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Fanfic / The Story to End All Stories

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The Story to End All Stories is an epic fanfic that brings together characters from various media who find themselves facing an existential threat. It turns out that the Nothing (from The Neverending Story) is destroying all of fiction and unless it can be stopped, humanity will lose its ability to create new stories. It's up to our heroes to travel through various genres in hopes of defeating the Nothing or, at the very least, finding somewhere they can be safe. The story plays out in the form of a movie that Mike Nelson, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000 are watching.

This story provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Luke Skywalker tells Indiana Jones that he looks familiar. Also, Dr. Sam Beckett leaps into Captain Jonathan Archer, and Tyrone Green talks about attending Mindhead meetings.
  • Anti-Climax: Played for Laughs, as the heroes are ambushed at one point by the Pale Man. Katniss nonchalantly shoots him dead with a single arrow before he does anything.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When listing potential suspects, Penny Pringle mentions such well-known villains as Lex Luthor and Freddy Krueger along with Clifford Daniels, the sadistic 10-year-old from Clifford.
  • Big Bad: The one responsible for unleashing the Nothing. It turns out to be someone none of the characters had even heard of, let alone suspected.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Doctor and his friends attempt to save all of fiction from the destructive power of the Nothing.
  • Black Comedy: There's some pretty dark humor, which is evident right from the opening scene in which Barney the Dinosaur is unceremoniously killed off.
  • The Cameo: Roughly a hundred characters appear, some of whom only have a line or two. It includes everyone from the Soup Nazi to Elsa from Frozen.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When taking stock of their assets, Katniss Everdeen mentions her bow and arrows and Inigo Montoya mentions his sword, both of which come in handy later.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Deconstructed. This is the exact motive of the true villain of the story, the Trope Namer, as he wants revenge for being forgotten.
  • "Day of the Week" Name: Three of them. Thursday Next, Pat Tuesday and Wednesday Addams.
  • Demographic-Dissonant Crossover: The meta nature of the story allows for characters as varied as Hannibal Lecter and the Power Rangers to make cameo appearances.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The villain was forgotten by the rest of fiction, so he decided to deal with his frustration by kickstarting the Apocalypse.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Fiction itself will cease to exist if the Nothing is not stopped.
  • Evil Plan: The villain's ultimate goal is to destroy all fiction so that humanity won't be able to create new stories, and every fictional character will be forgotten like the villain himself.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: All stories just might come to an end if the Nothing is not stopped dead in its tracks. Also the title of a short story by Philip K. Dick, as referenced by Crow.
  • Foreshadowing: Penny Pringle notes that the person responsible for releasing the Nothing must be someone with true cunning.
    • The gag of Springfield's location (once again) being unrevealed seems like another gag, but In the end, it turns out everything WAS fine, so there ISN'T a reason to reveal it!
  • Framing Device: Each chapter ends with a cutaway to Mike and the Bots discussing what they've just seen.
  • Genre Savvy: Sherlock Holmes deduces that the culprit will turn out to be the last one they expect. He's right, as the villain is so obscure their obscurity is their actual motive.
  • The Ghost: Columbo apologizes for his wife's absence, noting that she loves a good mystery. Adrian Monk also backed out at the last minute because he's afraid of everything.
  • Hand Wave: Used several times to explain what happens in the story.
  • Hypocrite: The villain plans to destroy fiction due to his lack of fame, but doesn't care about what happens to characters even more obscure than him.
  • Imagination Destroyer: The Nothing threatens to both wipe out fiction and destroy people's ability to imagine.
  • Insistent Terminology: Poirot angrily asserts that he is not French, he is Belgian.
  • Ironic Echo: The villain uses the phrase "No more," making the Doctor flinch.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Invoked by Rimmer when thunder is heard outside Boddy Mansion.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The characters are constantly questioning everything that happens to them and there are quite a few jokes about them and the stories they inhabit. For example, they question how The Neverending Story has an actual ending.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The story is one gigantic crossover, which involves heroes like Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Inigo Montoya, Doctor Who, Batman and Sherlock Holmes. It even features an appearance by the king of crossovers, John Munch.
  • Musical Episode: One chapter includes a song called "We're Going Out in Style."
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Nothing appears to be unstoppable.
  • No Fourth Wall: The characters are fully aware that they're fictional and frequently comment on how absurd and illogical the events unfolding before them are. They also are aware of their own authors, and the villain's motive makes sense from entirely Doylist perspective.
  • The Nondescript: Sherlock says they should be looking for someone who fits this description.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Batman realizes he is about to be swallowed up by the Nothing. Also towards the end when it seems our heroes can no longer outrun it.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The villain attempts to wipe out all of fiction out of pure spite.
  • Pinball Protagonist: The heroes are far more reactive than proactive in this story. This is because they are facing a threat much greater than they are used too and thus feel powerless to do anything about it.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I still want my father back, you son of a bitch!"
  • Reality Warper: The Nothing does this to fiction, causing characters from different genres to meet.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The villain tears into the heroes for being more famous than him.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The Nothing's arrival is indicated by dark, ominous clouds.
  • Reference Overdosed: There are numerous name-drops, in-jokes and references to all kinds of media, some more subtle than others.
  • The Reveal: When the heroes discover who was behind the Nothing all along.
  • Rewriting Reality: The villain changes the ending of The Neverending Story so that the Childlike Empress dies and Fantasia is destroyed by the Nothing.
  • Rule of Funny: The Doctor only mentions there's food in the TARDIS after numerous attempts to find food elsewhere are thwarted.
  • Sanity Slippage: The villain has gradually descended into madness to the point that he is unrecognizable.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The ending is somewhat anticlimactic as it turns out that the Nothing isn't as much of a threat as it's made out to be.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The villain is Chuck Cunningham from Happy Days who feels ignored by both the people who created him and other characters.
  • Stranger Behind the Mask: Although the villain's identity is hinted at, one has to be a pop culture junkie to guess who it is since he does not actually appear in the story until the end.
  • Summation Gathering: Sherlock Holmes gathers his fellow detectives and our heroes together in order to reveal who's behind the release of the Nothing.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The heroes end up on Myst Island from Myst where the Nothing can not reach them and they now have access to an infinite number of worlds, ready to be explored.
  • Take That!: When the characters all shout "SHUT UP, LEMONY SNICKET!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lister goes in search of curry and Homer inquires as to where he might find a donut.