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El Goonish Shive: Tropes F To L
Tropes A To E
| Tropes F-L
| Tropes M - R
| Tropes S To Z
El Goonish Shive provides examples of the following tropes:
- Face Fault: Done twice, here and here.
- Face Palm
- This filler is the most over the top example of it.
- Female Gaze: Guinea's transformation provokes some... reaction from both Ellen and a female trooper. The next page has the latter blushing and demonstratively looking away while the Uryuom trooper, obviously, comments on this.
- Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Amanda, invoked by Dr. Germahn being a Dirty Old Man.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Grace, who initially didn't understand that nudity embarrasses people, or that shapeshifting can be Squicky to those unaccustomed to it. She catches on eventually. One of the best (and funniest) examples takes place during her birthday party, here.
- Most Common Superpower: More literal than usual for Ellen, who can use one of her powers to expand her already-impressive bust.
- Ms. Fanservice: In just about every one of her appearances, Amanda ends up transforming, usually shrinking or turning into a Half-Human Hybrid. This appears to be Fanservice for a particular segment of EGS's fanbase and Dan himself.
- The Nudifier: Dr. Germahn once invented a potion that caused your sweat to dissolve clothes.
- Playboy Bunny: Let us not forget this one, which is the first bit of Fanservice Shive gave us (as well as what he claims is "the first and last violation of the 'No Cleavage' part of Sarah's contract").
- Sensual Spandex: Uryuom clothes give a considerable protection and are made for shapeshifters. The net effect, however, is that three Action Girls have to wear outfits guaranteed to remain skin-tight in all and any circumstances. Later Grace starts to wear this just in case. And that's before adding some fun poses. And combine in costumes that underscore this.
- Sexy Santa Dress: Ellen tried to wear one in a filler strip but her mom thought she would catch cold.
- Sexy Silhouette: Of transforming Susan and Dual Wielding Susan.
- Sometimes averted: "Believe me, if this was simply fan service, Elliot would have wound up in something much more revealing than that.
- Faux Paw: Done by Ellen to Nanase's ponytail several times, starting here.
- Fictional Counterpart: SWEDEKEA! And how.
- Figure It Out Yourself: Ellen's approach to help Elliot realize what kind of relationship he truly wants.
- Finishing Stomp: Performed by Ellen on Goo Cell #0012. Squishtality!
- Fireball Eyeballs: Ellen here and here, Susan here.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Susan and Nanase, of all people, are Fire Forged Vitriolic Best Buds. Now that Susan's secret is out, she's even opening up to her.
- First Girl Wins: Tedd and Grace (that we know of anyway), Ellen and Nanase, if you count Ellen's "birth" as taking Sarah out of the picture.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Abraham averts this by having spells that give him modern knowledge and clothes; given how magic works in this series, it makes sense that he would have them in conjunction with his statue spell.
- 555: Sarah's number is 555-7272. Another number mentioned is 555-3239.
- Flat Joy: When Elliot discovered that his inconvenient "girly powers only" time ended and he began to acquire cool magic. Of course, he's not only in a female form, but in the middle of a random encounter, but still.
- Flat "What.": Performed here, and again by Susan. And then by Justin here and here. Also by Raven here. And by Elliot here, and Sarah here. And now by Tom here. This is the reason why the Flat "What." page image is from EGS.
- Flight: Many characters are capable of this. Nanase, in three different ways: wings in her fairy form, magical levitation in normal form, and wings in her "angel" form. Grace — levitation, though only in Omega form. Nioi — magic. Vlad — wings plus levitation. Immortals (so far, all) — either magic or it's an inherent quality. Elliot — while in his superhero form.
- Follow the Chaos: Need to know if Tedd is upstairs or downstairs in his lab? Listen for an explosion.
- The Force Is Strong with This One: Adrian Raven admitted having ability to measure magical power without devices, which all but confirms a common wild guess on who his "random favourites" are. Later was explained he can sense magic from people...through his ears. Smell, precisely. Don't ask.
- Forced Meme: Shive attempted to turn "sexy awesome" into a catchphrase, but never caught on outside the fan base, and even the characters have all but stopped using it.
- Foreshadowing: Tends to get lampshaded a lot. What is left is usually cryptic or already blatantly obvious.
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: The Q&A strips.
- Freakiness Shame: Grace worried about her "monstrousness," until she discovered that the only reaction Sarah and Elliot ever show is blaming Tedd (due to specific experience), while Tedd ogles her in hybrid form even more eagerly than in human form. Even after the remark about "furry fetish and a half-cat girlfriend" she had a fit of concern about her three-tailed omega form. As if there could be any problem.
Grace: I didn't scare you, did I?
Tedd: [visibly spaced out] so... hot...
- Freak Lab Accident: What the Goo originally was before a Cerebus Retcon turned it into an attempt by Lord Tedd to kill this universe's Tedd.
- Freak Out: Susan wasn't amused to discover what the hammers were made for — and what they in fact do. Of course, that being in the presence of an Immortal, she just caught an Instant Sedation spell in the face and got spaced out for her efforts.
- Freudian Couch: Elliot dreams of himself on one when he decides to become introspective.
- Freudian Excuse: Most of the cast have really screwy home lives. Specifically, Susan's hatred of men is very nearly outright said to be her making an excuse for her father cheating. Her mother's hate-filled "because he's a man" when lil' Susan asked her why probably helped this along a little.
- Functional Magic: Nioi is a powerful sorceress, as is Nanase. Nanase in particular uses it very often and quite openly at times.
- Magic A Is Magic A: A significant portion of the "Sister II" arc is devoted to explaining exactly how magic works in EGS.
- Squishy Wizard: Specifically averted. Two of the three wizards seen so far are also swordsmen (Abe also used shield and axe), for third it's unknown, but as a FBI operative he's likely to have at least basic handgun training. The rest of magic users in the comic practice Supernatural Martial Arts, and one that doesn't is at least pretty badass and is competent enough with melee weapons.
- Wizard Duel: Magus vs. Terra's duel appears to be either sparring or a non-lethal quarrel. Abraham vs. Raven, with spells and weapons both.
- Funny Background Event: Lots. Panel #3 here, panel #3 here, panel #1 here.
- Fun with Subtitles: "[See? I can speak the alien language of the Uryuoms.]" (subtitles: Translated from TAKE A WILD GUESS.)
- Fusion Dance: Lespuko-chimera can acquire and combine forms.
- Gas Leak Coverup:
- Gender Bender: The entire main cast, at least once. They even did this as a theme for a birthday party. Ellen is a special case, since she's an Opposite-Sex Clone of another main character with all the memories of the original, and she has the innate ability to turn men into women. Pretty much anything in the EGS universe will get your gender bent, including fixing a toaster.
- Attractive Bent-Gender
- Pretty much whenever anyone is transformed, goes in both directions. It helps that the person behind the gender-bending technology is an unrepentant pervert who custom-designed transformation variants to appeal to certain fetishes.
- This issue was explored in rather disturbing ways in one of the Q&A sessions.
- Tedd as a female deserves special mention, as "she" is just about the hottest character in the comic. Conversely, Tess in Newspaper complained she became "so androgynous she wasn't even sure it worked."
- First Law of Gender Bending
- EGS, while not as casual or frequent about it as The Wotch, certainly pays the Law its dues. According to the rules governing the comic's main sex-changing phlebotinum, only male-to-female sex changes can be made permanent (pregnancy); female-to-male sex changes, even of someone trapped by pregnancy (for whom it's only even possible afterwards), cannot exceed a 30 day time limit. The second time a boy - the main character - is turned into a girl the device breaks, leaving "her" stuck for the full thirty days; the attempt to circumvent this creates an Opposite-Sex Clone and the permanent ability to change sex at will, something the rules of magic eventually force him to do on a regular basis.
- Also, much later, a "seyunolu" (chimera) member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad, Vlad, is hit with a Transformation Ray and is turned female, but more importantly to him/her, human. "She" has no desire to change back, and since Bizarre Alien Biology overrides the time limit (and, implicitly, gender identity), Vladia, as she is now called, is treated as a woman from then on.
- Moving on from Elliot being a double victim of this, we get to Tedd. Who probably wouldn't know this was a law: the "circumstances" usually equate to "Dad's out of town" and "As a girl, I'm hot."
- Second Law of Gender Bending
- Largely averted, despite all of the constant Gender Bending: Elliot has no interest in remaining female for long and considers his gender-bending Power Incontinence distasteful, Justin specifically rejects the idea even though it would make him sexually compatible with the object of his unrequited affection, Ellen accepts it without expressing any preference (though there are hints that the Loss of Identity associated with Opposite Sex Cloning Blues was a sore point until she got a new set of memories).
- It's touching in Vlad/Vladia's case. There's nothing kinky about her accepting the change — for the first time in her whole life normal people aren't terrified by the sight of her, so she's willing to accept any form provided it's human, which her old, male form decidedly was not. And given that her one attempt to use her supposed shapeshifting powers was a painful, near-death experience she's not about to experiment even given the chance.
- The current theory is that Elliot will acquire new female forms again and again until he really likes one of them — then again, it was Tedd's idea. Between flying around as a superheroine and ogling Perky Goth form in a mirror, he may have found this already.
- Tedd is the only straight example. He likes this form of shapeshifting because his androgynous face becomes an advantage while close enough to Tedd's own form and he likes to feel attractive. Once this problem became moot it was revealed that Body Swap is #37 on his fetish list.
- Third Law of Gender Bending
- Grace's Birthday Party arc, part-masquerade where the various characters deliberately chose stereotypical outfits for each other in keeping with the 'walk a mile in my shoes' theme of the occasion.
- Susan starts acting macho and aggressive to Nanase very soon after becoming male. Sarah points out that Susan is simply a highly competitive person; now that she's male, and feeling stronger, it takes the form of an arm wrestling match.
- Tedd does note that the first few times anyone is gender bent, their thoughts will be exaggerated, which played a part in everyone's storyline during the event, but the only one whose gender bending mental state was a major plot point was Susan, as it helped her recognize her hangups with men.
- Later, when Elliot develops the power to morph his clothes and appearance along with his gender his female forms tend to end up wearing girly outfits because he apparently just can't help visualizing them that way.
- A better example is Tedd; in fact, Grace has less dresses and skirts in her wardrobe than he does despite most of her first clothes being selected by Ordinary High-School Student Sarah. He even prides himself on how sexy he looks transformed. And cooks better while female, just out of habit.
- Opposite-Sex Clone: Ellen.
- Genki Girl:
- Grace is usually defined as "bubbly." Although, Jerry the Immortal implies that she lost her innocence a long time ago, and she's simply overcompensating.
- A more literal example is Susan's curiosity, seen here.
- Elliot's superhero spell comes with a "party girl" form whose default state is hyper and apparently slightly drunk.
- Genre-Busting: It crosses a few. It starts out like a comedic slice-of-life comic, quickly adds sci-fi and drama, then fantasy (later explaining the sci-fi as magic)(except it's not the same magic). Currently it's kind of a mix of the lot. And weird.
- Gentle Giant:
- Justin, from Rhoda's point of view. She's normally scared of people bigger than her (and his 6' to her 5' is quite a difference), but also knows that he's friends with Nanase, and that Nanase wouldn't be friends with anyone bad.
- Sensei Greg is an imposing 6'10'' (208 cm) but is a perfectly decent guy. So decent, that he is bothered by not being a "traditional" perverted anime sensei.
- Good Is Not Nice: Raven is a strict disciplinarian, quite caustic and doesn't suffer fools gladly. He's also a ruthless fighter, and won't hesitate to risk his life to protect his students.
- Gilligan Cut: "Please don't be on World War II...Dammit!"
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Played with every imaginable way.
Kid 1: You know how we all dreamt of dating Nanase someday?
Kid 2: Yeah?
Kid 1: That dream is dead, but something magical has taken its place.
- Girl Posse: Alpha Bitch Diane and her hangers-on Lucy and Rhoda. At least that's how it seems at first....
- Girls with Moustaches: Several non-canon examples.
- The Glomp: Frequently. a.k.a. "Tackle Cuddle"
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Tedd's glasses, which can do just about everything except correct vision.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Susan's Curiosity and Logic (Curiosity is a Catgirl and Logic is a Vulcan); they end up agreeing, to her chagrin. Later, Susan's Nature and Nurture; they do not agree, and Nurture ends up gagging Nature.
- Got Volunteered: Susan and Nanase (especially Susan) during their trip to Paris.
- Graceful Loser: Principal Verrückt pushes in all the wrong directions, but doesn't mind when he's repelled. At least if it's not about murals.
- G-Rated Drug: Involves a Cat Girl with catnip.
- Grammar Nazi: Mr. Raven is presented and referenced as one, and his Hitler Forelock does not help his case at all.
- Grandfather Clause: Several of the boys originally had very '90s/early '00s hairstyles; while Elliot's mullet and Justin's bowl cut have been toned down to generic medium-guy-length hairstyles. Tedd's curtains are just as curtain-y as ever, though.
- Groin Attack: Sarah delivers a very impressive one to Hedge.
- Hair Antennae: Grace, most of the time. She is part Uryuom though, and they have antennae, so... it makes a kind of sense. Also, Grace in squirrel form and General Shade Tail.
- Hair Wings: The Mysterious Cloaked Figure (Noah) makes hair wings (called by name in the commentary) that are actually hair.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Grace and her brothers, Nioi, Mr. Raven.
- Half-Identical Twins: Elliot and Ellen, though they're not actually twins.
- Hands-Off Parenting
- Hard Head: Lampshaded here. Upon learning that he was knocked out by a blow to the head, Elliot starts worrying about brain damage, but Tedd tells him he's overreacting.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Susan does this a lot with Elliot during the Summer arc. This comic, in particular, holds links to most of the instances in the author commentary beneath it.
- Heel-Face Turn
- Ellen, though the whole Evil Twin thing was mostly caused by her thinking she was going to disappear in a month. She was never very good at it, anyhow.
- Also, once Damien was no longer around to control them, Grace's brothers surrendered peacefully and now live comfortably in a new government facility.
- Hero with an F in Good: As well as F in enchantment. And the same in strategy. Abraham. He thought he was the good guy there, but...
- Herr Doctor: Doctor Germahn.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Elliot and Tedd are and will always be best friends in any Alternative Universe where they are the same gender and when they differ, they'll always be dating.
- Hidden Depths: It's easier to name aversions.
- High On Catnip: The mini-arc "Catnip"; also, the plant itself reappeared later.
- High School: Two of them of the cross-town rivalry variety, complete with uniforms, bizarre teachers, odd mascots, and most of the other associated tropes. Half the cast attends Moperville North and the other half goes to Moperville South.
- His Name Really Is Barkeep: Sort of. The stereotypical German scientist's real name is quickly revealed as Dr. Germahn.
- Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: A thousand Seymours.
- Homage: The demonic duck looks very similar to a major character in Goats, the comic strip by Jonathan Rosenberg.
- Hug and Comment: "You're better than a Neanderthal."
- Hybrid Monster: The result of Uryuoms' eggs through Mix-and-Match Critters, thus Here There Be Chimerae.
- Hybrid Power: The Uryuom breeding method pretty much inevitably results in this. Uryuoms frequently have several parents adding their genes to an egg, as they don't have typical genders. This ultimately results in a character being a hybrid of four different creatures, conserving many of their powers.
- Hyper Awareness
- Information gathering is Hedge's strong side. Maybe he's no Sherlock Holmes, but he grasps any clue present, like occasional slips of Elliot knowing Grace or Grace being in a relationship.
- Diane also displayed this ability when determining that Ellen and Grace were new to Moperville South. She was even wearing a Sherlock Holmes outfit for one panel.
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: In the B Side Comics, Minion is this to Shive himself.
- Hyperspace Mallet
- As with everything else in the series, rules for when, where, and why it can and can't appear eventually were provided.
- At least Susan and Abe did summon actual weapons out of thin air.
- Now it got even better, but hammers are off-line.
- Dan lampshaded his reasoning behind changing the hammer origin in the later story arc. The old guy who looks vaguely like Santa explains his initial reasoning for using the hammer gag to humorous effect... that is, the same as out of the 'verse.
- Hypocritical Humor: Making fun of hacks and unnecessary expositions (aside of the last panel, see the chapter's name).
- Identical Stranger: Susan seems to be some sort of fundamental archetype within the EGS universe. Diane at MSHS is a very close match, barring dress sense (note: Susan is naturally blonde). Even stranger, she is also a dead ringer for a hypothetical niece of an elf (i.e. half-immortal).
- If It's You, It's Okay: Said in reverse by Susan when talking about Elliot teasing her over a sexy outfit.
- I Gave My Word: Abraham really does not want to kill Ellen Dunkel, but his oath was too inclusive, so... and he's quite happy to be pushed into what sounds like a legitimate loophole.
- Ignored Enemy: Sort of, at least.
- I Have No Sister: Mrs. Kitsune has no sister, and it's clearly unsafe to argue about the accuracy of this statement.
- I Just Want to Be Normal
- Grace had shades of this at first but quickly let go of this, and once she did start a normal school life with Ellen, Nanase, and Justin, she actually found it a little restrictive.
- Vlad is abnormal even among shapeshifting chimera in that he was made using the DNA from so many different animals that he can't transform without risking death. This leads him to be jealous of his "brothers" ability to transform into human forms and blend in with society. He gets his desire partially fulfilled when he is transformed into a human woman by Ellen's beam becoming Vladia.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Sarah has a bit of this, mostly because she couldn't spend so much time surrounded by shapeshifters, magical martial artists, and mad scientists without getting jealous or at least curious.
- I Just Write the Thing: Dan occasionally mentions disagreements that he had with his characters over a particular strip in the commentary. This is usually simply complaining about his characters ruining a perfectly good dramatic moment, but sometimes it is as extreme as him actually losing an argument with one of his characters.
- The "I Love You" Stigma: Elliot always considered himself and Sarah to be Like Brother and Sister, but when Sarah say "Love", he didn't want to break her heart so he started to date her, trying to never include any lustiful and sexual emotion.
- Imagine Spot: Quite a few, though parodied at one point by showing how Scrubs' Imagine Spots would look to anyone not involved in them.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: the TFG
- Immortality Hurts: In Wrath Of God, Nanase must keep Abraham from killing Ellen using only her Fairy Doll and Fey Punch spells. Because she feels everything that happens to the dolls as if it had happened to her own body, she is essentially hacked to pieces over, and over, and over... The page is titled To Die a Dozen Deaths
- Impossible Insurance: George has car insurance that covers monster-related damage (obviously just to advertise "completeness"). The result: surprise, they have to pay for repairs of a car damaged in a fire monster's attack (and on camera at that).
- Incompatible Orientation
- A whole chain of them: Catalina ->Susan ->Justin ->Elliot ->Nanase (not all at the same time, mind)
- Allows rather funny Sketchbook entries, though.
- The Elliot/Nanase dilemma, at least, is neatly resolved with Ellen.
- The gender-bending complicates this, with bisexual male Susan and straight female Justin making out at Grace's birthday party. Also, at least one of Elliot's female forms has a crush on Justin.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Diane has this reaction in this comic from "Family Tree" after realizing she wants a real relationship with Elliot.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Technically, Magus apparently was behind the v-five Elliot incident and tries to manipulate Ellen within some plot that sounds quite dubious. And is not very good at this. But he's in desperate straits, which isn't even his own fault (unlike Abe's case). And he's still reluctant to kill a guy who stands in his way even when pushed hard to do this. He knows it, too.
- I Never Told You My Name: Painted Black arc. After Elliot is captured he refers to Guineas by name. Guineas then tells Hedge that Elliot knew his name even though he hadn't been told it. This causes Hedge to realize that Elliot must know Grace, who's the only one who could have told him. Hedge then turns this around on Elliot by only referring to Grace as "my sister", so when Elliot refers to her by name, it proves Elliot's spoken with Grace since Elliot and Hedge first met.
- Info Drop: Sarah's last name was revealed in this manner; the principle used it to refer to her while rebuking her for breaking the dress code. The name? Brown.
- Infodump: Shive is really thorough when it comes to describing the capabilities of Tedd's technology, the mechanics of alien and hybrid genetics, and more recently, magic. Anything left for the readers to guess about is practically guaranteed to be a Chekhov's Gun.
- The so called Trapped in the Basement portion of New and Old Flames (so-called due to the just under two months real time spent infodumping in the Verres' basement) and the entire Hammerchlorians arc (essentially an entire arc devoted to nothing but infodumps and backstory exposition for Susan and her summoning abilities) are probably the most notorious example of Dan's tendency to slip into infodump territory.
- Informed Ability: Susan's magical powers, which are seen exactly once and then aren't visible for many arcs. Then Susan explains that Nanase's powers are of a different order than hers ("Awakened" vs. "Dreaming") without going into detail. Until much later Susan explained her magical abilities with a big flashback. and she is properly "Awakened".
- Innocent Innuendo
- "The duck! He's magic you can do!"
- Grace wouldn't be Grace without this. "Legally, it does (make me an adult)! You can do all sorts of things with me!"
- Insane Troll Logic
- Used here, though YMMV on whether it makes sense or not.
- Also 95% of what comes out of the Principal's mouth.
- Instant Sedation: Jerry got a useful spell.
- Insulted Awake: Ellen did this to Susan once. At the second try.
- Internet Backdraft: In-universe. Anticipated.
- Interspecies Romance: Tedd and Grace; Ellen @ Second Life and Archie; the demonic duck also admits to preferring human women. For Uryuom it's quite normal to create chimerae, fertile at that. Isn't done obliviously, as at least psychophysiology matters even with shapeshifting seyunolu.
- Ironic Name: Tiffany "Susan" Pompoms always goes by her middle name, because she considers her actual first- and last-name to be too "perky and upbeat" for her cynical, sardonic personality. (Ironically, it's been made quite clear that if it wasn't for ONE traumatic childhood event, she would've wound up fitting her name just perfectly.)
- I Sense a Disturbance in the Force
- Is That What He Told You?: Elliot learns about the other side of the story of Justin's outing. "She told ''one person''." (who then told everyone)
- I Think You Broke Him
- It's A Small World After All: Hello there. You're dating Tedd Verres?! And... haven't I seen you cosplaying as Chun-Li?
- I Will Show You X: During the Wizard Duel between Terra and Magus, Terra promised to show him "potential".
- Jaw Drop: The last two panels of this strip. And this. And this. Multiple instances plus Elliot closing Tedd's jaw in this strip.
- Juggling Charged Rayguns : Sarah is scared of Shapeshifting and holds a grudge against Tedd after his "just joking around" with a supposedly "not charged" Transformation Ray gun.
- Jumping the Gender Barrier
- Elliot and Nanase's relationship had no spark and eventually failed, and she couldn't explain why...until Ellen.
- Though this trope is never actually invoked and the trope will probably never be played straight in this case, but Elliot and Tedd's odd connection twists it. It seems like in any universe where they were born opposite genders (such as one where Elliot has always been "Ellen," and the technically non-canon story where Tedd accidentally and retroactively became "Tess") they are inevitably dating. An exception was the world of "Second Life", but even then Tedd has a crush on her and she, while Oblivious to Love, considered him a good friend.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Happens to Nanase (whose hair turns black when her magic burns out) and Susan (when she goes through an angst-induced awakening)
- Kamehame Hadoken
- As a practitioner of "anime-style martial arts," it's no big surprise that Elliot (and Ellen, who "inherited" his abilities) uses a variety that emits short-range force blast. He needs to have free hands to do it.
- Ellen has a variant with shooting beam from her hand. Sensei Greg is, of course, jealous when he sees it. It turns people into attractive girls, and lately can turn HER into whatever she hits.
- Kick the Dog: Almost made literally in Elliot's imaginary scenario of Tom manipulating Susan into date him. Of course, Elliot thought Susan's most likely answer.
- Kicked Upstairs: Mr. Verres winds up in a position created just for him when his boss decides that it's best that he not be directly involved with the frequent cases involving his son and niece, and keep away a cover-up specialist from the limelight. The last part may yet backfire due to Broken Masquerade, but as Dan put it, "There might be a good reason why they kept Mr. Verres employed" either way.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Elliot describes Susan as something like this.
- Knight of Cerebus: Damien. It's sort of a subversion as Dan killed off Damien because he didn't want his comic to develop Cerebus Syndrome. It did anyway, just with seriousness developing within the characters' personal demons rather than fantastical conflict.
- Kudzu Plot: Alongside Schedule Slip - two nasty tastes that really don't go together.
- Lampshade Hanging: Mr. Verres' transformation into the newest Mr. Exposition.
- Large Ham
- Last Het Romance
- Melissa to Justin.
- Also Elliot to Nanase.
- Laughing Mad: Ellen, when she's first created and thinks she's going to die.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Tedd and Sarah are talking about shipping, Sarah acknowledges the possibility of people shipping them, and suggests being meaner to each other to prevent it. Tedd informs her that it would just make it worse.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Elliot tells this to Tedd here. Not that it stopped them from speaking of it again. Grace's suggestion that Elliot turn into her to be sexy in front of a mirror seems doomed to a similar fate.
- Life Drinker: The monster in France was a former human who achieved immortality by draining the lives of young women.
- Lighter and Softer: After several very dramatic arcs in a row, "New and Old Flames" is... well, something else entirely.
- A Light in the Distance: "What is..." THWACK!
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Long Runner Tech Marches On: In Shade (2002), Elliot had a landline phone extension in his room (with then-old-tech corded handset); later on all telecommunication among the teenage cast is via cellphone and even adults are shown using landlines only at their workplaces.
- At the beginning of Grace's birthday party (2005), Sarah gleefully details the specs of the digital camera with which she intends to document the evening. A 512 MB memory card and a computer with "gigs" of space to back up said card onto means lots of pictures, sure, but it also looks positively quaint next to the phones some characters are using much more recently (and within less than a year of in-universe time).
- Look Behind You
- Love Epiphany:
- ...Uh-oh. Elliot realises he likes Susan after listing several qualities he likes about her.
- Also. Diane realises she wants a real relationship with Elliot.
- Love Is in the Air: The super-pheromones of the Variant Five settings. "Male, female, gay, straight... female variant #5 cares not."