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:

    open/close all folders 

     A to F 
  • 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.
    • Quite a few of SkarmorySilver's agents. There's Falchion (essentially a reincarnation of one of his self-insert Stus), Velociripper (formerly a Gary Stu antagonist), Sarah Squall (a clone of Stratogale from the same fic as Ripper), Lapis Lazuli (another one of his Sues), and Cupid Carmine (a former Sue-Wraith).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Agents Sarah, Cupid, and Lapis took on a giant-sized replacement of Sonic the Hedgehog in their second mission. To get rid of him, they used a Shrink Ray on him and proceeded to sic a house-sized mini-Godzilla on him, with predictable results.
  • 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 Mc Coolname: multiple examples, such as Huinesoron (Quenya for “Eagleshadow”), Falchion, Supernumerary, and the like.
  • AxFlamethrower Crazy: Sometimes an Agent loses it. Often in spectacular manner.
    Agent Len: "Mr. Rogers! Mr. Rogers!"
  • Baby Morph Episode: At one point, the Continuity Council of Gallifrey-in-Exile (plus one) get de-aged into various stages of childhood. Chaos ensues.
  • Back from the Dead: Dafydd Illian, and later Makes-Things. When he was questioned about it, he irritably responded, "You'd think I would know if I was dead!"
  • 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, Tawaki and Tadkeeta, and Eledhwen and Christianne come to mind.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted, as the villains are Sues, with the unnatural beauty that implies.
  • [BEEEEEEEEEEE-crunch]: the consoles’ incessant beeping sometimes causes the agents to react… violently.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Supernumerary asked to be partnered with an Animorphs Andalite, due to their normally logical, professional manner. Yeeeah...
  • 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 has Bloodwrath turns into one.
  • 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.
  • Brain Bleach: Bleeprin (bleach combined with Aspirin) and its variants.
  • Brainless Beauty: Mary Sues are almost universally “beautiful” and universally dumber than a shoe.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Shows up sometimes in charge lists, 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".
  • Break the Cutie: Rina and Zeb go through complete and utter hell in their missions, and Rina is not only allergic to Bleeprin, but she refuses to seek help as well. Word of God says it's only going to get worse. It did.
    • The Notary is implied to have already gone through this.
  • 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 amok 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: most agents are quirky, to say the least. Most of them are competent, too — else they’d have snapped or died long ago.
  • 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.
  • 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: As demonstrated in one of the FA Qs.
    Q: Don't our agents have rights?
    A: No.
  • 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 neuralyzers, 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: Sues are sometimes subjected to those, though torture is frowned upon and is against the rules.
  • Crunchtastic: "Glaurunging" — see Unusual Euphemism. An MSTing also featured the use of the word "Malletspace" as a verb.
  • Cuddle Bug: Valon Vance, though he's incredibly repressed about it. He doesn't want to be seen as creepy, after all.
    • Luxury and Maria Nightingale fall under this as well.
    • Stephanie Podd, a humanoid kraken who likes giving hugs.
  • Cultured Badass: Comes with the territory of being a PPC Agent.
  • 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 by Irony: Most of the agents enjoy creating these for their targets.
  • Death Seeker: Suicide (although he's growing out of this) and, according to Word of God, the Notary.
  • 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 Rule of Funny.
    • On a more meta level, Agents Wobbles the Clown and The Notary were intended to be a reductio ad absurdum-style deconstruction of the traditional agent dynamic. The former is, in her own words, a magical clown who spreads joy and laughter wherever she goes. The latter is, in the words of others, something unrepeatable in polite society. Several somethings, actually, some of which can go on for more than an hour.
  • Demonic Possession: Author/Sue-Wraiths possess canon characters and force them to act on their (depraved) whims. They usually have to be exorcised before they can be destroyed or in the case of E.V.L. and Cupid, purified.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Along with the Repetitive Department of Repetition, actual infrastructure departments.
  • Deus ex Machina: Palutena becomes a literal example of this when she saves Agents Sarah and Rashida from a Sue-wraith and turns it into Agent Cupid. Also see Do Not Taunt Cthulhu below.
  • Door Stopper:
    • Herr Wozzeck's missions.
    • SkarmorySilver's as well. The mission during which he sporked a badfic of his own creation clocked in at a mind-boggling 87 pages.
    • Iximaz's missions of The Girl Who Lived series, when condensed, are a total of 201 pages and 78,300 words long; for perspective, that's longer than the first Harry Potter book.
    • A co-write between Desdendelle, KarrinBlue (a.k.a. Firemagic) and Maslab sporking a horrid Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S x Halo fic is 67 pages long.
  • 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 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; they have licensed Sun Crusher pilots.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Valon Vance has unhealthily pallid skin that makes him look like a corpse. He's a really nice guy, though.
  • 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.
  • Emergency Transformation: Several agents, such as Tawaki Penguin and Rina Dives, have been turned into Time Lords.
  • 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.

     G to M 
  • Gargle Blaster: Pink Stuff, Euphoria Elixir from Harry Potter mixed with Romulan Ale from Star Trek. Knocks you out something fierce but leaves a killer hangover.
  • Gender Bender: There was an... incident... involving an Ax-Crazy Agent with a Transformation Ray.
    • Agent Cadmar has been left female as punishment for his behavior in a mission gone wrong.
  • Gentle Giant: Stephanie Podd is 11 feet tall, and she won't hurt a fly...ing fish.
  • Genre Roulette: While it's a comedy first and foremost, the multiversal setting makes it only natural that it takes a turn for horror, or sweetness, or action, and back to comedy.
  • 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: Though all the agents are technically fighting to protect the multiverse, you see quite a few Jerkass agents.
  • 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.
    • There was also a Sexy Discretion Shot involving Agents given a mission on their wedding night.
    • Valon and Kala's first dance is completely offscreen.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Kala Jeng, a girtablilu who's incredibly anger-prone. Racism and harm to her partner don't help.
  • Has Two Mommies: Many ex-Sue children, and some Mpreg kids, are adopted by Agents.
  • Hate Sink: The Notary, who is an arrogant, racist, obstructive, and hostile prat of a Time Lady.
  • 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. Agent Fearn, who has been given the Human Factor, counts as well.
  • Heroic BSOD: A commonplace occurrence. About half the agents end their careers too insane to work (most of the rest are killed in action).
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Valon Vance and Gaspard de Grasse have issues with their self-image.
  • Herr Doktor: Doktor Trollenfisch, despite not being, in reality, even a little bit German. Also despite being a lurid pink pufferfish about a foot across with a ridiculous accent and a love of oompah music. It's best not to question it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. They’re called “The Pyros” for a reason.
  • Improbable Weapon User / Improvised Weapon: Used frequently. Justified in that most agents who use these types of weapons are from continua that only use improbable weapons.
  • 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.
    • They also distinguish between the Played for Laughs "insanity" and the Played for Drama "mental illness."
  • 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.
    • Slorp. Oh gods, Slorp.
  • 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.
  • Jerk Ass: The Librarian and the Notary. Detailing exactly how assholish these two are would take up half the page, especially the Notary.
  • 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:
    • A common reaction to most badfics.
    • Basically the go-to solution for the Department of Geographical Aberrations, leading to them being nicknamed “Pyro Department”.
  • Killed Off for Real: For both Sues and agents. Canon characters cannot die until the author says so.
  • 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).
  • 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, especially after really bad missions.
  • Literal Genie:
    • When the fic writer makes technical errors, the fic world interprets it literally. Hilarity Ensues.
    • One Sue, thanks to a misspelling of 'lion', turned into a loin. She wasn't able to do much after that.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The PPC has over a thousand characters. Quite a lot aren’t active any more, though.
  • 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.
    • A particularly bad moment of OOCness caused one to evaporate.
  • 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, in case of Agents in the Department of Floaters). The PPC can be said to have popularized the trope.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Rename: Supernumerary is implied to have done this. Rina, after running away from HQ, starts calling herself the Aviator.
  • 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: missions are parodies (in a certain way) of bad fanficition.
  • 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.
    • 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.

    N to S 
  • 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). Not to mention Alec Trevelyan, Alec Troven, Alex Bjørnsen, Alex Dives, Alex Orange, Alex Warren...
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
  • 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:
  • The Permission Giver hats. Apparently, they're covered with macaroni, anointed with slinkies, and weaponized. They've also been used to build a tower to the moon.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Happened with near-deadly results when Agent Zeb was unable to find the emergency remote activator in time to get his partner to Medical. He was forced to turn her into a Time Lord instead.
  • 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.
  • Scary Scorpions: Kala Jeng. She's a girtablilu native to the Monster Musume universe, meaning she's a short Romani girl attached at the hip to the body of a seven-foot, four-hundred pound scorpion. Not only that, but she's been repeatedly kicked out of the homes of her host families because of her Hair-Trigger Temper and violent tendencies. However, Valon seems to have gotten through to her, and they're currently engaged.
  • 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.
    • Averted with Agent Luxury. Whenever she shows up, she's usually in some state of undress/ wearing skimpy clothes.
  • 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.
    • Highlighted by Agent Rina's mother: "You still haven't even finished high school, much less college!"
  • 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.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: See Do Not Taunt Cthulhu above. Also, Agent Cupid's first mission ended with him baiting Yveltal, the Destruction Pokémon, into wiping out an army of Suvian soldiers.
  • 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.

     T to Z 
  • Tastes Like Urple: Suefics tend to go overboard with the florid writing.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Several agent pairs. Actually, just about every team is like this at some point.
  • Tempting Fate: The Ironic Overpower is the entity being tempted. Experienced agents will attempt to avoid this — and fail, of course.
  • Tentacle Rope: Stephanie Podd, a kraken from Monster Musume, employs this frequently.
  • 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: Enforced; the Flowers purposefully create odd couples, then send them to fight Sues, disentangle bad crossovers, et cetera.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: A common reaction from agents, especially when being sent into notorious fics.
  • Tickle Torture: Fittingly for her homefic, Agent Sarah uses this to try and cheer up the character who would become Agent Cupid (originally an embodiment of depression). It works.
  • 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.
    • There was a Stu who gave a strip-tease while wearing target-print briefs. Guess where he got shot.
    • Agent Velociripper was tasked with disposing of a replacement of Ash Ketchum near the end of his first training mission. Not!Ash openly insulted Ripper's intelligence by trying to play fetch with him, and then taunted him after he pressed charges. Not a smart move, considering that Ripper is a subadult Deinonychus... and happened to be very, very hungry.
  • 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 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 being obliged to read charge lists before killing Sues is to stop them from killing at random.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Usually happens to an agent on the brink of a meltdown.
  • 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."
  • Unstoppable Rage: Often happens when an agent's Berserk Button is pressed.
    • This is especially noteworthy with particularly vengeful agents. Kala Jeng essentially ran a Gary Stu through a blender after he nearly strangled her partner to death.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
  • 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: A common dynamic between agent pairs, as agents are usually assigned partners with different personalities — the Flowers think it helps prevent madness.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Putting on a disguise is effectively this, since it actually transforms the agents into their disguise — for example, when Jay and Acacia were disguised as Ents, they didn't feel anything despite being riddled with arrows.
  • 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, where The Mysterious Somebody and his League of Mary Sue Factories and the Black Cats come back to destroy the PPC and are repulsed, albeit with heavy losses.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: A lot of agents have personal fears that send them into a panic attack. For instance, Zeb is terrified of caves and explosions, and Valon Vance has absolutely crippling acrophobia.
  • 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 replaced canon characters...
  • You Make Me Sic:
  • 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).


Alternative Title(s):

Protectors Of The Plot Continuum