The “Nabu Tax” and Why It’s Taxing on the Winx Fandom

Imagine you’re reading a Winx Club next-generation fanfic. Lo-and-behold, Aisha is married to Nex! Hallelujah! Dreams come true!

But what’s this? A note next to the name of their child?

I loved Nabu, but she’s with Nex now, so that’s why they’re together in my story.

Um…okay. Thanks for the clarification. ?

I see disclaimers like this all the time. Winx fanfiction writers defend themselves when they keep Aisha and Nex together in their stories. They know the fandom expects them to break the couple up.

Some writers are dramatic about it. Here’s an actual example (going from memory):

I’ll ship Nabu and Aisha until the day I die! I liked them better! They were couple goals!

Geez! Why did they bother letting Aisha marry Nex if it pains them that much? ?

Also, notice the name order: “Nabu and Aisha”. I see that a lot, too. To me, it’s a sign the Winx fandom cares more about Nabu than they care about Aisha. That’s why they think of him first. He’s more important to them.

Poor girl, upstaged by her own love interest.

How The Nabu Tax Works

What is the Nabu Tax, as I call it? To put it in a way that’s easy to remember:

If you pay Aisha and Nex a compliment, you must also pay a compliment to Nabu (or Aisha and Nabu).

For example, you can’t say, “Aisha and Nex are a great couple” and leave it at that. Say this instead: “Aisha and Nabu were a great couple, but Aisha and Nex are great, too.” This format — “Nabu, but Nex” — is a common way to pay the Nabu Tax.

I see the opposite (“Nex, but Nabu”) sometimes, too. Take this “review” on my fanfic “The Storm”, for example.

I love Aisha and Nex! But I love Aisha and Nabu more…

Thanks…I think. Why did I need to know that? What does that have to do with my story? ?

The Nabu Tax isn’t just for compliments. Anytime you bring up Aisha and Nex, you must mention Nabu, too. Here are more examples I’ve seen over the years from Winx fanfiction:

  • Aisha is dating, about to marry, or married to Nex, but the writer brings up Nabu so much, the story feels more about him. (Common example: she’s telling Nex about him.)
  • Aisha and Nex are married, but they end up raising Nabu’s child (by birth, adoption, etc.).
  • Aisha and Nex name their child Nabu. (I was guilty of this several years ago, but another fan helped me realize how awkward that would be for Nex.)

That’s not all. The tax affects everything, including posts, comments, fanart, videos, and edits. Nothing is safe.

What’s Wrong With The Nabu Tax

The Nabu Tax traps the fandom in a cycle of mourning — and that’s the purpose of it. As the saying goes, “Misery loves company.” The people who haven’t moved on from Nabu’s death want everyone else to stay upset, so they feel justified for not getting over it. They think if they let go of him, it’s the same as forgetting him.

That’s why I have a hard time believing anyone who claims to like (or even love) Aisha and Nex, but still pays the Nabu Tax. You can tell they’re conflicted. They wanna be happy for Aisha, but they can’t because they’re still attached to Nabu. You can’t get invested in a new relationship if you’re still invested in an old one.

Think of it this way. Imagine Nabu wasn’t Aisha’s ex-boyfriend. He was yours, and he passed away several years ago. Now you’re with someone else. You say you love him; you have similar interests you enjoy doing together, and you’re so happy together.

But at every date, you talk about Nabu. You think about him more than your new boyfriend. Every time your friends ask you how things are going, you say, “Oh, they’re great, but…I miss Nabu.”

Would anyone in their right mind believe you truly loved your new boyfriend? Or you were committed to this new relationship?

Final Thoughts

The Nabu Tax is one reason I’ve given up on the Winx fandom. As long as they keep paying, they’ll never be able to appreciate Aisha and Nex. This couple needs fans who can leave her past behind and cheer for them wholeheartedly. They’re the only canon couple who’s never gotten that kind of support and appreciation. They deserve it, too.

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March 10, 2019 7:06 pm

i have honestly never heard of the Nabu tax

Will N.
Will N.
Reply to  Tori
April 2, 2019 1:18 am

Hey there, I’ve been by every now and again. Though yeah, it probably would be better if Nabu never happened, and we saw what makes Nex cool. As for my thoughts on season 8 in general… How many complaints about the specialists are they going to make before Bloom torches Valtor for no real reason at all besides “I really need to hit something.” (not that i condone it.) This is actually the first entirely new look that i have seen for the guys. (the season 6-7 looked like animated versions of the MA look with their gems slapped on to me, and Nex and Thoren’s only difference is that it’s red instead of blue.) Sure it’s got “Butterflix identical designs” but that’s the guy’s thing so it’s not a big deal. I also like that if Valtor or other enemies try crossing Timmy that he’ll make sure they get the point, so back off. Seriously though I do actually like the guys new looks. Also we now know which lantern corps the guys belong to (lol.) Though Helia in the Orange corps, i didn’t think he was the type (maybe his art success went to his head, though that would make him…a daisy pusher, and he’s supposed to be the sensitive one.), and I think Riven is actually supposed to be indigo (compassion, the thing he needed to and hopefully has learned.), because there’s no way he fits in violet without extreme work. Continuing on that note, if Bloom & Sky match, let’s call Sky “Jimmy” to Bloom’s “Kara”, both are about hope, even if Sky is a bit more agressive. Brandon is definitely courageous enough for the green. As for Timmy being yellow? It’s not neccessarily that he’s afraid, but rather that he is something to be afraid of, that is how fear corps work in the dcu, and Timmy would be basically another Bat-associate, so avoid those if possible, because that is an instant “you lose”. Nex in red…why is everybody in red always moody, not a knock on Nex mind you, his anger is worth fighting for his right to have a (hopefully fiancè) within another season or two, but these other reds should take anger management. This artstyle reminds me of a cafè or old fashioned soda pop shop/pharmacy with the lunch counters and stuff. It suits those who should be in their mid twenties when a show has been on for 15 years, and i do actually think everyone looks more grown here.

Will N.
Will N.
Reply to  Tori
April 1, 2019 1:45 am

I really never bothered mentioning Nabu in my stories whenever i was writing them. Infact since he was more of a stu than they claim Bloom to be a sue, i just did a delete and went straight to Nex. Or at least i would have, had I actually got past the first chapter of my rewrite when i tried. I also tend to delete Riven in favor of Jared, but deleting Riven? That’s just unthinkable to the fandom.

Reply to  Tori
March 10, 2019 7:34 pm


Reply to  Tori
March 10, 2019 8:03 pm

no offence but this nabu tax sounds stupid

Reply to  Tori
March 10, 2019 8:17 pm

the behaviour itself

Reply to  Tori
March 10, 2019 8:32 pm

hmm i might end mentioning Nabu in my story when Aisha talks to Nex about who she thinks in her opinion are most dangerous villian she and the winx had faced and i’m not sure how Nex would react to this

Reply to  Tori
March 10, 2019 8:59 pm

yeah honestly i have a feeling the fandom will not let him go even after the show ends

Reply to  Tori
March 10, 2019 8:58 pm


NerdyPrincesses2 Mollz
NerdyPrincesses2 Mollz
March 11, 2019 12:05 am

“The Nabu Tax” is a really good metaphor to describe this irritating phenomenon. I don’t have much to add to what you’ve already written; it’s just frustrating, annoying, and not helpful at all. Ugh.

March 11, 2019 7:51 am

Lol? such a nice name you came up with! It fits perfectly!

March 29, 2019 2:29 pm

[…] open to almost anything (within reason), except for something that involves Nabu or Roy. Let’s focus on Aisha and Nex and their own unique […]

February 28, 2020 6:17 am

[…] Oh, wait. He’s at least on the character page. But while Nabu and Roy get long, glowing descriptions — Roy’s is ten times longer than his official description — Nex’s is bare-bones and, as usual, shoehorns Nabu in: […]

July 24, 2020 5:55 am

[…] usual, a couple Winx fans paid the Nabu tax in their comments. ? The fandom may never stop doing that. But let’s focus on the 150+ likes […]