Newbie Boom

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The moment in the lifetime of a community, usually a fandom, when the number of newcomers explodes. This is often the result of a remake, an adaptation, an English translation, a Colbert Bump or any other development that introduces something formerly obscure to a whole lot of new folks. These inevitably rush to find out as much as they can about this new big thing. Bad things can happen when they meet the original community. Throw in a little ignorance of the source material atop that, and a most beautiful chaos is sure to quickly erupt.

There are no examples of it being used as a weapon of retaliation, as here. Yet.

Compare Eternal September.

Examples of Newbie Boom include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Anime conventions in the early 1990s: 90% college age males talking about giant robots and starships. Then suddenly in 1996, after Sailor Moon hit, "Where did all these 13-year old girls come from?"
  • The Suzumiya Haruhi light novel fandom got a doubling or tripling in size as soon as the anime came out. It would only increase after the dub of the series was announced.
  • Most mangas get this once they are turned into anime; Soul Eater, for instance. After said anime are dubbed, this happens again, as in the Suzumiya Haruhi example above.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion after every major re-release. The English dub VHS tapes were released from 1996-1997, and bootlegs were available since it began in 1995. Popularity tapered off a bit in the early 2000's. The first big Newbie Boom was centered on the DVD releases, of the as-yet unreleased finale movie The End of Evangelion in 2002, and then in 2004 the release of the box set of the Director's Cut episodes. Just as the first Noobie Boom from 2002-2004 was wearing off, the series was aired on Adult Swim from 2005 to 2007, sparking another larger boom because it was airing on basic cable TV. Then another, huge boom came after the Rebuild of Evangelion films started coming out, starting in late 2007 in Japan. Delayed somewhat due to bidding wars over the license, the real boom hit when the English region DVD was released in late 2009.
  • Consequently, Gurren Lagann introduced the Super Robot Genre to many fans. Conflict with the old fanbase tends to arise from the new fans not realising that most of the shows content was Older Than They Think.
  • Happened in-universe in One Piece when Gold Roger was executed and said his treasure would be for the one who found it in the Grand Line. This was know as the start of The Golden Age of Piracy for all the new pirates who embarked in finding it; more senior pirates, however, saw it as a very negative thing as the seas will be plagued by new romance-driven pirates.
  • Pretty Cure pre-Heartcatch: a small, happy fandom struggling to get subs and shake off the "yuri fanboy" label. Post-Heartcatch: WHERE DID ALL THESE PEOPLE COME FROM.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • With the announcement of the Watchmen film, the fan community swelled to massive size as people swarmed to read the original graphic novel and became enraptured. This fandom has increased even more so today, due to the film's release.

Fanfic[edit | hide]

Film[edit | hide]

  • A rare Word of God example: Dan Aykroyd has said that Ghostbusters will always last because young children will always come to find it at the stage when they start to become fascinated by the idea of the afterlife, and what happens after we die.

Literature[edit | hide]

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Infamously, a large number of original series Star Trek fans didn't watch it when it originally aired in the late 1960's. However, Paramount aired reruns of the series in syndication throughout the 1970's, which is how a far larger number of people were exposed to it. This wasn't as much of a datable "boom" so much as steady growth across a decade. The success of the 80s era Star Trek movies exponentially increased the number of Trek fans and led not to a remake, but to a sequel series Star Trek: The Next Generation. It, in turn, exponentially increased the Trek fanbase even further.
    • Perhaps an even better example is the 2009 Star Trek reboot film, which was popular even among non Trek fans. However, the newbie boom that resulted caused many newcomer fans to discover the old TV shows weren't quite the same as the movie—and may not have aged very well.
  • Doctor Who got this in 2005, with the launch of the new series.
    • And although the show has had a cult profile in the US since the 1970s, since about 2008 the show's profile in the US has been on an upward curve. The fact it's one of the few explicitly SF series airing on American TV in 2010-2011 that's actually surviving and not being cancelled after a dozen episodes - or in danger of cancellation - and with there being no Star Trek-like alternative, has also attracted increased US attention.
    • The comment above regarding newbies being drawn in by the revival only to find the older series not to their liking is also holding true with new Doctor Who fans, some of whom are finding the 1963-89 series is an acquired taste. This has led to a few schisms between aspects of fandom, such as those who declare Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant or Matt Smith the best Doctor ever, without having ever seen a Tom Baker or Jon Pertwee story in order to develop an informed opinion. Also look at any entry for Doctor Who on this very wiki which only look at the show from the revival's perspective with no knowledge of the first three decades of the show whatsoever. Let's just say it does result in a Double Take from an old series fan to see the Doctor touted as an example on romance and sex tropes as if that had always been the case.
  • Any song covered on Glee, with the exception of the ones it ripped from the Top 100.
  • Supernatural got an odd amount of this after Castiel was introduced in Season 4, and some people heard so much about him that they decided to check out the show and got hooked. This being Supernatural, there was wank from the fans who'd started watching earlier.
  • Band of Brothers had a bit of this after James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender got popular (they were both in it early in their careers), but the majority of the fandom doesn't seem to mind.

Music[edit | hide]

  • People who became fans of Marilyn Manson when the cover of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" got heavy rotation on MTV were a great irritation to fans who had been following the group for several years before that song/video was released. They were known to old-school fans as "Sweet Dreamers," and Manson himself would often follow up live performances of the song with "All you kids can go home now."
  • Muse and Paramore both gained a lot of new fans when their songs were featured in Twilight. Many long-time fans of both bands believe that It's Popular, Now It Sucks.
  • The polarizing practice of Sampling tends to result in this. Like with Guitar Hero, it's not a bad thing if gives the newbies exposure to classic songs they otherwise would probably never hear. If said newbies disrespect the original stuff in front of its dedicated fans, however, they're liable to lose a kidney.
  • The Grateful Dead experienced a surge in fans after their New Wave-influenced single "Touch of Grey" became a Top 10 hit in the United States in 1987. The Deadhead community disparagingly call those who became fans of the band in the late 80's and early 90's as "Touch Heads".
  • Genesis experienced a Newbie Boom among their followers in 1986 after the release of Invisible Touch. Both eventually saved the band from falling into oblivion, but displeased the older fans who still mourned the departure of Peter Gabriel and their steady Genre Shift from prog rock to pop music.
    • The same can be said for Yes, following 1983's very successful 90125, with a (slightly) changed lineup and more New Wave-influenced and pop-friendly songs like "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" topping the charts. Fans of th more progressive Yes call themselves "Troopers" (after "Starship Trooper") and the newbies "Generators" (after 90125's followup, Big Generator.)
  • Queensrÿche experienced this after the release of the hit single "Silent Lucidity" off the album Empire in 1990. It became a "crossover" hit, so to speak, into the pop-music genre. When the band toured, they realized during at least one show in New York State, that many of the attendees were there solely for that one song, and had no idea about the concept of the rest of the album- or the band's music otherwise. They stopped the concert long enough to explain who the characters were and the basic plot.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Fallout 3 did this for Fallout's faithful fanbase.
  • On renai game forums around the time when several originally-in-English dating sims were popular on Newgrounds there was constant conflict between the few people who had imported and learned to read untranslated games, and the many people who were wondering why so few Safe For Work games were in English (especially if they were looking for otome games ).
    • In mid-2010, a Fan Translation of Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side DS was quietly released. Just a month or two later, it was fascinating to notice how a discussion thread on gbatemp.net about plans for a fan translation of the second Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side received many more replies, and quite a bit more enthusiasm.
  • Team Fortress 2 gets this every two months or so. Each time a new class pack hits, there's usually a TF2 free weekend, so you see a lot of newbies on the weekend, and more people in the weeks afterwards who bought the game because of the free weekend. Even when there are no free weekends, the people who come back to TF2 just to test out the new weapons swell server populations immensely.
    • And now, it's free.
    • Similar case for Left 4 Dead. For one day, Valve is allowing anyone to download the game and try it out for free. Many players who had the game for a while are already complaining about the wave of new players flooding in and ruining their fun. They are also complaining about the same thing when Valve announced they would sell the game 40% off the original price for the weekend.
  • This happened to The Legend of Zelda after Ocarina of Time was released. It got so bad that a sizeable portion of the younger fans kept referring to Majoras Mask as "Zelda 2," apparently not realizing that there were four games in the series before OoT.
    • Happens regularly with Nintendo games, especially those that went on generation-long hiatuses. You'd be hard pressed to find a person under 13 aware that the Metroid series existed before Prime. This sometimes gets so bad that people refer to Metroid Prime 2 as "Metroid II," which is a completely different game. And for a while, Metroid: Other M was occasionally referred to as Metroid Prime: Other M.
  • Apparently, a lot of people think that the Final Fantasy series started with VII, because for many people, it was the first Final Fantasy game, or first RPG ever.
  • On GameFAQs, this happens during the Christmas season or near it when a big game is released and all the new players flood the boards asking things that many of the new experienced players already know about and expect everyone else to.
  • Such a boom happened in the Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase during the early 2000's, after the release of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and Sonic X.
  • World of Warcraft vs. the original RTS series. While the original wasn't exactly obscure among gamers, it was nowhere near the WOW phenomenon.
  • Any song covered in Guitar Hero. Any. Song.
  • With the release of Street Fighter IV a wave of new users swarmed the SRK site's forum. Pages of posts containing simple questions and naive arguments started with veterans of the series created a big split between spiteful older members and new posters. "09er" was a unkind term born out of the join date immediately visible on every member's post. It became a pretty hostile environment and seemed difficult to discuss the game as a new player. 'Newbie questions' were limited to a couple threads on the main SF 4 discussion forum which did little to stop the problem because the character forums were far more popular. As a result, the updated forum has a clearly visible section for discussion of the basics of the game and the join date of members is in their profile rather than displayed on every post.
  • The success of this generation (Xbox 360, Play Station 3 and Wii), in particular the Wii, has lead to many an ignorant newbie who haven't heard of anything beyond Halo or Call of Duty or whatever is on TV at the moment.
  • There are die-hard Star FOX series fans who still don't realize Star Fox 64 wasn't the first game in the series. Then there was another batch of fans who came with Star Fox Adventures, and brought the most divisive issue in the fandom to date -- old guard vs. Krystal fans.
  • While the Tales Of series had a small fanbase in the West for many years thanks to the PS One games and distribution of the fan-translated Tales of Phantasia, it wasn't until the release of breakout hit Tales of Symphonia that its popularity exploded. Naturally, this created a sometimes-bitter divide between fans the old-school Tales games (Phantasia, Destiny, Eternia) and the new-school games (Symphonia, Legendia, Abyss, Vesperia).
  • The Dwarf Fortress community had to batten down the hatches in anticipation of one of these when its creators were interviewed by the New York Times.
  • Similar to the GameFAQs example above, fans of nearly any multiplayer game that is released from September to November complain or rejoice in the "Christmas Noob Rush," where a huge volume of new players flood the game for easy kills.
  • Some Pokemon fans brought into the fandom with the release of Pokémon Black and White have never heard of 'mons from the orginal 4 generations, even famous ones such as Charmander and Mudkip, some not even Pikachu. Justified a little in that the game didn't feature any of them for the main part.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • MS Paint Adventures started having a massive increase in readership from around the end of Problem Sleuth to the first two act of Homestuck.
    • The introduction of Homestuck's trolls, a boon for shippers and roleplayers of all kinds, has caused an influx of readers who are interested mostly in that one part of the comic (much to the chagrin of many older fans).

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Zero Punctuation gave The Escapist a huge boom in members.
  • Some 4chan users think this happened after the Scientology protests. The general mindset being It's Popular, Now It Sucks.
    • This isn't the first time this has happened to 4chan. In 2006, 4chan got e-famous for spam raids of Habbo Hotel, Ebaumsworld and other sites which led to a massive influx of new users. Guess what the response of the users who had been there since 2003-2005 was?
      • To give yourself an idea: post-2005 users are called "THE CANCER THAT IS KILLING /b/" (in all caps).
    • Encyclopedia Dramatica may be to blame here.
    • Every summer, /b/ sees a bit of extra traffic due to school being out. This is referred to by the /b/tards as "Newfag Summer". Naturally, "summerfags" are hardly welcomed.
  • The creation of the TV Tropes page for Survival of the Fittest, followed by an attempt to get it to Trope Overdosed, caused a flood of new members to join the site from TV Tropes. While this was initially met with some displeasure, it could be argued that the newbie flood saved it from dying out, as the site had begun to flag in the middle of version three.
  • The Web itself drew a lot of people to the Internet, much to the annoyance of people who were regulars on UseNet and Gopher. See Eternal September.
  • This happened to Reddit when flocks of diggers who were angry with the release of Digg v4 fled, making Digg a no-man's-land.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • This happened to the My Little Pony fandom when My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic started to air. Previously, the fandom was a haven for mostly females (not that male fans didn't exist though) who loved the toys and fondly remembered the G1 cartoons. Then when Friendship is Magic was introduced, the previous fandom was swamped by a huge influx of new fans (dubbed "bronies") with the force of an ocean warming itself against a candle.