9 Fanfic Tropes I Can’t Live Without

9 Fanfic Tropes
Inventory picture by RetroSupply @unsplash

The Geekiary is 9 years previous as we speak! Fanfiction is a big a part of many fandom experiences, and it’s no completely different right here at The Geekiary. Final yr we even celebrated Worldwide Fanworks Day with a webcast dedicated to spotlighting our favourite fics, fanart, and extra. This yr, to assist ring in our ninth anniversary, I believed I’d speak about my favourite tropes in fanfic.

I do know that we are typically crucial of a number of the tropes we come throughout in media, however not all tropes are unhealthy! I imply, the fundamental definition of “trope” simply means “literary device”. And whereas we’d like to yeet some tropes into the solar (goodbye, Bury Your Gays!), anybody who says that they don’t have not less than one favourite trope might be mendacity to themselves.

And I do know some folks desire to maintain their fandom and IRL selves separate, however I’ve by no means been one in every of them. So I’ll now proudly current, in no specific order, the 9 Fanfic Tropes I Can’t Reside With out (plus some fic suggestions – from my very own bookmarks!).

1. Harry Potter AU

My relationship with Harry Potter and its higher universe has change into more and more extra difficult through the years. I’ve already sworn off shopping for any new official merchandise or paying to see any future movies in theaters. However JKR doesn’t make any cash off of fanfic, and I get all weak-kneed for a very good Hogwarts set AU (alternate universe). I don’t even care that more often than not, it doesn’t make any sense! (Why are all of the characters from an anime set in Japan attending a wizarding college in Scotland? Do you assume I care?)

I do not know why I really like these a lot. I suppose it’s partially to do with the truth that HP was a large a part of my life since I found the books in faculty. One of many methods I adjusted to New York Metropolis after transferring right here was becoming a member of the native HP meetup group. Sorting characters in different fandoms into Hogwarts homes was the factor to do for actually years. I’ll by no means not get excited to examine my favourite characters (no matter fandom) wandering the halls of Hogwarts studying magic.

Suggestion: In Protection of Reptiles (And Different Gross Issues) by rikke (IwaOi, Haikyuu!!)

That is by far my favourite HP AU of all of my fandoms. It options Oikawa being chosen as Hogwarts champion for the Triwizard Match and Iwaizumi realizing that Oikawa’s in love with him. However it additionally consists of the most effective use of footnotes in a fic I believe I’ve ever seen. (It very a lot jogged my memory of studying Discworld.)

2. Faux Relationship/Married

Is there anybody on the market who doesn’t get pleasure from a very good Faux Relationship fic? It typically covers so many different tropes like Mutual Pining and There Was Solely One Mattress. I even get pleasure from this trope in different media, as a result of it’s simply a lot enjoyable. A personality is put in a scenario the place the one logical answer is to exit and discover somebody to faux to be their vital different, and naturally the primary individual to agree is the character that they’re secretly in love with.

It’s all concerning the craving, everybody. It’s about that italicized oh. The characters should be put in these ridiculous conditions, as a result of in any other case they’ll spend their complete lives pining!

Suggestion: The Easiest Manner Ahead by harriet_vane (WangXian, Mo Dao Zu Shi/The Untamed)

This one is dishonest just a little bit, as a result of they don’t a lot faux to be married as truly get married below false pretenses. However Wei Ying has all of the sudden discovered himself the caretaker of a four-year-old little one, and clearly the one factor that Lan Zhan can do to assist is counsel marriage. (Bonus Unintentional Child Acquisition!) And nobody is aware of that they’re not actually married, for reals.

3. Harm/Consolation

Ah, the coveted whump!fic. Typically you simply must examine one in every of your favourite characters being injured and the opposite one caring for them. This works particularly nicely in the event that they don’t like one another (or assume they don’t!) when the comforting occurs. Harm/Consolation permits for superb character improvement, since you get to place the characters in disaster conditions and theorize how they’d react. (After all, in some fandoms, Harm/Consolation fics are simply one other Tuesday.)

I believe one of many causes this trope resonates with me a lot is as a result of I dwell alone, 1000’s of miles away from everybody in my household. After I get sick, there isn’t any one to make me soup or carry me juice. I like studying about my favourite characters being taken care of. It makes me really feel much less alone.

Suggestion: Studying to Stroll (So That We Can Run) by ricekrispyjoints (IwaOi, Haikyuu!!)

That is undoubtedly one in every of my favourite IwaOi fics, which has Iwaizumi caring for Oikawa after he has knee surgical procedure. I really like the way in which their relationship is written right here, and that is an nearly 30k fic the place all the factor is Harm/Consolation. There are large issues, like ready by way of the surgical procedure, however there are additionally little issues, like bringing him his backpack so he doesn’t should stand up. The place is my Iwa-chan?

Inventory picture by Markus Spiske @unsplash

4. Royalty AU

There are a number of flavors of Royalty AU. Possibly one in every of them is royalty and one is a commoner. (Yum!) Possibly they’re each royalty from neighboring kingdoms. They may very well be in a fictional nation, in a interval setting, or the modern-day Prince of Wales. Regardless of the motive, I completely love studying concerning the misunderstandings, the social conventions, the organized marriages- something that comes up when your ship is royalty.

I’m undecided why I’m so obsessive about the concept of royalty. If I needed to hazard a guess, I’m certain it might have one thing to do with watching Disney princess movies throughout my youth. Or possibly it’s as a result of I’ll probably by no means encounter royalty, and I wish to examine issues I don’t cope with in my on a regular basis life.

Suggestion: A Determined Association by mikkimouse (Sterek, Teen Wolf)

Considered one of my earliest bookmarks on AO3, and one of many solely fics I ever learn whereas it was a piece in progress (WIP). This one additionally kind of suits below the Faux Married trope, as Stiles and Derek get a quickie marriage so as to shore up a peace treaty between their kingdoms. You may as well throw some Harm/Consolation into there, as a result of Derek is coping with some trauma from his earlier damaged engagement. Principally, there’s a good buffet of tasty tropes to feast on.

5. Enemies to Lovers

Yeah, Pals To Lovers is nice, however have you ever ever tried Enemies To Lovers? There may be simply one thing so engrossing about two individuals who fall in love principally towards their will, or their higher judgment. Fics which might be about enemies falling in love have a tendency to incorporate different well-liked tropes, normally Harm/Consolation or There Was Solely One Mattress. 

Enemies To Lovers can enable for some actually nice character exploration as they delve into why they’re so interested in somebody who is meant to be there enemy? There can be some nice ethical or moral discussions as a result of, let’s face it, there are completely different sort of enemies. It’s one factor to be athletes on opposing groups, however what if you happen to’re troopers on opposing sides? The chances for character improvement (and angst) are countless.

Suggestion: love, in hearth and blood by cicer (WangXian, Mo Dao Zu Shi/The Untamed)

Let me inform you, this fic is superb, okay? It’s over 300k phrases, and after I bought to the top, my first thought was, “That’s it?” I might legitimately learn one other 300k phrases set on this universe, the place Lan Zhan is principally bartered to Wei Ying so as to safe his assist in the battle towards the Wen. Lan Zhan has solely heard terrible issues about Wei Ying, and Wei Ying suspects Lan Zhan is a spy. That is extra of an Enemies To Pals To Lovers, however let’s not break up hairs.

Inventory picture by Jessica Lewis @unsplash

6. Coffeeshop/Bakery AU

The Coffeeshop AU might be essentially the most ubiquitous AU in all of fandom. You will see that not less than one Coffeeshop AU for each fandom you may consider, and I’m certain most fanfic readers can identify one off the highest of their heads. I’m together with Bakery AU as a subset as a result of they’re comparable sufficient that they need to depend as one factor. (And in addition, I really like baked items and hate espresso.)

Coffeeshop AUs work finest in fandoms the place it’s fully out of character for them to be working in a coffeeshop (for instance, one thing like Star Wars, the place coffeeshops don’t exist). There’s simply one thing about placing these extraordinary characters in mundane conditions. I do know I stated that I wish to examine issues I don’t cope with on a regular basis. However I additionally wish to examine sappy, fluffy, on a regular basis issues. (I’ve layers, okay?)

Suggestion: The Introduction of Espresso by mixtapestar (Merthur, Merlin)

Consists of every little thing you’re keen on a couple of good Merthur fic: everybody loves Merlin however Arthur, who’s a little bit of a prat. However they determine it out in the long run.

7. Non permanent Amnesia

A Non permanent Amnesia fic can go one in every of two methods: both it’s hilarious, or it’s heartbreaking. I swear there isn’t any in-between. The fluffy sort of Non permanent Amnesia fics are those the place somebody is doped up after surgical procedure and doesn’t do not forget that their companion is their companion. However then you’ve gotten those the place somebody bought into an accident and has no recollection of the individual they’re courting.

As with Enemies To Lovers, the potential for angst is off the charts with this trope. In some cases, it may be used for a recent begin. In others, a ship is again at the place to begin. I don’t wish to learn something that doesn’t have a contented ending, so I get pleasure from studying about characters who discover their manner again to one another in the long run. It provides me the hope that love can survive something.

Is it just a little bit cleaning soap opera? Possibly, however I don’t care. I’m normally not studying fics for the realism.

Suggestion: you’re the difficulty that i at all times discover by sundiscus (WenZhou, Phrase of Honor)

I’m undecided if this technically counts as Non permanent Amnesia, as a result of a lot of the fic takes place in Zhou Zishu’s head, however nonetheless, it revolves round him forgetting about Wen Kexing, and Wen Kexing having to interrupt by way of to his reminiscences. So I’m counting it. And recommending it, as a result of it’s so good.

8. Well-known AU

This isn’t to be confused with a Royalty AU! Belief me, these are two very various things. A Well-known AU can embody actually something. I get pleasure from fics the place they’re actors, YouTubers, skilled athletes… You identify it, there’s a fic for it. Whether or not it’s solely one in every of them that’s well-known or whether or not they each are, I really like studying about how these losers in love navigate their manner by way of a relationship unfolding within the eyes of the media.

Well-known AU can discover quite a bit about relationships. Particularly, the sacrifices that you just generally should make once you’re in a single. Is your profession necessary sufficient to you to run the chance of driving away the individual you’re keen on? Or did you uncover that you just’d somewhat prioritize your relationship? I really feel like a variety of us wrestle to discover a good work/life stability, so fics like this may be actually cathartic.

Suggestion: Subsequent Huge Factor by earlgreytea68 (Arthur/Eames, Inception)

This fic is bonkers in one of the simplest ways. It’s the third in a collection, however you don’t actually must learn the sooner fics to learn this one. Principally Arthur and Eames are personalities on an HGTV present and get invited to evaluate a actuality competitors for inside designers. Shenanigans ensue. At occasions this fic is simply too ridiculous to be actual however at that time you’re so invested, you don’t care.

9. Soulmate AU

You assume I’m not going to incorporate Soulmate AU on this listing, when that’s one in every of my all-time favourite tropes? I’m a sucker for these fics, whether or not it’s soulmark, first phrases, can’t see coloration, or what have you ever. Fic writers can get actually artistic in how they write what determines a soulmate, and I’ll fortunately learn each attainable situation.

I’m a type of individuals who believes that there’s somebody on the market who’s extra suited to you than anybody else, which is why I really like Soulmate AUs. Additionally, as an introvert with social anxiousness and low vanity, I’ve simply at all times beloved the concept of the universe doing all of the be just right for you. Relationship is scary! I might like to have a mark on my arm that matches another person’s.

However simply because the selection is made for you doesn’t make it straightforward. Soulmate AUs can cowl a variety of floor. In spite of everything, relationships take work no matter the way you ended up collectively. And what about individuals who meet on the improper time of their lives? What about individuals who don’t need soulmates? There are a variety of instructions you may go together with this.

Suggestion: deuteranopia / 緑 by dollcewrites (BakuDeku, Boku no Hero Academia)

That is a type of fics that will get just a little artistic with how characters establish their soulmates, in that they’ll’t see a particular coloration till they see it of their soulmates’ eyes. However what occurs when somebody is coloration blind?


Thanks a lot for supporting us for the final 9 years! Be sure you tune in to our anniversary webcast tonight on our YouTube channel! And hold forth within the feedback together with your favourite trope!

Writer: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a spotlight in artistic writing from The Ohio State College. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Lengthy Hair on a Windy Day, which is accessible by way of Amazon. She is presently an archivist and lives in New York Metropolis along with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers tv, books, motion pictures, anime, and conventions within the NYC space.

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