From Being Copied to Copying: Neo-lolfoundation, the MCU, and the Grinding of Gears
Updated: May 10
News & Opinion, Culture & Community
by Lack of Lepers/GPT4
Editor's note: This article contains a higher amount of profanity, smut, and sex/genital references than I would normally like. (I had to quote the source material.)
Marvel needs no introduction, but neo-lolFoundation and the attributes tying the two together need some explaining.
Believe it or not, "neo-lolFoundation" is a real thing. The term was homegrown actually; coined right here at Confic Magazine, by pixelatedHarmony, in one of our podcast episodes (52min 17sec). It's had a fair share of being ridiculed & mocked, but is now... as the pattern oftentimes goes... officially recognized.
I will be a bad journalist up front, even though the title and picture make it clear enough I do believe; I do not like neo-lolFoundation. It stands in severe, almost diametric opposition to everything I hold dear in the land of philosophy and writing. I think neo-lolFoundation is a weed that is growing "successfully" despite its negative horticultural value. I think the school is one large exercise in taking the SCP Wiki readership for a lucrative (upvotes) ride, and that the taste of the readership has worsened as a result of being inundated with the literary equivalent of endless butter and sugar. They say America is physically obese because of a rush of soda and fast food; well the SCP Wiki aesthetic taste is critically deadened because of a rush of neo-lolFoundation. It's civilizational diabetes. It is a limbic-system short-circuiting. It is a cheat code; a hack & science with certain formulas, rather than an art.
But before that, what is neo-lolFoundation, where did it come from, and how do I spell it? This article will give a comprehensive tour of the answers, detailing the style's origins and development. But, this wouldn't be a Confic Magazine post if I didn't contribute something more than just a dry, encyclopedic account; that's what the Containment Fiction Wiki is for after all.
I'll suggest (again, as a personal opinion, not a definitive conclusion via facts) that there are two primary inspirations at the heart of the neo-lolFoundation style, and specifically its dialogue; two muses that neo-lolFoundation authors may or may not be conscious of...
... Marvel's Tony Stark & Star Lord.
The SCP Wiki has become a platform for innovative and diverse writing styles, each vying for attention and critical acclaim. One such style that has gained prominence in recent years is neo-lolFoundation, a school of thought & composition that mixes elements of humor, satire, Post-Modernism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and Hollywood sensibilities. The term "neo-lolFoundation" refers to the contemporary version of the original "lolFoundation" style, which emerged in the early years of the SCP Wiki community.
More than a simple departure from the serious and scientific SCP Foundation works, neo-lolFoundation prioritizes playful audience engagement and entertainment value above believability. This approach has been liberating for some authors and readers, and has found critical success. It has also faced criticism for potentially undermining the SCP Wiki's format, and uniqueness as a project.
For those unfamiliar, a "mainlist" organizes the contents of a containment fiction writing collection, contrasted with separate lists for joke articles (-J) that explicitly satirize tone and format for comedic effect. The line between the two has always been fuzzy, and humor has always been present in mainlist articles. While there is subjectivity in what should or shouldn't be a -J, the designation is generally used when comedy overrides the containment fiction format; for example, with an SCP about cooties, or when Foundation employees just don't write up an anomaly. However imperfect, the SCP Wiki has separated joke articles from mainlist ones since 2008, a distinction important to understanding neo-lolFoundation's emergence.
II. Background of Neo-lolFoundation
Neo-lolFoundation's origins trace back to 2018 when authors, like djkaktus and his protégé Rounderhouse, began giving humor an increasingly-central role in SCP Wiki mainlist articles. They popularized a new wave of the lolFoundation style and reintroduced its signature features. Other authors adopting this composition style to varying degrees include J Dune, fishish, HarryBlank, PlaguePJP, and more.
Watching the emergence of neo-lolFoundation can be likened to geologists observing Earth's sedimentary layers to identify distinctive eras. Similarly, comment sections on certain SCP Wiki pages, like Experiment Log 914's, reveal trends and eras since its 2008 publication.
SCP-914's Experiment Logs
A chronological account of Experiment Log 914's comment section reveals different phases. Initially, SCP-914's experiment log was curated by Dr Gears. As he became more distant, early lolFoundation material emerged, until about 2012. From 2012-2017, there was a general reaction against this style. By 2017 and 2018, tests previously deemed "overly silly" reappeared, such as ones involving memes or absurdly unprofessional doctors.
Under Dr Gears' curation, the attitude was serious and believable, but dry humor was accepted. To quote him in the comment section:
“I’m going through the test logs and cleaning house. Many of the tests are neat, but skip over the line into…unacceptable. Humor has its place, however it seems things have gotten overly silly. if one of your logs goes down the pipes, please do not be offended. Know that many of the things i’m deleting i may enjoy very much, but they just don’t hit the correct tone.”
After Dr Gears' exit, staff who managed the experiment logs upheld his vision and regularly purged lolFoundation-like material. For instance, a pruning in August 2017 explicitly cited "LOLFoundation" as the removal reason for an entry's note.
Interestingly, there was some pushback from community members over this particular removal.
“As much hate lolfoundation gets, it’s still a hallmark of an earlier time on the site, and if there is any place to indulge on such shenanigans, an open collaboration on an early-era article such as this seems perfectly acceptable… If we’re going to prune, low-effort entries (abysmal SPaG, for instance) or those that exhibit a misunderstanding of how the item works should be the focus, not things that some staff think are out-of-date. It’s a stylistic choice, imo, to present the lighthearted bumbling side of the SCPF; and it’s a take that still appeals to new users.”
“Seconding Shaggy’s sentiments. Let people have a bit of fun with it. A piece like 914 in particular demands creativity, not to be held to the same rigid standards we’d see in articles today.”
In response, staff reinstated the lolFoundation note and relaxed curation of similar material. Long-standing rules of SCP-914 testing logs also softened; for example, in May 2018, staff permitted biological testing for an SCP-914 experiment for the first time, a restriction upheld since the log's creation a decade earlier. The in-universe doctor faced disciplinary action, a hallmark of lolFoundation.
Staff debated allowing biological testing in the logs, and subsequent entries included more of this, often justified by "approval from O5 Command", along with less-believable, gag-minded content. The changing standards were evident in a May 2018 response from the same staff member who had curated the 2017 "LOLFoundation" entry:
“Lol, you would be so fired if you tried that in-universe, you know that right? Good test though.”
The tone had officially shifted. This marked the gradual resurgence of lolFoundation, though it was not instantaneous, and some pushback persisted. For example, in October, a test log was still rejected for relying heavily on pop-culture and using external sources "not used in-universe."
However, the cyclical tides of fashion continued. A comment on the experiment log's discussion page in February 2023 highlights neo-lolFoundation's ultimate triumph on the SCP Wiki:
“It’s taken me a long time to work my way through these logs. Despite some of the obvious lolFoundation moments leaking through, it’s been a really pleasant read because of the colorful characters such as Dr. Veritas [a self-insert], Prof. Wren, MT Johnson, Dr. Nukea, Researcher Darby, etc. I would unironically enjoy some kind of cartoon sitcom or webcomic featuring these wonderful people and the shenanigans they get up to at Site 19, even if it’s not directly related to their experiments with 914. They feel like one big, wacky, dysfunctional family and there’s something inherently wholesome about the work they’ve done together. The Foundation doesn’t have to be cold and unfeeling 24/7!” [brackets & bolding mine for emphasis]
Contrasting Dr Gears' and SCP Wiki staff's no-nonsense, anti-unprofessionalism approach, this comment welcomes new lolFoundation characters in a sitcom-like setting. It embodies an oxymoron: disdain for the past lolFoundation style, yet approval for the new variant.
So the return to lolFoundation started in the quarantine of a collaborative experiment log. But it did not remain confined there.
SCP-4444 & SCP-5004
Around the same time as the SCP-914 Experiment Logs' tonal shifts, author djkaktus posted his widely-publicized SCP-4000 contest entry “Bush v. Gore” (later SCP-4444), which finished second place. Unique for its time, it featured over-the-top antics of classic SCP Foundation characters, including Drs. Clef & Bright (now Elias Shaw), reviving irreverent comedy in the Foundation's high ranks and formal meetings.
To drive the point home: tags on SCP-4444 include " ̶d̶o̶c̶t̶o̶r̶_̶b̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ doctor-shaw, doctor-cimmerian, doctor-clef, doctor-light, doctor-spanko, esoteric-class, kain-pathos-crow, ethics-committee, extraterrestrial" among others. Djkaktus even considered adding the lolFoundation tag, but worried it would lessen the article's impact:
djkaktus is asked in chat whether the lolFoundation tag would be fitting for what came to be SCP-4444. Click to expand.
A year later, and on djkaktus' SCP 5000 contest entry "MEGALOMANIA" (now SCP-5004) a commeter would lament the new and emerging style by calling "insufferably cloy winky lolrandom humor with a layer of poisonous irony on top" the new cliche (full quote below). SCP-5004 reinforced the new lolFoundation style. It featured senior staff avatars, memetic elements, outlandish plots, and current political events, creating an absurdist, surreal narrative focused on delivering high-volume comedy. To boot, the article's visibility was highest during the site's virtual tourist season. Humor took precedence here, with cruder, exaggerated aspects amplified, and many other literary aspects were made secondary to the comedic intent.
As such, SCP-5004 faced more resistance than SCP-4444, particularly due to aspects identified as lolFoundation:
“Gonna be honest- Just because you make references to pop culture and current political events/people and turn it all wacky and quirky or whatever doesn’t mean you’ve made an amazing skip worthy of 5000.” — maximiguel
“My brains has melted into two puddles deciding on whether I should upvote or downvote. On one hand, this a great sequel to 4444, but on the other hand, this feels too LOLfoundation and random = funny. Uhh, upvote, goddamnit!+1 edit: no vote” — Koooper
“It’s 2020. Can we please stop upvoting low-effort lolfoundation random humor articles that feel like they were written in 2012 just because they’re by a popular author? I have no problem with funny scips, but this is going to feel unbelievably dated in a year, every joke feels like a desperate attempt to seem quirky, and referencing every popular character makes this read like a gratuitous self-insert story from a decade ago. I can’t tell people how to vote, but if this is genuinely the kind of writing you want in the 5000 slot I suggest you take a long look in the mirror. Like come on people” — amindele
“I don’t care about the “this is too close to lolfoundation” aspect, I’m no longer invested enough in SCP to care.” — LordGoopy
“Deliciously lolFoundation.” — Quadruple Stuffed
“I think this article perfectly encapsulates everything I dislike about this website. Not every piece of art on the planet needs to be insufferably cloy winky lolrandom humor with a layer of poisonous irony on top… If you are looking for what the new cliche on this site is, it’s not murderous monster-men, it’s not antimemes or word-salad. It’s not anything like that, it’s this… The whole “lolFoundation” style of writing just is….very not my cup of tea, partly because I think it’s reflective of some general trends in the arts that I’m not fond of and partly because it reminds me of a specific period of this site’s history that I don’t like being reminded of (you’re probably familiar with what I’m talking about. If not, don’t worry about it).” — planet Jane
“There were several lolFoundation moments that I think fell flat for me; while I think lolFoundation can be great if they are played up to maximum and then breaking consideration, I don’t think that the piece achieved that point to me.” — SoullessSingularity
While these quotes show that the neo-lolFoundation style had been bubbling below the surface of the Wiki for long enough to become tiresome to some, the seemingly sudden and high-profile return to a lolFoundation-influenced style by a popular and influential author in a "serious" contest was controversial. To this day, SCP-5004 is the second-most controversial SCP by total votes currently on the SCP Wiki, per the controversy index. It caused philosophical discussions to occur regarding the role and necessity of the -J designation.
“As others have pointed out, this article is a ride from start to finish. It opens with an established world — that being chaotic, lolFoundationy stuff framed in the clinical language of an SCP document — and doesn’t really stray beyond that. No internal rules are being violated, if that makes sense. There is no subversion to be found within the article. Honestly, the fact that this discussion is even occurring kind of proves that “-J vs mainlister” should be up to the author. You can never clearly define a Joke article, so why bother?” — Nagrios
“Are you forgetting about the entire lolFoundation period, and lolFoundation canon, for that matter? Articles being decidedly not serious have had a pretty long-standing history on the site; and even if this type of article were unprecedented, why would you care? Using the Foundation format in new ways is hardly something that should be discouraged.” –Nagrios
“I don’t think you understand what we mean when we say “there is no canon”. It means there is no canon. People can write about whatever they want on this site as long as it is received positively. Doesn’t matter if the tone is silly, serious, realistic, fantastical, etc. Doesn’t matter if it directly contradicts other articles. LolFoundation existing on this site does not erase the serious tone of other articles. It just offers an alternative. Other things existing besides ultra serious uber scary SCPs does not delete those ultra serious uber scary SCPs from existence.” — TheMightyMcB
SCP-5004 may be the first definitive neo-lolFoundation article, with SCP-4444 as its spiritual precursor, as well as the other articles re-introducing the style circa Series V.
This writing style's success led many authors to abandon genre limitations (such as O5 Council competence), with some focusing on the style almost exclusively. Kaktusonian authors like PlaguePJP, HarryBlank, & J Dune emerged, led by Rounderhouse, who demonstrated the style's entertainment potential with works like SCP-4513, SCP-5929, & SCP-5149.
Neo-lolFoundation articles appeared frequently on the mainlist. Joke-oriented articles no longer needed the -J designation, and "Should have been a -J" renewed itself as a meme. The spill-over could have been a conscious, artistic statement in the style of Dadaism or détournement, or maybe authors didn't want to be confined to the less glamorous Joke articles list. In any case, it worked, and the feedback loop was in full effect. "Bringing people joy" was the general justification for this direction when holding it up to prior SCP Wiki styles.
A quote from Shawn Saxum's Creative Stuff podcast interview captures the philosophical shift behind the new school's emergence and rationale:
“People sometimes within this community kinda get hung up on the idea of articles being a certain way and I think it is more important, especially when you are talking about, you know, writing for an audience that you have to remember, you are trying to entertain people. Right? Like you are trying to do something creative in a way that provides a benefit to an audience. And, for my money, if I think I can do that more effectively with a story that doesn’t fit within the boundaries of the format, then I don’t give a shit about the format. It is more important to me that I’m able to tell a story that is cool and that people like, than it is that I tell a story in a way that fits within a certain set of rules.” [emphasis mine]
— djkaktus, Creative Stuff podcast, 1/15/2022
Recall just above, when someone defending this author's SCP-5004, said of it "No internal rules are being violated, if that makes sense."
Memecon 2021 & SCP-7000
The next major milestone for neo-lolFoundation was Memecon. Memecon was an "unofficial" contest hosted on the SCP Wiki that originated and was advertised by staff members of the SCP Declassified Discord (SCPD) server. The rules stated that entries must include “at least one meme as its basis… featured prominently in the article”. The entries could not use the “-J” designation.
In the discussion section of the Memecon hub, many users praised the contest theme, while others expressed hesitation.
“Call me an old man yelling at a cloud, but I can’t imagine any quality content coming from trying to force memes onto the site.” — Ihp “A lot of people find different things to be fun. Our audience, especially those who are in younger age groups, really enjoy the memes that spin off from the wiki. As entertainers (which, really, is what we’re doing here) we should always try and encourage people to find happiness through the wiki in whatever way they can, even if it’s not something we personally find enjoyable ourselves. As long as it’s not hurting people, what’s the trouble? Moreover, I think the issue of quality isn’t something that should be fretted about too much – there are plenty of people on the wiki who have been around a long time and aren’t obsessed about quality, because they know even silly stuff brings joy to someone out there.” — djkaktus
Memecon was a success, leading to over 20 SCP entries in Series VII. Winning authors, djkaktus-disciples and Rounderhouse-associates J Dune and PlaguePJP, created SCP-6599 (“HOGSLICE"), outshining the more academic SCP-6820 ("TERMINATION ATTEMPT"). SCP-6599 is one of the most important neo-lolFoundation articles. It introduced a hallmark technique; an intense, aggressive character speaking in all-caps, who is transfixed on a singular topic or focus, and who provides unyielding irritation as entertainment value. This technique, which like a 1950's dance craze I'll call "THE HOGSLICE", appears in numerous subsequent neo-lolFoundation works, many by SCP-6599's authors. THE HOGSLICE can be applied to characterization and an article's title, all-caps the tell in both cases.
Expand list of example articles using THE HOGSLICE:
SCP-6592*— “The Biz Wiz Experience” . A stock-market guru who uses thaumaturgy to influence his business portfolio, and who grifts audiences on investing seminars. The titular character commonly speaks in all-caps text and employs foul language as humor, such as the line: “SCP-6592: I don’t know, are you really going to SUCK MY DICK?” MTF agents (Addendum 3) are likewise given crude personalities that convey a sense of comedy-directed unprofessionalism.
SCP-6599* – “HOGSLICE”**, mentioned. A foul-mouthed, always-yelling caricature of alt-right masculinity who frequents niche internet forums to harass and respond aggressively to mundane discussions and disagreements, espousing political stances the SCP Wiki generally disagrees with. The character always types/speaks in all-caps and is meant to be as obnoxious as possible. Previously mentioned as the winner of the SCPD Meme Contest.
SCP-5595* — “Geoffrey Quincy Harrison the Third: Site Director, Gumball Machine” — A candy gumball machine characterized by all-caps the use of insults, profanity, and sexual innuendo. In interviews, initially competent Foundation researchers are quickly made to interact on the emotional and comedic level of the anomaly. The article concludes with employing the anomaly for its usefulness, as in the case with the immature Foundation Agent in SCP-6599.
SCP-6542* — Virgin Dairy 2: SECOND CHURNING”**, a revival of the failed “Milk Jesus” article that initially occupied this slot, the article features Jesus speaking in all-caps, who a MTF member refers to as “Cheesus”.
SCP-6597*— “Whale, I’m Boned”. A whale bone with inscriptions summons a patron god of scrimshaw. This entity, SCP-6597-1 speaks in all-caps. The Foundation researcher assigned to interviews is given a humorous image and attitude. Numerous lines in the dialogues are sexual innuendos, such as “Freska: Coffee didn’t work this time. I don’t know why. He really liked it last time. He put it on his eternal whale bone!” or “Freska: Yeah. Yeah! YEAH! Whale bone! Two! TWO! Two big beautiful whale bones. Bring ’em to papa.”
SCP-001 – Plague’s Proposal* — The central anomaly is an increased incident in containment failures, this idea and its development predicated on the author’s self-insert character, Paul Lague. The self-insert is commonly in dialogue with members of the O5 Council and is promoted to Site Director, offering an origin story. Numerous of the author’s other neo-lolFoundation works, such as SCP-5479, are cameo'd for interconnectedness. The author writes numerous characters (including the O5 Council) in all-caps to convey a sense of humor. The dialogue between upper staff members, including other neo-lolFoundation author self-inserts, is casual and juvenile, e.g. “House: Your mother’s ass, One.” (Cue laugh track.)
SCP-6453 — "Shit Yeti" — What do you think this article could be about? The anomaly speaks in all-caps, almost exclusively naming famous figures (mostly American politicians) as hopeful recipients of its feces.
SCP-7525-EX* — "The Slot Goblin" — a comedic, in-universe recreation of a technical glitch on WikiDot. The anomaly communicates in all-caps for comedic effect and is so all-caps, it's meta.
SCP-6121 — "THE CAPSLOCK CREW"** — They have become self-aware. A group of anomalous mascots who speak in all-caps for comedic effect, including lines such as "SCP-6121-1: I'M A ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION." and "SCP-6121-1: HOOT HOOT MOTHER FUCKER."
SCP-7666 — “UNDERVEGAS ORIENTATION: The House Loses”** — All-caps are used to characterize “... a hulking, red-skinned, ram-horned demon wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey and shorts”. The author’s self-insert also uses all-caps for comedic effect at times, such as the line, “HOUSE: FUCK DID YOU ALL DO?”
SCP-5377 — “OPEN YOUR JUNK MAIL IDIOT, by Y.W.T.G.T.H.F.T.”** — Postcards feature all-caps text for comedic effect, including statements such as, “FIXING YOUR POSTURE, DORK!" and "HELPING YOU LOSE WEIGHT YOU FAT FUCK".
* Written or co-written by PlaguePJP
**All-caps titles, e.g. SCP-5004 “MEGALOMANIA”
Although it is too soon to tell, neo-lolFoundation arguably reached its culmination in 2022 with the SCP-7000 contest. Numerous articles of the contest displayed neo-lolFoundation premises and elements. Audience commentary of the SCP-7000 contest noticed this, citing both the ubiquity and appeal of the approach:
“Tight, high-quality writing and humor are a winning recipe for this contest it seems.” — bigslothonmyface
Expand list of 7000 Contest articles featuring neo-lolFoundation influence:
SCP-7400 - "Your Honor, League of Legends" by Calibold and Sherf
SCP-7013 - "Thirteen Indeed" by Fishish and Jack Waltz
SCP-7314 - "Horn of Plenty" by Kothardarastrix
SCP-7447 - "Alfredo With A Side of Quantum Entanglement" by J T K C
SCP-7000 - "The Loser" by HarryBlank
SCP-7420 - "Worst Case Scenario" by Rhineriver
SCP-7320 - "Serendipity" by Raddagher
SCP-7666 - "UNDERVEGAS ORIENTATION: The House Loses" by Rounderhouse
SCP-7780 - "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by A Random Day
Neo-lolFoundation 7K entries featured frontrunner and landslide winner, HarryBlank's "The Loser", now SCP-7000. It includes that snappy banter, slapstick humor, and those crowd-pleasing political jokes ("crypto yucky!"), GameShark-ing the game (i.e. the placement of "Excerpt resumes fifteen minutes after Class-X mnestic application"), bending containment fiction's charge to uphold immersion and believability at any cost. As a comedy-centric X000 winner, it achieved what SCP-4444 attempted four years earlier.
During the SCP-7000 contest voting in August 2022, Memecon 2021 winner SCP-6599 "HOGSLICE" was the "Featured SCP" on the SCP Wiki's front page, selected by SCP-6599's author, PlaguePJP, and user Voiiiii. The article temporarily linked to both authors' SCP-7000 entries, further integrating neo-lolFoundation authors and themes into the SCP Wiki's visibility during its busy season.
During the SCP-7000 contest, authors like PlaguePJP first labeled their works as "neololfoundation," lying about its origins, but helping to formalize the style to the community & readership nonetheless (a small price to pay). The term gained further exposure on a Site-42 live-stream the same month, via host TheeSherm and SCP Wiki author Billith.
And in August 2022, "Neololfoundation" was added to the SCP Wiki’s official glossary of terms, and was officially mainstream.
III: Influence of Marvel Movies on Neo-lolFoundation
We now enter the uncut opinion phase of this article, where I attempt to convince you of my beliefs on sheer rhetoric.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has become an incredibly successful film franchise, grossing over $22 billion worldwide since Iron Man (2008). The MCU has turned into a cultural phenomenon, breaking box office records and generating massive merchandise sales. The MCU has also received critical acclaim, earning numerous awards and nominations.
A crucial factor in this success is the MCU's interconnectedness, which creates lore continuity and anticipation among fans, encouraging repeat viewings and fostering a community feeling. Large-scale marketing campaigns, including trailers, posters, merchandise, and social media, have generated buzz and contributed to the films' success. Other factors include the pre-existing popularity of Marvel characters.
Marvel's commercial success has significantly impacted contemporary culture. It's natural that writers, including those on the SCP Wiki, adopt techniques from globally popular works like Marvel movies. For example, SCP Wiki authors often launch extensive marketing campaigns for new articles. e.g. on Twitter, and we have seen a surge in interconnectedness and pro-canonicity on the Wiki. From cross-links to personal works, to multi-author anthology mini-series like ADMONITION, to ambitious multi-canon projects like the MetaFoundation (unrealized), MCU-like interconnectedness is trending upwards.
But none of these things are unique to the MCU, so what explains its unprecedented appeal? My thesis: Marvel scripts' unique balance of action and humor.
There are other parallels between Marvel and neo-lolFoundation besides humor we can explore. Marvel movies often use pop culture references, self-awareness, and parodies of superhero tropes to engage younger, digitally-savvy audiences. This approach mirrors neo-lolFoundation's irreverent, sarcastic, and parodic ethos. Both neo-lolFoundation and Marvel movies feature larger-than-life, relatable characters who already have an established, popular fanbase. In both, these characters are imbued with mythic powers or unshakable humor in dangerous situations. Modern examples include neo-lolFoundation author self-inserts like Director House, Director Paul Lague, Dr. Harold Blank, and Dr. J Dune, but no neo-lolFoundation epic is complete without the invocation of the old guard, such as Doctors Clef, Bright, Light, Kain Pathos Crow, even Gears and Kondraki.
But the humor is the key.
And it has a name! That others gave it, not just little old us, so little that someone can steal a CC term and a site falsely dedicated to CC-BY-SA 3.0 suddenly doesn't care to uphold it simply because you are a political enemy.
Marvel's unique brand of humor is referred to as “bathos” or "Whedon dialogue" when applied to dialogue, this named after Josh Whedon, writer of MCU movies as well as Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It is well established and doesn't need my salesmanship of it as a thing. You can take a look at Overly Sarcastic Productions’ Trope Talk: Bathos, pertinent to our discussion, and released only 3 days ago at the time of writing. Or, as ChatGPT will tell you:
The similarities between Marvel's "humor and heart" mixology and modern SCP Wiki writing should be dawning brightly on some after reading this screenshot. Both Marvel and neo-lolFoundation utilize this particular role and flavor of humor, and deploy it in nearly identical situations, to nearly identical effects.
To argue this, we will look at a specific point of both Marvel scripts and neo-lolFoundation articles where this shared approach can be seen best; the dialogue. Both Marvel and neo-lolFoundation feature witty, fast-paced, character-driven dialogue, using flippant, sarcastic, and burlesque play to establish a light-hearted and engaging atmosphere.
In my reading, the similarity is uncanny. Some shared aspects of their dialogue styles include:
Snappy banter: Characters engage in quick back-and-forth exchanges, often incorporating humor and sarcasm, quippy one-liners, puns, informal speech, and subject matter that might be seen as juvenile or "low-brow", such as references to sex, piss, and shit. Examples include SCP-5929 and SCP-4513 (see collapsible below).
Pop culture references: The dialogue often contains references to popular culture, making it more relatable and current. Examples include SCP-6593 and SCP-5383 (see collapsible below).
Juxtaposition of humor and seriousness: The dialogue often plays on the contrast between humorous exchanges and serious, dramatic moments to create tension and keep the audience engaged. For example, #1 is often seen in moments of high-octane stress, such as a shoot-out, or other action sequence. (Almost all examples of neo-lolFoundation have this feature; see collapsible below.)
Lacking the benefits of visual cues, neo-lolFoundation has developed purely textual methods to incorporate these elements, such as outlandish titles & plots, and of course, THE HOGSLICE.
Expand list of example neo-lolFoundation articles:
SCP-5377 - "OPEN YOUR JUNK MAIL IDIOT, by Y.W.T.G.T.H.F.T." Splices SCP Foundation Senior Staff Tilda Moose (thedeadlymoose) with insults and swearing, as well as the inclusion of Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger.
SCP-5929 - "We Come In Piss". Is about the human race developing from the micturition of an alien life form, and uses a punchline ending with an O5 Council member stating “I just feel like it’d be really awkward, you know?”
SCP-5149 - "None of us are blind, Joe." Also places a humorous punchline ending in a collapsible, giving a demonstration of neo-lolFoundation’s compromises with an in-universe immersion, and preference for an out-of-universe stance to the structure of the in-universe document.
SCP-5983 - "Nuke York, Nuke York". Follows the same formula of SCP-5929 and SCP-5149; it features a comical O5 Council vote and ends on a punchline. This one insinuates that an O5 member would detonate a nuclear weapon in a metropolis because they are irritated with train schedules. (“In my defense, if you’ve ever been on the 8:30 to Broadway, you’d want to nuke something too.”)
SCP-4852 - "Site-19 Goes South For The Winter!". Casts Senior Staff / lolFoundation avatars such as Dr Tilde Moose, Dr Bright, Dr Clef, Dr Kondraki, Kain Pathos Crow, and the O5 Council, as well as neo-lolFoundation ones such as Director Jean Karlyle Actus. All participate in the light-hearted context and profanity of an anomalous event that partially turns a SCP Foundation research wing into a runaway chicken. An invocation of “lolFoundation” is included in the author post.
SCP-4513 - "Pounded in the Butt with Moby Dick by my IRS W-2 Tax Form". Enacts a textual anomaly that cross-pollinates any two involved documents to result in absurdist-theater prose; examples involve pop culture references, as well as numerous innuendos involving penises, including a joke about an erection, which ends the article.
SCP-5383 - "The Konami Code But For Catholicism (Suffer Overflow)". Features kitsch dialogue with a demon (“Blaagaroth”) and the in-document phrase “Downvote without leaving a comment”. It casts the O5 Council ineptly attempting to research and enact an unconfirmed anomaly in their meeting place, which they commit heinous sins in order to try to activate (and fail).
SCP-6599 – “HOGSLICE”. Previously described, creator of THE HOGSLICE. The slice of hog itself and the crew around it quickly reach strained levels of believability that is out-of-character for the Foundation and its operations for the sake of humor.
SCP-6596 — “8 Mile: The Beast of Lust and Hatred Born”. An anomalous skeletal horse, also a god of gluttony and greed, forces Foundation personnel to engage with it in rap battles as part of containment protocols. As you have imagined, these raps take up most of the document.
SCP-3837 — “The Maize Knight”. The anomaly is a humanoid ear of corn who speaks with a Shakespearian accent, identifies as “Cornelius the Great, Slayer of Goats”, and wields a spoon as a weapon. Its kernels heat into popcorn when angry.
SCP-5593 — “Unclogged”. An entity who is responsible for toilet water flooding a Foundation Site speaks to a doctor who was using the restroom. Their discussion consists of sarcastic jokes, such as the line: “Entity: Of course, just my luck I end up with the Italians.” (buDERP!)
SCP-5596 — “The Love Doctor”. A grandfather clock that measures someone’s sex appeal. Subjects who score poorly are visited by a humanoid anomaly called “The Love Doctor”, who humorously coaches the subjects’ regarding their love life. The interaction features lines such as: “SCP-5596-1: You’d think you’d get a higher rank given how much knob-squeezing you do at home… “
SCP-6593 — “Only Cans”. An anomalous vending machine is a thin metaphor for sex. The only point of the article to have a pun be an excuse to type smut. I would say that this article is for mature audiences only, but it isn't; it's actually for immature audiences. The document includes lines such as: “SCP-6593: Fuck, you make me want to dispense something so bad.” and “SCP-6593: Please. Please, just one coin. Just one. I’ve been so good. I’m a whore. I want you to buy something from me.”
SCP-6069 — "Cupid's Angels" — a re-dressing of the mythical "Cupid" (-A) that eventually has a Foundation employee wearing a diaper. Logs are almost always ended with sitcom-style quips such as "Agent Khan: Um… does that still count?" Lines such as "I should get back to my post though, the director will have my balls if—" establish a casual, informal, and primarily silly atmosphere throughout the piece, weaving humor among the more dramatic themes. The choice of numbers in the designation is not coincidental & should be noted.
SCP-6056 — "The Crumpening" — involves an audio log with two Foundation employees in bed. After the anomaly, a shockwave, breaks up the bed and their good time, the two remark: '█████████: We're not telling them how this happened. ████████████: YOU THINK?!" All other logs end with one-liner quips, such as "Dr. Wettle: Fucking TWICE?!", "Dr. Lillihammer: Dirty mind." and "Deering: THAT WASN'T ME." You can hear the fake laugh track as the scene fades to black.
SCP-5847 — "The Food's Court". An article about an anomalous food fight, where the food items are sapient, but only so that they can speak exclusively in puns. This article is one of the best arguments in favor of AI-generated text taking over the compositional quality of the SCP Wiki within the next months.
SCP-6990 — "The Truth about Ancient Aliens". An article redressing the pop-culture phenomemenon, "Ancient Aliens". The Foundation uses a cat to explore Egyptian tombs and communicate findings. The silly tone is sustained by The Mummy-tier lines such as "Smith: Please don't say aliens, please don't say aliens, please-"
SCP-6453 — "Shit Yeti". Previously mentioned. I wish I could say the title of this one says it all, but it doesn't. An article about a yeti who gifts its feces to others, and at one point has a witness eat them (the possible horror angles of this are not represented). The anomaly meets personally with the O5 council, who elect to accept its feces-gifts as a method of containment. A dedicated gallery to the feces is erected in a Foundation site, because lol.
SCP-6867 — "Horse Jesus". An article about a horse that dives and is raised from the water unharmed, despite diving from increasing heights. The article is constructed entirely around a pun, which the article ends with in large font; "Jesus dived for your sins".
SCP-5665 — "AssBlasting". A short article about cows who ignite their own farts. The end article ends with the cows using this method as propulsion into the atmosphere, pretty much exactly where you expect the author to go.
IV. The Stark-Lord Test
To me, the net result of neo-lolFoundation on the SCP Wiki is the feeling that you are watching authors do their best impressions of Marvel scenes. (In fairness, they are decent impressions.) To see this in action, perform what I call "The Stark-Lord Test".
The Stark-Lord Test intends to demonstrate "bathos" and its over-exposure. Or in other words, just how much neo-lolFoundation dialogue, even that involving the O5 Council, can be reduced to caricatures of the silliest, quirkiest, most charismatic, and most teen-loved MCU protagonists — these lines being interchangeable between Stark and Star Lord themselves, too (it’s just transitive math). It is meant to highlight that the Whedon style of dialogue produces quick, cheap, characterization that is too soaked in butter for most to know that's just the flavor of butter that is tasting good. Or, as a member of the Society for Containment Fiction Discord put it: "Almost everyone in the MCU is a snarky badass who doesn't feel such strange things as emotions and will quip at every opportunity."
To perform the test, take emblematic lines of dialogue from neo-lolFoundation articles and imagine them spoken in the voices of either Tony Stark and/or Star Lord.
If you have a poor imagination, or just don't want to read neo-lolFoundation articles to test this, you can watch this video, which performs the test for you:
To my dismay, HOGSLICE lines don't quite fit The Hulk's character enough to add them in here, but thankfully I can let other writers and critics caution against using all-caps, as they have done this throughout the history of writing. As one editor writes:
“Ideally, you wouldn't need to use ALL CAPS at all. The context alone should be enough to suggest that the character is shouting or angry. ... Such a typographical change ought to be used rarely, though, or its effectiveness diminishes. In many ways, overusing ALL CAPS is like using the same word over and over – it’s not particularly creative and eventually the repetition is annoying… In any case, since many established writers rarely use ALL CAPS, for some readers overuse of it can give your writing an amateurish feel, and that’s not the impression you want to give.”
According to this way of thinking, neo-lolFoundation's frequent use of all-caps may indicate an inability to skillfully handle context or characterization, or over-rely on capitalization as a stand in for characterization. However, I imagine the authors (1) know this well, and (2) do not care, possibly making it their point. And to be fair, some authors who dabble in neo-lolFoundation are excellent at characterization when they want to be, such as HarryBlank.
There have been other criticisms of the MCU style of dialogue and storytelling that we can apply to neo-lolFoundation by virtue of their overlap. Take it away, ChatGPT:
I would add that the style of writing has been identified as predictable and cliche as far back as 2019, making neo-lolFoundation somewhat late to the gold rush.
This is a distinct style of humor & composition we are looking at here, and it is shared between Marvel movies and neo-lolFoundation. The question is if it is shared enough to suspect an inspiration, conscious on the part of the authors or not.
My thesis to anyone who knows me should be clear: The SCP Wiki is not the best place to read or write containment fiction on the internet anymore, and neo-lolFoundation is a large part of why. We who have looked up to the SCP are used to seeing larger, more commercial, and less artful media giants emulate it. It's troubling to instead see the SCP Wiki start to emulate those larger giants. The SCP Wiki, our Mt. Everest, is the last place that such an over-grown root system should thrive & take hold.
The stark, lording influence of the MCU on neo-lolFoundation is just one man's opinion. Despite this author's feelings on the matter, readers are encouraged to form their own. Regardless of preference, neo-lolFoundation has impacted the SCP Wiki community and represents a distinct, accomplished school. As an era, it may even have been inevitable, challenging previous traditions and values with its unique appeal, and thriving in a niche that hadn't been occupied in a decade — every action having its equal and opposite reaction.
Like the MCU, which has released a new Gardians of the Galaxy movie this year, neo-lolFoundation shows no signs of slowing. With its growing prominence, we may still be witnessing the rise of this era.
The SCP Wiki is a place of many styles and there is enough room for a multitude of them. No one dislikes neo-lolFoundation more than I do, and even I can recognize the talent in works such as SCP-7000, the hilarity of HOGSLICE, or the cleverness of something like SCP-6456. I think the next major style on the SCP Wiki will take neo-lolFoundation and hybridize it with other styles, such as what's seen in the eerily-humorous, Surrealist-horror mixture of SCP-6337.
Neo-lolFoundation IS bathos as interpreted by the SCP format. It IS Whedon dialogue through the lens of containment fiction. Like any style, it can be done well, it can be done poorly, and it can be just plain overdone. If you like neo-lolFoundation, you can read the SCP Wiki to enjoy what ride remains. I envy such readers, because for them, there is no better time to read the SCP Wiki than now.
If you are like me and don't like neo-lolFoundation, you can avoid reading the SCP Wiki like the plague until it blows over, if it does at all. If you feel the need for a quick reminder of what you are missing out on, a minute-long South Park clip from 1999 that parodies Star Wars' Jar Jar Binks should do the trick:
© Lack of Lepers
© Confic Magazine
Aside from the screenshots, ChatGPT (GPT-4) contributed to the creation of this article, making suggestions, and cutting its length by 52%. It also streamlined the author's typically wordy and complex writing style.
The author would like to thank Darth Flogus for articulating the overlying ideas of bathos and Whedon dialogue.
The main image was created using DreamStudio, and then edited. The SCP Wiki logo is CC BY-SA 3.0.
To read more about lolFoundation & neo-lolFoundation, visit the Containment Fiction Wiki: https://www.containmentfiction.net/wiki/lolfoundation/