Literature / Myth Adventures

Myth Adventures is the collective name of a series of humorous fantasy novels by Robert L. Asprin, popular for their whimsical nature, myriad characters, and liberal use of puns. The center around the (very very) diverse adventures of Skeeve, a journeyman magician from the dimension of Klah (who learns about demons very shortly after his mentor dies), and Aahz (short for Aahzimandius), a demon (short for "dimensional traveler," as it is explained) from the dimension of Perv (making him a Pervect, thank you very much).

The title of each novel contains some sort of wordplay on "miss" or "mis-" or "mess" (in the first novel), The "first" series contains twelve novels:
  • Another Fine Myth (1978)
  • Myth Conceptions (1980)
  • Myth Directions (1982)
  • Hit or Myth (1983)
  • Myth-ing Persons (1984)
  • Little Myth Marker (1985)
  • M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link (1986)
  • Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections (1987)
  • M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action (1990)
  • Sweet Myth-Tery of Life (1993)
  • Myth-Ion Improbable (2001)
  • Something M.Y.T.H. Inc. (2002)

The "new" Myth Adventures series, co-authored with Jody Lynn Nye:
  • Myth-Told Tales (2003)
  • Myth Alliances (2003)
  • Myth-Taken Identity (2004)
  • Class Dis-Mythed (2005)
  • Myth-Gotten Gains (2006)
  • Myth-Chief (2008)
  • Myth-Fortunes (2009)

The even "newer" series, written solo by Nye after Asprin's death:
  • Myth-Quoted (2012)
  • Myth-Fits (2016)

Additionally, the first novel was adapted into an eight-part graphic novel by WaRP Graphics (publishers of ElfQuest) in the mid-80s, illustrated and heavily rewritten by Phil Foglio, who also supplied illustrations for many of the novels. This was the only part of the graphic adaptation to make it into full-color bound volumes. Four more issues followed, with art by Jim Valentino, attempting to bridge the action between the first and second novels. The second novel was later adapted into another eight-part comic series by Ken and Beth Mitchroney and published by Apple from 1987 through 1989. Foglio's comics have all been posted at his website.

Now has a character sheet.


This series contains examples of:

  • Aggressive Negotiations: Skeeve is parleying with the head of the opposing army when suddenly he realises the opposing army has been moving into position to attack him while he's distracted by the peace talk. He complains that this is a breach of protocol, and is informed that yes, it is, but it also works extremely well.
  • Alien Lunch: Although Pervects can eat most foods, their own cuisine is so disgusting to other species that the Pervect Ten threaten to feed some to the Wuhses as an interrogation technique. The fact that many of the ingredients are alive and crawling when served only compounds the nauseating effect of a Pervish meal's stench.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Subverted. The main characters tend to use their functional magic to make money and wind up even richer than they started.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The Golden Hoard from Myth-Gotten Gains.
  • Another Dimension: A whole plethora of them, more than any individual can visit in one lifetime.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Played for laughs. Magic? Fine. Demons? Fine. Dragons? Fine. Interdimensional travel? Fine. Blue gremlins? NO WAY!
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Fortunately for Skeeve, logic is not high on the priority list of requisite skills for Mob bosses.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Master Card from Myth-Taken Identity. It wasn't supposed to be one, but Rattila stole the prototype before any safety restrictions had been placed over its magic-sapping powers.
  • Author Filibuster: Asprin and (evidently) Nye both have the bad habit of dropping into lecture mode.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Massha is determined to prove that one doesn't need a slim waist to bare one's midriff. The other characters (privately) disagree.
    • Luanna's bare-midriff outfit in Myth-ing Persons. Spyder's goth/biker/school-uniform look in "Myth-Adventurers".
  • Beneath the Earth: Lower Aegis in Myth-Fortunes.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't youse be makin' fun of how Guido talks, know what I mean? He had to practice a lot to get that speech pattern down in the first place.
    • Never, ever refer Aahz as a "Pervert."
    • Rattila actually weaponizes this trope: he hates it when his mall-rat mooks call him "Ratty", but when he realizes his anger helps him unleash destructive magic, he orders them to do so when (and only when) he tells them to.
  • The Big Guy: Chumley is a Class 3, with Class 5 tendencies. As the male Trolls have found that being Big and Dumb tends to land them lucrative jobs as hired muscle, the entire male half of his race consists of Class 3 Big Guys.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Trolls and Trollops- Trolls are huge, muscular, have arms that hang below their knees, and are covered in thick fur. Trollops look like extremely attractive human women with green hair.
  • Brick Joke: In "M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link", the brick needed several chapters to land. Briefly, it's about a worker's union in a factory.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Skeeve's native world has such combination animals as spider-bears or fox-squirrels, but Skeeve is baffled by such mundane animals as cows.
    • In a deliberate and repeated Lamp Shade of the trope, it's pretty obvious that Aahz (and some of the other veterans, such as Tananda) have been to Earth - or a dimension virtually identical to it. This club grows in size with every book until by the end it seems Skeeve is the only one who isn't a member.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Skeeve's original mentor, Garkin, is murdered about ten pages into the first book, and Skeeve and Aahz spend the rest of the book taking down the person responsible.
  • Calvin Ball: The game Dragon Poker has an uncounted number of possible rule changes that make this the most complicated game in any dimension.
  • Cats Are Magic: Lampshaded in one of the books: "Cats and computers can work through dimensions."
  • Chain of Deals: This is how Deveels make their fortunes.
  • Character Development: The whole series is that for Skeeve, in a way. His views and opinions about the world really evolve throughout the books. This goes for some of his friends/allies too.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Around the time he was actively working with/against the Mob, Skeeve acquired a Djin in a bottle. It took several years in-story and 8 year in real time to put it into use. His name is Kalvin, by the way.
    • The joke powder Garkin used to take away Aahz's powers turns out to be what he uses to de-power Isstvan and his cronies.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Played with in Myth-Taken Identity, in that the active volcano under The Volcano clothing store doesn't erupt, but it does get used to destroy the Artifact of Doom. Which is precisely what volcanoes in a fantasy novel are expected to be used for.
  • Cliffhanger: Sweet Myth-tery of Life ends with one, not resolved until nine years later in Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Pervect Ten can draw upon a lot of magical energy when they work together, at one point using this to put down the Wuhses' rebellion at a stroke by teleporting them to their respective homes and confining them there, unharmed.
  • Cool Gate: Skeeve's tiny tent leads into a huge luxurious mansion. The mansion is actually in another dimension, which occasionally leads to some problems.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Ace reprints of the series sadly offer this trope in spades.
  • Creator Provincialism: Cultural references are almost always to 20th Century U.S.A even though none of the characters is from there nor any of the adventures set there (Perv city streets are "Like Manhattan only more so", the Teamsters union is run by the Mob, Massha flying "only needs 'Goodyear' painted down her side to complete the picture" etc. Even some of the Punny Names require American accents (Aahz-Oz, Klahd-clod, Jahk-Jock, and outside the U.S. "Jock" means "Scotsman", not "athlete" anyway.)
  • Curse: There's one on Samwise's pyramid in Myth-Fortunes, because the Imp stole its plans from a grumpy wizard.
  • Cute Monster Girl: The women of Trollia, who are Trollops. Their green hair is the only thing that sets them apart from humans, appearance-wise. Contrast their male counterparts, the Trolls, which are eight feet tall and covered in thick purple hair.
  • Death Glare: Skeeve delivers a frighteningly intense one to everyone present when Gleep is shot in Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Skeeve often winds up working with people who were previously his enemy. Though he subverts it in Little Myth Marker when he flatly refuses a request by the Ax to join his group. And that's only a temporary subversion—Skeeve and the Ax end up collaborating much later.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Inverted with Guido and Nunzio who, in order, possess an MBA and was once a schoolteacher. Guido spent a considerable amount of time perfecting his mook-speak, though, because that's what people expect him to sound like.
  • Disney Death: Used as a Running Gag.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: In the short story "Myth Congeniality", Bunny enters an all-dimensions beauty pageant to win a prize her uncle wants. She's picked last out of all the contestants, but still wins because she's the only entry who wasn't caught cheating.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!
  • Dragon Hoard: Gleep explains that dragons hoard gold because it's so soft and corrosion-proof that it's ideal for baby dragons to teethe on. Dragons with offspring collect it for their young, and grown-up dragons keep it as a sentimental reminder of childhood.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue:
    • Gleep the dragon is actually very intelligent, but you would only know that if you spoke Dragon.
    • All of Skeeve's employees are smarter than him (or at least better educated) when they have their own POV stories. His mob muscle has the local equivalent of an MBA.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: Each chapter has a fictitious quote. An example might be something like, "Violence is never the right thing to do" - Attila the Hun. This is dropped in later novels; Asprin commented at one point that thinking up the quotes had become the hardest part of the writing.
  • Epigraph: Parodied. Most of the quotes are fictitious, but some are genuine quotes that are made funny in the context of the associated chapter.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: Most "inventors" are alleged to be closet dimensional travelers, who generally introduce technology from more-advanced dimensions in order to make a buck.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Inverted in Myth-Ion Improbable, in which the cows are vampires. In Class Dis-Mythed, one of the Pervect girls adopts a cow disguise when told to look like one of the locals.
  • Evil Chancellor: Although Grimble frequently engages in power struggles with General Badaxe, he has no desire to rule.
  • Evil-Detecting Dragon: Gleep immediately knows that Markie is up to no good, although Skeeve misidentifies who he's reacting to.
  • Exotic Equipment: Bunny debunks some salacious fake news that Ecstra's editor intended to publish by privately showing her that, no, this trope doesn't apply to her. (No details as to what Equipment was suspected are given, because Gleep primly herds Skeeve out of the room before this demonstration.)
  • Expy: In Something M.Y.T.H. Inc., parodies of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, Zorro, and the Fellowship of the Ring all make trouble for Possiltum. In the latter case, their expy status is self-invoked ("We need a dwarf!").
  • Extranormal Prison: Aahz is arrested and imprisoned in a city of vampires. Because a normal jail cell can't hold a vampire, he's placed inside the mouth of an animated dragon-head statue, which can swallow a prisoner who tries to break free or inhale them if they turn into mist.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Gleep has been known to nibble some pretty odd things; in one of the later books, Skeeve disguises his pet as a goat specifically because it'll be more plausible that way if Gleep should start chewing on, say, a hunk of scrap metal.
  • Fairy Godmother: A fairy godfather for the Mob.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Aahz builds up Skeeve as one of these, although Skeeve becomes a genuinely talented magician.
  • Faking the Dead: Skeeve and Aahz have to do this in the very first book when the "innocent couple" Frumple asks them to pose as turn out to be a Con Man couple that the local Torches and Pitchforks mob then proceed to string up from the gallows.
  • Fantasy Gun Control:
    • The series has dimension-hopping, high technology, and heavy warfare, but no guns. The mobsters carry crossbows in their violin cases.
    • A couple of firearms do appear in the later books, but are generally ineffectual or introduced purely for the incongruity.
    • On Klah even demons use crossbows due to Masquerade and possibly logistics, though not everyone's too picky to use heat-seeking quarrels. Pookie was rather amused by crossbows and had something different on Perv. Then again, magic staves can send downrange all sorts of nasty things.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Skeeve's friend Gus manages the Yellow Crescent Inn, i.e. McDonald's. Skeeve finds the food horrifying, though he does eventually develop a taste for the milkshakes.
  • Fictional Sport: The Big Game, which is very similar to an epic game of American football, and determines the capital of the dimension Jahk.
  • Finger in the Mail: In M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link, Skeeve gets a finger in the mail; the ring on it is one of the linking rings he used on King Roderick and Queen Hemlock, initially leading him to believe she cut off her own finger so she could kill the king and pursue her ambitions. Later in the series, we learn it's Roderick's finger, he died of natural causes, and Hemlock sent it to show she figured out that the rings were bupkis and that she still wanted Skeeve.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Aahz's highly-professional bodyguard/mercenary cousin, who can knock Guido out with one blow, goes by Pookie.
    • There's a formidable Sphinx in Myth-Fortunes who goes by Tweety. He claims his father had the same name.
  • Footnote Fever: The new-series books use footnotes to reference (and shamelessly plug) the old-series novels.
  • Foreshadowing: In Myth-Chief, in which Aahz and Skeeve compete over who gets to be M.Y.T.H. Inc.'s new president, Nunzio accidentally calls Bunny "boss". Guess who ends up getting the job...
  • Frameup: Killing two birds with one stone, Aahz makes it look like Frumple is responsible for the de-powering of Isstvan and his assassins. Indirectly related, the couple Frumple gets Aahz and Skeeve to disguise themselves as show up later...not only getting Skeeve and co. in trouble by ducking through their tent's secret "back door" to escape creditors, but later setting up Aahz to take the rap for the "murder" of their partner Vic.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Rattila from Myth-Taken Identity was a janitor before he stole an artifact and began seeking world (or at least shopping mall) domination.
  • Fur Against Fang: In one dimension Skeeve visits, vampires are urbanites who look down on werewolves as country bumpkins.
  • Game Show: Sink Or Swim is a crystal-ball program from Class Dis-Mythed.
  • Gayngster: Don Bruce, the Mob's "fairy Godfather". Skeeve suspects, of course, but it's not confirmed until the books from Guido's point of view.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Big Julie, the (male) supreme commander of the invading army in book 2.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Skeeve meets one of these, a Djin from the dimension Djinger. They are only three inches tall, and hire themselves out for Bottle Duty because their entire dimension is in debt. They tend to be a bit short on Phenomenal Cosmic Powers, though, despite what the salesmen say.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: Aahz is constantly making references to technology or pop culture that Skeeve has never heard of. Later on just about everyone but Skeeve gets into the act (including a few that make no sense, like Guido and Nunzio). Naturally, though, none of the characters ever recognize the stories that their own adventures are Shout Outs to (most obviously Little Miss Marker).
  • Genius Bruiser: Chumley is a rather highly educated troll, but goes by the workname of Big Crunch, mainly because most available jobs require dumb muscle instead of smart muscle.
    • Guido and Nunzio also count, but not quite as much. See Big Guy above.
  • Gentle Giant: Chumley, a huge green-furred Troll. While he works as hired muscle under the pseudonym "Big Crunch", he is actually a quiet poet at heart. Gus the gargoyle is also large and a sweetheart.
  • Glamour: Skeeve's actually rather good at magical disguises.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Subverted in Queen Hemlock, who is rumored to be greedy, ambitious, and cut-throat, even going so far as to murder her parents for the throne — but who in real life is actually rather down-to-earth and cunning... and, yes, ambitious.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The gathering of the Golden Hoard in Myth-Gotten Gains.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Tananda (and all other females AKA Trollops native to the dimension of Trollia). Alluring, curvaceous, flirtatious, scantily-clad (one wonders where she hides all the tools she uses for her work as an assassin)...and yes, her skin is tinted a bit green.
  • The Greys: Kobolds (from Kobol) look a lot like Grey aliens, although they're dark-haired rather than bald.
  • Guile Hero:
    • Aahz. In the early novels especially, there are very few problems that he isn't able to simply talk his way out of.
    • Asprin pointed out in an afterword that the inspiration for Aahz and Skeeve was an all-night marathon of the Hope & Crosby Road to ... series.
  • Handshake Refusal:
    • Aahz offers to take protagonist Skeeve on as his apprentice, since Skeeve's teacher has just been murdered. Pleased, Skeeve offers his hand to seal the deal...and Aahz refuses, because he doesn't shake hands with apprentices. Skeeve wonders if he should have thought this arrangement through a little more.
    • Much later, while searching for a missing Aahz in his home dimension, Skeeve flinches at shaking hands with an apprentice. When he explains where he picked up the habit, Aahz's old magic teacher remembers him ("It was one of his less objectionable traits") and is able to help Skeeve look for him.
  • Heir Club for Men: Don Bruce tried to play matchmaking with Bunny and Skeeve, considering Skeeve as a potential heir. As to exactly how successful this attempt was...
  • Horse of a Different Color: Some pretty bizarre mounts crop up across the dimensions, including the hiphippohippus (think: rhino slimmed down for agility) ridden by Aahz in "Myth-ter Right", or the many-legged armored beast (think: glyptodont with millipede feet) used by the Ta-hoe team's rider in Myth Directions.
  • Hostage Spirit Link: Skeeve sets up King Roderick and Queen Hemlock with unremovable magic rings, claiming that if one of them dies, so does the other, all in an attempt to keep both of them in line (and from killing one another). He was bluffing; they're just normal unremovable rings. The bluff works but several books later, Hemlock catches on when Roderick dies of natural causes and nothing happens to her.
  • Hulk Speak: Trolls speak this way as part of Obfuscating Stupidity, as they find that an eloquent Troll is unlikely to get jobs as hired muscle. Gleep uses slowed-down Hulk Speak with Skeeve once he reveals his ability to talk to his "pet", although that's because his vocal cords are immature, not any lack of eloquence on Gleep's part.
  • Human Subspecies: The natives of Jahk are human, but their athletes have been self-selecting for size and strength so long that they've effectively become this trope, in contrast to the out-of-shape fans.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In the short story "Myth-ter Right", Aahz and Massha get involved in a non-lethal version: a traditional contest in which trained dragons are used to hunt down (but not kill) a princess. She's allowed to set traps to foil her pursuers, so it's a bit dangerous for the hunters also.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Oh Lord, yes... usually ranking F4 or F5. Fortunately, they tend to be a bit more highbrow than similar storm systems in Xanth, so your head isn't as likely to explode.
  • I Gave My Word: One of the primary complications in Myth Directions is that Skeeve promised not to do anything to endanger the job of one of the local magicians without stopping to think through the implications...specifically, the implication that this is the guy holding Tananda captive and therefore just breaking her out would damage his reputation.
  • Insistent Terminology: Denizens of Perv are called Pervects. One would be wise not to forget this, lest one be the subject of percussive education. Pervert, it is explained, is actually a racial slur.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The D-Hopper is used throughout the series to get to different universes.
  • Interquel: Myth-ion Improbable, written after a multi-year hiatus so Asprin could regain a feel for the characters before tackling Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.. Chronologically set between the third and fourth book.
  • Interspecies Romance: All over the place:Tanda and Aahz had a thing going (and technically the human men she's with periodically too; she's a Trollop, remember), Guido has the hots for Pookie, various Deveels leer at Bunny, etc, etc, etc. No one seems to take any issue with it.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Tananda contributes an invisibility sheet to the war effort. Much cheaper than a cloak, but it only shields the bearer from observers on one side, and has to be carried not worn.
  • It Can Think: Gleep is a lot smarter than his puppy-like demeanor indicates.
  • It Must Be Mine!:
    • In Myth Directions, Tanda the Trollop assassin wants to procure a hideous green frog statue whose only value is as a trophy in a sporting competition, as a birthday present for Aahz. Hilarity Ensues. Then gets cranked even higher when Aahz learns about his intended gift and includes snatching it back as part of the plan to deal with the hilarity.
    • Even funnier is how it happens. Aahz chews Skeeve out when he learns that the thing everyone's been going nuts over is a butt-ugly statue. But as soon as Skeeve admits that it was supposed to be his birthday present, Aahz practically falls in love with it.
  • Judgment of Solomon: Subverted in Hit and Myth. The decision is rendered by Skeeve (while disguised as King Roderick) regarding a dispute over a cat, but:
    "This was supposed to inspire them to settle their difference with a quick compromise. Instead, they thanked me for my wisdom, shook hands, and left smiling, presumably to carve up the cat."
  • Kayfabe: Used in-universe by two Trolls from a Myth-Told Tales story, who secretly have a conversation while appearing to beat the living crap out of each other.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Aahz, Skeeve and Tananda promise never to discuss the events of Myth-ion Improbable again, even among themselves. This handily excuses why this Interquel's events aren't ever referenced in the previous seven novels, not even Myth-ing Persons, which also involves vampires.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Skeeve and Vic aren't on the same side in Myth-ing Persons, but Vic would have surrendered a whole lot sooner if one of his partners hadn't convinced him that Skeeve wanted them dead.
  • Ley Lines: These are necessary for the casting of any magic whatsoever. Become major plot points in Another Fine Myth (when Aahz and Skeeve find Isstvan by tracing one), Myth-ing Persons (when Limbo's weak lines hamper Skeeve's power), Myth-ion Improbable (in which blocking one is necessary to disrupt a major spell), and Myth-Fits (in which Winslow's lines are depleted and Maire's are dangerously-overpowered).
  • Little Bit Beastly: Some dimensions' natives fall within this trope, such as the Wuhses (sheep-like) and Walts (stork-like).
  • Living Legend: Skeeve the Magnificent, renowned across the dimensions. And it costs an arm and a leg to hire him because of it.
  • Living Structure Monster: The animated dragon-head prison cell atop Blut's Municipal building, designed to swallow or inhale jailed vampires if they try to escape.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Long-Running Book Series
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Subverted. This was deliberately done on the orders of the "child" in question so as to infiltrate the hero's household.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Those novels with "M.Y.T.H. Inc." puns in their titles, rather than "Myth" puns, shift from Skeeve's perspective as narrator to the supporting characters', most often Guido or Aahz. Particularly evident in Something M.Y.T.H. Inc., in which newcomer Pookie, the Bug Squad, and ordinary citizens of Possiltum play major roles.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: Justified in Little Myth Marker. Skeeve has no skill or knowledge of the game in question: so he bets everything on the first hand without even looking at the cards. By reducing the game to what amounts to a coin flip, he renders skill irrelevant. This caused considerable problems for the people who'd manipulated him into the game, expecting that there was no way he could possibly win.
  • Magitek: The crystal ether network is essentially magic's answer to television. Magic-powered computers and "storyteller glasses" (= VR video games) feature prominently in Myth Alliances.
  • Masochist's Meal: According to Aahz: "The main problem with Pervish food is keeping the goo from crawling out of the bowl while youíre eating it."
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Garkin & Aahz > Skeeve > Massha
    • Class Dis-Mythed added Bee to the end of the above chain, as Massha's sometime trainee. Bee, Tolk, Melvine, and the three Pervect girls also studied under Skeeve himself.
  • Meaningful Name: Most races' names (Klahd, Jahk, Trollop, Wuhs) qualify as this, directly or by way of Incredibly Lame Pun.
    • The personal names of Ghords in Myth-Fortunes are Meaningful Incredibly Lame Puns, like "Lol-Kit" for a young female obsessed with glyphing (= social media) or "Thoth-Ful" for a wise man.
  • Mildly Military: The Possiltum military is under funded and underfed, so it's justified that they're insubordinate and incompetent.
  • More Expendable Than You: Near the end of M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action, the entire team tries to volunteer to assassinate Queen Hemlock, none of them admitting it's because they know it's a Suicide Mission and don't want anyone else to be the Heroic Sacrifice. Big Julie brings it out into the open by Lampshading that he should do it because he's an old man and won't live all that long anyway.
  • More Hero Than Thou: Who gets to go through the door (Myth-ing Persons)? Also, who gets to whack Hemlock (M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action)?
  • NaÔve Newcomer: Skeeve. In later books, newly introduced characters take the role so that Convenient Exposition can occur.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: The villain reaction is elaborated upon by Guido and Nunzio in M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action - aside from the benefits of a live prisoner, wounding a soldier takes three out of the action - one man down, one to carry him, and one to report back to his superiors.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying over You: Aahz once got "We're Too Busy Planning Vengeance For Your Death" moment.
    • So did Skeeve in Myth-Fortunes.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Gremlins, see above.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The entire race of Trolls embrace this trope, apparently having found it difficult to get work if they spoke as eloquently as they do among themselves. Also true of dragons, who aren't even considered sentient. What fools these mortals be...
  • Older Than They Look: Markie
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Something M.Y.T.H. Inc occurs simultaneously with Sweet Myth-tery Of Life, and replays several scenes from that book from other characters' perspective. This reveals there's a lot happening under Skeeve's nose that he never suspected.
  • Our Demons Are Different: In this case, a "demon" is just a dimensional traveler. Some of these, the Deveels, do look the part, but a human outside his home plane would be considered a demon as well.
  • Our Genies Are Different:
    • The denizens of Djinger are all strapped for cash and hire themselves out to work in magic lamps, rings, bottles, and so forth. Beyond that, they work entirely on hype.
    • Not entirely. The Djinni explains to Skeeve (but only AFTER he had already technically fulfilled his contractual obligation and was about to leave at Skeeve's insistance) that he had been deliberately underselling his abilities so that Skeeve would be more impressed when he finally DID perform his single service. He gives Skeeve a Self Reliance Aesop Speech before leaving.
  • Parody Magic Spell: All incantations are fake trappings meant to impress muggles. Quite a lot of them fall under the trope, including "Alakazam-shazam" and the perennial favourite "Walla Walla, Washington".
  • Petting Zoo People: Quite a few dimensions' natives qualify, such as the Swamp Foxes from Myth-Chief and the rodent- and terrier-like inhabitants of Ratislava. The Ghords of Aegis vary wildly in appearance, but most have human bodies with the head and feet of some animal appropriate to their Ancient Egypt-flavored culture.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Skeeve has this problem with Queen Hemlock and Bunny. The fact that he's embarrassed tips off Hemlock that he's not who he's magically disguised as, because royalty doesn't get embarrassed.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: Parodied in Myth-Quoted, in which rival candidates for governor participate in a baby-kissing contest to see which one's kisses can get the most giggles and least crying out of hundreds of infants within a set time limit.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The plot of Myth-ing Persons happens because Skeeve and Aahz don't think to ask how much the con-artists they're being asked to pay restitution for stole, and wind up going through a life-threatening adventure over what to them is pocket change.
  • The Power of Friendship: Skeeve & Co. are big on this.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Deveels.
  • Psmith Psyndrome: Go ahead. Call him "Oz the Pervert". We'll wait.
    • Isstvan's name from Skeeve's perspective; Aahz doesn't recognize it the first time Skeeve says it, even though Skeeve can't hear any difference in the way Aahz pronounces it. Aahz says the difference must be too subtle for the human ear.
  • Rebus Bubble: Kobolds, from the computer-savvy dimension of Kobol, can communicate in Speech Bubbles full of wingdings and emoticons.
  • Regenerating Mana: Magic is done using Ley Line energy. A skilled magician can build up & store the energy like a human(oid) battery and let it out later, so even if there are no ley lines around he can still do magic. But then he's depleted and has to go to an area with ley lines in order to recharge. It's a learned skill, but once you learn it it happens in the background so it's as good as automatic.
  • Riddle of the Sphinx: Tweety from Myth-Fortunes asks a variant on the classic version: What is dark in the morning, pale at noon, and gone by evening? It's hair.
  • Rock Beats Laser: In Little Myth Marker, a crooked casino dealer disdains magical cheating methods (which the gamblers are watching for) in favor if the simple finesse of a marked deck (which they aren't).
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The mall-rats from Myth-Taken Identity are just under 2 feet tall, while their leader Rattila is twice their size.
  • Running Gag: Ever since M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link, references to a product which Guido had been obliged to inspect on an assembly line in that novel keep cropping up. The product? A practical-joke dealer's trademarked Rubber Doggie Doodle With Life-Like Aroma That Actually Sticks To Your Hands.
  • Scaled Up: Rattila tries this tactic when Aahz's group finally track him down.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Skeeve is all for doing this when things go south in Myth Conceptions, but Aahz won't let him, since by that point the reputation of magic is at stake.
  • Sequel Gap: The eight years between Sweet Myth-tery of Life and Myth-ion Improbable.
  • Sequel Hook: The heavily-barred and concealed back door to Limbo, discovered at the end of Hit Or Myth and explored in Myth-ing Persons.
    • Bill collectors appear at M.Y.T.H. Inc.'s Bazaar tent at the end of Myth Alliances, leading directly into the events of Myth-Taken Identity.
  • Series Continuity Error: Trolls' fur is dull green in the early books, but purple in the latest novels. Blut is a city on Limbo in Myth-Ing Persons, but later novels refer to the whole dimension as Blut.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Skeeve's most effective tactic against Big Julie's army is to use disguise-spells to get the enemy troops shooting and striking at each other and making Aahz's would-be executioner look like Aahz so his own troops will cut him down.
  • Shout-Out:
    • E.g. Guido & Nunzio (see their WWE prototype in the Unrelated Brothers article).
    • Idnew and Drahcir, the Woof Writers - A shout out to Wendi and Richard Pini... in werewolf form.
    • Phil Foglio's illustration of Don Bruce for one book looks like a certain Mr. O'Malley.
    • For that matter, Vic the vampire is Phil's avatar in-universe.
    • Class Dis-Mythed has an extended sequence dealing with Evad, a Mantacore... who happens to be a part of the Royal Mantacorian Navy. Honor and the Queen get mentioned a few times, naturally.
    • When they try to come up with a name for what becomes M.Y.T.H. Inc., it's mentioned that "Magic, Inc." is taken.
    • The only way Wince, the on-stage superstar executioner from Myth-Fits, could be any more Alice Cooper would be if he did horror movie cameos.
    • Myth-Taken Identity gives us the following Painful Rhyme:
    One Card to rule The Mall, one Card to Charge It,
    One Card to cruise The Mall, and in the darkness Lodge It.
  • Shown Their Work: Asprin dealt with writer's block by doing research. On the negative side, this sometimes led to the Author Filibusters mentioned above.
  • Smoke Out: Skeeve tries a variation of this to intimidate an army. Unfortunately, he quickly learns that his ninja smoke makes him sneeze.
  • Snobs Vs Slobs: The initial relationship between Skeeve's students in Class Dis-Mythed is this, with the three Pervect girls being well-off academics and the boys' backgrounds being humble or delinquent. Subverted when they all learn to work together, although it takes some doing.
  • Spot the Imposter: Comes up several times in Myth-Taken Identity. Averted with the faux-Skeeves, as Aahz's group know for a fact that the real one isn't anywhere near The Mall.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Guido and Nunzio's attempts to disrupt the Possiltum army in M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action only end up improving the army and/or getting them promoted. Even when they go as far as to have supplies delivered at random.
    Officer: It took a sharp eye for detail to notice that these requests for winter-wear uniforms were six months old and send out summer-weight instead.
  • Squishy Wizard: Justified for humans. Aahz observes that humans simply don't have the lifespan necessary to become proficient at both magic and combat, whilst non-humans have longer to practice and become both magically competent and non-squishy.
  • Status Quo Is God: While there are multiple changes in Skeeve's supporting cast and living conditions, this is the only real explanation for his failure to learn more than four basic (though extremely useful) spells in the first twelve books, despite working as a professional magician for almost all of that time.
    • Even after Skeeve acquires a wider range of spells in the later novels, it's a given that Aahz won't regain his own magic even if the chance to recover it presents itself.
  • Student and Master Team: Skeeve and Aahz, after the latter is stripped of most of his magical powers.
  • Take That!: Myth-Told Tales, a collection of short stories, is a whole string of them, slamming fox-hunting, beauty contests and hair salons. After Asprin's Real Life troubles with the IRS, Myth-Taken Identity also worked in an anti-tax-agency subplot.
  • Taking the Bullet: Gleep takes an arrow for Aahz in Something M.Y.T.H. Inc., finally earning Aahz's respect (and the reader's forgiveness for how he tried to roast Tananda in M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action).
  • Theme Naming: Common in the later books, as with the shutterbugs (named after camera brands) or Wuhses (whose names resemble sheep breeds).
    • The Bug Squad from M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action: the Flie brothers, Bee, Spyder, and Junebug.
    • The mall-rats from Myth-Taken Identity use names based on outdated slang phrases, like Strewth, Wassup, and Yahrayt.
  • This Is My Human:
    • Skeeve has a pet, the little dragon Gleep. Gleep has a pet,too — the Klahdish boy Skeeve.
    • At one point, Gleep even thinks of Guido and Nunzio as Skeeve's pets.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Guido and Nunzio, who come to work for Skeeve as part of his new partnership with the Mob.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Skeeve, although initially repulsed by their muddy appearance, becomes quite fond of strawberry milkshakes.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: The basis for the original novels.
  • Translation Convention: Averted at the bazaar - Deveels speak every language, or can hire on short notice someone who can, because they're far too savvy as merchants to lose a sale just because of the language barrier.
  • Translator Microbes: Translator Pendants. (They even translate puns!?)
  • Unit Confusion: Aahz has trouble with Klahdish units of time.
  • Veganopia: Nastily subverted in Myth-Ion Improbable: the humans only eat vegetables and carrot juice, because vampires drained Kowtow's edible animals into extinction. They are peaceful, but only because drugged juice keeps them docile.
  • Verbal Tic: Nearly every sentence that Princess Hermalaya from Myth-Chief says comes out sounding like a question?
  • Vignette Episode: Mostly released as novels, but some of the books are collections of short stories about the universe.
  • Virgin Power: Embarrassingly, Skeeve is the only one in the group that does not elicit an initial negative reaction from a borrowed war unicorn. After a night of binge drinking with a vampire blind date, he tries to use the unicorn to figure out what, if anything, happened. It doesn't work. Buttercup likes Bunny too, for whatever that's worth.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Nunzio's a big man described with a tiny voice.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Any novel in which the characters visit multiple dimensions as part of a journey or search is liable to involve some of these.
  • Watering Down: The book M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action features Mob enforcer Guido discussing this phenomena, noting it's a way for the bar owner to make more money off less product, and his customers don't mind because less alcohol per glass makes the drink "healthier".
    • Even the strongest booze available on Wuh would get its seller accused of this offense in most dimensions, as anything stronger would be too much for the Wuhses.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Skeeve's human lifespan is occasionally mentioned as being very short by the standards of his non-Klahd friends.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: In Mything Persons, first Aahz and then Skeeve venture into Limbo to track down some people who'd committed fraud at the Bazaar, because they'll have to pay off the defrauded customers if they don't. It's revealed at the end that the fraudsters hadn't actually had time to con many people, so they could've paid off the customers out of petty cash. But they'd neglected to ask the Bazaar's representative how much compensation was due.
    • Skeeve's problems in Myth Alliances could've been avoided if he'd never listened to Zol Icty's advice, and simply asked the Pervect Ten for their side of the story.
  • We Sell Everything: The Deva Bazaar... which, by the way, consists of the entire planet.
    • On a smaller scale, the shop Massha recruits for the Fun House sells every cheap thing one could imagine.
  • Weak, but Skilled: As a magic-user, Skeeve only knows a handful of basic spells. Nevertheless, he's able to use these (along with copious amounts of cunning, negotiation, and B.S.) to get the reputation of a sorcerous demi-god. Skeeve eventually does go on a binge of studying and improve his skills.
    • Bee and Tolk play this trope straight in Class Dis-Mythed, in contrast to Melvine's and the Pervect girls' potent yet clumsily-applied abilities.
  • Who's on First?: Lampshaded word-for-word by Aahz when Chumley's alias of "Wat-Is-Et" confuses Skeeve in Myth-Fortunes.
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: To prevent Skeeve from blurting out information at the Shifter's place, Tananda temporarily seals his lips together.
  • With Catlike Tread: Unexpected subverted when the characters, having to sneak around town unseen at one point in the vampire dimension, use patches of light to hide in instead of shadows.
    Skeeve: Don't laugh. It worked.
  • World of Pun: The series has puns everywhere, including the titles of all the books and of the series itself. The various dimensions have Punny Names: Klahds are from Klah, Deveels are from Deva, Cupys (small, doll-like people) are from Cupid...

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