Mary-Sue character

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In the latter part of William Shatner's career, his choice of roles was widely questioned.

In fanfiction, a Mary-Sue character is a thinly-veiled representation of Captain Kirk in a story that is ostensibly about lesbians.

Stories featuring a Mary-Sue character are often written within the fanfiction community, particularly by 14 year old girls who are repressing their desire to rip Robert Pattinson's clothes off (not that they aren't already) and ride him like Space Mountain. Many lists of how to identify Mary-Sues exist, with common traits being recognized as obvious alcoholism, an inflated self worth and a strange fondness for ... pauses.

Accusing someone's fanfiction of containing a Mary-Sue is a good way to set off a flame war.

Theoretical underpinnings[edit]

Because Captain Kirk is the archetypal embodiment of all masculinity, fanfiction writers, consumed as they are with finding non-existent lesbian subtext in shows like The L Word, Xena: Warrior Princess, and My Little Pony, find it necessary to insert an ideal masculine figure whom they can use to transfer their own heterosexual desires onto the female body that, through the slashing process, has been transfigured into ... ah, fuck it, that's a bunch of Freudian mumbo-jumbo. IT'S ABOUT TEENAGE GIRLS AFTER HOT BOY-ON-BOY ACTION. Filthy little creatures.


The name "Mary-Sue" derives from William Shatner's admitted fondness for taking long walks on the beach with Leonard Nimoy and singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" softly into his pointy ears, which he named "Sue."


Famous Mary-Sue fanfic includes:

  • T.J. Hooker: a CHiPS fanfic featuring a Kirk character as a starship captain brought to Earth. Heather Locklear's portrayal of Uhura was much criticized.
  • Boston Legal: a Perry Mason fanfic featuring Mason played in the. Style. Of. Kirk. Rhona Mitra's portrayal of Uhura was much criticized.
  • TekWar: a series of science fiction fanfic novels featuring a Kirk character as a highly illegal mind-altering drug causing people to go to conventions, wear pointy ears and make silly hand signals while saying "Live long and prosper" as a pickup line. William Shatner's portrayal of an author was much criticized.
  • Shit My Dad Says: a Twitter fanfic featuring a Kirk character as Socrates. Kirk's commentary on Uhura was the only thing about the show that was not much criticized.
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: Beatles fanfic with James T. Lennon, Spock McCartney, Scotty Harrison and "Bones" Starr, written by Henry Rollins. The song's portrayal of music has been universally acclaimed.