|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||Whumping, Wump, Trash , Bonk, Get 'em|
|Related:||Character Bashing, Woobie|
|See Also:||Angst, Darkfic, Hurt/Comfort, Suffer Beautifully, Rapefic, Torture, Sickfic|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The term whump (or whumping) generally refers to a form of Hurt/Comfort that is heavy on the hurt and is often found in gen stories. The exact definition varies and has evolved over time. Essentially, whump involves taking a canon character, and placing them in physically painful or psychologically-damaging scenarios. Often this character is a fan favorite and may sometimes be referred to as a woobie.
Furthermore, whumping (at least in the way it was used in the Stargate SG-1 H/C list) was meant to indicate a character who was in jeopardy, or hurt, and then other characters come to comfort said injured character. Hence the term H/C or hurt/comfort fics can be used as an interchangeable descriptor tag for "whumping" fics. However, there are also whump fics that focus entirely on the hurt with no comfort in sight, so whump is generally considered a darker genre.
Whump is a term that has migrated from its origins in Stargate SG-1 to become a pan-fandom term, with active communities on sites like Tumblr. It is most common in fandoms where the source material already places characters in dangerous situations, but given the limitations of that media, the trauma inflicted on characters is rarely explicitly shown or addressed in the canon. For example, procedural TV shows.
Whumping should not be confused with character bashing, where the negative aspects of a character's personality are exaggerated to express hate for that character.
Other similar earlier terms are Trash, Bonk, and Get 'em.
Origin of the Term
Stargate SG-1 Fandom
Whump, as a term, is believed to have originated in the Stargate SG-1 fandom. OXBastedXO, a FFN user states in her profile that one of her minor claims to fame is coining the term Danny Whumping in the fandom.[note 1] However, another fan claims: "I saw it used in 1996, in the Earth 2 fandom," which would suggest the term predates even the Stargate SG-1 fandom.
By now the term whumping has spread to several other fandoms that like to hurt their woobies.
From DIAL #23 (Autumn 2002):
Stargate has a large contingent of h/c writers, and a particularly category of Dannywhumpers..." where it is a fandom specific expression for the practice of physically and psychologically abusing one's favorite character in fanfiction and then offering them comfort. Daniel was the character a lot of fans loved most, which means he was the one they loved to hurt the most and then have comforted by another character [a fan favorite was Jack O'Neill]. Danny whumping was extremely popular, especially in gen fiction. There is a Daniel Jackson Whumping Society and the Whumpalicious Archaeologist page is dedicated to Danny whumping fanfic and vids. For a list of Danny whumping recs see lorien_79's Daniel whump FF-List.One fan's response to the question of what makes Daniel so whumpable sheds some light on the popularity of whumping as a gen kink: "Because it's so damn sexy. Watching Daniel get beat up, crying, screaming, I love all of it. It gives me tingles and makes me grin madly.
While the term Whump is relatively new, its origins are not. People have been enjoying "hurt/comfort" stories for years and the genre can be traced back decades. In the early days fans would use email lists, webrings, and fan-published "zines" to share their stories. Some remnants of these old modes of exchange can still be found today though many of the original fandoms have died off.
Whump is not dissimilar to MulderTorture in the X-Files fandom and the popular Get 'em or "Get" themes found in the classic Star Trek zines, though the term is used much less frequently today. The Star Wars fandom, as well as others, also used the word "trash" in a similar way. Many early fanworks from the UK use the term bonk.
I began writing Fanfic back in 1997 when I needed a word processor to write and then upload from a 3" floppy via dial up to the one computer in the house. A young teen, I was fascinated with the idea of being able to share my imagination and my love for the X-Files with other like minded people. I especially enjoyed Mulder!Whump, though back then we called it MulderTorture.(...)
Tumblr Whump Community
A thriving whump community exists on Tumblr. There are many dedicated blogs where whump fics, meta and GIFsets are created for people to share. Some blogs also publish 'whump lists', which are lists of scenes in various canons (e.g. TV series) where whump-y scenes involving various characters are highlighted.[note 2]
Whump fans on Tumblr have also created The Whumpapedia, a comprehensive spreadsheet listing whump scenes in a wide range of TV series, movies, books, podcasts, anime and much more.
It is unclear when the first whump blog appeared on Tumblr, but some of the earliest blogs began showing up in the 2010s. The emergence of the whump community on Tumblr is thought to have been the result of, at least in part, the Strikethrough and Boldthrough controversies over at LiveJournal in May and June of 2007. This signaled a shift in fandom away from LJ towards other social platforms.
The whumpee refers to the one being hurt. While this term has been around since at least 1998, it has grown to the extent that it's broadly the term woobies when referring to the target of the whump.
While the term whumper was originally used for whump enthusiasts and dates to the early 2000s, it now also refers to the one doing the hurting in a whump scenario.
In their essay, Hurt/Comfort and Whump in Fandom Discourse: A Timeline (1970′s - 2020), Tumblr user haich-slash-cee provides an overview of the evolution of Whump and Hurt/Comfort.
The term whump has become inclusive of hurt comfort; possibly due to the way Tumblr's tagging system deals with slashes. While some communities and fandoms may use whump as a synonym for hurt/comfort, there is still a recognition that whump refers to darker and more extreme scenarios. And there are still whump fics been written that have very little, or no comfort at the end of the story.
Some fans also posit that the term whump is more likely to be used on certain platforms; namely Tumblr. With fans on LJ and fic writers on Ao3 often using hurt comfort to tag their works. It's also more common in certain fandoms. So there is no clearly defined difference between whump and hurt comfort. Instead, the term used to describe whumpy fic may depend on the fandom that fic is written for, and/or the social media platform used by the fandom. 
In other cases, fandom specific whump tags may be used. Such as in Prodigal Son fandom, where their tags of choice on AO3 and Tumblr are Malcolm Bright Whump or Malcolm Bright Needs A Hug.
The term caretaker is used to refer to the character who takes care of the whumpee when they are hurt. This appears to be a newer term, with earliest uses in 2017.
- Daniel Jackson in Stargate: SG-1
- Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in The X-Files (see MulderTorture and ScullyTorture)
- Miles Edgeworth, Maya Fey and Apollo Justice in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
- Zuko and Azula in Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Lucius and Lyndis in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- Soren in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
- Pelleas in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- Noire, Henry, and Robin in Fire Emblem Awakening
- Takumi, Leo, Niles, and Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates
- Female Byleth, Ferdinand von Aegir, Ignatz Victor, Felix Hugo Fraldarius, Sylvain Jose Gautier, and Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd in Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Alear, Alcryst, and Alfred in Fire Emblem: Engage
- N Harmonia in Pokemon Black and White
- Adrian Veldt in Watchmen
- Loki, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers and Peter Parker in the MCU canon
- Ianto Jones in Torchwood
- Rei Hino and Minako Aino in Sailor Moon
- Korra in The Legend of Korra (an example of building on canon whump)
- Duo Maxwell and Heero Yuy in Gundam Wing
- Yui Hongo and Chichiri in Fushigi Yuugi
- Shiro, Keith, Lance, and Pidge in Voltron: Legendary Defender
- Jaskier/Dandelion and Geralt in The Witcher
- John Sheppard in Stargate: Atlantis
- Neal Caffrey in White Collar
- Luigi in Super Mario Bros.
- Malcolm Bright in Prodigal Son
- Danny Fenton/Danny Phantom in Danny Phantom
Examples of Use
- "McKay Whumping. Because I'm only happy when he's miserable." + "I love to see Rodney in pain, I really do. I'm not even sorry." 
- "I enjoy whump. When the whumpee is hurt by the whumper, I just squeal!"
- "Can you believe what happened in the last episode? There was so much whump!"
- "I write whump. Do you want to see my whump blog? It's in the Whump Community Directory if you want to check it out."
- "what i'm looking for is jack whumping fics! the hurt could be physical or mental i dont really mind, but please no jack/rose "
- Suicidium by DawnC - An early example of Danny whumping in the SG-1 fandom (2002-3)
- Danny Whimpered by JoBeth - A SG-1 story where Danny talks back to the author mid-whump. Parody of whump fic (2006)
- Of Duty, Atonement, and Redemption by by SCG Gategirl - A gen SGA fics that is recced as a Lemon Chicken fic (2006)
- Maybe I'm Dead, I Just Haven't Stopped Moving Yet by cybersyd42 - a Stargate Atlantis fic and example of Rodney Whump (2006-7)
- White Walls by Eildon Rhymer (2007) - a Stargate Atlantis fic and example of Shepphard Whump (2007)
- See John Run Or, Baby's First Shep-whump a crack guide to John Sheppard whump in the SGA fandom by Eildon Rhymer (~2008)
- Two Wolves by Xanthe - An NCIS Gibbs/DiNozzo novel with massive Tony-whump and massive Gibbs-whump, violence, and rape/dubcon (2011)
- Lost at the Edge of the Sun by zortified. - A Hawaii Five-0 Steve/Danny story . It is tagged as "Angst" but has been recced as whump
- High Stakes, Desperate Measures by kristen999 - A Hawaii Five-0 story that was tagged h/c but one reccer highlighted its McGarrett whumping (2012)
- Singularity by Enina - an often recced Flash series that features Barry whump. (WIP, 2015 - Present)
- Tapping by BurningTea - a Leverage fic story focused on Eliot, who's a rare target for whump. Since Eliot is hard to hurt physically (or rather, isn't bothered by pain), it dishes out intense emotional damage. (2016)
- All the Things He Said by LookerDeWitt - an Ace Attorney fic that heaps vast emotional damage onto Apollo Justice via the deaths of several loved ones, causing him to believe his existence is bad luck to those around him and making him nearly suicidal until the last few chapters finally let him heal. (2017)
- (At the Very Least), I Can by Anonymous - a DCU fic centered on Dick Grayson, who's been disastrously injured in the way that bothers him most. (2019)
Prodigal Son: Malcolm whump by Tumblr user Freethebastard (2020)
Digital art, Archived version of an injured Crowley by Whiteley Foster (2019)
Han Solo in jeopardy, from the zine Docking Bay #2 (1982), artist is Sue Campbell
Spock in peril, from the zine Odyssey #5 (1981), artist is Barbara P. Gordon
Hawkeye Pierce, from the zine Syndizine #1 (1979), artist is Connie Faddis
- On the Prowl by sisabet and sweetestdrain, a meta vid studying the tendency of female fans to find whumping of attractive male characters arousing. Here
- Flagpole Sitta (aka A Decade Of Whump) by littleheaven70 (2007) - a SG1 vid (". Dr Daniel Jackson - has any character in Sci-Fi been maimed, tortured, driven insane and killed more often?) - New Vid - Stargate SG-1, Flagpole Sitta (aka A Decade Of Whump) - Little Heaven's Journal, Archived version
- a lieutenant colonel is being beaten by thingswithwings
- Fan Speak! Whump by shippersguidetothegalaxy is a history and meta vid explaining the meaning and analyzing the reasoning for enjoying whump.
- X FILES ~infinity~ mulder ♥ scully hurt/comfort by Merlinfangirl
- Mini-Meta : Whump - Why do we like it? by LJ user alipeeps, January 2008.
- What is Whump?, Archived version by tumblr user IWhumpYou, May 2020.
- Wince, an online zine/archive focused on whump nonfiction and original fiction.
Archives and Fannish Links
- The Stargate Atlantis Bedside Guide to Fanfic Whump: fic list by Wraithfodder, Stargate Atlantis. (8/2008)
- Hoodie Time - A hurt!Dean Winchester centered archive
- Dean Damage - A hurt!Dean Winchester centered archive
- Agents in Peril, an X-Files specialized archive for stories "that deal with Mulder, or Scully (or both), or even some other series or original character getting stalked, kidnapped, or held hostage."
- Solace and Grief a list of fics at The X-Files Lost and Found where Mulder and Scully comfort each other. FAQ
- Whump works at AO3
- X-Files: Fox Mulder Torture work at AO3
- SG-1:Daniel Jackson Whump works at AO3
- Whumpers Fic Community
- Jay Halstead Whump Community
- The Rodney McKay Whump Community
- Whumpgalore's Recommended Whump
- The Whump Community is an opt-in directory of Tumblr whump blogs.
- Febuwhump: an annual multifandom challenge on Tumblr
- Whumptober: an annual panfandom challenge on Tumblr
Links and Resources
- Whump at Urban Dictionary
- Whumpage at Urban Dictionary
- Whumpapedia, a Tumblr blog and database of whumpy material (also exists as a wiki with a dedicated Whump Resources page).
- The Pain Fandom article at Fansplaining; archive link
Notes & References
- ^ One of OXBastetXO minor claims to fame coining the term: Danny Whumping...dang did that get out of control. ;-)
- ^ Whumps' list, Whump Lists and Whump TV Show Lists are some examples of dedicated whump list blogs.
- ^ "OXBastetXO - User Profile". FanFiction.Net. 2010-01-26. Archived from the original on 2012-04-29.
- ^ Kel (2009-04-19). "ari_o at fandom_wank: My concubines are lame. Drown them all!". JournalFen. Archived from the original on 2014-10-02.
- ^ Whumpalicious Archaeologist
- ^ lorien_79. FF-List (Daniel whump)
- ^ Angy. Whumpalicious Archaeologist, added 15 August 2005.
- ^ XScout, Archived version
- ^ A directory can be found at https://whumpcommunity.tumblr.com
- ^ Discussion on Tumblr, Whats the difference between whump and hurt comfort
- ^ Tumblr ask, June 17, 2020. (Accessed July 16, 2020). Who are ur favorite whumpies and their caretakers?
- ^ Tumblr post, December 18, 2020. (Accessed December 19, 2020). Working on some fandom history and...
- ^ from a fan in 2013 at The_RMWC (The Rodney McKay Whump Community)
- ^ Extract from a comment at dw-ficsearch, 2013.