Sometimes, Yggdrasil gets weird. Sometimes it seems like it even has a sense of humour.
A Gag Loop, or Joke Loop, is a variant on your average baseline Loop where one or more details are changed in a seemingly-comedic fashion. While usually inconvenient to even the most established of Loopers, Gag Loops aren't generally harmful to anything but one's pride, and can sometimes result in a nice break from a given baseline. The difference between this and a normal variant Loop is that it appears as though it's engineered for comedy's sake. (Don't tell anyone: it is.) Sometimes these are deliberately engineered by the Admins; sometimes they're the result of viruses or other malware infesting a loop; sometimes they just happen, as with an infinite number of minor permutations, eventually something's going to fit the bill.
There are various types of Gag Loop, a few of which are:
- Transposition Loops, as named by Twilight Sparkle, are Loops where a few characters in various names are switched around or adjusted. This is much more notable in Loops where names are significant for purposes of destiny. Skynet, for example, might instead become Slynet, a much more secretive and less explosion-prone AI. These are more likely caused by random glitches in Yggdrasil than by anything intentional.
- Morphogenic Locks are a common thread in Gag Loops, where the Loopers (and possibly the entire world) are transformed into an entirely different species than normal. These changes are often appropriate to any given character, and can often lead to a situation where a baseline remains 'on the rails' despite the seeming impossibility of it actually happening. These can even afflict characters whose species or gender markers have been accidentally knocked off. Examples would be a Loop in the Equestrian universe where everypony became cuttlefish, or one in the Warhammer 40K Loops where the Space Wolves were actually lupine in form.
- Gender-Swap Loops are another common theme, and happen on a comparatively frequent basis. The exact dynamic of how this affects those who have their gender marker knocked off (for example, the God Emperor) is currently unknown.
- Topsy-Turvy Loops can sometimes apply. These are cases where the usual dynamic of the world is somehow inverted: good becomes evil, up becomes down, and suddenly Freakazoid, to pick someone at random, becomes the only sane man in an insane universe. While not always comedic, there are plenty of examples which fit.
These are, of course, far from the only examples. Oftentimes, what qualifies as a 'Gag Loop' is simply how the Anchor and associated Loopers respond to it: a sigh of resignation, and a strong feeling that someone or something, somewhere, is messing with them. Loops have been recorded wherein all vowels are missing; where everything ran backwards; where squirrels infested everything... and many, many more. On occasion, the Admins may even set up a Gag Loop as a sort of light punishment for the sins of the inhabitants, though this rare circumstance usually leads to much grousing and half-hearted threats about crashing the Loop.
Under no circumstances should an MLE be intentionally subjected to a Gag Loop, as they are likely to follow through with said threats.