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* FiveManBand: The Circus
** TheBigBad: Kurt Pilo
** TheDragon: Gonko
** TheEvilGenius: Shalice and the Matter Manipulator
** TheBrute: The Woodchoppers
** TheDarkChick: Mugabo
** SixthRangerTraitor: George Pilo
** TokenGoodTeammate: [[spoiler: Winston, Fishboy, the rest of the Freakshow and the Freedom Movement.]]

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* CircusOfMagic: The circus is not only a CircusOfFear home to [[MagiciansAreWizards sorcerers]], [[FortuneTeller prophets]], [[MonsterClown supernaturally-empowered clowns]] and [[OneWingedAngel transforming]] [[RepulsiveRingmaster ringmasters]], but it's eventually revealed to not be a travelling show at all: it's set in a PocketDimension that occasionally connects itself to the gates of a mundane circus or carnival and steals the customers for itself. [[spoiler: It's actually engaged in the business of extracting the souls of the customers and crystalizing them into wishing powder, and operating on behalf of an imprisoned race of EldritchAbomination.]]

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* SinisterWhistling: Jamie's [[JekyllAndHyde secondary personality]] (AKA [[PsychopathicManchild JJ]]) finally proves himself every bit as vicious as the [[MonsterClown other circus clowns]] when he takes an axe and goes on the prowl for victims while whistling "Que Sera, Sera."

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* IncomprehensibleEntranceExam: Having accidentally managed to amuse the Circus clown division while they were vandalizing his home, Jamie is told he has three days to pass his audition: he has to make them laugh - no matter who gets hurt or killed as a result. Other than that, there's no explanations, no opportunity to back out, and no way of knowing if the clowns are being serious or just fucking with him again. For good measure, the clown division spends the next few days stalking Jamie, leaving menacing letters, torturing his friends, threatening to blow up his workplace and even making it look like they murdered one of his flatmates. The goal is to scare Jamie into a Freak Out! so as to see how funny he can be when he stops caring about social conventions. In the end, he passes the audition by creating a fake bomb scare with the aid of fireworks, then sprinting naked through a shopping center with a pillowcase over his head and a swastika painted on his chest.



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* TheTrickster: Rufshod and JJ.

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* TheTrickster: Rufshod and JJ.JJ.
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* FiveBadBand: The Circus

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* FiveBadBand: FiveManBand: The Circus

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[[quoteright:293:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_pilo_family_circus.jpg]]


Jamie has a perfectly ordinary life; he works at a trendy Brisbane hotel as concierge; he lives in a dingy sharehouse alongside various drug dealers and petty thieves; his only goal in life isto romance one of his coworkers; and- up until that fateful evening- he has no enemies to speak of.

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Jamie has a perfectly ordinary life; he works at a trendy Brisbane hotel as concierge; he lives in a dingy sharehouse shared house alongside various drug dealers and petty thieves; his only goal in life isto is to romance one of his coworkers; and- up and--up until that fateful evening- he evening--he has no enemies to speak of.



* BadassBoast: Gonko delivers a doozy after JJ inadvertedly steals his pants.

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* BadassBoast: Gonko delivers a doozy after JJ inadvertedly inadvertently steals his pants.



** The Matter Manipulator, who created the freakshow in the first place, is an easy source of BodyHorror: he can shape flesh and bone at will, [[spoiler: at one point torturing Winston by merging a hot coal with the flesh of his stomach]]. The brief glimpse of his workshop inside the funhouse reveals that he makes furniture and decorations out of the Tricks that the managers donate to him; [[spoiler: when the funhouse is bombed, the walls are seen to ''bleed.'']]

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** The Matter Manipulator, who created the freakshow in the first place, is an easy source of BodyHorror: he can shape flesh and bone at will, [[spoiler: at [[spoiler:at one point torturing Winston by merging a hot coal with the flesh of his stomach]]. The brief glimpse of his workshop inside the funhouse reveals that he makes furniture and decorations out of the Tricks that the managers donate to him; [[spoiler: when [[spoiler:when the funhouse is bombed, the walls are seen to ''bleed.'']]



* BrickJoke: Late in Part 2, Shalice offhandedly notes that she's still taking revenge on the woodchoppers for their attempted rape. Then, in Part 3, JJ is watching the showgrounds with the stolen crystal ball when he notices that one of the woodchoppers appears to have suffered a near-fatal fall, and notes that the woodchoppers always seem to be suffering some kind of bad luck- tripping over, catching on fire, getting brained by a flying axe-head...

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* BrickJoke: Late in Part 2, Shalice offhandedly notes that she's still taking revenge on the woodchoppers for their attempted rape. Then, in Part 3, JJ is watching the showgrounds with the stolen crystal ball when he notices that one of the woodchoppers appears to have suffered a near-fatal fall, and notes that the woodchoppers always seem to be suffering some kind of bad luck- tripping luck--tripping over, catching on fire, getting brained by a flying axe-head...



* DealWithTheDevil: It's revealed that the Circus itself is based on this. [[spoiler: It's main role is conning its audiences into voluntarily parting with their souls, each exhibit appealing to a certain demographic: the games and shops in Sideshow Alley appeal to the greedy, the Acrobats are intended to tempt the vain and insecure, the Woodchoppers provide offers of strength to the weak, Mugabo's magic show is aimed at the power-hungry, and the Clowns appeal to the cruel and rebellious; the Freak Show is designed to frighten the more resilient Tricks into giving in. In true DealWithTheDevil fashion, the Tricks recieve nothing in return for their souls except for a few subliminal promises that can never come true.]]

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* DealWithTheDevil: It's revealed that the Circus itself is based on this. [[spoiler: It's [[spoiler:Its main role is conning its audiences into voluntarily parting with their souls, with each exhibit appealing to a certain demographic: the games and shops in Sideshow Alley appeal to the greedy, the Acrobats are intended to tempt the vain and insecure, the Woodchoppers provide offers of strength to the weak, Mugabo's magic show is aimed at the power-hungry, and the Clowns appeal to the cruel and rebellious; the Freak Show is designed to frighten the more resilient Tricks into giving in. In true DealWithTheDevil fashion, the Tricks recieve receive nothing in return for their souls except for a few subliminal promises that can never come true.]]



* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler: The Circus has actually been built over a prison keeping an entire ''race'' of godlike reptiles in check, and the Pilos are their loyal servants. Everything they've done, from the farming of human souls and the catrastrophes caused in the real world, is performed in the hope that whoever jailed them will eventually be forced to reduce their sentence- or set them free.]]
* EldritchLocation: The Showgrounds, which is essentially a patch of earth [[spoiler: with a magical prison for {{Eldritch Abomination}}s concealed under it]], hovering in an empty void situated outside the universe itself; the only way for employees to enter or exit are through mysterious elevators that lead back into the real world (where they are disguised as portable toilets). Meanwhile, the "tricks" that make up the audience are drawn in when the Show secretely connects its gates to the gates of circuses and fairgrounds in the real world.

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* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler: The Circus has actually been built over a prison keeping an entire ''race'' of godlike reptiles in check, and the Pilos are their loyal servants. Everything they've done, from the farming of human souls and the catrastrophes catastrophes caused in the real world, is performed in the hope that whoever jailed them will eventually be forced to reduce their sentence- or set them free.]]
* EldritchLocation: The Showgrounds, which is essentially a patch of earth [[spoiler: with a magical prison for {{Eldritch Abomination}}s concealed under it]], hovering in an empty void situated outside the universe itself; the only way for employees to enter or exit are through mysterious elevators that lead back into the real world (where they are disguised as portable toilets). Meanwhile, the "tricks" that make up the audience are drawn in when the Show secretely secretly connects its gates to the gates of circuses and fairgrounds in the real world.



* HolyBurnsEvil: Subverted in the case of Kurt Pilo, who is currently so obsessed with Christianity that he collects bibles and crucifixes as a hobby; for his birthday he recieves a massive wooden crucifix and [[spoiler: a ''live priest'']], both of which utterly delight him.
** Played with in the case of the [[spoiler: Creatures imprisoned beneath the showgrounds.]] They might not actually be injured by holy symbols, but they're definitely ''insulted'' by them, [[spoiler: enough to fatally punish Kurt for daring to bring his giant crucifix into their presence.]]

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* HolyBurnsEvil: Subverted in the case of Kurt Pilo, who is currently so obsessed with Christianity that he collects bibles and crucifixes as a hobby; for his birthday he recieves receives a massive wooden crucifix and [[spoiler: a [[spoiler:a ''live priest'']], both of which utterly delight him.
** Played with in the case of the [[spoiler: Creatures [[spoiler:Creatures imprisoned beneath the showgrounds.]] They might not actually be injured by holy symbols, but they're definitely ''insulted'' by them, [[spoiler: enough [[spoiler:enough to fatally punish Kurt for daring to bring his giant crucifix into their presence.]]



* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It's revealed that the Powder that the circus employees are paid in is actually [[spoiler: the souls of the audience, crystalized, broken down into dust, and scattered onto the lawn to be collected by the circus dwarfs. Gonko cheekily compares the process to cows being milked- except the Tricks aren't able to recover what was taken from them.]]

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* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It's revealed that the Powder that the circus employees are paid in is actually [[spoiler: the souls of the audience, crystalized, crystallized, broken down into dust, and scattered onto the lawn to be collected by the circus dwarfs. Gonko cheekily compares the process to cows being milked- except the Tricks aren't able to recover what was taken from them.]]



* TheTrickster: Rufshod and JJ

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* TheTrickster: Rufshod and JJJJ.


* EverybodysDeadDave:[[spoiler:The book ends with Kurt Pilo killing most of the carnies in his search for traitors before descending into the Funhouse basement where he is presumably punished for bringing a crucifix with him; Gonko is dragged into hell with Kurt, but is heard communicating with Jamie in his dream at the end of the book; JJ and Rufshod are both killed by Kurt; Winston is last seen heading out to stop George Pilo from taking over the Circus; the only confirmed survivors of the massacre are Jamie, Steve, Shalice, and Mugabo.]]

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* EverybodysDeadDave:[[spoiler:The EverybodysDeadDave: [[spoiler:The book ends with Kurt Pilo killing most of the carnies in his search for traitors before descending into the Funhouse basement where he is presumably punished for bringing a crucifix with him; Gonko is dragged into hell with Kurt, but is heard communicating with Jamie in his dream at the end of the book; JJ and Rufshod are both killed by Kurt; Winston is last seen heading out to stop George Pilo from taking over the Circus; the only confirmed survivors of the massacre are Jamie, Steve, Shalice, and Mugabo.]]

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* [[spoiler: LaserGuidedAmnesia: Jamie burns away all his memories of his time at the Circus, all his memories of JJ, and everything that ever happened while he was there. We really can't blame him.]]

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* DirtyCoward: JJ. So long as he's got the upper hand, he's reckless, arrogant and cruel. The moment someone fights back, he bursts into tears and runs off.


* TheTrickster: Rufshod

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* TheTrickster: RufshodRufshod and JJ


* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Not only does the Clown facepaint create a secondary personality in the wearer, but it also enhances strength and durability, to the extent that Goshy can survive a two-story drop without sustaining injury.

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* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Not only does the Clown facepaint create a secondary personality in the wearer, but it also enhances strength and durability, to the extent that Goshy can survive a two-story drop without sustaining injury.injury.
* TheTrickster: Rufshod


* DepravedDwarf: The Circus has a whole legion of these at work throughout the show: their most common duty is to collect the grains of Powder that gather on the lawns. On their days off, they're usually gambling or fighting.

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* DepravedDwarf: George Pilo.
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The Circus has a whole legion of these at work throughout the show: their most common duty is to collect the grains of Powder that gather on the lawns. On their days off, they're usually gambling or fighting.

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* DepravedDwarf: The Circus has a whole legion of these at work throughout the show: their most common duty is to collect the grains of Powder that gather on the lawns. On their days off, they're usually gambling or fighting.


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* {{Muggles}}: The "Tricks," the circus' audience.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It's revealed that the Powder that the circus employees are paid in is actually [[spoiler: the souls of the audience, crystalized, broken down into dust, and scattered onto the lawn to be collected by the circus dwarfs. Gonko cheekily compares the process to cows being milked- except the Tricks aren't able to recover what was taken from them.]]

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