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Fandom-Specific Plot

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Fanfic is rife with tropes and Memetic Mutation. Some plots are so embedded in the collective consciousness of netizens everywhere that no fandom is complete without them, despite general disdain for them—Mister Seahorse, for example, or Gender Bender—or even their relevance to the source material, such as Aliens Made Them Do It.

This trope comes in two general flavors:

  • The Fandom's picks: Universal plots that are unusually popular within a particular fandom or pairing, for whatever reason.
  • The Fandom's substratenote : Plots which only work within a particular fandom or pairing and are incredibly common there.

As with everything to do with fanfiction, Sturgeon's Law applies.

Sailor Earth, Obvious Crossover Method, Fuku Fic, Coffee Shop AU Fic, and The Ship's Motor are subtropes. Compare Common Crossover, and The Stations of the Canon. See also Fanfic Fuel, which tends to produce the second flavor of these fandom-specific plots.

A No Recent Examples rule applies to this trope. Examples shouldn't be added until one month after release, to avoid any knee-jerk reactions and allow time for fanfic to be written.


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    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • The Batman fandom has Catlad: in which Tim Drake is taken in by Catwoman and becomes her apprentice under the name Catlad or, more often, Stray. As a rule, Catlad!Tim is always written as bisexual or gay (since long before he was established as bisexual in canon) and much flirtier than his canon counterpart. It's obvious Fanservice, of course.
    • You can find a lot of age reversal fics, where Damian is the eldest and Dick is the youngest. This is termed "Reverse Robins", or "Robin Reversal".
    • Tim Drake is frequently subjected to two fandom specific whump plots; if he's Robin or younger turning his parents' neglect and his father's emotional abuse into something far worse and having the Waynes save him from them is popular, while tales set post-Red Robin tend to have his newly missing spleen lead to him getting sick.
    • Revisiting and tweaking the circumstances of Jason sneaking into Titans Tower in order to beat up Tim is so popular in fanfic it has gained its own official AO3 tag. Usually these stories have Jason realizing attacking a child who has done nothing to him is messed up and change his mind, but some of them have him be far more brutal than in canon or have the timing off so he runs into Stephanie as Robin instead.
    • A very common Crossover Ship in fanfics is to pair Damian up with Marinette from Miraculous Ladybug.
    • There are a number of stories that deal with the birth of Helena Wayne in the context of the current Prime Earth/Earth 0 Bat-Family. They tend to either be comedic, joking about the number of kids Bruce has or hurt/comfort fics about how Damian believes he's the only child Bruce had that he didn't "want" and was instead thrusted upon to raise by Talia.
  • The Flash:
    • There is a lot of fanon surrounding Wally, especially in fanfics. His father being horribly abusive, (which does have some basis in canon but not to the exaggerated qualities in fanworks), is common.
    • There's also him having a weird child-parent relationship with the Rogues due to the fact that they don't hurt kids in most continuities. This relationship includes them kidnapping him to take him to fun parks, and Flash/Barry being perfectly fine with the enemies that try to kill him on a daily basis kidnapping his nephew.
    • A lot of fans seem to believe that he went to high-school with James Jesse (Trickster I) and Hartley Rathaway (Pied Piper.) While Piper was later retconned into being closer to Wally's age once they became allies Wally was already well into his twenties by this point and The Trickster has always been consistently older than him.
    • If there's a fan-story about a late teens/early twenties Wally having to overcome insecurities chances are the climax (or an event a little before the climax) will take from his epic beat down of Brainiac-ified Lex Luthor in the JusticeLeague cartoon by having him running around the world multiple times in the matter of nanoseconds to beat the villain, only to overuse his energy and fall into the Speed Force leading to his supporting cast having to reach in and pull him out.
  • New 52: The reboot has many fans trying to find a way to go back to the old continuity. Fics range from it being a hallucination caused by a villain to Donna Troy refusing to be erased from existence again and returning to dismantle the universe. DC themselves have attempted something of a fix themselves with the transition to Rebirth - among other things, bringing back the original Superman (married to Lois Lane and all) as well as the red-headed Wally West.
    • Damian Wayne's death in the New 52 spawned quite a few. Usually involving the use of a Lazarus Pit, for obvious reasons.
  • Shazam!: You can find a million stories/comics where an adult hero discovers that Billy Batson is a prepubescent Homeless Hero and takes him in. The most popular seems to be Batman, due to a combination of a.) contrasting personalities, b.) Billy fitting the black-hair/blue-eyes pattern of the other Robins, and c.) his last name literally being Bat-Son.
  • Spider-Man:
    • One More Day Fix Fic (usually involving either Peter or Mary Jane fighting off Mephisto in an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny).
    • Fics where MJ, Gwen, or someone else gets powers (usually spider-related). Of course, then we got Ascended Fanon like Spider-Island, Spider-Gwen, and The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows...
    • With both versions of Peter Parker now dead, there's naturally a lot of this floating about. In Ultimate's case, these mostly consist of Peter returning to life and taking the name Ben Reilly, since his replacement, Miles Morales, is almost universally loved. And in the case of 616, beating the crap out Otto Octavius, who is a more controversial replacement Spider-Man. That said, it may die down now the case of the classic Marvel universe since Peter's back.
    • Same with Ultimate. Peter's back (it's hinted he and Osborn are resistant to death, thanks to the OZ serum). After a freak-out and fight with Morales (namely to get his dad's webshooters back), Peter and Miles team up to beat the reborn Goblin. With Miles curb-stomping the Goblin, Peter gives Miles his blessings and says he will wander the Earth... though more accurately, he ended up more-or-less eloping with MJ.
    • Ultimate Universe-style retellings of the series.
  • Superman has a lot of stories where baby Kal-El is found and adopted by another family, Supergirl and her cousin make it to Earth together, or Kara survives the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Teen Titans has a lot of Generation Xerox stories and fanart, with the Titans' own children growing up to be Titans themselves. The characters typically included are Damian Wayne, Lian Harper, Iris West, Milagro Reyes (Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes's little sister; a Running Gag is that her life's ambition is to become a Green Lantern), and sometimes Mar'i Grayson/Nightstar, Nightwing and Starfire's daughter in the Kingdom Come reality who is not (yet?) born in the main one.
  • Watchmen: Rorschach being sent to the future or an Alternate Universe. On some of those occasions, he (reluctantly) teams up with Deadpool.

    Comic Strips 
  • Numerous Peanuts fics revolve around older interpretations of the characters. Most are Dark Fics or Deconstruction Fics about a depressed teenage Charlie Brown going through high school. The "unauthorized parody" play Dog Sees God is the most well-known example.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • There are a lot of stories concerning what Calvin is like as a teenager or adult. Either he has to deal with not having Hobbes around, or Hobbes is still around but his relationship with Calvin has changed due to Calvin's growing up. Occasionally Hobbes ends up being passed down to one of Calvin's own eventual children.
    • Calvin often ends up marrying Susie.
    • There are stories in which Calvin is on his deathbed and gives Hobbes to his grandson.
    • "Calvin grows up" is a common enough genre to have had its tropes parodied in the webcomic Chainsawsuit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • "Alternate Heresy" is a genre of For Want of a Nail fanfic that changes which of the Emperor's eighteen sons rebelled, and which remained loyal, and how that shapes the "modern" setting of the 41st millennium. The first of these was The Dornian Heresy, with The Roboutian Heresy and The Imperial Heresy following shortly after.
    • One of the more popular subjects for WMGs is "What happens when the God-Emperor dies?". Theories range from hopeful (now no longer tied to the physical realm, He can finally confront, and defeat, the Ruinous Powers on their own turf) to even worse than 40K already is (the Emperor provides the sole means of semi-reliable FTL transit; without Him, planets are completely cut off from each other, even in the same system) to completely changing the setting (the Emperor was very much an atheist in life, and likely will not appreciate the "God" part of God-Emperor). The latter partially came true when Primarch Roboute Guilliman was revived and had a massive Heroic BSoD at what had happened to the Imperium, and has taken (admittedly small) steps to rectify that.

  • Hadestown:
    • Many a Fix Fic is built around Orpheus and Eurydice reuniting in some way. Some simply have Orpheus not turn around at the end, or run with the idea of the story being retold by having the characters be aware of and break the endless loops, allowing them to be happy. Post-canon Hades/Persephone reconciliation fics tend to include Hades bending the rules so Orpheus and Eurydice can reunite, while others have them reunite after Orpheus dies like in some versions of the myth.
    • Eurydice picking up where Orpheus left off post-canon and campaigning for better treatment for the workers is a popular fanfic topic, with some having her lead a resistance against Hades while others have her working with him and Persephone to bring change.
  • Les Misérables fanfics based mostly on the musical often use the book to pad backstories and spice things up for readers who are familiar with both.
  • Wicked:
    • "Booksical" fics that incorporate elements from The Wicked Years books. These often make Nessarose religious against, include the book's religions, reintroduce Adapted Out characters, and use the book's characterizations (and names) for Elphaba's parents.
    • Elphaba, and oftentimes Fiyero, being reunited with Glinda.
    • Glinda/Elphaba fics where the two become a couple instead of Elphaba (or Glinda) and Fiyero.

  • BIONICLE fanfics frequently included or focused on Original Characters, usually Toa, but sometimes Matoran or Makuta (after it was revealed there was more than one). Stories focusing solely on these would often be set on an original island the writer made up, or one of the places mentioned but never visited in canon (especially once the canon map of the Matoran Universe was released). The expansion of Elemental Powers beyond the original 6 also led to Toa with these powers (like Magnetism, Plant Life, or Sonics, to name a few), and many characters had invented mask powers too.
  • In the My Little Pony fandom, more than a few pre-G4 fanworks (usually G1 material) revolve around Winged Unicorn characters. Until G4 introduced some, there weren't any canon ones outside of My Little Pony Tales. Thus many OCs were secretly winged unicorns hiding as more common types of pony.
  • Ever After High:
    • The series was cancelled shortly after "Dragon Games", which means nothing ever came out of Darling awakening Apple with CPR. Many fanfics delve into the repercussions of that scene and how it affects Apple's arc.
    • Crossovers with Monster High are commonplace.

  • TwoKinds has an overwhelming amount of stories about the author's (inevitably male) OC getting Isekaied into Mekkan (usually a military man going through a teleporter), meeting an escaped keidran slave girl based on the author's favorite large predator who falls in love with him, and fighting the Templars with the gun he had in his back pocket when he got bamfed. Interacting with the canon events after meeting our expies of Trace and Flora are optional. You can expect Black Magic to be largely ignored, despite it being a central part of the comic's story, and they will also probably meet a basitin (which half of the island they come from remains unspecified, but they're probably just like Keith) despite them being rare outside of their homelands.

  • In the hockey RPF fandom there's the concept of 'goalie nesting', in which a goaltender can suddenly go feral, hoard hockey equipment, and become either more aggressive or more affectionate toward his teammates (or rather a specific teammate, in the latter case).