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->''"There's a fella's gonna be coming for me. An' you couldn't stop him wi' a hundred've yer scum. You couldn't stop him wi' a thousand guns."''
-->-- '''Cassidy''', praying for the main character to save him.

Creator/GarthEnnis' ''Preacher'' tells the story of Jesse Custer, a down-at-heel Texan preacher whose life is turned around when he is cursed with The Word of God, which compels people to do whatever he commands. After finding out that God has abdicated His throne, Jesse sets out on a quest to bring Him to task, joined by Tulip, his ex-girlfriend-turned-hitman, and Cassidy, an Irish vampire.

Their quest takes them across the dark heart of America, from the streets of New York to the Louisiana swamps, and along the way they meet inbred hicks, serial killers, JohnWayne's ghost, The Saint of Killers, the retarded descendants of Jesus, an ancient religious conspiracy, a pair of perverted Sexual Investigators, Creator/BillHicks, the anti-Pope, fallen angels, voodoo children, psycho goths, TheKlan, and a kid with a face like an arse.

[[GodIsFlawed The book enthusiastically denies the Christian concept of a loving God]], satirizes various aspects of modern living and throws in a few good fistfights and explosions along the way. It was published by VertigoComics. The series lasted for 66 regular issues, running from April, 1995 to October, 2000. There were also a number of specials and a 4-issue mini-series featuring the Saint of Killers.

Has a 2016 AMC tv series adaptation, ''Series/{{Preacher 2016}}''.
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!!This series provides examples of:

* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: Sheriff Hugo Root is feared and loathed by everyone in Annville, his wife left him and it's heavily implied that even his deputies despise him. Seeing as the man was basically just a thug with a badge, this comes as no surprise. Ironically, the one person who doesn't hate him at the start of the series is his biggest victim: Arseface, his own son, whom he mercilessly abused until the latter's failed suicide attempt.
* AchillesHeel: Jesse Custer's Word of God can only affect those who can hear it, so it can be defeated by simply ''[[LogicalWeakness plugging one's ears]].'' It's also necessary to ''understand'' what Jesse is saying, and he only speaks English - kind of a problem as [[spoiler:The Grail is a ''global'' Ancient Conspiracy which can draw on foreign fire support as easily as ordering pizza]]. Animals ignore it as well. On several occasions he is threatened into silence at gunpoint, though after the first time he figures out a simple counter to ''that;''
-->'''Jesse''': '''''MISS!'''''
* ActionGirl: Tulip, although it's clear that Jesse would [[InHarmsWay rather she wasn't]].
* AlwaysAccurateAttack: The guns of The Saint Of Killers-he literally, magically cannot ever miss.
* AlmightyIdiot: [[spoiler:Genesis -- as its own father describes it, it has power and knowledge, but no will of its own without a host. It's basically a divine battery rather than a sapient being.]]
* AncientConspiracy: The Grail.
* AnythingThatMoves:
** T.C. - though, in all honesty, even the "moves" part seems to be negotiable.
** Jesus [=DeSade=]. If it has a hole, he's probably fucked it.
* TheArmiesOfHeaven: The Heavenly Host shows up, mostly at the end where they're slaughtered to an angel by the Saint of Killers. The story begins when one of the seraphim has sex with a succubus, birthing Genesis and starting the whole story.
* ArmoredClosetGay: [[spoiler: Detective Bridges]]
* ArmorPiercingAttack: The Saint of Killers' revolvers. Anything he wants his bullets to go through, they go through.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology:
** Inbreeding exaggerates genetic traits that are already in existence, which can include things like hereditary illnesses. It does not make future generations progressively dumber - to say nothing of turning them into cyclopses...
** At one point Jesse and Tulip's friend Amy chats with a pleasant elderly bartender in an otherwise empty bar, and he mentions that he underwent chemical castration due to a mistake as he just happened to be in the hospital waiting room at the same time as a convicted pedophile with a very similar sounding last name, and he responded to that being called up. The problem is that the bartender consistently talks about it like it was a permanent and irreversible procedure without outright stating so. Chemical castration is a continuous treatment where the patient is given a drug which alters the body's hormone balance, with the most common method being an injection every three months. Plus, the bartender says he sued the city, got reparations and went through a divorce since this happened, which should have taken months in itself.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory:
** In Cassidy's flashback sequence from "Proud Americans", which chronicles the failed 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Patrick Pearse is shown dramatically quoting the famous refrain from Creator/WilliamButlerYeats' poem "Easter 1916," which was written ''about'' the Easter Rising a month after it happened.
** In Cassidy's flashback, Creator/DylanThomas is shown suddenly and unexpectedly collapsing on the sidewalk outside of a bar. While Thomas did go on a bender before his premature death, his health declined over the course of several days, and he was taken to a hospital before he fell into a coma and died.
* AssShove. [[spoiler:Jesse told Sheriff Root with the Voice to go fuck himself. So, he did...]]
* AttemptedRape: Foiled with a truck through the wall.
* AuthorTract: Ennis is clearly talking through various characters when they get off on tangents about a particular subject.
** Jesse makes a long tirade against political correctness, with a brief stop against body piercings, before undercutting it by saying that he might just need to get laid.
** Jesse makes a short tirade about how much he hates people calling their girlfriend or boyfriend their "partner."
** Jesse and Cassidy talk about how the worst thing a man can ever do is hit a woman (instead of serial murder, cannibalism, or betraying loved ones).
** Jesse and Cassidy both share an immediate interest in whether or not someone prefers Laurel and Hardy or Charlie Chaplin. Which is a very specific like or dislike to have in an era where silent movies were barely relevant anymore.
* BackFromTheDead: Played straight and literally for the most part, with several characters directly resurrected.
* BadassBoast: The Saint of Killer just lives off of these:
** "[[EvilerThanThou There ain't worse than me in all of Hell]]. Go an' look." (Gunshot)
** "Give me all the hell you got to spare."
** *spits* "[[NukeEm Not enough]] [[NoSell gun.]]"
* BadassCreed: Jesse Custer learned his from his father, cribbed from JohnWayne;
-->'''John Custer''': ''Don't take no shit off fools. Judge a person by what's in 'em, not how they look. An' you do the '''right thing'''. Be one of the good guys. 'Cause there's way too many of the bad.''
* BadassBookworm: Jesse mentions having read every book in the library while in Annville.
* BadassFamily: The Custers.
* BadassGrandpa:
** The Saint of Killers was pretty old BEFORE he became immortal.
** The Texas Ranger also falls into this trope.
* BadassLongcoat:
** The Saint of Killers.
** The Texas Ranger
* BadassNormal: Tulip out of the major three characters. She doesn't have Jesse's word or Cassidy's vampiric powers. She's just an excellent shot.
* BarBrawl: Several. It's practically how Jesse and Cassidy bond.
* BasedOnATrueStory: Arseface is a combination of two. There was at least one teen who committed suicide upon learning of Kurt Cobain's own; and there was a teen who attempted the same kind of suicide (though unrelated to the death of Cobain) that Arseface did with the same results (lived, but missing most of their face).
* BeleagueredAssistant: Featherstone increasingly becomes this as Starr becomes more unhinged.
* BiTheWay: Amy admits to herself that she would like to trade places with ''either'' Jesse or Tulip.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The L'Angelles. Jesse remarks that the L'Angelles must have the "Devil's own piss" running in their veins instead of blood. It was something of a miracle that Jesse's own mother turned out as well as she did -- which is probably why she fled in the first place.
* BilingualBonus: Jesse says that he met a friendly French bartender and repeats something the man said to him in French. It translates to "Americans are idiots." A few pages later, Jesse has picked a fight with the bartender.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Even God's a prick.
* BlackBestFriend: "Space" to John Custer, and arguably Cindy to Jesse in ''Salvation''.
* BlindAndTheBeast: Subverted by Lorry Bobs and Arseface. Both of them are TheGrotesque who will [[EarnYourHappyEnding Earn Their Happy Ending]].
* BodyHorror: Used as a method of torture - A paralyzed man is distracted by Eisenstein for several minutes until he is allowed to look to the side and sees Eisenstein's bodyguard [[spoiler: eating his hand.]] He gives up the information.
* BondageIsBad: [[DepravedBisexual Jesus De Sade]], [[TheBaroness Miss Oatlash]] and Herr Starr are all villains who are into bondage. The brutish TransparentCloset CowboyCop Paulie, who is presented as a headcase, is also into bondage. Jesse and Tulip's playing around with handcuffs is actually a ruse to entrap the other.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: A major theme in the series is the fact that Jesse is basically a modern cowboy from a Western. In the end, [[spoiler:when Tulip asks what he wants to become now, we get a two-page shot of Jesse riding into the sunset, and he says, "Can't you guess?"]]
* BottomlessMagazines: The Saint of Killers' revolvers. They were forged by {{Satan}} to have their hammers never fall on empty chambers.
* BringMyBrownPants: Too many examples to count. Whether from fear, death or even magic induced, there are a lot of dirty britches throughout the story.
* BrokenPedestal: Subverted with Jody.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Over the course of the series we see the unfortunate genetic result of two sets of inbred families - Billy-Bob's family in "All In The Family" and the handicapped children of Jesus in "Crusaders". Lampshaded by Starr.
-->'''Starr''': ''Son of man or son of God, you can't fuck your sister and expect much good to come of it.''
* BungledSuicide: Arseface's origin story.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Subverted. When Hoover comes back from counting sand, Jesse does not remember him for a few minutes. When he does recognize him, he acknowledges that he was wrong and helps Hoover forget the worst of the trauma.
* ButtMonkey:
** Hoover and Arseface are sympathetic examples, which is interesting since the former is technically an antagonist. Starr, on the other hand, just lives a never-ending HumiliationConga from one page to the next.
** Joe the bartender also counts, but he's still an optimist. He's been mistaken for a serial pedophile, medically castrated, unable to sexually satisfy his wife, gotten a divorce, and lost all the money he got from the state to compensate for destroying his balls.
** Detective John Tool, "the unluckiest cop in the world"
* CallingTheOldManOut: Only it's the Father of all Creation.
* CannibalLarder: One psychopath is found out when another character discovers [[BodyInABreadbox a human head in the fridge]].
* CapturedSuperEntity: The Grail has a captured angel that they use for information in "Crusaders". [[spoiler: It's the angel who fathered Genesis.]]
* CarFu: Cassidy drives a pickup into the Saint in the first volume, [[NighInvulnerable to no effect]].
** Tulip does this with a truck in her teen years to scare off a group of gang rapists after her friend.
* CensorshipBySpelling: In a flashback, Jesse's dad asks his mom if she's been missing him in front of little Jesse, and she says "Missing Ess Ee Ex", which little Jesse repeats in the next panel.
* ClusterFBomb:
** This being a Creator/GarthEnnis work, one shouldn't be surprised. To quote Sheriff Root: "SON OF A FUCKIN' WHORE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOIN' ON FUCK THIS '''FUCK'''"
** Lampshaded with Saddam Hopper, because he's fucking ''lousy'' at it (Even using the SevenDirtyWords).
* CombatPragmatist:
** Jesse loves his {{Groin Attack}}s.
** Starr's response to a [[SadistTeacher sadistic hand to hand combat instructor]] demanding to know how Starr would defeat him in unarmed combat? Starr [[CuttingTheKnot shoots him in the leg]] and responds that he never intends to ''be'' unarmed. Subverted in that over the course of the series, he frequently ''does'' find himself unarmed, and in big trouble - it would have been far more pragmatic to learn how to deal with such a situation, which is why militaries still teach unarmed combat.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting:
** The Saint looks identical to the late Lee Marvin.
** The Texas Ranger Tom Pickett seems to resemble Tom Skerritt.
** Saddam Hopper resembles Saddam Hussein.
** And Cassidy is pretty clearly Shane McGowan from ThePogues.
** There seems to be a resemblance between Jesse Custer and Jim Morrison of Music/TheDoors.
* CompellingVoice: Jesse, due to the Word of God. Any command he gives can't be disobeyed. However, there are limits to the power. Among them, Jesse has to be able to speak, the target has to understand Jesse, and they have to be able to hear him. So, it doesn't work on animals, anyone who doesn't understand English, or - in one case - anyone who plugs their ears and shouts at the top of their lungs.
* CompensatingForSomething:
** Starr loves his big gun. Or as he calls it, [[MadnessMantra muttering]] "''Doom''cock. '''''Doomcock'''''." Of course, he thought he was just practicing, saying cock then he cocked it and DOOM when he fired it.
** [[TheNapoleon Odin Quincannon]] also has a HandCannon which breaks his arm when he fires it.
* CoolChair: The Throne of Paradise. Even the Saint of Killers can't do anything to someone sitting on it.
** [[spoiler:Nor, it turns out, can God.]]
* CoolShades: Cassidy
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Jesse initially resists using his powers for his own gain...then decides to just say hell with it. By the end of the series, though, he learns some hard lessons about the unintended consequences of rash action.
* CorruptChurch: The Grail
* CorruptHick: Odin Quincannon in "Salvation". Also known as the Meat King, he is a corrupt hick who operates an inhumane meat plant, orders the death of a local sheriff, is a card-carrying member of TheKlan, tries to blow up a nearby village with napalm, employs a Hitler fetishist as his PA and repeatedly has sex with a giant female figure made out of sides of ham. Seriously. He was so corrupt his fellow Klansmen started wondering if he was taking the whole racism thing a bit too far.
** The L'Angelles are a BigScrewedUpFamily like you would not believe.
** Sheriff Hugo Root, who's an alcoholic racist as well as an abusive father.
** Jody and T.C. T.C. in particular will screw anything whether it moves or not, including dogs, chickens, and a ''birthday cake'' (he claims the cake was just asking for it with that frosting).
* CouncilOfAngels: In "Gone to Texas"
* CoversAlwaysLie: If you're new to the series, the cover of the very first issue might give you the impression that Jesse is the antagonist of the series, or possibly a VillainProtagonist, rather than TheHero. Hell, the first issue's cover is the page image for SinisterMinister!
* CowboyCop:
** Cal Hicks tries to be this, but he seems to embrace the stereotypes of PrivateDetective more. He has a fancy car (repossessed because he can't afford it on a police salary), hot girlfriend (leaving him, probably because he's a virgin with a ridiculously ludicrous idea of what sex is like), on suspension (you can only get away with this if you have a massively perfect arrest record and he doesn't), has a canine sidekick (Doofus, leaves after T.C. spends the night with the dog), and has a drinking problem (probably brought on by hard-drinkin' detectives on TV). Tries to fly a copter and crashes it. Tries to take charge and it's clear Jody has him outclassed. Talks tough and Jody feeds him to a gator. Really, one of the more inept wannabes.
** Jesse becomes this in Salvation. Awesomeness ensues. No doubt inspired by:
** Tom Pickett, the Texas Ranger Jesse and Tulip met when they were younger.
** Detective Bridges is one (he once got a confession out of a guy by shoving his face into a gaping shotgun wound).
* CurbstompBattle:
** The Saint's encounters with pretty much everyone.
** Supercop Paul Bridges manages to drop Jesse with ''one punch''. Even Jody had to hit him a few times.
* CursedWithAwesome: Cassidy's view of being a vampire.
* CutenessProximity: The Saint gets a couple of moments of this with the girl he later marries, and then with their child, though of course it's largely played for contrast. Also, to his surprise, Tulip's RatedMForManly dad (though it helps that she just burped).
--> ''Aw, so you're a girl. That needn't be so bad.''
* DarkActionGirl: That one chick. You know the one. With the action. And the dark.
* DarkAndTroubledPast:
** A whole lot of people. But Jesse and his family gets a special mention.
** Cassidy's is so bad that it might qualify as a deconstruction of how artificially dramatic this trope usually is.[[note]]There's also the fact that nearly all of it is self-inflicted: outside of being turned into a vampire, all of Cassidy's problems come from his own bad decisions and weaknesses of character. [[/note]]
** Herr Starr's [[IncrediblyLamePun Starrt]] [[StartOfDarkness Of Darkness]].
* DeadHandShot: A dead hand is all we see [[spoiler: of God after the Saint of Killers shoots him.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Starr is the outstanding case, but Featherstone does her best, and most others have their moments.
* DeathIsTheOnlyOption: Jesse Custer's plan near the end is [[spoiler:to die so that God himself will return to Heaven thinking it now safe, only to find the Saint of Killers occupying the celestial throne]]. Jesse [[spoiler:returns from the dead but]] comments that [[spoiler:still being alive]] is an empty victory, like using a cheat code in a video game.
* DeepCoverAgent: The Grail has slews of these around the world, set close to leaders and major power players to ensure they do what the Grail wants. When Starr tries to get the President of the United States to comply by threatening his daughter, he states "Of course I know she has men around her at all times, who do you think will be doing the shooting?"
** This ends up working against Starr when he orders all Grail agents for the final assault on Jeese only to have barely a dozen show up. Hoover states that these agents are just so happy with being among the rich and powerful that they refuse to give it up.
* DeepSouth: Where a lot of the story takes place.
* DepravedBisexual:
** Jesus De Sade. Actually, he's a depraved ''everything''.
** Bill, Cassidy's old heroin supplier. When Cassidy can no longer get the money for his habits, he says that Cassidy or his girlfriend can give him a blowjob instead: ''"I'm not particular"''.
* DepravedHomosexual: ''All'' the queer characters in the series are more or less depraved.
* DevilButNoGod: Inverted: The Devil is shot in the face by the Saint of Killers sometime in the 19th century but God is still running around [[spoiler:(until he's shot by the Saint of Killers)]].
* DevilsJobOffer: The man who would become the Saint of Killers went to Hell for shooting through a hostage -- but his hatred was so cold that it froze the flames to ice. [[{{Determinator}} The Devil couldn't stop his hatred]] -- so instead, [[TheGrimReaper the Angel of Death]], who was never really cut out for being The Reaper, makes a deal: the man will become the Saint of Killers, taking over the Angel's job, and leave Hell in order to serve as Heaven's enforcer. The Angel's sword is melted down and forged by the Devil into a pair of Walker Colt revolvers that will never miss, never inflict anything less than a lethal wound, and never have their hammers fall on empty chambers... And thus, the Saint of Killers is born. As he leaves hell, he kills the Devil himself!
* {{Determinator}}: Many, but special mention needs to be given to Herr Starr after his escape from the desert.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: [[spoiler:The Saint of Killers shoots God dead]].
* DirtyCommunists: Subverted. They're not longer Communists, but the Russians are still depicted as hard, crazy bastards anyway. Not to mention Jesse's father's famous "Fuck Communism" lighter.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** Hoover, who is made by the Word of God to count a million grains of sand for slightly inconveniencing the main characters. And every time Hoover lost count or a wave washed away his pile of sand, he had to start all over again, and was unable to stop. Even Jesse later admits that this crossed the line.
** Jesse's grandmother catches him cursing at Jody after he [[KickTheDog nails his dog to the fence.]] She responds by nailing him into a weighted box and dropping him in the river for a week with just an air hose to keep him from suffocating. Of course, that was probably more to tighten her control over him and "toughen him up" than anything else.
* DopeSlap: When Cassidy gets sick of dealing with the pretentious younger vampire Eccharius, he sets him straight on what being a vampire really means and tells him he'll get a whack on the ear everytime he says something stupid.
* DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale: Any male rape in the series is invaribly played for comedy. Starr is raped by the Sexual Investigators in "Hunters".
** In ''Ancient History'', the crooked bayou fight promoter, with a baseball bat.
** And in the Salvation story arc, when Jesse locks up some of Quincannon's unruly workers.
* TheDreaded: The Saint of Killers absolutely terrifies everyone he comes into contact with, and with good reason. Up to and including ''[[spoiler: The Lord God Almighty]]''.
* {{Eagleland}}: Somehow subverted. Warts and all - and they are very big warts - this series reads like Creator/GarthEnnis' love letter to America.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** By halfway through the series, the Saint of Killers is ''completely'' unstoppable and ''nothing'' can survive his guns. [[spoiler: By the end of the series, he kills God.]] The fact that Cassidy is only mildly inconvenienced by being shot by the Saint is probably related to the fact that it happens in the first volume.
** To a lesser degree, the Reaver-Cleaver storyline that makes up the second arc, which introduces an antagonist and a bunch of supporting characters -- one of them even acting as narrator -- that never recur or have much effect on the rest of the storyline. It reads like a self-contained adventure in an ongoing comic.
** Jesse is taken out in a bar fight rather easily in the first book. As the series progresses, he basically become unbeatable in bar brawls and the like.
* EldritchAbomination: Genesis is described as such by the angels, including its own father.
* ElvisLives: One issue has Jesse picking up various hitchhikers while traveling to New York. One of them is an old, shadowy man with a very distinctive speech pattern that brings to mind a certain famous singer.
* EtTuBrute: As cited on the trope page:
--> "Gets ya to fuckin' love him and then stabz ya inna back. Love him so much ya don't believe he did it. Blood all over ya. Big fuckin' knife in ya back. An' ya don't believe he did it. Maybe hez sick. Maybe it wasn't him. Just looked like him. Maybe he made a mistake."
--> ''WHY THE FUCK DID YOU LET ME DOWN SO BAD!!!
* EyepatchOfPower: Jesse.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Though you may feel no need to congratulate either Jody or D'Aronique for their selection.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Odin Quincannon: So monomaniacally racist, other KKK members think he's exaggerating.
** Arguably Starr, who is disgusted by D'Aronique to the point he considers seeking to usurp him as the Allfather of the Grail as the right thing to do.
** The "Sexual Investigators" appear to be prostitutes, rapists and hired killers, yet they're both disturbed by our heroes trapping a cat in a toilet.
* EvilMatriarch: Marie L'Angelle really takes this trope to a whole new dimension.
* EvilUncle: Jesse's grandmother Marie L'Angelle was Allfather D'Aronique's aunt.
* EvilVersusEvil: In ''The Good Old Boys'', Jody and T.C. take on a bunch of goons and their leader, a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed rendition of Saddam Hussein.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Cassidy.]]
* FaceHeelRevolvingDoor: [[spoiler:Cassidy. Made more complicated by the shades of gray in his ongoing characterization.]]
* FemaleAngelMaleDemon: Inverted. Genesis is the offspring of a male angel and a female demon.
* TheFinalTemptation: [[spoiler:A trigger away from finishing the being who made him the monster he is, the Saint of Killers is offered the one chance he can ever get to see his wife and daughter again, to regain his humanity, anything he can wish for. All he needs to do is stay his hand, allowing his target to sit upon the throne and gain the power needed to accomplish those promises...Of course, such power means even the Saint will no longer be of consequence.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: It's easy to miss on a first reading when we have no reason to view everything he says with suspicion, but what Cassidy tells Jesse of his encounter with God does not actually match what God says to Cassidy.
** When the Sexual Investigators talk about Jesus de Sade, Freddy tells Bob how it is rumored that Jesus "likes little kids." [[spoiler: The rumors turn out to be true]].
* ForgotAboutHisPowers:
** After the first quarter of the series or so, Jesse stops using the Word of God almost completely. He at first rationalizes it as not wanting to use it [[ComesGreatResponsibility for petty or selfish reasons]], then states that he just doesn't want to ''rely'' on it, given that its AchillesHeel makes it useless against prepared opponents. As a result, he often neglects to use it when he and his friends' lives are in danger, preferring instead to just fight it out and hope for the best.
--->'''Jesse''': ''Wouldn't do to get too reliant on a thing like that, Cass. Like I found out to my cost a while back.''
*** [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] for laughs when Tulip asks him about his neglect to use the word after Jesse beat the entirety of les enfants du sang with his bare hands, prompting him to pause in-between smacking someone's face repeatedly into a tombstone:
--->'''Tulip''': "Why didn't you use the word?"
--->'''Jesse''': "...shit, I clean forgot all about it."
** Cassidy is so hard-up for smack that he's reduced to sucking dick for hits. Surely someone with his superhuman abilities could think of a less humiliating way to get cash.
* FrenchJerk: The French are very acceptable targets in the series.
** Jesse's mother comes from L'Angelles, a line of evil French-Americans. She tried to escape from them by running away, but his evil maternal grandmother dragged her whole family back.
** The D'Aronique family is the French bloodline that leads the Grail. The L'Angelles are a splinter from their line. Allfather D'Aronique is the monstrously fat and evil current Allfather. Jesse's grandmother is his aunt.
** Jesse talks about meeting a French bartender who pretends to be friendly but is actually insulting him in French. At the end of the issue, he's apparently caught on and isn't happy.
** In the prequel issue on Jody and T.C., [[FamousNamedForeigner Napoleon]] [[CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys Vichy]]. "I 'ave come to eat your horses". So absurd that in any other series it would qualify as a parody of the trope.
* FunetikAksent:
** Arseface (Indecipherable)
** Sexual Investigators' [[OopNorth Bob Glover]], mostly through their use of "fookin'"
** Cassidy's Irish lilt is most notably expressed when he says "Jaysis!" and "Eejit!"
** When Cassidy pretends to be Jesse Custer, his dialogue shows that he's hazarding a pretty cartoonish Southern accent.
* GilliganCut:
** Cassidy talks about hanging around Irish poet Creator/BrenandBehan to listen to his witticisms. In the next panel, Behan is shown drunkenly cursing someone out and vomiting on himself.
** When Hoover starts getting worried about Starr's behavior, Featherstone reassures him that he's as stable and rational as ever. Cut to Starr throwing a computer through a high-rise window, with a scream of "FUCKING COMPUTERS!"
* GodIsEvil: While arguably not as bad as God in ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'', God, as depicted here, is a selfish, love-obsessed malicious prick who deliberately engineers suffering and mayhem because people loving him despite all the sadistic tortures he inflicts fills him with joy.
* GodIsFlawed: It is eventually revealed that all of the world's problems are caused by being created by a guy who grew up in total solitude (because there wasn't any universe yet!) and thus developed what could be considered a narcissistic personality disorder as well as any number of related mental problems.
* GoGoEnslavement: Rare male example: Jesse is enslaved in "Salvation" and dressed in a Nazi outfit. And is then rescued by his black deputy.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: As an old fashioned kind of hero, Jesse prefers to solve his problems with his fists.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: And evil people have weird, fucked-up, unmentionable sex that sometimes barely seems to qualify as sex...
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Herr Starr's scar is ''evil'', especially since it makes him into a walking GagPenis. His "star for Starr" scar is what turned him into a bald, gruff voiced calculating killer in the first place.
* GoodThingYouCanHeal: Cassidy is a magnet for grievous injuries. He takes mortal wounds within moments of meeting several people, revealing his true nature. It's implied that he simply never had the need to learn how to protect himself. Various characters also take advantage of the fact that he can heal to do more damage to him than they otherwise would.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Rare throughout the series.
** Billy-Bob's fatal wounding in "How I learned to love the Lord" in the second volume.
** The very last death of the comic, though perhaps that's just for artistic nuance.
* TheGrimReaper: The Saint, as well as the previous Angel of Death.
* GroinAttack: Oh so very many. Male genitalia is destroyed in pretty much every possible fashion.
* TheGrotesque: Arseface and Lorry. Noteworthy in that they are some of the only legitimately morally centered characters and get the most overtly happy ending, in contrast with the rest of the cast, who are all pretty much jerkasses and sick fucks (even our heroes). In Preacher, [[AnAesop everyone is a grotesque freak, except the guy with an arse for a face and the one-eyed girl]].
* GunsAkimbo: It's not enough that the Saint's gun could [[InstantDeathBullet kill in one perfectly accurate shot]]; he just ''has'' to have a pair of them too.
* TheGunslinger: Tthe Saint of Killers is essentially the angel of death reimagined as a classic gunslinger.
* HandCannon:
** Herr Starr's enormously oversized revolver fits the traditional model.
** The Saint of Killers' Walker Colt revovlers are actually an InfinityPlusOneSword.
* HappilyFailedSuicide: Arseface tried to kill himself because he was sad and lonely, and his idol and his only friend had both just killed themselves. After the failed suicide attempt, he does all he can to turn his life around, but can never get away from his face being horribly disfigured by the shotgun blast that so fortunately missed his brain. This may be inspired by the real-life botched shotgun suicide of James Vance after supposedly hearing a subliminal message in a Judas Priest song.
* HaveYouSeenMyGod: ''The'' key plot element.
* HeelFaceTurn:
** [[spoiler:The Saint Of Killers. It certainly says something about the series that that character's decision to kill God Almighty marks his Heel Face Turn.]]
** To a lesser but no less profound degree, Hoover and Featherstone.
* HeteronormativeCrusader: Discussed, with the main characters taking a very negative stand on this kind of behavior and certain villains being homophobic along with racist. Yet, at the same time, as mentioned throughout this page, homosexuals certainly aren't portrayed in a very flattering manner. But since almost ''no one'' is portrayed in a very flattering manner, this is pretty much par for the course.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: The series' portrayal of Patrick Pearse, the Irish revolutionary responsible for the 1916 Easter Rising, is unflattering, to say the least. Naturally, reader opinions will differ on how accurate this portrayal is.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: God created and then alienated beings more powerful than himself. Satan, too, as he had a hand in making the Saint of Killers.
* {{Homage}}: The character and backstory of the Saint of Killers is a homage to the characters of William Munny in ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'' and the unnamed gunfighter in ''High Plains Drifter''.
* HumiliationConga: Starr's whole life from the first page of the series on.
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: Jesse quoting Theatre/KingLear in a thunderstorm.
* IdealizedSex: Sexual perversion is a major theme in the series, so anything that strays a bit from the norm is ratcheted UpToEleven and made into a characteristic of a psychotic villain.
** Pretty much every sadomasochist in the series is psychotic. Even when our heroes use a pair of handcuffs in their lovemaking, it turns out to actually be a way for Tulip to get revenge on Jesse and punish him.
** Homosexuality is always associated with mental illness, rape, exploitation or depravity. There are no healthy homosexuals in the whole series.
* IdenticalPanelGag: Starr looking at his new (literal) dick head in the mirror for nine identical panels. Later repeated twice with only his wigs and then his hats changing.
* IdiotBall: given that they supposedly have the resources of every government on Earth at their fingertips, you'd think the Grail could come up with some more subtle way of dealing with Jesse than sending guys with guns at him. At the very least, you'd think they'd give the guys with guns some earplugs.
* IWasQuiteALooker: Sally is implied to be the beautiful blonde girl in the picture she gave to Jesse.
* IgnoredEnamoredUnderling: Featherstone to Herr Starr.
* ImGoingToHellForThis: After finding out that Arseface is a virgin, Jesse and Cassidy set him up with a prostitute. As they listen outside, Jesse says that they're going to burn in Hell for it.
* ImmigrantPatriotism: A recurring element, with Irish Cassidy, British Bob and German Gunther all praising what America has to offer, and how they all saw it as a second chance.
* ImplacableMan: The Saint is thwarted ''once'' in the whole series and only because he didn't know that Jesse's [[CompellingVoice Word of God]] could affect him, and even then, he very nearly makes Jesse [[BeyondTheImpossible repeat himself]]; he stops pulling his gun halfway, but doesn't put it back in the holster as ordered, at first. He makes it very clear in his next appearance that [[ItOnlyWorksOnce it will]] ''[[QuickDraw not]]'' [[ItOnlyWorksOnce work again]].
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Angel of Death's sword, which is melted down and reforged into a pair of Colt Walker revolvers which: cannot miss, cannot be empty, and cannot fail to kill their target. Hence why they can kill [[spoiler:the Devil and ''God'']].
* InformedAttractiveness: Tulip versus Amy. They [[OnlySixFaces look exactly]] alike but with different hair colors.
* InMediasRes: Issue 8 begins this way.
* InstantDeathBullet: Usually played straight (especially with the Saint of Killers, specifically mentioned to have a gun of instant-death - his bullets are shown to ''tear people in half'' at some points), but subverted at least thrice. Cassidy survives one, but only because of a CanonDisContinuity. Their instant death is crucial to killing [[spoiler:God]].
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: Averted by ''The Story Of You-Know-Who'', which was meant to mention Arseface, being his backstory and all.
* TheJuggernaut: The Saint of Killers. A [[CarFu pickup truck to the face]] won't stop him, an [[RedShirtArmy entire base full of soldiers]] won't stop him, a battalion of tanks won't stop him, a [[UpToEleven direct nuclear strike]] won't stop him. All this is overshadowed by [[spoiler: the entire angelic host of Heaven being mobilized against him]], which of course fails to stop him.
* JustAFleshWound: When Jesse storms Masada, he stabs Starr in the abdomen with a knife. Starr collapses, but soon has enough strength to start fighting again. A few issues later, which only span about an hour, and Starr's injury is completely forgotten.
* KarmaHoudini:
** After all of the skeletons in his closet are revealed at how much a monster he is, [[spoiler:Cassidy pulls it off making a deal with God to capture Genesis. The last pages show him alive, with his curse removed.]]
** The Saint of Killers, too, gets off more or less scot-free despite murdering, what, ''thousands'' of people? Granted, lots of those people had it coming, but many were just unlucky bastards in the wrong place at the wrong time.
** Amy mentions to Tulip that if she tried to press charges to the men who tried to rape her, they'd just get their rich dads to bribe off everyone, and she'd be told she was asking for it. As it is, all they get is a hole in their wall (and pissing himself in the case of one of them.)
* LaughablyEvil: As the series progresses, Starr is increasingly played for laughs.
* LaserSight: One shows up on Jesse's side to show Klansmen that he's got them covered.
* TheLastDJ: Colonel Holden, and Jesse qualifies too, considering how much easier his own life would be if he sold out his integrity.
* LawOfInverseFertility: In the Salvation arc, Toby and never-seen girlfriend Turleen aren't even thinking of having a baby (Or much else, for that matter) when he tells Jodie that he thought she was pregnant because she'd missed her period. They're not worried, because it happened once before, last month. God, these two are such ''idiots''.
* LawOfInverseRecoil: Subverted in "Salvation". When Odin Quincannon fires a [[HandCannon gun that's way too large for him]], the recoil [[{{Squick}} breaks his wrist]]. Also a ''cute'' subversion with a very young Tulip driven backwards into a snowbank, with only mittens and boots left visible.
* LightIsNotGood: Angels are all jerks, and God is the villain of the series. Even the mother and father of Genesis, implied at first to be freethinking lovers, are revealed to have been unwilling participants and just as bad as their brethren.
* LiteralGenie: Jesse's choice of words with the Word of God sometimes has... unfortunate consequences. Like the time he told [[spoiler: Arseface's father to "go fuck yourself", which resulted in him tearing off his own penis and sodomizing himself with it.]]
* LoveAtFirstSight:
** Tulip and Jesse. While Jesse was on a date with another girl.
** In a non-romantic sense, all of Tulip's father's apprehension about raising a daughter alone vanished the moment he saw his baby girl's face.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Mother, in this case.
* MadeOfPlasticine: Human beings are ludicrously fragile in this series. Every bone broken will immediately sprout forth from the skin- even breaking someone's ''finger'' does this. Kicks to the chin can pop eyes out, punches to the throat are fatal, blood spurts from every single wound, etc.
* MadnessMantra:
** "DOOM cock, DOOM cock"
** "Smear the cheese, smear the cheese... Pluck the hairs, pluck the hairs... Say the name, say the name..."
* MagicAIsMagicA: The rules of the Voice of God.
* MeaningfulName:
** Jesse Custer, apart from the meaningful initials, is also a dual references to frontier legends Jesse James and George Armstrong Custer.
** Napoleon Vichy's name is a dual reference to Napoleon Bonaparte and the puppet government of Nazi-occupied France.
** Jesus [=DeSade=]'s name indicates his high opinion of himself and his sexual perversity.
* MightyGlacier: Jody. Jesse's mother lampshades it before taking advantage of it.
* MookLieutenant: Marseille.
* {{Mooning}}: After Cassidy loosens up fellow vampire Eccharius with a night of drinking and fun, they both moon Eccharius's followers, yell "Wankeerrrrs!!" and run away. The Enfants Du Sang are understandably confused.
* {{Mondegreen}}: When Jesse, Tulip, and Cass sing along to "What a Feeling" by Irene Cara in "Dixie Fried," they sing the line "got me reelin'" instead of "bein's believin'"
* MoralDissonance: Neither Jesse nor anyone else ever seems to consider that, for example, after his "bank robbery" the teller who gave him the money probably went to prison. For that matter, Jesse's supposedly high moral standards seem to clash with his constant criminality. And at no point does anyone criticize him for his ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer solution to ''everything''. Cindy eventually calls him out on this by pointing out that ''the sheriff'' really ought to observe the law a little more often.
* MoreDakka: Starr has a ''tank'' unload its shells directly into the Saint. And when that doesn't work, well, he's got a backup plan too...
* MotiveDecay: Demonstrated by Herr Starr.
* NeckLift: Cassidy does this during a BarBrawl.
* NegatedMomentOfAwesome: Cassidy tries to attack the Saint of Killers by ramming him with a pickup truck. The Saint doesn't even flinch, the truck ''crumples'' like paper, Cass gets flung through the windshield, past Hugo Root, to land practically on his head next to Jesse. He clearly thought ''that'' plan through.
* NGOSuperpower: the Grail. Allfather D'Aronique says he makes every president in the world call him every evening and say "Thank you".
* NighInvulnerable: The Saint of Killers, to a degree that's extreme even by comic book standards. Nothing anyone does to him so much as scratches him. He takes the "nigh" out of the trope.
* NinetiesAntiHero: Jesse Custer, the two-fisted, cigarette-chomping, stubble-chinned preacher with a grudge against God. While he has a certain code of honor, he's certainly no choir-boy and is often forced to admit his moral failings.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: [[JohnWayne The Duke]] and [[ElvisPresley The King]].
* NoSell: The Saint of Killers never sells ''anything.'' The most clear example of the trope is when Cassidy punches him on the chin with his SuperStrength, and the Saint just stares at him.
* NotUsingTheZWord: No one ever says the word "vampire." When Jesse realizes what he is, Cassidy only confirms that he's "the 'V' word."
* NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont: One of Quincannon's goons points a gun at Jesse, only for Jesse to inform him that the safety's on.
* OddJobGods: The Saint of Killers, the Angel of Death's replacement. Whenever you're about to kill someone, pray to him, because he's the one pulling the trigger.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler: The Saint of Killers takes on the ''entire'' Heavenly Host. We only see the aftermath.]]
* OneManArmy: The Saint.
* OneSidedArmWrestling: Cassidy, soon after arriving in the US.
* OnlySaneMan: Played with - Starr, for all his own issues, is fairly clearly this relative to the Grail in general.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Hoover's PrecisionFStrike after [[spoiler: Starr kills Featherstone.]]
* OohMeAccentsSlipping:
** Starr notices that Cassidy's accent is slipping while he's impersonating Jesse.
** Meta, with Ennis' dialogue for the mostly American cast. While he tries to be authentic with southern accents, Americanisms and such, his Irish roots in certain turns of phrase and syntax are noticable.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent : As a TakeThat, the only angels we meet are either pricks or weak-willed slobs.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Cassidy has all the urges and appetites of a human. He needs to drink blood to stay alive, but not all that much, and he has no fangs. He lacks all typical vampire weaknesses except direct sunlight, which sets him on fire. He has superhuman strength and speed, regenerates just about any damage over a period of days and weeks, but lacks any other supernatural abilities. {{Lampshaded}} in a story where Cassidy meets another vampire, who tries to act according to cliches of vampire fiction, because he feels this is expected of him.
* OutOfTheInferno: The Saint takes a ''direct hit'' from an atomic bomb. Several scenes later, we cut to him standing amidst the nuclear fire, his perfectly undamaged [[BadassLongcoat duster]] still flapping in the breeze, with a contemptuous look on his face.
-->'''Saint of Killers''': "Not enough gun."
* PapaWolf: John Custer, who would have won against Jody. Seriously, John hit him like a train!
* PedestrianCrushesCar: The first volume has Cassidy attempt CarFu on [[NighInvulnerability The Saint of Killers]]. It doesn't work.
* PeriodPiece: The series is inexorably tied to the time of its publication, with the looming year of 2000 being a major plot point, Kurt Cobain's death to Arseface's origin and Jesse's father serving in Vietnam.
* PermaStubble: Jesse usually has some.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: The Saint of Killers, which was realized far too late by an unfortunate tank battalion. How dangerous could a guy who looks like he walked out of a Western set be?
* ThePowerOfLegacy: Deconstructed, then averted. When Jesse is hanging on to Cassidy from a plane, he tells Cassidy to tell Tulip he loves her, then orders him to let go. Cassidy then reveals himself by telling Tulip that Jesse didn't say anything. But at the very end, Cassidy's goodbye letter explains to Tulip what Jesse had really told him.
* PrecisionFStrike: One is visible from space.
** Throughout the comic, people swear like mad, and it's even frequently {{Lampshaded}} by Hoover, who finds it all horribly sinful. [[spoiler: He gets one, too, and it has [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness the full impact]] as if the comic never dropped the bomb before it.]]
* PretenderDiss: Cassidy to [[VampireVannabe ''Les enfants du sang'']] and various BadAss characters to {{Heroic Wannabe}}s.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Highly averted, perhaps excessively.
* ProfaneLastWords: Herr Starr's last words, on having most of his head blown off: "Shit."
* ProstheticLimbReveal: When facing off against his former employer, his dog and his bodyguard, Starr holds his leg out in front of him. The bodyguard contemptuously grabs it, and is surprised long enough that it comes off that Starr is able to dispatch him. Unfortunately for Starr, the dog is still able to get him.
--> Starr: My cock is in the bitch's mouth. And not in a good way.
* PureIsNotGood: The Grail is filled with this. Whether they realize it or not. (Honestly, they look at their captive lineage of Jesus's badly atavistic descendants, and they still think that because the line has never had new blood, it's automatically good?!)
--> "Humperdido!"
* PurpleProse: In the one-shot "Blood and Whiskey", the vampire Eccarius speaks this way. It's revealed that he's a self-important poseur dimwit who just followed what was in the books and movies on vampires without question.
* QuickDraw: The Saint of Killers can draw his guns faster than a man can see. He uses this to shut down Jesse's Word the second time they meet.
-->'''Saint of Killers''': "I'm bettin' I can clear holster 'fore your words hit the breeze, preacher. First twitch I see...that's what I'm gonna do."
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: It's the whole point of the story.
* RapeDiscretionShot: Herr Starr's rape by "sexual investigator" happens entirely off-panel.
* RatedMForManly: Jesse, Jesse's dad, the Saint, Tulip's dad, Jody...
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** Jesse delivers a couple of these, including to Cassidy.
** Right after his HappilyFailedSuicide, Arseface’s best friend’s sister asked him why he and her brother were DrivenToSuicide. Arseface answers (writes) [[{{Wangst}} ''Nobody cared'']]. To the only person who cared enough to visit him in the hospital. She angrily screams before leaving in tears:
--> ''What do you mean, nobody cared? You mean nobody coddled you and wiped your asses for you? Your lives didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to? Well, FUCK YOU, you and my asshole brother both! You self-obsessed whining little shits, I bet you never gave a good goddamn about the pain you’d cause! You say nobody cared about you, but I’ll tell you one thing: If you´re enough of a prick to take a gun and try to blow your own head off… YOU DIDN´T FUCKING CARE EITHER!''
* RedemptionFailure: Since he's something of an {{Expy}} of Creator/ClintEastwood's characters, Saint of Killers' gets a backstory about his life as a retired outlaw and gunslinger. Things rapidly go awry in fashion very similar to what befalls Eastwood's character in ''Unforgiven''.
* RetiredGunfighter: The Saint, back when he was a man...
* RetiredMonster: [[spoiler: Gunther Hahn, the Angel of Death and, at the end of the story, the Saint of Killers.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Herr Starr got his scar, voice, and baldness from a childhood incident where a gang of schoolboys cut his eye out with a piece of glass. They ended up dead before his tenth birthday. This incident got him the job as the Chief Executioner of the Grail.
* RunningGag: Featherstone snarling, "Motherfucker!" and a shocked Hoover chastising her, "Featherstone!"
* SayYourPrayers: One of the outlaws who kept the Saint from reaching his family with medicine does this when he sees that the Saint is BackFromTheDead.
* SanctuaryOfSolitude: Cassidy does this. (And no, it doesn't [[OurVampiresAreDifferent hurt him]], either).
* ScopeSnipe: Eisenstein's bodyguard almost kills a sniper this way. It's not a scope snipe because the bodyguard's bullet hits the sniper in the center of the sniper's forehead, not the sniper's eye. In a preceding panel the sniper is looking through his scope at the bodyguard- there was no reason for the sniper, seeing the bodyguard aiming at him, to stop looking through the scope and raise his (the sniper's) rifle to where the scope would have been pointing above his eye level.
* SecretIdentity: Subverted in "Naked City".
* SelectiveObliviousness: Cassidy does this repeatedly, causing much grievous harm to other people. When Jesse calls him out repeatedly, Cassidy gets self-righteous.
* SerialEscalation: The Saint's accomplishments keep getting more impressive.
* SerialKillingsSpecificTarget: Herr Starr is given the task of murdering a man in an insane asylum in such a way that the authorities do not investigate his death too deeply. Being a pragmatic man, Starr simply blows up the entire asylum, so that investigators will have several hundred potential targets to sort through. Rather than a serial killing, it's a mass murder, but the intent is the same.
* SerialProstheses: Starr. From a fake leg to a fake dong.
* ShoutOut:
** Jesse's spiritual guide "the Duke" is obviously Creator/JohnWayne.
** The beginning of the Saint of Killer's origin story references a grab bag of classic Westerns: ''Film/TheOutlawJoseyWales'', ''Film/TheShootist'', ''Film/LonesomeDove'', ''Film/TheSearchers'' and ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}.''
** Jesus [=DeSade=] quotes and name-drops Oscar Wilde, which is apparently supposed to add to his DepravedHomosexual characterization, though of course Wilde himself was not depraved.
** Comedian Creator/BillHicks is discussed and even makes an appearance in a flashback.
** Cassidy name-drops a variety of famous people he's known.
*** He claims to have partied with "[[Creator/WilliamSBurroughs Bill Burroughs]]" and that a character in ''Literature/{{Junky}}'' was based on him.
*** He was there when poet Creator/DylanThomas died.
*** He hung around Creator/BrendanBehan, but disliked the poet's friends.
*** He implies being familiar with Creator/NormanMailer.
** In Arseface's special, his teacher has "The Decline of Western Civilization" written on the chalkboard. This is the name of a very famous documentary about the LA punk scene in 1979/80.
** As Jesse's {{Lancer}}, Cassidy is compared to [[Franchise/StarWars Han Solo]] a few times. When he mentions that he had a falling-out with one of his old friends, Jesse jokingly asks if he won the ''Millennium Falcon'' from him in a card game. Notably, the third volume involves Jesse and Tulip hatching a daring plan [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi to storm a desert fortress and rescue him from a morbidly obese villain]].
** Cassidy says that when he first became a vampire in 1916, there weren't movies like ''Film/FrightNight'' to tell him what he was.
** Cassidy says he figured out what he is by reading ''Literature/{{Dracula}}''
** While Jesse is picking up hitchhikers, he jokes about picking up a "Mr. Hauer." This is a reference to ''Film/TheHitcher'', starring Creator/RutgerHauer.
** Jesse quotes ''Theatre/KingLear'' while standing by the ocean.
* ShoutOutThemeNaming:
** All Cassidy's old drinking buddies in New York are from 'The Irish Rover'.
** Saddam Hopper looks like Hussein but acts like Dennis Hopper.
* SignificantAnagram: Jesse Custer = Secret Jesus. (also, Uses Rejects.)
* SignificantMonogram: Jesse Custer = J.C. = Jesus Christ. Lampshaded by Tulip toward the end.
* SirSwearsAlot: If The Devil had a swear jar, Hell would soon be put on mortgage!
* SlippingAMickey:
** Happens with Amy in the past, and it's strongly implied it could have happened to Tulip as well had she chosen an open bottle.
** In the final arc, [[spoiler: Jesse drugs Tulip to keep her from following him when he goes to fight Cassidy.]]
* SmokingIsCool: The heroes are constantly lighting up. Jesse proudly bears his father's lighter, which is emblazoned with the message, "Fuck Communism."
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist:
** One of the reasons why the L'Angelles are so fucked up, passing on the increasingly psychotic tendencies to succeeding generations. Also, why Billy-Bob and Lori come from an increasingly inbred family.
** Undoubtedly the L'Angelles' Grail connections (Allfather D'Aronique, the most powerful man in the world, was Marie's nephew) kept their multitude of crimes - such as kidnapping John Custer and his family, his murder and all the other crap that Jody and T.C. pulled - from being investigated.
* SpiritAdvisor: Jesse is guided on the path to become a Real Man by John Wayne.
* SpoiledSweet: Rich girl Amy is the first person to befriend Tulip, who was pretty lonely at this point.
* StartOfDarkness:
** For the Saint, though not very straightforwardly.
** Also, "A star for Starr"
* StayInTheKitchen:
** Probably ''the'' key source of conflict between Jesse and Tulip. ZigZagged in that Jesse is not as bad as 99% of the examples; initially he's completely appreciative of Tulip's skills and grateful for her support in their adventures, essentially thinking of her and Cassidy as the muscle of their trio while he's the brains. This changes after [[spoiler:his family catches them in "Until The End Of The World" - and ''shoots her in the head'' to assert their authority over him. It [[BackFromTheDead doesn't stick]],]] but afterwards the trope comes into play in earnest...
** Played straight by Sheriff Root on his wife.
* StorybreakerPower: As if the Saint of Killers wasn't bad enough, he wields a pair of walker colt revolvers forged with the steel of the sword of the Angel of Death. They fire bullets that are completely impossible to avoid or survive. Even worse is that they ''never'' [[InfiniteSupplies run out of ammunition]] and ''never'' misfire.
* StrawFeminist: Lampshaded, with Martha Moore.
* StrawmanPolitical: Ulysses Gett, a hilariously offensive conservative who is openly critical of the feminists and liberals.
* SuicideBySunlight: [[spoiler: After making peace with Jesse, Cassidy decides that only thing he can do to make up for what he's done is meet the sun.]]
* TheSvengali: Gene Sergeant, Arseface's manager
* TakeThat:
** One long trainride of it against Christianity.
** Plus a generous helping of it for certain historical Irishmen. Michael Collins for one is given a good hard kick, and Cassidy expresses a ''very'' poor opinion of Padraig Pearse.
** A character who is clearly meant to be Creator/NeilGaiman has a sheaf of rolled-up poetry forced down his throat by Cassidy. Later in the same arc, he is mentioned as having achieved great success as a writer by "blending genres".
** One of the "sexual investigators" has a trophy for blowing the "entire English rugby team," as well as winning the Navy... blowing championship 3 years in a row.
** Cassidy states that Music/RedHotChiliPeppers is a crappy band.
** There are more than a few shots taken at the music industry, media commentators, media watchdogs, political correctness, psychiatrists and psychology buzzwords, liberal and conservative extremists, Goths, Anne Rice, racists, child molesters, self-loathing homophobes, and hypocrites of every variety.
** In contrast to Cassidy's loving tribute to New York City, the gang spend a lot of their time in Los Angeles talking about how much they hate it.
* TankGoodness: Subverted ''epically'' in the "War in the Sun" arc.
* TellMeAboutMyFather: Jesse finds out a lot about his father from his old war buddy Space.
* TheSheriff: Hugo Root is massively the CorruptHick variety of this trope, as well as a supreme {{Jerkass}}. Jim Bewley of Salvation is also a CorruptHick, but a nicer one. Jesse becomes the CowboyCop version of this in Salvation.
* TheStarscream: Starr, to d'Aronique, who knows about it but still thinks he can use him to his advantage.
* TheUnfairSex: Cassidy is a horrible person for confessing to Tulip that he's in love with her, but in a flashback issue, Amy openly acknowledges her feelings for Jesse, but he is understanding and they decide not to do anything about it because they both "love her (Tulip) too much". Eventually, some shadier details about Cassidy's past begin to surface to justify this sentiment, but not until after Cassidy has been vilified.
* TheUnintelligible: Arseface needs little yellow boxes to translate what he's saying, but no one seems to have any difficulty understanding what he's saying.
* TheWestern: Oh, ''so'' many examples.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: The option is mentioned, but disregarded because "Shrinks are for assholes". Jesse also goes into an amusing rant about the overuse of the word "insecure" and other pop-psych buzzwords and phrases in conversations (and is later asked whether he's insecure about his fear of psychiatrists).
* ThirdPersonPerson: Odin Quincannon.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys:
** Featuring NightmareFuel on legs Jody, and {{Squick}} on legs T.C.
** Also, Quincannon's two subordinates.
** Played with with the sexual investigators, who are just too ButtMonkey to ever really qualify as bad guys no matter how much sleazy shit they're mixed up in.
* ThoseWackyNazis:
** In Salvation, this leads to a rather intense case of MoodWhiplash. Jesse somehow draws the eye of Ms. Oatlash, a would-be neo-Nazi [[TheBaroness Baroness]][[note]]who apparently sincerely believes that Nazism ''isn't racist''[[/note]] who wants to do all kinds of squishy things with him involving leather and chains. He ends up leaving the nutcase chained to her own bed, but is forced to exit the building and speak to his ''black'' deputy while [[CrossesTheLineTwice fully dressed in a decades-old yet perfectly preserved Nazi uniform.]]
** [[spoiler: Then immediately subverted with Gunther.]]
* TokenMotivationalNemesis: Grandma Marie L'Angelle. Also Jody, who claims to have been doing this intentionally ("Try'na toughen you up, boy").
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:Featherstone turns on Starr when she realizes how far gone he is. [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim He just shoots her.]] This causes the same reaction from Hoover, with the same result. Lot of room in that stairwell]]
* ThrowTheDogABone: After being a ButtMonkey for most of the series, Arseface finds a place he can call home, a job, and a new love.
* ToHellAndBack: The Saint's empowerment.
* ToxicFriendInfluence: Arseface's best (and only) friend Pube (real name: Craig). As ''The Story of You-Know-Who'' progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that he is this to Arseface. He shows up and ruins the Root boy's best chance with his crush (right after he had successfully apologized to her for ogling her in class, and just when they seemed to be getting along well), talks him into stealing his father's shotgun (which results in him getting the worst beating in his life) and ultimately talks him into the suicide pact as a response to Kurt Cobain's suicide and their own shitty and miserable lives.
* TrampolineTummy: Disgustingly subverted. The handicapped kid who is the last surviving descendant of Jesus apparently amuses himself by taking flying leaps into the copious fat-rolls of the evil Cardinal who rules The Grail. Rather than just bouncing hilariously off of it, however, it also makes the cardinal puke by the bucketload, which suits him fine since he's bulimic...
* UhOhEyes: Cassidy looks to be a pretty average man in his mid twenties. The only hint of his [[NotUsingTheZWord condition]] is the horribly bloodshot state of his eyes.
* UndyingLoyalty: The closest thing to a redeeming feature Jody ever displays. He is genuinely upset that Miss Marie will die of old age soon and hates Jesse for giving her trouble. He even has a kind of truly sick loyalty to Jesse in his dogged determination to be the father figure from hell.
* UnfriendlyFire: Jesse's dad iced his racist, sadistic commanding officer during the Vietnam War.
* TheUnintelligible:
** Arseface. He has translations provided in text boxes beside his dialogue.
** One of Quincannon's subordinates becomes this after Jesse breaks some of his teeth up.
* UnskilledButStrong: Cassidy has SuperStrength, but doesn't know how to fight well because he never needed to learn how.
* UrbanLegend: Quite a few show up, whether just for fun or Ennis' not knowing their falsehoods.
** For instance, Jesse's dad meets his mother when she spits on him in his Marine uniform after he returns from Vietnam (she had recently fallen in with some radical hippies); while this was a popular story told about the disrespect towards the military in this era, there's no recorded incident of this ever happening.
** His take on the south in general. Incest is no more rampant there than any other part of the country, nor was it ever, statistically. The KluKluxKlan in modern times is an incredibly marginalized extremist group that rarely shows its face in public (even in the south) anymore, much less has any real power in local politics/communities.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Herr Starr.
* VillainousBreakdown: Experienced by Starr near the end.
-->'''Grail Elder''': This is about mankind's salvation.
-->'''Starr''': This is about my genitals.
* VolleyingInsults: Happens whenever Martha Moore and Ulysses Gett appear. Sometimes happens with other people.
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma: "Improper use of inverted commas, Hoover!"
* WarIsHell / [[ArmiesAreEvil Hate The War, Love The Soldier]]: Billy Baker, AKA "Space", a [[TheVietnamWar Vietnam Veteran]] who owes Jesse's father his life. He shows up in "Texas and the Spaceman" and "The Land of Bad Things" - both times he waxes poetic on the horrors of war and the humanity of solders.
-->(sadly) ''So tell me somethin'. How come you shitheads never write?''
* WateringDown: Custer starts off his massive TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to the whole town by telling the bartender he can almost taste the beer through all the water.
* WeHaveReserves: How the Grail attempted to deal with the Saint.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Subverted to hell and back with Jody's attempts to cast himself as this to Jesse. Even when he's a [[VisionQuest hallucination]] he pulls this: "Git on about yore vision, boy."
* WhamEpisode: ''War In The Sun.''
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: It's never explained what happened to Genesis after it's forced out of Custer's mind at the end. Nor what happened to the Angel of Death, the Saint's predecessor.
* WhatHaveIBecome: It's implied near the end that the Saint of Killers is disgusted, if not outright horrified, at the atrocities he has committed since becoming [[TheGrimReaper who he is]].
* WhatTheHellHero: Frequent. When Jesse rashly or irresponsibly uses the Word, it often comes back to bite him in the ass. A big part of his CharacterDevelopment comes from realizing that he can't just throw his weight around whenever he wants to.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude:
** "So I got kind of a question. 'Proinsias'?"
** Also, for that matter, ''Tulip''? Her mom had a thing for flower names, according to her dad.
** Kind-of-lampshaded for Jody, by Jody, while chatting up Tommi.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Jesse and Cindy. The story dances around the possibility of their coupling for some time. Keep in mind that at this point Tulip thinks Jesse is dead and Jesse thinks she's moved on to a relationship with Cassidy and is not sure that dropping in on her life again is fair.
* WorldOfBadass
* TheWorfEffect: Jody gets beaten up by every member of the Custer family to show how tough they all are.
* WrittenSoundEffect: Mostly averted.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Eisenstein has "looked over a hundred" since he was 12.
* YourHeadAsplode: Oh, so ''many'' examples, usually involving the Saint or Tulip.
* YourVampiresSuck: Directed against the Ricean tradition.
* ZenSurvivor: Played with (not for laughs) in the case of Sally, and subverted all sorts of ways for Cassidy. Also the Saint, temporarily.