A fanfiction where the characters are in a modern and usually more domestic setting. It can be a Non-Indicative Name as some works are set in a modern or even futuristic setting, but a modern AU will set it contemporary to the writing. Modern AUs also usually remove the fantastic elements, though some keep them. Modern AUs are one of the most common Alternate Universes in fanfiction, being a fanfic equivalent of a Setting Update.
Most writers create these stories is because they find it easier to write than actually use the works setting. Instead of having to keep researching its lore and keeping its general world building, writers will base the story off of a more familiar setting. Some writers will occasionally model it off of their own experiences. These kinds of stories are commonly used by shippers.
Artists also tend to use this trope as well. Often taking a character or two and draw what kind of societal archetype they'll be.
- Stolen Ice is a modern AU that still features Elemental Powers. Anna and Elsa are two sisters who were separated after being orphaned. They meet years later, now both criminals, and accidentally fall in love.
- Café Liégeois is a modern au with elements of a Coffee Shop A.U. Fic and College AU mixed in. Anna is a college student working at Starbucks when she has a Meet Cute with a blind woman named Elsa. Most of the fic isn't related to school or Starbucks.
- /r9k/Elsa Is Suffering is a modern au where Elsa is a Hikikomori who falls for her sister.
- In A Snowflake In Spring, Anna visits her brother Hans in a modern-day asylum. While there, she meets the 'Ice Queen' Elsa and eventually falls for her.
- In Apartment 743, Anna and her sister Elsa are fashion models in modern-day New York. The plot starts when Anna meets a homeless man named Kristoff.
- Bjorgman Family Christmas Party and its sister fic Hot Chocolate, Zambonis, and Ice Skates are two Kristoff/Anna fics set in the modern day. The first fic starts with Kristoff taking his girlfriend to a Christmas party at his family's.
- The Secret Life of Punzie: Anna has always thought her cousin Rapunzel was a goody girl. Always smiling and being cheerful, Anna would never have suspected anything wrong with her, until one night when Anna discovers something about her cousin, which sparks a bond that Anna wouldn't have suspected, one that eventually includes her best friend Elsa too.
- One example of a Star Wars modern AU would be The Boy Next Door and its sequel The Girl From Harvard. The two stories center around the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala in a modern setting as college students who were formerly neighbors. Instead of dealing with the pressures of war and secret romance, Anakin and Padme must deal with the problems of a long-distance relationship. The story also does contain some twists as well.
- All Assorted Animorphs AUs: "What if the series was set in modern times?" describes how events from each book would be different with 2010s pop culture references and technology.
- Sporadic Phantoms takes place in the 2020s instead of the 1990s, when the original Animorphs books were set. This is apparent from the many references to COVID-19, Donald Trump, and social media. This is done in order to fit the podcast format which for obvious reasons couldn't work if it was set in the 90s.
- Harry Potter is set in the 1990s, but the infamous fan fic My Immortal makes it take place "now" i.e. The Oughties.
- The Love Club is a modern The Wicked Years fic where Glinda moves next door the future Eminent Thropp, Elphaba Thropp. Instead of being set on Earth, it's set in a modern version of Oz and features multiple Ozian elements (including Animals).
- The first Warrior Cats book came out in 2003. Word of God is that Warriors Redux takes place in the 2010s.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Exoria is a different take on this. It's a modern, Urban Fantasy interpretation on the Zelda series that keeps the fantastical elements. Exoria takes place in Hyrule, however it's a contemporary equivalent of Hyrule, instead of the series permanently being stuck in a Medieval Stasis. Link is still the Hero of Hyrule but now deals with a 21st century-like society.
- The Legend of Zelda: Book of the Traitor take place in the 1980s-1990s, but in the series' continuity. The kingdom of Hyrule has disappeared and been replaced with the Republic of New Ordon.
- Sonic Adventure 2 came out in 2001. The Echoes of Eternity adaptation has it occurring 10 years later in 2011 (but it was written in 2018).
- Do You Believe In Fairies? is based off Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, a 2008 game, but began in 2016 and updated it accordingly. It modernized the work in general. Castanet is closer to a real world American small-town than the Retro Universe Arcadia it is in the games.
- Gonjiki Yasha Meiji Onmyōji Tales is a Meiji period AU. Supernatural elements of canon take a backseat to Taishō roman tropes and literary references.
- Samurai Shodown series has an unofficial one on Yagyu Life Theatre made by some of SNK creators of the series, with Jubei as a salaryman and the rest of the cast as co-workers and with other modern works, like Haohmaru as a delivery boy and Cham-Cham as a maid.
- God Save the Esteem updates Daria from the late '90s to the early 2010s. It is specifically built around one big change to Daria's family: instead of her Former Teen Rebel parents having been hippies in the late '60s and early '70s, they were Hardcore Punks in The '80s. Quinn, taking after her parents, likewise became a punk rather than joining the Fashion Club.