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Self-Fanservice

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cropped_Canon_Vs_Fanon_Snape_by_zorm.png
Note the similarity in fanon Snape's hairstyle to Sephiroth's. You should probably be taking notes; this might be on a quiz later.

"Would you draw me with your pencils and your pens
Make me much prettier than I really am?"
Say Hi To Your Mom, "Dimensions and Verticals"
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So you've got this series. Maybe it's a TV show. Maybe it's a movie or video game. It got pretty good reviews, or maybe it didn't. It's now built up a fanbase. Folks are writing fanfics, drawing fanart, and spreading the joy over the Internet. So far so good, right?

Well, there's one thing. The series as it originally stood was sort of... missing something.

Mainly? Fanservice.

Maybe it was directed mostly at the opposite gender from some of its fans. Maybe the art style didn't really have enough Generic Cuteness. Maybe the primary audience was children, so out of a few isolated instances, making attractive characters wasn't really the primary goal of the series. Or maybe the original was a book, so the appearances of the characters were mostly left up to the reader's imaginations. Whatever the case, the series finds itself without a Mr or Ms. Fanservice or other object of fan lust.

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However, this state won't necessarily last long. One (or more) of the characters is going to end up transformed into the unofficial fandom sex object (or at least made far more attractive in fanart). If they were originally ugly, they'll be made achingly beautiful in fanart. If they were originally cartoony and flat, expect them to pick up curves. They may become the target of shipping. The fans have decided to instigate Self-Fanservice.

The targets of this can vary: in a cast without Loads and Loads of Characters, this can happen to one of the primary male/female characters simply because they're there. It can happen to villains, because Evil Is Sexy. And if your cast has a good woobie, the angst factor may draw fans in.

To a casual member or newcomer to a fandom, this can seem strange, seeing an ordinarily unattractive (in a bland way) character suddenly drawn in shirtless poses with a seductive look.

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May lead to or be caused by an Ensemble Dark Horse or a Draco in Leather Pants. A leading cause of the childhood-scarring properties of Rule 34. Compare Perverse Sexual Lust. When it's an adaptation that ups a plain character's sexiness, it's Adaptational Attractiveness (which, incidentally, can be a catalyst for this trope). Despite the name, not related to being Distracted by My Own Sexy. Nor to be confused for when someone includes anything in the original work as a form of fanservice for himself, sexy or otherwise, either to him personally or considered such in general; that's Author Appeal.


Examples subpages (by original media):

Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • One artist kickstarted a trend of drawing the siren in the Starbucks logo as a curvy, suggestive woman who goes around naked aside from a crown and striped stockings, at most covered with Godiva Hair, a Gag Censor star over her crotch (which, Depending on the Artist note , could cover so little that her pubic hair is visible), and nothing over her rear. The character has been nicknamed Starbucks-Chan or STB-Chan. This can be Justified as the original logo was also naked (if not as NSFW).
  • The Wendy's redhead, pig-tailed, freckle-cheeked girl is often a VERY popular target in most fanart, where she is often sexualized and drawn as very curvaceous with huge buxom. Heck, just typing in "Wendy's Mascot" in the search bar brings up said fanarts more than the actual offical mascot picture. Don't even get us started on the whole "Mega Beef" trend that's been going around lately...

    Animation-other 

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker gets this quite frequently, especially after The Dark Knight. Granted, Heath Ledger was a pretty guy, but his Joker looks quite gross with his poor hygiene, wrinkled face, and nasty scars. Of course, he becomes a pretty bishonen with cool scars in loads of fanart.
    • Same for other villains like The Scarecrow (again mostly thanks to Cillian Murphy) and The Riddler. Point is that, while talented, the fanbase is filled with many Harleys.
  • Wolverine. He's a short note , surly man with more body hair then a bear. Count how many times he's given a height boost, a full-body wax, and just made flat-out generic handsome.
  • Lex Luthor isn't exactly ugly, but he isn't as handsome as certain Superman fans like to portray him. They often give him more conventionally attractive facial features, and some even go so far as to give him a full head of hair.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • In the Asterix spinoff album Uderzo croqué par ses amis, drawn and written by fans, Asterix gets this treatment in the realistically-drawn stories, which draw him taller, slim, and muscular rather than pot-bellied and skinny-limbed, and as a Pretty Boy Barbarian Hero. Some stories give him a larger-than-average nose as concession to his original design's Gag Nose, but others even get rid of that. Inverted in that Obelix usually gets his ugliness exaggerated, even though in the original comics he looks Ugly Cute at worst and is usually regarded by other characters as more attractive than Asterix.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Most of the Peanuts gang are kids ranging from ages 6-10, but they often are aged-up in fanart. Charlie Brown will often be depicted with a head full of blonde hair (to be fair, he isn't really bald, it's just the art style). Schrodeder will often be drawn as a pretty boy Bishōnen. Peppermint Patty seems to be hit with this the most, considering her Tomboyish and rather andronymous nature, so she will either be given more bust and hips or Bifauxnen and often shipped with Marcie.

    Films (Animated) 
  • Disney:
    • Lilo & Stitch franchise:
      • Most fanart of an adult Lilo Pelekai tends to portray her as a fit, attractive young woman with a slim body and full lips much like her older sister Nani, usually wearing midriff-revealing clothing or a bikini. Contrast the canonical depictions of the adult Lilo in the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Skip" and the Stitch! anime episode "Lilo", which portray her more modestly, wearing clothes that make her look like a responsible adult and having the same mouth that her younger self has, never developing fuller lips.
      • Even though Stitch is canonically completely incapable of growing any taller or even aging, he has also been drawn with a humanoid body shape of either an athletic young adult or a bodybuilder, while still maintaining his overall alien genetic experiment looks (blue fur, claws, head, etc.). Some of the other experiments have also been drawn like this, but they're much rarer.
      • Angel's design and personality makes her ripe for this trope. It's not uncommon to see Rule 34 art of her with an even more feminine body than she already has.
      • Oh, and to get this out of the way, yes, Lilo/Stitch shipping exists. As well as fanart of an older Lilo and an older, "anthrofied" Stitch as a couple.
    • Humanizations of characters from The Lion King franchise gets hit with this often. Scruffy-looking, malnourished (but still muscular) Nuka and Vitani get hit with Evil Is Sexy.
    • Lock, Shock, and Barrel from The Nightmare Before Christmas have a lot of fanart that ages them up into good-looking teenagers or young adults.
    • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: While Snow White is already beautiful, many fanartists tend to forget that's she's only 14 years old and meant to have a modest figure, as opposed to being another hourglass hottie. She's often aged up (or at least appears to be), with greater height and more generous curves. Some give her longer hair as well.
    • Rapunzel from Tangled is already very pretty in canon, but is rather wiry and gangly as well as petite, with a long, thin, and narrow waistline with not much in the way of visible curves, much like a Barbie doll. She is also quite small-chested (or even outright flat) and baby-faced, and has somewhat lanky legs and big feet like an awkward teenager that hasn't quite grown into them yet. This is, of course, designed this way to fit in with all her charm, and she is more cute rather than sexy, with her cherubic face and child-like and innocent personality and mannerisms further proving this point. But in fanart, she is often portrayed with sizeable breasts, a more womanly face, and a curvy figure. Her hips will be wider, her rear end will be more prominent, her legs will be far more alluring, and her feet are also frequently drawn to be considerably smaller (though not always, and some make them bigger). Some works also make her taller. And her dress will sometimes be much shorter or up higher instead of to her ankles like in the film. Though some fan artists take a different approach and turn her into a Big Beautiful Woman. Being 18 years old, which would already make her adult, she is barely aged up in fanart.
    • Moana:
      • Much like Lilo, the title character is often portrayed as either slimmer, thicker, or both than she is in the actual movie.
      • Maui has been hit with this as well, being given a more conventionally attractive face and figure (this is probably at least partly due to the fact that he's voiced by The Rock).
    • Wreck-It Ralph gets hit with this in fandom where Sgt. Calhoun is often left alone but Ralph and Felix (although the two aren't lacking in standard fangirls and boys) do get hit with it. Some fans turn the two cartoonish-looking guys generically handsome up to full Pretty Boys (even though Ralph would fit better into the other gay-themed manga genre) and Ralph in particular tends to have all his chub gone and replaced with muscles. However, the two most common targets are Vanellope, who is very often drawn as all grown up and basically Hotter and Sexier (although some fans don't bother with the age up) and local leather pants-wearer Turbo, who unlike any of the others isn't even cute and is rather freaky and creepy in canon, is often turned into at least an Ugly Cute if not flat-out attractive racer who happens to have gray skin and yellow eyes and teeth as opposed to the Skull for a Head he is in canon.
    • Disney Funny Animal characters almost never have human-esque breasts. Be it their Classic Disney Shorts characters, Zootopia characters, or Robin Hood ones, females are just as flat as males. Expect this rule to get ignored in much of the fanart and fanfiction. Some fans handwave them as having small breasts but still having breasts nevertheless, while others just give them noticeable chests.
    • The Disney Heroes fanart collection by David Kawena note  definitely counts. Particularly the Peter Pan one. Here's the princess version of this: Defenders of the Enchanted Kingdom WIP.
  • DreamWorks Animation:
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: With humanizations of the original show being popular with the fandom, having a spinoff with human characters as the baseline tends to lend itself to this. Sunset Shimmer in particular gets a lot of this, with even non-sexual fanart of her tending heavily to portray her as extremely attractive.
  • 9:
    • Given that the entire class are non-humans, fanart of them as humans was inevitable... and yes, usually, every single one of them will be drawn extremely attractive. Sexy tribal warrior chick 7, 3 and 4 as themselves, Moe 5 and 6, Chris Redfield!8.
    • Even the regular stitchpunk versions of the characters get this treatment.
  • Pixar:
    • Finding Nemo:
      • Fans tend to forget that Marlin is supposed to be middle-aged and instead humanize him as a handsome, red-haired, young-looking father. Some give him greys but he's usually younger.
      • On a side note, both Nemo and Gill get to keep their damaged arm (fin) in all fanart.
    • Humanizations of Monsters, Inc.'s Mike Wazowski draw him as a handsome, green-haired emo guy with hair covering one eye.
    • Toy Story:
      • Woody has a rather extraordinary number of fangirls (and boys), considering he's a foot-tall cowboy doll. Most humanize him.
      • Jessie tends to get a bit of extra "stuffing" in certain strategic areas in fan art.
    • Cars:
      • Lightning McQueen is humanized as a pretty, young man with a slim build and either blonde or red hair that's messy and falls in his face, to the point of making him a Bishonen.

    Films (Live-Action) 
  • There is art depicting Sadako Yamamura/Samara Morgan from The Ring as a Moe Shrinking Violet.
    • The fantasy potential of a woman popping out of a TV screen into your room has inspired a lot of art of Sadako as a bombshell with an hourglass figure and/or a wet nightgown slipping off her shoulders.
  • Speaking of slasher movies, the majority of slasher movie killers like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers are horrifying in appearance on-screen, from covered in burn scars to highly deformed, but tend to be cute bishonens in fanart. Definitely applies to the "Draco in Leather Pants" trope.
  • The Phantom Menace: Expect Darth Maul to be more handsome and muscular in any fan art.
  • Inverted with The Room: fan works such as the flash game tend to make Johnny and Lisa into gonk characters because of the Rule of Funny, which is helped by Lisa being a rather egregious example of Informed Attractiveness and Tommy Wiseau, the film's director who also played Johnny, being a lot less attractive than he thinks he is.
  • The Hobbit: While Bilbo is hardly ugly, he's visibly middle-aged (Martin Freeman was in his forties at the time of filming) and more cute-looking than beautiful. That hasn't stopped a number of fics from describing him as if he's some stunningly beautiful angel, sometimes even describing him as having golden hair and blue eyes even though he very clearly does not in the film. One example of this is the fan art for Gardening; while the fic itself isn't half-bad, the Bilbo in its art resembles canon!Bilbo even less than fanon!Snape does canon!Snape in the image at the top of this page.
  • While the parody of Mystique in Epic Movie is clearly intended to be attractive initially, being portrayed by the stunning Carmen Electra, her later transformation into a fat flabby unibrowed woman clearly was not. Still, any fanart of her fatter transformation is normally tweaked to be slightly more attractive, mainly by removing her crossed eyes and unibrow. Her weight, however, is surprisingly not altered much, and occasionally she's made to be ever bigger due to the appeal most have with the latter transformation in the first place.

    Literature 
  • The Harry Potter fandom, of course.
    • Snape was described in rather unattractive terms, with greasy hair, crooked teeth, pale skin, and a long, hooked nose. You would think this would have put more people off, but no. More than a few critics are of the opinion that the Adaptational Attractiveness Snape got from being played by Alan Rickman played a part in this.
    • Lucius Malfoy is another example. He's not unattractive in the books, but that's because he's given virtually no description at all. Put Jason Isaacs in a blond wig and fancy wizard clothes? Now you're talking.
    • And Lucius' son Draco, played by Tom Felton, isn't too shabby himself. This actually came up in an interview with J.K. Rowling - she mentioned not quite understanding Draco's leather-pantsed status, pointing out that she never said he was attractive in the actual books.
    • Hermione, however, is by far and large the best-known example of this trope; the fans who use her as a Possession Sue will have her undergo a makeover, making her bushy hair slick, and having her grow "curves in all the right places" over Summer vacation, to get all the boys lusting after her. Saturday Night Live even ran a skit about it. Like Snape, though, her movie self shoulders a good part of the blame. Emma Watson filled out nicely.
    • The most exaggerated example? Lord Voldermort/Tom Marvolo Riddle himself, of course. The solution to this problem is rather simple: make him change his "human form" by having his appearance be the same as his actor, Ralph Fiennes. This is a simple demonstration, and it raises a lot of Tom/Harry possibility. Then again, it was noted that Tom was pretty good-looking in his teen years.
    • Also, Voldemort's mother Merope Gaunt. In canon, she's described as very ugly, with both her eyes pointing in the opposite direction. Fanart of her tends to make her very cute and Moe. Of course, being one of, if not the most tragic and sympathetic characters in the series certainly doesn't hurt her case.
    • In the books, both Neville and Hannah are a bit pudgy. In Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness, Hannah's hotness was concealed by the school robes, which made her - but none of the other girls - look fat, and Neville replaces all of his fat with muscle, helped by him being starved for weeks as part of a punishment.
    • In fanon, the bustiest student in Harry's year is Susan Bones of Hufflepuff. This was never noted in the books, where Susan's descriptions never went beyond how she wore her hair (materials outside of the books would give her red hair, but no further description distinctions).
  • Zigzagged with Aziraphale from Good Omens. Most early fanart of him depicted him as a slender, youthful Angelic Beauty but over time, fanon depictions of him gradually shifted to giving him a more plump, middle-aged, and/or bookish appearance. After he was played by Michael Sheen in the TV miniseries adaptation, many fans began drawing him as noticeably chubbier than he was in the show but with the intention of making him a Big Beautiful Man.
  • The Discworld became prime turf for this sort of thing when fans started to gleefully exploit the lesbian subtext of Monstrous Regiment, about girls joining an army by pretending to be boys. At a conservative guess, 98% of MR fanfic and fan-art revolves around the characters getting it together, and the obvious lesbian pairings are romanticised and glammed up in an Up to Eleven way. Two girls described in the text as half-starved and dishevelled escapees from an abusive orphanage/workhouse became lesbian icons in the eyes of many. Elsewhere, the austere and asexual Lord Vetinari suddenly became the focus of many fervently imagined homoerotic scenarios, often with the most unlikely partners.
  • There's fan art for A Series of Unfortunate Events which depicts one of the minor villains - a bald, big-nosed Dirty Old Man who sometimes wears a scruffy white wig - as a gothy Silver Fox.
  • Although he isn't a tremendously popular character, Reek aka Theon Greyjoy from A Song of Ice and Fire often gets this treatment in fanart. While in canon he is described as white-haired, emaciated, looks about 20 years older than he is, and just generally pitiful to look at, fanart tends to tone this down (most usually the premature aging). This tends not to be as extreme as other examples, though, as his pitiful condition seems to be the source of his fans.
  • Raistlin in Dragonlance (described as bone-thin, weak, and all-around unattractive) is prone to this, being depicted as a white-haired Bishōnen in fanart, but then again he's depicted as quite handsome-looking in some official art so this trope is understandable.
  • Jesus Christ in The Bible is described as "having no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him." Popular depictions of him decided to turn him into an attractive (and sometimes muscular, which is actually justified seeing as carpentry involves lots of physical labor), long-haired man. Of course, it may also be a reflection of his inner beauty.
  • Look up The Phantom of the Opera fanart, and often you'll see Erik looking pretty handsome for a man so deformed he has to live underground and away from mankind (even in the ones that stick to the original book's "living dead" description). This is in no way helped by the popularity of the Andrew Lloyd Webber production, the depictions of his deformities/disfigurements varying across adaptations note , and the character's overall wretchedness.
  • Derek from Darkest Powers is acne-ridden, however fan artists ignore that element and make him Tall, Dark, and Handsome.
  • Being cats, all Warrior Cats characters tend to be depicted as adorable, no matter how they canonically look.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Fanart of Sauron, the title character, tends to avoid the "black and hideous" phase of his physical incarnation, or else interpret it as "evil Long Haired Prettyboy at worst". That's when it's not simply a copy of how he appears in the Peter Jackson films (i.e. completely covered in armor).
    • There's also art depicting Olorin, i.e. Gandalf before or after his mission in Middle-earth, as much younger and Elf-like. While it's not out of the question that he'd assume such a form, perhaps to interact with the Elves in Aman, there's no evidence for it.
  • In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the titular Mr. Hyde is described as "dwarfish", with something unsettling about his appearance. Several adaptations (and a lot of fan-art) prefer to make Hyde more ruggedly handsome, which is usually achieved by making him look like Jekyll with wilder hair and more unhinged expressions (and, in some designs, a lack of glasses). This is also frequently done to Jekyll, turning him from an older gentleman into a far younger figure (often a woobiefied Bishōnen to contrast him better with the more rugged Hyde).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Oh, the things the LazyTown fandom does to Sportacus and Robbie Rotten... The extreme athleticism of the former and... suspicious bulge of the latter may be bordering on Parent Service. Either way, the Periphery Demographic has made some... interesting things of both of them. And, from an entirely different quarter, Stephanie. She's quite often subject to She Is All Grown Up or simply artists forgetting how old she's supposed to be (namely, 10-ish).
  • Apparently some Supernatural fans think that Gabriel isn't pretty enough and thus give him a new, drop-dead gorgeous vessel in their fanfics so that he can fit the archangel part better in looks. No, really. There's even a post on Fanficrants about it.
  • A big point of appeal for the character of the Doctor in Doctor Who is that, while all of the actors to have played them so far are rather attractive, it's usually expressed through force of personality rather than looks, with even the most conventionally handsome, Mr. Fanservice ones like Paul McGann or David Tennant being a bit funny-looking rather than generic hunks or pretty boys. This is difficult to tell in fanart, however - it's not uncommon to see some shipper drawing Fourth Doctor/Sarah Jane fanart which does away with Tom Baker's Quirky Curls, big and oddly-shaped nose, and Creepy Blue Eyes, even though they are the most fondly appreciated physical features of the character. On the other hand, a lot of other artists exaggerate the physical quirks of the Doctors, though these ones are usually not doing it for shippy reasons.
  • The ladies of Super Sentai are generally quite pretty, but in fanart they'll more often than not end up much more buxom.

    New Media 
  • Vocaloid:
    • Ryuto (Gachapoid) tends to lose his buck teeth in fan art.
    • If a Vocaloid with no box art or no anime-influenced art needs to get a design from the fans, there's a 100% chance that they will turn out to be handsome/gorgeous. Leon can be anything from a blonde-haired Pretty Boy to a hairy Hunk, whereas someone like Sweet Ann would have her almost creepy box-art appearance turned more generically pretty or in the style of the Crypton Vocaloids. Then there's Amy, Chris, Ken, and Kaori, which have very Uncanny Valley CGI models for designs, so fans gave them more "Vocaloid-esque" designs. The official Taiwanese box art for Sweet Ann did just that, and even did it to Big-Al, Tonio, Prima, and Sonika even though they're already attractive as they are.
    • Even Miku, the legendary ambassador of all things moe, receives this. Never mind that they have Meiko, Luka, and Haku, some fans will draw Miku with huge breasts.
    • Kagamine Len is sometimes drawn as an older-looking bishounen rather than the cute 14-year-old Keet that he normally is. This kind of depiction of Len is sometimes called "Ikelen". It gets turned on his head when they want to make him a lithe, adorable shota that looks even younger than his official art.
    • Fukase's almost visceral left side of his face tends to get toned down to a couple of strange marks around his fully red eye (and even that can be toned down to just a red iris). Though his boxart makes him look a bit off, fanart tends to turn it into Creepy Cute or makes him outright cute as a button due to his design looking around Len's age.
    • Some fanart, including the default MikuMikuDance model for Kaito, have him not wear a shirt under his coat.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE features mostly robotic but still humanoid characters. It goes to reason that fan artists will try to humanize them even more, or smooth out their metal parts to create a sleeker appearance. For a more direct example, compare Toa Gali as a set and in fan art.
  • The cute, Shetland-looking ponies of My Little Pony get transformed into majestic-looking horses in fanart.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Fanart of Humans and Eldar from Warhammer 40,000 always make them look attractive. The Eldar are Rubber-Forehead Aliens, so it's not a case of mild Canon Defilement. However, some of the fanart of Tyranids turns them into Ugly Cute creatures and sometimes even a bunch of Ridiculously Cute Critters. On the sexual side there's the Tau, Tyranids, Necrons, and Daemons:
    • The Tau are usually drawn with mammary glands and an average bust size of E. In canon, the only difference between the genders that humans can perceive is that females have a Y-shaped mark between their eyes while males have an I-shaped one.
    • Tyranids are drawn as Humanoid Aliens. The only features that make them look like Tyrannids is a bunch of Chitin plates and claws. If you didn't know better you would think it's a human female in a costume.
    • Necron pariahs are created from humans, but they have a completely robotic appearance. The way fan artists draw them makes them look like a Sex Bot.
    • The most remembered daemons are Slaanesh's Daemonettes. Daemons from the other Gods tend to be drawn in the same way. This breaks canon because:
    • Imperial Guardswomen tend to be drawn in much more Stripperific clothing than males even though in Canon their armor is much the same as any Guardsman.
    • Farseer Macha's entire character was pretty much re-purposed into a Ms. Fanservice by the fandom. Her only official appearance was in the Dawn of War PC game, and she was covered from head to toe in armor and robes (including her face), but that didn't stop fans from obsessing over her and creating lots of lewd fanfiction and art involving her.
      • She's ditched the helmet for Dawn of War III. While somewhat attractive, her face is longer and sharper then a human's and thus looks, appropriately, a bit alien.
  • Warforged from the Eberron setting of Dungeons & Dragons ordinarily avert Non-Mammal Mammaries. The (unfortunately defunct) DeviantArt member Maelora didn't like this and chose to draw a "nude" female Warforged with breasts purely for Rule of Sexy.
  • Many Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG fanartists tend to omit Elshadoll Winda's puppet-like features on their fanart of her. She often looks a human wearing a skin-tight outfit.

    Webcomics 
  • Quite possibly lampshaded in this Brawl in the Family strip (original page found here).
  • Given the cartoonish style of Homestuck, there's a lot of room for interpretation as to how attractive the characters are:
    • The Trolls are generally drawn in fanart as pretty good-looking for grey-skinned, horned aliens.
    • It's inverted with the Exiles and other characters from Prospit/Derse, who are often drawn with carapaces, claws, and other details that are left out of the more stylistic art of the main series.
      • Snowman is just as often drawn with human features and texture resembling skin. Fanart including Spades Slick with her will render him similarly.
    • PM's God Dog form after she puts on the Queen's ring gets this a lot too, depicting her as a curvy, furry goddess of some kind, ignoring the fact that in this form she's often mistaken for a taller Palette Swap of Jack Noir, who is unquestionably male.
    • The scrawny, wheel-chair bound Tavros is depicted as being The Big Guy shockingly often.
    • The Troll Ancestors are often drawn with much smaller horns than they canonically have, but this is understandable since the horns can get insanely large. This can get less understandable for the Troll Kids' horns, however, which have obvious but simple designs but get reinterpeted quite often to suit the artist's desires. Tavros, despite having the largest horns by far, will often get drawn with smaller, sometimes thin horns for the sake of convenience.
    • Special mention has to be made of Equius, who's a sweaty brute with broken teeth and poor hygiene in canon. But give him a shower and a stylist...why hel-LO there. Here he is as a human (NSFW).
    • Karkat, too. Fanon depictions of him often do away with the eye bags and sharp teeth, but the messy haircut tends to stay. Although there are fans who manage to make the eye bags and sharp teeth work. The result tends to be surprisingly adorable.
    • Whether cherub fanartists will play straight, avert, or invert this trope is often a crapshoot. On the whole, it seems that if a piece of art is supposed to be light-hearted, fluffy, or shippy, you can expect them to be drawn in a cutesy, Super-Deformed sort of style with their grotesque features minimized or stylized for maximum cuteness. If it's supposed to be a more serious picture, depictions run the gamut from what they basically look like in canon to... well... (Spoilers here, obviously!)
    • The Striders tend to get this treatment by fanartists very often.
    • Mercilessly skewered in the comic itself, when Caliborn shows off his Deviantart account, which is full of amateurish and terrible Animesque drawings of the Homestuck cast. He shows off some of the pictures in his narration as well, gushing about how sexy they all are.
    BECAUSE OF MANGA. AND ITS INHERENT CAPABILITY TO TRANSFORM ALL THAT IS HARD AND CRUEL. INTO FIGURES OF SUBLIME BEAUTY.
    • Some fanart tends to portray Feferi and Meenah as adorable BBWs, with the former losing her horrifying teeth and with the latter becoming more Creepy Cute in the process. To be fair, though, both of them are suggested to be fairly attractive in-universe.
    • Sollux tends to get the Nerds Are Sexy treatment. While Sollux does probably have the most admirers among the male trolls, most of those individuals liked him either for facets of his personality (Aradia was drawn to him because they were kindred spirits, Feferi liked his "grumpy" side), were just desperate for a date (Eridan, and he wanted Sollux as a kismesis, i.e, he hates him) or were ambiguous as to what their intentions were (Terezi, who teasingly flirted with him once, but was likely just teasing him). There was never any indication that they found him physically attractive (indeed, some updates suggest that physical attractiveness is irrelevant to sexual desirability in troll society).
  • Freefall: Florence Ambrose in canon, Florence Ambrose in fanon. note 
  • The Order of the Stick used to have threads on its forum titled "Oots Fanservice" to gather fanart. Since the comic is drawn in stick figure style, any fanart depicting them as attractive is Self-Fanservice. Since some characters (Haley, Elan, and Miko) are said in-universe to be attractive, it's natural to draw them as such.
    • The elf Vaarsuvius is perfectly androgynous and, by implication, not necessarily attractive to human eyes. But give the character the Woobie treatment and make their modestly-lengthed (purple) hair grow to long, wild and luxurious (purple) lengths as a side effect of a magic spell, and what you get is fanart and fanfic that accentuate the character's ethereal and feyish frailty, their delicate appearance, etc. And don't forget the pointed ear fetishism.
      • It becomes apparent in Vaarsuvius fanart that his/her androgyny is difficult to translate into more detailed (i.e. not stick figure) art styles. So usually you get feminine features on an ambiguously feminine body.
  • Spoofed in an arc of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, where many of the hugely-muscled, hypermasculine characters contract Nomura Syndrome. According to the creator, all of the prettified characters are based on fanart she found (including, most notably, a tongue-in-cheek drawing of Sailor Pyramid Head). When the creator was criticised for Unfortunate Implications, she added in a character, Ryu, who was originally a pretty 16-year-old boy whose exposure to a curse led to him becoming a huge, eternally snarling, roided-out hulk, to bring the message note  back on track.
  • Jerkcity HD features all sorts of interesting interpretations of the Jerkcity characters, but soon you'll notice a lot of the contributors like to draw Spigot the beatnik (the only obviously human character in the main cast) very attractive.
  • Mary Lee Walsh/Slaweel Ryam in Sonichu is an old Wicked Witch with long gray hair and a horned gold Viking helmet, but fan art usually portrays her as a young Hot Witch with a short blonde bob cut and red horns (the latter being because earlier artwork portrayed her with just the helmet). This is done largely to piss off the comic's creator, since she is based on the dean who expelled her from college.

    Web Original 
  • Homestar Runner:
    Strong Sad: Uh, Strong Bad? Were you just first-basin' it with that piece of loose-leaf?!
    • On that matter, it looks like turning Strong Sad into a hoodie-wearing Emo kid has become increasingly popular. A rather thin one too.
    • Several humanizations of Homestar have him as a Pretty Boy with white hair.
  • While nobody is denying that some of the people of That Guy with the Glasses are attractive anyway, fangirls turning the boys into skinny bishies and fanboys making the girls thinner and bustier than they are in real life are both popular.
    • Taken to ridiculous levels in the Hate Fic/WankFic "Beer Enema". A lot of people think the Critic is attractive, yes, but there is no way you could think he has a "barbie doll face".
    • As a good case-in-point: Doug Walker is, in real life, Prematurely Balding, with a visibly receding hairline and a bare spot on the top of his head. Even when he isn't drawn with Generic Cuteness, you can count the number of fanarts that depict this on one hand.
    • Acknowledged in the Osmosis Jones behind the scenes, when Doug and Tamara are delighted with bookmark fanart that makes them both look skinnier.
  • Happy Tree Friends, with its Estrogen Brigade and humongous following on Pixiv, has a large percentage of its fanart containing Moe Anthropomorphisms of the critters. Not a big deal, but humanized Flippy is almost always a teenage Bishōnen, undoubtedly due to being a Draco in Leather Pants. Being that Flippy was a war veteran, he should theoretically be much older than how he's often drawn. And then there's Flaky, who despite her well-known androgyny tends to get a Girliness Upgrade thrown on her like a ton of bricks, as well as her dandruff getting drawn like Multicolored Hair.
  • The Notepad and Tony the Talking Clock of the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared series have popular personifications that are a strange mix between Tim Burton and Evil Is Sexy. The Notepad becomes a leggy woman with Multicolored Hair while Tony becomes a blue-skinned Biseinen with a scruffy beard and a blade. They also seem to flanderize their sinister undertones into full-blown Axe Craziness, which allows for a Masochism Tango when paired with one-another in this form.
  • Monster Factory fanart tends to turn the extreme Gonk character designs that are the entire premise of the show into Generically Cute characters, if only because they look like cute caricatures in a cartoony art style rather than their Uncanny Valley CGI forms. Sometimes they even get drawn to look the way they are (ironically) described in the commentary, such as drawing D-Bomb to look like an actual "powerful feminine force" instead of a hellish blue-grey polygon soup. The Final Pam gets drawn to look unironically "crisp" in her red dress, quiff and sunglasses, too.
    • Taken to intentionally parodic extremes in Alexis Moore's zine, a parody of a style mag in which the monsters are dressed in flashy designer outfits.
  • Some RWBY fanartists try to subvert the show's tendency towards Generic Cuteness by diversifying the cast in this manner. In addition to the usual bust and hip upgrades, they give the female characters noticeably different facial features and skin tones, and give physically strong characters (like Yang or Pyrrha) more muscle definition.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Fanartists sometimes draw Rachel and Judith so they're not as Gonkish as the other characters claim.
  • The boys of Eddsworld get a fair bit of this. Tord gets hit with this the most, especially after the Series Fauxnale revealed what he looks like in uniform, which resulted in a lot of fans giving his "Red Leader" persona the Evil Is Sexy treatment, complete with an eyepatch and a long flowing coat. This became Hilarious in Hindsight when former showrunner Tom Ridgewell revealed what Tord's Red Leader persona actually looked like...and he's a Darth Vader Clone with his entire body covered up and his face hidden by a mask.
    • Interestingly played with regarding Tom - while the fandom has a very frequent tendency to make him weirdly buff despite there being no evidence for this in the show or comics, he always tends to keep his empty eye sockets, with no fans attempting to give him human-like eyes.
    • After "Saloonatics" at least, Edd tends to be portrayed as a Big Beautiful Man.
  • You'd be surprised at the sheer amount of fanart that depicts the famously hideously disfigured Jeff the Killer as a Bishōnen. Very possibly disgusted too, since Jeff was only 13 years old in the original creepypasta.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-999 is a friendly blob of orange slime with the power to induce happiness and cure depression. Its article doesn't say anything about it having a face, but fanartists always draw it with one to make it even cuter.


Alternative Title(s): Fan Self Service

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