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Following

Official Fan-Submitted Content

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Fans have drawn so many outfits for Katy that Gil wasn't even the first to give her a white fur-trimmed skating dress.
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Fans are asked to send in stuff that will be incorporated into the show's Canon or Bonus Material (particularly Side-Story Bonus Art). It could range from lines of dialogue, to costume/monster/vehicle designs, to entire plot points.

A common form is to directly ask fans for stuff, and they send it in. Sometimes there is a contest for a major thing to incorporate. Credit is usually given to the senders, partly as a courtesy to the fans, and partly to avoid Plagiarism.

This may or may not be considered a good thing. If fan-created elements seem to take over the show, it can be seen as the writers going creatively bankrupt (like there is Running the Asylum). On the other hand, some elements help the fans feel like they are part of the show, helping old and new fans stay invested.

A Sub-Trope of Audience Participation (this trope requires a process to submit and apply, unlike the other forms).

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A Sister Trope to Ascended Fanon, Ascended Fanfic, Fandom Nod, Ascended Meme (neither one is directly asked for, but they're still incorporated into canon), and Fourth-Wall Mail Slot (which is directly asked for, but usually isn't canon).

Compare Caption Contest, Contest Winner Cameo, Harpo Does Something Funny (having the actors submit stuff that wasn't in the script), Throw It In!, Promoted Fanboy, Approval of God.


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Examples Alphabetically By Medium:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Digimon series has had a number of fan Digimon contests, with Thunderballmon making it into Digimon Adventure 02; Cyberdramon, Dobermon and Orochimon making it into Digimon Tamers; Zanbamon, Karatenmon, and Pandamon making it into Digimon Frontier; and Pharoahmon and Scorpiomon making it into Digimon Xros Wars.
  • Fairy Tail did something like this where fans were allowed to design characters for villains. They showed up as the Hungry Wolf Knights in the Grand Magic Games Arc.
  • The first half of episode 67 of Gintama was based on the winning submission for a contest to create an amanto character.
  • Gundam:
  • Jewelpet: Certain Jewelpets are the result of character design contests held by Sanrio during the airing of the anime. One of the major Jewelpets, Labra the labradorite polar bear, was the winner of the original 2009 series' contest. Charlotte, Jasper and Sakuran were also created by fans.
  • The creators of Kinnikuman and Kinnikuman Nisei thrive off fan-submissions, with many of the series Ensemble Darkhorses coming from fan characters that caught on, such as Ramenman.
  • The creator of One Piece got his start submitting a character to Kinnikuman.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! hosted two:
    • There was a contest for fans to submit art of their own created monsters. The winner was a monster named Sharbon, a bubble blowing monster that was featured in "Scare Tactics Part 2".
    • A second contest was made for fans to submit their own Copy Abilities. The four winners were Water, Top, Iron and Baton. These four would be featured in the two-part "Air Ride in Style" special. Three of the four have been incorporated into the games: Water has been recurring since Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Iron received a spiritual successor in the Metal ability from Kirby: Squeak Squad, and Baton has a counterpart in the Staff ability from Kirby Star Allies.
  • A pretty regular feature of Kongoh Bancho: some of the fan-designed Banchos get to be prominent antagonists (three members of The Five Dark Vows, most notably), while others only turn up to get curb stomped by even tougher villains.
  • A distinguishing trait of the Love Live! series, where a good amount of content is submitted by fans, such as names for characters, locations, and groups.
  • To celebrate the hundredth episode of Shin Lupin III (the "Lupin III (Red Jacket)" series), fans were urged to send in ideas for capers for Lupin. Four ideas were chosen and turned into full episodes, and the fan who submitted the idea was listed in the credits as a "story consultant".
  • The 2011 anime short film (29 mins) Mai no Mahō to Katei no Hi is the winning story from a contest to create an anime to promote the Toyama Prefectural Family Day (or 'Katei no Hi') (the third Sunday in each month). The contest winner Moeko Shimizu was in fourth grade when she won the contest in 2005.
  • One of the Chess Pieces in MÄR was created by a fan of the series.
  • Microman ran a contest after the toyline's revival in 2000 to design a character, the winner being Shakunetsu who actually went from being an exclusive figure to having two later mass releases and a starring role in a couple of the manga.
  • Studio Gainax once ran a contest for fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion to design a new Angel. While the winner's Angel design was not included in an episode, Gainax did produce official artwork of an Evangelion facing off against it.
  • Eiichiro Oda of One Piece has directly stated that he writes the canon himself, and as such he will not take suggestions from the fans on this. However, he will gladly take suggestions to anything that is not canon, such as the splash pages that show the Straw Hats with animals. Fans immediately sent him a lot of suggestions, so all such pages are now derived from a reader's idea. He is also known to incorporate fan suggestions for minor character stats, usually in the form of:
    JC Reader: "Please make [character]'s birthday [date]!"
    Oda: "Okay."
    • This also applies to mini-comics he does for his data books. One story chosen ,"RPG Time", was actually based on a idea from the fan forum Arlong Park, who themselves pooled together and voted on ideas to send to him for it.
  • The classmates in The Prince of Tennis manga were named by reader submission.
  • The signature Laala uses in PriPara was designed by a fan of the series as part of a contest.
    • The Idol Time season had a contest to design a new mascot to appear in the anime, with the winner being a rainbow-colored turtle.
  • Re:CREATORS weaponizes this for the antagonist, Military Uniform Princess. Her true source of power comes from her fan content (both in and out of universe), so every single power they can think of for her can be used is she so chooses. Fanart of her from Pixiv and Twitter also made its way into the show.
  • Shinya! Tensai Bakabon had a contest to submit art for the second-to last episode to be used in the ED. Those who couldn’t make it were shown off on the official Twitter.
  • Shugo Chara! has an episode featuring a Chara made by a fan. The character also had plushies made of it.
  • Much like the game it was based on, CoroCoro Comic ran a fashion contest for Splatoon. The winner would have their outfit modelled by Goggles.
  • The Toriko manga and anime has featured several beasts/ingredients which were the winning entries of contests to design them. The manga goes so far as to actually credit the designer of the beast/ingredient.
  • In Yatterman, many mechas used by the Terrible Trio were designed by fans.
  • The Rallis the Star Bird card featured in one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was a fan design.
  • In Zatch Bell!, there was a contest where fans design their own mamodo child to feature on a card.
  • The creator of the manga Zodiac PI held a contest to create one of the little Zodiac sprites that assist the main character, Lili. The winner, Astrea the Libra sprite, was featured in a full chapter with her own name and personality, and even appeared in several omakes!

    Comic Books 
  • Norm Breyfogle's first published artwork was one of several fan-designed Robin costumes in Batman Family from 1977, 11 years before he became the regular Detective Comics artist.
  • John Byrne wrote the Darkseid/Galactus: The Hunger one-shot after a kid at a comic-book convention asked him what would happen if Galactus tried to eat Apokalips.
  • The 1980s version of the comic book Dial H for Hero had the protagonists use their H-dials to transform into fan-submitted characters.
  • Within a loose view of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe canon, certain ideas or fancomics submitted to official creators' blogs and heartily approved by said official creators have got some credit, and are treated as such on the Wiki.
  • Writer Bill Willingham solicited questions about his Fables series from fans, selected his favorites, and gave in-canon, official responses as a series of vignettes that made up issue #59 of the series.
  • To promote the Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year one-shot, DC provided a website for the audience to vote for which villains the awards should go to.
  • Katy Keene was able to have all that Costume Porn because the artists actually incorporated outfit submissions from fans. Virtually every submitted outfit has a caption nearby giving credit to whoever sent in the design.
  • Millie the Model, Patsy Walker, and My Friend Irma also incorporated costume submissions from fans.
  • In the beginning, Samson of Monica's Gang had no name. It was chosen in 1983, at the suggestion of a 2-year-old girl named Roberta Carpi, from Ribeirão Preto.
  • Fans can have their submitted characters appear in Pride High. One fan-created character even joined the main cast.
  • In an early issue of Savage Dragon fans were asked to design villains, and the winner's character would fight Dragon in an upcoming issue. The winning character was a mutant dockworker who went by Jimbo da Mighty Lobster.
  • The Venom symbiote from Spider-Man was created by a fan named Randy Schueller, who submitted the design for a red-on-black Spider-Man costume to a contest. Mike Zeke altered the design to white-on-black, and the symbiote was born.
  • In Adventure Comics issue #397 (1970), the editors invited readers to design new versions of Supergirl's costume. Several of them would be featured in the next issues until issue #410 finally featured the winner costume, which Supergirl would wear until 1983.

    Comic Strips 
  • A contest was held to design the character Lena the Hyena in Li'l Abner. The winner was Basil Wolverton, whose design appeared in the Li'l Abner strip as well as in Life magazine.

    Fan Works 
  • The author of Becoming Female asked her readers whether Sirius should come Back from the Dead, and they decided he should. Later on, she asked whether Crystal (Harry's female name) and Draco should have sex now or wait for marriage. Readers decided on now, resulting in a chapter of IKEA Erotica.
  • The character of "Horizon" in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium appears because of this trope. The author had a small contest on Tumblr and the winner got to create a small side character for inclusion in the fic.
  • In Connie And The B Team, the Omega Colony gems are all fan-created Original Characters.
  • In Divided Rainbow, several of the Sicklefin gangsters were submitted by fans.
  • The author of the Danny Phantom series, Facing the Future Series, is willing to accept ideas from readers to help enhance the series.
  • In Mass Effect The Equestrian Equation and its (canceled) sequel, Shades of Twilight, in true Mass Effect fashion, a choice is presented at the end of each chapter that readers could vote on which decision the protagonist would make, letting the fans decide the outcome of the story.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, a couple fans have given the author ideas he's used, such as Brain Bot returning in episode 8 and ProtoMan taking command in episode 9.
    • Splash Woman is getting a Ruby-Spears redesign based on a fan's sprite of an RS-her.
  • At one point in My Immortal, Tara asks her readers for suggestions regarding what Sirius' gothic name should be, never mind "Sirius" is fairly gothic already. Apparently, "Hades" was the winning entry.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, in Arc 1, readers were asked to vote which Robot Master Robert would fight first; Cutman was the winner.
  • The author of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines actually lets others write entire stories taking place in the same continuity as his work, under the condition they check with him first.
  • Shortly after Turnabout Storm was completed, the creator held a "Wright a bad ending contest" for fans to decide what would have happened if the trial had ended with Rainbow Dash being pronounced guilty.
  • The authors of both Total Drama Everything and Total Drama Infinite allow their readers to vote on what characters will compete as well as offer ideas for new characters.

    Film 
  • Godzilla
    • Jet Jaguar in Godzilla vs. Megalon was based on a character created by a contest winner.
    • Godzilla vs. Biollante was based on a fan-submitted story idea written by a dentist named Shinichiro Kobayashi. Funny enough, he had submitted a similar story for a similar contest for the Ultra Series back in high school.
  • The two drawings in The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Bubbles's crayon drawing of the Professor and the wanted poster of him and the girls, were the winners of a contest Cartoon Network held in conjunction with its production.
  • After one of his films flopped, Cecil B. DeMille held a contest in which he asked the public what his next film should be about. The winning entry came from F.C. Nelson, a manufacturer of lubricating oil in Lansing, Michigan. His suggestion ("You cannot break the Ten Commandments — they will break you.") inspired the 1923 silent version of The Ten Commandments.
  • In TRON: Legacy, the audience cheering in the disk wars scene was recorded using attendees of a Tron panel at Comic Con.

    Literature 
  • L. Frank Baum reportedly got the ideas for many of the later books in the Land of Oz series from fans who wrote him letters.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, readers voted on Mia the Bridesmaid Fairy and Juliet the Valentine Fairy's names.
  • Many of the later Xanth books incorporated puns from fans, and Piers Anthony would devote whole appendix chapters giving credit to the submitters.
  • Author Derek Landy of the series Skulduggery Pleasant created a competition to submit a character during the writing of installment five, Mortal Coil. Charlie Smith won, and his character, Geoffrey Scrutinous, was included in it and subsequent books.
  • Repercussions: The Fans Write!, an anthology set in the Aeon 14 universe written mostly by fan fiction authors (plus two stories written by franchise originator MD Cooper and another by the Sentience Wars sub-series' co-author James S. Aaron).
  • For many years the people running the Doctor Who novels had an open submissions policy, meaning that anybody could submit a novel proposal. As a result the vast majority of books before the series came back were written by fans.
    • At one point, Big Finish ran a Doctor Who short story competition, with the prize being that the winning story would be published in one of their anthologies. In the end they received so many good submissions that they made an entire volume out of them.

    Live Action TV 
  • The mineral Quantium 40 (vital in Jumpgate construction) from Babylon 5 was named following a poll held by JMS among members of the old GE Ni E boards.
  • Beakman's World ran on science questions submitted by kids.
  • Bewitched had the episode "Sisters at Heart" written by several inner city school kids that touched on racial issues. The writing staff only added content to ensure the episode met standards and practices and was of appropriate length. All changes were approved by the students.
  • Blue Peter often has contests which ask viewers to submit ideas (such as costume designs or characters) for BBC shows or the program's own productions, with the prize usually being having their entry actually featured. (Sadly for older viewers and non-Brits they tend to only be open to UK residents under the age of 15).
    • The monster from the Doctor Who episode "Love & Monsters" was from the winner of a Blue Peter contest. (Blue Peter also ran a similar competition back in during the late Patrick Troughton era circa 1969, but the winning monster only appeared on Blue Peter, not in Doctor Who itself.)
    • The half-a-TARDIS-console-room used by Idris and the Doctor in "The Doctor's Wife" was also designed by a Blue Peter contest.
  • In 2006, Stephen Colbert did a parody of the "Star Wars Kid" in front of a green screen as part of one of his "Better-Know-A-District" segments. After fans started making their own videos using this footage to put Stephen in different situations, he decided to hold a contest (known as the Green Screen Challenge) to see who could come up with the best video...which George Lucas himself entered (and got 2nd place).
  • Diners, Drive-ins and Dives visits restaurants suggested by viewers. In fact, the suggestion form asks that you be available for interview if they decide to visit the place you recommend.
  • Dirty Jobs relies on viewers to submit suggestions for jobs to cover. Every episode ends with a clip of Mike Rowe (usually covered in muck) asking for viewers to send in suggestions.
  • In a different Doctor Who example, the audio soundtracks of the episodes that were junked by the BBC survive thanks to audio recordings made by fans from the original broadcast, which were later returned to the BBC archives. Uniquely, the only colour copy of episodes 2-7 of "The Ambassadors of Death" is an early home video recording made from the story's original US broadcast by a Canadian fan, which is of low quality but was used in the story's DVD reconstruction.
  • Kamen Rider Double had a contest to determine the monster for the annual Hyper Battle DVD. The winner, the The Oyakodon Dopant, even plays into the show's Detective Drama nature by having the Dopant challenge the heroes to identify his ingredients, leading to an Iron Chef-style cook-off between the heroes.
  • Each episode of The Loretta Young Show was based on various fan letters she had received.
  • The short-lived 2009 comedy In The Motherhood depended on real life stories submitted by viewers for its scripts. It lasted for 7 episodes.
  • The Mythbusters requested socks for the Knock Your Socks Off Myth (was originally going to be the "Lost Socks in the Dryer" myth, but they changed their minds). This is in addition to all of the unsolicited items sent in by fans. Many myths to test are suggested by fans on their forum. Most of the retests are based on users in the forum, the exception being the re-retest of the Archimedes death ray requested by Barack Obama.
  • The story for the Punky Brewster episode "Cherie Lifesaver" was submitted by a young viewer. It was also nominated for an Emmy.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation accepted fan-written spec scripts throughout its run. Four actually made it into production: "The Bonding," "Measure of a Man," "The Offspring" and "Tin Man." Two other episodes were based on stories supplied by a fan.
  • Ultra Series
    • The Return of Ultraman episode "The Life that Can't be Forgiven" was the winner of a contest to pitch your own Ultraman episode that was held by Tsuburaya Productions at the time. Its writer, a high school student named Shinichiro Kobayashi, would later go on to submit a similar story to Toho under similar circumstances, resulting in Godzilla vs. Biollante.
    • Several Monsters of the Week in the franchise were the winners of contests in which children got to submit their own kaiju designs to appear on the shows, notably Ruganogar from Ultraman Max, Taraban from Ultraman Tiga, and both Tepeto and Guyros in Ultraseven.
  • In the third season of the game show You Don't Say!, the names and clues used on the bonus board were furnished by home viewers.

    Magazines 

  • In addition to fanart printed in the Mailbox section, Disney Adventures would occasionally run a contest like this. Notable instances were the heroes and villains contest, the winner(s) of which got a comic devoted to their creation.
  • Boys' Life had a contest in which readers would submit fanart of their mascot, Pedro the Mailburro, visiting other time periods, to help inspire a new storyline for his comic, The Wacky Adventures of Pedro. The winning picture had a crack in Pedro's mirror-turned-time machine send his top and bottom halves to AD 71,000 IO and AD 2 Tarentum, Italy, respectively.

    Music 

  • Barenaked Ladies had a contest for people to send in video of them lipsynching to their song "Wind it Up", and various clips were made into the video.
  • Placebo's music video for their cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" is made of clips from videos of fans lip-synching.
    • The stop-motion music video for "English Summer Rain" was actually a fan creation produced by Grégorie Pinard; the band was so impressed by it that they decided to use it as its official promo video. It actually holds a Guinness World Record for being the world's first official fan-made music video!
  • Feeder did something similar as Placebo for the "Just a Day" music video.
  • Rapper Mac Lethal has a series on YouTube in which he raps lyrics submitted by fans. Some of them can sound really awesome in his voice, but not all of them...
  • The cover of Sonic Youth's Washing Machine is a picture sent in by a fan.
  • In 1986, MTV sponsored a contest called "Make My Video" in which viewers were encouraged to send in a video set to Madonna's then recent single "True Blue" (from the album of the same name). Evidently, one day was dedicated to playing all of the submitted videos until the winning entry was announced. It was then shown until Madonna's official video for the song debuted.
  • There are two official videos for "Missed the Boat" by Modest Mouse, the winning video from a fan competition and a video featuring clips of several submissions to the contest.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers had a contest in 2007 for fans to make their own video for "Charlie". The winning entry became the official video for the song and appears on their official Youtube channel. This despite the fact that the proposed single release was cancelled.
    • On their 1998 tour they played a song called "Bunker Hill", which they went on to attempt in the 'Californication' and 'By The Way' sessions, but were never completely happy with it, so a studio version didn't get released. Over this time, fans were constantly asking them about this song. Eventually they decided to remix it to their liking (with a new bassline) and put it out as the B Side of Fortune Faded in 2003.
  • The Dick's Picks series of audience recordings of The Grateful Dead concerts.
  • OK Go's song "I'm Not Through" was the subject of this music video contestthe winning video in particular is a very OK Go-ish Oner.
  • Pretty much all of Velvet Underground's officially released live albums save for their 1993 reunion are made up of fan recordings.
  • For Korn's 1999 album Issues, the band held a fairly high profile fan submission contest for the album's cover art, resulting in the top 4 being released as official album art.
  • Both the cover art and title of Weezer's Maladroit were submitted by fans - the cover was created by a fan for an official contest, while the title was a suggestion made in a less formal thread on the band's official forum asking for album name ideas. They also had fans contribute to the songwriting process less directly: The band would post demos of songs they were considering for the album, and would take fans' reactions into consideration when arranging songs, as well as letting them influence which songs appeared on the album to some extent.
  • The Beastie Boys' live DVD Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! was created by lending audience members camcorders at a show and cutting together the best footage.
  • The concert videos for Space's 'Drop Dead', 'Blow Up Doll' and 'Mister Psycho' were all made by Andy Wilton, a Newcastle filmmaker and huge Space fan. The band liked them so much they used them to accompany the songs at their gigs. Alan Hagar, the guy whose face appears in the 'Mister Psycho' video, has even played guitar with them a couple of times.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • Silly Symphony: The inaugural story from 1932 featured a contest in which readers could send in potential names for an unnamed bug character, who would soon be known as Bucky Bug. The winner, Bernice Sable from Minneapolis, received an 18-inch Mickey Mouse doll as a prize.

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 
  • LEGO loves doing this for the BIONICLE franchise. They've used these sort of contests to establish a variety of Rahi species, Dark Hunters and the character Toa Krakua. These were published in the LEGO Magazine, in guide books, or online.
    • A number of them had a surprisingly prominent presence in the story. Though none were immune to being Killed Off for Real, as Ancient and Guardian can tell you. LEGO was also fond of letting the fans design already official but previously unseen characters, either as fan-made LEGO figures or as drawn artwork, which then received official status. Certavus, Surel, his Iron Wolves and Toa Nikila are just a few of these. The Agori villager named Kyry is an interesting case, however: a fan-built model of him was declared canon, but when he appeared in a comic, he looked nothing like the model due to the miscommunication between the writers and the comic artist.
    • LEGO Ideas (formerly CUUSOO) is an official channel (currently in open beta) where fans can submit their designs for models and vote on which ones they'd like to see enter production. Fan designs that get 10,000 user votes are sent to LEGO's team for consideration.
    • LEGO Worldbuilder takes it even further, allowing users to create their own original (as in, non-licenced) themes and contribute to other people's worlds as well. The "worlds", as they're called, do typically need a high number of votes, but it's more up to the LEGO Group themselves to decide what's made into an official LEGO Franchise.
  • A 1986 contest to design a character for Masters of the Universe was won by an eleven-year-old named Nathan Bitner, with a camera-headed creation called "the Fearless Photog". One of the rewards, in addition to a $100,000 scholarship and other perks, claimed that the winner's character would be released as a toy, but the toy never came to pass. When X-Entertainment posted a blog entry about Photog in 2003, the curious commenters managed to track down and piece together a surprisingly detailed biography of Bitner's life from then on, from being a lead designer for Halo (apparently with a large hand in the creation of Cortana), to the flop of his own startup video game company, filing for bankruptcy, and other rumored scandals. After several months of investigation and minor Internet sensation, word of this finally reached Bitner himself, who by then was a medic serving in the U.S. Army. He was pretty surprised by all the fuss. By the way, Fearless Photog finally got released as an action figure in 2012, over 25 years after the contest, as part of a 30th anniversary Masters of the Universe toy line.
  • Hasbro did it sometimes in the last years with Transformers.
    • The first time was in 2013, when they made a poll to allow people to create a new character choosing between various options in a poll (faction, name, gender, weapon, altmode, color scheme, special abilities, origin place and characterization). The final result was Windblade.
    • The second time happened in early 2015, this time to make an entire combiner to tie in with the Combiner Wars subline. This time the poll options were slightly more restricted, in particular because this time the various characters forming the combiner had to be retools of preexistent character molds from the first 2-3 waves of the toyline. This time we got Victorion as our final result.
    • The third time was in late 2015 and it was a smaller thing: rather than create a new character, fans had to vote to choose who was going to be the fourth Titan class figure in the Generations line after Metroplex, Devastator and Fortress Maximus, choosing between Omega Supreme, Trypticon and Scorponok. Trypticon won.
    • It happened again in early 2017, allowing fans to choose who will become a Prime in the future IDW comics and get a figure in the third subline of the Prime Wars trilogy (known as Power of the Primes): the contendants were Arcee, Ultra Magnus, Hound, Megatron, Shockwave, Star Saber, Optimus Primal, Thunderwing and "Unknown Evil"note . Optimus Primal won.
    • In 2018, the poll was to choose a couple of characters opposed to eachother to include in the War for Cybertron: Siege toyline, choosing between Tracks vs Needlenose, Impactor vs Mirage and Wheeljack vs Spinister. Impactor and Mirage won (but Wheeljack and Spinister still got new figures released, the latter in Siege and the former in the sequel line Earthrise).
    • In 2019, the poll was to choose which one out of four Decepticons would be featured inthe Earthrise, choosing between Needlenose (again), Gnaw, Shrapnel or Runamuck. Runamuck won.
  • The Trash Pack has had "Design Your Own Trashie" contests, where the winners get their design made into an exclusive Trashie figure.

    Video Games 
  • In Academagia, the developers have included many player-written Adventures and Events as part of DLCs.
  • In the fall of 2013, Age of Empires II's fanmade expansion Forgotten Empires shall receive official expansion status for the Updated Re-release.
  • The names of three charactersnote  in Banjo-Tooie were chosen by winners of a contest held by the UK Official Nintendo Magazine.
  • In the first three Game Boy Advance titles for Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, many of the enemies you fight are submitted fan characters.
  • Bloons Tower Defense 6 has had two such contests:
    • To celebrate 50k subscribers in the BTD6 subreddit, Ninja Kiwi held a map contest, where users would post their ideas and one would make it into the game. Five finalists were chosen (Fireside Trail, Bazaar, Weak Ice, Cherry Blossoms, Geared), and fans got to vote on which one they wanted most. Geared ended up winning, and was added in the 16.0 update. Surprisingly, Bazaar also made it in for the 18.0 update, making it two winning maps rather than only one as promised.
    • Another contest was held for the 100k subscriber milestone. This time, fans submitted their concepts and ideas for avatar profile pictures, with multiple winners.
  • Since City of Heroes has gone with their "hybrid model" and opened the micro-transaction store, they've added at least two costume sets that were explicitly conceived by fans. On top of that, for its entire run many of the added features (new powersets/archetypes, costumes, etc.) were developed in-house, but based on the most popular requests in the forums.
  • Nippon Ichi had a contest to pick names for the random name generator for Disgaea 2.
  • Dwarf Fortress has a large sub-forum for suggestions that the creator is known to frequently read, but the only confirmed example of this trope was when a number of players got together and provided some numbers for -among other things- correct tensile strengths and molar hardness of various metal alloys and the real-life mass and density of sand. note 
  • While still under development, The Elder Scrolls Online had fans send in suggestion for the name of a Dunmer in the game.
  • The Festivalist dressphere from Final Fantasy X-2, for each of the three girls, was based off of drawings by a very young Japanese fan of the series as part of a contest advertised in Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has contests run from time to time where players can submit designs for new gear, hairstyles, clothing, and the like, with winning designs being implemented into the game.
  • The Community Time Rifts added to A Hat in Time with Death Wish were originally fan-made level mods.
  • The fan letters in the arcade version of The Idolmaster are taken from submissions to the official website in the lead-up to the game's release.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, a contest was held where the winning fan would get to name one of the upcoming game's special super-bosses. The winner was a boy named Kurt Zisa, who promptly named the boss after himself.
  • Massive Chalice, a Kickstarter funded game, allowed backers (above a certain level) to construct their own blood-lines. Allowing the creation of standards, house colours, character names, mottoes and battle-cries. These where then split into thematic and non-thematic content. Allowing the player to choose to live with content that adds to the immersion of the game and stuff that will probably make you laugh (you can of course choose both if you want a mix).
  • Occasionally, Capcom would hold a contest asking for drawings of Robot Masters to be in the next Mega Man game. Most were held in Japan, except for Mega Man 6, which was an American tie-in with Nintendo Power that gave us Wind Man and Knight Man.
    • This was also done with Mega Man Legends 3, where the fans helped out with ideas and with choosing character designs. Unfortunately, the game ended up canceled.
    • Mighty No. 9 appears to be a spiritual successor in this regard, such as choosing Call's character design and designing an enemy.
      • The fans took it a step further with making sure that one of Call's designs would still make it into the final game. This design, Design D, would be used as the overall design for the Final Boss Trinity.
    • The tradition continued in the Mega Man Battle Network games, with most of Mr. Famous's NetNavis (GateMan, KendoMan and FootMan=}) being fan-made, as well as a few of the plot-relevant bosses, like [=MistMan, BowlMan, KingMan, LaserMan, VideoMan, CircusMan, ElementMan and JudgeMan. VideoMan's creator also designed the boss's entire stage
      • The same goes for the sequel series, Star Force, with fan-designed Bonus Bosses appearing in the second and third game.
    • The Nintendo 3DS version of the Mega Man Legacy Collection contains exclusive Challenge Mode levels submitted by the fanbase, which complement the existing Challenge Mode levels and are unlocked using the Mega Man amiibo.
  • The My Tamagotchi Forever character Neliatchi was the winner of a contest held prior to the game's release where fans had to come up with their own Tamagotchis.
  • Free Software/Open Source games like OpenArena and Nexuiz/Xonotic are composed entirely of fan-made content.
  • PAYDAY 2 has followed in the footsteps of CS:GO and allows players to make their own skins for the weapons in the game, then submit them to the Steam Workshop for peer review, in hopes of getting them into the next Safe, thus making them available in-game. In addition, multiple fan-made 'quality of life improvement' mods have been implemented into the game itself, such as HoxHUD's cheater labelling system.
  • All three guest characters in Petal Crash (The Baz, Libbie, and Mimi) were contributed by backers who pledged to the $2,000 Secret Character tier on the game's Kickstarter page.
  • During Phantasy Star Online 2's Anniversary season, Sega held an item design contest consisting of costumes, weaponry and accessories. The top 3 winners of each category (there were some honorable mentions) got their designs in the game.
  • The developers of Project Zomboid are very supportive of their prolific modding community, and they've even found some mods worthy of folding back into the base game. Features to randomize or save your character build are an example, but the most visible is the Erosion mod that causes the environment to gradually overgrow and deteriorate over time.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • The Spiral of Doom from A Crack in Time was the winner of the "My Blaster Runs Hot" fanmade weapon contest.
      • The Bancho Ratchet skin in the same game was the winning design for a Japanese skin contest.
    • All four playable characters in All 4 One have one skin designed by fans:
      • Ratchet's is the Skeleton outfit, based on a proposed "Heck Fire" skin.
      • Clank turns into Fish Bowl Clank, complete with water and fish.
      • Captain Qwark dons a suit of knight armor.
      • Dr. Nefarious becomes the lava-lamp headed Groovy Nefarious.
  • Various end-game dungeons in Realm of the Mad God, namely The Shatters and the Lost Halls, were originally fan suggestions.
  • Another OK Go example: Their song "White Knuckles" was subject to a fan mix contest, with the winner (Big Robot Remix) being added to Rock Band via RBN.
  • On multiple occasions, RuneScape has solicited fan ideas for content. The pub in southeast Ardougne, for example, was designed and voted on by players, and the name of the sea monster Thalassus from the "Deadliest Catch" quest was suggested and selected by the public.
  • Subverted in the case of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, where a piece of fan art of Sonia was mistaken for official art of Amy Rose, and used as a texture in the Wii version of the game. The offending texture was removed in later print runs once it was caught, and removed via patch from the PS3/360 release.
  • BioWare held a competition during the production of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood which let the fans name one of the alien races seen later in the game. The winning name was Zoah, a reference to Panzer Dragoon.
  • This is one of Sound Voltex's major gimmicks. The Sound Voltex Floor campaign allows fans to submit their own songs for inclusion within the game. Many submissions in Sound Voltex Booth are remixes of existing BEMANI songs, although artists have started submitting more original songs, especially in Sound Voltex II.
  • Splatoon and Splatoon 2 each held a clothing gear designing contest, run by Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. The winning fan designs, the Traditional Gear (a sushi chef's clothes) and the Ghillie Suit Style (a seaweed-themed ghillie suit) were both added into their respective games as part of a free update. Famitsu also ran a contest for graffiti designs in Splatoon 2, with the winning design added to the floor of Walleye Warehouse.
  • Star Trek Online had the Foundry, an in-game Level Editor that allowed players to code and submit their own missions that are then playable in the main game from a submenu. Foundry missions pay out varying amounts of dilithium based on the average length of time it takes players to beat them. Cryptic set up a similar Foundry for STO's younger sister Neverwinter. However, as of early 2019, the Foundry has been discontinued as the programmers who built it weren't with the company anymore, making maintaining and fixing the Foundry too time and resource consuming.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies did this often. Sony often held contests on the official forums that subscribers could enter. Not only would the winners have their artwork or stories featured in the game, but it had the added benefit of making these fan submissions official Star Wars Expanded Universe canon.
  • The art book that comes with the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector's Set is comprised entirely of fan-made artwork. The collection also includes two discs of fan-made music remixes.
  • Team Fortress 2 has added fan-created "community" weapons to the list of items that can be found during game.
    • Several fan-created maps were also added to the official list of maps.
    • This concept has been since expanded into the "Steam Workshop", which is also available for several other games. note 
  • TNT: Evolution, part of Final Doom, was originally a fan creation. However, the mappers, Team TNT, were approached by id Software to have the megawad published. This was met with some controversy because the megawad was going to be a freeware release.
  • The Unreal Engine 4 reboot of Unreal Tournament is being developed by both Epic Games themselves and the Unreal community, furthering this trope.
  • There's a whole category in Warframe for skins, both weapons and armors, and helmets, created by fans, called "TennoGen" in-game.
    • Quite a sizable chunk of the game content, from warframes like Chroma to weapons like the Mios, were originally fan-submitted designs circulating the forums before being introduced in the game.
  • After the developers made modding tools for World in Conflict available to gamers, several fan-created multiplayer maps have been distributed via Massgate, along with official maps.
  • Several mods for World of Warcraft became so popular among the players that Blizzard ended up implementing their own version into the core game.
  • Each game in the X-Universe series has an add-on Bonus Pack by forum member Lucike, containing a group of scripts to make players' lives easier, digitally signed by Egosoft so your savegame doesn't get marked as ***modified***. Additionally the X-Superbox series collection includes three fan-made soundtracks, additional signed scripts, and PDF versions of fan fiction from the forums. And the 3.0 patch (scroll down a ways) for X3: Albion Prelude is be largely composed of content written by the AP Community Project, a group of high-profile X modders.
  • Yo-kai Watch 2 has two of its new Yo-kai created from fan submissions for a contasts: So-Sorree and Dracunyan.
    • Likewise, Yo-kai Watch 3 has Sighborg Y and Horizontail from a similar fan-submission contest.
  • The Last Stand update for Left 4 Dead 2 is a Valve endorsed patch content made by prominent members of the community. The update has a two map campaign based on a survival map from the first game, includes new melee weapons, more achievements, and tons of quality of life updates.

    Web Comics 
  • Drowtales writers' have created the system, where in to fill the ever increasing cast of character in their chapters, readers can pay to have their own original charactersnote  inserted into the story, to fulfill rules as extras, mooks or full on side characters.
  • This used to be the case for Bittersweet Candy Bowl, but Veronica was having problems when people wanted their characters taken out of the work, thus, she no longer puts any Original Characters into the comic.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: In one story arc for the Martian theme, the Martians force Ishmael out of his room so they can use his computer to invade the world, with no reason given other than, "We have to start somewhere." The actual reason for this is given in a winning Caption Contest entry, where the Martians are trying to bid on a Doomsday Machine at eBay. Of course, not all of the submitted entries revolve around their invasion plan, with some entries having the Martians use the computer for other purposes.
  • Supervillainous does this a lot
    • Pages:
      • #1 by Al Fukalek
      • #2 by Corey Kramer
      • #3 by Doug Curtis
      • #4 by F.T.Benjamins
      • #5 by Pandakidyj
      • #6 by Yalashanda
      • #7 by Amy that Jedi Girl
      • #8 by Otaku
    • Supervillains:
      • A.V. aka Alien Visitor by Trippitise
    • Superheros:
      • Habanero Devil by Justonalark
      • Blaze by Michael Foley and Mose Simon
      • Goofather by Gianluca Burdon
      • Wi-Fu by Yatu Xu
      • Alpha and Omega by Mose Simon
      • Germania by Caterina Schafer
      • Morf by Tippitise
      • Focus by Darius Drake
  • "A Brief Moment of Culture", aka "Jeffrey Wells's Very Long Narbonic Fanfic" was declared canon and serialised in the Sunday slot. This led to Jeff and Shaenon collaborating on Skin Horse.
  • Similarly, "The Last Temptation of Leslie Bean" by T. Campbell was a Shortpacked! fanfic which Willis declared canon and serialised on the site.
  • Skin Horse's topmost Kickstarter reward is "Arbiter of Reality", where the person gets to co-write a week of the strip. The two winners so far are Rob Reed with Wrinkle in Time and David Blake with Ghosts I Have Been.
  • As an Interactive Comic, Homestuck is full of this. Most main characters (the humans and trolls, in particular), were named by fan suggestions, and the comic has entire albums of fan-submitted music.
  • Tales To Behold has frequent guest appearances by Burst Lion, Ionic Angel, Ultimate Power, Cassandra, and Rockslab, all of whom were created by fans of the series.

    Web Original  

  • In Atop the Fourth Wall, Pollo's new robot design was decided by a submission contest. As was the theme song. Even the the songs that weren't picked got their due when being played as ending themes.
    • Later on, Linkara would expand this Patreon, allowing fans to pay to make him cover anything (within reason). Originally with four $50 slots, it sold out so fast that it was changed to two $100 slots instead. The ability to buy it opens up somewhat randomly and is first come first serve, but has led to episodes on everything from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines to Homestuck to Franken Fran. Surprisingly, more people use it to show him works they love than they do to torment him with terrible works.
  • The RiffTrax for Batman & Robin was of lines sent in by fans.
  • Similarly, the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Deadly Towers consists almost entirely of lines written by fans.
  • The CinemaSins video for Iron Man 3 consists entirely out of fan-submitted content.
  • How It Should Have Ended used fan-produced writing for the video "How The Amazing Spider-Man Should Have Ended". Similarly, fans wrote one scene for "How Iron Man 3 Should Have Ended'', specifically the scene when Tony meets the kid.
  • Nearly all canon content on Sagan 4 is submitted by fans to be reviewed before being added to canon, rather than being created only by an "official" crew. Although all contributors are considered a part of the "Sagan 4 team", this only signifies that a given person has contributed to canon at least once, and there is actually no restriction on who can participate nor is there any obligation for any member to continue submitting content.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged used gags written by fans in its 50th episode.
  • The infamous Retsupurae video 'Adults React to PewDiePie' consists of clips, submitted by Retsupurae fans, of PewDiePie's gameplay and commentary with a corner-cam of themselves supplying their (unimpressed) reactions to his antics. There's also 'A Day in the Life of DarkSydePhil', reenacting Phil's inability to do the most basic actions in games and his habit of blaming everything but himself, only applied to real life situations.
  • Many games crowd-funded on Kickstarter or similar sites offer the option of submitting content as perks for backers. Generally, this is something minor like naming NPCs.
  • Rooster Teeth held a contest for RWBY where fans were asked to design Velvet Scarlatina's battle gear. This was the winning design.
  • Many Darwin's Soldiers side-stories written by the other players/fans have become canonized.
  • Sips used the song "Stunt Crew" as the intro for "Rambling with Sips". He and Lewis Brindley also used a number of fanmade thumbnails for their joint channel, "Team Double Dragon".
  • The final episode of the Two Best Friends Play LP of The Punisher ends with a montage of submitted fanart of "Pun-Pun Kill-Chan", a Rule 63 version of The Punisher.
  • Sam & Mickey often get new story ideas from suggestions viewers make in comments.
  • Jacksfilms has Yesterday I Asked You, which is made up of fan-submitted answers to Jack's questions. There's also JackAsk, where viewers submit Q&A questions, and Your Grammar Sucks, where they submit poorly written comments for him to read.

    Western Animation  

  • The Beetlejuice ep "Brides of Funkenstein" was written by young fans.
  • Bob's Burgers: The creators held a fan-art contest, and used the backgrounds and character designs from over sixty different artists in the season eight premiere "Brunchsquatch", with the art style changing between scenes.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: Famously attempted as early as 1990. After the show had ended, a fan named David Walker submitted a complete episode script named "Miami Munks" to Disney as a possible season 4 episode. They turned it down for two reasons: For one, Disney didn't accept fan content. Besides, they had no intention to continue CDRR anyway. Instead of resigning, David must have understood quickly that Fan Fiction was the Rangers' future and published Miami Munks as the first CDRR fanfic, long before actual fanfic was written.
  • Dexter's Laboratory has an episode, "Dexter and Computress Get Mandark!", that looks like it was animated by a small child. The story was written, and narrated, by a young fan.note 
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures ep "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian" was written by young fans. Naturally, when Buster complains about the quality of the episode, he likens it to being written by 13-year-olds.
    Babs: 13-year-olds did write it.
    Buster: Oh, well, that explains it.
  • The Adventure Time episode “Jake vs. Me-Mow” featured a new character (Me-Mow) based on a drawing made by a young fan (used as the episode’s title card).
  • The Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Here's Mud In Your Ed" was inspired by Kit Topp, web-mistress of an Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy fan-site.
  • Pound Puppies (2010) had an episode with a puppy named Cinnamon. Wonder how that puppy got that name? Viewers had to vote for the name online.
  • Season 2 of Wander over Yonder introduced the "Galactic Villain Leaderboard" and Lord Hater's struggles to move to the top of the board. Many of the names on the board, as posted on story designer Frank Argones's Tumblr blog, are taken from OC villains created by fans.
  • When the second season of Futurama was being localized for Germany, suggestions for the episode titles were collected on de.rec.tv.futurama. And yes, several of them were actually used. They never did something like this again, however.
  • The creators of South Park asked fans to submit their Rule 34 fanart (yaoi specifically) of Tweek and Craig, already a highly popular fan pairing for a decade, promising to include some of the fan art in an upcoming episode... a few days later, they announced "Tweek x Craig", which featured many images submitted by fans. The pairing has been canon ever since, and collecting Yaoi images (these produced by the show's artists) was a side activity in South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode, "Keep Calm and Flutter On" was written by Teddy Antonio, who on IntenseDebate claims to be a fan who met Meghan McCarthy (the story editor of Season 3).
  • The staff at Arthur have poached Facebook for episode ideas, resulting in such episodes as "The Tattletale Frog" and "D.W. and Bud's Higher Purpose." A paraplegic character, Lydia Fox, was the winning entry in a contest to create and pitch a new character with a disability.
  • An In-Universe example in the Ready Jet Go! episode "Commander Cressida Story Contest". The prize for winning the titular story contest is to have your story in an official Commander Cressida comic.
  • An interesting case with Blaze and the Monster Machines crossing this over with So My Kids Can Watch. Jenna Dewann's character Bunny was inspired by a drawing her then 5-year-old daughter drew of a fan character for the show.
  • Fudêncio e Seus Amigos: In March 2007, a MTV Overdrive blog post asked fans to submit videos of persimmons being destroyed in absurd and strange ways, as an homage to the main character: the Born Unlucky, persimmon-headed Conrado. The favorite submissions were put into the episode "Concurso Destrua o Caqui" (lit. Contest Destroy the Persimmon). While the episode itself and most submissions are currently lost media, the winner video can be watched here.

 
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