Web Comic: Sabrina Online
is a furry
webcomic created by Eric W. Schwartz and which has consistently managed to put out its monthly batches of strips since its start in late 1996.
The comic revolves around the Slice of Life
tales of Sabrina, a quiet skunk who works as a web designer. Unable to find another job after she was replaced at work by a clip-art library, she finds work as webmaster for a porn studio, run by the flirtatious Zig Zag. However, the tone is gently restrained, with an uncomfortable heroine only now growing used to this bizarre job, while her friends (including her living Transformers
toys!) around her have their own antics. Updates once a month.
Not to be confused with that Sabrina
or that Sabrina
, or even the
1954 film called Sabrina
- Adorkable: Sabrina and R.C.
- Altar the Speed: Discussed but averted as seeing it on a sitcom doesn't mean it will work. Amy wanted to marry before having the baby out of wedlock, but instead the marriage happened after the birth, resulting in the baby crying during the ceremony.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: R.C.'s parents are open and accepting parents who are very concerned to find out whether his sex life with Sabrina is as fulfilling as it should be, mortifying the shy man beyond belief. His father pushes it even further by asking "what it's like with a skunk girl" because he'd always fantasized about it.
- Anything That Moves: Zig Zag, though she exaggerates this to get a rise out of Sabrina.
- Art Evolution: Averted; the strip pretty much looks the same now as it did in 1996. Though the quality is such that this is hardly something to complain about.
- Art Shift: Sabrina's webcomic that is an expy of herself drawn in a grittier style. Lampshaded to no end, of course!
- Artistic License – Law: Zig Zag's trial for beating up Sabrina's mugger. Rule of Funny and Rule of Drama (as well as courtroom cliches) were in full effect.
- Aside Glance: Often enough to smash the fourth wall.
- Author Appeal: Sabrina's Amiga advocacy, the talking Transformers toys, and, by Schwartz's own admission, the inclusion of Zig Zag.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The entire cast.
- Berserk Button: Bringing up Zig Zag's past as anything other than a set of facts (and even that chafes).
- It's also hinted that Zig doesn't take kindly to anyone who tries to hurt her or her friends.◊
- An arc launched in December 2010 implies she doesn't take kindly to the GIFT in action.
- Big "NO!": When the Decepticon Transformers toys heard that Sabrina was getting a replacement◊ Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime... after what when on before Timothy stepped in, you can't blame them in the least bit!
- Bleached Underpants: Eric Schwartz's own commissioned stuff, plus the porn-based origins of much of the supporting cast. (Although the whole "they're porn stars" premise is not hidden at all in the comic.)
- Special mention goes to Sabrina, which the artist has done nothing erotic of, even on his adult art site. The closest thing he ever did of naughty Sabrina art was an oil painting◊ of her in a pose out of a well-known Victorian-era nude painting. In fact, he rather vehemently goes after risque Sabrina fan-art on the web, for all the good that does.
- Nothing that he publicly distributes. Privately, however, it is known that he has indeed drawn porn of the character, and a small amount has leaked out onto the web.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Zig Zag complains◊ of her lack of friends to hang out with:
With the others it's about business, or sex... or sexy business.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Special strips for holidays - most especially April Fools - will be completely and utterly medium-aware. The main storyline has some◊ moments◊ of this as well.
Amy: Must be tough waiting so long to get a car. [points out to the viewer] To them, too.
Timothy: [Waves 'Hi']
- British Brevity: Sabrina Online is sort of a webcomic version of this, since Schwartz produce an average of three or four strips a month. Not much for a webcomic, but usually enough to keep his fans happy.
- Broken Aesop: The comic had a series of strips in December 2010 which were a reference to the sequence in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where the two heroes go on the road and beat up everyone who ever criticized them on the Internet. It works in the film because it's entirely in-character. In the comic, however, it's a series of Take Thats against the strip's critics. One notable strip involves Zig Zag, the viewpoint character for this sequence, beating up a guy who said mean things about her because he thinks he can say anything on the Internet without consequences. This isn't exactly true, but that's not the Broken Aesop. What's broken is the fact that Zig is the owner and star of her own porno company. You know, the industry that has historically relied on First Amendment rights to stay in business? And the "consequences" bit doesn't work either, because legally, Zig Zag committed real-world, premeditated, first-degree assault against a guy who knows her name, her face, and could easily press charges. The implication in the comic is that she'll suffer no repercussions at all.
- Although the incident does get mentioned during her trial◊ for assaulting Sabrina's mugger.
- And we eventually learn◊ that Zig was convicted and paid a fine.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Fairly early on, Sabrina gently but firmly tells her mom to back the hell off.
- Cheerful Child: Tabitha.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The mugger Sabrina sprays in Strip 205◊? He reappears in 641.◊ And he recognizes Sabrina.
- Cool Big Sis: Zig Zag, to Sabrina's younger sister (by 19 years), Tabitha.
- Cool Shades: Tina Lynx.
- Covert Pervert: Sabrina, as shown here.◊
- Cursed with Awesome: Doesn't actually happen by trope in the comic, but the phrase itself (word for word) is on one guy's shirt◊ in a recent strip... before he gets curb-stomped by a VERY PISSED-OFF Zig Zag.
- Cutaway Gag: Lampshaded and crossed with a Shout-Out.
Sabrina: It's tough keeping up with Tabitha, isn't it?
Zig-Zag: You're telling me! It's harder than picking camera angles for a scene with an elephant!
[Cutaway to a camera's eye view: only the top of Zig's face is visible, with an elephant looming the background]
Zig-Zag: Can you see anything?
Cameraman: Maybe if I backed all the way out of the room...
[Cut back to Zig and Sabrina, the latter looking very confused]
Sabrina: What the hell was THAT!?
- Dark and Troubled Past: Zig Zag.
- Dark Horse Victory: Grimlock winning the election for leadership of Sabrina's Transformers toys. Sabrina figured Optimus Prime would be the likely winner, but Arcee points out that Sabrina has a dozen versions◊ of Optimus, and split the vote.
- A Date with Rosie Palms/Caught with Your Pants Down: In one of the early strips, Sabrina decides to indulge in some "hands-on" "cybering" with her (then still-unseen) internet boyfriend, Richard. She's just getting into... things... when her roommate, Amy, walks in on her. (This later earns Richard the nickname "Sticky Fingers".)
- Also in that time-frame Carli the Chinchilla was eavesdropping on Sabrina and Richard during THAT session.
- Death Glare: Amy does a truly magnificent one in this strip.◊
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: In this strip◊, Sabrina's mugger blurts out a comment that proves he's Too Dumb to Live.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: Unsurpringly, Zig Zag has a sixth sense about this sort of thing.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Say mean things on the internet about Zig Zag and she'll hunt you down to administer beatings◊ and\or psychological◊ torture◊.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: The one time Sabrina calls Zig Zag by her real (last) name, Zig Zag pointedly tells her "my name is Zig Zag."
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Averted at the porn convention hotel when Sabrina slaps some sense into Zig. Zig snaps out of it and admits that she went too far and nearly fell into the same patterns that she suffered herself, leading into some Character Development and a closer friendship for the two. Not that Zig stops from teasing the hell out of Sabrina either.
- Eye Scream: Zig Zag gets a scare when she wakes up and finds she has a subconjunctival hemorrhage of the eye, but her doctor says that it's essentially just a bruise.
- She then decides to make the temporary protective eyepatch work for her by filming some pirate-themed porn.
- The Faceless: Both Carli's husband and Thomas' father are wolves who, possibly as a species trait, are much taller than anyone else, thus they are only "shot" from the neck down for long periods to avoid awkward scene angles.
- Though Spike, Carli's husband, has had his face shown on his first (at the time un-named) appearance, and several times more since (he was sitting, so his head was level with Carli's).
- Flame Bait: In-universe: After a scrape with the Image Boards, Zig Zag discovers that mentioning her name is enough to cause bouts of fury◊.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The entire cast.
- Freudian Excuse (Averted)/Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Zig Zag refuses to blame any of her behavior on her tragic past, and hates it when anyone tries.
- Fridge Horror: Sabrina experiences this In-Universe after she fends off a mugger◊.
- Friends with Benefits: Invoked in this strip◊; Zig Zag is this with just about all her single friends, including (especially?) her best friend and confidant Tina Lynx.
- Genki Girl: Carli.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Some people watching the studio's webcam show certainly think so.◊
- Girls Behind Bars: While in jail◊ Zig Zag is annoyed that she doesn't have a cellmate to play out any "jailhouse dominance fantasies" on.
- Glasses Girl: Sabrina.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Happens with Thomas◊ when he finds out Amy is pregnant with Timothy.
- Good Bad Girl: Tina Lynx.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The comic dealing with Sabrina's stabbing cuts from the mugger recognizing her to someone finding her and calling 911.
- The Grim Reaper: Comes for Sabrina after her stabbing◊, only to realize he's made "a clerical error" and go away.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Richard's hippie parents.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Here's an example.◊
- Or, for a slightly earlier one:
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Sabrina's webcomic.
- She Who Fights Monsters When Zig Zag discovers her name is a Berserk Button on Image Boards.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Richard's first appearances were as "RC", Sabrina's unseen online "friend".
- The Hedonist: Zig Zag. So much.
- A lot of the staff at the studio could count too, with Sabrina and Darke Katt possibly being the only exceptions.
- Hey It's That Girl!: In-Universe example: Apparently Amy and Sheila went to the same high school together. It's unknown whether or not they were friends/enemies/etc. during that time.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Carli, a chinchilla and her husband Spike, a wolf. Also, Thomas' parents, a fox and another wolf, respectively.
- Hulk Speak: Grimlock, one of the Transformer toys who was running for president delivers a speech using this◊.
- Humiliation Conga: What happens to the mugger in the January 2013 strip when not one, but several of Sabrina's friends track him down.
- Hype Aversion: An In-Universe example in this strip◊; when Sheila recommends My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Sabrina reacts by saying that she's "just not caught up in pony hype". She does ask to be called if any robots show up so her stance on this may have changed◊.
- I Banged Your Mom: In response to a teenage Troll who called her an unattractive slut, Zig Zag went to his house◊ and met his mother; when the boy shows up, he finds that his (divorced) mother finds Zig very attractive.
- Image Boards/Troll: A two◊-part◊ discussion.
- GIFT:Brought up almost by name in the second half.
- Informed Ability: Before going into porn, Zig Zag was aiming to be a professional actress. Subverted when said abilities were shown during a visit to Sabrina's family, leading to a subtle Crowning Moment of Funny...
Endora: I don't see how someone can be taken seriously with a name like that.
Zig Zag: *in cheerful tone* Why? Am I supposed to be taken seriously?
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Subverted and lampshaded; during Amy's pregnancy, she borrows a pair of Sabrina's pants, which gives her skunk colored legs◊. Sabrina breaks the fourth wall to accuse the readers of thinking she was walking around half naked the entire time. (Of course, since she's drawn before, during, and after that as being essentially pants-less, well...)
- Interspecies Romance: Discussed in strip 68 - the first of Janurary 1999
- In the Style of...: 1990's era Warner Bros. cartoons, such as Animaniacs. In fact, some of the character roster might have actually influenced them, such as Amy, who was first drawn in 1988.
- Arguably, Tabitha looks and acts as a Dot expy.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In a variation, Zig Zag is more infatuated with Sabrina than in love, knows it, and just wants her to loosen up and enjoy life more.
- Jerk Ass: Darke Katt. A perpetual grouch who would put even Oscar to shame, she refuses to socialize with the others in the studio, let alone be in their films. She can't stand her job as the janitor and the only reason she hasn't left is because she has nowhere else to go and that the others are polite to her, giving her money and shelter for her work◊.
- Karma Houdini: Zig Zag is basically able to do whatever she wants whenever she wants to whoever she wants with little to no consequence, up to and including stalking, sexual harassment, and physical assault.
- Living Toys: Sabrina's toys have their own little society, complete with a president (a Transformers Animated Blackarachnia figure). They refer to Sabrina as "The Mistress".
- Lolcats: Used as a coping mechanism◊ (see Image Boards/Troll above.)
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Amy was pregnant with Timothy from Feb. 1997 to Jan. 2000.
- Long Pants: Sabrina wears pants that◊ do not look like pants.
- Long Runner: Believe it or not, a subversion; in the traditional sense, yes, the webcomic has been up for more than 16 years. But it isn't a Webcomic Long Runner, as it only has around 640 strips thus far.
- Lysistrata Gambit: Inverted◊ and later subverted◊
- Made of Iron: Sabrina doesn't seem bothered at all at being stabbed several times, including in the head.
- Mary Sue: The In-Universe reaction to Sabrina's web comic◊ is that her Author Avatar is one of these.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Richard balks at admitting this, until Sabrina admits that she's a virgin as well.
- Medium Awareness
- Meganekko: Sabrina.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Zig Zag is three quarters skunk, one quarter white tiger.
- Mood Whiplash: The surprisingly dark story arc from late 2012 to early 2013 ends with one of the living Transformers toys being comedically thrown out the window for an Incredibly Lame Pun.
- Ms. Fanservice: Zig Zag, obviously. Sheila and Amy also qualify.
- My Beloved Smother: Endora, Sabrina's ultra-conservative mom.
- Not So Different: Played with here◊.
- Happens again here◊, albeit unintentionally on Schwartz's part. See also She Who Fights Monsters above.
- Not What It Looks Like: Invoked: Zig Zag deliberately makes a lunchtime invitation to Richard look like a proposition for sex, much to his bewilderment.
Play along. Sabrina and I are taking you out to lunch.
- Nude-Colored Clothes: Sabrina's pants.
- Obvious Pregnancy: Amy skips from not showing to this.◊
- Oh, Crap: Amy and Thomas's reaction to Sabrina moving out.
- Only One Name: Over a decade later, we still don't know Sabrina's last name. (Accepted Fanon says it's simply "Skunk")
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Zig Zag only uses her real name for legal purposes. Sabrina only knows her name because she saw it on tax records. The audience only knows her last name ("Zumbrowski"◊).
- P.O.V. Cam: The first panel of this◊ comic.
- Prison Rape: The 676◊th strip implies that Sabrina's attacker is about to get acquainted with his cellmate a lot more than he'd wish. Complete with Oh, Crap face, of course.
- Subverted with Zig Zag◊; when she gets arrested for beating up Sabrina's mugger, she's annoyed that she doesn't have a jail mate.
- Really Gets Around: Zig Zag.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Arguably Sabrina (blue) and Zig Zag (red), the former being a somewhat reserved computer/Transformers nut and the latter an outgoing porn star legend.
- Resistance Is Futile: Played for laughs here.◊
- Ripped from the Headlines: In 2008, the Transformers toys hold an election with Grimlock defending his presidency against Blackarachnia. The outcome of the election was tied to the result of the 2008 U.S. election, with Grimlock representing McCain and Blackarachnia representing Obama; Obama won, so Blackarachnia takes over.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Zig Zag goes on one against the chat room people who made fun of her movies and performances. She takes her porn very seriously.
- This December 2012 strip◊ indicated that Amy would have this response to Sabrina's stabbing.
- And then the trope was parodied in the January 2013 strips. First, Zig Zag beat the crap out of the mugger. Then Amy found him and gave him a kick just because she wanted to. Then Richard found him...
- Screaming Birth: Amy's labor was really difficult and she was hollering like a banshee◊, but she was loudest when she realized just when she was signing into the hospital that she and Thomas hadn't married yet◊.
- Strip 49◊ has Sabrina meet Schwartz's Author Avatar and call him a "loser" behind his back.
- Strips 602◊ and 603◊ show Sabrina explaining her ideas for a comic project of hers (including a schedule and an art style mirroring those of Sabrina Online itself), only to have Amy criticize her choices as ridiculous.
- Shaped Like Itself: Sabrina wears skunk-print pants.
- Shout-Out: So many, they have their own page.
- Show Within a Show: Sabrina's own Web Comic, Lena's Net Adventures.
- Art Shift: Used when showing panels from Lena's.
- Sliding Scale of Fourth Wall Hardness: It slides an awful lot.
- Sour Prudes: Zig-Zag sometimes (jokingly, one should hope) calls Sabrina a prude because she refuses to become a porn star and because she can sometimes get embarrassed.
- Stalker with a Crush: The "Funny Bunny Man", as Tabitha called him (actually Max Blackrabbit, the fursona of Malcolm Earle, Zig Zag's creator).
- Sunglasses at Night: Tina Lynx, most likely for Purpose 1 of the trope.
- Surprise Pregnancy: Only a surprise to the characters...since Eric was so kind as to show the audience Timmy's conception◊.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: Implied to have happened before Sabrina got her first job.
- Theme Naming: Sabrina, Tabitha and Endora are all named after famous fictional witches.
- There Are No Girls on the Internet: Discussed and eventually subverted. One strip even is titled almost exactly that.◊
- There Is Only One Bed: Intentionally set up by Zig Zag.
- Thought Bubble: Being a baby, most of Timmy's dialogue is shown in one. He even has these before he was born.
- Token Wholesome: Sabrina in her workplace.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Holy dammit Christmas!" At least, it's a euphemism compared to what people would normally say. (And a reference to The Venture Bros..)
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Richard's reaction to Sabrina "swap[ping] out this little strip that drains pus and fluid into the gauze" in this strip◊.
- Webcomics Long Runners: Along with User Friendly, Sluggy Freelance and Kevin & Kell, the longest of the long.
- Webcomic Time: The comic has been going since 1996. At the most, 18 months have passed, storyline-wise.
- Yet Schwartz keeps mentioning real-life products in the comic... So basically, no more than two years have passed in-universe between Windows 95 being the most recent version of Windows, and Sabrina's toys complaining about the new Revenge Of The Fallen-based Optimus Prime toy.
- To reference the figure above, if one were to figure every strip wound up averaging one day of time in-universe, time for the main cast is somehow being distorted into running at one tenth the speed of normal time.
- Subverted several times; Sabrina apparently
goes went to college, and explains that she does this "in the free time between strips" when Amy questions this; another occasion, when Amy wakes up to find her pregnancy greatly developed, and asks "how long between strips, anyway?"
- Wham Episode: The last 2/3 of the strips released at the end of September 2012 have Sabrina stabbed by the mugger she sprayed 11 years ago.
- At least she makes a full recovery.
- Where Did We Go Wrong?: Richard's parents. They are ultra-liberal flower-child hippies, and extremely open-minded - and he rebelled by becoming a perfectly straight-laced IT graduate, working tech-support for Microsoft.
- Wish Fulfillment: In one arc, Zig Zag steals papers detailing information on a group of trolls (courtesy of a well-meaning Sabrina) and abuses them psychologically and, in one case, physically.
- Write Who You Know: Sabrina starts drawing her own web comic, which is based on events that happened previously in the comic.
- You Bastard: While the don't explicitly say it, this is probably what Sabrina and Tina think of the viewers◊ who want them to joke about Zig Zag's past.
- YouTube Poop: Several of Schwartz's old animations of the characters.