Verbal Tic: Everyone's typing style is exactly indicative of how they talk. While this is most notable for trolls, it still applies for humans as well; Dave is monotone and rambling, Rose is precise and rather melodramatic, Jade is energetic, etc. As detailed on their individual entries, the trolls all have unique typing quirks. These also seem to reflect how they actually speak, such as Kanaya Carefully Enunciating Every Word or 2ollux 2peakiing wiith a lii2p, but it also seems like they use the tics on purpose, as evidenced by Eridan and Feferi typing normally when they have a serious conversation. For some other trolls it's almost a mental compulsion however; Gamzee said not using his quirk felt odd. These also change to reflect the troll's emotional state, as s0llux begins to type like aradia once he is blinded by eridan and kn0cked t00thless by karkat, AND GAMZEE begins alternating caps WITH EVERY OTHER LINE once he runs out of sopor slime AND GOES ALL AX CRAZY. Alternatively, this suggests that Gamzee has two personalities (rather like his Mirthful Messiahs). As long as they're FaIrLy WeLl InTeGrAtEd, he's pretty easy-going, and in fact mostly acts like he's permanently stoned. when they become more distinct IT'S TIME TO WATCH OUT. Likewise once Mituna burned out his psiioniics he became mentally unbalanced. His quirk is so thick that he's almost rendered The Unintelligible.
FLARP also has considerable cruelty potential if the clouder is abusive enough, which is directly tied to why Vriska's client is in a wheelchair in the first place.
Plus in game, players can rip imps in two by the dozen if they feel like it.
Just for an idea of FLARP's cruelty potential, Vriska used to use it to keep her lusus fed.
Eridan was unwittingly using this in the Land of Wrath and Angels; convinced that the angels were enemies (rather than the innocent Non Player Characters of his world), he determined to exterminate them all. Unfortunately for him, he ran up against a Video Game Cruelty Punishment, as the angels only died after a minute of sustained fire from his high-level weapon and began swarming him in vengeance after he began murdering them.
The physical ramifications are unclear: In Sburb, you can apparently help someone swing a held weapon, but not carry him from place to place by an object he's sitting on. However, in Sgrub, you can pick someone up by his wheelchair and shake him abusively. Not that the difference might not have been Sburb/Sgrub, but the object being moved in question. In both, it seems that one can wiggle something that someone is on, but not move it. The wheelchair was lighter then a bed (and wheeled), and even it did not move much.
Which of course was done by Vriska to her client, notice a pattern?
Virtual Paper Doll: The game's alchemy system allows for the creation of a wide array of sweet outfits, which the kids invariably experiment with during each round of item-crafting. Interestingly, the trolls don't engage in this behavior, aside from Kanaya, but her interest in fashion came from before she entered the game.
Tavros' ghost holding 'sick fires' while talking to a Doomed Dave ghost and Aradia.
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? Also counts at a Stealth Pun.
To get Roxy to engage Trickster Mode, Jake bomped her with a pumpkin with a question mark. It was a "What?" pumpkin.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Rose and Dave, along with many of the troll-troll relationships (especially those involving Karkat). John and Karkat develop into this in a bizarre from-both-directions way, and Rose and Kanaya maintain some pretty snarky banter as well.
Karkat and Sollux exemplify this trope most completely out of all the characters, though.
Some of the minigame segments also have a walkthrough attached.
Wall of Text: The conversations between characters start off fairly brief, sporadic, and uncommon, but quickly increase in length and frequency. By the Hivebent chapter and onwards, large text dumps are commonplace, for better or worse.
We Have Those Too: Constant comparison between the humans and trolls leads to a bit of these.
GC: L1K3 SOM3TH1NG YOU WOULDNT KNOW 4BOUT GC: 4 TROLL D3L1C4CY C4LL3D COTTON C4NDY TG: we have cotton candy dumpass GC: >8O
Webcomic Time: An anniversary update page made it clear that not even a day has passed since the beginning of the comic. It's still April 13th. Although 13 days later than April 1st is April 14th. Which would fit with the first pesterlog occurring at 4.13PM in John's timezone, and the approximate number of hours between then and Dave's medium entry... Webcomic Time still definitely applies though.
The Trolls to a lesser extent, as we are treated to 25 days' worth of events over the course of 3 months.
Part of the illusion of more time passing comes from the numerous flashbacks, that the story is being told non-linearly, and lots of Time Travel.
And, of course, once we get into the Medium, linear time in general matters a whole lot less, if it even can be said to exist.
Lampshaded when Jade is testing the magic 8 ball; though it also turned out to be foreshadowing about the Kid's nature as clones.
Jade(paraphrased): Is today John's birthday?
Magic 8 ball: Not exactly.
Act Five Act Two takes place over the course of around 24 hours (the span of the Reckoning) on the kids' end and ten hours on the trolls'. It came out over the course of more than a year, from 9/19/10 to 10/25/11.
Inverted by Act Six Act Four. The first 153 days of the post-Scratch kids' session (from 11/11/11 to 4/12/12) are summarized in one page.
What Could Have Been: After it became apparent that doing the adventure entirely in Flash would be impractical, Andrew considered scrapping the Homestuck concept entirely and making a Flash-free Midnight Crew adventure.
In-story, the trolls' famous ancestors were what "our" trolls would've been had if they A) weren't so darn human (Vriska says that working together isn't natural and what probably messed up their session so badly) and B) weren't screwed over by a reality warping game: Vriska's ancestor Marquise Mindfang was a pirate queen, Eridan's ruled the seas, Gamzee's was Subjugglator and Grand Highblood, Terezi's was a brilliant young legislacerator, Feferi's was the empress of all trolldom, etc.
Alternian Trolls consider friendship a disease. They also use the same word for "friend" as "enemy."
Where It All Began: After the Scratch, the story is visibly shown rewinding, back to the first panel of John's introduction, and then a fade to white. No surprise, considering the nature of the Scratch. The beginning of the next Act is then very similar to Act 1, with the first panel extremely similar to John's introduction.
Which Me?: As lampshaded by Davesprite-timeline Rose and Dave...
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word "self" and still understand what we're talking about.
While Rome Burns: While the city is being destroyed by a meteor shower, Dave and his bro head up to the roof of their high rise to have an epic showdown for no apparent reason beyond Rule of Cool. Still, given how Genre Savvy they are, and their love of irony, they're probably aware of it. Earlier, Rose plays a haunting violin refrain during the countdown to the destruction of John's house. The game sarcastically compliments the player's time management skills. Dave also seems perfectly fine continuing to update his web comic, even though shit is getting pretty damn real, and the fact that the Internet is basically gone.
Almost everybody who is faced with a countdown timer at any point wastes some of that countdown doing something silly, but the all-time, unsurpassable king— no you hate kings —mayor of this trope is Wayward Vagabond, who wastes four hours playing with his cans during a countdown and then scrambles around with the fear of death in him during the last four minutes and thirteen seconds.
Wild Card: uranianUmbra has described the Bard class as this, known for their "dramatic story-altering inflUence" and how bards have frequently either brought their party to success or utterly ruined them. Considering that Gamzee, the sole Bard character seen thus far, has done both for the trolls' session, it's hard to refute it.
EB: wow, yeah you're totally not trolling me, bro! EB: i see now we are bffs forever. CG: THE FACT THAT YOU ARE DUMB CG: IS AN IMMUTABLE FACT I AM STATING FOR THE RECORD. CG: IT DOES NOT MEAN ANIMOSITY IS WHAT IS TAKING PLACE HERE.
TT: Dude, I'm sitting here with my stylus ready to go. Do you want me to draw you some porn or not. uu: OH YES. uu: YOu WILL DRAW ME MY PORNOGRAPHY, DIRK HuMAN STRIDER. uu: I WILL HAVE MY POuND OF SMuT. TT: ... TT: I'm waiting.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: After the Empress takes over B2 Earth on 3-11 she does everything possible to make humanity more like trolls, with disastrous results — lusii don't care for baby humans (although some find them tasty); human blood isn't easily recolored with chemicals; because she thinks human reproduction is disgusting she sends subliminal messages to stop procreating, but it seems humans can't simply do whatever trolls do with buckets (especially if their nemesis is watching) — and when she tried to recreate the troll race they were instantly killed by her pet horrorterror. Ultimately The Empress just really missed her own kind ever since the troll race was devastated by the Vast Glub in the A2 universe. Not that she was particularly kind to those subjects when they were alive...
Andrew: "Anyone who doesn't like [Vriska's] outfit is the dumbest kind of terrible."
Word of Dante: Pretty much anything pertaining to troll society beyond the subtle bits in canon was made up by a Big Name Fan or out of whole cloth. Hussie has no interest in world building and doesn't care about it.
The Worf Effect: It took a monumental effort by three characters to defeat two of the Giant Mooks. Since then, everybody is allowed to take these things down with ease to prove how strong they are (even Rose, who first took one down when she logically shouldn't have been much stronger than anyone else the first time they fought the giants). Especially powerful characters even get to kill gianter mooks.
This begins applying to actual characters in the second part of Act 5. To wit:
Dave's Bro is, to quote Dave, "a crazy hard dude" who can Flash Step so quickly you end up fighting the after-image and could fight triple-prototyped Jack Noir to a standstill. He is the most active of the Guardians in combat and seems to be the most competent. Once Jack becomes Bec Noir, he kills Bro in practically a single stroke.
Equius is initially portrayed as the strongest of the trolls; his trip through Hivebent is shown as being almost effortless, even as a lowest-level player. He can ruin dudes in one punch, strongjump through gates without having to build his hive, and protects Nepeta almost without trying. When Equius confronts Gamzee, Gamzee uses several methods both physical and mental to dominate Equius completely, in order to show just how dangerous (and Ax-Crazy) Gamzee is off the sopor slime. Then again, Equius wanted to die at the hands of a troll of higher blood than him, so he didn't even fight as he let Gamzee strangle him. In fact, he was smiling the whole time. As per Word of God, if Equius so much as twitched his neck muscles, he would have snapped the bowstring he was being strangled with, so that's just how passive he was being.
Sollux possesses telekinetic powers so potent, particularly from his eye-beams, that he doesn't even need to bother with a Strife Specibus, because his teek powers will always be better; he uses them to fling meteors at the Black King during the Hivebent Reckoning, after all, and he fought Eridan to a standstill in a one-on-one duel while Eridan was wielding his best-in-class weapon. Kanaya is also no slouch in the fightin' department, and famously uses a chainsaw as her primary weapon. Once Eridan obtained the White Wand of Science, Eridan KO'd and blinded Sollux, crippling his eye-beam powers (among other things) and killed Kanaya outright without even taking a scratch, and required one shot each to accomplish this. Then again, their powers were not defensive and it's not like they got a shot at him first. In fact, KanayachainsawingEridanin half looked a lot more Badass several minutes later, so it worked both ways.
A World Half Full: The human population has been reduced to single figures, the destruction of sentient species is apparently standard multiversal policy, and those that remain seem doomed to failure... but hey, that's no reason to stop trying, right? In fact, Homestuck in general (much like one of its key inspirations) has a habit of taking very dark concepts and portraying them in a lighter, more whimsical style.
World Limited to the Plot: The world outside of the main characters' lives appears almost desolate. None of them seem to have any other friends apart from themselves and characters on the periphery of their interpersonal interactions (their guardians) appear almost vacant and robotic. And they're not really very affected by Earth's imminent and unavoidable destruction either. On the other hand, there are cases where we do have a glimpse outside the plot, with current events like how Barack Obama is the president, and other people completely irrelevant to the plot, like the Serious Business and GameFAQs users, are still shown to actually exist, even if they are never shown. We also see maps of the entire planet, and the plot does, in fact, make an impact in places irrelevant to the main characters.
World of Badass: Just try and find a character anywhere in the webcomic that doesn't do something badass at some point. Go on. We'll wait. Hell, even Ms. Paint takes a badass look at one point.
Wrecked Weapon: Dave's CHEAP PIECE OF SHIT katana. Lil' Cal probably counts too.
Dave's specibus is less Sword than PIECE OF SHIT. When he discovers Caledfwlch, he identifies it as a LEGENDARY PIECE OF SHIT before he breaks it in the retrieval attempt. Apparently resigned to this, he later tries to claim his brother's sword by breaking it in half. The game seems to be resigned to it as well: When Dave reaches God Tier, he acquires the Royal Deringer (as in "De-Ringer", based on Narsil from The Lord of the Rings), which comes conveniently prebroken.
Writing Around Trademarks: Averted, especially with Betty Crocker. John even points out the resemblance the Build Grist bears to blue Gushers.
X Meets Y: Homestuck was conceived as EarthBound meets Spore and The Sims. According to Andrew, this is still a good description.note "The inspiration centered around a simple scene I had in my head, and not much else. I pictured a kid playing a game in his room, while another player manipulated his room the way you edit an environment in The Sims. I pictured the kid being able to manipulate the other kid's environment too, but it wasn't long before I latched on to the potential conflict present in one kid strictly being at the mercy of the other. Over time I came up with other game mechanics to complement this, and add some degree of purpose. In this time I also developed this image of a story template that combined an RPG like Earthbound with games like The Sims and Spore. Even now that still seems like a pretty good way to describe Homestuck, though the story didn't unfold the way I pictured at all."
Yin-Yang BombTHE TUMOR, in a literal sense. In addition, the actual reaction taking place is the simultaneous destruction of two universes. The reaction actually creates the Green Sun, which was earlier said to mass at 'two universes.
You ALL Look Familiar: The Salamanders in the Land of Wind and Shade, except for the mushroom farmer, Crumplehat, and the secret wizard. Also applies to all incipisphere inhabitants in different sessions.
Fate is a slightly odd thing: on the one hand, stable time loops conspire to weave the outcomes of actions into the very structure of the game so that things "always had to happen this way". But on the other hand, these things still come about from people making (apparently) free will decisions. Kanaya highlights this a couple of times in Act 5 conversations with Aradia and Vriska. So ultimately fate may be one huge Batman Gambit. Of course, if you do fight fate, it spawns an alternate timeline and proceeds to kill off everyone.
You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Kids and Trolls cannot save their sessions, the plan to destroy the Green Sun ends up creating it, and Bec Noir isn't dead. But the Kids (and the remaining Trolls) do manage to escape their sessions, all four Kids plus Aradia are God Tier, and Noir now has someone who can potentially take him down in PM. So "Stage Three" of Lord English's plan may still be thwartable.
You Have Researched Talking: It takes ascension to God Tiers and then an additional post-ascension level-up to receive The Gift of Gab, which allows for direct, unmediated...conversation. This is something of a meta-example as Word of God says that the kids could already talk to one another directly but the AUDIENCE would have been unable to hear them through the Fenestrated Plane.
You Just Told Me: Dave advises John to "not do the Vriska thing" (of repeating letters eight times). John responds to her name with "who?", but then later addresses his patron troll by it, leading to this exchange:
AG: Secondly, I am very pissed off that you figured out my name. EB: well, i didn't know it was your name for sure until you just told me now.
You Require More Vespene Gas: You need BUILD GRIST to edit rooms and build things in Sburb. Making items often requires other types of grist (such as SHALE, TAR and MERCURY). Counting the slots in the inventory, there's likely to be thirty-six types of resources.
"You can't wait to find out what amazing items this new supply of grist will be just barely insufficient to produce." (There was just one item, and barely didn't even begin to describe how insufficient John's grist supply is for that, but a couple of Dave's possible weapons have material costs even more absurd than John's. Kinda makes sense, as said items are a result of combining things that Dave isn't really supposed to have right now.)
You Taste Delicious: While we haven't seen her doing any actual licking of the characters (since the vast majority of the character interactions are through an instant messaging system), Terezi makes quite a few references to this. However, it's later subverted when we find out she's actually blind, and uses taste and smell to "see" colors. She describes a handful of the other trolls' blood as tasting/smelling like some sort of food. Examples include chocolate (Tavros), mustard (Sollux; his eyes are "appleberry blast"), grape jelly (Gamzee) and cherry (Karkat).
Your Mind Makes It Real: The afterlife is like this, with the user able to manipulate their dream bubbles to recall past events or conjure things at will.
Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Buckets. Also, it's considered pretty bizarre for a troll to be raised by a member of his or her own species instead of a lusus. Inverted with the trolls wondering why incest and sexual orientation matter to humans.
You see, teenagers are sensitive and beautiful creatures.
Well, not you. You are repulsive. But most teenagers, I mean.
You canít just force them to settle all their issues with insane psychotropic game powerups.
They have to face all those issues themselves, or they will never learn and grow as people.
Zany Scheme: Ties in with Finagle's Law in that everything bad that has happened to our heroes is ultimately the result of Lord English's meddling. Crappy Troll society? Lord English. Omnipotent, omnicidal opponent who destroys the universe? Lord English. Queen who destroys her universe upon death? Lord English. Betty Crocker from space? You'd better believe it's Lord English.
Also, Aradia, all the time. Her socks are even the only thing she's wearing that isn't tattered at the hems as a ghost. Equius also wears man-stockings, but there's no skin showing between them and his shorts.