->''"[[CantGetAwayWithNuthin No, you]] ''are'' [[CantHaveSexEver a fool]]. But you're my favorite one..."''
-->-- '''Laurie''' (to Candi)

The ''Ciem Webcomic Series'' is a dramatic {{pastiche}} DSHW [[{{Machinomics}} Machinomic]] from Dozerfleet Productions, which specializes in playing around with various comic book and drama tropes whilst simultaneously showing off the storyboard capabilities of mixing Photoshop with ''[[VideoGame/TheSims The Sims 2]]''. The series features the misadventures of the titular Candice "Candi" Marie "Stevens" Flippo-Levens-[=McArthur=] / Ciem, a teenage girl in 2019 who finds out that Phaelite aliens mutated her father while he was a baby, which allows her to have centipede powers. From there, she realizes that she is supposed to help her BigScrewedUpFamily battle their archnemeses: The [[FantasticRacism genocidal]] Hebbleskin Gang, made up of Meethlite aliens.

[[ResignedToTheCall Willing to go along with it]], albeit on her own terms, she tries to also get into college and manage her love life. Cue [[DoomMagnet several loved ones being killed left and right]], several [[ApocalypseHow averted apocalypses]], and even a few pseudo-governmental [[AncientConspiracy conspiracies]] [[OffWithHisHead to turn her and her sisters into Duke Arfaas' trophies]], and the DeterminedWidow becomes more determined than ever to [[AcceptableFeminineGoalsAndTraits finally settle down]]. In the meantime, she struggles with doubt, compromise, fear, lack of self-confidence, guilt, {{wangst}}, [[AllWomenAreLustful lust]], her boyfriend's health problems, and [[IJustWantToBeNormal how to help Botan the Plant-Man get his wish]].

The trilogy initially began as an AffectionateParody of the ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'', and was a SpinOff of an obscure comic called ''The Battle for Gerosha'', before becoming an entity all unto itself. Due to its heavy reliance on VideoGame/TheSims and related [[GameMod Game Mods]] as rendering tools, several tropes from that game are played with and repurposed rather freely.

In spite of coming out around the same time as Starline Hodge's much more popular ''Webcomic/{{Candi}}'', the two have nothing to do with each other, [[StrangeMindsThinkAlike in spite of some]] [[http://dozerfleetwiki2.wiki-site.com/index.php/Candi_Levens_vs._Starline%27s_Candi remarkable similarities]].

Also, in spite the first story's original subtitle, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Dutch horror film series ''Film/TheHumanCentipede''. In fact, the realization of them being SimilarlyNamedWorks actually resulted in WriterRevolt, where the author of ''Ciem'' decided to create an UltimateUniverse in novella form to justify renaming the first story "Ciem: Vigilante Centipede." And while ''that'' is in DevelopmentHell, it has still gotten some high marks as a promotional tool for [=UGO.com=], for the fact that nearly every character from the cast can be easily re-created with their [=HeroMachine=] software.


[[folder: Ciem: Vigilante Centipede ]]

Serving as an origin story, ''Ciem'' tells the origins of Candi Levens, an [[StringyHairedGhostGirl onyro-haired]] teenage hermit and amateur crimefighter who was born with centipede-themed superpowers and several venomous tentacles ([[{{Reconstruction}} reduced in size to glorified stingers in later versions]]) that hide inside her arms and legs, called her "centilegs." She is revealed to have a boyfriend, a nearing-retirement superhero named Donte [=McArthur=]/Emeraldon. Her sisters reveal to her that her family is more [[BigScrewedUpFamily dysfunctional]] than she originally cared to know.

One afternoon, Candi decides to show up late for a party that her hacker sister Miriam is going to, so she can practice her [[WaifFu centi-fu]] fighting skills and say goodbye to her boyfriend before he goes off to war [[strike: on an alien planet]]. She doesn't detain him as long as she would've liked to. But as soon as he leaves, she ends up in a fight to the death with a NotBrainwashed ex-boyfriend from her grade school years, who is working for the genocidal Hebbleskin Gang. She learns that this Meethlite alien gang, led by Duke Arfaas, wants her and her sisters' heads as trophies, in an effort to fight back against an oracle in which a "Gifted One" of the "[[ProphecyTwist li Po]]" would destroy Arfaas' last remaining monsters, signifying the end of the Hebbleskin Gang.

To make a long story short, her boyfriend becomes a prisoner of war and is rumored dead. Her parental-figure sister Erin is [[StuffedIntoTheFridge brutally murdered]], and Miriam is now about to go into hiding. Candi herself has a HeroicBSOD at hearing the news, and moves to a nearby university town to give her life a fresh start. After a few adventures in crimefighting, it becomes obvious that the police are behaving in an unusual manner, and Meethlite activity in the area is increasing. She eventually meets the charming-but-troubled Denny Levens. This man seems to be [[LampshadeHanging all too aware of how messed-up the town of Viron really is]], and quickly forms an alliance with Candi.

Arfaas and his gang finally decide that their target, the Gifted Flippo, is hiding somewhere in plain sight. Having taken control of the Dirbine Police, they decide to send a monster to do everyone else's dirty work, but have trouble finding the perfect take. They eventually create a metallic shrew costume, complete with an evil AI that will turn the wearer into a {{Brainwashed}} killing machine servant. This leads to them abducting Jeraime Malestrom, and turning him into their cyborg's glorified beating heart.

After failing to help an alien experimentation victim named Jeral Cormier, Candi decides to give Denny a chance at dating her. However, the fact that she does so, and the fact that she attends Viron University, [[MyGirlIsNotASlut led some townsfolk to assume the worst about her]]. Old enemies begin haunting Candi as visions when she cannot overcome her newfound bad reputation. This culminates in Denny barely surviving an attempt on his life [[ItsPersonal by one of the very same Meethlites]] that murdered Erin, which causes Candi [[MoralEventHorizon to feel little sympathy]] when that Meethlite [[strike: blows himself up]] dies after losing in battle.

Not sure what else to do, Candi and Denny decide to get married. [[CantHaveSexEver Big mistake]]! Candi soon learns that after about a month of being pregnant, she's been effectively BroughtDownToNormal enough to be unable to protect her new Muggle husband. [[DoomMagnet And that's when Musaran's killing spree escalates]]! After several more Musaran-related murders leads to both Denny and Angie (Candi's daughter) dying, Candi decides she's had enough, and [[TookALevelInBadass takes several levels in badass]] to become an orange-suited freedom fighter.

A Mexican community starts cheering for the great ''Ciempies'' that rescued one of their own from a villain [[PaedoHunt who was fond of children]], so the news begins calling her "Ciem." Candi then learns that her original boyfriend Donte [[NotQuiteDead might still be alive]], and decides that part of her quest to save her hometown must involve saving Donte from impending doom.

This story has been spread around on [=CD=]'s at some colleges and wherever else it could be spread while the author [[DevelopmentHell waited for an opportunity to publish it online in its original format]]. It is therefore one of the most aggressive comics pushing for mainstream acceptance of the [[http://www.comixpedia.org/index.php?title=DVD-Storybook_Hybrid_Webcomic [=DVD=]-Storybook Hybrid Webcomic Format]]. It is also in [[EditedForSyndication forum syndication]] on a few Internet forums, such as [[http://dozerfleetprod.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=ciem1 The Dozerfleet Forum]] and [[http://modthesims.info/article.php?t=337623 Mod The Sims Social]].

Ironically, its [[UltimateUniverse Comprehensive Gerosha]] novel series will ''not'' be an aggressive push for DSHW {{Machinomics}}. However, the original webcomic may receive a remake in the future that replaces the [[OldShame Classic Gerosha continuity]] with the newly reconstructed tale.



[[folder: Ciem 2 ]]

In the sequel, Donte is broke and can't seem to get a job. Candi takes pity on him, and after the couple succumb to their sexual desires a few times, Candi begins questioning why they haven't married yet. Donte also reveals that he promised a friend that if that friend and his wife both died, he'd adopt their son. But a pesky gay couple that's stalking Donte won't let that happen, and the judge will only rule in Candi and Donte's favor if they agree to marry.

But not so fast! While Candi and Donte are figuring out the future of their relationship, Candi's sister Miriam finds herself thrust into a ridiculous GovernmentConspiracy that involves several close calls with Chinese government agents and terrorists. Donte, now battling cancer, must go to Ploribus for treatment and leave Candi behind to deal with all her life's problems alone. She soon finds herself playing bodyguard to Miriam, while all Hell breaks loose in Dirbine.

Adding to the complications the two sisters face is Miriam's old seafarer friend Simon Aardvonius, who's been turned into the megalomaniacal, termite-lusting Captain Aardwulf by the Hebbleskin Gang as punishment for not keeping up with extortion payments. Capp Aard sets his sights on creating a "Termite Farm Empire" to satisfy his never-ending desire to eat termites. To do that, he reasons he has to steal as many precious jewels as possible and ransom them. Who better for the job than PlayfulHacker Miriam "Sniperbadger" Flippo?

Then, the radioactive [[MacGuffin Ming-Yo]] gets loose in Dirbine, with a sexy [=CIA=] agent battling everything in her path to get to it first. Having problems with her powers, Candi suspects she may be pregnant again. Miriam confirms that she is also pregnant, with twins. With the world stacked against them, the two sisters must band together for safety. But can they rebuild their lives and redeem themselves from their past [[SexIsEvil indiscretions]]?


[[folder: Ciem 3 ]]

By ''Ciem 3'', Candi and Donte are happily married. They aren't as rich as they used to be, but at least things are looking up. Candi is now done with her schooling at Viron University. The couple is planning to move to Kentucky eventually. They finally have two children, Charlie (adopted) and Frank (the result of their indiscretions in ''Ciem 2''.) Candi has taken up a job at a bar since Donte still can't find work. Ciem is popular with the public. Duke Arfaas' death has recently become public knowledge.

Several of Candi's surviving old enemies band together to seek the ultimate vengeance against her. A ninja named Kimiyato "Milp" Hiriyama tries unsuccessfully to frame Candi for child abuse, and then goes OneWingedAngel on Dirbine after Candi is captured by the same ex-government conspirator that originally made life so difficult for Miriam. Having risen through the Meethlite ranks quickly, the insane Lloyd Kolumn traps Candi and several other Supers in a dungeon the Meethlites built along the California coastline. Candi is sentenced to death by beheading, and forced to wait a week and a half to march to her own death. A bracelet she is forced to wear lies to her body and tells her she is pregnant, so her body stops having powers that work consistently. Reluctantly resigned to her fate, she begins assuming a motherly role to her more traumatized cell mates, who are sentenced to be drowned when the facility is to be deliberately flooded on Candi's assigned execution date.

Ploribus, out of youth formula and [[DontFearTheReaper fearing the Reaper]], decides to to nothing. [[ScrewDestiny Dolly]] gets fed up with this, and steals a suit from Ploribus that was in-turn stolen from the Meethlites. She uses it to become The Earwig, and do the jobs that nobody else seems willing to: 1) Rescue Candi and 2) fight Candi's enemies in Candi's absence. It soon becomes obvious to Dolly, however, that her new suit's helmet is slowly driving her insane with its AxCrazy proclivities. She resolves to use its power to rescue Candi [[CyberneticsWillEatYourSoul before she loses her soul to it]].

This leads to several violent escapades, and narrow escapes from death by almost every heroic character not in the shelter of Ploribus' underground base. Afterwards, it culminates in an enormous battle, where Candi, Dolly, Charlotte, and Kyle must fight Kimi for the soul of Jeral Cormier / Botan, and the future of Dirbine.

[[folder:Tropes found in this trilogy]]
* AuraVision / VirginVision: One of Candi's [[InformedAbility Informed Abilities]] in the first story is a (very limited) ability to psychically know, just by looking at the areas around someone's eyes, whether or not they're a virgin. Not pleasant for her when she can see her own experience in the mirror, but she gets used to it.
** The book that's being planned intends to have her use it to actually resolve a minor plot point.
** There were once expanded universe plans for a male character who takes this UpToEleven. He not only sees different-colored auras based on types of sexual experience ([[{{Squick}} what went where]],) but different shapes to those auras to indicate ''with whom''. Absolutely nobody can ever tell him a lie about their sexual past. The more you whore it up, the stronger your aura, the more convicted you are.
*** His life gets very miserable very quickly largely because everyone hates a man [[LivingLieDetector they cannot lie to about their sexual exploits]].
** This was in-turn inspired by the would-be author having to put up with girls in his residence hall constantly exaggerating stories of their past conquests in the lobby with anyone who showed the slightest interest.
* BioPunk: The series has some elements of this, but avoids being completely true-to-form with this genre.
* CaptainErsatz: Plenty of them, but especially Candi herself. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''Ciem 2'' when Vienna is cut off from telling Candi that she looks like a really bad version of Spider-Girl.
** ([[HypocriticalHumor Funny]], because Vienna herself is a [[IncrediblyLamePun deliberate knock-off]] of [[Series/{{Alias}} Sidney]].
* ChivalrousPervert / ComfortingTheWidow: In the Comprehensive Universe timeline, Jack makes it no secret that he wants to have sex with Candi, even as she is still in mourning over Denny's death. His predatory manipulation of her self-pity ultimately pays off; but she stops him mid-coitus because she's [[SexChangesEverything not ready to start a life with him]]. When she learns that Donte is NotQuiteDead, she immediately heads to Evansville [[RedemptionQuest to rescue him]]. Jack's only response is to [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy agree that it's for the best]].
* CityNoir: Dirbine has its moments, especially in ''Ciem 2''.
** The [[CoversAlwaysLie illusory happiness]] aesthetic in the original comes from its bright orange glow on buildings coupled with an amber-biased atmosphere. This, in turn, was just a wholesale ShoutOut to the ''[[Film/SpiderManTrilogy Spider-Man]]'' films that inspired the original Ciem webcomics. With the books' ContinuityReboot, the need for this aesthetic has completely disappeared. Evansville is now free to look more like [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Gotham City]] if it wishes to.
* ClearMyName / DesignatedVictim / MyGirlIsNotASlut: Candi may be hypersexual, but she tries to control it. She makes it her goal to be the good girl who gets by. But her name is ''Candi''! So the CrapsackWorld she lives in cannot accept that she's a good girl. And she has promiscuous siblings that look just like her, so everyone in the high school who has slept with one of her sisters is convinced they've slept with her, so she is unable to leave high school without everyone assuming she's a slut. When word gets out that her boyfriend is [[MayDecemberRomance five years her senior]], she's [[TeensAreMonsters mocked]] and compared to a pedophile.
** Even after she's graduated, she is still frequently sexually harassed.
** In the book, she goes off to college, and is ''still'' persecuted. One girl vaguely resembling her appearance even [[HollywoodAcid steals chemicals]] to break into Candi's locker, then impersonates her and has sex with the entire football team, purely out of spite. [[CrossesTheLineTwice Then puts it on the Internet]]. [[ForWantOfANail Which later]] inspires one of Steve McLaine's ex-best friends to create the Mila Fila character. He then spies on Steve and Miriam with hidden cameras and makes Miriam into Mila Fila. And with Miriam unknowingly making Mila Fila sex tapes, the character looks exactly like Candi. She gets weird looks from almost ''everyone'', as the whole campus now thinks Candi's a porn star. Not even marrying Denny is enough to salvage her reputation.
** And because of the tapes, she can't even get a job as a Sunday school teacher.
--> '''Candi''': "That isn't me!!!"
--> '''Pete''': "[[JerkAss We can't take any chances]]..."
* ContinuityReboot: [[http://dozerfleetwiki2.wiki-site.com/index.php/Comprehensive_Gerosha The Comprehensive]] [[UltimateUniverse Gerosha universe]], which paints Candi in BroadStrokes and reconstructs the Gerosha universe while freeing it up from damaged and incomplete franchise continuities.
** Grillitan Diner is no longer canon. ''Volkonir'' is now its own thing.
* ConspicuousCG: The centilegs and mask eye pieces of Ciem are painted onto the model via Photoshop in post-production. It was especially obvious in the original, where the author had only Photoshop Elements 1.0 to work with. Before it was canceled, ''Ciem 2'' was being made with Photoshop [=CS2=].
* DysfunctionalFamily / EverybodysDeadDave: The Flippos. Steve [=McNolan=], Tobey Flippo, Alison Ligash, Dwayne Lloyd, and Marissa Hood (all the grandparents) are all dead. Stan and Shalia (the parents) are dead. Candi is raised by her sister Erin, who's [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid a bit legalistic]] at times. Tom has vanished as of a very young age, but comes back. He is revealed to have devoted his life to selling motorcycles.
** Candi's ''nephew'' Kirby is three years ''older'' than Candi is! Worse, Candi's half-brother Ploribus is [[HalfHumanHybrid half-alien]]. If not for the age retardant that Ploribus uses before he meets and falls in love with Nancy and marries her, then Candi wouldn't have a nephew named Lex. Yet, Lex is (by sheer miracle) NOT a nephew OLDER than his aunt.
** As if this didn't create enough problems for Candi, she becomes an aunt again at the age of 19, when her sister Marina has a ShotgunWedding. (Miriam won't have kids for a while yet, but isn't a virgin like Candi.)
** As for Candi herself, she leaves behind a family just slightly less dysfunctional and [[BigScrewedUpFamily screwed up]].
* EternalSexualFreedom: Strongly subverted, though not entirely inverted. Other than most of the central protagonists, who [[CallItKarma suffer at the hands of fate]] for any indiscretions they may commit, [[DoubleStandard most everyone else]], especially amongst the villains, can act like a total rabbit; and not a single eyebrow is raised. [[DeathBySex Unless they've pushed their luck too far]].
** Yet, Candi and Donte let their griefs drive them to lust by just before the sequel, [[OneThingLedToAnother and the rest is history]].
* EditedForSyndication: Due to potential UnfortunateImplications, whole scenes and subplots in the Dozerfleet Forum version are completely cut out of the Mod The Sims Social version. Also, the 800x483-pixel images in ''Ciem 2'' are shrunk to a 500-pixel-width equivalent, mostly due to bandwidth constraints.
* {{Irony}}: The Flippo surname is derived from "philippio," Greek for "lover of horses." The Flippo triplets are indifferent to horses.
* MyOwnPrivateIDo: In the books, this happens ''twice''. The first time, it was because Candi wanted to protect Denny after a hit had been put out on him. The second time, it was because Candi 1)wanted to make it easier for Donte to adopt Charlie and 2)was tired of [[SexIsEvil feeling guilty]] about the fact that she and Donte couldn't control themselves around each other.
** It alters the story dynamic in ''Nuclear Crisis'' significantly from what it was in ''Ciem 2''. No longer is Candi racing to marry Donte because of a pregnancy. She's only planning a ceremony later on (complete with changing her last name from Levens to McArthur) 1) because her Flippo relatives have always wanted her to have one and 2) because it is the ultimate slap in Arfaas' face for Flippos to attend a wedding without fear.
** This in-turn allows for the cause of Candi's power glitches to be a reaction to a flu shot rather than her flu coming clean out of nowhere.
** She can still suspect pregnancy making her vulnerable to the shot; but she eloped shortly after Frank was conceived. Therefore, she is not worried about not being married to Donte even if she doesn't get the [[WeddingDay second wedding]]. Also, this slight change allows her storyline to be made a tiny bit simpler while avoiding excessive redundancy with Miriam's ShotgunWedding subplot.
** Denny never got the benefit of a second wedding with Candi, since [[ParentalMarriageVeto his parents]] at the time feared it would be [[IdiotBall suicide]] (Which is what they thought of Candi and Denny even being married at all. [[CrapsackWorld They were half-right]].)
* [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Evansville and Boonville Are The Center Of The Universe]]: Even though one has to wonder why the Meethlites are so obsessed with a geographic location like this with so little strategic value. After all, it's not like it's [[BigApplesauce New York or Chicago or anything]].
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: And what they can do varies from story to story. But basically, they are most powerful in dreams.
** In ''Ciem'', they can voice disapproval to the living of how they are living. Otherwise, ghosts do nothing.
** In ''Ciem 2'', they can come very close to killing you (or can heal you) [[YourMindMakesItReal in your sleep]]. They can't foretell the future, but they can warn you about the present. But once you wake up, they become powerless and seemingly nonexistent.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism / ShadesOfConflict: Ironically, the more that Candi herself [[HotterAndSexier is darkened]] and the more Arfaas and Musaran get to KickTheDog, the more idealistic other characters become. Botan the Plant-Man is at one point in Classic Gerosha a straight-up villain. In Comprehensive Gerosha, he's more of a misunderstood Type I AntiHero bordering on a Type II. Likewise, Capp Aard becomes a sympathetic screw-up trying to capture Miriam so he can get Arfaas to give him the cure before he loses his mind to his transformation. Originally, he developed a SplitPersonality that talked like Gollum, and [[SplitPersonalityTakeover quickly took over]].
* [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield Where the Hell is Dirbine?]]: [[AllThereInTheManual Supplemental materials]] strongly suggest it's somewhere around where RealLife Evansville is located.
** In the UltimateUniverse novel series, it ''is'' Evansville. Viron is just the area around University of Southern Indiana and Farrenville is Ivy Tech. [[AlternateHistory Gerosha is rebuilt on the remains of Boonville]].
** Also, Channel 26, as opposed to RealLife Channel 25 ([=WEHT=], an [=ABC=] affiliate).
* AIIsACrapshoot / ClothesMakeTheManiac: Musaran. And later Dolly as The Earwig. Of course, the AI's way of controlling Jeraime's mind and body inside the Musaran helmet is [[ClarkesThirdLaw hard to distinguish]] from DemonicPossession, especially seeing how [[AxCrazy it loves killing so much]], [[StupidEvil even after being set free from Arfaas' control]].
** Inspired by [[Machinima/RedVsBlue O'Malley]]!
* AnyoneCanDie
* TheAtoner: Nearly ''all'' the good characters, for something. Though Candi disproportionately mentally beats herself up over the slightest moral failures.
* AttemptedRape: Don attempts to rape Candi. So does Eddie, who also attempts to rape a skater named Amy. Jeff the Invisible had a perfect opportunity, but tried and failed to guillotine her instead.
** Marina was raped (statutory) several times, and it took her [[BabiesEverAfter until she got pregnant at 18]] to get her life in order.
** Miriam and Phil avoid the need for this, because both were of the age of consent at the time.
*** This doesn't make Miriam feel any better when Phil commits suicide.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Most monsters created by the Hebbleskin Gang.
* AndYourLittleDogToo: A history of having been near-raped by Don? Whatever. Candi can handle that. Being tossed into a burning building by Don? Fine. Why not be killed by the man that nearly defiled her once before? But when Don threatens to rape ''[[TwinThreesomeFantasy Miriam]]'', Candi [[BigBrotherInstinct snaps]].
* BulletTime
* [[SpiderSense Centuition]]: Depicted as a "phantom screaming" in Candi's ears.
* ChestInsignia: The centipedes, the septagons on Emeraldon and Sapphire King's costumes, etc.
* [[PsychicPowers Clairvoyance]]: Candi's "psychic radar," partially the result of her centipede inheritance.
* DateRapeAverted: Candi dodges Eddie's darts, prevents him from having his way with Amy, AND knocks HIM out! Also, Miriam is rescued from a gangbanger by Teal Hog.
* DeadlyDodging / GunKata
* TheDragon: Musaran in the first story. Capp Aard in the second. In the third, Milp starts out as one for Kolumn, before rebelling and [[VillainBall stealing the title]] of BigBad. At this point, Botan becomes her "dragon." Several [[QuirkyMinibossSquad lesser dragons]], such as Lobe, are also in the third one.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Denny Levens, though it was more like the foot of a giant, metallic shrew. [[spoiler: [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Followed by]] a [[ActionBomb suicide bomber]].]] Later, various other characters meet with a FamilyUnfriendlyDeath.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: [[ExaggeratedTrope Taken to extremes]] in ''Ciem 1'', where Candi alternates amongst 8 different hairstyles across 32 chapters (averaging a new style every four.) Granted, a few of these are just dye jobs, but that still makes for about 4 or 5 actual styles. [[JustifiedTrope Partially justified]] in that she's trying to hide from [[FantasticRacism genocidal]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot alien gangsters]], and by the fact that the story covers over 2 years'-worth of her life. Also understandable, as it's a [[{{Machinomics}} DSHW machinomic]] made with ''[[VideoGame/TheSims The Sims 2]]'', which practically ''encourages'' players to toy around with hairstyles.
** ''Ciem 2'' both plays this straight and subverts it. Candi has only one ''official'' hairstyle change; from her Maxis-default mesh, [[SoLastSeason end-of-first-story red hair]]; to her messier-looking custom mesh hairstyle. This [[ImportantHaircut indicates]] [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic not only]] her continued loss of innocence between parts 1 and 2, but [[OutDamnedSpot her frustrations]] with [[MyGirlIsNotASlut trying to hide/prevent it]].
*** Another: Alternate hairstyles she has in her dreams don't really count, her mind [[YourMindMakesItReal just makes her think her hair has changed to that style]] so she fits in better with whichever setting the dream takes place in.
*** Note: The Ciem mask doesn't count as a hairstyle, even though, according to the [[VideoGame/TheSims game engine]], [[spoiler: it is technically just a baldcap and facepaint, [[DontExplainTheJoke which is then treated with Photoshop to look more actually mask-like]]]].
* FlyingBrick: Emeraldon and Sapphire King
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: The Phaelites, Meethlites, and their monster factories. The result is carriers for conditions whose children may become the future monster armies of either feuding species. However, they have, in a few instances, used [[ILoveNuclearPower nuking]] and genetic engineering together to create monsters in only ''one'' generation.
* [[TheChosenOne The Gifted One]]: What Erin, Stan, Shalia, (and some of the Meethlites' affiliates) believe Candi is. [[ProphecyTwist They could be wrong]]. [[spoiler: Dolly is the actual prophesied destroyer of the Hebbleskin Gang's last legacy, as "liPo" stood for "library position," not "Flippo."]]
* GollumMadeMeDoIt: Jeraime, finally able to distinguish himself from Musaran, is still unable to free himself from Musaran's [[{{Brainwashed}} control]]. Dolly uses this to rationalize to herself why she needs to eventually destroy the Earwig suit helmet, even though she's powerless without it.
* GoshDangItToHeck: Many of Miriam's lines.
* [[HesBack He/She's Back]]: Candi obviously gets this treatment. The first time around, she comes back with an actual suit, arsenal, and alias. The second time this happens to her, she seems less concerned with restoring her dignity and more concerned with merely finishing what she started. Donte also has this happen twice. Miriam has it happen, in a cyberspace sort of way, once.
* LargeHam: Too many to list here. But basically anyone who isn't TheStoic or DeadpanSnarker will be a LargeHam instead. Villains often combine this with MonsterMisogyny, as it [[KickTheDog makes them look]] [[VillainBall extra evil]].
* MadScientist: The Phaelites and the Meethlites, but the Hebbleskin Gang and Insila Murtillo (Ploribus' mother) in particular. The only reason that Centhuens, Centhuen Prototypes, Milthuens, Milthuen Prototypes, AI-possessed homocidal maniacs, werewolves, and other types of monster are even possible. That, and Zeran Holes.
* MorningSickness: Averted. Apparently, losing one's superpowers (and a general sense of fatigue and loss of courage) is punishment enough.
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous / ShoutOut: Dolly Malestrom is named after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_(sheep) Dolly the Cloned Sheep]]. Her future son will be named ''Gunther''.
** In the Fox animated series ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego''?, one of the villains is named ''Gunnar Maelstrom''.
* OhCrap: Nearly [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin everyone has this feeling at least once]].
* [[OffWithHisHead Off With Her Head]]: What Arfaas and the Hebbleskin Gang are obsessed with doing to all of Shalia's daughters. He wants her sons to be [[{{Gorn}} disemboweled]], but Reily is a low priority.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Details under the Trivia page.
* OutDamnedSpot: Candi can't get over her guilt over Erin's death, Don's death, Denny's death, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking losing her virginity to Denny instead of Donte]], or any number of other things; for many years. Frustration leads her to sometimes alleviate her feelings of shame and responsibility in ways that just make her feel even more guilty.
* [[ReedRichardsIsUseless Ploribus Philippine is Useless]]: Well, except when reclaiming a city in a fantastic takeover. Otherwise, he can be an [[TheGhost invisible jerk]].
* ReflectiveEyes: The Ciem mask.
* RoofHopping: Ciem
* SexIsEvil: Well, fornication, but not necessarily sex in general. Erin drilled her fear of anything even remotely related to sex into her sisters' heads, until they couldn't take it anymore.
** Knowing Erin couldn't be right about everything and being susceptible to a [[InTheBlood family curse]] that supernaturally boosted their sexual appetites, Miriam and Marina quickly find themselves LookingForLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces.
** Candi tries to play her love and sex life according to the rules (God's, but not necessarily all of Erin's.) However, her fear of Donte [[MateOrDie never having a child before facing death]] leads her to [[IDidWhatIHadToDo consider a compromise]], one which she doesn't feel very good about, [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex especially when she discovers she enjoys it a little too much]].
** Donte initially argues that he'd rather have her [[NatureAdoresAVirgin unspoiled so they have no regrets later on]]. [[DiabolusExMachina Somehow]], both lovers' plans [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption backfire]].
* SexyDiscretionShot / GaussianGirl: LOTS of them. To name a few: Miriam and Phil. Candi and Denny (both Candi's EroticDream and the couple's actual [[TheirFirstTime first time]]. Candi and Donte get a few as well. With Miriam and Steve, their addiction to sex is [[InformedFlaw only alluded to]].
* ShotgunWedding: Marina and Matt, although their affair happens offscreen.
** Same deal with Steve and Miriam.
** Candi and Donte's wedding in the sequel isn't a shotgun wedding in the commonly-understood sense, since Candi doesn't confirm she is pregnant until ''after'' she and Donte have adopted Charlie, ''after'' the wedding.
* ShoutOut[=/=]IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The webcomic's chapters ''alone'' are loaded with this.
** Chapter 1: "[[Radio/TheShadow What Secrets Lie]]"
** Chapter 5: "[[Film/FatalAttraction Fatal Miscalculations]]"
** Chapter 6: "[[YouCantGoHomeAgain No Turning Back]]"
** Chapter 7: "Not-So Prime Real Estate"
** Chapter 8: "[[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} More Needs She the Divine]]"
** Chapter 12: "Building a Better Centipede Trap"
** Chapter 13: "[[Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew The Corrupting of the Shrew]]"
** Chapter 14: "[[Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath The Seeds]] [[Film/ThePrincessBride of Despair]]"
** Chapter 15: "[[RomeoAndJuliet A Centipede By Any Other Name]]"
** Chapter 17: "[[{{Hamlet}} To Love or Not to Love]]"
** Chapter 19: "[[Literature/TheBible The Wages of Fertility]]"
** Chapter 21: "Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas"
** Chapter 27: "[[BigDamnHeroes Ploribus]] [[StormingTheCastle is Coming]]" - And in Chapter 22, Merle's officers mention he's [[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia on the move]].
** Chapter 30: "[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Musaran's Melee]]"
** Chapter 31: "Cancer Can't Stop Love" - Paraphrase of "[[Film/ThePrincessBride Death Cannot Stop Love]]."
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: Musaran again, as well as Henry Malestrom/Musaran II. Later happens to Simon Aardvonius/Capp Aard, and to Dolly/Earwig in part three.
* StarCrossedLovers: Candi and Donte. They get together once; and he becomes a prisoner of war. They get back together, and he develops cancer. They get married; and there is danger at nearly every turn. [[spoiler: Then, she finally dies.]] Yes, they got together, but [[DoomMagnet it wasn't easy]].
* SuperpowerLottery: Candi, Miriam, and Marina, in spite looking like identical triplets, are actually fraternal. Candi's egg from Shalia was the "lucky one," that accepted the centipede genetics that were infused into Stan's DNA. The result is that the centipede-tainted sperm finally produced a successful Centhuen Prototype that could span more. The other Flippo children all remain [[{{Muggles}} normal human beings]].
* ThrivingGhostTown: In spite being fairly well-populated, the Dirbine area seems very sparsely physically occupied in areas were denser populations seem more logical.
** This is due to the video game engine only allowing eight controllable players per lot at a time.
* WhatHaveIDone: Candi has several moments of feeling this way. Donte, Denny, and Jeral; also have moments like these.
* WeaksauceWeakness: ''[[ButICantBePregnant Pregnancy]]'' makes Candi's powers not work right! Therefore, she wouldn't want to be on the pill, even if she believed in it.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds / {{Emo}}: Jeral/Botan, especially when being controlled by an AI backvisor.

[[folder:Tropes in the first story]]
* AnachronismStew / {{Zeerust}}: The town of Gerosha is slowly catching up culturally with the world around it. Meanwhile, nearly everyone [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture in the year 2021]] is still using CRT computer monitors!
** Handwaved in that the Montinel Corporation still manufactures them. Used in the story because:
## CRT's were still common in 2007, when the snapshots were taken, and:
## There are limited options in ''[[VideoGame/TheSims The Sims 2]]'' by default for newer monitor technologies.
*** The IKEA Stuff Pack, which came out in late 2008, [[YouAreTooLate was of little use]].
* [[BuryYourGays Bury Your Lesbians]]: Claire Rauscher, who jumps out a window to escape Musaran, and breaks her neck. While she [[DepravedHomosexual did little harm to anyone]] in the story, Musaran [[ForTheEvulz is nevertheless intent on killing her]]. For her, FailureIsTheOnlyOption.
** Edited out of the Mod The Sims Social syndicated version, mostly to avoid starting a FlameWar over any UnfortunateImplications that may have arisen.* CheapCostume: Candi goes through a few versions of very cheap Ciem costumes (and even cheaper names!) before inheriting the second half of her fortune [[spoiler: [[DeusExMachina from a conveniently-placed dead godfather]].]]
* ClarkKenting: When Candi pretends her last name is ''Stevens'', her haircut and fake glasses are the only things that obscure her identity as Candi ''Flippo''. [[spoiler: It doesn't fool Denny.]]
** Yet, as she learns over the course of a year, Meethlite intelligence [[PlotInducedStupidity is flawed enough]] that the only thing she really needs to do [[PaperThinDisguise is change her name, period]]!
*** (Cue extra reason to get married!)
* LesCollaborateurs: Merle Hourvitz and his police are Hebbleskin Gang [[{{Mooks}} pawns]].
* DepravedBisexual: Poison Dart Eddie
* [[LightningCanDoAnything Exploding Computer Monitors Can Do Anything]]
* FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome: Musaran made Jeraime very powerful, but also [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity psychotic]]. Jeraime was only freed from Musaran's control [[BlindWithoutEm at the cost of his eyesight]]. Yet, he is just thankful to be alive and have his wife Dolly back.
* FoeYay: Kimi's taunting of Candi in chapter 15 of story 1 [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything may seem a bit like]] [[Film/ThreeHundred Xerxes trying to demoralize Leonidas]].
* FromACertainPointOfView: What Donte tells Merle to protect Candi's secret identity. [[SwissCheeseSecurity How she was able]] to fool security is another matter.
** Suffice to say, she needs a far more elaborate plot to escape in the book, as no RealLife modern police station would build the city jail to look like a medieval dungeon.
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard: [[CrazySurvivalist Dolly]] and Lindsay use dynamite as one.
* GrandpaGod: Sort of. Rev. Wilbur Brocklyn is a kindly preacher (who [[ShoutOut curiously]] resembles [[Film/BruceAlmighty Morgan Freeman]] slightly) that [[BadassPreacher is known]] for the occasional [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath psychological smackdown]] of his own congregation through his [[CharacterFilibuster bizarre sermons]].
-->"Would ''you'' kill Mary? Then why pick on Viron students? (Indirectly indicting Pete and Nolle [[MyGirlIsNotASlut for persecuting Candi]].)
** While not God, he is an effective mouthpiece.
* HollywoodNerd: Candi, though she's not actually all that nerdy (that would be Miriam.) Nevertheless, she is [[ButtMonkey hated rather disproportionately]] for someone with her good looks.
* KangarooCourt: Taken to ridiculous extremes: Candi, Donte, Dolly, Lindsay, and more are not even given the luxury of a show trial! They are simply thrown into cells buried in [[TheFutureIsNoir dark chambers]] and marked for eventual death. Merle, however, [[PlotInducedStupidity doesn't think it important]] to install cameras, in the vague chance that, maybe, [[SwissCheeseSecurity someone down there might escape]]!
* MagicalAbortion: Sort of. Angie is born live, but dies a few hours later while battling Kimiyato's evil powers [[ThePowerOfLove and destroying them]]. This leads to [[ItsPersonal a very pissed off]] Kimi, who vows revenge on Candi.
* MarqueeAlterEgo: Candi spends most of the story (the first 23 chapters) without her iconic costume. Even after getting it, she only spends five of the remaining chapters in it at any point in time. It gets a little more use in the sequels, where the suit is now able to be worn in pieces [[SoLastSeason instead of all at once]].
** Thankfully, her official costume is only [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown completely destroyed]] in the third story.
* MeaningfulFuneral: For Candi and Donte, Denny and Angie's funeral is a matter of closure and a chance to move to the next phase of their lives. It also keeps them from getting insane about each other too soon. They don't seem able to get many others to want to attend a funeral for Candi's fallen family, suggesting that:
## Viron is [[ApatheticCitizens made of cold fish]] and
## The Meethlites [[FridgeBrilliance are still powerful and intimidating]].
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Sort of. Denny meets with a gruesome death, but it's Musaran, not Donte, that kills him.
* PrisonRape: Donte's capture, which doubles as an AlienAbduction.
** While not actually raped; he is [[BroughtDownToNormal stripped of his powers]], beaten, [[BodyHorror aged rapidly]], and given cancer.
** His loss of self esteem upon recovery makes him less concerned about protecting his (and Candi's) sexual integrity, and [[OneThingLedToAnother leads]] the two of them to sexual addiction to each other in the sequel.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The password on the library computer in which Candi learns where Donte is being kept is "[=DieLevens=]." Why would the Meethlites make it [[IdiotPlot so easy]]?
** They were hoping [[BatmanGambit to maybe catch Ciem that way]]. In a way, they did; [[CassandraTruth but didn't realize it]] [[TooCleverByHalf until it was too late]].
* PromotionToParent: Erin Flippo, the oldest of the Flippo sisters.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Some rushed production on later chapters was due to the writer having to make more time for school-related projects. Also, Denny's problems with the debit card thief-turned-suicide bomber Kelsea Linney were based on the author's RealLife problems with a [[CharacterExaggeration not-quite]][[HistoricalVillainUpgrade -as-psychotic]] hairstylist. (No, not ''[[Theatre/SweeneyTodd that one]]''!)
* RealPersonCameo: Kelsea Linney ([[LawyerFriendlyCameo though her face is never shown]],) Merdie Dolon, Niles Beldon, Amelia Kayne, Yuri Krennt, Kathy Rittney, Dhalia Lorrice, Laurie Pegol, and Stella Oggles are all based on either Internet forum users or Ferris State students/faculty that the author knew between the years of 2004-2007. Of these, only Laurie Pegol is ever seen in the sequel.
* ReplacementLoveInterest: What Denny tries to be in Candi's life when they both believe Donte is dead. Becomes one more source of regret [[DespairEventHorizon threatening to drive Candi insane]] when Denny dies.
** Jack [[ComfortingTheWidow attempts to be this]] in the book. Candi decides her feelings for Donte are so genuine, that Jack should accept what he got from her as little more than a one night's stand. (And considering her frame of mind at the time, it almost counts as rape.) She does help him find another girl, so he takes her rejection of him surprisingly well.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Not deemed canon in-universe, but neither of Candi's husbands gets very much CharacterDevelopment outside of their relationship with her; so, to the readers/audience at least, Donte and Denny may appear somewhat shallow. Made worse by the fact that if they ([[InvincibleHero especially Donte]]) [[JustForFun/HowToStopTheDeusExMachina weren't forced out of her life]], ([[PutOnABus temporarily]] or [[ThePlotReaper otherwise]],) [[AnthropicPrinciple there wouldn't be much of a plot]].
* ScreamingBirth: Angie is about to be born, right after Candi loses Denny (and her house)!
* ShoutOut / IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Most of the chapter titles parody/shout out to either the names of various tropes or quotes or titles from films. Many are named after lines from either Creator/WilliamShakespeare or Literature/TheBible. Examples have been moved to Trivia.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge / AMillionIsAStatistic: Musaran's victims are possibly in the hundreds.

[[folder:Tropes in ''Ciem 2'']]
* AutoErotica: Averted and parodied during [[spoiler: a [[AllJustADream dream sequence]]]]. Candi wakes up to find herself in the backseat of a Model T Ford...ALONE! And she has no idea how she got there, but is wearing a dress she doesn't recognize. Then she finds her much-alive(?) ex-husband on top of the ship they're on, [[Film/{{Titanic 1997}} raving like a complete idiot]].
-->'''Candi:''' "[[LampshadeHanging What the heck are you doing up there]]?"
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Teal Hog. He ends up rescuing Miriam from a thug that was about to rape and possibly kill her, and then sets her loose on the street, completely oblivious to the fact that she was the girl he was sent to capture!
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: In an abstract sense, Miriam's Sniperbadger persona had to be hijacked and destroyed before Miriam could set her life straight. Played with in a particularly cruel manner in which, for her to find redemption for having gotten involved with a porn site, the site's webmaster ends up being the one who dies!
* TakeThat / BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Chapter 5 is a gruelingly [[SatireParodyPastiche satirical parody]] of ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}''.
-->'''Denny:''' Wahoo! Call me a viceroy, [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Jones]]! [[BadNewsIrrelevantNews It's the end of your world; but I fixed the ship's engine!]] [[AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering And I'm STILL not a greasemonkey!]]

[[folder:Tropes in ''Ciem 3'']]
* [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything The Alien Hero Who Won't Do Anything]]: Ploribus. Played straight at first, but then subverted when he tries to battle Milp's Milliblob form with his HumongousMecha. [[SenselessSacrifice And fails to make much difference]]. (Although, by [[SpannerInTheWorks sheer luck]], he did injure her, making it easier [[spoiler: for Botan to kill her off]].)
* AxCrazy: What the AI backvisors are turning Dolly and Henry into, because CyberneticsWillEatYourSoul. But truth be told, nearly every {{Villain}} and AntiHero seems to be going through a phase of this.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Dolly, again
* DarkActionGirl: Dolly/Earwig and Kimi/Milp
* TheSixthRanger: Dolly