Follow TV Tropes


Shown Their Work / Fan Works

Go To

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • In Vathara's work Embers, the Author's Notes go a long way in explaining why certain things happened the way they did using real life comparisons including the cultures of Arctic tribes, properly translated Chinese names and terms and the psychology behind a character's portrayal.

Axis Powers Hetalia

  • The fanfiction Awakening opens with the author admitting to having "a morbid fascination with this period and a deep respect for history" and thus writing the fic as realistically as possible. Various chapters end with notes explaining Josef Mengele's experiments on twins during World War 2, how the twins were cared for, and what happened to most of them after.

Back to the Future


  • A Better Class of Criminal features a supervillain with libriomancy which let's the user duplicate magic items from fiction. Each chapter typically ends in a blurb further describing the magic items to appear in the chapter and where they're from.


  • The author of Hogyoku ex Machina asked her high school readers if they could define tuberculosis without using Wikipedia to determine if Ichigo and friends would reasonably know. She even checked if House airs in Japan to justify Ishida watching the show.


  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • Several behaviors performed by Bolt, Mittens, and the other animals are species appropriate, including their avoidance of toxic human foods and their ability to see color in an accurate way.
    • Advertisement:
    • "The Baseball Game" has an in-universe example. In preparation for his stint as honorary bench coach, Rhino is shown intently poring over a copy of the Single-A baseball rulebook. This comes to fruition during the game when the hamster points out an obscure rule to manager Jimmy Braun allowing him to use honorary Mascot Bolt as a substitute player. The dog scores the winning run as a pinch runner and seals victory when he pulls off a triple play while manning second base.

The Butterfly Effect

  • The fanfic The Butterfly Effect 0 is accurate with respect to southern New York state geography as well as historical events.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers

  • Heroes for Earth has the author's notes in every chapter noting how true to life or factual each chapter is, making the aesops about what one can do to protect the environment even more poignant.

Code Geass

  • The Black Emperor contains a scene of Kallen's mother recalling how she fell into drug addiction which takes cues from the story of an actual drug addict.


  • Shepherd Of The Stars features a lot of Codex entries where the author shows off how much work went into researching the different settings. The author generated randomized tech trees for each faction in the story, tracks what technologies they have researched, and even calculated the composition, armaments, and construction costs of the various fleets that are featured. Considering there are currently ten different factions, this translates to an impressive amount of work.
  • Between Minds (Half-Life and Portal) is packed with this with everything from helicopter specifications to language translations to first aid to building layouts to real-life weapons to cut game material to the actual mechanics of an EMP.
  • The Wizard in the Shadows is notable for having lots of accurate references to the First and Second Ages of Middle Earth.
  • Child of the Storm, written by the same author as The Wizard In The Shadows, reveals this as part of the author's Signature Style, with extensive Author Notes at the beginning and end of chapters to explain and expand upon various points, and even why he's skipping over a relatively minor point in canon.
    • This includes reasonably accurate use of terms from multiple languages (French, Russian, Latin, and Yiddish among them) and draws on a lot of minor throwaway details from obscure corners of each of the canons, as well as extensive mythological references, even certain branches of Western political theory, Ashkenazi Jewish rough equivalents of godparents, and Vedic Saivite philosophy (though both former and latter have the caveat of the author admitting that he's delivering the simplified version, both to readers and In-Universe, so it's easily understandable).
    • There are a lot of accurate historical references and factoids. This is partially thanks to the fact that he was studying for his undergraduate degree in Ancient and Medieval History during the first story, and completed his Masters in Byzantine History in 2018, partway through the sequel.
    • It also uses reasonably accurate depictions of the laws of physics, distance and speed calculations to show how quickly characters would get to one point or another, and more obscure aspects of electromagnetism to expand on the possibilities inherent in certain characters' powers, as well as demonstrating a decent layman's understanding of astrophysics, genetics, and robotics. However, Word of God admits that while he did do the research, he's not much of a scientist so probably made some mistakes.
    • The fic also features some very carefully researched depictions of PTSD, trauma, and the long-term side effects of adult abuse and child abuse (both psychological and sexual). At least one reviewer who'd suffered from it remarking on how accurately it had been depicted, and after chapter 60 of the sequel (which featured a very nasty Past Experience Nightmare regarding sexual abuse), a reviewer identified themselves as a paediatrician and remarked that it was a dead-on depiction of children's responses to sexual abuse.
  • The author behind XSGCOM has an author's notes section after every chapter, where he/she explains from exactly where in the original works every character, plot-twist and gadget in the chapter came. He does the same for Hunted Tribes and New California Dreaming.
  • GreenSonic21, the author of Sonic Generations: Friendship Is Timeless , has clearly done plenty of research on not only pretty much all of the Sonic games, but also the Sonic cartoons and comic books, and it clearly shows. He's even referenced events from the FiM comic books into the story.
  • Dueling Trigger Finger mixes the actual trading card game with the anime's "logic"—such as spell cards being activated on your opponent's turn and playing defense mode monsters face-up—but relies less on Deus ex Machina for each victor of any given duel to win. A good example is Makoto's duel with Rex where Makoto locks down Rex's Frostosaurus with Blizzard Dragon long enough to play Dragon Shield on Golem Dragon, making it pointless for Rex to attack and then summoning a monster a few turns later powerful enough to wipe out the rest of Rex's life points.
  • Every hotel, restaurant, new age shop, and strip joint mentioned in Origin Story is an actual location, and all the prices involved are authentic. The writer mentions several times in his notes that he actually called these people up and asked them questions. Of special note were the women who worked in the men's department at Macy's in New York City, who actually had a twenty minute long phone call with the writer in which they described what could be seen outside the store from the window's of their department.
  • Vigil goes to some lengths explaining how plasma weaponry from XCOM: Enemy Unknown operates and how it interacts with Mass Effect's kinetic barriers, including the important point that plasma, being a state of matter, has mass and is thus affected by gravity. Furthermore, because thermal energy can only be transmitted through a vacuum by radiation instead of more efficient methods like convection or conduction, plasma that doesn't hit something in space is largely ineffective, especially when ships have heat-resistant hulls. As a result, kinetic barriers prove highly effective against plasma. This caused quite a few angry reviews from readers who incorrectly insisted that plasma was just another form of energy and should ignore kinetic barriers altogether. Ironically, Mass Effect: Andromeda would eventually and firmly decide the question: kinetic barriers do block plasma and particle beams.
  • Stallion Of The Line is filled with not only sailing jargon and techniques but also brings up the various strengths of different ship types (such as the superior speed of schooners). Particularly noteworthy is that unlike the popular in fiction strategy of exchanging broadsides, naval battles tend to see ships attempting to "cross the T"note . Likewise one might be able to sail a given ship with only ten sailors but still need several dozen more to man cannons, board enemy vessels, or fight off boarding parties.
  • The author of No Chance for Fate did his work to get numerous things about Japan right, like the formalities of the death penalty, the location of a Christian cemetery in Tokyo or pachinko culture.
  • Stand Ins and Stunt Doubles accurately mentions that Captain America has no moral objections to marijuana as he was frozen in the 1940s and marijuana wasn't vilified until the 1970s when Nixon started the War on Drugs.
  • The Bridge: The author has paleontology as his primary focus. It shows. For starters, he identifies Rodan as a pterosaur and separate from dinosaurs.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:' All the flowers, fruits and vegetables that are mentioned in "The Corgi Car" are safe for canine consumption. The sole exception are onions, which Atticus immediately points out as they were planted in memory of Tulip Olsen (as onions were her Trademark Favorite Food).
    • There are several references to demons from the Ars Goetia.


  • The medical procedure in the first chapter of Extra Life was researched extensively and is greatly detailed to show it. Author's notes also tend to draw attention to or mention other things researched, including PTSD, therapy methods, timeline details, and Japanese geography and culture.

Danny Phantom

Disney Animated Canon

  • The Zootopia story At Our Core has the ZPD follow proper police procedure due to the writer coming from a family of police officers.

Dragon Ball


  • Forward featured realistic space movement, including how dangerous it is to have unsecured materials when there's no gravity. Later on, small-unit infantry tactics are lovingly described as Jayne evades a gang of professional, military-trained gunmen trying to hunt him down.


Harry Potter

  • Different, Not Defective features a well-researched and sensitive portrayal of an autistic Harry Potter.
  • Salazar Slytherin in A Year Too Soon refers to various locations by their names in the 10th century such as using Buwayhid Emirates to refer to the area of Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran. Furthermore, his excuse for not wanting muggleborns to attend Hogwarts isn't a random Freudian Excuse but because most muggleborns were commoners and thus both uncultured and illiterate. Also, many of them were christian and therefore believed magic to be the work of Satan.
  • The Parselmouth of Gryffindor gives the Sphinx the name of Pili Psusennes — an accurate Ancient Egyptian name.


  • One of the reasons the fan blog Brainbent is so popular with fans is because of how accurately and sympathetically it portrays people with mental health issues (except John, who's disorder is unspecified). In particular, Autistic readers really like the non-stereotyped portrayal of Autism.

Kantai Collection

  • Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls has the author(s) doing a LOT of research into everything related to each of the ship girls they've created, such as the ship's namesake, how it sank, etc. and integrating these things into each of their designs and personalities. The creators have given anecdotes of allegedly receiving praise from veterans or their family for successfully capturing all these details, although some are so obscure that it goes straight into Viewers Are Geniuses.

Kill la Kill

  • In Concerning a Drifter, this is mentioned in an authoress note for Chapter 12 (where we find out Ryuuko is a mother that she wanted know to know if one could find out if the mother had twins (or, rather, if the babies came from the same pregnancy) through via a DNA test, mentioning that she did some research that boiled down to it being "yes and no" with differing reasons, so, to make it more plausible she changed it to where a mistake was made in during the testing.
    • Also, in said note, she does mention how she did research on Japan's legal systems in regards to rape and sexual assault, mentioning a few outlines on what's considered resistance against the attacker (i.e fighting back physically vs saying "No") and what whether or not if the victim knew the attacker meant to the case and the police asking Satsuki questions about Ryuuko prior to what happened to her and after, even linking to her sources, one of which details someone else's experiences (which did involve similar questions that Satsuki was asked).
    • In terms of Ryuuko, being kidnapped, held captive, and raped (subsequently being four times impregnated, carrying two babies to term and miscarrying two) for four years can and, a good chunk of the time, do have near irreversible effects on the psyche, however, they might not be to the effect of Ryuuko's. Likewise, what her captors and accomplices did to her could have lasting physical repercussions, as well as psychological ones, as its mentioned that she might need a reconstruction of her private parts and female organs because of the damage she took, along with having her pelvis fractured many times.
    • From Chapter 18, this is played with. According to the note, she tried to do as much research as she could on the subject of adoption and child custody in Japan, however, she didn't turn up much anything, so she had to "wing it" for the plotline but, if she obtains more info, she'd update her note with her sources. In Satsuki's case, this is a bit more overt, as "takatsubo" is an actual condition, generally caused by a sudden shock of emotional stress.
  • When writing Cellar Secrets, the authoress did as much research as she could on the subject, as would be noted on the "Wild Child" page, feral children are rare, thus factual information on them is scant, nevertheless, she did turn to two well known cases, Genie and Oxana Malaya, , though mostly the former.
    • To be more specific, the older Ryuuko is, the less they can actually reclaim what was lost to abuse, neglect, and severe isolation like Genie, who was about 12 or 13 when she was rescued), however, at least, she's learned language due to living around it, even if she didn't have normal human interaction (like Oxana, who lived around dogs but otherwise not away from other humans).
  • This was probably accidental but The Crimson Garment is pretty accurate with what can be the effects of prolonged abuse in terms of Satsuki's psyche, considering the fact that she associates touch with domination, not being able to tell love from manipulation, and is quite afraid of her mother, along with blaming herself for the abuse.
  • One More Time, One More Chance:
    • Bullying and mistreatment can have pretty bad effects on the psyche, if Ryuuko's case is an indication, especially since those things have started to have an effect on her sleeping and eating, along with that she's started puking.
    • As touched upon in chapter 10, due to being mistreated and having no one to bond with during her formative years, Ryuuko has an awfully hard time trusting.
    • Chapter 11 has an accurate portrayal of night terrors and how distinct they are from nightmares.


  • Wings of Change goes into a fair amount of detail about wing structures, such as having minute receptors on the wings and a large collection of bones, justifying how Meta Knight (and later Kirby) can fly, with the species' powerful lungs also helping them out. It also discusses the actual processes of flying such as needing a high lift-to-drag ratio which reduces the amount of energy needed for sustained flight.

The Legend of Zelda

  • Their Bond is a fanfic that deals heavily with alcoholism, drug abuse, various mental illnesses, and the effects of long-term abuse (including childhood sexual abuse). The writer did their research on the issues and also took inspiration from people they know.

Marvel Comics

  • The Daredevil (2015) two-part fanfic Marci Stahl is Better Than You does something very few works involving blind people do, and acknowledges that Braille has a number of weird contractions that don't translate well into written English; not just used to combine two words, but also to condense common words into a few Braille dots (and primarily prepositions). It is the discovery of such contractions in the dossier on Fisk that leads Marci to suspect Matt is the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
  • At the end of each chapter of Policy and Politics of the Unemployed, the author posts links detailing where they come up with various facts, such as how much it costs to fly the Quinjet, requirements to receive a military pension, and military salaries during World War 2.

My Hero Academia

  • In Quirks are Hard, Easier with You, Ochako (a third year in this story rather than Izuku's age) mentions she's so tall because of her Quirk but also has to work out almost constantly to keep in good shape, explaining that being weightless for too long weakens her bones. Both are real side effects astronauts suffer from spending large amounts of time in space.
  • In Viridian: The Green Guide, a cashier who suffered severe electrical burns in a Villain attack asks Izuku why he's using cold water instead of ice to treat his burns. Izuku explains to him that using ice would either shock his system from the sudden and extreme temperature change or the ice would numb the burn so much that nobody could tell if there was further damage.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • Ruin Value is set in the ruins of Seattle, Washington, with all the buildings, businesses, and McDonald's restaurants all located in their real-world locations.
  • Kalash93 puts A LOT of effort and research into his stories. The greatest examples of this so far are the gun porn and detail about the military equipment in Racer and the Geek, and the high levels of realism and detail put into the military aspects of Shell Shock.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The author and his beta/co-writer don't just rely on online translations for the Bilingual Bonuses. They find people who actually know the language they're using.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, the author clearly has done some research into the show and the franchise as a whole. Little in-jokes from the fanbase are prevalent in the fic, and most impressively, the author manages to tie in even the most obscure sources to create one unified Equestrian history canon, pulling from the show, comics, and even the often-forgotten chapter books.
  • Silent Knight: Nightfyre's flightsuit puts constant pressure on her limbs, ensuring proper blood-flow to the brain during stressful maneuvers. This is the same way real life flightsuits work for jet and fighter pilots.
    • In the same chapter, Ash Coat notes some materials on the human sword that genuinely act as absurdly sharp material when treated correctly; it's suggested that some Applied Phlebotinum is employed to sustain this condition.
  • "Celestia Sleeps In" and its sequel "Onto the Pony Planet" by Admiral Biscuit (link) has a blog post for every chapter detailing all the research the author has put into it. This ranges from historical 18th century technology to social mores to anthropology to physics to even actually preparing Equestrian foods in real life to see how the author's human digestive system handles them.
  • Friendship is Optimal has a lot of accurate science, and the author has clearly done a lot of research on artificial intelligence and philosophy.
  • Divided Rainbow, which contains lots of links to phenomenon such as moonbows and lunar phases.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • The author has done a ton of digging into obscure MLP lore when it's come to previous generations.
    • The Shining Armor Arc sees a lot of care put into military research.
  • Fractured Sunlight: The references to horse/pony biology (and the differences from human biology) are accurate. Sunlight's type K blood is a real horse blood type, and she had no idea what periods were at first because horses don't menstruate.


  • The author of Kamikakushi included information about various youkai.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • In Going Another Way, the author went through pains to make sure that the Shinto wedding of Misato and Kaji is shown as accurate as possible. He admitted that he didn't want to be accused of cultural ignorance.


  • Cornova did a lot of research with regards to the ins and outs of the Pokémon anime for Poké Wars.
    • A prime example is how he included an entire chapter on Kaiza, a character from an episode of Pokémon that never made it out of Japan.
    • Also, numerous one-shot characters (Duplica, Yas and Kas Gyms, AJ, etc.) are portrayed perfectly in character.
    • Several of the expanded universe stories show the same degree of care as well. In particular, The Files of Doctor Kaminko and Ransei Military Files - Weapons and Firearms show that authors put considerable research into the various aspects of military hardware.
  • Pokémon × Nimja: Play the Game: Every single personality trait that Nimja gets in this series is accurate to his real-life counterpart. The only thing missing is his Casual Kink... which won't be mentioned in a Pokémon fanfic for obvious reasons.
  • Many articles in The Pokédex - Extended Fanon Edition show quite a bit of research done into the biology of Pokèmon. Though, since it is collaborative, the amount of research shown is generally Depending on the Writer.


  • Marque and Reprisal: the author has shown his work regarding the geography of Africa.
    • In one scene, the privateer listens to dialogue from a space battle. Some of that dialogue is lifted straight from the Robotech episode "The Invid Invasion".

Star Trek

  • Bait and Switch (STO):
    • "Solaere ssiun Hnaifv'daenn"'s author's notes mention doing a lot of research to get the details of Shi'a religious practices correct (the main viewpoint character is an Iranian Shiite, but the author is an American Methodist), and even link to a Shiite-specific handbook for the daily prayers.
    • A Changed World suggests that black holes are scary enough without needing to be unrealistic. Gravitational Time Dilation and redshifting of EM radiation, and the interference caused by radiation from the accretion disk are all plot points. The only concessions to Star Trek are natural consequences of Treknology: a ship can use its warp drive to partially counteract Time Dilation for itself (the ships USS Bajor rescues suffered drive damage and couldn't), and can withstand the gravity well with its structural integrity field.

Storm Hawks

  • In 123leyang321's story "Storm Hawks Fan 3rd Season", besides keeping all the characters surprisingly in character, even the most tertiary canon characters, the author really does her research on the topics she talks about in the episodes. A few examples are:
    • How gravitational time dilation works.
    • How surface tension functions.
    • How evolution works for the same species living in completely different parts of the world, which will cause them to become vastly different subspecies.
    • It discusses how a crystal that can teleport the user needs to bend time as well as space in order to instantly send the user to a different location and how this ability would give it the capability of allowing the user to time travel as well (since it already bends time and space anyway).
    • The pteroeagles hate the heat because they are hot blooded with the same thick skin of reptiles, which would allow them to easily store heat inside their bodies, so that's why they prefer cold climates.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Breech Loader, author of fanfiction Prison Island Break, has put considerable research into such things as medical procedures, prison etiquette, blood types, speech impediments, and the kinds of injuries that would really be caused by the weapons used in the story.
    • The story is also commended for maintaining the personalities of the canon characters even with regard to other canon characters they'd never normally interact with.

Teen Titans

Touken Ranbu

Total Drama

  • The Total Drama fanfic writer, Gideoncrawle shows his work routinely.
    • In his first story, Legacy, this is most apparent in the details related to the victim's wound. His later stories have substantial Notes sections that explain the more obscure allusions, among other things.
    • His Season 1 reimagining story, The Legend of Total Drama Island tends to show his work in-story for such things as inventive solutions to certain problems, and the effects and treatment of hypothermia.
  • Courtney's Crusade for Redemption Invoked by Courtney, covering her knowledge of the season's events by telling everyone that she had seen and analyzed the reruns of past seasons, justifying her Genre Savvy moments.

Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-

  • A lot of details went into the researching behind the locations, schools and universities that appear in the real-world AU Freefall, as well as the symptoms of leukaemia, which a main character is diagnosed with early in the plotline.


Alternative Title(s): Fanfiction


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: