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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.

Relevant tropes:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Most of the sporks point out flaws in the work, and mock goofiness caused by them.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While sporking "To Rule Them All", Master Ghandalf notes that while Sauron isn't being portrayed as a good guy, the author doesn't seem to grasp the true scope of his weight and presence, so he comes off as more like Azra's somewhat cranky but otherwise generic boss rather than one of the most monstrous individuals in the history of Middle-earth. This makes him an unusual example of this trope being caused by combination of bad writing and a lack of understanding of the source material.
  • 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.
    Ki no Shirayuki: Aside from that, why are you referring to Oda Nobunaga by last name and Date Masamune by first name?
  • Artistic License – Geography: One of Mervin's biggest problems with Halo (the book by Alexandra Adornetto, not the video game franchise). The book is set in a small town in Georgia, but it's obviously apparent to anyone with even basic knowledge of Georgia that Adornetto, who is Australian, didn't bother doing any research and wrote a town that combined Australia with the little she knew of the American South. The result is an incredibly rich paradise with an economy that shouldn't work, where poor people apparently don't exist and everything looks like it came out of the Fifties.
  • Author Powers: How most sporkers force their special guests to read badfic. Also exercised by a handful of sporkers using the Keyboard of Power.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Some sporkers have their own.
      • Raxistaicho's is "Standby, ready for more", used in his live journal cuts. Occasionally, "more" is replaced by something specific to the chapter.
      • Azralibrarian's is "Sweet Zaros."
      • Ki no Shirayuki's is "Drop your head and die" in regards to Sues.
    • 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.
  • Calling the Young Man Out: During the Twilight sporkings, it's vainly hoped that Charlie Swan will eventually get sick of Bella's selfishness and kick her to the curb. As a result, it's become a very popular storyline among Twilight spitefics featured on the site.
  • 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.
  • invokedDesignated Hero: Esme_Amelia considers Sally Dunn to be a spoiled brat who relishes in her mom's misery.
  • invokedDude, 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 flips 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 generic OP horde misfires 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.
    • Ki no Shirayuki completely blows her lid and rants in ALLCAPS for several paragraphs at a Sue's horribly abusing a sword, up to and including putting him into solitary confinement for 2 weeks, one day shy of qualifying as psychological torture by the UN's standards, just because he refuses to be an Extreme Doormat and kiss the ground she walks on and couldn't save her family as an inanimate object while she also did nothing without such an excuse, that is treated like comedy by the narrative and viewed by other swords as Tsundere behavior and her way of confessing her love for him.
  • Due to the Dead: Usually dead authors who are sporked are treated with respect unless they committed crimes in real life.
  • 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, namely 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.
    • During the Nobunaga-sensei sporking, Heshikiri Hasebe says while he isn't fond of his old master Oda Nobunaga, the latter still doesn't deserve to have his historical impact ignored to be portrayed as a bland harem hero who grooms children.
  • 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 flawless character 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.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • 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).
    • Ki no Shirayuki's translation-sporking of the Nobunaga-sensei anime cast commentary is the first sporking of foreign language material whose translation is provided by the sporker themself.
    • 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.
    • Raxistaicho's sporking of "A Journey Of Light And Darkness", which was actually a fanfiction he wrote some time ago and plans to revise. As a joke, he refuses to believe it's in need of snark until the protagonist shows up, hits him on the head and makes him forget he wrote it, leading to him commenting on how terrible it is.
  • From Bad to Worse: Played for Laughs in Chapter 5 of A Brighter Dark, where Azalin Rex finally escapes his prison in Darkon..into the sporking chamber.
  • 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 Onmyoji 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.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Some of the group are this way, Mervin stands out the most.
  • Handicapped Badass: Gehayi is open about being mobility limited. It sure doesn't stop her from absolutely destroying poorly-written and researched work.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The presence of this in A Brighter Dark is repeatedly pointed out and mocked, especially Nohr's strategies, which only work due to author fiat.
  • 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.
  • 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 and Ket Makura describe their invitation to guest sporkers Elsa and Anna of Arendelle this way:
      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.
      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.
  • Relax-o-Vision:
    • 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.) Of these fics, For You, I Will, The Wedding Crashers, and Tough Love have their own trope pages.
    • On the other hand, they positively loathe crossovers that appear to be written only so the author can “prove” their favorite series is better than one they hate. This is the main reason Harry Potter and the Invincible TechnoMage and The White Devil of the Moon got sporked, being seen as needless attacks on Harry Potter and Sailor Moon respectively.note  Not all bad crossovers are sporked for this reason, but it is the most common.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mervin is the Red to Hyde's Blue.
  • 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!!!
  • Shipper on Deck: Sporkers often make their preferred ships known throughout their sporkings, although not so much that the sporking becomes a Sporker Filibuster.
  • 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.
    • Gratuitous classical Japanese poetry is a staple of Ki no Shirayuki – she ends every of her posts (except tables of contents) with one and angst nukes into them.
  • 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, often calling attention to the fact that Christian's mother is not given the same treatment despite being abused for far longer and not behaving nearly as badly.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Strawman Has a Point: invoked
    • In his sporking of Identities, Master Ghandalf points out that despite Legolas' suspicion of Morwen/Rana being portrayed as a flaw with him, he's actually entirely justified in being suspicious, since he knows for a fact that she's an agent of the Enemy. It doesn't help that she spends more time whining about Legolas not trusting her than she does showing that she can be trusted, and she apparently doesn't fully turn against Sauron until after she gets caught in an explosion at the Battle of the Hornburg.
    • In her sporking of TDOMCM Libraryseraph points out that Harry is a conqueror who is unifying the wildlings into a fighting force and who possesses magical powers like nothing seen in Westeros before, and therefore all the characters treated as in the wrong for mistrusting and fearing him are the only IC and sensible ones.
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: One of the favorite results of the sporkers' spite fics. Which also makes such stories Deconstruction Fic.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A common Berserk Button of sporkers.
    • tuckerofterror lampshades an instance: "You magical guardian who has let me get away with this for the past year, suggesting you're powerless to stop me, whose only proof that he's not just a normal guy who's certainly not hiding behind that vase is his own word, you."
    • rc88 was deeply displeased by a damsel in distress cutting off the tracking device which had been placed on her and yet keeping it in the car with her.
  • 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.
  • Unexplained Recovery: In the Identities sporking, it's noted that Haldir is said to have died in the Battle of the Hornburg by the narration, but he's later established to have survived, something which is never explained.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The comments on any given spork or recap are usually full of anecdotes and additional information.
  • 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.
  • Villain Protagonist: Azra from "To Rule Them All" is considered a very poor example of one by Master Ghandalf. As he points out, she's not sympathetic enough for the audience to feel for her, nor is she impressive enough for them to want to she how she'll pull of her schemes.
  • Villain Song: Cherylbites wrote one to be sung by generic villainous powerhouses called "Onward, Sueish Soldiers."
  • Worst Aid: Pointed out in Chapter 9 of Ganondorf in my Crawlspace when Annie is giving CPR to Ilia, who is still breathing.