A List of Things I Hate to Read in Teen Wolf/Sterek Fics: A Lesson on the Damage of Tropes.
Just a few things I’ve noticed in Teen Wolf (and for the most part, Sterek) fics. What are these you ask? Well, these are some observations I’ve made while reading fanfics, ones that have—for the most part—become uncontested Tropes. These tropes have been grossly reiterated to the point where they actually hurt the characters and the show as a result. They have also become the fanons’ “Canon” or “accepted head canon” without any proof given within the parameters of the show from which these characters spawn.
I am here to set the “canon” straight.
P.S. this post is an explosion of high photo content. Your internet connection is advised.
1. ERMAGERD! STILES N SCOTT TXT LK DIS BC THEY R TEENS LOLOLKBYE.
2. Stiles is the Pack Momma! He’s such a wonderful cook! Look how he dotes with tender loving care for his little puppies! He can even clean up after their messes and kiss their booboos away!
I see a lot of this and we have SO LITTLE EVIDENCE that this is actually the case. As far as canon is concerned, Stiles only “dotes” (i.e. lazily whines and harasses; read, he does not pinch cheeks and pat heads) on two people—his father and Scott.
We don’t even know if he can cook an egg, much less a Thanksgiving feast. concerning his father and his diet: in 1x04 they are both eating fast food together in the squad car (something that looks fairly traditional). Yes, there’s grumbling going on, but Stiles hardly puts up a fight.
Again, in episode 2x08, Stiles was supposed to get cheeseburgers for him and his father, but instead Stiles arrives at the precinct with “healthy” food. This sudden change obviously surprises the Sheriff:
But to reiterate: Stiles didn’t cook this food, he bought it at some fast food joint or similar restaurant
Granted, we don’t know if Stiles can cook or not. As of now, however, all the facts point out the obvious: Stiles is a lazy teenager (the fastest and easiest way out is always the best!). And clean-freak? Stiles sure does keep a tidy room, but I’m willing to put that one down to the Sheriff and his impressive Dad Face
3. Isaac is just a cute little puppy! He can practically feel the aura of people’s emotions—just look how he whimpers whenever someone is angry or upset around him! He needs a pat on the head!
I. Just. Seriously, I don’t honestly know where people got this idea from because it never happened in the show. Up until the infamous Dog Scene in the Vet, Isaac has been toting the perpetual “Bad Were-Boy” vibe. He might have been confused and anxious in “Raving” after he gave Jackson all the ketamine, but not once did he whimper while Stiles berated him. Guys, he’s a werewolf, not a fucking dog. Your actions of dehumanization are not cute, they’re damaging.
4. Peter isn’t bad! He’s sassy so ultimately he has the Pack’s needs in front of his own! He totally ships Sterek and will play matchmaker for sure!
Yes, Peter is a Sass Master, back from the dead. But remember when Dr. Deaton said, “Hey Derek, don’t trust that Zombie Uncle of yours, okay?” Well, he didn’t say it exactly like that. Let’s take a moment to reflect on all the people Peter has betrayed, broken, manipulated, and hurt all for the sake of greed and power, okay? There was Laura…
Scott’s life was ruined by Peter too (he never asked for the bite and still doesn’t want it). Peter’s not out there to do anyone any favors, unless it serves himself in the end. To reiterate: Peter’s goals are not healthy nor do they mean well for the other characters. He’s got something planned for S3 and none of it is good—his history clearly proves this assertion. He may be funny but is this really the face of “good intentions”?
5. Stiles is so skinny! He knows he’s small and feels self-conscious about it! That’s what makes him cute and appealing! Look how Derek’s coat totally dwarfs his tiny shoulders!
Sure, Tyler Hoechlin has a lot of
hot hot body mass and can do pull-ups off of a rickety door frame. Nonetheless, it’s time to get some things straight: Dylan/Stiles isn’t some weak, skinny nerd. There be some muscles on that kid!
Stiles has what we’d call an “impish” nose, yet one shouldn’t mistake him for feminine. His arms have corded muscle and are covered in hair, as are his legs. Stiles’ is anything but dainty and fragile. Flaily and spazzy? Sure. Innocent and naive? Hell no. Then there is the fatal Height Difference myth…
The two are practically the same height, give or take an inch. Stiles’ lips would probably line up with Derek’s chin. Not his clavicle or pecs. No one needs to stand on tip-toes or lean a foot over for a kiss. Finally, as for Stiles’ physical strength
Yeah. We all remember this scene. It was also two hours of constant swimming on Stiles’ part, all while laden with a 200 pound dude. I get tired just after 30 minutes and a beach ball. Ergo, Stiles is strong enough to handle his own.
6. Scott is such a cute potato head! It’s so funny that he doesn’t know anything, like his best friend is totally having it on with Derek!
A lot of people like to label Scott as stupid right off the bat, merely because he’s making poor grades, doesn’t know his Greek mythology, or what a bestiary is (hey, guess what, neither did Allison). Regardless of all that, let’s not forget that Scott is a natural leader; he devised a way to protect Lydia and Jackson from Derek’s pack, he collaborated with Isaac to trap Jackson safely, and OH he played double agent and outsmarted Gerard. As for whether or not he’d know about Sterek or be oblivious: he’s got werewolf senses. He’d smell that stink a mile away. Scott is only 16 and has had his life recently turned upside down because of lycanthropy—of course his grades are going to drop! Dude’s got hunters and shit coming after him and threatening away all sense of normalcy. Scott is not dumb, but he prefers things remain simple.
7. DEREK IS SUCH A SOUR WOLF! It’s so funny whenever Stiles calls him that, it should just be his caller ID!
"Sour Wolf!" It drives me bonkers to read it in fics, as if it were a term of endearment! Stiles used it once. ONCE. And it wasn’t used nicely, by the way. Derek is not an emotionless robot. Nor does he have the emotional range of an angry badger. He’s capable of expressing fear…
Genuine care and consideration…
…And of course, sass and amusement
Also, food for thought next time you read or begin writing a fanfic in this field:
A. Stiles is not a nice person. He is cold, calculating, and even uncaring at times. His idea of fun is to go out looking for dead bodies at night (he instantly dehumanized the victim, showing no respect for the family she might have left behind). He’d rather let jerks like Derek, Jackson, and Matt die because it’s easier to turn a blind eye and let the problem go away on it’s own (he even says this in 2x08). He is apathetic where others outside his familial circle are concerned. He’s a smart-ass, overly-neurotic kid with his Dad, Scott, and Mrs. McCall. He’s really only sweet towards Lydia, but he also objectifies her too much to be healthy.
He’s self-confident with his own body and social circle, but he’s clingy (because of his mother’s death) and doubts his father’s love for him (for a myriad of reasons, but yes, because of his mother’s death as well). Stiles isn’t nice and out to “save everyone” (that’s Scott’s dilemma): while braver than say, Jackson, Stiles’ sense of self-preservation is bar none. He doesn’t want to be caught in a cage with a monster (it’s why he quickly scrams and leaves Derek in the hospital to deal with Alpha!Peter), unless it’s for those four previous mentioned friends/family. Stiles will most likely come out to defeat the Big Baddie, yet only if there are stronger individuals out their to protect him should things turn sour. It’s not a flaw, but a unique character trait of Stiles’ that shouldn’t be ignored anymore.
B. Where in the world is Boyd? Seriously, for the gigantic amount of “Pack Fics”, Boyd hardly (if ever) makes a lasting appearance. The most people will give him is a few sentences describing how “silently stoic” the werewolf is. Maybe he’ll even have a witty one-liner. But for the most part Boyd is seldom seen nor heard from. This needs to change. Derek turned Boyd for a reason. Boyd himself has mentioned in 2x03 how lonely he is. This is great fanfic fodder for authors to use and explore! Remember, just because Boyd’s silent, doesn’t mean he’s nonexistent.
C. Sterek is a large wheelbarrow and everyone else is the third wheel. Similar to the issue with Boyd’s representation (or lack-thereof), too many fics under-utilize other characters. There will be scenes of the entire pack “meeting” together (there’s another non-canon issue: Pack Meetings) but since it’s Sterek, only Stiles or Derek do any of the major talking.
HEY! The number one sign of a bad writer: you’ve put all the actors in one room but only give lines to two players!
Diversify your conversations! Stiles need not be the only guy with the witty retort. Derek doesn’t have to be the only one who is pissy and eye-rolling! Seriously, as a reader I want to know why you’ve gathered everyone if not to develop their character any. Perhaps I should create side-stories to those fics where it’s the Pack’s POV instead and how angry they are for being sidelined by Sterek!
D. Why does the Sheriff only work the night shift? In 90% of Sterek fics, Sheriff is never home when Derek sneaks through Stiles’ window for impromptu midnight sex. Seriously, that is major code for “lazy plot device” these days. Let’s face it, the Sheriff won’t always be on night shift. In fact, because he’s the sheriff, Papa Stilinski won’t necessarily be on duty—he’ll still be on call, but his position of authority means he can delegate shifts to his subordinate deputies. If there’s not extenuating circumstances, Stiles and Derek will most likely be sneaking past Dad during their nightly liaisons. Besides, is it not more creative to have the boys keep it quiet? To silence their moaning/groaning and not wake Sheriff Stilinski up from his late-night nap on the couch? It’s a situation that is deeply humorous and real.
E. Sterek is still statutory rape at this point. Should the Sheriff ever discover Derek is sexing up his 16 year old son, shit would hit the fan. So many fics have Stilinski Sr: a.) totally called it and placed bets at the station, b.) has an awkward Gay Chat with Stiles but ultimately accepts Sterek, c.) making a gimmicky joke about Shotguns and should-Derek-ever-hurt-his-boy-so-help-me!, or d.) inviting Derek over for breakfast/lunch/dinner in order to deem him quality boyfriend material. Frankly, as Sheriff he’s obligated to arrest Derek for statutory rape. This is serious, folks. Not only is Stiles underage, Derek is also vastly overage in legal terms. You can learn more about California’s statutory rape laws here. The gist goes like this:
"Anyone who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under age 18 who is more than three years younger than the actor is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony.”
"…California…reserve(s) [its] harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older."
It doesn’t matter if both boys consented to having sex. Because Stiles is a minor (and Derek is presumably +6 years older), Derek committed a crime—start taking this seriously in your stories! As a man under oath to uphold the law, especially where ever his son is concerned, Papa Stilinski would not be happy with underage Sterek. If Sheriff Stilinski got fired because Stiles got a slapped with a restraining order, what do you think would happen if word got out about Sterek and the Sheriff did nothing about it? Dad will not invite Derek over for brunch: the shotgun will be loaded, emptied, and Stiles’ ass will be toast.
Hopefully this has helped fans understand something about canon v. fanon and the damaging tropes they reuse and perpetuate.