781: Phineas and Ferb Riffstravoganza!Posted: July 23, 2014
Howdy doodly-do, patrons! Today I thought I’d do something a little different, to whit, my Riffstravoganza! I’ve found a heap of really, really short fics to riff, and I’m gonna do a whole pile! But first, some introduction to the source.
Phineas and Ferb is a cartoon I was recently introduced to when my boys started watching it on Netflix. A lot of what the boys normally watch consists of things I can barely stand. Things like Bo on the Go, Animal Mechanicals, the new Care Bears, and Johnny Test. There are other things that they watch which I’m mostly indifferent to, such as Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Ninjago, and Curious George. But out of everything they’ve ever chosen to watch Phineas and Ferb is the ONLY thing that I’ve actually liked.
I was really surprised by this show. While the animation doesn’t really hold up to the quality of Disney’s older shows, specifically those that were part of the Disney Afternoon that I grew up with in the 90s, the rest of the show is surprisingly solid. The plots, while simple and equationistic, are entertaining and well executed. The jokes are actually funny, and the show isn’t afraid to mock the fact that it adheres to a very set equation. The humor itself is based on the more classical concept of situational and visual irony rather than the more common case of modern cartoons relying on shock humor, cheap sight gags, and flat out being gross. The whole package is very reminiscent of the cartoons I watched when I was a kid, so when the boys started watching it, I became an enthusiastic third viewer.
The basic equation of the show involves 2 threads. The first is with the two step-brothers, Phineas and Ferb, who create some kind of extraordinary contraption each day to keep themselves busy during their summer vacation. These contraptions range from a giant, city-sized super-roller coaster, to an interstellar space ship, to a pair of robotic transforming tree-houses that do battle. Most of these threads also have the sub-plot of their sister, Candace, trying to get the two boys in trouble by exposing the invention to their mother. These attempts invariably fail when some deus ex machina comes along at the last second and makes the invention inexplicably disappear before their mother can see it.
The second thread is with their pet platypus, Perry, who lives a double-life as a secret agent named Agent P. His threads involve thwarting the plans of pseudo-evil Doctor Hans Doofenschmirtz to take over the Tri-State area with often ridiculous inventions. These inventions invariably are named with the suffix of -inator.
That’s pretty much the far-above gist of the whole thing. If you’ve got Netflix, I recommend giving it a look. They have the first three seasons and the movie there. It might also help explain some of the sub-characters that you’ll be seeing in this riff.
Now, on to the Riffstravoganza! Phineas and Ferb is pretty popular, and deservedly so, but popularity always comes with heaps of terrible fanfiction, and Phineas and Ferb is no exception to this rule. The thing I noticed about their fanfiction, however, is that a lot of it is pretty short. Fair enough, most of the episodes in the show are actually divided into 2 mini-episodes each lasting about 10 minutes, so it’s likely that if you wrote your fic as one of those 10-minute segments you could keep it brief.
But not as brief as a lot of these fics. The number of fics that come in below 500 words is staggering. I’ve never seen anything like this before. So, I gathered five of the worst, super-short fics to feature here in a one-shot Riffstravoganza! I’m going to stop using that word any moment now. Probably.
So let’s get cracking!
Title: Ferb Megami Phinsei: Demons In Danville
Media: TV Show / Video Games
Topic: Phineas and Ferb / Shin Megami Tensei
Genre: Adventure / Tragedy
URL: Ferb Megami Phinsei: Demons In Danville
Critiqued by TacoMagic
The first up is a 264 word ficlett that dares ask the question: Can a light and humorous children’s show be successfully joined with a dark and introspective video game geared more toward adults? I think you’ll find that this fic answers that question with a resounding: No, no it can’t.
The Shin Megami Tensei universe is pretty huge, so I won’t try to even capture it here. I’m sure either Ert or SC would be more than happy to geek out on the massive universe that the SMT series has developed. I’m not going to bother fleshing it out for you all because, as you’ll see, it doesn’t actually matter for riffing this fic.
But, let’s start with the summary:
Doctor Doofenscmirtz uses a Demon Summoning Program to summon Loki into Danville, but Loki betrays him after Doctor D fails to give him an offering. The age of demons has arrived…
Yeah, this is gonna be… something. That’s for sure.
Also, you spelled Doofenschmirtz wrong, V3.
So, we start with an author’s note, and it’s insipid.
(A/N: This story will take many elements from the various SMT games and incorporates them. Try to figure out what comes from where!)
Uh, why do you need an author’s note for this? Are you really suggesting that your audience is stupid enough to require you to tell them that there are going to be SMT references in an SMT cross-over fic? Then again, this is a Phineas and Ferb / SMT cross-over. Maybe the author is just being realistic about what kind of person is likely to want to read this.
It started like any other day.
In the morning.
Phineas and Ferb were pondering the day’s activities, Candace was planning how to bust the two brothers, and Agent P was preparing to take on Doofenschmirtz.
Oh, so you can spell Doofenschmirtz correctly. A shame that that skill seems to come and go.
Also, this is as much setting as you’re going to get, so you may as well just pick whatever part of the formless void you think this is happening in and go with it.
Let’s start with Agent P to begin our darkly humorous tale.
I’d prefer to start with something that doesn’t have to inform me that it’s dark and humorous, if you don’t mind.
Agent P leaned up against the wall of the Fletcher house, knocked 4 times, paused exactly 2.91 seconds, and knocked one more time.
Little hint, author, using a absurdly precise number is not the same as being funny.
It’s not even your joke, but a rehash of the one the show used in Episode 6: “Get That Bigfoot Outa My Face!”
Why yes, I have seen the show enough that I can now cite episodes, why do you ask?
The secret hatch opened, and the heroic platypus slid down the chute into his spy hideout.
If you’ve never seen the show, just imagine a large, white nothingness.
Major Monogram addressed Agent P.
Okay. Do we get to see what he said?
“Good morning, Agent P. Just yesterday, Doctor Doofenschmirtz purchased several hundred pounds of a crystal called Magnetite, as well as fifteen books on computer programming, nine boxes of incense, and a stick of chalk. You know the drill, Agent P.”
Crunchy! Fire the silly-stringinator!
*The hallway fills with silly-string*
I am not cleaning that up.
Author, if you’re going to show us the dialogue, you don’t need to tell us that you’re about to show us dialogue!
Otherwise, this is a pretty typical briefing, so it’s actually not terrible.
Perry saluted, and zipped off.
If you can’t imagine what him zipping off looks like, I’m right with you. Author, I know you watch a lot of TV, so let me help you: writing operates much differently than TV in that we can’t see what you’re thinking when you write stuff unless you describe it!
Carl the intern paused as Agent P went out to fulfill his assignment.
Uh… how? Carl hasn’t done or said anything yet, so how can he pause?
“You didn’t tell him about the last guy who fought a villain who had all those materials.”
Foreshadowing, you’re doing it wrongest.
Monogram nodded solemnly. “It was the only way he’d accept this mission. I just pray it won’t end like last time.”
Indeed, because secret agents are known for rejecting missions when they’re tough. It’s not like it’s Perry’s job to fight evil or anything.
Also, Monogram is a pretty silly character, so you can’t really have him say something like this without totally throwing his entire characterization out the window.
And that’s it. That’s the fic. Well, almost, there’s a parting author’s note.
A/N: Alright! We’ve gotten the intro in, and will continue in Chapter 1 Part 2!
Kid, chapters don’t work that way. This doesn’t even count as an intro because you DIDN’T INTRODUCE ANYTHING!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the fatal flaw of this fic: assumed familiarity with the source. A lot of fic authors make this blunder, primarily because they’re lazy, but also because it’s an easy trap to fall into. If you assume that your audience is intimiately familiar with the source, you don’t feel like you need to describe or explain anything. The problem therein is the propencity to just blow by all description entirely. Look at this fic, for instance, the ONLY setting we get is when Perry is standing beside the house. So, we know there’s a house. That’s it. No characters are described, no setting is established, nothing.
Often all that stuff is left out because descriptions are hard. No, really, learning how to properly describe stuff in literature is probably one of the hardest things to do aside from natural sounding dialogue. You have to lay a setting and characters in a way that flows well with the narrative while at the same time avoiding being purple and avoiding the trap of agonizing the details. That’s a hard skill to learn that takes a lot of work, which is why fic authors often skip description entirely. Far too much work to be bothered with.
Well, there’s a little bit left, let’s finish this one and move on.
What is Doctor D planning?
Dude, you put in the summary EXACTLY what he’s planning. You can’t drum up tension by pretending we don’t know what is going on here, Sparky.
What happened to the last guy?
More importantly will “last guy” ever get a name?
AND WHAT’s THE CHALK FOR! XD)
Are we supposed to not know that chalk is often used for inscribing runes and symbols during dark rituals? If that’s the case, I’m sorry, I have a brain larger than a frosted flake so do not find chalk use in conjunction with demon summoning to be mysterious.
So, what’s next on our little list of suck?
Title: so I saw this thing on tumblr yesterday
Media: TV Show
Topic: Phineas and Ferb
Genre: Drama / Romance
URL: so I saw this thing on tumblr yesterday
Critiqued by TacoMagic
Wait, is that seriously what this thing is called!?
Oh sweet Armory Jesus, this is going to hurt. The author is taking a children’s comedy and trying to pull off a romance drama with it. Using only 506 words. I have deep foreboding.
AN: I saw this thing on sparkle-phinbella’s Tumblr account yesterday about an awesome dream she had.
So, what’s better than a dream-fic? A dream-fic based on somebody else’s dream!
Deep, deep foreboding.
You can read it if you want to, but the basic gist of it was that Phineas had to save Danville by himself somehow, and nobody else could help him.
Wow, that sounds like a really, really boring dream. I’m sure it’ll translate into a great fic.
(Oh, and there was also a possibility that he might die.)
Le gasp! What extraordinary foreshadowing!
So here is my extended version of her dream story.
Extended version!? How short was her dream!?
Phin and the gang are about 13 or 14 here.
Yay! Nonsensical 2ish year time-skip! I’m assuming this cements our author into the early teen age-range. Hmm.
Yup, she was 15 when she wrote this. Which just happens to have been 3 days ago as of me writing this critique of it. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled if she finds it here.
I do not own them, sadly.
Why sadly? If you owned them, the show would never have existed and you’ve have to shower your adulation on something else. Like Dexter’s Lab or something.
“So…I guess this is it.”
So, it has come to this.
Phineas looked at each one of his friends in turn.
You know, he’s got a lot of friends, so this could take a while. Feel free to go get a drink or something while everyone gets a turn being looked at.
“But…I want you guys to do something for me before I leave, okay?
Dude, he’s 13, where the hell is he going to need pull out a line like that? Band camp?
Do something you’ve been doing for maybe as long as I’ve known you – for the last time.”
Going along with your wacky hijinks without question? Wondering where Perry is?
Hey, where is Perry?
Ferb, Isabella, Buford, and Baljeet slowly nodded, and Phineas walked up to Buford first.
Seriously, where is Phineas going to deserve all the melodrama? Can you stop the fic and describe a few things. Maybe establish what age they all are outside of your author’s note. Being vague is not mysterious, it’s irritating.
The former bully punched Phineas in the arm lightly, the slightest trace of a smirk on his face.
Oh, sorry Buford, Pavlovian response and all that.
“Good luck, Dinner Bell,” Buford told him.
You aren’t going to tell us, are you, author? You’re just gonna dive right into the middle of a goodbye scene and hope we don’t get bored and stop reading before the chapter peters out, aren’t you?
Phineas smiled and rubbed his arm. “Thanks, Bufe.”
It’s also mildly irritating that you’re making up non-canonical nicknames as you go.
He walked to Baljeet next, who proceeded to give the redhead the answer to a difficult math problem that Phineas had never been able to figure out.
This is one of those things that’s difficult to show because it would require research. Better to just summarize it and hope nobody notices how lazy an author you are.
Something appeared to click in Phineas’s mind, and he ran a hand through his hair. “Ohhhh, that’s what the answer is! Thanks, ‘Jeet!”
“It is no problem at all, Phineas,” the Indian teen replied.
Well look at that, the author remembered that Baljeet does not use contractions. Just like Crunchy doesn’t use them.
“Oh you cannot be serious! I do so use contractions! It is preposterous for you to say otherwise.”
As I said.
Next, Phineas locked eyes with his stepbrother.
Dude, leaving your stepbrother behind while you go and *mumblety*? Pretty cold, bro.
They both nodded and initiated their secret handshake, perfectly in sync with each other while the others looked on in awe.
Once again, it’s important not to show this because that would require a description, and those are really hard!
Finally, Ferb placed both hands on Phineas’s shoulders and
NO! Don’t you DARE go there, fic! I’ve seen a lot of disgusting things, but the two of them k-
looked him directly in the eye.
Oh. Uh… carry on, then.
“Try to stay alive, Phin,” he said quietly, and Phineas nodded solemnly.
Man, I guess band camp became a lot more dangerous since my last encounter with it.
“You have never been to band camp, Taco. You were not even in the band, but rather the orchestra. You could not possibly fathom the gut-wrenching terrors that occur there on a daily basis!”
Still didn’t see any contractions in there, buddy.
Lastly, he came to Isabella.
Oh crap, the author saved Isabella for last. Here we go folks, strap in for the sudden forced romance.
The Mexican-Jewish girl was almost in tears as she looked up at her longtime best friend.
OK, author, while Isabella is indeed Mexican-Jewish according to canon, it’s not really necessary to the plot to bring it up right now. In fact, it really, really kills any kind of mood or flow you might have accidentally formed.
I’m sure that you’re really proud of yourself that you remembered that she’s Mexican-Jewish from the single episode that revolved completely around it and the handful of other references sprinkled throughout other various episodes. Good jerb, author.
Phineas inhaled deeply, and the corner of his mouth lifted a little into a smile.
You’re getting close to a gonging there, bucko. Keep your smiles on both sides of the mouth!
The girl blinked away the blurry wetness before opening her mouth to say her trademark catchphrase one last time.
Curse you Perry the-
Sorry, wrong catchphrase.
“Wha-” She was cut off by Phineas putting his finger on her lips to silence her.
Man, that’s pretty rude. It’s literally two words and yet you have to interrupt, Phineas? When did you become the jerkstore?
She looked at him confusedly; he whispered his reason for his action.
While confusedly is indeed a word, never, ever use it. It’s awkward as hell when used in narration. “In confusion” looks and flows way, way better.
Second, can you please let the audience here what he’s saying!?
“This is going to be a first, instead,” he said softly as he pulled her closer with one arm.
*Crunchy pokes at the broken box fan in the corner*
“Taco, you really need to get this fan serviced.”
What are you doing here anyway?
Her eyes widened as he leaned in a little and pressed his lips to hers. After a beat, she melted into him and closed her eyes, kissing him back. Isabella’s arms slid around Phineas’s neck as they focused everything on each other, not noticing anything around them.
Pretty bland an uninteresting, but far from the worst kiss scene we’ve featured in the library. I’ll give it a C- for presentation, and an F+ for being totally forced illogically into an extremely vague scene. So, mix those together and you’ve got a solid D.
Congratulations, author! You did some minimally acceptable work here!
The other three boys tactfully looked in the other direction (although Baljeet had to do some tugging on Buford’s sleeve) to give the couple some privacy.
If privacy had been an actual concern, they probably would be making out someplace that’s actually private, rather than in the middle of the formless void where everyone in the SDQF can see them.
“When do you think he figured it out?” Baljeet whispered conspiratorially, glancing quickly over his shoulder to where his friends were still kissing rather passionately.
Around the time the author decided to dump the canon characterization of Phineas in the garbage. And she was really efficient too, she took less than 500 words to totally discard canon in favor of wish fulfillment.
“Last week on the trip to Europe, I’d guess,” Ferb replied, smirking a little.
Whoa, sorry Ferb, nervous tick.
And that’s it. The fic ends with a reference to Europe, which is likely from their “Summer Belongs to You” special.
Remember, this was the EXPANDED version of the dream. And really, if we separate out everything in the fic that wasn’t part of the reason it was made, it would probably be less than 100 words long. In fact, here, let me post the fic after filtering it for content that wasn’t part of the author’s actual intent:
Her eyes widened as he leaned in a little and pressed his lips to hers. After a beat, she melted into him and closed her eyes, kissing him back. Isabella’s arms slid around Phineas’s neck as they focused everything on each other, not noticing anything around them.
“When do you think he figured it out?” Baljeet whispered conspiratorially, glancing quickly over his shoulder to where his friends were still kissing rather passionately.
That’s it, that’s what this fic really was: 72 words of wish fulfillment. Everything else was just word padding in hopes that we wouldn’t notice that the only purpose here was fanservice. The author couldn’t even be bothered to clue the audience in on why Phineas was leaving.
Let’s see what else we have in my pile of fail!
You know what’s better at total, abject failure than Drama / Romance fics based on children’s comedy cartoons? Drama / Angst fics based on the same.
Isabella gets over Phineas in a rather dramatic way. Supershort drabble.
Uh. I don’t think you know what drabble means, author, but I’m willing to accept that maybe your extensive use of author’s notes padded it.
*Checks the fic*
Nope. For those unaware, a drabble is a writing exercise to write a story that is EXACTLY 100 words in length. This thing, if you remove the author’s notes, is 198. So you’re double failing because you called it a super-short drabble, when it is, in fact, double the length that it should be. Anything longer than 100 words but less than 1,000 is a flash-fic.
11 words into the summary and it’s already bad.
I got the idea from LaptopWriter22’s fic called Opening Hand, Closing Heart.
Great, a fic based on another fic. Always a good sign.
It’s way, way, WAY better than mine!
Another good sign.
Boy, this is really gonna suck, isn’t it? We’re finally done with the summary, though! That means we’re ready for the first author’s note!
A/N: An angsty Phinebella drabble I made cuz I am an insomniac.
I got the idea for this from LaptopWriter22’s fic Opening Hand, Closing Heart.
Crunchy! Fire the tiramisuinator!
*Tiramisu floods the lobby*
It’s gonna take them at least 20 minutes to eat through all that.
HEY! You jerks better save some for me!
I highly recommend it! It’s a lot better than what my sleep-deprived brain just came up with at 2:30 in the morning.
And yet you’re still going to inflict it upon us. Thanks.
By your own admission this thing is gonna suck, so why would you tell us to enjoy it? That’s pretty twisted, lady.
The raven-haired girl approached the edge of the very high roof.
Oh good, a suicide fic. Or, given that it’s rated K+, it’s probably a bait and switch. Put the scene on the rooftop and have it be absolutely nothing about suicide while making references to make us think it is. Classy.
Which is weird, since if it’s K+, the intended audience would miss the dramatic reference and not really understand what the setup was supposed to be hinting at.
And even if it’s supposed to be a fake-out, it’s still a veiled suicide reference, so this fic has no business being rated K+.
Seriously, author, what the fuck?
Letting out a shaky breath, she took a piece of paper from the pocket of her pink dress.
Uh, author, have you even watched the show? Isabella is NOT easily shaken. Hell, she’s got one of the coolest heads of the lot. She certainly was never phased by Phineas being clueless to the fact that she likes him. Exasperated and disgruntled, maybe, but never shaken to tears. Okay, well once, but that was more of a build-up of frustration than tears of sadness and angst. Every other time, Isabella’s a rock.
I’m so sorry, Phineas. I failed.
Hey, no biggie. He can probably make the matter randomizer for the glitter cannons without the flux capacitor anyway.
Wait, did you ask the Fireside girls if they could help you make the flux capacitor? Pretty sure it’s one of the badges.
I’ve given up on you, but mostly on me.
Uh, what 12 year old talks like that? OK, sure, Phineas and the crew are in most ways hyper-intelligent kids who talk and act way above their age, but even so, this is over-the-top even for them.
Also, author, you do know that canonically Isabella and Phineas eventually do get married, right? It’s one of those little factoids that’s dropped on their trip to the future. OK, sure, it’s left open enough that it could also be Ferb, but I think that possibility was put in there just so the writers could keep a reasonable amount of the tension. True, there’s also that whole “we make the future, it’s not set in stone” angle, but I try not to make Kirk references this early in the morning if I don’t have to. I’m very Calvinistic before I have that second cup of coffee in the morning.
On the other hand, she’s 12. Teens (and pre-teens) fall in and out of love with each other on a daily basis. The could just be one of those hormonal spasms, I guess. Of course, if it is a hormonal spasm, that makes this entire fic pretty shallow and pointless.
Wait a second! This fic IS shallow and pointless!
My stupid daydreams… they were all I ever had. Fantasies of a girl who fell.
Yeah, so you haven’t watched the show. Isabella’s fantasies were not about falling. They more revolved around Phineas turning into a centaur and galloping off into the sky with her on his back.
I didn’t say they made sense, I just said they weren’t about falling.
Many times, and always painfully. Always for you.
Somebody call the wahmbulance, we have an acute case of wangst going down here.
You never knew, right?
Yup, because you never tell him, and since he’s a 12-year-old boy, he never notices. That’s call romantic tension. The show is pretty good at sticking to that plot device, too.
Well, now you do. It’s no surprise that my fall from love would be so dramatic.
MELOdramatic. It’s a different kind of thing to real drama.
Don’t worry about me, I’m strong enough to put the pieces of a life back together.
Boy howdy, your 12-year-old crush doesn’t notice you drooling over him so now your life is in tatters.
These are the problems you wish you had, rather than the real ones that are actually important.
Wow, that was both pointless and extremely passive-aggressive. Not to mention more than a little petty. “Boo-hoo, you didn’t notice me, so I remove all responsibility of making the first move myself and instead give up and blame you for this whole thing!” To be fair, though, she is 12. Not too far off the mark from what I remember of tween ‘romance’ when I was a kid.
Still, not really in-character for her. In the four seasons of the show, she got weepy about Phineas all of once, as I mentioned before. And even then it lasted all of about a minute before she snapped out of it. Who is this girl and what did she do with our Isabella!?
Satisfied with her note, she removed her signature pink bow.
Well, that makes one person in the universe who is satisfied with it.
Something to remember her by, she supposed bitterly. Trembling, the girl closed her tear-filled eyes, stepped closer to the edge, and…
So, make the call, patrons. Suicide, or anti-climax? I’ll give you a pair of ellipses to decide.
Figure it out? Roll that beautiful bean footage!
Tore the paper in two.
Those who guessed anti-climax, congratulations! You are now familiar enough with bad fanfiction to start making accurate predictions.
Boiling brain bleach will be on tap in the lobby during the reception following the Riffstravoganza.
Then Isabella tied the bow around the slips of paper and let go. She reached the ground by elevator.
So, she’s so extremely passive-aggressive that she’s not even going to send the note. Just tie a bow on it and dump it off the building. Yay?
Years later, a ragged bit of pink material was found at the top of a tree in a certain suburban backyard.
Could you narrow it down a bit. There are several hundred backyards in Danville.
With it were two jagged scraps of paper. There was one legible word.
Holy crap! After several years there was a legible word on it still!? What the hell was that paper made out of, titanium?
A/N: Yeah, it’s terrible…
If you know it’s so bad, WHY DID YOU POST IT ANYWAY!?
Please R&R anyway! :D
For those wondering, I did indeed R&R. I put a very brief recap of this tear-down on the fic. Basically I mentioned that she totally missed Isabella’s character and that the fic itself was largely devoid of anything substantial.
This same author also has two short Frozen fics that I may do at some point. They’re also short, pointless, inaccurate to the characters portrayed, and just pretty bad all around.
What’s up next?
Ahh yes, another drama fic. It’s like the fans of Phineas and Ferb really don’t get the point of the show. Anyway, this one is really special because it’s a songfic! But it isn’t just a songfic, it’s a songfic is based on Linkin Park’s Crawling. Seriously, author, the show’s target demographic was the 8-12 range, and you’re using a Linkin Park song? And of all of their songs, you pick Crawling? Dude, what is wrong with you?
Anyway, let’s start with the summary.
The Phineas and Ferb gang have grown distant in the past few years.
I’d say that’s about as unreasonable a premise as you could come up with. They’re all part of the same neighborhood (heck, Isabella is from across the street), they’re really good friends, go to the same school, and young enough that leaving to go to college is still about 6 years in their future. If you’re going to suddenly make them all grow distant within a couple years, you really, really have to qualify that.
If you think the author WILL qualify this in the actual fic, you must be new to the library. Welcome!
No more interactions of any kind were made.
That’s gotta be awkward, since Phineas and Ferb account for 2/5 of the gang and are brothers. You would think that the Fletcher parents would become concerned if the boys, who had been thick as thieves, stopped interacting entirely.
Maybe Ferb had a goth phase at the same time Phineas went all preppy? I have it on good authority (My Immortal) that those two groups don’t get on well.
Why? A songfic, Crawling by Linkin Park.
Seriously, that’s that qualification for the setup: “This happens because I wanted to do a songfic to a Linkin Park song.”
Beta read by Sabrina06.
Poor Sabrina06. Try to do a favor and then your name gets plastered all over a badfic. No good deed goes unpunished.
T for dark and implied themes.
Uh, dude, you’re doing a songfic to CRAWLING, a song about being unable to stop taking drugs and the turmoil that causes. What the fuck do you think you’re implying, here?
You know what, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that the author may not know that Crawling is about substance abuse.
Anyway, into the fic! But first, author’s note!
Hey Cookinators, IrresistibleCookie here with a dark songfic – Crawling!
Uh, if you have to tell us your fic is dark, it may not actually be all that dark.
It’s based off the eponymous song by Linkin Park.
Author, leave the big words in the thesaurus. First, nobody on FF.net is going to know what that means. Second, using that word makes it obvious that you’re trying to sound smart. Third, you used it wrong; to the point where that sentence says the opposite of what you were trying to say.
Let’s go. R/R, enjoy!
I have serious doubts that I’ll enjoy this.
I don’t own P&F or LP.
And thank the gods that you don’t.
UPDATE: I removed the lyrics because of copyright and violations of the FF rules.
I’ll be the first to admit that FF.net is pretty arbitrary about copyright infringement. Many of their rules don’t really make sense in light of the fact that 99% of fanfiction, by its very nature, is copyright infringement. Making people pull down song lyrics seems really needless since the very premise of the site is to infringe copyright. It’s probably because one is flat-out plagiarism while the other is using copyright material without express permission. The second one draws a bit less attention from corporation lawyers looking for people to sue.
But, whatever, it’s their site so they can make whatever crazy-ass rules they want.
Distant. The gang. The Phineas and Ferb gang was growing distant.
Uh, what was the gang growing distant from, exactly?
Author, learn to grammar.
They no longer spoke to each other.
As implied by the summary, yes. Are we gonna get an explanation, or are you just going to keep bashing us over the head with this and hope we don’t question it?
In fact, they called it avoidance.
Thank you, captain thesaurus. Another good word for it is avoision.
Shut up, it is so a word!
This is exactly what Phineas Flynn thought of himself.
You appear to be missing a large part of that sentence.
Useless, and broken.
Uh, wow. If you’re going to claim that Phineas’s personality has taken a complete 180º turn away from being constantly upbeat and positive, you really, really need to add some qualification here, author.
I mean, holy hell, dude. You can’t have picked a more antithetical* statement about Phineas if you tried!
Sorry, author, but unless you start coughing up some VERY good explanations, I’m calling complete bullshit on your very premise.
*The difference here, author, is that when I use big words, they’re used correctly.
A poster was ripped down from the wall.
The fuck does that have to do with anything!? Is that a reference to the pilot episode where the Ultimate Roller Coaster flier was pulled off the wall? Are we supposed to go yell at some cheese now?
Ferb Fletcher peeked through the window.
Quit stalking me, Ferb!
Phineas was tearing the room apart.
Ooooookay? For parts? Because he wants to test the speed of his new room de-organizer? What?
Ferb climbed through the window and grabbed his belongings, not looking back.
Uh, Ferb, the two of you live on the second floor of your house. Maybe the door would be a better way to go about that.
Then again, this is Ferb, if he wants to use the second-floor window for moving purposes, he totally can.
One glance was exchanged, no words said.
I’m getting a distinct “let’s keep the audience in the dark about everything” feel from this fic.
“It’s time to let go…” they both thought, Ferb left the room, never to return.
So, I guess this is trying to insinuate that Lawrence and Linda have divorced? Once again, if you want to pull that kind of thing, author, you really need some kind of build-up. Canonically, the two of them work very well together in their relationship and have been a couple for about 11 years. And, in the show, there are no signs at all of marital strife. So, a sudden divorce really, really needs establishment if you’re going to walk that far away from canon. I’m no saying it couldn’t happen, just that if you go that rout, you need to do more than an, “Oh, by the way, this song fic needs them to divorce. Because that’s edgy and dark, brah.”
Here’s the fanfiction test for all you authors out there. If you can remove the names of the characters from the fic, and the result is that nobody would know who the characters in your fic are, then your characterization is garbage. Much like it is here.
Isabella Garcia-Shapiro was broken inside.
See, because the author is removing some lyrics from the song and adding in references to Phineas and Ferb. Because that’s how songs work!
This was her tenth breakup with Phineas. He had become a ‘bad boy’ over the years.
Riiiiiiiiight. Once again, author, if you’re gonna butcher Phineas’s character this badly, you need one hell of a good explanation. “My songfic needs to be dark to fit the song” is not in the same universe as a good explanation.
Really, this whole thing is so generic I could pick characters out of pretty much any canon and it would work just about as well.
For instance, let’s just do a copy-pasta with the Simpsons!
Lisa Simpson was broken inside. This was her tenth breakup with Millhouse Van Houten. He had become a ‘bad boy’ over the years.
See how generic that is? I could literally take any two characters who have any amount of canon linking them and it makes just the same amount of sense.
That is to say, none at all.
OK, one more:
Webbigail Vanderquack was broken inside. This was her tenth breakup with Huey Duck. He had become a ‘bad boy’ over the years.
It works with just about anyone. Feel free to come up with your own, patrons.
She packed her stuff and headed out the window, casting a quick glance at Ferb.
What the hell? Is everyone living in Phineas’s room? When did that happen?
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!?
Buford and Baljeet had just woken up from their special night. Too much?
Far too much, thank you. At lot of people like to read too much into these two, and I’m so ‘glad’ this author is one of them. It has nothing to do with being for or against being gay, but rather the fact that they are both 12 in the show. I’m sorry, but at that age people are just starting to think about sexuality, so Baljeet and Buford’s relationship (such that it is since they are Frienemies), is not sexual in nature. If you watch the show and see it as a sexual relationship, then you’re projecting.
If you’re gonna put these two together, you need to establish it! We, as the readers, deserve more than: “I want them to be a couple.”
This is why songfics suck so much: they try to deviate from canon and establish new content. Problem is, you don’t have enough room to do that. Now, if you want to use canon to match a song to a fic, fine. You can attempt to do that. It’s a songfic, so it’ll still suck, but it’ll suck less. But if you want to bend or break canon within the space of a song-fic, then you’re gonna fail, and fail hard. There isn’t enough space to qualify the canon deviations within the few hundred words that a song-fic is going to allow you.
Buford packed up his stuff and climbed out the window, en route to who knows where?
Dude, what the hell is up with all these people packing? And why did they all pick the same day? Seems awfully contrived to me.
And why is nobody using the freaking door!?
They turned back, all glancing at each other.
They!? Is this all happening in the same room? Sweet Armory Jesus, kids, give Buford and Baljeet some privacy! And guys, put a sock on the door or something if you’re gonna use Phineas’s room for some nookie!
No wonder everyone is moving out.
Maybe their problem isn’t that they’re growing apart, just that they’re all really crappy roommates.
They turned around and kept walking. The ground began to shake.
Oh no! He’s up agaaaaaiiiin!
The ground shook violently, as though an earthquake was occurring.
You’ll get that kind of thing during earthquakes.
Maybe it was the forces trying to mend their relationship, all five?
Or, it could be an earthquake. You know, that natural phenomenon that causes the ground to shake? Seeing that an earthquake can effect several million people all at the same time, it’s not out of the question to think that some of those people would be in the act of breaking up when the earthquake hits. I mean, yeah, it’d be weird timing, but not unthinkable.
Also, Isabella and Ferb broke up with Phineas, and Buford broke up with Baljeet. But shouldn’t Baljeet and/or Buford still be OK with Isabella, Ferb, and/or Phineas? You gotta give us more to go on here, author. If nothing else, you’d think that at least 3 of them would still be hanging out. Then again, Buford and Baljeet were using Phineas’s room for their “special night” while everyone else was around, so it probably got kinda awkward for everyone after that point.
But it was too late. There was no turning back.
Your relationship healing powers have no effect here! Suck it, earthquake!
It was painful. Painful to leave your friends and loved ones behind.
Thank you for informing us of that. I honestly thought that 5 close friends breaking up due to BLUE would be sunshine, puppies, and dancing monkeys.
But the relationship between the five had been broken from the start. They knew it wouldn’t last.
No, author, it really, really wasn’t. You can’t just write things and expect us to eat them up because you wrote the words. You can’t pull a line like, “their relationship was always broken” out of your ass and have us believe it without meticulously reworking a rather robust canon that says the exact opposite! And, honestly, if you’re gonna do that, you may as well either pick a canon that already fits your idea, or come up with a completely original cast of characters.
Gods this thing is a turd!
But they had left… …Never to turn back.
And that’s it. Everyone breaks up because reasons, and never talk to each other ever again, also because reasons.
If you need a shining example of how to write a generic, vague fic using song lyrics that clash tonally with your source material, I hold this up as the gold standard. It is neigh impossible to write something more bafflingly non sequitur as this.
Well, looks like we have some author’s notes to end it, let’s take a look.
That was the darkest piece I have ever written …hope you enjoyed!
Meh, it would have felt darker had the wholesale departure from canon not been entirely forced and nonsensical. Things that are truly dark fit well within the world they’re written in, and this thing didn’t even come close to that. Things like The Shinning, Madame Butterfly, Red Violin, and Fight Club are good examples of fiction that are actually dark. These are all stories that look hard at human nature and expose the flaws. See, being truly dark requires a lot of build-up, a lot of setting, and a lot of knowledge of the actual nature of your characters. This fic, on the other hand, just portrays a rather generic break-up of five people who could be anyone. That vague package is just lobbed at the audience as if we should be filling in the blanks. At best, this is wangst. Really, it comes off as more of a pretentious attempt to be deep, but it’s just so shallow, generic, vague, and lazy that there’s no impact.
And, even IF it fit within the universe, it still wouldn’t be that dark! 5 friends breaking up and never seeing each other again? Not really good material for darkness. Let’s compare to Madame Butterfly: A US soldier (Pinkerton) marries a 15-year-old Japanese girl (Butterfly) for convenient sex with the plan to leave her. She, on the other hand, falls romantically in-love with the idea of being married to an American. Shortly after the marriage, Pinkerton leaves Japan without intending to come back but tells Butterfly to wait for him. 9 months later Butterfly gives birth to his son. 3 years later Pinkterton comes back with his new American wife, who asks for custody of the child. Butterfly agrees, prepares the child to live with his father and new wife, and then she slits her own throat to end her heartbreak and shame.
So, author, if this is the darkest thing you’ve written, then you just aren’t cut out for dark writing. Maybe you should take up canasta or something.
There’s another rather insipid bit after this, but it’s just an over-elaborate goodbye to the readers, so I’m going to skip it.
Think we’ve got time for one more!
This is a wonderful little fic that features both Perry the Platypus and an exceptionally irritating OC fox. The fox also breaks a key point of canon, but we’ll get there.
And, despite the assertion that the fox is pranking again, this is the first fic with the fox in it. So we’re already off to a good start.
So, once again, let’s start with the summary!
‘ yeah it’s not my best work!
If you want to catch my attention with just the summary of your fic, that’s the way to do it. Single-quote, then a space, and then the sentence starts. And that sentence happens to be a proclamation that the fic sucks. Safe to say that this caught my attention immediately.
But its funny!
What about its funny? Finish your damn sentences!
3 reviews and I will write a story with Perry prancing Monogram and his instructor!
Woof, a beg for reviews IN the summary. This thing is gonna suuuuuuuck.
And what the hell does “prancing Monogram and his instructor” mean? Is there going to be fairy dresses and glitter? Who is Monogram’s instructor, anyway? Is that the OC?
Anyway, onward to the fic! After a brief rest-stop at the AN first.
Just wanted to do something fun! It’s with Perry and his mentor.
Ahh, the mentor/instructor is Perry’s. But, uh, canonically Perry doesn’t have a mentor. So yeah, we’re heading into OC territory. And wouldn’t you know it, the OC immediately outranks Perry. If this thing wasn’t so short I’d be breaking out the Stu counter.
Perry: CougarGT22 doesn’t own us
Perry can’t talk, idiot. Even in the author’s note, he can’t talk.
just Theo and the oc’s. Thank goodness!
At least the author is aware that not owning the canon is a good thing. Could you imagine how bad the show would have been!?
Emoticons do not belong in your fiction!
CougarGT22: Hey! ^-^*
They STILL don’t belong in your fiction!
Theo: It’s short, so be happy and Review!
I won’t lie, the lack of length really is something to be happy about.
“So that is why I am a very talented fox.
First line of the fic and I already hate this character. That was fast. Maybe I should really reconsider not having a Stu counter.
Yes I am a talking fox!
Mind if I could see the world from your head?”
What? Are you suggesting a brain swap? And how on Earth is that related to the other two sentences in that line of dialogue? At least toss in a transition if you’re gonna ask to swap brains!
Theo the Sweden Fox asks for the thousandths time to Perry who was sitting next to him on a bus hood.
Sweden fox? Is that a thing?
Aside from a fox that just happens to come from Sweden, no, it’s not a thing. Anyway, Theo’s name doesn’t conform to the canonical naming convention of taking the first letter of the type of animal and making that the first letter of the animals name, so Theo is obviously a plant that has designs at taking down the agency. The best way to stop him is with a gong to the face. I’m not saying that out of any prurient interest, it’s his weakness.
And why the hell are they sitting on the hood of a bus?
They were on a drill
No, they were on a bus.
They were on a drill, and the goal was to be able to get back to HQ within the next few hours.
That shouldn’t be too hard. There are entry points to Perry’s hideout all over the city. As well as randomly in the forest by Grandma and Grandpa Flynn’s Cabin. Not to mention in England. Likely, you’re never more than 5 minutes away from HQ.
Theo, however, was making it difficult for Perry to concentrate on the task.
I can believe that. He’s only had one line, and it made it pretty clear that he loves hearing himself talk. Honestly, I’d find it hard not to strike him with my gong every time he started to open his yapper.
“The only thing that you can do is to, BE QUIET!” Perry yells as he gets up and starts running to the edge of the bus.
I’m sorry, but no. The whole point of Perry’s character is that he doesn’t say anything. He’s entirely a visual character. If you can’t write a character who doesn’t talk, then don’t.
The fox raised an eyebrow, and took out his Slenderman mask and pulled it over his head.
What. The. Fuck?
Why the sudden inappropriate Slenderman reference!? Is that what teens are doing these days? Can’t think of anything useful to write, so instead make a Slenderman reference? That actually explains 90% of the Slenderman references I’ve found in fanfiction, now that I think about it.
With an evil glint in his eyes, Theo began to fallow Perry by the feet.
He’s fallowing Perry, huh?
I’m not sure how I should feel about Theo leaving a fertile Perry unsown.
Actually, I guess I should be thankful if I consider the alternative. Theo, you can keep fallowing Perry for as long as you want.
“Hey Theo you have been disturbingly quiet today?
If that was Theo being quiet, I’d hate to be around during one of his talkative days.
I’m not sure if I should be worried about it. Should I be?” Perry asked walking towards the middle of the path to OWCA.
Stop talking, Perry. You’re kinda freaking me out.
And why is there a path to the OWCA on the bus?
Also, for those who want to know, the OWCA is the Organization Without a Cool Acronym.
He hears a snap from behind him, and he turns around.
Must have been a pretty loud snap if he can hear it while walking around on the hood of a moving bus.
His first move was to run, but that was dumb.
True, no where to really run while you’re on a moving bus. My first move would have been a punch to the face. Same move even if Theo hadn’t been wearing the mask. In fact, I probably would have opened the chapter with it.
That was the exact same thing the platypus did.
Wait, what? The platypus? So, Perry runs, and so does the platypus? What platypus? What the hell is going on here!?
“SLENDERMAN!” Perry screams at the top of his lungs as he sped towards the building.
So much stupid here. First, why does Perry recognize a character born from an internet meme? Most of his days are spent either foiling Doofenschmirtz or laying around the Fletcher house not doing anything. Doesn’t leave a ton of time for browsing.
Second, there’s a building on this bus!? That’s just craz-
You win this round, Phineas and Ferb canon.
Finally, a fox wearing a Slenderman mask looks like one thing, and one thing only: a fox wearing white pantyhose on his head. Oooh, scary.
Sadly, I couldn’t find a picture of that.
Monogram, Carl, and Theo all emerged from the bushes as Peter pulled the mask off.
Peter the Panda? What is he doing here? And why is he suddenly wearing the mask instead of Theo the mole?
SENSE! YOU MAKE NONE!
Wait a second, there are bushes growing on the bus. Man, this bus has EVERYTHING!
They then burst out laughing.
Ha. Ha. A platypus getting unrealistically scared by a tiny panda wearing pantyhose on his head. It is to laugh.
Perry looked at the end of the path over at the group with a annoyed look.
You jerks better get off Perry’s bus before he beats all of you down.
He then felt something crawling up his back.
Theo, stop molesting Perry. You promised to fallow him and I’m holding you to that promise.
He looks back and forth between the bushes, and heard an evil laugh.
Behold! My new botanical-evil-laughinator! With a press of this button, I will turn all the bushes in the tri-state area into mutant laughing bushes with handlebar mustaches to twirl!
I’m not actually sure why it gives them mustaches. It doesn’t really help with the laughing, but it does make them more evil looking. I’m working on a way to give them at least one arm so they can actually twirl it rather than just sitting there with pugilistic lip adornments, but one step at a time.
Then a spider landed on his bill.
How he should react:
How he actually reacts:
“SPIDER!” He yells before running again.
Author, you’re not really good at this whole… writing thing, are you?
The little spider looks up at him and then to Peter who had him placed on his shoulder.
And here comes the punch line!
“Was it something I webbed?”
And that’s the end of the fic. Well, aside from a parting author’s note:
Pretty much my response. It’s staggering that anyone would be so desperate for a laugh to actually think this fic is humorous.
CougarGT22: READ and Review! Review a type of prank you think Perry should do to Monogram and Theo?
I think exposing Theo for the fraud he is would be a good start. But maybe I’m just mean-spirited.
Well, that was five turdy little fics in under 10,000 words. That was a pretty good recharge for me, so I’ll be back next week with the start of the second half of A Jedi’s Destiny. Until then, remain patrons, patrons!