Webcomic / S.S.D.D
is a long-running (in both senses)
British Furry Comic
about four people who share a flat: Norman Gates, an Axe Crazy
anarchist rabbit who's destined to overthrow the government and found the Collective of Anarchist States; Richard Edwards, a fox and Norman's best friend, also the landlord; Kingston, a constantly stoned hare; and Rich's girlfriend Anne Winters, who's somewhat unstable but is also the only one of them with a job. There are also a few time travelers attempting to prevent Norman's revolution, including Space Marine
Tessa Edwards, who is a probable descendant of Rich and Anne; Dr. Cook, the Mad Scientist
who developed Time Travel
; and two robots, one of which is Tessa's boyfriend. In addition, there is an AI known as the Oracle who seems to be secretly manipulating Norman and will be the real power behind the CAS in the future.
It is sometimes NSFW
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Elizabeth, possibly a Portal reference
- Action Bomb: Inlay pawns.
- Action Girl: Tessa
- A.I. is a Crapshoot:
- Let's start with the Oracle, shall we, and go from there.
- Other AIs seem prone to "Nexus Syndrome" unless caps are placed on their intelligence (sometimes even then). Typical symptoms appear to be boredom, seeking other interests, and turning on your masters (which was a good thing in Tin-Head's case).
- King Arthur may, in and of himself, be the penultimate example of Nexus Syndrome (and no points on guessing who's the ultimate one). Not only has he expressed aspects of genuine empathy, sympathy and passion, he's taken to certain... distractions at times, possibly even in the organic sense. This is actually one of the positive results of A.I. is a Crapshoot. As Elizabeth puts it, he genuinely cares. This is only a variant on this trope because actually caring is strictly against what he was originally intended to be and do.
- All There in the Manual: Occasionally the author has substituted comic updates with text detailing aspects of the SSDF world or quotes from various characters.
- Already the Case: The time-travellers want to keep The Oracle from ever being created—but when they finally tell Michael what they're facing, Michael refers to a plug-in the British were creating—and the time-travellers realize whence The Oracle came... and more importantly, when.
- The Alternet: The Maytec Consortium runs a very fast, secure, and expensive network. The Internet is effectively run by the Collective of Anarchist States and banned pretty much everywhere else, though it's still popular because the Maytec network doesn't have free porn or bootleg movies.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Tessa's (adoptive) parents. They're very open about sexuality and won't hesitate to discuss their daughter's love life (or lack thereof) with her boyfriend. Tessa is not amused.
- Amoral Attorney: Gary Hart, and not just in the courtroom, he's also a Pyro Maniac with a hobby of blowing up golf courses. It's telling that Norman thinks he's crazy.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: The Anarchist Collective sort of goes back and forth. Officially, there are only two laws, "do not profit at the expense of another anarchist" (which can be interpreted to cover anything from scams to murder), and "there are no other laws". The officials in charge are referred to as "Advisers" who don't put out laws so much as "suggestions"; you can technically break them without any sort of official penalty, but since the only difference between local police, angry crowd and lynch mob is how organized they are... The Collective does have a rather intimidating military, not to mention a secret weapon, though.
- There's also a reference to "true anarchists" who live in the wasteland between cities, taking potshots at passing vehicles.
- And I Must Scream: The King reveals that this basically sums up the Oracle's personality.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Norman's "to-do" list.
- An early version of the Oracle showed a job queue calculating the likelihood of overthrowing several world governments, and the probability of Elvis being alive.
- Art Evolution: Compare the first comic to the current one
- Art Shift: "When I stop hallucinating, I'm really going to kick your arse Kingston!"
- Artificial Limbs: Rather commonplace in the CORE, and for good reason.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: CAS promotions are determined by non-violent challenges, but it's the same basic principle.
- Author Avatar: A variation. The fox playing guitar in this strip is unmistakably an anthropomorphic riff of artist Al Foreman's prior depictions of himself.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Surviving a long term in the CORE has a tendency to produce this.
- Modern-day Norman can barely go a week without brutally beating somebody up or causing large-scale destruction of property. Future Norman takes these tendencies Up to Eleven.
- Tessa also has her moments.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Despite their feet looking almost exactly like a human's.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Bush family are androids planted by future Norman to set up the economic collapse. And Ms. Waterman mentions that the Anarchist negotiator who vanished into thin air in Cook's lab was named Jules Verne.
- BFG: Tessa's plasma cannon, though apparently it "takes a special kind of lunatic to not only strap a small fusion reactor to their backs, but to also run around a battlefield with one too"
- Big Bad: The Oracle.
- Big Red Button: The Brittannia's fission reactor had a "scram" button that an Inlay saboteur made sure to rip out
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Richard.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: According to Anne, Norman and Richard used to be like those guys from Mad Max three.
- Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Used twice. Kind of an Ironic Echo since the first one took place after the second.
- Boxed Crook: The "dirty half dozen" that made the Oracle were all hackers that got caught (the agency didn't have a big enough budget to legitimately hire decent programmers, so they resorted to "slave labor").
- B-Side Comics: two, Sticky the Stick Man and Church of Poisoned Minds, which eventually became their own comics
- Butter Face: Norman Gates is a male example. He has the body of a big buff rabbit, but his face—specifically, what's left of it—is described as 'ugly as sin'. It's flat, rather than having a muzzle, his teeth are abnormal for a rabbit, and he keeps his buckteeth insanely long to protect his brittle jaw. This comic◊ even goes so far as to describe Norman's ugliness as a 'deformity' and insinuates that due to his homliness that he most likely died a virgin. Due to the fact that he's a large bunnyman, this can seem like Hollywood Homely (as mentioned in the YMMV section), but on his Patreon page, Alan Foreman did a post detailing just how disfigured Norman is, including what Norman would have looked like without his injuries.
- Call Back: Compare the first comic to the five-year anniversary strip
- The Cameo: Anne chatting online with Sam from Newshounds, which got referenced in his home comic.
- The Casanova: Richard, when he was younger. And it's deconstructed in this strip with just his expression.
- Cast Herd: There's the original four idiots, the time travelers (both CORE and Anarchist), those in that British intelligence agency, Tessa's old squad, the high ranking Advisers...
- Challenging the Chief: The Anarchist Advisory works on non-lethal challenges.
- Carnivore Confusion: Just read this page concerning rabbits and fried chicken.
- City on the Water: The Britannia, a super-sized aircraft carrier made from an iceberg that was bought by a number of wealthy Brits around the time of the Anarchist revolution. Tessa's from the lower decks.
- Clone Army: The Anarchists use clones known as "Gigglers" as Cannon Fodder. They're engineered to feel no pain and are grown at an accelerated rate that leaves them no time for an education so they're dumb as rocks. They're controlled using an implant that pumps them full of happy drugs when they do something right, hence the name.
- Lee is a clone grown by the Anarchist's enemies, the CORE, using a stolen cloning rig that was given to their R&D department. He was grown at a normal rate so he is smart, but still a bit flaky.
- Cloning Body Parts: It is possible to clone biological body parts, but most CORE troops prefer to upgrade with cybernetics.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Lee, in fact the entire squad was chosen because they were psychologically unstable.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The comic was originally just random gags, but starting with the SSDF story arc it became much more serious, at least in the storylines involving future characters, which is pretty much the main story line now.
- Conscription: Tessa was sentenced to serve in the CORE for two years for hitting a policeman. Apparently most member nations have a similar form of the draft.
- The Anarchists on the other hand actually call their military the "Volunteer Force", but they can afford to forego conscription as they use a lot of clones and robots.
- Contagious A.I.: The thing that makes the Oracle different from other AIs, because it can copy itself to other computers it can increase its processing power unlike AI that are bound to their original frames. In fact its creator was an expert in writing viruses.
- Cool Boat: The Britannia, would be a Floating Continent if that trope covered waterborne ones.
- Corporate Warfare: Maytec has their own army, but when they went to war with the Anarchists over mineral claims on Mars they tried to get the CORE to fight for them.
- Could Say It, But...: here
- Crapsack World: Seems a pretty accurate description of the future after the economic collapse and anarchist revolution.
- Dead Guy Junior: The dead guy is Christopher Reed, creator of the Oracle. the Junior is the Oracle itself.
- Dead Person Conversation: Nathan gets a call from Christopher, whom Nathan not only knows is dead, but was even his pallbearer at the funeral. Then he realizes that Nathan is only speaking in his "Upper Class Twit" accent, and realizes who is really calling.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: Corporal Grey notices a distinct change in Tessa's (and the rest of the squad's) moods the day after.
- Dirty Old Woman: here
- Divided States of America: the "Tower Of Babel" storyline starts with an animated map of the states and their progressive division. At the start of the storyline the Anarchists control the northeast states out to Wisconsin and Illinois, the Texans have expanded eastward to the coast, the west coast is controlled by Maytec, and the rest is still the U.S. Currently Texas is split in half by the Anarchists and Americans.
- Does This Make Me Look Fat?: subverted here.
Kerrie: "Tell me, does this make my butt look big?"
Kerrie: "Good, then the padding must be working."
- Doomed by Canon: Everyone in Tessa's squad and Naps, who apparently became famous and then met "a sticky end."
- Drives Like Crazy: Gary Heart. Norman is left scared and shaken.
"Whoa! What the hell happened to you?"
Norman: "Something I didn't think was possible my friend! Tonight I met someone who is even more bat-shit insane than I am!"
- Electronic Telepathy
- Embarrassing First Name:
- Dr. Jeremiah Cook despises his first name, largely because his mother gave it to him and he doesn't like her very much.
- Tessa's adoptive parents named her "Angel" (ironically); she had it changed when she was an angsty teenager.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: Kerrie got one from "one of those seedy, coin-operated robots you find in serviceman's bars". Though supposedly it's actually pretty awesome, and what we eventually see of it kind of is.
- Erotic Eating: Anne tortures Kingston with it.
- Evil Gloating:
- Eyes Are Mental: when a copy of the Oracle possesses Central his avatar has the Old Man's blue triangle eyes.
- Fake Kill Scare: Sticks had one when their 21st century allies thought Tessa was dead and put her in the freezer. Fortunately they just didn't realize her mechanical heart didn't have a pulse.
- Feel No Pain: Gigglers. Lee gains the ability to feel pain from his implants, and spends the rest of the day stabbing himself with forks.
- Flash Back: The storyline that has been going on for the past two years is essentially the backstory of the SSDD characters, previously occasional flashbacks showed parts of Tessa's past.
- Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who pays attention during the "King of Clubs Jack of Hearts" and "Die Laughing" arcs knows how "Tower of Babel" is going to end.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Naps notices this after getting stoned with Kingston. Lampshaded with a bit of Self-Deprecation in the next strip.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: An expensive variety of personal weapon
- "Friends" Rent Control: Richard is the landlord, as a result Norman and Kingston get out of paying rent a lot. For one example.
- It was recently revealed that Richard acquired their house due to his father buying properties in his name as a tax dodge, presumably this is how Rich also got the other flats he owns (whose residents apparently pay rent).
- Furry Confusion: very little other than Inter Species Romance being considered unusual.
- Gargle Blaster: The squad manage to get drunk on 99% proof cider, it comes with a "do not drink" warning label because they can only sell it legally as paint thinner.
- Gambit Roulette: The Oracle is a regular Chess Master most of the time due to his ability to run simulations and knowledge of Time Travel, but another time machine in close proximity can throw him off.
- Geek Physiques: Naps is a aversion as he actually works out (course he's an audio nerd and DJ). So Anne doesn't believe him when he says he worked in IT, though his former co-workers in his real job fit both stereotypes.
- Genius Ditz: Trisha, the ditzy Maytec AI, is, according to some analysts, very good at her job of halting official complaints and attempts to return products. And hypothesizes that she was designed to act like that to customers, but AIs are such drama queens that she couldn't help hamming it up at every opportunity and everyone else began expecting her to act like that so she not only acts stupid to everyone she pretty much is stupid. The occasional homicidal thought notwithstanding.
- Going Critical: There's one arc that handles a fission reactor about to go critical realistically, with a lot of failsafes that had to be sabotaged and the main danger coming from it being the radioactive and very hot water. The fusion reactors in plasma cannons also tend to explode but that's explained as the container walls superheating when magnetic containment of the plasma is lost, larger fusion reactors have enough space for the plasma to dissipate harmlessly.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Jefferson-6, please come in...
- Groin Attack: I don't care if you're a Space Marine with Nanomachine implants, that's gotta hurt
- Hand or Object Underwear: How the comic avoids showing anything more risque than a buttcrack when there's nudity.
- Healing Factor: one of the advantages of the implants Tessa and her squad are testing.
Lee: (fork pops out of his foot) "Ooo! 21 seconds! That's faster than the old implants! But this isn't a fair test. For one this isn't scientific standard cutlery.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Norman Gates, though the only "heroic" thing he's done was stopping (violently) a robber at a convenience store, at least that's how the local press made him look. Tessa seems to be a borderline case, particularly in the current arc.
- Hidden Depths: Kevin. Dumb Muscle. Grunt. Doesn't think. Philosopher
- Human Head On The Wall: The head of one particularly unpopular former First Adviser of the Collective of Anarchist States is mounted in their capital building's rec hall. Brought up when a later First Adviser demands the head of whoever programmed the nuke they'd just accidentally launched.
- Human Popsicle: The future Norman Gates was frozen for centuries after his supposed death and cryogenics is routinely used for interplanetary travel.
- Another time, Tessa was mistaken for dead and put in a freezer, she survived freezing thanks to her implants, including her mechanical heart that doesn't produce a pulse and caused the confusion in the first place.
- Human Resources: That's one way to supplement a carbon and calcium supply after a natural disaster.
- Humongous Mecha: The Texans use mechs that resemble a cross between AT-ST's and tanks, it was joked that many CAS soldiers have been killed trying to trip them with cables instead of just throwing grenades from a safe distance. The other power blocs use sub-sapient robots with heavy weapons, such as the treaded Inlay Rook.
- Identical Grandson: It's noted that Norman's lawyer Gary Heart looks a lot like Captain Jack Heart despite the 400 year gap between them, though Jack also states that Norm is his godfather so time travel may have been involved. Also Tessa Edwards looks a lot like both Richard Edwards and Anne Winters (Rich's fur patterns, Anne's eyes and hair style).
- Immune to Drugs: Kingston, who once claimed that he had enough chemicals in his system to render most of China comatose.
- Tessa and the rest of her squad supposedly get this from their augmentations, Lee claimed that it would take "enough alcohol to poison an elephant" for them to get drunk.
- Indy Hat Roll: Unusual in that the door was closing upwards.
- Instant A.I., Just Add Water: The Oracle was originally intended as a program to predict the future.
- Instant Expert: While stuck in some kind of virtual world, Tessa is rounded up by a truancy officer. She is ordered to wear an interface rig which she does NOT know how to use. The teacher hands her a book which apparently contains a download link.
- Interspecies Adoption: Tessa's family are more like rodents than vulpines.
- Interspecies Romance: While most main characters that are in relationships are with their own species there are a few examples, for example Nathan (cat) and Red (fox), First Advisor Laura Black (rabbit) and Jonathan (fox), and recently Anne seduced Nathan to try to find out what he was hiding (Richard wanted her to question him but that probably wasn't what he had in mind).
- It Seemed Trivial: Because nobody talks to Michael, he is the only one of the group trying to stop the Oracle who knows about the Echelon Plug-in, which Michael had a copy of. Michael, on the other hand, has no idea what the Oracle is. In other words, nobody knows the two programs are one and the same, which means the Oracle already exists in Michael's time.
- Kill Sat: The Tower of Babel is unusual in that the actual satellite is only a mirror designed to redirect maser beams fired from a very large, very phallic tower. The Anarchists use it in combination with a nuclear strike to defeat the Texans (the tower took out their anti-missile defenses and then the nukes vaporized their military bases, and unintentionally Austin).
- Last Name Basis: The only characters who refer to Kingston as "Neil" are his relatives.
- Lethal Chef: Once, Norman accidentally used a jug of Anne's homemade wine to clean a toilet, it ate right through the limescale, and the toilet, and the floorboards.
- Lethal Eatery: Played with, as the kebab shop the squad visits after finally managing to get drunk has a sign saying "Get food poisoning? Next meal is FREE!"
- Loan Shark: Why Naps turned to wiretapping celebrities.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Michael—which is bad because he has information he has no idea is important, and nobody else realizes he has important information.
- Longevity Treatment: At least two members of Maytec's board of directors are 30 years older than they look as a result of expensive implants. A comment by Central suggests that they were included in Tessa's implants.
- Long Runner: Started in September 1998 and is still updating multiple times a week.
- Magnetic Weapons: Coilguns are common small arms in the future, usually loaded with explosive rounds. And then there's "Long Tom".
- Martial Arts Do Not Work That Way -Subverted and lampshaded.
- Mega Corp.: The Maytec Consortium, considered to be an international power that effectively runs the independent nation of California OW.
- All Periods Are PMS: Anne when she's in heat, justified in that she has it just once a year.
- Missing Floor: A supposed 'storage installation' in the middle of the desert hosts a top-secret research-lab in a hidden basement. Once again, it can only be accessed by hitting the elevator buttons in a specific order. Or by blasting the panel, apparently.
- Morning Sickness: At the start of the "Anne's Pregnant?" arc (turns out to be a false alarm).
- Nano Machines: Were retconned in as Tessa's implants (previously implied to be just Cybernetics).
- Neck Snap: Merlin to Lara Black not clear if out of annoyance or mercy as he was going to blow her up anyways.
- Nice Hat: Shakos are rather popular in the Anarchist volunteer forces, often used to denote those of importance and/or those who are somewhat demented. Apparently it's traditional.
- No Ontological Inertia: Subverted, objects sent back in time are apparently permanent. During the early stages of the Philadelphia project Dr. Cook found a PDA from one of his co-workers with information from two weeks in the future (in particular stock market data) and even after the original PDA was locked up and prevented from being sent back the future version persisted and the data on it didn't change.
- No OSHA Compliance: "Why is there a walkway over an open hot acid bath?" SHOVE
- Older Than They Look: Julie Waterman is at least 56 years old, probably older, and looks barely out of her 20s.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Tessa and her group when it's revealed just how old the Oracle is. It also explains many things that just didn't make sense before. The explanation is simple: "It has seen . . . a future without its current masters." "God help them."
- Several times in the arc where Merlin sabotaged the fission reactor on the Brittania, when Tessa realized what was likely going on, when Bob noticed the scram button had been ripped out...
- The Scottish guard assigned to Lara Black's hotel finding a dead Texan wearing a bomb vest in her room. "Aw SHITE!"
- Only Sane Man: There isn't one. Julian appears to be this for his squad of psych test rejects, until you take a look at his wrists.
- Parental Sexuality Squick: Tessa's adoptive parents have an embarrassingly open relationship, possibly why she was still a virgin when she was conscripted.
- Personality Chip: Sticks apparently had somewhat limited intelligence before he was modified, though it's implied that he actually had an inhibitor removed rather than having anything added. Most strong AIs seem to develop personality on their own unless preventive measures are taken.
- Photo Doodle Recognition: Captain Adams draws a shako on a picture of Norman's lawyer, Gary Heart, making him look like the notorious Anarchist leader Jack Heart, whom they figured was a descendant.
- Plasma Cannon: The Black Rose Mk. II was Maytec's brief foray into this type of weapon. During the Mars war they gained a reputation for killing as many of their wielders as enemies and were discontinued. Regardless, Tessa owns one.
- Plot Threads: So many since "Tower of Babel".
- Polyamory: Richard roomed with a "lesbian" couple in college, when one of them, Red started to feel attracted to him her partner suggested a threesome just to keep her interested. Things fell apart rather quickly after that.
- Poor Communication Kills: Michael is regularly kept out of the loop. This bites everyone in the butt when it turns out he knows the origin of the Oracle, but not what the Oracle is, while everyone else knows what the Oracle is, but not its actual origins. This means nobody has enough information to make the connection.
- Powered Armor: Tessa and her squad tested armor that was controlled using their implants, unclear if they become standard issue at all.
- Pregnancy Scare: In the "Anne's Pregnant?" arc Anne throws up at work the day after discussing the possibility of marriage with Richard. She takes a pregnancy test and while waiting both she and Richard are freaking out and thinking about how their lives could change. Then when the test is complete Anne asks Richard what he'd do if, hypothetically, she were pregnant, and after he faints and babbles about taking care of her she tells him the test was negative.
- Prescience Is Predictable: An unintended consequence of the Oracle's programming, he engineers World Wars in order to observe the results.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: The insignia of the CAS Elite forces may be a subversion ("every man for himself").
- Privateer: "Barrett's Privateers" is the unoffical drinking song of the CORE marines, an international force that started out as (and arguably still are) Private Military Contractors.
- Private Military Contractors: The CORE evolved from a private security force that patrolled malls and amusement parks before society collapsed. Now they're the main thing holding back the Anarchists.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Before the start of the S.S.D.F. story arc Tessa apparently got drunk and ordered Tin Head to disassemble her commanding officer's car, as a result she was assigned to a decaying space station orbiting Uranus.
- It actually seems that most of the personnel on board station E11 are problem cases.
- Also some of the alternatives to joining the supersoldier project.
- Restraining Bolt: The majority of AIs have limitations placed on their intelligence in order to keep them from getting bored with their jobs and rebelling, though Sticks is proof that the limits can be removed.
- Ridiculous Future Inflation: Apparently $2 million won't get you even a candy bar in this screwed up future.
- Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: A character mentions watching The Fast and the Furious 527.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: AIs without restrictions to their intelligence are usually mind-wiped every other month to prevent them from becoming this, Tin Head actually became bored when his memory wasn't erased and made a Heel–Face Turn by helping Tessa escape the CAS.
- Right on Queue: Norman doesn't care much for England's national pastime.
- Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The founders of the Texan government.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: There is no ripple effect, objects from the future are unaffected by changing the past
- Robots Think Faster: AIs have varying amounts of processing power available but it's not all there is to intelligence. The Oracle is almost certainly the smartest AI in the system but Trisha (officially at least) has more power, however her caps keep her stupid.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: What Tessa and Dr. Cook are trying to do and the future versions of Norman and the Oracle are trying to prevent. Though mostly because the former's time machine was irreparably damaged by their botched jump.
- Sex Bot: Sticks is one of the few male examples of this trope.
- Shout-Out: Numerous.
- In May 2001 Adams was shown with a tablet that said "Don't Panic" on the back.
- Later it was shown that the Oracle once went down trying to figure out why Chris liked tea.
Kevin: "Oh, dingo's kidneys..."
- Sleeps With Both Eyes Open: In one arc it looked like Norman might have OD'ed on something when he was just sitting there on the couch with his eyes wide open after bugging Kingston for sleeping pills. Turned out he was just asleep.
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: all over the place, as explained here
- Space Marine: Tessa and her squad.
- Spy Catsuit: Tessa claims it's just so Cook can stare at her tits.
- Stable Time Loop: Averted, apparently temporal paradoxes are purely mental and one can alter the past without repercussions.
- Standard Starship Scuffle: This page is a discussion of why the way space combat is portrayed in this trope is unrealistic.
- Subliminal Seduction: Norman attempted this in an early arc, but Kingston accidentally replaced the tape with the message with Richard and Anne's homemade porno.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: After downloading an interface rig operator's manual, Tessa declares that she knows Kung Fu. For the reader, Hilarity Ensues.
- Super Soldier: Tessa again, also possibly the Gigglers.
- Surveillance Station Slacker: This page
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: After hearing a loud crash, Richard questions the most likely suspect...
Richard: NORMAN! What the hell was THAT?
Norman: It definitely was NOT the sound of a toilet crashing into the basement after somebody poured something really corrosive into it that dissolved half the bowl, leaked onto the floor and ate through the floorboards that collapsed a short time later!
- Temporal Paradox: Apparently they're purely mental. The Anarchists never captured the Wildfire and acquired Time Travel technology, but they're still zipping through the past in a ship they will never build.
- Also Cook got on the Maytec board using stock information from a PDA that he made sure never got sent back in time.
- Time Travel
- Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Dr. Cook starts a tech company (the one that employs Anne not-coincidentally) in the 21st century, and the whole reason he was on the Maytec board of directors is stock quotes from a PDA that fell through an early time portal.
- Theme Naming: The Inlay robots used by the Anarchists are named after Chess pieces, Bishops are heavy infantry, Rooks are the equivalent of tanks, and Knights and Kings are commanders and are apparently the only sentient units. You can probably guess what Arthur's knights are named.
- In addition the name 'Inlay' is apparently a reference to the mythology of the rabbits in Watership Down.
- Torment by Annoyance: Julian's pretty good at this.
- Trading Bars for Stripes: Standard practice for CORE member nations. Tessa was sentenced to two years service for punching a police officer, and insulting the judge.
- The Voice: The present day version of the Oracle
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: All four of the original present day characters. Tessa, Sticks and Tin-head were originally presented like this, then two of them got angsty, Tin-head's still funny though.
- Walking Tank: Texas used them.
- Webcomic Time: The comic was mostly synced with real life, though there were some story arcs
- We Will Wear Armor in the Future: Buckminster fullerene armor. This has made conventional firearms obsolete while the various weapons designed to counter it all have their own disadvantages (slow firing, cumbersome, expensive, tends to explode, etc).
- What Did I Do Last Night?: The fourth comic had Richard waking up next to a traffic cone, and Norman had a traffic lightpost. And later an arc started with Rich getting shit-faced and lampshading the trope when he woke up the next day in an unfamiliar bedroom.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: In its original incarnation, The Oracle viewed all countries as potential terrorists. Its creator was going to change that. Then he died.