FanFiction.Net genre popularities

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
As some of you may remember, I've done some on-and-off application of my screen-scraping skills to fanfic. Going through some of my old coding projects, I found a program I wrote a few years back that scrapes data for all categories on FanFiction.Net with 100 fics or more, along with how many fics are in each of the genres they allow you to select up to two of. Running the program last week gave me data for 2,454 categories, and after some more messing around in a spreadsheet, I got a good summary for each of them of how popular each genre is for each category, along with how it compares to all the other categories.

Since this is RPGnet, I'll use the Dungeons and Dragons category in the Games section (the cartoon has its own category) for my first example:

The Dungeons and Dragons category has a total of 1,998 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 48.60% Fantasy fics, which is more than 99.92% of all categories.
The category is 57.86% Adventure fics, which is more than 99.45% of all categories.
The category is 0.05% Western fics, which is more than 78.19% of all categories.
The category is 2.65% Horror fics, which is more than 77.60% of all categories.
The category is 3.35% Supernatural fics, which is more than 74.77% of all categories.
The category is 2.30% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 73.12% of all categories.
The category is 0.60% Spiritual fics, which is more than 68.41% of all categories.
The category is 2.10% Mystery fics, which is more than 59.06% of all categories.
The category is 1.45% Parody fics, which is more than 58.27% of all categories.
The category is 0.90% Poetry fics, which is more than 52.50% of all categories.
The category is 0.35% Crime fics, which is more than 47.15% of all categories.
The category is 2.45% Tragedy fics, which is more than 46.25% of all categories.
The category is 12.46% Humor fics, which is more than 39.53% of all categories.
The category is 1.15% Suspense fics, which is more than 35.44% of all categories.
The category is 3.25% Friendship fics, which is more than 21.14% of all categories.
The category is 1.20% Family fics, which is more than 16.62% of all categories.
The category is 2.40% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 14.30% of all categories.
The category is 22.22% General fics, which is more than 14.07% of all categories.
The category is 2.55% Angst fics, which is more than 12.30% of all categories.
The category is 10.76% Romance fics, which is more than 8.06% of all categories.
The category is 5.81% Drama fics, which is more than 7.39% of all categories.​

It seems to be more common than not for a category to not have any Western fics, so if Western isn't in the top half of the most-disproportionately-represented-genres list, it'll probably be right at the bottom.

In honor of the fandom that brought me to RPGnet, here's another example:

The Sailor Moon category has a total of 43,054 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 23.27% Drama fics, which is more than 83.34% of all categories.
The category is 2.49% Poetry fics, which is more than 82.00% of all categories.
The category is 55.96% Romance fics, which is more than 77.21% of all categories.
The category is 3.93% Fantasy fics, which is more than 71.71% of all categories.
The category is 0.02% Western fics, which is more than 71.32% of all categories.
The category is 0.53% Spiritual fics, which is more than 64.52% of all categories.
The category is 2.12% Supernatural fics, which is more than 60.90% of all categories.
The category is 9.28% Angst fics, which is more than 59.21% of all categories.
The category is 13.83% Adventure fics, which is more than 58.35% of all categories.
The category is 2.03% Mystery fics, which is more than 57.56% of all categories.
The category is 1.43% Parody fics, which is more than 57.09% of all categories.
The category is 1.19% Horror fics, which is more than 54.11% of all categories.
The category is 15.93% Humor fics, which is more than 53.71% of all categories.
The category is 0.85% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 53.16% of all categories.
The category is 2.70% Tragedy fics, which is more than 51.36% of all categories.
The category is 0.34% Crime fics, which is more than 46.48% of all categories.
The category is 29.01% General fics, which is more than 44.75% of all categories.
The category is 1.48% Suspense fics, which is more than 44.68% of all categories.
The category is 2.20% Family fics, which is more than 26.92% of all categories.
The category is 3.89% Friendship fics, which is more than 26.64% of all categories.
The category is 3.64% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 23.06% of all categories.​

As you can see, both categories are relatively low on Family, Friendship, and Hurt/Comfort, but D&D also has very little Drama and Romance, of which Sailor Moon has a great deal. Sailor Moon is relatively strong on Fantasy, but nowhere near D&D's extent, and D&D is also among the top categories for Adventure (originally "Action/Adventure"), in which Sailor Moon is only middling.



Anyone interested in seeing data for any other categories?

Alternatively, I can also post the top M (within reason) categories with at least N (>=100) fics for any particular genre. (For instance, the ranking for Adventure is heavy on video game fandoms.)
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
That's limited by how an author categorizes their fic, right? Arguably almost all D&D or Sailor Moon fics are fantasy.
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
That's limited by how an author categorizes their fic, right? Arguably almost all D&D or Sailor Moon fics are fantasy.
Exactly. Genre labels are the sole discretion of the author. You could label "Agony in Pink" as Humor/Poetry if you wanted to, before the staff deleted it and banned your ass. (Please do not try that.) Character labels and pairings are the same.

Another thing you'll notice with the sample listings I gave: D&D, as a smaller category, has more outliers. Fantasy, Adventure, Friendship, Family, Hurt/Comfort, General, Angst, Romance, and Drama are all greater outliers for D&D than any genre is for Sailor Moon. You can imagine how Harry Potter, which is more than 10% of the whole site, wouldn't stray too far from the average; indeed, the biggest outliers in either direction for HP are Angst (more than 76.58% of categories) and Sci-Fi (more than 33.08% of categories).
 

Fae

with true devotion
Validated User
Anyone interested in seeing data for any other categories?
How about: Touhou Project, Homestuck, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magic Knight Rayearth, Princess Tutu, Utena, Pretty Cure... and Kirby?
 

RK_Striker_JK_5

Registered User
Validated User
Anyone interested in seeing data for any other categories?

Alternatively, I can also post the top M (within reason) categories with at least N (>=100) fics for any particular genre. (For instance, the ranking for Adventure is heavy on video game fandoms.)
Would Star Trek be possible?
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
How about: Touhou Project, Homestuck, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magic Knight Rayearth, Princess Tutu, Utena, Pretty Cure... and Kirby?
The Touhou Project category has a total of 3,105 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 19.55% Fantasy fics, which is more than 96.50% of all categories.
The category is 3.93% Parody fics, which is more than 89.59% of all categories.
The category is 0.16% Western fics, which is more than 88.02% of all categories.
The category is 6.63% Supernatural fics, which is more than 86.60% of all categories.
The category is 1.06% Spiritual fics, which is more than 85.30% of all categories.
The category is 24.86% Humor fics, which is more than 83.34% of all categories.
The category is 25.51% Adventure fics, which is more than 80.71% of all categories.
The category is 2.93% Horror fics, which is more than 80.12% of all categories.
The category is 4.32% Tragedy fics, which is more than 77.76% of all categories.
The category is 35.91% General fics, which is more than 77.64% of all categories.
The category is 3.03% Mystery fics, which is more than 75.64% of all categories.
The category is 2.13% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 72.06% of all categories.
The category is 1.38% Poetry fics, which is more than 65.19% of all categories.
The category is 2.09% Suspense fics, which is more than 61.89% of all categories.
The category is 0.61% Crime fics, which is more than 60.86% of all categories.
The category is 9.98% Friendship fics, which is more than 60.86% of all categories.
The category is 4.61% Family fics, which is more than 53.44% of all categories.
The category is 6.34% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 39.53% of all categories.
The category is 10.63% Drama fics, which is more than 25.85% of all categories.
The category is 20.42% Romance fics, which is more than 17.21% of all categories.
The category is 3.19% Angst fics, which is more than 16.97% of all categories.​

The Homestuck category has a total of 17,586 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 6.86% Tragedy fics, which is more than 92.85% of all categories.
The category is 17.71% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 89.35% of all categories.
The category is 3.54% Horror fics, which is more than 83.81% of all categories.
The category is 0.09% Western fics, which is more than 83.10% of all categories.
The category is 55.65% Romance fics, which is more than 76.54% of all categories.
The category is 13.13% Friendship fics, which is more than 74.07% of all categories.
The category is 0.90% Crime fics, which is more than 71.67% of all categories.
The category is 11.09% Angst fics, which is more than 69.55% of all categories.
The category is 1.62% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 67.07% of all categories.
The category is 2.21% Suspense fics, which is more than 64.28% of all categories.
The category is 2.25% Supernatural fics, which is more than 63.14% of all categories.
The category is 18.05% Humor fics, which is more than 62.44% of all categories.
The category is 2.33% Fantasy fics, which is more than 58.74% of all categories.
The category is 0.95% Poetry fics, which is more than 54.46% of all categories.
The category is 1.24% Parody fics, which is more than 51.91% of all categories.
The category is 0.32% Spiritual fics, which is more than 49.00% of all categories.
The category is 29.56% General fics, which is more than 47.47% of all categories.
The category is 3.98% Family fics, which is more than 47.27% of all categories.
The category is 8.14% Adventure fics, which is more than 43.06% of all categories.
The category is 1.27% Mystery fics, which is more than 35.91% of all categories.
The category is 11.51% Drama fics, which is more than 31.04% of all categories.​

(At a guess, I'd say Horrorstuck struck a chord. Surprised Adventure is so low, but in retrospect I shouldn't be -- lots of Homestuck fic avoids Sburb altogether. AO3's Homestuck section is much larger, around 45,000 fics, so FF.Net may not be representative.)

The Puella Magi Madoka Magica/魔法少女まどか★マギカ category has a total of 3,170 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 11.70% Tragedy fics, which is more than 98.35% of all categories.
The category is 5.02% Parody fics, which is more than 93.91% of all categories.
The category is 1.74% Spiritual fics, which is more than 93.05% of all categories.
The category is 4.67% Horror fics, which is more than 88.21% of all categories.
The category is 9.65% Fantasy fics, which is more than 88.17% of all categories.
The category is 0.16% Western fics, which is more than 87.98% of all categories.
The category is 7.00% Supernatural fics, which is more than 87.39% of all categories.
The category is 2.40% Poetry fics, which is more than 81.30% of all categories.
The category is 3.41% Mystery fics, which is more than 79.65% of all categories.
The category is 14.73% Friendship fics, which is more than 79.41% of all categories.
The category is 12.56% Angst fics, which is more than 77.09% of all categories.
The category is 2.90% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 76.86% of all categories.
The category is 12.37% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 72.65% of all categories.
The category is 0.76% Crime fics, which is more than 66.84% of all categories.
The category is 2.21% Suspense fics, which is more than 64.20% of all categories.
The category is 17.19% Drama fics, which is more than 62.67% of all categories.
The category is 31.20% General fics, which is more than 56.82% of all categories.
The category is 11.36% Adventure fics, which is more than 51.79% of all categories.
The category is 10.98% Humor fics, which is more than 33.60% of all categories.
The category is 2.52% Family fics, which is more than 30.22% of all categories.
The category is 25.99% Romance fics, which is more than 25.11% of all categories.​

(That sounds about right.)

The Magic Knight Rayearth/魔法騎士レイアース category has a total of 1,988 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 61.77% Romance fics, which is more than 85.66% of all categories.
The category is 2.72% Poetry fics, which is more than 84.17% of all categories.
The category is 2.72% Parody fics, which is more than 80.04% of all categories.
The category is 5.84% Fantasy fics, which is more than 79.41% of all categories.
The category is 19.06% Drama fics, which is more than 70.69% of all categories.
The category is 10.41% Angst fics, which is more than 65.97% of all categories.
The category is 16.05% Adventure fics, which is more than 63.50% of all categories.
The category is 15.34% Humor fics, which is more than 51.98% of all categories.
The category is 1.56% Mystery fics, which is more than 44.56% of all categories.
The category is 2.11% Tragedy fics, which is more than 39.61% of all categories.
The category is 0.10% Spiritual fics, which is more than 33.75% of all categories.
The category is 26.76% General fics, which is more than 32.77% of all categories.
The category is 0.20% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 27.03% of all categories.
The category is 0.35% Horror fics, which is more than 24.32% of all categories.
The category is 0.60% Supernatural fics, which is more than 21.61% of all categories.
The category is 2.72% Friendship fics, which is more than 18.07% of all categories.
The category is 0.55% Suspense fics, which is more than 17.25% of all categories.
The category is 1.16% Family fics, which is more than 16.15% of all categories.
The category is 2.46% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 14.58% of all categories.
The category is 0.00% Western fics, which is more than 0.00% of all categories.
The category is 0.00% Crime fics, which is more than 0.00% of all categories.​

(No Western or Crime fics!)

The Princess Tutu category has a total of 1,618 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 11.68% Fantasy fics, which is more than 90.96% of all categories.
The category is 59.46% Romance fics, which is more than 82.51% of all categories.
The category is 4.57% Tragedy fics, which is more than 80.55% of all categories.
The category is 2.22% Poetry fics, which is more than 79.72% of all categories.
The category is 11.12% Angst fics, which is more than 69.74% of all categories.
The category is 1.79% Horror fics, which is more than 66.52% of all categories.
The category is 32.94% General fics, which is more than 66.05% of all categories.
The category is 0.56% Spiritual fics, which is more than 65.74% of all categories.
The category is 2.29% Mystery fics, which is more than 63.14% of all categories.
The category is 16.69% Drama fics, which is more than 60.28% of all categories.
The category is 8.22% Friendship fics, which is more than 52.77% of all categories.
The category is 1.61% Supernatural fics, which is more than 49.82% of all categories.
The category is 14.83% Humor fics, which is more than 49.31% of all categories.
The category is 0.99% Parody fics, which is more than 44.91% of all categories.
The category is 7.73% Adventure fics, which is more than 41.81% of all categories.
The category is 0.25% Crime fics, which is more than 41.53% of all categories.
The category is 6.24% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 38.82% of all categories.
The category is 0.99% Suspense fics, which is more than 31.08% of all categories.
The category is 0.25% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 29.19% of all categories.
The category is 1.55% Family fics, which is more than 20.51% of all categories.
The category is 0.00% Western fics, which is more than 0.00% of all categories.​

The Utena category has a total of 1,627 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 10.57% Poetry fics, which is more than 99.02% of all categories.
The category is 20.04% Angst fics, which is more than 94.93% of all categories.
The category is 5.53% Parody fics, which is more than 94.70% of all categories.
The category is 27.23% Drama fics, which is more than 90.29% of all categories.
The category is 0.06% Western fics, which is more than 79.88% of all categories.
The category is 0.68% Spiritual fics, which is more than 72.50% of all categories.
The category is 3.63% Fantasy fics, which is more than 69.39% of all categories.
The category is 2.40% Supernatural fics, which is more than 65.54% of all categories.
The category is 1.60% Horror fics, which is more than 62.87% of all categories.
The category is 31.71% General fics, which is more than 59.17% of all categories.
The category is 1.78% Suspense fics, which is more than 53.83% of all categories.
The category is 15.49% Humor fics, which is more than 52.38% of all categories.
The category is 1.72% Mystery fics, which is more than 48.80% of all categories.
The category is 36.69% Romance fics, which is more than 43.46% of all categories.
The category is 0.12% Crime fics, which is more than 34.81% of all categories.
The category is 4.43% Adventure fics, which is more than 30.29% of all categories.
The category is 0.12% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 24.09% of all categories.
The category is 1.41% Tragedy fics, which is more than 22.48% of all categories.
The category is 2.03% Friendship fics, which is more than 14.03% of all categories.
The category is 2.21% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 13.75% of all categories.
The category is 0.31% Family fics, which is more than 8.37% of all categories.​

The Pretty Cure category has a total of 927 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 20.28% Fantasy fics, which is more than 96.82% of all categories.
The category is 25.67% Friendship fics, which is more than 96.70% of all categories.
The category is 36.25% Adventure fics, which is more than 91.28% of all categories.
The category is 0.22% Western fics, which is more than 90.14% of all categories.
The category is 0.97% Spiritual fics, which is more than 82.63% of all categories.
The category is 2.91% Mystery fics, which is more than 73.95% of all categories.
The category is 3.02% Supernatural fics, which is more than 72.57% of all categories.
The category is 1.94% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 70.41% of all categories.
The category is 0.54% Crime fics, which is more than 57.96% of all categories.
The category is 1.08% Horror fics, which is more than 50.96% of all categories.
The category is 4.21% Family fics, which is more than 49.19% of all categories.
The category is 1.08% Parody fics, which is more than 47.50% of all categories.
The category is 14.13% Humor fics, which is more than 46.09% of all categories.
The category is 28.80% General fics, which is more than 43.18% of all categories.
The category is 0.65% Poetry fics, which is more than 41.02% of all categories.
The category is 1.29% Suspense fics, which is more than 39.37% of all categories.
The category is 5.61% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 35.05% of all categories.
The category is 1.83% Tragedy fics, which is more than 32.34% of all categories.
The category is 27.62% Romance fics, which is more than 27.90% of all categories.
The category is 7.55% Drama fics, which is more than 12.30% of all categories.
The category is 2.27% Angst fics, which is more than 10.69% of all categories.​

(96th percentile for Friendship! My Little Pony only scores in the 90th.)

The Kirby category has a total of 2,223 fics, including crossovers.
The category is 35.94% Adventure fics, which is more than 90.84% of all categories.
The category is 4.81% Suspense fics, which is more than 90.77% of all categories.
The category is 29.19% Humor fics, which is more than 90.65% of all categories.
The category is 4.00% Parody fics, which is more than 90.10% of all categories.
The category is 3.33% Horror fics, which is more than 82.55% of all categories.
The category is 6.97% Fantasy fics, which is more than 82.48% of all categories.
The category is 15.83% Friendship fics, which is more than 82.44% of all categories.
The category is 3.37% Mystery fics, which is more than 79.45% of all categories.
The category is 0.81% Spiritual fics, which is more than 77.60% of all categories.
The category is 0.04% Western fics, which is more than 77.37% of all categories.
The category is 4.14% Tragedy fics, which is more than 76.27% of all categories.
The category is 1.75% Poetry fics, which is more than 72.22% of all categories.
The category is 2.16% Sci-Fi fics, which is more than 72.18% of all categories.
The category is 0.67% Crime fics, which is more than 63.73% of all categories.
The category is 9.58% Hurt/Comfort fics, which is more than 58.19% of all categories.
The category is 1.84% Supernatural fics, which is more than 55.52% of all categories.
The category is 30.09% General fics, which is more than 50.37% of all categories.
The category is 4.09% Family fics, which is more than 48.29% of all categories.
The category is 4.36% Angst fics, which is more than 25.34% of all categories.
The category is 16.96% Romance fics, which is more than 13.32% of all categories.
The category is 7.51% Drama fics, which is more than 12.14% of all categories.​

(I like how Romance is the fourth-most-popular Kirby genre, but is more of an outlier in how relatively unpopular it is than anything but Drama.)

So I guess Touhou, Precure, and Kirby are your go-tos if you want a lighthearted read.

Would Star Trek be possible?
You'd have to specify -- there's about nine different Star Trek categories. I forgot to mention, but it'd make things easier if I had a link to the specific category, or some other unambiguous identification.
 

Fae

with true devotion
Validated User
One big thing that stands out among that bunch: Kirby aside, all of those I named are fandoms with a lot of shipping, but Romance is really low for the fandoms with primarily f/f ships and high for the others. I wonder if that's because people writing femslash/yuri don't use ff.net much, or because of a difference in how f/f relationships are viewed and talked about compared to others. (I'm honestly shocked to see Romance so low for some of those.)

Poetry, on the other hand, tracks closely with how romantic the source material is. (Utena is over 10% poetry!)

Angst and Tragedy don't seem to track with each other at all? Sometimes they're close, sometimes one is much higher than the other. (I wonder what results you'd get from analyzing relationships between tags across fandoms...)

Madoka and Homestuck sure do love their tragedy. :D

Precure wins when it comes to adventure, slightly beating out Kirby! not D&D though

Mystery is around the middle of all of these, except for Homestuck, where it's at the bottom? It seems bizarre that Homestuck is the exception there.
 

Capellan

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
That's limited by how an author categorizes their fic, right? Arguably almost all D&D or Sailor Moon fics are fantasy.
I imagine that for a lot of authors, the core genre of the fandom is assumed, and they use the tags to call out the other major genres or themes it has.

So an epic, angst-y Krusk/Regdar fanfic (which probably exist) would be a fantasy story, but the genre tags might be 'romance' and 'angst' (or 'hurt/comfort', if it was that kind of angst).
 

q_3

Ge.
Validated User
I like that Kirby has the third-highest percentage of hurt/comfort fics of any of the entries so far.
 

Fae

with true devotion
Validated User
I wonder, does hurt/comfort track with m/m ships? Homestuck is the only one of those where it's particularly high, and though I don't pay much attention to that side of the fandom, I do know that Homestuck has some extremely popular m/m ships.
 
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