Strangetown, Here We Come
Strangetown, Here we Come
is a The Sims 2 Machinomic
started in 2007 by the pseudonymous Strange Tomato. The story tells about the lives of the characters from The Sims 2
's premade neighborhood Strangetown, focusing on a trio of friends: Johnny Smith, Ophelia Nigmos and Ripp Grunt. As the story has gone on, characters from other neighborhoods have stepped into the story, too.
Not to be confused with The Smiths
' 1987 album Strangeways, Here We Come
The story can be read here
It includes examples of:
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Inverted with Johnny, who planned to wait for marriage. This Gender Inverted Trope is furthered by the fact that it's Ophelia who doesn't want them to wait any longer.
- Abusive Parents: Jaxy's.
- Alliterative Name: Zoe Zimmerman, Beau Broke, and Chloe Curious.
- Ambiguously Gay: Buck to Jill and the audience for many chapters. He turns out to be straight and in love with her and they eventually get together.
- Anal Probing: Subverted. It's commonly assumed by Sims that the aliens use a probe, but Stella explains (and demonstrates) that their approach to reproduction with Sims is more physical.
- Anything That Moves: Ripp.
- Arranged Marriage: Pollination Technician 9 tries to set up one between Jayne and Johnny in order to preserve their alien genetics. She's all for it, but he has doubts, and ultimately rejects it to be with Ophelia instead.
- The Artifact: Jayne Doe started out as something of a main character (or as much as you can get in an ensemble series), even being the focal character of the prologue. Word of God implies that she was originally supposed to be Johnny's love interest after he broke up with Ophelia (who would then date Ripp) but as the series focused more and more on Johnny, Ripp, and Ophelia as a trio, she got less and less screen time. She was eventually put on a spaceship when it became clear that the original plot for her character would not work with the direction the story was going.
- Bi the Way: Zoe Zimmerman.
- Chloe Curious (though she seems to prefer the ladies).
- Ripp makes out with Frances in one chapter and then eventually admits that he is in love with Johnny. It's also implied that Johnny may feel the same way. Interestingly, because of the way the game works, due to the sheer number of women Ripp has slept with, he is by far the most straight of all the Sims.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: The Worthingtons have their share of real issues, including a mother with addiction issues.
- Binge Montage: Ripp has several of these. One is shared with Jaxy Rai, who has similar issues with substance use.
- Boomerang Bigot: Dina Caliente has a deep hatred for aliens, despite being 1/4 alien and wouldn't mind if retribution against the aliens destroyed her and her family. Chloe Curious outright denies she is an alien, despite being visibly half-alien
- Boyish Short Hair: Jaxy gets this later on.
- Breakout Character: Frances just started off as a Satellite Character to Tank, but turned out popular and interesting enough to become one of the most important characters with plotlines of his own.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Ripp loves nothing more than having sex with as many women who will have him, but he makes a point of never disrespecting any of them unless they want him to pretend like he is. He just likes women too much.
- Camp Gay: Beau.
- Camp Straight: Buck.
- Clones Are People Too: According to Erin Beaker. Circe and Loki seem to disagree.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Ripp Grunt likes to swear.
- Coming-Out Story: Frances J. Worthington comes out at his big sister's wedding.
- Convenient Miscarriage: Buck has one in Chapter 35, after getting pregnant by Jill, and he didn't even know until the miscarriage.
- Creator Cameo: Strange Tomato's Simself can sometimes be seen as an extra in the background.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Stella is a pure alien, with no prior knowledge of Sim sexual conventions. As a result, most of her pickup lines are very direct.
- Dysfunctional Family: The Grunts
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Frances is embarrassed by his, and Edie uses it to affectionately rib him.
- Ethical Slut: Ripp, of course.
- Erotic Dream: Later on, Tank starts having heaps of these involving Lucy. It freaks him out enough to make him see a psychiatrist. Also, Ripp apparently has these involving pretty much all of his friends.
- Exotic Equipment: Full-blooded aliens have combination genitalia.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Used on Ripp, Jill, Frances, and Tank to show character development.
- Evil Versus Evil: Olive Specter takes on the Beakers.
- Fantastic Racism: Toward aliens.
- Fantastic Slurs: The aliens are sometimes referred to as "ass babies."
- Flower Motifs
- Friends with Benefits: Ripp and Stella had sex in order for her to better study human reproduction and ended up becoming good friends in the process, but love never resulted and they parted amicably.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Johnny, Jill, and Jayne.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Ripp was given this option when he initialized Kendall's servo, resulting in her unfortunate name, Sugar Tits.
- Heir Club for Men: The reason the Worthington family had three daughters before Frances.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: When Ripp screws up Kendall's servo and so hits her Berserk Button causing her to rain verbal abuse, Tank defends him, claiming that while he might not act too different at times, at least he knows that he does love Ripp deep down.
- Incompatible Orientation: Frances and Tank.
- Kissing Under the Influence: Ripp and Frances kiss while the former is drunk and the latter is seriously upset due to having been turned down by Tank. They have no interest in one another, though, and the event mostly serves to bring Ripp's bisexuality out of the realm of subtext.
- Ladykiller in Love: Ripp toward Ophelia.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The story goes to all three of the main neighborhoods in The Sims 2 and a few of the expansion ones and has a plot for each one. Every character has a story purpose, relationships, a past, and opinions. If they were in the game, there's a 75% chance they'll appear at some point.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Frances.
- Love Dodecahedron: Although there aren't a lot of love interests, they tend to overlap a good deal. For example, Ripp, Johnny, and Tank all have things for Ophelia at some point, Johnny also considers marrying Jayne, who eventually falls in love with Stella, who studied sex with Ripp for a while. Ripp is to blame for a lot of it, but not all of it.
- Love Triangle: The main trio end up in a Type 4 with Johnny and Ophelia going out and Ripp being in love with her, segues into a Type 7 with Ophelia beginning to go out with Ripp as well as Johnny, and then turns into a Type 11 with Ripp also ending up in love with Johnny with hints that it would eventually become a Type 8. Whew!
- Magic Realism: Mostly a normal contemporary story
- Military Brat: The Grunts.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Beau and Frances end up having sex in a public garden.
- The Messiah: Johnny and Ripp have a tendency to view Ophelia this way, but they're not too wrong.
- Mpreg: Abducted male Sims, as in canon.
- Musical Allusion Title: The title is a play on The Smiths' album Strangeways, Here We Come. The creator is a fan and makes other references to the band in the story. Mr. Doe, Jayne's father, is a Sim based on Morrissey.
- My Sister Is Off Limits: Johnny is somewhat like this when someone expresses interest to Jill.
- No Bisexuals: Not in play, though oddly, despite the number of bisexual characters, the B word is never actually spoken in canon, even in situations where it seems odd not to.
- This isn't so unusual in real life, as many people shy away from using the bi label and/or deny the existence of bisexuality, resulting in bisexual erasure. Some people prefer not to label the complexities of their sexuality at all.
- Not So Different: At the beginning, Ripp and Tank separately hate each other for being total arseholes. Turns out, they're both sorta right and sorta wrong, and they eventually get over it. Tank and Johnny are much the same, but never quite manage to grow out of their enmity.
- Oblivious to Love: Tank had no idea that Frances had a crush on him. It helped that he had no idea he was gay, either.
- Oedipus Complex: Doesn't happen in canon, but Strange Tomato made a female Sim to represent Tank and Ripp's absent mother based on their personality and appearance. However, because she didn't come with the game, she didn't register as being related to Ripp. Not only was he attracted to her, but when Strange Tomato did a test to see who he had the most chemistry with, guess who popped up?
- Odd Couple: Tank and Frances appear as this from the outside, but they end up being surprisingly similar, both being rather socially awkward Neat Freaks with a dedication to pleasing their fathers.
- Out of Focus: Once Ripp, Johnny, Ophelia, and Tank go off to college, the characters back in Strangetown get this increasingly, especially once Buck and Jill leave as well.
- Parental Abandonment: The Grunt boys, Ophelia, and Nervous Subject. This is lampshaded by Ripp in chapter 28.
- Pointy Ears: The aliens, or at least the full-blooded ones.
- Polyamory: Eventually, Johnny, Ripp, and Ophelia get into a relationship in which both Ripp and Johnny are going out with Ophelia. It is implied that the relationship might end up with Johnny and Ripp going out as well.
- Power Trio: Johnny = Superego, Ripp = Id, Ophelia = Ego.
- Quirky Household: The Curious and Smith clan is over half alien and their family tree has some interestingly tangled branches, causing them to be viewed as a Big Screwed-Up Family by some, but they are mostly functional, despite all this.
- The Summerdreams are extremely quirkly, yet extremely functional.
- Recursive Fic: This fic is often considered the standard for Strangetown characterisation, so it's not uncommon to see other The Sims fic written based on it, if not in the same universe altogether.
- Robosexual: Because he's a romance Sim and servos take on the traits of the Sim who activated them, the activation in question between Ripp and Sugar Tits ends up feeling like an orgasm and he almost takes it further before he's interrupted.
- Schedule Slip: There weren't any new of the story from March 2010 to November 2012, when strange_tomato wrote a short Interquel about Beau Broke and Francis Worthington.
- Second Love: Beau for Frances and Buck for Jill.
- Shout-Out: The story gives frequent reference to the gameplay of The Sims 2, works that the author is inspired by, and other Sim stories (simgaroop's The Broke Legacy is one example).
- Smitten Teenage Girl: Jill toward Ripp. She gets over it.
- Their First Time: Between Buck and Jill. It goes well.
- There Is Only One Bed: This is the case in the cabin Johnny books for him, Ripp, and Ophelia in a later chapter. Ripp assumes Johnny and Ophelia will be sleeping in it together and that he'll have to sleep on the couch. In reality, Johnny was okay with them all sleeping together in it.
- Title Drop: The title is used as the last line in chapter 28, from Johnny's point of view. It is in reference to his complicated relationship with both Ripp and Ophelia, which he compares to all the other aspects of his life that are less than perfectly normal. The expression is more figurative than literal in this context (Strangetown is used generically, much as "crazytown" would be), though both could apply.
- Tragic Villain: Don Lothario
- Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Tank and his father when it comes to aliens. It helps that the aliens don't turn out to be so squeaky clean, after all, and in fact the General's conspiracy theories were actually pretty accurate.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Johnny, Ripp and Ophelia.
- Too Much Information: Beau Broke is this trope.
- Unfortunate Name: Sugar Tits. Blame Ripp. To be fair, he didn't realise it would be permanent...
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Buck to Jill.
- You Need to Get Laid: Ripp's main piece of brotherly advice for Tank.