The Adventures of Dr. McNinja an action-comedy webcomic by Chris Hastings and Anthony "Nedroid" Clarknote Kent Archer inked the comic from its beginning until he left in 2010; Carly Monardo colored the comic for about a chapter and a half, and the love child of the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny. It is the most awesomely epic / epically awesome webcomic ever.The story unofficially note The author recommends starting with "Meet the Doctor" rather than this one due to Early Installment Weirdness. begins with the eponymous omnidisciplinarydoctor, who is also a ninja, discovering that the McBonald's restaurant chainnote Originally McDonald's, but Hastings later edited the pages to pre-emptively prevent getting sued. has created a burger bearing his name (marketed based on the burgers giving people "silent but deadly" farts). Naturally, he solves this copyright infringement by battling Donald McBonald himself.The next arc, "Meet The Doctor And His Friendly Staff" introduces Dr. McNinja's gorilla receptionist, as the two of them race against time to save a patient with Paul Bunyan's Disease (an illness which turns children into giant lumberjacks)."So What IS A McNinja?'' introduces the Doctor's family, who are very disappointed with him for not becoming a professional ninja. The McNinjas' origins are revealed, and of course there are pirates.The next morning, the Doctor finds a raptor in his office ("There is a Raptor in My Office"). This turns out to be the tip of the iceberg, said iceberg being a conspiracy involving paleontologists-turned-banditos, organic jetpacks, MySpace and Fox NewsNewsCorp. At least the Doctor gets a sidekick out of the deal: a gunslinging, mustachioed 12-year-old named Gordito."D.A.R.E. To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence" begins with McNinja facing a hard choice: Will he help his father defeat 80's action movie star Frans Rayner and his army of drug-enhanced ninja mooks? Or will he help the clone of Benjamin Franklin create a medicine to cure death?...And everything after that point simply must be seen to be believed.What's interesting about the comic is Hastings' sheer commitment to the utterweirdness. Every bizarre twist gets a completely straight reaction from the cast, and can have repercussions that stretch over multiple chapters. The overall effect is like a geodesic dome of absurdity, where every time the authors throw in a killer weatherman or cyborg bears or zombie Ben Franklin re-enacting the "Thriller" music video with situationally-appropriate lyrics, the plot becomes that much more believable. In the wordsof Chris Hastings, "Dr. McNinja lives in a world that operates like a Mortal Kombat stage" (but Cumberland, Maryland is a real place), so if you're a stickler for scientific and historical plausibility and blow a gasket whenever you see Hollywood Physics, please stay far away from this webcomic.And just to prove the series hasn't hit the peak of absurdly awesome yet, in Summer of 2010, Doctor McNinja took part in a crossover with Axe Cop. In addition, on November 7, 2011, the doctor faced down withSaxton Hale. He lost, but the very idea of such a fight was awesome.If you are looking for the trope named for the webcomic, see McNinja.
Achilles' Heel: or, more specifically, Achilles' Right Butt Cheek Frans Rayner has one; and he has the ability to relocate it. note It was in his left butt cheek when he battled Dan for the leadership of the Ninja school they both attended. In "D.A.R.E. To Resist Ninja Drugs And Ninja Violence Part 2" Dr McNinja discovers that Frans has moved it to his left eyebrow. What makes Dr McNinja particularly threatening to him is his ability to identify its location. In the "Army Of One" story, it was revealed that Rayner relocated his vulnerable spot to his leg before it was amputated, so he doesn't have one anymore. But his new laser eye tires him out with just one shot; what with no visible power supply, it burns a lot of calories.
Action Mom: Mitzi, a rare example who is entirely willing to sacrifice her children if necessary, although in the specific example in question it was to save him from a Fate Worse than Death.
All Myths Are True: And will show up in certain arcs if they get so much as a passing mention.
Alt Text: Musings on the story, a pithy phrase, the punchline to the strip or even littlestories are all stuck in here. It can generally be assumed that even if the strip itself does not contain a joke, the Alt Text will. Chris will also bitch about how hard pirate hats are to draw whenever there are pirates, because perspective is difficult with their odd shape. He hates trees too.
And I Must Scream: The Mummy curse. Your body slowly and gradually turns to dust. Doc says all your molecules are still alive and sentient, so the cursed one would live eternally, but without body speak of, and his/her consciousness spread all over the world.
Sparklelord's fate is to be eternally trapped in a Stable Time Loop, repeating the same events for all time.
Anti-Hero: Doctor McNinja's a hero, no doubt about it, but he's kinda vicious about his methods. The unicorn motorcycle, Sparklelord, advanced those tendencies into outright villainy.
Anti-Villain: King Radical. Sure he's the head of a nefarious crime ring and he's definitely hiding something but all of his actions benefit the community, and he seems to be in it primarily for the fun of it.
Going into further detail, The longer King Radical spends in this world, the less he remembers from the Radical Lands. This terrifies him, and he is attempting to preserve the ways of the Radical Lands and eventually fuse them with this universe. This would save the Radical Lands as a result, but at the same time would kill a lot of people in the process. Like, Millions. However, on the other hand King Radical knows this, and surrounds himself with the worst of mankind and the biggest jerks humanly possible so they die first.
Awesome, but Impractical: Frans Rayner has a bionic laser eye, which is incredibly lethal. Unfortunately it lacks an external power source, and so burns his own calorie reserves for fuel. Even one shot is enough to render him unable to fight.
Awesomeness Is a Force: In "A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court", Doc discovers that King Radical is attempting to channel the power of, well, "radicalness", to open the portal to Radical Land. The more "rad stuff" King Rad does, the stronger the portal becomes. This is in part being used as a means of seemingly killing the lamest people in Cumberland, the creeps serving under King Radical and using them as gates for the people of the Radical Land.
Awesomeness Is Volatile: Dr McNinja's world has to force anything brought over from The Radical Lands into something slightly more mundane, lest it should break reality.
Badass Bandolier: Ron sports two of these. Their only use seems to be to look awesome. That is sufficient.
Badass Boast: Doctor McLuchador woke up a giant crab monster from hibernation, and needed to put it back to sleep with a "large concussive blast". Unfortunately, it destroyed the tank and helicopter he had prepared to do that. So what next?
McLuchador: I'm going to punch you very hard.
Badass Bookworm: How can a ninja doctor not be one? His brother Sean is also one of these, though he's still hiding it from his parents.
Badass Beard: Double Subverted by Frans Rayner, whose neckbeard caused everyone to laugh at him, but is capable of blocking attacks from ninjas.
Badass Creed: Gordito borrows Roland's from The Dark Tower, impressing Dan - but not Sean, who's also read the books (though he refuses to admit it).
There have been multiple Bad Futures, all averted thanks to Chuck Goodrich travelling back in time. Other ones include a Zombie Apocalypse caused by Ben Franklin's eternal life serum, and a Robot Uprising of vacuum cleaners. However, every time Chuck prevents one of these, it just shunts us into a new timeline where a differentBad Future will occur, and a different Chuck will come back to stop it.
Battle Couple and Badass Family: Dan and Mitzi; the McNinja family as a whole. Probably includes Gordito, who's basically Dr. McNinja's adopted kid at this point. And maybe Judy and Yoshi, which means that this Badass Family includes a deinonychus velociraptor, a gorilla receptionist, and a Mexican kid with a mustache and guns. Meaning the ninjas are the normal part of the family.
Becoming the Mask: Deliberately invoked in-world, from birth, for McNinjas. This gives them a means of escape if there is no other way out, since they can simply remove their ninja masks and slip into anonymity.
Bilingual Bonus: On this page, the first three lines of runes can be translated to "This sphinx will shoot fucking laser eyes if you". However, the rest of the sentence is covered up, and the last "word" that continues to the fourth line is nonsensical: "donat".
Bloodier and Gorier: The epic battle at the end of Army Of One. Due to there being many, many identical combatants, all of them being Dr. McNinja clones, it isn't necessary to keep them all alive and in one piece for the story to continue.
Brain Drain: King Radical and his Mafia prevent the brain drain from occuring in Cumberland, MD, by encouraging high school and college graduates to stay in the area. Very strongly encouraging.
Breaking and Bloodsucking: "Why a Gorilla" begins with a vampire, in mist form, entering the bedroom of a sleeping blonde woman. It turns out it's Doc in a wig, who promptly stakes the vampire and kicks the him out the window.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Doc. The man is a great doctor, but he'll wear a ninja mask the whole time he's treating you. As an aside, he has even "disguised" himself as another doctor with the mask still on. The administrators of the hospital in question have gotten tired of this routine.
Archibal, King of Hobos, is actually suprisingly competent as mayor.
In one comic, a demon kills half of Gordito's classmates, their heads exploding as the result of a spell they were being used as Human Sacrifices for. The Alt Text says "Don't worry, all their heads grow back in the next story. (Honest!)". Sure enough, In All the King's Dirtbikes and All the King's Men, Gordito says that his classmates' heads have been growing back funny.
Dr. McLuchador. Somewhat justified as he is actually McNinja in disguise, and the real McLuchador died a while ago. Somewhat less justified in that this meant there really was still a Doctor McLuchador.
The Cavalry: Several in "Futures Trading." First, the Nasaghast returns, and saves Chuck from certain death at the hands (er, claws) of a raptor. Then, a few pages later, who comes in to bust the Doctor and Sean out of a tight spot? Yoshi! Then, at the climax, Dracula and his moon laser.
Chandler's Law: Problem: you have a whole family of ninja performing a rescue, but pirates aren't much of a challenge, and you can't send the ninja in because they're already there. Solution: send in the UBER-ninja.
Chekhov's Gag: Too many to count, but this deserves special mention. (Don't spoil it if you haven't already read up to there - it's the sort of joke that takes years to mature.)
Eventually becomes something of a boomerang brick.
There's also an arc-long example in There Is A Raptor In My Office. "But I have diabeeeeeteeees."
In the Alt Texthere, Chris mentions that he was disappointed with King Radical's entrance, and decides to have skateboarding trumpeters announce his presence next time. They do.
Dan McNinja boasts that he absorbed the poison from his wife's picked beets so that he'll later be able to shoot it from his eyes, "Like a toad." He does just that later on.
King Radical saying he was going to use a special warhead to blow up an orphanage. He was, just not with the kids inside because he was having a new one built on the old site. (The warhead is a special, non-atomic version which blows stuff up without the messy elements of radiation and half-life; instead, it gives beards to the people who behold the explosion).
There's a double at the end of "Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja". One is an in-story reference when he catches the baby launched by the anti-zombie system, the other in the alt text calls back to "There Is A Raptor In My Office".
Chekhov's Gun: Very frequent. If, early on in an arc, an ability is explained or an obstacle brought up that forces the protagonists to take a different route to solving their problems, you can bet the ability will be required and the obstacle will have to be dealt with in spite of all efforts to the contrary.
Doc's ability to punch ghosts by humming the Ghostbusters theme appeared several story arcs before again becoming vital in his fight with the Nasaghasts.
The Chosen One: Every future so far has some disaster that will doom humanity, and every time Chuck Goodrich. is chosen to go back in time and stop it. Subverted, however, in that all he's accomplished is to create parallel realities where the disaster doesn't happen, not save his own. Up to and including the Radical Land.
Church Militant: The Roman Catholic church is surprisingly Bad Ass, hiring the McNinja clan as mercenaries to stop a ghost wizard and providing holy relics for them to use as weapons, including a substantial chunk of the True Cross, nunchaku made from the bones of Mother Teresa, the holy shurikens Doc uses against the Nasaghasts — and bullets blessed in the Pope's mouthwash for Gordito's gun.
City of Adventure: Cumberland. Considering the town family doctor is a ninja superhero, this isn't too surprising.
The residents of Cumberland, Maryland don't particularly care when the mayor installs a citywide anti-zombie system, and a rampaging Paul Bunyan is treated by the police as ordinary police work, not worthy of exceptional notice. Now dinosaurs, that is taking it too far. Which makes one wonder how they took it in the future when intelligent space dinosaurs have occupied Earth.
When Doc surfs out of the sky on a robotic laughing Dracula, the main reaction is being offended because he gives the finger while doing so.
Clone by Conversion: King Radical's plan turns out to be doing this on a massive scale (more specifically converting people into the inhabitants of the Radical Lands, where he came from).
Cloning Blues: Mostly averted with Benjamin Franklin II, who is basically a continuation of the original Franklin in a new body. Also averted with Dr. McNinja's own clones from college; they seem to consider themselves one person with multiple bodies and are happy to merge with him once their tasks are complete.
On the other hand, Old McNinja's clones show brief signs of individuality before they get slaughtered. But again, they were made with inferior cloning technology which is why they were both less clever than the doctor and Old as well as Made of Plasticine
Conflicting Loyalty: In one arc, McNinja's dual urges to kill and heal become externalized in the form of his father needing him to battle the greatest threat to all ninja kind while simultaneously being asked by his mentor to help him complete an immortality serum.
It was also referenced years earlier in a throwaway gag involving ninja zombies, but nonetheless established as a real force in the McNinja universe.
The Constant: There will always be a Charles "Chuck" Goodrich, who will always discover a time-space portal, and will always use it to try and prevent an apocalypse. Even in alternate universes, such as the Radical Lands.
Continuity Creep: Issues One Half, One, and Two are one-shot stories, and other than a throwaway line in Issue Two they certainly don't make any less sense if one doesn't read the previous issues. Issue Three makes brief mention of Issue Two, but then near the end of the storyline has a plot point that makes absolutely no sense without having read Issue One Half. With Issue Four, a more-or-less continuous storyline starts, and from that point on it's written with the assumption that the reader has read previous issues.
Continuity Nod: At one point in "So What Is A McNinja?" Doctor McNinja attacks a crew of pirates in the dark and (presumably) cuts off their faces. In "D.A.R.E To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence" he encounters pirates with peg faces, noting they must have been among the ones he fought.
Corrupt Church: The location of King Radical's base. The reverend that runs it is essentially being bribed, trying to justify it by saying "Isn't it... God's wish that the world be more radical?". Needless to say, the superiors in his denomination are not pleased.
Cue the Sun: At the end of Chapter 16, the Ultimate Diplomat's speech ushers in a new golden age of peace between human and dinosaur. As his oration comes to a close, the sun rises. To quote the Alt Text, it's symbolic as hell.
Dark Age of Supernames: Parodied: Sean's ninja name is "Dark Smoke Puncher", and Doc mocks him for it at one point.
Darker and Edgier: Though not a complete, or even major, departure from the goofy setting and previous stories, ever since Doc Gets Rad the storyline has gotten considerably darker, with no overt victories and several significant defeats that would be played for tragedy anywhere else.
Dark Is Not Evil: Dr. McNinja is an interesting example. He's clearly good and heroic, despite being a ninja, but has also committed some decidedly antiheroic, if not downright evil acts. The Doc and his True Companions are certainly more willing to kill than most super heroes.
Dark World: The Negazone functions as both this and a Spirit World. It is a dark reflection of reality with considerable Mind Screw relating to the visitor's own psyche. The Dr. gets trapped there while attempting to rescue the president.
A demon is masquerading as a teacher at Gordito's school.
Dr. McNinja is impersonating Dr. McLuchador, who died some time ago, to infiltrate King Radical's gang.
To make that impersonation more believable, Chuck Goodrich impersonates Dr. McNinja in order to "fight" Dr. McLuchador and be defeated by him. It's a subversion because Dr. McNinja is not actually dead.
Dr. McNinja, who "heals with one hand and kills with the other".
Dr. McLuchador is a villainous example. Though he means well, his patients tend to end up worse off from his treatments, either due to toxic medicine or "unconventional" wrestling-based methods of applying it.
Determinator: Gordito, who grew his mustache out of sheer willpower. Later subverted when it's revealed that he grew it out of panic, and uses it to hide his insecurities under a badass facade. He finally ends up Becoming the Mask, however.
The third Nasaghast. Able to deflect the holy shuriken, pulls his head through the sword that impaled him to the ground, launches himself into space, catches a missile and throws it straight at his target.
The Dog Was the Mastermind: Occurs in the story "There Is A Raptor In My Office". It turns out everything was engineered by the Fox News corporation to be an amazing, rating-boosting story. It was thwarted by their weatherman who, earlier in the story, was all puffed up to do a story about three hurricanes in the Atlantic forming a Mickey Mouse shape only to be deflated by a lead in story about velociraptor riding banditos. He stopped it in the end in order to prevent the story from going public just so that everyone would be excited about the weather.
Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: Gordito is reluctant to wake up Dr McNinja for this very reason. The good doctor's parents apparently ingrained it into him by attacking him in his sleep, because... well... he's a McNinja.
Early Installment Weirdness: This is the main reason the author suggests that you skip "Issue One Half". None of the supporting cast is present, the art is crudely done, and Doc is an amoralDesignated Hero. "Meet The Doctor" is considered the real first issue and "Issue One Half" is basically getting the Broad Strokes treatment.
Enemy Mime: Donald McBonald, even if he dresses like a clown. He even mimes a working parachute after jumping from a window.
Everybody Laughs Ending: All the King’s Dirtbikes and All the King’s Menends with Dr McNinja, Gordito, the President of the United States, and one of her aides laughing at King Radical having become “just another person hiding out waiting for the right time to kill [Dr McNinja]”.
Alt Text: I guess it's kinda funny if you’re stressed or something.
Justified; in "Dr. McNinja's Final Thoughts" for that issue, Doc even points out that those particular clones were created using inferior, outdated technology, and were so unbelievably shitty that they literally melted after they died. Then he plays a video showing how they were going to start literally falling to pieces at any minute anyway.
The Alt Text to this page explicitly spells it out:
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is proud to participate in the long history of fantasy stories being a place where characters can be completely unabashed speciesist jerks.
Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Zombies, ghost wizards, vampires, resurrected Ben Franklin and Hitler, drugs that confer ninja skills, Headless Horsemen, superheroes, a disease that turns you into Paul Bunyan, and cloned dinosaurs, thieving lobsters and a mafia led by a radical dirtbiker (...and a world-ending Mayan tennis machine. Seriously.)
Yet a third with no punctuation. Though it's a bit understandable, since Doc looks up just in time to see what appears to be a solid sheet of Christmas in July coming straight down at him from a clear sky.
Fluffy the Terrible: What is the identity of the strange motorcycle that appears to brainwash the people riding it, and manipulated the Doc into bisecting the last rider and destroying the last known supply of True Dew? A unicorn. Named Sparklelord. Also...
Dr. McNinja: I shall. Name you. Yoshi.
Footnote Fever: The dinosaur-riding banditos speak English with a sprinkling of Spanish, which is always translated in footnotes. Even when the meaning is clear. Even when the word appears multiple times in the same panel.
Doc seeing his younger self via time hole while chasing after King Rad through the caves.
Related to the above, Doc is jumping through time, reliving his memories in the past. But then he "jumps too far ahead," to a memory in the future.
In A Cumberland Ninja in Kind Radical's Court, Chuck tries to read a book, but gives up, throws it away, and announces "This is boring!". A couple of pages later, King Radical does the exact same thing with a pamphlet. The next storyline reveals that they are alternate versions of the same person.
Gainax Ending: The Space Savers arc ends with King Radical and a bunch of children who all have beards.
Gallows Humor: How do the creators celebrate an anniversary in their comic? By having something bad happen to the Doctor (year 1: Doc gets shot to what is apparently his death.; year 3: His office explodes in a fiery hellstorm.
Gordito also shows his savviness as early as the D.A.R.E arc, and doubles as Tempting Fate on Franklin's part.
Benjamin Franklin: But the excitement does get to you! I suppose this lifestyle isn't so bad.
Gordito: Ah, don't! Dude, in "this lifestyle" if you say something like that it's pretty much like pushing a "make the situation worse button". It's the opposite of what they have at the office supply store. [A helicopter appears] See? That's Schrodinger's helicopter right there.
Benjamin Franklin: Well it can only be more ninjas and we've had no problem with those so far.
Gordito: Oh please keep talking.
And before that, a pirate is trying to talk Dr. McNinja into telling him where his family lives. After being told "No", the pirate then suggests "Perhaps if you had a montage of thoughts of the times yer mother were mean to ye." Which did the trick.
To elaborate, because he so often helps the police, the mayor made a deal with Doc that he could get away with any of the laws he broke while doing his Batman ninja thing if he got to his office before the police did and said "Base!"
Giant Mecha: Part of King Radical's master plan involves turning all of Cumberland into this by installing haunted wood in every house in the city and using magic to merge them into one of these...because it's RADICAL.
Washington D.C. was designed to be this, but due to budget restraints it was never completed.
Girls with Moustaches: A prank by King Radical results in a bunch of kids, girls included, ending up with bushy beards.
Girls can contract Paul Bunyan's disease, which may overlap with Gender Bender.
Gone Horribly Right: Since Mitzi and Dan didn't know how to raise a kid to be a ninja, when Doc was a kid they introduced him to Batman comics to inspire him. Doc's obsession with being Batman hasn't let off the gas since.
Goshdang It To Heck: "Damn," "ass," and "hell" are about as bad as the profanity gets. Anything stronger is visually bleeped out or amusingly censored (i.e. "You have got to be [flarking] [pooping] me.")
Additionally, the Doctor's standard expression of surprise or dismay is the exceedingly mild "Oh my goodness."
Hand Wave: "Ninja tricks" is the explanation given for how the ninja characters can eat, shower, and brush their teeth without revealing their faces, as Dan McNinja demonstrates by eating a bagel without removing his mask. (He still has to cut a hole in front to reveal his mustache, however.)
Haunted Headquarters: NASA headquarters is inhabited by THE NASAGHASTS, which attack anyone who dares to harm astronauts within the building.
Haunted Technology: The tennis machine of the Tennis Temple is fuelled by the ghosts of all the former champions. Recovering the knowledge he used to build that machine is a key component of King Radical's scheme, using it to modify the Cumberland zombie defence system.
Headless Horseman: Dracula, from his moon base, hatches a plot to turn the clone of Benjamin Franklin into a headless horseman in order to find out more about the afterlife. The headless horseman was chosen because it retains its physical form. Turns out they can also travel through space.
Heroic Dolphin: The story Death Volley has the implication of dolphins getting revenge on Agent Bearclaw. His story: "One time I swam out to sea, and pretended to be injured so that dolphins would swim up to rescue me. I did this so that I could kill them with my bare hands."
Hired Guns: In "Death Volley", the doctor is constantly harassed by a gun-toting masked assassin. It turns out the assassin is his ex, Hortense, and the client is the doctor's parents King Radical.
Hollywood Hacking: Played with. Dan's response to seeing King Radical's giant robot formed from all the buildings in Cumberland and powered by planks of wood harvested from a haunted forest? Tell Sean to "Hack it." It remains to be seen if Sean actually can hack it, but he did say he doesn't know if he can.
Do you think I run around with a twelve year old boy just because I like his inferior grasp of girls and higher level math? Do you think I left him with my psychotic parents because I wanted him to die? No, you undead pale ponce! Gordito is the effing badass kid. So go ahead and finish up your masterful scheme to make me let you kill me, because Gordito's going to slap around whatever ghost lackey you have like he was a pinata on the Mexican day of the dead."
The Mummy that accompanies Archibald King of the Hoboes, which grants him immortality and protects him from assassination attempts.
I Am One of Those Too: Subverted — Sean calls Gordito out on his inner geekiness, only to backpedal rapidly as he realizes he has just revealed his own.
Impossibly Awesome Magic Trick: There's a flashback to Gordito's father, the Great Flying Shooting Juan (a sharpshooting trapeze artist magician) performing a card trick. The volunteer chooses a card, places it back in the deck, and throws the entire deck into the air. Juan shoots the card in midair... but the volunteer can't find the card afterwards. Then he gets a call on his cell phone...
Volunteer: That was the police. The man who robbed my house... they finally caught him because he was shot in the upper thigh... There was a queen of diamonds in his pocket.
In the Monster Mart story, Marty tries to threaten some thugs, it doesn't work, he piles up some barrels of flammable liquid behind him, smashes them and tries again, framed by the firey explosion. It works.
Insane Troll Logic: The Axe Cop crossover proves that, yes, there are some things too crazy to make sense even in this comic.
Axe Cop: If bad guys steal this book [that forces you to be on their team]... I'll chop your head off. After I kill all the bad guys you can heal yourself with your doctor power.
McNinja: Just... Just protect the book, okay?
Captain O'Shay: For each one of my men ye touch, I will kill five members of yer family. (Dr. McNinja glances at the three other members of his family, tied up and on the edge of the plank) Dr. McNinja: ...that math does not work out at all.
Jaw Breaker: Doc does it to a zombie. Since it was undead, it doesn't really kill the thing, but it does prevent it from biting him.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Many later chapters have an increasing amount of call backs to previous weird events, proving they were actually perfectly logical. Quite unexpected, since there is so much weirdness going on, we didn't really think about it. Until everything (broadly) is explained by King Radical.
Knight Templar: King Radical just wants to make the world radical... even if it means killing billions.
Kryptonite Factor: The Doctor's special anti-ninja drug, which he created to stop Frans Rayner and his personal army of "drug ninjas". After getting a lot of flack for hoarding the drug, he defended his actions by stating that he had "created his own Kryptonite" and therefore wasn't going to let it out of his control.
Lampshade Hanging: And what wonderful lampshading it is! It's everywhere, even in the Alt Text. At one point, McNinja's Genre Savvy self can't lampshade a plot because he's laughing too hard at the inanity of it all.
Law of Inverse Recoil: Subverted. When Gordito, who is physically less than five feet tall, and weighs maybe a hundred pounds, fires a shotgun, the recoil might reasonably be expected to knock him over. Instead, it propels him in an arc over the desk behind him and into a chair with enough force to topple it. Played straight with Doc a page or two later.
Lethal Chef: Mitzi's pickled beets are apparently just this side of edible, even when they're not poisoned.
Lotus-Eater Machine: When Sean McNinja is possessed by the Wizard Ghost he sees his father giving him a highly uncharacteristic hug while saying "computers are kinda cool", embracing his nerdy side. This was a part of the Ghost's possession process.
Dr McLuchador sets the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services on fire, sends him off a skateboard trick ramp and into a tub of murky liquid. The liquid completely heals the burns within seconds, proving to the people of Cumberland that McLuchador is a very competent doctor. And proving to King Radical that he is radical.
Mayincatec: The Inocktec in "Death Volley": an ancient, generically-South-American people who invented the game of tennis and whose "tennis temple" houses a device (supposedly) capable of destroying the entire world.
Mighty Lumberjack: Lumberjacking makes people susceptible to Paul Bunyan's Disease, which causes those it affects to turn into a giant lumberjack who is "enraged at how many trees still stand within his vicinity."
Mock Guffin: The book of Inocktek technology from "Death Volley" supposedly contains all the great cultural and technological treasures of the ancient Inocktek people. However, when it gets translated, it turns out to be twelve hundred pages about how great tennis is (with a healthy amount of racist overtones). Later we learn that the real book, that contains the secrets of the Radical Land, actually got switched out by Hortense on the plane ride back to the USA.
Moody Mount: Yoshi the raptor won't let anyone but Gordito ride him. Unless Gordito is in danger.
Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Even though doctors are sworn to take no life, there's no shortage of grisly deaths at the hands of the titular character.
Mundane Afterlife: Purgatory is a restaurant. With really bad service. The worst. The existence of Heaven and Hell is implied, however.
"That was... the most menacing promise of dine and dash I've ever seen."
How can shamrocks be made cool? By having frozen versions of them be used as throwing stars.
Mundane Utility: According to the Alt Text from this page: "Everything in the McNinja household has hidden displays for security alerts. They are also wired to the microwave, so they know when pizza bagels are done."
Musical Assassin: Doc becomes one when he runs out of holy weapons to use against the third Nasaghast. Inspired by a memory of his dad, he proceeds to spend four pages doing nothing except humming the theme from Ghostbusters. It begins with him tentatively humming it, but culminates with him screaming the finale as he does this and then this.
Dan: Well, we'll never be sure, but I don't think he'd just call.
No Name Given: Lampshaded with "Now I know you've never been to my office, so you've never seen the degree that hangs by my desk. So I will let you know — it's made out to Dr. McNinja, not Judas McNinja." Later handwaved when talking to his clone, "You never told anybody our name, did you? 'Cause, you know... the wizard."
No One Could Survive That: Despite glaring Death in the face, Frans Rayner survived falling off of a cliff and landing on sharp rocks. When the rocks pierced his head, he swallowed half of his brain to prevent damage to it.
Not So Different: King Radical, not unlike Chuck, is just trying to save his own universe (albeit in a manner that'll kill millions). Justified, since he's the Radical Land counterpart of Chuck (when he was pronounced Sicknasty of Spades is supplanted his old name).
When Doc, undercover as Dr McLuchador, has to take the ninja drug from D.A.R.E. He's internally freaking out over the fact that it was never tested on a life-trained, natural born ninja. And then he gets a double dose.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In a particularly strange way, too. Sean/Dark Smoke Puncher uses a lot of slang to try and conceal from his parents that he's a nerd. Occasionally, he'll forget it, or in the case of this strip, he forgets, and tries to tack it on at the end.
Sean: Yeah, this is a prototype. It's designed to set off a contained chemical reaction so that whatever it's blowing up immediately converts to harmless fiber. It's a way to limit collateral damage...dawg.
The Doctor himself is one of the few examples that's actually justified. He split himself into a number of clones, each of which went off and got a degree in a specific field. After a few years, the original and all of the clones rejoined into one body, the Doctor we know today, with all of the knowledge acquired from the clones.
Except for Agricultural Sciences. That one clone was accidentally left out of the recombining process.
Only a Flesh Wound: Usually played straight, but averted at a critical moment. Doc's many injuries missed his arteries and vital organs, but they were clearly life-threatening because he'd lost so much blood. Doc immediately left the field of battle and didn't return until he'd patched himself back up.
Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Smoke Puncher revealed himself to be a Nerd when he called Gordito out for trying to impress his father with a line he ripped from The Dark Tower, which Gordito quickly realises he would only know if he read the book.
Dan McNinja: OH YOU SONS OF SEA COWS WILL WISH YOU HAD NEVER BEEN BORN WITH LIMBS ON YOUR BODIES! BECAUSE I'M GOING TO COME ONTO THAT SHIP AND SHOW YOU HOW MANY DELICIOUS STOCKS AND BRAISES I CAN MAKE WITH THEM!
Also here. Keep in mind that our protagonist is already a doctor and is already dressed in full medical garb, so his disguise consists of a nametag. It is apparantly not the first time he's done this. To that particular doctor either.
Lampshaded here.The nasaghasts believe Doc was trying to fool them by putting on another astronaut's suit. This just annoys them further.
Dan: Ha. Alright kids, not bad. Not bad. How about a drink in honor of all your beginners luck? Here. I'll pour you a Molson. It's got a higher alcohol content than most American beers. And maybe that will help sterilize all those cuts on your face. Punk: Uh, what cuts, my man? *SMASH* Dan: I have no idea.
Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Dark Smoke Puncher, though he does it so his parents won't find out how nerdy he really is (though Doc does remark that it sounds like he stole the name from someone he beat in Counter-Strike).
Product Placement: In this strip as an April Fool's Day gag. The page was edited back to normal on April 2. For those who missed it, Dr. McNinja was wearing a red t-shirt of himself instead of his labcoat.
Pseudo Crisis: Played for laughs. In this comic, the Doc is shown being caught by a cop, which would derail his mission. The next comic reminds you "HE IS A NINJA." and skips entirely over how he dealt with the cop.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Not so much "punch" as "sword swing", as when Doc desperately swings at the final Nasaghast's head but is horrorstruck when his sword simply passes through it without doing any damage.
Beeman, a Batman wannabe, faces several bank robbers with guns. They open fire on him, he gracefully flips through the air....and then flops across the floor, riddled with bullets.
The only ones who can defeat a powerful, self-resurrecting demon are those of the Belstein family's "pure" bloodline. So, to keep the bloodline pure, they engaged in inbreeding, resulting in the last of the Belstein line being a crippled invalid.
At the end of the "D.A.R.E" story arc, Doc flat out admits to the audience that the villain's plan to take over the world wouldn't have worked out for a large number of reasons because just to take over America he would've had to have somehow murdered and replaced every single person in both the Judiciary and Legislative branches of government, including the President himself. Not that it would matter due to the massive amounts of constituional red tape keeping him from going much further than that.
Reasonable Authority Figure: After a time-traveller from a dystopian future sits down with Cyberdyson to explain how their robotic vacuum cleaners eventually become sentient and take over the world, Cyberdyson makes sure the culprit chip is never put into production. Later on, the President is shown to be a decent, reasonable person who just wants to save her country during the events of "All the King's Dirtbikes and All the King's Men." She does get a little overexcited at the prospect of piloting a giant raptor-eagle robot, but who wouldn't?
Retcon: On January 30 2012, the return of the McNinja burger in-comic, Hastings went and changed all "McDonald's" references to "McBonalds" so that he wouldn't have any legal issues printing the book later, including a modified logo and renaming Ronald McDonald to Donald McBonald. The protest signs on this page only had strokes added over the D's to change them to B's, rather than the letters being redrawn.
About what King Radical is actually planning: The world of Dr McNinja was created when bleed off from our universe and the Radical Land mixed together. King Radical's master plan is to merge the two universes completely, replacing all the Muggles (including his Army of the Common Man) with Radical citizens, but leaving everyone already Radical (like most of the main characters) untouched.
Of King Radical's identity: King Radical is the version of Charles "Chuck" Goodrich from the Radical Lands!
The Rival: Doctor McLuchadore is this to Dr. McNinja. Apparently the former's tendency to treat his patients via insane wrestling moves got on the latter's nerves and the ninja-doctor ran the wrestler-doctor out.
King Radical defies this with his office, it's completely normal and bland with a plain desk loaded with paperwork and a water cooler against the wall; it's because he hates paperwork, so he made his office as lame as possible so that he doesn't want to spend time there.
This actually gets an in-universe explanation. The McNinja universe is crammed in-between the Radical Lands and our universe in the multiverse, and there's some bleed-over from both due to the vortex below Cumberland.
Screw Yourself: Dan suspects it of the Doc and his clone. "It's what any of us would do!"
Sdrawkcab Alias: Lampshaded. It's pretty easy for the Doctor to figure out who "Mr. Alucard" is. It's not as obvious for Benjamin Franklin II, which brings us to an arc that was almost 2 years long. Doc's reaction says it all.
Secret Stab Wound: Doc spends over an hour being pummelled by a gorilla before knocking it out with Pressure Point technique. He then nonchalantly says he "needed a nap", (having been unconscious for most of the fight), and retires to a private room to "clean up". He then leans over a nearby washbasin and pulls out the bottom of his mask, causing blood to pour out.
Doc's plan to clone himself in order to study everything he wants to in only eight years and then reunite the duplicates at the end is almost identical to a plan that Jamie Madrox (aka Multiple Man) pulled off in an issue of X-Factor.
And the alt-text even mentions the similarities to a certain character from Harry Potter.
Shown Their Work: The Alt Text usually confirms what they've studied in regards to things such as blood transfusions or submarine classes.
One hilarious example is a sequence involving decompression on an airplane, the dramatic "hole blown in the side" type. While the sequence is proceeding, the Alt Text goes on about how Hastings asked his dad (who had flown a similar plane) what would probably happen, but decided to go with Rule of Cool.
In "Why A Gorilla?", which takes place during Doc's college days, he gives a presentation on vampire myths, indicating that it's true vampires don't resolve on film. Afterward, a student excitedly asks if a bunch of other myths are true, including whether or not vampires are compelled to count rice if you throw it on the ground. A couple pages later, Doc escapes a pair of vampires by doing exactly this, and threatens that if they attack him again, he's telling everyone that myth is real. The Alt Text suggests burying loved ones with a bag of sand if you suspect they might be vampires to keep them busy—an actual 'remedy' included in early vampire myths.
Sky Pirates: Kidnapped the Doc. Thought they kidnapped the Doc, but it was actually his clone. Later, Gordito singlehandedly kills them all because he gets stuck behind on the ship.
Slow Clap: Dan McNinja thinks the first recorded Slow Clap was delivered by the ninja who witnessed the ancient McNinjas staving off a Pirate attack. Then the Alt Text informs us that this is incorrect: the first Slow Clap was Peter's reaction upon seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead.
The Slow Path: Taken by Mayor Chuck Goodrich after his plan to sabotage the McNinja clones goes wrong.
Smoke Out: Played straight more often than not. Subverted once, when Doc deployed a smoke bomb as a startled response to encountering someone in public he was trying to avoid.
Strong as They Need to Be: The Nasaghasts seem to work under this. Two are dispatched in short order by the doctor, and the third taken by surprise and almost killed. Then it flies into space, catches and throws back a launched missile, and returns in a surprising Big Damn Heroes moment to save Chuck. Unfortunately, it only acts when astronauts are being immediately threatened and stands by passively while the newly-released second Horrorsaurus tears through the human army (seeing as he's the only NASA astronaut present). But then the Horrorsaurus kills Chuck. And the Nasaghast grows to immense size and rips the Horrorsaurus apart.
Super Cell Reception: The doctor getting phone reception while traveling through space. He didn't lose his connection until he started atmospheric re-entry. It's lampshaded in the Alt Text that the other end of the call was in a submarine.
Dr. McNinja: I'm really sorry, but it looks like the test confirmed it, and your cancer is back. But I do have some good news. Patient: "Didja save a bunch of money on your car insurance, Doc?" Dr. McNinja: ... "If any doctor were ever to say that they would lose their license immediately. Do you really think that's funny?" Patient: "It's a funny commercial on TV!" Dr. McNinja: "Is cancer funny to you? Is cancer funny to you?!" Patient: "I'm sorry." Dr. McNinja: "You should be."
After running a poll to determine whether to shade the comic or only use line drawings, Hastings decided to hire another person on to the McNinja team to do the coloring.
In AWOL MD, Gordito has to figure out which teacher at school is actually a demon. Since the demon only showed up recently, he checks which teachers are new, and finds that there are only two new teachers; the Gym teacher and the English teacher. He ends up being wrong either way, because the demon actually pulled a Dead Person Impersonation of the Math teacher.
Theme Naming: The titles of Radical Land's knights are based on card suits. Ron Wizard is Sir Cowabunga of Clubs, King Radical/Charles 'Chuck' Goodrich was once Sir Sicknasty of Spades, Sparklelord was Sir Hellacious of Hearts, and there was also Dame Dudeical of Diamonds.
Arguably he could just be showing his True Colors as an outlaw with good intentions, very much like the Doctor (the difference being is that the Doctor isn't officially an outlaw; he just has to call "BASE!" to keep his record clean). Until The Reveal that is.
Virgin Power: Sparklelord was a unicorn disguised as a motorcycle(long story). It chose Doc to ride it and at the end of the arc, Gordito pointed out that unicorns usually only approach virgins. Doc tries to justify Sparkelord's choice in a way that implies that Doc is a virgin and doesn't want to admit it.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Subverted and played for gallows humor: The Doctor thinks (almost) nothing of occasionally killing security guards and drug-enhanced ninja mooks, and he gets chewed out for this, big time.
And the church is probably cool with it, too!
This is a major plot point in the first arc, where the Doctor actually has nightmares of all the mooks he killed coming back as zombies to get him. When the zombies actually DO come, he truly believes they wanted to came back to life just to get revenge.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Doc has no moral conflicts about unleashing his awesome-fu on anything the Hippocratic Oath doesn't cover (robots, zombies, etc.)
Bearclaw is haunted to the point of paranoia by his previous treatment of dolphins when a group of them rescue him.
And when McNinja learns that a future disaster he's asked to prevent (hyper-intelligent dinosaurs take over the Earth) is not a scheme of King Radical, and thus in that future King Radical's plans have failed, he suggests he might not be interested in preventing it. Gordito subtly shows his disapproval.
And when Doc distracts his brother, who is in the process of fighting dinosaurs.
Neatly subverted in the "AWOL MD" arc After explaining that he and Chuck faked their deaths to ultimately hide from the demon (Chuck) and infiltrate King Radical's gang (Doc). Gordito and the McNinja family point out the effects this had on them. Doc then states that the future King Radical told him that present day KR was up to something. When Doc becomes part of the gang, he can see what was going to happen.
Judy gives Mcninja another one later on when he cuts down the haunted forest for King Radical
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Dracula has grown bored with life, so he's planning to effectively commit suicide soon. But first, he wants to know what awaits him in the afterlife.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted and lampshaded when King Radical contracts the mummy curse and asks Dr McNinja (undercover as Dr McLuchador) to cure him.
Dr McNinja (to himself) I could just let him die. Moral Quandry!
Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The sheer ridiculousness of most of the comic's storylines means that most fans eventually reach a point where its too much, and they can't believe it any more. The recommended therapy is to keep reading; it will pass in time.
The World Is Always Doomed: If the various Bad Futures that the various Chucks keep coming back to fix are any indication. Stop a zombie apocalypse, evil robot uprising. Stop that, dinosaur invasion. Stop that, sentient vacuum cleaners. Stop that, etc.
World of Badass: What King Radical wants to turn the city into. As it turns out, Dr. McNinja's dimension sits halfway between King Radical's awesome world, and a really mundane one. Ours. Or at least, one much like it.
World of Chaos: Dr. McNinja's world is already a World of Weirdness. The Radical Lands take this Up to Eleven. Everything follows Rule of Cool, the rituals are bizarre, and nearly everything is sentient, including the land itself. In fact, the Radical Lands are so awesome, that Dr. McNinja's world has to force any element of them that gets imported to be reduced to something more mundane, just to avoid breaking reality.