So, this one time at band camp...
Jason: Are you dense?! She's a witch!
Robin: She's not a witch!
Jason: She's a witch!
Robin: She's not a witch!
: Actually...I'm a Wotch.
a teenage girl found a magic flute that revealed to her that she is The Wotch
, an extraordinarily powerful magical girl who appears once in each generation. Her magic is discovered by two boys shortly after she transfers to Tandy Gardens high school, and the three wrestle with magical emergency after magical emergency, brought on by a shadowy Big Bad
figure. Hilarity Ensues
... and "no gender is safe
with a Mundane Fantastic
theme, varyingly zany adventures with an overarching Myth Arc
, and almost every possible variety of Shapeshifting
oozing out of its suddenly feminine ears
. The art goes from poor to unspectacular-but-fitting. The Wotch
has a sense of fun and does some good romps if you can get into it and like, or don't mind, the levels of things turning into other things
Spawned a number of spinoffs
, the most notable being The Wotch: Cheer
, about a group of jocks turned into Cheerleaders
now has its own page so please post all Cheer!
related examples there.
This comic provides examples of:
- A Boy and His X: "A Girl and Her Blob", the Ming + Myrrh Lower Deck Episode. The series itself could be considered "A Boy and His Wotch," but the trope doesn't fit due to Anne being a sentient human main character.
- A-Cup Angst: Anibelle is constantly teased about the size of her, er, "wings and horns" by her much more developed sister Drax.
- And a Diet Coke: See here.
Sonja: Let;s see... I'll take a large popcorn... Some nachos... A pretzel... Bag of M&M's... And Reese's Pieces... And Junior Mints... Slice of pizza... A pickle... Maybe some cotton candy... Hm... What to drink...
Larry: Let me guess: Diet coke?
Sonja: Are you calling me fat?
- And I Must Scream: A running "gag" of sorts is that anytime anyone is turned to stone, they are sentient during the statufication. Specifically follows the characters of Scott and Rosetta around, though it does get fixed, at least in Scott's case. Played for laughs
less more than for horror.
- Art Evolution: Since it returned, the creator of City of Reality has taken over as artist, leading to much better art quality. Even before that, compare this to this.
- Author Appeal
- Author Guest Spot
- Badass Normal: Robin, a completely average teenager with a bit of martial arts training can somehow hold his own with supernatural creatures on a fairly regular basis. Most of the time he waits until Anne or somebody else magical is distracting the creatures before charging in, and half the time Anne's slapped him with a spell that augments his natural fighting prowess considerably. He's aware he's still near the bottom of the totem pole, and a bit sore about it too.
- Baleful Polymorph: ubiquitous.
- Big Eater: Myrrh — literally so, as processed sugars seem to cause her body to grow to insanely huge sizes. In addition, her body seems to eat regardless of her intention — getting hit with a dodgeball caused it to embed inside her and start to digest.
- Bilingual Bonus / Stealth Pun: Just as Jason said that the werewolf couldn't be Samantha Wolf (way too obvious), she shows up. For those who don't speak French, Speak of the Devil translates roughly into "When one speaks of the wolf (he sees his tail)".
- Blob Monster: Myrrh, of the Cute Monster Girl variety.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Jason, Robin and Anne respectively.
- Body Horror
- Largely averted as most transformations are fairly quick and "poofy", but played straight by Xaos, who inflicts slow and horrifying transformations as punishments.
- Recently, Miranda inflicted a gradual form of the usual gender-bending on the Masquerade-breaking School Newspaper News Hound and two innocent bystanders as punishment. It even rewrites reality so that only they remember what was "normal" for them. This is portrayed as freaky and wrong, and all laws of narrative causality say that it's going to blow up on her face big time.
- Break the Haughty: The increasingly annoying Lucius and Maggie of the "The MOST Most Dangerous Game" arc finally get their due when they nearly kill Robin, angering Anne enough to force her into the Wotch equivilant of the Avatar state. What really sells it is that, A) due to a Schedule Slip, we've been waiting two years for this, and B) that even as everything crumbles around them they try to cling on to their smug attitude. They fail to do so.
Maggie: What is she?!
- B-Side Comics: Genie World
- Canon Immigrant
- Bit character Myrrh started off as a random doodle on the spinoff comic artist's art gallery and was imported into the main comic proper.
- ... As was the centaur girl, Glock's MIB group, and doubly so for the Samantha Stone (once for the design and once for the name)
- Not a full-fledged character immigration so much as a trait immigration, but the first time Anibelle's different colored eyes are clearly visible is in a guest comic. The next time she appears in the canon, this is part of her character.
- Also, Xaos' secretary.
- Cargo Ship: In-universe example (if one-sided in affections): Cassie / Mall plant
- Cat Fight: Literally.
- Chekhov's Gun
- Chekhov's Gunman
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Lord Sykos and his Perky Female Minion Aimee in The Wotch. Jo in Cheer!.
- Covers Always Lie: Lampshaded.
- Crossover: With Accidental Centaurs. And The Wicked Witch of the West is the villain of said crossover.
- Cute Mute: Myrrh. Innocent? Check. Doesn't speak? * Holds Up a Sign Saying Yes* . Otherworldly? You bet. Unaware of Social Conventions? Oh yeah. Cute? ... Maybe. But then again, this is her original design, so...
- Cute Witch
- Deadpan Snarker: Jason.
- Deep-Immersion Gaming
- Description Cut
Miranda: We must be extra cautious. It is not as though this threat will announce its arrival.
[cut to] Janitor: ...Setting up this gym myself. This is just cr— [finds Note] Whoa, what the? What is this?
Note: To whom it may concern. Lord Sykos is announcing his arrival. Please take the time to prepare a proper welcoming party of at least thirteen maidens to greet him.
- Different for Girls
- Earthquakes Cause Fissures: Spoofed when age-regressed Anne triggers an earthquake that causes a fissure that "Miss E"/Teen-Lilly falls into— only to find out its just a foot deep.
- Education Through Pyrotechnics
- Enemy Without: Anneger.
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Miranda treads perilously close to the Moral Event Horizon when she genderbends Ivan and indirectly does the same to two of his friends for trying to tell the truth about The Wotch, plus altering reality so no one except them remembers they were ever their original sexes. She only stops short of it by expressing some conflict with the decision shortly after chewing Ivan out for complaining about this setup, but the moment she starts to justify it to herself, she's cut short when Arizona gives her a silent Death Glare.
- Everything Is Better With Penguins: A Penguin PIRATE, at that!
- Evil Chancellor: Subverted.
- Expressive Accessory: Evan's shirt has a big "E" on it (Most characters call him E). When he turns into a 4-year old girl, it changes to a lowercase "e", and most people call him Lilly (Lil' E). During Chapter 17: Adventures in Babysitting, when Lilly gets a magical age-up to her teens, her shirt has a cursive, lowecase "l".
- Expressive Shirt: See Expressive Accessory
- Extended Disarming: Glock in DOLLY.
- Expy: The outfit Anger!Anne is wearing when Original!Anne, Jason and Robin find her in the gym is the same that Willow Rosenburg's vampire counterpart wears.
- Eyepatch of Power
- The Faceless: Xaos. His face is revealed only in this flashback.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: The members are DOLLY are inexplicably armed with lasers.
- Filler Strips
- Fountain of Youth: 21-year-old Evan seems to be addicted to spending his off hours as the four-year-old Lily, which does sound like an awesome stress reliever. It's pointed out that such escapism is not entirely healthy, and he's occasionally shown making an effort to improve his adult life.
- Freaky Friday
- Fun with Acronyms
- D.O.L.L.Y. The acronym is never explained, though it has been almost explained three times. They only get as far as "Daughters Of" before being cut off.
- Also, Tandy Gardens.
- Funny Background Event
- There's a kid on a skateboard who runs into telephone poles a lot. See here and here. He gets a slightly more important role here.
- The book "Sonjette" throws at Teen-Lilly to get her attention here is called "How To Become More AWARE Of the Mystical World Around You".
- Furry Fandom: Oddly, an in-universe example: A furry fandom is intentionally cultivated and abused by lycanthropes for use in keeping up The Masquerade. For example, they host a tourist festival/furry convention at "Werewolf Mountain" and encourage people to dress up in fake ears, fursuits and other such getup... which allows the werewolves to walk around openly shifted without any problems. Some of them even run stores while fully wolfed-out.
- Gender Bender: "Ka-girl" is practically a Catch Phrase.
- Gender-Restricted Ability: Wotches cannot be male. To the point that they're immune to genderbending. Presumably the Worlock can also only be male, but it hasn't been brought up so far.
- Genre Blind
- The leader of D.O.L.L.Y. comes back to gloat on top of a nearby roof, just in time for the Genre Savvy Miranda to Shoot the Dog.
- She also decided it was a good idea to betray two extremely powerful magic users, at least one of whom was more or less totally loyal at that point in time, for extremely flimsy reasons.
- Genre Savvy: Jason catches on to his Gender Bender Running Gag fast, and at one point volunteers for a female role in a caper without realizing that there are perfectly serviceable girls available because he assumes he'd end up that way anyway. Miranda also gets a few moments of these, not that Anne and crew will listen to her.
- Girl Posse: Subverted twice.
- Go-Go Enslavement
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: And Angry Angel, and Prideful Angel, and Lusty Angel, and...
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Ti'el casually loses an arm and is teased by her partner when she reacts.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: In the midst of a Les Yay-laden Katie/Wolfie Lower Deck Episode, Katie says of her romantic woes that she's "never going to move to a Greek island to write intense relationship poetry."
- Heroes Want Redheads: If it were not for Jason's strange obsession with redheads, he and Robin would not have discovered Anne's secret in the first place and missed out on crazy adventures and much hilarious gender bending.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Well, it's a roundhouse, but the principle still stands.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The old "stage magic" trick
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Quite literally, in the case of Glock.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Robin also gets a bit of this trope in season 1. The result? Nearly destroying the town.
- I Need You Stronger: Xaos explicitly states this as the reason he hasn't taken Anne down yet.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Blackbeak's pirate penguin prowess with a sword is too great to be captured by mortal art, it seems.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Gailadrea, a Dryad who wears a bikini top and miniskirt made out of growing leaves. Mind you, her hair is also made out of leaves, pushing this into vaguely Stripperific territory...
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Ti'el, being a (previously male) alien has elements of this, although she figures things out rather quickly. Myrrh, being a slimey ball of vaguely human gel, only makes clothing as a Sight Gag, but this doesn't come up often as she doesn't really have anything to cover up anyway.
- Instant Ice, Just Add Cold: Here.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Lots. The genie who was accidentally granting wishes, the various were-creatures, the mythos virus fallout, etc. etc.
- Ironic Echo: How Robin finds out that Cassie is a witch is her levitating her pencil, the same way Jason found out Anne was the Wotch.
- It Was Here, I Swear: DOLLY's headquarters in The Wotch; the dungeon in the student council room in Cheer!
- Jerk Jock: Played straight and subverted, as the Jocks tend to reform after spending a few weeks as brainwashed DOLLY slaves.
- Karmic Death: Natasha Dahlet of DOLLY is turned into a dolly, although she is still alive and sentient, but unable to move
- Karmic Transformation: DOLLY is defeated when Anne turns many of them into boys, also the chauvinist Jerk Jocks who become the Cheer! Squad are examples. See also Karmic Death above.
- Knight Templar: Miranda.
- Kung-Fu Proof Mook
- Lady Land: DOLLY's stated goal.
- Latex Perfection: Myrrh's latest trick is to shapeshift into a normal looking person, clothing and all. Only downside is the green hair. Oh, and if she is distracted at all, she explodes.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia
- Last of His Kind: The Uricarn Demon killed all the other members of his species. He didn't think it through.
I enjoy being your bit of controlled chaos. Beats just wandering aimlessly finding cheap thrills like I was doing after exterminating the rest of my kind. ...Which was kinda stupid in retrospect. Probably should have let myself grow up a bit before making that decision...
- Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid
- Leeroy Jenkins: This strip.
- Literal Genie: Lampshaded once, as a disease caused involuntary wish-fulfillment.
- Taken a step further when the gang unwittingly triggers a civil war between the genies who believe this trope should be followed and the genies who believe following said trope is wrong.
- In an odd example, being summoned though the Bottle of Ishitarru forces a genie to act like this...and not just with their current master.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Arizona.
- Literal Split Personality: SchizophrANNEia
- Loss of Identity Ivan / Yvonne, Scott / Kelly, and Julie / ???
- Lower Deck Episode: "A Girl and Her Blob", which focuses on Ming + Myrrh instead of the rest of the cast.
- Love Potion
- Magical Girlfriend: Anne & Angie, although Anne and Robin never quite got the Relationship Upgrade. The latest strips certain made it look like Anne was starting to get jealous of Cassie, although since Anne is the poster child for Oblivious to Love, probably not.
- Magic Pants: Played Straight for 90% of the Comic, including the "Clothing changes to match the new body" version. Often mixed in with costume play. Subverted twice, in this filler comic. and here.)
- Magic Skirt
- Mandy's Law of Anime Gender Bending: Most of the time, it has been subverted on a couple of occasions more recently though. The first Wotch was subject to this, too.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman
- Meaningful Name
- Tandy Gardens High School shortens down to TG, which are also the only letters on school T-Shirts worn by characters - most obviously the Spin-Off Cheer Squad.
- Also: Samantha Wolf. Three guesses what she turns out to be. This is even lampshaded at one point.
- Me's a Crowd
- Middle-of-Nowhere Street
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Lampshaded.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: "Too potent a transformation spell?" "Too potent a transformation spell."
- My Nayme Is: Pronounced "Chaos", spelled Xaos. Which is the Greek spelling of the word.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Super-Sonic Space Ballerina Squad!
- No Ontological Inertia
- No Man of Woman Born: Ishtaroo: "Your most powerfull display yet, and a direct hit, but it makes no difference. No mortal can..." *Gem of power Cracks* "Hurt... Us?" Angelique (A genie): " No mortal, true. But I'm no mortal!
- No Periods, Period: Averted.
''Yeah, fine. I get to look forward to two fantastic monthly events now. One which turns me into a vicious monster and the other into a werecat.
- Nosy Neighbor: Ivan. In an aversion, it bites him in the ass.
- Not Now, Kiddo
- The Obi-Wan: Miranda
- Offhand Backhand: Offhand gunshot, actually.
- One Steve Limit: Exception
- Only Sane Man: Cassie is starting to take this role.
"I'm sorry; Why is this girl made of goo again?"
- Open-Minded Parent
- Opposites Theme Naming: Scott Winters and Julie Summers.
- Orcus on His Throne: Xaos does pretty much jack, although this is later explained: He's waiting on Anne to grow up. He's farming her. He's slightly busier when it comes to his own dimension, though he still prefers to delegate the more tedious jobs to his Dragon.
- Order Versus Chaos: And in a subversion, the good guys aren't Order.
- Orphaned Series: Averted. The first few postings under this entry are out of date.
- The last official story comic was posted over a year ago, on August 21, 2009. Since then there have been two filler arcs, but no real updates, not even news updates. The forums have been abandoned by the staff, although apparently the artist and writer have mentioned on other forums that the artist is swamped with her college courseload, and there's also apparently an embarrassment factor for having left the comic hanging for so long. In other words, there may be a revival, but it's unlikely at this point.
- In addition, the artist of City of Reality mentioned in his hiatus posting that Anne would be working with him on City. This pretty much places the final nail in the coffin for The Wotch, although he does mention that the "partnership may go two ways".
- The forums haven't been abandoned, though. They just have a new name: The 910CMX Community. And the rebranding might not have as much to do with the Wotch being orphaned as El Goonish Shive joining the 910CMX lineup.
- They've officially returned, though with a new artist.
- Orwellian Retcon: A 2005 filler that originally featured Anne's husband at the time has been altered to feature the strip's webmaster instead.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different - Includes werecats and werewolves
- Parental Abandonment: Through the first season, although no one's parents are ever seen.
- People Puppets: Cassie in Something Wicked This Way Comes.
- Perky Female Minion: Aimee — a subversion as Aimee used to be male and is choosing to act out this trope, she even drops out of character to ask Anne to not mess it up for her.
- Pie in the Face: Cheer!
- Please Put Some Clothes On: A variant — Giladrea, could you please not walk on your hands?
- Public Domain Character: The Jabberwock at that. Yes, that's a Jabberwock.
- Punny Name
- Cher Lita, Arizona the Phoenix, Rosetta (who gets turned to stone), etc. etc.
- Lord Sykos, the psycho.
- Don Tello
- And, most obviously, Anne Onymous.
- Role Called
- Rule of Funny: Cheer!
- Running Gag: Scott being turned into some non-moving form, Irene and James switching minds, and of course, Jason switching gender.
Person A: "I just have one question."
Person B: "*Obvious question?* *Other obvious question?* *Third obvious question?*"
Person A: "No, *completely different question about some small detail*."
- Samus is a Girl - And if not, will be soon...Ka-Girl!
- School Newspaper News Hound: Ivan. It bites
him her in the ass.
- Sdrawkcab Name: The school that the wrestler Samantha Wolf went against is named Ekaltsew Memorial High School. Ekaltsew = Westlake.
- Seven Minute Lull
- Ship Tease: Revealed as an April fool's joke.
- Shoot the Dog: Miranda's actions at the end of DOLLY, as well as — probably — her treatment of Ivan after he broke into her house. Although, she's getting pretty close to the Moral Event Horizon when she said that Ivan was lucky she didn't just kill him, and the fact that she doesn't care at all about the innocent bystanders who were affected by her spell.
- It's worse than not caring, she deliberately included them as additional punishment for Ivan.
- She did seem not so happy about it a few pages later, but then again it seems a bit like the threat of the curse was what made him desperate enough to try to tell someone... giving it qualities of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
- Sidekick Glass Ceiling: Robin and Ming.
- Smoke Out: Parodied with Kirkashi.
- Something We Forgot
- Speech Bubbles
- Spoof Aesop
- Stage Magician
- Start of Darkness: War Stories
- Straw Feminist: Parodied with DOLLY.
- Stuffed into a Locker
- Sue Donym
- Taken for Granite: Scott Winters and Rosetta, and occasionally others.
- That Poor Plant: The mall plant.
- The Theme Park Version: Genies
- The Un-Reveal
- The meaning of D.O.L.L.Y. beyond the first two letters and the origin of Dee's tail.
- Not to mention this.
- The Verse: Has quite a few spinoffs. Insinuated to take place in the same universe as El Goonish Shive, as well. However, this has been Jossed by Dan Shive for EGS, at least. The rest though....
- Tomboyish Name: Alex, Jo and Sam, even though their names when they were male were completely different.
- Transformation Comic: One of the Ur Examples.
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue
- Undead Tax Exemption
- Unsound Effect: Ka-GIRL! Also some others, like "floaty".
- Wasteful Wishing: "I wish you were a redhead!" Funnily enough, the genie talks him out of it! Although, in this case, it's only because the genie can't grant wishes that affect herself.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Miranda
- Weird Moon
- Weirdness Censor: Played for Laughs; Tandy Gardens was inspired by Sunnydale.
WereWhere I Was Born and Razed
- Wistful Amnesia: Ming.
- Wolf Man: Several
- X Called; They Want Their Y Back: "Oh, very original. Batman called; he wants his exit back."
- Yawn and Reach: Larry and Stephen.