Fandoms are a way for people to come together and share their love for a particular TV show, movie, book series, or any other form of entertainment. These communities are often filled with passionate fans who create fan art, write fan fiction, and engage in lively discussions about their favorite characters and storylines.
In this article, we will be ranking the biggest and best fandoms in the world. From the devoted followers of Harry Potter to the die-hard fans of K-Pop groups, we will be taking a closer look at what makes these fandoms so special and why they have captured the hearts of millions of people around the globe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dan And Phil
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.
The open-world video game has an incredibly active and creative fandom. Players, also known as “Crafters”, engage with the game by creating intricate structures, mods, and playing on multiplayer servers. They also connect with other fans on various platforms, sharing creations and exchanging gameplay tips.
Whovians, as fans of the British sci-fi TV show Doctor Who are called, have been following the adventures of the eponymous Time Lord for over half a century. The unique feature of the show is its ability to reinvent itself periodically through the regeneration of the Doctor, creating new story arcs and characters, which in turn, keeps the fandom refreshed.
Dedicated fans of the series have created a rich fan culture, including fan fiction, conventions, cosplay, and more. The show’s emphasis on themes like justice, humanity, and exploration resonates with a wide audience.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
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.
K-Pop (excluding BTS)
K-pop has a massive global fandom, with numerous dedicated fans supporting various groups and solo artists. These fans, known for their fierce loyalty and passion, engage in a variety of fan activities like streaming music videos, voting in music shows, and buying albums to support their favorite artists.
Game Of Thrones
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.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Fans of this critically acclaimed animated series, often referred to as “Avatards”, are drawn to its rich world-building, complex characters, and the blend of action, comedy, and deep philosophical themes.
The fandom has remained active even after the show’s conclusion, producing fan art, fan fiction, and engaging in discussions about the series’ themes and characters.
The American sitcom has one of the most enduring fanbases on television. Even though the show ended in 2004, its relatability, humor, and iconic characters continue to captivate audiences worldwide.
“Friends” fans actively engage in re-watching the series, quoting memorable lines, and participating in trivia contests. Their affection for the show is evident through the continuous demand for merchandise and events related to the sitcom.
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.
The Netflix original series quickly gathered a large fanbase who call themselves “Strangers”. Its nostalgic 80s setting, supernatural elements, and engaging characters have attracted a diverse audience. The fandom is highly active, creating fan theories, art, and fan fiction based on the show.
Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock BBC Series)
The latest adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective series has spurred a significant fandom. The group, often called Sherlockians, admire the sharp wit, intricate plot twists, and complex characters portrayed in the series.
The show’s high production quality and the performances of actors like Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson) have amplified the fandom. Sherlockians engage in numerous activities, such as fan fiction, fan art, cosplay, and theories, showing their dedication and love for the series.
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.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
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.
DC Comics has its own substantial fandom. The home of iconic superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, DC has a long history in comics, films, and TV shows. DC fans, often participating in cosplay, comic book discussions, and fan theories, display a passionate enthusiasm for these stories and characters.
The Lord of the Rings
Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic high-fantasy series are known as Ringers. The fanbase has grown exponentially since the release of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, which brought the fantastical world of Middle-earth to life on screen.
The fandom is diverse, encompassing lovers of the original books, the films, or both. Ringers engage in cosplay, fan fiction, and immersive role-playing games set in the Tolkien universe.
The Walking Dead
Known as “Walker Stalkers,” fans of this post-apocalyptic TV series are known for their intense loyalty and engagement. This fandom is drawn to the show’s gritty realism, compelling storylines, and complex characters.
The fan community actively participates in conventions, cosplay, online forums, and fan theories. The show’s exploration of humanity and survival in extreme circumstances resonates with its fans, keeping them glued to the series.