[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/ProblemSleuth http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ps401.gif]]]]

-> ''"Who are you, and why are you throwing all this weird shit all up in our business?"''
-> ''"My name is Andrew, and I have done some other stuff too. As for why I'm doing this, my objective is merely to make your day just a little more fucking awesome."''
-->-- '''Creator/AndrewHussie'''

''[[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/ MS Paint Adventures]]'' is a catch-all term for several webcomics by Creator/AndrewHussie which were originally made in Microsoft Paint, but [[ArtifactTitle later switched to]] [[NeverTrustATitle Adobe Photoshop, and later Flash]]. The TropeCodifier of the InteractiveComic genre, each is written in the style of an InteractiveFiction game, where each panel is accompanied by a text description, and the link to the next panel represents a player's command entered into a TextParser. It originated in 2006 as a series of games run on the Gangbunch forums, a small gathering of artists and miscellaneous people from the ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' forums which later became the current MSPA Forums, and were played by a group of Hussie's online friends; it graduated to its own site and effectively became a webcomic in 2007.

Originally, ''all'' of the commands (barring "Next" and "==>" command continuations) were originally suggested by the readers back in ''Jailbreak'', but over the years this decreased and major plot events were generally planned out ahead of time, culminating in ''Homestuck'' simply closing off its suggestion boxes entirely. However, the readers still have a lot of influence on the story through the community discussion, with Hussie admitting he likes reading theories and employing ones which he likes and which make sense.

It comprises four series:
* '''''Webcomic/{{Jailbreak}}''''' is the original adventure, where the player is a prisoner trying to escape from an incredibly illogical jail [[RunningGag that is completely devoid of pumpkins]]. Andrew Hussie began it as a forum game many years ago, and one of the rules was that he had to pick the very first suggested command for each move, no matter how unfunny or preposterous. One of its central gags (namely, that YouCantGetYeFlask because the game denies that the flask even ''exists'') reappears as a MythologyGag in ''Problem Sleuth'', where the game repeatedly insists that Problem Sleuth's gun is actually a harmless key, and vice versa. It was abandoned until September 2011, where it was capped off with an ending.
* '''''Webcomic/BardQuest''''' is an experimental comic where each panel has multiple branching paths, much like a ChooseYourOwnAdventure book. It has been abandoned completely.
* '''''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth''''' concerns the antics of three especially hard-boiled detectives (Problem Sleuth, Ace Dick, and Pickle Inspector) in their attempts to foil the dastardly plots of Mobster Kingpin and to escape from their offices. It parodies various point-and-click adventure and {{JRPG}} mechanics and tropes (such as StatMeters and TurnsRed) and features increasingly complex animated panels depicting {{Super Move Portrait Attack}}s, SummonMagic and {{Wave Motion Gun}}s galore. This is the one that made MSPA into a mainstream webcomic due to a sudden increase in popularity.
* '''''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''''' is the most recent series. It begins with 13-year old John Egbert, who's trying to get around to playing a hot new video game called "Sburb" while contending with a poorly-designed inventory system, and his father, but snowballs very quickly into an epic of children trying to survive AfterTheEnd in a world [[YouCantFightFate predestined to work against them]]. All dialogue is conveyed through chatlogs. While still happily displaying the energetic imagination and lightheartedness of ''Problem Sleuth'', it has increased focus on deep characterization and dialogue, dramatic moods and a wildly twisting plot. The entire story tends to rely on {{Stable Time Loop}}s. It was [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=5 initially done]] entirely in UsefulNote/{{Flash}}, before Hussie decided to switch back to Photoshop because Flash is a pain to write comics in, though Flash is still occasionally employed for animated sequences and brief exploration games. Not counting the several hours of Flash, it's about four times as long as ''Problem Sleuth''.

These comics are a stated favorite of Ryan North of ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', and Hussie and North tend to be [[http://mspandrew.tumblr.com/post/12963616983/land-of-souls-and-olives-a-conclusion-pasta-la-vista all about the incredibly silly hijinks]].

''MSPA'' has outstripped the much longer running ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' as the longest webcomic in existence in terms of page count, which numbers over 6000. However, the mixed media and the fact that several distinct stories are told leaves this fact somewhat open for debate.

Has a sister site, [[http://mspfanventures.com/ MS Paint Fan Adventures]], where most of the notable fan adventures are hosted.

It has absolutely no relation to ''Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces''. See also [[Creator/AndrewHussie Hussie's creator page]] for works not related to ''MSPA''.

!!Provides Examples Of:

* AbandonedInfoPage:
** The [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?viewpage=new New Reader]] page notes itself to be out of date. The claim that Problem Sleuth is 'by far the longest adventure' is crossed out and followed by "(Homestuck is now much longer)", and the section about Homestuck has a link to a more up-to-date primer at the top of the old description.
** [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/unlock.html The secret page]] also counts, as it lists Andrew's Formspring account, which is now out of service.
* AbortedArc: Both ''Jailbreak'' and ''Bard Quest'' end abruptly and are now abandoned.
** ''Jailbreak'' subverted this by having an ending written for it years after it was originally stopped.
** [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=3 A single panel]] exists of a standalone Midnight Crew adventure.
** The comic apparently exists in the Homestuck universe, with the pre-Scratch kids being able to read it, along with the "real" Midnight Crew on Alternia (who the in-universe comic is a reflection of) being able to read a reflection/parody of Homestuck.
* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: From Problem Sleuth onward, to the point where the wiki has an [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Acronym_Cheatsheet acronym cheatsheet]].
* ArtEvolution: From the first panel of ''Jailbreak'' to ''Homestuck'', the art has increased dramatically. However, all of the art in the comics has always been below Andrew's skill level, and in fact he's ''lost'' some of his skill simply because he never uses it anymore. Nonetheless, the writing and pacing have increased by magnitudes.
* ArtifactTitle: The only image on the entire site to be drawn in MS Paint is the very first image in ''Jailbreak''. Andrew Hussie very quickly abandoned it for Photoshop due to MS Paint's inherent limitations. The story also hasn't been under fan control ever since ''Homestuck'' became a breakout hit in Summer '10. See also NeverTrustATitle.
* CerebusSyndrome: Very noticable over the course of the comic. ''Webcomic/{{Jailbreak}}'' was driven completely by user suggestions without regard for quality, and as a result is completely nonsensical and gag-driven. ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' was still largely user-driven, but managed to incorporate characters and a plot (albeit a comedic, cartoon-y one). ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a pre-planned story arc and serious themes mixed in with its humor.
* CharacterBlog: Dave gets a [[http://dstrider.blogspot.com/ blog]]
* ChekhovsGun: Any object, character, feature, gesture can return in a plot significant way.
* ContinuityPorn: Liberal use of ChekhovsArmory and numerous {{Running Gag}}s and {{Call Back}}s to minor details. Homestuck also adds {{Recurring Riff}}s and repeated art elements.
* DarkerAndEdgier: While still being pretty comedic, ''Homestuck'' is ''much'' darker than the other three "canon" adventures, partially due to the fact that it actually has a story and plotline (''Jailbreak'' was just RuleOfFunny without any over-arching plan, and while ''Problem Sleuth'' and ''Bard's Quest'' do have plots, they're completely goofy and aren't treated seriously).
* EldritchAbomination: Fluthlu. And possibly the lesser "terrifying beasts" as well. Not to mention the entire Noble Circle of Horrorterrors.
* {{Imageboards}}: [[http://ib.skaia.net/ Skaianet imageboard]] and [[http://www.mspachan.net/ MSPAchan]]. There is also [[http://mspa.booru.org/ MSPAbooru]]
* IndecisiveMedium
* InteractiveComic: The TropeCodifier, using audience inputs to drive character actions for each new panel, even if the character doesn't react completely as expected.
* InteractiveFiction: Technically it's fake, but it has all the trappings.
%%* InterdimensionalTravelDevice
* InterfaceScrew: "What pumpkin?"
** ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' has this as a major element in the form of each characters weapons, which are also mundane items like a ring of keys or a lipstick tube. Most of the time, referring to an item as its counterpart seems to get around this (e.g. using the keys on the door shoots it with a gun), except when working normally would be [[RuleOfFunny more frustrating and funny]]. It's explicitly described in universe [[BreakingTheFourthWall on [=GameFAQs=]]] as a bug.
** ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' does the same thing with the Midnight Crew's decks of cards / storage items, along with troll Kanaya Maryam's lipstick / chainsaw.
* MythologyGag: By nature of the comic, any RunningGag throughout MSPA doubles as a Mythology Gag. None of the four comics are in-continuity with one another, but that doesn't stop pumpkins from disappearing throughout each and every one of them.
* NeverTrustATitle:
** The comic used to look like it was made in MS Paint (see [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4 the first page of Problem Sleuth]]), but by [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=000924 a couple hundred pages later]] the style has evolved and it's quite a bit more complicated, to the point where being able to draw such things on MS Paint would be pretty amazing. Then, around a year later, we're at the point where we have interactive flash pages, elaborate animations, and almost every page in full color. The truth is: the comic was made in Adobe Photoshop from day two. The author does say right in the FAQ that only the very first page of ''Jailbreak'' was made in MS Paint. Everything else has been made in Photoshop and/or, more recently, with Flash.
** Not only that, but the titles ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' and ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' only reflect the initial circumstances of each adventure, and don't give a very good glimpse into what the actual story will be like. In ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'', no cases are solved, clues found, or culprits apprehended instead, the plot evolves into sort of a pastiche of {{Eastern RPG}}s, culminating in a final battle where the entire universe is at stake. On the other Hand, Problem Sleuth was the protagonist, so the title at least made some sense.
** ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' was nearly an aversion. Andrew had at one point considered naming the series ''Sburb'', which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is what the series is about]], but decided it wasn't nearly as distinctive. The name "Homestuck" is basically a nonsense word that only describes the initial conditions of the protagonists, as mentioned above, as a ShoutOut to old-school Adventure games. It also is sorta-synonymous with ''Videogame/{{Earthbound}}'', which had an enormous influence on ''Homestuck''.
%%* NinjaProp
* ObfuscatingStupidity:
** Andrew is a very intelligent author. He spends most of his time talking to the fanbase [[TeasingCreator trolling them]].
** [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?faqs=science He also]] wrote this, and writes recaps from memory.
* OneManArmy: In ''Problem Sleuth'', Andrew did all the work himself and posted around 5-6 pages per day for a year. In ''Homestuck'', he does the majority of a workload for an entire ''animation team'' and manages to keep the 5-6 pages average ''per day''. While there is now a dedicated art team which assists him in the [[AnimationBump Flash animations]], there are still the hilarious moments in which he says he'll be slowing down for a while... and posts 80 pages in the span of a week.
* OrphanedSeries:
** ''Jailbreak'' (until September 2011) and ''Bard Quest''. ''Bard Quest'' much more so than ''Jailbreak''; most fans have never even read ''BQ'', but ''Jailbreak'' gets a fair number of call backs.
* RunningGag: [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Ongoing_gags Several]], but most notably the "What pumpkin?" and "Quickly retrieve arms" gags. The former is a version of YouCantGetYeFlask where any time a command comes in to interact with a pumpkin, it disappears from view and the narration acts like it never existed. The latter is a reference to the art style, which neglects to portray the character's arms unless they expressly need it.
* SchrodingersGun: Most of the early adventures and ''Problem Sleuth''
* StylisticSelfParody: the characters are usually drawn sans arms, leading to a running gag throughout the series, consisting of the command "Quickly retrieve arms from _____" with the character responding by gesturing with whose arms and the message "You already ''have'' arms, stupid!" (or some other insult). This is [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] early on in ''Homestuck''. And again thereafter.
** "Quickly retrieve arms from cinder blocks." "Nah."
** At one point, a character ''literally'' has to retrieve an arm (from an inadvertently dismembered corpse.)
** Another instance involves retrieving firearms.
* StylisticSuck: The unrefined, aliased art style allows for swifter drawing, allowing several panels to be published per day. That doesn't stop Andrew Hussie from doing incredibly refined and detailed drawings, however.
** The stride does slow significantly when Hussie is utilizing Flash for pages in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''.
** The best example of stylistic suck would be Dave's own webcomic, ''Webcomic/SweetBroAndHellaJeff''.
* ThemeTable:
** ''Problem Sleuth'' and ''Homestuck'' each use this. In ''Homestuck'', each of the main characters has a guardian, something weird that guardian collects, a world etc.. In ''Problem Sleuth'', each of the detectives and the Mobster Kingpin has something trapping them in a room, a kingdom in the fantasy world etc..
** Some more detail on things the kids in ''Homestuck'' each have one of [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Homestuck_Kids here]].
* TheyPlottedAPerfectlyGoodWaste: Done repeatedly with reader suggestions, with hilarious (and often plot-crucial) results. The rather silly idea of building a fort out of a desk in ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' actually developed into a major game mechanic of the series.
* UpToEleven: Routinely. And it never turns it back to 1 before he [[SerialEscalation kicks it up again]]. Although it is nearly always put in with [[MoodWhiplash incredibly tame]], even dull moments in between one WhamEpisode and the next. A prime example would be Jane: Enter, a Flash animation which covers 413 years and detail a fatal mistake that quite literally changes the game. This is immediately followed by followed by [[AuthorAvatar Hussie]] feeding a character milk while in cosplay. Then the BigBad suddenly appears, marking the first time a character has [[TheGhost met him on-panel]].
* WebAnimation: One of ''Homestuck'''s primary draws are the Flash (denoted by [S]) updates.
* YouCantGetYeFlask:
** The pumpkin. Of course, when you attempt to get ye flask of whiskey, it works fine. Also, when you attempt to get ye key, you get a gun... and ye key disappeareth.
** It's sort of applied logic: in ''Problem Sleuth'', one of the commands would be to grab something (gun, knife,) and it would immediately turn into something else. '''Any''' time you bring it up, it will turn back.
** It was so common that it even got an official name "Innocuous Double" and a [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Weapon/Object_Duality page on the wiki]] detailing all the doubles.
** You can also [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002911 get ye rope]], despite it actually being a cable.

%comment%What pumpkin?