Homestuck: Tropes M to O
aka: Tropes M-O
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- Mad Libs Catch Phrase:
- "2x _____ COMBO!" (Note: Sometimes the "2x" follows the blank.)
- "All of the _____. All of them."
- "_____ DOUBLE REACH-AROUND."
- "It's hard, being _____ and doing _____. It's hard, and nobody understands."
- Also several originating from Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, including:
- "the _____ ruse... was a DISTACTION."
- "i HAVE the _____"
- "i am the _____. its me"
- Made of Explodium: All robots explode spectacularly.
- Madness Montage: Here.
- And another one, several thousand pages later.
- Magic Feather: Pretty much everyone creates something that initially seems to give them magical powers. These are revealed to all be just focuses for their nascent abilities later.
- Magic Kiss: This is a SBURB game mechanic. If a player dies (and if they have an intact dreamself), they can be revived if another player kisses their corpse within an unspecified time limit. If time runs out, the wounds propagate to the dreamself, killing them as well.
- Magic A Is Magic A: A concept central to the game and the strip itself; everything works by rules, from the mechanics of the game, to the various powers the kids develop and the methods of obtaining them, to the rules around time travel, dying/resurrecting, creating creatures and universes, etc. Whatever extraordinary things happen in Homestuck, there are hard and fast rules around them. Even when the rules get broken, which is rare, there's usually a good reason.
- Magic Realism: There is an element of this in the way that no-one seems particularly surprised when Sburb allows you to manipulate other people's houses. Other fantastical elements of the world (particularly the gamelike ones) go unmentioned and unexplained. On the other hand, the existence of magic per se is realistically controversial.
- Magikarp Power: Some aspects and classes are this. So far it's known that the Page class and the Hope and Breath aspect all are weak initially before becoming very potent. This makes Jake, the Page of Hope, an extraordinary example.
- In Flarp, the Boy-Skylark class is described as this.
- Mate or Die: When the imperial drone comes to the door of an adult troll, they'd better be able to fill both filial pails or else. As if teenage romantic angst isn't bad enough without all that pressure!
- Meaningful Rename: Beforus was renamed to Alternia after the Trolls preformed their scratch.
- Meanwhile, in the Future: "Years in the future, but not many..."
- Medium Blending: The comic frequently uses animated GIFs, and there are occasional Flash animations and games. Late in the comic we even get a sequence animated in Stop Motion.
- Mega Manning: Enemies wielding weapons seem to drop the STRIFE SPECIBUS for that weapon. Though to date this has only happened a few times, as the only weapons any of the enemies have been seen wielding are ones stolen from John. This works for slain players as well.
- The Merch: There's a lot of available merchandise from the comic, most notably everyone's clothing.
- Merger of Souls:
- Vriska's and Tavros' dead bodies are thrown into Jane's game sprite, yanking their souls out of the afterlife and fusing them together as "Tavrisprite". Their personalities are so irreconcilable that the sprite explodes (sending the two souls back to the afterlife) mere moments later.
- Eridan and Sollux were successfully fused into an Erisolsprite (which spends most of his time flipping people off at random), and Equiusprite is fused with Dirk's sentient AI auto-responder to create Arquiusprite. Feferi and Nepeta were also fused into a Fefetasprite, which had a peaceful life for six months but doesn't last long once Erisolsprite and Arquiusprite start arguing over her.
- Mermaid Problem: Sprites have a similar anatomy to mermaids, leading John to ponder the, er, logistics of a sprite/human romance. He stops just short of asking his own sister how exactly she and her sprite ex-boyfriend got their mack on. Meanwhile, the fandom has come up with some creative solutions.
- Messianic Archetype: Recurring; every Session leader is some flavor of messiah, dark or otherwise. Other standouts include WV and the Sufferer.
- Especially the Sufferer who is basically Troll Jesus, complete with a representation of his nasty death becoming a symbol for his followers.
- Metal Scream: MEOOOOOOOOOOOOW
- Metaphorgotten: During the Jailbreak adventure of B2!Jack NoirHe's not the sharpest tool in the shed. Although now that you think about it, he might be by default, since he just sent you all the sharpest tools in the shed.
- Meteor of Doom
- Mexican Standoff
- Mickey Mousing: Inverted: Andrew selects a piece of music from the artists and animates to its beats and any Leitmotifs present. This is taken to its logical extreme in the Descend sequence, which matches every single leitmotif in the song with an appropriate piece of action.
- Midair Motion Shot: Dave's Character Blog lampshades it, and in-story the UNREAL AIR is an eternally-flying skateboard (and thus it flies off right after its debut).
- Mind Screw: A metric ton of it.
- Mind Screwdriver: The Recap Episodes and Andrew's comments in the forums, Formspring and Tumblr serve as this.
- Minion with an F in Evil: The Imps. Easily cowed early on by things like threatening the pogo ride with shaving cream, by the Act 6 Intermissions they're just chilling with John and Jade, watching movies.
- Mirror Universe: In some respects, the Post-Scratch Kids reflect aspects of the Pre-Scratch Kids they correspond to
- John for a long time had his green slime ghost symbol and blue text, but his Breath sigil ultimately replaced his green symbol. Jane has blue text and a blue PS sprite as her symbol, but her Life sigil (which is an altered version of the Breath sigil) is green. Likewise they have some inverted tastes; John likes Gushers but hates cake but Jane feels the opposite. John was also the last member of his session to awaken his dreamself, but Jane was the first to have awoken, disregarding Dirk since he was already awake. Both are the leaders of their parties because of their "optimism through stalwart skepticism" and for considering themselves everyone's friend, not their leader.
- Jake fights lusii routinely to survive, as opposed to Jade whose fights with Bec were playful at worst. Also, Jade was awake on Prospit for years, but Jake's dreamself was killed by Courtyard Droll and some peanuts before he even awoke at all. Both have a robot with whom they share the island, but Jade's dreambot is benign and completely passive, whereas Jake's brobot can move actively on its own, and both protects Jake from lusii and ambushes Jake for strifes on a regular basis.
- Roxy enjoys gaming, hard science like genetics or physics, and writing lighthearted fiction, whereas Rose is one of the least game inclined of the kids, writes darker fiction, and tends to stick with psychology. Roxy is also completely blatant and guileless with her near-constant flirtation, as opposed to Rose, who layers her relatively subdued flirtation with heavy snark. As for their Sburb titles, both are seemingly passive classes, but Roxy and Rose's elements are almost polar opposites, and Roxy wholeheartedly embraces her powers, unlike Rose who went so far Off the Rails that she disrupted her Myth Arc.
- Dave is associated with crows and favors absurd irony, while Dirk is associated with gulls and favors unsettling irony. Both are artists, with their interests in webcomics, specimen preservation, and photography (and movies), or with puppetry, pornography, and robotics, reflecting this. Dave had a mild phobia of Cal whereas Dirk thinks he's awesome, which is part of why when both awakened on Derse before the game, Dirk ran with it while Dave shut it out. Both have duplicates running around, but Dave is cool with Davesprite whereas Dirk bickers with his AR. Dave's Myth Arc is about overcoming his own self-loathing and being proud of his individuality whereas Dirk's revolves around his incredibly fractured sense of self, and trying to find who he even is.
- Mission Control: A server player is this to their client player, essentially. Some classes like Seers naturally are this to their teammates.
- The Exiles are an even better example, since they literally sit behind a giant glowing display terminal giving the kids instructions.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Inevitably.
- Money for Nothing: Zigzagged example. Boondollars start off as seemingly useless, then have a purpose revealed, then end up useless again as Dave earns so much money that their purpose is rendered irrelevant. On a more comical note, certain items of very low quality can actually cost negative artifact grist to make. And here we learn that post-Scratch Dave massproduced them and got rich because they also are of a low enough quality to cost negative money to produce.
- Monochrome Casting: The cast is aracial. They're white in the sense of a coloring book, and the reader can extrapolate any race onto them.
- This is Hussie's stated intent, but most readers may find that for the human kids, their eye and hair colors serve to limit the reasonable possibilities somewhat (though see "Mukokuseki", down just a bit). Dave's "white" hair and red irises do suggest he may be albino, so he could technically be of any race. (Rose, his ecto-sister, also has "white" hair, but at one point John describes both her and Roxy as blonde after meeting their ectobaby selves.)
- Monumental Damage: Say goodbye to Lady Liberty.
- Mood Whiplash: There's a page for them now.
- Morality Pet: The troll concept of "moirails": particularly unstable trolls naturally gravitate towards nicer trolls that can keep their worst behaviour in check: examples include Equius and Nepeta, Eridan and Feferi, Vriska and Kanaya, and rather surprisingly, Gamzee and Karkat. Can be awkward if one member of the moirallegiance would rather it was matespritship (e.g. Eridan, Kanaya)
- More Hero Than Thou: Rose and Dave trying to decide who will be the one to sacrifice themselves blowing up the Tumor to destroy the Green Sun.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: High ranking Agents of Derse and higher troll castes.
- Motive Decay: At first, Jack's motives appeared to revolve around a desire to rule, but now...
- May be a case of Fridge Brilliance. Derse royalty opposes frog imagery and Bilious Slick himself, and, as far as we know, all universes are instances of Bilious Slick. As the new ruler of Derse, wanton destruction is essentially Jack's job.
- Eridan crosses this after he KO'd Sollux, killed Feferi and Kanaya, and attempted to fight Gamzee and Vriska.
- Hammered home with Jack's duel with Rose versus his duel with Vriska. He doesn't remotely take Vriska seriously and simply flies off to murder the rest of the trolls to rub it in her face.
- Doc Scratch's narration outright states he's not interested in duels anymore.
- Mr. Exposition: The narration only rarely exposits, so characters in story end up explaining quite a bit.
- Multicultural Alien Planet: Alternia. Not surprising, since the trolls are very human.
- Munchkin: The trolls. In their session, they pretty much only cared about gaining levels and skills, and killing all the monsters, while ignoring side quests and game lore. This is ultimately deconstructed when they get to the end of the game, since failing to create the Genesis Frog led to the creation of Bec Noir, who prevented them from winning the game.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Andrew likes this trope. For instance:
- YOU SAID PUT THE BUNNY BACK IN THE BOX!!!!!!
- Terezi's entire mock trial. We'll leave it at that.
- MOST SHOCKING TWIST YET.
- Wait, this is a BULL PENIS CANE?
- Gamzee: ENGAGE HERO MODE.
- All: BEHOLD GLORY OF ZILLYHOO.
- "You seriously never thought you would live to see this achievement unlocked. It almost feels like cheating." It's for introducing actual face-to-face dialogue, without any gimmicks attached.
- John being bored out of his mind in this flash, all accompanied by A Taste for Adventure, a track much better suited for awesomeness than for boredom.
- Musical Spoiler: The background audio for "[S] Jade: Wake up" is "Let the Squiddles Sleep", which is on the Squiddles Soundtrack released well before the flash was. So a number of readers could tell just from the music that things were about to go horribly, horribly wrong...for Jade at least. For Feferi it's basically meeting the in-laws.
- Used in a different sense with Umbral Ultimatum, the music for [S] Jade: Enter, the first few keys of it are played at the very end of [S] Descend, one act prior.
- To those in the know, the second intermission's music instilled instant feelings of dreadnote
- Mukokuseki: All human characters in the traditional racial sense, also extending to every character in the comic in terms of physical characteristics in general. Hussie has explicitly stated that every character is meant to be physically ambiguous in every way, stating that their physical characteristics are effectively up to the reader to interpret as their personal headcanon. The big exception is Hussie himself:Note that I am caucasian, and I draw myself orange. I donít see no orange kids there! Canít really pin them down as definitively white, though this is likely the widespread presumption. They are canonically a-racial, and elude concrete bodily proportions through diversity of stylistic representation. You decide what they are! The thing you decide is right.
- He's also stated that one reference to Bro being white was a mistake that he put in before he'd firmly established the character or his role in the story as Dave's father, so the intention was not to give implications of Dave or Rose's ethnicity through that line, to say nothing of commenting on Dirk.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: Grandpa (Pre-Scratch) and John Crocker (post-Scratch) are still presiding over their households as stuffed trophies. Jake is deeply envious.GT: God jane is so lucky every day in her household must be like weekend at bernies! What a riot it must be im so jealous.
- Mundane Object Amazement: Barbasol. "Be careful with that thing! Jesus!!"
- Mundane Utility: Jade uses her space powers to eat a piece of cake.
- My Future Self and Me: Recurring; people are rarely happy to encounter the future or past selves. Karkat even provides a page quote.
- Myth Arc / Coming-of-Age Story: Players in Sburb have one related to their title during their adventure. For example, Knights have to overcome their lack of self esteem, Seers have to deal with some sort of trauma caused by a sun, and so on. This also applies to the second part of their title as well; Heroes of Breath are initially weak but end up very powerful, Heroes of Light are dubiously heroic and reckless loners who ultimately can be very self destructive and hurt their team, Heroes of Space organize the session and awaken on Prospit beforehand, and so on.
- Mythology Gag: Many to Andrew Hussie's other works.
- John's rejected name, "Zoosmell◊," is an older, shorter webcomic Andrew wrote.
- John also owns the games of the three other MS Paint Adventures: Bard Quest, Jailbreak, and Problem Sleuth, as well as one for one of Hussie's older works: And It Don't Stop.
- An upgraded form of the Pumpkin Appearifier from Jailbreak is used by WV.
- Three unfulfilled objectives in Problem Sleuth are finally achieved: toppling a sacred urn (Nanna's), defiling a hallowed tomb (Jaspers the cat's), and desecrating mystic ruins (the Frog Temple).
- The name "Lil' Cal" was first used in an old comic by Andrew's brother called Say What?. Really, these keep continuing.
- Early on, John is ordered to fondly regard cremation. This is a reference to Godhead Pickle Inspector in Problem Sleuth - after he was ordered to ascend to godhood, he refused to obey any order other than 'fondly regard creation'. Cue many times where people tried to order him to 'fondly regard' something that rhymed with 'creation', such as fondly regard crenellation or fondly regard crustacean.
- Wayward Vagabond has built a fort in his Skyship Base. Forts were a key mechanic in the beginning of Problem Sleuth.
- A few more are revealed in this formspring question. Namely, a lot of Equius is based on his Humanimals comic. Dave's puppets are based on some muppet comics he made on the MSPA forum. The wizard fics in Rose's house are based on his own wizard fic satire from years ago.
- Kanaya's lipstick is quite similar to the lipstick from Problem Sleuth
- The tree stump from Jailbreak and Problem Sleuth reappears.
- Dirk's alterations to a Pony Pals book are very much in the same vein as Hussie's own forays into humorous defacing of books.
- Dirk's Shade (rhyme) and Groove (theme) TECH-HOP MODUS and literal rap battle with Squarewave is a shout-out to And It Don't Stop.
- The three-skull door puzzle in LOCAH is a call back to a similar puzzle in Problem Sleuth.
- Jack starts a Jailbreak adventure.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Brain Ghost Dirk gives what is almost certainly a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer:Brain Ghost Dirk: I am Brain Ghost Dirk. You kissed my boyfriend. Prepare to Die.
- My Own Grandpa: Mind-boggingly, every human and troll except for John and Jane's adoptive dad / biological son.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Orphaner Dualscar.
- Necessary Fail: Any event which deviates from the Alpha Timeline creates a doomed offshoot timeline. Many events in the Alpha Timeline are, from the perspective of the characters, astounding failures, but must happen due to the nature of time in Homestuck.
CCG: BUT IN SPITE OF BEING *MORE* SUCCESSFUL THAN WE WERE, BY THAT PARTICULAR OBJECTIVE MEASURECCG: THEY GET PUNISHED FOR THAT, BECAUSE IT WASN'T "THE THING THAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN"??
- In addition, doomed timelines can exert influence on the Alpha Timeline. This influence is in fact necessary for the Alpha Timeline to exist. So the failure to create a Necessary Fail is itself a Necessary Fail. This dialogue from Karkat seems to suggest that preserving the Alpha Timeline can be a Guide Dang It:
- Negative Space Wedgie: The Scratch.
- Neglectful Precursors: The Trolls created the universe where the Humans live, but they made some critical mistake while doing that because they thought frog breeding wasn't such a big deal. The resulting universe was thus doomed to fail.
- Neuro-Vault: How the first guardian code is hidden.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe. No one will ever let Karkat forget his godawful, hilarious shipping diagram.
- New Game+: The Post-Scratch Human Session ends up as this by virtue of breaking Sburb in two.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Jade's attempts to send John a weapon to fight Jack Noir created the bunny Liv Tyler. Unfortunately, the bunny ended up in the hands of Jack and allowed him to stage his coup in the first place.
- Turns out the trolls have nobody to blame but themselves for how badly the kids' session went. Vriska ended up putting John to sleep at a crucial moment, prompting Becquerel to use himself as a prototype for Jade's kernelsprite. Karkat skipping the last frog for breeding Bilious Slick didn't help, since that just ended up giving the kids' universe cancer.
- The trope gets Zigzagged when Rose and Dave tried using the Tumor to destroy the Green Sun in an attempt to weaken Lord English and Doc Scratch. Since time and space don't work correctly out in the Furthest Ring, they ended up creating the Green Sun with the explosion instead. Since the Green Sun's power is required to make a ton of other stuff in Paradox Space work correctly, it's not a complete loss.
- Calliope theorizes that her alternate self was able to dominate her brother because she never had contact with the post-Scratch kids and thus never became as friendly or kind. Her brother grows up to become Lord English.
- Terezi believes this about her actions regarding Gamzee and Vriska following Jack Noir's invasion of their session. She ends up sending John back to Retcon things in the hopes that it'll produce a better result in the post-Scratch session.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Vriska and Tavros try to map the Furthest Ring to find a treasure that can supposedly kill Lord English. The only problem is that the furthest ring doesn't conform to the laws of physics, and is essentially a great black void, so trying to map it is completely impossible. However, English has been smashing his way through the furthest ring and dream bubbles, literally cracking the fabric of space time, thus making landmarks for Vriska and Tavros' maps!
- Nightmare Face: Gamzee,◊ in spades.
- Caliborn pulls off one when the kids arrive to face him. Impressive really, seeing as the whole scene is done in dodgy claymation.
- Nintendo Hard: Dead Sessions are said to be this.
- No Escape but Down: An imp absconds via umbrella.
- No Fourth Wall: At the end of Act 5, the kids literally escaped a collapsing universe/reality by riding a spaceship through the fourth wall, into the the meta-level one plane removed from the actual story itself, co-existing with the author for a span of 3 feet, and then crashing through another fourth wall into another universe/retelling of their story. It's almost like a cyclical loop of how many meta levels removed from the story Hussie can try to get at this rate.
- In Act 6 Intermission 4, Caliborn discovers a tower that appears to be transmitting the words of the narrator, and begins talking to it. Then he begins beating it with a crowbar, which results in the website being knocked into pieces.
- In-universe example: In Roxy's fanfic wizardy herbert, the characters know they're in a story but are forced to do what the plot demands of them, and they complain about it all the while.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Trolls. Averted, for their first names, at least. Hussie gave pronunciations on his old Formspring account, though he says that he doesn't care if other people pronounce them differently."When in doubt, be sure to pronounce everything in the least affected manner possible, from an American perspective. note "
- Incidentally, in several cases, the fans who originally suggested the names have specified pronunciations based on the actual etymology - and often times they're completely different (Terezi, for instance, is, according to the original suggestion, pronounced tuh-REE-see. Really.)
- No Sneak Attacks: Subverted, much to John's misfortune. Well, not really.
- Non-Combat EXP: Players can gain experience from solving puzzles or fulfilling elements of their quest. They can also cheat the system as well; if they fully awaken their abilities due to some circumstance, like John's Die or Fly manifestation of the Breeze, they automatically reach the top of their Echeladder.
- Non-Indicative Name: Some of the titles are confusing vague. Light powers are actually over luck because apparently "Light is the essence of fortune", Heart is about souls or "the essence of being," and the Seer of Mind knows about alternate universes via synaptic causality.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Despite the fact that Troll reproduction and life cycle has more seemingly in common with insects than primates, including a very insectoid larval stage, female trolls have breasts. Andrew has confirmed this is mostly so readers can identify with them.
- Arquiusprite later starts to explain that female trolls' breasts do have some important biological function, but Dirk tells him to shut up because he thinks the topic's gross.
- Noodle Implements: Troll sex is a Running Gag at this point.
- Noodle Incident:
EB: how'd you get it then?
- "Cirque du Soleil once filed a restraining order against your father. You were never so embarrassed in your life."
- Jane's version of Dad had a similar incident in which cops were not pleased with him roughing up street thugs as a vigilante.
- How Future Dave acquired Fear No Anvil.
GC:1T W4S WH3N 1 GOT CLOS3 3NOUGH TO SM3LL 1T UND3R YOUR SK1N PL34S3 K4RK4T, DO NOT PR3T3ND TH4T YOU FORGOT 4BOUT OUR L1TTL3 MOM3NT
- Addressed a later. Dave nearly got killed by the denizen, so he used his captcharoid camera to take a picture of the hammer and then ran.
- Karkat and Terezi share one.
CG: YOU MEAN
- Given Andrew's propensity for skipping large tracts of time, a great deal of the unexplored adventures have become Noodle Incidents. Though the frequent flashbacks mean that sometimes what seems at first to be a Noodle Incident will be depicted or explained later.
- Karkat's grand speech, suggesting that they troll the kids. It's referenced repeatedly, and the other trolls mock him relentlessly for it throughout Hivebent's logs, but we never actually see it.
- "Cirque du Soleil once filed a restraining order against your father. You were never so embarrassed in your life."
- Noodle People: Noticeable whenever the kids are drawn as opposed to appearing as sprites. As seen here. The adults and the exiles don't have this though.
- The Noseless: Virtually every single character (with the exception of John's Dad, who interestingly enough has nothing but). This is one of the few tropes Hussie has invoked (almost entirely) without lampshading.
- After the post-AlterniaBound Art Shift, when a panel is in a more detailed style the characters are sometimes drawn with noses.
- Not Now, Kiddo: Averted, John states his suspicion that there are monsters in his house to Dave, who is Genre Savvy enough to believe him.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
TG: just once id like to see dad crap his pants when a kid says theres a vampire in his closet
TG: "OH SHIT EVERYONE IN THE MINIVAN"
TG: be fuckin dad of the year right there
- Nothing Is Scarier: Doc Scratch's message to Karkat is a simple warning: "Don't turn your back on the body." Of course, this occurs just after Eridan has killed Feferi, so Karkat looks away from the monitor and at Feferi's corpse... Only to find that nothing has changed.
- Much later in the story: "John Egbert has gone missing." Not even the nigh-omnipresent narrative knows where John is after Jade attacked him.
- Now Do It Again Backwards: Parodied on this page. One person is in a panic because he accidentally sat on his hat and apparently ruined it (...look, this is Homestuck; we shouldn't have to say it makes sense in context). The others suggest repairing it by "unsitting" on it, and one suggests turning it upside-down then sitting on it again. Thankfully, one person steps in to be the voice of reason.
- Now You Tell Me:TT: John, I'm about to throw a bath tub through your wall.
TT: Watch out.
- Number of the Beast: Rose's THORNS OF OGLOGOTH cost 666 units of tar to make.
- Numerological Motif: The number two and duality in general. It's. Freaking. Everywhere. Prospit and Derse, Sollux and all his duality attributes, the trolls' and kids' multiverse, Pre-scratch and Post-scratch sessions, the bifurcation of Act 5... you get the idea.
- Ocean Punk: Roxy and Dirk hail from 2422 AD, where the Condesce has melted the polar ice caps.
- Official Cosplay Gear: If you want your very own official reproduction of one of the kids' or beta trolls' shirts, you can buy one from TopatoCo (beta trolls and beta kids) or What Pumpkin (alpha kids). What Pumpkin also sells copies of Aranea's Sufferer necklace and Terezi's scalemates.
- Official Couple: Dad Egbert and Mom Lalonde. Out of all the pairings in the series, they're the only ones who's relationship is free of any confusing complications and the only thing that ultimately gets in the way of their love is their deaths.
- They're so official, in fact, that they were used as the paradigm for matesprits, the closest thing to human romance that Trolls have.
- Off the Rails: The story goes Off the Rails from a normal session at the End of Act 4 and never goes back.
- Off with His Head!: The most common method of killing someone in story.
- Oh Crap!: Frequently
- A good one for the informed reader: HIS NAME IS JACK
- Ominous Latin Chanting: All: Behold glory of Zillyhoo. The lyrics are english (literally just "Warhammer of Zillyhoo" slowed down) but the flavor of the trope is present.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: Several examples, but the most ominous plays for Rose as she descends into grimdark
- Ominous Pipe Organ: In A6A6I4, John finally manages to play the one in his denizen's lair, with rather... interesting effects.
- Ominous Visual Glitch: Dave Strider, author of the deliberately awful in-universe comic Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, finds a way to manifest objects from SBAHJ in real life, complete with jpeg artifacts. Disc 2 of Homestuck itself gets a nasty scratch, resulting in visual glitches reminiscent of an unreadable DVD. This leads to Doc Scratch taking over the narration while he fixes the disc. This happens again when Homestuck part 3 shows up as a game cartridge and gets clogged with "special fairydust". Entire planets get covered by visual glitches, scenes get skipped over because they're "unplayable" (and the protagonists don't remember anything that happened in these unplayable parts), and text glitches prevent some characters from understanding each other.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Bec Noir after the death of (the original iteration of) Jade. He was already pretty stab-happy before, but this made him go on a rampage with the goal of destroying the universe and any other universe he could get his hands on.
- Once More with Clarity: The scene at the end of Act 5.1, where the trolls are about to claim their prize, is revisited during [S] Jade: Enter, when the nature of the threat that prevented them from doing so is finally revealed.
- Another example: one scene from the the End of Act 3 flash revisits a detail from the End of Act 2 flash, revealing that WV's ship was the cork of a giant wine bottle.
- In [S] Jane: Enter, many of the buildings and scenery first seen in [S] Act 6 are revisited, showing how they change after a Time Skip. It then reveals that some of the images in [S] Act 6 - the ones involving the interior of Dirk and Roxy's houses - were actually from after the Time Skip, showing that Dirk and Roxy were living in the future all along.
- One Character, Multiple Lives: One of the features of SBURB is that players have an additional body, their dream self, who begins the game in a tower on Prospit or Derse. Once the player awakens their dream self (usually via a personal epiphany or extreme shock) their consciousness will shift between both bodies: when you sleep in one, you immediately wake up in the other. There are a few variations on this setup such as Dirk Strider, who's fully awake in both bodies, simultaneously.
- One-Gender Race: Played with. The trolls' reproductive cycle simply involves the mixing of two individuals' genetic material in a bucket, then dumping the resulting slurry into the womb of the Mother Grub to be amalgamated with countless other couples' DNA. This means that reproductive couples need not be of the opposite gender (see Everyone Is Bi). So, theoretically, all trolls could very well have the exact same reproductive organs. However, they still have genders and physical sexes, which according to Word of God are simply vestigial.
- Leprechauns are all male.
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: When Terezi attempts to bring Vriska to justice, she briefly pauses to give a compliment:GC: MUCH 4S 1T P41NS M3 TO 4DM1T 1T, YOUR FRUITY OR4NG3 F4IRY SU1T SM3LLS... D3L1C1OUS.
- Onion Tears: Dave, stewing in a cauldron of boiling water and surrounded by hungry crocodiles, blames the tears running down his face on the sliced onions the crocs assail him with. Terezi thinks he's just lying.
- Online Alias: All the main protagonists have "chumhandles" that they use in their in-universe instant messenger clients. All of them reflect the user's interests or personality, or foreshadow their role in the series.
- Only Six Faces: By default, every troll and kid has the same body and facial structure. Going further, the beta kids have the exact same face as their alpha counterpart (though with Jade and John's counterparts switched due to their genders, and Dave and Dirk with different sunglasses).
- Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Deliberately invoked when Hussie personally rescues the Handmaid from Doc Scratch and Spades Slick from the destruction of the universe (though ultimately subverted with the Handmaid, as she ends up falling into Lord English's hands soon after.
- Ontological Mystery: It begins with John starts a multiplayer video game and finds himself and his house are suddenly Trapped in Another World, while back on Earth meteors are destroying civilisation, and it all escalates from there.
- OOC Is Serious Business: One of the easiest ways to tell when something really serious is going on is when a character drops or changes their typing quirk.
- Orcus on His Throne:
- Orwellian Retcon: A few panels have been redrawned usually when there's an error. A big one would have to be when John puts his arm into a white SBURB symbol, causing it to appear in various events during the story; the existing panels were re-drawn, implying that this was also a Cosmic Retcon in-universe.
- The Other Rainforest: John's hometown is Maple Valley, WA.
- Our Angels Are Different: For one they have no faces, and resemble snakes. They seemingly are associated with Heroes of Hope and are seemingly evil. Angels have also been said to serve Paradox Space. Eridan ended up attacking the angels that appeared on his land for most of his game, but ended up being nurtured by them to become more evil.
- Jack Noir and PM also evoke a lot of angelic motifs.
- Cherubs don't display particularly angelic characteristics as juveniles; they live up to their name better as adults, when they possess wings and the general characteristics of either angels or demonic figures, depending on which personality dominates.
- It's revealed that the Angels are indeed connected to the power of Hope, as Jake's awakening to his Page of Hope is creating them in the Hopesplosion.
- Our Hero Is Dead: Parodied with John's deaths, but played straight on one occassion. Jake's early death on Prospit is mourned with such lines as, "The Page is dead" "Our hope is lost".
- Our Vampires Are Different: Alternian "rainbow drinkers" are most active during the day and glow in the dark, as opposed to sparkling in the light.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Though Jade's default Dogtier form falls under Little Bit Beastly, the Condesce's influence turns her skin black, gives her sprite widened eyes, and intensifies her bestial senses and behaviors so that she's occasionally called a werewolf.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Alternian zombies crawl up from the sand at sunrise.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: All trolls have High-Pressure Blood and can bleed for frankly ridiculous amounts of time and come out okay. Averted for humans, who bleed a realistic amount.
- Overly Long Fighting Animation: Quite a few in Jade's strife with Bec.
- Overly Long Gag:
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