Popular K-Pop Fandoms And How to Identify Them

June 14, 2022

Behind every big K-pop idol or group is a fandom dedicated to supporting them through thick and thin. And there are many K-pop groups and artists, so of course, there are a lot of fandoms. The most popular one is undoubtedly ARMY — the Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth — a group of fans dedicated to BTS. But for this article, we want to talk about other K-pop fandoms that deserve recognition. 

As soon as an artist or group debuts, their management releases information about the fandom name and, for some of them, custom lightsticks. Each fandom’s name is how the K-pop artist or group refers to their fans and how the fans refer to themselves. The fandoms wave their different light sticks during concerts and use them to tell themselves apart from the various other fandoms gathered in the same place. 

The difference between fandoms and regular fans is that they go the extra mile to show their support for an artist or group they love. They buy albums, stream songs religiously, buy merch, host charities, celebrate their idol’s birthdays, you name it. 

After all my talk talk, I don’t know for you if you still don’t get what a fandom is. Sha, here are some you should know: 

BLINK – Blackpink

BLINK is a mix of BLACK and PINK — the name is supposed to represent Blackpink’s girl crush (the black) and bubblegum pop (the pink) concept. BLINKs are so good at streaming and raising numbers, and are loyal AF to Blackpink, that every song the group drops breaks at least one YouTube views record. They don’t get music as often as most, but quality over quantity, I guess.

RELATED: K-pop Stans in Nigeria Can Relate to These Struggles

Once – TWICE

The easiest way to explain their name is that if fans can show love to the group once, the girls will repay their support “twice”. If that is not the cutest thing. They are usually very friendly, but you hardly meet a Once that likes Blackpink. They are adorable and can be very stylish. We should all aspire to be them.

ReVeluv – Red Velvet

Their name combines the first two letters of “Red” and “Velvet”. The “luv” is just a cute way of spelling “love”. Most ReVeluv just minds their business and don’t get into fandom fights. They also tend to be multi-stans because it’s not a crime to like more than one group. Sha, don’t make a nasty comment about Irene, or you will hear shege. 

EXO-L – EXO

EXO-L is simply just the name of the group plus “L”, which means “love”. These guys are unproblematic, but you would be too if you had that much money to buy albums. They had moments when two of their Idols were in the news for negative reasons, but they stayed strong and are in their tenth year now. They’re primarily quiet these days. I love their energy. 

NCTzen – NCT

NCTzen means a citizen of NCT, and NCT stands for Neo Culture Technology. It’s not hard to spot NCTzens because they are very loud and chaotic. As large as the group is, NCTzens still manage to stan all 23 of them. Yes, 23 members. Talk about wholesome. They make the best memes about NCT, so we forgive them for their noise-making. They are also the most spoiled fandom because they get so much content regularly. 

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MOA – TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT)

MOA means “Moments of Alwaysness”, which is supposed to describe how the fandom makes TXT’s dreams come true. As you can tell, these guys are the softest and are super protective towards TXT, especially their maknae, Huening Kai. A lot of them are also stan BTS because they are under the same company. They are probably one of the most friendly K-pop fandoms. 

Stay – Stray Kids

Stray Kids’ fans give them a reason to “stay”. Get it? They took the “r” out of “Stray”, leaving them with “Stay”. If you meet a Stay, and they don’t lowkey have a Converse obsession, you’re in the wrong place. One thing about them, they will make Hyunjin, their visual member, trend for no reason. Sundays are sacred to Stays because Leader Chan will always go live, surgery or storm. At least, they are unproblematic… for now. 

CARAT – SEVENTEEN

At the end of one of SEVENTEEN’s concerts, their Leader S.Coups said, “We have an announcement. You guys made us shine so bright. So you guys are now going to be our CARAT”. These guys are sweet to each other and every other fandom. They support and hype their group, but you won’t see them getting into fights. 

MIDZY – ITZY

There’s no drama to how they got their name. MIDZY means “trust”, so fans trust ITZY and ITZY trust MIDZY back. For a fandom that doesn’t seem to have a personality yet, they still somehow manage to get the numbers ITZY needs, and that’s all that matters. 

V.I.P – BIGBANG

Before ARMY and EXO-L, V.I.P.s. were the biggest fandoms. Even though BIGBANG separated for a while and only had a comeback this year (2022), V.I.Ps are still worth mentioning because imagine a fandom worse than ARMY? BIGBANG played a significant role in making K-pop international, and V.I.Ps played an essential role in pushing their music. This fandom also doesn’t treat their idols as sacred as most fandoms. If you find someone trolling BIGBANG, it’s most likely a stan, and it’s all in good humour. 

ALSO READ: These 10 K-Pop Bands Should Be on Your Next Playlist

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