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Left to right: Jacob Linkletter, Bud Oven, Autumn Pingo, and Tiffany Et.
"Where cognitive dissonance thrives! Cute furry little animal children will lead us into chaos!" Precocious
by Christopher J. "Chrispy" Paulsen that stars a rather large group of "superintelligent" children who live in two separate neighborhoods, and who just happen to be
anthropomorphic canines and felines
. The main characters are known for being completely insane in one way or another. Not very serious, but very funny, the comic is about those children/
in their everyday lives.
Read it here. Tropes: Actual Pacifist: Max, overtly. Yvette, possibly as well, though she is so timid it's hard to know what's in her head. Ursula almost certainly will be. Added Alliterative Appeal: Jacob goes above and beyond here. Adults Are Useless: Both subverted and played straight. Many of the parents are at least as smart as their kids (with the exception of Kaitlyn Hu's mother). Alt Text: Used mostly for Lampshade Hanging (especially in regard to lacking backgrounds, Spoof Aesops, and incredibly egregious puns). An Aesop: " Actions have consequences. Who knew?" All Just a Dream: An arc of what turn out to be the kid's nightmares, culminating in a Shout-Out to . St. Elsewhere All Love Is Unrequited: Vincent is in love with Autumn; she doesn't even know he exists. All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Inverted and subverted. Jacob (as Target Man) takes down the Supervillain Union and takes control of the Fortress of Evil... only to be taken down by Suzette (as villain Mylytant Femynyst) three seconds later. Amoral Attorney: Candice Givens, one of Yvette's mothers. She plays it to the hilt, too. Art Evolution: Compare Strip #1 to Strip #28. See a difference? Good. Now look at an even later strip, like #87. Big difference, eh? An even more dramatic comparison is at the bottom of this page. Recently regressing, at least in detail. In chronological order: eliminating color strips altogether; eliminating almost all backgrounds or inanimate objects; positioning all characters at the same depth (with few exceptions). Color is back, for now, thanks to a fan contributor. However, now backgrounds seem not to be as much of an issue anymore, and there's even some varied perspective. Ascended Extra: The other side of the class (a.k.a.: the cast of Copper Road). Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Chrispy states in his sketch blog that Vincent has an undiagnosed case of ADHD. And probably just the second-most visible of Tiffany's disorders, after her narcolepsy. Author Avatar: In his FAQ, Chris states that Bud was originally "a cartoony avatar of myself." However, a more straight example would be Kaitlyn Hu, especially in the Copper Road strips. Bag of Holding: Quincy keeps his comically oversized dice collection in a normal-sized dice bag, which causes Jacob to make a sanity roll. Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The entire cast. Batman Gambit: "See?" A battle plan that depended on what the enemy was likely to do. Bedsheet Ladder: All she wanted to do. Which is why her parents planted roses under the window. Beware the Quiet Ones: It took a while, but Yvette has finally found someone to be nemesis to. Bob from Accounting: Few realize that in addition to his years of accounting expertise, Bob is also a talented movie critic. Brick Joke: In the Alt Text of a strip After Mike gives Tiffany a computer, Sky says that next time she sees him she's going to punch him in the face. 333 strips later, she does. Blackmail: Autumn has huge binders full of blackmail material. For each and every person she knows. Calvinball: They call it " Suicide Kings", and it's complicated, so don't ask them to explain it. You wouldn't get it anyway. Card-Carrying Villain: Most of the children who even play as the Super Villain Union, but a special mention goes to Dionne, who even freely admits her selfishness and evil intentions in a debate for class president. Cats Are Mean: Well, not particularly. Though it's probably no coincidence that the two nicest Gemstone kids are dogs (well, a dog and a wolf), while Dionne (said to have no soul) is a cheetah. Cat Smile: Makes Tiffany look rather menacing doesn't it? Tiff, Bud, and Autumn (despite being a fox) here The Chew Toy: Jacob. Pretty much everyone but Max picks on him at some point. Children Are Innocent: Ha ha ha ha ha! You're kidding, right? Cloud Cuckoolander: Tiffany. And how. Commuting on a Bus: Xander transferred to a private school, but still appears in the comic just about as often as he did before. Companion Cube: The On-Cue Ball, which is like a Magic 8-Ball... but talks! And makes fun of everyone! It even burps! Cool and Unusual Punishment: Tiff's parents send her to the box o' shame after Kaitlyn's party. It back fires to some extent, though. Crappy Carnival: The "Fall Festival" school fundraiser. Creator Career Self Deprecation: Kaitlyn wants to be a cartoonist. Everyone else tells her it's a terrible idea. Wen: So I thought you were supposed to be smart. Curse Cut Short:
On-Cue Ball: All signs point to I don't give a—
Shii-An Hu: KAITLYN!! Deadpan Snarker: The On-Cue Ball is an oracle! ...Or, very possibly, prerecorded snark.
'''"I'm sorry, I wasn't paying atten—I MEAN REPLY HAZY, TRY AGAIN!"
Deep Sleep: During break, offering such chances Deliberately Cute Child: Dionne when on the clock at pageants; Autumn to a lesser extent. Determinator: Jacob's persona of Target Man, with the power to absorb all hits and keep getting up. Drinking Game: In-universe. "With a little bit of creativity, anything can be turned into a drinking game!" so sayeth the On-Cue Ball. Doomy Dooms of Doom: Muffins of doom. (Their inverse appears to be cupcakes of bliss.) Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Why Bud's plan to destroy the Turquoise Lake summer camp falls apart. It hinged on the campers acting like the Gemstone kids. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Copper Road is about the kids who live on, well, Copper Road. Exact Words: Autumn offers to wash the dishes. She did not say anything about washing pots, pans, silverware... Later, Bette orders the kids to run one mile(approximately), but forgets to specify they do it in the designated track. As the other kids dash away, Max notes that they are following directions... approximately. Facepalm: Courtesy of Ms. Monster. Fearful Symmetry: a few strips' worth during the Gender War. Broken rather decisively, though. Five-Man Band: Under the original main cast, most of the characters have atypical personalities for the roles they play, but nevertheless they fit into two parallel bands, one consisting primarily of Gemstone kids and the other of Copper Road kids: The Hero: Bud/Kaitlyn The Lancer: Autumn/Quincy The Smart Guy: Jacob/Yvette The Chick: Tiffany/Vincent The Big Guy: Dionne/Roddy The Sixth Ranger: Max/Xander Which left Suzette, who stood alone. And for that, everyone was grateful. HOWEVER, the swapping out of Xander for Ursula has jarred the social order a bit. Now the bands of five are roughly Main Four+Suzette and Kaitlyn/Quincy/Yvette/Vincent/Ursula, with Roddy joining Dionne and Max as a trio either in the middle or above the fray depending on your point of view. Flanderization: Inverted (sort of). Most of the minor characters are introduced pre-Flanderized. Played straight, however, for Shii Ann Hu. Mentioned by trope name in the alt-text for strip 237. For the Evulz: Dionne's impetus to do pretty much anything. Example. Not that the Gemstone Estates kids usually cite any other reason.. Funny Animal Funny Background Event: in the "The Protest" story, Tiffany is found in both the "down with Jacob" and the "Team Jacob" groups. Furry Confusion: One of the many reasons Chrispy made all the characters either cats or dogs was to avert this. The comments for 'Normal Clothes' raises this point; when Principal Blessure decides to dress up as Cruella DeVil it was theorized that in the Precocious world that the movie is about a woman who kidnaps children (of a specific race) in order to skin them and wear their pelts. In the real world, family movie; In a furry world, horror movie. Generation Xerox: Autumn is fighting a losing battle not to become one. Gentle Giant: Bud's dad Joseph. Glowing Eyes of Doom: Bud and Tiff during Autumn's paranoid delusion about their museum trip. Tiffany again after consuming an entire pot of coffee. Grounded Forever: The Sapphire Lake kids' antics usually get Autumn grounded for eternity, though after a few days or weeks they usually open to negotiations. Guest Strip: During the "Party crashers" arc, while Chrispy had a broken finger. The guest artists included Matt Dawson ( ), Brooke Eggleston ( Sometime Alone ), Irene Pitcairn ( Also Bagels ), Sun Elves Robert McConnell, Carl Sjostrand ( ), Ginger's Bread Terrence and Isabel Marks, John Peters ( ), and Gypsygirl Press Roman Utkin (who does a Russian translation of Precocious). A new set of guest strips began in March 2013, with a couple of twists on the theme. Hands-Off Parenting: Bud's parents, to the point where Autumn even forgets at one point that he even has parents. Hard Head: You must have a pretty hard head Has Two Mommies: Yvette. Heavy Sleeper: When she is not causing destruction and chaos or finding an addiction, Tiffany can normally be seen sleeping in the background He Who Must Not Be Seen: In the main comic, Vincent was formerly given this treatment. He appears more often in voting incentives ◊ and in the strip. Copper Road Also, the Rights, the Hus' neighbors (mentioned only as another Who's on First? gag). Home Sweet Home: Escaping appointments Hurricane of Puns: Occurs whenever Kaitlyn Hu (or anyone in her family) appears in the comic. ( Hu's on first?) Lampshaded in this strip. Copper Road I Know You Know I Know: Autumn's plan. Incredibly Lame Pun: Autumn tosses a dictionary at someone. The victim says, "Your words have hurt me." The Ingenue: Ursula, due to her terminally sheltered upbringing. Insane Troll Logic: Suzette resorts to it when she's short of things to be righteously outraged about. In the Blood: The Pingos are often joked to reproduce by cloning. As they all look similar and are great at library science. Joseph, Casey, and Bud Oven are all dangerously creative scientists. Yvette's two moms are a Granola Girl and an Amoral Attorney. She has a lot more in common with her birth mother, the hippie. It's All About Me: Could definitely be the worldview of most of the kids. Jerkass: Dionne Crup, a pageant girl who despite hating pageants enters them to see the look of hopelessness on the losers' faces. She seems to have the whole process down. Killer Rabbit: All the kids, in their own way. (Yes, even Max.) So much so that the former name of the trope, "Beware The Cute Ones", is the comic's new tagline. Lampshade Wearing: Tiffany sports a lampshade at Kaitlyn Hu's birthday party. Large Ham: Bud Oven.  Large Ham is his normal method of speaking. Loads and Loads of Characters: Check out the cast page. Look Behind You: Kaitlyn, watch out! ... The Maiden Name Debate: The Oven family's surname came from Sydney. Joseph changed his when they married. Joseph Oven: I mean, my last name was Brungster! I couldn't subject my kids to that with a clean conscience. Medium Awareness: Ms. Monster apparently has a rule against students saying her name in Chiller font. My Beloved Smother/ Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Ursula's parents, who basically raised her in an opaque, home-schooled bubble, and are still obsessive helicopter parents. Nice Guy: Max Zeit is nice to a fault. Though he does have enough of a self-preservation instinct to know when to go along with everyone's schemes. Noodle Incident: Whatever the Sapphire kids did preceding their hiding out at Kaitlyn's birthday party. One by one, supporting characters learned the details in tiny whispers indecipherable by the audience. Or how about the time they set the lake on fire? Almost all of the children's unseen escapades are treated as Noodle Incidents unless the joke or plot specifically requires otherwise, as well as a wealth of Noodle Implements in play when their schemes have yet to come to fruition. Subverted with Tiffany's aging. Strip 893 presents the accident that halted Tiff's aging as a Noodle Incident, but strip 896 provides an explanation. The "Orlando Incident" showed that the adults are not free of this trope. Heck, there are so many Noodle Incidents in the comic that it's even addressed in the FAQ!
Question: Will we get to see what happened when _____?
Answer: Probably not. I think some things are funnier when you have to imagine what crazy stuff went down yourself! Odd Friendship: Max and Dionne. Apart from being in wealthier families than the others, they have almost nothing in common, yet they hang out together all the time. Older Than They Look: Tiffany in this request strip showing the kids as teenagers. One-Hour Work Week: Nobody remembers what Gene Et's job description is or what he's responsible for. He's literally paid to sit in an out-of-the-way office and play video games all day. Alt Text:
It's okay if you want to punch him.
Only Known By Their Nick Name: Buddy Champ Oven...sorta. That's actually his full name. Blame his dad Joseph. Only Sane Man: Kaitlyn. Her time spent observing the others has built up remarkable insight into the social dynamics of the class. She employs this to great effect starting in this strip. The ensuing conversation provides her with justified time in the spotlight. OOC Is Serious Business: The kids once broke Ms. Monster by pretending to have been acting constructive and cooperative when she arrived late. Opposites Attract: Candice Givens and Eva Nutley, Yvette's mothers. Amoral Attorney meets Granola Girl. Phrase Catcher: [accusingly] "Roddy! What are you doing here?" "You have no soul, Dionne." Pilot Movie: The "Disorganized Sports" arc was partially used to introduce some of the main cast of the spinoff strip Copper Road. Please Subscribe to Our Channel: In June 2011, the characters broke the fourth wall for several strips in which they asked readers for donations. The Pollyanna: Max and Ursula both, although Max isn't completely oblivious. Max: [to Ursula] Not all of them are nice all the time. Post-Kiss Catatonia: Vincent, after Autumn kisses him for returning her dossier binder. Not that she cares much about him - she just really wanted the binder back. President Evil: Dionne makes a campaign platform out of promising to be one of these when running for class president.
"Those who support me will be exalted. Those who do not will be destroyed. The minority is irrelevant. They have no voice. I can and will take from them and give to the strong. It's majority rule!"
Proud to Be a Geek: Quincy. Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "THE BAKE SALE IS SCIENCE!!" Punny Name: The Hu family, leading to many Abbott and Costello-style jokes. The most blatant example is the matriarch of the family, Shii Ann Hu, for whom Incredibly Lame Puns are used shamelessly. Replacement Goldfish: Ursula Xane replaced Xander Upton. Retcon: Word of God is that the neighborhood is more compact than it used to be, partially so as to let Gemstone Estates and Copper Road interact more. Royal "We": Suzette speaks like this while going mad with power. Inverted later on, when a rare Jacob Slam slings it right back at the self-proclaimed royalty. Running Gag: When Bud encounters Roddy, he often says "Roddy! What are you doing here?" And boy, does he spin it and spin it - until it is spun right back at him, at long last. Running gags involving Autumn and her family include jokes about her family reproducing via cloning and library science. In the more recent "internEt" mini-arc, Rule #4 (first introduced in this strip) has become a running gag and is regularly used in the comments section. Sadist Teacher: Ms. Monster, though considering her class she pretty much needs to be. The Scapegoat: Down with Jacob! Second Place Is for Losers: Check out the trophy stand and alt-text in this comic - poor, poor Roddy. Serial Killer... or at least, POTENTIAL Serial Killer... Which becomes even more disturbing in the context of a later strip… Serious Business: The bake sale is science!! Shout-Out: to : Jacob Linkletter is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mostly harmless. Sinister Silhouette: Ivy Pingo pulls this off rather formidably at the end of Kaitlyn's birthday party... or so we were led to believe. Slapstick Knows no Gender: As noted below, girls are just as likely to give, receive, spectate, or otherwise be involved with physical humour. Sleazy Politician: Dionne. She's not just proud of it; it's her campaign platform. Sleep Cute: Tiffany; She is Exceedingly Cute. Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The characters of Max Zeit and Dionne Crup represent each respective extreme of the scale pretty well. Which makes the closeness of their friendship all the more ironic. Snarky Inanimate Object: The On-Cue Ball, natch. It even provides the page image for the trope. Speech Bubbles Interruption: Spinoff: , about the character Kaitlyn Hu and the "other side of the class" that lives on Copper Road. Copper Road Spiders Are Scary: A really scary one here. Ms. Monster: Extra credit to the kid who kills it! Dionne: Forget it! No grade is worth dealing with that! Spoof Aesop: Evil's triumph over goodness is absolute
Alt-text: This one goes out to all the impressionable children! Straw Feminist: Suzette, who more often than not proves to be an easily agitated womyn who always seems to have a speech ready. Sunday Strip Tagline: "Because knowledge is a weapon!" Team Chef: Bud, especially with baked goods. To the point that if you see one of the adults baking something delicious it's probably to his recipe. Theme Song: A fan composed a theme song for the comic. Chris liked it so much he pretty much made it the official theme. "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Giving these is basically Xander's only purpose in this comic. Threw My Bike on the Roof: Never invoked literally, since for some odd reason none of the kids seem to have bikes. But common when the Supervillain Union is in session, or when Dionne is around. Throw the Dog a Bone: Jacob, usually The Chew Toy, has had a couple of moments in the sun. Throw the Book at Them: Your words have hurt me. Title Drop: Here. Torches and Pitchforks: Homeowner's association at it again? Though surprisingly that specific one is directed at Bud's parents rather than the kids. Trade Snark: Mommy Relaxation Time™ Unfazed Everyman: Soren excels at this. The Un-Smile: Used to great effect here. Villain Episode...or arc...actually, to be precise, TWO Villain-centric story arcs. Somewhat subverted in that it is the main cast playing villain. Wall of Blather: Wall of Text: Happens whenever Suzette goes into a rant, but is usually Played for Laughs. (Another example) Water Guns and Balloons We Can Rule Together: More than once. Welcome to the Big City: Ursula meeting the Sapphire Lake kids. White Void Room: Chrispy leaves out backgrounds a lot. It's not as much of an issue in the strips that are in color, though. Who's on First?: Crops up whenever Kaitlyn Hu (or her family) is mentioned. Played straight and Lampshaded in the strip "Hu's on first". Word of God: Chrispy typically replies to the comments people leave in the comments section of each strip's page and explains things when necessary. As well as occasionally on his blog World of Funny Animals Would Hit a Girl: Brawls among the kids are equal opportunity.