->''"In the caves behind my house, I found a softer world. They understand what I had to do for love. They don't believe in restraining orders."''
-->-- '''Narration, [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=3 comic 3]]'''

''[[http://www.asofterworld.com A Softer World]]'' is a PhotoComic, full of dark surrealist comedy and just plain weird stuff. Generally, Emily Horne takes the photographs and Joey Comeau writes the captions. The comics often focus on death, love, loneliness, or other similarly heavy themes. There are few if any actual characters, apart from Baby Doom (now deceased) and a small cat.

In [[StrictlyFormula almost every comic]] slightly cropped or zoomed versions of one photograph are arranged into 3 panels, with a short line of text over each one; the writing is usually divided into a straight line, a {{subversion}} and [[{{Bathos}} an over-the-top punchline]]. A frequent variation will have a second punchline in the [[AltText rollover text]].

Shares a forum, [[http://www.truthandbeautybombs.com/bb/index.php Truth and Beauty Bombs]], with ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' and ''ComicStrip/ThePerryBibleFellowship''.

The strip officially [[https://twitter.com/joeycomeau/status/605353172878684161 ended on June 1st 2015]] after 12 years with ''[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1243 its one-thousand two-hundred and forty-third]]'' strip, but came back for [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1244 five strips]] due to meeting a [[https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/003/893/403/cccd173c5f01d5ca206c061c9b44fe34_original.png?w=680&fit=max&v=1433085842&auto=format&lossless=true&s=d7d520a2056256aece6a70df3dc8011f Kickstarter goal]] for the Best Of book.

----
!!This comic features examples of:
* NinetyPercentOfYourBrain: What if only 10 precent of our brains, we could access 9 percent. Just one percent less, [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1136 how happy we might be.]]
* AbusiveParents: Jimmy, the narrator's boyfriend in 183, is beaten by his father after he hits the narrator during their fight. The narrator thinks that he's [[DisappearedDad lucky to have a father]], and aims to hit him in the fresh bruises during their next fight.
* AltumVidetur: The alt text of 632 is [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=632 "post hoc, ergo propter hoc"]], a Latin phrase that's come to name the logical fallacy of assuming that something that occurred before an event caused that event. It's relevant to the comic itself, whose narrator says that sex doesn't ruin friendships, people do: it's a ''post hoc, ergo propter hoc'' fallacy to say that because the sex happened before the friendship was ruined, it was ruined because of the sex.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: 1220 remarks on it, saying that while there's always going to be someone out there better than you... "But, on the bright side, [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1220 who cares?]]"
* AmbiguousSituation: The girl who killed herself in [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=46 46]] mentioned the main character in her suicide note in a way that could be read as affection or condemnation: "You were always laughing".
* ApocalypticLog: The narrator of 1185 realizes that they're too far from help and that what they're currently saying to their tape recorder are going to be their last words. The comic ends with "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1185 [RECORDING ENDS]]]". What exactly happened to the narrator isn't explicitly stated, but the photo shows a forest, implying that that they met a typical slasher-movie protagonist end.
* AffectionateParody:
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=338 This particular strip]] is a parody of the ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'' formula.
** ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'' returns the favour [[http://xkcd.com/144/ like this.]]
* AllJustADream: The narrator of number 44 would like to see the depressing stories in newspapers end with "But it was all just a bad dream", for once.
* AlwaysABiggerFish: The narrator of 1075 has creatures inside them that go silent whenever the person they're addressing the comic to is near. They note that [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1075 "i have never seen them scared before"]]
* AltText: Nearly all the comics have unique alt-text. It's usually a toss-up if its depressing, or comedic.
* TheAntiNihilist: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=767 767]]'s narrator thinks that nothing matters in life, so they might as well be nice to people.
* BabysitterFromHell: "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=715 Spare the axe, spoil the child.]]" says the text of 715, with the alt text commenting that maybe they should fire that babysitter, implying that they hired someone who disciplines children with medieval weapons to watch their children.
* BadassGrandma: The grandma from 226 writes her grandchild coded letters telling steadily more extreme acts she's taking to escape from her retirement home as though it were a prison, culminating in [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=226 "I made a shank from my dentures."]]
* {{Bathos}}: The main source of the strip's humor is the sudden and surprising tone shifts from dark comedy to absurdity to nihilism and back again within the span of three panels.
* BeautifulDreamer: The narrator of 656 says that their love interest is beautiful while sleeping, [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=656 "But that's not good enough."]] They then request for their love interest to PleaseWakeUp, revealing that it's a far darker situation than the reader had been led to believe.
* BeforeAndAfterPictures: The narrator of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=221 221]] says they have no use for them, since they can't remember starting and they're never done.
* BestYearsOfYourLife: Over a picture of [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=665 two kids on a ship]].
--> "Childhood is the best part of life. So don't worry, kids. [[BlackComedy You won't be missing out on much.]]" (AltText: "I honestly thought the iceberg would chicken out first.")
* BlackComedy: When the strips are humorous at all, its with very dark comedy, usually joking about the pointlessness of life and the inevitability of death. It's also common for the actual strip to be poignant but have darkly humorous alt-text.
* TheCallsAreComingFromInsideTheHouse: Parodied in 1015, where the person is indeed calling from inside the house... about the ad that the homeowner placed in the paper.
-->[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1015 "Are your parents home?"]]
* CallBack: 26 twists the John Lennon song "Imagine", with the protagonist saying that yes, they're a dreamer and they aren't the only one: more importantly, they have bombs, [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=26 truth and beauty bombs.]] Over two hundred strips later, this is referred to again in [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=227 227]], whose protagonist takes a darker view of the original comic. They comment that while truth and beauty are nice words, the bombs' shrapnel is the same as ever and they must live with what they've done.
* CameBackWrong:
** In 668, the narrator buries someone in a creepy ancient cemetery and they come back to life, but different than they were before. The narrator doesn't mine though, as the person was "[[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=668 kind of a dick, originally.]]"
** In 232, the narrator is just irritated by the changes that bringing her dead loved one back to life has brought on them. Her zombie significant other now demands she bring them brains, which pisses her off.
-->[[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=232 "Get off your ass if you're hungry, you lazy zombie fuck."]]
* TheChessmaster: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=364 Subverted painfully]] in 364. The narrator of the strip begins to compare life to a chess game requiring strategy and forethought... Before he trails off and instead says how lonely he is, implying that his worldview of life as a game has driven everyone else away from him.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=65 "and my party was cancelled." ]]
* ContinuityNod:
** The alt text of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=886 886]] ("To drown would be an awfully great adventure!") is one to the alt text of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=221 221]] (to die would be an awfully big adventure").
** In one of the earliest strips, number three, the narrator finds [[TitleDrop a softer world]] behind their house. In one of the last strips, 1237, they find the ''ruins'' of a softer world behind their house, with the comic's tone far bleaker than three's darkly humorous one.
** Strips [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=26 26]], [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=227 227]], and [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=667 667]].
* CozyCatastrophe:
** The narrator of 102 tries to look on the bright side of atomic war, saying it means [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=102 "no traffic in the mornings, no bills in the mail. I can stay in bed with you all day."]]
** The narrator of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=920 920]] views the zombie apocalypse as a great time to get together with someone they're interested in rather than dwelling on the fact that it's the end of the world as they know it.
** 671 takes the form of a broadcast in the aftermath of an unexplained distaste. The narrator warns people that radiation levels are unchanged, so people should stay indoors. They then add, in an oddly sentimental touch for a broadcast, "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=671 And be kind to the people you care about.]]"
* CuteKitten: Used to mock ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudiceAndZombies'' in 427 by supposedly doing the same thing, but with kittens instead of zombies. This creates "PrideAndPrejudice [[RecycledInSPACE with kittens]]. [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=427 No]], Kittens and Kittens and even more kittens, oh my goodness, by Jane Austen."
* DeadSparks: In [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=524 524]], the narrator and their partner have fallen out of love... and the narrator feels weird about the fact that not being in love somehow makes the sex they have exciting again.
* DealWithTheDevil: Parodied. The narrator in [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=686 686]] sold their soul to the devil, but not for money or power or anything concrete. Apparently he just told them it would be good experience, as if it was an unpaid internship.
* DeathByOriginStory: Invoked; the narrator of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=314 314]] says that while they never wanted anything to happen to their parents, "a hero needs an origin story."
* DefiantToTheEnd: The narrator of 791 says that they aren't going to give up and die, even as it seems that their struggles will be in vain. "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=791 I fought my way into this world. I'll fight my way out.]]"
* DestructiveRomance:
** The narrator of 709 admits that her love will hurt the person she's involved with; in the alt text she says that ''all'' romances end up {{Destructive Romance}}s because of human nature. "[[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=709 I love you the way a knife loves a heart,]] the way a bomb loves a crowd, the way your mother warned you about, essentially."
** In 876, the narrator says that their love is both intense and will probably end up killing both of them, but doesn't seem at all regretful of it. [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=876 "Our love is a forest fire]] and we are the little things that live in the trees."
** The narrator of [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1055 1055]] compares their love to a meteor impact and a volcanic eruption, saying that they and their love interest aren't going to survive their relationship but at least they wont die bored. In their view, that makes it worth it.
** In 234 the narrator admits to their love interest that [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=234 "We are terrible for each other, and, yes, we are a disaster."]] They continue on to say that despite knowing that, they don't regret their love even if it is a mistake.
* {{Disneyfication}}: Subverted. The narrator of 528 wanted a fairy tale romance, but [[GoneHorriblyRight hadn't actually read any actual fairy tales.]] The implication is that they ended with something far more in line with the Brother's Grimm version than they wanted, continuing on to say that it's the [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=528 "First time I've ever wished for a disney version."]]
%%* DrivenToSuicide: More than a few comics center around it. Sometimes played seriously, sometimes not.
* DrowningMySorrows: Implied in 707, whose narrator muses that just as we need happiness to appreciate sadness, "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=707 we need sadness to appreciate alcohol.]]"
* DyingDream: The narrator of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=228 228]] realizes that she and her friends probably didn't survive a crash after she realizes that they've spent five afternoons just making cupcakes together.
* EvilIsCool: Invoked by the narrator of 972. Addressing someone unseen, they comment that [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=972 "You aren't a very good person]], but god damn, you make bad look awesome." [[invoked]]
* FairCop: The narrator of 482 is very appreciative of good looks of the police officer arresting him. "[[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=482 I don't mean to seem disrespectful officer]], but god damn. I want, like, three of you."
* FlippingTheTable: Subverting the phrase "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", the preferred action of the narrator of 586 when they can't think of anything nice to say is flipping the table.
-->[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=586 Fuck this table and fuck you!]]
* AFoolForAClient: In 604, the narrator is dealing with someone choosing to represent themselves while under the belief that "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" is a valid legal defense and who is, according to the alt text, eating pizza in the courtroom.
* GodwinsLaw: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=803 Zig-zagged]] by the narrator in 803, who says that "People who compare every petty evil to Hitler...are worse than {{Dracula}}!"
* HappilyFailedSuicide: In [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=158 158]], the narrator found that his significant other was cheating on him, and took pills to commit suicide after finding out. They ended up just making him poop all over their bed instead of killing him though, which he cheerfully concludes is a funnier story in the long run.
* HitlerAteSugar: In the alt text of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=716 number 716]], the narrator claims that everyone knows Hitler was a waiter, therefore making it okay to [[NiceToTheWaiter be mean to them]].
* HopeIsScary: The narrator of 880 is afraid now that they have the chance to experience something better than they have before. They compare themselves to a lion raised in captivity whose keeper left the cage open.
-->[[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=880 "Scared to be free."]]
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: The narrator of 251 takes waking up in the woods covered in blood surprisingly well because in their view it means that they're either crazy or a werewolf... but they definitely aren't a nobody.
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: In 746, the narrator thinks that to make everyone love her, all she needs to do is be herself but with money.
* ILikeMyXLikeILikeMyY:
** The narrator of 1227 likes their witches the way they like their books: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1227 "properly respected for their cultural importance"]], and possibly flapping around a haunted mansion.
** In 397, the narrator likes their women like they like their squirrels: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=397 "Preternaturally intelligent."]] (But not in packs, please.)
* IncompatibleOrientation:
** Summed up in 164. "Love you. Miss you. Wish you weren't queer."
** Subverted in 868, whose narrator clarifies that yes, they're gay...but they're gay for the person they're dating.
* ItsAllAboutMe:
** While the protagonist of 883 does eventually realize that other people have feelings, their main concern is how rough it was on ''them'' to realize that.
** The protagonist in 65 is upset that for the second year in a row someone they loved died on their birthday... because that means that their birthday party is canceled again.
* KillTheGod:
** The protagonist of 244, a young, innocent-looking child who picks up a telephone and asks the operation to put God on the line. He proceeds to threaten God, telling him [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=244 "You're next."]]
** 909 twists the saying "man plans, God laughs" by comparing it to the fable of the hard-working ant who prepares for winter and the grasshopper who just laughs at the ant until winter comes and it has to beg for help because it didn't stockpile any food. That it means humanity outlive God is stated in the alt text, which claims it's like [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=909 "the real version. Where the ant let the grasshopper die."]]
* KnockKnockJoke: Often used, and often twisted.
** The narrator's grandma starts to tell a knock-knock joke in number 30 but can't remember how it goes, leaving her in tears. [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=30 "I can't remember" she says and starts to cry.]]
** Number 732 starts off following the structure of a knock-knock joke, but it's then revealed to be the police knocking on the narrator's door to tell them that there's been [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=732 an accident.]]
** The narrator of 268 relives their boredom by using knock-knock jokes to play cruel jokes on their grandma. They start to tell her one, but when she asks "who's there?" they pretend as though she's asking a serious question and ask if she remembered to take her medicine.
** In number 600, it starts off as a normal joke but it quickly becomes evident that the person has serious depression when they reply with [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=600 "I'm so sad I could die."]]
* LivingStatue: In 138 all the statues in town came to life, but they've all seen enough to know not to show it.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy:
** The narrator of 647 tells their love interest that seeing them smile gives them crazy impulses, in ways they like. "Like I want to step in front of buses, in a good way."
** In 642, the narrator wants kids one day to tell scary stories about the things they and their partner did for love.
%%* MediaWatchdog: Parodied.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}:
** 654 twists the phrase "Revenge is a dish best served cold" by saying that accidentally shooting yourself is proof that its a dish[[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=654 best served by someone with at least a bit of experience cooking.]]
** 662 has an addition to the classic Sphinx's riddle of "What walks with four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs at night?", In the comic, they add an extra line to the riddle "then becomes a burden and gets put in a home?"
** The narrator of 735 either quickly loses track of their metaphor or deliberately subverts the expected comparison. "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=735 I usually sleep in, but not today.]] Today I wake like the Kraken! Weird and damp. ([[AltText Surrounded by terrified fishermen.]])"
* MoralityPet: 955's narrator is addressing the person who they find brings out the best in them and makes them want to be a better person. They then add that unfortunately, that's [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=955 not really what you want in a CFO]].
%%* {{Nerd}}: Some of the "characters". Possibly the author himself.
* NeverLiveItDown[[invoked]]: Parodied. Yes, the narrator of 1194 committed elaborately staged psycho-sexual murders... [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1194 but they also have a dog walking company, why doesn't anyone talk about that?]]
* NiceToTheWaiter: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=716 Subverted and parodied]] in 716.
-->If someone is nice to you but mean to the waiter,
-->good.
-->A waiter killed my whole family.
* NotAfraidToDie: In [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=400 400]], the narrator explains that while they used to be terrified of dying, they aren't anymore. They say it's because, after getting to know the person they're addressing, they feel that whenever their life ends what they've experienced now will have been enough for it to have been a good life.
* NotBigEnoughForTheTwoOfUs: "This town isn't big enough for the two of us. ... Let's run away together!"
* NotWearingPantsDream: Subverted when the AmbiguousSyntax of the sentence reveals this [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1124 not to be a dream at all]].
* OneTrueThreesome:[[invoked]] "Okay, you don't think 'threepover' is funny. But I still want to sleep with you both."
%%* ParentalAbandonment: Played for equal measures of laughs and drama.
* ParentsInDistress: The narrator of 638 is an ActualPacifist, and avows to remain so until either the day they die or until the day someone threatens their mom. [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=638 "I would seriously stab Gandhi in his face for that woman."]]
* PleaseWakeUp: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=656 Please don't leave me alone with our stupid children.]]
* PlatonicLifePartners:
** [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=946 "You and I will never be a great love story.]] That's okay! Let's see what kind of story we'll be! (Ooh! Ooh! I hope it's science fiction.)"
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1113 "but i do want to hang out with you for basically the rest of my life"]]
* PlatonicProstitution: The narrator of 183 hires a prostitute to play hide and seek with him. While she thinks its some kind of sexual repression thing, he just misses having friends who are girls. He doesn't mind paying her, as he considers it worth it.
* ProtocolPeril: "'It's a compliment in their culture.' ... I am never believing anything you say again. ([[NoodleIncident Now come bail me out.]])"
* RageAgainstTheHeavens:
--> "Operator, put God on. Yes, I'll hold."..."God? You're next."
** "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=964 Mm, Girl. Did it hurt?]] When you fell from heaven? For rebelling against God?"
* RemixComic: There's an entire [[http://community.livejournal.com/askatingworld community]] devoted to resetting the comics to figure skaters.
** This seems to be catching:
** ''Series/{{Glee}}'' has [[http://asoftergleeworld.tumblr.com two]] [[http://asofterworldofglee.tumblr.com separate]] ''ASW'' remix Website/{{Tumblr}}s.
** ''Series/DoctorWho'' [[http://adoctorworld.tumblr.com/]].
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' [[http://asofterequestria.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' [[http://asofterhome.tumblr.com/]].[[http://asofterhome2.tumblr.com/]]
** ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', including the general ''Mother'' [[http://asofterearth.tumblr.com/ series]].
** ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' [[http://asofterkh.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' [[http://apirateworld.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Franchise/DragonAge'' [[http://asofterthedas.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' [[http://ahetaliaworld.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' [[http://asofterhungergames.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' [[http://asofterpawnee.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Franchise/MassEffect'' [[http://asoftereffect.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[http://asoftertrek.tumblr.com/]]
** ''WebSite/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses'' [[http://asoftertgwtg.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'' [[http://asofteravenger.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' [[http://asofter221b.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Series/TeenWolf'' [[http://asofterteenwolf.tumblr.com/]]
** ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' [[http://asoftertrick.tumblr.com/]]
** ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' [[http://asofterworldendswithyou.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos'' [[http://aslenderworld.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' [[http://asofternightvale.tumblr.com/]]
** ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' [[http://an-uncharted-world.tumblr.com/]]
** ''[[VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors Zero]] [[VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward Escape]]'' [[http://kiichu.tumblr.com/tagged/A-Nonary-World]], [[http://www.tumblr.com/search/a+nonary+world]]
** ''WebOriginal/{{Fandomstuck}}'' [[http://asofterfandomstuck.tumblr.com]]
** ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' [[http://asoftertransformers.tumblr.com]]
** ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona'' [[http://softerpersona.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' [[http://asoftermadoka.tumblr.com/]], [[http://asoftermitakihara.tumblr.com]]
** ''Anime/AkumaNoRiddle'' [[http://asofterriddle.tumblr.com/]]
** ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' [[http://asofteryamaku.tumblr.com/]]
** ''Anime/PrettyCure'' [[http://asoftercure.tumblr.com/]]
** ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa'' [[https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/a-softer-despair]]
** ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' [[http://a-softer-universe.tumblr.com/]]
* RosesAreRedVioletsAreBlue: ...you can do whatever you want [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1116 to me]].
* RousseauWasRight: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=733 I believe most people are inherently good.]] [[FalseReassurance But overcoming our nature is what separates us from the animals.]]
* {{Revenge}}: You dedicate your life to it...then, the day after you get it, [[{{Metaphorgotten}} you see it for much cheaper online]].
* RomanticRunnerUp: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=259 Second best isn't so bad]].
* ScrewDestiny: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=452 "When I was just a little girl,]] I asked my mummy what should I be? "Fuck 'should'," she said."
* ScrewYourself: "I would totally make out with my clone. If it was okay with her. No pressure."
* SecretOtherFamily: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=802 #802]], although the reason it upsets the narrator is typically a little off.
* SelfMadeOrphan: The main character in [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=734 734]], [[SkewedPriorities so that she can go as a 'Sexy Orphan' for Halloween]].
* SexBot: Subverted; the narrator and their RoboticSpouse actually [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=73 mostly play Battleship.]]
* ShapedLikeItself: The "random strip" button is labeled "fnord"
* ShoutOut:
** To Spider-Man, among others.
** 594 is entitled [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire A Song of Ice and Fire Ants]].
** 443 is titled [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Me fail romance? That's unpossible]].
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=633 633]] references a parody comic of ASW by [[http://xkcd.com/144/ XKCD]]
** "Hell is other people" is the AltText for one comic, a reference to Jean-Paul Satre's ''Theatre/NoExit''.
** Nirvana gets one in the alt text for [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=776]]
*** And again [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=536 here]].
** To ''Film/WallStreet'' in the alt text of [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=879 879]]
** The AltText of [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=653 653]] is [[Film/{{Heathers}} "teenage suicide: don't do it!"]]
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=633 I finally developed a computer with feelings.]] It just doesn't have feelings for me. (It's in love with [[Webcomic/{{xkcd}} Randall Munroe]]).
** And the AltText to [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=658 658]] is a [[Music/TheMountainGoats Mountain Goats]] lyric.
** The alt text of [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=761 761]] is [[Film/{{Airplane}} "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"]]
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=787 To a well known line]] by (supposedly) Creator/ErnestHemingway, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn", and to ''Literature/AFarewellToArms'' in the alt text.
** [[Series/TheXFiles I've seen the truth, Mulder.]] [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1061 Now what I want are answers."]]
** [[Music/JohnnyCash I shot a man in Reno]] [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=991 just to watch you smile!]]
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=799 Geniuses play chess in bed.]]
* SomeOfMyBestFriendsAreX: Multiple times.
** "I'm not racist. My best friend is black. SHE'S the racist one."
** Deconstructed in another comic - having a gay friend doesn't mean you're not a bigot, it just means your friend isn't paying enough attention.
%%* SophisticatedAsHell
* SpaceIsNoisy: Averted [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=816 "This is the way the world ends not with a bang but only because explosions don't make sound in space."]]
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=764 Animals talk to me.]]"
* StrawVulcan: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1179 "I am a being of pure reason."]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=218 "I'm unarmed."]]
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=492 "You and me, and baby makes..."]] [[spoiler: "...life into a series of compromises.]]"
* TenPercentOfYourBrain: The narrator of [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1136 1136]] references the myth by wondering how much happier we would be if we could only use 9%.
* ThereAreTwoKindsOfPeopleInTheWorld: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=648 648]] and [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=784 784]].
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: As a child, the protagonist in [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=67 67]] used an encyclopedia to brain the man who was implied to molest them. "Books can set you free" indeed.
* TitleDrop: The phrase "a softer world" is said three times in total in the comic.
** First in [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=3 Comic #3]], whose narrator is awed to find what they call a softer world in the caves behind their house, whose people understand what they had to do for love.
** It's the alt text of the final comic of the [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1000 1000th comic special]]. That comic's narrator muses that they don't want a world without pain or sadness, they just want a world where those things mean something.
** It's not mentioned again until one of the final comics,[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1237 #1237]], which itself is a CallBack to #3. The narrator finds what they call the ruins of a softer world in the caves behind their house, bleakly saying that "kindness couldn't save them".
* ToHellAndBack: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=666 Painfully subverted:]]
-->"If you died, I would go through hell to bring you back. That would be easy. I'm not sure how to deal with us just drifting apart."
* TransEqualsGay: "No, I don't want to be a woman. What a stupid, limiting idea of homosexuality. I want ''you'' to be the woman."
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible[[invoked]]: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1213 "My dream is to create a masterpiece than no one ruins by understanding it."]]
* UnusualDysphemism: "He overdosed on pills" is just a polite way of saying "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=692 the world got him]]".
* VerySpecialEpisode: Occasionally, the strips forgo jokes to deliver a poignant message.
* ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer: [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=470 "and the guilt I expected never came."]]
* VirginSacrifice: "If I could get a hold of a beautiful virgin girl, would I be summoning you in the first place?"
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: I wanted to have you. I didn't realize having you meant I'd stop [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1094 wanting you.]]
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Invoked by some of the strips, which run on the formula of "Standard aspirational phrase...horribly subverted by the end." Maybe none more than [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=67 this one]]:
--> As a child I learned that books set you free, an encyclopaedia held over my head...waiting in the dark as he crept into my room. ([[AltText long overdue]])
* WeAllDieSomeday: [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=421 "I intend to deserve it." ]]
* WhoWantsToLiveForever:
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=951 "I'm not even sure I want the time I have."]]
** [[http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=934 Living forever would be hell.]]
* WriteWhoYouKnow[[invoked]]: The authors have used photos of their friends.
* YourCheatingHeart:
** "[[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=714 Or I guess I could try to make some non-married friends.]]"
** [[http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=1216 Homewrecker, noun.]]
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