Fridge / El Goonish Shive

Fridge Brilliance

  • Just who the heck is Ebort and what's so special about him giving a movie two thumbs up? Oh, right...
  • Uryuoms do not judge the physical attractiveness of potential mates. At first, this just seems like a hat—physical attractiveness is often a (very, very loose) measure of health, after all. But uryuoms can all shapeshift. Well, duh, of course they don't judge by appearances then.
  • On first read, this strip seems like just a silly throwaway joke. Since then, the comic has changed a lot, and several characters have gained explicit magical powers, the nature of which is determined by their actions and personalities, abilities usually awakened or enhanced by random strange events (such as getting turned into a girl, or slaying an almost-vampire, or saving a lover from a deranged mage). The training at the Anime-Style Martial Arts Dojo actually helped two of them unlock that power. All by "participating in difficult, overly complex, and fairly ridiculous activities that shouldn't yield such fantastic results yet somehow do." What looked like Lampshade Hanging on Rule of Funny now turns out to be epic foreshadowing of how the EGS magic system works, before the comic was even revealed to HAVE a magic system.
  • When Susan was a little girl, she saw her father cheating with another woman. The reason she got up was because she wanted her dad to read her a book because she couldn't fall asleep. The book? "Sleeping Beauty". The quintessential Damsel in Distress who needs to be rescued by her man, and the type of story older Susan would despise. This just illustrates how traumatic this event was to poor Susan, since she actually liked those kinds of stories before, and now her hatred of tales like that (like The Princess Bride) is one of her main character traits.
  • The comic and LGBT+. It's pretty nice, of course, considering the Gender Bending that gets tossed around. For the LGB portion, we actually get a wide variety of relationships and sexualities, and brilliant arcs on bullying, coming out, being outed and self-discovery. Then we get to the T+ part, which is treated almost as a non-issue by the characters. If you pay attention, though, we get an even more in-depth look on what they go through. We have a character who identifies as "her" self, regardless of gender, a character who was bullied for being girly when he identifies as male and is later revealed to be genderfluid, and someone who was effectively transgendered from "birth." The whole thing, though, is never treated as a big deal. Unless they are forcibly transitioned. In its own roundabout way, after having many different expressions of transgenderism, the story finds its own unique way of saying that finding yourself the wrong gender is terrible, and that nobody should have to go through it. Thanks Tedd.
  • Sciuridae is not pronounced "Skwur-uh-dey". But Grace, like everyone else in the strip, is a Midwesterner. Of course the pronunciation of her surname has been flattened and twisted over the generations.
  • There are a lot of questions about Magus, such as why he suggests that Ellen is his daughter. But the answer lies in how Ellen was created and Magus's only current ability. Magus can boost the emotions of people, and the reason Tedd used Female Variant #5 on Elliot was a supposed surge of testosterone as he transformed back into a guy. That effect has never been observed since, and its absence has even been commented on in story. The answer is that Magus used his abilities to boost Tedd's rage. All of this was part of the plan to restore Magus to human form. He and Pandora knew how the gem worked, that Tedd would use it, that Ellen would be created, and somehow Ellen using he powers on Elliot will help Magus return. He considers himself Ellen's father because he put the events into motion that led to her "birth." Magus following Nanase around after the fight with Ellen may even tie in. He needs Ellen already upset so he can boost her anger more, so he boosted Ellen and Nanase's emotions during their fight. Had the day continued without Abe attacking the school, she would have gone home angry and he could have used those emotions to trick her into zapping Elliot.
  • The title Hammerchlorians can seem odd at first until one realises it's a play on midichlorianes. Midichlorianes are disliked by fans because it explains the force even though nobody questioned how the force worked. Hammerchlorians explains how the hammers work despite the fact no one asked about them and everyone accepted them.

  • You typically think that Tedd is embarrassed about his middle name just for Rule of Funny. But then again, Drew starts with the letter D. Try saying "Tedd D. Verres" 12 times without going too fast and accidentally saying "Teddy" instead. Now remember the fact that Tedd's used to getting bullied for having a girly face. Any mass realization of this fact about his name, can't be good for his issues. Also, if you say it fast enough, the V starts to sound like a B...
  • Remember how Susan thought Greg used steroids? Now: remember how magic energy can boost the size of body parts?
  • Mrs. Kitsune's semi-tolerant attitude towards her daughter Nanase being a lesbian, waving it off as 'Just a phase', is a fairly common attitude towards that sort of thing in Japan - where romantic attraction between high-school girls is often viewed as a 'safe', training-wheels relationship that gives girls a chance to practice before they're ready for PROPER relationships with men.
  • Mrs. Kitsune's attitude towards women's roles—that they must become housewives and support their family, even though her daughter is a trilingual athlete with straight-A grades—makes a lot more sense when it's stated outright that her sister abandoned Tedd and his father. She refuses to hurt her own family in the same way, and won't let her daughters even consider it as an option.
  • Justin can't find any openly gay men in Moperville South, whereas half the men in Moperville North that Sarah asks about Ronin are openly gay. Contradiction? No. Moperville North contains Elliot. Elliot Dunkel, the kid who has a raging hatred of intolerance and knows martial arts. It's safe to come out as gay. No one dares make trouble over it lest Elliot hear. He's had that big an effect.
  • Right after Susan hammers Tony for pushing Tedd, Elliot asks, "Not that I'm complaining, but isn't the hammer only supposed to work if someone does something offensive towards a woman...?" A joke at the time, but knowing now that Tedd is genderfluid...
  • Susan mentions that she links 'Tiffany' to her father, which she isn't really on speaking terms with. But she was also raised to not hate him (her mother relied on teaching her All Men Are Perverts). And ... one of the last things her father says that we know of? 'Tiffany, listen to me. Your mother's coming home tomorrow, and you mustn't tell her of [him having another woman over].' Well, if Tiffany can't speak, Susan can ...
  • Grace at one point wonders if it's weird that while Tedd owns many skirts, she doesn't. Why would this be? The first time Grace goes shopping, it's with Sarah. And while Sarah isn't in Real Women Don't Wear Dresses territory as far as Susan, she's still likely influenced to some extent; Sarah has rarely gone for a skirt look herself, aside from the school uniform arc. It's likely that Elliot (as Cheerleadra and her disguises) and Greg (for cosplay) have worn them more often.
  • Nanase is royalty according to the griffons. Since her mother knows of magic and her aunt uses magic, it is safe to assume that this comes from her mother's side. This mean Tedd could be a Lord.
  • Agent Lavender, despite clearly being not human...makes a big deal about not being an alien. the Uryoum introduction was revealed that many Uryoums are born on Earth. She is NOT an alien! She is, however, a non-human. (It's also likely that Mr. Verres is trying to teach the agent who's saying this to STOP being Wrong Genre Savvy could get him, or an innocent, killed).
  • In one of the early comics, Grace mentions that Tedd's clothes fit her surprisingly well. This means nothing until later, when it is revealed that Tedd often spends time as a girl, and so would have female clothing in the house.

Fridge Horror
  • During this episode, Sarah was a bit bummed out about missing out on getting magic, but according to what was established in this strip, she also missed out on a chance to never need birth control ever!
  • Giving people magic marks and initiating their Dreaming without their knowledge. Ok, not that Fridgey, since the horror is mentioned in-comic, but it still deserves a mention. Dex, Justin, and Rhoda all get their marks without their knowledge and without their consent. That leads to things like, say, Rhoda accidentally enchanting a boar and making it massive If it's happened to these three, think of how many other people it could happen to. It's actually pretty terrifying if you think about it, giving people strong, unbelievable powers without their permission and without them even knowing about it. Remember this comic? Oh, Crap!.
  • Take a look at Guineas' two different forms. Underneath his short fur it is pretty clear to see that he has a decent amount of muscle bulk, which considering how strong he is supposed to be makes sense, but the anatomy is off if we don't account for the layers of fat to fill him out. Most noticeable being his gut. Then look at his six-pack; gut meet six-pack. Man has not nearly enough fat to his name. Depending on how magical we want to define this issue, it's fairly reasonable to guess that his transformations actually burn away large amounts of fat from his body faster than some TV weight loss program, in a way that is both unhealthy and horribly, horribly painful. Vlad, of course, has it worse.
  • At first calling immortals resetting death seems like an exaggeration. They still have their core personality, it's just some of their outer aspects that change. However, consider the fact that they keep almost none of their memories, and those they do keep feel like being read secondhand from a book. The new immortal is for all intents and purposes a completely different person. Is it any wonder Pandora refused to reset?
    • Made more explicit, with Jerry. The "New" him has no sense of the honor, and kindness that the "Old" him had.
  • Sirleck complains in passing that he "can't even take a break from this brain dead heap" because he's keeping the body of his current host alive...implying that he DOES take breaks from his hosts under normal circumstances, and that they're conscious. The horror hits when you realize this would entail leaving the person he possessed trapped somewhere, temporarily free but helpless and KNOWING he'd just come back for them when he felt like it. That or just leave them to starve to death if he'd gotten bored.
  • Diane has the potential to be an extremely powerful and threatening vampire hunter. When Nanase, worried for her safety after the vampire attack the griffin knights thwarted, asks her uncle if he can give her a bodyguard, he tells her he can't really do much and explains that it's not completely necessary anyway since most vampires wouldn't be able to tell she's not a threat and would therefore avoid her and anyone associated with her. However as Nanase points out, that means that the vampires that will go after her are the most intelligent, the strongest, the deadliest and the all-around best in the field that also have access to magic.