[[quoteright:335:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bad_machinery_174.png]]
[[caption-width-right:335:Left to right: Lottie, Shauna and Mildred.]]

The webcomic ''[[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php Bad Machinery]]'' is John Allison's followup to the popular ''ScaryGoRound'', which itself is a followup to ''Bobbins''. It takes place in the same strangely charming (and charmingly strange) British town of Tackleford three years after ''ScaryGoRound'' and with some of the old characters from the prior comics. See Franchise/{{Bobbinsverse}} for TheVerse shared by all these comics.

It follows a group of secondary-school (for Americans: middle school) kids; The girls consist of [[PluckyGirl plucky]] ringleader-sleuth Shauna Wickle, the endearingly [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} simple]] Charlotte "Lottie" Grote, and [[PreachersKid wild child]] Mildred Haversham. The boys are AdorablyPrecociousChild investigator Jack Finch, [[KidDetective justice-obsessed]] Linton Baxter, and the [[InTouchWithHisFeminineSide sensitive]] Sonny Craven. The kids attend Griswalds Grammar School and get into all manner of capers and hijinks typical of living in Tackleford.

Initially focusing on the group of [[KidDetective children detectives]] as a whole, the stories have begun focusing on and developing one or two main characters for a story's duration. The supernatural elements are toned down slightly from ''Scary Go Round'', though it retains John Allison's signature [[SeinfeldianConversation bantering character interaction]] and [[BuffySpeak unique way with words]], though he's said that the language is less complex than ''SGR''[='=]s, partly because of the younger cast and partly because he'd grown out of it.

----
!!''BadMachinery'' provides examples of:

* Myth/AboriginalAustralianMyths: The Tackleford Beast in "The Case of the Good Boy" is identified as a Cheeroonear.
* {{Adorkable}}: Jack, very much so.
* AdultsAreUseless: Played straight and subverted in turn. Notably, Shauna's stepdad Dan tries to help his daughter out when her coat gets stolen, and Glenys [[spoiler: takes Archibald away from Mildred because [[{{Wendigo}} whatever he is]], he's obviously not a dog.]]
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Mildred and Lee. Lee's one of the rougher boys, but seems genuine in his affection.
* [[AlmostKiss Almost Pash]]: [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20111027 Mildred in detention.]]
* AnimeHair: Lottie in particular (and Shauna to a lesser extent) is very fond of painstakingly backcombing her tresses into a style that Mildred refers to as "huge manga hair".
* AngelsPose: When the girls have Oliver Spain and the twins [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20131024 trapped in a blind alley.]]
* ArtInitiatesLife: The magic pencil in "The Case of the Good Boy". [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Or does it?]]
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20091103 This strip]] where a satellite falls out of the sky. In real life, it wouldn't simply run out of juice and crash straight downwards, would probably partly burn up in the atmosphere, and if it did survive intact, would probably create a crater so big even the spectators wouldn't survive. But this is a comic after all...
* AudibleSharpness: Inverted; [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20110721 Clair's knife]] is so blunt [[UnsoundEffect it goes "BLUNT!" when brandished]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Though brought up to be a GranolaGirl by very liberal parents who tell her to use their real names, Mildred is usually the first to suggest violence or causing trouble. Perhaps it's an outlet, or a form of rebellion.
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Big Sister Instinct]]: Jack's sister Jessica is always looking out for him, even when she teases him mercilessly.
* BilingualBonus: Jack identifies the "Night Creeper" as a soul-sucking [[SlavicMythology creature from Polish folklore]] called the "Odkurzacz". This is in reality the Polish for [[spoiler:vacuum cleaner.]]
* BourgeoisBohemian: Mildred's parents.
* BrickJoke: [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20111111 This]] strip is the punchline to a set-up in [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20110601 this one]], from nearly five months earlier.
* BuffySpeak: The whole cast has a very unique way of saying things that borders on this.
* CaffeineBulletTime: Well, more like Caffeine HyperAwareness, [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20110801 the first time Shauna tries it]].
-->'''Amy:''' Coffee is like rocket fuel for your mind, Shauna. It's very good for you[[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20110729 .]]
-->'''Shauna:''' [[AnalogyBackfire Don't most rockets]] ''[[AnalogyBackfire explode?]]''
* CallBack: Lampshaded -- Lottie writes down that Shauna's obsession with discussing her boyfriend means that she "fails the [[TheBechdelTest Bechamel Test]] (passim)". "Passim" is used in footnotes and references to indicate something that shows up throughout a work or an author's body of work.
* CerebusSyndrome: The Case of the Modern Men is darker and more mature than any of the previous cases, being about an all-out gang war between the Mods and the Rockers of Tackleford. The characters are visibly maturing and developing interests in the opposite sex.
* ChangedMyJumper: Mildred considers this in "The Case (of the Forked Road", but ultimately decides that all they need to do to avoid suspicion in the past is to restrain Lottie's ImprobableHairstyle in GirlishPigtails (much to Lottie's dismay).
* ChickMagnet: Jack. His sister's friends find him {{Adorkable}}. Shauna is quite fond of him, as well.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Lottie's ideas aren't always the best, she has a habit of trailing off into odd things in her jokes and getting up to silly things.
** Jack is a daydreamer and is also prone to imagining and [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20091019 misinterpretation.]]
* ContinuityNod: Several, both to ''ScaryGoRound'' and to itself.
** Mr. Beckwith, the girls' teacher, is (obviously) Ryan from ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]'', and is now married to Amy Chilton. The two had expressed feelings for the other but by the end of ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]'' nothing had developed.
** Lottie mentions that Mr. Beckwith dated her sister before she left for University.
** Lottie and Shauna decide to do their first school assignment as a Zine, using the equipment Lottie's sister had left her at the end of ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]''.
*** Said sister pays Lottie a visit (starting [[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20110118 here]]) and goes shopping with her.
** Mad Terry is never named in ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]'' but can be seen in the background, most notably as one of [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep The Boy]]'s co-workers.
** Amy is still an antiques dealer and seems to still be running out of her shop, [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100224 Bric A Brac]].
** Panel two of [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20091202 this comic]] even is a ContinuityCavalcade. From left to right, we have:
*** Amy's dad Len Pickering, and Amy herself. Although his appearance has changed a bit (his hair is now grey, and there is more of it in his face), Len should be well known to avid ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]''-readers.
*** Judge Soap, a relatively obscure ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]'' character. He is the father of Amy's employee Melanie.
*** Hamilton Percy, the last known employer of The Boy and Mad Terry from ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]''. He also appeared in an early story arc as the victim of [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies Zombie-Shelley's]] craving for brains.
** Shelley's little sister Erin, quite literally PutOnABusToHell in ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]'', has returned to Tackleford. She even seems to have gained Shelley's old job as newspaper journalist for the ''Tackleford Cormorant''.
*** And at the ''Cormorant'', Erin is working together with Shelley's former colleague Mike Savage (who has visibly aged quite a lot since ''[[ScaryGoRound SGR]]''). Shelley's former boss Paula Scruggs is also still there.
** Elodie, The Boy's French exchange student, showed up as a French assistante for the school.
*** Elodie's little sister Mimi is visiting Tackleford (also as exchange student) in ''The Case of the Modern Man''.
* CoolOldLady: Mrs. Biscuits.
* CoolPet: Archibald, for both Mildred and Shauna.
* CrashIntoHello: Lottie and Jack, while each independently investigating the Case of the Unwelcome Visitor.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: [[spoiler:According to Mimi, she and her bullying nemesis Camille have actually been best friends once - until the day Mimi couldn't keep a very embarrassing secret that Camille told her....]]
* DealWithTheDevil: For Linton and Sonny, asking for help from Erin is this. [[spoiler: Given that she makes them promise her a favor and sign it in blood, and was previously seen ''trapped in Hell'', they may be more correct than they think...]]
* DelusionsOfEloquence: Some of the children stumble into this now and then.
--> '''[[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100316 Charlotte]]''': I'm bein' sophisticated, Shauna. Reversin' his psychology.
* DisappearedDad: It's revealed in Case of the Unwelcome Visitor that Lottie's father died when she was a preteen. [[spoiler: This serves as a DisabilityImmunity later in the same story -- she's gone through so much grief already that the hope-sucking monster doesn't affect her.]]
* EgomaniacHunter: A trapper for a private zoo in "The Case of the Good Boy".
* EmotionEater: The Night Creeper eats people's hope.
* FanNickname: Applied in-universe. Jack has names for all the shapes in ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''. And he's written {{fanfiction}} for them.
* FantasyKitchenSink: Continuing on from ''ScaryGoRound'', the world is still full of ghosts, weird beasts, magical objects and strange goings-on. A satellite falls on a football pitch... in the middle of a match.
* FemmeFatale: In "The Case of the Modern Men", Visiting French student Camille plays the junior version.
* FlatWhat: [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20090922 Seen here.]]
* ForbiddenFruit: Mildred ''really'' loves chocolate, as her family doesn't allow her to have it.
--> '''Mildred:''' I'm not allowed computer games...on account of them promoting ''violent stereo tights''. SO IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE PLAY THEM ALL NOW.
* FreeRangeChildren: Most of the time; though in one storyline, with a predator terrorizing the town, the parents do clamp down on the kids' movements, interfering with their sleuthing; and in another, they need to pretend to be at one another's houses in order to free themselves to go out at night.
* FrenchJerk: ZigZagged in "The Case of the Modern Men". Lottie at first thinks her exchange student Mimi is an example of the trope, but it turns out the other French kids hate her too. Then it's revealed that what looks like the standard haughty superiority is just Mimi's defence mechanism from being bullied by her classmates, primarily AlphaBitch Camille. But as the story develops, more and more elements of the backstory come out and you're never sure whose side to take.
** [[spoiler: In the end, Mimi has become Lottie's friend and was romantically involved with Jack, while Camille's personality leaves an overall more negative impression. Little Claire scares her into trying to act nicer in the future, though.]]
* GoshdangItToHeck: Mr Beckwith's "[[{{Bowdlerise}} age-appropriate]]" [[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20130722 adaptation]] of ''Theatre/GlengarryGlenRoss'' has a lot of this, [[ClusterFBomb as you'd expect]].
-->'''Blake/Lottie:''' You call yourself a salesman, you son of a twit?\\
'''Moss:''' I don't gotta listen to this swizz.
* GranolaGirl: Mildred's family is vegan, although the trope applies more to her mother Glenys.
* HeavyMetalUmlaut: An umlauted band, Lünk, was used in a strip discussing a rocker vs. mod war. [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20140603 (Link)]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Colm rushes into a burning barn to help save the troll after helping to set the mob on him in the first place.]]
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler: Lottie has one after the mystery shed gets burned down in the Case of the Modern Men. She quits the mystery team as a result, going so far as to burn her signature puffer jackets and scrapbooks.]]
* HiddenDepths: TrophyWife Yana Kropotkin [[spoiler: turns out to be a expert hacker.]]
** Colm, previously known for being kind of a weirdo, a thief, and a bit intense about things ([[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and not returning DVDs]]), is the only one of the boys to show Sonny any sympathy about his horror at coming into puberty, giving Sonny a delicate and helpful talk about accepting his new, awkward dreams.
* HotScoop: Erin Winters, who has already appeared in ''Webcomic/ScaryGoRound'' as an awkward teenager and [[SheIsAllGrownUp is all grown up]] now. Jack seems to be developing quite the PrecociousCrush on her, to Linton's dismay.
* HotTeacher: Ryan is quite popular with his female students.
** Elodie is a French assistante rather than a teacher, but judging by Linton's reaction she seems to have the hot part down.
** Mrs. Lord fits the bill as well.
* HumansKillWantonly: Shauna seems convinced that this is the moral she's meant to be taking away from [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20111019 this story]], [[SubvertedTrope but the facts keep getting in the way]].
* HypnoticEyes: [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20110721 Lem]].
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: Jack's sister, after he [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100531 comes home with a black eye]] in "The Case of the Good Boy":
-->'''Jessica:''' Jack, maybe I have pushed you round a bit over the years. But no one messes with ''my'' personal punchbag.
* HypocriticalHumor: Oliver criticising the MametSpeak in ''GlengarryGlenRoss'':
-->'''Oliver:''' Rubbish, rubbish, this is ''RUBBISH.'' Why do they have to repeat everything?\\
'''[[YesMan Adam]]:''' Yeah, rubbish.
* IKnewIt: [[invoked]]InUniverse, Lottie had [[spoiler:"Calvin is Grumpaw"]] scrawled on a piece of paper so she could display it with a dramatic flourish it when she turned out to be correct.
* InSpiteOfANail: In "The Case of the Forked Road", Mildred compares the timeline to a spider's web -- able to resist small changes and spring back with only minor deviations, but a sufficiently dramatic event will tear straight through it.
* InterruptedKiss: [[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20111027 Mildred and a 4th year boy during detention]]. Also [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20130905 Shauna and her boyfriend]][[spoiler:when reality changes after some time-traveling, and she suddenly has had one for a year]].
* {{Jaccuse}}: Used on multiple occasions, like [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100915 here]] and [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20131023 here]].
* JustAStupidAccent: Kropotkin and his wife speak Russian-accented English even when talking to each other, even though they [[TranslationConvention presumably do it in Russian]].
* IntrepidReporter: Erin Winters, doubling as a HotScoop. She's better at this job than her sister was, but the kids hate her because she tends to omit their names when she uses their info for reports.
* KidDetective: Refreshingly without coming off as über-competent little master detectives, as is too often the case in this genre.
* LastSecondWordSwap: Jack returning victorious with cigarettes from the Sixth Form common room:
-->'''Jack:''' I got them! I got them! I got the...\\
'''[[SternTeacher Mr. Knott]]:''' Yes?\\
'''Jack:''' ...''sixth-formers opinions on sensible GCSE options.''
* LighterAndSofter: ''BadMachinery'' has a lot of the same humor as ''ScaryGoRound'', but because it focuses mostly on pre-teens there is significantly less cursing, gore/violence, and sex.
* LittleMissSnarker: Pretty much any female character that you can find. Lottie may possibly have been influenced by older sister Sarah from ''ScaryGoRound''.
* LoveHurts: [[spoiler: Colm is a thief and a bit odd with a suspicious hole in his backstory, but everything that gets him in trouble stems from his honest attempts to impress Lottie.]]
* MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight: Upon discovering the time hole to 1960, Oliver Spain and his two friends go through it and [[spoiler:''derail a train'', traumatizing, injuring and killing a lot of people.]] Why? For [[DisproportionateRetribution revenge on a teacher who gave them detention]].
* MessyHair: Charlotte, during the summer holidays. Given her penchant for backcombing, it's not surprising.
* MistakenForRacist: Linton (who is black) keeps calling Archibald a "racist dog", after the latter pounced the former at their first meeting. But Linton's own father has exactly zero problems when interacting with Archie, and later on [[spoiler:he even saves Linton from drowning.]]
* MonkeyMoralityPose: [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20130924 Shauna, Lottie and Mildred]]'s shocked reaction to watching Ryan's terrible band.
* MoodWhiplash: The end of [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20111104 The Case of the Lonely One]].
* MurderTheHypotenuse:
--> '''[[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20120221 Mildred:]]''' All I want to know is if he has a girlfriend. And if he does, how I can ''destroy their love''.
** [[spoiler:And then the girlfriend finds out about Mildred and tries to [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20120524 drown her.]]]] Part and parcel of the [[spoiler:Selkie myth]], of course.
* MyDadCanBeatUpYourDad: The intimidating size of Shauna's stepdad convinces Jack that this is not so:
--> '''[[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20101213 Jack]]:''' All I can think about when I meet her stepdad is ... what if something happens and my dad has to fight him?
* NewspaperDating: After traveling back to the past with Mildred in "The Case of the Forked Road", the first thing Lottie does is run to a newsagent to find out what the date is. [[spoiler:July 18, 1960]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the Case of the Unwelcome Visitor, [[spoiler: Colin and Julian are fighting the Odkurzacz, and other disturbances in general, but Charlotte mistakes their mysterious movements for the movements of the Night Creeper. Both of them are forced to find a new life.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20120907 Mouseville USA]] (and Euro-Mouse in Paris) is a clear stand-in for Disneyland (and Euro Disney).
** "[[TheBeatles The Beetles]]", an influential sixties [[GenderFlip girl band]] with very familiar surnames. They're shown meeting "their idol, Pam Dylan", whose [[FunetikAksent accent]] and style of poetry are reminiscent of poet Pam Ayres (who has said that BobDylan was a major influence on her). Another sixties band that gets a mention is "{{The Who}}m".
* NoodleIncident: "The case of Mad Terry".
* NotAMorningPerson: Charlotte Grote.
* OnlySaneMan: Linton is easily the most grounded of the boys. Same with Shauna for the girls.
* PetBabyWildAnimal: Archibald the {{Wendigo}}. Although he's perfectly (even creepily) civilised, there's still the matter that he'd grow up to be nearly 3m tall and as for his diet, "yak is expensive". He's released to a wild colony in the Canadian Arctic.
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: Shauna and Lottie first appeared in some of the last chapters of ''ScaryGoRound'', which were more like a [[FullyAbsorbedFinale Fully Absorbed Pilot]].
* PutOnABus: Erin Winters has left for a new job in London as of the Night Creeper Arc.
* RamblingOldManMonologue: Sonny coins the brilliant word "[[{{Portmanteau}} anecdotage]]" to describe Grandpa Joe's [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20140414 propensity for these]].
* RavenHairIvorySkin: Lottie. "Grote women have naturally alabaster skin!" And Colm definitely thinks she's a beauty.
* RedHerring: [[spoiler: Colm may be a thief and a creeper, but he isn't the Firebug.]]
* RelationshipUpgrade: Ryan and Amy, friends from ''ScaryGoRound'', got married in the three-year gap between both series.
** [[spoiler: Shauna and Jack, at least for a while.]]
* RetGone: Erin was [[spoiler: sucked into Hell during the course of ''ScaryGoRound'', which caused all the people who knew her to forget about her completely]]. She turns up here, but [[spoiler:the trend seems to have kept, as Ryan has no idea who she is.]]
** In fact, her escape from her predicament was previously explained in an obscure bonus strip/comic. She has also now appeared in [[ScaryGoRound ''Giant Days'']], which is set in the past of ''Bad Machinery'', presumably filling in some of the intervening period with her university education.
* TheReveal: Double layered in the first story, as [[spoiler: Mrs. Biscuits is a "likho", a supernatural creature that curses people, but she isn't the cause of Kropotkin's bad luck.]]
* RippleEffectProofMemory: Averted in "The Case of the Forked Road." The girls' memories of the alternate timeline are likened to remembering a dream; hazy and fading more rapidly the harder you try to focus on them. Lottie doesn't even remember [[spoiler:meeting Grumpaw.]]
* RussianGuySuffersMost: Both Mrs. Biscuits and Mr. Kropotkin have led hard lives in Russia before coming to Britain.
--> '''[[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20091014 Mrs. Biscuits]]''': I come from Russia years ago. In Soviet Russia, you have ''nothing''! Here I have home. Will Russia take it from me? No!\\
\\
'''[[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20091022 Kropotkin]]''': In Russia, I make fortune mining lithium. Initially with bare hands. Then a teaspoon. Other miners laugh! They could not break my spirit. When I feel sad, [[GeniusBonus eat some lithium, feel better]]. After a week, I earn enough money to buy shovel. Now I own many mines. Laughing miners? Today they are broken men, too tough to cry.
* ScooterRidingMod: The 2014 chapter, "The Case Of The Modern Men", involves a resurgence of mod culture in Tackleford, complete with scooters and conflict with local rockers.
* SelkiesAndWereseals: "The Case of the Fire Inside" features a selkie whose sealskin is unwittingly stolen by Lottie.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Jack is the quiet, sensitive guy, while Linton is a wannabe manly man and the only boy who really enjoys sports. Sonny is somewhere between the two of them, leaning more towards sensitivity.
* SeriousBusiness: It's not as if firefighting isn't a really serious business in reality, but in this world, you have to have a ''maniacial hatred'' of fire to be in the Fire Brigade.
* ShipTease: The makings of early-teen romance between [[spoiler: Shauna and Jack]] at the end of Chapter 1.
* ShoutOut:
** Lottie calls the Cheeroonear "the [[SomethingPositive choo choo bear]] or whatever it is."
** A ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' fan has written "fus ro da" on the back of the bus [[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20120301 here]].
** In [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100506 this strip:]] [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets "Dobby!"]]
** The students in [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20111006 detention with Mildred]] look [[Film/TheBreakfastClub familiar]].
** Corky apparently casually cosplays as [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20110812 Naruto]] and Taun's go-to weapon is a [[Franchise/KingdomHearts keyblade]].
** The Case of the Unwelcome Visitor appears (as of this writing) to be a Scary Go Round adaptation of the SlenderManMythos
** Lottie discovers "[[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 goggles de nuit]]" in the [[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20130109 secret room]].
** Mr Beckwith reminds his students about the rehearsals for the school's production of ''Theatre/GlengarryGlenRoss''. A heavily {{Bowdlerized}} version, [[ClusterFBomb one assumes...]] [[http://www.scarygoround.com/?date=20130722 and indeed it is.]]
** Mildred refers to their "triangle of deception" (telling each of their mothers that they're staying at each other's houses) as "En Ra Ha", the MadnessMantra of the driving instructor from ''Film/HappyGoLucky''.
* SixthRanger: Mildred was this for a while, before becoming part of the main cast.
* SelfMadeMan: Kropotkin - see above in RussianGuySuffersMost.
* SlavicMythology:
** In "The Case of the Team Spirit", [[spoiler:Mrs Biscuits is a 'likho', a spirit of bad luck]].
** Subverted in "the Case of the Unwelcome Visitor", where the happenings are put down to a creature from Polish folklore called an 'Odkurzacz'. [[spoiler:There's no such myth; the word is Polish for "vacuum cleaner".]]
* TheSmartGuy:
** Mildred is good with physics and quite clever in general.
** The cast page describes Shauna as "incredibly bright", and she has some surprisingly developed opinions on things like [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20101213 architecture]] for her age and background.
* SpeechImpediment: Claire hath a LITHP, which therveth only to emphathithe her DRAMATIC PROUNOUNTHMENTTH. (But she seems cured of it by the "Forked Road" case.)
* SpitTake: Shauna appears to be trying to hold one in when Lottie talks about Kropotkin's "[[ThatCameOutWrong giant balls]]" (which she immediately clarifies to mean ''wrecking'' balls) in [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20091118 this]] strip.
* StalkerWithACrush: Colm has a thing for Lottie. She just thinks he's a creeper.
* SternTeacher: "[[EyepatchOfPower Mr. Knott]] is a [[TheRant looming mountain of discipline. A sheer edifice of telling you off.]]" Spin-off ''[[Franchise/BobbinsVerse Expecting to Fly]]'' shows his HiddenDepths, however.
* TenMinuteRetirement: When the Mystery Shed is incinerated, Lottie decided to embrace darkness, burns all her puffer jackets, and never attempt to solve any more mysteries. She comes out of retirement a few strips later to avenge the mystery shed. She continues to wear a cape, however.
* TimeTravelEpisode: ''The Case of the Forked Road''
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth: The Night Creeper is destroyed when he eats the ghost of Todd Baxter, "the most miserable rock star in History!"
* TorchesAndPitchforks: Referenced in [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20110301 this strip]]. When the Tackleford townsfolk learn of a troll being about, they start stocking up on pitchforks.
* ATouchOfClassEthnicityAndReligion: There's much more visible class and income differences between the characters than in ''ScaryGoRound'': Sonny is described as "living in wealth and splendor" and his cousin Mildred's family are also upper middle class; Lottie, Linton and Jack appear to be in the middle, and Shauna's family is working class. It's [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20101213 most obvious]] when Jack goes round to Shauna's house. [[spoiler:Shauna's family seems higher-class in the alternate-universe version that appears after some time traveling in the Forked Road case.]]
* TwentyPercentMoreAwesome: [[http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100621 "I like it maybe 63%."]]
* UnfortunateNames Mr. Bough (pronounced "boff"). He's also heard just about every joke possible, so any more and it's detention!
* UnsoundEffect: These appear quite often, such as the boys doing STUNTS! on their bikes, or Amy fixing Ryan's hair with the unsound "fuss fuss comb interfere". Don't you wish you could invoke the effect [[http://www.scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20100915 J'ACCUSE]] when you point at someone?
** [[ScottPilgrim Some of us]] must [[http://smartovercoat.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/blog_1008_scottpilgrim_jaccuse.png?w=246&h=332 say it outloud]].
* VillainsBlendInBetter: The delinquent kids who follow Shauna, Mildred and Lottie back in time in order to "break history" for the hell of it go through none of the confusion or trouble that the girls do. Lampshaded by one of the twins, who asks Oliver if he doesn't find being able to travel through time "weird", but he just brushes off the question.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld: Their investigations are much more local than "saving the world", but the trope is still the thrust of the comic:
--> '''[[http://coilhouse.net/2010/11/monster-as-metaphor-john-allison-webcomics-genius/ John Allison]]:''' The idea of ''Bad Machinery'' is that the supernatural mysteries are a distraction from the real dangers, which are personal. All through “The Case Of The Good Boy”, [[spoiler: the actual manifest danger is how Jack is being victimised through no fault of his own, and he can’t really ask for help. He’s the good boy!]] No one has spotted this. [[SelfDeprecation I’m probably not doing my job very well, am I?]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Shauna gives one to Lottie after [[spoiler: her plan to help the troll find love gets him hunted down by a mob.]]
* WordSaladTitle: If there's a reason for the name "Bad Machinery", Mr. Allison is keeping it to himself. (In social-media comments he mentioned it being from a song lyric.)
* [[WriteWhatYouKnow Draw What You Know]]: Tackleford and Griswald's Grammar School based on the author's local area.
-->'''[[http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=24200 John Allison]]:''' I do draw the school I attended, and the town I attended it in. It just makes it easier to draw people walking around, I know what is round each corner! But my school wasn't co-educational, the girls' high school was separate, just up the road.
* YoureCuteWhenYoureAngry: Lottie tells Claire, "I've never seen you like this! It's just like real white hot rage... but cuter?" (However, Claire's anger was directed at another girl, not Lottie.) [[http://scarygoround.com/?date=20140330 Link]]
* ZettaiRyouiki: Jack's sister.
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