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Go To is, as this page was written, the internet's largest Alternate History site since the collapse of Soc.history.what-if. Revolves around a discussion forum that has been in existence since 2000 and in its current form since 2004. Has produced a great deal of AH fiction output; a full list of timelines with links can be found here on the site's wiki. has also produced some AH, science fiction and fantasy stories in the form of prose, which can be found here.


However, the forum's Off Topic section is also notable for having developed its own subculture over the years, filled with Running Gags and Memetic Mutation. All of this has found its expression in The Series, a satirical comedy-cum-drama (Depending on the Writer) series parodying both common Alternate History settings and tropes, and more generically the futuristic sci-fi setting of the titular crosstime ship. The crew and most of the guest cast is made up of fictionalized forms of the Board's own members. If it can be categorized as a Self-Insert Fic, we can only conclude that most AH.commers are raving sadomasochists, given what usually happens to the crew.

In addition to the main Series, there have been several other similar productions, such as Luaky Commer and Wars (parodies of Harry Potter and Star Wars starring the characters from the Series), the Spin-Off AH Dot Com The Next Generation, and others.


As a disclaimer, however, much of the content, including the Future History, ASB and Off Topic sections, on the forum is accessible only to logged in members. The main logic behind it (according to the moderators) is so that it would encourage people to sign up for the more "serious" discussion threads, with the rest available afterwards (with a Writers' Block section sensibly restricted for copyright reasons).

It also has a Shared Worlds section divided up into Shared Worlds, Moderated Games, Nation Games, and Map Games.

In addition to their main wiki, they have also created their own variation on TV Tropes, titled (of course) AH Tropes. It's currently in its infancy, so Wiki Magic is necessary.

Due to server issues, the site goes down at least once a month. It always comes back up eventually.


    open/close all folders Works with TVTropes pages 

Works from this website referenced here:

Note that many of these timelines and scenarios (whether fully finished or not) are quite grand examples of Archive Panic. You have been warned...

    AH.commers on TVTropes 

AH.commers who are also tropers include:

Tropes appearing in board culture include:

  • 419 Scam: Often referenced due to similar scams being attempted by spambots invading the forum occasionally. The name 'Charles Akawele' for an archetypal Nigerian spammer is a Running Gag.
  • Alien Space Bats: The Trope Namer is soc.history.what-if, of which is a spiritual descendant.
  • Alternate History – Nazi Victory: The "Nazi Victory" is generally seen as cliche, not only because it's primarily popular for newbies to the forum, but because it's very prone to Alternate History Wank and Artistic License – History for the sake of Rule of Cool. In particular, positing "Operation Sea Lion", the planned Nazi German invasion of the United Kingdom in 1940, as a Point of Divergence has become a meme on the forum for being one of the most ill-conceived invasion plans in recorded history and highly unlikely to result in a Nazi victory. Still, there are a few timelines that have gained some acclaim for being well-written/researched, such as The Anglo/American – Nazi War .
  • Argentina is Nazi-Land: Averted. The board has long deemed this an overblown cliché, whether in AH works or real life (the idea of Nazi emigrees setting up a Fourth Reich in South America is ridiculed in particular).
  • As You Know: This overly obvious mode of infodump tends to be frowned upon by the AH community as bad form, but can't always be avoided.
  • Ban on Politics: Averted. American Gun Politics was a recurring topic of heated debates, though by mid-2009 it had tended to be superseded by same-sex marriage and especially universal health care.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The entire forum has a (memetic) tendency to get riled when people start talking about Operation Sealion (Hitler's plan to invade Britain) because discussion has long since been played out and there is a universal consensus that the plan was so badly conceived that its success was essentially impossible.
      • Though a somewhat goofy thread does exist asking about why Sealion is hated and people are quite civil there.
    • Over at the Chat sections, God help you if you a.) mention "TEH EVOL MUSLIMS WILL TAKE OVER DA WORLD" and/or b.) troll extremist or Conspiracy Theorist drivel.
    • Kindly avoid making Monty Python references. Yes, everyone does expect the Spanish Inquisition by now.
    • Invoking the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys stereotype has also become hated as well.
    • Cracked is widely regarded as being unreliable and overly-sensational, with one poster so far as declaring it to be "Encyclopaedia Britannica written by The Sun."
    • It is a Running Gag that whenever the subject of Israel comes up in Chat, somebody will get banned before the discussion is done.
  • Brain Bleach:'s version is to scream and call for "THE FORKS! THE FORKS!"
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Justified Trope, given the Alternate History settings the board's authors create and tackle. Here's the specific wiki page that lovingly maps the whole phenomenon.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Parodied with "The Underboard" running gag.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Naturally, alternate popculture is a frequent feature of many of the board's AH stories and projects. Pages compiling some discussions on these topics can be found here and here.
  • Double-Blind What-If: Naturally, some forum games will ask for an “alternate timeline” that produced an event in real history, with the forum members coming up with both a timeline without it, and then determining how residents of that world would write the original request.
  • Eagleland: When "Ameriwank" scenarios come up, generally their authors have flavour #1 in mind and everyone else is pointedly reminded of flavour #2.
  • El Spanish "-o": A Running Gag on the site, started by member Thermopylae, who refers to map updates to his timelines as "El Mappo!", and later used by the Heterosexual Reconquista.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Posting news stories involving primates is practically a Running Gag in the Chat forum. Most of these, and other primate-related posts in various threads, are the work of board member mojojojo.
  • Everything's Better with Plushies: Several years ago, the site started the "Sealion World Tour". This joke project is still on-going in 2011. The members send a plush sealion named Sealion from one member to another, who'll take pictures and post them on the forum. Sealion has been to four continents so far and has last been seen in Brazil. The reason they used a sealion? It's an ironic mascot of the site, referencing a surprisingly popular yet horribly implausible AH scenario. It gets better when you find out the person who is supposed to receive said stuffed animal in the end is nicknamed on the forum... "The Overlord".
  • Fake Movie Real Trailer: This thread.
  • Fan Sequel: Many published works of alternate history have received this experimental treatment over the years in various scenarios posted on the board. These unofficial re-imaginings and continuations are usually of high quality. Her Diamond Heart is one of the re-imaginings of S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers. Decades of Darkness was explicitly created as as an attempt to make a realistic timeline with an evil empire in the vein of The Draka, making it an Inspired by... re-imagining of sorts. There's even an unofficial continuation of Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 series.
  • For Want of a Nail: Great care is usually taken by writers of counterfactual timelines in the choice of the point of divergence.
  • G.I.R.L.:
    • Several allegedly female trolls have been accused of this in the past, notably this one.
    • Parodied with one prominent male member claiming to secretly be a teenage girl called Kayla, who is in a relationship with a boy called Dylan (the secret identity of another member who, in real life, really is female). One of the board's many running jokes.
  • Horse of a Different Color: In the board's less serious moments you will occasionally find mention of Bear Cavalry and the like for sheer Rule of Cool. Though outside the Alien Space Bats area of discussion, expect to see some deconstruction of the possibility for less likely animals.
  • Inexplicable Cultural Ties: Criticised and dubbed the "Citroen DS Incident". (The latter was based on how a former forum member once criticised the use of too much real world iconography on the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and in AH fiction).
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Did you know that atom bombs are a hoax perpetrated by Jewish tribalist uncles who sit inside nuclear reactors rubbing vaseline into potatoes ? Apparently, one (in)famous banned troll virulently believed in this. It became a minor meme on the site after his banning.
    • Other bits of famous troll logic include the idea that children making chalk drawings on sidewalks will cause gay couples to jump off bridges, and something to do with public trees on private land (or possibly private trees on public land). See here for more details.
    • Also, this thread, which is the stuff of legends. A ridiculously implausible Polish Alternate History Wank combined with several staggering examples of Artistic License – History. And the troll responsible wasn't even Polish!
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: There's a timeline called "The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies".
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): As with the alternate terminology seen in many timelines, alternate geographic names are equally common.
  • Lost Episode: In an infamous 2011 case of moderator powers abuse, now-banned board member maverick hard-deleted several threads from the discussion board, most of which were his own extensive timelines, projects and stories, an event that would become known as the Maverick Mutiny. Though some efforts have been made to recover them via the Internet Archive and similar sources, most of them have been permanently lost.
  • Mad Mathematician: Zyzzyva jokingly received this kind of reputation.
  • Mass Teleportation: Quite common in scenarios involving Alien Space Bats. The local term is ISOT, a verbed abbreviation derived from the initials of S.M. Stirling's novel Island in the Sea of Time. (E.g. "I'll ISOT myself/country XY/person XY to the year...").
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: Routinely spoofed and skewed. Popular joke names include "the Randomid Caliphate", "Implausiblid Caliphate", "The Obligatory Supercaliphate", and "the Inevitablid Caliphate".
  • Network Decay: Periodically people will rant about the decline of the "History" Channel and other documentary channels that are supposed to focus on history.
  • No Name Given: The Sealion World Tour featured a stuffed toy sealion called... Sealion, because nobody could think of a suitable name. He was eventually dubbed "Silas" by the Brazilians, a Punny Name that only works in Portuguese.
  • Patriotic Fervour: Parodied, occasionally played straight.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny
  • Person as Verb: The mapmaking style of member B_Munro (minimalism coupled to snarky annotations) has become so popular that other mapmakers often refer to taking an older map and "B_Munrofying it".
  • Play-by-Post Game: The Shared Worlds section contains a variety of them (map games, Alternate History RPGs, etc.). A good deal of them become complex stories or universes given enough time.
  • Podcast: The Podcast.
  • Running Gag : In addition to using some mainstream internet memes, has its own set.
    "X needs a warm water port!"
    "And Alsace-Lorraine!"
    "And a transcontinental railroad to connect them!"
  • Scrapbook Story: Many of the best works on the site.
  • Serious Business:
    • The Universal Colour Scheme (UCS), and by extension, map colour schemes for alternate history maps in general. Resulting in a feud over a proposed revision to UCS. The Change: Moving Non-Communist Russia from a Gold-tone to a Green, but then, it was Decided by One Vote (well, two votes - 183 to 181), so obviously lots of people argued.
    • The "Pony Wars" ended after several members were banned, several more had their posting privileges temporarily revoked, and a moderator being demoted. People still are hesitant to discuss it today.
    • Don't attempt plagiarism on You'll get kicked right away and once you return, you will never get a second chance if you do that sort of thing again.
  • Shown Their Work: Because of their love for the genre, the members of the board try to do this as much as possible - even when writing deliberately silly and Rule of Fun scenarios and timelines.
  • Single-Issue Wonk: A lot of the banned members or trolls fall into this category.
  • Silly Reason for War: While some of the on-board disputes have an amount of seriousness to them, they've been mostly jocular in nature.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Nobody can ever agree on how to spell Colonel Gaddafi's name.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: At one point a beard-growing contest was held, with the winner being given the title of "Ultimate Macho Manly Mountain Man In The Height Of His Manliness".
  • Trope Decay: In the past few years, the overuse of the term Alien Space Bats to mean "anything that seems implausible or not very probable to this board member" had lead to the erosion of its original meaning. Many senior AH.commers (but newer ones as well) disliked this trend because it had started bordering on complete Natter. They had campaigned to bring the term and acronym back to its roots and stop its overuse as a derogatory shorthand. It seems to have worked, since the overuse/misuse has largely been reversed and had pretty much gradually vanished as a problem during the 2012-2013 season.
  • Unknown Rival: Alternia.
  • Worthy Opponent:, before it went down at least.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Generally seen as a codeword for "this timeline shouldn't be taken entirely seriously." They've been sporked as a cliche, but everyone still admits that they're too cool not to put in somewhere.


Example of: