Recap / Penny And Aggie The Popsicle War Everybody Loves Duane
"No one, not you, not even me, can fool all of the people all of the time. And all of the people are here."
At school, Samantha, Charlotte and Cyndi put into motion Karen's plan to expose Duane as a Muslim. Samantha seductively asks him out to the next popsicle party, ostensibly to make her ex-boyfriend Omar jealous. Although painfully aroused, Duane retains the self-control to say he'll think it over. Charlotte, rather more awkwardly, approaches him next, clad in a makeshift hijab, veil and gloves, and speaking (from flashcards) according to her stereotypical notion of a "submissive" Muslim woman. He tells her as well that he'll consider her invitation. Walking away, Duane finds himself, to his surprise, feeling compassion for her despite what she did to Sara.
Meanwhile, Sara asks Penny about Michelle's progress in recovering from her eating disorder. Penny, reminding her that they're still supposed to be acting as though they're no longer friends, pulls her into the washroom to talk further. There they encounter Meg, who takes a photo of them with her phone. Her purpose in doing so, however, isn't to humiliate them further (as Penny and Sara had once done to her in a similar way), but to demonstrate that she's "outgrown" that sort of game by deleting the photo immediately. As Meg leaves, Penny advises Sara to let Meg think she's won, in order to maintain their cease-fire. Sara, for her part, quietly mocks Meg for thinking a photo of them using the girls' washroom would be at all incriminating.
Stan and Lisa tag-team up to undermine Samantha's loyalty to Karen. Stan does so by congratulating her on warming Duane up for Cyndi, since Duane, given his dating history, supposedly prefers white girls. Lisa approaches her next, pretending to be a vapid Karen fangirl and saying she wishes she could be Karen's friend like Samantha, so that Karen could order her around too. Lisa responds to Samantha's assertion that she's "her own woman" with a simple "Huh," driving her into a rage.
After play rehearsal, Cyndi makes her own move on Duane who, though aroused as with Samantha, manipulates her into admitting that she's messed with Penny's friends and that other people's "drama" entertains her. At this, Penny, Aggie and friends—including Fred, who's videotaped her confession—come out of hiding to confront her as one. Brushing off Cyndi's pleas for forgiveness, the group tells her that they'll spare her reputation and leave her alone if she does something for them.
Duane then finds Charlotte and tells her he'll take her to the party if she smiles for him. Stunned, she pulls her scarf down and does so. Duane warmly smiles back at her and says she should do so more often. As he walks off, Charlotte stares after him, suddenly smitten.
- Am I Just a Toy to You?: Duane asks this of Cyndi when, in taking her turn at seducing him, she admits she's competing with Samantha and Charlotte.
- Becoming the Mask: Charlotte, like Samantha and Cyndi, feigns interest in Duane, as per Karen's plot. However, when he treats her with kindness, she becomes attracted to him for real.
- Black and Nerdy: Duane is this character trope throughout the strip, but this exchange is perhaps him at his nerdiest:
) You got anything goin' this Saturday afternoon? Duane:
My pop and I got this new Super Scrabble
set... but... we can reschedule...
- Editorial Synaesthesia: An innovative example, in this strip, combines the typical sequential art "pain" stars (radiating from Duane's crotch) with sad-face emoticons, in order to connote "painful sexual arousal."
- Extreme Doormat: Charlotte's badly researched notion of a "submissive" Muslim woman. Played for Laughs.
- Gambit Pileup: However, at this juncture, only the Penny/Aggie alliance's gambits are actually effective.
- Honey Trap: Both played straight and subverted. Karen's co-conspirators lay one for Duane, but he and his friends use it to turn the tables on Cyndi by entrapping her.
- Hypocrite: Meg, who claims to be more mature and grown-up than Penny and Sara, while rubbing it in at length.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Lisa plays the fool in order to make Samantha think Karen's playing her for one.
- Psycho for Hire: Penny's and Aggie's team makes a deal with Cyndi.
- The Tease: Samantha and Cyndi.
- Where Da White Women At?: Stan misleads Samantha, into thinking Karen's using her as a mere warm-up for Cyndi, by claiming that Duane "prefers the white meat."
- Why Can't I Hate You?
- Non-romantic version: Duane is surprised by his awakening compassion for Charlotte, despite the malicious things she's done.
- Romantic version: Charlotte finds herself falling for Duane despite her knee-jerk fundamentalist Christian hatred for Islam (in the previous arc, she'd suggested flushing a Koran in front of him).