10 SCPs That Suck Ass

Oh oh ho! Time to get feisty!

The SCP wiki is a big communal creative project. Lots of people have written for it. I have very pointedly gone out of my way to avoid knowing who made these ideas I’m talking about because I want to talk about the product that the SCP wiki exalts communally. I may talk about the intentions of a piece, but please understand they’re not drawn from actual stated words from the creators (except when they are) but rather from a critical reading of what these narratives are trying to be about.

And with that, on to the sacred cows.

Content warning! I’m going to talk about stuff on the SCP wiki that’s pretty bad, and that means in addition to warnings about horror, we’re also going to have to talk about sexual violence and child sexual assault.

The Plague Doctor is a Naruto OC

That’s not a joke, that’s literally where SCP-049 came from: The creator wanted to make a fanfic of a Naruto character they liked, and the eventual outcome is the Plague Doctor. The Plague Doctor is ‘beloved,’ according to votes and fan reactions to its appearances in other games (including contention when the ‘wrong’ voice actor explores the character). The Plague Doctor, like almost all the ‘evil doctors’ the SCP wiki has going on, is pretty much just a boring person.

“Reality Warpers”

These are all boring.

No, I don’t care to elaborate on why ‘literally any reliable cause and effect does not apply to this except as we, the storyteller impose on it’ is boring.

Yes, even the ones that are ‘about’ storytelling itself.

Most of the 001 proposals

There are essentially four basic 001 proposals:

  • What if this well-established Abrahamic myth is just true
  • What if the biggest SCP is the SCP foundation
  • What if the biggest SCP is the SCP foundation, but the actual writers of the wiki IRL
  • What if the biggest SCP is the SCP foundation, but with evil mustaches

I find every one of these deeply unsatisfying. Particularly, the idea that SCP-001 would be assigned to the most important SCP rather than the first SCP in this new sorting system is really underselling the way that the SCP foundation should be treated as a cold, heartless bureaucracy. The idea that ‘important’ numbers represent ‘important’ SCPs is such a waste.

There is ‘what if the sun goes evil’ but that feels less like a proposal of a terrible thing that’s being contained as much as it feels like ‘a story someone wanted to write’ as an end game for the SCP universe.

Anyway, the other thing is, these four ideas each kind of outline the fundamental biases of the SCP wiki; that when you put them to think up ‘the most dangerous thing’ they pretty much default to ‘Christian ideas,’ and ‘Us.’ It’s just kinda an example of how basic some of the base assumptions of the SCP universe are, and one of the ways that the place is still ultimately an outcropping of 4chan’s ‘we are multitudes (of extremely similar boring people).’

I Am The Centre Of Everything That Happens To Me

This is apprently a highly praised SCP, with the idea of ‘what if the real horror is me, the author, right now?’ which is

Fine, I guess.

The problem when you draw attention to the author of the work as part of the work is that you pretty quickly just wind up pointing at the writing process, and if you’ve encountered this story idea before, you’ll both recognise it and find this one pretty tedious. I mean there is a grain of truth to it – SCPs created just to make a horrifying scenario with no meaningful point or idea are incredibly boring and get stuck in tedious loops. But this one doesn’t break the loop.

It’s Inception, basically. ‘Look at how the method of storytelling I use looks, when metaphorised as a story with those tools.’ Woop de doo.

The Build A Bear

Oh hey, you know what’s really good at being horrifying? Pointless, unpredictable and entirely unjustifiable sexual violence against women! The SCP 1048  is ostensibly meant to be a jab at the idea of ‘safe’ SCPs, with the idea that some SCPs are treated as safe and the researchers get used to them and integrating them into their workplace life and culture, with this bear suggesting that every one of them is just waiting for the mishandling that results in them doing something terrible. That is, this SCP exists to mostly comment on other SCPs that make the world more interesting, to instead make it less interesting, and in the process, decided the best way to do it is to mangle fetuses.

Booooring.

Every Creepy Or Evil Clown

Clowns are Boomer Detritus. The Clown as depicted in the genre of SCPs, a big nosed, fuzzy haired, big shoed horror thing, is an entity that does not meaningfully exist in my culture or in the culture of everyone I know, except as a thing to show up in contrast to be horrifying. It’s either clowns in hospitals (which largely, aren’t a thing), or Horror Monster Clowns. Real clowns these days don’t look like that because real clowns know those classic looks are creepy.

Horror monster clowns therefore invoke to me, John Wayne Gacy, and it’s pretty hard for anything you as a fictive writer can come up with that compares to the actual, literal, very real serial killer who actually did prey on people like me, and got away with it for a long time thanks to being, effectively, contained. Therefore, every time a clown is used to try and evoke horror, I get immediately bored and find something else to read. This extends as well to a lot of ‘kid media’ SCPs, like Cragglewood Park, which are all basically reiterations on an idea excellently done by Kris Straub’s creepypasta Candle Cove – what if our pliable childhood memories hid something horrible?

It’s kinda hard to shake me with that, in particular, because I have very real records of the horrifying media I was exposed to as a kid.

5555

If I’m already tired of meta narratives, imagine how boring I find the SCP that says not only is this a meta narrative, but it’s all just a game for fun? Hey, you know that stuff you were invested in and cared about? Well none of it matters, lol.

This is Where I Died

This ties in to my problem with the SCP-001 proposals that see ‘us, the people on the wiki, are the real SCP’ as meaningful horror. This SCP is built around an attempt from the narrative in universe to attack people, out here, in our universe, as readers of the work, and does it by giving you a kinda jump scare?

What you get instead is kinda an anthology with no actual central handle to it. Behold, a bunch of incomplete stories that we hope unsettle you, the reader, because if it does, boom, you’re affected by this story! And yeah, I guess from my place of experience, the idea that media affects people isn’t exactly exciting.

Blood and the Breaking of my Heart

When I talk about flags I often say ‘don’t put a good flag on your bad flag,’ to talk about when a flag uses a much better flag design that some other flag uses. In this case, SCP 5935 uses a really interesting space (SCP-4000) and tries to tell a story that’s a bit like the horror of a changeling, but it doesn’t actually touch on those beats, and it requires the humanisation and inner life of an 05 council member to be central to the story.

The O5 council are people I never want to see in a story. I do not want to know about the politics or the moral oversight or the perspectives or the supernatural powers of the O5 council because the second the beaurocracy of the SCP foundation is being made by people who have opinions and perspectives, you lose the headless, terrifying coldness of the organisation. You need to be lost in the SCP universe, otherwise you have to start asking questions like ‘why isn’t violent revolution against this fascist empire a good thing?’

In this, we get Sad Dad Feels which lead to Bad Dad Behaviour and is finally defeated by Heroic Dad Sadness and I do

not

fucking

care

about Dads that do bad things in the names of not fucking facing their own emotional limitations. We have enough stories about the harm that a selfish dad can do, all the way back to the Bible.

Everything To Do With The Scarlet King

That content warning up above goes double here, okay?

The Scarlet King narrative may not actually have started with SCP-231 (no linking, because fuck this story), but it is pretty much now the central point that other Scarlet King narratives orbit around. SCP-231 has been revised to now remove the oblique references to endless, institution-mandated child rape, but in doing so, also included commentary that it was never meant to be about that.

Nonetheless, this is about a child, under the age of 10, who is pregnant with a ‘thing’ and that thing is either the Scarlet King, or a servant of the Scarlet King, or a thing that keeps the Scarlet King sealed, we don’t know, we just know we need to keep abusing this little kid to keep things the way they currently are. The Scarlet King has a cult, there’s some really mediocre Biblical-inspired horror phrasing, and the actual outcome is deliberately vague beyond ‘it will be bad.’

And you don’t get to claim ‘it’s not about sexual violence against a child,’ when it starts with the premise of seven pregnant people one of whom is a child.

The whole thing feels like the ‘a wizard with a bomb says it’ll blow up the hospital if I don’t say the n-word’ writing, where a scenario was constructed to try and imagine the worst possible containment procedure, then doesn’t have anything to say or do beyond that. The irony is that one of my favourite SCPs works in a similar space and it’s actually interesting, more on that another time.

Also, as someone who grew up surrounded by actual Christian eschatology, the actual idea of the Scarlet King is fantastically dull. Attempts have been made to make the Scarlet King into something more abstract than ‘big, permanently lethal demon,’ but they’re all attempts to rehabilitate this concept that still, somehow, comes back to this point of intersection in an under-10 year old girl’s uterus.

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