Archive of Our Own (AO3) is a wonderland of beautiful creations brought to life by fans who are dedicated AF. And while there are some tags that make you want to cringe (I’m looking at you “Ambiguous/Open Ended”) there are plenty of tags that we absolutely love! From fluffy tags where everything goes right to fix-it fics that take everything you hated about a certain situation and fixes it! We know some people might have different opinions, but here are our favorite tags from AO3!*
*Yes, I realize that all the couples below are LGBTQ. AO3 is a safe haven for queer couples and I REGRET NOTHING!
1. Angst with a Happy Ending
There is something magical, beautiful even, about reading a fic and knowing that everything they’re going through will lead to a happy ending for your ship of choice. It takes away some, if not most, of the anxiety over reading the hurdles your OTP is pushing through. It also gives you something to look forward to when we’re just used to pain when it comes to our ships of choice!
2. (Character) Deserves Nice Things
There’s always that special smol bean that deserves the world in fanfiction. Usually in fics like this, there’s one brooding character that is suffering through some hardships. The solution? Their boo who knows what they’ve gone through, supports them all the way, and ends up making their smol bean a priority because they deserve nice things.
3. (Character) is a Nice Thing
This tag goes hand in hand with the above tag. Usually the person helping the brooding smol bean IS the nice thing that they deserve. I love this tag in particular because it makes it absolutely clear that your OTP is meant to be, to the moon and back, and that this is a two way relationship. And if that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!
4. Domestic Fluff
Arguing like an old married couple, while spending all their time in each others space, is *chefs kiss* AO3 action. Domestic fluff gives us everything, and I mean everything, that the show/movie/book never gave us because writers only know how to give us angst. Seriously, we’re so deprived that I’ve read fics where my OTP has washed dishes together and I’m as happy as can be!
5. Fix-It Fic
These kinds of fics say “fuck off” to canon moments that fans just can’t get over or that they believe should’ve never happened. Fanfic writers get creative and build worlds/situations that you didn’t even think were possible but that actually work! Creativity is key with this tag and oh dear lord are they creative indeed!
6. Everyone Lives/Nobody Dies
There are plenty of deaths that fanfic writers have no time for! So instead of accepting them, they create a world where your favorite character lives and nobody dies. And at first this tag seems pretty straight forward. But then you start thinking about the ramifications of some characters not dying and the ripple effect that it has on the story as a whole. That’s where the magic happens.
What’s your favorite AO3 tag? Let us know in the comments below!