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Video Game: Cookie Clicker
Everything begins with a single click.
"You feel like making cookies. But nobody wants to eat your cookies."
The first message you'll see until you reach the first cookie milestone.

Cookie Clicker is an Idle Game created by one Julien "Orteil" Thiennot as part of his many experimental games. It was originally launched on August 10, 2013. The goal of the game is simple: Bake cookies. You start out with the clickable cookie itself. One click from it produces one cookie. Once you've accumulated enough cookies you'll be able to purchase buildings and upgrades so you'll be able to produce even more cookies faster. Soon you won't even need to click the cookie manually as your upgrades will be doing the job for you. Then things gradually get weirder and weirder from there as things such as an army of cookie baking grandmas, mining cookie ingredients from cookie mines, sending out an armada of spacecraft to the cookie planet, opening portals to the Cookieverse and summoning Eldritch Abominations to bake even more cookies for you, travel through time and space to steal cookies from the past and even the Elder Gods coming to you demanding a tribute of cookies from you lest you incur their wrath.

You can find the old version here. Has a wiki here and an official forum here.

Cookie Clicker contains examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The building prices are quite reasonable for the low end buildings in the early game. But the price of each building is increased by 15% for the next one. That doesn't sound too bad at first. If you do the math, though, you find that the price of a building roughly doubles with every five purchased, and increases by a factor of about 1000 for every 49 purchased. (The first Cursor (the least expensive) costs 15 cookies. The 50th one costs about 15 thousand. The 100th costs about just over 15 million cookies.)
  • Affably Evil: With the exception of the Antigrandmas, all of the grandmas are described as "nice" even when the Grandmapocalypse is in full swing.
  • Alchemy Is Magic:
    • In this game, you can turn gold into cookies. The reverse is also possible, but since gold is considered "useless" compared with cookies it isn't considered a valuable development.
    • After you buy the alchemy lab, status may state that silver has been found to be turnable into white chocolate.
  • And Ninety Nine Cents: Every upgrade named after a type of cookie (Aside from the holiday cookies, which are given special prices) is priced at (x * 10^n) - 1 for some integers x and n, starting at 99,999,999 and currently ending at 9,999,999,999,999,999 (that's (1 * 10^16) - 1) for the gingerbread cookies. The only cookies for which x is not 1 are the French cookies, which cost 199,999,999,999,999 each.
  • Animalistic Abomination: During the Easter season, the way the Easter bunnies and their eggs are spoken about in the news tickers is positively SCP-esque, treating them as extradimensional, biologically senseless creatures who can infiltrate any and every place without anything impeding them just to leave their eggs.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Soon, your cookies will come to life and think. We later see them in the dungeons, fully playing this trope straight.
    "Your cookies have achieved sentience."
  • Antimatter: Added in version 1.036 is the Antimatter Condenser, which condenses the antimatter of the universe into cookies, according to the description.
  • Anti-Poop Socking : The cookie milestone message at 10 billion cookies baked is "It's time to stop playing" (although you're hardly likely to stop playing as you actually still have a lot of achievements and upgrades left to complete at that point), and some of the achievements' descriptions make pointed comments on how long you must have been playing the game to obtain them such as "You can stop now" for 100 billion total cookies baked and "You should really go to bed" for the Fortune achievement (77 golden cookies clicked, which you must be constantly watching the game screen to catch in time). The achievement for having 200 of each building is "You're nuts."
    • Inverted in the late game, in which by far the most efficient way to earn cookies is to chain together bonuses from golden cookies. While the player is able to just leave the game running through the mid-game, the only way to get the final upgrades in a reasonable amount of time is through active play.
    • The "Black Cat's Paw" achievement for clicking 7777 golden cookies requires months of active play, since Golden Cookies appear between 1.25 and 3.5 minutes apart, at their fastest. (They start out appearing between 5 and 14 minutes apart, but there are two upgrades each of which cuts the possible spawning time in half.)
  • Apologetic Attacker: Doe, if she's the one who defeats the Ascended Baking Pod.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the grandmatriarchs first awaken, they will start breaking into houses to abduct infants and cooking utensils.
  • Artifact Title: A common joke in the fandom being that a more appropriate title would be "Cookie Waiter" since clicking does virtually nothing in the endgame (without receiving the very rare "click frenzy" effect from a golden cookie). About to be taken Up to Eleven with the addition of dungeons; no clicking on cookies at all there.
  • Artistic License - Geology: Mining cookie dough and chocolate chips out of the ground? Sure, why not?
  • Ascended Glitch: Shortly after Wrinklers were introduced, some players noticed that under certain conditionsnote  they would twitch spastically instead of moving normally; several users noted that this made them creepier. Come the Christmas update, their standard animation was updated to make them twitch (in a slightly more natural way).
  • Author Appeal: White chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Orteil put them in because he likes them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In-universe, the final upgrade for mines... H-Bomb Mining. Somewhat practical (By the time you can get the upgrade, mines are long obsolete anyway), but the Flavor Text refers to it having "questionable efficiency, but spectacular nonetheless".
  • Bad Future: One of the ticker announcements implies this:
    "I have seen the future," says time machine operator, "and I do not wish to go there again."
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "A nice grandma to bake more cookies." I could use more of those; cookies and grandmas to bake them. They may grumble about 'indentured servitude', but what can they do about it?
  • Black Comedy:
    • Many of the ticker updates starting in the midgame, especially regarding portals and the Cookieverse.
    • Many of the upgrades. Child labor? Fair game! Transmuted grandmas? What, you thought they'd help you run the alchemy labs? Nope - they get converted into more cookies according to the Flavor Text.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Girl Scout cookies in v1.0375, and the four brand-parody cookies added in v1.038 (Grease's Cups, anyone?).
  • Blatant Lies: What are the Underworld Ovens and other eldritch devices you unlock powered by? "Science, of course!"
  • Body Horror: As of V1.031, portal grandmas are twisted flesh with glowing eyes and gaping mouths.
    • The Grandmatriarchs will slowly mutate and fuse into a twisted mass of flesh in the background the longer you ignore them. The only way to stop this is to make an Elder Pledge which increases in cost each time or with an Elder Covenant which stops this from ever happening again but at a great cost.
    • Also in the headlines once you get a time machine, as various historical figures will transform into masses of cookie dough.
    • Crumb has pieces of cookie fused to her head.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The "British Tea Biscuit series" cookie upgrades in the endgame, each one requiring the last one to be purchased in order to unlock. The sequence is as follows; British tea biscuits, Chocolate British Tea Biscuits, Round British Tea Biscuits, Round Chocolate British Tea Biscuits, Round British Tea Biscuits with Heart Motif, and finally, Round Chocolate British Tea Biscuits with Heart Motif.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The "Cookie-dunker" achievement. To get it, you must get enough other achievements to reach a certain milk percentage, then resize the window or zoom in until the cookie ends up in the milk. Another is the "Tiny Cookie" achievement - you have to click the tiny cookie icon on the stats screen next to any of the "number baked" listing.
  • Can't Catch Up: New types of cookie generators tend to completely overwhelm every previous generator. Grandmas and Cursors get numerous stacking upgrades to make up for this, but even with every upgrade, Prisms will always produce several times as many cookies as the rest of your production line put together. Only the "Thousand Fingers" series of upgrades allows those early buildings to retain any relevance at all once you can start to afford the later buildings, and only indirectly by bolstering the Cursors' output.
  • Cassandra Truth: One of the news ticker feeds reports about a scientist who becomes a laughingstock among his peers for predicting a cookie-related end of the world. Cue the Grandmapocalypse, accompanied by feeds reporting on The End of the World as We Know It...
    News: scientist predicts imminent cookie-related "end of the world"; becomes joke among peers.
  • Celestial Body: Antimatter Grandmas.
  • Christmas Episode: The v.1.04 update introduces Christmas cookies and give upgrades based on Santa Claus. Santa's reindeer also feature in the upgrade, and the wrinklers introduced in the 1.039 upgrade feature Santa hats in this version.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: Everything in the game's universe revolves around cookies. This reaches its logical conclusion when you play enough as you will eventually be able to turn the entire makeup of the universe into cookies at the molecular level!
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Subverted; after a time, it seems as though your cookie empire has essentially taken over the world. This results in the media denying that cookies lead to obesity, that your cookies are addictive, and that the cookie industry controls the media.
  • Content Warnings: The flavor text for the One Mind upgrade gives you red warning text, and attempting to purchase it gives you a warning dialog box asking if you want to purchase it. Both warnings are perfectly justified. The Communal Brainsweep and Elder Pact upgrades also come with warnings, though there's no dialog box and they merely advance the already-horrific effects of One Mind.
  • Continuity Nod: After buying your first Time Machine, sometimes a newsline will pop up about a historian stating that cookies brought back from the past are "unfit for human consumption". Who was the one who started out baking cookies so bad that a RACCOON wouldn't touch them?
  • Cool Gate: The portal; one of the high-tier upgrades you can purchase. It will open a path to the Cookieverse and unlock the Altered Grandma. In the Classic version, having a portal and over one million cookies triggers the Grandmapocalypse.
  • Cool Old Lady: Considering the majority of your workforce are comprised of elderly women. Doing everything including the mass production of cookies, interplanetary and extradimensional trade, mining, farming, alchemy and even time travel theft, they've proven their coolness 10 times over.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The factories are all run by these. And, well... the player also applies.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The game builds up to a Grandmapocalypse, which leads to the universe itself becoming increasingly unstable.
  • Crapsaccharine World
  • Crapsack World: As you advance, your home planet will be plagued with chocolate weather, collapsing mines, chocolate floods, a national gold crisis, city-swallowing portals, highly abusive labor plants, and an uprising of grandmothers. This is all Played for Laughs in the message section (at least until the "Grandmapocalypse" endgame event).
  • Creepy Good: Apparently, the Altered Grandmas - they're still referred to as "nice grandmas" in the Flavor Text before the text screws itself up.
    • Santa Claus, as well, judging by his final forms.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The "evil" wrinklers in the 1.039 Halloween update, which appear during the Grandmapocalypse. They decrease your cookies per second by 5% each, and up to ten of them can leech your cookies. However, simply clicking them three times removes them, giving you back 110% of the cookies they took. And each one collects at the total leech rate, even though they each only take 5%—having ten of them acts like a 6x cookie rate multiplier.note  And this makes most of your cookies immune to Ruin. Otherwise they're 100% beneficial despite their appearance. Finding the Wrinklerspawn egg during Easter makes the wrinklers even better, since it adds 5% to their return rate; instead of returning 110% of what it leeched, each one returns 115% when popped.
  • Cute Kitten: The Kitten Helpers, Workers, Engineers, Overseers, and Managers. They're even said to walk around with tiny hardhats and adorable little suits outside the factories.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: There's a shadow achievement "True Neverclick" for getting to a million cookies without ever clicking on the cookie, which requires either patient use of Golden Cookies or good old-fashioned cheating, which is also a shadow achievement. In addition, naming your bakery 'Orteil' will net the shadow achievement "God Complex".
  • Difficult but Awesome: The most profitable manner of playing the game seems to be at the last stage of the Grandmapocalypse. The best possible combo is the Elder Frenzy+Reindeer combo (the so-called Eldeer). Since both the reindeers' appearances and the outcome of the Wrath Cookie is randomly generated, there isn't really much you can do but carefully plan how long you wait before clicking the red cookies until they mesh. When they do, though, the deer gives you nearly an entire day worth of cookie production in one click.
    • Not like regular golden cookies don't have their own combo. Once again, there isn't much to do but cross your fingers, pray to the Random Number God and try to sync them so as to make the most of your time, and this time, there's the added difficulty of having baked enough cookies through clicking, and having to click as fast as you can for a full 20 seconds, but if you get a Frenzy, have bought the click-boosting mouse upgrades, and manage to get a Clicking Frenzy while the original's still going on, you can rack up positively gigantic amounts of cookies.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Big time. The cost of each building is multiplied by 15% each time you purchase one of its kind. This multiplication is cumulative; your 100th cursor costs about a thousandfold more than the 50th.
  • Disc One Nuke: Reindeer were this during their early availability. Clicking on them provides a flat cookie bonus not unlike the Lucky outcome of a Golden Cookie, but they start out giving off much more cookies than Lucky does, enough so that you could skip certain buildings. What's more, thanks to appearing at different rates than Golden Cookies, one can perform a lite-version of the "Frenzy + Lucky" combo that dominates endgame efficiency, by clicking on a Reindeer during a Frenzy for seven times the normal outcome of the Reindeer. There's also upgrades that double the reward and appearance rate of Reindeer, which if you're lucky you can acquire early. Now that the Christmas season is over, however, the only way to reap the benefits of the Reindeer is via a late-game upgrade that enables them for a day. (Although that is still awesome for resets.)
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: It has been calculated that the optimal place for most players to stop the Grandmapocalypse is at the One Mind phase. This is so the player can still get wrinklers and still have mostly golden cookies.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • After buying 15 portals, you can upgrade your Grandmas to include Altered Grandmas. And if you trigger the Grandmapocalypse, there are the Grandmatriarchs, who get more and more grotesque as you buy more Bingo Center upgrades and are described as being wrinkled, fleshy monsters with tendrils large enough to engulf cities and scar entire continents. They also ooze warm sugary liquid.
    • In Cookie Clicker Classic, the first kind you'll be encountering are these things once you've purchased your first Portal. They will join your workforce of Grandmas in random amounts. The second one you'll encounter once you've made a lot of cookies are the Elder Gods that will appear in the background as shivering and flashing faces. They will continue to torment you with their seizure-inducing effect until you pay tribute to them in cookies. In return they'll boost your Grandmas' production speed. They'll be back eventually demanding an even larger amount of cookies next time.
    • As of v1.04, we see that this is the true form of Santa Claus and he has an additional transformation beyond it, though he seems to still be as benevolent as ever even in these forms.
  • Endless Game: There's no way to "win" the game, and one can continue playing indefinitely, building more and more buildings and earning more and more cookies. Even once you buy every upgrade and gain every achievement, you can reset to cash in your winnings as Heavenly Chips, which increase your production next game. Of course, with every new version Orteil makes public, there are usually new upgrades (and sometimes buildings) to buy and achievements to earn as well, and don't forget that milk is driven by number of achievements unlocked.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The result of the later stages of the Grandmapocalypse, accompanied by such reports as "all hope lost as writhing mass of flesh and dough engulfs whole city!"
  • Evil Matriarch: Evil Grandmatriarchs are explicitly referenced. The flavor text for the Antigrandmas also calls them mean instead of nice.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The name of the game itself. Of course, once a player gains enough income per second, clicking becomes optional (though certain Golden Cookie and Wrath Cookie bonuses highly encourage it).
  • Excuse Plot: Click on a cookie and earn as many cookies as you can. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Flavor Text: All of the upgrades and some of the achievements feature this.
  • Follow the Leader: Inspired by Candy Box. Later imitators include Goomy Clicker, where you click a Goomy from Pokémon X and Y, and Clicking Bad, where you make and sell meth.
    • Invoked by Orteil himself when he released the Idle Game Maker, a tool to create your own games of that kind. The existing games show double or triple cases of this trope.
  • Foreshadowing: See the quote under Bad Future? Also, the one below under Never Mess with Granny? You're warned of the potential consequences well before the grandmapocalypse begins.
    • Fruitbats with tumors can be found near your factories, foreshadowing that things aren't as hunky-dory as they seem...
  • Four Is Death: The Halloween Cookie recipes all cost 444,444,444,444 cookies (that's four groups of fours).
  • Fragile Speedster: Doe, one of the girl scouts that explores the dungeons.
  • Fridge Horror: Lampshaded repeatedly in-universe with the "news" messages.
    • In the Valentine's Day update, one of the Candy Hearts simply reads "help"
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: You go from being some poor schmuck who can't even bake an appealing cookie, to a force that can compete with the Elder Gods and has dominated the entirety of the universe, having a massive stake on many others as well, all through the powers of cookies so delicious even the aforementioned Elder Gods can be appeased with them.
    • The Grandmas go from a couple of friendly women employed by your cookie business to a small army of unhappy mutineers making ominous threats, to eventually becoming hideous Eldritch Abominations, and are considered the closest thing to an antagonist Cookie Clicker has.
  • Genki Girl: Lucky, one of the girl scouts that explores the dungeons.
  • Global Currency: Cookies, besides being used in practically everything, are also used as a form of currency though not everyone agrees, especially the factory workers which were replaced by robots later on.
    News : cookie factories on strike - workers demand to stop being paid in cookies!
    News : cookie factories on strike, robotic minions employed to replace workforce!
  • Golden Super Mode: The Transmuted Grandmas are basically golden super versions of the classic Grandmas. Additionally, the fourth most powerful upgrades for each building are represented by gold versions of the building's icon. (The more powerful ones are pink, cyan and now melting goo.)
  • The Goomba: Doughlings, in the dungeons.
  • Granny Classic: The first kind of grandma you'll encounter in the game. It's even in the description:
    "A nice grandma to bake more cookies."
  • Gray Goo: One of the later status updates, when the player has baked 100 to 300 million cookies.
    "The universe has now turned into cookie dough, to the molecular level."
  • Grows on Trees: Besides mining cookies from the ground, you can also "grow" cookies from a cookie plant via cookie farms, which were introduced in v1.0. Not exactly a tree per se initially though you will eventually have actual cookie bearing trees once the Cookie Trees upgrade has been unlocked.
  • Guide Dang It: The "Neverclick" secret achievements (one of which became a regular achievement as of version 1.0375), which probably became Lost Forever (until you start a New Game+) less than a minute after you started playing.
  • Halloween Episode: The v.1.039 upgrade is Halloween themes, including a Jack-O'Lantern themed Wrath Cookie and Bat, Eyeball, Ghost, and Slime cookies, among others.
  • Hellgate: The Portal is a thinly-veiled reference to one of these. It initially costs 1,666,666 cookies to build, produces 6,666 cookies per second, and when the Grandmapocalypse reaches the later stages, having many of them powers up Grandmas.
  • Hive Mind: Purchasing the One Mind upgrade is the catalyst for the grandmas to take over.
  • Holiday Mode: Five different holidays so far. When not in season, you can buy an upgrade from the store that enables the holiday for 24 hours. While seasonal unlockable items must be purchased while these themes are in effect, the benefits remain even after the holiday theme has expired.
    • Halloween: Wrath Cookies gain a pumpkin motif, and popped Wrinklers have a chance of dropping one of seven Halloween-themed cookies.
    • Christmas: Reindeer cross the screen every few minutes and can be clicked on for cookies. They too have a chance of dropping one of seven holiday-relevant cookies. An upgradeable Santa Claus icon is available, providing a series of potent Christmas-themed upgrades. Also, Wrinklers gain Santa hats, some of your Grandmas are dressed as elves, and snowflakes fall in the background.
    • Valentine's Day: Golden and Wrath Cookies are replaced with candy hearts (Each bearing underwhelming messages), and a series of six heart-shaped cookies can be purchased from the store. Candy hearts fall in the background.
    • April Fools' Day / "Business Day": The game's aesthetic is replaced with a business theme. Golden Cookies become contracts, the news ticker displays work-related messages, and the buildings are replaced with more realistic purchases. No practical benefits, it's simply an April Fool's Day joke.
    • Easter: Golden and Wrath Cookies are replaced with images of bunnies. Every time you pop a Wrinkler or click a Golden/Wrath Cookie, you have a chance of unlocking one of 20 egg-themed upgrades. 12 of them give a +1% global multiplier to your production, while the other 8 each have a unique, powerful effect (And are rarer and more expensive).
  • Homemade Sweater From Hell: The "Itchy Sweater" upgrade. Supposedly, it makes its wearer feel like "you're wrapped in a dead Sasquatch"
  • Idle Game: Except for the clickable "Golden Cookies" that appear occasionally, there isn't much to do other than wait until you have enough cookies for the next upgrade.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Your cookies are so good that the whole universe revolves around them.
  • Infinity+1 Sword:
    • Formerly, the Kitten Workers and Engineers upgrades, which increased cookie output exponentially as the player neared 100% Completion, and both required an insane number of cookies to purchase. Their effects have since been nerfed, however; they still help immensely, but they're not as much of a Game Breaker now. The subsequently added Kitten Overseers, however, still come close if not outright qualifying.
    • The various "X-tillion Fingers" upgrades. They're quite expensive to buy, but they add to the base number of cookies a cursor produces according to how many non-cursor buildings you have. "+100 cookies per second to each cursor per other building" doesn't sound like it's that great, when you're dealing in trillions, or quadrillions of cookies per second. But when you have 200 cursors, and a thousand or more other buildings, and you have both of the upgrades that double their base output twice — well, do the math. That's a lot of extra cookies.
  • Insane Troll Logic: "Obesity on the rise; experts blame twerking."
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: More than Wonka could shake an Oompa-Loopa at before one of the Kitten Overseers gets excited and pounces it.
  • Jack of All Stats: Chip, one of the girl scouts that explores the dungeons.
  • Jerkass: The Antigrandmas are described as being mean in their Flavor Text.
  • Joke Item: One of the 20 Easter-themed upgrades is "egg", the quotation marks and lack of capitalization being part of it. All it does is provide +9 CPS. Not 9%, just 9. Not only that, but it's one of the rare upgrades and is quite expensive, at 100 trillion. It takes about 352090 years for it to pay off its own purchasing price by itself.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Coupled with Adam Smith Hates Your Guts above, you can sell buildings, for 50% of the cost of purchasing the next building. This translates to selling units for 57.5% of what you paid for them.
  • Kill Screen: In version 1.036, the game would glitch out when it tried to display your number of cookies in scientific notationnote . This has since been fixed.
  • Last Lousy Point: The Sextillion Fingers upgrade in 1.0375. It was functionally the same as the Quintillion Fingers upgrade, but it doesn't unlock until you've bought 240 cursors. This was nearly as expensive as 100 Antimatter Condensers. Lessened in 1.0383, which doubled the effectiveness of the upgrade.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Once the player gets the "Base 10" achievement which requires following a specific numerical pattern when buying buildings, one of the possible news ticker items refers to a cookie manufacturer - clearly the player - abandoning common sense and letting OCD govern their building decisions. There's also a news ticker item that talks about the "Riches to Rags story about a local cookie manufacturer who decided to give it all up" that appears only after you've reset the game (and forfeited your current cookie stash in the process) at least once.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Each building produces several times more cookies than its predecessor. 100 cookie farms full upgraded will net you 8,000 cookies per second. 100 Factories fully upgraded will net you 22,400 cookies per second. Just one Prism will net you 10,000,000 cookies per second before upgrades. The only building types that scale reasonably are Grandmas, because they have numerous upgrades and eventually gain CpS quadratically, and Cursors, because they have 9 upgrades which are based on the number of buildings you have and CpS.
  • Lethal Chef: Very early in the game, besides the message that no one wants to eat your cookies, you can get one saying you threw your first batch of cookies away and even the raccoon wouldn't eat it.
  • Level Ate: Play the game long enough and you will eventually turn everything in the game's universe into cookies and any conceivable concept will always be about cookies in one way or another. From culture and lifestyle down to the molecular level.
  • Low Level Run: A hidden achievement for a Challenge Gamer is to reach one billion cookies without buying any upgrades at all. Requires a ton of patience and a ton of luck with Golden Cookies. Previous versions made it easier with a large New Game+ modifier, before the bonuses get locked in an upgrade.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Speed Baking runs, especially the 25 (II) and most definitely the 15 minute (III) runs. If your first Golden Cookie is not a Frenzy and/or you don't get a Click Frenzy within your first two Golden Cookies, then Speed Baking III is likely out of the question.
    • Played straight with the shadow achievement "Just plain lucky", which is awarded to the player for free. The catch is that you have 1 chance in 500,000 to get this achievement every second, meaning there's absolutely no way of getting it other than being lucky. As a shadow achievement, though, it provides no in-game benefit and thus can be excused.
  • Lucky Seven: Most things relative to Golden Cookies involves numbers with several 7s in sequence. In contrast, the Red Cookies involve 6s in sequence.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The cursors. They click once every 10 seconds. That's .1 cookie a second per cursor. Sure, they can eventually be upgraded to produce more, but every building you have can do that... except the "fingers" upgrades the cursors get aren't simple matters of doubling the amount they produce, but rather giving them a set amount of extra CPS for every non-cursor building you have.
    • Grandmas also have this as they have the most upgrades in the game. Further, with the later upgrades from the Bingo Hall / Research Facility, their base production rate increases as you purchase more Grandmas and more Portals, producing quadratic returns to scale, which no other unit can boast. They eventually beat out Portals at 100-to-100, and 200 Grandmas are more efficient than 100 Time Machines (Which is more impressive than it sounds).
    • The "Lucky" bonus from the Golden Cookie exhibits this. For most of the game, it is generally outclassed by "Frenzy", since upgrades and buildings are cheap enough that it's generally most efficient to spend cookies as soon as you get them. Only the very latest stages, when upgrades are hundreds of trillions of cookies and one's bank will likely be similarly large, does the Lucky bonus begin to occasionally outstrip the temporary income bonus that Frenzy provides.note  Plus, with all the Golden Cookie upgrades, it's possible for them to overlap: you can get "Lucky" during a "Frenzy." If you have a big enough stockpile of cookies, you can get 7 times more cookies than the normal "Lucky" limit.
  • Meat Moss: The ultimate form of the Grandmatriarchs has them fusing into horrid fleshy monstrosities that cover the earth in their meat, which produces not slime, but sugar and cookie dough.
  • Metal Slime: Sugar Bunnies.
  • Mighty Glacier: Crumb, one of the girl scouts that explores the dungeons, although she's focused more on defense than offense.
  • Minigame Zone: Dungeons are planned to feature themes based on each building, including minigames, such as a farming simulator for farms and a space shooter for shipments, as discussed on Orteil's Tumblr.
  • Monty Haul: Pretty much the point of the game. You spend cookies to buy things that make more cookies that you then spend to buy things that make even more cookies.
  • Mundane Utility: Time machines and antimatter generators are used to acquire cookies, of all things.
  • Nerf: As the game is still in development, various options are still being tweaked. One of the more prominent nerfs involve Heavenly Chips, the reward for starting a New Game+ after producing at least a trillion cookies. Originally giving a +5% production bonus for each Chip, they've been downgraded to +2%, and Orteil has discussed a further reduction to +1% in the future. In version 1.0383, they were nerfed in the early game, by requiring upgrades to unlock their use. Inverted when new upgrades are rolled out, as well as a flat increase on base farm production as of version 1.0375.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Especially if she's an Elder God or an Eldritch Abomination from the Cookieverse. Or if there are fifty of them, and they're overworked and pissed off.
    "We rise."
    - grandma
  • New Game+:
    • Added in v.1.035 via the "Heavenly Chips" prestige mechanic. Resetting your game gives you heavenly chips depending on how many cookies you baked in previous games. These chips give a significant boost to CpS, although you have to purchase heavenly upgrades to unlock their potential. As of version 1.0383, the speed baking and hardcore achievements require that you get them without unlocking the potential of your Heavenly Chips.
    • The Persistent Memory upgrade (Only purchasable after resetting with at least one Heavenly Chip as proof of a good game) reduces research time to just 3 minutes,
    • the Spooky Cookies, and Let it Snow, achievements, unlocked for acquiring all of the Halloween and Christmas cookies respectively, significantly increases the drop rate of their respective cookies.
    • The Hide-and-Seek Expert achievement (finding and buying all of the Egg upgrades (including "egg" which is otherwise pointless) in one game increases the drop rate of all seasonal cookies
  • No Fair Cheating: Averted; there's even a shadow achievement for using a certain tricky method to directly modify the number of cookies on hand. The text does discourage it, though.
  • Noodle Implements: The Elder Pledge is apparently a ritual involving anti-aging cream, cookie batter mixed in the moonlight, and a live chicken. The Elder Covenant, similarly, involves cursed laxatives, century-old cacao beans, and an infant.
  • Not Completely Useless: Two of the possible Christmas upgrades from Santa - the Lump of Coal and Itchy Sweater - provide only a 1% boost to the cookie multiplier, a far smaller bonus than those provided by any of the other Christmas upgrades. However, as with all Christmas upgrades, they only cost 2,525 cookies - and the game's other upgrade that provides a 1% boost (the Grandmapocalypse-related Specialized Chocolate Chips) costs a whopping 10 billion cookies, more than the 5% and 10% cookie multiplier bonuses. For their cost and percentage based effect, these two Christmas upgrades are still enormously useful.
  • Number of the Beast: There is a liberal use of sixes in certain items, such as the portals and their upgrades. A possible outcome of clicking a Blood Cookie is a cookie production multiplier of 666, for 6 seconds.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The Speed Baking and Hardcore Baking shadow achievements could originally be obtained very easily with enough Heavenly Chips, until the heavenly chip mechanic was tweaked to only activate after purchasing specific upgrades and the entire speed baking series was tweaked to specifically require not having any of those upgrades. Another related to a particular bug with how imported/exported saves would deal with wrinklers. It was possible, via using different computers/browsers, to save how many cookies wrinklers had withered, perform a reset, then restore the wrinklers with the amount they had withered into the new game. The wrinklers could then be popped to harvest millions or billions of cookies at once - presuming there were enough, it was possible to immediately get all three Speed Baking achievements as well as Hardcore and True Neverclick within the first minute of the new game. This was patched out as of 1.0402.
  • The Old Gods: The Elder Gods who become more erratic and deformed as you ignore their demands.
  • Only Sane Woman:
    • The news crawl refers at one point to a 'misguided' woman who seems to be the only person with the common sense to question why, exactly, they need particle accelerators to bake cookies. Another mentions a "confused idiot" who points out the suspiciousness of the world's obsession with cookies.
    • Crumb is far more down-to-earth than the other girl scouts.
  • Pinball Scoring: Some of the achievements require you to bake quadrillions of cookies. To unlock everything this game has to offer, you will have to bake orders of magnitude more than that (You need at least 12.5 Quintillion to have enough Heavenly Chips to enable Holiday Mode, and the Bicentennial Achievement requires you to bake almost 500 Sextillion in a single game).
    • And in true Cookie Clicker fashion, the v1.045 series introduces achievements for 320 and 400 Cursors...yes, you will be paying septillions of cookies just for that 400th Cursor. And then taken well beyond that point by a shadow achievement commemorating a reset with over one nonillion baked.
  • Planet Heck: The "Cookieverse" is pretty thinly-disguised. Many of the cookie amounts involving the portals include the Number of the Beast, and one of the upgrades is even called Soul Bond.
  • Poison Mushroom: Two possible Red Cookie outcomes during the Grandmapocalypse either reduces all of your cookies by 5% or reduces your production rate by 50% for 66 seconds note .
  • Power Glows: As of the 1.0383 update, a golden cookie that improves CpS causes the frame with the big cookie to glow golden. Inverted with the negative effect "Clot," which halves production and makes it glow red.
  • Pun:
    • The description of the "Antimony" upgrade, which doubles the output of alchemy labs: "Actually worth a lot of mony."
    • The flavor text of the Kitten Helpers, Kitten Overseers, and Kitten Managers: "meow may I help you", "my purrpose is to serve you, sir", and "that's not gonna paws any problems, sir" respectively.
    • The Joke Item "egg" only gives a flat +9 to CPS because the French words for "egg" and "nine" rhyme.
    • On four of the twenty easter egg upgrades, namely on Ostrich Egg, Cassowary Egg, Salmon Roe, and Frogspawn, you can find puns based on the names of the respective animals in the upgrade descriptions. They are one more cringeworthy than the other.
  • Random Effect Spell: The Red Cookies that begin appearing when you trigger the Grandmapocalypse. Clicking on them has a good chance of giving you a negative effect, such as losing 5% of your banked cookies or halving your cookie production rate for a while, but they can also give you the same "Lucky" effect that Golden Cookies do, a slightly better probability of receiving the "Cookie chain" and "Click frenzy" effects, or a rare "Elder Frenzy" buff that vastly outstrips every single other cookie effect in the game.
  • Randomly Drops: If the Halloween season is in force, each Wrinkler has a 5% chance of dropping one of the seven Halloween cookie types, chosen with uniform probability. If they drop a type you already have, nothing happens. This is really noticeable when 6 of the 7 types have already dropped - you only have a 1 in 140 chance of getting the one type you don't have. The Reindeer in the Christmas update are the same, dropping one of seven Christmas-themed cookies.
    • Each time you upgrade Santa's form, one of fourteen Christmas-themed upgrades becomes available in the store for 2,525 cookies. The order you get the fourteen is entirely random, and two of them are much less useful than the others (A Lump of Coal and An Itchy Sweater, naturally). The final fifteenth upgrade is always fixed as Santa's Dominion, however.
  • Recursive Reality: Mentioned in one of the "news" feeds.
    "The universe pretty much loops on itself," suggests researcher; "it's cookies all the way down."
  • Ret Gone: One of the side effects of the antimatter condenser, according to the "news" feeds:
    News : whole town seemingly swallowed by antimatter-induced black hole; more reliable sources affirm town "never really existed"!
  • Retraux: Aside from the high-res cookies, backgrounds, and text, the game is done in 16-bit sprites.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Cosmic Grandmas are basically like the original Grandmas but with larger foreheads, extra legs and are purple.
  • Running Gag: "A nice grandma to bake more cookies." Every new grandma type's Flavor Text follows the same format. The description even gets at a loss for words when it sees the Cosmic Grandmas.
  • Santa Claus: He's upgradeable, too.
  • Sarcasm Failure: There's a Running Gag with the Grandma's description in each upgrade, but the narrator has no idea what to say when seeing the Cosmic Grandmas.
    "A nice thing to... uh... cookies."
  • Save Scumming: One particularly counterintuitive technique involves allowing the grandmapocalypse to proceed to its final stage, turning all the gold cookies into red cookies, each of which has a small chance to produce over an hour of production (double that with the "get lucky" upgrade) and simply reloading after each of the (much more common) bad outcomes.
    • Now that Wrinklers are saved when you refresh, popping all your Wrinklers and refreshing if you don't get Halloween cookies or Easter Eggs is a valid strategy.
  • Science Is Bad: Parodied - all technological advancements (including Alchemy and Time Travel) are inexplicably directed towards converting more and more of the universe into cookies, the fabric of reality be damned. And the so-called "research facility" is a front for a cult of old ladies attempting to summon Cthulhu-grandmas.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • As of update 1.033, the "One mind" upgrade shows a pop up warning before buying it.
    "Each Grandma gains +1 base CpS for each 50 grandmas. Note: the grandmas are growing restless. Do not encourage them."
    • The game also temporarily pauses and brings up a prompt before you purchase the "One Mind" upgrade, warning the player that there's no turning back from that point. Accepting it initiates the grandmapocalypse.
    • Flavor Text for the Elder Pact upgrade:
    "Each Grandma gains +1 base CpS for each 20 portals. Note: this is a bad idea."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Apparently you bribe doctors to boost sales to match your rampant production. Doctors will recommend a twice daily diet of fresh cookies. Later they warn mothers against the dangers of homemade cookies. Of course eventually you'll be producing cookies faster than the world could ever hope to eat them.
  • Serial Escalation: Your cookies spread throughout the town, the country, the planet, the dimensions, and into every last molecule in the universe.
    ''Known universe now jammed with cookies! No vacancies!"
  • Shout-Out: See here.
  • Silliness Switch: Inverted by "Business Day", which turns the game's aesthetic into a duller, more realistic cookie manufacturing business theme.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    "Unravelling the fabric of reality just makes these cookies so much tastier," claims scientist.
  • Shrinking Violet: Doe, one of the girl scouts.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: One of the "news" feeds shows a person being ostracized by his family for being allergic to cookies. invoked
    News : man found allergic to cookies; "what a weirdo", says family.
  • Speech Impediment: Doe speaks with a clear stutter, which is lampshaded at times.
  • Speed Run: There are three shadow achievements for reaching your first million cookies on this playthrough in 35, 25, and 15 minutes. 35 is possible. 25 is tricky. 15 requires a good measure of luck, since (short of cheating) achieving it is reliant on getting the right Golden Cookies to boost your production.
  • Stealth Pun: "Indentured servitude." - Grandma
    • It was changed recently, but not too long ago, guess where the game saved your data? A cookie. At least the developers acknowledged the pun when they announced the change.
  • Super OCD: One news ticker item claims this is the reason behind your building decisions, rather than any sort of business sense. Given what you need to do for some of the achievements, this is most likely true.
  • Surprise Creepy: The "grandmapocalypse" endgame event totally throws out the lighthearted Played for Laughs feel of the game that dominated up until now. The background turns to a slowly distorting and melting portrait of the grandmas, and messages like highways of flesh carpeting your planet begin to flash in the news space. Unless you pay an ever increasing number of cookies to get rid of it temporarily, or reduce your cookies/second rate to get rid of it permanently.
    "You could have stopped it."
    • There's hints beforehand, as once you get at least 50 grandmas, even if you haven't started the Grandmapocalypse, their occasional comments start to morph from kindly sentiments to disgust at you and declarations that "we rise".
  • Tastes Like Chicken: Rather, cookies, of course. As the game goes on, various new species are discovered which all, "yep, taste like cookies," according to biologists.
  • Team Spirit: You'll get a lot more out of your wrinklers with a full team of ten.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know:
    "Ancient baking artifacts found on other planets. 'Implications terrifying,' say experts."
  • Time Machine: A later building you'll be able to purchase (as of version 1.036) which initially cost 123,456,789 cookies.
  • Time Travel: Complete with time machines and, in Cookie Clicker Classic, time travelling grandmas.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The Grandmas, while initially friendly and warm, leave increasingly hostile messages as you hire more of them.
  • Underground Monkey: As one progresses in the dungeons, upgraded versions of common enemies appear in the classic fashion; Doughling to Elder Doughling, et cetera.
  • Undesirable Prize: Every time one of the Santa upgrades is purchased in Christmas Mode, one of fourteen upgrades is randomly unlocked. Two, the Lump of Coal and the Itchy Sweater, merely increase the multiplier on cookie production by +1%. Sure, they're better upgrades, on a percentage-increase-per-cookie-spent level, than any percentage upgrade available outside of the Santa upgrades. However, given how effective the other Santa upgrades are, they don't feel like much of a prize and players invariably hope that they are the last two unlocked.
    • Easter Mode adds another in "egg." Other upgrades from Easter give things like a +1% multiplier to every other type of production (including other multipliers, potentially huge), increases to clicking power, or reduced building prices. However, "egg" gives +9 to production. Not +9%, not +9 with any multiplier outside of the usual multipliers... it literally just increases production by nine. It costs 100 trillion to purchase, has no upgrades to improve it, and you don't even need to purchase it (there's an achievement related to it, but unlocking the ability to purchase it is all that's required). It exists solely for a Pun... in French.
    [8/27/14 2:51:37 PM] Orteil: oh yeah actually
    [8/27/14 2:51:41 PM] Orteil: that wasn't intended
    [8/27/14 2:52:04 PM] Orteil: I make a lot of puns that go unnoticed but people have been reading way too much into egg
  • Unobtainium: The fifth mouse upgrade is explicitly called the Unobtainium Mouse.
  • Villain Protagonist: To put it simply, you play as a greedy Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Violation of Common Sense: There's an achievement for selling your grandma, and no downside to getting it besides What the Hell, Player? messages.
  • Waddling Head: Doughlings and sentient cookies.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Cosmetic?: The achievement system initially comes off as being a mere Bragging Rights Reward. However, unlocking achievements also increases one's "Milk" percentage, and the Kitten upgrades (helpers, workers, engineers, overseers, and managers) increase one's CpS based on the amount of Milk the player has.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Buildings can be sold when not needed. Problem is, grandmas also count as buildings. Selling one of them unlocks the Just Wrong achievement.
    "I thought you loved me."
    "News: Cookie manufacturer downsizes, sells own grandmother!"
    "It tried to get rid of me, the filthy thing!" - grandma"
  • Wham Episode: Initiating the beginning of the Grandmapocalypse causes the darkly funny messages to take a turn for the worse, and for various elements of the game to become increasingly corrupted.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Zig-Zagged:
    • One of the status updates mentions a defective alchemy lab that was "found to turn cookies into useless gold."
    • A different message states that "National gold reserves dwindle as more and more of the precious mineral is turned to cookies.:
  • You Bastard:
    • The game tells the player that you could have prevented the Grandmaocalypse if they had stopped while they were still ahead.
    • One of the new upgrades in the holiday update (v.1.04) is the Gingerbread Man cookie, which references this:
    Gingerbread Men (Flavor Text): You like to bite off the legs first, right? How about tearing off the arms? You sick monster.
  • Zeerust: The time machine grandmas in the classic version only were a clear nod to this. 1.031 and beyond features pilgrim grandmas instead.


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