The Fandom That Ate Fandom

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See also: Migratory Slash Fandom, Fannish Drift, Juggernaut Ship
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A Fandom That Ate Fandom is a vast, black hole (media) fandom about which all Fandom seems to turn, drawing away fans from other fandoms until the next fandom that ate fandom comes along.

Fandoms That Eat Fandom frequently trigger a certain amount of frustration and resentment on the part of those who aren't interested but have to watch all their friends and favourite fanwork creators endlessly talk about it.

"When I see all that SGA stuff, I basically hear Charlie Brown's teacher, and nothing more: "Mwahp mwahp-mwahp, mwahp-mwahp-mwahp mwahp-mwahp."
I know, I know, I am so bad and wrong and an unbeliever because I Do Not See the Light of the fandom that ate fandom."[1]

A fandom can be incredibly huge, grow exponentially and still not eat fandom, i.e. impact the relative size of established fandoms. Examples include Harry Potter and Twilight, which ate the mundane world instead of cannibalizing existing fandoms.[2]

A fan in 2007 speculated that "It's not really about the shows. It's because every two years fandom wants to be eaten by something new. Roughly: 2006 SPN 2004 SGA. 2002 Pop. 2001 Smallville. 1999 The Phantom Menace. 1996 The Sentinel. There wasn't a lot of time between Smallville and Pop. Some might even argue that Pop doesn't count but Pop fandom in 2002, what caught on just as hiatus started, changed how fandom dealt with RPF/RPS. Harry Potter fandom is simply too big, in case you were wondering why I left it out." [3]

Examples of Fandoms That Ate Fandom

  • Some fans expressed dismay at the number of zine submissions for the Star Wars movies, in comparison to Star Trek submissions. Some even went as far to note "and please, Star Trek only, no Star Wars!" (as written by advertisers seeking contributions for the gen zine Sol Plus, quoted in Boldly Writing, p.44).
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace swallowed almost all the other big media slash fandoms of its time in a short and intense love affair for one or two years.
  • Smallville
  • Supernatural (followed by J2)
  • Stargate Atlantis
    • "One fan once said that SGA was the fandom they expected would make contact with aliens. Aliens would just one day appear on Livejournal or a message board looking for more McKay/Sheppard slash. That's how big, how addictive, and how purely awesome the fandom is. It is the fandom that ate fandom; the black hole fandom, sucking people in and keeping them forever."[4]
  • Merlin was briefly a fandom that ate Fandom in late 2008/early 2009. After that it grew by drawing people from Fanfiction.Net, YouTube, deviantArt and other fannish spaces not so strongly connected to media fandom.
  • Inception ate much of movie fandom in 2010.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) (December 2009) and Sherlock (BBC) (July 2010) immediately overshadowed the book-based Sherlock Holmes fandom. Sherlock was still in vogue as of July 2013, but then had to share the field with Elementary.
  • Hawaii Five-0 ate many of Stargate Atlantis's prominent fans in 2010.
  • The 2012 film version of The Avengers (May 2012) rapidly devoured fandom.
  • Teen Wolf in 2012-2013?
  • Homestuck
  • Undertale

Anime Fandom

The same type of phenomenon is the norm in anime fandom where fans, from the general reading public to hetshippers to yaoi fangirls, tend to suddenly get into whichever Shounen Jump series is big at the time. Examples of fandoms where this sudden interest was more unusual or dramatic include:

Meta/Further Reading


  1. 2006-11-03 comment by JS Cavalcante in a livejournal post by mrsronweasley.
  2. See Talk:The Fandom That Ate Fandom. (Accessed 15 February 2011)
  3. a comment by copracat at Why SPN?; archive link by cereta (November 2007)
  4. A Stargate Pimp Post by mklutz, posted April 15 2007 (accessed 6 January 2010)