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Fan Fic / An Unfortunate Mix Up

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An Unfortunate Mix Up is a comedic Mass Effect fanfic by TV Tropes contributor IHOP (under the pen name Insane Guy of DOOM) in which Tali'Zorah is exposed to a "DNA-Altering Retrovirus" which ultimately results in her getting pregnant with Commander Shepard's child. Initially the two struggle to figure out what law of science could cause this unholy abomination while Grunt becomes interested in a MMORPG called Galaxy of Fantasy. Once they discover the source, Shepard and Tali inform the crew of the Normandy's soon-to-be-littlest crew member and Grunt becomes further addicted to the online game. Garrus acts as Grunt's mentor while struggling against a player named "EggsBenedict" and acting as moral support for Shepard and Tali.


This work provides Examples Of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 5 focuses almost entirely on the Normandy's crew and their own misadventures with Shepard and Tali only appearing in the last few paragraphs.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Quarians are described as having seven inch long prehensile tongues (which according to Shepard, they can do amazing things with), star-shaped hearts and pouches like a marsupial.
  • Boldly Coming: The story is based around Shepard, a human, and Tali, a quarian, having a mutant hybrid child. Also there's The Illusive Man's quarian fetish, and Thane, a drell, and Kelly, also a human.
  • Brain Bleach: You'll need this for the scene in chapter fourteen where The Illusive Man jumps naked out of a cake.
    • It is later revealed that TIM is wearing a speedo.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done several times including "Mainly because (Shepard's) paragon level wasn't high enough for the rousing speech he had planned" and "Shepard and Tali sprinted towards the Normandy, hardly able to wait through the loading screen-I mean decontamination chamber, before reaching the Commander's private terminal".
    • When Shepard puts a gun to Grunt's head after he joins the Flotilla's Admiralty Board and orders the fleet to land on Tuchanka (which would kill them all) Tali stops him saying "No, we can't kill Grunt. He's one of the most popular characters."
      • Shepard saying that his "dance animation is literally just swaying from side to side slightly".
      • Engineer Gabby says that she and her partner Kenneth are "vague background characters" and that's why they know details about the story that they shouldn't normally have known in chapter fourteen.
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  • Buddy Cop Show: Fil Der and Barst. In Fil's own words, "We're like the main characters in *breath* one those buddy cop vids."
  • By-the-Book Cop: Fil Der's partner and mount, Barst.
  • Cowboy Cop: Fil Der, a loose cannon who doesn't play by the rules.
  • Crack Fic: The good kind.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue takes place 21 years after the main story.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: The author makes several references to Peter Chimaera and follows them with (that's a reference to Peter Chimaera).
  • Drunk with Power: Grunt in chapter 12. "CASUAL FRIDAY NOW!"
  • Gargle Blaster: Shepard drinks an actual pan-galactic gargle blaster in chapter three.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Arguable Admiral Zaal'Korris when he votes the first Quarian bonding ritual completed satisfactorily.
    • Well Tali and Shepard did save his life in the previous chapter, so it wasn't entirely unjustified.
  • I Call It "Vera": Zaeed calls it "Jessie."
  • Lampshade Hanging: Fil Der the volus C-Sec officer who rides around on his elcor partner Barst's back like a horse. For those who are unfamiliar, volus are a race who are terrible at fighting and would make the worst cops imaginable. Even Commander Shepard is in disbelief when he first meets them. So is Udina.
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  • Murder the Hypotenuse: One symptom of Quarian Pregnancy is a desire to do this. Problem is: EVERYTHING is a Hypotenuse to Tali in her state including Jacob, a random fangirl, Ashley, and a plant.
  • Previously On: Jokingly done in chapter 10, where the author recaps what happened in the last chapter but gets the title mixed up with Lost and Desperate Housewives.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Kelly plans to do this by inviting Shepard's old squadmates to a surprise baby shower.
  • Remember the New Guy?: A short while after the first few chapters were written, a new character named Kasumi was made available in ME 2, she was hastily added to story being introduced with Shepard saying "Ah Kasumi, my loyal squad member who has been here the whole time!"
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Grunt's attempt at spelling "The Baby Shower" comes out as "Teh Babby Show R", the krogan messenger from chapter twelve also has this problem.
    • Also "Goe 2 da Krew Quar-Krawts-Krew Place –Grunt"
  • Sequel Hook: The story ends with Shepard and Tali's son Rael as an adult about to begin his pilgrimage (quarian rite of passage), however the author has no plans to make one.
  • Shout-Out: Accusing the biotic Andreas of burning down restaurants makes him angry. People don't like him when he's angry.
    • Also, Shepard's combat drone is named Captain Tinker-Tonk after Sir Schmoopy's pet pig from Unforgotten Realms.
      • There are two in chapter 12, Zaal'Koris' "I have a Dream" speech, and Mordin dons an orange muumuu like a certain other alien scientist.
      • Zaal'Korris exclaiming, "This is madness!" while an enraged Krogan makes a declarative statement like a certain angry Greek.
      • At one point Jacob is sneaking through the mess hall to steal a box of Cheezy Poofs, which are the favorite food of Cartman from South Park (while this may be true, the Author did not realize that at the time and simply thought that "Cheesy Poofs" was a good named for a cheese based snack joke).
      • Kelly and Mess Sergeant Gardener argue over whether or not the cake is a lie in chapter fourteen.
      • Lora Haven of Clan Haven greeting people by saying "May I take your coat or pants?" is yet another Unforgotten Realms reference.
  • Title Drop: "I had been taking several antibiotics one which of turned out to be the retrovirus, which was quite an unfortunate mix up."
  • Unflinching Walk: Fil Der and Barst after arresting Udina and the Turian member of the Council.
  • Unusual Euphemism: There is no cursing in the story other than the quarian insult "Bosh'tet", which is used to substitute any swear one can imagine.

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