[[quoteright:309:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_between_2652.png]]
[[caption-width-right:309:The main cast (sans John).]]

->"My name is Thomas Blackwell. Years ago, I wanted to be a lot of things. Thing is, I'm a mediocre artist, and not much better a writer. Besides those aren't things people are successful at. Not people like me, anyway... Did college for a while. Turned out to be a waste of time... I think there are some professions where you either have it, or you don't. I spent a lot of time coming to terms with the fact that I don't. So... I'm a clerk, in a store that can't decide what to focus on. I don't know...I guess hope is something for other people. As far as I can see, life is just what happens [[TitleDrop between failures." ]]

Written by a self proclaimed, fat, recluse [[AlmightyJanitor Janitor.]]\\
''[[http://betweenfailures.com/ Between Failures]]'' is a [[SliceOfLife slice-of-life]] {{webcomic|s}} following the (somewhat under-motivated and decidedly sarcastic) staff of a chain music-movie-videogame-bookstore. The primary protagonist is Thomas Blackwell, but it cuts to follow many members of the staff. It's often compared to ''Film/{{Clerks}}'', though up to the second volume, only two customers have actually been shown. The main focus is on the characters and the shenanigans they come up with to keep themselves entertained.

Now has a [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/BetweenFailures character sheet]] that NeedsWikiMagicLove.

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!!This webcomic provides examples of:

* {{Adorkable}}: Thomas is revealed to be this when his guard is lowered.
* TheAllegedBoss: The chain store the main cast works at goes through managers so quickly that none of them ever get the chance to be real bosses, letting Thomas effectively run the whole store the way he wants to.
* AmazonChaser: Ed, as justified [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/138-you-must-be-this-tall here]].
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Nina does this to Reggie hard enough to make his nose bleed after he [[spoiler:tries to provoke Ed into hit him and being fired]].
* ArtEvolution: Fairly quick - by about #65, the characters settle into consistent looks, and after the switch to color at #229, it's perfectly steady. His shading gets better too.
* AuthorAppeal: The girls, but especially Carol.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Nina's brother is named ''Hannibal Solo Grace.'' [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when Nina notes how insane/high you need to be to name your child something like that.
--> '''Nina:''' "It's by the grace of God that he was born with all of his limbs."
* BadassBookworm: It is pretty clear that Nina is a bookworm from the start, but the Nerf-gun fight shows her dangerous side off as well.
* BadassLongcoat: Thomas has one, but we don't see him in it much because it's not exactly store dress code, even the form of dress code that everybody besides Reggie and Wes actually subscribes to.
* BareYourMidriff: Nina, constantly. [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/1256-very-a-lot She doesn't care very much about the dress code,]] and ''does'' like [[StatuesqueStunner showing off.]]
* TheBaroness: Though we've only seen her in one panel so far, Reggie's aunt was almost certainly designed with this trope in mind.
** Both Nina and Mike comment that she is "[[PowerIsSexy terrifyingly sexy]]," to boot.
* BatmanGambit: One of Thomas' primary ways of operating.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Wesley generally acts fairly nicely in the presence of his co-workers, only to reveal that he's a sexist {{jerkass}} behind their backs.
* BiTheWay:
** [[spoiler:Jess]], as revealed [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/1119-undeclared here]]. [[spoiler: Bonus points, because her bio in the Cast section says "If anyone can figure out how to [[{{StealthPun}} have it both ways]] itís Jess."]]
** [[spoiler:Brooksie]] [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/1021-updating gave us a lovely chart during her update]].
* BlindingBangs: [[http://betweenfailures.com/archive/859-alexandria-melvil Alex has short hair with bangs that always cover her eyes.]]
* BrokenBird: Nina alludes to having been through a period of this in high school, though specific details [[NoodleIncident have yet to be revealed]] (though it is known that [[spoiler: it involved something that caused her physical trauma and resulted in at least a couple friends of hers dying]]). She does seem to still have moments of melancholy related to it.
* TheChessmaster: Thomas, especially when you consider that not only does he basically decide who does and doesn't get hired, but the only reason he let [[{{Jerkass}} Reggie]] get hired is that [[spoiler:he has access to inside information through his aunt, who is part of the store's management team]]. Borders on MagnificentBastard, if he could ever apply himself beyond keeping his own little world to his liking. In fact, this was [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the appropriately named strip [[http://betweenfailures.com/2010/05/31/618-magnificent-one/ "Magnificent One"]].
-->'''Thomas''': WHO RUNS BARTERTOWN!?
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Jolene, mostly due to 90% of her vocabulary being made of movie quotes.
* TheCutie: Jolene again.
* DeadpanSnarker: Carol, Thomas, Ed, John, and Reggie. It's a vital survival skill in a dead-end job.
* DecompressedComic: More in terms of dialog than action.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Thomas says his life world turned gray when his last girlfriend left him. The first color strip is [[spoiler:his kiss with Carol.]]
* DramaticIrony: Nina is constantly pestering Thomas and Carol to admit their feelings for each other. [[spoiler:They already did back in strip #229, but can't tell her because it's store policy not to date co-workers.]]
** PlayedForLaughs [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/837-almost-nearly here.]]
* EroticEating: Ed and Thomas assure us its all part of God's (painful) plan.
* {{Fanservice}}: Most of the characters have gotten this at one point or another. Notable in that fan favorites like Carol and Nina very prominently avert GenericCuteness and any insults to their un-idealized builds or features are a good indicator of the insulter being an asshole.
* {{Flanderization}} Jolene Brooks "Brooksie" started out as shy and sneaky with a charming, quirky, subtlety about her that made her adorable in the eyes of fans. Now she's sort of become a little too sugary, giving people attack hugs and acting like a precocious child as apposed to mildly snarky.
** The reveal that her sexual appetite is as strong as any young woman her age has also squicked out some fans (and Thomas).
* FunbagAirbag: Thomas gets this early on from Carol in [[http://betweenfailures.com/2007/09/02/116-danger-zone/ this strip.]] [[WorthIt He's entirely unrepentant about it]].
* {{Gainaxing}}: Deconstructed [[http://betweenfailures.com/archive/660-get-over-here/ here]], unfortunately for the woman involved.
* GeekyTurnOn: Nina wants Harry Potter to [[http://betweenfailures.com/2007/04/07/16-muggle-in-heat/ "ride her like his quidditch broom."]]
** [[spoiler:This happens to Thomas when Carol reveals that not only is she a ''{{Transformers}}'' fan, but a fan of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' as well, with quite the memory for its episodes.]]
* GenkiGirl: Nina and Jolene both have a go at this.
* TheGlomp: [[http://betweenfailures.com/2007/07/17/72-snuzzle-attack/ Nina does this to Ed]] near the very beginning when she meets him for the first time.
* GodivaHair
* HotbloodedSideburns: Both Thomas and Ed. It's theorized that one of the reasons Thomas hired Ed was because of his sideburns ("They're coming back! We're ''bringing'' them back").
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey: Carol tries this early on with Thomas, but he's preoccupied and doesn't notice. It works later. Spectacularly.
** [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/504-binary-system This comic]] sums it up rather well.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Sure, it was with toy guns firing plastic disks, and thus more likely than with real weapons. That did not stop it from being at all impressive that Reggie was able to shoot a projectile out of the air during the toy gun fight. Particularly when there have been references to no less than four different disasters (with one actually shown) caused by Reggie's lack of intelligence, dexterity, and wisdom. The rest of the cast reacted with suitable shock.
* InherentlyFunnyWords: Wu Tang Secrets
* InsultBackfire: [[http://betweenfailures.com/archive/682-confidence-of-ignorance/ "If that sounded like a compliment, I apologize. It wasn't meant to."]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Reggie Boothe
** [[EveryoneHasStandards Even Jerkass Has Standards]]: He's still reliable enough to come in (though not necessarily ''work'') for unexpected shortages, doesn't ever entertain the idea of theft, and has no qualms shooting down Wes' paper-thin attempts at seducing Jolene.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Thomas again.
* LoveTriangle: [[TriangRelations Type 4.]] Reggie likes Nina, Nina and Ed like each other. Both hate Reggie.
** While it's still conjecture at this point, there is a lot to be said for the fact that Jolene has warmed up to Ed so quickly.
* MaleGaze: Carol, quite often.
* TheNapoleon: Ed.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: To ''[[JerkAss Reggie]]'', of all people. [[spoiler: When Brooksie was new to the store, Reggie tried to help her put together an incredibly complicated mechanical display. When he used Brooksie's lighter to examine it, he accidentally set it on fire, which, in combination with his knowledge that his manager was [[BadBoss stealing from the store]],]] resulting in him getting fired. He got his job back thanks to his aunt [[spoiler: and got his manager arrested]], but the incident irrevocably damaged his faith in his coworkers [[spoiler: and in Brooksie, who he considered his friend]].
* NoodleIncident: How, exactly, did Reggie accidentally set a display stand on fire?
** Mike's tirade about Reggie's record reveals that this is not an isolated incident; so par for the course, in fact, that it is literally only the factors that got him the job in the first place (his aunt the executive, and the high turnover rate of actual managers at this particular location) that are keeping him employed.
** The story of that incident has now been revealed, beginning [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/1219-the-tell here]].
* OneOfUs: [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/910-larp Mike's an]] [[{{LARP}} ex-LARPer.]] Who knew?
* OutOfFocus: John gets this sometimes, though justified in that he doesn't ''want'' to get involved in others peoples' drama and so avoids it when it happens ([[FridgeBrilliance and he only works there part-time]]). It was even {{lampshaded}} by the man himself.
%% (except that her bangs cover ''both'' eyes, which makes it BlindingBangs) * PeekABangs: Jolene's roommate, Alex.
* PointyHairedBoss: Thanks to lousy corporate training, Mike lacks any form of managerial skill beyond vacuous optimism. Unlike most [=PHBs=], he's aware of his own incompetence and is generally portrayed as the victim rather than an obnoxious idiot.
** Further subverted in Mike as well, in that he's got a very solid history in organizing and opening new stores... But managing an ''active'' store is a completely different thing. It's also rather intentional on the part of corporate management: this store just barely stays afloat, so it's where they send low-level management careers to die. Carol has since decided to try to cure Mike's [=PHBness=], so the store can get some stability.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Ed and his twin sister, Jessica.
* RapunzelHair: Nina.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/874-stop-lying-to-yourself John commits one when he is trying to tell Thomas about having found a researcher for the team.]]
* RougeAnglesOfSatin
* SayingTooMuch: [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/1012-Math When Carol mentions Nina's fanfic.]]
* SceneryCensor
* ShirtlessScene: Thomas specifically seems particularly adverse to wearing a shirt while he's at home.
* ShoutOut: To ''{{The Breakfast Club}}'' in [[http://betweenfailures.com/2009/02/11/415-judd-nelson/ this strip]]
** Strictly speaking, while it may be ''possible'' to find strips which do not contain shout outs...
** It's rather difficult to find them, as one character's dialogue is 90% movie quotes.
* ShrinkingViolet: Jolene is rather prone to this.
* SkunkStripe: Brooksie, who covers it up with hair dye. Her natural look is shown [[http://betweenfailures.com/archive/871/ here]].
* SmallNameBigEgo: Reggie.
* SoulSuckingRetailJob: For everyone. Thomas even warns Ed not to thank him for getting Ed a job until after the first day.
* SpiritedCompetitor: Nina; while she doesn't seek out competition as much, she is ultra-competitive once she does get involved in one.
* StartOfDarkness: In a recent storyline, it's revealed that Reggie used to be a relatively nice guy, going so far as to help Brooksie to set up a complicated display when she couldn't do it herself ([[spoiler: the same display he would accidentally set on fire]]). His JerkAss tendencies only really set in after he was fired by his then-manager [[spoiler: for reporting her for stealing.]]
* StatuesqueStunner: Nina.
* StealthHiBye: Jolene practices hiding so she can do this to people.
* StoutStrength: Between formerly being on build teams, taking the lead on breaking down used shelving (with a sledgehammer), preferring to use melee weapons in the staff [[LawyerFriendlyCameo foam toy]] fight, and being the physically largest cast member (by volume, at the very least), Mike clearly has this.
* StrawMisogynist: Wes, the new-new guy, seems to be headed this way. He specifically cites Mike's gender as one of the reasons he should "put [Carol] in her place".
** His philosophy on women ("Women are easy, you just have to wait for her to shut up so you can seduce her") and his attempt to demonstrate this on Brooksie, which failed so badly that even [[TooDumbToLive Reggie]] thinks it was the dumbest shit ever, put him pretty firmly in this category.
* TeamDad: Thomas instructs everyone on the finer points of working together.
* TooDumbToLive: Reggie, by a wide margin. He's so incompetent that he relies entirely on his aunt's position and the high turnover rate of managers to keep his job. When he sets the microwave on fire, Mike tells him that "accident" is no longer sufficient to describe what Reggie does.
* TooSoon: [[http://betweenfailures.com/2007/04/08/17-we-hardly-knew-ye/ Steve Irwin dead]].
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Ice cream for Carol, it's power over her is enough to completely negate her wrath.
* {{Tsundere}}: Carol.
** This backfires horribly when she tries it on Ed.
*** Wes manages to turn it around on her, too, although it's not likely to happen again.
* UltimateJobSecurity: Reggie Boothe, self-aggrandizing, incompetent narcissist, has more black marks on his record than a zebra wrestling a dalmatian in a coal mine at midnight. The only reason he's even still employed is that he can get his aunt to pull strings for him, meaning his record starts anew every time the manager gets replaced -- which happens unusually quickly at this particular location. He even explicitly tells Carol he's deliberately relying on this.
* UnsoundEffect: [[http://betweenfailures.com/archive/402-it-implies-a-work-ethic/ Regarding how much trouble Ed is in.]]
* UnusualEuphemism "I'd let him Ron my Hermione if he plays his cards right."
* VitriolicBestBuds: Can describe much of Thomas' friendships, but John is the one who actually articulates it as such.
* WalkingTechbane: Getting Reggie to operate equipment is a bad idea, as it will most likely [[MadeOfExplodium catch on fire]].
* WebcomicTime: 488 comics from March 2007 to July 2009 covered around 1 1/2 days, with the 1st day taking 305 strips.
** It's a very [[DecompressedComic decompressed]] comic. Instead of going the WallOfText method, Crave has each comic represent what would basically be two lines of a conversation - which, in RealLife, would be about five seconds. (When his server's bogged down, it literally takes longer to load each strip than it would to read them or act them out.)
** Lately though things seem to have moved up considerably, but it also seems that a few days between storylines have been skipped.
* WillTheyOrWontThey:
** Nina goes to some effort to try to convince Thomas and Carol to get together. [[spoiler:They're still denying that they have a relationship... in public.]]
** When Ed is first hired, there seems to be something between him and Nina that could lead to more.
** Based on their various [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/577-elf-abuse smoke]] [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/977-pretty/ break]] interactions together, Jolene and John seem to have hints of something as well.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: ShyBlueHairedGirl Jolene.
* YourMom: [[http://betweenfailures.com/comics1/931-your-mother Short Thief explains the subjectivity of beauty.]]
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