Part 4: Fan Fiction in Popular Culture

Categories: Friendship Circle, Hellos With Fellows, History of Fan Fiction, Sarah Lehman

It’s far from uncommon to see pop culture being referenced in everyday life, and especially common to see it referenced in other works (for instance, Marty McFly refers to Darth Vader at one point in Back to the Future). As such, it shouldn’t be surprising that the concept of fan fiction has been mentioned in ‘official’ fiction. Perhaps the most prominent examples of this happening are in the TV show Supernatural, more specifically the episodes ‘The Monster at the End of This Book’ (which features a man who uses his visions of the main characters as inspiration for a series of novels), ‘Fan Fiction’ (which involves a musical based on the aforementioned novels), and ‘The French Mistake’ (in which the main characters find themselves in an alternate universe where their lives are depicted in a TV show).

In this regard, the concept of shipping (romantic pairing of two–or occasionally more–characters) is particularly noteworthy. Many creators have offered their opinions on shipping, though said opinions tend to vary. For instance, while J.K. Rowling considered pairing Hermione Granger with Harry Potter, she eventually paired them with Ron and Ginny Weasley, respectively. On the other hand, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power showrunner Noelle Stevenson feels that the relationship of Adora and Catra is a key part of the canon storyline, and therefore not ‘shipping.’

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