Imagine (genre)

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: imagines
Related: self-insert, meme, Y/N, personal
See Also: Tumblr, prompt
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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An imagine is a short fanfic or descriptive passage, popularized on Tumblr, usually written in the second person and often pairing the reader with a fannish BSO.

Some imagines are ficlets, but others could be as short as a single sentence. Because this is Tumblr, graphics are often included.

On Tumblr, imagines had emerged by November 2010 and were concentrated in music fandoms (Justin Bieber, One Direction, Tokio Hotel, etc.). According to Urban Dictionary, imagines were popularized by 1D fandom.[1] The earliest account for posting imagines may have been bieberimagines, but the frequency of Tumblr posts in the imagines tag increased from 2012, when the majority were for 1D. However, the short form of imagines suggests that the trend may have started on Twitter, where there is a 140-character limit on posts; the first dedicated Twitter account may have been bieberimagines in October 2010.

Sexually explicit imagines are often called dirty imagines.

Imagine your OTP is a type of imagine that ships two characters, but not the reader. The tumblr imagineyourotp was started in October 2012. A parody that speculated on the psychological origins of shipping was posted in November that garnered 22,887 notes as of 17 November 2014.[2]


There are many Tumblr blogs devoted to the posting of imagines. A few examples:


  1. Imagine, submitted by kryzk February 23, 2014. (Accessed 14 May 2014)
  2. imagine your OTP as an escapist fantasy you preoccupy yourself with in order to cope with your crushing fear of the emotional vulnerability of a real relationship, posted by saccharinescorpion on 25 November 2012.