Saving the ponynet from bad fanfics, one riff at a time.
"Hasnít somepony already done this? Seriously, SOMEPONY has had to have done this already!"
— Author, upon hearing that he's being pranked with having to read Cupcakes, in Mystery Pinkie Pie Theater 3000's first episode
In January 2012, brony writer RatherHomely posted an MST of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and his Original Character Author (to provide the pop culture references) reading Cupcakes on his Fimfiction.Net account, with the frame story of being pranked into it by Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, under the title Mystery Pinkie Pie Theater 3000. This was followed up with several other MSTs by the author with Author riffing other horrible or disgusting fanfics with other members of the Mane Six in a rotating fashion. It soon became a central hub of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic MSTs and riffs, as guest riffers submitted their own riffs to put on the site, many of which Follow the Leader on RatherHomely's formula of a human Author Avatar riffing while accompanied by one or more of the Mane Six. Eventually, though, the moderators found out, ruled that the guest riffing was circumventing the "no MSTs" rule standard for online fiction archives (MPPT3K itself predated the addition of the rule), and MPPT3K itself was stripped of its guest riffs and locked from public viewing. note It's still there, though it requires the password "password" to read.Recognizing that the MSTing community now lacked a proper base to stand on, another brony writer known as TheAuthorGl1m0 decided to found a site originally known as "The MLP/MST Archive" in January 2013. Initially intended to save the MPPT3K guest submissions and provide a haven for MSTs to be stored without fear of deletion, members of Fan/fic/ Theater 3000 soon discovered the Archive and the current "head" riffer Fallen Prime publicized it on his blog. Since then, the MLP/MST Archive had become the central hub of the pony riffing community, and was updated moderately regularly with new content.Starting in the summer of 2013, Gl1m0 announced that the site would be renamed "PonyRiffs", and split off from the main Archive as part of an expansion into other fandoms. The MST Network was launched around the same time as Ponyriffs, and acts as the hub that connects the riff archives and fandoms. (Currently, only Ponyriffs is up-and-running, representing the My Little Pony fandom, but plans are made to add and include sites for other fandoms.)The site has both a submission page for small-time snarkers to put forth pony riffs for safekeeping on the Archive, as well as the "Rifflist"; a list of fanfics nominated by other riffers for the community at large to MST. Also hosted on the site is a forum board and even an IRC chatroom (#ponyriffsArchive), though neither see much activity.The site also provides access to Fan/fic/ Theater 3000, creators of The Conversion Bureau MST and Past Sins MST.PonyRiffs carries a Not Safe for Work warning, for even the clean(er) stories don't always have clean-mouthed riffers.
The community in general has examples of the following tropes:
Accentuate the Negative: Most fanfics that are riffed are outright terrible, and the riffers waste no time in pointing that out. There are some legitimately good fics there as well, though the badness is usually highlighted over the good in most cases.
Character Development: The riffs feature some character arcs that affect the riffverse as a whole, including ships.
Author: RatherHomelyThe one that started it all.Along with the original on FIMFiction (though locked behind a password note which is password), a mirror is hosted on the archives.MPPT3k has examples of the following tropes:
Author: Fallen PrimeOne of the most notable riffers in the community, Fallen Prime often gets trapped in his own extremely extensive armory by a pranking Pinkie and Dash, and apparently going through the fic is easier than just blasting the door down. Also has a comic adaptation hosted on the archive.FP Riffs has examples of the following tropes:
Affably Evil: Not evil per se, but Pinkie's choice of stories is diabolical at times.
Interspecies Romance: Of all the shipped riffers, Fallen may be the only one to avert this. However, the relationships between Fluttershy and twow, Rarity and Draklox, and Rainbow Dash and Killer Steel still affect FP Riffs canon.
Author: twow443A human living in Derpy's basement invents all sorts of crazy gadgets... that is, when Pinkie hasn't locked him and some ponies in the lab to read horrible fanfiction.twow's Riffs has examples of the following tropes:
Berserk Button: twow has a special hatred for rapefics and foalcon. He also loathes stories that have bad things happen to Fluttershy or show her in a bad light, even more now because she's his girlfriend.
Bringing up 120 Days of Blueblood around him is a bad idea.
Threaten Yaazi. I fucking dare you.
Threatening or hurting twow in anyway will earn you the full fury of Yaazi and Fluttershy.
Yaazi: I'll tear your throat out.
Fluttershy: You leave him alone!
Beware the Nice Ones: twow has shown many signs of this. Hurt any or his friends or upset them, be it riffing or outside the riffs and he will not hesitate to fuck you up.
Fluttershy has shown shades of this since becoming twow's girlfriend.
Derpy also shows this whenever a story talks badly about her, the Doctor, or Dinky. Also shown whenever a story agitates twow.
Dual Age Modes: twow's inventions have given this to Dinky Hooves, Pound Cake, Pumpkin Cake, Yaazi, and Diamond Tiara, switching them between child/toddler and teenager. Conveniently, each form doesn't remember anything the other form experienced, which is good because the fics they come in to riff are DEFINITELY not ones a child should be reading.
To be specific, they don't remember the stories themselves, but they remember the experience of riffing.
Friend to All Children: Not only is twow best friends with Dinky Hooves, he's also does his best to be a good father to Yaazi.
Mad Scientist Laboratory: twow lives in one, which is conveniently located in Derpy's basement. The riffs generally take place here.
Made of Iron:Throughout the riffs, twow has been smacked around by his co-riffers. It's escalated to the point where he's been curb-stomped repeatedly, dropped from the ceiling, shot and smacked by the universe.
Rarity: I'm starting to enjoy the grip on this rifle.
Derpy: You shot him!
Fallen: He'll be fine. Can't keep a good riffer down.
Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Twow delivers one in the penultimate entry of "Saving Twow" to 120 Days!Blueblood.
Story Arc: "Saving Twow." It involves an aged-up Yaazi and Dinky, virtual reality gas, and 120 Days!Blueblood trying again in our world.
Troll Fic: twow hates these and will avoid them whenever possible.
He has riffed two, although one was written by his friend to troll the moderators of Fimfic.
Averted with fics written by Regidar, which he even performed a riff marathon of, which is colloquially refered to as the "Regithon".
Up to Eleven: Shown whenever a story takes a dark turn. Taken to extremes in the 120 Days of Blueblood riff. In chapter 3, Pinkie Pie flat-maned when her character was raped by Blueblood. In chapter five, twow started to show signs of Sanity Slippage when the foals were forced to eat the waste of the libertines. And in chapter nine, not only were Celestia and Luna forced to riff the chapter with twow because of Blueblood's cruelty (he was going to make twow riff the chapter alone) , but twow broke completly near the end of the chapter. And when the chapter was over, Fallen Prime, KillerSteel, Pinkamena and Nightmare Moon joined forces to give Blueblood a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown while Celestia stayed behind to attempt to cheer twow up.
twow: I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! PLEASE MAKE THIS END!!!
Vampiric Draining: Yazzi inadvertently does this to her father whenever she feeds on his love. It has gotten to the point where he's slept for a day and passed out during a riff. twow has waved this off as because he's a human, but still continues to test his theory.
Author: Atlas_NebulaAtlas riffs fanfics, often accompanied by Babs Seed and/or Vinyl Scratch.Atlas Riffs has examples of the following tropes:
The Alcoholic: Berry Punch is the only pony co-riffer who could challenge Draklox in a drinking contest, although she's not interested in doing such a thing.
Alternate Character Interpretation: His Vinyl Scratch and his Octavia are radically different from those established within the riffverse. Justified in that they're from an alternate universe.
Berserk Button: Any mention of the name Bronystories is enough to set Atlas off. Within the stories, he takes issue with foalcon, incest, and references to an estrus cycle.
Be All My Sins Remembered: Octavia is almost the physical manifestation of this trope, having done terrible deeds both in her distant past and within her time with other riffers. She doesn't want sympathy and goes on a quest to reinvent herself.
Author: Simon o'SullivanSimon o'Sullivan's family was destroyed by a bad fanfic transformed into a monster, and so he seeks justice by becoming a riffing vigilante. Assisted by Dakkar and Doctor Whooves, they hunt down and destroy bad fanfics. By riffing them.Norse Fic Ravagers has examples of the following tropes:
Author: SigmaSigma's Strange Storytime has examples of the following tropes:
Aborted Arc: Several. The author of the riffs, Sigma, had no idea what he wanted to do with his story arcs, and never got beyond a basic description for them. So, he's settled on an arcless, classic MST3K style riff format with no boundaries of any sort of canon.
Character Development: He's gone through several changes, mostly thanks to the author maturing, and has shown much better riffing along with it.
Growingthe Beard: Happened sometime around either the time he read about Dash getting an unrealistic abortion, the time he riffed a trollfic about Christopher Lloyd with Steventheman, or when he read about Dash banging a watermelon.
MST3K Mantra: He has recently started using a variation for his introduction, beginning with Episode X: The Moron And The Machine.
Author: OtterMattAfter finding himself stranded in Equestria thanks to a certain pink pony replacing his bathroom door with a portal, Matt is forced to take up the riffing lifestyle in order to preserve his freedom, and perhaps even to save all of Equestria itself...OtterRiffs has examples of the following tropes:
Cool and Unusual Punishment: Due to a... misunderstanding between him and Luna, Matt is forced to riff stories as penance for publicly embarrassing the Princess of the Night.
Everyone Has Standards: By choice, the fics presented by the OtterRiffs crew are almost always SFW, though the language contained is sometimes not. This does not make the stories any less painful, however.
Guest Star Party Member: While Rainbow is laid up with an injury, Luna, Twilight, and Pinkie all make guest riffing appearances.
Inconvenient Summons: Matt was brought to Equestria when Pinkie replaced his bathroom with a portal. He never got to use the bathroom until after his first riff was completed, either.
Interspecies Friendship: Matt and Rainbow Dash bonded fairly quickly due to their similar natures. Rainbow even refused to let him go through his punishment alone, leading to their riffing duo being established.
Poke the Poodle: Luna's hardcore punishment for Matt is to... make him riff stories. Though, this might not be the only reason he's there...
Story Arc: The riffed stories themselves are generally not in any sort of coherent order(except for longer fics that require multiple episodes to complete), but episodes are laid out in a loose "season" format that follows Matt and Rainbow through a specific plot arc in each one.
Running Gag: "Convenient excuse is convenient," and "HOW DO I USED TENSE?!"
Author: TheAuthorGl1m0In a mobile Elaborate Underground Base, one Cloud Cuckoolander pony, one actually insane pony, and one human of questionable sanity sort away bad fanfics so they never see the light of day. Unfortunately, they have to do one manually every day.Cutting Room Floor has examples of the following tropes:
Berserk Button: TheAuthorGl1m0 appears to show hatred for past and present-tense mix-ups, certain Human in Equestria fanfics, and glaring logical fallacies. He also wears a fez, and heaven help you if you were to touch or blemish it in any way.
Dysfunction Junction: The core CRF crew (Gl1m0, Screwball, and Screwloose ("Lucy")) are each a little bit nuts in their own way. Gl1m0 is an OCD stickler for grammar and prone to explosive fits of anger when annoyed enough by his partner; Screwball is a batshit-insane part-time Reality Warper that takes pleasure in causing her boss misery; and Lucy, quite simply, thinks she's a dog.
Elaborate Underground Base: The CRF is a mobile variation of this. A bulk of its size is mainly used as storage space, while a scant few facilities support the three (now five) inhabitants.
Flat "What.": This line from the riff of Oh to be Old Again.
Author:supercomputer276A Spin-Off of the non-pony riffs the author does, the boys from Game Over (SC, Sparkz, Calcutta Joe, and 666) are suddenly dropped into Equestria with their portable riffing theater RV and no way back. To pass the time while trying to repair the RV and get back home, all while trying to avoid letting the locals know they're actually semi-retired supervillains, they riff stories turned into movies with SC's literature projector.Game Over MST: My Little Pony has examples of the following tropes:
You confuse SC with being an Author Avatar at your own peril. He still technically is, since that connection is unbreakable, but he's trying to distance himself from it.
666 takes umbrage at the suggestion he's just a fanboy of the U.S. military.
Brutal Honesty: Sparkz is explicitly stated as having this trait in the Info Dump, though none of the operatives pull their punches when they hate a fic. They even have a "review" bit at the end of every riff where they go over everything they thought was wrong with it.
Crossover: There is a co-riff with Draklox currently out, and ones with TheAuthorGl1m0 and twow in progress.
Deadpan Snarker: SC and 666 most prominently, but the others get their moments.
Dysfunction Junction: The Game Over has very dark shades of this, mostly concerning SC and Sparkz. The former is a Mad Scientist whose Medium Awareness has driven him even more insane and prone to nonsensical rants if pressed too hard (and that's not even getting into the Superpowered Evil SideZtarSealed Inside a Pony-Shaped Can that threatens to break loose if his anger peaks), and the latter is misbehaving ball of id who doesn't have a filter on his thoughts and actions. 666 and Calcutta Joe are fairly normal by comparison, but the former is trying to assert he's proper military material and not a fanboy, while the latter is a speed freak that becomes extremely uncomfortable if he doesn't move enough, and that's not counting the fact that both of them are technically organic robots created by SC.
Grumpy Bear: Fassad the changeling, though given how the hive has fallen on very hard times since the Canterlot wedding, it's justifiable.
The Gunslinger: Calcutta's still got his guns, but it's currently unknown what entering Equestria has turned them into, or even how he's going to wield them with hooves.
Info Dump: One specifically labeled as such is presented at the beginning of the first episode to prime new readers about the histories behind the four main characters. Thankfully, it's for the most part optional and clearly set apart from the riff itself.
Instant Expert: Averted; Calcutta Joe doesn't know how to use his new wings to fly, since he used his hovercraft outfitted with rocket jets and a glider to fly previously. Sparkz and SC are able to use their magic, but Sparkz only electrical magic since it's just another form of his natural Raichu ability and SC's horn is implied to be his G.O. Wand / GO-yo which he is already proficient in casting spells with.
Interdimensional Travel Device: A plothole portal, one of SC's creations, is used against the Game Over to transport them to Equestria. It's actually an important plot point that SC has lost access to the spare portals he usually keeps on his person, since his pony form doesn't have his clothes.
He once converted a Decanter of Endless Water into a Decanter of Endless Orange Juice, which when put in a cardboard carton gave the appearance of a bottomless juicebox.
Medium Awareness: All the Core Corps are to some degree, but it's heaviest with SC, and he's lost his mind over it; the others are only medium-aware by association.
Morphic Resonance / Fisher Kingdom: In a break from most other series on the archive, SC and the others become pony versions of themselves when they arrive in Equestria (except 666, who becomes a baby dragon). This is in key with how things work in their home series.
Authors: Glassed and HydkoreA pair of writers get trapped in Vault X kept in the core of Fimfiction's archives by Pinkie to sort out the worst stories in there. Unfortunately, they're all bad. Unlike others, usually they are not joined by a member of the Mane 6.G&H Read Fanfics has examples of of the following tropes:
Author: Luigilewis889Lewis was just an ordinary human living on Earth, until Pinkie Pie contacts him across dimensions and teleports ponies into his room for riffs. And occasionally he's teleported to Equestria himself.BNT42k has examples of the following tropes:
Berserk Button: Lewis tends to be calm, but when someone mentions Friendship is Ninjas to Twilight...
Lewis and smiley faces in stories do not mix. Unless you want Lewis to be angry.
Brain Bleach: His own specialized kind; Brain Fortifier. Oh, and he has original variety too.
Author: MrSingLife's not easy when you're a human trapped in the changeling hive and Queen Chrysalis decides to use you to discover her ultimate weapon against ponykind.Sing Riffs has examples of the following tropes:
Author: RJ BachlerIn a series that pays closer homage to MS T3k than most, but doesn't tend to be part of the main "verse" that the archive has formed, Nightmare Moon has returned and imprisoned the Mane 6 on an orbital satellite to force them through bad fanfiction.MET3k has examples of the following tropes:
The Fun in Funeral: In the break of "The Return of the Diamond Dogs" where Pinkie supposedly dies, Rarity holds a funeral for her... after Pinkie left for five minutes to get a juice box. Pinkie ends up climbing into the casket herself. Also, Applejack and Rainbow Dash are watching sports on TV while there. And so is Pinkie in the casket.
...and a host of others. These riffs aren't associated with any of the other series.If a riff here is moved to a different section, please remember to move the corresponding tropes.These riffs have examples of the following tropes:
Berserk Button: Most — if not all — of the riffers have something that'll set them off.
Brain Bleach: Pretty much a staple product of the RiffVerse (and one that sees frequent use). Comes available in several convenient brands, including "Everclear."
Flat "What.": A common reaction to more nonsensical story elements.
Gender Bender: During the Dirty Sexy Pony crossover riff, Typewriterpony (somehow) turns Something Eight into a 'Riffing Princess', complete with wings and... other parts. Much awkwardness (and flirting, courtesy of Draklox) ensued. It gets reversed in the end, though.
Giving Up On Logic: Minor example, as many riffers will eventually give up on the story's logic.