Girl Genius: Tropes F to J

aka: Tropes F-J
Tropes A to E | Tropes F to J | Tropes K to O | Tropes P to T | Tropes U to Z

Girl Genius provides examples of the following tropes:

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  • Flanderization:
    • In-universe example; the character of Big Guy Punch in stories and stage-shows is reduced to comic buffoon and Butt Monkey. Among the secrets kept from Agatha her whole life was that the quiet, competent blacksmith she knew as her father was Punch. The Jägermonsters who knew Punch try to give an actor advice on how to play him authentically, but all of it requires casting out what makes his act so successful.
    • Klaus' characterizations in many Heterodyne stories has undergone similar treatment, being rewritten as an excitable cowardly braggart. Although he's now the unquestioned conqueror of the entire continent, Klaus permits this impertinence for one simple reason: he thinks it's hilarious.
  • Flashback Effects / Monochrome Past: Sepia tones.
  • Flip Personality: Lucrezia and Agatha. Little outward signs of transition, save for the smile and the eyes, but obviously different personalities.
  • Floorboard Failure: Happens to Zeetha's whole group in the sewers of Sturmhalten, shortly after escaping a rampaging monster. They land in an oubliette, so that 'weak floor' may actually have been a deliberate trap.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    • The Fun-sized Mobile Agony and Death Dispensers, a.k.a. the "devil dogs".note 
    • Countless other one-shot gags such as the name of the big happy fun ball of death which Gil has to rescue Zola from.
  • Follow the Chaos:
  • Foot Popping: Agatha with Tarvek. Yup, played straight.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The aptly-named Doombell.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Ultimately a subtrope of all the Gratuitous Foreign Language entries.
    • Klaus' "Götterdämmerung!"note 
    • Zola will mutter "Merde!"note  when riled up enough.
    • "Vot der dumboozle?"
  • Foreshadowing: Several.
    • One of the first ones is that the Jagers all think that Agatha smells "quite nice" - due to her actually being a Heterodyne.
    • Agatha does a nice job of intimidating one of Klaus' scientists who turns out to be a revenant into calling her "mistress" here. Jump ahead several years...
    • A more minor example:
    • The whole missing tale of the Storm King that Klaus told the Author Character is either Klaus foreshadowing things to come or sending a message to his son in a very cryptic manner, so that Lucrezia wouldn't realize what he was doing.
    • Agatha being able to order Gil not to die on her foreshadows Klaus' discovery that Gil is a revenant. Although that likely was faked, since the wasp-detector was not reacting to Klaus, and we know he's got one!
    • It's mentioned several times that the Storm King Conspiracy needs the Heterodyne heir alive for their plans. Guess who Tweedle tries to escape Mechanicsburg with once things go south.
    • When Wooster tries to calm Margarella Selnikov, she briefly shoots him a suspicious glare, incredibly out of place amidst her constant panicking beforehand. It's the first hint of her actual, much more cold-blooded personality, before The Reveal.
  • Forever War: The status quo in the days before the Heterodyne Boys due to constant infighting between rival Sparks. Then the Baron stopped it his way.
  • Forgets to Eat: This can happen to Sparks if they stay in the Madness Place too long. Non-Spark can be used to remind them.
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Tarvek admits that he keeps forgetting Othar is a spark.
  • Fork Fencing: Cranked Up to Eleven, as can be expected of Sparks, with Gil's ''Hand-cranked Runcible Gun.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: How does Agatha even breathe in some of those outfits?
  • For Science!: It is a world ruled by Mad Science! Girl Genius would not exist without this trope. Lampshaded.
  • For the Lulz: Apparently, this is why Castle Heterodyne kills people. Because it "will be fun". All Heterodynes before Bill and Barry also seemed to have this as their primary motivation. Klaus even claims in his Storm King story that Clemethious Heterodyne always smiled, even while sleeping - because he constantly thought up new ways to torture, kill etc. people.
  • Frame Break: Apparently, the Spark also conveys the power to break the fourth wall — quite literally. Or maybe that's just Gil.
  • Freeze Ray: Used as firefighting gear. It is mentioned that, with a little tinkering on one, you could freeze a castle wall and then bash it in with a hammer.
  • Freudian Excuse: There's an implied inversion with the Heterodyne Boys. Supplementary material has indicated they grew up to be good because they were raised by their kind and decent (and so far unnamed) mother who was forced into marrying Saturnus Heterodyne via threats to her family. The standard Heterodyne idea of a worthy mate and/or proper child caretaker is somewhat different.
    Gil: So this was the nursery?
    Tarvek: It explains so much...
    • Speaking of which, the same can be said of Tarvek and Gil: they have turned out better than they might otherwise have because they both spent time as children under the care of Von Pinn, who turns out to be the Muse of Protection. Ditto Agatha and her step-parents the Clays.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe, when Moloch told Agatha that it was impossible to make it across town.
    Agatha: But... you say nobody can get through all that...
    Moloch: There's just no way!
    Agatha: And you've been doing work all over town?
    Moloch: That's right! So I've seen it! It's hopeless!
  • Friendly Enemies:
  • Friend Or Foe: The Jägers have an excellent way of solving the problems presented by this trope.
  • From Bad to Worse: The entire Castle Heterodyne arc is stuffed to the gills with this trope. Just trust us on this one.
  • Funetik Aksent: "De Jägers hall talk like dis, sveethot!" Even their clapping is accented. The novels explain that it's an ancient Mecanicsburg accent, carefully maintained as a point of pride. That's why a random mother Gil runs afoul of in Mecanicsburg shares the accent.
  • Funny Background Event: The Foglios love this. In particular, it's worth reading any notices, signs, control labels, advertisements or scripts that appear.


  • His and Hers: Parodied on two pages in Castle Heterodyne.
  • Hobbes Was Right: You can't uphold a democracy with power-hungry Mad Scientists running around.
  • Holding Out for a Hero / Stay in the Kitchen: Othar tried to keep his sister "safe" at home. But it turns out that in this world the concept of "safety" is even more volatile.
  • Homicide Machines: Virtually every piece of advanced technology can be used as a dangerous weapon no matter what it was meant for originally.
    Gil: What about this one? It looks like a toaster.
    Agatha: Well, it is a toaster. Sort of.
    Gil: Sort of?
    Agatha: Oh, yes. It could toast the whole town.
  • Honest Advisor:
    • Baron Wulfenbach says early on that he would rather his men criticize him rather than fear him too much to tell him important information — in fact, the first time we see him, he's testing Gil to see if he'll tell him he's wrong. It's one of the many signs that he's not your average Evil Overlord.
    • Gil and Agatha seem to prefer advisors like this as well.
  • Horrifying the Horror:
    • The mere mention of Barry Heterodyne's name is enough to make two separate incarnations of the Other shit a brick.
    • Jägers are usually fearless and willing to fight anything — but when a creature called a "Dreen" shows up, one of the Jägergenerals panics and makes Agatha flee.
      General Zog: Dose tings iz unschtoppable!. Vorse — dey's scary!
  • Hostage Situation: Gil volunteers for one. Agatha doesn't want it.
  • Hot Scientist: Hot Mad Scientists. Many of them. And apparently the better they are, the hotter they get.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!:
    • Agatha's reaction when it looks like Gilgamesh is dying. It helps.
    • Tarvek tried the same a bit earlier, in an even more amusing manner.
      Tarvek: Hang on! The system's damaged! If you die before we fix it, I'll... I'll kill you!
  • Hulk Speak: Snoz, quite appropriately, has a mild case of this.
  • Humongous Mecha: Walking Battleships (Moloch served on a walking gunboat) and War Stompers (one of the first armies to lay siege to Mechanicsburg use huge Spider Tanks with Coilgun cannons).
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer!) He's a spark, with a goal of killing every other spark, then killing himself when he's the last one left.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll; Lucrezia often tries to pass herself off as the girl whose body she has hijacked, to varying degrees of success.
  • Hyperspace Mallet: Not actually a mallet, but just about every other gadget that a well-equipped Mad Scientist might require.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Gil tells Agatha her bedside manner needs work. Turns out his isn't so great either.
    • Zola makes a crack about Agatha's butt being big?
    • Gil...
    • Krosp complains that his role as a spy chief leading a group of unaugmented cats was bound to fail because normal cats are too easily distracted to follow orders for any length of time. Years later, when Krosp himself has the opportunity to gather information, he gets hungry...
    • Violetta to Vole: "You give that back, you thief! I stole that gun off you fair and square!"



Alternative Title(s):

Tropes F-J