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YMMV: Sinfest
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Just how much are we meant to like Xanthe (aka Trike Girl) anyway? While her Knight Templar actions have not yet been criticized or faulted by any "good" character, yet, some readers wonder if there isn't just a slight Deconstruction element in her character somewhere...
  • Anvilicious: Pretty much anything do with the Patriarchy and Xanthe.
  • Arc Fatigue: A somewhat common criticism of the strip is how potentially interesting storylines are often stretched too long and thin. This Tumblr post goes further into the issue.
  • Archive Binge: Oooooh yeah... over 4500 entries at the end of 2012.
  • Archive Panic: This webcomic started in January 2000. According to the archive, it's been updated almost every day... for 12 years. At about 350 (or so) comics a year. Not as bad as some of the other examples on the Archive Panic page, but getting there.
    • Pointed out on this strip. Whether or not he's right or if it is victim blaming (as it says in the title) is yet to be established.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The Patriarchy plot, not necessarily because it's a hard plot to swallow in itself, but because of how suddenly and powerfully it appeared, and also when compared to the strip before. The main issue now seems to be members of the Sisterhood saying blatantly offensive things, like advocating unprovoked violence against men, when compared to their previous characterization of being a small Jerk Sue organization. Because of this, along with the outright demonization of men that would make a Lifetime Movie of the Week writer shake their heads (such as having Xanthe get bombarded with garbage by a small army of background strawmen and then claiming in an attempted Tear Jerker that "male allies don't exist"), male readers who would otherwise be supportive of the storyline feel the strip is actively pushing them away. The strip has even been likened to some of the more clueless social justice blogs from Tumblr in comic strip form.
    • Many fans are also turned off by the fact that the writer tends to handle any and all criticism of the Sisterhood by apparently assuming they're just misogynist jerks, dismissing their (often reasonable) complaints and labeling them as "dudebros" who are really just whining because Monique doesn't shake her ass anymore. We know this because dozens of strips are dedicated specifically to the purpose of taking common complaints about the direction the strip has gone in and having the designated strawmen Slick or Squig say it, probably while crying and probably after having twisted it into something blatantly misogynist. Another form this takes is in having Monique put on magical "patriarchy blocker" glasses that "translate" common criticisms into something easier to dismiss.
    • The original concept to begin with, as used to imply that Christianity ringed more true than the other religions (even as characters like the Buddha and the Dragon walked around).
  • Base Breaker: Xanthe, and the whole Sisterhood plot in general for stealing the spotlight from most of the cast in general. To some it has been labeled as when the comic Jumped the Shark. Her degree of polarizing effect is so bad that she can accurately be compared to Sasuke (stateside only) and Miko in terms of how divisive she is.
  • Black Hole Sue: Xanthe, again; her actions and their results have been taking the spotlight for what some see as a disproportionate amount of time.
    • Not to mention that practically every other character has undergone a major change or all but vanished since she was introduced, and most of the changes have been caused by the Sisterhood or can be linked to it (like the Devil changing in order to become the one behind the Patriarchy).
  • Boomerang Bigot: The author, who spends 9 out of 10 strips these days slamming men and the 'patriarchy' via increasingly obnoxious and stupid ways.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: Let's face it. When the Sisterhood shows up, nothing will be different, they will make a point, and be "Right" about something.
  • Broken Base: The fandom got along relatively peacefully, but that changed starting around 10/2011. Nowadays it's gone into fandom civil war-grade fracturing.
  • Canon Sue: The Sisterhood, especially Xanthe.
  • Crack Ship: Baby Blue and Jesus.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Xanthe and her cohorts, to those who don't like her. See Base Breaker above. She and the Sisterhood story arc shows up in 1 out of every 5 strips.
      • 1-of-5 is as a whole. In practice, the storyline will have a huge percentage of strips focusing on it in a fairly short time period. For instance, since about May, the Sisterhood plotline has more or less made another attempt at taking over the strip, as about half of the strips since then have focused on it.
  • Double Standard:
    • This comic shows glasses that "translate" what men say without context to the writer's life. This should be impossible (Rule of Funny aside), so apparently women can judge men as much as they want.
    • This comic seems to imply that women feel miserable and worthless because men make them feel that way, while men feel miserable and worthless because they inherently are.
    • The 7/5/2012 strip gets lots of flak for this. Charlie Brown gets the restraining order, yet Sally and Lucy get nothing. Very jarring to Peanuts fans since in the comic, Sally and Lucy's actions are considerably worse than Charlie Brown's.
    • The different reactions from Xanthe towards Legion wanting a cookie (reacts with low grade physical violence) and Baby Blue trying to KILL her (reacts with simple evasive maneuvers). The problem here stems from the grade of reaction seeming to be based on gender rather than on the grade of the action. Combined with the example above, this indicates that Xanthe is indeed a misandrist.
      • To be fair, the lack of retaliation in the latter case could be Xanthe recognizing that she's outclassed/outgunned, but the lack of any noticeable reaction is noteworthy.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • The 7/5/2012 strip hit a nerve with Peanuts fans. This particular strip is... polarizing.
    • Partially related is that others dislike that strip because a strip toward Xanthe's return (and the introduction of the Sisterhood plotline) was basically the same joke, except with Calvin and Hobbes.
    • This strip is also seen as particularly tasteless, especially since Slick has been struggling with his evil side and did make honest attempts to be a better person only to be constantly smacked down.
    • And this one set a new standard, which basically highlighted the author's (apparent) view that women are right to live in fear of men, as any of them could be a "creepy pornsick stalker dude".
    • This strip which decides to have a play where (a genderbent) Jesus is advocating violence to the Sisterhood's approving calls of "Kill all men!". And apparently, these feminists are all lesbian as well (they'd earlier criticized Adam/Eve as "heteronormative"), which carries some rather Unfortunate Implications.
    • This chapter, while making fun of the women take longer then men to get ready also makes it look like women are paranoid to leave their house without being attacked.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Subverted in that, while generally portrayed as appealing (especially when compared to the alternative), the devil's pleasures are ultimately unsatisfying. Even for himself.
    • Played straight by the succubi, until Fuchsia's Character Development made her not so evil anymore.
  • Flame War: The Sisterhood Arc is so divisive and controversial that mentioning it is just asking for trouble. Just look at this page!
  • Flat Character: The Zombie Kid is often seen as this in the eyes of many fans who feel that he has no character outside of "Tell Me A Story" and looking sad/scared all the time.
  • Foe Yay: Between Baby Blue and Jesus, though it's mostly from Blue's side. It's heavily implied however that, as a child, Blue really did have a crush on him.
  • Fridge Logic:
    • Lil' Evil frequently mocks the damned, but what does he think is going to happen when he makes it to the other side himself?
      • Well, there seems to be a big difference between being the damned souls and being the demons who torment them; he probably assumes he will end up in the second group.
      • Also, Lil'Evil is the Devil's son and, disappointed or not, he isn't likely to torture him for eternity.
    • If Monique's former fans hate her new act so much, why do they keep going to see it?
      • Most likely an allegory for how the Sinfest complainers continue to lurk at Sinfest.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: It's like Ishida saw it coming three years away.
  • Ho Yay: A few strips on bromance get pretty close to this, but the most obvious is Lil'Evil and his feelings for Satan... until we learn that Lil'E is actually the devil's son.
  • Internet Back Draft: Any mention of the Sisterhood is certain to provoke a flame war somewhere.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Slick, frequently.
    • Baby Blue has been subjected to Good Feels Good a few times, but unlike Fuchsia something tends to go wrong before it has any chance to stick, sending her back to square one.
    • The Devil and Lil' E now that we get to see some of their backstory.
  • Jerk Sue: Xanthe. She never gets called out or suffers bad karma for her behaviour.
    • One could argue that Xanthe doesn't really do anything particularly jerky. She tries to enforce her Ideals in a similar-ish fashion to Seymour, but is much more passive about it when compared to him really. She spends more time encouraging females than she does attacking males, which is the kind of behaviour that would really push her to Jerk Sue levels. It should however be duly noted that the 7/5 strip shows in a darkly ironic way that she's every bit as sexist against men as the Patriarchy is towards women. Namely due to, as many Peanuts fans point out, the behaviour of Sally towards Linus is far worse than Chuck's is. This point does point her more towards being a Jerk Sue.
    • What truly directs Xanthe toward this is that the author is clearly more sympathetic to her views than that of Seymour. It may not truly be to the point of using her as a mouthpiece and hell, a lot of her points really make sense, the massive amount of exposure she and her cause have gotten in the past year, plus the fact that the vast majority of it is portrayed mostly positively indicates that she's supposed to be at least "right" in a lot of her points.
      • In a way, the recently enhanced extremism of the Sisterhood may be an attempt to avert this, by giving them some actual negative qualities that are meant to be disagreed with, like advocating violence against men. The problem with this is that they were portrayed as nigh-flawless and always morally superior to everybody else (even to God), and a pretty blatant mouthpiece. So to suddenly change their characterization to be more flawed and realistic simply makes it look like the mouthpiece is now advocating morally reprehensible things.
  • Jumping the Shark: A common complaint, leveled at most things involving the Sisterhood.
  • Mary Sue: The primary complaint about the Sisterhood, especially Xanthe. They get progressively more blatent with further strips.
    • The Devil himself, who'd had Jesus as his Butt Monkey several times, is unable to beat the Sisterhood even once, and, worse, he can't find a way to benefit from their movement (other than letting others assault them), leading to the conclusion that it's some kind of epitome of moral perfection.
  • Moe: Criminy, Fuchsia, Pooch, Percy, Squig, Buddha, Angie/Tange, Absinthe, and the enlightened Illuminati Drones are all kinds of cute.
  • Nightmare Fuel: This is a little unsettling...
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Possibly the only thing keeping Ezekiel and Ariel from becoming as hated as Seymour is the fact that they are actually nice. The greatest example is comparing this scene with this scene.
    • And on that note, with Seymour becoming a whole lot nicer recently (he even brings snacks to Lil' E and Pebbles) he's been rescued from the heap as well.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Arguably the Fuchsia/Criminy romance, although a quick look at the Characters page, the Awesome page, the Heartwarming page, and even the main page will tell you that it seems to be the most referenced, popular story arc in the comic.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Patriarchy arc seems to have provoked this reaction due to just how polarizing the Sisterhood (Xanthe in particular) is.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Seymour gained a considerable hatedom after the September 14th, 2010 block of strips, especially after a Despair Event Horizon. The hatedom seems to have dimminished after he Took a Level in Kindness
    • Xanthe, due to being the herald to an infamously polarizing change in the overall nature of the comic.
      • While most of the Sisterhood (except Nana and "Mercy") are generally disliked, the most hatred (besides Xanthe) is directed at Violet due to her more sociopathic attitude.
    • The rogue Fembot, nicknamed "Maverick" as an insult to both her and the Sisterhood's lack of respect for ThreeLawsCompliant. Mainly due to her violent approach being depicted as right despite the lack of adequete threshold for Zeroth Law behaviour.
  • Stealth Parody: Do you remember that old strip were Monique asks Slick if he would love her even if she were a "lesbian biker nazi"? Sounds familiar? Add this to the fact that, according to the strip of 7-22-12, Sinfest can be funny only relying on (allegedly) sexist humorism, implying that now that the sisterhood took over the webcomic, it can't be funny. I'm waiting for the Grand Finale of the mother of all Trolling Author moves.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Fyoosha has tried on-and-off to get Blue to reform as well. The first attempts were shot to hell, and Baby has lost all patience with the concept of redemption. Fuchsia won't take the hint.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Unwittingly or not, Slick does point out one of many complaints people have about the Sisterhood in this strip; namely, that Monique's characterization has drastically changed since their introduction.
    • In "Victim Blaming" Slick (clumsily) points out that if you say things to rile people up, they're going to get riled up. If he'd just suggested making the same points but in a more nuanced fashion, rather than an Anvilicious one, it might have gotten through.
    • Despite Squig getting Third Wave Feminism completely wrong, he does point out that many women see the sisterhood's decrying of femme traits and open sexuality as oppression to be outdated. The point of the movement is to allow women to be able to wear and act however they feel like without being labelled as a slut or being victim-blamed or say, someone depicting a female politician as a pig in drag.
    • This strip portraying all who miss old 'Nique does point out she has lost her old playfulness.
    • This strip which has Slick singing cheerfully about the joys of misogyny overreacts at a protest sign carried by a Trike Girl and calls her a hater. The problem being that the same Trike Girl was recently in a comic cheering out for the death of all men, making Slick Accidentally Accurate in his overreaction.
    • The Devil is completely correct in his accusation that the Sisterhood sabotaged the Fembots factory and that the Fembots were perfectly safe consumer products before that.
    • While self-destructing a walking weapon when she began to refuse orders was pretty harsh, it was easily the lesser evil given the track record of these robots when left to their own devices. The civilian model was irrational and ill-tempered, so imagine what a military model with the same personality could do.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: Anything involving Criminy and Fuschia.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Seymour, after getting turned into a demon.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The longer this strip runs, the more horrifingly adorable it gets. And then we have...
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Part of the problem with the Sisterhood plot is the strip shifting from skewering all examples of extremism to ignoring its own message when it comes to feminism. Before the Sisterhood plot began, fundamentalist religious beliefs, consumerism, and other extremes of belief and behavior were heavily parodied in a manner promoting a moderate perspective. However, the feminist extremists of the Sisterhood are always right and there's no longer a middle ground.
    • To some, it's an even simpler explanation: The Sisterhood is such a Plot Tumor that it's damn near omnipresent in the strip now. Overall, something like 20% of the strips since its introduction have focused on it, and it's even more counting how many strips have involved it by extension or focused on the results of its actions, which would be something more like half of the strips. It isn't whether the Sisterhood is right or wrong, it's just that most of the other storylines have been so pushed aside in its favor and even then will usually involve it when they're brought up.
    • Many fans also hate just the massive changes that the Sisterhood has brought on, leading to accusations that Xanthe is a Black Hole Sue. Slick changed from a mildly misogynist, but well-meaning idiot who had a thing for a specific girl into a fully misogynist Jerk Ass, whose sympathetic qualities seem very unintentional. Monique went from a reasonably ordinary woman who was trying to overcome her Attention Whore traits to a borderline paranoid wreck who now mostly just wanders around the setting mumbling about the Patriarchy (this one is particularly damning because it was caused directly by the Sisterhood, as opposed to the others who were changed by "coincidence"). Squig went from a harmless hedonist who was also a bit of a perv to a strawman for the anti-pornography Sisterhood to use as a punching bag.
      • The Sisterhood has also pretty much erased the relationship between Slick and Monique. While they were once attempting to get together, this has seemingly been forgotten in favor of Monique being paranoid and Slick being the Butt Monkey to the Sisterhood. This is especially damning because some considered this to be the central plotline of the entire strip, which has not only been pretty much set back to square one, but is now barely mentioned, and all of that Character Development they earned over the course of roughly eleven years has all but vanished. The strip also attempted to portray Slick unsympathetically for wondering why his former love interest was acting so strangely and no longer seemed to want anything to do with him.
  • Ugly Cute: The zombie and his attachment to Fuchsia.
  • Unfortunate Implications: So far, nearly every male character has been firmly stuck at viewing women as objects and the Sisterhood's membership appears to be entirely female.
    • And, as mentioned under Dude, Not Funny!, the Sisterhood seems to think that Adam/Eve is a bad relationship based purely on it being heterosexual and that Madam/Eve is a good one based purely on it being lesbian, suggesting that they aren't open to even considering the possibility that it's possible to be both feminist and heterosexual.
      • With the exception of Criminy, whose ostensibly healthy relationship with Fuchsia has yet to attract the attention of the Sisterhood, negative or positive.
    • Strips tend to show massive double standards when changed from being about, say, men, to being "No Jews Allowed", or "No black people allowed", "Non-Aryan."
    • With the introduction of the "White Matrix" from the dark skin Sisterhood member, combine with their man hating stance, it implies that only white males are really to blame for any bad happening.
    • For all the clamoring for equality and bashing of stereotypical and offensive content, the strip seems to be going out of its way to portray the token gay character (eventually named Francis Sebastian) as a flamboyant, narcissistic jerk, apparently just because he's a gay male (and possibly also for being white, at this rate).
    • The infamous 7-22-12 strip for completely different reasons. The male-condemning content leading up to the strip combined with the huge amount of self-shaming present in the strip itself gave off a massive impression of self-loathing on part of the author. When combined with the hand print and signature on the contract, as well as the T signature on the bottom right corner of the strip itself appearing to be signed in blood, some people drew the implication that the author was actually suicidal, and that this strip was meant as a form of suicide note to the readers.
    • The devil has trouble getting anything over on the Sisterhood, and they're rarely, if ever, portrayed as wrong about anything. As some have noticed, this makes them seem like some kind of moral paragon. Except for the "kill all men" bits mentioned in Strawman Has a Point, which was in fact a feminist Twitter campaign and is a popular tumblr tag used to express hatred of men. The idea that no feminist has done anything wrong, even out of good intentions, is manifestly false, especially if one uses Tumblr. And remember, the Devil has managed to win victories against Jesus Christ.
    • The portrayal of feminism as almost exclusively female. To be fair, a lot of feminists often forget male feminists as well, but that's beyond the scope of this article.
    • The Sisterhood seem to believe that male feminists and allies don't exist at all, and there isn't much evidence to suggest that the reader is supposed to disagree. In fact, all male characters were either made incredibly misogynist (Slick and Squig) or intentionally kept away from the Sisterhood (Crim and post-amnesia Lil' E) to keep this attitude present.
    • Seymour has only become more sympathetic once his homosexuality took over as his primary characteristic. Although this alone could be understandable (given that his previous persona was an extremely intolerant religious fundamentalist), he's now portrayed as one of the few "good", or at least neutral male characters, apparently by the sole virtue that he doesn't desire women. Oh, and the other sympathetic male characters are: a chaste male ingenue, an amnesiac little kid, and two (also chaste, and not shown for the quite amount of time) saint figures.
    • And generally misogyny is portrayed as heinous, while misandry is ok and encouraged.
    • In the reality zone, there is apparently no oppression towards women. That seems to contradict not only Sinfest current feminist side, and is very wrong as well...
    • Clio seems to be very anti-racial mixing as shown here - though this could just as easily be against the fetishization of race, hence why it's a YMMV article.
    • The new BDSM-clad male seems to imply that all bdsm is inherently sexist and creepy. Never mind if it's consensual or the women who have a genuine submissive fetish.
      • In an earlier strip, the same or a similar character appears in the virtual "porn world", and is seen trying to kill Squig with an ax for no apparent reason. Unless the strip was tackling snuff films, it's hard to intemperate that scene as not portraying BDSM as inherently evil.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Weapon F, by sole virtue of how unlikeable her "target" is. See below.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The sentient Fembot. The viewers are to sympathize with it because its aware that it only use as a sex object. All good. Except that most of it's screen time is it being very violent against people, borderline Killer Robot, which has caused it to get the nick name of "Maverick".
    • Just look at how she (and the "adorably" innocent Pebbles) reacts towards a man with the audacity to wish the "ladies" a good day — which is sexist now, apparently: Behold and Enjoy/Rage.
    • Increasingly, the people targeted by the sisterhood who actually make good points; see Strawman Has a Point, above.
  • What an Idiot:
  • The Woobie:
    • Most of the non-deity characters have gotten moments of this, but Fuchsia, Squigley, and Slick are the most frequent, especially Squig over the course of 2010.
    • The Zombie. Have you EVER wanted to comfort a mass of undead, maggot-ridden flesh this much since Corpse Bride?
    • More and more as Lil'Evil's back story is revealed.

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