Comfortfic

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: comfort fic, comfort!fic, comfort-fic, snifflefic
Related: fluff, schmoop
See Also: WaFF, hurt/comfort
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Contents

Comfortfic (not to be confused with hurt/comfort fic) is the fanfiction equivalent of comfort food. Different fans will have different individual comfortfics, but generally, any fic that you read in order to make yourself feel better when you're stressed, ill or just having a bad day, could be considered comfortfic.

Since comfortfic is "in the eye of the beholder," authors usually do not label their own stories as comfortfic, unless they are writing it specifically as a way of comforting or cheering up a specific person. [1] [2]

A closely related concept is the 'safety tab' story, a term invented by thefourthvine to describe comfortfic one has on standby in case of a depressing story emergency:

"I have one story that I know is cheering and good and filled to the brim with joy and healing, and I keep that one ready and available in a tab. If a story takes a turn for the worse, or I finish it so depressed that I am ready to begin a career in coffee shop poetry slams, I simply click over to my safety tab and read until I feel better."[3]

Definitions

Fans have defined comfortfic as:

  • "a cozy, comfortable, familiar fic." [4]
  • "one of those stories that is great to curl up with in bed when you aren't feeling well yourself." [5]
  • "what I generally read when I’m depressed, as a reward for handling anxiety inducing real life stuff, when I’ve had a lousy day .... They bring me joy, good cheer, or hope when the world is too dark." [6]
  • "like the reading equivalent of hot soup for me — comforting and thick and wonderful." [7]

Common attributes

Again, although every fan will have their own comfortfic that works for them, here are some common attributes that fans may prefer in their comfortfic:

  • Stories that are longer as opposed to shorter, so that you can "sink in" and be enveloped in the world of the story
  • Stories where a character is actually sick (although usually only slightly ill, not at death's door) and another character cares for them. These stories, sometimes called "Sniffle fic" or "Sick!fic" may blur the line between hurt/comfort fic and comfortfic.
  • Similarly, stories where a character is depressed or stressed out, and another character offers emotional reassurance or hugs.
  • Stories that are curtainfic or domestic!fic, where characters deal with everyday life instead of huge, important, stressful situations. Kidfic often makes for good comfortfic.
  • "IT MUST END WITH HAPPILY EVER AFTER, OKAY?" [8]

Resources

References

  1. siberianknight, Always .... "Okay, here's my comfort fic for hostilecrayon" Posted June 26, 2006. Accessed November 26, 2008.
  2. spinshadow, Tides of Fate - Ni~ya x Aoi "A bit of comfort-fic for antisocialriot because she's been feeling blah lately." Posted August 25, 2007. Accessed November 26, 2008.
  3. thefourthvine, from 183: Let the Healing Begin Posted 22 October 2008. Access 31 March 2010.
  4. MrsMosley, Lois & Clark Fanfic Message Boards: What's your comfort fic? Posted September 28, 2008. Accessed November 26, 2008.
  5. Jennie, Jennie's The West Wing Josh/Donna Fic Recommendations Posted November 2005. Accessed November 26, 2008.
  6. Vom Marlowe, Comfort Fic! Posted June 18, 2007. Accessed November 26, 2008.
  7. Rageprufrock, It’s weird, these things that remind you. Posted June 17, 2007. Accessed November 26, 2008.
  8. pocky-slash, Today has been kind of a crappy day so far Posted March 18, 2008. Accessed November 26, 2008.
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