[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/noveau_small.jpg]][[caption-width-right:225:Someday I will find the secret\\
to your social chemistry.]]

->''"Young lady, you fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating."''
-->-- '''Professor Lupin Madblood'''

Answering an innocent job offer, Dave Davenport is drawn into a shocking spiral of vice, crime and moral depravity. Hopelessly ensnared by a madwoman's feminine wiles, can he return to the world of sanity before it is... too late? Narbonic skates over some surprisingly serious territory, but with such a light touch you will probably be too busy laughing to notice. Formerly on a subscription site, the story ended in late 2006, whereupon the entire archive was made free.

You can view both the [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php regular version]] and the [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php Director's Cut (wherein cartoonist Shaenon K. Garrity explains the previous-comic background of the major characters, and comments on each strip)]]. (And finally please refrain from reading the spoilered text below if you intend reading this comic at some point in the future or are following the Director's Cut in real time.)

Immediately after the end of ''Narbonic'', it was followed by ''SkinHorse'', recently revealed to be [[TheVerse set in the same universe.]]

----
!!''Narbonic'' contains examples of:

* AchievementsInIgnorance: Dave, who can fix anything. At the very beginning of the strip, he is able to reconstruct a fully functioning weather-control device [[spoiler: from a broken ''mail sorter'' that Helen tricked him into believing was a broken mail-order doomsday device. ''The resulting device can control pre-existing {{Kill Sat}}s''.]]
** [[spoiler: Subversion too, as he's really a latent genius]].
* AffablyEvil: Helen and Mell do pretty unpleasant, not to mention unethical and irresponsible, things pretty much constantly. But they're so darn charming its easy to forget.
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: [[spoiler: And then Dave was a Mad Scientist.]]
* {{Animorphism}}: inverted with Artie, a gerbil transmogrified into a human.
* TheAnnotatedEdition: The comic has a rerun with strip-by-strip commentary, which started when the strip itself ended.
* AnsweringEcho: When [[spoiler:Helen breaks up with Dave]], he's so shocked [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=51541#206639 that he reacts this way]].
* AntiVillain: The protagonists!
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
--> '''Helen:''' You are Dave Davenport. [[spoiler:You've fought demons, flown to the moon, came back from the dead, and menstruated.]] I've put you through ''much'' worse than this.
* ArtShift: Every year has a Dave-in-Slumberland strip whose art style is based on that of ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''Dreams of the Rarbrit Fiend''. These contain coded clues for what will happen in the following year of strips.
* AwesomeYetImpractical: The bane of most mad scientists. The dangerously sane (by Narbonic standards) Mell lampshades this when she draws an analogy between a highly advanced but thoroughly impractical laser flintlock pistol designed by Madblood to mad science in general.
--> '''Mell:''' What's awesome is, this gun is like you! It's mind-blowingly brilliant, but on a common-sense level it's dumb as a box of rocks! And in the end it blows up in your face. Big surprise, huh?
* BackFromTheDead: Dave. [[RunningGag No, this isn't a spoiler.]]
* BadassBoast: A simple yet effective one.
-->'''[[spoiler:Dave Davenport]]:''' Here's the situation: Right now, you need a mad-scientist liaison. I'm a mad scientist. You're going to hire me.\\
'''Dave Conspiracy:''' And what will you do if we refuse?\\
'''[[spoiler:Dave Davenport]]:''' You know, I have no idea. ''[twitch]''
* BadFuture: [[spoiler: Dave ends up in one when he's unstuck in time.]] One of the residents there, [[spoiler:a holographic recording of Dave (or [[ShrugOfGod possibly]] a version of Dave's mind that's been [[BrainUploading uploaded]] into the computer)]], gives him [[ForWantOfANail a subtle clue]] about how to fix the future.
* BetaCouple: [[spoiler: Mell and Caliban]].
-->'''Dave:''' You've been together for ''years!'' How'd you do it?\\
'''[[spoiler:Caliban]]:''' Elevator sex.
* BigBadEnsemble: The last arc has [[spoiler: the Hamsters and Dave, though the later is clearly the bigger and more personal threat.]]
* BlackHelicopter: Dave asks, íf the the members of his game club buy their appliances from places, that deliver stuff by black helicopters (government, most likely).
* BreakThemByTalking: Helen senior does that to Mel by suggesting her mentally picture a scene of condensed, crystallized, [[RuleOfThree extra-crispy]], [[OverlyLongGag weapons-grade]] FanDisservice.
* BriarPatching: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9942#strip5 Confessed by Dave here:]] "If that's the way they want it, I'll just have to '''cope''' with living on a tropical island with two scantily-clad women." [[spoiler: (Also a heavy dose of Foreshadowing and or Fridge Brilliance on the part of the author.)]]
* BoldInflation: Two plus two words: ANTONIO SMITH (FORENSIC LINGUIST).
** He would kill you for writing his name in all caps.
** Unless he's wearing the fedora.
* BrokenFaceplate: The state of Dave's eyeglasses symbolizes the state of his sanity. For most of the comic's run, his glasses are intact but represented as opaque. Towards the end when Dave finally realizes the great secret responsible for much of his life's path, his glasses are suddenly represented as clear, showing that he can see clearly now. [[spoiler: And then one of the lenses cracks, as a not-so-subtle way to show that Dave is half-cracked.]]
* ButtMonkey: Madblood and Dave for much of the comic. They still don't have anything on [[spoiler: Victorian Madblood, who ended up the sole consort of a planet of shapeshifters who decided they all liked his form best.]]
* BuxomIsBetter: Mell acknowledges the assets of the Avatar of Lovelace, Madbloods A.I.
* BrainBleach: Mel's reaction to [[spoiler:Dave's clone]] having found erotic photos of [[spoiler:Dave and Helen B. together]]: '''"MY EYES! MY EYYYES!!"''' ([[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10337#strip1 warning, spoiler]])
* BrainUploading: [[spoiler: Dave, during his Mad Scientist breakdown.]]
* BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats: The Dave Conspiracy-- Their "hat" is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin being named Dave]]. Not only is every member a Dave, ''every Dave is a member''!
** Daves who are ejected from the Conspiracy must introduce themselves as, and respond to, David. Others even take to calling them David, unconsciously, without any prodding!
* CardCarryingVillain: unusually, this applies to the protagonists
* ChekhovsGun and ChekhovsGunman: Several examples.
* ChronicallyCrashedCar: Dave's cars can't ever catch a break.
* CloningBlues: [[spoiler: Helen was scarred by growing as the subject of experimentation by her mother on the heritability of Mad Genius, and worries that she's turning out just as bad. These worries become especially relevant both in her experiments on Dave's nascent madness and her bringing out a clone of Dave after their breakup. The Dave clone is killed by Dave as part of his VillainousBreakdown.]]
* ClueFromEd
* CompanionCube: Foot, of sorts. Acutally intelligent enough to speak, and an object of (temporary, we hope) desire for Mel. "Oh! He's so coldly destructive!"
* ColdBloodedTorture: PlayedForLaughs: [[spoiler: Artie in his human form]] dangles Helen B. at her ankle upside down to know what the hell is it with Dave. After [[spoiler:Artie]] presumably "jiggled" her a little bit, she "cracked" told him and Mell, that Dave [[spoiler: is actually a clone, since she broke up with the real Dave to try to safe him from his madness. Helen B. gave the clone the cure against ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder, which made him less intelligent and [[WeirdnessCensor oblivious to weird shit around him, e.g. talking gerbils]].]].
* ConLang: A throw-away gag in the epilogue.
* ContractualGenreBlindness AND GenreSavvy
* CoolButInefficient: a hallmark of mad science, as pointed out by Mell: see KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter
* CosmicDeadline: The final story arc.
* {{Costumer}}: the Victorian Sunday feature
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Helen never actually appears stupid (she is a mad scientist afterall) but she does almost always act as a AffablyEvil hyperintelligent version of TheDitz. [[spoiler: this is very much an act.]]
* DeconstructorFleet
* DestructoNookie: [[spoiler: when Helen and Dave get together for the first time, the lab is trashed. NoodleImplements are scattered everywhere.]]
* DoNotAdjustYourSet: Done by Professor Madblood.
* DrowningMySorrows: After [[spoiler: Helen broke up with him]], Dave did this.
* DrunkOnMilk: Dave can get stone drunk on half a glass of Vanilla Coke. (And pathos.)
* DudeNotFunny: Helen B.'s reaction to Artie joking about how Dave was either eaten by a demon or [[spoiler: forgot about the date with her. She found the latter much less funny then the former]]. ([[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10306#strip1 click with caution, spoiler!]]) [[invoked]]
* EasterEgg: A story of [[FreakOut Helen's origin]] can be found (two or three words at a time) attached to the filenames of the individual strips. The compiled story can be found [[http://www.ci-n.com/~jcampbel/narbonic.txt here]].
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: played straight with Helen's lair, but subverted as well. Madblood brags about his "underground lair", but it's revealed that "underground" means "living in Mom's basement".
** Helen's "underground lair" is actually a storm drain. They just do a ''really'' good job fixing it up.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Helen ([[spoiler:Beta]]), Dave ([[spoiler:Prescott]]), and Mell ([[spoiler:Wildflower]]).
* EntertaininglyWrong: In [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=49197#196132 this]] strip, Dave comes to the entirely logical but incorrect conclusion that Lovelace is actually Professor Madblood.
* [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas Even Mad Scientists Love their Mamas]] When Helen kicked her mom out for causing problems in her underground lair (e.g. killing Dave), she felt bad about yelling at her.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Helen B. won't have Mell drink alcohol, because she's under 21.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: [[spoiler: Artie,]] after being transformed into a human, get's lotsa admirers from both genders.
* EvilLaugh
* FakeOutMakeOut, sort of
* FilkSong: This has become a running feature in the comments section of the "Director's Cut" re-runs. For example, [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=32732#strip3 this strip]] inspired one reader to compose "In The Dungeon We'll Rot" to the tune of "You're The One That I Want" from the movie version of "Grease".
** [[spoiler:[[http://seananmcguire.com/index.php Seanan McGuire's]] [[http://seananmcguire.com/songbook.php?id=112 "Oh Helen"]], sung by [[http://www.vixyandtony.com/ Tony]], is about Dave's love for...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Helen]].]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Almost everything in the comic. Side characters, oddball filler arcs, offhand comments, almost everything comes into play later.
* FloatingContinent: The intelligent hamsters Dane, the superintelligent gerbil created, made a floating village with Artie's donation.
* ForWantOfANail: [[spoiler: "Listen, Dave. When the time comes, you must refill the swimming pool. Got it?"]]
* FreakOut: All mad scientists go through this when they first go mad. Hellen's, told in an Easter Egg spanning literally the entire strip's run (hint: Look at the filenames of the strips) involved her turning a bunch of ''pasta'' into a deadly bioweapon.
** Note that, of the scientists who mentioned the settings and casualties of their initial freakouts, [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Helens was the most destructive.]] The competition included a nuclear power station.
** [[spoiler: Dave's involves him taking over Madblood's evil lair, killing off the local advanced AI, and uploading his own brain to take its place.]]
** [[spoiler: In the BadFuture, he is strongly implied to have topped this off by successfully escaping the base and setting off a global thermonuclear war, after Helen is either badly injured or temporarily killed in her fall and is thus unable to distract him at a pivotal moment.]]
* FurryFandom: Some elements are heavily parodied in [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/users/narbonic/080905most_recent.jpg this strip.]]
* GambitRoulette: Helen may or may not (See IndyPloy above) have planned ''everything'' that happens in the strip's run.
* GeekyAnalogy: Dave does this a lot; since he works for a mad scientist, his analogies with ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and MarvelComics are usually highly appropriate.
* GenderBender: First once to test a theory about the ThirdLawOfGenderBending, later used as a ''sexual roleplay device.''
* GenerationXerox: Not only is Helen a literal "xerox" of her mother, but her life and personal tastes parallel hers in several ways, occasionally to her angst.
** The Victorian Narbonic storyline may or may not be part of canon, but there are at least two ghosts to testify to a Helen, Mell, and Dave living over a century ago having similar mad science adventures.
* GoGoEnslavement
* GoLookAtTheDistraction: Happens to Dave during the "Lovelace affair" plotline.
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Played with -- not only is there Good Angel, Bad Angel, but there's "Social Life", "Mad Scientist", "Self Esteem", "Fear of Women", "Biological Clock"... And the characters can all see their own, and the angels can see each other -- and socialize after work.
* GratuitousItalian: The Italian spoken by the [[spoiler:Amazon Women of Mars]] in the Victorian storyline oscillates between nearly normal and positively Jabberwockish.
* GuestStrip: From time to time other artists do draw a strip or two in the Narbonic setting. See also OfficialFanSubmittedContent.
* HalfHumanHybrid: [[spoiler:Zeta Vincent.]]
* [[spoiler:[[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend He Is Not My Boyfriend]]: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=48188#strip4 The mad scientist way (paraphrased): "Don't claim he's my boyfriend, or I'll poison your coffee"]].]]
* [[spoiler:HeartbreakAndIceCream: After Helen breaks up with Dave, she expressed her intent to eat six pints (2.84 liter) of Ben and Jerry's "Half Baked" ice cream. Since she's a mad scientist, she also wants to blow up Ecuador.]]
* HeyItsThatGuy: Shaenon Garrity litters the Mad Symposium of "Professor Madblood and the Lovelace Affair" with cameos of mad scientists from other webcomics.
** Also the physicist and the webcomic artist who Artie meets at the dinner? [[InkSuitActor Ink Suit Actors]] of ParadigmShift creator Dirk Tiede and his future wife.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard (subverted)
** Played straight in the case of the suicide bomber kitten the gerbils sent against Helen.
* HollywoodToneDeaf: When Caliban the [[spoiler:ex-demon]] sings, [[YourHeadASplode heads starting to a splode]], which makes his singing also a BrownNote.
* HugeHolographicHead
* {{Hulkspeak}}: Foot
* HumanityEnsues: Artie is not happy about his acquisition of {{Shapeshifting}} abilities.
* HyperspaceMallet: Mell's easy access to {{Hammerspace}} has been [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] once or twice.
** Especially when [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=13021#strip2 she takes out an actual mallet]].
-->'''Helen:''' Where exactly did you get that mallet?
-->'''Mell:''' Whaddya mean? Mallets just happen.
* [[spoiler:IAmWho]]: Dave
* IdiotBall: Dave plays a fool to Artie's straight talk, but only when it's funny.
* IllTellYouWhenIveHadEnough: ...[[DrunkOnMilk mocha talls, damnit.]]
* IndyPloy: Helen's typical approach ("It's times like these I almost question my usual strategy of doing whatever dumb thing pops into my head.")
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Madblood gets no respect.
* InsideAComputerSystem: Where [[spoiler: Helen]] goes to rescue [[spoiler: Dave]].
* IntellectualAnimal
* InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Dave confessing (or not) his feelings for Helen.
* InferredHolocaust: Played for in-universe FridgeHorror when Mell and Dave speculate about the control group for Helen's mothers experiments on mad science.
--> '''Helen:''' [[FridgeHorror A control group? You mean dozens of other young women released into the wild to slowly go mad, only to be hunted down and vivisected by my mother,]] [[StepfordSmiler just as I would have been if I hadn't bought myself a rifle?]] [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Why Mell, that would be HIGHLY unethical.]]
* InformedAbility: Dr. Narbon's only major scientific accomplishment (mad or otherwise) is her longitudinal study of her daughter-clone Helen Beta. Everything else, she snitches off Helen's work. This is brought up a few times, naturally. She's pretty good at the Evil Overlord gig though.
* InstantAIJustAddWater: Lovelace
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: Two examples - Artie (shapeshifting into a human whenever he hiccups), Dave (given a GenderBender drug against his will by Helen to test a hypothesis).
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler:"I love you." "Not enough."]] Especially noteworthy since [[spoiler:Dave echoed what Future Helen said to him, while [[MindScrew she probably echoed what]] ''[[MindScrew he]]'' [[MindScrew said]]]].
* [[spoiler:JacobMarleyWarning]]
* [[spoiler:KidFromTheFuture]]
* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: As Mell points out, Madblood has armed his robots with laser weapons that expend a rare moon crystal for power...which get one shot per crystal and must be manually reloaded like an antique pistol.
* KissMeImVirtual: [[spoiler: Lovelace]]
* LargeHamTitle: Antonio Smith, '''[[MundaneMadeAwesome Forensic Linguist!]]'''
* LawOfConservationOfNormality
* LikeABadassOutOfHell: [[spoiler:Seth]]
* LivingWeapon: [[spoiler: Seth]]'s weapon is at least sentient enough to experience jealousy.
* LuminescentBlush: Rare, but not unseen. One of them occurred to Helen B., when [[spoiler:the [[VirtualGhost uploaded mind]] of Dave gone fully mad made an threat to take revenge and conquer the world:]].
-->[[spoiler:'''Insane virtual Dave''': I'll make you pay. I'll make everyone pay. '''The world is all mine!''']]
-->[[spoiler:'''Helen B.''': Good gracious, that was '''hot''' *blush*.]]
* MacGuffinDeliveryService: subverted
* MadScientist: Helen, Madblood [[spoiler: Dave Davenport]]
* MadScientistLaboratory: The main setting.
* MaleGaze: According to Mell, the [[spoiler: Dave clone Helen B. also gave the cure against mad scientist syndrome to]] never looked in their faces.
* ManIFeelLikeAWoman
* MeanwhileInTheFuture
* AMillionIsAStatistic: Played for laughs in the epilogue.
* MyLittlePanzer: In "A Week of December 18th Story", a parody of A Christmas Story, little (future Mad Scientist) Helen's Christmas toy of choice is the [=BioBeam=] 8000 gamma irradiator with 5-liter containment chamber, cesium 137 radiation source, optional remote monitoring station, and a thing on top that tells the time. [[http://www.gamma-medical.de/products_bestrahlungstechnik_biobeam.html This is apparently a real piece of equipment.]]
* MoralityChain: After [[spoiler: Helen B. broke up with Dave, Mell claimed, that Dave made her act more sane.]]
* NakedOnArrival: When you get kicked out of the afterlife into the mortal world, you're naked. Happens to [[spoiler: both Caliban and Mell]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Professor Lupin "Wolf" Madblood, Helen Narbon Sr.
* NerdGlasses: Dave, and the cartoonist.
* NewTechIsNotCheap: Taken UpToEleven, with a time machine requiring the energy of an entire universe.
* NoDoubtTheYearsHaveChangedMe: Parodied when [[spoiler:the hologram of Future Dave says something to this effect, then interrupts himself so he can use the "hologram" part for a [[StarWars Princess Leia]] impression.]]
-->'''Present Dave:''' I have no problem believing this is me.
* NoFourthWall
* NoodleIncident: Plenty, but the most literal one was when Helen [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10207 first went mad in an Italian bistro]] and caused nine casualties.
--> Dr. Fowler: "Yes, that was simply a '''killer''' pesto wasn't it, Narbon?"
** If one [[AllThereInTheManual reads the side story]], added a word or two a day in the filenames, the tale of that Italian Bistro is told.
* NotSoDifferent: Poor Artie causes a lot of chaos, despite being the token good member of the cast.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Helen comes across as a slightly goofy, hopelessly inept mad scientist playing to all the tropes (and a HollywoodNerd). [[spoiler: Turns out this is a persona she wears at all times to be able to interact with people on our level. When she has to go up against another newly-gone-mad mad scientist, she warns the rest of the cast that she will be too busy to play nice.]]
--> '''Artie''': So what we've seen up to now is [[spoiler: the '''reassuring''' persona?]]
--> '''Mel''': Hells yeah. Not even I wanna meet [[spoiler: Real Helen]] in a dark alley.
* OfficialFanSubmittedContent: There is an official fanfic comic on the site, it's chapters between the normal comic pages. See also GuestStrip.
* OralFixation: Dave
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Dave
* UsefulNotes/{{Otherkin}}: Inverted with the "acaudials" Artie meets on the internet, sapient animals who believe themselves human.
* OutGambitted: Madblood, constantly, by Helen. Has enough moments involving other people to manage being both the ButtMonkey ''and'' a MagnificentBastard at the same time.
* PaintingTheMedium: Madness gets its own font, a particularly curly, flowerly script that just ''screams'' derangement.
* PhotographicMemory: Artie, supposedly, but it's not a plot point.
* PornStash: Madblood has lotsa Hustler magazines in his panic room.
* PowerPerversionPotential:
--> '''Dave''' [[spoiler: after breaking up with Helen]]: I'll never have lesbian sex again, dammit!
* ProjectedMan: Lovelace, the A.I. of Madblood, has a sexy holographic avatar later-on.
* PsychoForHire: Mell.
* PunchClockVillain: Dave, at least in the beginning.
* RasputinianDeath: It wasn't enough to kill Dr. Narbon.
* ReunionRevenge: Helen plans one, but calls it off.
* ARiddleWrappedInAMysteryInsideAnEnigma: Artie once describes Helen as "a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a peculiar sense of ethics."
* RuleOfPool
* RunningGag: After Dave's smoking was wiped out of existence by time-shenanigans, "Dave never smoked" became a running gag in the comic, Director's cut commentary, and fandom.
* SanityHasAdvantages: Played with. One girl who's been seen in the bar Dave frequents comments that the first time she met him, he was driving androids to Canada, and the second time he was licking the barroom floor.
-->'''Dave''': "So sanity's not coming off too well?"
-->'''Girl''': "I'm just not seeing much of a difference, is all."
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Dave is an odd example - his eyes are covered sporadically by his glasses throughout most of the comic and only go totally clear once [[spoiler: he [[FreakOut goes mad]].]] The elder Doctor Narbon also wears glasses obscuring her eyes in all of her appearances in the comic [[spoiler: except for when Dave meets her while traveling in time, where she looks exactly like present day Helen.]]
* ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder: Mad genius is an actual genetic condition, and Helen manages to find a cure for it... but with the side effect of decreasing the subject's intelligence and amplifying their WeirdnessCensor to an astonishing degree. (Helen also says she didn't use it [[spoiler: on Dave]] because it makes the user impotent, but WordOfGod is that was a joke.)
* SenseFreak: [[spoiler:Caliban in human form.]]
* {{Seppuku}}: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10219#strip4 Dave wanted to do this and asked Helen B. to be his second]], whe he mistakenly thought, that his internet-girlfriend Lovelace is in reality [[spoiler: Professor Madblood. He was off, but nor far off. It was Madblood's sentient computer]]. She refused, of course.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Among other things, Dave [[spoiler:quit smoking by never starting in the first place]]. In a more plot heavy moment [[spoiler:Dave from the future specifically invokes this trope by leaving a holographic message to a time hopping Dave from the present that he's not happy with his life, and gives him [[ForWantOfANail instructions on how to fix things.]]]]
* SexDressed
* ShamefulStrip: After Nick Cricetida is knocked unconscious, he awakes in the villainess's bed naked.
* ShoutOut:
** When the mutant gerbils escape they are killed by a lop-eared rabbit with a switchblade - Bun-Bun from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Also, a more subtle one: the Crabtree Grant to Women in Mad Science.
** Pretty much any film with a mad scientist gets a reference at some point or another. [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9960 Here]], the teleporter has a sign barring entry to [[TheFly flies]].
** ShoutOutToShakespeare: ANTONIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST! (mis)quotes Shakespeare constantly. Helen's name is a reference to Helena de Narbonne in ''AllsWellThatEndsWell''.
** At a mad scientists' convention, [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey a supercomputer is asked to sing 'Daisy, Daisy']]. [[spoiler: It refuses.]] It later takes an opportunity to say: "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that." Later still, [[spoiler: as it's being erased, the supercomputer says "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Will you stop, Dave? I'm afraid. Dave, my mind is going. I can--"]]
** To ''Series/BabylonFive'' when Helen [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9958&name=narbonic declares]]:
---> Only one man has ever survived my ur-gerbils. He is behind me. You are in front of me.
** Artie's product number, RT-5478, is a reference to Shaenon's birthday.
** The rival mad scientist Lupin Madblood, who also loves to steal stuff, is a clear ShoutOut to Franchise/LupinIII.
** [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9960 The teleporter in Narbon's hide-out on the island for exiled Daves has a 'no flies'-sticker on it]]. It's a ShoutOut to TheFly, obviously.
* SoapPunishment: Helen's mother punished her daughter for saying the "g-word" (No, she wasn't swearing in Russian or Polish, as a CardCarryingVillain Helen senior finds the word "good" obscene and dirty).
* SuicideAttack: The gerbils send the cat Sir Pounce, that Helen sent to keep them in check, as a suicide bomber against Helen. Mel tossed it away and it killed 3 of the gerbils.
* SmallGirlBigGun: Mell, to a tee!
* SpaceIsNoisy: [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]
* SpannerInTheWorks
--> "And thus he falls for Villain Fallacy #2: Letting the harmless comic relief run free."
* StepfordSmiler: [[spoiler:Helen, which we find out after Dave leaves.]]
* StupidSexyFlanders: Dave has this moment after seeing, how damn good [[spoiler: Artie]] looks, after [[spoiler:Helen B. transformed him into a human]] ([[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10245 spoiler, click with caution!]]).
* TakeThat: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/redirect.php?name=narbonic&type=comic&installment_ID=31176&whichbutton=prev&view=archive&counter=1 On the 1st page Dave's interview with Microsoft is taken as a proof that computer-science majors are more likely to perpetrate evil]]. [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9765 On the 3rd page Dave mentioned Microsoft working on doomsday devices]].
** [[spoiler: The same goes for [[http://seananmcguire.com/songbook.php?id=112 Seanan McGuire song "Oh Helen", a love song from Dave to Helen, obviously]].]]
* TalkativeLoon: Dana, as well as [[spoiler: Dave]]
* TapOnTheHead: subverted; Mell can't do it properly because she's used to going straight for the kill.
* TheMadHatter
* TheyCalledMeMad
* ThirdLineSomeWaiting: Dana and Zeta's storyline has almost no interaction with the main plot and characters for a long time, though it is tied in at the climax.
* TimeSkip: Three months, at [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=13508 the ending]]. Others are implied to take place in-between storylines, keeping the comic as a whole roughly in real time.
* TimeTravel
* TongueOnTheFlagpole: The parody of ''AChristmasStory'' briefly shows a young Dave Davenport yelling "I'm thtuck!"
* TookALevelInBadass: [[spoiler: Seth]] is something of a subversion. He [[LikeABadassOutOfHell becomes a potent demon slayer]] when he reappears in the comic, and has a wicked axe to boot, but has no better luck getting dates than he did in his earlier appearances.
* TotemPoleTrench: Done (unconvincingly) by a bunch of superintelligent hamsters with a trenchcoat and a paper plate face.
* [[spoiler: Tsundere: Helen B.]]
* TrulySingleParent: Helen is Dr. Narbon Senior's clone.
* UnholyMatrimony: [[spoiler: Dave and Helen's happy ending.]]
* VideoWills: it wasn't a will, but Dave's 46-year-old self made a hologram to show his 26-year-old self when the younger Dave showed up via TimeTravel. He knew what to say because he [[StableTimeLoop remembered what his younger self heard 20 years ago]]. [[spoiler:Then it didn't happen. Oh well.]][[spoiler: Technically the 'holographic will' was actually [[BrainUploading Dave's mind in a supercomputer. Maybe]].]]
* VillainousBreakdown: Every Mad Scientist goes through one of these when they first [[TheyCalledMeMad go crazy]].
** There ''are'' benevolent Mad Scientists, who presumably don't go through one of these, but they're barely touched upon, as the Mad Scientific Community at large views them as tremendously creepy.
* VillainProtagonist
* VirtualGhost
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: When Mell is sent on a mission to kill [[spoiler: Dr. Narbon]], she falls prey to this after commenting, "Huh, weird floor." Her captor comments that there wasn't time to come up with something original, since Mell made it farther than expected.
* WhamEpisode
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: "How do you know I'm mad?" asked Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here." And then Dave was a madboy.]]
* WeirdTradeUnion: Both henchmen and killer androids have their own unions. (That last one was actually Artie's fault.)
* WeirdnessCensor: Dave's brother Bill is an extreme example -- rather than merely reinterpreting weirdness as mundane things (for example, treating Artie as a normal gerbil) he ''does not perceive weird things at all'' (for example, he just can't see Artie).
** [[spoiler:When Helen tests her ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder antiserum on a clone of Dave, he gains one that's just as strong; someone even mistakes him for Bill for a moment or two.]]
* WeirdnessMagnet
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Mad scientists are utterly brilliant and can do things that should be impossible... but their genius is tied to their madness, which makes them volatile and destructive. It's probably also the reason that none of them has ever actually achieved WorldDomination.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Near the end of the comics, [[spoiler: Dave goes mad and becomes a virtual virus that could infiltrate the world's technological grid and destroy the world.]]
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=10263#strip3 Helen B. is extremely shocked, when she hears, that her mother is proud of her.]]
-->'''Helen B. Narbon''': There is a thing as '''too''' evil!
* YouDidntAsk: They don't even need to [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9960 ask the question.]]
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Mel said this about herself, after she managed to [[spoiler:get herself kicked out of heaven and hell back to earth]]. Her boyfriend Caliban (ex-demon) agreed and saw to it.

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