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My memory of the origins of this are definitely X-Files, but Mulder, not Krycek (and it went to Scully next, then started showing up all over). IIRC, the first usage was Action!Mulder, referring to canon scenes were Mulder suddenly went all actiony (instead of talky, basically), followed by, I think, Saint!Scully. Eventually they lost the initial capitals and the canon connections; by the time it hit other fandoms, it was being used to describe fannish things, like caveman!Jim in Sentinel. --Arduinna 06:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Now see, I had always believed it came from action figures, i.e. that there was, like, the Super Bendy Yoga! Bob and the Stiff-Arm Actiony Karate! Bob, and the Puddle-O-Goo Emo! Bob, and each of those got an interrobang to make clear that they were descriptors of the body-type rather than the character himself. Which... kinda dovetails with your understanding, but is also kinda different. Notably, in the days when vidding was less well known, we had all those Plastic Incarnations, which were basically vid scenes as acted out with official X-Files barbie dolls. --Vee 02:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Right; the way I understood it at the time, whoever coined Action!Mulder was making a reference to the action figures. That's why I'm pretty sure Action!Mulder was the first one. Lydia 20:36, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I remember seeing a tumblr post in the not too distant past looking at how these were used grammatically, which would be worth keeping an eye out for. I can't seem to find it in my own blog, otherwise I'd add it myself! Sungabraverday (talk) 06:04, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

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