SuperWhoLock

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Synonyms:
See also: crossover, SuperWho, WhoLock, SuperLock, SuperWhoAvengeLock, SuperWhoLockian, SuperWhoLock 2.0
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SuperWhoLock is a crossover between the three mega-fandoms Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock, which formed a fandom of its own on Tumblr. The fandom would frequently overlap with other fandoms such as Harry Potter, Homestuck, and The Avengers.

A "SuperWhoLockian" is an individual who is an avid fan of all three shows. These fans were notorious for their SuperWhoLock-themed Tumblr URLs, which are sometimes very long. (See the Superwholock url generator.) Some fans also believed that there were real connections between the shows. [1]

For a time, the fandom was ubiquitous on Tumblr, which led to backlash from users who were annoyed by some of the fans' behaviors (most notably "hijacking" posts with gifs from the shows, making it impossible to scroll through their dash without seeing some trace of the fandom somewhere).

SuperWhoLock came to symbolise a particular era of Tumblr, which was at one time considered "cringe" but has since begun to be viewed with nostalgia, as a period when the site was more unfettered and creative - and less concerned with whether or not things were "cringe". However, many fans still joke about "flashbacks" to SuperWhoLock or complain that newer generations "haven't learned" from SuperWhoLock when any discussion of multi-fandom crossovers is brought up, showing that the "cringe" connotations are still persistent.

History

The first Tumblr post available in the "superwholock" tag is from 10 August 2011.[2] It is probable that other posts had been floating around before this time and either had not used the accepted tag, or have since been deleted (the August 10th post references an earlier post which has since been deleted by the original poster).[3] The earliest work with the "Superwholock - Fandom" tag on AO3 was posted 22 August 2012[4], but the first work tagged with the three fandoms separately was posted 16 January 2012.[5] The trend is harder to track on Fanfiction.net, which only allows crossover tags of two fandoms, but the first story with "superwholock" in the summary was posted on 3 January 2012.[6]

SuperWhoLock was most popular between early 2013-mid 2014.[7] However, its popularity utterly plummeted after that point. Various reasons for the decline in the fandom's popularity have been proposed, as chronicled in the post "I would pay top dollar for a comprehensive, source-supported explanation of how Superwholock vanished." Commonly cited reasons for the decline include:

  • Fans getting older / moving on to other fandoms, interests, and real-world responsibilities beyond high school
  • Critical scrutiny of the shows / debates about whether or not they're "problematic"
  • Waning fan enthusiasm for later seasons / uneven quality of later seasons
  • Long hiatuses and community isolation causing boredom and stagnancy, leading to an eventual oversaturation in the same types of fan theories and ideas, in turn leaving fans ultimately unprepared for the disorder wrought by any new content
  • Tumblr growing increasingly inaccessible and user-unfriendly as a website, leading to a decrease in user activity and more fragmented and insular communities
  • Dashcon (which coincided with the steep fall in SuperWhoLock's popularity) imploding the fantasy of tumblr as a "fandom haven" and making fandom culture unattractive to users writ large

Circa early 2013, the Bee Shrek Test in the House fandom—a memetic crossover involving Bee Movie, Shrek, Johnny Test, and Cory in the House—rose to prominence as a parody of popular crossover fandoms such as SuperWhoLock and Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons[8].

Resurgence in 2020

"Wait, it's all coming back?" "Always has been" by sifshoney-notactive

One of the events that coincided, in an uncanny feat of timing, with Destielgate on 5th November 2020 was an uptick in rumours of a potential 5th season of Sherlock, causing both Supernatural and Sherlock to trend on Tumblr and for many Tumblr users to have "flashbacks" to the age of SuperWhoLock, or joke that 2020 really was 2012/2013/2014 in disguise.

Another popular joke, at the time and afterwards, due to the fact that Supernatural and Sherlock had concluded and Doctor Who was still ongoing, was to declare that Doctor Who had "won" SuperWhoLock.

congratulations to Doctor Who for winning superwholock. the show has been on since 1963 so it wasn’t that surprising but in the year of our lord satan 2020 it is a strangely comforting thought[9]

sherlock: ended after 7 years

supernatural: crashed and burned after 15

doctor who: celebrates its 57th slutty, slutty year today and is as strong and excellent and incredibly divisive as ever[10]

A similiar joke refers to Doctor Who winning for queer representation in each of the shows, especially after Thasmin gained a semblance of canon in Eve of the Daleks in 2022, though jokes to that nature had been made before, due to the likes of Jack, River, Clara and Bill, among others.

Fanworks

The most popular form of fanwork are gifsets made to look like scenes where characters from the different shows are interacting, but it has also inspired fanfic, fanart, and vids.

Fics

  • Nothing Is As It Seems by GeorginoschkaVincen - A man from the sky, searching for his blue box. Two brothers who hunt demons while trying to find a cure for the Angel by their side. A doctor who solves crimes together with the most brilliant detective, until the crimes turn out to be more than human acts of violence. /Everything starts to change. Nothing is as it seems. / Moriarty is real, and he has plans. (April 2012 - January 2013)
  • The Unusual Suspects by NoLongerWritingFic - While out on a case, Sam and Dean find out the hard way that this was not the hunt they expected. Enter a mad man in a blue box, a retired army doctor, and the world's only consulting detective, it's clear they're all in for the long haul. Especially when the King of Hell decides he's interested. Once again, it's about the souls. And some souls are more valuable than others. (January 2012 - January 2013)

Fanart

Vids

Graphics and Gif Sets

Fannish Resources

Meta/Further Reading

References

  1. ^ Tumblr post Castiel in DW and Sherlock, Archived version
  2. ^ What would the portmanteau be for Supernatural/Doctor Who/Sherlock crossovers? by michaelandthegodsquad archived
  3. ^ As of 31 August 2016 -- plenty of time for evidence to be removed
  4. ^ The Detective, The Angel, The Alien & The Birthday Cake by HoneyYouShouldSeeMeInACrown
  5. ^ Time Has Come Today by morelenmir
  6. ^ The Consulting Chosen One by Teddicus Lupini
  7. ^ SuperWhoLock on KnowYourMeme, including a Google trends graph
  8. ^ https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/bee-shrek-test-in-the-house
  9. ^ congratulations to Doctor Who for winning superwholock. by bootstrapparadoxed] on Tumblr. Published November 20, 2020 (Accessed January 22, 2022).
  10. ^ Tumblr post by joking-mr-feynman, published November 23, 2020 (Accessed January 22, 2022).