Vancian Magic: Magic in the world of OotS, naturally, follows official D&D rules... though how consistent these are is a matter of opinion. Indeed, even this is lampshaded with occasional references to "third-party supplements" and "non-core spells".
Leeky Windstaff: Truly, more wizards have been laid low by the writings of Jack Vance than by any single villain.
Downplayed. Malack feeds on the runoff from all the executed prisoners, but not only are they in an All Crimes Are Equal state, but he's got no qualms against eating non-condemned people, aside from the problems involved in revealing his true nature to people, which would be disadvantageous. The excessive runoff is simply more than what he needs to survive comfortably.
After Durkon becomes a vampire, the party decides that Durkon can feed off of them, then use his Restoration spell to undo the damage.
Elan: We can get stickers saying we donated, and drink orange juice after!
Villainous Breakdown: Tarquin begins to suffer one after the destruction of Girard's Gate, becoming increasingly frustrated at the realisation that Elan is not the primary hero of the story — and therefore, he is not the primary villain. Suddenly his carefully-calculated Pragmatic Villainy devolves into an attempt to destroy the "superfluous" members of the Order at all costs, hoping to set Elan off on a revenge quest.
Villains Out Shopping: Xykon's caught doing this multiple times. And inverted when Nale and Sabine dwell on what a terrible responsibility the heroes are under — cut to them playing Parcheesi.
Virgin Sacrifice: Provides the page image. When the Banjo-worshiping orc tribe prepares to sacrifice Lien, she tells them that if they're looking to make a virgin sacrifice, they'd have to travel back in time to before her Junior Prom.
Shaman Vurkle: no, banjo like girl with some experience. Chief Grukgruk: better if been around block few times. Lien: Damn it, how does my mother keep being right about this stuff?
Lien claims it's ridiculous that "a superhero would just show up on a random island in the middle of nowhere", and Elan insists that it's happened before. A cutaway panel shows Cyclops, with a flock of sheep, meeting some sailors getting off a boat...
In the "Beach Party" wallpaper, you can see a "horseshoe crab"... i.e. a actual horseshoe with crab legs and pincers.
A plasma-screen television in Hell leaks blood when smashed.
Voiceover Letter: Julio Scoundrél's farewell letter to Elan implies that's he's already left, causing Elan to lament that he didn't get to say goodbye. This, despite the fact that the guy is clearly standing directly behind him and had been reading the letter out through a tin can.
We ARE Struggling Together: Played straight. After the hobgoblins under Xykon overrun Azure City, three resistance groups spring up. Haley leads one, but isn't working with the others, because, as she explains:
Redcloak would have been one, except that his intentions aren't as noble as he convinces himself, as well.
His god, the Dark One, certainly is.
General Tarquin claims that the reason he's trying to rule all of the Western continent via three empires and puppet rulers is to end to the chronic warfare that plagues the region. He may be lying, though.
We Were Your Team: When Roy was unavailable to lead the Order for several months due to being dead, not only was the party split for unrelated reasons, but the half of the party that was not actively working on getting Roy resurrected spent their time dithering around doing sidequests and was already breaking apart by the time Roy returned to the field.
The wizard Vaarsuvius initially prefers arcane magic as the ultimate solution to everything — redundant subplots, villains seeking to escape justice, giant devils from hell, or relationship problems. Vaarsuvius also originally has a blaster mentality — despite the wide range of spells available to wizards, V's preferred solution to anything is a proportionally-sized explosion. V later briefly tries to remedy his/her attitude by limiting him/herself to support spells, but all bets are out the window once Elan gets involved. V is getting better about this, though; for example, in a recent thread where a rival caster had tailored his build to defeat Vaarsuvius, V eventually realized that brute force was not going to work in this case. V got around it by using a Dominate spell on the rival's archer ally. Thanks for the advice, Xykon!
Xykon is another interesting example, since he makes a huge point of this trope. Sorcerers like him are born with arcane power, as opposed to wizards, who, by his own words, have to study and crib it off of "Magic for Dummies". Mechanically, sorcerers have more spell slots and thus more blasting power but with a far more limited and static spell selection. Also, the best wizards tend to be brilliant thinkers and tacticians, while Xykon's most complicated strategies involve randomly blasting things until they die (though he sure loves to dish out the psychological manipulation). With a huge grudge towards wizards for looking down on him, Xykon makes a point of proving that he's so ridiculously powerful that he doesn't need strategy. According to him, all a caster needs is "force in as great a concentration as you can manage, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide", because there's a level of raw power no amount of tactics can overcome.
The first iteration hinges on the two definitions of level (the floor of a building vs the experience of a D&D character). It's worth noting that this exact example is invoked in no less a book than the 1st Edition D&D Player's Handbook.
"Who's on the Throne?" has the strangely-named countries of Somewhere, Nowhere and Anywhere (and the democracy of Someplace Else). The confusion over the King of Somewhere with a hotel employee leads to Roy being mistaken for a king.
In "Negative Feelings", Xykon and Recloak have a little trouble discussing a paladin leader named Soon.
Xykon: So, any ideas on how we should fight 'Stache boy, whoever he is? Redcloak: Soon. Xykon: I'd prefer to know now, thanks. Redcloak: No. I mean, that's his name.
Start of Darkness has an exchange between Redcloak and Right-Eye, with Redcloak talking about the werebears his goblins are fighting and Right-Eye wanting to know where the bears are.
While O-Chul says the line, he isn't actually afraid of sharks despite his captors repeatedly trying to feed him to them for their personal entertainment. Justified as he is a paladin, and therefore his class features render him immune to fear.
Thog is scared of pretty girls. Haley is offended to learn she doesn't count.
Vaarsuvius and Zz'dtri (by now a minmaxedMage Killer) go at it again in the Empire of Blood arc, but this time V gets the upper hand by dominating the Linear Guild's kobold rogue and using him to attack Zz'dtri with crossbows.
The appropriately-named "Caster Fight" showcases a duel between V and the psion Laurin. V wins by pointing out that Laurin's expended a lot of power today already, while V has a ton of spells left, which prompts her to just teleport away.
As it turns out, none of Miko Miyazaki's attacks have any effect on the Monster In The Darkness, but his weakest attack is enough to send her flying.
This trope is discussed by Roy in the last panel of comic #736.
World Limited to the Plot: The comic lived by this trope until the foreshadowing at the end of book one (strip #120 in the online version). Only then, when the dungeon in which the entire plot has taken place is destroyed, do the plot and the dungeon turn out to have some relevance outside of itself. Of course, one can argue that it starts falling apart already when the heroes encounter the Linear Guild, or even when Roy's father is introduced.
Later heavily deconstructed when it turns out that characters who aren't relevant enough to the plot to be named actually don't even have names... at least not until they become relevant to the plot.
Invoked by the MitD to save the Order of the Stick. By convincing Xykon and Redcloak that the Order can't be the main heroes they're facing because they're led by "some random fighter guy you already snuffed once", he convinces Xykon that they must rush to the final gate before the "real" heroes — O-Chul and co — get there first.
Wutai: Azure City. Characters from the Southern Lands have Far-East Asian skin coloring and names from various Asian countries. "Lien" is a Chinese name. "Miko Miyazaki", "Shojo", and "Hinjo" are Japanese. "Soon Kim" is Korean, and "Thanh" is Vietnamese.
Miko: What is this "Japan" you speak of? I have never heard of it before.
The Dark One's, which has been pretty successful so far. If Redcloak succeeds in taking control of the Snarl, the Dark One can use this to blackmail the other gods into giving goblins a better place in the world. If the Snarl unmakes the world, the Dark One will have a hand in making the new world, where goblins will have a better place from the start. And even if the Order of the Stick stops Redcloak, Gobbotopia is doing pretty well.
Nale pulled off one in Cliffport. If the Order tried to rescue Julia and failed, then he would be in a position to kill them all. If they did rescue Julia, then he still would have captured Elan and been able to take his revenge on him. But, because the Order managed to rescue Julia and also realized that Nale had been trying to kidnap Elan in the confusion, they run off to rescue their teammate and give Nale the chance to switch places with Elan and attack the Order from the inside.
Tarquin has his adventuring buddies serve as advisors to rulers of three kingdoms. they stage invasions, revolutions, and liberations in order to unite the western continent under three super powers. And he knows that eventually, Elan's going to fight him and he will be defeated, and as long as he can accept that, he wins and he'll be part of a great story and his name will be immortalized. "If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend."
Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: In the comic, lightning is generally white or yellow — with the exception of Zz'dtri, who is throwing green bolts. Interesting in that every spell caster has their own unique color for spells (two colors for Mystic Theurge Tsukiko), but only Zz'dtri has it affect lightning color.
Gannji: So, no hard feelings on the whole kidnapping thing? Haley: If anything happens to [my father], you'll make a very stylish handbag. Gannji: I'm going to choose to hear that as, "We cool."
You All Meet in a Cell: Attempted by Ian Starshine, who pulls a Get Into Jail Free based on the reasoning that a regime that throws political dissidents in jail would have a lot of good potential revolutionary recruits sitting around in there. Unfortunately, when it didn't work out he found that he couldn't break out of prison again.
From Tarquin in "Realizations & Rationalizations": "You can't make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others."
You Didn't Ask: When Roy confronts his Archon about "Postmortem Time Dissociation Disorder" and why he didn't mention it sooner, that's the answer. Plus, they're not in the habit of spoiling the eternal reward of their petitioners with such details.
Zerg Rush: This is what happens to Azure City, utterly and totally Zerg Rushed by Xykon and Redcloak's army of 30,000 hobgoblin Mooks, plus a number of other creatures including various undead, titanium and chlorine elementals (Redcloak's knowledge of chemistry is not to be underestimated), and three decoy Xykons (a Huecuva, a Death Knight, and an "Eye of Fear and Flame"). That particular Zerg Rush was made possible by two things: first, Redcloak's Titanium Elementals ripping a gigantic hole in Azure City's walls, and second, a Death Knight of a far higher CR than any of the soldiers at the breach — including Vaarsuvius — could realistically handle. When Redcloak makes decoys, he plays for keeps.
Ghast: Sir, we finally have enough corpses to serve as a ramp for your horse. Death Knight: THEN LET THE REAPING BEGIN!!