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Wattpad is a fiction-writing website where users can both read and publish stories, created in 2006 with the intention to build a welcoming community for amateur writers. As of 2018, over 400 million stories have been uploaded to the site in over 50 languages, and there are over 65 million users, although this didn't happen overnight. Unlike similar sites like FanFiction.Net, Wattpad didn't become a household name until the boom of smartphones and e-books in the early 2010s, with statistics stating that 85% of site traffic comes from mobile devices.

A variety of genres are uploaded to the site every day, from comedies to action, however, the most popular stories are either romance or Young Adult literature. Viewers can comment and vote on their favourite stories, which will appear on the "What's Hot List" if the stories are popular enough. Annual story contests are held which any user can participate in, but the biggest one is the Watty Awards, which award the popular, "on the rise", and "undiscovered" original stories of the year. The most voted and viewed stories over the years have been published into mainstream books by companies like HarperCollins and Random House, and some books have been adapted for the big screen. note 

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Ironically, outside of the Wattpad community, a large amount of Snark Bait (commonly found on YouTube) is towards either obscure original stories or popular fanfiction, mostly due to the large teenage demographic. Common fanfictions were self-inserts about handsome famous musicians note  or actors in an Alternate Universe who would fall in love with the teen girl protagonist, whereas original stories would be about paranormal romance similar to Twilight, or high school and/or college girls wanting to change the mysterious, handsome rogue in her class. A lot of these stories have since become cult classics, reaffirming the stereotype of Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls, but the stories were popular enough to become a cliché within the website, leading to the rise of meta Wattpad books which critique or parody the reoccurring themes and plots.

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Regardless, Wattpad is a place for many to express their creativity and show the world how good of an author they are, showing that everything has an audience, no matter how weird or samey.


List of well-known Wattpad stories

  • After — A will they/won't they Harry Styles fanfiction series written by Anna Todd in 2013. Published in 2014 and adapted into a film released in 2019.
  • As Dreams Are Made On (also hosted on AO3 and FanFiction.Net)
  • The Bad Boy Stole My Bra — A 2014 story by Cherry_Cola_X about a girl who catches a good-looking stranger breaking into her bedroom at night and plans her revenge
  • Chasing Red — Published in 2017 by Isabelle Ronin about Caleb who is attracted to his new roommate, Veronica, who wears a red dress.
  • The Free Willies (also on Tumblr)
  • I Sold My Soul to the Devil For Vinyls ... Pitiful, I Know — Uploaded in 2011, published 2014 by DarknessAndLight.
  • It All Started with an Apple — Uploaded 2012, published 2013. Written by Ashley Winters. A stubborn, judgemental girl throws an apple which hits the most popular boy at school.
  • The Kissing Booth — A 2012 romance by Beth Reekles. It was adapted into a film by Netflix, which was released in 2018.
  • The Last Virgin Standing — Uploaded in 2012 and published in 2014 by Tiffany Huynh; Charlotte Summers is the last virgin in her school and five boys want to deflower her.
  • My Brother's Best Friend — A 2014 romance by knightsrachel about a girl who is forced to share an apartment with her twin brother's friend.
  • My Life with the Walter Boys — A 2012 story by Ali Novak published in 2014 about an orphaned girl who is adopted by a family with twelve sons.
  • Trapped in a Island with Josh Hutcherson — A young girl runs away from home to become a Hollywood actress but is washed up on an island next to her celebrity crush Josh Hutcherson. Originally a brief tale with a small following. Brought to the internet's attention by Jenny Nicholson.
  • Why Wattpad Drives Me Crazy! — One of the many famous rant books about the clichés of the site's most popular works.

Common tropes in a Wattpad story

  • Adults Are Useless: The stories where the main character has parents are usually this. They can sell you into slavery, are doormats, and/or have no objections to their teenage daughter dating a teen idol a decade older than her.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Type "bad boy" into the search engine of the site and you'll find hundreds of stories about bad boys. The title "The Bad Boy that Saved Me" is a very common story. Said bad boys are usually manipulative, aggressive, possessive, and judgemental.
  • Alpha Bitch: The main character's rival is this. She may or may not strut around the high school hallways with their Girl Posse, but she is often mean to the protagonist for no reason.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The majority of the fanfictions about teen idols are this. Common ones are babysitting, being adopted, being kidnapped...
  • Big Fancy House: What most characters live in. They may or may not have a swimming pool, which is an excuse for Eating the Eye Candy.
  • Big Man on Campus: The male love interest might be this, whether he's a bad boy or the captain of the school's sports team. Regardless, every girl in the school is fighting over him, whether he knows it or not.
  • Black and White Morality:
    • It's often very clear who the author wants the audience to support, even if the protagonist is a massive hypocrite and makes the Alpha Bitch look sympathetic.
    • To paraphrase a YouTube comment: "Everyone in a Wattpad story is either stinkin' rich or broke poor. There is no in-between."
  • Camp Gay: Any male gay character. Manly gays, meanwhile, are often discovered to be a Bruiser with a Soft Center.
  • The Casanova: The bad boy is sometimes this. He will become a Ladykiller in Love once he notices the protagonist.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Protagonists who have suffered from Love at First Sight will often boil with fury if another girl drifts into the love interest's radar, even if she and the love interest haven't spoken to each other yet.
  • Coffee Shop AU Fic: A trend in a lot of Wattpad stories c. 2013 was that the main characters would meet up at the local Starbucks. Sometimes it was because it happened to be everyone's Local Hangout spot and other times, it was because one of the characters had a Mc Job there, creating sexual tension if they have to serve their crush's table.
  • Compassionate Critic: A lot of the anti-Wattpad rant books and parodies are this, such as the famous parody Worst Story on Wattpad, which didn't hold back on the characters openly discussing how ridiculous the clichés were.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The stories that begin with the female protagonist thinking that something was different about today as if something was going change her life, which is usually followed by her bumping into the mysterious love interest a few paragraphs later.
  • Crack Pairing:invoked "If it exists, it can be paired." This is how you can get couples like Shrek and Gordon Ramsay, and you and The Pope.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: The main character's childhood friend might turn out to be only befriending the main character so that he could get closer to her.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:invoked The colloquially-dubbed "Wattpad Story" has recurring plots and themes to the point where if a book published in the real world has similar threads, everyone on the internet assumes it came from the site. Pointed out profusely in rant books.
    • A majority of stories begin with the female main character getting out of bed in the morning. This is either because her parents are calling her for breakfast/to get ready for school, or the alarm clock on her phone is ringing. She'll then go to the mirror and have an internal monologue about how she'll never find a boyfriend as she looks at her reflection, and then tie her hair up (always in a "loose, messy bun") and get changed.
    • A re-telling of a popular young adult novel (usually Twilight) or a blockbuster movie with a self-insert and (occasionally) a teen idol as a love interest.
    • A dying girl story either goes one or two ways:
      • The girl (who usually has cancer) gets to have a request from the Make a Wish Foundation to meet her teen idol. The two of them might fall in love and her teen idol might bravely offer to have a transfusion to help the girl.
      • A girl begins a happy relationship and then discovers she has a Victorian Novel Disease. Her loving boyfriend will offer his kidney.
    • A girl's parents will sell her to a gang leader/bad boy/boy band member (the author has a crush on), and the girl will fall in love with the buyer. He eventually develops feelings for her too.
    • A girl will meet a bad boy that she wants to help, despite him pushing her away.
    • A girl who doesn't like a certain boyband will be forced to go to a concert with a friend (who is the biggest fan in the world) that has two tickets. When the girl begrudgingly goes, she will either be noticed by the band and they'll pull her onstage; she will have a Love at First Sight moment with one of them or one/all will have the same with her; or she is converted into a fan.
    • You Wake Up on a Beach next your Celebrity Crush.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Not always marriage, but two characters can declare their love for each other even if they've only spoken a few times.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Any kiss in a story described as, "His lips crashed into mine", which unintentionally sounds more painful instead of romantic.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Before this feature was removed from the site, Wattpad allowed authors to write their cast list in the corner of each chapter. Amusingly, real person fanfics often had the real person playing themselves.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: The common plot of a Wattpad romance, especially if the character believes herself to be a frumpy non-conformist.
  • I'm Not Pretty: A common criticism of Wattpad protagonists is that the leading lady claims that she is too ugly for a boyfriend, but she'll be described as a voluptuous, petite blonde with glowing, beautiful eyes (and that's not including when the author wants Scarlett Johansson or Amanda Seyfried to play her). Often appears as a pet peeve in rant books, and was parodied brilliantly in Worst Story on Wattpad:
    I cursed my tardiness, catching sight of my reflection in the mirror. I saw my blonde waves glisten in the morning sunlight, and the blue orbs of my eyes sparkled like pools of moonlight. "God, I am one ugly piece of work," I sighed melodramatically. No wonder I had no friends.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Double subverted. There is a version of Wattpad called "After Dark" designed for adult content, but this hasn't stopped NSFW stories from appearing in the search engines of the normal site, usually marked in the titles or the blurb's disclaimer.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Averted; might merge with Work Off the Debt. A "being sold into slavery by parents" story is usually the result of parents who cannot afford to have their daughter and selling them into slavery, but it's never usually confirmed why the victim's family is in debt in the first place.
  • Love Triangle: Common for the protagonist to have more than one guy vying for her affections.
    • The Kissing Booth took an alternate route and had Elle pine for her friend Lee's brother Noah, but Lee wouldn't allow the relationship. Not because he loved Elle, but because he wanted to protect her from Noah's violent tendencies.
    • Meanwhile, boyband fics had all the members fight for the protagonist's love.
  • Magical Minority Person: The girl protagonist will always have a token as a friend; walking stereotypes vary.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The love interest (because of the teen girl audience).
  • MST: Viewers are allowed to comment on each paragraph of a chapter so one can read someone's thoughts on the story in real time.
  • Not Like Other Girls: Often quoted word for word by the love interest, especially if the love interest is a womaniser that the protagonist has finally tamed.
  • Real-Person Fic
  • Rule 34: If you dive deep into the Mature-tagged Fan Fiction...
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Some authors fall into this trap constantly. Either the entire book is written like this or a sophisticated thesaurus word will appear at random in a story written in a casual sentence.
  • Spoiler Title: Most of the titles of stories are premise lines (meaning many of them are ridiculously long). One could skim through titles of Wattpad books and know what they were about without opening them. What could Babysitting the Bad Boy be about?
  • Sturgeon's Law: Inevitable for a site where anyone can post fiction on.
  • Theme Naming: One gets a sense of deja vu when they browse through the Wattpad library because some are bound to be full of characters with the same five names.
    • Teen fiction, for example, is an ever-shrinking world which is becoming a Planet of Steves: bad boys are most likely called Rider/Ryder, the jock is called Jake, and the Latino student in the background is named Fernando or Carlos.
    • Expectantly, werewolf erotica fiction features characters with wolf names.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Much like a common cliche in Wattpad stories in which the story is written in the first person despite POV shifts. Sometimes, it can take a weird turn in which every paragraph devotes itself to showing how the next person in the room is reacting.
  • Teen Idol: The love interest, if the author hasn't already chosen one of the many Wattpad Love Interest stereotypes. At Wattpad's original boom (c. 2011), these would be idols like One Direction, Justin Bieber, The Jonas Brothers and actors from teen shows/movies like The Vampire Diaries, but Time Marches On ensued and the roster has shifted dramatically, ending the 2010s withYouTube/Vine stars and K Pop boy bands.
  • Tropes Are Tools: Any teen fiction cliche you can think of has been used and abused.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Referring to eyes as "orbs" is common.
  • We All Live in America: A lot of stories can be this.
    • Most notably, stories set in high schools that are written by non-Americans have stereotypes as if it were an American teen movie from the 1990s. It's noticeable if the author, from a country known for having school uniforms (for example), has characters dressed casual, and talking and behaving like students usually do from the author's country.
    • Alternatively, an American author setting the story in another country can conspicuously slip up. Contacting 911 is a common mistake.
  • Weird Crossover: You'll find the strangest crossovers on Wattpad, from a romantic self-insert between you and The Pope, to [insert boyband here] and you during The Purge.

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