Second-Degree Fandom

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Synonyms: Fandom Fandom, Fanon Fandom
See also: Fanon, Any Two Guys, Fannish Butterfly, Multifandom, Media Fandom, Multimedia (multiple fandoms), Blank Slate
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Second-degree fandom refers to a subset of fans who primarily or exclusively interact with fan works, rather than the actual canon source that is nominally the focus of that fandom.

Second-degree fandom may be contrasted with "first-degree fandom", comprised of fans who are concerned with the original source material.


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

  • The sizeable Hazbin Hotel & Helluva Boss fandom has been called "a fandom based on 30 minutes of content", due to the relatively small amount of canon compared to its prolific body of fan work tributes, as of 2021.
  • Apparently, the creator(s) of the fan game HetaOni discontinued the work due to feeling that the fan game fandom was eclipsing the Ao Oni and Hetalia fandoms.
  • The Accidental Warlord and His Pack
  • As of 2021, a considerable share of Batfamily and Maribat fan work creators are mostly familiar with the Batman mythos through fan works and general pop culture references.

Community and discussion

Many "first-degree" fans consider second-degree fans as "fake fans", and express negativity toward second-degree fans for being ignorant of the thing.

Some second-degree fans accuse first-degree fans of gatekeeping the free enjoyment and creativity of fandom experience.

Some first-degree fans are fine with second-degree fans, but are frustrated that the general community space becomes so clogged and muddled with broad-stokes fanon, to the point that "canon-faithful" fan works and discussions are difficult to find.

Some users on r/FanFiction advertise that they're willing to sample fan fiction "fandom-blind", meaning that they are interested in reading fan fiction even from unfamiliar fandoms.

Some people have humorously compared second-degree fandom to Plato's allegory of the cave.

Meta and further reading