Take your average group of teenagers in any high school drama - you've got the cliques, the bratty cheerleaders, the testosterone-crazed jocks, the outsiders who are too normal to be cool, the geeks who are too far out for even the normals, the freshmen who want to fit in, the recently-transferred students who want to do the same... and then you have Tuck and his friends. He's the high-school nerd who's [[BadassBookworm particularly skilled in various manners of weaponry and martial arts through necessity]], whose family is equally so, who alternates between roleplaying, computers, and going out on week-long hiking trips with friends, not to mention skilled enough to take care of a number of computer jobs, but still runs up against the aforementioned cliques and jocks on a far too regular basis.

Oh, and lest it seem still rather ordinary, it turns out that his girlfriend has a few quirks, and when she decides to MindScrew the entire campus with him on Halloween, he seems [[AttractiveBentGender far too good at being female...]] and that's just the start.

''[[http://www.barkingduck.net/ehayes/ The Saga of Tuck]]'' is a long-running, generally-acclaimed work of fiction by Ellen Hayes, exploring just how a teen would react if suddenly his life, and gender, were turned upside down in so many ways. Published periodically online since 1997 (which is when the storyline is set; [[{{Webcomic Time}} a little over a year of story time has elapsed in a dozen years]]), it's an excellent look at how normal - and yet how very strange - a teenager's life can become. The 'Valentine's Day' episodes are a continuation of the main story after a two-and-a-half-month (as of #142) TimeSkip, while 'Tuck Season' is an AlternateContinuity story set in the 'Seasons of Change' shared universe.

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!!This serial novel provides examples of the following tropes:

* AfraidOfNeedles: Justified in that Tuck just loathes anything conclusively medical.
* AlternateContinuity: ''Seasons'' is a shorter (in comparison to the main story) story of Tuck's summer vacation where instead of [[spoiler: babysitting as Valerie]] the whole summer, Tuck goes to a stereotypical (in transgender fiction) petticoat discipline boot camp. HilarityEnsues as Tuck is not even close as how characters behave in other petticoat discipline stories.
* AmbiguousGender: Even when Tuck tries hard not to be.
* AttractiveBentGender: The titular character, natch, though a few others may qualify later.
* BadassBookworm: Tuck, his best friend, several others who are just a BIT more skilled than they might seem...
* BeautifulAllAlong: Jill
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Most of the characters are the nicest folks you'll ever meet...until you threaten one.
* BloodBrothers: Tuck and Mike (Euromutt- and Chinese-American) describe themselves as brothers; literally, [[spoiler: they performed a blood ritual and have some kind of psychic link. Tuck even says he cannot die unless his brother lets him go]].
* CerebusSyndrome: The series began with a relatively light, comic tone, though there had always been a more serious undercurrent. This took a much darker turn after [[spoiler:Tuck mysteriously begins developing breasts]]; while it grew lighter again for a time, later events took the series into some very deep and murky territory indeed, and many fans stopped reading - while the quality of the series remained high, it was too different for some who preferred the lighter stories. Currently, the series is on an upward swing, following the grave events set in September and October 1997.
* CliffHanger: Rarely, usually when the main character is in serious trouble.
** Or, earlier during the publication history, to solicit fan mail.
* CodeEmergency: goes along with the CrazyPrepared, like beans and rice.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: The main character and his friends wind up pulling off many of these, but the best ones eventually got their [[spoiler:former]] school principal [[spoiler:to commit assault and battery. And remove himself from the job.]]
* ComingOutStory: Averted. Or, the entire story to date could be seen as partially one loooooooong coming out story... including Tuck coming out to himself. But this is arguable. And argued.
* ConvenientComa
** Arguable... could be that he was merely sleeping off the last few months.
* TheCracker: Faceless and nameless, but every time they try, they butt heads with Tuck and his family. Bad Idea.
** Never described as the same person or group.
* CrazyPrepared: Tuck's family: they seem to be suitably geared and capable of warding off whatever trouble they might run into, up to and including a nuclear war. At least, when on their own terms.
* MinoredInAssKicking: Tuck, possibly Mike.
** [[WordOfGod There are others who have not yet been revealed.]]
* CursedWithAwesome: Tuck's karma winds up with him surrounded by a dozen cute girls at a moment's notice, capable of masking himself as female, and able to hold a job he excels at without even trying...
* DeanBitterman: Principal Nickerson, also a SadistTeacher - hard to figure which fits best.
* DifferentForGirls: Initially...and lampshaded later.
* DoorStopper: 7 megabytes and over a million words.
* DysfunctionJunction: Just about everyone has ''something'' hanging around, though it doesn't show most of the time.
* ExactEavesDropping: Subverted: In fact, in at least one case a character needs to manually go over the information by hand.
* FirstLawOfTragicomedies
* FiveManBand: Averted. There ''is'' a five man band, but it's a musical (rock) band and plays music in clubs.
** And they have shown absolutely no predilection for having adventures or solving mysteries.
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: After all that gender-bending work, Tuck discovers that xie is actually a chimera, with both XX and XY chromosomes in hir body and ovotestes.
* HighSchoolHustler: while several of them have moments like this, Debbie is the one who fits the trope most closely.
* IfItsYouItsOkay: mostly averted. Travis is attracted to [[spoiler:Valerie, but it's revealed that he thinks she's a transsexual, either post-op or on her way, which would make him straight but unprejudiced (so far as he knows).]] Later on, [[spoiler: Jill, then Pam, try to date Tuck/Valerie, but Jill is only interested in Tuck.]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: though Tuck's idea of "normal" is not, erm, what the majority of people would call normal.
* KickTheDog: Principal Nickerson, who tends to put students in detention or completely suspend them for mental breakdowns.
** [[spoiler:tended. Heh.]]
* MamaBear: Tuck's mother, when Tuck is in that ConvenientComa, scares everyone except possibly her husband.
* MeaningfulName Yeah, Tuck means something [[FreudWasRight in the transgender and transvestite communities.]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin It's a verb.]]
* MindRape: Extremely hard, extremely fast. [[spoiler:Thankfully, not permanent, though.]]
* MoralDissonance: [[spoiler:Tuck's parents immediately accept their son's homosexuality, but disapprove of his indeterminate gender identity, in spite of his intersex condition. Of course, if their son would discuss it with them...]]
* {{Muggles}}: At one point Tuck refers to a group of female underclassmen as a separate species "Homo Mundanus". Tuck and his (male) friends are extremely contemptuous of the majority of the people that surround them at school.
* NobodyPoops: Averted at least once, though not in any spectacular way.
* NoodleIncident: just what did Travis do as a favor for Lisa?
** Also possibly the previous babysitting job/incident Mike had with Tuck; it's mentioned a few times.
** Averted other times, perhaps, as the author likes coming up with them. Examples are the panties found under Brian's desk; the shocking of a parent, the refrigerator painting, the missing air compressor (never explained, but then nobody who mentioned it knows what happened either)
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted
* NotADate
* NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught: The primary rule of Tuck's family and friends...but they're exceedingly good at it.
* NotWhatItLooksLike
* OfCorsetsSexy: at least two separate people known. Not counting Pam as Xena during Halloween, either.
** And just why does Debbie have one or more corsets to begin with?
* OneDegreeOfSeparation: not really.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, including a number of minor mix-ups over people with the same first name
* PayPhone: Tuck frequently needs to find a pay phone to contact someone. Still common at the time the story is set.
* PlayboyBunny: Once - or, perhaps, twice - and not who you think it is. And not why you think it is either.
* PoliceAreUseless: The belief of Tuck's family - who like to take matters into their own hands, except when they don't.
* PsychoLesbian: [[UnreliableNarrator Depending on who you ask.]]
* PunnyName: Also MeaningfulName, really. A crossdresser named Tuck? Get it? Get it?
** Every chapter title is a PunnyName.
*** Only the ones written from Tuck's POV; the other ones are named after Pink Floyd songs.
*** One hundred and twenty six titles. All (we hope) at least subtly different.
**** There's at least one repeated title.
* RecursiveCrossdressing: Lampshaded. "If I have to do this one more time today, I'm gonna kill myself." #24
* SadistTeacher: Principal Nickerson, as well as Mrs. Vangormer, though the latter hasn't been explored.
* SchoolgirlLesbians
* ScyllaAndCharybdis: Made all the worse by the fact that the main character has to choose between two aspects of himself.
* SecretIdentity: He may not be a superhero, but Tuck vs. Valerie may well qualify.
* ShownTheirWork: On technology, on gender issues, on virtually EVERYTHING related to the series. The author knows her stuff, has done the research, and this shows strongly.
* ShurFineGuns: Averted; whenever the Tuckerspawn are practising on a shooting range one of their activities involves clearing jammed guns.
* [[UsefulNotes/SignedLanguage Signed Language]]: Tuck is fluent in ASL because he had communication problems when he was a child, so his family and Mike learned it as well. Comes very handly to secretly talk in plain sight without listeners and to befriend a deaf girl in ''Seasons''.
* SliceOfLife
* SlumberParty
* SorkinRelationshipMoment
* StuffedIntoALocker: In the worst possible way.
** And once into a trash can, which ought to count too.
* SympatheticPOV: [[spoiler: Jody Martin, eventually.]]
** [[WordOfGod Ha! You speculate wildly!]]
* TalkingInBed
* TheMafia: If you screw with Tuck or members of his groups, you do not come out smelling like roses. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in various uses of the term "Omerta", meaning roughly, 'you don't go to the cops, you come to us'.
** Meaning exactly, "Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward. Whoever cannot take care of himself without police protection is both. It is as cowardly to betray an offender to justice, even though his offences be against yourself, as it is not to avenge an injury by violence. It is dastardly and contemptible in a wounded man to betray the name of his assailant, because if he recovers, he must naturally expect to take vengeance himself."
* {{Transsexual}}: more or less.
* {{Transvestite}}: One character's father runs a support group.
* TrueCompanions: possibly the Pack, but definitely Da Boyz.
* UnreliableNarrator: almost all the story is written from the first-person limited viewpoint of Tucker himself. And Tucker doesn't understand a great deal about human-human communication protocols.
* WackyHomeroom: to a degree, though both the previous year's and this year's homeroom teachers try (and partially succeed) at keeping things stiffly unwacky.
* WholesomeCrossdresser
* WildTeenParty: Both subverted and played straight.
* YouAreGrounded: Played straight.
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