Marvel Is Broken 2: The Inherited Metatag Reason


Steps to reproduce

  1. Create four canonical fandom tags. I'll call them Fandom A, Fandom B, Fandom C, and Fandom D.

  2. Edit Fandom A and add subtags Fandom B and Fandom C.

  3. Edit Fandom D and add metatags Fandom B and Fandom C.

  4. Edit Fandom C and remove Fandom A from its metatags.

  5. Keep refreshing the edit page until Fandom A disappears, then remove Fandom D from its subtags.

  6. Post a work with Fandom D.

  7. Go to the works page for Fandom D and wait for the work to appear.

  8. In the "Other tags to include" field of the filters, enter "Fandom A" and press "Sort and Filter."

What happens

The work does not appear.

Note that if you instead entered “Fandom B” in the field, the work would appear. This is because Fandom D has Fandom B as a direct metatag, but it is missing the inherited metatag Fandom A.

You can also test this by checking the work listings for Fandom A and Fandom B. The work with Fandom D will appear on the page for Fandom B, but not on the page for Fandom A.

What should happen

The work should appear. Fandom D should have Fandom A as an inherited metatag.


This often happens alongside AO3-5507 in production, as seen in Marvel fandoms. The issues can, however, occur separately. (According to ticking, there are over 40,000 works in the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" tag that are missing the "Marvel" metatag, and this bug counts for about 13,000 of those.)

This is not super high priority as we are eyeing a rewrite of this code. However, it's good to have these things logged.

This issue was responsible for AO3-5484 .


ticking instant
August 11, 2018, 3:55 PM

Because this affects the MetaTaggings, and not just the FilterTaggings, it also affects works created in Fandom D after the wrangling is done (or works edited to add Fandom D after the wrangling is done).

In contrast, all missing filters from AO3-5507 are on older works.

April 30, 2020, 4:35 PM
  1. created 4 fandom canonicals: Fandom 1 Fandom 2 Fandom 3 Fandom 4

  2. added all four to media "Movies"

  3. added MiB Fandom 2 and MiB Fandom 3 as subtags to MiB Fandom 1

  4. added MiB Fandom 2 and MiB Fandom 3 as metatags to MiB Fandom 4

  5. removed MiB Fandom 1 as metatag of MiB Fandom 3

  6. removed MiB Fandom 4 as a subtag of MiB Fandom 3

  7. posted a work to MiB Fandom 4

  8. checked Fandom 4/works
    work is shown

  9. checked✓&work_search[sort_column]=revised_at&work_search[other_tag_names]=MiB+Fandom+1&work_search[excluded_tag_names]=&work_search[crossover]=&work_search[complete]=&work_search[words_from]=&work_search[words_to]=&work_search[date_from]=&work_search[date_to]=&work_search[query]=&work_search[language_id]=&commit=Sort+and+Filter&tag_id=MiB+Fandom+4
    work is shown

  10. checked✓&work_search[sort_column]=revised_at&work_search[other_tag_names]=MiB+Fandom+2&work_search[excluded_tag_names]=&work_search[crossover]=&work_search[complete]=&work_search[words_from]=&work_search[words_to]=&work_search[date_from]=&work_search[date_to]=&work_search[query]=&work_search[language_id]=&commit=Sort+and+Filter&tag_id=MiB+Fandom+4
    work is shown

  11. checked Fandom 1/works
    work is shown

  12. Fandom 2/works
    work is shown

  13. Fandom 3/works
    work is not shown

This seems to work!

May 8, 2020, 5:52 AM
  1. fandom canonicals:

  2. Added test Anime and test Manga as subtags of test AMT via AMT’s edit page

  3. Added test Anime and test Manga as metatags of test derivative via derivative’s edit page.
    (Note: while derivative’s landing page showed the double AMT-metatag link instantly on the tag landing page, AMT’s landing page did not immediately show the double derivative-subtag links. [the metatag/subtag version of ? I am not familiar with the names of all the bugs in existence, but it’s a known thing, at any rate.] Didn’t feel like waiting for cache to update, so changed AMT’s media to force it to refresh.)

  4. Removed test AMT as a metatag of test Manga via Manga’s edit page. AMT was gone immediately from the edit page; no need to refresh multiple times. (Also: the Manga-derivative subtag link disappeared instantly from AMT’s landing page.)

  5. Removed test derivative as a subtag of test Manga via Manga’s edit page. derivative was gone immediately from the edit page; no need to refresh. Manga’s landing page had no meta- or subtag links, as expected. (Also: the Manga-AMT metatag link disappeared instantly from derivative’s landing page.)

  6. Posted a work with the fandom “test derivative” – work showed up under test derivative/works within one minute. Did not time the others, but once I thought to check those (within 5 minutes) work was visible under test AMT/works and test Anime/works and not visible under test Manga/works (all as expected).

  7. Filtered on test derivative/works by the tag “test AMT” using the Other tags to include field. Work remained visible. For kicks, filtered by “test Anime” (work visible, as expected) and “test Manga” (work did not appear, as expected) in turn.

Seems to work properly.


ticking instant




Tag Wrangling



Affects versions

Fix versions





Required Access Level

Tag Wrangler


Internal 0.9