-->''[[Music/TheKillers I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier.]]''

[[http://www.terminallance.com Terminal Lance]] is a bi-weekly webcomic by Terminal Lance Corporal Maximilian Uriarte, [[SemperFi USMC]]. It [[IncrediblyLamePun draws]] on Uriarte's experiences as a Lance Corporal in the infantry. Think a WorkCom, but set in the military.

Uriarte has also produced an animated short called ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19dMSRLCFIs Post]]'', which bears the Terminal Lance brand but does not feature the same characters (or rather, if it does, [[ArtShift it's hard to tell]].)

Most of the humor is related to life in the Corps. [[PeripheryDemographic Non-Marines]] are advised to have a reference (or a Marine friend to act as translator) handy for all the acronyms and expressions that appear.
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!''Terminal Lance'' contains examples of:

* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: Uriarte uses a lot of terms that leave non-Marines baffled. The title of [[http://terminallance.com/2012/06/22/terminal-lance-208-acronymia/ this strip]] refers to the trope.
* AlwaysABiggerFish: In [[http://terminallance.com/2014/10/07/terminal-lance-348-the-bigger-fish/ this]] strip, a bunch of lower-level enlisted personnel get to enjoy seeing their Gunnery Sergeant being chewed out by a more senior NCO instead of being the one giving the chewing-out to the lower-level enlisted. The title for that page is, to make the point of the strip obvious, "The Bigger Fish".
* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: Discussed in #302, [[http://terminallance.com/2014/01/17/terminal-lance-302-pirate-sword/ Pirate Sword]].
* ArmedFarces: One of the purposes of the comic as a whole is to make fun of the silly stuff one regularly finds in the Marine Corps.
* ArmoredClosetGay: The Drill Instructor in [[http://terminallance.com/2011/11/29/terminal-lance-164-its-already-gay-ii/ this strip]] seems to be one.
* ArmyOfThievesAndWhores: The civilian in [[http://terminallance.com/2013/06/04/terminal-lance-spoon-fed/ this strip]] thinks the military is a place for people too poor for college. Abe is not pleased.
* AssShove: The [[http://terminallance.com/2010/04/30/terminal-lance-34-its-already-gay/ "oil check"]].
* AuthorAppeal: Uriarte did a [[ZombieApocalypse short zombie arc]] starting [[http://terminallance.com/2011/06/14/terminal-lance-132-necropocalypse-part-1/ here]]
* AuthorAvatar: The initially nameless brunet Marine grunt, later identified as "Abe" during the ZombieApocalypse arc, looks an awful lot like Uriarte. Pretty much confirmed in [[http://terminallance.com/2011/09/27/terminal-lance-paranoid-book-signing/ "Paranoid Book Signing"]] when Uriarte draws himself: he's indistinguishable from Abe, {{Permastubble}} notwithstanding.
* BathroomStallGraffiti: "Wagner Loves The Cock". According to Uriarte, this particular saying is RealLife bit of MemeticMutation in the Marine Corps. Nobody seems to know where or when it got started. In fact, according to the comic, it is impossible for a Marine to sit in a bathroom stall with a marker without either writing this message, or drawing a penis on the stall.
* ButtMonkey: Boots and [=POGs=] are frequent targets, as well as "water dogs"--1171 water technicians.
* CatapultNightmare: Abe has one about [[http://terminallance.com/2010/10/01/terminal-lance-69-my-own-personal-hell/ standing in line]] [[http://terminallance.com/2012/06/08/terminal-lance-205/ at the armory]].
* DearJohnLetter: Unable to deal with spending so much time apart from him, Abe's girlfriend evidently wrote him a break-up letter [[ExaggeratedTrope a few hours after he left.]]
* DrunkenMaster: [[http://terminallance.com/2012/06/01/terminal-lance-203-that-one-guy/ Cone]]. According to Uriarte, every platoon has at least one person who is like this, who only gets better when drunk.
* DrunkWithPower: Implied in one strip, which shows [[http://terminallance.com/2011/02/11/terminal-lance-104-the-prophecy-fulfilled/ a Marine who turns into a giant douchebag]] ([[VisualPun literally]]) upon being promoted to Corporal.
* FourthDateMarriage: [[http://terminallance.com/2011/11/04/terminal-lance-159-checking-marriage/ Attempts to avert this trope]] are constantly being made.
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Parodied in [[http://terminallance.com/2012/03/09/terminal-lance-184-life-after-eas-conscience/ this strip]].
* GossipEvolution: The comic gives readers the Marine version of the grapevine, [[http://terminallance.com/2011/04/19/terminal-lance-120-the-lance-corporal-underground/ "Lance Corporal Underground"]], complete with warping the actual message between its origin and final destination as a nod to the Norman Rockwell painting, and its sequel, [[http://terminallance.com/2014/08/05/terminal-lance-338-the-lance-corporal-underground-ii/ "Lance Corporal Underground II"]], which references reporter Wolf Blitzer's coverage of [[UsefulNotes/ArabIsraeliConflict the tunnels from Gaza to Israel]].
* IDontKnowMortalKombat: Inverted and subverted in [[http://terminallance.com/2012/03/13/terminal-lance-185-experience/ this strip]]: Abe ''is'' good at ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'', thanks to the military, but ''not'' because of his military training - it's because they often had nothing to do on duty but play ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty''.
* ImportantHaircut: The "high and tight" is treated as a subversion, especially after the pleasantness of the "medium reg" is discovered.
* InterserviceRivalry: Within the Corps, between [[DeskJockey POGs]] and grunts. Uriarte naturally takes the side of the grunts. He especially doesn't like the "Water Dogs" (Marine plumbers), though at one point he also mocks the grunts who think anyone who does technical/repair work is an immediate POG.
* JoinTheArmyTheySaid: [[http://terminallance.com/2010/04/09/terminal-lance-28-false-advertising/ #28: "False Advertising"]]. First panel: Marine grunt in combat. Second panel: Three Marines in dress uniform with ceremonial rifles, with the "The Few. The Proud." recruiting slogan across it. Third panel: Guy in fatigues standing in front of a recruiting poster with a mop. TheRant even says that "making fun of the cheesy recruiting commercials is one of the favorite pass times ''[sic]'' of Marines."
--> '''Mop guy:''' Well anything seems cool if you say it like that...
* LethalChef: Naturally, military food and the ever-popular MRE get a few jokes at their expense.
-->''...WHY THE FUCK DOES [[http://terminallance.com/2010/03/09/terminal-lance-19-the-mr-e-mystery-2/ THIS THING]] EXIST???''
* LimitedAdvancementOpportunities: The name Terminal Lance refers to Marines whose climb up the rank ladder has stalled at Lance Corporal (just below NCO status), often because the score required for promotion in their career specialty is ridiculously high (or the Corps just plain refuses to accept any new Corporals in that specialty). {{Iron|y}}ically, Uriarte ''was'' ultimately promoted to Corporal, but didn't find out about it until three months after he left the Corps. In keeping with the tradition of referring to oneself by rank, he calls himself "Terminal Lance Corporal Maximilian Uriarte, USMC".
* LiteralMinded: [[http://terminallance.com/2010/03/23/terminal-lance-23-literally/ Here]],[[http://terminallance.com/2011/07/19/terminal-lance-133-literally-ii/ here]], and [[http://terminallance.com/2011/08/26/terminal-lance-143-literally-iii/ here]]. Also, as noted in the blog post for [[http://terminallance.com/2011/08/05/terminal-lance-138-the-reveille-guy/ this one]]:
-->"...90% of the time Marines tend to take the term “sound Reveille” a bit more literally than they should. They do, quite literally, yell the word “Reveille” repeatedly until everyone is awake."
* MadeMyselfSad: [[http://terminallance.com/2013/06/14/terminal-lance-271-permanent-ink/ Abe gets the Lance Corporal insignia tattooed onto his back.]] Garcia asks him what he'll do if he gets promoted. Abe starts laughing since he knows he won't get promoted due to LimitedAdvancementOpportunities--which is why he got the tattoo to begin with, in order to mock the cutting score system--then tears up a little.
* MemeticHandGesture: [[http://terminallance.com/2010/02/05/terminal-lance-10-lance-corporal-hand-signal/ The Terminal Lance hand sign]], but more endearing is "Knife Hands"--[[http://terminallance.com/2010/08/27/terminal-lance-59-knife-hand-anger-gauge/ the height of which is directly in proportion to the anger of the one doing it]].
* MookHorrorShow: In [[http://terminallance.com/2012/06/19/terminal-lance-207-theyll-never-get-it-right/ this strip]], Abe comments that, despite the fact that everyone wants to be [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid Solid Snake]], the Marines on guard are closer to the guards who get killed.
* NewAbilityAddiction: [[http://terminallance.com/2014/01/17/terminal-lance-302-pirate-sword/ #302: "Pirate Sword"]] has a Marine [[SergeantRock NCO]] on a combat mission brandish the ceremonial saber [=NCOs=] are required to ''buy'' for their dress uniform when they're promoted. He had to buy the thing, so he's darn well gonna use it! [[TheRant The author's remarks:]]
-->'''LCPL. (ret.) Max Uriarte:''' Back to the sword though, it's one of those things that I don't even know what the fuck it's really for. Obviously you can't go around racking up confirmed sword kills in Afghanistan, so it's really just a useless ceremonial item that no one would ever willingly pay for.
* NoNameGiven: Abe and Garcia are only ever known by their nickname (Abe) or their last name (Garcia).
* NoodleImplements: Abe's [[ZombieApocalypse Necropocalypse]] Survival Kit: A bottle of wine, a can of kerosene, a rope, and ''[[{{squick}} condoms]]''.
* NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe:
** [[http://terminallance.com/2011/10/07/terminal-lance-153-old-corps/ Strip 153, "Old Corps"]] talks about the subject of hazing new recruits, featuring people from today's USMC back to one from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
** Nostalgia is ruthlessly mocked in most strips, especially what Uriarte sees as a romanticization of seriously unpleasant aspects of "old" Marine culture, like [[http://terminallance.com/2014/01/24/terminal-lance-303-generation-gap/ beating gay recruits.]] More generally, he hates people talking about a mythical "old corps" that was [[NostalgiaFilter so much tougher than the modern wusses.]]
--->'''Uriarte''': ''"This mouth-breathing idiocy completely fails to acknowledge the fact that Marines of today have been engaged in war for over 10 years straight now. ''My'' Marine Corps was a culture of war.'' Your ''Marine Corps was a culture of drill maneuvers and liberty risks." ''
* ObstructiveBureaucrat / RulesLawyer: The Staff [=NCOs=] are frequently shown to be impairing the work of the grunts, not infrequently at the expense of getting things done.
* OldSoldier: [[http://terminallance.com/2010/02/02/terminal-lance-9-the-natural-age-progression-of-a-weapons-platoon-commander/ Parodied]] [[http://terminallance.com/2010/11/08/terminal-lance-79-all-that-salt/ ruthlessly]], making fun of how life in the Corps seems to age people far more quickly than the calendar.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Abe is called "Abe" because no one can pronounce his last name (Belatzeko).
* OnlySaneMan: A lot of the strips give the impression that anyone above the rank of Corporal is stupid, evil, or just plain nuts. They give the same impression of [[SurroundedByIdiots anyone at or below that rank as well, of course]].
* PhonyVeteran: Parodied [[http://terminallance.com/2013/10/31/terminal-lance-halloween-2013/ in this strip]], where a Marine screams at a child for dressing up as a Marine for Halloween.
* [[RacistGrandma Racist Ghost of Marine Corps Hero]]: The Ghost of Chesty Puller's advice for memorial day: "If I were you, I'd go and find a nice fat-bottomed negro woman to romp with."
-->'''Garcia''': Wow...that was really racist.\\
'''Abe''': His time was a different time.
* TheRant: Every comic is accompanied by an entry [[DontExplainTheJoke explaining the background behind the joke]] for anyone who wasn't a Grunt, as well as giving the author's feelings about it.
* RecruitersAlwaysLie/[[JoinTheArmyTheySaid Join the Marines, They Said]]: Several strips deal with the fact that the advertisements always paint a much rosier picture of service than the reality.
* SemperFi: [[CaptainObvious The United States Marine Corps plays a important role in the comic.]]
* SeriousBusiness: Uriarte notes in the blog post for [[http://terminallance.com/2012/01/10/terminal-lance-171-serious-business/ this strip]] that Marines will argue about pretty much anything to get away from the boredom of everyday life in the Corps, and they'll stick to their guns no matter how pointless the argument is.
* ShoutOut: Most of the titles of the comics. The subtitle of the website itself is a line from one of Music/TheKillers' most popular songs.
* SplashOfColor: The comic is done in black and white, with the exception generally being reflective belts (always very bright yellow, regardless of it being relevant or not). Other one-off splashes of color include service ribbons in some strips, a candy wrapper, and a green Clone-A-Willy.
* {{Squee}}: Abe goes completely fanboy over the thought of [[http://terminallance.com/2011/01/04/terminal-lance-93-pogs-impressing-the-grunts/ being shown the inside of a tank]].
* ThirstyDesert: The Marine base at Twentynine Palms is in the middle of the desert, a good two to three hour drive from any off-base amusements, and generally an unpleasant place to be (even worse if one is permanently stationed there). Uriarte calls it one of the most miserable permanent duty stations in the Corps. In one of the blog posts, he even calls the base ''Satan's Asshole'' in jest.
* TooSoon: Uriarte drew [[http://terminallance.com/2010/01/19/terminal-lance-5-race-card/ this strip]] making a racism joke before he realized that it would be put up right after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and {{Discuss|edTrope}}es it in the accompanying rant.[[invoked]]
* UngratefulBastard: Uriarte notes that Marines will complain about anything and everything. [[http://terminallance.com/2011/06/09/terminal-lance-131-bitch-and-moan/ Even Hawaii.]]
* WorthIt: Yes, [[http://terminallance.com/2010/03/26/terminal-lance-24-its-worth-it/ some Marines]] are willing to get their teeth pulled if it means getting out of something particularly grueling.

! ''Post'' contains examples of:

* AnimatedAdaptation: Uriarte was required to produce an animated short for a class, and decided to base it on the same experiences that the online comics draw from.
* ArtShift: From Uriarte's normal style. This one features much more simplified, SuperDeformed characters, presumably to make animating much easier.
* BathroomStallGraffiti: One of the Marines draws a penis on the wall, while giggling uncontrollably.
* BookEnds: The film begins and ends the same way: With a shift change, a Marine tapping the butt of the [[MoreDakka machine gun]], and sighing.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Primary theme of the short. They appear to spend all of ten seconds actually standing watch, and the rest of their shift finding various ways to pass the time.
* HeroesLoveDogs: Or at least, very bored sentries love any distraction from the monotony of their day, which would include stray dogs passing nearby.
* ShoutOut: To a Youtube video about a Marine standing watch, called ''"[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhsblayR_fQ Momma Dog]]"''
* SplashOfColor: The entire film is in a gray-scale color palette, except for a bottle of urine.
* SuperDeformed: All of the Marines appear to be about three feet tall with huge heads. Effectively a step up from being stick figures.
* ToiletHumour: At one point, one of the Marines is shown pissing into an empty bottle. [[ChekhovsGun Shortly after]], they decide to [[UrineTrouble see how far they can throw it.]]
* TruthInTelevision: According to some of the Website/YouTube comments on the film, quite a bit of this stuff happens in RealLife, if not all in one shift.
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