In the world of pop fandom, it is de rigueur to name the fan base to which you belong (or to have your chosen idol name it for you.) Over the last several years, we have seen groups with nicknames like Little Monsters, Beliebers, and Arianators grow into power and change the way we talk about musicians and their fans. And because we live in The Age of the Listicle, it has finally come time to rank those nicknames from worst to best. Definitively.
In ranking the nicknames of today’s major fan bases, these were our considerations:
- How clever is the nickname?
- How annoying is the nickname?
- At the very least, does the nickname make sense and/or sound good?
- Is it clear who or what the nickname references or represents?
- If the nickname is a pun or portmanteau, how bad is it, relatively speaking?
- Is it original or derivative?
And without further delay, here it is!
The Celebuzz Ranking of Pop Music Fan Base Nicknames (From Worst to Best)
30. Black Stars (Avril Lavinge)
Is this nonsensical and tragically emo nickname better or worse than the “Hello Kitty” video? (It’s worse.)
29. Mahomies (Austin Mahone)
This was going to be in last place before I learned about Black Stars. Obviously.
28. Jepseners (Carly Rae Jepsen)
I included this solely for the LOL factor.
27. Hooligans (Bruno Mars)
Why not Doo-Wops, tho?
26. Derulers (Jason Derulo)
A good fan base name should not call to mind a back-to-school supply list.
25. Angels / Simpsonizers (Cody Simpson)
First of all, pick one! Secondly, “Cody’s Angels” makes no sense — is it supposed to be a Charlie’s Angels reference? — and is, ultimately, supremely lazy. And Simpsonizers? It sounds like an app that takes your photo and turns you into a Simpsons character. Grade: F (times two).
24. Mixers (Little Mix)
The only mixers I concern myself with are the ones I add to cocktails.
23. RitaBots (Rita Ora)
I mean, what? I thought you said you’d never let me down, Rita. Apparently, that was a lie.
22. Lovatics (Demi Lovato)
It’s a sloppy portmanteau that makes you think of how… intense… her fan base can be and also the dangers of hiking.
21. Sheerios (Ed Sheeran)
It’s just corny enough to make me want to throw up the Cheerios I had for breakfast.
20. Arianators (Ariana Grande)
19. Selenators (Selena Gomez)
This is just as bad as Arianators, though Selenators came first, so at least it’s not (as) derivative.
18. Azaleans (Iggy Azalea)
Aztecs would have been better. (Not really.) Azz Clowns would have been better actually, though.
17. Animals (Ke$ha)
While certainly not the worst fan base nickname on this list, it is so woefully generic and nonspecific that, unless you yourself are a Ke$ha fan, you might not even know to what the nickname refers without the proper context.
See “Animals,” above. Also, this nickiname implies docility (weakness) which is not ideal when it comes to the battlefield that is pop fandom. It gets worse when you remember that the group often refers to themselves as a “Lambily.” However, it is the oldest fan group nickname on this list, so I have awarded it some bonus OG points.
15. Rushers (Big Time Rush)
Smack dab in the middle of this list is the most mediocre, middle-of-the-road fan base nickname there is.
14. Glamberts (Adam Lambert)
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
13. Directioners (One Direction)
Harmless, inoffensive, and boring. Just the way we like our boy bands.
12. Smilers (Miley Cyrus)
It’s cute. It is, at this stage of her career, almost tongue-in-cheek. It’s just punny enough. It’s kind of the title of an Aimee Mann record. It’s kind of boring.
11. KatyCats (Katy Perry)
This might be the most overwrought pun nickname on this list, which makes it a natural fit for fans of Katy’s cutesy, always-on-the-nose M.O. and aesthetic. Bonus points, however, because the internet loves cats.
10. Swifties (Taylor Swift)
It is so impressively, immaculately banal, and yet, at the same time, pretty perfect in its simplicity.
9. Britney Army (Britney Spears) / Rihanna Navy (Rihanna)
To be sure, these are powerful names to suit powerful fan bases, though it would appear no power was applied when it came time to select nicknames.
8. Barbz/Barbies (Nicki Minaj)
I prefer the shortened “Barbz,” which brings to mind both Barbie and barbed wire: a fitting sweet-and-sour tribute to Minaj. Hey, at least it’s not a bad pun.
7. Gouldiggers (Ellie Goulding)
As far as silly pun nicknames go, this is the best of the bunch.
6. Charli’s Angels (Charli XCX)
See, Cody Simpson? This actually makes sense.
5. J.Lovers (Jennifer Lopez)
A perfect, natural portmanteau that both makes good use of Lopez’s iconic nickname and describes her loving fans.
4. Beliebers (Justin Bieber)
Bieber’s fans certainly think of him as a God-like figure, so this punmanteau is perfectly apt, even if it does sound like baby talk.
3. Little Monsters / Monsters (Lady Gaga)
Gaga and her Little Monsters get credit for helping galvanize all modern fan bases into naming themselves. Unlike many of the other entries on this list, it’s not an annoying pun. Bonus points awarded for coming with its own hand signal.
2. The Beyhive (Beyoncé)
A perfect portmanteau/pun mashup that also doubles as a warning: if you mess with the Beyhive, you’re going to get stung.
1. Stans (Eminem)
No word better sums up extreme fan culture than “Stan,” thanks to the Eminem song of the same name. Given that this entire exercise is, in essence, a love letter to stan culture, I would be remiss not to include Stans at the top of this list. It is the perfect embodiment of fans carving an identity from the artwork bestowed by their idols.
Do you disagree with this list? Well, too bad! But feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments regardless.
Main GIF via The Nekci Menij Show.