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Newbie Boom

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The moment in the lifetime of a community, usually a fandom, when the number of newcomers explodes. This is often the result of a remake, an adaptation, an English translation, a Colbert Bump or any other development that introduces something formerly obscure to a whole lot of new folks. These inevitably rush to find out as much as they can about this new big thing. Bad things can happen when they meet the original community. Throw in a little ignorance of the source material atop that, and a most beautiful chaos is sure to quickly erupt.

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There are no examples of it being used as a weapon of retaliation, as here. Yet.

Compare and contrast The Red Stapler, Colbert Bump, Song Association. Eternal September was Usenet’s great Newbie Boom in 1993. See also Revival by Commercialization and Gateway Series for those shows, movies, video games, and other forms of media which triggered the boom in the first place, and Fandom Life Cycle which is relevant to this trope.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Anime conventions in the early 1990s: 90% college age males/nerdy high-school guys talking about giant robots and starships. Then suddenly in 1996, after Sailor Moon hit, and especially after the manga bubble brought shoujo manga such as Fruits Basket to the spotlight in the early 2000s, "Where did all these 13-year old girls come from?"
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya light novel fandom got a doubling or tripling in size as soon as the anime came out. It would only increase after the dub of the series was announced.
  • Most mangas get this once they are turned into anime; Soul Eater, for instance. After said anime are dubbed, this happens again, as in the Haruhi Suzumiya example above.
  • Aggretsuko experienced one due to its Netflix remake.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion after every major re-release. The English dub VHS tapes were released from 1996-1997, and bootlegs were available since it began in 1995. Popularity tapered off a bit in the early 2000's. The first big Newbie Boom was centered on the DVD releases, of the as-yet unreleased finale movie The End of Evangelion in 2002, and then in 2004 the release of the box set of the Director's Cut episodes. Just as the first Newbie Boom from 2002-2004 was wearing off, the series was aired on [adult swim] from 2005 to 2007, sparking another larger boom because it was airing on basic cable TV. Then another, huge boom came after the Rebuild of Evangelion films started coming out, starting in late 2007 in Japan. Delayed somewhat due to bidding wars over the license, the real boom hit when the English region DVD was released in late 2009. Another boom happened when the series dropped on Netflix in 2019.
  • Consequently, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann introduced the Super Robot Genre to many fans. Conflict with the old fanbase tends to arise from the new fans not realising that most of the shows content was Older Than They Think.
  • One Piece:
    • Happened in-universe when Gold Roger was executed and said his treasure would be for the one who found it in the Grand Line. This was know as the start of The Golden Age of Piracy for all the new pirates who embarked in finding it; more senior pirates, however, saw it as a very negative thing as the seas will be plagued by new romance-driven pirates.
    • Another one occurred after the Whitebeard War, thanks in part to Whitebeard himself. The main goal of the Marines in this war was to snuff out the Golden Age of Piracy. However, Whitebeard, with his dying breath, proclaimed that One Piece does exist, reigniting the idea once again and starting a new era of piracy, as a final middle finger to the World Government and the Marines for the death of Ace, having essentially made the entire war and all the sacrifices the Marines made absolutely meaningless with those last words.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Pre-Heartcatch: a small, happy fandom struggling to get subs and shake off the "yuri fanboy" label. Post-Heartcatch: WHERE DID ALL THESE PEOPLE COME FROM. The reason for the boom is twofold: Heartcatch was the second series of a new era of Precure seasons after Fresh Pretty Cure! changed many of the Classic/Pre-Fresh era's conventions, and Heartcatch also attracted a bigger, more prolific fansub group, bringing the English-speaking fandom same-week or even same-day fansubs for the first time. It also helps that Heartcatch premiered around the same time that the original series was airing a dub in Canada and the UK, which may have lead some curious viewers to learn about the other installments in the franchise.
    • Another boom happened during Hugtto! Pretty Cure due to it being the series' 15th anniversary and due to many news sites covering episode 19's take on gender roles with the character Henri and his Pretty Cure transformation months later.
  • Magical Girl fandom in general. Before Puella Magi Madoka Magica: "Man, things sure are nice and simple. Those girls are good-natured and things go so well for them." After Madoka Magica: "Why do some loudmouths keep insisting that horrible things happening to the girls is the new hot stuff?!"
  • The Wandering Son was considered a Cult Classic manga for a while with a pretty small fandom. After the anime came out it didn't increase too much but it still gained a lot more notability within anime communities.
  • Expect a fandom to get a sudden increase in fans when it's either dubbed by a company or it airs on Toonami.
    • Toonami itself got an influx of newer generation of anime fans with it's reboot since 2012 in addition to their now teenage/adult older Toonami fans. In fact, it's been argued that the Toonami fanbase has become more diverse than the past despite the block's Darker and Edgier approach and being geared towards a more teenage and adult audience.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Pokémon anime had a major increase in new viewership around the Sinnoh arc.
    • Somewhere around the mid 2000s to the Diamond and Pearl days, Pokémon Adventures went from being a rather obscure adaptation of Pokemon to being well-known amongst fans. It's pretty much the second adaptation besides the anime, never mind that there are many other manga out there (one is even more long-running). And thanks to Europe starting to release the manga in the 2010s, sales exploded, making it cross 10 million sales by the 2010s.
  • With the release of the 2012 anime, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure got an influx of newbies after over two decades of relative obscurity in English speaking territories (it was always popular in Japan and Europe, but had a difficult time catching on in North America due to the many music and band references causing a mess of legal issues).
  • Whether or not you're a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series can be a contentious thing in the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom. Many people found the source material through the Abridged series, with the abridger's characters even claiming at one point that most of the modern interest in Yu-Gi-Oh came from his show. He's not entirely wrong, but there are those who continually mix manga canon, anime canon, and Abridged canon (or confuse Abridged characterization with canon characterization)—despite the original fans, for the most part, believing Abridged to be a different show altogether.
  • For years Hunter × Hunter was a considered a Cult Classic amongst mainstream shonen series. It was occasionally mentioned when referring to the "Big 3" (Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece) but never had the popularity of even Fullmetal Alchemist or its manga. Circa 2011 to 2014 it boomed in popularity thanks to the 2011 adaptation, along with fans of Bleach and Naruto getting into it as a substitute after their series began ending. Even more so once it wound up on Toonami, and now it is not uncommon to go to an anime convention and find a good number of cosplayers of Hunter X Hunter characters.
  • My Hero Academia has an interesting history with its popularity. Season 1 was a modest hit, but it had some pretty stiff competition the year it aired. By the time season 2 aired, it had an unexpected surge in popularity, helped by a few factors: 1. The ending of Naruto: Shippuden and the divisiveness of Boruto. 2. The long anticipated second season of Attack on Titan only getting 12 episodes (after a four year wait, no less), while Hero Academia's second season got 24. Both of those helped fill a void.
  • On a global scale, Dragon Ball Z's 1996 dub in the US, and the Latin Spanish dub of Dragon Ball in the previous year, started an explosion of interest in Dragon Ball overseas after it was starting to wind down in Japan with Dragon Ball GT. The introduction of Dragon Ball Z Kai, and especially Dragon Ball Super, have done this in a more traditional sense.
  • The Studio Ghibli fandom had two of these. The first happened in 2003 after Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and the second happened in 2009, when the first wide-release American Ghibli film, Ponyo, was released in theaters. note 
  • Many older fans, now in their 30s, 40s and even 50s, are attempting in a small way to re-present older classic anime to the now much larger, younger fandom, in hopes of kickstarting one of these.
  • Detective Conan got one in Japan after the monster popularity of the movie Zero The Enforcer, especially among young adult women who fell in love with Tooru Amuro, who ended up becoming a Breakout Character despite first appearing very late in the series' run.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
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    Film 
  • A general rule: books, comics, and other media often see their fandoms explode when they are adapted to the big screen, especially if the adaptation is successful. This can sometimes lead to Adaptation Displacement.
  • A rare Word of God example: Dan Aykroyd has said that Ghostbusters will always last because young children will always come to find it at the stage when they start to become fascinated by the idea of the afterlife, and what happens after we die. Apparently he thinks people should tell children that when they die, if they step out of line, they spend it in a shoe box.
  • Godzilla:
    • Gojira was a fairly well-received film in its home country of Japan, but it was the Americanized edit, Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, that helped turn Godzilla into a household name across the world.
    • King Kong vs. Godzilla became the highest-grossing Godzilla movie for decades thanks to the inclusion of the then more famous King Kong as his opponent. The success of the film is also what convinced Toho to turn Godzilla into a franchise of almost yearly films.
    • Although it was unpopular among fans familiar with the older films for being In Name Only, Godzilla (1998) made the name familiar to moviegoers in countries that never got the other films by virtue of being a widely-distributed Hollywood blockbuster. In fact, many people in those countries are surprised to hear that Roland Emmerich was not the original creator of Godzilla. To promote the film, Cartoon Network also aired The Godzilla Power Hour, which likewise reached a wider viewership thanks to the channel's availability.
    • The very effective trailers for Godzilla (2014) managed to bring many more people into the Godzilla fandom before the movie itself even came out. Gareth Edwards has frequently noted that it has also brought people back into the fandom from having previously been "closet fans" before; he has been pleasantly surprised by all the unexpected people hearing about what project he is doing and telling him something along the lines of "I like Godzilla. Don't fuck it up."
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Jem and the Holograms did this for all the wrong reasons. The overwhelming backlash from the trailers and the film revived people's interest in the cartoon series and boosted attention for the newer comics (see Comic Books above). Like with the comics, many of the new fans attracted by the reaction to the film weren't even born yet when the cartoon was originally broadcast. It's arguable that the negative reaction to the film prevented the Jem fandom from dying out.
  • Rare creator example happened with The House That Jack Built and its director Lars von Trier. Trier certainly isn't an obscure director due to his controversy he garners with his films (and himself), but Jack wound up being an introduction for a lot of recent cinephiles due to how much press it was getting between its violent content + premise (a Serial Killer recounting his past murders) and its rarity of screenings for the Director's Cut version, which has all of the gruesome content in tact. To wit, go on Letterboxd and take a shot every time you come across a post saying that this was their first von Trier film.
  • The negative reaction to Cats and its trailers revived interest in the musical and T. S. Eliot's work. Hell, many of the new fans weren't even born yet during the musical's heyday in the 80s/90s.

    Literature 
  • After the The Lord of the Rings movies premiered, the Middle-Earth fandom swelled up. This is actually the second time this happened; the books didn’t get popular until the counterculture movement of The '60s. The books were first published in 1954 and were rather obscure for their first decade of existence.
  • When Game of Thrones started airing, there was a definite rise in the amount of A Song of Ice and Fire books sold.
  • Harry Potter fans that read The Philosopher's/Sorceror's Stone before the release of Chamber of Secrets are hard to find. The real Newbie Boom occurred between the release of Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban and then another between that and Goblet of Fire. By Order of the Phoenix (by that point, the first two movies were out) most people were on board.
  • Ortega y Gasset claimed this happening to Real Life Europe in his (non-fiction) work The Revolt of the Masses. Until ~1800, Europe's population grew slowly to 180 million people; from 1800 to 1914, to whopping 460 millions. Being a cultural pessimist, he blamed the decay of culture on this.
  • Hannibal Lecter didn't become an icon until the film of The Silence of the Lambs came out nearly a decade after Thomas Harris first created the character.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower series was famously unpopular among his fandom early on. It wasn't at all uncommon for committed King fans to have only a passing familiarity with the series. It was also a matter of debate whether The Dark Tower was the name of the series and The Gunslinger was the first book in that series or the other way around. There was also debate as to whether the author would live to finish the tale—King himself didn't seem to think he would, and he almost didn't.
    • Given that The Dark Tower was considered probably the most marketable literary franchise that hadn't yet been adapted as a film or television series, it certainly encountered this again once it escaped from Development Hell.
  • The Hunger Games. Many people noted that, in the run-up to the film's release, sales of the book were surging as people raced to see what all the hype was about.
  • The first Twilight book was published in 2005. The initial series were bestsellers but it wasn't until the movie was made a few years later that it became a cultural phenomenon.
  • The 2010s did this to Warrior Cats thanks to the large Fan Animation and fan-artist community the series has received. Many come across an animation on YouTube and become interested in reading about the series about dramatic, talking cats.
  • The Good Omens fandom got a massive influx of new fans in mid-2019 when the book's TV adaptation came out. According to the AO3 Ship Stats for 2020, the number of Aziraphale/Crowley fics on Archive of Our Own skyrocketed by over twenty thousand between August 2019 and August 2020.
  • The Moomins saw an influx of new fans in the late 2010s, thanks largely to the crowdfunding campaign around the Moominvalley animated series.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Infamously, a large number of original series Star Trek fans didn't watch it when it originally aired in the late 1960s. However, Paramount aired reruns of the series in syndication throughout the '70s, which is how a far larger number of people were exposed to it. This wasn't as much of a datable "boom" so much as steady growth across a decade. The success of the '80s-era Star Trek movies exponentially increased the number of Trek fans and led not to a remake, but to a sequel series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. It, in turn, exponentially increased the Trek fanbase even further.
    • Perhaps an even better example is Star Trek (2009), which was popular even among non Trek fans.
  • Doctor Who got this in 2005, with the launch of the new series.
    • And although the show has had a cult profile in the US since the 1970s, since about 2008 the show's profile in the US has been on an upward curve. The fact it's one of the few explicitly SF series airing on American TV in 2010-2011 that's actually surviving and not being cancelled after a dozen episodes (or in danger of cancellation), and with there being no Star Trek-like alternative, has also attracted increased US attention.
    • The comment above regarding newbies being drawn in by the revival only to find the older series not to their liking is also holding true with new Doctor Who fans, some of whom are finding the 1963-89 series is an acquired taste. This has led to a few schisms between aspects of fandom, such as those who declare Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant or Matt Smith the best Doctor ever, without having ever seen a Tom Baker or Jon Pertwee story in order to develop an informed opinion. Also look at any entry for Doctor Who on this very wiki which only look at the show from the revival's perspective with no knowledge of the first three decades of the show whatsoever. Let's just say it does result in a Double Take from an old series fan to see the Doctor touted as an example on romance and sex tropes as if that had always been the case.
  • Any song covered on Glee, with the exception of the ones it ripped from the Top 100.
  • Supernatural got an odd amount of this after Castiel was introduced in Season 4, and some people heard so much about him that they decided to check out the show and got hooked. This being Supernatural, there was wank from the fans who'd started watching earlier.
    • Castiel also inspired another, much later resurgence of interest in the show with his Dying Declaration of Love to Dean in the third-to-last episode of the final season, which caused such a rapid and huge fandom reaction that "Destiel" was trending at #1 on Twitter in the middle of the 2020 U.S. presidential elections and caused both curious bystanders who'd never seen the show and former fans who had stopped watching the show long ago to check out the show and its fandom to see what all the hubbub was about.
  • Band of Brothers had a bit of this after James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender got popular (all three of them had small roles in it early in their careers), but the majority of the fandom doesn't seem to mind.
  • The general public only now became aware Syfy Channel makes C-movies with ridiculous titles after comments about 2013's Sharknado suddenly exploded on Twitter.
  • Sherlock Holmes has always been a popular series but the BBC version really made the fandom boom.
  • Breaking Bad has gained a lot more fans since its arrival on Netflix and the buzz over its final seasons than it had beforehand.
  • Very few people have heard of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison before the Orange Is the New Black TV show premiered.
  • While Sesame Street has always been popular, it got three of these: one in the late 90's due to the popularity of the Tickle Me Elmo toys (which in turn led to Elmo being promoted to even more of a major character), once in the mid-2000s when Abby Cadabby was introduced, and another in 2019 due to the 50th anniversary of the series and its boatload of promotional efforts.
  • Despite it being off the air at the time, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood got this in 2018 due to both the documentary film Won't You Be My Neighbor? and its 50th anniversary that same year, which was mainly promoted through its sister show. It even got to the point where several PBS stations re-added weekly airings of the show in wake of the sudden trend.
  • Obscure PBS Kids series The Noddy Shop got this after a fan who knew the creator posted daily uploads of each episode on his YouTube channel, to the point where many uploads got at least 1,000 views within three days of being uploaded. It peaked after "Jack Frost Is Coming To Town", the episode guest-starring Gilbert Gottfried, was uploaded because of pre-existing fans recommending the episode to others. In fact, said episode is one of the first results that shows up as a suggestion if one were to Google The Noddy Shop!
  • In 2015, the LazyTown fandom was all but dormant, with Chloe Lang's run as Stephanie having mixed reception amongst the fandom. Come 2016, and Stefan Karl Stefansson was revealed to have cancer and a GoFundMe was set up to pay for his living costs, causing people to make memes out of "We Are Number One" to encourage donations and the fandom to grow significantly. Next thing you know, the old guard were saying "Where did all these meme lovers come from?"
  • Saturday Night Live experienced a massive Newbie Boom during Season 42 after their spoofs of American politicians such as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton gained attention on both sides of the aisle. Many of the old guard were wondering "Where did all these people come from?" as the show began gaining renewed attention after years of suffering an on-and-off reputation of "a show that has run for way too long".
  • The Muppet Show saw a huge Newbie Boom in early 2021 when all but two episodes arrived on Disney+.note 

    Meta 
  • This wiki gets a Newbie Boom each time an outside community links in. xkcd linked here once and killed the server for part of a day.

    Music 
  • People who became fans of Marilyn Manson when the cover of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" got heavy rotation on MTV were a great irritation to fans who had been following the group for several years before that song/video was released. They were known to old-school fans as "Sweet Dreamers," and Manson himself would often follow up live performances of the song with "All you kids can go home now."
  • The Swedish group The Cardigans had the same problem after their song "Lovefool" was featured on the soundtrack to Romeo + Juliet. It brought them a lot of new fans, but since "Lovefool" was fairly atypical of their normal sound, many of those new fans ended up confused or disappointed.
  • Muse and Paramore both gained a lot of new fans when their songs were featured in Twilight. Many long-time fans of both bands believe that It's Popular, Now It Sucks!.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers seem to gain a whole new set of fans with every album, which often leads to them joining forums and annoying everyone with stupid comments. I'm With You actually lost fans who only liked them for John Frusciante, which made the fandom somewhat happy.
  • X Japan has had several booms:
    • The first was around 1998 (when hide's funeral hitting major worldwide media outlets brought a little interest) to around 2000ish, when MP3 trading first brought them to the awareness of a wide amount of people who weren't Japanese or devoted fans of Japanese metal. This was also the first major Chinese and Thai newbie boom, as this was around when Chinese and Thai underground DJs began to play them.
    • The second (and first major Western) boom, on the other hand, came around 2005-07, with the debut of YouTube and the title song for Saw IV, "IV". Their Performance Video and lives were some of the first jrock uploaded to YouTube, and many Western fans first arrived either with seeing them or hide solo then them on YouTube, and the new song and promised reunion inspired some interest from existing Visual Kei/jrock fans.
    • The third, smaller one came in 2010 with their playing Lollapalooza, which actually drew Western metal fans and, had the band not petered out for the most part after 2011 with not much activity and constant delays and rumors of breakup (which don't do much to sustain active fandom), might have been their major comeback.
    • And now, possibly the fourth and biggest has began with international release of the documentary film We Are X. Quite a few who've never heard the band before (and some influential Western music and media people among them) now count themselves at least casual fans.
  • The polarizing practice of sampling tends to result in this. Like with Guitar Hero, it's not a bad thing if gives the newbies exposure to classic songs they otherwise would probably never hear. If said newbies disrespect the original stuff in front of its dedicated fans, however, they're liable to lose a kidney.
  • The Grateful Dead experienced a surge in fans after their New Wave-influenced single "Touch of Grey" became a Top 10 hit in the United States in 1987. The Deadhead community disparagingly call those who became fans of the band in the late '80s and early '90s as "Touch Heads". The Touch Heads had a reputation (and not an unearned one) for being a bunch of college frat boys who had heard about the scene outside of Dead shows and the ease of acquiring drugs therein, and were coming to concerts to party, not for the music. This resulted in several ugly or violent incidents outside of the shows that were not at all common before the song became a hit, and were thus blamed on the new fans. That strain of Touch Heads wasn't representative of the whole of the band's new and younger fanbase, but they did make it difficult for some newer fans in the late 1980s and early 1990s to admit that they had fallen in love with the Dead and become Deadheads after first being exposed to them through "Touch of Grey".
  • Genesis experienced a newbie boom after the release of their albums Duke and Abacab in the early 1980s, along with Phil Collins' budding solo career. While their pop success saved the band from falling into oblivion, and they never completely abandoned Progressive Rock, it displeased the older fans who still mourned the departure of Peter Gabriel and their steady Genre Shift from prog to pop music.
    • The same can be said for Yes, following 1983's very successful 90125, with a (slightly) changed lineup and more New Wave-influenced and pop-friendly songs like "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" topping the charts. Fans of the more progressive Yes call themselves "Troopers" (after "Starship Trooper") and the newbies "Generators" (after 90125's followup, Big Generator.)
    • Peter Gabriel himself already had something of a following by the mid-'80s, but 1986's So introduced a lot of people to his music; not only were the hits from the album played heavily on radio, but the songs' music videos (especially the video for "Sledgehammer") were put into frequent rotation on MTV.
  • Queensrÿche experienced this after the release of the hit single "Silent Lucidity" off the album Empire in 1990. It became a "crossover" hit, so to speak, into the pop-music genre. When the band toured, they realized during at least one show in New York State, that many of the attendees were there solely for that one song, and had no idea about the concept of the rest of the album- or the band's music otherwise. They stopped the concert long enough to explain who the characters were and the basic plot.
  • Any film or TV show that plays a song that catches on with the masses usually has said masses searching all over the internet for the song itself.
  • David Bowie had a huge one after he released the mainstream pop-rock album Let's Dance in 1983, but this led into a Dork Age when he tried to appeal more to the newbies than to himself with his next two albums. Fans and critics who'd followed him in The '70s weren't too happy with him for "selling out", and he became frustrated that newbies didn't understand his not-so-mainstream tendencies, which almost resulted in Artist Disillusionment after the 1987 Glass Spider Tour.
    • And he got another one in 2016… after his death, which happened just after he released his last album . It led to so many tributes in the media and the musical world that many people who didn't really care about him beforehand got interested in Blackstar (which was basically Bowie turning his own death into a work of art) and his discography in general.
  • Two songs used in Borderlands became hugely popular after people first heard them in the game. Cage The Elephant's Ain't No Rest for the Wicked and DJ Champion's No Heaven were searched heavily on YouTube after Borderlands was released and there were lots of posted comments stating they searched for the songs because they heard it in the game.
  • Industrial metal band Combichrist got a bit of a newbie boom when their music was one half of the main soundtrack to the (controversial) 2013 Devil May Cry reboot, Dm C Devil May Cry (consisting of both already existing tracks like "Never Surrender," and new tracks made for the game like "No Redemption"). It probably helps that the soundtrack was one of the very few areas that even people who complained They Changed It, Now It Sucks! didn't have many complaints about (since past games also featured heavy metal soundtracks).
  • Most of One Direction's American fan base never hopped on until early 2012, shortly before their first album was released there. The next wave of Directioners jumped on between their Today Show appearance in March and their SNL performance in April. By the time of the Summer Olympics in 2012, most of their American fans were on board. Most of the fans they've gained since then were either just hitting puberty or converting from Beliebers.
  • The Beatles' American fans came on board in January and February 1964. The British fans were around for about a year before that.
  • Daft Punk's American fans are often ones who were gained in 2013 when "Get Lucky" stormed the American charts.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer had a small but dedicated fanbase in Australia for their first year of existence, but had very few American fans until they toured with One Direction in 2013.
  • Lorde already had a somewhat large cult following in her native New Zealand and the neighboring Australia, but the rest of the world didn't hop on board until "Royals" became a massive worldwide hit (after an agent discovered her singing it at a school talent show), and this is even true for her fans in the aforementioned countries, as even there "Royals" was her first hit.
  • Ellie Goulding was already a big name in her native UK and the rest of Europe after her Breakthrough Hit "Starry Eyed" made her into a household name in 2010. However, North America didn't join in until 2012 when "Lights" became hit over a year after its release.
  • Imogen Heap gained much of her fanbase after "Hide And Seek" became a meme due to "Dear Sister". Later she gained some more fans when Pentatonix covered "Aha!"
  • Sia has been making music since the 1990s however she didn't start becoming mainstream until "Titanium", "Wild Ones" and "Chandelier" in the 2010s.
  • Starset suddenly boomed in popularity circa 2014. Many fans think it was due to radio airplay and fanvids of "My Demons" and "Carnivore".
  • Ed Sheeran was very popular in his native UK since 2011 and had some minor success in the US with his first album +, but only ascended superstardom in the states upon the release of x in 2014.
  • Pink Floyd had been a cult Progressive Rock band (for its first few years associated with Psychedelic Rock) since 1965, existing with the classic post-Syd Barrett four-piece lineup since Syd's departure in 1968. The success of their 1973 Concept Album The Dark Side of the Moon, and in particular the single taken from the album, "Money", brought a new, mainstream audience to the band, one that, like the "Touch Heads", was often rowdier and more eager to hear the hit than their previous fans. As the band graduated to playing arenas and stadiums by the mid-1970s, the band, particularly Roger Waters, became more frustrated with the unruly crowds and the corporate big business of Arena Rock sponsoring the shows, feeling a metaphorical barrier was forming between performer and audience; Waters would pen The Wall based on this frustration. The band got another Newbie Boom around the same time the Grateful Dead did when 1987's A Momentary Lapse of Reason and its hit single "Learning to Fly" as well as the 1994 follow-up The Division Bell introduced the band to the MTV Generation. Because the band kept its sound consistent with its classic years and the new fans liked the band's older material, there was never much of a divide between the "old" and the "new" fanbases as with the Dead and Yes.
  • Most of The Weeknd's mainstream popularity began in 2015 with Beauty Behind the Madness, although he's been a cult name for a few years beforehand.
  • Although The Chainsmokers had a viral hit in 2014 with "#SELFIE", they never really had a sizable fanbase until "Roses" came out in late 2015.
  • Halsey’s popularity skyrocketed after she appeared on The Chainsmokers’ #1 hit “Closer”.
  • ABBA have had a few Newbie Booms over the years.
    • After initially struggling to shake off the Eurovision tag, they became hugely successful in the second half of the 1970s and the early 1980s.
    • In 1992, a new generation was introduced to ABBA via Erasure's "ABBAesque EP", as well as the release of "ABBA Gold", a compilation of the group's Greatest Hits.
    • In 1999, the cover band Abba Teens gained a certain popularity with their Abba covers that appeared in popular music shows. (After a while, they changed names to A*Teens and started performing their own songs.)
    • Further surges of interest occurred when the jukebox musical Mamma Mia! was launched and again when the show was adapted for the big screen.
  • The B-52s enjoyed popularity with their first single "Rock Lobster", then became a cult band. However they had three swells of popularity. The first in Brazil in 1984 when after the commercial failure of Whammy!, a TV show happened to pick the song "Legal Tender" as its theme tune, giving the group a hit there and an invitation to Rock In Rio the next year. The second was the release of "Love Shack" in 1989, which appeared after a hiatus the group had taken due to the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson. It is still their most popular song and the reason they still tour today. The third was the release of the more electro-oriented Funplex in 2008, which came 16 years after their previous LP Good Stuff.
  • Bob Marley, whilst always popular, reached a much larger audience with the posthumous compilation Legend released three years after his death. The reason for its success was that the record consisted primarily of feelgood tunes that suited the atmosphere at any party.
  • While Hypnosis Mic had a relatively good start, the rap battle between Fling Posse and Matenrou, the two most popular divisions in the franchise thus far, attracted a lot of fans while it was going on.
  • Even if Queen has proven itself as popular through generations, the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody certainly guaranteed new fans as The New '10s waned. The band also got another wave of fans when "Bohemian Rhapsody" was used in Wayne's World.
  • Phish gained new fans in 1995 after the death of Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia left generations of Deadheads without a band to follow around the country. Those who were interested in checking out Phish over other jam band options like Widespread Panic or Blues Traveler couldn't have picked a better time: fall 1995 is considered to be one of Phish's very best tours, with several of their most acclaimed concerts happening in that span of time. While some Deadheads were turned off by Phish's different mix of styles and jamming techniques, and did not stick around for long as a result, many others continued to follow them due to the quality of their concerts. The larger fanbase cemented Phish's status as the "heirs" to the Dead's status as the top group in the jam band scene.
  • Metallica has three big moments: the music video for "One", as it let the MTV audience know them; Metallica, aka The Black Album, which hit #1 on the charts for making their music more accessible and having hits such as "Enter Sandman" and "Sad But True"; and Guitar Hero, which even had a whole game centered around Metallica.
  • Guns N' Roses experienced a boom in the mid-2000s. It started with Velvet Revolver putting Slash, Duff and Matt back in the spotlight, the release of the Greatest Hits album (which has spent 500 weeks on the Billboard 200), and the prominent use of "Welcome to the Jungle" in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (which also featured Axl Rose as a radio DJ), all of which combined to make GNR's music and musicians more accessible to new listeners than they had been in years. It went Up to Eleven a few years later when Slash starred in Guitar Hero III, which made him the de facto rock guitar god in the eyes of a generation, especially among people who do not listen to a lot of rock music and are not familiar with very many guitarists. They experienced another boom in the 2010s with the Not in This Lifetime... Tour, wherein half the classic lineup returned.
  • The K-Pop genre's international popularity has had two booms, the first in the early 2010's when Psy's "Gangnam Style" became an international hit, and the second in the mid-2010's when artists such as BTS began gaining popularity overseas.

    Radio 
  • A low-budget, Minimalist Cast BBC Radio 4 sitcom about a tiny charter airline, Cabin Pressure had the kind of small, primarily British fandom you'd expect. Then Sherlock transformed cast member Benedict Cumberbatch overnight into an international celebrity and certified Estrogen Brigade Bait, and his fandom swelled that of the show into an international cult following with its own annual convention.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Thanks to Critical Role, a lot of people have started to join in on the Dungeons & Dragons fandom, and possibly the entire Tabletop RPG community in general. Unfortunately, this has caused what has been dubbed the Matt Mercer Effect; wherein Game Masters have different styles and people are shocked that they're not all like Matt Mercer.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • This tends to happen when an army gets a new Codex after a long wait, leading to some frustration as people who suffered through years of losing with unplayable armies are accused of being munchkins who jumped on the bandwagon of the latest army right when their force finally becomes competitive.
    • The release of Dawn of War, which was well-received by both game critics and the 40K fanbase, also gave the tabletop scene an injection of popularity.

    Video Games — Nintendo 
Happens about every ten years or so with Nintendo's Long-Runners.
  • Mario:
    • Mario first became a household name with Super Mario Bros., making what had been a series of moderately popular arcade and NES games into a worldwide sensation. While the original Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. still enjoyed a healthy level of notoriety, Donkey Kong Jr. is somewhat more obscure, while Donkey Kong 3 and Wrecking Crew are practically unknown even among Nintendo fans.
    • And in the Mario Kart series, Mario Kart DS, with its easy-to-use online play, allowed the franchise to explode into the top seller it is now. Previously, Mario Kart fandoms were mostly restricted to competing with each other over long distances via Time Trials (setting the best 1- and 3-lap records) and, with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, LAN events. This influx of newcomers from Mario Kart DS and onward got so intense that these veteran communities dissolved and eventually disappeared. Some DID cry "It's Popular, Now It Sucks!," but for the most part, the new fans and old fans found common ground in online racing. Mario Kart Wii took this Up to Eleven, by nature of being on a very popular and accessible console.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • This happened to The Legend of Zelda after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released. It got so bad that a sizable portion of the younger fans kept referring to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask as "Zelda 2," apparently not realizing that there were four games in the series before OoT.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess triggered another one thanks to being a simultaneous early title for the Wii and swan song for the GameCube, and also for returning the series to an aesthetic and structure similar to that of the aforementioned Ocarina of Time when the franchise was still reeling from backlash towards Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker's attempts to move away from aspects of the formula.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had yet another one for the exact opposite reason from Twilight Princess; namely for changing the formula when backlash towards the series' formulaic nature was coming to a head. The game's open-ended nature, higher difficulty than previous installments, and robust physics systems won over not only many new fans, but older fans disgruntled with its immediate predecessors as well. Fans who prefer the original more linear formula, however, are often annoyed when new fans call Breath of the Wild the "best Zelda game", particularly if they haven't actually played any others. Some are also upset by the mainstream success of Breath of the Wild in itself, seeing it as a potential reason for Nintendo to abandon the series' roots entirely.
  • Metroid:
    • Due to taking a eight-year hiatus, skipping the Nintendo 64, many people who grew up with the following system were initially surprised to learn that the Metroid series existed before Prime... which also resulted in some bashing it for "stealing" ideas from the recently released Halo: Combat Evolved, when said "stolen ideas" go back to 1986. Similar to Zelda, it got to the point where many referred to Metroid Prime 2: Echoes as simply "Metroid 2".
    • Metroid went through another boom when Super Metroid went on sale for $0.30 on the Wii U Virtual Console. It became one of the best-selling downloadable games on the console, and newbies being a huge portion of the buyers is evidenced by the infamous plethora of Miiverse posts by people unable to figure out how to use the Morph Ball.
    "y cant metroid crawl?"note 
    • Despite being released late into the life of the 3DS, Samus Returns brought in yet another wave of fans who were curious about the excitement towards it.
  • Kirby:
    • While it didn't exactly turn it into a Cash Cow Franchise, quite a few Kirby fans will admit that the anime is what introduced them to the series. Even after its Western run ended in 2006, the show still maintains a noticeable following to this day. Enough to warrant several of its episodes being included with Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition in 2012.
    • While it was released late into the lifespan of its console, Kirby's Return to Dream Land was responsible for another influx of Kirby fans in The New '10s. Thanks to it building on the multi-move ability concept that was first done in Kirby Super Star and having the popular King Dedede and Meta Knight as playable characters, the game proved popular enough that its framework would later be used by two well-received 3DS followups (Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot).
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The series also has a similar effect when it stars characters from obscure or unknown titles. EarthBound sold poorly in America because of a marketing campaign that misunderstood good taste at best and the very concept of marketing at worst, but then turned around and became insanely popular after Ness appeared in the original Super Smash Bros., while Marth and Roy had fans generate a huge interest in Fire Emblem after the duo appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee (the source of the trope name Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros."). In Fire Emblem's case, the interest was so high that Nintendo actually localized the 7th game and the series became a huge hit overseas since then (before that point, the series was sold in Japan only). The Ice Climbers from the Ice Climber game got more attention when said climbers appeared in Melee as well. Pit from the Kid Icarus games also got more attention after he appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and his sudden popularity saw not only Japan getting a Virtual Console release of the second game (it was originally an American-only release), but also Kid Icarus: Uprising being produced a few years later (by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Smash series no less). Needless to say, the Smash Bros. franchise made several unknowns into super stars.
    • Super Smash Bros. was very successful in sales, but it wasn't until the Melee incarnation that the series really got popular. Many people that started with Super Smash Bros. Melee were surprised to see there was a game before it. Melee is also said to be the gateway series that introduced many new players to the greater Fighting Game Community.
  • While Super Smash Bros. Melee managed to score international interest in the Fire Emblem series, the series only maintained Cult Classic status at best. The seventh game in the series sold fairly well, but its successors all had very disappointing sales. But all of that changed with Fire Emblem Awakening. Not only did it help reinvigorate the Nintendo 3DS, but it was also the game that finally made the Fire Emblem series popular overseas. If the game had sold less than 250,000 units, the series would have been put on hold. Instead, it became the first game of the franchise to break a million copies sold, due to good overseas sales.
  • There are die-hard Star Fox series fans who still don't realize Star Fox 64 wasn't the first game in the series. This isn't helped by its Tough Act to Follow status both within the fandom and with Nintendo themselves, since Star Fox is just one example of Nintendo shelving or heavily experimenting with a popular B-tier as a result of developers having no idea how to improve on a previous entry.note  Then there was another batch of fans who came in with Star Fox Adventures, and brought the most divisive issue in the fandom to date — old guard vs. Krystal fans.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon went through this in Generation IV with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which helped introduce lots of new fans into the series. This is mostly attributed to them being the first Pokemon games to be online-capable, allowing you to trade and battle with people from all over the world, thus making the games a bit more accessible. In general, the DS installments (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, HeartGold/SoulSilver, Black/White, and their sequels) are seen as bringing a lot of people into the fandom.
    • The competitive sub-fandom faced a Newbie Boom with Pokémon X and Y, due to Game Freak making the myriad of systems required to enter it (IV-breeding, hidden abilities, and EV training) easier to understand, access, and perform.
    • Pokémon GO caused a huge boom akin to the first wave of Pokémania in the '90s. Complete with news coverage from all over the world, both good and bad, and even making its way to sources that don't even touch video games or anything "geeky". It released the same year as Pokémon's 20th Anniversary, thus introducing a number of Pokémon Go players to later generations, and greatly benefited to the success of Pokémon Sun and Moon a few months later.
  • Animal Crossing:
    • Animal Crossing: Wild World was a Breakthrough Hit for the franchise as a result of being released on a much more popular system than the previous Nintendo GameCube entry and the game overall having a much more active marketing campaign. Wild World was one of the best selling Nintendo DS games, and thus helped sparked interest in the series.
    • Animal Crossing: New Leaf was an even bigger Killer App than Wild World. While the series couldn't be considered "niche" at all at the time, the popularity of New Leaf caused it to attract many newcomers to the series and put the Animal Crossing IP at the same level as Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda.
    • Animal Crossing: New Horizons caused a huge boom worldwide. As of early 2021, it's the second best selling Nintendo Switch game of all time. The release of the game overlapped with the COVID-19 Pandemic, which had increased the demand of video games and helped to boost the game's popularity, with it having a big prominence in the media. The game also received praise from long-time Animal Crossing players, critics and even celebrities, which helped to spark interest among people completely unfamiliar with the series. The popularity of the game has also helped boost up the sales of the Nintendo Switch, a console which was already doing very well.
  • Xenoblade:
    • The original game got newcomers rushing in in late 2014/early 2015 partially because of the protagonist Shulk's inclusion in the fourth installment of the ever-popular Super Smash Bros. series (and especially the "I'm really feeling it" meme), partially because of Chuggaaconroy playing it, and partially because it got a much-needed re-release on 3DS. Most fans are welcoming them with open arms, though a Vocal Minority are against the newcomers as always, and some joke along the lines of "liking Xenoblade before it was cool".
    • Happened again with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in December 2017 on the Nintendo Switch. It has gone on to become the most financially successful entry in the entire Xeno- franchise, and newcomers starting with this game have gone on to seek out the first game. When Elma was added as a DLC Blade in mid-2018, that also spurred interest in Xenoblade Chronicles X. In addition, because of the inclusion of KOS-MOS and T-ELOS as Rare Blades, some players have even gotten curious enough to try and play Xenosaga as well.
  • Mother
  • Punch-Out!! is a popular NES title however it's mostly seen as just that. There were games before it and afterwards, but they never clicked with fans the same way the NES iteration did. The 2009 reboot brought in a lot of new fans thanks to modernizing the game's look while primarily staying true to the NES game, as did Mac being a newcomer in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game.
  • Many Cult Classic games on the Wii U saw massive surges of popularity when they were rereleased on the Nintendo Switch (among them Bayonetta and its sequel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and New Super Mario Bros. U). While the Wii U was a sales dud that left Nintendo a distant third in the Console Wars, causing even its best games to go unplayed by wider audiences, the Switch was a blockbuster success whose much greater install base meant that porting these celebrated last-gen games was virtually guaranteed to make them the hits that they weren't before.
  • WarioWare Gold was not only an acclaimed Surprisingly Improved Sequel that took the WarioWare series back to its roots, but it helped bring the series into the mainstream and also re-introduced and endeared the WarioWare crew to new audiences who didn't bother with the series beforehand. The top-notch presentation and hilarious story being a clinching point. Gold also had the novelty of being fully voice-acted, something rarely seen in a Nintendo game, which was another major hook that won over new fans.
  • Splatoon was a Sleeper Hit, but it had the misfortune on being released on a console that was a financial failure. Splatoon 2, on the other hand, was released early in the lifespan of a far more successful system and, just like its predecessor, became a Killer App. The sequel introduced many, many, many more new fans who had heard about the series but didn't try it out during the Wii U days, or became aware of the franchise through the characters appearing in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The game was so successful that the development crew ended up extending the releases of new stages and weapons, as well as the Splatfest schedule, and it's one of the best-selling Nintendo Switch games at over ten million units sold, firmly establishing the IP as one of Nintendo's most profitable.
  • The Wonderful 101 was an overlooked action game from Nintendo & PlatinumGames that suffered from a myriad of circumstances when it released (no marketing, same week as Grand Theft Auto V, reviewers that didn't understand it or thought it was too hard, and it was on the Wii U), resulting in the game underperforming. It did build a solid cult fanbase. 7 years after its release, Nintendo let Platinum self-publish the title not just on Switch but also on PC and PS4 as a sign of their good relationship, which allowed all sorts of people who initially didn't bother with the game to check it out. According to director Hideki Kamiya, it seems to be doing a lot better.

    Other Video Games 
  • Fallout 3 did this for Fallout's faithful fanbase.
  • Each The Elder Scrolls game has caused one of these starting with Morrowind. In the mid-to-late 90s, the series was another drop in the staggering bucket of Western RPG games available for the PC, sustained by a small but devoted fanbase. Then Morrowind was released on both PC and Xbox. In addition to being a critical hit, this Multi-Platform release allowed it to get into the hands of a wider audience, making it the Breakthrough Hit for Bethesda. After the runaway successes of Oblivion and Skyrim, the series' status as one of the pillars of western role playing games was cemented.
  • As late as 2011, English-speaking Visual Novel fandom was a tiny ghetto. There were some noteworthy visual novels available at the time, but they were buried under poorly regarded official localizations of porn-without-plot titles, as well as zero-budget freeware written in English (the only notable exception being the Ace Attorney fandom, which leans more towards being an Adventure Game than a straight Visual Novel anyways). The newbie boom began with Katawa Shoujo in January 2012. It brought in fans who didn't already enjoy slice of life stories or Seinen demographic romance. Many new fans gushed about how they expected a harem story with forgettable characters, and how surprised they were to enjoy its realistic drama.
  • There were a few attempts to create a Fan Translation of Tokimeki Memorial for the Super Famicom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but they were never finished. In 2007, Konami created a thematically similar game in English called Brooktown High, but it received mixed reviews, and got only a small fan following. The English speaking fandom seemed to be dying in the late 2000s. The newbie boom for the Tokimeki Memorial franchise began with a 2010 fan translation of the Nintendo DS version of Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side.
  • Marathon is affected every time a Halo game or a Bungie game is released. It still receives popularity from Halo players because Halo was a spiritual successor to Marathon.
  • Team Fortress 2 got this every two months or so during the time it was a paid game. Each time a new class pack hit, there'd usually be a TF2 free weekend, so you'd see a lot of newbies on the weekend and more people in the weeks afterwards who bought the game because of the free weekend. Even when there were no free weekends, the people who came back to TF2 just to test out the new weapons swelled server populations immensely.
    • This predictably pales in comparison to what happened when it went Free-to-Play. All the usual elements, be it fanbase multiplication, server collapses and withering scorn for the newbies who never paid for it, all got taken even further than usual, and the bitter divide caused by the angry veterans who felt the f2p newbies ruined their game forever, the other veterans who don't feel like it's a huge deal, and the aforementioned newbies that keep coming as the rest get more experience is still felt to this day.
    • Similar case for Left 4 Dead, which had a similar free weekend a few times. Many players who had the game for a while complained about the wave of new players flooding in and ruining their fun. They also complained about the same thing whenever Valve announced they would sell the game for at least half-off the original price for a weekend.
    • This happens with a lot of games sold over Steam, for that matter, between both free weekends and almost everything on the catalog going on sale for 50% to 75% off or more for various holiday sales.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Apparently, a lot of people think that the Final Fantasy series started with VII, because for many people, it was the first Final Fantasy game, if not the first RPG, they ever played. This is due in part to the series not being released in Europe until this point and in part to the fact that only three games were released in the United States until this point (and they weren't that well-known).
      • Right now, there's several main generations in the VII fandom - the old generation that played the original game when it came out in 1997, the generation that played the original game when they received a hand-me-down console in the early 00s, the generation that got into the series with the Compilation titles in the late 2000s (particularly Crisis Core, which has a strong fandom of its own), the generation that started with Final Fantasy XV in 2015 and decided to check out the fan-favorite earlier entry (before the Remake came out), and a generation of fans who either played the original game when it came out on the Nintendo Switch at the end of the 2010s or Final Fantasy VII Remake a year later. As Final Fantasy is aimed at young teenagers, many of the new fans are this age, meaning that twenty years of aging technology hasn't softened the game's ability to relate to kids.
    • Final Fantasy X was also something of a starting point for many fans due it originally releasing on the PlayStation 2 and becoming a Killer App for the system, which ended up becoming the best-selling console of all time.
    • Final Fantasy XIV wasn't popular when it first launched due to a heap of problems, but when the game was rebooted, reviews and word of mouth caused a ton of new players to flock to the game to try it out and many people that were not happy with the direction World of Warcraft was going in migrated to Final Fantasy XIV to see what the fuss was about. This created some friction between the players that were with the game from the beginning and those who joined at the reboot or later mostly due to the developers trying to make it easy for new and returning players to jump into. The game also holds free login campaigns aimed specifically at people who used to subscribe to show them what they missed and to entice them to come back.
  • On GameFAQs, this happens during the Christmas season or near it when a big game is released and all the new players flood the boards asking things that many of the new experienced players already know about and expect everyone else to.
  • Such a boom happened in the Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase during the early 2000's. During the early-to-mid nineties Sonic had been an icon, and probably more recognizable among children than Mickey Mouse. But by the late nineties, Sonic had sort of fallen out of style (mostly thanks to the lack of a Sonic title to serve as the Killer App for the Sega Saturn; Sonic X-treme had an infamously-troubled development and was eventually cancelled). Then along came Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes and Sonic X, all of which helped draw in huge amounts of new fans. The Newbie Boom of Sonic in the early 2000s can largely be attributed to the series going multiplatform after Sega retired from the hardware industry. With Sega porting Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 to the Nintendo GameCube, it allowed Nintendo fans to check out what put their once-rival on the map in the first place. This, in addition to the fact that every Sonic game from Sonic Heroes onward was available for every major console, allowed the franchise to reach a wider audience. These days, it's not uncommon for many younger Sonic fans to have started with the GameCube ports of the Sonic Adventure titles, as opposed to the Genesis originals. Unfortunately, due to all the gameplay changes the franchise has gone through over the years, this has lead to the most Broken Base of any gaming fandom.
  • World of Warcraft vs. the original RTS series. While the original wasn't exactly obscure among gamers, it was nowhere near the WOW phenomenon - a recurring joke among the WOW fandom is to assume references to Warcraft III mean a third WOW and joke that they haven't even heard of a second WOW.
    • Blizzard themselves made a joke about this for 2013's April Fools' Day, claiming that they were making a prequel to World of Warcraft that was TBA for 2014, followed by screenshots of Warcraft III.
  • Any song covered in Guitar Hero. Any. Song. Special mention must be made of "Through The Fire and Flames", because the song was mostly obscure prior to the game's release.
  • With the release of Street Fighter IV a wave of new users swarmed the SRK site's forum. Pages of posts containing simple questions and naive arguments started with veterans of the series created a big split between spiteful older members and new posters. "09er" was a unkind term born out of the join date immediately visible on every member's post. It became a pretty hostile environment and seemed difficult to discuss the game as a new player. 'Newbie questions' were limited to a couple threads on the main SF4 discussion forum which did little to stop the problem because the character forums were far more popular. As a result, the updated forum has a clearly visible section for discussion of the basics of the game and the join date of members is in their profile rather than displayed on every post.
  • The success of The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) lead to many an ignorant newbie who hadn't heard of anything beyond Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Halo, Call of Duty or whatever was being parodied on TV at the moment. This is mainly due to the success of the Wii, which was actually designed to invoke this trope.
  • While the Tales Series had a small fanbase in the West for many years thanks to the PlayStation games and distribution of the fan-translated Tales of Phantasia, it wasn't until the release of breakout hit Tales of Symphonia that its popularity exploded. Naturally, this created a sometimes-bitter divide between fans the old-school Tales games (Phantasia, Destiny, Eternia) and the new-school games (Symphonia, Legendia, Abyss, Vesperia).
  • The Dwarf Fortress community had to batten down the hatches in anticipation of one of these when its creators were interviewed by the New York Times. Another boom occurred when Penny Arcade discussed it in The Rant.
  • Similar to the GameFAQs example above, fans of nearly any multiplayer game that is released from September to November complain or rejoice in the "Christmas Noob Rush," where a huge volume of new players flood the game for easy kills.
  • The DayZ mod for ARMA II was given coverage by Rooster Teeth, resulting in what was once a semi-popular mod among the existing ARMA fanbase becoming a phenomenon loaded with clueless newbies who have no clue just what they're getting into with a realistic zombie survival simulator, to the point where more than one person bought the game just for the mod - even the Steam pages for ARMA II and the Operation Arrowhead expansion specifically mention that both are required for DayZ.
  • With the release of some info on the then-upcoming Postal 3 around 2009, the previous game in the series, for a time, went from "incredibly obscure" to just "slightly obscure".
    • The same effect happened again after Postal 3 actually came out and turned out to be an Executive Meddling-induced trainwreck - Running With Scissors managed to get the original games released over Steam's Greenlight service to distance themselves from "Russian Postal", meaning all the aforementioned non-playing fans of the series now had the chance to actually play it.
  • MechWarrior Online is doing this for the BattleTech/MechWarrior fandoms, especially in the Classic BattleTech era, which is when MWO takes place. What used to be a relatively small, otherwise generally unified community has, ironically enough, blossomed into a fractious, contentious collection of groups all backing one faction or ideal against others.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist had a significant rise in the player base when Overkill released the No Mercy DLC, which was a map that took place in same No Mercy hospital from Valve's Left 4 Dead.
    • PAYDAY 2 has had two of these in the form of official community events designed to attract new players. The first of these, titled "Crimefest", saw current players convincing people to join the official Steam group, with free content being unlocked when the group reached a certain size. The second, titled "Hype Train", was rather similar, only with the new goal of purchasing enough games and DLC to build up enough 'hype fuel' to reach the final destination. Both events featured free weekends, massive sales for both the game and all DLCs, resulting in a relatively large player boom. The Hype Train in particular saw crossovers with both Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and Speedrunners, drawing attention from those fanbases as well.
  • Several games that appeared in I Wanna Be the Guy had swarms of fans flocking to said games after discovering them. Games include Punch-Out!!, Mega Man, Castlevania, Ghouls n' Ghosts, etc.
  • BioWare, best known among PC gamers for the Baldur's Gate franchise, broke out amongst console gamers with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect.
  • Left 4 Dead was popular, but Left 4 Dead 2 became even more popular and was the first game for many newcomers to play. When The Passing DLC was released, people who never played the first Left 4 Dead wondered who the other survivors were (Zoey, Francis, and Louis), until an update ported all of the first game's campaigns to the second.
  • OFF used to have an infinitesmal fanbase, merely a fraction of an already tiny RPG-Maker fandom. Cue a work or three going on hiatus/season break, leaving a huge chunk of Tumblr with nothing to do...
  • Story of Seasons gets this every once and a while. In the early 2000s to well into the seventh gaming generation most fans came into the series with Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Friends of Mineral Town, or their Distaff Counterpart games. A few years later, many entered the fandom through Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility, Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, or Harvest Moon: A New Beginning thanks to the Cast Full of Pretty Boys. There's a bit of a drift between older fans and newer fans.
  • Minecraft:
    • In its alpha days, before becoming the household name it is today, Minecraft experienced a huge boom when it was the focus of several Penny Arcade strips, a bit before the time of the Nether update. The influx of new people was enough to knock Mojang's web servers off their metaphorical feet, and for a while the Minecraft homepage was a blank white page with a few lines of text.
    • Minecraft had another massive boom of new players when it had its first console release on the XBox 360.
  • Trouble in Terrorist Town had this from the Colbert Bump of Seananners and others playing the game. Since most of the players introduced in the game in this fashion play it badly (such as killing people as an innocent for no reason), this is not a good thing for the game's community.
  • Resident Evil 4 hit the series with an onslaught of new gamers impressed by the completely retooled game play, and lost a portion of old fans because They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Many of the new fans didn't even realize the Opening Narration was actually one of the games, and instead just thought it was an Expo Dump.
  • Anarchy Reigns had a minor bump on the Xbox 360 side when there was a SEGA sale on the Xbox Live Market. The community had been practically dead for a while, but after the sale many more newbies joined, and full 16-player battle royales were held for the first time in months.
  • Valkyria Chronicles was a dud in the west back in 2008 until a price drop months after launch, and inevitably the series became another unfortunate example of No Export for You by the time Valkyria Chronicles III came out - However in 2014 a PC port of the game released on Steam almost out of the blue, which quickly made its way up the Top Sellers chart at launch and once again during the 2014 Winter Sale. Because of this success, when Valkyria Chronicles 4 was first announced, it was immediately confirmed for a worldwide release.
  • Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars is a very popular custom map among the Warcraft 3 players and eventually pioneered a new genre. Although it was the "original" MOBA, a large portion of players were introduced to the genre from stand-alone MOBAs such as League of Legends. DotA itself got its own newbie boom when Dota2 was released, finally giving the game its own ground to stand on, not to mention it caught the interest of people completely unfamiliar with the genre simply because it was developed by Valve.
  • Bayonetta gained a lot of its current fans when the second game was announced as a Wii U exclusive. People began talking about her a lot either due to her being a rare M rated game on the console or the backlash a lot of her fans created because the sequel wasn't multi-platform. The series then got another boost when the eponymous character was announced as the final downloadable character in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game.
  • Rayman Origins did this to the Rayman series. For years it was a somewhat obscure platformer series that was all but considered dead due to the more popular Raving Rabbids spinoffs. With the popularity of the series revival Rayman suddenly boomed into the mainstream, many people even wanting him in Super Smash Bros..
  • Before 2000, Phantasy Star was fairly popular in its home country, but rather niche everywhere else. When Phantasy Star Online was released, it got a bump in newcomers thanks to being the only MMO on the consoles it appeared on (Dreamcast, GameCube and Xbox). Then the series' first free to play venture, Phantasy Star Online 2 was released, and the popularity spiked dramatically, to the point where it rivals the more well-known Final Fantasy XIV as one of the most popular MMOs in Japan. It even got overseas players playing the game via Fan Translation, long before the game was officially localized 8 years after it was first released.
  • NieR: Automata introduced a lot of people to the works of Taro Yoko thanks to a combination of good marketing from Square Enix, good-to-great critical reception (especially in comparison to the previous titles), and the involvement of PlatinumGames who have a very well regarded reputation. Unfortunately as a result it means a lot of the newcomers end up missing out on the connections Automata has to the previous titles, and the archaic gameplay of the older games makes it hard for people who love the fluidity of Automata to go back and enjoy them.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag brought in a lot of new people, since the game allowed one to play as a pirate. This created a bit of a gap between those who liked the game and wished the future games to be similar to it, and those who think that someone who hates the series and only likes the In Name Only game that focuses less on ''Assassins'' and more on pirates, is technically not an Assassin's Creed fan. When sailing was removed from the series, some felt that it was a good thing, since the devs could now focus on creating large historical cities like in the original games instead of an empty sea with small locations scattered around, and those who felt sailing was too good to be removed.
  • The release of Yakuza 0 has brought new fans to the series because the game is a prequel that people won't be spoiled or confused by. In response to the demand, Sega reprinted all the games (including the PS2 titles) as online-only purchase.
  • Monster Hunter: World was this for the Monster Hunter series. The series is a smash hit in Japan, but less so overseas due to its high difficulty curve, many unexplained yet vital mechanics, and limited platforms (mostly handhelds), among other factors. World was designed specifically to bring new players into the franchise, mainly through a significant number of quality-of-life improvements and being released on two of the three major consoles and PC. It worked, as World quickly became one of Capcom's top-selling games within just a few months. Its success was a motivator for the long-awaited localization of Generations Ultimate.
  • The Persona series managed this with Persona 4, and took it up another notch nearly a decade later, Persona 5, which quickly became the best-selling title in the series and won many new fans for its unique visual flair and interesting premise of a group of vigilante-thieves using their abilities to essentially brainwash corrupt powerful figures. The boom only got bigger after Joker got included in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Persona 5's Newbie Boom was so large that it became an entryway to the Eastern RPG genre for many players or even video games entirely for some, even to a point where the fandom gained infamy from fans comparing Persona 5 with anything that contains any resembling its setting or elements, or something even more basic.
    • For its father series, Shin Megami Tensei, this would happen with the release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, especially in the West where the franchise as a whole was unheard of outside the poor localizations of the first Persona and the confusing mess that was skipping Persona 2: Innocent Sin in favor of Eternal Punishment. Nocturne's popularity convinced Atlus that more loyal localizations of their games could be profitable outside of Japan, and the franchise as a whole grew in popularity over time, culminating in Persona 5 above.
  • The Dragon Quest fandom in the West was, for much of the 1990s and early 2000s, small and fragmented at best. The only game in the series that had any notoriety during that time was Dragon Quest I, which was in due part to a promotional campaign by Nintendo Power. Then there was the release of Dragon Quest VIII, the first title in the series to see a release in Europe, introducing a lot of new players to the series and established the modern Dragon Quest community in the West. Years later, the series would see another explosion in the Western fandom with Dragon Quest XI, and not long after, an even bigger one following the reveal of the Dragon Quest Hero in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • The first two Earth Defense Force were successful in their native Japan, but their European release were very low budget translations with no marketing and the games were denied certification by Sony's American branch. As a result, it was decided that the next game would be made a Xbox 360 exclusive to increase the series popularity in the west, a gamble that paid off: while Earth Defense Force 2017's saw a slight decline in Japan due to the unpopularity of the system, good word of mouth made it a Sleeper Hit in the west and cemented EDF as Sandlot's and D3 Publisher's Cash Cow Franchise.
  • The Divine Divinity series was a relatively obscure game line by an unknown European dev until Divinity: Original Sin took to Kickstarter in 2013, carried by the rising tide of the Western RPG renaissance. It was the game's quality upon release and extensive word of mouth that introduced worldwide audiences to the quirky world of Rivellon, and Divinity: Original Sin II's massive success on Kickstarter just two years later was largely a result of the newbie boom the previous game caused (D:OS2 then went on to spark an even bigger influx of newcomers to the series).
  • Sega has pulled this off with the Puyo Puyo series at least three times:
    • The first Fever reinvigorated the series in Japan.
    • Puyo Puyo Quest was not only a hit in Japan, but it also unexpectedly attracted a number of international fans with its cute character designs.
    • By far the most notable example is Puyo Puyo Tetris, benefiting from the perfect storm of internet buzz, the critically-panned Tetris Ultimate, and a young Nintendo Switch. It was a breakout hit, creating countless new Puyo fans while kickstarting Fan Translation efforts for the other Puyo Puyo games as well as for the more obscure Madou Monogatari series from which they spun off.

    Webcomics 
  • MS Paint Adventures started having a massive increase in readership from around the end of Problem Sleuth to the first two act of Homestuck. The introduction of Homestuck's trolls, a boon for shippers and roleplayers of all kinds, caused an influx of readers who were interested mostly in that one part of the comic (much to the chagrin of many older fans).
  • Gunnerkrigg Court experienced a surge in readership after Neil Gaiman praised it on his blog.

    Web Original 
  • Zero Punctuation gave The Escapist a huge boom in members.
  • 4chan:
    • Some users think this happened after the Scientology protests, the general mindset being It's Popular, Now It Sucks!. This wasn't the first time this had happened to 4chan; in 2006, 4chan got e-famous for spam raids of Habbo Hotel, Ebaumsworld and other sites which led to a massive influx of new users. Guess what the response of the users who had been there since 2003-2005 was?note  Encyclopedia Dramatica may be to blame here.
    • Every summer, /b/ sees a bit of extra traffic due to school being out. This is referred to by the /b/tards as "Newfag Summer". Naturally, "summerfags" are hardly welcomed.
    • In 2012 and 2013, /v/ was flooded with Trolls and newbies, leading to a negative opinion on any game being followed by bait images and people calling you a "shitposter".
  • The creation of the TV Tropes page for Survival of the Fittest, followed by an attempt to get it to Trope Overdosed, caused a flood of new members to join the site from TV Tropes. While this was initially met with some displeasure, it could be argued that the newbie flood saved it from dying out, as the site had begun to flag in the middle of version three.
  • The Web itself drew a lot of people to the Internet, much to the annoyance of people who were regulars on Usenet, IRC, and Gopher. See also Eternal September, Usenet’s first overwhelming Newbie Boom.
  • This happened to Reddit when flocks of diggers who were angry with the release of Digg v4 fled, making Digg a no-man's-land. The Newbie Boom also happens all the time on various subreddits, when a compelling topic makes the main Reddit page, drawing new subscribers in large numbers to the subreddit.
  • The community of the SCP Foundation has learned to dread updates to SCP – Containment Breach or the beginning of a new Let's Play on a popular channel; it invariably brings a new crop of enthusiastic aspiring writers posting "yet another thing what killz you" with mangled formatting and "creative spelling" after failing to read any of the site's rules or guides, bewildered by the concept of an online writing community with high standards and zero tolerance for crappypasta. According to site historians, the first such bump occured when the Foundation received a page on This Very Wiki.
  • Archive of Our Own had a huge influx of newcomers in June 2012; many of them had left Fanfiction.net in protest at the latter site's crackdown on M-rated stories during that time. A decade earlier than that, in 2002, Adult-Fanfiction.org (previously using a .net web address) received its biggest surge in users, back when Fanfiction.net officially removed the NC-17 rating from its stories (back when that site was using the MPAA's movie ratings before switching to its own system some years later).
  • Jimquisition had a decent following on The Escapist and after Jim Sterling ran the show independently. His popularity exploded after several media outlets reported that he was being sued by Digital Homicide for over $10 million due to him criticizing their games harshly. Many people who had no idea who Jim Sterling was or what he does got to know about it after hearing about the lawsuit and he also gained a lot new supporters as a result.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School gained an influx of new fans in August 2017 thanks to the "Pregnant" Meme.
  • RWBY received a large amount of fans after Volume 3 ended, be it because of the sudden dark tone of the series or because they saw shipping material between Blake and Yang.
  • Eddsworld began in 2003 but its fandom peaked in the mid-2010s.
  • When Tumblr issued a complete ban on all NSFW content in late 2018, a cadre of adult artists being driven off found a new home at Newgrounds. The influx of new users hit such highs, the servers full on crashed trying to keep up.
  • Discussed in the '80s All Over Alternate DVD Commentary for The Dead Zone. The hosts ponder how every few years prolific, eccentric character actors like Christopher Walken and Willem Dafoe get this via younger moviegoers who see their latest work and find them interesting enough to dip into their older stuff, and note that a then-recent (2018) example of the trope in action was Thor: Ragnarok sparking this for Jeff Goldblum.

    Western Animation 
  • This happened to the My Little Pony fandom when My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic started to air. Previously, the fandom was a haven for mostly females (not that male fans didn't exist though) who loved the toys and fondly remembered the G1 cartoons. Then when Friendship is Magic was introduced, the previous fandom was swamped by a huge influx of new, mostly male fans (dubbed "bronies"). Similarly, the brony fandom itself experienced a boom around Season 2, when the initial shock of "boys liking girl things" wore off for the most part and people began to check it out for the sake of the show itself.
  • Time Squad was a 2001 Cartoon Network show about time police that had a decent fan following and was nominated for five Annie Awards. In the summer of 2012, the Tumblr tag for the show exploded, with dozens of fans coming out of the woodwork and a sizable amount of fanart and fanfiction resulting.
  • In a roundabout way it was Cartoon Network that did this for Hanna-Barbera. As taking a look at social media for fanart and DVD requests to Warner Brothers, a good chunk of the people one can find are too young to have been alive during the heyday, but are the right age to have been exposed the content during their youth via the cable channel.
  • Family Guy had a song by The Trashmen called "Surfin' Bird" repeatedly play out in the episode "I Dream of Jesus" where Peter gets obsessed over the song. This caused fans of the show who never heard of the song before to go on YouTube to find the song and comment they wanted to find it because of Family Guy. American Dad! managed the same in a smaller scale: the episode "In Country... Club" had one scene backed by the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Fortunate Son" - and now comments on videos of the song on YouTube aren't entirely dominated by people having discovered it through Call of Duty: Black Ops. But that song wasn't nearly as forgotten prior to its resurrection as "Surfin' Bird" was.
  • The New Teen Titans was quite well-known in The '80s amongst comic book fans but was very much unknown outside the community, apart from Batman's sidekick Robin. With the Teen Titans cartoon, many of its characters saw increased popularity, with some of them going on to gain prominent roles in other DC Comics-based series and movies.
  • Daria ran from 1997 just into 2002, but didn't get a DVD release until 2010 because of licensing issues. Many of the buyers were people who had been a bit too young for the show when it first aired, adding many teenagers and 20-somethings to the fandom.
  • Transformers has always been a well loved geek property, but in the West, it went into decline around the end of the '80s. Beast Wars was a major Retool in the '90s that revitalized the brand, and following another dip in popularity near the end of the decade, Transformers Armada (a series that was met with an at best lukewarm reception from older fans) proved to be an even bigger moneymaker that helped stabilize the brand and brought vehicle-based Transformers back into fame. Transformers: Rescue Bots also helped bring in new fans at a really young age, as many parents who may not have let their kids watch the more "mature", war-themed TF shows gave their approval to this child-friendly installment.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender was already a popular Nicktoon among older audiences, but when the show was available to stream on Netflix in the United States in 2020, it received a large amount of new fans, to the point of setting a record for being on Netflix's Top 10 list the longest, at 60 days (number 2, Ozark, was on the list for 57 days). The fact it came around during the COVID-19 pandemic where people are stuck at home also helped. The sequel series also released on Netflix a few months later with a similar boom.
  • Steven Universe received a huge influx of fans at the end of its first season, thanks to a marathon of episodes that built-up to the season finale. The creators noted later on that while the entire crew had a feeling that the episode ("Jailbreak") and its Signature Song "Stronger Than You" would be a watershed moment for the series, they didn't expect such an increase in popularity.
  • While Sofia the First started with plenty of fans, it wasn't until "The Curse Of Princess Ivy", a significantly darker episode, that the show received a huge boost in fans.
  • Circa 2011-2012 the Ed, Edd n Eddy fandom received a huge boost after a fan-artist on Tumblr began drawing Kevin/Edd fan-art. Until that point, most of the fandom had moved onto newer shows and the main forums were either dead or dying. A few years later, Memetic Mutation of the show's Mickey Mousing soundtrack also led to a spike in its popularity.
  • After several failed revival attempts, the Voltron franchise got a huge boost in fans in 2016, following the debut of the Continuity Reboot Voltron: Legendary Defender.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The show experienced a major ratings boom after its' 10th anniversary from 2009-2013. It got to the point where the ratings of reruns actually beat many prime-time shows, as well as other children's programs, of the era.
    • When show creator Stephen Hillenberg died in 2018, the show, which had been declining in popularity due to The Loud House becoming a hit, saw a surge in popularity among children. It was also perfectly timed as the kids who originally grew up with the show in the late 90's and early 2000's now had kids of their own to share the show with.
  • The Rick and Morty fandom grew massively in the time between the end of Season 2 and the start of Season 3. It exploded after an April Fools' Day prank by Adult Swim where the first Season 3 episode played all evening introduced viewers of Toonami to the show as well. For the fans who loved the show before the "Szechuan Sauce" and "Pickle Rick" memes bled into real life, this was not a good thing.
  • Many new viewers were introduced to Big Mouth in the second season due to an extensive marketing campaign.
  • PAW Patrol suffered one after the premiere of Mighty Pups because of extensive marketing for the special at Wal-Mart.
  • Sanjay and Craig got this after the episode themed around Double Dare aired, which happened around the time the show got good word of mouth for actually being good.
  • The fandom for Animaniacs boomed in November 2020, the month the reboot was released in.
  • The Masters of the Universe fandom (mainly the She-Ra half of it) grew massively in the mid-2010s when Netflix released the She-Ra Continuity Reboot She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. It made sense, since the fans who grew up with the 80s' He-Man and She-Ra cartoons now had kids of their own to share the franchise with. Still, most of the new fans were either LGBTQ+ people looking for a cartoon to identify with or had converted from another fandom. It's arguable that the newbie flood saved the Masters of the Universe fandom from dying out, as the franchise still had the "retro 80's franchise" stigma at that point and the 2002 attempted reboot had long been cancelled.

    Real Life 
  • During the 18th century, many new agricultural practices were invented and spread from Britain throughout the rest of Europe. Leading to a population boom, and after the new people came of age, to great changes in society - cottage industries in Britain, preparing the Industrial Revolution, and the French Revolution on the continent.
  • Every school, from kindergarten to postgraduate, sees this once a year. Not coincidentally, this is when any and all internet communities see a spate of new names piping in, and sometimes settling in.
  • CB Radio in the US. In 1970 there were around 800,000 licensed users. Thanks to the 1973 oil crisis, the 55 MPH speed limit, and the rise of the Hollywood CB trope, by 1977 the number had ballooned to 14 million, with a few million unlicensed operators joining in. As you might expect, the tight-knit community of older CB enthusiasts weren't thrilled at the massive influx of newbies who ignored the established protocols (very much a preview of Eternal September). It was a short-lived boom, though. By 1983 even the FCC considered CB past its prime and dropped the license requirement.
  • In 2000, the Clay Institute of Mathematics proposed 7 "Millennium Problems" (classical unsolved mathematical problems) and that anyone who could solve one of them would win US$1,000,000. Naturally, this lead to tens of thousands of "mathematicians" who knew nothing about the subjects at hand providing unprofessional, idiotic "solutions".
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