A Badfic is a term used to describe a fanfiction story that is deemed weird or of low quality due to an incoherent storyline, terrible grammar or overall abundance of WTF moments.
Though the term was not coined until 2000, fanfiction considered to be poorly written has been around just as long as fanfiction itself. As early as 1973, tropes considered low quality, for example using overly idealized characters known as Mary Sues, were critiqued in fan zines.
Badfics can be generally divided into two types. The standard badfics are well-known for their bad grammar, absence of a plot and vague sex scenes. The authors of such stories tend to put sincere efforts in the writing process but unintentionally gain notoriety as a result of various shortcomings and lack of experience. On the Internet, poorly written proses are often met by ironic appreciation, instead of the serious response the author was hoping to elicit, and can be categorized under the genre of so bad it’s good.
On the other hand, the second type of badfic may contain elements that are commonly found in the aforementioned, but taken to an extreme level for comedic effect. The core distinction between the two lies in that the author of the latter type intends to write poorly for either the sake of humor or to satirize other badfics. As a result, such works have been often labeled trollfics.
Communities devoted to pointing out and sharing the poorly written stories began popping up in 1998 with the creation of the Godawful Fan Fiction Archive. The next year, two more communities were created, Citizens Against Bad Slash and Englishchick. Communities also appeared on fanfiction.net, such as WTFfics and Crapfics That Will Hurt Your Brain, to highlight stories deemed low quality as well as general weird moments found in stories submitted to the site.
In 2001, Something Awful featured a series of poorly written short stories written by people who hated the fandom subject. LiveJournal user svmadelyn held the Badfic Summary Mini-Ficathon in 2006, where more than 70 users participated writing trollfic on each other’s prompts in 48 hours. Since that year, more than 350 questions have been asked about bad fanfic on Yahoo! Answers. Clips also are shared on Tumblr with the tag #badfic.
On LiveJournal, communites like Twitchfic and WTF Fanfiction? specialize in collecting badfics from across the web and dividing them into categories and fandoms, sometimes also providing dramatic readings of certain instances. On Blogspot, Crap Fic Theater also offers dramatic readings of various badfics. The Protectors of the Plot Continuum also put special sections on their Wikia for badfics, with a separate page for ones considered legendary, which contains shockfics such as Agony in Pink and Cupcakes.
My Immortal, often described as The Worst Fanfiction Ever, is a fanfic that takes place in the Harry Potter universe and was created by fanfiction.net user Tara Gillesbie. It became famous for containing a large number of spelling and grammatical errors and sudden unexplained sex scenes. The story may have been a trollfic, but its origin has yet to be confirmed.
Half-Life: Full Life Consequences
Half-Life: Full Life Consequences was created by fanfiction.net user Squirrelking. The poorly written fanfic didn’t take off until a dramatic reading was created, which was later turned into a Garry’s Mod adaptation.
DOOM: Repercussions of Evil
DOOM: Repercussions of Evil is an amateur fanfiction written by fanfiction.net user Peter Chimaera that takes place in the universe of the videogame DOOM. The notorious short story gained a large following for its carefree grammar and punctuation. Similar to My Immortal, it is often questioned whether the fanfic was perhaps a trollfic or just a crapfic. The fanfic also gained popularity through the snowclone catchphrase “No, X. You are the Y”, which pokes fun at the ridiculous plot twist at the end.
Badfics are often used as content for dramatic readings, oral interpretation commonly used in reader’s theater where a reader would read a story in a dramatic voice. Because of the abnormal situations presented in a badfic, along with the commonly found bad grammar, dramatic readings often create hilarious results. Certain fanfictions, like Half-Life: Full Life Consequences, also gained more popularity due to the videos created of it.
Site: WTF Fanfiction
The Tumblr blog WTF Fanfiction takes texts of confusing or absurd moments found in fanfics, making them into shareable image macros. These are also shared through their Twitter account. The popularity of the site has also resulted in spin-off blogs such as WTF Pony Fanfiction, which specializes in fanfics from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom.
Eating while doing these submissions is a really bad idea… #fanfiction— WTF Fanfiction (@wtffanfiction) mei 27, 2012