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"Spy" redirects here. For the 2015 film, see Spy (2015).
Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)Secret Agents
Related tropes/genresAssassins, Hitmen, Crime AU, Mr & Mrs Smith AU, Thriller
See alsospy fiction, spy-fi
Related articles on Fanlore.

Spies, Secret Agents, Assassins, and Hitmen are fairly popular as canon elements for spy fiction books, television series, films, etc., and they are a quite popular trope, especially for AUs, in fanfiction and other fanworks.

Many fans have remarked on the fact that canon that revolves around spies seems less likely to generate an active fandom than science fiction or crime dramas, even though many crime dramas do feature what amounts to intelligence work. (See NCIS: LA for example.) Nonetheless, many individual works about spies, particularly spy tv shows, have had active fandoms.

Spy canons range from Spy-Fi (campy 1960s spy fiction with science fiction elements) to extremely dark, gritty attempts at a realistic portrayal of intelligence work such as Spooks, with other examples like I Spy somewhere in the middle.

Many fanworks focused on espionage, include assassins or hitmen, either as a main character or a threat to the protagonist. Assassin AU works often focus on assassins working for or against governments. One example of these works are Mr & Mrs Smith AUs. There are also assassin centric works that focus on hitmen in the criminal world and overlap with Crime AUs.

Canon Examples

Some spy shows and other media that have had active fandoms include:

Spy and Assassin AU Fanwork Examples

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

Hawaii Five-0

Stargate Atlantis


JoJo's Bizarre Adventure