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Synonyms: Kpop, Korean Pop
See also: Hallyu, Minihompy, Netizen
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K-pop refers to South Korean pop music.

K-pop has an active RPF fandom. While there are many popular solo singers (Rain and Lee Hyori are just two examples), most fannish activity surrounds various boybands and girlgroups, sometimes called "Gasoos".

The Industry

There is a different entertainment culture in Korea, where stars are expected to do as their entertainment companies and contracts stipulate. This has resulted in some pretty bad behavior on behalf of the entertainment groups when they demand too much of their talent, but on the flip-side it creates a "family-like" atmosphere within entertainment groups, which provide artists with training, support and security. As long as everyone works together and respects the social hierarchical rules, everything will be fine. [1]

English-speaking fandom

Music rotation communities are an important part of K-pop fandom. Although albums by Korean artists can be purchased online through stores such as YesAsia, popular Korean-language music is not widely accessible outside of speciality stores. Music rotation communities (normally located on Livejournal) are maintained by a single person or a small team of uploaders who share albums (and music videos) by K-pop artists.

While fanfic is written about various popular K-pop groups (see, for instance, DBSK), fanfic doesn't dominate the overall fandom. Fans with a knowledge of Korean translate music videos, interviews, TV appearances, and blog entries. Fans also share news and gossip about their favourite celebrities on Livejournal communities and forums.

Fans who like to dance or sing will cover their favourite groups songs (often, when waiting to buy concert tickets or to enter concerts, these coverists will entertain their fellow fans). It is common for big fans to go to the airport to greet and catch a glimpse of their idols, and common for many fans to film performances, sometimes focusing on their bias(fancams) or other times the whole performance, and post them on Youtube with a watermark. Organised fan groups will host events at coffeeshops to celebrate anniversaries or birthdays, giving out fan-made merchandise, collecting notes for their idols to post to them, and sometimes raising money to support causes or buy gifts for the members.

K-pop fans refer to their favorite member from a particular idol group as their bias. There is also a K-Pop secrets blog, although it is inactive.

In late October 2014, K-Pop became one of the top 5 fandoms in the Music & Bands category on Archive of Our Own after reaching over 7,600 works.[2] The fandom continued to rise in the ranks until in late October 2016 it reached reached 47,700 works and took the top spot, surpassing One Direction.[3] In March 2018, BTS hit over 52,300 works and took the second place as well.[4] K-Pop has maintained in the top spot, hitting over 100,000 public works in November 2017 and over 200,000 works in March 2019.

Fic Timeline

The kpop fanfiction history blog Time Vault divides the history of kpop fanfiction (in English?) into the following eras:[5]

Fanwork Events and Communities

Fanwork events are popular within kpop fandom, particularly for fanfiction on LiveJournal. While specific kpop groups have events individual to their fandom, there are general kpop fanwork events as well.

Some previous events include:

Other communities for general k-pop on LiveJournal:

Anon memes:

Pimp Posts

Pimp posts are popular among fans, particularly when they want to promote their favorite groups, idols, or ships.

Many have accumulated lists of pimp posts, in an effort for them to be accessible in a directory fashion.


K-Pop has a rich roleplay community, on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Some examples of roleplay directories are at the following blogs on Tumblr:

Other English Fan Works

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


Online Reputation

Graphic circulating on Twitter commenting on K-pop stans
As the popularity of K-pop has boomed, K-pop stans have developed a reputation on the internet. They are know for their massive numbers and enthusiasm, as well as their ability to band together as a result.

Prior to June 2020, K-pop stans had a reputation on Twitter of annoying users who kept posting fancams in unrelated threads and hashtags, often using it as a sole reaction/response. However, during the George Floyd Protests in May-June 2020, K-pop stans banded together and flooded Dallas PD app used to identify protesters, as well as various pro-police and right-wing political hashtags, with numerous fancams, effectively shutting down the app and making the hashtags difficult to scroll. In response, a lot of voices on Twitter expressed admiration towards K-pop stans, and apologized for dismissing the fandom in the past. A lot of people encouraged further action in the same vein. A modified LoTR graphic started circulating on Twitter in threads discussing the fan activism showing the exchange between Gimli and Legolas with K-pop idol pasted into Legolas' place.

This article or section needs expansion.

Korean-speaking fandom

Fans in Korea are well-organized, and powerful: "There's a real sense of ownership and loyalty, and it ties these idols to their fans, up to a really weird degree. A lot of Korean boybands say "cutesy" things like "I'm married to my fans" or "my girlfriend is fanclub name]."" [8]

The kpop industry is one driven by the internet. So you can say that netizens and technology are what create news and drive the market. Netizens are also very opinionated and have no problem to voice their concerns and at some points shame the media. So the media is very wary of them, and must be as convincing as possible when publishing news, in regards to entertainment and artists. A lot of the time, netizens are the ones that make the news and are not easily fooled. [9]

Fan groups can act as powerful pressure groups when they feel it is in the interest of their idols. SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP--three of Korea's major management agencies--have liaisons who work exclusively with fan clubs. Changing demographics may play a role in the increased power of fan clubs. Fan club activities include protecting stars' rights, charitable activities, and promotion. [10]

Popular artists also gain anti-fans: "An anti-fan is a person who ‘hates’ a particular celebrity or icon. Anti-fanclubs, also known as virtual communities of disregard, hate listings and diss-share sites are groupings of such anti-fans." [11]

Sasaengs in Korean fandom have also received an extremely negative reputation among English-speaking and Korean-speaking fandom alike. A sasaeng (or sasaeng fan) is a fan who actively stalks and harasses idols to the point of invading their privacy. [12]

[Example of fan activity, positive and negative. Super Junior fan suicide, DBSK poisoning, SNSD shunning, etc. See this fail_fandom anon thread for examples and links. Another FFA link.]

Popular K-pop groups


This article or section needs expansion.

In K-Pop Industry




Mental/Physical Health controversies

(Jine from Oh My Girl anorexia and the pressure to diet), (Sulli and Goo Hara suicides)

In K-Pop Fandom

Asian Fetishization

Dating Controversies

Edawn and Hyuna. The two worked for the same entertainment company, CUBE. Edawn, who was part of Pentagon, was dropped from the group as a result of the dating scandal.



  1. ^ Blackface on South Korean TV Show (Accessed July 28, 2010)
  2. ^ Fandoms on AO3, archived October 26 2014
  3. ^ Fandoms on AO3, archived October 29 2016
  4. ^ Fandoms on AO3, archived March 12 2018
  5. ^ Kpop fic history] on Time Vault. Posted January, 5, 2011. (Accessed May 17, 2011.)
  6. ^ kpop_olymfics on LiveJournal
  7. ^ kpop_ficmix on LiveJournal
  8. ^ Comment by fivil on Musing on the bizarre "can't date anyone ever" star phenomenon in Asian entertainment. (Accessed July 30, 2009)
  9. ^ The Ugly Truth of Kpop, SM, and the Taesu Scandal! (Accessed July 30, 2009).
  10. ^ Fan clubs grow into forces of nature; mirrored at Omona They Didn't (Accessed May 6, 2010)
  11. ^ What's the deal with anit-fans? The dark side of Kpop's fan culture, Archived version
  12. ^ Sasaeng fan on Wikipedia