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RPF Fandom
Name(s): EXO
Scope/Focus: K-Pop
Date(s): 2012-present
See also: GOT7, BTS, MonstaX, Seventeen, SHINee
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EXO is a popular K-Pop group based in South Korea managed by SM Entertainment. During the group's first year it promoted as two separate units with six members each: Exo-M, who mainly promoted in China, and Exo-K, who mainly promoted in Korea.

The Group's current members are Suho (Kim Junmyeon) (leader), Xiumin (Kim Minseok), Lay (Zhang Yixing), Byun Baekhyun, Chen (Kim Jongdae) Park Chanyeol, D.O. (Do Kyungsoo), Kai (Kim Jongin), Oh Sehun. Former members are Tao (Huang Zitao), Kris (Wu Yifan) and Lu Han.

The group also has two Sub-units: EXO-CBX, consisting of Chen, Baekhyung and Xiumin, and EXO-SC, which consists of Sehun and Chanyeol.

Official Accounts



The official fanclub for EXO is called EXO-L, meaning EXO-LOVE. L is 12th letter of the alphabet, corresponding to the original 12 members of the group. It is also between K and M, which is meant to symbolize EXO-L promoting EXO worldwide alongside EXO-K and EXO-M. [1]

Because the group existed for over two years before being given an official fanclub name, there was a lot of speculation what the name might be. Many early international EXO fans took to calling themselves Exotics. Some were disappointed when the actual name was announced, while others found the meaning behind it sweet. [2] [3]

I agree with the general opinion that it’s not the best fan club name. It’s a little awkward, and it’s unfortunate the hand sign EXO uses is also the same hand sign that means Loser. But it’s not terrible. Really, there are much worse fan club names out there. Oh yeah, I’m looking at you JYP and your brilliant idea of “IGOT7.” Even GOT7 knows you f-ed up on that one.kpopyourlife

The fandom's official color is silver.

Some fans prefer to call themselves as Aeri (or Eri), after Baekhyun referred to the fans as such in a tweet. The name is a combination of L (prononouced as Aer) and -ie, a suffix in korean that indicates closeness and familiarity.[4]


There are three version of the official EXO lightstick. Version 1.0 was used for their early concerts, 2.0 was released in 2017 and version 3.0 was released in 2019. The three are similar in design, with the top looking like the EXO logo, but version 1.0 is black while version 2.0 and 2.0 are white. Version 2.0 also introduced the added feature that during concerts the light will sync with the performance. [5] While version 1.0 and 2.0 are sold out, version 3.0 of the lightstick can be purchased via the official SM Entertainment webshop. [6]

Charity Work

As with most K-Pop fandoms, EXO-L have collected a lot of donations for charity in the name of their fandom and EXO over the years. EXO as a group have also been credited with doing private charity work and donating generously to good causes.[7] Many of the members have also asked fans not to send them birthday presents, but rather to use the money they might have spent on them to help those in need instead.[8] Because of this, many fan groups organize donation drives to celebrate the birthday of a member instead.

An incomplete list of charity projects by EXO-L between 2014 and 2017 can be found here.

In 2020, Korean EXO-L collected almost 13 million won for Hope Bridge National Disaster Relief Association to be used to prevent spread of the Corona Virus. [9]


As of February 2021, there are over 40k works listed under EXO on Ao3.


Because of the large number of works, most EXO members are shipped with each other. However, some pairings are more popular than others. Some of them are:


Popular tropes in EXO works include:


Chen Marriage Announcement

In 2020 Chen announced that he would be marrying his girlfriend, while also hinting at the fact that she was seven months pregnant. This sudden news divided EXO-L, and many reacted strongly to what they felt was a large betrayal.

EXO-L ACE, a large Korean Fanbase released a statement where they asked SM to remove Chen from the group. The reasons they listed were that Chen's actions reflected badly on the rest of the group, the fandom "falling apart" due to conflicting opinions about the news, and worry about EXO's future promotion schedule. [10] Similarly, the fanbase DC Inside EXO called for a boycott of EXO's promotions until Chen was no longer part of the group. [11]

Some fans were so opposed to Chen's actions that they organised a silent protest outside of a building owned by SM. About 50 masked fans participated, holding signs. [12][13]

We want him out of the group because we don’t want controversial labels following EXO. Being a baby daddy, premarital pregnancy -- these negative labels are tainting EXO’s imageProtester

Other fans reacted to the announcement with glee and humour, congratulating Chen and making jokes about how Sehun (who is the youngest member) would no longer be the baby of the group. [14] Especially international EXO-L condemned what they found to be toxic behaviour by the Korean EXO-L. To show their support, they made hashtags #AlwayswithCHEN and #EXOLBelievesInEXO9 trend on Twitter and organized streaming parties meant to boost Chen's music. [15]

Instead to tell Chen to leave EXO, why would you not leave the fandom? The problem isn't Chen. The problem is your toxic mentality. [...] Breaking news: all 9 EXO members are humans with their own feelings, their own private life and their own love life. They won't be single forever for your sick mentality. They are not your dolls. They are not your properties. When you buy their albums, this is the album that is yours, not the idol. Now take a deep breathe, question yourself. See how sick your attitude is and become a better person and support EXO happiness. Case when we really love someone, we want the loved one's happiness. Not to own him.@exopero

In February SM released a statment in support of Chen, letting fans know he would continue as a part of the group. [16] Following the controvercy, Chen also posted a letter where he apologized to fans for his poor wording and the suddenness of the news. He also thanked them for their love. [17]

Chen's daughter was born in April 2020, and twitter saw an outpour or support and love making the hastags #WelcomEXOPrincess and #종대야_축하해 ("Jongdae, congratulations") trend worldwide. [18]

Fannish Links

Fanwork Communities and Archives



  • camera (shy)- jongin is suho's biggest fan, but strangely enough, he finds deceptively mild-mannered joonmyun even more intriguing. (curledupkitten)
  • Hunt Me Down- The streets held a lot of opportunities, there were many things you could do, many things you could become, many things that could happen to you. Chanyeol had chosen his own path when he was nothing but a child and he had never strayed away from it, now being a member of one of the most infamous assassin clans of the country and carrying the role of sniper. However, he hadn't foreseen their deals getting called off one by one to be given to a new assassin that no one knew anything about besides his odd name. He hadn't expected a confrontation that would throw his whole world into one big dark cloud of confusion either. (Bbaegi)
  • without you to hold i'd be freezing- Everyone around Chanyeol talks about how love hides behind every corner, but they are all wrong. The only thing that hides behind a corner is a short asshole who bumps into Chanyeol on a particularly busy morning and spills Chanyeol's coffee when he needs it the most. (mychogiway)
  • Following You Into The Dark- After witnessing their parents' brutal murder, brothers Kim Jongdae and Kim Jongin were forced to flee their home and forge an entirely new method of living to ensure their survival. Since the tender ages of 7 and 9, they’ve had to survive by their own means, living in a constant fear of an unidentified enemy that Jongdae code named, Them. Jongdae had begun to believe that perhaps as horrible as the event that night was, it was just a per chance instance. But the day when that belief is challenged, Jongdae has no choice but to accept that the relations run a lot deeper than he originally envisioned. That there is something connecting his family with Them. That there’s a personal vendetta somewhere along the lines. Jongdae knows this now, but he also knows they’ve messed with the wrong person this time around, and even if it kills him, he swears the outcome this time will be different. (nyxsomnium)
  • Phoenix- The mercenary crew of the Phoenix takes on the dangerous job of kidnapping three genetic experiments and bringing them across the galaxy, unaware that the scientist who created is chasing them to get his children back. Written as a part of the Exordium Challenge. (unniebee)



  1. ^ All KPop [Updated] EXO announce fanclub name, 'EXO-L'! (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  2. ^ Kpop Your Life Say Goodbye to “Exotic” and Hello to “EXO-L” (accessed 24 February 2021)
  3. ^ Hello K-Pop How Everyone Reacted to EXO-L Being the Official Name for EXO Fans (accessed 24 February 2021)
  4. ^ Allkpop Forum Difference between EXO-L & Aeri? Y so many different EXO fandom names? (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  5. ^ Kpop Fashion EXO Lightstick – Official Version 2 – Price and Where to Buy 2017 (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  6. ^ SM Global Shop EXO Official Fanlight Ver 3.0 (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  7. ^ Koreaboo Ways EXO Used Their Outreach to Promote Benevolence and Generosity (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  8. ^ Kpop Map Fans Touched By Reasons Of EXO Members To Not Receive Gifts Anymore (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  9. ^ AllKpop EXO-L donate nearly 13 million won to coronavirus relief and prevention efforts on behalf of EXO (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  10. ^ Koreaboo EXO-L ACE Release Official Statement Demanding Chen Be Dismissed From The Group (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  11. ^ SCMP.com Why Chen of K-pop group EXO’s ‘selfish choice’ has upset so many fans – and is the ‘toxic’ response fair? (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  12. ^ The Star Upset fans demand that 'betrayer' Chen leave EXO, after marriage announcement (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  13. ^ The Korea Herald Why Chen’s engagement is dividing EXO fans (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  14. ^ Koreaboo 30+ Funniest Netizen Reactions To Chen’s Impending Marriage And Fatherhood (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  15. ^ @ForChenUnion (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  16. ^ Soompi SM Releases Official Statement Regarding Chen And EXO’s Future Activities (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  17. ^ Soompi EXO’s Chen Apologizes To Fans Over Engagement Announcement (Accessed 24 February 2021)
  18. ^ Insider Fans reacted with support and love following reports that K-pop idol Chen, of EXO, welcomed his first child into the world (Accessed 24 February 2021)