The only known image of this elusive figure (left), assuming it's for real.
Look out— Here come de judge— Here come de judge! HAW HAW!Chick Tracts
are short evangelical comic books that primarily exist in the form of very small printed albums - small enough to easily fit into a wallet. However, most of the tracts are also available for free at their home website Chick.com
. The author calls himself Jack T.[Thomas] Chick. This may or may not be a pseudonym.
Each tract tells a story. These stories handle all kinds of subjects, but they all have two things in common: They all have some direct or indirect connection to religion, and they all end in An Aesop
about everyone needing to become a born-again Christian. Sometimes the entire story builds up to this Aesop; other times it's shoehorned in after the actual story is finished.
Villains in these stories are demons or misguided mortals. Demons range from Cthulhuish monstrosities
that make the heroes facing them come across as epic fantasy heroes, to silly little imps that are mostly Played for Laughs
. Mortal villains are very likely to make a Heel-Faith Turn
due to Easy Evangelism
. Those who do not invariably end up in Hell. And so does everyone else, including those who are kind and selfless
. Only a very particular kind of evangelical Christian gets to avoid eternal torture; everyone else is doomed no matter what. The tracts are all set in the same world (and thus have a lot of recurring characters). A world very different from what most people, including most Christians, are used to. In The Verse
of Chick Tracts
- Most adult citizens of the present-day USA have never heard about Jesus before, and get surprised when someone tells them. And on the off chance they DO know who Jesus is, they barely know anything about him.
- Homosexuals, Freemasons, Wiccans, tabletop gamers, and readers of Harry Potter books are all possessed by demons.
- Atheists don't worship demons... they ARE demons.
- The Ancient Conspiracy is everywhere. Science, religion, and politics are all fronts for it. The world is a very dangerous place indeed, and The Devil rules over us all.
- A prime player in this worldwide Satanic conspiracy is the Roman Catholic Church, which in this setting is really a pagan Babylonian religion in disguise and bears the blame for pretty much every war and tragedy since its creation. Also, Islam is actually only a front organization for the Catholic Church, or at least started out that way.
- Evolution is a religion, demanding faith and loyalty from its adherents and forbidding theism.
- Noah actually saved the dinosaurs from the great flood, but due to death of all plant life, the air was too thin for them to breathe properly. They were soon hunted to extinction by humans.
- Gravity may or may not be a real force. But it really doesn't matter, as Jesus is in complete control!
- Atheist and/or Muslim countries are bound to attack Israel and get slaughtered by Jesus.
- The King James Version of the Bible is the only version that God inspired. All other versions of the Bible are lies, corrupted by humans and Satan.
- More positively, Chick tracts have no problem criticizing the Anti-Semitism and racism displayed by many fundamentalist groups (although, given his own rather crude and stereotypical portrayals of... everyone, this makes him, ironically, kind of a Boomerang Bigot).
- People can only relate to other people of the same gender and ethnic group. Many best-selling tracts have been rewritten to change the characters to women, or to black people, or to (insert target demographic here). All of these have a Jive Turkey feel to them.
- Now you know.
In other words, this setting is a very dark fantasy world, comparable to Warhammer
and Warhammer 40,000
, although with less graphic violence (and with a bit of South Park
thrown in). Unlike Games Workshop, however, the people behind chick.com seem to believe their own message. Some people insist that it must be some kind of parody
. However, Jack Chick himself has given one interview where he claims to be totally serious. Honest or not, he does seem to make a lot of money from people who buy large quantities of his tracts with their own money and then hand them out free of charge to friends and random strangers in the hope that this act will eventually spare a few souls from the horrors of hell.
Meanwhile, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Chick's efforts have inspired many parodies, and he was featured as the subject of the documentary, God's Cartoonist
In addition, a live-action version of Dark Dungeons
came out in August 2014. It's precisely as over-the-top
as was expected.
Chick's tracts contain examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Most infamously in "Lisa," but a running theme.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Here. The man who tells him making a contract with the devil has doomed him is wrong, the guy who doesn't know better, who gets a last minute conversion from some old priest (and decides even that guy isn't righteous enough so goes to convert him) gets saved. The guy who talked some sense into him, but was too proud to listen to his last-minute evangelism? He was damned.
- Activist Fundamentalist Antics: In The Verse of Chick Tracts, a real Christian would never resort to this kind of behavior. However, preachers of other faiths easily fall into this trope, thus proving the Christians to be superior. Oddly enough, there is an entire tract ("Why Didn't He Tell Us?") about preaching for Chick Tracts...
- Affectionate Parody: Some funny parodies have been done of Chick Tracts. A few examples: "Darkseid", "Who Will Be Eaten First?", Why We're Here, and "Galactus Is Coming!".
- Now with Ponies!◊
- "God Hates The Scene". What would Eazy-E and Tupac do if they were alive to see all this pretentious Goth bullshit? They'd grab their gats and start rushing some pasty-ass tricks to the dirt, that's what.
- Alcohol Hic: "Hard Times," "The Missing Day" and "Somebody Loves Me". In the latter two, a character thinks with an Alcohol Hic.
- The Alcoholic: Several.
- In "Happy Hour", Jerry ends up spending most of his family's money drinking, causes his wife to die after pushing her over during an argument over his drinking, and uses the grocery money on alcohol. Naturally, while his kids think that he should have died instead of their mother, they end up forgiving him and Christianity is what he needs to get over his alcoholism.
- In "Tiny Shoes", Juan's alcoholism is the reason why he is unable to keep his promise to buy shoes for his son. After the saloon is destroyed by lightning, he decides to buy the shoes, but by then, Juanito has died of pneumonia after walking out in the rain to search for him.
- In "Mad Machine," a father and a son go to a facility described to treat alcoholism. The father's told that he'll like it there, but he says that his son is the patient
- All Myths Are True: They're all agents of Satan (except maybe the Grim Reaper), but a surprising number of mythological figures do exist in the Chick world. The Grim Reaper is practically a minor character, and magic, although Satanic, apparently does work (because of Satan).
- All Sins Are Equal: Whether for murdering, stealing, or occasionally telling a small lie, you deserve to go to Hell if you don't accept Jesus—and conversely, you'll go to Heaven if you do.
- All There in the Manual: Reading one or two Chick Tracts can sometimes lead to an Accidental Aesop being conveyed. Having a large collection to cross-reference (especially if it includes one of his tracts directed at already-saved Christians) tends to clarify the confusion. His company also publishes more in-depth books on some of the subjects touched upon in his tracts.
- All Hallows' Eve: Boo! It's Satan's birthday, so he's liable to crash your party while wielding a chainsaw and wearing a pumpkin on his head. Surprise!
"I hate you! And I hate your lousy birthday!"
- Also, as noted below, The Devil's Night explains the "true" origins of Halloween in a massive case of research failure.
- Almost Dead Guy: A lot of Chick's amoral characters always manage to see the error of their ways and convert to Christianity just like that when on the verge of death. In one instance, a character survives several grenades thrown at him at a church, and takes time to stagger out of the building, drive to someone else's house and find peace in Jesus while dying in the arms of his friend.
- Amoral Attorney: Attorney Douglas Rogers in "Busted!" prosecutes people without caring whether they're guilty, and likes "to see the accused squirm."
- Ancient Conspiracy: Apparently, the Catholic Church has a computer database with the name of every Protestant in the world so that when Catholics Take Over the World they'll kill them all. Also, the Catholic Church manipulated Mohammed into creating "the Islam religion" (which includes Catholics on the list of people to convert), instigated The American Civil War and then caused the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy (despite the latter being Catholic), formed The Klan (despite the Ku Klux Klan's anti-Catholic origins), created Communism (despite its famous anti-religion views including being against Catholicism) and were responsible for the Holocaust (which included Catholic victims) among other, just as stupid, things. Where and whether the Eastern Orthodox church fits into any of this has yet to receive any mention, however.
- And That's Terrible: From Boo!: "Satanic human sacrifices are a slap in God's face."
- Anti Anti Christ: The vampire Antichrist becomes a Christian via Easy Evangelism.
- Appeal to Fear: The backbone of many tracts. Numerous commentators note that Chick very frequently fails to make any appealing arguments toward his position, rather simply resorting to "Don't you want to be on the winning side?"
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- In "Sin City", Bob has two in rapid succession.
Bob: Malcolm lovingly tried to warn homosexuals of God's judgment. So who committed the hate crime? Malcolm, or the guys who almost beat him to death? Tell me, Ray, of all the sins, lying, adultery, stealing etc., can you think of any other sin where God Himself wiped out entire cities to remove that sin?
Ray: No... No I can't!
- Another common one is asking people whether they've sinned. They will often bring up minor sins, such as lying, and Chick will point out that everyone has sinned, and are doomed to hell unless they repent and accept Jesus. "It's The Law" has a nice example of them.
Bob: Have you ever told a lie?
Teacher: Of course- Who hasn't?
Bob: Ok, so what does that make you?
Bob: So what does that make you?
Teacher: Yeah... but... (sigh) a thief.
Bob: So now you've admitted you're a lying thief. The 10 Commandments show us we are ALL guilty before God- We are ALL sinners.
- In "The Bull," the eponymous character asks a chaplain who doesn't believe the Bible is the Word of God, "If you don't believe any of this, then why are you a chaplain?"
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: People who are Sikhs, Satanists, North Koreans, witches, atheists and... archaeologists.
- The crimes against God in This Was Your Life include theft, whoremongering, and whispering.
- As the Good Book Says: Quoted very often—but only the King James Version. (All other translations are allegedly the work of Satan himself, with the help of a massive Jesuit conspiracy, you see.) Whether the quotes are presented with due regard to context is another question.
- A common one is quoting Luke 12:20 ("Thou fool, this night thy soul will be required of thee") whenever someone is doomed to go to Hell.
- Author Filibuster: Quite often, a character will give a show-stopping lengthy speech on whatever the theme of the tract is.
- Author Tract: ...in fact, Chick Tract.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Fairly often, Satan and his minions succeed in capturing a soul.
- Badass: Jesus, according to "The Sissy?", for being willing to suffer and die for the good of humanity.
- Some particularly courageous and determined Christians count as well. The prison guard in "Bad Bob" says that a young man who tries to witness to the Jerkass Bad Bob and his cousin has more guts than both of them combined, even if the guard doesn't agree with his brand of Christianity.
- Badass Normal: The priest in The Traitor gets attacked by a bunch of demons and Kali, the Hindu death god and lives.
- Also the girl in First Bite, wards off (with Jesus's help of course) the vampire with zero effort, knocking him across the room.
- Based on a True Story: Some tracts have the disclaimer "This is a true story."
- Beauty Equals Goodness: The flip side of this trope is more frequently observed; Chick's heroes tend to be "cute" children who tend to look somewhat creepy, whilst his villains are hideous. "Wounded Children" presents an odd inversion: the gay men, including the main character, are drawn very detailed, handsome and attractive for the majority of the tract. The ex-homosexual and born-again Christian he meets that turns him from homosexuality is bearded, fat, and just plain ugly. The main character then becomes much less attractive when he converts.
- Begging The Question: Many of the tracts use this. They're intended to convince people that believing in evolution/being homosexual/following Roman Catholicism/anything else the author doesn't like is bad, but the reasoning behind this goes: This person did X. X is bad. People who do bad things are are sent to hell. This person is being sent to hell. Therefore, X is bad.
- Berserk Button: Apparently, Freemasonry for Bob Williams, as the tract dealing with it, "Good Ol's Boys," is the one time where he's shown to lose his cool at the person he's trying to convert.
- Non-Christian characters in Chick Tracts tend to react this way to other characters mentioning the Bible or Christianity, or revealing that they are Christian.
- Big Bad: It turns out that the Vatican is behind everything. Everything. And, of course, Satan is behind the Vatican.
- Bittersweet Ending: Several tracts feature the characters dying untimely and tragic deaths, but managing to get into heaven.
- Black and White Morality: All people in Chick tracts are divided into either Christians (i.e.: good, unless Roman Catholic) or non-Christians (i.e.: bound to Hell, unless they convert). Note that Chick's definition of "Christian" is (apparently) "US-style Evangelical Protestant."
- Blue and Orange Morality: Everybody but born again Christians are damned to eternal torture, regardless of whether they were actually decent people or not. Join Jack's denomination, or God hates you. Gotcha.
- It's frequently pointed out by riffers that despite His supposed omnipotence, Chick's interpretation of God actually appears to be bound by His own rules. God frequently mentions how much He hates having to send people to Hell, but nevertheless seems unable to make the qualifications for getting into Heaven more lenient.
- The Blank: God
- Blunt "Yes": The typical response Chick's Christians have to anyone who asks whether a person has gone or will go to hell (in the latter case, often about themselves), although with the caveat "but you don't have to."
- Bold Inflation: Jack Chick loves this style of writing.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: In "Wounded Children" (an Old Shame of his), Satan/a demon leads a boy to get into porno, have unsatisfying sex with girls, then go gay and have unsatisfying sex with guys. The boy considers suicide, but Satan/the demon suggests against that. Later, the boy gets saved straight. Satan/the demon could've just killed the boy/let him commit suicide, since sending people to Hell is what Satan's supposed to do, right?
- Bowdlerise: In the original version of "The Poor Little Witch", the main character leaves alone despite the warnings and the threats to her life and gets murdered by the Satanists. In the modified version, she stays under the protection of Mrs. Grayson.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Li'l Susy can easily be seen as incredibly annoying and petulant.
- Bread and Circuses: It's implied that Satan uses sports and other things to distract people from faith.
- Broken Aesop: In one tract, Jack rightly calls out the Jehovah's Witnesses on their absolute refusal to accept a blood transplant. In fact, the consequences of doing so are the driving plot of the tract. Don't worry, the JWs convert in time to get the transplant. But in another tract, the Mad Machine, Chick demonstrates an attitude towards modern psychology very similar to Hank Hill, and recommends that anybody who is having mental problems should simply pray to Jesus.
- Brutal Honesty: Typically exercised by the Christians over whether the unsaved have gone to hell. Oscar in "The Slugger" mentions that "a real friend had the guts to tell (him he) was a sinner on (his) way to hell."
- Butt Monkey: Bruce in "Fallen." He's apparently a Jerkass, and comes off as quite rude, but what exactly he did to deserve being dumped by his friends with his mother's purse, and have his neck broken by Frankie is unclear. The main character in "Unloved" has also been one his entire life.
- Captain Ersatz: Tony Stiletto is very clearly Vito Corleone. That's right; Chick saved the Godfather.
- Captain Obvious: Jack Chick Alberto found it necessary to fill the thing with helpful definitions of complex words, like "deacon", and "sacraments" and "Dominicans". And "deny", "documents", and "intense". And "stone". He seriously found it necessary to tell us all what a stone is. It turns out it's actually subverted, however: he fails to define stone correctly.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Satan and his demons. No Freudian Excuse for these guys; they know that God is right and drive you away from him anyway, purely For the Evulz. Satan is also sometimes seen filling the role Judaism has him in, as God's "devil's advocate".
- Catchphrase: "Hi there!" — The Grim Reaper.
- God seems fond of Matthew 25:41
"Depart from me, ye cursed, into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!"
- Categorism as a Phobia: While most tracts portray negative feelings against Christians as a matter of ignorance, bigotry and believing the lies of demons, some characters are portrayed as having a phobia against Christians. When it comes to the demons in this setting, the fact that almost all of them are terrified of Christians does not count as a phobia, since this fear is completely rational.
- Category Traitor: Chick implies that all Christians who disagree with him on certain religious matters- especially Catholics- are this. Similarly, he believes that the Catholics see the "real" Christians as this.
- Cats Are Mean: Inverted - "Trust Me" portrays dogs as mangy jerkasses, and cats as misplaced, innocent creatures, a kind of Animal Reaction Shot Author Avatar Empathic Environment.
- Chewing the Scenery: Scrooge in "Humbug", when he goes on a rant about how humans are terrible creatures, and ends up quoting the Bible in the process. A few others do this at various points.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Does it really need to be explained how it's Averted, Inverted and Subverted? The fact that there's a tract titled "Are Roman Catholics Christians?", to which the answer is decisively no, is effective indication of what Chick thinks.
- Cool Old Guy: Many protagonists are grandfatherly old men, possibly as insertions of the elderly Chick himself.
- Corrupt Church / Scam Religion: In the Chick 'verse, the Roman Catholic Church is decidedly this. In the infamous tract The Death Cookie, for example, Chick explains that the Devil himself came up with just about every Catholic tradition as a way for evil priests to manipulate people out of their money.
- Crapsack World: Present in many of his works. However, there's always one way out of it: (Jesus).
- Creepy Child: Li'l Susy, but most of his portrayals of kids (even the heroes) fall into the Uncanny Valley eventually.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Fairly common for martyrs; the unsaved, at worst, typically get a relatively quick if undignified death.
- In Alberto Rivera's comic, he recalls the story of how one martyr was put on a rack, with a rough cloth slowly forced down her throat and torn out, before being burned at the stake.
- In "Fat Cats", Juan's family is necklaced.
- In "Satan Comes To Salem," it's pointed out that the hanged Salem witches "took several minutes to strangle to death".
- Cultural Translation: "This Was Your Life" in Chinese and and Slovak has some subtle, and not so subtle differences from the English version. Heck, the the African one has a peeping scene that isn't even included in the others.
- Culture Blind: It's hard to believe that the adults who grew up in the United States and are the target of his Easy Evangelism have never even heard of Jesus or basic Christian beliefs. In one tract, a US Christian lectures a Muslim on the "history" of Islam.
- Cure Your Gays: In addition to the infamous "Wounded Children," the idea is also presented in Sin City and Uninvited. The latter tract also states that being molested makes you gay (unless you find Jesus). Note that none of the "saved" gays are shown to become heterosexual.
- Curiosity Causes Conversion: Once anyone hears of Jesus.
- Dan Browned: This seems to be the source of the information provided about any religious group other than extreme fundamentalist Protestantism.
- Deal with the Devil: Occurs in "The Contract" and "Angels?" among others.
- Death by Childbirth: Li'l Susy's mother.
- Demonic Possession: A lot of non-Christians. Some actually are demons in disguise.
- Depending on the Artist: Chick's had anonymous artists illustrate for him from time to time, though one, the talented Fred Carter, has actually become fairly well known to outsiders. Compare: Chick's artwork. Fred Carter's artwork. Unknown artist.
- Depraved Homosexual: In the Jack Chick universe, being a homosexual is apparently synonymous with being a drifting, shamelessly promiscuous swinger unable to form any kind of commitment. The only reason any of them seek government recognition for gay marriage is that they know it'll upset Christians. In addition, they feel that using the word "queer" is a sign of insanity and that anyone who disagrees with their agenda should be sent to prison.
- Description Cut:
- In "Born Wild!" Connie mourns the death of her brother Jerry. The next panels reveal that he was stealing from the mob before they murdered him, and had no friends.
- In "The Gun Slinger", after Terrible Tom is hanged.
: At last
! Terrible Tom got exactly
what he deserved!
Minutes Later in Heaven
God: Welcome home, my son.
- Deus Angst Machina: Particular the case in this tract.
"I'm UNWANTED, UNLOVED, DISOWNED... and the doctor says I'm dying of CANCER!"
- Deus ex Machina: Happens often, since the whole point of the tracts is basically "God will make everything better if you pray to him". Most notable in The Last Generation, where the rapture happens just as the door is bashed down by the villains.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: The Devil in "First Bite" makes a false prophecy to a group of vampires because, as he says, "I Lied! It's What I Do!" Except that this false prophecy directly leads to many of them being saved, which is usually the opposite of what he does. The way it's presented, however, it does seem he intended to make his prophecy to come true, and then claimed to have lied to save face when he failed. Of course, this is very in-character for the Father of Lies.
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: According to this tract, anyway.
- Dirty Communists / The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: "Fat Cats" and "The Poor Revolutionist".
- Disproportionate Retribution: Plenty of it (mainly from God himself).
- In "Fairy Tales?" after learning a horrifying truth, a child (Harry Garner) goes on a killing spree, burning down his school and eventually becoming the FBI's most wanted fugitive who is then arrested, tried, executed, and sent to Hell. What was the truth so dreadful it drove this child to kill? The fact that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny aren't real.
- Another case of this trope comes from "The Last Generation" mentioned below. It's mentioned that Larry's mom told him to go to bed immediately. What happened? She got put in a concentration camp for child abuse.
- A historical version of it here. Apparently, all of our problems come solely from Abraham slighting Ishmael by driving him out over teasing a kid.
- Dolled-Up Installment: "The Slugger" has been recycled several times, swapping out the first few panels and changing the dialogue (including the name of the star and his servant) to make it apply to sports other than baseball.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: The Grim Reaper is a nice guy even when he causes expiration.
- Double Standard: Occurs often with regards to the matter of whether or not people of the past should be judged by the same values as those of the present. Someone from the past whom Chick doesn't like does something morally-questionable by today's standards, for instance, Muhammad marrying an (allegedly) underage girl? He's a sick freak who nobody in their right mind should follow and probably worships The Devil. One of the good guys from the Bible does something morally-questionable by today's standards, for instance, the fate of the Amalekites or Daniel's accusers? A glorious victory for the forces of good, and the jackasses brought it on themselves anyway.
- Doublethink: In this Verse, Fundamentalist Christianity is not only true, but a very obvious truth. Some characters who understand this at heart still choose not to believe in it, instead embracing whatever false teachings that will be good for their career and social life. In some cases this is merely playing along with the lies, but in others they appear to honestly believe in them.
- Several tracts have people openly acknowledging that they are following "false gods."
- Dragged Off to Hell: Varies between an angel carrying it out on God's orders and one or more demons doing it themselves.
- Driven to Suicide: "Dark Dungeons: The Movie!" among others.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him:
- People who reject the offer to convert are often killed off in short order by a fairly sudden or improbable cause of death (such as Charlie Connors in "Hi There!" falling from a girder and getting impaled, or the main character's cousin being killed by a falling tree in "The Contract").
- Sometimes people who accept the offer get the treatment: (Crazy Wolf is told by God he made it by the skin of his teeth), other times those considering it are killed before making up their minds, meaning they go to Hell. In both cases, the Aesop usually demands that the character's death and arrival in the afterlife make it into the story somehow, and the death is used to remind readers that they can't put off accepting Jesus.
- Dwindling Party:
- In "Last Generation," one of the Christians stays behind and is arrested, another betrays them, and the last two are Raptured away.
- In "Four Angels", three of the four brothers fall from Grace over the years and end up going to Hell. Only Charlie makes it to Heaven.
- Dystopia: "The Last Generation", complete with an oppressive government regime that teaches animal sacrifices in school, and evil little children who snitch on their parents.
- Earth Is Young: Chick typically use straight Type B: Scientists are evil, and need to be cured of their heresy by the power of Easy Evangelism.
- Easily Forgiven: Quite a few people who change their ways upon being converted, especially abusive parents or spouses (Ahmed in "Is Allah Like You?", Roy Davis in "The Secret", and Henry Walker in "Lisa").
- Surprisingly, initially averted in Happy Hour. After pushing his wife down and indirectly causing her death of a heart attack, and later spending the grocery money on liquor, Jerry tries to apologize to his children, but his children will have none of it until they go to church and learn the value of forgiveness, forgiving him two panels after the previous incident.
- Eric in Baby Talk. Granted, he recognizes his mistake in abandoning Ashley and tries to fix it, but she doesn't seem angry at him at any point.
- Easy Evangelism: On what seems to be the vampire Jesus.
- This is extremely common in Chick's tracks. People can go from staunchly anti-Christian beliefs to devout believers with a few minutes of conversation with a Chick-like Christian. Averted in many cases when this fails, but when this succeeds, it doesn't need much effort.
- Easy Road to Hell: Simultaneously played straight and inverted: everyone is going to hell for the slightest, and least objectionable, of sins. However all you have to do is accept Fundamentalist Protestantism and you'll spend eternity in heaven.
- Eldritch Abomination: God. He is a Time Abyss that is all powerful and will send all of us to an eternity of torment for believing in the wrong religion or the wrong sect of the right religion.
- Empathic Environment: Skies gray and clear for sin and redemption, respectively.
- Emphasize EVERYTHING: Chick uses bolds and caps a LOT, when he wants characters to make something particularly clear; that is, when they're not shouting.
- Enfant Terrible: Harry Garner in "Fairy Tales?"
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas
- Leroy Brown in "Soul Story" loves his mother, and eventually takes her advice to convert to heart.
- In "Good Ol' Boys", the Shining Path leader praises the pastor's wife as being like his mother by virtue of being courageous.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Averted. The Grim Reaper is the only genuinely nice person in any of the tracts.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Crashed cars tend to explode.
- Evil Laugh: HAW HAW HAW
- Evilutionary Biologist: All of them.
- Evil Is Petty: It's pointed out in several instances that the devil knows that he will lose against God and be cast into the lake of Fire, and all he wants is to take people with him.
- Expospeak: Quite a bit of it. Arguably justified, since after all these are unashamedly Author Tracts.
- Face Death with Dignity: The saved Christians die with more dignity than those who end up going to Hell.
- Face-Heel Turn: Occasionally, Christians fall from grace, like three of the four brothers in "Four Angels?", Harry (only briefly mentioned) in "The Poor Revolutionist", and Paul in "The Last Generation".
- The Faceless: God's head is silhouetted by brilliant light, making it impossible to see His face.
- Fan Film: Hot Chicks, here, here, and here.
- Since some of the above have been removed, Hot Chicks 1-5 can be found here: 1 2 3 4 5
- Fan Flattering: Those who read the tracts and agree with them go to heaven. All Christians who disagree with the tracts (most Christians), as well as all non-Christians, go to hell.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Apart from the straight examples it is also inverted when portraying the reactions of the friends and family of the newly converted. And apparently, learning that a Christian is praying for them acts as a Berserk Button for non-Christians.
- As noted earlier, even Satan occasionally screws up. In this case, he was probably planning to have his character commit some more "spectacular wickedness" (as Screwtape would put it) and corrupt the people around him before harvesting his soul.
- Type 3 comes into play, as according to Chick, trying to witness to others often gets you sued, prosecuted or killed.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The non-Christians do this quite often. They feel insulted, threatened, even oppressed... not by how the Christians treat them, but by their very existence.
- Fix Fic: The tracts have become a magnet for Remix Comics and Fix Fic of this sort, thanks to their endemic research failures. Most of them completely change the worldview espoused by the comic, but there are some exceptions: Morrakiu's Dramatic Reading of this tract is just as anti-communist as the original, but is far more intelligent about it.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Every atheist on the planet, according to Jack Chick. Of special notes are the atheist who are visited by devils. It's probably intended to come off as the whispers of the devil putting thoughts in their minds, but some panels really show the atheist facing the demons and having what looks like a conversation with them.
- Footnote Fever: Chick Tracts sometimes have as much space devoted to footnotes as to the tracts themselves.
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: A demon in this tract.
- For the Evulz: Aside from the protagonist of any given tract, supporting characters with a viewpoint that opposes Chick's are quite often very happily aware that their religion, belief, etc. has been planted by the Devil. More often than not these characters are intentionally out to inflict some form of harm the other characters of the tract. (In several cases, the supporting characters are flat-out demons in disguise.)
- It's also implied that the upper echelons of the Catholic Church (at least, the Chickverse Catholic Church) are fully aware they serve Satan and just don't care because they believe he'll reward them in the afterlife.
- The Fundamentalist: All the heroic characters in a Chick Tract.
- Funny Background Event: Sometimes, there are Funny Foreground Events, too.
- Gender Flip: Take "This Was Your Life", replace the damned soul with a woman, update the wording a bit, and you get "You Have A Date".
- Go Out with a Smile: Cathy.
Doctor: She's gone... but look at her beautiful smile.
- A God Am I: Declared by a child after learning about "evolution".
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: More precisely, demons causing all sorts of human evils, from homosexuality to suicide to Freemasonry. When angels appear, they pull minor pranks like tripping people and give them seemingly irrelevant directions (such as, "You're going to wash your hair"), but all for the cause of saving souls.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: Satan tends to get the lion's share of the action in most stories, always working to corrupt people. God rarely shows up except at the end to render final judgment, with a few exceptions. On the other hand, the angels sometimes show up to counter Satan and his demons, presumably on assignment from God. (Also, an occasional miracle in answer to a prayer may be coming more directly from God.)
- The Great Politics Mess-Up: Chick had... interesting ideas about how the Cold War would turn out, some of them bordering on Insane Troll Logic (The Soviet Union invading Israel under orders of the Pope? WHAAAAA?!) After the fall of the Soviet Union, tracts containing these bizarre theories were re-issued with them clumsily edited out.
- The Grim Reaper: Originally appeared in "Hi There!" "Moving on Up!" also gives him a cameo:
- Also "Busted", in which he escorts the prosecutor to hell, and even tells him that it's almost time when he prepares to leave work for the last time.
- Hearing Voices: In "Kidnapped!"
- Heel Face Door Slam: Some people, like Charles Bishop in "The Assignment" and Bruce in "Fallen"note die while considering conversion (and procrastinating), and go to Hell as a result.
- Heel-Faith Turn: Constantly, the sinners get converted to Jack's definition of what a Christian is, and thus, by extension, become good guys.
- Heel Realization: Quite a few of the soon-to-be-converted undergo this, especially those Chick believes are responsible for enabling sinful behavior. Kelli in "Payback!" realizes that what she did to the old man she was nursing was essentially the same thing that Ahab and Jezebel did to Naboth, even calling herself "a Jezebel".
- Hell of a Heaven: If your loved ones don't convert you'll be in Heaven all alone so convert everyone you know today!
- A Hell of a Time: According to "No Fear?", millions of people have been told that Hell will be a wild, endless party.
- Hellevator: Apparently operated by Joseph Stalin, wearing a Hazmat Suit.
- Hell Seeker: Some tracts feature Straw Loser characters who believe that hell is cool. They are, of course, soon taught the error of their ways.
- Heteronormative Crusader: Several tracts are about homosexuals being possessed by demons or generically evil. Sometimes fetish clothes and BDSM tools are used to show just how evil the gays are. Heterosexual BDSM and sodomy has not yet gotten any mention. One of the strongest examples is the tract called Uninvited: The tract feature a nurse who harasses dying AIDS-patients for their "crime" of being gay. Of course, her actions are fully justified within the verse of the tract, since this is an anviliciously bigoted Author Tract. The real kick? It turns out that all the homosexuals became homosexuals because they were sexually molested as children. More to the point, when a child gets sexually molested, she automatically becomes unclean, possessed by a demon of defilement. The trope Defiled Forever is played straight for everyone who isn't both The Fundamentalist and a Christian. Averted for all characters who are (or become) Holier Than Thou: Jesus Saves, everybody else takes 5d6 points of damage.
- Hollywood Satanism: How Non-Christians (by his definition) are portrayed in his tracts. Unusually for this trope, Jack Chick does actually believe this.
- Humans Are Bastards: The tracts tend to ping-pong back and forth on this in a bizarre way. Some use it straight, citing the doctrine of Original Sin, but in others it seems as though the only reason humans do anything evil at all is due to the influence of demons.
- If I Were a Rich Man: In "Titanic", Chester and his wife stay in a first class room on the aforementioned ship. He then goes off to rub shoulders with all the wealthy passengers and says that in a few months, they'll "be rolling in money." This is odd, considering that they're in a first class suite and in today's dollars, they cost either $83,000 or $3000 (depending on if they went with a parlor suite or a berth; the extreme price difference is because there were only two parlor suites on the entire ship and each of them had their own private 50-foot promenade, so it probably wasn't supposed to be one of these). Therefore, by some standards, he was already rolling in money. Of course, he may have been saving his pennies for this expensive trip because it was his opportunity to get really rich really fast.
- If My Calculations Are Correct: The bad guy in "First Bite", almost word for word.
- I Got a Rock: Several tracts are specifically intended to be handed out to trick-or-treaters, usually (rather ironically) the ones arguing that Halloween is an evil pagan holiday. In the tracts themselves (see "Stinky" for example), some characters are positively portrayed giving out tracts as treats. Somewhat averted when the children in the tracts appear quite excited to receive them, and in real life, to his credit, Chick does recommend including a bag of candy along with the tracts.
"And here's a nice treat for you... little comic books!"
- Insane Troll Logic: For starters, believing in evolution will probably turn you into an atheistic, xenophobic, borderline-sociopathic Jerkass. Thankfully, Easy Evangelism can save you.
- Insufferable Genius: Often invoked by Jack Chick. Chick doesn't seem to have a very favorable opinion on most highly educated religious scholars (to say nothing of scientists who study evolution, as well as the teachers who teach it), given how often people who only just picked up a tract or don't have much of an education out-debate chaplains and religious scholars, and how the latter group often falls back on "I have a doctorate in divinity!" or some other comeback.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: From "The Last Generation": "Take this heretic away! Dispose of it, or use it for food."
- Jerkass The vast majority of the unsaved, apart from the kind that are used as proof that good people will go to Hell if they don't get saved. "Bad Bob" is a particularly good example.
- Jerkass Has a Point
: Why in HEAVEN'S
name would God bother with insignificant Man
? Man is rotten
to the corenote
is a BLIGHT
on the earth!
Cratchit: What a coincidence, Mr. Scrooge. The Word of God says the same thing.
Scrooge: It does?
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Harry in "Fairy Tales," mentioned above, who goes straight from disbelieving in Santa Claus to becoming a mass murderer.
- Just in Time: Typically, someone dying of a disease will convert (or in some cases, get through to the person he or she was trying to convert) within a day of expiring.
- Karma Houdini: While neither abuser in "Lisa" is shown going to jail, the neighbor is an even better example. The Villain Protagonist father, at least, gets scared badly enough to contemplate suicide, not only because he might go to jail, but because everyone's going to know what he's done. The neighbor, who also helped make things even worse for him by blackmailing him, simply disappears at the end without explanation.
- The Governor in "Here Comes The Judge" and the Communist leaders in "Fat Cats" and "The Poor Revolutionist" also qualify, though one can presume they went to Hell eventually.
- The sargeant from "Holy Joe," after deliberately sending Joe to his death, goes to heaven after asking God for help 'seconds' before he dies, while the corporal who objected to the order ends up in hell.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In "The Contract", John's first act upon getting his wealth from a Deal with the Devil is to get the Morally Bankrupt Banker who denied him a loan fired.
- Large Ham: Even considering how often things are emphasized in Jack Chick's tracts, some characters end up talking EXTREMELY loudly and animatedly, FAR more than would be expected otherwise! Scrooge in "Humbug" is a good example.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Happens from time to time, such as when A.J. fires Dudley after he makes a $5 million contract with Japan (for flying first class), the contract fails and he gets sued for it (among other indignities).
- Lawful Stupid: Chick's Christians, and surprisingly, not just where their brand of Christianity is concerned. They know that the teachers and other authority figures are not on their side, but believe in following them so long as doing so doesn't involve them going against their religion. For example, Suzy's grandfather tells her, in response to Ms. Henn's Halloween party, that she must obey her since she's an authority figure, but it doesn't have to be a Halloween costume
- Les Collaborateurs: Paul in "The Last Generation".
- Littlest Cancer Patient:
- Lonely Funeral: Ansley Parker. Only the minister and the grave digger come.
- Louis Cypher: Straight up with Lew Siffer in "Angels?"
- And in "Boo!", there's Camp Basil Bub. Guess who shows up...
- Magical Native American: In this tract.
- He uses this to portray witchcraft in certain Native American religions.
- Malcolm Xerox: Lamont in Unforgiven becomes this when he converts to Islam. He hates Christianity and considers it a "white man's religion".
- The Man Behind the Man: Satan, to the Vatican.
- Manly Gay: Amazingly, the homosexuals in "Wounded Children" are portrayed this way. Chick typically depicts them as a variant of Camp Gay.
- Meet the New Boss / Full-Circle Revolution: Played straight with a vengeance in "Fat Cats". (Compare the first and last frames.)
- Misanthrope Supreme: Scrooge in "Humbug".
- Missing Steps Plan: Despite the title, the subject of Love That Money! has a clear plan for profit, but the demons and angels don't. The devils say that Joe Bronson will be their star in politics and is invaluable to them, but they seem perfectly fine with his ending up broke and in Hell (where he was pretty much heading before). The angel meanwhile stops the demon from preventing Joe from listening to some evangelism, but apparently doesn't stop the man's Christian aunt from dying such that Joe gets her money, which ultimately prevents him being saved.
- Morally Bankrupt Banker: Boggs in "The Contract." One of John Freeman's first acts upon signing the contract and getting the money is ensuring that Boggs gets fired.
- The Movie: "The Truth as You've Never Seen it Before", a 78 minute long film that brings The Bible to life, named for its star, The Light of the World. Perfect for your Hell-bound friends and Sunday School. Official Site. Watch here.
- Two Chick tracts have also been animated in mediocre CGI, unfortunately.
- Mr. Exposition: Any character who's an evangelist will get to spend a lot of time presenting Chick's views.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Ice Man kills James when his fiancée expresses a casual interest in him.
- Must Make Amends: Eric leaves Ashley after she gets pregnant, but after seeing the error of his ways and accepting Jesus, races to stop her from getting the abortion, declaring that he's willing to stay with her now.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Mildred in "The Letter", after learning that her unconverted friend died in a traffic accident and went to hell.
- Juan has a surprisingly believable one when he realizes that his alcoholism and neglect resulted in the death of his son. The epilogue kind of mitigates it, though, as it basically makes it sound like the whole thing wasn't Juan's fault.
- Necessary Fail: In "It's The Law", Miss Crawford considers her flunking Timmy for writing about the Ten Commandments to be this, since it enabled her to meet Uncle Bob and get converted to Christianity.
- Neck Snap: Bruce suffers one, but doesn't die immediately.
- Never My Fault: Some condemned sinners complain that they were never told about Jesus, such as Mildred's friend Frances in "The Letter". Most of them are wrong, and someone did tell them.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted in a few tracts. Chick's heroes can and will remind people that the recently deceased unsaved have ended up in Hell.
- The New Rock & Roll: Plus the original, actually, including Christian Rock.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In this tract, the protagonist, Joe Bronson, who has been established as only caring about money, is all set to convert to Christianity, until his Christian aunt (Louise), who is a multimillionaire, dies and leaves him all her money. Joe then decides that he doesn't need to accept Jesus as his aunt saved him from poverty. He dies in a sudden storm that hits the next night, and so goes to Hell.
- No Dialogue Episode: "The Little Sneak" has exactly one line of dialogue: "No!"
- No Punctuation Period: In some Scripture passages of the KJV version embedded in many Chick tracts, most notably with no quotes.
- No Sell: Every Magical Minority has demons at his/her beck and call. Siccing them on a Christian however, will make God intervene and prevent them from harming the Christian.
- No True Scotsman: If you believe in Evolution, either are Catholic or consider Catholics fellow Christians, or question Mr. Chick's interpretation of Scripture, you are not a True Christian™.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: In "The Sissy?", the man who converts the truckers notes that Jesus should have died even before he got to the cross.
- Not Afraid to Die: The homeowner in "The Thief" is an odd, cheerful version of this, as well as a Heaven Seeker.
I fear God... NOT YOU! You can only kill my tired old body.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: The Christian homeowner in "The Thief" is not trying to talk the burglar out of murdering him, but succeeds anyway.
- Oh, Crap: The reactions of people of other faiths, or Christians who disagree with Chick when they realize that they aren't going before their god. In "Baby Talk," Eric has this reaction when he learns that Ashley is being taken to the abortion clinic while he's trying to rectify his mistake.
- Once per Episode: Rare indeed is the tract where John 3:16 isn't quoted.
- Only Sane Man: Yusuf in "The Sky Lighter" wonders why only the kids, and never the old men training them to be suicide bombers, actually blow themselves up.
- Despite the world of Jerkass Gods, satanic conspiracies, assholes, lunatics, and obnoxious fundamentalists that he inhabits, the Grim Reaper is delightfully friendly and polite, even as he's taking people to their deaths. "Hi there!".
- "Open!" Says Me: In "No Fear!," the pastor kicks a door open in order to prevent a suicide.
- Our Vampires Are Different: And named Igor, for some reason. They're born as vampires, and apparently they can survive all the way up to adolescence before the first time they get hungry.
- Original Position Fallacy: One of the most common types of Straw Loser is the guy who isn't afraid of hell. One variant of this is that he believes that hell exists and that it is a horrible place for the damned, but also believes that he'll be one of Satan's demons reigning in hell. Of course, his fate invariably turns out to be much crueler.
- Parental Abandonment: Li'l Susy's mother died when she was born and her father died of a heart attack.
- Parental Incest: The tract "Lisa" where a father (Henry Walker), and his next door neighbor (Charlie), sexually abused his very young daughter, but he was forgiven because he accepted God and Jesus. Since pulled from publication, but copies are still online.
- Passed Over Inheritance: In "The Slugger" and its equivalent, "The Superstar", the gardener who converted the character to Jesus gets all his wealth, as the only one the willmaker trusts to use it wisely. The tracts had emphasized that one's wealth in life is meaningless after death.
- Path of Inspiration: The Catholic Church, Buddhism, Islam, and pretty much any other religion or denomination that doesn't mesh exactly with Jack Chick's worldview.
- Pet the Dog: Despite the massive amounts of bigotry towards other religions, beliefs, and sexual orientations, Chick dislikes racism. Some strips have even been rewritten for a black audience.
- Poe's Law: Most of the positions stated and conclusions drawn in the tracts are so preposterous and illogical (not to mention un-Christian, at least to the majority of Christians) that it's hard to tell if Chick is being entirely serious.
- Police Brutality: A minister who protests a Gay Pride parade gets a savage beating from the cops that puts him into the hospital.
- Politically Motivated Teacher: "Big Daddy?" features one trying to indoctrinate his students with belief in evolution, with a plucky student countering and eventually breaking him.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Humbug!, which is a tract adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Since the full story wouldn't fit without cutting out way too much, Chick skips the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and instead focuses on Scrooge's bad deeds and his redemption after being visited by Marley's ghost.
- Prayer of Malice: This is sometimes done by Catholics, non-evangelical Protestants, and so on. Within the context of the pamphlets, this "proves" that only evangelicals are Real Christians.
- Pride Parade: Several tracts feature Pride Parades, portraying them as unholy armies of Satan laying siege to the world.
- The Prophet Muhammad: The tracts go straight into the Type 4 tradition. They portray him as a brigand, thug, devil-worshiping liar, pedophile and so on, much as it does with any other villain.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: God regularly kills people, including unsaved ones, just to get the attention of their loved ones. The subject of Mean Momma gets all three of her children killed just to make her repent. No one brings this up, instead gushing on about how wonderful God is for saving her.
- 'Bull' is still a violent, threatening psychopath by the end of his eponymous tract, but now that he's intimidating and bullying people for "the right reasons" (i.e., spreading the Gospel and screaming at those who take the Lord's name in vain), he's treated as a hero.
- Punch Clock Villain: The Grim Reaper seems like a rather pleasant fellow even while he's killing people.
- Race Lift: In the tracts' case, a rather interesting variety: when the Target Audience is of a different race/nationality, the characters and sometimes the settings as well are also redrawn to look like the people and places of those ethnicities. Compare, for example, the North American English version of "This Was Your Life" with the African English version ("It's Your Life!"). Even the angels are of different ethnicities. Even God can be black or white depending on the ethnicity of the one who's up for final judgment. Chick is nothing if not flexible. The website even lists them as "Adapted for black audiences".
- Rape and Switch: In the first tract of the year 2011, Chick declares that all gay people were molested when they were children (and possessed by gay demons). This is an idea which originated with the Freudians, let us note, and was discredited along with them.
- Rays from Heaven: The black and white tracts are full of these indicating Heaven and God's glory, as they are easy to understand when drawn simply in a small panel.
- Real Men Love Jesus: In "The Sissy", two truckers have a good laugh over a fellow trucker's Jesus-themed bumper stickers - until he turns out to be Right Behind Me and is built like a bodybuilder. Oh, Crap.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "Four Angels?", Henry gives Charlie one, denouncing him as a false Christian and an enemy of God.
We walked by day and night, and yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live, love and die, and all the while you knew I'd never live on high.
Yes, I called you friend in life, and I trusted you in joy and strife...
and yet, in coming to this end, I see you really weren't my friend.
- A jail guard gives one to Bad Bob and his cousin after he fiercely rebuffs an attempt to witness to him.
If two guys ever deserved hell, it's you two. You didn't have to destroy that kid the way you did. He might be a little off base, but he's sincere. I'm a Christian... and let me tell you, that kid's got more guts than the two of together. Anyone can be rebellious and crude like you guys. But it takes real guts to stand up for God like that kid did. He cared about you and wanted to help you. But you are too blind to see it. Whether you know it or not, we all deserve to burn in hell. But God in His mercy sent His only begotten son to shed His precious blood and die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. But you two have spit in God's face and rejected His gift of eternal life, so both of you are on your way to the lake of fire.
- Recursive Canon: When there's no Bob or Lil' Susy around to perform Easy Evangelism, Chick will have a character find redemption by coming across one of his other tracts, sometimes as a Deus ex Machina randomly stuck in their pocket.
- Redemption Equals Death: Tracts that involve people such as murderers finding redemption will often end with their death.
- Religion Is Magic: In The Verse of chick tracts, all religions (except Chick's variant of Christianity) practice black magic. Catholic clergy are particularly vicious mages.
- Religion of Evil: Catholicism, mostly. And Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism,... heck, any other religion that is not Chick's particular brand of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity. Also atheism, even though atheism is a blanket term that means "does not believe in a deity," not a religion in itself.
- Remix Comic: A frequent target of such. Here's one of the more prominent examples.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: One demon looks exactly like a Frill-necked Lizard.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In "The Poor Revolutionist", the main character and some of the revolutionaries are executed because "[he is] a revolutionist, perhaps [he] might revolt against [their] own system." The country shown being overthrown is not actually specified, though it certainly does look like the USA, and the revolutionary hippies he lampoons are hard to mistake for being from anywhere else. Some versions do mention, though, that basically in any country Communism overthrows, the revolutionaries are always eliminated afterward.
- In "Good Ol' Boys", a variation applies when the Shining Path leader offers to let anyone who denies Jesus live. When the missionary and his wife refuse to do so, he orders that his men spare them, but "shoot the traitorous dogs who believe in nothing."
- Running Gag: There seems to be a running gag regarding Chick's firm belief that Britain has long been overrun by violent Muslims as a punishment from God. He also seems to claim that the decline and fall of the British Empire is the result of their failure to support Israel, a fate that awaits any nation that does the same.
- Sadist Show: An attempted serious rendition, in "Unloved".
- Sadist Teacher: Oh, that Miss Henn, pushing such depravities on poor children.
- Satan: Sometimes comes to the fore, but usually shown more as The Man Behind the Man.
- Schmuck Bait: In this tract, a group of boys find a pool surrounded by numerous warning signs and decide to go for a swim.
- See You in Hell: A hitman says this to the Judge after injecting him with a fatal poison in "Here Comes The Judge." Since this is Chick, he means it literally.
- Serial Killer: One Halloween tract has a serial killer wielding a chainsaw and wearing a jack o' lantern mask going around killing people. At the end of the story it turns out that he's literally Satan (apparently the Devil doesn't have anything better to do with his time). This is all somehow supposed to teach you that Halloween is a satanic holiday or something.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In "Fatal Decision", Dr. Bowers sells most of his stocks and bonds to obtain a vaccine for a patient, who destroys it and dies a few days later. To make matters worse, Bowers' son died in an accident on the way back.
- Shout-Out: From "The Awful Truth":
- Shut Up, Kirk!: Fairly common from the sinners.
- Single Tear: Many of Chick's tracts will often have characters shedding a single tear, usually when repenting.
- Slasher Smile: The Sheriff in "The Gun Slinger," after Terrible Tom is hanged.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: The tracts run the range. Some, like "This Was Your Life" do represent the author's view of reality; others, such as a fairy tale "The Fool!" are clearly intended more as fantastic allegories.
- Smug Snake: Quite a few of the unsaved, but Elmer Boggs is a particularly good example. He's rather arrogant and condescending toward John Freeman, but ultimately, he's relatively low-ranking in his bank, and when his boss calls him out on what he's done and fires him, he becomes quite pitiful.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: Essentially the case in any tract involving an abusive parent, such as "Lisa".
- The Starscream: According to Chick, Islam is this to Catholicism.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Compare "This Was Your Life" when it is tailored to men to when it's written for women.
- Stealth Parody: Quite a few people suspect that the tracts are this, though Chick claims otherwise. The director of the "Dark Dungeons" adaption has gone on the record saying that the film is going to be this (though how stealthy it will be is debatable).
- Strawman Political: He uses them frequently, mostly with counter-productive results.
- Strictly Formula: Usually, whatever else is in the story, a sinner gets salvation explained (and offered) to him at some point. Either 1)He accepts and goes to Heaven, 2)He doesn't and goes to hell, or 3)Someone accepts and another person doesn't.
- Stupid Evil: Satan and his minions sometimes come out looking like this at times, particularly when their schemes backfire.
- Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom: In "It's Not Your Fault", there is a foster home called "Happy Halls". In fact it's so happy there that seven-year old kids routinely kill themselves.
- Surprisingly Good English: Spoken by the Native Americans according to Mortimer, who even lampshades this in "The Missing Day".
- Symbol Swearing: Any time someone swears. Notably, it's almost always the same sequence of symbols, beginning with "@", then some exclamation points, and some stars/asterisks.
- Tag Team Suicide: In "No Fear?", Lance commits suicide and Dolly is about to do so at his funeral, but her sister and a preacher stop her.
- Take That: Against almost everything Jack Chick sees as bad.
- Taking the Bullet: Officer Joe Donovan for Murph in "Murph". Interestingly, Joe receives minor wounds while Murph is mortally wounded.
- That Man Is Dead: Scrooge says that "the old Scrooge is dead," after his conversion in "Humbug", as he became a new man after accepting Jesus.
- The Dog Bites Back: John Freeman, after getting wealthy in "The Contract", ensures that Boggs gets fired. Averted in "Here Comes The Judge", when one of the Judge's former house servants, Conrad, instead decides to witness to the Judge, but gets turned down.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Featured in "Holocaust", both in Old School and Neo flavour.
- Title Drop: In "The Last Generation":
Persecution, new killer diseases, earthquakes and wars all over... this could be THE LAST GENERATION!
- Too Dumb to Live: The main character in the original version of "The Poor Little Witch" walks home alone at night, even though she knows her life is in danger by homicidal satanists. She is murdered.
- Twist Ending: "Somebody Goofed" and "Oops!" which was illustrated for black people.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: In "Trust me" and "Bad Bob," a buyer turns out to be an undercover narcotics cop, who arrests the respective main characters.
- Un Evil Laugh: HAW! HAW! HAW!
- The Unfavourite: Jimmy in "Unloved", as his parents refuse to attend his high school graduation, constantly tell him he's inferior to his sister Nancy, criticize his choice of a wife, blame him for having rotten kids, berate him for losing his job, and disown him after he asks to borrow money.
- In "Mean Momma", Austin Parker realizes that Charlie is favored over him, and then commits suicide.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Brutus indirectly causes a patient's death by getting him to distrust a doctor.
- The Devil often tries to invoke this, especially in The Assignment. Charles Bishop's subordinate's wife is a successful case, as she prevented him from witnessing to his boss, but the devils' attempts to use a popular boy and the subordinate as distractions for Bishop's daughter and Bishop fail.
- Vanity Publishing: All of Chick's work is published and distributed by Chick Publications, including books by other authors.
- Verbal Tic: The omnipresent and random use of Biblical quotes, especially John 3:16.
- Villainy Discretion Shot: When the Bull has some prisoners killed, it isn't shown, presumably to prevent people from seeing him as a Karma Houdini.
- We Want Our Jerk Back:
- Downplayed with "Bad Bob". The people at the bar who buy drugs from him are disappointed that he's a different person, but, befitting how many sinners see people as expendable in Chick's tracts, merely decide to get another dealer.
- In "Born Wild!" Connie, despite being angered by her son's disrespect toward her prior to his conversion, is depressed when he finally does convert and starts acting like a good kid.
- Wham Line
- Baby Talk: "She's not here. Thelma took her to the clinic. They left an hour ago."
- The Letter: "Mildred, didn't you hear? Saturday night Frances and John's car skidded in the rain and they hit a tree. John's still alive but Frances died instantly."
- The Trial: "When Annie told me I should ask Jesus into my heart, I did!"
- Mad Machine has several, including one by a man who's going with his son to a facility to treat alcoholism "Oh... I'm not the patient... my son is!"
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Here. It very much does.
- White Dude, Black Dude: Chick Publications produced a series of full-size comics during the 1970s called the Crusaders which focused on the exploits of Timothy Emerson Clark note and James Carter note
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Taken Up to Eleven in "The Thief"; the robber is determined not to let his witness live, but puts it off long enough that his victim manages, through Oblivious Guilt Slinging, to talk him out of it.
- Wisdom from the Gutter: Happens from time to time in certain tracts, in which very famous, respected, wealthy or educated individuals get witnessed to by blue-collar workers, servants, convicted criminals, children and other people you wouldn't expect them to listen to. Whether they do depends on whether Chick wants to show them seeing the light and going to heaven, or show that if you reject Christianity, you will go to Hell.
- In "The Bull," the eponymous character, after reading a tract, calls in the prison chaplain to give him a lecture about hell, which the chaplain doesn't believe in.
Chaplain: My mother wanted me to be a minister.
The Bull: Man, you don't even know what's going on. Do you know who Jesus, really is?
The Bull: You don't know nothin'! Jesus is the biggest shot-caller of all, and nobody messes with him! You're on your way to a burning, boiling hell, and I can prove it.
- With Friends Like These...: Danny O'Hara's friends stop coming by after a short period of time when he's in the hospital with cancer, and this and other tracts imply that friends aren't worth going to hell for, especially if they abandon you only for being a Christian. This can be read as basically saying that you shouldn't let other people, even those you like, sway you to abandon your convictions.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: The angels and the devils in "The Assignment" repeatedly revise their plans to ensure that Cathy Hillman witnesses to Charles Bishop and prevent her from doing so, respectively. For example, the devils have an insurance man named Irving plan to pitch a policy to Bishop, but the angels give him a flat tire and prevent him from using the phone by having an old woman tie it up. Bishop dies before he can convert, and thus is sent to hell.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: God, of course, as well as the KJV Bible itself.
- Not actually butchered, of course; the King James Version, which was produced by very well-educated scholars, is just about the only really good example of "Old English" (actually Early Modern English) most people will ever see, and "God" in Chick tracts mainly just speaks in quotes lifted directly from it.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: "Humbug" is one, although only Marley makes an appearance, not the three ghosts (the entire experience lasts three panels), and Scrooge doesn't just take a level in kindness; he also becomes a Christian
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Connie's son, who had called her by her first name, out of disrespect and not seeing her as his mother, calls her "Mom" after he converts, much to her shock.
- You Have Failed Me: The devils hand down severe punishments when souls get into Heaven.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
- Lance Clawson is implied to have been killed in jail in "Here Comes The Judge."
- The Jewish people could be said to fall into this. Chick says protecting the state of Israel is a God-mandated duty, and any nation that betrays or abandons the Jewish people will suffer consequences. However, all Jews who fail to accept Jesus will go to hell like anyone else.
- Naturally, all of Satan's followers end up going to Hell with him.
- You Rebel Scum!: "Fanatic" is a favorite insult to True Christians (very much a minority in the world of Chick Tracts) by nonbelievers and authorities.
- You Should Have Died Instead: In "Happy Hour", Jerry's children tell him that he should have died instead of their mother, which is understandable, given that he had pushed her over and caused her death from a heart attack when she tried to stop him from spending the last of their money at the bars. Naturally, however, he's Easily Forgiven in the end.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."