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Homestuck: Tropes S-U
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  • Sampling: Sollux's theme, The La2t Frontiier, features a snippet of Guile's Theme.
  • San Dimas Time: Called "circumstantial simultaneity", which is when two events can happen at different times or time lines and can still be thought of as happening at "the same time".
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Terezi manages to get her revenge on Vriska due to the fact that Vriska is unable to stray from her compulsive behaviors.
  • Save Scumming: Part of a Hero of Time's thing. Most of them are pretty depressed by this.
  • Saving the World: Suggested to be the whole point of the game at the beginning of Act 2, but this was subverted early.
  • Say My Name:
    • naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
  • Scavenger World: The future Earth inhabited by the Exiles.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Jade once she goes Grimbark has this most of the time.
  • Scenery Porn/Gorn: Skaia gets quite impressive after a few prototypings, and that's to say nothing of most of the Lands - LOWAS and LOFAF stand out the most.
    • Not to mention any time clouds appear, they are incredibly detailed.
    • The planets of the B2 Kids are very impressive to look at, from Act 6 Act 4. As desolate and empty as they are, they still manage to look very visually appealing.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Justified with the Green Sun. Space works differently in the Furthest Ring.
    • Averted during Cascade, the Act 5 finale. Despite the Human Universe being destroyed by Jack, Earth hangs around for a few minutes simply because the Universe is huge, and none of the Red Miles had reached it yet.
  • Schedule Slip:
    • Parodied with the placeholder for the (real) Act 4 finale:
      You go downstairs to check the mail for the END OF ACT. In spite of the fact that the red arm-swingy-dealy thing is flipped up, the mailbox is empty! You are going to have to conclude that the position of the red flippy-lever thing is an unreliable gauge for the presence of mail. You really don't know what the point of it is. The parcel you are waiting for is obviously going to be late. You will have to keep checking the mail over the next several days. Hopefully it will not arrive too late, or it may start to become a sore subject with you.
    • That said, Homestuck was originally slated to end on its anniversary, then was pushed back to the following August, then to its second anniversary, and now the official word is that it'll be done when it's done.
    • The original update planned for the anniversary came out almost two months later, but there were plenty of updates in between, so fans didn't mind too much.
    • Inverted: Hussie announced that he was busy and might not be updating as often for a little while. In the next week, he posted eighty pages. Yes, eighty.
    • The 12/16/2010 (the 612th Day Anniversary) update actually came out well into 12/17.
    • The End of Act 5 update was actually pushed back enough that it landed on an important date, 10/25.
    • On 4/14/2013, Hussie announced what he termed a 'Megapause'. He would be postponing work on the webcomic for some time in order to work on the game instead.
    • The final album of August 2012's solo album month came out two months after the last one, on Oct 23.
    • On 10/17/2013, Hussie announced that the regularly updating nature of Homestuck has ended, and has decided to post the remainder of the story (the remaining acts after Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2) up all at once, which could take any amount of time according to him, due to the varying lengths of different acts. This 'Gigapause' is the last waiting period for the story, and afterwards, Homestuck will finally be completed.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Battles in Skaia are fought with swords, giant ass chess monstrosities, and battleships in the sky.
    • Mindfang's journal reveals that Alternia had sailboats and starships at the same time. Word of God is that Alternia always had highly advanced tech, but never had any drive to the stars until the Condesce forced adults off-planet.
  • Schrödinger's Question: When the planet Alternia is named.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: In-universe, several of the more cumbersome fetch modi can be a pain to work with.
  • Screw Destiny: Given that You Can't Fight Fate, several characters are actively looking for a way to do this.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: An imp attempts this, and there's No Escape but Down.
    > John: Be the imp
    You be the imp and quickly abscond the fuck outta there!!!
    This is what weaker adversaries do whenever things get too hot to handle, which is frequently.
  • Screw Yourself: The reader imagines something like this here.
  • Scully Syndrome: Inverted with John following an ominous trail of black ooze.
    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
  • Second-Person Narration
  • Self-Parody: Act 6 Act 6 Act 1.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The Black Queen's outfit is much skimpier than the White Queen's. On the other hand, Snowman's attire is pretty sensible, particularly for a Femme Fatale.
  • Separated at Birth: Separated at ectobiological creation, anyway - John and Jade are siblings, as are Rose and Dave. The guardians were also created at the same time. Karkat also created 24 wigglers, "our" trolls who exist at the same time and the ancestors, who are scattered across time.
  • Sequence Breaking: Seemingly done but averted in that the supposed "breaks" were part of the sequence all along.
    • However, played straight (with a horrible outcome) when one of the trolls convinces John to fight his boss-monster Denizen far, far before he's powerful enough to do so, getting him brutally killed. Immediately played straight again when Future Dave comes back to prevent this, since he brings a massive pile of endgame gear for the heroes to use.
  • Serial Escalation: Yes. Everything just flipping its shit further and further off the handle.
    Andrew: There was only one sure thing I knew when starting HS. That was that this thing would go batshit insane in ways I couldn't begin to imagine. In fact, it was practically the mission statement.
  • Serious Business: For cherubs, mating isn't just a means of procreation. It's an epic battle for the fate of the cosmos.
  • Serpent of Immortality: Cherubs dueling in serpent form are immortal and invulnerable to anything from outside their duel.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: When Davesprite travels back in time to prevent John's death. And when many, many Aradiabots do likewise to prevent various mistakes in the trolls' timeline.
  • Sexy Walk: The Black Queen and the Condesce both do this.
  • Shades of Conflict: Many, due to the expansiveness of the cast and conflict.
    • Black and Grey Morality: The Troll Ancestors display this, with the exception of The Sufferer. After Hivebent, the Trolls degenerate into this once some of them turn evil.
    • Black and White Morality: The conflict in general boils down to this. This is physically represented in the Chess Battlefield through the armies of Prospit and Derse (though there are exceptions through the Wayward Vagabond and Aimless Renegade, both of which represent Derse).
    • Blue and Orange Morality: The cosmic forces predictably display this (Skaia, Paradox Space, and most notably the Horrorterrors).
    • Evil Versus Evil: The Midnight Crew are malevolent, but are pardoned mainly because they fight the Felt, who are far worse.
    • Grey and Gray Morality: The Trolls fall under this before the end of Hivebent. Many are painted with A Lighter Shade of Grey than some of the others. For example, Tavros is more 'good' than Vriska is.
    • Good Versus Good: The brief conflict between the Exiles occurs mainly due to a misunderstanding, and all of the people involved end up working together shortly thereafter.
    • White and Grey Morality: While the Kids are mostly good, shades of Grey are thrown in as the story progresses. For instance, Rose and Roxy are closer to the 'Grey' side due to the former's over-reliance on the Horrorterrors and the latter's underage drinking.
    • In short, the setting can be described as a Morality Kitchen Sink.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Fire is quite notoriously the hottest thing there is.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Earth in the year 2422, and The Land of Sand and Zephyr.
  • Ship Sinking: Lots.
  • Ship Tease: Too much to list! The teasing has gotten more and more prominent as shipping has grown exponentially within the fandom.
  • Show Within a Show: Jailbreak, Bard Quest, and Problem Sleuth are all actual games within the Homestuck universe, presumably within the same franchise. Meanwhile, MS Paint Adventures also exists; within the Homestuck universe, Andrew Hussie has just started a new adventure featuring the Midnight Crew. And during the Midnight Crew intermission, it is revealed that Homestuck is the Show Within a Show for the Midnight Crew universe. It's every bit as confusing as it sounds. And of course the ironically terrible Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, serving as an in-universe meme generator for the kids.
  • Shown Their Work: Rose claims that, despite her home's woodsy location, there is a Burger King less than 40 minutes away. Going by the latitude and longitude coordinates given for her house earlier, this is true.
  • Shrug of God: If it's not shown, then Andrew probably doesn't care about it right now. (What the characters sound like, what they did before the story, etc.)
  • Shutting Up Now: When Dave has a grand Freudian Slip, he quickly decides to stop talking.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Mildly associated with the Space aspect with Uranium, First Guardians, and the Green Sun.
  • Side Quest: Innumerable pointless ones.
    • Every player's planet seems to have them, as an alternate way of advancing up their Echeladder. They are mostly pointless, but may tie into the planet's Denizen subplot.
  • Sigil Spam: Tons of them.
  • Signature Laugh: Most characters have one, for example John's is heeheeheehee Terezi's is H3H3H3 and Nannasprite/Jane's is HOO HOO HOO!
  • Silliness Switch: TRICKSTER MODE in some of the game segments.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The planets of the Incipisphere, excluding Skaia.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: In here in the Final Round of Dave's STRIFE with his Bro. Dave loses, but gets Bro's Sburb discs anyways.
  • Single Tear: John sheds one when he reads Jade's birthday letter to him about her wonderful time in Prospit and that she is looking forward to showing him around... after she sacrificed her dream self to save his. Grandpa Harley does as well after he recovers Dream Jade's body.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Quite literally, between Aradia and Equius. In troll culture romances based on hating another person are considered just as normal as ones based on love. In one conversation with John, Karkat tells John that his hate is "purely platonic."
  • Slap Yourself Awake: Dave tricks Jade into doing this to herself via Dreambot.
  • Slasher Smile: here. and again two pages later.
  • Sleep Cute:
  • Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: The story itself is well up the Fate end, with Stable Time Loops and You Already Changed The Past all over the place. The characters' reactions to this vary: John is skeptical and believes a conventional "win" is still possible ("TT: That's why you're our leader, John."); Rose acknowledges it but is all the more determined to find a way to break the system once and for all; Dave accepts it and complies with Stable Time Loop shenanigans in order to stop more D34D D4V3S appearing, and later on begins to bemoan it as the endless hell of timeline loops erodes at his sanity; Jade revels in it and uses the system to her advantage constantly.
    • Attempts to change the alpha time-line usually result in an offshoot doomed timeline which is destined to fail. Attempting to leave this timeline is possible but you're still marked.
    • Exceptions start to appear as the story goes on: John acquires a strange power from Caliborn's treasure: he can hoop throughout the alpha timeline and change it. Aranea also believes she can influence the destined outcome of the timeline through being a powerful enough Sylph of Light.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Seesaws all over the damn place. On one hand, the strip on the whole is definitely lighthearted and probably bound for a happy ending. On the other, Mood Whiplash abounds in the later acts, and the characters' plight becomes incredibly bleak. This relationship is even embodied in the two "leaders" - we have the plucky, unfailingly optimistic John and the cynical, ever-scowling Jerk Ass Karkat.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Land of Frost and Frogs.
  • The Slow Path: Ooh boy. Thanks to the myriad Stable Time Loops and other time-travel shenanigans, this happens a lot.
  • Snow Means Death: Bec Noir's memory of Jade in [S] Jade: Enter. You'll only realize this after watching [S]: Cascade, though.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Much of the series is written in this style. This page is a good example, and combines it with some Buffy Speak as well.
    • Also:
    "You should understand that i understand that I am dealing with forces that if handled recklessly will nullify the ability of intelligent beings in all real and hypothetical planes of existence to give a shit."
    • Virtually refined into an art form by now:
    "And the Knight of Blood so embraced the Bard of Rage, and in each other's arms they were aquiver. And with righteous pap and blessed shoosh he did quell his brother's fury. For the Knight looked upon his Bard all acting up and completely losing his shit and he did resolve to calmeth his juggalo ass right the fuck down. And so calmed down his juggalo ass was and would continueth to be for all time. And the Knight in totally settling a murderous clown's ludicrous shit down proper said, Let there be Moirallegiance: and it was so. And between moirails would flow bounteous mirth, and they did hug bumpeth plentifully, and honks of reconciliation echoed far and true into the darkness upon the face of the deep."
    • Jake talks like this a lot; in particular, his idea of profanity tends to vary from old-timey euphemisms to fairly heavy cursing by modern standards, sometimes within the same phrase, resulting in pronouncements like "What the devilfucking dickens?"
    • From Sollux's near-intro page: "You could always try to guess his name. But instead of that, here's a better idea. Why don't you fuck off and go to hell?"
    • Roxy to Jake:
    TG: jake here is some sage advice from a veteran of substance abuse and its deleterious consequences
    TG: dont use your fuckin skulltop when you got a hangover u dork
  • So Proud of You: Dad seems to say (or typewrite) this to John so often that it's lost most of its meaning to him.
    • Probably because of what John wrote on the walls of his bedroom.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: [S] Act 6 Act 3, in loving homage to the adventure game genre. The puzzle involves collecting skulls, realigning mirrors and beams of light, and messing with pedestals that react to weight for no real good reason except that it's a game and the expected thing to do.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The simple, quiet bells that went with John's look down the street also accompany a bomb exploding in Jane's face.
  • The Spartan Way: Troll society. More specifically, post-Scratch troll society, due to Doc Scratch's influence.
  • Special Edition Title: When Rose checks up on John in Act 3, the Sburb loading icon has been defaced with Shale Imp slick — just like John's house.
    • When we finally see Rose's entry, the roof of the Sburb house is on fire.
  • Speech-Centric Work: The vast majority of the plot is told through pesterlogs - records of online conversations between characters.
  • Spider Tank: Seen here, presumably in relation to Karkat's Cruxite Artifact.
  • Spirit Advisor: So far, almost every player has protoyped their Kernelsprite with the remains of the deceased, in essence reviving the departed in sprite mode, with all memories of their past life. Using something dead isn't strictly necessary, but Kernelsprites are preternaturally drawn to death.
  • Spoof Aesop: This is exactly why babies should not be allowed to dual-wield flintlock pistols.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The trolls didn't come up at all until early in Act 3 with Jade's trollslum and Karkat's one angry rant at her. Then Act 4 featured lots of conversations between a few of them and the kids. Then all of Act 5 happened. Not to mention the post-scratch Kids as well to an extent.
  • Stable Time Loop: A major recurring theme in the comic. Even people with control over time can't do anything more than ensure the timeline goes the way it was supposed to in the first place, because if you do change the timeline, then the totality of existence will slate you for imminent destruction.
    • The first notable example comes from John having a conversation with Future Karkat in which F!Karkat mentions that Terezi came over and punched him. In a conversation with Terezi immediately following this one, John mentions this incident to Terezi who, not having done it yet, asks John about it, leading him to lead her to do it. This comes right after Terezi telling John that the universe "eats paradoxes for breakfast," and really sets the tone for the rest of the story.
    • Vriska makes stable time loops by looking into the future for cool events, and then going back in time to tell people to do things that make the events happen. She wants to be responsible for all of the major events in the story, both good and bad. So yes, it's all her fault, but it was going to happen anyways, and she might as well be responsible for it for bragging rights.
    • Special mention should go to Ectobiology - see My Own Grampa - and the Green Sun. In the case of that latter, it was created by the destruction of two universes. Said destruction was carried out by beings empowered by the Green Sun (directly in one case, through proxy in the other.)
  • Star Power: Those with First Guardian powers get them from the Green Sun, a giant star that's twice the mass of the universe.
  • Star Scraper: Sburb necessitates building one's house higher and higher in order to reach the Gates. Eventually, the houses get ridiculously huge. Jade's house is a good example. It even provides the trope image.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    KANAYA: (Whats Liquor)
    DAVE: (SHIT)
    DAVE: (oh god i never get used to how quietly troll vampires sneak around)
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Rose tries to prototype the Kernelsprite with Colonel Sassacre's, which would have made it a Colonelsprite. In addition, everything Rose writes is both ridiculously fancy and in purple text.
    • Dave uses an Akai MPC-1000 Sampler, with "akai" being Japanese for "red," which is Dave's theme color.
    • WV accidentally turns off the caps lock key on the terminal, unlocking a capsule. Then he hits tab, opening another capsule of... Tab.
    • Halley, the dog, whose genes were used to create Bec, who was launched into Earth on a meteor, or perhaps a comet. As further basis for the Stealth Pun, Halley's owner Colonel Sassacre is an Expy of Mark Twain, who was famously born the month Halley's Comet passed by Earth, and who died the next time it came around.
    • "Taking priority at the moment is shipping two passengers". Take a wild guess what happens within the next few pages.
    • The programming languages, "^CAKE", "~ATH", and "DIS*". Reading the non-alpha characters as their names, we get "carat-cake" (carrot cake), "tilde-ath" ('til death), and dis-asterisk (disaster risk).
    • Fantasy-loving troll Tavros's lusus is a little bull with fairy wings — a fey-bull.
    • Terezi cannot see, and her symbol is Libra, the scales. Blind Justice, anyone?
    • It seems that Diamonds (Droog) made a girl's best friend. Bec, that is.
    • Dave's combat style involves repeatedly looping back in time. His shirt's symbol? A broken record. Furthermore, he does this with time-manipulating turntables...i.e, timetables.
    • The weapon that The Bunny uses on the Queen? Most likely the Royal Deringer, a sword. There is a weapon called a derringer, but it's a small pistol. Thus, the weapon is more appropriately a Royal De-ringer. And it looks like Narsil.
    • Karkat's land, the Land of Pulse and Haze, is full of "bleeding hearts."
    • And Blue-Oni-to-his-Red Sollux has a very cerebral land (Land of Brains and Fire)
    • Nepeta's land (Land of Little Cubes and Tea) doesn't really seem to fit her theme (cats) until you abbreviate it (LOLCAT).
    • When Dave alchemizes the SBaHJifier, he generates some Artifact Grist.
    • Those reaching God-tiers receive hoods.
    • One of Jade's alchemized weapons, the "Girl's Best Friend," costs an awful lot of Diamond grist. Exactly 500,500 diamond grist. 500 in Roman numerals is the letter D. Two D's... Diamonds Droog...
    • Kanaya is a Virgo, and she apparently has "breeding duties." Virgin mother, anyone?
      • She also wields a lipstick-chainsaw as a weapon, and she's only seen being attracted to women, making her a Lipstick Lesbian.
    • Rose's wands are called the Thorns of Oglogoth. Every Rose has its Thorns.
    • After the start of Disk 2, Doc Scratch takes over storytelling duties, which makes him an omniscient narrator.
    • John posits that Jack (the analog to Spades Slick), after slaying the Black King and Queen and subsequently going on a kill-crazy rampage across Skaia, has become the Ace. The Ace of Spades in tarot conversion is the Death card. His dog featues also makes him resemble Anubis, the God of Death.
    • The hammer that Dave stole from Hephaestus, the Fear No Anvil, has time control abilities. In other words, a hammer that stops time. Reorder that a little bit...
    • At some point after Vriska died, Sollux became half-dead, which means for a good stretch of comic, 6 1/2 trolls were dead.
    • The physical embodiment of Cancer smeared Gamzee's blood. With a pap sound.
    • Eridan assaults Sollux with his science wand, ultimately leaving him blind. In other words, he blinded him with science.
    • John is the Heir of Breath.
      • Equius is the Heir of Void. He never displays any abilities.
      • He does, however, die of asphyxiation, i.e. void of air.
    • After :Nepeta's conflict with Gamzee ends ambiguously, the plot shifted focus to the other characters for a period of time during which :the audience could not observe the catgirl, and thus could not prove she was alive or dead.
    • There is type of null session called a void session. In other words, "null and void".
    • Probably unintentional, but Tavros is a paraplegic, meaning he is always sitting down. His sign is Taurus, the bull, and he also has bull horns. So that makes Tavros a... Sitting Bull?
    • Jack being the first guy to think of carving a face on a pumpkin a Jack-o'-lantern.
    • "Her Imperious Condescension" is the empress of the planet Alternia. Her title is exceptionally long, so she's usually referred to as "the Condesce".
    • In Doc Scratch's section of Part 2 of Act 5, he is always saying what a good host he is. By the time Intermission 2, "The Man In The Cairo Overcoat" rolls around, we found out he meant it in the parasitic sense of the word.
    • Lord English's Cairo Overcoat doubles as a time-traveling Egyptian sarcophagus. A 'Chicago Overcoat' was a coffin in popular mobster-era slang.
    • Combining the B1 and B2 kids, one ectobiological family is the Egbert-Crocker-Harley-Englishes, and the other is the Lalonde-Striders. What do you get when you combine all the surnames into a portmanteau? ECHE-Ladders.
    • John has both a "stack" fetch modus, and a "queue" fetch modus, which he eventually combines with his "control deck."
    • The Post-scratch kids are referred to as the Nobles on several occasions. All four of their lands have an element from the rightmost column of the Periodic Table in their names: The Noble Gases.
    • Dirk is a Prince of Heart, i.e. destroyer of Heart. Dirk cuts off the head of the Hegemonic Brute (aka Hearts Boxcars).
    • John set off a Retcon when he stuck his arm through LE's secret treasure... making him a Ret-Con Heir.
    • A Brainwashed and Crazy Jane told Dirk to "CEASE REPRODUCTION" when he tried contacting her. So basically... fuck off.
    • Karkat, the Cancer troll, is mutated.
  • Stock Footage: Quite a lot. Hussie frequently reuses old art, either to save time or to highlight the similarities between two different scenes. Lampshaded by Doc Scratch at one point.
  • Stock Superpowers: Every player receives a "Title", composed of a "Class" and an "Aspect" (Ex: John, the Heir of Breath, has the Heir class and the Breath aspect). The Aspects range from a wide variety of Stock Superpowers, such as Time Mastery, Blow You Away, Unstoppable Rage, etc.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Kankri lectures Mituna on how he's making mentally disabled people look bad by wearing a helmet. He disregards the fact that Mituna is mentally disabled and that he needs to wear a helmet for safety reasons.
  • Stopped Clock: In the Midnight Crew interlude, Spades Slick uses his knowledge of exactly when a clock breaks in combination with Time Travel to get the drop on the several members of The Felt.
  • Straw Critic: Gamebro Magazine, if their review of Sburb is any indication.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Vriska's Nicholas Cage shrine is accompanied by one of these.
    • The full version later makes it onto Vol. 6 of the soundtrack.
  • stylistic conkSUCK: Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff
    • Coming from a different direction, while Rose has an excellent vocabulary for a 13-year-old, her brand of purple prose is not well suited to writing an emergency walkthrough for Sburb. It's even less well suited to writing fiction.
    • Roxy's style of writing is even less suited for writing wizard fanfiction. Having No Fourth Wall, inconsistent font switching from monospace to comic-sans, and being drunk half the time only makes it worse.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Pesterchum is the first example of actual dialogue in MS Paint Adventures. Later this gets extended to actual in person dialogue, accompanied with appropriate Lampshade Hanging.
    • John has also sung twice in flashes, meaning he's the only character as of yet with a canonical voice.
  • Super-Deformed: It's hard to see because it's permanent and the protagonists are kids, but when they do something awesome, they're dechibified. Drawing the children in realistic proportions for heroic acts is now called "hero mode". Lampshaded with Aradia, whose first appearances had been in non-chibi form: Render the girl in a more symbolic manner.
    • Doc Scratch does this AGAIN to what turns out to be Aradia's ancestor in the 8/8/11 update: You render yourself in a more symbolic manner this instant.
    • Also played with concerning Gamzee: Andrew drew three blurred out slightly-offscreen visions of Gamzee in Hero Mode before he gave him a Hero Mode panel. It was incredibly silly.
  • Superior Species: Played with and subverted. Karkat in particular lords over the kids claiming the trolls are innately better than them in every way possible. Act 5 reveals that, although their level is technology is much higher than Earth, the younger trolls on Alternia get almost none of it. Their society also seems to be rather behind where people's rights are concerned. Even Karkat hates troll society, until he decides that humans are worse because of something the four protagonists have done.
    • Then again, it's hard not to consider yourself superior to another species when you and your friends created the universe that species resides in.
    "90% of all "calling it" is really "influencing it" in disguise."
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Unlike Clubs, no one's ever gonna find Spades leaving his smut lying in plain view. And even if you did, that copy of TERRIER FANCY MAGAZINE could belong to ANYBODY. No one could prove nothin'."
    • From Karkat.
    • Karkat also denies that he would ever be interested in a blackrom relationship with John. And then proceeds to spend far too long adding that if any troll ever did say anything in a past/future conversation that John might completely misunderstand due to cultural differences, then clearly that troll was having a bad time and not thinking straight.
    • Jane's epic meltdown over Pesterchum when she encourages Jake to Take a Gay Option, to his surprise.
      GG: What, are you expecting me to advocate a more conservative approach? 
      GG: To tell you to keep being shy and cagey and keep beating around the bush indefinitely??
      GG: What would ever give you that idea about me!
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Some of the ancestors' clothing is drawn with repeating patterns reminiscent of their symbol. For example, Orphaner Dualscar's symbol is the Aquarius wavy lines, and his outfit includes a lot of wavy lines.

  • Take My Hand: Rose's introduction to JASPERSPRITE.
  • Take Our Word for It: "You both then proceed to have one of the worst rap-offs in the history of paradox space."
  • Take That: John's movie posters, particularly his McConnaughhay wall. Karkat's rom-com wall is its other world equivalent.
    "Few people realize that John Cusack is a universal constant."
    • Dirk has a bona fide Buster Sword in the kitchen. Dave tries to Captchalogue it, then concludes that it "might be the only thing in the whole apartment that's a bigger piece of shit than [Dave's] own sword. You put it back behind the microwave where it belongs".
    • Jane's love of MUSTACHIOED FUNNYMEN. ...Except Gallagher. "You've got to draw the fucking line somewhere."
    • Dirk breaking the news that where he comes from, the entire Earth is flooded.
      GT: Wow like the epic kevin costner film?
      TT: Almost exactly. Especially by the same degree of shittiness.
    • Guy Fieri is the third and final Antichrist.
    • And the Insane Clown Posse getting elected president (both of them) was the official sign that civilization was doomed.
    • All the conversations in Act 6, Intermission 3 so far have been in the style of Tumblr posts (complete with Twitter-style hashtags and the option to heart or spade conversations or "rebubble" them.) Of course, Hussie has spared no opportunity to take jabs at the Tumblr community with this (including Kankri, who's a walking Take That to a specific species of self-involved and self-righteous social justice blogger.)
    • There's this exchange between Hussie's Author Avatar and Caliborn (bolded):
      [Gamzee] reveres you, and you treat him like shit.
      You're off to a pretty good start at being a god, I guess?
  • Take That, Audience!: So much. AH is constantly making jokes about things that the Fan Dumb had gotten wrong, or failed to grasp something implicit.
    GA: Sorry I Thought That Was Obvious
    • The text at the bottom of this page makes it clear AH doesn't care as much about "Hero Mode" as his fans do.
    • He even takes potshots at the readers who complained about the dramatic shift in tone and execution of Homestuck and Problem Sleuth.
    Since then, the author has been steadily updating PROBLEM SLEUTH 2, which you have been following avidly. You are happy that he stayed in that lane, and stuck with a time-tested formula. If he went in a different direction, you probably would have found it really disappointing.
    • And Tavrispite was pretty much a concentrated Take That, Audience! at fans who were clamoring for Vriska and/or Tavros to come back somehow. The resulting abomination lasted all of three pages before it self-destructed.
    • The explanation behind The Felt jabs at fans for obsessing over troll romance and anatomy over the story.
  • Take That Me:
    Doc Scratch: [I refuse to acknowledge this foolish man's self indulgent rubbish. His frivolous charades have no place in this building, or anywhere in this reality.]
  • Taking the Bullet: Jade shoves John out of the way of a falling moon, sacrificing her dreamself in the process.
  • Talking to the Dead:
    • Jade talks about and interacts with her Grandpa as if he were alive and well. He isn't there. Rose also has a brief argument with Jaspers, before concluding that "The last thing [she] need[s] is sass from a dead cat." Also Aradia and anyone who's spoken to her.
    • Inverted with Feferi, who can speak with living dreamers in memory bubbles.
  • Tangled Family Tree:
    • John is, in a way, everyone's paradoxical father. He created the Guardians in a lab, then created himself and his friends from splicing the Guardians' DNA.
    • John and Jade are genetic siblings and their genetic parents are their adoptive grandparents (Nanna and Grandpa) which makes Mr. Egbert John's genetic half-brother as well as his adoptive father.
    • Bro and Mrs. Lalonde are genetic father and mother respectively to both Dave and Rose, who are genetically full siblings. Bro is also Dave's adoptive older brother. Mom is the only guardian whose genetic and adoptive relationships line up.
    • Post-Scratch, the genetic relationships are the same but the adoptive relationships are even more complicated. Mr. Crocker adopts his genetic grandmother Jane as his daughter. Jane adopts her genetic father Jade as her grandson. Roxy believes her genetic daughter Rose to be her mother. Dirk is aware that Dave is his genetic son but thinks of him as an adoptive older brother instead.
    • Some fans have proposed an alternate theory to remove the genetic relationships between the B1 kids and the resulting Incest Yay: the kids are half-identical siblings of their respective Guardians. The relation between Bro and Dave is normalized, but John then becomes his grandmother's brother and his father's uncle.
    • For trolls, things are MUCH simpler.
  • Tarot Motifs: Well, Minor Arcana Motifs: The Midnight Crew, the Trolls' romantic quadrants, and the kids at various points:
    • John: Has a spade shirt when he was little, which causes Karkat to think he's his fated nemesis. This turns out to be foreshadowing since he's stabbed to death by Jack and becomes the first kid to die in the alpha timeline; fortunately he dies in the right place and ascends to the god-tiers.
    • Dave: Has a heart shirt as a kid; fortunately none of the trolls thinks he's their fated beloved, although he does express pity towards them which is "love" to a troll. In spite of his cool-guy attitude he really does love his Bro and cares about his friends.
    • Rose: Has a Punisher-styled Squiddy shirt which resembles a club. In Tarot symbolism the club is a wand, which makes sense as she's a Dark Magical Girl.
    • Jade: Creates a Green Sun gun with a diamond on it. Diamonds is pentacles/coins — appropriate as she has a lot of esoteric knowledge and a ton of possessions thanks to her grandpa.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: This is how WV, PM, and AR all become friends.
  • Teasing Creator:
    • When the creator of something takes time to answer fan questions, is prompted as to why he isn't working, and then takes his reply and INSERTS it into the very work he was questioned about? Better believe it.
    • Andrew also plays with Word of God constantly. For example, "[trolls'] faces are just exotic collections of genitals arranged to look like an angry face to scare away predators, like patterns on butterfly wings."
    • Shipping falls into his realm as well. He plays with ships like a child plays with dominoes, setting them up so he can knock them down.
  • Technicolor Eyes:
    • Trolls have yellow sclera and black/gray irises as juveniles and eyes the same color as their blood as adults, meaning that every one of the trolls would have a different adult eye color—except Terezi, whose irises are permanently red after being damaged by the Alternian sun, and Sollux, because of his unusual red and blue eyes.
    • Both sets of human kids use text colors that reflect their eye colors. The Prospit dreamers have a range of blue and green eye colors that mostly fall within the natural human range. The Derse dreamers' eye colors are much less realistic. Dirk's (orange/amber) and Rose's (lilac) are at best improbable; Dave's (red) and Roxy's (pink) are only seen in extreme cases of albinism, although Word of God suggests that neither character is specifically intended to be albino.
    • The frog needed to complete the Genesis Frog AKA Bilious Slick has flashing red-blue-green-purple eyes with yellow swirls around the pupils.
    • Lord English has a particularly unnerving pair. The Handmaid may have acquired flashing eyes as well through her association with him.
  • Teeth Flying:
    • Fin loses a tooth during the intermission. Importantly, Diamonds sees the tooth on the floor and uses its placement to know where and when to throw a swing that, due to Fin's time powers, hits him several minutes ago, knocking the tooth onto the floor in the first place.
    • Sollux has this happen to him which has the benefit of removing his Lisp.
    • Caliborn spits out a tooth after gnawing one of his legs off.
  • Teenage Wasteland: Alternia, as all adult Trolls are off-planet.
  • Temporal Paradox: For obvious reasons, the various Appearafiers are programmed to avoid creating a grandfather paradox when appearafying subjects; they will respond to any such attempt by producing a gelatinous paradox ghost imprint.
  • Tempting Fate: "The downpour of meteors has stopped."
    • Dave's and Davesprite's conversation about how safe their copy of Rose's DNA book is. However, this is Dave we're talking about, and he immediately subverts it once he's finished being ironic as usual.
    DAVE: safer than some flintstone vitamins in a bottle
    DAVE: keep twisting junior all you get is clicks
    DAVE: yeah
    DAVE: anyway guess ill go back down and burn that book note 
    • Also, waaaay back in mid-Act 1, Dave asks John why so many people want to talk to him and John jokingly mentions that he's "discovered a comet that will destroy the Earth". Oh, if only he knew...
    • Meenah at some point, when Aranea is expositioning on how the beta trolls all died. Meenah asked if someone would just kill her. She wonders wait, is that possible, can you kill a ghost? She asks if someone could just make her double dead. Shortly after, The Big Bad (we are mostly sure he is the biggest bad) KILLS all the ghosts in a dream bubble. He just killed hundreds of even thousands of already dead people. She was tempting fate, but the good news is she, or at least the version of her that asked the question, didn't double die (yet).
      • This causes her to have to amass an army of ghosts, even though The Big Bad just became a god of time itself, with the most powerful male and active class (meaning his godhood is the most powerful, and it specifically is meant to benefit himself), even though she just saw thousands of dead timelines and etc become obliterated out of existence.
    • From here: "You almost feel sorry for the adversaries you will face tonight. They will likely pose neither team much challenge at all. Unless one of the links in the prototyping chain includes something especially huge and monstrous, but really, what are the odds of that happening?"
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: While all trolls have black lips (as stated in Kanaya's introduction), the boys and Nepeta are depicted with lips the same color as their skin, i.e. grey. This is because all the other girls apparently do care about fashion enough to wear lipstick. Also, only the female trolls are drawn with eyelashes, and many of them wear eye makeup.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • Doc Scratch has to die in order to become an, ahem, "excellent host" for Lord English. The means by which this happens are complex to say the least.
    • In the A1 session, Meenah deliberately blew up herself and her 11 teammates as soon as The Scratch was past the point of no return, so that they could continue to exist in dream bubbles after death and help shape events in the A2 session.
    • In the B2 session, Dirk uses a microwave-sized sendificator to decapitate himself and send his severed head backwards through time to Jake. The Autoresponder went along for the ride via his glasses and instructed Jake to kiss the head. After a certain amount of squicked-out "You want me to do WHAT???", Jake lays one on Dirk, reviving him via his dreamself. Dirk is then in position to round up Roxy and Jane, get all four players synchronized in space and time, and wake Jake up so he can kiss Dirk's decapitated head, thereby completing a stable time loop and guaranteeing that this will remain the alpha timeline.
  • Theme Naming: There are few names that don't fit some sort of pattern.
    • The kids each have a four-lettered, one-syllable first name and a two-syllable surname: John Egbert, Rose Lalonde, Dave Strider, Jade Harley. Their initial joke names are themed, too: Zoosmell Pooplord for John matches Farmstink Buttlass for Jade, and Flighty Broad for Rose and Insufferable Prick for Dave were name-callings they gave each other.
      • The first trend is continued with the alpha-kids: Jane Crocker, Jake English, Dirk Strider and Roxy Lalonde.
      • John is the odd name out among the Prospit dreamers, as Jade, Jane, and Jake are all different by only a single consonant.
    • All Pesterchum/Trollian screennames are a combination of two words, the first left lower case and the second capitalized. The kids's chumhandles are ectoBiologist (formerly ghostyTrickster), tentacleTherapist, turntechGodhead, and gardenGnostic. The girls (TT and GG) have like-lettered initials, and the boys (TG and GT) have differing letters, which corresponds to XX (female) and XY (male) chromosomes.
      The twelve trolltags are all Meaningful Names that reveal a Western Zodiac motif. The trolls' real names, first and last, are six letters each, and generally have some meaning related to their associated sign.==> 
      The trolls' screenname initials together with the kids' form all sixteen two-letter combinations of A, C, G, and T, the four DNA nucleobases. Or they did until John changed his chumhandle, which makes ectoBiologist an Odd Name Out. (However, there is significance to ectoBiologist being a reference to a pseudoscience that sounds similar to carcinoGeneticist: like John, Karkat was the one destined to create paradox clones of himself and his friends in the trolls' session.)
    • The Exiles have descriptive Adjective Noun monikers related to wayfaring and/or defection: Wayward Vagabond, Peregrine Mendicant, Aimless Renegade, Windswept Questant. Pre-exiling, their occupations fit their initials. PM was a Parcel Mistress, AR was an Authority Regulator, WQ was the White Queen, and WV was a Warweary Villein.
    • The Midnight Crew members are named after playing card suits: Spades Slick, Diamonds Droog, Hearts Boxcars, Clubs Deuce. The kids' instances of the Agents that make up the MC members in the trolls' session share their initials: the Draconian Dignitary, Hegemonic Brute, Courtyard Droll, and the Sovereign Slayer, a.k.a. Jack Noir.
    • And then there's The Felt, pool-themed adversaries of the Midnight Crew with Numerical Theme Naming. From the bottom up, we have Itchy (from ichi, Japanese for one), Doze (dos, Spanish for two), Trace (tres, Spanish for three), Clover (as in a four leaf clover), Fin (slang for a five-dollar bill), Die (as in a six-sided die), Crowbar (from the crooked shape of a 7), Snowman (from the shape of an 8), Stitch ( time saves nine), Sawbuck (slang for a ten-dollar bill), Matchsticks (two straight lines, like an 11), Eggs (a dozen eggs), Biscuits (a baker's dozen), Quarters (quatorze, French for fourteen), and Cans (quinze, French for fifteen). Each member's name doubles as a reference to their respective billiard ball number and a Meaningful Name related to their power or appearance. On top of that, they're led by Lord English (named after a sidespin put on the cue ball), and Doc Scratch (named after a foul in pool).
  • Theme Table: A pretty in-depth listing of the similarities between protagonists can be found here. The parallels also have a tendency to spawn numerous fan theories, some a little loopier than others. The truth turns out to be pretty loopy itself, mind.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Sort of. Although there are too many pieces of music for one to really count as the comic's theme tune, the theme tune it doesn't have is probably Sburban Jungle, a short version of which is played here. The full version is then used in a Theme Music Power-Up here. And then it's remixed into all the other songs that have appeared so far, and some that haven't, and you end up with the magnificent Mind Screw of an update here.
  • There Are No Therapists: A downplayed example in that there are no professional therapists, but plenty of amateurs: Rose takes a keen interest in psychology (with the irony that she probably has the most mental issues of any of the Chums) and Kanaya seems to perform a lot of therapy on her fellow trolls (suggesting that Tavros gives his self-esteem a name, arguing with Aradia and Vriska about the nature of fate and free will). John also seems to have a bit of talent for this, at least in terms of diagnosing the problem. Karkat seems to fancy himself a relationship counselor, and manages to accurately psychoanalyze Vriska in between gushing about romance. The fact that the other trolls seek out his counsel when they are in need of romantic advice suggests that he may actually have a deep and useful understanding of the complicated subject; whether this is just part of his personality or if watching rom-coms actually taught him useful things about hate and pity remains unknown, and probably up to interpretation.
  • They Just Didn't Care: invoked Vriska's bizarre "Pupa Pan" cosplay runs into its own Fridge Logic when she wonders why he would need to teach a fairy to fly. This is because a) she is confusing Tinkerbell with Wendy and b) she just didn't care.
  • Thick-Line Animation: Normally present, lost when in Hero Mode.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!
    TG: bow down before your new king bitch
    • Later echoed by Meenah when she attempts to choke Roxy.
  • Those Two Guys: Eridan and Feferi, Nepeta and Equius, and Aradia and Sollux scarcely appear without each other. Tavros is "That One Guy" by himself, while Gamzee is an Ascended Extra.
  • Time-Compression Montage: Almost all the music flashes efficiently pack a lot story into a few minutes, in contrast to the frequent Walls Of Text.
  • Time Dilation: When John and Jade move at near-light-speed, five milliseconds from an outside perspective become like three years for them.
    • As mentioned in Artistic License - Physics, this is more or less exactly the opposite of how relativity actually says time is supposed to work.
  • Time Skip: The Wayward Vagabond interludes take place several years (but not many) after the the meteors strike. According to the Appearifier, the current date is 2422-04-13. Exactly 413 years after the start of the comic.
    Admittedly, from a certain perspective (that of the exiles themselves) it is quite likely that it has only been only a few years, and as we watch the gap between the past and present of those segments has shrunk considerably.
    • Played with when the Pre-Scratch Kids travel to the Post-Scratch session. We see fragments of their story in the intervening three years, but most of it is skipped over.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Dave has pulled off one of these with the LOHAC Stock Exchange. Rather spectacularly.
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble: Lots of stuff.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In a few different forms:
    • Every universe and game session exists in a completely separate timeline, so a lot of interactions between them take place out of order, such as all the players of a game session being cloned by one of it's players, and then being sent to Earth to become those players in the first place, or the interactions between the trolls and the kids, which sometimes result in information without any real origin.
    • The Furthest Ring, which separates all the game sessions, does not have reliable forms of time or space, resulting various time shenanigans, the most notable of which being Rose taking a bomb to a star there called the Green Sun, to blow the sun up, only to find out the bomb created the sun in the first place.
    • Heroes of Time (Including Lord English), as well as the Felt can travel through time, but only within the universe/session they're currently in.
    • There are other types of time travel, however all types follow the rules of Stable Time Loops - time loops have to be planned carefully because paradoxes cause you to move from the "alpha timeline" to a doomed timeline. At a few points though, character from doomed timelines go back in time and change history, which actually creates the alpha timeline that was supposed to happen in the first place. However, characters who do this are still from doomed timelines, and thus are themselves doomed even within the alpha timeline.
    • These rules were averted when John stuck his hand in Caliborn's juju, and began hopping around reality, and actually altering history within the alpha timeline. According to him, it's not technically time travel - it's completely outside the normal rules of time travel, so he's capable of altering what's "supposed to happen" without creating a doomed timeline.
  • Title Drop:
    • Almost.
    • Another almost when you check the Cruxtruder here.
    • Finally done in the album Mobius Trip and Hadron Kaleido, which features the song Chain of Prospit with the line "Feeling like you're Homestuck" (emphasis in the song). Said song is basically made of a bunch of shout outs to Acts 1 and 2. However it is not exactly canon.
    • As of Jane's introduction, she is FORBIDDEN FROM LEAVING THE HOUSE.
    • Up to this point all of the near-Title Drops were part of the narration, but here it's nearly uttered in dialog between characters. One of those characters is a quite literal Author Avatar, but still.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
  • Took a Level in Badass: Almost everyone. Many, many times. Those who haven't in earlier acts do in the future. it keeps going and going and going.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Karkat (who uses the trolltag carcinoGeneticist and the astrological symbol of cancer) admits to John he may have given John's universe cancer.
  • Totally Radical: GameBro magazine oozes this trope.
    AR: You are ripping up so many hellaceous shreds this fierceshitty biznasty is getting so deliriously rudebrazen it... Ok you lost the handle on that sentence.
  • The Treachery of Images: B2 Jack Noir ends up locked in a Prospitian jail cell. (Un)fortunately, there's a (crude drawing of a) key right on the floor in front of him.
  • Triang Relations: Comes up fairly often, especially with the trolls. Perhaps the "cleanest" example would be Karkat-Terezi-Nepeta; Karkat and Terezi may or may not have A Thing, Nepeta has a (probably one-sided) crush on Karkat, and Terezi and Nepeta have RP'd "yiffing" sessions (though Terezi says they're ironic for her. Hmm...) Then, to make things even more confusing, as soon as Karkat enters the dream bubble with his per-scratch ancestors, he totally ignores them, while going on and on about how he just wants to see Nepeta.
  • Training from Hell: Both Bro and Dirk seem to be fond of this. Bro regularly beats up Dave in Curb Stomp Battles for no reason other than to toughen him up (or maybe just for laughs - the jury's still out on that), and Dirk sends Jake psychotic robots that wipe the floor with him in the most painful way possible.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Queens' rings and Kings' scepters. They only work for Carapacians however.
  • Troll: Both literal trolls, and the Author himself.
    Why do you take such apparent delight in teasing your fanbase?
    Andrew: Cause it's funny!
  • Tropes For Dummies: Data Structures for Assholes.
  • Troper Critical Mass: Though it varies, there have been upwards of 50 pages on this wiki for tropes for this series alone. Granted, a lot of those were unnecessary and have since been consolidated, but new pages are being created all the time.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: All the trolls. All of them. By the end of Act 5 it's pretty hard to remember that they are all 13. Yes, Vriska too. And this is the reason Terezi keeps playing with her scalemates and wears her ridiculous cosplay suit when she goes to kill Vriska to prevent her from dooming them all. She's freaking 13, and she's the only kid behaving remotely her age. To put it into perspective, in Act 6 they meet their counterparts/ancestors from the pre-scratcg universe, who are 6 years older than them - as in, 13 vs 19 - and the post-scratch trolls consistently feel older and more mature.
  • True Companions: By the end of Act 5 all surviving kids, both trolls and humans, have banded into this. Well, actually, human kids have been this from the start, but it took trolls some effort to get there.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Terezi has one which, like that of Harvey Dent, has a scratch on one side. She has a habit of ignoring the results of the toss, though, and sarcastically justifying it with her blindness.

  • Underground Monkey:
    • Starting in Act 4, the protagonists encounter enemies based on different varieties of grist: Chalk Imps, Amber Imps, and so on. The prototypings are also randomly shuffled for each enemy, leading to combinations such as tentacled suit-wearing imps and flying basilisks.
    • This continues throughout all of the monster types.
    • It seems that the Black Queen enforces this trope, as seen when Jack finds himself forced to wear his much-hated harlequin costume.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • An early "page" of Act 2 shifts from a pseudo-text adventure to a Flash-based point-and-click game. Meanwhile, a later page presents John's fight with the Shale Imp as a short fighting game, albeit one that only lets you do a few hits of your own.
    • Later, John's suggestion box was temporarily locked and all commands delivered instead by a mysterious and rather brusque entity, the Wayward Vagabond in all caps. Damn it Hussie. The meteor destroyed John's suggestion box.
    • The start of Act 4 uses a similar point-and-click Flash game with John in the "Land of Wind and Shade". This version also allows John to beat the snot out of imps and utilize his sylladex though.
    • In story, Sburb quickly transitions from a Sims clone into an RPG.
      • For a given definiton of "gameplay" it applies to Act 6 as well. Act 6 has branching paths in that after Jake's introduction, the reader can choose to follow Jane's story or Jake's, and then Roxy's and Dirk's after their introduction. Or at least it would in theory; Andrew updates only one arc at a time, so for the daily reader, it's essentially unchanged. It seems later on too, that the multiple paths will apply to more than just the Post-Scratch Kids.
    • Act 6 Act 3 introduced a new concept, where Jane's Land is introduced and explored through the medium of a Myst style point and click minigame, complete with puzzles to solve.
      • Act 6 Intermission 3 on the other hand introduced a full blooded HTML 5 Adventure Game engine; one that also is available for fans to use.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: In-universe example. Dave thinks that Gamzee freaking out over his religion is just another troll.
  • Unnamed Parent:
    • We know them as DAD, MOM, BRO, NANNA, and GRANDPA. BECQUEREL (BEC) does have a name though.
    • Most of the Trolls' Lusii as well; only Tinkerbull, Pounce de Leon, Aurthour and Gl'bgolyb are named.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Both Rose and Jade can be seen rolling around the battlefield, as this is their Auto-Parry technique. Rose will even do it while outside of combat.
  • The Unreveal: Lord English, though he eventually is revealed.
    • Dreamselves have a whole lot of weirdness surrounding them that has been hinted at a few times but never really explained in any depth.
    • Hussie Lampshades it here when we almost get to see Calliope's Juju:
      Suddenly it becomes painfully clear that we aren't going to get a look at this thing. At least not for a while. How typical.
      Why don't we stop wasting everyone's time, shut the lid on this lousy MacGuffin, and get on with it.
    • Lampshaded again when Vriska finally (after a massive quest) uncovers a weapon supposedly capable of beating Lord English. The comic cuts away to a meaningless side-story right before it's revealed, with the narration saying we probably won't find out what it is for hundreds or thousands of pages...only for Vriska to immediately throw a tantrum and reveal it in the most undramatic way possible.
    • While the Aspects of the four Pre-Scratch Kids were pretty straight forward, some of the later Aspects have been more esoteric, and revelations about them have been dribbled out at a snail's pace. So far, all have been mostly explained except for Hope and Blood, the latter of which has had virtually no exposition about it outside of some vague hints.
      • Likewise with Titles; since Calliope revealed in Act 6 that they're paired into active and passive counterparts revolving around an interpretation (for instance the Prince / Bard pair revolving around destruction) the meaning of some these Titles has been unclear. Justified by the fact that Andrew fully admits he had no idea Titles would become as significant as they did.
  • Unsound Effect: Too many straight examples to list; Hussie never uses a normal POW or BANG if he can help it.
    • Inverted with "PCHOOOOO", which John at first thinks is a sound effect but is actually the punchcard code for the rocket pack.
    • He's so fond of it it'd be easier to list the aversions. Like this one.
    • A popular one for a while was DEAD, signalling the collapse of characters who were Killed Off for Real. Only Kanaya managed to avert this, and she's an exception.
    • Also, DUMB.
    • Breaking Eridan's "science wand": DEBUNK.
    • The sound that the hat makes when landing on a branch is "SETTLE."
    • And of course, when someone falls down stairs we get "HAPEN."
    • To demonstrate surprise: Shoutpole
  • The Untwist: In-universe example, sorta. The narration itself notes that nobody is surprised by the revelation that Caliborn and Calliope share a body, mostly because the indications had by that point moved from "tiny hint" to "brick to face" in terms of subtlety.
    • At this point in the story, the fandom figures most big revelations out as soon as they're first hinted at, so more and more of the story's twists are becoming this.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: You've got ACTS. And ACTS inside ACTS. And INTERMISSIONS. And then, INTERMISSIONS inside INTERMISSIONS...
    • As of writing, the story is in A6A6A3. That is an ACT inside an ACT inside an ACT. There are also ACT 6 ACT 6 INTERMISSIONS. It is clear that at this point, the author is doing this just to confuse the hell out of everybody.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • Failing to prototype all the kernelsprites before entering the Medium results in a Void Session, which is Unwinnable, barring any outside intervention from another session. Skaia never evolves to the point where it can create a new universe, the war between Derse and Prospit never leaves a stalemate, and all the planets become dead worlds inhabited by only undead underlings.
    • Attempting to play Sburb with only one player results in a Dead Session, which is completely and utterly Unwinnable in the sense that no amount of effort or outside intervention will result in the creation of a new universe. In a Dead Session, Skaia clouds completely over and the kernelsprite simply implodes into a black hole.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake:
    • Karkat's haste in creating the Genesis Frog rendered the Human Universe cancerous, causing the pre-scratch kids' session to be doomed from the start.
    • Some pre-scratch sessions will suffer from a glitch where the players' ectobiology clones are created by their post-scratch players instead of by themselves. This paradox results in a disastrously Unwinnable session which inevitably leads to the session being scratched.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The entire playable cast, Jack Noir included. Their combined actions end up creating the Green Sun when most were trying to destroy it. The ones not trying to destroy it didn't even realize what was going on.
  • Up to Eleven:

> Go Back

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