which this bigotry might arise is not a misconception about the work in question.
  • Anything from the list of things that do qualify, if it's not common or severe enough to significantly bother fans of the work every time it comes up. Giving a reason why the misconception is so common is a good way to make sure your example doesn't fall into this (as well as avoiding being a Zero-Context Example).
  • Anything from the list of things that do qualify, but it's something that's divisive, with those that use the "wrong" terminology on purpose due to their preference for them.
  • And most of all, anything that annoys non-fans. Non-fans' reactions to anything are outside the scope of Fandom-Enraging Misconception.



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    Multiple Media 
  • Don't refer to a Humongous Mecha as a "Transformer" unless it's actually from Transformers. This will piss off both Transfans and fans of the work it's actually from.
  • Confusing Figment from Journey into Imagination with the title character of Spyro the Dragon or vice versa due to both being purple dragons will piss off fans of both franchises.

    Comic Books 
  • There's sometimes confusion about whether it's Watchmen or "The Watchmen". This provoked a lot of fan-rage when the movie came out, especially because "watchmen" was an Arc Word in the comic, and became the name of a superhero team in the movie. (In the comic, Captain Metropolis's team is called "The Crimebusters".)
  • This sometimes happens regarding Lex Luthor's name in Superman media, particularly Justice League Unlimited. A talk show host interviewing Luthor, who happens to be running for President at the time, pronounces it Luther, while in another episode Superman gets it right by forcing the 'thor' part. It's also hard to shake Ned Beatty's unforgettable Brooklynite rendition in Superman: The Movie, "Mistah Loo-Toah!"
  • Making character calls about the modern versions of DC superheroes by using evidence from before Crisis on Infinite Earths (unless you're talking about one of the large number of specific characters who died during/weren't rewritten by the event) is a great way to get everyone on the forum to laugh their asses off. A big example is citing that Batman uses guns and kills, things that were phased out incredibly quickly are very obviously not canon. Also, mixing up which of said rewritten characters had their pasts completely wiped, which ones were rebooted in a modern setting, and which ones had their continuity subjected to Broad Strokes, and how broad those strokes are for each character and each past event, will earn you just as much ridicule. Yes, keeping up with comic continuity is widely known to be a bitch, but this is widely considered basic knowledge that comes right after figuring out which characters belong to Marvel and which to DC.
    • One aspect of this that's something especially particular to the DC reboot is the case of Superman's identity and which is the 'real' persona. Pre-Crisis, "Superman" was the real character and "Clark Kent" was a character he played to 'fit in' among humans and get information about ongoing crimes.note  Post-Crisis, "Superman" is just what he does, while "Clark Kent" is who he is; he's genuinely a mild-mannered Every Man who happens to be a Physical God and he chooses to use those powers to help people, but "Clark Kent" is very much the identity where he acts as who he is. Generally, Clark-as-the-real-persona adds considerable depth to his character, so most fans and creators prefer this. However, despite this being canon since 1985, some people seem to think of "Clark Kent" as the facade, and it can often get on fans' nerves when it's treated as if the 'real' Superman is the simplistic archetypal superhero he pretends to be,.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • In regard to Mirage Comics-based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or the early IDW issues), asking why all of the Turtles are wearing red, or "why they're all Raph", or any indication that their original bandana color is weird and foreign.
    • Mixing up the Turtles' names, or calling something that's not even one of their names ("Galileo", "Yoda", etc.)
    • Raph and Mikey tend to get their shortened names spelled wrong - as "Ralph" and "Mickey".
  • Batman
    • "So why doesn't he just kill the Joker?" This has been such a sticky subject for fans that comic writers and even the Batman: Arkham Series have adapted this topic.
    • Ra's Al Ghul. According to Denny O'Neil, his name was originally meant to be pronounced 'Raesh'. While the phrase "head of the demon" does indeed translate into "ra's al-ghuul" in real Arabic (suggesting the character's name is NOT supposed to consist of a made-up language), the pronunciation does not contain the sounds "i" or "sh". In Batman Begins it's pronounced 'Rahs', which is much closer to the actual pronunciation. Still, pronouncing it in any way other than 'Raesh' will attract much ire from fans. In Batman Beyond, Terry is "corrected" by Talia actually Ra's after pronouncing it "Rahs".
  • For fans of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, featuring Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge, particularly old-school fans of Carl Barks' work: Referring to the comics as "DuckTales (1987) comics" or primarily associating characters like Scrooge, Gyro or the Beagle Boys with DuckTales is a sure recipe for a fan rant.
  • A general one for DC Comics fans, but a major one for fans of the character himself, is to call Aquaman useless. The guy has numerous powers beyond just talking to fish and is more than just his Superfriends incarnation. Making these jokes means you're basically admitting you don't read DC comics or are a Know-Nothing Know-It-All when it comes to Aquaman.
  • Ant-Man: Want to piss off Marvel Comics fans, especially Ant-Man fans? Call Hank Pym a wifebeater. Given how grossly such a statement oversimplifies the incident in question and the fact that neither the writers nor the haters ever shut up about it, this is rather understandable.
  • One that applies to a lot of the DC fanbase but also specifically for the Flash fanbase is saying Superman is faster than any Flash. Not that people didn't have fun with the stories where that was a plot point, it's just acknowledged that having the Flash be faster than Superman is just better for the Justice League's dynamic, as well as making Superman less overpowered. For reference, at this point almost every incarnation of The Flash has had a story that confirms that they're faster than Superman (Wally West is just acknowledged as the Fastest Man Alive period and has shown he can easily outrun Superman, Barry Allen demonstrated his greater speed in The Flash: Rebirth while claiming any past defeat was 'for charity', and Jay demonstrated he was faster than Clark in a story during Geoff Johns run where Jay attempts to commit a Heroic Sacrifice), so only Jesse Chambers and Bart Allen are left to prove it (though Jesse has outraced Supergirl).
  • Black Panther fans hate it when the hero is accused of being created as a mascot for the Black Panther Party. Not only did his comic book come out before the party was founded, but Marvel actually changed the hero's name to Black Leopard for a while to avoid any associations with the political organization.
  • Spider-Man is two words separated by a hyphen. Spelling his name as "Spiderman" or "Spider Man" is a good way to get called out. Spidey himself sometimes gets annoyed at people making this mistake In-Universe.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • No, Peppermint Patty and Marcie are not Schoolgirl Lesbians. What Ho Yay some people see in the strip is very mild, and contrary to the Subverted Kids Show jokes some other works have made, it is not Canon.
    • Don't call Peppermint Patty just "Patty". There is already a separate character named "Patty".
    • Don't spell Frieda's name as Frida or Freida. And no, she is not the Little Red-Haired Girl, either.
    • Lucy and Violet should not be mistaken as each other and vice-versa. Fans can tell you that Violet can be distinguished by the hairbun.

  • The editor of one early (late 1970s) British computer magazine persistently claimed that the difference between compilers and interpreters was "academic", even in the face of corrections from knowledgeable readers, until one month he learned the hard way just how wrong he was, by wasting three pages of the mag on a worthless hex-dump of the workspace of a BASIC interpreter. The mag didn't last very much longer after that issue.
  • For the love of God, don't claim that Java and JavaScript are essentially the same thing. As any computer science teacher will tell you, the only thing they have in common is the word "Java" in their names.

    Films — Animation 
  • You'll be sure to rile up Coraline fans if you call it a Tim Burton movie. The most likely cause of this confusion is that the advertising proclaimed it to be "From the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas"...but the director of both, and the man referred to in the advertising, was Henry Selick. Many people think Burton directed Nightmare, but he actually only produced it and worked on its story. It may have been intentional wording, however, to deliberately make people think of the more well-known Burton while still being accurate.
  • Don't mistake Paranorman for a Tim Burton movie.
  • Mistaking a CGI Disney film like Wreck-It Ralph or Bolt for a Disney-Pixar film is not wise around animation fans. In particular, Planes is a spinoff created by Disney Toon Studios (mostly known for their direct-to-video sequels, prequels, and interquels) and is not a Pixar movie - but it doesn't stop many people from mistakenly blaming Pixar for it.
  • Anastasia is not a Disney movie (though there is a red-headed Disney character named Anastasia). This has died down a bit ever since Disney bought out 20th Century Fox and their assets, including Anastasia, which is on Disney+ as of December 2020.
  • Don Bluth worked at Disney for a while in the 70s, which includes working on the short The Small One. However, call a post-departure Don Bluth movie a Disney movie when there are Don Bluth fans around. You'll be sure to irk someone.
  • Frozen:
    • Don't call Elsa "Princess Elsa". Aside from the beginning of the film where she is a princess (though never referred to as such), she is Queen Elsa, and making the mistake of calling her "Princess" will cause backlash.
    • Don't call Elsa a villain. Yes, she was originally written as one and maybe some of her actions are questionable, even if they're accidents, but the fandom will not take kindly to Elsa being called a villain. It doesn't help that pre-release advertising was intentionally deceptive to help preserve that Frozen was actually defying many Disney cliches—the "evil sorceress" isn't evil or even intentionally antagonistic and the Prince Charming-type is the real villain.
    • Confusing Elsa with Rosalina isn't a good idea.
    • An easy way to get a rise out of Frozen fans is to say Anna is a ripoff of Rapunzel and Disney can't design female characters anymore. Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6 faces similar debates.
  • Do not assume that Spider-Ham from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was inspired by the Spider-Pig gag from The Simpsons Movie. He was actually created as a one-off character in 1983.

  • In one series of Harry Turtledove books (known, alternatively, as TL-191 or the Southern Victory series), a Confederacy that survives into the 20th century is taken over by the dictator Jake Featherston, who is a Hitler analog. For some reason, people insist on misspelling it as "Featherstone". This really pisses off fans, but what really got people mad was when the misspelling appeared on the freakin' dustjacket of one of the books.
  • Older Than Radio: In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein constructs and brings to life his Creature or, if you prefer, Monster. The Creature itself is never named. Thanks to many films, comics and stage plays running the whole gamut of quality, people have been using the term "Frankenstein" to refer to his Creature (and being criticized for it) since the 19th century, to the point that using "Frankenstein" without clarifying immediately makes people think that you're erroneously referring to the monster! For example, Monster High got called out on this when it first came out and still does. It's a weird situation, because Frankie is indeed the daughter of the Monster and his Bride, but the Monster learned mad science from his creator, and in turn created his daughter.
  • Some fans of that lady who wrote the Pern books are rather grumpy about "McCaffery", probably because her last name was "McCaffrey".
  • J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Some fans of Tolkien are grumpy about spelling his surname "Tolkein" or pronouncing it "Tol-kin", "Tol-kyen" or "Tolky-yen" rather than "Tol-Keen". And even spelling "Middle-earth" as "Middle-Earth" in extreme cases.
    • Referring to The Lord of the Rings as a trilogy of three novels. Tolkien wrote it as simply a single book, and only very grudgingly agreed to publish it in three parts as paper was in short supply after World War II and putting out a single Doorstopper would have involved such a huge price tag that no one would buy it. He also said it was not a novel or novels but more like a "romance" akin to the older sense of the term.
    • Whenever someone mispronounces Smaug's name, usually gets this reaction. The correct way is "sm-ow-g", not "smog". Ditto Sauron (first syllable rhymes with "sour," not "soar") or any proper name beginning with the letter C (always a hard-c or "k" sound, never a soft-c or "s" sound) (e.g. Cirdan or Celebrimbor).
    • Assuming that Middle-earth is a made-up planet, instead of the actual Earth in an imaginary distant past, as intended.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Many of the fans of the Warrior Cats series will scream (or at least groan) should you make the mistake of not capitalizing the word "Clan". There are four Clans (five if you count SkyClan). The main characters are in ThunderClan. Their ancestors are StarClan. And don't you dare suggest otherwise. Perhaps justified in that this is pounded into your brain for over twenty books, and not bothering with grammar rules automatically gets you labeled as an idiot on the major forum.
    • Capitalizing the second part of a cat's name annoys fans; it's Firestar, not FireStar.
  • Lewis Carroll:
    • In the world of The Hunting of the Snark, if your snarknote  happens to be a boojum, "you will softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again." Not "softly and silently". This did cause arguments way back then, with one fan, Snarkophilius Snobbs, becoming infamous for persisting with this misquote.
    • In the presence of hardcore Carrollians, never refer to the Hatter as the Mad Hatter, or to the Jabberwock as the Jabberwocky.
    • For the love of life don't claim Carroll was a pedophile, repressed or otherwise. Or on drugs. Given the nature of most Carrollians, though, you're less likely to get flamed and more likely to be firmly sat down for a Wall of Text essay on how whichever myth you claimed as truth came to be, and a healthy helping of evidence debunking it.
  • J.M. Barrie has been on the record as Not A Pedophile since around the time of his death.
  • Harry Potter fandom is large and diverse enough that almost anything is acceptable in some circles, but in general the following rules hold:
    • Electric technology at Hogwarts isn't permissible in any dose. Things that work electronically, like anything that runs on batteries, do not work. Things that work mechanically, such as Harry's watch, are okay.
    • Hermione's name is Hermione. Unless you're Grawp or Viktor. There are absolutely no other exceptions. "Hermy" is an elf from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
    • Ravenclaw House has the eagle as its mascot, not the raven, and its colors are blue and bronze, not blue and silver or black. This one really isn't helped by the fact that the films got it wrong.
    • For newcomer and casual fans, referring to Hufflepuff as "the loser house" or implying it was only created as filler to complete a Four-Category ensemble, (or alternatively implying no Hufflepuff did anything of importance) will get you mauled by a mob of angry badgers.
    • Mis-housing characters (i.e. saying Cho was a Hufflepuff or Luna was a Gryffindor) will get you an avalanche of corrections and maybe a few hexes.
      • Also, any serious mention of House stereotypes (Gryffindors are impulsive and dumb, Slytherins are evil, Ravenclaws are nerds, Hufflepuffs are losers) in any corner of the fandom can make things get ugly really fast. Hogwarts houses are Serious Business for the fans.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves is a valet, not a butler. Not that you can exactly be blamed for making the mistake, since it even occurs on book jackets. That he can and has acted as a butler (one book has him as one for a temporary stint) confuses the matter further.
  • George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • While not likely to get you flamed, referring to the series as "Game of Thrones" (the title of the HBO show based on the series which takes its name from the first book) is a good indicator of what kind of fan you are.
    • Don't refer to Asha as Yara unless you want to be laughed at. Also, it's Jon, not John; Robb, not Rob; Grey Wind, not Greywind; and Shaggydog, not Shaggy Dog.
    • Daenerys has several. Her name is Daenerys, not Danaerys; some people make this mistake because her father was Aerys. She is nicknamed Dany, not Danny or Dani. And "Khaleesi" is one of her titles, but should never be treated as if it's her actual name.
  • Don Rumata from Hard to Be a God is not a Progressor, and don't refer to him as a Progressor in the presence of Strugatsky Brothers fans.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, even mentioning Mandalorians as having a philosophical point is a good way of inducing vitriolic backlash (or terrible debates) in some circles.
  • Don't make the mistake of referring to Catching Fire and Mockingjay as Hunger Games 2 and Hunger Games 3, or calling Peeta Mellark Peter!
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • The book was written by Steven Erikson, not Steve Erickson, Stephen Erickson, or even Erik Stevenson. Have the decency to take a look at the cover.
  • Terry Pratchett fans love discussing the many references and homages in his work, especially the Discworld novels. Using a phrase such as "nicked this bit from..." is another matter, and may result in irony being deployed, especially if you're talking about a work that actually postdates Discworld, or a concept that existed in many forms before Sir Terry used it. If it's Harry Potter, just stop now.
  • Don't ever refer to The Chronicles of Narnia in chronological rather than publication order. This gets especially bad with The Magician's Nephew, a prequel about the creation of Narnia published second to last which is drenched with Call Forwards that can only be appreciated if you've read all the other books, yet even some official publications label it the first book.
    • Do not claim that Susan was "banished from Narnia for being/becoming a woman". Fans will pull out their copies of The Last Battle and make you read the actual chapter that explains her absence. Lewis himself was saddened that many readers missed the point and stated he'd like to write a novel focused entirely on Susan and how she might get back after all. Unfortunately, he died before being able to do so.
  • Cthulhu Mythos:
    • Don't insist there's a good versus evil dichotomy between the Outer Gods and Elder Gods; while there are some authors (most notably, August Derleth) who use this idea, Lovecraft never intended for the Mythos to be reduced to humanly comprehensible morality, and doing so kind of defeats the purpose.
    • Really hardcore fans will yell at anyone who calls it "The Cthulhu Mythos", preferring the term "Yog-Sothothery" instead, since the former was coined by Derleth and the latter by Lovecraft's circle.
  • Fans of Dante Alighieri (and literature lovers in general) tend to get annoyed at people who refer to his most famous work as Dante's Inferno. For the record: the work in question is called The Divine Comedy, and "Inferno" is the first part of it (followed by "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso"). Referring to The Divine Comedy as The Inferno is a bit like referring to Star Wars as The Phantom Menace.note  This may at least be in part because literary critics tend to enjoy the imagery and events of "Inferno" but find "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso" a bit of a slog, and only talk about "Inferno" as a result.
  • Many The Wicked Years fans aren't fond of people (mainly fans of the musical) who insist that the book is canon to The Wizard of Oz. It isn't—it's not a Perspective Flip but an Alternate Continuity that, if anything, takes more inspiration from the original Land of Oz books. By that merit, it's also not a Perspective Flip on Baum's books. The series composites various Oz adaptations into one narrative.
  • Readers of Chinese web novel (later Animated Adaptation) The King's Avatar despise any comparisons to Sword Art Online or insinuations it is a rip-off of the latter. While both integrate similar Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game elements into their respective settings, The King's Avatar takes the approach of delving into the Professional Gaming "e-sports" scene, something Sword Art Online does not use. Furthermore, The King's Avatar averts Fantasy and Science Fiction tropes in place of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome and Truth in Television by way of an e-sports narrative.
  • Land of Oz:
    • Glinda is not the queen of Oz, Ozma is. This misconception is due to First Installment Wins and Adaptation Displacement: Glinda is the most powerful witch at the end of the first book and is an authority figure, but the Scarecrow is temporarily made king until the rightful heir Ozma is found at the end of the second book.
    • Oz is not All Just a Dream. It's an actual country in the series' setting.
    • It's the "Tin Woodsman", not the "Tin Man". The latter name is from MGM adaptation.
  • One Hundred Years Ahead is the book. Guest from the Future is the adaptation. Unless you want to seriously upset Alice, Girl from the Future fans, don't confuse the two.
  • Don't say that The Hunger Games is a rip-off of Battle Royale. It was inspired by the Roman Empire's gladiators and Greek mythology, specifically the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.
  • The Witcher fans will be annoyed if you pronounce Geralt's name as "Gerald". It's a hard G.

  • Don't call it "tilting" instead of "nudging". Pinball enthusiasts will remind you that "tilting" is what happens when you excessively nudge the table and void your current ball as a result.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Clue(do): Never refer Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, and Professor Plum as "Miss Red", "Mr. Yellow", "Mrs. Blue", and "Mr. Purple". Ever.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • D&D has demons and devils. Many, many fans commonly mistake the two (which isn't really helped by the fact that the earliest editions just had demons, but no devils) and nearly just as many are really anal about fans who can't get it right. And when you throw in the fact that the most common kind of both demons and devils have more specific names (Tanar'ri and Baatezu respectively), it all just gets very messy, very fast. Plus other kinds like obyrith and archdevils that more pure-blooded fans know about. Part of this comes from the fact that, in many versions of the game, demons and devils DO have objective differences based on Alignment: while both are always Evil, Demons are characterized as always Chaotic, Devils are always Lawful. This extends to other celestial beings like Angels, Archons, Devas, Asuras, etc., where it is less defined.
    • Misspelling "rogue" as "rouge" will get you flamed in most online fora.
    • Every edition of the game has had a major revision about halfway through in order to, depending on who you ask, fix balance issues or sell more books. The revision of third edition is officially called 3.5. The revision of second edition ("Player's Options") is frequently called 2.5 and that's no big deal. However, calling the revision of fourth edition ("Essentials") "4.5" is a berserk button among fans of that edition.
  • Do not call Drakar och Demoner (Dragons and Demons, abbreviated to Do D in order to differentiate it) a Dungeons & Dragons ripoff, as that is a sure sign you have actually never played it or even heard much about it besides its name.
  • Paranoia. Even in the game world itself, referring to The Computer as "the Computer" or, worse, "the computer" can get you a summary execution. "Friend Computer" will do.
  • Pathfinder: Unless you're using a specific house rule to allow it, rolling a natural 20 or a natural 1 does not result in an automatic success or failure (respectively) on anything other than an attack roll or a save. Suggesting to a hardcore group of players that they apply to skill or attribute checks may earn anything from scowls to mockery to firm suggestions to try reading the rules.
    • This also applies to D&D 3.x, the rules on with Pathfinder is based.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Demon is an acceptable vernacular, though the preferred word is Daemon. Lord help you if you get the A and the E confused.
    • Space Marines armies aren't "pretty much all the same". There are myriad differences between the named codices, much less the various ways the plain Space Marines codex is interpreted by both players and in-universe Marine leaders.
    • Every army in Codex: Space Marines isn't "pretty much Ultramarines". Depending on who you ask this is either Ultramarines propaganda, or egregious and atrocious canon manipulation by Matt Ward.
    • Blood Angels and Dark Angels are very different armies; do not confuse them.
    • One of the fastest way of pissing off a Blood Angels fan is by saying "You painted your Blood Ravens wrong".
    • Do not call an individual unit selected from Codex: Black Templars a singular "Black Templar". You can call them by their unit names when all else fails. You can also call them an Initiate or a Crusader.
    • They're Orks. "Orcs & Goblins" are in the other Warhammer game (see below). The K is important, especially to Ork players, who have been known to hound people til they leave a forum for making this mistake.
    • For Orks, the "g" in "WAAAGH!" is silent. If you forget that, then fans might call one on you.
    • Do not call armies fielded from Codex: Space Marines "vanilla" or "generic" Space Marines without knowing your opponent really well. Many Space Marine players take offense to both terms. This has largely crossed into dead horse territory with the 6th edition codex folding many chapters into the book and creating "Chapter Tactics". Now it's very common to ask a Space Marines player what chapter he's representing since the chapter tactics are a very important part of the metagame. Add in the litany of supplements released for chapters (Iron Hands, Imperial Fists, etc.) and pretty much nobody gets slapped with the "vanilla" label... except the Smurfs.
    • Don't use "Real Warhammer" or "Original Warhammer" to indicate that you mean Warhammer to a 40k player. Also don't call it just "Warhammer" and assume they know what you mean. 40k-exclusive players consider 40k Real Warhammer. The accepted terms of distinction are "Fantasy" and "40k". You can also call Fantasy "Classic". Also bear in mind, a considerable population plays both.
  • Warhammer
    • Don't called Dwarfs "Dwarves." The former is the plural in Warhammer Fantasy, the latter is the plural in The Lord of the Rings. Hilariously, Tolkien actually admitted in his lifetime that he wanted the pluralization to be 'dwarfs', but thanks to his editor erroneously seeing it as an error, it was changed to Dwarves, which Tolkien then kept as 'a private piece of bad grammar'. (He would have preferred 'dwarrows' anyway.)
  • BattleTech Clan fans don't like it when you call the Timber Wolf and Summoner their Inner Sphere names MadCat and Thor. Lest you want to be called a "Freebirth Stravag". note  The reverse also applies, as using Clan names around Inner Sphere fans will earn you the title of "Clanner scum" and a volley of insults about your defeat at the hands of Space Comcast.
  • Never ask a WARMACHINE player if they're playing Warhammer. Just... don't.

  • Saying that The Phantom of the Opera is set in 1870 is a good way to get a long talk about the Franco-Prussian War, the Commune of Paris, and research errors in general.
  • Les Misérables: Enjolras' flippant comment in the book and 2012 movie notwithstanding, the story does not take place during the French Revolution. The barricade scenes are set during the June Rebellion, over forty years after the French Revolution.
  • Claiming that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon didn't write all those plays. It's excusable to argue that some of his plays had co-authors (there's documented evidence that John Fletcher worked with him on The Two Noble Kinsmen and the lost Cardenio, and probably Henry VIII), or that the surviving versions of some play texts contain insertions by later writers (one scene from Macbeth is often thought to have been added by Thomas Middleton). But if you try to argue that Shakespeare was a front for Francis Bacon or Edward de Vere or Emilia Lanier or anyone other than Will himself, be ready for fans and scholars alike to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
  • The names of the main characters in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street are spelt "Sweeney Todd" (three E's, two D's) and "Lovett" (not Lovet, Lovette, Lovatt etc). This is incredibly common online, and drives some fans to Epiphany-level rage.
  • In the world of opera fandom (yes, there is an opera fandom) there are numerous mistakes that outsiders/newcomers can make. And don't think that just because the Opera crowd is metaphorically monocled and top-hatted that their fury is less passionate than the most devoted Trekkies or Whovians.
    • Do not ever ever refer to The Phantom of the Opera as an opera in front of an opera fan. The fact that the word 'opera' is in the title does not make it one. It is a musical. A Broadway production. The same thing goes for Les Misérables and other such works. Don't call them operas in front of your opera-loving friends (especially since their true forms are novels)... unless you hate them and want to end the friendship, of course.
    • By all means, love your Sarah Brightman and Il Divo CDs. But do not call them opera singers. Do not tell opera fans that you like Katherine Jenkins' version of the Habanera the best. Singers like these may sound 'operatic' to non-opera fans, but they are NOT opera singers. They are classical crossover singers, and to actual Opera fans, they are hair-rippingly maddening. Especially because many of them have neither the vocal type nor the skill to sing the opera snippets they choose properly. If you know an opera fan, please do not make them sit through Jackie Evancho, Paul Potts, or any of the other Talent Show 'opera' singers. You will drive them crazier than Lucia di Lammermoor.
    • Opera fans will take umbrage at the stereotype of a fat, ugly woman in a horned helmet. Many, if not most opera chanteuses are neither fat, nor ugly. Some are downright gorgeous.
    • A stereotype is that opera is just a bunch of controlled screaming. If you say this, even jokingly, to an opera fan, you will be pulverized and forced to listen to their entire playlist until you concede defeat and tell them that opera is beautiful. To be honest, though, how could anyone call this screaming? Or this?
    • Opera fans don't like it when every single singer who has a big voice with lots of vibratos is called an "opera singer," regardless of whether or not s/he actually sings opera. Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman are common examples.
  • Wicked is not set in the same canon of The Wizard of Oz or Land of Oz. It's not meant to be a canonical story in either universe, but many viewers take it as so. Wicked is a mishmash of canons (MGM's green-skinned Wicked Witch and Oz being in a separate universe from Kansas, several book-only characters and references, etc) set in its own continuity. Fans of all three incarnations get bitter when people mistake them for one and the same.

  • LEGO
    • As Gabe discovered, fans are all too ready to point out that the plural of LEGO is LEGO. Funnily enough, this rule gets broken in the first LEGO Island game when DJ Radio delivers the headline "LEGOs in SPACE!".note  The LEGO Group used to specifically make the point on the packaging that they should be called "LEGO bricks or toys" and not "LEGOs". They were worried about their trademark becoming genericized, as happened to, say, aspirin, escalator, and linoleum.
    • Calling Toa or Matoran "BIONICLEs" will result in a massive backlash. Pluralizing the title will get you obliterated. Don't even think about calling them "Bionicles."
    • There is a reason why BIONICLE is not under the LEGO section in this folder. Do not refer to BIONICLE as "that LEGO story" or otherwise try and imply that it is "just a story used to sell toys".
  • My Little Pony:
    • Stallions have always existed in the series, with the only exception being G3 of 2003-2009 (until even there Twinkle Wish Adventure had background colts). Despite this people often say that the franchise, especially G1, is female only and it pisses fans off.
    • G2 never had a cartoon. My Little Pony Tales is G1. The gens are based on the toys, not how many cartoons are released.
  • Beanie Babies: No, no version of the Princess Diana memorial bear is an insanely valuable rarity selling for six- or seven-figure sums.

    Universities and Colleges 
  • Auburn University's sports teams are the Tigers, not the Eagles or the War Eagles. "War Eagle" is a cheer that Auburn uses, and the name of its fight song, but it has nothing to do with the team itself. The school itself even has a webpage pointing this out, and explains the Urban Legends and other stories about where the term is believed to have come from.
  • Fans of Stanford University's sports teams will not hesitate to loudly and frequently remind you that their team is the Stanford Cardinal, not the Cardinals. That is, they are Cardinal, the shade of red, not Cardinals, the birds (or Catholic leaders). Gods help you if you suggest that their mascot is a cardinal.note 
  • New York University's mascot is a bobcat. Their sports teams, however, are the 'Violets'. Calling the teams 'the Bobcats' is a surefire way to identify someone as an incoming freshman or non-NYU student, and draw ire from current students and alumni.

    Visual Novels 
  • Key/Visual Arts
    • Calling the characters lolis. Whatever the art style may suggest, all the haremettes are in high school and so are the protagonists.
    • Specific to Kanon, the widespread use of "uguu" by detractors of moe in general, many of whom have never even heard of Kanon, gets annoying. The fact that about five minutes passes from the first time Ayu says 'uguu' to the first time the game makes fun of the whole thing (and even less time in the anime) is a big factor here. "AM I KAWAII UGUU?" is right out.
  • While Katawa Shoujo may have an unsettling premise for featuring a Themed Harem of Disabled Love Interests, it's not a Dead Baby Comedy, even if the source material (a set of joke character designs which the game strongly departed from) is.
  • DRAMAtical Murder:
    • Unless you have a death wish, do not bring up the topic of Mink's route and whether or not Aoba was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. No matter which side of the argument you're on, it won't be pretty. This has lessened since the release of Re:Connect, which expanded upon Mink's character and motivations, but his route is still very controversial.
    • The 'you fuck the dog!' joke. Newer fans (and non-fans) will probably laugh, but longtime fans will send death glares your way. Some fans find it especially frustrating because a number of people outside of the fandom have taken the joke seriously and think that the visual novel actually contains bestiality Spoilers .
    • Saying something along the lines of "I've been playing this thing for several hours now, where's all the yaoi sex?" will get you worse glares. DRAMAtical Murder is a BL game, but there aren't any explicit scenes until the latter half of the story (near the ending in most routes), so needless to say, they aren't a major part of the game. A lot of people start playing purely to watch the H-scenes, completely ignoring the actual plotline and dumbing down the characters, to the ire of fans.
  • Zero Escape:
    • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors fans get pretty annoyed when people call the game the "video game version of Saw", which is a rather bad berserk button to have when this is pretty much what every professional reviewer who reviewed the game said. Hardcore fans however will point out that "999 is much more original than Saw" and that "if you actually pay attention to the game's entire plot, it's actually nothing like Saw". In actual fact, the game was heavily inspired, not by Saw, but by Eastern horror movies, in which the theme is less about sadistic people inducing violence, and more about sadistically inducing fear. The theme of the game, going through a game involving puzzle-filled rooms, has been compared to Saw, but as fans are quick to point out, the actual puzzles and entire set up for why they exist in the first place is nothing like it. The same goes for its sequel Virtue's Last Reward.
    • Please don't say in front of Zero Escape fans that you find the plot incredibly unrealistic and therefore bad. You'll get a huge speech about how everything is actually given an actual real life, scientific/theoretical, well explained explanation and that if you think the plot's unrealistic it means you mustn't have paid any attention to these parts. Not to mention that saying you find the plot "poorly put together", or that the writers "didn't care", is a BAD no-no, since fans will be quick to point out that everything slots together so well and folds so neatly into place that writing such a complex plot would take amazing levels of care and attention to detail.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Dumbing down by describing it as the "killer lolis" series is a thorn in the side of many fans.
    • Calling Rena yandere annoys her fans. While she can be violently overprotective of her friends and father, it's not the main reason behind her behavior. Shion is the closest to a yandere that the series has.
    • Mistaking the twins Shion and Mion for one another. When they were younger, they used to swap identities for fun, and so that Shion could experience the kind of life Mion enjoyed as the family head. Unfortunately, one of these swaps occurred on the day that Mion was meant to be given a ceremonial tattoo on her back to signify her position as heir. Thus, the twins were forced to forever adopt the identity of the other, making this issue even more convoluted.
  • For the Sakura series of games created by Winged Cloud, speaking positively about the competence of any of the male protagonists (especially Seiji from Sakura Beach) is not recommended. However, it may be acceptable when it comes to ones from the more recent games (such as Akira from Sakura Agent).
  • Saying that Dies Irae glorifies Nazism simply based on the fact that is has Reinhard Heydrich as its over-the-top hammy main villain tend to often be enough to seriously irritate the fanbase. That despite the fact that the story portrays him and those who are morally aligned with him as nothing short of monsters and failures of human beings.
  • For Yosuga no Sora, do not say that Sora was pregnant with Haruka's child in the fandisc Haruka Na Sora, not just because of the Brother–Sister Incest, but because it was a rumor that was eventually disproven (for a time, it was treated as fact on the wiki, but no longer is).
  • Referring to the Ace Attorney series as simply Phoenix Wright is not a good idea unless you're specifically talking about the games starring him, as there are other protagonists such as Apollo Justice and Miles Edgeworth that have starred in their own games in the series.
  • Do not call Doki Doki Literature Club! a ripoff of You and Me and Her, as while the latter can be considered one of the inspirations for the former, the only things the two really have in common are Medium Awareness and meta aspects and in fact do things quite differently from one another. Conversely, do not say that Doki Doki Literature Club! came first.
  • Regarding SHUFFLE!, do not refer to Kaede as a Yandere if you're only talking about the visual novels rather than the anime, as she was only made into one in the anime.

  • The Order of the Stick's Big Bad Xykon has to deal not just with random members of the community, but even characters in the comic spelling his name wrong (with a Z). He can even tell when you misspell it in a speech balloon. And he will kill you for it.
  • On the fora of Looking for Group, anyone ignorant enough to post anything even hinting that they think the comic is a World of Warcraft story happening in Azeroth will get beaten up, crucified, eaten and shot, in that order. Despite the fact that the comic started as a Warcraft parody (though only for a very brief period) and incredibly obviously took significant inspiration from the games.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: The third girl from the photo is not Jones, and she is not related to Gamma in any way. Fans continued to speculate to the contrary, even though Tom Jossed those theories, within hours of their first proposal, then put a note to that effect below the comic. At one point, a forum regular who should have known better suggested that this speculation should be a ban-worthy offense. This specific line of Wild Mass Guessing seems to have stopped now that it's been unambiguously confirmed in-comic that the photo girl and Jones are different people.
  • Dreamkeepers fans are usually pretty torn when it comes to pronouncing Namah's name. Some people say NAA-MUH, while others believe it to be NAY-MUH and refuse to back down in their opinions.
  • Las Lindas author Soul Kat has a big Berserk Button related to this trope due to so many people screwing up Davin Preacher's name, instead calling him Devin.
  • features a number of comic strips themed around different iterations of the concept: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Referring to a Korean or Chinese webtoon as a "manga". You'll get away with calling them a "manhwa" or "manhua", but calling them "manga" annoys both manga fans and webtoon fans.
  • Now-defunct comic hub Fireball 20XL had quite a few of these relating to the many members and artists on the site, included here for posterity.
    • Psyguy (or Psy) is the name of the author. Psycho is the name of his Author Avatar. Don't mix them up. And don't spell it "Spycho" either.
    • Mr. O.M.A. the character is NOT the Author Avatar of Mr. O.M.A. the author. While he was originally created as such, Mr. O.M.A. soon regretted that decision and now considers Mr. O.M.A. the character as his own separate character. He actually considers Big Nasty his Author Avatar, given that they share the same name (Alan Solivan) and that the nickname "Big Nasty" came from a nickname the real Alan received in school.
    • It's Jenifer Irwin, not Jennifer, and yes, she is a girl. And her Author Avatar is not a fox, it's a fox-cat hybrid.
    • Similarly, Wil Brendel. One L. Not "Will". You will get mocked by fans and by Wil himself for calling him Will.
    • Cailen Crow's comic is not a furry comic, and Cailen himself is not a furry. His characters are supposed to be anthropomorphic animals à la Looney Tunes. Also, his avatar is not Daffy Duck. He's a crow.
    • Do not ask where you can read Chaos Diamonds 1 or Chaos Diamonds 2. There is no such thing. The comic is called Chaos Diamonds 3 because there are three Chaos Diamonds in the story.

    Web Original 
  • The Slender Man:
    • Being mistaken about the origin of the mythos. No, it was not originally a Creepypasta, although many Creepypastas involving him have been written since his creation. No, Marble Hornets did not create him, though they are the primary reason as to his popularity,note  and neither did Slender. The Slender Man was created on a Something Awful forum thread, as part of the "Let's Create Paranormal" story writing contest.
    • Referring to the main creature as just Slender. This occurs most often with fans who were introduced to the mythos through the game of that name.
    • Calling the creature Slenderman likewise draws ire from some fans. Referring to him as Slender Man as if it's his name is similarly a point of agitation. THE Slender Man is just a description of his appearance — a tall, gaunt being that looks vaguely like a man.
    • Calling Hoody or Masky "proxies" will get you treated to a nice lengthy explanation of how the term wasn't used in Marble Hornets and neither should be considered as such. Your best bet is to only use the term "proxy" when talking about Dark Harvest (the series from which the term originated) or Tribe Twelve.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • For really entertaining discussions, just try to say how SCP-173 is a rip-off of the Weeping Angels.
    • Don't call it "SPC". That stands for "Shark-Punching Center".
    • Most who read the SCP wiki in-depth are forgiving if someone assumes the SCP Foundation is primarily horror, given how many iconic SCPs are horror-based note , and will offer a simple correction. However, claiming that the site was always meant to be horror and complaining about certain SCPs not being scary will get a much more negative response.
  • Asking "what if Operation Sealion had been successful" or even mentioning the "Unmentionable Sea Mammal" in a non-ironic way on is sure to end in much banging of heads against walls in frustration at the prospect of having to explain to yet another noob just why it could not, under any circumstances, have worked.
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • DO NOT mistake any well-known fan-made character as a canon character. At best, you'll drown in disappointment but at least other fans are willing to simply correct you on that. At worst, you'll be shouted at by the more hostile fans, especially if they don't like the idea of fan characters in general (which also isn't helped by the idea of Truffles's Video Bomb Competition).
    • During post-TV series era, saying that Flippy has fully gotten over his flip-outs was enough to garner the wrath of fans. It didn't help that the next time a flipped-out Flippy appears, it's only in Flaky's imagination ("Without a Hitch"). The fanbase has calmed down since the release of the Love Bite short "On My Mind", which depicts Flippy flipping out.
    • Character concept-wise, mentioning that the cast is a complete rip-off of Care Bears characters will cause massive backlash. Doesn't help that there's one exact case where someone made said comparison and, judging by the disabled comment section, that person succeeded in evoking the HTF fans' wrath.
    • For the more serious fans that have done their research, hearing FatKat being referred to as a permanent part of the cast is their Berserk Button. No, FatKat is not a canon HTF character. No, he's not a fan character either. He's a guest character (for a single HTF Break, mind you) who is simply an HTF version of an animation studio's mascot. Unfortunately, fans still make this error from time to time.
    • Referring to Flippy and Fliqpy as the same character will grate on quite a few nerves. From a physical standpoint, they are, but given the sheer night-and-day difference between the two, trying to blame Flippy for something that Fliqpy did can earn you some rather harsh looks.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • It's Strong Bad, not Strongbad. And he doesn't wear boxing gloves, those are his hands.
    • The Cheat's name is always said with the integral article. Even if it would make no grammatical sense in context, his name is always "The Cheat", never just "Cheat". Same goes for his old-timey counterpart, The Sneak.
    • Do not say that The King of Town is Marzipan's father. That was a very old bit of story information that was retconned ages ago.
  • The villain of the first Don't Hug Me I'm Scared is named Sketchbook, not Notepad. And they are not female, their gender is ambiguous (though the latter isn't helped by them having a female voice actor).
  • For Game Theory, do not treat any such theory as canonical fact to its respective franchise, especially if it contradicts that franchise's canon. Remember, it's called "Game Theory", not "Game Fact" for a reason.
  • RWBY:
  • DeviantArt has a reputation on some other websites as being for fetish art and/or only being for bad artists. While the site legitimately does have a large collection of fetish art, most of the userbase consists of people who do not draw this kind of artwork, and will likely get offended at this suggestion because taking just a little time to browse profiles there will tell you this. As for "being full of bad art", Sturgeon's Law applies the same on DeviantArt as it does everywhere else.
  • The Nostalgia Critic employs Alter-Ego Acting, and while the show is a vehicle for Doug Walker's opinions (and it's implied in early episodes that Critic's name is also Doug), Critic's attitude and beliefs are often deliberately exaggerated for comic effect. Referring to Critic as if he just is Doug Walker and not a character in his own right will really piss off fans, especially given that To Boldly Flee made it a plot point that Doug and Critic are two different entities.
  • A side effect of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise's infamously divided and vehement fanbase is that many viewers took MarioTehPlumber seriously during his early years on YouTube. Since then, it has become increasingly accepted that MarioTehPlumber is a Troll whose opinions are either fabricated or exaggerated, and taking his videos seriously nowadays will elicit eye-rolling from viewers, especially those who enjoy the unintentional hilarity of his exaggerated persona.
  • SMG4's Mario Bloopers:
    • Insisting that the "classic" (2011-16) bloopers are nothing but Values Dissonance can cause anger from older fans, especially considering the series' two most popular videos ("Who let the chomp out?" and "Freddy's spaghettiria") are from that era, and, aside from a few lines and the title of the latter video's sub-series, are perfectly harmless when it comes to dated humor. In addition, the dated humor wasn't just limited to the classic era, as slurs and jokes that are now considered dated and/or offensive were still made all the way up to 2018 ("Guards N' Retards: Da bomb" and "Lost in the Woods" being just 2 examples), so claiming that only the classic era had these jokes and is bad for it can also garner criticism.
    • While Tari has an Alternate Universe counterpart in Meta Runner, Meta Runner is not a Spin-Off of SMG4 - it's actually the opposite, as SMG4's Tari was solely created as a teaser for Meta Runner prior to its release. She became a major character due to fan popularity.

Alternative Title(s): Bannondorf, Gannon Banned, Nerd Rage, Pedantic Fan Rage, Fandom Berserk Button


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