YMMV / The Order of the Stick

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Miko, the biggest Base Breaker in the entire comic — Knight Templar or Knight in Shining Armor?
    • Vaarsuvius — Jerk with a Heart of Gold or Sociopathic Hero?
    • Belkar — Chaotic Evil or Chaotic Neutral (Word of the Giant be damned)? Other fans debate how much of his Character Development is fake, and whether the amount changed. Note that an early strip strongly implies that his constant anger and aggressiveness is a consequence of his low Wisdom; being temporarily wiser turns him into a non-violent nice guy.
    • Girard Draketooth — Chaotic version of a Knight Templar or Properly Paranoid?
    • Malack. Exactly how evil he really is has been up for debate since the very beginning. How much he cared for his children, how much he does or does not genuinely respects Durkon, and a lot of other parts of his personality are up for debate. It was partly settled when Malack was revealed to be a vampire who planned an endless campaign of human sacrifice when he took over the kingdom, perhaps employing a special chamber. Then again, it was also made clear he did genuinely respect Durkon. He raised him as a vampire after all, and honored his last request to protect the Order of the Stick.
    • Does Tarquin really care for Elan as his son, or does he just think of him as a plot device? Given how dedicated Tarquin is to narrative tropes, a possible answer is both.
    • The Snarl, as a result of Epileptic Trees, has several. One notable one is that the planet within its realm is its effort to create life and an orderly world, unlike the chaotic nonsense which lead to its formation.
    • The Oracle is read by the majority fans as a simple Magnificent Bastard, but a subset of fanfic writers have taken to a rather tricky interpretation of the whole "Lickmyorangeballshalfling" thing. The theory goes that the Oracle, being totally omniscient and thus unable to be surprised by anything, is some kind of sociopath who manipulates people just to have some form of entertainment. After all, Belkar's prophecy was entirely self-fulfilling: he did end up "causing the death of" the Oracle (by, y'know... directly murdering him), but only after being goaded into doing so by the Oracle, who claimed that Miko's and Windstriker's deaths were indirectly his fault. The cyclic nature of the prophecy has been extrapolated by some to create a truly terrifying character that.... frankly doesn't really appear in the comic as such.
  • Arc Fatigue: Started to set in for some fans towards the end of Book 5 as Tarquin obsessively pursues the Order attempting to force Elan to follow the "correct" narrative structure. From his reappearance in comic #910, coming after the destruction of the Gate and a pointless battle with a monster summoned by Redcloak, there were a further 26 strips of this, released over 4 and a bit months, before they finally managed to shake him off.
    • And again with the Godsmoot meeting in Book 6, which got so vocal that Word of God eventually addressed it here.
  • Archive Panic: Over 1000 strips — and the "strips" are at least an A4 page's worth each, and sometimes more than one. In dead tree format, there are five books in print (not counting prequels) with another one nearly completed which will be longer than any of them.
  • Artist Disillusionment: Nearly every interaction between the Giant and his fans seems rather... surly. He is constantly forced to explain himself to fans regarding plot holes, alignment concerns, and the creepy worship of certain characters, like Miko. Even things that might bear discussion get rather blunt shutdowns from the author.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Miko is a... polarizing character to say the least. Fans of the comic generally either love Miko or hate her. They started arguing about her back after being revealed at comic #200, and it's now over seven hundred strips later — and she's been dead since #464 — and no end in sight. (The author is not entirely happy about this.) And then there's those who Take a Third Option and love her as a character because they dislike her so much.
    • There is a bit of a divide among fans regarding how Word of the Giant states that Tarquin is not necessarily a Magnificent Bastard, and is more of a high-functioning / extremely lucky Big Bad Wannabe. Specifically the Giant's claim that we only had Tarquin's word for how awesome Tarquin was and Genre Savvy fans would have picked up on this. For some, this was a welcome bit of canon and substantiated the implications they perceived that he was Wrong Genre Savvy, whereas others appreciated it because they viewed him as a borderline Villain Sue who needed to be knocked down a peg. Still others view this as spoiling one of their favorite villains, and claim it makes no sense with what Tarquin actually achieves in-story, citing how various unbiased characters have commented on how powerful and dangerous he is, the successful long-con on the Western Continent was his idea, and his demonstrable battle prowess against the Order. Another minor split along these lines is whether or not his tendency to adhere to story tropes means he's a strategic genius on a meta level, as he really is in a story, or whether it means he's severely hampered for when the story doesn't go the way he thinks it will, as the plot has outright defied several of these tropes in the past.
    • Belkar has always been one of the more divisive main characters but has become even more so in later strips with his 'fake' Character Development. Some fans welcome the possibility that he will be redeemed and possibly die a hero. Others are less thrilled, either because they prefer him as an amusing completely amoral Chaotic Evil Heroic Comedic Sociopath or because they don't believe that any amount of good deeds can make up for the actions he's performed and therefore any redemption would be unearned.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
  • Broken Base:
    • Sadly, like most stories of sufficiently lengthy length, The Order of the Stick has succumbed to this, with fans unsure whether they prefer the series pre-Cerebus Syndrome or post. Fortunately, most seem to be civil about this, but it has resulted in a few engaging in minor acts of Fan Dumb.
    • There's another controversy about which fans aren't civil. Miko Miyazaki: The Fettered Lawful Good Knight in Shining Armor, or Lawful Evil Knight Templar Jerkass? Pick one or the other; as Miko herself would be the first to insist in either interpretation, you are not allowed to compromise.
  • Canon Fodder: See the Wild Mass Guessing entry. Also, anything involving Miko that isn't Canon already can be this.
  • Cargo Ship: Elan×Banjo Puppet, Haley×Sack of Gold and possibly Roy×His Sword.
  • Complete Monster: The evil lich Xykon is funny, charming, easily bored, and probably the sickest character in the comic. His ultimate plan is to unleash the Snarl so he can control it and use it against his enemies, uncaring that the monster is what everyone believes to be an evil, god-murdering abomination which has the power to destroy the world. In the present story Xykon seeks to capture the gates that would allow him to command the Snarl, and has been going to any measure to do so. He sacked Azure City to claim their gate, and made the entire Sapphire Guard kill each other with a Symbol of Insanity. He even admits that he could have just used fire and lightning from above, but wanted to go "that extra mile". His full monstrousness is revealed in the prequel comic Start of Darkness. As a young boy, his dog dies, but in a deliberate subversion of a Freudian Excuse, he accidentally raises it as a zombie and exults as it kills and eats a bird. As a teenager, he keeps his zombified grandmother in his closet, kills and zombifies a man who offers to train him as a sorcerer, then kills and zombifies his own parents for letting the man in. As a would-be Evil Overlord, he chooses actions solely on the basis of their potential to amuse him versus the effort required. When Redcloak and his brother Right-Eye started working with Xykon, Right-Eye tried to assassinate Xykon for his evil and callousness with the lives of his goblin underlings. Xykon allowed Redcloak to kill Right-Eye just to permanently bind Redcloak to Xykon's service, accuses him of being a wimp because of his principled stance, and then forced him to raise his brother as a zombie. He also trapped the souls of two mages, Lirian and Dorukan, in a gem in order to make them suffer forever.
  • Counterpart Comparison: There are a lot of parallels to be drawn between Haley and Nami.
  • Crack Pairing:
  • Crazy Awesome: Thog solo-killed a Stone Giant — a Stone Giant with class levels, no less. Plus, watch out when he starts raging.
  • Creator Worship: The fanbase for Rich Burlew, aka the Giant. There are entire threads devoted to archiving his every word and all discussion or dissension on a storyline or plot element usually ceases as soon as he posts in a topic.
  • Creepy Awesome: Malack
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Xykon does this constantly as part of his villainous humour. For instance...
    • Thog, as a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, is prone to this as well.
    • In one early strip, Elan takes his clothes off and starts running around naked. Even Belkar is traumatized.
    • The Snarl's brutal murder of the Greek Pantheon... since you cannot normally kill the gods, and they helped create it.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Belkar. Thanks to his "fake character development", some insist he's Chaotic Neutral, despite Word of the Giant. Note that an early strip strongly implies that his constant anger and aggressivness is a consequence of his low Wisdom, being temporary wiser turns him into a non-violent nice guy.
    • Redcloak. His dry wit and fairly sympathetic backstory has won him a lot of popularity — though there are those who see him as a Complete Monster with a Misaimed Fandom.
    • In-universe, Tsukiko sees Xykon this way. Out of universe, he's a Love to Hate villain to the fandom.
    • Around the time Tarquin burned thirty escaped slaves alive as a present to Elan and some people argued he wasn't evil, and the person morally responsible for this was Haley for freeing them and "forcing" Tarquin to do this, it became apparent that Tarquin has a pair of pants so tight he had been sewn into them. Possibly because he looks like Elan.
    • Thog. Being lovably dim doesn't eliminate the fact that he's a brute and a bully who works with the bad guys.
    • After the reveal, Malack has gotten this. Despite the fact that he openly plans to sacrifice a thousand people per day to his god.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Thog, who was kept in the comic because of his unexpected popularity with fans. Which is lampshaded in the comic, naturally. It's worth mentioning that Rich Burlew also really likes Thog due to his endless potential for comedy; the Lampshading was simply him expressing confusion about how people felt the need to think he wasn't evil on the basis he was lovable (when in Burlew's mind, the two are not mutually exclusive).
    • O-Chul, aptly described as "everything right about paladins".
    • The "bandana paladin" also gets more than a few mentions here and there. His reappearance in the afterlife was noted with much excitement. It helps that he seemed to be on very good terms with O-Chul and died fighting his brethren that Xykon drove temporarily insane.
    • The Booted Wight, who unfortunately won't be appearing in the comic anymore.
    • That Guy with a Halberd. Over a year after his appearance, an OotS fan decides to mount a campaign demanding his return.
    • Tarquin was being compared favorably to Xykon before his first featured arc was even over. Again, possibly because he looks like an older Elan.
    • Malack is also very well-liked, though the bulk of that came before the readers knew the depths of his monstrosity.
    • For someone who originated as a Contest Winner Cameo, Veldrina has proven to be very popular.
  • Epileptic Trees: The Snarl has become the subject of these ever since Blackwing's vision of a world inside its prison.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Sabine. Considering she's a succubus, this applies both in and out of universe.
    • Both Nale and Tarquin have this going too, considering they are evil equivalents of Elan and share his 18 Charisma.
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • The misspelling "Zykon the sorcerer" remains a bone of contention not just for the forums, but even in-universe for the dread lich himself, who can even spot his name being mangled in a speech bubble.
    • Other (traditional) examples in the forums: Hailie/Hayley/etc. for Haley, and Shinjo (portmanteau of Shojo and Hinjo).
  • Foe Yay: Malack and Durkon.
  • Freud Was Right:
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • V says it would be great if some of their enemies fought each other for their amusement in a gladiator match. This does happen later on, but in a much more cruel and sad way. Made worse when you consider that, Vaarsuvius being at least a Heroic Schizoid if not a full-blown Sociopathic Hero, V may have actually enjoyed the spectacle; we didn't get to see his/her reaction.
    • There's also an early strip where Durkon demonstrates the typical cleric reaction to the slightest hint that there may be any undead about. 860 strips later Durkon disliking the undead becomes a lot less funny.
    • In this strip V asks what the problem with binding someone's souls with dark magic is. Cut to a few hundred strips later, and a certain angry dragon...
    • When V describes his/her happy marriage, considering that it has now fallen apart.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everything about Malack before The Reveal. Including what some readers probably felt was a typo in the name of a tea...
    • The gag panels with Hel arguing with Thor once it is revealed she plans to wage war on the dwarvern homelands.
    • And, while not very funny to start with, Durkon's joy upon being told he'd return to his homeland after dying becomes far worse when he does so as a Vampire in order to destroy the world.
  • He's Just Hiding: Some fans suspect Thog is still alive; the truth of the matter remains unclear, but the fact that they Never Found the Body and Rich Burlew declined to confirm his fate one way or the other lends fuel to the fire.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In On the Origin of PCs, one of the party members he tries to recruit is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As it turns out, one of their foes does turn out to be a vampire... and he ends up being slain by another blond.
    • In "The Return of Mail Call", Belkar says that Barbarians suck. Belkar takes levels in Barbarian in later comics.
    • In "The Body Snatcher", Haley wonders if the hobgoblin clerics turned dead Roy into a vampire. Around 400 comics later...
    • When Roy's dad is mocking him in the afterlife, he says, "Ooooo, yes! And while your friends collect the seven magic spheres to wish you back to life, you can train with the secret martial arts master who lives here in the afterlife!" Although it's a Dragon Ball Z reference, it doesn't change the fact that Roy learns a new feat from his grandfather while training with him in the afterlife.
    • In "Stopping for Direction", Belkar's observation that people who spend all their time cooped up in a hideout in the desert would probably head to a brothel first chance they get becomes even more spot-on when we learn that everyone who guarded Girard's Gate was family.
    • In "Brief and to the Point", Nale rhetorically asks "who can get anything really meaningful said in 25 frickin' words?" As it turns out, Elan can.
    • When Haley and Ian reunite in the Empire of Blood's prison, Ian says (while explaining why his plan to recruit fellow prisoners to his rebellion didn't work) that "smart people aren't cut out to be gladiators". Around forty strips later, Roy defeats Thog in the arena... using his smarts.
    • Loki caps off his speech to the Norse Pantheon with "Vote Loki 2016". This is now the title of an actual comic starring the Marvel version of Loki.
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • Strips #823 to #830: The "Team Evil getting ready to leave Gobbotopia" arc. It includes (within seven strips) the recovery of the phylactery by the resistance, the summary total annihilation of the resistance (save one member) and recovery of the phylactery by Team Evil, the outing of Redcloak's plan by Tsukiko and Tsukiko's subsequent (gruesome) death at Redcloak's hands. Holy Shit.
    • How about strips #868 through #879? Belkar meets Malack! Malack easily beats Belkar! Malack is a vampire and he just bit Belkar, intending to make more "children"! Oh wait, Durkon's here and he's actually fighing Malack on even terms — oh crap, Malack has a workaround for Mass Death Ward! And now he's bitten Durkon! Durkon's dead! And now Durkon is a vampire! The HSQ was raised dramatically by many of these strips being posted on subsequent days.
    • #899 to #916: Xykon arrives just in time for the entire pyramid to explode, the Order glimpses the mysterious world through the broken gate, the Monster in the Darkness saves the Order from a premature final boss fight, a few strips to rest, then (in rapid fire) Malack's death, Durkon is no longer a Thrall, Zz'dtri's death, Durkon is working with the Order again, Redcloak's elemental is destroyed, Tarquin has brought one colossal army to the party and THEN, when everyone thought the shit had stopped hitting the fan, Tarquin kills Nale. THEN, as Tarquin seems hellbent on piling the HSQ on, he decides to order Elan's party dead on the spot to force him to become the main protagonist.
  • Ho Yay:
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • For a good time, mention Miko Miyazaki on the forums — or on This Very Wiki. This, despite how she's been dead for two thirds of the run of the comic. Reportedly, the Giant is disgusted.
    • Fans also began developing a hatedom for Haley's father Ian for his inaccurate assumptions on the Order of the Stick and his daughter's role in it.
  • Jerkass Dissonance: You could argue that Therkla was treated very sympathetically considering her actions. This is obviously meant as an example of Love Redeems, but she didn't exactly know Elan to any depth and on a closer reading it comes across more like "Unrequited Lust Somehow Redeems". She was happy to kill other Azurites or members of the Order unless he asked her not to, out of loyalty for an ambitious and clearly evil aristocrat. Wanting Elan to leave Haley to be with her wasn't a particularly noble motivation; one wonders if her attraction would be seen as more romantic or creepy if the genders were reversed.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Vaarsuvius. S/He is arrogant, selfish and at times uses his/her spells just to screw with people s/he doesn't like. At the same time, s/he is humbled at the Battle for Azure City and haunted by the memory of it, gets sued for divorce by his/her mate and discovers that s/he is responsible for the deaths of countless innocents because of one epic spell s/he cast. Not exactly pleasant fates.
    • Yukyuk when Belkar decides to get back at him for injuring Mr. Scruffy. Gross.
    • Nale spent most of the comic as an unrepentant mass-murderer. But the we get to meet his father, and realize what sort of childhood he must have had and how it formed him to the man he became, placing him in this trope. On the other hand, he is shown being cruel as a baby even when his parents were (presumably) together, so it's not all on Tarquin.
    • Miko Miyazaki is everything wrong with a paladin, but one of the bonus strips shows her trying to socialize with other paladins to celebrate New Year's only for her own Knight Templar tendencies to alienate them, forcing her to celebrate New Year's alone with Windstriker. It is implied this occurs every year. Miko's own zealousness causes her to be alone.
    • Thog. His mass-murder aside, the half-orc is little more than a child mentally and it's up for debate whether he even realises he's evil. He thinks that he and the rest of the Linear Guild are friends having a big adventure, when really Nale and Sabine only keep him around because they need a frontline fighter and consider him a burden and an annoyance. The only mutually respectful relationship he has, not conincidentally, is with Elan. Even his final fate is left deliberately ambiguous.
    • Crystal. Since coming back from the dead as a self-aware flesh golem, she claims to be in a state of constant agony. The forum-goers' hearts went out to her almost immediately; no one, they felt, deserves that — not even Crystal.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Vaarsuvius; an ambiguous gender lends itself to that.
  • Les Yay:
  • Love to Hate:
    • Xykon's completely unsympathetic, but also highly entertaining. His misdeeds are the worst in the comic, but he also makes some of the best jokes in the comic.
    • Tarquin's Savviness, collected nature, and intelligence also places him here in the eyes of fans.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Lord Shojo. He Obfuscated Senility so that he could play the nobles off against each other and bypass the tedious problem of avoiding assassination squads. He did it so well that not only did he keep the entire city running smoothly for nearly half a century (which is a quite a feat when you've got Templar Paladins mixing with your duplicitous noble gentry), but after he was gone, despite the fact that the ex-inhabitants of Azure City nearly descended into civil war trying to take power for themselves and assign blame, his authority (in the form of his cat) is still unquestioned. He almost achieved Vetinari Job Securityalmost. In addition, when he died he chose to stay dead, which sent the "Haha! Suck it, losers..." message back to the world of the living.
    • The Oracle plans his resurrection spells in advance.
    • The three IFCC fiends play a longer game than anyone else on this list. For example, Deal with the Devil they offer V is so persuasive and tempting that V falls for it despite the existence of an alternative solution that didn't involve hellish dealing. They make use of it to great effect.
    • General Tarquin, who along with his confederates rules three desert empires from the shadows, playing them all against each other (and every group not aligned with their empires) with their patsies none the wiser. He is also Dangerously Genre Savvy and thus is perfectly and explicitly aware of the costs and consequences of the role he has chosen to play in "the story" — he simply weighed the pros and cons, and saw that by his definition, he will "win" no matter what happens.
    • Xykon may be immature and unfocused, but he can be this. The best example is in Start of Darkness, when he manipulates Redcloak into murdering and reanimating his own brother (and thereby removing any hope of the goblins being free from him in the process), all to protect Xykon from an attack he was aware of and immune to anyway, and then delivers what may be the best "The Reason You Suck" Speech in webcomic history to explain that now he has guaranteed that Redcloak will loyally serve him forever, protect his phylactery, and perform any atrocious deed he commands. Because otherwise his sacrifice would be for nothing.
    • As of Strip #830, Redcloak solidified himself as this, by revealing that he's been manipulating Xykon for as long as he's been in "service" to him, revealed spectacularly with the following lines.
      Redcloak: See, the undead are tools. Powerful, dangerous tools. From the lowliest zombie to Xykon himself, the undead are just complex weapons that we make and aim at other people. All that differs is how direct or subtle our control of them is. [...] for our so-called master, more creative strategies are required.
      Tsukiko: You don't control Xykon, he controls you!
      Redcloak: Like I said: subtle.
    • The High Priest of Hel, and by extension Hel herself is starting to be made into one. Acting as he's still the same old Durkon while secretly being The Mole to plunge the Dwarves into eternal torment? Good start for an Evil Plan. Becoming the Spanner in the Works for a meeting which will decide whether the wold will be destroyed or not? Score big points. Having their plans derailed by Roy and revealing they've made contingency plans beforehand? They graduated summa cum laude.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • "That Guy with a Halberd", as a result of the campaign demanding his return.
    • O-Chul. The fandom tends to treat him as the OotS answer to Chuck Norris. This is not unjustified, as it's been determined that he has a hitpoint total well over 150, putting him on par with creatures two size categories larger than himself. He's been immersed in a tank of acid for almost a full minute, escaping after being launched out by a shark-bite; he's tanked a disintegrate spell from Redcloak, followed by a Meteor Swarm from Xykon, without going down, and he beat Redcloak in a one-on-one fight while half-naked and with nothing but a metal bar.
    • Julio Scoundrèl is Obi-Wan plus Han Solo. Think about that.
    • Meanwhile, Tarquin is Darth Vader as a troper.
      • Currently the theory that these three men between them fathered most of the OotS cast is doing the rounds on the forums.
    • Kazumi Kato. Just take a look around this wiki.
    • Belkar. Despite Roy pointing out to him (and us) that he's bad at taking hits and has some weaknesses, he's still known as the SEXY SHOELESS GOD OF WAR! for a reason.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Evil! It's a growth industry!"
    • "I am a sexy shoeless god of war!"
    • "Who cares how many people I kill? I can just make more in my tummy!"
    • Someone on the OOTS forums referred to Bandana as "Banana" by accident. Then someone else posted a drawing of an anthropomorphic banana commanding the Mechane. No getting rid of the Banana after that!
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Disturbingly, the times Xykon crosses it tend to be Moments of Awesome in that they are so evil you can't help but be impressed with which the style he pulls them off, even as you are appalled.
    • Miko crosses this when she takes the law into her own hands and kills Lord Shojo and the gods themselves take notice. By contrast, ''Start of Darkness' goes out of its way to demonstrate that there was never really a point where Xykon was not balls-out evil.
    • Nale crosses the line in the first story arc when he stabbed his brother Elan through the back simply for refusing to be part of his group (literally).
    • The end of Start of Darkness for Redcloak. Engineered by Xykon, who happily explains that he can now trust Redcloak to do any despicable action Xykon asks of Redcloak because otherwise he'd have to face that he crossed the horizon for nothing.
      Xykon: You'll obey me forever now, because I give you an excuse for your inexcusable behavior.
    • Malack crosses it when he states his plans to continue Tarquin's empire... and kill 1000 people every day. And if that didn't convince you, he follows this up by killing Durkon and turning him into one of his children (though he states he will see him as a brother). Not to mention when he reveals that he killed his own seven brothers in the past.
    • Although his villainy was always horrific, it was generally played with some kind of humor, or at least some reader respect. However, Tarquin calmly telling Elan that he is going to murder Haley, then murder everyone else on the Mechane, then top it off by cutting off Elan's hand with a completely calm, straight face cements him as a monster at worst, and extremely frightening at best.
    • Golem Crystal cheerfully admits that she plans to go on a killing spree among the gnomes since killing helps her cope with the pain of her new form. She doesn't even consider Haley's suggestion to turn over a new leaf and go on a quest for an actual solution to her condition. In-universe, this convinces Haley that Crystal is an unrepentant murderer who needs to be destroyed.
  • Painful Rhyme: Elan gets one in this strip.
    Elan: You should follow me out onto the grass'n
    It's not so you can avoid the assassins
  • Rewatch Bonus:
  • Ron the Death Eater: For a time, directed at Lord Shojo. Some of Miko's more die-hard fans claimed that executing him could be justified at first. The comic went on to show that no, it could not, and this went away rather quickly.
  • Saved by the Fans: Invoked by Word of God. Thog was originally going to be killed off, but the fans loved the big galoot so much that he rewrote the script and let him live. This wasn't done begrudgingly, though — at first, it was because there had been little to no major plans for the comic so it made little difference, but Burlew later admitted that he really liked Thog too, since he's a comedy goldmine.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Miko, intentionally.
    • Roy's dad is also likely intentional.
    • Celia to many after certain Too Dumb to Live moments.
    • Tsukiko, In-Universe certainly. Lampshaded somewhat when Redcloak gets tired of her attitude towards him and kills her, and almost no-one in Team Evil cares.
    • Girard Draketooth is viewed as one by some fans, even though he doesn't actually appear, being dead. Granted, all the flashbacks and visions of him so far have shown him as a douche.
  • Shipping: The "Crack pairings" threads are among the most popular on the forums.
  • Squick:
    • Tsukiko's "tastes" (i.e. Necrophilia) tend to inspire that. Even to Xykon, who isn't "one of those disgusting biophiliacs".
    • "If I ever see you with more eyes than assholes, I'm going to shove one into the other and then give your cloak to that hobgoblin."
    • Tarquin's banquet serves phoenix pâté. Since phoenixes explode when they die, the liver has to be cut out while the bird is alive.
    • As revenge for Yukyuk hurting Mr Scruffy (and to continue with his theme of utilizing kobolds' heads for various purposes), Belkar has Mr Scruffy use Yukyuk's mouth as a litterbox. While he's still alive. Bonus points for mentioning that "dairy just is NOT good for a cat's digestion".
  • Stoic Woobie: Vaarsuvius
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The reaction by a subset of the audience to the latest art upgrade, in which the stick figure limbs are now colored in to denote skin and pants, who nicknamed it "The Order of the Noodle".
  • Too Cool to Live: Lord Shojo. Even Belkar likes him.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In an early strip, Belkar lampshades the unfortunate implications of the standard Dungeon Crawling adventure plot:
    Belkar: We have a goal?
    Roy: Sure. Why did you think we were here?
    Belkar: Well, I just figured we'd wander around, kill some sentient creatures because they had green skin and fangs and we don't, and then take their stuff. (everyone else in the party glares at him) What?
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Despite being a fan favorite, Belkar is disliked by 99% of the cast note . The fact that he's a Heroic Comedic Sociopath explains both reactions.
  • The Untwist:
    • The usual Wild Mass Guessers wanted the white-haired guy who's locked up in Bloodstone Correctional Facility to be Ian Starshine. For once, they were right.
    • Similarly, while it was considered to be a much more out-there guess, V's Familicide did turn out to be the reason for the death of the entire Draketooth clan.
    • Inverted, so many people considered Malack being a vampire to be too obvious to actually be true that they were surprised when it turned out that way.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • The Running Gag of V's mysterious gender was initially caused by the fact that no-one in the audience could agree on what it was.
    • According to the forum, Bandana has caused this for several people, including, initially, her character entry on This Very Wiki.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: The comic lampoons the 3.5 rules of Dungeons & Dragons, but has remained popular for years past when that ruleset was retired. It even outlasted the ruleset that replaced it!
  • What an Idiot:
    • Tsukiko may have been smart enough to figure out Redcloak was lying to Xykon about the Gate ritual, but by bringing everything into the open, straight to Redcloak's face, she fatally underestimated the high priest of the Dark One.
    • If Nale thought his father was going to just let his killing of Malack slide, especially after he boasted about making the cleric suffer while dying straight to his face, he didn't know Tarquin at all, and deserved everything coming to him afterwards just for being that stupid. Even if Tarquin wouldn't have given him what he had coming, Laurin most definitely would have, making this doubly stupid.
    • Oh yes, Bozzok, call the flesh golem Crystal an idiot and do exactly what she was calling you on while you're totally and completely unarmed and have no way to defend yourself. See how long you last.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheOrderOfTheStick