|Date(s):||2020-09-20 - 2020-01-19|
|External Links:||AO3 link|
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Heat Waves is a popular Minecraft YouTuber (MCYT) RPF fanfic by tbhyourelame. As of January 2021, it is a completed fic with 12 of 12 chapters posted. Despite being archive-locked, it is the most popular fanwork (by hit count, kudos, and bookmarks) in the Video Blogging RPF and Minecraft fandom tags on AO3. Also, despite first being posted in September 2020, the fic is (as of March 2021) the most bookmarked and second-most kudosed on AO3 (the first-most kudosed fic is a fic titled 'I Am Groot' which consists of 1308 words of that phrase repeated in various combinations). It also has the second most hits and the first of any English-language fanwork on AO3.
Its popularity was great enough that the effects were felt on Google Trends. There was a large spike of searches for "heat waves" in the United States between 15 and 21st Nov 2020, roughly corresponding with when Dream mentioned that he and his friends had read the fic. Google Trends also lists the related topics for this search as "Glass Animals - Pop Band" (the artist who created the song that inspired the fic), "Lyrics - Topic", "Archive Of Our Own - Topic", "Fan Fiction - Topic" and "Wattpad - Website". The fourth and fifth related queries are "heat waves ao3" and "ao3".
Upon the 19th of January, alongside the publication of the final chapter, the author announced that the story will be continued with a sequel titled 'Helium', also named after a song upon the Glass Animals' album 'Dreamland'. The author has announced that she will begin posting this sequel after a break (of indeterminate length) from writing.
Chapter 8 and hiatus
There was a hiatus between chapters seven and eight, due to readers of the fic sharing it outside of fannish circles, including with the people involved in the fic - George and Sapnap, the main love interest and a major side character in the fic, have both read Heat Waves, and Dream, the protagonist in the fic, at least knows it exists. In the notes of Chapter 8, tbhyourelame said she planned to "finish it, all of it, and then decide if [she] should keep uploading".
On November 20, 2020, someone donated on stream to Sapnap "explaining about Heat Waves". This event sparked discussion in the Dream Team fandom about boundaries between RPF and content creators:
most people are aware of and respectful of boundaries, but it really only takes one dumbass with a direct line of communication to content creators to screw something for a lot of people and make cc’s uncomfortablewarpedfungusonastick on Tumblr
it’s obvious that the dt fandom is a lot of people’s ‘baby’s first real person fandom’ or even ‘baby’s first large fandom w/ an ao3 presence’ and some people just… don’t know how to act. or they do and they don’t care. either works. that shows in the way heat waves, a pretty normal, well written but… common enough fic on ao3 blew up because people who’ve probably only read wattpad or think all fic reads like my immortal got introduced to better written fic through itpeople just,,, don’t know how to act. the author has made it abundantly clear that they don’t want people shoving their fic in cc’s faces, and some person decided that, either to be funny or because they were having an unthoughtful moment and thought it would be cool, to shove the fic in sapnap’s face.
On December 1, @dreamsspotify, a Twitter account which monitors Dream's public Spotify account, tweeted that Dream was listening to the song Heat Waves at what was 12.23 AM in his time zone.
Heat Waves 12:23pm EST@dreamsspotify on Twitter
Chapter 10 and AO3 downtime
On January 4, AO3 went down briefly soon after a new chapter of Heat Waves was posted, and fans remarked on social media that the fic had singlehandedly taken down the site. The official AO3_Status twitter account said, "Please rest assured that no particular work update broke the site, although we agree that *would* be hilarious."
At 11.10 PM EST, tbhyourelame (@tbhyourelame1 on Twitter) posted on Twitter announcing the update. Four minutes later, at 11.14 PM EST, she tweeted "oh my god the website?", indicating that AO3 had crashed (or begun to crash) by this point. It can be inferred that AO3 was not down at the time the chapter was posted, given the issues caused difficulty with posting chapters and tbhyourelame did not mention any difficulty with posting.
Dakota you just crashed AO3....@aenqa1 on Twitter
IM GONNA BE AN ANTI YALL IM TRYNA READ MY RENAISSANCE ERA LOVE STORY ON AO3 BUT APPARENTLY ITS DOWN BC YALL WANNA READ HEATWAVES 😩😩 sobbing@nellafarmsmelon on Twitter
i feel so bad for the ao3 status account who has to find out that we broke the site because of minecraft youtubers..@ANTEATERANT1 on Twitter
ME LEARNING AO3 IS DOWN BC OF HEATWAVES: Am not against DNFers. But you are all so Anoying. God bles .@ENDERH4LO on Twitter
By 2.42 AM EST on January 5, "Heatwaves" was a trending topic on Twitter in the United States, with a caption reading "Fans look at Chapter 10 of Heat Waves, a fanfiction about a relationship between content creators Dream and GeorgeNotFound". This attracted criticism from fans who believed that "trending" Heat Waves went against tbhyourelame's wishes.
why are you all like this. wasn't the one rule to not do shit like this@ItIsJoshBro on Twitter
On January 6, AO3's Tumblr account affirmed that Heat Waves was not the cause of AO3 going down. To support this, AO3 stated that they had had approximately 3 million page views more of traffic just three days prior. Despite this, AO3 subsequently experienced outages near immediately upon the release of the 11th and 12th chapters, casting extreme doubt about AO3's claims that Heat Waves was not responsible.
On-stream mention by Dream
Dream mentioned Heat Waves on stream, telling George "I've read Heatwaves you're just cock sucking" during a game of Mad Verse City (a Jackbox Party Packs game that involves writing rap verses to diss the person you are paired with). Fans responded by pointing out that Heat Waves does not (as of January 9th/Chapter 10) include non-dream sequence sex scenes, memeing on Dream for assuming he "gets the guy" in the fanfiction.
I've read Heatwaves you're just cock suckingDream to George, playing Jackbox Party Packs
the fact that dream talked to the author of heat waves and complimented them in dms but then openly says hes never read it is.... so funny to me@frogeorge on Twitter
dream really said the heatwaves joke and went@rileybearzz on Twitter, referring to the fact that "cock sucking" had not actually taken place in Heat Waves as of Chapter 10
"Wait oh shit- did that actually happen... lemme play one more game and imma just read it. It mustve happend."nah shawty its just u crying for 10 chapters
dreams leo ass assumed he gets the guy in heatwaves LMAOO WHOS GONNA TELL HIM@yeahivemetjared on Twitter
my friends are trying to convince me to add a "major character death" tag to h/w since irl dream has been acting up lately. good thing i have a conscience@tbhyourelame1 on Twitter
Dream's Response to the Creator
According to a screenshot by tbhyourlame on Twitter, Dream sent a private message to her praising her work.
Dreamyou are so sweet thank you i appreciate you and heard incredible things about your writing ability!!! hopefully you can continue to amaze people with your writing throughout your life
Heat Waves has garnered a large amount of fanart. The Heat Waves tag on Tumblr, since the fic's popularity, has become a fan art tag for the fanfic. tbhyourlame also retweets a lot of fanart on their Twitter. A myriad of fanfiction created after Heat Waves was released include similar plot lines and themes as Heat Waves, and some authors directly credit tbhyourelame's story in their summaries and author notes. Other fans have taken Heat Waves and translated it into other languages, but unlike the original story do not always archive lock the translated works. For example, the German translation by flyisfly is not archive locked. YouTube videos about Heat Waves frequently utilize the song in some way, such as in animation memes.
Though tbhyourelame archive locked the fanfiction, some fans of the fanfic have attempted to make it into a publicly accessible podfic. For example, the fan CrocodileUnderscore posted a reading of chapter one on YouTube without the author's permission on Nov 24, 2020. CrocodileUnderscore edited the description to say that they were unsure if they would do chapter two as they were waiting for the author to give them permission. As of May 2021, they have not posted another reading and the video remains up.
- HEAT WAVES
- heat waves- Spider-Man fanfic inspired by Heat Waves
- Something About Heat Waves
- fuck it. heat waves 2- a jokefic
- Heat waves and Heart-throbs
- Heat Waves - DNFDreamNotFound Animation
- Heat Waves Animation (DNF)
- HEAT WAVES | Dreamnotfound Animation Meme? READ DESC
- heat waves PARALLELS in GeorgeNotFound's stream
- Heat Waves Lyrics (Dream and George Edition)
Other Resources & Links
- Fanfiction about real people is flourishing- Polygon article
- unfortunately annoyed- discussion of Heat Waves on the Glass Animals reddit
- Works search, 22 March 2021. 
- "Heat Waves" on Google Trends
- November 2020 clip from Hbomb94's stream
- 7.03 PM EST Dec 20th, 2020 chapter notes on chapter 8 of Heat Waves, Archived version
- Nov 20th, 2020, Tumblr post by warpedfungusonastick
- Nov 20th, 2020, Tumblr post by warpedfungusonastick
- 12.23 AM EST, Dec 1, 2020, @dreamsspotify on Twitter, Archived version
- 12:11 AM Jan 5, 2021 tweet by AO3_Status, Archived version
- 11.10 PM EST Jan 4, 2021 tweet by @tbhyourelame1
- 11.14 PM EST Jan 4, 2021 tweet by @tbhyourelame1
- 11.12 PM EST Jan 4, 2021 tweet by @aenqa1
- 11.21 PM EST Jan 4, 2021 tweet by @nellafarmsmelon
- 11.41 PM EST Jan 4, 2021 tweet by @ANTEATERANT1
- 12.15 AM EST Jan 5, 2021 tweet by @ENDERH4LO
- 2.42 AM EST Jan 5, 2021 tweet by @ItIsJoshBro
- 2.42 AM EST Jan 5, 2021 tweet by @ItIsJoshBro
- Jan 6th, 2021, Tumblr post by ao3org, Archived version
- Jan 9, 2021, Dream mentioning Heat Waves on stream by karljacobs
- 10.28 PM EST Jan 9, 2021, @frogeorge on Twitter, Archived version
- 11.16 PM EST Jan 9, 2021, @rileybearzz on Twitter, Archived version
- 11.39 PM EST Jan 9, 2021, @yeahivemetjared on Twitter, Archived version
- 7.53 PM EST Jan 10, 2021, @tbhyourelame1 on Twitter
- dream messaged this to the author of heat waves, Twitter. Dec 16, 2020. (Accessed 5/11/2021)
- tbhyourlame, Twitter. (Accessed 5/9/2021)
- Heat Waves - Deutsch, Archive of Our Own. Feb 8, 2021 (Accessed 5/9/2021)
- Heat Waves|Dreamnotfound Fanfiction reading | Chapter 1: Moon Jelly, YouTube. Nov 24, 2021 (Accessed 5/9/2021)