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Periphery Demographic

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"I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story."
C. S. Lewis On Three Ways of Writing for Children

A notable bunch of audience members outside of the intended (i.e., marketed) demographic.

Western Animation has arguably been interwoven with this idea for most of its existence, and for a lot of reasons. First, the vast majority of what is produced is aimed at children and families. Second, despite more and more animation for older audiences being created, the only genre really represented is comedy (and usually of a darker, raunchier nature). And third, there's still a severe lack of Western cartoons specifically directed towards teenagers. As a result of all this, unless they only want to partake in the occasional independent film here and there, fans of the medium are guaranteed to find themselves watching a lot of content that isn't geared towards them (but probably has enough Parental Bonuses and good writing to make up for that).

Another very noticeable instance of this occurs in the anime fansub community. Digital recorders/encoders, which effectively remove the timeslot and language constraints to a program, make it accessible to anyone, and the series audience is largely drawn only by the perceived quality of the show itself as opposed to any marketing. Divorced from judgement-affecting advertising, a show packed with girls may be enough like "a show packed with girls" that the same fan will find themselves watching both, barely aware that said shows have wildly different target audiences. This likewise holds with male characters, who are often deliberately drawn as pretty boys in order to attract fangirls who were reading similar stories anyway (e.g., Bishōnen Jump Syndrome, because Shonen Jump was infamous for it). Sometimes this is taken a step further and you get a cleansed rough adaptation of the premise marketed directly to them.

It is also common for a popular franchise that is marketed towards children to gain an older fanbase if it's been around for a while; many of these older fans enjoyed it when they were young and simply never outgrew it. The companies making such shows may give little nods to the older fans (and sometimes even make new installments that cater exclusively to older fans). Some fans, perhaps because of these nods, seem not to realize that these popular kids' series are still made mainly for kids, and that doesn't change just because the older viewers are not kids anymore. Unfortunately, fans like these may cause negative stereotypes about nerd fanbases. See also Entertainment Below Their Age.

In another example that is similar to the above one, while the show might be targeted towards young boys or girls, those who are older and/or of the opposite sex may enjoy it instead and it may generate a large fandom (*AHEM!*), just to give one right off the bat as one of the more recent exaggerated examples of this occurring with a kids show.

Going in the opposite direction, a periphery demographic that is ''younger'' than the target demographic may arise from the fact that children and teenagers are liable to view media classifications as more a challenge than the warnings/suggestions they are. After all, engaging in media intended for mature audiences (like First-Person Shooter and Wide-Open Sandbox games) means that they can be considered mature themselves, right?

Can also be due to many demographics simply having wider ranges of interest than they're given credit for.

Series with strong marketing sense usually profit from being at least slightly aware of these fans, if not outright cultivating the work's newfound Multiple Demographic Appeal. Unfortunately, this creates the danger of an annoying Periphery Demographic being viewed as a Misaimed Fandom, if not outright Fan Dumb.

Also, some fans within a show's main demographic may consider the work in question a Guilty Pleasure.

When the Periphery Demographic is in another country, then you've got Germans Love David Hasselhoff. For a specific type of Periphery Demographic, see Estrogen Brigade, Testosterone Brigade, LGBT Fanbase, Popular with Furries. If a fandom forms around media that was not intended for entertainment purposes in the first place, it's Fun for Some. Compare Misaimed Fandom and Just Here for Godzilla. Contrast Periphery Hatedom.

In-Universe Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Discussed in Bakuman。. Mashiro and Takagi, desperate to turn around their manga Detective Trap's declining popularity, decide to incorporate suggestions from fan letters, most of whom are written by females. Their editor Miura, however, immediately notices that something's up and calls them in for a meeting, telling them that while they do have female fans, said fans are here for shonen manga, and it's ultimately up to them to deliver the kind of story their fans are expecting. Mashiro and Takagi heed Miura's advice, but are ultimately unable to save Detective Trap.
  • In Chainsaw Man (manga only), Denji and Power (two older teenagers) can be seen reading CoroCoro Comic, a kodomomuke magazine for children.
  • Konata, the Otaku Surrogate from Lucky Star, is a teenage girl who's fond of Eroges aimed at an adult male demographic. She's also generally fond of anime, manga and games aimed at a male audience, which she says is due to the influence of her father, who's a huge Otaku himself.
  • In New Game!, the Show Within a Show Moon Rangers is targeted to children. However even the producers noticed its adult fanbase, so the concert discussed in Chapter 45/S2E04 has two sessions—an afternoon session for the children, and an evening session geared towards the adults.
  • You could say this is an important plot point in Super Dimension Fortress Macross and its Robotech adaptation: the reason many of the Zentraedi defect (the turning point in the war) is because of their exposure to human culture... including the fact that many of them are Minmay fans. (Also inverted, given that her songs basically turn into psychological warfare when used on unexposed Zentraedi...)
  • In one of the episodes of Vicky the Viking, the protagonist's father secretly listened to a children's story about a girl since he found it very touching.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman has watched Sailor Moon, or at least knows enough about it to recognize when the Martian Manhunter was using Sailor Mars's name for an alias.
  • In the Hooky graphic novel, Spider-Man calls Doctor Strange for information on the strange girl he meets, and what a "tordenkakerlack" (a word she mentions) is. Strange isn't home, and Wong doesn't know who she is, but Wong does say the word sounds like something the Swedish Chef would say. As Spidey webs home, he says to himself that he never took Doc's right hand man to be a tube-watcher. Or to have a sense of humor. (Then he suddenly remembers an old Swedish — wait no, Norwegian family from Aunt May's neighborhood.)
  • It's often a running gag that Doctor Doom knows something about pop culture, mainly because the idea of Doctor Doom having an interest in anything is bizarre in itself.
    • A team-up with Spidey has Peter making a Star Trek reference, which Doom corrects him on, much to Peter's surprise.
    • Mighty Avengers: During a time travel incident, Iron Man sarcastically makes a Planet of the Apes reference. Doom agrees with him, giving Tony a moment's pause at the thought of Doom having watched the film in the first place.
  • In Love and Rockets, Doralis's kids' show develops a big adult male Periphery Demographic purely because of how hot she is. Then subverted when, after her lesbianism is publicly revealed and Heteronormative Crusaders destroy her career as a children's celebrity, the channel tries to continue it virtually unchanged in a late-night time slot as an adult show and discovers that the Periphery Demographic isn't big enough to sustain it.
  • The Mighty Thor: Since the mid-10s, Loki's been depicted as a fan of Daft Punk.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, 4*Town is a Boy Band whose primary fans are teen girls but the movie proper shows teen guys like Devon and Tyler are also fans and the end credits scene shows their music can appeal to adults as well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Nine Months, elementary school-aged kids, with the oldest being ten, are fans of a Barney-like show. Kids that age don't tend to watch preschool shows.
  • UHF uses this in-universe. Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse, a typical Saturday morning kid's show, ends up with more than kids wanting to see it.
  • In The Banana Splits Movie, the only adults at the live Banana Splits show who aren't parents of the kids there are Thadd and Poppy, a pair of social media stars who love the show about as much as they love each other. Unfortunately, their love of the show isn't enough to save Thadd when the Splits go on a rampage, since their faulty programming leads to them wanting to kill all the adults in the studio.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules: Rowley, a middle schooler who's 11 at the youngest, goes to Europe and gets hooked on an Idol Singer named Joshie. Greg points out that Joshie is for 6-year-old girls, but is rebuffed by Rowley when he tells him this. The same book also has Rowley get Dino-Blazer toys and enjoy them.
  • Central to the premise of Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte is Love Me Magically!, a Romance Game targeted at straight females. The titular Endo is a straight male, and only attempted it because his crush Kobayashi is a big fan of the game, but eventually, he also gets emotionally invested in it.
  • Oreimo
    • This trope is central to the premise. Kirino, a 14-year-old girl, unexpectedly loves playing little sister-themed H-Games due to liking the incredibly cute character designs.
    • Kirino is also a fan of Stardust Witch Meruru, a Magical Girl anime that is aimed at little girls and that has a huge fanbase of grown men.
  • An episode of Outbreak Company mentions this with Minori's favorite soccer anime, which turned out to be a case of Bishōnen Jump Syndrome.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stereotypical alpha-nerd Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory is a fan of Taylor Swift, enjoys Tuvan throat singing, and describes Pride and Prejudice as "a flawless masterpiece."
  • Jack Hodgins from Bones is revealed in the episode "The Bone in the Bounty" to be a fan of children's shows and Bill Nye Expy Bunsen Jude the Science Dude. When told "you're a bit older than my usual audience", he explains that it was a drinking game.
  • Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer avidly watches the daytime soap opera Passions.
  • Cheers: One episode has Frasier managing to get the barflies into Charles Dickens, though not without taking a lot of liberties.
  • The Master in Doctor Who has been shown twice enjoying children's TV shows such as The Clangers and Teletubbies. Both times he seemed to think that the bizarre creatures featured were highly advanced lifeforms. Later, Missy (a female incarnation of the Master) casually mentioned the 'windows' from Play School, cementing his/her reputation as a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Josh from Drake & Josh is obsessed with The Oprah Winfrey Show, a show targeted towards a female audience. It shows how he is In Touch with His Feminine Side.
  • Frasier: The Crane Brothers are quite surprised to find their blue-collar ex-police dad enjoys watching Antiques Roadshow. (Marty likes watching the appraisals.) It results in a scene of all three of them making a drinking game of it.
  • In Good Luck Charlie, P.J. and Skyler, both of whom are in their late teens, are huge fans of The Gurgles, a show aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Home Improvement has the Show Within a Show "Tool Time" that Tim hosts on local access TV, a DIY show also serving as advertisement for their sponsor Binford Tools. This serves as both Leaning on the Fourth Wall regarding the main show as well as discuss this trope several times over.
    • The banter between Tim and his assistant Al along with regular Doom It Yourself disasters earned the show a following among people who normally don't watch home repair shows, with a Running Gag that anyone who recognizes Tim from the show really like Al. Tim also sometimes overhypes on who, exactly, is watching the show and was concerned his teenage sons were getting bothered at school by peers asking questions about recent special event projects.
    • As Tim is hoping to go into Syndication in different regions, his boss said that Al's popularity actually skewed towards older women and not the target audience more likely to buy their tools. Tim had to fight to keep Al because their dynamic made the show work overall. Heidi, the Ms. Fanservice Tool Girl, scored higher than Santa Claus.
    • One episode focused on Tim creating a special episode to sell the show to a Swedish channel that expressed interest, creating their first foreign language dub. As it turns out, Slapstick was surprisingly universal.
  • In House, the titular character is an avid fan of the (fictional) medical soap opera Prescription: Passion and of the (equally fictional) children's book series Jack Cannon the Boy Detective.
  • In New Girl, Nick is the author of the Pepperwood Chronicles, which is a book series aimed at adult fans of detective fiction, but instead it attracts an unexpected fanbase of teenage girl shippers who are invested in Jessica Knight and Julius Pepperwood's Will They or Won't They? relationship.
  • In Oz, many of the prison inmates watch an educational children's Show Within a Show called Miss Sally's Schoolyard, because the titular host is very attractive (they're especially fond of her large breasts).
  • Dave Lister from the British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf is a self-professed fan of Spot the Dog. He's also a big fan of Casablanca, despite being a typically bloke-ish Scouser.
  • In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Zach, a college student, is a fan of PAW Patrol and claims to quote the show to calm himself down.

    Video Games 
  • In Little Busters!, 17-year-old Kyousuke loves reading sports manga intended for ten-year-old boys, highlighting his childlike, optimistic personality.
  • Phoenix Wright chides his assistant Maya (17) for enjoying The Steel Samurai, a Sentai show that she readily admits is marketed at 10-year-olds. Later games also reveal that Miles Edgeworth is as much of a rabid fan, if not more so, than Maya herself, despite being in his mid-20s. Must be an attorney thing. On a related note, Phoenix has the show's theme tune as his ringtone, implying even he likes the show (even if he doesn't want to admit it). He still has this ringtone as of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, a game that takes place after the time skip introduced within Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
    • As revealed in the second game, Justice For All, The Steel Samurai's Sequel Series, The Nickel Samurai, is said to be popular with office ladies due to being about forbidden love. Its rival show, the Jammin' Ninja, is popular with high school girls for being a pop-music based love story.
  • Likewise, Chiaki of Ensemble Stars! is a big Sentai fan, so much so that the Ryuuseitai idol group is explicitly based on a sentai team, and their performances often look more like stunt shows than concerts. Keito also has a secret love of shoujo manga, despite being a Stoic Spectacles character in basically every other way.
  • In Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE, the Magical Girl anime Dia Witch Iroha is aimed at young girls but said to also be popular among adults. Barry Goodman, a 35-year-old American man, is one such fan.


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • The SuperMarioLogan movie series has this in spades:
    • In the episodes of the show prior to "Bowser Junior's House Fire!", Junior slept in a pink bedroom with a Frozen-themed bedspread (which was a Minnie Mouse bedspread in some videos, like "Bowser Junior's Summer School!"), and also had lots of girl toys in his playroom.
    • The episode "Bowser Junior's Annoying Toy!", has Bowser Junior get a ball popper toy from a garbage dump and enjoy it, much to the annoyance of Chef Pee Pee.
    • Cody, one of Bowser Junior's friends, always carries around a Ken doll with him, thinking he is sexy.
      • In the "Bowser Junior's First Grade!" series of videos, Cody has a Hello Kitty notebook.
    • At the beginning of "Bowser Junior's Clown Car!", Bowser goes through his box of items from his senior year of high school (1985), one of which is a Barney the Dinosaur doll. When Junior questions him, Bowser claims that Barney was cool back then, but maybe not now. note 
    • In "Jeffy's Bedtime!", Jeffy is revealed to sleep in a toddler bed with a Minnie Mouse bedspread (the same one seen in the aforementioned "Bowser Junior's Summer School!" video) and wear matching Minnie Mouse pajamas.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Arthur revolved around Arthur (who is in the third grade and eight years old) being both thrilled that Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fame was going to visit the family and terrified that his classmates would make fun of him for still loving a "baby show". It turns out that the classmates also all still love the show.
    • Another episode showed Arthur developing an interest in the trippy children's show Love Ducks, and enduring the mockery of his classmates. However, they soon watched Love Ducks, and ended up liking it as well.
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "The Equestranauts", Tina is a fan of the eponymous magical talking horse adventures show, and she and her dad are equally surprised to find there's a massive following of adult male fans who call themselves "Equest-icles".
  • Fairly OddParents:
    • When first introduced, Chip Skylark's fans were exclusively teenage girls..."and Timmy Turner's Dad."
    • Francis is apparently a huge fan of Britney Britney, a parody of Britney Spears, even having several posters of her in his room.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Chick Cancer", Lois drags Peter to a chick flick. While he hates the idea beforehand, he loves the movie so much that he decides to make his own.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Inconveniencing", Grunkle Stan gets stuck watching a drama on the Black-and-White Period-Piece Old-Lady Boring Movie Channel called The Duchess Approves, but ends up really getting into it.
    Stan: It's just like my life... in a way.
  • The Grojband episode "No Strings Attached" reveals Corey to be a fan of The Bubble Bunch Band, a really kiddy animatronic show targeted towards small children.
  • In Invader Zim, little kids loved Bloaty, the mascot of Bloaty's Pizza Hog, despite his grotesque appearance. However, despite being a tween, Gaz seems to be his biggest fan since she loves piggies, and it's hinted that she actually wants to see him in-person since she never got a chance when she was younger.
    • There's also the short-lived "Pig Girl", who was mainly aimed towards young children, but was able to receive enough fans (who were teens and adults) to have a whole movie dedicated to her!
  • In Kim Possible, Cuddle Buddies are a Wuzzles/Beanie Baby knock-off that attracts the attention of the 15-year-old Kim as well as the 30-something villain DNAmy. As Kim gets older, 17-18 by the show's end, it's implied she hasn't grown out of them.
    • A very rare variety is mentioned at one point, implying that the manufacturer is marketing to adult collectors as well as children.
  • The Loud House: In "Deal me Out", Lincoln and Clyde begin to wonder if they have outgrown their favorite comic book hero Ace Savvy, but ultimately decide they still like him and go to a Fan Convention. Once there, they learn that even some kids from Lori's class still love Ace Savvy despite being years outside the target demographic.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight accidentally brainwashes half the town into being obsessed with her old "Miss Smarty Pants" doll in a desperate attempt to come up with something for her weekly friendship report to Princess Celestia. Even after the magic is dispelled, Big Macintosh is still obsessed with the doll... doubles as a Fandom Nod since the doll, like My Little Pony toys in general, was girl-oriented intended (and like most bronies, Big Mac is male).
    • Early in season 1, Spike (the boy baby dragon) is secretly enthusiastic about attending the Grand Galloping Gala, even though he openly considers it "girly gala gunk". This is quite serendipitous considering it was written long before the show gathered the male fanbase it became famous for.
  • The Owl House: Luz says that the Good Witch Azura books are written for ages six to eleven, but she and Amity are fourteen and huge fans of the series (in fact, they seem to be the only fans of the series in the entirety of the Demon Realm). This is also Reality Subtext - The Owl House itself is aimed at ages six to eleven like the rest of Disney Channel programming, but most of the fans are teenagers and young adults, something that the show staff is very much aware of.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Candace, who is 15 years old and a fan of "Ducky Momo" (shown in a later episode to be roughly equivalent to Dora the Explorer). She even gets a touching song dedicated to her love of it and the fact that other people can't understand why a teenager likes it. By the end of the episode—"Nerds of a Feather"—she's found out and realizes that it's not too big a deal to like something outside of her age range. Rather amusing, since Phineas and Ferb has been listed under real-world examples of this trope.
  • On Regular Show, an 80s band called Fist Pump, who cater more to children, was shown to have an audience almost entirely of adults. Given the show's own audience, it might be an in-joke.
  • Rugrats: In one of the episodes, the whole family goes to the movies to watch the latest "Dummi Bears" movie. The children (and grandpa) lose interest quickly, while the rest of the adults become enraptured.
    • In another episode, they go to see a Reptar On Ice show (with a very cheesy Romantic Plot Tumor). The kids go off in search of Reptar, Didi and Stu fall asleep, and Grandpa actually gets into it.
    • Once the parents were visiting the Carmichael's when the creator of the show was over for dinner. The poor man spent the whole dinner fielding questions about the show by the enrapt adults. When Chaz admitted to being sick with worry when "Jelly Bear caught the gloomies", he finally explodes with, "What is wrong with you people???"
    • In yet another episode, Mafia boss Jack Montello is revealed to be an obsessed Dummi Bears fan.
    • Following into All Grown Up!, it is shown in one episode that Kimi (now 10-11) still enjoys watching the Dummi Bears, and is terrified at the thought of anyone finding out.
  • The Simpsons,
    • When temporarily put in charge of a kindergarten class, Professor Frink turns out to be one of these for those colorful "ball popper" push toys that are usually aimed at toddlers, to the extent that he refuses to let the children play with it. It's the compression and expansion of the longitudinal waves that appeals to him. And the colors.
      Professor Frink: No, you can't play with it. You won't enjoy it on as many levels as I do.
    • Millhouse is a big fan of the Teletubbies and was shown to own some of their products.
    • Moe gets choked up when reading Little Women at the homeless shelter.
      • In a much later episode, the Gang of Bullies Jimbo, Kearney, and Dolph are read the same book by Bart; they get quite emotionally invested in it.
    • In "I Am Furious (Yellow)", when Skinner is trying to get a better volunteer to talk about their career, Lisa suggests the creator of Danger Dog, which she says is popular with kids and adults.
    • In "Bart on the Road", Nelson turns out to be a huge Andy Williams fan.
  • On the 1980s run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), Krang is a murderous alien blob who works with the Shredder to try and rule the world. In his down time, however, he enjoys watching melodramatic soap operas, and frequently weeps over the stories.
  • South Park:
    • The main four boys are grade schoolers. While they're fans of series aimed at their age group like The Avengers or Terrance and Philip, the boys do show interest in media aimed for adults. Notably, Cartman's a fan of the movies Scarface and The Passion of the Christ (the latter being a plot point where he leads a cult based around Mel Gibson).

Real Life Examples:

Examples Subpages:

Other Examples

  • Whenever you watch a TV show, whether it's live-action or animation, and whether it's traditionally or streaming, have you ever noticed those advertisements for life insurance, arthritis medicine, the AARP, and other related products and services? This is because no matter what you're watching, there will be at least a small amount of elderly people among its audience, but not so small that advertising to them is meaningless. The prevailing method of them finding a show is by stumbling across it looking for something to watch, so whatever show you're watching, there have been at least a few elderly people who found it by chance and happened to like it enough to keep watching. Contrary to stereotypes about old people and television, these elderly people actually are paying attention to the show and understanding it, meaning Grandma may be the household's expert on Attack on Titan or Orange Is the New Black.

    Animation — Other 
  • Fantadroms is a Latvian cartoon from the 80s that's popular with furries, due to the main characters being Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot cats.
  • Happy Heroes is a Chinese cartoon for children, but has a sizable teen and adult fanbase due to its fast-paced style of humor, likeable characters, and intriguing (and sometimes surprisingly dark) lore.
  • Outside of its main target audience (preschool demographics), Masha and the Bear is enjoyed by animation enthusiasts who love the intricate details, the wonderfully colorful animation and some good Slapstick. After a while, the YouTube channel started adding "Cartoon for kids of all ages".
  • Noonbory and the Super 7, an obscure Korean cartoon aimed at preschoolers, began gaining a small following of teenagers in the late 2010s due to its moe characters and unique premise. Many of these fans have cried for it to be uncanceled for these reasons.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf is for children, but has some older fans if you know where to look. Some of its older fans in China grew up with the series and now have nostalgic memories of it.

    Card Games 
  • The Rush Duel spin-off of Yu-Gi-Oh! was meant as a way to make Yu-Gi-Oh! appeal to a new generation in a way that the OCG just didn't anymore. It features an eye-catching and minimalist new card layout and a highly simplified and less restrictive ruleset compared to conventional Yu-Gi-Oh!. However, it quickly caught the favor of many adults in Asia and also became fairly popular among Western adults despite not being released in any official capacity there until December 2021. This was due to the incentive for Konami to be far more conservative in their game design decisions since presumably the small children Rush Duels are aimed at don't have bottomless wallets like their adult counterparts. Konami eventually decided to acknowledge Rush Duels' adult fanbase by expanding the "Legend Card" mechanic. Initially, Legend Cards were exclusively iconic cards from the iconic 2000 anime adaptation of the original manga to appeal to the children, but eventually they started including cards that only adults who played the OCG during the Early 2000's would recognize such as "The Creator", "Levia Dragon - Daedalus", and "Millennium Shield".
    • The original TCG fell to this as well, initially being aimed at the audience of kids that followed the anime/manga, but quickly gaining a large playerbase of adults. The introduction of Rush Duels and the anime series switching its focus to that was basically an admission by Konami that the TCG had become a game for grown-ups.

    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel Transformers Generation 1 comic would occasionally get letters from parents who admitted to reading their kids' comics after dropping the young 'uns off at school. One wonders how the kids would feel if their friends happened to read that letter.
  • For a line marketed mostly to 5- to 12-year-old boys, the Marvel Adventures comics have a pretty decently-sized internet fanbase of mostly adults. This can be attributed almost entirely to the fact that the comics are both A) excellently written, and B) fun. Readers wanting an escape from the Romantic Plot Tumors and Anyone Can Die mentalities of the 616 and Ultimate continuities are also a factor here.
  • In the same vain, there's Tiny Titans on the DC side of the fence.
  • Chick Tracts may or may not be an example — their target demographic is evangelical Christians, but said Christians are supposed to use them as witnessing tools to convert non-Christians... the very people who are the biggest "fans" of the tracts — but for other reasons. Even among Christians these tracts have gained notoriety. Mainly the only churches still using them are isolated rural community churches who believe any contradictory statements to those made by Jack Chick must be Satanic lies. Even the provably false stuff like what your average Dungeons & Dragons game looks like.
  • Batman:
  • The Disney Ducks have traditionally been aimed at children; however, PKNA gained a decent college-age fanbase.
    • In Germany the Disney Ducks (or at least Lustiges Taschenbuch) are popular with many demographics. This is due to the way comic book writing is handled there. Anyone could write for the comic series, with almost no rules as to what the content should be. This is why you could get some very traditional kiddy fare coupled with detective stories, romance, superhero stories and detailed metafictional stories about the economy in the same comic compilation (though the stories in general would have the same protagonist).
  • Unintentionally invoked by Jhonen Vasquez. Kids who loved Invader Zim would eventually look for other things created by Vasquez. Unfortunately, these other things included a comic series about a homicidal maniac. Somehow, the title still didn't deter kids from reading it. Disastrous results occurred.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side gained a substantial following among biologists and other scientists, most particularly for cartoonist Gary Larson's humorous yet accurate depictions of anthropomorphic animals. Larson, himself a wilderness buff, was especially gratified by this, especially when one of his fans arranged to have a species of chewing louse named after him.
    • And as a further Shout-Out, when a paleontologist realized that no scientist had ever actually given a name to the bunch of bone spikes on a stegosaur's tail, he proceeded to start using the name given to them by the one guy who had thought about it: thus the growing usage of thagomizer in the paleontological community.
    • Following one cartoon that involved a female chimp accusing a male chimp of "hanging around with that Goodall tramp", Larson got a bunch of hate-mail from people who resented the implication on Jane Goodall's behalf — and a letter from Goodall herself, telling him that she thought the cartoon was hilarious and that she was honored to have been featured. Goodall, who was a long-time fan of The Far Side, enjoyed the cartoon so much that she invited Larson to her nature reserve in Tanzania and wrote the preface for a collection of Far Side comics that included the cartoon. Her institute also recently began selling a T-shirt with that same cartoon on it.
      • And in the first known instance of interspecies Periphery Hatedom, Frodo, Goodall's alpha male chimp, proceeded to beat the snot out of poor Gary Larson. Jane Goodall recounted the experience in the above preface.
  • Baby Blues, a domestic family strip which has always had at least one baby in it, is supposedly popular among loads of baby-less fans... even teenage girls.
  • Calvin and Hobbes is ostensibly aimed at children (a person at Watterson's syndicate once referred to it as Doonesbury for kids). Despite this, since its inception it's had a HUGE number of adult and teenage fans, who find it well-written, funny, and witty. Of course, given that a LOT of jokes and social commentary in the series would be incomprehensible to most young readers, it might be more accurate to say the demographic is "anyone who loves great Sequential Art".

    Fan Works 
  • According to this tumblr post, fanfiction is wildly popular among, of all people, draft dodgers in Israeli prison, to the extent of trading cigarettes for a copy, presumably at least partially as a consequence of the inmates not having access to the real thing.
  • Heart In Hand started out as a Real-Person Fic that shipped hockey players Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin but unexpectedly gained such a large number of readers from outside the hockey RPF who didn't realize that the characters were real-life people but still enjoyed the well-written gay romance that the author eventually uploaded a public version of the fic that changed the characters' names and teams for readers unfamiliar with hockey.


  • What does a toy train set/LEGO bricks and a pair of breasts have in common? They're supposed to be for small children, but daddy sometimes plays with them too.

  • Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is considered by many to be far too dark and depressing for the children who make up most of its readership. It's essentially a Black Comedy about different ways the author can torment children and the unusual ways supporting characters can be killed. It's one of those books you'll often see teens and adults picking up for themselves, possibly not allowing their own children to read them until they are mature enough that it won't give them nightmares.
  • Harry Potter. The original series was intended for children and adolescents, but the series quickly caught on with adults as well. Different covers were created specifically to market the books toward adults. However, author JK Rowling designed the series specifically to avoid alienating fans who had grown up by the time it was completed. Each book grows progressively more mature, "growing up" with the reader.
  • The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer, aimed at teenage girls, have a significant overlap with the romance novel demographic of middle-aged women (so-called "Twi-moms"). And the Hatedom continues to buy books just so they can mock them.
    • It also has a huge gay fanbase, which is perhaps less surprising than the fact that not all of them are there for the shirtless men. Many on the internet speculate that if Jacob and Edward had been the couple of the series instead, it would've been far more interesting. Or Alice and Bella.
    • Ironically, and in seeming direct opposition to the above, the series has a very receptive audience among conservative/fundamentalist Christians in the United States, (especially the Church of Latter-Day Saints, of which Stephanie Meyer is a member), not exactly the typical demographic for teen paranormal romance, because they appreciate the conservative religious messages about sex and marriage that the series promotes.
  • Everyone who reads Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a Periphery Demographic according to either the author (who planned it as a The Wonder Years-type nostalgia trip for adults) or the publisher (whose idea it was to market it as a kids' book).
  • The Hunger Games is an interesting example of what happens when you ignore the periphery demographic. Marketed as a gritty dystopia, its romantic subplot attracted a large number of young female fans (particularly after Stephenie Meyer endorsed the series.) When the final book dropped most of the romance to focus in on the dystopian elements, fans still bought it — they just complained about it on the internet. Now the franchise's female fan base is much larger than its male one.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has a very large fanbase of older fans of high school and college age (as well as librarians and parents) who picked up the series and stuck with it not only for its clever humor and being based on the idea of the Mythology Gag, but also because of its surprisingly deep character development and realistic responses to certain situations. It's a rare mixture of regular young teen action/adventure novels mixed with older demographic drama.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Warriors is aimed at 10-year-olds, but the average age of a fan on the site Warriors Wish is 18.
    • Warriors has a large following amongst artists thanks to its simple character designs — if you can draw one cat, you can draw most of the literal hundreds of canon characters by drawing that same cat in different sizes and colors, and the naming system used for most characters makes coming up with valid names for fan characters easy. There's a disproportionately large group of fan-artists and fan-animators amongst the fandom, to the point that it serves as a common Gateway Series for online animation communities.
  • Since their creation in the late 1920's, it's always been a given that Nancy Drew is "for girls" and the The Hardy Boys are "for boys." However, since there is very little difference between the series besides the names of the main characters, the two fandoms have a large amount of overlap (in fact, Nancy was actually created because so many girls read the Hardy Boys; they saw a large untapped market). Nowadays, there's also a large periphery of older fans who read for nostalgia as well.
  • The vast majority of the remaining Animorphs fandom consists of adults who read the series as kids back in the '90's.
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss is an extremely popular gift to give kids upon graduating high school.
  • It seems unlikely that Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables expecting it to garner a large fanbase of teenage and twentysomething women.
  • The Hank the Cowdog series was originally written with adults (particularly those who had worked on ranches) in mind. The books became incredibly popular with children.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of the most-read books by American servicemen in World War II.
  • Pride and Prejudice was also widely enjoyed by British servicemen.
  • The children's book series Rainbow Magic has developed a small periphery demographic purely because it's been going since 2003 and doesn't show signs of stopping. Many of the children whose parents read them these fairy-based stories when they were young have grown up in that time, with quite a notable proportion still being fans to this day, despite every new book in the series being more or less the same story with a new coat of paint due to being aimed at kids who grow out of the intended audience quickly.
  • Stan and Jan Berenstain, the creators of The Berenstain Bears, were fairly secular (Stan was Jewish, Jan was Episcopalian) and hesitated to incorporate religion into their books, feeling that it would alienate readers. Regardless, their books were extremely popular with Christian families who liked the values they promoted, such that, when their son Mike took over the series in 2008, he started writing explicitly Christian stories to appeal to them.
  • The Babysitters Club has a small but active fanbase amongst adults, mainly those who read them as kids in the 1980s through 2000s. Attempts to revitalize the series for newer generations haven't gone very well.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is meant to be a quirky children's series but it's arguably more popular with adults. Many essays and books have been written about the story and its themes. There's also a lot of people who use drugs and connect with the stories. As a result, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland are constantly referenced in media and it has received many Grimmifications.
  • Land of Oz was aimed at kids but it has garnered both a LGBT Fanbase and a fandom amongst adult women for its Feminist Fantasy world.
  • Nevermoor is aimed at middle school aged children, but some of its most vocal and passionate fans are teenagers and adults, and there's also a sizable LGBT Fanbase attached. With all the worldbuilding, political storytelling, and complex characters, there's a lot for people older than the target audience to enjoy.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Jesus Was Way Cool could be considered a sub-trope of this, since it involves non-Christians expressing appreciation for Jesus and his teachings.
  • The LDS Church encourages members to research their family history, due to their belief that deceased people can be baptized by proxy, and has built numerous resources such as the website FamilySearch to help with this. Due to how comprehensive and convenient these services are, they are also popular with non-Mormons who are interested in researching their geneology.

    Print Media 
  • The free automobile magazines Auto Exchange and Auto Freeway (which competed with one another) are extremely popular amongst both automobile enthusiasts and graphic designers.

  • Cirqus Voltaire is somewhat polarizing to most players, but it has a very enthusiastic following within the gay community. Designer John Popadiuk guesses they like the "happy music and bright colors".
  • Time Fantasy was developed for all-age play in family fun centers, but test machines ended up attracting an older audience, as parents were playing it while their children played the ticket-vending games.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • On the DVD Commentary track for CHIKARA The Renaissance Dawnsnote , Mike Quackenbush noted that, since the original CHIKARA Wrestle Factory in Allentown, PA was behind a Comic Book store, comic book fans would come in to watch the shows. They didn't react, not because they didn't enjoy the action, but, due to not being wrestling fans, they didn't know how to react.

  • British radio show Cabin Pressure is a fairly gentle and traditional Radio 4 comedy, Radio 4's audience being memetically middle-aged, middle-class and terribly English. Presumably thanks to the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch in the cast (as well as the program being good enough to sustain a devoted following), the show has attracted quite a fandom on the notably international, all-comers, young people jamboree that is Tumblr.
  • Adventures in Odyssey is a Christian radio show about kids going on wacky adventures in a small, devoutly Christian Midwestern town, yet has fans of all ages and faiths for its clever humor and not being overly aggressive in pushing its Christian values. It has even gained a following amongst the detractors of Focus on the Family, the Christian advocacy group that produces the show.
  • Australian radio station TripleJ has a large one. Though intended to cater to Australian youth 18-34, many of its most vocal listeners grew up with the station and its music. This can lead to plenty of Nostalgia Filter and constant whining over the year's Hottest 100, leading to the saying, "If you don't enjoy TripleJ anymore, you're too old!" The Internet and The New '10s gave them another one: non-Australians. Early in the last decade, votes for the Hottest 100 ranged in the hundreds of thousands. Starting in 2009, the total was around a billion, or about one-seventh of the Earth's population!! Hottest 100 parties are now thrown all over the world. Not bad for an indie music station.
  • Similarly, BBC Radio One caters to the youth market, but has an older listener base who also likes to complain about the new music.

  • Tons of people who used Windows XP Professional edition were home users, instead of business users as originally intended. This one can be blamed on Technology Marches On. In the early years, there were software houses that released software that outright refused to install if it detected that the version of Windows installed was not XP Professional (IBM with Rational Rose and DataStage comes to mind). Yes, there are people who take their work home, particularly if there's a looming deadline and they're not allowed to stay at the office overnight, and there are companies evil enough to not provide a laptop to the employee if they need to take their work home. Later, when multi-core CPUs hit the market, it was discovered that Windows XP Home was crippled to the point where it supported only one core in one CPU, nothing more. As far as Windows XP is concerned, each core is a separate CPU. Sure, Device Manager shows two CPUs on a dual core machine, but Task Manager shows only one CPU, and does not provide any options to map CPU affinity.

    Another important advantage of Windows XP Professional is that it has a very good MS-DOS compatibility. So you can use it for doing serious things like writing programs or controlling self-made hardware and connect to the Internet without having to reboot or use another computer simultaneously. (You can also connect to the Internet with FreeDOS but it's currently quite buggy.) As long you are Administrator, you can access most hardware directly, without access violations. This is also important for some commercial devices for burning PROMS or microcontrollers because they also use the COM port directly (and don't support Linux). Further you can redirect datastreams to COM and LPT ports, bypassing the Windows printer driver. This is very useful if one writes programs and wants to print several headers (*.H,*.ASH,...) on the same piece of paper or have a dot matrix printer. The Windows printer driver always adds pagefeeds so one would waste plenty paper using it. Under Windows XP Professional you can simply send data to ports with commands like "TYPE VGA.ASH >LPT1". The only annoying thing is that Windows XP doesn't recon the \\DEV\\ directory (as opposed to true DOSes).
  • Because Windows ME was such a horribly buggy operating system, a lot of home users settled for Windows 2000 instead, which was similarly intended for business users.
  • Windows 10 Education has non-educational users due to it feeling more like a "clean" version of 10, with its lack of bloatware and ads.
  • Related to this, the "Server" versions of Windows have started becoming popular among a segment of home users into The New '10s and The New Twenties, as they're essentially the same operating system as the desktop equivalents under the hood with a few extra tools. They can be easily configured to hide the server bits and run almost-exactly like the equivalent desktop edition (to the extent that, with a bit of tweaking, you couldn't tell the difference between a PC running Windows 10 and one running Windows Server 2019 unless you looked in the System Properties), with greater control over updates and the snooping "telemetry" aspects; and without any of the bloatware Metro apps, advertising or in-your-face pushing of Cortana that some deride Windows 10 for. They also follow a traditional every-few-years release cycle like older Windows versions, which helps endear them to anyone who isn't a fan of Windows 10's enforced "feature upgrades".
  • For similar reasons, the LTSC edition of Windows 10 (which is a long term support edition of Enterprise) has some popularity among private users as it too lacks the bloatware of the home editions and does not get any feature updates.
  • Adobe Photoshop was originally targeted at the professional market segment only and was priced accordingly. But the vast number of home users pirating it for private use, like Fauxtivational Poster, made Adobe realize this marked potential and led to the release of the much more affordable Photoshop Elements line.
  • General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPU) is essentially this. It basically consists of tricking video chips into performing calculations on data other than images. Technology which was originally designed solely to create cool graphics for video gamers now becomes interesting for use in systems which usually don't even have video output, like high performance supercomputing clusters. Although it's become more popular in recent years, the basic idea has been around for quite a while: there were people writing number-crunching programs to run on the graphics hardware of Evans & Sutherland graphical workstations at least as far back as the 1980s, because it was much faster than doing the same thing on the CPU, especially for tasks that parallelized well.
  • UNIX-based OSes are often seen as intended for programmers and other geeks who have in-depth knowledge of how to use them, but are gaining in popularity among casual users who simply want an alternative to Microsoft and Apple, or for ideological reasons (FLOSS).
    • Mac OS X (along with iOS) is in fact UNIX-based. It's more or less a front-end for the Darwin OS, which is itself a descendant of both UNIX and Free BSD. Also, from the perspective of the console, the file system and command structure of Mac OS X is obviously UNIX. While Darwin is largely open source, proprietary UNIX distributions do exist (i.e. HP-UX, pre-2005 Solaris). In any case, starting with Mac in particular can be a good way to ascend from casual userdom to geek level. While Mac OS X is intended for nontechnical users, a number of programmers have adopted it because of the previously mentioned UNIX underpinnings.
    • In fact all usages of Linux on PCs or embedded systems are cases of periphery demographics, because Linux was initially intended as a Unix clone and Unix only ran on large computers like mainframes and servers (home computers used CP/M or MS-DOS). But Technology Marches On and now every PC with an 80386 or higher and other microprocessors which support some kind of protected mode can run Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. A lot of people who run Linux at home do so for similar reasons as people who run pro or server editions of Windows: the want extra features or extra robustness over the home version of Windows.
  • Windows Movie Maker 2.6 is available for download on Microsoft's website, and is meant for people whose computers couldn't support 6.0, the version that came with Vista. However, there are Vista and 7 users who downloaded it because 2.6 is the version that came with XP, and they prefer it over Movie Maker 6.0 and Windows Live Movie Maker.
  • Vegas Pro was intended for video editing professionals to use for post-production. However, it is also a standard tool among people who edit videos as a hobby, such as creators of FanVids and YouTube Poop.
  • Because scripting languages are relatively easy to code for, they often attract people who don't have traditional computer science backgrounds.
  • The Arch Linux wiki is popular with users of other Linux distributions because its coverage of the more technical topics of Linux system and application configuration is so thorough and frequently applicable to other distros.
  • Road sign creation software, like KeySIGN and SignPLOT have become popular with automobile geeks, roadgeeks and graphic designers. Viral Marketing by a fan contributed to this.
  • The chat app Discord is primarily intended for gamers, and in particular, for easy communication between players. Because of this, it has some gaming-specific features, its logo resembles a stylized controller, and it used to say things such as "Researching cheat codes" and "Skipping cutscenes" while loading. However, it became popular among non-gamers as well. Even its creators thoroughly acknowledged that Discord ended up frequently being used for things which have nothing to do with video games. It's become the Spiritual Successor to IRC.
  • Telegram is a messaging and VoIP service that emphasizes privacy and open-source programming. It has no real target demographic, but it's very Popular with Furries, in part due to the ability to use custom stickers of their own characters.
  • The LaTeX typesetting language is widely used in academia for typesetting scientific books and journals, but it has become popular among authors self-publishing books because of the quality of its output.
  • DXVK, intended to help Windows games work on Linux, also has people running its .dll files on Windows itself to help with performance in certain games.
  • The Dolphin GameCube and Wii emulator is popular even with many people who were fans of other consoles from the 6th generation. This is due to Dolphin being by far the most complete emulator for a console from that generation, making it preferrable for running Multi-Platform games. Dolphin's developers have expressed appreciation for this, as it allows the emulator to be tested (and updated for better compatibility of necessary) with a wider variety of games than they would have otherwise.
  • When Stephen Hawking's voice synthesizer started to fail towards the end of his life, a group of engineers got together to create an emulator to replace it.note . It turned out that one of the chips used in the synthesizer was also used as an enhancement chip in certain Super Nintendo Entertainment System games, which led to the engineers borrowing some code from the SNES emulator higan to incorporate into their emulator.
  • While the font Comic Sans is most (in)famous for is Periphery Hatedom, it has also found a Periphery Fandom in people with dyslexia, visual impairment, or other disabilities that make reading more difficult, who find it easier to read than most other standard fonts. This is because certain sets of characters that look very similar to each other in other fontsnote  are made more distinct in the pseudo-handwritten Comic Sans and are thus easier for dyslexics and the visually impaired to distinguish. There are now fonts specifically designed for accessibility that are even better in this regard; however, there was a time where it was common to advise people to switch their entire computer interfaces over to Comic sans in order to improve readability.
  • While WINE is intended to help Linux and other *nix to run Windows applications and games, a fork named OTVDM using WINE's codebase was made to run 16-bit Windows applications on 64-bit Windows as the latter dropped the support of 16-bit apps.
  • The Microsoft PowerPoint has been used well beyond its original business presentation uses, to include teaching in schools and in universities, lecturing in scientific meetings (and preparing their related poster sessions), worshipping in churches, making legal arguments in courtrooms, displaying supertitles in theaters, driving helmet-mounted displays in spacesuits for NASA astronauts, giving military briefings, issuing governmental reports, undertaking diplomatic negotiations, writing novels, giving architectural demonstrations, prototyping website designs, creating animated video games, editing images, creating art projects, photo-editing and even as a substitute for writing engineering technical reports, and as an organizing tool for writing general business documents. It is quite versatile!

    Tabletop Games 
  • You're meant to play the Pokémon trading card game but there's a substantial amount of collectors who don't even know how the game works. They collect either for the artwork or just for collectors sake.

  • Transformers is the absolute king of this. About 10%–20% of toys are sold to adult collectors. Hasbro and Takara Tomy are only too pleased to appeal to these people, with homage-tastic toys, G1-centric comics, and general love. Plus, we have Transformers: Animated, master of the Mythology Gag and much loved among fans for its own merits.
    • This relationship is inverted with the live-action movies: though primarily aimed towards older teenagers and adults (what with all the gratuitous swearing, violence and Mythology Gags), the movies are more unanimously popular among children than among adults, resulting in a fair bit of Misaimed Marketing.
    • Despite being marketed as 'boy's toys' in the '80s, there is a noticeable demographic of older female fans who first got into the Transformers series in its earliest era and continued on with the franchise through the years.
  • My Little Pony is ostensibly aimed at little girls, but the ponies' beautiful designs, and the assorted tie-in media (ranging from cartoon fantasy adventures and Slice of Life to multiple tie-in video games), have attracted numerous fans of all ages and genders, for reasons ranging from an interest in the storylines to a simple love of animals.
    • For about as long as the franchise has existed, there has been a strong community of adult collectors - strong enough that the collectors were occasionally catered to with official merchandise, such as the art ponies, which feature unusually elaborate designs created by various artists from around the world. Some older fans even buy custom toys from other fans. The work put into fanmade toys can be staggeringly amazing, and some sell on eBay for thousands of dollars.
    • What truly catapulted the notion of "older My Little Pony fans" into the spotlight was when My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic developed the rather unexpected "brony" fandom almost instantly upon its premiere. These older fans praise the cartoon for many reasons, ranging from quality animation, to well-developed characters, to its numerous pop culture references, and even the domination of the internet by pony memes. Much of the fandom for this show built its foundations on the internet, and many view the episodes on assorted video sites and livestreams, or download them via torrents. Some chose to support Hasbro's show with their hard earned cash to make up for their effective piracy of the show. Others genuinely are into it for collecting. Regardless of the reasons though, a significant number of these brony fans took to browsing the pink aisle in their local department stores. At the show's peak, there were roughly 10 million bronies in the United States alone, massively outnumbering the intended demographic. All of this led to bronies causing the franchise, and that show in particular, to become a particularly famous example of this trope.
    • Some official merchandise spits in the face of this trope, with elements actually being changed in order to cater to little girlsnote , but this notably became somewhat less common over the course of Friendship is Magic's run - the toys became slightly more show accurate, and featured a lot of Ascended Fanon, after Hasbro noticed just how many bronies there were.
  • In the world of toys, there's LEGO. While the iconic building bricks are marketed to kids, there's a number of adults who make a hobby of them as well. LEGO has seemed to thoroughly embrace this demographic; scale LEGO models and the people who design and build them are showcased in the Legoland theme parks, and there's a downloadable program for home model design and purchase. And then there's the LEGO themes with nostalgia value, like LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones. Even the in-house BIONICLE line has its own Periphery Demographic. And then there's a host of online webcomics using LEGO, such as Irregular Webcomic!.
    • LEGO itself may be a sort of double-inversion, as the toys were originally intended as architectural tools to allow, well, architects to rough out a model of a prospective building in 3D in a rapid and efficient manner. To this day they're still used as this, and LEGO has even spun-off a corporate consulting division which uses LEGO bricks to help solve problems in similar ways. This went full circle when LEGO started its Architecture line, LEGO sets for architecturally famous buildings.
    • Being an adult also has its advantages. For one thing, it's actually affordable to you, and adults have the skills to engineer much more complex sets (check out the author's creations here at Reasonably Clever, home of the famous LEGO Minimizer).
    • LEGO Mindworks has become popular as of late with early robotics engineering prototyping, lower level university mechanical engineering courses, and AI with robots (which hack out the default Mindworks instruction system for something more suitable like ROS).
    • If that wasn't enough, The LEGO Movie actually made this a plot point, and features an adult buying LEGO sets clearly annoyed at the age suggestion on the box. They also do Shout Outs to BIONICLE and Fabuland, two sets that ended before most kids nowadays were born.
    • Appropriately enough, The LEGO Movie was, like the toys, marketed toward children but had a big enough impact on adults that there was a backlash when it failed to get an Oscar nomination.
  • A line of merchandise called 151 was released in Japan. What are they? Artistic Pokémon products for the series' large young adult fanbase, many of whom became fans when they themselves were children. As the name implies, it focuses on the first-generation Pokémon that the older fans started with.
  • American Girl, despite being a company aimed at girls between the ages of 8 and 12 mostly, has a very large fanbase of adult women. These started out as middle-aged women whose children found interst in the brand and expanded to those with either children outside of the target age or no children of their own. However the larger demographic now are millenials who grew up with the brand and never grew out of it. There are at least three popular adult collector forums (with thousands of members each) and most of the secondary market is fueled by demand from adult collectors. American Girl has even given some nods with older classic looks and designs.
  • If you go to a Barbie convention, you will not find many people there who are too young to buy the dolls with their own money, and only about half of them will be female.
  • Megahouse's G.E.M. line of scale figures is specifically aimed at the adult female collector's market, depicting characters from series that are popular with women and (usually) more down-to-earth poses. They have many male fans though, particularly the Pokémon and Digimon ones.
  • Even specific toys can get this. A Hot Wheels radar gun has become remarkably popular among geeks, presumably because it's cheap, durable enough to stand up to kids, and one of the few radar guns you can buy in the toy section of any store.
  • There are internet forums dedicated to Webkinz collecting. Almost none of the members are in the target demographic of children.
  • Many action figure lines get this, either due to nostalgia or the company willingly trying to appeal to the collector market. The most well known examples are the aforementioned Transformers, Tamashii Nation's sublines (S.H.Figuarts, Robot Spirits, Super Robot Chogokin, Ultra-Act, D-Arts and the like) and Marvel Legends, one of the first mass-market figure lines made to appeal to adult collectors for usually excellent sculpts and hyper-articulation.
  • Beanie Babies, originally made for children like nearly every other plush toy, were insanely popular among adult collectors in the latter half of The '90s. The collector's market was absolutely ludicrous, with many housewives paying thousands of dollars just to get some obscure, retired Beanie or a rare variant. (For instance, the dark-blue variant of Peanut the Elephant once fetched $5,000 — compare to the roughly $5 that probably even most kids could afford for the more common ones.) There was also a sub-market of collector related paraphernalia, such as special plastic boxes to protect the Beanies themselves, clamshells for their tags, entire books and magazines dedicated to the fandom, etc.
  • Plastic model construction kits have gone in and out of fashion, but are currently undergoing something of a renaissance. Old established firms like Airfix still consider their primary demographic is adolescent boys, but enough adult males still enjoy constructing the kits to a high professional standard — generally affluent older males who grew up with Airfix, Revell, etc., and who now have disposable income for buying models and accessories. "Simple" kits marketed at the young now rub shoulders with insanely detailed models of fearsome complexity marketed with older people in mind who can afford to invest more time and experience.
  • amiibo are primarily marketed to children, but like nearly all of Nintendo's franchises (including those represented in the line), they have a sizable adult fanbase. Because the most popular line covers the entire playable roster of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, amiibo exist not only for kid-friendly characters with Periphery Demographics such as those from Super Mario Bros. and Pokémon, but also for characters aimed directly at older audiences such as those from Fire Emblem and Xenoblade Chronicles. However, due to the entire kid-oriented focus of amiibo, almost all characters in the latter category are notoriously hard to find, which is a frequent source of frustration for amiibo collectors.
  • The Trash Pack, a standard "gross-out boy toy" had a surprisingly large female following as well, possibly due to the designs being slightly cuter and accessible compared to other gross series. Their successor, The Grossery Gang, also had this honor as well.
    • Later in the franchise of The Grossery Gang, there was the addition of "Putrid Power", full-sized action figures of some of the characters. These managed to rack heavy popularity with adult toy collectors, as they heavily resembled 80s toy franchises like Food Fighters.
  • The Fisher-Price PXL-2000, a camcorder intended for children, didn't sell well with its target audience; however, it was popular with film students due to it being a cheaper alternative to the regular handheld camcorder. It even made its way into use for scenes in a few mainstream films and music videos.
  • The Teddy Ruxpin franchise has a fanbase of teenage and adult fans who enjoy collecting the toys, with many of them having an interest in animatronic characters.
  • Fidget spinners were designed to reduce fidgeting, particularly for children with ADHD and autism. However, the popularity of the toy exploded among kids and teens without any need for them, to the point of Memetic Mutation. Unfortunately the inevitable Hype Backlash against them essentially resulted in adults categorizing them with stereotypical gen-Z traits, accidentally resulting in more anxiety within its target audience in the process; particularly unfortunate is that fidget spinners wound up treated as regular toys so often that teachers confiscated them from students who legitimately needed them, ironically viewing them as a distraction from learning when the intended demographic often need such things in order to focus.
  • In a complete inversion of the phenomenon which hit fidget spinners, there are many regular toys aimed at children (including ones specifically made for babies) which are used by people of various ages in order to get their fidgeting under control - for example, anything with moving parts may simply be contorted into random positions by an adult with anxiety, rather than being played with by a kid in whatever way was intended by the manufacturer. Toys which are soft, are scented, light up, or make noise are particularly popular among those with sensory issues.
  • Monster High and Ever After High are aimed at 7-12 year old girls but they have a large following amongst teenage and especially adult doll collectors. This is thanks to the often elaborate designs of the dolls, the "creepy", non-conventional look of the (G1) Monster High dolls, and the heavy lore and characterization of both series (especially Ever After High).
  • There's a sizeable adult collector fandom for Tamagotchi that collect the various versions of the device and often have multiple running at any given time. Some of them have even translated the color Tamagotchi releases that did not see an official release outside of the US until 2019.
  • There is a huge adult fandom of toys from fast food chains. Most notably, McDonald's Happy Meal.
  • SLAM Buddies sells professional wrestling dolls for kids that are even safe for toddlers, so this goes in a couple directions. In some cases Ms. Fanservice, The Cassanova, garbage wrestlers and various others clearly aiming at adults nonetheless have noticeable amounts of young fans with SLAM Buddies thanks to popular demand. In other cases wrestlers find the popular demand coming from adults looing to tickle their "inner child".
  • There are many adult collectors of Furby, some of them overlapping with the fandoms for other animatronic-based characters and toys.
  • Baby Alive has several teen and adult collectors who often film videos of their collections and act out scenarios with the dolls.
  • Sylvanian Families is the name of a line of video games and anthropomorphic collectible articulated toy plush figures, created by Japanese company Epoch in 1985 and distributed worldwide by a number of companies. The characters, grouped into families, are woodland creatures such as rabbits, foxes and bears. They remain a quintessential part of the 1990s boom in craze (or fad) toys. Most of its adult fanbase either consists of nostalgic adults who grew up with the toys when they were kids in the 80s and 90s, or are collectors looking to keep the legacy of Sylvanian Families alive. Other fans outside of the target demographic include furries.

    Web Animation 
  • The Most Popular Girls in School was intended for people ages 25-35, but as mentioned in this article, that's not the main demographic it found:
    Mark Cope: Once Tumblr got a hold of it, our audience became younger, [and] mostly girls [ages 14-21]. We didn't really know what our show was until we found an audience.
  • Rooster Teeth, despite having most of their programming, no matter if it's Red vs. Blue, Achievement Hunter or RWBY, be geared for young adults at best, do have children as fans of them, despite the fact that these guys can get very vulgar at times. They've expressed displeasure of older fans bringing their kids to RTX or other con appearances and have them admit they've watched their stuff, too. This most likely spurred the creator of the Game Kids channel.
  • An interesting variation comes in the form of the animation website GoAnimate, ostensibly a tool designed to help businesses create promotional videos. However, the software became inordinately popular with... a different kind of demographic. For reasons only they understand, these people used the simplistic software to create all kinds of bizarre nonsense, which was almost always related to cartoon characters getting in trouble (the "X gets grounded" videos are the most well-known of the crop). This had the side effect of turning the website into the laughingstock of the animation community. Eventually the staff tried to save face: first by more-or-less deleting their forums, which had become a hotbed of stupidity, and then by removing the casual subscription plans, leaving only the prohibitively expensive subscription plans as a way of trying to get their original demographic back on track. Even its Periphery Demographic has a Periphery Demographic as there's a strange circle of the video makers of the "Grounded" videos who like the videos made of those who mock their videos and vice versa.
  • If the comment sections are anything to go by, a disturbing amount of preteens and even children have confessed to watching Hazbin Hotel, which takes place in Hell and features much sex, excessive profanity, and drug references.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Despite being a mostly secular franchise, the website has a substantial number of Christian fans. Notably, Christian hip-hop artist KJ-52 has expressed a love for the website and name-dropped it in his track "Things I Like", and ApologetiX have made several references to the website and its characters.
    • The franchise was popular with children in its heyday, owing to the artstyle being cute and bubbly, and the content being almost entirely family-friendly (the worst language the characters use is either PG-rated swears like "crap" or unusual euphemisms like "sweet genius!").
  • Cocomelon is aimed at preschoolers, but there are many babies who happen to be fans of the show.

  • Rain (2010) was very much intended for an LGBTQ+ audience, more specifically a trans audience. The comic however, features plenty of good writing, endearing characters, and charming sense of humor for even non-LGBTQ+ readers to enjoy.

    Web Original 
  • This article from Cracked gives you a good sample of what you can expect from this trope.
  • Neopets is a very odd case, thanks to Audience Shift and changes in management; although the site originated for college kids, the eponymous Ridiculously Cute Critters attracted a Periphery Demographic of kids, and the site became Lighter and Softer as a result. This wasn't a bad thing, as TNT still included a fair amount of material intended to appeal to adults, but after Viacom started meddling, the site became more focused to the kids and started neglecting the older fans, who had become a periphery demographic, and loyalists who started playing as kids but remained on the site through their teens. However, TNT started interacting with the new periphery demographic of older fans by setting up a facebook page, and the site's plot event "The Faeries' Ruin" did a great job of winning back older fans. Not only that, but said older fans are the ones who play the most on the site. They're the writers for the Neopian Times, the most avid participants in plots and other major events, the ones running the fancier user-created shops in the Marketplace, and generally the ones who don't get bored and leave after a few months. TNT has been left in the position of eternally trying to reach a happy medium between appeasing the "preteen girl" fans who only want cute things, the "tween boy" fanbase who just like the games, and the older fans who love writing for the Neopian Times and Poetry Gallery, drawing for the Art Gallery and Beauty Contest, and participating in plots.
  • In general, any Virtual Paper Doll with nice enough art and enough variety can become this. Regardless of their intended audience, they attract a large number of teenage-and-young-adult writers — people who want a quick visual representation of their characters, for showing off and for personal reference, but who sometimes lack art skills of their own or the time/patience to draw their characters themselves. Using such tools is often the most convenient way to quickly depict a character.
    • Such tools and games are also somewhat commonly used by artists who are designing characters. They serve as a convenient way to play around with basic traits, so that the artist doesn't have to draw the character until they're ready to work out finer details, thereby saving time and energy. Although some dollmaker programs are made for that exact purpose, many more aren't but get used that way anyway.
    • is a dollmaker website directed at girls ages 4 to 14. However, due to the high quality of the art and the vast range of available "parts", it has become subject to this.
    • Before it was shut down,, a dream avatar creator for Gaia Online, was used by people who didn't even use Gaia for these reasons: said forum/game site has a massive number of parts available, especially for humanoid avatars, and tektek's entire purpose was to let people use and combine said parts freely (ostensibly so they could find a combination of items they liked, buy those items on Gaia's marketplace, and equip them). Notably, many Protectors of the Plot Continuum characters have been depicted using tektek.
  • The Simple English Wikipedia is geared towards children, people with learning difficulties and people learning English as a second language. It's also popular with native adult English speakers without any learning difficulties because it explains difficult topics in a simple and easily digestible format.
  • Many Shock Sites consist of niche pornography being shared by people outside their niche to scare others supposedly not in their niche as well.

    Web Videos 
  • It was mentioned in an "Ask Emily" segment of The Brain Scoop that the videos that put the show on the map, a very graphic three-part series about preparing a roadkilled wolf for museum collection that included skinning, gutting, and a lot of blood, proved to be very popular with young children. They got a lot of fan mail from parents of preschool-age children saying their children were endlessly fascinated by the process.
  • Channel Awesome has a lot of attractive nerds, both male and female. Do you really think that everyone watching The Nostalgia Chick/The Nostalgia Critic or Linkara is going to care about bad nostalgic shows/films, bad comics, or bad anime?
    • That and the slash fandom.
    • Linkara is an interesting example in that many of his fans don't read comics, and many people who do read comics don't like him.
    • Lindsay Ellis claims that the average fan of her show and Doug's is a couple of years younger than they are, which can have an effect when you're criticizing 'nostalgic' art.
  • JonTron, formerly of Game Grumps fame, has a legion of fans who have no clue what his show is even about (a lot of them haven't even seen it). They just love his ridiculously over the top behavior and spam animated gifs of him everywhere.
    • The bronies in particular love this guy's gifs and spam them in the comments of poor images. They even have a tag for derailed Jontron threads on Derpibooru.
  • The Yogscast, despite not specifically advertising for children or younger teenagers, has a fairly large number of people in that age range. On the one hand, some, such as InTheLittleWood and Zoey Proasheck, have embraced their younger fandoms and keep them in mind, with a family-friendly channel also being set up and other Yogscast members showing appreciation for this. On the other hand, this has led to obnoxious Moral Guardians bashing the Yogscast for swearing and use of dark humour (eventually becoming discredited due to Memetic Mutation).
  • Trisha Hershberger is not a nudisst but she does host a web series called The Naked Truth in which she vlogs naked about a variety of topics. The show has attracted some interest from the nudist community who praise it for demonstrating that simply being naked is not inherently sexual.
  • Breadtube is a very interesting case - arguably, it's a whole culture made entirely of periphery demographic, though this is mostly due to its rejection of the traditional paradigm of establishing an audience. The original philosophy of its founders was to disrupt the growing alt-right ecosystem on Youtube by creating videos on the same topics with the same type of clickbaity titles, and hook them in to diatribes on Marxism. Said people may not have wanted to hear those messages, but in the creators' eyes they needed to hear them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the entire project simply created a separate, radical-left echo chamber, and so failed to attract any of its target audience; but it was a massive hit with the people who already agreed with the messages it was pumping out. The clickbait headlines are mostly gone nowadays, and the original aim of breaking up fascism seems to have been largely forgotten in favour of the traditional, and ironically capitalist, model of selling your product to customers who want it.
  • SuperMarioLogan is more popular among children than the adult audience Logan aims for, which bugs many adult fans mainly because this demographic is largely responsible for Jeffy's status as a one-man Spotlight-Stealing Squad because most of these fans watch the show for Jeffy.
  • GoAnimate is rife with this.
    • The website started out as a way for businesses to create animated commercials/PSAs in a cheap, effortless manner, but it gained a huge following of children who primarily use it to create their own cartoons, most infamously the "Grounded" videos the program is now synonymous with.
    • The Grounded videos themselves developed an ironic following of teenagers and adults who find them hilarious for all the wrong reasons, namely the absurd scenarios, laughable animation, and the deadpan text-to-speech voices. This led many of these older viewers to create their own satirical videos made to deconstruct or mock the various clichés present.

  • Most popular social networking websites/apps or other online services with public communication features are actually aimed at the 18-and-over crowd despite a large if not equal number of teenage minor users (ages 13-17) using their services. MySpace even required users to confirm they are at least 18 before creating an account when the site first launched, and Facebook was originally for college and university students. The reason these sites attract so many teens is because the platforms require users to be at least 13 years old to create an account (along with entering your date of birth) in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) federal law in the United States effective since April 22, 2000. The law affects all online services and products based in the United States (including when accessed in non-U.S. territories) that collect user data and was established to prevent those services from collecting the personal information of children under 13 without parental consent (although this doesn't stop kids from entering an older birth date to get on the platform and remaining silent about their age). The 13+ rule is only based on the agreed upon age of American cyber lawmakers for online services to begin tracking user data for advertising purposes, not for accessing or being subject to mature content.
  • The intended demographic for guns in the United States usually only own one gun, or at least one at a time for whatever they're made for (handguns are usually for self-defense, while rifles and shotguns are better suited for sporting). The Periphery Demographic however usually owns (or has regular access to) multiple guns that serve the same purpose, as in collectors and recreational shooters.
  • While compact economy cars like the Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, and Ford Focus were originally intended for women and first-time car buyers, they became very popular among young males and car enthusiasts due to how easily they could be turned into performance vehicles. The automakers have acknowledged this periphery demographic and that is why high-performance versions of these vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, exist.
    • Volkswagen was the first automaker to acknowledge and try to exploit this periphery demographic with the 1975 release of the Golf GTi, a high performance version of the Golf hatchback. It was a resounding success and inspired other automakers to make high performance versions of their economy cars.
    • While we are on the subject of cars; the Dodge Viper. Essentially a two-seater with a truck engine, Dodge thought it would be bought by the regular sports-car crowd, millionaires and such, while in reality most buyers were upper working-class who had saved up for it and given it to themselves as a reward.
    • Another example could be the Mercury Grand Marquis, a large luxury car. While it was intended for older, more conservative (and admittedly white) buyers, it is very popular among young African-Americans.
      • Additionally, older full-size luxury/semi-luxury American cars in general tend to be popular with younger people. This may be due to them being a fairly good value on the used car market compared to many higher-end foreign luxury brands while simultaneously holding just as much or even more "wow" factor (especially brands like Cadillac) in a lot of places.
  • Cars with box-shaped, Totally Radical styling such as the Honda Element and Scion xB were intended to attract young, first-time new car buyers to the brands, but it turned out most of generation Y was far more concerned with pleasing aestetics, practicality, price, or prestige than looking edgy or youthful. Baby boomers, on the other hand...
    • The automaker Scion (a Toyota division) typically caters to college students, particularly when they debuted in the early 2000s with a huge list of factory accessories, ranging from simple colored interior panels, expensive sound system setups, or Rice Burner-esque spoilers. However, the "hip" Scion xB hatchback has attracted a large amount of purchases from the elderly, because of how simple, cheap, and ergonomic the vehicle is. The vehicle rides at just the right height for someone with a bad back to sit down in without having to stretch (as in a SUV) or crouch (as in a sedan). The traditional chariot of the elderly, Buick, noticed this and began to produce a vehicle (the Encore) with similar proportions.
  • Victoria's Secret's PINK clothing line is marketed towards college students, intended to bring young women into the company's fold with the idea that they'll move up to the more expensive namesake when they get older. However, with it being trendy, youthful and inexpensive, the PINK line has had an enduring popularity among women well beyond that age group. Women in their 30s love to wear it (though they were within its target demographic when it first hit shelves in 2004) and with Generation X growing older, it's not entirely uncommon to see middle-aged women in their 40s and 50s wearing it as well.
  • The coin-operated rides outside of supermarkets. Hope the place has no security guards (or that the guards are of the jobsworth type — those machines are normally not under their surveillance).
  • The author of With Strings Attached has said that she wrote the book under the assumption that Baby Boomer Beatle fans would be its primary audience, and was quite surprised when she started getting letters from 16-year-old girls who were reading it. And this was back in 1997. Now it has readers as young as 12 and as old as 80, and she's given up trying to figure out where the periphery is.
  • Henry Jenkins, in his book Textual Poachers says this may be the primary driving force behind fanfic. The Girl-Show Ghetto means that females aren't going to have their brothers or husbands watching shows that are aimed for them, or they find the female-aimed shows lacking in quality and they end up watching shows aimed at men and using fanfic to refocus the narrative.
  • Most industries assume that porn only appeals to straight men, but in actuality there are several demographics outside that scope that lean towards it:
    • Homosexual pornography is popular among heterosexual people of the opposite gender. In fact, statisticians at found that gay porn is actually more popular with straight women than with gay men.
    • The most searched porn category among women is lesbian porn, while surprisingly, the most searched category among men is Hentai, Lesbian porn is the second one.
    • One woman among the Honey Badgers said that she loved gay porn because it was the only kind of porn focusing on men's pleasure (straight porn generally is all about the women, where the man is, as she calls it, "a disembodied cock").
    • Asexuals sometimes watch porn because they find it fascinating, despite not finding it sexually appealing. Ditto to those who are aroused by porn, but decide to check out something outside their realm of interest.
    • There are also people who watch porn — or at least the introductory few minutes before the sex starts, after which it all gets a bit repetitive — to riff on the low-quality nature of many of the setups and production values.
    • Hentai has sizable followings among a few unexpected demographics:
      • Hentai has a sizable demographic of people who only seem to watch it for the Awesome Art. (Not surprising, since any hentai artist that can regularly avoid Fetish Retardant must have very good art skills.) Back when the Electronic Hentai Organization specialized in nothing but hentai the admin noticed how a lot of artwork that is not Hentai got high ratings despite having nothing that is even the slightest bit pornographic. Eventually the admin would embrace the demographic and create a Non-H folder for artwork that people like but that simply is not Hentai.
      • There are also the very rare cases of hentai (or lemon fanfics) which wind up having such strong characterization and themes that some people read it because they actually care about the characters’ development, in a bizarre inversion of the Eight Deadly Words, and gloss over the sex scenes for being boring and pointless. Though still rare, it’s a bit more common with lemons because the writer is tempted to feature the source material’s plot in some fashion.
      • Hentai is rather popular within the Hair Metal fandom, thanks to both genres focusing heavily on hedonistic depictions of sex.
      • Despite hentai being obviously targeted at heterosexual men with how copious the use of Male Gaze and other tropes meant to appeal to male viewers, there's quite a few women who also enjoy it.
  • Cow's milk is so popular with humans thanks to the fat inside providing an easy source of warmth in the harsh European winter that they made it into an industry. In the Mediterranean, where it's too dry and the soil is to poor to support cattle farming, people likewise favor goat milk. Humans' love of animal milk is lampshaded in one Calvin and Hobbes strip:
    Calvin: Why do we drink cow milk?! Who's the first guy who thought, "I think I'll drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze 'em!"?note 
  • William F. Buckley's run for mayor of New York City in 1965, for which he founded the state's Conservative Party, was intended to appeal to the sorts of people who embraced his brand of conservatism at the time — country-club patricians like Buckley himself, some businessmen, and the odd intellectuals. But his platform turned out to have strong appeal to middle-aged White working-class men, sort of like Archie Bunker, a character that wouldn't debut until 1971. The discovery proved key to the ascendance of the conservative movement nationally over the next decade and a half.
  • High-end digital still cameras are capable of recording HD video, making them popular with indie filmmakers, as the cheapest high-end models cost only a few hundred dollars at the lowest, compared with HD cameras that start at multiple-thousand range.
  • The Pinnacle Dazzle DVC 100 is marketed as a device for copying old VHS footage to DVDs. However, a great number of video game reviewers and let's players on websites such as YouTube use it as a low-end capture device for video game footage.
  • Serious coffee enthusiasts have started using popcorn poppers to roast their own beans.
  • Laser pointers are probably used more as a cat toy than its original intended purpose, pointing and highlighting.
  • Pick a YouTube beauty guru. Any beauty guru. She will undoubtedly have a portion of her fanbase that is male because of finding her attractive. Men tend to like "outfit of the day" videos best, since many of the outfits are very beautiful, flattering, and sexy. Of course, a lot of the younger men and boys tend to say extremely crude and inappropriate comments such as "I want to pinch your fanny", which goes against the aim of most beauty channels to be family friendly.
  • The Ouya gaming system was supposed to usher in an age of open source game gaming. Support for the console among game developers was average at best, and very thin on the major developer level. The console's sales were carried mostly by consumers buying the system to use as an Android media center (that also played games). It's still considered by some to be the best Android TV box on the market.
    • The rarely-mentioned but perhaps greatest selling point for the Ouya and its more powerful successors like the Nvidia Shield TV is emulation. Standing in line for overpriced, underproduced and limited-selection classic console re-releases isn't all that tempting to those who are able to play thousands of games from the second to sixth console generations (and also MS-DOS) on a single box.
  • Bizarre, but perhaps inevitable in a secular age: Many entertainments with explicitly religious themes that were previously attacked by Christians as being blasphemous are now widely popular with those critics' older selves, or with younger generations within that demographic, because they are now viewed as The Moral Substitute. Christian leaders now encourage their flocks to see Jesus Christ Superstar (previously aimed at hippies and other hipsters)note  and The Exorcist (previously aimed at horror fans); when Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004, one pastor even lampshaded this, acknowledging that he was begging his parishioners to see a graphically violent, R-rated movie.
    • For that matter, it should perhaps be mentioned at this point that The Passion of the Christ has a reputation (up to you how justified — there are many fictional cases — but still) for being enjoyed by horror movie junkies. For a faithful Christian, it's a harrowing depiction of the Crucifixion that can endeepen your faith; for horror movie junkies, it's a gorefest only made better by the irreverence of watching the Christ's death for the gore.
  • PewDiePie has a huge fandom of teenage girls.
  • While Maya the Bee is very well-known in Europe, it is also aimed at children. However, in Poland, Maya the Bee is so popular that a Polish singing group called "Akcent" made a song about Maya and her friends. The group would commonly play this song at popular teenage/adults clubs in Poland. As a result, the Maya the Bee franchise has a very dedicated adult fanbase in that country.
  • The Hitachi Magic Wand vibrating massager. Originally designed and marketed as a back massager, women soon discovered that the Magic Wand's relatively soft rubber head and variable speed made it an even better vibrator. It's considered the gold standard of women's sex toys to the point where, when Hitachi planned to discontinue the line (partly because of its association with sex toys), sex toy distributor Vibrex stepped in and took over distribution, rebranding it as the "Magic Wand Original."
  • [adult swim]'s Toonami. The action programming block was intended to target a teenage/adult male audience with various Rated M for Manly action shows. However, the programming block also attracted a female audience as well. This is in part because many of the anime aired in Toonami such as Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill, Naruto, Bleach, Cowboy Bebop, Inuyasha, Black Lagoon, and Hellsing features female protagonists with strong, assertive personalities, and the fact that some of the shows feature bishonens that have become fan favorites (such as Levi from Attack on Titan), and some viewers found TOM's voice to be attractive. The Toonami crew acknowledged their growing female audience, and considered airing anime aimed at a female audience (with Sailor Moon Crystal, a Shoujo title, being one of the most requested anime for Toonami). They eventually did so; the first of these shows was Michiko & Hatchin, though you wouldn't be able to tell it's Josei just by looking at it.
  • About half of all air cargo is shipped using the unused space in passenger airliners' cargo holds, known as "belly cargo," rather than in dedicated cargo aircraft.
  • The Whole Shabang is a brand of potato chips best known for their bold flavor that tastes like every flavor of potato chip you can possibly think of at the same time... and for being originally sold exclusively to prison inmates, until their popularity amongst former inmates longing to try these chips again (and not willing to go back to jail just to do so) as well as curious non-criminals led the Keefe Group to sell them online to the general public.
  • Reinhold Niebuhr was a Christian philosopher who based his philosophy off of his understanding of Christian theology. This didn't stop him from having a following of atheist intellectuals, sometimes referred to as “atheists for Niebuhr”.
  • Fan conventions:
    • They usually cater to a specific form of media, such as anime, comics or gaming. That hasn't stopped fans and cosplayers of all forms of media from attending (i.e. Game of Thrones or Star Wars cosplayers or metalheads at anime conventions), and most conventions hold several panels and events outside their main media focus. A big part of the appeal of conventions, whether one is the exact target demographic or not, is conventions serving as social hubs for people with the same interests, as well as an opportunity to wear costumes in a socially acceptable setting.
    • The SF Bay Area-based Yaoi-Con has quite a few attendees who aren't there for Boys' Love or even any kind of erotic content. Its main draw for those attendees is that it is the only anime convention in the region to be entirely 18+ (as opposed to other conventions that at most have porn/hentai screenings and a few age-restricted panels), thus making for a more mature and well-behaved community than most other conventions in the area.
    • Many metalheads go to anime conventions worldwide.
    • Comic conventions are huge among Professional Wrestling fans, with many con organizers booking wrestlers and wrestlers renting booths to hawk their merch. The two forms of entertainment are pretty similar if you think about it - larger than life characters using a cool pseudonym, heroes and villains, people doing things that should not be physically possible for a normal human - so it's not surprising there's a big crossover audience, and many wrestlers themselves are big comic book fans.
    • Regardless of the subject of the convention, if it has a game room, you can bet that many attendees are there just for the games, often people from the Fighting Game Community who see cons as a chance to play casual matches, participate in tournaments, and make new friends, especially if they're from someplace where there isn't much of a local fighting game scene.
  • While coloring books are primarily marketed to children, they're also popular among some adults as a form of stress relief, and some artists use them as practice and as a way to break through art block. Adult coloring books have been introduced in response: some of them feature highly complex designs and/or family-unfriendly subject matter, but others are roughly the same as the ones for kids, just with text saying "adult coloring book" slapped onto the cover. Some adult coloring books are even based on properties which themselves fall into this trope, such as My Little Pony (mentioned in the "Toys" section).
  • Classic mid-century "cheesecake" art and pin-up girls are enjoyed by a number of heterosexual women. They enjoy the fact that the girls in older such art are often shown as cheerful and flirty, and seem to revel in their sexuality.
  • Curling, of all sports, has picked up a cult following in the business community, the result of CNBC airing Olympic curling after the business day was finished. One article explained this as curling's slow, methodical play and pace being the antithesis of the fast-paced, break-neck financial world.
  • Particle-filtering respirator masks are made for people who do projects that may involve harmful fumes (such as that of house paint) or other hazardous-for-your-lungs fine particules (like sawdust). They are also widely used in places that have poor air quality, particularly on the West Coast of the U.S. during wildfire season, as the wood ash from wildfires can spread for dozens of miles, causing dangerous health effects if they are inhaled. They gained a much wider demographic during the COVID-19 Pandemic; people in healthcare fields use them (rather than cloth masks) to further minimize the chance of exchanging virus particles, and soon after some people not in healthcare started using them as well due to the Omicron variant of late 2021 and 2022 being much more infectious than previous variants and government health agencies recommending them to the general public as well. It helps that respirator masks have around-the-head straps that are much more comfortable to wear for hours (for example, on a work shift) than around-the-ear straps that are infamous for causing sore ears.
  • Tablet peripherals for PC are intended for people who want to draw digital illustrations, but they also have a significant userbase in osu! players who find them the best way to play on a PC without having to invest in a multi-touch screen. Even drawing tablet manufacturer Huion acknowledges this use.
  • The Found Footage Festival, a touring live comedy act presenting mostly cheesy old instructional/educational videos, briefly gained a following amongst Trump supporters and free speech activists after they "triumphed" (i.e. agreed to a settlement) in a lawsuit with Gray Television after they pranked several TV stations, including Grey-owned WEAU-TV, with fake touring acts (such as the "strongman" act Chop & Steele) as a critique of TV station guest booking practices (this is evidenced by the comments badmouthing "fake news" on YouTube uploads of videos documenting the lawsuit).
  • Baby name books and websites are, as the name indicates, intended for parents who are about to have a baby. They are also quite useful for writers and gamers looking to name their characters, as well as people planning to change their own names.
  • Houses of Worship of all kinds and pilgrimage sites are obviously meant for religious people. However, they are actually quite popular with secular people who enjoy art, architecture, music, and history. Even the spiritual parts can intriguing to said demographic who might be fascinated by people’s connections to the place. Famously, Zac Efron and Morgan Freeman (both agnostics) have made documentaries experiencing both the further and the latter.
  • On the subject of shoes, this is why some women (and to an extent men) with small feet are suggested to shop at the children's department as at least some companies do sell kids' shoes at sizes straddling between youth's and adult's sizes (around EU 33-39) but go for much cheaper than those specifically intended for adults. As long as the shoes don't look too childish or infantile-looking, that is. One woman left a review on an Amazon page for Nina's "Seeley" Mary Janes for girls, stating that they were "just right" for her as an adult and would consider buying another pair. Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars, commonly called Chucks, are an example of sneakers that have identical styles for children and adults, allowing adults with small feet to wear children's Chucks without issues, especially given the popularity of this shoe among the general population.
  • When Pete Buttigieg ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, he was one of the youngest major candidates of the modern era at 38–the next youngest candidatenote  was 59-year-old Amy Klobuchar. His most passionate supporters who flocked to his rallies, however, were senior voters over 65. Buttigieg acknowledged this and admitted he wasn't entirely sure of the reason; analysts hypothesized older voters saw him as an "old soul" or liked to imagine he was their overachieving grandson. Surprisingly, Buttigieg's worst demographic was 18-29 voters, who overwhelmingly preferred 79-year-old Bernie Sanders, the oldest major candidate.
  • One-handed gaming keypads like the Logitech G13 Gameboard and Razer Tartarus are intended for PC gamers (particularly MMO players), but they are also quite popular with digital artists and video editors due to the amount of programmable keys making it convenient to assign commonly used functions to. In fact, drawing tablet manufacturers Wacom and Huion do sell one-handed keypads as add-ons to their pen displays.
  • Sometimes, people outside of the target audience for products featuring children's characters on them, such as food and tissue packs, buy these products not because they have kids, grandkids, nephews or nieces, but because they are essential for living.
  • Baby wipes are intended to be used to clean off babies during diaper changes, but many childless people buy them too, usually with the intent of cleaning other objects. They're also frequently used as supplies during hurricanes or other natural disasters when people might not have access to a shower.
  • Chuck E. Cheese is an establishment intended for kids, but it has many teen and adult fans due to the animatronic characters used in their shows.
    • Ditto with rival chain Showbiz Pizza Place and its' animatronic show The Rock A Fire Explosion, to the point where some of its' fans weren't even alive when the restaurant was still open.
  • Tampons are intended for women who menstruate, but are also popular with soldiers in war zones for first aid kits, as their ability to be inserted into a vagina to soak up blood translates very well to being inserted into a bullet or shrapnel wound to soak up blood. Additionally, they are sterile (and protected by a packaging), have an applicator and a nifty string to help doctors pull the tampon out when the wounded soldier reaches a hospital.
  • Mogen David wine is ostensibly a kosher wine to be used in Passover observances, but because it's made from sweet Concord grapes and is inexpensive, it became popular among the general American public following Prohibition, and still has a following. In a 1952 interview, the company president said that Jews only accounted for 2% of their annual sales.
  • There are cases where some go to IKEA, but not for the furniture — rather for their meatballs or hot-dogs, or other items at the in-store restaurant or their deli where one can buy various Swedish foods to take home.
  • Official and licensed video game Strategy Guide books, which were popular in the 90s until the advent of walkthrough databases like GameFAQs and fan-maintained wikis (like those hosted on StrategyWiki), often feature a whole host of supplementary artwork and lore not found in the games or their respective manuals. Many people collect strategy guides for this purpose, whether they actually own the games they're for or not. A lot of poorer gamers during that time period would pick some of these guides up (sometimes as part of a magazine subscription bonus, like for Nintendo Power) and read through them, pretend-playing the game in their heads as they looked through the maps, secrets, and strategies for games they did not have. Fever Knights by Adam Ellis is a love letter to people who read strategy guides for games they don't own, being a story told as a strategy guide for a nonexistent turn-based RPG game.
  • In Japanese otaku circles, there exists a term for this called "Ookii-na otomodachi (大きなお友達)", meaning "big friend"note , which refers to teens and adults who like shows aimed at children. This is a lot noticeable with fandoms for Magical Girl shows such as Magical Princess Minky Momo and Pretty Cure, and Tokusatsu series. Companies do acknowledge this, usually by making merchandise intended for mature fans, or adding suggestive content in an otherwise family-friendly anime, and is also the reason why many modern magical girl shows are aimed towards adults.
  • Accessibility features that are meant to aid disabled folks can sometimes see use amongst physically- and mentally-able folks as well:
    • Hotels typically use bathtubs in guest rooms, with accessibility-oriented rooms instead having roll-in showers. Designed for people who cannot stand up for more than a few moments and get their feet over the bathtub rail, they are also enjoyed by larger-bodied guests who find bathtubs to be too small and don't care for the "tub" part and just want to shower, and many able-bodied guests in general find them more comfortable to get into and out of overall. These roll-in showers may have some extra amenities too, such as a handheld showerhead in addition to a fixed overhead one, while the other rooms in the hotel only have fixed showerheads.
    • Wheelchair ramps are meant to be an alternative to stairs since wheelchairs cannot roll up and down stairs. But able-bodied individuals also benefit from them since they're less likely to stumble over them. They are also sometimes much longer routes than the stairs, which might be an inconvenience for those who can take the stairs instead, but able-bodied health-minded individuals welcome the opportunity to add some extra walking steps to their daily routine.
    • Closed captions and subtitles for TV shows and movies are meant for deaf viewers, but they also spell out words that might be difficult to distinguish just from hearing them, which can be useful for learning work-specific names and terminology. In a more downplayed example of this trope, people who can hear just fine but have trouble processing spoken speech also enjoy subtitles. Subtitles can also be useful for figuring out what unintelligible characters are saying, for example, South Park episodes' subtitles have proper captions for Kenny McCormick rather than "(mumbles)".
    • Colorblind Mode in video games and other software are meant to aid players/users with limited color vision who would otherwise have trouble distinguishing between two objects whose only differences are their colors. But some non-colorblind users turn the mode on anyway if they find that it looks nicer.
  • Crocs shoes are quite popular in medical fields despite not being explicitly designed for them. They're comfortable to wear for hours, have great breathability and thus more hygenic than more traditional shoes, and due to the fabric-less design are very easy to clean.
  • Gibson guitars, especially the Les Paul, have fallen out of favor with mainstream artists since the mid-2000s and are now mostly targeted towards Baby Boomers (and Gen X to a lesser extent) with lots of disposable income who grew up with classic rock and blues. However, their instruments are actually still quite popular in the underground Post-Hardcore and Doom Metal circuits for their darker sound, heavy sustain, shorter scale length, and flatter fretboards.note  Many influential post-hardcore bands like Fugazi and Title Fight used Gibsons extensively, while doom metal took heavy inspiration from 70s metal bands like Black Sabbath, who also famously used Gibsons.
  • The Fender Jazzmaster, ironically, was rejected by the jazz players it was intended to be targeted for. It instead found favor with surf guitarists (it helps that it resembles the Fender Jaguar, which was targeted towards surf musicians). When surf rock fell out of style, it, along with the Jaguar, eventually found a second life as an Indie Rock guitar due to being very affordable on the used market.


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Alternative Title(s): Peripheral Demographic


The Love Ducks

In "That's a Baby Show!", Arthur becomes addicted to a Teletubbies spoof called "The Love Ducks", skipping "Dark Bunny". As the title of the episode implies, he fears judgment from his friends for liking a "baby show", but when he finally admits to watching it, they don't mind (not shown here).

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Main / EntertainmentBelowTheirAge

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