Have you ever been ashamed to tell someone you enjoy something because of a fear they might associate you with the worst part of the fandom? The people who tweet death threats to anyone who dare disrespect their favourite show, or those who feel superior because of what they like?
Almost every group of fans has a bad side — but some groups are so obnoxious that it becomes difficult to find the casual viewers, the ones who could actually engage in productive conversation.
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These are, in my opinion, the internet’s fandoms with the most obnoxious bad sides.
Dates are taken from the height of their popularity, according to Google Trends.
We’re not Bronies, we’re just strong to our principles of friendship, the show, conventions… And… We’re Bronies, Mark.
— Bronies of Las Vegas (@BroniesLasVegas) October 9, 2017
It’s difficult to separate Bronies from people who just like a kids TV show and people who actively discomfort the little girls who enjoy the show, because it will always feel creepy that grown men are into My Little Pony as much as they are.
But for the purpose of keeping to obnoxious fandoms, I will try to not get too judgy.
Back in 2012 — at the height of the Bronies’ notoriety — there were stories of Bronies invading Toys ‘R’ Us for the latest merch, and it was impossible to search for the characters without finding graphic sexual content that has yet to be erased from my mind.
It’s an uncomfortable side of the internet, where grown men enjoy the sexualisation of something marketed to young girls — and the nature of it erring dangerously on the side of furries.
But if one thing can be said about Bronies, it’s that they have largely kept to themselves and avoided pestering underpaid McDonalds employees for a sauce they have never even tasted. So good on them.
2013: Larry Stylinson fans
Always in my heart @Harry_Styles . Yours sincerely, Louis
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) October 2, 2011
Larry Stylinson is a portmanteau for Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, two members of One Direction whom many fans believed were head over heels in love, and kept apart only by the omnipotent “management”.
Larry Stylinson fans — who later became known as Larries — would push a conspiratorial agenda at every turn, tweeting at the boys that they know, begging them to come out. They harassed family members, girlfriends, anyone they believed was preventing the two from publicly declaring their love.
Styles and Tomlinson — who were once close friends — stopped appearing in public together, and eventually all hints of a friendship disappeared. Many blamed the fan pressure for the abrupt change in relationship.
There are still some fans now who believe Tomlinson’s baby is fake, and in the year of our Lord 2017, the first reply to Styles’ tweet about the Las Vegas shooting is one declaring “Larry is real”.
Larry is real
+ (@pizzaftyou) October 2, 2017
Want to hear a cursed word? Mishapocalypse.
— spooky kaz
(@kaxuhira) September 19, 2017
If there’s a fan group that can’t be credited for avoiding other people, it’s the Superwholockians. Even the portmanteau name is annoying, binding shows Supernatural, Doctor Who, and BBC’s Sherlock into one grotesque monster of a fandom.
Let me take you back three years, when Supernatural actor Jared Padelecki tweeted at Justin Bieber asking which of his friends were taking the fall for him being found with cocaine.
A screenshot was posted to Tumblr, where someone alleged that his Twitter was being attacked by Beliebers. The post’s thread grew to ridiculous lengths as Superwholockians “protected [their] Sammy” with GIFs of characters of their shows gearing up for a fight.
Or perhaps I should remind you of the Mishapocalypse — the 2013 event that saw Tumblr inundated with a photo of Supernatural actor Misha Collins. Icons, image sets, dumb GIFs: there was no light, no fun. There was only the pain, and Misha Collins’ dumb face.
The #mishapocalypse is worse than an ordinary apocalypse. I’ve signed up for facial identity surgery so I never have to see that face again.
— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) April 1, 2013
Present: Apple fans
Not a month goes by when a tweet about how some Apple fanboy would never use an Android phone even if his life depended on it doesn’t go viral.
It’s like hundreds of thousands of people get together once a month to laugh about how much better they are for owning iPhones — despite the fact that most Android phones are cheaper and more accessible than the latest iPhone range.
Also, don’t get me started on the comments about poor cameras as if the same joke hasn’t been made a million times on Twitter.
Don’t snapchat me if you have an android have some respect
— Jerome Billingham (@Jeromebilll) October 6, 2017
make Snapchat illegal to use if you have android 2017
— anthony (@anthony_j11) October 7, 2017
If you have an android, do us all a favor and please do not upload any snapchat videos. Sincerely, every snapchat user.
— Steve Willard (@willard2023) October 7, 2017
If you have an android delete your Snapchat no one tryna see a snap that looks like it’s filmed with Motorola razor smh
— Krombopulos Michael (@Gio__robayo) October 5, 2017
Present: Chris Brown fans
There are people on the internet right now avidly defending a man who has admitted to violently beating a woman.
We not gone disrespect Chris Brown like he didn’t pave the way for Frank, Miguel, & The Weeknd. He’s the closet thing to Michael Jackson. pic.twitter.com/E6oAfsh4oH
(@Kristopher_TM) October 6, 2017
In fact, some of them create shell accounts to search the name Chris Brown and respond to anyone who mentions him.
Wow! When?? Yesterday!? Or 10 years ago?! and you still with your emotions .. i think honestly you wanna see cb without a career .
— Isabellaa (@Isabellax25xx) October 9, 2017
This fandom isn’t alone: followers of Johnny Depp have been known to do the same when users bring up his alleged domestic abuse against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Johnny Depp isn’t an abuser. He made mistakes but Amber Heard used him to gain fame & the law saw through her act. He LOVES women.
— Penny Wise (@Salem_King94) October 8, 2017
These fandoms are definitely fewer in number, but the levels of obnoxious you have to be to search a known abuser’s name to protect them is some heavy stuff.
Present: Rick and Morty fans
Rick and Morty is an animated show about an alcoholic scientist and his grandson Morty. Created by Dan Harmon (who is no stranger to producing cult hits like Community) and Justin Roiland, they have been praised for making one of the best television shows ever. The latest season has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But what makes it so good is also what makes the loudest part of the fandom so intolerable: many think they are far smarter for enjoying the show’s subtle philosophical references and nihilistic characterisations.
I like watching Rick and Morty but this guy seems to sum up all of its fans pretty well pic.twitter.com/EZbqi0xc3W
— Dom O’Connor (@Dong_OConnor) August 28, 2017
Some fans have come under fire from Dan Harmon himself for harassing the show’s female writers online, and just this weekend, Rick and Morty fans went mental for a discontinued sauce the show referenced that McDonalds was releasing for a limited time. McDonalds, however, did not provide enough for everyone — and fans were infuriated.
Waited over 4 hours . no sauce. No poster. I git a sticker and it didn’t even have the sauce on it.. it said mustard… pic.twitter.com/j3R1dKWKvU
— Jonathan Bullrock (@JonathanBull0) October 8, 2017
Kid was maybe 10 and you could tell this was all he was looking forward to.
— loney fool (@ezlkill) October 7, 2017
Hopefully they lose more customers. #boycottmcdonalds #RickandMorty #bullshituansauce
— Shawn Epps (@Schepps311) October 7, 2017
Of course — not everyone who likes Rick and Morty has reacted in quite the manner, and it’s brought up this little thread on Reddit, which asks: “Are we the new Bronies?”
And, no. You aren’t sexualising young, innocent ponies, but you did make it difficult for a whole bunch of underpaid staff to do their jobs. So you’re something else altogether.
Feature image: William Tung via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)