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.
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 reamaining 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Renagade, 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.
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 overreliance on the Horrorterrors and the latter's underage drinking.
Kanaya and Dirk got a lot of ships sunk when both were outed by Word of Gay.
Parodied in the opening flash for Act 6 Intermission 3, where a character warns that ship sinking is a potentialTrigger.
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.
Game Within A Game: SBURB. Also FLARP, for a few pages.
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.
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."
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. ** Note that is actually is not possible to change fate in Homestuck, attempting to doing so causes Paradox Space to doom a timeline. And even these attempts were actually predestined to try to change fate anyway, so implications from it cause the Alpha Timeline to proceed correctly.
Actually, it is possible and even common for people to make choices that aren't 'supposed to happen', thus defying fate. However, since doing so will always result in a doomed timeline (where everyone would end up dying, thus ending the story), the reader is only allowed to the non-doomed Alpha Timeline where all of the time loops and predestined events end up happening. The only exceptions are those rare instances where someone from a doomed timeline manages to make it back to the Alpha Timeline (and inevitably ends up dying). Some of the other timelines are glimpsed in dreambubbles, though.
Actually, it is possible to alter the Alpha Timeline, as confirmed by Dave: by using the treasure in the Furthest Ring. John currently has its powers, though is unable to control it. This seems to be the only exception to the "you-can't-fight-fate" rule, though.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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 capslock 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.
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."
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'."
CG: WHETHER [Terezi] AND I HAVE A THING OR DON'T HAVE A THING, OR TOOK A ROMANTIC HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE SUSPENDED IN A GODDAMN FILIAL PAIL TOGETHER CG: IT'S DEFINITELY NONE OF YOUR FUCKING EARTH BUSINESS
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.
Dirk has a bona fide BusterSword 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.
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):
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.
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 actually their grandparents (Nanna and Grandpa) which makes Dad John's genetic half-brother. Bro and Mom Lalonde are genetic father and mother respectively to both Dave and Rose, who are genetically full siblings. In fan theories which try to prove that the kids are not technically related to each other, it works out instead that the kids are half-identical siblings of the Guardians. The relation between Bro and Dave is normalized, but John then becomes his grandmother's brother and his father's uncle.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doc Scratch has to die in order to become a, 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 complete a stable time loop 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 Zoosmell/Farmstink pattern was adhered to when it came time to name the trolls' planet and carcinoGeneticist; the player attempted to name them Turdodor Fuckball and Bulgereek Nookstain. Bulgereek I mean Karkat lashed out and convinced the player to knock it off from then on. 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 (...in 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).
There Are No Therapists: Partial aversion 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 ofdiagnosing 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 romcoms 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.
Time Dilation: When John and Jade move at near-lightspeed, 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.
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.
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.
Eridan, in Kanaya: Return to the core, he complains that no one helped him fight the angels, and still isn't convinced that he wasn't supposed to fight them even though they took over a minute of sustained fire to kill with his extremely powerful weapon and didn't drop any grist.
Rose and Vriska dueling Jack against everyone's advice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.