Follow TV Tropes

This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.


Fandom Life Cycle

Go To

The life cycle of a fandom of a work, franchise, genre, or creator can be roughly subdivided into seven stages:

  • Stage 0: Depending on the level of preemptive promotion:
    • (a) Obscurity. The work has just begun publication and is relatively unknown. Every Sleeper Hit starts off here upon release, before quickly getting popular.
    • (b) Pre-release hype owed either to the creator's previous fame or to a promotion campaign. The fandom is technically not there yet, but the seeds are sown.
  • Advertisement:
  • Stage 1: Relative obscurity. Fans are disjointed and have little communication. Cries of "It Needs More Love" are heard.
  • Stage 2: Fans begin to communicate and form clubs that will become the devoted core of the fandom. Troper Critical Mass is usually reached at this stage. Cult Classics remain here forever. A Broken Base may begin to form here or Stage 3, as passionate fans no longer need to worry about holding the fanbase together and get their potentially controversial opinions off their chests.
  • Stage 3: Fandom heads towards mainstream. Hatedom forms as a Vocal Minority, and the fandom is too small to drown them out. Most creators start paying attention to the fandom at this stage.
  • Stage 4: Fandom becomes large and organized. The majority drowns out the hatedom voices. "Normal People" outside of the fandom begin to recognize its object's popularity.
  • Advertisement:
  • Stage 5: The work becomes sufficiently ingrained in contemporary culture for even the people not familiar with it to know a lot about it, technically turning everyone into a fan. These are the works most likely to become Trope Overdosed.
    Reference examples: Batman, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Star Wars, Super Mario Bros..
  • Stage 6:
    • (a) Cooldown. The fandom slips back to stage 2 from any of the previous stages, becoming a cult.
    • (b) Oblivion. The fandom goes back to obscurity from any of the previous stages.
    • (c) Destruction. The fandom completely dissolves, leaving only a handful of people dedicated to its preservation or is forgotten completely.
  • Stage X: Newbie Boom. After slipping back to obscurity, the fandom springs back towards mainstream due to external factors, such as a Continuity Reboot, Sequel Gap, or an adaptation/spin-off series becoming popular.

Note that not every fandom passes through every stage—some stick at the early stages forever, and only a select few ever reach stage 5.


    open/close all folders 

  • Billy Mays peaked at Stage 4 prior to his death with almost everybody having heard of him or at least seen one of his ads. Now he's at Stage 6(a).
  • Get a Mac: When the ads were relevant, it was either at Stage 3 or Stage 4 and peaked at Stage 5, but now the ads are mostly forgotten nowadays and it's now at Stage 1.
  • Protegent: At its peak, it was in either stage 1 or stage 2, but it cooled down and it's probably back at 0(a) or 1. The meme has mostly been forgotten and only a few people are still making edits of it.

    Animated Films 
  • Disney Animated Canon: Ranges from 2 to 5, depending on the movie. Most of the Walt Disney-era films, 1990s films and more recent films get to 4-5, but the lesser-known films of the canon have their fair share of defenders.
  • Frozen: A little less than a year after it being released, it seems to be already at Stage 4, if not Stage 5.
  • Lilo & Stitch:
    • In North America, the franchise peaked somewhere around Stages 3 or 4, but Disney's Executive Meddling of the whole franchise caused it to lose all momentum and become a strange hybrid of all three Stage 6 scenarios, if only because it's still a reasonably successful Disney-owned franchise. Most Americans today seem to only vaguely remember Stitch and the ʻohana motto, and don't recall any of the sequel films, series, or most of the other characters besides maybe the other title character. The experiments even lost their Wikipedia article in 2016 since there were very few Western fans left on The Other Wiki to defend it.note  Tellingly, Disney's last major push for the franchise over there, the airing of the Stitch! anime's English dub in 2011 (which first debuted in Australia in 2009), ended in disaster with them pulling the anime off the air after only five episodes in less than a week due to supposed fandom backlash.
      • However, Stitch still has enough popularity in The New '10s to at least have been voted into Disney Infinity starting with its second game and Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, and still gets a regular flow of merchandise. Plus, Disney has been pushing more merchandise of Angel in the States, has hosted a fan art contest with BoxLunch (Hot Topic) in 2018, it was reported in October that year that the original film would be getting a Live-Action Adaptation in the future, and Stitch & Ai had a surprise U.S. release in December 2018.
    • It's a little better going eastward with the franchise having a slightly bigger presence in Europe (not only did the anime's English and other language dubs air in full there, one can go see Stitch Live!, a.k.a. Stitch Encounter, in Disneyland Paris and possibly even see Jumba, Pleakley, and some of the other experiments over there during special events), while in East Asia, especially Japan, the franchise has near-mainstream popularity, considering the existence of the aforementioned anime and China's Stitch & Ai, Tokyo Disneyland having Stitch Encounternote  and their own exclusive Stitch-themed version of The Enchanted Tiki Room, their version of Fantasmic! having a Lilo & Stitch segment with Angel making an appearance, having more Lilo & Stitch characters available for regular meet-and-greets, and of course a crapton more Stitch merchandise being sold over there.
  • Pixar films have an average score of Stage 4, with Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. both at Stage 5.
  • Felidae has an average score of Stage 2.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Black★Rock Shooter: An extreme case of a Stage 2 —> Stage 6b. Once one of the most popular anime franchises of the early 2010s, it has since fallen into obscurity.
  • Digimon Adventure tri.: Stage X for the Digimon fandom.
  • Fruits Basket went from Stage 4 to Stage 6 between its heyday in the early 2000s and the end of the 2000s. In 2019 it hit Stage X with many getting back into the series due to the new anime.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The manga went from Stage 2 to Stage X to Stage 4 due to Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. The manga continuity was always in the shadow of the 2003 anime until it received a Truer to the Text adaptation.
    • The 2003 anime sits at a Stage 6a. It's not quite a 6b but it's difficult to find new fan-works or fan discussion on it compared to the manga.
  • Hamtaro: The series started at Stage 1, then went straight to Stage 3 during its days on Toonami. It's currently at Stage 6(b) as of this writing.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Stage 2 to Stage 6 A. The series has its fans but fanworks rarely get made and the fandom is disorganized. The fandom was most active in the early-to-mid 2000s.
  • Haibane Renmei went from Stage 1 to Stage 6, varying between A and B. If you look up fanworks, the active fandom existed only up until around 2006 or 2007. Since then it's been disjointed; while the anime is well-known amongst anime fans, few have actually seen it, due to copies of the anime being hard to find. As of now, the anime is available officially on Youtube and Crunchyroll digitally, and has been re-released on Bluray. While this has lead to some new viewers, no new discussions or fan material has come from it, making it safe to call the fandom officially dead.
  • Hunter × Hunter went from Stage 3 straight to Stage 5 in a manner of years. It was a Cult Classic throughout the 2000s but never had the same success as other shonen like Naruto, Bleach, or Fullmetal Alchemist. This all changed when it got a Truer to the Text anime in 2011. This was around the same time that Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Naruto were ending, so many fans jumped onto the new series as an alternative. Airing on Toonami helped secure the series as one of the most popular anime of the 2010s.
  • My Hero Academia went from Stage 2 to Stage 5 within a few months. Its first season didn't do well in Japan, but it caught on a bit more internationally due to its superhero aesthetic. The anime really hit it big after Naruto ended. Suddenly a lot of Naruto fans drifted to My Hero Academia and the anime boomed in popularity. It then quickly caught the eye of DC and Marvel fans who normally don't watch anime. Airing on Toonami helped it become even mainstream. My Hero Academia is one of the most popular anime on Archive of Our Own, eclipsing even its rivals like Naruto and One Piece.
  • Naruto as a whole is at 6A. It was one of the biggest anime of the 2000s and is a fixture, but its fandom began losing momentum in the early 2010s. With Boruto being received to mixed-reviews and many jumping onto other anime as a replacement, the fandom is slowing down.
  • Ouran High School Host Club went from Stage 4 to Stage 6 during the 2010s. It was a popular series during the 2000s but became displaced as time went on.
  • Despite running since the late 1990s, Pocket Monsters is at a Stage 0 . It suffers from No Export for You in most countries and its gag nature means that, no matter how large its readership may be, it doesn't create a fandom.
  • Pokémon: Usually Stage 3. How popular it is depends on the direction, with Kanto, Advance Generation and Diamond and Pearl reaching Stage 4, while Johto, Best Wishes, and Sun and Moon were Stage 6a. X and Y ended at Stage 6b. Leagues usually end with the anime sitting on Stage 6b for a few weeks before returning to Stage 3 for the next series.
  • Pokémon Adventures: Stage 4. Unlike the anime, Adventures is known for having strong continuity and rotating the protagonists. It does have its own problems, however.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Stage 4 in Japan and Australia, while Stage 3 elsewhere. One of the most popular anime franchises in the 2010s.
  • Ranma ½: 6B. The series is one of the most successful anime in the 1990s but became lost amongst new anime in the 2000s Newbie Boom. It has an active fanbase but most new anime fans don't watch it, meaning that the fanbase is mostly made up of fans who got into it during its heyday.
  • Sailor Moon started at Stage 1, went to Stage 4, then went to Stage 6(c) for a while before Crystal came out and sent the series all the way to Stage X. Currently, the franchise seems to ping-pong between Stages 5 and 6(b) every other week.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats is currently at Stage 2.
  • School-Live! is at Stage 2. It had a growing fandom but it stopped steadily growing after the anime adaptation ended.
  • Tamagotchi: In Japan, this anime is easily at around level 4 or 5, similar to the digital pet toys from which they were adapted. Outside of Japan, however, the fandom is at level 2 and the anime is noticeably more obscure than the toys; this is most likely because the anime has never seen a full English release (the first 26 episodes were aired in English in Australia only, and the first few episodes of the Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream installment were adapted as a webtoon called Tamagotchi Friends, but other than that there's nothing).
  • Tokyo Mew Mew started out at Stage 1 and then went to Stage 4 before going to Stage 6(b) where it is currently at.
  • Yo-Kai Watch:
    • In Japan it went from Stage 1 to Stage 5 virtually overnight, however the fad faded and it became some version of Stage 6. Attempts at reviving interest in the anime has been mixed.
    • In America the anime went from Stage 2 to Stage 6c within three years. It began gaining a small following along with games, but the English dub went through a series of hurdles before being Screwed by the Network and cancelled mid-season 3. Whatever anime fanbase remains began to dissolve.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero is a Stage 2. It was a Sleeper Hit on the verge of becoming a Stage 3 but it never made the leap proper.
  • Yuyu Hakusho is some form of Stage 6. It was a popular anime during the 1990s and early 2000s but lost out compared to newer works. It's since become obscure outside of its dedicated fandom.

    Asian Animation 
  • 3000 Whys of Blue Cat: This is probably stage 0(a) in the English-speaking world because it's a kids' cartoon that has never had an official (or even unofficial) English release. In China, it's probably stage 4 or 5 due to its massive success there.
  • Noonbory and the Super 7: Currently transitioning from Stage 1 to Stage 2.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • Stage 5 at its peak in China, due to having a lot of seasons and merchandise. It slowly cooled down to stage 3/4 when people grew tired of it, but it looks like it might reach stage 5 again as it's gaining back popularity.
    • It's always been in stage 0(a) in the West due to a complete lack of exposure to the show, though it's slowly inching towards stage 1 or possibly 2 due to fans spreading the word about the show and getting people interested.
  • Simple Samosa: It's always been in stage 0(a) in America, for starters, but it's probably more around stage 1 in India since there are fans of the show but almost no particularly active fan circles - actually, even ignoring the fact that older viewers tend to hate the show, that seems weird for a series that has pulled in over 25 million viewers.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman is Stage 5 as the most famous comic book character of all time. It's the Trope Maker or Trope Codifier for pretty much every superhero since.
  • Batman: Stage 5 due to its massive popularity over several decades, and impressively codifying both darker superheroes and campy cheese in the public mind.
  • Spider-Man: Stage 5 as the most well-known Marvel hero, even before the MCU.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Another Stage 5. Even people who have never touched a comic book know the concept of a green rage-monster with purple pants and certain style of talking.

  • The Infinite Loops: Thanks to the Spacebattles communities, and the rock solid base of Saphroneth's MLP Loops series, the fandom currently sits at stage two.

    Light Novels 
  • Sword Art Online: Currently at Stage 4 and verging close to Stage 5, as the franchise has reached the point where nearly everyone who hasn't been living under a rock has at least heard about it. Although it has the anomaly that the Hatedom voices are the ones that drown out the fans, instead of the other way around, despite the fact that the numbers show they are still a Vocal Minority.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A well-remembered book at Stage 4, while the first film adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, is at Stage 5. The second film adaptation is permanently at Stage 6c, and the West End theatre adaptation is at Stage 4.
  • Discworld: An odd case - it's Stage 4 on this wiki, Stage 2 everywhere else.
  • Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has sold over 100 million copies, putting it at stage 5.
  • The Inheritance Cycle - Stage 3, possibly stage 4 at its peak. The hatedom was always rather vocal, but the fans were also numerous and towards the end, the trolls and haters sort of drifted away. Possibly could have headed towards stage 5 if not for the abysmal failure of the Eragon film release. Currently at 6a - the set of short stories that was released around a decade after the final novel drew a fair bit of attention from fans, but didn't really spark much outside of that. The author Christopher Paolini has a new book that's starting a new series coming out in 2020.
  • Phenomena: stage 6 A, although big are Norwegian fans usually really quiet so unless it's foreign with more fans, the law of Jante sets in. Stage X is sure to come to some extent when the TV-series arrives.
  • Tales of the Frog Princess: Appears to be permanently stuck in Stage 1.
  • Twilight. The huge hatedom made sure the series never got past Stage 3 despite its intense popularity among teenage girls. Today, it's at Stage 6b.
  • Warrior Cats is at Stage 4.
  • Redwall was at Stage 4 at it's peak, but is now at Stage 6(a). The animated series by Nelvana is at Stage 2.

    Live Action Films 
  • Most Disney Channel Original Movies sit at Stage 2 at best, unless animated, which tend to fare better and reach Stage 4. There are a handful of live-action films that fared well.
    • Camp Rock: Peaked at Stage 3 and gotten a sequel, but has since dropped to Stage 6(b).
    • Descendants: Stage 3. Popular with teenage girls, but a flop with Disney purists and Australians for having unflattering portrayals of both heroes and villains alike, and (in Australia) for being Too Soon.
    • High School Musical: It's sitting on the border of Stages 3 and 4, mainly thanks to Disney Channel continuing to air it well into the 2010s and 2020s to new sets of teenage girls, in spite of a massive hatedom from fans of the classic shows and films who blame the trilogy for Network Decay.
  • Jurassic World: Definite Stage X, for both Jurassic Park fans and mainstream dinosaur fans on the whole.
  • Star Wars: This is one of the few films that you can count on everyone having seen or at least heard of. It's stage 5.
  • TRON: Stage X. The film is famous for being a groundbreaker for CGI and paving way for Pixar, but it wasn't until the film's feature in Kingdom Hearts II that brought it back into the spotlight, and helped greenlight a sequel.
  • The Wizard of Oz: A Solid 5.
  • Mean Girls has been on the border between Stages 4 and 5 for a while, and continues to have popularity with teenage girls.

    Live Action TV 
  • Banshee: Stage 1 or 2, depending on what circles you run in - the show is beloved on Something Awful and has a fairly active subreddit, but is otherwise almost completely obscure.
  • Dateline: Was on the border between Stages 4 and 5 during the popularity of Chris Hansen's To Catch a Predator segments, but is now at Stage 6(b).
  • Doctor Who is in an odd position due to how dramatically the show was retooled for its revival in 2005. Overall, it can be said to be a Stage X, but the new series on its own is a Stage 4 or 5, with the classic era falling in Stage 6(a).
  • Game of Thrones: Stage 5 during it's run, then went to Stage 6(b) after ending it's run.
  • Hannah Montana: It reached Stage 4 during the peak of its popularity in 2008, but owing to Disney Channel's eventual Dork Age from overpromoting the show (and High School Musical), as well as the lead actress's behavior in the 2010s, the series aged very poorly, and is now sitting at Stage 6a.
  • Police, Camera, Action! falls into Stage 4 or 5, in the United Kingdom at least, where it's well-known. This is despite the fact it's a documentary.
  • Power Rangers: In the odd case of being a 90's pop culture icon that's still ongoing.
    • Power Rangers as a whole is at Stage 6a, far from its glory days.
    • Mighty Morphin by itself is at Stage 5. Anything else within the Zordon Era is Stage 2.
    • Lost Galaxy through RPM, depending on the season, were Stage 1 or 2 while airing, but nowadays have slid down to Stage 6b or 6c.
    • The Neo-Saban era has brought minor Newbie Booms, with each season managing to be around Stage 2 while it's airing.
    • The 2017 film hoped to launch the franchise into Stage X.
  • Star Trek: With several TV series and other media, it's popular enough to be stage 5.
  • The X-Files: Definitely one of the very few that went through the whole cycle and reached the mainstream recognition. Even people who never watched a single episode are likely to know who Mulder and Scully are.

  • Justin Bieber: Came in reach of being a household name at his peak, but has since gone back to merely having a modest sized fandom of particularly dedicated fans and otherwise being a gigantic target of mockery, and thanks to his big comeback, he's firmly a household name again.
  • One Direction: On the border between Stages 4 and 5.
  • The Wanted: Was Stage 2 or 3 at best, but has since fallen to Stage 6(b).

  • Acquisitions Incorporated: The series seems to have entered Stage 4, as Scott points out in season 8: "Remember how they all used to hate us? Now they're helping!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Star Wars d6: It's reached stage 6, but some fans are still playing it.

  • BIONICLE: Almost got as high as Stage 4, but reverted to 6a almost immediately after the line's initial cancellation.
  • GoGo's Crazy Bones got to around Stage 3 or 4 during its original 90's run. It skipped right to 6b or 6c upon the fad dying out, but got a Newbie Boom in 2007 due to a reboot version entering release; said reboot also got to around Stage 3 or 4 at its peak and has since gone on to become a Stage 6c. While the toys have most certainly not been forgotten completely by time, you'd have to be very, very lucky to find anyone who hasn't at least forgotten it ever existed nowadays.
  • The LEGO franchise in general, being the most popular construction toy series ever, is an unmistakable Stage 5.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney, being one of the main series to popularize the Visual Novel format in the west, is currently sitting squarely in Stage 4.
  • Age of Empires: The first game is a Stage 2, while Age of Empires II is a solid Stage 4.
  • Blizzard Entertainment sits mostly between Stage 3 and 4, with a couple exceptions. StarCraft and Overwatch are firmly in Stage 5 in South Korea. Older games like The Lost Vikings are Stage 2. Heroes of the Storm is either 2 or 3, being notably less popular than Blizzard's other games and also its main competitors.
  • BioWare: BioWare fandom has entered Stage 3 with the double-punch combo of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 (though some would argue that it happened as early as Knights of the Old Republic). Stage 2 has been reached with Baldur's Gate II, and time will only tell whether and when they fully transition to Stage 4 (Mass Effect 3 and SW:TOR have so far been unsuccessful at bringing that about, while Dragon Age II, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Mass Effect: Andromeda have only fueled the Broken Base, preventing upwards progression).
  • Danganronpa is currently at Stage 4.
  • Doom: The classic Doom games seem to be in stage 6a, with an active community.
  • Dragon Quest in Japan is Stage 5, outstripping sister series Final Fantasy's popularity in its home region. Anywhere else it's Stage 2, although XI is starting to push it to Stage 3.
  • The Elder Scrolls: To date, each new game in the series has eclipsed its predecessors in the popular consciousness. Previous games mostly wind up at Stage 6A in the Fandom Lifecycle, still played (and modded) by fiercely dedicated and very militant fandom cores. These games often experience a resurgence whenever a new game in the series is announced as fans replay them in anticipation.
    • Although a hit when it was first released, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was eventually eclipsed by its sequels in popular eyes (arriving at Stage 6a of the Fandom Life Cycle). Nonetheless, it is still actively played and modded by a fiercely dedicated and very militant fandom core to this day.
  • Geometry Dash: Stage 2 or 3 at this point.
  • Kahoot! is frequently played by students during the school year, putting it at stage 2 or 3. During break, it goes to stage 6(b) because no one has to study. When school gets back in, it goes through stage X and gets back to stage 2/3 because people begin playing it again.
  • Kirby: Currently at a Stage 4, but this is a recent development, oddly enough. Despite being a long-running series that sells well, having a very recognizable main character, and being adapted into a generally liked anime series, Kirby barely edged at a Stage 3 for most of its life. This can be attributed to the games' limited appeal to the bigger game demographics (which also resulted in some Critical Dissonance for the earlier games), inconsistent releases throughout the 2000s, and generally being overshadowed by other Nintendo franchises. The series had its first big break when Super Smash Bros. Brawl gave it a large focus, and fully broke into the mainstream around the release of Kirby's Return to Dream Land in 2011. Since then, there's been a steady release schedule of new games and merchandise, and Kirby games are often considered major releases.
  • LittleBigPlanet: At one point it was a 3-bordering-on-4, but it's since cooled back down to a 3.
  • Mirror's Edge: The Mirror's Edge fandom is quite firmly in the Stage 2 (Cult Classic), as all players who still care about the game love it to bits but are comparatively few in number.
  • Mortal Kombat started off at Stage 5 with the first three games, slid into Stage 6a from Mortal Kombat 4 to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, then hit Stage X and re-entered the mainstream with the 2011 reboot.
  • Pokémon: As a whole, the franchise is squarely a 5. Being the highest-grossing media franchise in the world (at an estimated revenue of $90 billion), it is Nintendo's second best selling game series, has a very long running anime series (see the anime section), and has influenced quite a few corners of popular culture.
  • Ratchet & Clank: The original and Future trilogies are among the most beloved trilogies in the PS2 and PS3 era, respectively, bringing the series to a Stage 4.
  • Sly Cooper: The original trilogy sit at State 4 and are critically acclaimed. Thieves in Time, on the other hand, sits at State 6c, disowned by fans for its unresolved cliffhanger.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Has hovered around Stage 5 (full mainstream status) since the beginning, even though it is not as big as the in the early 1990s.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Stage 5, because the Mario series is basically the most well known, popular video game series in history. Especially true of the 'Mario Mania' years, wherein American children knew Mario better than Mickey Mouse.
  • Tamagotchi: In Japan, the toys became a big fad overnight (stage 4/5). By the time enough toys were being produced to meet demand, the popularity had died down and the fandom went through stage 6(a). Went through Stage X in 2004, when the toys were relaunched. This also applies for America, except it hasn't had quite as much of a Newbie Boom.
  • Wario Land: Along with its related series WarioWare and the other Wario games, probably one of the only series that both sells more than a million copies and yet is still somehow in phase 1 of the list, with it somehow having nothing of an organised fandom. Various people have questioned exactly why this is.
    • WarioWare: Somewhere between phase 1 and phase 2, which is kind of odd given the popularity of the series. If you ever need proof of this, just try and find a forum/fan site for the WarioWare series - it's much harder than you'd think. The Mario spinoff games tend to have inactive fandoms compared to the main game and RPG spinoffs.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY went from Stage 2 to Stage 4 by the beginning of Volume 4 thanks to the Newbie Boom of Volume 3's ending.
  • YouTube Poop: Stage 4, bordering on Stage 5. Many scholars have cited it as a huge example of remix culture, and there's literally hundreds if not thousands of YTPs uploaded onto the internet for all to see.
  • Battle for Dream Island: Currently at Stage 4. The show is hugely popular on the Internet and Scholastic has even published an Official Character Guide. It even spawned a whole genre of "object shows".
  • Homestar Runner: Went from Stage 2 to Stage 5 just within a few years thanks to widespread word-of-mouth and popularity on the internet.

  • Endtown: Appears to have managed the remarkable feat of jumping straight from Stage 3 to some variation on Stage 6.

  • The Zimmer Twins: Was a Stage 3 that skipped 3 stages ahead and cooled down. Later, it skipped back to Stage 6 but this time it suffered the fate of destruction.
  • Neopets: Was somewhere between stage 4 and 5 at its peak, and even got its own Happy Meal toys, but went to 6a as the main demographic it was aimed at at the time moved on to other, newer game sites like Animal Jam. People in that age group are rarely aware of it nowadays; the remaining fanbase is rather quiet and consists mostly of players who have been there for years and refuse to leave, or are returning out of nostalgia.

    Web Original 
  • Creamsicle leaped to Stage 3 or 4 in under a week of being created. However, it was short lived and became 6c by 2013. In 2019 it became Stage X when "Gatekeeping Yuri" became a meme,

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time is at Stage 6. It was a Cash Cow Franchise and cultural icon in the early 2010s but its fanbase lost momentum due to a combination of Screwed by the Network and newer cartoons like Steven Universe.
  • Danny Phantom: Made it to stage 3 or 4 before the series ended, then went to stage 6a. Between the fandom having mostly dissolved over the course of the years the show has been off the air, the fans who watched it when they were kids having grown up, and the show's creator meddling in fandom affairs less than he did back in its heyday, what's left of the fandom now has a very different culture, which is currently torn between nostalgia, high-quality and often rather serious fanworks filled with many an Alternative Character Interpretation, and increasingly bizarre memes/in-jokes.
  • Kim Possible sits between Stage 3 and Stage 4. It was one of Disney's most successful cartoons of the 2000s and managed to get uncancelled. It still has a fanbase despite finishing in 2007 and had a small Newbie Boom thanks to the 2019 film.
  • Looney Tunes: Stage 5, especially cartoons featuring mascots Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. "What's Opera, Doc?" and "Duck Amuck" are both listed as the top two greatest short films of all time.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Somewhere between Stage 2 and Stage 3. It has a huge amount of fanworks (even back when all that existed was the 2012 trailer it had hundreds of fanfics and even more fanart) but hasn't seemed to become a very mainstream cartoon like the Gravity Falls or Steven Universe fandoms yet (likely due to Nickelodeon's shabby treatment of the show in the US- hopefully the switch to Netflix will remedy these issues and expose the show to a wider audience).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: You can make an argument for every stage from 4 on.
    • Stage 4 "large and organized," without a doubt. Sites like Equestria Daily and Fimfiction.Net are still running strong, and fan artists are still making things left and right.
    • Stage 5 (sufficiently ingrained in contemporary culture for even the people not familiar with it to know a lot about it). The fanbase has been referenced on Saturday Night Live (not positively, mind you, but then no "nerdy" thing ever is), The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and so on, and the general populace are aware that bronies exist. Andy Price, one of the comic artists, makes an argument that MLP is still in this stage in a "Fandom Files" podcast.
    • Stage 6: While mid 2011-early 2013 was undeniably the "golden age" (though 2015 was the year in which convention attendance and fan activity was the highest) it is impossible to deny that the fandom as a whole has changed. Whether that be for better or for worse remains to be seen, but there are arguments for a Stage 6 existence.
      • A (Cooldown): Not nearly as "flavor of the month" as a new fandom anymore, with new shows like Steven Universe, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and other such shows gaining a massive Periphery Demographic as well, the fandom has simply devoted time to other things.
      • B (Oblivion): While bronies are still out there, they are more and more slipping out never to return, with many former bronies calling it "losing the spark" and it not coming back. As well, several conventions have closed their doors permanently (including flagship con BronyCon, closing in 2019), meaning that representation is dwindling.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes just barely reached stage 2 at some point during its run and then stayed there. Fans often blame the series having been Screwed by the Network for its lack of popularity.
  • Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat: Stuck at Stage 2, as the series is mostly forgotten with a handful of fans remaining.
  • The Simpsons: Stage 5. Seasons 3 - 8 are wildly remembered as a relic of the 90s, and is one of the most influenced animated shows ever made.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is a firm stage 5, being one of, if not the most popular animated series of the new millennium. You would be very hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn't even heard of the show, not to mention it gets a lot of memes made out of it in comparison to other shows, particularly from the first three seasons.
  • Total Drama: Currently at stage 3, but is nearing the brink of stage 4.
  • Blazing Dragons is stuck at Stage 2 as of now, but the #BDRevolution movement has been trying to get the series bumped up to Stage X.
  • PB&J Otter: Stage 4 during it's run on Playhouse Disney in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays it's at Stage 2.
  • Over the Garden Wall: Stage 4 during it's run, and received mass critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. Currently it's at Stage 6b.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: