What was that sound just now? Oh, nothing, just the Freshman dorm exploding...CRFH, formerly titled College Roomies From Hell!!!, is a Web Comic by Maritza Campos; it has run since 1999, and was one of the flagship series on the Keenspot comics portal.Three mismatched guys end up reluctantly rooming together when after showing up late to get a replacement apartment, and find themselves (and the three equally mismatched girls across the hall) thrown head-first into World of Weirdness, with super-powered mutations, Cthulhu, were-coyotes, genies, mad scientists, and oh yes, the imminent birth of the Anti-Christ, just for starters. To call this series strange is an understatement; yet somehow, despite a severe case of Cerebus Syndrome, it all seems to hang together and remain funny.
" Chaos! Mayhem! Hair-splitting Disaster! It's all flooded and the mermaids have gone berserk and the sharks are eating people and the turkey was dry and there are explosions everywhere..."
Art Evolution: And how! Exhibit A; Exhibit B. Those are the same six characters in both comics; granted, one of them is in a chicken suit in the first. And yeah, that one guy did pick up a tentacle for a left arm along the way. Just read the comic.
Artifact of Doom: The evil staff. It's actually pretty loyal, considering. Apparently because Mike beat its boss in a fair fight. He is able to transfer its ownership to Marsha before he dies.
Art Shift: Dream sequences are usually rendered in a much more realistic style than the rest of the series.
Ascended Meme: The forums had a meme that every poll had to have an option for "Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (Deceased)". Then a cat was introduced into the comic by the name of Archie. Explained as being short for...
Possibly also Mike's zombification; apparently the corpse Waldo and Steve reanimated was a lookalike that was planted by Hazel and Damascus while Mike's real body was kept in suspended animation at Dundun Island pending resurrection. It's not clear whether this twist was a genuine Author's Saving Throw or in fact planned from the start.
Mike's manipulative nature is explained as a result of having an overbearing and abusive mother.
In a throwaway gag early on, Dave is mentioned to be deathly allergic to bee stings. Later, when he and Margaret are running away from Satan, they have to walk through a field of sunflowers buzzing with bees.
Margaret is initially depicted as a competitive overachiever. She is then Flanderized and turned Up to Eleven, going from competitive to aggressive to outright Ax-Crazy with her own military-grade stash of weapons. The reason behind all this is revealed to be the fact that Margaret has been preparing for the imminent Apocalypse ever since she had a vision of it years earlier.
Roger goes from comically paranoid of being a were-coyote to actual were-coyote who is doomed to eventually lose all traces of humanity.
The Chessmaster: Mike's Manipulative Bastard capabilities sometimes break through into this - notably where he has to bust his psychotic girlfriend Marsha out of the loony bin, he does so by means of a complex plan which involves making everyone else who was involved in a recent incident alongside Marsha also appear to have been driven insane by it, thus making the authorities think she wasn't in her right mind when she attacked her ex-boyfriend.
Apparently this is actually a deliberate tactic to control their anger, and thus their transformations. By occupying their minds with utter nonsense they're able to forget about the things that irritate them.
Easy Road to Hell: Satan plucks out Dave's soul, for no sin at all, essentially just to show he can. Some supernatural force saves him through Margaret and Roger, but that wasn't the author's original plan. And then there's this exchange:
Satan: Now let's say I put you in a situation where you have to kill someone to save Margaret's life. Then you die and go to Hell. And once you're there, your ass is mine...
Dave: God would never allow that to happen!
Satan: Sssss. That's what you think. The Other Guy doesn't care if you live or die. You're supposed to settle for eternal life.
Eek, a Mouse!!: Marsha, the Girliest Girl in the comic, is terrified of mice. This may be justified, however, as she does seem to have a actual phobia of them.
Faeries Don't Believe In Humans Either: Referenced when Roger meets two centaurs who think humans are mythical creatures. However, they're actually genetically engineered creatures who have been given this belief (and a steady diet of drugs) by the Evil Genius in question to avoid them questioning their surroundings.
Filth: While on the Misery Journey, the guys at some point starred in a soft-core porno, which they didn't remember about when they were sober, until the other three stumble across a copy of the video. Later, when trying to find out how it happened, Mike and April nearly get blackmailed into making another one, with April cast as a Japanese Schoolgirl.
Friend to All Living Things: Parodied to the point of taking it into Disney Creatures of the Farce territory: Marsha hates her 'Snow White Syndrome', which causes her to get mobbed by cute fuzzy animals whenever out in the woods. She does turn it to her advantage on occasion, though.
Fun with Acronyms: When Mike starts Nobody's Organization for the Elimination of Satan, April proposes changing it to "Satan Elimination" to make the acronym spell "NOSE", as a jab at Mike's large schnozz. Mike is not amused.
Gigantic Gulp: Margaret's bucket-sized coffee cup, formerly known as "The Suicide".
God: He's definitely around, but He keeps a much lower profile than Satan.
Good Angel, Bad Angel: Deconstructed. According to Dave's good angel, they appear proportionately larger and smaller depending on their relative influence on a person - so Mike's bad angel is man-sized, but his good one is doll-sized.
Hypocritical Humor: Mike gets mad at his roommates for keeping some smelly clothes, claiming that they were probably touched by the Devil himself. This despite the fact that the whole argument started because they wanted him to get rid of his evil staff. You know, the one that Mike stole from Satan's own hand.
I Love Nuclear Power: Dave and Mike both develop useful mutations after swimming in toxic waste. Roger also grows a third eye on his hand, but like his original two, it's very nearsighted and rarely comes in handy. Also, Marsha, much later, grows functioning wings from a radioactive potato.
Idiot Ball: How obvious could it be that April has been brainwashed by The Dragon, yet Marsha, who should be Genre Savvy enough by now, doesn't twig. See for yourselves here and here
Intoxication Ensues: The infamous 'blue mushrooms', which often seem to confer insight at the same time; the author has stated that this was strongly influenced by the writings of Carlos Castenada.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Mike is a bastard to the rest of the cast (with the exception of Blue and Marsha) most of the time, when push comes to shove, he is fiercely loyal and will protect his friends with his life.
One would think that the characters could care less about their grades after all the crap they've been through, and yet they continue to drag themselves back to Mr. Dover's class and freak out about missing exams. Given that Mr. Dover seems to genuinely care about the kids despite wanting to cultivate his Sadist Teacher image, one wonders what would happen were they to honestly explain what is actually going on.
Lethal Chef: Marsha; this is an especially sore point for her, since her father is a world-class chef.
Let's Get Dangerous: Roger has these moments. Usually involving him transforming into a werewolf.
Loud of War: Mike threatens to drive Dave into submission by poking them repeatedly and singing My Heart Will Go On in a very high-pitched voice.
Love Triangle: Two of them; Blue-Dave-Margaret and Marsha-Mike-April
Triang Relations: Blue-Dave-Margaret starts out as a type 5, but develop into a type 4 once Blue gets together with Dave and Margaret's Green-Eyed Epiphany sets in, and Marsha-Mike-April is a type 4.
Magic Realism: Impossible stuff just happens. Sometimes the characters try to find a meaning behind it. And fail.
Manipulative Bastard: Mike, who can think on his feet to the point of being able to see through the Devil's plans while being tortured in Hell. Also Blue, as evidenced by her mind games when she first meets Dave. Apparently the Green children have been inadvertently trained in this sort of behavior since birth.
Mistaken for Gay: Mike and Dave. Well, Mike and Roger too once or twice, but the running gag is Mike and Dave. Complete with compromising positions, unfortunate repetitive innuendo, and a spur-of-the-moment kiss that leaves Dave a bit scarred. Mike uses it to his advantage later, striking out at his hypocritical conservative father by pretending to be dating Dave. Like everything else in this webcomic, it doesn't end well.
Also, more recent strips (late 2008/early 2009) indicate that Mike is actually the Archangel Michael incarnate. Apparently being in the body of a 19-year-old human severely limits his full knowledge and understanding of things, and his actions on Earth have been doing more harm than good as a result.
Summon Bigger Fish: When Mike is attacked by a large octopus, he realizes he doesn't stand a chance against it with the tiny knife he has, so he cuts himself to attract a shark with the smell of his blood.
Twin Telepathy: Since they're only "Half-Identical Twins", Roger and Lily only have "half telepathy". When Lily tries to guess what's happened to Roger during the fall term, she's fairly accurate on the general ideas, but is pretty much precisely opposite on the details.
Webcomic Time: Running since 1999, by January 30, 2012 (the last in-continuity strip before the Reboot), less than a full year has been covered, and everything since October 21, 2009 had been a single day.
Winged Humanoid: Marsha, who develops wings after being bitten by a 'batato'.
Wolf Man: Roger, Lily and their mother are were-coyotes, while at least one minor villain is apparently a werewolf.
Yandere: Marsha is violently jealous and has a history of stalking her ex-boyfriends, and April turns Yandere later in the series when she develops a crush on Mike. Then when Diana attempts to win Roger back, his new girlfriend tries to eat her.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue and her mother, although it has never been confirmed whether this is their natural hair color or if they dye it that way for some reason.