Fannish Hive Mind

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Synonyms:
See also: Fanon, Fannish Osmosis, Unpopular Fannish Opinion
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Fannish hive mind refers to the tendency of a fandom to behave, at times, as if sharing a single gigantic brain. The hive mind is often named as the reason why fans come up with the same ideas at the same time, the reason why certain pairings or tropes become suddenly popular, or the source of fanon (especially when no one is sure where the fanon actually began). It's also a term for the collective experience and wisdom of a fan community; "fannish hive mind, help me!" often precedes requests for obscure or trivial pieces of fannish information (which are usually promptly answered by someone.)

On fandom wank, the term used tends to be "hive vagina", generally used mockingly as in "Since we're the Hive Vagina, of course, we all have one opinion."

Notable examples

  • Gundam Wing fandom in its heyday was of the collective opinion that all of the Gundam pilots were sleeping with each other and that Relena Peacecraft was an annoying stalker who needed to die. More specifically, everyone shipped Heero x Duo and Trowa x Quatre, in those specific orders, and admitting to liking Relena or shipping other pairings was a surefire way to get flamed.
  • In Smallville fandom, it's extremely rare to find fans who actually like Lana Lang. It's always naturally assumed that everyone hates her and thinks she's a badly-written Mary Sue.
  • Specific pairings and headcanons in Fire Emblem, to the point where fans have confessed anonymously to feeling like outcasts because they felt differently.
    • The pre-Blazing Sword era was a small, cozy coalition of fans who enjoyed a then-obscure Japanese RPG series and half the time shared the same taste in characters, ships, and tropes. The newbie boom of 2003-2004 kickstarted the fandom's volatile nature, as not only did the old-school fans shun anything new and different but new fans fought them back just as hard or even fought amongst each other.
  • Anime fandom in general held a negative attitude towards dubs and a high regard for fansubs and raw episodes. Anyone who admitted to liking dubs was seen as "uneducated" and in need of rescuing. This attitude has died down over the past ten years as dubbing has overall improved.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender's Sheith fandom developed one after the final season, with shippers who did like the season or so much as tolerate Shiro's canon husband Curtis felt afraid to express those opinions.
  • Fannish hive mind popped up in a huge way with the release of the Black Cover zine in Beauty and the Beast fandom. The explicit porn and Vincent/Diana relationship explorations did not sit well with the fandom, largely composed of vanilla het and gen authors and Catherine/Vincent shippers.

Meta & Further Reading

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.