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SCP Foundation provides examples of the following tropes:

Tropes A to D | Tropes E to M | Tropes N to R | Tropes S to Z

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  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: A group calling itself "The Chaos Insurgency" cannot possibly be up to any good. Neither can the Church of the Broken God.
  • Nanomachines: SCP-204-1 is a particularly fight-prone cloud of those that eats meat. SCP-784-ARC is a man who now "lives" as a nanomachine colony. And SCP-1322 has plenty of nanomachines being delivered as a weapon.
  • Narrator: SCP-1376 is a video camera that gives its recordings a narrator a la certain British nature documentaries.
    Subject: A static recording of a tennis ball placed on a table.
    Narration: As noon approaches, it grows increasingly confused, as the creatures around it show no sign of using it for its intended purpose. Struggling to attract their attention, it becomes ever more distressed as it finds itself completely immobile.
    • It may also be psychic (or at least very observant):
      Subject: An incidental recording of Dr. ██████ made by Dr. ████████ during unrelated experimentation.
      Narration: Despite the male's calm facade, his lust for his female companion is extraordinary. The degree to which his obsession reaches has become nearly unhealthy, dominating his thoughts at every turn. Wild fantasies course through his mind when he watches her when she doesn't notice.
      Researcher Note: Dr. ██████ was treated for a broken nose after being attacked by Dr. ████████ and both researchers have been placed on administrative leave for a period of no less than two (2) weeks pending disciplinary action and transfer to another site.
  • Necessarily Evil: The SCP Foundation recognizes that it does very bad things, for the greater good of humanity.
    • The "Unfounded" mini-canon is built on the premise that this is not true, taking place in a universe where there is no Foundation, and yet things are still pretty much the same, with other Groups of Interest taking up the slack.
    • The Ethics Committee prevents the Foundation from committing unnecessary cruelty... which means that somebody has to decide when cruelty is necessary.
  • Necessary Weasel: The Foundation uses ordinary (that is, not paranormal) drugs which can erase memories. Nothing like that actually exists, but they're necessary to maintain The Masquerade, which is itself necessary for Plausible Deniability.
    • One short story posits that instead of drugs, Class A Amnestics are good old-fashioned psychological torture and brainwashing.
    • SCP-3000 explains the existence of Amnestics by introducing a giant sea serpent that excretes it after a human sacrifice.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: A few Series 3 SCPs start in dates after their initial publication, such as 2015 (SCP-2716), 2016 (SCP-2242), 2017 (SCP-2703), 2018 (SCP-2570) and 2019 (SCP-2217). It probably works better than Series 2 dating articles with predictions such as SCP-1032's Euclid revision set for January 2015 or SCP-1023 having the California Collapse in 2016. SCP-2998 plays with it — it starts in the same 2013 it was written, then the aliens invade in 2017, and ultimately a Reset Button is pressed and time goes back to 2013 again.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Has its own page.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe:
    • SCP-425: A television set which broadcasts a weird vision by itself on the 8th, 16th, and 24th day of each month, even when unplugged. It's harmless, but if you're born on days of the month that are multiples of 8 (e.g. 8, 16, and 24), then the vision will include moving through a black hole, and experience "a crushing sense of oblivion". Then you will have recurring nightmares for weeks, and even extensive psychotherapy only reduced the nightmare to once a month.
    • 30% of SCP-1881-B players report lasting psychological effects afterwards, in the form of nightmares related to its contents (and occasional visual/auditory hallucinations).
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: SCP-2980, a Big Red Devil that switched from terrorizing cultists to writing children's books. He likes reading his stories to anyone around his "nightlight" at 8:30 PM and the only effects these stories have is they sometimes give the listener a refreshing sleep and create new creatures to bedevil the Foundation like THE DEER (AKA "Damnbi") and Grog the cave monster.
    • Whoever or whatever Phobos Labs ("Bringing your nightmares to YOU since 1944") is made SCP-2850, wasps that cause you to grow extra teeth which hatch more wasps which then hide in yours and any other human dwelling to find more people to infest. They also mention making TrypanoClowns©.
    • Junior Researcher James, who's implied to be Dr. Bright's son. Two of his SCPs, SCP-789-J and SCP-078-J, which are funny if not childish. Then we have SCP-682-J, which are his drawings of SCP-682 and his versions of its description. One of the picture is SCP-682 eating a researcher.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Invoked with the staff assigned to SCP-2006, a sentient sphere that can transform itself in order to cause fear in others. To prevent it from becoming something truly dangerous, staff members must watch low-quality horror movies and pretend they're terrified to trick it into only turning into harmless things.
  • Nightmarish Factory: SCP-001:O5. A factory built by a wizard that used Blood Magic and Soul Power to manufacture Organic Technology from the slaves bred in the factory's basement. The founder accidentally made a Pact with the entity running it, and every so often a researcher disappears... This might be why the Foundation is so quick to send D-Class personnel to their deaths. If it can gorge on Red Shirts, it'll leave the more valuable people alone.
  • 90% of Your Brain: SCP-1475 took a drug that allowed him to use 100% of his brain, giving him complete and total control over his body. Unfortunately, this also means that he now must manually do everything his body used to do automatically, like pumping blood through his veins or digesting food. This takes so much of his concentration that it has left him bedridden and unable to walk around because he can't move his muscles and keep up the formerly automated stuff at the same time. The author wrote this SCP specifically because they hated the "__% of your brain" trope.
  • Nintendo Hard: Invoked by SCP-1633, which learns from players' actions and evolves to counter them.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: SCP-173, in a manner similar to The Weeping Angels.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: SCP-2521 is this out of necessity, as it is a weird Humanoid Abomination that takes away anything written about it and kidnaps anyone who talks about it. However, drawing pictures that describe it is just fine.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: SCP-517's reaction to SCP-087 in Episode 7 of Old Kansas Sector.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: 076's reaction to being requested to approach one candidate for SCP-001.
    • Any time experiments are cancelled on SCPs that violate common sense or would possibly replicate something nasty.
    • From SCP-507s file: "I don’t care how much he grumbles about it; SCP-507 is not to be cleared for challenging SCP-076-2 to fifty rounds of Tic-Tac-Toe. Just… no."
  • No Name Given: The O5. Most of the time, even their identification numbers are blanked out. Often, researchers have their names blanked out. D-Class, being expendable, don't have names, just numerical designations.
    • Averted with O5-12, the father of SCP-321, whose first name is Adam in a nod to the long tradition of meaningful names and nods towards The Bible in the Foundationnote .
  • No Fourth Wall: Andrew Swann's Proposal for SCP-001 takes a sledgehammer to the fourth wall, when it reveals that the Foundation found out they're a bunch of editable horror stories.
    • If S. Andrew Swann's proposal is a sledgehammer, then Operation Óvermeta and the related SCP-3500 is a wrecking ball. Continuing from the ending of the former, the Foundation decides to take advantage of the fact that they're fiction, exploiting the actual site's mechanics and integrating otherwise-non-canon site functions like the Grand Crosslinking into the story. This ultimately bites them in the ass when their endgame, to establish a unified canon, heavily destabilizes reality and sends it crashing down on unfortunate Author Avatar researchers.
  • Non-Indicative Name: This tends to come up a lot when discussing the Foundation's means of categorizing SCPs, mainly because when a Foundation operative says an object is "safe", they mean "nothing will happen if it's left alone in a locked room". A hydrogen bomb is "safe" by those standards.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: A number of SCPs are essentially just predatory organisms with anomalous traits.
  • Noodle Implements: Some of the SCP objects become this, when SCP numbers are listed in incident reports or other articles; occasionally, the SCP with that designation will appear completely irrelevant to the context in which it was referenced. note 
  • Noodle Incident: Every single time you see "[DATA EXPUNGED]" or "[REDACTED]"; it seems like the whole idea is to have at least one such incident per SCP. The unspecified reason why SCP-447 must never come into contact with dead bodies is especially noodly and is occasionally referred to elsewhere (as seen below, it scares O5-2 shitless).
  • No OSHA Compliance: In the SCP articles themselves, the containment procedures are designed to minimize danger, risk, and loss of life, even of the utterly expendable D-Class. In the testing logs, the prison-recruited D-class personnel are regularly treated to definitely unethical and probably lethal experimentation, often in cases where little useful information is likely to result, and are often subjected to the machinations of some of the more diabolical SCPs purely for the amusement of the ranking research staff.
  • No-Sell: Former SCP-151-D exhibited this along with other Marty Stu traits, shrugging off effects of other SCPs just because. His termination log consists much of the same, until he's finally destroyed... rather messily. invoked
  • No Sense of Direction: SCP-920, also known as Mr. Lost. Try to take him somewhere, or just walk with him for a while, and you will get lost. (However, apparently because all the super-deadly gets old if everything is super-deadly, the description has a notice that lost means "lost" as in "misplaced" and not some horrible fate. However, you can be lost to pretty much anywhere in the world. And it's likely you'll still die of thirst or cold if you get lost with him in a desert or a snowy area.)
    • When they tried to contain him, a whole facility got lost. It remained where it was but nobody could ever find it, leading to its closure due to running out of supplies.
  • Nose Shove: SCP-108.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Many of the SCPs. In particular is SCP-387, a set of sentient Legos. Ordinarily they're benign, and even kind of cute. But put a knockoff set of Legos nearby, and they will do something Redactable.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: It's very obvious that SCP-008 is a zombie virus, but the article never refers to it as such.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The guidelines for writing new SCP reports encourage vagueness so that the reader fills in the horror for themselves, which is more effective than detailing something that may just fall flat.
  • SCP-231. All we know is that it's a little girl forced to undergo a process known as "Procedure 110-Montauk" every day to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. This process is so terrible that it's made some personnel kill themselves, or take amnesiacs just to forget they were ever a part of it. What is this process? We'll never know. And yet, it's frequently cited as one of the most horrifying entries on the entire wiki.
  • SCP-579. What is it? We don't know. Whatever it is, the SCP Administration felt it was so dangerous that even the description of it is gone. They even killed all the people working on it, save 7 agents that act as advisers in case it ever gets loose. It's so bad that it's currently stored in an alternate universe — after having destroyed at least 4 other containment sites, with a very specific containment procedure, and if it ever fails, even for a minute, policy is to destroy the alternate universe to contain it. And if that fails?
  • Played With In-universe in a very literal way with: SCP-1057, the Absence of a Shark. It's empty space, raw void, that nonetheless swims around in the water with the shape and mentality of an uncommonly irritable tiger shark. Being made to ham-fistedly illustrate a point by a pretentious group of anomaly artists, it was released in a public setting and attacked three people, two fatally... while the fleeing crowd trampled five to death in their panic. The idea of a shark thus proved more dangerous than there being a shark, doubly illustrated by the very distinct lack of shark in the anomaly's 3D space.
  • SCP-2154 is a telescope that allows the real-time observation of space. Approximately 72% of stars viewable by mundane means cannot be seen through it, which means that either stars are going out very quickly or something very large ad opaque is blocking them. It is confirmed that a mix of both is most likely true, but the reader never learns what the matter is and the foundation doesn't know either. The author confirms that the point of the article is not about why the stars are going out or being blocked, but rather that humans have no idea what is currently happening in space.
  • SCP-5000. For some reason the Foundation, including the Ethics Committee decides to end the world with no explanation except that it's because of "circumstances outside our controll". A post article analysis and Word of God confirms they learned of an Eldritch Abomination inside the human mind, but what it is, why the Foundation wants to destroy the world because of it and whether or not [[spoiler resetting the timeline will stop them from doing it again]] is never explained.
  • Nuclear Option: Most (if not all) Sites have on-site nuclear warheads, to be detonated in the event of a breach by a Keter-class SCP or Site failure. But they are actually afraid to try it on SCP-682 because it might not only survive, it could become even stronger.
  • The Nudifier: The intended use of SCP-1755 by its creators, until the Foundation contained it and discovered that the worms are bringing the cotton plant close to extinction and might cause a collapse in the textile industry.
  • Number of the Beast: While SCP-666 is not overtly Satanic, SCP-616 is decidedly more hellish, and has clergy on staff when necessary. The actual religious requirements are invented, though.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: SCP-807, the Heart Attack on a Plate. Any food placed on it will be turned into this trope, and consuming it will invariably cause a heart attack within 5 minutes.
    • Among the items from SCP-261 is a "Turduchocken", an item described as "Balls of fried turkey, each containing a smaller ball of fried duck containing a chocolate candy with a fried chicken center", described by the label as containing 450% the typical adult human requirement of saturated fat. Also, "Tastee Bird Spicy Lime Snack!!!" is a "reconstituted, de-calcified parrot skeleton in a tangy broth with celery and cilantro and lime", containing 300% the daily recommended amount of sodium.
  • Obsessive Love Letter: SCP-1269, apparently a mailbox that sends stalkerish letters to female owners.
    • SCP-962, which sends such love letters to humanity.
  • Odd Couple: SCP-1710 1 and 2, an Eldritch Abomination and a pleasant British housewife, respectively, who were turned into trees by a Trickster God.
    SCP-1710-1: We were not always thus. We were the Serrated Void. We were That Which Rends. We were blades, edges, angles. We moved, we ravaged, we sharped.
    SCP-1710-2: What was that? Sorry, I was distracted by those bees. Silly little buggers, they are, buzzing about. Oh, they tickle so!
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In interview 507G, Said by an alternate version of SCP-507 after he realizes what's going to happen to him.
    SCP-507-A Oh. Bugger.
    Closing Statement: Subsequent testing revealed that SCP-507's abilities have no biological basing, and that severed pieces will still “shift” along with the main body.
    • In SCP-5000, Pietro Wilson could only utter a "Fuck me" when the Foundation released a global message revealing their existence and their intent to exterminate mankind.
  • Old Shame: SCP-1851-EX is an in-universe example. Before the Civil War, the Foundation's D-classes were composed of slaves who escaped their masters; the "D" referred to "Drapetomania," a "mental illness" that caused slaves to have an "unnatural" lack of submission and obsess over fleeing captivity. When it's suggested they destroy all evidence of this embarrassing fact, the Foundation insists on keeping the information on file specifically because it's an embarrassing fact.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Aside from the Foundation, there's SCP-1659 AKA Directorate K, whose affected "members" number in the hundreds of thousands. Its mission is incomprehensible beyond apparently wanting to fix the SCP-verse in its own way and influencing foodies.
  • Omniscient Morality License: A lot of these researchers are worse than Class-D personnel (who are "recruited" from prison). Some get demoted to Class D.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: SCP-3082: When 3082-2 is communicating with a somewhat broken drone:
    Can you spin this gadget's blades one time for "no" and two times for "yes"?
    [The drone is heard activating its motors twice in quick succession.]
  • Ominous Message from the Future: While it is unclear exactly who or what is responsible for its creation, SCP-5614, an anomalous recording of Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, contains several additional verses which appear to predict future events (of course, the article in question was written during the 1990s, many of these events will be familiar to modern readers).
  • One Myth to Explain Them All: It is not clear whether the Leviathan and AnantaShesha were the origin of the myth, or were named after mythological creatures.
  • Orifice Invasion: SCP-2484, anomalous mayonnaise: "Masses from 235 g to 804 g will actively attempt to make their way inside vertebrate animals through any available means (including oral, nasal, aural, ocular, rectal, or genital orifices, open wounds, and sweat pores)."
  • Origin Story: Some of SCP-001 proposals are about how the Foundation and sometimes how many groups of interest are formed.
    • SCP-5497 ('What Never Was') serves as a possible origin for the world explored in the Unfounded canon.
  • Orphaned Series: Happens frequently with series and even entire canons. Writers begin writing, create a few articles, then lose interest or initiative before completing them. Due to the wiki nature of the site, though, other writers can pick it back up.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Averted as the Foundation goes to extensive lengths to document the fact that Dr. Clef's proposal for SCP-001 is indeed a bona fide Judeo-Christian Angel without any major subversions — and possibly the Jophiel himself, who guards the real, genuine Garden of Eden. It does, however, play more to the descriptions in Holy texts as opposed to cultural depictions; for instance, appearing to have as many as 108 wings and being made of fire.
    • Played Straight, though, with SCP-469. Disturbingly straight.
    • Your mileage may vary with SCP-861.
    • SCP-2610-A thinks his "visitor" is an angel ("Her flesh rippled and tore, and light shined through the cracks like the sun.") and she speaks to him, as he remembers it, like one: "'Soft and silent, Child of God,/for you have been chosen to lead His people/and create for Him a New Eden.'"
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • SCP-682 has been called a "tarasque" in the Lord Blackwood and Bellerverse tales; SCP-1420 seem to be working towards a viable dragon; SCP-1013 is a cockatrice; SCP-1779 are tiny dragons that eat change (actually, they're real dragons, which apparently feed on items of monetary value rather than nutritional value, and the more expensive the food, the bigger the dragon).
    • In the greater Foundation-verse, dragons are a vulnerable population of anomalous organisms whose conservation puts the Foundation at odds with preserving the veil, making their exploitation (e.g. Ambrose Restaurants using hatchlings to cook food) or annihilation inevitable. In SCP-1762, they wither away and die because of humanity's increasing lack of belief in fantasy. In SCP-3844, Tharnock weakens for the same reasons and is eventually killed, though more of his kind suddenly show up after his passing. In SCP-6002, they are part of a kingdom of organisms called the aeterns and lack the weaknesses of 1762 or Tharnock, but are wiped out and erased from history by destroying their corresponding genomes in 6002, hoping the SCP-6002-B infection ravaging the tree would go with them. It does not.
  • Painting the Medium: Has its own page.
  • Panacea: SCP-500 are pills that cure any disease, but there's just about fifty of them and they're impossible to replicate perfectly (though knockoffs can work if you're lucky). Later, SCP-427: the Lovecraftian Locket was developed out of one of the pills and has eclipsed it in use, although with the possible side effect of mutating you into a squid.
    • One of the items dispensed by SCP-261 is a drink can that has Indonesian text on it claiming it can cure any kind of disease. While it's unknown if that statement is entirely true, a D-class with prostate cancer who drank it was found to be cured. Unfortunately, only one can was released and due to the nature of SCP-261 it's extremely unlikely to appear again.
  • Paranormal Mundane Item: A decent number of artifacts contained by the foundation bear some resemblance to some form of product intended to be sold to the public, to the detriment of anyone unfortunate enough to find one. In addition, there are a number of organizations of interest that specialize in the production and or sale of such artifacts.
  • Parody Sue: Several. Most notably, SCP-10101-j (a parody of overpowered wish-fulfillment self-inserts), SCP-777-j (a parody of god mode black hole sues), and SCP-496-j (a parody of Purity Sues, whose name actually references the original Mary Sue). SCP-316, later terminated with extreme enthusiasm by the resident Wonka, reads much like one but was apparently intended as a serious SCP.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Defied. According to SCP-6930, guffawing at a sapient anomaly's containment even if the methods used are valid is a pretty easy way to violate the protocols of the Ethics Committee. In the case of the aforementioned article, it got so bad that one of the lead researchers had to revise the containment procedures to be unusually generous as both payback and to stop another Pattern Screamer from going insane.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Shown in the terminal logs for SCP-2317, with the lower-clearance agents having weaker password sense:
    • Jonathan Vance, Clearance Level 0: password9910 (played straight)
    • Sgt. Hannibal Masterson, Clearance Level 1: 1234Ilovethemarinecorps (long password, but familiar phrase)
    • Dr. Jackson Choi, Clearance Level 2: beethovens9th123 (played straight)
    • Dr. Victoria Fellini, Clearance Level 3: Sierra charLy pOPPA (fairly robust Fun with Acronyms)
    • Dr. Kain P. Crow, Clearance Level 4: sometimesifeeellikeamotherlesschild (pretty strong, but lacking randomness)
    • O5-13, Clearance Level O5: sIERRa tANGo CASpER 3CH0. (averted entirely), plus an additional short paragraph that has to be typed down to the exact letter within 60 seconds.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Guest Researcher Dr W introduced an ordinary frightened kid to SCP-682, and then a kid of the same age with deadened emotional reactions. Both were messily killed by SCP-682. So, Dr. Clef promptly introduced Dr. W to SCP-682, with the same result.
    "Fucking sadistic asshole. I've got no sympathy for that moron whatsoever. Introducing children to this fucking monster? What the hell…"
    Assistant Director Clef
  • Perfect Pacifist People: One of the biggest factors of an SCP-001 event is that everyone on Earth becomes aware of its inevitable fate and heavy decreases in violence are to occur.
  • Perpetual Motion Machine: So many SCPs (labeled ectoentropic) ignore the laws of thermodynamics, being able to produce infinite amounts of matter, energy, or their constant movements could be used as a power generation tool. Sadly, most are either too valuable or dangerous to use.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: People who get SCP designations, and especially Keter classifications, are generally contained because they fall into this category.
  • Perspective Reversal: Scantron's Proposal of SCP-001 is a case file written by the Unusual Incidents Unit in 1954, which identifies the Foundation as Confirmed Anomaly 3.
  • Pet the Dog - Most sentient SCPs are accommodated reasonably well, depending on their potential danger, ability to escape, and willingness to cause harm. The most (relatively) harmless are given furnished rooms and are generally given whatever they request, as long as it doesn't violate security. They are, of course, not allowed to leave the facility.
    • SCP-103 was the only SCP that the Foundation actually released. It says something about the Foundation's Well-Intentioned Extremism that a man whose only power is that he never gets hungry is the only SCP ever let go without being terminated (and even that is, according to the comments, a controversial decision). He got retconned to having worms in his stomach that fly out and eat people and having voluntarily reported back to Foundation care.
    • Some of the SCPs are given the best care possible. Every effort is made not to upset the autistic Muck Monster girl, for example, and the harmless and friendly living eyeballs have free run of their site. And one of the first tests of the vending machine was "something Cassy will like," Cassy being a mentally normal young woman who exists in a 2-D world and was actually created by the Foundation itself.
    • Several SCPs which fall into a self contained microcosm, pocket universe, etc, or other SCPs that were created by the Foundation on accident, respect or outright revere the Foundation. On the other hand, some fall into a Rage Against the Heavens.
    • Some SCPs that are relatively harmless are just glad to have someone talking to / using them again, in many cases having been abandoned for years after their original owner died.
    • SCP-2031 is a type of army ant that incapacitates large mammals before invading them, turning them into a colony, and mimicking their behavior with disturbing accuracy. It's also implied that this places the victim into an And I Must Scream situation. However, at one point, the Foundation sets up an experiment with a human family infested by the ants and a bunch of animals in the same situation. The ants inside the humans take care of the animals like a normal human does, herding groups and feeding them. One day, however, one of the colonies has to leave the animal corpse they're inhabiting since it can't be supported anymore. The human colonies then react accordingly, first prodding the corpse, and then later burying it solemnly when they realize that the animal's gone for good. At the end, it's stated that the Foundation will infest a Golden Retriever puppy for the human colonies. This may be the first time the Foundation has willingly accommodated a non-sentient SCP beyond what it needs.note 
    • The Foundation are letting POI-2190-2 unusually nice, considering that she's the focal point of an anomaly. SCP-2190 acts as a kind of morality pet for the Foundation. The story of how they gave a couple that went through hell the happy ending they deserved while simultaneously containing an anomaly keeps the Foundation suicide rate... lower.
    • One of the researchers involved takes 2422-C under her wing once she realizes what's involved with them. She goes on to pass on the "duty" of protecting as much of their human dignity as possible to a successor she trusts.
    • SCP-3355 is an Army AI originally designed for disaster management who, after being abandoned, took up the mantle of St Nick for the destitute children of Chicago. The Foundation's containment protocol for an incredibly intelligent, resourceful military AI? They set up a charity as a front for his operations and a source of income for him to buy presents.
  • The Phoenix: SCP-5467, a species of fire-breathing birds, hunted to extinction by the Daevites.
  • Pieces of God: That particular faction's not called "Church Of The Broken God" for nothing.
  • Plague Doctor:
  • Plague Zombie: Anyone infected by SCP-008 is turned into a zombie over the course of several hours. They are capable of spreading the virus to others as well.
  • Playing Card Motifs:
    • SCP-2156 is a college student who became so obsessed with solitaire and its symbolism and numerology that she broke reality.
  • Playing with Fire: SCP-2814 can give people this power, plus very delusional thoughts (or are they?). Its creator's true intention was to use the mask's victims to feed the sun ("Our Radiant Father"), but three other stars ("Father's brothers") are stealing the energy away — and the victims aren't quite dead, including the mask's creator (who realizes this probably wasn't the best way to help "father").
  • Pocket Dimension: The Three Portlands, a pocket dimension that's connected to Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine and Portland, UK. 3Ports is essentially a refuge for anomalous humans and other beings, having their own micro-society, down to various para tech companies present in the dimension.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • How the Foundation sees the FBI's Unusual Incidents Unit. More recent works have begun to portray them as competent, though the Foundation itself still likes to look down on them.
    • Usually averted or justified with normal police departments when they show up, as they simply aren't equipped to deal with the anomalous, and any anomalies they come across are usually swiftly taken over by the Foundation, who have agents embeded in many police forces.
    • SCP-2826 invokes this, causing a number of dimwitted, clumsy entities dressed like members of the local police force to appear at the nearest gathering of officers, and attempt to assist themnote . Since they are dimwitted, clumsy, and have little to no understanding of actual police procedure or how to use most of their equipment, their "assistance" invariably ends up hindering the actual police. As well, if exposed to things like tear gas or pepper spray, they automatically release a gust of air that clears the gas around them.
  • Police Code for Everything: Mostly inverted by the things Dr. Bright is not allowed to do. However, there are codes for: Necrophilianote  and the Bright Family Reunion.note 
  • Post-Modern Magik: The Foundation uses science to study many of the seemingly supernatural and/or magical anomalies.
  • Power Incontinence: Apparently a problem with mammoths:
  • Power Levels: SCPs are classified with an "object class" that, in a subversion of this trope, is not a measure of how dangerous an SCP is, but rather, how difficult it is to keep in containment: perfectly harmless SCPs can still be difficult to contain, while an SCP that can be easily contained can still be dangerous. Object classes consist of the following levels:
    • "Safe": Easily contained and not liable to escape.
    • "Euclid": Requires a significant amount of resources to contain, and containment may not be reliable. By default, any SCP that exhibits sentience is classified as Euclid due to the inherent unpredictability of entities capable of independent thought and action.
    • "Keter": Highly difficult to contain, often requiring vast amounts of resources and complex containment procedures. Also highly liable to escaping.
    • "Thaumiel": An SCP that is specifically used to contain other SCPs.
    • "Neutralized": SCPs that are no longer anomalous due to being disabled or destroyed.
  • The Power of Hate: The Brazen Heart, the cult behind SCP-2427, "express extreme animosity for the Foundation and humanity at large":
    The Christian tells you that hatred is wrong.
    The Buddhist tells you that hatred is a distraction.
    The atheist tells you that hatred is unhealthy.
    [DATA EXPUNGED] tells you that hatred is fun.
    Hatred, in reality, is but one of many invaluable tools to return Creation to purity. Hatred can work in harmony with love. The nature of the path to purity is irrelevant; all that matters is the sunrise at the end of the path.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child:
  • Power Perversion Potential: SCP-447-2 can be used as a personal lubricant, unless you're a necrophiliac.
  • Pretty Butterflies: SCP-408 is a sapient flock of color-changing, illusion-creating butterflies.
  • Primal Fear: Many of SCP-1881's stage iterations invoke these, such as a level appearing to be upside-down without gravity being reversed to match, a shmup stage with no enemies (leaving the player floating aimlessly through empty space for several minutes before the level ended), and being trapped in a maze with an increasingly large number of deadly creatures.
  • Produce Pelting: SCP-504 is a breed of tomato that throws itself if someone cracks a bad joke. If the joke is bad enough, it will break the sound barrier.
    Item: Three mature SCP-504 tomatoes, one for each test subject.
    Subject: After the introduction to the following news item, "Bomb blows hole in Lenin statue", the three following jokes were made.
    Test Subject 1: Ooh, that's gonna leave a Marx.
    Result: Tomato number one 'twitched', but did not displace from its original location.
    Test Subject 2: BBC is just Stalin the good news.
    Result: Tomato clocked at 152 mph. Chipped tooth and hairline jaw fracture.
    Test Subject 3: That blows.
    Result: Tomato clocked at [REDACTED]. Subject is hospitalized with a massive skull fracture.
    • Interestingly enough, when told The Funniest Joke of All Time from Monty Python's Flying Circus, it exploded.
    • When shown on a later episode of Saturday Night Live, high-speed photography showed that the tomato changed velocity several times (including a brief jump backward), as if unable to decide whether the sketch was genuinely lame or just "bad" in an ironic sense.
  • Prophecy Armor: SCP-711 ("Paradoxical Insurance Policy"). SCP-711 is a device capable of receiving transmissions from the future. It has received one such transmission from a future Foundation agent, but the governing O5 Council has ordered that the transmission never be sent. Since the Foundation knows the message will be sent at some point in the future, as long as it hasn't been sent then the Foundation can't be completely destroyed, because that would leave no one to send the message.
  • Public Domain Artifact - Spring Cleaning, a story involving a bunch of these.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: SCP-2424, a Mega Man styled video game boss that somehow ended up in the real world, has his own chiptune theme music that plays whenever he becomes actively hostile, and it sounds appropriately awesome (scroll to the bottom of the page to hear it). The song itself is RoccoW - "Break-A-Leg" from the free music archive.
  • Pumpkin Person: SCP-2331 ("SCRAVECROW"). SCP-2331 is a scarecrow with a pumpkin head that has a fluorescent blue glow inside it. He creates raves and acts as a DJ at them.
  • Pun-Based Title - A few names assigned on the SCP lists: "The Pied Pipe", "Builder Bear", "Glory Hole" (a hole to another dimension)...
  • Punny Name - The task forces are full of these - "Moloch 'n Load", "See No Evil", "Cater Duty", "The Suge Knights"...
  • The Purge: The first people the Foundation killed in SCP-5000 were those of its own membership that had not been hit by whatever "cured" them.
  • Purple Prose:
    Excerpt: As the blistered moon sank higher into the clouds, from behind the last faltering light ray espied a wrathful visage. Shabathh Centhal'Pr, a spineless cur twisted into humanoid form. Its pernicious iniquity of unthinkable gyrations splayed errant madness, yet through the shroud one could see its face was quite rectangular.
    • SCP-2591's way of speaking. His side of an interview tends to end with [redacted for brevity]. It turns out he's from the world of an unfinished opera whose author quit after Giuseppe Verdi said even he couldn't help his writing.
  • Purpose-Driven Immortality: SCP-3814 is an anomalous game of Tag that compels you to pass on the tag. It is even able to keep dying "It" people alive until they tag someone.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The point of the Resurrection canon is to do this, turning MTF Omega-7 "Pandora's Box" into MTF Alpha-9 "Last Hope".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The eventual termination of SCP-096, caused as a result of Incident 096-1-A
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: One item in the log of anomalous items is a white plastic halo that shines and floats above anyone who hasn't committed any of the seven deadly sins, but glows red when put on anyone else's head. It melted itself down after being placed above Dr. ████ ██████'s head.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: There are many of these, which usually double as Historical In-Jokes:
    • The explosion of Mount St. Helens was caused by a SCP-076 containment breach.
    • SCP-081 caused all recorded instances of spontaneous human combustion.
    • SCP-089 has announced and prevented (or at least reduced the impact of) many disasters throughout history, such as the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788, the 1970 Bhola cyclone and the Taiping Rebellion. However, it's unclear if the SCP actually causes the disasters or merely offers an extreme means of stopping them (involving sacrificing a baby to it).
    • Both the image and the redacted clues show that SCP-435 was responsible for Castle Bravo, the largest American nuclear detonation.
    • SCP-453 caused the Great Neapolitan Earthquake.
    • SCP-687 apparently caused the Cleveland Torso Murders.
    • SCP-1120: It's revealed that the eruption of Vesuvius was caused by a man who was trying to bury the numerous instances of SCP-1120 in the ashes before they overran any more towns.
    • SCP-1529 is apparently responsible for killing the first man to ever climb Mt. Everest and about half of all the people who've died climbing it since.
    • SCP-1574 is implied to have some connection to the Boxing Day Tsunami, despite being on the other side of the world. It may or may not have been caused by aliens from its home planet who had come looking for it. The Boxing Day Tsunami itself has been caused by no less than three different SCPs, including an 001 Proposal, SCP-090, SCP-1574, and even an asteroid brought down by the Foundation. It got to the point that "things what caused teh INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI is specifically listed as an overdone cliche.
    • SCP-2090's containment involved the creation of Hurricane Hugo, an actual hurricane. Oh, and a bizarre ritual called basketball.
    • The "Big Bloop", a Real Life extremely loud underwater sound, was caused by SCP-169, an enormous undersea creature which is at least 1,000 km in length. The Foundation had a spy in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who tried to prevent the public from learning of the Bloop, but failed.
    • The underground fires in Centralia, Pennsylvania are actually the Norse fire giant Surtr (SCP-1179) waking up.
    • SCP-966 is implied to be the cause of sleep paralysis.
    • According to CODE NAME: The Truth, SCP-184 is responsible for the expansion of the universe. Beyond GN-Z11, there's nothing but defective copies of the Milky Way being repeated over and over.
  • Reality Warper: They are called "Type Greens". They are treated extremely seriously by both the Foundation and the GOC, because Reality Warping Is Not a Toy.
  • Reality-Writing Book: SCP-140 is a very specific version; the book writes itself and alters reality as a consequence, given a suitable form of ink or ink substitute. SCP-687 is a text adventure video game with broader abilities.
  • Reconstruction: The "Resurrection" Canon hub is a major attempt at reconstructing the so-called "lolfoundation" ethos that fell out of favour several years previously.
  • Red Herring: In-Universe, the Foundation sets up multiple (or none) fake SCP-001 proposals to misdirect intruders as to the true nature of SCP-001. The O5 Orientation and The Truth even imply that there is no true SCP-001 amongst the files.
  • Red Shirt: The Class D's, of course. Lampshaded: Dr. Bright cannot change the standard issue D-Class uniform to black pants with a red polo shirt.
    "84.1. I see your reasoning, but we just don't want to be associated with Star Trek."
  • Red String of Fate: SCP-2203, a carnival "love machine" that can make perfect matches (it can even account for the subject being aromantic and asexual and match them up with perfect friends). As long as you follow it's hints on how to get close to your match and don't, for example, get matched with someone who's already happy with their partner or attack your match's current partner and get demoted to D-class everything will be just fine.
  • Refugee from TV Land: SCP-2424 is a video game boss transported to the real world (given it's a Cyborg Walrus, probably a Maverick?). And apparently the protagonist appeared too, bearing a rather revealing document in his possession.
  • Regional Redecoration: Has happened on more than a few occasions, but they've all been covered up as just being part of Earth's natural geography. For example, the Marianas Trench wasn't around before a massive containment breach. It also wasn't initially underwater.
  • Released to Elsewhere: D-Class personnel are assured that they'll be freed at the end of the month if they cooperate ("released like homicidal bunny rabbits into the wild," as said in the D-Class Orientation). Even if they manage to survive the various monsters, artifacts, and testing procedures, they are still executed at the end of the month anyway.note 
  • Replacement Goldfish: SCP-1976 was made by a man to be this for his family after he died of a brain tumor. He thought its powers would make his family see it as their husband and father, instead it caused his wife to think it was her father while his children weren't old enough for its powers to work. It currently causes anyone within its activation criteria who looks at it to think its their father while their real father becomes a stranger.
  • Research, Inc.: The Foundation benefits commercially from their research.
  • Reset Button: SCP-2000. The article massively exaggerates the trope with relentless, non-stop technobabble and a very convoluted activation process, but is none the less played straight.
  • Retcon:
    • The Mass Edit, which was basically the wiki admins purging some of the more dubious entries and retconning out some of the more ludicrous (and humorous) aspects of the Backstory. (See below.)
    • Object Classes originally referred roughly to the object's danger level, though it was noted that "Safe" didn't necessarily mean "completely incapable of causing harm", just that it was understood enough that its hazardous effects couldn't be triggered without deliberation. Object Class was revised in 2014 to refer to how difficult it is to contain an object, regardless of its actual danger levels ("For example, a button that can destroy the entire universe when it's pressed would be safe, whereas a cat who randomly switches places with another cat anywhere on earth would be considered Keter.").
    • SCP-040:
      • An older version of her used to have telepathy which she couldn't fully control, but it was removed for obvious reasons.
      • She was also implied to have a crush on an older version of SCP-182, who was a benevolent teenaged telepath, and spoke to him via each other's respective telepathy. While that might've seemed cute at the time, it would be quite squicky now considering SCP-182 is now a middle-aged deaf and mute man who can transfer his consciousness to other people and effectively "ride" them.
      • SCP-040-1j used to be a chair with a mouth, now it's a blue and pink furred quadruped with no eyes or ears that 040 likes to use as a steed.
    • The main SCP-076 article was rewritten to remove the Mobile Task Force Omega-7 stuff, and make Able less "lolawesome". He's less of a Wolverine's Expy now and more of a humanoid bundle of murder. He is also now completely hostile towards the Foundation; no longer is he working for any side. The Mobile Task Force Omega-7 stuff was later worked back in with key changes. The "official SCP-076 file" makes it very clear that he's In-Universe Chaotic Neutral at best, while the records of his time in Mobile Task Force Omega-7 state that the instant Able got bored again, he reverted back to slaughtering SCP personnel starting with Omega-7.
    • One part of Iris' containment backstory had her temporarily escape SCP custody after a sympathetic researcher told her that if her power conveniently disappeared, the facility would have no choice but to release her. She is recaptured when the higher ups get wind of this and — realizing that her excuse was obviously untrue — force her to use her powers in front of them, take her back into custody, and fire the researcher who helped her. This got retconned twice: first, by having the Ethics Committee see through their trick and never release her, then by erasing the whole thing when the interview between Iris and the researcher was removed. At present, the incident is still referenced as per the Ethics Committee catching it, but the interview is still deleted.
    • SCP-166 was formerly known as the Teenage Succubus. The article was heavily rewritten in 2020 to tone down the skeevy factor of such a thing, and she is now "Just a Teenage Gaea".
    • An older version of SCP-182 as a benevolent telepathic teenager who didn't age known as "Saint", but he was changed for a pretty obvious reason. He also had an "infatuation" with Able.
  • Ret-Gone:
    • When Fishmonger (the writer) was banned, he demanded to have all of his characters and stories to be removed from the SCP Wiki. Some of his more famous characters were referenced in many articles. This left many gaps.
    • And before that, all of the SCPs deleted during the Mass Edit.
    • To make things even more confusing, since the numbers for Ret-Gone SCPs were freed up, the wiki wound up with new SCPs under old numbers. The weirdest case being SCP-098, which is mentioned in Dr Clef's SCP-001 proposal because it was a Hell Gate, but now the number is used for crabs. ("Truly these are the crabs that bring about the apocalypse.")
  • Retraux: The Y2K theme is made to resemble the SCP Foundation site as if it had existed around the Turn of the Millennium. This includes a different and more limited color palette of greys and blues, usage of Microsoft Sans Serif, and a period-appropriate slogan ("A New Millennium in Security"). It has been used for anomalies that existed primarily around this same time period, such as SCP-5312 and SCP-5470.
  • Revenge Before Reason: SCP-1322 is a hole to an alternate dimension, that after being accidentally hit with a Sterility Plague due to the Foundation, starts using said hole to send deadly weapons to our reality. Years after cutting contact, they still send it, often with the weaponry showing progress! Many the comments ask "why are they using their science for revenge instead of fixing the sterility"?
  • Riddle for the Ages: All over the place, but especially in Series 1.
  • Rock of Limitless Water: Inverted with SCP-402, which absorbs limitless water.
    • SCP-045 is a straight example, producing water when exposed to nitrogen in an environment with less than 380 atmospheres of pressure.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: It wasn't a spaceship; it was SCP-1051 prior to hatching, as well as a ruse to draw in victims.
  • Room 101: The old SCP-100 entry is a port-a-potty that performs Mind Rape on anyone inside as soon as the door shuts. All the researchers could get from D-Class victims was that it grows enormous when the door is closed.
  • Rule of Seven: SCP-231-7, the last survivor of seven girls rescued from a Religion of Evil, and the seven chains that hold SCP-2317 (six are broken). Given both involve The End of the World as We Know It if broken, they're invoking the Seven Seals in the Book of Revelation.
    • King Dyrmud of Hy-Brasil is described as having had seven wives over the course of his lifetime, all of whom met unfortunate ends.
  • Rule 34: SCP-1004 is this in its purest form.
  • Running Gag:
    • Dr. King and apple seeds. Explanation 
    • SCP-447 must NEVER come into contact with a dead body. It also turns everything green with a minty smell/taste.
    • SCP-055 is... Wait, what were we talking about?
    • All Foundation personnel are reminded that the SCPs are to be treated as powerful and dangerous artifacts at all times. They are not for use in pranks, party games, or to help with your hangover. Explanation 
    • "Demoted to Keter Duty/D-Class" Explanation 
    • SCP Insert Number Here was used against SCP-682. Attempt failed.
  • Russian Reversal: SCP-956 is a piñata that comes to life and smashes kids apart, causing candy to spill out.

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