The fundamental idea behind every existent fandom is quite simple: a group of like-minded people who are fanatics or are highly devoted to one particular element of pop culture comes together to share their interests. On some level, these fandoms operate in a very similar style to how cults operate, and they are frequently referred to as cult followings. In modern times, most people will associate such fandoms with comics and films, but the fandom culture has expanded to other elements of people’s lives such as music, podcasts, and even social reform movements (such as the Black Lives Matter movement).
Just through observation, it is clear that institutions and enterprises have come to appreciate the power and influence that fandoms hold and they have started involving them in their decision-making. So, which are currently the 10 Biggest and Best Fandoms in the World? Check this list to find out and see if your fandom is listed too.
10. Dan And Phil
Fandom Name: Phandom
Daniel James Howell and Philip Michael Lester are British YouTubers well-known for their distinct YouTube channels, as well as their joint gaming channel DanAndPhilGAMES, which they created in September 2014, and by March 2015 had a million members. It was the fastest-growing YouTube channel at the time, and as of writing this article, it has 2.84 million subscribers.
Dan first discovered Phil on YouTube as a creator who was already well-established on the video platform. At this stage in 2006, shortly after YouTube was founded, Phil was becoming a popular YouTuber, but Dan had not yet started his own channel. Dan was (and still is) a big fan of Phil’s content, and reached out to Phil constantly through his DailyBooth and Twitter profiles, and they eventually became internet pals after chatting with one another via Skype.
9. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Fandom Name: Bronies/Pegasisters
An American-Canadian animated children’s TV series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is produced by Hasbro as part of the My Little Pony toy franchise. Its fandom which is known as bronies (a portmanteau of bro and pony) or pegasisters (a portmanteau of pegasus and sister) began gaining tremendous popularity during the 2010s, and since then, the momentum has kept steadily.
The fandom has one of the largest fan bases online. For example, Equestria Daily and Ponychain were formed to allow fans to share artwork, music, stories, and news about the show. Within the first nine months, the website had over 36 million page views and in June 2014, it surpassed the 500 million views.
8. Game Of Thrones
Fandom Name: Thronies
No books and TV series had a bigger following and a greater impact on pop culture than Game of Thrones did. Game of Thrones is an HBO TV show adapted from the award-winning series best-selling books A Song of Ice and Fire, authored by the prodigious George R.R. Martin. The series currently constitutes five published novels, with two more expected to bring the series to a conclusion.
The fantasy story is set in the continents of Westeros and Essos where nine noble families fight for control over the lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy resurfaces after being dormant for over a thousand years.
Fandom Name: SPN Family/Hunters
Supernatural is a dark fantasy series that started airing on the CW Network in September 2005. Created by Eric Kripke, the show follows two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who travel across the country in a 1967 Chevy Impala, hunting demons, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural beings and paranormal events.
Boasting one of the biggest fan bases, particularly on the social platform Tumblr, the SPN family is one of the most welcoming fandoms that extends to the cast and crew (the J2M: Jared, Jensen, and Misha) who are known for frequently spending a lot of time with their fan base through conventions and their social network handles.
6. One Direction
Fandom Name: Directioners
Frequently abbreviated as 1D, One Direction is an English-Irish rock band composed of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, who left the band in 2015. The boy band has been on an indefinite hiatus since January 2016, allowing its members to pursue their personal projects.
Most of the Directioners say the fandom feels like family and feel like no matter what, they can count on the friends they’ve made by listening to the boy band over the years. A lot of people have met their best friends through the music and the social media platforms that fans use to keep up with One Direction, making their fan base one of the most loyal on this list.
5. Marvel Cinematic Universe
Fandom Name: Marvel Zombies
Commonly abbreviated as the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the biggest film franchises and is the highest-grossing film franchise in history, with over US$26 billion earned to date. Likewise, it has one of the biggest film fan bases, which is known to be extremely volatile and combative, especially on social media platforms.
However, some fans are toxic as was evident when actor Wyatt Russell received death threats for his role in the Disney + series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, in which he portrayed Captain America, as the successor to Steve Rogers.
4. Star Wars
Fandom Name: Warsies
Star Wars Extended Universe is an extremely successful media franchise that started back in the 70s during the first original trilogy. The rights to Star Wars were later sold by Lucasfilm to Disney for a billion-dollar deal in 2012.
Star Wars fandom is one of the most recognizable due to the many fans it has acquired over 40 years, but like Marvel Zombies, they also have a toxic section of their fan base.
Fandom Name: Otaku
Previously known as a fandom for nerds, Otakus have been growing every year as more anime have been released. Initially made for local fans, anime has become one of Japan’s greatest exports, and even American studios have begun developing anime for their local market.
2. Harry Potter
Fandom Name: Potterheads
One of the most remarkable things about the Harry Potter books that have won the hearts of fans is that they are well-thought-out and put together. Although the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling came to an end, fans worldwide continue to discuss the book and films. With fantastic fan fiction, beautiful fan art, role-playing, and social forums, Potterheads are the most wonderful fans to hang around with.
Fandom Name: A.R.M.Y
Adorable Representative MC for Youth, abbreviated as A.R.M.Y, is, without doubt, the biggest fandom out there. The K-pop group from South Korea also known as the Bantang Boys was formed in 2010 and has enjoyed a steady rise in the music industry due to their massive fandom that has over 40 million subscribers on YouTube alone. Having engaged with their fans from early on, BTS has grown to become ambassadors for social change and their fandom has shown how powerful they are through activism and rallies for sociopolitical change.