Kimchi Cuddles is a Tumblr-based Slice of Life webcomic following the relationships of a community of mostly polyamorous people. The main characters are Kimchi and Vajra, a couple in an open marriage looking to meet other partners, and although their relationship is central to the comic, numerous other relationship dynamics are explored through other characters.
This comic provides examples of:
- Accidental Kiss: Happens between Kimchi and Amalthea at one point.
- Asexuality: Ace, a character introduced in 2014, is asexual. London, one of Kimchi's partners, is in two asexual partnerships, but doesn't identify as asexual himself.
- Author Avatar: Word of God names both Kimchi and Marco as this.
- Bi the Way: Kimchi, Baxter, Alex, Emma, Lilly, Nora, Crystal, Marco, Soliloquy, Gia …
- Bookworm: Sherman, who at one point is more in the mood for reading quietly than going out on a date; Kimchi understands, and the two of them spend the afternoon reading together instead.
- Break the Cutie: Crystal is often having her confidence knocked by transphobic people, including her parents.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Soliloquy tends to be quite controlling of her partners, but it seems that she may mellow out after having established her solo poly identity.
- Closet Key: Nora is this to Izzabeth, who previously regarded herself as being strictly monogamous.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: London, who also brings out a similar side in Kimchi."Let's climb this tree and talk about activism with sock puppets!"
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Subverted for London; while he is in two relationships, he and Otter have become a Chastity Couple over the years, and Vajra isn't yet comfortable with him sleeping with Kimchi.
- Give Geeks a Chance: Several of the characters, most notably Baxter and Sherman, are rather nerdy, and seem to have just as much luck romantically as the other characters.
- Granola Girl: Lilly is very interested in eco-friendly farming.
- Happily Married: Kimchi and Vajra.
- High School Sweethearts: Kimchi and Dave.
- Ho Yay: Vajra, half asleep, mistakes Luuk for Amalthea. Hilarity Ensues.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Deconstructed with Luuk; he dislikes when women put him on a pedestal, and is attracted to Amalthea for her independence.
- The Idealist: Marco is frequently asked how they can be so happy and positive about everything.
- Incompatible Orientation: Kimchi had a crush on Amalthea for a while, who is straight. Alex finds himself having feelings for Sherman, who is straight.
- It's All About Me: Izzabeth tends to not see things from other's points of view until Marco is able to break it down for her.
- Leave Me Alone!: Soliloquy finds polyamory works for her in terms of her independence, but also finds having numerous partners draining when they start to make demands of her.
- Love Dodecahedron: Naturally, given the nature of the relationships explored.
- The Masochism Tango: Baxter and Soliloquy, leading to their eventual break-up.
- May–December Romance: London is twenty years older than Kimchi.
- Meaningful Name: Amalthea's name is a Shout-Out to The Last Unicorn, in reference to the term "unicorn", used in the poly community to denote a person chosen by a triad as their third partner.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Kimchi, after hitting Anja.
- Oblivious to Love: Tulsi and Aziz, a poly couple, are looking for a third partner, and remain blissfully unaware of Kimchi's interest in them.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Nora is rather delighted to find out Crystal's wearing a corset under her dress.
- One Thing Led to Another: "There's going to be a lot of processing tonight!"
- Picky Eater: Marco just wanted to make dinner for their partners…Marco: Surprise! I made everyone dinner!
Crystal: Is there MEAT in this? I'm vegan, remember?
Baxter: And I'm doing the super paleo thing, so I only eat RAW meat
Soliloquy: That stew looks gross. I only eat white bread with gummi bears on it
- Polyamory: The premise of the comic.
- Put on a Bus: Sherman, who has been absent from the comic for a while due to going back to university.
- The Bus Came Back: He's now back for the summer.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts/Crush Filter: Amalthea admits to going into "Disney Princess Mode" at the beginning of new relationships.
- Shipper on Deck: Being a poly-focused comic, compersion is a frequent theme.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: Kimchi describes herself as a "shy extrovert".
- Theme Naming: The children in the comic are all named after food (Pumpkin, Popcorn, Bean, etc.)
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Amalthea's idea of telling her ex she still has feelings for him involves putting a piece of ribbon in a book and leaving it out in a bookshop in the hope that he'll notice.
- Twofer Token Minority: Crystal deconstructs this in one comic, saying that as a biracial polyamorous trans woman, she's always being asked stupid questions about some part of her identity or other.
- Write Who You Know: Several of the characters are based on people who the cartoonist knows.