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Which Fandom Has the Worst Fans? We’ve Got the Definitive Answer

Adult Swim / Rick & Morty

“Toxic” is something of a buzzword on the internet, and in general it means “any behavior I don’t like, especially if it’s done by someone I disagree with politically.”

It makes sense, honestly; if you sat down a religious conservative and a bohemian liberal to discuss their opinions on gay marriage, they both might accuse the other of having toxic views. Someone who believes homosexuality is a sin that will damn you to an eternity in hell would be rightly horrified that children are taught it’s a perfectly normal way to live your life, while someone with liberal sensibilities would be horrified to have children exposed to what they see as bigotry whether it’s based on a religious belief or not.

As overused as the term toxic is, though, some fandoms take their enthusiasm to an unhealthy level and toxic really is a good word for what happens when those fans launch harassment campaigns or worse over their fav not being everyone’s fav.

Outlander

The Japanese have a word, isekai, to describe the currently insanely popular genre of fiction involving people who are transported to or reincarnated in strange fantasy worlds. Think A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court only King Arthur’s court is almost definitely a video game and Guinevere has gigantic breasts. Just enormous. Like honestly, so big they’re bordering on silly. Oh, and Morgana is a thousand years old but for some reason she looks like a 10-year-old in a micro bikini.

Outlander is sort of the American version of an isekai show for women, where a moderately attractive middle-aged WWII-era Scottish nurse finds herself traveling back in time to the 18th century where a super-hot guy goes down on her all the time.

The problem here is that some fans of the show are so into the idea of the plain-looking nurse and the super-hot Braveheart guy getting it on that they are insistent that the actors who play those characters must also be having sex with each other in real life. Those actors are very much not having sex with each other but the worst parts of fandom will bully anyone who makes them face that reality, even when that happens to be one of the actors they’re obsessed with.

Sam Heughan who plays Jamie, the sexy non-immortal Highlander in Outlander, once mentioned he had been bullied for years by fans of the show.


Sam mentions “six years of constant bullying, harassment, stalking and false narrative,” which isn’t coming right out and saying that it’s people trying to prove he’s actually in love with co-star Caitriona Balfe but it’s pretty much saying that it’s people trying to prove he’s actually in love with Caitriona Balfe.

It’s also worth mentioning that Sam’s friend and fellow actor William Shatner has become involved with coming to Sam’s defense.

Rick and Morty

Even Rick and Morty’s creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon find Rick and Morty fans to be embarrassing.

The first thing that probably comes to mind when you think about Rick and Morty fans is the Szechuan sauce. In the season 3 premiere, which was released without any prior announcement as an April Fool’s joke, Rick tells Morty that the reason he goes on all his adventures is to get more of the Szechuan sauce McDonald’s made for a 1990s Mulan promotion.

Of course, the joke here was that Rick doesn’t have any deeper meaning, that looking for clues to his dark backstory isn’t a productive avenue of thought because as Roiland, Harmon and Ryan Ridley mentioned once in the DVD commentary, they don’t know the answers themselves. They haven’t written a grand backstory for Rick to uncover.

What fans actually took from it was “I’d like to try that sauce, one of those guys must actually really like it.”

So McDonald’s, in their infinite wisdom and without involvement from the Rick and Morty team, brought the sauce back in a tiny, tiny supply to get some viral headlines. This lead to some angry fans and some real freak-outs, though the most famous one seems staged. I hope.

There are also definitely some fans who really seem to think the show is some sort of intellectual masterwork. I don’t know if I’d call any of those fans toxic, though. Cringe-inducing and embarrassing, sure, but not toxic.

Of course, there was a small contingent of fans who were very angry that all the new writers Harmon and Roiland hired going into season 3 were women. I remember seeing the comments that they were going to ruin the show and wouldn’t understand the characters and then a woman wrote Pickle Rick, the season’s most popular episode. But the fourth season came and went and it was a lot harder to find the complaints about the “SJW lady writers” who were ruining the show by then.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s entire career has essentially been being a serial monogamist and then writing songs about how the guys she dated sucked. They’re good songs, but it’s her whole schtick, everyone knows it, the only other thing she’s ever been in the headlines for is having a feud with the guy who was involved with granted more wishes for Make-a-Wish kids than anyone else on the planet.

Her fans, the Swifties, are in the habit of attacking Swift’s exes with her lyrics years after she dated them and released the songs.

And anyone who doesn’t like her albums better watch out as well. Like when her album Folklore came out, Swift’s fans doxxed and sent death threats to a reviewer who “only” gave the album an 8/10.

On top of that, a number of teenage LGBT Taylor Swift fans claimed other Swifties outed them to their families because they expressed disappointment that Swift’s song ‘Betty’ wasn’t about expressing romantic feelings for another women as they had originally assumed and related to.

Star Wars

What’s fun about Star Wars fans is that the new sequel films created a rift in the fandom and both sides are pretty terrible.

Star Wars fans are some of the most passionate fans in all of fandom, and that fandom can lead to a lot of toxic online behavior, especially when the last good Star Wars movie came out in 1983. And there’s nothing wrong with pointing out that certain movies and characters are awful, but fans have a tendency to take it too far.

Take for example Ahmed Best, the actor who provided the voice and motion capture for Jar-Jar Binks, one of the worst, most-hated characters in the history of cinema. And as far as I’m concerned, pointing out that Jar-Jar was a bad character is fair play. But some fans took it too far, as Best says he “had death threats through the internet. I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood’. That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.” That’s rough, but keep in mind it doesn’t make the character good retroactively.

The Last Jedi was also a truly terrible movie, and moreover felt like an attack on Star Wars fans that basically came right out and told them everything they liked about the movies was terrible. Rian Johnson is normally good at his job, Knives Out was great, but with no plan for how this trilogy of movies was supposed to play out, Johnson decided to defy expectations and went a bit too far in blowing up everything established in the previous movie.

But new character Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, attracted what I would describe as an unwarranted amount of hatred from some fans, and that ire was directed at Tran herself. While The Last Jedi wasn’t good, Rose Tico wasn’t exactly the new Jar Jar Binks, and worse, Tran describes the harassment she received as being racist and sexist.

And finally, there are the Reylos, or the people who were primarily interested in seeing new main character Rey knock booties with Han Solo and Leia Organa’s son Ben Solo, also known as Kylo Ren. When they didn’t get their way and Adam Driver’s character died at the end of The Rise of Skywalker instead of living happily ever after with Rey, they absolutely freaked out.

Death threats, suicide threats, attacking Adam Driver’s wife for getting in the way of their ship… it’s typical shipper behavior.

Beyoncé

When Beyoncé released her hit album Lemonade, the song ‘Sorry’ seemed to reference an affair the singer’s husband Jay-Z had, referring to his mistress as “Becky with the good hair.”

So her fans did what any rational person would do and immediately started trying to figure out who this mistress could be so they could harass her. Eventually, they settled on fashion designer Rachel Roy and started harassing her on social media. They also attacked Rachel Ray because her name is similar.

And then years later, the owner of the Golden State Warriors Joe Lacon and his wife Nicole Curran invited Beyoncé and Jay-Z to sit with them and watch a basketball game. At one point Curran leaned across Beyoncé to ask Jay-Z if he’d like a drink and Beyoncé’s fans acted like she had shot the Pope.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters fans did maybe the worst thing we’ve talked about so far, much worse than death threats or years of abuse aimed at an actor on a tv show for not being the character he plays on said TV show.

Ghostbusters fans gave thumbs-down ratings to a trailer of Paul Feig’s reboot on YouTube and a low audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

That was definitely more toxic than the throngs of people attacking respected film critic Richard Roeper for giving the film a bad review.

Felicity Smoak

I know what you’re thinking when I say Felicity Smoak: Who? And you’d be right. Felicity Smoak is a DC comics character who had a very minor role as a civilian antagonist in The Fury of Firestorm and later became the stepmother of Ronnie Raymond, one of the two people who combined to become Firestorm. She was never a very important character in the book, but she owned a computer technology company so the Arrow writers decided to name a one-off IT technician after her as an Easter egg.

The actress who played that character, Emily Bett Rickards, was so charming and funny in the role that she found herself integrated into the main cast in the second season.

This soon became an incredibly divisive issue among Arrow fans because Smoak’s clumsy and unrequited crush on the Green Arrow was turned into a romantic subplot between the two characters. The problem here is that Green Arrow already has a love interest, Black Canary. Putting Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak together is a bit like having Superman date Cat Grant, but a bit more like having Superman date Betty Rubble.

As Felicity moved beyond her comic relief/sidekick role and into the role of romantic lead, her character suffered; she became a bargain-basement Chloe Sullivan (without the sex cult) and almost all of the fandom turned against the character. Except, that is, for a small, vocal and toxic part of the community: the Olicity shippers. And specifically among them, the so-called “Stemily” shippers.

Much like Outlander fandom, a small subsection of these fans latched onto the idea that Stephen Amell and and Emily Bett Rickards were in a relationship in real life. Never mind the fact that Amell is happily married to someone else, these fans just kind of attacked his wife whenever Amell posted a picture with her, which is a really messed up thing to do. They also spread a lot of nasty rumors about Katie Cassidy, the actress who played Black Canary on Arrow.

The Worst of the Worst

So what’s the most toxic fandom? The sexist Star Wars or Rick and Morty fans? The Beyoncé fans who ruthlessly harassed a woman for being polite to the singer’s husband? The Swifties who outed LGBT teens for relating to a song incorrectly? People who didn’t a like a movie we decided only bad people didn’t like? Maybe just any shippers from any fandom?

It’s shippers, right? It has to be. Like half of these are shippers and I could filled three lists this size just with shippers. Even the supposed “good ships,” like Clexa from The 100, sent tons of death and suicide threats to the writers and producers of the show when one of the actresses left the show to be on Fear the Walking Dead instead.

It’s fine to like things, and it’s even fine to think a few characters are super cute together. There are movies and entire TV shows about watching characters fall in love. Maybe just keep some perspective and don’t tell the actors’ spouses you’re going to kill them because you think that actor belongs with their co-star from a TV show you like.

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