Are "Mafias/Gangs" stories inherently negative? (Discussion)

I just want to have a real, no b.s. discussion about this.

Personally, I’m kind of tired of this theme. It’s overused. I understand why people think it’s interesting but I think it’s doing more harm than good. I grew up in rougher areas, some of my family grew up even worse. I’ve seen the firsthand affects of things like this.

I feel like it’s heavily romanticized, which can make younger, impressionable readers seek out that lifestyle or want to get involved someone that’s like that “bad boy” love interest.

Some of these stories seriously downplay the reality of these gangs, mafias, etc. The real life truth is that these actual gangs, MCs, mafias, etc can do terrible things and make people do even worse. It’s definitely not something to mess around with, let alone write love stories about?

And without saying too much (the last thing I want is to offend someone!), I feel like most of the people writing these stories don’t really understand what it’s like to be in any of these situations, therefore they romanticize it based on TV shows, movies, other Episode stories, etc.

I understand that Episode is fiction/fantasy; Where people come to read and write stories about falling in love with princes, dating billionaires, saving the world, etc but idk…I feel like this genre can be especially negative.

Feel free to share ANY opinions you have about this, you don’t have to agree with me to share! All I ask is that we keep it respectful. (And that this doesn’t get flagged, lmao)


I’m almost as bored of these conversations as I am with this genre. No offense to you or anyone who wants to discuss these thing but I’ve been on the forums for awhile and I’ve yet to see a new perspective on the subject. Everyone pretty much has the same opinion there are a few who disagree and then one or more people hop in who take the criticism way too personally - because they either write or want to write this type of story - and the conversation devolves into, at best, bickering that goes in circles and at worst a nasty verbally abusive fight that gets the thread shut down. I used to feel pretty conflicted when it came to this subject, I don’t like these stories but I feel like it’s more complicated than “thing good” or “thing bad”, at this point both the genre and the discussions about it just feels tired.


Yesss I agree 100%! When you have a story where the LI is a mafia leader and the MC is all like “I know they’re a bad person but I love them anyway” like these low key make me uncomfortable. Just because they’re hot doesn’t mean they’re excused from all of the bad things they have done.


I can somewhat agree with morally grey area thing, but I think these discussions are important, if kept mature.

I feel like an audience should continue talking about common themes and elements that we’re interested in/not interested in so that writers can make their own choices proceeding with stories and if things are bothering people, they should definitely have a place to speak about it which is why I chose the episode forums. I feel like it can also be related to real life social issues that have took places for years, in a way.


That’s definitely a point I forgot to add! A lot of the “bad boys” Episode stories feature can normalize toxic/abusive behavior


Oh, of course it’s highly romanticized. How else it would they get so much money?

And then, what bugs me is that they’re seen as only killing the guilty, sparing the innocent. Bitch, they would kill a child if they witnessed a murder. The Godfather series was praised for its accuracy. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know how it’s gruesome, nothing is ignored or made up. Not all the husbands were good people, and they weren’t young mafia leaders.

With my upcoming stories, I hope to expose a truer light of them, show how some of them are mentally ill and craved violence, and how they felt little for their victims. It’s no wonder the 1920s had so many Chicago overcoats…


This sentence made absolutely no sense, but I hope you all know what I mean

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That’s basically the excuse for Chain Reaction.
Poor Callie clearly had Stockholm syndrome.


I agree with @LiaMina, not only that but this discussion is very common in the Episode Community.

The media does that enough already, Episode has been an addition to it for a while, I don’t blame episode, moreover the people who write the stories. But I don’t even entirely put the blame on them.

Anything can be negative taken the wrong way, but I do understand how this genre can be negative, honestly, it would be negative either way.

I don’t think you guys understand too well, realism is a very good factor in a story, but it can’t what all stories revolve around. These authors have to shake up their story a bit, of course it’s not going to be realistic,


I feel this genre is not good for anyone who is young and impressionable, that said; for those who are young adults or adults it can be enjoyable. I personally do not read many mafia stories, but I have in the past before it was mainstream. A lot of the stories had happy endings or sad endings when I read them; I found the sadder endings were refreshing because a lot of Episode stories do not have sad endings. At the time, I didn’t read any stories where the main character was abusive towards the love interest or vice versa. I’m not sure if it was on the app or not, but that type of story never attracted me. I read the ones where the love interest treats the main character like the love of their life and like a princess, so I didn’t see a problem with them at the time.

Looking back on it now, gangs are dangerous (I won’t be naming anything specific in case this gets taken down) and are not a force to be reckoned with which is displayed in Episode stories, but I did notice a lot of them do make joining a gang sound fun and exciting, especially if someone is expecting to find a new lover inside of that gang.

I agree that this can be dangerous for young impressionable audiences who may be tempted to join this lifestyle or admire this lifestyle. I feel that gang and/or mafia stories should be on the Ivy app because of the extreme violence, language and other mature themes that may be displayed in the story. It’ll give the author a little more creative freedom and may make the author feel a little better knowing they won’t be influencing young audiences.


You just took the words right out of my mouth… :hushed:

Nothing against this thread, OP. But the answer always seems the same, people on here dislike it, people on the app love it… :frowning_woman:


Mafia is a criminal organization based on being secret and not letting people know about their dark things. They won’t be smug about it or very vocal. Also, women are treated very poorly and are not respected as human beings in most cases.
The fact that is so heavily romanticized, as you correctly pointed out, just drives me crazy


I honestly don’t think its a big deal. It’s all just a story like everything else on the app and i doubt any of it would happen in real life.

I wouldn’t call them inherently negative. But there’s probably a higher risk there that the topic isn’t handled very well. (which wouldn’t be much of an issue if the audience consisted entirely of adults, but it doesn’t.)


I used to be obsessed with these types of stories when I was younger reading on this app. Now, I am generally disgusted. Especially when authors choose to glorify this type of lifestyle. I do however, understand when a main character is involved in gang/criminal activity because of their upbringing in poverty etc. However, usually from what I have seen on Episode, they tend to be distasteful and not something I think young girls or boys should be reading


I totally get what you mean about an oversaturated topic, but on platforms such as episode, a large part of the appeal of the app is found in the romanticization of otherwise serious topics. And I’ll agree, a lot of the time the topics are mistreated, and terribly misrepresent/ downplay the danger of gangs and mobsters. That being said, it is a topic rich with potential, and thats why Episode creators and Hollywood directors alike milk the genre for all it’s worth. Understanding of the real life danger and consequences of those lines of work honestly comes with the readers age. I don’t think it’s in any way a threatening influence to young readers, but I totally feel you for how annoying it is to see the same topic repeated a million times.

I asked this question recently and I think Mafias and Gangs are overused for sure. But I think their overused in a positive light more than a negative. If you put it in a way of something people should stay away that’s much better than romanticising which Is what I’m planning to do. But I totally agree with you, romanticizing Mafia/Gang stories are not okay. Even the guidelines say your not so suppose to make violence seem fun and romantic. But there are many stories that do this and episode does occasionally approve of them and just bend the rules I guess.

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I don’t necessarily like them, but they’re clearly not going anywhere, so those authors can write what they want and I’ll write and read what I want and it’ll all be dandy. :grin:

Also, just because this discussion has been had before doesn’t mean it can’t be had again. Thanks for starting this thread, OP. :blush:

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I don’t think I can say much that hasn’t already been said without going deep into a lengthy analysis.

I will say that it is heavily romanticized along with some other highly concerning tropes on the app. And I often feel troubled for the readers who are clearly extremely into the stories and the abusive LIs and defend them. “Don’t like don’t read” is only valid for small issues of differing tastes, not for stories with major issues. It’s ridiculous. Authors and readers both like to say that a lot.

These are a couple quick grabs, but there’s so much research done on media influence and so much to talk about when it comes to societal impact. This is a strong opinion, but I consider it foolish when people say stories have no influence on the way we think and feel as a societal whole.


I have a very straightforward opinion on this lmao please don’t hate me.

But I can’t stand them. Being a mobster never was, isn’t, and will NEVER BE cute. I really don’t get the obsession. Like, I get the whole bad boy thing, that can be interesting depending on how it’s done. But criminals? cringe. Violence, money laundering, murders, drug trafficking, abuse, are not romantic, are not fun, and certainly not sexy. People who like this kind of content clearly know nothing about how mafias actually work… how gruesome, violent and scary it is. I don’t think they’d like to date Al Capone, Salvatore Riina or Lucky Luciano, only stating a few examples…