Broken Base

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The only question I
Ever thought was hard
Is 'Do I like Kirk
Or do I like Picard?'

"Weird Al" Yankovic, "White and Nerdy"

A Broken Base is a civil war among fans of a particular series. It usually involves infighting over whether or not the series is still good after a certain change. The loyalists believe it's as good as ever—maybe even better—and constantly hold up its merits. The dissenters feel betrayed by declining quality, and attack the series at every opportunity. They'll also be annoyed by the other fans' loyalty, and will call them blind fanboys/fangirls. However, despite not liking the show anymore, the dissenters will linger around fan forums solely to criticize the show and the loyalists. The loyalists will reply by calling the dissenters a bunch of fuddy-duddies who go all Chicken Little at the slightest change to the status quo.

Another common source of a Broken Base is when the interpretation of the series events or characters varies so immensely that it seems as if there are two different shows being watched by two different fanbases. Sometimes this can happen because of a deliberate attempt to appeal to a Periphery Demographic whose interpretations will be directly at odds with the primary demographic. (Yaoi Fangirls of Shounen are a common example). Usually the Periphery Demographic is too small to really break the base, but if it's as large as the primary demographic, arguments can become rather passionate.

Almost every series has at least some internal conflict amongst its fanbase. In fact, a healthy series should have some polite dissent within its fanbase, as that creates a ground for respectful debate and thoughtful discussion. However, in many, if not most, cases, the amount of dissent is far above this low level.

Often caused by the conflict between Word of God vs Word of Dante. At its most extreme, it leads to Death of the Author.

This trope can apply to fans of ongoing works in any medium and any genre.

Here there be Fan Dumb (and consequences such as Fanon Discontinuity).

See Also: Fandom Heresy, They Changed It, Now It Sucks, Internet Backdraft, Replacement Scrappy. Also see Base Breaker for if one character is the cause of it all.

Overlaps with Fan Hater, Love It or Hate It, Unpleasable Fanbase, Opinion Myopia, Alternate Character Interpretation and maybe even Pop Culture Isolation.

Unrelated to Broken Pedestal.

Examples of Broken Base are listed on these subpages: