Here’s are the best ways to anger sci-fi fans:
Being dismissive is usually the best way to anger sci-fi fans.
You can dismiss their passion as just being “nerdy,” dismiss their philosophical discussion as unrealistic or dismiss their favorite IP as inferior.
You can also annoy them by pointing out problems in the story or mixing up details from different IPs.
So if you want to learn all about what really makes sci-fi fans angry, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get started!
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Which Sci-Fi Fans Are We Making Angry?
Pull back on the reins a bit.
It’s great that you want to go and pick fights with science fiction fans (actually, is it?).
But, we can’t just dive into this thing.
The simple fact is that science fiction is a massive genre.
You can’t take on everyone at once.
It’s just too big.
So, let’s talk about which fans we’re going to anger today.
Are we after Star Wars fans? Star Trek? Dune? Marvel?
We haven’t even scratched the surface yet.
Actually, I think that today, we can focus on people who are general fans of science fiction.
Sure, they might have a favorite story or franchise, but we’re going to focus on people who like more than one intellectual property (IP).
These are people who like science fiction in a general sense.
The ways we anger them are a little different from the ways we would anger fans of a particular franchise.
In the discussion, I’ll use specific franchises as examples, but today, we’re being general.
Why Do We Want Sci-Fi Fans Angry?
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk about motivations here.
Was your grandmother injured by a science fiction story?
Did a mob of science fiction fans overrun your hometown?
Why are you trying to make them angry?
I’m a bit of an optimist, so I’m going to assume that you come from one of two motivations.
Either you’re looking for ways to avoid angering sci-fi fans, or you’re just trying to have a little bit of good-natured fun.
In either case, I’m not exploring eyes where you can genuinely push people into a violent range.
That’s not the goal of this article.
For the most part, I’m going to come at this from an angle of teasing sci-fi fans in a friendly way.
We’re not trying to start wars, but I will point out things that might get a little more heated than intended.
I’m trusting you to use this knowledge responsibly.
How Do We Anger Sci-Fi Fans? (9 Ways)
With all of that covered, let’s get to the topic at hand.
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the best ways to annoy, irritate, and anger sci-fi fans.
#1 Call Them a Nerd
It’s an old stereotype, right?
People who love science fiction are just a bunch of nerds.
The thing is, this stereotype has been around for decades, and a lot of modern sci-fi fans have come to terms with it.
They might not mind at all if you call them a nerd (or dweeb, or dork, or any other related word).
It’s not an easy way to make them angry.
Then why did I bring it up?
Well, there’s a huge difference between calling someone a nerd and using the term to be dismissive.
If a sci-fi fan is trying to engage with you and talk about something that makes them feel passionate, any dismissal of that is going to be offensive.
Simply calling them a “nerd” and suggesting that science fiction is pointless is probably going to induce some ire.
And, that’s the real point here.
The word itself isn’t what matters.
Being dismissive is what is more likely to anger them.
You don’t have to like something to be respectful toward it, and dismissiveness usually feels disrespectful.
#2 Say That Fantasy Is Better
This is nowhere near the world-shattering argument that it is often made out to be.
You can see examples of pop culture suggesting that fantasy fans and sci-fi fans are always at odds with each other.
The truth is that a lot of people like both genres.
After all, the core concept of fantasy and sci-fi is the same.
It’s a way of saying “what if this impossible thing was actually possible,” in order to explore ideas.
As a result, you’ll find that the majority of sci-fi fans have some favorite fantasy series too, and vice versa.
All of that said, when people really get into a fandom, they can sometimes get riled up over it, and it’s possible to start a fantasy vs sci-fi argument.
Once you do, that argument will take on a life of its own, and sometimes, it can get rather heated.
#3 Insult Their Favorite IP
We can break sci-fi fans into two camps for a minute.
There are people who are enamored with the sci-fi genre.
They eat up the stories like candy, and they might even be hard-pressed to tell you which franchise or story is their absolute favorite.
On the other hand, you have people who fall in love with a specific sci-fi story.
They might dabble in other stuff, but if you visit their home, all of the collectibles are in the same franchise.
With the former type of fan, you might be able to rile them up by insulting one of their favorite intellectual properties, but it might be hard to do.
With the latter fan, this is an easy button to push.
If they’re wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, you can probably get them going by saying bad things about Star Wars.
This goes for a superfan of any IP.
Insult their favorite thing, and they’ll have words for you.
#4 Start a Universe vs Universe Argument
Science fiction is all about exploring what-ifs.
Naturally, that leads people to wonder what would happen if characters from one sci-fi franchise interacted with characters from another franchise.
That line of thinking can be extended, and eventually, you end up wondering what happens when very different science fiction universes collide.
This leads to arguments over which universe is better in a number of different senses.
What would happen if the Star Wars galaxy fought the Star Trek galaxy?
What if Warhammer fought against Stargate?
There are a lot of different science fiction universes out there, which leaves a nearly endless number of universe vs universe discussions.
The thing is, once they get going, they can really get going, and in a lot of cases, there’s plenty of room for argument.
Sometimes, this ends in a bit of anger, and it all started from doing the fun science fiction thing and wondering, “What if?”
#5 Dismiss Sci-Fi as Unrealistic
Starting fights is all good and well, but if you’re trying to really make things personal, then focus on how unrealistic a science fiction story is.
I already mentioned how being dismissive is a good way to make people feel disrespected, but this specific instance is particularly upsetting to a lot of science fiction fans.
You see, science fiction comes in a wide range of attempted realisms.
Some stories are really trying to explore ethics, morality, or even society by proposing unrealistic tests.
If you could read people’s minds, what would you do with that ability?
Of course, mind reading is unrealistic.
That’s not the point.
The point is to perform the thought experiment and try to learn something about yourself or the world around you through that thought experiment.
On the other hand, some science fiction stories really try to be as grounded and realistic as possible.
Regardless of where an IP falls on that spectrum, as soon as you attack the realism in the story, you’re showing that you actually missed the point.
You’re dismissing the deeper exploration of ideas by pointing out that certain sci-fi elements in the story very obviously don’t exist in real life.
The dismissiveness, combined with the specific failure to even try to understand, can prove annoying and upsetting to plenty of fans.
#6 Mix Up IPs
On a completely different note, you can frustrate fans of science fiction by mixing up characters and elements from different intellectual properties.
Remember when I suggested earlier that there are two camps of sci-fi fans?
Well, the camp of superfans is definitely going to be annoyed when you mix up details of their franchise.
If you tell a Star Trek fan to use the force, that can definitely be irritating.
But, even the other camp of fans can be annoyed with enough of a mixup.
If you’re constantly talking about Superman in Marvel stories or how Big Brother is controlling the Mobile Infantry, pretty much any sci-fi fan is going to give you a funny look.
Interestingly enough, this type of frustration comes in two forms.
You might genuinely be mixing things up because you’re not much of a sci-fi fan.
But, plenty of other people will do this just to troll fans, and it leads to a point where they can’t tell the difference.
The point being, whether you’re trying to pick a fight or not, mixing up IPs can definitely frustrate sci-fi fans to a point of anger.
#7 Point Out Plot Holes
Earlier, I talked about varying levels of realism in science fiction stories.
Some are completely fantastic on purpose.
Others try to be more grounded.
Regardless of the level of realism, most science fiction stories aim to adhere to an internal logic and consistency.
If you accept the premise of the fictional universe (space wizards can access a mysterious force to control things around them, for example), then the story should make sense.
Plot holes arise when the internal consistency fails.
Maybe the powers of the space wizards change without explanation.
Or, something that should be easy is suddenly difficult.
There are countless specific ways it can happen, but when the internal logic fails and it creates a plot hole, it can be frustrating for fans of the franchise.
Even worse, some plot holes are subtle and not easily noticed.
If you point out such a plot hole, it can really create a challenge for a fan of the series.
The Big Bang Theory does a great job of making fun of this in an episode where they suggest that Indiana Jones wasn’t necessary in his first film.
You can find plenty of other examples, but that really does a good job of showing why it can be upsetting for you to point out plot holes to fans of a story.
#8 Avoid the Philosophical Discussion
This runs a little deeper than other items on the list.
At the root of a good science fiction story is a premise and idea that stimulates philosophical discussion.
That’s really the point of the whole thing.
Especially with sci-fi books, there might be fun and adventure, but science fiction is usually also commenting on society, humanity, or something that can be explored at a deeper level.
If a sci-fi fan is engaging with you and trying to get into the philosophy and you just shut down, they’ll be disappointed at best.
It’s fine to not like science fiction, but if you’re going to play, try to understand that the underlying philosophy is an important part of the whole thing.
This goes back to the idea of being dismissive, but it often matters more when it comes to philosophical underpinnings.
A lot of people appreciate science fiction because of how it makes them think about things.
If you dismiss that, then you’re dismissing the whole point of science fiction.
#9 Have a Strong Opinion About Any Major IP
Last on the list is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal.
If you really want to make sci-fi fans angry, then this is all you have to do.
Express a strong opinion about any known sci-fi IP.
That’s really it.
Science fiction fans tend to be a passionate bunch, and they all have favorites.
They also have strong reasons for picking their favorites.
If you express a strong opinion about any science fiction story—be it a positive or negative opinion—there are going to be passionate fans who disagree with you.
That disagreement is often expressed rather passionately too.
As an example, you can start a fight by saying that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie.
You can also start a fight by saying it’s not the best Star Wars movie.
It actually doesn’t matter what your opinion is.
As long as you express a strong opinion, a sci-fi fan out there will find you to argue with you about it.
It’s a law of nature.