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So you're reading ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', and something catches your eye. You don't think too much of it at the time. Then, a little while later, as you're going to the fridge for a drink or a snack, you think, "WAIT a minute...."

This page is for showcasing noteworthy moments of FridgeBrilliance or FridgeHorror in ''The Order of the Stick''. Note that any FridgeLogic examples do NOT belong here -- put them on the series' [[Headscratchers/TheOrderOfTheStick Headscratchers]] page, instead.
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[[AC:FridgeBrilliance]]
* The reason why Belkar has such poor Spot and Listen checks is because he has a poor Wisdom score, and barely any skill points, the latter of which is joked about in the [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html very first strip]].
* While mileage varies on whether the first 120 strips (Dungeon Crawlin' Fools) are considered 100% canon, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness due to Rich Burlew writing them before he realized how long the series would last and how much emphasis would have to be placed on development and backstory,]] some fans take issue with how Redcloak's characterization apparently alternates between passive lackey (DCF) and competent evil champion of his maligned species and his vindictive faith (before and after DCF, but not during). However, as [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15859770&postcount=462 this comment]] recently pointed out: [[spoiler: "The events at the end of Start of Darkness so badly shook up Recloak as to make him mentally subservient to Xykon. Redcloak murdering his brother in cold blood AND having Xykon rub his face in it shattered his worldview to such a degree that he regressed into a Mister Smithers-like lackey role while he attempted to process what he did. Only when Xykon was defeated the first time and when he got in charge of the hobgoblins did he start to come out of his shell and act like he did before."]]
* Redcloak's [[spoiler:lost eye]] gives several.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0701.html this]] comic, Redcloak is really talking to his brother, Right-Eye.
** Which also explains Tuskiko's insult of [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0708.html "Wrong-eye"]], as she was told by Xykon that it would annoy him.
** The kicker? When Blackwing drops the phylactery, it bounces off a statue of Redcloak, [[spoiler:''on its right eye'']].
* Ever wonder why all ninjas from Azure City wears a uniform with a blue or purple shade? Aside from the obvious being that everyone from that city wears clothes with such shades of color, their government is a lawful good society right? Well since ninjas are quite often dressed in black, the unique shade of color worn by the Azure city ninjas show affiliation with the city. Otherwise anyone that might get their spot check and see these guys would probably try to get them killed by anyone who can fight who's nearby. Honestly what person would actually trust someone in clothes that completely cover their body, the unique shade means they aren't supposed to be the enemy, and using color to show affiliation is extremely common pretty much everywhere. Even the Empire of Blood's "Death Squad" ninjas don't dress in pitch black clothing, they wear shades of color that are unique to them. Also wearing shades of blue and purple mix in really well with the background in Azure city. [[http://world.time.com/2013/02/05/you-dont-know-ninjas-8-new-revelations-about-the-shadow-warrior/slide/the-smartest-ninjas-didnt-wear-black/ It's also accurate to real life ninjas]].
* Elan and Nale are meant to be evil twin counterparts:
** Elan's a Bard, while Nale's a fighter/rogue/sorceror hybrid, (basically a less optimized bard). So far so good. Nale's specialises in Enchantment, mind-control spells, which bards can also cast, but don't rely on exclusively. With a few exceptions (the healing spells he's picked up since leaving the Azure Fleet behind, one use of mending, one use of lesser confusion,) almost all Elan's spells come from the other school bards rely heavily on -- Illusion, and suddenly the "Evil opposites" aspect of Elan & Nale's relationship gets deeper.
** Furthermore, the brother's choice of spell schools reflect their alignments; most of the applications for illusion spells involve deceiving others, a behaviour associated with the chaotic alignments, and Elan is ChaoticGood. Enchantment, meanwhile, focuses on controlling the minds of others and robbing them of free will, a behaviour associated with Nale's alignment, LawfulEvil.
** Nale's plans require a certain level of brilliance to even conceive of them, but as Elan calls the multiclassing example above, are needlessly complicated. In contrast, Elan's as sharp as a sack of wet mice, but he's also usually correct about the storyline. Nale has high Intelligence and low Wisdom, while Elan has the reverse.
** On a related note: [[spoiler:Zz'dtri's back. But why is his hair short?]] Well, we all know Nale has deliberately set up his team to be ThePsychoRangers to the Order. So obviously, [[spoiler:he had Zz'dtri cut his hair ''just so that it would be opposite to V's now longer hair''.]] Now that's sticking to a theme!
** Elan's slowly been leaning towards Lawfulness thanks to the influence of Lawful types like Roy and Hinjo. When Nale reappears in Empire of Blood arc, he starts becoming more and more Chaotic, possibly due to the influence of Sabine and Thog.
* Z's ParodyRetcon actually makes a lot of sense. Yeah, like Drizzt, he's a dark elf who wields twin scimitars and presents himself as a DefectorFromDecadence, but he's different in several respects. Unlike Drizzt, who is a Ranger and fights with his scimitars, Z is basically a SquishyWizard (albeit slightly more athletic than V), and only uses his weapons for channeling spells. There's also the fact that Z is a [[AlwaysChaoticEvil typical dark elf]] and not a DefectorFromDecadence. Thus, it couldn't have been too hard to prove he was a parody rather than a plagiarism.
* It's probably no coincidence that the people of Azure City have blue hair. Azure City is to some degree a parody of the FarEast civilizations found in tabletop games that involve a very cursory knowledge of Japan or China and tend to incorporate whatever the creator thinks is [[RuleOfCool cool]]. Well, in such circumstances, anime is more than likely one source of knowledge, and a signature/stereotypical anime trope is YouGottaHaveBlueHair.
* Argent's name [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0588.html becomes meaningful]].
* Elan's seduction of Sabine: Remember that she probably sleeps with Nale very often. Elan and Nale are twins. That's probably the reason why he managed to seduce her so easily. Also an [[InvertedTrope Inversion]] of AllGirlsWantBadBoys; since Sabine is [[HornyDevils A Succubus]], bad boys aren't anything new for her, '''good''' boys are the ForbiddenFruit from her perspective.
* Step one: Read ''Order of the Stick''. Step two: Read ContinuitySnarl. Step three: Reread those strips outlining the history of the [=OotS=] universe. Step four: Realize Rich Burlew is a genius.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii Vaarsuvius/Pompey]] is yet another evil opposites joke.
* According to Races of the Dragon, a Kobold's favorite toiletry is ''[[StealthPun Bitterleaf]]'' oil.
* Vaarsuvius (and O-Chul) manage to hoist Xykon with his own petard; Xykon points out to V that power can take many forms...including something as simple as a class feature or a fairly low-level spell...
* When Xykon punished Redclock by not letting him recover his eye is a bad punishment in it of itself, but it's a lot worse when you read Start of Darkness.
* Regarding [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0496.html this]] famous CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming, note Roy's comment about what class his brother might have taken. Maybe that's a reason why he puts up with CloudCuckooLander Elan. Not to mention how Elan canonically sees Roy as a big brother figure (as a replacement for Nale).
* Spoiler heavy: after [[spoiler: Miko's death, she asks if she can visit her Paladin mount in the afterlife, since she no longer qualifies for the LawfulGood one. This takes on a whole new meaning when you realise her mount was most likely ''her only real friend on the world'', as everyone else finds her [[LawfulStupid too crazy or insufferable]] to get along with. AlasPoorScrappy indeed.]]
* Tarquin and Tarquin's buddy Malack are counterparts to Xykon and Redclack. In both groups, the first is a goofy EvilOverlord and the second is their LawfulEvil cleric partner who tends to facepalm at their goofiness. Rich expected Tarquin and Malack to get the DracoInLeatherPants treatment and was doing a deliberate BaitTheDog. With Tarquin and Malack, it's like he took Xykon and Redcloak and filled them with likable traits. The one who's undead and the one (metaphorically) seeking immortality is reversed though, to highlight their differences.
* [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html Xykon's epic speech]] about how [[ShapedLikeItself power equals power]] harkens back to a scene in ''Start Of Darkness''. Namely, [[spoiler: the scene where he bludgeons to death master Fyron after losing in a spell duel, indicating that Xykon knows that spells don't win battles, you use the best tool for the job.]]
* Tarquin's line about Thog in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0788.html this comic]] is a subtle YouBastard to his fans and their [[DracoInLeatherPants tendency to love him no matter how many people he kills]]. [[HypocriticalHumor Now, think about who was saying this, what this person has done,]] and [[LampshadeHanging what his own status with the fans is.]] Tarquin's GenreSavvy is even greater than he realizes.
* For someone who has never played D&D, the ''prismatic spray'' spell V used on the devil was pretty cool. But if you look it up and learn its exact effects, you can go back and look at V's successful attempts at the spell. The color corresponding to the resulting effect manifests in a bigger beam than the other six (so when V petrifies the demon, the blue light is much more prominent).
* In ''StartOfDarkness'', when Redcloak [[spoiler:kills Right-eye]], the latter calls the former "Redcloak" instead of "[[spoiler:Brother]]". This is not just a rejection [[spoiler:of [[IHaveNoSon Redcloak being his brother]],]] it's also calling him Xykon's stooge, because Redcloak is what the lich always calls him
* In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0753.html strip 753]], when [[spoiler: Tarquin visits Roy and Belkar in prison and takes off his helmet]], he responds to their reactions with "What? Do I have something on my face?". This seemed like just a standard joke, until you go back to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0141.html strip 141]], where Elan responds to the look Haley and V are giving him with [[CallBack the exact same line.]] [[spoiler: Like father, like son.]]
* This line by Girard: "Give a man enough power, and he's bound to abuse it, no matter how noble he thinks he is."
** [[spoiler: The IFCC gave V power, and s/he abused it, killing Girard's entire family line.]] ''Damn'', Girard, you were right on the money.
** His contempt for paladins leads him to be absolutely convinced that Soon will break his oath to not [[spoiler: seek out and interfere with the other gates.]] Not only does Soon [[spoiler: not break his oath,]] but Girard's lying about [[spoiler: the location of his own gate]] has done more to jeopardize the heroes than anything the Sapphire Guard did. It seems Girard was right about the ability for power to corrupt, but wrong about who it was affecting.
** The line by Girard is actually rather prophetic regarding [[spoiler: ''himself and his family''. They go out and seduce strangers and then run off with the children and their spouses' money back to their ridiculously scry-proof pyramid, leaving the grieving parents behind to wonder what happened to their baby. Abuse of power indeed.]]
* Keeping in mind that warlocks in most D&D settings get their powers from [[DealWithTheDevil contracts with demons]], V's anger at being called one in the marketplace suddenly takes on a much more personal tone.
** Double brilliance. The wizard that called him that was there to give V a divorce notice from his/her/its/whatever's mate, who knew V had made such a bargain. They likely told said wizard about it in the process, as a means of getting V to flip out.
* All of the Gates (or at least, their defenses) have so far suffered a DeathByIrony:
** Lirian's Gate--so besotted with the power of Nature to guard it, it had no real defences against the unnatural lich Xykon or even a simple forest fire.
** Dorukan's Gate--guarded with the idea that arcane power was the ultimate defence, which fails when you face an enormously powerful arcane caster who is specifically built to take down other arcane casters; plus, Dorukan clearly valued the intelligence of wizards, and the gate was inadvertently destroyed by Elan who is, simply put, a buffoon.
** Soon's Gate--Guarded with the idea that the honour of a paladin was unbreakable, and Shojo's decision to ''not'' follow the Paladin's code - along with a fallen Paladin - set off the chain of events leading to the gate being destroyed (not to mention that almost all of the other paladins were turned against one another by the Symbol of Insanity).
** Girard's Gate--the idea here is that you can't trust anyone outside your family, so you need to guard the gate entirely with members of it. [[spoiler:Works well until someone lets off a loose cannon spell that obliterates your entire family]].
* When V casts Vaarsuvius' Greater Animal Messenger to contact Belkar and Haley, he/she shields it from all magical methods of attack, but doesn't shield it from normal arrows. It gets shot and eaten by Belkar and Haley. At the time, V was a believer in the Almighty Superiority of Magic, so of course he/she wouldn't even consider that the spell could be defeated by normal weapons.
* When Daigo gets knocked out by his family's would-be assailants (multiple times), whereas Kazumi goes MamaBear[=/=]PregnantBadass on everyone, one might assume it's because Daigo has suffered from Chickification, while Kazumi hasn't. This sudden imbalance in competence makes more sense, however, when you realize Kazumi has revealed her full name... While Daigo hasn't. Not revealing his full name is working like a sort of PowerLimiter on Daigo, and [[EleventhHourSuperpower he'll remain underpowered compared to his wife until his full name is made clear]].
* It may seems strange that an undead abomination like Xykon can be so funny and entertaining even as he's committing horrible acts, until you remember that Xykon is a powerful undead lich... and a sorcerer. Sorcerers' most important stat is ''charisma;'' being epic level and incredibly powerful, Xykon's charisma must be through the roof! No wonder he's so likable.
* Likewise why Roy initially found Miko so attractive. As a paladin she likely has a good Charisma score, which is generally a combination of force of personality, interpersonal skills, charm, and general physical attractiveness. Miko has a strong force of personality but the charm and interpersonal skills of a wolverine, so to keep with her Charisma score she'd have to be quite attractive. Not all Paladins have high Charisma scores (though they definitely benefit from them), but Miko also used to be a Monk, [[TierInducedScrappy a demanding class dependent on high ability scores across the board to function]]. She'd have even more need for Charisma than a typical Paladin.
* It's a bit odd that the Azurites didn't try to take advantage of Elan's magical singing during the war. Elan could arguably be more powerful than V during that sequence, since his song would add a great deal of both attack and damage to every single soldier that can hear it, greatly enhancing their chances of killing hobgoblins. However, he can't: He didn't have his lute with him, making it impossible for him to use the perform skill he had ranks in. Not a huge one, but a nice way to explain why one of the powerful abilities the Order has wasn't used.
* In comic 390, Elan's mentor comments that he's better off not knowing what a "padawan" is. Considering that the StarWars references come thick and fast when [[spoiler:his evil dad Tarquin enters the story]], he's right.
** How does he knows that? Elan mentions his mothers' [[spoiler:collection of Julio's pictures]]. Do you see his expressions? He knows.
* Elan hangs on to the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity because he thinks it might come in handy (and he was curious). Why did he think such a random, impractical item might be useful at some point? Because ''it was mentioned''. He's GenreSavvy enough to know a ChekhovsGun when he sees one -- he makes sure to keep it because a) he considers it bad storytelling to draw attention to something and then just leave it there, never to come up again, and b) he know that the fact that attention was drawn to it ''guarantees that a situation will come up where it's necessary''.
* Roy is TheUnfavourite to Eugene, always passed over in favour of Julia. While this does have something to do with Roy being a fighter and Julia being a mage, keep in mind what Roy said to Eric: "I was just a kid. It wasn't my job to watch the grown-up. But... I still should have done something. I knew it wasn't safe. Dad just shushed me. He never listened to me at all when Mom wasn't around." It's quite plausible that Eugene has always blamed Roy for Eric's death. We also know that Roy blames his father for Eric's death, so that may have soured his opinion on magic, leading to take on his non-magical grandfather (who Eugene hated) as his role model.
* Tarquin's three Empires are the Empire of Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Entire nations have been named after the sheer effort he and his team have put into managing and controlling the constantly warring states of the continent.
* Tarquin being fairly dismissive of Malack mourning for his children seems like a pure KickTheDog moment from him...[[spoiler:and then it turns out that Malack is a vampire, and his "children" are the people he's turned. Tarquin literally doesn't see what the big deal is, seeing as how he can just create more spawn.]]
%%* [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=272212 This thread]] points out that there are many similarities between [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0870.html OOTS # 870 "A Death in the Family"]] and its [[ComicBook/ADeathInTheFamily Batman namesake]], [[WhamEpisode besides the obvious.]]
* Why did Malack [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0861.html go out of his way to comment on how the trap was airtight?]] [[spoiler:Because if it weren't, he could've slipped through in his gaseous form.]]
* When Malack is first introduced, he implies he is Lawful Neutral, since his god Nergal is a god of death and death takes both good and evil lives equally, whereas an evil death god would only kill the good people. However we later find out that [[spoiler: Malack is a vampire and thus evil by definition.]] This is because his previous logic is wrong: Evil in the world of OOTS is not one big happy family and therefore an evil death god is perfectly happy to kill evil people.
* The "ghost-paladins of the Sapphire Guard" from [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0449.html comic #449]] are this mixed with HilariousInHindsight. As Redcloak notes in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0459.html comic #459]], they're some kind of weird "positive-energy spirits". Before Rich Burlew really began working on ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', he submitted a campaign setting to Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast. He lost, and another submitter's entry won instead -- that entry became the campaign setting of ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}''... which has, as an enemy type, the Deathless -- entities like the Undead, but fueled by ''positive energy'' instead of negative energy. In other words, the comic's creator cribbed Soon Kim and his ghostly guardians from the very campaign setting that beat his out -- Soon Kim and his Ghost-Paladins are actually incorporeal Deathless Paladins.
* In #885, Roy insists that the party start walking in silence in response to [[spoiler:Durkon's death]]. Having reread the comic recently I immediately thought of how Soon Kim always walked in stoic silence with his party. This is yet another parallel between the Orders of the Stick and Scribble.
* Nale's overly-complicated multiclass setup is a joke that works on two levels. On the surface, it just goes along with his love for complexity. But his build means he's essentially ''a glorified bard.'' Also, the reason he has to use that complicated setup is because he's LawfulEvil, and Bards are not allowed to be Lawful.
* Illusion:
** In the illusion Roy managed to kill Xykon while he was begging for mercy using Roy's name. Now, considering that Xykon can never remember Roy even 5 minutes after fighting him and the illusion was designed to show everyone what they desire most -- then Roy secretly wants Xykon to know who he is as an adversary. The thing here is that when you devote your life to someone in any way -- loving them, killing them, guarding them -- you want recognition, regardless of the relationship's nature. Roy wants to prove that he's not the RedShirt his dad believes he is, the mere precursor of a greater hero. This makes the illusion all the more brilliant when you realize Xykon's recognition of Roy when he comes through the door gives the whole thing away ''in the first line.''
** Heck, Xykon recognizes Roy at the beginning of the fight. That should've been a red flag.
** Try noticing who didn't see through the enchantment/illusion: [[TheCynic The cynical]] halfling ranger, the OnlySaneMan, and the rogue with [[GuileHero extensive experience in trickery]]. Elan beat ''all'' of them out. It's unknown if this is CharacterDevelopment, [[GenreSavvy knowing the medium]], or experience with his chosen school of spells (illusion) and/or his brother (who uses Enchantment spells), but again, Elan won out with one of his [[DumpStat dump stats]].
* Tarquin's dismissal of Nale as a superfluous plot point [[spoiler:after he kills Nale]] serves to underline another important difference between Tarquin and (post CharacterDevelopment) Elan. Tarquin is so obsessed with how reality and fantasy intertwine in their world that he believes they're the same thing. Elan is similar, judging reality by the standards of fantasy -- but the difference is that he knows when to turn away from that. As we see with [[spoiler:Nale]] and the incinerated slaves, he does take death very seriously, and he understands that people are more than chess pieces. As the comic shifts into CerebusSyndrome and RealityEnsues more and more, this turns out to be the wise option.
* For a person who's apparently aware on some level how their world follows the rules of Dungeons and Dragons Tarquin doesn't seem to possess a very good build. Assuming he's a fighter (possibly with some multiclassing) he's spent feats on being able to catch arrows, grapple with opponents, throw them, use improvised weapons, and be proficient with a whip. Then when you consider he has a high enough Will save to resist enchantments, illusions, despite being a fighter (who have the worst will saves) he more than likely had to spend feats on things like iron will. He also has a tendency to use a variety of different weapons (daggers, axes, aforementioned whip, Roy's greatsword) which isn't really the best idea since it lessens the usefulness of feats such as weapon focus, weapon specialization, or improved critical. All of this adds up to a fighting style that is flashy, and definitely looks cool to the readers, but is ultimately ineffective...which is the point. Tarquin ultimately doesn't care if he wins or loses so long as it ends with a story that makes him look like a cool memorable villain. As a result focusing his entire build on visually appealing techniques with little mechanical effectiveness suits him perfectly.
* Girard:
** It's pretty brilliant how Girard, the most paranoid member of the entire Order of the Scribble, completely fails at protecting his fortress from the true threat, Xykon. The one person he trusts and who knows the actual coordinates writes them down (inadvertently giving them to Xykon) while the person who he gave the false coordinates to never gave them up or pursued his Gate. Additionally, his high-level uber-illusion is a mind-affecting effect, which the undead Xykon is immune to. Not to mention all those low-level Draketooth family members Xykon could have reaped like wheat even if they had been alive. For all his paranoia, the person who presented the most danger to the gate is the only person who would not be inconvenienced by his defenses at all. Of course, Team Evil being the last group to get there made it all a moot point.
** Reflecting on it, there's a second layer of Fridge Brilliance here that would make Girard's ghost explode with rage -- ''Soon Kim won their argument.'' Everything Girard did to secure his Gate only slowed down the heroes but wouldn't have delayed Team Evil much at all (fortunately for the Order, Redcloak [[NiceJobFixingItVillain did that instead]]). The assault on Soon's Gate required pretty much every resource Team Evil could muster - every single goblinoid on the ''continent'' {{Zerg Rush}}ing it with the aid of the two greatest spellcasters in the '''world''' - and it still took an entire plot arc of bloody, PyrrhicVillainy (''mountains'' of goblin corpses '''everywhere''' while the majority of the human population escaped unscathed) to breach the defenses... and it would have been entirely successful, too, if not for a certain [[SpannerInTheWorks delusional ex-paladin]]. In comparison, Xykon shattered the defenses of two other gates like ''potato chips''; Lirian's went down to an accidental forest fire, Dorukan's were overcome in direct magical combat.
** A lich like Xykon is kind of a perfect storm for that outcome: as pointed out, most of Girard's methods just don't work on them, while Soon Kim's paladins... well, Smite Evil, 'nuff said. If the main threat had been, say, a more competent version of Nale, then Girard's illusions and even paranoid mistrust of anyone outside his own family would have served him better, while Soon Kim's righteous but, potentially, easy to manipulate paladins might not have fared so well. Heck, if Girard himself were here to argue the case, he'd probably even say that Miko was not a coincidental SpannerInTheWorks but rather an inevitability of the paladins' (sic) inflexible and arrogant worldview. At the end of the day, the ''real'' 'winner' of the Order of the Scribble's argument would have been a hypothetical voice of reason telling them to throw aside their damn egos and work together on defending the gates, contributing resources for each defense in order to cover as many bases as possible. Sadly, the closest they could manage was Serini stopping them from at least coming to blows over it (which says more for their own tempers than any deficiency on Serini's part as TheHeart really).
* The comic [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html "Second Chance"]] doesn't just refer to O-Chul getting back up and giving him and Vaarsuvius a second wind against Xykon. It's a direct parallel to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0623.html this comic]], where we see V's guilt at turning invisible and abandoning the Azurite soldiers to die. Even before the full ramifications of Familicide sink in, V makes an active choice to stay and do ''something'', despite the risk. Even though it's a small gesture, it's a powerful sign that V does have what it takes to start turning things around.
* Take a look at [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0050.html comic #50]]. Take a look at Nale's shocked expression when Elan goes GenreSavvy unexpectedly. At the time the comic was made, it was probably just shock at Elan's sudden competence (and leaning on the fourth wall). But years later, with that family's backstory made clear? Nale's so shocked because he looked at his brother and ''just saw a younger version of his father.'' Which goes a long way towards explaining why Nale hated Elan so much for so little reason. It was really more about beating his father all along. His comment on his father arguing that bards are underpowered only furthers this theory by showing that Nale was at the very least conscious of the fact that both Elan and Tarquin share a fondness for bards and genre convention.
* Rich's twitter icon is of Elan. Why? Because Rich is like a bard himself, telling the story of the Order of the Stick!
* On the YMMV page, the desert arc is getting into ArcFatigue territory. Which is exactly how the Order feels about it too. They had a grueling battle to get to the gate, then a rumble with Team Evil, and now Tarquin is hunting them like animals too. Rich has gotten the reader to be as sick and tired of this as the Order would be.
* Tarquin is GenreSavvy, and flaunts this. He knows he's in a story, and wants to stick to that story as much as possible. If events unfold that don't follow the story, he will break down. However, his definition of "following the story" usually involves him and his immediate relatives taking center stage, and the other characters being forgotten about. If the story focuses on somebody else, he will unceremoniously kill them, and will stubbornly work his way into the story even if it no longer involves him. Tarquin is a ''railroading Game Master''. Just listen to some of his quotes listed in his entry under ControlFreak:
-->'''Tarquin:''' As I've said before, procedure matters.\\
'''Elan:''' But the safety of the world --\\
'''Tarquin:''' -- is meaningless if everyone is going to run around doing whatever they feel like, without regard for proper story structure. There must be some sense of ''order'' -- personal, political, or dramatic -- and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.\\
...\\
'''Tarquin:''' I'm sorry, Elan, but you brought this all on yourself. I tried to give you a dramatically significant death scene to swear vengeance over, but you seem to prefer this... this disjointed anarchy. There's no unity of theme here at all!\\
'''Elan:''' Didn't we... already do the scene... where you try to convince me to do things your way?\\
'''Tarquin:''' (''grabbing Elan, face twisted with rage'') Yes, and it didn't go right, so we are DOING IT AGAIN. And we will CONTINUE to do it until you understand that it is in your best interest to...
* The Elan vs. Tarquin climax:
** Elan's parting shot to Tarquin has Elan point out that thanks to Tarquin, Elan is no longer a twin. Ergo, Elan is no longer ''the good twin'' without Nale as his foil and so can afford to make a more pragmatic decision that is a bit cruel, if not actually evil. When Tarquin killed Nale, he dismissed him as nothing but a foil who had lost his use. So Elan's making sure Tarquin knows that killing Nale is ''exactly'' what Elan will use to ''not'' be the kind of hero Tarquin wants him to be and turn the offhanded murder into something major, against Tarquin's Railroading wishes. For a villain obsessed with having the perfect tale with the perfect ending with the perfect hero, Elan could do no better than imply that removing Nale is what will deprive Tarquin of that.
** On a similar note, his final SkywardScream ("THIS IS A HORRIBLE ENDING") cements just how out of touch he is with the actual story. It is a climax rather than an ending, nor from a purely literary point of view a horrible event in the plot, as he was given a poetic end for a GlorySeeker: Being utterly ignored after he completely failed to steer the plot back onto his version of events.
** And the final nail in this coffin is when Roy and Belkar come back on deck -- Roy asks what happened, and Elan is utterly dismissive of Tarquin, referring to it as, "Nothing Haley and V couldn't handle." In an incredibly subtle way, Elan is going out of his way to deny his father any narrative role at this point besides "minor speedbump".
* Tarquin [[ItsAllAboutMe thinks]] that he's the BigBad and TheLeader of his team. He's not; his role is to be the GenreSavvy party member who keeps the other members of his team from grabbing the VillainBall. In other words, [[NotSoDifferent he has the same role on his team that his son Elan does in the Order]], and is making the same mistake when he thinks that the two of them are the main villain and hero, respectively.
* Everything in Tarquin's final speech after falling off the airship is incorrect. He says that the arc isn't over, has no satisfying resolution, has no growth or loss on Elan's part, has no sense of closure. But it does, simply because he wanted it. By depriving Tarquin of the ending he wanted, the arc is pretty much over, has a highly satisfying ending, Elan has grown beyond just following tropes and lost his twin brother, and the arc has most definitely closed. By giving the villain the ending he didn't want, the villain has well and truly lost, thus giving a much better -- or at least happier -- ending to the one that Tarquin wanted.
* In the fight in the desert near the end of ''Blood Runs in the Family'' the team is being pursued by three much higher-level foes while already weakened, with Durkon out of magic, healing potions used up, and Belkar useless in a fight. It's pretty hard to believe the team could win with such a severe level difference, in fact Vaarsuvius seems to suggest their only hope is to flee in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0926.html comic #926]]. Then, when they are forced to fight in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0928.html comic #928]] Vaarsuvius' suggestion to focus all attacks on Miron helps the team to dispose of one powerful foe for the minimal cost of one lost combat round, the only thing that let the team survive. It was pretty lucky that worked out so well, huh? Then you get to [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0935.html comic #935]] and the other comics take on a new light when you realize that [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius had been fed detailed intelligence on their opponents by Sabine, and had plenty of time trapped and impotent to plan]]. Vaarsuvius suggestion to flee in #926 was [[spoiler:an intentional attempt to make Laurin burn her power on portals; knowing that Laurin's tendency to "nova" by wasting power, and likely also knowing how expensive the portal spell was, thus leaving Laurin too drained to win their final fight]]. Likewise, focusing on Miron was probably because [[spoiler:she was told about his usual contingency spells and decided to intentionally trigger it to dispose of him quickly]]. There was a lot more than blind luck helping the team win, and most of it was never explicitly explained. This one may also count as character development as well, Could you imagine the start of comic Vaarsuvius [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness not giving a wordy dissertation on how her superior intelligence saved the day]]?
* Vaarsuvius is [[InsistentTerminology very insistent]] that shi did not [[DealWithTheDevil sell hir soul to fiends]], but that it was "[[NoExceptYes a fixed-term lease with an occupancy date yet to be determined]]". Turns out that description was even more accurate than V knew. Except that it's three separate fixed-term leases, with two of the options still available to be exercised in the future.
* V's kids talking of hir as "Other Parent" and of Inkyrius as "Parent"? Oh, sure, it's a hilarious gag to keep V's gender hidden. But they're speaking Elvish. Given how ambiguous elvish gender is in general, what if Elvish simply does not have gender-specific words for parents? It also points up how severely [[ParentalAbandonment V has abandoned hir family]]
* The Order of the Stick (minus Durkon and Vaarsuvius, neither of which were present at the time) falling for Girard's illusion traps in the pyramid, followed by Nale falling for them among the Linear Guild but everyone else in that group shrugging it off, with Malack outright mocking the trap having an apparently rather easy resistance difficulty. Nale getting hypnotized by it seems like a one-off amusing gag at first, but consider everyone's classes in both groups.
** Roy's a Fighter. Haley's a Rogue. Belkar's a Ranger with a level or two of Barbarian. All of those are classes with poor will saves. Elan is a Bard with some levels in Dashing Swordsman, but his Wisdom isn't terribly impressive. Bard is a class with a good will save, which, in addition to his genre savvy, would explain why he broke out of the illusions first. Belkar is also combining classes with poor will saves with a Wisdom ability score penalty, which would make his overall will save absolutely abysmal and explain why it took extra prodding via bardsong to get him out of it.
** Likewise, the Linear Guild has Malack (Cleric), Zz'dtri (Wizard), Tarquin (who knows?), Vampire!Durkon (Cleric), two fiends (Outsiders), and Nale (some unholy hybrid of Rogue/Fighter/Sorcerer). Cleric and Wizard are both high will save classes, and Clerics innately have even better will saves due to the importance of Wisdom in their spellcasting, hence why Malack thought the resistance difficulty so simple (though as undead, he and Durkon are simply immune). Outsiders have good will saves, so they're covered there. Tarquin was noted later by Sabine to have a ring that let him see through illusions, so his class is irrelevant because he was outright immune. Only one of Nale's classes (Sorcerer) has good will saves, however, and as noted quite a few instances of Fridge Brilliance above, Nale is high Intelligence, low Wisdom, making his already barely-above-poor will saves worse.
* Why would Elan pick out a puppet as a Deity when he was trying to convince Roy he could be a Cleric, this troper thought for a while but then I realized it, Bards and Puppets have something in common, they entertain people. It would make logical sense why he would make up a deity relating to entertainment.
* In the arc following ''Blood Runs in the Family'', Belkar goes through hell trying to prove that [[spoiler: Vampire!Durkon]] is evil to the rest of the group. Suddenly you recall that he previously put someone else through hell over something similar: Miko. Belkar's difficulty in proving his point could be karma for all his past paladin-mocking and helping shove her further down the slippery slope.
* In one of the prequel books, Belkar usurps a monk who was vying for the position of "other frontline combatant". One of the insults he uses to demean the monk and get rid of him is to tell him he's got the Base Attack Bonus of a tree sloth. However, Belkar's actually right. All animals have the same 3/4 BAB per Hit Dice that monks did in 3rd Edition.
* During Miko's first appearance, Durkon is convinced that the Order should go quietly with her because the storm prevented it from being a one-stroke battle, therefore it must be a sign from his god that they need to go with the paladin. Cut to Thor with ale in one hand, lightning in the other, a blindfold over his eyes, and heavenly assistants noting that it's "probably better if he doesn't know." While this seems to be just more cloudcuckoolander behavior from Lawful Good Durkon's god, the assistant is correct. If Thor hadn't been playing drunk darts with lightning bolts, either Miko would have manhandled them all in the beginning and may never have given the party a chance to prove that they are good (cf when the party stands up to her after the inn's demise), or with Durkon adding his clericly might to the equation, they may actually have been able to beat her, in which case they may not have been able to find out about the Snarl. Even if they'd gone to Azure City anyway, the only reason they were allowed to learn about it in the first place was because they were under trial for destroying the Gate. Having fried their top paladin wouldn't have done them any favors either.
* Out of all of the Order, Belkar is the only one that can tell that Vampire!Durkon is not the real Durkon. He points out that no one changes as fast and easy as Vampire!Durkon did, because he has undergone such a change and knows that it is slow and difficult. He also points out that the fact that Vampire!Durkon had a spell prepared to deal with the storm, which is meant to be a joke about Durkon never actually having anything prepared. But there is something else that could have been mentioned: if Durkon were still himself, he would have simply ''prayed to Thor'' to get him to stop the storm. That he, instead, uses a spell, would have pointed out to something being wrong - but none in the Order considers this, since they are too content with Durkon being (somewhat) alive.
* Upon his introduction, Wrecan mentions he has teenage daughters. This makes him the perfect bodyguard to Veldrina, who acts like a stereotypical teenage human girl at times.
* Wrecan explains the Elven gods are melded with the western pantheon for some reason. It's possible that it is to have a decisive vote and [[spoiler:before the priest of Hel showed up it was an odd number of votes (with not every gods being represented), the gods probably try to avoid ties for the reason why Hel planned to make the number even.]]
* When Roy [[spoiler: overcomes Vampire!Durkon's attempt to mind-whammy him out of fighting]] by reminding Roy that he prefers to solve problems by talking instead of fighting, Roy declares his own success by saying, "I... can... '''multitask!''' Of course he can: TalkingIsAFreeAction.
* [[spoiler: The High Priest of Hel]] wasn't able to understand the connection between two of [[spoiler: Durkon's]] memories, showing that the Undead are [[StaticCharacter Static Characters]]. But that also explains why they are [[EnemyWithin reflections of the deepest and darkest parts of the host's personality]] - if it weren't for the ability to grow, a person would really be nothing more than what they were on their worst day, as [[spoiler: The High Priest of Hel]] claims.
* When Blackwing is looking for something to use to fight off the vampire stealing their shiny orb, all that's available is a scroll of Locate Creature, which is completely useless for their purposes (luckily Blackwing can exploit that by making a deliberate misfire). But why did V have a scroll of Locate Creature in the first place (since [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman it's a spell that's not useful in many situations]])? Because V spent a LOT of time researching divination spells looking for Haley, Belkar, and Roy. It's no surprise there are spare divination scrolls left over.
* If you take a look back at [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0382.html the scene]] with fragments of Haley's mind arguing, each of them is right, and each of them is also wrong:
** Self-loathing is the OnlySaneMan, realizing that something is definitely wrong with Elan (he's been replaced by Nale), but doesn't actually figure out ''what'' is wrong despite knowing Elan has an EvilTwin. Also, she advises skipping the date, which sounds like a reasonable course of action but would have delayed Haley's recovery.
** Vanity is ComicallyMissingThePoint and focusing on preparing for the date, which is a stupid but ultimately helpful move.
** It's rightly pointed out that Self-Loathing doesn't want Haley to be happy (because that's what "self-loathing" MEANS, and true happiness would presumably lead to CriticalExistenceFailure for that particular part of Haley's psyche), but that doesn't invalidate her point about the suspiciousness of the situation.
** The one that's probably Haley's InnerChild is correct that the PodPerson idea is insane and correct about Elan's increased confidence, but dismisses valid concerns and ignores the existence of a known EvilTwin.
** Haley's [[BiTheWay Latent Bisexuality]] is correct that the dress looks hot, but that's not important now.
** Haley's Mistrust doesn't trust Self-Loathing [[RightForTheWrongReasons because she doesn't trust ANYONE]]. So she's probably equally suspicious of Elan/Nale but doesn't express it because she doesn't even trust other parts of her own mind (which shows how badly paranoia can screw up your life and foreshadows Haley's father a bit).
** Haley's [[TheSmartGuy Intellect]] is correct that Elan seems smarter, and comes up with an explanation for it that's incorrect but [[RPGMechanicsVerse reasonable given the setting]]. And it turns out that the real Elan has become, if not necessarily more ''intelligent'', more competent and skilled in his absence.
** Haley eventually tells her Self-Loathing to shut up and goes ahead with the date, knowing there's a risk but thinking it's her only chance to be truly happy with Elan. This leads to her almost being killed by Nale, but also allows her to be honest about her true feelings, regain her confidence, and gets their relationship started off right when the real Elan comes back.
* Serini's Gate/Kraagor's Tomb/Monster Hallow is so effective because it incorporates elements of all the others' propositions on how to defend the gates. It's pretty fitting that the team's [[TheHeart Heart]] would be the one to pull AllYourPowersCombined on her defenses.
** Girard/Illusion and Misdirection: There are hundreds, maybe even ''thousands'', of doors in Kraagor's tomb, meaning that if any of them actually house the gate, all the rest of them are diversions. Especially tricky if ''none'' of them hide the gate, because the only way anybody would know would be if each and every door was meticulously searched (and if they survived that, we're looking at a PhysicalGod, so they'd be more than capable of screwing over/destroying the world without the aid of the gates anyway).
** Kim Soon/Honor: Serini's gate doubles as a memorial for Kraagor, and as such, she's honoring the dead.
** Dorukan/Arcane Power: Redcloak makes mention of the tomb being built in such a manner as to prevent someone like Xykon from performing a DungeonBypass on it, which requires some degree of arcane knowledge. Additionally, the tomb more than likely contains monsters with spells and spell-like abilities, and all those monsters have to come from ''some'' where, so if they're not repopulating naturally, magic's undoubtedly involved.
** Lyrian/Nature: Again, the monsters have to come from somewhere, and it's possible Serini's stock is replaced simply by allowing them to breed. If not that, there's the location of the tomb to consider, which is pretty well-protected as a result of general winter.
** Kraagor/Might: About as obvious as it gets, really. Kick in the door (any door), kill the monsters, get the loot.

[[AC:FridgeHorror]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', blowing up Dorukan's dungeon was done so the party wouldn't loot and XP farm the population of said dungeon, with Elan doing it out of dramatic necessity. Well, that's fine and all, until you remember 3 things: 1. There were those rebellious goblin teens inside that dungeon. 2. Redcloak declared them all dead, and 3. If you've read ''[=Start Of Darkness=]'', you'd know that [[spoiler:Xykon gang-pressed a lot of innocent goblins to work for him]].
* The arc with [[spoiler:the mother black dragon seeking vengeance on Vaarsuvius]] was [[AscendedFridgeHorror inspired by a moment]] of FridgeHorror that creator Rich Burlew had when he noticed that of all of the races in D&D, [[spoiler:dragons]] are the only ones with character stats for every stage of their lives, including childhood, and therefore the only race whose [[WouldHurtAChild children the game effectively condoned killing]].
* Related to the above entry; Vaarsuvius later discovers that one of the Black Dragons killed by the Familicide spell he/she cast was [[spoiler:an ancestor of the entire Draketooth family, and thus the entire family was wiped out by the spell]]. That's not the Fridge Horror. Vaarsuvius then realizes that [[spoiler:several other families were ''also'' wiped out by the spell due to being related to the Draketooths (because of the Draketooth family's practice of seducing strangers and absconding with the resulting offspring)]]. ''That's'' not the Fridge Horror. But who says the Black Dragon that sired the Draketooth bloodline was the only dragon in his family to mate outside his species? Vaarsuvius is already aware that his/her actions caused the deaths of a lot of innocents, but the death toll may be a ''lot'' higher than he/she realizes.
* With an extra heaping of horror, imagine if Tarquin's wife Penelope had delivered that baby. if she had, that would have made Tarquin of her blood, and by extension, [[spoiler: Elan and Nale.]] V could have [[spoiler:killed Elan if that baby came slightly earlier!]]
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%%The terms of the Familicide spell described in the comic clearly indicate that Elan would have been outside of its scope by at least one degree of separation. Please stop adding anything about Elan being possibly killed by it. Take it to discussion if you want it on here.
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* This [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0755.html comic]]. Sure, the news anchor getting killed and replaced by a member of the death squad is a pretty funny piece of BlackComedy. But remember a few panels earlier, when they show the "Sanguine Street" characters, she mentions "her three-year-old". Yeah...
* Before they formed the Order of the Stick, Roy and Durkon were in another party and the other members were all [[{{Jerkass}} complete dicks]], and if it wasn't for Roy, they would've killed a bunch of innocent orcs who just wanted to watch a concert. The last we see of this party is when Roy tells them to go fuck themselves before leaving. They could still be somewhere out there, killing harmless non-humanoids just because it's easier than talking to them. Furthermore, note that this is ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. There are ''many'' adventuring groups exactly like that.
* Durkon was banished from his home because of a prophecy (of which he is unaware) that states his return would doom the kingdom. An oracle tells him he will return [[spoiler: posthumously]]. At first he (and the readers) think this means he'll be [[spoiler: buried with his people]], which is bittersweet, but it's still bitter''sweet''. Then he [[spoiler: was turned into a vampire]]. Consider the implications... Especially in light of the reveal that [[spoiler:the spirit controlling Durkon's body is actually a dark spirit of Hel, sent to bring ruin to the world]]
* Tarquin is just a seething cauldron of this as his true nature becomes more and more explicit. Perhaps most chilling is the realization that Elan could have turned out ''exactly the same way as his father''. Tarquin is an Elan who never learned to stop seeing the story and start seeing the people in the story.
* Remember how [[spoiler:Durkon is trapped within his own body that's being controlled by something,]] while Malack states that being resurrected would mean the death of his current self. What if the original Malack was in the same situation [[AndIMustScream and in his case, for decades]]. The Giant [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?339912-Vampire-question-settled&p=17327934&viewfull=1#post17327934 basically confirmed]] that [[spoiler: vampires work in this exact way,]] so this is ''exactly right''. Oh, Gods.
* Jones the lawyer keeps Rodriguez around [[NeverMyFault so that Rodriguez can absorb all of his losses.]] This essentially means that Jones is ensuring that Rodriguez will never be able to work for anyone else again in the field of law just so that he always has a scapegoat for his own incompetence. The giant may be wrong about Jones being LawfulNeutral because that makes him come across as LawfulEvil. Conversely, it's possible Rodriguez's record wasn't that good to begin with, which makes the fact that he can work as a lawyer at all kinda dubious, but would imply a slightly less heartless story behind them. Slightly.

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