- Acceptable Targets: Any kind of Obstructive Bureaucrat.
- Military theorists.
- Government in general.
- Accounting Department.
- Politicians in general.
Sam: Engineers and politicians are such opposites I’m surprised they don’t burst into gamma rays when they touch.
- Airline security.
- Anvilicious: (Stupid) corporations are bad, m'kay? As are lawyers and politicians, but, well, y'know... And middle managers are dumb. This can all be rolled into one all-encompassing Aesop: Obstructive Bureaucrats are (far) more dangerous than an Alien Invasion. Or in the words of Sam Starfall himself,
Sam: ...even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power.
- Archive Panic: In the year 2011 the 2011th strip was posted.
- Fan Discontinuity: The sexist explanation for robot gender (that it's based on how much they talk) is almost universally ignored by the readership.
- Genius Bonus: When Winston is talking about "dots," little mini-ecosystems with dead land between them, some of which die, and others of which will eventually cover the whole planet, common patterns from Conway's Game of Life are shown in the background. See here for details.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: This comic talks about robots who need to have safeguards so that they don't accidentally mistakenly grind up one of their coworkers. In Five Nights at Freddy's, that's the running in-universe theory as to why they try to shove you in a still-occupied Fazbear suit.
- Less Disturbing in Context: The romantic subplot is an Interspecies Romance involving an uplifted wolf and a human.
- Magnificent Bastard: Sam (again, kind of).
- Not if you count this strip.
- Memetic Mutation: Borrowed one in the form of "My dad is Li Gang!", complete with correct context.
- Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by Mr. Kornada, with this. He's not trying to wipe out robots because he fears them. He's doing it to get rich. Not only would he end half a billion existences, he would also cripple the planetary terraforming and almost all of the colony's labor force, endangering the lives of everyone there — to get rich. And the insults just keep on piling - not only was his plan colossally idiotic, he can't even claim to have come up with it; he flat-out roped an innocent AI as an accomplice in a manner just as repulsive, by deceiving him into believing a long-time companion of his and legitimate owner had died.
- Nausea Fuel: Sam gets a taste of this when he asks Florence about her meal though he's normally the one causing it.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- Played for laughs when Sam explains his understanding of what to expect while Florence recovers from her ordeals during Hurricane Joe.
- From an A.I.'s perspective, the Gardener in the Dark "upgrade".
- From the perspective of any human in the setting who takes the time to contemplate how necessary functional A.I.s are to the comfort level of their society, the Gardener in the Dark "upgrade".
- When Doctor Bowman realized his species (uplifted chimpanzee) was too aggressive to survive, he neutered himself. With a sharpened plastic spoon.
- It's pretty unsettling how people like the Mayor and Varroa see Florence - an obviously sapient, active, emotionally engaged being - as nothing more than an AI, especially when they hijack her with direct orders and her remote.
Security Guard: She’s not a robot. She’s a living being. This remote turns her on and off! Her memory is short-circuited! As well as being plain wrong, this stuff could be adapted to humans! Do I have to worry about this being tried on us next?
- Worse, someone brings up how easily Florence's control functions can be abused and is laughed off. Especially since a significant percentage of the planet's population are not the direct descendants of their parents, but "genetic colonists" who EU could have easily given covert genetic modifications.
Varroa: Oh, no. Never. You guys are union. We’d try it on contractors first.
- Squick: Do-it-yourself blood sample drawing and a self-administered spinal tap and bone marrow sample.
- Strawman Has a Point: Sam Starfall is, by Word of God, meant to be a comedic exaggeration of human laziness and kleptomania in support thereof(as in, his entire species considers theft and deceit virtues). Funny thing? He's never done anything any human in history has not. This means when someone actually asks him to unravel Kornada's plot, he cracks it in minutes. Though in the process he smashes the worldview of some very nice robots to pieces. And ultimately, it seems he's the one to finally put the kibosh on the whole, "lobotomize all robots" thing... by pointing out that if humans don't act to preserve robot rights, they won't be the ones to profit from them - it will all go to the rich people instead.
- Values Dissonance: According to Sam (and Word of God backs him up), his race evolved as scavengers so stealing and deception is in his genes. It's considered among his people a survival trait to be able to deny resources to competing tribes.