!! The webcomic:

* AcceptableTargets[=/=]StrawCharacter: Mostly averted--[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2004/05/post-112.html Fisk explains]] that people don’t fight for what they believe is wrong, and people’s moral failures in the comic are personal ones that have nothing to do with ideology. Even [[spoiler:Principal Longfellow]], who seems to take Sheila’s side in her argument with Ms. Bedbutter, turns out to be one of the most despicable characters in the comic.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Is Fisk a rational, pragmatic soldier [[Webcomic/OriginalLife and eventually parent]] dealing sensibly with various trauma who is afraid neither of getting his hands dirty nor appreciating the beautiful things in life, or a sociopathic extremist hiding behind a veneer of patriotism, philosophy and laissez-faire parenting?
** Fisk writes an [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2003/08/post-32.html incredibly bigoted essay]] about Native Americans, and his mother owns a [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2004/03/post-96.html commemorative Robert E. Lee lawn gnome]]. Presumably, Sheila is somewhat of an armchair racist (well, she does live in small town [[DeepSouth Georgia]]) and has influenced Fisk that way.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: In the aftermath of negative reaction to Fisk [[spoiler:joining a group of privately funded vigilante assassins]], Naylor made several journals trying to distance himself from the character, stating that he didn’t necessarily agree with Fisk’s actions and views, and that Fisk was not his self-insert.
* EnsembleDarkhorse Jessica, for essentially being a walking SugarWiki/FunnyMoment.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Lucy tells her friend she’s not looking to date, being simply ‘content’. Her friend tells her that ‘[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/04/chapter-12-exem-2.html content is for old people]]’. Come the next chapter, it’s [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/12/chapter-13-thic-21.html Sheila’s father’s last words]]]].
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Persia’s plan to [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/11/chapter-13-thic-11.html run off to L.A.]] come across as chilling considering [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/08/chapter-23-pers-5.html how]] [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/09/chapter-23-pers-11.html it]] [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/11/chapter-23-pers-24.html turns]] [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/11/chapter-23-pers-28.html out]] [[SexSlave eventually]]]].
** D’Anna spreading MaliciousSlander about a policeman accused of shooting a boy comes across as much, much harsher in [[TheNewTens 2014-5]], when fatal police brutality against teenage civilians became much more of a hot topic after [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown Michael Brown’s death]].
** [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/05/chapter-21-fath-17.html The comic]] in which Mrs. Catadze sending Fisk to Israel to learn to fight in urban areas was published in May 2008, just a few months before [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War_(2008%E2%80%9309) Operation Cast Lead]] and the following rounds of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, that cost far more civilian Palestinian lives than Hamas fighter lives in great part ''because'' the city of Gaza was densely populated.
* HollywoodHomely: Subverted with Marissa, who is implied to be unattractive InUniverse, but is [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/chapter-12-exemplary-girls/ fairly cute]]--it seems what people find unappealing about her, especially Fisk, is her tendency to be [[SoapboxSadie outspoken]] about [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/06/chapter-12-exem-19.html her politics]].
* MemeticMutation: Many, including:
** ‘[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/11/chapter-23-pers-30.html Oh balls.]]’ ('''BOOM''')
*** This phrase actually found its way into a recent ''Webcomic/{{Original Life}}'' [[http://www.jaynaylor.com/originallife/comic/OL125.10-08-09.jpg comic]], sans exploding grenade though.
** Whenever Naylor releases a new comic, you can be sure someone will find a way to get an incest joke in.
** ''[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2007/10/chapter-19-part-24.html SMEK SMEK SMEK SMEK SMEK SMEK SMEK SMEK SMEK]]''
** Jessica’s tongue.
* MoralEventHorizon: Randy definitely crosses it when he [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/09/chapter-12-exem-41.html lies to Lucy about wearing a condom]], [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/09/chapter-12-exem-42.html without knowing she was on the pill]]]].
* NightmareFuel: [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2003/09/post-48.html Principal Longfellow raping Sheila]].]]
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: The comic has those very frequently, with characters calling each other out or explaining their own philosophies and observations.
** People will have [[BlueAndOrangeMorality wildly different ideas]] of what ‘good’ and ‘[[WhatIsEvil bad]]’ mean, and [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2004/05/post-112.html they will uphold what they believe in in earnest]]. This means sometimes they’ll wind up in a situation in which their ideals cannot coexist and ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption.
** Everything [[spoiler:Nikki]] is taught after [[spoiler:being adopted and [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2006/07/chapter-15-reco-8.html having to undo the damage]] done by [[ParentalIncest her father]]]].
** Two [[AnAesop Aesops]] appear in two successive comics in chapter 16:
*** HidingBehindReligion [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2006/08/chapter-16-lucy-1.html does not make you a good person]].
*** [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2006/08/chapter-16-lucy-2.html A healthy partner]] should neither be an ExtremeDoormat nor make you one, and have ''joie de vivre''.
** Lucy’s stint as a radio relationship advisor is this by definition, and two of her pieces of advice apepar onscreen:
*** Before you cling to ‘BeYourself’, [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2007/08/chapter-19-part-7.html have a good look at who ‘yourself’ is.]]
*** Even in a monogamous relationship, [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2007/08/chapter-19-part-11.html people will want to glance at other attractive people]]--it’s a fact of life that should be tolerated, so long as it doesn’t [[YourCheatingHeart go any further]].
** Marvin Lipschitz delivers [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2007/11/chapter-19-part-36.html several at once]] at a [[spoiler:[[ItMakesSenseInContext bachelor/ette party gone awry]]]]. Subverted when he says that ‘only ''most''’ male strippers are gay.
** Several are used as recurrent themes:
*** Live your own life first and foremost for yourself. This is highlighted in particular when [[spoiler:Elizabeth realises how much of her life she’s wasted living for her family and leaves her husband David for Fisk]].
*** Take responsibility for your own actions. This message is highlighted when Fisk rejects explaining [[spoiler:his mother’s and his neighbour’s (who also his best friend’s father) [[YourCheatingHeart affair]]]] as a ‘[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2005/03/chapter-11-arme-46.html mistake]]’.
*** Remain optimistic (and ''alive'') and fight for what you believe in--it’ll be a long, hard struggle, and it will demand [[StarCrossedLovers great]] [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifices]], but ultimately you’ll EarnYourHappyEnding.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/chapter-4-the-bedbutter-chronicles/ Ms. Bedbutter, young Fisk’s teacher, is appalled by the contents of Fisk’s essays and the sarcasm he laces them with]], and calls his mother over to discuss the issue, but she thinks he just has an open mind and doesn’t succumb to his teacher’s indoctrination. While some essays do have a good point (e.g. espousing a more positive view of the US as a whole and denouncing the overwhelming support Jimmy Carter has in his native Georgia simply for being from Georgia), he uses some very inappropriate language for his essays (e.g. [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2003/07/post-29.html ‘suck’ in the derogatory sense, ‘big-ass whale’]]) and out-of-place sarcasm (he mentions a ‘[[ValuesDissonance retarded]]’ boy from Georgia as an example to counter the admiration for Carter) as well as some factually incorrect statements about Native Americans, [[InjunCountry mixing up]] [[{{Mayincatec}} various]] [[HollywoodNatives cultures]] and throwing in some religious intolerance to make them sound [[TheSavageIndian particularly barbaric]] (‘[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2003/08/post-32.html the native tribes were a pagan, stone-aged peoples [sic] stepped in outdated ways]], including [...] [[HumanSacrifice child sacrifice]]’) to [[WhiteMansBurden justify white colonialism]] in the Americas.
* TearJerker:
** Fisk [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2003/07/post-25.html desperately praying]] for Lucy to recover.
** The tragic turn Fisk’s and Lucy’s relationship takes, and [[spoiler:the toll [[BrotherSisterIncest their feelings for each other]] take on their ability to form new relationships]].
** Fisk seeing [[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2006/01/chapter-13-thic-24.html his father’s name]] on a monument for fallen soldiers.
** Nikki’s backstory of ParentalIncest and [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2006/07/chapter-15-reco-8.html how it affected her and her relationship with her adoptive parents]]]].
** Beth tells Fisk [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/03/chapter-20-the-25.html he’s the one]] she’d give up her {{Polyamory}} for]]... only for him to [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2008/04/chapter-21-fath-9.html take a job that makes their relationship virtually impossible]]]].
** Elizabeth reaction when Lucy makes he realise [[spoiler:[[http://jaynaylor.com/betterdays/archives/2009/01/chapter-24-men-11.html she’s wasted her life catering to the will of those around her instead of her own]]]].
* TheWoobie:
** Fisk and Lucy, who suffer having [[spoiler:[[BrotherSisterIncest feelings for each other]] they [[StarCrossedLovers can’t act out on]]]].
** Fisk’s war buddy Carlos, who loses his ability to walk and becomes clinically depressed after getting injured in Iraq.