Genre Savvy / Web Comics

  • Doug from Cinema Bums has a Genre Savvy moment in this strip, where he recognizes evil dialogue and removes himself from the situation.
  • Elan the bard, from The Order of the Stick sometimes suffers from being too genre savvy. Like here. The other members of the titular band of adventurers also tend to lack Genre Blindness, but Elan's the only one notable for occasionally needing some. Not that it doesn't occasionally work out for him.
    • Really, one of the main points of The Order of the Stick is genre savviness. Try this comic page where even the stupid orc chieftain is hilariously genre savvy.
    • Elan's mentor, a dashing sky pirate who helps him literally take a level in badass also displays Genre Savviness — hoping never to meet Elan again, lest he become The Obi-Wan.
    • Vaarsuvius recently displayed a blend of cynicism and genre-savviness by killing someone (Kubota) just because Elan is holding him prisoner, and V knows that Elan only takes major villains prisoner, and rationalizing it by explaining how the trial would have been a tedious 20- or 30-episode affair which would interfere with the bigger picture.
    • More recently, our trusty wizard, when confronted with a silver-tongued imp, demonstrates that s/he knows what happens when you make a Deal with the Devil, regardless of its stature.
    • And then goes on to make a slightly different deal with different devils anyway.
      • Which is in its own way a bit of brilliance; by first showing that V knows just how foolish such a thing is and then setting V up to do it anyway it becomes a very clear Moral Event Horizon. "Welcome to the deep end of the alignment pool."
    • While all the characters are Genre Savvy to some extent, Elan is clearly more Savvy than the rest of them; unfortunately, his status as Cloud Cuckoolander means that the others are only inclined to dismiss his concerns in their moments of Genre Blindness, only to learn too late that they really should have paid attention. Eerily, he can come off as a Genius Ditz these days.
    Elan: Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight, the urge to say "I told you so!"
  • Cherry Blossomfeather, of RPG World, has an uncommon lack of genre blindness. While it's eventually justified, she's largely a way for the author to poke fun at RPG tropes.
  • Karn from Adventurers! is extremely Genre Savvy about computer RPGs despite his general stupidity. Good for him that he lives in such a game. The much smarter Ardam is continually frustrated in his expectations that the game world physics make sense from the real world physics point of view; he finally realizes that no matter how nonsensical the rules of the world are, they're still the rules of the world, and it's irrational to go against them.
  • Deconstructed in Girl Genius. All the characters are Genre Savvy, and most of them have the genre correct, but they don't always know their place in or importance to the story, which results in some disastrous misunderstandings. Bystanders make assumptions based on fairy tales which are only partially correct and often lack context.
    Agatha: Look, no offense, but I've been around labs most of my life.
    Othar: Oh?
    Agatha: I'd rather not be the easily-duped minion who sets the insanely dangerous experiment free.
    Or the hostage who ensures the smoothtalking villain's escape.
    Othar: Er...
    Agatha: I don't have any proof that you are really Othar Tryggvassen or even really human.
    Othar: Ah...
    Agatha: This girl sidekick job doesn't call for a lot of smarts, does it?
    • One aspect of the Mad Scientist genre on which all the Sparks remain resolutely genre blind, at least when it comes to themselves, is that whatever they're working on will Go Horribly Wrong (or worse yet, Horribly Right). Their minions often are savvy about this, but can't get anyone to listen.
      Moloch: ...How is it possible that this [Agatha's souped-up lightning gun destroying the very tower she was trying to clear a path to] could surprise any of you people?
    • A Running Gag is that sparks also have a habit of declaring "You must obey me! I am your creator!" and then remembering that that never works. Agatha is (eventually) the only one who gets this right.
  • Ellie, in Okashina Okashi is familiar with manga tropes. But like Sugimoto, she's never the heroine of those stories.
  • In this issue of Bitmap World, Cyan speculates on who her teacher may be, based on various Schoolteacher Tropes. After being reminded that she's not a character in a sitcom, she discovers her teacher is the Hippie trope.
  • Sam Starfall in Freefall knows about genre conventions, and will set them up, but doesn't get the point of them. Possibly because he's an alien, who grew up with different genre conventions, or possibly just because he's completely crazy.
  • The two title characters in Stickman and Cube have No Fourth Wall, and thus know their tropes.
  • Meji from Errant Story is quite up-to-date on her tropes. Among the more notable examples is her awareness of the dangers of Superpower Meltdown ("All the stories that starts like this ends with 'And then his head exploded...'") and her instant recognition of the sheer number of tropes involved in the backstory of the Amraphel siblings. Ellis, as well as several minor characters, also gets in on the action from time to time, but she's a step ahead of them — at one point, she deliberately invokes Deus ex Machina. Literally 'invokes'...
  • Sam Sprinkles, from Zebra Girl, is a former cartoon actor who is way too Genre Savvy for his own good, and has a tendency to get very, very mouthy with people over their role in the story.
    • Considering he browbeats a character into a Heel-Face Turn, mouthy doesn't even begin to cover it.
  • All of the main characters of Sluggy Freelance are highly Genre Savvy, though normally only after they fall into one of the traps of the genre at the time. Best shown in this strip.
  • Gordito in the fourth episode of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
    Ben Franklin: But the excitement does get to you! I suppose this lifestyle isn't so bad.
    Gordito: Ah! Don't! Dude, in "this lifestyle" if you say something like that, it's pretty much like pushing a "make the situation worse" button. It's the opposite of the one they have at the office supply store.
    (helicopter shows up)
    Gordito: See?! That's Schrodinger's helicopter right there.
    Ben Franklin: You must mean "Murphy's Helicopter".
    Gordito: I'm twelve.
    Ben Franklin: Well it can only be more ninjas, and we've had no problem with those so far.
    Gordito: Oh please keep talking!
  • Knowledge is Power: EmJay is about to ask David to pretend to be her boyfriend, but remembering how poorly that goes in fiction, changes her mind. Whereupon it happens anyway.
  • Gold Coin Comics is Genre Savvy, such as when Theo tells Lance they can't buy higher quality armor because the game developers wouldn't allow it, or their lower job class levels.
  • Miranda West of The Wotch seems pretty Genre Savvy, calling out Natasha Dahlet on her use of a villainous cliché and often pointing out some other clichés, like when she threatens to turn Anne into a newt.
  • Mel of Explorers of Souls is a perfect example of this trope. Back in her human form, she played Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (whose world she later found herself in), and knows all the tropes and cliches of the brand of fanfiction she found herself in. See for yourself.
  • The latest arc of MSF High revolves around the fact that the "pocket-universe" in which the story takes place conforms to genre rules. This is exploited by many students most recently in the form of the "runner", an anime girl who will run everywhere eyes closed with an armload of books in the hopes of causing a romantic comedy style collision.
  • Wonderella here.
  • The whole routine of K, the main character of The Antagonist... Though his genre savvy has gotten a little spotty at times ever since getting kicked out of the League of Villains, if they hadn't been actively trying to screw him over on nearly every job, he'd be quite Dangerously Genre Savvy.
  • I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space: How tragic it must be to be a Genre Savvy Redshirt.
  • The Major in the Hellsing fancomic And Shine Heaven Now is familiar enough with fandom terms that he gives a fanboy version of his famous 'I Love War' speech to subdue the fangirls attached to everyone.
  • This strip from Subnormality not only has one ercharacter ruefully noting his inability to avoid falling into the "best friends who hate each other" trope (as a result of a ridiculously extreme bet), but actually using the word "trope" to describe it, and hanging a lampshade on it by saying that it's a completely ridiculous and "implausible" trope, like "Time Travel" and "Dinosaurs vs Cavemen", but apparently necessary for conflict. His friend then jumps on the Time Travel reference and inevitably gets his friend into yet another ridiculous and ridiculously implausible scenario. The strip skirts within tripping distance of Breaking the Fourth Wall ... but then again, we're talking about a comic that revels in Post Modernism and Deconstruction, so that's par for the course.
  • Pip from Sequential Art is rather Genre Savvy on what happens when you go up into the attic to investigate a strange sound.
    Pip: I watch horror films. I should not be doing this without a chainsaw handy...
Art is pretty Genre Savvy himself. He's only partially off though.
  • A lot of the humor in Homestuck is derived from Lampshade Hanging and Breaking the Fourth Wall, but Dave is particularly well-versed in tropes and comments on a lot of the increasingly-ridiculous situations the main characters find themselves in. He also serves as a foil to the more naive and Genre Blind John.
    EB: i'm in my room again, i really think there's someone else in this house.
    EB: like monsters or something.
    TG: dude monsters arent real
    TG: thats stupid kids stuff for stupid babies
    EB: maybe. yeah you're right.
    TG: what are you an idiot
    TG: of course there are monsters in your house
    TG: youre in some weird evil monster dimension come on
    TG: skepticism is the crutch of cinematic troglodytes
    TG: like hey mom dad theres a dinosaur or a ghost or whatever in my room. "yeah right junior go back to bed"
    TG: fuck you mom and dad how many times are we going to watch this trope unfold it wasnt goddamn funny the first time i saw it
    • Karkat has a similar reaction to being told that Kanaya is a Rainbow Drinker. However, Karkat's genre savvy wraps all the way around back to Genre Blindness.
    • Homestuck is a very interesting example when you think about it. Due to the time loops and focus on character growth, sometimes characters MUST perform actions that go against their own self-interest, or ANYONE'S interest, because, if they don't do what they're destined to do, even if it's horrific.
    • Vriska and Aranea are smart enough to, instead of trying to confront Lord English directly, use his own acts of destruction to help them locate a way to beat him. This is a definite step up for Vriska, who had previously gotten herself killed through the thoroughly Genre Blind mistakes of a) not realizing Jack Noir is a No-Nonsense Nemesis and b) thinking she could beat Terezi at mind games.
  • David from Ow, my sanity. Scarily so.
  • Rumors of War has Obadai, who's the most Genre Savvy of the lot. He's fits the bill as a Deadpan Snarker, and seems aware enough of the concept of Mentor Occupational Hazard that he almost refuses to refer to himself as Elysia's mentor, and is frequently absent during important plot movements.
  • He may not be like this all the time, but this strip of It's Walky! shows Danny in a rare moment of clarity.
  • Camp Calomine: a gun is better than splitting up with nothing but flashlights
  • The crew from Schlock Mercenary, despite being repeatedly portrayed as mostly dumb grunts, do have their moments of savvyness, for instance in the Running Gag where they realize they should never say "What's the worst that could happen?" Then there's this one..
  • Pibgorn: Who am I to deny trite formula?
  • Underling lampshades the tropes
  • Yang Child: The lowest of the low among cliche thieves
  • Orwing Battler in Lovecraft Is Missing is a pulp writer who basically finds himself in another pulp writer's universe. Naturally, he feels like he's in one of his own stories and will occasionally comment on the action.
  • Nelson in Full Frontal Nerdity.
  • Blue Hat from Gengame tends to make a lot of decisions based on genre conventions. Justified in that it's a video game in which the mechanics of her character are somewhat based around genre conventions. She also isn't very savvy about the actual comic's genre.
  • Played With in Mokepon: Atticus is one of the only characters who has a decent amount of common sense, and often lampshades the ridiculous nature of the Pokémon world. On the other hand, he's still not completely sure about how his world works, and sometimes his Genre Savvy moments (such as setting a Beedrill on fire to set off a chain reaction that'll get rid of the rest of the bugs) backfire on him.
  • In Rusty and Co., the blackguard Malevolus is smart enough to realize how dangerous the one-two punch of Rusty and Gelatinous Cube's abilities really is.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes has the superhero Electrode. When searching for the Evil Savant, Distracterella and Cat-A-Pult for robbing a bank and humiliating the superhero Asstronomous in the process, he started by the seat of the League of Super Redundant Heroes because it was the last place anyone would look for them... And arrived in the same panel Cat-A-Pult stated they were there for that same reason! Cue the trio of supervillains having to dress themselves up as superheroes...
  • In Bob and George, Protoman has all the secondary characters clear out so it will be funnier.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Susan reasons that since magic has flair for the dramatic, and they live dramatic lives Nanase will probably get her magic back just when she needs it most.
    • Elliot also seems to have a pretty good idea as to what kind of story he's in. For example, after considering how much information about magic and the supernatural he can get away with telling Ashley, he then realizes, "Actually, knowing my luck, something weird will happen and this will all be rendered moot." He is completely correct in this assumption.
  • In Cucumber Quest, Nautilus objects to the mayor, who is trying to tell the story briefly, that that is not the way to tell an ancient legend to adventuring heroes.
  • Characters in the Bobbins Verse are often aware of genre tropes, although they can't always rely on them. And sometimes they can, as in this strip:
    Esther: ED! QUICK! We've got about twenty seconds before they come out of exposition mode!
  • In Tripp, Poe's suggestion to disguise themselves in Narvan robes is born from watching a lot of Luke's blu-ray collection and noticing that most successful heroes are the ones who can infiltrate their targets.
  • In The Last Halloween, the heroine, Mona, does not take kindly to Dr Fugue attempting to send her on an impromptu epic heroic quest to save the world, insisting "I am a ten year old child, I will die very quickly." But it turns out twenty minutes of enduring a ditzy, hyperactive vampire flapping his arms wildly and yelling "Bawk Bawk Bawk Chicken" was enough to annoy Mona into going anyway.
  • Since Knights of Buena Vista is about a roleplaying group, the players are this, even knowing immediately that a baron NPC is a villain since Aristocrats Are Evil.
  • Billy from Five Kids at Freddy's seems to be this, as he appears to be the only one who's initial response to Golden Freddy and the situation is fear.
  • In ShootAround, surviving a Zombie Apocalypse is mostly a matter of genre-savvyness; for the most part, Adults Are Useless because they don't know the genre.