Think Before You Think
"Jules, we're supposed to write a report on the anatomy of the BRAIN! Not the anatomy of Brian."
is a webcomic by Sylvia Odhner. The main character, Brian, has an unusual ability to read the minds of the people around him. The comic revolves around the awkward humor that comes from Brian's telepathy
and other characters finding out about it, including a very self-conscious girl named Julia, who gets a crush on Brian. This is a light-toned storyline comic, although it is more focused on the interaction of its characters than having any structured plot.
- Agony of the Feet: A lead helmet gets dropped on Julia's toe.
- Bridal Carry: Brian carries Sarah like this.
- Car Meets House: Happens to Julia in a flashback.
- Cringe Comedy: Much of the humor in this comic relies on embarrassing situations.
- Daydream Surprise: Brian helps Julia in ceramics, and she gets a little carried away.
- Didn't Think This Through: Julia's brain orders coffee without thinking about how it's going to drink it.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Brian gets in trouble trying to correct the lyrics of the song in Julia's head.
- Dirty Mind Reading inevitably happens sometimes, since Brian can't turn off his telepathy.
- Dream Within a Dream: Julia wakes up from a weird dream and explains it to Brian, only to wake up again and find that that was also part of the dream.
- Face Palm: One of Julia's signature reactions when she just realized she was thinking something embarrassing.
- Fictional Counterpart: "Barn & Stable Books" is a book store in the background of this comic.
- Flashback Cut: There are many flashback cuts, usually in the form of awkward memories.
- Flashback Effects: Flashbacks look the same as thought or fantasy panels, except they are either black and white or faded in color.
- Flippant Forgiveness: Brian does this jokingly after saving Julia from drowning.
Julia: Sorry I almost drowned.
Brian: Yeah, it was all your fault. I forgive you, though.
- Foot Focus: Julia shows the one advantage to having a broken toe.
- Freudian Slip: Obviously used in the comic Freudian Slip.
- Going Commando: On her date, Julia accidentally mentally confesses that she isn't wearing underwear.
- Hypno Pendulum: In Becky's fantasy, Brian uses a stopwatch to hypnotize Mandi.
- Imagine the Audience Naked: When Julia has to give a presentation, she pictures the audience in their underwear, followed by other things when that doesn't work.
- Innocent Innuendo: In an attempt to help Julia get her pants on after she passes out, Brian is caught in a compromising position.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: Isaac gets annoyed with having to lie to keep Brian's secret.
- Last-Second Word Swap: In this comic, Julia remembers mid-sentence that her mom is in the room and doesn't know about Brian's telepathy.
Julia:" You KNOW what I mean, you can read my... um, e-mail."
- Like Reality Unless Noted: Everything in the universe is normal except for Brian's telepathy.
- Luminescent Blush: Happens to Julia in several instances.
- Magic Realism: This comic is set in a normal world with the one exception that Brian can read minds.
- Mind Over Manners: Played with. Brian would like to let people keep their privacy, but he can't turn his power off.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: When Julia breaks her toe, a group of random people show up at the hospital to make a big deal about it.
- Monochrome Past: Flashbacks are faded or black and white.
- Non Answer: Becky tries in vain to get Brian to tell her how he feels about Julia, but Brian evades her questioning.
- Not Wearing Pants Dream: Julia has a dream where she is in the coffee shop and realizes she is not wearing pants.
- Not What It Looks Like: See Innocent Innuendo above.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Brian pretends to be pretty clueless in order to stall a robber.
- Oh God, Did She Just Hear That?: happens many times thoughout the comic. This is the most notable example.
- Onion Tears: Julia tries to explain why she looks like she has been crying by saying she was cutting up onions.
- Brian uses this excuse later.
- Orphaned Punchline: The beginning of this comic.
Becky:"...so then I thought, what am I going to do with all this spaghetti?"
- Phoney Call: Becky pretends to call Brian and Julia pounces on her.
- Potty Failure: Becky and Julia get pulled over, and we find out later that Julia never made it to the bathroom.
- Power Incontinence: Brian can't control his mind-reading.
- Psychic Powers
- Running Gag: Jules will never live down dumping a bucket of clay on Brian's head. The same for Brian and his "secret onions" excuse.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Brian announces he's going to make coffee. Becky says she doesn't hear any coffee making sounds, so Isaac makes some.
- Sensor Character: Brian is the only character who can read minds.
- Shirtless Scene:
- Slipping a Mickey: Happens to Sarah.
- Sorry To Interrupt: Becky walks in on Brian and Julia while they're in a compromising position, but it's not what it looks like!
- Speaking in Panels: happens often.
- Symbol Swearing: Used multiple times in place of swearing.
- Talking Down The Suicidal: Brian does this with Sarah.
- That Came Out Wrong: Brian and Julia have an awkward moment in the car where Julia thinks Too Much Information (that she's not wearing underwear) and Brian responds with "Hey, don't worry. I was bound to find out eventually," with the idea that it's because he can read minds and he tends to know things. He has to explain what he meant.
- Too Much Information: A common theme, due to Brian's ability to hear everyone's thoughts.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Julia vomits off-panel, but you can still see the vomit-shaped sound effect and the squeamish look on Brian's face.
- Webcomic Time: Subtly referred to in this comic.
Julia: "It's like every day is several weeks long."