TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes A-C}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes D-F}} | '''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:


* GambitPileup:
** Roy's mission is to kill Xykon.
** Vaarsuvius is trying to atone for the ''Familicide'' spell.
** Belkar is feigning HiddenDepths to get his own selfish needs met.
** Haley's trying to earn enough money to pay back the Thieves' Guild, while her uncle was ratting out her father and her to protect his son.
** [[spoiler:The High Priest of Hel is working for, well, Hel.]]
** Xykon has his own plans for The Snarl.
** The IFCC has ''their'' own plans for The Snarl which aren't the same as Xykon's.
** Redcloak has ''his'' own plans for The Snarl while using a BatmanGambit on Xykon, trying to be the puppetmaster on the lich.
** Finally, there are two wild cards: Tarquin and the Monster in the Darkness.
* GameBreaker: [[invoked]]
** The characters usually don't get a chance to take advantage of such, but [[ strip #767]], in which Haley uses a potion of Glibness, is an exception. [[{{Munchkin}} Enterprising players]] have noticed that, [[RulesLawyer according to the Rules as Written]], a Bluff check roll of 20 or better can convince people of some really ridiculous things -- and Glibness gives a whopping '''+30''' to Bluff checks![[note]]For those who don't know the rules: The penalty to a Bluff check for a lie that is ''literally'' impossible to believe is -20. Glibness, again, gives +30. A character under its effects and with even a single rank in Bluff can claim to be the moon and will, more often than not, be believed. Haley has a lot of ranks in Bluff.[[/note]]
** The homebrewed spell ''Familicide'', which kills ''everyone'' related by blood to the target, [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill and then kills everyone related by blood to those people]]. [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius gets access to it when his soul is spliced with that of the damned necromancer who created the spell, and a single casting kills a quarter of the black dragons in the world... plus any HalfHumanHybrids descended from them. Which included the entire Draketooth family. Whoops.]] However, due to the precise requirements of the casting, ItOnlyWorksOnce.
** In-universe, Tarquin states that bards are [[{{nerf}} underpowered]] because by rights their sheer GenreSavvy should let them rule the world. [[spoiler:Later in the story, his own attempts to use GenreSavvy to his advantage illustrate precisely why this isn't the case.]]
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: The comic's universe runs on 3.5 Edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' mechanics, but the author frequently ignores the game rules in favor of telling a good story.
** For example, Tsukiko is a Mystic Theurge, which means she should have very high Intelligence and Wisdom scores to cast both wizard and cleric spells, yet she is regularly outsmarted and makes some very, ''very'' foolish decisions. Probably justified since she's also insane, and SanityHasAdvantages.
** Miko's Monk 2/Paladin x Two Weapon Fighting build would be absolutely pathetic in an actual game. Miko manages to do pretty well in combat.
** Then again, most of the builds are pretty craptastic. Like Belkar's halfling, dual-wielding ranger with really low wisdom. Or V specializing in evocation and banning necromancy and conjuration. While they both have their moments of weakness, they tend to do okay most of the time.
* GangInitiationFight: Belkar has to go through one to be accepted into the Barbarian Guild.
* {{GASP}}:
** Elan's reaction to the line [[spoiler:"Elan -- I am your father."]]
** Elan's reaction to [[spoiler:Laurin Shattersmith disintegrating Nale's body.]]
* GateGuardian: The Order of the Scribble established guardians at each of the five magical gates that prevent the Snarl from reemerging and destroying reality.
** Dorukan's Gate is protected by Dorukan himself, who placed powerful magic sigils on the gate to prevent evil aligned creatures from accessing it and built a huge dungeon to aid in its defense.
** Girard's Gate is protected by Girad Draketooth and his family, who hid the pyramid where the gate is located with numerous illusions.
** Kraagor's Gate is protected by numerous ultra-powerful and nasty monsters.
** Lirian's Gate is guarded by Lirian and creatures of the forest.
** Soon's Gate is protected by the Sapphire Guard, an order of paladins.
* GenderBender: The Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity, or Belt of Gender Changing. Roy ends up wearing it starting strip #235: [[ "Oddly, He Can Still Get Dressed in Under a Minute"]].
** The strip where he changes back {{Defie|dtrope}}s all three of the Laws of Gender Bending: He's [[FirstLawOfGenderBending changed back easily and after not very long]] when Durkon dispels the ClingyCostume, he [[SecondLawOfGenderBending didn't enjoy being a woman very much,]] and he didn't feel [[ThirdLawOfGenderBending any compulsion to act differently]] apart from some emotional upheaval he puts down to dealing with unfamiliar hormones.
* GenreSavvy: Several members of the cast.
** Especially Elan. Though it's worth noting at times, he's predicted things to happen by genre, only for it to be subverted and ''not'' happen, such as in [[ "Or Mention That He's Getting Too Old for This"]]. Basically, he's Genre Savvy when it comes to standard fantasy but not so much when concerning his own story. [[spoiler:Elan's GenreSavvy backfires when he [[FridgeHorror realizes that his dad's plot will actually work.]]]]
** V recognizes that if Elan has someone tied up, he's likely a major villain, and if said villain is smugly blathering about a lengthy trial, he's going to drag down the comic. Thus, s/he simplifies matters. [[ "Disintegrate. Gust of Wind."]]
** Even very minor characters can prove to be unusually Genre Savvy in this world.
--->'''Hobgoblin wizard:''' Oh, right. Forgot to mention. Whenever you start to whip an elderly slave, there's about a 60% chance that some sort of hero will show up to stop you.
** Two Displacer Beasts [[ realize]] they're a random encounter for the main characters and survive by avoiding the fight.
** Tarquin doesn't stop at just being Genre Savvy, he even spreads the word to his guards, as seen on the [[ manual]] he hands them. His Genre Savvy, however, becomes increasingly unreliable the more he indulges in his delusion that ''he's'' the primary villain of the comic and that Elan is the primary hero, leading him to become increasingly unstuck.
** Deliberately ''abused'' in [[ "Friend of a Friend"]] by (of all people) [[spoiler:the Monster in the Darkness]].
* GilliganCut: [[ "If you want to bring us before your liege, you'll have to drag us there in chains."]]
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: In strip #794, Elan mentions Haley can "make out with any of our recurring villains you want". The title of the strip is [[ "We Recommend Tsukiko"]].
* GiveMeASword: Horace Greenhilt to Roy in [[ "The Grand Fighter"]].
-->'''Horace:''' ROY! Heads up!
* GiveMeBackMyWallet: Two {{Street Urchin}}s [[ bump into Durkon]] and [[PercussivePickpocket steal his purse]]. When they open it, it just contains a teasing note from Haley -- who they discover has somehow managed to pick ''their'' pockets in return.
* GladiatorGames: A main source of entertainment in the Empire of Blood, and part of the judicial system.
* GladToBeAliveSex: Roy and Celia, [[spoiler:though it is more Glad-to-Be-Alive ''Again'' Sex.]]
* TheGlovesComeOff:
** Notably done by [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius]], who reaches this point when [[spoiler:unleashing a SuperpoweredEvilSide by making a literal DealWithTheDevil]]. As expected for this trope, the results are not exactly what anyone hoped for, and leads to some solid CharacterDevelopment for all involved parties.
** Also shortly after played straight by [[spoiler:Xykon when Vaarsuvius teleports into his EvilTowerOfOminousness. As "a challenge to his rep", Xykon meets him/her with everything he has, including taking advice from his minions.]]
* GlobalAirship: The ''Mechane'' takes this role.
* GodivaHair: Yes, on a stick figure: [[ Haley grows her long hair back]].
* GodsNeedPrayerBadly:
** Sufficient belief can elevate ''anything'' to godhood, as first seen [[ with Banjo the Clown]].
** Gods also apparently gain power as their clerics level up -- it's suggested in ''Start of Darkness'' that this is why they created AlwaysChaoticEvil NPC races in the first place, as XP-fodder for adventurers.
** Parodied in [[ "A Brief Intermission"]]:
--->'''Bucket of Popcorn:''' You fools! We have been loved by moviegoers for over 50 years! Do you know the kind of power that gives us? We have become like unto tiny refreshing GODS!
* GodwinsLaw: Evil is measured in [[ kilonazis]].
* GoingToGiveItMoreEnergy: The party comes across a hydra on the way to the oracle. Belkar starts happily chopping heads off left and right. Vaarsuvius wants to just blast it with magic, but Roy says to wait, without explaining why. Just as V is about to let loose anyway, the hydra collapses due to its heart no longer being able to pump enough blood to all of its heads.
* GoKartingWithBowser: Discussed in [[ "Welcome to the Arena"]].
-->'''Elan:''' I know that sometimes the hero has to play baccarat with the enemy, even though logically it would make more sense for them to just be trying to kill each other. What I don't know is how to play baccarat.
* GoldenMeanFallacy: According to Belkar, killing one hobgoblin is a fair compromise between him wanting to kill them all and [[ActualPacifist Celia]] not wanting him to kill any.
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Used for [[ Elan]] and [[ Belkar]], with plenty of twists.
* TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin: {{Invoked|Trope}} by Tarquin. He may be in a position of EvilVersusOblivion, but he sees that as no reason to stop putting obstacles in the good guys' way, because they'll manage to save the world whatever happens.
* GoodIsBoring: Averted during Roy's time in LawfulGood heaven. He gets to meet his deceased relatives, [[spoiler:play blocks with his dead little brother]], and the general attractions include a ''Tavern of Infinite One-Night Stands''. It's also explained that this is only the first level -- once people get bored with the earthly stuff, they resume climbing the mountain, with "true perfect enlightenment" waiting at the top.
* GoodIsDumb: Lampshaded by the strip titled [[ "Because Good Is Dumb"]].
* GoodIsNotDumb: [[ "Improbable Causes"]]. Even stated repeatedly.
-->'''Lien:''' Seriously, how many times do I need to go over the, "Good, not dumb," thing?
* GoodIsNotNice:
** Roy, while LawfulGood, enjoys verbally lambasting both his friends and enemies a bit too much. He's prone to some moments of cruelty, for example, after bandits kidnap Elan during their quest for the Starmetal, he wants to leave him with them and continue on. Naturally, the rest of the Order (even the ChaoticEvil Belkar) disagrees. Although he changes his mind later and is shown to regret having done it.
** For a guy who's waiting for a place in the LawfulGood heaven, Roy's dad Eugene is a pretty sarcastic, selfish {{Jerkass}}.[[invoked]] It's widely speculated among fans that Eugene has been shifting more and more toward Neutral over the years he's been stuck in the waiting area. But since he's been told by one of the Devas (who are, for the record, incabable of lying) that the only thing keeping him out of the LawfulGood heaven is his unfulfilled blood oath, it seems that actions taken ''after'' you die can't alter your afterlife destination.
** Miko Miyazaki is ''made'' of this trope.
** Most of the Sapphire Guard practically embody this trope, at least in ''Start of Darkness''.
** The elven commander also says this about him([[AmbiguousGender her?)]]self
* GoodNewsBadNews:
** Played straight two ways in [[ "They've Had Time to Train, Too"]].
** Roy plays with it in [[ "All Available Resources"]] by having the good news and bad news being the same. It's all in the intonation.
%%* GoodPowersBadPeople
* GoodWingsEvilWings: Celia, Sabine, and the Celestials and Devils seen from time to time.
* GoOutWithASmile:
** Lord Shojo, when Miko [[FallenHero Falls]] as a result of fatally wounding him and he takes this as a sign that the gods approve of what he's done. He resisted resurrection in a later strip, indicating he was not too sorry to be dead.
** Miko herself dies with a smile, on being told that Windstriker, her horse (and only friend) will visit her in the afterlife even though she has failed to redeem herself.
** Lord Kubota, if only because he's unexpectedly killed in the middle of his EvilGloating.
** Therkla, [[ here,]] thanks to DiedInYourArmsTonight.
** [[spoiler:[[ Durkon]]]], with a TearfulSmile because "[[spoiler:...I get ta go home.]]"
* GoryDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:Tsukiko]]'s death is a SoundOnlyDeath in which all we see is four panels of the killer watching impassively over dwindling cries of pain and horror. [[JustDeserts And crunching noises.]]
* GoThroughMe: When Elan tries to shield a heavily wounded Roy from [[spoiler:Tarquin, Tarquin checks he has enough hit points to survive it]] and then stabs Elan so hard that the sword [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice passes right through Elan's body]] and into Roy. Taking the trope rather literally, there.
* GoYeHeroesGoAndDie: Elan's RousingSpeech prior to the Battle of Azure City.
* GunshipRescue: [[spoiler:Julio Scoundrél gives the heroes an Airship Rescue when Tarquin has them on the ropes.]]
* GrapesOfLuxury: While [[ "Checking In"]], Miko sarcastically suggests that the gang take in the luxury of being fanned and fed grapes. Haley tries to get that arranged, and is a bit annoyed to find that Roy gets the treatment [[ later]].
* GravityIsAHarshMistress:
** In [[ "Battle Momentum"]], a Death Knight keeps travelling forwards until he looks down and notices his mount has been Disintegrated out from under him. Lampshaded by V:
--->'''Vaarsuvius:''' [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadrunner Wile E. Coyote]]'s Law of Cartoon Inertia: Objects in motion tend to stay at the same altitude until gravity is noticed.
** In [[ "Block and Tackle"]], Tarquin and Vaarsuvius can exchange a few words before V decides to use Feather Fall on Haley, and she has yet to hit the ground.
** In [[ "Holy Enunciation"]], Elan has the time to rejoice having found Durkon, and then notice Sabine isn't holding him anymore ("Uh oh"), before falling.
* GreenAroundTheGills:
** [[ Happens to a motion-sick Roy]], immediately followed by a VomitIndiscretionShot.
** Earlier, Roy has the same reaction from seeing Belkar's [[ tortilla chips with salsa (extra chunky)]].
** Belkar inspires this again, this time to Durkon, with [[ another creative use]] of the Linear Guild's kobold's head.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: Roy breaks a potion vial in Thog's face during the gladiator match. Ian Starshine, who sold him the potion, wonders if he [[TheScrooge should have charged him extra]] for a single-use ImprovisedWeapon.
* GroinAttack:
** Most noticeably in the "pin [[spoiler:Roy's corpse]]" comic.
** Lampshaded, [[ naturally]]:
--->'''Belkar:''' How about nut shots? Crowds '''love''' nut shots. [[Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos Saget]] was on the air for like 8 years.
* GroupHug: Thog is denied one in [[ "We All Just Want to be Held Sometimes"]]. Poor Thog.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Unfortunately for Elan and Haley, Tarquin is DangerouslyGenreSavvy and [[ he makes sure the guards are too]].
-->'''Guard Instruction Manual:''' We do not have surprise inspections. Ever. Those inspectors in front of you? They're intruders. Get them.

* HalfBreedDiscrimination: Therkla the half-orc seems to have suffered some of this.
* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Lizardfolks in general.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: [[spoiler:Miko Miyazaki]], [[CloseupOnHead revealed at the end]] of a conversation she has with [[spoiler:Soon's ghost]] as she lies dying. Luckily this saves her from the fate of being [[spoiler:raised as a death knight by Tsukiko.]]
* {{Hammerspace}}: Any of the weapons or gear that don't [[SticksToTheBack Stick to the Back]].
** Notably, Belkar had a lead sheet he stored in hammerspace. He used it to block DetectEvil spells. And to [[CrowningMomentOfFunny bonk Miko on the head]]. [[ It's a multipurpose lead sheet.]]
* HandWave: In [[ "Little Brother"]] ('''major spoilers'''), [[spoiler:Malack gets around the three-day burial normally required to raise a vampire]] with an "obscure spell that I have unearthed in the course of my research." Given the WebcomicTime that would have been involved otherwise, [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality this is probably a blessing.]]
* HandyFeet: Out-of-action with a broken arm, Haley manages to pull off an important shot lying down and holding the bow with her foot.
* HardWorkHardlyWorks: [[ As of always, lampshaded]] when Elan considers multiclassing to wizard.
-->'''Elan:''' It's true what they say: "Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right now!"
* HarmfulToMinors: [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius']] children are targeted by an enemy, their legs broken, and their parent crucified. And then their other parent comes in, possessed, and ''tears the enemy apart from the inside.''
* HarsherInHindsight:[[invoked]]
** InUniverse -- Vaarsuvius' suggestion to Malack that he adopt children (citing the many orphans that live in the Empire of Blood) has become this upon the revelation that [[spoiler:Malack is a vampire.]]
** [[ The T-shirt]] of Durkon turning [[Literature/{{Twilight}} a vampire]] has become this now that [[spoiler:Durkon has become a vampire]].
** For the same reason, [[spoiler:Durkon's tears of joy over the prophesy that he will get to return home "posthumously."]]
* HateAtFirstSight: Crystal and Haley immediately despised each other after their first meeting. One comment about shoes and one comment about hair and the two are instantly willing to kill each other. Notably, this makes Crystal Haley's rival, meaning she'll always be at at least the same level as Haley if not higher.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: [[spoiler:Redcloak kills Tsukiko when she threatens to reveal the details of Redcloak's plans to Xykon.]]
* HeadTiltinglyKinky: From [[ #789]], when the Order needs an excuse to confer in private without Tarquin listening in.
-->'''Elan:''' [[spoiler:Uh, Dad?]] Haley and I need to go... uh... have sex.\\
'''Tarquin:''' Well, you'll miss the big fight, but you do what you need to do.\\
'''Haley:''' Come on, V. And bring the cat, just in case.\\
'''Tarquin:''' ...Huh.
* HeadTurnedBackwards: Sabine's only reaction to a NeckSnap from Miko is to make a mildly annoyed comment while standing there with her head facing the wrong way.
* HearingVoices:
** Haley while her mind is fractionning into different aspects of her personality.
** Vaarsuvius under the Soul Splice hears the whispers of the three evil spellcasters.
* HeartSymbol:
** A single red heart for Elan and Haley's first kiss, in [[ "Your Ship Has Come In"]].
** Elan and Haley get another heart symbol for their first kiss after [[NeverSplitTheParty the group split up.]]
** When [[MauveShirt Kazumi and Daigo]] share their wedding kiss in [[ strip #501]], they each get a HeartSymbol. Like [[SinglePaletteTown everything else from Azure City]], the hearts are blue.
** Normal pink hearts accompany Belkar's seduction of a female bard in [[ #611]].
* HeavenlyBlue: From Durkon's Holy Word to Devas.
* HehHehYouSaidX: [[ "Delayed Gratification"]]. Look at the bottom-left panel.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler:The Reptilian Ambassador]] tries to reveal evidence of General Tarquin's conspiracy to the Empress of Blood, and is KilledMidSentence by one of Tarquin's allies.
* HellHound: One of the remaining magic traps in Girard's ziggurat summons a giant hell hound.
* JustForFun/{{Hello}}. MyNameIsInigoMontoya. YouKilledMyFather. PrepareToDie. All of which are [[ invoked here]] as a ShoutOut to the original.
* HereditaryCurse: Eugene Greenhilt made a Blood Oath that neither he nor his descendants would be able to go into the afterlife until Xykon was destroyed. This curse binds him to his oldest offspring. Apparently the rules of the Celestial Realm give you credit for a good-faith effort, though, which is why [[spoiler:Roy is able to get in]].
* HeroicTeamRevolt: Roy's refusal to go back and save Elan from the bandits has the team up in arms. Even Belkar goes back for him. Roy redeems himself after having a MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment.
* HeroOfAnotherStory:
** Two incredibly badass-looking adventurers in ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'' (one with angel wings and a sword, the other a cloaked figure with four arms) are turned away by Durkon because Roy's already found the last two recruits he needed (Elan and Belkar). As they walk off, one suggests that they go storm the gates of Hell, but the other complains that "we did that last week".
** Gather ye round, little children, and listen to the Ballad of Amun-Zora. TheCaptain of a unit from the {{Undefeatable Little|Village}} Free City of Doom, sent by her superiors to seek help from a nearby warlord to end their seven-month siege at the hands of a rival empire, is betrayed! The troops he sends join the enemy's side and crush the resistance, deliberately killing her husband to free her hand, while she herself is locked away until such time as she [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty agrees to marry]] the EvilOverlord. Freed as part of some unknown scheme by his vile spawn, she escapes to become the RebelLeader, [[AvengersAssemble uniting the disparate enemies of the empire]] against their common foe. Also, she appears in about nine strips of this comic.
** The halfling Frudu is occasionally shown on his mission to destroy the cursed vase known as the [[{{Pun}} One Ming.]]
* HeWhoMustNotBeNamed: Hilariously mocked in [[ "Half the Elf, Double the Fun"]].
* HeyCatch: Unusual form -- Haley says "Catch." while firing ''two arrows'' [[spoiler:at Tarquin. Of course, she knows full well [[ArrowCatch he can catch them both]], but Tarquin is hanging on for dear life to the railing of an airship at the time, and it results in him losing his grip]].
* HeyThatsMyLine: [[ "Shhh! Principal's Coming!"]]:
-->'''Tsukiko:''' "Gate"? What gate?\\
'''[=MitD=]:''' Hey, that's my line!
* HeyYouHaymaker: [[ Roy to Geoff.]]
-->'''Roy:''' Excuse me. I just wanted to let you you know that this in no way reflects my views on the differently-abled.
* HighAltitudeInterrogation: Roy and Durkon dangling the kobold oracle upside-down by a window to get a third prediction, the first two being less than helpful.
* HighClassGlass: [[ Ambassador Gourntonk]] is a lizardfolk with a monocle.
* {{Highly Visible Ninja}}s: The Goblin Ninjas are wearing black against a white background, but the atrocious spot and listen checks of the main characters cause them not to notice them. Even when the ninjas say things like "We're standing right here."
* HilarityEnsues: When Xykon describes how he got his crown, he says [[spoiler:"I stole it from a librarian in Cliffport who -- oops! -- also turned out to be an archmage. Needless to say, hilarity ensued."]]
* HilaritySues:
** Used when lawyers abduct a squid-thingy for breaching copyright.
** Later [[InvokedTrope invoked]] by V to deal with a troublesome opponent who was also a ripoff of Drizzt.
** Afterward, Belkar sues Miko to prevent her from trying to DetectEvil on him. Since she's LawfulStupid, she cannot help but comply to the restraining order.
** [[TooDumbToLive Rodriguez]] then tries to serve another restraining order... on Belkar. It goes about as well as you could expect.
* HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure: Belkar's evilness is measured in [[ kilonazis]].
* HitAndRunTactics:
** A half-ogre with a flail tries this against high-level fighter Roy. Unfortunately for the half-ogre, Roy manages to [[ take advantage of his predictability]].
** Belkar wisely takes this approach to fighting Miko after breaking out of jail. Bear in mind that Miko had successfully taken the entire party alive when they attacked her head-on.
* HitmanWithAHeart: As seen [[ here]], Female!Roy calls out the dwarven hitman on his threat to blow up the inn, noting that all of his behavior so far indicates a NeverHurtAnInnocent mindset. He backs down and admit he would never cause the death of innocents. Unfortunately, the inn gets blown up anyway after Belkar, intent on some mindless slaughter, bumps into the hitman and causes him to light the fuse by accident.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** Subverted. Malack [[spoiler:gives Durkon a great deal of help researching the spell Mass Death Ward. Once it's revealed that Malack's a vampire, Durkon uses the spell to give himself a great advantage over him in their ensuing fight. However, Malack reveals that part of his "help" involved preparing a password that would automatically dispel the spell at his command; after all,]] "what kind of man would help someone he just met develop a means to protect a large group of people from himself?".
** Played straight when Nale [[spoiler:destroys Malack, unfolding a plan he's worked on for years, including using Malack's vampire spawn as rehearsal. Sure, it is masterly done, with just one little drawback: it frees newly-raised Durkon from Malack's control. Nale seems to think that the vampire dwarf will either ignore them or join with the Linear Guild, since he's now evil. He didn't count on Durkon's UndyingLoyalty to the Order of the Stick. As soon as he's past the shock of regaining his free will, Durkon attacks them and kill Zz'dtri, forcing Nale to flee]].
* HoistHeroOverHead: The giant devil summoned by Qarr shortly does this to Durkon while the dwarf is large-sized thanks to ''Thor's Might'' -- [[ and puts him on fire to boot]].
* HoldYourHippogriffs: Used every now and then.
-->'''Tarquin:''' There's no need to run around like a cockatrice with its head cut off.
* HollywoodTactics: Averted. The invasion of the Azure City is based on attrition warfare, but Redcloak employs some finesse by using elementals as heavy units to destroy the main wall, as well as a ninja infiltrator to open the main gate to the throne room.
* HomoeroticSubtext: The gladiator arc begins with the slavemaster warning the new prisoners of "strong homosexual undertones that will never be fully explored" if a stronger prisoner defends a weaker one.
* HonoraryUncle: Roy and Nale have this in common, both referring to their respective fathers' adventuring buddies as such ("Uncle Myrtok" and "Auntie Laurin", respectively). Although when Nale used it on-panel, he was rather sarcastic.
* HookHand:
** [[TheyCallHimSword Captain Axe]] has an axe hand.
** Classic pirate Hook Hand in [[ "The Return of Mail Call"]] (though used as a corkscrew).
* HopeSpot:
** In "Start of Darkness", there's a point [[spoiler:where Redcloak, reunited with Right-Eye after a lengthy period of separation, realizes how much he's missed his brother, how much he enjoys not having to worry about the Plan, and contemplates throwing it all in and starting a new life with his brother. Then Xykon shows up to put the kibosh on the reunion.]]
** Awesome! The Azure City Resistance [[spoiler:has recovered Xykon's SoulJar! Now all they have to do is get it back to their base... oh. [[ Oh dear.]]]]
** Oh, no, Xykon shows up and kills Belkar! But Vaarsuvius comes in a BigDamnHeroes move and places a forcecage around Redcloak, leaving Xykon undefended against Roy's attacks, and Roy manages to kill Xykon -- [[spoiler:oh, wait, it's a LotusEaterMachine.]]
** The Order is finally on its way towards Kraagor's Gate, the last Gate preventing the re-entry of the Snarl into the world, after defeating the Linear Guild, and... [[spoiler:wait a moment, what do you mean with '''''[[ Vampire Durkon is actually a High Priest of Hel that wants to control Kraagor's Gate]]'''''?]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter:
** Tsukiko, no doubt, falling for Xykon's FauxAffablyEvil charm. The poor deluded soul seems to believe that he's hiding a caring heart under a tough exterior. Even the [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Monster in the Darkness]] has worked out Xykon's status as an unredeemable villain. She also believes Redcloak to be a spineless wimp [[spoiler:which is proven false when he kills her with minimal effort.]].
** Going the other direction, things would have gone a lot better for Azure City if Miko hadn't concluded that the Order of the Stick and Lord Shojo were in a vast evil conspiracy with Xykon and Redcloak based on a series of deductive leaps that would [[YouFailLogicForever leave a logician weeping]].
** Elan is immensely reluctant to admit that [[spoiler:his dad]] is a LawfulEvil general serving [[spoiler:(or rather, running)]] a brutal dictatorship... At least, he was until the latter [[KickTheDog kicked the dog so hard]] that he couldn't deny it any longer. [[invoked]]
** Celia as well, as shown by her misplaced trust in the guy who killed his brother in [[ "A Seller's Market"]] and her acceptance of Haley's lies in [[ "A Dish Best Served with +1d6 Cold Damage"]].
** Ian Starshine starts out seeing Elan as evil to the core and doubting any of the Order have redeeming features. He goes on to bond somewhat with Belkar, who he seems to consider less evil than the others.
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Hinted at with Belkar and Elan's comments about Owlbears. "I hope the owl was the male and the bear was the female..."
* HouseRules:
** The verbal component of a spell is its name. The language of the speaker doesn't matter. Thus, Vaarsuvius is able to cast spells with a verbal component only even when under the effects of a baleful polymorph and thus only able to speak Lizard. (The bigger problem is the somatic component, as an elf turned into a lizard is lacking hands.)
** Zz'dtri has a 3.0 edition version of the Fly spell that was house ruled in, which lasts longer than the 3.5 edition version of the spell.
** The [[{{Flight}} Overland Flight]] spell can normally only be cast upon oneself. But in the [=OOTSverse=], it can also be targeted at other people.
** Mass Death Ward, which is normally an 8th level spell, is a 7th level spell in the [=OOTSverse=].
** Rings of Regeneration work a lot more quickly. Normally, a Ring of Regeneration only heals 1 hit point per level per hour. Tarquin's ring can cause visible healing in a single round.
* HulkSpeak: '''thog most prominent example''', but anyone with low enough intelligence score (like most orcs, ogres and a dwarf barbarian) tend to talk this way. Leading to the ultimate example, '''[[ not nale, not-nale]]'''. And, being ''[=OotS=]'', [[ lampshaded]].
* HurricaneOfEuphemisms: During the Empire of Blood arc, Elan and Haley evade Tarquin several times by giving bizarre excuses (like cleaning their pet orangutan) that Tarquin [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow assumes are euphemisms for sex]]. Tarquin then starts inventing his own euphemisms based on Elan's excuses, like "scrubbing the monkey." Subverted when Elan runs out of decent excuses:
-->'''Elan:''' [[spoiler:Uh, Dad?]] Haley and I need to go... uh... have sex.
* HurricaneOfPuns:
** The [[ parade]] in the Empire of Blood features far too many blood-themed puns.
** The [[spoiler:[[ duel between Elan and his father]]]] has probably set a new record for the amount of puns-per-panel.
** The first two sets of [[ incentive comics]].
* HypocriticalHumor:
** Roy asks the half-ogre in [[ "Perfect Combo"]] if it is unwise to try the same tactic turn after turn. [[spoiler:If you don't get it, Roy has been charging, and taking damage for no effect from the spiked chain/combat reflexes/stand still combo, 5 times counting the panel he asks it on. Judging by his expression in the last panel, though, he knew the cliff was there and [[GoodIsNotDumb purposely tricked the half-ogre into leaping off it.]]]]
** Roy and Durkon's reaction to Haley's observation that Lawful Good types have a tendency to bully and try to force people to go along with their idea of 'good' only proves her point. The strip the exchange appears in is called "[[ Case in Point]]".
** The following exchange, when Roy is [[ShooOutTheClowns in no mood for hijinks]] following the news of [[spoiler:Durkon's death.]]
--->'''Belkar:''' Gee, I know this comic can get longwinded, {{but this is|ridiculous}}--\\
'''Roy:''' No {{breaking the fourth wall}}.\\
'''Elan:''' [[LampshadeHanging But Roy, you just]]--\\
'''Roy:''' Be quiet!

* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat:
** [[spoiler:Elan and Nale's father]] remarks this about getting to [[LukeYouAreMyFather dramatically reveal his identity to his offspring]].
** [[ He just wanted to keep the theme going.]]
* IAmNotLeftHanded: In [[ "Transference"]], Nale decides to try his luck fighting Roy. Roy then smiles and tells Nale this was a bad idea -- because he had been holding back the urge to beat up someone who looks exactly like Nale for quite a while now.
* IAmSpartacus: Parodied in [[ "Under the Arena"]].
* IconicItem: Roy Greenhilt's green-hilted sword, which his family is named after and which is the reason he became a fighter in the first place.
* IdeaBulb:
** In [[ "Armor Begone"]], Elan gets a half-witted idea, represented by a ''candle''.
** Later, in [[ "The Cliffport Redemption"]], a (better) idea is represented by a ''lantern''.
* IdenticalPanelGag: Of the separated-by-a-few-pages variant: when the Azurite fleet is fighting against sea trolls, after defeating them once, Hinjo and Elan unwittingly dump them overboard, unaware that scrags regenerate when in contact with water. The panel where the trolls board again and attack anew is identical to the one of the first assault two pages earlier.
* IdiotBall:
** Elan carries this constantly for laughs because he's the [[SpoonyBard bard]]. All of the other characters alternate between carrying the IdiotBall, carrying the SmartBall, and behaving normally.
** Lirian in ''Start of Darkness'' goes through more or less every power she has that WON'T work on a lich in her second duel with the newly lichefied Xykon. It's most likely a way for non-''D&D'' players to be [[LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe brought up to speed to all the powers and immunities of a lich]], but still you'd expect an epic level ex-adventurer would not try using Poison on an undead creature.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace:
** The Perilous Path of Crushing Doom.
** In ''Start of Darkness'' there is "Helldeathdoomfire Volcano".
* IDontPayYouToThink: Subverted when Belkar says this to Vaarsuvius. V angrily retorts that a wizard is not paid to do anything ''but'' [[TheSmartGuy think]].
* IFellForHours: Judging from Roy's monologue, [[ his famous fall]] takes at least a few minutes. ([[TalkingIsAFreeAction But then again...]])
* IfWeGetThroughThis: Played with. When we first meet Kazumi and Daigo, they're [[NominalImportance nameless]] {{redshirt}}s agreeing to go on a date when this is all over, who then volunteer to hold off the enemy to cover Elan's escape... [[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality they sound doomed, right]]? Sure enough, soon afterwards Kazumi is weeping over Daigo's mortally wounded form, saying that he can't die, they were going to go on that date... [[spoiler:However, he gets better due to some LawOfNarrativeCausality silliness, and they end up getting married and being raised to the aristocracy.]]
* IgnoredEnemy: A ninja and a huecuva try to kill Hinjo at the same time, but end up fighting each other instead over who gets to claim the kill.
-->'''Ninja:''' HEY! You got your hatred of all that's good and pure in my contract killing!\\
'''Huecuva:''' Well, you got your contract killing in my hatred of all that's good and pure!
* IgnoreTheFanservice: Roy for [[ Sabine]], although he wasn't entirely unfazed by [[ Haley's]].
* TheIgor: Giro. He isn't a real hunchback, though.
* IHaveNoSon: More accurately, [[spoiler:I have no brother: as Redcloak kills his brother Right-eye to protect Xykon, Redcloak's last words to him are "Goodbye, brother." Right-eye's last words are "Goodbye... ''Redcloak...''" a term that he saw as an insult. His last words were rejecting that Redcloak was his brother at all.]]
* IHaveNothingToSayToThat: Frequently used for punchlines. See [[ "A Is Always A"]] and [[ "Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud!"]] (spoilers).
* IHaveThisFriend: A form of this is used by Roy in [[ strip #944]] when Vaarsuvius asks him for advice. "When I was younger... I knew a wizard." It's obvious to any dedicated reader that he's talking about his father Eugene. Note that V sees through it immediately.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow:
** [[ "Stuck in the Sand Trap"]] goes through several rounds of it about a master illusionist.
** Vaarsuvius also does it in [[ "Also, His Popularity Has Waned"]], thoroughly confusing Elan.
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight:
** Celia attempts this on [[spoiler:the bone golem made from Roy's corpse. [[ Not surprisingly, she gets slashed for it;]] there's nothing left of the original mind in a golem, and Roy's very soul is floating around anyway.]]
** Tsukiko tries this on [[spoiler:her wights when [[ Redcloak takes control of them and orders them to kill her.]] Since they really are just unfeeling corpses bound to obey whoever commands them, it doesn't work.]]
* IllKillYou:
** [[ Said by Yokyok.]]
** [[ Miko to Belkar.]]
** [[ One heartfelt exchange]] between Haley and Crystal.
** [[ Amun-Zora to Tarquin.]]
* IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou:
** Elan does this a few times in his origin story. When he finally "doesn't tell" a Rogue hotelier the precise location of all their valuable loot, and it's all stolen, his Paladin master has enough and rides off without him.
** Thog also does this when he's captured along with Nale, and the Order is pondering how to de-petrify a sylph.
--->'''Thog: ha ha! they not have scroll!'''\\
'''Roy:''' Scroll?\\
'''Nale:''' Shut. Up.\\
'''Thog: ha! stupid talky man not have scroll nale has! ha ha!'''
* ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder:
-->'''Vaarsuvius:''' [[ Damn it, I am a wizard, not a divining rod!]]\\\
'''Durkon:''' [[ I be a healer, not a footstool!]]
* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: Well, a post-death version, anyway, in ''Start of Darkness''. The previous bearer of the Crimson Mantle manifests in spirit form to his newly-minted acolyte, asking him to wear it and learn from it. The acolyte is reluctant to do so at first, because he's not qualified, but his master says (amid the carnage of scores of goblins being wiped out by the Sapphire Guard) that the acolyte is rapidly moving up in the church's hierarchy. The acolyte takes it, and gains powerful knowledge from it. [[spoiler:He later adopts the nickname, Redcloak.]]
* ImpactSilhouette: The Monster in the Darkness "lightly" hits Miko and Windstriker out of a tower, leaving two holes, one human-shaped and one horse-shaped, in the wall.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice:
** Roy is impaled on the nose-horn of a triceratops. He survives, albeit with severe injuries.
** Two strips later, Elan attempts a GoThroughMe defence of Roy's injured body, and the attacker stabs him so hard that the sword passes right through his torso and into Roy.
* ImpersonatingTheEvilTwin: Elan manages to (finally) use his twin situation to his advantage when he tricks a prisoner of [[spoiler:his father]] into attacking Nale by making said prisoner believe Nale was him.
* ImpliedDeathThreat:
** Vaarsuvius gets very annoyed at the rest of the Order while he's [[BalefulPolymorph stuck in the form of a lizard]], and the first thing he does after being restored is to effortlessly Disintegrate a dragon that had been threatening them:
--->'''Vaarsuvius:''' Fascinating. I cannot help but notice that the disintegrated remains of a dragon are indistinguishable from those of a human, or a halfling, or a dwarf.\\
'''Roy:''' Point taken.
** Subverted in another strip. Annoyed about being distracted from [[AmbiguousGender his/her]] research, Vaarsuvius [[ threatens]] [[TheDitz Elan]].
--->'''Vaarsuvius:''' Do as you wish, though I find it odd that one who just witnessed the haste with which I will remove that which distracts me from my crucial research would risk becoming just such a distraction one's self.\\
(''{{beat panel'')\\
'''Vaarsuvius:''' Because then I might be forced to remove the distraction.\\
'''Elan:''' I don't get it.\\
'''Vaarsuvius:''' YOU are the distraction in this case. Remove the distraction, which is you. Remove YOU with haste.\\
'''Elan:''' ...what are you getting at?\\
'''Vaarsuvius:''' Oh, forget it. It would take longer to make you understand than it would to research the next spell.
* ImplausibleDeniability: Haley pulls this in an early comic (must be that Bluff skill of hers).
-->'''Roy:''' So that statue had the gems pried out of it before you showed up?\\
'''Haley:''' Right.\\
'''Roy:''' (''off panel'') And those two goblins were killed --\\
'''V:''' --[[CallingCard with green arrows.]]\\
'''Roy:''' --and stripped of their possessions beforehand?\\
'''Haley:''' Looks like.\\
'''Roy:''' And that treasure chest, with footprints of your size leading up to it, your lockpick still in the lock, and a strand of long red hair snagged in the latch?\\
'''Haley:''' (''standing in front of a sack larger than her, brimming with gold and labelled "Haley's Loot"'') Empty when I got here.
* ImprovisedWeapon:
** Xykon kills the wizard Fyron Pucebuckle by beating the man to death with his own Wizzie Award.
** [[ "thog improvise!"]] -- by breaking a door off its hinges and using it the batter Haley.
** O-Chul takes out a Demon-Roach, Jirix, and Redcloak's right eye with a bar of his cage.
** Belkar makes an angry mob back away from him... while armed with a pebble.
** [[ Potions aren't just for drinking.]]
* ImThinkingItOver: In the second strip, the party is split into two teams, by the traditional method of Roy and Haley taking turns choosing someone. Eventually, Elan is the only one left, and it's Roy's turn to choose.
-->'''Elan:''' Ooh! C'mon! Pick me!\\
'''Durkon:''' Are ye gonna...\\
'''Roy:''' I'm thinking.
* InconvenientSummons:
** While Roy is fishing with his grandfather in the Lawful Good afterlife, the fish suddenly disappears off his hook. Roy's grandfather explains that it was summoned, and remarks that "someone must be having an underwater adventure".
** Haley summons Celia (unintentionally) while she is sleeping. She is angry at first because she thinks that it's her mother to ask why she isn't married yet, but when it turns out to be Haley, that's OK to her.
** In a ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' strip, a celestial dog is summoned just before it could finish the cure for all diseases.
--->'''Elan:''' Are you sure it's OK to summon celestials just to fight goblins?\\
'''Durkon:''' It's just a dog. It be no harm, no foul.\\
'''Fiendish Rat:''' (''summoned by the goblin cleric'') Darn it! I can't believe this guy summoned me RIGHT when I was alphabetizing my spice rack!
** Though not a magical summons, the Oracle of the Sunken Valley can't take a bath without being interrupted by a visit from adventurers.
--->'''Oracle:''' Jeez, I can peer into the murky depths of the future, yet I always seem to get interrupted during bath time.
%% IncrediblyLamePun redirects to "Pun".
* INeedToGoIronMyDog:
** A pair of lantern archons resorts to this kind of excuse when the Monster in the Darkness [[ begs them to hit him with their beams of light]], and they interpret it as some kind of fetish.
--->'''Lantern Archon #1:''' Um, yeah, so, we have to go take care of this... thing.\\
'''Lantern Archon #2:''' Yeah, hu, this thing we were supposed to take care of. Over there. Away from here.
** [[ Elan and Haley go back to their room to give their pet orangutan a bath]]. This is interpreted as an IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow for bonus points.
** And then, having realized how this pretense is getting interpreted and that it's [[ still considered an acceptable excuse:]]
--->'''Elan:''' Uh, Dad? Haley and I need to go...uh...[[InvertedTrope have sex]].\\
'''Tarquin:''' Well, you'll miss the big fight, but you do what you need to do.\\
'''Haley:''' Come on, V. And bring the cat, just in case.\\
'''Tarquin:''' [[DullSurprise Huh]].
* INeedYouStronger:
** During the siege of Azure City, Xykon offers to postpone his fight with Roy so that Roy can get strong enough to [[SpiritedCompetitor pose a bigger challenge]]. Roy refuses. [[UnderestimatingBadassery He shouldn't have.]]
** Similarly, Tarquin refuses to fight Elan -- not because he's his son, but because Tarquin sees himself as the BigBad, and therefore feels that for the sake of the story Elan needs to get back to his existing quest, [[{{Angst}} brooding all the while]] over his [[LukeIAmYourFather newfound relation]] to an EvilOverlord, and return when he's [[TookALevelInBadass taken several levels in badass]] for the FinalBattle.
* IneffectualDeathThreats: Belkar tends to consider any threats to his life as this (and to be snarky about it, too), since he has a high opinion of his fighting skills. To tell the truth, he's been right thus far. There's notably the instance with Crystal:
-->'''Crystal:''' You little twit, I'm gonna kill you!\\
'''Belkar:''' Yeah, and I'm gonna drop a house on you and sing about how I represent the Lollipop Guild. C'mon, let's keep our threats realistic, shall we?\\
I mean, if you said, "You little twit, I'm going to temporarily inconvenience you!" I'd think, hey, she might really mean it!
* InferredHolocaust: Invoked. [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius]] uses "[[ Familicide]]" on an ObviouslyEvil [[DarkIsEvil Black]] Dragon. This spell kills everyone who shares the blood of the subject, regardless of their distance from the subject, along with all who share ''their'' blood. Dragons are ColorCodedForYourConvenience, so nobody really cares about the death of about 1/4th of the planet's black dragon population. The problem is, "[[ the propensity]] for both dragons and humans to [[HalfHumanHybrid breed outside their species is well-documented.]]" [[spoiler:Order Of The Scribble illusionist Girard's surname is ''Drake''tooth ''[[MeaningfulName for a reason.]]'' V's Familicide spell killed every one of the Draketooth family. And as the Draketooths propagated by seducing random bystanders and absconding with the resulting children, all those bystanders, along with ''their'' families, are dead as well. And there's no reason to believe Draketooth was an isolated case...]]
* InfiniteCanvas: Occasionally.
** The most remarkable example is certainly [[ Roy's fall]].
** Also, Haley breaking [[ the third wall]] for a change.
* InformedAttractiveness: Julia Greenhilt is apparently the object of lust for most of the boys her age, and judging by her attempts to flirt with [[NotDistractedByTheSexy Durkon]] she's used to getting attention from older men as well ("[[IHaveBoobsYouMustObey This always works]] [[HotForStudent on my teachers]]..."). Of course, as far as the readers are concerned she's just another stick figure.
* InformedAttribute: A few, due to the art style.
** For example, Samantha or Haley are supposed to be very beautiful, despite having the same basic design as every other human character.
** Similarly, Elan has an 18 charisma in a system where an 18 represents the peak of human perfection. He is ''incredibly'' attractive. Not that we can tell.
** Also, nobody is aware that Haley is wearing long pants until she points it out.
* InItsHourOfNeed: [[ Hinjo does not want to leave Azure City in its hour of need]]. It takes four separate appeals to persuade him. (And then Belkar gets into the act, just to get a chance to insult him.)
-->'''Haley:''' And second, Azure City's hour of need was, like, three hours ago, and you were there for that.
* InLoveWithTheMark: Therkla. [[spoiler:She's ultimately killed for it]].
* InnocentInnuendo:
** Played for laughs in [[ "Just Like on Three's Company"]].
** One from the Monster in the Darkness:
--->'''[=MitD=]:''' Your screws have thumbs on them? Neat! I wonder if they can screw themselves...
** [[ Everyone wants a ride on Hinjo's junk.]]
** [[ At an inn]], Haley and Vaarsuvius share a room, while the guys are next door. The guys can hear them talking through the thin wall, and it sounds like they're comparing breast-sizes, and V asks if (s)he can touch Haley's. The two are actually comparing some gems, and [[GenreSavvy Haley guesses]] that the guys are overhearing their conversation, thinking they're doing something dirty.
* InsaneTrollLogic:
** [[ Tsukiko's stance]] on TheUndead.
** [[ The Empress of Blood]] also gives a good example of Cum hoc fallacy.
** And of the ArtisticLicenseEconomics variety: The couple that owns the potions store where V goes to buy once doesn't understand how economy works... they always charge less for one potion than what it costs. They believe that, by selling in volume, they compensate, but since the only thing they sell is potions, all of them at a loss, they do nothing but lose money. And when V points this out... '''they start a sale'''.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja: When the gods were rebuilding the world, guess what the Monkey god wanted in.
* InstantIceJustAddCold:
** Vaarsuvius' [[ Cone of Cold.]]
** An intermittent effect of Haley's "Icy Burst" bow. It also produces a pleasant peppermint aroma.
* InstantRunes: [[ "I See a Red Robe and I Want to Paint it Black"]]. (Über spoilers!)
* InstitutionalApparel: Prisoners in Cliffport City wear black-and-white stripped shirts. Elan is GenreSavvy enough to know that the first thing you do after breaking from jail is to change clothes.
* InsultToRocks:
** In a [[ strip]], V compares Belkar's mental abilities to a table. V [[ later apologizes to the tables of the world]] for comparing Belkar to them.
** When Belkar comments on seeing that O-Chul survived Azure City that "those paladins are like roaches", one of the [[GreekChorus Demon-roaches]] takes offence.
* InternalRetcon: Forms the conclusion to the [[spoiler:Greysky City]] arc, though how long it will last is unknown.
* InterrogatedForNothing: Redcloak tortures O-Chul for weeks after the capture of Azure City to get him to reveal details of the guardianship of the remaining Gates, details that O-Chul doesn't have because his order put HonorBeforeReason and never violated their oaths to find out. Later, it is revealed that Redcloak has known for a long time that O-Chul really didn't know anything, but has been continuing the torture anyway as a ruse to keep Xykon in Azure City long enough to solidify the hobgoblin regime.
* InterrogatingTheDead:
** Played for laughs; Xykon needs Redcloak to cast ''Speak with Dead'' so he can ask a dead goblin where his keys are.
** Later, the Order of the Stick tries the same spell on [[spoiler:a deceased Draketooth clan member.]] Just as Durkon warned, though, corpses are rather poor informants.
* IResembleThatRemark:
** In the prequel ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'', after Roy claims that wizards put too much faith in magic, his father Eugene immediately proves his point by asserting loudly that magic is perfect and all-powerful.
** In [[ "Case in Point"]], ChaoticGood(ish) Haley points out that lawful types have a tendency to make other people agree with them... or else. LawfulGood characters Roy and Durkon immediately tell her that this is absurd and to stop with the crazy talk.[[invoked]]
* IronicEcho:
** [[ "Pot v. Kettle"]]:
--->'''Xykon:''' Meh. As last words go, I've heard better.\\
'''Miko:''' Meh. As indignant speeches go, I've heard better.
** "[[ ... I intend to betray your principles]] [[ all over the friggin' place]]."
** "[[ Stop]] [[ talking]]."
** Invoked with Belkar's use of "[[ brought upon]] [[ yourself]]" towards Haley.
** [[ "You'll]] [[ live."]] [[spoiler:Tarquin had originally said it to Elan before impaling him to stab Roy. Elan returns the compliment when Tarquin falls from an airship.]]
* IronicName: The prequel book, ''Start of Darkness'', gives us a [[AdiposeRex fat demon lord]] named "Xyklon the Consequential". He is of no consequence.
* {{Irony}}:
** Girard believed that Soon would betray the oaths for some self-appointed authoritarian reason and booby-trapped the location he gave. Given what he says about Serini and the backdoor summon clause in Dorukan's Cloister spell, Soon was the only one who didn't betray the oath.
** Malack greatly helps Durkon in his research for the ''Mass Death Ward'' spell, allowing access to his extensive library and "[[StealthPun spell-checking]]" the dwarf's first draft. [[spoiler:This same spell is later the major factor giving Durkon the advantage in his fight against the vampire cleric. Though that is subverted when Malack reveals he was smart enough to leave a backdoor password specifically so the spell could't be used against him.]]
** Belkar has been a sociopath pretending to have character development into "chaotic neutral" territory. It turns out he really [[BecomingTheMask HAS gotten a LOT more innocent]], and has been [[ pretending]] now to be the same psycho sociopath he had been before.
** Tarquin was heavily dismissive of Nale as a villain and a foil to Elan, only for his final confrontation with Elan to go almost the exact same way as Nale's first confrontation did: with him hanging off a precipice begging Elan to save him. [[spoiler:Only with Tarquin, Elan wasn't feeling so generous due to his twin's recent murder.]] Elan even lampshades it.
* IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow: Elan's father understands a hastily made-up cover story [[ about washing a pet orangutan]] for this trope. [[ And he follows the lead, too]]
* IThinkYouBrokeHim: The last panel of [[ "Easy Come, Easy Go"]].
* IThoughtEveryoneCouldDoThat: Celia designs her summoning talisman to [[ break from energy blasts]], completely unaware that this was not something normal humans could do at will, which leads to some [[ unfortunate consequences]] when Roy fails to use it. She can also detect abjurations like the Cloister spell through the way her teeth tingle. Because she thinks everybody can do the same, she only mentions it in passing, assuming Haley already knows about it; when she finds out Haley doesn't, she actually gets angry about how worthless human(oid) senses seem to be compared to her own.
* ItsPersonal:
** '''"[[ TALKY-MAN BROKE THOG'S TUSK!]]"'''
** [[ "Malack. How's the family?" "HARM."]]
* ItsTheBestWhateverEver:
** Elan has a habit of saying this, usually shortly before the other shoe drops.
*** [[ "It was the best adventure EVER!"]]
*** [[ "Woooooo! Wind Walk is the best cleric spell ever!!!"]]
*** [[ "That was the best day EVER!"]] Wait for the surprise, Elan, wait for the surprise...
*** [[ "I'm not the leader of my team, Dad. Roy is, and he's the best hero EVER."]] Now, Elan, that's very nice to say, but rather poorly-timed....
** Elan is taking after his dad, and together they are going to tell "[[ the best story EVER.]]"
** The Monster in the Darkness can get into this too: [[ "This is the best tea party EVER!!"]]
* IWantGrandkids:
** [[ Roy's mother.]]
** [[ Celia's mother]] too, apparently.