Frumpy the Clown provides examples of:
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mike's cousin Rumus appeared for the first three months of 1997 then disappeared. He didn't make a reappearance until 1998, in the one page Frumpy comic that ran in Oni Double Feature #3.
- Half-Identical Twins: Brad and Kim.
- Meat Versus Veggies: Sometimes happens, with Frumpy as the vegetarian. It's never consistent, however, as some strips show Frumpy eating meat and even cooking chicken dinner.
- Mundane Wish: One strip had Frumpy and Brad encounter a wizard who claimed he could give them whatever would "make [their lives] complete." Frumpy immediately wishes for the first ABBA album on vinyl and a watermelon. While Brad complains that he could have wished bigger, Frumpy quips that he doesn't trust midgets with wands.
- Nazi Germany: Mike's mother is a Holocaust survivor.
- Parental Abandonment: In one strip it's revealed that Mike's father walked out on his family, not having spoken to him in 10 years.
- The Tonsillitis Episode: Mike had to get his tonsils removed in one storyline. He expressed embarrassment that a grown man like him had to deal with this.
- Ultimate Job Security: This was a running gag with Frumpy's teaching job. The Principal always tried to fire him, but the union protection prevented it. Until the end of the strip, that is, when a budget cut finally gave the Principal a legitimate excuse to get rid of him.Frumpy: You're enjoying [firing me], aren't you?
Principal Carr: No. I enjoyed firing the football coach. I am loving this.
- Very Special Episode:
- Played straight in a lot of the later strips.
- Parodied, strangely enough, in one strip where Frumpy asks Mona and the kids why they watch Party of Five if it bums them out so much. Mona replies because it's a "Very Special Episode." Kim quips that they're ALL "Very Special Episodes."