("The Bellybuttons") is an ongoing French-Canadian comic, following the misadventures of long-suffering
Karine and her high school classmates.
This series contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adorkable: Karine in a nutshell.
- The Alcoholic: Jenny's mom.
- All Men Are Perverts: All the guys who lust after Vicky and Jenny, but particularly Murphy. Dan, Albin and Hugo seem to avert this.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Jenny may have some kind of learning disability or she could just be stupid. She does occasionally make some clever observations.
- Ambiguously Evil: Albin is trying to get Karine to cut off contact with her friends, a classic sign of controlling behaviour, but then again her friends are Vicky and Jenny. Also it's left ambiguous whether Karine's changes in lifestyle since meeting him were really her choice or his.
- Is Melanie a bitch intentionally or is she a sociopath and can't help it? The fact that she was willing to poison herself in order to frame Karine seems to point more toward psychological issues.
- Balloon Belly: Jenny gets one in volume 6, causing her to be Mistaken for Pregnant.
- Bare Your Midriff: If the title hadn't clued you in...
- Batman Gambit: These start showing up in volume 3.
- Between My Legs: The cover of volume 4.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Melanie. So very, very much.
- Buttmonkey: Karine, Karine, Karine. Also The Chewtoy.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The comic started out as a series of gag strips and didn't start going into deep storylines until volume 3.
- Closet Key: After their kiss, Vicky realises she has feelings for Mégane.
- Comedic Sociopathy: The main source of humor whenever Jenny and Vicky are around. Especially Vicky.
- The Ditz: Jenny. So very much.
- Dramatic Irony: No one but the reader knows that Jenny's younger sister is also Vicky's half-sister.
- Engineered Public Confession
- Evil Albino: Possibly double-subverted with Albin.
- Triple-subverted: Despite some Knight Templar tendencies, Albin isn't evil as hinted.
- Evil Versus Evil: Much of volume 4 revolves around Vicky and Jenny's rivalry with Melanie, with Karine siding with her "friends". YMMV as to who is worse.
- Extreme Doormat: Karine's primary character trait. At least for a while.
- There are implications that Karine is still a doormat. It's just that the only one walking over her is Albin, and he's such a master of manipulation she doesn't realise it.
- The Faceless: John John never takes off his helmet. For understandable reasons.
- Five-Finger Discount: Jenny has a habit of doing this.
- Foreshadowing: In volume 6, Mégane sure is eager to get Vicky into her bedroom and gets noticeably jealous when Vicky shows interest in her brother.
- Formerly Fat: Vicky, according to her sister.
- Freudian Excuse: Vicky might be a pretty awful human being but realizing that her dad is a greedy jerk who raised her to believe that compassion is a hindrance and her older sister Roberta is ten times the Alpha Bitch she is, it's not hard to see why she acts the way she does.
- Gold Digger: Vicky's mom is one, and considers it a proud family tradition that she intends to impart on her daughters, as her own mother did before her.
- Horned Hairdo: Albin seems to deliberately cultivate his own satanic imagery. Possibly as part of his stage persona.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Karine is comically tall.
- Ignorance Is Bliss: Jenny's homelife is in a terrible state, but she's too stupid to realise it.
- Insult of Endearment: Mégane continues to call Vicky "Barbie" teasingly even after developing feelings for her.
- Jerkass: Vicky and Jenny, to a hilarious degree. Murphy, too.
- Jerkass Woobie: ...Which makes it all the more impressive that the comic can still make you feel sorry for them every once in a while.
- Kick the Dog: It's bad enough that Melanie stole Dan away from Karine, but she just had to needlessly rub it in her face too.
- Knight Templar: Subverted or double-subverted?
- TRIPLE-subverted! Albin has some tendencies in this direction, but not to the murderous extent hinted in volume 5. His childhood friend, on the other hand, seems engaged on a personal crusade to eliminate the worst victimizers he knows.
- Love Epiphany: Vicky has one in volume 6 when she kisses James while she spots Mégane looking down at them from her bedroom. But she realises the one she loves is Mégane.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Mégane for Vicky.
- Manipulative Bastard: Melanie. Albin is a less villainous version.
- Nice Guy: Dan.
- Noodle People
- No Respect Guy: Karine, most of the time.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: John John pretends being far more Book Dumb than he really is to prolong high school.
- In the climax of volume 4, Karine pretends to go along with Vicky and Jenny's not-so-brilliant plan in order. In so doing, and by letting Melanie discover it, she tricks her into lowering her guard and falling for Karine's real plan.
- Obliviously Evil: Jenny can be nice. A significant part of her Comedic Sociopathy appears to be the result of obliviousness and Vicky's bad influence.
- Albin seems to genuinely believe his controlling behaviour over Karine is justified.
- Out of Focus: Karine only plays a secondary role in volume 6.
- Poisonous Friend: It would be shorter to list the people around Karine who aren't this.
- Precious Puppy: An absolutely adorable one gets introduced as Jenny's pet...only to die horribly within the next five minutes due to her sheer idiocy. Yeesh.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Vicky and Jenny (and possibly Dan) about Albin being wrong for Karine.
- Sarcastic Confession: Albin loves giving these. It remains to be seen how much of them are actually true.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Once Karine decides to stop being a victim, she changes her looks, this time without the sabotaging input of her "friends". The result is a net improvement.
- Sherlock Scan: Albin is good at figuring people out. But not good enough to tell his best friend is a murderous Knight Templar.
- The Sociopath: Melanie and Albin both show signs of being this. Unlike Vicky and Jenny, it's not played for laughs.
- Statuesque Stunner: Karine becomes this after she gets her makeover and stops slouching.
- Temporary Bulk Change: Happens to Jenny when Vicky takes her to an all-you-can-eat place in an effort to make Jenny fat so the guy they're fighting over will date her instead. When Jenny starts gaining mass unusually fast, Vicky can't believe it. It turns out she was just having an allergic reaction.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Not everything that happens to Karine is horribly depressing.
- Too Much Information: In Murphy's first scene in volume 6, he tells Vicky he was thinking about her last night while finishing his box of Kleenex.
- With Friends Like These...: Vicky, and to an extent Jenny towards Karine
- Wrong Name Outburst: Near the end of volume 6 when Karine is yelling at Vicky, telling her how in love she is with Albin, she accidentally says Dan instead of Albin.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: In volume 6 things finally seem to be going well for Vicky as she gains a boyfriend and her parents' respect, but toward the end not only is she almost murdered, she also realises she's trapped in a loveless relationship and the one she truly loves is her boyfriend's sister.