Fannish Regrets

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Synonyms: fandom regret, fan regret, embarrassment
See also: Gafiating, Deleting Fanworks, Fail
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Fannish Regrets is the act of expressing regret over participation or a certain aspect of perception, in media fandom. It is often the underlying reason for fans gafiating from fandom or deleting their fiction, vids and blogs.

Archive of Our Own has at least two "official" options for fanfiction that may touch upon this topic. They are Orphaning Fanworks, as well as using the tag "juvenilia."

Some Reasons

The reasons for fannish regrets are complex and individual.

One of the most common reasons is a fan writer or vidder expressing unhappiness with the quality of their early fanworks.

On occasion it can refer to a fan's regret for having participated in a fandom they feel is now embarrassing.

Other fans have fannish regrets about the opinions or tone they have taken in the past and wish to distance themselves from such. Fans will often express regret over a statement they have made, a review of a zine, story, or vid, or having adopted a specific position in an ongoing debate.

Still, other fans recognize the mistakes and the just plain stupid things they've done, and wish their name and persona would simply disappear, at least in connection to such personal fannish missteps and disasters.

Some use the concept of fannish regret ironically, using it to express love and affection for a fandom, a story, or a concept. It can also take on a defiant tone, such as when embracing a fandom that others find embarrassing or distasteful.

In the print days, once having committed these thoughts to paper, a fan could not retract their words.

In the more fluid online life of today, many fans will attempt to scrub their words from forums, blogs and websites and will demand that others do the same. This often has the effect of backfiring on the regretful fan as many feel that while it may be reasonable to try to remove one's own past history, demanding that of others is over-reaching.

Examples of Usage

  • "Song I'm least proud of: "Banned From Argo", no contest! I wrote it to order, to fill in a four-minute shortage on the master tape when we were recording SOLAR SAILORS, and hoo- boy, do I ever regret it! The damned piece of fluff became damn-near as popular as "Hope Eyrie". It's inspired a horde of filk-variations (which Random Factors has collected into a book, gods help them), got asked for at every con for years until I got so heartily sick of it that I refused to sing it again, and now it's inspiring spin-offs too. Arrrgh!" [1]
  • "I pray I won't tumble into fandom regret. Because I do so love Torchwood. Why yes, in fact I *am* a rabid fan!"[2]
  • "well, my fandom-regret cherry has now been popped and I'm finally internally weeping along with the rest of you."[3]
  • "that awkward moment when you notice the Game of Thrones video you made and are actually proud of has 50 views on youtube but the chuck/blair fanvid you made 4 years ago when you were an ~angsty teen~ has 80,621 views. i know my “good” vids are way more recent but jfc the comments keep rolling in on that damn gossip girl vid every other day. at least my old sylar fanvids to ~linkin park~ have been erased from history. This has been a moment of fandom regret with Nova."[4]
  • "I fell in love with BA/Murdock this time, and the next day, did my usual fannish thing and gorged myself on fic and vids. I regret nothing!"[5]
  • My zine The Lost Stories were "previously net published over three years ago (but good luck finding them). As they were written in the full flush of new to the fandom and the whole concept of fic writing period enthusiasm and arrogance by someone who'd read way more fic than they'd actually seen the show, as I grew more familiar with the characters and got a bit more writing experience under my belt I became less and less pleased with these early efforts. Damned embarrassed by them, to be honest. I've been meaning to 'fix' them for a long time and now I've finally gotten around to it."
  • "My first stories were in the Twilight fandom [regret so hardcore] and the spelling/grammatical errors make me want to claw my own eyes out."[6]
  • "As with most writers who look back at their first stories, I am somewhat embarrassed by it now, since I could have written it much better today. In retrospect, I wonder why Devra took such an amateur effort. At the time, however, it was a thrill to be published. I was so proud of my efforts that I purchased several copies for relatives, friends, and acquaintances."[7]
  • "I've recruited another Potter fan (and against her parent's wishes too). I regret nothing."[8]



  1. ^ Leslie Fish talking about her filk Banned From Argo.
  2. ^ Pipkin Sweetgra in the Torchwood fan forum "Welcome" thread, posting May 20, 2011.
  3. ^ eridangerous's tumblr post discussing revelations in Homestuck fandom, accessed March 6, 2012.
  4. ^ flawedhorcrux's tumblr post, accessed March 6, 2012.
  5. ^ User:Awils1 explaining why she does not regret falling deeply into A-Team fandom.
  6. ^ tellytubby101's comment Story Search, dated June 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Beginning by Joan Verba (SF story, her first submission to a zine, from Boldly Writing.
  8. ^ franintherye's tumblr post, acssed March 6, 2012.