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Web Original: Protectors of the Plot Continuum
Jay and Acacia, by Bold Font.
"It's happened again." Jay leaned back from her console, indicating a flashing red light. "Someone's mucking with the plot continuum."
PPC: The Original Series, mission 1 Rambling Band

Somewhere in your favorite fandom, your most beloved characters and plot elements are being ruined right now. Everything that makes Jack Sparrow funny is being dropped for the sake of bad romance. Snape suddenly washes his hair, grows angel wings and yet no one bats an eye. The four Pevensie siblings are having sex with each other, as spelling and grammar are murdered wholesale describing that brand new sports car that Legolas somehow owns.

You cry out in horror as to what has happened to the series that you know and love... but the Protectors of the Plot Continuum are on the case!

Established in the early 2000s, the Protectors of the Plot Continuum (often referred to as The PPC) was originally a single saga of adventures but has since grown into both a whole expanded universe as well as an open community dedicated to preserving canon in fandom, promoting good writing, supporting critical thinking and analysis in fanwork, and above all, having fun. Modern PPC material is released by many different authors and for many different fandoms. Because of the wide variety of PPC authors, the style of writing as well as personal tastes in the story run a gamut from literary-oriented criticism, to madcap zany fun, to downright raunchy humor.

Installments in the Protectors of the Plot Continuum canon can be considered metafictional Shared Universe Fan Fic-Web Original crossbreeds. It's a thoroughly tongue-in-cheek (barring certain more serious stories or spinoffs, which still have elements of the usual sense of humour) about an organisation of the same name whose purpose it is to tamper with fanfiction in order to bring it closer to the canon of the original work. Various departments kill Mary Sues, exorcise characters in Bad Slash stories, retrieve characters from bad AUs, untangle continuums in poorly-written crossovers, and do just about everything else that can be thought of. However, the organisation began with Sue assassinations, and is certainly most well-known for that.

Possession Sues, Bad Slash victims, and other OOC characters are exorcised back to their canon selves, but in the early stories, they could usually be fixed by simply removing Fan Characters. Especially lucky or non-disruptive Original Characters may get recruited into the organisation - for those who defend the canons must have a dash of the extraordinary in them.

The Protectors go in pairs, as they are often fans of the canon and need help to stay objective, and also because their bosses (a group of alien flowers and plants) specifically aim to create Odd Couples, which is supposed to improve mission performance. They are equipped for their tasks with a camouflage generator that hides them from canon characters (though not fan-created ones), the electronic ranged equivalent of a Mary Sue Litmus Test, and a device that measures how much canon characters have been distorted by the badfic in question.

There is also quite a bit of workplace humour (the headquarters is surreal, mostly due to being created by the aforementioned Plant Aliens), and explication of what sort of Sociopathic Hero a person has to be to do this necessary work. The Narrative Laws of Comedy (and others, such as the Ironic Overpower) all but govern life in HQ, enforced by the Legal department.

It's a setting where electronics tend to blow up at the first excuse or develop sentience if not properly maintained, everything Runs On Nonsensoleum and literal Plot Holes, the Ironic Overpower will strike down anyone that tempts fate, and puns are unavoidable. Training is inconsistent at best, ranging from Training from Hell to being given useless directions and surviving the first mission, equipment and pay can be charitably described as exactly minimal. Agents cause intentionally ironic deaths, Sue Soufflé is Made From Real Sues, and almost everyone wakes up the night after a party asking What Did I Do Last Night?? Expect lampshades. Both types.

Unsurprisingly, the original series was inspired by Terry Pratchett and his works.

It is a community of writers and fanfiction lovers first, not bullies. Within the community it is heavily frowned upon to take a pot-shot at a fanfiction writer— it is unarguably poor fanfiction that is the subject of their ire, not the people who produce it.

Has a wiki with a helpful guide for newbies. HQ is here while The Original Series and some of the early spinoffs can be found here. The Official Fanfiction University (and its spinoffs) share a multiverse with the PPC.

The Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society is a rather similar, but distinct, organisation with its own canon and way of doing things. It is also far more dramatic for the most part. In general, the PPC can be said to have popularized the Mary Sue Hunter concept.

This provides notable examples of the following:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade - Hammerspace knives. Some agents also use things like power weapons, lightsabers, Sue weapons, and other ridiculously-sharp implements.
  • Accidental Misnaming - "Don't call me Acy!"
  • A Darker Me - some agent characters are based loosely on their creators, except with better names and much more violent.
  • Aerith and Bob - The PPC's agents come from all over the multiverse, creating an understandable disparity in names.
  • Agents Prefer Swords - Swords are the most popular weapon by far among agents, and many enemies of the PPC also use them. Partly justified by the fact that agents need to use weapons that fit the continuum they're in when doing missions, or they're risking contaminating the canon - bladed weapons are almost always canonical. It is unknown if preventing the non-canon weaponry from being found by canons is a loophole, but agents prefer to be safe rather than sorry on that ground.
  • All Stories Are Real Somewhere: Central to the premise, of course.
  • Alien Blood - 'Sues bleed glittery red blood, and in particularly bad cases just red glitter. (Their other bodily fluids are also apparently glittery. Ew.)
  • Alien Geometries - A rare comedic example: the Word Worlds are extremely literal when interpreting bad or illogical prose, resulting in eye-blinding sights or mind-bending shapes. Placing a non-canonical location in the wrong place can do truly gruesome things to the local landscape. HQ is hinted to have a more subtle version of this, for values of subtle covered by the phrase "do not be alarmed until the gravity changes." Depending on which story you look at (and to some extent what species you are, as the Flowers can navigate HQ just fine), Headquarters is merely huge and labyrinthine, thus easy to get lost in, or an at least partially sentient structure that is always shifting around and completely impossible to find your way in unless you are lost.
  • Aliens in Cardiff - Where is PPC Headquarters' Real Life base? New Caledonia, a French-owned island in the South Pacific. The wiki basically says they've got no idea why there, of all places. This does mean people are very unlikely to find the city by accident, however.
  • An Axe to Grind - See the note on swords; another semi-common weapon.
  • And I Must Scream - Within Suefics, the canon characters are apparently undergoing this. Either they're actively replaced and shoved in a Plot Hole for the duration, where they may or may not be able to see what's going on, or they're mind-controlled by the Sue, forced to do what the Sue tells them to, and, at least some of the time, conscious of how horribly out-of-character they're being forced to become.
  • Angrish - Agents have sometimes "spoken" this.
  • Anyone Can Die - Makes-Things, Agent Nick, the Wisteria, and various others.
  • Anything That Moves - Agent Lux. Although she's also sworn off men since breaking up with Agent Sean. Except she's not too good at keeping a focus on that. And no one wants to know her stance on nonhuman males, after her reaction to nonhuman females. Or what she does with the corpses she occasionally collects. Her only actual no-no appears to be children, as she displayed actual anger for the first time ever during a poorly-handled scene of child sexual abuse.
  • Applied Phlebotinum - from all over the multiverse.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking - Charge lists often start with technical errors, progress to serious problems like Rape Is Love or Canon Defilement, and quite often end on the charge of "Annoying PPC Agents".
  • Artificial Limbs - Technician Narcolepsy of Testing and Application (a division of DoSAT) has artificial eyes and a computer in his brain. Other examples include Agent Suicide (11% replacement parts, can be considered a cyborg) and Agent Ally (artificial eye and arm).
  • Artistic License - Linguistics - A minor one, but there is no such thing as a "Czechoslovakian accent", mainly because there is no such thing as a Czechoslovakian language, either.
    • For that matter, there's been no such thing as Czechoslovakia since 1993.
  • Ascended Extra - While most characters from The Original Series ended up permanently retired, particularly insane, dead, or in upper administration, Agent Lux will show up — and molest — every spin-off. Some agents, after appearing as background characters in other works, also get their own missions or entire spinoffs.
  • Ass Shove - Don't mention this trope around Bad Slashers.
  • The Atoner - Agent Dafydd, a.k.a. Maglor, perpetrator of multiple kinslayings. Agents who used to write badfic also count.
    • Agent Alec Trevelyan. Yes, the turncoat from Goldeneye.
  • Attempted Rape - Many, many fics which get sporked. Laburnum narrowly escaped when a mission went wrong, and Molly's father tried to molest her while possessed.
  • Awesome McCoolname
  • AxFlamethrower Crazy - Sometimes an Agent loses it. Often in spectacular manner.
    • "Mr. Rogers! Mr. Rogers!"
  • Back for the Dead - Agent Nick.
  • Back From The Dead: Dafydd Illian, and later Makes-Things.
  • Badass - Many Agents, but usually within reasonable bounds. Although missions sometimes require exceptional feats, one of the greatest troubles of the agents is how to perform these feats without breaking the rules of the series they are currently trying to save.
  • Badass Army - The Black Cats. Even though The Mysterious Somebody quickly became the real threat during the Crashing Down story, the Cats have made the best showing against the PPC out of any groups to attack Headquarters; at least part of this was due to most of them having been former PPC agents themselves, and thus knowing how best to fight them.
  • Badass Creed - "Do not meddle in the affairs of assassins, for we are heavily armed and quick to anger. And not noticeably subtle."
  • Badass in Distress - Laburnum, Manx, and Adder have all been captured by villains when missions went wrong.
  • Badass Normal - The most common character type among the agents are ordinary humans who learn to fight the Sues partly through training, partly through luck, partly through strength of will/character, and through the sheer workload making them very experienced very quickly, though many of them object to being called "normal".
  • Battle Couple - Any agent pair that gets in a relationship and works together. Agents Dafydd and Constance, Iodin and Alagos, and Tawaki and Tadkeeta come to mind.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness - Inverted, as the villains are Sues, with the unnatural beauty that implies.
  • [BEEEEEEEEEEE-crunch]
  • Berserk Button - Do not write bad RPF involving Kurt Cobain. Agent Trojie will not like that. Most other agents have at least one, as well.
  • The Berserker - Any agent that is has Bloodwrath turns into one.
  • Big Bad - The Mysterious Somebody, Bracket Fungus, and League of Mary-Sue Factories.
  • Big Good - The Sunflower Official.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: "Death ray . . . heat ray . . . death ray . . . freeze ray . . . manta ray? Here we are! Shrink ray!"
  • Bloody Hilarious - Trivialization of violence is frowned upon, but for the sake of humor, anything is possible. Hedgehog skin to the groin? Check. Head trauma by marital aid? Check. Humanoid fox handing someone your liver? Check.
  • Boarding School of Horrors - The Official Fanfiction Universities.
  • Brain Bleach - Bleeprin and its variants.
  • Brainless Beauty - The Sues.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick - Shows up sometimes in chargelists, which tend to start with minor charges like "having bad spelling" and go on to charging for horrific Squick or disrupting the entire fabric of the multiverse, then finish on the unofficial charges like "confusing PPC agents".
  • Bug War - The Macrovirus incident. Growth hormone from Paul Bunyan causes the macroviruses from Star Trek Voyager to turn into giant killer bugs that run amuck in HQ. Over one thousand agents are killed by the bugs, and the place is torn apart. On top of that, Sues invade shortly afterward.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Calling The Hero Out - Agents often call the Flowers out when they've had enough, or even each other.
  • Cats Are Mean - The DIS emblem was a crouching black cat; they also employed at least one anthropomorphic cat, who was certainly a very nasty individual.
  • Cerebus Syndrome - Partly defied, partly played straight. Steady drama in the PPC community has led to a massive backlash against Emergencies (attacks on HQ or similarly large threats). However, the quality of writing has increased and the PPC itself has become a real "world" rather than just a way to spork bad fan fiction.
  • Child Soldiers - Agents as young as twelve are sometimes sent into the field (though agents under fifteen are not particularly common). The average agent is in their mid-teens to early twenties.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe - If you remind an agent that Bleeprin shouldn't be chemically possible, it may stop working.
  • Cloak & Dagger
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander - Many agents.
  • Combat Pragmatist - Cheating in a fight is common and, depending on the strength of the Sue or canon characters they're fighting against, often necessary on the part of the agents.
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Comically Missing the Point - Nonhuman agents unused to human ways sometimes do this.
    • It goes the other way, too: Agent Naomi (human) objects to Agents Stormsong (weasel) and Skyfire (stoat) teaching their adopted daughter Molly (ferret) about weapons because she's about six in human years. Skyfire acknowledges this, pointing out that said teaching has been left terribly late (at least for their home continuum).
  • The Comically Serious - The Ironic Overpower works to make sure any character with dignity is stripped of it.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment - The unusual ways most Agents dispose of Sues. On top of that, there's actually a department called the Department of Cool and Unusual Punishment, which presumably deals with this.
  • Cool Shades - All agents wear these or close their eyes when using neuralysers, so they don't accidentally wipe their own memories.
  • Crazy-Prepared - Agents trend to either this, or the Indy Ploy. A particularly noteworthy example would be Agent Trojie, who carries a Mary Poppins-style Bag of Holding that has everything from a handbook on obstetrics to the complete works of Tolkien to a kitchen sink. It also has expanded to such a degree that finding anything not used daily requires spelunking gear, and a number of Nifflers are believed to have taken up residence.
  • Crossover - By the Mega Crossover nature of the PPC. The missions also tend to be riddled with references to other canons the authors like or hate.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death
  • Crunchtastic: "Glaurunging" - see Unusual Euphemism. An MSTing also featured the use of the word "Malletspace" as a verb.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle - More often than not the result in the few cases where a Sue/Stu actually fights a PPC agent. (Serves them right for curbstomping all comers in their own stories... the Sues, not the agents, of course.) The 2008 Sue invasion of PPC Headquarters turned into this pathetically quickly. Most invasions of HQ tend to turn into this as soon as the initial surprise has worn off.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon - Nearly any Agent when upset or angry enough with Mary Sues and their authors. Usually happens with their Lust Object in apparent dire straits. This especially applies to new Agents and those just somewhat, just somewhat upset with the Flowers.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Kind of a given for the entire cast.
  • Death as Comedy
  • Death by Irony - Most of the agents enjoy creating these for their targets.
  • Deconstruction - For all the tropes on here, for the most part, the PPC is nearly entirely meant to be taken as a formulaic deconstruction of fanfiction and prose in general, up and to including the Ironic Overpower and the fact that much of the PPC verse is powered by the physics of narrative and that that missions take place in Word Worlds and is meant to follow the Ruleof Funny.
  • Demonic Possession - Author/Sue-Wraiths.
  • Department of Redundancy Department - Along with the Repetitive Department of Repetition, actual infrastructure departments.
  • Door Stopper: Herr Wozzeck's missions.
  • Double Entendre: Some agents — particularly in Bad Slash — like to point these out.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? - Some of the Sues killed by agents have been literal goddesses. Or demi-goddesses, in the case of Maia in Lord of the Rings. Killing them is possible not because the agent is overpowered, but because Mary Sues are not very intelligent or have very shallow ways of using their powers that lead to their demise. Or, in the case of Agent Mike de Bergerac, it IS because the agent is overpowered.
    • Another example is when Agent Logan defeated a Sue-possessed Thuringwethil in a song battle a la Finrod Felagund. It only worked because Canon itself helped him out.
    • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu - A particularly Sadly Mythtaken one of the above was taken out when Agents Suicide and Ithalond invoked the actual Sekhmet the Destroyer, who proceeded to vaporize the Sue. The Goddess of Destruction apparently does not appreciate having her name misspelled and her powers mixed up and given to a bitchy teenager.
  • Dramatic Reading - of Legolas By Laura, by a Gathering.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him - Makes-Things. This bridge was recently removed; a member of the PPC got permission to go back and write a proper death scene for Makes-Things.
  • Drowning My Sorrows - In Bleepka, usually. Several agents consider "drinking until I forget why I wished to be drunk" to be a good stress-relieving method.
  • Dysfunction Junction - Nobody in the PPC is entirely sane. They wouldn't be in the PPC if they were, and the job tends to wear down the ones who start that way anyway.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom - The Department of Geographical Aberrations has been known to blow up Suvian worlds — and star systems.
  • Eldritch Abomination - A version of Big Brother from 1984. Also, Cthulhu himself used to appear in the earlier spinoffs, to whom Sues would often be fed (although, in the very first one, the Non-canons are fed to the Watcher in the Water). This has become forbidden by PPC policy though (apparently the Sues are making him fat), and thus Cthulhu no longer shows up. The Sues/Stus themselves can count, as well.
  • Enemy Civil War - The power struggle between the Venomous Tentacula and Forget-Me-Not for control over the League of Mary-Sue Factories after the Yarrow's death. The Tentacula won.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep - Most Flowers, some Agents.
  • Everything's Worse With Sparkles - Because of the Mary Sues.
  • Exact Words - Word Worlds do this when badfic gives improbable descriptions.
  • Expanded Universe - The various spinoffs are technically this for the Original Series.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death - some agents get very creative with Sue deaths, but being distastefully vulgar or invoking the same things you are condemning are frowned upon.
  • Fan Disservice / Fetish Retardant - The No-Drool Videos.
  • Funetik Aksent - Part of the disguise when agents enter literary continua in which the accents get written, and some agents have them all the time.
  • Gadgeteer Genius - Makes-Things, Techno-Dann, Liz O'Grady, the entire Department of Sufficiently Advanced Technology to a lesser extent.
  • Gallows Humor
  • Gargle Blaster - Pink Stuff.
  • Gender Bender - There was an... incident... involving an Ax-Crazy Agent with a Transformation Ray.
  • Genre Savvy - As expected in a setting where irony is enforced by the Legal Department, most but not all Agents have at least a decent grasp on the more common tropes.
  • Giftedly Bad - The writers of some of the fics sporked.
  • Glamour Failure - Having one's disguise drop or otherwise fail is always a risk.
  • Good Is Not Nice
  • Good Thing You Can Heal - Canon characters cannot truly die until their "official" deaths in the canon material. Agents can die, but Medical has the best techniques and instruments from just about anywhere in the multiverse, so anything short of death can be healed or at least patched up.
  • Gory Discretion Shot / Sexy Discretion Shot - Often, especially squick-laden bits of fics aren't quoted directly. The most extreme example is probably from the Cluny Fic, where the agents spend most of the truly disgusting scenes screaming, throwing up, banging their heads against walls, and drinking as much alcohol as possible without going into any more detail about what's happening than that it involves a spear.
  • Hammerspace
  • Half-Human Hybrid - Some Agents.
  • Harmful to Minors - Some young agents, the rescued Sue-offspring.
  • Has Two Mommies - Many ex-Sue children, and some Mpreg kids, are adopted by Agents.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky - Happens often, especially in Bad Slash. Often combined with Quizzical Tilt.
  • He Who Fights Monsters - One of the many perils of the job is the risk of, in the process of fighting Mary Sues, becoming one yourself.
  • Heel-Face Turn - A few Mary Sues reform and become agents, though their interactions with other agents (who make a living off killing Sues) are rather awkward.
    • The Nightshade started out as the Mysterious Somebody's secretary, then went on to be the Department Head of the Department of Operations; the restructuring of the Board of Department Heads after Crashing Down was done specifically to keep her off it. In the same storyline, Ontic Laison has one after her insanity was cured, having been Obliviously Evil beforehand.
    • Omicron, a humanized Dalek who reformed and became an agent. Likewise Agent Charlie, originally of the Imperial faction.
  • Heroic BSOD - A commonplace occurrence. About half the agents end their careers too insane to work (most of the rest are killed in action).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners - Some agent pairs. "Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At The PPC" instructs the agents not to refer to their partners this way, though.
  • Hilarity Ensues - Nearly any mission where one Agent says, essentially, "I have an idea!" ends this way.
  • Honorary Uncle - Applies to any agent who adopts Nursery children.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager - Most of the Mary Sues and their writers. Some of the agents have tendencies that way, but tend to get it squicked out of them.
  • Humans Are Ugly / Humans Through Alien Eyes - Nonhuman agents have a hard time getting used to the majority species.
  • Hurting Hero - In spades.
  • I Call It "Vera" - Some agents name their weapons or belongings.
  • I'm a Humanitarian - Sue Soufflé and capital-W Water are made from Mary Sue flesh, or blood in the latter case, and agents in the more species-diverse settings show little concern with sampling. Agents may not consider Sues human, and certainly don't consider them people, though.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains - Recruited goodfic characters sometimes have problems when a particularly bad piece of work gets into their continuum.
  • Immune to Drugs - A lot of agents go through a lot of Bleeproducts.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice - Agents often kill Sues this way.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Invoked by Agent Zug after his intern, Cy (a former Stormtrooper) tried to shoot a possessed canon and missed. Or, as he put it, "You're a Stormtrooper who just tried to shoot a named protagonist".
  • Impressive Pyrotechnics - Especially in the Department of Geographical Aberrations
  • Improbable Weapon User / Improvised Weapon - Used frequently.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink - Particularly bad fics or annoying co-workers tend to induce this.
  • Initiation Ceremony - Has, at least in the past, included the Trial of Tom Bombadil's Poetry. Then comes the Sue-smiting.
  • Insane Equals Violent - Both averted and played straight. Most agents are a little crazy, but those who have real-world disorders aren't any more violent than anybody else (which, granted, isn't saying much when it's a PPC agent you're talking about). However, insanity induced by contact with too much horrible fan fiction does occasionally make agents find themselves a flamethrower and start burning things. The violence is nearly always a comical sort.
  • Instant A.I., Just Add Water - Any HQ technology with a speaker or display either a) ignites, b) explodes, or c) becomes sentient or sapient. This has resulted in Consoles with a twitter account, and disguise generators with a sense of humour. Especially problematic with Simulation Generators, which start out producing simple if realistic automatons, but will develop Cloning Blues and Expendable Clones if not carefully monitored, eventually producing simulations that try to kill and replace the character they simulate.
  • Interspecies Romance - The PPC is a multidimensional organisation. This is the inevitable result.
  • It Came from the Fridge - Eating from the cafeteria should earn hazard pay, as it's likely to send you to Medical.
  • It Makes Sense in Context - Most of what the PPC does. Bonus points for most of the context also requiring context.
  • It Gets Easier - Agents usually get used to killing Sues; it helps that they're effectively fighting to protect all of existence. On the other hand, the longer they are agents, the more likely it is that they'll lose their sanity altogether. Terrible fanfiction is very stressful.
  • It's Personal - Many agents have a Berserk Button relating to their home canons being Sued.
    • Or their Lust Objects being interfered with.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum - The basis for most PPC Technology are stabilized Plotholes. If you tell someone that Bleeprin, literal Brain Bleach, couldn't possibly work as it does, it may stop working (and the Agent will then need to kill you). Humour and irony are slightly stronger forces than gravity.
  • Just for Pun - Puns are a popular form of amusement/torture for PPC agents.
  • Karmic Death - Mary Sues are subjected to this. For example:
    • Suicide and Dio subjected a G.I. Joe Sue who erased military discipline to the Reality Room, where the rigors of military life (intensified by her own attitude problem) reduced her to a glittery stain.
    • The Rainbow Dash impersonator in Rainbow Factory was turned into rainbows herself.
    • laura was killed by being tied to a tree in Mirkwood and a rock of the Ered Lithui and knocked out so that the tree and rock would take their natural places hundreds of kilometers apart. With bits of her still tied to them.
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Killed Off for Real - For both Sues and agents.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence - Sues often die this way. This is out of necessity, as the canon has a hard time correcting itself if a Sue dies on her own terms (and said terms often involve faux-eloquent Last Words).
  • Knife Nut - A significant number of agents.
  • Lampshade Hanging - Near constant. One agent has been known to pull out and wave a literal lampsahde.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again - Happens often.
  • Literal Genie - When the fic writer makes technical errors, the fic world interprets it literally. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Loony Fan - Fans of varying levels of loonyness are responsible for the creation of Mary Sues. Bamf!Sues could also count.
  • Madness Mantra: "I must not shirk the Duty."
  • Made of Explodium - It's pretty rare for a Canon Analysis Device to survive more than one mission. Though sometimes they melt instead.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf - Some agents.
  • Mary Sue/Marty Stu - invoked The PPC uses a special definition of Mary Sue: a badly-written character that corrupts the canon for selfish or shallow reasons such that the real story could never take place. For example, Frodo would have never destroyed the One Ring if he was too busy being a badly-written love slave — the character that sets the canon into such ruin is considered a Mary Sue to the PPC. Mary Sues, or possession Sues, are the most frequent culprits that make terrible fanfiction terrible, and thus are hunted by the PPC. Because they are badly-conceived characters that could never be complete human beings, PPC canon considers them to be actually inhuman, and possibly not even living things at all. Some agents are reformed Mary Sues, either rescued from a story because they showed a scrap of humanity or written by PPC authors who have written Mary Sues in the past and wish to exploit that in their work. Also, uploading a Suefic is sometimes implied to be a Point of No Return for the Sue/Stu.
  • Mary Sue Hunter - The Department of Mary Sues consists of this; Agents in other departments specialize elsewhere (or specialize in not specializing).
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!" - Happens from time to time.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Judging by Fenworth and Paladin's ages in the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, Chrysocome and Del's marriage is this.
  • Meaningful Name - Nendil Morifëa's second-name literally means "Black soul". Some other agents also have meaningful names: sometimes as a chosen alias or in the form of a pun, and sometimes because the culture from which they hail considers it normal. PPC Agents charge Mary Sues with this when it's out of place, tacky, and meaningless.
  • Mega Crossover - Including some characters who are walking crossovers themselves.
  • Mentors - A full spread of these tropes, albeit with a warning:
    Senior Agents either have an abnormal tolerance for things that turn other people into gibbering wrecks or they're faking it somehow. Either way, it is wise to tread softly until you have an idea which is the case. - The Manual
  • Metafiction
  • Mirror Universe - Literally. More than one, in fact; there's at least the evil Suvian mirror multiverse, the one where everyone has sex all the time, and at least one known Alternate History multiverse.
  • Missing Episode - Some missions were on websites that folded and were not archived on the Wayback Machine. Now that Geocities has closed down, this applies to all PPC material posted to it and not uploaded to PPC: The Lost Tales. In the Original Series, "The Dark Elf" used to be a Missing Episode until it was recently found on the Wayback Machine.
    • The Wayback Machine itself seems to have suffered a server crash. Argh.
    • In-universe, lost works from real and fictional cultures alike are archived in the Musée des Univers PerdusTranslation .
  • Mr. Seahorse - Male Pregnancy is a common and serious charge, both dealt with within the Department of Bad Slash and the focus of the Division of Mpreg. Usually fixed by combining the debugger with a People Jar or more suitable parent (i.e., one with a uterus).
  • Most Common Superpower: Sues frequently have it. Agents occasionally do, but less of a point is made of such.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls - Leading to the need for this section of the FAQ; playing the "sexist" card is something of a Berserk Button in general. Also, most of the PPC writers are girls.
  • Mr. Fixit - The entire Department of Sufficiently Advanced Technology (or Ms. Fixit, as the case may be). Makes-Things especially has a knack for winding up in this role.
  • MS Ting - The missions are vaguely reminiscent of MSTs, as quotes from the fic are interspersed with commentary and such from the agents, though the agents are often carrying on their own story around the fic and only small snippets of the fics being sporked are used; at times, the fic itself is never quoted at all, being summarised instead. Some of the writers also do "official" MST fics as well.
  • Mundane Utility - Flames can burn indefinitely without fuel or air. They naturally find use as torches, space heaters, and to melt snow when caught in an avalanche on Caradhras Garadas.
  • Must Have Caffeine - Agents don't get much time to sleep in the first place.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: See I'm Having Soul Pains.
  • Name's the Same: There are three agents with the name Alison, all of whom spell it slightly differently (Agent Alison, Agent Allison, and Agent Ally).
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Agent X, Luxury, Constance Sims, Suicide, Justin Agent, the Marquis de Sod, etc.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent - Most agents like to save the less-Sueish bit-characters if they can, especially child characters.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet - While not quite related to Time Travel (save for the badfic in question being written two years prior), Falchion, SkarmorySilver's current Author Avatar, encounters a Gary Stu who happens to be a previous Author Avatar of the same person on his first mission. Since the Stu split off from the author's character during the fic's creation, there are no dimensional ill effects, but Falchion soon finds himself suffering from flashbacks to his experiences as the Stu. Falchion eventually does kill him, but this is because the Stu was as poorly written as any other Suvian character, as opposed to any risks to Falchion himself. The title of the mission's cover illustration even quotes this trope, word for word.
  • Nice Hat - GreyLadyBast's Most Holy Hat and Montgomery Osbert III's helmet.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant - From the original series: Jay loves slimy tentacled things. She gets maternal over the Watcher.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot - Agent Tawaki is a werepenguin Borg who gets turned into a Time Lord.
  • Noodle Implements - Agent Granjo tortures Mary Sues with a Narayani hammer, an empty tin can, and a cell phone.
  • Noodle Incident - Almost every agent pair has at least one.
    • The No-Drool videos. All we know is that they're made up of some of the most Fetish Retardant scenes possible, designed to stop agents from lusting. Thankfully, apart from a few throwaway sentences, we don't know what these scenes are.
  • Nosebleed - No-Drool Videos are used to curb these (and immaturity around Lust Objects in general).
  • No Social Skills - Some non-human agents. And, for that matter, some of the human ones.
  • Not Good with People - Some agents aren't very good with people. Agent Tasmin is a good example of this.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome - Many plot developments occur completely off screen, with the reader only knowing about them due to an infodump on an agent's part.
  • Old Master - Any sufficiently experienced agent can turn into this.
  • Older Than They Look - Due to the time distortions in HQ, many agents have experienced years more of life than their chronological age would suggest.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname - Some agents.
  • Our Monsters Are Different - Agents from several different continua.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different - To include werewolves, werepenguins, weretigers, werehawks, and even a were-sea-anemone.
  • Persona Non Grata - Agent Trojie is prohibited from going to Discworld when not assigned a mission there for some reason. This has nothing to do with the mysterious absence of important items from that continuum, such as the New Pie. The quarantined continua count for all agents, as their authors have forbidden fanfic to be written about them.
  • The Plague - The Macrovirus Emergency. Macrocosm taken Up to Eleven.
  • Plant Aliens - The Flowers are giant, alien flowers given sentience (and, in many cases, grown to human size or larger) by the radiation given off by their sun being consumed by a black hole. They communicate and go about daily tasks primarily through the use of powerful psychic abilities, also given to them by said radiation.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On - Peter Piper's reaction to finding his partner sunbathing. Also Nume's reaction to Ilraen's failed morphing, Kern's reaction to Logan's penchant to go shirtless, Brightbeard's typical response to Barid, who doesn't like to wear clothing. Also a semi-common reaction to Sues, and Blast J's reaction to a nymph newbie wearing nothing but VaporWear.
  • Plot Hole - The PPC uses plot holes in much of its technology, allowing its agents to move and communicate between worlds and universes. The entirety of HQ in fact consists of bits of building joined up via plot holes. People regularly fall into HQ because of this.
  • Precision F-Strike - Agent Ilraen is a soft-spoken and often naive guy. So when he starts screaming about how something is bullshit, you know he's very not happy.
  • Punch Clock Hero or Punch Clock Villain - Technically, being a PPC agent is a job, though agents generally aren't paid much post-Reorganisation (before which they were paid very well and got frequent holidays, but at the cost of being ruled by the Big Bad and his Secret Police) and don't do it for the money. On the plus side, there isn't very much you need to pay for in HQ anyway.
  • Punny Name - Some agents, such as Justin Agent, Beethoven "Moon" Sonata, Light Fixture, Night Shade, Peter Piper, and Blue Photon.
  • Put on a Bus - Sometimes an agent retires, is transferred to a new department, or goes mad.
  • Quirky Household - Any group of agents that calls themselves a family will fall into this trope by the nature of the PPC.
  • Rage Against the Author - Happens often, particularly against badfic authors. Doing much worse than raging isn't allowed, however.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits - The entire PPC.
  • Rape as Drama - The focus of several possible charges, ranging from trivializing rape to worse.
  • Readings Blew Up the Scale - The Canon Analysis Devices can explode when measuring high doses of OOC-ness.
  • Reality Ends Sues - Agents tend to take down Sues in very cynical ways, especially Sues trying to make a cynical setting idealistic. Then there are Reality Rooms...
  • Reality Warper - Sues, by their very nature.
  • Really 700 Years Old - Some agents, particularly the elves.
  • Reset Button - Neuralysing canon characters and removing the Sue or other centre of distortion doesn't merely fix the effects of the badfic, it effectively stops the badfic from happening in the first place.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter - Misspelling a character's name creates a tiny, adorable, and usually bloodthirsty version of a monster from the appropriate canon called a Mini.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin - Common in the badfic; when applied to a character's name, it creates a mini.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Rule of Funny - If anything can be, the Rule of Funny is the guiding trope for the PPC. If a spinoff doesn't follow the Rule of Funny, or if a serious story for the PPC doesn't occasionally bend to its will, it's not really in the spirit of the PPC. As said above, the setting also has its own name for the Rule, the Narrative Laws of Comedy.
  • Rule 34 - A big reason many agents go through so much Bleeprin. The PPC also has its own version, "...there is fanfic for it."
  • Rummage Fail - Happens for anyone with a Bag of Holding or similar.
  • Running Gag - CADs exploding, consoles beeping at bad times, and others depending on the spinoff. The CAD gag could possibly be considered an Overused Running Gag, as it's now done almost every time a CAD is used at all and can give off the impression that PPC tech is completely useless.
  • Secret Police - The Department of Internal Security, after becoming corrupt; their existence was common knowledge, but the secret part was their corruption, the Mary Sue Factory they were protecting, and the fact they were torturing and murdering agents. The Department of Internal Operations can be taken as a more literal example, since in theory, only the Flowers even know they exist. In practise, there are rumours of their existence, but most still don't know the truth, and part of Agent Justin Agent's job is to discredit such rumours. According to one DIO agent, their existence being discovered would cause another revolt against the PPC's leaders, as they're too much like the DIS for most agents' comfort.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains - PPC uniforms are black, good for a wide variety of temperature ranges, and comfortable to spend time in. Sues usually aim for ostentatious, and in the Mirror Multiverse, the female agents wear very little.
  • She Is All Grown Up - Happens when younger agents visit home or the OFU they attended after some time, and in the Ten Years Hence stories.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now? - Most agents are in their teens, and the job leaves them no time for schoolwork, though they occasionally get leave to attend an Official Fanfiction University.
  • Shout-Out - A Shout-Out to everything, in theory.
  • Sick and Wrong - This is the reason Squick is a chargeable offense, and in the Bad Slash Department, a rather common one at that.
  • Slasher Smile - Many agents, in some cases in a slightly different sense than usual.
  • Small Annoying Creature - Cute Animal Friends.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club - HQ's only private bar, the Pennacook Club.
  • Squee - An interjection often leading the one uttering it to a round of No-Drool videos.
  • The Starscream - Nightshade.
  • Straight Gay - The PPC has a number of gay/bi agents, who don't tend to follow any stereotypes unless they particularly want to.
  • Strictly Formula - Agents enter bad fanfic, agents bitch about bad fanfic, agents exchange smart-aleck banter, agents kill Sue and/or exorcise victims in variety of interesting ways. That it's still working like a charm is a testament to how terrible most of the target material is.
  • Stuff Blowing Up - Always a favorite when the agents of DOGA are involved.
  • Suckiness Is Painful - Actually having to watch the horrible reality-bending induced by bad prose can cause really bad headaches.
  • Surreal Horror - Shows up unintentionally in a lot of badfic, as bad prose makes horrifying and physically-implausible things happen; for example, overuse of pronouns in a Slash Fic, where both characters are referred to as "he", sometimes results in both characters doing every action described to the other at the same time.
  • Sword Fight - Many agents and enemies of the PPC use swords, so this happens frequently.
  • Tastes Like Urple - Suefics tend to go overboard with the florid writing.
  • Tempting Fate - The Ironic Overpower is the entity being tempted.
  • The Ditz - Lux appears to be so, remaining happily oblivious to attempts to dissuade her from her constant grabbiness up to and including physical attacks. Jay Thorntree also described herself as one.
  • The Empire - The Enforcers of the Plot Continuum, the PPC's Evil Counterpart in the mirror multiverse.
  • The Monolith - The main part of the Tomb of the Unknown PPC Agent; there used to also be tombstones, but these were removed.
  • The Scottish Trope - both on the Posting Board and in the context of the missions, agents and writers avoid invoking the names of particularly horrifying badfics, either by censoring the name ("C*l*br**n") or just avoiding it ("That Series").
  • There Are No Therapists - Averted. There's an entire Department dedicated to this, and agents too close to snapping are often ordered to go there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
  • They Fight Sues
  • This Is Gonna Suck - A common reaction from agents.
  • Too Dumb to Live - Sues. For just one example, Jay opened a portal and asked a Mary Sue to step through it, which she did. The portal, of course, led to the Whomping Willow.
  • Tranquil Fury - Some agents are too professional, or just too far beyond rage, to express it much. This is usually very bad for the Sue.
  • Transformation Ray - The Disguise Generator, necessary for continuum-appropriate disguises. The Disguise Generator/Disguise Outfitting Ryticular Kostume System is a similar device, allowing agents to change their disguise without having to go back to their RC.
  • Trigger Happy - One of the reasons agents read charge lists before killing is to stop them from killing at random.
  • Unexplained Recovery - Canon characters can be "made to think they're dead" by fanauthors, but cannot actually die until their original author says they have. Dead agents usually cannot be resurrected, though Dafydd Illian is a notable exception. The Medical department can heal pretty much anything short of death.
  • Unnecessary Roughness - An important part of Australian Indoor-Rules Quidditch (a game stolen from Mac Hall). The main rule is "Cause as much damage as you can while you run around for the ball in the dark. Least injured team wins, outside of forfeit."
  • Unobtainium - Concrit, Generic surface, Bleeprin
  • Unstoppable Rage - Happens when an agent's Berserk Button is pressed.
  • Unusual Euphemism - "Glaurung!"
  • Vague Age - Agents tend to forget their ages, as HQ time more or less runs on guesswork. Some agents recruited from fics have no idea how old they were to start with, or are of species which don't age at the same rate as humans, so it's hard to tell.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds - Several agent pairs.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting - What happens when an agent puts on a disguise.
  • We Need a Distraction - Many agent pairs have used the strategy of having one agent distract the canons or the Sue while the other does what needs to be done — neuralysing, capturing, or killing.
  • Webcomic Time - A problem for many writers, which is partly why Emergencies are frowned on now; it's hard to fit them into one's personal canon when struggling with a timeline. Time in HQ is pretty loosely defined, though, so most writers tend to just wing it or specifically state when a given story is set.
  • Wham Episode - Crashing Down, Fighting Emotions
  • You Can't Go Home Again - Agents recruited from fics often can't go back for fear of death. Agents from World One often have trouble with the idea of readjusting to "normal" life. And some Agents are resurrected canon characters...
  • You Do NOT Want To Know
  • Artistic License - Biology - Naturally, badfic authors tend to do this. Frequently.
  • You Make Me Sic - Agents sometimes respond to titles or prose describing horrible Gorn or Squick or extreme Canon Defilement by pointing out spelling or punctuation errors, either as a case of Comically Missing the Point or in a vain attempt to keep their minds off the horror.
  • Zerg Rush - The Mary Sue Invasion of 2008. Went completely to pieces once their mind powers were neutralised, however. The agents also do this to some extent during attacks on HQ, as their enemies are always vastly outnumbered (though it isn't known exactly how many agents there are).

PixivTurnOfTheMillennium/New MediaPsychopathic Radio
PersonificationsFantasy Web OriginalsThe Questport Chronicles
Project YVPFanFic/CrossoverProtoculture Effect

alternative title(s): Protectors Of The Plot Continuum; Protectors Of The Plot Continuum
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