Fanboy or Fanboi is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject or hobby, often to the point where it is considered an obsession. The term originated in comic book circles, to describe someone who was socially insecure and used comics as a shield from interaction, hence the disparaging connotations. Fanboys are often experts on minor details regarding their hobbies, and they take these details extremely seriously. The term itself is often used in a derogatory manner by less serious fans of the same material. Nevertheless, self-labeling usages of the term have been noted; in the songs of the fannish parody musician Luke Ski, many characters proudly consider themselves fanboys. The term is usually applied to people in their teens or 20s. Within this group, common objects of deference for fanboys are TV shows, movies, anime, cars, video game consoles, video games, operating systems and software companies. The female equivalent is sometimes called a fangirl. Fangirls tend to be more devoted to emotional and romantic aspects of their fandom, especially shipping.

Stereotypically, fanboys are attributed with a sycophantic devotion to the creators and principles behind a work they are currently enthralled by, but will quickly move their attention elsewhere once something better or just newer comes along. A good example of this is Harry Knowles and his associates at Ain't It Cool News, whose particular focus is on movies in the action, fantasy, adventure and superhero genres. Fanboys are noted for a very emotional attachment to their chosen subject, often taking negative remarks about it as a personal attack. They will readily engage in debates, but will fall back on emotional responses.

The stereotypical image of the fanboy is as an unkempt, often overweight, and generally unattractive figure of a young man who appears as a loud mouthed pseudo-intellectual. A popular depiction of this stereotype is the Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons. In the mid 1990s, the emergence of slacker culture changed this image somewhat. Movies such as Kevin Smith's Jersey Trilogy (Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy), altered the image of the fanboy. As electronic entertainment gained popularity, the term became increasingly applied to video gamers and television addicts. As a result, a subculture emerged which readily labeled itself as fanboys. Within this group, more effort is taken to fit in with a perceived standard, resulting in a more outgoing attitude, even among those with insecurities. This outgoing stance is often felt to be abrasive by those not involved in the culture as deeply.

See also: addiction; otaku; anorak.

The letter sequence "FANBOYS" is also a mnemonic for the coordinating conjunctions, which are used to join two independent clauses: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. It is customary to place a comma after the first clause. Some prescriptive grammarians say that one should not start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. Others do not.

Fanboys will often go out of their way to point out negative and often untrue statements about their obsession's rivals.

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