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A notable bunch of audience members outside of the intended (i.e., marketed) demographic.

This is very frequent when it comes to Western Animation that manages to overcome the Animation Age Ghetto and feature subtle humor that's often over the heads of youngsters. Then of course, there's the simple fact that despite the increasing presence of adult-oriented animation, there's still a severe lack of cartoons specifically directed towards teenagers. As a result, teens who are still into animation have no choice but to tack onto the viewership of one or the other.

A very noticeable instance of this occurs in the anime fansub community. Digital recorders/encoders, which effectively remove the timeslot and language constraints to a program, make it accessible to anyone, and the series audience is largely drawn only by the perceived quality of the show itself. For this reason, a show packed with girls is enough like "a show packed with girls" that may be enjoyed by the same fan, even if that fan is wildly different than the 'original' one. This likewise holds with male characters, who are often deliberately drawn as pretty boys in order to attract fangirls who were reading similar stories anyway (e.g., Bishonen Jump Syndrome, because Shonen Jump was infamous for it). Sometimes this is taken a step further and you get a Selective Squick-cleansed rough adapation of the premise marketed directly to them.

It is also common for a popular franchise that is marketed towards children to gain an older fanbase if it's been around for a while; many of these older fans enjoyed it when they were young and simply never outgrew it. The companies making such shows may give little nods to the older fans (and sometimes even make new installments that cater exclusively to older fans). Some fans, perhaps because of these nods, seem not to realize that these popular kids' series are still made mainly for kids, and that doesn't change just because the older viewers are not kids anymore. Unfortunately, fans like these may cause negative stereotypes about nerd fanbases.

A large portion of the periphery demographic also comes since media classifications are very often ignored and media intended for mature audiences (like First-Person Shooter games) also attracts teens and preteen audience.

Can also be due to many demographics simply having wider ranges of interest than they're given credit for.

Series with strong marketing sense usually profit from being at least slightly aware of these fans, if not outright creating Multiple Demographic Appeal. Unfortunately, this creates the danger of an annoying Periphery Demographic being viewed as a Misaimed Fandom, if not outright Fan Dumb.

Also some fans within a show's main demographic, may consider the work in question a guilty pleasure.

This Cracked article gives you a good sample of what you can expect from this trope.

Compare Germans Love David Hasselhoff. For specific example of Periphery Demographics see Periphery Hatedom (which inverts this relationship) and Estrogen Brigade.

Examples of Periphery Demographic include:

In-universe examples


  • Ore Imo: Central to the premise. Kirino, a 14-year old girl, loves playing little sister-themed H-Games due to liking the incredibly cute character designs.
  • In one of the episodes of Vicky the Viking, the protagonist's father secretly listened to a children's story about a girl since he found it very touching.
  • Konata, the Otaku Surrogate from Lucky Star, is another underaged female anime character fond of Eroges aimed at an adult male demographic
  • Despite Yō Yoshinari stated that there's no yuri that will be featured (much to the dismay of lesbian/bi fans), Little Witch Academia gains a significant amounts of yuri fanbase despite of it aimed from young audiences in courtesy of TV series' amount of Ship Tease between characters and the franchise has lots of female characters than males. Not to mention the Cupid Bee episode took some flak for perceived queerbaiting.


  • UHF uses this in-universe. Stanley Spudkowski's Funhouse, a typical Saturday morning kid's show, ends up with much more than kids wanting to see it.

Live Action TV

  • Dave Lister from the British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf is a self professed fan of Spot the Dog
  • Jack Hodgins from Bones is revealed in the episode "The Bone in the Bounty" to be a fan of children's show and Bill Nye expy Bunsen Jude the Science Dude. When told "you're a bit older than my usual audience", he explains that it was a drinking game.

Video Games

  • Phoenix Wright chides his assistant Maya (17) for enjoying The Steel Samurai, a Sentai show that she readily admits is marketed for 10-year olds. Later games reveal that Miles Edgeworth is as much of a rabid fan, if not moreso, than Maya, despite being in his mid-20's. Must be an attorney thing.

Web Comics

  • A Checkerboard Nightmare arc had the eponymous character create a children's show with the sole purpose of creating a fiercely loyal demographic and the prospect of selling merchandise. However, the show's blantant Merchandise-Driven nature coupled with its 4 A.M. timeslot (the only one Chex could afford) makes it a hit with teenagers and young adults who mistake it for satire.
  • In Homestuck, Dirk, much like many people in real life, claims to watch My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic out of an outsider, scientific interest in popular culture and the way it reflects society, but secretly admits to being very fond of Rainbow Dash.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Rugrats: In one of the episodes, the whole family went to the cinema to watch a cartoon meant for children. At the end, only parents cared.
  • An episode of Arthur revolved around Arthur (a fourth grader, so, 10 years old or so) being both thrilled that Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fame was going to visit the family and terrified that his classmates would make fun of him for still loving a "baby show". It turns out that the classmates also all still love the show.
    • Another episode showed Arthur developing an interest in the trippy children's show Love Ducks, and enduring the mockery of his classmates. However, they soon watched Love Ducks, and ended up liking it as well.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Candace, who is 15 years old and a fan of "Ducky Momo" (thought to be a rough equivalent of Barney). She even gets a Tear Jerker of a song dedicated to her love of it and the fact that other people can't understand why a teenager likes it. By the end of episode-- Nerds of a Feather-- she's found out and realizes that it's not too big a deal to like something outside of her age range. This is something of a Fridge Brilliance, given the fact that Phineas and Ferb has been listed under the real world examples of this trope.
  • On Regular Show, an 80s band called Fist Pump, who cater more to children, was shown to have an audience almost entirely of adults. Given the show's own audience, it might be an in-joke.
  • Hey, Big Macintosh, can I have my Smartypants doll back? Eeee-nope!!
  • In FoxTrot, both Jason and Paige clashed over the Lord of the Rings movies. He went because it was Lord of the Rings, she went because of ... Orlando Bloom.

Anime and Manga


  • This usually applies to every anime and manga that falls into the seinen demographic that isn't something like Berserk or Black Lagoon. Series like Chobits, K-On!, and Clannad are labeled for older men, but the majority of their fandoms seem to be made up of younger people
    • Many seinen series are popular among female fans because of their greater focus on Character Development and similarity to shoujo in some series.
  • A surprising amount of crossover audience occurs between Moe and Shojo's demographics when they emulate each other. Shojo series often do well among older male audiences, and many shows from Sailor Moon to Futari wa Pretty Cure, are designed with Shonen elements. Similarly, a reasonably clean Moe show aimed at men, can do fairly well among fangirls looking for something different than the often romance-based selection of shoujo and who are attracted by the extremely cute designs. Case in point shows like Lucky Star and K-ON! despite being aimed at males have very large female fanbases who are as attracted to the Moe element as male fans.
  • Moe fandom can also have a much larger subset of females outside of Japan. Part of this is because fansubbed Shoujo series are much scarcer, and fansubs remove the broadcast time constraints of shows. A show that manages to keep its Fan Service at a tolerable level while using female characters who avoid annoying Shoujo tropes is very likely to draw in female fans.
  • Slice of Life in general have been meant for Otakus, but also nowadays act as a means for Yuri and Shoujo Ai to exist on broadcast TV while maintaining some popularity. Stuff like Saki and Sora no Woto are good examples.
  • A lot of Yaoi anime videos on YouTube - be it the actual series, AMVs, music, etc. - are most popular with females age 13-17, females age 18-24, and... males age 45-54.
  • Many shows aimed mainly for children have sizable teenage and adult female fanbase since many of those shows will activate motherly instincts among them. One of the reasons is that they often contain lots of Ridiculously Cute Critters.
  • Several series fail to attract the originally targetted gender audience: Gensomaden Saiyuki failed so hard to attract a male audience that subsequent anime and manga series were switched from Shonen to Josei, mostly due to the overwhelming amount of gay vibes. Likewise, Shonen Jump series Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro was fansubbed and scanlated in America with a very very low percentage of male fans. Other Shounen Jump series like Hunter X Hunter and GetBackers are split on gender attraction; the latter of the two acknowledges this.
  • Fighting Shonen is aimed at teenage boys, but many series like Bleach, Naruto, Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Yu Yu Hakusho, etc. have sizeable female fanbases who watch for the Ho Yay, which is bound to be plentiful whenever you have a bunch of attractive Hot-Blooded young men who have intense friendships and obsessive rivalries with each other, make Heroic Sacrifices for each other, talk about their feelings while beating the crap out of each other, and so on.
    • Though, to be fair, a lot of the girls enjoy it specifically for the fighting.


  • The Bishounen cast of Gundam Wing was created specifically to attract female viewers, something mecha series typically lacked at the time. It worked and nowadays it's rare for a mecha series not to have bishounen in the main cast. As for Gundam, with the exception of Turn a Gundam every show since Wing followed the "pretty boys in mecha" formula.
  • Rose of Versailles has a substantial fanbase of men and older people who enjoy it for the drama of the 18th century and the charismatic Lady Oscar, though the original manga was aimed at teenage girls.
  • Sailor Moon, which was aimed at a young female demographic but had a large male fandom.
  • Black Butler is labeled as Shonen but seemed to have more female fans due to the large amount of Bishonen lurking among the crew.
  • While Boku no Pico is aimed at men with homosexual and pedophilic tendencies, because it's still technically gay anime porn, yaoi fangirls in the States tend to eat it up.
  • In another strange example, the "main target" of Pretty Cure is said to be females ages 4-12... and males ages 16-35. It's telling that the director of the original series, Futari wa Pretty Cure, has Dragonball Z on his resume. There's also blatant Yuri subtext between the two main characters that would go over the heads of younger viewers.
    • This is especially noticeable in the 2010 Heartcatch Pretty Cure. Every episode has magical girl kung-fu fighting that rivals some Shounen fighting anime aired at the same time.
    • There are, some Periphery Demographic outside those demographics. According to Youtube, the viewership of the intros of the series has significant portion of men aged 35-55, way above what it was originally meant to. According to Deviantart, large amount of fanart drawers for the series are adult women.
  • CLAMP's X 1999 is a shoujo series, yet its themes of humanitarianism, environmentalism and dualism, as well as its heavy doses of action, violence, death and other dark themes makes it very often mistaken for shonen or even seinen, and is popular among boys as well as girls.
  • GaoGaiGar was the final entry of the Braves series by Sunrise, and as such, aimed at children. The show didn't do very well with the main demographic, but was a smash hit with the older otaku who had grown up with the likes of Getter Robo. The same happened in the U.S., where the fanbase is almost entirely adult mecha-lovers. Oddly enough, the sequel OVA series, Gao Gai Gar FINAL tried to bank on the older demographic with more fanservice and violence, and wasn't quite as well-received.
  • An anime series of Grimms' Fairy Tales on Youtube has developed quite a significant teenaged and young adult fanbase — the demographic that has outgrown finding Happily Ever After satisfying but grown into finding the prince climbing out of the princess' bed fully-dressed hilarious.
  • Cutey/ie Honey was a dyed-in-the-wool Seinen superhero sci-fi series. The more tame TV series actually attracted younger female viewers, who by this time had equated her with their more familar Magical Girl, who themselves might have been inspired by her. Go Nagai admitted this side fandom surprised him, given the amount of racy humor is in the original work.
  • Dragonball Z is an old Shonen anime involving Ki Attacks, aliens, evil space overlords, and the occasional dinosaur. It has gained a massive American fanbase of women and girls from the ages of 14-25. This probably has something to do with the huge bulging muscles.
  • One Piece is really, really popular with girls and women. It might have something to do with the ludicrously masculine male characters. According to this chart, there are more 50+ year old than people aged under 18 reading it.
    • May also have to do with One Piece being remarkably progressive, gender-wise, for a Shonen series. While there are still some Unfortunate Implications (Brook, we're looking at you!), the show compares very favorably to the many more sexist anime out there.
    • It probably also has something to do with how well constructed and worldly the whole story is. Sure the main character is somewhat childish, but the world around him is well formed and very rich with history, and the whole thing feels like it's headed to one hell of a finale, even if the story has only just reached the halfway point.
  • Bleach has quite a large female fanbase, probably because almost the entire cast is good-looking (both male and female) and the male characters suffer a gratuitous amount of Clothing Damage. And also the Ho Yay.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a weird example in that (possibly because of production team and copious amounts of Fan Service and suspiciously sexual things) a large number of people don't even realize that it was targeted to a younger audience with an early Sunday timeslot. There's also the fact that the American broadcast wasn't as it aired at 11 PM Pacific time on Mondays and the dub had a moderate amount of profanity.
  • Spotted Flower, a Josei manga chronicling the life of a hard working Husband taking care of his pregnant Wife; this work also happens to be a Spiritual Successor (if not a Sequel itself, see the page) to Genshiken, a Seinen seires; cue to males following a manga aimed to adult women.
  • One of the biggest foundations of Axis Powers Hetalia is the Ho Yay among the Moe Anthropomorphisms of several countries, which the more history-based fans often find... weird.
    • Hetalia is officially a Seinen manga. Yet 99% of the fans are yaoi fangirls. So with Hetalia, the periphery demographic is the main demographic.
  • The anime for K-On, a moe series aimed at otaku, became so popular with young girls that it also airs on the Japanese Disney Channel, right alongside Hamtaro and Alice Academy.
  • Trigun (shonen) and Trigun Maximum (Seinen) is very popular with fujoshi over in Japan. Most doujinshi, and fan art on Pixiv and artists' personal sites, are either yaoi or a "cute guys doing cute and funny things" type deal.
  • Rurouni Kenshin owes much of its success to female fans, despite being an often-violent action series published in an anthology aimed squarely at boys. The show's title character, a soft-spoken, gentle Bishonen with a hidden, more violent dark side, most likely helped. The well-written romance between him and the female lead most likely helped too, especially since it was one of the few Shonen manga relationships that had real development and a definite resolution, while most shonen couples get bogged down in an eternal game of "will they or won't they?".
    • When the Kenshin movie premiered in Japan, something like 2/3rds of ticket-buyers were female — which was roughly the exact opposite of the gender split for a Shonen Jump film at the time.
  • While Azumanga Daioh is aimed at the high-school crowd, it has a fair number of fans who have been been out of school for quite a while, leading to confusion for Seinen and What Do You Mean It's for Kids? in some circles.
  • A fair number of guys like Fruits Basket. While they don't really care about the bishonen bunch, the story is well-structured enough for them to care, and its humor is pretty much universal. It doesn't hurt that the female characters are well developed, and cute to boot.
  • Since it's been out of style with little kids since about 2004, Yu-Gi-Oh!'s current fandom is compromised almost entirely of teenage girls.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is an interesting case, taking the usual Periphery Demographic for Magical Girl series (16-35 year old men) and creating the series to appeal to them specifically. Even so, there are quite a few younger girls who enjoy it. So the "normal" demographic for Magical Girl shows is the Periphery Demographic for this one? *head explodes*
  • Ranma ½ is a shonen series meaning it is supposed to be popular for teenage boys. In Japan, according to and surprising creator Rumiko Takahashi, it was more popular amongst girls than guys and Animerica in the year 2000 said that it increased the number of female readers in the American manga market.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn is also a shonen series, but a fairly large minority of its readers are Yaoi Fangirls. The WAY too many bishounen characters in that series help, and yet it's adding more.
    • Well, you can't make a show about a teenage boy who spends most of the first season running around in his underwear without atracting at least some female fans.
    • Rebocon, a concert dedicated for this series if you watch the video you will only hear girl's screaming.
  • If you just look at the title of Kaichou wa Maid-sama (Student Council President Is A Maid!), it sounds like a Moe series aimed at the male Otaku crowd. In fact, it's a Shoujo series about the female student council president of a formerly all-boys school who has to work at a maid cafe to help her family put food on the table and attracts the attention of the school's resident Bishounen. Doesn't stop guys from watching it for the sake of how good the Tsundere female lead looks in a maid costume.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima can be loosely described as a Harem Comedy-turned-fighting manga, with loads of Fan Service and Moe. The fanbase in Japan is 60% female, with a not-insignificant chunk being preteen girls. This makes more sense if you know the series.
    • Starting from about the same time as the Genre Shift, Ken Akamatsu, the creator, began adding little hints of Ho Yay to the series. Whether this was a result of the Periphery Demographic or the cause of it is extremely debatable.
  • Princess Tutu is about as girly as a Shojo can get, but has nonetheless developed an adult male following that heralds it as an metafictional epic whose awesomeness can only be compared to ninjas engaged in a rock battle — Hence it's Fan Nickname: Guitar Ninjas.
  • Victorian Romance Emma is, rather surprisingly, a Seinen series, but it enjoys attention from all the other demographics. A great deal of the interest in the show is in the fact that it's a show about a maid, but it's not a Meido show.
  • Mariasama ga Miteru was initially aimed at teenage girls, what's with its melodramatic story and dreamy atmosphere. But since it's Yuri, it has strong male fanbase. The author herself have satirized this phenomenon many times in the story.
    • This even crosses into Multiple Demographic Appeal, as evident with the OVA release. The ending was performed by KOTOKO, who is known for performing opening and ending of Eroge aimed at men.
  • Hamtaro is a Kodomomuke series but it still has a significant teenage and adult female fanbase.
  • Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt has a rather significant female fanbase, despite it very obviously pandering to guys. Even The Girls Want Panty And Stocking (and Scanty and Kneesocks)?
  • Chi's Sweet Home was originally a Seinen manga. Since Ridiculously Cute Critter was in play, it seems to attract pretty much any audience.
  • Nobuyuki Fukumoto, who writes series geared at adult men with a rather unusual artstyle, has a surprisingly big female fanbase. This may be due to the infamous lack of female characters in his work, which provides fodder for Yaoi Fangirls. And, of course, Kaiji is Moe.
  • Viz recently mentioned that Tiger and Bunny is intended for 14-25-year old males. This brought on many laughs from the rather large, very female fandom that's formed around it.
  • Speaking of the madness of female fans, Inazuma Eleven falls victim for this trope hard. How hard? Consider this: in Pixiv (kinda like Deviant ART, but Japanese), a separate tag was made just to separate the more risque, fujoshi-oriented Inazuma Eleven pictures from the ones that the target audience can look at. Statistically speaking, the risque pictures comprise more than 20% of all Inazuma Eleven illustrations submitted to Pixiv.
  • Still on Pixiv, Nintama Rantarou, of all anime, also has its own separate tag for exactly the same reason. You'd never guess that from the content of the anime, which is day to day adventure of a band of goofy Ninja kids. Maybe it's the women who watched it in their childhood.
  • Pani Poni Dash! was quite popular for children, despite aiming for the more cultural audience to get the pop culture reference. It does help how crazy and all over the place the anime is, though, which would guarantee tons of laughs.
  • Kanamemo has it's share of female fans appreciating the yuri context for the sake of cuteness.
  • Ouran High School Host Club, despite being a bishonen-ridden reverse-harem series, is well-written and hilarious enough to attract a sizeable male audience as well. Another appealing aspect is that the female protagonist is a cute but sensible girl who's refreshingly more realistic than most shoujo heroines and how much focus and development is given on the host club members.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a weird example. Like the Nanoha example above, it took the cutesy character designs (by Hidamari Sketch's own Ume Aoki) and marketed it to the usual Periphery Demographic (adult men) of the Magical Girl genre. Then episode 3 rolled around and fans realized that the creaters were doing something else altogether. However, this has not stopped the series from having both male and female fans. Mostly adults, though. This... really isn't a show for your little sister.
  • A notable portion of the Kimi ni Todoke fandom consists of older males. Reasons for this include the series in many ways breaking the shoujo mold, such as favoring Single Woman Seeks Good Man over All Girls Want Bad Boys and focusing a good portion of the story on the non-romantic relationships between characters. Plus, Sawako is pretty relatable to a lot of timid manga/anime fans of both genders, and when she's not unintentionally scary, she's actually really cute.
  • Pokémon Special is published in magazines aimed for elementary school kids, but its strong sense of character and continuity draws in older readers, especially those nostalgic for the games but got tired of the anime.
    • Similar to the Power Rangers example in Live Action TV, Pokémon Best Wishes is utilizing similar ideas and concepts to the Kanto saga to attract teenage and 20-something fans to the anime. Couple that with far less filler than the sagas that preceded it, high-quality animation, and Mamoru Miyano voicing one of the three main heroes; and you have one of the most accessible sagas in the show's history.
  • Bakugan is a typical Merchandise-Driven Mons anime, generally aimed at 6-11-year-old boys. The character designs of the humans, both male and female attract teenagers and 20-somethings who could care less about the story. There are also all manner of adults who buy the figures and cards and have long discussions about the mechanics of the game.
  • Even Berserk has a much larger female audience than you would logically expect from its well earned fame as one of the goriest, most disturbing anime around. This is because its female characters are non-stereotypical (not to mention that it is perhaps one of the few works of fiction that treats rape and its psychological repercusions with realism and, what do you know, respect. And that, as fans will quickly tell you, the main story is based on more universal and epic matters than "tits and gore" infamy be dammed.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys is targeted to the Seinen Demographic, but like most works in this genre it has a sizable female readership--due to the fact that most of the cast is male. The ending credits message for Episode 6, aired on the midnight before Valentine's Day, Lampshaded this:

 It may be Valentine's Day, but don't send the characters chocolate or anything. If you're sending it anyway, please send it to the studio, not the TV station.



  • The Marvel Transformers Generation 1 comic would occasionally get letters from parents who admitted to reading their kids' comics after dropping the young 'uns off at school. One wonders how the kids would feel if their friends happened to read that letter.
  • For a line marketed mostly to 5-12 year old boys, the Marvel Adventures comics have a pretty decently-sized internet fanbase of mostly adults. This can be attributed almost entirely to the fact that the comics are both A) excellently written, and B) Fun.
    • Readers wanting an escape from the Romantic Plot Tumors and Kill'Em All mentalities of the 616 and Ultimate continuities are also a factor here.
    • In the same vain, there's Tiny Titans on the DC side of the fence.
  • Chick Tracts may or may not be an example — their target demographic is evangelical Christians, but said Christians are supposed to use them as witnessing tools to convert non-Christians... the very people who are the biggest "fans" of the tracts — but for other reasons.
  • Despite Batman's chiefly male readership (and target demo), Nightwing is well known as a draw to the series for women, and sales figures for his stand-alone title reflect this. While some suspect it's because he's cute, others have suggested the appeal might have something to do with his role as Batman's supportive partner and his struggle to determine his identity outside of that role.


  • Tons of people who used Windows XP Professional edition were home users, instead of business users as originally intended.
    • This one can be blamed on Technology Marches On. In the early years, there were software houses that released software that outright refused to install if it detected that the version of Windows installed was not XP Professional (IBM with Rational Rose and DataStage comes to mind). Yes, there are people who take their work home, particularly if there's a looming dateline and they're not allowed to stay at the office overnight, and there are companies evil enough to not provide a laptop to the employee if they need to take their work home. Later, when multi-core CPUs hit the market, it was discovered that Windows XP Home was cripped to the point where it supported only one core in one CPU, nothing more. As far as Windows XP is concerned, each core is a separate CPU. Sure, Device Manager shows two CPUs on a dual core machine, but Task Manager shows only one CPU, and does not provide any options to map CPU affinity.
  • Because Windows ME was such a horribly buggy operating system, a lot of home users settled for Windows 2000 instead, which was similarly intended for business users.
  • Adobe Photoshop was originally targeted at the professional market segment only and was priced accordingly. But the vast number of home users pirating it for private use, like Fauxtivational Poster, made Adobe realize this marked potential and led to the release of the much more affordable Photoshop Elements line.
  • There is a recent trend for General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPU) aka tricking video chips into performing calculations on data other than images. Technology which was originally designed solely to create cool graphics for video gamers now becomes interesting for use in systems which usually don't even have video output, like high performance supercomputing clusters.
  • UNIX-based OSes are often seen as intended for programmers and other geeks who have in-depth knowledge of how to use them, but are gaining in popularity among casual users who simply want an alternative to Microsoft and Apple, or for ideological reasons (FLOSS).
  • Any software project will find a use other than what it was originally designed for.
  • Windows Movie Maker 2.6 is available for download on Microsoft's website, and is meant for people whose computers couldn't support 6.0, the version that came with Vista. However, there are Vista and 7 users who downloaded it because 2.6 is the version that came with XP, and they prefer it over Movie Maker 6.0 and Windows Live Movie Maker.



  • Film producers know that even kids watch films intended for older crowd. That's why Misaimed Marketing happens a lot.


  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was intended for teenage fanboys to get introduced to G.I. Joe and not-so-teenage fanboys to reminisce about one of their favorite cartoons from their childhood. Oddly, a good chunk of the money it made came from Christopher Eccleston's Estrogen Brigade.
  • A special on The Terminator pointed out that the original movie was attracting a female audience simply because of the love story.
  • Star Wars is a story about The Hero fighting The Empire IN SPACE, and clearly aimed at the Sci Fi crowd. It ended up appealing to, in one way or another, absolutely everyone.
  • Tyler Perry's movies are pretty popular with white Southerners, probably due to the Christian values promoted. Surprising because his target demographic is black church-going types.
  • Superbad was mainly targeted toward the 20-37-year old people who remember what high school was like, but it has also gained many 14-18-year old fans who enjoy the movie for its crazy and naughty humor, and the characters.
  • Ratatouille, as noted by The Onion AV Club, has gained a cult following among all artists because it is the best at showing what actually creating art feels like.



  • Old classics in the public domain like Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and L. Frank Baum's long Oz series find their most hardcore fans among adult women around the world.
  • Many books that are popular with precocious teenagers were originally written for adults (Kurt Vonnegut's books come to mind). Likewise, some of the more intellectual fare in the YA genre have a fair number of adult readers.
  • Some kids books were used to teach literacy to adults in the past.
    • This makes a great deal of logical sense, really: a child's book is going to have much simpler writing, which is easier to understand whether you're a young child just learning to read or an adult just learning to read. People who are learning a new language often read younger books in that language, again because the writing is simpler and easier to follow.


  • Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is considered by many to be far too dark and depressing for children. It's essentially a dark comedy about different ways the author can torment children and the unusual ways supporting characters can be killed.
  • Harry Potter. The original series was intended for children and adolescents, but the series quickly caught on with adults as well. Different covers were created specifically to market the books toward adults. However, the author JK Rowling designed the series specifically to avoid alienating fans who had grown up by the time the it was completed. Each book grows progressively more mature, "growing up" with the reader.
  • The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer, aimed at teenage girls, have a significant overlap with the romance novel demographic of middle-aged women. And the Hatedom continues to buy books just so they can mock them, averting Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch.
    • It also has a huge gay fanbase. Many on the internet speculate that if Jacob and Edward had been the couple of the series instead, it would've been far more interesting.
  • Everyone who reads Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a Periphery Demographic according to either the author (who planned it as a The Wonder Years-type nostalgia trip for adults) or the publisher (whose idea it was to market it as a kids' book).
  • The Hunger Games is an interesting example of what happens when you ignore the periphery demographic. Marketed as a gritty dystopia, its romantic subplot attracted a large number of young female fans (particularly after Stephenie Meyer endorsed the series.) When the final book dropped most of the romance to focus in on the dystopian elements, fans still bought it - they just complained about it on the internet.
    • What's even weirder is the large amount of tweens who started reading the book despite the romance. In fact, many tweens started reading it BECAUSE of the fact that it was edgy and gritty, compared to most of the romantic fluff marketed towards them.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians has a very large fanbase of older fans of high school and college age who picked up the series and stuck with it not only for it's clever humor and being literally based on the idea of the Mythology Gag, but also because of it's surprisingly deep character development and realistic responses to certain situations. It's a rare mixture of regular young teen action/adventure novels mixed with older demographic drama.
  • Warrior Cats is aimed at 10 year-olds, but the average age of a member of the fandom[1] is 18.

Live-Action TV


  • Daytime television has traditionally been aimed at children and housewives, who were the largest demographics expected to be home during the day. However, college kids, slackers, and other groups have catapulted certain shows into mainstream appreciation.
  • Merchandise-Driven Tokusatsu is aimed squarely at kids. However, they cast a lot of pretty-boy actors to appeal to the mothers of the aforementioned kids, who often watch the show at home with their children. And if not the mothers, then it works well with the older sisters of these kids. And if the fathers stay around long enough to watch it at times, the actresses fill that niche nicely, along with the gravure to go with it. Not to mention the people overseas who grew up with Power Rangers.
  • Most shows aimed for tween girls can sometimes be this towards boys. Shows like Lizzie McGuire, ICarly, Sonny With a Chance, Victorious, Shake It Up, etc., would sometimes be watched by boys either because they like/have a crush on the lead/supporting girls in the show, to hear them sing, to enjoy their antics, or all of them.
  • The idea of the Sci-Fi Channel (or SyFy now) having a mostly young male demographic is increasingly fallacious, which the execs seem to have some difficulty recognizing; when confronted with the fact that many of their viewers are women, David Howe acknowledged that "almost half of our audience is women, thanks to shows such as Ghost Hunters that attract more women than men", completely ignoring the fact that many of their scripted shows (Farscape, The Invisible Man, the various Stargates, Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, etc.) had/have significant (if not overwhelmingly, or at least more involved in online fandom) female audiences.
  • Kika, a German kid channel, has a mascot called Bernd das Brot (Bernd the Bread). The pessimistic bread became a cult favorite with young adults and teens in Germany. Kika started airing a looped program with Bernd instead of static after 9 P.M, attracting many insomniac young viewers.
  • Teen shows with prominent gay or lesbian characters, like Pretty Little Liars or Greek, often find themselves with significant adult followings in the LGBT community.


  • The Price Is Right was obviously designed to appeal to housewives, who would do most of the shopping for household items. Over the show's long history, however, it has garnered interest from just about every viewer demographic.
    • Bob Barker noted that the show got a lot of college fans after he was featured in Happy Gilmore and beat up Adam Sandler.
  • In England, Deal or No Deal is the show of choice, possibly due to the presenter (Noel Edmonds) having presented 90's show Noel's House Party. Probably more down to the fact that he's able to make a show about someone opening boxes seem quite tense and nail-biting. Even when all the big prizes have gone.
  • The Food Network's initial run of Iron Chef carried advertisements generally aimed at over-40-housewives, who were Food Network's primary demographic at the time. When the show was adopted by younger viewers due to its competition aspect and the Narm Charm of its presentation, Food Network was caught flat-footed and took a lengthy period of time to properly capitalise on the show's success by making it a centerpiece of their lineup. Rapid Network Decay soon followed.
  • Anthony Bourdain's first show was also adopted by a younger demographic than originally intended.
  • Teletubbies is a show aimed at extremely young children, but it became famous for attracting the attention of college/uni students and druggies, all of whom were often watching television in the middle of the day. The show's baffling and surreal nature, combined with its bright colors and hypnotically repetitive nature, made the show enjoyable with the right amount of irony or chemistry.
  • In the Night Garden is arguably even more cutesy, surreal and coy than Teletubbies, and makes perfect hangover viewing, or if you are so inclined, watching it stoned or tranquillised is amazing.
  • Shows aimed at older children. Raven is surprisingly popular among adults, and The Sarah Jane Adventures is watched by many adult fans of parent show Doctor Who. When you consider that the show has Torchwood references, that may be intentional.
    • Speaking of Doctor Who that show itself probably belongs here; it was originally intended as a show that would teach history to kids, but when it started going more overtly science fiction (in its second serial no less) it started to bring in a lot more adult fans who would watch with their children, not to mention the kids who grew up and yet stayed with the show into adulthood thanks to its Long Runner status. It's a matter of (at times quite heated and interminable) debate, however, whether the show is a 'family' show (i.e. intended for both kids and adults from the start), a kid's show that happens to claim a strong Periphery Demographic among adults, a kid's show which eventually became a family show or something else entirely.
  • Although Beakman's World was generally aimed at 9-to-14 year old school kids, high schoolers and college students liked it too. Maybe it was because they finally got what they couldn't get in middle school; maybe it was because the main character looked like someone who'd do drugs; maybe it was the assistants (no, not the rat); or even a combination of all three.
  • Similarly, Bill Nye the Science Guy still has a significant following among young men, which may have been a factor in creating a similar series more directly targeted at them.
    • In Seattle (where the show was filmed), a large part of the audience were older adults who really missed Almost Live, where the Science Guy and the other cast members got their start.
  • The children's TV show LazyTown is also known to be popular with teenagers and young adults as well as parents. At least some of this is due to entirely unwholesome reasons, though given Sportacus's and Robbie's tight pants we can be reasonably sure that some of the adult appeal is deliberate.
  • ICarly started off aimed at roughly the 8-14 market, but ended up being a massive hit in all the children and teen demographics (from young kids to mid teens). Since people caught on to the massive amounts of Getting Crap Past the Radar included, it's now a big hit with adults and college viewers as well.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place - It has a Getting Crap Past the Radar page and a former Fetish Fuel page. You can't deny there's a periphery demographic following this show.
  • While not to the same extent as the above two, Victorious and Big Time Rush are also good contenders with periphery demographics, given their Getting Crap Past the Radar (especially with the former) and music provided in most episodes.
  • Many parents and adults tend to view Yo Gabba Gabba as a Guilty Pleasure, although some of its appeal is from the show's baffling ability to somehow convince popular indie rock bands like Low, Mates of State, Hot Hot Heat, The Shins and Of Montreal to appear as musical guests.
    • It helps that the show was produced by a member of the Aquabats.
  • A growing number of Western fans in their 20-30s grew up watching Power Rangers. The fact that they brought back Jason David Frank (as a regular cast member for season 12) and Johnny Yong Bosch (in a guest spot for the 15th anniversary) would suggest that the producers are well aware of the older Power Ranger fans.
  • The Canadian TV series Trailer Park Boys is very popular with both criminals and police officers. The former are able to identify with the main characters (the producers even describe the show as "Cops from the criminal's point of view"), while the cops enjoy seeing depictions of what they have to deal with in their jobs.
    • It's also popular with both the lower-class demographic it depicts and more well-to-do people who find the portrayal of their lifestyle hilarious.
  • Word on the street has it that the live-action Dresden Files TV series was cancelled because, while it had an active fan following, said fan following was mostly older women who didn't mesh with the rest of The Sci-Fi Channel's young male demographic.
  • As for Sci-fi examples, Stargate Atlantis was cancelled to make way for Stargate Universe so TPTB could appeal to a younger male demographic instead of SGA's (very large) female fanbase.
    • Considering the copious amount of almost soap-operish melodrama (at least in the opening episodes), it seems that SyFy have decided to try for Multiple Demographic Appeal with the show.
    • TPTB claim that the cancellation of SGA and the launch of SGU weren't direct causation. They have not convinced many fans that this is true.
  • Queer as Folk was intended for gay men to watch, but ended up largely drawing in straight women.
  • The Vision On gallery theme tune, so iconic it penetrated a national consciousness, can only be intended for the periphery demographic, as the intended audience was deaf children.
  • Sesame Street intentionally invoked this trope, in order to create a show that kids and parents would watch and enjoy together. This kids show grew its following gradually; when the original kid viewers grew up to be adults, they would subsequently watch the show with their own children.
  • Choujinki Metalder, the sixth Metal Heroes show, attracted a primarily older fanbase instead of its intended young audience due to its dark and complex storyline compare to previous Metal Hero shows. As a result, it was canceled at the end of its third course, with only 39 episodes instead of the usual 50.
  • Merlin is primarily a family show, but with liberal application of Ho Yay, Ship Tease and Estrogen Brigade Bait, the fandom is largely made up of women who like to write slash fiction.
  • Top Gear is a Petrolhead Show, but there are plenty of people who watch it without knowing much about cars, simply cause it is that hilarious, and it doesn't hurt that the film crew is great at making everything look good.
  • Both the producers and the star, Jeremy Brett, were surprised to learn that their 1984-1994 Sherlock Holmes TV series adaptation was very popular with kids, who seemed to see the lead character as a Superhero. As such, Brett got permission from the granddaughter of Arthur Conan Doyle to have Holmes beat his cocaine addiction and bury his needle.
  • The Golden Girls and Sex and the City have such a huge Camp Gay demographic, it's been frequently implied (often by Periphery Hatedom) that everyone else is their periphery demographic.
  • In addition to The Golden Girls, several other sitcoms airing from the mid 1980's to the mid 1990's fit this trope. The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Family Matters all had predominantly African-American casts, and were/still are enjoyed and appreciated by viewers of many backgrounds. Although Full House skewed more toward a female audience, the show was popular with males as well.
  • War miniseries like Band of Brothers and The Pacific, in theory and according to mainstream media, are generally geared at middle-aged-to-older men (Seth Meyers, making fun of Eric Massa, accused of groping a staffer at his fiftieth birthday party: "That's not what happens on 50th birthdays. On my dad's 50th birthday, we got him a gift certificate to Morton's and a Band of Brothers DVD"), including those who possibly served. However, they tend to have very strong fanbases of young women in their teens and twenties, partially because of the wealth of young men in uniform and the many shipping possibilities. However, many seem to have genuine interest in the history as well
  • Kabouter Plop, a Belgian children's TV show about singing and dancing gnomes, has somewhat of a following among young adults in the English-speaking world due to its catchy songs and the bizarre Mondegreens that exist for said songs.
  • The British teen drama Skins has multigenerational appeal thanks to its excellent writing and acting. In fact, adult fans probably outnumber teen fans outside of Britain.
  • It's no secret that the DCLAU's primary fanbase is made up of older teens and young adults.
  • Wishbone was aimed towards kids seven to fourteen, but it gained a lot of popularity from teenagers and adults, as well as many literature fans.



  • Classic rock stations, while generally marketed towards the generation that grew up on the music, tend to attract more than a good amount of younger listeners. Active rock stations (stations that play both classic and new rock) may be a response to this growing trend.
    • What we now consider "classic rock" was written with a teenage audience in mind. The fact that those original teenagers are now middle-aged doesn't change the fact that the songs are designed to appeal to teenagers, so it really shouldn't be strange that today's teenagers can also connect with it.
  • While classical music and opera concerts are generally seen as something "old people" like, and usually marketed as such, there is a strong Periphery Demographic of teenage band geeks who get into classical music via playing it in school/lessons. (And in fact, it often plays out a lot like the above picture: the teen musicians, who have studied the program music in depth, tend to get more out of it than elderly non-musicians do.) More and more symphonies, opera companies, etc. are beginning to recognize this and re-direct their marketing toward younger people, such as giving student/under-30 discounts.
  • Trailer music is normally marketed towards film companies. However, they often produce epic choral music which has gained interest in common public. A few producers finally noticed this and have started marketing their music in iTunes.


  • They Might Be Giants started out basically aiming at two separate audiences: New York hipsters and college-age alternative rock fans. But from the beginning, they've always managed to attract a huge cult following among teens. Then, when their original fans got older and started playing TMBG to their kids, the band was surprised to discover that they had a lot preteen fans too. Since then, they've started doing child-oriented work (albums, DVDs, kids-only concerts, even some stuff for Disney) alongside their usual stuff. However, they've made a point of making their children's music accessible to their adult fans too.
    • This, of course, hasn't stopped people from complaining.
  • The Beatles gained a large crop of child fans with the animated movie Yellow Submarine, an inversion of the usual Animation Age Ghetto situation. In fact, George Harrison claimed that was how his own son came to know of the Beatles, since Harrison hadn't yet informed his son that he'd been in one of the most popular bands of all time.
    • The Beatles' more innocent and silly songs have also been frequently recorded specifically as children's songs. "Octopus' Garden" is a major target, as is the iconic "Yellow Submarine" song itself.
  • Before Michael Jackson's death, his "This Is It" concerts were stated to be an oldies act by the news media who expected mostly people in their 40s and up to be buying tickets. However, most of the people who actually bought tickets to the concerts were people in their 20s who became fans long after Michael's heyday. In fact, Michael kept a relatively young audience, especially females, throughout his entire solo career. Which is very rare for an older act.
  • Madonna is another example. She is market towards a female audience, but her biggest market is largely in the gay community.
    • Cher is also inordinately popular with gay men, as is Barbara Streisand.
    • Lady Gaga may be considered the Gay Icon of The Oughties and New Tens.
  • Many fans in the western side of the world inexplicably fail to realize that Hello! Project fandom is meant to include both ninth-grade girls and college-age guys.
  • Emilie Autumn, despite probably, along with Otep, being the closest thing to riot grrrl today, has a rather large male fanbase.(according to a survey, as much as 60% of her fans were male). She has acknowledged this, calling them her "Asylum Boys".
  • For most of the 1980s and 1990s, Johnny Cash was thought by most country music executives to be washed up and incapable of attracting younger fans. Then he hooked up with Hip Hop producer Rick Rubin for a series of recordings featuring covers of artists like Nine Inch Nails in classic Johnny Cash style. These were a huge success with young Alternative Rock fans, revitalizing Cash's career.
  • Green and Purple, a weed-themed parody of Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow", has attracted a lot of /v/ users due to the two colors' memetic status on there. Why those two colors are popular is something to discuss later.

Newspaper Comics


  • A number of legacy comic strips, whose target audience is now very old or aging, would be utterly without younger fans were it not for the ironic appreciation showered upon them by the author and readers of The Comics Curmudgeon.


  • The Far Side gained a substantial following among biologists and other scientists, most particularly for cartoonist Gary Larson's humorous yet accurate depictions of anthropomorphic animals. Larson, himself a wilderness buff, was especially gratified by this, especially when one of his fans arranged to have a species of chewing louse named after him.
    • And as a further Shout-Out, when a paleontologist realized that no scientist had ever actually given a name to the bunch of bone spikes on a stegosaur's tail, he proceeded to start using the name given to them by the one guy who had thought about it: thus the growing usage of thagomizer in the paleontological community.
    • Following one cartoon that involved a female chimp accusing a male chimp of "hanging around with that Goodall tramp", Larson got a bunch of hate-mail from people who resented the implication on Jane Goodall's behalf - and a letter from Goodall herself telling him that she thought the cartoon was hilarious and that she was honored to have been featured. Goodall, who was a long time fan of The Far Side enjoyed the cartoon so much that she invited Larson to her nature reserve in Tanzania and wrote the preface for a collection of Far Side comics that included the cartoon. Her institute also recently began selling a T-shirt with that same cartoon on it.
      • And in the first known instance of interspecies Periphery Hatedom, Frodo, Goodall's alpha male chimp, proceeded to beat the snot out of poor Gary Larson. Jane Goodall recounted the experience in the preface she wrote to one of the Far Side collections.



  • The model kit hobby, be it planes, cars, military figures, trains, or sci-fi subjects. During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, putting together plastic models was a common children's pastime, while at the same time being enjoyed by older hobbyists. For instance, just about every American car or plane from the '60s was available in kit form. Then kids from the '80s and '90s turned their attention to other hobbies and activities such as video games, and therefore built models less and less. Today, more kits are bought by older hobbyists (who were young in the '50s, '60s, and '70s and nostalgic for that era) than by young modelers.


  • Transformers is the absolute king of this. About 10% - 20% of toys are sold to adult collectors. Hasbro and Takara are only too pleased to appeal to these people, with Homage-tastic toys, G1-centric comics, and general love. Plus, we have Transformers Animated, master of the Mythology Gag and much loved among fans for its own merits.
  • It is certainly true that My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has developed the rather unexpected Brony Periphery Demographic. These fans praise the cartoon for many reasons, ranging from quality animation, to well developed characters, to great pop culture Shout Outs, and even the domination of the internet by Pony Memes. Much of the fandom for this show built its foundations on the internet, and many view the episodes on livestreams, YouTube, or download them via torrents. Some have chosen to support Hasbro's show with their hard earned cash to make up for their effective piracy of the show (which Hasbro doesn't seem to mind about, allowing episodes to be posted online). Others genuinely are into it for collecting. Regardless of the reasons though, an increasing number of these Brony fans have taken to browsing the pink aisle in their local department stores.
    • Some Bronies buy custom toys from other Bronies. The work put into these can be staggeringly amazing.
    • Though it is worth noting that some official merchandise actually spits in the face of this trope, with Hasbro actually changing elements of the show in order to sell their products better with young girls. One such change was altering Princess Celestia's color from white to pink, much to the chagrin of many Bronies.
    • And then the periphery demographic grew so large that Hasbro is releasing a new series of toys that is quite obviously built to appeal to them, including a non-pink Celestia and toy versions of fan favorites Trixie, Zecora (which is made with glow in the dark material), DJ PON-3, and Lyra. To say that the fans were happy is a massive understatement.
  • In the world of toys, there's Lego. While the iconic building bricks are marketed to kids, there's a number of adults who make a hobby of them as well. Lego has seemed to thoroughly embrace this demographic; scale Lego models and the people who design and build them are showcased in the Legoland theme parks, and there's a downloadable program for home model design and purchase. And then there's the Lego themes with nostalgia value, like Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones. Even the in-house Bionicle line has its own Periphery Demographic. And then there's a host of online webcomics using Lego, such as Irregular Webcomic.
    • Lego itself may be a sort of double-inversion, as the toys were originally intended as architectural tools to allow, well, architects to rough out a model of a prospective building in 3D in a rapid and efficient manner. To this day they're still used as this, and Lego has even spun-off a corporate consulting division which uses Lego bricks to help solve problems in similar ways. This went full circle when Lego started its Architecture line, Lego sets for architectually famous buildings.
    • Being an adult also has its advantages. For one thing, it's actually affordable to you, and adults have the skills to engineer much more complex sets (check out the author's creations here at Reasonably Clever, home of the famous Lego Minimizer).
    • Lego Mindworks has become popular as of late with early robotics engineering prototyping, lower level university mechanical engineering courses, and AI with robots (which hack out the default Mindworks instruction system for something more suitable like ROS).
  • A line of merchandise called 151 was released in Japan. What are they? Artistic Pokémon products for the series' large young adult fanbase, many of whom became fans when they themselves were children. As the name implies, it focuses on the first-generation Pokémon that the older fans started with.
  • American Girl, despite being a company aimed at girls between the ages of 8 and 12 mostly, has a very large fanbase of adult women, usually middle-aged or older with either children outside of the target age or no children of their own. There are at least three popular adult collector forums (with thousands of members each) and most of the secondary market is fueled by the demand from adult collectors.
  • If you go to a Barbie convention, you will not find many people there who are too young to buy the dolls with their own money, and only about half of them will be female. (despite how some of them dress.)
  • Even specific toys can get this. A Hot Wheels radar gun has become remarkably popular among geeks, presumably because it's cheap, durable enough to stand up to kids, and one of the few radar guns you can buy in the toy section of any store.

Video Games


  • First-person shooters are normally targeted towards the older male audience. However, they draw a teen and preteen crowd who want to appear more adult. Of course, anybody who uses X Box Live knows that some of these preteens try to do this by cussing up storm of bigoted gibberish.
  • Many Xbox360 games have a Periphery Demographic in Achievement hunters, who only play the game because it has a reputation for an easy 1000G. Two well-known examples are Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (1000G just for playing through the game once, and cheat codes are allowed) and the Avatar: The Last Airbender game, in which you can literally get 1000G in less than a minute.


  • Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball is a Fan Service-loaded video game series that has gotten some female fans, and even a few actual volleyball fans.
  • Pop'n Music was initially a game intended to be played for couples on dates. It ended up being as hardcore of a Rhythm Game as its sister series Beatmania IIDX and Dance Dance Revolution, with most of its current fanbase playing it by themselves instead of with another person, all while retaining the cute and colorful graphics that may lead the uninitiated to believe that it's an easy game for kids.
  • A great many Kirby fans are people who grew up playing said games. This qualifies because the series in general is and was designed to be for beginners. These people might have moved on in terms of skill but many of them gleefully return for each new installment, no matter how short or easy it is.
    • Kirbys Epic Yarn also attracted the viewers due to its unique visual presentation.
  • Many Pokémon fans continue to remain faithful to the games; the series is also one of the best RPGs out there that allow you to compete with other people, and so there's a significant crowd of hardcores and Stop Having Fun Guys.
    • Because of this, according to Word of God the most recent entries in the series are going for outright Multiple Demographic Appeal while still retaining their traditional core demographic of children.
    • Perhaps exemplified by the Periphery Demographic within a Periphery Demographic: older fans of the three cute Pikachu games. These games are more or less pure Tastes Like Diabetes adventures meant for very young kids. Really fun if they're your thing, though.
    • The character design of the human characters and the Pokémon themselves tend to draw in plenty of people.
  • Super Mario Bros., although primarily marketed towards kids (at least for most of its life), has been a big hit with all ages and has become the best-selling game series of all time, with Mario arguably becoming the most recognized game character in the world. Similar to Pokémon above, it started going for Multiple Demographic Appeal at one point, and was marketed towards casual "non-gamer" audiences as well when it made its move to the Wii.
  • Is there a museum of Science and Industry or other applied sciences museum near where you live? Does it have any kind of an "interactivity" focus? Was it around in the late 70s? If you search, they probably have a Lunar Lander arcade machine somewhere in there set to free play.[2]
  • Metal Gear Solid has its intended fanbase of teenage boys and college aged men, and its unintended fanbase of women of ages 16-25 who are in it for the men in skintight sneaking suits, and the heavy amounts of Ho Yay. Some of them like the explosions and giant robots as well, of course.
  • The Idolmaster is a pop star raising simulation game with an all female cast (That is, until DS and THE iDOLM@STER 2) that was intended for male otaku. However, due to it being very girly, with there being a focus on fashion and the Virtual Paper Doll aspect, songs about girl power, and well, the fact that the cast is all female, there is quite a lot of female fans, especially in the west. Namco even acknowledged this and added three Bishonen male idols as rivals in THE iDOLM@STER 2. Unfortunately, while the female fans were pleased, it provoked a massive backlash against the game from the male otaku audience, in part because some of the original cast didn't make it into the sequel and the Bishonen males were seen to be "replacing" them.
  • Team Fortress 2 has a whole following that doesn't care about weapon balance or mini-crits or even, God Forbid, hats. They just love to Shipping the all-male [3] cast together, draw art and write slash fics about them. With in-game achievements like "Beaux And Arrows" (kill a Heavy-Medic duo with the Sniper's longbow), Valve are hardly discouraging this. "I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!"
  • The Tokimeki Memorial Dating Sim series, though very much aimed at a male audience, acquired a significant female fanbase. In fact, this led Konami to create the gender-flipped "Girl's Side" branch of the series.
  • In South Korea, Starcraft has a very large fanbase in terms of female audiences who like to watch pro-gaming a lot. Majority of the contestants are young men after all.
  • It may be rarer for a Touhou fan to have actually played the games, rather than be drawn to it by the setting, the massive, colourful cast (and equally massive amounts of fan art) and/or the awesome music (and equally awesome arranges).
    • For exactly the same reasons, the fanbase has a large margin of females as well, despite the Improbably-Female Cast.
    • The Periphery Demographics are, in fact, the reason for most of the popularity the series has accumulated. The games themselves are fairly standard Bullet Hell Shoot Em Ups, however fanartists became obssessed with ZUN's (often conceptually brilliant, always technically flawed) character designs and sought to improve upon them, the doujin communities saw incredible potential in an elaborate setting with piles of Fanfic Fuel, Fanfic Magnets and OC Stand Ins, and the musical arrangers fell in love with the music, to the point where they managed to turn this into this.
    • Best part of it all is ZUN outright supporting this whole thing by effectively saying "Don't spoil the endings, don't use my sound effects in your fan games. Otherwise, do whatever you want because I don't mind it as it's cool and there will be no copyright issues EVER."
  • Bully was created to appeal to the fans of the Grand Theft Auto series, but with its high school aged, mostly male cast, it has a very strong following in the Slash Fic writing community. The insane amount of gay jokes and Ho Yay present within the story also contribute to that.
  • Minecraft. Although official forum traffic tends to strongly imply that Minecraft's primary demographic is male and probably 13-17 years old, there is visible evidence on YouTube and other places, of the game having both a female and adult playerbase as well.
  • We Cheer: It may be a casual game that you would expect hardcore gamers to hate, but it turns out to be popular among males. Because, you know, All Guys Want Cheerleaders.
  • The Sega Mark III (or Master System) was designed primarily to compete with Nintendo's Family Computer (or NES), which was the dominant game console in Japan during the 1980's. While it never took off there, nor in America (due to the stranglehold Nintendo had with third-party developers with their strict licensing policies), it enjoyed great success in Europe and Brazil, where it saw numerous exclusive releases.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has many teenage and adult followers as well as child fans, due to nostalgia from the Genesis/Saturn/Dreamcast days, and for the sexily-designed female characters like Rouge, Wave, and Blaze.
    • Also, for some reason it's extremely popular among autistic people.
  • The rather... complicated storylines, the dozens of Estrogen Brigade Baits and the buttloads of Ship Tease (either Het or Ho Yay, as well as some bits of Les Yay) has made The King of Fighters extremely popular among female players. It does help that it's among the Long Runners, therefore many of the ladies who play it now likely grew up watching other people playing the earlier games.
    • Similarly, Guilty Gear also has a sizable female fanbase for similar reasons.
  • Catherine has a scene amongst, of all things, competitive gamers, thanks to its versus mode. It's become a staple at some fighting game tournament events, to the point where there are money matches.
  • Humongous Entertainment's games have gotten a lot of older fans, many from those who grew up on them. The large amount of Parental Bonuses helps quite a bit.
  • Say, did you know that the Kingdom Hearts games (especially the first) are games to be enjoyed by children? And did you know that the majority of the fandom is composed by teenagers and young adults?
    • Or that it's more targeted at boys than girls for the most part but (like most shonen-based titles out there) its online fandom is mostly made up of Yaoi Fangirls?
      • Or Disney fans.
  • My Girlfriend is the President is an Eroge that has enjoyed some non-masturbator success based on its incredibly, incredibly weird plot and funny writing. This leads to a certain amount of Selective Squick surrounding the sex scenes for those who are not into 2D characters or women at all, as well as the constant Black Comedy Rape Fan Service of the All Men Are Perverts setting and sexual-harasser main character - awful if you're playing for the plot, but fairly benign as a pure sexual power fantasy.
  • Similar to the above, the Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo Eroge is aimed towards straight men but is also quite popular among women who love the romantic, purely yuri storyline and great art but don't enjoy having to hide their games from their families etc. Apparently this was the reason why the producers created the spin-off Hanahira! with the same art and yuri but a more Slice of Life genre and no explicit sex.

Western Animation


 "They'll rock your 11 to 15-year old pants off! Yes, that's our demographic. GET OVER IT!"

    • Ed, Edd n Eddy has a large following among kids, teenagers AND adults, mostly due to its overwhelming amount of Ho Yay, plus plenty of amusing stuff for those who aren't Yaoi Fangirls.
    • The infinitesimal but vocal Time Squad fandom is now composed almost entirely of slash fans, though this is about as surprising as Thomas the Tank Engine attracting railroad enthusiasts.
    • Teen Titans: popular among teens and college-age people, even though Sam Register didn't want it to become a "fanboy show".
      • Meanwhile, Raven, besides struggling with a horrible tragic past and destiny, and who deep down inside just want to be loved for who she is, was changed into a snarky, gothy, reclusive nerd, and shown as a busty teen girl who gets more than a few scenes (and whole episodes) dedicated to pointing out how curvy she is. Basically a package full of fanboy-bait.
      • Teen Titans really tread the line on Periphery Demographics, with tongue-in-cheek call outs to comic book plots and characters along the lines of obfuscating Robin's identity via episodes with characters like Red X and Larry, and of course "Control Freak" is pretty much a shout out and/or back-handed compliment to fanboys everywhere.
    • Young Justice has garnered a sizable college-aged fanbase of both men and women due to the writing and tone, with a lot of instances of Getting Crap Past the Radar. There are also a number of adult comic fans who enjoy the show for the sheer amount of obscure comic book references the writers are able to stuff into every episode. The female characters have also proven to be popular with young women online.
      • Less than surprising since Greg Weisman claimed he and the writers set out to make a show that appealed to the target demographic of young boys while still being mature and deep enough for teens and college kids to enjoy regardless of age or gender.
      • And of course the Emmy-winning art style has lead to the attractive male leads being quite popular among Yaoi Fangirls. Robin and Kid Flash in particular seem to be a very popular pairing.
    • Total Drama Island: actually intended for children from the ages of 8 to 12, but with its truly amazing amounts of sex-related jokes, nudity and swearing it's no surprise that the fanbase is almost entirely made up of older teens and adults.
      • This also has to do with the series being made in Canada, which means that they can get past a lot more adult things in what is still marketed as a kids' show, at least compared to Cartoon Network. However, at some points it's hard to view it as one either way; see Getting Crap Past the Radar, Ho Yay, and Precision F-Strike for more.
    • Stoked and 6teen which, although marketed to teens, have a decent to substantial base in their 20's.
    • Batman the Brave And The Bold: ostensibly a Lighter and Softer version of Batman, except for the load of Mythology Gags put in just about every episode that appeal to adult viewers.
    • Codename: Kids Next Door While targeted for kids around age 7 to 12, is enjoyed by teens and collage-aged people, With Getting Crap Past the Radar moments, Affectionate Parody, surprisingly complex storylines, and Toy Ship moments, it's safe to say those outside the target audience can, and have, found something to enjoy in this show.
    • Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends was marketed towards kids age 7 to 12, however most of the audience were teenagers or adults. This is probably due to all the Parental Bonuses, Getting Crap Past the Radar, strong storylines, and for the men, Frankie.
    • MAD has earned some older fans because of their references to movies and shows targeted towards teenagers and adults, their tendency to make jokes that feel naughtier than expected for children, and their connections to Mad magazine.
  • Rival network Nickelodeon also has this with its Nicktoons:
    • Teenage and college age viewers make up a surprisingly big percentage of SpongeBob SquarePants viewership (so much that it sometimes airs on MTV) SpongeBob is a well-written series, greatly assisted by occasional audience chemical enhancement and the use of jokes and concepts that intentionally go over younger viewers' heads. If you ever worked in fastfood like many teenagers and college students do you can relate to what Spongebob and Squidward go through at The Krusty Krab.
    • Less surprisingly, Avatar: The Last Airbender also boasts such viewership, easily explained by virtue of the anime fandom's presence on college campuses as well as the series' particularly well-done writing; The creators' have expressed that they write for themselves as much as for their target demographic.
    • The same can be said about Sequel Series The Legend of Korra. To put it in perspective, the 1-hour series premiere had a 1.01 adults 18-49 rating out of its 4.5 million viewers, and another episode had almost 4.1 million total and a 1.13 adults 18-49 rating. Teenagers are also loving it as well, to the point where it's scheduled to start airing on Degrassi-loving Teen Nick!
    • Rugrats, most likely thanks to a heaping serving of Parental Bonus.
    • Iron Man: Armored Adventures has a surprisingly large female fanbase, which is usually unheard of for superhero shows, as well as a decent number of anime fans. This can probably be explained due to the series' heavy anime-influence which is popular with both unintended demographics.
    • Guess what age group (and what culture/subculture) made up half of the fanbase (and probably still does) of Invader Zim? Hint: It's not precisely the younglings. However, the fact that younger kids were not interested in it unlike the above three shows was part of its demise.
    • Danny Phantom. Intended for preteen boys, apparently, but the majority of fans tend to be female. And of the college age.
      • The show also enjoys a strong following amongst college/adult male cartoon fans who seem drawn to the female characters' often buxom designs. And they don't call them Hartman Hips for nothing!
    • The Ren and Stimpy Show was originally rated as U (all ages), but the users of the website rated it to be suitable for viewers above 13 years of age. The show is very popular among adult animation nerds, majority of which are aged 20+.
    • The Fairly Odd Parents is mainly targeted at kids in elementary school, but it has acquired popularity with young adults due to its extremely quirky characters, hilarious plots, celebrity guests (such as Jay Leno and Adam West), and numerous gags and pop-culture references that may go over kids' heads.
    • Though not as big as the ones listed, My Life as a Teenage Robot has a quite a big fanbase with teens and adults, due to its quirky feeling, stylized '40s styled backgrounds, fluid animation and the most lovable Robot Girl ever graced on Nickelodeon. In one way or another.
    • Doug was rather popular with adults during its run on both Nick and ABC, mainly from parents who wanted their kids to watch it.
    • Ka Blam kind of inverts this. It had a pretty big audience of the usual seven to eleven demographic, though earlier, Nick was trying to target the show towards teenagers (while still keeping it TV-Y7). The show was also had a solid adult fanbase as well.
    • Tuff Puppy has a bit of a fanbase in the Furry Fandom. No points for guessing why.
  • The DC Animated Universe has some of the most intelligent, mature writing in Western Animation. So it's no surprise Batman the Animated Series, Superman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Static Shock and Justice League have huge teen and adult fanbases. Including the comic book geeks who watch these out of sheer obligation.
  • The intended audience of Totally Spies was intended to be elementary and middle school age girls, but due to the show's fetishistic overtones, the show has found its primary audience among college age males.
  • Near the end of Bugs Bunny and Tweety's run on ABC, the show was still receiving a respectable total number of viewers, mainly outside the 2-11 audience. It was only cancelled because their contract ran up, and ABC by then switched to an all-Disney lineup.
  • Lots of people love Kim Possible, many of them parents themselves.
    • This is evidenced by its strong showing on fan-themed sites such as where, as of October 2010, it registered over 7,000 posted stories, one of the largest listings in the Cartoon category. (A good proportion of them being Les Yay slash fics. And the writers are well aware of the popularity of these pairings.)
      • As well as by Disney's 2007 "Everything Kim Possible" marathon aired over several days virtually non-stop, well outside its intended "tween/teen girl" demographic hours.
  • This was largely the downfall of many WB Saturday morning cartoons, including Freakazoid: While older audiences would frequently tune in to watch the show on Saturday mornings, the younger audiences, towards whom the show's sponsors would try to advertise their products, weren't too interested, which lead to Freakazoid's demise only two seasons in.
  • Disney's Gargoyles eventually succumbed thanks to this effect. Disney wanted to sell the show to 6-11 boys, but the writing and plots attracted 13-30 sci-fi fans. Executive Meddling kicked in and fans (and the Comic Adaptation) ignored the third season.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine has a very large amount of adult and young adult fans, many of whom grew up with the shows and appreciate the realism and storylines of the earlier episodes. There are quite a few people that happily collect the train models too.
  • Arthur, despite being a show directed toward preteens, has a substantial teen and adult following. This is mainly due to some very smart writing that would go over most kids' heads (such as an entire episode based on Waiting for Godot).
    • It's a show for preteens and kids, on networks solely for kids and it gets an episode that parodies various Comedy Central(!) shows. Especially notable is the South Park segment.
  • This (and the fact it was not Merchandise-Driven) was what killed Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Gaylord (one of the production companies) wanted to attract the 7-12 year old demographic, but the show's more mature tone and Character Development attracted an audience of teenagers and young adults - not the type who would beg parents for toys. Mix this with Germans Love David Hasselhoff (the series did better in Latin America, the UK, and Germany) and Gaylord wasn't going to touch the idea of a second season.
  • Many a Galaxy Rangers fan (then in their 20's and 30's) were also taping Jonny Quest the Real Adventures for many of the same reasons they dug GR.
  • Animaniacs intentionally invoked this trope; it was marketed to kids, but was also intended for adults, with Getting Crap Past the Radar and old pop culture references in nearly every episode. Yet, it had enough Slapstick and Toilet Humor alongside the Parental Bonus to keep the kiddies entertained, which is probably part of the reason it outlived many similar shows.
  • Veggie Tales has fans who are neither children nor religious. The copious cultural-reference Parental Bonuses probably help.
  • Little Howard's Big Question is an example of this, possibly due to "Big Howard" Howard Read being a rather excellent "grown up" stand-up comedian.
  • Jane and the Dragon, which airs on cartoon blocks for elementary-schoolers, has a surprisingly broad demographic appeal. Well-developed characters, storylines that often dodge cliches, and sophisticated dialogue draw in viewers far older than the target audience. A lot of the comments for the Youtube videos say something to the effect of, "I'm [age way older than the target audience], and I love this show!"
  • The Magic Roundabout - Due to its short length and its position before the Six o'Clock News, there was a huge adult following, whom got into it just because they were waiting for the News to come on. So much so that when The BBC moved it away from the News there was an outcry from the adult audience.
  • South Park is extremely popular with Yaoi Fangirls, if the amount of Slash fanfiction and fanart featuring its characters is any indication.
  • Jimmy Two Shoes has an audience with adults, but what do you expect from a kids' show that takes place in Hell?
  • Aren't you a little bit old to watch Phineas and Ferb? Common response: Yes. Yes I am.
  • This is the entire motto AND modus operandi of The Hub. Knowing they couldn't beat the other major kids' networks with just kids watching, it's a veritable fountain of fun Periphery Demographic. Their crown jewel in this regard is My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic; see the Toys section above.
  • Dave the Barbarian. It was full of Parental Bonuses, so it's not surprising.
  • WITCH, a comic/cartoon about five girls with magical powers, has no small number of male fans, in part due to its gorgeous art (and not just in a sexual sense, either; it's essentially a series that ascends Disney fairy-tale art Up to Eleven), and in part due to the way its characters, though predominantly female, are also very human. The show took its appeal to the opposite gender even farther; while Blunk was not so liked, Napoleon the talking cat was a big hit, to the point that it's sad his screen antics never ascended in the comics.
  • This trope goes all the way back to the late 1950s. Early Hanna-Barbera shows such as Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw were very popular amongst grown-ups when they first premiered.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle had a large adult following during its original broadcast as well.
  • Recess, despite being a kid show, attracted many older fans, from teenagers to the parents of the kids who were in the target audience. The show is full of jokes that the target audience wouldn't understand and has a nostalgic feel for those who remember being in elementary school. This pretty muched caused it to be the Sleeper Hit that it is.
  • Many teenagers watch shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park, even though the shows were meant to be for adults only.
    • Not just teenagers either. The Simpsons has actually won awards for best kids show and is watched by a significant amount of younger viewers. Same for Family Guy to some extent.
  • Cyberchase is enjoyed by many teenagers and adults who started watching it in the early 2000s.
  • The Magic School Bus has gained a large amount of older fans, many of whom grew up with it.
    • It's also popular among adults who work in or teach science, who are relieved to see a science-education show that actually gets things right most of the time.
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues, despite being targeted at families with children between the ages of two and nine, is enjoyed by many preteens, teenagers and young adults, particularly those who grew up with it.
  • Jem and Sailor Moon in their respective eras were both aimed at young girls but also had a male fanbase (which would later be revealed through the internet, because they wouldn't admit it as kids to their friends), the male fanbase having a crush on the lead female character (or another female character) of the respective show.
    • And of course Jem has an extremely large Camp Gay following for obvious reasons.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has a target audience of 9-14 year old boys, but has its fair share of adult fans as well. These include Marvel Comics readers who loved finding tough and relatively deep portrayals of their favorite characters, and even some likable re-interpretations of characters they had lukewarm or negative feelings about while reading the comics. The dynamic and well-animated action sequences also helped it earn older fans. Some people say this show boasts as many universally appeaing qualities as shows from the DCAU.
  • Similarly, The Spectacular Spider-Man was aimed at young and pre-teen boys, but is quite popular with teens and adults, given its great character reinterprataions and development, awesome script and voice acting, wonderful tributes to classic Spidey stories and lore, and the surprisingly large amount of Getting Crap Past the Radar. It even holds a good following after its premature cancelation.
    • Really, most animated shows based off superhero comics end up getting a lot of older viewers, as often they follow the comics in having good characters and story arcs. The first X-Men animated series was a similar case, as was X-Men: Evolution. (it's often stated that out of the superhero animated shows, Evolution was the most popular with teenage girls) Spider-Man: The Animated Series was the same way.
  • Dinosaur Train is an educational show aimed at preschoolers, but because the science is so well presented (unlike most dinosaur documentaries), it appeals to many older dinosaur enthusiasts.


  • The song Puff the Magic Dragon and the classic European TV series The Magic Roundabout (known mostly to Americans through Doogal, the Macekred dub of the recent CGI movie) were both popular with children and with teen-to-college-age "sophisticates" who just "knew" that they were about drugs. The drug references didn't have to be genuine, the teens just had to convince themselves that they were cool enough to spot a hidden message. The English dub of Magic Roundabout did have a degree of satire aimed at the older viewers, a genuine case of Multiple Demographic Appeal, but the drug thing is an urban myth. The writers of Puff the Magic Dragon have stated point blank that the song does NOT have anything to do with drugs.
  • The Hello Kitty franchise appears to be aimed at young girls, but that doesn't explain the Hello Kitty vibrators.
    • What does explain them is that using a cartoon character lets them be sold as toys legally when selling them as sexual aids isn't.
    • There's also a love hotel in Osaka, Adonis, that has a Hello Kitty S&M room.
      • That, and Hello Kitty is on tons of things you wouldn't expect, anyway, so it was probably inevitable.
      • Yeah, like Machine Guns...
    • While in other parts of the world, Hello Kitty may seem like strictly kids' stuff, in Japan they've been marketing Hello Kitty to the teen/young adult crowd since the beginning.
  • You'd expect the primary market for guns in the U.S. to be either criminals or angry rednecks, right? Well, a lot of gun owners are young, urban adults and middle-aged women.
    • Actually inverted. Regular handguns and such are actually intended (with emphasis on the intended) to be sold to responsible citizens for self-defense, technically making the criminals and such the true Periphery Demographic.
    • Of course, the intended demographic usually only own one gun, or at least one at a time. The Periphery Demographic however usually owns (or has regular access to) at least two or more guns.
  • is a dollmaker website, directed at girls ages 4 to 14. However, due to the high quality of the art and the vast range of available "parts", it has attracted a large number of teenage-and-young-adult writers - people who tend to have little art skill, but want a quick visual representation of their characters, for showing off and for personal reference.
  • The Chevrolet Epica - image here, although aimed at older buyers and families, it was popular with younger buyers who appreciated it more.
    • While we are on the subject of cars; the Dodge Viper. Essentially a two-seater with a truck engine, Dodge thought it would be bought by the regular sports-car crowd, millionaires and such, while in reality most buyers were upper working-class who had saved up for it and given it to themselves as a reward.
  • The coin-operated rides outside of supermakets. Hope the place has no security guards (or that the guards are of the jobsworth type - those machines are normally not under their surveillance).
  • That Guy With The Glasses has a lot of attractive nerds, both male and female. Do you really think that everyone watching The Nostalgia Chick/The Nostalgia Critic, Linkara or Jesu Otaku is going to care about bad nostalgic shows, bad comics or bad anime?
    • That and the slash fandom.
    • Linkara is an interesting example in that many of his fans don't read comics, and many people who do read comics don't like him.
  • Neopets Is a very odd case; although the site originated for college kids, the eponymous Ridiculously Cute Critters attracted a Periphery Demographic of kids, and the site became Lighter and Softer as a result. This wasn't a bad thing, as TNT still got a lot of crap past the radar, but after Viacom started meddling, the site became more focused to the kids and started neglecting the older fans, who had become a periphery demographic, and loyalists who started playing as kids but remained on the site through their teens. However, TNT started interacting with the new periphery demographic of older fans by setting up a facebook page, and The Faeries' Ruin did a great job of winning back older fans. Not only that, but said older fans are the ones who play the most on the site. They're the writers for the Neopian Times, plot participants, and are basically the ones who don't get bored and leave after a few months. TNT's trying to reach a happy medium between appeasing the "preteen girl" fans who only want cute things, the "tween boy" fanbase who just like the games, and the older fans who love writing for the Neopian Times and Poetry Gallery, drawing for the Art Gallery and Beauty Contest, and participate in plots.
  • Road sign creation software, like KeySIGN and SignPLOT have become popular with automobile geeks, roadgeeks and graphic designers. Strange, but true. Viral Marketing by a fan plays a part here.
  • The author of With Strings Attached has said that she wrote the book under the assumption that Baby Boomer Beatle fans would be its primary audience, and was quite surprised when she started getting letters from 16-year-old girls who were reading it. And this was back in 1997. Now it has readers as young as 12 and as old as 80, and she's given up trying to figure out where the periphery is.
  • Henry Jenkins, in his book Textual Poachers says this may be the primary driving force behind Fanfic. The Girl Show Ghetto means that females aren't going to have their brothers or husbands watching shows that are aimed for them, or they find the female-aimed shows lacking in quality and they end up watching shows aimed at men and using fanfic to refocus the narrative.
  • Male homosexual pornography is popular among heterosexual women.
  1. on Warriors Wish
  2. For those not in the know, Lander was a more or less accurate 2D simulation of what landing a Lunar Lander is like, inertia and all, making the museum the periphery demographic here.
  3. Besides some of the background characters, and the mystery of the Pyro