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Bad Biology

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Bad Biology is exactly what you would think it is: improper portrayal of organisms. Bad biology may take the form of anatomy, physiology, genetics, diseases, and more.

Fics with poor biology are encountered by most departments, but fics where biological charges are in the majority usually end up in the Department of Bad Slash or Division of Bad Het, although it is arguable that the Department of Mary Sues sees the most illogical genetics, which is a standard feature of many Mary Sues. While biology is a topic that is taught in most schools, for some reason it escapes many writers... and even if one did not study biology in school, ignorance is not an excuse when resources are as simple as a click away on the internet.

In this respect, it's similar to Bad Psychology. Bad biology is a large contributor to squick.

Signs of Bad BiologyEdit

Nonsensical IllnessesEdit

Inaccurate portrayal of illnesses, chronic conditions, and other health problems is a common manifestation of Bad Biology. This may take the form of not understanding a World One health issue, such as the effects of an illness, or even the presence of vague 'soap opera coughs' as stand-ins for deadly afflictions. It might also take the form of some in-universe uncanon illness that doesn't make sense.

Nonsensical CuresEdit

Contrary to the belief of some, athelas does not actually cure colds, flu, cancer, or syphilis. From misapplied medicine, to healing sex, bad biology can take the form of cures that are simply not medically sound.

Illogical GeneticsEdit

Mary Sues really love things that can make them special without any effort on their part, and what easier thing is there than to simply be born? Illogical genetics are very common in badfic, often lending speshul qualities to the product of said genetics. Whether the bad character is a cross breed of two incompatible species (or even three or more incompatible species), or an impossible child of something that can't procreate, Illogical genetics are there. Tamer versions might just involve improbable inheritance of traits... and more exotic versions might just randomly invent traits or powers: "I'm a child of Sauron, and I inherited my red eyes and black hair from him because that's all sinister!" or "My elf heritage lets me cast magic that not even elves can cast." etc.

Bad AnatomyEdit

Anatomy is complex and requires research and study to learn. But this doesn't explain badfics where even the most obvious anatomical facts are absent. While this can apply to any organism and concern any bodily system, bad anatomy of humans and humanoids (and the sex organs thereof) are the most common... which is distressing, considering most if not all authors are human themselves... but then again, this sometimes causes nonhuman characters to mysteriously manifest mammal/human sex organs.
Mpreg can also be related.

Unpleasant ActionsEdit

Without comprehension of the human (or otherwise) body, authors may command their characters to do unpleasant things without realizing that they are impossible, or at least excruciatingly painful. A failure to grasp biology produces such bad sexual situations and circumstances as Not There, Dubious Lube, and violations of The Mechanics. But perhaps even more common are the impossible, agonizing actions that happen in badfic all the time, such as forcing horses to run for hours and hours at a time without water, or somehow contorting the body impossibly in combat to show off 'karate skills.'


It should be noted that what constitutes "bad" biology can vary depending on canon, as more fantastical or comedic worlds are likely to feature biology which doesn't work in the Real World. For example, in Gorillaz canon, head injuries make one's hair turn blue, and in Land Before Time, dinosaurs have eyelashes. In cases like the aforementioned, it's generally best to assume that things work the way they do in the Real World unless canon specifies otherwise; one canonical biological inaccuracy does not mean ficcers can throw all the laws of nature out the window.

See AlsoEdit

Famous examples of Bad Biology:Edit

That Series
For Your Eyes Only,
AJ Matthews

Other Bad Things:Edit

Bad Psychology

Bad Physics

Bad Characterization

Bad Geography

Bad Slash

Bad Ideas (which encompass all of the above.)

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