''[[http://skin-horse.com Skin Horse]]'' is a {{webcomic}} written and drawn by Shaenon K. Garrity (of ''{{Narbonic}}'' fame) and just written by Jeffrey Channing Wells. Launched in December, 2007. Within the comic, Project Skin Horse (named after a character in ''Literature/TheVelveteenRabbit'') is the name of a government department devoted to helping the U.S.'s non- and part-human citizens. The department is so underfunded that it only contains six employees:

The story so far:

* "Cowardly Lion": A day in the life of the Project Skin Horse employees as they go to bring in a genetically-enhanced lion.
* "The Borrowers": Tip tries to make peace among the many forms of intelligent life that have developed in the office basement over several decades.
* "Wild Things": Unity urges Sweetheart to go on a destructive rampage.
* "I Can Fly": The team investigates the case of a military helicopter that used to be a videogame nerd named Nick.
* "Dead Dogs"/"Big Bad Wolves": Tip is in charge of a mission to Alaska. Involves werewolves and sapient canids.
* "Tin Soldier": It appears to be Moustachio's turn to go on a rampage. Also features the return of Dr. Lee from "I Can Fly".
* "Brave Little Toasters": Gorgeous and FUNKY mad scientist brought in to repair Moustachio due to his breakdown from the events in Tin Soldier.
* "All The Lovely Ladies": Tip and Konstantin must mud-wrestle. The ladies of SH gather to watch.
* "Come Swing From My Branches": The SH team is mobilized to serve notice to a GeniusLoci, a sentient swamp.
* "If I Ran The Zoo": Unity and Nick are sent to investigate the mysterious fire at The Cypress, while Sweetheart and Tip go to a talking animal convention.
* "Once And Future": Unity wants to be a Notary Public, which coincidentally involves becoming part of an Ancient Order in Idaho, where Dr. Lee is looking into rogue robot sightings.
* "Choose" While Sweetheart deals with issues, two former acquaintances of Nick investigate his disappearance.
* "A Wrinkle in Time": A short guest-written story in which [[{{Narbonic}} Dave Davenport's]] time machine goes wrong, and an infinite number of Arties try to steal Tip's dress.
* "Railway Children": SH and Anasigma (represented by Dr Lee, Violet and Sergio) are both invited to a mobile city of mad scientists and must compete to see which gets to represent them to the outside world.
* "My House Is Me": The team visits a disused amusement park with sapient animatronics, to try to get some answers about the Old War.
* "My Brother Sam is Dead": Dr Lee perfects her brain-dispensing machine to improve human/zombie relations. Skin Horse escorts her to California, where Dead Rights legislation is being enacted.
* "The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day": Skin Horse get back from California to discover that Gavotte has gone stupid, and everyone needs the Basement Dweller files.
* Grillo Parlante: The return of Jonah and Nera from "Choose", who now run a conspiracy website.
----
! Tropes used in this comic include:
* ActionPrologue: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=46231 "Come swing from my branches"]]
* AffablyEvil: Sweetheart's MadScientist creator, Captain Bram. Well, what else do you expect from a guy whose evil plan revolves around adorable puppies?
** [[CanadaEh He's Canadian.]] [[AcceptableTargets He couldn't be]] ''[[AcceptableTargets mean]]'' [[AcceptableTargets about it if his life depended on it.]]
* AgentPeacock: Tip Wilkin, the casanova crossdresser who's also handy to have around in a crisis (as long as he's wearing the right outfit).
* AmusementParkOfDoom: The Little House of Wonders.
* AnalProbing: {{Inverted|Trope}}. Unity once probed an alien.
* AngstWhatAngst: Invoked in-universe by Sweetheart [to Unity]: "Do you '''ever''' angst?" Since Unity is programmed to be a weapon, she may simply not be capable of it--it'd get in the way of her ability to kill things.
* AppendageAssimilation: Anything attached to Unity becomes a part of her; it's hinted that her blood is the "real" Unity and that it's some sort of colony creature. When a town becomes transfused with her blood to cure them of lycanthropy, they all start acting like her.
** It has now been stated [[http://skin-horse.com/2011/todays-comic-795/ explicitly.]]
* ArbitrarySkepticism:
** Sweetheart, a talking dog, has difficulty believing werewolves exist [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=38295#149114 as seen here]]. She later has a problem accepting that a shaman successfully channeled the spirit of a dead man rather than faking it.
** Similarly, [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-564/ she has trouble accepting the idea of]] someone being Possessed.
--->'''Remy''': No, I'd never say anything so absurd to a talking dog.\\
'''Sweetheart''': [[INeedAFreakingDrink Pass me that rum]].
** It's not arbitrary, per se: she's skeptical of it if it's not Science!
* ArtificialHuman: Inverted with Nick, who is completely human, rather than an AI as the team first assumed, despite being stuck in a mechanical body. Played straight with Unity... [[TheUndead Kinda]].
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=46115#strip3 Gavotte politely explains to some nice young ladies why she can order them around.]]
* AttractiveBentSpecies: When Tip is temporarily turned into a werewolf he becomes irresistible to female dogs as well as humans.
* AuthorAppeal: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=37567#strip2 "Let me have this, and later I'll draw Sweetheart in cute little goggles."]]
** A promise [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=39301#strip4 later granted]], of course.
* TheBechdelTest: [[http://skin-horse.com/2010/todays-comic-352/ Cited by name]] and then instantly averted, as Gerda and Marcie really want to hear about Dr. Lee's [[CargoShip "vehicular perversions"]] with Nick.
* BerserkButton: The Macaw Bird does not appreciate hats. Or beards.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Moustachio has an "evil mode" that he could potentially slip into if the parts of himself that maintain his good-mannered gentlemanly nature are disturbed.
* BigApplesauce: Subverted in a big way. The team is based in Washington D.C., but so far their adventures have taken them to New Jersey, Nevada, Alaska, Louisiana, Ohio, Idaho, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, and California. They're a Federal agency, so they have to serve all 50 states (plus territories).
* BigDamnHeroes: Or as Nick says, [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/03052011/ Big Tang Heroes]].
* BlackHelicopter: A modified V-22 Osprey, with the brain of a foul-mouthed gamer.
-->'''Tip:''' We've got a black helicopter! You know what that makes us? An officially intimidating secret organization!
* BreadEggsMilkSquick [[http://skin-horse.com/2013/control-before/ This Comic.]]
* BriarPatching: Invoked by Dr. Lee [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/and-then-id/ here]]
* BrickJoke: The lion from the first story [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-598/ meets back up with Skin Horse]] in {{Cleveland}}.
* TheCasanova: Tip is somewhere between this and KavorkaMan. Tip ''is'' charming and attractive. However, the sheer degree and instantaneousness of his success with women would be mind-blowing even if he wasn't usually wearing a dress and make-up.
** Just as a f'rinstance, this [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=33564#strip6 comic]].
** Or [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=29598#strip2 this one]].
** In fact, Tip's power apparently transcends [[spoiler:species]]. Just see [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=40132#strip1 this]] and [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=40132#strip4 this]]
** It simultaneously transcends [[spoiler:species]] and [[spoiler:gender]] in [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=40137#strip3 this strip]]. [[spoiler:Muffin is a male, and apparently gay, dog.]]
** Still more [[spoiler: cross-species]] Tip-lust [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=46115 here]]. [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Even Swarms of Bees Want Him!]]
** It seems to even transcend [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/memberimages/sh100824cleancut.jpg sexuality]].
** [[spoiler: Artie]] seems to have [[EvenTheGuysWantHim turned the tables]] on Tip in If I Ran the Zoo, though.
** Keeps on [[UpToEleven delivering]] with ''[[spoiler: sapient corporations]]'', [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/the-outside-world/ here]].
* CatGirl: With a little help from Remy, Unity gives herself [[http://skin-horse.com/2013/eventually/ bobcat ears]] in order to resemble a favorite TV character. Sweetheart is not amused.
* CatsAreMean: The various comments and questions [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-611/ Sweetheart has for a helpful tiger]] are met with "I'm a cat" as explanation.
* ChainedHeat: Mentioned by name [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/04292010/ here]], but it doesn't really play out that way.
* ChainedToABed: The friendly werewolf sheriff in Alaska chains Tip to bed so he won't get hurt when the town transforms into man-eating monsters during the night. Tip is a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, though, and very experienced with kinky chicks, so this doesn't slow him down much.
* ChainOfDeals: Tip and the basement creatures, but this upsets the equilibrium they had already established and causes disaster. Gavotte chides Tip later for meddling in affairs he didn't understand.
* CharacterBlog: Nick [[http://zerhakker.livejournal.com/ has one]], which explains, among other things, that he is a practicing Jew. Probably {{NSFW}}, as his censor filter doesn't apply here.
** While the comic is following Tip and Sweetheart in Cleveland, the blog is following Nick and Unity going down to [[TheBigEasy New Orleans]]. And [[spoiler: Unity has seized control of it]].
* TheCharmer: Tip can charm anyone who's female by presence alone, and can win over most hostile men in enough time, too.
* ChekhovsGun; Nick, in the swamp, with a freaking ''buzzsaw''. Yippee kay o, melonfarmers!
* UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}: Most of the talking animals seem to think it rocks.
* ClockworkCreature: Moustachio. Apparently at one point he once had arms and legs, but had them removed so he wouldn't be a threat to the community. Tigerlily installed tiny, mostly-cosmetic arms to him later.
* CloseupOnHead: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=49716#198422 This strip]] consists mostly of head shots, to conceal the fact that [[spoiler:Tip and Sweetheart are prisoners of the crystal entity]] until the final panel.
* ClusterFBomb: Nick, before the censorship software kicked in. Which also paradoxically counts as a PrecisionFStrike for the authors, as there had been no profanity in the strip before Nick's introduction, and little if any since. Indeed, Chris' swearing is censored in the same way as Nick's. Possibly justified, given how much time the D of I crew spends hanging out with him.
* CoincidentalBroadcast: Parodied: Tip tells Sweetheart to turn on the news, and she has to flip past ''every'' news channel to find the one he's talking about.
* CoolOldLady: The Abbess is surprisingly funky.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=38295&name=skinhorse#strip4 As Tip says]], he served in Afghanistan. As Unity replies, that's kind of easy to forget.
* CrushKillDestroy: Some robots say this, [[VerbalTic reflexively]].
* CrystalPrison: Tip gets caught in one when he interacts with the sentient transgenic colony beneath the facility.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Nick's wrongswears. Shaenon works out exactly what he's saying and makes sure the replacements fit the cadance enough to be recognisable. Jeff just writes funny words.
* DidYouGetANewHaircut
* DistaffCounterpart: InvokedTrope, Violet Bee appears to be [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=45107&name=skinhorse#strip5 a female Tip]], but [[spoiler: [[http://skin-horse.com/2012/you-like/ this is just an act]]]].
* DivineDate: Played with and deconstructed. While Artie isn't quite a deity, he is a hyperintelligent posthuman, and as such, it's been suggested, he cannot ''love'' someone of only human intelligence, because love requires the other person be on his level. He can, however, have a lot of fun with humans in the process. It should be noted, though, that this idea was put forth by Sweetheart ''to'' the team psychologist, Tip. Sweetheart could simply be dead wrong.
* EatsBabies: Unity, [[OffstageVillainy reportedly]].
* EscortMission:
** "My Brother Sam is Dead".
** Also, [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/she-helped-people/ "Did I just pick a fight with a woman who says 'escort mission'?"]]
* EvenNerdsHaveStandards: Baron [[{{Unicorn}} Mistycorn]] loses respect for video game partner Nick when the latter trains to be a princess.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim:
** Tip suddenly finds himself going out for drinks with Artie, whose human form is indeed ''very'' attractive.
** For the inverse, Unity appears to have a crush on Tigerlily Jones.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The Anasigma facility, pretty much.
* EvilLaugh:
** [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=35741#strip4 Dr Lee tries to pull this off.]]
** Tigerlily [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/memberimages/sh100410had_been_cut_copy1.gif does it better]].
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Apparently only Projects (like Skinhorse and Pixiedust) get mysterious names. Departments follow a simpler scheme. They have been shown to include:
** Department of Jetpack Suppression: [[IWantMyJetpack Stupid Department of Jetpack Suppression...]]
** Department of Irradiation: They irradiate whatever the home office sends them. Not like...with any end in mind. They just point radiation at it until HQ says "when" and ForTheLulz.
** Federal Office of Giant Leaking Containers: Seen [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=27141 here]] during the "Borrowers" arc.
** Department of Precambrian Defense: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=42601#168313 Currently unstuck in time.]]
* {{Expy}}: Unity is a psychopathically violent GenkiGirl much in the vein of [[{{Narbonic}} Mell]].
** Which only makes sense, as the filename hidden story strongly implies that her brain is a ''clone'' of Mell's.
** And mostly confirmed in the author's notes [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=51431&name=narbonic_plus#strip2 here.]]
* ExtranormalInstitute: Skin Horse itself, and it shares the building with several others (see above).
* ExtraStrengthMasquerade:
** A sentient swamp unleashes a zombie horde on Louisiana, werewolves take over an Alaskan town, and transgenic animal-human hybrids have a mass convention in Cleveland, yet the public at large, ''somehow,'' is still unaware of the rampant paranormal happenings.
** With the confirmation that the strip is set in the Narbonibrane, WeirdnessCensor rules are now in effect. In the filename side story, Sweetheart notes to Tip after he's hired that, "...about twenty percent of humans psychologically block things they consider impossible; they can't hear me. If you were one of them, you'd be useless for this job, not to mention annoying as a coworker."
* ExtremeOmnisexual: Tip. Before meeting Artie, it was "anyone humanoid and female," now...
-->'''Ruby''': ''[a humanoid battle-android]'' I'm married.\\
'''Tip''': Kismet! So was the couple I spent last Thursday with!\\
'''Ruby''': He's a shapeless protoplasmic ur-entity.\\
'''Tip''': Sorry, am I not known here?
* ExtremeOmnivore: Unity.
-->'''Unity''': Yeah! I ate a little old lady like you for breakfast!\\
'''Hooded Figure''': I thought you ate steel for breakfast.\\
'''Unity''': [[CrossesTheLineTwice Oxygen tank]].
* FailedASpotCheck: All-around, but best exemplified [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-757/ here]].
-->'''Unity''': ...I've gotta be the only humanoid being around for ''miles''!\\
'''Hooded Figure 1''': Oh go on, [[RightBehindMe tap her on the shoulder]].\\
'''Hooded Figure 2''': I wanna see how long we can keep going.\\
'''Unity''': [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Noisy birds, though]].
* FakingAmnesia: Played for laughs: When Animal Control shows up to capture Sweetheart, Unity panics and feigns amnesia. She's apparently done this before.
* FanService: One arc requires Tip and Konstantin to mud-wrestle topless for some reason. Don't ask, just get a jetpack and a camera and head down to the river.
* FantasticRacism: The Transgenic Convention is full of intelligent mutant animals and hybrids, many of whom have utter contempt for Tip (such as some surly squirrels, and a part-Macaw woman whose inexplicable BerserkButton is people who wear hats.)
* FantasticReligiousWeirdness: Nick's Judaism becomes a minor issue in his CharacterBlog.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Many of the bad guys are disarmingly cheery.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: Among the transgenic crowd, [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-604/ wearing a hat is a]] ''major'' [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-605/ faux pas]].
* FilkSong: The comments section [[strike: usually]] always features a filk related to that day's strip.
** [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=37285#strip4 This strip]], about Unity literally freezing her butt off, inspired the song "Put On Your Weekend Butt", to the tune of "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" from the musical "Hello Dolly".
** It needs to be pointed out that Ed Gedeon (of ''EverydayHeroes'') writes a filk song ''every single day''. Several other people are likely to contribute one as well.
* FlashbackFail: Unity is prone to this.
* FunWithAcronyms:
** U.N.I.T.Y = Upgradable Necrotic Independent .... [[http://skin-horse.com/2010/todays-comic-299/ "We do not talk about my acronym!]] (Unity herself has decided it stands for [[spoiler: Unity's Nice, I Tell You]].
** There's also G.O.D.O.T., the Genetic Organism Designed Only for Thought. G.O.D.O.T. was used by the military to create acronyms, and then to create ''backronyms'' until it went mad because it was given a project title it couldn't backronymise. [[spoiler: Project U.N.I.T.Y.]]
* FunWithAutocensors: Nick.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Not that you see it, but Nick apparently [[http://skin-horse.com/2010/todays-comic-406/ knows the term]].
* GeniusLoci: Several targets of interest are these. One is a sapient swamp. Another is [[spoiler: the Whimsey Corporation itself. Its mad scientist designer's ultimate creation was a sentient machine that used people as its components; a hive mind whose individuals don't even know they're a hive mind.]]
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Because it's in the Narbonicverse, the "personality sprites" still exist, although the only one we've seen so far is Tigerlily's "[[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=43677 inner fabulousness]]".
* GovernmentConspiracy: Deconstructed. The whole comic is about how terrible real governments would be at this.
** Skin Horse itself isn't really a conspiracy, just a moderately secret government department trying to help ... people ... who need help.
** The ''real'' Conspiracy is Anasigma, which is sometimes what Skin Horse is rescuing them ''from''. (And, according to the blog story, even has [[TheMenInBlack Men in Black]].)
* GratuitousRussian:
** [[http://skin-horse.com/2008/spread-through/ From Konstantin, the assassin of Boris Yelzin, who now works for the traffic police]].
** Konstantin's colleague sings the Russian folk song "Степь да степь кругом" ("step' da step' krugom", which translates roughly to "steppe all around". English translation available [[http://www.barynya.com/russian_lyrics.stm here]], scroll down to the lyrics of the song or use Ctrl+F.) and speaks a few rather decent Russian senteces.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Old War, which apparently took place back in Moustachio's day, and which no-one really knows anything about except that it would be a very bad thing if it happened again. At least for humans.
* GroundhogDayLoop: More weirdness at Anasigma. Apparently a variant on a SavePoint.
* GunshipRescue: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=41196 courtesy of Nick]], interrupting Sweetheart's RousingSpeech.
* HangoverSensitivity: [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/charity-is-it/ "Could you stop blinking? It's really loud."]]
* HardOnSoftScience: Dr. Lee thinks very little of the "soft sciences," including psychology. Tip is forced to show her the error of her ways by using psychology to effortlessly seduce her.
* TheHatMakesTheMan: An avian-humanoid thinks hats turn their wearers evil, and flips out when Tip puts one on.
* {{Headdesk}}: Sweetheart is driven to this when the city of [[TheBigEasy New Orleans]] thwarts her every single attempt to get information on their case.
* {{Hikikomori}}: Nick, before joining Skin Horse. (Or at least he ''thought'' he was. His brain had already been removed and he was living in a simulation of his own dingy apartment).
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Emperor Norton appears as a zombie.
* HitlerAteSugar: "[[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-687/ Y'know who else liked last-panel gags like that?]]"
* HotScientist:
** Possibly Tip, depending on [[HardOnSoftScience your view of the soft sciences]].
** Dr. Lee.
** Marcie, post-makeover.
** Dr. Berenice "Tigerlily" Jones.
* IAmNotShazam: [[http://skin-horse.com/2008/to-that-sole/ When]] Nick asks Tip to name one other trustworthy crossdresser, he comes up with "Metroid!" [[invoked]]
* ICallHimMisterHappy: "You named your tackle The Light of Culture and Reason?"
* ICallItVera: "I'd like you to meet Alice. Alice is a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Official_Police#Commando .38 Colt Commando service revolver.]] A classic."
* IHaveNothingToSayToThat: Tip explains to Dr Lee that this is '''exactly''' what it looks like.
* ILoveNuclearPower: Radiation not only makes things sentient, but also gives them nationalities.
* ILoveYouBecauseICantControlYou: Tip and Tigerlily Jones, the only woman thus far to be completely immune to his "superpower".
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: All the chapter titles are, like "Skin Horse" itself, references to classic children's literature or fairy tales:
** Cowardly Lion: ''TheWizardOfOz''
** The Borrowers: ''Literature/TheBorrowers''
** Wild Things: ''Literature/WhereTheWildThingsAre''
** I Can Fly: ''PeterPan''
** Dead Dogs: ''NoMoreDeadDogs''
** Big Bad Wolves: "Literature/LittleRedRidingHood"
** Tin Soldier: "Literature/TheSteadfastTinSoldier"
** Brave Little Toasters: ''TheBraveLittleToaster'' (yes, it's a book)
** And All The Lovely Ladies: ''Literature/TheStoryOfFerdinand''
** Come Swing From My Branches: ''Literature/TheGivingTree''
** If I Ran The Zoo: ''[[Creator/DrSeuss If I Ran The Zoo]]''
** Once And Future: ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing''
** Choose: The ''Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure'' series
** A Wrinkle In Time: ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime''
** Railway Children: ''Literature/TheRailwayChildren''
** My House Is Me: ''[[Creator/DanielPinkwater The Big Orange Splot]]''
** My Brother Sam Is Dead: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Brother_Sam_Is_Dead My Brother Sam is Dead]]''
** The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_and_the_Terrible,_Horrible,_No_Good,_Very_Bad_Day Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day]]
** Grillo Parlante: ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio'' (Italian for Talking Cricket)
* IncrediblyLamePun: Leo's predictable interpretation of the slang "cat's paw" [[HitlerAteSugar gets a harsh verbal reaction]] [[http://skin-horse.com/2011/todays-comic-687/ from Sweetheart.]]
** Where did Ms. Gavotte the sentient bee swarm and Oracle the transcendentally enlightened Speak & Spell meet? [[http://skin-horse.com/2010/todays-comic-291/ Guess.]]
** So Unity's fox-skin hat leaves because it's [[spoiler: actually a zombie]]. So where did it go? [[http://skin-horse.com/2011/todays-comic-506/ On ahead, of course.]]
* InformedAttribute: Many readers don't find Cunningham the pig nearly the RidiculouslyCuteCritter he's supposed to be.
* InsistentTerminology: The people of the "Department of Irradiation", they're not "mad scientists" (in-universe a DSM-IV disorder), but just "irresponsible".
* InstantSeduction: Tip does these. It's like a superpower.
* IronicEchoCut: All the time! This is pure AuthorAppeal.
* ItAmusedMe: Sweetheart theorizes this as the reason that [[spoiler: Gavotte engineered events to get the department closed]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=48036#191048 Nick's heart is strong and full of love!]]
* KavorkaMan: See Casanova above.
* KillerRabbit: Sweetheart and her packmates. Or at least that was the plan...
** The mad scientist who created her could also apply. Aside from this whole "take over the world with sentient sled dogs" thing, he was the nicest, most politely Canadian guy you could ever meet. Turned [[UpToEleven up to about seven hundred fifty three]].
* TheLadette: Unity.
** And now Nick as well... [[http://skin-horse.com/2013/just-her-and/ Sort of.]]
* LadykillerInLove: Tip has fallen hard for Dr. Jones.
* LetsGetDangerous: Tip swinging into ass-kicking mode.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: Skin Horse refers to a character in ''Literature/TheVelveteenRabbit''.
* LostInTransmission: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=48352#192344 This]] guest strip.
* LotusEaterMachine: Until the illusion was forcibly shattered by the mysterious "Goldbug," Nick thought he was living in his apartment, testing simulations for military hardware, rather than actually ''being'' military hardware.
* MacGyvering: Tigerlily can [[OurWormholesAreDifferent break the rules of space-time]] using only springs.
* MadScientist: Genuine mad scientists are usually kept under lock and key whenever possible; the majority of the scientists-who-tamper-in-God's-domain that have been featured (like Dr. Lee, or the Irradiators) are "irresponsible" or just plain evil rather than clinically insane. Also the numerous and often defective results of mad science have repeatedly been encountered.
** Apparently there's a government work-release program for mad scientists, which is how the team calls in Dr. Jones.
* ManIFeelLikeAWoman: Apparently averted. [[spoiler: Despite Nick's perversion, he does not seem particularly intrigued by his "Violet" chassis. That may have something to do with a lack of nipples.]]
* MarshmallowDream: Unity describes an inverted one [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/10142011/ here]].
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Remy might have channeled the spirit of the dead groom of the swamp, or he might have faked it in a moment of desperation.
* MediumAwareness: Seen on [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=43679 this page]].
* MeetMyGoodFriendsLeftyAndRighty: Konstantine: "[[http://skin-horse.com/2010/todays-comic-185/ My biceps have clever names.]] [[http://skin-horse.com/2010/todays-comic-357/ Are you wishing to hear?]]"
* TheMenInBlack: Subverted/deconstructed with a vengeance. Yes, they work for the government, and yes, they are tangentially involved in maintaining TheMasquerade, but ''Skin Horse'' functions more as "Black Ops Social Services". Instead of neuralizers, black suits, and evil motives, ''Skin Horse'' makes due with a wind-up receptionist, a cross-dressing psychologist, and under-funded placement programs. There are other forces at work with more sinister motives, however, and their results often provide the project with even more work to do. But played completely straight by the sinister agents of Anasigma, right down to their perfectly-shined black shoes.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: In a better world, Dr. Lee wouldn't even be in the business of creating horrible sentient weapons out of people. She tries an EvilLaugh once and fails at it. She also has a confused motherly affection for her creations, even if they don't return it.
* MoodWhiplash: The Alaskan Werewolves are downright ''terrifying'', and the comic gets the goriest it's ever gotten when they show up. It also has a BittersweetEnding for that arc.
* MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong: Front Desk Guard Konstantin is mostly made out of this trope with assorted other Russian stereotypes as garnishes.
* MrAltDisney: PosthumousCharacter Dr Collodi seems to be turning out to be one of these.
* MudWrestling: [[MrFanservice Tip and Konstantin]] attract quite a large audience of ladies who want to watch them wrestle. Tip defuses the fight with his much-vaunted diplomacy, then the ladies are the ones who wind up doing the actual mud-fighting. Nick curses himself for not being present.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Everything related to the Notary Public, which is basically a religious order, complete with sacred relics, is treated with religious reverence and awe. Special mention to the Abbess, who treats her past as a member of [[GeorgeClinton Parliament Funkadelic]] the way more conventional abbesses would treat a past as a witch.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: On [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=40598 this page]].
--> '''Pack Member 1''': That's why we need you for this crisis! You've dealt with humans!\\
'''Pack Member 2''': And Americans!
* Nanomachines: Unity was revealed to not be the Frankensteinian mishmash of teenagers she appears to be, but rather a nanobot horde suspended in whatever passes for her blood. This explains why she can attach different parts and still have them function; she can even be removed and put in other things (like a goat). However, the body we've become familiar with ''does'' have enhancements that prevent it from rejecting her (which is not an amenity the goat had).
* NiceHat: Tip has been seen wearing one quite often. Women's hats, of course.
** And in a semi-meta example: after Unity ran into a cute little fox, fans [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=47054&name=skinhorse#strip5 collectively decided]] that it would look cute with a little hat on. Shaenon warned them that they'd be sorry to have said it...[[spoiler:and in the next strip, said fox ''became'' a cute little hat for Unity. Ouch.]]
* NoodleImplements
* NoodleIncident
** "Most people don't have '''a''' [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=47472 panda incident!]]
*** Which is also a call-back to an earlier story arc, whatever it may look like to Tip.
** "The worst [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/whole-problem-there/ perversion of science]] ''I've'' seen was with a sonic probe and a '''really''' surprised lemur.
** And [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/04122012/ what did Jonah do]] to ThatPoorCat?
* NoOSHACompliance: Anasigma seems to take pride in defying OSHA with deliberate danger at every turn.
* NotThatKindOfDoctor: Tip is a psychologist, [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=25126#strip5 not a therapist.]]
* OccamsRazor: Inverted [[http://skin-horse.com/2012/job-per-se/ BIG TIME]].
-->'''Unity:''' Either I'm insane or someone is tweaking my pattern-recognition centers with neural waves... City like this, money's on the complicated answer.
* OddlySmallOrganization: Justified due to budget issues.
* OffhandBackhand: Emperor Norton dispatches a seagull this way.
* OhCrap: [[http://skin-horse.com/2012/todays-comic-940/ Jonah really spoke too soon.]]
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Tip's actual first name is Dennis, but nobody uses it.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: They're Canadian. And downright ''terrifying''.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent : Unity's really more akin to a classic FrankensteinsMonster than a zombie in the same sense the word is usually used, but "zombie" is probably easier to fit in a sentence.
** Later a sentient swamp creates a zombie horde of its own in Louisiana. These are mostly just puppets, though, filled with plant matter that the swamp can control.
* PassThePopcorn: [[http://skin-horse.com/2012/todays-comic-859/ Those Notary Monks are enjoying the show.]]
* PeripheryHatedom: In-universe example, Nick [[http://skin-horse.com/2013/new-friends/ claims]] the reason he has a huge amount [[BlandNameProduct Whimsy]] [[DisneyPrincess Princess]] movies on his computer is "because I hate it a '''lot'''." It's [[GuiltyPleasures possible he's lying, though]].
* PersonalityBloodTypes: The blood types are included where applicable in the cast page, although some of the characters don't have blood in any conventional sense. The three who have normal human blood types follow the trope though.
** Tip: O
** Dr. Lee: AB
** Tigerlily: B
* PistolPose: [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/04012012/ On a collection cover.]] Comes close to SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou.
* PlaceWorseThanDeath: For the animatronics at [[BlandNameProduct Whimsey World]], being told they might get dumped in a hazmat disposal doesn't sound so bad, but mention their being sent to Euro-Whimsey, and it must be stopped.
* PokeThePoodle: Sweetheart's "rampage" is tipping over a cup of coffee. She goes on an extended one in New Orleans that's ''all'' this variety.
** Also Moustachio's attempts at maintaining the Machines Union strike. "Have some undesirable popcorn!"
* PoliceCodeForEverything: They have a "code mauve." And a "code plaid."
* ThePornomancer: Tip.
* PrincessClassic: What Whimsy hopes to find.
* TheProfessorIsCryingAgain: Fortunately, the ancient, mystic order of notaries has a special couch for scientists.
* PullingThemselvesTogether: Unity can repair herself so long as she's got one working arm and her head is intact (and as long as she has a needle and thread, of course).
* PuppyDogEyes: The Whimsy bunch uses them on, [[{{Irony}} of all characters]], Sweetheart.
* RealDreamsAreWeirder: In [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/10142011/ this strip]], Unity responds to the Abbess's description of her prophetic dream with an inverted MarshmallowDream.
* ReallyGetsAround: Oh, ''Tip.''
* ReinventingTheTelephone: The {{Mad Scientist}}s of St Charlie [[spoiler: apparently]] send directions to Anasigma and Skin Horse firstly by writing a message on the Moon, and then by somehow sending an additional message to Sergio's watch and Unity's grilled cheese sandwich. (It later turns out [[spoiler: the messages were sent by GODOT messing with the pattern receptors in their brains, and the scientists themselves sent an encrypted puzzle letter.]])
-->'''Tip''': Somebody should tell them we own cellphones.
* ReligiousRobot: Nick has an entry in his CharacterBlog about going to see a rabbi about how he can keep Judaism while being a sentient helicopter.
** He isn't a religious robot, but a religious cyborg, since his brain is still alive.
* RestrainingBolt:
** Nick isn't able to vocally swear, but he can curse in his written blog. [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=35743&name=skinhorse#strip4 He also has an override phase that can remove his free will.]]
** [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=34216&name=skinhorse#strip5 Unity has an override code as well.]] The phrase "blueberry waffles" suspends her aggressive nature as well as giving her a headache.
* TheReveal: On two occasions, characters have revealed important information and then commented that it would have been much more dramatic had their intended audience been paying any attention.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Practically anything in "The Little House" (basically "It's a Small World"), but the ones in the Star Chamber [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/you-from/ take the cake]].
* SapientSteed: Nick
* ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder: Mad Genius really is a mental disorder in this universe. It's a pity that the institute in charge of taking care of mad scientists is, itself, totally out of its tree and in fact makes the problem worse.
** According to the people from the "Department of Irradiation", "mad genius" is a disease according to [[DSM-IV#DSM-IV_.281994.29 DSM-IV]] and they object to being called that way.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Tip shows an amazing lack of self-awareness towards his lack of long-term relationships.
* TheSeventies: Personified in the form of Tigerlilly Jones and her robot, Sweetdaddy Jupiter Velvet.
** JiveTurkey
** SassyBlackWoman
*** {{Blaxploitation}}
** PimpDuds
** ImprobableHairstyle: Tigerlily has an impressive, well-maintained afro, ''despite living in a mental institution and wearing a straitjacket frequently''
** NewAge: mostly appears in Sweetdaddy Jupiter Velvet's middle name.
** OutdatedOutfit
*** ImpossiblyCoolClothes: Tigerlily Jones is brought out of the van used to transport her from the asylum, and once they take the straitjacket off, she's wearing 70s clothes. It is specifically noted that they put her ''in'' the straitjacket in institutional grey.
*** PaintedOnPants
** RebelliousSpirit: Actually, standard mad scientist worldview, but viewed through a lens of seventies philosophy. "Man keeps me down! Man keeps me from conquering the world!"
** TheHedonist
* SeriousBusiness: Nothing makes GODOT murderously angry like an unsolvable acronym.
* SesquipedalianSmith: Berenice "Tigerlily" Jones.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Prior to dating Tip, Marcie appeared to be scientifically engineered to disable the boners of all but the most selective of fetishists. After she hooked up with Doc Wilkin, the term "Nerdy Hot" definitely applies, and she hasn't gone back since. And it turns out her would-be boyfriend Chris cleans up pretty nicely too.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Tip, regarding Dr. Lee, though she's certainly the closest he's come to a meaningful relationship so far.
* ShippedInShackles: Tigerlily Jones in her first appearance can be seen in a straightjacket on a handcart. Since she is a dangerous mad scientist who can turn anything into a deadly robot, this is mostly justified; in this continuity, people with that condition can make death rays out of X-Box remotes.
** Forget death rays -- she built a freakin' [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=44488#strip6 wind-up quantum wormhole generator]] out of ''wire coathangers!''
* ShoutOut:
** In the Silverfish Arc there is a fish with legs Manga/{{Gyo}}
** A number to ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' and [[Literature/LandOfOz its sequels]], as seen in arc titles like "Cowardly Lion". A list of the characters who are shout outs to ''Oz'' books would include almost almost all of them.
*** Nick Zerhakker deserves special mention--in addition to his last name sounding like "the hacker," which he ''sorta'' is, and [[spoiler:actually translating to "helicopter" or "chopper," which he ''definitely'' is]], it is also a reference to "Nick Chopper"--the Tin Woodman's real name.
*** Unity's sewed together appearance and personality are a weaponized version of the lesser known character and sometime love interest for the better known scarecrow, The Patchwork Girl of Oz. First seen in... ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Patchwork Girl of Oz]]''.
*** Tip is the name of Ozma when she was in the form of a boy in ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz''.
*** Moustachio the aged robot receptionist is a lot like Tik-Tok the clockwork man.
*** The Department of Irradiation wears green goggles.
*** Goldbug shatters Nick's virtual world with a direct quote from the Wizard. Later Gavotte calls Goldbug "You great humbug".
*** The Hungry Tiger gets a nod with H.T., co-creator of "[=AsLAN=]".
** Unity's car has a bumper sticker that says "Rocket Nixon 2008". This is a reference to the webcomic "The Chronicles of William Bazillion", which is drawn by Shaenon K. Garrity's husband.
** A [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=36270&name=skinhorse shout-out]] to ''TheBigLebowski''.
** Gavotte the leader, is the one who drinks the tea in homage to [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Esmerelda Weatherwax]].
*** The fact that she's [[Discworld/LordsAndLadies a swarm of bees]] helps here...
*** She's also a bit Literature/MaryPoppins, in particular using the phrase "spit-spot".
** They borrow a [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-343/ Flying Machine]] from [[PeterPan Wendy]] of the Department of Jetpack Surpression.
** Perhaps a slight stretch, but we also have [[Literature/TheSnowQueen Gerda]], who works in Cryonics.
** Chris shows up wearing an Webcomic/{{xkcd}} t-shirt.
** [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=48296#192112 This strip]] has a quick one to Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress": Cypress is said to "grow vaster than empires and very quickly."
** Unity just ''had'' to make at least one {{Frankenstein}} movie reference. In this case, [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/02112009/ "Fire...bad?"]]
** "Choose" has a number of references to ''SpiderAndWeb'', starting [[http://skin-horse.com/2012/todays-comic-921/ here]]
*** As mentioned earlier, "Choose" is a send-up of the Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure series - including tiny details like the ''exact same font'' the original book series used every single onscreen time Jonah gets "The End."
*** Nera is named for a recurring character from that series, Nera Vivaldi, and Jonah is likely named for the CYOA book "Your Code Name is Jonah," which is fitting since he's the one experiencing the many endings.
** ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'' also comes up occasionally - [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=42601#168313 the Department of Precambrian Defense is unstuck in time]], and "Choose" marks [[http://skin-horse.com/2012/todays-comic-942/ its first The End]] with a little bird going "poo-tee-weet!"
** When Nick arrives to rescue Tip and Sweetheart from zombies with a massive tree-trimming attachment on his chassis, he naturally describes it as "[[Franchise/EvilDead Groovy]]".
** "Railway Children" fearues a MadScientist city that exists as a giant subway train underneath Boston. "[[http://skin-horse.com/2012/really-well/ Welcome to St. Charlie]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_on_the_MTA the city that never returns!]]"
** G.O.D.O.T., the Genetic Organism Designed Only for Thought, sounds a lot like [[{{MODOK}} M.O.D.O.K., the Machine Organism Designed Only For Killing]], not to mention [[Theatre/WaitingForGodot being sought by]] much of the cast for his introductory storyline.
** The last man to remember the Old War (which from the tiny hints given, seems to have been when non-human intelligences first demanded to be considered "real people") is Dr [[Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio Collodi]].
** The Caucasian side of Unity's head has blonde hair in a bunch, the African-American side has black hair in a sort of off-centre afro, as a shout out to DCComics' [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Harleen_Quinzel_%28New_Earth%29/Gallery?file=Harleen_Quinzel_0003.jpg Harley Quinn]] and MarvelComics' [[http://marvel.wikia.com/Category:Tilda_Johnson_%28Earth-616%29/Images?file=Captain_America_Vol_1_190_001.JPG Deadly Nightshade]]
** [[http://skin-horse.com/2008/like-it/ Tip makes a reference to the "Paul is dead" conspiracy theory (he learns it from a secret document he found in the basement)]].
** When the sentient silverfish ask, what they could eat, Tip asks them to " just eat things no one cares about, like the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_commission Warren Commission]] files" ([[http://skin-horse.com/2008/park-a/ read here]]).
** Nick's wrongswears have included "[[Film/DieHard Melon farmer]]" and "[[Music/CeeLoGreen Forget you]]".
** Marcie describing playing a video game with Chris, in which he tried to stop her [[Literature/JohnnyMaxwellTrilogy destroying the ScreeWee fleet]].
** Shelby Silvers, the bald, bearded representative of Annex One Maintenance, could be a reference to Creator/ShelSilverstein.
* SirSwearsalot: Nick Zerhakker, though his profanity filter keeps his dialogue family friendly. [[http://zerhakker.livejournal.com/ His blog]], on the other hand, does not.
* SnarkyNonhumanSidekick: Totally inverted: Sweetheart is sometimes bitterly snarky, but she's supposed to be the ''leader.'' Nick might count, depending on how human you still consider him to be.
* SpiritualSuccessor: A good chunk of ''{{Narbonic}}'s'' tone and themes are present and accounted for. As of May 6, 2011, it officially became a SpinOff and official part of the ''Narbonic'' with the appearance of [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=48680&name=skinhorse Artie (in his human form)]]
* StealthPun: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=40599#strip6 Dogs don't know it's not Bacon...]]
* StockholmSyndrome: Seems to be the case with [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=38967#strip6 Sweetheart]], who loved her creator despite all the crazy things he did to her.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: "I am a totally normal alive human federal agent."
** And in the blog-story, Unity finds two interior decorators at Remy's house: "I should stress here that we are not kidnappers on a mission from a sinister [[GovernmentConspiracy quasi-governmental conspiracy]] or anything." She buys it.
* TalkingAnimal: Sweetheart, Leo, and half the creatures living in the office basement.
* TastesLikePurple: [[http://skin-horse.com/2013/it-was-fun/ "Your words were blue and smelled like bacon."]]
* ThatsWhatSheSaid: Nick's follow-up to Dr. Lee saying, "I can't help thinking we've bitten off more than we can chew."
** And Dr. Lee took her gender-inverted turn when Nick said, "I'm a machine."
* ThemeNaming: Captain Bram gave all his talking dogs ''ridiculous'' names like "Captain's Fancy Sweetheart" or "Captain's Fancy Snugglebuddy." "Captain's Fancy" is apparently their surname.
* TheyCalledMeMad: Remember how mad scientists often shout "Those fools at the institute laughed at me!"? Well, it turns out there actually ''is'' an Institute that trains people to be Jerkasses who laugh at the failings of others. Apparently this is simply to instigate even more scientists to go mad, which they then capture.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: Nick would love to do this, except that with his profanity filter, it always comes out, "This is for emphasis, BRANCH!" Or "BIRCH!" Or "BANDOLEERS!" Never what he wants it to be.
** Unity can do it, though. "I'm the ''government'', beyatch."
* ThisIsMySide: In the blog story, Unity attempts this with Nick's cabin. Nick tries to point out that she's telling him to stay out of half of ''himself'', but she ignores him.
* TooDumbToLive: Some citizens of St. Charlie are awfully inattentive to warnings.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: '''SAMMYCHES!!!'''
* TriggerPhrase: The phrase "blueberry waffles" suspends Unity's aggression patterns. And causes her some pain, judging from her reaction.
* TrueLovesKiss: Part of the Whimsy princess test.
* TwoGamersOnACouch: The lion rehomed in chapter one draws one of these, called "[=AsLAN=]". Examples can be seen in the Sundays. Later, it became subject to a ridiculous parody of CerebusSyndrome with death, tragedy, and (in a jab at CtrlAltDel) miscarriages. That said, it still [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-599/ nets him a six-figure income]].
** Chris and Marcie. Nick would be with them if, you know, he wasn't the game itself.
* {{Understatement}}: [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/in-grad-school/ "There were definitely some gaps in pre-mission intel."]]
* TheUnreveal: In "Railway Children", the WhamLine that [[spoiler: Violet Bee is Goldbug]] is closely followed by the further revelation that [[spoiler: Violet Bee is a robot teleoperated by a person unknown, who is Goldbug]].
* UnsoundEffect: [[http://skin-horse.com/comics/05312012/ SCYTHE!]]
* UnusualEuphemism: Nick is forced into this by his swearword-replacement control chip.
* UpToEleven: Gerda is a "Kinsey Seven, a type of lesbian so profound it was once thought not to exist in nature." (Still, even she can't resist going off to [[EventheGuysWantHim watch Tip and Konstantin mud wrestle]]. Maybe Tip's ambiguous beauty had something to do with it?)
** Bonus ShownTheirWork: [[KinseyScaleOfTropes The Kinsey Scale is a real thing]], which measures how gay a person is on a scale from 0, totally hetero, to 6, totally homo (1-5 don't define the gradation well). This means that a similar scale may be required to gauge sex appeal, so that Tip can be put above the top category himself.
* VerbalTic: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Killotron robots]], who will "destroy" everything.
-->'''Killotron-1''': Happily, we are purged of our old destructive impulses and live only to destroy. And by "destroy" I of course mean "serve obediently without destroying."\\
'''Unity''': Nice save.
* VerbalBackspace:
** Sweetheart is well aware she's the OnlySaneMan of the group.
--->'''Sweetheart''': Sorry friend. That could have gone better. Tip doesn't really have the training for field work. Or the shoes. Sometimes I wonder if being our token human has cracked him even more. When you come to, I'll see that you only deal with the other members of our t--\\
'''Unity''': Sweetheart! Praise me! I punched out these monkeys ''real good!''\\
'''Sweetheart''': With me. You will only deal with me.
** And again when Tip's reaction to her saying "This is a job for Tip" means it becomes "This is a job for Tip, supervised by me."
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Many little {{Genius Bonus}}es about in the strip, sometimes as puchlines, mostly as throwaway references; ranging from the well-know (eg. Milton's ''ParadiseLost''), to the fairly obscure ({{Creator/Winsor McCay}}'s ''Dream of the Rarebit Fiend'').
* VirginPower: The final test as to whether Whimseycorp will accept someone as a Whimsey Princess is the "Purity Test", which leads to the conclusion that Tip is "very much not a princess".
-->'''Cunningham''': In fact, I'd say he's as far from being a princess as one can be without going blind.\\
'''Tip''': This is a sex-negative framing of princesshood.\\
'''Bunny rabbit''': We were built in 1964! What do you want?
* TheVirus: Unity is, technically, a set of nanobots in a special fluid; anything injected with the fluid then becomes Unity. Fortunately for the rest of us, she can't replicate very well and non-dead tissue tends to reject her after a while.
* WackyWaysideTribe: Tip deals with a whole slew of them in ''The Borrowers.''
* WerewolfThemeNaming: Julie Rome (as in Romulus, plus most likely JulieOfTheWolves) and Sergeant Willoughby (as in Joan Aiken's ''Wolves Of Willoughby Chase''). The unfortunate victim of the werewolves also has a Meaningful Name -- Private Hood.
* WeirdnessCensor: It's revealed during "The Little House" arc that most humans have this. Sweetheart's even able to sing Creator/GilbertAndSullivan in front of a pair who only comment on how much she barks.
* WetwareCPU: Nick got his brain attached to a black helicopter because the company that produced the helicopter were too inept or too lazy to produce an actual AI for it.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler:[[http://skin-horse.com/2013/boring-psych/ "Whatever you do, don't trust Project Skin Horse."]]]]
** At the end of the "Come Swing from my Branches" arc, we have TheReveal [[spoiler: that the peppy mediator from "Brave Little Toasters", Violet Bee, [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/todays-comic-572/ is actually an Anasigma spy,]] saying that "We're preparing for war. Neutralizing the swamp creature is just one front"]].
** "After all, I'm the one who [[SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay took off your spectacles]]." Lampshaded by Nick protesting that ''his'' shocking revelation has just been trumped.
* WireDilemma: More on the trope page.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Tip Wilkin is fashion conscious and uses a variety of complex female outfits, but he makes no attempt to appear female. This is some kind of strange self-flagellation on part of the artist, whose ''{{Narbonic}}'' starred four obsessives who didn't always keep track of whether or not they were wearing pants.
** It's more likely co-writer Jeffrey Wells [[strike:torturing]] expanding Shaenon's artistic horizons.
** Emphasis on the ''wholesome'' part too; Tip manages to make it seem totally normal for a manly stud to wear frilly things.
*** Granted, he then proceeds to willfully and decadently [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready seduce most of the female cast members]], so "wholesome" may not be entirely the right word.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Sweetheart fears frogs.
* ZombieGait:
** Completely averted by Unity, unless she's screwing with her co-workers or Lurching For Life.
** Completely evoked by the swamp zombies.

----