%% Zero Context Examples are not allowed on wiki pages. Please add context before uncommenting.
'''Tropes A-C''' | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes D-F}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes G-I}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes J-L}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes M-O}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes P-R}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes S-U}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes V-Z}}
!!!''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' provides examples of the following tropes:


* TwentyPercentMoreAwesome: An angel shows Roy [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0489.html a graph]] of Belkar's evil against time, measured in [[HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure kilonazis]]. The graph's baseline is based on a hypothetical lovechild of [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]] and [[Literature/TheHundredandOneDalmatians Cruella DeVille]]. (Though in a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''-based universe, "evil" really might be that quantifiable.)

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: The [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0660.html "Obligatory Sewer-Themed Labyrinth"]]. It takes an army of hobogolblins weeks to find anything in there.
%%* AccidentalInnuendo: In-universe parody.
* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Xykon can't remember Roy's name. Really, he doesn't remember Roy at all.
** Vaarsuvius had trouble remembering the... "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0440.html Bird-That-Miss-Starshine-Named]]"... that is, Blackwing. No wonder the familiar wasn't so keen on helping his wizard or even talking to the elf, until V made amends.
* AccidentalMurder: Or in this case, [[spoiler:Accidental Mass-Murder -- [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0843.html Familicide]]. In addition to the intentional deaths of one quarter of the world's black dragons, Vaarsuvius accidentally wiped out the entire Draketooth family (being descended from the union of a human and a black dragon), and everyone connected to the Draketooth clan (including Tarquin's ninth wife).]]
* ActionGirl: [[LovableRogue Haley]], [[CityGuards Kazumi]], [[{{Ninja}} Therkla]], [[{{Paladin}} Miko, and Lien]] are most notable. ([[http://www.ookoodook.com/store/ShirtActionGirl.shtml There's a T-shirt.]])
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0122.html Explained.]] If [[MoneyForNothing rich adventurers]] are in town, the merchants [[InvokedTrope take advantage.]]
* AerithAndBob: "My name is Kodrog the Slayer, and this is my buddy Jim." (See FourthWallMailSlot.)
* AdultFear: The Ancient Black Dragon invokes this [[spoiler:when she tries to eat V's children.]] V already unknowingly invoked this trope on her. She left her teenage son alone for a few months, and returned to discover he had been killed.
* AffablyEvil:
** General Tarquin and Minister Malack are both LawfulEvil [[invoked]] and power-hungry, but they're also enjoyable company and gracious hosts.
** The directors of the IFCC are friendly ''and'' fair in their dealings.
** Thog is so cheerful and friendly, it's easy to forget that he'll kill hundreds of innocent [=NPCs=] for little (if any) reason.
* AfterlifeAntechamber: The Lawful Good afterlife has several layers of this. Eugene Greenhilt is stuck waiting outside the pearly gates due to giving up on his Blood Oath. Once you're through the gates, there's a mountain arranged in different levels of increasingly-abstract pleasure. The lowest level (and the only one we see) is basically a fancy resort where you can sort out the urges "having your soul stuck in a glorified sausage" leaves you with. "True perfect enlightenment" is at the very top.
* AggressiveNegotiations: ''Recap/StartOfDarkness'' spoilers: [[spoiler:This is how The Dark One was murdered while attempting to negotiate a peace settlement with the human kings. Rather than ending the war, it made things far worse, as the goblins swarmed upon their enemies inflicting huge losses in vengeance for their fallen warlord.]]
* AlasPoorVillain:
** [[spoiler:Tsukiko is an unsympathetic character, but when Redcloak takes control of her wights, she loses the only thing she loves. Redcloak then feeds her to them while the whole time she's screaming that she loves them. The Monster in the Darkness is the only one who feels badly about it, and this makes him feel even worse about it.]]
--->'''Demon-roach:''' So what? Who cares?\\
'''[=MitD=]:''' Exactly. That's why I'm sad.
** Sure, [[spoiler:Malack was a vampire that drank the blood from the innocent (including Durkon), but considering that Nale murdered three of his vampire spawn, one could feel sorry for him... especially after Nale brutally murders him and tells him that he had been planning it for years.]]
** Of all people, [[spoiler:Nale. His brother grieves him and laments the fact he could have been a good guy if he hadn't been in Tarquin's custody.]]
* AllCrimesAreEqual: The Empire of Blood takes this view.
** Roy and Belkar are sentenced to life in prison for not having paperwork; the reptilian bounty hunters soon suffer the same fate even though they ''have'' their paperwork, because the chancellor was ordered to lose it after they attempted to blackmail General Tarquin.
** A few strips later, while Durkon is in a library, a sign is posted that says the Dewey Decimal System is '''strictly''' enforced. (One can only imagine.)
** [[spoiler:Thog was thrown into prison for public urination, even though he was already wanted for treason at the time.]]
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Inverted/Parodied in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0794.html "We Recommend Tsukiko"]]. It seems All Bad Girls Want Good Boys.
-->'''Sabine:''' Sure, women like me swoon for a hero, but that's only because deep down, we think we can change them. But me, I'm done with that now. I want a nice, safe, reliable mass-murderer I can depend on. Like you.
* AlliterativeName: Belkar Bitterleaf; Miko Miyazaki; Kazumi Kato; Daigo Da--
* AllLowercaseLetters:
** '''most orcs talk like this.''' It seems to be related to the INT score. Lampshaded in the last panel of [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0552.html this page]] where the orcs look forward to grammar lessons.
** Eric Greenhilt too, as he's quite young.
* AllThereInTheManual: How did the Order of the Stick team up? Why do they suffer Belkar's presence? How and why did Redcloak align himself with Xykon? Just what did happen to that first Gate? To find out, you have to buy the prequel books, most of which are available via [[http://www.ookoodook.com/store/comics_order-of-the-stick.shtml Ookoodook]].
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: While the comic itself uses standard ''D&D'' trolls, this trope is lampshaded with [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0273.html the debates over the creation of the world]].
-->'''Thor:''' I think trolls should be hardworking blacksmiths, toiling away underground forging magical weapons.\\
'''Hades:''' No! Trolls should be vile monsters, living under bridges and harassing goats!\\
'''Pig:''' You're both wrong! Trolls should be tiny wrinkled men with big poofy hair that are collected by old women!
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs:
** Xykon attacks Azure City [[spoiler:and takes over.]]
** Redcloak [[spoiler: infiltrates the base of the Azure City Resistance thanks to a polymorphed spy]].
* AllYourPowersCombined: The effect of Soul Splice; a number of souls are spliced to the user and the user then acquires all the powers of each one.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: [[ZigZaggingTrope Averted, subverted, inverted, doubly inverted, perverted, extraverted, and, just occasionally, played straight]]. Most often doubly inverted when a villain delivers a BreakThemByTalking on how the hero is NotSoDifferent and then immediately [[KickTheDog Kicks a Dog]].\\\
{{Deconstruct|ion}}ed, too: Goblins and other evil humanoids were declared by the gods to be AlwaysChaoticEvil, designed only to be killed by player races. As sentient beings with their own society, they naturally feel persecuted by being forced into this role, [[spoiler:and are now executing a RageAgainstTheHeavens in order to change things.]] Though the deconstruction is more aimed at ''players'' who treat these races as such, despite the fact that most of their Monster Manual entries only list them as "''Usually'' X Evil"\\\
It is played straight with [[MadeOfEvil fiends]] and TheUndead, as the former are literally evil incarnate and the latter are unnatural abominations.
* AmbiguousGender: Most notably Vaarsuvius, though this applies to most elves seen. [[WordOfGod Word of the Giant]] is that any gender identification of Vaarsuvius (and other ambiguous elves) is strictly their own perception. V's children are adopted. Make no assumptions; for all we know they could be a same-sex couple. This is Mocked, when Belkar tries to check what V, [[ItMakesSenseInContext as a lizard]], has down there, but to no [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0177.html avail.]]
* AmplifierArtifact: Most common magic items are of this kind, like Roy's Belt of Giant Strength, Elan's Belt of Charisma or V's Ring of Wizardry. This is Lampshaded by Haley with a Potion of Glibness: she takes it from Elan to use herself, because while it would make him a good liar, she's already a good liar so it will make her an ''utterly amazing'' liar.
* AncestralWeapon: Roy Greenhilt's green-hilted greatsword was handed down from his grandfather (skipping his father). [[CaptainObvious Hence the name.]] Now that it was reforged with starmetal it glows green when slaying undead, and so qualifies as a pretty CoolSword too.

* AndAllIGotWasThisLousyTShirt: The hobgoblin horde gets shirts that say "I killed a PC and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt!" after supposedly killing the Order and Hinjo.
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler: Durkon's soul is trapped in his own undead body which is under the control of another.]]
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0145.html Spoofed]].
-->'''Elan:''' Ohhhh. Thanks, Vaarsuvius. Now I know.\\
'''Vaarsuvius:''' [[ShoutOut And knowing is half the battle.]]\\
'''Franchise/GIJoe:''' G.I. Joe!
* AndroclesLion: The ''Allosaurus'' Belkar released from its cage in the Empire of Blood's arena is later used as a steed by one of the soldiers in Tarquin's army during a battle against the Order. It recognises Belkar -- a flashback panel shows him soothing it while Ian picks the lock on its cage -- and follows his command to drop Roy, and assist the Order.
* AndThatWouldBeWrong: Invoked by V a to reassure the Order that he would not resolve his arguments with explosions or rain death on others in retaliation of social indignities. Sometimes her familiar has to remind her.
* AndYourLittleDogToo:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0021.html Haley calls it by name]] when complaining to Belkar about killing a supposedly reocurring enemy. The halfling has no respect for tradition.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0621.html Used again exactly 600 comics later...]] except the word is 'ranger' as in ''Belkar''.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Played with. After slaying the evil black dragon, Elan says that he got a new clasp for his cloak, and Roy got snazzy new boots. (It was actually an art upgrade; they were supposed to pretend they were ''always'' drawn that way.)
* AngelsPose: Used in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0239.html "Roy's Angels"]]. Granted, Roy was [[GenderBender temporarily female]] at the time due to a Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity, and Vaarsuvius' gender is unclear.
* {{Angrish}}:
** When [[MoneyFetish Haley's]] looted dragon treasure got blown up, she ''became [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphasia aphasic]]'', and spent a [[UpToEleven whole arc speaking gibberish]].
** When Nale realizes the sign in Girard's Pyramid saying that [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle the Gate is in another pyramid]] was a ruse, and that the Order beat them to the Gate (and destroyed it along with the Pyramid), he is temporarily stricken with this. "I can't believe-- how did he-- so the Gate was in the-- GREENHILT!!"
* AnimatedActors: Used for a throwaway gag. After the "Crayons of Time" flashback strips, the main characters are shown "offstage," sitting in folding chairs and waiting for their cue.
* AnnoyingArrows: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0425.html Three arrows is, like, one healing potion.]]
* AnswerCut: When Tarquin says that anyone except Elan would have wanted [[spoiler:Nale]] dead, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0914.html the comic cuts to]] [[spoiler:Nale's lover Sabine]], who has smashed Lee's scrying TV in anger.
* AnsweringEcho: A slight variant is used in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0857.html "The Pit of Despair"]] to pile yet more guilt on Vaarsuvius. [[spoiler:Nothing like a corpse accusing you to make you freak out.]]
* AnthropomorphicFood: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0301.html "A Brief Intermission"]] shows a battle between the traditional movie snack foods and a set of challengers.
* {{Anticlimax}}:
** Done intentionally and hilariously in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0600.html "Headed Down"]], the 600th comic [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93806&page=3 (forum)]]. Roy and his grandfather talk about the effect; nothing exciting for the 600th page. (Read the previous comic immediately beforehand for the full effect.)
** An angry Tsukiko plots to create an uber-powerful undead warrior from the first corpse she finds (which just so happens [[spoiler:to be Miko's]]) to use against Redcloak. "It'll be free-willed and evil and mean, with [[EvilCostumeSwitch cool black and red armor]]..." Then she notices that the body is cut in half, and gives up on the plan altogether.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0899.html "Prophecy Fulfilled"]], Xykon finally teleports to [[spoiler:Girard's pyramid (for real)]]... and [[spoiler:it blows up five seconds after he arrives]].
** Played for drama with the end of the Tarquin arc. [[spoiler:Tarquin and his party are defeated, but live, and he rages uselessly at the lack of narrative closure]].
* AnticlimaxCut: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0328.html "The Test of the Heart"]]: After having passed the Tests of the Body and Mind, one guarded by a hydra and the other a riddle, the Order finds themselves face-to-face with the guardian of the final Test of the Heart.
-->'''Wight:''' Pray to what gods you serve that you will be deemed worthy of this rare honor! Find your reserves of courage, warriors, for the Test of the Heart begins -- NOW!!\\
''[cut to Roy in a chair at a doctor's clinic, a stethoscope over his heart]''\\
'''Doctor Wight:''' Pulse rate is 60... blood pressure is 85 over 60... You pass. Next!
* AntiHumanAlliance: The forces under Redcloak are united by their hatred of and oppression by humans.
* AnyoneCanDie: Given that people can be resurrected this is a given, but ever since [[spoiler: Roy was killed, V committed accidental and purposeful genocide, and Elan's father was introduced,]] the death toll has been steadily increasing. [[spoiler:Even a main character has joined the ranks of the undead.]]
* ApocalypseHow:
** (Planetary/Physical Annihilation): At the dawn of time, [[spoiler:the Snarl unmade the creation of the planet and destroyed a whole pantheon of gods]].
** (Close to Planetary/Species Extinction): A single epic-level necromantic spell caused the extinction of a large extended family. Since the victim is a dragon, and dragons live a long time and don't breed much, this one spell killed a quarter of all the black dragons in the world [[spoiler:as well as at least one extended line of demihumans who are the result of InterspeciesRomance with said black dragons, including the entire Draketooth clan.]]
* ArmyOfTheDead:
** Xykon led an Army of the Dead against Azure City in the first place. [[{{Dracolich}} Undead Dragon]] and all. Then he re-animates the dead of both sides to increase his numbers.
** During [[TheSiege the battle of Azure City]], Xykon slaughters all the paladins defending the throne room... only to watch them rise up and oppose him as spirits, led by the spirit of legendary paladin Soon, founder of the Sapphire Guard!
* ArrowCatch: Tarquin proves he's good enough to catch Haley's arrows out of the [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0851.html air]]. He does it again a few strips later, and Nale has just enough time to gloat before [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0858.html POOOF.]] Much later, Haley takes advantage of this [[spoiler:with two arrows aimed at Tarquin's face [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0936.html while he is hanging onto the side of a flying ship]].]]
* ArrowGram: Haley combines this with PassingNotesInClass as a gag [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0438.html during the Azure city battle,]] the arrow hitting a hobgoblin mook about to attack Elan. Said arrow had a cute romantic note on notebook paper. Hinjo plays up the role of the exasperated teacher who takes the note and requests to see Elan after class, er, battle.
* ArsonMurderAndAdmiration: Nale and Sabine's relationship contains a fair amount of this. When they genuinely do fight, it's usually out of a failure to DoWrongRight.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** 26 unpleasant things that happen (or nearly happen) in ''Start of Darkness'': Murder, Kidnapping, Trespassing, Zombification, Maiming, Foul Language, Defenestration, Squishy Hugs, Cannibalism, Blasphemy, Inebriation, Verbal Abuse, Blind Dating, Extortion, Fraud, Lies (and statistics), Depilation, Brain Damage, Arson, Betrayal, False Advertising, Running Gags, Rules Lawyering, Disintegration, Tampering with the Fabric of Reality, Taco Night.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0133.html Guild arena used for ritual combat, coming-of-age sacrifices, and as mosh pit for local alternative rock bands.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0813.html Belkar's cover story]]:
--->'''Belkar:''' We're wanted in several other nations for racketeering, jury tampering, and interfering with a mail carrier.
** As part of the BilingualBonus in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0309.html strip #309]], Haley's attempted confessions to cure her aphasia include "My dad is being held ransom by an evil dictator", "I'm not really in the Thieves' Guild anymore", and "I cheat at solitaire".
* ArtEvolution:
** {{Lampshaded}}. "Psst! Elan! It's an art upgrade, we're supposed to pretend we've always been drawn this way."
** There's another significant upgrade at the beginning of the sixth arc, although the characters haven't commented on that one. Compare Roy and Durkon from [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0946.html #946]] to Roy and Durkon from [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0948.html #948]] For example, their hands are no longer black line drawings - instead, they're filled-out with flesh tone (while retaining their stick figure nature.)
* ArtisticLicenseAnimalCare: While Lord Shojo might be good with cats, his carelessness with his nephew's wolf led to some serious [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0588.html dental work]]. ([[ObfuscatingStupidity Though that might have been on purpose]], given that said wolf's silver fillings now make his bite extra-effective against devils.)
-->'''Hinjo:''' A 20-lb. tub of strawberry cake frosting does not qualify as a "table scrap"!\\
'''Shojo:''' Then you obviously haven't been eating at the right tables!
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Or "Bow Safety" in this case, PlayedForLaughs: When O'Chul uses the word "initiative", Haley [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0670.html mistakes it for the start of a combat round]] and aims her +5 Icy Burst Bow straight at him, while looking wildly around in other directions at the same time.
-->'''O'Chul:''' He may have all the strength, but we have the initiative.\\
'''Haley:''' (''panicking'') Initiative?!? Where? I got a 23! I make a sneak attack! And a Spot check!
* ArtShift:
** "The Crayons of Time" FlashbackEffects.
** Lampshaded on [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0339.html "C.P.P.D. Blues"]].
--->'''Rookie:''' What are these weird bumpy things between their eyes?
* AscendedExtra:
** Daigo and Kazumi Kato. Their progression from RedShirts to {{Mauve Shirt}}s is lampshaded when they {{invoke|dtrope}} the trope NominalImportance, and they continue to gain importance from there, both in-universe ([[{{Knighting}} being risen to nobility]]) and in the narrative.
** Celia's case is especially glorious. She started as a mere gate guardian NPC and [[spoiler:became the main character's girlfriend.]]
** O'Chul first appears in strip 403 as the nameless paladin outside Shojo's audience chamber. He is named in the next strip. His importance doesn't become clear until 422, and finally in "Don't Splt The Party" he becomes a Memetic Badass.
* AscendedMeme: It's a running joke among ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' fans that, due to a quirk of the 3.x Edition ruleset, a housecat will more often than not kill a Level 1 Commoner in a straight-up fight. One strip is even called, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0780.html "The Duel Everyone's Been Waiting For"]].
* AskAStupidQuestion:
** Elan asks ''a lot'' of stupid questions to which Roy gives snarky answers.
** In the prequel book ''Recap/StartOfDarkness'', when Redcloak and the Monster in the Darkness meet for the first time:
--->'''Redcloak:''' They call me "Redcloak".\\
'''[=MitD=]:''' Really? Why?\\
'''Redcloak:''' ... Because I wear black armor.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Standard Azure City naming protocol. Miko claims she doesn't know what 'japan' is but all the names sound like it.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority:
** Why Qarr the imp tries to attach itself to V; in the lower planes, everyone glues their lips to someone stronger than they are.
** Averted with the Sapphire Guard, though not at the time of their founding. Soon was a mighty paladin but his successors follow bloodline.
* AssuranceBackfire: After Haley's been left behind in (the now overrun by goblins) Azure City, Elan tries to jump out of the boat and swim to her until everyone reminds him that [[ActionGirl she]] has a much better chance of survival than [[SpoonyBard him]]. Then one of the minor characters points out that she has [[TokenEvilTeammate Belkar]] watching her back, causing him to panic again.
* AsYouKnow
** {{Lampshaded}}. Elan always cries at a good plot exposition, as in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0501.html "No Cure for the Wedding Bell Blues"]].
** Roy even says it in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0318.html "The Move Action of Shame"]].
* AtopAMountainOfCorpses:
-->'''Belkar:''' I AM A SEXY SHOELESS '''''[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html GOD OF WAR]]'''''!!!
* AttackAttackAttack:
** The paladins have an aversion to retreating because of their honor combined with their inability to feel fear, which lands them up in trouble often.
** Thieves eventually realize this isn't working and defy it in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0618.html "Flank Cut"]].
* AttackAttackRetreatRetreat: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0181.html "Cursing the Darkness"]]. "Back into the darkness! BACK INTO THE DARKNESS!!"
* AutomatonHorses:
** After the events of Wooden Forest, it's revealed that all the horses spent the time in a nearby stable.
--->'''Elan:''' So this is where the horses went while you guys were rescuing me? I kinda figured they had just disappeared when you didn't need them, kind of like V's familiar.\\
'''Roy:''' Don't be silly, [[HypocriticalHumor that would be completely unrealistic]].
** Parodied when crossing the desert, as the Order stop at an oasis and the camels are seen drinking water from fuel-station style pumps, complete with price boards. See the trope's page image.
* AvengersAssemble: Towards the end of "Blood Runs in the Family", once it's become clear Elan and the Order are not going to defeat Tarquin, we see Amun-Zora (the captain from the Free City of Doom) assembling a rebel alliance out of Tarquin's other enemies.
* AvengingTheVillain:
** Yokyok only joined the Linear Guild to kill Belkar for killing his father.
** The Ancient Black Dragon hunts V down for killing her son.
** Tarquin kills [[spoiler:Nale]] for murdering his best friend.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Many of Nale's plans. His draft plan to kill Elan in Cliffport involved Sabine flying over carrying an anvil on a string and Thog on ''rocket skates''. Their final plan kept the rocket skates.

* BackForTheDead: Julio Scoundrél sincerely hoped never to cross paths with Elan again for precisely this reason, and later refuses a call to adventure from Elan on this basis. When he does show up again [[spoiler:he [[DefiedTrope makes it out alive while calling out the trope]].]]
* BackFromTheDead: Pretty much anyone who's got a [[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist friendly cleric with a Raise Dead spell nearby,]] including the Oracle, Roy, and Jirix.
* BadassNormal: Many characters who kick ass without any intrinsic magical ability.
** Roy refused to become a wizard despite his father's urging and became a fighter instead.
** Haley is an archer with non-magical "SNEAK ATTACK!"
** Thog is pure orcish strength.
** Kazumi and Daigo are ordinary CityGuards; they're not even [[ThePaladin paladins]] and yet they survived TheSiege of Azure City.
** Belkar counts despite the fact that as a ranger he ''could'' theoretically use spells. Because he has a Wisdom score normally reserved for lemmings he doesn't.
** Tarquin fought the entire Order of the Stick and was only stopped by Malack because his companion was sick of him ''toying with them''.
* BarBrawl:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0730.html Check.]] Rowdy patrons and everything.
** Both Belkar and Tarquin's backstories include an incident of them murdering all of the patrons in a bar in a more "one-sided" version of this.
* TheBardOnBoard:
** ''Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales'' includes a re-telling of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' with Roy as the titular prince and Xykon as King Xlaudius, titled ''The Tragedy of Greenhilt''.
** A bonus comic produced for Kickstarter backers retells ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' with the roles {{Gender Flip}}]ed for "Haleo" and "Julelan".
* BareYourMidriff: Haley (for most of the comic, save for the latest arc and while with LaResistance); Julia; Crystal; Sabine (during two story arcs).
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: Eugene Greenhilt cannot go to the true afterlife until one of his descendants kills Xykon because of a BloodOath. This is the general fate of people bound by a Blood Oath of Vengeance and die with it unfulfilled. [[spoiler:An exception is made for those who died actively trying to fulfill their oaths, as Roy found out.]]
* BathtubScene: Haley lampshades the FanService nature of this in ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'', also referring to it as "my gratuitous bath scene."
* BatmanGambit: The Three Fiends [[spoiler:gave Vaarsuvius supreme power, expecting that the elf would attack Xykon and "knock him out of his comfort zone."]] It worked ''beautifully''.
* BattleTrophy:
** Belkar has a habit of doing this with the heads of kobolds he killed, though he never keeps them for long.
** Roy takes Xykon's crown and wears it on a string around his neck after "setting him back a bit". This turns out to be a problem when the residual evil on it causes [[KnightTemplar Miko]] to try and smite him. Xykon takes it back in their next encounter.
** Crystal takes Haley's ponytail as a trophy after nearly killing her during the Greysky City arc.
** Later, Gannji concocts a plan that requires his partner Enor to kill him, cut off his tail, and keep it so that Gannji can be resurrected later. He tells Enor:
--->'''Gannji:''' Tell the guards it's a trophy of your victory. They won't question it 'cause you're part ogre. They do stuff like that all the time.
* BeachEpisode: A non-canon one in the [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/Wallpapers.html "Beach Party" wallpaper]].
* BeamOWar: [[spoiler:Dark Vaarsuvius]] and Xykon have a brief one during their magical duel.
-->'''[[spoiler:Dark V]]:''' [[MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours My power... EXCEEDS yours!]]
* BearerOfBadNews: Belkar in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0880.html "Getting the Message"]], regarding [[spoiler:Durkon being vamped]]. Roy... does not take it well.
* BeastlyBloodsports: The Thieves Guild runs a dogfighting ring.
** Tarquin has an Allosaur, and indications that he has other creatures, including lions, that he'll throw in the ring.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor:
** So you want to protect yourself and your family from a vendetta by [[WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide obliterating the whole adverse lineage]]? Just be sure [[spoiler:some part of it doesn't guard a place critical for the survival of the world you and your companions are trying to save]]. NiceJobBreakingItHero.
** Nale wishes to be free from Tarquin's nepotism. After granting his wish, Tarquin points out that anyone other than his son would [[spoiler:have been executed for killing Malack.]]
* BecauseImGoodAtIt: Two examples
** Haley (on why she can't express her feelings to Elan): "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0311.html I'm a rogue. Hiding is my best skill.]]"
** Belkar (on why he was cruel to Roy): "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0881.html Isn't that why you losers keep me around? Hurting people is the only thing I'm good at.]]"
* BeQuietNudge: Happens a few times to Belkar.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0247.html strip #247]], Haley is struck with aphasia and so can't talk Belkar into shutting it as he's about to tell Elan her feelings. However, a boot to the face is enough to convey the message more clearly.
--->'''Belkar:''' Objection noted.
** Also in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0379.html strip #379]], Roy kicks Belkar so that the halfling doesn't join the already-embarrassing conversation.
* BerserkButton:
** Not that Belkar really needs one, but making comments about his height is likely to lead to unpleasant results. Lampshaded in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0022.html "Leadership in Action"]]. Also, whatever you do, if you value your life, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0685.html do not threaten Mr. Scruffy]] or tease Belkar about [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0781.html his relationship with the cat.]]
** Roy has a pet peeve about villains who cannot remember the bad things they have done, and the Lich is one of the top offenders of that. He's also protective of his AncestralWeapon.
--> [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0114.html "YOU... BROKE... MY... SWORD!!"]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0795.html "TALKY-MAN BROKE THOG'S TUSK!"]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0677.html Do not doubt V's magic skills.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0045.html Don't tell Haley that treasure isn't important.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0453.html Don't hurt Hinjo's dog.]]
** Durkon is too level-headed to really go "berserk", but making fun or showing disrespect toward godly worship (like by worshipping a hand puppet, or converting to Thor on the spot when convenient) and he ''will'' threaten you with violence, and even has to be physically restrained in some cases.
** Xykon has so many it's a RunningGag. At first, it's [[UnequalRites denigrating the intelligence or power of sorcerers as compared to wizards.]] Later, he's fine with being a lich until it turns out he can no longer taste coffee, at which point he goes ballistic. Whatever you do, do ''not'' cause Xykon to [[spoiler:lose his phylactery.]] Third, don't steal his [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0661.html kills.]]
** Malack proves that EvenEvilHasLovedOnes. Nale finds this out to his tremendous HARM.
--->'''Nale:''' [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0811.html Malack. How's the family?]]
* BetterThanABareBulb: LampshadeHanging is used ''constantly'' in the comic. Which is itself ''lampshaded'' in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0546.html "O-Chul's Razor"]].
* BetterThanSex: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0688.html Belkar describes]] a certain [[Literature/{{Dune}} Spice]] thusly;
-->'''Belkar:''' It's like you [[InsubstantialIngredients crystallized the best sex you've ever had with a woman]] and put it in a tiny bottle on your spice rack. No, wait, it's like you took that spice and snorted it while screwing her hotter sister. In front of her.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Destroying the gates, which are the only things holding back the [[EldritchAbomination Snarl]], is considered better than allowing their power to fall into evil hands. The implication being that the world would be better off destroyed and remade (again) than falling into the hands of the forces of darkness with the focused power of the Snarl at their disposal. Either that, or a gate would grant great power to anyone willing and able to harness it, especially an Evil person, but a destroyed gate could simply be remade.
* BeyondTheImpossible:
** Talking strategy to Xykon can put the undead sorcerer to sleep.
--->'''Xykon:''' Oh, sorry, I just fell asleep right in the middle of that.\\
'''Redcloak:''' You're a lich, you're actually physically incapable of sleeping.\\
'''Xykon:''' Which should just emphasize how boring that was.
** In strip #794, Elan seduced a succubus. As in demon who is, by her own admission, an evil incarnation of illicit sex.
** TalkingIsAFreeAction in the OOTS world. This is the basis for jokes. However, Vaarsuvius once managed to take up a turn by saying something particularly verbose.
* BigBadEnsemble: [[EvilSorcerer Xykon]], [[GodOfEvil the Dark One]] [[spoiler:as represented by his Dragon Redcloak, who pretends to be Xykon's Dragon]] and [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils the IFCC Directors]] are the main players, along with [[AristocratsAreEvil Kubota]], [[SmugSnake Nale]], and [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Tarquin]] in the role of {{Big Bad Wannabe}}s and [[EldritchAbomination the Snarl]] as a BiggerBad. Xykon's the one the protagonists [[TheHeavy are most concerned with]], though, because he's the most active and they don't know about some of these. The end of Book 5 adds yet another major villain, in the "they don't know about them" category -- [[spoiler:the Northern goddess Hel]], who is manipulating the Order via [[spoiler:the spirit controlling Vampire!Durkon]].
* BigBadWannabe:
** [[EvilTwin Nale]] tries to be a {{Chessmaster}}, but events have repeatedly shown that while he's pretty good at putting plans together, they ultimately tend not to work out. His first scheme would have succeeded if not for Haley making an almost impossible shot with her bow. His second scheme, in which he impersonated Elan, would have also succeeded if Elan had remained as dumb and incompetent as ever, rather than suddenly [[TookALevelInBadass taking a level in badass]]. And, more generally, if Nale didn't constantly trip over his megalomania. [[spoiler: Later, he finally manages to actually kill Malack and proceeds to taunt his father about it, right in the middle of his father's army and in the presence of one of Tarquin's powerful companions. Tarquin tries to offer Nale the chance to reconcile, but Nale brags about how he managed to kill Malack without Tarquin's help, complains about how much he resents his father, and rejects his Last-Second Chance. Tarquin finally proceeds to show Nale just how quickly he would have died without his protection, by stabbing him without a second thought]].
** [[AristocratsAreEvil Daimyo Kubota]] trys to usurp Hinjo's postion, culminating in him ordering the assassination of a pair of former commoners who were promoted to nobility. The wife is pregnant. When the plan fails, he murders, Therkla, his own number two with poison just to give himself time to escape and [[DeceasedFallGuyGambit frame her]]. He then surrenders to go on trial and use his aristocrat talents to turn around and slander Hinjo, but [[spoiler: Vaarsuvius simply disintegrates him]]. His status as a this is cemented by the fact that he just doesn't stack up against Xykon and Redcloak, and is naive enough to think that taking the city back from Xykon will be a trivial matter.
** [[spoiler:Elan and Nale's father]] Tarquin truly believes he is the real BigBad, and that Xykon is just the end-goal of some minor sidequest, and that Elan, not Roy is the main protagonist. In their final confrontation, [[spoiler:after Tarquin killed Nale (mainly because he was a distraction in the conflict between himself and Elan), Elan flat-out refused to fight, capture or engage with Tarquin in any way and just left him in the desert without any sort of climactic confrontation, which was [[CruelMercy probably the worst thing he could have done to him]]. Tarquin is left screaming after a departing Elan to come back and "finish the story".]] Even among his own party, Tarquin is not the leader. Neither Malack, Laurin, or Miron have any interest in doing what he says, they mostly just put up with it because Tarquin's narrative logic assists in their own personal motives, and is quite profitable to boot. He has to cajole and run on a system of favors in order to get them to do anything for him. [[spoiler:His military prowess is stated to come from elsewhere in the party.]] Even [[spoiler:Julio Scoundrél]] only considers him one of his "B-list villains".
* BigDamnFireExit: Lampshaded in Dorukan's Dungeon.
-->'''EXIT. Use in case of imminent explosion.'''
* BigDamnHeroes:
** Twice in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0613.html "I Need a Hero"]], and Lampshaded.
** By ''Belkar'' of all people ([[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0784.html by proxy via dinosaur]]).
** Later, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0871.html Durkon gives it a try]]. "MASS DEATH WARD!" was never more timely or more heroic.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0919.html Vaarsuvius]] single-handedly turns the tide of battle! Interestingly, he's also more of a team player here.
** [[spoiler: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0930.html Julio Scoundrél]] makes a BigEntrance to save his student.]]
* BigDamnKiss: Literally, as [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0400.html it gets a splash panel all to itself.]]
* BigDamnVillains: [[spoiler:Nale kills off Malack ''just'' when the Order most lacks a means to do so.]]
* BiggerBad:
** [[BigBad Xykon]] is the human-scale bad guy and the one really [[TheHeavy driving the main story]], but the most powerful evil presence in the comic is the Snarl, hands down. [[spoiler:Blackwing's vision of the inside of the rift shows that things may be more complicated...]]
** The IFCC is somewhere above Xykon and below the Snarl. They're playing a much longer game that will ultimately result in storming the Good aligment planes and are less interested in the "Snarl Gate" plotline then the conflict that it generates.
** The Dark One started most of the plot by creating the Crimson Mantle. We have yet to see how involved he'll be in the climax.
* BigNever: Vaarsuvius when asked to renounce his/her chosen god, and then repeats it when a bribe is insufficient.
* BigNo:
** Vaarsuvius, in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0504.html "That's a Surprisingly Common Reaction"]]. A Lampshade is hung by Elan in the next strip.
** Durkon does this in the prequel ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'' the first time he tastes [[ATankardOfMooseUrine beer brewed in human lands]].
** [[spoiler:Tsukiko when Redcloak [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0830.html orders her wights to kill and devour her]].]]
* BigWhat: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0490.html From Eugene]].
-->'''Roy:''' Wait, what? What about the Blood Oath of Vengeance?\\
'''Bureaucratic Deva:''' It's not a problem for us. Go on up.\\
'''Eugene: ''WHAT?!?!?!'''''\\
'''Roy:''' In lieu of Paradise, can I just get a picture of the exact expression on his face?
** Jirix reacts this way when he finds out that his master killed [[spoiler:Tsukiko]].
* BilingualBonus:
** The gibberish that Haley says while she has aphasia brought on by keeping too many secrets is actually a simple substitution cipher, where each letter represents a different letter of the alphabet (although the code changes with each strip).
--->'''Belkar:''' Good news for fans of cryptograms.
** The magic letters in [[spoiler:Dark V's accession]] translate to "BET YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD FOUND A SECRET MESSAGE IN THIS DIDN'T YOU?"
** The runes on the walls of Girard's temple translate to "NO SECRET MESSAGE".
* BlackBeadEyes: Standard, although some characters do have colored eyes.
* BlackComedy: Since the comic has an overall humorous tone, the various atrocities committed by Belkar, Xykon, Nale, Tarquin/The Empire of Blood, and other villains tend to be depicted this way, including some jokes in these scenes, but not downplaying the cruelty being displayed.
* BlahBlahBlah:
** Played straight with [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0051.html Roy and Thog getting the Earth Sigil]].
** Played straight in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0257.html a conversation between Julia and her friends]]. ("Blah blah blah blah boyfriend blah blah seriously...")
** Subverted in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0314.html "Goth Advice"]]; Elan's speech appears to be faded out with blahs so we can focus on Haley's internal monologue. Turns out he's trying to set a record for the number of times someone's said "blah" in a row.
* BlatantLies: Get your Bluff rank high enough (or get lucky with a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0139.html natural 20]]), and people will believe '''[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0767.html anything]]'''. Note that this is completely internally consistent: In ''D&D'' 3.5, if your Bluff roll beats your opponent's Sense Motive by 20 or more, you can get them to believe things that are ''literally impossible.''
* BlessedAreTheCheesemakers: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0463.html The hobgoblins and gouda]].
* BlobMonster: In a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/GuestStrips.html filler strip]], the party fights a gelatinous cube. It gives Haley and Roy an urge for fruit gelatin, although they can't tell why...
* BloodOath: Eugene Greenhilt swearing one against Xykon on a drunken night, for the murder of his mentor Fyron Pucebuckle, is what started the whole vendetta against the lich sorcerer, and what motivateed Roy to found the Order of the Stick. The rest is history. It is also what keeps Eugene from being admitted into the Afterlife (though [[spoiler:not Roy, because Roy's death occurred while trying to fulfill that oath]]).
* BlowingARaspberry:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0293.html Haley to Eugene Greenhilt.]] She couldn't talk at the time, so it was the easiest way to quickly express her sentiment.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0327.html Haley again, this time to Vaarsuvius.]] Still unable to talk, she was nonetheless conveying clearly her opinion over the elf's annoyance.
** A young Nale is seen doing this to pursuers in the flashback of [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0725.html "The Significantly-More-Secret Origin of Tarquin and Nale"]]. He later [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0822.html taunts Malack with one]], showing he hasn't matured that much ever since.
* BoobyTrap: One of Vaarsuvius's favorite spells? [[StuffBlowingUp Explosive Runes!]] It even gives a defeated Vaarsuvius one last laugh against Xykon -- "Guess what spell I cast before giving [[SoulJar this]] to the [[{{Familiar}} bird]]" in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0659.html "Flight of the Phylactery"]].
* BoogieKnights: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0706.html "Dancing Knights"]], more like. It wasn't as funny for the Goblin Cleric who cast it by mistake.
* BoundAndGagged:
** Nale and Thog ends up bound the first time the Order of the Stick captures them. A gag soon follows for Nale after he tells a cruel joke to Celia.
** Both Durkon and Belkar get the KindRestraints treatment at one point; see this tropes's entry.
** Vaarsuvius[[spoiler:' soul, as well as Blackwing's, get tied up on a table in Hell for 20min 35s after Cedrik claims his part of the deal. Then he gags them both, as the Fiends don't want to hear the elf's rampant speculation]].
* BoxAndStickTrap: In the book ''Dungeon Crawlin' Fools'', the Order sets this sort of trap for a ninja. As none of them can actually see the ninja and an unreliable poison gets thrown into the mix, the party proceeds to make a UsefulNotes/SchrodingersCat joke when the trap goes off.
* BrainBleach:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0249.html Roy's reaction]] to Belkar hitting on him as a woman.
** Also, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0555.html a panel]] revealing how Therkla was born...
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/GuestStrips.html Guest strips]] by Sprained Wrist Theater and Roman Wunder[[OurLichesAreDifferent lich]] presents: [[AmbiguousGender curiosity]] killed a beholder... almost.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy:
** Nale does this to Belkar at one point... then again, he is crazy already. The brainwashing is more of a redirection.
** He tries it again later, but it backfires because Belkar had been deafened by Durkon's ''Holy Word'', and couldn't hear Nale's orders.
'''Roy:''' It's not a bug, it's a feature.
** Tsukiko dominating Thanh the paladin. [[RunningGag No, not that kind of domination.]]
** Belkar ([[WeakWilled again!]]) due to [[spoiler:Malack's vampiric gaze.]]
* BrassBalls:
** Xykon, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0659.html to an injured and unarmed O-Chul charging him]]: "Wow. You got some +5 Holy Cojones on you, paladin, I'll give you that."
** Ian Starshine to Roy Greenhilt: "You've got gumption, kid, I'll say that much."
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0727.html "And It Will Never Work Again"]]
--->'''Tarquin:''' I think we'll have a feast -- no, a '''festival'''! In your honor! Three days and nights of merriment in the streets to welcome [[spoiler:my long-lost son]]!\\
'''Elan:''' With clowns?\\
'''Tarquin:''' And jugglers!\\
'''Elan:''' And clown-jugglers, who juggle tiny clowns?\\
'''Tarquin:''' Of course!
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0890.html What Roy thinks Belkar's "perfect world" dream was about.]] It's actually about [[spoiler:living with Lord Shojo and his cat]].
--->'''Roy:''' I'm sure it involved a lot of stabbing, and whores, and whores stabbing whores who stab whores.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick:
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0094.html "The Path to Victory"]], as the Order goes through a secret tunnel, they pass through The Hall of Mysterious Runes, The Cavern of Very Easy Encounters, The Room with All the Spikes, The Chasm of Unnecessary Cliffs, The Tunnel with the Sort of Reddish Floor, The Passageway of Horrible Death for Other People... and The Corridor of ''Very Toxic Sulfur Fumes.'' (Which the team shakes off.)
** Tsukiko in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0709.html "No Scry Zone"]].
--->'''Tsukiko:''' I know all about paladins, trust me. All they do is boss you around and tell you what you can't do. "Don't walk on the grass, don't litter, don't rape the cycle of life with your unclean power." Blah, blah, blah.
** Tarquin's Keoghtum Extra Strength ointment uses magic as the active ingredient, and pretroleum jelly, glycerin, '''heart of a virgin collected on his/her wedding night''', and fragrance as the inactive ingredients.
* BreakThemByTalking:
** In ''Start of Darkness'', Xykon delivers one to Dorukan [[spoiler:all while he Energy Drains the wizard to death]].
** Shortly followed by one for Redcloak at the very end of ''Start of Darkness''. [[spoiler: It broke him enough that he accepted the role of Xkyon's NumberTwo.]]
** Redcloak to Miko in the main comic.
** Later, Redcloak to O-Chul.
** O-Chul then tries a heroic version on the Monster in the Darkness. In other words, a YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre speech delivered in th same manner and for the same purpose (break them out of a certain mindset).
** Xykon delivers one to V in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html "Second Chance"]]. [[spoiler:It has opposite the intended effect; Xykon tells Vaarsuvius exactly what the elf needs to hear at that moment to cause a moment of redemption -- that power is not only found in spells, and that Vaarsuvius can still oppose Xykon despite not having any spells that could help. During all that talking, V decides to nab some healing potions and patch up the paladin O'Chul.]]
* BreakingTheFellowship: Following the battle of Azure City, the party is split, and one is [[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist dead.]] They finally reunite over a hundred chapters (and several in-universe months) later.
* BrickJoke:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0102.html It turns out that]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0236.html Roy has boobies]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0326.html Hydra Burgers]] (with gouda!). Bet you forgot about the dead hydra.
** When searching for the [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0178.html starmetal]] to get Roy's sword reforged, V is polymorphed into a purple lizard, which V's familiar tries to catch. Blackwing (V's familiar) figures it out in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0714.html comic #714]], more than 500 strips later. The title implies that it was intentional.
** "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0456.html Wait a minute,]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0486.html I had a 22!]]"
** "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0421.html How did you ever get so many potions of heroism?]]" "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0135.html Do not ask.]]" That's hundreds of strips ago.
** The comic [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0759.html "Yes, apparently"]] flashes back to the brick that the episode title is a joke off. The actual punchline here isn't much of a joke, but a punch.
** In the [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0090.html 90th strip]], Elan famously '''''ROLLED A 4!''''' This is brought up again ''waaaaay'' later, in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0766.html #766]]. This time, Elan '''''ROLLED A 9!''''' (because the boots he's wearing adds a 5 to his Move Silently check).
** Lead sheets that block magic dectection:
*** "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0202.html Stop opressing my culture,]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0779.html you ethnocentric bitch!"]]
*** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0895.html "Stop suppressing our rupture, you electroresistive niche!"]]
** "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0065.html Aren't you a violation of a certain popular fantasy author's intellectual property?!?]]" "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0789.html Parody is protected speech.]]"
** Everyone's a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0185.html future]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0749.html psychic]]!
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0791.html Looks like Roy lost that argument...]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0808.html Oh, wait, never mind.]]
** A blink-and-you'll-miss-it one: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0095.html he found his keys,]] and [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0434.html now he's lost them again.]]
** [[OhMyGods "Thor's aching bunions!"]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0806.html "I need to go soak my feet."]]
** When Belkar kills the Oracle, he attempts to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0568.html turn his head into a litter box for Mr. Scruffy.]] Haley stops him, but he [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0835.html eventually does it to Yukyuk.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0087.html Early in the comic]] Vaarsuvius tells Elan that as an elf, V only needs to take bathroom breaks every few weeks or so and Elan, being Elan, interprets that as V being a camel. It's referenced again, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0683.html about 600 strips later.]]
** Roy cuts five Draketooth mummies down in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0861.html one fell swoop.]] He realizes this, and apologizes saying they can be fixed once they're raised. The title refers back to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0477.html nearly 400 strips ago.]]
** At the end of [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0516.html comic #516]], a wight asks if he can have the hypnotized Thanh's shoes. If you're paying entirely too much attention, you may notice that the wight is wearing his shoes in the next strip... and several strips later: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0524.html "Where did my shoes go?"]]
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0171.html "The Prisoner Dilemma"]] Belkar mentions that he knows a guy who knows a guy who deals in slavery. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0685.html Slightly over 500 comics later,]] the team encounters a slaver who used to have a supplier who was a friend of Belkar's.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0140.html "My Little Pony"]], Belkar expresses the desire to ride a fierce dog into battle and "unleash the fury". ''728 strips later'', guess what he's doing in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0868.html "Unleash the Fury"]]?
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html "Comparative Mythology"]], Durkon talks about the dwarf goddess of death. This is referenced in [[spoiler:[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0874.html "Allies Like This"]], 137 strips later, when Durkon is fighting Malack]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0735.html Bloodwart]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0871.html tea.]] [[spoiler:And, yes, the spelling is significant.]]
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0637.html comic #637]], the IFCC are watching V versus the Black Dragon on a plasma HDTV -- specifically, a blood-plasma Hell-Damned television. In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0914.html comic #914]], the TV gets smashed... and bleeds.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0136.html #136]], we see a [[Creator/MontyPython Polearm Emporium that has no weapons whatsoever]]. In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0942.html #942]], we see who exactly the owner of that emporium is.
* BringIt:
** Sabine to Haley in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0053.html strip #53]] (with a RedEyesTakeWarning bonus).
** Also: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0319.html "Bring it on, imaginary bitches!"]]
** And: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0453.html "Bring it on, Little Boy Blue!"]]
* BrokenHeel: Discussed by Haley when she finds herself uncomfortably in the role of "fleeing horror-movie bimbo" after being caught unawares in a fight with Tsukiko. "I swear, if I [[DramaticSlip randomly fall down]] and break the heel of my boot, I'm going to find Creator/WesCraven and kick his ass."
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: The first time Roy fought Xykon and won, it cost him his sword.
* BroughtDownToNormal:
** Attempted in ''Start of Darkness'' when [[spoiler:Lirian infects Xykon and his minions with a disease that robs them of their magic abilities. Unfortunately for her, Redcloak is immune thanks to the effects of the Crimson Mantle, and has just enough resources to [[EmergencyTransformation transform]] Xykon in an undead, disease-immune lich]].
** A temporary instance of this trope occurs when a dragon uses an anti-magic field. It turns Vaarsuvius from a wizard into what the former describes as "[[SquishyWizard a fragile, pointy-eared monkey]]" while the dragon is "[[CurbstompBattle ...still a dragon]]."
* BrownNote: Certain magical spells are capable of this -- for example, Xykon used a "Symbol of Insanity" (on a super-bouncy ball) to turn an ''entire squad'' of paladin warriors against each other.
* BuffySpeak:
-->'''Monster in the Darkness:''' ...everyone here tells me that I'm as dumb as things that are really dumb.\\\
'''Redcloak:''' ...we didn't know the gate was guarded by a legion of ghost... things.\\\
'''Haley:''' My brain feels like a psion... did some psiony stuff.\\\
'''Miron:''' Oh, that reminds me: the Weeping King loves that [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0921.html splashy butt-washing thing]] she installed for him.\\
'''Tarquin:''' A bidet, Miron. It's called a bidet.
* BullfightBoss: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0808.html Roy vs. Thog]] -- while he doesn't quite get the hang of the "dodging" part, he uses Thog's strength to bring the ceiling down on him.
* BuriedAlive: Lirian seals Xykon and his forces in an airtight cave following their defeat in her forest.
* BusmansHoliday: {{Lampshaded}} in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0536.html "A Brief Tribute"]], in memory of Creator/GaryGygax.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday:
** Xykon only remembers the day he killed Roy's dad's mentor as a really bad Laundry Night.
--->'''Xykon:''' Do you have any idea how many people I have killed in front of their loved ones? Could you narrow it down?\\
'''Roy:''' Grrrr. His master's name was Fyron. He was a wizard who lived in Cliffport. You needed some sort of magical doodad that he owned, so you killed him and his son in cold blood.\\
'''Xykon:''' Hmmm... more specific.\\
'''[=MitD=]:''' You killed more than one guy named Fyron in Cliffport?\\
'''Xykon:''' Five, actually.\\
'''Roy:''' Gah! It was forty years ago!\\
'''Xykon:''' More specific.\\
'''Roy:''' In the spring?\\
'''Xykon:''' More specific.\\
'''Roy:''' On a Wednesday?\\
'''Xykon:''' Oh! Right! Now I remember. Because it was Laundry Night, and I had trouble getting the blood out of my robes.\\
'''Roy:''' Oh, that is IT!!
** Or, as Xykon puts it later:
--->'''Xykon:''' Y'know, I've destroyed entire towns, and the worst I got from the surviving families were a few snarky comments. You, sir, have a serious problem with overreaction.
** He is definitely trying to get a rise out of someone in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0459.html "Negative Feelings"]]:
--->'''Xykon:''' Hey! Paladin dude! Do you know what the best part about killing [[spoiler:the entire Sapphire Guard]] was? Neither do I. I wasn't actually paying attention when I did it.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0788.html Thog]] also doesn't care much about the people he kills, although that might be simple stupidity on his part.
* ButHeSoundsHandsome: Known to indulge in this:
** Belkar, disguised as a fellow medium-sized creature.
** Nale, disguised as Elan, and complimenting himself.

* CallAHitPointASmeerp: The adventure game based on the comic uses the term "wound", but the comic uses "HP".
* CallBack:
** Double one from the prequel book ''Start of Darkness'', when we see [[spoiler:Redcloak's family visiting the Monster in the Darkness. Redcloak's youngest nephew has a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0389.html Julio Scoundrél]] toy, and the [=MitD=] has a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0474.html plush dragon]].]]
** One of the longest Call Backs: in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0025.html #25]], Elan assumes that since the less armor you wear, the less able enemies are to see you, if you're naked, you must be invisible. Years later in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0665.html #665]], Roy is resurrected and is completely naked -- Elan exclaims, "You're invisible!"
** Belkar and Miko enter Shojo's throne room via SuperWindowJump. 150-odd strips later, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0447.html Xykon comes in through a different window]], and the first one is still boarded up.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0449.html #449]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0277.html #277]]. "Only the honor of a paladin is unbreakable."
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0486.html #486]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0039.html #39]] and [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0456.html #456]].
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0535.html #535]] villains from a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0229.html filler arc]] make a cameo.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0003.html #3,]] Haley mentions how she dislikes the color of her lime green Boots of Speed. These Boots are also spoken of in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0573.html #573,]] feature in a flashback in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0608.html #608,]] and in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0675.html #675,]] she has them dyed brown.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0182.html Black dragons seem to]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0638.html have a taste for elf]].
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0683.html #683]] all the way to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0087.html #87]].
** Also, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0685.html #685]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0171.html #171]]. (Belkar knows a guy who knows a guy).
** Another extremely long Call Back -- from [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0705.html #705]] all the way back to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0326.html #326]] with hydra-burgers.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0714.html #714]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0178.html #178]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0747.html "Do you need, like, 200-foot-tall flaming letters or something?"]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0759.html Apparently so.]] Double-example considering [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0750.html what was being used for the fire.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0723.html When Elan meets his father,]] note the ''Franchise/StarWars'' references. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0760.html When Elan]] [[CallingTheOldManOut calls out the old man]], [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0763.html and also here,]] note the ''Star Wars'' parallels.
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0766.html #766]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0090.html #90]] ("I've got a 4!") and to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0130.html #130]] with the "elveny boots".
** One would be a sort of Call Forward, since it shows up in a prequel book. In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html this]] comic, Roy makes a throwaway comment about only getting a C- in his Attacks of Opportunity class. In ''On the Origin of [=PCs=],'' that's the class Roy is studying for when his dad shows up to tell him about the Blood Oath against Xykon.
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0779.html #779]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0202.html #202]]. Watch out for what the people with the lead sheet say!
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0795.html #795]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0114.html #114]].
** The comic tops itself yet again as of [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0789.html #789]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0043.html #43]], with [[spoiler:the return of Zz'dtri.]]
** "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0800.html I may be in error, but I believe the appropriate proclamation is,]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0396.html 'Sneak Attack, bitch.']]"
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0478.html #478]] has V teaching Elan to create illusions of celestial creatures. In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0805.html #805]], Elan demonstrates what he's learned with an illusionary celestial tree sloth.
** A shorter one, but in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0727.html #727]], Roy's hunch back in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0691.html #691]] pays off...
** Redcloak's confrontation with Tsukiko in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0830.html #830]] is similar to [[spoiler:Xykon's confrontation with Dorukan in ''Start of Darkness'', with a one character exploiting a seemingly powerful one's weaknesses, giving a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to them, and then killing them ignominiously.]]
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0841.html #841]] all the way back to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0012.html #12]]:
--->'''Haley:''' Do you want to go up a level, or down a level?\\
'''Roy:''' Don't start with that.
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0535.html #535]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0226.html #226]] and [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0229.html #229]]. Apparently the inn's employees and the assassins had a good reason to assume that Roy was the King of Nowhere.
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0170.html #170]] to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0073.html #73]]. Thor must really like tall tankards of beer.
** Another extremely long one: from [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0868.html #868]] (appropriately named "Unleash the Fury") all the way to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0140.html #140]].
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0890.html #890]], Roy mentions that he's tried to take careful notice of time passing since his resurrection, no doubt as a result of completely losing track of it [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0499.html in the afterlife]].
** From 256 back to 127: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0256.html I, like, would never be caught dead in a]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0127.html stars-and-planets wizard robe]]
** Roy's [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0808.html knowledge of architecture and engineering]] comes in handy [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0895.html again]].
--->'''Roy:''' This pillar doesn't look load-bearing to me.
** From [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0905.html #905]]:
--->'''Elan:''' This is just like the [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0692.html cactus fight]] all over again!
** The title of comic #907, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0907.html "Always Hiring"]] is a callback to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0446.html comic #446]], where Xykon says this.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0637.html comic #637]], the IFCC are watching V versus the Black Dragon on a plasma HDTV -- specifically, a blood-plasma Hell-Damned Television. In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0914.html comic #914]], the TV gets smashed... and bleeds.
** Tarquin [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0917.html refers to Roy's potential replacement in the Order]] as [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0112.html Rob Redblade]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0836.html Elan's plan]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0930.html comes to fruition.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0936.html Elan remembers what happened]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0069.html the first time he met Nale.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut:
** Roy does this many times his dad, who saddled him with the quest to kill Xykon. Eventually, [[spoiler:he gives up on trying to talk reason into him when they're both in the afterlife]].
** When Elan finally realizes that [[spoiler:his dad, Tarquin, is an abhorrent monster and [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0760.html tries to call him out for it]],]] it doesn't go well. He has another go in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0917.html "Hold On"]]. And in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0936.html "End of the Line"]], [[spoiler:Elan gives Tarquin the definite callout for what he has done.]]
** [[spoiler:[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0772.html Lastly, Haley calls her dad out on his paranoia and how it messed her up.]]]]
* CallingYourAttacks: Almost every combat ability other than moving and basic attacks.
** Spoofed often, such as in a RunningGag where anybody who uses a sneak attack ''yells'' [[WithCatlikeTread "Sneak Attack!"]] when they do it. Which is defied and lampshaded when Nale kills the CPPD Chief.
--->'''Nale:''' Oops, I think I was supposed to yell "sneak attack" just there.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0615.html "Oh my gods, Yor, I swear, you do NOT need to keep shouting out your attacks! This isn't manga!"]]
** Roy has some ''great'' [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0102.html cleavage]]... Belkar and Elan think that move is hilarious.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0345.html "He Invented the Magic System"]], Vaarsuvius calls the name of a spell that he doesn't actually have, to no effect.
** As a corollary, the ''only'' thing you have to say when you cast a spell is the name of the spell, leading to the incantation for Resurrection, which has a ten-minute casting time, being the word "resurrection!" repeated over and over for ten minutes.
--->'''Durkon:''' [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0352.html ...weathercontrolweathercontrolweathercontrol...]]
* CanisLatinicus:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0635.html "Bunkus! Nonsuch! Gibberos! Gobbleygoos!"]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0782.html Two pairs of gladiators]] who fought off-panel have {{punny name}}s that fit this trope: [[RedVsBlue Vermillius & Ceruleaus]] and Offpanelio & Notseenicus. Also, the Gladiator that went up against the cat was named Evisceratus.
* CannotSpitItOut: Haley's attraction to Elan. [[spoiler:Until [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0393.html "Truth"]].]]
* CardboardPrison: Rule of thumb: if a prison is shown, someone will break out of it.
** Roy is aware of this trope and that's why he doesn't want to chance leaving Belkar in one. [[spoiler:After all, he escaped from Azure City's jail.]]
** [[spoiler:Miko, Nale, Sabine and Thog escape from the Azure City dungeon thanks to the invasion.]]
** [[spoiler:Elan and Thog escape from Cliffport with little difficulty.]]
** In a more literal example, most of the time while in Azure City, the Monster in the Darkness is seen within a prison cell, literally made from a cardboard box with a small window (with bars) cut into one side. Considering his strength, of course, it would make no difference whether the prison was steel or cardboard; he's just staying inside because doing otherwise would be rude.
* CardCarryingVillain:
** Xykon is proud to be "Capital E evil".
** The Linear Guild, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0257.html literally]].
** Tarquin counts too; he's conscious as his role of villain, even though he expresses contempt for the concept of "Good" and "Evil".
* CargoCult: The orcs on the island worship... Elan's hand-puppet, Banjo the Clown. [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} So does he.]] Also one worshiper is enough for a said worshipper to request the ability to shoot out a small bolt of lightning to smite heathens (Elan does it to Roy; it does absolutely nothing).\\\
Though they later worship Giggles the Clown, Banjo's equally fictional brother and God of Slapstick. This leads to the refugee fleet, as "Champions of Banjo", and the new worshippers of Giggles having a pie-eating contest, the "traditional" challenge that must be enacted between followers of the two hand-puppet gods. Given how deific ascension works in the world (which is why Elan came up with Banjo in the first place), then there very likely is a genuine (if very weak) Giggles the Clown deity now.
* CarpetOfVirility: Enriqué, Roy's mother's LatinLover; also Tarquin.
* CarryingTheAntidote: Elan assumes this is the case, and is [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0593.html mocked]]. Why would anyone do that instead of taking it themselves?
* CassandraTruth:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0545.html #545]] has O-Chul saying that Girard's Gate is protected by illusions and mazes. Redcloak thinks it's an obvious lie -- and O-Chul encourages him to think that. We later find out O-Chul ''wasn't'' technically lying (while O-Chul didn't know what was protecting Girard's Gate, it's a logical conclusion based on what the Sapphire Guard knew of Girard's MO).
** Tarquin tells Elan that his late(st) wife died of "mysterious circumstances". Sure, [[TheFool Elan]] takes it at face value, [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch but the audience certainly didn't]]. Except Tarquin is telling the truth; he has no part in Penelope's death, and no clue how it could have happened.
** Belkar's tendency to screw with people got him disbelieved at first when [[spoiler:he [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0880.html bore the bad news]] of Durkon's vampirization]].
* [[CatFight Caster Fight]]: Between Laurin and the {{Elfeminate}} Vaarsuvius, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0934.html here]], with Blackwing egging it on.
* CasualDangerDialogue: It's very common for the players and [=NPCs=] alike to exchange casual comments and witty banter in battle. Mixed with SesquipedalianLoquaciousness for V:
-->'''Vaarsuvius:''' Fascinating, Durkon. I have just now formulated a theory that encompasses both Nale's likely method of engagement and the most suitable response on our part.\\
'''Vaarsuvius:''' Ah, I see you have already grasped the core principles of my theory.
* CatapultNightmare: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0623.html "Running Away"]] reveals that true reason V hasn't tranced for months: [[spoiler:he's plagued by BadDreams about all the people from Azure City that died because he lacked the power to save them.]]
* CatapultToGlory: Instead of rocks, Redcloak uses Titanium elementals.
* CatFolk: One of Tarquin's [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0758.html adventuring partners]], Jacinda. Per the usual AnimalStereotypes, she seems to be the team's rogue.
* TheCavalry: [[spoiler:Julio Scoundrél, and his airship crew,]] appears out of nowhere to rescue [[spoiler:the heroes from Tarquin.]]
* CerebusRetcon: The comic makes extensive use of this, often overlapping with ChekhovsGun -- things that seemed like one-off gags early in the comic's run come back later as serious plot elements. Notable examples:
** Haley's greed. Originally used for jokes about the rogue conning her party out of extra treasure. [[spoiler:It's eventually revealed that her father is being held for ransom, and she needs 200,000 gp to spring him.]]
** Vaarsuvius' raven familiar, Blackwing. Originally invisible most of the time and more of a plot device than a character; used for jokes about how ''D&D'' mages ignore their familiars until they need them. [[spoiler:He plays a crucial role in a temporary victory over the BigBad, and becomes a fully realized character. Afterward he's always visible as part of V's CharacterDevelopment, and this throws V's earlier treatment of him into a harsher light.]]
** In the first couple of arcs, Redcloak appears to be nothing more than Xykon's snarky right-hand goblin. In ''Recap/StartOfDarkness'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:Redcloak killed his own brother to protect Xykon, and their apparently lighthearted relationship only seems that way because Xykon promised never to remind Redcloak of what he did, as long as he follows orders.]]
* CerebusSyndrome: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0242.html Lampshaded and]] played with. Plot lines get more complex and darker as the series continues, but the awesome [[DeadpanSnarker one-liners]] and constant lampshading ''never'' stop. Characters are aware of this and complain about it, with V blaming ComicBook/{{Cerebus|TheAardvark}} himself.
* ChainmailBikini: In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0675.html "It Costs an Armor Leg"]], Durkon argues with a salesman about what constitutes "leather armor". He's told, "Women's leather armor pretty much amounts to any attractive outfit that has one or more leather items in it. I once sold a winsome young lass a leather headband that was more effective than plate."
* CharacterizationMarchesOn:
** In the cast page, Belkar is introduced as "the world's best tracker under four feet tall." As the strip moved on, his StupidEvil nature was played up to the point where he became an incompetent tracker, having spent all his skill points and feats on combat abilities (and gourmet cooking).
** The Monster in the Darkness started out as evil [[MinionWithAnFInEvil (barely)]], but has evolved into a good (or at least neutral) character being tricked and manipulated by his evil "friends".
** Redcloak in his first couple of appearances was basically a regular goblin with a fancy cloak, who kowtowed endlessly to Xykon and whose unlevel eyes didn't scream intelligence. Fast forward a few hundred strips, and Redcloak is the quintessential DragonWithAnAgenda, as well as the resident OnlySaneEmployee and HypercompetentSidekick, [[spoiler:who claims to have been [[TheChessmaster expertly manipulating]] Xykon from the beginning.]] Makes [[FridgeBrilliance a bit more sense]] after ''Start of Darkness'', which ends with Xykon [[spoiler:brutally breaking Redcloak to his will and forcing him to abandon his holy mission,]] neatly explaining his period of dull subservience.
** During the starmetal sidequest, Roy was [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0153.html perfectly willing]] to abandon Elan to a bandit party without so much as a second glance, only being talked around by the others' unilateral insistence on rescuing TheHeart. Including Belkar ("he makes me laugh") and Vaarsuvius, who would later become the go-to advocate of ShootTheDog.
* CharacterDeath:
** Several characters (major and minor) die during the course of the story, but resurrection spells mean that someone could be revived every day of the week provided a sufficiently powerful cleric and enough diamond dust. However, [[KilledOffForReal there are still a number of ways to make death permanent]].
** When Celia was a GuestStarPartyMember in the Order of the Stick, this trope was the source of conflict with her and Haley, because of the differing views humans and slyphs have about death.
* CharmPerson: It's a ''D&D''-based trope, so of course this is here. Striking general example is Nale hypnotizing Belkar; he can't make Belkar kill the Order and give their magic items to him, but Nale ''is'' able to make Belkar try to kill the Order and keep their magic items for himself... [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0383.html while singing showtunes]]...
* ChasedByAngryNatives: During the exile of the Azurites they are chased by the orcs of an island.
* ChekhovsGag:
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0171.html "The Prisoner Dilemma"]], Belkar claims to "know a guy who knows a guy" in the slave trades. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0685.html 500 comics later...]]
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0135.html "Potionomics"]], Vaarsuvius attempts to explain to some potion sellers why they shouldn't sell their stock at a loss, but ultimately gives up and takes advantage of their stupidity by buying 27 Potions of Heroism. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0421.html 300 comics later]], they show up again, and come into play [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0427.html several strips after that]].
** V's Exploding Runes are a running gag in his prank war with Belkar, but in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0659.html "Flight of the Phylactery"]] they are exactly the spell he needs at a crucial moment.
** Belkar's sensitivity to the smell of humans -- [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0101.html annoying when dungeon-crawling]], very useful [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0838.html when searching a labyrinthine canyon for a magically-concealed hideout]].
* ChekhovsGun: All over the place. More of a ChekhovsArmoury, really.
** The pendant Celia gives to Roy. DoubleSubverted: it first appears to be a RedHerring, but it turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun for Celia's reappearance in the fourth arc.
** The voucher Roy got for Elan, which was good for one boon from Shojo.
** Not to mention the Boots of Elvenkind and the Bag of Tricks.
** From the same series, but even more plot-important than the boots or the bag, Belkar's Ring of Jumping +20. It helps him escape from Azure City prison and indirectly causes [[spoiler:Roy's death.]]
** And Xykon's headband allowing him to Cloister Azure City.
** The Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity that Elan takes from a defeated ogre.
** The Ylang-Ylang moisturizer Haley purchased earlier from Aton helps Belkar lead Roy to her kidnapper.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0422.html comic #422]], Vaarsuvius uses ''Protection from Arrows'' on hirself. In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0436.html comic #436]] it gets put to use.
** Redcloak's [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0828.html unspecified spell]] as he walks in his room, which you might not even notice he used? [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0830.html Command Undead.]]
** Vaarsuvius' [[spoiler:[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0639.html Familicide]] during the Soul Splice]] comes back to haunt him/her when [[spoiler:the entire Draketooth family was killed through the spell. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0842.html One of the dragon's family members crossbred]] with a human.]]
** The ritual [[spoiler:(or rather, half-ritual)]] that Tsukiko [[spoiler:confronted Redcloak about and got herself killed over]] is in fact first seen [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0700.html in strip #700.]]
** The use of lead sheets to block magical identification. Belkar uses it to prevent Miko from proving he is Evil, and later Niu uses it in a humorous CallBack to prevent a hobgoblin cleric from detecting the good-aligned resistance members in Azure City. [[spoiler:[[ChekhovsBoomerang And Girard used it in a brilliant double-bluff to conceal the true location of his gate.]]]]
* ChekhovsGunman:
** The Three Fiends that [[spoiler:have given Vaarsuvius supreme arcane power]] have been seen in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0380.html "While the Fiend's Away..."]]. They outright state they have a succubus working for them, too, in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0637.html "It Only Shows Reality Programming"]].
** Blackwing goes from a minor character who only appears when a joke needs to be made about arcane spellcasters neglecting or abusing their familiars, to [[spoiler:playing a vital role in O-Chul and Vaarsuvius' plan to destroy Xykon's phylactery]], to a fully-fledged member of the main cast.
** Also Tarquin was shown in an early strip, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0050.html "The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan & Nale"]]. He is also apparently [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0725.html the one]] who conquered the kingdom seen in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0680.html "That's Why It's Called a Running Gag"]].
** The two old gladiators imprisoned along with Roy and Belkar turn out to be [[spoiler:Haley's missing father and uncle]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0065.html Parody is]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0789.html protected speech]].
** And we get another in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0801.html "Bound to Happen"]] when [[spoiler:Elan happens upon Captain Amun-Zora's cell while running from Nale]]. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0940.html And then...]] [[spoiler:Amun-Zora shows up with bounty hunters Gannji and Enor, to recruit Ian in their scheme against their common enemy, Tarquin.]]
** In the same arc, Elan actually [[InvokedTrope invokes this trope]], by [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0837.html talking about his secret plan]] some ninety-three pages before [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0930.html he calls in an old friend.]] The Chekhov's Gunman's arrival is itself a Chekhov's Gun.
* ChekhovsSkill:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0017.html Stonecarving]] with a [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0598.html rapier]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0478.html Vaarsuvius giving Elan advice]] on the proper use of illusions. Sure, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0805.html Elan's later choice is still silly]], but it does spook Sabine.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0647.html Also, Elan's]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0712.html Neutralize Poison.]]
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0672.html After Roy first suggests it,]] Durkon spends a long time [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0750.html trying to learn]] Mass Death Ward, and the first time he tried to use it in battle [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0806.html it failed]]. He finally [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0871.html gets to use it]] against [[spoiler:the very person who helped him learn it. And it only works temporarily.]]
** Roy's ranks in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0808.html architecture]] help him spot something iffy about [[spoiler:[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0895.html a particular pillar]] in Girard's pyramid]].
** It's a RunningGag that Belkar is the worst ranger ever, and his supposed class ability to influence the behaviour of animals (''Wild Empathy'') is mentioned twice as just such gags. Much later, he gets an AndroclesLion moment with [[spoiler:the ''Allosaurus'' he'd earlier released into the gladiator pit.]]
* CherryTapping:
** Xykon does it to O-Chul, knocking him below zero hit points with a ''Ray of Frost'' (a cantrip that does 1d3 points of damage).
** Belkar does it to [[DarkActionGirl Crystal]], first toying with her, then leaving her alive but humiliated, not wanting to [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou steal Haley's kill]].
* ChessWithDeath: Or rather, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0718.html Wet T-shirt Contest with Death]].
-->'''Death:''' [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: ... I'll get the hose. ]]

* CigarChomper: The CPPD [[DaChief Chief]], because it's what someone in his role does.
* CirclingBirdies:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0005.html Circling Stars]] are [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0186.html not uncommon]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0200.html early on]].
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0716.html Circling Pterosaurs]] for a LizardFolk.
* CitadelCity: Azure City was the capital of a wealthy and strategically-placed nation. Therefore, significant investment was made to make it a tough nut to crack. The ruling body shored up the defences even more, particularly with that big honking castle, when a hole in reality leading to a god-killing abomination was discovered over the city.
* CleanCut: Many attacks with slashing weapons against {{Mooks}} result in this.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0102.html Roy's Great Cleaves]] as long as he has his ancestral sword. [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0497.html He can also go all the way]] to a DiagonalCut.
** Miko Miyazaki can [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0215.html cut an ogre chieftain into pieces]] with just one round of her DualWielding attacks.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0611.html Even Belkar's tiny daggers can score a Clean Cut.]]
* CleverCrows: Vaarsuvius's familiar, Blackwing. Though there was originally a RunningGag that he'd only appear when V remembered him (and he didn't even have a ''name'' until Haley named him), after a certain series of events, Blackwing is present all the time, mostly serving as TheConscience to V.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** Elan's genre savvy comes off as inane babbling, and he has odd ideas like "naked=invisible".
** The Monster in the Darkness enjoys ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', tea parties and eating adventurers whole.
** Thog, a half-orc barbarian with low intelligence who helps Elan's EvilTwin Nale murder innocents by the dozens -- but loves nothing in life more than ice cream, rocket skates, and puppies. Probably because of this, he and Elan get along really well.
** Also Odin, the leader of the Northern Pantheon. He likes puppets (and thus was ready to ascend Banjo) and puppies.
--->'''Odin:''' Ooooo, doggie!\\
'''Thor:''' Dad, don't pet it, you don't know where it's been.
** Thor shows this occasionally, though mainly when he is drunk or about to be -- which is about everytime we see him.
* ColdBloodedTorture:
** Redcloak to O-Chul, [[InterrogatedForNothing ostensibly for information]].
** Xykon to O-Chul, just for fun.
** When his [[AffablyEvil winning personality]] isn't enough, this appears to be how Tarquin "convinces" women to marry him.
** After finding out that [[spoiler:Yukyuk shot Mr. Scruffy, Belkar decides to turn him into the cat's new litter box but without killing him first.]]
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience:
** Lampshaded in regards to dragons; also the TropeNamer.
** Everything related to Azure City. The city itself is blue, including most of the buildings, the town wall and even the ships in the port. The regulars in the army wear silver and blue armor, and the paladins, white and blue. Many characters, e.g. Hinjo, even have blue hair. If a paladin falls from grace, his or her clothes immediately change color from blue to brown, due to them being magical items that lose power when not on a paladin in good standing.
--->'''[=MitD=]:''' I know! [[WesternAnimation/RainbowBrite Murky and Lurky]] must have stolen her colors!
** Despite being an Azure City noble, Kubota is wearing ''purple''. So are all his retainers, and [[InnocentInnuendo his junk is colored purple too]]. This represents both his [[PurpleIsPowerful wealth and power]], and his [[TheStarscream detachment]] from the regime of the Sapphire Guard.
** It's implied (particularly in ''Start of Darkness'') that the hierarchical ranks of the Dark One's clerics are indicated by cloak color. For instance, white cloaks are issued to the newly-ordained.
* ColorCodedWizardry: All spellcasters have a distinctive colored aura when casting spells:
** Vaarsuvius -- pink;
** Durkon -- white; [[spoiler:(turns to red once he becomes a vampire)]]
** Elan -- blue;
** Redcloak -- dark red;
** Xykon -- dark grey;
** Nale -- yellow;
** Zz'dtri -- green;
** Hilgya -- orange;
** Leeky -- brown;
** Pompey -- violet;
** Julia -- green;
** Eugene -- pale green;
** Samantha -- purple;
** Celia -- white;
** Tsukiko -- indigo ''and'' blue (due to her being able to, as a [[PrestigeClass Mystic Theurge]], cast both arcane and divine spells);
** Sapphire Guard members and Azurite clerics -- standardized light blue;
** Malack -- grey;
** Laurin -- yellow;
** Miron -- dirt brown.
* CombatPragmatist: Haley has no issues with ambushing and killing her arch-enemy Crystal, the assassin, while she's in the shower, unarmed and not wearing any armor or magic items. Followed, naturally, by looting all of said equipment. This scene comes off a lot less cold-blooded if you have read the prequel ''On the Origin of the [=PCs=]'' and the supplemental pages in ''Don't Split the Party'' that were cut out of the online comic for reasons of pacing but put back in for the printed edition. [[spoiler:The extra strips reveal that Crystal was more than eager to hurt and kill Haley, and she and Bozzok were still planning to secretly murder Haley, despite the truce]].
* CombatTentacles: ''[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0020.html Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion]]''.
-->'''Trigak:''' Wait, what?
* ComeBackToBedHoney: [[HighHeelFaceTurn Jenny, the bard in the Rogue's Guild]], to Belkar.
-->'''Jenny:''' ''[draped in a ModestyBedsheet]'' Hurry back to bed, I'm feeling rested for another encounter.\\
'''Belkar:''' Go ahead and start a solo adventure, I'll be in to join the quest when I'm done eating.
* CompellingVoice: Haley gets this when she consumes a potion of glibness, giving her already huge bluff score an extra +30. She tells a human guard that he's actually a yellow-footed rock wallaby, and he immediately ''hops'' off to find a wizard to polymorph him "back".
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0453.html "There's only one ninja left, that means I'm death incarnate!"]]
* ContinuityNod: Full of them. Of particular note is the Test of the Mind when Haley returns to the Oracle's valley; the "truth and lie" creatures immediately tell her the correct path rather than face another arrow to the foot. The continuity of ''[=OotS=]'' is generally very well kept.
* ContinuitySnarl: While the comic doesn't contradict itself, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0273.html the gods did]]. This the underpinnings of the comic's plot.
* ContrivedCoincidence: Elan bumping into Julio Scoundrél, who just happens to have an airship that just happens to be going exactly the way he wants to go. Elan points out how unlikely it is, which Julio counters with the LawOfConservationOfDetail -- if it hadn't progressed the plot, [[MediumAwareness their conversation wouldn't be included in the strip.]]
* CoolSword:
** Roy's sword has been [[AncestralWeapon handed down from his grandfather, and may be older than that]]. After it was broken, Roy is told it's made of [[ThunderboltIron starmetal]] and can't be reforged without it. Turns out that's not true, but now that it is reforged as starmetal alloy it is magical and does greater damage to undead, such as [[BigBad Xykon]], and it glows green whenever this power activates.
** Elan is given a keen silver rapier by Julio Scounrél, and later off the dashing hero's own Chaos Sabre.
* CoolTeacher: Fyron was this to Eugene Greenhilt, which is why he was so devastated when Xykon killed him.
* CooperationGambit: [[CuteMonsterGirl Therkla]] the half-orc {{ninja}} tries to [[TakeAThirdOption find a compromise]] between [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Hinjo]] (or rather Elan; she's still happy to assassinate Hinjo) and her master Daimyo Kubota's agendas (albeit because [[InLoveWithTheMark she had a crush on Elan]]). [[spoiler:Kubota kills her so he can use her as a scapegoat.]]
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: Tarquin's ninth wife died of "mysterious circumstances". ("Not another one! When will they find a cure!?") This turns out to be a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] -- [[spoiler:Tarquin really has no idea how she died, although he's confident she was murdered by ''somebody.'' She was caught up in the effect of V's Familicide]].
* CoupDeGrace:
** Roy delivers several of these to goblins V put to sleep with an overly long and boring ''boast'' about how s/he was much more powerful than anything they could imagine. It was so long and boring that it put Elan and Belkar to sleep as well.
** Crystal attempts to do one to an unconscious Haley, but she's interrupted.
** [[spoiler:Vampire!Durkon does one to Zz'dtri by NeckSnap.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie: The cover for ''Start of Darkness'' shows Xykon as a lich killing a paladin before his first encounter with Redcloak -- while in the story proper, he wasn't yet undead when this happened. This is lampshaded on the last page of the book:
-->'''[=MitD=]:''' Wait -- the scene on the cover didn't happen that way.\\
'''Demon-roach:''' Welcome to show business, kid.
* CrackFic: {{Lampshaded}} by Xykon in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0833.html "Villainy Afoot"]].
* CrazyPrepared:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0781.html Vaarsuvius: "I am a wizard. Being prepared comes naturally"]] V always seems to have the appropriate "Bugsby's _____-ing hand" spell prepared. Even for cat retrieval.
** Redcloak's plan of installing magic traps that zap anyone casting arcane spells other than Xykon and Tsukiko definitely wasn't a waste of an afternoon. Sure, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0652.html V destroyed them later, but it was time and money well spent to stop a surprise turn]]. Then again, when you're hatching [[EvilPlan evil schemes]], you must expect to be attacked by heroes at any time.
** Tarquin learned to defend against [[YouFightLikeACow pun-dueling.]] As boss of an evil empire, you're bound to come up against some wise-cracking hero or other.
* CreepySouvenir:
** Belkar beheads Yikyik the kobold and wears his head as a hat. He later uses the head of Yokyok, the son of the first kobold, as a tortilla bowl.
** Roy initially wanted to wear Xykon's teeth as a necklace in case of a victory, but after the lich was blown to bits, he settled on Xykon's crown.
** Gannji the lizardfolk mentions that keeping a CreepySouvenir is common amongst ogres. When his friend Enor (an ogre/dragon hybrid) is forced to fight him, Gannji suggests that Enor kill him and keep his tail as a trophy in order to resurrect him later.
** Malack tells Elan he would pay handsomely for Nale's skull to adorn his study.
* CrossReferencedTitles:
** "Belkar Unleashed" and "Belkar Leashed".
** "The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan and Nale" and "The Significantly-More-Secret Origin of Tarquin and Nale".
* CruelAndUnusualDeath:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0826.html Implosion.]] Brr. Also on that page, someone getting [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe torn in half]] by a devil.
** [[spoiler:[[DarkActionGirl Tsukiko]]'s death. Life-drained by her own wights, followed by being eaten, bones and all by those same wights. They then ate each other in order of creation, and the last one incinerate itself.]] KilledOffForReal indeed.
* CryingWolf:
** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] and parodied in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0674.html "The Elf Who Cried Raven"]] -- when V finally remembers the familiar and claims that Blackwing was "there all along" in their past adventures, none of the others believe it. This is despite previously being the ones who had to remind V of its existence.
** Played straight in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0880.html "Getting the Message"]]. [[spoiler:As Belkar reports Durkon's death and being turned into a vampire, Roy almost immediately calls him out on it being one of his sick jokes. This is combined with Roy simply not wanting to believe it.]]
* CueTheFlyingPigs: In ''Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales'', to lampshade "the power of abandoned verisimiltude".
* CurbStompBattle:
** Minor one in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0133.html "Standardized Testing"]]. The three barbarians can taste the concrete.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0796.html "Smash"]] is a good example for why you shouldn't piss off the barbarian half-orc.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0636.html Vaarsuvius]] gives a thorough one to the [[spoiler:parent of the black dragon he killed earlier, and a quarter of all the black dragons in the world, with one spell]].
* CuriosityIsACrapshoot: It certainly didn't do Mijung any good when she poked her nose (figuratively) into a rift in reality. However, had she not, Soon and the Order of the Scribble would have been unable to do more careful examinations and discover the truth about the Snarl. Similarly, as portrayed in ''Start of Darkness'', [[spoiler:the Dark One only found out about the Snarl when a goblin got too close and was killed.]]
* CurseCutShort:
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0357.html The last thing Yokyok says]] is "Oh shi--".
** Belkar gets one interrupted by a cut frame in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0478.html "On Usefulness"]].
** From a LizardFolk:
--->'''Gannji:''' Hey, while you're at it, look up "[[ExoticEquipment hemipenes]]", because you can suck BOTH of my--
** In #913, when Nale boasts to Laurin and Tarquin [[WouldYouLikeToHearHowTheyDied about how he killed one of their allies]]:
--->'''Laurin:''' You arrogant little sh--\\
'''Tarquin:''' Laurin, please. Try to stay professional.
* CursedWithAwesome: Deliberatly invoked by the IFCC with [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope their disclaimers]] for their DealWithTheDevil.
-->'''Cedrik:''' Although, as providers, it would be remiss not to warn you that the Soul Splice has been known to trigger feelings of pure omnipotence.\\
'''Nero:''' You may also experience some slight dizziness from the rush of unprecedented arcane power.
* CurseThatCures: Xykon. It is revealed in the prequel ''Start of Darkness'' that he became a lich, under Redcloak's suggestion, to escape a magical disease that was preventing him from using his sorcerer magic. Also, they were prisoners of a powerful druid and had few other options for escaping.
* CutenessProximity: Exploited by Roy in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0163.html "A Man, a Dwarf, and a Kitty"]] to take out the guards of a bandit camp.
* CuttingTheKnot: Lampshaded in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0327.html "The Test of the Mind"]].
-->'''Vaarsuvius:''' Gordium called -- they have a knot that you may want to take a look at.
* CycleOfRevenge:
** What started as a killing of a young adult black dragon escalated when the black dragon's parent tried to torture Vaarsuvius' family to death, which led directly to V killing one quarter of the world's population of black dragons, which seems to have irked Tiamat (the Goddess of chromatic dragons).
** The ongoing war between humans and goblins. As stated in the third book's commentary (partial paraphrase), "Each side only remembers their last defeat at the hands of the other."