These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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Is Vriska a Broken Bird who is just trying to fit in desperately with people in the only way she knows how? A Magnificent Bastard who manipulates everything for fun? A confused little girl trying to live up to the example set by her infamous ancestor, even when she doesn't necessarily find it all that fun? Someone who has atoned for her actions and should be forgiven or hasn't and her ultimate death was justice? Hello, Broken Base! Canonically, she is presented as somewhere in between all of these things. Not helped by the fact that Word of God confirms Vriska is deliberately designed to be as divisive, confusing, and difficult to interpret as possible.
There's also her mercy killing her lusus. Given how awful it turned out to be (it basically forced her into being an indirect Serial Killer because it refused to hunt for itself. It's explicitly noted that it deliberately refused to eat anything other than trolls, making Vriska lure innocent trolls in for it to eat) one has to wonder whether Vriska genuinely wanted to spare her lusus any pain or was just using that as an excuse to take revenge on her abuser.
Interpretations of The Felt rely on this, as aside from Clover and Snowman, none of them are portrayed as anything more than mobsters.
Fans often play up Jack Noir's sympathetic traits. Complicating matters is that he's had at least three variations in the story who have been in different situations and behaved in very different ways. (Aside from stabbing people constantly, but at least Spades Slick has only stabbed people who are probably evil.)
The sequence where Karkat admits that he caused the human universe to be flawed by half-assing on the frogs and his conclusion that Bec Noir is the cancer destroying the human universe seems to imply that most versions of Jack aren't crazy like Bec Noir, which would explain the massive differences. This still leaves a lot open to interpretation though.
Is Bro's relationship with Dave a friendly brotherly rivalry, or is he an abusive father?
Was Darkleer's Wangst legitimate or was Mindfang just being dismissive?
Calliope is a rather mysterious character, and while she's been presented thus far as a nice girl, there's enough to suggest she's a Manipulative Bitch for fans to believe it.
Gamzee. Though he was subject to some in early Act 5, and Act 5 Act 2 before becoming sober, he hits this trope high in later parts of Act 5 Act 2 and onwards, and then even more in Act 6 and onward where his motives and reasons for what he does become extremely blurry and unclear. Debate abounds over the extent to which sopor (and the deprivation thereof) affected his behavior, how much he's been Brainwashed or mind controlled, whether or not he has a Split Personality, and how much of his behavior is motivated by malevolence vs. good intentions. Meanwhile, he's one of the most mysterious characters in the entire comic, and any real answers aren't likely to be forthcoming for a very long time.
The Guardians get this in-universe from their charges; John thinks of Dad as a silly, embarrassing bumbler who's obsessed with harlequins, only for it to be revealed that he's a tough guy with Super Strength who only pretended to like harlequins because he thought John loved them. Rose sees all of Mom's actions as an attempt to spite her, when in reality all she wants is to spend time with her. Dave sees Bro's obsession with puppets as a level of irony that even he can't understand, when it looks more like a fetish (although given what Dirk says, both might actually be correct). And finally, Jade thinks of Bec as a "good dog, best friend" and his more...unusualproperties don't seem to faze her, but she wasn't aware of why he had those properties until later. Didn't really change her opinion of him, though.
Eridan Ampora. Although dead since Act 5 Act 2, fans still argue about him. Generally, he's portrayed as either a soulless monster without any sense of morality, a complete douchebag who only cares about quadrants, or a poor little Woobie whose instability and upbringing are to blame for the things he did. Canonically, he appears to be incredibly fucked up and vindictive, although he really does possess affection, as illustrated by his love for Feferi.
On the subject of Eridan and Feferi, the fandom can only speculate as to what his motive for killing her could be. As such, a lot of fans who have made up their own theories have been claiming that their explanation is canon, no matter how different they are.
Was Feferi a Messianic Archetype who is key to achieving equality on Alternia, or was she just as classist as other highbloods, but in a different way? Canonically, she appears to be well-intentioned, but very misguided.
Both in and out of universe people wonder whether Kankri is genuine in his beliefs, or just using them as a cover to insult his friends. The fact that he snaps at a crippled person for falling over involuntarily certainly pushes it towards the latter...
Many fans believe that Nepeta is somewhere on the autistic spectrum, both due to a line from Karkat and due to her behavior.
Is Damara really sex-crazed or does she just use Obfuscating Stupidity and crazy propositions as a defense mechanism and to annoy those who have betrayed her? Keep in mind that all the people she has made crude advances towards were all those who had hurt her in the past. (Meenah, Rufioh, Horuss.)
Did Dualscar kill the Dolorosa because he was jealous, or did the Dolorosa ask him to do it?
Angel/Devil Shipping: Tavros is often shipped with either Vriska or Gamzee. Both of them have had crushes on Tavros in Canon, and even though Vriska supposedly gave up her crush before the timeskip she and Tavros were dating for a while as ghosts, before Tavros finally got fed up with Vriska and left.
Acts 4 and 5 are a Trauma Conga Line for the Kids but none of them are very fazed by it, however averted later, as Rose angsts a fair amount about the futility of their session, and all of the Kids are affected to some extent by their Guardian's death. Dave outright goes a little crazy for a bit from grief and doesn't snap out of it until the end of Act 5.
John, however, seems fairly chipper just hours after the deaths of his father, Rose, and her mother.
Jade. Everything points to Break the Cutie for her, but the only part of her that's really broken is holding back on the swears. She even turns out to be perfectly fine with dream bubble shenanigans once she's gotten used to everything. Which is really a huge improvement from swearing to never go to sleep again.
At one point in Act 5 Act 2, the scene is all set for an Evil Versus EvilMêlée à Trois between Gamzee, Vriska and Eridan... but then before anything happens Rainbow Drinker Kanaya runs and kicks Gamzee where it hurts, sending him right off a cliff, punches Vriska and chainsaws Eridan in half no problem, where before no one could even get close to him.
Andrew Hussie vs. Doc Scratch in the [o]ntermission section of Act 5 Act 2. It's possible that this was part of the Gambit Pileup that the latter was attempting to establish.
Browser Narcotic: Only because you're very, very likely to miss crucial details on the first read, especially if you zip through the relatively slow-paced first year, and updates drop sporadically. It could've updated right now... unless of course it's undergoing Schedule Slip.
Crazy Awesome: Dave's Bro, who flies around on a rocket powered surfboard, cuts meteors in half with a freaking katana, and can fight Jack Noir to a standstill. Also to a lesser degree AR, the crazed and law-obsessed Exile who, after being dropped to Earth, sets up a lair in some ruins and uses loads of guns to try and enforce a non-existent law upon the wasteland. Sadly this prevents neither of them from being killed by Bec Noir.
Creepy Awesome: Lord English, the Condesce, Marquise Spinneret Mindfang, the Grand Highblood, Kurloz, and the Horrorterrors. Andrew Hussie seems to really like this trope.
Complete Monster: Caliborn, better known by his title, Lord English. He killed his own sister through proxy, enslaved the Handmaid after his awakening, murdered the author out of spite in-story, and permanently killed hundreds of largely harmless doomed timeline characters. And that's worse is that he essentially has no real motivation to do what he does. Power? He's already got plenty of that. Galactic domination? He'd rather destroy it all himself. If what's been said about him indicates anything, it's that he's just doing it to amuse himself, and to completely obliterate his sister and all that she loved.
The apple didn't fall far from the tree, apparently. Caliborn's ancestor destroyed hundreds of planets and killed millions unprovoked - and, like his son, for his own amusement. The cherry on top is that if Aranea's narration is to be believed, Caliborn is even worse.
One notable yet funny example is B1 Jack putting on Bro's Shades.
And later after B1 Jack Noir kills John's dad and Rose's mom, we get this line:
You are now Jack Noir. You have just murdered an innocent family. What will you do?
Another is Karkat's hilarious expression after seeing Sollux get knocked out, and then Feferi and Kanaya getting killed.
Sollux being blinded by a vengeful Eridan? Upsetting. Karkat accidentally knocking out all of Sollux's teeth while he was unconscious and inexpertly trying to stick them back into his mouth? Hilarious.
After Karkat fails to get Sollux in the Medium in time before he dies, we are treated to A2 Jack Noir comforting him while calling him a "goddamn blubbering pansy" and Gamzee honking in the background.
Grandpa Harley stuffing and mounting dream Jade's body. Also his death.
"This is exactly why babies should not be allowed to dual-wield flintlock pistols."
Equius's... stranger behaviors.
Nearly everything involving Vriska and Tavros' interactions in the Medium, especially her demand that he apologize to her for being paraplegic. Even more spectacular given that it's her fault to begin with!
"But unfortunately, Rufio is not real. He's imaginary. A fake. Like a made up friend, the way fairies are. You continue to be sad and alone."
Post-Scratch Jack Noir's jailbreak attempts, during which he both purposely and accidentally kills at least five guards and tries to hide his lurid magazine. And by lurid magazine I mean an issue of a dog show magazine. Then he gives one of the guards a funeral... by sticking the guy's head in a pumpkin.
Caliborn's reaction to Dirk making him 'pornography'.
Caliborn's reaction to Gamzee, accompanied by Elevatorstuck of all songs. Lampshaded by the narrator:
I'm debating whether I should play the elevator music again.
Evil Is Cool: Most of the villains. Specific examples are the Black Queen, the Felts, the Condesce, Gamzee after he goes crazy, Jack Noir, and of course Lord English himself. Vriska kind of counts but exactly how evil she could be considered is up for debate.
Evil Is Sexy: The Condesce in-universe. Dirk describes her as a "sexy fish woman in a skin tight suit", though he's not shy about mentioning the atrocities she committed.
Also the Black Queen/Snowman.
Fan Hater: Caliborn pretty much represents all the people who don't like Homestuck.
Although it's been specifically stated that it's not synonymous with Foe Yay, "Kismesissitude" is a similar concept, and one of the fundamental concepts of romance in troll culture. Mutual hate plays the same important role as mutual love (and has a role in their reproductive cycle). These relationships are designated by a black spade, as opposed to a red heart. Further detail here and here.
Eridan feels this for Vriska, and before getting to know him, Karkat feels this for John. Both are unrequited.
Eridan also attempted to initiate this kind of relationship with Rose, resulting in her blowing up his computer after he refused to take no for an answer. Which may have just come across as flirty.
The Black Queen & Jack Noir feel this for each other in all sessions seen so far.
PM has fallen into kismesissitude for Jack Noir after he murdered all her friends. This is unrequited, though, since a stunned Jack has fallen in love for her after seeing her prototyped and ready to kill him.
Vriska has quite a bit of this with Tavros, which is also seen as an abusive relationship by many fans. Karkat definitely assumes this when she brings up her "special kind of hate" for Tavros. But he notes that it'd never work out because Tavros doesn't have the right mindset to hate anyone. And indeed, he doesn't.
Terezi and Gamzee, starting in a walkaround of Act 6 Intermission 3.
Happens with several characters, most often Bro. It was probably invoked when Jane was caught in a mailbox explosion... and then found to be sleeping unharmed behind her house.
Spades Slick seems to get a lot of this whenever it seems like he might have died (which is often). A fan once asked Hussie if Spades was okay after a universe imploded with him in it. Hilariously, every time this has happened so far the fans are actually correct.
Earlier, it was common for fans to speculate that when a character died it was really an Alternate Timeline and didn't actually happen. In what might be a Fandom Nod, Jack Noir's apparent killing of Karkat and Terezi was in fact an alternate timeline, as was the death of Spades Slick seen a short time later.
Harsher in Hindsight: The early pages with John goofing off in his house take a much darker cast when you know what he's about to experience.
Even worse is rereading Rose on her mother while wandering her house pre-session. After Rose admitted that she probably always loved her and after seeing them through the mirror of Roxy's life, some of her more ridiculous actions seem nothing less than a desperate and tragically failed attempt to connect with her daughter.
Wayward Vagabond's obsession with leading Can Town well certainly takes a dark turn when we find out what happened the last time he tried to lead someone...
Snowman saving Spades Slick from getting shot to death by Quarters becomes rather grim given that soon after he ends up shooting her dead.
The fandom has often joked that Clover was a leprechaun because of his name and the fact that he's green and associated with luck. Then it turned out that all of The Felt are leprechauns except Snowman. And then, in one of Aranea's expositions, they apparently got a romance system based on Lucky Charms, which are associated with leprechauns...
UU Yogurt, whose logo happens to be intertwined red and green spirals. And there is now fanfic involving human versions of Calliope and Caliborn working in a yogurt shop. You couldn't make this stuff up.
At one point, Dave creates "ebubbles", a series of Twitter-esque posts featuring fragments of Dave quotes clearly parodying the infamous Horse_ebooks automated spam Twitter account. In 2013, it was revealed that Horse_ebooks had been controlled by a human for the previous 2 years.
Bro isn't meant to be an Expy of Kamina (Andrew Hussie wasn't even aware of the show's existence when he started Homestuck) but the two are so coincidentally similar it's hilarious. They even end up serving similar roles in their respective stories.
Likewise, Lord English wasn't intended as a Shout-Out to Lord British (his name is actually a reference to a pool term, keeping in theme with the Felt's pool-themed names) but the idea worked so well with his role and portrayal that Hussie decided to roll with it.
Iron Woobie: WV goes through a Trauma Conga Line a mile long but never once lets it break him, keeping up his cheerful demeanor no matter what.
It Was His Sled: The Trolls that pester John and his friends are actually aliens. While this was an extremely unexpected development when this was first unveiled, the sheer popularity of these characters within the fandom makes it one of the few spoilers of Homestuck that is virtually impossible to avoid.
Vriska. Murderous, manipulative megalomaniac without a shred of empathy? Or girl living under impossible - partially self-inflicted - pressures, unable to make a single one of her dreams come true, who wishes to live in a less cruel world? Answer: Both.
Due to Character Development, the megalomaniac side of her begins to dissipate, after seeing Aranea do the same glory-hogging actions and seeing how awful it makes Aranea look, and how awful it must have made her look.
Mituna's disability and being abused by other characters might remind some readers of Tavros but when he musters up the lucidity he can say some pretty hateful things. He's speech bubbles are a visual reference to 4chan's interface, after all.
This one is so YMMV that alternatively, some people think of Jake in this way instead. Being a Jerkass to not only Dirk, but also Jane, while he remains sympathetic only from that he seems to do this unknowingly. Even mentioned by Caliborn, who assumed that Jake also hated all of his friends, which Jake obliviously denied.
Jack Noir/Spade Slick, due to pretty much every version of him being The Chew Toy who gets constantly annoyed and tormented by his gang and the Black Queen/Snowman. Even Bec Noir, who horrifically slaughters almost half of the cast, gets some pitiable moments.
Snowman is a Jerkass working for Doc Scratch who constantly torments Spades Slick. However her backstory reveals that she's only working for him because she was trapped on the post-apocalyptic Alternia and desperately wanted to escape. Act 5 Act 2 not only has her save Slick's life but also strongly implies that she became a Death Seeker after joining the Felt. The other versions of her weren't characterized enough to tell if they also applied for this, but the human session Black Queens certainly didn't deserve to be murdered by Jack Noir and the Condesce respectively.
Rose and Kanaya - they were teased for a long time until Act 6 Intermission 3, where they became canon.
Though, to be honest, if you're watching for it, Rose flirts with a huge assortment of sexy alien ladies, including Meenah... As the joke goes, John, I am not a heterosexual.
And then there are other teased ships, such as Terezi and Vriska - though this one has lately been played on a more platonic angle on Terezi's side. Meenah and Aranea has also been teased several times during the two's interactions.
Love to Hate: Lord English, Doc Scratch, and the Condesce are arguably the only characters in the whole story who aren't portrayed as pitiable or sympathetic at all and are completely evil, but this doesn't stop fans from loving them for their magnificent villainy.
And now God-Mode Sue as of the end of Act 5 Act 2's "Cascade", since she's awakened to God Tier via Jadesprite, giving her sprite powers, and Guardian powers in addition to her Witch of Space powers - though the line is apparently blurred between the two. Of course, Jade is a subversion in that one of the true marks of a Mary Sue is that she hogs the spotlight and makes everything about her. Jade is probably the only B1 kid with the least in focus in the story.
Vriska isn't just Vriska, she's Marquise Spinneret Mindfang, and she has all the levels because she's great at everything (at least if you ask her). In fact, she's essentially trying to become a Mary Sue - in addition to the min-maxing, she retroactively makes herself critical to the origin of Bec Noir and tries to make everyone pay attention to her above everything else. Deconstructed in that this behavior just makes everyone hate her, she's not actually massively more powerful than some of the other trolls, and she makes a lot of mistakes that come back to bite her in the ass.
This was also invoked by the author. He's said outright that he intentionally made Vriska steal the spotlight to make the fans argue about her. He's even made jokes in-comic about being in love with her.
UU has more than a few traits that seem to be a commentary from the author on bad fantrolls. She knows more about the game than anyone else, is the only remaining limeblood (a hunted-to-extinction blood caste that apparently has unparalleled psychic powers, by the way), and, like Vriska, inserts herself as a key figure in a session other than her own. Additionally, a Ophiuchus-themed troll with the initials UU is a longstanding fan theory. And as it turns out, she's not a troll at all.
Although he doesn't get accused as often, Sollux Captor is sometimes seen as a male example. He is shown to be extremely lucky in his many (often unique) powers and abilities, yet is allowed to angst and receive sympathy for everything he goes through, despite how his fate is not any worse than members of the cast who do get called out on being too angsty and annoying. Some fans find that Sollux gets too much credit where it was unnecessary, or that his occassional rudeness is ignored too often where other characters are called out for it. Whether he is this trope or not, he isn't considered a Sue nearly as much as characters such as Jade and Vriska.
Where exactly B1 Jack — now Bec Noir — crosses the line probably depends on the reader. A good point of reference would probably be his senseless destruction of B1 Prospit and Skaia - killing Dream Jade in the process - and then the destruction of the A2 trolls' Prospit, Derse and Skaia.
Many fans still loved him in spite of his onscreen atrocities, but his abrupt offscreen killing of John's Dad and Rose's Mom during their budding romance cost him most the remainder of his audience sympathy.
Gamzee crossed it when he choked Equius dead with a broken bow, then clubbed Nepeta to death.
Vriska was shown crossing it - before her canonical introduction - when she crippled Tavros because he wanted to stop playing a round of FLARP.
Doc Scratch actually crossed it before we met him, but we don't find out until we finally see what he's been doing to his "guest", the Handmaid.
Eridan hits this after killing Feferi, Kanaya, crippling Sollux and destroying the Matriorb.
There's several potential crossings for Lord English/Caliborn.
When his reaction to seeing the apparent deaths of Jane and Roxy while Dirk and Jake are knocked out is to laugh his ass off and rub all of it in Calliope's face.
Him killing Calliope (it technically would've happened anyways, but the way he did it was utterly atrocious).
Killing Andrew and Hussiebot, while smacking around the completely innocent Ms. Paint.
Him destroying a dream bubble, thus slaughtering millions of innocent and harmless ghosts for no reason at all.
Cronus pretty much loses all hope of being sympathetic when he sexually harasses and tries to take advantage of the disabled Mituna. Not as bad as other examples, but still a low blow.
No Yay: Doc Scratch's comments about Rose and Jade being "adorable", even though he didn't intend it in a sexual or romantic way (he's immortal and has no comprehension of romance or sexuality so he doesn't understand why this would come off as creepy). Lampshaded by Rose who becomes really uncomfortable when Scratch says this. Becomes a lot more disturbing when we see his abusive treatment of the Handmaid...
The part when Hussie kills Doc Scratch. Seriously, the author busted in and killed one of the primary villains. Subverted in that this is exactly what Scratch wanted to happen so that Lord English could enter the universe. In other words, the author intervening made things worse.
Happens in Act 6 Act 3note Although the author can't save them because he's dead in-story. Two of the post-Scratch Kids suddenly die. They still have their dreamselves, but they need to have one of the other two Kids corpsesmooch them before it's too late. Unfortunately, the other two Kids are completely unconscious... and if they don't wake up they're going to die very soon themselves.
While the severity of the situation was huge, but the solution was something as simple as going through a dream bubble, a kingdom being destroyed by a universe-destroying weapon, and then back in time 413 years while on a flying skateboard, killing yourself, kissing at least two dead people, convincing another to kiss your decapitated head while a volcano is blowing up, and giving a dead troll from another universe a high-five didn't stop Dirk, did it?
How some viewed the troll romance shenanigans and subsequent exploration of terms, and subsequent explosion of romance throughout the kids and trolls afterwards.
John/Vriska is unique in that it's the only directly stated and serious romance that has developed during the story, as all other romances were part of the character's motivations from the start. This has caused many to respond to it with vitriol.
That and Mom/Dad, which managed to soundly avert this trope.
The romantic shenanigans with the B2 kids in Act 6, although very likely a parody set up by the author towards the fans' shipping antics. This is especially likely given that by the time they've reached the A2 universe, all of the kid/troll relationships have broken up (with lampshade hangings on how they wouldn't work out in the long run) except Rose/Kanaya which, ironically enough, had the least focus thus averting this trope.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The White King/Writ Keeper barely appears even though he's supposed to be the Big Good of Sburb. He's shown getting into a time capsule with Rose's walkthrough implying he's going to help out the heroes later on... and is then promptly killed off by Bec Noir barely seconds after reuniting with Windswept Questant. And then it's revealed that his post-Scratch self was already killed off-screen before the Post-Scratch session even began.
Too Cool to Live: The Guardians and Lususes (especially Bro), the Black Queen, Equius, Nepeta, Windswept Questant, Aimless Renegade, Snowman, Brobot, and Jade.
Toy Ship: All the main kid and troll characters are 13 for the first five acts. This was inevitable even before Hivebent threw Teen Drama into the mix.
In addition to the entire race in the comic that shares the same name, Hussie himself has a habit of leading on his readers and laughing at their surprise and anguish.
The Music Team often takes a perverse joy in taunting the fanbase, no more so has this been evident than with the large wait before the end of Act 5 animation, as many of the music team members have posted "Hey this is a sample of our work!" before said sample turning out to be comically bad voice acting slash fic or Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff esque screaming.
To top it off, the page after the revelation about Aradia has one of the characters admitting she didn't see it coming and being reassured that that doesn't make her stupid.
None of these, however, compare to the stunning revelation that the trolls are really playing one game, not two. The other two are at least handled in a normal fashion and then lampshaded with "yes, I know that was terribly obvious", but Hussie drew the line at this one and didn't even pretend to reveal it properly - the joke was instead "If we were spending a lot more time on the trolls, we'd gradually build up to this stunning revelation. And yes, it's totally a stunning revelation." Many fans did not like this at all.
It was made obvious that the teams were unimportant by the fact that the trolls had never, ever, ever mentioned or referenced them at any point in their trolling up until then, though; and several characters (many of them with knowledge of the future) had said repeatedly that the the teams didn't actually matter.
Act 6 beginning with the B2 Kids was pretty widely anticipated and expected, though some doubt was thrown into the mix with ambiguity if the Scratch worked. Noted as such by Andrew Hussie on his tumblr:
There are lots of major curveballs thrown at you in HS. I personally don’t think this was one.
Calliope and Caliborn share the same body. Lampshaded by the throwaway manner in which this is finally revealed. And then Caliborn and Lord English are one and the same. This was practically confirmed in the former's first appearance.
Villain Sue: As of the end of Act 6 Act 5, the Condesce is starting to look like one, with mind-controlling the extremely powerful and omnipotent Jade with ease, brainwashing Jane, having Jade punch out Dirk and transport him far into the Furthest Ring, and then having Jade and Jane kidnap Roxy and Jake respectively, without the kidnappees even putting up so much as a fight.
Jade herself becomes a parody of this while brainwashed by the Condesce; she's outrageously powerful and capable of handling (nearly) the entire cast with no effort whatsoever, yet at the same time she comes off as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain because she has no real way to make anyone do what she wants. Even when she tries to cross the Moral Event Horizon by pushing the Mayor off a building, it backfires and accomplishes nothing.
Caliborn / Lord English is exceptionally powerful and extraordinarily vindictive and bloodthirsty. But the reasons behind it are just "fate" and "that's how he was born".
Parodied with John's angst towards his dad. His lack of a problem is lampshaded by Rose early on in Act 1. Also parodied with Rose - although her mother is in her view a legitimately unpleasant person, Rose seems to interpret her every action as an attempt to spite her.
Eridan spends a lot of time complaining about how hard things are for him - either Growing Up Sucks, how he can't seem to get a proper black or redrom, or how no one visits him. Then decides that everyone needs to join Jack or die, by his hand if necessary.
Darkleer, at least according to Mindfang, although that might just be her being unsympathetic.
John, despite several warnings from Future Dave and making a promise not to fly off to confront the Denizen, goes and does it does it anyway. However, this isn't the first time Andrew has made "THIS IS STUPID" jokes to illustrate that a character decided not do something. Thankfully, he quickly reconsiders.
Not to mention John's utterly thoughtless loss of his sixth computer.
Eridan's decision to join Jack despite Jack being an Omnicidal Maniac who probably wouldn't let anyone join him. Then there's his whole genocide against the angels on his planet. And his attempts to get his friends to help him genocide all of them. And his pathetic romantic miscues. The list goes on.
Wheelchair Woobie: Tavros, the woobie and pushover of the trolls' session, spends much of the story crippled. He even convinces himself his lack of mobility affects his self-esteem. He gets proper robotic legs later on in Act 5 Act 2.
Certain trolls by the time of their previously clamored-for deaths - usually in Act 5 Act 2 during Murderstuck, but some onwards as well.
Vriska, Vriska, Vriska. The last messages she sent for John pulled a lot of retroactive heartstrings even amongst diehard haters.
Fans have always blamed the Andrew Hussie for any of the bad events that happened in the story. When his his Author Avatar got shot, a lot of fans were shocked and hoped he would survive somehow.
Inverted otherwise with a few Ensemble Darkhorse characters, like Nepeta, Fefetasprite or Tinkerbull, who actually have a higher rate of being killed off than any other characters, though this is usually due to their extremely minor statuses.
Act 5 Act 1, otherwise known as Hivebent. Starts with And Now for Someone Completely Different. Introduces 12 new characters (we've seen a few of the trolls before, but the exposition and characterization really takes off here), in an entirely new world, which slows the story to a crawl. As the story goes character by character - in Anachronic Order even - it becomes even more confusing and thus fatiguing - the "cycle of revenge" plot is the worst offender. It doesn't tie in with the original story until the very last few scenes narrated by Aradia. Overall, it's a rerun of the first half of the story, with three times as many characters, until you wonder if the author will ever get back to the original quartet.
Specifically in this arc, there's the matter of the sudden focus on Vriska, who was up to then unseen and unmentioned character. The implementation of the character in this arc (as well as the arc immediately following this one) is what made the character such a Base Breaker to begin with.
What's even worse than that? Act 5 Act 2, or Act 5 Act 2. Lots of characters, lots of jumping around, lots of information dropped randomly and sporadically. Many people fatigued with Act 5 Act 1 gave up at this time. In fact, all of Act 5 can be seen as this, as Act 5 in total takes up nearly half the webcomic by time spent on it alone.
The Murderstuck arc. This caused a lot of anger in the fandom as to some, the deaths seemed pointless, and it was a stark change from the lack of main character deaths in the story prior.
The slow pace of an arc centering around Gamzee manipulating Terezi, who was not really doing a whole bunch.
The [o]termission, which lasted about 3 months, over a quarter of Act 5 Act 2.
And after Act 5 Act 2, Act 6 was seen by most people as even worse, especially by people who feel that the B2 kids are unnecessary characters added just to stretch the comic even longer. The sudden focus on a romantic sidestory didn't help matters.
Within this, there's another problem. While the introduction of the Trolls was a major change in pacing from Acts 1-4, most people agree it worked out for the best. Act 6 Intermission 3, on the other hand, introducing a slew of new characters, while taking the original cast Out of Focus and slapping completely new personalities on them because the new characters were derided as too similar, has drawn some serious criticism. Specifically in Act 6, the end of Act 6 Act 3 onwards is probably the turning point for most fans as it spends a lengthy amount of time introducing the Pre-Scratch trolls who do literally nothing in the story and are there purely for fans to obsess over.
The shortest instance of this trope within Homestuck is easily the introduction of the Tricksters, who were (According to Hussie) added specifically to pander to the fanartists and whose advent brought an already dragging Act 6 to a total screeching halt - though they did get a lot done fairly quickly for the most part, as was the Juju's purpose, until they went completely insane. The arc only seemed to exist so that there could be another lengthy nod to the fandom for no particular reason. The changeback to the normal B2 kids afterwards was generally seen as a big relief to most people dreading the Tricksters.
The majority of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1 can be described as a gigantic text wall with nothing important happening. What's supposed to be happening according to the storyline is the brainwashed Jane and Jade forcing the remaining kids to carry out the Condesce's plans, while John warps about aimlessly. What's actually going on? Pages upon pages of dialouge about characters being conflicted. Oh, and Karkat dies and gets better.
Archive Panic: One can easily read two or three thousand strips without even getting a glimpse of those grey-skinned orange-horned creatures everyone and their dog is cosplaying as and making fan art of.
Some plot developments are dubiously this, given that Andrew often writes unforeseen twists simply because it's fun. Many of them fall into "Retroactive Foreshadowing", as it is often referred to, but at the time of writing were still largely pulled from nowhere. Davesprite's survival is perhaps the biggest example of an Ass Pull, though many others exist. This unfortunately becomes more prominent in Act 6.
Davesprite's apparent death prior to the end of the session caused a minor Plot Hole, as Sprite deaths are apparently an important game mechanic. Hussie corrected this by having Davesprite survive, though it now comes across as an Ass Pull to some.
Tavrisprite's creation was probably the most horrific thing to ever come out of Homestuck, and several fans were not happy at this turn of events. Mere panels later, Tavrisprite explodes and Vriska and Tavros are apart again, albeit still dead.
John/Vriska was perhaps the most Base Breaker ship in the fandom, and John and Vriska both were slightly Strangled by the Red String and acting out of character during it. In Act 6, both John and Vriska independently and completely discard the romance, and decide to be friends.
Jane's Trickster Mode spawned some Internet Backdraft after declares that she feels "so CAUCASIAN!" after powering up (Andrew's way of making fun of people who consider determining the races of characters he considers raceless). Shortly after the incident, Andrew changed her message to "I feel so PEACHY!" and declared that her skin was peach-colored and not race-specific, as certain unsavory individuals were using the "caucasian" reveal as an excuse to harass fans of POC characters.
Then, of course, there's the revelation that the Trickster shenanigans were a Juju-induced Mushroom Samba that utterly freaked Jane (and the other kids) out. Though it's something of an Ass Pull, the revelation can be seen as this since a number of people thought that the Trickster sequence was going into Jumping the Shark territory.
Caliborn shoving dust in the cartridge for Act 6 Act 6, aka, the final act that's not epilogue, and promising to ruin it had some fans up in arms about even more off-panel characterization such as the problems with the trip between sessions and the jump between the Alpha's entry and Jane's birthday, just to speed the story up. Fortunately John shows up and makes it little more than a framing device.
All of the Felt, who were long one of the most popular Ensemble Darkhorse groups, end up coming back and getting some more attention in Act 6.
Award Snub: The absolutely breathtaking "Cascade" animation only made a meager Daily 5th Place award. This may be justified due to the fact that the file itself crashed Newgrounds, preventing people from voting for it.
Gamzee is a fairly divisive character, especially given that much of the unfortunate events that occur happen indirectly because of his involvement. It certainly doesn't help that he killed one of the biggest Ensemble Darkhorse characters in the series.
And now it's started all over again. Was Gamzee justified in Megaton Punching Terezi in the face for stabbing him numerous times in a berserk rage, even though she'd already dropped her weapon and started apologizing? Probably best not to bring it up.
Snowman to a much lesser extent. She has an enormous amount of fans to screentime and in comic she does little but torment Spades Slick constantly.
Doc Scratch taking over the story has also been met with dislike, though that faded mostly as it progressed to a more normal story.
All of these pale before Vriska admitting feelings for John and asking him on a date. Shipping is most definitely Serious Business in this fandom.
With the advent of the Great Shooshpapping of 2011, the fandom is divided over Gamzee and the fate he deserves. In a possible nod to the fandom, a Running Gag has developed since then of characters in-universe saying things along the lines of "yeah, fuck that guy."
Roxy is another example. Some love her for her drinking moments, some find the underaged drinking not so funny.
Jake English. Some fans see him as a Memetic Sex God, even though in reality he's just a big dork, and on top of that he's been subject to derision since he pretty much ignored Jane's feelings for him and only talked to her about his own problems.
Rose and Kanaya becoming canon, as of the Big Damn Kiss in A6I3. Some fans are joyful that it has finally become canon - especially the Rosemary shippers, and some fans do not like it at all - shipping reasons or otherwise.
Rose has got an extreme amount of flak from A6I3 onwards due to her extremely sudden alcoholism, and is in many fans' opinions an extremely bad parody of drunk!Roxy, judgment-blind, out-of-character, a waste of time and just another reason to make pointless drama in the comic that could be easily solved by other characters, who are doing nothing about it for... some reason.
The Trickster mini-arc was yet another polarizing item. Either it was a funny distraction and nice nod to the fanartists, or just plain annoying and slowing down an already slow act. And then there was the "caucasian" thing...Caucasian? As mentioned elsewhere on this page, Jane's declaration that she felt "PEACHY!" was originally "CAUCASIAN!", referring to a joke Hussie made on his Twitter. This backfired spectacularly.
Aranea was popular when introduced, but when she revealed her plan and killed Jade, opinions immediately diverged. Some hate her for the murder, her attitude, especially her smugness, and her insistence on justifying her actions. Others think she's a neat villain whose methods are understandable if extreme. Then of course there are those who take these toeither extreme.
During the Act 4 finale, we see B1 Jack slaughtering the armies of Prospit and Derse, and smashing Skaia and Prospit's moon together. Then we have a quick Squiddles! clip.
The - usually extremely strange - authorial inserts are parodying the fan reactions to the events prior, see Creator Backlash below for more information. Given proper context in that sense, they are not this trope but to a reader not aware of the fandom at large, they are indeed. Another example would probably be the out of nowhere Tavros and Gamzee rap battle late in Act 5, which is Andrew's nod to them being a popular pairing by that point. A lot of the story is shaped by what the fandom does and thinks, so not knowing that entirely or being a fan disconnected from the fandom can cause some moments to be rather odd.
The entirety of Act 6 Act 5 Act 2 is so utterly bizarre Hussie outright says in story that they should never speak of it again, though the events remain canon.
The Act 6 Interfishin. Because no backstory is too important not to be interrupted by a bunch of trolls playing an elevator song on a pirate ship in space.
The canon fan trolls appear on a planet with other troll children in another universe before getting destroyed. As they only last for one panel, this is never brought up again.
The flash where Jade grows multiple arms and plays the bass. Was that ever explained? What the fuck.
Was Act 5 Act 1 what gave the comic well-done new blood in the form of the trolls, or poorly-written drama and romance plots that's the first nail of the comic's coffin and sidetracked the original heroes for too long? There's even a small but vocal group who thinks that the trolls are all there is worth reading to the comic, enough to skip straight to Act 5. The trolls continue to be divisive, but not as much as they were back when Act 5 was in progress.
Act 6. Going by controversy, roughly in order: Are the new kids dull and too similar to already-existing characters with even more romance issues than the trolls, or do they fit along nicely with the other players and this is just going to go over like the trolls themselves when it's over? Are their romance issues in question boring, irrelevant ship bait that gets in the way of the plot or appropriate for the comic's coming of age genre and leading into the main storyline? Who is more amusing: Calliope, or Caliborn? Are ten of the new trolls justified joke/two-dimensional characters or an even bigger, less likable expansion to the cast? Should they be major characters? Is Condesce an engaging villain or a racist stereotype? Was the Trickster arc a fun tribute to fans or an obnoxious series of pages that shows that the writing quality of the whole comic is going down? Does Aranea make for an interesting villain? And, as a whole, is the pacing too slow, too fast (and skipping over everything), or just right? Is this a satisfying continuation that plays around with what was known about the setting, or is it what ruined the whole story?
John directly told Karkat he wasn't interested in him or any guy for that matter. John/Karkat and John/Dave remain some of the most popular ships in the fandom. Some fanfics will often have John say his previous "not a homosexual" was just a prank.
Or insist that the statement does not preclude bisexuality.
Creator Backlash: Andrew is doing the story however he feels is best, and occasionally his attacks on the fandom in the comic itself can be seen as childish and crude.note A good example: Andrew made an over-dramatic self-insert mourning the loss of Rufio from the movie Hook, in response to the reaction about the deaths of Kanaya, Feferi, and Tavros in Act 5 Act 2. However, his comments on the two-year anniversary show that despite his nigh-endless trolling of the fandom, he likes the readers anyway.
Creator Worship: Andrew has mentioned that people are beginning to recognize him in public and apparently doesn't wear MSPA merch outside of cons anymore so they specifically don't because of how much they adore him.
Creator's Pet: Vriska. She even develops a romance with John and is more important than Karkat, the designated main troll character. She also gets a sequence where Doc admits that she stood a fair chance at defeating B1 Jack Noir, i.e. the dog-man who blows up planets for fun. If that doesn't cry overpowered, nothing does. As with most things involving Hussie, this was intentional.
Act 5 Act 2 just keeps getting bleaker and bleaker to the point where some fans just don't want to follow it anymore. Fortunately It Gets Better as the rest of the human kids ascend to Godtier, Jade using her new powers to save all the planets and their inhabitants in the kids' session from the Scratch, and there seems to be no more troll deaths.
Then Act 6 comes around. Sure, there's some lulls in the seriousness of the act, but given all the complaints about it, the Arc Fatigue, the Broken Base, and sudden plot twists coming out of nowhere, it's not hard to see people stop reading it post-Act 5 Act 2.
Eridan. Ironic when you consider who he looks like, isn't it?
Gamzee gets a bit of this treatment as well.
Gamzee and Eridan at least have the excuse of being mentally unstable or outright insane. Jack, however, takes malicious glee in his kills and is completely sane, and yet fan depictions often play up his adorable doggy-ness or say he's not all that bad.
Whenever Vriska isn't labelled as The Scrappy, she gets a lot of this trope as well.
Caliborn, although he seems to be more of a Love to Hate kind of character.
Spades Slick gets a minor version of this, as his sympathetic traits are often played up by fans. While in canon he's definitely the most heroic and sympathetic iteration of Jack Noir, he's still a belligerent Jerkass mobster with a love of overkill. Heck the Midnight Crew in general gets this; they areIneffectual Sympathetic Villains and have plenty of Pet the Dog moments, they're also a group of gangsters who are introduced trying to off the competition (not that Lord English doesn't deserve it).
There are several characters that die. Andrew plays this a few times for comedy and uses SBaHJ quotes. Gamzee's murders are the ones most often accused of this, as Andrew whiplashes between comedy and horrific images, such as using a SBAHJified Gamzee turning to face Nepeta immediately after having strangled Equius. It just doesn't mix well most of the time.
A segment of the Tumblr fandom were not pleased with Mituna, seeing him as Hussie making fun of mental disabilities.
Fefetasprite's death was immediately followed by the whole Trickster Mode debacle.
Rose's comments about whether or not Gamzee's violence against Terezi counts as kismesissitude can come across as this, given that it comes in the middle of a terrifying No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Her subsequent actions to try and stop Gamzee from going any further alleviate this, but the gag seems to come across as being in bad taste.
Sentryworm, FedoraFreak, Ms. Paint, Secret Wizard and Crumplehat out of the miscellaneous characters.
Bro is the most popular Guardian, and Karkat's lusus is the most popular lusus.
The trolls receive a vastly disproportionate amount of fanart compared to their amount of featured time. Probably because they expanded the main cast by 300%, are all sorts of messed up, have a system of romance which allows people to remain technically monogamous while simultaneously being paired with multiple people, and have no concept of gender-specific sexuality.
And even among the trolls, one character stands above all the others in terms of fan-love-to-appearances, thanks in large part to a simple comment made by Hussie himself. To wit: "There are major characters, and there are minor ones. If you're waiting for me to fire up NEPETAQUEST 2011, don't hold your breath." The end result? At least two major Nepetaquest fan projects underway, and Nepeta probably has more art of her extant than any other individual troll.
Andrew indicated that The Felt were just one shot characters without any real personalities to speak of, but that hasn't stopped the fans from loving these guys to death. Even more telling is the fact that while we're supposed to root for the Midnight Crew, most fans felt sorry whenever a Felt member was killed off. Clover in particular gets a lot of love. This has been strengthened by their appearances in Act 6.
The original Ensemble Darkhorses were the Exiles, all of them at one time, but most especially PM.
Their deaths brought about an outpouring of sympathy, and PM rocketed up in popularity.
WV is still massively popular as well, though the fact that he's Plucky Comic Relief keeps him from widespread popularity.
Let's not forget the cheers that erupted when the Midnight Crew showed up officially.
Squarewave and Sawtooth became very popular pretty rapidly.
Meenah is very popular among the Cast Herd that is the A1 trolls. Porrim has a boatload of fans as well, unsurprisingly.
Fefetasprite quickly became the most popular of the Alpha Sprites.
Even though they show up for all of one panel before being obliterated, the Ascended FanonOriginal Character Trolls Mierfa Durgas and Nektan Whelan have recieved quite a bit of fanart and praise.
"Mystery Flashlight Girl" from the Homestuck game, who only even exists in concept art at the moment◊, already has a following and loads of fan art. The same happened with the new troll and Guardian Axolotl, who have the same amount of exposure.
The Psionic wasn't originally this, but after his hilarious appearance over in Paradox Space (where he's portrayed as an insane Large Ham who loves the Sufferer so much it causes him to spontaneously shoot lasers from his eyes) he got a massive boost in popularity and many fans now cite him as their favorite ancestor.
Epileptic Trees: The WMG pages are huge. It's safe to say Homestuck inspires a lot of theories.
Fan theories about Doc Scratch's identity when he was just known as "White Text Guy" ranged everywhere from Lord English, to a Ophiuchus-themed troll, to Bec, to an Obfuscating Stupidity Karkat.
Dave Strider is the in-universe author of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, and the comics often allude to events in Homestuck. So whenever a new SBaHJ comic comes out, there are a lot of crazy theories about what it might be foreshadowing.
Fan Community Nicknames: Either Homestuckers or more and more commonly just "a Homestuck", as in "Nick is a Homestuck and keeps F5ing the main page".
Fan Hater: The work has recieved fire from some sources, including Anime Convention Cosplayers whose shows are crashed by excessively large Homestuck Cosplay groups. As well as people who don't believe that the story gets better in its longevity.
Dirk turning out to like Rainbow Dash, Kurloz and Meulin using MLP reaction images, and MLP becoming somewhat less prominent reduced the fandom fighting on that front. The Hetalia rivalry reached it's zenith in December '11 with fans (or Funimation; it was never conclusively proved one way or the other) ironically buying adspace for it on MSPA before realizing the whole thing was somewhat stupid to begin with. The fandoms have set aside their differences and declared themselves moirails.
WV's messing around with can chessboard becomes pretty damn sad once you see what happened the last time he tried to lead an army.
In a pesterlog between Dave and Gamzee in early Act 5 Act 2, Gamzee saying that he hasn't had a good pie in a while takes on new significance after he does his acrobatic fucking pirouette off the handle.
The contents of Dad's wallet are revealed to be a ton of shaving cream, which is presented as comedic. Just before "Cascade", the Courtyard Droll returns with the shaving cream and uses it to kill Jade.
Dad Egbert's Doting Parent routine is a bit saddening when you consider what John's been subconsciously writing on his bedroom walls.
Aradia's snarky line about how Karkat should just keep listening to his self-destructive, angry impulses gets much worse when you find out later from Karkat that many if not most of the Aradiabots from doomed timelines came about because of hasty decisions on his part. In other words, a lot of her snark towards Karkat came because she got to see herself (and her friends) die over and over again because of him.
"wait, my favorite horse account WASN'T a robot? I FEEL CHEATED!"
-Consumer entitlement, knowing no bounds
HSQ: "Cascade". The end of the lengthy Act 5, the climax of the story up until that point. The Scratch is initiated, the kids prepare to journey into the Alpha Session, they all ascend to god tier, they leave behind their own universes and they set off The Tumor which actually CREATES the Green Sun, B1 Jack Noir continues his murderous rampage but finally meets his match in PM... but the best of all? It was uploaded on 10/25, 1025 being the sum of the other two Arc Numbers, 413 and 612, and it was so hyped up and amazing that it broke Newgrounds and a few other sites temporarily because of all of the traffic of people wanting to see it. 10/25 became known as the day that Homestuck broke the internet.
It's a little difficult to decide what really tops all of the other events, although if "Cascade" could break the internet, it's safe to say that it's the most amazing one so far. However, if you see an animation marked with [S], you might as well leave your jaw on the floor.
Hype Aversion: In part due to some of the fandom's less-than-pleasant aspects.
I Knew It: The heavily reader-driven nature of the work causes this to happen a lot. "90% of calling it, is really influencing it in disguise." For example: Was anyone really suprised when it turned out that Lil Cal had to do with the Big Bad?
A number of people in the fandom considered the Trickster Mode Act to be a Deus ex Machina and found the Tricksterfied versions of almost all of the characters to be annoying. Right after it's revealed that the whole thing was a Mushroom Samba that left Jane completely freaked out about what happened, Hussie himself states to Caliborn that the characters can't simply be derailed into annoyingly happy versions of themselves and solve all of their problems instantaneously.
There was a contained but impressive one of these on the forums when it was revealed that Vriska had been behind Bec's prototyping and indeed, the creation of Bec himself. The comic's designated chat thread reached 100 pages in just over 16 hours.
One that has possibly surpassed that is Aranea's murder of Jade. Given that she then manipulates game mechanics so that Resurrective Immortality wouldn't kick in for Jade, this had lead to the biggest uproar in the fandom to date, to the point where Hussie has reportedly received death threats over it.
The beginning with John floundering about in his room is starkly different from the later parts of the comic. In fact, each Act can basically be considered a somewhat different style of story, as by the time of Act 5, the plot has become incredibly convoluted, confusing, and dramatic. Fans of Problem Sleuth have been a bit put off by the drastic change in style. Note that it has been stated the slow beginning of Homestuck was intentional.
Just Here for Godzilla: A large portion of the fanbase is Just Here For The Trolls, to the chagrin of much of the rest of the fanbase.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Due to the fandom's tendency to relentlessly ship everyone with everyone, the entire main cast could be classified as a launcher. This is especially true for the Trolls who are almost universally bisexual. Then there are the four quadrants, which open up a lot of options.
Magnum Opus: This is often seen as Andrew Hussie's best work, even though it isn't finished and he still wants to top himself after it is.
If you were to ask the fandom what part of the series is the best, it would probably be Act 5 Act 2, or some portion of it. If you wanted to narrow it down even further, people would unanimously agree that the "Cascade" update is the greatest thing to come out of the whole work.
Memetic Badass: Bro Strider. Fans sometimes jokingly portray AR as this. As one commenter put it:
"Jack is just lucky that AR left his rocket launcher out of reach. Otherwise, Homestuck would have ended early."
Scratch's conversations with Rose and Jade have catapulted him into this category.
Terezi qualifies as well, to a lesser extent, mostly because of her obsession with licking and smelling things.
Caliborn, for creepily spying on Jane and Roxy throughout their session, and getting off to something simple as the two girls having a pillow fight. He also told Jane to strip down and make herself dirty for his pleasure, while calling her fat. His only excuse is that this is apparently how his species interacts with others.
Some feel this way about the line "I THINK I GAVE HIM CANCER". Karkat tends to attract Narm whenever he acts serious and remorseful, mostly because it's relatively rare and he's bad at it.
Though that may also be from the way works like Robot Chicken and Family Guy have desensitized audiences to the word cancer. In a charity commercial begging for research funds, references to cancer are usually viewed as heartbreaking; in a webcomic prone to silliness, it's more likely to be Played for Laughs (which in this case it wasn't, but the expectation totally ruined the effect).
Nightmare Retardant: With the Trolls' Murderstuck arc, Hussie is trying to have have both comedy and horror at once. It doesn't really work that way.
One-Scene Wonder: Fedorafreak has never appeared in person; his name shows up in the background on Dad's chat client once in Act 1 and twice in Act 5, well over a year later. Despite this, he achieved memetic status on the forums. During the [o]termission, he takes center stage for a few pages, having somehow gotten into the Medium, alchemized a few worthless outfits, and apparently died on a Quest Bed after fighting some imps.
Self-Fanservice: The Kids are rarely drawn as children, the Trolls as monsters, or the Exiles as alien chess things by the fans.
Serious Business: Shipping. Fans can get pretty opinionated about the nature of the quadrants (how much is nature and how much is nurture) and the feasibility of healthy troll-human romance in various quadrants. At one extreme, some fans insist that human/troll pairings could work in any quadrant, at the other extreme, some fans insist that human/troll are doomed due to psychological differences, even in the flushed quadrant.
Jade's grandfather collected the corpse of her dream self... and stuffed it. And then Jade proceeded to do the same to him when he died. As a toddler.
Gamzee is implied to have made out with Tavros' severed head at points in late Act 5 Act 2.
Spade Slick and Snowman "hate snogging" near the end of Act 5 Act 2. It's not them kissing, it's the gratuitous close-up and the fact that their faces are covered in blood. Not to mention they're basically making out on top of the corpses of several Felt members. Lampshaded by Doc Scratch, who flips out when he sees this.
Spades Slick isn't actually dead, and Andrew Hussie is nursing him back to health after making him a cyborg. No problem. He is nursing him back to health with milk "fresh from the Butler's teat". The Butler in question being a version of Aurthour.
John and Vriska both in regards to one another; it's hard to imagine the John in earlier Acts being okay with a serial killer crushing on him, and likewise up until she started talking to John, Vriska had few to no redeeming qualities. Later updates in Act 6 have John realize that it was ridiculous of him to even have considered her as a romantic possibility, both because they had only known each other for a day and because of the aforementioned serial-killing.
Jack Noir and PM's shipping is even more controversial, though more subdued. Helped by the fact that it's completely one-sided in-universe (PM hates Jack more than anything in the world for obvious reasons).
Characters are depicted either in miniature form (stylistically depicted without arms) or a more realistic 'Hero Mode'. What happens when you have Hero Mode with the miniature form's stubby feet and no arms? You get this.
Troll romance can be interpreted as this, especially Kismesis couples that can involve abuse from both sides. Somewhat justifiable, in that they're aliens and violence and abuse is part of their society in general.
John and Jade have been seen by many to be Asian sterotypes, but this more or less died down with the revelation that they are not genetically related to any other humans other than their genetic parents Jane and Jake.
The heavy emphasis on shipping and erotic art of 13 year olds by the fandom is somewhat awkward. This one gets a little less creepy if the focus in on their 16 year old selves post-Act 6 Act 5, or generally aged-up versions of the characters.
Doc Scratch holding the Handmaid/A2 Damara hostage can be chock full of this if you read his chatlogs with Rose. He even dresses her, cuts off her "furniture privileges", beats her, and she's already been shown to try to commit suicide once. It's not subtle at all. It eventually receives some lampshading from Hussie's Author Avatar.
Roxy being a heavy drinker, even though she's not even 16. Worse that it's played for laughs, though it's implied later that she might be doing it to stave off the pain of losing her mom, and the fact that she's growing up almost alone in a flooded, post-apocalyptic future ruled over by an alien tyrant out to kill her and Dirk specifically, which might send it into deconstruction territory. Rose developed a similar problem later on in A6I3, and it's also played for laughs.
Although overall, the activeness/passiveness scale of Sburb classes is pretty balanced in terms of its gender restrictions, the ends of the scale - the passive and active classes - are female-only and male-only respectively.
Hussie himself addressed this by pointing out that it's both hearkening to traditional mythology and the most strongly active class after the Lord class is a female class, the Witch. Moreover, he's also said in the past that Sburb titles are sometimes meant as a challenge rather than a description of a character, or don't add up with how a character is due to Sburb just being weird sometimes. Not to mention the two characters with the shown classes share a physically sexless or female body anyways.
A good amount of these do have symbolic significance. For example, the Cruxite Artifacts of each kid represent their individual departures, both into the Medium and from their old ways of life. In John's case, the apple represents the abandonment of innocence in favor of knowledge (additionally, knowledge and deep thought are associated with Air). For Rose, the bottle represents a leap of faith (appropriately, she jumped off a waterfall to retrieve it) and the necessity to trust her server player, Dave. Traditionally, bottles are also used to christen new vessels at sea, tying it into her classical element as well. Dave's is an egg that must be given enough time to hatch, tying in to his larger bird motif and his storyline seeking an identity separate from his Bro. Jade has a tree, like her brother John, but this one drops a Bec-shaped pinata that she has to break—like how prototyping Bec subsequently breaks the game and forces the Scratch.