by Chris Doucette. Hosted at
game, starting several years before the events of the game, when the highly dysfunctional group was still running top secret missions for good old Uncle Sam. The comic is mostly a combination of
) and a deconstruction of life within a quirky miniboss squad where everyone hates one another. Throw in a pinch of
and a metric fuckton of swearing to accompany the antics, and the recipe is complete.
increasingly takes hold, and the gags get put on hold more and more for the deconstructions and showing the group becoming involved with/aware of
, their decision to turn rogue against the United States and attempt to revolt against the Patriots, right up until the inevitable conflict with Snake at Shadow Moses.
In a rare accomplishment for a webcomic, the story completed its entire arc, and the complete 500 comic long strip (plus some filler) can be found at the gigaville archive.
Doucette's has since started a new project on doctorshrugs, a hybrid webcomic/browser game called
was released in July 21, 2013. It is available
- Abusive Dad: Big Boss royally screwed Liquid Snake up during his lifetime and then after it because Liquid hallucinates him. And later, as it turns out Liquid isn't (presumably) hallucinating at all: Big Boss is literally haunting his son, and at one point possesses his body.
- Absolute Cleavage: Parodied, as apparently why Sniper Wolf looks like that is because her shirt was accidentally shrunk from a more reasonable neckline.
- Affectionate Parody
- Alas, Poor Villain: Most of the characters are Doomed by Canon, and played for sympathy.
- Anachronism Stew: This strip contains a link to a YTMND featuring Darth Vader's infamous Big "NO!". Metal Gear Solid is set in the early winter of 2005, whereas Revenge of the Sith came out in May of that year, several months after the events of the game.
- Angrish: Here.
- Anti Villains: Well, possibly...
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Psycho Mantis, a freaking psychic, has some narrow ideas about what to accept as plausible to believe in.
- Like ghosts. He doesn't believe in ghosts until The Sorrow puts him through his "test". Which is Hilarious in Hindsight considering that in Metal Gear Solid 4, Mantis comes back as a ghost.
- And talking/psychic wolves.
Berthold: (a psychic talking wolf for those playing at home) A telepath? No freaking way. ...Yes, I get the irony, Liquid, thank you.
- Artistic License – Biology: Played for laughs with The Pain, whose status as a living Bee Bee Gun is attributed with his mother's constant craving for sweets leading to The Pain being born with honey DNA.
- Played for laughs even more prominently with all the bastardised genetics that get thrown about, particularly by Liquid, much to Mantis' vehement frustration (see also: Brick Joke).
- Artistic License – Physics: Ocelot's reaction to the fact that the blast furnace in Shadow Moses is directly next to the cold storage.
Ocelot: (To Liquid over Codec) Okay, yeah, I'm with you. The guy who designed this place can just go to hell.
- Ask a Stupid Question...:
Naomi: (about Decoy Octopus) And would you tell me why he's bound and gagged?
Mantis: So that he can't move or talk?
Naomi: Never mind.
- Author Tract: Mantis is the typical mouthpiece, mostly about Hideo Kojima's lazy research into genetics, but he also goes into a rather vulgar rant in this post about the 2004 elections. Naomi supplements Mantis' rants with more reasonable but just as frustrated objections.
- Badass Army: All of FOXHOUND qualifies (excluding the Genome Soldiers, of course).
- Implacable Man: Liquid's defining trait of badassery.
- Badass Normal: Several members of FOXHOUND lack any sort of special powers; Liquid is exceptionally skilled at infiltration and CQC, and is virtually unkillable, Wolf is nothing but a normal human being who has received training from the best and is exceptionally-determined as well as being capable of remaining completely motionless in wait for a target for days (and constantly on sedatives that, combined with aforementioned training, gives her aim approaching Ocelot levels), and Vulcan Raven mostly lacks any genuinely useful powers, merely using a BFG to kill things. A lot. Also, the DARPA Chief Donald Anderson. I'm completely serious.
- Berserk Button: Everyone in the comic has a few, even Raven, an Inuit shaman. Here's a couple:
- Bilingual Bonus: Old Boy.
- Bizarrchitecture: Mocked in regards to the Shadow Moses Island facility having a blast furnace right near a cold storage room.
Ocelot: ...(goes into blast furnace) Blast furnace. (Goes back into cold storage warehouse) Cold storage.
(calls Liquid on codec)
Ocelot: Yeah, okay, I'm with you. The guy who designed this place can just go to hell.
- Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics / Improbable Aiming Skills: Ocelot. And how improbable? This improbable.
- Brick Joke: strip 246 features Ghost Liquid going on a completely misguided and inaccurate spiel about dominant and recessive genes. Raven notes that Mantis "is gonna have a conniption" if and when he finds out what Liquid's "learned". Then comes strip 427 where Liquid suggests consulting the book "American Journal of Inaccurate Genetics: Volume 19" to fix the Genome Soldiers' oncoming gene malfunctions. Cue Mantis literally foaming at the mouthpiece. For more laughs, guess what the title of strip 427 is.
- Calling Card: Fatman claims his is leaving a giant pile of rubble behind.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Liquid against Big Boss.
- Character Development: Liquid, incredibly. He starts out even more ridiculous than he was in the game, and becomes somewhat less so.
- Once Liquid decides to rebuild Outer Heaven and becomes the leader of FOXHOUND, he has upgraded in competence to the point where the rest of the team actually listen to him. Occasionally, at least. Despite the fact that the continue to squabble and bitch like crazy, pretty much every one of them - with the exception of Ocelot (maybe?) - become, to some degree, Sarcastic Devotees. Even Mantis pays him attention... although that doesn't stop things like this from happening.
- Character Exaggeration: Most of the squad's personalities are exaggeration of the characters they're based on, although not to excess and still well balanced with real characterization. Sometimes it's just funnier that way.
- Chekhov's Lecture: According to The Sorrow in this strip, spirits can't take control of bodies that aren't their own. Octopus using a dead person's blood and clones like Liquid are loopholes to this, as are body parts grafted onto the living.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Named the trope. He treats the condition with periodic pulls off an inhaler of "Thioazurilamide" and in one Mailbag, advises against using "Thioazurilamine," which is a cheap knock-off with "some nasty side effects, such as grogginess, shaky hands, and a desire to watch WB's award winning drama Gilmore Girls." Thioazurilamide "may be a bit more expensive, but is well worth it in order to live a steady-handed life free of teenage angst soap operas."
- Despite what at first seems to just be a rather off-the-cuff gag, there's actually a very good reason that Ocelot has Chronic Backstabbing Disorder when you find out what his past with the Patriots is.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Liquid is half made of this, at least in the beginning, and Otacon falls into it occasionally in his ditzier moments. To point, use the box, Liquid!
- Coat, Hat, Mask: Decoy Octopus' self-image is basically a hat and trench coat, with nothing inside them. When asked why so, he says he's a Bogart fan.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Every named character's speech bubble is a different color, which makes it handy to pick out who's saying what, especially in text-heavy strips.
- Compelling Voice: Mantis. It doesn't work on other psychics (except Eddie, and since he's stated to be a relatively weak telepath, it can be assumed that Mantis just psychically overpowered him), Consummate Liars, or people with special nanomachines.
- Compensating for Something: Nope, I'm definitely not looking at you, Raven. Or implying anything. Or even thinking of implying anything, so please don't hurt me!
- Conspicuously Selective Perception: Spoofed repeatedly.
- Continuity Snarl: Putting aside certain revelations in later games, this strip shows Otacon already knowing about the stealth missile launcher on REX's railgun. In the actual game, he only just learns about it toward the end of the game.
- Covert Group: The FOXHOUND unit.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Liquid.
- Cuteness Proximity: Sniper Wolf's reaction to Berthold's half-dog pups. He is less than thrilled.
Wolf: Aren't you ze cutest? Yes, you are! Yes, you are.
Berthold: Fantastic, she's a grandma.
- Deconstructive Parody
- Defictionalisation In Chapter 150, it shows what appears to be a LiveJournal account for Dr Naomi Hunter detailing her activities, then it shows Ocelot reading that journal. Well, guees what...the journal actually exists
- Depraved Bisexual: Vamp, much to Big Boss's dismay.
- Ditzy Genius: The comic goes to pains to show exactly how ditzy Otacon would have to be in order to build a walking nuclear death tank while thinking that he was designing a missile defense system. Also includes a tremendous amount of mocking him for it.
- There's Mei Ling, who starts her powerpoint presentation of nanotechnology with a picture of Hello Kitty.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Revolver Ocelot.
Psycho Mantis: You must spend every day pretending to act like you're falsely letting on that you aren't not unbetraying someone you don't not purport to allegedly not work for but really do! How do you keep all this shit straight without having an aneurysm?
- Does Not Like Women: Psycho Mantis has a somewhat irrational phobia of direct contact with women, to the extent that he doesn't want Sniper Wolf touching him, even though he is about to fall off a cliff.
- Doomed by Canon: Most of the cast is literally doomed by the canon, since you do kill them in the game.
- Downer Ending: Though to anyone who's played the game, it's no surprise. Still sucks after getting to know all of them.
- Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe, Revolver Ocelot, to the point that Sniper Wolf develops a short-lived crush on him, despite knowing what a horrible person he is.
- Dramatic Irony: Liquid and the rest of FOXHOUND's epiphany about the Patriots and decision to revolt against them comes simultaneously with the revelation that Ocelot is a Patriot agent who is manipulating everybody. The last half of the comic makes no effort to hide the fact that at the same time Liquid and co. are planning the Shadow Moses Incident none the wiser, Ocelot is plotting to screw over his teammates, painstakingly orchestrating their eventual deaths and manipulating their efforts to benefit the Patriots anyway. And if you've played the game, you know he succeeds. The only person who knows in-universe is Mantis, who can't tell anybody except for in the most vague and unconvincing of terms.
- Dramatic Thunder: Invoked and lampshaded.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: By virtue of the comic's Foregone Conclusion, in the comic itself the fate of 95% of the cast is dealt with in a single strip. You know it's coming, but after getting to know the characters for 498 strips straight, the suddenness of it all is actually quite a Tear Jerker.
- Dumb Is Good: Ocelot and Mantis are the smartest members of the team, but also by far and large the nastiest. Otacon is the nicest regular but is a Ditzy Genius writ large. Averted with Genius Bruiser Raven, who is at worst an Anti-Villain and is the wisest member of the group.
- Egopolis: Subverted. Liquid wanted to rename Outer Heaven into Liquidia, but no one supported the idea.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted in one of the mailbags. A reader asks what Ocelot would do if he ran into Bin Laden. Ocelot breaks the fourth wall to say that, even if the comic portrays the villains as funny, "There are some villains so hideous, so much a threat to everything America and human decency holds dear, that they make people of all different backgrounds and beliefs put aside their differences and come together just to take that scum of the earth down." And therefore, Ocelot would shoot Bin Laden as soon as he saw him...otherwise Bin Laden would take Ocelot into the UN for his war crimes.
- The line is all about Rule of Funny, but when you think about it this actually makes a fair amount of sense. A lot of Ocelot's war crimes were committed in Afghanistan against the mujaheddin who later became the Taliban, Bin Laden's allies.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Ocelot is definitely gay for Big Boss, just like in canon.
Liquid: Do any of you guys not have a crush on my dad?!
- Expressive Mask: Psycho Mantis.
- Fangirl: Mei Ling.
- Faux Affably Evil
- Five-Man Band/Five-Bad Band: They tend to fit more into the archetype of Five-Man Band considering that only Ocelot and Mantis could really sit comfortably in the "Evil" category, but considering that they are a Quirky Miniboss Squad...
- Flat "What.": Mantis. Liquid. Mantis again.
- Foregone Conclusion
Liquid: That sucked.
Big Boss: You suck.
- Foreshadowing: When Liquid defuses the hostage situation/Mexican Standoff in the drugstore, Ocelot is the only one who needs more convincing to drink the water. Ocelot is immune to telepathy.
- Fourth-Wall Mail Slot
- Freudian Threat: Berthold frequently makes more-or-less subtle threats to bite off other character's dicks if they don't do as they're told. At one point, Liquid comments on how often he uses that specific threat, and he basically just shrugs and goes "Hey, it works..."
- Freud Was Right: Commented on In-Universe during comic 50 when Mantis and Raven enter Liquid's mind and find it to be represented by an insanely tall skyscraper (with a small, grassy hill near the base):
Raven: Wow. Just wow.
Mantis: Freud would shit his pants.
- Gambit Pileup: Well, it is based on Metal Gear Solid:
Mantis: I remember ten minutes ago, when logic and sanity governed the universe. Gosh, those were great times.
Ocelot: Look, if you ignore the little details, it's really quite simple. For several years, you have been working for a Patriot who is actually President Sears, who was put in office by The Patriots and is now trying to gain power to be rid of their control. The Patriots, in order to circumvent his efforts, had me trick you into getting him to hire me as an agent. Now I'm just waiting for the right moment to screw him over.
Mantis: But it's all about the little details! I mean, you must spend every day pretending to act like you're falsely letting on that you aren't not unbetraying someone you don't not purport to allegedly not work for, but you really do! How do you keep all this shit straight without having an aneurysm?!
- Gatling Good: Raven sure thinks so.
- Genki Girl: Mei Ling again.
- The Ghost: Ironically, Solid Snake is the only character from Metal Gear Solid who doesn't appear in the comic, though his silhouette is seen several times in the final strips.
- Gilligan Cut: AFFIRMATIVE
- Glass Cannon: Odds are anyone in the world could tear Mantis' fragile body apart. Fortunately for Mantis, his mind reading ability lets him know what people are going to do and react accordingly.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Played with hilariously in one strip.
- Hands in Pockets: Naomi. Lampshaded early.
Gray Fox: So are your hands, like, glued to your pockets or something?
- He Knows Too Much: Scratch ends up decoding a document detailing Armstech, their development of Metal Gear REX, using Shadow Moses as the workshop/testing arena, and the bribes they paid to keep it on the downlow. Unfortunately, since he figured out Liquid was in the know about this and since Scratch found out a little too much for his own good, Scratch has to be neutralized. Liquid and Ocelot also have Mantis deal with Eddie due to the latter's telepathy.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Mantis. At one point, Ocelot contemplates killing him by surrounding him with big breasted women chanting "Give us babies" and forcing him to flee onto railroad tracks, but decides it would be too much trouble.
- Psycho Mantis elaborates on this in one of the mailbags, revealing that he is in fact extraordinarily sexually repressed:
"Why do I recoil from the touch of the 'fairer' sex? Because my ancient Neanderthalic heritage is telling me to jump on that pony and breed my brains out."
- The other reason is stated in-game. Because people apparently think about sex all the time, he's grown disgusted by the very idea of it. Hey, if you had to read the mind of Max Hardcore every day, you'd be asexual too just for some freaking contrast.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Liquid starting here along with a Journey to the Center of the Mind.
- Later repeated with Ocelot, though that might have been part of his Xanatos Gambit.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Psycho Mantis, who uses his immense psychic powers mainly to cause lots and lots of problems for the other cast. The plain simple fact of the matter is that even in the game itself, he was in it solely to murder as many people as he could; the comic just plays it for laughs.
Raven: I think if Kant knew that one day you'd exist, he'd have built an exception into the Categorical Imperative.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen / He Who Must Not Be Heard: Solid Snake only occasionally appears towards the end of the comic... as a silhouette who doesn't get any lines.
- Hidden Depths: Psycho Mantis is a dick, but he's insightful sometimes, like when Berthold becomes a vegetable.
- Hollywood Hacking: Nano Jackal's method of getting into someone's account is to input every nine-letter combination into a password check.
- Ho Yay: Not nearly as much as you'd expect, considering the series, but hell, there's always Ocelot.
- Hypnosis-Proof Dogs: The comic reveals fairly early on that Sniper Wolf's pet wolf Berthold is a telepath. Then there's one instance when Psycho Mantis and Bert both attempt to brainwash Vulcan Raven in order to fork over a stealth device. Eventually, Mantis' mask gets taken off and as soon as he gets it back on, he realizes that Berthold was a telepath the entire time, perhaps as strong as him.
- Idiot Hero: The comic's explanation for Liquid's Narmtacular and idiotic statements and behavior in the original game is that he literally suffered brain damage just before the start of the comic.
- I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You:
Naomi: It's not that I have a problem with it. But why do they want that?
- I Hate Past Me: Subverted with Liquid at first, who, despite The Sorrow's best efforts, ends up gushing over his past self's brutality. However, this also played straight in the same instance as after Liquid is finished gushing over how cool he used to be... and finishes taking notes... he realises that being smart and using tactics to avoid having to kill people is just as important as, to quote, "being able to rip their faces off." The Sorrow is, on the one hand, quite pleased he eventually learnt his lesson, and on the other hand, endlessly frustrated that it took him so damn long to get it. In the aftermath Liquid condemns his past self for being manipulated by Big Boss into being a show-off with a ridiculous inferiority complex who would "cut off his own arm just to prove he could get by without it."
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Genome Soldiers.
Ocelot: Even if they're not a squadron of Big Bosses, I hope they get something out of this. Like being able to hit the broad side of a barn with a rocket launcher.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Take a guess.
- Intellectual Animal: Berthold, the telepathic wolf.
- Just One Man: A Running Gag is the fact that Big Boss was defeated by Solid Snake, a single man wielding a rocket launcher against a man in a Walking Tank. A lot of Liquid's precautions aim to make sure this doesn't happen again. Of course, he doesn't succeed.
- Karma Houdini: Ocelot, spending most of the comic's run manipulating and tormenting everyone left and right, escapes pretty much all of the karmic backlash and survives the events of Metal Gear Solid despite being disarmed. The last strip subverts this, however, as Liquid and Big Boss get their revenge on him from beyond the grave.
- Kick the Dog: Liquid is revealed to have had a few of these moments in his past, and then there's what happens when Scratch stumbles onto his plans to steal Metal Gear REX...
- Killed Off for Real: Barring the Foregone Conclusion victims, Scratch is neck-snapped by Liquid once the former becomes too aware of Armstech and Metal Gear REX for his own good. We don't see what Mantis does to Eddie but we can assume either this for a full on psychic lobotomy.
- Lamarck Was Right: Spoofed and lampshaded to hell and back. Yes, they're clones, but combat skills and badassery aren't genetic traits.
- Lampshade Wearing: Grey Fox does so.
Frank: I am thoroughly ashamed that worked.
- Lampshading: Being a parody of Metal Gear Solid, of course it's going to lampshade everything about it.
- The Last Title: The name of the webcomic.
- Loophole Abuse: In a guest comic, Psycho Mantis takes advantage of this.
Sign: NO Bicycles, Skateboards, Rollerskates.
Mantis: (to police officer) Count the wheels, chump. Mantis rides his unicycle wherever Mantis pleases.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Parodied.
Ocelot: There are things I must tell you, Mantis. Things only you can know.
Mantis: Like what?
Ocelot: I am your father, Mantis.
Mantis: No you're not. I killed my father when I was eight.
Ocelot: Yeah, I know. I just wanted to remind you of that.
- Made of Iron: Liquid. And how!
- Magic A Is Magic A
Liquid: How did The Sorrow put it? The only body a spirit can inhabit... is his own.
Big Boss: What a delightfully ambiguous rule.
- Magical Native American: Vulcan Raven.
- Mall Santa: Mantis tries to get a job as one, but is rejected. Ocelot is less than amused by the revelation.
- Meaningful Name: The characters in FOXHOUND tend to have names that suit their roles, like Revolver Ocelot, Psycho Mantis, etc. Subverted in some cases, like The Chinaman, who, despite his name, is Vietnamese.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: How Liquid defeats the cyborg ninja for the second time (after being impaled by his sword, no less).
- Mind Screw: Ocelot rather likes these.
Even if I can't kill you, I can still make your life miserable. Take that cup of coffee, for example. Maybe this morning, when you weren't looking, I poured a jar of my own urine into it while it was brewing. Or maybe not. Anyone else, you could read their mind and find out. But with me, you'll never know. So I think I'll have a very nice day, in fact. Enjoy your coffee.
- Model Planning: The gang planned their fight with clue pieces.
- Monster Progenitor: During Liquid's first visit to Shadow Moses Island, Berthold sleeps with three of the dogs there. They end up birthing the Wolf-Dogs you encounter in the caves between the Commander's Office and the corridor to the Communications Towers.
- Mooks: The Genome Soldiers.
Ocelot: Seriously, where did we get these mouth-breathers? Storm-Troopers 'R' Us?
- More Dakka: Raven's a believer in it.
Subtlety is a thing for philosophy, not combat. If you're going to kill somebody, you might as well kill them a whole lot.
- Motivational Lie: Big Boss told Liquid that he was an inferior clone to Solid Snake in order to push him to excel.
- Mushroom Samba: Here.
- Must Have Caffeine: Do not get between Psycho Mantis and his coffee.
- Mythology Gag: In the brief appearances Dead Cell have, Doucette includes Chinaman and Old Boy, two members of Dead Cell who were in the planning stages of Metal Gear Solid 2, but were ultimately cut. Chinaman is shown as an ultra-competitive breath holding champion/misguided special effects expert and Old Boy is a more-than-a-hundred year old senile nutcase/former Nazi who speaks entirely in German (yet everyone can understand him).
- The two characters cut from the game are maybe done justice by there being no sane reason why either of them should be members of a special-ops team. Chinaman is worse than useless and quite possibly actually insane. note Old Boy is mostly crazy, senile, and is never seen doing anything except frothing at the mouth and insulting people in German. note They are as useful as a wetsuit in the desert.
- Near-Death Experience: Ocelot and Liquid, meaning they get to meet The Sorrow.
- New Ability Addiction: Dead Cell's "The Chinaman" never has an excuse to use his two main abilities; swimming and special effects, giving him an Inferiority Superiority Complex. Near the end, the fact this would have been very useful in the original Metal Gear Solid is lampshaded.
- Non-Action Guy: Decoy Octopus, as The Sorrow learns.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Not quite stupidity, but the same principle. Everyone knows Ocelot is a manipulative, sadistic monster, but he acts as though he is more of an eccentric old Jerk Ass to hide the fact that he's really a Patriot agent manipulating everybody. Likewise, he plays up his feud with Mantis as a childish rivalry long before he actually gives Mantis real reason to hate him. This works frighteningly well, to the point where by the end of the series he's openly planning the deaths of everyone in FOXHOUND with no one in the know but people who don't care whether they live or die, and when Mantis tries to warn Liquid that he can't be trusted Liquid blows him off because the two of them always clearly had issues with each other.
- Orphaned Punchline: "...and then I found five dollars. [...] Which, in the end, made a whole lot more sense than the weasel thing."
- Polar Bears and Penguins: When Liquid is stranded in Alaska, he wonders why there aren't any penguins.
- Power Incontinence: Mantis suffers from this without his gas mask. Without it on, he hears every thought of everyone within ten miles of himself (including Berthold, who he can't normally hear), unfiltered. To say that hearing every last thought of everyone within ten miles, all at the same time, without being able to block or filter any of it has a detrimental effect on his psyche would be an understatement and then some.
- And this is why he hates sex. Because that's what people think about unfiltered, all day, every day.
- Pregnant Badass: The Boss led the Normandy Invasion while carrying her and The Sorrow's child. She went into labor on the battlefield, so what did she do? Performed a c-section on herself. With a goddamn COMBAT KNIFE.
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: Obviously. A very dysfunctional one, usually played for laughs. Dead Cell from MGS2 is presented as being even worse. Also the Cobras from MGS3, although they're specifically not dysfunctional, just quirky.
- Quote-to-Quote Combat: Mei Ling and Vulcan Raven (who both had a habit of bringing up sayings in the source material) get into one of these over the issue of nanomachines (which Mei invented and Raven doesn't want anything to do with).
- Race Lift: Zig-Zagged, Vulcan Raven is still explicitly an Inuit, but he has a noticeably paler complexion than he does in the actual game. For that matter, Wolf's Kurdish heritage is never mentioned, even when the cast questions her unusual accent.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Red Eyes! Take Warning: Naomi, Mantis, and even Liquid have shown this on occasion.
- Retcon: To account for new canon after MGS3. Handled rather masterfully starting here (with a cheerful lampshade hanging, via the title).
- As early as here even, concerning Big Boss' eye loss (or the first one, anyway, according to him).
- Right Behind Me:
Big Boss: It took me decades to learn the ins and outs of being a spirit. You can't know all of that after a week or two.
Liquid: Oh, but I can.
Big Boss: Unless you had help from him, but he's to wrapped up in his own pathetic little world to even notice.
Sorrow: Oh, but he did.
- Rule of Symbolism: The reasoning for why the flowers turn red when The Boss dies: "It doesn't matter."
- If you're really curious, the original reason why it happened is probably because the Boss' death counts as a reunion or marriage with the Sorrow in a way. In Japanese tradition, white is the color of death, but red is often the color of the uchikake, the wedding kimono worn over a bride's normal kimono.
- Running Gag: Liquid being woken up early in the morning.
- As said before, the game's highly questionable outlook on genetics is constantly mocked. It finally culminates in the explanation of how The Pain got covered in bees.
- The most serious insult you can make is "Your mother is a whore."
- Sarcasm Failure: Psycho Mantis is occasionally prone to the humorous variant.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: Completely averted by Decoy Octopus. Throughout the strip, he simply copies the other main characters. For a while he copies Kyrnosz, a minor villain that they killed, but when he runs out of his blood he just copies the other characters again. When he ends up in the spiritual realm, he represents himself with a coat and hat and literally no body at all, saying he doesn't think of himself as looking like anything And that he's a Bogart fan.
- Shout-Out: "Candygram."
- To "One Froggy Evening" here, where Raven tries to convince Mantis that Berthold, (a telepathic wolf) can talk to people. For an unknown reason it doesn't work, because despite Mantis being one of the most powerful telepaths in the world, some block exists that prevents the two from communicating. Eventually Mantis mocks the whole incident by offering a tophat and cane to Berthold.
- Solidus, to a certain recent Democratic President of the USA.
- The conversation in strip 445.
Hal Emmerich: But if it's just for shooting down missiles, why would we need — ack
- Speech Bubbles: Everyone has a different colored one.
- Spit Take: Frequently appears. One set of them may mark Ocelot as a Magnificent Bastard. (If the mind screws and other antics didn't already).
I mean, I only gave you that coffee so I could watch you do spit takes.
- Even Mantis manages to do them through a gas mask!
- Spot the Imposter: Starting here.
- Super Cell Reception: The DARPA Chief: "I oversee military technology development for the United States. I can get cellphone reception on a submarine."
- Talking with Signs: The Sorrow communicates exclusively through this, except when he's actually in people's heads. It occasionally gets a bit ridiculous.
- Can talk to Raven just fine though, due to him being a shaman.
- Technical Pacifist: Decoy Octopus has never killed a single person in his years of covert ops. The Sorrow is impressed by this until Octopus points out that he's technically complicit in all of his teammates' mass murders.
- Theme Naming: Mocked, when Liquid Snake tries to convince a disbelieving Gray Fox that he's not Solid Snake: "So then where is Gas Snake? Plasma Snake? Bose-Einsteinium Condensate Snake?"
- Liquid, Solid, and Solidus Snake do in fact form one of these. In a phase diagram, solidus is the line marking the lowest temperature at which solid and liquid phases coexist. Could count as a stealth joke given this is university-level material.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Then return from whence you came, and do not trouble this world again. Bitch."
- Those Two Guys: The sneakers Eddie and Scratch.
- Took a Level in Badass: Liquid. In a big way. See also Character Development.
- Torture Technician: Ocelot. Just.. Ocelot
Mantis: Please stop touching me.
- Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted and Lampshaded. When Liquid is possessed by Big Boss and he is threatening Raven, he is shot in the head with a high dosage tranq dart by Wolf, and it takes him several seconds to fall unconscious, causing Raven to say "That took way too fucking long." Also subverted when the Cyborg Ninja is tranquillized and remains conscious long enough to flee.
Wolf: I can never get ze dose right vith zese super-humans.
- Trap Door: At Shadow Moses, and as in canon, without explanation. Funny, though.
Liquid: Why... Why, why, why do we have trapdoors in our base? Is Doctor Doom our fucking architectural consultant?
- True Companions: In a twisted fashion, but Liquid certainly believes in it.
Liquid: I don't think I heard that correctly, Ocelot. In fact I know I didn't, because it sounded like you were suggesting we let them kill Wolf.
Ocelot: Boss, we need Gurlukovich more than-
(Liquid grabs his collar and yanks him forward)
Liquid: We don't play that game. Understand me? Not ever.
- Undercover When Alone: Several reveals from Metal Gear Solid 3 jossed a fair amount of Ocelot's behavior. As such, it was retconned that he was simply always undercover and keeping up the illusion when alone was part of how he has a lot of practice being undercover.
- Unfortunate Names: One of the Russians taking part in the Outer Heaven meeting is surnamed "Bytchkov." Naturally, Liquid can't help but giggle.
Liquid: He did not just say his name was Bitchkov.
- The Unpronouncable: Tkynsydska.
Liquid: Where're we off to?
Liquid: Say what?
Liquid: Ah, of course. Home of the Great Vowel Famine of '89.
Ocelot: Shut up, would ya?
- The Unreveal: Several.
- Villain Protagonists
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Big Boss...and Liquid, surprisingly.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy Liquid's relationship with Big Boss.
- Wham Episode: Timed to take place about once every hundred comics, or once a year, making this one of the few webcomics with seasons.
- Wham Line: Tying in with the above, there's one about every hundred comics:
Grey Fox: I've got a couple of problems with that.
Liquid Snake/Big Boss: Like a new man.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The Chinaman, who lacks any abilities besides being a swimmer and is thus useless outside of water. He operates in a desert.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: The Sorrow cares a lot about what happens to the mooks:
Liquid: Dude, he's just a goon.
The Sorrow: Tell that to Mr. and Mrs. Goon!
- What the Hell, Hero?: Ocelot gives Liquid a low-key one for killing Scratch, mostly because Liquid isn't a hero by any means, and that he probably should have been more thorough about it (what with Scratch's buddy Eddie being a telepath and all.)
What happened? Liquid:
He decoded a message from Nano Jackal that spells out every last detail of Armstech's dirty laundry. Ocelot:
So I broke his neck. Ocelot:
Just like that
Oh, don't even start. You
of all people should- Ocelot:
Whoa whoa! Let me finish. If you had to do it, you had to do it. Of course I'm with you there. But you've gotta be thorough about this kinda thing. What about his partner?
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Wolf. Just... Wolf.
Scratch: Look, where the hell are you from? Your accent is all over the place.
Wolf: Umm... Europe?
Scratch: Oh. Really? I would have said Texas.
- Wiki Walk:
Ocelot: Research? On what?
Liquid: Well, it was supposed to be on current geopolitics of modern nuclear weaponry.
Ocelot: This is a Wikipedia page about Mick Jagger.
Liquid: I got slightly sidetracked.
- The Worf Effect: Raven, even with his trademark M61 Vulcan Cannon, didn't land a single blow on Gray Fox during his raid in the ruins of Outer Heaven. Would likely have happened a bit later between Raven and Big Boss possessing Liquid's body, had Wolf not managed to tranquilize the latter.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: By Liquid, who combines it with Calling the Old Man Out in strip #253.
- Xanatos Gambit: By possessing Liquid's body, Big Boss would either force Liquid to grow and change, or have all the perks of being alive again. The Sorrow calls him on it here, adequately explaining the trope.
- "You!" Exclamation: Done by Big Boss towards The Sorrow. And lampshaded in the same panel by The Sorrow. "Is that all I get? One pronoun?"
- Your Mom: Quite often, usually between Ocelot and Mantis. To them, "Your mother's a whore!" is the highest level of insult, rationalising that there's really nowhere to go after that.
- And later between Wolf and Ocelot to try to restore some normality once they realized they were flirting with each other.