OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


The origins of the Mary Sue character

Mary Sue on transporter pad

Mary Sue characters have been around long before there was a term to describe them. The original mention of the term Mary Sue came from a Star Trek fanfiction story called “A Trekkies Tale”. This story was a parody of other fanfiction stories written by hardcore Trekkies who insert a new character into the Star Trek universe and make them the bigger hero of the story than the original main characters.

In the story ‘A Trekkies Tale’, a fifteen year old half-Vulcan single handedly saves the crew of the Enterprise on an away mission, then runs the entire ship single handedly while the crew were incapacitated by an illness. She runs the ship so well that we wins a plethora of awards, before submitting to the illness herself and dying in sickbay, mourned over by all the major Star Trek characters.

Mary Sue and Captain Kirk

The story is a direct parody to the many fanfiction stories that follow a similar storyline. Despite being short, this story spawned the term “Mary Sue” which is now given to describe characters of this type. The term “Mary Sue” can be applied to many different types of character, and many people have their own interpretation of what it means. But there are many similarities. If you want to know if a character can be described as a Mary Sue, read these common character traits.

SEE ALSO: What does a Mary Sue mean to you?

The images in this article come from Ensign Sue Must Die, a hilarious webcomic by Kevin Bolk and Clare Moseley.