Ask Hoops and Dumbbell is an Ask a Pony Blog starring the titular stallions - originally 2/3rds of the Jerk Jock crew seen in Sonic Rainboom taunting Rainbow Dash. Now Hoops and Dumbbell have both grown a bit older and a bit more mature, and have started dating one another.
The blog is a mostly Comedic Slice of Life story that alternately features the couple responding to questions about their life and more in-depth arcs - be they as important as Dumbbell's first day as a Teacher's Assitant, or as mundane as a trip to Ikea.
A lot of humour is drawn from the pair's different attitudes on their sexuality, contrasting Hoops' ease and comfort with Dumbbell's (slowly easing) insecurities, as well as the two just goofing off or getting into antics.
In spite of the potentially sexual nature, Ask Hoops and Dumbbell is kept pretty PG-13, and can be read here.
Tropes found in Ask Hoops And Dumbbell:
- Armoured Closet Gay: Dumbbell used to be this. A large part of his motivation for bullying Rainbow Dash when they were foals. He's improved by the time of the blog, obviously.Dumbbell: When you're... scared, the tomboy with a rainbow on her head is an obvious target, you know?"
- Art Evolution: While the art has gotten a bit sketchier over the blog's run, it's also improved in most other aspects.
- Badass Teacher: Dumbbell is a Badass Teacher in training - he's only a Teacher's Assistant at the moment, but was previously a boxer, and is still good enough to drop an unlucky mugger.
- Character Development: Dumbbell's insecurities have eased out a lot over the blog's run, and he's become a much more even-keeled guy overall, even pretty chipper sometimes. According to Word of God, this is even the in-universe reason why the blog exists - by being Out in a controlled environment, Dumbbell is getting used to his sexuality and calming down.
- Cool Teacher: Dumbbell is shaping up to be one. First day of Assistant Teaching, and he's already got Cool Teacher points from his students.
- Darker and Edgier: The VDC arc begins with a hint of something mysterious behind the scenes, culminating in the pair going to investigate a mysterious message... and getting jumped by an evil Celestia who summons a demon to drag them off to some unknown location where they're separated and tortured by ghostly images of one another. Fortunately, the tone resets as soon as the arc is over.
- Dirty Old Woman: Hoops and Dumbbell's neighbor, who asks Dumbbell without a hint of shame if it's true "what they say about a Pegasi's wingspan". Dumbbell's reaction makes it pretty clear just what it is they say.
- Disappeared Dad: It's revealed that Dumbbell's father abandoned the family when Dumbbell was 10 for reasons, at the time, unknown. He later meets Dumbbell by chance and offers to return into Dumbbell's life, though Dumbbell ultimately turns him down
- Fag Hag: While working as a TA Dumbbell meets and forms a friendship with Bubblegum, a lesbian who admits she seeks out friendships with gay stallions, because friendship is easier when attraction is off the table. In contrast with the entry on Pet Homosexual below, Dumbbell is pretty receptive to this.
- Fat and Skinny: The titular duo - though Dumbbell isn't fat so much as stocky and well-muscled. They also invert the typical dynamic, with Dumbbell(usually) playing the Straight Man to Hoops' goofiness.
- Genius Ditz: Hoops is undeniably a bit of a goofball, and doesn't come across as very smart - but according to Dumbbell he's incredibly good with math, and apparently his job requires some pretty complex math.
- Hidden Depths: Hoops and Dumbbell both. Hoops is apparently great at math, and Dumbbell loves kids and is studying to be a teacher.
- In Name Only: The 'ask' part of the title. While the couple still answer Asks in-between major arcs, the format of the blog has largely moved on.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dumbbell, sorta. He's definitely better than he used to be, and he's good with foals, but he's still pretty rough around the edges and can be pretty blunt if somepony annoys him.
- Mugging the Monster: A pony attempts to mug Hoops and Dumbbell on their way home from a date. Dumbbell, an ex-boxer, drops him on reflex before he even finishes his threat.
- One Head Taller: Hoops, to Dumbbell.
- Pet Homosexual: During his first day as a Teacher's Assistant, Dumbbell runs into a fellow TA who wants to turn him into one. He's less than pleased.
- Running Gag: During the Ikea Arc, Dumbbell falling backward into too-soft furniture. During the first bit of the First Day of School arc, the possibility of Dumbbell growing a mustache.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Hoops's sister to Dumbbell. She's mentioned roughly once a year, on April Fool's Day, where she torments Dumbbell with some variety of nasty prank. On year four she finally appears on-panel... to torment Dumbbell with a (slightly less) cruel prank. According to Word of God she does genuinely care about Dumbbell, and think of him as already her brother... which means she has over twenty years of being a Big Sister to catch up on.
- Something Completely Different: As it was for many blogs, the VDC arc is a pretty stark departure from the blog's normal subject matter and tone. From comedic slice-of-life to a dark fantasy. Especially during the Krampus comics.
- Straight Gay: Both Hoops and Dumbbell qualify, both being ex-athletes and fairly masculine. Dumbbell definitely more so of the two however, being fairly gruff and aggressive.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Dumbbell, judging from his neighbors' comments.
- Toilet Humor: A small one. Either Celestia or Luna (or perhaps even both) apparently ripped a fart during a public appearance, which the tabloids immediately pick up on. Our protagonists comment on the tabloid headline.
- Wimpification: Pointedly averted. Actual details about their sex life are sparse, but there's strong hints that Dumbbell is the bottom, and is the shorter of the pair, which would normally lead into this. However, Dumbbell is also by far the more aggressive and masculine of the pair, is less emotionally open than Hoops, and is shown instigating sex on at least on occasion (and, as mentioned in the The Immodest Orgasm entry above, enjoying it quite spiritedly).