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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Merman AU, Mermaid AU
Related: Animal Transformation, Tentacles, Interspecies, Xeno
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Turning a character into a merperson is an AU trope in both fanfic and fanart. It can be done for humorous crack or for serious angst (i.e. based on the Hans Christian Andersen story).

Like in the fairy tale, often only one character is a mermaid/merman, so different habitat and the fish-like lower body present compatibility challenges, as illustrated in the fanart by Leslie Fish in the gallery below (which is not for a merpeople AU, but Kirk with a mermaid alien, and part of a portfolio illustrating the interspecies mating in general).

Fusions with The Little Mermaid are a variation of Merpeople AUs.

MerMay is a merfolk-themed challenge held each year in May, which leads to the creation of many mermaid AU fanworks, including art, fics, and gifsets.


The Professionals


Prince of Tennis

Harry Potter

Stargate Atlantis

Star Trek

Hawaii Five-0


  • Merpeople fanworks are popular in the Free! fandom because the show is about a swim team.

One Direction

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • The Heart of a Merman by STARSdidathing: Tony Stark is a coveted, handsome, merman prince who has always been fascinated by the human world. He only becomes more enchanted when he sees the human princess Pepper Potts. He wants to court her, a wish that only becomes stronger when his father forces an unwanted betrothal upon him.Tony only has one being he can turn to: the feared and dangerous sea-wizard. Loki is a known trickster and terror of the seven seas, but Tony will do anything to win the heart of his love. But how much can he trust Loki? And what will Tony do if he loses their deal and becomes the possession of the powerful, mercurial sea-wizard? Loki/Tony Stark (The Avengers Movieverse, 2018 - 2019)


Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  • Fanart and AUs where Sayaka Miki is a mermaid are common in the fandom, due to the character's water motif and in-universe analogies to The Little Mermaid.

Art Gallery