We’ve been having some trouble deciding on what categories to use and how to best categorize each crappypasta, but here is what we’re using at the moment (and what each category generally means):
First off, here are the “good” categories. If your submission ends up in any of these tags, it means that you came very close to being approved for the main site OR that your pasta has received enough upvotes that it’s being moved to the main archive.
ADMIN FAIL: If a pasta is either upvoted enough or successfully rewritten & approved for the main site, we’ll put the original Crappypasta post into this category. I considered Crappypasta Success Stories, but considering that some of the stories end up in this category just due to, well, Admin Fail, you get this instead. Yay!
Just Needs Polishing: If you get this tag, we saw potential in your submission. Your pasta or idea wasn’t bad, just… well, not quite right. Something is wrong, whether it’s just a need for proofreading and editing, or just a bit more fleshing out and polishing overall. If you got this tag, treat it as us basically telling you to please rewrite and resubmit, preferably using any feedback you receive in the comments, because you were close to being approved.
Shows Promise: The positive tier directly below Just Needs Polishing. If you were tagged with this, it means that something in your story caught my eye. Maybe you’re clearly a good writer technically but you need a better topic; or perhaps you have a good core idea for your pasta, but it still needs considerable work and expansion. If you get this category, please continue writing, because you have potential that is plain to see – it’s just not quite blossoming at its fullest yet.
Moving on, here are the “bad” categories. If you earn one of these categories, you may have a bit more work ahead of you on the road to approval. You’ll most likely need to make some serious changes before any resubmits would be successful, so pay attention to any advice that you receive in the comments.
Lazy Writing: The most common, yet also the most easily avoided flaw. Terrible grammar, spelling, lazy writing, CAPS SPAMMING, wallsoftext, an absolute lack of proofreading/editing – these are all issues that can cause even the most creative pasta ideas to be completely unreadable and unenjoyable. You may have ideas to rival the classics, but when you express them via a giant, typo-heavy wall of text, nobody is going to read far enough to realize that, sorry. If something is marked as “lazy writing” and nothing else, there’s a good chance that the admin who processed the submission found it so messy that they couldn’t even read it long enough to pick any other categories!
- Great Wall Of Pasta: A sub-category of Lazy Writing. Paragraphs are your friends.
- Just Say No To Journal Entries: A sub-category of Lazy Writing. It’s all fine and dandy if you’re using the journal style for an important atmospheric purpose, but this category is for people who are using it as a crutch so that they don’t have to bother writing scene transitions. Unfortunately, this applies to almost every single journal style submission. JUST SAY NO.
- Pottymouth: A sub-category of Lazy Writing. We don’t really care if you swear in your pastas, as long as you don’t take it to one of two extremes. If you scored this tag, you either used so much profanity that it became distracting, or you self-censored yourself (sh*t, F***, etc) and made your pasta seem more silly than scary. Category & name suggested by Shogunfish.
- CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR CRAPPY: IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW WHY WE REJECT PASTAS THAT ARE WRITTEN ALMOST ENTIRELY IN CAPS (OR DO DUMB THINGS LIKE SUBSTITUTE CAPS LOCK FOR QUOTATION MARKS), SIMPLY READ THE COMMENT SECTION FOR THE WATCHERS. NOTICE HOW FEW PEOPLE ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION TO THE STORY AND INSTEAD SIMPLY BITCHED ABOUT THE OVERUSE OF CAPS LOCK? THAT’S BECAUSE TOO MUCH CAPS LOCK IS REALLY, REALLY ANNOYING, AS YOU’VE PROBABLY NOTICED BY NOW. THE ADMINS HAVE LEARNED FROM THE WATCHERS’ BACKLASH AND WILL NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN. PLEASE STOP YELLING AT EVERYONE.
Undercooked Pasta: Some pastas are just undercooked and a bit too bland – whether it’s because the pasta seems sort of unfinished and builds up to nothing much in particular happening, or because it just comes off as generally pointless somehow. If your pasta ends up with this tag, some important ingredient is missing to make it a really compelling creepypasta. If you got this tag, something about your story just made us feel more “meh” than creeped out. Name suggested by failol.
- …And Then?: A sub-category of Undercooked Pasta. If a pasta just suddenly stops without any satisfying conclusion, it will most likely be tagged with this category. While it’s true that you generally want to leave your readers wanting more, skipping out on a proper ending isn’t the right way to go about accomplishing this!
- Part Two – CANCELED: A sub-category of Undercooked Pasta. Closely related to the previous category, but somehow even more annoying. If you can’t be bothered to finish your pasta, maybe you also shouldn’t bother submitting it. Multiple part pastas are only accepted on the very rare occasion that there’s actually a point to having the story broken up into multiple episodes, and even then I won’t consider it unless you send me the ENTIRE THING. Scribbling down some half-assed nonsense and calling it “part one” because you cannot even make the effort to finish your story is a quick route to rejection. I can’t find the comment where this name was suggested, so if it was you, please let me know!
- Failure To Launch: A sub-category of Undercooked Pasta. Stories that have such boring introductions that all anyone wants to do is to skip to the end and spoil the story. These stories could be great, but they obviously aren’t written by Captain Hook. This category was suggested by La`Mont.
- Crash & Burn: A sub-category of Undercooked Pasta. The inverse of Failure To Launch. For stories that start out strong, but deteriorate until the reader loses all interest. If you got this tag, you need to really rework your ending – and pay attention to the difference between your creepy beginning and lackluster ending, because you showed at least SOME promise initially or you wouldn’t have received this category.
- Needs More Scary Sauce: A sub-category of Undercooked Pasta. On the main site, we publish stories with varying levels of creepiness – some are just vaguely spooky, while others are clearly chilling. This category, however, is for pastas that are not even remotely on the creepy scale. If you earned this category, we’re not sure why you submitted your story to a website called CREEPYpasta because it just wasn’t scary at all.
Cliched Crap: Overuse of common “creepy” cliches without any additional fleshing out or unique and interesting twists. This is where instead of a creepy concept or any explanation, the author just uses stuff from other creepypastas or normal cliche monsters. For example, instead of saying,’It looked like a bizarre mixture of Slenderman and Frankenstein’s monster,’ (which could be acceptable) I said, ’Suddenly a ghost entered making wailing noises.’ This category is sort of the unwanted child of Lazy Writing and Copypasta – if you ended up labeled as Cliched Crap, you need to put in more effort and/or be more original. This category was suggested by failol.
- Less Gore, More Creepy: A sub-category of Cliched Crap. Buckets of blood and mutilation are not cruise control for creepy, guys. Closely related to Cliched Crap, but it gets its own category because it’s such a common issue. Suggested by ILikePeas.
Copypasta: This category is home both to blatant plagiarism (submitting famous creepy stories or things already on the main site verbatim) as well as overdone creepy tropes. The most common offenders are Lost Episodes, Haunted Cartridges, and ‘THEM’ watching you. If your pasta feels like you just played a game of creepy Mad Libs with an already published pasta or famous urban legend, you’ll probably end up here. These are generally better written than Cliched Crap, but sorely lack originality. Name suggested by Cariaian.
- Lost On Purpose: A sub-category of Copypasta. ”Lost Episode” pastas are very rarely successful. The vast majority of them tend to reuse the same boring aspects (hyper-realistic images, mindless blood and gore, mysterious animators) without adding anything new and interesting to the recipe. Beyond that, most Lost Episodes simply aren’t that scary. It was a novel idea when Dead Bart and Squidward’s Suicide first started circulating around the internet; now the Lost Episode genre has been absolutely flooded with lazy, uninspired copypastas. If you got this tag, you reminded us that some things should stay lost. Category suggested by Derpula Stevens, name suggested by Yossarian.
- Pointless Reheats: Sometimes an attempt to rewrite an already existing pasta just plain fails. Whether your intent was parody or a legitimate rewrite, if you got this tag, we felt that your version brought nothing new to the table and just felt pointless and stale. Time to throw out this leftover pasta!
- Red Ring of Dumb: A sub-category of Copypasta. Another overdone style of pasta is the “Haunted Cartridge” – where the author takes their game of choice and describes “unusual” things happening when they try to play the game. When done well, this style of pasta can be quite good. Unfortunately, quality tends to be the exception rather than the rule. Failure to adequately bring the reader into the game’s world, overuse of cliches and a lack of any actual fear factor tend to plague these pastas. If you earn this tag, consider your console privileges revoked. Category suggested by Earthcub12, name suggested by Shogunfish.
- Aaahh!!! Lame Monsters: A sub-category of Copypasta. If you were obviously attempting to create the next big meme bait Creepypasta monster and it didn’t quite work out, you’ll end up with this tag. We’re not opposed to new entities; by all means, something needs to dethrone Slenderman and Jeff. But to do so, they’ve got to be excellent. This tag is home to those attempts that are… not quite there yet. Category suggested by Shogunfish, name suggested by Stephan D. Harris.
- Theory of a Dead Pasta: The first few times that someone did the “theory” pasta – where the author attempts to creepily explain mundane things about a popular show or game, usually by saying that everyone is actually dead – it was somewhat interesting. But we really, really don’t need a theory about every single cartoon, TV show, movie, video game, etcetera and so forth. We get it, everyone’s dead. Can it please be time for this cliche to die off, as well? Name suggested by godsband4life.
Pasta Poseur: For some inexplicable reason, some people seem to confuse the submission form with their personal diary. Submitting a not-creepy-at-all ramble about your how misunderstood you are, middle school rage, love life problems, mean parents, etcetera and so forth – doing this is utterly pointless because such things have no chance in hell at making it on the main site. If you need a place to vent, create a livejournal or tumblr or something, don’t clog up my inbox with stuff that has absolutely no relevancy to creepypasta.
- We’re Not Your Dream Dictionary: Just as the name implies, the Creepypasta submission form is not the correct place to post the slightly-creepy-if-you-squint dream that you had the other night. It’s one thing to use a dream as inspiration and craft a truly fleshed out and creepy story from that jumping off point; it’s another thing entirely to simply retell a vague, fragmented dream and expect anyone other than yourself to find it interesting.
BUT WHO WAS PHONE?!?: Parodypastas are a classic element of the Creepypasta meme; they’ve been around since the very beginning and we have no qualms about continuing to post them on the main site. However, really low-effort parodypastas are no longer welcome. If your pasta was clearly a troll but wasn’t particularly funny, we’ll publish it here. Suggested by Sylvie.
- Not Sure if Troll: A sub-category of BUT WHO WAS PHONE?!?. Sometimes, it’s really hard to tell if someone was attempting a parodypasta/trollpasta or if they really are just a terrible writer. This category is our acknowledgement that we really wanted to believe that it was intentional, but just couldn’t be sure. Suggested by 1000Masks and DeadAces.
Oh, Look. More Fanfiction: For whatever reason, sometimes a particular Creepypasta character turns into a super popular internet phenomenon. Slenderman, Jeff the Killer, and so forth – people have latched on to these characters in a big way. So it follows that we get a ridiculous number of submissions featuring them – unfortunately, to keep them from taking over the main Creepypasta site, we have to be a bit harsher on which ones we allow through. This category is where we’ll put the rejects.
- Shameful Spin-Offs: A sub-category of Oh, Look. More Fanfiction. This tag is received when you’re clearly trying to create the next big monster meme, but you couldn’t even be bothered to put more than a second’s thought into doing so. This category is where you’ll find such gems as “Grin Cat” or “[Insert Name] the Killer” – incredibly obvious rip-offs of already established Creepypasta characters. If you’ve received this tag, you have brought shame upon your family. Go sit in the corner until you’ve learned to be a bit more creative.
- AAAAND IN THIS CORNER!: A sub-category of Oh, Look. More Fanfiction. The world would be a better place without Jeff the Killer meeting Slenderman and then teaming up to fight The Rake and then adopting Smile Dog while they play Pokemon Black… and any other similarly crap-tastic crossovers aren’t necessary, either. Stop trying to make it happen. We do not, in fact, wish to get ready to rumble. You cannot make us. Name & category suggested by Shogunfish.
Stolen Ingredients: You earn this tag when your pasta uses elements from other bits and pieces of pop culture (anime, video games, comics, TV shows, etc) and fails to make them even remotely scary. The main culprit of this is Pokepasta, but it’s such a widespread issue that it needs another category to hold all the awful overflow. Name and category suggested by Shogunfish.
- LET ME SHOW YOU MY POKEMANS: A sub-category of Stolen Ingredients. Except in the hands of a very exceptional author, Pokemon is not scary, guys. This category was created after one admin read ~20 Pokemon-themed submissions within a few hours and became thoroughly traumatized.
- That Sure Is A Crappy Pasta You Have There: With the way that Minecraft pastas have been so thoroughly spammed lately – and it’s important to note that, as of this writing, a grand total of 0 of them have been deemed main site material – it’s earned its own category. We don’t care about your crappy Creepers or your horribly Herobrine fanfic. Stop.
- Note: It’s likely that some pastas that deserve this tag won’t get it, because whatever they’re stealing isn’t something that the admin who processed it is actually familiar with. In cases like this, where it’s obvious to anyone who is familiar with the pasta’s ‘inspiration’, feel free to speak up and suggest the tag. However, do not go reaching and suggest it for every pasta that might kind of sort of maybe possible reference some other media. This category is for hit-over-the-head obviousness only.
What: Because sometimes, the only reaction we have to a submission is just… what.
- THIS IS STUPID: I guess this is kind of related to What. But sometimes, my brain really does just become a gigantic flashing GIF of disdain after reading some submissions. Consider this my own personal rage fuel archive. If your subission ends up here, I love you for being an active community member, but I hate you for what you made me read.
- Stop: The final frontier of awful. Dave Taylor summed it up best – THIS IS STUPID is good for ones where, well, they’re stupid – but not irredeemable. Stop is perfect for the ones that make you want to soak the computer in gasoline and light it on fire. If you received this tag, just stop. Please.
You Didn’t Even Try At All: If you got this tag, it meant that the lack of effort was so obvious and ridiculous that you don’t even get the YOU TRIED gold star. Because clearly, you didn’t put any thought or effort into your pasta at all. Why did you even submit this?
So those are out current categories. If you’ve got ideas for a new category, let us know by commenting here. If we like it and don’t feel that it overlaps too much with an already active category (this means please stop suggesting categories that already exist just because you want to see your name credited) AND it’s an actual reason why we might turn down a pasta (so don’t suggest categories that aren’t actually pasta problems), we’ll use it.