Headscratchers: Homestuck

> Report cranial irritation.

You have no idea why these failures of logic make your head itch. Must be a biology thing.

Note to future questioners! Please place new Headscratchers at the bottom of their appropriate section, under the "Open" heading. If uncertain what category a question falls into or if it's broader than one category, please place it in the "Misc" section.

    open/close all folders 

Archived Resolved

     General questions 


  • In this update, Calliope explains to Roxy that a single-player session of SBURB "coUld have conseqUences more horrifying than we coUld begin to imagine." What exactly did she meant? Besides two sprites prototyping each other creating a black hole (which doesn't exactly count as "single-player" because it involves two player's sprites), I can't quite think about anything massively huge Caliborn could do in the game with no one else looking at his back.
    • Caliborn's essentially solo session is bizarre enough to imply any sort of oddness to it. We already know Skaia has clouded up, probably to prevent Caliborn from benefitting from it's visions. Anything else, such as him embracing the teachings of Derse, what have you, is beyond our ability to guess at this point. What does seem certain is that he will break Sburb in two.
    • All was, explained by Hussie himself to Caliborn, but I feel the need to point out a single correction: there was a single kernel, not two as was initially believed, because Skaia always knew it would be a 1-player session.
  • So... is Roxy dead? She's in the dream bubble with Calliope. But is she dreaming, or did Her Imperious Condescension kill her? If she was dead, she would have white eyes like the other dead characters, right?
    • Roxy has demonstrated the ability to enter dream bubbles in her sleep before. That's all she did. It's some sort of Void power.
    • Her real self died, so she goes to the dream bubbles when asleep.
  • This is kind of a dumb question... but what are the english equivalents of auspiticisms, matespritships, and kismessitudes?
    • Matespritship is basically love in the romantic sense humans typically use, the sort that leads to human marriage; there's an entire greeting card industry of words around it. Auspiticism and kismessitude are not really present in the english language because humans, as a species for whom hate is wholly unrelated to reproduction and in fact tends to inhibit it outside of very unhealthy and likely doomed relationships, don't really have blackrom per se, and when we do it is seen as an emotional problem to be dealt with in therapy. The closest terms we have to blackrom are "sexual frenemies" and "that one friend held in common who is the reason we put up with each other".
      • The entire fact that these romances do not actually exist for humans is kind of the whole point of the bizarreness of Troll romance.
    • Moirailigence is described best as "brotherly love", meaning it's someone you would like to protect, but not really have sexual relations with. This makes sense because only matespritship and kismessitude produce offspring.
      • Not exactly; it's something of a cross between that and a specific use of Morality Chain. A healthy moirailigence stems not from a good friendship, but a friendship between one emotionally imbalanced and destructive troll and one level headed troll. Again, this doesn't exist for humans because such a friendship is not only not healthy, but outright emotionally abusive in some situations. And, once again, nobody would consider this a form of romance.
      • I don't understand the idea of "it would be emotionally abusive therefore it would not exist in human form". Emotionally abusive relationships like these exist all the time, and sometimes it does get glorified as ideal romances - "if I loved you enough I could fix you" or the attraction to "bad boys" or whatever. This Troper has been in similar relationships and actually seeing it played out in Homestuck was really striking.
      • Moiralleigance is not meant to be between one "unstable" and one "stable" troll. This seems to be a common misconception. Such a one-sided moiralleigance is actually a pretty unhealthy pale relationship. For example, Karkat's moiralleigance with Gamzee broke down because Karkat was the only one invested in it - Gamzee didn't really serve a supportive role to Karkat. It is true that one of the two trolls in a pale relationship tends to be worse than the other, but a true moiralleigance involves both trolls helping with each other's flaws, not just one holding the other in check. Equius is the obvious unstable half of his moiralleigance with Nepeta, but he still also works to stop her harming herself through things like her failure to take some dangers seriously. A fact demonstrated by his keeping her from being wrapped up in the FLARP incidents, for instance. tl;dr, like any actual relationship, it has to go both ways to really work.


  • Exactly what is the reason that Meenah has only been in the afterlife a few days from her perception when she is first introduced while Aranea and all the other Pre-Scratch trolls have been wandering dreambubbles for eons and eons now again?
    • Time seems to work differently in Dream Bubbles.
    • Basically, while they all died at the same time, the other trolls all entered various different dreambubbles. Meenah's first bubble was the meeting bubble. However, Aranea had been through countless other dreambubbles before she reached the meeting bubble.

  • If Equius is so insistent on wielding a bow and arrow despite each one he uses breaking before he even makes a shot, how come he doesn't just make himself a bow from a stronger material than wood? He's a Gadgeteer Genius for a reason, y'know.
    • Tradition? Trolls are pretty fucking weird, and past that even humans tend to go with what's 'cooler' — I don't think it's really a coincidence that longbows are a lot more common in by protagonists in mainstream media than crossbows, unless the author is deliberately setting up the mood. Or something. In any case, the whole point Equius tries to use a bow an arrow is because he's clearly (trying to be) a very orthodox guy, and creating some newfanglednote  steel weapon isn't going to earn him any points in that respect.
      • Just reread his intro page; also it's become a bit of a fetish after the first few times apparently.

  • On this page Doc Scratch calls Dave his ectobiological father. Does that mean Dave made/will make Scratch at some point and we just haven't seen it yet, or am I missing something?
    • He's talking about Lil Cal, not Dave.

  • Why, exactly, did Kanaya give Eridan a wand capable of slaughtering most of the trolls on the meteor? He's always been mentally unstable and he's pretty open about his desire to commit genocide against the lowbloods (Even if he never managed to act on it), and there's no real reason to make the wand anything but a placebo.

[[folder: "What does X do?" / "How does X work?"]]


  • If you look at the Sburb interface, you see that there is what appears to be a save button, and a load button. These are never used, but I wonder what would happen if they were? [1] (Look in the upper left-hand corner)
    • Presumably used only for buildings, as server players cannot directly interact with clients. However they seem to be cosmetic; they haven't appeared in the comic in years and were probably just a simple Shout-Out to the layout of the Sims' interface.

  • Would someone be kind enough to explain TA's ~ATH code to a troper who doesn't have "leet hacker" creed?
    • It's Basically Java, but the beans can Destroy the universe.
    • More like C++ (including the usage of "~", which in C++ is used to design a destructor). And yes. Apparently it can destroy not only one Universe, but an alternate as well.
    • The most distinctive feature is the presence of a ~ATH construct around "!U2," which in C-inspired languages (which ~ATH seems to be one of) would mean "not U2." Given that the program works immediately, this probably turns "until U2 ends" into "until U2 doesn't end" (i.e. immediately, assuming U2 already exists). Beyond that, the code is pretty much nonsense (you can't interlock code blocks like that in any real programming language) unless we get an explanation from AH at some point.
      • Basically, WE HAVE NO IDEA EITHER BRO.
      • Anyway the name of the language is probably pronounced "TILL DEATH", so it's kinda cool.
      • In fact, that's the basis of the language - programs execute upon the death of an object. In other words, programs are not activated TIL DEATH.
    • Okay, essentially, the language is a pun on C++ as mentioned above; Sollux's code calls "bifurcate" (either a primitive or a function he wrote) which splits the universe into two separate entities; it then executes a loop which only runs in full when the universe both ceases to exist and is created at the exact same time. Suffice to say ~ATH is not like our earth human languages.
    • It binds a program to be run to the mutual existence of two items. These items must be recognized by the library and relatively long-lived. Once the loop connecting the two is broken, the program is run.

  • Why is the method of waking up dreamselves so inconsistent? The first few acts made kind of a big deal out of John's psychological problems preventing him from waking up, but he's ultimately woken by convenience to the plot and Jade manhandling him. Sollux is woken up first through Aradia's psychic powers, and second through somebody kissing his corpse. Vriska's and Terezi's awakenings both involved some kind of psychological catharsis, in a similar fashion to John (coming to terms with their guilt and blindness respectively). All of these seem to fit in with Sburb's vague rules and mythology- I guess what really bothers me is that Rose managed to wake up Dave by throwing a ball of wool at his head, with no real explanation given as to why it was so easy.
    • John - Being thrown to the ground would wake you up. Sollux - Dead and revived by Feferi. It wasn't a second awakening. Vriska - Dead, used up a life and as a result became her dreamself.
    • The yarn didn't wake Dave up. In this conversation Rose says that Dave was always awake and just didn't realize it.
      • Have we been given a reason for that yet?
      • Presumably Dave's dream self has been in a half-waking half-sleeping daze because of Dream Cal.
      • Anyway, besides Dave, waking up dreamselves seems to be a unique experience tailored to each player.
      • I thought Terezi's dreamself was first woken during Vriskas Double Psychic Reacharound and Blindness Jamboree...
      • There is (or was) a popular theory among some that since one of their apparent main purposes is to act as extra lives, the dreamselves can only be woken by someone's death—be it the owner's waking self (Vriska, Sollux), Jade's dreamself (he didn't wake up until after she died), or someone who died off camera long before the story started (anyone who was already awake). I guess that doesn't explain Terezi though.
      • Dreamselves are awakened by dealing with death, whether your own or the death of someone else, but anyone on Derse or Prospit already awake can wake you up. It can also happen by personal trauma or overcoming some hang up. In a sense, Future Rose was the "sacrifice" for Rose. Terezi's "sacrifice" may have been Aradia or possibly just her coming close to death as a result of her injuries.
      • It's interesting to note that both Dave and Dirk's dreamselves were always awake, but Dirk was aware but Dave was not.

  • Where do trolls get their names? The most obvious would be the parent-figure Lusus, but those can't speak.
    • Where do the trolls get their Trollslum handle names?
    • That's easy, they were named by their creators from the last session. That or by the readers on the forums.
    • They're probably assigned to them by the troll government. Or they pick their own names.
      • Judging from the troll's ancestors, they're possibly descriptive of what kind of person they are. The language simply shifted from English to a bunch of others.
    • According to AH, the first noise that is uttered by a troll's lusus once the troll is hatched is then translated to the closest combin