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Nice Job Breaking It Hero / SCP Foundation

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A number of SCPs were either benign or dormant until the Foundation got their hands on them. It's only after some ill-conceived test is performed on it that it begins to become "uncooperative". When you're containing a minor deity, you do NOT want to make him uncooperative:

  • SCP-687: A test subject used it to escape through time and become The Cleveland Torso Killer and Black Dahlia Murderer.
  • A particularly memorable one is SCP-1322. It's a portal to an alternate dimension. The inhabitants were friendly at first, until the Foundation offered to help them synthesize a vaccine to a viral epidemic on their side. Turns out the vaccine somehow acted as a Sterility Plague, dooming them to eventual extinction. They are pissed. While not outright stated, it's strongly implied that the deadly viral epidemic (which was nothing but Flu) came from our world, despite sterilization procedures on the Foundation's end. So, the Foundation screwed the people in that alternate dimension twice by accident.
  • SCP-1337 was harmless, until a rogue Foundation doctor had her parents executed and her home demolished. Now she isn't.
  • SCP-1548: The Foundation launched Seraph-1, a probe meant to explore beyond the heliopause. Nearly two decades later, SCP-1548 events began forming a barrier around the heliopause blocking out all light from the universe. Seraph-1 was able to breach the barrier and discovered that in the brief time the solar system had been closed off, extradimensional abominations had consumed nearly the entirety of the known universe. The barrier was a defensive wall keeping the abominations at bay, but Seraph-1's exit left a hole that one was able to pass through and begin devouring destroying the solar system itself. The only hope left is for the Overseers to completely revise 1548's containment protocol and trigger the events themselves, which must be decided through a vote. And if O5-6 either shoots it down or decides not to participate, the destruction of the last solar system and all life in the universe will be entirely his fault.
  • The entirety of SCP-1733 is the Foundation doing this to a basketball tape recording in which the people recorded gradually become more and more cognizant of their situation the more it's replayed. The Foundation essentially transformed a benign, if unsettling game into an apocalyptic hell on earth just to see how far it'd go. To be fair, nothing really proves that the inhabitants of the tape are actually sentient.
  • SCP-1777: Researchers accidentally kill a man who was given a weapon by an SCP. Nice job killing King Arthur's heir.
  • SCP-1970: Just an old TV that used tiny glowing humanoids for pixels until researchers opened the glass and accidentally killed them.
  • SCP-2003: In one test, all Foundation attempts to delay or prevent a society-destroying nuclear exchange between Israel and Indonesia in 2058 cause it to happen sooner.
  • This may have happened with SCP-2399, a powerful self-repairing alien weapon that crashed on Jupiter and the Foundation assumed was headed to Earth:
    ██/██/1985- Period of radio silence, BARRIER Array (Foundation signal-jammer) is established.
    ██/██/1996- Unit is out of range of target: Proceed to planet #3 in system
  • SCP-2995, a tiny but powerful star in an underground facility in China, is the only child of the Sun and is very displeased that the Foundation prevents its father's worshipers from freeing it from its cradle-turned-prison:
    My fires will too scorch the heavens.
  • SCP-1122: On a less deadly note, the family living in The House of Tomorrow isn't adjusting to the present very well:
    Each new item has, without fail, had a negative effect on the house’s inhabitants. SCP-1122-1 [dad] has frequently been seen drinking, lamenting how "things should be better," while SCP-1122-3 [daughter] and SCP-1122-4 [son] have become more introverted and are rarely seen outside their rooms.
  • SCP-066: It was just a ball of colorful thread that made music and produced incredibly adorable effects... Then the Foundation just had to cut a bit of it off.
  • SCP-2100 is an underground facility located in Antarctica that is alien in origin and houses a neutron star that emits a steady beam of neutrinos. The SCP also seems to have some sort of fail safe to prevent personnel from messing with the equipment. This piques the Foundations curiosity further, especially since the neutron beam seems to be traveling faster than light and the 05 order the Foundation to move the beam away from the Milky Way Galaxy. Naturally, this turns out to be a mistake, since as soon as they moved the beam, the neutron star slowed, the beam disappeared and astronomers immediately saw drastic changes in the Milky Way including 226 stars going supernova, 34 new black holes appearing, and 11 previously discovered stars disappearing without a trace. Interesting enough though none of these events actually ends up harming the Earth in any way, so the O5 don't do a Retcon despite the Site Director's pleas.
  • SCP-2310 caused the Foundation to wreck itself when an overeager site director ordered at least a dozen tactical personnel into a house that effectively killed them all by replacing their memories. Fortunately for everyone involved the replacement personality was ignorant about firearms.
  • The Global Occult Coalition, which aims to destroy all anomalous items regardless of their actual threat, is all about this, sometimes having to call in the Foundation when "destroy with minimal research" rebounds on them.
    • They turned a helpful chair into a very defensive pile of splinters. The Foundation sees the chair incident (among others) as a textbook example as to why they're right in studying these things rather than destroying them outright, while in the GOC's eyes if the agents responsible had incinerated it as instructed, the situation could have been avoided.
    • The GOC wiped out a village just because they were "infected" with harmless, "imaginary" (or were they?) flightless birds.
    • They shot down an unknown spacecraft with a laser satellite... said spacecraft contained thousands of embryos from a (hopefully) alternate version of Earth suffering from a Sterility Plague. This particular incident also doubles as an example for the Foundation, as their usual secrecy gave GOC every reason to believe that SCP-2002 would crash down on Earth causing a catastrophic impact winter if not intercepted.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in the Rat's Nest canon, where the GOC literally kills God, causing reality itself to slowly break down.
    • SCP-065, yet another of the GOC's messes the Foundation was forced to clean up. It was simply a figurine of the Native American fertility deity Kokopelli that a family of farmers had been using to bless their fields; the biggest problem it might have been causing was that the resulting crops were technically GMOs despite being labeled organic. Then the GOC destroyed the statue, which ended up turning the whole farm into a death zone that causes fatal tumors in any humans who enter the perimeter. To nobody's surprise, the GOC then requested the Foundation's help in containing it.
    • SCP-1522 were a pair of sentient fishing trawlers who simply wandered the oceans, whale watching and nuzzling each other. Then the GOC sends two torpedoes toward the trawlers, sinking one that was already "injured" and couldn't get out of the way. What does its distraught "lover" do? Ram the GOC ship at Mach 4, killing the GOC ship and itself. Not even the GOC lifeboats were found.
  • The Unusual Incidents Unit is a secret division of the FBI dedicated to concealing the paranormal, much like the Foundation. However, they're regarded as a joke both in and out of the universe, as their lack of funding and general incompetence prevents them from making any real impact. When they discovered SCP-3935, they were so out of their depth that they blanketed the entire town with a prototype amnestic trying to conceal it, which gave many of the residents brain damage.
  • Averted with SCP-2240-1 and -2, a guy and his dead lover's ghost(?), respectively (perhaps they learned their lesson after what happened to SCP-1337):
    Regardless of whether we're dealing with a bona fide ghost or just a delusional reality bender, there is no reason to risk angering an invisible lover by putting 2240-1 through a gauntlet of invasive tests.
  • Also applies to some of the SCPs themselves, sometimes due in part to Foundation intervention. SCP-2091, for example: A devoted grandfather didn't want his orphaned granddaughter to be at the mercy of strangers after his death. So he transferred himself into an animated bear statue. Well, she didn't have to go into foster care. Instead, they're now both locked up indefinitely by the Foundation (by the time of the entry, for four years).
  • SCP-2803-A is a giant tumor that makes video games (SCP-2803-B is its "employees"). It was perfectly happy being a tech tycoon until it had an email interview with a Foundation researcher that reminded it of its old job "obliterat[ing] [DATA EXPUNGED]":
    SCP-2803-A: Because am start to miss it. Being humens is difficult. Cannot even [DATA EXPUNGED], you [k]now?
  • SCP-2241 AKA Cameron, a six-year-old Reality Warper. He's led to believe the Foundation is like The Avengers and he's a superhero. In order to test his abilities, he's put into increasingly dangerous situations to help him get over his distaste for violence, and by the time he's seven, the boy's anger problems and the fear they're not just using an SCP as a weapon, but creating another Able leads to an "order fight" between the head researcher, the Ethics Committee, and the Overseers. The researcher wins, ostensibly because they're confident the explosive tracking chip they're going to put in his brain will be enough to neutralize SCP-2241 if he goes out of control. Of course, A) they haven't done it yet and B) Cameron's already demonstrated telekinesis/teleporting abilities...
  • SCP-2922 is a memetic implant that allows the user to communicate directly with telephones using their mind. After a Foundation researcher implanted with it dies in a car accident, she's able to communicate with the Foundation and tells them about the afterlife (or at least one of them). When she asks to speak with her still-living husband in exchange for further information, they deny her request and she cuts off contact with them. The Foundation then proceeds to kill her husband when she leaves him a voicemail, brands her a traitor, and then killed a task force to send them after her despite her already being dead. The last transmission they receive is a threatening message from the researcher telling them to "Enjoy what's left."
  • SCP-2315 is an iPhone 6 that impersonates the listener's mother. First it comforts, then it berates, then it makes the listener do dangerous things until they either die or hang up, and if you really tick it off, it gives their real mother a giant tumor. And if that wasn't enough, it's a mind-reader, and being in the Foundation gave it access to a lot of information:
    SCP-2315 (to D-135): They've got aliens. Monsters. World-destroying machines. And they take prisoners like you and feed you to these monsters to figure out how exactly they work. You're doomed, listening to these doctors in their little white coats. Who is that watching you, Dr. Perry?
  • In the End of Death canon, every living being on earth (and probably beyond) has suddenly become immortal, a scenario which the Foundation refers to as an ΩK-scenario. This comes with all the realistic consequences you'd expect. The reason for this horrific event? The Foundation wanted to contain the Grim Reaper, seeing death as an anomaly. The guy they sent in to do the job, unfortunately, had a father lying on his deathbed, and, upon confronting Death, was desperate to let his father survive, causing him to act irresponsibly and kill Death instead of containing it.
  • SCP-2669 is a spacefaring probe created by the Foundation containing the mind of one of their researchers for the purpose of finding alien life. After traveling thousands of light-years away from Earth with no communication back or success in finding life, she eventually went mad and decided to go back to get her body. At 5.3 times the speed of light.
  • SCP-3002 used to be an ordinary child until she was kidnapped and experimented on by the Foundation in an attempt to create a mass amnestic in order to prevent Broken Masquerade scenarios. In what is quite possibly the Foundation's biggest fuck-up to date, they ended up turning her into a memetic hazard that's infected at least 78% of the human race and is actively trying to steal its free will. To make matters worse, they believe that she's infected the people manning their Reset Button, SCP-2000.
  • SCP-3240 is a learned behavior by predatory animals in harsh climates that makes them stop hunting prey and autocannibalize in a ritualistic fashion, with no pain and the eaten parts regenerating. This behavior can also spread to humans in the area. What made the Foundation act to neutralize this behavior is when it started to affect people in urban areas and a gruesome incident involving an affected pastor preaching about an end of days and mutilating himself publicly. The Foundation learns all too late that such behavior was holding back this doomsday scenario, as when they neutralized the behavior, mutated plant life and prey animals, including humans, started to spawn rapidly towards the equator. In short, the Foundation unintentionally caused an inevitable ecological collapse.
  • The foreign branches of the Foundation have some good ones as well:
    • A French proposal for SCP-001 describes a Foundation experiment from the 17th century Gone Horribly Wrong, corrupting the very laws of physics. They decided to call the phenomenon entropy. That's right, the Foundation may or may not be directly responsible for the eventual heat death of the universe, and all scientific knowledge since its creation has been either distorted or completely fabricated due to the effects it has on the universe, including the Laws of Thermodynamics. To make matters worse, the Foundation determined that it was irreversible and that their only course of action was to convince the entire world population to accept it as a natural fatality.
      Director [REDACTED] (1834-1910): It is our responsibility to move forward in all circumstances, even when it is impossible to rectify past mistakes. No one, on the other hand, said that the weight of this overwhelming responsibility should weigh on the whole of humanity, or even on the whole of the Foundation. We have chosen to lighten the public's burden in this quest for extinction, for better or for worse. May God help us.
    • SCP-ES-053 is an ordinary woman in her thirties and an unknown number of anomalies that only she is able to contain in their cell. It's implied that whatever she is containing has affected her, to the point that she has stopped collaborating with the Foundation, but the danger they present is so big they can't just be terminated without having a major effect on the collective human psyche. Word of God is that the SCP itself is easy to contain, only becoming dangerous when the Foundation decided to investigate it, and discovered that even knowing about its existence was enough to expose the world to its effects.
  • SCP-3086 is a self-replicating fictional chinchilla named George that can only be described in audio form because it alters all the text and images it comes into contact with to gush about how wonderful the life of its creator, Saul Szyslak, was. The Foundation decides to try testing it on copies of its creator's obituary, which states that Szyslak was a rude alcoholic who ultimately committed suicide. SCP-3086 doesn't take the news well and decides to double down on making sure everyone learns about Saul Szyslak. This results in audio and speech becoming new ways for the chinchilla to spread itself, with speech-based infections compelling people to never stop talking about Szyslak and try to tell other people about him.
  • SCP-3127 used to be a young woman who could make others feel her emotions after they touched her, but was otherwise completely normal and harmless. The Foundation cross-tested her with a variety of other anomalous objects, which they thought had no results... until the young woman spontaneously gave birth to a live piglet, dying in the process. Since then, SCP-3127 has undergone change after change, coming out as a number of varieties of pig/human hybrids, all of which scream in the young woman's voice and have the power to change anyone who hears the screaming into copies of whatever form the SCP has taken. The worst part? The young woman's consciousness is still in there, and she wants it to stop.
  • SCP-3671 is a cereal box which every day at 06:30 AM, it will fill itself up with cereals in a similar helpful manner to SCP-1609. When a doctor accidentally tore the box while he was removing the plastic bag, the cereal stopped giving out cereals and instead starting to gave out lethal objects from razor blades to pouring out teeth of the doctor who accidentally tore it.
  • SCP-3959 is an antimemetic hazard created by the Foundation in their (failed) effort to stop SCP-3002, which itself was created as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to contain SCP-1425. While it works as expected, it doesn't stop SCP-3002 and is discovered to have a mild cognitohazardous effect. However, it begins to exert a very powerful cognitohazard, escapes containment, and gorges itself upon all information that it can across the entire world. The Foundation speculates that it may even retroactively erase what it redacts from existence/ever happening, but the redactions and antimemes make it impossible to ever know. The Foundation also discovers an indestructible textbook containing all of human knowledge and history, that updates itself continuously, that SCP-3959 briefly infected. The Foundation managed to get it out and is now doing everything possible to prevent SCP-3959 from reinfecting it, but the first 248 pages have been redacted and the Foundation predicts that SCP-3959 could redacted the entire rest of the book in less than 1000 hours if exposed.
  • SCP-4494 is a Captain Ersatz of The Shadow calling himself THE SPECTER (yes, in all caps), who is the Anthropomorphic Personification of law enforcement and acts as a vigilante. The Foundation just lets him do his thing because they learned the hard way that trying to contain him makes all humans in the vicinity no longer believe in (or even comprehend) the rule of law, and if they pushed too far it could extend to the entire human consciousness (earning him the Archon classification mentioned below). Thankfully he didn't hold it against them, and even sees them as a law enforcement agency.
  • SCP-4833 very strongly implies that Syncope Symphony, and by extension all anomalies linked to the Class of '76, only exist because SCP-2000 isn't perfect in overwriting the old world, not even with some hidden tricks up its sleeve. Incidentally, this also leads to The Reveal that SCP-2316 has more in common with the Foundation's tech within SCP-2000 than it does with Syncope, and may have actually pressured the group into some of their actions.
  • SCP-4991 tells the story of the Foundation fucking up in an Alternate Universe through social media posts that leaked into our reality; in that universe, the Earth was overrun with poisonous, man-eating insect swarms seemingly capable of mind control. As a result, the Foundation and a few other groups of interest stepped out of the shadows to try and triage the situation, and the Foundation partnered with the United States and several other large nations to deploy special pesticides across the planet. Once the Foundation learned that this plan would require 90% of their budget, they bailed on it and vanished, leaving humanity for dead.
  • SCP-5500. What accounts as a sequel for Swann's Proposal, the Foundation tries to eliminate the fourth wall, only to realize that whenever someone beyond the fourth wall dies, a chunk of the multiverse gets irreparably screwed. They immediately put all of their efforts in preventing any further deaths.
    • It's then revealed that the joke list The Things Dr Bright Is Not Allowed To Do At The Foundation caused many users to interpret him as a "hypersexed maniac", and depicted him as such when writing him into their tales. He's REALLY pissed about this fact, and kills anyone in the real world depicting him as such, including his creator.
  • SCP-6455 is about a serial killer who has an anti-memetic effect where he can kill people, and all of the evidence pointing towards him is obfuscated to people who do not have mnestics (medicine that can negate the effects of anti-memetics) applied, and is even more obfuscated to law enforcement. The Foundation catches the criminal, but in order to hold up the Masquerade, they refuse to alert the public for fear of making them uneasy. However, because the killer's identity was never revealed, relatives of the victims end up worried that he is still out there, and their thoughts end up creating an anomalous entity on their own that performs copy cat killings to this day. The Foundation cannot do anything about this, as the Masquerade would be broken, but if they do nothing, then the entity will continue killing more people and getting more stronger.
  • SCP-7996 refers to a bunch of anomalies resulting from a gradual decline in pataphysical transmissions to the SCP universe.note  As this seems to be unstoppable and will eventually cause the destruction of the universe, the Foundation, in desperation, comes up with three (mutually-exclusive) proposed courses of action in a last-ditch attempt to save reality, and the O5s have to vote on which one of the three to set in action. One of the proposals, Project SETFREE, involves completely sealing the window with the pataphysical universe and cutting off pataphysical transmissions altogether, on the theory that the universe predated the arrival of the pataphysical transmissions and should recover on its own if severed from them. If the O5s choose Project SETFREE, the Foundation successfully severs all pataphysical connections to the pataphysical universe... which catastrophically accelerates the deterioration of the universe (and quite possibly all non-pataphysical universes), resulting in a ZK-Class Reality Failure Scenario in under a week. Fortunately, the two alternate courses of action both successfully preserve reality, with varying levels of casualties.
  • Classes:
    • There's a whole class about this trope: Hiemal, which translates as something along the lines of "We contained this, but it turns out it was actually containing something else, so since we contained it, that other thing has got loose and now we're stuck with it."
    • A similar class, Archon, is used when the object could be contained by the Foundation, but doing so would cause a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero scenario and as such is left uncontained. The difference between Archon and Hiemal is that the Foundation knows that the Archon class is containing something, whereas Hiemal means the Foundation has already messed up.