Flash Fiction Challenge: “It’s X Meets Y!”

Last week’s challenge: Who The Fuck Is My D&D Character?

As I have noted in the past, I love that some writers describe their stories — usually in an elevator pitch or to sell the story to an agent, editor or reader — as “THIS STORY meets THAT STORY.” Right? “Oh,” the writer says, “It’s like CATCHER IN THE RYE meets SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.” And you’re like, whoa, what the fuck does that even mean.

Today, we are going to find out.

Below, you’ll find two columns, each of 20 different fairly well-known properties.

You will randomly choose one from each column either by d20 or random number generator.

Then you will literally fill in the variables of the equation:


And you will write the resultant story.

You have — let’s go with 2000 words this time around.

Write the story. Post on your blog or online space. Drop a link here so we can all read it. The stories will be due and ready one week from now — next Friday at noon EST.

Note: your goal is not to literally mash these up in fan-fiction (though I suppose if that’s where your head goes, hey, I can’t stop you) — the goal is to take the idea, the spirit of the combination and make them into a story all your own. What is the theoretical mash-up look like and feel like? Diggit? So, what’s the story like if you get: “It’s like HARRY POTTER meets INDIANA JONES?” Or, “It’s like GAME OF THRONES meets SCOOBY DOO.”

Smash them together, see what original story squishes out.

Ready? Set? Write.


  1. Terminator
  2. Seinfeld
  3. Lord of the Rings
  4. When Harry Met Sally
  5. Jurassic Park
  6. Watership Down
  7. The Matrix
  8. John Carpenter’s The Thing
  9. James Bond
  10. Thomas the Tank Engine
  11. Transformers
  12. Harry Potter
  13. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  14. Fast and the Furious
  15. Being John Malkovich
  16. Frozen
  17. Top Gun
  18. Rambo
  19. Game of Thrones
  20. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe


  1. Star Wars
  2. True Detective
  3. True Grit
  4. Toy Story
  5. Die Hard
  6. Scooby Doo
  7. Friday the 13th
  8. The Avengers
  9. Star Trek
  10. 50 Shades of Grey
  11. Super Mario Brothers
  12. Indiana Jones
  13. Alice in Wonderland
  14. Twilight
  15. Jaws
  16. Titanic
  17. Back to the Future
  18. The Godfather
  19. Charlotte’s Web
  20. The Hunger Games

146 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: “It’s X Meets Y!””

  1. Seinfield meets The Hunger Games? Gosh, that’s… interesting… and I’ve never watched Seinfield. This might take a little research.

    Before I came here I was imagining my own spontaneous mash-up, and came up with The Princess Bride meets Saw. Then I realised they have an actor in common, and maybe my brain is too clever for its own good.

  2. You know, it’s like Fast and the Furious meets Alice in Wonderland. Does that make sense Mr. Agent? For the cover we need a fine ass bitch rolling around in a lime green rice burner with Vorpal Sword graphics down the side.

      • Well, I do a lot of world building – but it seems to be going well. However, I suspect that most of it will hit the cutting room floor – like last weeks piece of flash fiction.

        I’m going to set it in a diesel-punk fantasy greater German-like country bordered between a young French-like republic and a crumbling Russian-like monarchy.

        While doing a simple mash up probably would have been easy, I wanted to produce something that I’d give an elevator pitch “It’s like Frozen meets Avengers!” not “It’s Frozen and Avengers together in the same world!” I believe Disney Infinity makes that last bit possible. Also, Disney and Marvel have products that…well… mostly handle this. Both the X-Men and Big Hero 6 basically are this mash-up. Young kids work through emotional issues about themselves and loss and come out the other side (mostly) heroes, in group format.

        So, I tried to break down what really makes both movies and the characters within. Elsa and Bruce Banner seem like obvious parallels. Both have powers they didn’t ask for and have issues controlling their powers; issues tied to their emotions (fear vs anger). Further, both view their powers more as a curse than a blessing and are ridiculously powerful; practically, forces of nature.

        Anna and Captain America seemed like fairly good analogs. Both are innately defined by their ‘good’ness. They are initially naive, but good natured and self-sacrificing. When faced with situations not working how they thought they should (Hans, Elsa; USO, Shield/Hydra), they retain their positive outlook and nature. They don’t break under pressure, but become stronger. The only really issue here is that Elsa and Anna can’t be sisters in this sort of situation – the magic of Cap is that he’s not born great (noble) – he is great by his will.

        Hans is actually a good match up for both Thor and Loki. He comes into the movie appearing to be a strong, traditional male hero; but turns out to be the ultimate evil dictator.

        Ironman doesn’t really have a good analog in Frozen, but given the location, the idea of a son or a daughter of a inventor/arms dealer who, while brilliant, only recently becomes aware of, and understands, just what the family business is – and rejects it. Kinda like Asami Sato.

        A Duke of Weselton like character could work as a good faux or minor villain from either the French or Russian like nations. All that is required is a rashness to accuse a neighboring country he doesn’t trust – which basically describes the feelings of France and Russia about Germany pre-WW1.

        The other characters are a bit harder to figure out what to do with… but did influence my choice of location. I’m really not quite sure what to do with Kristoff or Hawkeye… the only two things I can think of about them are their relative uselessness; though some sort of Kristoff/Coulson character to motivate Capt. Anna character may be interesting. The character could be a love interest for Anna – or her brother, which would be a bit more inline with

        Black Widow is really hard for me to think of anything to do with her. Her character is so tightly bound to Soviet Russia, its hard to shift her anywhere. I’m honestly surprised the movies have done as well as they have with her character. If it weren’t for Putin being… Putin, I’d say her entire existence would be anachronistic. About the only thing I can really think of is to tie her loosely to the Russian-like royal family some how (Romanov vs Romanova) – perhaps secretly sent away due to rising internal tensions in her country?

        Nick Fury is also problematic… His moral grey-ness isn’t really found in Frozen – and his main function is really to be the agent that unites the Avengers. I think I can probably shift that to Capt-Anna character.

        So, why a fantasy WW1-ish Europe?

        1) Industrialization of warfare provides a good motive for arms creator and inventor to exist (Ironman).

        2) Assassination kick start the plot. Much like how Arch Duke Ferdinand’s assassination sparked WW1, the Elsa character’s parents’ assassination could spark the conflict here. Given a similarly sheltered up bringing, it seems reasonable to think Elsa may have a similar experience when thrust forth to suddenly be in charge of a major nation – perhaps covering the entire land – and maybe its neighbors, into a frozen winter.

        3) Lots of political complexity allows for clear good and evil, while allowing for lots of human/grey moments. Lots of strife between ideologies, include those of nobility, the proletariat, socialism, communism, fascism… Very fertile ground for Loki-Hans.

        4) Frozen is Scandinavian, Black Widow is Russian… a fantasy Europe-like place seems like the right spot. And I know way more about Germany than I do about Norway and Sweden…

        Below, I’ll sum up the background/plot as best I can. I’ll use more common names for brevity’s sake.

        Elsa is born to the German royal family. She is born with amazing powers, which her parents teach her to fear. She grows up isolated from human contact and scared of herself. She is the sole heir to the throne.

        German working class everyman Hans recognizes he’ll never have power in his current position. He becomes politically active in a party with strong nationalistic sentiments. He manages to become a minor party official.

        Due to previous wars, Elsa’s royal family holds territory previously belonging to both France and Russia. Tensions run high on all sides. Seeing opportunity, the brilliant H. Stark turns his intellectual talents towards the development of weapons and sells them to all three nations.

        While visiting an annexed portion of the German empire, Elsa’s parents are assassinated by Germans citizens of Russian decent who want to their land to be returned to Russia. Upon hearing the news, sympathetic dissidents capture the territory’s capital building and request assistance from Russia.

        After her coronation ceremony, the French envoy approaches Elsa with the intention of aggressively negotiating trade terms and possibly convince the inexperienced Elsa to return former French lands. The end result is Elsa snapping under the pressure. She runs away, and ends up freezing her entire nation.

        Suffering extreme internal strife, the Russian monarchy attempts to fly the flag of nationalism as a distraction. They indicate Russia will invade the rebelling territory, to protect it and its Russian inhabitants from Germany. In a similar vein, France takes the opportunity invade its previously held territories, to liberate them from monstrous German oppression.

        Hans takes advantage of the sudden disappearance of Elsa to elevate his position in parliament, through impassioned speech and debate. He ‘reluctantly’ advocates aggressive military action against French and Russian invaders, and advances a number of measures that bring direct aid to the frozen German people.

        When Russia encounters resistance, Russian malcontents take the opportunity to engage in open rebellion against the monarchy.

        German working class, everywoman Capt. Anna sees the suffering of her people when the nation is frozen and takes it upon herself to find out why this happened and to fix it. (She may be accompanied by Kristoff Coulson, Natasha Romanov, and/or Asami Stark; or encounter these characters on her journey.)

        Eventually, Capt. Anna finds Elsa; isolated, alone, and far from any population center. Elsa has been reveling in her power, and is heart broken when she finds out what is happening to her country. While Elsa initially tries to push Capt. Anna away, she is eventually persuaded to return to the capital and face the situation directly.

        Elsa’s return is not celebrated, and, when she can’t undo the damage she had cause, she’s publicly denounced. Capt. Anna steps in to try to diffuse the situation, and is shot by one of H. Stark’s new weapons. Elsa starts to lose control of her powers and everyone flees the area.

        Once safely way, the group figures out that H. Stark’s weapons are being wielded by all sides of the war. Capt. Anna give an impassioned speech that unifies the disparate group and helps Elsa control her abilities.

        German thaws, but the wars continue. The party takes action to sabotage the Stark family factories and then attempts to reason with Parliament, headed by Hans. An impassioned debate occurs between the Hans and Capt. Anna – which ends with Hans losing. Hans show his true colors, and tries to maintain his power by force (using his militarized party followers), but they are handily defeated by the Frozen Avengers.

        In short order, Elsa freezes the western and eastern fronts and a cease fire is negotiated – this includes an agreement for the Russian rebels to stand down (on both sides of the board).

        Representatives from all invested parties are invited to a conference to discuss their current issues and work out a solution. After many months of discussion and debate, compromises are worked out where everyone accepts some share of the blame, and most issues are resolved.

        Everyone lives more happily every after than not.

        • I failed to finish this sentence:

          The [Kristoff/Coulson] could be a love interest for Anna – or her brother, which would be a bit more inline with [the original source material for Frozen, The Snow Queen.]

  3. Being John Malkovich and The Avengers? Never seen the first one. ONly have vague recollections of teh ads. I think I’m in trouble.

  4. The Matrix meets Indiana Jones… I already hear a woman screaming: “Indiiii! Hack into the vault already! The agents are coming!” And Jones swears under his breath. “Fucking venom virus!”

  5. It’s like Frozen… meets the Godfather. Just glad I didn’t get anything with 50 shades of gray; I don’t actually know the plot and I don’t want to have to find out.

  6. Yeah, and I rolled one I’ve never seen before (although I might just be shot for admitting to it). I’m going to go home and see if I can rent it tonight so I can make this thing happen. Being John Malkovich meets Alice in Wonderland.

    • Dinosaurs in space! It actually reminded me more of Alien than Star Wars, but that’s natural I guess. Anyway, really cool story. I liked the small details, like how they had other words for ‘blink’ and directions.

  7. Seinfeld meets Star Wars… a space-opera about nothing?
    “I met this bad guy and… Yoda Yoda Yoda… he’s my father.”

  8. This is going to be fun. People have some really good ones. I think I want to do more than one….my number gave me The Matrix and 50 shades of Grey. I have no idea how to do that but I’m excited anyway!

  9. no, no, no, no, no

    Like Harry Potter meets Twilight.

    Just no.

    I will cheat, I’m not risking the random number thingie again.

    Thomas the Tank Engine meets Die Hard.

    Much better.

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