Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Page one of three thousand.

A Lemon is a Fanfic with explicit sexual content. This can range from plot-what-plot boinkfests with no justification or explanations to exquisitely plotted and crafted stories that just happen to follow their participants into the bedroom (and through the subsequent action therein) on a regular basis. Once a common term, it's now less frequently seen, though by no means extinct.

Can be used as a noun and an adjective interchangeably: "It's a lemon story" and "it's a lemon" are functionally equivalent. Surprisingly, the term is not automatically synonymous with "bad" (although that, as the saying goes, is often the way to bet).

The term was originally specific to the Anime fanfiction community, although by the early-middle 2000s it had spread to other fandoms as an alternative to just calling something porn or smut. The origin of the term is obscure, but the most common etymology traces it back to the "classic" Hentai anime series Cream Lemon, by way of an early mailing list for publishing erotic anime fanfic, called "The Lemon List" in its honor. The term derives from the idea that like a lemon, sexuality looks beautiful and alluring, but when you experience it more directly, it's bitter and sour.

While the complementary term Lime still has some usage, there was actually at one time an entire "Citrus Scale" with various fruit code names such as Grapefruit.

The trope has nothing to do with the Lemony Narrator, despite the similarity of names, although combining the two would be quite interesting, especially if it were in a Fanfic featuring 30 Rock‍'‍s Liz Lemon. Possibly shipped with Cure Lemonade.

Not to be confused with those tasty, tasty fruits, the slang term for a lousy car, the Russian term for a million dollars (or a hand grenade). Has nothing to do with burning your house down.

Compare Lime, Porn Without Plot. See also Slash Fic, Doujinshi, Rule 34. Frequently found in Kink Memes. See IKEA Erotica for one of the more common ways these stories can go wrong.

Examples of Lemon include:

Anime and Manga

  • Virtually every anime series that employs and Unwanted Harem or a Love Dodecahedron has spawned lemon fanfic which resolves the problem by throwing everyone in bed together, regardless of their canon sexual preferences.
    • Or it's spawned far too many lemon fanfics involving completely fanon Shipping, that usually involve a lot of character bashing; of course invoking Die for Our Ship. Well, actually, the said description accounts for most of the lemon fanfics on the web, just yaoi. It's much more common when it's about a series with a Love Dodecahedron or Unwanted Harem, though.
    • Ironically, there's a tendency for anime with more Fan Service to get fewer lemon fics. It could be that high-fan service anime tends to be derided as not being anything more than that. Or it could be that watching the Beach Episode provides enough sexual perversion for people to just enjoy that. Regardless of whether or not the male lead is involved or not.
  • Ranma ½ has/had a such large fanfic community that at one time there were several archives devoted solely to lemons, such as the Ranma 1/2 Lemon Story Archive.
  • Sailor Moon lemons were as common as corn flakes back in the day. Usagi/Rei, Ami/Makoto, and orgy stories were particularly common.
  • Aiken Muyo ("dead" copy at the Wayback Machine) by "Happosai" explores one possible resolution to the Tenchi-Ayeka-Ryoko Love Triangle in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki that allows for a wide variety of physical intimacies between Tenchi and the girls. It is also noteworthy for incorporating elements of the infamous gag Image Song Call Me Princess and its "S&M Queen Ayeka" directly into a serious extrapolation of Juraian culture, traditions and mores -- and what effects those traditions and mores have on the relationship(s) between the three. (Not to mention the reader will never look at Sasami the same way again after the scene where she sighs romantically at the thought of someday meeting a guy willing to accept her whip...)
  • Death Note: roughly a quarter of all stories for it on fanfiction.net are rated M.
  • If you're looking around Dragonball Z fics, eight out of ten times what you find are Vegeta/Bulma lemons.
    • Cell "absorbing" Android 18 or Android 17 is also a popular topic.
      • That, and Cell raping Frieza in hell. Different takes on hell, the Oni, and the terrain aside, it will have Cell beating Frieza up and then raping him. Hard.
  • Even though the most popular couple in the Hellsing fandom is Alucard/Integra, most fans seem to prefer the lemon stories with Alucard/Seras.
    • Interestingly enough, the Alucard/Integra lemons are less likely to be out of character than those for Alucard/Seras. Make of that what you will.
  • In the Naruto fandom, there are so many NaruHina lemons out there that one could get tired of seeing Naruto licking ramen off of Hinata.
  • The various Digimon series have a long, strange history with this. They spawned not one but two massive archive sites (the digiartists domain and the now-defunct Digimon Hentai Zone) which pretty much immediately got into a turf war with each other. Some authors, most notably Red Rover, wrote sagas long enough to require multiple volumes if published.
    • Things got even weirder when the third series, Digimon Tamers, came out. By now, Toei seemed to be actively encouraging the creation of digi-smut, prompting localizer Saban to take drastic action, at one time having Renamon suggest that all digimon are asexual.
    • On the other hand, there was a fairly large "Hentai Free" movement in the Digimon fandom, adding yet another side to the turf war.
  • Pokémon, dear lord. Ash/Misty, Jessie/James, Brock/Misty, Ash/Gary, Misty/Jessie, human/Pokémon, Pokémon/Pokémon...you name it, people wrote lemons about it.
    • Words cannot describe this delightful fanfic and its scene of Misty being gang raped by a dozen Wartortles.
    • Or this. MST, because without one this would be unbearable.
    • Though there are very few lemon game, or Pokémon Special, fanfics, the anime is chock full of lemons. Especially during the 2000-2006 period.
    • Of course, we can't forget the Pokegirls offshoot, where the Mons are Cute Monster Girls in need of hot d*ckings...
    • And of course, The Pokémon Story.
  • Since it has all the different types and tastes of The Beautiful Elite, Bleach understandably has more than plenty of these, ranging from simple lemons to rape, threesomes, whorehouses and the like, which generally involves the Five Man Band.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: You can find a pairing for anything -- especially France. Have some France x Chair.
  • The Bubblegum Crisis fic Bubblegum Pink: Raging Fires, by Kris Overstreet and Larry Mann, proved that it's possible to write a lemon crackfic years before the idea of crackfic took hold.


  • To the pleasant surprise of a few slash fans, the Treasure Planet fandom popped out a fan novel called Navigational Error with some magnificently horrible lemon scenes, one of which involves an anthropomorphic octopus and bird.


  • Good Omens. About 80% of the fanfics out there are Aziraphale/Crowley.
  • Harry Potter fanfic involving Draco/Harry couplings ("Drarry") have proven particularly popular.
    • As illustrated here.
    • A close second has to be the "Harmony" (Harry/Hermione) lemons, followed by the "Harry's Harem" stories.
    • Really, due to the sheer size of the fandom (Fanfiction.net has 846,000 and counting), this has been done with everyone. Including Lucius/Draco's skull.
    • My Immortal.
    • Enters Squick territory when you consider that a significant portion of fics center around underage children.
      • Yeah, because we all know children never have sex with each other in Real Life.
  • Twilight‍'‍s fanfiction is, well, pretty much this. It's not shocking, considering the fact that the creator spent three books building up UST, only to use the ol' Sexy Discretion Shot.

Live-Action TV

  • The Firefly fandom has made a lot of these, from stuff with Simon and Kaylee to River and Mal to River and Kaylee to Jayne and River to River, Kaylee and Mal. If you're lucky, not at the same time. The most creepifying thing is that they all have the writing style down and the characters stay in character and manage to make these parings sound gorram reasonable!
    • Ironically, one of the couples with the lowest lemon count on most fanfic sites is Zoe and Wash, the only two main characters who are married, or in a committed relationship of any kind.
  • Anything once found at the Television Sex Stories Archive.
  • A good number of Sherlock fanfiction is Sherlock/Watson slashfic lemons. Some are quite well plotted and poetic. Others are... not.
  • Agony in Pink, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lemon so notorious, it's BANNED IN AUSTRALIA.
  • Not only do Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have a lot of this, they often involve someone getting sired.


  • There was, in days gone by, a sexually explicit ABBA Agnetha/Frida slashfic so notorious that it soured the entire ABBA fan community on all fanfic for years afterwards. Granted, this was partially because the idea of shipping Real Life celebrities struck most fans as insanely disrespectful, and partially because they were blissfully unaware of how squicky and poorly-written erotic fanfic could really be.

Video Games

Visual Novels

  • For all Umineko: When They Cry fans, read Headache and see if you'll look at Natsuhi the same again. (Reader's Discretion is Advised)
    • For more changed opinions on Umineko, read this one (VERY NSFW).

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation