Art Evolution: There is a definite change in art style as the comic goes on. One note of interest is that many characters get larger hair, which actually works for them. Check it out on the Cast page.
Beach Episode: Not the beach, but the main cast goes camping at the lake.
Better as Friends: At the beginning of their OAC year, Joe and Phoebe finally talk about what happened with Todd. Phoebe tells Joe that they would not have been right for each other as a couple; Joe agrees that they were better as friends. As a result, their friendship starts to mend.
Blond Guys Are Evil: While not evil with a capital "E" Alan can be very selfish, especially where Joe is concerned. However, Alison would view Iain this way, no doubt.
Brave Scot: Ceilidh, when she stopped Nancy's attacks on Joe in school after hours.
Brick Joke: Phoebe tells Alan she thinks Ceilidh's a lesbian after an awkward exchange prompted by rumors about her sexuality; months later, Alan apologizes for giving Ceilidh a romantic token "before I found out...that you're a lesbian" and promptly gets drenched in punch.
Delinquents: In high school, Deirdre was rebellious and had a reputation of being a bully. Her boyfriend of the time also got her pregnant. After her miscarriage, her father helped her get into the University of Guelph to leave her past behind for a while. Deirdre blames herself for her parents' rocky marriage.
Disappeared Dad: During Grade 9, Joe's father walks out on him and Hildegarde for a younger woman. Who he then walked out on for Melissa his sister-in-law.
Girl Next Door: Ceilidh is literally this to Joe after she moves to Avalon.
Give Geeks a Chance: This trope works out a little differently: Ryan has a crush on Phoebe, but she threatened him with death after he asked her out. He then meets by chance her older sister Deirdre. After they have a talk about Phoebe, he attempts to talk to Phoebe again at Alison's New Year's Eve party. However, this once again fails and he eventually gives up. It isn't until some time later, also completely by chance, that an intimate relationship blossoms between him and Deirdre.
The Glomp: Helène has done this to Alan at least once.
Great Big Sea: Gets spoofed in the comic a few times. The author is also a fan of theirs.
Halfway Plot Switch: At the end of the first year, Hildegarde opens up a coffee shop, and Alison begins to study psychiatry, which become their defining character traits; the Backstory Ryan gives Ceilidh turns early assumptions of the main cast on their heads, and piecing together the gaps becomes a major theme; the Mistaken for Gay subplot is (except for one Brick Joke and the finale) abruptly dropped; and the Bradleys and, to a lesser extent, Hildegarde graduate to the main cast.
Todd, Phoebe's OAC ex-boyfriend who abused and dumped Phoebe shortly after and started spreading rumours about her in school that she is gay. Joe soon reciprocated against Todd by pushing him down the stairs.
Deirdre's ex Patrick from her high school days. She hooked up with him because she thought he was tough and a rebel like herself. However, after he got her pregnant and finding out about it, he turned out to be a coward and ran away, leaving Deirdre to deal with the pregnancy on her own. Unfortunately, it didn't end there: she had a miscarriage.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Joe pushing Todd down the stairs to "vent his frustrations" regarding his loss of Phoebe. The question is if Joe really knew what a Jerkass Todd was ...
Love Letter Lunacy: At the beginning of the comic Ryan leaves a love letter in Ceilidh's locker. It is uncertain whether Ceilidh was relieved or insulted when Ryan informs her he put the letter in her locker by mistake. In Grade 12 Ceilidh finds another letter in her locker from her secret admirer, asking for them to meet and for her to wear the necklace.
Ceilidh in Gaelic means "an informal social gathering with folk music, singing, dancing, and storytelling."
Deirdre is Irish, Gaelic, and possibly Celtic for "broken-hearted, sorrowful" and could also be translated as "fear" or "raging woman." Deirdre is also the name of one of the most famous women in Irish folklore, as a woman of great beauty with a tragic story; The Other Wikidescribes it in detail.
Mistaken for Gay: Alan to Ceilidh, which also results in her throwing a bowl of punch on him. However, this changes at the comic's end, when she enters a relationship with Phoebe.
Moment Killer: After seeing the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ceilidh mentions that they're both alone in the parking lot. As they are both about to share a kiss, Ceilidh slips on a patch of ice and hits her tailbone.
Remember the bearded guy trying to light up at Hildegarde's and driving Alison insane? He's Joe's father Jimmy Page! Officially his name on the cast page is James Page. This took Alison - and the readers - by total surprise. In retrospect there is a Strong Family Resemblance between them. The beard throws you off.
"Thanks" to Phoebe, she reveals Deirdre's secret to Ryan about Deirdre's pregnancy with her Jerkass ex-boyfriend Patrick back from her high school days.
After Phoebe's Jerkass ex-boyfriend Todd abused her, cruelly broke up with her and spread rumours about her, he soon showed up at school wearing a neckbrace and casts. How this happened? Joe confesses to Ceilidh that he pushed him down the stairs.
Running Gag: On the first day of school for Grades 11 and 12, someone points out to Ceilidh that a dryer sheet is stuck to the back of her vest. For OAC year, Ceilidh just outright brings it herself. She gives it to Phoebe as a symbolic gesture for a fresh start. Also see Overly Long Gag above.
Previously in the comic Joe commented to Ceilidh (wearing a black turtleneck and plaid skirt at the time) how rare it is for her to wear skirts aside from her uniform.
Ceilidh mistakenly wears a more formal sleeveless red dress to Alison's New Year's party during Grade 11. When Ceilidh voices her misjudgement about this, Joe insinuates that this is not such a bad thing "in retrospect."
Supporting Protagonist: Ceilidh got accusations of this in the second and "third" years, when the other characters' family strife and the consequences of their shared Backstory began to drive the strip.
Sympathetic Adulterer: Jim Page is a curious case in that he had his reasons for pursuing an affair (namely feeling that his marriage to Hildegard wasn't genuine due to never really getting over his first love Melissa, Hildegard's sister), but doesn't sugarcoat his actions, and calls leaving his family the worst mistake he ever made in his life.
Tomboy: Ceilidh tends to dress more casually and be overly aggressive when challenged, especially by Joe. Noelle can also qualify.
Title Confusion: Josh Phillips could not obtain Avalon.Com to host his comic, and thus spent much time over the life of the strip explaining that the title was not, in fact, Avalon High, it's just the closest he could get.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ceilidh and Alison in the first few months, when the latter was more innocent and Phoebe hadn't yet supplanted her as the former's primary Foil.
We Used to Be Friends: in Grade 9 Joe had feelings for Phoebe but did not act on them due to uncertainty if his feelings would be reciprocated. Phoebe started going out with Todd at the same time Alan started seeing Helène. As a result, Joe felt abandoned and his friendship with Phoebe was changed.