Das Sporking is a small sporking community originally on LiveJournal, before moving to Dreamwidth in 2017. It was originally a solo sporking community for Das Mervin, a LiveJournal user most famous for her breakdown of the Twilight series. Over time, it has evolved to accept sporkings from all of its members. The sporkings cover a range of fandoms and styles. This also includes professional works. There are currently a small number of active sporkers on Das Sporking.
This community is mostly known for being very analytical in its approaching to bad fiction, and for covering a variety of professionally published works as well as fanfiction. Jokes and snarking take a backseat to literary analysis, though they are far from absent.
It is also notable for being in depth. Most sporkings double the word count of the fanfics they are focusing on. A number of Unfortunate Implications that are glossed over in other sporkings of the same material, in particular Twilight (and its sequels) and Fifty Shades of Grey (and its sequels), are explored in detail there.
Notice: Please do not link directly to sporked fanfiction! This is to cut down on wank.
- Accentuate the Negative: Most of the sporks point out flaws in the work, and mock goofiness caused by them.
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In "Identities," MG points out that since Boromir survived, Denethor's actions and characterization (which were more or less copied from Peter Jackson's Return of the King adaptation) don't make any sense.
- Affectionate Nickname: Raxistaicho refers to Zelda Queen as "Queeny," and, since the I'm Here To Help spork, Midoriri as "Riri."
- Angst Nuke: Ket tends to explode. A lot. Especially when reading Fifty Shades of Grey. It happens so often that the community coined 'ketsplode' to describe it.
- Ki no Shirayuki does the same, but into waka poems.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Christian Grey has many bad qualities but the final straw was when the sporkers realized he's a morning person.
- Ban on Politics: Mervin specifically states no political issues be discussed within the comm. Strict monitoring by the admins is done to ensure this.
- Berserk Button: With a fairly diverse sporking crowd, different things set different sporkers off.
- Science failure sets off Mrs. Hyde. The eight-pointed snowflake in Breaking Dawn was a pretty major one.
- Sexism against women does the same with Raxistaicho.
- Weapons research failure, Stupid Evil and Designated Heroes get Riffing Academy to open up.
- Ket tends to get very annoyed whenever Fifty Shades of Grey gets BDSM wrong. She also gets angry when religion in fiction is poorly-researched or outright wrong.
- Romanticized Abuse —physical abuse, emotional abuse and/or rape—enrages Gehayi. So does Critical Research Failure.
- Callous disregard for human life will make Mervin Paul out. So will getting anything related to medicine wrong.
- Sweettalkeress hates human-bashing and Protagonist-Centered Morality.
- Zelda Queen hates canon characters being made out of character because the writer doesn't like them or to make bad characters appear better. When sporking one Harry Potter fanfiction, she brought it to a halt and gave a long rant about why she hates that tactic so much, before being forced to recapping instead of flat-out sporking, to deal with the amount of character-bashing.
- Midoriri hates misogyny and is especially ticked off when feminine characters are bashed just for being feminine. She also despises "Macho-Stus" being shoehorned into Magical Girl fics, due to the implications.
- Astra abhors bad parenting, child abuse, emotional manipulation, victim-blaming and Protagonist-Centered Morality.
- Nix will rage over characters having expensive items that don't fit as well as the color/style of Joshua Kiryu's hair.
- Azra hates romanticized adultery, stating the obvious constantly, familial or friendship love being dismissed as not as important as or lesser than romance, Protagonist-Centered Morality, designated heroes, and canon characters being upstaged in favor of a Mary-Sue character.
- The Man Called True despises hypocrisy, painting humans as inferior to the supernatural, and adding needless darkness to a generally light-hearted setting.
- Lady_fofa loathes violence to animals, especially horses.
- Poor portrayals of Japanese language and culture, as well as female OCs shoehorned into canonically all-male ensembles to be shipped with canon male characters especially in fandoms like Gintama and Touken Ranbu piss off Ki no Shirayuki.
- Radio Star hates misanthropy, Rape as Drama and Protagonist-Centered Morality.
- taekarado hates misrepresentation of autism.
- Libraryseraph hates Designated Heroes, Protagonist-Centered Morality, and poor grammar.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The sporkers are all a nice bunch of people, even maintaining some politeness while sporking, but once in a while, such as when a Berserk Button is pressed or the story gets really bad... eesh.
- Brain Bleach: Quite a few sporkers say that they need brain bleach after a spork. Some refer to Bleeprin and Bleepka, specifically.
- Some sporkers have their own.
- Some sporkings have them, too. For a good portion of the sporking of a Spice and Wolf fanfiction, chapters were introduced with "Last Time on..." followed by a video clip of something parodying events in the story.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Many of the sporkers have shared their histories of abuse, bullying, trauma, or depression, usually to explain how a work is getting it dead wrong.
- Deadpan Snarker: Every sporker has at least a moment of this.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Comes up in the face of tasteless jokes in the things being sporked.
- During the I'm Here to Help sporking, Midoriri was appalled by a joke Emerald made about a 14-year-old Jupiter engaging in bondage.
- Mervin points out that in Eclipse, two infamous parts - Edward stealing Bella's car engine and Bella being forcibly kissed by Jacob and then hurting her hand punching him out - were meant to be comedy. She notes, with no small amount of horror, that both wouldn't be out of place in a slasher movie.
- Astra flipped her shit over the scene in Pawn of Prophecy where Polgara laughs upon realising that Merel is pregnant by rape for the third time.
- Azra has reacted with horror to a few "comedic" scenes in The Final Fantasy Wars, most notably during a chapter in which the Mary Sues misfire spells, causing damage to the base and setting Tidus' hair on fire—and are immediately praised for their skill.
- Midoriri and ZeldaQueen are enraged and horrified by how Lydia's abuse of Mamoru/Darien is Played for Laughs in The Sailor Rainbow Series.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- In one of Mervin's chapters of Hogwarts Exposed, she brings in Sands to co-spork. Sands, who has never pretended to be anything but a misogynistic, violent asshole, is appalled by it, particularly the sexualization of children and objectification of women (which, amusingly enough, stuns him, since he never felt outrage on behalf of objectified women before).
- Even Azula is horrified at the Fate Worse than Death Harry inflicts on the Dursleys in Partially Kissed Hero.
- Everyone Has Standards: All of he sporkers have their limits on what they will and won't spork. Usually it's because a work is unspeakably horrific (Mervin even added the "Hogwarts Exposed line" to the comm rules, stating that anything that manages to be worse than that fanfiction is banned from being sporked there), although some sporkers refuse to do works on the grounds of them simply being boring (for example, this is why Mervin stopped sporking Child of Grace and Standing My Ground). Mervin herself holds the comm at large to several ironclad rules, including certain types of fics that are not allowed, namelyl the aforementioned "squick-fics", troll fics (on the grounds that they basically spork themselves), things that run the risk of breaking the "no politics" rule (such as The Turner Diaries), and real person fics. She also forbids making personal attacks/death threats towards the Suethors or their families. The only exception is Neil, who wrote the aforementioned Hogwarts Exposed and is hands-down the most hated Stuthor on the comm (though Marion Zimmer Bradley is quickly giving him a run for his money).
- During the sporking of Partially Kissed Hero, Snape says that while he can be harsh with Harry, he would never go so far as to outright torture him.
- Fake Difficulty: One of Azra's big complaints about the 'Rangress' series of Runescape fan-quests is that their difficulty mostly comes from refusing to give the player any hints whatsoever (such as forcing them to run around talking to every NPC on Gilenor in hopes that somebody knows something, with no hint given as to who that somebody might be), having most of the quests take place in non-instanced versions of the Wilderness (leaving questers vulnerable to player killers), and saddling them with an unlikable Mary Sue in a particularly annoying Escort Mission. In terms of actual skill challenges, puzzles, and combat, it's sorely lacking.
- Fix Fic: A bit rarer than the Revenge Fic, but still there when they feel the rare sympathetic character deserves something better. When the sporkers get tired of watching Gwenhwyfar being repeatedly tortured by the narrative, they wrote a new ending where all thirteen Doctors rescue her and bring her to a hospital in the future, and that Gwen in the rest of the book is just Kamelion pretending to be her.
- Friendly Sniper: In a metaphorical sense. The sporkers and commenters are remarkably polite and sympathetic people. It won't stop them from skewering works that they find flawed. (This may overlap with Beware the Nice Ones.)
- Gamer Chick:
- Several of the sporkers, but azralibrarian stands out most. Her knowledge of Final Fantasy is well shown during one of her sporks of a self-insert Dissidia fanfic. She also displays a good deal of knowledge of RuneScape during her sporking of a sloppy crossover fic.
- Nix has made a habit of sporking almost nothing but things from The World Ends with You.
- Ki no Shirayuki specializes in Onmyōji and Touken Ranbu.
- Geek: Whether it be literature, TV series, movies, video games, and western or eastern animation, most of these sporkers are very devoted fans of their chosen fandoms. Sometimes unabashedly so.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Ever since a joke made in the sporking of Chapter 12 of Breaking Dawn, people have taken quite well to seeing themselves through Meyer Goggles(TM).
- Gratuitous German: "Das" is gender-neutral "the" in German.
- Gratuitous Japanese: Some sporkers use this in their usernames and/or sporks, like ryina chan and Raxistaicho.
- Handicapped Badass: Gehayi is open about being mobility limited. It sure doesn't stop her from absolutely destroying poorly-written and researched work.
- Insistent Terminology: Riffing Academy is a die-hard MSTie, and to that end calls his sporkings "riffings." His username may have something to do with him sticking to it, too.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Midoriri, her sporking self being a Magical Girl Warrior, gets during a particularly-awful passage in Sailor Rainbow, trading in her Spork Wand for the Spork Staff.
- Muggles Do It Better: A widespread reaction to the messages of Humans Are Morons, Humans Are Bastards, and Humans Are Ugly that so frequently appear in fics and books. Sporkers and members have decided that humanity, for all its flaws, can also be awesome.
- Name's the Same: Das Sporking has come across two sues named Rose Potter, from stories that are otherwise unrelated.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Metaphorically. Most of the rules about sporking that involve yelling at the fic, not at the author, are turned off for the infamously nefarious Hogwarts Exposed.
- Noodle Incident:
GEHAYI: I'm not going to say what it took to persuade the queen and princess of Arendelle except that it involved kittens, the Hubble Telescope, and Ket karaoke.
- Gehayi and Ket Makura describe their invitation to guest sporkers Elsa and Anna of Arendelle this way:
KET: And a really bad clam. *shudders*
- Ket also got a phone call from an unknown person halfway through the first part of the sporking of Fifty Shades Freed's chapter 9. It involved monkeys. She left immediately and didn't return until chapter 11 (which was actually several posts later). Other than being alarmed at the possibility of Merv bringing monkeys to spork with her, she hasn't discussed it.
- Oh My Gods!: Raxistaicho occasionally uses Morrighan/Morrigan with this trope. azralibrarian uses Primus (and Zaros); taekarado, Steiff; Man Called True, Celestia (and occasionally Torak). Ket Makura will occasionally thank "all the gods and angels."
- Only Sane Man: In the sporking of Halo, it's noted that Ben and Bianca are clearly the only sane people in the entire book.
- Properly Paranoid: Ever since his first proper sporking featured one, Riffing Academy thinks that wolf-themed Stus follow him around. They don't hit all the time, but they're definitely a theme.
- Rage Quit:
- Once in a while, sporkers will simply give up on particularly bad works. Mervin occasionally "refuses" to do certain chapters of her own sporks and instead has one her common special guests do it for her.
- An interesting variant happened with one story Riffing Academy tackled: while he finished the story as it was written when he wrote his sporking, when new chapters appeared he refused to do them. Raxistaicho picked it up later, doing the newer chapters.
- After one of his flash drives (the one containing all the chapters) broke, Man Called True walked away from Frigid Winds and Burning Hearts when faced with the task of completely redoing several chapters's worth of sporking.
- Used occasionally by several of the sporkers. Raxistaicho does it most often both in his own sporks and comments to others, usually showing cute/fanservicey anime girls.
- It pops up again in during the spork of I'm Here to Help; Midoriri gets her Berserk Button slammed and begins a colorful rant, only for Raxis and ZeldaQueen to quickly play a video with soothing music. They turn it off just as she's winding down.
- The Mists of Avalon sporking preempts scenes of rape, incest, miscarriage, and other horrible things with cute pictures of kittens and puppies to help brace the reader for what's ahead.
- Revenge: Ket's revenge on Mervin for exposing them to Fifty Shades of Gray:Ket: Be waiting, Das of Mervin. I shall visit you, like a terrible angel of punishment.
Mervin: Well, you know, as bad as I feel about subjecting you to Fifty Shades, and all that jazz... *flatly* I sporked, recapped, and/or read every goddamn word of the entire "Hogwarts Exposed" series. I think I've endured ENOUGH.
Ket: Not yet, my dear. Not yet. In fact, my retribution has already begun.
Mervin: OH, FUCK YOU!!! *slams down the phone furiously with a loud bang*
- Revenge Fic: This is a REALLY common response to canons with Unfortunate Implications and/or characters that are Too Dumb to Live (though it's called "spitefics" on the actual community). There were so many Twilight spitefics that Das_Sporking eventually created a spinoff fic comm for them. (The comm is now shared by fics for Fifty Shades of Grey and Feminist Fairy Tales.) For You I Will and The Wedding Crashers have their own trope pages.
- Rousing Speech: Mervin makes a pro-human, pro-Volturi one in the third part of the sporking of the Chapter 34 of Breaking Dawn to counteract the unnecessarily rebellious (the Cullens don't want to fight) anti-Volturi speech by one of the Cullens' allies since defeating the Volturi means there's nothing stopping other vampires (including some of the Cullens' allies) from eating and enslaving humanity.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Master Ghandalf takes To Rule Them All to task for its poor sense of scale, pointing out how it dramatically underestimates numbers (claiming 10,000 orcs is a large army for Mordor), time (implying the War of the Last Alliance happened over the course of a single day) and distance (Azra travelling around Middle-earth unrealistically quickly, especially without the advantages of the Nazgul).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- Quoted verbatim by Midoriri before the twelfth chapter of Over The Rainbow, before she ate one of Mervin's coma-brownies. Malachite filled in for her.
- Raxis managed this in the sporking of I'm Here to Help, via exploding. A Pokemon he specially trained to speak filled in.
- From chapter 20 of Breaking Dawn, after Mervin mused at length on the fact that she'd been sporking the Twilight series for five years and wants to quit but—Mervin: I finished Rose Potter — I can finish this.
Bella (narrating): Everything was
Mervin: OH FUCK YOU, I'M GOING HOME!!!
- "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Deconstructed in the Mists of Avalon spork. In Book III Chapter 2, Gehayi, ZeldaQueen and Idiot Alchemist mention that the books horrific implications and terrible writing were always visible, but that since there were few if any Feminist Fantasy books around at the time of publication, and since the zeitgeist was just right to make most people overlook the books problems and strongly favored Complaining about People Not Liking the Show, it acquired a large fan base, when that would not have been possible had it been written today. (A comparison is made to Fifty Shades of Grey.) They also claim the book is only remembered fondly because of nostalgia, with most of its fans not having read it for years, if not decades, and first did so as teenagers.
- Shown Their Work: Very much so. Mervin and Mrs. Hyde have expert knowledge about medicine, the latter even having her PhD in the subject. The pair of them also know quite a bit about the behaviour of "old money", being from that kind of background themselves. Gehayi is a freelance editor, and Ket Makura has enough experience in the realm of BDSM to help her take down the Fifty Shades series. And as far as canon knowledge goes, it's a rule that to spork a fic in a fandom, the sporker has to know what they are talking about.
- Signature Style: Aside from the aforementioned analytical, in-depth style, the sporkers are a diverse lot, and this shows in their preferences and typical sporking material:
- Riffing Academy tends to pick up stories in canons he knows that frequently have at least one Marty Stu in them and female leads, especially canonically powerful ones, getting Chickified a lot.
- Sweettalkeress tackles stories that think they're Lifetime Movies Of The Week often, especially in the Pokémon fandom.
- Nix and Azra seem to be a fan of color-coding everything.
- Riyna-chan's spork comments are typed in blue, as it's easier on her eyes.
- Ki no Shirayuki ends her posts with waka poems except tables of contents.
- Single-Issue Psychology: In the Fifty Shades of Grey series, all of Christian's problems stem from his having been abused and poor until the age of four. Gehayi and Ket, both survivors of childhood abuse, take it to task. The comments similarly rip the flimsy excuse apart.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: The female sporkers don't shy away from taking the occasional Amusing Injury, most notably when Sands punches or slaps around Mervin, Hyde, or Ket.
- Small Reference Pools: Defied. Sporking topics are fairly diverse amongst the community, and while there are some popular fandoms and sources of stories, there's a wide mix between Western and Eastern fandoms that have sporked fiction. That doesn't even begin to describe each sporker's own favored references, either...
- Something Completely Different:
- A side series was started called "Writers Against Cliches", with the intent of deconstructing hackneyed tropes and concepts and allowing sporkers to write fics that play with expectations. More obliquely, the_whittler once sporked one of their own works (with permission), and at least one member plans to spork a bad sporking.
- Sweettalkeress introduced her sporking of the Code Geass Lighter and Softer fic "Euphemia's Surprise" this way because it was so different from the works she had been sporking.
- ZeldaQueen's sporking of How I Became Yours was the first sporking of a fancomic, both by her and on the comm (though she had sporked the first Twilight graphic novel on her own journal).
- Azra sporked a series of RuneScape fan-quests, which were written in the style of walkthroughs rather than as stories. She not only tore apart their failings as stories, but detailed the parts that would be poor gameplay as well.
- Special Guest: Some sporkers use characters from other series to spork with them. Examples are Sands, Severus Snape, Leah Clearwater, Sam and Dean Winchester as well as Castiel, Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith, Fi, Nanoha... even Dr Wood.
- Spinoff: In addition to the fic comm, Das_Sporking gave rise to Anti_bella, a LiveJournal comm that focuses on finding well-written female characters of every stripe and analyzing why these characters work well/are awesome. (On occasion, "anti-Edwards"—well-written male characters—have also been highlighted.)
- Spit Take: Used as a running gag for the Sailor Rainbow sporkings, in response to Accidental Innuendo. It gets taken to unprecedented levels with Raxis joins Midoriri and ZeldaQueen on one chapter.Midoriri: The Powers To Be are going to have to send a janitor in here...
- Stuff Blowing Up: Ket and Gehayi celebrate finishing Fifty Shades of Gray by blowing up Chris and Ana's property with a little help from Loki and Deadpool.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- Zelda Queen seems to have a fondness for chocolate. She tends to mix up I Need a Freaking Drink by using sweets instead.
- Midoriri mentions drinking coffee in a lot of her sporks.
- If Ket Makura is eating food, it's generally rice. She and ZeldaQueen often end chapters of Hush Hush by going off for ice cream.
- The Man Behind the Man: In RiffingAcademy's sporking of Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy, he makes reference a couple of times to an unnamed collaborator, whom he accuses of having suggested to the fourteen-year-old primary author to have included several story elements that are not appropriate for children. Because the collaborator is never named, it is impossible to be certain, but RiffingAcademy has strong suspicions that the collaborator was a pedophile, and just using the Suethor.
- Viewers Are Morons:
- Sporkers tend not to appreciate being treated like this by the fics they spork. In particular, Mervin ran a "Hand-Holding" count through Twilight, for when Meyer sat down and outright spelled out for her readers what was happening.
- The "Belladonna Poisoning" count for the Fifty Shades sporking—given when E.L. James' plots, characters or writing bear a striking resemblance to Meyer's work—counts egregious hand-holding as a similarity to the Twilight series.
- Voice of the Legion: When The Riddler tries to get his hands on the magic keyboard at the end of Chapter Nine pt. 2 of Fifty Shades Freed, Mervin pops in to remind him who's boss:
Mervin: YOU PITIFUL, INSIGNIFICANT FOOL. I AM THE BEAST, THE ABOMINATION, THE GOD THAT RULES THIS CYBER REALM.
- Wall of Text: Riffing Academy's love of big words and writing stuff in general leads to big intros, big outros, and big paragraphs dropped in between shorter, snappier remarks. When other sporkers do it, usually something else is about to happen.
- World of Snark
- Worst Aid: Pointed out in Chapter 9 of Ganondorf in my Crawlspace when Annie is giving CPR to Ilia, who is still breathing.