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Video Game: Kingdom of Loathing

"Hi, I'm all over TV Tropes."

An Adventurer Is You!

The Kingdom of Loathing (2003) is a browser-based MMORPG by Zack "Jick" Johnson and Josh "Mr. Skullhead" Nite. The overarching plot of the game, such as it is, involves defeating the aptly-named Naughty Sorceress, who has imprisoned the beloved ruler of the Kingdom, King Ralph XI, in a prism (this is known in-game as his being "imprismed"). But first you have to level up your character through the usual rigmarole of Fetch Quests, monster hunting, and Level Grinding. There are several things that make this game fairly unique among MMORPGs, however:

  1. It is completely free, though donations are accepted, appreciated, and encouraged by the offering of a powerful accessory for a ten-dollar donation, which in turn can be traded for a powerful "item of the month", which is only available for a limited time, but it can also be bought from other players for in-game currency.
  2. The game's graphics consist almost entirely of stick figures and other crude black-and-white drawings.
  3. The game possesses a sense of humor that is at times snarky, scathingly satirical, and loaded with pop culture references, including parodies of other RPGs. For example, the Dungeons of Doom are an homage to the game Nethack, while another zone is the "Penultimate Fantasy Airship", with monsters that take the piss out of Square Enix games (mainly Final Fantasy VII and Dragon Quest). In fact, it has been described as "World of Warcraft as written by Monty Python and illustrated by xkcd."

The last one is the biggest draw of the game for many. For example, the tutorial quest involves doing tasks for a talking bird known as the (wait for it) Toot Oriole. "Meat" is the currency of the realm, simultaneously parodying and justifying the RPG tradition of monsters dropping money when defeated. Monsters include not only such traditional fantasy fare as goblins, gnolls, and vampires, but also hippies, Orcish frat boys, Ninja Snowmen, ASCII smileys, and zmobies (which are like zombies, except they were misspelled by a magical accident) and a late-game quest involves a long and complex search for a device literally called the Holy MacGuffin. Then there's the six character classes:
  • Seal Clubbers (Offensive Muscle), barbarians who "hail from the frigid Northlands, because one character class always hails from the frigid Northlands". They fight viciously in combat, building up Fury to power up some of their attacks, and can summon demonic seals so they can club them. They can also learn to craft advanced weapons and Dual Wield.
  • Turtle Tamers (Defensive Muscle), heavily-armored warriors who can cast buffs to improve their (and others') defense and affinity with their familiars, use their armor as weapons, and channel the Great Turtle Spirits to give them an edge in combat. They can also learn to craft advanced armor, and with the right equipment can tame turtles (which can be used as combat items, to make armor, or even become familiars, depending on the turtle in question).
  • Pastamancers (Offensive Mysticality), spellcaster/chefs who attack with powerful spells like "Ravioli Shurikens" and "Cannelloni Cannon" and summon food-themed spirit entities known as "Pasta Thralls". They can also learn to prepare delicious noodle dishes.
  • Saucerors (Defensive Mysticality), spellcasters who fight by conjuring blasts of hot and cold sauces and casting sauce curses upon their enemies. They're also able to conjure "saucespheres", gather Soul Sauce from enemies to power special skills, and brew sauces for Pastamancers to cook with or potions to buff themselves (or others).
  • Disco Bandits (Offensive Moxie), rogues who fight with knives or ranged weapons, along with a variety of debilitating dance moves. They are the only class specializing in booze, capable of learning the Advanced, Superhuman, and Salacious Cocktailcrafting skills.
  • Accordion Thieves (Defensive Moxie), bards who use their ill-gotten instruments in combat as well as to cast an astounding variety of buffs on themselves and others by playing songs (like "the Moxious Madrigal" and "the Power Ballad of the Arrowsmith").

The game mechanics revolve around three stats: Muscle (the primary stat of Seal Clubbers and Turtle Tamers, boosts HP, melee skill and weapon damage), Mysticality (the primary stat of Pastamancers and Saucerors, boosts MP and spell power), and Moxie (the primary stat of Disco Bandits and Accordion Thieves, boosts evasion, damage reduction and ranged skill). Players get a number of "turns" each day, called "Adventures", and can get more turns through food and booze. Players level up their character by earning experience points (in the form of "sub-stat" points) as they adventure, either from slaying monsters, from certain non-combat adventures, or again from eating and drinking. One can also gather a variety of helpful monsters known as "familiars", which do everything from fighting to healing you to helping you get more experience, meat, or items from monsters, to absolutely nothing, to increasing the challenge of the game by hindering you constantly.

We could go on (and on and on and on), but why not experience it for yourself?

This game is the Trope Namer for:


This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Pastamancers can cast spells that hit enemies with things like creepy little girls, Ex-girlfriends, or foul language.
    • The Gift-A-Pult allows you to fire any Gift item (something that cannot be bought or sold in the mall). Designer Handbags, Valentine's Day Gifts and other Gift-A-Pults are the strongest ammo.
    • Some of the "ordinary" (loosest possible sense of the word) weapons have this as well. To cite one example, you can build a crossbow which fires ghuolash, which is food (that is, if you're willing to eat zombie flesh.)
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Hobopolis.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The three stats are Muscle, Mysticality, and Moxie. Your skill points are called "MP" regardless of what your main stat is, but the meaning changes—Muscularity Points, Mana Points, or Mojo Points.
  • Adult Fear: One of the darker zones comes from using a psychoanalytic jar to explore the psychoses of the Crackpot Mystic, an old man who lives in a shack and gives players access to the 8-Bit Realm, a low-level zone full of references to old-school video games. The game's trademark Hurricane of Puns and smarmy pop-culture references largely goes out the window in favor of a sidequest to fight embodiments of the Mystic's Anger, Fear, Doubt, and Regret, which have apparently overwhelmed him. Said embodiments take the form of pixellated monsters and power-ups which will taunt you repeatedly as you fight them.
  • Aerith and Bob: Infernal Rackets, a band playing at Hey Deze arena, comprises Bognort, Stinkface, Flargwurm, and Jim.
  • Affably Evil: The Big Bad of the 2013 Crimbo event. There's a reason the adventure you encounter him in is called "The civil warbear."
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: A Suspicious-Looking Guy.
  • Alien Invasion: The "Bugbear Invasion" challenge path.
  • All There In The Manuel: The Monster Manuel, a Mr.Store item that lets you see the monster stats and collect some fun trivia that are otherwise little or not mentioned about them.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: The rock candy players could mine during the 2011 Crimbo event was "already in convenient ingot form".
  • Alternate Timeline: It's revealed at the end of a Zombie Slayer run that Rene C. Corman has set the entire Kingdom back to the days of the Gray Plague, this time preventing the invention of its cure.
  • Alternate Universe: The Bugbear Invasion challenge path is described as "a parallel universe in which the Kingdom has been invaded by hostile bugbears from a different parallel universe."
  • Alt Text: The image names for the trophies serve this purpose, usually adding in one more reference.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Asbestos really is mined, despite appearing in an improbable fantasy mine in which the other ores are chrome and linoleum. It does not come in huge ore chunks, though.
    • Jick has admitted that he didn't know asbestos and chrome were mined when he wrote it.
    • The real stuff probably wasn't made by subjecting fire-breathing dragons to the same process that got oil out of dinosaurs, though.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Seals.
    • There's one seal that you can take and raise as a familiar, but it's still viciously violent, just directed at your enemies instead. So at least they're loyal. However, a later update made it so that it won't attack other seals.
    • Bees. They suck. The Guy Made of Bees is even worse.
    • Mer-kin. They're all out for your blood, at all times. Even if you're disguised as one of them. And they have a penchant for summoning Eldritch Abominations.
  • American Gothic Couple: An enemy in the Haunted Gallery.
  • An Axe to Grind: The only weapon you will be able to use in an Avatar of Boris run is Trusty, a two-handed axe.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Brotherhood of One, the frat that the Frat Boy Orcs belong to. Zombo, the boss of the Ancient Hobo Burial Ground, is their grand master. When you wear his ring, any male Frat Orc that sees it will recognize you as his superior and commit suicide by paddling.
  • And I Must Scream: Ed the Undying is. And you leave him with wounds that immobilize him...
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: Food and booze are common quest rewards, or bonus things you end up getting while doing quests. Bart Ender, owner of the Typical Tavern, gives you some of his tavern's trademark booze (which the tavern doesn't normally provide) for getting rats out of his cellar.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Even more common than food/booze rewards. Completing the entire game in hardcore mode as certain classes earns you a steel hat or steel pants. Even harder completions get you hats/pants made out of plexiglass or brimstone.
  • Animesque: the battle with Yakisoba the Executioner, complete with a swirl of Cherry Blossoms and The Thing That Goes Donk when he shows up, as well as Motion Lines and intense music (which the character can hear and see, but the player can't) when he attacks you.
    • Chori Zo.
    • The entirety of the 2012 holiday event was this, when Uncle Crimbo fired his workers and replaced them with Japanese culture elves whose names are a mishmash of Anime titles and Gratuitous Japanese. Culminates in an interactive Humongous Mecha fight. The exclusive item? A manga comic book that lets you do the fight again.
  • Another Dimension: The 8-Bit Realm, accessed using the Continuum Transfunctioner from the Crackpot Mystic. In it one fights, among other things, Goombas and Octoroks. By using a map that fell out of an antique 8-bit power magazine, one can also reach Vanya's Castle.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: The CARNIVORE operative, encountered during the Hippy war quest, is a member. The operative drops a button that annoys enemies, causing them to hit you harder. They also appeared during Crimbo 2009, protesting a puppy-related Mall of Loathing promo... only to have one of their number similarly and painfully used the next day.
  • Animated Armor: The "empty suit of armor" enemy.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Numerous.
  • Anti-Poop Socking : You only get a limited number of adventures per day, normally 40, though there are many ways to increase this. Furthermore, unused adventures naturally accumulate up to 200, thereby removing most of the incentive for playing every single day.
    • However, your stomach/liver/spleen levels get reset every day, and these are the things to give you extra adventures; if you don't play every day you only get the extra rollover adventures, possibly missing on hundreds from a single day.
    • There are also abilities and machines that players may want to use as much as possible that "recharge" daily.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Pretentious Artist doesn't believe in Hey Deze, despite the general absurdity of the world and the fact that, as he himself puts it, "people go there all the time and bring back souvenirs." He tells you this while you're wearing a bunch of these souvenirs.
  • Arc Number: The number 11 appears all over the place. It's ridiculous; it's not even funny. It is a reference to the song "Time Zones" by Negativland.
    • Also, 37. In a row.
    • And there's also the fairly well-hidden joke about the number 23. FNORD
    • 12 also shows up a lot, although that could just be a coincidence.
    • They also mock the shit out of the Thirteen Is Unlucky trope.
  • Arm Cannon: The Armgun, gained from someone who is definitely not Barett. His severed forearm is still attached.
    • Also the four weapons obtained by defeating the boss monsters in the Crackpot Mystic's Psychoses.
  • Ars Goetia: Azazel is one of your quest givers. He has crossdressing tendencies and is slightly creepy.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The innermost circle of Hey Deze: "Given the high rates of murder, armed robbery, and jaywalking, it's the hottest piece of real estate in Hey Deze (which is saying a lot for a place composed primarily of brimstone and magma)."
    • The message given when first entering Azazel's Temple:
    It's your basic evil hellish demon dwelling: the decorative motifs include blood, pulsating skin, flames, and the occasional throw rug to add some visual interest.
  • Ascended Meme: A silly forum thread has one player complaining about how one non-combat adventure involving a hippo ballet does not contain an actual picture of a hippo in a tutu. In the next Ko L convention, this familiar was being sold. (However, while the familiar in question is "a hippo in a tutu", it's not a hippo ''wearing'' a tutu, it's a hippo that was found ''inside'' a tutu. The familiar itself is just wearing a leotard, and sometimes mentions that she wishes she had a frilly skirt to wear) Around this time, Jick and Mr.Skullhead put tutus on their forum avatars.
    • Long ago, Hobopolis was a running gag on the Ko L Thursday night radio show. It eventually became the first clan dungeon.
  • Ass Kicks You: You can wear an asshat (made of two bum cheeks). There's a headbutt attack. Go figure.
    • Even more to the point, certain monsters made in the Kingdom's early history had the miss message, "He tries to headbutt you, but you turn around and butthead him."
    • Since Crimbo 2010, two new possible monsters have graced the kingdom, along with a photocopier to help provide them. Your butt and somebody else's butt.
    • On April Fools' Day 2011, the butts of several of the developers showed up as enemies, and dropped special items (no, not that. Not that either.)
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: You, the adventurer, can pick a fight with the entire Kingdom! Unfortunately, it's too tough to be defeated (everything deals exactly 1 damage to it) and too weak to defeat you (it can only hit you if you have less than 8 Moxie, which is unlikely, or it criticals, which deals only 1 damage). People are, of course, trying to figure out how to kill it, but nobody has done it yet.
    • There's even a few strategies that should work. Of course, they require huge amounts of one-time items.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The ridiculously overelaborate ninja weapon. You have no idea how to use it, but it looks totally badass.
    • Becomes practical if you're wearing the Clockwork Apparatus outfit. The Apparatus has random beneficial effects that trigger on (and replace) fumbled attacks, and the ninja weapon has the highest fumble chance of any equipment (tied with the vibrating cyborg knife, which is no longer available) and also triples the chance of criticals (with the best weapons granting five times the chance). Also, it means you're a clockwork ninja, which is just freaking awesome. To throw it over the top, one of the required parts of the outfit is a clockwork Badass Longcoat.
  • Background Magic Field: Mentioned once or twice.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Kinda parodied when you fight Ed the Undying.
    • In the final boss fight:
    "Behold my true form, adventurer, and behold it well, for it is the last thing you will ever behold!"
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Seems to be a feature of special challenge runs.
    • If you choose to play a 'Bees Hate You' run, the Naughty Sorceress' sausage form is killed by the Guy Made of Bees, a Bonus Boss in normal runs.
    • In Avatar of Boris; the sausage is replaced by The Avatar of Sneaky Pete. And in Bugbear Invasion, this effectively happens before the game even starts: a giant bugbear mothership has crashed on the original final boss's lair, and you eventually end up fighting the mothership's final boss instead of the regular one.
    • And in Zombie Slayer: Rene C. Corman, long-missing Big Bad from the Valhalla arc, kills the Naughty Sorceress and takes over for the final battle.
    • Twice in Avatar of Jarlsberg! Clancy, Boris's herald, attacks you in place of the familiar test, and the Avatar of Boris has struck down the Naughty Sorceress herself (all forms) and serves as the final boss.
    • And in KOLHS: Principal Mooney replaces the Naughty Sorceress.
    • One more time in Avatar of Sneaky Pete: the Avatar of Jarlsberg finishes the triangle by replacing the last stage of the Naughty Sorceress.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Some Disco Bandits build on their existing Dance Battler style with the optional skill "Kung Fu Hustler", which offers a set of progressive bonuses for fighting without anything equipped in the hands. When combined with their other skills and "combat items" (weaponlike and used from inventory), this makes regular weapons unnecessary.
    • For some time, combining the halo-type accessories from Summon Clip Art, which give a large bonus only if you don't have a weapon equipped, combined with Kung Fu Hustler, was the best playstyle for speed ascenders. That is, until Summon Smithsiness was created.
    • "Way of the Surprising Fist" is a challenge path, where one cannot wield any weapons; gains martial skills from certain areas, and money drops are extremely cut back due to a vow of poverty.
  • Battle in the Rain: Invoked via rain-summoning during 'The Last Stand,' an event which only triggers under very specific circumstances.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The Angry Jung Man familiar drops psychoanalytical jars, which can be used on certain NPCs (including Jick, if you're lucky). Using the jars of psychoses that result open up zones that fit the trope.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: "Under the Knife" in the obviously-named Sleazy Back Alley is how you can change genders in-run.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The 2013 Crimbo event has players fighting Power Armor-wearing polar bears that are trying to sabotage Uncle Crimbo's toy factory.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: There is an adventure in the South of the Border area where you can bet on a cockfight — or refuse in disgust: "This flagrant display of cruelty to living creatures disgusts you. You decide to head back to the Icy Peak and eviscerate some more Yetis."
  • Bee Bee Gun: The Guy Made Of Bees, from a spooooky tale, is summoned Bloody Mary style in Spookyraven Manor's Bathroom. He has approximately the same strength as the monsters in The Naughty Sorceress' Tower, and is killed the same way with a specific item. It is possible, albeit extremely difficult, to kill him in normal combat.
    • Simply, the last guy who beat him without the specific item was a Lvl. 117 Pastamancer. It takes maybe 2 years to get to level 100+, unless leveling up is the only thing you care about.
      • Power creep moves on, and now it's possible to kill most of the Gimmick Kill bosses with one donation item and a little bit of know how.
      • It's now possible for any player with enough patience using Way of the Surprising Fist skills.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: CLEESH turns your enemy into a frog, newt, or salamander.
  • BFS: The Ridiculously Huge Sword that's dropped by someone who is definitely not Cloud. It's a three handed weapon.
  • Big Bad: The Naughty Sorceress.
    • Second only to her is recurring villain Rene C. Corman. He was the mastermind of the Valhalla world event, initiated the Grey Plague under the name Christobal Colon, and is the final boss and source of the Zombie Apocalypse in the Zombie Slayer path.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: three, the Defiled Crypt, Misspelled Cematary, and Spookyraven Manor
    • The Haunted Sorority House 2011 Halloween event.
    • The clan dungeon Dreadsylvania.
  • Big Eater: Everyone becomes this during the Feast of Boris, gaining doubled eating capacity for the day. Players on the Avatar of Boris path are Big Eaters every day and have numerous eating-related skills, but they also get drunk very quickly.
  • Bigger Bad: One is implied to exist in the Accordion Thief version of the Nemesis Quest. In the mariachi mansion, you find a chessboard with pieces resembling the notable figures of Loathing. The Naughty Sorceress is the black queen, the black king is "a swirly demonic looking thing you don't recognize."
  • Bigger Than Jesus: One quest sees players have to advertise for a band by pasting fliers to monsters. One of the messages you can get if you go back to the concert arena before you're done advertising says that the band has become "more popular than cheeses."
  • Big NO: "'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! IT'S NOT POSSIBLE!' you shout, raising your arms to the sky."
  • Big Red Devil: Imps.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When you cause a Disaster Dominoes accident in the office in the Dwarves' factory complex, you end up staring at a file-folder with "ピタゴラスイッチ" written on it. The character assumes it's Dwarvish for "you've just made a hell of a mess", but it's actually Japanese for "Pythagora Switch", which is their term for a Rube Goldberg Device.
    • The description and use text (and name) for "spaghetti con calaveras" is entirely in Spanish. The description and name of Salsa de la Epocas is the name and description of the Sauce of the Ages (another item) in Spanish as well.
  • Bindle Stick: These drop from hobos in Hobopolis. There are 5 types, one for each element. (And one holiday-event one. And tiny one for your Hobo Monkey.)
  • Bio-Augmentation: the Unstable DNA item, which, when drunk, gives the status buff "Yuletide Mutations", which buffs all stats + 50%, the damage of the "Mutant Coture" armor and the potency of "Consume Burrowgrub" for 10 adventures. Unstable DNA is also integral in making the "Pair of Ragged Claws" familiar and the "Burrowgrub Hive" furnishing.
  • Bland-Name Product: Many examples. BRICKO bricks, Willer beer, and a Red Minotaur energy drink are among them. The Bag of W&Ws lampshades the fact that it's a "lower-quality knock-off version of the original for way less money."
  • Blood Bath: Invoked in one of the potential descriptions for the stench vampires in Dreadsylvania... and mocked by the narrator pointing out that a bath-tub full of blood would quickly coagulate and rot. In this case, it explains the foul odor of the stench-aligned vampire.
  • Bonus Boss: Baron Von Ratsworth, the "Ultra-Rare" monsters that drop the aptly-named Ultra-Rare items, Hodgman the Hoboverlord and his Hobopolis Lieutenants, the Mother Slime, the Guy Made of Bees, the Elder Gods of Violence and Hatred, the list goes on.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Fernswarthy's Basement (infinite in depth; but with special rewards at every 100 levels up to level 500), the various (clan-member-only) raid dungeons, and The Sea (which is only accessible after acquiring the scuba gear in the final dungeon).
    • Some dungeons, such as the Palindome (where everything is a palindrome) and Spookyraven Manor (especially the top floor) were optional, before NS13 made them part of the new quests.
    • One of the 2013 yearly familiars, the Angry Jung Man, drops Psychoanalytic Jars that let you explore the deranged minds of some of the Kingdom's NPCs, such as the Meatsmith and the Pretentious Artist (and on rare occasions, the game's creator Jick)
    • The February 2013 Mr. Store item allows you to fight through a randomized dungeon in-run to acquire special equipment, but if not handled properly can delay your quest.
  • Book Ends: The Zombie Slayer path begins and ends with your character being hungry and offered a sandwich. The second time you've been cured and can finally enjoy that sandwich.
  • Books That Bite: One of the types of enemy found in Spookyraven Manor's Haunted Library.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Booze, along with food, is one of the ways to gain more adventures per day.
  • Boring Yet Practical: The first Accordion Thief song, the Moxious Madrigal, gives a flat +10 to Moxie. You'd be amazed how often this comes in handy.
  • Bottomless Bladder / Nobody Poops: Lampshaded at The Road to the White Citadel, as well as The Haunted Bathroom (Bad Moon only).
  • Bowties Are Cool: There's lots of wearable bow tie items. Each bowtie's description claims bowties are uncool, cool, or something else entirely. Plus there's bow tie familiar-oid.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Pretty much all the Ascension rewards, though the Brimstone items - especially the Bunker - in particular, being some of the most powerful items in the game.
    • The Slime and Hobo rewards as well, especially Hodgman's items, which require a very, very speedy run through Hobopolis be done in order to get some of them.
    • Trophies are completely useless except for showing them off, and not only do they cost meat, but qualifying for one often requires significant expenditure of effort.
  • Brain Bleach: the "seedy Photocopy" advertising slime porn shows gives you a headache.
    • South of the Border's semi-rare gives an item that makes you so offended sleaze is weakened against you. Donkey flipbook. Yeah. (If you don't know what a donkey show or a Tijuana bible is... don't ask.)
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: On the front page. "Like KoL? On Facebook? Then why not like KoL on Facebook?"
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: a recurring joke format. "He notices how dirty you are and decides to give you the full treatment - deep exfoliation, sea-salt scrub, sucking chest wound — wait, what was that last one?"
  • Breakable Weapons: The Antique set are the first max-power gear you see, but they slow you down and break after a while. The Tome Of Sugar Shummoning can also create temporary equipment that only lasts for 30 rounds, after which it breaks and you can eat the pieces.
    • And the X-37 multipurpose gun (think The Fifth Element), as sooner or later you'll notice and push the blinking red button.
  • Breaking Lecture: An Easter Egg available after you complete the Nemesis questline has a pretty hefty one. When your Nemesis goes One-Winged Angel, he/she/it does so by invoking the (randomly generated) Demon Lord of Revenge. If you have access to the Spookyraven Manor summoning circle, you can actually summon the Lord of Revenge, who gleefully explains how you and your Nemesis were Not So Different. The whole experience shakes your character to their core, as shown by the resulting debuff fittingly called "Existential Torment".
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A $10 donation earns you a "Mr. Accessory", which gives you a significant boost to your stats, but can also be traded in at "Mr. Store" for extra-powerful special items or familiars.
    • Donating $10 Canadian earns you a "Mr. Eh?" instead of "Mr. A." Once upon a time, the item was slightly less powerful than Mr. A—in fact, it fluctuated with the Canadian:American exchange rate, as a humorous Take That on the value of Canadian money, but the joke wore thin, and now the only difference is that Mr. Eh? can't be used at Mr. Store.
    • The Mr. Store items are unequippable/unusable in Hardcore, however.
    • Magic-Spellbook-type Items Of The Month and Familiars Of The Month are usable in HC, however, except in Bad Moon and certain challenge paths. In fact, several of these are considered necessary if you want to be "optimal" (finishing an ascension in less than a week). A few of the top-tier Familiars and Tomes are the He-Boulder (can force an enemy to drop all of its potential drops), Llama Lama, Infant Sandworm, Green Pixie, Rogue Programme, Pair of Stomping Boots (easily obtain otherwise rare turn generating spleen items, as well as unlocking new areas), Frumious Bandersnatch (increase XP and improves combat skills), Bugged Bugbear (massive XP boosts and other benefits), Tome of Sugar Shummoning, Tome of Clip Art (powerful equipment), Tome of Scratch n' Sniff Sticker Summoning (makes a sword or crossbow which can recieve powerful enchantments), and Tome of Snowcone Summoning (powerful buffs).
    • Also, if you have the meat for it, you can buy various items needed for a quest at the Mall of Loathing without taking the trouble of actually doing the quest. (Unless you're in Hardcore mode, in which the mall, flea market, and your previous inventory are off-limits.)
    • Some of the Items of the Month, typically the ones released on the month of a challenge path debut, carry some extra benefit for a challenge path to make them more enticing at the moment. These can range from skills and familiar IotMs producing extra items during the challenge path, to equipment IotMs being usable on the path regardless of regular restrictions.
    • If you're in an Avatar of Jarlsberg run, you can buy a Cosmic Bucket, whose only function is to give you items that grant you more skill points for the path. Amusingly, the game admits that the item was for those who wanted to jump into speed runs right away, and encourages players to take it slowly instead.
    • A lot of trophies cannot be easily obtained...except by buying a crapload of something in the mall. All the Gotta Catch 'Em All ones are like this, and several others require you to multi-use something in a quantity that would take forever to generate on your own. One requires you to literally toss your meat down a hole.
  • Brick Joke: As a moxie class, one of the tasks required to become a full-fledged guild member is to pickpocket Izzy the Lizard's wallet without him noticing. Later, after you do a task for him, he realizes he can't pay you in money because someone stole his wallet. Even later, he sends you on a quest to get an important item for him, which turns out to be a wallet chain.
    • On January 30, 2010, players could receive for the first time an adventure titled From Little Acorns..., in which you plant an acorn from the evil Underworld Tree in the Arrrboretum. Fast forward to May 6, 2010, when you can get the adventure ... Grow Unspeakable Horrors, which gives the Underworld Bonsai Familiar
  • Bridge: Played by the guards behind the light door.
  • Buffy Speak: A common source of humour. E.g. "Bones scatter across the deck like uh, something that scatters. Mice? I'll go with mice."
  • But Thou Must: When entering Felonia's cave, you have three choices:
    Enter the chamber
    Enter the chamber (No Other Possibility)
    Enter the chamber (Seriously).
  • Butt Monkey: Part of your character's job description if he or she attempted to join CRIMBCO (your beloved, effective sponsor for Crimbo 2010).
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag"
    Gorgolok: "STUPID HUMAN! I KILL YOU MYSELF! MAKE YOU SQUEAL LIKE THE STUPID MONKEY YOU ARE!"
  • Call Back: To a long time ago. At one point, there was a world event where an NPC named Christobal Colon sent players "warm blankets", which improved resting - but had a good chance of infecting them with The Grey Plague, which turned them into zombies. Four real-world years later, the Zombie Slayer path revealed that "Colon" was Rene C. Corman.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Parodied in a hit message in a boss fight-
    "Wu Tang shouts 'Seven Demon!' and kicks you in the knee. 'Hey!' you say, 'you didn't finish the name of the attack!' 'It's the Seven Demon Kick You In the Knee While You're Waiting For Me To Finish the Name of the Attack," he says, and kicks you again. '
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Played Straight in a miss message when fighting a "Swarm of Killer Bees".
    "They start to swarm you, but you give them a quick lesson in Aerodynamics, and they all fall to the ground."
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The Mime invasion was an uncharacteristically creepy event (which may still be ongoing). Shortly afterward, the new additions to the Sea Monkee quest added in March and April 2013 turned the previously lighthearted quest into a dead serious and surprisingly chilling Cosmic Horror Story. And then the new clan dungeon showed up: Dreadsylvania, a giant pastiche of horror tropes. All this in a game originally built on obnoxious puns, satire, and non-sequiturs.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Lampshaded by the chainmail monokini.
    This is the bottom half of a chain-mail bikini. It'll completely protect you from injury, and by 'you' we mean 'your crotch and 40% of your backside.' Because, really, what else matters?
  • Chain of Deals: The Going Postal quest.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: There's a "French Slippers" item; equipping it causes your runaways to be always successful.
  • Chef of Iron: Saucerors and Pastamancers with their food-flinging spells and cooking skill, although they have elements of Squishy Wizard too. The Avatar of Jarlsberg also counts, since you're channeling Loathing's original chef-magus.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: During the Nemesis Quest, your nemesis has a secret tropical island volcano lair. The volcano plays an important role.
  • Chew Toy: Admiral Hagnk, proprietor of Hagnk's Ancestral Mini-Storage, once known as Hagnk's Mostly-Burned-Down-then-Hit-By-a-Chunk-of-a-Comet-then-Flooded-by-the-Melting-Comet Ancestral Mini-Storage. It got better.
  • Chez Restaurant: Chez Snootée in Little Canadia.
  • Chronic Pet Killer: Stephen Spookyraven.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The version of the Clingy Pirate that appears for male characters. (Females get a male version who's less jealous, more weepy and vaguely patronizing.)
    • Oddly enough, using the pirate insults may get the Clingy Pirate to say "I'm not comfortable being compared to your girlfriend like that."
  • Clipped Wing Angel: The Naughty Sorceress
  • Clock Punk: All the Clockwork items. You can get a clockwork maid, clockwork armor (and weapons), and Clockwork Grapefruit familiar. Clockwork goodies are also needed for the MicroMagiMech and Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot familiars.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: 'Twas the day of Christmas and one player on the forums made the mistake of complaining about the holiday content. The devs didn't like it much. Behold, the Skully Rant., now lampshaded in-game.
    • Unlike many other games, the dev team interacts with their Unpleasable Fanbase with some frequency. The Crimbomination from Crimbo '08 was a last minute toss-in to address complaints about an anticlimactic ending. To sum up: if they feel the complainers have a point, they generally address it. If they feel they don't, we get... what we get in the link above.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Disco Bandits use enemy weakening attacks in combat, which include suckerpunches, eye pokes, face-stabs, kicking your opponent's knees in while dancing, and pretending to run away then attacking when your opponent lets down his guard.
  • Combat Tentacles: The "Mutant Couture" outfit has two seperate sets; the "Parasitic Tentacles" pants and the "Parasitic Strangleworm" off-hand. The pants allow you to trip an enemy, and the off-hand allows you to throttle it.
  • Combos: Disco Bandits gain end-of-fight bonuses for using their skills in a particular order.
  • Common Place Rare: Bananas are a limited-edition item?!? (They can be duplicated in a certain lab, but their original source is long gone, and the map that unlocks the lab is a limited item as well.) Don't ask about beets.
    • The Dead Guy's Memento item gives you a bunch of extra adventures every day, and it seems easy enough to get: just combine a very common Dead Guy's Watch with a somewhat-rare, but affordable photograph item. The catch? Instead of gluing them together the normal way, you need to use a special piece of tape which you might get from a gambling game in a high-level dungeon (and nowhere else). It's a two-layered Common Place Rare!
  • Companion Cube: The Bulky Buddy Box familiar, which does nothing. Pet Rocks, Toothsome Rocks, and Holiday Logs are similarly inactive. The latter two's descriptions Lampshade their uselessness.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Used on a game-wide scale with the Ragamuffin Imp familiar. Its strength is inversely proportional to the number of people currently armed with one. If few people are using it, it's extremely powerful in combat (potentially as strong as 100 saber-toothed limes), but it gets weaker and weaker as more and more people use it.
    • When it was first introduced, the power was determined by how many existed in the universe. Acquiring one required being able to solve a fiendishly difficult puzzle... until the answer became common knowledge (despite explicit instructions of "do not spoil this"), at which point everyone and their mother got one, rendering them useless (1 point of hot damage!) until the rules were changed.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The Captain of the Gourd, who tasks various adventurers to help him protect the Gourd from the Knob goblin/tin can/spider menace. His jar of psychoses zone takes this up a notch.
  • Constellations: The game features an area called "The Hole in the Sky". All of the monsters within are constellations that are also Double Entendres for male or female genitalia, such as "The Burrowing Bishop," "The Trouser Snake," or "The Little Man in the Canoe".
  • Continuity Lockout: It takes a really long time to get up to speed, let alone figure out how to effectively play the thing.
  • Continuity Nod: The Nearby Plains in the Distant Past is loaded with nods to the areas that are normally found in the Nearby Plains and the bosses found in those areas...and at least one boss not found in the Nearby Plains. That schoolgirl learning magic from Fernswarthy? Yep, it's the Naughty Sorceress herself.
  • Convection Schmonvection: You fight your Nemesis in the heart of a volcano. Summed up nicely:
    Soon, the cavern branches into a smooth, almost glassy-surfaced tunnel — obviously an ancient lava tube. It appears that you're heading directly into the heart of the volcano. On reflection, this was inevitable, really. I mean, you can't just have a Final Boss Battle near a volcano. It would be like having a car chase in which the Fruit Cart doesn't get knocked over. Or fighting crime in a giant robot and never using Rocket Punch.
    • You can even swim through the lava back to shore if you mess up in the lava maze, but you'll take a load of damage.
  • Cool Sword: A running gag has the player killing skeletons to get their sweet swords
    • As of 2013, you can fight a tower of skeletons that increase in strength as you go to get an exceptionally sweet sword. This is actually one of seven swords that were released with the Angry Jung Man familiar.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: The Council of Loathing are often suspected to be this. See the WMG section.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The last leg of the Sea Monkee quest.
  • Cosmetic Award: Trophies & tattoos, unless you care about PvP mode.
    • Having a Monster Manuel in your campsite will enable a drop off certain monsters that changes your avatar to their picture, temporarily.
  • Crate Expectations: Parodied, along with a reference to the Start-To-Crate review system, when crates appear in the first area the player visits. "You're a little nervous about encountering a crate this early in the game."
  • Creepy Doll: Equippable as an Accessory, which adds Spooky damage. Also a Spooky marionette and Killer rag doll shield. You can also get a possessed teddy bear and evil clockwork monkey as familiars.
  • Critical Failure: In this case, it's called Fumble!
    • Fumbling causes you to, instead of attacking, take damage by dropping your weapon on yourself. When unarmed, fumbles can be a bit strange, ex. "You drop your forehead on your arse."
    • The Clockwork Outfit (Inspector Gadget's hat, pants, and trenchcoat) turns fumbles into positive effects.
  • Cross Player: Many male players play female characters in-game, as there are a few female-only bonuses. There's even a trophy for changing your ingame gender 30 times.
  • Crystal Prison: The king has been imprismed.
  • Crystal Skull: Well, glass skull, but still can scare away monsters.
  • Cult: Spaghetti Cultists, encountered during the Nemesis quest if you play as a Pastamancer.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Deleveling an enemy will reduce their damage absorption, along with their attack power.
  • Damage Over Time: Various items, pieces of equipment and statuses inflict "passive damage" over time.
  • Dance Battler: The Disco Bandit class.
  • Day Old Legend: Repeatedly spoofed. "This legendary vampire-slaying whip has been in your family for generations. No, wait, I'm thinking of a different whip. This one was made out of brown pixels by a crazy guy in a shed in the woods."
    • Meticulously deconstructed by, of all things, Trusty.
  • Death Is Cheap: You can't die at all unless you choose to ascend after beating the game; from there, returning to the mortal realm for a New Game+ is trivially easy. Running out of health in battle, or doing anything else you might expect to be fatal, merely ends the fight and gives you a few turns of "Beaten Up"...which doesn't prevent you from fighting, can be cured easily, and isn't even the worst negative effect in the game. It's become even easier since resting in your campsite was made into a cure.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Camp Logging Camp, Potent Potion of Potency, Seal-Clubbing Club, Corrupt Club of Corrupt Corruption, Tomato Juice of Powerful Power...
    • It is also possible to get hit in the same place twice like "giving you splinters in your neck, elbow, and neck."
    • However, some (like the Camp Logging Camp and the Potent Potion of Potency) merely use homophones to seem redundant at first glance.
    • One of the "three archetypical elders who have shaped the Kingdom" is St. Sneaky Pete the Redundantly Sneaky.
    • "This is a fully rewinged dewinged stab bat." In other words, a stab bat.
  • Depth Deception: Specifically, before the Observatory is destroyed.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Subverted in some places, played straight in others. The final boss is only meant to be beatable with a special wand in your inventory, and has massive stats to make sure of this. When someone found a way to do it differently, the developers gave them a prize for doing so, the description of which said, "Well done for doing something that everyone thought was impossible, and damn you for making us have to work out how to make it not happen again!" Then, it happened again. (It's good to note at this point that the first player was over level 100, And the other had bribed his way there.
    • Played straight when they gave an Ultra Rare item (which you have a 1 in no-one-really-knows-at-all chance of getting) a resulting material when you pulverize it, making you lose the original item. They prepared for people to destroy an Ultra Rare item. (The first guy to do it, incidentally, got a unique reward too, and it pulverizes into itself. Yes, they prepared for that too.)
    • Periodically, a holiday on the in-game calendar will fall on the day of an actual real-life holiday. When this happens, the result is usually a clever combination of the two holidays, sometimes even worked into the plot. Thanksgiving on Saint Patrick's Day becomes Drunksgiving, with drunk versions of Thanksgiving encounters; Halloween on Christmas resulted in the Nightmare Before Christmas themed Crimboween, etc.
    • Trying to access the server directory where the image files for trophies are stored simply returns a message:"No peeking."
    • "Stupid complicated game."
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Don't ask Roderic the Staffcrafter to make a Chef Staff you don't have the materials for. Just don't.
    • In the Avatar of Boris campaign, Sneaky Pete orchestrated all the events of the run just so he could get back at Boris for being a bad wingman.
  • Dissimile: Mr. Skullhead loves this trope. For example.
    (your Disembodied Hand) sprays him with some club soda. And by "sprays," I mean, "hits," and by "some," I mean "a," and by "soda," I mean "for X damage."
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: Playing any Game Grid Video Game has the character black out and in the game for the duration. Yes, add the same level of snark to Jackass Plumber, Meteoid, DemonStar, Dungeon Fist!, Space Trip, and Fighters of Fighting.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In a Zombie Slayer challenge path run, using Infectious Bite on an enemy during combat might result in said enemy being reanimated and added to your Horde after combat.
  • Disturbed Doves: one of the possible attack messages for the haiku katana:
    Flocks of cranes in flight
    fleeing the scene where you caused
    pain beyond measure.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The worm-riding manual. Downplayed, since you get page 3-15 all at once.
    • And then played straight after a revamp.
  • Ditto Fighter: the Doppelshifter and Comma Chameleon familiars, as well as any familiar equipped with the Tiny Costume Wardrobe.
  • Do Not Spoil This Ending: the "Ragamuffin Imp" familiar, and the puzzle which reveals how to get it.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Discussed in the description of the "Ur-donut" item.
    There has never been a donut more donut than this one. Shops that sell these are where the platonic ideals of cops hang out.
  • Double Entendre: There are dozens of these references. Also, there is the Hole in the Sky, where you can fight constellations. The astronomers of that time had very dirty minds, as all but one of the constellations (The Astronomer) are named after various names of the Skin Flute and the Beaver.
    • Almost everything associated with the aptly named Smut Orcs and the Orc Chasm.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: The ChibiBuddy "dies" if any of its stats reach 0... but also if any of them reach 10.
  • Dracolich: The Bonerdagon.
  • The Dragon: Each of the villains in the nemesis quest has one of these, who will give you a map to their lair, a unique familiar, and an item with a nice resale value when beaten.
  • Dual Wielding: The Seal Clubber ability "Double Fisted Skull Smashing" allows the use of two one-handed weapons at once, and the Disco Bandit ability "Ambidextrous Funkslinging" allows the use of two items at once.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked by the "Offensive Joke" ability.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Several. Notably, most of the encounters with them are entirely devoid of humor. The Adorable Space Buddy familiar is a rare friendly variation.
  • Eldritch Location: Wherever you fight the bonus boss Dad Sea Monkee is this, being a a silent room with featureless white walls. Which...are blackened. In silence; full of deafening noise.
    • Also, Fernswarthy's Basement. It has no bottom and some of the floors are guarded by Eldritch Abominations.
  • Element Number Six - Cute. Cute is, however, The Sixth Element
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Though with some rather unusual elements. Hot, Cold, Spooky, Stench and Sleaze are the elements of KoL. Each element takes double damage from two, and deals double damage to the other two. If you attack a monster with its own element, or attack a ghost with non-elemental weapons, you deal negligible damage.
    • Also, there are four elements which are only used in certain situations and don't fit into the cycle: Slime, Shadow, Bad Spelling, and Supercold. Slime damage, seen only in the Slime Tube, is mostly dealt via status effects and has its own protective gear. Bad Spelling damage is dealt by enemies modeled on Internet trolls and is countered by reading from a dictionary. Supercold damage is dealt by the Warbears in the Warbear Fortress during Crimbo 2013. And finally, Shadow damage is dealt by Your Shadow and has no way to counter it - this is to make sure that it goes straight through any gear you're wearing.
    • There is also the legendary Sixth Element, Cuteness.
  • Elite Mooks: The "Hero" enemies in the Hippy/Fratboy war.
  • Emo Teen: The Goth Giant enemy, who writes bad poetry and wears a fuckton of makeup. Also the Confused Goth Music Student, the Next-generation Frat Boy, the Emo Squid familiar, and the Girl in a Black Dress.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: During the Disco Bandit's Nemesis quest.
  • Elvish Presley: Elvish Sunglasses, which give you the "Rock Out" ability. Also, the Elvish effect obtained at the Mysterious Island Arena, if you complete the frat sidequest and pay close enough attention to the music.
  • Elves VS Dwarves: On the Mysterious Island, as part of a quest from the Council of Loathing, you can start and end war between the smelly, nature-loving hippies and the sleazy, beer-drinking frat boys.
  • Enemy Mime: The Silent Ones are this and Humanoid Abomination. The encounter text notes that their faces are merely painted on and that light itself hesitates to approach them.
  • Enemy Scan: Monster Manuel, a Mr. Store item that permanently displays any monster's Attack, Defense, and HP once you defeat it a single time. Some players derided it as a waste of ten dollars due to the existence of fan-created mod Mafia... until they saw the hilarious facts Manuel spits out for every monster in the game, even ones that nobody's fought in years. Let's see Mafia do that.
  • Escort Mission: Parodied and thankfully averted with Grandma Seamonkey. She describes herself as someone useless in a fight who would easily get lost and be unable to circumvent the simplest of obstacles. The player character determines that she should be fine making it back on her own.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The pirates may be no-good, thieving, lying brigands, but unlike the frat boys, they would never make people wear some kind of humiliating outfit while cleaning!
    • If the fight against the Dreadsylvania final boss drags on for too long, you get the message: "Count Drunkula passes out. You've done some unscrupulous things in your day, but killing a passed out drunk guy is over the line, even for you. "
  • Everyone Has Standards: Your player character will loot graves, slaughter defenseless rabbits and eat their livers, and generally will steal anything that isn't nailed down, but unless you're an Accordion Thief they wouldn't think of wielding a stolen accordion.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Sock Monkeys, Balloon Monkeys, Rhesus Monkeys, Hobo Monkeys (complete with tiny cigar, hobo vest, a top hat, and the wallet he just stole from you), and monkeys that play cymbals, as well as the insidious Jocko Homo.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The Penguin Mafia. In fact, its leader took over Crimbo (the in-game Christmas equivalent) in 2008.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Spunky ones wielding titanium assault umbrellas, and princesses that in no way resemble Princesses Toadstool and Leia.
  • Everything Is Worse With B(ee)s: Summer 2011 special challenge: Bees Hate You. Bees attack you every couple of turns, and they want to kill you. Even the bs in any equipment you're wearing. Your character also has a phobia of using items or familiar with a "B" in it.
  • Everything Trying To Beat You Up: There are loads of strange and unusual monsters in this game.
  • Evil Chef: A few of the monsters are examples of this.
  • Evil Poacher: Stella the Turtle Poacher, nemesis of the Turtle Tamer.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The hippy/frat boy war, for a particularly ineffective brand of "evil". There's a special reward for getting both sides killed. Then again, your contracting body isn't quite unambiguously good either.
  • Experience Booster: The items and effects that increase your stat gain rate count as this, since your main stat determines your level.
  • Eye Poke: Disco Eye-Poke is a move in the Disco Bandit's arsenal.
  • Fallen Hero: According to his psychosis, prior to becoming an eternally drugged up and spaced out drug addict and dealer, the Suspicious Looking Guy used to be a detective who once saved a Chinatown-styled city from a demoness.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Canadia (Canada) and South Of The Border (Mexico).
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Superlatively so.
  • Fetch Quest: Used a ton, and spoofed frequently.
    • Most notably with the Going Postal quest.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Two classes for each, but pointedly Lampshaded by their shared guild-hall and stat dependence.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: The Chronic Indigestion ability, gained by eating an encorcelled burrito so spicy your insides catch fire.
  • Fish Slap: The halibut is a weapon (2-handed fish).
  • Flat Earth Atheist: The Pretentious Artist.
    "Oh, I see you've spent some time in Hey Deze. As a cautiously seeking agnostic, I'm not sure I believe in Hey Deze, even though people go there all the time and bring back souvenirs."
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The grimstone mask lets you adventure as the villain of a fairy tale, such as the stepmother trying to screw up Cinderella's night at the ball or the hare trying to win the race with the tortoise.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Sub Orbital Conveyance of the Kingdom (SOCK).
    • The Familiar Underground Community of the Kingdom, which hasn't thought of an acronym.
  • Fun With Palindromes: Everything about the Palindome.
  • Furry Fandom: Mocked mercilessly by the dev team (and thus everyone in the game world), who (at least at the point those parts of the game were written) think these guys are Squick on legs. There's even a fur-fan enemy, the Furry Giant, who dresses up like a wolf. He's a little bitch.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: It's gone now, but the legendary Meat Vortex bug destroyed the game's economy to the point they had to work a solution into the plot.
    • Incorporating major game fixes into the plot is a staple of the game - when Jick screwed up while backing up a server and basically erased a day or two worth of data, it led to massive amounts of plot involving time portals, "petrified time", and a general breakdown of temporal physics for a while.
  • Garden of Evil:
    • The Naughty Sorceress' hedge maze.
    • The Landscaper's Lair, temporarily available from an item sold at Uncle P's antiques, is a well-tended garden... that's tended by a demon and is full of killer lawn gnomes.
    • The Red Queen's Garden, if you can find and go down the rabbit hole in the Nearby Plains.
  • Genre Savvy: When fighting Ed the Undying, your character does this:
    "You step back from the sarcophagus and ready your weapon. 'All right, let's get on with it,' you say. 'I know for a fact that you're going to come to life and attack me as soon as I try to take the MacGuffin, so let's just cut to the chase.'"
    • This is probably because the exact same thing happened earlier in that quest. Of course, you were pretty Genre Savvy the first time around. Just... less so.
    • During the war between the Hippies and the Frat Boys, if 'The Man' and 'The Big Wisniewski' meet, 'The Man' will exhibit this trope.
  • Gargle Blaster: With the wide range of alcoholic drinks you can consume in this game, there's a few of these, including a Pan-*Dimensional* Gargle Blaster.
  • Genius Bruiser: The warbears value a cunning tactical mind even more that the sheer brute force needed to rip your opponent limb from limb. Their leader, as it turns out, has both traits in abundance.
  • Glass Cannon: The Mysticality classes, both of which deal very high elemental damage while having very low HP and evasion. Pastamancers can get over it using spells, items and/or summoned pasta guardians to gain combat-initiative and stun their target long enough to kill it, while Saucerors can mitigate their fragility by using saucespheres to regenerate to a degree, and by using an array of crafted potions to buff themselves.
  • Global Currency Exception: Lots of these, each with their own independent currency, where meat is not accepted. This includes Hobopolis (with hobo nickels), the Terrified Eagle Inn in Dreadsylvania (with Freddy Krueggerands) Big Brother's store on the Ocean Floor (with sand dollars), the Bounty Hunter Hunter (with filthy lucre), Mr. Store (with Mr. Accessories), the Hermit (with worthless trinkets), and the Mysterious Island during wartime (with dimes and quarters for the hippy camp and frat house, respectively).
    • And for Crimbo 2009 there are Crimbux! (singular: crimbuck)
      • And for Crimbo 2010 there is CRIMBCO scrip!
    • Don't forget the Fat Stacks of Cash: "These are some fat stacks of cash. Too bad you can't spend cash in the Kingdom of Loathing." They could be used to bribe the penguin mafia during Crimbo 2008, but aside from then, they can only be sold for 150 meat apiece, or used in combat to give your opponent an opportunity to attack.
  • A God Am I: Before you, the player character, start stomping on the kingdom after being grown huge, you say, "Mwa-ha-ha! Who can stand against me! I am a GOD!" It results in you fighting the entire kingdom! (See Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever, below).
    "Then you realize that was over the top, and sure, maybe they can't hurt you, but that's no reason to be a jerk about it. Oh, well — everyone's mad at you, now, so you're going to have to defend yourself."
  • Golem: You can have a "Meat Golem" camp guard. There are lots of Golem enemies, including the nacho golem, stuffing golem, candied yam golem, fruit golem, white chocolate golem, bread golem, chowder golem, pencil golem, topiary golem, and collapsed mineshaft golem, which just goes to show that some people will make a golem out of anything.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Many, many times.
    • "Naughty Periodicals" is suggested at the Daily Dungeon.
    • "Perforated Virgins", if you have a Uniclops familiar and a Crown of Thrones.
    • "This is a dewinged stab-bat. Have you heard my new band, the Dewinged Stab-Bats?"
    • "Black Widow and the Spinnerettes" for an all-girl group, when fighting a Black Widow.
  • Gradual Grinder: Moxie classes, with their 'plinking' tactics - using ranged weapons to slowly wear down their opponents while, thanks to their high evasion, they almost never get hit themselves unless the monster they're fighting severely outlevels them. Melee classes can be played as gradual grinders too, although their strategy relies on high max HP and damage absorption/reduction.
  • Grammar Nazi: The Ghost of the English Language NPC forces players to understand the differences between "there," "their," and "they're," as well as "your" and "you're," before letting them use the game's chatrooms. Inverted if you equip the Sword Behind Inappropriate Prepositions, which makes you use random inappropriate prepositions in chat; or the Staph of Homophones, which replaces some of your words with out-of-place homophones.
  • Grand Finale: Not for the game itself, but the long-awaited conclusion to the Nemesis quest.
  • Gratuitous Anapestic Tetrameter: Anapest combat.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: There's a lot of it, probably because the developers live in Arizona.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Monster Manuel's 1,100+ snarky monster factoids have as many tropes as the rest of the game put together—though you have to fight the monsters to access their entries.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The severed seal flipper references this trope.
    This is the severed flipper of an Infernal Seal. Scientists agree that there is nothing in the world more badass than beating something with a body part you ripped off of something. Of course, if they disagreed, we'd probably rip off their arms and beat them with 'em.
  • Groin Attack: The Turtle Tamer ability "Kneebutt".
    • Also, one of the many areas randomly targeted by monsters is the groin. The black pudding slaps the female player in the groin with a greasy pseudopod. The Burrowing Bishop spins his mitre and charges at you furiously, drilling you in the groin (sleaze damage)!
  • Grotesque Cute: The Adorable Seal Larva familiar is a shining example.
    <name> chews its way into the corpse of your fallen opponent in a spray of blood and gristle. Soon, it bursts out of the other side of the carcass, slimes its way up your leg onto your shoulder, and vomits some form of healing bile into your ear. Awww, isn't that just the cutest thing ever?? <3 You gain X hit points. You gain X Mana points.
  • Guide Dang It: A couple NS13 mechanics, particularly + ML/-NC one.
    • The above mechanic was coincidentally removed in-game ten minutes after its mention was added to this article.
    • Some NS11-era puzzles were also fairly unintuitive without trying to combine every item with every other item, or throw combat item after combat item at monsters that fall to only one type of item and horribly murder you otherwise. The player base has always had such a high concentration of organized spaders that Jick and Skullhead would be remiss not to leave them something to puzzle out.
    • Also, much of the Sorceress's Tower, particularly the Perplexing Door (which, unlike the tower monsters, gives you no hints as to how many keys you need - and you need them all). There is absolutely nothing that tells you the exact combination of stars and lines needed for a Richard's star key, nor the number of pixels needed for a digital key. Oh, and the areas where stars, lines, and pixels drop are otherwise unessential; it's possible that you won't have even unlocked them by the time you get to the door.
      • One of these problems was eventually fixed; now star charts (which you use to create star items) display a menu of all items they can create and the combinations needed to make them.
    • Finding all twenty hobo codes, which will require at least three ascensions and a lot of counterintuitive thinking.
    • Finding all of the Way of the Surprising Fist scrolls, five of which are absolutely necessary to complete the ascension. These and the hobo codes can only be found in specific locations, and there are no hints whatsoever as to what those locations are.
    • You normally get a medal for completing the Hippy/Frat war, depending on which side you fight on and how many sidequests you complete for that side. How are you supposed to know that killing exactly 999 soldiers (there's no visible counter) on each side causes an epic showdown with both final bosses? Or that using a flare gun (which does nothing at any other time during the War) during this special final battle insta-kills both bosses and gets you a special medal? By looking it up, that's how.
    • Dreadslyvania's Hardmode bosses. Each one requires you to fight the normal boss while equipped with a special item or while under a certain effect. These items and effects require several different players of different classes working through the dungeon to acquire multiple items that must then be combined to allow one player to fight the boss. One of these items took the playerbase a month to find! To say nothing of the ridiculous tricks the bosses themselves employ.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Ascending on higher difficulties gives you those.
  • Head Pet: Turtle Tamers wear live turtles as helmets.
    • The Crown of Thrones lets you carry any familiar on your head.
  • Heh Heh, You Said X: "Huh huh. Poop deck."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The player character. Sometimes an adventure gives you a choice if you want to act like one, but this is rare.
  • High School AU: The KOLHS challenge path is an in-universe one.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: The description for bat wing chow mein.
    Your mama always told you that bat wings were good for you, right? "Eat all your bat wings or I'll lock you in the closet," she'd say. Wait, no, that was my mom. Never mind.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: How you must defeat the final form of the final boss. If you have a Wand of Nagamar, it will convert the boss's normally-deadly attacks into something harmless and/or a means of destroying your opponent.
  • Holiday Mode: Crimbo (for Christmas), which is one disaster after another. 2010 revolves around working for the megacorp that makes Crimbo so safe, it's boring.
  • Homage: While the game is Reference Overdosed in its own right, the White Castle area has several adventures lifted straight from Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle.
    • The Suspicious-Looking Guy's Past is basically a Shadowrun story.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Don Crimbo, the boss of Crimbo 2009.
    • The Crimbomination at the end of Crimbo 2008.
    • Dr. Awkward, before obtaining the Mega Gem.
  • Humongous Mecha: For Crimbo 2012, players had to build one to defeat MechaElf. It's packed with all kinds of Crimbo-themed weaponry, and a sword in its chest that's bigger than the robot itself.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Safari Jack, Dragon to Stella the Turtle Poacher.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: The Hole in the Sky has 19 different monsters. 18 of them are named after euphemisms for genitalia.
  • Hurricane of Puns: A large source of the game's humor.
    • One of the hit messages for "The Little Man in the Canoe" even goes as far as to say "If you know what I mean."
    • Knob Goblin. Orc Chasm.
    • Ol' Scratch. In his intro text, your character even says "I'm certainly ready to put a stop this never-ending stream of dumb heat jokes."
  • Ice-Cream Koan: In the description of the wool hat.
    "If an apple seed turns to wings, it will fly away like a butterfly. If a butterfly turns into an apple seed, it will just lay there on the ground."
    Yeah, I don't know what it means either.
  • I Meant to Do That: The Clockwork Apparatus outfit, a set of gear which turns fumbles into Inspector Gadget references with beneficial effects.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Either averted, played for Rule of Funny (like with the Swarm of Scarab Beatles, which drops things like "Colonel Mustard's Lonely Spades Club Jacket" or "Maxwell's Silver Hammer") or parodied with deliberately bad Hand Waves.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The ridiculously overelaborate ninja weapon. It consists of four long blades, three wooden poles, six steel chains, and an assortment of spikes. You have absolutely no idea how to use it, but it looks totally badass. 3x chance of fumble. 3 handed weapon.
  • Improbable Accessory Effect: There are some items that help you in really strange ways. It would be inconvenient to list them all, but the tiny plastic figurines and Alice's Army trading cards are good examples of things that shouldn't really do anything actually being incredibly versatile.
  • Infinity Plus One Familiar: The Adorable Space Buddy. He does damage, restores HP/MP, and occasionally gives you massive stat bonuses. To get one, you have to complete The Sea twelve times, and then kill the Bonus Boss Dad Sea Monkee
  • Instrument of Murder: The Stolen Accordion, weapon of choice of the Accordion Thief.
    • Which, through a special quest, can become the Rock and Roll Legend, and then the Squeezebox of the Ages.
      • Then The Trickster's Trikitixa once Somerset Lopez is defeated once and for all.
    • There are also several instruments aside from accordions, including guitars (one of which is called an "axe"), drums, flutes, a rattle, a violin, a tuba, and a sitar.
  • Island Base: Your Nemesis has a secret tropical island volcano lair, just as predicted by your guild leader.
  • Joke Item: Most of the items from the Summon Hilarious Objects spell.
    • Not to mention multiple familiars that don't do anything. Or the ones that only serve to impede you.
    • Lethal Joke Item: Some bosses are only supposed to be killable by using highly improbable inventory items on them. This being Ko L, some of the players have found alternate methods.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The 2013 Familiar of the year, the Angry Jung Man, allows you to bottle the psychoses of various NPCs, which allows you to enter a Bonus Dungeon in their mind.
  • Just Add Meatpaste: Most of the Item Crafting variants.
    • The trope is lampshaded in the description of the gnatloaf casserole:
    This is a casserole made with gnatloaf and a box of Gnat Helper, which somehow magically appeared during the cooking process.
  • Kawaisa: The Stuffed Cocoabo.
  • King of the Homeless: Hodgman the Hoboverlord.
  • Knee-capping: This is the general modus operandi of the Penguin Mafia.
  • Konami Code: One of the passwords you'll need to reach the Naughty Sorceress.
  • Lampshade Hanging: On a variety of MMORPG tropes and cliches with great frequency. In other words, nearly everything.
    • For example, the adventure "Congratulations, You Found an Important Thing".
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: The description for the item "Thick Caulk" notes that "The L is not silent but it is snickering behind it's back."
  • Legendary Weapon: The game parodies legendary weapons at every turn.
    • There's a chain of quests where the player gets a series of legendary weapons. First, the player has to create the "Epic Weapon" for their class. Following that, they obtain more ingredients and upgrade it to the "Legendary Epic Weapon". Following that, the weapon gets transformed into the "Ultimate Legendary Epic Weapon" when fighting the next boss.
    • Deconstructed with Trusty, Boris' trusty axe which the player is forced to use when playing as the Avatar of Boris.
    Not every magical weapon is forged of meteorite iron under an unusual planetary conjunction, inscribed with gilded runes of ancient power, and imbued with supernatural strength and sharpness through mystical rites and sorcerous incantations. In truth, many of the most powerful weapons of lore are possessed of far humbler beginnings — common metal, torn from an enemy's grasp in a dire emergency. If the warrior survives the day, the weapon will likely be kept. Polished, sharpened, and re-sharpened, it will be carried from battle to battle, becoming as much a part of the man as his own arm, and as his name rises from warrior to hero to legend, so too will an aura of reverence and awe begin to surround the blade. Legend and belief are powerful forces, and it should be no surprise that a powerful artifact might have become powerful simply by dint of everyone believing it to be powerful. That is, after all, where the gods came from.
  • Lemony Narrator: Players have uncovered evidence that the entire game is actually narrated by Monster Manuel. Regardless, he is very much this trope.
    "You know, amigo, the average adventurer weighs in at about 150 pounds, okay? So maybe do a few push-ups between fights. Anyway, here's something you ought to know about your last opponent..."
  • Level Drain: Can be done to monsters, too. Also can be reversed; many advanced players will gleefully raise enemy levels to boost the gained Experience Points.
  • Level Scaling: Some monsters have stats that scale to match yours to allow everyone to participate in holiday event dungeons.
  • Living Shadow: One of the bosses that you must face in the Big Bad's lair is your shadow.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • The three possible outcomes of the Level 12 Quest each end with either one or both of the bases being blown up after defeating the boss(es). The game does justify the explosion, though.
    • The boss fight of the procedurally-generated GameInformPowerDailyPro Dungeon always ends with the line: <Boss Name> crashes to the ground with a howl. "I shall have my revenge!/I will return!", he screams, and the ground begins to shake under you. The stones of the villain's lair crack and collapse as you run, and you leap from the structure just in time to avoid being buried in the wreckage alongside <Boss Name>.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: Parodied in one of the possible outcomes of exploring Noob Cave: a falling boulder blocks the exit, and, as there is nobody else there to help you, you must hold up the boulder blocking the exit while you crawl to safety between your own legs.
  • "Long Story Short, you have a magical evening. Short Story Long? Anything by Dickens."
  • Lord British Postulate: The Naughty Sorceress' third form will - usually! - destroy the player if they don't have the right item. One player decided this wasn't the case. See the "Bee Bee Gun" entry above, too.
  • Lost Forever: A good portion of the content is now only available in the Mall for millions of meat at a time, and more is completely lost.
    • One that causes many people incalculable regret: the Hand Turkey Outline familiar. When the meat vortex bug hit, one player bought out all of the ones available in the mall and distributed them to her friends. Familiars can't be "unhatched". Only a tiny number of Hand Turkey Outlines exist in Display Cases now. (Said player was among the first banned when Jick started the clean-up.)
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: The Lucky Rabbit's Foot increases item drop and money drops by 7%.
  • Macrogame: When you complete a run and ascend, you can mark skills as permanent, unlocking them for use on each subsequent run. Additionally, some aspects, like the demon summoning names, will always stay the same regardless of playthrough.
  • Magic Music: Accordion Thieves can learn a variety of songs as buffs for stats, item gains, etc., for other players or themselves.
  • Magikarp Power: Your basic equipment, that is, the weapon you start with, is useless after about level two. However, it is needed to make your class' Legendary Epic Weapon.
    • The maiden wig, the chef's hat, and the beer goggles are low-level equipment which aren't very powerful, especially since the Goggles Do Nothing. But, they are needed to make the Clockwork Maid, the Chef-in-the-Box, and the Bartender-in-the box, which give you 8 more adventures per day, allow you to cook fancy ingredients without using an adventure, and allow you to mix fancy cocktails without using an adventure, respectively. For those who don't play, these are must-haves for any obsessive gamer. You can also sell them for quite a lot of meat.
    • The goggles are also used in constructing 4-d cameras, which become increasingly valuable as you gain access to rarer and more powerful subjects of photography.
  • Magitek: The El Vibrato relics, which are described as ancient, inscrutable magic/technology. In addition, the Mechs in the Penultimate Fantasy Airship, and related items.
    • The aforementioned airship Mechs are properly called MagiMechTech MechaMech, so the reference becomes even more obvious.
    • And the Magilaser Blastercannon.
  • The Man: It turns out you can fight him, after all.
  • Mana Shield: Warbear energy bracers can be used so monster attacks reduce your MP instead of HP.
  • Marshmallow Dream: Referenced in the descriptions of the comfy pillow and giant marshmallow.
  • Masochist's Meal: A lot of food and drink items really push the definition of "edible." The shopkeeper in the Huggler Colosseum "snack" bar even warns you that his wares (sausages full of *nails* and "used beer") are dangerous!note 
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: The Bounty Hunter Hunter exists to give out quests of this type.
  • Master of Disguise: Rene C. Corman, who initially appears as "Bigg" and earlier appears as Cristobol Colon.
  • Meaningful Name: There are the chef-in-a-box and bartender-in-a-box, which remove the adventure cost of cooking and making booze. There is no smith-in-a-box, though. The gnoll smith, Innabox, works as the item would.
  • Medicine Show: Doc Galaktik in Seaside Town runs one of these.
  • Metaphorgotten: "This young seal is nearly ready to leave the brood-nest to be a big shark in its own pond instead of a... piranha... in a small... All right, that metaphor went off the rails pretty fast." Probably not the only example out there.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: The War Frat 500th Infantrygentleman's fumble message has him drink a martini rather than attack you, because it just so happens to be Cocktail Hour.
  • Mighty Lumberjack: In Little Canadia, the player can encounter lumberjacks, lumberjills, and lumberjuans. The lumberjack supervisor carries two double-sides axes.
  • The Missingno.: Parodies this with the Bugged Bugbear monster, and later its friendlier variant, the Baby Bugged Bugbear familiar. Neither is actually glitched, but their images have chunks of them replaced with ones and zeroes, they drop inexplicable and bizarre items, and they spit out realistic-looking MySQL error messages with almost everything they do.
  • Money Spider: Toyed with (and mostly justified) by using meat as currency. On the opposite end, diamonds and the such are regarded as worthless due to their lack of practical use and the large number of them.
  • The Monolith: One can be found in the Spooky Forest.
  • Monster Clown: Several types appear in The "Fun" House. In fact, by collecting the items they drop the players themselves can dress as one. (Doing so gives them a decent bonus to spooky damage.)
  • Mook Bouncer: As a Shout-Out to Nethack.
  • Mook Chivalry: Soldiers in the Hippy/Frat war line up to fight you one at a time. After you kill a soldier, a set number (increased by doing sidequests) of other soldiers line up to be slaughtered by your allies. The enemy team's boss is not accessible until you kill all the other enemy mooks (or all but one of the mooks on each side), and your allies will not help you fight him.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle:
    • During the final quest, you will encounter six monsters that each require a certain item to beat it. While most of the items make sense, the Giant Desktop Globe must be beaten by an NG. The reasoning behind this comes from a They Might Be Giants song ( "Ana Ng", from the album Lincoln: "Make a hole with a gun, perpendicular/To the name of this town on a desktop globe"), a band mentioned in the game many times, but only in relatively subtle references. Luckily, if you lose to the monster 5 times, the game will give you the answer.
    • There's also an optional puzzle involving translating dwarven runes, farming for ore and coal, gambling with the miners to deduce the values of the dwarven digit runes, converting the digits from base seven to base ten, putting the right amount of the right materials into the right hoppers, and setting the value of four console dials. The game gives you everything you need to deduce the solution to the puzzle, but the process is incredibly difficult. And you have to do it three times to get the Dwarvish War Uniform. In three ascensions, since one of the items required is a one-time drop.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The toothy sklelton [sic] has three rows of teeth, somehow.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The delivery service quest Olaf the janitor gives you. What's this "item of great power" he needed you to obtain for him? Steel wool.
    "Thank you, my friend, you have done me a great service this day. In the annals of history, your deeds shall not be forgotten."
    • The player classes are this incarnate. Pastamancers and Saucerors are Chefs of Iron combined with wizardry, Seal Clubbers take animal cruelty to heroic levels, turtle tamers are The Beastmaster for the most mundane creature around, Disco Bandits are Dance Battlers who can mix up a mean Gargle Blaster, and Accordion Thieves play polka music so well it inspires and buffs players.
  • Musical Assassin: Most ranged weapons are musical instruments, allowing your character to be a Musical Assassin.
    • Accordion Thieves live off of this trope; most of their skills are buffs in the form of songs.
  • Naughty Birdwatching: The telescope, obtained in Fernswarthy's Basement, can be used to either look at the stars for a stat boost or look at the Naughty Sorceress's tower to see what monsters it has.
    • In addition, before the Observatory's destruction, players could use it to look into the Sorceress's chamber itself. She would then retaliate with a magical flash of light, causing temporary blindness, and a nearby astronomer would express disapproval of "base voyeurism" while adjusting his polarized sunglasses.
  • Nerf Arm: About half of the weapons available are silly yet effective. Especially the ranged weapons. For instance, the most powerful ranged weapons are a vinyl record, a bag of snowballs, and a bag of candy. Heck, even the only two semi-serious max power ranged weapons are pretty silly, one being a rusty speargun found on the bottom of the sea and the other being a bazooka from a fish. In addition, musical instruments both strange and unusual are common ranged weapons. For example, there's the little plastic guitar, which is described as having "five buttons instead of strings and a little switch you click back and forth instead of strumming. It's perfect for those who want to spend hours practicing a musical instrument, without that pesky "able to play music" part at the end." In addition, a fair amount of regular weapons are silly too. For example, among the most powerful weapons are a fish stick, a spade from an octopus, and a duct tape sword.
  • New Game+: "Ascension" allows one to beat the game and start over as a new class; with access to previous skills and items depending on which Self-Imposed Challenge you take. There are special rewards for completing higher difficulties.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Trope Namer. Yes, there actually is a robotic zombie that is also a pirate and a ninja. It lives on ricerumbrainsoil. It was created because the Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot clan was awesome.
  • Nintendo Hard: A common criticism leveled at the 2013 Christmas content. To get the good limited-time items it was necessary to fight monsters that scaled to your level while under a massive debuff, and it essentially wasn't doable for players who didn't have access to a lot of Mr. Store content or millions of meat to blow on items.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted, actually when Corman invaded Valhalla. The players managed to destroy his Bone Star, but all of the debris destroyed Valhalla. Fortunately, time passes differently there, so it was instantly rebuilt better than ever.
    • Played straight in a sidequest that turns you into a Kingdom-sized behemoth and lets you stomp around on everything. No matter what you do, you cannot cause any permanent damage.
  • Noodle Incident: From the adventure "The Paper Chase":
    You've learned to trust your adventurer senses, except when it comes to real-estate investing.
    It's kind of a long story, and the less said, the better.
    • While eating a desiccated apricot:
    You chew through the apricot, and it's no easy task. It's like that time you had to chew your way out of those leather restraints. Oh, wait. You probably don't want to talk about that. Never mind.
    At the sight of the spaghetti elemental, the cultist begins to quake with fear, his eyes widening to the size of hard-boiled eggs. He collapses to his knees, sobbing in fear. "My lord! Forgive me!" he wails. "I didn't know what I was doing! I thought it was a toilet! I swear!"
  • Non-Appearing Title: Referenced by the kingdom's best screaming-crying band, Radioactive Child, and their hit single, 'If You Want to Tell People the Truth, Make Them Laugh, Otherwise They'll Kill You (Royale With Cheese). "To show they're clever and hip, screaming-crying bands use famous quotes and pop culture references for their song titles, and make sure that the title never has anything to do with the song."
  • Non-Human Undead: The Bonerdagon.
    • Also the numerous skeletal pets in the Haunted Pet Cemetery.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Your "Quest Log", which actually is an enchanted log in your camp site. As in a wooden log. Sawn from a tree.
  • The Nudifier: The Depantsing Bomb.
  • Obsession Song: You summon and use these as combat items. (Or as a regular buffing item to increase your item drops.)
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Several have been applied over the years.
    • The Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot familiar has a chance of giving out meat during each round of combat. Since this made it advantageous to drag out combat to as close to 30 turns as possible without going over, the NPZR was changed so that it only gives Meat in the first 10 turns of combat.
    • Harold's Bell is an item that banishes a monster, so you don't encounter it, for a few turns. When used in the Boss Bat's lair against the Boss Bat, this allowed for a few more turns to fight the only other enemy, which dropped a lot of Meat for the relative level. In 2010, this was quietly changed so that the Boss Bat is immune to the bell's effects, putting the lid on this strategy.
    • With the introduction of back items, some existing accessories were changed to fit the classification. However, this included normally low-level accessories, like the Vampire Cape and the Cape of the Goblin King, and the developers self-imposed a minimum stat limit for back items, which resulted in those items being unusable until much later in the game. They were changed into the Vampire Collar and Codpiece of the Goblin King, respectively, so they could keep their accessory and equippable-at-low-level status.
    • The moister oyster is a monster that is guaranteed to drop an item worth 12000 Meat. With certain items and familiars, it's possible to battle it up to ten times each day, resulting in massive profits. Naturally, the oyster was eventually made immune to those items.
  • Odd Job Gods: One of the elemental spirits in the McGuffin Quest is "Squirtlcthulli, god of water and doorknobs".
  • Omnicidal Neutral: The best reward for the Mysterious Island Quest is the Order of the Silver Wossname, obtained by destroying both the Hippy Army and the Frat Boy army at once.
  • One-Winged Angel: But of course. There's one Affectionate Parody version - the Naughty Sorceress - and one straight version - the Nemesis. The way they achieve it is different too: the Sorceress says the old "behold my true form" line while the Nemesis calls on the Demon Lord of Revenge.
    • There's also an inversion - you fight Ed the Undying seven times in a row, but he gets weaker with each adventure.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: Fernswarthy the Wizard's letter.
  • 108: The PenultimateFantasy chest has a base value of 108 meat.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Chat channels are only accessible after passing a test given by the Ghost of the English Language. One of the prerequisites needed is an understanding of the proper usage of there/their/they're.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The "Mer-kin", encountered on the ocean floor in the course of the high-level Sea Monkee quest, which turn out to be involved in some very creepy business.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: The Weretaco "is an ordinary man, who, when the moon is full, turns into a half-man, half-taco monstrosity. Incidentally, for you detail-oriented people out there — the weretaco's lycanthropic cycle is not tied to Ronald or Grimace, but to some completely unrelated moon in some completely unrelated alternate dimension. That's why you never see him turn into a human. Seriously."
    • The weremoose functions on aboot the same lines, eh?
    • There's also the ultra rare Talisman of Baio, which drops from the "Baiowolf", a werewolf version of Scott Baio, and increases your stats depending on the phases of the moons.
    • And the Wereturtle familiar.
      • Although the wereturtle is "probably just a turtle".
    • And the ability to use "Blood of the Wereseal" on yourself to gain "Temporary Lycanthropy", a stat boost based on the lunar phase.
  • Overly Long Name / Overly-Long Gag: Hangk's Ancestral Mini-Storage was ravaged by fire, hit by a comet, and flooded. Each disaster lengthened its name; after the third one, it was temporarily called "Hangk's Mostly-Burned-Down-then-Hit-by-a-Chunk-of-a-Comet-then-Flooded-by-the-Melting-Comet Ancestral Mini-Storage."
  • Painting the Medium: This is a game that is mostly text with simple images for flavor. If you get a red snowcone, the picture is the exactly the same as a blue snowcone, with no color. But in the "Haiku Dungeon" or "Limerick Dungeon", all of the text there follows those poetry conventions.
    • There's also a haiku katana, which can give you an effect that makes your fights everywhere take haiku form.
    • If you're a fan of Dr. Seuss, there's a pair of familiars (the Blavious Kloop and the Bloovian Groose) that produce anapest-based messages with their effects. The Kloop also drops an item that gives you access to a zone (The Suburbs of Dis) where all the combat messages are in anapestic quadrameter, and the Groose drops a consumable that temporarily gives you anapestic combat text in all zones.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Discussed in one of the Store of Loathing calendar descriptions.
    Words can't do the picture justice — let's just say that tentacles and winter festivity haven't gone this well together since It's a Hentai Christmas, Charlie Brown!
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Used in the Quest for the Holy MacGuffin.
  • Perplexing Plurals: The game tends to have a lot of fun with plurals, with "box" becoming "boxen", "kiwi" becoming "kiwus", "fruit basket" becoming "Fruits Basket", and "liar's pants" becoming "liar's pantses, precious". There are some items that can only have their plurals obtained by examining the games code's. The plural of "Staff of Ed" is "Staves of Ed, you dirty exploiter you".
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: The MagiMechTech MechaMechs shoot the Trope Namer.
  • The Pig Pen: If you wash a hippie off, one gets dirty again in a few minutes.
  • Piñata Enemy:
    • Beefy Bodyguard Bats. They don't appear anymore once you have slain the Boss Bat, though. Players used to "banish" the Boss Bat temporarily so they could fight more Bodyguards, until an update made banishing the Boss impossible.
    • The rotund ducks at McMillicancuddy's Farm. They're not too tough as enemies, but you can only fight a limited amount of ducks per day, and there are other types of ducks you might encounter instead.
    • Every enemy in the Castle in the Clouds, making it easily the most popular place to farm for Meat.
    • Certain pygmies in the remodeled Hidden City.
  • Pineal Weirdness: Zombie pineal glands, required to make a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The Burly Sidekick will attack by punching you with his gunhand, though he is never out of ammo (like Barrett from Final Fantasy VII, whom he's based on, does in his Hammerblow Limit Break).
  • Player Archetypes: The heart/club/diamond/spade types are referenced by the heart, club, diamond, and spade necklace items from the Mr. Klaw machine, as well as the four types of jackets that can be dropped by a swarm of scarab beatles.
  • Play Every Day: At the beginning of each day, numerous counters are reset, enabling you to eat and drink more, to conjure more items, and to redo certain lucrative activities such as bounty-hunting. If you don't play every day, you lose the ability to take full advantage of this — and if you skip more than a few days at a time, your adventure count begins to overflow.
  • Podcast: The twice-weekly developer radio show is technically not one of these, but Jick doesn't always remember that.
  • Poison Chalice Switcheroo:
    • The strange Leaflet Quest has a giant who offers you two shot-glasses, telling you one contains poison and if you drink the safe one, he'll take you to fairyland. Both glasses are poisoned, but you can Take a Third Option using the CLEESH spell you found earlier in the quest.
    • The Quest for the Holy MacGuffin has a section where a crimelord keeps tricking you into drinking poisoned champagne, then forcing you to find a MacGuffin for him in exchange for the antidote. At one point you insist on switching glasses with him, only to learn that he anticipated this and poisoned his own glass, and another time you insist on drinking from your hip-flask instead... turns out he paid one of the waiters to pickpocket you and give you a poisoned hip-flask. You finally settle things by kicking the table over and beating him into a pulp.
  • Potty Emergency: The effect "Your #1 Problem", which, like other effects that involve dancing, increases item drop rates. It's obtained from a single bad moon adventure that naturally Lampshades the previous absence of such a problem:
    You battle your way through the Haunted Bathroom until you find yourself right in front of the toilet, staring into the murky depths of the bowl. As you stare, you find a strange feeling welling up inside of you, ready to come gushing forth: you suddenly realize that you haven't emptied your bladder recently. Or, actually, ever.
  • Potty Failure: Using a "glass of warm water" on someone produces the chat message "<name> has an accident." (in yellow text), and gives the target a (fortunately harmless) effect called "you're in trouble".
  • Powered Armor: Clockwork Armor and El Vibrato armor.
  • Power at a Price: Any reward or event associated with Bad Moon tends to buff you in one way while weakening you in another. However, all of the Bad Moon abilities combined, due to each one ability moderately buffing a stat that is slightly debuffed by another, turn this into an (albeit slighter) increase everywhere.
  • Power Creep: Newer items are, on the whole, much more powerful than their counterparts of yesteryear. In the case of ultra-rares, this has sometimes been addressed by retroactively beefing the older items up.
  • The Power of Rock: The Rock and Roll Legend, the epic weapon of the Accordion Thieves. Also, the heavy metal thunderrr guitarrr, that's awesome enough to actually make your fingers bleed if you play without a pick.
  • Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Even when a sentence doesn't end with one.
  • Professional Wrestling: There's a professional wrestling league called Kingdom Wrestling Entertainment. As this is the Kingdom of Loathing, the contestants are all knockoffs, homages, and parodies of various characters from Soul Calibur, Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Brothers, and Mortal Kombat, as well as various TV shows and other media. Ever wanted to read about a faceoff between a parody of Princess Peach and Trinity? Here's your chance.
  • Pungeon Master: Oh, Mr. Skullhead. You and your wordplay.
    "If you were the female element of a pair of star-crossed lovers, you could give this star crossbow to your star-crossed beau!"
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: With very few exceptions, gender is an aesthetic choice each ascension.
  • Puzzle Boss: A number of examples, including the monsters in the tower of the Naughty Sorceress, the Guy Made of Bees in Spookyraven Manor, Frosty and Uncle Hobo in Hobopolis, Mother Slime in the Slime Tube, the Sea bosses, and several bosses in Dreadsylvania.
  • Random Drop: Item drop rate boosters are the most important buffs and enchantments in the game, because without them everything takes much, much longer.
    • Rare Random Drop: The Spice Melange—which drops only 0.1% of the time from a monster that consumes an expensive item each time you fight one—is probably the most ridiculous example, but 1%-or-less drops are plentiful.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The "Time Arc", which is the in-game explanation for loss of content due to a database goof; before that, the introduction of the Penguin Mafia as one of the many ways to remove "bugmeat" - excess meat generated by a bug in the system - from the economy.
    • In June 2011, spiders invaded the servers, causing them to go down. After everything was transferred over to new hardware, a pile of old servers appeared in game, occasionally dropping corrupted data and egg sacs that hatched into spiders when defeated.
    • One of the bosses in Dreadsylvania, the Zombie Homeowners' Association, was inspired by Jick's dealings with his own local homeowners' association.
  • Recurring Boss: Rene C. Corman is a recurring threat to the Kingdom.
  • Recursive Reality: One mini-dungeon has you shrinking down and battling scabies (skin mites) on your own leg.
  • Reference Overdosed: The game probably contains over a thousand Shout Outs, of varying degrees of obscurity and subtlety. There's even a site dedicated to them.
  • Retired Badass: Quite a few, given the nature of the Kingdom, but the most surprising is the Suspicious-Looking Guy. Apparently, before he started dealing goofballs, he was a Shadowrunner.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Using cure items is the only way to beat your shadow at the end of the game.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Playing heavy metal in the chamber of The Dark Lord is necessary for getting a Pagoda.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Done deliberately with the Misspelled Cemetary and the Defiled Cyrpt, culminating in a battle with the skeletal, draconic Bonerdagon.
    • There's a bit of fourth wall breaking here too, as players often refer to the Cyrpt boss as the Bonerdragon, adding in a second r.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jick's apparent obsession with the number 11. It's ridiculous. It's not even funny.
    • The innumerable They Might Be Giants references, leading to players often calling the devs "the powers that might be giants." And the frequent occurrences of "because hey, free [noun]," all of which reference the same obscure joke from "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey".
    • Various items have names which are metered in catalectic trochaic tetrameter (automatic catapult, for example), accompanied by a Lampshade Hanging which notes that it can be sung to a particular tune. "Camptown Races" is alluded to by no fewer than ten items, and "London Bridge" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" get a mention too.
    • Numerous descriptions make the "mistake" of ending a sentence with a preposition (which is, in fact, perfectly acceptable), and then correct it with varying degrees of clumsiness.
    • Any cake item in the game will have a reference to the lyrics of a song by Cake in the description, the consume message, or both.
  • Sadist Teacher: In the KOLHS path, Principal Mooney replaces the Naughty Sorceress and fights you for making him look like a fool, what with the combat encounters involving not learning.
  • Saving Crimbo: Since 2005, Crimbo has been one disaster after another, and the Holiday Mode content invariably revolves around getting Uncle Crimbo out of the hole he's dug for himself. Mixing Hallow'een and Crimbo resulted in horrible misfit toys that are so scary they are used as weapons, a space-ship crashing into Crimbo Town resulted in the kingdom's near-subjugation by relentless Borg look-alikes, and attempting to make a Grimacite-powered toy factory resulted in stomach-turning mutant elves running amok (along with Mob Penguins looking to collect the money Uncle Crimbo borrowed from them). And that was just the years 2006-2008...
  • Schizo Tech: Everywhere, but particularly the ranged weapons, which include everything from boomerangs to laser cannons to pistols.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: You can find a treasure chest in The Red Queen's Garden, but before opening it, you have to solve a chess puzzle. Solving the puzzle more completely causes the chest to have had a better prize placed in it.
  • Scripted Battle: The last form of the Naughty Sorceress.
  • Self-Deprecation: "...then it starts to get all up its own ass with self-referential fourth-wall-breaking, so you know you have to end it."
    A gold coin the size of your face is probably the most impractical form of currency you've ever encountered.
    Oh, wait — meat. Right.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Hardcore, Bad Moon, and the dietary "paths". All optional, and make things harder, but offer special rewards (and extra content in Bad Moon's case) if you follow them through to the end.
    • One of the hardest is "Kittycore", a Bad Moon run only using the black cat familiar, a familiar which actively hinders you instead of helping you. Except for special adventures which require you to use another familiar, you are not allowed to use ANY familiar other than the black cat, which does such things as preventing you from picking up items after a battle, making your attacks miss, and damaging you for a small amount in battle. Fighting any fight without the black cat even ONCE before stepping through the gash at the end of the game and ascending will void the "Kittycore" run. Completing this run will permanently unlock Bad Moon.
    • Special challenge paths were introduced in the summer of 2011, with new ones coming out every season. They are as follows—
      • Bees Hate You: The letter "b" is now your enemy. You take damage for every B in the names of your equipment, enemies become stronger for each B in their names, you can't use non-quest items with B in their names (and the quest ones hurt you), and bees randomly attack you.
      • Way of the Surprising Fist: You become a Bare-Fisted Monk. You can learn impressive skills, but you can't equip weapons or off-hand items at all, and you have a vow of poverty which slashes how much Meat you earn and cuts off non-combat Meat gains.
      • Trendy: Any limited-time content that's more than a year old is unusable.
      • Avatar of Boris: You become a special class with its own skill tree. Mighty Boris can feast all day long and is aided by the versatile Clancy, but he Can't Hold His Liquor and will not even contemplate using any weapon but his trusty axe, Trusty.
      • Bugbear Invasion: Bugbears invade the kingdom, radically shaking up the quest structure and completely changing the end-game.
      • Zombie Slayer: You become a special class with its own skill tree. The name's misleading, though - you are a zombie. All you can eat is brains, you can't consume as much booze as usual, and you can summon hordes of the undead to aid you (while at the same time being limited to "undead" familiars such as the Hovering Sombrero or the Spooky Pirate Skeleton).
      • Class Act: Skills that your class doesn't learn naturally are unusable.
      • Avatar of Jarlsberg: You become a special class with its own skill tree. Jarlsberg, the Great and Powerful, knows incredibly potent magic, but his rampant fear of germs prevents him from eating or drinking anything he doesn't make himself in his Cosmic Kitchen, and he won't contemplate attacking physically.
      • BIG!: You start the game at Level 15 (in a game where you're encouraged to fight the Final Boss at level 13). However, the enemies are tougher, too...
      • KOLHS: Your character is reincarnated as a teenager. They're forced to spend the first 40 adventures of the day in a specific zone, the Kingdom of Loathing High School, where all the monsters scale to your stats, and the school rules forbid hats and familiars over ten pounds. Fortunately, you can ingratiate yourself with one of three cliques depending on the skills you use. And after school, you can craft items from ingredients found while adventuring at the school, go on a photography side-quest for the Yearbook Club, or get some buffs.
      • Class Act 2: You start out with all and only skills from your chosen class, and are rewarded more for beating monsters and less for choice adventures.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: Blood of the Wereseal is a potion that causes your muscles to wax and wane with the moons.
  • Set Bonus: Many equipment items are part of an outfit. Many of these don't only give bonuses but are also required somewhere in quests.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: After defeating Rene C. Corman at the end of a Zombie Slayer run, you travel back to the times of the Cola Wars, where the Gray Plague's zombification has already started, and inform one of the field medics of the plague's cure.
  • Sequence Breaking: By design with the Big path, where the monsters are much tougher and you start at level 15 (the game normally ends at level 13 or 14). You still have to do all the quests before facing the Final Boss, but the order is irrelevant.
  • Sequential Boss: The Naughty Sorceress, and the aptly named Ed the Undying, who is fought a grand total of seven times in a row, and is never actually killed.
    • In fact, that fight ends with the adventurer stuffing the now limbless Ed into a corner and running off with the Macguffin. The fights are also divided by the adventurer's attempts to make off with the Macguffin early; eventually, the adventurer just waits for Ed to get back up and continue the fight.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Buyable as skills in Bad Moon ascensions.
  • Sewer Gator: The game has Sewer Gators living in the Maze of Sewer Tunnels that connect the clan basement with Hobopolis.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: There's a lot of this, mostly Played for Laughs.
    • The Nemesis quest. It is discovered that your Nemesis has stolen an artifact of great power, so your guild sends you to retrieve it and destroy your Nemesis. After solving some puzzles, fighting some goons, and beating your Nemesis four times, it is revealed that Larry, a hitherto-unseen fellow member of your guild, had sent the artifact out for cleaning and not told anyone. Larry's new. Your character is not pleased to hear this.
    • The level 7 quest, where you chase a bunch of undead monsters out of a crypt...and into a nearby cemetery, where they remain for the rest of the game.
    • The revamped level 9 quest, introduced in November 2012. You fight your way through hordes of overly sexual orcs, monsters made of living crude oil, legions of ghosts (representing fandoms like Harry Potter and Twilight) locked in eternal combat, and a ridiculously convoluted and mind-screwy murder mystery...all so your quest contact can order a freaking pizza. Like in the Nemesis quest above, your character is not happy about this, and the quest's entry on your "quest completed" tab is dripping with seething sarcasm.
    You helped Black Angus get a pizza delivered to his stupid tower in the stupid Highlands. Yaaay...
    • The level 11 quest, a long, laborious adventure with multiple sub-parts. After schmoozing with pirates, exploring a haunted manor, wandering through a Mayincatec ruin filled with vengeful ghosts, being overdosed on palindromes, and so on, you eventually defeat a resilient mummy at the bottom of a sunken pyramid and acquire the quest goal: the Holy MacGuffin. It does absolutely nothing. The council tosses it in a warehouse, and you get a superfluous parade (not pictured).
    • Finally, the whole game. After defeating the final boss who doesn't do anything to save the king who also doesn't do anything, you learn that the monsters in the Kingdom are still as violent as ever because of you. The Council's final demand is that you ascend into a New Game+, starting the whole game over from the beginning, but possibly leaving behind a peaceful parallel universe that you can never visit.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "This is a lemon. It's shaped exactly like a lemon."
  • Shop Class: A location in the KOLHS challenge path. It's filled with screw golems, out of control bandsaws, deadly vises, demonic jigsaws, and the teacher, who loses a finger every time you fight him (to the point that a trophy is available for removing all of them).
  • Shot in the Ass: Shooting arrows into someone's arse is the purpose of the Arse-shooting crossbow, a custom item given to one player. This can be done to other players as well, and it's a Status Buff for them.
  • Shout-Out: Hundreds, if not thousands. There's a website dedicated to cataloguing them.
    • Even This Very Wiki got one in Crimbo 2010!
  • Shows Damage: Ed The "UNDYING!"
  • Shovel Strike: The Graverobbing Shovel counts as a 2-hand spear and does spooky damage.
  • Significant Anagram: Rene C. Corman. Necromancer.
    • The Wand of Nagamar allows you to fight with weaponized anagrams. Which is necessary to defeat the Naughty Sorceress's final form.
  • Sinister Scythe: Gained by getting a Rusty Graverobber's Shovel covered in acidic snot twice. Since it's coated in ick, you get +30% damage from it. Part of a Grim Reaper costume. Also lampshaded, it's straight-out called "Villainous Scythe."
  • Skeleton Apocalypse: The Halloween 2010 event.
  • Skeleton Key: Made of bones and teeth.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The Mysterious Island War between hippies and frat boys (respectively) certainly has an aspect of this; the slobs are apathetic, though, and the snobs are violent and boorish while still being snobs.
  • Socketed Equipment: A number of examples, including the Scratch 'n' Sniff Sword and Crossbow, the Fossilized Necklace, and the Over-the-shoulder Folder Holder.
  • Speak of the Devil: Guy Made of Bees.
  • Speedrun: Common, given the Ascension mechanism. Skills built up and familiars collected over earlier ascensions help a lot. As do items bought from donations.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Occasionally worn by the Evil Overlord Bonus Boss in the GameInformPowerDailyPro Dungeon. Also of note is one of said boss's equipment drops: A belt with large horns on the buckle that painfully jab the player in the stomach when worn.
  • Spoof Aesop: Normally, booze gives you adventures. But the cheap, skunky beer favored by the Orcish Frat Boys does sleaze damage, and moonshine gives you temporary blindness. Only drink the good stuff, kids!
  • Squick: invoked The basis of Sleaze damage.
  • Standard Status Effects: Averted with a ludicrous array of effects (and buffs) like "Beer In Your Shoes", "Tenuous Grip On Reality", and "Seal Clubbing Frenzy".
    • There are even several variations of the standard poison effect, from "Hardly Poisoned At All", to "Really Quite Poisoned". (Though those can still all be cured by using an anti-anti-antidote.)
  • Star-Spangled Spandex
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Bart Ender.
  • Stock Weapon Names: "Frostbrand" is parodied with the "Frost™ brand sword".
  • Stop Helping Me!: invoked The O.A.F. (Optimal Ascension Familiar), which slows your EXP gain, removes your buffs, drains your MP, etc. The Black Cat is similar, but at least it doesn't claim to be helping you.
    • If you find the enemy-health-revealing Detective Skull too useful, try the Defective Skull, which "deduces" the wrong amount of health or something obvious/useless/meaningless to distract you during combat.
      "I deduce that this monster is one jive turkey."
  • Stylistic Suck: The stick figure artwork, which sometimes manages to be rather intricate while inventively maintaining a consistent look.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Gourd in The Captain of the Gourd's Psychoses, voiced by English comedian Matt Berry, of The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghis Darkplace, and Snuff Box fame.
  • Summon Magic: Pastamancers can summon "Pasta Guardians", undead creatures with bodies made of - you guessed it - pasta.
  • Super Reflexes: Any character with a high Moxie. The higher it is, the less likely it is that the monster will hit you;there's a point where only a critical hit can touch you.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Uncle P's Antiques:
    Welcome to our Antique Store, which is absolutely, positively a legitimate establishment, and not a front for any sort of criminal activities.
    "Okay," you say, and pry the [bear] trap's jaws apart. "Say, you were awfully specific about what you weren't going to do to me. I mean, it was almost like you were lying— AIEEE!"
  • The Symbiote: Every piece of armor from the "Mutant Couture" outfit is prefixed with "Parasitic". Two different types of Combat Tentacles, a crab-like claw, and a mouth. There is also a campround item called "Burrowgrub Hive". You pick it up and get three maggots infesting your arm. You can extract and ''eat'' the maggots in the middle of combat for a quick boost of HP and MP.
  • Synchronization: Inverted in the battle against your shadow. You cannot normally hurt it, but it takes damage equal to the amount of Hit Points by which you heal yourself.
  • Take a Third Option: At least three: If you want to get a reward from the Giant in The Strange Leaflet Quest, and if you want the best reward for ending the war between the Hippies and the Frat Boys, and if you resolve the turf war between the Roller Skates and Ice Skates by getting rid of both gangs.
  • Take That: While the game usually veers towards Affectionate Parody, anything that Mr. Skullhead doesn't like will inevitably get one of these.
  • Take Your Time: Don't worry, the Naughty Sorceress never actually does anything. Neither does your Nemesis. In fact, if you defeat all but his/her/its final demonic form, and then lose to or run away from the demon, you can then proceed to go wherever you want and do whatever you want and come back at leisure - your Nemesis will still be sitting there in demonic form doing nothing until you return.
    • After you start a war between the Frat Boys and the Hippies, the two armies march out to the battlefield and...just stand there doing nothing indefinitely, until you decide to join the fight. If you fight for only one side, that side will eventually win with zero casualties, because the other side never takes the offensive!
  • Tech Tree: Certain challenge paths will have these, where you use points to unlock skills, in place of purchasing skills like you normally do. Avatar of Boris and Zombie Slayer give you three trees, and you unlock skills in a particular tree in a certain order. Avatar of Jarlsberg has four trees, and they branch slightly. In all of the paths, you can increase the amount of skill points you start with by completing that path multiple times.
  • Technicolor Toxin:
    "This is a BRICKO brick shot through with deadly poison which has tainted it green. Because everybody knows that all poison is green. If you're ever wondering if something is poisoned, your first question should be "Is it green?" If it's not green, eat it, because you're totally safe. In fact, the whole reason Kings had food tasters in ancient days is because they were all colorblind."
  • Temple of Doom: The Hidden Temple
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The Avatar of Boris path, where you play as an axe-wielding macho man, with the ability to laugh off injuries (literally), make monsters run away by shouting at them, and demand sandwiches. By the end of the game, he's so manly that a certain normally-devastating magical attack just rebounds off his chest muscles.
    You laugh as the beam of energy harmlessly bounces off your powerful chest muscles and shoots back down the hallway.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: This is how you win a card game in one of the special Bad Moon adventures. The other card players then declare they won't stand for such a hackneyed and unrealistic scenario, and beat you up.
  • The Thing That Goes Donk: When the Spaghetti Cult send an Asian assassin after you (Last thug encountered during the second half of the Nemesis quest when playing as a Pastamancer), Yakisoba the Executioner.
    Cherry Blossoms swirl gently in the air as a cool breeze rustles the treetops and crickets sing in the shade. Somewhere nearby, there is a melodic Klonk as one of those bamboo things fills with water and tips over.
  • Thirsty Desert: Adventuring in the Arid, Extra-Dry Desert without the 'Ultrahydrated' effect is likely to have negative consequences.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Thirteen has been omitted from a lot of stuff.
  • Ticker Tape Parade: The reward for completing the Level 11 quest. It's the longest and most annoying quest in the game.
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble: Most noticeable in the Distant Past, where it switches back and forth between third-person past and second-person present. Also gets lampshaded upon your arrival in the future, after a lot of future-tense exposition.
    You will then start getting your narrative in present tense, because it's the future, we get it, no need to run that joke into the ground.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time travel is treated with about as much seriousness as everything else, so this is inevitable.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A Knob Goblin kid who can bring you a beer in an early choice adventure eventually becomes Lord Flameface, the boss of a world event.
    • All the six main classes took several after the class revamps of late 2013, gaining several class-exclusive abilities:
      • Seal Clubbers became able to accumulate Fury after winning consecutive combats, which can be spent on powerful attacks or grants combat bonuses proportional to how much Fury you have.
      • Turtle Tamers gained the favor of three Great Turtle Spirits, which can be combined with their offensive and defensive skills for various effects and even let them transform into their Avatar for a short time.
      • Pastamancers can now summon and recall Pasta Thralls at will, as opposed to the old way of having to find them in certain adventures, only being able to use them 10-15 times a day, and not being able to maintain more than two connections at a time (so breaking a connection reverts them back to level 1).
      • Saucerors learned how to cast several hindering curses, and harnessed the power of Soulsauce which can be expended for devastating special spells.
      • Disco Bandits mastered many knife-related special attacks, and their dance moves started to generate Disco Momentum, which increases their performance.
      • Accordion Thieves finally acquired some combat skills, ceasing to be the only class without them.
  • Trade Snark: The ChibiBuddy™ item has this. It extends to the descriptions and messages you get when you interact with it, as anything that's a Chibi[object] gets the trademark symbol, like ChibiCar™, ChibiNeck™, ChibiSkiLift™, and ChibiPireStateBuilding™. Same deal with the "Frost™ brand sword" and "Frobozz Real-Estate Company Instant House (TM)."
  • Trauma Inn: Your dwelling at your campground, as well as the Comfy Sofa in your clan rumpus room.
  • True Final Boss: For the Sea Quest; if you forge together the sets of equipment each boss gives you per class via both Scholar and Gladiator; wear all 6 pieces of armor; you will face the force that's behind the Elder Gods. Dad Sea Monkee; hooked up to some kind of Devil's Machine/Person Jar.
  • Turtle Power: The Turtle Tamer class.
  • TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life: As mentioned above, one of the monsters for the 2010 Crimbo is the Tome of Tropes, a reference to this site. Part of the description for the monster reads "every entry contains several references to other cleverly-named tropes...and at some point you look up and see you're eight years older than when you started."
  • The Undead: Every enemy in the Misspelled Cematary and Defiled Crypt, as well as many of the enemies in Spookyraven Manor.
  • Unfortunate Implications: invoked Avoided in one Bad Moon-exclusive adventure, where your character gets stuck in tar, titled "A Potentially Offensive Reference Has Been Carefully Avoided Here".note 
  • Unidentified Items: Using the Plus sign identifies all items associated with the Enormous Greater-Than Sign, aka The Dungeons of Doom. It's all a reference to the roguelike NetHack.
  • The Unreveal: The Game Grid had one minigame, Jackass Plumber, which was always "OUT OF ORDER." After a year and a half of this, Crimbo 2011 came around, and players were able to give each other Jackass Plumber consoles as presents. Had the dev team finally gotten around to making the minigame? Well...not exactly. When the gifts became openable, it turned out that the consoles required nonexistent "Q" batteries. Using the console just makes your character wander around looking for batteries until he/she gets really mad and gives up. At least it temporarily boosts your attack power.
  • Universal Poison: Used to be the case; now there are multiple kinds of being poisoned. And they stack. Instead of sapping your HitPoints it's a debuff to all stats, and the various poisons range from Hardly Poisoned At All (ignorable) to Majorly Poisoned (which likely drops your stats to 1).
  • Unusual Euphemism: In order to avoid spoiling things for new players, a particular plot-critical item is customarily referred to as "the Smurf" in the chat.
  • Useless Spleen: Your spleen is completely useless but still cumbersome, because it limits the number of stat-increasing items you can consume per day.
  • Vaporware: In-universe with the perpetually out-of-order Jackass Plumber arcade game, and the portable edition that also doesn't work. For the game as a whole, the increasingly hypothetical NS-15 patch would add two more quests and make the final boss the level 15 quest; the NS-13 release moved the endgame from level 11 to level 13, but the long delay and potential for They Changed It, Now It Sucks means that NS-15 may never happen.
  • Victory By Endurance: Applies for enemies. You automatically lose if a fight takes too long.
    This fight is being ended because it took more than 30 rounds, which is sort of unreasonable.
    You lose. You slink away, dejected and defeated.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Seal Clubbers can learn a skill that destroys equipment for usable items. Some pieces of equipment are living animals. So you can smash a turtle into dust.
    • As opposed to meat-pasting live spiky turtles into pieces of armor and then wearing them as a Turtle Tamer.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Upon your initial visit to the Arid, Extra-Dry Desert, you'll likely suffer a couple of harmful effects before finding the way to the Oasis, and you'll quickly learn that adventuring there when not Ultrahydrated is a bad idea. Except doing so is the only way to find one of the hobo codes and the twitching trigger finger.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Even players who have ascended dozens of times still have trouble with the Goblin King and Bonerdagon.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The "KOLHS" challenge path requires you to spend around 40 adventures in the titular school every day - which is pretty much all the adventures you get during rollover.
  • Whatevermancy: The Pastamancer.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Eating certain foods, mainly raw ingredients such as carob chunks, raw Chorizo, and bottles of ketchup, will cause the game to call you an idiot. Also lemons and limes; notably, if you eat a lime, the game comment that, while you are insane to do so, you are slightly less insane than you would be if you were eating a lemon.
    • In the Turtle Tamer Nemesis quest, one is attacked by "brainwashed" guard turtles. One of their drops is their shell. "So you killed a turtle, ripped the shell from its back, and now you're going to wear it on your head. As a hat. Some Turtle Tamer you are. Damn."
    • Three of the five hit messages for attacking with a chefstaff, which really isn't a very effective weapon for hitting things with, tell you outright that it would be a better idea to use it for casting spells than as a bludgeon.
      • Which is hilarious when you're doing tens or hundreds of times the monster's HP in damage anyway.
    • You can pickpocket the Guy Made Of Bees, and thus receive a handful of bees. The item description is shocked that you were insane enough to do this in the first place.
    • True the whole kingdom can't really hurt you but that's no reason to be a jerk about it!
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer:
    • The "plinking" strategy, which relies on making basically everything you need in combat dependent on a single maximized stat, Moxie, and not even bothering to use special attacks.
    • The Loathing Legion jackhammer, a form of the "Loathing Legion Knife" Mr. Store item, references this and parodies it by replacing every enemy picture with that of a nail.
    • The description of the effect of the "correction fluid" item contains this:
      To an Adventurer with only a poison-coated weapon, every problem looks like an unpoisoned monster.
  • When Trees Attack: The "Arborween" event had adventurers face against a wide array of evil mobile trees.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: All adventurers of all classes have something in common: coulrophobia.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The entire White Citadel quest chain is a gigantic reference to Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle, including the fratboys, cheetah, and pretty much everything about it.
    • The Vanya's Castle area fom the "Map to Vanya's Castle" item is one for 8-bit Castlevania I. The Dreadsylvania clan dungeon is one for the 16-120 bit ones (ie, the Metroid Vania and ever more serious ones). If, y'kow, Dracula was an alcoholic...
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough: With his dying breath, the Warbear General expresses amazement at Uncle Crimbo being willing to build a superweapon that accelerates Global Warming in a bid to win the conflict between them.
  • William Telling: One of the possible minigames (all of which have the exact same function of distributing 99.9% of the bet money to one of the two players completely at random) in the Money Making Game has the player that accepts the bet trying to do this to the player that placed it. If he hits the apple, he wins. If he misses the apple, the other player wins. And if he misses the apple, he always hits the other player
  • The World Tree: Or rather, its Evil Twin, the Underworld Tree; a boss of the "Arborween" Special Event.
  • Wordof God: The kingdom's creators have their own radio show/podcast where they answer questions from players and supply "narrative justification" which may not always make sense. At all. Some examples:
    • Nothing ever dies, you just beat them up. Where do the skins/corpses you find come from? They carry them around of course!
    • Also, you shouldn't feel bad about smashing turtles, you send them straight to turtle heaven, they even send back powder as a thank you.
    • The reason most artwork isn't animated is because the kingdom's sun removes animation, just look at the (fully animated) sea!
    • The "Distant Lands" have been mentioned in passing several times in various adventures, but the creators have said on the weekly radio show that player will never be able to visit them. This is despite the fact that you actually can visit parts of the Distant lands when going on vacation at The Shore, but the creators say that doesn't count.
  • World of Pun: When the game isn't making random references to song lyrics, it's hitting you over the head with puns of varying quality.
    "You're fighting a bread golem. You find him crusty, and his wit stale. For having thought of the previous sentence you almost hope he manages to kick your ass."
    "This is a bat with the body of a baseball. And the heart of a bad pun."
  • The Worm That Walks: The Guy Made Of Bees.
    We Are Bees. We Hate You.
  • Written Sound Effect: Ouch!es, ZAP!s and BARF!s. The more damage you deal, the more sound effects appear.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Even goes by that name.
  • Your Mom: A chef knocks you over in the Haunted Pantry, so you steal his plate of tarts. The description for the tarts reads:
    This is a tasty tart. And hey, speaking of which, how is your mom doing these days?
  • You Have Researched Breathing: You don't know how to put on a shirt when you start. It is only available after Ascending. There's an alternate way to learn this skill in Bad Moon ascensions. It involves getting nearly cut in half, at which point your character becomes aware of the torso he almost lost. Notably, the gnome who nearly bisected you is deeply confused that you didn't realize you had a torso.
    • Also of note is Advanced Cocktailcrafting. While the ability to summon little cocktail accessories is fairly impressive, you also need this skill if you want to, say, place a little paper umbrella in a drink.
    • Also, you need to get a skill called Tempuramancy to learn how to deep fry.
      • That is, learning to deep fry in a thermal vent on the ocean floor.
    • Similarly, Pastamastery is necessary to cook simple ramen dishes, even though lots of more complex cookings don't require any skills.
      • Inverted with most recipes, which can be "discovered" simply by putting the right ingredients together; you automatically know what to do with them, even if it really shouldn't be that simple. On the other hand, some dishes require you to learn the recipe first. Many of the latter kind are weird enough that this makes sense, but one would think that combining brownie mix and white chocolate chips wouldn't require special instructions.
    • A Crimbo skill teaches you how to eat too much over the holidays and get fat.
    • The whole kingdom did this when all players became aware that container items, like backpacks, are worn on something known as a "back."
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: The recipe system lets you try to combine different ingredients to make new items. If you attempt a legitimate combination, the recipe is added to your recipe book forever. If your combination doesn't do anything, it tells you so, and neither of the ingredients are consumed. However, some recipes only work if you currently have a particular skill, like pastamastery, and if you lose that skill, it won't let you use the recipe, even though it's in your recipe book. Furthermore, a handful of recipes can only be used if you've already learned the recipe from a specific source. For example, white chocolate chip brownies can only be made after you use the special item "mother's secret recipe". Trying to cook the ingredients otherwise yields the message "It seems like that should work... but it does not."
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Saucerors can learn a skill to gain Soulsauce from defeated enemies and use it for various attacks and buffs.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The premise of the fall 2012 challenge path, Zombie Slayer.

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