Old Master Q (Chinese: 老夫子; pinyin: Lǎo Fū Zi) is a Chinese manhua created by Alfonso Wong (Chinese: 王家禧 / 王澤; pinyin: Wáng Jiā Xǐ / Wáng Zé). The cartoon first appeared as comic strips in the newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong in 1962, and later serialised in 1964.
The series features Old Master Q and his friends - Big Potato (Chinese: 大番薯; pinyin: Dà Fān Shǔ), Mr. Chin (Chinese: 秦先生; pinyin: Qín Xiān Shēng ), Mr. Chiu (Chinese: 老赵 / 赵先生; pinyin: Lǎo Zhào / Zhào Xiān Shēng) and Miss Chan (Chinese: 陈小姐; pinyin: Chén Xiǎo Jiě) - in many different hilarious situations. They are usually portrayed in a variety of social statuses, professions and time periods, ranging from beggars and office workers to actors and ancient warriors, allowing a wide variety of settings and ideas. Some scenarios include aliens, monsters, ghost sightings, and the afterlife. The majority of the comic strips parodies those themes.
In the context of the strips, Old Master Q, Big Potato and Mr. Chin are close friends; Mr. Chiu often play an antagonistic role toward the trio; finally, Miss Chan is often portrayed as a love interest to Old Master Q.
Old Master Q provides examples of (Note: Most tropes are Played for Laughs):
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Often seen in ancient Chinese settings, in which Master Q's sword can cut down trees.
- Accidental Pun: In one strip, a westerner asks Master Q about a picture on the wall: a bright sun and a beach. Master Q replies him, "Sun of a beach." The next panel shows Master Q with black eyes and the westerner walking away.
- The Alcoholic: Most of the male characters often consume alcoholic drinks and may end up with double vision, pouring the drink on one's head, passing out on the streets, etc.
- Alien Among Us
- All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu
- Amusing Injuries: Covers many tropes.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: When there are pretty girls around, Master Q will be distracted. Hilarity Ensues afterwards.
- One strip shows Master Q is flirting with Miss Chan. His speech to Miss Chan is roughly translated to: "You are my life. You are my soul." But when a girl passes by, he is cut in the middle of his speech. When the girl has gone, he asks Miss Chan, "What was I talking about earlier?"
- Sometimes Mr. Chin experiences this problem too.
- Badass Grandpa: Some strips show Master Q as a great kung fu practitioner and even a One-Man Army. It has to be seen to be believed.
- Beyond the Impossible: Most of the strips feature this. Includes Master Q eating bullets before shooting as if his fingers are real guns, pulling out a pistol in ancient Chinese settings during a fight, eating two microphones at once, etc.
- Big Eater: Most of the male characters are this. Sometimes leads to Balloon Belly.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sometimes Master Q is drawn to be looking at the readers while speaking.
- Happens in universe. Master Q is performing in the TV. Big Potato suddenly phones him with the phone in front of the said TV to tell him that his house is burning. Master Q reacts by getting out of the TV screen and asking Big Potato about the fire.
- Bruce Lee Clone: In-universe example and parodied. There's one strip where Master Q asks Big Potato not to leak out his secret: people are saying that he is like Bruce Lee.
- Butt Monkey: The titular character is this.
- Casanova Wannabe: Most of the male characters, especially Master Q.
- Character Title
- The Chew Toy: All the characters, especially Master Q.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Master Q. Most of the time.
- When Miss Chan tells him that two men are proposing her and she can't decide who she should go with, Master Q tells her to go with him instead.
- When Master Q's boss scolds him for a very long time, Master Q laughs at the boss, infuriating him so much.
- There is one strip where Master Q is a palmist. When a beggar asks for money by showing his palm, Master Q does a fortunetelling.
- Combat Pragmatist: Ranges from spitting and biting the foe to taking off foe's shirt, which leads to a Defeat by Modesty.
- Death Glare: This strip. Almost looks like a fiery Eye Laser.
- Disney Death: Sometimes it's shown that Master Q is already dead, but turns out to be alive again.
- Drunken Master: Sometimes Master Q can take out robbers while being drunk.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: A lot.
- Master Q and Mr. Chiu quarrel this way: Master Q is in the TV. Mr. Chiu is watching the TV and sees Master Q, so he calls him, "Damn you, Master Q." Then Master Q looks at the camera and replies to his insult.
- There is a strip when Master Q is watching a cowboy show. The cowboy has drawn his gun and is shown to be aiming at Master Q on the TV. It ends with a panel showing Master Q lying limply on the couch.
- Another strip features two people fighting in the TV, which damages everything nearby (includes a vase above the TV), which leads to Master Q and Big Potato calling police.
- An inversion happens when the TV show features a lady teaching how to apply lipstick. Then Master Q and Big Potato move the TV. The next panel shows that the lady's face and lips are messy with lipstick.
- Gale-Force Sound: Sometimes downplayed and looks more like Sonic Stunner. It is chilling and literally hair-raising at times (especially when sung in high pitch).
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Usually when Master Q is drunk.
- Deconstructed in a few strips. There is one where Master Q gets hit by a bottle on the head and ends up being submitted to a hospital. There, a pretty nurse serves him until he recovers. But after fully recovering, Master Q wants to return to the hospital so that he'll be served by the nurse again. So, he thinks of hitting his own head with a bottle. The next panel shows people carrying a coffin, where it ends.
- Hard Head: Big Potato often shows this. In one strip, a robber slashes his dagger at Potato's head, but the knife breaks instead.
- Hyperspace Mallet: Sometimes some characters (mostly women) can suddenly take out a hammer out of nowhere.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Commonly shown by Master Q or is sometimes averted in the strips. Master Q can hit a fly by throwing an adhesive tape, pierce dragonflies with arrows, etc.
- Man Child: Master Q is sometimes depicted as childish, such as here.
- Limited Wardrobe: In one strip, Mr. Chin opens his cabinet, which is full of the yellow plaid shirt he always wears.
- Loophole Abuse: Frequently done.
- Reality Ensues: In the strips which involve westerners, Master Q and his friends will speak English instead of Chinese, although they fail most of the time.
- In a strip where Big Potato is using a typewriter, he ends up typing random letters instead of Chinese characters.
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: Parodied in many ways. One of the jokes is Master Q winning in the game against Santa and takes away all his presents.
- One of them starts with a rule: who loses gets punished by the winner, such as if rock wins, the winner punches the loser; if paper wins, the winner slaps the loser. When Master Q beats Mr. Chiu's Paper with Scissors, he literally cuts Mr. Chiu's hand.
- Rule of Funny: Lives and breathes this trope.
- Slippery Skid: Often happens thanks to Banana Peel, roller skates, soap bars, toy cars, etc.
- Suddenly Sober: This strip.
- Super Speed: When any characters are scared or in hurry, they often show this.
- Troll: Sometimes Master Q annoys Mr. Chiu or the other way round for no reason. Often leads to the two of them fighting.
- Occasionally, Master Q annoys anybody else for no reason, such as when someone is reading a book, he takes it away.
- Use Your Head: Big Potato is often shown to be able to break through a stone wall or cripple someone with his head-butts.
- Volleying Insults: Master Q and Mr. Chiu.